Tag Archives: Central Intelligence Agency

WHOSE security?

Despite President Hopey-Changey’s promises that the vast amount of data that is collected on us Americans — on our dime, of course — never would be used for nefarious purposes, I’m as confident of that as I am that killer drones never would be used on American soil on American citizens who have been branded by the powers that be as “terrorists” simply because they disagree with whichever right-wing (Repugnican Tea Party) or center-right-wing (“Democratic” Party) regime that’s in charge of the show.

Not to try to outdo Alex Jones, but I just don’t buy that the National Security Agency’s Job No. 1 actually is to protect Americans from actual terrorist attacks.

Oh, sure, if there were another 9/11-like terrorist attack, that would be embarrassing to the powers that be who claim that they’re so damned consumed about keeping all of us safe, but would they really care that some anonymous American commoners got snuffed out?

Of course not.

As long at their precious plutocratic asses are safe. That’s all that matters to them.

No, the NSA exists, I’m confident, primarily to sound the alarm for the plutocrats should the worst-case scenario ever actually arise: The American people actually rising up to overthrow their plutocratic overlords who have kept them — us — in politicosocioeconomic bondage for ages.

And the kicker is, as I mentioned, that we spied-upon-by-the-wolves sheeple are the ones who are paying for the whole “security” system that in all probability actually is meant to keep the plutocrats safe from us. (After all, we do have them vastly outnumbered.)

Perhaps the NSA’s greatest triumph is not in keeping us commoners safe, but in inducing us commoners to believe that the NSA actually works for us.

This Associated Press story on the NSA from today, for example, contains not a whiff of a hint that it might not be entirely true that the NSA exists entirely to protect American commoners from harm and that it does not at all exist, not even at least in part, to protect the plutocrats from the masses, should the masses ever actually rise up:

Washington — An email, a telephone call or even the murmur of a conversation captured by the vibration of a window — they’re all part of the data that can be swept up by the sophisticated machinery of the National Security Agency.

Its job is to use the world’s most cutting edge supercomputers and arguably the largest database storage sites to crunch and sift through immense amounts of data. The information analyzed might be stolen from a foreign official’s laptop by a Central Intelligence Agency officer overseas, intercepted by a Navy spy plane flying off the Chinese coast, or, as Americans found out this past week, gathered from U.S. phone records.

Code-breakers at the Fort Meade, Md.-based NSA use software to search for keywords in the emails or patterns in the phone numbers that might link known terrorist targets with possible new suspects. They farm out that information to the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and to law enforcement, depending on who has the right to access which type of information, acting as gatekeeper, and they say, guardian of the nation’s civil liberties as well as its security.

The super-secret agency is under the spotlight after last week’s revelations of two surveillance programs. One involves the sweeping collection of hundreds of millions of phone records of U.S. customers. The second collects the audio, video, email, photographic and Internet search usage of foreign nationals overseas — and probably some Americans in the process — who use major Internet companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple and Yahoo.

NSA was founded in 1952. Only years later was the NSA publicly acknowledged, which explains its nickname, “No Such Agency.”

According to its website, NSA is not allowed to spy on Americans. It is supposed to use its formidable technology to “gather information that America’s adversaries wish to keep secret,” and to “protect America’s vital national security information and systems from theft or damage by others,” as well as enabling “network warfare, a military operation,” that includes offensive cyberoperations against U.S. adversaries.

The agency also includes the Central Security Service, the military arm of code-breakers who work jointly with the agency. The two services have their headquarters on a compound that’s technically part of Fort Meade, though it’s slightly set apart from the 5,000-acre Army base.

Visible from a main highway, the tightly guarded compound requires the highest of clearances to enter and is equipped with electronic means to ward off an attack by hackers.

Other NSA facilities in Georgia, Texas, Colorado and Hawaii duplicate much of the headquarters’ brain and computer power in case a terrorist attack takes out the main location, though each one focuses on a different part of the globe.

A new million-square-foot storage facility in Salt Lake City will give the agency untold additional capacity to store the massive amounts of data it collects, as well as adding to its analytical capability.

“NSA is the elephant of the U.S. intelligence community, the biggest organization by far with the most capability and (literally) the most memory,” said former senior CIA official Bruce Riedel, who now runs the Brookings Intelligence Project. …

NSA workers are notoriously secretive. They’re known for keeping their families in the dark about what they do, including their hunt for terror mastermind Osama bin Laden. NSA code-breakers were an essential part of the team that tracked down bin Laden at a compound in Pakistan in 2011.

Their mission tracking al-Qaida and related terrorist groups continues, with NSA analysts and operators sent out to every conflict zone and overseas U.S. post, in addition to surveillance and analysis conducted at headquarters outside Washington.

The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said in a statement [yesterday] that the NSA’s programs do not target U.S. citizens. But last week’s revelations show that the NSA is allowed to gather U.S. phone calls and emails and to sift through them for information leading to terrorist suspects, as long as a judge signs off. Lawmakers are questioning the scope of the information gathered, and how long and how much of it is kept.

“Does that data all have to be held by the government?” asked Sen. Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

King, a Maine independent, was briefed on the program this past week, but would not discuss how long the government holds on to the phone records. “I don’t think there is evidence of abuse, but I think the program can be changed to be structured with less levels of intrusion on the privacy of Americans,” he said. …

“Through software, you can search for key words and key phrases linking a communication to a particular group or individual that would fire it off to individual agencies that have interest in it,” just like Amazon or Google scans millions of emails and purchases to track consumer preferences, explained Ronald Marks, a former CIA official and author of Spying in America in the Post 9/11 World.

Detailed algorithms try to determine whether something is U.S. citizen-related or not. “It shows analysts, ‘We’ve got a U.S. citizen here, so we’ve got to be careful with it,'” he said.

Another way counterterrorist officials try to protect U.S. citizens is through centers where operators from the military, CIA, NSA, FBI, Treasury and others sit side by side. When one comes across information that his or her agency is not supposed to access, it’s turned over to someone in the center who’s authorized to see it.

But the process isn’t perfect, and sometimes what should be private information reaches agencies not authorized to see it.

“When information gets sent to the CIA that shouldn’t, it gets destroyed, and a note sent back to NSA saying, ‘You shouldn’t have sent that,'” Marks said. “Mistakes get made, but my own experience on the inside of it is, they tend to be really careful about it.” …

I’m lovin’ those last several paragraphs. We commoners are just supposed to trust that the vast governmental spying that is perpetrated upon us never would be used against us by power-mad individuals who know fully well that information is power, and thus they’re doing their damnedest to gather as much information about us as is possible while they’re telling us that they themselves can’t give us any specific information about their information gathering that they are perpetrating upon us — and that all of this is for our own good. Trust us!

“I don’t think there is evidence of abuse, but I think the program can be changed to be structured with less levels of intrusion on the privacy of Americans,” Sen. Angus King proclaimed.

Of course there wouldn’t be any evidence of abuse by the NSA or any of its subsidiaries. Because of the uber-secretive nature of these organizations, any such evidence never would be made available to anyone on the outside, would it?

And that’s what we are going to be promised in the wake of NSAgate, of course: That, to use King’s words, the “program [will] be changed to be structured with less levels of intrusion on the privacy of Americans.”

Quite predictably, we will be told by the powers that be, including, of course, President Hopey-Changey and his cronies: Shut up and run along now, you silly, paranoid commoners! Trust us! We’ll fix any problems — although, of course, we can’t share any information about that with you! For your own security!

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The two Pricks vie to be the top fascist

Republican presidential candidates, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., left, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, right, greet each other as they campaign at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Prayer Breakfast in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Associated Press photo

“Christian” presidential aspirants Prick Perry and Prick Santorum falsely greet each other at an apparent all-white-male “prayer breakfast” in South Carolina today. With “Christians” like these, who needs demons?

Presidential wannabes Prick Perry and Prick Santorum, with the presidential primary election in South Carolina upon us on Saturday, apparently are vying to be the biggest “Christo”fascist in the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary race.

Thank Goddess that neither one of them has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever sitting in the Oval Office.

Texas Gov. Prick Perry, who wants to represent the third and maybe even the fourth term of George W. Bush, has proclaimed that to denounce the recently revealed incident of U.S. Marines having urinated on the bodies of their kill in Afghanistan is to have “disdain for the [U.S.] military.”

That exactly is what the criminal members of the unelected, treasonous, fascistic Bush regime did: They equated any criticism of their profoundly bungled military policy or of any of their military failures (such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal) to wholesale attacks on our troops by America-hating traitors. And that is the same tack that Perry is trying to take now: Barack Hussein Obama, you see, according to Prick Perry, actually hates our troops. (Well, Obama does send them off to their pointless deaths as nonchalantly as George W. Bush did, but that’s another blog post.)

“Obviously, 18-, 19-year-old kids make stupid mistakes all too often. And that’s what’s occurred here,” Perry dismissively said today of Goldenshowergate, adding, “What’s really disturbing to me is the kind of over-the-top rhetoric from this [the Obama] administration and their disdain for the military.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should not have condemned the desecration of the dead, which the Geneva Conventions forbid, you see. The Associated Press reports that Perry today “said the Marines involved should be reprimanded but not prosecuted on criminal charges” — even though they violated the Geneva Conventions, for fuck’s sake.

Prick Perry’s knee-jerk right-wing, jingoistic “defense” of Goldenshowergate unintentionally raises more questions than it puts anything to rest.

Why do we have “kids” in the U.S. military when, as Perry correctly states, “kids make stupid mistakes all too often”?

Why do we entrust such highly sensitive matters to “kids”?

Is it because older and wiser individuals will know that they are being exploited? Is it that it easier to send kids — with their false sense of immortality and their naive trust of authority – to their pointless maimings and deaths in the bogus wars for the profiteering of the stupid old rich men who so casually send our kids off to be maimed and traumatized and to die for their personal fortunes?

I can assure Prick Perry that President Barack Obama hates our troops just as much as “President” George W. Bush did. If Obama did not, he would never put them in harm’s way only for the benefit of the war profiteers of the military-industrial complex and the corporateers, such as Big Oil.

Obama promised “hope” and “change,” but there still is plenty of death and destruction in the Middle East that benefits only the war profiteers and the corporateers. But apparently for Prick Perry, there isn’t enough death and destruction for the obscene profits of the 1 percent.

Not to be outdone in hateful jingoism by Prick Perry, former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Prick Santorum — the evil stooge for the pedophilic Catholick church led by Pope Palpatine who fancies himself a “Christian” and is who is so hated by his own state that he lost re-election by a record margin there in 2006 — has declared that no one should condemn the assassination of a 32-year-old Iranian nuclear scientist last week.

This is (was…) 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who, according to the Iranian government, was murdered in a car bombing in Tehran on Wednesday:

This undated photo released by Iranian Fars News Agency, claims to show Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who they say was killed in a bomb blast in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, next to his son. Two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and his driver Wednesday, reports said. The slayings suggest a widening covert effort to set back Iran's atomic program. The blast killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, state TV reported. (AP Photo/Fars News Agency)

Associated Press image

Whoever killed Roshan is guilty of the murder of a young father. There is no getting around that, whether Roshan’s murderers turn out to be the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (as the Iranian government reportedly alleges); Israel’s equivalent of the CIA, Mossad; or even — who knows? — fellow Iranians who for whatever reason or reasons wanted Roshan dead. While I suspect the CIA or Mossad (or both), it’s not impossible, I suppose, that even the Iranian government killed Roshan.

But to hear “Christo”fascistic assbites like Prick Santorum make such pronouncements as “Our country condemned it [Roshan’s murder]; my feeling is we should have kept our mouth shut,” is nauseating.

Of whose assassination would Jesus approve?

Further, both the United States and Israel apparently have nukes.* What if the Iranians assassinated an American or an Israeli nuclear scientist on American or Israeli soil? That would be an outrage that might even be cause for all-out war, no? Why, then, is it perfectly OK for the United States or Israel to assassinate others on foreign soil?

And why is it that the United States and Israel may have nukes, but that any other nation may not? Why do the United States and its partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Middle East, Israel, get to determine who may and may not possess nukes in the Middle East?

This blatant hypocrisy and double standard and self-righteousness is why the United States and Israel are so hated in the Middle East, and why we have seen perpetual warfare there (and blowback here at home, such as on September 11, 20o1).

There is a lot about Iran not to like, such as its oppression of women and non-heterosexuals and those who don’t submit to the nation’s theocratic rule, but this patriarchal (and misogynist and homophobic) theocratic rule is exactly what the war-mongering, patriarchal theofascists here at home — such as Prick Santorum and Prick Perry — would love to establish for themselves right here.

And not to let Mitt Romney off the hook; a Mormon president would be a huge mistake. Although Romney’s Mormonism instructs him to pretend to be more civil than are his political opponents and to be falsely nice while in actuality he supports a great deal of evil, if we are going to elect Mitt Romney as president we might as well just move the nation’s capital from D.C. to Salt Lake City and put the control of the nation entirely in the claws of the cabal of stupid old evil white men who rule the Mormon cult, who are no different in (malevolent) spirit from the patriarchal, totalitarian clerics who control Iran and other “Islamofascist” states.

It speaks volumes of the evil of the Repugnican Tea Party that its presidential aspirants claim to be such great “Christians” but are supportive or dismissive of such evils as assassination — murder — and desecration of the dead (although, as I have noted, it’s a much, much larger crime to murder someone in the first place than it is to then disrespectfully treat his or her corpse).

How about we assassinate Prick Perry and Prick Santorum and then piss on their corpses, since such acts, according to them, are perfectly acceptable?

You know, I don’t call myself a Christian — in large part because evil people like Prick Perry and Prick Santorum and Mitt Romney call themselves “Christians” — but it seems to me that Jesus Christ’s core teaching that anything that you would not want done to yourself you should not do to anyone else is pretty fucking sound.

If “Christians” actually followed Jesus’ teachings, then we wouldn’t witness things like bogus warfare and mass murder and war crimes and crimes against humanity and assassinations and torture and desecration of the dead.

I can guarantee you that if an actual Christian — someone who actually followed Jesus Christ’s teachings as contained in black and white in the New Testament — ever ran for president, I would vote for him or her enthusiastically, but no actual Christian will win the presidency in November 2012 because no actual Christian is running.

And nor could I see a majority of the people of the United States of America ever actually electing an actual Christian president, since the majority of Americans are not only comfortable with, but very apparently want, a certain amount of evil in their leaders. After all, the vast majority of people want their leaders to be just like themselves.

*Wikipedia notes that Israel refuses to confirm or deny whether or not it possesses a nuclear weapon. I assume that Israel does. Indeed, with the billions of our U.S. tax dollars that go to the parasitic, war-mongering Israel, I’d be surprised if Israel doesn’t have nukes.

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