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

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.)  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [6].

[7] [8]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 [9], 756 [10], 831 [11], 885 [12], 888 [13], 889 [14], 890 [15].)

Review­ing a spec­u­la­tive ele­ment of analy­sis, we high­light the devel­op­ment [16] 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 [17] and 895 [18].)

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 [19] 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 [20], 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 [21] by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica [22] 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 [23] 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 [24] into a Nazi [25] wing of the GOP [26]. 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 [27] 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 [28], 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 [29] “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 pro­gram con­cludes with Pierre Omid­yar’s choice of Snow­den supe­ri­or Robert Liet­zke [33] 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  [16]by James W. Dou­glass; Touch­stone Books [SC]; Copy­right 2008 by James W. Dou­glas; ISBN 978–1‑4391–9388‑4; pp. 196–197. [16]

. . . . 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. . . .

[7]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 [19] 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 [20], 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 [21] by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica [22] 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 [23] 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 [34] 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.  [19]

For the past few months I’ve been cov­er­ing [35] 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 [36]. It reports direct­ly to Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry [37] 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 [38] and 2014 [39], 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 [21] by Edward Snow­den, cov­ered favor­ably by ProP­ub­lica [22] 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 [23] 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 [40]. (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 [41], the rad­i­cal anar­chist com­mu­ni­ca­tion col­lec­tive.
A Wik­ileaks alter­na­tive called Glob­aLeaks (which was endorsed [42] 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 [43] 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 [44] flow­ing through RFA and into the Open Tech­nol­ogy Fund. This $12.75 mil­lion rep­re­sented a three-fold increase [44] 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 [45] 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 [46] of covert peace­time pro­grams. And so, in 1948, Nation­al Secu­rity Coun­cil Direc­tive 10/2 [47] offi­cially autho­rized the CIA to engage in “covert oper­a­tions” against the Com­mu­nist Men­ace. Clause 5 of the direc­tive [47]e 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 [48], 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 [49]— which was run by the CIA and employed [50] some of the same Cuban exiles that took part in the failed Bay of Pigs inva­sion. Even today, the CIA boasts [46] 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 [46] in the 1970s, after the spy agency’s ties to Cold War pro­pa­ganda arms like Radio Free Europe were exposed [51]. 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 [36] 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 [52], 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 [24] into a Nazi [25] wing of the GOP [26]. 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. [27]

. . . . 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. [27]

. . . . 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 [28], 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. [29]

. . . . 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 278 [53]370 [54], 435 [55] and 475 [56], 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 [54], 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. [31]

. . . . 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.) [30]

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 [57] 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. [31]

. . . . 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 [58].

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; p. 273. [31]

. . . . 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. [32]

 . . . . 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. [32]

“. . . . 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 [33]:

“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. [33]

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,” [59]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 [60]of Snowden’s NSA secrets; financier [61]of the Free­dom of The Press Foun­da­tion, where Snow­den serves on the board of direc­tors [62]— has just select­ed one of Snowden’s for­mer boss­es at Booz Allen’s Hawaii branch to join the Omid­yar Fel­lows [63]pro­gram.

His name is Robert Liet­zke [64], 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 [65]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 [66]” 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 [67] 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 [68] sec­tors to become Omid­yar Fel­lows and form a kind of unof­fi­cial club of Hawaii’s future lead­ers.

In a local Hawaii TV news seg­ment [69] 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 [70],

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 [71] 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 [72]and in Van­ity Fair [73]— with more tra­di­tional pow­er-net­work­ing and rela­tion­ship-build­ing events. When they com­plete the pro­gram, they join what is called the “Forum of Fel­lows” [74]:

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 [75]on pri­vate con­trac­tors and the NSA and author of “Spies For Hire” [76] 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 [77] in Hawaii, a mul­ti­fac­eted ven­ture cap­i­tal fund that oper­ates in Omidyar’s home state much the way his Omid­yar Net­work [78] oper­ates in coun­tries around the world [79], seek­ing both prof­its and polit­i­cal influ­ence. Kyle Dat­ta [80], who serves as Gen­eral Part­ner at Omidyar’s Ulupono Ini­tia­tive, is a for­mer Booz Allen vice pres­i­dent [81].

Shorrock also point­ed me to a major Pen­ta­gon con­trac­tor expo in Hawaii that Omid­yar has been co-spon­sor­ing [82] his Ulupono Ini­tia­tive for the past few years with the likes of Lock­heed Mar­tin, Hon­ey­well, and NSTXL [83]  (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 [84] 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 [85] patch­es of real estate in the U.S. A RAND study [85] 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 [86], 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 [87] 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 [88] of the NSA’s oper­a­tions are run by pri­vate con­trac­tors (thanks to Shorrock’s report­ing)?

After Pan­do exposed Omidyar’s co-financ­ing role [78] with USAID in fund­ing Ukraine regime-change groups in 2014, Green­wald gave a giant mid­dle fin­ger [89] 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.