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May 19, 2014


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NSA Spying Is a Power Grab

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Washington’s Blog
May 19, 2014

Top security experts – including the highest-level government officials and the top university experts – say that mass surveillance actually increases terrorism and hurts security.

Image: NSA (Wiki Commons).

They say that our government failed to stop the Boston bombing because they were too busy spying onmillions of innocent Americans instead of focusing on actual bad guys.

Moreover, high-level NSA executive Bill Binney – who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information – made it easy for the NSA to catch bad guys without spying on innocent Americans … all while strengthening America against security breaches.

(Binney is a 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency.  Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.  Binney has been interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBSABCCNNNew York TimesUSA TodayFox NewsPBS and many others.)

Binney’s system automatically encrypted information about Americans … but that information could be decrypted if a judge ordered that a specific American was a bad guy or was connected with a bad guy.

But after 9/11, the NSA instead switched to the current system which conducts mass surveillance on all Americans.  Specifically, the system rolled out by the NSA after 9/11 used Binney’s system … butstripped out all of the encryption which would have protected Americans’ privacy absent a court order.

Why Did They Do It?

Why did the NSA switch from the privacy-protecting system which worked to catch terrorists to one that spied on all Americans in violation of their constitutional rights?

A very high-level congressional committee security staffer – Diane Roark – gave a hint on a Frontline show this month. Roark was the congressional staffer in charge of overseeing the NSA for the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.

Roark explains:

NARRATOR: [Senior House Intelligence Committee staff between 1985-2002 Diane] Roark was summoned to the top deck at the NSA to meet with Director Hayden.

DIANE ROARK: My whole point in going there was to ask him why he had taken off the protections, the encryptions and the automated tracking. I asked this any number of times, and he always evaded answering. And I finally just decided I was not going to leave the room until I got an answer. And so I kept asking.

So about the fifth time, he looked down, and I remember he could not look me in the eye, and he said, “We have the power. We don’t need them.” And he made clear that the power he was referring to was the commander-in-chief’s chief’s wartime authority.

In other words, the Constitution was tossed out the window and all Americans have been subjected to Orwellian surveillance ever since – not because it’s necessary or even efficient – but simply because they decided that they had the raw power to do so.

Washington’s Blog asked senior NSA veteran Bill Binney why he thought NSA switched from an automatic privacy-protecting encryption program to its current dragnet.

Binney told us:

When you drop the privacy protections, you are able to spy on all your political opponents and do the things that the IRS does plus get rid of people you don’t want in government, like General Petraeus and General Allen and others like Elliot Spitzer, etc.

Further, you can target Supreme Court Judges,  other judges, Senators, Representatives, law firms and lawyers, and just anybody you don’t like … reporters included.

It also meant they did not have to go to the FISC [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] to get a warrant to look into US citizens.

Washington’s Blog is not sure if NSA had a direct hand in the firing of CIA director General Petraeus, General Allen, or Elliot Spitzer. But spying may have played a part.

Spitzer – the tough New York Attorney General who went after corrupt bankers more than anyone since – was snared through the Patriot Act. Former CIA director General Petraeus was brought down whenthe government spied on his email communications. Binney has previously said that Petraeus seems to have gotten on the government’s “enemies list”, and was thus spied on … and drummed out as CIA director. General Allen was also relieved of his position when his emails were leaked.

Binney has also said that “We are now in a police state“, because the government is “laundering” data generated by mass surveillance, to go after people that – for whatever reason – the government doesn’t like. This is especially concerning because it is clear that mass surveillance is being used more to crush dissent than to stop terrorism. (And that’s been true for 500 years. And see this).

Another high-level NSA whistleblower – Russel Tice – says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, high-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials. And see this:



Cisco CEO Sends Letter to Obama Complaining About NSA Surveillance

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NSA surveillance has nothing to do with al-Qaeda and terrorism

Kurt Nimmo
May 19, 2014

Cisco CEO John Chambers. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Re/code, a tech news website, posted a letter on Sunday sent by Cisco CEO John Chambers to President Obama.

In the letter sent May 15 Chambers implores Obama to curtail NSA surveillance. The letter followed new revelations by Edward Snowden alleging NSA technicians intercept Cisco computers and equipment manufactured by other companies and covertly install surveillance software on the machines.

“A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers, and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they’re delivered,” writes Sean Gallagher for Ars Technica.

The document cited in Greenwald’s book includes a photograph of NSA employees opening a box intercepted during transit to a targeted customer and installing beacon firmware with a “load station” designed specifically for the task.

“We ship our products globally from inside as well as outside the United States, and if these allegations are true, these actions will undermine confidence in our industry and in the ability of technology companies to deliver products globally,” Chambers writes in the letter to Obama.

“We simply cannot operate this way; our customers trust us to be able to deliver to their doorsteps products that meet the highest standards of integrity and security. We understand the real and significant threats that exist in this world, but we must also respect the industry’s relationship of trust with our customers.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Chambers is making his argument against NSA surveillance based on the government claim of “significant threats that exist in this world.” This feeds right into the propaganda that al-Qaeda and other “bad guy” actors pose a threat so ominous it requires not only widespread violation of the Fourth Amendment but the theft of private property and undermining contractual agreements between companies and individual customers.

Last week, in an excerpt from his book posted at The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald argued a point Infowars has made for years – the government is not particularly interested in surveilling terrorist “bad people,” as they insist, but rather Americans who challenge the government and the establishment status quo.

Greenwald writes:

The perception that invasive surveillance is confined only to a marginalized and deserving group of those “doing wrong” – the bad people – ensures that the majority acquiesces to the abuse of power or even cheers it on. But that view radically misunderstands what goals drive all institutions of authority. “Doing something wrong” in the eyes of such institutions encompasses far more than illegal acts, violent behavior and terrorist plots. It typically extends to meaningful dissent and any genuine challenge. It is the nature of authority to equate dissent with wrongdoing, or at least with a threat.

Greenwald then cites examples of abuse under the FBI’s COINTELPRO: the surveillance of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, the subversion of the antiwar movement, and others engaged in “political activity that threatened the prevailing order.”

As we have documented, this effort to subvert and neutralize all meaningful political opposition continued after congressional hearings on FBI wrongdoing in the mid-1970s despite the agency declaring it had abandoned COINTELPRO and the surveillance and subversion of domestic political groups and individuals.

In 2009 Alex Jones received a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled “The Modern Militia Movement.” The MIAC report described supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructed the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.

The MIAC report coincided with a similar report issued by the Department of Homeland Security. The “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” document was produced during the Bush administration and revised during the Obama administration, thus demonstrating a continuity spanning a supposed left-right political divide.

The government has since produced reports and studies characterizing Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty” as domestic terrorists.

The NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies work together in concerted fashion to nullify political opposition. The effectiveness of this effort was demonstrated in late 2011 when the government took down the Occupy movement.

A document produced by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund “shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council,” writes Naomi Wolf. “And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.”

While the letter John Chambers sent to Obama is commendable, it reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. NSA surveillance is not about al-Qaeda and the war on terror as advertised. It is about making sure the political establishment – in the service of banks and the financial class, as Naomi Wolf rightly notes – maintains a stranglehold over government and other institutions.


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