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Silently surveying the rural lands surrounding them, the giant stones impose themselves upon the grassy landscape. Raised by human hands, but dwarfing any man, they are neatly aligned to various celestial phenomena, such as the rising and setting of the Sun at the Solstices and the hitching post of the heavens, the North Star Polaris. Their designers are unknown; they remain a mystery to us – but the Stones give voice to their inner thoughts. Some see in their construction a guiding wisdom for humanity, whilst others feel threatened by the overt pagan overtones and, paradoxically, stark scientific simplicity, of the megaliths and their message.
Far from being the work of an ancient people though, this monument was raised just three decades ago by a group of stonemasons – in the literal sense of the word – from the South of the United States of America. Unlike that other famous megalithic site, Stonehenge, we know exactly how the stones were quarried, how they were finished, and then assembled into one interlocking marvel. And yet, the Georgia Guidestones remain a modern mystery.
Their story begins with the arrival of a neatly-dressed gray-haired gentleman at Elberton Granite Finishing Company on a Friday afternoon in June, 1979. He introduced himself as one ‘R.C. Christian’, acting on behalf of “a small group of loyal Americans who believe in God”, and who wanted to “leave a message for future generations.” Joe Fendley, president of the Georgian stone-working company, listened to the man outline the specifications of the monument that he and his small group were seeking. Christian explained that they had chosen Elberton due to its stocks of hard-wearing granite – a key element of the design was that the monument should be able to withstand both the slow erosion of time as well as possible catastrophic events. The monument was to serve as a compass, calendar, and clock, with celestial alignments which would encode the passing of time itself. And it would be engraved with a set of ’10 commandments’, written multiple times in eight of the world’s major languages.
A fast-growing FBI data-mining system billed as a tool for hunting terrorists is being used in hacker and domestic criminal investigations, and now contains tens of thousands of records from private corporate databases, including car-rental companies, large hotel chains and at least one national department store. (Ryan Singel, "FBI's Data-Mining System Sifts Airline, Hotel, Car-Rental Records," Wired, September 23, 2009)Among the latest revelations of out-of-control secret state spookery, Wired disclosed that personal details on customers have been provided to the Bureau by the Wyndham Worldwide hotel chain "which includes Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson and Hawthorn Suites." Additional records were obtained from the Avis rental car company and Sears department stores. Singel reports that the Bureau is planning a massive expansion of NSAC, one that would enlarge the scope, and mission, of the Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force (FTTTF) and the file-crunching, privacy-killing Investigative Data Warehouse (IDW). "Among the items on its wish list," Singel writes, "is the database of the Airlines Reporting Corporation--a company that runs a backend system for travel agencies and airlines." If federal snoops should obtain ARC's data-sets, the FBI would have unlimited access to "billions of American's itineraries, as well as the information they give to travel agencies, such as date of birth, credit card numbers, names of friends and family, e-mail addresses, meal preferences and health information." The publication reports that the system "is both a meta-search engine--querying many data sources at once--and a tool that performs pattern and link analysis." Internal FBI documents reveal that despite growing criticism of the alleged "science" of data-mining, including a stinging 2008 report by the prestigious National Research Council, for all intents and purposes the Bureau will transform NSAC into a low-key version of Adm. Poindexter's Information Awareness Office. An internal FBI document provides a preview of the direction NSAC will take.
According to the General Accounting Office (GAO) May 2004 report on federal data mining efforts, the GAO defined data mining as "the application of database technology--to uncover hidden patterns and subtle relationships in data and to infer rules that allow for the prediction of future results" (GAO-05-866, Data Mining p. 4). There are a number of security and privacy issues that government and private industry must address when contemplating the use of technology and data in these ways. While the current activities and efforts of the IDW and FTTTF programs do not provide NSB [National Security Branch] users with the full level of data mining services as defined above it is the intention of the NSAC to pursue and refine these capabilities where permitted by statute and policy. The implementation and responsible utilization of these services will advance the FBI's ability to address national security threats in a timely fashion, uncover previously unknown patterns and trends and empower agents and analysts to better "hunt between the cases" to find those persons, places or things of investigative and intelligence interest. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Fiscal Year (FY) 2008, Internal Planning & Budget Review, Program Narrative for Enhancements/Increases," p. 5, emphasis added)Unsurprisingly, in their quest for increased funding FBI officials failed to mention that the 2004 GAO report raised significant and troubling questions glossed over by securocrats. To wit, GAO investigators averred:
Privacy concerns about mined or analyzed personal data also include concerns about the quality and accuracy of the mined data; the use of the data for other than the original purpose for which the data were collected without the consent of the individual; the protection of the data against unauthorized access, modification, or disclosure; and the right of individuals to know about the collection of personal information, how to access that information, and how to request a correction of inaccurate information. (General Accounting Office, Data Mining: Federal Efforts Cover a Wide Range of Uses, GAO-04-548, May 2004)Despite these concerns, an FBI budget document released to Wired baldly states:
The NSAC will provide subject-based "link analysis" through utilization of the FBI's collection data sets, combined with public records on predicated subjects. Link analysis uses these data sets to find links between subjects, suspects, and addresses or other pieces of relevant information, and other persons, places, and things. This technique is currently being used on a limited basis by the FBI; the NSAC will provide improved processes and greater access to this technique to all NSB components. The NSAC will also pursue "pattern analysis" as part of its service to the NSB. "Pattern analysis" queries take a predictive model or pattern of behavior and search for that pattern in data sets. The FBI's efforts to define predictive models and patterns of behavior should improve efforts to identify "sleeper cells." Information produced through data exploitation will be processed by analysts who are experts in the use of this information and used to produce products that comply with requirements for the proper handling of the information. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, "National Security Branch Analytical Capabilities," November 12, 2008)Four years after the GAO report cited the potential for abuse inherent in such techniques, The National Research Council's exhaustive study criticized the alleged ability of data-miners to discover hidden "patterns" and "trends" among disparate data-sets "precisely because so little is known about what patterns indicate terrorist activity; as a result, they are likely to generate huge numbers of false leads." False leads that may very well land an innocent person on a terrorist watch-list or as a subject of a wide-ranging and unwarranted national security investigation. But as with all things relating to "counterterrorism," the guilt or innocence of the average citizen is a trifling matter while moves to "empower agents" to "find those persons, places or things of investigative and intelligence interest," is the paramount goal. "Justice" under such a system becomes another preemptive "tool" subject to the whims of our political masters. The use of federal dollars for such a dubious and questionable enterprise has already had real-world consequences for political activists. Just ask RNC Welcoming Committee activists currently under indictment in Minnesota for their role in organizing legal protests against the far-right Republican National Convention last year in St. Paul. As Antifascist Calling revealed earlier this year, one private security outfit, the now-defunct Highway Watch which worked closely with the FBI, used "social network theory" and "link analysis," and cited the group's legal political organizing, including "increased membership via the internet" and "public appearances at various locations across the US," as a significant factor that rendered the group a "legitimate" target for heightened surveillance and COINTELPRO-style disruption. Singel also disclosed that NSAC shared data "with the Pentagon's controversial Counter-Intelligence Field Activity office, a secretive domestic-spying unit which collected data on peace groups, including the Quakers, until it was shut down in 2008. But the FBI told lawmakers it would be careful in its interactions with that group." As journalists and congressional investigators subsequently revealed however, CIFA's dark heart--the office's mammoth databases--were off-loaded to other secret state security agencies, including the FBI. CIFA: Closed Down or Farmed Out? When CIFA ran aground after a series of media disclosures beginning in 2004, some critics believed that was the end of that. "From the beginning of its existence," investigative journalist Tim Shorrock revealed in Spies For Hire, "CIFA had extensive authority to conduct domestic counterintelligence." Indeed, one CIFA official "was the deputy director of the FBI's multiagency Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force," Shorrock wrote, "and other CIFA officials were assigned to more than one hundred regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces where they served with other personnel from the Pentagon, as well as the FBI, state and local police, and the Department of Homeland Security." Several investigative reports in Antifascist Calling have documented the close interconnections among Pentagon spy agencies, the FBI, DHS, private contractors, local and state police in what have come to be known as fusion centers, which rely heavily on extensive data-mining operations. Their role as clearinghouses for domestic intelligence will expand even further under President Obama's purported "change" administration. Federal Computer Week revealed September 30, that DHS "is establishing a new office to coordinate its intelligence-sharing efforts in state and local intelligence fusion centers." According to the publication, a "new Joint Fusion Center Program Management Office will be part of DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis, [DHS Secretary Janet] Napolitano told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Napolitano said she strongly supports the centers." Though little reported by the corporate media, domestic spying had become big business with some very powerful constituencies. Take CIFA, for example. Ostensibly a Defense Department agency, the secretive office which once had a multi-billion dollar budget at its disposal, was a veritable cash cow for enterprising security grifters. Much has been made of the corrupt contracts forged by disgraced Pentagon contractor Mitchell Wade and his MZM corporation, caught up in the "Duke" Cunningham scandal that landed the San Diego Republican congressman an eight-year federal prison term in 2006. Untouched however, by the outcry over domestic Pentagon spying were top-flight defense and security firms who lent their considerable resources--at a steep price--to the office. Among the corporations who contracted out analysts and operatives to CIFA were heavy hitters such as Lockheed Martin, Carlyle Group subsidiary U.S. Investigations Services, Analex, Inc., an intelligence contractor owned by the U.K.'s QinetiQ, ManTech International, the Harris Corporation, SRA International, as well as General Dynamics, CACI International and the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). All told, these corporations reap tens of billions of dollars annually in federal largesse. As Shorrock revealed, by 2006 CIFA "had four hundred full-time employees and eight hundred to nine hundred contractors working for it." Many were military intelligence and security analysts who jumped ship to land lucrative six-figure contracts in the burgeoning homeland security market, as the whistleblowing web site Wikileaks revealed in July when they published a massive 1525-page file on just one fusion center. Information illegally obtained on American citizens by CIFA came to reside in the office's Threat And Local Observation Notice (TALON) system and a related database known as CORNERSTONE. In 2007, the National Security Archive published Pentagon documents outlining U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) extensive surveillance activities that targeted legal political protests organized by antiwar activists. In April 2007, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Lt. General James Clapper, "reviewed the results of the TALON program" and concluded "he did not believe they merit continuing the program as currently constituted." Despite revelations that CIFA and USNORTHCOM had illegally conducted prohibited activities in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which restricts the military from carrying out domestic law enforcement, not a single operative or program manager was brought to book. According to The National Security Archive:
In June 2007, the Department of Defense Inspector General released the results of his review of the TALON reporting program. Its findings included the observation that CIFA and the Northern Command "legally gathered and maintained U.S. person information on individuals or organizations involved in domestic protests and demonstrations against DOD"--information gathered for law enforcement and force protection purposes as permitted by Defense Department directive (5200.27) on the "Acquisition of Information Concerning Persons and Organizations Not Affiliated with the Department of Defense." However, CIFA did not comply with the 90-day retention review policy specified by that directive and the CORNERSTONE database did not have the capability to identify TALON reports with U.S. person information, to identify reports requiring a 90-day retention review, or allow analysts to edit or delete the TALON reports.Last year Antifascist Calling reported that when CIFA was shut down, that organization's TALON database was off-loaded to the Defense Intelligence Agency's Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center and the FBI's GUARDIAN database that resides in the Bureau's Investigative Data Warehouse (IDW). The IDW is a massive repository for data-mining. As I reported in May, citing the Electronic Frontier Foundation's revelations, the IDW possesses something on the order of 1.5 billion searchable files. In comparison, the entire Library of Congress contains 138 million unique documents. EFF has called the IDW "the FBI's single largest repository of operational and intelligence information." In 2005, FBI Section Chief Michael Morehart said that "IDW is a centralized, web-enabled, closed system repository for intelligence and investigative data." Unidentified FBI agents have described it as "one-stop shopping" for FBI agents and an "uber-Google." According to the Bureau, "[t]he IDW system provides data storage, database management, search, information presentation, and security services." As the Wired investigation reveals, NSAC intends to expand these data-mining capabilities. Currently, NSAC employs "103 full-time employees and contractors, and the FBI was seeking budget approval for another 71 employees, plus more than $8 million for outside contractors to help analyze its growing pool of private and public data." Long-term, according to a planning document, the FBI "wants to expand the center to 439 people." While John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program may have disappeared along with the Bush administration, it's toxic heart lives on in the National Security Branch Analysis Center. TIA, IDW, NSAC: What's in an Acronym? Plenty! When the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) stood up the Information Awareness Office in 2002, the office's stated mission was to gather as much information on American citizens as possible and store it in a centralized, meta-database for perusal by secret state agencies. Information included in the massive data-sets by IAO included internet activity, credit card purchase histories, airline ticket purchases and travel itineraries, rental car records, medical histories, educational transcripts, driver's licenses, social security numbers, utility bills, tax returns, indeed any searchable record imaginable. As Wired reported, these are the data-sets that NSAC plans to exploit. When Congress killed the DARPA program in 2004, most critics believed that was the end of the Pentagon's leap back into domestic intelligence. However, as we have since learned, the data-mining portion of the program was farmed out to a host of state agencies, including the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the FBI. Needless to say, private sector involvement--and lucrative contracts--for TIA projects included usual suspects such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, The Analysis Group and SAIC, as well as a number of low-key firms such as 21st Century Technologies, Inc., Evolving Logic, Global InfoTech, Inc., and the Orwellian-sounding Fund For Peace. These firms, and many more, are current NSAC contractors; to all intents and purposes TIA now resides deep inside the Bureau's Investigative Data Warehouse and NSAC's Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force. While the FBI claims that unlike TIA, NSAC is not "open-ended" and that a "mission is usually begun with a list of names or personal identifiers that have arisen during a threat assessment, preliminary or full investigation," Wired reports that "the FBI's pre-crime intentions are much wider that the bureau acknowledged." This will inevitably change--and not for the better--as NSAC expands its brief and secures an ever-growing mountain of data at an exponential rate. In this endeavor, they will be aided by the U.S. Senate. With three provisions of the draconian Patriot Act set to expire at years' end, the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VI) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a member of the committee and chairwoman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, stripped-away privacy protections to proposed legislation that would extend the provisions. Caving-in to pressure from the FBI which claims that protecting Americans' privacy rights from out-of-control spooks would jeopardize "ongoing" terror investigations, Leahy gutted the safeguards he had espoused just last week! Claiming that his own proposal might hinder open-ended "terror" investigations Leahy said at the hearing, "I'm trying to introduce balances on both sides." The original amendment would have curtailed Bureau fishing expeditions and would have required an actual connection of investigated parties to terrorism or foreign espionage. Leahy was referring to Section 215 of the Patriot Act that allows the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to authorize broad warrants for nearly any type of record, including those held by banks, libraries, internet service providers, credit card companies, even doctors of "persons of interest." An amendment offered by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to repeal the Leahy-Feinstein amendment was defeated in committee by a 4-15 vote. As the Senator from the FBI, Feinstein said that the Bureau did not support Durbin's amendment. "It would end several classified and critical investigations," she said. Or perhaps Durbin's amendment would have lowered the boom on a host of illegal programs across the 16-agency U.S. "Intelligence Community." As Antifascist Calling reported in July, a 38-page declassified report by inspectors general of the CIA, NSA, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and the Office of National Intelligence collectively called the acknowledged "Terrorist Surveillance Program" and cross-agency top secret "Other Intelligence Activities" the "President's Surveillance Program," PSP. The IG's report failed to disclose what these programs actually did, and probably still do today under the Obama administration. Shrouded beneath impenetrable layers of secrecy and deceit, these undisclosed programs lie at the dark heart of the state's war against the American people. The Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General (OIG) described FBI participation in the PSP as that of a passive "recipient of intelligence collected under the program" and efforts by the Bureau "to improve cooperation with the NSA to enhance the usefulness of PSP-derived information to FBI agents." The OIG goes on to state that "further details about these topics are classified and therefore cannot be discussed here." As The New York Times revealed earlier this year in April and June, the NSA's STELLAR WIND and PINWALE internet and email text intercept programs are giant data-mining meta-databases that sift emails, faxes, and text messages of millions of people in the United States. Far from being mere passive spectators, the FBI's Investigative Data Warehouse continues to be a major recipient of NSA's STELLAR WIND and PINWALE programs. As Marc Ambinder reported in The Atlantic PINWALE is "an unclassified proprietary term used to refer to advanced data-mining software that the government uses. Contractors who do SIGINT mining work often include a familiarity with Pinwale as a prerequisite for certain jobs." As the Electronic Frontier Foundation's report on the IDW revealed, the FBI closely worked with SAIC, Convera and Chiliad to develop the project. Indeed, as EFF discovered "The FBI set up an Information Sharing Policy Group (ISPG), chaired by the Executive Assistant Directors of Administration and Intelligence, to review requests to ingest additional datasets into the IDW, in response to Congressional 'privacy concerns that may arise from FBI engaging in 'data mining.' In February 2005, the Counterterrorism Division asked for 8 more data sources." The names of the data sources were redacted in three of the eight datasets reviewed by EFF while three came from the Department of Homeland Security. All of which begs the question: what is the FBI hiding behind it's reorganization of the FTTTF and IDW into the National Security Branch Analysis Center? What role does the National Security Agency and private contractors play in standing-up NSAC? And why, as EFF disclosed, is the Bureau fearful of including Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) that might raise "congressional consciousness levels and expectations" in the context of Bureau "national security systems"? Indeed, as the American Civil Liberties Union stated, "once again, the FBI has been found to be using invasive 'counterterrorism' tools to collect personal information about innocent Americans," and it "appears that the FBI has continued its habit of gathering bulk amounts of personal information with little or no oversight." Not that congressional grifters and their corporate cronies, who have much to gain from billions of federal dollars pumped into these intrusive programs, actually care to explore what becomes of data illegally collected on innocent Americans by NSAC. The civil liberties watchdog concludes they have "long suspected that the congressional dissent over and public demise of the Pentagon's TIA program would result in a concealed and more invasive version of the program." Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Somewhere near Washington Admiral Poindexter is leaning back in his chair, filling his pipe and smiling...
In August the Defense Department announced that it would shut down the CORNERSTONE database on September 17, with information subsequently collected on potential terror or security threats to Defense Department facilities or personnel being sent to an FBI data base known as GUARDIAN. A department spokesman said the database was being terminated because "the analytical value had declined," not due to public criticism, and that the Pentagon was hoping to establish a new system--not necessarily a database--to "streamline" threat reporting, according to a statement released by the Department's public affairs office. (Jeffrey Richelson, "The Pentagon's Counterspies: The Counterintelligence Field Activity," The National Security Archive, September 17, 2007)
The nation's big city police chiefs are backing an anti-terrorism community watch program to educate people about what behavior is truly suspicious and ought to be reported to police. Police Chief William Bratton of Los Angeles, whose department developed the iWATCH program, calls it the 21st century version of Neighborhood Watch. Using brochures, public service announcements and meetings with community groups, iWATCH is designed to deliver concrete advice on how the public can follow the oft-repeated post-9/11 recommendation: "If you see something, say something." Program materials list nine types of suspicious behavior that should prompt people to call police and 12 kinds of places to look for it... But American Civil Liberties Union policy counsel Mike German, a former FBI agent who worked on terrorism cases, said the indicators are all relatively common behaviors. And he suspects people will fall back on personal biases and preconceived stereotypes of what a terrorist looks like when making the decision to report someone to the police. "That just plays into the negative elements of society and doesn't really help the situation," German said. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the Bush administration proposed enlisting postal carriers, gas and electric company workers, telephone repairmen and other workers with access to private homes in a program to report suspicious behavior to the FBI. Privacy advocates condemned this as too intrusive, and the plan was dropped.
We’d like to believe that with a new administration in charge, the USA PATRIOT Act in its current form would be headed for the scrap heap.Alas, we would be wrong. Despite campaign protestations about breach of civil liberties legalized by the 2001 law, the Obama clique seems pleased as punch to be the new puppetmasters behind unlawful government spying on the American public. That includes shifting through your library selections, your business records and listening in on your phone calls. So be better be careful what you say about Barack Obama, just like you had to watch your mouth about George W. Bush... Those provisions, along with roving wire taps and “lone wolf” monitoring, also give the government access to citizens’ library records, bringing howls of protests from librarians, civil libertarians and conservatives alike.
We posted an item yesterday about a secretive California security company called American Police Force that was set to take over operation of a never-used jail in Hardin, Mont. APF raised eyebrows in town after Mercedes SUVs belonging to the company arrived bearing decals that read, "City of Hardin Police Department." The company, and the city's economic development arm that has negotiated a deal with APF, refused to give details about its plans, including where it expects to get prisoners to put in the jail. Today comes word from The Billings Gazette, which has been following the story closely, that Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock has launched an investigation into APF to find out what's going on.
Serbian crest altered, claim that APF runs U.S. Training Center deleted
Monday, October 5, 2009
Speaking at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club September 15, Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis C. Blair, disclosed that the current annual budget for the 16 agency U.S. "Intelligence Community" (IC) clocks-in at $75 billion and employs some 200,000 operatives world-wide, including private contractors. In unveiling an unclassified version of the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), Blair asserts he is seeking to break down "this old distinction between military and nonmilitary intelligence," stating that the "traditional fault line" separating secretive military programs from overall intelligence activities "is no longer relevant." As if to emphasize the sweeping nature of Blair's remarks, Federal Computer Week reported September 17 that "some non-federal officials with the necessary clearances who work at intelligence fusion centers around the country will soon have limited access to classified terrorism-related information that resides in the Defense Department's classified network." According to the publication:
Under the program, authorized state, local or tribal officials will be able to access pre-approved data on the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network. However, they won't have the ability to upload data or edit existing content, officials said. They also will not have access to all classified information, only the information that federal officials make available to them.Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the federal government has encouraged the explosive growth of fusion centers. As envisaged by securocrats, these hybrid institutions have expanded information collection and sharing practices from a wide variety of sources, including commercial databases, among state and local law enforcement agencies, the private sector and federal security agencies, including military intelligence. But early on, fusion centers like the notorious "red squads" of the 1960s and '70s, morphed into national security shopping malls where officials monitor not only alleged terrorists but also left-wing and environmental activists deemed threats to the existing corporate order. It is currently unknown how many military intelligence analysts are stationed at fusion centers, what their roles are and whether or not they are engaged in domestic surveillance.
The non-federal officials will get access via the Homeland Security department's secret-level Homeland Security Data Network. That network is currently deployed at 27 of the more than 70 fusion centers located around the country, according to DHS. Officials from different levels of government share homeland security-related information through the fusion centers. (Ben Bain, "DOD opens some classified information to non-federal officials," Federal Computer Week, September 17, 2009)
Since its 2002 stand-up, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and associated military intelligence outfits such as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the now-defunct Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) have participated in widespread surveillance of antiwar and other activist groups, tapping into Pentagon and commercial databases in a quixotic search for "suspicious patterns."
As they currently exist, fusion centers are largely unaccountable entities that function without proper oversight and have been involved in egregious civil rights violations such as the compilation of national security dossiers that have landed activists on various terrorist watch-lists.
Sponsor: http://FreeKeene.com - More verbal backlash from the dual open carry events outside Obama visits. But sitting Service officials seem to be keeping their cool.
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Antifascist Calling reported last year on the strange case of Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz and Col. Larry Richards, Marine reservists stationed at Camp Pendleton in San Diego. Maziarz, Richards, and a group of fellow Marines, including the cofounder of the Los Angeles County Terrorist Early Warning Center (LACTEW), stole secret files from the Strategic Technical Operations Center (STOC).
When they worked at STOC, the private spy ring absconded with hundreds of classified files, including those marked "Top Secret, Special Compartmentalized Information," the highest U.S. Government classification. The files included surveillance dossiers on the Muslim community and antiwar activists in Southern California.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune which broke the story in 2007, before being run to ground Maziarz, Richards and reserve Navy Commander Lauren Martin, a civilian intelligence contractor at USNORTHCOM, acquired information illegally obtained from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet). This is the same classified system which fusion centers will have access to under the DoD's new proposal.
So far, only lower level conspirators have been charged. According to the Union-Tribune "Marine Cols. Larry Richards and David Litaker, Marine Maj. Mark Lowe and Navy Cmdr. Lauren Martin also have been mentioned in connection with the case, but none has been charged." One codefendant's attorney, Kevin McDermott, told the paper, "This is the classic situation that if you have more rank, the better your chance of not getting charged."
Fusion Centers and Military Intelligence: Best Friends Forever!
Another case which is emblematic of the close cooperation among fusion centers and military intelligence is the case of John J. Towery, a Ft. Lewis, Washington civilian contractor who worked for the Army's Fort Lewis Force Protection Unit.
In July, The Olympian and Democracy Now! broke the story of how Towery had infiltrated and spied on the Olympia Port Militarization Resistance (OlyPMR), an antiwar group, and shared this information with police.
Since 2006, the group has staged protests at Washington ports and has sought to block military cargo from being shipped to Iraq. According to The Olympian:
OlyPMR member Brendan Maslauskas Dunn said in an interview Monday that he received a copy of the e-mail from the city of Olympia in response to a public records request asking for any information the city had about "anarchists, anarchy, anarchism, SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), or Industrial Workers of the World." (Jeremy Pawloski, "Fort Lewis investigates claims employee infiltrated Olympia peace group," The Olympian, July 27, 2009)
What Dunn discovered was highly disturbing to say the least. Towery, who posed as an anarchist under the name "John Jacob," had infiltrated OlyPMR and was one of several listserv administrators that had control over the group's electronic communications.
The civilian intelligence agent admitted to Dunn that he had spied on the group but claimed that no one paid him and that he didn't report to the military; a statement that turned out to be false.
Joseph Piek, a Fort Lewis spokesperson confirmed to The Olympian that Towery was a contract employee and that the infiltrator "performs sensitive work within the installation law enforcement community," but "it would not be appropriate for him to discuss his duties with the media."
In September, The Olympian obtained thousands of pages of emails from the City of Olympia in response to that publication's public-records requests. The newspaper revealed that the Washington Joint Analytical Center (WJAC), a fusion center, had copied messages to Towery on the activities of OlyPMR in the run-up to the group's November 2007 port protests. According to the paper,
The WJAC is a clearinghouse of sorts of anti-terrorism information and sensitive intelligence that is gathered and disseminated to law enforcement agencies across the state. The WJAC receives money from the federal government.
The substance of nearly all of the WJAC's e-mails to Olympia police officials had been blacked out in the copies provided to The Olympian. (Jeremy Pawloski, "Army e-mail sent to police and accused spy," The Olympian, September 12, 2009)
Also in July, the whistleblowing web site Wikileaks published a 1525 page file on WJAC's activities.
Housed at the Seattle Field Office of the FBI, one document described WJAC as an agency that "builds on existing intelligence efforts by local, regional, and federal agencies by organizing and disseminating threat information and other intelligence efforts to law enforcement agencies, first responders, and key decision makers throughout the state."
Fusion centers are also lucrative cash cows for enterprising security grifters. Wikileaks investigations editor Julian Assange described the revolving-door that exists among Pentagon spy agencies and the private security firms who reap millions by placing interrogators and analysts inside outfits such as WJAC. Assange wrote,
There has been extensive political debate in the United States on how safe it would be to move Guantánamo's detainees to US soil--but what about their interrogators?
One intelligence officer, Kia Grapham, is hawked by her contracting company to the Washington State Patrol. Grapham's confidential resume boasts of assisting in over 100 interrogations of "high value human intelligence targets" at Guantánamo. She goes on, saying how she is trained and certified to employ Restricted Interrogation Technique: Separation as specified by FM 2-22.3 Appendix M.
Others, like, Neoma Syke, managed to repeatedly flip between the military and contractor intelligence work--without even leaving the building.
The file details the placement of six intelligence contractors inside the Washington Joint Analytical Center (WAJAC) on behalf of the Washington State Patrol at a cost of around $110,000 per year each.
Such intelligence "fusion" centers, which combine the military, the FBI, state police, and others, have been internally promoted by the US Army as means to avoid restrictions preventing the military from spying on the domestic population. (Julian Assange, "The spy who billed me twice," Wikileaks, July 29, 2009)
The Wikileaks documents provide startling details on how firms such as Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), The Sytex Group and Operational Applications Inc. routinely place operatives within military intelligence and civilian fusion centers at a premium price.
Assange wonders whether these job placements are not simply evidence of corruption but rather, are "designed to evade a raft of hard won oversight laws which apply to the military and the police but not to contractors? Is it to keep selected personnel out of the Inspector General's eye?" The available evidence strongly suggests that it is.
As the American Civil Liberties Union documented in their 2007 and 2008 reports on fusion center abuses, one motivation is precisely to subvert oversight laws which do not apply to private mercenary contractors.
The civil liberties' watchdog characterized the rapid expansion of fusion centers as a threat to our constitutional rights and cited specific areas of concern: "their ambiguous lines of authority, the troubling role of private corporations, the participation of the military, the use of data mining and their excessive secrecy."
And speaking of private security contractors outsourced to a gaggle on intelligence agencies, investigative journalist Tim Shorrock revealed in his essential book Spies For Hire, that since 9/11 "the Central Intelligence Agency has been spending 50 to 60 percent of its budget on for-profit contractors, or about $2.5 billion a year, and its number of contract employees now exceeds the agency's full-time workforce of 17,500."
Indeed, Shorrock learned that "no less than 70 percent of the nation's intelligence budget was being spent on contracts." However, the sharp spike in intelligence outsourcing to well-heeled security corporations comes with very little in the way of effective oversight.
The House Intelligence Committee reported in 2007 that the Bush, and now, the Obama administrations have failed to develop a "clear definition of what functions are 'inherently governmental';" meaning in practice, that much in the way of systematic abuses can be concealed behind veils of "proprietary commercial information."
As we have seen when the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke in 2004, and The New York Times belatedly blew the whistle on widespread illegal surveillance of the private electronic communications of Americans in 2005, cosy government relationships with security contractors, including those embedded within secretive fusion centers, will continue to serve as a "safe harbor" for concealing and facilitating state crimes against the American people.
After all, $75 billion buys a lot of silence.
Patriotic geeks might want to brush off those resumes, because the long-awaited U.S. Cyber Command officially went live last Thursday, and hopes to recruit at least 1,000 cyber security experts over the next few years. But the newly formed group faces questions about its mission and responsibilities, as well as competition for recruits from U.S. intelligence agencies.
The announcement by the Department of Homeland Security also coincided with the kickoff of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which infuses the usual trick-or-treat spirit of October with additional meaning.[ Read Full Story ]
Madison, a self-described anarchist, was in Pittsburgh volunteering for the Tin Can Comms Collective, a group that uses Twitter to send mass text messages during protests describing events observed on the streets or over police scanners; stuff like "SWAT teams rolling down 5th Ave." Tin Can was active during the St. Paul RNC protests, and the authorities are now on to them. Madison was charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime; he's currently out on bail.
The search warrant for Madison's home authorized agents to seize evidence that could be used to violate "federal rioting laws." As helicopters hovered overhead, the feds seized electronic equipment, newspapers, books and gas masks. Oh, and a damning picture of Vladimir Lenin. The Post also reports that they seized a pound of liquid mercury, metal triangles used to puncture tires and two boxes of ammunition. But agents left some machetes, samurai swords and daggers at the house, because they fell outside the scope of the warrant.
On Friday, Madison's lawyer argued that the search is illegal and convinced a Brooklyn federal judge to issue a temporary order of protection stopping the feds from going through the material. Madison says his arrest and the raid were intended to "stifle dissent" and tells the Times, "They arrested me for doing the same thing everybody else was doing, which was perfectly legal. It was crucial for people to have the information we were sending."
Says All Protesting is illegal during G20 summit in Pittsburgh Sept 24-25!
Public Park OFF LIMITS to Public!
Secret Service Says All Protesting is illegal during G20 summit in Pittsburgh Sept 24-25!
Secret Service has denied "anti war protestors, anti NWO,
anti cap n trade..."
Our constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the , or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a ."
Is the secret service above the law?
The Bank, whose job it is to support low-income countries, has had to hand out so much cash in the wake of the financial crisis that its resources could run dry within 12 months.
“By the middle of next year we will face serious constraints,” said its president Robert Zoellick, as he launched a major campaign to persuade rich nations to pour more money into the Washington-based institution.
He conceded that such a task was likely to be extremely difficult, given the difficulties facing countries in the wake of the developed world’s biggest recession since the Second World War. However, Mr Zoellick, speaking at the opening of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Istanbul, said the Bank needed a capital increase of as much as $11.1bn (£6.9bn) to keep functioning. He said he hoped that its shareholders, including the UK and other leading nations, would decide on resources before its spring meeting next April.
The money would be shared between the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – the key part of the bank, which lends to poor nations – and the International Financial Corporation (IFC), which lends to companies.
Mr Zoellick said: “We recognise that all countries are under budgetary strain and it is not an easy time to be asking for these things”.
He said that a shortfall of cash for the IFC was a cause for particular concern, Mr Zoellick added, “because one of the issues in this recovery is the hand-off from government stimulus programs to private-sector development.”
The Bank has had to lend significantly more cash than the three-year $100bn programme it committed to last year because of the virulence of the financial and economic crisis. The majority of the money has been spent ensuring the survival of the most vulnerable nations.
Obama Nation Kommie Billboard Draws Attention
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Drivers on Interstate 70 can barely see the billboard but once they do the message has been gaining attention.The billboard is located along I-70 between the Adams Dairy Parkway and the Grain Valley exits. The billboard reads, "How do you like your change now? Obama Nation. They are coming for you! The Taxpayer. First and Second Amendments are in jeopardy. Live free or Die." There is also a hammer and sickle on the sign.People said they might not agree with the sentiment of the sign, but they felt it was a matter of free speech. Others that KCTV5 talked to said it is offensive and should come down.A pastor who drives by the sign during his daily commute to his church said he lived in England for years and he agreed with the message."We lived in a socialist society and I guess what I am seeing in America is that we are pushing to some of those ways now," he said. "Especially the hospitalization. It's taken away some of our freedoms as Americans."KCTV5 could not reach the owner of the billboard. The mayor of Blue Springs said his office has gotten calls and e-mails about the sign.
Daily News & Analysis - Sep 30, 2009
Exclusive: Decoding China's Hu Jintao's UN Speech
It turns out there are still lines to be crossed in American punditry, and Newsmax columinist John Perry crossed it. And then some. In a column titled, "Obama Risks a Domestic Military 'Intervention,'" Perry claimed Obama is turning the United States into a Marxist country and must be stopped. Raising the idea of a military coup, Perry, granting that it might not be "an ideal option," stated that it was nevertheless on the table. "Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation," Perry fantisized. He wondered, is that "unthinkable?" Newsmax pulled the column (preserved at Media Matters) but that hasn't stopped pundits from weighing in. Commentators on the left and the right agree: the lunacy has gone too far.
Newsmax columnist John Perry asserts Obama "is inviting" a "[m]ilitary intervention." Perry wrote, "There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the 'Obama problem.' Don't dismiss it as unrealistic." He added:
Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility?
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.
Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible. [Newsmax.com, 9/29/09]
Jim Quinn tells U.S. troops: Obama "is gonna get you killed." Discussing rules of engagement in Afghanistan, Quinn stated on his radio show, "The only reason you put military anywhere is to win and win as quickly as you can, as ruthlessly as you can, because mercifully it will be over quick, instead of turning it into a meat grinder. I'm looking at -- guys, look, I love you all who go over there and serve, but I gotta tell you right now, run for your life, get out, this guy is gonna get you killed. Man, these people are scary." [Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn & Rose, 9/29/09]
Media Matters for America has previously noted that since Obama's inauguration, conservative media figures have made ominous, even apocalyptic claims about the impact policies pursued by Obama and other progressives might have on the United States and have unleashed violent and revolutionary rhetoric. For instance:
Beck speaks for one third of the nation: "[Y]ou will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun" and "before I acquiesce and be silent." During the July 30 edition of his radio show, Beck warned "ACORN, GE, Obama, SEIU" that "you are awakening a sleeping giant, and I have nothing to do with it" and that "America is waking up. You know the American Revolution took place with 12 percent of the population? Twelve. Are you telling me there is not 30 percent of this population that you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I let somebody into my house to tell me how to raise my children; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before you take away my gun; you will have to shoot me in the forehead before I acquiesce and be silent." Beck further stated:
They cannot move on these things, because they are building a machine that will crush the entrepreneurial sprit and the freedom that our Founding Fathers designed. This machine, whatever it is they are building, will crush it. Do not let them build another piece.
So while I turn away, I want to make sure that I have at least 10 million eyes watching -- watching every single move they are making.
We know why they're doing what they're doing. You need to do what you need to do, and as long as that is peaceful, we will save our country. [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 7/30/09]
Beck: "This game is for keeps"; "[Y]ou can shoot me in the head ... but there will be 10 others that line up." Asking his audience to "pray for protection," Beck claimed that "the most powerful people on the planet on the left" were "not going to go away easy" because "[t]his game is for keeps. This is who controls the United States of America and its destiny." He went on to state, "Just pray for protection, please." Beck subsequently stated:
You can try to put the lid on this group of people, but you will never silence us. You will never -- you can shoot me in the head, you can shoot the next guy in the head, but there will be 10 others that line up. And it may not happen today, it may not happen next week, but freedom will be restored in this land. Period. And no matter what you want to call it, it is a totalitarian state that you're headed towards. [The Glenn Beck Program, 9/08/09]
Beck: "There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America." During the August 31 edition of his radio show, Beck stated that "there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly." Beck further claimed, "At this point, gang, I'm not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they're dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the -- the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time." He also said, "And they're gonna say, 'we did it democratically,' and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency." [The Glenn Beck Program, 8/31/09]
Morris: "Those crazies ... who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents' " are "beginning to have a case." During the March 31 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, while discussing Obama's foreign and economic policies, Fox News contributor Dick Morris said: "Those crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over' -- well, they're beginning to have a case." [Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, 3/31/09]
RedState's Erickson: "At what point do the people ... march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?" In a March 31 post on RedState.com, while discussing a Washington county's ban on certain kinds of dishwasher detergent, managing editor Erick Erickson wrote of politicians: "At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?" Erickson later added: "Were I in Washington State, I'd be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation." [RedState.com, 3/31/09]
Savage: "We're going to have a revolution in this country"; "These people are pushing the wrong people around." Michael Savage discussed multiculturalism and predicted, "This is not going to go on in this country much longer. We're going to have a revolution in this country if this keeps up. These people are pushing the wrong people around." Savage further said that "the rage has reached a boil. If they keep pushing us around, and if we keep having these schmucks running for office catering to the multicultural people who are destroying the culture of this country ... guaranteed the people -- the white male in particular." He continued:
Let me talk specifically. The white male in particular -- the one without connections, the one without money -- has nothing to lose, and you haven't seen him yet. You haven't seen him explode in this country, and he's still a majority, by the way. In case you don't know it. He is still the majority. No one speaks for him. Everyone craps on him. People use him for cannon fodder. And he has no voice whatsoever. He has nobody speaking for him.
So he goes to these extreme fighting events. Take a look at them, and you'll see what the white male is capable of. And you're going to find out that if you keep pushing this country around, you'll find out that there's an ugly side to the white male that has been suppressed for probably 30 years right now, but it really has never gone away.[Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation, 8/21/09]
Quinn calls for "riots": "Our country was built on revolution, and it's about time we took it back." Discussing health care reform, Jim Quinn stated, "You have got to say no to this, and if they push this through, you need to riot in the streets. You need to riot in the streets." He further said, "Our country was built on revolution and it's about time we took it back. These people are dangerous," and "It's about time to put an end to this leftist control of this country, and if a revolution is what it takes, damn it , then that's what it's going to take, because liberty will not be denied." [The War Room with Quinn and Rose, 9/10/09]
Limbaugh: Obama "inciting violence" at town hall protests, "armying up" with "union bigshots", "tort lawyers" Rush Limbaugh claimed that "public sector union bigshots and the tort lawyers" were "the people that Obama is armying up with. These are the people Obama is marshalling to prevent you from engaging in the democratic process while saying you're sabotaging it. No incidents of violence [at the August town hall protests] until Obama's crowd showed up." Limbaugh further claimed that Obama was "inciting violence." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/7/09]
Chuck Norris in WND: "[W]hen that time comes ... will history need to record a second American Revolution?" In a March 9 column for WorldNetDaily, actor and political activist Chuck Norris wrote: "How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority according to America's Declaration of Independence." Norris also wrote, "On Glenn Beck's radio show last week, I quipped in response to our wayward federal government, 'I may run for president of Texas.' That need may be a reality sooner than we think." [WorldNetDaily, 3/9/09]
Beck pours gasoline on "average American," asks, "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?" During the April 9 edition of his Fox News program, Glenn Beck claimed to be imitating Obama while pouring liquid from a gasoline can -- which he later stated was water -- on an "average American." Beck said during his demonstration: "President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire? ... We didn't vote to lose the republic."[Fox News' Glenn Beck, 4/9/09]
Beck portrays Obama, Democrats as vampires, suggests "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." During the March 30 edition his Fox News program, Beck aired a graphic portraying Obama and Democrats as vampires and said, "The government is full of vampires, and they are trying to suck the lifeblood out of the economy." Beck then suggested "driv[ing] a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers." [Glenn Beck, 3/30/09]
Hannity "inspired" by Bachmann's call for "orderly revolution": "[A]s they attack you, you're going to have conservatives like myself in your corner." During the March 25 edition of Sean Hannity's radio program, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told Hannity she is calling for "an orderly revolution" so that Democrats can't "achieve their ends any longer." In response to Bachmann's statement, Hannity said: "Well, I'm inspired by what you're saying, Congresswoman, and I only hope that your fellow Republicans get as energetic and as outspoken as you are here." At the conclusion of the interview, Hannity encouraged Bachmann to "keep going, and I promise you, as they attack you, you're going to have conservatives like myself in your corner, I promise you." Hannity then added: "Boy, that was inspiring." [ABC Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, 3/25/09]
According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.
The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.
Gen James Jones, the national security adviser, yesterday did little to allay the impression the meeting had been awkward.
Asked if the president had told the general to tone down his remarks, he told CBS: "I wasn't there so I can't answer that question. But it was an opportunity for them to get to know each other a little bit better. I am sure they exchanged direct views."
An adviser to the administration said: "People aren't sure whether McChrystal is being naïve or an upstart. To my mind he doesn't seem ready for this Washington hard-ball and is just speaking his mind too plainly."In London, Gen McChrystal, who heads the 68,000 US troops in Afghanistan as well as the 100,000 Nato forces, flatly rejected proposals to switch to a strategy more reliant on drone missile strikes and special forces operations against al-Qaed
"All along that flight path, that decision is in the back of people's mind," NORAD spokesman Michael Kucharek said.
He wouldn't say whether the option was seriously considered Wednesday before the single-engine propeller M20M Mooney crashed about 12 miles northeast of Muncie, Ind., but said leaders in NORAD and other agencies were consulted.
Kucharek didn't know whether President Barack Obama, the ultimate authority for such a decision, was alerted to the situation.
The U.S. military has never shot down an aircraft in the nation's air space, he said.
The plane was returning to Grand Rapids, Mich., from Traverse City, Mich., when it overshot Grand Rapids and lost contact with ground air traffic controllers, officials said. Authorities activated a communications network for airspace emergencies formed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that includes NORAD, the Federal Aviation Administration and the FBI. The system, called the Domestic Events Network, is activated whenever there's an "anomaly" — and a wayward, out-of-contact flight raises flags, Kucharek said.
Four F-16s were scrambled about the time the plane reached northeast Indiana, he said. Only two fighters flew with the plane at a time. He would not say where they were based. NORAD closely watched the plane to determine whether it was likely to crash in a populated area, Kucharek said.
The plane's southward trek carried it over Kalamazoo, Mich., Columbia City, Ind., Huntington, Ind., and near Fort Wayne and Muncie, Ind. The plane had about four hours of fuel left when it lost contact and might have ended up in the Gulf of Mexico if it hadn't crashed, Kucharek said.
"There's a lot of factors. Do you let the plane crash and let that be the damage or do you actually use force and armament and potentially create a bigger problem than you would have with the plane crash," he said.
The jets flew with the plane for more than an hour over Indiana and it began gradually to lose altitude, he said. The F-16 pilots saw the plane's pilot slumped over in the cockpit, and officials realized the emergency was medical rather than terror-related.
Andrew Todd Fox, the chief National Safety Transportation Board investigator for the crash, said the probe was focusing on the plane's oxygen system, which was largely destroyed in the fire that followed the crash. The M20M Mooney isn't pressurized but is capable of flying at altitudes of 20,000 feet or more where oxygen is required.
Kucharek said shooting the plane down remained an option even after the pilots realized there was a medical situation because the plane could have endangered more people if it had crashed in a populated area.
"It's a tough call," he said. "The pilots that are up there, that's not something they want to do, but if they're called upon to do it, they'll do it."
But pilots don't have the authority to make such a decision, he said. That authority rests with the president, the secretary of defense and "a small depth and breadth of people within NORAD," he said.
While agencies' leaders were consulted Wednesday, Kucharek didn't know whether the president was directly consulted. However, the White House did participate in conference call with agencies' public affairs officers related to the crisis.
Military pilots and officials in NORAD and other agencies practice how to handle such scenarios several times a year, he said.
Kucharek wasn't sure whether Wednesday was the first time fighters had been launched over Indiana in response to such an incident.
A high demand for Predators and Reapers on the front lines has led the U.S. Air Force to take an unusual step: asking human pilots to mimic the drones for training purposes back in the States.
Cessna 182 aircraft have become converted "Surrogate Predators" with the installation of a "Predator ball" that typically serves as the surveillance and tracking eyes for drone operators. Such Predator balls give the manned Cessnas the ability to lock onto targets and track them.[ Read Full Story ]
Marc Faber, publisher of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report, advised his subscribers and followers to take positions in US tech stocks, the banking sector and hard assets at the bottom of the markets in early March of 2006. However, he did provide a word of caution on March 16, 2009, making it known that while he was a short-term bull on stocks, that eventually, the economic fundamentals would catch up:
“probably a total collapse in the second half of the year when it becomes clear that the economy is a total disaster.”
“I believe in the next 10 days to two weeks we’ll get big moves in markets. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dollar would for a change strengthen and equity markets would correct and possibly quite meaningfully so.”
Gerald Celente, Trends Research forecaster and contrarian thinker, advised listeners of the Jeff Rense show on September 23rd to look out below, calling it the Christmas Crash. He believes that the next collapse will come quickly, sometime this Fall, but as late as January or February of 2010:
“It’s going to really be an ugly scene. We are really encouraging people now to take pro-active measures and prepare for the worst. Don’t spend an extra dime.”
Jim Rogers, who is well known for making millions during the recession and commodities boom of the 1970’s, is also hesitant about acquiring more equities. He is an avid US Dollar bear, but in an interview on September 30th, he turned bullish on the dollar in the short term. His advice?
“I am not buying shares anywhere in the world as we speak.”
Finally, we have economist and cyclical analyst Harry Dent Jr., who some may know for having called the real estate Bubble-Boom, and subsequent crash, years before it happened in his book The Next Great Bubble Boom. Dent was also bullish on the Dow, calling for it to reach between 9450 and 10,500 after the March lows of 2009. Like Faber, Dent also cautioned investors to stay vigilant once the 9000 mark was breached. In a recent Economic Forecast Alert to subscribers, Dent indicated that the tide was changing:
“The markets are very overstretched here and we think it is very likely that we are seeing a top just above 9,800 on the Dow today.
This is the best intermediate term play we have seen in a long time. Shorting the stock market (for example, ETF symbol SH) could yield 50% to 60%+ gains over the next year with a 5% to 15% downside if the markets keep edging up for awhile, even to extremes.”
Though we continue to see most mainstream analysts talk the bull market talk, it looks as if the bull may be in trouble, especially if individual investors realize what all of the big boys talking their books already know - that the economic fundamentals are simply horrific and the markets are already pricing in GDP growth of over 5% for the next 4 quarters. Considering that GDP grew at 0.7% in the 2nd quarter, that seems highly unlikely. Some estimates also suggest the the P/E of the S&P 500 right now is at unprecedented levels of over 100!
As of today, it looks as if investor focus is shifting from stocks and commodities into what some consider to be short-term safehaven assets, such as US Treasury Bills/Notes/Bonds. The yield on the 10 yr is at 3.15% as of October 2nd, significantly down since August 7th’s 3.85%, suggesting that safety, not risk, is now the name of the game. Interestingly, and unlike November of 2008, gold seems to be holding strong at around $1000, though this may change if the US Dollar rises, as Jim Rogers, Faber and Dent have suggested it may.
For those still in equities, we believe Tyler Durdern at Zero Hedge said it best, “Go long here at your peril.”Comments (25) -
Billy Ayers Demand An Investigation Please
Please read the following information regarding Billy Ayers. Mark Thompson of Southern Illinois is doing great work trying to get Ayers fired from the Univeristy of Illinois where he a a professor. Please send the Board an email (UIBOT@uillinois.edu) asking them to investigate Billy Ayers. Mark has included his letter and you can refer to that but I think most of us know all the dirt on Ayers and can compose a short curt email easily.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: PLEASE BCC MARK SO THAT HE CAN KEEP TRACK OF THESE EMAILS. THE BOARD IS TELLING MARK THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY EMAILS REGARDING REQUESTS FOR AYERS TO BE INVESTIGATED SO MARK NEEDS YOU TO BCC HIM SO HE CAN DISPUTE THAT FACT! HIS EMAIL IS email@example.com .
Thank you and please take a minute and send an email. Billy Ayers can run, but he can't hide! Thank You!
The Band of Mothers www.thebandofmothers.com
I took the liberty of making an email to pass along, I hope you all do.
Trying to get
exposed and deposed!
Ayers is Obama's Achilles' Heel!
Because they are blood brothers!
We must call for an investigation of Bill Ayers' for
I did this very thing in an official manner!
Now it is up to you and all like minded Americans!
Just Do this!
urgent urgent urgent
Pass this on to your email connections, get the word out
to as many like minded people as possible!
You can make a difference, please get proactive!
Email Glenn Beck, Rush and any right wing media!
Read "new letter to the board" page two at campconservatism.com for the facts, and a taste of how anti-American the Socialist movement is, why Obama is as he is!
To know Ayers is to know Obama!
But most importantly
email the board calling for an investigation!
The University is ignoring my call for an investigation, that is why we need an onslaught of emails.
On September 10th
I had a
Second chance to address
the board of trustees
to the University of Illinois!
View the speech that was made to the board Sept. 10th.
They have to respond if enough people join in this call for an investigation. The speech lays it on the line. Telling it like it is!
(you tube-"Bill Ayers meets the investigation)
View Chris Kennedy the Chairman of the board avoid any post speech response. (Robert Kennedy's son)
The University of Illinois is a tremendous institution, I am trying to protect it from bearing the responsibility that will destroy it's legacy and all of education as we know it today.
(you tube-"Bill Ayers meets the investigation 2)
This and the facts that back up the demand for an investigation for academic misconduct and sedition can be found at campconservatism.com
Be sure to read the letter to the board that justifies this investigation.
You can make a difference with this simple act of an email,
just do it!
Thank you for taking the time and making the effort. It will have an effect, if the numbers are there. Apathy is the first enemy we must conquer. That is up to each and everyone of you to avoid. Make this work, it's our country! Take some of your time and promote this effort, ultimately it is about the Socialist subversion of education and the current Socialist coup brought on by the Chicago Machine. It is far larger then Billy Ayers, a pathetic little elitist born with a silver spoon in a cess pool of liberals. I look forward to you people, the Americans who have a clue, to act.
Pass it on to your like minded friends, get it on blogs, etc.!
Email the board!
Forward your emails to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can tabulate the response.
I hope you folks overwhelm my computer. Go for it!
Stan, would you put an email together. You have a way that far surpasses mine. I'd appreciate it as would all our fellow americans. Make it a killer. mark