Scores of former members of Israeli military intelligence’s very secret and quite elite Unit 8200 have publicly refused to collect information that is “used for political persecution” or “driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.”Courteous allies at the NSA, we now know, helped make that spying possible.
The news comes courtesy of the NSA’s chief unauthorized biographer, James Bamford, whose three-day Moscow bull session with traitorous notoriety prostitute, Edward Joseph Snowden, was the cover story in last month’s issue ofWIRED.
Writing Tuesday in the New York Times, Bamford disclosed this alarming new anecdote from his Snowden debrief:
Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the NSA was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.
Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the NSA evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.
Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications—email as well as phone calls—of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”
As of last week, exactly 43 ex-members of Unit 8200—many young and active reservists who could theoretically be called again to serve Israel at a moment’s notice—passionately agree.
In an act of protest that had been planned well in advance of this summer’s brutal bombing campaign in Gaza (which you may have heard killed 2,100 Palestinians and turned Gaza City into the lunar ruins of an ancient alien race), the young members of Unit 8200 drafted a long letter publicly refusing to participate in any further intelligence gathering activities against the Palestinians.
“The Palestinian population under military rule is completely exposed to espionage and surveillance by Israeli intelligence. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators,” the letter says. Adding, “In many cases, intelligence prevents defendants from receiving a fair trial in military courts, as the evidence against them is not revealed.”
“Contrary to Israeli citizens or citizens of other countries,” whose rights are protected under law, the letter points out, “there’s no oversight on methods of intelligence or tracking and the use of intelligence information against the Palestinians, regardless if they are connected to violence or not.”
London-based newspaper The Guardian interviewed several of the unit’s conscientious objectors under the condition of anonymity—which was requested not out of fear of persecution, but out of the desire to comply with Israeli law. (Only the copies of the letter sent to their unit commander used the objectors’ full names.)
Among the personal statements, agents disclosed that the majority of Unit 8200’s operations in Palestine targeted “innocent people unconnected to any military activity.” The unit was instructed to keep any personal information potentially embarrassing or damaging to a Palestinian’s life, including sexual preferences, extramarital affairs, financial trouble, family illnesses, or anything else that could be “used to extort/blackmail the person and turn them into a collaborator.” The private “sex talk” intercepted by Palestinians (in what’s becoming a gross trend for these surveillance scandals) were allegedly passed around by certain members of the unit for titters/yucks.
One member, referred to as “D” by the Guardian, formerly a 29-year-old captain who served in the unit for eight years, told the paper that part of his decision to protest came from the dawning realization that his actions were really no different than those of any totalitarian government’s secret police.
“It was when I realized that what I was doing was the same job that the intelligence services of every undemocratic regime are doing,” he said.
There have been many precursors, both historically and more recently, to this secretive alliance between Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies. Back in Mad Men times, the CIA’s director of counter-intelligence, legendary super-spook James Angleton, practically contracted all of the CIA’s North African operations to the Mossad along with a generous aid package, and has often been said to have helped found their agency in 1951. During the more recent disclosures regarding the NSA’s (basically illegal) surveillance program STELLAR WIND, agency whistleblowers revealed that two Israeli companies, Verint and Narus, were contracted to manage the actual bugging of America’s telecommunications network.
Apart from the Mossad’s long, aggressive history of spying on the United States, the arrangement also provoked concerns due to corruption within one of the firms; Verint’s founder and former chairman Kobi Alexander was added to the FBI “most wanted list” in 2006 regarding various forms of stock fraud and fought against extradition for many years. Some former agency employees have also reported that a mid-level NSA employee friendly with Israeli intelligence unilaterally decided to hand over advanced analytical and data mining software that the agency had developed internally for its own international eavesdropping operations. (According to a piece by James Bamford in WIRED, that software is now also in the hands of many private Israeli companies.)
In all that context, it’s true that this recent news isn’t exactly surprising or shocking—the kind of lame, bullshit “take” pundits and anonymous commenters always love trotting out to congratulate themselves for their knowledgeable cynicism. (Seriously: Good for you guys.)
What it still is—obviously and regardless of this context—is abhorrent and genuinely scandalous for a country, like Israel, that loves positioning itself as a bastion of democracy in the autocratic Middle East.
Perhaps, we should start looking for some fresh perspectives on how best to resolve this ongoing humanitarian crisis.
[photo of an Israeli Defense Force Situation Room—really actually already redacted like that—via the IDF Spokesman’s Office by way of Haaretz; June 2014 photo of an Israeli soldier carrying a computer tower seized during the search for three Israeli teenagers believed to be kidnapped by Palestinian militants, by Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images]
via GawkerRead more
All evidence shows that a massive cover-up surrounding flight 370 has taken place, likely implementing U.S. military factions
INDIAN OCEAN (INTELLIHUB) — It’s now been 30-days since Malaysian Airlines flight 370 went missing after departing from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on route to China and search and rescue teams have still found no trace of the Boeing 777 aircraft or any of its 239 passengers, after being fed botched search area data by Malaysian officials.
In fact, it has been reported that family members of the missing believe that the Malaysian government is involved in a massive cover-up of what really took place on Mar. 8, after the aircraft’s transponder was manually overridden via human intervention. Moreover, Malaysian authorities have suspiciously failed to release the plane’s cargo hold manifest and actual cockpit voice recordings which have been repeatedly requested by various family members, investigators and search and rescue teams to aid in the search for the missing plane.
Now according to Sara Bajc the girlfriend of Phillip Wood, a missing passenger aboard flight 370, there is a general consensus amongst flight 370′s family members, based in Malaysia, that possibly a U.S. militarized faction may have intercepted and commandeered the airliner. In fact, Bajc even stated that there is some witness to two fighter jets accompanying MH370 after the flight went dark, evading radar.
“I am sure that the military in Malaysia knew that plane was there and has tracked that plane in some way. Now whether they were in control of it or not we don’t know. Many people are saying that the United States is involved […] but the general thinking across the families here and even non-families […] believe this was a military operation of some sort.”, said Bajc, demonstrating her true inner feelings.
So what do we know?
Based on radar data supplied from several other countries and early on reports, we know that MH370, under intelligent human control, turned-back to the west at about 1:21am on the morning of Mar 8., just after the planes transponder was shut off. It was then reported by Intellihub News that the plane then took a zig-zag course heading Northwest toward the Straights of Malacca and the Andaman Islands where it was later intercepted on radar by a Malaysian and military installation. However, the Malaysian military, press and government quickly covered up the leaked report. Then 10-days later officials in Thailand released their radar data willingly, which matched the leaked original leaked Malaysian military radar blips putting MH370 just North of Malaysia before turning to the South. Interestingly, Thai officials claim that no one ever asked for their radar data, that’s why they willingly submitted it 10-days after MH370 went missing.
New information obtained by CNN Sunday, tells us that “flight 370 may have been flown on purpose along a route designed to avoid radar detection”, signifying a highly contrived and likely militarized plan to commandeer the aircraft, its cargo, and 239 passengers. Shockingly this information dovetails with a report by Shepard Ambellas titled YouTube investigator: ‘Flight 370 landed at Diego Garcia military base, plane and passengers then put in a Faraday style hangar’ which was released on Mar. 24, detailing how flight 370 was spotted by locals flying low over the Maldives Islands between 6:15am and 6:40am on the morning of Mar. 8, the day flight 370 went missing. This sighting was also independently confirmed by American investigator John Halloway, after interviewing an eyewitness living on the island of Kudahuvadhoo, via telephone, who saw the massive white jumbo-jet bearing a red and blue stripe down its side. The eyewitness testimony also revealed that the plane was flying “Northwest to Southeast”, which would have set the plane up for a backdoor westwardly approach to U.S. military base Diego Garcia avoiding all sightings from any straggler base personnel on the remote island in the Indian Ocean.
Moreover, investigators also determined that out of 5 simulations that were loaded into the captain’s home flight simulator, one was of Diego Garcia. The police confiscated the flight simulator from the pilot’s house in Shah Alam and reassembled it at the police headquarters where experts are currently conducting checks.
“The simulation programmes are based on runways at the Male International Airport in Maldives, an airport owned by the United States (Diego Garcia), and three other runways in India and Sri Lanka, all have runway lengths of 1,000 metres. We are not discounting the possibility that the plane landed on a runway that might not be heavily monitored, in addition to the theories that the plane landed on sea, in the hills, or in an open space,” an unnamed source told Berita Harian.
Intentional diversions and distractions
Since the disappearance of flight MH370, loved ones of missing passengers have been on an emotional roller coaster ride as the mainstream media and the governments involved with the search continue to create diversions and spread false information. Two weeks ago, the Malaysian government claimed to have found wreckage of the missing aircraft. Their information came from a satellite search crew, but was not verified. Based on this flimsy evidence, the Malaysian government was quick to announce that the wreckage had been found and that everyone on board the plane had been killed. This information was callously passed on to the loved ones of missing passengers through a standard text message from the government.
Malaysian officials claimed that the mystery had been solved and seemed to be celebrating the terrible news that the plane was found in pieces. However, the announcement of the crash was made prematurely and soon after it was discovered that the large masses detected in the ocean were just large swaths containing junk and trash, but no airplane.
After weeks of false alarms and wild goose chases the Malaysian government said that the plane may never be found, but the vast majority of the passengers family members refuse to believe the official story.
As of now, 30-days into it, the current goose chase is locating the black box “ping” that has allegedly being detected somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
The head of the multinational search for the missing flight recently told CBS News that two electronic pulses were picked up by a Chinese ship, which could be the missing planes black box. However, it was later admitted that the reports in question were published before they were verified, expanding the endless rabbit hole of propaganda for onlookers to get lost in. While reports of the black box pings have yet to be verified, they continue to get constant mainstream media coverage.
The contents of flight 370
As of now the motive for such an elaborate crime is not yet fully known.
What we do know is that 20 employees from the multi-billion dollar Austin Texas-based tech firm Freescale Semiconductor along with one IBM executive were aboard the flight.
Adding to the mystery, the Lord Jacob Rothschild (Blackstone Group) controlled Freescale Semiconductor Ltd. has kept the flow of any information regarding their employees at a minimum.
The Voice of Russia reported on Mar. 31 in an article titled MH370 kept hidden at top-secret US military base – media reports:
Interestingly, that leading innovative company [Freescale Semiconductor Ltd.] has been oddly unwilling to provide information on the missing people. Only the nationalities of the employees were made public: 12 of them were from Malaysia and eight from China. However, Freescale has persistently declined to release their identities. “Out of respect for the families’ privacy during this difficult time, we will not be releasing the names of the employees who were on board the flight at this time,” Freescale spokeswoman Jacey Zuniga said.
Nevertheless, Mitch Haws, Freescale’s vice president, described them as “people with a lot of experience and technical background,” adding that “they were very important.” According to Reuters, the vanished employees were engineers or specialists involved in projects to streamline and cut costs at key manufacturing facilities in China and Malaysia.
While it had been reported previously that 4 of the Freescale Semiconductor employees aboard flight 370 were patent holders, their names did not appear on the official flight manifest released by the Malaysian government, adding even a deeper element for independent investigators.
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
via IntelliHubRead more
Not many ‘Answers’.. just all the right QUESTIONS
-A Distraction Decrypted-
The Military Drills! Cope Tiger / Cobra GoldRead more
Max is Back – Decrypted Matrix 3.0
Thanks for your patience, and support. Introduction to the new format, upcoming topics & more!
SCREENSHARING INFO DISCUSSION:
Snowden Leaks – NSA Sideshow? Hacking industry boomtown
AI Drones – When will the beast think for itself? Micro Swarms!
Manufactured Terrorism Off the Charts – False Flags further expose
Healthcare System Takeover + GMO Freight Train!
Medical Marijuana Movement Unstoppable? (health benefits no longer ignored)
Police State Brutality – and Getting Away with Murder
Trans Pacific Partnership – OMG WTF GLOBALIZATION
FAILED WAR ATTEMPTS: Iran, Syra, Ukraine?
Cabal Sinking their own ship? Does Humanity have a chance?
+Final Thoughts J, Krishnamurti , George CarlinRead more
Hmm. Hold up. So if we go by this Wikipedia entry..
People need to understand, this means RSA took around 2% of what they’d make in one year. FOR A BACK-DOOR OMG. Does this not sound more like a tax, than a payment (never mind a bribe!)? How much would you care about an extra 2% per year? Exactly. Thats all I got. Someone else needs to close that gap. -Max
Intentional flaws created by the National Security Agency in RSA’s encryption tokens werediscovered in September, thanks to documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It has now been revealed that RSA was paid $10 million by the NSA to implement those backdoors, according to a new report in Reuters.
Two people familiar with RSA’s BSafe software told Reuters that the company had received the money in exchange for making the NSA’s cryptographic formula as the default for encrypted key generation in BSafe.
“Now we know that RSA was bribed,” said security expert Bruce Schneier, who has been involved in the Snowden document analysis. “I sure as hell wouldn’t trust them. And then they made the statement that they put customer security first,” he said.
RSA, now owned by computer storage firm EMC Corp, has a long history of entanglement with the government. In the 1990s, the company was instrumental in stopping a government plan to include a chip in computers that would’ve allowed the government to spy on people.
The new revelation is important, Schneier said, because it confirms more suspected tactics that the NSA employs.
“You think they only bribed one company in the history of their operations? What’s at play here is that we don’t know who’s involved,” he said.
Other companies that build widely-used encryption apparatus include Symantec, McAfee, and Microsoft. “You have no idea who else was bribed, so you don’t know who else you can trust,” Schneier said.
RSA did not return a request for comment, and did not comment for the Reuters story.
Perhaps Edward Snowden’s hoodie should have raised suspicions.
The black sweatshirt sold by the civil libertarian Electronic Frontier Foundation featured a parody of the National Security Agency’s logo, with the traditional key in an eagle’s claws replaced by a collection of AT&T cables, and eavesdropping headphones covering the menacing bird’s ears. Snowden wore it regularly to stay warm in the air-conditioned underground NSA Hawaii Kunia facility known as “the tunnel.”
His coworkers assumed it was meant ironically. And a geek as gifted as Snowden could get away with a few irregularities.
Months after Snowden leaked tens of thousands of the NSA’s most highly classified documents to the media, the former intelligence contractor has stayed out of the limelight, rarely granting interviews or sharing personal details. A 60 Minutes episode Sunday night, meanwhile, aired NSA’s officials descriptions of Snowden as a malicious hacker who cheated on an NSA entrance exam and whose work computers had to be destroyed after his departure for fear he had infected them with malware.
But an NSA staffer who contacted me last month and asked not to be identified–and whose claims we checked with Snowden himself via his ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner—offered me a very different, firsthand portrait of how Snowden was seen by his colleagues in the agency’s Hawaii office: A principled and ultra-competent, if somewhat eccentric employee, and one who earned the access used to pull off his leak by impressing superiors with sheer talent.
The anonymous NSA staffer’s priority in contacting me, in fact, was to refute stories that have surfaced as the NSA and the media attempt to explain how a contractor was able to obtain and leak the tens of thousands of highly classified documents that have become the biggest public disclosure of NSA secrets in history. According to the source, Snowden didn’t dupe coworkers into handing over their passwords, as one report has claimed. Nor did Snowden fabricate SSH keys to gain unauthorized access, he or she says.
Instead, there’s little mystery as to how Snowden gained his access: It was given to him.
“That kid was a genius among geniuses,” says the NSA staffer. “NSA is full of smart people, but anybody who sat in a meeting with Ed will tell you he was in a class of his own…I’ve never seen anything like it.”
When I reached out to the NSA’s public affairs office, a spokesperson declined to comment, citing the agency’s ongoing investigation into Snowden’s leaks.
But over the course of my communications with the NSA staffer, Snowden’s former colleague offered details that shed light on both how Snowden was able to obtain the NSA’s most secret files, as well as the elusive 30-year old’s character:
- Before coming to NSA Hawaii, Snowden had impressed NSA officials by developing a backup system that the NSA had widely implemented in its codebreaking operations.
- He also frequently reported security vulnerabilities in NSA software. Many of the bugs were never patched.
- Snowden had been brought to Hawaii as a cybersecurity expert working for Dell’s services division but due to a problem with the contract was reassigned to become an administrator for the Microsoft intranet management system known as Sharepoint. Impressed with his technical abilities, Snowden’s managers decided that he was the most qualified candidate to build a new web front-end for one of its projects, despite his contractor status. As his coworker tells it, he was given full administrator privileges, with virtually unlimited access to NSA data. “Big mistake in hindsight,” says Snowden’s former colleague. “But if you had a guy who could do things nobody else could, and the only problem was that his badge was green instead of blue, what would you do?”
- As further evidence that Snowden didn’t hijack his colleagues’ accounts for his leak, the NSA staffer points to an occasion when Snowden was given a manager’s password so that he could cover for him while he was on vacation. Even then, investigators found no evidence Snowden had misused that staffer’s privileges, and the source says nothing he could have uniquely accessed from the account has shown up in news reports.
- Snowden’s superiors were so impressed with his skills that he was at one point offered a position on the elite team of NSA hackers known as Tailored Access Operations. He unexpectedly turned it down and instead joined Booz Allen to work at NSA’s Threat Operation Center.
- Another hint of his whistleblower conscience, aside from the telltale hoodie: Snowden kept a copy of the constitution on his desk to cite when arguing against NSA activities he thought might violate it.
- The source tells me Snowden also once nearly lost his job standing up for a coworker who was being disciplined by a superior.
- Snowden often left small, gifts anonymously at colleagues’ desks.
- He frequently walked NSA’s halls carrying a Rubik’s cube–the same object he held to identify himself on a Hong Kong street to the journalists who first met with him to publish his leaks.
- Snowden’s former colleague says that he or she has slowly come to understand Snowden’s decision to leak the NSA’s files. “I was shocked and betrayed when I first learned the news, but as more time passes I’m inclined to believe he really is trying to do the right thing and it’s not out of character for him. I don’t agree with his methods, but I understand why he did it,” he or she says. “I won’t call him a hero, but he’s sure as hell no traitor.”
via Forbes.comRead more
A fox raids a chicken coop, killing all the chickens. With feathers sticking out of the sides of his mouth, stinking of blood, he swears he didn’t do it. He wasn’t even there! Days later, in response to sustained cries of protest from the animals, the farmer commissions an investigation to determine who was responsible for the grisly scene. To the shock and horror of the farm animals, he appoints the fox to lead the investigation. The fox issues a statement pledging to regain the public trust.
The government is the farmer, we are the farm animals, and James Clapper is the fox.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the all-powerful spy infamous for lying to congress about the Section 215 bulk metadata program, will establish a “review group to examine intelligence collection,” the government tells us. This incredible turn of events comes, as Marcy Wheeler points out, only 72 hours after President Obama promised a thorough review of intelligence programs conducted by “outside,” “independent” actors.
James Clapper is about as inside as it gets. As Jameel Jaffer observed on Twitter, appointing Clapper to oversee a review of intelligence programs is akin to assigning the author of the Bush administration torture memos, John Yoo, “to lead [an] independent inquiry into the CIA torture program.”
That’s bad enough. But it gets worse.
When the government announced the Clapper ‘review,’ it offered us this quote from the perjurer himself, describing what his ‘review group’ sets out to do:
The review group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.
Read that sentence very carefully. Completely absent from the passage is any reference to the legality, democratic compatibility, or constitutionality of the surveillance programs.
Not only is the fox set to investigate the incident at the hen house. He has told us up front that the programs’ impact on civil liberties is not even up for discussion. Instead, the review will assess whether US surveillance programs are thorough enough, and whether they’ll continue ‘advanc[ing] our foreign policy’ interests amidst ‘the risk of unauthorized disclosure.’ (This, I imagine, is code for: How can we keep these programs secret so as not to thoroughly piss off our allies?)
Instead of looking at the ways in which his spy programs kill democracy and obliterate any possibility for political freedom, Clapper admits at the outset that his ‘review group’ will seek to determine whether and how the intelligence agencies can keep a tighter lid on their global surveillance operations.
And then there’s the horrifying kicker. The review group will seek to ‘account for’ one last ‘policy consideration,’ he says: ‘our need to maintain the public trust.’
The public trust! James Clapper!
At least Clapper isn’t totally unaware of what’s going on around him; it’s true that the public does not trust the intelligence apparatus. But while public trust in government is important, more important than trust is a transparent and accountable architecture that deserves to be trusted. Clapper’s announcement of his intention to figure out how to regain the public trust in the absence of even one mention of reforming the spy programs to conform with constitutional or democratic principles is positively chilling. It is an acknowledgement that our government is more interested in appearances than it is in actual accountability. And it suggests that the primary lesson the establishment has learned in the past few months has been that it should do a better job lying to the public — not that it should roll back the monstrous surveillance state.
This statement about ‘the public trust’ makes clear that the administration views the fallout from the Snowden leaks, and American and global outrage over NSA surveillance and government mendacity, as just another public relations war. That’s too bad, because the leaks have in fact ignited a war over the soul of this country, raising absolutely critical questions about the possibility for democracy in the 21st century.
Clapper is set to deliver his interim findings to the President within two months, and will publish a report with recommendations by mid-December. When those recommendations become public, don’t forget who put them together, and what his intentions were from the outset: not to examine the programs’ constitutionality, but rather to figure out how to spin, entrench, and prolong them.
UPDATE: In a bizarre about-face, the Obama administration is now fiercely denying that Clapper will control the “review group.” Maybe this Huffington Post page pushed them over the edge:Read more