Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)
Introduction: Previously, we have noted that Edward Snowden’s activities make no sense in terms of a struggle for civil liberties, free speech, upholding the Bill of Rights or anything of the sort. Snowden is a spook on a very obvious intelligence “op.” (See FTR #762.)
Snowden is also a fascist, inextrticably linked with a milieu that favors slavery, justifies the Confederate States of America, wants the South to secede again, doesn’t think women should be allowed to vote, and is explicitly opposed to democracy. (See FTR #756.)
In the context of Snowden’s actions as an intelligence operation, this broadcast underscores the apparent destabilization of the NSA and the British GCHQ.
The broadcast begins by analyzing L’Affaire Snowden as a destabilization operation against Obama. A recent lawsuit against the NSA about its spying operations was brought by Larry Klayman, who is far more than just the “conservative” that he is labeled. Klayman is an extreme right-winger who called on the “Muslim” Obama to put down the “Quran” and come out of the White House with his hands up!
The judge who ruled favorably on Klayman’s suit was appointed by George W. Bush. A loyal Bush family running dog, Leon helped cover-up the Iran-Contra scandal, the October Surprise and was involved with the destabilization of the Clinton administration over the non-existent Whitewater “crimes.”
Highlighting the destabilization of the NSA, we note that Snowden’s data theft was so massive that NSA may never know just how much information he took.
Snowden’s vast document theft make NO sense in terms of protection of personal privacy or civil liberties. It appears that his “data dump” (perhaps as many as 1.7 million documents) would permit a would-be malefactor to defeat NSA surveillance. Purloining files on the military capabilities of foreign countries and the personal lives of GCHQ operatives (which Snowden has done) has nothing to do with civil liberties. Snowden’s “op” is a hostile counter-intelligence operation.
It is worth noting that Snowden could not possibly have reviewed all of the documents he purloined. He appears to have been directed by some very knowledgeable people, as well as being assisted in his international flight.
Among the most devastating consequences of L’Affaire Snowden may be the prevention of an effective cyberdefense. The results of this could be truly catastrophic.
One of the most important elements of the analysis highlights a revealing article in Der Spiegel The story notes two VERY important things: the same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put roadblocks in European data privacy rules designed to guard against unwarranted government surveillance, but is actively seeking admittance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II!
She’s not “shocked, shocked” at all! She wants access to the Five Eyes, which means–DUH–that she APPROVES of this very thing! Germany and the BND may very well be, in effect, holding American internet business hostage to inclusion in the “Five Eyes” club.
Program Highlights Include:
- France’s decision to ramp-up its electronic surveillance program with no judicial oversight, to speak of.
- Obama’s dilemma over satisfying the needs of national security or the internet companies, which favor privatizing metadata retention, in keeping with the recommendations of the Presidential panel weighing changes.
- Former NSA chief Michael Hayden’s view that privatizing the storage of metadata would make it less secure than having the NSA do it. He also notes that the Fourth Amendment is not an international treaty and doesn’t apply to foreign citizens.
- Glenn Greenwald’s husband David Miranda was intercepted at Heathrow Airport with sensitive documents containing information about Brtitish intelligence officers’ personal lives and families. That, too, has NOTHING to do with civil liberties, privacy, etc. It is hostile counterintelligence.
- Contrary to Greenwald and Miranda’s previous statements, Miranda has been deeply involved with the handling of NSA documents.
- Larry Klayman’s role in the Whitewater destabilization of Bill Clinton. Judge Leon was also involved with the Whitewater affair.
- Review of National Alliance leader and founder William Luther Pierce’s 1998 foreshadowing of the 9/11 attacks. (The National Alliance was one of Glenn Greenwald’s Nazi clients when he was an attorney.)
- Review of the fact that the climactic episode of The Turner Diaries is a low-level, suicide aerial attack on the Pentagon.
- Both The Turner Diaries and Serpent’s Walk–both published by Greenwald’s client The National Alliance–feature a Nazi takeover of the United States after the country is destroyed by a series of WMD terrorist attacks. Before that could happen, one would have to neutralize the NSA, something that Snowden’s documents would permit a malefactor to do. THINK ABOUT IT!
- UPDATE: Angela Merkel has proposed an EU-wide communications system to counteract NSA and GCHQ spying, even as Germany ramps up its own counter-intelligence and spying activities.
1a. Beginning with review of material covered years ago on For The Record, the program notes that the information about NSA and GCHQ hoovering up electronic communications is not new. (Mr. Emory has been discussing this for years, referencing the analysis from open sources.) A New York Times article from 9/6/2001 highlights a European Parliament report that was compiled over the course of a year. The report notes, among other things, that several European countries were doing similar things.
[Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The United States-led spying system known as Echelon can monitor virtually every communication in the world — by e-mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satellite, the European Parliament was told. But in reporting on a yearlong study of the system that was prompted by concern that American companies were using data from the system to gain a competitive edge, Gerhard Schmid, a German member of the Parliament, said that many European countries had similar abilities . . .
1b. Supplementing FTR #762, we note, again, the extreme right-wing nature of the forces underlying Snowden’s “Op.” This part of the broadcast supplements that program, analyzing L’Affaire Snowden as a destabilization operation against Obama. A recent lawsuit against the NSA about its spying operations was brought by Larry Klayman, who is far more than just the “conservative” that he is labeled. Klayman is an extreme right-winger who called on the “Muslim” Obama to put down the “Quran” and come out of the White House with his hands up!
Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate.
High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. . . .
. . . . One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising.
“I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up,” said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group. . . .”
2. Klayman and Judge Leon (discussed below) worked together on the Whitewater destabilization of Clinton.
. . . . the fastest trigger finger in D.C. when it comes to filing legal briefs, the founder of Judicial Watch is best known for playing an instrumental role in fueling the Whitewater crisis that drowned President Clinton in multiple scandals. . . .
3. The judge who ruled favorably on Klayman’s suit was appointed by George W. Bush. His name is Richard J. Leon, and we will see more about him below.
A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.
Judge Richard J. Leon of the District of Columbia ordered the government to stop collecting data on the personal calls of the two plaintiffs in the case and to destroy the records of their calling history. But the judge, appointed to the bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush, stayed his injunction “in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues,” allowing the government time to appeal it, a matter that he said could take at least six months. The case is the first in which a federal judge who is not on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which authorized the once-secret program, has examined the bulk data collection on behalf of someone who is not a criminal defendant.
The Justice Department has said that 15 separate judges on the surveillance court have held on 35 occasions that the calling data program is legal. It also marks the first successful legal challenge brought against the program since it was revealed in June after leaks by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden. . . . .
. . . .. . . . “I acted on my belief that the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts,” Mr. Snowden said in his statement. It was distributed by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who received leaked documents from Mr. Snowden and wrote the first article about the bulk data collection. “Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights,” the statement said. “It is the first of many.” . . . .
. . . . The case was brought by several plaintiffs led by Larry Klayman, a conservative legal activist. Mr. Klayman, who represented himself and the other plaintiffs, said in an interview on Monday that he was seeking to turn the case into a class action on behalf of all Americans. “I’m extremely gratified that Judge Leon had the courage to make this ruling,” he said. “He is an American hero.” . . . .
4. A loyal Bush family running dog, Leon helped cover-up the Iran-Contra scandal, the October Surprise and was involved with the destabilization of the Clinton administration over the non-existent Whitewater “crimes.”
. . . Leon was appointed to his lifetime judicial post by George W. Bush in 2002 after Leon had “earned” the gratitude of the Bush Family by protecting its interests as an aggressive and reliable Republican legal apparatchik on Capitol Hill. There, the heavy-set Leon gained a reputation as a partisan bully who made sure politically charged investigations reached a desired outcome, whatever the facts.
In the 1990s, Leon served as special counsel to the House Banking Committee as it transformed President Bill Clinton’s minor Whitewater real estate deal into a major scandal that eventually led to the House vote to impeach Clinton in 1998 and thus set the stage for Bush’s disputed election victory in 2000.
However, Leon’s most important work for the Bushes may have come in the 1980s and early 1990s when he helped construct legal justifications for Republican law-breaking and sought to intimidate Iran-Contra-related witnesses who came forward to expose GOP wrongdoing.
In 1987, when Rep. Dick Cheney, R-Wyoming, was leading the Republican counteroffensive against the Iran-Contra investigation into evidence that President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush had engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy involving illegal weapons shipments and money transfers, Leon stepped forward as deputy chief counsel on the Republican side.
Leon worked with Cheney not only in fending off accusations of wrongdoing, but in coming up with a counter-argument that accused Congress of intruding on foreign policy prerogatives of the President.
“Congressional actions to limit the President in this area … should be reviewed with a considerable degree of skepticism,” the Republican minority report said. “If they interfere with the core presidential foreign policy functions, they should be struck down.”
In 2005 as vice president, Cheney harkened back to that Iran-Contra minority report in defending George W. Bush’s assertion of unlimited presidential powers during wartime.
“If you want reference to an obscure text, go look at the minority views that were filed with the Iran-Contra committee,” Cheney told a reporter. Cheney said those old arguments “are very good in laying out a robust view of the president’s prerogatives with respect to the conduct of especially foreign policy and national security matters.”
So, one could say that Richard Leon was there at the birth of what became George W. Bush’s imperial presidency.
Cover-up of Crimes
But Leon’s crucial work went beyond building a legal framework for Republican presidents to ignore the law. More significantly, he conducted cover-ups of their crimes.
In 1992, when a House task force was examining evidence that Reagan and Bush began their secret contacts with Iran in 1980 while trying to unseat President Jimmy Carter, Leon was the Republican point man to make sure nothing too damaging came out. Leon served as chief minority counsel to the House task force investigating the so-called October Surprise allegations.
5. France is ramping up its already formidable electronic surveillance capability, with no substantive judicial oversight!
For all their indignation last summer, when the scope of the United States’ mass data collection began to be made public, the French are hardly innocents in the realm of electronic surveillance. Within days of the reports about the National Security Agency’s activities, it was revealed that French intelligence services operated a similar system, with similarly minimal oversight.
And last week, with little public debate, the legislature approved a law that critics feared would markedly expand electronic surveillance of French residents and businesses.
The provision, quietly passed as part of a routine military spending bill, defines the conditions under which intelligence agencies may gain access to, or record telephone conversations, e-mails, Internet activity, personal location data and other electronic communications.
The law provides for no judicial oversight and allows electronic surveillance for a broad range of purposes, including “national security,” the protection of France’s “scientific and economic potential” and prevention of “terrorism” or “criminality.” . . . .
6a. Snowden’s data theft was so massive that NSA may never know just how much information he took.
American intelligence and law enforcement investigators have concluded that they may never know the entirety of what the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden extracted from classified government computers before leaving the United States, according to senior government officials.
Investigators remain in the dark about the extent of the data breach partly because the N.S.A. facility in Hawaii where Mr. Snowden worked — unlike other N.S.A. facilities — was not equipped with up-to-date software that allows the spy agency to monitor which corners of its vast computer landscape its employees are navigating at any given time.
Six months since the investigation began, officials said Mr. Snowden had further covered his tracks by logging into classified systems using the passwords of other security agency employees, as well as by hacking firewalls installed to limit access to certain parts of the system. . . .
6b. Snowden’s vast document theft make NO sense in terms of protection of personal privacy or civil liberties. It appears that his “data dump” of some 1.7 million documents would permit a would-be malefactor to defeat NSA surveillance. Purloining files on the military capabilities of foreign countries and the personal lives of GCHQ operatives (which Snowden has done) have nothing to do with civil liberties.
Note that there is NO WAY that Snowden could possibly have reviewed all 1.7 million documents.
Snowden’s “op” is a hostile counter-intelligence operation.
We’ve yet to see the full impact of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s unauthorized downloading of highly classified intelligence documents.
Among the roughly 1.7 million documents he walked away with — the vast majority of which have not been made public — are highly sensitive, specific intelligence reports, as well as current and historic requirements the White House has given the agency to guide its collection activities, according to a senior government official with knowledge of the situation.
The latter category involves about 2,000 unique taskings that can run to 20 pages each and give reasons for selective targeting to NSA collectors and analysts. These orders alone may run 31,500 pages.
If disclosed, that information would reveal vulnerabilities within U. S. intelligence gathering at the strategic level, the official said.
Where the copies of these sensitive tasking documents are is an unanswered question.
Snowden, in Hong Kong, distributed NSA documents during the first week in June to three journalists — Glenn Greenwald, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras and Barton Gellman. Gellman’s stories based on them have been published in The Washington Post.
Snowden went public June 9, after the first stories appeared. Then he went into hiding.
On June 24, the South China Morning Post published a story based on a June 12 interview with Snowden in which he indicated that he had more documents to leak. “If I have time to go through this information, I would like to make it available to journalists in each country to make their own assessment, independent of my bias, as to whether or not the knowledge of U.S. network operations against their people should be published,” Snowden was quoted as saying.
On July 14, the Associated Press published a story in which Greenwald said that Snowden — then in Moscow at the airport — had “literally thousands of documents” that constitute “basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built.” Greenwald, who said he had spoken to Snowden hours earlier, told the AP that in order to prove his credibility Snowden “had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do.”
These documents, Greenwald said, “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”
But, Greenwald added, Snowden had insisted they not be made public. On July 19, Greenwald told German public broadcaster ARD that Snowden in June in Hong Kong had given him and Poitras about 9,000 to 10,000 top-secret documents.
On Oct. 17, the New York Times’ James Risen published a story based on an interview with Snowden in which he said he did not take any NSA documents with him to Russia, where he now has a year-long residency permit.
Greenwald recently told ABC News, “We published only a small fraction of the ones that we have been given so far because we have gone through each of them and made sure that nothing we are publishing endangers human lives.”
Still, there are “a lot of very significant stories that are yet to be reported,” he said during an interview for an ABC News special to be aired this month.
So where are the tasking documents? I’ve not asked Gellman, Greenwald or Poitras because were I in their positions I would not say one way or the other.
The NSA’s Ledgett considers them so important that the security of those documents is worth having a discussion with Snowden about amnesty.
“My personal view is, yes, it’s worth having a conversation about. I would need assurances that the remainder of the data could be secured, and my bar for those assurances would be very high,” Ledgett said. . . .
7. Among the most devastating consequences of L’Affaire Snowden may be the neutralization of an effective cyberdefense. The results of this could be truly catastrophic.
Even while rapidly expanding its electronic surveillance around the world, the National Security Agency has lobbied inside the government to deploy the equivalent of a “Star Wars” defense for America’s computer networks, designed to intercept cyberattacks before they could cripple power plants, banks or financial markets.
But administration officials say the plan, championed by Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the director of the National Security Agency and head of the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, has virtually no chance of moving forward given the backlash against the N.S.A. over the recent disclosures about its surveillance programs.
Senior agency officials concede that much of the technology needed to filter malicious software, known as malware, by searching incoming messages for signs of programs designed to steal data, or attack banks or energy firms, is strikingly similar to the technology the N.S.A. already uses for surveillance.
“The plan was always a little vague, at least as Keith described it, but today it may be Snowden’s biggest single victim,” one senior intelligence official said recently, referring to Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who released documents revealing details of many of the agency’s surveillance programs.
“Whatever trust was there is now gone,” the official added. “I mean, who would believe the N.S.A. when it insists it is blocking Chinese attacks but not using the same technology to read your e-mail?” . . . .
8. Snowden also purloined scores of thousands of files on the British GCHQ, including information about British intelligence officers and their families. This, too, is not something that can be justified by concerns for “civil liberties.” This is hostile counterintelligence.
Remember that a couple of weeks ago Glenn Greenwald’s husband was stopped at Heathrow airport, detained and had his electronic equipment seized? Well, we now have some idea of what was on it – and it doesn’t make Glenn look good.
The high court has just granted the police powers to pursue an investigation into possible crimes of terrorism and breaches of the Official Secrets Act as a result of analysing some of the data taken from Miranda. And what was that data? The Government’s accessed just a small portion of an astonishing 58,000 pages of intelligence documents and, according to a witness statement by Oliver Robbins, deputy national security adviser to the Cabinet, it includes: “personal information of UK intelligence officers, any compromise of which would result in a risk to their lives and those of their family members.” Robbins argued that if this data had got into the public sphere then it would have made spies and their loved ones vulnerable to attack or recruitment by hostile forces. He said that the material was, “highly likely to describe techniques which have been crucial in life-saving counter-terrorist operations, and other intelligence activities vital to UK national security.” Compromising it “would do serious damage to UK national security and ultimately risk lives”. The Government will now seek to discover if that compromise has taken place.
Miranda’s lawyer said in reply that, “Mr Miranda does not accept the assertions they have made.” Presumably, this means that he does not accept the assertion that the data he was carrying threatened UK national security and even the lives of its operatives. Yet this somewhat contradicts something Miranda told The Guardian two weeks ago. Back then, he said, “I don’t look at documents. I don’t even know if it was documents that I was carrying.” So if he didn’t look at the documents, how can he know that they didn’t include the kind of information that the UK Government alleges? . . . .
9. Greenwald and his husband, David Miranda, have been less than candid with regard to Miranda’s portage of information through Heathrow. Portrayed as a “martyr to the cause” by the media, Miranda has–contrary to his and Greenwald’s previous statements–been deeply involved with Greenwald’s activities, according to his latest statements.
This sheds further light on Werner Achatz, Greenwald’s partner for 11 years and law partner during the period in which he was running legal interference for Nazi murderers.
This new Buzzfeed article on Glenn Greenwald’s partner David Miranda is obviously intended to be supportive, but it could end up sabotaging Miranda’s own case with the British government — because in the course of trying to prove that Miranda was not a “mule,” author Natasha Vargas-Cooper actually ends up exposing another blatant series of lies by Greenwald and Miranda about Miranda’s detention at Heathrow Airport: David Miranda Is Nobody’s Errand Boy.
After I spent several weeks with Miranda and Greenwald in and around their home in the upscale, artist-friendly Rio neighborhood of Gavea over the last month, one thing has become very clear: David Miranda knew exactly what he was doing. To believe he was played as some type of dupe or mule by Greenwald not only ignores the real nature of their relationship but also assumes that there’s some safer way to transport sensitive documents across the globe. Is there any device more fail-safe and secure than the person you love the most? Does Apple make that sort of product?
Miranda knew very well that he was traveling from Rio to Berlin to see Greenwald’s reporting partner, documentarian Laura Poitras, and that he would be returning through the U.K., all the time carrying a heavily encrypted flash drive directly related to the trove of documents that former and now notorious CIA employee Edward Snowden had vacuumed from the National Security Agency and had given to Greenwald earlier in the year.
The sections I’ve set in bold text are very interesting, given these statements by Miranda and Greenwald when they were interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper shortly after the incident . . . .
. . . . COOPER: David, I know you — you had said that they took a laptop, memory sticks, an external hard drive, your cell phone and more. Do you know what were stored on those devices? What — were there — was there classified material?
MIRANDA: I don’t know that. I mean I was just taking the file — those materials back to Glenn. I mean, you know, Glenn, being working with a lot of stories along the years, I didn’t quite follow everything that he writes every day. I can’t follow him because I have to have a life. And I mean I can’t know everything that he’s been working with.
So back in August, Miranda and Greenwald were playing it as if Miranda were completely ignorant of what he was carrying. He “didn’t follow” everything Greenwald writes, because he had his own life. Documents? What documents?
Both of them seem to be slightly smirking in this video, like they were sharing some kind of secret joke at Anderson Cooper’s expense — and they were. Because today, Miranda’s story is radically different:
“I have been involved in every aspect of Glenn’s life, why wouldn’t I be a part of this?” Miranda asserts over lunch at a fashion mall in Rio’s São Conrado neighborhood the next afternoon. “I think what Snowden did was heroic. Glenn and Laura’s reporting is so important. It caused a serious debate about privacy and internet freedom in my country and around the world. I’m so proud to be able to play any role at all in that. I’d go to jail for that.”
“Glenn and I have talked all the time about what doing these stories would do to our lives. Since we met, I’ve pushed him and supported him,” Miranda says. He starts counting on his fingers: “I’ve helped him negotiate contracts; I make sure he gets paid what he deserves — Glenn just wants to work and sometimes will do it for cheap.” Miranda’s list continues with ascending urgency. “When Glenn publishes NSA stories in foreign countries, I help reach out to press so the stories get the most exposure. For a while we considered starting our own website to publish the NSA documents; when Glenn thought The Guardian was taking too long to publish the first NSA story, I told him he had to make them know he would go somewhere else to publish if they delayed too much.”
For someone who “doesn’t follow everything Greenwald does,” he certainly seems to follow and be actively involved in everything Greenwald does. In fact, it sounds like Miranda is Greenwald’s de facto manager.
And one more point; showing that Miranda was fully complicit in the document-smuggling scheme does nothing to refute the statement that he was a “mule.” In fact, it fully confirms that this was his role in the illicit operation.
As for the assertion that there’s no “safer way to transport sensitive documents across the globe,” well, that’s just a foolish statement. There are many ways to securely transfer encrypted files across the Internet that are much safer than sending Glenn Greenwald’s partner on a round-the-world excursion with thousands of stolen classified documents.
11. As a result of Snowden’s “op,” Germany has cancelled its Cold-war era surveillance pact with the U.S./NSA.
Germany canceled a Cold War-era surveillance pact with the United States and Britain on Friday in response to revelations by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden about those countries’ alleged electronic eavesdropping operations.
Chancellor Angela Merkel had raised the issue of alleged National Security Agency spying with President Barack Obama when he visited Berlin in June. But with weeks to go before national elections, opposition parties had demanded clarity about the extent to which her government knew of the intelligence gathering operations directed at Germany and German citizens.
Government officials have insisted that U.S. and British intelligence were never given permission to break Germany’s strict privacy laws. But they conceded that an agreement dating back to the late 1960s gave the U.S., Britain and France the right to request German authorities to conduct surveillance operations within Germany to protect their troops stationed there.
“The cancellation of the administrative agreements, which we have pushed for in recent weeks, is a necessary and proper consequence of the recent debate about protecting personal privacy,” Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement. . . .
11. A revealing article in Der Spiegel notes two VERY important things: the same Angela Merkel who is “shocked, shocked” at what the NSA is doing has not only put roadblocks in European data privacy rules designed to guard against unwarranted government surveillance, but is actively seeking admittance to the “Five Eyes” club, which dates to World War II!
She’s not “shocked, shocked” at all! She wants access to the Five Eyes, which means–DUH–that she APPROVES of this very thing!
What a hypocrite she is! And what a sick spectacle this whole bloody mess is, with a bunch of nitwits caterwauling about “civil liberties,” “human rights,” “the constitution,” and so forth.
Chancellor Merkel has put on a good show of being outraged by American spying. But, at the same time, she has impeded efforts to strengthen data security. Does she really want more privacy, or is she more interested in being accepted into the exclusive group of info-sharing countries known as the ‘Five Eyes’ club?
One particular point of clarification was especially important to Angela Merkel during the EU summit in Brussels last week. When she complained about the NSA’s alleged tapping of her cellphone, the German chancellor made clear that her concern was not for herself, but for the “telephones of millions of EU citizens,” whose privacy she said was compromised by US spying.
Yet at a working dinner with fellow EU heads of state on Thursday, where the agenda included a proposed law to bolster data protection, Merkel’s fighting spirit on behalf of the EU’s citizens seemed to have dissipated.
In fact, internal documents show that Germany applied the brakes when it came to speedy passage of such a reform. Although a number of EU member states — including France, Italy and Poland — were pushing for the creation of a Europe-wide modern data protection framework before European Parliament elections take place in May 2014, the issue ended up tabled until 2015.
Great Britain, itself suspected of spying on its EU partners, and Prime Minister David Cameron, who has former Google CEO Eric Schmidt as one of his advisors, put up considerable resistance. He pushed instead for the final summit statement to call simply for “rapid” progress on a solid EU data-protection framework.
A Setback for ‘Europe ‘s Declaration of Independence ’
Merkel also joined those applying the brakes. Over the weekend, SPIEGEL ONLINE gained access to internal German Foreign Ministry documents concerning the EU leaders’ final summit statement. The “track changes” feature reflects a crucial proposed change to item No. 8 under the subject heading “Digital Economy” — the suggestion that the phrase “adoption next year” be replaced with “The negotiations have to be carried on intensively.”
Ultimately, the official version of the final summit statement simply called for “rapid” progress on the issue — just as Great Britain was hoping for.
This amounts to a setback for proponents of the proposed data-protection law, which EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has called “Europe’s declaration of independence.”
The European Parliament recently began drafting stricter regulations in this area, including potential fines running into the billions of euros for any Internet company caught illegally passing private data to US intelligence agencies. Such proposed legislation has the support even of some of Merkel’s fellow conservatives in the European Parliament, including Manfred Weber of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who says: “We need to finally summon the political will for more data protection.”
American tech corporations could hardly believe their luck at having Merkel’s support. Now they’re hoping for more leeway to water down the data-protection law as soon as the furor over the latest spying scandal has subsided. One high-ranking American tech-company executive told the Financial Times: “When we saw the story about Merkel’s phone being tapped … we thought we were going to lose.” But, he added: “It looks like we won.” [Yeah, the tech companies are “shocked, shocked” too–D.E.]
Indeed, the EU leaders’ anger was already starting to dissipate during their sessions in Brussels. Summit participants say leaders pointed out that Europe is not exactly on the side of the angels when it comes to government spying. Luxembourg’s prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, cautioned his fellow leaders, questioning whether they were certain their own intelligence agencies had never violated data privacy themselves.
Code of Conduct for Intelligence Agencies
The concerns of the tech industry, in particular, received an attentive ear among Europe’s leaders. One summit participant relates that restructuring data-protection laws was portrayed as a “laborious” task that would require more time to complete, and that Merkel did not push for speed on the matter, to the surprise of some of her counterparts. [!–D.E.]
According to summit participants, the German chancellor seemed far more interested in the “Five Eyes” alliance among the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The top-level allies within this exclusive group, which began in 1946 as a pact between London and Washington, have agreed not to spy on one another, but instead to share information and resources. In Brussels, Cameron stressed to his fellow leaders how many terrorist attacks had been prevented by successful intelligence work.
Merkel, meanwhile, stated: “Unlike David, we are unfortunately not part of this group.” According to the New York Times, Germany has sought membership in the “Five Eyes” alliance for years, but has been turned down due to opposition, including from the Obama administration. But this could now change, the paper speculates.
12. One of the major considerations that will be discussed in a future episode of “The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook” concerns L’Affaire Snowden as an assault on U.S. internet business. We suggest the possibility of U.S. corporations being, in effect, held hostage.
In the context of the Spiegel story above, we note that Germany is far more interested in being admitted to the “Five Eyes” club than assuring data privacy. Again, we suggest that U.S. internet firms are being held hostage in this affair.
Obama appears to be over a barrel in this regard, having to chose between security and the profitability and success of U.S. internet business abroad.
. . . . The pressure to rein them in is coming from industry, which fears that the N.S.A.’s abilities to crack data encryption and bore into foreign computer systems and the cloud will scare away business across Europe and Asia. Mr. Obama must now make a choice: to keep building the world’s most sophisticated cyberarsenal, or pare back for fear of harming American competitiveness.
13. In and interview with USA Today, former NSA chief Michael Hayden urged the rejection of an advisory panel’s suggestions concerning the NSA.
He noted that metadata would be far more secure with NSA than with internet and/or telecommunications companies and/or “third parties.” (Such storage was among the recommendations of the panel.)
Hayden’s point is very well taken. In a future episode of “The Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook,” we will discuss the “public versus private” dynamic at play here.
Hayden also notes that the Fourth Amendment is not an international treaty. It does not, and never has, applied to U.S. citizens.
In tyhe interview with USA Today’s weekly video newsmaker series. Hayden:
- Said the vast data on Americans phone records are “far safer and privay is far more secured with NSA holding the data than some third party.” The commission recommended that the phone companies or a third party take over storing the data.” . . . .
- . . . . Ridiculed a proposal to increase protections for personal data about non-citizens abroad. “The Fourth Amendment to our Constitution is not an international treaty,” he said. For those who aren’t covered by its protections, he said, “if your communications contain information that make Americans more safe and more free, game on.”
14. The head of the National Alliance and author of Turner Diaries–William Luther Pierce–appears to have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. The National Alliance was among the Nazi groups represented by Glenn Greenwald when he was an attorney.
In The Turner Diaries, the Nazi group The Order takes over the United States after waging a race war and perpetrating a series of terrorist acts using WMDs.
In Serpent’s Walk, also written and published by The National Alliance (again, one of Citizen Greenwald’s Nazi clients), the U.S. is taken over by the Underground Reich after being devastated by a series of terrorist incidents using WMD’s.
Before that could happen, the NSA would have to be neutralized. Think about it!
. . . . Upon perusing his speeches from 1998-99, I discovered that Pierce, who heads the so-called ‘National Alliance,’ did indeed utter some most interesting (pre-9/11—if not prophetic—remarks about Osama bin Laden and bio-terrorism. The running theme in Pierce’s commentaries is—to paraphrase his hero Hitler—that Osama Bin Laden’s warning to America is ‘I Am Coming.’ And so is bio-terrorism.
In one chilling commentary Pierce, (after noting that Bin Laden and the rest of the lost generation of angry Moslem youth had it with their parents’ compromises and were hell bent on revenge against infidel America) issued this stark, prophetic warning in a 1998 radio address titled, ‘Stay Out of Tall Buildings.’ ‘New Yorkers who work in tall office buildings anything close to the size of the World Trade Center might consider wearing hard hats . . .’ Pierce warned. . . . [Italics are Mr. Emory’s]. . . .
15. The climactic episode of The Turner Diaries is a low-level, suicide aerial attack on the Pentagon which occurs on the German “Day of Destiny”–November 9th. A German would write that date as–9/11!
. . . I conferred privately with Major Williams of the Washington Field Command for more than an hour on the problem of attacking the Pentagon. The military’s other major command centers were either knocked out on September 8 or subsequently consolidated with the Pentagon, which the top brass apparently regards as impregnable. And it damned near is. We went over every possibility we could think of, and we came up with no really convincing plan—except, perhaps one. That is to make an air delivery of a bomb.
In the massive ring of defenses around the Pentagon there is a great deal of anti-aircraft firepower, but we decided that a small plane, flying just above the ground, might be able to get through the three-mile gauntlet with one of our 60-kiloton warheads. One factor in favor of such an attempt is that we have never before used aircraft in such a way, and we might hope to catch the anti-aircraft crews off their guard.
Although the military is guarding all civil airfields, it just happens that we have an old crop duster stashed in a barn only a few miles from here. My immediate assignment is to prepare a detailed plan for an aerial attack on the Pentagon by next Monday. We must make a final decision at the time and then act without further delay.
November 9, 1993. It’s still three hours until first light, and all systems are ‘go.’ I’ll use the time to write a few pages—my last diary entry. Then it’s a one-way trip to the Pentagon for me. The warhead is strapped into the front seat of the old Stearman and rigged to detonate either on impact or when I flip a switch in the back seat. Hopefully, I’ll be able to mange a low-level air burst directly over the center of the Pentagon. Failing that, I’ll at least try to fly as close as I can before I’m shot down.
Thus end Earl Turner’s diaries, as unpretentiously as they began. His final mission was successful, of course, as we all are reminded each year on November 9—our traditional Day of the Martyrs. . .
16. UPDATE: Angela Merkel has proposed an EU-wide communications system to guard against NSA and GCHQ spying, while ramping up spying against the U.S.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has announced plans to set up a European communications network as part of a broad counter-espionage offensive designed to curb mass surveillance conducted by the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart, GCHQ. . . .
. . . . Announcing the project in her weekly podcast, Ms Merkel said she envisaged setting up a European communications network which would offer protection from NSA surveillance by side-stepping the current arrangement whereby emails and other internet data automatically pass through the United States.
The NSA’s German phone and internet surveillance operation is reported to be one of the biggest in the EU. In co-operation with GCHQ it has direct access to undersea cables carrying transatlantic communications between Europe and the US.
Ms Merkel said she planned to discuss the project with the French President, François Hollande, when she meets him in Paris on Wednesday. “Above all we’ll talk about European providers that offer security to our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic,” she said. “Rather one could build up a communications network inside Europe.”
French government officials responded by saying Paris intended to “take up” the German initiative.
Ms Merkel’s proposals appear to be part of a wider German counter-espionage offensive, reported to be under way in several of Germany’s intelligence agencies, against NSA and GCHQ surveillance.
Der Spiegel magazine said on Sunday that it had obtained information about plans by Germany’s main domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, for a “massive” increase in counter-espionage measures.
The magazine said there were plans to subject both the American and British Embassies in Berlin to surveillance. It said the measures would include obtaining exact details about intelligence agents who were accredited as diplomats, and information about the technology being used within the embassies. . . .