Obama Administration Plans to Extend “War on Terror” For at Least Another Decade

For two years, the Obama administration has been secretly creating a new terrorist targeting list called the “disposition matrix.” The matrix contains the names of suspected terrorism suspects matched against the collective resources being used to pursue them, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists and the reach of American drone strikes. The conventional wars in the middle east may be winding down but there is broad consensus among senior Obama administration officials that these operations are likely to be extended at least another decade while some say there is no clear end in sight.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a necessary part of what we do. . . .We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

The number of militants and civilians killed in drone strikes over the past 10 years will soon exceed 3,000 by various estimates, surpassing the number of people killed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan wants to codify the administration’s approach to generating capture/kill lists to guide future administrations through the counterterrorism processes that Obama has embraced. CIA Director David H. Petraeus is pushing for an expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones. The proposal reflects the agency’s transformation into a paramilitary force.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it clear that if elected he would continue the drone campaign. “We can’t kill our way out of this,” he said, but added later that Obama was “right to up the usage” of drone strikes and that he would do the same.

 

More Than 6 Years of NYPD Spying on Muslims Led to Nothing

In more than six years of spying on New York City’s Muslim neighborhoods and mosques, the NYPD’s secret Demographics Unit admits to never having generated a lead or obtaining any information that led to a terrorism investigation.

With assistance from the CIA the Demographics Unit compiled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Police placed informants in Muslim student groups and mosques, monitored sermons and catalogued every Muslim in New York who adopted new, Americanized surnames.

In a June 28 deposition as part of a federal civil rights case, Assistant Chief Thomas Galati, commanding officer of the NYPD Intelligence Division, said none of the NYPD’s efforts ever led to a case.

“Related to Demographics,” Galati testified that information that has come in “has not commenced an investigation.” He also described how police gather information on people even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing, because of their ethnicity and native language.

As a rule, Galati said, a business can be labeled a “location of concern” whenever police can expect to find groups of Middle Easterners there.

After the AP began reporting on the Demographics Unit, the department’s former senior analyst, Mitchell Silber, said the unit provided the tip that led to a case against a bookstore clerk who was convicted of plotting to bomb the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan. Galati testified that he could find no evidence of that.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, has said he is confident the NYPD’s activities are lawful and have kept the city safe.

Dept. of Homeland Security to Use Molecular Scanners That Will Instantly Know Everything About You

Within the next year or so, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans on deploying a laser based molecular scanner that can penetrate clothing, many other organic materials and will instantly know everything about those targeted from as far away as 164 feet. From traces of drugs or gun powder on clothing to even what an individual had for breakfast to the adrenaline levels in their body.

All without the individuals who are being targeted even knowing it.

In November 2011, the inventors of the technology were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded “in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the CIA, with the support of the U.S. Congress.” According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.

The plan is for these new scanners to be utilized in airports and at border crossings all across the United States.

The machine is ten million times faster and one million times more sensitive than any system currently available system and can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people.

In-Q-Tel states that “an important benefit of Genia Photonics’ implementation as compared to existing solutions is that the entire synchronized laser system is comprised in a single, robust and alignment-free unit that may be easily transported for use in many environments… This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence.”

So not only can they scan everyone, but they would be able to do it everywhere at anytime: the subway, a sports events or even at a traffic light.

According to the undersecretary for science and technology of the Department of Homeland Security, this scanning technology will be ready within one to two years, which means we will probably start seeing them in airports as soon as 2013.

These portable, incredibly precise molecular-level scanning devices will soon be cascading lasers across our bodies as we move throughout airports instantly reporting and storing a detailed breakdown of our persons, in search of certain “molecular tags”.

Going well beyond eavesdropping, it looks like the U.S. government plans on recording molecular data on travelers without their consent, or even knowledge.

Iran Executes Alleged Mossad Agent

“The end of the road has nothing except repentance — and rope,” Majid Jamali Fashi was quoted as saying just moments before he was hanged for the January 2010 bombing that killed Tehran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi.

He was sentenced to death for crimes of “defiance of God,” or using arms against Iran’s Islamic government, and spreading “corruption on the earth,” or damaging public security and order, according to the official IRNA news agency.

At least four Iranian scientists have been killed since Mohammadi was murdered with a bomb rigged motorcycle. Iran blames Israel’s Mossad spy agency, the CIA and Britain’s MI-6 for targeting Iranian scientists in an attempt to halt Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.. Washington and London have denied any roles.

Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday the slayings “are not connected to us in any way.”

Israel and others have pointed the finger at Iran for alleged revenge attacks, including a February bombing in New Delhi that wounded an Israeli diplomat’s wife and the discovery of a bomb in Bangkok that is believed to be linked to a plot to target Israeli diplomats. In Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku, security officials arrested 22 suspects last March that were allegedly hired by Iran to commit terrorist attacks against U.S. and Israeli embassies.

In Vienna, meanwhile, Iran and the U.N.’s nuclear agency held a second day of talks over suspicions that Tehran might have tested atomic arms technology at a military site. Iran denies the claims, insisting it only seeks nuclear reactors for energy and medical research.

Former CIA Agent Charged Under Espionage Act For Admitting U.S. Tortured Detainees

A former CIA officer has been charged under the Espionage Act for disclosing “classified” information to journalists, the latest in an unprecedented crackdown on whistle-blowers and “national security” leaks by the Obama administration.

John Kiriakou is facing decades in prison if convicted. He is accused of providing secrets, including the name and activities of one of his undercover colleagues, to unidentified reporters. One of the journalists is alleged to given the name of the covert CIA officer to lawyers representing a Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

Kiriakou is also accused of giving reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times information that Shane used in a 2008 story that named CIA analyst Deuce Martinez as a key figure in the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda logistics chief who was water boarded. Martinez’s role in the interrogation was classified though he was not working undercover.

At a hearing in Alexandria, Va., a federal judge ordered Kiriakou released on a $250,000 unsecured bond. Kiriakou’s attorney, Plato Cacheris, said afterward that the defense may argue that the charges criminalize conduct that has been common between reporters and government sources for decades.

The lawyers and their investigators, including attorneys from the ACLU, did not break the law, the Justice Department said. No reporters were charged.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero called the investigation “incredibly troubling” and said it would have a chilling effect on reporters, whistle-blowers and defense lawyers. Romero criticized “the fact that the government continues to investigate those who research and report on the individuals who committed torture and yet don’t prosecute those who undertook that torture.”

Alleged emails from Kiriakou disclosed classified information to journalists, including the name of a CIA agent known as “Covert Officer A.”  Kiriakou denied giving the information to reporters when interviewed by FBI agents on Jan 12.

In addition Kiriakou is being accused of trying to include classified information in his memoir by lying to the CIA’s Publication Review Board. The book, published in 2010, was titled, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”

The case against Kiriakou marks the fifth time the Obama administration brought charges of violating the Espionage Act against current or former government officials who allegedly leaked information to journalists. The most of any previous administration.

Former CIA officer, Jeffrey Sterling, is accused of leaking information to a New York Times reporter. State Department official, Stephen Kim, is charged with leaking information about North Korea to Fox News. FBI translator, Shamai Leibowitz, plead guilty in 2010 and was sentenced to 20 months in prison for giving information to a blogger. A sixth defendant, Bradley Manning, has been charged in connection with alleged disclosure of documents to the website Wikileaks.

CIA Director David H. Petraeus said he supported the Kiriakou investigation. “Unauthorized disclosures of any sort, including information concerning the identities of other agency officers — betray the public trust, our country and our colleagues,” he said in a statement.

Steven Aftergood, who follows the intelligence community for the Federation of American Scientists, and other skeptics of official secrecy questioned how the government could use the Espionage Act to prosecute people who were not spying, but allegedly providing information to reporters.

“What’s missing from all these cases is any allegation that these people have actually caused harm to the United States,” said Jesselyn Radack, national security and human rights director for the Government Accountability Project, which represented former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake in an Espionage Act case that collapsed last year.

Many on the left have pushed for prosecution of those in the Bush administration that sought to legalize torture, but President Obama has stated that his administration will be about “looking forward as opposed to looking backward”. Apparently his looking forward only applies to the officials that authorized, condoned and ordered indefinite detention and torture. For those who are brave enough to expose the most grievous misdeeds of the previous administration it seems Obama is looking so far backward he is taking cues from the former administration and doubling down.

 

Feds to Monitor Internet for Uprisings with Predictive Software

Apparently some U.S. Navy-backed researchers has come up with a bizarre explanation for the grass roots uprisings that took place in Egypt last year. According to their thesis the reason for the revolt was not a cry for freedom and equality but that the idea of overthrowing their dictator spread like an infection throughout the Egyptian population. What’s even more disconcerting is the antidote they have come up with.

A team at Aptima Inc., with funding from the Office of Naval Research, is developing software that would scour the internet, including news stories, social networks and blogs, to extract topics and phrases that are gaining traction online. The software would then track how the conversations proliferate, both geographically and over time.

The software would use epidemiological modeling to chart the discussions and their trajectory. It’s the same method used in public health initiatives to figure out where a particular illness started, and how it spread. Epidemiologists collect data and use the information to make educated guesses on how causality, health and environmental factors contributed to outbreaks in any given community.

Applied to the online world, epidemiological models would treat an uprising like some sort of viral outbreak. They’d break down and track  web conversations by the author of the post, what site it was published on and the comments that followed and try to figure out which parts contributed most to the spread of a revolutionary message.

Called “Epidemiological Modeling of the Evolution of Messages”  or E-Meme for short, the program would also use language recognition technology to determine what people in certain regions, of certain age groups, genders, or any number of other demographics, are discussing. From “next week’s election” to “link up and cause havoc.”

“We witnessed the profound power of ideas to replicate in what began as anti-government sentiment in Tunisia, then moved like a virus, reaching and influencing new groups in Egypt, Syria, and Libya,”  Dr. Robert McCormack, the project’s lead investigator, said. “If we can better understand the flow of ideas through electronic channels to sway the perceptions of groups, we may be better prepared to develop appropriate strategies, such as supporting democratic movements or perhaps dissuading suicide bombers.”

E-Meme is currently one year into a two-year development plan and will even be designed to go beyond those abilities. After tracking the proliferation of topics, E-Meme will analyze what kinds of attitudes those discussing them appear to have and then how those attitudes influence the conversation’s spread across the web.

“A lot of tools exist to do things like look at trending topics, or how many people online are talking about X,” McCormack added. “We want to take that several steps further. We’re interested in the dynamics of those conversations.”

McCormack and co. certainly have high hopes for the software’s abilities. Eventually, they’d like to analyze “sentiments” and “the perceptions of groups” to predict “what the online discussion will actually turn into.” Egypt’s relative peace compared to Libya’s rampant violence. Of course, McCormack notes, that kind of analysis remains “incredibly difficult to do.”

The evolution of software like E-Meme will no doubt remain a major Pentagon priority. In the past two years alone, we’ve seen the CIA invest in a company that scours the Internet to “predict the future,”  Iarpa consider the merits of person-finding via web pic and spotting rebel citizens via YouTube.

Of course, governments worldwide already do plenty of online monitoring. But for those living under power hungry dictatorial regimes in which citizens can be indefinitely detained or even assassinated by their government with no due process? The prospect of monitoring that’s smart enough to understand the online spread of ideas, and their subsequent real-world outcomes, could be downright devastating. Good thing for us we in live in the U.S. where..wait a minute, damn.

 

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