Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #902 The Underground Reich, and the Deep Politics of the CIA “Privacy Advocates”: Update on the Adventures of Eddie the Friendly Spook

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This program was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Introduction: The mafia began as a resistance movement focused against Norse (Viking) and Saracen (Turkish/Muslim) invaders in 12th and 13 century Sicily. It might seem incredible to the casual observer that an organization that began so long ago could have developed and spread to the size, gravitas and scope of operations that it has.

We also appreciate that when Mr. Emory uses the term “Underground Reich,” it might seem odd or incredible to many. Bringing up to date “L’Affaire Snowden,” we underscore the deep politics underlying the CIA’s broadcast psychological warfare fronts and their evolution into the milieu involving and surrounding Eddie the Friendly Spook.

Much of the material in this program is reviewed from previous broadcasts, presented here to provide depth and understanding to how what has been presented as a “progressive,” “enlightened” phenomenon could be its opposite. “Team Snowden” manifests fascism and the Underground Reich at every turn. (For an overview of the fascist and spook links of the Snowden/Greenwald/Omidyar/WikiLeaks crowd, see–among other programs–FTR #’s 755, 756, 831, 885, 888, 889, 890.)

Reviewing a speculative element of analysis, we highlight the development of the “focal point” networks with branches of the U.S. military and other agencies of the government. (We have examined these networks against the background of the Broadcasting Board of Governors and the Snowden milieu in FTR #’s 891 and 895.)

A central question posed in our analysis is this: are the focal point networks set up by Prouty now functioning as an Underground Reich Fifth Column, having been infiltrated over the decades by the Gehlen Org, the SS and the Bormann capital network?

 . . . .Each office that [Col. L. Fletcher] Prouty set up was put under a “cleared” CIA employee. That person took orders directly from the CIA but functioned under the cover of his particular office and branch of government. Such “breeding,” Prouty said decades later in an interview, resulted in a web of covert CIA representatives “in the State Department, in the FAA, in the Customs Service, in the Treasury, in the FBI and all around through the government–up in the White House . . . Then we began to assign people there who, those agencies thought, were from the Defense Department. But they actually were people that we put there from the CIA.”

The consequence in the early 1960’s, when Kennedy became president, was that the CIA had placed a secret team of its own employees through the entire U.S. government. It was accountable to no one except the CIA, headed by Allen Dulles. After Dulles was fired by Kennedy, the CIA’s Deputy Director of Plans, Richard Helms, became this invisible government’s immediate commander. No one except a tight inner circle of the CIA even knew of the existence of this top-secret intelligence network, much less the identiy of its deep-cover bureaucrats. These CIA “focal points,” as Dulles called them, constituted a powerful, unseen government within the government. Its Dulles-appointed members would act quickly, with total obedience, when called on by the CIA to assist its covert operations. . . .

As we examine the personnel and institutions comprising “Team Snowden,” we come to a milieu that has evolved from the CIA’s radio propaganda and psychological warfare capabilities.

An extension of the CIA’s propaganda and psychological warfare broadcasting infrastructure developed during the Cold War, the milieu detailed here functions in a similar fashion. The internet is the latest form of broadcasting. The Open Technology Fund and related institutions are designed to provide dissidents and covert operators a means of shielding their internet communications and mobile phone messages from surveillance by targeted governments. The probability is strong that U.S. intelligence can monitor those communications.

In our past discussions of the assassination of President Kennedy, we have noted that the very same covert action networks used to overthrow and eliminate governments and individuals deemed hostile to U.S. interests were ultimately deployed against Americans and even the United States itself. “Regime change” and destabilization came home.

In a similar fashion, it is our considered opinion that a CIA-derived technology milieu developed to assist and effect “ops” abroad was used to destabilize the Obama administration. (There is MUCH more to “L’Affaire Snowden” than just the destabilization of the Obama administration, however that is a major and ongoing outgrowth of it.

” . . . Read­ers might find it odd that a US gov­ern­ment agency estab­lished as a way to laun­der the image of var­i­ous shady pro­pa­ganda out­fits (more on that soon) is now keen to fund tech­nolo­gies designed to pro­tect us from the US gov­ern­ment. More­over, it might seem curi­ous that its money would be so warmly wel­comed by some of the Internet’s fiercest antigov­ern­ment activists. . . . [We think it is probable that these technologies have a “back door” built into them permitting U.S. intellligence agencies to monitor the information contained in communications, at the same time that unknowing users of the “apps” operate under the illusion that their messages are secure.–D.E.]

. . . . Though many of the apps and tech backed by Radio Free Asia’s OTF are unknown to the gen­eral pub­lic, they are highly respected and extremely pop­u­lar among the anti-surveillance Inter­net activist crowd. OTF-funded apps have been rec­om­mended by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica and The New York Times’ tech­nol­ogy reporters, and repeat­edly pro­moted by the Elec­tronic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion. Every­one seems to agree that OTF-funded pri­vacy apps offer some of the best pro­tec­tion from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance you can getIn fact, just about all the fea­tured open-source apps on EFF’s recent “Secure Mes­sag­ing Score­card” were funded by OTF. . . .

. . . . You’d think that anti-surveillance activists like Chris Soghoian, Jacob Appel­baum, Cory Doc­torow and Jil­lian York would be staunchly against out­fits like BBG and Radio Free Asia, and the role they have played — and con­tinue to play — in work­ing with defense and cor­po­rate inter­ests to project and impose U.S. power abroad. Instead, these rad­i­cal activists have know­ingly joined the club, and in doing so, have become will­ing pitch­men for a wing of the very same U.S. National Secu­rity State they so adamantly oppose. . . .”

Is the BBG/Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Radio Free Asia nexus infiltrated by “focal point” operatives?
Next, we review analysis of the Crusade For Freedom–the covert operation that brought Third Reich alumni into the country and also supported their guerilla warfare in Eastern Europe, conducted up until the early 1950’s. Conceived by Allen Dulles, overseen by Richard Nixon, publicly represented by Ronald Reagan and realized in considerable measure by William Casey, the CFF ultimately evolved into a Nazi wing of the GOP. The events reviewed here took place at the same time as the genesis of the CIA’s broadcast propaganda fronts were evolving. Those propaganda fronts evolved into the BBG, the OTF and the milieu of Snowden and the “privacy advocates.”
The Crusade For Freedom nexus also overlaps the operations of Radio Liberty and the other fronts that evolved into the BBG/Snowden milieu.

” . . . .  Reagan may not have known it, but 99 percent for the Crusade’s funds came from clandestine accounts, which were then laundered through the Crusade to various organizations such as Radio Liberty, which employed Dulles’s Fascists. . . . .”

Recapping information from AFA #3, we note the central role of the Gehlen Org in the development of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, with the Nazi influence in the organization evident decades after its formation.

A significant portion of review consists of analysis of the Gehlen “Org” and its primary role as a Trojan Horse enabling Underground Reich penetration of the United States. We have covered the Gehlen Org’s incarnations as the CIA’s department of Russian and Eastern European affairs, the de-facto NATO intelligence organization and the BND, the German intelligence service. It initially served as Army Intelligence’s “eyes and ears” on the former Soviet Bloc, and paved the way for Nazi/SS infiltration of the Army. ” . . . A network of former Nazi intelligence agents, the majority of whom were members of the SS, began working out of offices at Camp King side by side with army intelligence officers. . . . The Gehlen Organization was a murderous bunch, ‘free-wheeling’ and out of control. . . The army became fed up with the Gehlen Organization, but there was no way out. Its operatives were professional double-crossers and liars–many were also alleged war criminals–and now they had the army over a barrel. . . .”

The broadcast fleshes out the Gehlen Org as a vehicle for penetration of the U.S. by the Underground Reich, noting:

  • The continuity in chain of command from the Third Reich to the Org as it was going to work for the U.S.
  • The Org’s collaboration with Heinrich Mueller, security director for the Bormann network.
  • The CIA’s collaboration with the the Bormann group.
  • Martin Bormann’s view of Bush family business associate Fritz Thyssen as a liaison to Allen W. Dulles.
  • Prescott Bush (Senior) and his work as Congressional liaison to the CIA.
  • Allen Dulles’ use of Third Reich monies to fund Cold War covert operations, inevitably placing the Agency in the sway of Martin Bormann.

The program concludes with Pierre Omidyar’s choice of Snowden superior Robert Lietzke as an Omidyar fellow.

1. Against the background of the CIA/BBG/RFA evolution of “Team Snowden,” we highlight the development of “focal point” personnel by the CIA. Infiltrated into other branches of government, including the military, they constituted a “government within a government.” Was Snowden one such “focal point?” Is the BBG/RFA/OTF nexus an evolution of the “focal point networks?”

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass; Touchstone Books [SC]; Copyright 2008 by James W. Douglas; ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4; pp. 196-197.

. . . . One man in a position to watch the arms of the CIA proliferate was Colonel Fletcher Prouty. He ran the office that did the proliferating. In 1955, Air Force Headquarters ordered Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty, a career Army and Air Force officer since World War II, to set up a Pentagon office to provide military support for the clandestine operations of the CIA. Thus Prouty became director of the Pentagon’s “Focal Point Office for the CIA.”

CIA Director Allen Dulles was its actual creator. In the fifties, Dulles needed military support for his cover campaigns to undermine opposing nations in the Cold War. Moreover, Dulles wanted subterranean secrecy and autonomy for his projects, even from the members of his own government. Prouty’s job was to provide Pentagon support and deep cover for the CIA beneath the different branches of Washington’s bureaucracy. Dulles dictated the method Prouty was to follow.

“I want a focal point,” Dulles said. “I want an office that’s cleared to do what we have to have done; an office that knows us very, very well and then an office that has access to a system in the Pentagon. But the system will not be aware of what initiated the request–they’ll think it came from the Secretary of Defense. They won’t realize it came from the Director of Central Intelligence.

Dulles got Prouty to create a network of subordinate focal point offices in the armed services, then throughout the entire U.S. government. Each office that Prouty set up was put under a “cleared” CIA employee. That person took orders directly from the CIA but functioned under the cover of his particular office and branch of government. Such “breeding,” Prouty said decades later in an interview, resulted in a web of covert CIA representatives “in the State Department, in the FAA, in the Customs Service, in the Treasury, in the FBI and all around through the government–up in the White House . . . Then we began to assign people there who, those agencies thought, were from the Defense Department. But they actually were people that we put there from the CIA.”

The consequence in the early 1960’s, when Kennedy became president, was that the CIA had placed a secret team of its own employees through the entire U.S. government. It was accountable to no one except the CIA, headed by Allen Dulles. After Dulles was fired by Kennedy, the CIA’s Deputy Director of Plans, Richard Helms, became this invisible government’s immediate commander. No one except a tight inner circle of the CIA even knew of the existence of this top-secret intelligence network, much less the identiy of its deep-cover bureaucrats. These CIA “focal points,” as Dulles called them, constituted a powerful, unseen government within the government. Its Dulles-appointed members would act quickly, with total obedience, when called on by the CIA to assist its covert operations. . . .

2. As we examine the personnel and institutions comprising “Team Snowden,” we come to a milieu that has evolved from the CIA’s radio propaganda and psychological warfare capabilities.

An extension of the CIA’s propaganda and psychological warfare broadcasting infrastructure developed during the Cold War, the milieu detailed here functions in a similar fashion. The internet is the latest form of broadcasting. The Open Technology Fund and related institutions are designed to provide dissidents and covert operators a means of shielding their internet communications and mobile phone messages from surveillance by targeted governments. The probability is strong that U.S. intelligence can monitor those communications.

In our past discussions of the assassination of President Kennedy, we have noted that the very same covert action networks used to overthrow and eliminate governments and individuals deemed hostile to U.S. interests were ultimately deployed against Americans and even the United States itself. “Regime change” and destabilization came home.

In a similar fashion, it is our considered opinion that a CIA-derived technology milieu developed to assist and effect “ops” abroad was used to destabilize the Obama administration. (There is MUCH more to “L’Affaire Snowden” than just the destabilization of the Obama administration, however that is a major and ongoing outgrowth of it.

” . . . Read­ers might find it odd that a US gov­ern­ment agency estab­lished as a way to laun­der the image of var­i­ous shady pro­pa­ganda out­fits (more on that soon) is now keen to fund tech­nolo­gies designed to pro­tect us from the US gov­ern­ment. More­over, it might seem curi­ous that its money would be so warmly wel­comed by some of the Internet’s fiercest antigov­ern­ment activists. . . . 

. . . . Though many of the apps and tech backed by Radio Free Asia’s OTF are unknown to the gen­eral pub­lic, they are highly respected and extremely pop­u­lar among the anti-surveillance Inter­net activist crowd. OTF-funded apps have been rec­om­mended by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica and The New York Times’ tech­nol­ogy reporters, and repeat­edly pro­moted by the Elec­tronic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion. Every­one seems to agree that OTF-funded pri­vacy apps offer some of the best pro­tec­tion from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance you can getIn fact, just about all the fea­tured open-source apps on EFF’s recent “Secure Mes­sag­ing Score­card” were funded by OTF. . . .

. . . . You’d think that anti-surveillance activists like Chris Soghoian, Jacob Appel­baum, Cory Doc­torow and Jil­lian York would be staunchly against out­fits like BBG and Radio Free Asia, and the role they have played — and con­tinue to play — in work­ing with defense and cor­po­rate inter­ests to project and impose U.S. power abroad. Instead, these rad­i­cal activists have know­ingly joined the club, and in doing so, have become will­ing pitch­men for a wing of the very same U.S. National Secu­rity State they so adamantly oppose. . . .”

There are numerous references to the Tor network in this article. Although we do not have the time to go into it in this program, the Tor network is discussed at length in the link that follows. Suffice it to say that the Tor network was developed by U.S. intelligence services and, to no one’s surprise, is being monitored by intelligence services, including the NSA.

“Inter­net Pri­vacy, Funded by Spooks: A Brief His­tory of the BBG” by Yasha Levine; Pando Daily; 3/01/2015. 

For the past few months I’ve been cov­er­ing U.S. gov­ern­ment fund­ing of pop­u­lar Inter­net pri­vacy tools like Tor, Cryp­to­Cat and Open Whis­per Sys­tems. Dur­ing my report­ing, one agency in par­tic­u­lar keeps pop­ping up: An agency with one of those really bland names that masks its wild, bizarre his­tory: the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, or BBG.

The BBG was formed in 1999 and runs on a $721 mil­lion annual bud­get. It reports directly to Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry and oper­ates like a hold­ing com­pany for a host of Cold War-era CIA spin­offs and old school “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” projects: Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Martí, Voice of Amer­ica, Radio Lib­er­a­tion from Bol­she­vism (since renamed “Radio Lib­erty”) and a dozen other government-funded radio sta­tions and media out­lets pump­ing out pro-American pro­pa­ganda across the globe.

Today, the Congressionally-funded fed­eral agency is also one of the biggest back­ers of grass­roots and open-source Inter­net pri­vacy tech­nol­ogy. These invest­ments started in 2012, when the BBG launched the “Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund” (OTF) — an ini­tia­tive housed within and run by Radio Free Asia (RFA), a pre­mier BBG prop­erty that broad­casts into com­mu­nist coun­tries like North Korea, Viet­nam, Laos, China and Myan­mar. The BBG endowed Radio Free Asia’s Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund with a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar bud­get and a sin­gle task: “to ful­fill the U.S. Con­gres­sional global man­date for Inter­net freedom.”

It’s already a mouth­ful of prover­bial Wash­ing­ton alpha­bet soup — Con­gress funds BBG to fund RFA to fund OTF — but, regard­less of which sub-group ulti­mately writes the check, the impor­tant thing to under­stand is that all this fed­eral gov­ern­ment money flows, directly or indi­rectly, from the Broad­cast­ing Board of Governors.

Between 2012 and 2014, Radio Free Asia’s Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund poured more than $10 mil­lion into Inter­net pri­vacy projects big and small: open-source encrypted com­mu­ni­ca­tion apps, next-generation secure email ini­tia­tives, anti-censorship mesh net­work­ing plat­forms, encryp­tion secu­rity audits, secure cloud host­ing, a net­work of “high-capacity” Tor exit nodes and even an anony­mous Tor-based tool for leak­ers and whistle­blow­ers that com­peted with Wikileaks.

Though many of the apps and tech backed by Radio Free Asia’s OTF are unknown to the gen­eral pub­lic, they are highly respected and extremely pop­u­lar among the anti-surveillance Inter­net activist crowd. OTF-funded apps have been rec­om­mended by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica and The New York Times’ tech­nol­ogy reporters, and repeat­edly pro­moted by the Elec­tronic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion. Every­one seems to agree that OTF-funded pri­vacy apps offer some of the best pro­tec­tion from gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance you can getIn fact, just about all the fea­tured open-source apps on EFF’s recent “Secure Mes­sag­ing Score­card” were funded by OTF.

Here’s a small sam­ple of what the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors funded (through Radio Free Asia and then through the Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund) between 2012 and 2014:

* Open Whis­per Sys­tems, maker of free encrypted text and voice mobile apps like TextSe­cure and Signal/RedPhone, got a gen­er­ous $1.35-million infu­sion. (Face­book recently started using Open Whis­per Sys­tems to secure its What­sApp mes­sages.)
* Cryp­to­Cat, an encrypted chat app made by Nadim Kobeissi and pro­moted by EFF, received $184,000.
* LEAP, an email encryp­tion startup, got just over $1 mil­lion. LEAP is cur­rently being used to run secure VPN ser­vices at RiseUp.net, the rad­i­cal anar­chist com­mu­ni­ca­tion col­lec­tive.
A Wik­ileaks alter­na­tive called Glob­aLeaks (which was endorsed by the folks at Tor, includ­ing Jacob Appel­baum) received just under $350,000.
* The Guardian Project — which makes an encrypted chat app called Chat­Se­cure, as well a mobile ver­sion of Tor called Orbot — got $388,500.
* The Tor Project received over $1 mil­lion from OTF to pay for secu­rity audits, traf­fic analy­sis tools and set up fast Tor exit nodes in the Mid­dle East and South East Asia.

In 2014, Con­gress mas­sively upped the BBG’s “Inter­net free­dom” bud­get to $25 mil­lion, with half of that money flow­ing through RFA and into the Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund. This $12.75 mil­lion rep­re­sented a three-fold increase in OTF’s bud­get from 2013 — a con­sid­er­able expan­sion for an out­fit that was just a few years old. Clearly, it’s doing some­thing that the gov­ern­ment likes. A lot.

With those resources, the Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund’s mother-agency, Radio Free Asia, plans to cre­ate a ver­ti­cally inte­grated incu­ba­tor for bud­ding pri­vacy tech­nol­o­gists around the globe — pro­vid­ing every­thing from train­ing and men­tor­ship, to offer­ing them a secure global cloud host­ing envi­ron­ment to run their apps, to legal assistance.

… Read­ers might find it odd that a US gov­ern­ment agency estab­lished as a way to laun­der the image of var­i­ous shady pro­pa­ganda out­fits (more on that soon) is now keen to fund tech­nolo­gies designed to pro­tect us from the US gov­ern­ment. More­over, it might seem curi­ous that its money would be so warmly wel­comed by some of the Internet’s fiercest antigov­ern­ment activists.

But, as folks in the open-source pri­vacy com­mu­nity will tell you, fund­ing for open-source encryption/anti-surveillance tech has been hard to come by. So they’ve wel­comed money from Radio Free Asia’s Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund with open pock­ets. Devel­op­ers and groups sub­mit­ted their projects for fund­ing, while lib­er­tar­i­ans and anti-government/anti-surveillance activists enthu­si­as­ti­cally joined OTF’s advi­sory coun­cil, sit­ting along­side rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Google and the US State Depart­ment, tech lob­by­ists, and mil­i­tary consultants.

But why is a federally-funded CIA spin­off with decades of expe­ri­ence in “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” sud­denly blow­ing tens of mil­lions in gov­ern­ment funds on pri­vacy tools meant to pro­tect peo­ple from being sur­veilled by another arm of the very same gov­ern­ment? To answer that ques­tion, we have to pull the cam­era back and exam­ine how all of those Cold War pro­pa­ganda out­lets begat the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors begat Radio Free Asia begat the Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund. The story begins in the late 1940’s.

The ori­gins of the Broad­cast­ing Board of Governors

The Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors traces its begin­nings to the early Cold War years, as a covert pro­pa­ganda project of the newly-created Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency to wage “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” against Com­mu­nist regimes and oth­ers deemed a threat to US interests.

George Ken­nan — the key archi­tect of post-WWII for­eign pol­icy — pushed for expand­ing the role of covert peace­time pro­grams. And so, in 1948, National Secu­rity Coun­cil Direc­tive 10/2 offi­cially autho­rized the CIA to engage in “covert oper­a­tions” against the Com­mu­nist Men­ace. Clause 5 of the direc­tivee defined “covert oper­a­tions” as “pro­pa­ganda, eco­nomic war­fare; pre­ven­tive direct action, includ­ing sab­o­tage, anti-sabotage, demo­li­tion and evac­u­a­tion mea­sures; sub­ver­sion against hos­tile states, includ­ing assis­tance to under­ground resis­tance move­ments, guer­ril­las and refugee lib­er­a­tion groups, and sup­port of indige­nous anti-communist ele­ments in threat­ened coun­tries of the free world.”

Pro­pa­ganda quickly became one of the key weapons in the CIA’s covert oper­a­tions arse­nal. The agency estab­lished and funded radio sta­tions, news­pa­pers, mag­a­zines, his­tor­i­cal soci­eties, emi­gre “research insti­tutes,” and cul­tural pro­grams all over Europe. In many cases, it fun­neled money to out­fits run and staffed by known World War II war crim­i­nals and Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, both in Europe and here in the United States.

Christo­pher Simp­son, author of “Blow­back: America’s Recruit­ment of Nazis and Its Destruc­tive Impact on Our Domes­tic and For­eign Pol­icy”, details the extent of these “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare projects”:

CIA-funded psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare projects employ­ing East­ern Euro­pean émigrés became major oper­a­tions dur­ing the 1950s, con­sum­ing tens and even hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. . . .This included under­writ­ing most of the French Paix et Lib­erté move­ment, pay­ing the bills of the Ger­man League for Strug­gle Against Inhu­man­ity , and financ­ing a half dozen free jurists asso­ci­a­tions, a vari­ety of Euro­pean fed­er­al­ist groups, the Con­gress for Cul­tural Free­dom, mag­a­zines, news ser­vices, book pub­lish­ers, and much more. These were very broad pro­grams designed to influ­ence world pub­lic opin­ion at vir­tu­ally every level, from illit­er­ate peas­ants in the fields to the most sophis­ti­cated schol­ars in pres­ti­gious uni­ver­si­ties. They drew on a wide range of resources: labor unions, adver­tis­ing agen­cies, col­lege pro­fes­sors, jour­nal­ists, and stu­dent lead­ers, to name a few. [empha­sis added]

In Europe, the CIA set up “Radio Free Europe” and “Radio Lib­er­a­tion From Bol­she­vism” (later renamed “Radio Lib­erty”), which beamed pro­pa­ganda in sev­eral lan­guages into the Soviet Union and Soviet satel­lite states of East­ern Europe. The CIA later expanded its radio pro­pa­ganda oper­a­tions into Asia, tar­get­ing com­mu­nist China, North Korea and Viet­nam. The spy agency also funded sev­eral radio projects aimed at sub­vert­ing left­ist gov­ern­ments in Cen­tral and South Amer­ica, includ­ing Radio Free Cuba and Radio Swan— which was run by the CIA and employed some of the same Cuban exiles that took part in the failed Bay of Pigs inva­sion. Even today, the CIA boasts that these early “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” projects “would become one of the longest run­ning and suc­cess­ful covert action cam­paigns ever mounted by the United States.”

Offi­cially, the CIA’s direct role in this global “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” project dimin­ished in the 1970s, after the spy agency’s ties to Cold War pro­pa­ganda arms like Radio Free Europe were exposed. Con­gress agreed to take over fund­ing of these projects from the CIA, and even­tu­ally Wash­ing­ton expanded them into a mas­sive federally-funded pro­pa­ganda apparatus.

The names of the var­i­ous CIA spin­offs and non­prof­its changed over the years, cul­mi­nat­ing in a 1999 reor­ga­ni­za­tion under Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton which cre­ated the Broad­cast­ing Board of Gov­er­nors, a par­ent hold­ing com­pany to group new broad­cast­ing oper­a­tions around the world together with Cold War-era pro­pa­ganda out­fits with spooky pasts—including Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­erty, Voice of Amer­ica and Radio Free Asia.

Today, the BBG has a $721 mil­lion bud­get pro­vided by Con­gress, reports to the Sec­re­tary of State and is man­aged by a revolv­ing crew of neo­cons and mil­i­tary think-tank experts. Among them: Ken­neth Wein­stein, head of the Hud­son Insti­tute, the arch-conservative Cold War-era mil­i­tary think tank; and Ryan C. Crocker, for­mer ambas­sador to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Although today’s BBG is no longer covertly funded via the CIA’s black bud­get, its role as a soft power “psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare” oper­a­tion hasn’t really changed since its incep­tion. The BBG and its sub­sidiaries still engage in pro­pa­ganda war­fare, sub­ver­sion and soft-power pro­jec­tion against coun­tries and for­eign polit­i­cal move­ments deemed hos­tile to US inter­ests. And it is still deeply inter­twined with the same mil­i­tary and CIA-connected intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tions — from USAID to DARPA to the National Endow­ment for Democracy. . . .

3a. We review analysis of the Crusade For Freedom–the covert operation that brought Third Reich alumni into the country and also supported their guerilla warfare in Eastern Europe, conducted up until the early 1950’s. Conceived by Allen Dulles, overseen by Richard Nixon, publicly represented by Ronald Reagan and realized in considerable measure by William Casey, the CFF ultimately evolved into a Nazi wing of the GOP. The events reviewed here took place at the same time as the genesis of the CIA’s broadcast propaganda fronts were evolving. Those propaganda fronts evolved into the BBG, the OTF and the milieu of Snowden and the “privacy advocates.”

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Loftus and Mark Aarons; Copyright 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0-312-11057-X; pp. 122-123.

. . . . Frustration over Truman’s 1948 election victory over Dewey (which they blamed on the “Jewish vote”) impelled Dulles and his protégé Richard Nixon to work toward the realization of the fascist freedom fighter presence in the Republican Party’s ethnic outreach organization. As a young congressman, Nixon had been Allen Dulles’s confidant. They both blamed Governor Dewey’s razor-thin loss to Truman in the 1948 presidential election on the Jewish vote. When he became Eisenhower’s vice president in 1952, Nixon was determined to build his own ethnic base. . . .

. . . . Vice President Nixon’s secret political war of Nazis against Jews in American politics was never investigated at the time. The foreign language-speaking Croatians and other Fascist émigré groups had a ready-made network for contacting and mobilizing the Eastern European ethnic bloc. There is a very high correlation between CIA domestic subsidies to Fascist ‘freedom fighters’ during the 1950’s and the leadership of the Republican Party’s ethnic campaign groups. The motive for the under-the-table financing was clear: Nixon used Nazis to offset the Jewish vote for the Democrats. . . .

. . . . In 1952, Nixon had formed an Ethnic Division within the Republican National Committee. Displaced fascists, hoping to be returned to power by an Eisenhower-Nixon ‘liberation’ policy signed on with the committee. In 1953, when Republicans were in office, the immigration laws were changed to admit Nazis, even members of the SS. They flooded into the country. Nixon himself oversaw the new immigration program. As Vice President, he even received Eastern European Fascists in the White House. . .

3b. More about the composition of the cast of the CFF: Note that the ascension of the Reagan administration was essentially the ascension of the Nazified GOP, embodied in the CFF milieu. Reagan (spokesman for CFF) was President; George H.W. Bush (for whom CIA headquarters is named) was the Vice President; William Casey (who handled the State Department machinations to bring these people into the United States) was Reagan’s campaign manager and later his CIA director.

For our purposes here, note the position of Radio Liberty in this constellation. Again, that is part of the array of CIA broadcasting entities that evolved into the milieu of Eddie the Friendly Spook.

The Secret War Against the Jews; by John Loftus and Mark Aarons; Copyright 1994 by Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; [HC] ISBN 0-312-11057-X; p. 605.

. . . . As a young movie actor in the early 1950s, Reagan was employed as the public spokesperson for an OPC front named the ‘Crusade for Freedom.’ Reagan may not have known it, but 99 percent for the Crusade’s funds came from clandestine accounts, which were then laundered through the Crusade to various organizations such as Radio Liberty, which employed Dulles’s Fascists. Bill Casey, who later became CIA director under Ronald Reagan, also worked in Germany after World War II on Dulles’ Nazi ‘freedom fighters’ program. When he returned to New York, Casey headed up another OPC front, the International Rescue Committee, which sponsored the immigration of these Fascists to the United States. Casey’s committee replaced the International Red Cross as the sponsor for Dulles’s recruits. Confidential interviews, former members, OPC; former members, British foreign and Commonwealth Office. . . .

3c. Next, the show excerpts AFA #3, detailing the Gehlen involvement with the development of the CIA psychological warfare broadcasting outfits.

3d. Next the program covers an aspect of the Gehlen organization which has received little discussion in these pages–its work for Army Intelligence prior to going to work for the CIA. Note the dominant presence of SS officers in the “Org” and the rupture between Army intelligence once the treacherous nature of the Gehlen group became known. ” . . . A network of former Nazi intelligence agents, the majority of whom were members of the SS, began working out of offices at Camp King side by side with army intelligence officers. . . . The Gehlen Organization was a murderous bunch, “free-wheeling” and out of control. . . The army became fed up with the Gehlen Organization, but there was no way out. Its operatives were professional double-crossers and liars–many were also alleged war criminals–and now they had the army over a barrel. . . .”

Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen; Little Brown [HC]; Copyright 2014 by Ann M. Jacobsen; ISBN 978-0-316-22104-7; pp. 319-320.

. . . . Gehlen had been in the United States under interrogation since 1945. Here, at Oberursel, Army Intelligence decided to make Gehlen head of its entire “anti-Communist intelligence organization,” under the code name Operation Rusty. Eventually, the organization would become known simply as the Gehlen Organization. A network of former Nazi intelligence agents, the majority of whom were members of the SS, began working out of offices at Camp King side by side with army intelligence officers. Colonel [William Russell] Philp was in charge of overall supervision.

By late 1947, the Gehlen Organization gotten so large it required its own headquarters. Army intelligence moved the organization to a self-contained facility outside Munich, in a village called Pullach. This compound was the former estate of Martin Bormann [!–D.E.] and had large grounds, sculpture gardens, and a pool. . . . According to documents kept classified for fify-one years, relations between Gehlen and Philp declined and became hostile Philp finally realized the true nature of who he was dealing with. The Gehlen Organization was a murderous bunch, “free-wheeling” and out of control. As one CIA affiliate observed, “American intelligence is a rich blind man using the Abwehr as a seeing-eye dog. The only trouble is–the leash is much too long.”

The army became fed up with the Gehlen Organization, but there was no way out. Its operatives were professional double-crossers and liars–many were also alleged war criminals–and now they had the army over a barrel. Decades later, it would emere that General Gehlen was reportedly earning a million dollars a year. [A LOT of money in the late ’40s and early ’50s–D.E.] . . .

3e. In FTR #’s 278370, 435 and 475, we discussed the Bush family, their links to Nazi industry and Mr. Emory’s belief that the Bush family is the point element of the Bormann network in the U.S. FTR #370, in particular, highlights the violent cover-up of the Bush family/Thyssen link. Note that Bormann saw Fritz Thyssen as a pipeline to Allen Dulles.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; p. 254.

. . . . Also, Bormann felt [Fritz] Thyssen was his ace in the hole if he ever needed a pipeline to Allen W. Dulles. . . .

3f. Much of the discussion that follows concerns Dulles’s collaboration with Reinhard Gehlen. Note that Gehlen cleared his actions with Admiral Doenitz (Hitler’s successor) and General Franz Halder, indicating that the German chain of command was still in effect even after Gehlen began working with the U.S.

“The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt” by Carl Oglesby; Covert Action Information Bulletin;  #35 (Fall of 1990.)

Gehlen met with Admiral Karl Doenitz, who had been appointed by Hitler as his successor during the last days of the Third Reich. Gehlen and the Admiral were now in a U.S. Army VIP prison camp in Wiesbaden; Gehlen sought and received approval from Doenitz too! . . .44 

. . . . As Gehlen was about to leave for the United States, he left a mes­sage for Baun with another of his top aides, Ger­hard Wes­sel: “I am to tell you from Gehlen that he has dis­cussed with [Hitler’s suc­ces­sor Admi­ral Karl] Doenitz and [Gehlen’s supe­rior and chief of staff Gen­eral Franz] Halder the ques­tion of con­tin­u­ing his work with the Amer­i­cans. Both were in agree­ment.”

In other words, the German chain of command was still in effect, and it approved of what Gehlen was doing with the Americans. . . .

3g. While serving in his capacity as director of security for the Bormann organization—the NSDAP in exile and its economic infrastructure—former Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller worked closely with US intelligence, the CIA, in particular.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; p. 211.

. . . . The CIA could have pulled aside the gray curtain that obscured Bormann—at any time. But the CIA and Mueller’s crack organization of former SS men found it to their mutual advantage to cooperate in many situations. There is no morality in the sense that most of us know it in the strange world of professional secrecy, and when it was to the advantage of each to work together they did so. . . .

3h. As might be surmised, Mueller’s operatives also worked with the organization of Reinhard Gehlen.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; p. 273.

. . . . Even General Gehlen, when he was chief of the Federal Republic’s intelligence service, sent his agents to confer with General Heinrich Mueller in South America. . . .

3i. Prescott Bush, Sr. was the Senate’s liaison with Dulles’s CIA.

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot; Harper [HC]; 2015; Copyright 2015 by The Talbot Players LLC; ISBN 978-0-06-227616-2; pp. 249-250.

 . . . . Dulles’s CIA operated with virtually no congressional oversight. In the Senate, Dulles relied on Wall Street friends like Prescott Bush of Connecticut–the father and grandfather of two future presidents–to protect the CIA’s interests. According to CIA veteran Robert Crowley, who rose to become second-in-command of the CIA’s action arm, Bush “was the day-to-day contact man for the CIA. It was very bipartisan and friendly. Dulles felt that he had the Senate just where he wanted them.” . . . .

3j. In Gold Warriors, we looked at the use of Golden Lily and Black Eagle Trust loot as a financial engine for U.S. covert operations during the Cold War. Inevitably the use of these monies would have needed the OK of the remarkable and deadly Bormann network and would have resulted in even deeper penetration of the U.S. intelligence establishment by the Underground Reich’s fifth column.

The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government by David Talbot; Harper [HC]; 2015; Copyright 2015 by The Talbot Players LLC; ISBN 978-0-06-227616-2; pp. 27-29.

“. . . . Moreover, like many in the upper echelons of U.S. finance and national security, Dulles believed that a good number of these powerful German figures should be returned to power, to ensure that Germany would be a strong bulwark against the Soviet Union. And during the Cold War, he would be more intent on using Nazi loot to finance covert anti-Soviet operations than on returning it to the families of Hitler’s victims. .  . .”

4. Check out the lat­est Omid­yar Fel­low:

“What the Hell? Pierre Omid­yar Selects One of Edward Snowden’s For­mer Booz Allen Bosses to Be an Omid­yar Fellow;” by Mark AmesPando Daily; 10/16/2015.

Edward Snow­den was a Booz Allen Hamil­ton employee in Hawaii when he worked as a sub­con­trac­tor for the National Secu­rity Agency and made off with hun­dreds of thou­sands of the spy agency’s files.

Booz Allen, “the world’s most prof­itable spy orga­ni­za­tion,”is one of the NSA’s lead­ing pri­vate con­trac­tors; the direc­tor of US intel­li­gence, James Clap­per, was a Booz Allen exec­u­tive, and for­mer NSA direc­tor Michael McConnell is now a Booz Allen VP.

In other words, if you con­sider your­self an Edward Snow­den sup­porter in any way, Booz Allen is the enemy.

So it may come as a sur­prise that bil­lion­aire Pierre Omid­yar — pub­lisher of The Inter­cept, which owns the only com­plete cache of Snowden’s NSA secrets; financier of the Free­dom of The Press Foun­da­tion, where Snow­den serves on the board of direc­tors— has just selected one of Snowden’s for­mer bosses at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch to join the Omid­yar Fel­lowsprogram.

His name is Robert Liet­zke, and he’s a “prin­ci­pal” at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch, where he’s worked for over 15 years. In 2008, Liet­zke was reported in the local Hawai­ian press as one of “three prin­ci­pals [run­ning] day to day oper­a­tions” at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch. Lietzke’s spe­cialty at Booz is infor­ma­tion sys­tems and tech­nol­ogy, Snowden’s field. Before he joined Booz Allen, Liet­zke was a com­puter sys­tems offi­cer in the US Air Force from 1989 through 1999.

After join­ing Booz’s Hawaii branch, Liet­zke worked “sup­port” for the US Pacific Com­mand, head­quar­tered out­side of Hon­olulu, on pro­tect­ing crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture and net­work operations.

Ironically—as if there isn’t already an entire aster­oid belt of irony in this story—Lietzke was fea­tured in a 2009 story on how dif­fer­ent Hawaii com­pa­nies learned to suc­cess­fully man­age their employ­ees and build cor­po­rate cama­raderie. Under the sub-header “Employee Feed­back,” Hawaii Busi­ness Mag­a­zine reported:

“In a firm that employs 18,000 peo­ple world­wide, it’s easy to feel like a small voice that will never be heard by ‘The Man.’ But at Booz Allen Hamil­ton, a tech­nol­ogy con­sult­ing firm that mainly ser­vices the U.S. mil­i­tary, employ­ees feel that higher-ups are listening.

“One way employ­ees pro­vide feed­back is through a ‘peo­ple strat­egy’ sur­vey every two years. ‘One of the things I’ve noticed is that the response rate is very, very high for that sur­vey,’ says Bob Liet­zke, prin­ci­pal at BAH’s Hon­olulu office. ‘It cer­tainly takes in inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tions within the firm, folks talk­ing from the top all the way down, and this is really your chance to be heard. I think it’s impor­tant that lead­er­ship stresses it and, more impor­tantly, peo­ple are see­ing that there’s action taken after it.’”

Speak­ing of “The Man”: Lietzke’s descrip­tion of his cyber-intelligence exper­tise on his LinkedIn page gives a pretty good indi­ca­tion of just how close his and Snowden’s paths would’ve crossed when Snow­den worked for Booz Allen in 2013:

“At Booz Allen Bob is apply­ing his knowl­edge of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions sys­tems and joint mil­i­tary oper­a­tions to emerg­ing national efforts in Mis­sion Assur­ance. He pro­vides strate­gic plan­ning and devel­op­ment guid­ance to a vari­ety of clients in the areas of Crit­i­cal Infra­struc­ture Pro­tec­tion (CIP), NetOps, and Infor­ma­tion Assur­ance (IA). In addi­tion, he cur­rently man­ages a wide vari­ety of client sup­port projects in the areas of Infor­ma­tion Assur­ance (IA), CIP, Anti-Terrorism/Force Pro­tec­tion (AT/FP), Home­land Defense (HLD), and Con­ti­nu­ity of Oper­a­tion Plan­ning (COOP). In sup­port of these engage­ments he is help­ing clients develop an enter­prise wide approach to risk man­age­ment. Bob cur­rently holds a Top Secret (TS/SCI) Secu­rity clearance.Specialties:Information Assur­ance, NetOps, Crit­i­cal Infra­struc­ture Pro­tec­tion, Cyber Secu­rity.”

In other words, every two-three-and-four-letter cyber-military acronym in the book… except for the three-letter agency that starts with “N”.

Omid­yar Fel­lows: “Once a Fel­low, Always a Fellow”

Every year since 2012, Hawaii’s rich­est res­i­dent, Pierre Omid­yar, selects around a dozen peo­ple from Hawaii’s busi­ness, non­profit, and gov­ern­ment sec­tors to become Omid­yar Fel­lows and form a kind of unof­fi­cial club of Hawaii’s future leaders.

In a local Hawaii TV news seg­ment on Omid­yar Fel­lows, the program’s direc­tor described how each Fel­low must con­duct a “gru­elling” inter­view with Pierre Omid­yar himself:

“Yeah, the inter­views are pretty tough. In-person inter­views with the board of five directors.”

“With Pierre?”

“With Pierre, yeah. It was great, yeah. I think the Fel­lows them­selves learned a lot—about themselves.”

“They were a lit­tle overwhelmed?”

“Yeah, a bit. A bit. It was great, ha-ha!”

The appli­ca­tion process for the Omid­yar Fel­lows’ 15-month pro­gram is designed to be rig­or­ous. Your com­pany must spon­sor your appli­ca­tion, which requires per­sonal tes­ti­monies and let­ters from your com­pany CEO.

Accord­ing to the web­site,

Omid­yar Fel­lows need the full endorse­ment of their cur­rent employ­ers and must be able to par­tic­i­pate in all the activ­i­ties of the pro­gram. The spon­sor will rec­og­nize the ben­e­fit to the orga­ni­za­tion of a Fellow’s lead­er­ship devel­op­ment and be will­ing to hold the Fel­low account­able for putting his/her learn­ing to work.

This includes a “let­ter of sup­port from your chief exec­u­tive” that explains “why you are a cur­rent and future leader in your orga­ni­za­tion and how your growth might con­tinue beyond the pro­gram.” Mean­ing, pre­sum­ably, that Booz Allen CEO Hora­cio Rozan­ski wrote to Omidyar’s peo­ple push­ing for them to select his top Hawaii exec­u­tive as an Omid­yar Fellow.

[Pando reached out to Booz Allen’s Hawaii office and to Omid­yar Fel­lows for this story, but received no com­ment.]

Snowden’s for­mer Booz Allen boss, Liet­zke, was also required to sub­mit, among other things, a 1500 word essay address­ing themes such as,

* What does it mean to be a leader in 21st-century Hawaii?

* How will the Omid­yar Fel­lows pro­gram help you to achieve your pro­fes­sional aspirations?

* How will the Omid­yar Fel­lows pro­gram help you to achieve your aspi­ra­tions for the larger com­mu­nity and the peo­ple of Hawaii?

Those lucky few selected to join the Omid­yar Fel­lows pro­gram spend the next 15 months in a lead­er­ship train­ing pro­gram that com­bines some of Omidyar’s own New Age fetishes – as skew­ered by Ken Sil­ver­stein and in Van­ity Fair— with more tra­di­tional power-networking and relationship-building events. When they com­plete the pro­gram, they join what is called the “Forum of Fel­lows”:

Once a Fel­low, always a Fel­low… The for­mal pro­gram is just the begin­ning of a life­long com­mit­ment by Omid­yar Fel­lows to make a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence with the knowl­edge and net­work gained and to help sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions of emerg­ing lead­ers.

In other words, Omid­yar is build­ing a kind of local Hawai­ian cadre of lead­ers and net­worked exec­u­tives under his brand name and sponsorship—a kind of elite Cham­ber of Com­merce loyal to Omid­yar and imbued with his New Age lib­er­tar­ian faith.

Hired Spies: More Omidyar-Booz Allen

I asked national secu­rity inves­tiga­tive reporter Tim Shorrock, the fore­most expert on pri­vate con­trac­tors and the NSA and author of “Spies For Hire” for his take on Omid­yar cozy­ing up with one of the heads of the Booz Allen branch where Snow­den worked.

Shorrock pointed me to Omidyar’s Ulupono Ini­tia­tive in Hawaii, a mul­ti­fac­eted ven­ture cap­i­tal fund that oper­ates in Omidyar’s home state much the way his Omid­yar Net­work oper­ates in coun­tries around the world, seek­ing both prof­its and polit­i­cal influ­ence. Kyle Datta, who serves as Gen­eral Part­ner at Omidyar’s Ulupono Ini­tia­tive, is a for­mer Booz Allen vice pres­i­dent.

Shorrock also pointed me to a major Pen­ta­gon con­trac­tor expo in Hawaii that Omid­yar has been co-sponsoring his Ulupono Ini­tia­tive for the past few years with the likes of Lock­heed Mar­tin, Hon­ey­well, and NSTXL  (National Secu­rity Tech­nol­ogy Accel­er­a­tor) — the Defense Department’s ver­sion of the CIA’s In-Q-Tel.

Says Shorrock:

“Omidyar’s rela­tion­ship with Booz Allen Hamil­ton would be per­fect for the link-analysis style of report­ing on politi­cians and pub­lic fig­ures we see in his pet jour­nal­is­tic project, The Intercept.

“This is the sec­ond senior Booz exec­u­tive he’s taken under his wing….Kyle Datta, who has directed Ulupono’s invest­ment strate­gies since 2009, once did the same for Booz, where he ran the contractor’s energy practice.

“Under Datta, Ulupono was a lead spon­sor in 2014 for a big ‘energy sum­mit,’ where its part­ners included the Pen­ta­gon, Lock­heed Mar­tin and Hon­ey­well. That makes sense, because as a major player in Hawaii’s energy mar­kets, Ulupono main­tains close ties with the state’s enor­mous mil­i­tary indus­trial complex.”

“Part of its 2014 sum­mit included a DoD ‘indus­try day’ co-sponsored by Ulupono, its part­ners, and the United States Pacific Com­mand, which is based on Hawaii but con­trols all US mil­i­tary forces through­out the Asia-Pacific area. It included pre­sen­ta­tions on ‘the mechan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal and con­trol sys­tem design for cyber-secure micro­grids and will address the costs and ben­e­fits includ­ing the cost of cybersecurity.’

“Now Omid­yar has brought in Robert Liet­zke, another Booz exec and a for­mer Air Force offi­cer, into his oper­a­tions. These rela­tion­ships with Booz raise ques­tions about Omidyar’s deci­sion to invest in the Snow­den doc­u­ments and cre­ate The Inter­cept. Did he ‘vet’ Snow­den — who for­merly worked for Booz in Hawaii — with Datta or Liet­zke before he plopped down that $250 mil­lion for the Snow­den depos­i­tory at First Look? Did either exec­u­tive know or work with Snow­den when he was employed by Booz in Hawaii?”

Strictly Busi­ness?

Shorrock’s ques­tion is the one we’re all try­ing to make sense of: Why would Omid­yar both court and develop Edward Snowden’s for­mer boss and employer at Booz Allen, and also set up an “adver­sar­ial” media com­pany based on the NSA leaks taken by Booz Allen Hawaii’s for­mer employee, Edward Snow­den? Is the eBay bil­lion­aire just trolling us? Is his Kitto Man­dala char­ac­ter tak­ing over Omidyar’s ves­sel and play­ing tricks on the rest of us?

This is one of those cases where you prob­a­bly should start with the sim­plest answer, and the sim­plest answer here is: It’s strictly busi­ness.

For one thing, as Shorrock notes, Hawaii is one of the most highly mil­i­ta­rized patches of real estate in the U.S. A RAND study esti­mated that up to one-fifth of Hawaii’s econ­omy is tied to the Depart­ment of Defense. Beyond the big new NSA cen­ter, there are 10 major mil­i­tary instal­la­tions, research cen­ters, weapons stores, pri­vate con­trac­tors, and a local cit­i­zenry over-represented by vet­er­ans, for­mer offi­cers, and spooks.

A cou­ple of years ago, after Snowden’s name was first revealed as the NSA leaker, a local Hawai­ian mil­i­tary stud­ies pro­fes­sor, Car­los Juarez, explained why so many intel­li­gence con­trac­tors work in the tourist paradise:

“This is a place that has long had a large intel­li­gence com­mu­nity. The mil­i­tary is of course, head­quar­tered here, the U.S. Pacific Com­mand, and part of that includes a larger intel­li­gence com­mu­nity.”

In other words, Omid­yar is the rich­est man in a state where the military-intelligence com­plex is the biggest busi­ness in town. And since Booz Allen is a big name in Hawaii’s military-intelligence con­tract­ing, when it comes to strict busi­ness inter­ests, it’s nat­ural that Omid­yar and Booz Allen would want to seal their rela­tion­ships in one of Omidyar’s local lead­er­ship cults.

We’re also left ner­vously won­der­ing why, out of the hun­dreds of thou­sands of NSA files in The Intercept’s pos­ses­sion, not one leaked thus far has men­tioned Booz Allen or other pri­vate con­trac­tors. How is that pos­si­ble, when we know that 70 per­cent of the NSA’s oper­a­tions are run by pri­vate con­trac­tors (thanks to Shorrock’s reporting)?

After Pando exposed Omidyar’s co-financing role with USAID in fund­ing Ukraine regime-change groups in 2014, Green­wald gave a giant mid­dle fin­ger to every­one who ever fell for his right­eous indig­na­tion schtick, admitting:

“[P]rior to cre­at­ing The Inter­cept with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, I did not research Omidyar’s polit­i­cal views or dona­tions. That’s because his polit­i­cal views and dona­tions are of no spe­cial inter­est to me…”

Chances are, even Snow­den won’t crit­i­cize Omid­yar for court­ing his Booz Allen adver­saries. Hell, he prob­a­bly doesn’t even care any­more. They’ve all got valu­able per­sonal brands to tend to. Like Pacino said — it’s strictly busi­ness, Sonny.

Discussion

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