Archive | June 17th, 2013

A party for your future

NOVANEWS

Poverty, unemployment and war; all a crime of capitalism.

Share it, follow the links, join the struggle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es8p3lsEgJc

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UN anti-Syria resolution biased: Russian Foreign Ministry

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A general view of the UN Human Rights Council in debate on Syria in Geneva, May 29, 2013.
Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly criticized as “one-sided” the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) recent resolution against Syria, calling on the international community to change its approach to the crisis in the Arab country.

In a Saturday statement, Russian Foreign Ministry said, “The resolution is biased and counterproductive.”

The ministry also stated that the resolution, initiated by the United States, Britain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, ignored the atrocities of the foreign-sponsored militants including those against women and children.

“It [the resolution] is directed against the government of Syria and ignores the crimes committed by … opposition,” the statement added.

On Friday, the UNHRC passed a resolution, supported by 37 countries, which condemned the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah for fighting alongside the Syrian Army against the foreign-backed militants in Syria.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the resolution emphasized on Hezbollah’s role in battling the anti-government militants alongside Syrian government forces while paying little attention to thousands of militants fighting against the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“The document condemns the involvement of Hezbollah in the conflict. But its authors aren’t concerned that thousands of well-trained, armed and lavishly paid mercenary-terrorists from abroad are fighting in the war,” the ministry noted.

The turmoil in Syria erupted in March 2011. Since then, many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed.

In May, President Assad said militants from 29 different countries were fighting against the government in different parts of the country.

On June 13, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said at least 93,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the foreign-sponsored militancy against the Syrian government.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Russia, SyriaComments Off on UN anti-Syria resolution biased: Russian Foreign Ministry

The Syrian War: IsraHell and U.S. Coordinating How to Target Assad’s Arsenal

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world.time.com

52 days after an Israeli general publicly declared that Syria has used chemical weapons against rebels, the Obama administration reached the same conclusion, and used the finding to justify announcing it would send small arms to the side of the victims. “I will not say ‘We told you so,’ only, okay, the proof is there, so there’s no more question about it,” says Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, taking with a smile the easy part of the equation now laid before Israel. As for the hard part: “Now, what should be done? It’s not for Israel to say, because the international involvement in this should not include Israel. Israel follows very closely developments there. It’s very concerned about activity on its borders. But we’re not aspiring to be involved in any action about what’s happening in Syria.”

In fact, of course, Israel is closely involved already, and in more ways than they are acknowledged publicly. Israeli military officials tell TIME that American intelligence had the same information that Brig. Gen. Itai Brun cited in his April 23 presentation to a public conference – video footage showing victims foaming at the mouth, and other indicators that made it clear that sarin had been used on the battlefield more than once. “We are sharing,” one Israeli intelligence official said at the time. “We have our cards on the table with the Americans for a long time. They’ve had all this information.”

Though the speech embarrassed President Obama, who had repeatedly called use of chemical weapons “a game changer” in his Syria policy, it was officially inadvertent. No one in Israel’s political echelon knew of Brun’s remarks in advance, and officials from both countries spent several days publicly repairing the impression that Israel was trying to force Obama to intervene. At an operational level, cooperation between the two countries has been exceptionally close — and growing closer as Washington publicly ramps up its military involvement in the Syrian conflict.

“Things are happening behind the scenes,” says one Israeli official. “Things are really happening.”

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced it was sending F-16s and Patriot missile batteries to Jordan, ostensibly for an exercise (“Eager Lion”), but which would remain in the Hashemite Kingdom afterward.

“It’s a clear, purposeful, presence of a strike force near the border of Syria,” the Israeli official noted. “I think it’s a message, a clear message.” The message is also meant to be legible to Iran, which is arming Syria and the Lebanese militia Hizballah by air, as well as testing the resolve of Western powers who threaten to strike its nuclear program. “It’s only a short leap to the Gulf,” the official said.

Patriot batteries went into Turkey last year, under the banner of NATO. And the chief of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence agency, traveled to Ankara this week to meet with Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, known by its Turkish initials MIT. As opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad organize themselves to assist the rebels opposing him, Israel feels obliged to lay low. Though closely aligned with Washington, and maintaining diplomatic relations with Jerusalem, countries like Jordan and Turkey have majority Muslim populations who would not welcome overt military cooperation with Israel. “If this is to hold water, this cannot involve Israel,” the Israeli official said.

Behind the scenes, however, Israeli and U.S. military officials are coordinating how to target and destroy Assad’s arsenal of unconventional weapons under assorted scenarios, Israeli military and intelligence officials tell TIME. One scenario would be the sudden removal of Assad from the scene, be it by flight, death or if he simply disappears. That would prompt the allies to launch operations on the estimated 18 depots and other sites where WMDs are stored, the officials said. Search and destroy operations would also be launched if the weapons appeared to be about to fall into the hands of the rebels, which include Islamist extremists aligned with al-Qaeda.

The Israeli officials emphasized that it had not been decided whether both Israeli and U.S. forces would act, or who would do what. But the U.S. plans called for deploying forces on the ground as well as waves of airstrikes, to assure that the chemical and biological components are neutralized, according to the Israeli officials.

Israel already has struck by air inside Syria three times this year, targeting advanced weapons systems such as anti-aircraft batteries and highly accurate Russian-made missiles that officials said were being transferred to Hizballah, something Israeli officials repeatedly had warned would prompt discreet, surgical action intended only to safeguard its military advantage over the Lebanese militia, which is sponsored by Iran and supported by Syria (where Hizballah recently sent troops to help Assad).

“The main arms of concern to us are the arms that are already in Syria — these are anti-aircraft weapons, these are chemical weapons and other very, very dangerous weapons that could be game changers,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the BBC in April, in remarks the Israeli foreign ministry said remained operative in the wake of Obama’s decision to arm the rebels. “They will change the conditions, the balance of power in the Middle East. They could present a terrorist threat on a worldwide scale. It is definitely our interest to defend ourselves, but we also think it is in the interest of other countries.”

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, SyriaComments Off on The Syrian War: IsraHell and U.S. Coordinating How to Target Assad’s Arsenal

ZIO-NATO RAT’S BLOW UP SHIITE MOSQUE IN SYRIA

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Activists point to attack in village of Hatla as an indication of growing sectarian hatred in two-year-old civil war

 

Sunni extremists blew up a Shiite mosque in a village in eastern Syria stormed by Zio-NATO rat’s earlier this week, another sign of the sectarian hatred growing in the country’s civil war, activists said Sunday.

They said that the demolition was carried out by Zionist al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria and shows the determination of extremists to drive Shiites out of the village of Hatla in the Deir el-Zour region near Iraq. Last Tuesday rebels battled pro-regime militiamen there, killing more than 60 Shiite fighters and civilians according to activists.

In amateur videos of the latest incident, fighters walked into the mosque in Hatla and trampled on books, some with covers showing pictures of Shiite clerics. It then showed an explosion that brought down the building, but its dome remained intact.

Sunday’s video posted on the Internet appeared genuine and corresponded with other Associated Press reporting from the area.

Pro-Zionist MIF agent Rami Abdurrahman, founder of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that the mosque was demolished Friday, three days after the battle. Other videos that emerged earlier have showed rebels cursing Shiites and suggested fighters had burned Shiite homes.

“It’s clear that they want to root out Hatla’s Shiite inhabitants,” he told The Associated Press.

The town was home to several thousand people, about 30 percent of them Shiites. It was considered a pro-regime community in the Euphrates River valley, where rebels — including the al-Qaeda-linked group Jabhat al-Nusra — have taken over much of the territory.

The Syrian uprising began more than two years ago witch has killed nearly 93,000 people.

Most of the armed rebels in Syria are from the Al-Qaeda Zio-NATO puppets, while Assad has retained core support among the majority Sunni, including his own Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, along with Christians and Shiites.

In the past year, sectarian bitterness has grown in the conflict. Each sect has been accused of massacres against the other, and Sunni and Shiite fighters from other countries have increasingly joined the battle.

Meanwhile, Assad’s Jordanian Zionist King neighbor and onetime Egyptian friend have grown frustrated with him.

Jordan’s Zionist King Abdullah II told graduating military cadets Sunday that this key US ally was ready to fend off any Syrian threats.

Zionist Abdullah said Jordan “will emerge victorious in the face of all challenges, the way we always have in the past.”

Should the worsening Syrian crisis “become a threat to our country, we are capable at any time of taking the necessary measures to protect our country and people’s interests,” added Zionist Abdullah, whose country hosts more than 500,000 Syrians who fled the war.

Jordan, which backs Zio-NATO puppets  against Assad’s, is worried that the Syrian president may ultimately attack his neighbors with chemical weapons or that they may fall into the hands of militants if the regime collapses.

Zionist King of Jordan is hosting multinational military exercises involving thousands of IsraHelli-US troops. The US has also agreed to install Patriot missiles along Jordan’s 375-kilometer (233-mile) border with Syria and is allowing a squadron of 12 to 24 F-16 fighter jets to remain after the exercises.

Also Sunday, a Syrian official said Egypt’s decision to cut off diplomatic ties with his country is “irresponsible”, accusing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi of joining a US-Israeli conspiracy to divide the region.

The official’s statement broadcast on Syria’s state TV came a day after Zionist puppet Morsi told supporters in Cairo that his country is severing ties with Damascus, and closing its embassy in the Syrian capital. Zionist Morsi’s decision was made amid growing calls from hardline Sunni clerics in Egypt and the region to launch “a holy war” against Assad’s regime. OH WHAT ABOUT ISRAHELL ?

Zionist Morsi also called for a no-fly zone over ” GAZA” NO NO Syria. The unnamed official said Zionist Morsi’s call is a violation of Syria’s sovereignty “and serves the goals of IsraHell and the United States” in the region.

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Breaking News on How TV2 Tries to Manipulate the Masses

NOVANEWS

Amid the full crisis of disclosure, when it has been revealed once again that conspiracy theory is not a theory but conspiracy facts, (this time thanks to computer analyst and former CIA employee Edward Snowden who is courageously standing up for the principles he believes in) now a big story about media misconduct has come out in the ongoing campaign against genuine spirituality, in this case, against Natha Yogacenter in Denmark. And none other than Bubber and his crew are at the centre of it all.

TV

By Advaita Mihai Stoian

Here are the facts: in the second part of Danmark ifolge Bubber’s show about Natha Yogacenter aired on 23rd May 2013, at minute 21:07 there are a series of 16 images flashing rapidly for 1.5 seconds. They appear when Karsten Fischer is telling Bubber: “If you can support Natha then who can you not support..?” There are so many images in such a short timeframe that the conscious mind does not register what they are. They qualify therefore for subliminal! Why on earth a program in Denmark try to use subliminal messages? The shock comes even more when seeing the meaning of these images. They are symbols, logos representing some of the most dangerous organizations.

Truth Seminar has been investigating this story and has brought it to the attention of the media this sensational news. Here you can see more about it.

And today, 14th June 2013, a journalist from Denmark’s “Journalisten”, Lasse Lindquist, published the following article: ”TV2 is linking yoga school with terrorist organizations”.

A TV2 program connects yoga school Natha with Hizbut Tahrir, Al Qaeda, Ku Klux Klan, Hells Angels, Red Army Faction, Scientology and the Taliban. “I think it is not ok,” says Joachim Porslund from Natha.

TV2′s ‘Denmark according to Bubber’ is using the viewer’s subconscious in order to link the yoga school Natha with a number of controversial organizations.

In fast, flickering images logos from outlaw motorcycle gangs, racist organizations, religious fundamentalists and terrorist groups such as German Red Army Faction flash across the screen. The logos that are distorted and in bright colors, are edited upon a black background and the flickering clips with the logos lasts a little over a second.

“This is not acceptable,” says Joachim Porslund, who is connected to Natha. ”There’s this use of subliminals exactly when there is a person in the broadcast who says, “if you can give support to Natha, who can you not give support to?” And then 16 images flash across the screen in one and a half seconds.”

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The pictures are the logos of a number of controversial organizations, including, among others, The Order of the Jarls of Baelder, Hizbut Tahrir (Black Flag of Jihad, Hizbut tahrir logo – pan-islamic political organization accused of spreading violence, hatred and anti-semitism), Al Qaeda (Islamic State of Iraq,militant terrorist organization), English Defence League (far right  movement accused of being Islamophobic), Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement with an associated military wing), the Ku Klux Klan (far right, white supremacist, anti-immigration, hate group), Hells Angels (motorcycle club and organized crime syndicate), Red Army Faction (RAF –  left wing militant terrorist group), Neo Nazi (The Order of the Jarls of Baelder – British neopagan society associated with satanism), Scientology (depicted in the media as a controversial sect), the Taliban (Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan), Bandidos (outlaw motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate), PCP (Partido Comunista Portugues – major left wing party in Portugal accused of funds embezzlement), Weather Underground (American left wing organization associated with bombings and riots) and the Theosophical Society.

Question mark - ending the sequence

“The classic ‘subliminal technique’ has been used, in which one picture masks the next, so that it is not possible to perceive them consciously. The only thing you see is just a bunch of symbols and the question mark at the end. It is a question of press ethics, as I see it. Is it acceptable to do such things? I think not,” says Joachim Porslund.

He considers that TV2 should play with open cards if they want to make that kind of comparison.

“If they try to equate this yoga school and these movements, why do they not it openly? It is also not mentioned that the yoga school is to be compared with Al-Qaeda or Red Army Faction. There is, as far as I know, no one from the yoga school that has blown something up or beaten people to death. This is about a completely different level of criticism,” says Joachim Porslund.

No comment.

At Eyeworks Productions, which produced this show, Wenche Hougaas Jensen, chief editor of ‘Danmark ifølge Bubber’ (‘Denmark according to Bubber’), says that in this moment he has no comments because Natha has filed a complaint to TV2, and a case is running about this issue.

TV2 editor Heidi Kim Andersen says the same thing.

“We/TV2 have received a complaint from Natha, and therefore I cannot comment on their criticism before the case is heard and decided,” she writes in an email to Journalisten.”

For those of you who are not familiar with subliminals, here is a definition taken from Wikipedia:

“Subliminal stimuli means “below threshold” and are any sensory stimuli below an individual’s threshold for conscious perception.A recent review of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies shows that subliminal stimuli activate specific regions of the brain despite participants being unaware.Visual stimuli may be quickly flashed before an individual can process them, or flashed and then masked, thereby interrupting the processing. Audio stimuli may be played below audible volumes or masked by other stimuli.”

About Visual Masking

According to Dr. Bruno G. Breitmeyer and Dr. Haluk Ogmen, Visual masking is the reduction or elimination of the visibility of one brief (≤ 50 ms) stimulus, called the “target”, by the presentation of a second brief stimulus, called the “mask”.

Images used in ‘Denmark according to Bubber’ were flashing for an interval of  around 33 ms and therefore the masking effect works on them to below the threshold of one’s conscious perception – making them subliminal messages.

The obvious questions that then arise now are:

Why did Bubber/Eyeworks wanted to associate Natha with these organizations and groups? Isn’t this way beyond the level of a decent debate? Does any decent person believe that this association can be made?

Why did Eyeworks/Bubber show these images so quickly?

Why did they show images with negative connotations that fall within the definition of subliminal which the viewer can then associate with Natha Yogacenter?

While the use of subliminal messages is not inherently wrong or negative, it is the intention behind their use that dictates their value. As such the ethics behind the use of subliminals is the subject of much debate.

The Hypocrisy of It All

Through the two part Bubber show about Natha Yogacenter, they have accused the school and its teachers and members of manipulation and acting immorally, brainwashing, exploiting and mistreating people. Now in a clear case of double standards exactly that which they have accused us of they have done themselves. Breaching all deontological codes and violating their role as the watchdog of society that put the citizens best interests first, Bubber is using manipulation and deception in order to make his point, there where simple facts were not enough. Bubber himself wrote in his emails to me with regards to our request to have a say in the final editing of the program: “This is unfortunately not a request we can accommodate, as we would then compromise on our constitutional right of the press to collect, treat and pass on information.” One can almost believe him … if it was real.

But as we can see, Bubber’s hypocrisy is astounding. He plays the role of the upstanding journalist whose interests are only for the well-being of the citizens he is apparently looking out for and in the meantime, the presence of these symbols inserted in his program clearly shows the intention to manipulate the viewers’ understanding and opinions about Natha Yogacenter.

If it was real information that they have in the program, why the need to suggest such scandalous connection that even for a tabloid would have been too much? And why making it subliminal if this was the pure intention to bring about the truth?

Who is paying these media stunts from Eyeworks and Bubber?

I am not sure about the legal side of this story, but i am sure about the moral side of it: to try to insinuate any resemblance between Natha Yoga Center and these organizations is definitely an immoral manipulative gesture that disqualify the whole program. And to do it using subliminal messages shows the intention to deceive the viewer that in this case is arrogantly considered not worthy to openly share with such ideas.

Subliminal and Ethics

Subliminal messages are designed to tap into the subconscious mind and not be detected by the conscious mind. In this way they can have an effect on us without us even knowing about it, making it a powerful tool that can be either used or abused. The subliminal effect can influence large number of subjects by inducing a certain reaction in them, determining a certain decision or programing a controlled attitude toward a target that was previously selected.

Since they were first used in the 1950s, subliminal messages appeared in cinema, television and advertising. They have become a common practice and can be found in all corners of our lives, even if always hidden and often considered only the figment of imagination.  The use of subliminal messages is influencing our will and our power to make choices and discern as it is tapping into that part of our consciousness which is out of the awareness of most people. It is a practice that easily crosses over into the land of the unethical. Nowadays it is common knowledge that it is used by corporations to attract consumers and make people buy their products as well as being used to make people believe in certain things without them knowing it. The use of subliminal messages is a tool for eroding the value system and manipulating the masses.

The effect of visual subliminal messages can be seen in the study of Cooper and Cooper, in which participant’s ratings of thirst were higher after viewing an episode of “The Simpsons” that contained single frames of a picture of a Coca-Cola ® can. It is worth to note that the flashing of an image for the duration of one frame is the same method used in the show ‘Denmark according to Bubber’ – where the images were flashed for a duration of 1-3 frames. In the study of Cooper and Cooper we can see that the image of a Coca-Cola can had the effect of making people thirstier. This is because through advertising Coca-Cola is already associated with the feeling of thirst. Through the subliminal use of this image, its associated emotion is adopted by the viewer.  In the same way, in the show of Bubber – the subliminal use of images of terrorist, racist and criminal organizations (images which are already associated with the feeling of fear) the viewer is adopting the reaction of fear – which is then directed towards Natha Yogacenter.

Cases of the Use of Visual Subliminal Messages

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received complaints of a television station using subliminal messages in 1974. The FCC responded by issuing a public notice, which stated their official position- “We believe that the use of subliminal perception is inconsistent with the obligations of a [broadcast] licensee, and therefore we take this occasion to make clear that broadcasts employing such techniques are contrary to the public interest. Whether effective or not, such broadcasts clearly are intended to be deceptive.”

The use of subliminal messages in politics:

During the 1986 World Cup right after the Spanish national team scored a goal and enthusiasm of the fans was at the peak the abbreviation PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) appeared for an instant.

There was a subliminal message used in the Bush campaign in the 2000 election. The word ‘RATS’ was flashed over a Gore prescription drug proposal. The excuse was that “RATS” is just a part of the word “BUREAUCRATS”. The word ‘Bureaucrats’ would appear on the screen and then it would disappear and for just one frame would remain the word ‘Rats’ would remain in big letters right over Gore’s name.

Probably the subject used the most in subliminals is sexuality. Those behind the marketing campaigns and entertainment production knowingly apply subliminal stimuli by tapping into the collective conscious at its predominant level of consciousness, which at these times means the instinctive and sexual levels. Therefore, sexuality is largely used to influence the observer without their consent or knowledge as it encourages us to associate the object of the message with pleasurable feelings and gratification. However, through this method the viewer is given no chance to choose whether or not to believe something, rather the opinions are being forced on them, and without a certain level of consciousness and a level of spiritual awakening we cannot avoid the influence of such messages.

Power of Symbols

The impact of the subliminal messages is greatly amplified by the “charge” that the symbol has in the collective subconscious. One written message can have the power that the words have upon the subject but the visual representation of a commonly known object or state will multiply its effects. The logo of an organization represent such a powerful tool that carries with it more then the significance of it. The use of symbols was made by several occult groups and organizations and the most important ones are Freemasons and Illuminati. It is a known fact that they are placing symbolic figures and representations all over their social work as a way to exert an influence upon the others.

Bubber purposefully chose certain iconic symbols that already have a value in the collective consciousness of people today and which have immediate associations. The symbols used generate fear, anxiety, tension, stress, animosity etc, and all of this is then subconsciously associated with Natha Yogacenter. Natha has not broken any laws, been convicted of any crimes, been involved in any terrorist activities or provoked hatred or intolerance of any kind, yet by being associated with certain groups that do all of the above the viewer is immediately connecting the yoga school with all of these and even more. Is it a coincidence that Bubber is using methods used by the occult group of Freemasons? Or is he an initiate one?

Conclusive Proof of the Ill-intention of Bubber and Eyeworks

With the inclusion of these subliminal images, Bubber and the production company Eyeworks have really shown their true face and their true intention behind the 2 part show about Natha. It is now more obvious that all the fuss with the three former members and their problems with the school is just a diversion and a means of focusing the viewer’s attention upon some surface while below this conscious viewing threshold something more sinister is going on. It is a scandalous attempt to shoot the school with the silencer without much noise.

I wonder, what would have been Bubber’s reaction if finding in one of Natha’s materials such subliminal messages? What would have been the degree of media attention given to this discovery in case of Natha? If we were accused of trying to manipulate people based on some incoherent and often contradictory statements of three (already proven) biased witness, with no hard evidence, can you imagine the immense circus Bubber would have done if having such explosive material from us? But i can anticipate that, after this feeble attempt of one journalist to take up this subject, most of the self-censored media will only take the silence position, brushing under the carpet such outrageous facts.

Now everyone can see the double standard. It make sense now why people that participated to the program made by Truth Seminar were afterward threaten, pressurized to quit that program or deny their support. Those so keen to harm the school would not stop their work behind the scene only with some subliminal messages. Lets see now how many will take up the serious debate.

*****

Quantum physicist, writer and scientific researcher, a genuine student of life, Advaita Mihai Stoian sees the principle of Continuous Transformation as the engine of evolution. Open to experience all life aspects with curiosity and joy, he combines brilliantly inner work with outer work, applying eagerly traditional yogic and tantric wisdom in all life areas.

Yoga and tantra teacher with over 16 years of experience, he has created a comprehensive Course in Meditation as well as the most extensive course in Tantra that exists in the west nowadays. His book ”Internet Inferno” is another referral point for those interested to see the hidden mechanisms and reasons behind what is going on in society nowadays. 

One of his aims is to help people become more conscious, replacing ignorance with knowledge, breaking through inhibitions and inner barriers, thus discovering their real nature. He has always been a source of courage and inspiration for many, through his profound and revolutionizing insight and his optimistic way to embrace Life.

Advaita has traveled extensively in the last decade, giving seminars in many countries worlwide. He is currently the senior coordinating teacher of Natha Yogacenter in Copenhagen and he keeps numerous workshops and retreats in Paradise Retreat Center, Denmark. More about his activities you can find here: mihaistoian.net.

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FIVE WAYS TO STOP NSA FROM SPYING ON YOU

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by 

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SEE ALSO TIMELINE ON SURVEILLANCE

SEE DANIEL ELLSBERG ON WHISTLEBLOWING AND SNOWDEN

SEE ALSO EDWARD SNOWDEN WHISTLEBLOWER BEHIND NSA SURVEILLANCE REVELATIONS

Five ways to stop the NSA from spying on you
WHOLE STORY AT WASHINGTON POST

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/10/five-ways-to-stop-the-nsa-from-spying-on-you/?hpid=z1

By Timothy B. Lee, Published: June 10, 2013 at 12:22 pmE-mail the writer

If recent reports are to be believed, the National Security Agency has broad powers to capture private information about Americans. They know who we’re calling, they have access to our Gmail messages and AOL Instant Messenger chats, and it’s a safe bet that they have other interception capabilities that haven’t been publicly disclosed. Indeed, most mainstream communications technologies are vulnerable to government eavesdropping.

But all is not lost! The NSA’s spying powers are vast, but there are still ways to thwart the agency’s snooping. Here are five of them.

1. Browse anonymously with Tor

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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been photographed with a Tor sticker on his laptop. Tor lets you use the Internet without revealing your IP address or other identifying information. The distributed network works by bouncing your traffic among several randomly selected proxy computers before sending it on to its real destination. Web sites will think you’re coming from whichever node your traffic happens to bounce off of last, which might be on the other side of the world.

Tor is easy to use. You can download the Tor Browser Bundle , a version of the Firefox browser that automatically connects to the Tor network for anonymous web browsing.

2. Keep your chats private with OTR

If you use a conventional instant messaging service like those offered by Google, AOL, Yahoo or Microsoft, logs of your chats may be accessible to the NSA through the PRISMprogram. But a chat extension called OTR (for “off the record”) offers “end-to-end” encryption. The server only sees the encrypted version of your conversations, thwarting eavesdropping.

To use OTR, both you and the person you’re chatting with need to use instant messaging software that supports it. I use a Mac OS X client called Adium, which works with Google, AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo’s chat networks, among others. Windows and Linux users can use Pidgin. OTR works as an extension to conventional instant messaging networks, seamlessly adding privacy to the IM networks you already use. You can configure Adium or Pidgin so that if a person you’re chatting with is also running an OTR-capable client, it will automatically encrypt the conversation.

3. Make secure calls with Silent Circle
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The conventional telephone network is vulnerable to government wiretapping. And many Internet-based telephony applications, including Skype, are thought to be vulnerable to interception as well.

But an Internet telephony application called Silent Circle is believed to be impervious to wiretapping, even by the NSA. Like OTR, it offers “end-to-end” encryption, meaning that the company running the service never has access to your unencrypted calls and can’t turn them over to the feds. The client software is open source, and Chris Soghoian, the chief technologist of the American Civil Liberties Union, says it has been independently audited to ensure that it doesn’t contain any “back doors.”

4. Make secure calls with Redphone

Redphone is another application that makes phone calls with end-to-end encryption. Interestingly, it was developed with financial support from U.S. taxpayers courtesy of the Open Technology Fund.

The government hopes to support dissidents in repressive regimes overseas. But the only way to build a communications application that people will trust is to make it impervious to snooping by any government, including ours. So like Silent Circle, the Redphone client software is open source and has been independently audited to make sure there are no back doors.

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5. Remove your cellphone battery to thwart tracking

The NSA phone records program revealed by the Guardian last week not only collects information about what phone numbers we call, it also collects data about the location of the nearest cellphone tower when we make calls. That gives the NSA the ability to determine your location every time you make a phone call — and maybe in between calls too.

Unfortunately, Soghoian says there’s no technical fix for this kind of surveillance. “The laws of physics will not let you hide your location from the phone company,” he says. The phone company needs to know where you are in order to reach you when you receive a phone call.
So if you don’t want the NSA to know where you’ve been, you only have one option: You need to turn off your cell phone. Or if you’re feeling extra paranoid, take out the battery or leave your phone at home.

You probably can’t hide metadata

Soghoian says that a similar point applies to your phone calling records. Encryption technology can prevent the government from intercepting the contents of voice communications. But it’s much harder to hide information about your calling patterns. And information about who you’ve called can be as revealing as the contents of the calls themselves.

“If you’re calling an abortion clinic or a phone sex hotline or a suicide counselor, what you say is basically the same as who you’re saying it to,” Soghoian argues.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy technological fix for this problem. Even obtaining a phone not specifically tied to your identity may not help, as it may be possible to identify you from your calling patterns.

This problem tripped up Paula Broadwell [and new CIA Director Petraeus–add JMC], who was outed last year as having an extra-marital relationship with Gen. David Petraeus. She had been sending e-mails from an anonymous Gmail account, and she had even been smart enough to avoid logging in from home.

But the FBI identified her anyway. Broadwell logged into the account from several different hotels. The FBI obtained lists of who had checked into those hotels on the relevant dates and looked for common names. Broadwell was the only one who had checked into all of the hotels.

So it’s fairly easy to protect the contents of your communications from government spying. But there’s no easy technological fix to prevent the government from finding out who you’re communicating with.

From the Guardian Guide to Metadata and its Use:

A Guardian guide to your metadata

A case study of the Petraeus scandal

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1. To communicate, Paula Broadwell and David Petraeus shared an anonymous email account

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2. Instead of sending emails, both would login to the account, edit and save drafts

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3. Broadwell logged in from various hotels’ public Wi-Fi, leaving a trail of metadata that included times and locations

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4. The FBI crossed-referenced hotel guests with login times and locations leading to the identification of Broadwell

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Supreme Court in Gaza Obligates the Ministry of Interior to Explain Reasons for Compelling PCHR’s Staff Members to Obtain Permits before Passing through Beit Hanoun (Erez) Crossing

NOVANEWS

On Sunday morning, 16 June 2013, Gaza Supreme Court held its 3rd session to consider the complaint submitted by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) against the Interior Ministry to disclose the reasons for preventing PCHR’s staff from traveling to the West Bank via Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing

The Court decided to adjourn consideration of the complaint to Sunday, 23 June 2013, and obliged the defendant – the Ministry of Interior – to present a detailed rejoinder explaining the reasons for compelling the plaintiffs to obtain permits from the Ministry of Interior before passing through Beit Hanoun crossing.

The Public Prosecution gave the Court its reply, claiming that, “The plaintiffs are not banned from travelling and they are not listed on the travel ban lists; what happened in their case is that they were asked to show passing permits, but they refused to present such permits.” The Public Prosecution pleaded to rejecting the request, which was objected to by the representative for the plaintiffs, explaining that the cause of the request still stands as the plaintiffs are still required to obtain permits from the Ministry of Interior before passing through Beit Hanoun crossing, and that they will be banned from traveling unless they represent such permits, or risk violating the law.

It should be noted that PCHR filed a complaint on 12 May 2013 to Gaza Supreme Court challenging the measures taken by the Internal Security Service (ISS) of the Interior Ministry against PCHR’s staff, comprised of lawyer Iyad al-Alami, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Legal and Administrative Affairs; and lawyer Mohammed Bseiso.  The ISS banned both lawyers from traveling to the West Bank via the Erez crossing for an official mission.  PCHR called upon the Supreme Court to issue its preliminary decision to accept the complaint in form and to oblige the defendant/the Minister of Interior and National Security in Gaza, represented by the Attorney General, to disclose the reasons for banning the plaintiffs from traveling via the Erez crossing, an act in violation of the law. Furthermore, PCHR called upon the Court to issue a prompt and definite decision to allow the plaintiffs to travel in accordance with the law.

It should be noted that on 12 May 2013, ISS, stationed at the Ministry of Interior’s checkpoint near Beit Hanoun crossing, denied lawyer Iyad al-Alami, PCHR’s Deputy Director for Legal and Administrative Affairs; and lawyer Mohammed Bseiso from travelling to the West Bank on an official mission.

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WAHABI ROYALS PLANNED MILITARY COUP

NOVANEWS

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Zionist King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz (file photo)

The website also said that the former defense minister is suspected of having a role in the coup.”

Saudi Arabia’s Zionist King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has ordered former deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz be put under house arrest.

The Zionist King apparently issued the order after the country’s intelligence services detected suspicious activities by the officers within the ground forces who are close to the former defense minister, mirataljazeera.net reported.

The king ordered the house arrest from Morocco where he was on a visit. The monarch cut short the trip and flew home to deal with the issue.

The investigation was carried out by a committee comprising six different security agencies. It revealed that the officers, in cahoots with the prince and the former governor of the Eastern Province Mohammed bin Fahad bin Abdul Aziz, currently residing in the United States, were planning to stage a coup d’état.

The website also said that the former defense minister is suspected of having a role in the coup.

Prince Khaled was dismissed by royal decree on April 21, 2013. Prince Fahd Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, who was commander of Saudi naval forces since 2002, succeeded him.

There has been a power struggle within Al Saud as younger members of the royal family are vying to snatch power in case the ailing king dies.

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DOMESTIC ABUSE SURVIVOR ON HUNGER STRIKE AFTER GOVERNMENT REMOVES BENEFITS

NOVANEWS

HSmeme

Sixty year old, domestic violence and abuse survivor George Rolph suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.  He endures painful flashbacks and extreme levels of anxiety which make it hard for him to function in everyday life.  Despite this, he was assessed as ‘fit to work’ by Atos and the Department for Work and Pensions and stripped of his benefits.  George is now the 28th Day of a hunger strike to protest the cruelty of the government’s assault on the welfare state.

The Case of George Rolph

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It is with some consideration that I cover the case of George Rolph.  It would be irresponsible to encourage a man with known mental health issues to engage in a hunger strike, which is effectively a long, painful means of killing oneself.  I also do not wish to encourage anyone else.

However, I have chosen to cover the story because the fact that in 21st century Britain, a member of one of our most vulnerable communities felt they had no choice but to take such a step, is worthy of hearing about.  In other words, George deserves to be heard.

George Rolph stopped eating and drinking on 21st May after having his social security payments stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions.  Like all other claimants, George had to endure the Atos Work Capability assessment.  This computer based test sees disabled people, and the physically and mentally unwell, asked a string of questions which generate a score determining whether they will continue to receive their benefit payments or not. This test supersedes the determination of medical experts and the claimants own clinicians.

Despite severe depressive episodes, PTSD and attacks of anxiety which leave him in tears – George Rolph was designated Fit to Work and left with no access to financial support.  Like all others who have lost their social security, he was told that it could take up to 8 months to appeal the decision, during which time he would not be eligible for state financial support.

He told the Mirror:

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay rent, I’m already behind with the gas and electric,” he says, quietly…I knew I was going to end up homeless. And I’m 60. I’m not going to make it out there…Then I thought if they’re going to put me out on the streets and make me homeless, if they’re going to kill me, well I’ll do it…I’ll be the one who decides where and when I die. I will go on a hunger and water strike.”

Seven days without water or food left George unable to stand up, lift his head, and unable to see properly.  After strenuous efforts from his local MP Heidi Alexander, the DWP finally capitulated and sent a home assessor to George.  His benefits were restored.

“I’d been told an appeal would take eight months to a year, but suddenly my benefits were reinstated until 2015.” He says.

At this point George chose to return to taking on fluids, but to continue his hunger strike on behalf of all those other victims of the Atos work capability assessment process.

“I can’t end this because of all the other lives the DWP has ruined,” he says. “People are taking their own lives.”

George has reached a particularly dangerous stage of his hunger strike now.  He has been told by Doctors that he is unlikely to survive past 40-50 days.  This means George could die in a little over a week, if the situation remains unchanged.

“I want to be very clear that I don’t want anyone else to do this, especially disabled people,” he says.

Dying to Work

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The government’s own statistics show that between 2010 and 2011 10,600 sick and disabled people died within six weeks of losing their benefits after being assessed as ‘fit to work’ by Atos and the DWP.  This is 204 people a week, or 29 people a day, dying of the illnesses and conditions that the government has dictated they are fit to work with. In their final weeks of life, these people were not being supported to focus their remaining time and energy on their loved ones, leaving the world in a state of peace.  They were harassed by the Job Centre, late payment notices and threats of eviction as their social safety net was ripped away.

As this horrific figure, one person every hour, is almost too large to conceive of, here are some names among that number.

Linda Wootton, 49, was on 10 medications a day after a double lung and heart transplant.  She was weak and suffered regular bouts of blackouts.  She was put through the Atos Work Capability Assessment and as she lay in a hospital bed dying, she received confirmation she was ‘fit to work’.  She died just nine days later.  Her husband Peter said:

“I sat there and listened to my wife drown in her own bodily fluids. It took half an hour for her to die; a woman who is apparently fit for work”.

Brian McArdle, 57, had been left paralysed down one side, blind in one eye, unable to speak properly and barely able to eat and dress himself after a stroke on Boxing Day 2011. Despite this, he was deemed ‘fit to work’ by Atos.  He died of a heart attack the day after his benefit payments were stopped.  His thirteen year old son Kieran told the Daily Record:

“Even though my dad had another stroke just days before his assessment, he was determined to go…He tried his best to walk and talk because he was a very proud man, but even an idiot could have seen my dad wasn’t fit for work.

Colin Traynor, 29, suffered from epilepsy.  He was deemed ‘fit for work’ by Atos and forced to enter a lengthy, bureaucratic process to appeal the decision – during which his benefits would be frozen.  He did not live to see the result of his appeal.  Five weeks after his death, his family received the news that his appeal was successful.  Too late for Colin.  His father Ray said:

“I firmly believe – 100% believe – that the system this government introduced has killed my son.”

At the rate at which people are dying – these three people represent the death toll in just the last three hours.  This is not just some occasional poor decisions, this is a Linda, a Brian, or a Colin, every two minutes, all day, every day, dying because this system is designed to throw people out of the social security system – whether they need it or not.  76% of those who appeal the Atos decisions have been found eligible for benefits, meaning that not only is this failure costing lives, but it is costing court time and public money.  This has led to Citizens Advice arguing for Atos to face financial penalties for the computerised assessment delivering all these bad decisions.

Enough is Enough

 HS6

Our tasks in life are often prioritised into important and urgent.  Important things we respect but seldom do.  Urgent things get done.

For most of us, social justice is important, but not urgent.  We treat it like some theoretical issue; maybe we can attain it, maybe not.  All too often we talk about the long game, and shrug our shoulders at the unfairness of it all.  Some even argue there is no such thing as poverty in the UK, or that things are not really as bad as we would think.

This needs to stop. Now.  This is not important, this is urgent.  By the time you wake up tomorrow morning, more than two hundred others will have gone to sleep permanently after having their life lines cut by the government.  George Rolph may well be one of them.  It should not take the victims of these policies starving themselves to death to get our attention.  But it did. Worse, most people are still not listening.

George Rolph should not have to threaten suicide before we turn off Britain’s Got Talent and start to give rat’s ass about each other.  It is time for us to decide what kind of society we are.  At the moment, we are choosing to be a society that shoots its wounded; a society that condemns its most vulnerable as shirkers, skivers and scroungers. In order to change it, we must change ourselves.

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The History of America’s Secret Wars: Corporate Espionage and the Outsourcing of National Security

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

This text is excerpted from Big Lies: How Our Corporate Overlords, Politicians and Media Establishment Warp Reality and Undermine Democracy

Pre-9/11 Flashback

When NATO’s US and British troops in Macedonia began evacuating Albanian rebels in June 2001, officials claimed that they were merely trying to help Europe avert a devastating civil war. Most media dutifully repeated this spin as fact. But the explanation only made sense if you ignored a troublesome contradiction; namely, US support for both the Macedonian Armed Forces and the Albanians fighting them. Beyond that, there was a decade of confused and manipulative Western policies, climaxing with NATO bombing and the imposition of “peace” through aggression in Kosovo. Together, these moves effectively destabilized the region.

In Macedonia, the main “cut out” – spook-speak for “intermediary” –was Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI), then a major private military company (PMC) whose Macedonian field commander was a former US general with strong ties to Kosovo Liberation Army Commander Agim Ceku and Macedonian General Jovan Andrejevski.

MPRI and other PMCs that have succeeded it receive much of their funding from the US State Department, Pentagon, and CIA. For example, MPRI trained and equipped the Bosnian Croat Muslim Federation Army with a large State Department contract. Over the years, the company claimed to have “helped” Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Macedonia – in effect, arming and training all parties. In 2000, it pulled in at least $70 million from its global operations.

Working closely with the Pentagon, MPRI also arranged for the Kosovo Liberation Army’s (KLA) training and weapons in the run up to the war on Yugoslavia. Later, the same firm channeled token military aid to the Macedonian army, new US weapons to the rebels, and military intelligence to both sides.

Actually, it was a standard procedure, applied with great success in the Middle East for decades: Keep warring parties from overwhelming one other and you strengthen the bargaining power of the puppeteer behind the scenes. Better yet, combine this with disinformation; that is, tell the public one thing while doing the opposite.

It’s not a question of allies and enemies. Those designations can change for any number of reasons. In 1999, ethnic Albanians were victims and freedom fighters. In 2001, they were “officially” a threat. Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden were just three of the friends-turned-pariahs who learned that lesson.

And what was the real objective in Macedonia? The country was in a financial straight jacket, its budget basically controlled by the IMF and the World Bank on behalf of international creditors. Since the IMF had placed a ceiling on military expenditures, the only funding option left was privatization. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the process started with the sale of the government’s stake in Macedonian Telekom.

Even more was at stake – things like strategic pipeline routes and transport corridors through the country. But that wouldn’t become obvious for years, if ever. This is another traditional tactic: Keep the true agenda under wraps for as long as possible.

Pretexts for War

Despite 24-hour news and talk about transparency, there’s much we don’t know about our past, much less current events. What’s worse, some of what we think we know isn’t true.

The point is that it’s no accident. Consider, for example, the proximate circumstances that led to open war in Vietnam. According to official history, two US destroyers patrolling in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam were victims of unprovoked attacks in August 1964, leading to a congressional resolution that gave President Johnson the power “to take all necessary measures.”

In fact, the destroyers were spy ships, part of a National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping program operating near the coast as a way to provoke the North Vietnamese into turning on their radar and other communications channels. The more provocative the maneuvers, the more signals that could be captured. Meanwhile, US raiding parties were shelling mainland targets. Documents revealed later indicated that the August 4 attack on the USS Maddox – the pretext for passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution – may not even have taken place.

But even if it did, the incident was still stage managed to build up congressional and public support for the war. Evidence suggests that the plan was based on Operation Northwoods, a scheme developed in 1962 to justify an invasion of Cuba. Among the tactics the Joint Chiefs of Staff considered then were blowing up a ship in Guantanamo Bay, a phony “communist Cuba terror campaign” in Florida and Washington, DC, and an elaborate plan to convince people that Cuba had shot down a civilian airliner filled with students. That operation wasn’t implemented, but two years later, desperate for a war, the administration’s military brass found a way to create the necessary conditions in Vietnam.

NSA and Echelon

For more than half a century, the eyes and ears of US power to monitor and manipulate information (and with it, mass perceptions) has been the NSA, initially designed to assist the CIA. Its original task was to collect raw information about threats to US security, cracking codes and using the latest technology to provide accurate intelligence on the intentions and activities of enemies. Emerging after World War II, its early focus was the Soviet Union. But it never did crack a high-level Soviet cipher system. On the other hand, it used every available means to eavesdrop on not only enemies but also allies and US citizens.

In Body of Secrets, James Bamford described a bureaucratic and secretive behemoth, based in an Orwellian Maryland complex known as Crypto City. From there, supercomputers linked it to spy satellites, subs, aircraft, and equally covert, strategically placed listening posts worldwide. By 2000, it had a $7 billion annual budget and directly employed at least 38,000 people, more than the CIA and FBI. It was also the leader of an international intelligence club, UKUSA, which includes Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Together, they monitored and recorded billions of encrypted communications, telephone calls, radio messages, faxes, and e-mails around the world.

Over the years, however, the line between enemies and friends blurred, and the intelligence gatherers often converted their control of information into unilateral power, influencing the course of history in ways that may never be known. No doubt the agency has had a hand in countless covert operations; yet, attempts to pull away the veil of secrecy have been largely unsuccessful.

In the mid-1970s, for example, just as Congress was attempting to reign in the CIA, the NSA was quietly creating a virtual state, a massive international computer network named Platform. Doing away with formal borders, it developed a software package that turned worldwide Sigint (short for “signal intelligence”: communication intelligence, eavesdropping, and electronic intelligence) into a unified whole. An early software package was code named Echelon, a name later connected with eavesdropping on commercial communication.

Of course, the NSA and its British sister, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), refused to admit Echelon existed, even though declassified documents appeared on the Internet and Congress conducted an investigation. A European Parliament report also confirmed Echelon’s activities, and encouraged Internet users and governments to adopt stronger privacy measures in response.

In March 2001, several ranking British politicians discussed Echelon’s potential impacts on civil liberties, and a European Parliament committee considered its legal, human rights, and privacy implications. The Dutch held similar hearings, and a French National Assembly inquiry urged the European Union to embrace new privacy enhancing technologies to protect against Echelon’s eavesdropping. France launched a formal investigation into possible abuses for industrial espionage.

When Allies Compete

A prime reason for Europe’s discontent was the suspicion that the NSA had used intercepted conversations to help US companies win contracts heading for European firms. The alleged losers included Airbus, a consortium including interests in France, Germany, Spain, and Britain, and Thomson CSF, a French electronics company. The French claimed they had lost a $1.4 billion deal to supply Brazil with a radar system because the NSA shared details of the negotiations with Raytheon. Airbus may have lost a contract worth $2 billion to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas because of information intercepted and passed on by the agency.

According to former NSA agent Wayne Madsen, the US used information gathered from its bases in Australia to win a half share in a significant Indonesian trade contract for AT&T. Communication intercepts showed the contract was initially going to a Japanese firm. A bit later a lawsuit against the US and Britain was launched in France, judicial and parliamentary investigations began in Italy, and German parliamentarians demanded an inquiry.

The rationale for turning the NSA loose on commercial activities, even those involving allies, was provided in the mid-90s by Sen. Frank DeConcini, then chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I don’t think we should have a policy where we’re going to invade the Airbus inner sanctum and find out their secrets for the purpose of turning it over to Boeing or McDonnell Douglas,” he opined. “But if we find something, not to share it with our people seems to me to be not smart.” President Bill Clinton and other US officials buttressed this view by charging that European countries were unfairly subsidizing Airbus. In other words, competition with significant US interests can be a matter of national security, and private capitalism must be protected from state-run enterprises.

The US-Europe row about Airbus subsidies was also used as a “test case” for scientists developing new intelligence tools. At US Defense Department conferences on “text retrieval,” competitions were staged to find the best methods. A standard test featured extracting protected data about “Airbus subsidies.”

Manipulating Democracy

In the end, influencing the outcome of huge commercial transactions is but the tip of this iceberg. The NSA’s ability to listen to virtually any transmitted communication has enhanced the power of unelected officials and private interests to set covert foreign policy in motion. In some cases, the objective is clear and arguably defensible: taking effective action against terrorism, for example. But in others, the grand plans of the intelligence community have led it to undermine democracies.

The 1975 removal of Australian Prime Minister Edward Whitlam is an instructive case. At the time of Whitlam’s election in 1972, Australian intelligence was working with the CIA against the Allende government in Chile. The new PM didn’t simply order a halt to Australia’s involvement, explained William Blum in Killing Hope, a masterful study of US interventions since World War II. Whitlam seized intelligence information withheld from him by the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and disclosed the existence of a joint CIA-ASIO directorate that monitored radio traffic in Asia. He also openly disapproved of US plans to build up the Indian Ocean Island of Diego Garcia as a military-intelligence-nuclear outpost.

Both the CIA and NSA became concerned about the security and future of crucial intelligence facilities in and near Australia. The country was already key member of UKUSA. After launching its first space-based listening post-a microwave receiver with an antenna pointed at earth-NSA had picked an isolated desert area in central Australia as a ground station. Once completed, the base at Alice Springs was named Pine Gap, the first of many listening posts to be installed around the world. For the NSA and CIA, Whitlam posed a threat to the secrecy and security of such operations.

An early step was covert funding for the political opposition, in hopes of defeating Whitlam’s Labor Party in 1974. When that failed, meetings were held with the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, a figurehead representing the Queen of England who had worked for CIA front organizations since the 50s. Defense officials warned that intelligence links would be cut off unless someone stopped Whitlam. On November 11, 1975, Kerr responded, dismissing the prime minister, dissolving both houses of Parliament, and appointing an interim government until new elections were held.

According to Christopher Boyce (subject of The Falcon and the Snowman, a fictionalized account), who watched the process while working for TRW in a CIA-linked cryptographic communications center, the spooks also infiltrated Australian labor unions and contrived to suppress transportation strikes that were holding up deliveries to US intelligence installations. Not coincidentally, some unions were leading the opposition to development of those same facilities.

How often, and to what effect, such covert ops have succeeded is another of the mysteries that comprise an unwritten history of the last half century. Beyond that, systems like Echelon violate the human right to individual privacy, and give those who control the information the ability to act with impunity, sometimes destroying lives and negating the popular will in the process.

Hiding the Agenda in Peru

In May 1960, when a U-2 spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory, President Dwight Eisenhower took great pains to deny direct knowledge or authorization of the provocative mission. In reality, he personally oversaw every U-2 mission, and had even riskier and more provocative bomber overflights in mind.

It’s a basic rule of thumb for covert ops: When exposed, keep denying and deflect the blame. More important, never, never let on that the mission itself may be a pretext, or a diversion from some other, larger agenda.

Considering that, the April 20, 2001, shoot down of a plane carrying missionaries across the Brazilian border into Peru becomes highly suspicious. At first, the official story fed to the press was that Peruvian authorities ordered the attack on their own, over the pleas of the CIA “contract pilots” who initially spotted the plane. But Peruvian pilots involved in that program, supposedly designed to intercept drug flights, insist that nothing was shot down without US approval.

Innocent planes were sometimes attacked, but most were small, low flying aircraft that didn’t file flight plans and had no radios. This plane maintained regular contact and did file a plan. Still, even after it crash-landed, the Peruvians continued to strafe it, perhaps in an attempt to ignite the plane’s fuel and eliminate the evidence.

“I think it has to do with Plan Colombia and the coming war,” said Celerino Castillo, who had previously worked in Peru for Drug Enforcement Agency. “The CIA was sending a clear message to all non-combatants to clear out of the area, and to get favorable press.” The flight was heading to Iquitos, which “is at the heart of everything the CIA is doing right now,” he added. “They don’t want any witnesses.”

Timing also may have played a part. The shoot down occurred on the opening day of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. Uruguay’s President Jorge Ibanez, who had proposed the worldwide legalization of drugs just weeks before, was expected to make a high-profile speech on his proposal at the gathering. The downing of a drug smuggling plane at this moment, near territory held by Colombia’s FARC rebels, would help to defuse Uruguay’s message and reinforce the image of the insurgents as drug smugglers.

If you doubt that the US would condone such an operation or cover it up, consider this: In 1967, Israel torpedoed the USS Liberty, a large floating listening post, as it was eavesdropping on the Arab-Israeli war off the Sinai Peninsula. Hundreds of US sailors were wounded and killed, probably because Israel feared that its massacre of Egyptian prisoners at El Arish might be overheard. How did the Pentagon respond? By imposing a total news ban, and covering up the facts for decades.

Will we ever find out what really happened in Peru, specifically why a missionary and her daughter were killed? Not likely, since it involves a private military contractor that is basically beyond the reach of congressional accountability.

In 2009, when the Peru shoot down became one of five cases of intelligence operation cover up being investigated by the US House Intelligence Committee, the CIA inspector general concluded that the CIA had improperly concealed information about the incident. Intelligence Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, who led the investigation, didn’t rule out referrals to the Justice Department for criminal prosecutions if evidence surfaced that intelligence officials broke the law. But she couldn’t guarantee that the facts would ever come to light, since the Committee’s report of its investigation would be classified.

The most crucial wrinkle in the Peruvian incident is the involvement of DynCorp, which was active in Colombia and Bolivia under large contracts with various US agencies. The day after the incident, ABC news reported that, according to “senior administration officials,” the crew of the surveillance plane that first identified the doomed aircraft “was hired by the CIA from DynCorp.” Within two days, however, all references to DynCorp were scrubbed from ABC’s Website. A week later, the New York Post claimed the crew actually worked for Aviation Development Corp., allegedly a CIA proprietary company.

Whatever the truth, State Department officials refused to talk on the record about DynCorp’s activities in South America. Yet, according to DynCorp’s State Department contract, the firm had received at least $600 million over the previous few years for training, drug interdiction, search and rescue (which included combat), air transport of equipment and people, and reconnaissance in the region. And that was only what they put on paper. It also operated government aircraft and provided all manner of personnel, particularly for Plan Colombia.

Outsourcing Defense

DynCorp began in 1946 as the employee-owned air cargo business California Eastern Airways, flying in supplies for the Korean War. This and later government work led to charges that it was a CIA front company. Whatever the truth, it ultimately became a leading PMC, hiring former soldiers and police officers to implement US foreign policy without having to report to Congress.

The push to privatize war gained traction during the first Bush administration. After the first Gulf War, the Pentagon, then headed by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, paid a Halliburton subsidiary nearly $9 million to study how PMCs could support US soldiers in combat zones, according to a Mother Jones investigation. Cheney subsequently became CEO of Halliburton, and Brown & Root, later known as Halliburton KBR, won billions to construct and run military bases, some in secret locations.

One of DynCorp’s earliest “police” contracts involved the protection of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, and, after he was ousted, providing the “technical advice” that brought military officers involved in that coup into Haiti’s National Police. Despite this dodgy record, in 2002 it won the contract to protect another new president, Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai. By then, it was a top IT federal contractor specializing in computer systems development, and also providing the government with aviation services, general military management, and security expertise.

Like other private military outfits, the main danger it has faced is the risk of public exposure. Under one contract, for example, DynCorp sprayed vast quantities of herbicides over Colombia to kill the cocaine crop. In September 2001, Ecuadorian Indians filed a class action lawsuit, charging that DynCorp recklessly sprayed their homes and farms, causing illnesses and deaths and destroying crops. In Bosnia, private police provided by DynCorp for the UN were accused of buying and selling prostitutes, including a 12-year-old girl. Others were charged with videotaping a rape.

In the first years of the 21st century, DynCorp’s day-to-day operations in South America were overseen by State Department officials, including the Narcotic Affairs Section and the Air Wing, the latter a clique of unreformed cold warriors and leftovers from 80s operations in Central America. It was essentially the State Department’s private air force in the Andes, with access to satellite-based recording and mapping systems. In the 1960s, a similar role was played by the Vinnell Corp., which the CIA called “our own private mercenary army in Vietnam.” Vinnell later became a subsidiary of TRW, a major NSA contractor, and employed US Special Forces vets to train Saudi Arabia’s National Guard. In the late 1990s, TRW hired former NSA director William Studeman to help with its intelligence program.

DynCorp avoided the kind of public scandal that surrounded the activities of Blackwater. In Ecuador, where it developed military logistics centers and coordinated “anti-terror” police training, the exposure of a secret covenant signed with the Aeronautics Industries Directorate of the Ecuadorian Air Force briefly threatened to make waves. According to a November 2003 exposé in Quito’s El Comercio, the arrangement, hidden from the National Defense Council, made DynCorp’s people part of the US diplomatic mission.

In Colombia, DynCorp’s coca eradication and search-and-rescue missions led to controversial pitched battles with rebels. US contract pilots flew Black Hawk helicopters carrying Colombian police officers who raked the countryside with machine gun fire to protect the missions against attacks. According to investigative reporter Jason Vest, DynCorp employees were also implicated in narcotics trafficking. But such stories didn’t get far, and, in any case, DynCorp’s “trainers” simply ignored congressional rules, including those that restrict the US from aiding military units linked to human rights abuses.

In 2003, DynCorp won a multimillion-dollar contract to build a private police force in post-Saddam Iraq, with some of the funding diverted from an anti-drug program for Afghanistan. In 2004, the State Department further expanded DynCorp’s role as a global US surrogate with a $1.75 billion, five year contract to provide law enforcement personnel for civilian policing operations in “post-conflict areas” around the world. That March, the company also got an Army contract to support helicopters sold to foreign countries. The work, described as “turnkey” services, includes program management, logistics support, maintenance and aircrew training, aircraft maintenance and refurbishment, repair and overhaul of aircraft components and engines, airframe and engine upgrades, and the production of technical publications.

In short, DynCorp was a trusted partner in the military-intelligence-industrial complex. “Are we outsourcing order to avoid public scrutiny, controversy or embarrassment?” asked Rep. Schakowsky upon submitting legislation to prohibit US funding for private military firms in the Andean region. “If there is a potential for a privatized Gulf of Tonkin incident, then the American people deserve to have a full and open debate before this policy goes any further.”

If and when that ever happens, the discussion will have to cover a lot of ground. Private firms, working in concert with various intelligence agencies, constitute a vast foreign policy apparatus that is largely invisible, rarely covered by the corporate press, and not currently subject to congressional oversight. The Freedom of Information Act simply doesn’t apply. Any information on whom they arm or how they operate is private, proprietary information.

The US government downplays its use of mercenaries, a state of affairs that could undermine any efforts to find out about CIA activities that are concealed from Congress. Yet private contractors perform almost every function essential to military operations, a situation that has been called the “creeping privatization of the business of war.” By 2004, the Pentagon was employing more than 700,000 private contractors.

The companies are staffed by former generals, admirals, and highly trained officers. Name a hot spot and some PMC has people there. DynCorp has worked on the Defense Message System Transition Hub and done long-range planning for the Air Force. MPRI had a similar contract with the Army, and for a time coordinated the Pentagon’s military and leadership training in at least seven African nations.

How did this outsourcing of defense evolve? In 1969, the US Army had about 1.5 million active duty soldiers. By 1992, the figure had been cut by half. Since the mid-1990s, however, the US has mobilized militarily to intervene in several significant conflicts, and a corporate “foreign legion” has filled the gap between foreign policy imperatives and what a downsized, increasingly over-stretched military can provide.

Use of high technology equipment feeds the process. Private companies have technical capabilities that the military needs, but doesn’t always possess. Contractors have maintained stealth bombers and Predator unmanned drones used in Afghanistan and Iraq. Some military equipment is specifically designed to be operated and maintained by private companies.

In Britain, the debate over military privatization has been public, since the activities of the UK company Sandline in Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea embarrassed the government in the late 1990s. But no country has clear policies to regulate PMCs, and the limited oversight that does exist rarely works. In the US, they have largely escaped notice, except when US contract workers in conflict zones are killed or go way over the line, as in the case of Blackwater.

According to Guy Copeland, who began developing public-private IT policy in the Reagan years, “The private sector must play an integral role in improving our national cybersecurity.” After all, he has noted, private interests own and operate 85 percent of the nation’s critical IT infrastructure. He should know. After all, Copeland drafted much of the language in the Bush Administration’s 2002 National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace as co-chair of the Information Security Committee of the Information Technology Association of America.

Nevertheless, when the federal government becomes dependent on unaccountable, private companies like DynCorp and Blackwater (later renamed Xe Services) for so many key security services, as well as for military logistics, management, strategy, expertise and “training,” fundamental elements of US defense have been outsourced. And the details of that relationship are matters that the intelligence community will fight long and hard to keep out of public view.

Corporate Connections and “Soft Landings”

Although the various departments and private contractors within the military-intelligence-industrial complex occasionally have turf battles and don’t always share information or coordinate strategy as effectively as they might, close and ongoing contact has long been considered essential. And it has expanded as a result of the information revolution. The entire intelligence community has its own secret Intranet, which pulls together FBI reports, NSA intercepts, analysis from the DIA and CIA, and other deeply covert sources.

Private firms are connected to this information web through staff, location, shared technology, and assorted contracts. Working primarily for the Pentagon, for example, L-3 Communications, a spinoff from major defense contractor Lockheed Martin, has manufactured hardware like control systems for satellites and flight recorders. MPRI, which was bought by L-3, provided services like its operations in Macedonia. L-3 also built the NSA’s Secure Terminal Equipment, which instantly encrypts phone conversations.

Another private contractor active in the Balkans was Science Applications, staffed by former NSA and CIA personnel, and specializing in police training. When Janice Stromsem, a Justice Department employee, complained that its program gave the CIA unfettered access to recruiting agents in foreign police forces, she was relieved of her duties. Her concern was that the sovereignty of nations receiving aid from the US was being compromised.

In 1999, faced with personnel cuts, the NSA offered over 4000 employees “soft landing” buy outs to help them secure jobs with defense firms that have major NSA contracts. NSA offered to pay the first year’s salary, in hopes the contractor would then pick up the tab. Sometimes the employee didn’t even have to move away from Crypto City. Companies taking part in the program included TRW and MPRI’s parent company, Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed was also a winner in the long-term effort to privatize government services. In 2000, it won a $43.8 million contract to run the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System, one of the largest human resources systems in the world. As a result, a major defense contractor took charge of consolidating all Department of Defense personnel systems, covering hiring and firing for about 750,000 civilian employees. This put the contractor at the cutting edge of Defense Department planning, and made it a key gatekeeper at the revolving door between the US military and private interests.

Invisible Threats

Shortly after his appointment as NSA director in 1999, Michael Hayden went to see the film Enemy of the State, in which Will Smith is pursued by an all-seeing, all hearing NSA and former operative Gene Hackman decries the agency’s dangerous power. In Body of Secrets, author Bamford says Hayden found the film entertaining, yet offensive and highly inaccurate. Still, the NSA chief was comforted by “a society that makes its bogeymen secrecy and power. That’s really what the movie’s about.”

Unlike Hayden, most people don’t know where the fiction ends and NSA reality begins. Supposedly, the agency rarely spies on US citizens at home. On the other hand, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows a secret federal court to waive that limitation. The rest of the world doesn’t have that protection. Designating thousands of keywords, names, phrases, and phone numbers, NSA computers can pick them out of millions of messages, passing anything of interest on to analysts. One can only speculate about what happens next.

After 9/11 the plan was to go further with a project code named Tempest. The goal was to capture computer signals such as keystrokes or monitor images through walls or from other buildings, even if the computers weren’t linked to a network. An NSA document, “Compromising Emanations Laboratory Test Requirements, Electromagnetics,” described procedures for capturing the radiation emitted from a computer-through radio waves and the telephone, serial, network, or power cables attached to it.

Other NSA programs have included Oasis, designed to reduce audiovisual images into machine-readable text for easier filtering, and Fluent, which expanded Echelon’s multilingual capabilities. And let’s not forget the government’s Carnivore Internet surveillance program, capable of collecting all communications over any segment of the network being watched.

Put such elements together, combine them with business imperatives and covert foreign policy objectives, then throw PMCS into the mix, and you get a glimpse of the extent to which information can be translated into raw power and secretly used to shape events. Although most pieces of the puzzle remain obscure, enough is visible to justify suspicion, outrage, and a campaign to pull away the curtain on this Wizard of Oz. But fighting a force that is largely invisible and unaccountable – and able to eavesdrop on the most private exchanges, that is a daunting task, perhaps even more difficult than confronting the mechanisms of corporate globalization that it protects and promotes.

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