Monday, 30 September 2013
The Cowboy of the NSA : Inside Gen. Keith Alexander's all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine.
Shane Harris is a senior writer for Foreign Policy and author of The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State.
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence
Washington, DC 20310-1001
05 Nov 2001
- a. Contrary to popular belief, there is no absolute ban on intelligence components collecting U.S. person information. That collection, rather, is regulated by EO 12333 and implementing policy in DoD 5240.1-R andAR 381-10.
b. Intelligence components may collect U.S. person information when the component has the mission (or "function") to do so, and the information falls within one of the categories listed in DoD 5240.1-R and AR 381-10. The two most important categories for present purposes are "foreign intelligence" and "counterintelligence." Both categories allow collection about U.S. persons reasonably believed to be engaged, or about to engage, in international terrorist activities. Within the United States, those activities must have a significant connection with a foreign power, organization, or person (e.g., a foreign-based terrorist group).
Lieutenant General, GS
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence
George H.W. Bush was the model of a working Vice-President.
Now, this is interesting; the official caption for this DoD picture, taken with hours of the first inauguration reads:
English: Vice President George Bush and other VIP's wait to welcome the former hostages to Iran home.
Which is interesting - since other sources cite the port of entry for the returned hostages was Stevens Air Force Base in upstate New York - which has, to say the least, an interesting pedigree.
Lessons from the great government shutdown of 1995-1996
--Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), Feb. 22, 2011
the president scolded.
"For most of the world, a government shutdown is very bad news - the result of revolution, invasion or disaster. Even in the middle of its ongoing civil war, the Syrian government has continued to pay its bills and workers' wages.
That leaders of one of the most powerful nations on earth willingly provoked a crisis that suspends public services and decreases economic growth is astonishing to many.
American policymakers "are facing the unthinkable prospect of shutting down the government as they squabble over the inconsequential accomplishment of a 10-week funding extension", Mexico's The News wrote in an editorial."
Sunday, 29 September 2013
"Of course, conservatives absolutely lost their minds. Predictably, the reaction has been bitterly partisan, completely ignoring the fact that this is the most significant and tellingly positive development in our Middle Eastern foreign affairs in decades. Instead, they are angry that President Obama is talking on the phone to Iran, but not to his own Congress.
The quintuplet of derpitude known as The Five on Fox “News” was just as appalled and “flabbergasted” as you’d expect them to be. Eric Bolling, who is always good for a clueless, pedantic and histrionic sound bye or two also did not disappoint. “I’m flabbergasted the president made the phone call to Rouhani after 33 years or so,” Bolling said. Continuing his point, Eric then went on to imply that all Iranians are terrorists. “There’s a reason we haven’t negotiated with Iran, because they’re state-sponsored terrorists.” "
NOTE: There is NO evidence, real or forged, linking Iran to the funding of 9/11, none, nada, not one scrap, not one shred, not one digit scribbled on the back of a discarded napkin, not to Iran, not to Hezzbollah, not to Hamas, Iraq, Syria, Canada or anyone else. You know why?
Because in its investigative proceedings, the 9/11 Commission did not look into the question of who funded the attacks, as such information would be of
They were ready to talk in 1981, they were ready to talk in 1999, 2001-2003 and 2006 - the 1999 window of opportunity came SO close to happening, but the Kosovo War happened (triggered by the Zionists in the Clinton Cabinet, not Clinton himself), and not only ruined that opportunity but brought the world to the brink of World War III with the standoff between NATO and the Red Army at Pristina Airport.
In his FIRST Press Conference in 1981, Ronald Reagan declared that with the return of the hostages and the culmination of October Surprise, all debts were repaid and the slate wiped clean - there was absolutely no reason not to restore at least a basic diplomatic mission in Tehran, and we KNOW that they were supplying arms to Iran throughout the 1980s at that very time, via Israel, so its all a total sham that there is any kind of unbridgable divide.
There are a few home truths about Syria that all concerned in Washington have neglected to mention, for good reason;
1) Bashar Assad was and is the most popular and progressive Arab leader and the best friend the US (and Israel) has in the region). He was also a very great and personal friend to the late Ambassador Chris Stevens.
2) Darryl Issa is a Syrian Mormon and a Zionist Arab who grew up hanging out with Rabbis. He also appears to have had the leaders of the Jewish Defence League killed for attempting to kill him in the immediate wake of 9/11 (he is the only Arab American Congressman)
3) Irrespective of who fired them (it was the anti-government forces - I refuse to call them "rebels", since they are foreign fighters), Syria's chemical weapons are not Bashar Assads' he does not want them and could not use them even if he wanted to - most were stockpiled by his father, a few may have been transferred from Iraq at some point - either way, they are a liability to him and is desperate to get rid of them.
4) The conflict in Syria is not a new war - this is the same Saudi-backed Sunni insurgency that was in Iraq from 2004 onwards, with Sunni Death Squad militias trained and armed by David Petreaus and veterans of the US Contra war in Central America - what the CIA calls "The Salvadoran Model". This is not a Syrian Civil War - this is the Iraqi Insurgency transplanted to Syria, where they actually have a large, well-equipped and well-motivated conscript army and a strong sense of secular national identity to fight it.
5) The US could not win in Iraq. But Syria can win in Syria. And the next step for the Sunni Death Squads once they achieved victory in Iraq, or were pushed back by the Iraqi Shi'ite controlled government forces would be to move on to Syria anyway, since the border is a largely irrelevant line in the sand in any case.
6) Syria will have known that in 2011, when the Syrian conflict formally got underway. In fact, that has been going on to a greater or lesser extent since at least 2005, when Petreaus was placed in charge of the Iraqi transitional command and began replicating the strategy he had been applying in his sector in Mosul of arming Sunni Death Squads. Diplomatic exchange between Syria and the West between 2005 and 2011 was, and is, excellent.
7) What Assad, and anyone paying attention at the time would have known was that by ignoring these people, they were not just going to go away.
Syria's army is a conscript army and therefore enormous - were there a serious desire to do so, they could stand elbow to elbow along the Iraqi and Turkish borders and completely seal them, blocking off the flow of fighters and material coming in.
9) That particular area of the world and the UN Missions to there are well-experienced to the practicalities of accommodating sizeable populations in refugee camps, and the climate is unusually conducive to extended periods of outdoor living in encampments.
The White House & State and the McCain/Graham Axis in Congress have been Good Cop/Bad Copping this one from the start.
It's just a hunch, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that the casualty figures from Syria turn out in the aftermath to have been grossly over-inflated, and most of them turn out to be foreign fighters backed by the Saudis and Petreaus to go in there, martyr themselves and cause carnage.
Syria isn't that big - it makes no sense that this is an inconclusive struggle after nearly 2 1/2 years, that the Syrian Army have been unable to decisively put down the insurgency with their massive numerical and material advantage in a fight conducted on home soil.
It's also hard to believe that thousands of heavily armed foreign fighters could have all gained entry into Syria unnoticed and unchallenged, when they had been successfully blocked for the previous half decade.
Unless they were intentionally allowed in over the border...
This is my speculation, but it makes sense of all the facts as we know them;
The facts are, all able bodied Syrian men of fighting age have been called up to military service to fight the insurgents. And it's certain that they will eventually win, it's just a question of time.
In areas of conflict, the local women, children and elderly have been evacuated away from the combat zone for the duration and accomdated in the adjoining Arab States (Israel, naturally, has refused such a courtesy, presumably citing "Security" concerns).
I would speculate, perhaps, given the nature of the Assad relationship with the West, that perhaps,this was the plan all along - Syria volunteered to absorb all the mad-dog Jihadi Death Squads, and deal with them militarily, whilst drawing in any nascent cells in the West and elsewhere to join the Jihad and providing a pretext to decommission Syria's unwanted and unusable Chemical stockpile in the process (Assad can't just hand it over in the face of external pressure, his support in Syria would collapse overnight, the Russian plan allows him to save face by appearing to stand up to the West and cause them to back down and blink first).
I suspect that this may have been the plan all along - all all the while, it prevides perfect cover for Obama to conduct his back-channel detante with Iran behind the backs of Israel and the Joint Chiefs, which was the ultimate goal all along.
Now, this is my speculation, and I label it as such - but ask yourself, really - what is the likelihood that Bashar Assad, commanding the miltary power that he does, and with the people behind him, couldn't manage to effectively secure his own borders to the North and to the East for the purposes of civil defence..?
I makes no sense, on the face of it,
Then ask yourself why this highly locallised explicitly Sunn Islamist insurgency of doctrinaire 7th Century Whabaists has held it's own for well over two years now without either side gaining any significant ground in achieving their respective, fairly basic goals...?
How is it the flow of arms and foreign fighters has more or less continuous during this entire period, and at points has shown signs of increasing significantly, wherever victory or total defeat seemed to be right on the brink of coming to pass...?
And why has Israel, thusfar, other than for a few sneering asides and the usual mistrustful broadsode of mudsligning, how is it only now, at this lace stage in the game, the Prime Minister and Knesset of the Apartheid State of Isreal only this year, in the most recent last few weeks has come out and made any form of open acknowledgment of the reality of the Israeli State itself having any form, infulence or interest of role, be it active or by clandestine means in the ultimate outcome of the insurgency in Syria, most progressive, "West-leaning", most militarised, nationalistic and socially social liberal of all it's Arab neighours....?
This man who swaps email exchanges with both Barbara Walters and Sy Hersh - at least until relatively recently, at any rate.