(RT) An email hacked from Stratfor that discusses the use of the TrapWire surveillance system has been decrypted, revealing insider claims that the widespread spy program was adopted by the White House, Scotland Yard, Canadian authorities and others.
When WikiLeaks published a trove of correspondence last week reported to be from the servers of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, included in the data dump was at least one email that initially appeared as pure gibberish. The communiqué, sent from Stratfor Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton to seven other staffers within the private firm, has now been decoded, however, and its content suggests that the TrapWire surveillance program was put into the hands of the most elite and powerful governments and law enforcement agencies in the entire world.
The email, dated September 23, 2010, includes a string of correspondence between Burton and more than half-a-dozen colleagues exchanging information for a full day about how Stratfor is distributing feeds from its TrapWire system and with whom. Although encoded, the emails are encrypted in Base64 format, which can easily be decoded online. A decoded copy has also been uploaded to the Web by hacktivists aligned with Anonymous.
“Chatted with Mike M, the TW [TrapWire] operator and former CIA crony,” Burton writes in the first email included in the encrypted chain. “He said our feed was taking up 25% of the TW screens inside the client command posts and that the feedback they are getting is that the info being pushed in is more geo-pol centered vice tactical-security.”
“How can we fix? Who is auditing what is going in the pipe?” Burton asks his cohorts.
Stratfor is reported to have had a contract directly with the developers of TrapWire that allowed them a substantial cut of their profits in exchange for their assistance in promoting their product to high-ranked customers, other emails published by Wikileaks as part of the Global Intelligence Files suggest. One file included in the trove, a partnering agreement between Stratfor and TrapWire’s parent group, Abraxas, provides Burton and company with an 8 percent referral fee for any businesses they help sign on to the surveillance system [pdf].
The first reply to the encrypted Burton email is from Beth Bronder, whose public LinkedIn profile documents her as serving as the senior vice president of government & corporate solutions at Stratfor until November of that year. She was only at the agency for ten months before moving to Bloomberg Government and then the CQ – Roll Call Group, where she is listed as an employee today.
According to the decrypted emails, Bronder says that Stratfor is on top of trying to fix the feed being streamed to TrapWire clients in order to make it more “security focused” per his superior’s suggestion, but when Burton responds with the names of customers involved in the surveillance program, it is no wonder why Stratfor was so eager to entice their buyers with the best material available.
“This audience is the who’s who of the CT world,” the email from Burton reads, referring to counterterrorism. “TW has RCMP, MI5, Scotland Yard SO15, USSS White House and PPD, LAPD, NYPD, Las Vegas PD and Fusion, Seattle PD, SEA-TAC…etc.”
Since breaking the news of TrapWire last week, the science-fiction-like surveillance system has slowly but surely penetrated the mainstream media, although few agencies have responded to the attention by addressing their connection with TrapWire. Earlier this week, though, New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne flatlyrefuted on behalf of the NYPD to the New York Times, “We don’t use TrapWire.” According to Burton’s claim, however, the NYPD was indeed a customer as of September 2010, as were the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, British intelligence and the US Secret Service and White House.
Other information collected in the last week have also suggested that the NYPD was in cahoots with TrapWire, but no correspondence is believed to have been published linking the surveillance system with the Executive Branch of the United States or any agencies in Canada. Although an unencrypted email from Burton that was circulated by hacktivists last week includes the claim that TrapWire was installed on the site of every major high-value target in the continental US, UK and Canada, no other correspondence is thought to have put these specific agencies in direct connection to TrapWire.
In the next line, Burton explains that intelligence caught by TrapWire was being fed directly to these high-profile customers, bypassing any complication that could arise by a more bureaucratic distribution. He even acknowledges that problems could be put in play if they relied on sending their surveillance to the US Department of Homeland Security or lesser government agencies.
“Our materials are on their screens INSIDE the walls,” Burton writes. “We circumvent the dysfunctional DHS/DC by having our info already on their 24×7 screen.”
“We need to laser focus pieces to capture their attn. Maybe even a video,” Burton adds. “Trust me, the agents and cops watching the TW feed WANT something interesting to see.”
In a 2005 interview with The Entrepreneur Center, Richard “Hollis” Helms, co-founder of TrapWire developers Abraxas, says the system “can collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition, draw patterns, and do threat assessments of areas that may be under observation from terrorists.” He calls it “a proprietary technology designed to protect critical national infrastructure from a terrorist attack by detecting the pre-attack activities of the terrorist and enabling law enforcement to investigate and engage the terrorist long before an attack is executed,” and that, “The beauty of it is that we can protect an infinite number of facilities just as efficiently as we can one and we push information out to local law authorities automatically.”
In a unencrypted email from September 26, Burton writes that the “NYPD has done what no US Govt Agency has been able to do” in the counterterrorism arena because of TrapWire.”
Since the TrapWire scandal broke, Stratfor has kept mum on the allegations that they were directly affiliated with a widespread, international surveillance program, and are probably inclined to follow the tactic proposed by the head of the security firm earlier this year. In February, Stratfor CEO and founder George Friedman addressed the hack credited to Anonymous, saying, “Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies,” but, also,“Some may be authentic.”
“We will not validate either, nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questions about them,” Friedman said.
Without a doubt Mae Brussell stands as one of the premier researcher and investigative journalists. She can be accurately described as one of the forerunners of what is now accepted commonly as citizen journalism in the current blogging world. Mae has directly inspired the works of prominent researchers like Alex Constantine, Dave Emory, Nip Tuck, John Judge and others who still produce works today.
(INFOWARS) A leaked training manual used in the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) program for law enforcement and funded by the Department of Justice lists political bumper stickers expressing opposition to the United Nations and support for the bill of rights as indications of terrorist activity.
The presentation documents, leaked to the Public Intelligence website, are entitled Terrorism Training For Law Enforcement and are marked “law enforcement sensitive.” The program is funded by grants from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Slides for the presentation depict the kind of behavior that law enforcement officials should be wary of in spotting potential terrorists during highway patrols.
One of the slides – entitled “Fourth Amendment Issues” – notes that “a suspicious map located on the passenger seat” could warrant further investigation as a potential indicator of terrorism.
Another slide entitled “General Right Wing Extremist” – depicts suspicious bumper stickers that should warrant further investigation by cops conducting traffic stops.
The bumper stickers read, “Know Your RIghts Or Lose Them,” and “If You Love Your Country, the U.N. Is Not Your Friend!,” and “Get US Out Of the United Nations”.
Under the category of “Special-Interest/Single Issue Terrorism,” the slide characterizes people who hold political opinions that “represent a fairly popular point of view” as terrorists. Anti-abortion activists are also listed as terrorists under this category.
Another slide lists people who are “antigenetic engineering” as terrorists. Presumably, that includes people who are concerned about a new study which found that rats fed with genetically-engineered Monsanto corn suffered premature deaths.
Apparently, the Department of Justice considers Americans who have a good grasp of the bill of rights, are concerned about the food they eat, those who politically oppose the United Nations, and even those who hold “fairly popular” opinions, to be likely terrorists. Perhaps the DOJ is drawing inspiration from the Department of Defense, who in 2009 characterized the First Amendment right to protest as “low level terrorism”.
These documents are by no means the only instance in which displaying political bumper stickers has been characterized as a suspicious and potentially terrorist activity by the federal government.
The infamous 2009 MIAC report, published by the Missouri Information Analysis Center framed Ron Paul supporters, libertarians, people who display bumper stickers, people who own gold, or even people who fly a U.S. flag, as potential terrorists.
Under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism program, the bulk purchase of food is also labeled as a potential indication of terrorist activity, as is using cash to pay for a cup of coffee, and showing an interest in web privacy when using the Internet in a public place.
A recent Department of Homeland Security-funded study produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland characterizes Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Given that the DHS is now recruiting citizen spies to report “suspicious activity” via apps on their smartphones, don’t be surprised to see SWAT teams being called out to Starbucks on a regular basis to apprehend terrorists who choose to pay for their cup of joe with a few dollar bills.
One can only imagine what kind of response would be generated by someone paying cash for a cup of coffee whoalso has a political bumper sticker displayed on their car – the President would obviously have to be immediately notified in order to prepare for the enactment of emergency crisis procedures in order to safeguard national security.
View the slides from the DOJ funded presentation below.
(WIRED) The House on Wednesday reauthorized for five years broad electronic eavesdropping powers that legalized and expanded the George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.
The FISA Amendments Act, (.pdf) which is expiring at year’s end, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”
The government has also interpreted the law to mean that as long as the real target is al-Qaida, the government can wiretap purely domestic e-mails and phone calls without getting a warrant from a judge. That’s according to David Kris, a former top anti-terrorism attorney at the Justice Department.
The measure is sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and the Obama administration has called its passage a top intelligence priority. (.pdf) The bill generally requires the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court to rubber-stamp terror-related electronic surveillance requests that ensnare Americans’ communications.
The government does not have to identify the target or facility to be monitored. It can begin surveillance a week before making the request, and the surveillance can continue during the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret FISA court rejects the surveillance application. The court’s rulings are not public.
The vote was 301-118 in favor of passage, with 111 Democrats and seven Republicans voting no.
Smith, while imploring the House to pass the measure, said the FISA Amendments Act “is one of the most important votes we cast in this Congress.” Terrorists, he added, “are committed to the destruction of our country.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California) countered during a more than hour debate on the floor, urging the House to defeat the measure. “I think the government needs to comply with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution all the time,” she said. “We can be safe while still complying with the Constitution of the United States.”
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-California) demanded that his colleagues support the bill. “This is critical to the protection of the American people,” he said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), in a passionate plea, sided with Lungren. ”Intelligence is the lifeblood of our ability to defend ourselves,” he said. Moments later, he added: “Are we to believe that the Fourth Amendment applies to the entire world?”
But the future of the spy powers remains murky, despite the rhetoric on both sides of the political aisle in the House.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has put a hold on the matching bill in the Senate. Among other reasons, he said the government should disclose how many Americans’ communications have been intercepted under the law, which was adopted in 2008 as a way to legalize the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The intelligence services say such an accounting is not possible and may not even be legal. Though even broad outlines of the NSA’s collection program are classified, presumably the NSA is collecting a staggering amount of Americans’ conversations, but only examining a small slice of them.
The House version extends the spy powers until Dec. 31, 2017. The similar bill in the Senate, which in May passed the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, extends the powers for three years.
According to one former Justice Department official, the FISA Amendments Act gives the government nearly carte blanche spying powers.
Kris, who headed the Justice Department’s National Security Division between 2009 and 20011, writes in the revised 2012 edition of National Security Investigations and Prosecutions:
For example, an authorization targeting ‘al Qaeda’ — which is a non-U.S. person located abroad—could allow the government to wiretap any telephone that it believes will yield information from or about al Qaeda, either because the telephone is registered to a person whom the government believes is affiliated with al Qaeda, or because the government believes that the person communicates with others who are affiliated with al Qaeda, regardless of the location of the telephone.
The American Civil Liberties Union, in a letter (.pdf) signed by 20 rights groups, urged the House to oppose the measure. The groups echoed Wyden, saying if the measure is passed, lawmakers should require the Obama administration to publicize how often the act vacuums Americans’ communications and to ensure that “information collected under the FAA is not repurposed for government uses unrelated to national security.”
Many Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), were willing to extend the spy powers for three years, while adding in the safeguards that Wyden and the ACLU noted. “That’s a compromise you can’t turn from,” Conyers said.
For his part, Wyden has barred the Senate from a routine vote on the bill by invoking a little-used legislative power — called a hold — to block lawmakers from taking a procedural consent vote. Instead, he demands a floor debate that can draw out the approval process indefinitely via the filibuster. Still, Wyden said he would be willing to agree to a short-term extension, instead of seeing the spy powers lapse December 31, as a way to give lawmakers more time to reach a deal.
The National Security Agency told lawmakers that it would be a violation of Americans’ privacy to disclose how the measure is being used in practice. The NSA said the “NSA leadership agreed that an IG (Inspector General) review of the sort suggested would further violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”
(VETERANS TODAY) Recent reports tying Coptic Christians to the “film” which was never the issue in the Middle East upheaval is an attempt by the same forces responsible for the Alexandria church bombings to bring about civil war between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.
That bombing was traced to the Mossad.
Investigations by me, published yesterday on Press TV’s website, cited “Reverand” and “Doctor” Terry Jones as the source of the videos cited for instigating violence across the Middle East.
Our investigation into Jones past showed him to be a trained CIA asset with direct ties to the Mossad. He served in Germany for years as an organizer for the CIA under the highly secret “Gladio” program until expelled by the German government. You can be a CIA agent, even a terrorist bomber but in Germany, if you buy a mail order PhD, it is a crime. “Dr.” Terry Jones would have been better off had he called himself “Agent” Terry Jones.
VT offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of Ambassador Stevens and the families of the other Americans lost in Libya.
(Ezra Van Auken) A video uploaded to the widely known media site YouTube this past Sunday shows Syrian rebels throwing bodies off a rooftop. According to reports, the roof was that of a post office in the northeastern town of Al-Bab, and victims in the massacre were postal workers. Both, Assad’s government forces and Syrian rebels have been addressed for human rights violation since the battles started.
Besides lack of coverage, there have been many absurd attacks by rebel forces inside Syria. As SLN reported on July 5th, rebel soldiers forced three captives of Assad’s army to shave half of their mustaches and praise Syrian rebels. Weeks before rebels humiliated the captured soldiers, reports came out that a rebel group destroyed and sabotaged a church.
Although attacks by Western backed rebels remain small compared to Assad’s power, knowing that rebel forces have committed similar levels of violence like the government, is a grim understanding for the future of Syria. In order to fix the problem you have to look at solutions and what the solutions do in a long-term not just short-term; and/or weeks after overthrowing the current regime leader.
Judging by what the United States, NATO and other groups have done in recent history to countries that have faced regime change only leads one to believe what will be the outcome in Syria.
Last year US and NATO forces successfully funded an assault on Libya and overpowered the leader, Muammar Gaddafi. After the regime change, the country declined as opposed to positively affecting Libya. The amounted total of airstrikes by Western forces over Libya was around 10,000, which lead to a collapse of infrastructure all over the African nation. Not only did Western countries have a role in the destruction of Libya but Gaddafi’s forces as well, destroying oil plants and other resourceful areas.
Regardless of infrastructure, thousands were killed inside Libya including innocent women and children. Leading many in today’s age to question, is it worth supporting war that has just of a corrupted side fighting the government or leading power?
(FEDERALJACK) This is shocking video taken from a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, in which Paul K. O’Connor testifies about the whereabouts of JFK’s missing brain. O’Connor was an attendant at the autopsy in Bethesda. Even though it was a mock trial, the judge, jury and attorneys are real (not actors), and the witnesses testify under oath. The prosecutor is Vincent Bugliosi, the defense attorney is Gerry Spence. O’Connor is clearly nervous about testifying. He says some pretty shocking things; even Bugliosi is shocked and surprised by the testimony. O’Connor is especially nervous about what he has to say at the end.
(DAILY CALLER) Drug cartel operatives used weapons from Operation Fast and Furious in a failed attempt to assassinate a high-ranking Mexican law enforcement official, the El Paso Times reports in an article that follows up on an initial report from Breitbart News’ Mary Chastain.
The gun — which “was seized in Tijuana in connection with a drug cartel’s conspiracy to kill the police chief of Tijuana, Baja California, who later became the Juárez police chief” — is tied to Fast and Furious.
“The firearm was found Feb. 25, 2010, during an arrest of a criminal cell associated with Teodoro ‘El Teo’ García Simental and Raydel ‘El Muletas’ López Uriarte, allies of the Sinaloa cartel,” Diana Washington Valdez wrote on Monday for the El Paso Times.
“Tijuana police said they arrested four suspects in March 2010 in connection with a failed attempt to take out Julián Leyzaola, and that the suspects allegedly confessed to conspiring to assassinate the police chief on orders from Tijuana cartel leaders.”
A child hung in public is the latest victim of CIA terrorists conducting death squad raids in Syria.
As world leaders from the Russian Foreign Minister to even the Vatican have come out against the US using Al Qaeda terrorists in Syria to execute civilians and cleanse Christians in a campaign to over throw the Syrian government, the corporate media continues its blackout of details of the illicit CIA operations being conducted on the ground.
As NATO terrorists run amuck, summarily executing any civilian they capture that doesn’t support their CIA produced and parrot media directed revolution, more and more graphic videos of their war crimes surface on the internet.
Just yesterday came reports they kidnapped and executed one of Syria’s most famed TV news anchors which of course just followed a video showing the terrorists dragging a family leader and his men into the streets and executing them.
(JOE JOSEPH) The following article is how I would market deficit reduction to Americans. People really need to wake up and smell the roses as to the detrimental state of our economy and our well being. Cost of living is rising, wages are falling. The globalization focus has all but decimated our manufacturing base. This article is the way that I would market real change in America! Ahhhhh… I can smell the austerity measures setting in now. President Obama has implemented a two year pay freeze for Federal employees that would save the tax payers five billion dollars over two years. All hail our President for looking out… NOT! As we dive deeper into the political muck, we can see that the military (and rightfully so) is exempt from having their pay frozen. But wait… there’s more! Congress and their staffs are also exempt?!?!? President Obama knows all too well that he can’t get this pay freeze passed through Congress if they have to vote themselves out of pay raises, so nice going there Barry! Seeing as how the President or Congress can’t seem to get it right and are going to try and steal more of the common citizens wages for a drop in the bucket savings, I thought I would give a recommendation of where we could save money, eliminate the deficit, give a tax break to citizens, and bring prosperity back to this once great nation. Let’s first go through the agencies that we could cut out due to the fact that they are either way to big or UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!
- Department of Education: Just look at the public education system in this country, and I don’t need to say any more than that.
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA): It is a person’s right to do to themselves what they want to do. Drugs should be legalized so that the black market can be eliminated, crime can be reduced, and the free market can take over and capitalize on a new area of opportunity. It is the personal responsibility of each individual to ensure that they are a functioning member of society… not the government. The DEA has been increasingly interfering in doctor/patient relationships causing inadequate care, pain, and suffering of an untold amount of people in this country. The government has no place in dictating how a doctor cares and treats his or her patient.
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF): Again, prohibition didn’t work before, and it hasn’t worked this time either. As for firearms, it is every person’s right to have or own firearms in this country. That right shall not be infringed, or so it goes in the Constitution.
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS): After 9/11 George W. Bush increased the size of the Federal government by 40% with this monstrosity. Funny… if I were to believe for a second that it went down the way the government said it did, then all it would have took to avoid the situation entirely was for people and agencies to do their jobs. If they did that and the current laws and regulations were enforced, then it would have never happened. Congress has a nasty habit of enacting more legislation each time there is a screw up, rather than ensure that current laws are enforced and regulations followed. That’s why no one knows these days what the law really is, and why our non-representing representatives don’t read bills anymore…
- Social Security Administration: It is not the responsibility of the government to manage retirement funds or provide for disabled people. While everyone who works pays into the system, it has been used, abused, and bankrupted. People should be given the option to opt out of Social Security, take the money that they have put into it, and do what they want with the money. After all, it’s their money. Private insurance companies should offer policies to people who work; so that if they become disabled, they’re covered. It should be the choice of each individual to purchase that insurance.
- U.S. Military: I firmly believe that we need a strong military to be able to defend ourselves against some of the crazies out there and protect our interests abroad, but over 700 bases in 130 countries?!?!?! How about the three illegal wars that we are fighting??? (Three you ask? We never stopped the conflict in Korea… we’ve had a cease fire in place for over 50 years now). If we brought our men and women in uniform home and say gainfully employed them on the border, we could kill two birds with one stone. Getting out of these places where we don’t belong and enforcing immigration law with people already on the payroll. This leads me too…
- Border Patrol: This is the TSA in a different uniform. These idiots operate UNCONSTITUTIONAL checkpoints 100 miles inside this country to ask people for their papers. Are you kidding…? We already have a military that can more than adequately protect the border and repel invaders. Last but certainly not least…
- Transportation Security Agency (TSA): Need I say more???
See folks, by eliminating or streamlining those eight bureaucracies listed above, we would eliminate the national debt, create a surplus that would enable us to give tax breaks to all Americans, institute worthwhile social programs that give people a hand UP and not a hand OUT, and increase our liberties and freedoms in this country. You want to see it happen?? Then wake up and get active. Michael Roberts; the pilot who told TSA to go blow when they told him to go through one of their scanners or get a “enhanced pat down” caught lightning in a bottle when he said “NO!”. We can do the same thing, but we have to be persistent and we have to let our elected officials know that they are PUBLIC SERVANTS. That means they answer to whom? To each and every one of the citizens in these united States of America. Let the police man know the next time they harass you, who they are harassing… their boss! Let all of these public servants know that they answer to us, we don’t answer to them. If enough people embark on this line thinking, then change can really start to take place.
Joe Joseph is the host of “The Freedom Link” on Orion Talk Radio and a contributing writer at FederalJack.com. You can check out Joe’s show and the great programming Orion has to offer by visiting their site at: http://www.oriontalkradio.com