Potpourri of Relevant Tidbits

NSA’s Russ Tice on CyberCom & StratCom

While we were busy covering the ‘Iranian Twitter Revolution’ and gobbling up the latest ‘sex’ news involving Sanford:

Robert Gates issued his anticipated order to establish the U.S. Cyber Command which ‘supposedly’ will be responsible for defending the military portion of cyberspace. Of course the preoccupation with Sanford’s hanky panky and playing cheerleader for our twitter buddies didn’t allow for any in-depth coverage of this gigantic development.

Here is what my friend and a member of NSWBC, Russ Tice, Former NSA Senior Intelligence Analyst & Action Officer, had to say about this latest development:

    “As StratCom has neither the expertise nor technical resources to conduct this mission, the default control of CyberCom will fall, by design, into the lap of NSA. This was similarly true of StratCom being given responsibility for military space after the demise of US Space Command, which effectively ceded control of space to the Air Force. Are we to believe that CyberCom being headquartered not at Omaha, NE, but rather at Fort Meade, MD, right next to NSA; and with NSA’s current director, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, promoted to a four star general, as its head, is a coincidence?

    NSA has coveted control of cyber operations for some time and already exerts considerable influence in the mission field. Illegally, NSA has tapped into all domestic e-mail traffic within the United States. To allow them the ability to subject all U.S. domestic computer communications to offensive cyber attacks and the many other aspects of digital “information warfare” should make all of America shutter in fear. Of course this supposedly will be subject to congressional oversight, federal statutes, executive orders, and agency regulations, and we all now know how steadfastly NSA is committed to these safeguards and to our constitutional liberties. With NSA now pulling the wool over our new president’s eyes, in conjunction with their contempt for congressional oversight, I am truly horrified of the prospect that NSA will usher us into a new dystopia where we will soon learn the mandatory newspeak language that will alter the concluding line of our national anthem from “… the land of the free and home of the brave” to, “… the land of the fear and the home of the depraved”.

    This development indicates that SecDef Robert Gates is truly a creature of his former master. Be afraid America, be very afraid, as NSA will soon be the number one “clear and present danger” to your freedom and liberty. “

For the first time, Tice goes on record and reveals his exact job title and mission concentration while working for the NSA & DIA:

    “At NSA and while at DIA, I worked as an Intelligence Analyst & Capabilities Operations Officer specializing in all aspects of OFFENSIVE INFORMATION WARFARE (O-IW).”

I had a meeting with James Bamford and got a ‘real’ education on how alarming this really is. I am also in touch with a few other NSA sources and friends, so more on this later…

Next

US drone attacks on a funeral in South Waziristan piled up at least 35 more civilian bodies. Let’s add these up as we go. Jeremy Scahill has a solid piece on this:

    “In the first 99 days of 2009, more than 150 people were reportedly killed in these drone attacks. The most recent documented attack was Tuesday in Waziristan. Since 2006, the US drone strikes have killed 687 people (as of April). That amounts to about 38 deaths a month just from drone attacks.”

So yes, let’s take the responsibility of adding these up since our media and many blogosphere activists are currently busy with Sanford’s escapade and ‘twitter land.’

Back to Iran

And, for the final update I am choosing a couple of relevant reports in line with our own ‘twitter’ coverage:

Chip Pitts has an interesting analysis on ‘Twitter Factor’ over at CSR LAW. It is extensively documented and linked. I plan to go back and read it a second time.

Philip Giraldi has a refreshing perspective on the latest concerning Iran over at AntiWar.

Giraldi appropriately bashes the newly found expertise among those who’ve been muddying historical facts and what’s really happening on the ground with their intentional fiction, spin, or, ignorant interpretation reeking with naivety or plain old stupidity:

    “Having spent much of my working life as an intelligence officer on the street in places like Istanbul, I am astonished at what passes for expertise in the debate over what to do about Iran. It is clear that even the few genuine experts on Iran don’t really know what is going on there because they are slaves to their sources of information, which tend to reflect their own philosophical viewpoints and are, in any event, narrowly based.”

Here are a few excerpts on ‘Twitter Hero’ Mousavi:

    “He is, in reality, a defender of extremely corrupt vested interests. That he has attracted the support of the so-called "Gucci crowd" of twentyish twitterers does not mean that he has embraced western values.”

I love his right on target characterization here: “Gucci Crowd of Twentyish Twitterers”!! Well-said, Phil, totally in line with what I’ve been getting from my Iranian sources here and over there.

    “And then there is the corruption issue, Iran’s six hundred pound gorilla. Mousavi is heir to the corrupt Iran of the post- revolutionary period when the country was looted by the senior clerics cooperating with the business class, the bazaaris.”

The corruption charges on Mousavi are valid; have been established. He appears to fit the “State Department Viable Candidate Criteria,’ don’t you agree? And, here is another good observation:

    “If there was one thing I learned from twenty years of experience as a military intelligence and CIA officer it is that nothing is ever what it seems. If a situation appears to be clear cut, with good guys and bad guys arrayed against each other it is probably anything but. So maybe black and white comes out gray. All the more reason to step back.”

And this is how Giraldi nicely wraps up his piece:

    “The old Hippocratic advice to doctors to "do no harm" should perhaps be the best advice for the American political chattering classes and the media. Doing no harm regarding events in Iran is to stay out of it.”

That’s it for a quick round up of a few select issues while Sanford Gate & the Iran Spin machine are busy at work, taking up space and time all over the news and much of the blogosphere…

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Comments

  1. Metemneurosis says:

    I'd just like to say to Mr. Tice, if he reads this, that he's a person I admire extremely, who's done a great service to all of us, and is a another person I consider a hero of mine. If I ever have children Sibel, and Thomas Tamm and Russ Tice will be among the examples I hold up to them – examples of integrity and standing by one's principles.

    I'm ashamed at the way this reveals how late in the game it came to me but, even though I was somewhat politically aware before and appropriately angry and disgusted, your appearance on Countdown in Jan. was the thing that made me really enraged and pushed me to do much more to try to get active. Thank you.

    Ok hate to bring down the tone from all that embarrassing fawning but Sibel, just above the "Back to Iran" section heading you have "Sanford's escapes in 'twitter land'." I think you wanted 'escapades'.

  2. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Metemneurosis: Russ reads the comments here, and sometimes he posts under his 'favorite' name:-)

    Thank you for letting me know about the typo (escapades)! I will correct it later this evening, after feeding my girl.

  3. Thanks to Mr Tice. Also, thanks for all the other information. It will keep me busy!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-

    apparently the "offensive" in information warfare has already found the offended?

    You don't think we need an offensive information warfare capability?

    The "information" here is not information per say, but more along the lines of "cyber" and "digital". I.e. its the technology, less the content. It's not a PR capability.

    Back to drugs and financing. Since we were talking numbers.

    http://jcb.blogs.com/jcb_blog/2008/11/un-taliban-raising-half-a-billion-dollars-a-year-from-opium-production-in-afghanistan.html

    Good to know that since Moussavi is as fallible as your average politician, we can disqualify our support for Iranian democracy.

    Equally, since elites abroad want their kids to have the best education, i.e. American , and don't mind taking up US citizenship – then let's come to the conclusion that DOS is but a tool of oppressive imperialism.

    Never mind that half these kids volunteer forging stronger US-Home Country links out of ideological conviction – oh forbid that.

    Yes, the State Department can occasionally oblige to shield them when they aspire to positions of power. One of them liases with the CIA, and poof, you have "proof" that deep in the bowels of the American imperialist cabal, we have a written policy of how to spread our tentacles from Ankara to Bukhara.

    Of course, that American citizens of Islamic radical conviction can murder in the name of Allah – that' another conspiracy of ours. Or that the other half of students from abroad actually hate America and then do everything in their country to fight us (best one – Said Qutub), another conspiracy (since we invited Qutub on an official government program).

    For all these convenient reasons, let's spit on real democracy, and sing praise to the dictators of the world, hopeless victims of our imperialism.

    I've always maintained that the deep left, and far right, are always in league with fascists. Good to know, that because someone wears Gucci and is twenty, we've got ideological vigilantes to discredit any and all of their aspirations, and wage "offensive information warfare" on behalf of dictators – entirely free of charge.

    I've just witnessed the greatest failure in democratic thinking – Iran-America, 2009.

    As for Mrs. Edmond's blog – it is all a colossal mis-attribution. Rather than view the world for the complex, chaotic, and mismanaged place it is, let's attribute all evil, to centrally planned and schemed American conspiracy.

    Reminds me of an "academic" paper I read in a Dutch "academic journal" alleging that the Apostle Paul was a Roman frumentarii, and Christianity a deliberate PSYWAR against Jews.

    Why not just stick to facts, and leave the speculation, and claims – to one side? Why not admit that we don't get the world, and then work from there? We neocons are accused of hubris, but I dare say its a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

  5. Ishmael says:

    First, re: drone attacks in Pakistan. Lost in all the mix here was a reprot last month about the Taliban execution of one of the guys the CIA hired to drop the homing chips the Predator weapons home in on. He described in his confession how he really didn't know WHERE Taliban and al Qaeda fighters were, so he randomly scattered the chips around various houses. I wonder how much of this type of action contributed to the rise of "collateral casualties".

    re Cybercommand. Now you see the real goal of the warrantless wiretap program. It was never about finding and preventing terrorist plots. It was always about control of domestic communications and indentification of dissidents, political opponents and anti-war/anti-imperialist groups for future neutralization. The convergence of Corporate and State power was Benito Mussolini's definition of Fascism.

    Re Iran: I refer you to Robert Parry's article I linked to in the previous blog. It seems the convergence/alliance of Israeli and American neocons exemplified by PNAC and AIPAC has been going on for the past 30 years.

    Big picture time. We are at the trailing edge of the peak of the Petri Dish. The fact of the matter is there are too many people for the planet to sustain. Current economic models and methods are exhausting the world's resources and overpolluting what's left. The global power elite know this. So they are instituting the "Last to Starve" syndrome by fomenting conflict worldwide to ease the demand on resources while they attempt to privatize everything including the food we eat and the water we drink. It's a case of "Let's You And Him Fight" on a planetary scale while they enrich themselves by selling death to both sides.

    I always say that the Poet tells the larger truth. In that vein, I leave you with two of my favorite poets' takes on the situation. Canadian Singer/Songwriter Bruce Cockburn's "Trouble with Normal" and Santee Sioux Poet/AIM activist John Trudell's "Look At Us"





  6. Anonymous says:

    The quote below is from Wikileaks: I sure would like to hear comments from Sibel and her friends regarding the role of Bank for International Settlements, the two Basle accords that created lack of transparency, and the relation to the money laundering from drugs.

    "Over the last couple of years countries such as United States, Germany and France have argued that they have become victims of Swiss illegal financial activities and as result have stepped up their campaign to get Swiss authorities to cooperate in fighting tax evasion and money laundering. The campaign has even brought a row between the German Finance Minister and members of Swiss parliament. These nations claim they are loosing billions of dollars annually through tax evasion and other illegal financial activities. In 2009 an action by the US Justice Department against the Swiss Banking giant UBS earned the United States close to $1 billion. In 2001, the United States learned that the Swiss had protected the bank that handled finances for Osama Bin Laden. One of them, the Bahrain International Bank, had funds transiting through non-published accounts of Clearstream, which has been qualified as a "bank of banks" and was involved in one of Luxembourg's major financial scandals"

  7. Kingfisher says:

    "You don't think we need an offensive information warfare capability?

    The "information" here is not information per say, but more along the lines of "cyber" and "digital". I.e. its the technology, less the content. It's not a PR capability."

    Yes we need O-IW capability. And FYI: Information Operations, the 'content' and 'PR' stuff falls under the rubric of Information Warfare.

  8. Kingfisher says:

    "Big picture time."

    Ishmael, tell me you are a better whaler then analyst.

    I always say that the Poet tells the larger truth. In that vein, I leave you with two of my favorite poets' takes on the situation. Canadian Singer/Songwriter Bruce Cockburn's "Trouble with Normal" and Santee Sioux Poet/AIM activist John Trudell's "Look At Us"

    Why must it always end up for you progressives with a guitar playing Canadian dude, some “political prisoner” who killed someone that is the cause célèbre of gullible white people?

  9. Metemneurosis says:

    Here are a couple of interesting articles regarding the NSA and eaves-dropping more generally.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/12/nsa_offers_billions_for_skype_pwnage/

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1055611/Taliban-using-Skype-phones-dodge-MI6.html

    Then, back to Iran and twitter, there's this next blog post, which I read a few days ago. The info presented therein is far from conclusive, but it's interesting nonetheless and to tell the truth I'd be shocked if Israel weren't involved in some clandestine way.

    http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/06/proof-israeli-effort-to-destabilize-iran-via-twitter/

    Finally, there's this article which has some interesting things in it as well, although I should say here that some of the things in it that would be the most interesting if true are un-sourced.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article160670.html

  10. Ishmael says:

    I thank you, Kingfisher, for your kind comments. While it's true that I'm a pretty fair whaler, having found in my travels 7 confirmed Soviet submarines when most of my compatriots never found one. My analyses are not merely based on political articles but scientific ones as well. So when I read stories about Mitsubishi buying up as much of the bluefin tuna stocks and freezing them for the eventual extinction of the species, the growing North Pacific garbage island, the melting permafrost releasing increasing amounts of methane into the biosphere or the worldwide collapse of fishing stocks due to overfishing, I pay attention. When I see IMF austerity programs privatizing municipal water systems worldwide, the incresing size and scope of Resource wars to secure supplies of oil, water, food and key minerals, I also remember Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" and I pay attention.

    That said, If my analyses are flawed, I'm sure I can count on nice folks like you to point out their fallacies in minute and excrutiating detail, so then we ALL learn more.

    Regarding my taste in poets, I like Cockburn because he's actually traveled to all the places he's written about, witnessed from a true compassionate Christian perspective and they ring true from my own travels and experience.
    I've chosen Democracy as my theme here, so my links from both artists will address their takes on Democracy

    However, I'll let them speak for themselves.

    That song came from the time of neo-conservatism, when governments supported business at the cost of lives and nobody gave a shit. We have since moved on to neo-liberalism, when governments support business at the cost of lives and nobody gives a shit; and I see we're moving on to neo-feudalism, that's the service economy coming at you. We will all serve. I'm not quite sure who we're serving. There's a sort of mystery there; are we serving Bill Gates? I think not, he's too visible. Somebody else? Maybe you're sitting right here (in the audience). Are you out there? Fuck off, if you are. (positive audience response) And if you're not, well we missed a grand opportunity to level with each other.

    Call It Democracy:



    John Trudell is not Leonard Peltier nor was the poem about Peltier. You can actually learn more about Peltier's story by renting "Incident At Oglala" but I digress. Trudell is a Navy and Vietnam vet like me. He was spokesman for the Indians Of All Nations during the Alcatraz takeover. As head of AIM in 1979, he was burning a flag outside the DOJ building in Washington. That night, an arson fire swept through his home on the Pine Ridge reservation killing his pregnant wife, 3 children and mother-in-law. A crime that remains unsolved to this day. Many believe they were some of the last casualties of the FBI COINTELPRO operation. Here's HIS analysis of Democracy from a Native American perspective.

    Democracy and the Civilizing Process:



  11. Eric Pottenger says:

    Sibel, do you have any good info and/or page links that would help me learn about the National Iranian American Council? Perhaps one of your blog followers has some info?

    I am working on something and this organization has just landed in my lap.

    If so, please either comment on my blog (ericpottenger.blogspot.com) or email me at epotteng@gmail.com

    thanks

  12. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Anon the Neocon: Engaging and interesting comment; half-informed, half-blinded rhetoric,etc…I guess that makes it 'informed & blinded rhetoric and etc.' "in league with fascists": I thought neocons won in that department; hands down, that is. "a colossal misattribution": Feel free to comment on all these misattributions and challenge them one-by-one; I know many bloggers don't like dissent, but hey, I am spreading democracy in blogosphere by being an example. Maybe I'll be accepted to the Neocon Club;-)'

    Ishmael: I truly enjoy your style and perspective.

    Eric: 'NIAC'- No, but when I get a chance I'll look into it…

    Metem: I will check the links early next week.

    Things have been hectic around here: Family, Podcast Project (I'll have an update on that soon), next piece (Revolving Door-MSM), and …

  13. Anonymous says:

    RE: Cybercommand. Kuddos to Ishmael as he said: about the FISA warrantless wiretap program. It was never about finding and preventing terrorist plots. It was always about control of domestic communications and indentification of dissidents, political opponents and anti-war/anti-imperialist groups for future neutralization.

    Somebody besides me ought to be watching Representative Jane Harman, Chair of House "intelligence" committee. She sponsored HR 1955, the nightmare bill from hell, which died in the last Congress.
    Constitutional Law Professor, President Obama, knows all about it and doesn't care. I bet Harman will try the bill again in this Congress.

    S 1959, the senate version of "the nightmare" was in Joe Libermann's Homeland Security senate committee. O'bama was a member of that committee.

    SEE reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Radicalization_and_Homegrown_Terrorism_Prevention_Act_of_2007

    The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 is a bill sponsored by Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)[1][2][3] in the 110th United States Congress. Its stated purpose is to deal with "homegrown terrorism and violent radicalization"[4] by establishing a national commission, establishing a center for study, and cooperating with other nations.

    The bill was introduced to the House on April 19 2007,[5] and passed on Oct 23, 2007.[6] It was introduced to the Senate on August 2, 2007 as S-1959.[7] The bill defines some terms including "violent radicalization," "homegrown terrorism," and "ideologically based violence,"[8] which have provoked controversy from some quarters.

    This is George Orwell's stuff. All discribed in the books Animal Farm and 1984. When NSA and Echelon hit top speed, we are all cooked folks!

    Consult the Book: Secret Power by Nicky Hagar. published in New Zealand in the early 1990's if you can find it. A copy exists in the DIA's library and American University has a copy.

    Keep tabs while Jane Harman destoys our Constitution and Bill Of Rights and our nation's former values as everyone is distracted by infotainment and MSM garbag.

  14. Metemneurosis says:

    Regarding the last commenter's concern with government attempts to outlaw dissent through vague definitions of 'terrorism', etc. the following is very relevant and very scary.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/25/exclusive_animal_rights_activist_jailed_at

  15. Eric Pottenger says:

    Sibel, thank you for looking into the NIAC question. If you drop me an email, I can be more specific as to what I'm looking for. my guess is that you'll find my project worthy of the extra effort.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Anon the Neocon-
    @Kingfisher
    And FYI: Information Operations, the 'content' and 'PR' stuff falls under the rubric of Information Warfare.

    No it doesn't.

    I don't know why you make the impression of knowing that better than anyone else.

  17. Kingfisher says:

    @Anon the Neocon
    "No it doesn't.

    I don't know why you make the impression of knowing that better than anyone else."

    No what doesn't?

    That 'content' and 'PR' are called information operations (IO)?
    Or
    That IO is a discipline of Information Warfare?

  18. I will address my comments to the intelligence community as I'm sure they are here in droves. You don't know what the end game is all about. You apparently don't know who's (or what's) side you are on. Stay tuned.

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