The Plain Dealer reports that court documents filed this week by the U.S. Justice Department allege executive and company employees from Diebold’s Asia Pacific region paid “$1.75 million in bribes, gifts and trips to dozens of employees of banks in China and Indonesia”… The bribes were paid in order to secure and retain business with bank customers, including state-owned and state-controlled banks.
Diebold attempted to disguise the payments and benefits in various ways, including by making payments through third parties designated by the banks, and by inaccurately recording leisure trips for bank employees as “training.”
The court documents also accuse Diebold employees, over a four-year period, of creating and entering into false contracts with a distributor in Russia for services that the distributor was not performing. The distributor, in turn, used the Diebold funds to pay bribes to employees of Diebold’s privately-owned bank customers in Russia in order to obtain and retain ATM-related contracts with those customers.
Despite their years-long global crime spree, it seems Diebold will receive yet another slap on the wrist, and another polite request to please not to do that again. You and I should be so lucky next time we run into repeated trouble with the law.
read the rest HERE
November 27, 2013 by legitgov
Sandy Hook summary report: Two reporters held at gunpoint by police –Two black zip-up sweat jackets found on ground near alleged shooter’s car 27 Nov 2013 The [redacted] summary report of the Sandy Hook shootings was released Monday.
The report, ‘Report of the State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury on the Shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and 36 Yogananda Street, Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012,’ can mbe viewed here.
Among the findings: ‘Some people were located in the areas surrounding the school as the searches and evacuations were taking place. Some of those individuals were treated initially as suspects and handled accordingly, including being handcuffed, until their identities and reason for being there could be determined.
Some of these detentions included:
1. The initial unknown male who turned out to be a parent with a cell telephone in his hand; 2. Two reporters located in the woods around SHES, who were held at gun point by Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) police officers until their identities could be determined; and 3. A man from New York who was working in a nearby town and went to SHES after an application on his cell telephone alerted him to the situation at the school… [On] December 14, 2012, there was a concern that there may have been more than one shooter. This was based upon a number of factors: 1. The initial police encounter with the unknown male outside SHES; 2. Reports by school personnel during the shooting on a 911 call of seeing someone running outside the school while the shooting was ongoing; 3. The location of two black zip-up sweat jackets on the ground outside of the shooter’s car; 4. The discovery of an Izhmash Saiga-12, 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition in the passenger compartment of the shooter’s car. A police officer moved this shotgun and ammunition to the car’s trunk for safety purposes; 5. Shell casings that were located outside of the school; and 6. The apparent sound of gunfire coming from outside of the school.’
“The perpetrators had committed acts against the Palestinians, with intent to kill, cause serious bodily or mental harms and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Palestinians as a whole or in part.”
“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions.
The Tribunal deplores the failure of international institutions to punish the State of Israel for its crimes and its total lack of respect of International Law and the institutions of the United Nations.”
THE KUALA LUMPUR WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL
20 – 25 NOVEMBER 2013
Case No. 3 – CHG – 2013
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission
Case No. 4 – CHG – 2013
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission
The State of Israel
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (Tribunal) reconvened on 20 November 2013 to hear two charges against Amos Yaron (first Defendant) and the State of Israel (second Defendant). The first Defendant was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, whilst the second Defendant was charged with the crime of genocide and war crimes.
The charge against the first Defendant is as follows –
“The Defendant Amos Yaron perpetrated War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps in violation of the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare of 1907; the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949; the 1948 Genocide Convention; the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946), and the Nuremberg Principles (1950); customary international law, jus cogens, the Laws of War, and International Humanitarian Law”
The charge against the second Defendant [State of Israel] is as follows –
“From 1948 and continuing to date the State of Israel (hereafter ‘the Defendant’) carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction.
The conduct of the Defendant was carried out with the intention of destroying in whole or in part the Palestinian people. These acts were carried out as part of a manifest pattern of similar conduct against the Palestinian people.
These acts were carried out by the Defendant through the instrumentality of its representatives and agents including those listed in Appendices 1 and 2.
Such conduct constitutes the Crime of Genocide under international law including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948 (‘the Genocide Convention’) in particular Article II and punishable under Article III of the said Convention.
It also constitutes the crime of genocide as stipulated in Article 10 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
Such conduct by the Defendant as an occupying power also violates customary international law as embodied in the Hague Convention of 1907 Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Such conduct also constitutes War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity under international law.”
The charges (together with the particulars of the charges) had been duly served on the Defendants, and were read in open court by the Registrar as these proceedings commenced.
Neither Defendant was present in these proceedings, but both were represented by the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) versus the State of Israel
The proceedings directed against the State of Israel were led by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission.
Members of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) are:
Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (Chairman), Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Dr. Denis Halliday, Mr. Musa Ismail, Dr. Zulaiha Ismail, Dr. Yaacob Merican, Dr. Hans von Sponeck.
Working in liaison with their Malaysian counterparts, commissioners Dr. Denis Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization were present in Kuala Lumpur throughout the proceedings.
This important judicial process has received very little coverage in the Western media. Global Research will be publishing several reports following this historic judgment against the State of Israel.
2 Prosecution’s Case
The Prosecution’s case against the first Defendant is that the first Defendant had committed War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide in his capacity as the Commanding Israeli General in military control of the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Israeli-occupied Lebanon in September of 1982 when he knowingly facilitated and permitted the large-scale Massacre of the Residents of those two camps. These crimes were in violation of, inter alia, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the 1948 Genocide Convention, jus cogens, International Humanitarian Law; and Articles 9, 10, and 11 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
The Prosecution’s case against the second Defendant is that from 1948 and continuing to date the State of Israel had systematically carried out against the Palestinian people a series of acts namely killing, causing serious bodily harm and deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about physical destruction – with the intention of destroying in whole or in part the Palestinian people.
These acts constitute the Crime of Genocide under international law including the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide 1948 (‘the Genocide Convention’) in particular Article II and punishable under Article III of the said Convention. It also constitutes the crime of genocide as stipulated in Article 10 of the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War.
In his opening statement, the Chief Prosecutor Prof Gurdial Singh said that the Prosecution will adduce evidence to prove the counts in the indictment through oral and written testimonies of victims, witnesses, historical records, narrative in books and authoritative commentaries, resolutions of the United Nations and reports of international bodies.
6. The Defence case
Mr. Jason Kay Kit Leon of the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that in the charges against the two Defendants, the Prosecution had listed war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace. Apparently the Prosecution had abandoned these charges, concentrating only on genocide.
He said that the offence of genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention 1948, whilst the OED defines it simply as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group”.
He submitted that the charge of genocide is unique; it means that you don’t like a group, you kill them; you kill them in a grand manner. Genocide means that at the end of the act, you have a lesser number of victims than before the genocide started.
He further submitted that when one talks of “massive killing”, it is many hundreds of thousands to millions of people. To suggest that an isolated event, the unfortunate murder of 3,000 people (Sabra and Shatila) is the same as massive killing is almost disrespectful of the true horror of massive killing (as in Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in 100 days).
With regard to the Kahan Report, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said that it also identified other people as being responsible, with two other names other than Yaron still alive. The question is why only Yaron was charged? Why was Defence Minister Ariel Sharon spared?
He also submitted that the PLO had repeatedly violated the July 1981 cease-fire agreement. By June 1982, when the IDF went into Lebanon, the PLO had made life in northern Israel intolerable through its repeated shelling of Israeli towns.
On Cast Lead, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that the IDF had come out with two reports. The point is if you are going to kill people nilly willy, you do not report it.
On the issue of the wall, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team submitted that the primary consideration is one of security of the Israeli settlers. The State of Israel has a duty to defend their lives, safety and well-being.
On the issue of checkpoints, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said countries have a right to immigration laws. With regard to Plan Dalet, the Amicus Curiae-Defence Team said that it is subject to divergent opinions, with historians on one side asserting that it was entirely defensive, while other historians assert that the plan aimed at an ethnic cleansing.
4. Prosecution’s closing submission
In his closing submission, the Chief Prosecutor said that he had called 11 witnesses (some of whom had testified through Skype), tendered 15 exhibits and furnished several documents and reports to the Tribunal during the course of the proceedings.
He urged the Tribunal to bear in mind that this is a Tribunal of Conscience and the case before it is an extraordinary case, which Winston Churchill used to call as a “crime without a name”.
He said that the Prosecution had provided evidence of facts which, examined as a whole, will show that the perpetrators had committed acts against the Palestinians, with intent to kill, cause serious bodily or mental harms and deliberately inflict conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the Palestinians as a whole or in part.
From the testimony of Prof Pappe (PW8) the Prosecution had shown that before 1948, before UN Resolution 47, there was already a plan in place to take over the Palestinian territory, and this plan would be activated the moment the British relinquished its mandate over the territory.
At that point in time, the Palestinians were on 94% of the land, with the Jewish population settling over a mere 6% of the land. Under the UN partition plan, more than 50% of the land was to be given to the Jews.
Plan Dalet might not legally be genocidal in form at its inception, but as it took shape the ethnic cleansing metamorphised into killing, massacre and creating impossible conditions for life for the Palestinians – either they leave or they die. The Prosecution submits this is genocide within the meaning of Article 2 of the Genocide Convention.
On Sabra and Shatila, prosecution witnesses (PW1 and PW6) had testified that the Palestinian refugees in those camps had been killed by the Phalangists, aided and abetted by the Israelis who were in complete control of the two camps.
According to the Kahan Report, all of Beirut was under Israeli control, and there was clear symbiotic relationship between Israel and the Christian forces (the Lebanese Maronite Christian militia or the Phalangists or Keta’ib).
On Operation Cast Lead in 2008, the Chief Prosecutor said that the Israeli Defence Force had used all kinds of weapons, including white phosphorus – which is an incendiary weapon. The use of incendiary weapons is prohibited under Protocal III on the Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons.
As a result of the Israeli occupation of Gaza, nowhere in Gaza is safe for civilians. 1.5 million Palestinians are now trapped in despair, their fragile economy ruined. Under the Dahiya Doctrine (October 2008), the complete destruction of Gaza is the ultimate objective, the whole place must be flattened.
The Prosecution submits that the cumulative effect of the actions taken by the Israeli government, as shown by the Prosecution witnesses and the several documents tendered to the Tribunal, have shown beyond reasonable doubt that Israel is guilty of the crime of genocide under the Genocide Convention and the Charter of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (The Charter).
Co-Prosecutor Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, submitting on the first charge against Amos Yaron, said that Amos Yaron was the commanding officer in charge of the Israeli Defence Force, in charge of the area of Beirut, and camps Sabra and Shatila. He said there were two issues which he has to deal with – first, whether or not there was a large scale massacre of the 10 residents of the two camps, and second, whether or not Amos Yaron facilitated and permitted such massacre, in violation of international law and Articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Charter?
On the first issue, he submitted there was a large scale massacre, as testified by PW1. She was there, and she saw the massacre with her own eyes. There was corrobating testimony by PW6, and further acknowledged in the Kahan Report.
On the second issue, Amos Yaron was in charge, to ensure that there would be peace and law and order. The Kahan Report itself concluded that anybody who knew about Lebanon would know that by releasing the Phalangists into Beirut, there would be massacre. Surely, Amos Yaron, the General in charge, must have known that by allowing the Phalangists to go into the two camps, the massacre would take place. But he decided to do nothing.
He received the reports of the killing of women and children, but he did not check the report. He did not pass the report to his superiors. The co-prosecutor submits that by ignoring all this despite knowing the circumstances, he himself had the intention of causing the death of the people in the two camps.
10.3 Commission’s Register of War Criminals
Further, under Article 35 of the same Chapter, this Tribunal recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of the two convicted parties herein be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.
10.4 The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions.
10.5 The Tribunal deplores the failure of international institutions to punish the State of Israel for its crimes and its total lack of respect of International Law and the institutions of the United Nations. It urges the Commission to use all means to publicise this judgement and in particular with respect to the Parliaments and Legislative Assemblies of the major powers such as members of the G8 and to urge these countries to intervene and put an end to the colonialist and racist policies of the State of Israel and its supporters.
We are working on getting the Author of this article, Ellen Brown, on THE JACK BLOOD SHOW for Dec 2013. Very important we get this OFF the “Fast Track” Obama has put it on.
Posted on Nov 28, 2013
Via Truth Dig
By Ellen Brown, Web of Debt
This piece first appeared at Web of Debt.
“Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. ”Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.
Roundup’s Insidious Effects
Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in foods are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
According to researchers Samsell and Seneff in Biosemiotic Entropy: Disorder, Disease, and Mortality (April 2013):
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
Or Read the rest HERE
Community Activists, Residents Come Together In East New York
Community leaders and local residents held a rally in East New York Friday in hopes of bringing an end to the assaults.
“We are stressed out, but we refuse to be knocked out in our community,” said Leticia Smith of the Brown Memorial Baptist Church. “We are asking our mothers to make a recommitment to pay more attention to our children.”
Like other alleged “knockout” victims, she was not robbed, but left on the street injured.
Online videos from various cities show young suspects randomly punching innocent victims.
Community activist Tony Herbert from the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network said they are calling on social media companies and their advertisers to stop showing images of these attacks.
“The one thing we do denounce is the opportunity of folks to use social media like World Star Hip Hop and YouTube to proliferate this kind of stupidity,” Herbert said.
Editor comment: Using the tactics of the 1960′s / 70′s FBI Cointelpro program, the privatization of: infiltration, spying, discrediting of activists / whistle-blowers, and provocateurism are still being used today. Manifest in the new millennium these illegal tactics cannot be traced back to the Government, and as many operations target the Left… They cannot be traced directly back to Cousin Barry Obama. (Yes the very “left” that advocates this treatment of the extreme right!)
excerpts via Brad Blog
In a press release announcing the new report, Ruskin, Director of the Center for Corporate Policy, notes correctly that…
“Many of the world’s largest corporations and their trade associations — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Walmart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, BAE, Sasol, Brown & Williamson and E.ON — have been linked to espionage or planned espionage against nonprofit organizations, activists and whistleblowers.
“Many different types of nonprofit organizations have been targeted with corporate espionage, including environmental, anti-war, public interest, consumer, food safety, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups.
“Corporations and their trade associations have been linked to a wide variety of espionage tactics against nonprofit organizations. The most prevalent tactic appears to be infiltration by posing as a volunteer or journalist, to obtain information from a nonprofit. But corporations have been linked to many other human, physical and electronic espionage tactics against nonprofits. Many of these tactics are either highly unethical or illegal.”
in a new report by Gary Ruskin released Wednesday by the Institute of Public Accuracy titled “Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations” [PDF].
As Ruskin notes on page 22 of the new report…
There was a parallel plot exposed at the same time, which the same three contractors were also working on. That one was on behalf of Bank of America and would have targeted journalist Glen Greenwald. Bank of America was said to have been referred to the groups by the U.S. Dept. of Justice. So you can see yet another reason why there was never any accountability for the scheme.
[You can peruse more about that whole mess via our "U.S. Chamber Plot" special coverage page.]
READ THE REST HERE
This doesn’t just happen to “Muslims”! Here is our advice: Either do not watch Porn on your Computer, TV, I-phone, or with Credit Cards…. OR, be ready to cop to it and say “so what”. Also: If you are a leader in the revolution, you may be targeted with Porn (or worse) being sent and installed on your computers… (This happened to us at Deadline Live. We immediately killed it before it could load, and then traced the package back to Halliburton and Chinese IPs) Be aware of this tactic. Make sure you are able to catch it, and do not download anything you are not sure of.
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.
The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues.
Among the vulnerabilities listed by the NSA that can be effectively exploited are “viewing sexually explicit material online” and “using sexually explicit persuasive language when communicating with inexperienced young girls.”
The Director of the National Security Agency — described as “DIRNSA” — is listed as the “originator” of the document. Beyond the NSA itself, the listed recipients include officials with the Departments of Justice and Commerce and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“Without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence,” Shawn Turner, director of public affairs for National Intelligence, told The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday.
Yet Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said these revelations give rise to serious concerns about abuse. “It’s important to remember that the NSA’s surveillance activities are anything but narrowly focused — the agency is collecting massive amounts of sensitive information about virtually everyone,” he said.
“Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” he added. “The NSA says this personal information won’t be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines ‘abuse’ very narrowly.”
None of the six individuals targeted by the NSA is accused in the document of being involved in terror plots. The agency believes they all currently reside outside the United States. It identifies one of them, however, as a “U.S. person,” which means he is either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. A U.S. person is entitled to greater legal protections against NSA surveillance than foreigners are.
Stewart Baker, a one-time general counsel for the NSA and a top Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, said that the idea of using potentially embarrassing information to undermine targets is a sound one. “If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to,” said Baker. “On the whole, it’s fairer and maybe more humane” than bombing a target, he said, describing the tactic as “dropping the truth on them.”
Any system can be abused, Baker allowed, but he said fears of the policy drifting to domestic political opponents don’t justify rejecting it. “On that ground you could question almost any tactic we use in a war, and at some point you have to say we’re counting on our officials to know the difference,” he said.
In addition to analyzing the content of their internet activities, the NSA also examined the targets’ contact lists. The NSA accuses two of the targets of promoting al Qaeda propaganda, but states that surveillance of the three English-speakers’ communications revealed that they have “minimal terrorist contacts.”
In particular, “only seven (1 percent) of the contacts in the study of the three English-speaking radicalizers were characterized in SIGINT as affiliated with an extremist group or a Pakistani militant group. An earlier communications profile of [one of the targets] reveals that 3 of the 213 distinct individuals he was in contact with between 4 August and 2 November 2010 were known or suspected of being associated with terrorism,” the document reads.
The document contends that the three Arabic-speaking targets have more contacts with affiliates of extremist groups, but does not suggest they themselves are involved in any terror plots.
Instead, the NSA believes the targeted individuals radicalize people through the expression of controversial ideas via YouTube, Facebook and other social media websites. Their audience, both English and Arabic speakers, “includes individuals who do not yet hold extremist views but who are susceptible to the extremist message,” the document states. The NSA says the speeches and writings of the six individuals resonate most in countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Kenya, Pakistan, India and Saudi Arabia.
The NSA possesses embarrassing sexually explicit information about at least two of the targets by virtue of electronic surveillance of their online activity. The report states that some of the data was gleaned through FBI surveillance programs carried out under the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act. The document adds, “Information herein is based largely on Sunni extremist communications.” It further states that “the SIGINT information is from primary sources with direct access and is generally considered reliable.”
According to the document, the NSA believes that exploiting electronic surveillance to publicly reveal online sexual activities can make it harder for these “radicalizers” to maintain their credibility. “Focusing on access reveals potential vulnerabilities that could be even more effectively exploited when used in combination with vulnerabilities of character or credibility, or both, of the message in order to shape the perception of the messenger as well as that of his followers,” the document argues.
An attached appendix lists the “argument” each surveillance target has made that the NSA says constitutes radicalism, as well the personal “vulnerabilities” the agency believes would leave the targets “open to credibility challenges” if exposed.
One target’s offending argument is that “Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam,” and a vulnerability listed against him is “online promiscuity.” Another target, a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a “respected academic,” holds the offending view that “offensive jihad is justified,” and his vulnerabilities are listed as “online promiscuity” and “publishes articles without checking facts.” A third targeted radical is described as a “well-known media celebrity” based in the Middle East who argues that “the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.” Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead “a glamorous lifestyle.” A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself” is said to be vulnerable to accusations of “deceitful use of funds.” The document expresses the hope that revealing damaging information about the individuals could undermine their perceived “devotion to the jihadist cause.”
The Huffington Post is withholding the names and locations of the six targeted individuals; the allegations made by the NSA about their online activities in this document cannot be verified.
The document does not indicate whether the NSA carried out its plan to discredit these six individuals, either by communicating with them privately about the acquired information or leaking it publicly. There is also no discussion in the document of any legal or ethical constraints on exploiting electronic surveillance in this manner.
While Baker and others support using surveillance to tarnish the reputation of people the NSA considers “radicalizers,” U.S. officials have in the past used similar tactics against civil rights leaders, labor movement activists and others.
Under J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI harassed activists and compiled secret files on political leaders, most notably Martin Luther King, Jr. The extent of the FBI’s surveillance of political figures is still being revealed to this day, as the bureau releases the long dossiers it compiled on certain people in response to Freedom of Information Act requests following their deaths. The information collected by the FBI often centered on sex — homosexuality was an ongoing obsession on Hoover’s watch — and information about extramarital affairs was reportedly used to blackmail politicians into fulfilling the bureau’s needs.
Current FBI Director James Comey recently ordered new FBI agents to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington to understand “the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability.”
James Bamford, a journalist who has been covering the NSA since the early 1980s, said the use of surveillance to exploit embarrassing private behavior is precisely what led to past U.S. surveillance scandals. “The NSA’s operation is eerily similar to the FBI’s operations under J. Edgar Hoover in the 1960s where the bureau used wiretapping to discover vulnerabilities, such as sexual activity, to ‘neutralize’ their targets,” he said. “Back then, the idea was developed by the longest serving FBI chief in U.S. history, today it was suggested by the longest serving NSA chief in U.S. history.”
That controversy, Bamford said, also involved the NSA. “And back then, the NSA was also used to do the eavesdropping on King and others through its Operation Minaret. A later review declared the NSA’s program ‘disreputable if not outright illegal,’” he said.
Baker said that until there is evidence the tactic is being abused, the NSA should be trusted to use its discretion. “The abuses that involved Martin Luther King occurred before Edward Snowden was born,” he said. “I think we can describe them as historical rather than current scandals. Before I say, ‘Yeah, we’ve gotta worry about that,’ I’d like to see evidence of that happening, or is even contemplated today, and I don’t see it.”
Jaffer, however, warned that the lessons of history ought to compel serious concern that a “president will ask the NSA to use the fruits of surveillance to discredit a political opponent, journalist or human rights activist.”
“The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn’t use its power that way in the future,” he said.
Adriana Usero and Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting
Arguments for which radicalizers are being targeted:
Where the report was sent:
Intelligence gleaned from electronic surveillance:
We were suspicious of this event right out of the gate. How do these “polite” hecklers get seats on the stage? In past events team Obama has meticulously placed the chosen ones backing the POTUS. Yeah ALL politicians do it…. We get that part. So either one of the chosen fooled the vetting process, OR, this was the process to begin with. The most telling part of the “heckling” was that Team Obama didn’t remove the heckler, but instead received cheers from the partisan audience for “letting him talk”. (Because Cousin Barry believes in free speech) Horse-Hockey! ~ JB
President Obama has to cheat even at getting heckled.
Check it out:
The Health Care Stack just keeps growing and growing and growing. The Obama poll numbers continue to plummet, and now Wolf Blitzer is officially concerned at CNN, finally addressed the poll numbers. Obama is now stacking his personal appearances with hecklers. A lot of people are making a big deal about the heckler in San Francisco at Obama’s immigration rally or appearance. Somebody wrote the script for the heckler.
Here is the Theorem: “Yeah, I agree with you, I’m trying to fix it. I’m working with Congress, but, you know, I just can’t make law any time I want to.” (IE: I am not a dictator – cough – Even though I want to be one for you.)
Well, what’s stopping him all of a sudden? He’s been making law ever since you became president. The Health Care Stack includes a new discovery that the unions have been exempted from a bunch of Obamacare fees. It just keeps adding up. I mean, no matter what it just keeps piling on.
Cousin George in a most candid moment(s):
A few years back, Sarah Palin was aggressively mocked for her assertion that there were going to be death panels in the Obamacare legislation. Fast forward a handful of years, and liberals are no longer even trying to pretend that these panels done’ exist. Some liberals are even trumpeting them as a good thing for American healthcare. Enter Mark Halperin a reporter and columnist for Time Magazine, who tells us that death panels “are built into the plan.”
It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.
Where were you during the 2008 election season, Mr. Halperin? Oh, that’s right you were right there covering the entire thing. You even got famous off of the book you wrote about it – Game Change. So, why weren’t you or anyone else in the media defending Governor Palin from the liberal attack machine that was calling her crazy for even suggesting the idea of “death panels?”
All of you dropped the ball, the only question is whether you did it on purpose or by accident.
Here is Halperin’s interview with Steve Malzberg on Newsmax TV, where he explains how the death panels are a necessary part of the system if Obamacare is to work.
Read more HERE
Seems that other “minorities” are getting attacked…. Sharpton specifically mentions that “Jews” have been attacked. Since this is the first time the Rev Al has spoken out on all of this (which has been going on for years) should we assume that he was forced to by some powerful media, banking moguls? (I think you get where we are going here….)
“It is despicable and we would not be silent if it were the other way around. We cannot be silent or in any way reluctant to confront it when it is coming from our own community.”
- Al Sharpton speaking about the Knockout Game
I’m not the guy to get up and praise Al Sharpton. The vast majority of the man’s words have caused destruction, pain and strife. Most of his life he has been a bane on society and has wrought discord and evil wherever he’s gone. However, he recently spoke out against the Knockout Game, and for that we should be grateful. He also spoke plainly about how it was people from “his” community choosing Jewish victims in racially motivated attacks – which may be the first time Al Sharpton has ever admitted that every community, even the inner city black community, has racial problems it needs to deal with.
“This kind of behavior is deplorable and must be condemned by all us,” he said at his weekly National Action Network meeting in Harlem. “We would not be silent if it was the other way around. We cannot be silent or in any way reluctant to confront it when it is coming from our own community.”
“Kids are randomly knocking out people [from] another race — some specifically going at Jewish people,” he said. “This kind of insane thuggery — there is nothing cute about that. There is no game play about knocking somebody out, and it is not a game. It is an assault and is bias, and it is wrong.”