Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'NSA' is associated with 90 posts.

FTR #1080 Surveillance Valley, Part 6: Double Agents, Part 2 (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 3)

In this program, we resume discussion and analysis of the consummately important recent book Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet by Yasha Levine. In the previous program, we noted, among other points of analysis, the decisive role of Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden in promoting the intelligence-agency crafted Tor network.

In addition to Tor, the Open Technology Fund (read “CIA”) helped finance the Signal app for mobile phones. It, too, is fundamentally compromised. ” . . . . . . . . The Tor project remained the best-known privacy app funded by the Open Technology Fund, but it was quickly joined by another: Signal, an encrypted mobile phone messaging app for the iPhone and Android. . . .”

Not surprisingly, the CIA’s Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden was a big promoter of Signal, as well as Tor: ” . . . . People at the ACLU claimed that Signal made federal agents weep. The Electronic Frontier Foundation added Signal alongside Tor to its Surveillance Self-Defense guide. Fight for the Future, a Silicon Valley-funded privacy activist organization, described Signal and Tor as ‘NSA-proof’ and urged people to use them. Edward Snowden was the combo’s biggest and most famous booster and repeatedly took to Twitter to tell his three million followers that he used Signal and Tor every day, and that they should do the same to protect themselves from government surveillance. ‘Use Tor, Use Signal,’ he tweeted out.

“With endorsements like these, Signal quickly became the go-to app for political activists around the world. Egypt, Russia, Syria, and even the United States—millions downloaded Signal, and it became the communication app of choice for those who hoped to avoid police surveillance. Feminist collectives, anti-President Donald Trump protesters, communists, anarchists, radical animal rights organizations, Black Lives Matter activists—all flocked to Signal. Many were heeding Snowden’s advice: ‘Organize. Compartmentalize to limit compromise. Encrypt everything, from calls to texts (use Signal as a first step.)’ . . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the fundamental contradictions inherent  in this dynamic: ” . . . . If you stepped back to survey the scene, the entire landscape of this new Internet Freedom privacy movement looked absurd. Cold War-era organizations spun off from the CIA now funding the global movement against government surveillance? Google and Facebook, companies that ran private surveillance networks and worked hand in hand with the NSA, deploying government-funded privacy tech to protect their users from government surveillance? Privacy activists working with Silicon Valley and the US government to fight government surveillance—and with the support of Edward Snowden himself? . . . .”

Following Snowden’s promotion of OTF’s Tor and Signal technologies, OTF was at a zenith: ” . . . . After Edward Snowden, OTF was triumphant. It didn’t mention the leaker by name in its promotional materials, but it profited from the crypto culture he promoted and benefited from his direct endorsement of the crypto tools it financed. It boasted that its partnership with both Silicon Valley and respected privacy activists meant that hundreds of millions of people could use the privacy tools the US government had brought to market. And OTF promised that this was just a start: ‘By leveraging social network effects, we expect to expand to a billion regular users taking advantage of OTF-supported tools and Internet Freedom technologies by 2015. . . .’

As eventually became clear, the Tor network was easily breached. It is a safe bet that the fascists grouped around the Pirate Bay site (on which WikiLeaks held forth), had breached Tor’s “secrecy,” in addition to the obvious fact that intelligence services could penetrate it at will.

With this in mind, John Young’s rumination about WikiLeaks sound more and more substantive.

In all probability, WikiLeaks was a huge data mining operation both by the very intelligence agencies who were ostensibly targeted by WikiLeaks, and the Fascist International network around Carl Lundstrom, Daniel Friberg, David Duke et al.

In FTR #’s 756 and 831 we noted Snowden’s fascist views and connections. Levine merely characterizes him as a “right-wing libertarian,” but there is MUCH MORE TO IT THAN  THAT!

Snowden downplayed the fundamental role of the Big Tech firms in aiding and abetting government surveillance, in addition to their own massive surveillance and resultant data mining. ” . . . . There, while living under state protection at an undisclosed location in Moscow, he swept Silicon Valley’s role in Internet surveillance under the rug. Asked about it by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, who had first reported on the NSA’s PRISM program, Snowden shrugged off the danger posed by companies like Google and Facebook. The reason? Because private companies do not have the power to arrest, jail, or kill people. ‘Twitter doesn’t put warheads on foreheads,’ he joked. . . .”

Embodying his “corporatist” and Technocratic Fascist point of view, Snowden championed the Big Tech firms as bulwarks against government Internet surveillance, despite the only-too-obvious fact (reinforced by the documents he leaked) that Big Tech is–and always has been–in bed with, and actively collaborating with, the very government intelligence agencies conducting that surveillance: ” . . . . The only islands of safety were the private data centers controlled by private companies—Google, Apple, Facebook. These were the cyber-fortresses and walled cities that offered sanctuary to the masses. In this chaotic landscape, computer engineers and cryptographers played the role of selfless galloping knights and wizard-warriors whose job was to protect the weak folk of the Internet: the young, the old and infirm, families. It was their duty to ride out, weapons aloft, and convey people and their precious data safely from fortress to fortress, not letting any of the information fall into the hands of government spies. He called on them to start a people’s privacy war, rallying them to go forth and liberate the Internet, to reclaim it from the governments of the world. . . .”

The nauseating head of Facebook–Mark Zuckerberg–has decried the intelligence community’s use of the Internet for data mining. In FTR #1077, we highlighted the Cambridge Analytica affair, and Facebook’s full cooperation with that project at every turn.

Other Big Tech firms had similar reactions. “. . . . . ‘We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday,’ Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. He blamed the government and positioned Facebook as a victim. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.’ Apple,  Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! All reacted in much the same way, denying the allegations and painting themselves as the victims of government overreach. ‘It’s tremendously disappointing that the government sort of secretly did all this stuff and didn’t tell us. We can’t have a democracy if we’re having to protect you and our users from the government,’ Larry Page told Charlie Rose in an interview on CBS. . . . .”

We present the conclusion of the main part of the book, with Levine’s summation of the inextricable nature and symbiosis between the Internet, the tech firms and the so-called “privacy community.”

The key points of discussion and analysis of Levine’s book (as a whole) include:

1.–The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes.
2.–Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.
3.–Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which  the Internet is predicated.
4.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
5.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
6.–The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose.
7.–Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.

NB: Mr. Levine does not go into the fascistic character of Snowden, Assange, Greenwald et al. Some of those shows: Greenwald–FTR #888, Snowden–FTR #’s 756, 831, Assange and WikiLeaks–FTR #’s 732, 745, 755, 917.

“. . . . Then there was the fact that Signal ran on Amazon’s servers, which meant that all its data were available to a partner in the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program. Equally problematic, Signal needed Apple and Google to install and run the app on people’s mobile phones. Both companies were, and as far as we know still are, partners in PRISM as well. ‘Google usually has root access to the phone, there’s the issue of integrity,’ writes Sander Venema, a respected developer and secure—technology trainer, in a blog post explaining why he no longer recommends people use Signal for encrypted chat. ‘Google is still cooperating with the NSA and other intelligence agencies. PRISM is also still a thing. I’m pretty sure that Google could serve a specially modified update or version of Signal to specific target for surveillance, and they would be none the wiser that they installed malware on their phones.’ . . .

. . . . So, although the app encrypted the content of people’s messages, it also marked them with a flashing red sign: ‘Follow Me, I Have Something to Hide.’ (Indeed, activists protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016 told me that they were bewildered by the fact that police seemed to know and anticipate their every move despite their having used Signal to organize. . . .”

” . . . . For many Internet companies, including Google and Facebook, surveillance is the business model. It is the base on which their corporate and economic power rests. Disentangle surveillance and profit, and these companies would collapse. Limit data collection, an the companies would see investors flee and their stock prices plummet. [Italics are mine–D.E.]

“Silicon Valley fears a political solution to privacy. Internet Freedom and crypto offer an acceptable alternative. Tools like Signal and Tor provide a false solution to the privacy problem, focusing people’s attention on government surveillance and distracting them from the private spying carried out by the Internet companies they use every day. All the while, crypto tools give people a [false] sense that they’re doing something to protect themselves, a feeling of personal empowerment and control. And all those crypto radicals? Well, they just enhance the illusion, heightening the impression of risk and danger. With Signal or Tor installed, using an iPhone or Android suddenly becomes edgy and radical. So instead of pushing for political and democratic solutions to surveillance, we outsource our privacy politics to crypto apps–software made by the very same powerful entities that these apps are supposed to protect us from. . . .”


FTR #1079 Surveillance Valley, Part 5: Double Agents (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 2)

Continuing with our examination of Yasha Levine’s seminal volume Surveillance Valley, we continue our analysis of the individuals, institutions and technologies central to the so-called “online privacy” effort. The Tor Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and its Open Technology Fund and Jacob Appelbaum are all the opposite of what they have been represented as being.

We begin with information overlapped from our last program, highlighting how Jacob Appelbaum and the Tor network hooked up with WikiLeaks.

Tor, Appelbaum, Assange and WikiLeaks:

1.–Became increasingly intertwined, enjoying accolades from many, apparently unsuspecting, groups: ” . . . .  His [Appelbaum’s] association with WikiLeaks and Assange boosted the Tor Project’s public profile and radical credentials. Support and accolades poured in from journalists, privacy organizations, and government watchdogs. The American Civil Liberties Union partnered with Appelbaum on an Internet privacy project, and New York’s Whitney Museum—one of the leading modern art museums in the world—invited him for a ‘Surveillance Teach-In.’ The Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Tor its Pioneer Award, and Roger Dingledine made in on Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers for protecting ‘anyone and everyone from the dangers of Big Brother.’ . . . .”
2.– Differed fundamentally from the accepted text: ” . . . . With Julian Assange endorsing Tor, reporters assumed that the US government saw the anonymity nonprofit as a threat. But internal documents obtained through FOIA from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, as well as analysis of Tor’s government contracts paint a different picture. They reveal that Appelbaum and Dingledine worked with Assange on securing WikiLeaks with Tor since late 2008 and that they kept their handlers at the BBG informed about their relationship and even provided information about the inner workings of WikiLeaks’s secure submission system. . . .”
3.–Did not adversely affect the government funding of Tor at all, as might be expected by the superficial apparent reality of the situation: ” . . . . Perhaps most telling was that support from the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] continued even after WikiLeaks began publishing classified government information and Appelbaum became the target of a larger Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks. For example, on July 31, 2010, CNET reported that Appelbaum had been detained at the Las Vegas airport and questioned about his relationship with WikiLeaks. News of the detention made headlines around the world, once again highlighting Appelbaum’s close ties to Julian Assange. And a week later, Tor’s executive director Andrew Lewman, clearly worried that this might affect Tor’s funding, emailed Ken Berman at the BBG in the hopes of smoothing things over and answering ‘any questions you may have about the recent press regarding Jake and WikiLeaks.’ But Lewman was in for a pleasant surprise: Roger Dingledine had been keeping folks at the BBG in the loop, and everything seemed to be okay. ‘Great stuff, thx. Roger answered a number of questions when he met us this week in DC,’ Berman replied. . . .”
4.–” . . . . In 2011 contracts came in without a hitch–$150,000 from the Broadcasting Board of Governors and $227,118 from the State Department. Tor was even able to snag a big chunk of money from the Pentagon: a new $503,706 annual contract from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, an elite information and intelligence unit that houses a top-secret cyber-warfare division.The Navy was passed through SRI, the old Stanford military contractor that had done counterinsurgency, networking, and chemical weapons work for ARPA back in the 1960s and 1970s. The funds were part of a larger Navy ‘Command, Control, Communcations, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance’ program to improve military operations. A year later, Tor would see its government contracts more than double to $2.2 million: $353,000 from the State Department, $876,099 from the US Navy, and $937,800 from the Broadcasting Board of Governors. . . .”

In this context, we recall some earlier observations about WikiLeaks. John Young, one of WikiLeaks’ founders turned critic of the organization harbors deep suspicions concerning the group. ” . . . they’re acting like a cult. They’re acting like a religion. They’re acting like a government. They’re acting like a bunch of spies. They’re hiding their identity. They don’t account for the money. They promise all sorts of good things. They seldom let you know what they’re really up to. . .There was suspicion from day one that this was entrapment run by someone unknown to suck a number of people into a trap. So we actually don’t know. But it’s certainly a standard counterintelligence technique. And they’re usually pretty elaborate and pretty carefully run. They’ll even prosecute people as part of the cover story. That actually was talked about at (Sunday’s) panel. They’ll try to conceal who was informing and betraying others by pretending to prosecute them. . . .” The Tor/Appelbaum/BBG (read “CIA”)/WikiLeaks nexus may very well be proof of Young’s suspicions.

Appelbaum, WikiLeaks and Tor became fundamental to the operations of Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden. In past discussion, we have noted that in the summer of 2009, when Snowden made his decision to disclose the NSA documents, he was working for the very same CIA from which the Broadcasting Board of Governors and its Open Technology Fund were derived. Jacob Appelbaum was funded by BBG, as was Tor. ” . . . . From the start, the Tor Project stood at the center of Snowden’s story. The leaker’s endorsement and promotion introduced the project to a global audience, boosting Tor’s worldwide user base from one million to six million almost overnight and injecting it into the heart of a burgeoning privacy movement. In Russia, where the BBG and Dingledine had tried but failed to recruit activists for their Tor deployment plan, use of the software increased from twenty thousand daily connections to somewhere around two hundred thousand.

“During a promotional campaign for the Tor Project, Snowden said: ‘Without Tor, the streets of the Internet become like the streets of a very heavily surveilled city. There are surveillance cameras everywhere, and if the adversary simply takes enough time, they can follow the tapes back and see everything you’ve done. With Tor, we have private spaces and private lives, where we can choose who we want to associate with and how, without the fear of what that is going to look like if it is abused. The design of the Tor system is structured in such a way that even if the US Government wanted to subvert it, it couldn’t.’ Snowden didn’t talk about Tor’s continued government funding, nor did he address an apparent contradiction: why the US government would fund a program that supposedly limited its own power. Whatever Snowden’s private thought on the matter, his endorsement gave Tor the highest possible seal of approval. It was like a Hacker’s Medal of Valor. With Snowden’s backing, no one even thought to question Tor’s radical antigovernment bona fides. . . .”

Next, we review information about the so-called “Arab Spring.” In FTR #’s 733 through 739, we presented our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intelligence operation, aimed at placing the Brotherhood in power in Muslim countries dominated either by a secular dictator or absolute monarchy.

Yasha Levine has highlighted the role of U.S. tech personnel in training and prepping the Arab Spring online activists. As we have noted in the past, the so-called Arab Spring might have been better thought of as “The Muslim Brotherhood Spring,” as the neo-liberal, privatization ideology of Brotherhood economic icon Ibn Khaldun was fundamental to the operation.

The economic goals of the Arab Spring “op” were reviewed in, among other programs, FTR #’s 1025 and 1026.

Recall while reading the following excerpts of this remarkable and important book, that:

1.–The Tor network was developed by, and used and compromised by, elements of U.S. intelligence.
2.–One of the primary advocates and sponsors of the Tor network is the Broadcasting Board of Governors. As we saw in FTR #’s 891, 895, is an extension of the CIA.
3.–Jacob Appelbaum has been financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, advocates use of the Tor network, has helped WikiLeaks with its extensive use of the Tor network, and is an ideological acolyte of Ayn Rand.

The Arab Spring provided motivation for enhanced U.S. funding for Internet Freedom. The Open Technology Fund, like the BBG a CIA “derivative,” was at the center of this: ” . . . . The motivation for this expansion came out of the Arab Spring. The idea was to make sure the US government would maintain its technological advantage in the censorship arms race that began in the early 2000s, but the funds were also going into developing a new generation of tools aimed at leveraging the power of the Internet to help foreign opposition activists organize into cohesive political movements. The BBG’s $25.5 million cut of the cash more than doubled the agency’s anticensorship technology budget from the previous year, and the BBG funneled the money into the Open Technology Fund, a new organization it had created within Radio Free Asia to fund Internet Freedom technologies in the wake of the Arab Spring. . . .”

The fundamental position of BBG and OTF (read “CIA”) to the so-called online privacy community was concisely expressed by Yasha Levine: ” . . . . From behind this hip and connected exterior, BBG and Radio Free Asia built a vertically integrated incubator for Internet Freedom technologies, pouring millions into projects big and small, including everything from evading censorship to helping political organizing, protests, and movement building. With its deep pockets and its recruitment of big-name privacy activists, the Open Technology Fund didn’t just thrust itself into the privacy movement. In many ways, it WAS the privacy movement. . . .”


FTR #1078 Surveillance Valley, Part 4: Tor Up (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 1.)

Yasha Levine’s summation of the inextricable nature and symbiosis between the Internet, the tech firms and the so-called “privacy community” include:

1.–The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes.
2.–Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.
3.–Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which  the Internet is predicated.
4.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
5.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
6.–The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose.
7.–Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.

After detailing the history of the development of the Internet by the national security establishment, Levine presents the story of the development of the Tor network.

Key points of analysis and discussion:

1.–Tor’s Silicon Valley backing: ” . . . . Privacy groups funded by companies like Google and Facebook, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future, were some of Tor’s biggest and most dedicated backers. Google had directly bankrolled its development, paying out generous grants to college students who worked at Tor during their summer vacations. Why would an Internet company whose entire business rested on tracking people online promote and help develop a powerful privacy tool? Something didn’t add up. . . .”
2.–Not surprisingly, Tor does not shield users from orgiastic data mining by Silicon Valley tech giants: ” . . . . Tor works only if people are dedicated to maintaining a strict anonymous Internet routine: using only dummy email addresses and bogus accounts, carrying out all financial transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and never mentioning their real name in emails or messages. For the vast majority of people on the Internet—those who use Gmail, interact with Facebook friends, and shop on Amazon—you reveal your identity. These companies know who you are. They know your name, your shipping address, your credit card information. They continue to scan your emails, map your social networks, and compile dossiers. Tor or not, once you enter your account name and password, Tor’s anonymity technology becomes useless. . . .”
3.–Silicon Valley’s support for Tor is something of a “false bromide”: ” . . . . After all, Snowden’s leaked documents revealed that anything Internet companies had, the NSA had as well. I was puzzled, but at least I understood why Tor had backing from Silicon Valley: it offered a false sense of privacy, while not posing a threat to the industry’s underlying surveillance model. . . .”
4.–Tor is, in fact, financed by elements of the very same intelligence community and national security establishment that supposedly frustrated/”locked out” by Tor! ” . . . . But as I analyzed the organization’s financial documents, I found that the opposite was true. Tor had come out of a joint US Navy—DARPA military project in the early 2000s and continued to rely on a series of federal contracts after it was spun off into a private nonprofit. This funding came from the Pentagon, the State Department, and at least one organization that derived from the CIA. These contracts added up to several million dollars a year and, most years,  accounted for more than 90 percent of Tor’s operating budget. Tor was a federal military contractor. It even had its own federal contracting number. . . This included Tor’s founder, Roger Dingledine, who spent a summer working at the NSA and who had brought Tor to life under a series of DARPA and Navy contracts. . . .”

Widely regarded as a champion of Internet freedom and privacy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped finance Tor and championed its use.

Key elements of discussion and analysis of the EFF/Tor alliance include:

1.–EFF’s early financing of Tor: ” . . . . . . . . In 2004, [Roger] Dingledine struck out on his own, spinning the military onion routing project into a non-profit corporation called the Tor Project and, while still funded by DARPA and the Navy, began scratching around for private funding. He got help from an unexpected ally: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which gave Tor almost a quarter million dollars to keep it going while Dingledine looked for other private sponsors. The EFF even hosted Tor’s website. . . .”
2.–The EFF’s effusive praise for the fundamentally compromised Tor Project: ” . . . . ‘The Tor Project is a perfect fit for EFF, because one of our primary goals is to protect the privacy and anonymity of Internet users. Tor can help people exercise their First Amendment right to free, anonymous speech online.’ EFF’s technology manager Chris Palmer explained in a 2004 press release, which curiously failed to mention that Tor was developed primarily for military intelligence use and was still actively funded by the Pentagon. . . .”
3.–The EFF’s history of working with elements of the national security establishment: ” . . . . In 1994, EFF worked with the FBI to pass the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which required all telecommunications companies to build their equipment so that it could be wiretapped by the FBI. In 1999, EFF worked to support NATO’s bombing campaign in Kosovo with something called the ‘Kosovo Privacy Support,’ which aimed to keep the region’s Internet access open during military action. Selling a Pentagon intelligence project as a grassroots privacy tool—it didn’t seem all that wild. . . .”
4.–In FTR #854, we noted that EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow was far more than a Grateful Dead lyricist/hippie icon: ” . . . . Indeed, in 2002, a few years before it funded Tor, EFF cofounder [John] Perry Barlow casually admitted that he had been consulting for intelligence agencies for a decade. It seemed that the worlds of soldiers, spies, and privacy weren’t as far apart as they appeared. . . .”
5.–EFF’s gravitas in the online privacy community lent Tor great credibility: ” . . . . EFF’s support for Tor was a big deal. The organization commanded respect in Silicon Valley and was widely seen as the ACLU of the Internet Age. The fact that it backed Tor meant that no hard questions would be asked about the anonymity tool’s military origins as it transitioned to the civilian world. And that’s exactly what happened. . . .”

In FTR #’s 891 and 895, we noted the primary position of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the development of the so-called “privacy” networks. The BBG is a CIA offshoot: “. . . .  The BBG might have had a bland sounding name and professed a noble mission to inform the world and spread democracy. In truth, the organization was an outgrowth of the Central Intelligence Agency. . . . The bulk of the BBG is no longer funded from the CIA’s black budget, but the agency’s original cold War goal and purpose—subversion and psychological operations directed against countries deemed hostile to US interests—remain the same. The only thing that did change about the BBG is that today, more of its broadcasts are taking place online . . . .”

After documenting Radio Free Europe’s growth from the Nazi/Vichy run Radio France during World War II and RCA’s David Sarnoff’s involvement with the Transradio Consortium (which communicated vital intelligence to the Axis during the war), the program highlights the involvement of Gehlen operatives in the operations of Radio Free Europe, the seminal CIA broadcasting outlets.

The BBG (read “CIA”) became a major backer of the Tor Project: ” . . . . . . . . It was Wednesday morning, February 8, 2006, when Roger Dingledine got the email he had been badly waiting for. The Broadcasting Board of Governors had finally agreed to back the Tor Project. . . . Within a year, the agency increased Tor’s contract to a quarter million dollars, and then bumped it up again to almost a million just a few years later. The relationship also led to major contracts with other federal agencies, boosting Tor’s meager operating budget to several million dollars a year. . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the essence of the Tor Project: ” . . . . The Tor Project was not a radical indie organization fighting The Man. For all intents and purposes, it was The Man. Or, at least, The Man’s right hand. . . . internal correspondence reveals Tor’s close collaboration with the BBG and multiple other wings of the US government, in particular those that dealt with foreign policy and soft-power projection. Messages describe meetings, trainings, and conferences with the NSA, CIA, FBI and State Department. . . . The funding record tells the story even more precisely. . . . Tor was subsisting almost exclusively on government contracts. By 2008, that included  contracts with DARPA, the Navy, the BBG, and the State Department as well as Stanford Research Institute’s Cyber-Threat Analytics program. . . .” 

Next, we begin chronicling the career of Jacob Appelbaum. A devotee of Ayn Rand, he became one of Tor’s most important employees and promoters. “. . . . Within months of getting the job, he assumed the role of official Tor Project spokesman and began promoting Tor as a powerful weapon against government oppression. . . . Over the next several years, Dingledine’s reports back to the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] were filled with descriptions of Appelbaum’s successful outreach. . . .”

Introducing a topic to be more fully explored in our next program, we note Appelbaum’s pivotal role in the WikiLeaks operation and his role in the adoption of Tor by WikiLeaks: ” . . . . Appelbaum decided to attach himself to the WikiLeaks cause. He spent a few weeks with Assange and the original WikiLeaks crew in Iceland as they prepared their first major release and helped secure the site’s anonymous submissions system using Tor’s hidden service feature, which hid the physical location of WikiLeaks servers and in theory made them much less susceptible to surveillance and attack. From then on, the WikiLeaks site proudly advertised Tor: ‘secure, anonymous, distributed network for maximum security.’ . . . . Appelbaum did his best to be Assange’s right-hand man. He served as the organization’s official American representative and bailed the founder of WikiLeaks out of tough spots when the heat from US authorities got too hot. Appelbaum became so intertwined with WikiLeaks that apparently some staffers talked about him leading the organization if something were to happen to Assange. . . . Assange gave Appelbaum and Tor wide credit for helping WikiLeaks. ‘Jake has been a tireless promoter behind the scenes of our cause,’ he told a reporter. ‘Tor’s importance to WikiLeaks cannot be underestimated.’ With those words, Appelbaum and the Tor Project became central heroes in the WikiLeaks saga, right behind Assange. . . .”


Birds of a Feather: The So-Called Internet “Privacy Activists,” the Intelligence Services and Big Tech

Yasha Levine’s recent book “Surveillance Valley” is a MUST READ! Relatively short and very much to the point, this volume–subtitled “The Secret Military History of the Internet”–chronicles the fact that the Internet is a weapon, developed as part of the same group of overlapping DARPA/Pentagon projects as Agent Orange. In posts and programs to come, we will more fully develop the basic themes set forth in the excerpt recapped in this post: 1 )The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes. 2) Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry. 3) Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which the Internet is predicated. 4) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 5) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 6) The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose. 7) Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.


Agent Orange and the Internet: The Spawn of Project Agile

In his book–one of the most important in recent memory–Yasha Levine sets forth vital, revelatory information about the development and functioning of the Internet. Born of the same DARPA project that spawned Agent Orange, the Internet was never intended to be something good. Its generative function and purpose is counter-insurgency. In this landmark volume, Levine makes numerous points, including: The harvesting of data by intelligence services is PRECISELY what the Internet was designed to do in the first place. The harvesting of data engaged in by the major tech corporations is an extension of the data gathering/surveillance that was–and is–the raison d’etre for the Internet in the first place. The big tech companies all collaborate with the various intelligence agencies they publicly scorn and seek to ostensibly distance themselves from. Edward Snowden, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jacob Appelbaum and WikiLeaks are complicit in the data harvesting and surveillance. Snowden and other privacy activists are double agents, consciously channeling people fearful of having their communications monitored into technologies that will facilitate that surveillance!


FTR #1045 Interview #14 with Jim DiEugenio About “Destiny Betrayed”

CIA’s Expert on the JFK Assassination Ray Rocca: ” . . . . Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy. . . .”

House Select Committee on Assassinations Assistant Counsel Jonathan Blackmer: “. . . . ‘We have reason to believe Shaw was heavily involved in the Anti-Castro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and [was] possibly one of the high level planners or ‘cut out’ to the planners of the assassination.’ . . . .”

This is the fourteenth of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

In this program, we highlight the media hatchet men who worked hand in glove with the intelligence community infiltrators set forth in our previous interview. Many of the hatchet men also worked with each other, as well as the intelligence community.

Most significantly, both the intelligence community infiltrators and the media hatchet men worked with Clay Shaw’s counsel and freely broke the law.

In addition to a CBS special that aired at the same time (1967), NBC broadcast an outright hatchet job on Garrison presided over by Walter Sheridan. A veteran of the intelligence community, Sheridan had worked for the FBI, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) and was a principal figure in counter-intelligence for the National Security Agency. As will be seen below, Sheridan reputedly had strong, deep connections to CIA itself.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 255.

. . . . The conventional wisdom about Walter Sheridan places him as a former FBI man; reportedly he worked at the Bureau for about four years. . . .

. . . . Sheridan’s ties to the intelligence community, beyond the FBI, were wide, deep, and complex. He himself said that, like Guy Banister, he had been with the Office of Naval Intelligence. Then, after he left the bureau, Sheridan did not go directly to the Justice Department. He moved over to the newly established National Security Agency. This was a super-secret body created by President Truman in 1952 both to protect domestic codes and communications and to gather intelligence through cracking foreign codes. It was so clandestine that, for a time, the government a tempted to deny its existence. Therefore, for along time, it operated inalmost total secrecy. Neither the Congress nor any fedreal agency had the effective oversight to regulate it. . . .

It is worth noting that–in addition to Sheridan’s deep intelligence background–NBC itself had strong, deep connections to the intelligence community. . . . .

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 255.

. . . . It is relevant to note here that General David Sarnoff, founder of NBC, worked for the Signal Corps during World War II as a reserve officer. In 1944, Sarnoff worked for the complete restoration of the Nazi destroyed Radio France station in Paris until its signal was able to reach throughout Europe. It was then retitled Radio Free Europe. He later lobbied the White House to expand the range and reach of Radio Free Europe. At about this point, Radio Free Europe became a pet project of Allen Dulles. Sarnoff’s company, Radio Corporation of America, became a large part of the technological core of the NSA. During the war, David’s son Robert worked in the broadcast arm of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Robert was president of RCA, NBC’s parent company, at the time Sheridan’s special aired. David was chairman. . .

Sheridan also presided over an ostensibly “private” investigative institution which was, in fact, a CIA front. It is worth noting that Beurt Ser Vas–an alumnus of the Three Eyes–purchased The Saturday Evening Post, which published an anti-Garrison hit piece by James Phelan. (This is highlighted below.)

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 256.

. . . The company was International Investigators Incorporated, nicknamed “Three Eyes.” According to a Senate investigator, “it was owned lock, stock, and barrel by the CIA.” Two of the original principals, George Miller and George Ryan, were, like Banister, former G-men who later went to work for CIA cover outfits. According to another source, not only was Sheridan the liaison to Three Eyes, he “disposed over the personnel and currency of whole units of the Central Intelligence Agency out of the White House.” By 1965 . . . Three Eyes was taken over by two former CIA officers. One of them, Beurt Ser Vaas, later purchased the Saturday Evening Post. . . .

Exemplifying Sheridan’s methodology was the treatment meted out to Fred Leemans, who was the climactic person interviewed by Sheridan in his special. Note the open intimidation of Leemans and his family, threatening them if they did not perjure themselves, betray Garrison, and cooperate with both Sheridan and Clay Shaw’s counsel!

This is reminiscent of the treatment of Marlene Mancuso detailed in our previous interview.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 240-241.

. . . . One of the more startling declarations that the ARRB uncovered was an affidavit by a man named Fred Leemans. Leemans was a Turkish bath owner who originally told garrison that a man named Clay Bertrand had frequented his establishment. Leemans was the climactic interview for Sheridan’s special. He testified on the show that the DA’s office had actually approached him first, that he never knew that Shaw used the alias Bertrand, that everything he had previously said to the DA’s office were things he was led to say by them, and that they had offered to pay him 2,500 dollars for his affidavit in which in which he would now say that Shaw was Bertrand and that Shaw came into his establishment once with Oswald. In other words, all the things Novel had been saying in his public declarations about Garrison were accurate. At the end of his interview, Leemans told Sheridan and the public that everything he had just revealed on camera was given to NBC freely and voluntarily. Leemans even said that he had actually asked Sheridan for some monetary help but Sheridan had said he did not do things like that.

In January of 1969, Leemans signed an affidavit in which he declared the following as the true chain of events:

“I would like to state the reasons for which I appeared on the NBC show and lied about my contacts with the District Attorney’s office. First, I received numerous anonymous threatening phone calls relative to the information I had given to Mr. Garrison. The gist of these calls was to the effect that if I did not change my statement and state that I had been bribed by Jim Garrison’s office, I and my family would be in physical danger. In addition to the anonymous phone calls, I was visited by a man who exhibited a badge and stated that he was a government agent. This man informed me that the government was presently checking the bar owners in the Slidell area for possible income tax violations. This man then inquired whether I was the Mr. Leemans involved in the Clay Shaw case. When I informed him that I was, he said that it was not smart to be involved because a lot of people that had been got hurt and that people in powerful places would see to it that I was taken care of. One of the anonymous callers suggested that I change my statement and state that I had been bribed by Garrison’s office to give him the information about Clay Shaw. He suggested that I contact Mr. Irvin Dymond, attorney for Clay L. Shaw and tell him that I gave Mr. Garrison the statement about Shaw only after Mr. Lee [Garrison’s assistant DA] offered me 2,500 dollars. After consulting with Mr. Dymond by telephone and in person, I was introduced to Walter Sheridan, investigative reporter for NBC, who was then in the process of preparing the NBC show. Mr. Dymond and Mr. Sheridan suggested that I appear on the show and state what I had originally told Mr. Dymond about the bribe offer by the District Attorney’s office. I was informed by Mr. Dymond that should the District Attorney’s office charge me with giving false information as a result of the statement I had originally given them, he would see to it that I had an attorney and that a bond would be posted for me. In this connection, Mr. Dymond gave me his home and office telephone numbers and and advised me that I could contact him at any time of day or night should I be charged by Garrison’s office as a result of my appearing on the NBC show. My actual appearance on the show was taped in the office of Aaron Kohn, Managing Director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, in the presence of Walter Sheridan and Irvin Dymond.”

This is one of the most revealing documents portraying the lengths to which Sheridan would go in tampering with witnesses. It also demonstrates that Shaw’s lawyers—Bill and Ed Wegmann, Irvin Dymond, and Sal Panzeca—knew almost no boundary in what kind of help they would accept to win their case. Third, it reveals that Shaw’s lawyers had access to a network of attorneys that they could hire at any time for any witness they could pry loose from Garrison. Because, as the declassified ARRB documents reveal, there was a CIA cleared attorney’s panel that was at work in New Orleans. Attorneys that the Agency vetted in advance so they would be suitable for their covert use and could be trusted in their aims. The fact that Shaw’s lawyers were privy to such CIA secret knowledge, and wee utilizing it, shows just how willing and eager they were to indulge themselves in covert help—and then lie about it. . . .

In addition to Sheridan, James Phelan and Hugh Aynesworth joined the media chorus attacking Garrison, and both of them networked with the intelligence community as well. Phelan’s hit piece was published in the Saturday Evening Post, which was eventually bought by CIA veteran Beurt Ser Vas, an alumnus of the Sheridan-linked Three Eyes intelligence front.


FTR #997 Summoning the Demon, Part 2: Sorcer’s Apprentice

Developing analysis presented in FTR #968, this broadcast explores frightening developments and potential developments in the world of artificial intelligence–the ultimate manifestation of what Mr. Emory calls “technocratic fascism.”

In order to underscore what we mean by technocratic fascism, we reference a vitally important article by David Golumbia. ” . . . . Such tech­no­cratic beliefs are wide­spread in our world today, espe­cially in the enclaves of dig­i­tal enthu­si­asts, whether or not they are part of the giant corporate-digital leviathan. Hack­ers (‘civic,’ ‘eth­i­cal,’ ‘white’ and ‘black’ hat alike), hack­tivists, Wik­iLeaks fans [and Julian Assange et al–D. E.], Anony­mous ‘mem­bers,’ even Edward Snow­den him­self walk hand-in-hand with Face­book and Google in telling us that coders don’t just have good things to con­tribute to the polit­i­cal world, but that the polit­i­cal world is theirs to do with what they want, and the rest of us should stay out of it: the polit­i­cal world is bro­ken, they appear to think (rightly, at least in part), and the solu­tion to that, they think (wrongly, at least for the most part), is for pro­gram­mers to take polit­i­cal mat­ters into their own hands. . . . [Tor co-creator] Din­gle­dine  asserts that a small group of soft­ware devel­op­ers can assign to them­selves that role, and that mem­bers of demo­c­ra­tic poli­ties have no choice but to accept them hav­ing that role. . . .”

Perhaps the last and most perilous manifestation of technocratic fascism concerns Anthony  Levandowski, an engineer at the foundation of the development of Google Street Map technology and self-driving cars. He is proposing an AI Godhead that would rule the world and would be worshipped as a God by the planet’s citizens. Insight into his personality was provided by an associate: “ . . . . ‘He had this very weird motivation about robots taking over the world—like actually taking over, in a military sense…It was like [he wanted] to be able to control the world, and robots were the way to do that. He talked about starting a new country on an island. Pretty wild and creepy stuff. And the biggest thing is that he’s always got a secret plan, and you’re not going to know about it’. . . .”

As we saw in FTR #968, AI’s have incorporated many flaws of their creators, auguring very poorly for the subjects of Levandowski’s AI Godhead.

It is also interesting to contemplate what may happen when AI’s are designed by other AI’s- machines designing other machines.

After a detailed review of some of the ominous real and developing AI-related technology, the program highlights Anthony Levandowski, the brilliant engineer who was instrumental in developing Google’s Street Maps, Waymo’s self-driving cars, Otto’s self-driving trucks, the Lidar technology central to self-driving vehicles and the Way of the Future, super AI Godhead.

Further insight into Levandowski’s personality can be gleaned from e-mails with Travis Kalanick, former CEO of Uber: ” . . . . In Kalanick, Levandowski found both a soulmate and a mentor to replace Sebastian Thrun. Text messages between the two, disclosed during the lawsuit’s discovery process, capture Levandowski teaching Kalanick about lidar at late night tech sessions, while Kalanick shared advice on management. ‘Down to hang out this eve and mastermind some shit,’ texted Kalanick, shortly after the acquisition. ‘We’re going to take over the world. One robot at a time,’ wrote Levandowski another time. . . .”

Those who view self-driving cars and other AI-based technologies as flawless would do well to consider the following: ” . . . .Last December, Uber launched a pilot self-driving taxi program in San Francisco. As with Otto in Nevada, Levandowski failed to get a license to operate the high-tech vehicles, claiming that because the cars needed a human overseeing them, they were not truly autonomous. The DMV disagreed and revoked the vehicles’ licenses. Even so, during the week the cars were on the city’s streets, they had been spotted running red lights on numerous occasions. . . . .”

Noting Levandowski’s personality quirks, the article poses a fundamental question: ” . . . . But even the smartest car will crack up if you floor the gas pedal too long. Once feted by billionaires, Levandowski now finds himself starring in a high-stakes public trial as his two former employers square off. By extension, the whole technology industry is there in the dock with Levandowski. Can we ever trust self-driving cars if it turns out we can’t trust the people who are making them? . . . .”

Levandowski’s Otto self-driving trucks might be weighed against the prognostications of dark horse Presidential candidate and former tech executive Andrew Wang: “. . . . ‘All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,’ Mr. Yang said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just  a few years, he said, ‘we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an  average  level of education of high school or one year of college.’ ‘That one innovation,’ he added, ‘will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the  same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.’ . . . .”

Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warned at the end of 2014 of the potential danger to humanity posed by the growth of AI (artificial intelligence) technology. His warnings have been echoed by tech titans such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and Bill Gates.

The program concludes with Mr. Emory’s prognostications about AI, preceding Stephen Hawking’s warning by twenty years.

Program Highlights Include:

1.-Levandowski’s apparent shepherding of a company called–perhaps significantly–Odin Wave to utilize Lidar-like technology.
2.-The role of DARPA in initiating the self-driving vehicles contest that was Levandowski’s point of entry into his tech ventures.
3.-Levandowski’s development of the Ghostrider self-driving motorcycles, which experienced 800 crashes in 1,000 miles.


Cyber Attribution, the Macron hacks, and the Existential Threat of Unwarranted Certainty

Did you hear the big new hacking news? It’s the The news about ‘Fancy Bear’ already getting ready to wage a new hacking campaign against US politicians? If not, here’s a brief summary: Trend Micro, a Japanese cybersecurity firm, just issued a new report purporting to show that ‘Fancy Bear’ has already set up multiple phishing websites intended to capture the login credentials to the US Senate’s email system. And Trend Micro is 100 percent confident this is the work of ‘Fancy Bear’, the Russian military intelligence hacking team. What led to Trend Micro’s 100 percent certainty that these phishing sites were set up by ‘Fancy Bear’? It appears to be based on the similarity of this operation to the Macron email hack that impacted hit French election last year. The same hack that the French cybersecurity agency said was so unsophisticated that any reasonably skilled hackers could have pulled them off. And the same hacks comically included the name of a Russian government security contractor in the meta-data and were traced back to Andrew ‘weev’ Auernheimer. That’s the hack that this current Senate phishing operation strongly mimics that led to Trend Micro’s 100 percent certainty that this is the work of ‘Fancy Bear.’ So how credible is this 100 percent certain cyber attribution? Well, it’s possible Trend Micro is correct, it’s also extremely possible they aren’t correct. That’s going to be the topic if this post, because Trend Micro is far from alone in making cyber attribution an exercise in gambling with existential risks.


FTR #965 Are We Going to Have a Third World War?

Recent developments are suggestive of the ominous possibility of an imminent Third World War. We present some new information and recap and further analyze stories covered in previous programs in order to underscore and highlight the potential devastation of these events.

As the furor (“fuehrer”?) surrounding the potentially lethal political hoax known as “Russia-gate” gains momentum, it should be noted that the point man for the Trump business interests in their dealings with Russia is Felix Sater. A Russian-born immigrant, Sater is a professional criminal and a convicted felon with historical links to the Mafia. Beyond that, and more importantly, Sater is an FBI informant and a CIA contract agent: “. . . . There is every indication that the extraordinarily lenient treatment resulted from Sater playing a get-out-of-jail free card. Shortly before his secret guilty plea, Sater became a freelance operative of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his fellow stock swindlers, Salvatore Lauria, wrote a book about it. The Scorpion and the Frog is described on its cover as ‘the true story of one man’s fraudulent rise and fall in the Wall Street of the nineties.’ According to Lauria–and the court files that have been unsealed–Sater helped the CIA buy small missiles before they got to terrorists. He also provided other purported national security services for a reported fee of $300,000. Stories abound as to what else Sater may or may not have done in the arena of national security. . . .”

Sater was active on behalf of the Trumps in the fall of 2015: “. . . . Sater worked on a plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow as recently as the fall of 2015, but he said that had come to a halt because of Trump’s presidential campaign. . . .”

Sater was initiating contact between the Russians and “Team Trump” in January of this year: “ . . . . Nevertheless, in late January, Sater and a Ukrainian lawmaker reportedly met with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, at a New York hotel. According to the [New York] Times, they discussed a plan that involved the U.S. lifting sanctions against Russia, and Cohen said he hand-delivered the plan in a sealed envelope to then-national security advisor Michael Flynn. Cohen later denied delivering the envelope to anyone in the White House, according to the Washington Post. . . .”

A stunning development concerns extreme reticence on the part of the U.S. intelligence community:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence had an “interesting” response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding the release of the classified report given to President Obama back in January purporting to show the Russian government was behind the hacks. According to the ODNI, the requested document would present a risk to human intelligence sources by revealing the comparative weight given to human vs technical evidence, risking US sources and methods. But the ODNI went further, suggesting that even releasing a fully redacted document would present similar risks!

It is NOT easy to see the ODNI’s reluctance to release even a fully-redacted copy of the report as anything but disingenuous. In the context of potentially devastating deterioration of Russian/U.S. relations over Syria, Ukraine, and the Russian “election-hacking” uproar, the ODNI’s behavior cannot be anything but disquieting:

” . . . . The intelligence official argued that a redacted version of the original report would allow a trained eye to assess ‘comparative weight’ of human intelligence and signals intelligence reporting included in the compendium. Release of some of the information the privacy-focused organization wants made public ‘could prove fatal to U.S. human intelligence sources,’ [Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration Edward] Gistaro warned.

Gistaro also appears to argue that even if officials blacked out the whole report, highly classified information would be at risk.

‘I agree with the [National Intelligence Council] that a heavily or even fully redacted version of the classified report can not be publicly released without jeopardizing national security information properly classified as SECRET or TOP SECRET,’ he wrote. . . . ‘The ODNI should release the complete report to EPIC so that the public and the Congress can understand the full extent of the Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election,’ EPIC’s Marc Rotenberg told POLITICO Tuesday. ‘It is already clear that government secrecy is frustrating meaningful oversight. The FBI, for example, will not even identify the states that were targeted by Russia.’ . . . ”

With the high-profile hacks being attributed–almost certainly falsely–to Russia, there are ominous developments taking place that may well lead to a Third World War. During the closing days of his Presidency, Obama authorized the planting of cyber weapons on Russian computer networks. Obama did this after talking with Putin on the Hot Line, established to prevent a Third World War. Putin denied interfering in the U.S. election.

The conclusion that Russia hacked the U.S. election on Putin’s orders appears to have been based on a CIA source in the Kremlin. Even when that intelligence was delivered, other agencies weren’t ready to accept the CIA’s conclusion and it took intelligence from another nation (not named) to provide the final intelligence tipping point that led to a broad-based conclusion the not only was the Russian government behind the cyberattacks but that Vladimir Putin himself ordered it.

That ally’s intelligence is described as “the most critical technical intelligence on Russia,” however the NSA still wasn’t convinced based on what sounds like a lack of confidence in that source. Thus, it looks like a CIA Kremlin source and an unnamed foreign intelligence agency with questionable credentials are the basis of what appears to be a likely future full-scale US/Russian cyberwar.

Of paramount significance is the fact that IF, on Putin’s orders (and we are to believe such) Russia continued to hack U.S. computer systems to influence the election, Putin would have to have gone utterly mad. Those hacks would have precluded any rapprochement between Russia and the United States under a President Trump. There is no indication that Putin went off the deep end.

Also auguring a possible Third World War are two developments in Syria. Seymour Hersh published an article in “Die Welt” revealing that, not only was the April 4 alleged Sarin attack NOT a chemical weapons attack but there was widespread knowledge of this in American military and intelligence circles.

What did the intelligence community know about the attack? The Russian and Syrian air force had informed the US in advance of that airstrike that they had intelligence that top level leaders of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra were meeting in that building and they informed of the US of the attack plan in advance of the attack and that it was on a “high-value” target. And the attack involved the unusual use of a guided bomb and Syria’s top pilots. ” . . . . Russian and Syrian intelligence officials, who coordinate operations closely with the American command posts, made it clear that the planned strike on Khan Sheikhoun was special because of the high-value target. ‘It was a red-hot change. The mission was out of the ordinary – scrub the sked,’ the senior adviser told me. ‘Every operations officer in the region’ – in the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, CIA and NSA – ‘had to know there was something going on. The Russians gave the Syrian Air Force a guided bomb and that was a rarity. They’re skimpy with their guided bombs and rarely share them with the Syrian Air Force. And the Syrians assigned their best pilot to the mission, with the best wingman.’ The advance intelligence on the target, as supplied by the Russians, was given the highest possible score inside the American community. . . .”

Following the attack, US intelligence concluded that there was no sarin gas attack, Assad wouldn’t have been that politically suicidal. The symptoms of chemical poisoning following the bombing was likely due to a mixture of chlorine, fertilizers, and other chemicals stored in the building that was targeted by the Syrian airforce created by secondary explosions from the initial bombing. ” . . . ‘This was not a chemical weapons strike,’ the adviser said. ‘That’s a fairy tale. . . .”

The symptoms of chemical poisoning following the bombing was likely due to a mixture of chlorine, fertilizers, and other chemicals stored in the building that was targeted by the Syrian airforce created by secondary explosions from the initial bombing. ” . . . . A Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) by the U.S. military later determined that the heat and force of the 500-pound Syrian bomb triggered a series of secondary explosions that could have generated a huge toxic cloud that began to spread over the town, formed by the release of the fertilizers, disinfectants and other goods stored in the basement, its effect magnified by the dense morning air, which trapped the fumes close to the ground. . . .”

The behavior of the Trump administration was not only in direct conflict with intelligence on the attack, but reinforced propaganda by some of the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists the West has been using as proxy warriors in Syria and elsewhere: ” . . . . ‘The Salafists and jihadists got everything they wanted out of their hyped-up Syrian nerve gas ploy,’ the senior adviser to the U.S. intelligence community told me, referring to the flare up of tensions between Syria, Russia and America. ‘The issue is, what if there’s another false flag sarin attack credited to hated Syria? Trump has upped the ante and painted himself into a corner with his decision to bomb. And do not think these guys are not planning the next faked attack. Trump will have no choice but to bomb again, and harder. He’s incapable of saying he made a mistake.’ . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Review of a Trump administration warning of another supposed, impending “Syrian chemical weapons strike”–a warning that has since been retracted; discussion of brilliant Nazi hacker Andrew Auerenheimer’s orchestration of an “Alt-right” online intimidation campaign against CNN employees; Auerenheimer’s current residence in Ukraine; the ominous possibility of the activation/manipulation of the NSA cyber-weapons installed on Russian computer networks by a third party (perhaps someone with the capabilities of the brilliant Auerenheimer); review of the observations by a German professor–opposed to Nazism/Hitler–who described the essence of what it was like, subjectively, to live through the rise of Hitler–his observation presented in the context of the ODNI’s decision not to release even a fully-redacted version of the intelligence report on “Russian meddling” in the U.S. election: ” . . . . . . . . What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret, to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand because of nationality security, so dangerous that even if the people the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. . . .”


FTR #938 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 12: Settling In, Part 2 (The Underground Reich Comes Into Plain View, Part 5)

In FTR #’s 891 and 895, we highlighted the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a Congressional fig leaf instituted to dilute CIA control over American foreign broadcast outlets such as Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. In addition to the broadcast outlets discussed in the story that follows, we note that the change from a “board of governors” to a “CEO” to be appointed by Trump also gives the nominee power over Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund, developer of numerous apps and other technological methodologies favored by the so-called “privacy advocates.”

The replacement of the governors is seen as a potential boon to the Trump administration. “ . . . . ‘There’s some fear among the folks here, that the firewall will get diminished and attacked and this could fall victim to propaganda,’ the Republican official said. ‘They will hire the person they want, the current CEO does not stand a chance. This will pop up on Steve Bannon’s radar quickly. They are going to put a friendly person in that job.’ . . . . ”

The change will affect domestic broadcast media as well. ” . . . . Because of the modification of the Smith-Mundt Act in 2013, the BBG can now broadcast in the U.S., too. But the influence on the domestic market could be even more subtle, the Republican official warned. A BBG CEO influenced by the administration could penetrate established media outlets with packages, series or other news products produced by the BBG’s networks but picked up and aired by traditional media like Fox News or Breitbart. Many U.S. outlets currently use content from VOA. ‘No money would even change hands, you’ve had no effect on the budget,’ the official said. ‘But it will denigrate the product. . . . ‘ ”

In the context of the changes made to the BBG, we review the political inclinations of Bannon: ” . . . The late Andrew Breitbart, founder of the website Bannon went on to lead, called Bannon the “Leni Riefenstahl of the Tea Party movement”—a reference to the infamous creator of Nazi propaganda films. While insisting to a Wall Street Journal reporter in 2011 that his work isn’t propaganda, Bannon went on to cite Riefenstahl among his main influences . . . ”

Next, we turn to the subject of free trade, on which Trump has had much to say, bashing China and Mexico as countries the U.S. should “put right” in their trade relations with the U.S. It’s worth noting we haven’t heard Trump mention a trade war with Germany despite all his tirades against China and Mexico. It raises the question of why, since Germany’s unprecedented and damaging surpluses make it such an obvious trade war target.

” . . . . There is one potential trade war, however, that few people have so far noticed — but which could soon be his easiest target. Germany. Given the size of its population, it runs a far larger trade surplus than China — and a massive surplus with the U.S. in particular. Even better, the industries to pick off are relatively simple to identify, and would actually have a chance of creating well-paid American jobs. . . .

“. . . . Germany’s trade surplus is absolutely massive, and unprecedented in modern industrial history. Last year it hit 8.9% of gross domestic product, and it is likely to break through 9% before the end of 2016. Globally, it is second in size only to China’s, but given that Germany is a far smaller country, it is only fair to measure it on a per capita basis — and when you look at it that way, Germany’s surplus is seven times bigger than China’s. . . . Much of Germany’s trade surplus is clearly the result of currency manipulation. The euro has depressed the real value of the country’s exports, allowing it rack up those huge exports. You can argue about whether China’s currency is really at its fair value or not — but no one can really dispute that Germany’s currency is way, way below what it would be if it still had the deutschemark. . . .”

Obviously, part of the answer lies in the fact that Deutsche Bank–a key element of the Bormann capital network and the Underground Reich–is owed hundreds of millions of dollars by Trump. Trump’s other connections run in the direction of the Underground Reich as well. (The Trump/Deutsche Bank connection is discussed, in among other programs, FTR #’s 920, 921, 922 and 927.)

We note in passing that Germany is preparing for a trade war with the U.S.–we don’t think one will really take place, but we may be treated to Trumpian “fake news” and/or propaganda. Germany is asserting that the factors behind its enormous trade surplus can not be altered, because it is due to naturally occurring circumstances like a rapidly aging population.

” . . . There are plenty of reasons for that. Germany’s current account surplus has never been as high as it is this year and never before has that surplus represented such a significant share of the country’s gross domestic product. Making matters worse is the fact that the US is the largest consumer of German exports. . . .

“. . . . As high as it is, though, the current surplus is likely to continue growing. The recent fall in the euro’s value relative to the dollar following Trump’s election makes German products and services even more competitive. And many economists believe that the value of the dollar will continue to climb, which means that the value of the euro against the dollar will shrink correspondingly. Their predictions are based on recent indications that Trump’s announced economic stimulus policies will push up both America’s sovereign debt load and its interest rates. . . .”

The program concludes with analysis of how Trump’s continued involvement in his business empire (through his children) leaves him open to manipulation. The Philippines is a good example: “ . . . . So, under the deal, Trump’s children will be paid millions of dollars throughout their father’s presidency by Jose E.B. Antonio, the head of Century Properties.

“Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values. . . . Duterte recently named Antonio the special government envoy to the United States. The conflicts here could not be more troubling or more blatant: President Trump will be discussing U.S. policy in Southeast Asia with one of his (or his children’s) business partners, a man who is the official representative of a foreign leader who likens himself to Hitler. Also note that the Trump family has an enormous financial interest in Duterte’s deadly campaign: Rooting out crime in the Philippines is good for the real estate values. . . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Trump’s business dealings in India, where members of the BJP party figure in the disposition of the operations in that country; Trump’s consideration of Bernie Sanders supporter Tulsi Gabbard for a cabinet position; “Alt-Right” kingpin Steve Bannon’s high regard for Gabbard; Gabbard’s strong support for Modi and networking with the BJP; Gabbard’s networking with the RSS, the Indian fascist organization for which the BJP serves as a front.