The US government is not a novice at placing agents to conduct domestic surveillance. Recently, the US government released memos from the Office of Strategic Services disclosing the "Twilight Plan." This was an operation, plan, and mission to conduct surveillance in Allied-occupied Germany after WWII.
As a precursor to the CIA, the OSS's WWII-era operations show the relationship between the federal intelligence community and local law enforcement after 9-11.
OSS Disclosure: The Twilight Plan called for "agents to mingle with the civilian population in areas of Germany occupied by Allied troops for the purpose of setting up intelligence networks."There's another plan associated with Twilight, Airedale Plan:
OSS Disclosure: Records relating to Nazi activities in Argentina, the relationship between the Basque Delegation and the allied information services, and biographical information about agents used in the Airedale Plan and the Twilight Mission, ca. April 1943 - June 1945, ca. 50 pp. [WN#21236]
It's interesting to compare the OSS disclosures about the Twilight Plan with what we've learned through the AP about the NYPD-CIA domestic surveillance.
Twilight was more an intelligence collection program, but an arm of one of governance: Military governance over civilians, similar to how DOJ OLC's Yoo viewed military operations within the United States against potential terrorists, "civilians."
Military Objective: Intelligence on Threats to GovernanceThe NYPD documents tend to mirror the disclosures about the OSS programs.
OSS Disclosure: "Applications, vetting requests, and other records relating to individuals considered for the Twilight Project, ca. September 28, 1944-August 29, 1945, ca. 450 pp. The Twilight Project called for X-2 trained agents to live in German cities and keep track of underground movements that could hamper the Allied occupation. [WN#24579]"
Twilight was designed not merely to collect intelligence and establish possible intelligence sources, but also to examine whether there were potential threats, risks, or impacts to the Allied governance. That is something different, and larger than tactical, theater, or strategic intelligence for solely military objectives.
We believe Twilight-governance issues has bearing on the US government's interest in collecting NYPD-sourced information through ODNI.
Beyond merely conducting domestic surveillance, a larger issue is how the NYPD-CIA intelligence model was used to monitor American citizens that might frustrate political objectives of those political parties running the US government.
If this is the case, then it may be prudent to examine how the success of Twilight in Europe was used as a justification to conduct "similar" operations to support governance, regardless whether that governance was on the correct line of the Constitution or governing law. It appears in Yoo's DOJ OLC memos that DOJ and others in the US government viewed the Constitution as secondary to preserving the programs which protected the non-law-abiding government.
Does the US government view, during wartime, governance of the United Sates as something that should apply lessons from Allied-occupied Europe; if so, how do the occupation lessons of the US government in Iraq and Afghanistan have bearing on the "acceptable" forms of abuse that could be applied to US citizens in a "similar" occupied zone in New York?
FeedbackThere are incentives to selectively enforce the law, and likely created a double standard for NYPD, ODNI, and others to enforce or not enforce various statutes applicable to well placed American businessmen, politicians, and non-religious personnel under NYPD areas of interest.
OSS disclosure [Emphasis added]: "Memorandum on the recruitment of agents for the Twilight program, April 20, 1945, 4 pp. The memorandum discusses failings of previous agents and recommends changes in screening techniques. [WN#24013]"
We would expect the CIA to apply these lessons to training provided to the NYPD. This implies that there should have been a training and oversight plan within the NYPD to apply the CIA lessons; and conduct monitoring of the placed agents.
Indeed, this analysis would be consistent with the AP disclosures about a supervisory memo.
Lessons from the Twilight Program should be applied when examining the scope of FOIA or disclosures through the AP. Specifically, examine the structure of the Twilight Program organization connected with OSS, focusing on the documentary trail; and compare the structure suggested in the FOIA/AP disclosures about the NYPD operations. Inconsistencies and gaps might suggest there were different reporting channels and documents outside the NYPD reporting channels; or that other organizations were supporting the NYPD-CIA surveillance.
Potential Double Standards on Immigration LawOSS reports suggest that there were both military and non-military interests in collecting information; and this likely motivated different areas of intelligence gathering against US civilians not just through NYPD-CIA operations.
OSS Disclosure: "Memorandum to Mort Kollender asking him to prevail upon the Department of Immigration and Naturalization to let one George Reinbold stay in the US until after the war, ca. December 3, 1944, 1 p. Reinbold assembled the list of names used for the Twilight Project, "and can be of continuing use to us." [WN#24609]"
Twilight used information from people who appear to have not had full lawful authority to be in the United States. Yet, during WWI, the US regularly deported people who were domestic threats.
Are there people who should be deported because they are threats; but the US government has allowed to stay because of their potential value?
How many of those people who are allowed to stay in the US because of their "potential value" go missing?
The US government conducted a similar "turn the blind eye"-approach to collecting intelligence on Mexican drug lords. Unfortunately, the DEA lost track of the weapons in operation "Fast and Furious".
Despite their potential value as an intelligence source, how many (a) "sources" and (b) agents connected indirectly with NYPD has the US lost track of in the US?
Did different agencies have competing interests in whether sources relied on by NYPD were or were not subject to appropriate oversight: Did the NYPD target sources who were also working for the FBI; and how did ODNI untangle information one agency may have placed without NYPD knowledge?
It's unclear whether the same personnel connected with the Field Intelligence Group (FIG) were also receiving intelligence from the NYPD. FIG is connected with briefings to the White House re "Fast and the Furious." How many of the intelligence personnel connected with the "Fast and the Furious" were also working with NYPD in forwarding intelligence to the White House?
ProfilingNYPD-CIA operations likely induced American citizens and foreign nationals to engage in illegal activity against other American citizens.
OSS Disclosure: Cable to Paris regarding setting up a Safe Haven Committee in Madrid, May 26, 1945, 2 pp. The dispatch includes assessments of the "Airedale" intelligence source, one of the points being that Airedale needed to recruit different people. They were "still utilizing to great extent type of men who were invaluable during hostilities," the dispatch complains, but now they need to turn to "bankers, industrialists and strategically placed political contacts." [WN#22968]
There was a distinction between wartime and peacetime contacts. However, DOJ OLC's Yoo made no distinction between wartime or peacetime; his focus was on whether US citizens could expect full constitutional protections during wartime. His conclusion: No.
How has the NYPD-CIA surveillance justified targeting not just Muslims re NYC, but those who do business with Muslims, or have political connections with those NYPD-CIA have targeted?
How has the "concern about terrorism" been an excuse to conduct political surveillance of people without any real connection with a bondifide government (NYPD, ODNI, White House) "concern" with terrorism?
More than Intelligence GatheringNYPD-CIA intelligence and operations were likely briefed to the White House and Congressional leadership and staff during intelligence briefings.
OSS Disclosure: Memoranda regarding Operation AIREDALE, to recruit, train and employ 150-200 Spanish nationals to carry out SO Branch controlled short-range sabotage activities immediately behind enemy lines, April 7, 1945, 7 pp. [WN#24555]
Airedale was focused, in part, on using nationals to conduct acts.
What specific taskings -- not just intelligence collecting -- did the NYPD-CIA surveillance operation assign to people who came in contact with the NYPD?
Did NYPD ever ask American civilians to engage in any unlawful activity on the grounds or justification that that requested-sponsored activity was "anti-terrorism" related?
How many unlawful searches, seizures, and detentions did NYPD-CIA surveillance personnel sub-contract to entities, people, or organizations not directly connected with the NYPD, CIA, or US government?
Did NYPD-CIA or any other state, local, or US government agency, contractor, agent, or person every hire, recruit, sponsor, or seek assistance from non-US-connected personnel, agencies, organizations to target, monitor, or confront US citizens?
Leadership BriefingsThere is a government interest, which appears contrary to public policy to hide the knowledge American leaders have of unlawful activity including war crimes and FISA violations directed against American civilians.
OSS Disclosure: Reports, memoranda, and other records to and from France, ca. April - September, 1945, ca. 200 pp. [WN#25922]. Most of the records relate to developments in Spain, and were received from sources in Spain and France known as Airdale or Airedale. Memorandum on a reported meeting between British leader Churchill and Spanish leader Franco, July 24, 1945, 2 pp. [WN#25922]
There are two different spellings, Airdale or Airedale. Reports generally get summarized and forwarded to leaders. The timing of the Churchill-Franco meeting suggests summary reports from the field were provided.
It seems absurd to believe that NYPD-CIA operations were never summarized for the President; nor that the President was never provided any intelligence products connected with the NYPD-CIA surveillance.
At some point, there should have been a legal compliance review related to the sourcing of intelligence, especially related to US citizens.
When were Presidents Bush and/or Obama briefed on the NYPD-CIA domestic surveillance?
Which intelligence products were they provided via ODNI related to NYPD sources?
What legal compliance review did DOJ OLC provide either President Bush or Obama related to the NYPD-CIA domestic intelligence, taskings, and sourcing operations against US citizens?
Correct Names for FOIAsConclusion
OSS Disclosure: Memorandum giving the dog code list to be used for sources in Airedale reports, May 16, 1945, 1 pp. [WN#25925]
A "dog code" is a list of abbreviations, pseudonyms, or other names to mask that agent's real name.
A FOIA request would have to include the "dog code" names to conduct a complete search within documents for NYPD-CIA connected personnel allegedly complicit with war crimes or other illegal activity.
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) is a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency, one branch of the intelligence community connected with the NYPD domestic surveillance. Although more than sixty (60) years ago during wartime Europe, the Twilight and Airdale (or Airedale) missions or programs provide insight into CIA methods re NYPD domestic surveillance.
The AP reporting suggests that the CIA provided assistance, training, guidance, support, and/or some specific liaison between the US government and local law enforcement. OSS lessons from Twilight and Airdale were likely included within the operational plans and understandings between local law enforcement and the national intelligence community, not just ODNI or the White House.
OSS documents show a government interest in preparing agents to collect information recruit others, and engage in specific (unlawful, dangerous, hazardous) acts in support of national war planners and leaders. We believe the CIA likely guided NYPD personnel to induce others to engage in unlawful activity, while creating an arms-length between that inducement and the unlawful activity.
OSS had an interest in monitoring personnel, areas, and targets not just of military intelligence value, but related to factors affecting governance. Similarly, the NYPD-CIA likely targeted non-military connected targets which had no reasonable connection between a US government concern about terrorism and the underlying non-military/non-intelligence area.
DOJ OLC memos were likely written to authorize CIA-ODNI-NYPD-connected sources to sponsor, encourage, incite, and recruit American citizens to engage in unlawful activity not limited to unlawful surveillance, but likely included other breaches of criminal statutes, the laws of war, and FISA.
It is likely that Members of Congress, Congressional staff counsel, and others connected with civilian oversight have been similarly assigned code names within government documents to mask their connection, knowledge, and failure to act re alleged CIA-NYPD-connected unlawful surveillance, war crimes, and FISA violations.
We have little confidence the lessons of the Church Commission have been fully embraced by the American intelligence community. There are likely other unlawful programs, acts, and activity directed against American civilians which breach the Constitution, FISA, and the laws of war.