FYI NSA BTW – WIF Invasion of Privacy

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Intrusive Programs

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the NSA

Before Edward Snowden revealed us an unprecedented amount of the National Security Agency’s activities in 2013, most of us were only vaguely familiar with the shadowy organization and its information-gathering ways. The NSA has its tendrils in virtually every digital aspect of our daily life, to the point that one of their automated information-collecting programs is probably reading this right now (Hi!) and trying to figure out whether we’re a threat to national security (We really aren’t!).

While reports of their current activities are understandably few and far between, thanks to Mr. Snowden and his leaked documents we do have some insight into the things the NSA were up to in 2013 and before that … and it’s not pretty. Here’s a look at some of the agency’s strangest antics.

10. Angry Birds

No, it’s not just a fun code name, or, for that matter, even code name. It’s that Angry Birds.

In 2014, the Guardian reported that the NSA, along with its significantly less catchy British counterpart GCHQ, were looking into various techniques where they can sneak all up the “leaks” of your favorite phone apps, up to and very much including the world’s premier “Birds Vs. Pigs” game. The idea was to slip through the security cracks of the apps in order to reach the users’ personal data, which would provide the agencies with a number of significant advantages. They would gain access to a huge amount of the kind of data that would allow them to exploit people’s phone information on a mass scale, instead of just having to hack their way into our phones one by one like some commoner. Location, as well: When you use Google Maps to find a place, the NSA can use it to find you.

The NSA seems to put great value on such technology, to the point where one 2010 presentation called it a “Golden Nugget” before rattling off a long list of information the agency could gather from just a single picture uploaded on social media. Fortunately, this plan was among the documents Edward Snowden leaked in 2013, so at least we’re aware that some of America’s taxpayer dollars go towards surreptitiously scrolling through your contact lists as you play Candy Crush or whatever.

9. Boundless Informant

Congress has occasionally challenged the NSA about what they do with all the data they collect from American citizens. One of the agency’s go-to defenses has been that they have no way of keeping track of the waves of information crashing on their shores, but in 2013, it turned out that a secretive agency might, in fact, have been lying about its methods. It’s shocking, we know.

Congress has occasionally challenged the NSA about what they do with all the data they collect from American citizens. One of the agency’s go-to defenses has been that they have no way of keeping track of the waves of information crashing on their shores, but in 2013, it turned out that a secretive agency might, in fact, have been lying about its methods. It’s shocking, we know.

Boundless Informant is a highly sophisticated data mining tool the NSA uses to analyze and record its surveillance information. It’s essentially a hyper-competent archivist that sifts through the sea of data and arranges it to neat folders. However, it doesn’t appear to do it by user — unless they decide to take a personal interest in you, Boundless Informant probably doesn’t have a folder of your most embarrassing emails and IMs. Instead, the system sifts through the incoming information by “counting and categorizing” the communications records metadata (sets of data that describe other data). However, the level of detail it goes to even includes individual IP addresses … which, as you may know, can totally be tracked down to the countries they’re from.

8. Dishfire

SMS texting is slowly but steadily going the way of the dodo as instant messaging platforms are taking over, but the NSA has been collecting them like they were coming back in fashion. According to the 2013 data leak, the Dishfire program performs a daily, global and supposedly untargeted sweep of SMS messages, and took them to a second program called Prefer, which automatically analyzed them for assorted red flags.

The agency was head over heels about this particular avenue of information collection, to the point where a 2011 presentation was titled “SMS Text Messages: A Goldmine to Exploit.” They weren’t exactly wrong, either: automated messages, international roaming charge texts, missed call alerts, electronic business cards and text-to-text payments gave them access to unprecedentedly clear metadata in ridiculous droves.

To put the scale of the operations in context, at the time of the leaks the NSA was able to collect over five million missed-call alerts (for contact chaining analysis), Around 800,000 money transactions, 1.6 million border crossings, over 110,000 names, 76,000 people’s real-time locations, and a total of nearly 200 million SMS messages. Per day. 

7. Egoistical Goat and its friends

The anonymous Tor network is obviously a bit of a problem for an information-gathering entity like the NSA, but it appears the agency had already made some progress to lift the veil of secrecy as early as in 2013.

To crack down Tor’s information safe, the agency created a number of programs with increasingly stupid names, all lovingly crafted to compromise Tor user anonymity. There was Egoistical Goat and its sister programs Egoistical Giraffe and Erroneous Identity, which tried to worm their way in the Firefox parts of the Tor Bundles in order to identify users. Before them, the NSA had Mjoliner, which was meant to divert Tor users to insecure channels, and a marking operation called Mullenize, which was the online equivalent of a surveillance helicopter trying to shoot a tracking device in a car before it drives in a hidden tunnel. Meanwhile, NSA’s British version, GCHQ, did its level best to outdo its American counterpart’s ridiculous code names by trying to crack Tor with operations called Epicfail and Onionbreath.

Despite all their antics, the NSA’s success rate at identifying Tor users was spotty at best — but really, who knows what they have come up with since 2013?

6. GILGAMESH

It’s one thing for the NSA to want to know about people’s information, and completely another to use that information to find out your location and giving it to the Joint Security Operations Command in case they need to bomb someone. This explosive application of NSA tracking technology is called GILGAMESH, and it’s essentially what would happen if a bunch of NSA’s geolocation tracking technologies married a Predator drone.

Thanks to the vast array of online information available to them, the NSA has taken to recommending drone targets with complex metadata analysis instead of relying on human intelligence. However, the Intercept points out that while the tactic has had some success it has by no means been particularly accurate and reliable. One drone pilot operating with NSA-dictated targets has admitted it “absolutely” has resulted in innocent people getting killed.

5. Optic Nerve

To be fair, Optic Nerve was technically a brainchild of the British GCHQ, but since they NSA happily assisted in it, we’ll let it slide. It was a code-name for a surveillance program that surreptitiously collected a bunch of images from Yahoo’s webcam chats from all over the world by the million, with little to no regard whether the people they were collecting them from were persons of interest or not.  This might be pretty creepy in and of itself, but becomes doubly so when you remember the sort of stuff that tends to go on in webcam chats. Yes, we’re talking about nudity, and judging by the scale of the operation, there must have been plenty of it, too. In fact, leaked documents reveal that the GCHQ actually had some trouble keeping all the naked pictures away from the interested eyes of its employees, which in a way is even scarier than just stealing images in bulk.

Understandably, Yahoo was less than thrilled to find out about the situation, which they say happened only when the British media reached out to ask some questions. The company called Optic Nerve a “whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy,” and really, it’s hard to argue with them.

4. PRISM

PRISM is massive surveillance program that started in 2007 and came into light when the Washington Post and the Guardian whipped out a pile of leaked documents in 2013. Technically, PRISM was/is a system for monitoring foreign communication passing through American servers. However, in practice, they monitored everything they humanly could, and gathered their data from “providers” that you might be familiar with.

As of 2013, tiny little companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Skype and the like had to hand the NSA remarkable access to their servers, and the vast buckets of data from their users that lays within. NSA can use this giant pool of information to a terrifying accuracy, to the point where they could just directly access your — yes, specifically your — information and spy on every little thing you do online. The only caveat is that some analyst in their machinery has to vouch that they’re, like, 51% sure that you’re probably foreign, maybe.

3. Upstream

If you thought the NSA was happy just spying what you do on the internet, worry not — there’s more to come. Upstream is basically the same deal as PRISM, only with telecommunications companies such as Verizon and AT&T … and in a much more classic “spying” capacity. Where PRISM relies on intangible tech shenanigans of the “access to big company servers” variety, project Upstream has physically installed a host of surveillance equipment to the internet’s physical “backbone”: the routers, cables and other gear that carry all the online traffic.

The NSA uses this infiltration to track down specific keywords related to potential foreign intelligence activity, though even this noble-ish intent is rendered moot by the fact that they also often target the media, legal attorneys and human rights people instead of just supposed spies and suspected terrorists. The American Civil Rights Union has called the practice “unprecedented and unlawful.”

2. Bullrun

What good is stealing data from countless unwary people if you don’t know what to do with it? The NSA answered this question with code-name Bullrun, a state-of-the-art decryption program that can straight up decode the encryption used by several prominent providers, which means they can read your emails with the greatest of ease should the need arise. This powerful Sigint (signals intelligence) weapon is built by stealthily working with large tech companies to install weaknesses in their products, and then exploiting these openings with their own decryption tools. This way, the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ are able to browse through not only their targets’ emails, but banking accounts and medical history as well. Essentially, if you have personal information online, Bullrun can find out how to decrypt it.

Bullrun’s importance to the NSA can easily be seen by looking at its budget: When Edward Snowden brought the system out in the open in 2013, PRISM’s operating costs were around $20 million a year. Bullrun? Over $250 million.

1. FASCIA

The FASCIA database was among the more interesting documents Edwards Snowden leaked. It was a massive collection of metadata, consisting of all sorts of call information, IP addresses and suchlike. What made the project so impressive(ly scary) was its sheer scale: Though the document dates back to January 2004, it said that FASCIA II had over 85 billion metadata records, and an estimated 125 million were added on a daily basis. Leaked graphs (like the one above) indicate that the system has since evolved, and in 2012, FASCIA already received five billion device-location records every day. There’s no telling what that number is now, but smart money would probably say that it’s significantly larger.

The NSA started getting hold of all this metadata during the War on Terror by straight up forcing phone companies to hand it over to the agency. Originally, this data included pretty intimate stuff, such as the numbers you called and the duration of said calls, though not the actual content. In 2015, the process was slightly changed so that the NSA could only collect bulk metadata and looking at an individual person’s records would require a court order. Even so, the NSA has been known to call this system one of their “most useful tools,” and they say it has even helped them capture multiple terror suspects.


FYI NSA BTW –

WIF Invasion of Privacy

The Cloak of Secrecy – WIF Government Confidential

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Leaked or Declassified

Government Secrets

We were going to put together a list of “things the government could be hiding from you,” as a kind of sober take on some of the more plausible conspiracy theories. But, having already done a list of things they actually hid from us, it would have been an underwhelming follow-up.

And for no good reason! There are plenty more disturbing and/or bizarre secrets our governments would have preferred to keep quiet.

10. Project Horizon

Back in the late 1950s, the US was lagging behind in the space race. In 1957, for example, the Soviets launched Sputnik—the first manmade satellite—into orbit, and Eisenhower’s America was crestfallen. Of course, it didn’t help that many now saw the US as basically defenseless against a Russian nuclear strike.

Their response? They made plans to fire a nuke at the moon.

It’s easy to see this as a kind of geopolitical temper tantrum, a toddler throwing his toys at the wall, but for the Air Force it was a “P.R. device.” Above all, it was a way “to impress the world with the prowess of the United States.” The flash of the detonation would be visible from Earth, said the experts, and, because of the negligible lunar atmosphere, the dust would fly off in all directions (as opposed to the usual mushroom cloud shape). It would also leave a gaping lunar crater, forever changing the face of the Moon.

Ultimately, the plan was shelved. But only when they came up with a “better” one. Documents declassified in 2014 revealed plans to build a base on the Moon. Outpost Horizon was to be a permanent, nuclear-powered, and completely self-sustaining installation, constructed by its inhabitants beneath the lunar surface. It would have air locks, living quarters, dining and rec rooms, a hospital, science labs and storage for explosives. It was, in other words, dangerously ahead of its time.

The 12 men expected to live up there by 1965 were to drink their own urine, grow plants in their poop, and look after chickens and fish. And, if anyone lost their mind, there was a solitary confinement room “for the complete isolation of psychiatric patients.”

The plan was finally abandoned when NASA took over the space program.

9. Acoustic Kitty

From missile-guiding pigeons to mine-detecting dolphins, animals have long been co-opted for war. As retrograde as it sounds now, behavioral conditioning to this end was at the forefront of  of military research back in the 1960s.

The I.Q. Zoo in Hot Springs, Arkansas was basically a front for such studies. On the one hand, it was a quirky visitor attraction—a place for the public to watch pigs playing the piano, chickens playing baseball, macaws riding bicycles, and reindeer operating a printing press (etc.). But on the other, it was a top secret facility for training animal spies—bug-planting ravens, mine-locating dogs, and the so-called Acoustic Kitty.

The idea for the latter was hatched while visually surveilling a target. Since cats could be seen freely wandering in and out of the target’s strategy sessions, the CIA thought of bugging one to listen in. But simply attaching a microphone wouldn’t do. Instead, researchers transformed a living cat into a $20 million radio transmitter. They ran a wire through the ear canal to instruments inside the rib cage and spiraled a super-thin antenna around the kitty’s tail. Using ultrasound cues, they could also direct the cat’s movements left, right, and straight on.

We don’t know if it was ever deployed. The fate of the project is murky. Some say the Acoustic Kitty was flattened by a taxi just seconds into its very first field test. Others say the implants were removed and the kitty lived a long and happy life. The CIA refuses to comment, although one declassified document does appear to suggest the impractical project was canceled.

Anyway, now that we can eavesdrop with lasers, it’s likely to be a thing of the past.

8. Mapimí Silent Zone

Usually when a country fires upon another, it’s considered an act of war. But America’s long-suffering neighbor to the south has been known to let it slide. On July 11, 1970, an ATHENA V-123-D rocket was fired at New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range, but it overshot the target and landed near old Mexico’s Bolsón de Mapimí instead—an important ecosystem 200 miles south of the border.

The clean-up operation (with the help of the Mexicans) was huge, requiring a brand new road just to get vehicles to the blast zone. Hundreds of tons of cobalt-57-contaminated soil were removed, the radioactive isotope having been added to the bomb to maximize fallout and civilian casualties.

Fortunately, the site had few if any humans. But the bomb could have hit just about anywhere. In a memo sent to Nixon, National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger made it out to be an unforeseen blunder—attributable to the missile’s “abnormal re-entry into the atmosphere.” However, the ATHENA program had already been suspended in July 1968 following three consecutive flight failures. And funding had been slashed between 1966 and 1969, forcing the Air Force to cut corners with design. Although officials involved in the program expressed safety concerns, they presumptuously reasoned that “the public is willing to accept some risk if such tests appear necessary in the national interest.”Far from an unforeseen blunder, the military allowed for such incidents; it expected them.

Nowadays, the blast site is known as the Mapimí Silent Zone, or sometimes as the “Mexican Bermuda Triangle.” And it may be no coincidence that its renown as a UFO hotspot outweighs any memory of American hubris.

7. 1968 Thule Air Base B-52 crash

In our last list on this topic, we mentioned the 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash, a potentially apocalyptic “nuclear mishap” that you would’ve thought America had learned from. Unfortunately not. Almost seven years later to the day, on January 21, 1968, another nuclear-armed bomber hit the dust (or snow, as it happens), this time on overseas territory.

The aircraft has been circling Thule Air Base in northern Greenland as part of Operation Chrome Dome. (These missions kept bombers on continuous airborne alert between 1960 and 1968, each of them on standby to go and annihilate Moscow.) When a fire broke out in the navigator’s compartment, however, the plane lost electrical power and slammed into the ground just seven miles away from the base. Actually, it slammed through the ground, blasting through the ice into North Star Bay at a speed of 500 knots. Six of the crew of seven ejected and the aircraft was destroyed upon impact. Whatever was left was consumed by the fires of 200,000 pounds of jet fuel. The casings of its four 1.1-megaton H-bombs were also destroyed, scattering tiny fragments of highly radioactive tritium and plutonium across the crash site.

A major clean-up operation followed, involving scientists from Denmark and more than 70 federal agencies. And, while the major general in charge downplayed the extent of contamination, framing the incident as an “exciting” and “classic example of international cooperation,” many of those involved suffered ailments later on. Over the subsequent decades, hundreds of them contracted cancers and, of 500 Danes studied, only 20 were able to have children—several of which were born with deformities.

The US didn’t even have express permission to be flying nukes over Danish territory—much less deploying them on the ground (as documents declassified in the ’90s show they did).

But did the Air Force finally learn its lesson?

Kind of. Nuclear weapons were removed from all planes on airborne alert in the immediate aftermath of the incident. After all, it wasn’t just Goldsboro and Thule; there had been eight other nuclear-armed crashes. More recently, however, there has been talk of a return to Chrome Dome-style strategy.

6. 1953 Iranian coup d’état

Historically, the US and UK have controlled oil supplies in the Middle East. The Arabian-American Oil Company owned Saudi Arabia’s and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) owned Iran’s. But all that changed in 1950.

When the US finally gave in to pressure to start sharing revenue with the locals, Iran expected Britain to follow suit. And when it didn’t, the Iranian PM Mohammad Mossadegh simply nationalized his country’s oil industry—depriving the UK of any share and securing (or so he thought) crucial funding for his program of liberal reforms.

In response, Britain conspired with the US to overthrow Mossadegh—the closest Iran has ever come to a truly democratic and socialist leader, and one who intended to abolish the monarchy. Although he saw the first attack coming and arrested those involved, the coup against him was ultimately successful. The status quo was restored and BP got a share of the oil. But such blatant interference by the US and UK earned them the nickname “the Great Satan.” And their 1953 coup d’état paved the way for the 1979 Islamic Revolution—the devastating transformation of a once progressive nation into the fundamentalist nightmare we see today.

5. British Governmental Pedophiles

In November 2014, London’s Metropolitan Police finally agreed to investigate historical claims of child sex abuse at the highest levels of government (and, more famously, in the media). These claims are mostly concentrated on the 1970s and ’80s—at a time when senior police officers and politicians, including Margaret Thatcher, are alleged to have blocked all inquiries. But the evidence has piled up in the shadows.

According to a prominent Member of Parliament (MP) in 2012, there is “clear intelligence suggesting a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10.”Indeed, one senior lawyer claims to have seen records of government funding for the Paedophile Information Exchange—a pro-pedophile activist group—during the 1970s.

Allegations from the victims are even more harrowing. Survivors claim to have been trafficked via care homes into violent orgies with high-ranking defense and intelligence officials, MPs, and others within the British establishment. Even former Prime Minister Ted Heath has been implicated. Allegedly a number of children were killed. One twelve-year-old boy was raped and strangled by a Conservative MP, says a witness, and another boy, a ten-year-old, was deliberately run over by a car. This was apparently a display of his rapist’s legal immunity.

Of course, much of this has yet to be proven. But declassified documents do suggest that investigations were blocked. And, while the Metropolitan Police have attempted to dismiss the claims, the Crown Prosecution Service admitted in 2015 there was enough evidence to prosecute at least one of the accused: Lord Greville Janner. But they refused to do so. Citing his “severe dementia” and advanced age of 86, they argued that it wouldn’t be “in the public interest.” This is ironic given that Janner himself had, back in 1997, criticized the British justice system for letting a similarly demented 86-year-old Nazi war criminal off the hook, fuming “I don’t care what bloody age they are.”

Janner died in 2015 and the public hearing for allegations against him has been scheduled for 2020Other investigations into British establishment pedophiles are ongoing.

4. JTRIG/HSOC

In August 2013, Brazilian journalist David Miranda was detained in the UK “under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act.” But he wasn’t suspected of terrorism. What security officials really wanted to know was how much he knew about British surveillance programs, as well as those of the NSA. Furthermore, by imposing the full nine hours’ detention afforded them under the Terrorism Act, they hoped to send a warning to his husband, the British journalist Glenn Greenwald.

It didn’t work. Hours later, Greenwald released a statement of outraged defiance via the Guardian’s website, knowing that GCHQ (Britain’s state surveillance agency) would probably see it within minutes. The following year, he won the Public Service Pulitzer for bringing Edward Snowden’s NSA/Five Eyes (FVEY) revelations to light.

Thanks to Greenwald, Miranda, and of course Snowden among others, most of us are by now at least dimly aware that our governments are spying on us all. But their fear of the internet, and hence their need to control it, goes deeper than mass surveillance.

The Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) is a unit within GCHQ whose aim it is to sow discord and disinfo online. It seeks to influence or “game” online interactions (e.g. forums, comments sections) by applying theories of compliance and trust. In other words, it employs an army of trolls. Its partner-in-crime is the Human Science Operations Cell (HSOC), whose agents apparently refer to themselves as “magicians of persuasion.”

Unnervingly, JTRIG also targets individuals. But these targets needn’t be criminals or “terrorists.” Investigative journalists, political activists, and other inconvenient civilian subtypes—who, by virtue of their legal innocence, are rightly out of reach for law enforcement—can find their reputations and livelihoods suddenly destroyed by vicious rumors spread online or sent to their smartphone contacts.

As far as we know this happens all the time. And not just in Britain. These tactics are shared between each of the Five Eyes surveillance states: the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

3. Project MKUltra

During the 1950s and ’60s, LSD was revolutionizing psychotherapy (just as it probably will again). Hollywood stars like Cary Grant and Esther Williams attributed life-changing revelations, the overcoming of addictions, and the processing of childhood trauma to LSD-assisted therapy. Breakthroughs expected to take years were happening within a few hours. As Grant put it in an interview with Look magazine in 1959: “At last, I am close to happiness.”

But the CIA was more interested in weaponizing the psychedelic. Documents declassified in 1975 revealed a 20-year-long (1953-1973) human experimentation project, exploring, among other things, whether LSD could be used for mind control. Specifically, they wanted to be able to program people to carry out missions—or, as the CIA put it, “do our bidding”—against their will and without any regard for survival. Only rarely did participants consent, and even then they weren’t fully informed.

Electroshock, sensory deprivation, and neurosurgery were also explored, and those subjected to the tests included prisoners, medical professionals, cancer patients, prostituteschildren, and animals. In the 1960s, for instance, the CIA “successfully” made remote-controlled dogs.

Of course, it’s hardly possible to go into much detail here—not least because CIA Director Richard Helms burned most of the records back in 1973. And the fact that “only” 20,000 documents remain, as a fraction of the original archive, gives a sense of its overall scale. But what’s interesting is that MKUltra began the very same year that America adopted the Nuremberg Code. This international standard for research ethics emphasized the necessity for informed consent and was expressly worded to prevent any repeat of Nazi-style human experimentation.

2. Operation Cauldron

During the Cold War, the British were taught to fear the Soviets. But their own government was more of a threat. Between 1953 and 1964, the UK’s chemical/biological warfare research unit, Porton Down, released 4,600 kilos of zinc cadmium sulphide—a potential carcinogen—from aircraft, ships, and trucks onto civilian populations in Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, and Norfolk. Then in 1964 they released Bacillus globigii—linked to food poisoning, eye infections, and sepsis—into the London Underground. They wanted to see how rapidly it spread through the Tube network.

Some might say the scientists weren’t aware of the risks, that in those days the research was lacking. But a number of them had “grave misgivings” about conducting the field trials. And none of them could have been in any doubt whatsoever as to the toxicity of Pasteurella [Yersiniapestis (the Black Death or bubonic plague), which they released off the coast of Scotland in 1952. This test staked the lives of thousands of Hebridean islanders on the plague being blown out to sea, and on the wind not simply changing direction. That was irresponsible enough. But when a fishing vessel unexpectedly appeared and passed through the cloud of live bacteria, the government’s response was even more disturbing. Instead of alerting and quarantining the trawler, they allowed it to dock on the mainland. In other words, Churchill’s post-war government was more prepared to risk an outbreak of plague than to come clean about having released it.

As it turned out, the fishermen hadn’t caught the Black Death. But they had been affected by a number of other agents leaking from the tanker that spread it. This led to hair loss for at least one of them.

The government didn’t learn from the test. After burning all but one of the documents pertaining to it, they simply relocated their research overseas. Churchill personally approved a plan to test bio-weapons in the colonies instead. Bahamians were subjected to encephalomyelitis (a cause of fever, fatigue, and even death) and Nigerians were subjected to nerve gas. More than 14,000 British troops were also experimented on between 1945 and 1989.

The British military is now thought to have carried out more than 30,000 secret tests—and largely done away with the evidence.

1. Operation Gladio

After WWII, with the threat of Soviet expansion looming, the US/UK-led NATO set up a network of secret armies throughout Europe. Modeled on the guerrilla resistance movements of the war years, these groups were totally unaccountable to citizens and often unknown to governments. In fact, it wasn’t until 1990 that European Parliament formally exposed and objected to their existence.

Their job was to undermine the Communists at all costs—and to keep doing so even if the Communists won. However, the Communists weren’t all that disliked. The Italian Communist Party, for instance, was a valued part of the mainstream—despite US efforts to destroy it. If Operation Gladio was to uphold Capitalism in Europe, therefore, it had to make people hate Communism. And it had to recruit the only people who hated it enough in the first place: Nazis.

NATO’s illegal foot soldiers carried out terrorist attacks across the continent and blamed them on the USSR. Civilians, including children, were brutally murdered at random, including at the 1980 Oktoberfest in Munich. It had to be at random and it had to involve children so that nobody nowhere felt safe. Eventually, NATO assumed, everyone would be so afraid of the Commies they would eagerly support previously unthinkable infringements of their hard-won civil liberties (such as mass surveillance).

It was unusual for the perpetrators to survive these attacks, or if they did they’d be unavailable for questioning. However, in 1984, the neo-Fascist Gladio operative Vincenzo Vinciguerra was brought to trial for a car bomb 12 years earlier. He freely admitted his guilt but said he was under the protection of NATO, and furthermore that he was one of many operatives. Among the few people to actually believe him was the Italian judge Felice Casson, whose subsequent digging around revealed NATO’s “strategy of tension.” This involved the execution of false-flag terror attacks to blame on fabricated enemies, paralyzing the masses with fear to manufacture consent for just about anything: mass surveillance, foreign wars, whatever.

This “strategy of tension” was also behind Operation Northwoods (mentioned in the previous list). And there’s absolutely no reason to believe it’s been taken off the table today. The “enemies” have simply changed.


The Cloak of Secrecy –

WIF Government Confidential

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 227

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 227

…The P.I. talks to her people before the Comiskey Park Greater Chicago Crusade Revival Grand Finale…

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She saunters over to the shorter Martin Kamen to plant a kiss on top of his head. Of all the people and situations that Fanny and she have encountered, it is Willard Libby’s closest colleague who has been there every step of the way. Whatever it took, whenever it was needed, Martin stepped out of his comfort zone to make things happen. He opened his home to two strange ladies and allowed them to take the lead.

“Without Martin, I am afraid we are not standing here ready to ride around a baseball field filled with people, in C-14 Coaches. He discovered carbon-14, which prior to very recently, we thought were 14 pieces of burnt toast. If he doesn’t get someone else involved, Willard may still be squirreled away in a mental hospital, right Dr. Steinberg?”

Looking at Willard’s Aunt, she comments, “I understand that you and our man of many names, let’s see: Jesse James/Agent Daniels/Bernard Spencer/The Rogue and whatever else Penty and Forever Mastadon calls him, have bonded over that lightning strike; Mother Teresa meets Elliot Ness meets Mother Nature…

“You’re a man who travels in more circles than a carnival pony, Jesse. If you ever want to write a book, I have a friend named Gwenny who can help you with that; such are the quality stories you can tell. But even if you keep your secrets close to your vest, you have renewed my faith in government employee and again, without your dances with the devil, we’re not successful.”

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Constance Caraway P.I.

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Forever Mastadon


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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 225

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 225

… From the moment that she answered her Florida front door on the day before Christmas 1950, the road to Chicago was being laid out for her… for such a time as this…

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~~~God has a habit of using some of the least likely people to rise up and seize the moment~~~

Agent Daniels-001**When Agent Daniels, the G-man with another plan, makes himself known, Constance finds a way to weave him into her ragtag trick bag. Instead of eschewing the government insider, she finds him to actually be an insider of another variety, the kind that has placed him precariously close to the underworld, the world that contains the very source of what has become a grand conspiracy to further the Great Deception.

AcePic3**With Fanny back at home, helping a fellow Tallahassean in trouble, Ace Bannion flies onto the scene and without throwing Constance into an ineffective tizzy, he adds invaluable mobility with his private plane and global panache with a Mediterranean interlude, topped off by a Wisconsin treasure hunt. He has taken her emotional past and put it in its place. A beautiful woman has emerged, no longer weighed down by dead-end personal concerns.

**Billy Graham. What’s in a name? He is an evangelist with a twist; a Bible-taught warrior, a logistics magician and a miracle maker, all wrapped into an imposing Southern gentleman. When Constance learns of Graham’s participation in the Tolentine Summit, it is he that she uses to accentuate the connection between radiocarbon-14, Willard Libby and the conspiracy to squelch the effort to enlighten the mislead world. Only a man like him could bring this mini saga to a Itessuitable conclusion.

**Twelve Libbyites (and growing) are gathered together, ready to step into the spotlight and tell their stories, for such a time like this.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 188

Spy vs Spy vs Spy – WIF Did You Know?

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Powerful

Intelligence Agencies

Around the World

The human desire to stir things up and uncover secrets is so innate and part of our DNA that of course mankind decided to create entire organizations with that single purpose. Truth be told, it’s a good thing they exist; these agencies have derailed countless plots to do their home countries harm. But we’re also fascinated by the more sinister, clandestine activities they conduct. Here’s a history of spy outfits from around the globe… 

10. Mossad (Israel)

Formed just after the dust settled from World War II, Israel’s foreign intelligence gathering organization was initially called the Institute for Coordination. Things did not get off to a great start for the intelligence agency: it took a year just to get organized enough to be functional, and immediately after that, bungled operations led to several of its officers being arrested. It was when Isser Harel took over Mossad in 1952 that it really found its footing. In 1960, Mossad carried out the South American mission that captured notorious Nazi-on-the-run Adolf Eichmann.

But Mossad’s claim to history came after the tragic hostage situation that arose during the Munich Olympics in 1972. Israeli athletes at the Games were massacred, and the events were broadcast live on TV for the world to see. Mossad discovered the Arab terrorists responsible and carried out a brutal series of executions that were depicted in Steven Spielberg’s movie Munich. Oh, and if you doubt the brute power that Mossad wielded, the name of the mission to hunt down the terrorists was dubbed “Operation Wrath of God.”

9. CIA (United States)

You didn’t think you’d get very far into clandestine intelligence agencies without this one, did you? Officially founded in 1947, and with President Eisenhower’s building up in the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency, run from Langley, Virginia, has been in most of the greatest hits of espionage history.

The Bay of Pigs event in Cuba was a landmark happening during the Cold War-era 1960s. The CIA supported Cuban exiles who were to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist regime. It failed miserably. Just after that botched coup, the CIA somewhat redeemed itself by using then-state-of-the-art technology to discover Russian nukes nearby.

The CIA did considerable work during the Vietnam War, as well. They undertook Project Tiger, which dropped South Vietnam fighters into the north to gather intelligence. Also during this time, however, were the operations known as the “Family Jewels.” These covert ops were usually illegal, ranging from illegal surveillance to straight up murder of foreign officials. Since then, things have been a little less rambunctious, though they did have some part in the Iran Contra debacle of the 1980s, as well as some responsibility for failure to take terrorist attacks in the US seriously, pre-9/11.

8. MI6 (Great Britain)

MI6 isn’t just an organization that constantly disavows super-agent Ethan Hunt. They are a very real British government entity with quite a history. The first British intelligence organization, which MI6 gets its roots from, was founded in 1569, but its present form came around 1912, just before World War I broke out.

The 1930s and ’40s gained MI6 a reputation for being one the top spy agencies in the world, and they surely had a major part in training US agents once America entered the Second World War. Post WWII, MI6 had to shake off numerous infiltrations by Russian double agents, and by the ’80s and ’90s, had become a much more open, re-prioritized agency. Not to say they had lost their teeth; indeed, they still tracked and took down all sorts of evil folks, from war crime perpetrators to participants in the Libyan Civil War. And if you have any doubts as to the debonair style of spy that inhabits MI6, check out their headquarters in the above photo.

7. BND (Germany)

Founded during the Cold War in 1956, the Federal Intelligence Service (known in German as Bundesnachrichtendienst) is the largest agency of its kind in the world. Boasting 300 locations in the country, and over 6,500 employees, the organization spent its formative years like many other similar agencies: spying on the Russians. They did specialize in Middle East affairs, and in 1967 predicted the outbreak of the Six-Day War almost to the hour.

When the aforementioned terrorist attacks occurred at the Munich Olympics in 1972, the BND took the matters to heart, and began to truly build up their counter-terrorism capabilities–they almost single-handedly stopped an attack in India a few years back. But they are still spies at heart, and not always the most virtuous kind. In 2005 it was revealed that the BND was surveilling many German journalists. They are even reported to be storing 220 million sets of metadata culled from phone surveillance worlwide, and WikiLeaks is often sharing tons of data that they discover the BND is holding/hiding.

6. KGB (Russia)

Ah, the granddaddy of them all. Mother Russia’s notoriously-clandestine secret spy agency has been depicted in all sorts of media, most recently in The Americans. From 1954 until the USSR dissolved in 1991, the KGB had probably the most legendary reputation on this list, and for good reason.

Being the super secret organization in the most super secret region of the Cold War, much of what the KGB conducted is still classified to this day. At first, they specialized in espionage, and getting into the US and delving deep into their secrets. Early in the Cold War, the Soviets even got a spy ring into the Los Alamos facility where Americans were developing the atomic bombs. They infiltrated elections in Bangladesh in the 1970s, then again in Afghanistan later that decade.

In 1991, the head of the KGB, Vladimir Kryuchkov, and several others took the bold move to actually attempt to overthrow the government of the Soviet Union. The coup failed, and the country fell into chaos, dissolving and splintering, much like the KGB would.

5. ISI (Pakistan)

Speaking of the Afghan-Soviet Union relationship, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency of Pakistan had a huge role in that during the late ’70s and early ’80s. The ISI took the sides of the Afghan fighters clashing against the Soviets, and even worked closely with the CIA to train and fund them. That didn’t turn out to bite anyone in America eventually, right?

Once the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990s, the ISI provided all sorts of support to the emerging Taliban group, during Afghanistan’s Civil War. But the ISI doesn’t just meddle in Afghan wars. In contrast to some of the agencies here, the ISI recruits civilians as well as those in the armed forces. But the organization is not without its own far-reaching scandals. As mentioned before, the ISI worked with the Taliban, but it wasn’t until recently that we knew just how deeply they were connected. The ISI reportedly tampers with the elections of its own country, and were accused of taking money illegally from bank owners in Pakistan. Even Pakistani citizens that helped the CIA capture Osama bin Laden were detained by the ISI and imprisoned.

4. NSA (United States)

If the CIA is America’s big, hulking secret child, the National Security Agency is like its smaller, even sneakier brother. The NSA can be traced back to 1917, when the First World War showed just how badly good intelligence was needed. The agency (then called the Cipher Bureau) spent its infancy becoming incredibly adept at intercepting messages and telegrams going in and out of the United States.

The Cipher Bureau would soon morph into the Signal Intelligence Service. The expansion of the Japanese empire in the 1930s helped the agency expand itself, especially in its Pacific operations. And that was helpful after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. The SIS would crack all sorts of codes and keep Japan on their feet, but their intel wasn’t always perfect, even when they expanded into the NSA that we know today. Later in the 1960s, faulty information from the Gulf of Tonkin would lasso the United States into the Vietnam War. The NSA also came under scrutiny during the Watergate scandal. And they have a long history of surveilling famous civil rights leaders and political opponents like Jane Fonda and Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. MSS (China)

China has a long history of spy capers and espionage just like everyone else on this list, but their best-known and most powerful agency has only been around since 1983. The Ministry of State Security may also be the most secretive in the world.

Computer hacking is one of the more prevalent ways of spying that is being used in this age, and the MSS has a large hand in that. In 2018, the US Justice Department caught two hackers who were acting on behalf of the MSS, who had stolen state secrets from a dozen countries. Another recent event saw a senior official in the MSS arrested in Belgium for stealing trade secrets from US aviation and aerospace companies.

The MSS is akin to a cross between the FBI and the CIA, as it conducts operations both domestic and foreign in the name of national security. The MSS has no official website or any list of contacts, and it’s even thought that China’s rapid economic growth can be attributed in part to the MSS and their keen ability to steal intellectual property from other nations.

2. Direccion de Inteligencia (Cuba)

Formed shortly after the Cuban Revolution in the early 1960s, the Direccion de Inteligencia has also been closely linked to the KGB, and were basically trained by them. Not surprising, since the Soviet Union held nukes on the island for some time. But it was a rocky relationship at times, too. Though the Soviets had personnel and facilities based in Cuba, their desire to have more of a say in the operations of the native Cuban agency led to some push-back.

The Direccion de Inteligencia has a long history of aiding leftist movements in other countries like Nicaragua, Chile, and Venezuela. The scope of the DI’s operations is somewhat staggering, considering the economic base of Cuba isn’t very impressive. Recently, it was revealed that Cuba and the DI had been sending weapons to North Korea for refurbishment.

It turns out that Cuba is just good at espionage. Intelligence experts rank the DI’s officials as some of the best in the world, and with the agency’s close ties to other countries like Iran and North Korea, its investment in gleaning intelligence from the world’s superpowers is not just attractive to radical governments.

1. OSS (United States)

A precursor to America’s CIA, the OSS had a very short life as an agency, spanning three years from 1942-1945, but they packed some work into that time. The activities of Germany during World War II were a main focus, and something the Office of Strategic Services excelled at. At its height, the OSS employed 24,000 workers, and the war provided many locations for the Americans to gain intel on their foreign enemies.

Some of the names that worked for the OSS were celebrity chef Julia Child, film director John Ford, and Major League Baseball player Moe Berg, and eventually the OSS was so spread out into the world that over 7,500 agents operated overseas. Again, the outbreak of world war provides so much work potential. The identities of OSS personnel were kept secret upon the agency’s dissolution in 1945, after Harry Truman took office, and were not revealed until 2008. The CIA would begin its life two year later in 1947, but America had already taken its baby steps in the intelligence world, and so was quite prepared.


Spy vs Spy vs Spy –

WIF Did You Know?

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 220

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 220

…Ace Bannion and Agent Daniels leave Midway Airport with expectations that a climax is near…

“We have the unenviable task of guessing how (or if) Penty is going to attack. I know we are hoping that he shows his fangs, but what if he doesn’t?” Agent Daniels/Jesse James is feeling the stress of having to predict the unpredictable, expected to possess an intuitional advantage over his cohorts. “It seems I am slated to go along for the ride, Eddie’s carriages I hear.” There is a hint of trepidation in his voice. “But while we are circling the warning-track or up on stage telling our stories, we will be losing control of the venue.”

“I’m with you JJ, but the girls tell us that all we have to do is trust, especially Sister Mary Joseph. I think she would walk off a cliff and believe she would be O.K.” In between checking hydraulics and testing circuits on the repaired/restored Blue Ridge Angel, Ace equates the Tolentine nun’s faith to flying. “When we took off from KC, I had confidence that we would land safely in Chicago. I was sort a wrong this time. I saw my life flash before my eyes, and it may sound corny, but I relived every landing I have ever made in those final minutes.”

“Well I am trained to trust my instincts and I am positive that Penty will show himself, he cannot possibly pass this up.”

That’s where that weird paper we brought back from Wisconsin comes in.” Ace has seen things that defy logic.

“Yes, it is an instructional document, the very methods that Jesus’ disciples used to rid possessed folks of their demons. Jesus didn’t need a manual to do His thing, but we sure do!”

“It sounds like Billy or the good sister is rubbing off on you, Daniels?”

“Hey, if I have a choice, I’m riding in her wagon. I saw lightning take out a bad guy, with a finger on the trigger, twenty feet from her… and twenty-two feet from me. Am I a believer? You betcha!” Will he get his wish?

Bannion and Daniels both leave Midway Airport with expectations. They represent an overall sentiment that a climax is near.

As it was in the decades after the crucifixion of Jesus, so believe the most fervent presenters of the Good News; the return to Earth of the Messiah is around the corner… albeit God’s corner and that’s one big corner, h-u-g-e – big.

  • Billy Graham is doing IT.
  • A million preachers are doing IT.
  • The NBC television network is doing IT.
  • IT is called “spreading the Word”.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Spreading the Word

Forever Mastadon


page 184 (end Ch. 18)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 170

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 170

 …When a covert operation goes awry, you have no idea what may be coming down the pike…

The FBI guy recounts, “I am looking at a list of fatalities and it is scary:

Characters CC-FM-001>Ernesto Pacelli, the Pope’s Brother – we’re going straight to hell.

>Two Mastadon stooges – hey, good stooges are hard to find.

>Vincent Wolfgram, Mastadon field supervisor? Struck by lightning – now that’s original.

>Bart Simpson, the McGraw-Hill publisher who was really a nice guy.

>Martin Kamen, a colleague of Libby’s, incinerated at Argonne – Illinois is lucky the fire didn’t spread to the nukes!

>Jesse James Daniels, a CIA agent… What in the Sam-hell is the goshddamed OSS doing anywhere nears our business? And now you make a casual mention of Libby being dead. Shouldn’t that have been the end of things right then and there? Every single interested party in this case is dead.”

“We did not count on this private investigator from Florida sticking around. She was hired  to help locate Libby, after he went missing.”

“She… as in a woman?” The Deputy Attorney General makes a solid guess.

“Yes, Constance Caraway.”

“Wait, err, just a minute… is that the same broad who nailed that Nazi double agent sniffing around the atomic bomb? Please don’t tell me we hired her, she’s too much a straight shooter and loopy partner of hers…”

“No, Kamen did and that’s what we can’t figure out, even with Kamen out of the picture, she is still bird-dogging the case,” Conroy is baffled. “In fact she mustered the entire CPD and they called in the Illinois National Guard to shake down that Greenwood house.”

“I thought we had the CPD in our pockets.”

“We do, but they were never briefed on what we’re doing regarding Mastadon, or even that we’ve owned 5046 for years.”

“Then why don’t we haul the bitch in and stash her where the sun doesn’t shine.”

“Not only does she have her agency partner involved, but a flyboy boyfriend and some hick lawyer from Florida.”

“Oh swell and can you throw in Mother Teresa?”

“No, Billy Graham.”

“Jesus, this is all I need, McGrath is going to have my head!” Deputy Malone answers to a superior, the Attorney General of the United States. “You tell our Mr. Winters that he should get busy on some of these targets, he missing the mark.”

When a covert operation goes awry, you have no idea what may be coming down the pike.


Constance Caraway P.I.

Awry

Forever Mastadon


page 145