I couldn’t think of a better excuse to start over for the new year. We had a decent offer on the domain, “theintercept.com”, so this will be the opportunity to roll out another blog exploring the hypocrisy and origins of the war on terror. Receive updates for the upcoming movie of the same name. The new domain will be www.americanterrorist.com. Join us or die!
James Corbett demonstrates the psuedo-progressive tendency to support the security apparatus. Rachel Maddow attempts to distract the public through race-baiting to discourage one of the most effective means of dealing with NSA abuses – Nullification. Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the current state of web-based independent media. Check out www.corbettreport.com
Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.
Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?
A: “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
Q: But isn’t there a need for surveillance to try to reduce the chances of terrorist attacks such as Boston?
A: “We have to decide why terrorism is a new threat. There has always been terrorism. Boston was a criminal act. It was not about surveillance but good, old-fashioned police work. The police are very good at what they do.”
Q: Do you see yourself as another Bradley Manning?
A: “Manning was a classic whistleblower. He was inspired by the public good.”
Q: Do you think what you have done is a crime?
A: “We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me. They have narrowed the public sphere of influence.”
Q: What do you think is going to happen to you?
A: “Nothing good.”
Q: Why Hong Kong?
A: “I think it is really tragic that an American has to move to a place that has a reputation for less freedom. Still, Hong Kong has a reputation for freedom in spite of the People’s Republic of China. It has a strong tradition of free speech.”
Q: What do the leaked documents reveal?
A: “That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinised most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”
Snowden is a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA
Q: What about the Obama administration’s protests about hacking by China?
A: “We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries.”
Q: Is it possible to put security in place to protect against state surveillance?
A: “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”
Q: Does your family know you are planning this?
A: “No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …
I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”
Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?
A: “You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.
“A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama’s promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor.”
Q: What is your reaction to Obama denouncing the leaks on Friday while welcoming a debate on the balance between security and openness?
A: “My immediate reaction was he was having difficulty in defending it himself. He was trying to defend the unjustifiable and he knew it.”
Q: What about the response in general to the disclosures?
A: “I have been surprised and pleased to see the public has reacted so strongly in defence of these rights that are being suppressed in the name of security. It is not like Occupy Wall Street but there is a grassroots movement to take to the streets on July 4 in defence of the Fourth Amendment called Restore The Fourth Amendment and it grew out of Reddit. The response over the internet has been huge and supportive.”
Q: Washington-based foreign affairs analyst Steve Clemons said he overheard at the capital’s Dulles airport four men discussing an intelligence conference they had just attended. Speaking about the leaks, one of them said, according to Clemons, that both the reporter and leaker should be “disappeared”. How do you feel about that?
A: “Someone responding to the story said ‘real spies do not speak like that’. Well, I am a spy and that is how they talk. Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general.”
Q: Do you have a plan in place?
A: “The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me … My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.
“They could put out an Interpol note. But I don’t think I have committed a crime outside the domain of the US. I think it will be clearly shown to be political in nature.”
Q: Do you think you are probably going to end up in prison?
A: “I could not do this without accepting the risk of prison. You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk. If they want to get you, over time they will.”
Q: How to you feel now, almost a week after the first leak?
A: “I think the sense of outrage that has been expressed is justified. It has given me hope that, no matter what happens to me, the outcome will be positive for America. I do not expect to see home again, though that is what I want.”
Internet Users Targeted In Massive NSA Spy Program
According to a report released by The Washington Post, the National Security Agency and the FBI have been partnering up to take user data from nine major Internet companies. Meghan Lopez explains the PRISM program.
POLICE STATE: Obama Administration Caught Spying on your emails, phones calls, bank records & Internet usage.
In what could be one of the largest scandals, and breach of public trust to come out of the white house, information is coming today suggesting that our government is involved in one of the largest collections of private American public data in the history of our country.
They’re Specifically Targeting Americans
The National Security Agency has long argued that their power allows them to spy on those outside the United States, while always maintaining that private American Communications were off limits. But it looks like the latest Obama Administration scandal has The FBI, on the NSA’s behalf, forcing Verizon Communications to turn over data on millions of U.S. customers.
The order specifically targeted American Citizens, and explicitly excluded those outside of America.
The Obama administration, who had to respond to yet another scandal this morning, tried to defend the actions by claiming that the massive amount of telephone records were part of U.S. counterterrorism efforts that were critical to protecting Americans from attacks.
Do they really expect us to believe that millions of Americans are terrorists?
So based on the Obama administration’s admission, one would have to believe that millions of Americans are now in some way taking part in terrorist activity or plotting to attack America. Do they really think that people are going to buy this crap.
Phone Sex, Banks & Google for Emails: The NSA Spying Is Bigger Than Verizon
“And the NSA isn’t just collecting the things we say. It’s also tracking what we buy and where we go”
CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher…
CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through Smart Products.
Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm.
All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community. Once upon a time, spies had to place a bug in your chandelier to hear your conversation. With the rise of the “smart home,” you’d be sending tagged, geolocated data that a spy agency can intercept in real time when you use the lighting app on your phone to adjust your living room’s ambiance.
Whistleblowers: NOT JUST VERIZION.. NSA DEMANDED records from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
In another verbal assault on net neutrality, Obama is now warning that both recent and future acts of terrorism stem from the accessibility of information on the internet.
In his speech yesterday, Obama said that information available online fuels ‘violent agendas’ through ‘hateful propaganda’ that drives terrorism. Warning that ‘internet materials’ are fueling domestic terror threats and actually causing people to go out and commit mass acts of terrorism, Obama is once again following in the footsteps of his fellow control freak associates in assaulting the openness of the internet that is now a hot spring for alternative news amid the frozen depths of the mainstream media.
In the speech, Obama said:
“Today, a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda and learn how to kill without leaving their home.”
The simple reality is that the internet is the largest threat to corrupt government officials. It’s how we managed to break open the entire IRS scandal that has blown up in Obama’s face and led to calls for criminal action against top officials responsible for targeting Constitution-based groups with phony financial assaults. It’s also how we know about the truth surrounding Benghazi and what went down there. An event that has also generated serious awareness and even calls for impeachment.
Internet-Based Alt News Growing At Record Levels
So it should come as no surprise to find that Obama and others want the internet to be not only monitored by the government, but regulated as well. By using the ever-looming threat of domestic terrorism, it is simple to trace back extremists to certain internet sites that can be used as catalysts to enact legislation that endangers and annihilates internet freedom. Specifically, people like myself and others can be targeted in these crackdowns in order to give alternative news sources a bad name.
(Photos) Seen across street after blasts talking with FBI bomb squad. Who were they? What were they and the FBI doing?
What appear to be private contractors, wearing unmarked, matching uniforms and operating an unmarked SUV affixed with communication equipment near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shortly after the bomb blasts – can be seen beforehand, standing and waiting just meters away from where the first bomb was detonated.
The contractor-types had moved away from the bomb’s location before it detonated, and could be seen just across the street using communication equipment and waiting for similar dressed and equipped individuals to show up after the blasts.
Image: An already widely distributed photo showing the contractor-types on the bottom left, just left of where the bomb was placed and detonated. The men are wearing matching, unmarked uniforms, large black bags, and appear to be waiting, separately, and “behind” the rest of the crowd. In the upper left corner, a wooden structure forming one half of a temporary photography “bridge” over the finish line can be seen and serves as a useful reference when establishing the contractor-types’ position in other photos.
Image: After the explosion, two of the contractors seen by the wall next to the bomb, appear across the street, both using communication equipment. This photo too has been distributed and enlarged many times across the Internet. (click to enlarge)
Image: Event staff and contractors both above and below the bleachers begin tearing up the skirting and appear to be looking for something or retrieving something while casualties are still being treated and evacuated across the street. (click to enlarge)
The men, numbering between 6-8 then begin tearing up the skirting around temporary bleachers erected for the event, opposite the explosion, before taping it off. Then, what appears to be an FBI bomb squad truck pulls up directly behind the contractor-types’ SUV, with a woman clearly wearing the letters F.B.I. on her tactical vest emerging and speaking with the contractor-types. Together they disappear from the scene, leaving their vehicles behind.
Image: What appears to be an FBI bomb squad truck pulls in, with a woman wearing what is clearly the letters F.B.I. on her vest. She talks with two contractors while it appears a third is partially in the truck’s right-hand side. Also note that the area contractors and event staff tore up, is now taped off. (click to enlarge)
Image: The FBI truck and contractor SUV sit seemingly abandoned – neither the FBI agent, nor the contractors can be seen. What they did, or where they went remains so far, unknown. (click to enlarge)
It should be noted, that with the exception of the contractor-types, all other responders at the scene, including the FBI agent, can be clearly identified, from police to the fire department, to medics and even individuals wearing vests with “B.A.A. Physician” written on them. It should also be noted that no other uniformed individuals can be seen standing near the bomb site aside from the contractor-types.
These men were unidentified, professional contractors apparently augmenting public servants at the Boston Marathon, present before and after the bomb blasts in the direct vicinity of the incident. After the blasts, whether it was their intended function or not, they appeared to be searching for something under the bleachers before being joined by what appears to be the FBI bomb squad. The FBI and the city of Boston has so far categorically failed to provide any information on these highly suspicious individuals.
Questions That Must be Answered
Several questions must be answered by the FBI, leading the investigation on behalf of we, the American people. The first question is who these men were, with large, black bags in the direct vicinity of where a bomb would detonate, moving away before the blast, and appearing directly across the road afterward. Who hired them and what was their function? Why were they moving amongst the crowd in a semi-covert fashion when all other public servants present were wearing proper uniforms and clearly identified? Did police, firefighters, event organizers, and medics know these men were present and what they were doing?
Why did it appear that the FBI was fully aware of their presence, and in fact working with them, specifically with what looks like a bomb squad unit? Were these contractors specialists in explosives, and if so, what is the significance that at least two of them were spotted just meters from where the blast occurred?
Why These Questions Demand Answers
The checkered, frightening history (see: FBI’s History of Handing “Terror Suspects” Live Explosives) of the FBI’s involvement in fomenting false terror attacks, and even presiding over attacks that succeeded in maiming and killing innocent people, should call into question their presence or involvement at any public event, especially when seen associating with unidentified, semi-clandestine organizations that appear to be private contractors.
Private contractors as well, do not answer or work for the public, but rather the highest bidder. Private contractors, most notably Blackwater and its various incarnations have operated both domestically and abroad, committing obscene crimes and atrocities with seemingly absolute impunity. The term “defense contractor” is in fact a euphemism for mercenary, and has no place in a civilized, democratic world, no matter what their alleged mission statement may claim.
That both of these nefarious entities were present and cooperating in the direct vicinity of the Boston bombings, with at least two contractors standing just meters away from where the bomb actually went off, raises a number of possibilities and concerns. A drill may have been being conducted, though the FBI and city officials have denied this. Or, a threat may have been communicated to event organizers ahead of time, which prompted the inclusion of “auxiliary” security, though again, both the FBI and the city of Boston deny receiving any information prior to the bombings. Whichever contracting firm this may have been, may just have wanted to swindle Boston’s taxpayers for an easy payday, and coincidentally found itself in the middle of extraordinary circumstances.
However, alarming suspicion is raised when the FBI makes no mention of an organization it was clearly coordinating with, particularly in terms of bombs and explosives before and after the incident, considering the nature of the attack. When an already dubious organization attempts to obfuscate the facts of any given event, it is the right and responsibility of legitimate law enforcement, public representatives and the citizenry itself to demand and get answers. If we are not persistent, with the FBI’s bizarre behavior over the past few days, including inexplicably cancelled and suspiciously rushed press conferences, and now what appears to be a Hollywood ending for the case, we may never get those answers.
Note: Most images were taken from Flickr user HahaTango, the entire collection of 150 images from the Boston Marathon can be found here.
The Boston Marathon bombing has provoked shock, grief and outrage from around the world. After decades of conditioning, the public automatically equates such terrorism with Muslim radicals. But the evidence shows that every major terror plot on American soil in the past 10 years has been fostered, funded and equipped by one organization: the FBI.
People around the world watched in horror this week as explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon, turning a day of sportsmanship and celebration into one of shock, grief and outrage. As with all such events, the desire to discover who was behind this cowardly act has driven many into a speculative frenzy. And, in a sad reminder of the indoctrination that the Western world has been under for over a decade now in the mythical “war of terror,” it did not take long at all before the collective finger of the mob was pointed squarely in the direction of Muslim terrorists.
Within hours of the blast, fear spread throughout the international Muslim community that the bombing would be connected to an Islamist extremist. A Libyan Twitter user touched a nerve—and received thousands of retweets and worldwide media coverage—by tweeting “Please don’t be a ‘Muslim.’” The backlash began shortly thereafter, with the New York Post falsely implying that a Saudi national was being questioned for his possible role in the attack. The next day, a plane departing Boston Logan Airport returned to the gate and two passengers were forcibly removed because they had been overheard speaking Arabic before takeoff.
As data continues to pour in regarding the bombing and who may be behind it, it is instructive to take a moment to step back and consider this knee-jerk tendency to conclude that this is the work of Islamic radicals. In the minds of millions of Americans, bombs targeting innocents on US soil are inextricably linked with the image of the bearded, turban-wearing boogeyman that has become the shorthand for evil in this age of terror.
This association is not only incorrect, it is dangerously incorrect because it signally fails to identify the one unifying thread between all of the recent terror plots in the US. Lurking behind the shadowy armies of would-be jihadis in the popular imagination is the sober reality that every single major terror bust in the United States since 9/11 has sourced back to the same group, a single entity that has in every single case funded, equipped and even incited the would-be terrorists into action: the FBI.
In 2005, federal prosecutors charged Michael Reynolds, a 47 year old drifter living with his elderly mother, of attempting to wage jihad on the US by blowing up fuel facilities. In reality, his plan for jihad was little more than a series of conversations he had on a Yahoo! Chat room with a US judge posing as a militant. He was arrested after agreeing to meet with an FBI informant who had promised him $40,000 for his cause, and two months later the FBI quietly announced he was likely mentally ill. He was eventually convicted and is curently serving 25 years in jail.
In 2007 the so-called “Fort Dix Six” were nabbed in a much-hyped FBI terror bust after allegedly hatching a plan to attack a US military base and kill the soldiers there. At the time, a 26-page indictment revealed that the group had “no rigorous military training” and “did not appear close to being able to pull off an attack.” The next year it was revealed that the FBI informant who had infiltrated the group had in fact offered to organize the members and lead the plot itself.
In 2009 the Newburgh Four were arrested for an alleged plot to blow up synagogues and shoot down military airplanes in Newburgh, New York. The group was a ragtag bunch of poor black men, at least one of whom was mentally unstable and stored his own urine in jars around his apartment. The group’s fifth member, Shahad Hussein, turned out to be an FBI informant who had promised the members hundreds of thousands of dollars to carry out the plot. In sentencing the defendants, Federal Judge Colleen McMahon said:
“[The government] created acts of terrorism out of [the defendant's] fantasies of bravado and bigotry, and then made those fantasies come true. The government did not have to infiltrate and foil some nefarious plot – there was no nefarious plot to foil.”
In November 2010 the FBI busted the so-called Portland Christmas Tree Bomber, who was allegedly attempting to bomb the lighting ceremony at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. “The threat was very real,” the FBI intoned at the time. “Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale.” The alleged bomber, Arthur Balizan, turned out to be a teenager who bragged to undercover agents that he could get a gun because he was a “rapper” and wrote an article on workout tips for jihadis.
In 2011 the FBI arrested a man that they themselves had supplied with a remote controlled plane and C4 explosives in a harebrained attempt to bomb the Pentagon. In 2012 they busted another would-be jihadi that they again had supplied with a fake gun and suicide vest. Also in 2012 the FBI busted a group of five “anarchists” who were allegedly going to bomb a bridge in the Cleveland area, although it was quietly admitted that the FBI informant who had infiltrated the group had in fact initiated the contact with them and been present at the meetings where they developed the plan to blow up the bridge.
One of the most ridiculous examples of this pattern dates back to 2006, when the DOJ attempted to make it seem as if they had just nabbed a group of dangerous jihadis who were preparing a full ground war against the United States.
The picture that is painted by these facts is as overwhelming as it is difficult for much of the public to comprehend. The conclusion, nevertheless, is incontrovertible: that without the FBI, many of the so-called “terrorist cells” that have been hatching their inept, bumbling schemes against the United States for decades might never have existed at all.
Despite what many would believe, this conclusion is not even controversial. Rather, it has been backed up time and again by evidence in the official record and multiply attested to by FBI insiders and whistleblowers themselves.
Given all of this damning history and insider whistleblowing, it is vital that the Western public break out of their media-induced programming and question the core assumptions of the war on terror paradigm that we have been programmed with for decades now. If there is to be speculation at all over events like these, and if there is any group that has to present a thoroughgoing case for why it is NOT responsible for this atrocity, surely it is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Having been at the heart of so many terror plots in the past, both the hilariously inept and the chillingly successful, how could the public refuse to even interrogate the organization that has the most to answer for?
The simple fact of the matter is that the history of the modern age of terrorism has proven time and again that the FBI is the prime suspect in any terrorist atrocity that takes place on American soil. Let us all keep this in mind as the details of the investigations into this (and all other) American terrorist incidents begins to emerge.