Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mystery surrounds Afghan execution of US Officers


Click here for related story [AP]
Saturday's security breach of the Interior Ministry in Kabul resulted in the murder of two senior US military advisors.  It raises questions on the security afforded these officers as well as the long term Advisory effort following US military withdrawal.
th
But, was security "breached” at all?

The Afghan Government identified the shooter as Abdul Saboor, a 25-year-old Afghan "driver".  
 Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid identified the shooter as Abdul Rahman  -- a Taliban sympathizer who gained access to the facility through an "accomplice".  Apparently, neither individual has been apprehended.
 
The two American officers were shot inside a “secure room" --  accessible only by personnel who knew the numerical combination.  The assassin gained entry, after which he shot each officer in the head.

Lt Col Loftis (c) Media2-WPTV

Air Force Lt. Col. Loftis, was assigned to the 866th Air Expeditionary Squadron in Kabul. He managed the deployment and tasking of Air Force support personnel in Afghanistan.

He was proficient in the Pashto language, and, in 2009, was given the name "
Esan" meaning "the quality of being generous."  

MAJ Bob Marchanti     (c) SMNewsnet
Army Major Robert J. Marchanti II, a National Guard Civil Affairs officer, was from Baltimore.

Both officers were assigned as Civil Affairs advisors supporting the Afghan Government; it appears neither had combat experience.

Experienced combat observers wonder why these officers made no attempt to defend themselves.  Were they allowed to carry sidearms? 


Or, were they unarmed and defenseless -- forced by American military policy to rely upon the Afghan security forces for the defense they required?



Combat veterans from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan realize the ease with which native counterparts can change allegiances; a friend today can become the enemy tonight. That's why US advisors seldom go unarmed.


The Taliban claimed credit for the infiltration of the secure facility and for the murder of these two officers.  Did the Obama Administration's DOD Rules of Engagement facilitate this breach and murder?

ISAF has yet to disclose if the two dead officers were armed, or, whether they were even allowed to carry firearms inside the Ministry of Interior -- the key policing authority in Afghanistan.


What happens after the US pulls out of Afghanistan?


If the Kharzai Government, supported by a strong  ISAF force, can’t  maintain security in its own security department, it raises serious questions about the potential success of any “advisory role” by the remaining US or ISAF troops.









Spookdblog Note:
We wonder, at this point, of the purpose of our even being in Afghanistan.
Our original purpose was to hunt down and capture/kill Osama Bin Ladin.

That was accomplished last Fall on a special TV promotion via the White House SitRoom
[or, during the summer of 2008, if you believe the SpecOps folks who do this kind of thing.]

So, what is our purpose in Afghanistan now?  Who are we protecting; certainly not the Afghans, and most certainly not "Democracy."  We have to assume that within minutes of the departure of our last combat and combat support troops, the Taliban will seize control of the government, execute -- or re-educate all those supporters of the US, and impose Sharia Law on the hapless remaining population.

Any advisors we install will most likely become targets for kidnapping and/or assassination.

General Allen's academic and incompetent handling of the US/SECAF role in Afghanistan has negated any positives accomplished by General Petraeus during the years of his command.  All that is left for the US is to quietly withdraw, and mark up still another humiliating defeat.

  


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Don't diss the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street




When the Bank of England wouldn't play,
Geithner was forced to create a paper trail
-- and got caught - but not prosecuted!


Click here for GB Parliament Transcript

Recent testimony in Parliament by a British Peer indicated that the "bogus bond" issue has considerably more depth than we thought.

[Notably, both the story and Lord James have now come under ridicule and attack since his disclosures; reportedly, there are attempts to declare him mentally unbalanced and to commit him to a mental institution.  Given Lord James' extraordinary business and financial credentials, we'll take him at his word -- and presume he is sane and fully cognizant of how a money laundering scheme works.]

It seems Lord James of Blackheath, a financier credited with an astute eye for monitoring financial fraud, was provided the records from about 20 banks in which are documented transfers of $15 Trillion in US Federal Reserve Bank assets -- in three movements of $5 Trillion each in 2009, with earlier such transfers tracked by documents signed by Timothy Geithner and Alan Greenspan.   Lord James captured all the documentation in digital form and provided it to British authorities for further investigation.

This is our interpretation of Lord James' disclosure.  We'll be happy to make corrections if Messrs Geithner and Bernanke will provide us with documentation of the paper trail of the $16.2 Trillion that just sort of "showed up."
Yohannes Riyadi
[aka:
Wilfredo Saurin + 11 more]
The point of origin and cover for the transfer was through the accounts and asset transfers of Yohannes Riyadi of Indonesia, reputedly the richest man in the world.   Mr. Riyadi's assets reportedly include 700 tons of gold [market value: $42 Billion].

Riyadi is is reportedly descended from the dynasties of Indo-China; his wealth has been estimated as much as $40 Trillion in liquid assets.

Looks like Riyadi's time under the radar is finished.

  
[You may remember the linkage to Indonesia of Messrs Obama and Geithner, and Mr Geithner's direct linkage to China -- including two years studying Mandarin at Peking University and Beijing Normal University.]
The New York Federal Reserve Bank, of which Timothy Geithner was then President, reportedly provided Mr. Riyadi cash payments amounting to about $500 million for bonds which were earlier declared worthless.  

In exchange for this payment, Mr. Riyadi's account then became the official conduit to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and the transfers of $5 Trillion each were attributed to Mr. Riyadi's account as the point of origin.   Since Mr. Riyadi is listed as the richest man in the world, such transfers, though highly unusual, could be rationalized – though not unnoticed by international banking officials.

If you can't trust your banker,
who CAN you trust.
According to Lord James, The NY Fed then transferred bonds and cash to JP Morgan Chase, which arranged onward transit via a SWIFT [Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication] note to HSBC [Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation] China's largest bank, and the fourth largest bank in the world – which created receipts for the the cash and bonds, which were then transferred to RBS [the Royal Bank of Scotland] for further distribution to 18 other banks.

  
The rationale for all this subterfuge was to create a paper trail to obfuscate monitoring by such entities as the IMF, which has fairly rigid rules and tracks such money transfer instruments.   

Bank of England
Were it not for the IMF, the easiest and most direct way to have conducted this complex transaction would have been a direct transfer from the US Fed to the Bank of England -- but, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is too strait-laced to play the money-laundering game, so Geithner's subterfuge was employed.
Initially, we presumed these transfers were to stabilize European banks and national economies; but it appears that did not occur, given the number of meltdowns Europe has experienced in the last few years.

OMG, how did they find out!     [Reuters]

Instead, it appears that Geithner and Bernanke couldn't resist the opportunity to exploit the process.  

Although the paper trail had been established to cover the transfers, the Fed still had the actual bonds and bank notes which had been printed to cover the transactions. 

So, where did the bonds come from?
Seems those seized by the Caribinieri were in Fed wooden chests, dating back to the origin of the Fed, and stored in the World Trade Center until 9/11/2001.

So, we raise the old eye-brow at the concept that bearer bonds were pulled from the World Trade Center subterranean vaults, listed as "destroyed", and used by Geithner and Bernanke to move these instruments to Europe, where they've been used for countless nefarious activities.
At some point, it appears these financial instruments were shipped to Europe for safekeeping and liquidation at some future time; but, as luck would have it, apparently the gate-keepers either got sloppy or greedy, and the bonds entered the underground market in Europe --
and were discovered by the Italian Carabinieri who had been monitoring the Mafia.

[Although European bankers had examined the seized bonds and declared them "genuine" the Fed dispatched a team which declared the bonds as "counterfeit" -- so much for the Fed's future credibility in future financial transfers -- although they took the bonds in their ancient wooden containers back to New York.]

How about I give each of yous guys
a Billion Euros and yous leave me alone
Talk about bad luck!   So, all of a sudden, the world learns of a seized stockpile of Federal Reserve Notes worth $6 Trillion; and still later, we learned the total of discovered illicit bonds to be in excess of $16.2 Trillion.
So, essentially, our trusted Administration officials and Fed Chairman have created financial instruments roughly equal to the US Gross Domestic Product, laundering it through a series of complex transactions, and have parked these assets in Europe – which then began filtering into the international money laundering conducted by – the Mafia.

It may be time for Congressman Issa to pry open the doors of the Fed and the Treasury, and to open a full investigation of this scam.

We do have to wonder about the eventual use of all this cash.  
Would it be used for the Administration's reelection campaign?  You can buy a lot of votes and election officials with $16.2 Trillion!

Footnote:
There is considerably more to this story as it precedes this Administration with some surprising players involved.  But, all that is far too much to process in a single blog posting, so we'll give you the history and updates in future blogs.  Perhaps when we provide a full analysis of the World Trade Center demolition on 9/11.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Military Leadership Lacking in Afghanistan?

Locals react to US burning of Qurans

Click here for related story [USA Today]

Today's news carries still another story of an egregious action by our military inflaming the local populace in the Middle East War Zone.

In this case, a truckload of Qurans and other religious materials ended up in the trash and were then burned as rubbish.  Indigenous laborers discovered the incident and raised holy hell - literally, resulting being massive demonstrations around Bagram Air Base [near Kabul].

[We can understand this outrage, particularly when we recall the bilious US religious response when Muslims sought to build a mosque near Ground Zero.]

This incredibly stupid incident follows a series of drone air strikes in which non-combatants [women and children] were killed, and written off as "collateral damage".

The net result, all our troops there are now at heightened risk since the insurgents will exploit this incident, once again painting the US as the "oppressor."

The US Commander of the International Security Assistance Force, Marine General John R. Allen, apologized to the Afghan government and local populace for the Quran burning incident, and has apologized for the "collateral damage" incidents as well.

The Buck Stops Here!
Unfortunately, it seems his tour has consisted of a series of apologies for egregious incidents which have alienated the population of the country he is supposed to be "assisting".  He can blame his troops, but, he's failed to implement the Truman Doctrine.

He's the commander, and unfortunately, if it happens on his watch, he's responsible.

Allen has a fairly notable political ticket-punch career, rather than earning his stripes/stars through combat service.


We note the absence of combat awards, and his extended time in academia, to include residence as a Fellow at CSIS, and selection as a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations -- both key avenues to political ascension -- perhaps contributing to his meteoric promotions from Brigadier to four stars in less than four years.

Serving as the aide to the USMC Commandant and in the office of the SecDef certainly did not hamper his advance.

General Allen just might, in fact, be a sterling officer.

What he seems to lack is the ability to convey to his staff and subordinates the necessity of winning the "hearts and minds" of the local populace.  He was awarded a Masters degree in Strategic Intelligence from the National Defense Intelligence College [NDIC], which theoretically might have taught him something about operating in an insurgent environment.

Apparently not!

You don't succeed in an insurgent environment by alienating the local population.
A quick read of Mao Tse Tung teaches the insurgent to "swim with the fishes to defeat the oppressor" - and the US seems to have assumed the role of "oppressor" rather than "liberator".
 

An effective Counter-Insurgency operation involves a dynamic Civil Affairs program with Americans fully fluent in the local language, customs, and culture, working with the locals on a variety of productive projects [e.g., schools, hospitals, roads, business enterprises, and effective indigenous defense forces].
 
Ultimately, you achieve success by creating a credible indigenous military and police force which supports and assists the people, and demonstrates that they are better than the local insurgents.

The US role is to be an invisible hand in supporting the indigenous government with military equipment and intelligence gathering and processing; our visibility lies in Civil Affairs, and emergency back-up for government forces targeting the insurgents.

We've failed miserably in this concept.

Perhaps it's time to either implement an effective civil affairs program along with a well-thought out counter-insurgency program, or pull out and turn the country over to the Taliban.

Full Disclosure:
[I ran a successful US counter-insurgency program in NE Thailand in the 1970s, where we worked hand-in-glove with the local police and military -- and eliminated the insurgent threat using the methods I've described above; that followed my time in Laos in unconventional operations.  I developed the Army Doctrine for CI in unconventional environments in 1977. I was also a DCI Fellow at CSIS, and am a graduate of the NDIC.]

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Nuclear Budget Explosion

Mutual Deterrence - Mutual Arms Reductions  --  It made sense!


Click here for related story [Mother Jones]

We have more Nukes than targets


For those Cold Warriors still out there, you may remember the START [STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty] which obligated the US and Russia to reduce their respective arsenals of nuclear warheads.  The US still has more than 5,000 of these firecrackers, which would likely be more than enough to blow up Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Venezuela, and Iran.

That's not counting the plethora of artillery warheads parked in European bunkers on the off-chance that the Russians come charging through the Fulda Gap, the scenario all West Pointers have been trained on since 1947.

Now THAT's an Obama-Era Cost Overrun!

So, we question why the Energy Department is creating the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear  Facility [CMRR], "a single unfinished building in New Mexico nuclear complex ... to build plutonium components for new atomic bombs".

The building was originally estimated to cost $375 million in 2001, but now, with Obama's funding, it is expected to cost up to $5.9 Billion -- for one-half of the original plant.





A 2008 Congressional report advises:
"...the complex has no coherent mission to justify it unless the decsiion is made to begin an aggressive new nuclear warhead design and pit production mission at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  Adam Weinstein interprets the mission as building "new nukes at a time when we're supposed to be cutting our nuclear arsenal, not expanding it."


A Los Alamos memo advises: "The primary mission of CRMM will be to support the current nuclear weapons stockpile through surveillance and life-extension programs necessary for the nuclear weapons complex."

Hmm, and why move all our weapons to one location so that a single strike can wipe out our entire arsenal?

Oops!  Was that our entire nuclear arsenal?



That doesn't quite reconcile with our old [but very effective] strategic concept of dispersing our strike capability to prevent a devastating single strike from destroying our retaliatory capability.

We used to call that "Mutual Deterrence."  


Are we adopting the French battle cry of

"We surrender!"?



But, that would tie in with Obama's concept of
Leading from Behind.


The Project on Government Oversight estimates the facility won't be operational before 2023.

So, is this another Obama shovel-ready job program, or, a Solyndra spin/rip-off?

We stand in awe of this President who has managed to figure out more ways to increase our national debt on projects which create neither product or jobs, but continues to put us at risk!

Pocket change!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Forged Bonds? or the Real Stuff Accidentally Uncovered!


Got change for a Billion?
{This is a real FRB Bearer Bond]


Click here for related story [Reuters]

We learn from Reuters [but not the WSJ, the NYT or the Washington Post, or any other US news source other than Yahoo] that the Italian police have seized US$6 Trillion in in US Treasury bonds.

"Police videos showed images of the trunks, with "Federal Reserve System, Treaty of Versailles" stamped on the side in large, golden letters.  Bond certificates marked 'Chicago, Illinois, Federal Reserve Bank' and other securities, some for one billion dollars, were also shown."

Fake bonds are one thing;
faking an aged trunk and Fed seals is another!

Officially, these bonds have been designated by US authorities as fake.

But, are they really?  Or, were they accidentally discovered by Italian, Swiss, and US authorities working on an international criminal investigation who had not been clued in to the massive secret transfer of Federal Reserve Notes and bonds in 2008-2009 by the Fed.



The value of those transfers was approximately US$16 Trillion, a tidy sum for which there has never been an adequate accounting.

In February [2102], commented on the laundering of a massive amount [trillions of dollars] in England, the topic Parliamentary debate and disclosure; could this be an extension of that scandal?

Last month, we commented on a similar find and police seizure in July, 2009, which received a flurry of very brief coverage.
$134 Billion in US Bonds Seized -- What's the Story?
And we promised to get back to you when we learned more.

In our original story, it appeared the seized bonds were part of the $16 Trillion the Fed had transferred surreptitiously to Europe between late 2008 and 2009.  Although the US Government authorities [i.e., the Fed] declared the bonds to be fake, it appeared rather that these bonds were real and had been diverted from the US Fed bailout of 2009.
[Officially, the counterfeits were "hard to distinguish from the real thing."


Will they be remembered as the
three biggest scam artists in US history?
As far as we can tell, the Fed failed to coordinate the transfer of these funds with Congress, although it appears it occurred following conversations between Bernanke and Obama prior to Obama's Inauguration.

It also appears that AIG was the conduit through which these financial packages were transferred to Europe; we're not sure which other financial institutions were involved, although one destination was most certainly Switzerland since the "Fake Bonds" keep turning up there.

Interestingly, bond traders at Morgan Stanley and Citigroup found this episode amusing and joked about it -- as they declared it essentially irrelevant.  These would likely be be the same shysters who laughed as the US financial system was destroyed in 2008 -- so there may be merit in taking a closer look at them come January 2013 with Eric Holder's replacement.

As for counterfeiting the bonds, we recall Operations Andrew and Bernhard, the Nazi counterfeiting operations which created nearly £150 million [about US$600 Million then] during WWII with the intent of creating inflation in England.  The notes were virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, and after WWII, the counterfeit notes found their way into Israel, which used them to bankroll the new country [to the great annoyance of the Brits].

Interestingly, the Nazis originally planned to fly over England and drop millions of these notes into the countryside, thus creating inflation.

Helicopter Ben

Nearly 70 years later, Fed Chairman Bernanke was dubbed "Helicopter Ben" when he proposed the same solution to the wrecked economy, i.e., fly over the countryside and throw out millions of dollars from a helicopter.


The counterfeiting of US currency, though details remain secret, was effectively carried out following the theft of a trainload of the special paper on which US currency was then printed -- making the counterfeits virtually impossible to detect.

The same counterfeiters, drawn from prisoners at Auschwitz and Mauthausen-Gusen, likely continued to create counterfeit currency after the war.

Interestingly, the nexus of financial transfers for the counterfeit instruments was South Tyrol, Northern Italy, in the same Swiss border region as the current operation -- Chiasso.
 
So, counterfeit or real?
We're going with real on this operation since Chiasso has been the distribution point for illicit [vs counterfeit] money laundering operations for the last 50 years or so. Looks like an excellent place to launder real bonds, and move legitimate money into Swiss bank accounts -- for when Bernanke, Geithner, and Obama retire from the US Government.

As for the US officials who identified the bonds as "counterfeit" who were from the Fed -- they would have plenty of 'splainin" to do if they admit the bonds are real.  Perhaps after Obama is forced from office.

[Credibility Check:
I worked as an intelligence analyst at the State Department (INR) researching and analyzing international banking/finance and money laundering; my assessments in NIEs provided the basis for the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986.]

Friday, February 17, 2012

Government Conspiracy to Defraud?

Su Casa es Mi Casa

Click here for related story [Washington Post]

On occasion, we agree with The Washington Post editorials.  Although in this case, even the Post is outraged by Government over-reach.


For years, federal and state governments have been abusing the Eminent Domain rule by which they are authorized to seize private property for the "public good".  Recently though, such seizures are becoming less and less for the common good, and more for the enrichment of local politicians.

In the case cited in this editorial, federal and local law enforcement are attempting to seize a local motel near Boston [Official Corruption in Boston?   Why, that's like saying there's corruption in Chicago!],

The situation in Tewksbury is that local law enforcement, with the Feds complicit, seized the Motel Caswell, not because the owners had committed a crime, but because crimes had been committed on the property.  Why, over an eight year period, seven crimes were listed at that motel -- which the Feds describe as "crime-ridden".

All that seems legally reasonable, until we learn that seized properties are then sold, with the proceeds split between the Federal and local governments.  Thus, if a local jurisdiction runs short of tax revenues, then a solution is to have the police designate a valuable property as "crime ridden", seize it, and sell it.  Let the owner try to fight City Hall.

By the Crime Ridden definition, a car-owner with one traffic ticket a year for eight years, from speeding to violating an HOV restriction to failure to driving on expired plates, could have his car seized by the Feds, since the car had been the "scene of multiple crimes".

Or, your house could be seized by the Feds and local police if your teenager happened to be Ferris Bueller or Joel Goodman [Tom Cruise] in Risky Business.

Or, if your teenager hosts a pot party while you're at work, you could come home to find it sealed off by police tape as a "crime scene" and soon on the market as a "property seized in during a criminal activity."


According to the Post, Federal Law Enforcement  officials say "public safety" -- and not money -- is what motivates the seizure of  "crime-ridden" properties.  Of course, in these scenarios, it is up to the property owners to prove their innocence and had no connection to the "crimes" used as the basis for seizure.


Fortunately,  many jurisdictions are not as corrupt as Boston or Chicago and force the Feds and local police to exercise restraint and abide by the Fourth Amendment's restrictions on illegal seizures -- whereby "criminal forfeiture can take police only if the government wins a conviction against the owner."

We don't object to the police doing their jobs; we do object to using the police to violate the Constitution.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Star Trek Technology has arrived





Imagine it; now print it -- in 3D (c) Harry Bishop

Click here for related story [bbc}   

BBC reports that technology has advanced to the Star Trek level of replication, from equipment to food.

The latest step is the 3D Printer, which has been around for a few years, but has now achieved new levels of sophistication and technological innovation.  We learn that an 83 year old woman has been fitted with a new titanium jawbone, perfectly matched to her facial bones, using a 3D printer.



Titanium jaw; Ceramic teeth; Polymer gums (c) Inhabit.com
The Belgian technology team supporting the surgeons used a 3D printer using Titanium powder instead of ink powder.  The printer fused the powder with a laser, one layer at a time, with 330 layers per centimeter of thickness.  

The end result was a jawbone with articulated joints, complete with holes to accommodate muscle attachment, nerve growth, and veins.

The finished jawbone was then implanted into the patient's face, and now functions just as her old jaw did, except better. 



Ceramic teeth and flexible gums can also be created and fitted to the jaw for both functionality as well as aesthetics.  This could lead to an entirely new level of dentistry.



Fully functional, realistic limbs for amputees



The creation of a functional jaw is a first, and it won't be long before other functional body parts follow.  Porous titanium  implants can be used to enable new bone tissue growth, and even skin, ears, etc. for burn victims; plus, body organs and blood vessels are envisioned which would use organic powders derived from live tissues.  

Eventually, body parts could be re-created from scanned images of original  damaged or severed parts.

This technological advance follows a number of mechanical and artistic innovations.  Mechanics can now create replacement parts for antique and modern cars at a fraction of their normal cost; artists can be enormously creative in designing complex sculptures, and designers can create miniature scale models of their concepts in a matter of hours.
But now, the replication takes off in another direction.

Food replication is now reality.  Food is freeze-dried, reduced to powder form, and is used in a 3D printer in place of ink or other materials.  Create the design, program it into the 3D printer, press the button, and in a relatively short time, the printer will build a meal for you.
 

 Build me an Irish Whiskey!
(c) Spectrum.ieee.org

It will take a little longer than it took for the Star Trek crew-members, but, the concept and results are much the same.
Specialized chocolate designs use chocolate powders as "ink" building special forms and flavors.

 
For other tastes, food is liquified, flash-frozen, reduced to powder and constructed using laser heated layers; it can be modified for dietary restrictions to omit sodium, cholesterol, calories, etc., without affecting taste.

 


Taste would be programmed according to downloaded formulas for anything from cheeseburgers to fried catfish and rice.
3D Printer          (c) Makerbot Industries
Now, all this should be astonishing.  But, in reality, the 3D printers have been around for more than ten years, but it's just taken a while for people to adapt to the technology, and put it to use.  One of my engineers once explained it to me by advising


"We can build anything you can imagine; 
just explain what you want, and we'll figure out how to build it."


Steve Austin: The Six Million Dollar Man - Science Fiction to Reality                (c) eandt.theiet.org


So, where do we go from here?  What has been Science Fiction now morphs into Science Fact.   We recall marveling at the concept of the Six Million Dollar Man ["We have the Technology!"] and saying "Imagine that!"

Well, now we do have the technology, AND the materials to not only build the Six Million Dollar Man, we can repair our amputee soldiers, and perhaps give them better bodies than before.


Will our next step up in technology be Cyborgs?
Imagine that!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crisis Needed to Pass New Cyber Law

Not so fast, Admiral!  Leave the Internet alone!
Click here for related story [Reuters]

Currently, the US Intelligence Community [IC] is authorized to operate outside the US, targeting "potential adversaries".  Admiral McConnell has been seeking to expand the IC's authority to operate within US borders, targeting "potential adversaries" -- of the government [read: Administration].

In order for this Administration to legislate these expanded capabilities, to include restricting the freedom of speech on the Internet, Admiral McConnell advises a crisis will be necessary to get Congress on board. 


So, look for a national crisis created by our government in the name of the terrorist organization du jour; more than likely, one we've never heard of previously -- but created just for this requirement.

"US intelligence agencies have unique capabilities that can help protect American companies from cyber espionage and attack, but it will take a crisis to change laws to allow that type of cooperation."


I'll decide who uses the Internet, and who we target.
Admiral McConnell  started off with the Naval Investigative Service [now the popularized NCIS] -- noted for its investigation of gay sailors in the 1980s; was later a technical intelligence officer groomed by the Clinton Era IC and senior military staff.

He served as Director of the National Security Agency [NSA], retired, worked for Booz Allen [an Intelligence/Defense contractor], was then appointed Director of National Intelligence [DNI], and is now back at Booz Allen as senior Vice Chairman -- specializing in -- what else? -- cyber security.

"Do we have the ability to attack, degrade or destroy?  Sure.  If you do that, what are the consequences?  That is the question."

[Especially if you want to control the Internet!]
Surprisingly, Booz is expected to win billion dollar contracts from the IC to "protect our cyber security." 
[No restrictions on that revolving door.]

While DNI, he started off by proposing legitimate goals of modernizing the IC and sharing information. 

All good stuff.

But then, he decided that US Intelligence needed fewer Constitutional restrictions in order to "protect national security."   In reality, much of the argument for loosening restrictions was based on failures due to bureaucratic inefficiencies and SNAFUs within NSA and the IC, and not because of Constitutional restrictions.



McConnell proposed that NSA be unfettered in its surveillance activities [see Enemy of the State]:


1) End the requirement for court orders to collect intelligence on "foreign agents" located overseas - or in the US. 


2) Immunity for Telecoms sued for violating the nation's wiretapping laws - regardless of the veracity of the charges.

His lobbying of Congress over the "terrorist threat" resulted in the Protect America Act, which removed the warrant requirement for government surveillance of "foreign" intelligence targets "reasonably believed" to be outside the US.  Although that legislation was repealed the following year, the FISA Amendment Act of 2008 retained that provision.



Bush added to the problem by supporting illegal actions.
(c) NYT
In January 2009, a US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review ruled in favor of warrantless wiretapping; the opinion was heavily redacted.  Essentially, the ruling allowed US intelligence agencies to bypass the FISA provisions for warrants by declaring to themselves that their targets were "foreign".  No need to justify or report the decision or action.  Thus, the IC would police itself.


This advisory by Admiral McConnell is yet another means of achieving Government control of the Internet, and will likely be readily endorsed by Congress with the next Big Crisis.  




Sadly, there are all too few politicians on Capitol Hill today who understand how the IC works, and
just how much the Internet and its attendant freedoms are now at risk.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Attorney General Holder Threatens Congressman Issa

I am the Attorney General.  I'll decide which laws
to enforce, and who is guilty.   I am above the law! 
(c) MediaMatters

Click here for related story  [PJ Tattler]

We'll watch this battle between Congress and the Attorney General very closely.

In the past, Congressional inquiries have forced Attornies General of both Parties to provide subpoenaed documents to determine if the Administration had violated laws and the Constitution.

To date, all previous Administrations, Republican and Democrat, have complied.

That's known as the Separation of Power in our Government.  The Legislature makes the laws, the Executive Branch "enforces" the Law, and the Judicial Branch interprets the law, as well as guilt or innocence.

Although the results have not always been to the satisfaction of all parties, the process prevents one element from gaining and wielding too much power, or abusing the power and authority with which it is invested. And, the American Public is relieved that the Balance of Power continues to work.


During Congressional Oversight hearings into the "Fast & Furious" operations by ATF/DOJ, Congressman Darrell Issa demanded to know why Attorney General Holder had refused to honor the subpoena and was withholding 30,000 documents, to include explanations of illegal wiretaps conducted by the DOJ -- which had been leaked to Issa's committed by DOJ whistle blowers.

Holder's response:

          "To the extent that those wiretap applications have been shared... If I find, if I find that
            someone in the US DOJ has shared the contents of wiretap applications, that is something

            that will be looked at ... Anyone who read or submits that information for people to look
            at does so at their peril."



Issa responded that Members of Congress are not subject to the court order which sealed the applications in question; he also noted that whistle blowers are protected in these situations.

Holder's response/threat:

You act at your peril if you think that's the truth."

Sorry Mr Holder; that's not only the Truth; it's the LAW!
Mr. Holder, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the Law!
(c) undergroundprogressive.com
Congress is poised to hold the Attorney General in Contempt of Congress.
His -- and the Administration's abuse of power, if not checked by Congress, will lead this country further down the path to a Police State.

Holder's recent assaults on the free flow of information on the Internet, warrantless searches and seizures, and restrictions on Freedom of Speech are eroding the Constitution, and leading us to a repeat of the Weimar Republic's shift to a Nazism.

We wish Congressman Issa well in his hearings, and trust that Mr. Holder will be removed from his position in which he has brought disgrace to the Department of Justice.

We also have to wonder where the MSM is in covering this process.  Or does the Law apply solely to GOP appointees?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

GOP Self-Destruct Continues

Final Four GOP Candidates (c) Wikinut
Click here for related story [Washington Times]


Unhappy Voter
The results are in, and they reflect a voting pattern that doesn't tally with the outcomes in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina.  Ron Paul and Rick Santorum seem to have much greater support than previously thought -- or counted.

New Hampshire and South Carolina were a complete waste of time and money since busloads of union activists were brought in to cast ballots under both states failure to require an identification check -- and Democrats could vote as well.

As we asked before, why are Democrats allowed to vote in a GOP caucus to select the Presidential candidate?

There was something clearly amiss in Iowa as so many districts were not delivering the vote count on time -- and some districts even "lost" the ballot boxes.  Several weeks after Romney had been declared the winner, we learned that in fact, Santorum had won.  And now, we learn theat Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Shawn has resigned in disgrace.  Could Iowa's voting process be following Chicago's?

So, although it looked as if Romney was the clear choice for the Oval Office by Conservative voters, the actual voting results give us a different picture; i.e., both Santorum and Paul are much more popular than the vote count would reflect.   In Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado, Santorum was a strong winner, leaving Romney in the dust.



StateGingrichPaulRomneySantorumreporting
02/07CO12.8%11.8%34.9%40.2%100%
02/07MO-12.2%25.3%55.2%100%
02/07MN10.7%27.2%16.9%44.8%95%
02/04NV21.1%18.8%50.1%10.0%100%
01/31FL31.9%7.0%46.4%13.3%100%
01/21
40.4%
13.0%
27.8%
17.0%
100%
01/10
9.4%
22.9%
39.3%
9.4%
100%
01/03
13.3%
21.4%
24.5%
24.6%
>99%
                                                                           [Source:  AP]


Now, we'red not sure if the voters simply like Santorum better than Romney or Gingrich, or, perhaps they've been turned off by the PAC blood-letting in which the two leading candidates are ripping each other apart.  We're reminded of the WWII Partisan battles which raged until both sides were so debilitated that the Nazi's had merely to walk in and claim the victory for themselves.

This mutual savaging by Romney and Gingrich plays into the hands of the Democrats since both candidates now look like immature schoolboys, incapable of civil discourse, much less assuming the mantle of Presidential leadership.

Given the dismal economic situation in the US, this election should be a slam dunk in which Obama is run out of town on a rail in disgrace.

Instead, this primary process may strengthen Obama in the eyes of the voters who may simply figure that, even though Obama is incompetent and doing a lousy job, the GOP isn't demonstrating the capacity for leadership -- but rather more chaos.