Tag - intelligence

CSE tracks millions of downloads daily: Snowden documents

Global sites for sharing movies, photos, music targeted in mass anti-terror surveillance.

CBC News, By Amber Hildebrandt, Michael Pereira & Dave Seglins, January 28

Canada’s electronic spy agency sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online every day by people around the world, as part of a sweeping bid to find extremist plots and suspects, CBC News has learned. Details of the Communications Security Establishment project dubbed “Levitation” are revealed in a document obtained by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and recently released to CBC News.

Under Levitation, analysts with the electronic eavesdropping service can access information on about 10 to 15 million uploads and downloads of files from free websites each day, the document says. “Every single thing that you do — in this case uploading/downloading files to these sites — that act is being archived, collected and analyzed,” says Ron Deibert, director of the University of Toronto-based internet security think-tank Citizen Lab, who reviewed the document.

The Intercept: Canada Casts Global Surveillance Dragnet Over File Downloads
The Globe And Mail: Canadian spies scoured file-sharing sites to track jihadis, document shows

Flight 370

I have absolutely no idea what happened to Flight 370. I don’t even have any theories to offer you. This is all I will say at this point: intelligence officials are now commenting anonymously on the issue. This means we will probably never know the full truth of what has happened to this flight. Consider everything you read with a very critical and jaundiced eye.

On that note, can someone please, please, fix CNN. It’s a national embarrassment at this point.


It’s All Snowden’s Fault

You read that right. Them’s the talking points out of DC. Obama got caught flat-footed. Apparently the CIA/DIA/NSA/NSC all believed that Putin would not send troops in. (I wonder what this tells us about our drone intel?) And so now what we’re getting from DC is it’s all Snowden’s fault because apparently he gave the Russians the keys to our SIGINT kingdom and our assets are worthless now and the Russians were able to sneak all this past us.

Fucking kill me.

You mean to tell me that no one in the CIA/DIA/NSA/NSC could come up with the independent idea, based on 350 years of Russian history, that Putin and Russia would fight for their strategic depth? Am I the only person on the planet that saw this coming? Honestly, I’m just not that smart.

Also, this is not Snowden’s fault. What this shows is the wishful thinking of the entire intelligence and elite policy apparatus in DC. And that is why the flaming hypocrisy of the reaction to Putin and his actions has been so intense. The sheep got sucker punched while they were drinking the Kool-Aid. (And that my friends is a mixed-metaphor worthy of Tom Friedman.)

Look, I goddamned told you so. I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs for two fucking weeks the Russians would do this. Everyone said, “no, Putin’s not going to go that far.”

He did. What’s your excuse now?

This could have all been avoided had we left the Ukraine as a buffer state. That way, Putin gets his strategic depth and the EU could extract their austerity wealth.

Reap the whirlwind.

Update: In the annals of stupid, this very well may end up in the top ten. Can I just say, you do not ever, ever, ever make a threat that you cannot back up. If you say you are going to use nukes on someone, you goddamned well better have nukes in your back pocket, not some stupid hypothetical 3-6 month breakout time horizon. Especially against someone as ruthless, patient and cunning as Vladimir Putin.

This shit is looking to get really, really ugly. Really, really fast.

And you know what: when you have bankers stealing from everyone, lots of unemployment, lots of recession and depression you get war.

We are not shown the ‘slam dunk’ Syria intel because it is not there

Magical mystery tour of 'slam dunk' blame Syria intel

Magical mystery tour of ‘slam dunk’ blame Syria intel

Robert Parry is an outstanding researcher and reporter.  His site, ConsortiumNews.com is a great source of information.  He has a devastating analysis piece out on the Obama administration claims of decisive evidence against the Syrian government.  If you want a well reasoned narrative of what may turn into the scandal of the new century, I would recommend this article.

“One intelligence source told me, after President Barack Obama’s Tuesday night speech on Syria, that the reason for the unreasonable secrecy should be obvious by now: that the evidence would not withstand scrutiny. He said it is viewed as flimsy even by some of the CIA analysts involved.  Read More

‘Insider Threats’ Sabotage Obama’s Syria Attack

cruise2As he prepares to launch cruise missiles against the sovereign state that poses no threat to the United States, President Barack Obama’s administration is spouting leaks of major proportion. (Image)

The Associate Press reports that

“… multiple U.S. officials used the phrase “not a slam dunk” to describe the intelligence picture —  a reference to then-CIA Director George Tenet’s insistence in 2002 that U.S. intelligence showing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was a ‘slam dunk’ — intelligence that turned out to be wrong.”  Associated Press, August 29

President Obama couldn’t launch even one cruise missile before multiple U.S. officials began undermining the intelligence report that was to form the basis for confidence in military action against the Syrian government.
Read More

‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Director Kathryn Bigelow, Screenwriter Mark Boal Respond to Critics


The director and screenwriter of Zero Dark Thirty accepted the best director and best picture awards at Monday night’s New York Film Critics Circle Awards and used the opportunity onstage to address simmering controversies: the debate over their film’s use of torture, as well as the impending Senate investigation into their sources in crafting the movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

“I thankfully want to say that I’m standing in a room of people who understand that depiction is not endorsement, and if it was, no artist could ever portray inhumane practices; no author could ever write about them; and no filmmaker could ever delve into the naughty subjects of our time,” Bigelow said to applause from the press and peers assembled at the Crimson Club in Manhattan.


Boal, in accepting the best picture award, gave a more full-throated defense of the film, while also pulling in an even more current political headline.

“There’s been a lot written about this movie; some of it has popped off the entertainment page to the news page. And from time to time, some of you might have wondered if we would have liked to comment on some of that coverage, and the answer is yes,” he said, standing defiantly at the podium.

“Let me just say this: there was a very interesting story on the front page of the New York Timestoday by Scott Shane, about a CIA agent who is now facing jail time for talking to a reporter about waterboarding,” he explained, referencing the story of John Kiriaku, an ex-CIA operative who was sentenced to 30 months in prison for disclosing the name of a covert CIA agent’s name to a journalist. Kiriaku publicly discussed torture on television and was a source for many other journalists.

“This gentleman is going to jail for that. And all I can say is that I read that story very closely. It sort of reminds me of what somebody else said when they were running for president, which is, ‘If this shit was happening to somebody else, it would be very interesting. For us, it’s quite serious,” Boal continued, a nod at the pending Senate investigation into whether the CIA improperly gave him classified information to assist in the making of the film.

“But nevertheless, I stand here tonight being extremely proud of the film we made… In case anyone is asking, we stand by the film,” he added, throwing down a gauntlet. “I think at the end of the day, we made a film that allows us to look back at the past in a way that gives us a more clear-sighted appraisal of the future.”

Related: Alex Pasternack: “The “problem” with Zero Dark Thirty‘s portrayal of torture isn’t the portrayal itself, but what it represents”; Jose A. Rodriguez: “I was intimately involved in setting up and administering the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, and I left the agency in 2007 secure in the knowledge not only that our program worked but also that it was not torture.” [Update: Scott Horton in 2007 on Rodriguez, aka, The Scapegoat]

(Image: david_shankbone, Flickr/CC)