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US, British ‘Clean House’ to Delete Syria Terror Links

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 14.11.2016

US President Barack Obama has just given the Pentagon orders to assassinate commanders of the Al Nusra terror network in Syria. American media reports over the weekend say the new urgency arises from US intelligence fears that al Qaeda-affiliated groups are preparing to mount terror attacks against Western targets from strongholds in Syria.

The purported US «kill list» will be acted on through drone strikes and «intelligence assets». The latter refers, presumably, to US special forces that are already operating in northern Syria alongside Turkish military.

Last week, a similar announcement was carried in the British press, which reported that elite British SAS troops had received orders to kill up to 200 jihadi volunteers from Britain who are suspected to be active in Syria (and Iraq). Again, the same rationale was invoked as in the latest American plan. That the assassination program was to pre-empt terror attacks rebounding on Western states.

A British defense official was quoted as saying that the mission could be the most important ever undertaken by the SAS in its entire 75-year history. «The hunt is on», said the official, «to take out some very bad people».

Significantly, too, the British SAS kill operations in Syria are reportedly being carried out as part of a «multinational effort». That suggests that the Pentagon’s initiative reported this weekend is being coordinated with the British.

However, there is something decidedly odd about this sudden determination by the Americans and British to eliminate terrorists in Syria.

Since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, US, British and other NATO forces have shown meagre success in delivering on official claims of combating al Qaeda-linked terror groups, such as Islamic State (IS, ISIS or Daesh) and Jabhat al Nusra (also known as Jabhat al Fatal al Sham).

A straightforward explanation for this apparent anomaly is that the US and its NATO allies are in reality covertly working with these terror networks as proxies for regime change against the Assad government – a longtime ally of Russia and Iran. What Washington refers to as «moderate rebels» whom it supports are in reality serving as conduits for arms and funds to the known terror groups. In this context, the terror groups have been Western assets in the regime-change war. Therefore, there has been no incentive to liquidate these assets – until now that is. Why now is the telling question.

The recent ceasefire debacles in the battleground northern city of Aleppo have demonstrated a systematic Western terror link. The failure by Washington to deliver on its commitment to separate so-called moderates from extremists is clear evidence that the alleged dichotomy is a hoax. The plain fact is that the US-backed «rebels» are fully integrated with the terror groups. That is, the US and its allies are sponsors of terrorism in Syria.

This has led to the reasonable charge by the Russian government that the US is supporting al Nusra, despite the latter being an internationally proscribed terrorist organization at the heart of the so-called American «war on terror». That charge has been corroborated by claims made by Nusra commanders who say that they have been receiving covert weapons supplies from the Americans. It is also substantiated by recent finds of US weaponry among terrorist dens that have been over-run by the Syrian Arab Army.

So, the question is: what is this latest urgency from the Pentagon to wipe out Nusra’s leadership in Syria really about?

First, let’s note that the implied precision of terrorist «kill lists» that the Americans and British are suddenly working on seems incongruous given that these NATO powers have up to now apparently been unable to furnish Russia with coordinates for extremist bases in Syria.

The Russian Ministry of Defense disclosed last week that the Americans have not provided a single scrap of information on the location of terrorist groups in Syria. The US was obliged to share intelligence on extremist positions as part of the ceasefire plans resolved in September by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

That then marks a seeming curious shift. From not being able to provide any intelligence on terror groups, now we are told in a different context that the US and its British counterpart are urgently moving ahead to carry out decapitation strikes on Nusra and ISIS commanders.

On the British side, reports said that a kill list of hundreds of British jihadis had been drawn up by the intelligence services of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. Why wasn’t this information shared before with Russia, as part of the Kerry-Lavrov accord?

Timing is also another telling factor. Obama’s announced order to the Pentagon to ramp up assassination of Nusra leaders comes in the wake of the shock presidential election victory for Donald Trump. Trump’s election last week was an outcome that completely blindsided the White House and the Washington establishment, who thought that Democrat rival Hillary Clinton was a safe bet.

The abrupt US impetus to neutralize Nusra cadres also comes as the Russian navy flotilla takes up position in the Mediterranean off Syria. The flotilla is led by the aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, along with destroyers equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles. The naval formation has been described as the biggest Russian deployment since the end of the Cold War 25 years ago. It will greatly enhance Russia’s air power which already has over the past year transformed the Syrian war into an eminent defeat for the Western-backed insurgents.

Now that nearly three weeks of Russia’s unilateral cessation in air strikes on terror targets in Syria has elapsed to no avail for a surrender by the insurgents, it is anticipated that Russian air power and Syrian forces on the ground are readying for a final, decisive offensive to vanquish the Western-backed proxy war.

President-elect Trump has stated on several occasions his approval of Russian and Syrian anti-terror efforts, unlike the Obama administration, which has sought to hamper them by accusing Moscow and Damascus of «war crimes» against civilians. Russia has rejected those claims as false. It points to recent initiatives to set up humanitarian corridors in Aleppo as evidence that it is trying to minimize civilian casualties. It is the US-backed militants who have sabotaged the humanitarian efforts.

In any case, Trump’s accession to the White House can be expected to give Russia a freer hand to bring the Syrian war to a close. And as noted, increased Russian military forces appear to be poised for this final push.

This is perhaps where the real significance of the latest Pentagon and British terrorist kill program is evinced. If we accept the plausible and proven premise that the Americans and their NATO allies have been covertly funding, arming and directing jihadi terror proxies, then one can expect that there is plenty of evidence within the terrorist ranks of such state-sponsoring criminal connections.

As Russian and Syrian forces eradicate the terrorist remnants one can anticipate that a trove of highly indicting information will be uncovered that grievously imputes Washington, London, Paris and others in Syria’s dirty war. Among the finds too will be hundreds of Nusra and other terrorist operatives who may be willing to testify as to who their handlers were. A huge can of worms awaits to be prized open.

To pre-empt such devastating evidence of Western culpability in waging a covert criminal war in Syria, the Pentagon and its British partner appear to be dispatching their elite troops to perform a little bit of «house cleaning». That cleaning may involve whacking jihadis who know too much.

No wonder the British official said it could the most important mission for the SAS in its 75-year history. Washington and London’s neck is on the line.

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

UK bases used for targeting in secret US drone war, documents indicate

Reprieve | October 30, 2016

Personnel on military bases in the UK have been involved in choosing targets for a secret US drone campaign which has killed hundreds of civilians in violation of international law, documents obtained by human rights charity Reprieve indicate.

Job adverts and CVs identified from publicly-available sources show that the US Air Force has employed a “MQ-9 REAPER [drone] ISR Mission Intelligence Coordinator” at RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire; while a Private Military Contractor (PMC) has advertised for an “All Source Analyst – Targeting” to work at the same base.

RAF Molesworth is leased to the US, but the UK Government has refused to answer questions on whether it plays a role in the covert drone campaign – which carries out missile strikes outside of warzones with minimal accountability.

British Ministers have said that “the US does not operate RPAS [drones] from the UK,” but have refused to answer questions on whether bases in the UK play a role in choosing targets and drawing up the US ‘kill list.’

A third job advert from contractor Leidos for someone to provide “FMV [full motion video] intelligence analysis in support of USAFRICOM… and Special Operations Command Africa,” also at Molesworth, indicates that the base may be involved in supporting illegal covert drone strikes in countries such as Somalia, where neither the US nor the UK is publicly at war. Along with the CIA, US Special Operations Command is the main player in the drone programme.

Concerns have been raised over the legality of the US covert drone programme, its lack of transparency, and reports that it has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. The UN has warned that it may violate international law, and British ministers have refused to be drawn on their view of its legality. President Obama has to date refused even to formally acknowledge that the CIA is carrying out drone strikes, because of the programme’s covert status. A 2014 study by Reprieve found that covert drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan had killed as many as 1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals.

The revelations come on top of documents published recently by The Intercept on the role played by Menwith Hill – another UK/US intelligence base – in identifying targets in Yemen, one of the main theatres in which the covert drone programme operates. One document states that targets at Yemeni internet cafes are “tasked by several target offices at NSA and GCHQ.” The document’s header shows it was copied to the UK, meaning that the British Government must have already been aware of the role its intelligence and bases were playing.

Commenting, Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve said:

“These documents are the strongest evidence yet that the US may be conducting its illegal, secret drone war from bases on British soil. Simply to say that drones are not flown from the UK is missing the point, if it is personnel on British soil that are at the top of the so-called ‘kill chain’ and British agencies who are feeding targets into those lists.

“The US drone programme, conducted in the shadows, has killed hundreds of civilians without any accountability. The British Government has questions to answer over its own involvement in this secret war and how much responsibility it bears for those deaths.”

October 31, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UK spying agencies collected Britons’ data for 17 years: Court

Press TV – October 18, 2016

UK spying agencies secretly and unlawfully collected and stored personal data of Britons for 17 years, according to a court ruling.

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ collected data on everyone’s communications between 1998 and 2015, according to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the watchdog for intelligence agencies.

The agencies tracked individual phone and web use and other confidential information without having adequate safeguards or supervision, senior judges ruled on Monday.

They did not abide by article 8 protecting the right to privacy of the European convention of human rights (ECHR), they added.

“The BPD (bulk personal datasets) regime failed to comply with the ECHR principles, which we have above set out throughout the period prior to its avowal in March 2015. The BCD (bulk communications data) regime failed to comply with such principles in the period prior to its avowal in November 2015, and the institution of a more adequate system of supervision as at the same date,” the ruling stated.

Spying agencies, however, will still be able to continue to do so due to small tweaks to the law that allow them to flout the ruling.

Millie Graham Wood, legal officer at Privacy International, said “today’s judgment is a long overdue indictment of UK surveillance agencies riding roughshod over our democracy and secretly spying on a massive scale.”

“There are huge risks associated with the use of bulk communications data,” Wood said. “It facilitates the almost instantaneous cataloging of entire populations’ personal data.”

According to Privacy campaigners, the ruling was “one of the most significant indictments of the secret use of the government’s mass surveillance powers” since Edward Snowden, a former contractor of the US National Security Agency, who first released the extent of American and British surveillance of citizens in 2013.

Secret documents leaked by Snowden also revealed that the GCHQ and the NSA had monitored more than 1,000 targets in at least 60 countries between 2008 and 2011 by secretly accessing cable networks carrying the world’s phone calls and internet traffic.

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lies, spies and the story Chilcot missed

By Yvonne Ridley | MEMO | July 10, 2016

Sir John Chilcot’s report into the war in Iraq contains 2.6 million words and took seven years to complete yet there is one story which was untold in the dossier. It is the story of how two heroic GCHQ (Government Communications HQ) staff sacrificed their careers and ambitions in order to try and stop the most powerful country in the world from invading Iraq, and thereby preventing the slaughter of innocents.

One of the women, whom I called “Isobel”, came to see me after an anti-war gathering I addressed at Bristol University. It was towards the end of 2002 and I had recently returned from an investigative assignment in Iraq, convinced more than ever that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, as an anti-war journalist, very few of my colleagues in Fleet Street’s mainstream media wanted to run a story saying there were no WMD in Iraq, even though this was also the conclusion of the UN’s chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, and his team of experts.

“Isobel” gave me a top secret document which turned out to be the biggest and most damning intelligence leak since World War II. I wondered how I could get the story out to the wider world that America was so desperate to push for war in Iraq that it was prepared to use blackmail against individuals sitting on the UN Security Council to get its wish.

The document made it quite clear that Britain’s spy agencies would do the spade work to seek out and dig dirt on council members which could then be used against them to secure their votes for war. It was sensational.

All of the information was contained in an email from America’s National Security Agency (NSA) to Britain’s GCHQ. British spy agencies were “ordered” by their American counterparts to spy on all members of the Security Council to try to ascertain how they would vote in the event of Bush and Blair seeking UN approval for the war in Iraq.

When “Isobel” handed me the document I was working as a freelance journalist and automatically thought the best way to place it would be at the Daily Mirror which, under editor Piers Morgan, was one of the few Fleet Street titles to adopt an anti-war position. Intelligence stories are always difficult to prove and, without compromising my contacts at GCHQ, I was unable to supply the Mirror with anything other than the original email, although I had used an intelligence contact to verify its authenticity.

The war drums were beating ever louder when it was returned to me with disappointing news; it would not be used by the Mirror. In hindsight, the story was so massive that I should have gone straight to Morgan to try and persuade him to run it.

By this time it was early February and, realising that it had a limited shelf life, I contacted a former colleague at the Observer and told him what I had. I met with Martin Bright in a small cafe in London’s West End and knew straight away that he would give it his best shot as he realised the importance of the document.

It took a full three weeks for Bright, assisted by the Observer’s then defence correspondent Peter Beaumont and US editor Ed Vulliamy, to stand up the story and persuade the editor, Roger Alton, to run with it. It was years later before I discovered that political editor Kamal Ahmed did his best to persuade Alton to dump the exclusive.

There were even attempts to trash my personal reputation as a journalist and reminders bordering on hysteria about the Sunday Times’ embarrassing faux pas over the 1980s hoax “Hitler Diaries”; it was a desperate attempt to dissuade Alton not to use the story but it went ahead and the scoop soon travelled around the world. Sadly, days later, Iraq was invaded and the story was swamped by “Shock and Awe” headlines. Now it is virtually forgotten, but I often wonder if it would or could have altered the course of events had we been able to get the story published in early February 2003.

The woman who handed me the document – “Isobel” – and her colleague Katharine Gun, a 29-year-old Mandarin translator who also worked at GCHQ in Cheltenham, were arrested. When their homes were raided and searched by police, “Isobel” got a message to me; I was in Bahrain at the time and sent Bright a text message saying simply, “Shit, hit & fan”.

Recalling events some five years later, Martin Bright wrote in the New Statesman : “The email was sent by a man with a name straight out of a Hollywood thriller, Frank Koza, who headed up the ‘regional targets’ section of the National Security Agency, the US equivalent of GCHQ. It named six nations to be targeted in the operation: Chile, Pakistan, Guinea, Angola, Cameroon and Bulgaria. These six so-called ‘swing nations’ were non-permanent members of the Security Council whose votes were crucial to getting the resolution through.”

According to Bright, “It later emerged that Mexico was also targeted because of its influence with Chile and other countries in Latin America, though it was not mentioned in the memo. But the operation went far wider – in fact, only Britain was specifically named as a country to be exempt from the ‘surge’.”

Verifying the document as genuine proved the most difficult task and Blairite journalists embedded in the Observer newsroom continued to whisper in the editor’s ear about conspiracy theories, Russian forgeries and even a double bluff scenario by GCHQ spy chiefs to flush out traitors.

In the end, Vulliamy simply telephoned the NSA’s Maryland HQ and asked to speak to the author of the email. Within seconds he was put through to Frank Koza’s office and the man himself answered the phone. Although he refused to comment on the story, the call proved that Koza did indeed exist and was not some invention of the Kremlin’s spooks.

The story was published on 2 March 2003 but it became clear that the US president was going to go to war come what may and that he wasn’t going to rely on UN support. Thanks to Chilcot, we now know that Blair had already given his unconditional support to Bush in September 2002.

Gun and “Isobel” were arrested for alleged offences under the Official Secrets Act, but the attorney general at the time, Lord Goldsmith, dropped the case at the 11th hour on 26 February 2004. Had the case gone ahead, it would have been both sensational and embarrassing for the US and Britain. Today I wonder if that is why Chilcot chose to ignore the story, which has been recounted in part by Bright. The shenanigans of what went on inside the Observer newsroom were provided in more detail by award-winning journalist Nick Davies. He decided to break Fleet Street’s unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, in order to expose how the mainstream media subverts the truth.

In his book “Flat Earth News”, Davies gave us a scathing critique of the media; not just some of it, but all of it. Davies’ most damaging dirt is reserved for Kamal Ahmed, the man who – with no prior experience – was appointed as political editor of the Observer after Patrick Wintour moved to the Guardian. The more obviously qualified Andy McSmith was overlooked by the new editor, Roger Alton, whose sympathies were generally right-wing. According to Davies, both Alton and Ahmed were open to endless manipulation by Downing Street, which resulted in uncritical stories about the “findings” of the now notorious “dodgy dossier”.

There were other blatant lies published about Saddam’s alleged connections to Al-Qaida and his arsenal of WMD. Journalists like myself who supported the anti-war movement and individuals like Blix and the US’ Scott Ritter were demonised and ridiculed for holding to a narrative which differed from that of the pro-war lobby.

The British and American media ware manipulated by people inside newsrooms who were under the influence of the Bush and Blair camps, manipulation the like of which we can see continuing today in the attacks against anti-war Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. The pro-war lobby appears to be infecting all walks of life, including the media and government.

I don’t know if Chilcot was persuaded to ignore the story of the GCHQ leak or if he simply over-looked it, but as whistle-blower Kathryn Gun writes here, it was a missed opportunity. If nothing else, this is a cautionary tale which serves as a warning about the kind of desperate measures that the US and British governments are prepared to take to get their own way, especially on matters relating to the Middle East. If that means blackmailing, eavesdropping and intercepting the private communications of UN Security Council members, there are those in Washington and London ready, willing and able to do it.

July 10, 2016 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good chance spies are hoovering up your personal data in bulk, documents show

RT | April 21, 2016

British security services “routinely” collect personal data on bulk from thousands of public and private organizations, including confidential medical and financial records, newly-disclosed documents show.

The previously-confidential files, obtained by campaign group Privacy International (PI) as part of an ongoing legal case challenging the collection of bulk personal datasets (BPDs), have revealed “the staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data.”

In March 2015, the government first owned up to the use of BPDs by its intelligence agencies, including by MI6, MI5 and GCHQ. BPDs include call logs, internet traffic, and medical, financial and travel records of British citizens.

“It goes far beyond monitoring our text messages, email messages, and social media posts. The intelligence agencies have secretly given themselves access to potentially any and all recorded information about us,” PI explains.

“The agencies themselves admit that the majority of data collected relates to individuals who are not a threat to national security or suspected of a crime. This highly sensitive information about us is vulnerable to attack from hackers, foreign governments, and criminals,” PI’s legal officer Millie Graham Wood said in a statement.

BPDs currently account for 5 percent of all data stored by GCHQ, the files reveal.

An oversight committee reviews the storage of BPDs every six months. Since 2005, home secretaries have had to reauthorize the collection of these data sets twice a year.

Wood warned the government’s controversial Investigatory Powers Bill would codify and legitimize these practices.

“The agencies have been doing this for 15 years in secret and are now quietly trying to put these powers on the statute book for the first time, in the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament. These documents reveal a lack of openness and transparency with the public about these staggering powers and a failure to subject them to effective Parliamentary scrutiny.”

In a statement, the Home Office defended the use of BPDs, saying their acquisition provides “vital and unique intelligence.”

The document cache also contains guidance for intelligence officers who have access to surveillance systems. One document aimed at MI6 employees warns officers not to scour the surveillance databases “for information about other members of staff, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, family members and public figures unless it is necessary to do so as part of your official duties.”

The revelations come after a survey revealed the majority of Britons remain unconcerned about the potential ramifications of the Investigatory Powers Bill.

Of 1,600 respondents surveyed by Broadband Genie, 75 percent said they had not heard of the IP Bill. Asked if they backed the government’s plans to ramp up mass surveillance in Britain, a third said they didn’t care either way.

April 21, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , , , | Leave a comment

Drone kill list: Parliament deceived on ‘medieval assassination’ program

RT | April 11, 2016

Parliament has been deceived by the Conservative government on the scope and details of Britain’s unauthorized drone assassination program, according to a new report by the human rights NGO Reprieve.

The authors argue in the opening commentary that the “revelations in this report demonstrate that parliament has been misled” and that current scope of investigation into the issue is too “narrow.”

Published Sunday, the report makes a number of startling assertions. It claims the kill list – also known as the Joint Prioritized Effects List (JPEL) – conflates drug enforcement and counterterrorism.

It also says UK police units have helped the US military find targets for assassination and that unrepresentative examples of die-hard extremists are being cited to mask the human impact of drone warfare.

War on everything

The investigation warns that under the auspices of the UK’s targeted killing policy the ‘War on Terror’ is being merged with the ‘War on Drugs,’ with people other than suspected terrorists being killed by drones.

It alleges there may have been up to 50 Afghan drug traffickers on the list since 2009 and that UK police officers working for the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) worked with electronic intelligence agency GCHQ and Britain’s Joint Narcotics Analysis Centre to pick out targets.

Skewed

Reprieve’s study claims the UK government has used particularly extreme examples to justify its drone policy, in the same way that the death penalty in the US has been justified by pointing to the most extreme killers.

It cites the example of Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement on September 15, 2015, when he said that a UK drone strike had killed jihadist Reyaad Khan in Syria. Reprieve claims this was used to spin the reality of drone warfare.

“History teaches us that it has always been easiest for advocates of the death penalty to sell their case to some by highlighting the face of a serial killer who is captured on film committing his atrocities,” the report says.

This, the NGO claims, is not reflective of the demographic most profoundly affected by drone warfare, instead arguing that drones are “far from the marvelously precise killing machines” they are marketed as. It claims up to nine innocent children have been killed in pursuit of a “High Value Target.”

Medieval

The report warns against assassination as a tool of policy. It lauds those Conservative politicians who criticized Tony Blair’s government for “complicity” in the US torture program, but adds “if this government now seeks to drag the UK back to medieval times with an assassination project, it is only right that it should be fully discussed with parliament and the public.”

April 11, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is This Even Legal? EU Court to Investigate UK Surveillance Bill

Sputnik — 28.03.2016

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has scheduled an emergency hearing to investigate the United Kingdom’s recently adopted Investigatory Powers Bill on its compatibility with EU law, UK media said.

The hearing, which may result in the European Union limiting the powers of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) surveillance body, has been scheduled for April 12, The Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

On March 15, the House of Commons passed the Investigatory Powers Bill, also dubbed as the “snoopers’ charter” by its critics with 281 votes for and 15 against. The bill is now proceeding through the committee stage for further scrutiny.

The ECJ has previously ruled against the UK government’s surveillance legislation. In 2014, the court declared the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (Dripa) to be inconsistent with EU laws after the case was brought to Luxembourg by two UK lawmakers.

April’s hearing is expected to be attended by the Conservative member of parliament David Davis, of the lawmakers that took Dirpa to the ECJ for scrutiny, according to the newspaper.

The snoopers’ charter has been designed to give UK police and intelligence services sweeping powers. the legislation requires internet providers to store their customers’ browsing history for up to 12 months and grant access to law enforcement regardless of whether a user is under investigation or not. Police will also have the authority to hack into phones, laptops, tablets and computers.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May has defended the bill, claiming it prioritizes privacy and limits intrusiveness into personal data.

March 27, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 1 Comment

‘Karma Police’: Illegal GCHQ operation to track ‘every visible user on the internet’

RT | September 26, 2015

New documents shared by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal GCHQ mass-surveyed “every visible user on the internet,” codenaming the operation Karma Police after a popular song by Radiohead.

The mission was started in 2009, without the agency obtaining legal permission to carry out the operation. Also there was no Parliamentary consultation or public scrutiny, documents published by the Intercept website show.

GCHQ – Government Communications Headquarters – is a UK spy agency responsible for providing intelligence by intercepting communications between people or equipment. The data is handed over to the British government and armed forces.

The recently revealed operation was developed by GCHQ in 2007-08. It aimed to link “every user visible to passive SIGINT with every website they visit, hence providing either (a) a web browsing profile for every visible user on the internet, or (b) a user profile for every visible website on the internet.”

The numbers of surveyed users were astonishing: in 2012, GCHQ gathered some 50 billion online metadata records a day, and the agency planned to boost its capacity to 100 billion records a day by the end of this year.

The information was held for months in a vast store nicknamed the Black Hole and was carefully examined by data analysts.

GCHQ also used software codenamed ‘Blazing Saddles’ to survey listeners of “any one particular radio station … to understand any trends or behaviors.”

The report details the program was reportedly aiming to “look for potential covert communications channels for hostile intelligence agencies running agents in allied countries, terrorist cells, or serious crime targets.”

However, the program didn’t just target terror suspects: one user was surveyed and found to have visited the Redtube porn site, some social media and a few Arabic and Islamic commercial enterprises.

Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International organization, tweeted his concern following the publication of the documents.

Despite former CIA employee Edward Snowden leaking his NSA files in 2013, revelations about the US and UK spying programs still appear regularly. In June, it was disclosed that a secretive GCHQ unit assists traditional law enforcement with domestic spying and online propaganda.

The unit reportedly manipulates public opinion based on scientific and psychological analyses.

Two years ago, the Snowden scandal forced the heads of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to explain their actions at an unprecedented public hearing.

September 26, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

60 Minutes Australia: Special Investigation Spies Lords and Predators

60 Minutes Australia- Special Investigation Spies Lords and Predators.mp4 from saynotofascism on Vimeo.

“I wasn’t a person… I was an object.”

Australian TV  was thoughtful enough to ignore the embarrassing fact that at the time Lord Greville Jenner allegedly slept with young kids in his marital bed, he was also the Chairman of the BOD, a body that claims to represent British Jewry.

July 20, 2015 Posted by | Corruption, Supremacism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 1 Comment

New documents yet more evidence of UK & European role in US drone strikes

Reprieve | June 24, 2015

The Guardian and the New York Times have today revealed the existence of documents showing the contribution made by UK intelligence agency GCHQ to US drone strikes in Yemen.

The British Government has to date refused to comment on its role in such strikes, describing them consistently as “a matter for the Yemeni and US Governments.”

However, legal charity Reprieve has previously raised concerns over European complicity in covert drone strikes – considered by many experts to be in violation of international law – through the sharing of intelligence and the provision of infrastructure.

In Germany, Reprieve has helped civilian drone strike victim Faisal bin ali Jaber to bring a case against the Government over the role played in Yemen strikes by the military base at Ramstein.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Reprieve unearthed a contract showing that a high-tech data link had been provided between RAF Croughton – a base leased by the US in Lincolnshire – and Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, from where US strikes against Yemen have reportedly been launched.

Commenting, Reprieve legal director Kat Craig said: “This is yet more damning evidence of the key role played by the UK in the illegal US drone war. This campaign has taken place in the shadows, killing hundreds of civilians while leaving their families with no access to justice. President Obama won’t even confirm it is taking place; while the UK and Germany follow his lead by stonewalling questions on the part they play. It is time Europe came clean on the support it provides to this misguided campaign, which the evidence suggests is making the world a more dangerous place for all of us.”

June 24, 2015 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

By Nadia Kayyali | EFF | November 12, 2014

The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.

Portions of the letter had been previously redacted. One of these portions contains a claim that the letter was written by another African-American: “King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all us Negroes.” It goes on to say “We will now have to depend on our older leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done.” This line is key, because part of the FBI’s strategy was to try to fracture movements and pit leaders against one another.

The entire letter could have been taken from a page of GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG)—though perhaps as an email or series of tweets. The British spying agency GCHQ is one of the NSA’s closest partners. The mission of JTRIG, a unit within GCHQ, is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them.” And there’s little reason to believe the NSA and FBI aren’t using such tactics.

The implications of these types of strategies in the digital age are chilling. Imagine Facebook chats, porn viewing history, emails, and more made public to discredit a leader who threatens the status quo, or used to blackmail a reluctant target into becoming an FBI informant. These are not far-fetched ideas. They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices illustrate that reality richly.

The newly unredacted portions shed light on the government’s sordid scheme to harass and discredit Dr. King. One paragraph states:

No person can overcome the facts, no even a fraud like yourself. Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure. You will find yourself and in all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk exposed on the record for all time. . . . Listen to yourself, you filthy, abnormal animal. You are on the record.

And of course, the letter ends with an ominous threat:

King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.

There’s a lesson to learn here: history must play a central role in the debate around spying today. As Professor Gage states:

Should intelligence agencies be able to sweep our email, read our texts, track our phone calls, locate us by GPS? Much of the conversation swirls around the possibility that agencies like the N.S.A. or the F.B.I. will use such information not to serve national security but to carry out personal and political vendettas. King’s experience reminds us that these are far from idle fears, conjured in the fevered minds of civil libertarians. They are based in the hard facts of history.

November 13, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 2 Comments

GCHQ Oversight Tribunal Has To Ask GCHQ’s Permission To Reveal GCHQ’s Wrongdoing

By Glyn Moody | Techdirt | March 7, 2014

One of the key themes to emerge in the debate about surveillance is the oversight of the agencies involved, and to what extent it is effective. In the US, that has been put into stark relief by news that the committee that is supposed to keep an eye on the spies was itself spied upon. And now over in the UK, we learn that things are just as bad when it comes to the equivalent oversight body, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). Its powers sound impressive:

The Tribunal can investigate complaints about any alleged conduct by, or on behalf of, the Intelligence Services – the Security Service (sometimes called MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (sometimes called MI6) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).

The scope of conduct the IPT can investigate concerning the Intelligence Agencies is much broader than it is with regard to the other public authorities. The IPT is the only Tribunal to whom complaints about the Intelligence Services can be directed

Unfortunately, the IPT’s credibility as the public’s watchdog for the intelligence services has just been seriously undermined by the following information published by The Guardian :

A controversial court that claims to be completely independent of the British government is secretly operating from a base within the Home Office, the Guardian has learned.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints about the country’s intelligence agencies, is also funded by the Home Office, and its staff includes at least one person believed to be a Home Office official previously engaged in intelligence-related work.

It gets worse:

the IPT will not say whether GCHQ had disclosed the existence of its bulk surveillance operations, which attempt to capture the digital communications of everybody — including those people who complain to the tribunal.

Nor will it disclose whether it has issued any secret ruling on the lawfulness of those operations, on the grounds that the rules under which it operates stipulate that it cannot do so without the permission of GCHQ itself. It has not sought that permission on grounds it knows it would not be given.

So the body tasked with overseeing GCHQ has to get GCHQ’s permission before it can reveal any wrongdoing by GCHQ, which it doesn’t bother doing when it knows it would be refused. Isn’t oversight a wonderful thing? Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

March 7, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | Leave a comment