Like many Americans and people around the world, I was deeply disturbed to hear the revelations of Edward Snowden about N.S.A. surveillance, which is an affront to the United States Bill of Rights. But as a filmmaker who has made a number of documentaries about technology and online activism, I can’t say that Snowden’s revelations came as a surprise. Some concerned citizens have long understood that powerful digital technologies can be abused to carve away at civil liberties.
I created this Op-Doc with excerpts from interviews that I filmed for an ongoing documentary about the programmer and online activist Aaron Swartz, who was concerned about surveillance issues long before Mr. Snowden’s disclosures. This short film addresses the most common arguments I’ve heard from people who are not concerned about online surveillance, such as: “I’m not doing anything wrong, so why should I care?” and “We need this to keep us safe.”
The Internet has placed all of us firmly in a new and insecure world. Simultaneously, a perpetual “war on terror” has infused within that world a culture of fear and anxiety, along with surveillance policies that will have long-lasting implications. Now is the moment for a course correction, where civil liberties are written not just into our laws but also into our computer code.
Edward Snowden has ignited a debate, and for that I am grateful. But now that he’s done his part, it’s time for all Americans to decide how to respond to his revelations. That is to say, it is no longer his story. It is ours.
Brian Knappenberger is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker whose documentaries include “We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists.”
Looking for a new music video internet channel; I came across Mevio.com through Ixquick, which is supposed to be a private internet browser.
YouTube’s ads are driving me quite insane.
So, I click on the link to Mevio and this message came back:
Sorry, but your IP address 22.214.171.124 is blocked from viewing mevio.com due to suspicious activity.
What the hell??? Suspicious activity; like what?
Is it the alternative news websites I frequent?
I cannot even imagine what can of worms I just opened.
Obviously, this is some form of censorship, and I can only guess I’ve shown up on another list somewhere.
Postscript: Well, it seems my ISP has probably been flagged for “internet piracy.” In the course of 17 years on the internet I think I’ve downloaded maybe 50 songs from YouTube and that’s only been in the past few years. But, I don’t download movies and have never even bothered with Torrents. This is so bloody ridiculous.
Here are the articles from PCMag back in 2011 on what the entertainment industry will eventually do regarding internet piracy.
And authoritarian American psychologists are eager to label anyone “taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, … and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook” as worthy of a trip to the insane asylum. (Those traits may also get one labeled as a potential terrorist.)
Even psychologists with good intentions can erroneously label people delusional simply because they themselves make bad assumptions.
The process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient’s perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly.
The authors of a paper on this phenomenon (Bell, V., Halligan, P.W., Ellis, H.D. (2003) Beliefs About Delusions. The Psychologist, 6 (8), 418-422) conclude:
Sometimes, improbable reports are erroneously assumed to be symptoms of mental illness [due to a] failure or inability to verify whether the events have actually taken place, no matter how improbable intuitively they might appear to the busy clinician.
In other words, psychologists who haven’t taken the time to examine for themselves the claims of their patients will tend to label as delusional anything which they “intuitively” feel is improbable. As such, psychologists and psychiatrists are just as prone to acting out their irrational prejudices as anyone else … unless they take the time to investigate and educate themselves.
Governments Indefinitely Detaining Citizens In Psychiatric Wards Without Due Process of Law
As such, detention in psych wards on mere “suspicion” of posing a danger – without due process of law – is troubling.
Police – acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional – took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.
Col. Thierry Dupuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous.
The [British] Government has established a shadowy new national anti-terrorist unit to protect VIPs, with the power to detain suspects indefinitely using mental health laws.
The team’s psychiatrists and psychologists then have the power to order treatment – including forcibly detaining suspects in secure psychiatric units.
Using these powers, the unit can legally detain people for an indefinite period without trial, criminal charges or even evidence of a crime being committed and with very limited rights of appeal.
Until now it has been the exclusive decision of doctors and mental health professionals to determine if someone should be forcibly detained.
But the new unit uses the police to identify suspects – increasing fears the line is being blurred between criminal investigation and doctors’ clinical decisions.
Scotland Yard, which runs the shadowy unit, refuses to discuss how many suspects have been forcibly hospitalised by the team because of “patient confidentiality”.
The purpose of the centre is “to evaluate and manage the risk posed to prominent people by…those who engage in inappropriate or threatening communications or behaviours in the context of abnormally intense preoccupations, many [Many? That means that some are not] of which arise from psychotic illness.”
Who gets to decide what “inappropriate” or “threatening” means? What if a whistleblower has information that a member of parliament has engaged in bribes? Would trying to reveal such information constitute “inappropriate or threatening communications or behaviours” in the context of “abnormally intense preoccupations” with that MP’s illegal actions?
The Mail continues:
So-called ‘sectioning’ allows a patient to be held for up to six months before a further psychological assessment. Patients are then reviewed every year to determine if they can be released.
Human rights activists fear the team, whose existence has never been publicised, may be being used as a way to detain suspected terrorists without having to put evidence before the courts.
Last night human rights group Liberty said the secret unit represented a new threat to civil liberties.
Policy director Gareth Crossman said: “There is a grave danger of this being used to deal with people where there is insufficient evidence for a criminal prosecution.
“This blurs the line between medical decisions and police actions. If you are going to allow doctors to take people’s liberty away, they have to be independent. That credibility is undermined when the doctors are part of the same team as the police.
“This raises serious concerns. First that you have a unit that allows police investigation to lead directly to people being sectioned without any kind of criminal proceedings.
“Secondly, it is being done under the umbrella of anti-terrorism at a time when the Government is looking at ways to detain terrorists without putting them on trial.”
The team examined thousands of cases and liaised with the FBI, the US Secret Service, the Capitol Hill Police, which protects Congressmen and Senators, and the Swedish and Norwegian secret services.
Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: “The Government is trying to bring in a wider definition of mental disorder and is resisting exclusions which ensure that people cannot be treated as mentally disordered on the grounds of their cultural, political or religious beliefs.
“When you hear they are also setting up something like this police unit, it raises questions about quite what their intentions are.
“The use of mental health powers of detention should be confined to the purposes of treatment. But the Government wants to be able to detain someone who is mentally disordered even when the treatment would have no benefit.
“Combined with the idea that someone could be classed as mentally ill on the grounds of their religious beliefs, it is a very worrying scenario.”
Indeed, while they obviously haven’t said that the government was involved, 9/11 Commissioners have said we need further investigation and that the American people should question 9/11. Does that mean they should they be committed to the same psych ward which Mr. Raub and Ms. Swinney enjoyed? Of course not.
Some people believe that 9/11 was wholly unforeseeable. Others believe that government personnel were criminally negligent in letting 9/11 happen, and then obstructed justice to cover it up. See this, this, this, this, and this. Still others believe that rogue government personnel allowed 9/11 to happen, or even played a role in the attacks themselves.
Whatever one believes about 9/11, isn’t our society built on freedom of speech? And if someone has kooky theories, won’t the scientific method and free debate defeat the baseless theories? Isn’t that what modern society is all about?
For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here.”
What Do Mental Health Professionals Say About Those Who Question 9/11?
Many sociologists and mental health professionals say that those who believe the official version without any questioning are the ones suffering from psychological defense mechanisms.
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, as well as Radiology, at Duke University Medical Center D. Lawrence Burk, Jr., MD
Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Rutgers University Barry R. Komisaruk
Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, Professor of Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine and Distinguished Professor of Global Health in the College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Michael D. Knox
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Laura Schafer
Similarly, American apologists for the powers-that-be are eager to label anyone “taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, … and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook” as worthy of a trip to the insane asylum. (Those traits may also get one labeled as a potential terrorist.)
But most mental health professionals who assume that those who question 9/11 are crazy are simply victims of the the “Martha Mitchell Effect”:
The process by which a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other mental health clinician mistakes the patient’s perception of real events as delusional and misdiagnoses accordingly.
The authors of a paper on this phenomenon (Bell, V., Halligan, P.W., Ellis, H.D. (2003) Beliefs About Delusions. The Psychologist, 6 (8), 418-422) conclude:
Sometimes, improbable reports are erroneously assumed to be symptoms of mental illness [due to a] failure or inability to verify whether the events have actually taken place, no matter how improbable intuitively they might appear to the busy clinician.
In other words, psychologists who haven’t taken the time to examine for themselves the claims of their patients will tend to label as delusional anything which they “intuitively” feel is improbable.
As such, psychologists and psychiatrists are just as prone to acting out their irrational prejudices as anyone else … unless they take the time to investigate and educate themselves.
Postscript: We do not condone violence. Virtually all those who question the government’s version of 9/11 are peaceful, non-violent folks.
Related: Ex-Marine Brandon Raub Detained for Anti-Government Messages on FaceBook; First Amendment Rights Potentially Violated, Says Civil Liberties Group
A former Marine was detained for psychiatric evaluation after posting several anti-government messages on Facebook. Police are not using the word “arrest” for the matter but “detained” as under state law in Virginia police can allow emergency and temporary psychiatric detention upon the recommendation of a mental health professional.
The Marine, named Brandon Raub, has been in custody after FBI, Secret Service, and Virginia’s Chesterfield County police questioned him last Thursday evening about Facebook posts of a pending revolution.
One of Raub’s message was, “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”
Raub has since been in the John Randolph Medical Center, and has not been charged with any crime.
The detainment of Raub has led to public outcry as people state it might have infringed on Raub’s First Amendment rights. Further complaints came from a YouTube video showing Raub being thrown to the ground by police.
The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, has given Raub one of their attorneys for a hearing scheduled on Monday.
“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” said the institute’s executive director John Whitehead.
According to CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR, Raub’s mother Cathleen Thomas said his son has no history of a mental illness.
“He never was violent or psychotic or anything like that,” said Cathleen Thomas to WTVR. “There were just conversations we had back and forth, very deep.”
Another of Raub’s postings was, “There is evil going on all around the world. The United States was meant to lead the charge against injustice, but through our example not our force. People do not respond to having liberty and freedom forced on them.”
“Our views are very strong because we are patriots,” Thomas added. “Our stance in this family is to question everything…when we lose the right to be able to stand up and say how we feel, no matter what it’s about, I think that we need to be very concerned. Because what it speaks to me is that they’re trying to shut people up. They’re trying to squelch the message.”
Raub served as a combat engineer sergeant in both Iraq and Afganistan.
A free internet has enabled millions to realize the truth about the Zionist occupational government (ZOG) – Zionist power in America and in governments of the world. It has also greatly helped enlarge our understanding of the historic role of Jewish supremacism in fomenting movements such as free masonry, communism, and hate crimes legislation, designed to hasten Jewish world dominion. (See Jewish Activists Created Communism)
In response, the government of Israel has enlisted tens of thousands of Jewish “cyber warriors” worldwide to help counter truth on thousands of blogs and websites. (Web server Go Daddy terminated Truthtellers.org last month because of such pressure.) The Jewish Anti-Defamation League continues to push for federal legislation, or a U.S. Department of Education decree, making it a “hate crime” against Jewish students to criticize Israel on university campuses. Last week the Jewish Telegraph Agency described criticism of Israel at US colleges as “overwhelming.” Israel is clearly unable to stem the tide, even in the “pro-Israel” U.S.A.
Thus, we appear to still enjoy a free society with civil liberties and rights to freedom of speech. Yet, behind the scenes, a phalanx of technology is being created that could be used to ultimately quell and outlaw inconvenient truth. Such technology, combined with legal precedent and a society well trained to hate “discriminators” and “the intolerant,” could do what still looks impossible today: Make Brave New World a reality.
Steps Toward Total Surveillance
The book New Conspiracy Reader (2004) presents four major components necessary for the level of control and surveillance required for a centrally controlled, global government:
Super-fast digital face scan software: This implies super-fast computers. The Zionist New World Order wants “digi-photo” files on every person on earth so that, even in speeding traffic, their computers can identify and track dissidents.
A federally accessible database of digi-photographs. The Real I.D. Act of 2005, plus Facebook, gives substance to such a database. Laws have been changed to require that passports include digital biometrics, with digi-photos. Facebook is a database of millions of digi-photos.
Interception of internet traffic and downloading to computer sites. Israeli-backed companies Narus and Verint, with the help of NSA (the National Security Agency), through their hard and software taps, now monitor our telecommunications.
Web cameras linked to the internet, installed at key places in the U.S. and overseas, especially airports. Eventually, entirely linked to the internet, face scans, integrated with the files NSA already is keeping on at least a million Americans, will provide ZOG with an even more complete record of our movements.
All data will be stored in federal computers such as NSA’s Utah Data Center near Bluffdale. (See New NSA Spy Center: Total Invasion of Your Privacy) (This computer complex, occupying a million square feet, will be the world’s fastest and largest to date, permanently storing everything the government is at present illegally discovering about you.)
The above surveillance tools sound like spooky nightmares from Orwell. Yet they are already becoming a reality. In May Congress passed the FAAReauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, opening the door for as many as 30,000 drones to patrol U.S. air space by the end of the decade, feeding information to federal databases.
NSA’s Jaguar computer allegedly is able to pinpoint the location of anyone downloading online. New technology provides similar ability to track computer users. For years, the Israeli government has used drones to pinpoint locations of Hamas and other Arab leaders, empowering IDF to destroy them from the air. Imagine this power someday used by the US government.
Think that can’t happen in your nation? That’s what wealthy Russians thought at their tea parties in 1916. If the 20th century taught us anything, it is the bottomless capacity of human beings to brutalize those they have dehumanized or labeled as enemies of the “common good.”
Today, western governments increasingly pursue technologies and legal precedents that quietly steal all our freedoms. Thinly justified as necessary in the “war on terror,” these hold tremendous possibilities for enslavement. Entrenchment of Zionist power in western governments, media, and finance—and, now, telecommunication monitoring via Jewish internet giants—is so extensive there is little hope that it can be removed. Total Jewish control of the world is prophesied in Scripture. (See ‘Babylon the Great’ is Israel) Yet God continues to give hope of postponement. How? By demonstrating that, when enough people speak out boldly against Jewish supremacism or Zionist oppressions, as did Jesus against the evil Jewish leaders of His day, God honors and rewards such truth-telling. Relatively recent examples of Zionist ambitions being set back include Israel’s disastrous interminable siege of Gaza (Israel’s greatest PR disaster ever), the flotilla debacle bringing international outrage against Israel, even recent cancellation of ABC’s sacrilegious “Good Christian Bitches” sitcom. (See Good Christian Bitches (GCB) Canceled!)
Christian civilization and influence have declined dramatically over the past century for a simple reason: The church is embarrassed by Jesus’ vitriolic attacks on evil Jewish leadership. They think it “anti-Semitic” to copy His example today. The key to restraining the rise of the Great Harlot Israel, is a combination of mass public outcry coupled with specific, ethinic identification of the Jewish supremacists behind such conspiracy.
Getting Us Ready for World Government
To hold back the darkness, it is vitally important that we understand and educate others about the realities of ADL-originated discrimination and “human rights” laws, which prepare society to accept government thought and speech control. These technologies will become useful once society has accepted the premises justifying their use.
Anti-discrimination laws are explicitly based on the idea of protecting people from criticism, hatred or discrimination because of inherent qualities they can’t change. These are believed to include sexual orientation along with race, gender, age, and other attributes. (Religion is often thrown in, but not protected in reality.) A person’s “homophobic” or “racist” beliefs are considered a choice, not an inherent quality. Thus, they are not protected.
This explains the decision about a British bed-and-breakfast where the religious owners refused a room to a homosexual couple. They were sued and judgment passed against them. The homosexual couple’s “human rights” were upheld; the religious couple’s rights were considered invalid. This is because government preaches that you can change your religion but not your sexual orientation. And if your religion is “hateful,” you should change it.
This basis for human rights law is increasingly laid down by precedents throughout the west, including America. It leads in one direction: to the utter social divestment of people whose beliefs are unacceptable to the government. Today, they are not allowed to adopt children (as “homophobic” Christians are restricted in Britain). Tomorrow they may be put in “reeducation camps” to have their chosen beliefs forcibly changed. We must defend free speech even for the person whose beliefs we most loathe.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans don’t know the first thing about hate crime or discrimination laws, how ADL is behind them, or how they lead to totalitarianism. Just like the giant computer in Utah, these laws quietly gobble the freedom we appear to still enjoy.
To counter the threats of freedom-stealing technology, and public willingness for the sake of security to let freedom be stolen, we must pursue attainable legislative goals. We have seen encouraging legislative precedents. Repeatedly, federal efforts to massively invade our privacy have been daunted by public outcry. In 2002 the Information Awareness Office was created by Congress in response to 9/11 to give the government unrestrained surveillance and eavesdropping powers over all telecommunications. Protest was so intense and widespread that by 2003 the IAO was defunded by Congress. The government has been forced to perform in secret much of what it hoped could be done with public approval. The same public outcry defeated the SOPA and PIPA internet takeover bills.
Persuading Congress to say “No!” to more legislation stealing internet privacy is an attainable goal. Call your state’s U.S. Senators and those of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence right now protesting the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, H.R. 3523). This bill authorizes Jewish telecommunication companies, such as Google, Verizon, Comcast, Facebook, and Time-Warner Cable, to spy on Americans for the government. Call 202-224-1700. Members of this committee are posted on the Action Page at Truthtellers.org.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
Photo: Name Withheld; Digital Manipulation: Jesse Lenz
The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.
Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.
But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.
Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.
The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.
But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”
For the NSA, overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post-9/11 budget awards, the cryptanalysis breakthrough came at a time of explosive growth, in size as well as in power. Established as an arm of the Department of Defense following Pearl Harbor, with the primary purpose of preventing another surprise assault, the NSA suffered a series of humiliations in the post-Cold War years. Caught offguard by an escalating series of terrorist attacks—the first World Trade Center bombing, the blowing up of US embassies in East Africa, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and finally the devastation of 9/11—some began questioning the agency’s very reason for being. In response, the NSA has quietly been reborn. And while there is little indication that its actual effectiveness has improved—after all, despite numerous pieces of evidence and intelligence-gathering opportunities, it missed the near-disastrous attempted attacks by the underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009 and by the car bomber in Times Square in 2010—there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.
In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.
UTAH DATA CENTER
When construction is completed in 2013, the heavily fortified $2 billion facility in Bluffdale will encompass 1 million square feet.
1 Visitor control center
A $9.7 million facility for ensuring that only cleared personnel gain access.
Designated space for technical support and administrative personnel.
3 Data halls
Four 25,000-square-foot facilities house rows and rows of servers.
4 Backup generators and fuel tanks
Can power the center for at least three days.
5 Water storage and pumping
Able to pump 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day.
6 Chiller plant
About 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep servers from overheating.
7 Power substation
An electrical substation to meet the center’s estimated 65-megawatt demand.
Video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other protection will cost more than $10 million.
Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Conceptual Site plan
A swath of freezing fog blanketed Salt Lake City on the morning of January 6, 2011, mixing with a weeklong coating of heavy gray smog. Red air alerts, warning people to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, had become almost daily occurrences, and the temperature was in the bone-chilling twenties. “What I smell and taste is like coal smoke,” complained one local blogger that day. At the city’s international airport, many inbound flights were delayed or diverted while outbound regional jets were grounded. But among those making it through the icy mist was a figure whose gray suit and tie made him almost disappear into the background. He was tall and thin, with the physique of an aging basketball player and dark caterpillar eyebrows beneath a shock of matching hair. Accompanied by a retinue of bodyguards, the man was NSA deputy director Chris Inglis, the agency’s highest-ranking civilian and the person who ran its worldwide day-to-day operations.
A short time later, Inglis arrived in Bluffdale at the site of the future data center, a flat, unpaved runway on a little-used part of Camp Williams, a National Guard training site. There, in a white tent set up for the occasion, Inglis joined Harvey Davis, the agency’s associate director for installations and logistics, and Utah senator Orrin Hatch, along with a few generals and politicians in a surreal ceremony. Standing in an odd wooden sandbox and holding gold-painted shovels, they made awkward jabs at the sand and thus officially broke ground on what the local media had simply dubbed “the spy center.” Hoping for some details on what was about to be built, reporters turned to one of the invited guests, Lane Beattie of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Did he have any idea of the purpose behind the new facility in his backyard? “Absolutely not,” he said with a self-conscious half laugh. “Nor do I want them spying on me.”
For his part, Inglis simply engaged in a bit of double-talk, emphasizing the least threatening aspect of the center: “It’s a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the intelligence community in its mission to, in turn, enable and protect the nation’s cybersecurity.” While cybersecurity will certainly be among the areas focused on in Bluffdale, what is collected, how it’s collected, and what is done with the material are far more important issues. Battling hackers makes for a nice cover—it’s easy to explain, and who could be against it? Then the reporters turned to Hatch, who proudly described the center as “a great tribute to Utah,” then added, “I can’t tell you a lot about what they’re going to be doing, because it’s highly classified.”
And then there was this anomaly: Although this was supposedly the official ground-breaking for the nation’s largest and most expensive cybersecurity project, no one from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for protecting civilian networks from cyberattack, spoke from the lectern. In fact, the official who’d originally introduced the data center, at a press conference in Salt Lake City in October 2009, had nothing to do with cybersecurity. It was Glenn A. Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, a man who had spent almost his entire career at the CIA. As head of collection for the intelligence community, he managed the country’s human and electronic spies.
Within days, the tent and sandbox and gold shovels would be gone and Inglis and the generals would be replaced by some 10,000 construction workers. “We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project, told a local reporter. The plans for the center show an extensive security system: an elaborate $10 million antiterrorism protection program, including a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.
Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.
Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering. But so is the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. As a result of this “expanding array of theater airborne and other sensor networks,” as a 2007 Department of Defense report puts it, the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)
It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) In terms of scale, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, once estimated that the total of all human knowledge created from the dawn of man to 2003 totaled 5 exabytes. And the data flow shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.
The data stored in Bluffdale will naturally go far beyond the world’s billions of public web pages. The NSA is more interested in the so-called invisible web, also known as the deep web or deepnet—data beyond the reach of the public. This includes password-protected data, US and foreign government communications, and noncommercial file-sharing between trusted peers. “The deep web contains government reports, databases, and other sources of information of high value to DOD and the intelligence community,” according to a 2010 Defense Science Board report. “Alternative tools are needed to find and index data in the deep web … Stealing the classified secrets of a potential adversary is where the [intelligence] community is most comfortable.” With its new Utah Data Center, the NSA will at last have the technical capability to store, and rummage through, all those stolen secrets. The question, of course, is how the agency defines who is, and who is not, “a potential adversary.”
The NSA’S SPY NETWORK
Once it’s operational, the Utah Data Center will become, in effect, the NSA’s cloud. The center will be fed data collected by the agency’s eavesdropping satellites, overseas listening posts, and secret monitoring rooms in telecom facilities throughout the US. All that data will then be accessible to the NSA’s code breakers, data-miners, China analysts, counterterrorism specialists, and others working at its Fort Meade headquarters and around the world. Here’s how the data center appears to fit into the NSA’s global puzzle.—J.B.
1 Geostationary satellites
Four satellites positioned around the globe monitor frequencies carrying everything from walkie-talkies and cell phones in Libya to radar systems in North Korea. Onboard software acts as the first filter in the collection process, targeting only key regions, countries, cities, and phone numbers or email.
2 Aerospace Data Facility, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado
Intelligence collected from the geostationary satellites, as well as signals from other spacecraft and overseas listening posts, is relayed to this facility outside Denver. About 850 NSA employees track the satellites, transmit target information, and download the intelligence haul.
3 NSA Georgia, Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia
Focuses on intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Codenamed Sweet Tea, the facility has been massively expanded and now consists of a 604,000-square-foot operations building for up to 4,000 intercept operators, analysts, and other specialists.
4 NSA Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio
Focuses on intercepts from Latin America and, since 9/11, the Middle East and Europe. Some 2,000 workers staff the operation. The NSA recently completed a $100 million renovation on a mega-data center here—a backup storage facility for the Utah Data Center.
5 NSA Hawaii, Oahu
Focuses on intercepts from Asia. Built to house an aircraft assembly plant during World War II, the 250,000-square-foot bunker is nicknamed the Hole. Like the other NSA operations centers, it has since been expanded: Its 2,700 employees now do their work aboveground from a new 234,000-square-foot facility.
6 Domestic listening posts
The NSA has long been free to eavesdrop on international satellite communications. But after 9/11, it installed taps in US telecom “switches,” gaining access to domestic traffic. An ex-NSA official says there are 10 to 20 such installations.
7 Overseas listening posts
According to a knowledgeable intelligence source, the NSA has installed taps on at least a dozen of the major overseas communications links, each capable of eavesdropping on information passing by at a high data rate.
8 Utah Data Center, Bluffdale, Utah
At a million square feet, this $2 billion digital storage facility outside Salt Lake City will be the centerpiece of the NSA’s cloud-based data strategy and essential in its plans for decrypting previously uncrackable documents.
9 Multiprogram Research Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Some 300 scientists and computer engineers with top security clearance toil away here, building the world’s fastest supercomputers and working on cryptanalytic applications and other secret projects.
10 NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland
Analysts here will access material stored at Bluffdale to prepare reports and recommendations that are sent to policymakers. To handle the increased data load, the NSA is also building an $896 million supercomputer center here.
Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn’t revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.
For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. A tall man with strands of black hair across the front of his scalp and dark, determined eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses, the 68-year-old spent nearly four decades breaking codes and finding new ways to channel billions of private phone calls and email messages from around the world into the NSA’s bulging databases. As chief and one of the two cofounders of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, Binney and his team designed much of the infrastructure that’s still likely used to intercept international and foreign communications.
He explains that the agency could have installed its tapping gear at the nation’s cable landing stations—the more than two dozen sites on the periphery of the US where fiber-optic cables come ashore. If it had taken that route, the NSA would have been able to limit its eavesdropping to just international communications, which at the time was all that was allowed under US law. Instead it chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country—large, windowless buildings known as switches—thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. “I think there’s 10 to 20 of them,” Binney says. “That’s not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.”
The eavesdropping on Americans doesn’t stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T’s powerful earth stations, satellite receivers in locations that include Roaring Creek and Salt Creek. Tucked away on a back road in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania, Roaring Creek’s three 105-foot dishes handle much of the country’s communications to and from Europe and the Middle East. And on an isolated stretch of land in remote Arbuckle, California, three similar dishes at the company’s Salt Creek station service the Pacific Rim and Asia.
The former NSA official held his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”
Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.
The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.
The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.
According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.
Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)
After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can.
Once the communications are intercepted and stored, the data-mining begins. “You can watch everybody all the time with data- mining,” Binney says. Everything a person does becomes charted on a graph, “financial transactions or travel or anything,” he says. Thus, as data like bookstore receipts, bank statements, and commuter toll records flow in, the NSA is able to paint a more and more detailed picture of someone’s life.
The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says.
In secret listening rooms nationwide, NSA software examines every email, phone call, and tweet as they zip by.
But there is, of course, reason for anyone to be distressed about the practice. Once the door is open for the government to spy on US citizens, there are often great temptations to abuse that power for political purposes, as when Richard Nixon eavesdropped on his political enemies during Watergate and ordered the NSA to spy on antiwar protesters. Those and other abuses prompted Congress to enact prohibitions in the mid-1970s against domestic spying.
Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. “I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process.” But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren’t interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.”
When Barack Obama took office, Binney hoped the new administration might be open to reforming the program to address his constitutional concerns. He and another former senior NSA analyst, J. Kirk Wiebe, tried to bring the idea of an automated warrant-approval system to the attention of the Department of Justice’s inspector general. They were given the brush-off. “They said, oh, OK, we can’t comment,” Binney says.
Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.
There is still one technology preventing untrammeled government access to private digital data: strong encryption. Anyone—from terrorists and weapons dealers to corporations, financial institutions, and ordinary email senders—can use it to seal their messages, plans, photos, and documents in hardened data shells. For years, one of the hardest shells has been the Advanced Encryption Standard, one of several algorithms used by much of the world to encrypt data. Available in three different strengths—128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits—it’s incorporated in most commercial email programs and web browsers and is considered so strong that the NSA has even approved its use for top-secret US government communications. Most experts say that a so-called brute-force computer attack on the algorithm—trying one combination after another to unlock the encryption—would likely take longer than the age of the universe. For a 128-bit cipher, the number of trial-and-error attempts would be 340 undecillion (1036).
Breaking into those complex mathematical shells like the AES is one of the key reasons for the construction going on in Bluffdale. That kind of cryptanalysis requires two major ingredients: super-fast computers to conduct brute-force attacks on encrypted messages and a massive number of those messages for the computers to analyze. The more messages from a given target, the more likely it is for the computers to detect telltale patterns, and Bluffdale will be able to hold a great many messages. “We questioned it one time,” says another source, a senior intelligence manager who was also involved with the planning. “Why were we building this NSA facility? And, boy, they rolled out all the old guys—the crypto guys.” According to the official, these experts told then-director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, “You’ve got to build this thing because we just don’t have the capability of doing the code-breaking.” It was a candid admission. In the long war between the code breakers and the code makers—the tens of thousands of cryptographers in the worldwide computer security industry—the code breakers were admitting defeat.
So the agency had one major ingredient—a massive data storage facility—under way. Meanwhile, across the country in Tennessee, the government was working in utmost secrecy on the other vital element: the most powerful computer the world has ever known.
The plan was launched in 2004 as a modern-day Manhattan Project. Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop—the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record. And as with the Manhattan Project, the venue chosen for the supercomputing program was the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee, a rural area where sharp ridges give way to low, scattered hills, and the southwestward-flowing Clinch River bends sharply to the southeast. About 25 miles from Knoxville, it is the “secret city” where uranium- 235 was extracted for the first atomic bomb. A sign near the exit read: what you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Today, not far from where that sign stood, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it’s engaged in a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.
In 2004, as part of the supercomputing program, the Department of Energy established its Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility for multiple agencies to join forces on the project. But in reality there would be two tracks, one unclassified, in which all of the scientific work would be public, and another top-secret, in which the NSA could pursue its own computer covertly. “For our purposes, they had to create a separate facility,” says a former senior NSA computer expert who worked on the project and is still associated with the agency. (He is one of three sources who described the program.) It was an expensive undertaking, but one the NSA was desperate to launch.
Known as the Multiprogram Research Facility, or Building 5300, the $41 million, five-story, 214,000-square-foot structure was built on a plot of land on the lab’s East Campus and completed in 2006. Behind the brick walls and green-tinted windows, 318 scientists, computer engineers, and other staff work in secret on the cryptanalytic applications of high-speed computing and other classified projects. The supercomputer center was named in honor of George R. Cotter, the NSA’s now-retired chief scientist and head of its information technology program. Not that you’d know it. “There’s no sign on the door,” says the ex-NSA computer expert.
At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.
Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.
The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”
In addition to giving the NSA access to a tremendous amount of Americans’ personal data, such an advance would also open a window on a trove of foreign secrets. While today most sensitive communications use the strongest encryption, much of the older data stored by the NSA, including a great deal of what will be transferred to Bluffdale once the center is complete, is encrypted with more vulnerable ciphers. “Remember,” says the former intelligence official, “a lot of foreign government stuff we’ve never been able to break is 128 or less. Break all that and you’ll find out a lot more of what you didn’t know—stuff we’ve already stored—so there’s an enormous amount of information still in there.”
The NSA believes it’s on the verge of breaking a key encryption algorithm—opening up hoards of data.
That, he notes, is where the value of Bluffdale, and its mountains of long-stored data, will come in. What can’t be broken today may be broken tomorrow. “Then you can see what they were saying in the past,” he says. “By extrapolating the way they did business, it gives us an indication of how they may do things now.” The danger, the former official says, is that it’s not only foreign government information that is locked in weaker algorithms, it’s also a great deal of personal domestic communications, such as Americans’ email intercepted by the NSA in the past decade.
But first the supercomputer must break the encryption, and to do that, speed is everything. The faster the computer, the faster it can break codes. The Data Encryption Standard, the 56-bit predecessor to the AES, debuted in 1976 and lasted about 25 years. The AES made its first appearance in 2001 and is expected to remain strong and durable for at least a decade. But if the NSA has secretly built a computer that is considerably faster than machines in the unclassified arena, then the agency has a chance of breaking the AES in a much shorter time. And with Bluffdale in operation, the NSA will have the luxury of storing an ever-expanding archive of intercepts until that breakthrough comes along.
But despite its progress, the agency has not finished building at Oak Ridge, nor is it satisfied with breaking the petaflop barrier. Its next goal is to reach exaflop speed, one quintillion (1018) operations a second, and eventually zettaflop (1021) and yottaflop.
These goals have considerable support in Congress. Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy’s exascale computing initiative (the NSA’s budget requests are classified). They cited the necessity to keep up with and surpass China and Japan. “The race is on to develop exascale computing capabilities,” the senators noted. The reason was clear: By late 2011 the Jaguar (now with a peak speed of 2.33 petaflops) ranked third behind Japan’s “K Computer,” with an impressive 10.51 petaflops, and the Chinese Tianhe-1A system, with 2.57 petaflops.
But the real competition will take place in the classified realm. To secretly develop the new exaflop (or higher) machine by 2018, the NSA has proposed constructing two connecting buildings, totaling 260,000 square feet, near its current facility on the East Campus of Oak Ridge. Called the Multiprogram Computational Data Center, the buildings will be low and wide like giant warehouses, a design necessary for the dozens of computer cabinets that will compose an exaflop-scale machine, possibly arranged in a cluster to minimize the distance between circuits. According to a presentation delivered to DOE employees in 2009, it will be an “unassuming facility with limited view from roads,” in keeping with the NSA’s desire for secrecy. And it will have an extraordinary appetite for electricity, eventually using about 200 megawatts, enough to power 200,000 homes. The computer will also produce a gargantuan amount of heat, requiring 60,000 tons of cooling equipment, the same amount that was needed to serve both of the World Trade Center towers.
In the meantime Cray is working on the next step for the NSA, funded in part by a $250 million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It’s a massively parallel supercomputer called Cascade, a prototype of which is due at the end of 2012. Its development will run largely in parallel with the unclassified effort for the DOE and other partner agencies. That project, due in 2013, will upgrade the Jaguar XT5 into an XK6, codenamed Titan, upping its speed to 10 to 20 petaflops.
Yottabytes and exaflops, septillions and undecillions—the race for computing speed and data storage goes on. In his 1941 story “The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges imagined a collection of information where the entire world’s knowledge is stored but barely a single word is understood. In Bluffdale the NSA is constructing a library on a scale that even Borges might not have contemplated. And to hear the masters of the agency tell it, it’s only a matter of time until every word is illuminated.
James Bamford (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America.
Congress OKs 30,000 flying drones spying on Americans across U.S. cities
In case you didn’t know it – and you probably didn’t – Congress, with little fanfare, passed an FAA reauthorization bill last week President Obama is expected to sign into law that will make it much easier for the government to put scores of unmanned spy drones into American skies.
Not only that the legislation authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. If the law takes full effect, it is believed as many as 30,000 drones could be hovering over the U.S. by 2020.
The drones, which are widely used in Afghanistan to spot and target suspected insurgents and Taliban operatives in that country as well as neighboring Pakistan, have been used by American government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, for a few years, in an observation/surveillance capacity. DoH has also used drones in disaster relief operations, and advocates say they can be successfully employed to fight fires and locate missing hikers.
Say Good-bye to Privacy
Privacy advocates, however, are sounding the alarm good and loud.
“There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Washington Times.
Jennifer Lynch, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group, added that her organization is particularly “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies.”
Her agency is suing the FAA to determine just how many certificates the agency has already issued to police, government agencies and a smattering of private research institutions to allow them to fly drones in U.S. airspace. The agency says it handed out 313 certificates in 2011; by year’s end, 295 were still active “but the FAA refuses to disclose which agencies have the certificates and what their purposes are,” said the Times.
The drone lobby in the US has had a stunning success in pushing its agenda of enabling unmanned drones to fly freely in civil airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Bill has been passed by both Senate and Congress and now simply awaits President Obama’s signature before becoming law. The bill sets a deadline of 30 September 2015 by which the FAA must allow “full integration” of unmanned drones into US civil airspace
This deadline, along with several other provisions were pushed by the US drone lobby group, Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). In fact AUVSI boast on its website about helping to draft some of bill.
Given that there is as yet no proven technology that would allow drones to ‘sense and avoid’ other aircraft, the deadline of just 3½ years before full integration is either incredibly ambitious – or just plain foolish. Already pilots are expressing their disquiet as Business Week reports:
Commercial airlines and pilots are less than thrilled with the idea of sharing the sky. They point out there’s no system that allows operators of unmanned aircraft to see and steer clear of piloted helicopters and planes. Nor are there training requirements or standards for the ground-based “pilots” who guide them. It’s also not clear how drones should operate in airspace overseen by air-traffic controllers, where split-second manoeuvring is sometimes required. Until unmanned aircraft can show they won’t run into other planes or the ground, they shouldn’t be allowed to fly with other traffic, says Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Assn.
Privacy issues also seem to have been ignored by the bill (and AUVSI, naturally). Hours before the bill was passed Jay Stanley of the ACLU urged Congress
“to impose some rules (such as those we proposed in our report) to protect Americans’ privacy from the inevitable invasions that this technology will otherwise lead to. We don’t want to wonder, every time we step out our front door, whether some eye in the sky is watching our every move…. The bottom line is: domestic drones are potentially extremely powerful surveillance tools, and that power — like all government power — needs to be subject to checks and balances.”
Despite these safety and civil liberties concerns, thanks to the drone lobbyists thousands of drones will soon be flying in US airspace. The question then is could it happen here? Will unmanned drones be allowed to fly freely in UK civil airspace too? While it may seem like science fiction at the moment, there are many vested interests working hard behind the scene to make it happen.
At the European level, the EU has been having a series of meetings over the past year to prepare a strategy document for the introduction of drones within European airspace as the Sunday Times recently reported last week (quoting us).
European and UK lobby groups acting on behalf of the drone industry are pushing the advantages of drones and talking up their usefulness in many news publications. New Scientist magazine reports how Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a lobby group based in the Paris, says that drones will become “vital tools in many fields, from helping police track stolen cars to assisting emergency services in crisis situations such as fires, floods and earthquakes, to more prosaic tasks like advertising or dispensing fertiliser from the air.” (“High time to welcome the friendly drones” said the New Scientist editorial) . The BBC website also last week reported on how drones are cheaper and better at checking on whether farmers are complying with Common Agricultural Policy rules.
In the UK, as regular readers will know, the ‘industry-led consortium’ ASTRAEA, aims “to enable the routine use of UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) in all classes of airspace without the need for restrictive or specialised conditions of operation.”
The programme is funded 50% by the taxpayer and 50% by some of the UK’s biggest military companies. According to the ASTRAEA website, the UK drone lobby group, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVS) and the Ministry of Defence are also ‘stakeholders’ in the programme. As the UAVS website states on their website much of their representation takes place “behind closed doors”.
There are two main hurdles for the drone lobby to overcome before unrestricted drone flying will become the norm in the UK. First is the safety issue. At the moment the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which is responsible for UK civil airspace severely restricts the use of drones (but see our article here ). Their main objection comes from a safety perspective. At last years ASTRAEA conference, John Clark from the UK CAA told delegates that it is for industry and the UAV community to prove that it will meet standards – “whatever you propose it must be safe” he said. There is a long way to go before the drone industry will satisfy the CAA and the public that drones are at least as safe as ‘manned’ aircraft.
Second is public skepticism. The MoD and the drone industry are well aware that the public do not like the thought of drones flying above their heads in the UK. While there will be a lot of activity over the next year or twoby lobbyists focusing on reassuring the public that drones are neither frightening nor dangerous, there also needs to be discussion about what is acceptable to the British public. As Ben Hayes of the campaign group Statewatch says in the BBC piece mentioned above, while there are lots of things that drones can be useful for, ”the questions about what is acceptable and how people feel about drones hovering over their farmland or their demonstration – these debates are not taking place.”
Unlike the US, the debate on drones in civil airspace is still wide open. We need to make sure it is not just the industry lobbyists whose voices are heard.
In scary legal news a Wisconsin judge had gone completely loopy declaring that citizens have no right to produce or eat the foods of their own choice.
In response to a request from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the judge issued a clarification of his decision last week regarding his assessment of the constitutionality of food rights. The judge expanded on his original statement that such constitutional issues are “wholly without merit.”
He explained that the FTCLDF arguments were “extremely underdeveloped.” As an example, he said the plaintiffs’ use of the Roe v Wade abortion rights case as a precedent does “not explain why a woman’s right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk…This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one’s choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue.” Gee, I thought they both had to do with the right to decide what to do with your own body.
As if to show how pissed he was at being questioned, he said his decision translates further that “no, Plaintiffs to not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;
“no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;”
And in a kind of exclamation point, he added this to his list of no-nos: “no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice…”
You have to wonder if maybe even the regulators are getting a tad uncomfortable with the rulings coming from the nation’s judiciary on food rights. Many of these individuals, biased as they are against raw milk, dabble in farming to some extent, or grew up on farms. This judge has gone way beyond what many of them have come to assume–that everyone has the right to own a cow and consume its milk Even in places that ban raw milk sales, there’s nearly always a provision in state law that anyone who owns a cow has the right to consume its milk.
It seems Judge Fiedler is saying it’s not a “fundamental right,” but rather a right granted us by the state. -The Complete Patient
The original judgement can be seen here. To quote from the main points:
1) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;
2) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;
3) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to board their cow at the farm of a farmer;
4) no, the Zinniker Plaintiffs’ private contract does not fall outside the scope of the State’s police power;
5) no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume foods of their choice;
In other words: Put down that carrot and backup slowly. Anything you eat or grow can and will be held against you in a court of law. You have now entered the police state of 1984. Shut up.
Why is this happening?
Simple, Big Ag is scared that small producers are going to take away a little bit of the market share. They are using their lobbyist and regulatory minions to put the squeeze on small family farms that have found a niche outside the mainstream in order to scare consumers back into buying at the big teats. When that doesn’t work they resort to government raids and insane judicial judgments against the small producers because Big Ag isn’t able to compete on a level playing field even with the help of all the subsidies they get.
What can you do?
Make a stink. Publicize these issues. Write about them on your blogs, web comments, to your representatives and in letters to the newspapers (you know, the crinkly things you fold that has the black ink – still a great tool of free speech as there are plenty of independents left.)
Most of all, support your local small farmers. Fight back with your pocket book. Hurt Big Ag where they feel the pain, in their wallets. Spend your dollars locally and as directly as you can to small stores and small family farms so that money flows back into your local economy.
You can make a difference. Do it.
Source: Activist Post, NONAIS.org
The Federal Reserve wants to know what you are saying about it. In fact, the Federal Reserve has announced plans to identify “key bloggers” and to monitor “billions of conversations” about the Fed on Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogs. This is yet another sign that the alternative media is having a dramatic impact. As first reported on Zero Hedge, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has issued a “Request for Proposal” to suppliers who may be interested in participating in the development of a “Sentiment Analysis And Social Media Monitoring Solution”. In other words, the Federal Reserve wants to develop a highly sophisticated system that will gather everything that you and I say about the Federal Reserve on the Internet and that will analyze what our feelings about the Fed are. Obviously, any “positive” feelings about the Fed would not be a problem. What they really want to do is to gather information on everyone that views the Federal Reserve negatively. It is unclear how they plan to use this information once they have it, but considering how many alternative media sources have been shut down lately, this is obviously a very troubling sign.
You can read this “Request for Proposal” right here. Posted below are some of the key quotes from the document (in bold) with some of my own commentary in between the quotes….
“The intent is to establish a fair and equitable partnership with a market leader who will who gather data from various social media outlets and news sources and provide applicable reporting to FRBNY. This Request for Proposal (“RFP”) was created in an effort to support FRBNY’s Social Media Listening Platforms initiative.”
A system like this is not cheap. Apparently the Federal Reserve Bank of New York believes that gathering all of this information is very important. In recent years, criticism of the Federal Reserve has become very intense, and most of this criticism has been coming from the Internet. It has gotten to the point where the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has decided that it had better listen to what is being said and find out who is saying it.
“Social media listening platforms are solutions that gather data from various social media outlets and news sources. They monitor billions of conversations and generate text analytics based on predefined criteria. They can also determine the sentiment of a speaker or writer with respect to some topic or document.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York intends to listen in on “billions of conversations” and to actually determine the “sentiment” of those that are participating in those conversations.
Of course it will be those conversations that are “negative” about the Federal Reserve that will be setting off the alarm bells.
“Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers”
Uh oh. So they plan to “identify” key bloggers and influencers?
What exactly do they plan to do once they “identify” them?
“The solution must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms –Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube.”
Hopefully you understand this already, but nothing posted on the Internet is ever anonymous. Everything on the Internet is gathered by a vast host of organizations and is used for a wide variety of purposes. Data mining has become a billion dollar industry, and it is only going to keep growing.
You may think that you are “anonymous” when you criticize organizations like the Fed, but the truth is that if you are loud enough they will see it and they will make a record of it.
“The solution must provide real-time monitoring of relevant conversations. It should provide sentiment analysis (positive, negative or neutral) around key conversational topics.”
Why do they need to perform “sentiment analysis”?
If someone is identified as being overly “negative” about the Fed, what will they do about it?
“The solution should provide an alerting mechanism that automatically sends out reports or notifications based a predefined trigger.”
This sounds very much like the kind of “keyword” intelligence gathering systems that are currently in use by major governments around the globe.
Very, very creepy stuff.
Are you disturbed yet?
For those of us that write about the Federal Reserve a lot, this is very sobering news.
I wonder what the Fed will think about the following articles that I have posted on this site….
What is their “Social Media Monitoring Solution” going to think about those articles?
Unfortunately, this is all part of a very disturbing trend.
Recently, a very creepy website known as “Attack Watch” was launched to gather information on those saying “negative” things about Barack Obama.
Suddenly, everyone seems obsessed with what you and I are saying.
This just shows how the power of the alternative media is growing.
Not only that, but it seems as though the government also wants to gather as much information on all of us as possible.
For example, a new rule is being proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services that would force health insurance companies to submit detailed health care information about all of their customers to the federal government.
Every single day our privacy is being stripped away a little bit more.
But now it is often not just enough for them to know what we are doing and saying. Instead, the “authorities” are increasingly stepping in to silence important voices.
One of the most recent examples of this was when Activistpost was taken down by Google. We are still awaiting word on why this was done.
Sadly, the silencing of Activistpost is far from an isolated incident.
Hordes of YouTube accounts have been shut down for their political viewpoints.
Quite a few very prominent alternative media websites have been censored or attacked because of what they stand for.
So why is this happening? Well, it turns out that the power of the alternative media is growing. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, 43 percent of Americans say that they get their news on national and international issues from the Internet. Back in 1999, that figure was sitting at just 6 percent.
The American people are sick and tired of getting “canned news”, and they are increasingly turning to the Internet in a search for the truth.
Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations. These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest. Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media. But they should. The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media. The average American watches 153 hours of television a month. In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something. Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.
The “news” that we get from various mainstream sources seems to always be so similar. It is as if nearly all mainstream news organizations are reading from the same script. The American people know that they are not getting the whole truth and they have been increasingly looking to alternative sources.
The monopoly over the news that the mainstream media once possessed has been broken. The alternative media is now creating some huge problems for organizations that were once very closely protected by the mainstream media.
The American people are starting to wake up and they are starting to get very upset about a lot of the corruption that has been going on in our society.
But it turns out that the “authorities” don’t like it too much when Americans try to actually exercise free speech in America today. For example, you can see recent video of female protesters in New York City being penned in by police and then brutally maced right here.
Are you sickened by that?
You should be.
What the “authorities” want is for us to shut up, sit in our homes and act as if nothing wrong is happening.
Meanwhile, they seem determined to watch us more closely than ever.
So are you going to be afraid to talk negatively about the Federal Reserve now that you know that they are going to be watching what you say on the Internet?
The man who was instrumental in working with the federal government to sabotage a bill that would have made TSA grope downs a felony in the state of Texas was Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a former CIA agent and establishment insider considered to be the wealthiest man in Texas politics.
As we have documented, the anti-pat down bill was derailed in the Texas Senate having unanimously passed the House by 138-0 votes after the Department of Justice sent a letter threatening to impose a no fly zone over Texas and shut down Texas airports. The warning was nothing short of a federal blockade and an act of financial terrorism.
But the federal assault was aided by a traitor from within the state, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who only served to amplify the threats made by the DOJ in communicating them to members of the Senate, convincing them them to cave in and forcing the hand of Senator Dan Patrick to withdraw the bill before it could be shot down permanently.
“He came up with this elaborate political play to kill the bill without his fingerprints,” Sen. Patrick, R-Houston stated, adding, “His fingerprints are all over this.”
“Someone who will undermine his members and someone who will not stand up to the federal government — you have to ask yourself is that the kind of person that we need in the U.S. Senate,” Patrick said, adding that Dewhurst “sideswiped” him on Tuesday night by turning members against the bill.
Patrick is now planning to insert an amendment within the bill that will mandate the federal government comply within six months. However, some will merely see that as unnecessarily watering down the legislation.
“I hear he’s thinking about running for governor,” Patrick said. “I hear he’s thinking about running for senator. In the last 24 hours, he’s given me some things to think about.”
Given the fact that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is undoubtedly an establishment insider it’s unsurprising that he played the role of Judas in protecting the agenda of the Obama administration over and above the will of his own legislators and the people of Texas.
Dewhurst is a creature of the federal government, having worked as a CIA agent and also served in the US State Department. He was also director of the state Task Force on Homeland Security.
Barbie, an expert in cruel and inhumane forms of torture for the purposes of interrogation, was a key CIA liaison throughout the years Dewhurst served in South America. When the Austin Chronicle asked Dewhurst whether he had enjoyed a drink with the “butcher of Lyon” at the US embassy bar, he responded, “I never comment on intelligence matters.”
So in Dewhurst we basically have a man who helped neo-nazis, as well as Nazi torture experts, overthrow legitimate governments in the 70′s now helping the Obama administration overthrow America in 2011, by protecting an army of TSA thugs who are being used to completely demolish constitutional rights.
Following the recent raid on Osama Bin Laden’s alleged compound, Dewhurst hinted that he still moved very much within spook circles when he stated, “I can’t go into details, but the capabilities that the United States has developed over the years is nothing short of breath-taking.”
“Little is known about Dewhurst. His life story is an impenetrable fog of obfuscation punctuated by tantalizing facts,” reports the Texas Observer. “This secrecy has extended from his military record to the sources of his wealth to his current financial conflicts. He has repeatedly gotten into trouble with the Texas Ethics Commission for overly vague financial filings. State elected officials are required to either disclose their finances or put all their assets in a blind trust. Until 2008, Dewhurst declined to do either, putting his money in a (nonblind) trust and declining to release information about it.”
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.
WW~Notes: What is a former CIA agent doing in the capacity of Lt. Governor in a state? Spying on state government at all levels? The CIA is rotten from the core and I wouldn’t trust one of them in an official elected position. And you can bet he is being handsomely paid for this treason against the American people and the state of Texas. Would you expect anything less from a former black-ops ‘spook’?
WW~Notes: They haven’t gotten it yet, that a few of us are listening very closely and when the truth comes out it’s a bombshell! Brasscheck TV’s THE DOGS OF WAR exposes the truth on the airport security radiation scanners from an article in The New York Times, documentaries and various televised news clips.
A thought-provoking and powerful documentary film on the current and historical root causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unlike any other film ever produced on the conflict — ‘Occupation 101′ presents a comprehensive analysis of the facts and hidden truths surrounding the never ending controversy and dispels many of its long-perceived myths and misconceptions.
The film also details life under Israeli military rule, the role of the United States in the conflict, and the major obstacles that stand in the way of a lasting and viable peace. The roots of the conflict are explained through first-hand on-the-ground experiences from leading Middle East scholars, peace activists, journalists, religious leaders and humanitarian workers whose voices have too often been suppressed in American media outlets.
The film covers a wide range of topics — which include — the first wave of Jewish immigration from Europe in the 1880′s, the 1920 tensions, the 1948 war, the 1967 war, the first Intifada of 1987, the Oslo Peace Process, Settlement expansion, the role of the United States Government, the second Intifada of 2000, the separation barrier and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, as well as many heart wrenching testimonials from victims of this tragedy.
Featured Interviews -
Occupation 101 features a leading list of some of the most credible Middle East scholars, historians, peace activists, journalists, and humanitarian workers.
Dr. Albert Aghazarian – Director of Public Relations at Bier Ziet University. He is the most prominent Palestinian Armenian figure — Headed press centre during Madrid conference.
Ambassador James Akins – Former (1963-1965) Attache at the US Embassy in Baghdad; Former (1973-1975) US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Rabbi Arik Ascherman – Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights – an organization of Israeli rabbis committed to defending the human rights of all people in Israel and in the territories under Israeli control.
Dr. William Baker – Former Professor of Ancient History and Biblical studies. Founder of Christians and Muslims for Peace.
Bishop Allen Bartlett, Jr. – Assisting Bishop (2001-2004) of the Diocese of Washington. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington comprises 93 Episcopal congregations in the District of Columbia and the Maryland counties of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and Saint Mary’s.
Phyllis Bennis – Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. An author, analyst, and activist on Middle East and UN issues. Helped found and co-chairs the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation.
Peter Boukaert – Director of Emergencies at Human Rights Watch — the largest human rights organization based in the United States. He has conducted extensive fact-finding investigations into human rights abuses in the West Bank (Israeli Occupied Territory).
Sharon Burke – Former Advocacy Director with Amnesty International — a Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with over 1.8 million members worldwide. Amnesty International undertakes research and action focused on preventing and ending grave human rights abuses worldwide.
Noam Chomsky – Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An Author and Analyst of Global Affairs including, US foreign Policy, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Author of “The fateful triangle: the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians.”
Were people consciously aware something was about to change in a very bad way just before Lenin and Trotsky appeared on the scene in Petrograd in the spring of 1917? Did the German people realize accepting the ‘hope’ of Hitler would result in something so hideous and evil that tens of millions of people would die and a permanent bloodstain would appear on the history of Germany? What was life like months or years before the Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of the Turks, did they know that government imposed gun control was really disarmament before extermination? How about the Chinese before the tyrant Mao, or the North Koreans before the Kim Jung il family infestation? Did these people know what was coming, but didn’t know what they could do?
Most of written history is written on pages of blood. I think today, right now, is another one of those moments just before something very bad is about to happen. And, this time, we have the written historical records of bad news to learn potentially lifesaving, culture-rescuing information before we slip into another example of blood and carnage insanity.
Although Sigmund Freud introduced the world to the word psychopath in his book Psychopathology of Everyday Life, published in 1901, it wouldn’t be until forty years later that a true definition of psychopathology was developed to include the personality type of psychopath: a scientific understanding that sheds light on past and current events.
One of the first researchers to study and document the nature of personality types called psychopaths was Hervey Cleckley, MD, in his book The Mask of Sanity, published in 1941. In this classic work, Cleckley spent considerable time with prison inmates in Georgia; prisoners that “little agreement was found as to what was actually the matter with them.” And, according to Cleckley, “[the prisoners] continued, however, to constitute a most grave and a constant problem to the hospital and to the community.”
In addition to Cleckley, others in the time since 1941 have contributed significantly to our understanding of the psychopathic personality type. One such heroic researcher was Andrew M. Lobaczewski, born 1921 in Poland. After suffering Nazi occupation during WWII, and Russian occupation after Germany’s defeat, Lobaczewski entered college to be trained as a psychologist, and soon thereafter began research into the nature of the psychopath. Lobaczewski and his colleagues risked severe penalties, including death, for documenting their research and experimentation.
Many decades would pass trying to get the work published (and many attempts were made by groups to destroy it). But, finally, in 1998, circumventing attempts of Zbigniew Brzezinski to stop the publication, Lobaczewski’s book Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil for political purposes was published. The book begins with an examination of prisoners, much like Cleckley’s work covers, but this time scientists correlated the behavior of psychopaths with the depravity of massively oppressive political regimes; the results of which culminated in a new science he called Ponerology, the study of evil in man. Political Ponerology, then, is the nature of evil in politics.
According to Lobaczewski, organizations can become infested with psychopathic personality types who, if given the proper amount of time and growing conditions, will busily fill all positions of power within it. In the case of governments, what emerges is defined as a pathocracy: tyranny at the hand of psychopaths. Lobaczewski defined governance by a pathocracy as a macrosocial disease, something unhealthy and brutally deadly if untreated.
The book Political Ponerology provides a scary explanation for periodic times of brutal insanity in the history of the world. It is a light to scientifically expose a particular personality type within populations — a type, if left alone, will infest positions of power, pushing out normal personalities until they dominate the power structure. From a position of total domination, psychopaths will aggressively and brutally protect the power they have gained. In the case of government, that means taking steps to eradicate any perceived opposition to their control and authority. Since true psychopaths are emotionally dead, and work empathy-free (see Dr. Robert Hare’s book Without Conscience; The Disturbing World of Psychopaths), the task of cleaning house to prevent loss of control can quickly evolve into the 20-million-plus killed in the Russian Holocaust, the 60-million-plus killed in the Chinese Holocaust, or the extermination camps of the Jewish Holocaust. Although not on the same scale, recent mass murders such as the Waco Texas massacre, the Oklahoma City bombings, or the 9-11 false flag terror-murders should sound the warning alarms. Psychopaths are afoot.
This brings me to the deplorable historical events in the United States, especially since 1913. Are psychopaths running the show? Lets look at some facts.
To set the stage, in 1912 bankers rig the presidential election and Woodrow Wilson, the bankers president, moves into the White House. This is a strategic move to ensure prompt penmanship on banker bills.
Then, two days before Christmas, while Congress was conveniently low on members gone for the break, a private banking cartel shrewdly gave the Federal Reserve control over the issuance of United States currency. The finagling was done using deception and bribery, and the trick of bringing bills to vote when congressional attendance was very low. As of today, ‘banker currency’ has lost 98 percent of its original purchasing power; purchasing power lost by dollar holders was transferred as wealth to government and owners of the Federal Reserve.
Since 1913, the United States has started or insinuated (through false flag events) itself in non-retaliatory wars on the average of one every 15 years including: WWI, WWII, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, and the second Gulf War. All of these wars were funded with borrowed money from the very same banks issuing the currency, thus saddling tax payers with interest and principal in addition to the cost of lives. Even after the wars, US underwriters have funded the continued exportation of war and empire through occupation, building more than 1000 military bases in over 150 nations around the world.
In addition to the offshore wars, the United States has prosecuted an ever increasing war on its citizens, including relentless assaults on freedoms provided by the Constitution and Bill Of Rights, the effective disempowering of congress via geometric growth in governance by Executive Order, and continuing attempts to disarm citizens, using deception and fear to legislate away the right to keep and bear arms.
The war on US citizens is prosecuted around the clock with assaults on many fronts, including a deliberate effort to dumb down the educational system, debasing health through contamination of foods (hormones, pesticides, GMOs, chemically adulterated water, cancerous additives such as aspartame), then protecting food cartels that provide fewer food choices while controlling your right to grow food. Healthcare choices are restricted by legal protection of pharmaceutical cartels marketing drug and medical procedures responsible for hundreds of thousands of needless deaths each year. The government directly attacks the individual immune system by mandating and promoting criminally contaminated vaccines — immune system damaging vaccines that may also cause long term brain dysfunction or damage, or result in delayed cancer.
Personal finances are attacked with escalating tax rates levied by exponentially growing mega-state(s); taxes draining the vital economic blood needed for growth, while shackling citizens to increasing hours of work; depreciating dollars and falling wages. And don’t expect any help from the free market; it’s been outlawed. The government (federal, state, local) is now the largest employer in the nation and private manufacturing is deliberately off-shored to foreign countries. Open borders inviting the deliberate influx of millions of illegal aliens are overwhelming social service and legal systems and pressuring wages lower as illegals compete with unfair wage advantages. Financial disaster is manufactured, as private bankers in charge of our monetary system invent and market fraudulent financial products, encourage fraudulent loans, and produce a false bubble in home prices. Then, as the deflating bubble exposes the fraud, ownership becomes uncertain when we learn property titles were criminally misplaced. Finally, let’s note the 2 million homes in foreclosure or foreclosed upon since the housing bust, and another 2 million in the pipe. Most of these properties are held off market by banks and government agencies (Fannie and Freddie). That puts the government and the Federal Reserve in charge of the largest real estate holdings in the country. Disturbing fact: Socialist and Communist regimes provide no right of private property — the state owns it all.
Americans are deliberately terrified as government, controlled by bankers, creates false terror and criminally incites fear to restrict travel, destroy privacy, control the Internet and news content, manipulate the voting process, and silence free speech. Americans are assailed by false government promises made during elections and by a growing prison-police-industrial cartel incarcerating growing numbers of citizens, while using prisoners as slaves. More people are incarcerated in the United States than any other nation on earth and the rate of incarceration is growing. Prison manufacturing now constitutes 35% of total United States manufacturing. Autogenous terror is no less scary or health disturbing than real terror — a deliberate assault on the American psyche.
For the elderly and persons of retirement age, the assault has just begun — pensions and retirement accounts are being gutted and stolen by bankers and a bankrupt government. Just as the baby boomers are hitting retirement age their pensions and retirement investments are stolen, squandered and deflated. Promises made while stealing your income will never be kept, as the economic life blood is sucked dry by bankers and criminally bankrupt governments from the many states to Washington DC. Finally, the assault continues as the USG, slowly dying from bankruptcy and rampant corruption, relentlessly (and against popular support) continues to prosecute two illegal, non retaliatory, wars six thousand miles from home. These wars support a growing worldwide hatred of the insane, brutal and irrational acts of the United States, while exploiting Americans through promotion of illegal drugs mainlined through government transportation and distribution; drugs sold at monopoly prices because of the deliberate War On Drugs, resulting in the prosecution of drug users to fill prisons at an increasing rate.
Just when you think it couldn’t get more in your face comes the outright theft in broad daylight of TRILLIONS of dollars through pretended efforts to ‘save the economy.’ Most of the money has been created from nothing only to reduce purchasing power of the dollar and simultaneously create a need to raise taxes to cover interest on the newly minted debt. The stolen TRILLIONS are hastily sent to crony banks both at home and off shore. When Americans asked, “Where did the money go?” the arrogant criminals-in-charge continue to flatly refuseto reveal the recipients. This crime against all Americans is deliberate and aggressive, as it is done in the light of day, taunting anyone to try and stop it.
The financial crisis has been prosecuted deliberately for so long now that the economy likely is only one major economic shock away from several possible financial catastrophes — the most likely being a debt-related collapse, say, an insolvent and bankrupt large corporation (GE) or bank (BAC)? The result would be a financial derivatives chain reaction leaving a slew of companies around the world in financial ruin, while those events cause a run on the dollar or a move to dump treasuries; the last manufactured bubble popping like faulty rivets exploding as the Titanic bobs for the last time, slipping terminally into the sea. After that, the crisis would take on a life of its own with food and oil prices skyrocketing and Homeland Security rounding up early discontents for incarceration in already pre-planned and ready-made prisons strategically located throughout the United States.
Since 1913 bankers and crony corporations have consolidated and now control all mainstream media. TV, satellite, radio, newspapers and magazines — all controlled by the same 5 or 6 corporate media companies. Can we expect truthful news and responsible journalism?
Taken individually it may be possible to argue that mistakes in thinking resulted in poor choices giving license to bad endings, but the history of deliberate lies, endless bloodshed in manufactured wars, aggression against people using food, health, and finances, the non-stop assault on personal liberties using false flag terror, is a plain-as-day indication that Americans will face a deadly crisis in the near future. For the record: moves to disarm citizens always precede escalating physical control by a maniacal state. Always.
I submit that the United States government is under the control of psychopaths, and the infestation is nearing completion; the point at which nothing can stop the oncoming violence. But that’s not all, because above the federal government is a ruling cartel of off-shore psychopaths that have secretly been planning a one-world tyranny for more than 100 years. This is not a rant; it is a plea: take time to read the material. According to Lobaczewski:
In a pathocracy, all leadership positions, (down to village headman and community cooperative managers, not to mention the directors of police units, and special services police personnel, and activists in the pathocratic party) must be filled by individuals with corresponding psychological deviations, which are inherited as a rule. However, such people constitute a very small percentage of the population and this makes them more valuable to the pathocrats. Their intellectual level or professional skills cannot be taken into account, since people representing superior abilities (who are also psychopaths) are even harder to find. After such a system has lasted several years, one hundred percent of all the cases of essential psychopathy are involved in pathocratic activity; they are considered the most loyal, even though some of them were formerly involved on the other side in some way.
Under such conditions, no area of social life can develop normally, whether in economics, culture, science, technology, administration, etc. Pathocracy progressively paralyzes everything. Normal people must develop a level of patience beyond the ken of anyone living in a normal man’s system just in order to explain what to do and how to do it to some obtuse mediocrity of a psychological deviant who has been placed in charge of some project that he cannot even understand, much less manage. This special kind of pedagogy – instructing deviants while avoiding their wrath – requires a great deal of time and effort, but it would otherwise not be possible to maintain tolerable living conditions and necessary achievements in the economic area or intellectual life of a society. Even with such efforts, pathocracy progressively intrudes everywhere and dulls everything. [...]
Therefore, to mitigate the threat to their power, the pathocrats must employ any and all methods of terror and exterminatory policies against individuals known for their patriotic feelings and military training; other, specific “indoctrination” activities such as those we have presented are also utilized. Individuals lacking the natural feeling of being linked to normal society become irreplaceable in either of these activities. Again, the foreground of this type of activity is occupied by cases of essential psychopathy, followed by those with similar anomalies, and finally by people alienated from the society in question as a result of racial or national differences.
The phenomenon of pathocracy matures during this period: an extensive and active indoctrination system is built, with a suitably refurbished ideology constituting the vehicle or Trojan horse for the purpose of pathologizing the thought processes of individuals and society. The goal – forcing human minds to incorporate pathological experiential methods and thought-patterns, and consequently accepting such rule – is never openly admitted. This goal is conditioned by pathological egotism, and the possibility of accomplishing it strikes the pathocrats as not only indispensable, but feasible.
From the murder of John F. Kennedy to the trail of dead bodies uncovered during the Clinton and Bush regimes, and now Obama — the sanity of American government has taken a terrible turn toward Pathocracy. Normal Americans have to stop making excuses for what is plain view.
It is time that humanity faces what it already knows: Historic suffering throughout the ages is related to the evil of the psychopath. We must never consent to being disarmed. Thomas Jefferson said: “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
Next, I call on psychology and psychiatry professionals to make claims regarding the mental health of members of government — it is incumbent on those qualified to take a stand against a rising, bloody, tyranny. The facts speak for themselves: mental health must be called into consideration based on the actions of our leaders in recent years.
Finally, there are other powerful, peaceful ways to reign in the power of psychopaths. First and foremost, remember that it is the overwhelming numbers of normal people that enable their power, working and slaving away in a system designed as life support for a class of vampires. I submit that we can stop paying their bills.
Start by cutting off the fuel supply, i.e., their funding. Banks are power lines connected directly to the coven of vampires; currency is the current flowing through the power lines. Begin today by removing any savings you might have in banks and in various investment markets (stocks, bonds, hedge funds, etc. ), then use those dollars to buy physical gold and silver and long term food supplies. These commodities hold their value in the face of deliberately depreciating currency. Next — this is the interesting part — never convert your gold and silver back into dollars. Instead, when the time comes spend your silver and gold. Go out and find small local stores that will trade gold and silver for supplies. Remember, if you convert your gold and silver back into money the vampires get power — the IRS will tax your trade, and the banks end up with money streaming down the power lines to the coven of vampires.
Moving out of the banking matrix toward barter and transactions based in real money will protect your privacy and purchasing power, while decreasing energy available for evil. A grade ‘A’ investment for the average American (aside from food) is silver; silver is the currency of the little man — it is the silver bullet against the vampire of psychopathic government.
This is a critical time in the history of humanity; a time when you have to educate yourself and have courage to take non-violent action against a very violent infestation of the worst possible personality types. Think about the Russians, Germans, Chinese and so many others that might have been able to prevent a blood bath of agony with just some responsible action prior to the onslaught. I would also say it is important to understand that psychopaths have no emotions and no empathy. Think about what kind of person would order the deliberate down-the-pants aggression of “security” agents. These people are not protecting you — they are groping you like animals; animals that have no future other than food for the psychopaths.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice, do your own research, and I am not suggesting or implying anything illegal should be done. Use peaceful, legal methods of resisting and thwarting the rise of tyranny.
Jack Mullen has been a businessman for more than 25 years, owning 3 radio stations, several technology based companies and a resource development company.
“You don’t need to see his identification.” Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars 1977
On November 21, 2010, I was allowed to enter the U.S. through an airport security checkpoint without being x-rayed or touched by a TSA officer. This post explains how.
Edit: Minor edits for clarity. I have uploaded the audio and it is available here.
This past Sunday, I was returning from a trip to Europe. I flew from Paris to Cincinnati, landing in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
As I got off my flight, I did all of the things that are normally requested from U.S. citizens returning from abroad. I filled out the customs declarations, confirmed that I hadn’t set foot on any farmland, and answered questions about the chocolates that I had purchased in Switzerland. While I don’t believe that these questions are necessary, I don’t mind answering them if it means some added security. They aren’t particularly intrusive. My passport was stamped, and I moved through customs a happy citizen returning home.
But wait – here was a second line to wait in.
This new line led to a TSA security checkpoint. You see, it is official TSA policy that people (both citizens and non-citizens alike) from international flights are screened as they enter the airport, despite the fact that they have already flown. Even before the new controversial security measures were put in place, I found this practice annoying. But now, as I looked past the 25 people waiting to get into their own country, I saw it: the dreaded Backscatter imaging machine.
Now, I’ve read a fair amount about the controversy surrounding the new TSA policies. I certainly don’t enjoy being treated like a terrorist in my own country, but I’m also not a die-hard constitutional rights advocate. However, for some reason, I was irked. Maybe it was the video of the 3-year old getting molested, maybe it was the sexual assault victim having to cry her way through getting groped, maybe it was the father watching teenage TSA officers joke about his attractive daughter. Whatever it was, this issue didn’t sit right with me. We shouldn’t be required to do this simply to get into our own country.
So, since I had nobody waiting for me at home and no connecting flight to catch, I had some free time. I decided to test my rights.
After putting all my stuff through the x-ray, I was asked to go through the Backscatter. I politely said that I didn’t want to. The technician quipped to his colleague, “We’ve got an opt-out.” They laughed. He turned back and started to explain.
After he finished, I said, “I understand what the pat-down entails, but I wanted to let you know that I do not give you permission to touch my genitals or the surrounding area. If you do, I will consider it assault.”
He called his manager over, who again informed me of the policy. Throughout this event, this happened quite a few times. After raising my concerns regarding the policy to an officer, they often simply quoted back the policy. For the sake of brevity, I will simply say “Policy restatement.”
I said, “I am aware that it is policy, but I disagree with the policy, and I think that it is unconstitutional. As a U.S. citizen, I have the right to move freely within my country as long as I can demonstrate proof of citizenship and have demonstrated no reasonable cause to be detained.”
Policy restatement. “You have two options – the Backscatter or the pat down. It is your choice, but those are the only ways you can go through security.”
I asked if I could speak to his manager.
“I’m the supervisor here.”
“Do you have a manager?”
“Yes, but he’s very far away at the moment. And he’ll say the same thing I am.” Policy restatement.
At this point, I took out my iPhone, activated the voice recorder, and asked The Supervisor, “Per my constitutional rights, I am not allowed to be detained without reasonable cause for arrest. Now, am I free to go?”
He answered, “If you leave, we will call the APD.”
I asked, “Who is the APD?”
“The Airport Police Department.”
I said, “Actually, that’s probably a good idea. Let’s call them and your manager.”
The Supervisor turned and walked away without saying anything. I stood and waited, chatting to The Technician about how they aren’t allowed to wear radiation badges, even though they work with radiation equipment. He said, “I think I’m a couple steps ahead of you regarding looking out for my own health.”
I stood and waited for 20 minutes. Two cops showed up. Big ones. I admit, I did not want to be handcuffed by these guys.
One cop was older than the other, but they were still clearly partners. Neither of them took the lead on answering my questions, and neither of them told the other what to do. They came over to me and asked me to explain the issue. I first showed them the iPhone. After I explained my position, they restated the policy to me.
I said, “Yes sir. I understand the policy, but I still disagree and I still don’t think that I can be made to do these searches in order to go home. Now am I free to go?”
They didn’t answer.
I repeated the question. “Since you are actual police officers and not simply TSA, I am sure you have had much more training on my rights as a U.S. citizen, so you understand what is at stake here. So, am I free to go? Or am I being detained?”
Young Cop answers, “You aren’t being detained, but you can’t go through there.”
“Isn’t that what detaining is? Preventing me from leaving?”
“You can leave if you want, but it has to be that direction.” He points back towards customs. Young Cop asks, “Why are you doing this?”
I explain that I’m worried that the Backscatter has unproven health risks. And that for all he knows, I might be a sexual assault victim and don’t feel like being touched. I say that the policy is needlessly invasive and it doesn’t provide any added security.
He asks, “But didn’t you go through this when you left on your flight?”
“Yes,” I say, grinning, “But I didn’t want to miss my flight then.”
The cops leave, and I stand around and wait some more. It should be noted that throughout this time, no fewer than 10 TSA officers and technicians are standing around, watching me. I was literally the only one still waiting to go through security.
The cops, The TSA Supervisor, and another guy were standing behind the checkpoint deliberating about something. I explained this to my iPhone and The Supervisor shouted, “Does that thing have video?”
“No sir. Just audio.” I was telling the truth – I’m still on an iPhone 3G.
After a while, Young Cop comes and asks me for my papers. My passport, my boarding pass, my driver’s license, and even a business card. I give him everything except the business card. He told me that he was just gathering information for the police report, which is standard procedure. I complied – I knew that this was indeed standard.
He left, and a Delta Airlines manager comes over and starts talking to me. He is clearly acting as a mediator. He asks what I would consent to, if given my options. I explain that I want the least intrusive possible solution that is required. I say, “I will not do anything that is not explicitly stated on recording as mandatory.” He leaves.
Let me pause and clarify the actors’ moods here, because they will soon start to change:
The Supervisor: Very standoffish. Sticking to policy, no exceptions.
The TSA Officials: Mainly amused. Not very concerned otherwise.
The Cops: Impartial observers and consultants. Possibly a bit frustrated that I’m creating the troubles, but being very professional and respectful regardless.
The Delta Supervisor: Trying to help me see the light. He doesn’t mind the work – he’s here all day anyway, so he’d rather spend it ensuring that his customer is happy.
After another wait, Old Cop returns, and asks me what I want. I tell him, “I want to go home without going through the Backscatter and without having my genitals touched. Those are my only two conditions. I will strip naked here if that is what it takes, but I don’t want to be touched.”
He offers as an alternative, “What if we were to escort you out with us? It would involve a pat-down, but it would be us doing it instead.”
“Would you touch my balls?”
“I don’t want to touch your – genital region, but my hand might brush against it.”
I clarify, “Well, like I said, I’ll do whatever you say is mandatory. If you tell me that you have to touch my balls—“
“—I said no such thing. You’re putting words in my mouth.”
“OK. I apologize. If you say that a pat-down is mandatory, and that as a condition of that pat-down, I may have my genitals brushed against by your hand, even though you don’t want to, I will do that. But only if you say it is mandatory.”
“I’m not going to say that.”
“OK. So am I free to go?”
“You are free to go in that direction.” He points back towards customs. Then he walks away to commune with the others.
My iPhone is running out of battery, so I take out my laptop, sit in a corner, and plug it in. I have some work to do anyway, so I pull up Excel and start chugging away for about 20 minutes.
This is where the turning point happens.
The cops come back and start talking with me. Again, they are asking why I’m doing it, don’t I have a connection to make, etc. They are acting more curious at this point – no longer trying to find a contradiction in my logic.
I eventually ask what would happen if I got up and left, and just walked through security. They shrugged. “We wouldn’t do anything on our own. We are only acting on behalf of the TSA. They are in charge of this area.”
“So if he told you to arrest me, you would? And if he didn’t, you wouldn’t?”
“That’s right,” Young Cop says.
“OK well then I think it is best if we all talk together as a group now. Can you call them over?”
The Supervisor returns, along with the Delta Manager. The Supervisor is quite visibly frustrated.
I explain, “The police have explained to me that it is your call on whether or not I am being detained. If I walked through that metal detector right now, you would have to ask them to arrest me in order for them to do anything.”
He starts to defer responsibility to the officers. They emphasize that no – they have no issue with me and they are only acting on his behalf. It is his jurisdiction. It is policy. They won’t detain me unless he tells them to.
So I emphasize the iPhone again, and ask,” So, if I were to get up, walk through the metal detector, and not have it go off, would you still have them arrest me?”
The Supervisor answers, “I can’t answer that question. That is no longer an option because you were selected for the Backscatter.”
“Well you can answer the question because it is a yes or no question. If I got up and left, would you have them arrest me?”
“I can’t answer that question.”
The moods have changed. The cops are now frustrated with him because he’s pawning off his decision-making responsibility to them. He’s stopping what is clearly a logical solution to the problem. Meanwhile, the Supervisor is just growing more and more furious with me.
In another deferment of responsibility (which he probably thought was an intimidation factor), “Well then I guess I’m just going to have to call the FSD.”
Unfazed, I ask, “What’s the FSD?”
“The Federal Security Director.” And he walks away.
I can see him talking on the phone to the FSD – a man apparently named Paul – and I can only catch parts of the conversation:
“No, he’s been perfectly polite…”
“We tried that…”
“All he said was … Constitutional rights”
He walks over to Old Cop and hands him the phone. I can hear similar sound bites. They hang up, deliberate some more, and then wait some more.
Meanwhile, I’m typing away on my computer. Answering emails, working on my Excel model – things that I would have done at home regardless.
The Supervisor walks over and stands uncomfortably close to me. After typing for a bit more, I look up. His voice shakes, “I don’t know if I ever introduced myself.” He pulls out his badge. “My name is XXX XXX. Here is my badge. Now, I’ve shown you my credentials.”
Ah – he’s gotten the Miranda talk. I hide my smile.
“Here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to escort you out of the terminal to the public area. You are to stay with me at all times. Do you understand?”
“Will I be touched?”
“I can’t guarantee that, but I am going to escort you out.”
“OK. I will do this. But I will restate that I still do not give you permission to touch my genitals or the surrounding area. If you do, I will still consider it assault.”
And then came the most ridiculous scene of which I’ve ever been a part. I gather my things – jacket, scarf, hat, briefcase, chocolates. We walk over to the staff entrance and he scans his badge to let me through. We walk down the long hallway that led back to the baggage claim area. We skip the escalators and moving walkways. As we walk, there are TSA officials stationed at apparent checkpoints along the route. As we pass them, they form part of the circle that is around me. By the end of the walk, I count 13 TSA officials and 2 uniformed police officers forming a circle around me. We reach the baggage claim area, and everyone stops at the orange line. The Supervisor grunts, “Have a nice day,” and leaves.
In order to enter the USA, I was never touched, I was never “Backscatted,” and I was never metal detected. In the end, it took 2.5 hours, but I proved that it is possible. I’m looking forward to my next flight on Wednesday.
What makes it ludicrous is that tens of thousands of other airport workers, from baggage loaders and fuelers to cabin cleaners and maintenance personnel, are subject only to occasional random screenings when they come to work. These are individuals with full access to aircraft, inside and out. Some are airline employees, though a high percentage are contract staff belonging to outside companies. The fact that crew members, many of whom are former military flyers, and all of whom endured rigorous background checks prior to being hired, are required to take out their laptops and surrender their hobby knives, while a caterer or cabin cleaner sidesteps the entire process and walks onto a plane unimpeded, nullifies almost everything we’ve been told since September 11th, 2001. If there is a more ringing let-me-get-this-straight scenario anywhere in the realm of airport security, I’d like to hear it.
It’s time to abolish this very bizarre Off-Broadway show, known as TSA, and turn airline security over to airlines, who have incentive to prevent terrorist attacks, but have no incentive to run a low grade S and M show with passengers as unwilling participants.
Live every day as if it were your last… and then some day you’ll be right. ~H.H. “Breaker” Morant~
History is not likely to speak well of today’s Americans. While the people of nations around the globe stand up to their oppressors, Americans sit idly by as their government runs roughshod over their life, liberty and property.
As we speak, large-scale protests and mass demonstrations continue in more than a dozen countries as citizens strike back against injustice, criminality and brutal austerity measures imposed by their corrupt governments.
In the UK, more than 50,000 students recently took to the streets to protest a spike in tuition costs.
In Greece, workers clashed with police outside the Finance Ministry over frozen pensions and cuts in their salaries.
In Germany, tens of thousands demonstrated over the weekend to protest government policies and social inequities in advance of Merkel’s Democrat party’s national meeting.
In early October, thousands of Icelanders stormed their parliament with renewed anger over the deepening financial crisis, and against those responsible for it. Many of their politicians were forced to flee out the back door, where they were pelted with eggs, flour and tomatoes.
In France, transportation and commerce was brought to a virtual standstill throughout vast portions of the country, as angry citizens railed against their government for increasing the retirement age from 60 to 62.
Press coverage of these events gets little attention here in the United States. When the press does cover it, they portray the demonstrators as greedy layabouts who have become dependant on government handouts. In reality, people of these countries know full well that they are being made to do without in order to enrich powerful central banks that conspired with corrupt politicians to loot their economies. The people have had enough, and they’re letting their governments know it.
If only we had the same spirit. When will the American people recognize the full frontal assault being perpetrated against them? When will they realize that, they too, are being made to do with less, so that their corrupt politicians can fulfill the unlawful arrangements they have made with the very same central banks and financial institutions that are bringing down nations around the globe?
Right now, millions of Americans have lost (or are losing) their homes to foreclosure as a result of the same kind of collusion between politicians and the banking cartels.
In 2008, the banking elite threatened to shut down the U.S. economy unless corrupt politicians in Washington D.C. forced through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Though more than 90% of the American public voiced opposition to the bill, their words fell on deaf ears. To add insult to injury, the passage of TARP was actually celebrated by members of congress, who stood at the podium with broad smiles and giggled as they signed the hellish legislation.
Billions of taxpayer dollars went to the bankers to rescue them from foolish investments in mortgage-backed securities. The TARP funds were supposed to be used to clear the bank’s books and free up lending to the American people. But that didn’t happen. Instead, the bankers tightened lending even more and used their newfound wealth to pay debts, acquire other banks, pay huge bonuses to their employees, and engage in more irresponsible investment activities.
To their credit, the American people found the gumption to confront those politicians in town hall meetings across the nation. But the media—being the obedient lapdogs to the federal government that they are—quickly pounced upon these unhappy citizens; labeling them as dangerous upstarts who were working outside the parameters of civil and polite discourse that the government deems manageable. Raising your voice was equated with violence, hoisting signs was considered racist and gatherings were announced as potential staging grounds for domestic terrorism.
How absurd—that the mainstream media would think it could even be possible to kowtow the American people into compliance—especially when you measure these relatively mild examples of public opposition against the large-scale strikes and civil unrest we are witnessing in other countries.
But—ironically—many Americans did take the bait that the mainstream media was dishing out and decided to temper their speech after all. This was facilitated by Judas goats like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, who corralled the people like livestock into GOP controlled rallies that advanced the Republican agenda and insured them an easy victory in the mid-term elections.
Glenn Beck’s “Rally to Restore Honor” summoned thousands of disgruntled Americans to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Days before, he pleaded with his audience to abandon their signs and silly clothes because it was making them easy targets of ridicule by the “progressive” left. The people complied—and when they attended the function—they were treated to a ceremony of military worship and religious devotion to the state of Israel. It was a Hollywood production. It was organized, polite, and nobody raised their voice. People soon forgot about the imminent financial threats that were bearing down upon them. Instead, they embraced what every American should feel good about: a bloated defense budget and a toxic relationship with a country that has caused us nothing but trouble.
Shortly after the Beck event, the left staged a demonstration of their own. Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” was a mockery of demonstrations, an anti-demonstration if you will.
The people who attended that function did so—not to address the criminality of their government—but to mock those who did. They came out enmass to parody the “Teabaggers,” fellow citizens enraged over Obama’s spending policies and mandatory healthcare legislation.
Both events were completely partisan efforts, used to define the line between Democrat and Republican voters. Both events were used to quell dissent and stifle speech. Both were a success—but not for the American people. It was a success for the government, and a major testament on the power the mainstream media has over the American public.
Americans—in large part—have become nothing more than stupid, scared, spoiled rotten slaves to their favorite TV programs, politicians and electronic toys. Accusing them of such is just about the only thing that will make them angry. Americans still maintain that they are the freest, wealthiest and most moral people on the face of the planet. But they are the only ones who think so. In a Newsweek article entitled “Post Anti-Americanism,” Howard Fineman writes:
“When you read about America in European newspapers, what you are likely to find is a tone bordering on pity. The U.S. is depicted as a fraying empire of obesity, ignorance, debt, gridlock, stagnation, and mindless war. Sure, the iPad is cool, but it is evidence of what America was, not what it will be again. The stories are not angry, accusatory, or even ideological. It’s worse: they are condescendingly elegiac.”
I think most will agree that being pitied is far worse than being hated. Pity is leveled against those who are unwilling, or unable, to stand up for themselves. People of other nations pity us because they see in us what we are unable to see in ourselves: that we are weak.
But we weren’t always like this. In fact, just twenty years ago, we were far more resilient than we are today.
We’re closing in on the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King beatings in Los Angeles. Almost twenty years ago, the American public was shocked and appauled as they watched one of the first incidents of police brutality—to ever be caught on tape—broadcast on television screens across the nation.
The ensuing trial was held in a predominantly white, suburban city (Simi Valley) that is a well known “Cop Land,” where off duty police officers from three counties reside in great numbers. The biased trial found the officers “not-guilty” on all counts.
Public outrage at the verdicts sparked the “L.A Riots” of 1992 that found thousands of people taking to the streets. Businesses were looted, cars were torched, and widespread violence spread through the city over a period of six hellish days.
Some may say that the manner in which the public used to express their discontent was unconstructive—but they certainly made their point. The United States Department of Justice was forced to bring federal charges against the four officers for civil rights violations. Two of the four officers were aquitted, but two were convicted and handed out 30 month prison sentences.
If the Rodney King beatings were caught on tape today, it would not even make the evening news. The circumstances leading up to the arrest of King would most certainly be enough to close the books on any further inquiry, and any ensuing protests would be met with even more brutality from the police.
The King case pales in comparison to some of the more recent incidents of aledged police brutality.
Take the case of Jordan Miles for instance. Miles, an 18 year old black student, with no criminal record, was simply walking down a street in Pittsburg when he was approached by three plainclothes police officers. According to Miles, the officers did not identify themselves. Instead, they shouted, “Where’s the money…Where’s the gun?…Where’s the drugs?” Thinking he was about to be robbed, Miles ran and slipped on the ice. Before he could get to his feet, the officers converged and began beating, kicking and choking him. They also used a taser, thinking that he was concealing a weapon. No weapon was found. Miles sustained severe facial injuries. His face was swollen, almost to the point of being unrecognizable, and he continues to suffer from the severe physical and psychological pain caused by the assault. Eight months have since passed, and still, not one of the officers has been held accountable.
Compare that to the King case. King, a convicted felon, led police of a high speed chase. When he was finally stopped, he emerged from the vehicle and taunted the police officers. The officers ‘swarmed’ him and proceeded to beat him repeatedly with batons. At one point, when it was apparent that King was still making attempts to resist, a taser was used twice in an attempt to incapacitate him. It was later determined that King had a blood alcohol level that was almost twice the legal limit.
In reaction to the Miles brutality case, a few peacful protests and marches were held in the local community but received very little press. In reaction to the King case, part of an entire city burned to the ground and coverage of the riots and subsequent trials were nationwide spectacles.
American attitudes have changed. Today, the public cowers in fear of their oppressors. What’s worse is that a vast majority will stick out their tounges, as they lie bloodied on the street, and lick the boot of the man who put them there.
Late last September, Gene Cranick of Obion County, Tennessee watched his home burn to the ground as firefighters from neighboring South Fulton stood by without lifting a finger to help put out the blaze.
There seemed to have been a problem with a $75 annual fee that Cranick apparently forgot to pay for fire services extended to residents who live outside the city limits.
In addition to his house and all of his belongings going up in smoke, three family dogs and a cat shared the same fate.
But instead of expressing outrage, the browbeaten property owners actually came to the defense of the apathetic public servants.
Cranick’s wife, Paulette, doesn’t blame the firefighters. “They’re doing what they are told to do. It’s not their fault.”
How have we come to adopt these kinds of attitudes? Where is the public outrage? Is there any limit to what the American people will put up with?
Part of the problem stems from our society turning from one that loves liberty to one that loves the gifts that liberty brings.
For well over one hundred years, social engineers have indoctrinated Americans into believing that indulgence is synonymous with freedom. But nothing can be further from the truth. Freedom delivers one from dependency, while indulgence delivers one into it.
John Adams, an American statesman and champion of independence, feared that the American people would some day enjoy their newfound freedoms, but neglect the daily struggle required to protect them. Adams was well aware of the dangers of complacency, and warned that a society that chose indulgence over vigilance would quickly fall into the hands of tyrants, who would deliver a once free people back into the chains of bondage.
When the people give way, their deceivers, betrayers, and destroyers press upon them so fast, that there is no resisting afterwards. The nature of the encroachment upon the American constitution is such, as to grow every day more and more encroaching. Like a cancer, it eats faster and faster every hour.
Adams went on to describe what would happen to that society once these destructive influences took hold.
The people grow less steady, spirited, and virtuous, the seekers more numerous and more corrupt, and every day increases the circles of their dependents and expectants, until virtue, integrity, public spirit, simplicity, and frugality, become the objects of ridicule and scorn, and vanity, luxury, foppery, selfishness, meanness, and downright venality swallow up the whole society.”
This is where we are today. We have become a self-defeating society, drunk off the spoils left to us by our forefathers. We have fallen prey to an elitist cartel of bankers and warmongers who have, and continue to, loot the population of its wealth and treasure.
But it isn’t too late to turn things around.
Right now, the American people have an opportunity to get back that old fighting spirit. On November 24, many Americans traveling abroad can stand defiant against their tyrannical government.
“National Opt-Out Day” is something that everybody can get behind, regardless of their partisan politics. Finally, across the board, we have found an issue that all can agree upon. We are not terrorists, and we refuse to allow our government to treat us as such. Let us make the TSA a poster child for tyranny and the over reaching of our corrupt government.
If you travel this holiday, refuse to allow yourself to be degraded and poisoned by the cancer inducing pornography scanners that have been installed in our nation’s airports. You won’t be alone. Perhaps that man or woman standing there next to you is someone you don’t see eye to eye with concerning the health care bill. But at least you can agree that having your body ravaged by strangers is something that no one should be forced to endure. At least that’s a start.
It might be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but fighting for your liberty and freedom always has been—and it’s about time we started getting used to that.