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Domestic Spying: GOP and private NSA-CIA Contractors

In his column yesterday, Josh Marshall just hints at this, but a lot more is going to come out about the relationship of private intelligence and defense contractors and how the GOP has used them to carry out covert domestic political spying and all variety of dirty-tricks operations.

MORE below the fold . . .

[UPDATE: ANOTHER GOSS AIDE IDENTIFIED IN FORNIGATE The Mafia-esque moniker has attracted attention and jokes -- but little new information, until now: Newsweek magazine is the first to identify Nine Fingers as Brant Bassett, whom they also say is "a former Goss aide." He may be a more central character in our story than the SDUT made him out to be. Bassett is reported to have been a case officer with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, where Foggo worked. Their paths crossed a number of times over the years and they became friendly, I'm told, which isn't a stretch, given that two publications now put Bassett in poker games with Foggo and Wilkes. An enduring mystery to this fiasco is why Porter Goss promoted "Dusty" Foggo to the very top of the CIA. Now, informed sources are speculating that Bassett may be the link that explains that mystery, at least in part. Bassett, a counsel and staff director for the Human Intelligence panel of Goss' House Intelligence Committee, had ample opportunity to introduce Goss and his close aide Patrick Murray to Foggo.]

The surveillance mechanism of privatized intel agencies, along with allied foreign intelligence operations inside the U.S., have been used for domestic partisan advantage and private gain. In return, GOP-allied contractors have been massively enriched by inflated defense and counter-terrorism spending. This is a criminal conspiracy that the FBI is only now beginning to break up after years of obstruction by the GOP. It's a criminal subversion of the political process that threatens the constitutional basis of the American republic.

The career CIA, DIA and FBI have known about this conspiracy for years, but have been muzzled and sidetracked by GOP flacks and hacks. This investigation, along with Plamegate and the OSP-AIPAC cases, show the good guys are fighting back.

Josh Marshall writes:


"Wilkes has deep ties into the CIA. The focal point of those ties is to Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the man Porter Goss appointed to the #3 position at CIA when he took over the Agency last year. Remember, Wilkes' scam was getting corrupt contracts deep in the 'black' world of intelligence and defense appropriations, where there's little or no oversight. Foggo was in the contracting and procurement field at the CIA. So you can see how he and Wilkes, who have been friends since high school, had plenty to talk about.

"The CIA wasn't the only place Wilkes and his protege Wade plied their corrupt trade. There were also in the mix contracting on the Bush Pentagon's extra-constitutional spying operations. And I am told that senior appointees at the DOD knew about their corruption but overlooked it.

"Now, since the Cunningham scandal got under, and particularly of late, there's been a big tug of war between federal law enforcement and the CIA over whether to really go after Wilkes. Probably a little more specificity is in order there, folks at CIA in the orbit of Foggo and presumably Goss."

For more info on how the GOP has misused privatized intelligence agencies and allied foreign intelligence services for political gain, see:

MZM: Private One-Stop Shop for Domestic Dirty-Tricks
by leveymg [Subscribe]
Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 05:04:18 AM PDT
Corrupt MZM defense contractor doing its own oversight?.

It's the entrepreneurial offspring of the commercialization of intelligence.  We now see private contractors bribing Congressmen, operating spy agencies, and staffing the commissions charged with investigating their own abuses.  Behold, the one-stop shop for political dirty-tricks.

It has emerged in recent years amidst the mania for gov't outsourcing of counter-terrorism, particularly information technology services related to electronic surveillance.  Private DoD and Homeland Security contractors have a vested interest in locating and amplifying "threats".  This creates a monetary temptation for tailoring the intelligence product to match the expectations of government clients, including the outright falsification of intelligence.

Take, for instance, Wade Mitchell's MZM, a corrupt defense contracting firm tied in with the Cunningham bribery scandal, which recieved millions to develop surveillance technologies for the Pentagon's new domestic spy agencies.  TPM Muckraker reports the following disturbing developments:

MORE below

leveymg's diary :: ::
On background, it should be noted that Laura Rozen's War&Piece column of December 11, 2005, "Wade, Wilkes and Bad Intelligence?" identified Mitchell Wade's MZM defense contracting firm as a culprit in faulty intelligence generation that led to the invasion of Iraq.

A source cited by Rozen identified MZM as the private contractor cited for support of an errant CIA Iraq WMD assessment used to justify the Bush Administration's argument for war. An MZM analysis erroneously concluded that aluminum tubes ordered by Saddam Hussein were intended for use in a clandestine nuclear fuel enrichment progam that didn't exist. Now, Rosen comes up with the extraordinary find that consultants working for MZM and other intelligence contractors staffed the Robb-Silberman Commission that investigated the faulty Iraq WMD findings.


ANNALS OF GOP SPYING: The Senate e-mail Hack & Leak
by leveymg [Subscribe]
Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 08:21:30 AM PDT

A response to today's Diary by "Daisy Cutter", Is Bush Spying on His Political Opponents? caught my eye.

"Wary" reminds us of an example of Republican political spying that was kept so quiet by the mass media that you probably never heard about it. In November 2003, GOP staff to Senator Hatch, then the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, intercepted and leaked the e-mails of Democratic members. For reasons that weren't made clear, Hatch gave up that powerful post and Arlen Specter took over the Chair.

In addition to fact that this tawdry incident of political spying was all but ignored by most papers, there is a very familiar side to the story -- Robert Novak picked up the story, and spun it in his November 29, 2003 column.

There is a persistent M.O. to these GOP dirty-tricks. Plamegate wasn't the first hack and leak attack, and since passage of Patriot-2 gives the White House even more power to conduct warrantless surveillance, it likely won't be the last.

MORE Below . . .  leveymg's diary :: ::

In considering extension of the Patriot Act, the GOP argued that there is little or no evidence of illegal political spying on U.S. Citizens, except warrantless NSA surveillance on "a few thousand" Muslims suspected of communicating with al-Qaeda abroad.  The Bush Administration and the GOP Congressional leadership said, trust us, our hands are clean.  There was practically no challenge to that heard, and the law was renewed with even more leeway for unwarranted domestic spying by the White House.  But, Republicans DID conduct political eavesdropping, and the target was Senate Democrats.

In November 2003, a Republican staffer in Chairman Hatch's office illegally intercepted the communications of Democratic Senators -- thousands of them, including strategy memos -- and selectively leaked them.  Robert Novak, still a force to be reckoned with in pre-Fitzgerald Washington,  spun the story on its head.  To read Bob's column, the Democrats had set up a "Plummer's unit", and this Democratic plot had forced the release of confidential GOP e-mails.  Does anyone else see a pattern here?

Here's how the matter was reported by AP in one of the few accounts that appeared at the time:


GOP Lobbyists Spiked Terror Report
by leveymg [Subscribe] [Edit Diary]
Tue Mar 14, 2006 at 10:33:29 AM PDT
GOP lobbyists working for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia behind censorship of the 9/11 Commission report

Rawstory carried a link yesterday to reports that lobbyists working on behalf of Pakistan had persuaded the 9/11 Commission to drop key references to the link between that country's military and intelligence services with the network that financed al-Qaeda.  Newspapers in India and Pakistan published these reports earlier this week.(see, *links below)

If true, this would NOT be the first time the 9/11 Commission deleted information embarrassing to countries accused of harboring and financing terrorists.  At the time of the publication of the Commission's report in 2004, the panel was widely criticized for the 27-page gap that was redacted from the public version.  That section reportedly dealt with Saudi funding sources for the 9/11 attack.  According to the new reports, similar types of information about Pakistani links to the hijacking were omitted from the final report.

leveymg's diary :: ::
The articles that have appeared in recent days accuse unnamed members of the Commission or its staff of bowing to lobbyists working for Parvez Musharrif regime.

If these reports are confirmed, it may prompt a reexamination of the files related to 9/11 and would force an official inquiry into the work of the Commissioners, who have been under question for their refusal to incorporate any reference to a Pentagon surveillance program codenamed Able Danger.  Officers assigned to that DoD project claim they identified at least four of the 9/11 hijackers months before the attacks occurred.  Commission Co-Chairs Lee Hamilton and Tom Keane defended the decision to omit reference to that program, dismissing the Able Danger findings as "historically insignificant."

The covert funding and technology flows to Pakistan's nuclear program, and its international proliferation under A..Q. Khan, are particularly sensitive issues to both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  The U.S. had that nuclear program under surveillance for decades, and during that time, certain American policy-makers appear to have acted in complicity with some aspects of the program.  It has been widely known within U.S. intelligence that the same international financial network that funded Khan's nuclear proliferation was also a funding source for al-Qaeda.

(*LINKS - ;  (story available on string at another site, do edit-find for Did Pakistan Influence 9/11 Report : )


These articles come at time that the work of Washington lobbyists is under close scrutiny. Jack Abramoff and associates have been indicted for running a vast scheme to funnel illegal contributions -- a considerable portion of which is foreign sourced --  to leading GOP lawmakers in order to influence votes, and allegations of influence peddling within the Bush White House.  A similar scandal involving defense contractors and Republican Congressman has resulted in the conviction of California Congressmen Randall Cunningham.

In 2002, shortly after he took control over Perfect Wave, LLC, a CA defense contractor, Wade hired Alexander Associates, a Georgetown lobbying firm, run by Ed Buckham, Jack Abramoff's former former lobbying partner and former Chief of Staff to GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

During the mid-1990s, Buckham and Abramoff had been lobbying partners at Preston Gates & Ellis, a large Seattle-based firm, before Buckham took over Alexander Associates and Abramoff became the chief lobbyist of a key Republican lawfirm, Greenberg Traurig. According to The Washington Post, however, Buckham and Abramoff continued to work closely together, sharing clients and staff, while acting as a funding and influence peddling conduit for key GOP lawmakers:

"Buckham's firm employed DeLay's wife, Christine, for four years. It also benefited by working closely with Abramoff. Abramoff's plea agreement mentioned his close ties to Tony C. Rudy, one of Buckham's colleagues at ASG, identified in the court papers as 'Staffer A.'

"Rudy, a former DeLay aide, worked for Abramoff before joining ASG. According to the plea document, a political consulting firm run by Rudy's wife allegedly received $50,000 in exchange for official actions Rudy took while working for DeLay.


"The firm's collapse also coincides with DeLay's announcement that he will not attempt to regain his former post as House majority leader. DeLay has been indicted on money-laundering charges in his home state and, by House rule, had to give up his leadership position, at least temporarily.

"The end of DeLay's leadership role was a major blow to the lobbying firm. Former DeLay associates have said that ASG and Buckham were key gatekeepers for DeLay with outsiders including lobbyists and their corporate clients.


ASG, based in Georgetown, lobbies for an A-list of about 70 companies and organizations, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Microsoft, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. ASG ranked No. 21 on National Journal's 2005 lobbying list with $8 million in revenue, a 34 percent jump over the previous year.


Financial disclosure forms show that ASG employed Christine DeLay from 1998 to 2002. Lobby filings also show that Buckham hired Julie Doolittle, wife of Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), to do bookkeeping for a nonprofit group he created called the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council. A year ago, Julie Doolittle and her firm received a subpoena from the grand jury investigating Abramoff, according to her lawyer.

Former lobbying associates have said that Abramoff shared some high-paying clients with ASG, including Malaysian interests, the Mississippi Choctaw Indian tribe and online gambling firms. Federal investigators have questioned some former Abramoff associates about whether those referrals were related to Christine DeLay's employment there, sources said.

The Post reported in November that a federal task force was investigating Abramoff's connections to ASG . . ."

In addition to acting as a conduit for corrupt defense contractors, Abramoff was the registered lobbyist for Pakistan. In 1997, he is alleged to have arranged the travel of a Congressional delegation to Pakistan without informing the members of his relationship with the government of that country.  Pakistan had retained the services of Abramoff's lobbying group, Preston Gates & Ellis in 1995, after Congress imposed human rights sanctions and stopped arm shipments during the period of increasing tensions leading up to the first test explosions of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in May, 1998.  

According to a New York Times, the trip to Pakistan arranged by Abramoff was sponsored by the National Security Caucus Foundation, a group that claimed to have very prominent figures on its Board, including former Secretaries of State, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.  When the scandal broke, both promptly disclaimed any knowledge of the foundation and the junket


Abramoff's NSA and Domestic Spying Scandal
by leveymg [Subscribe] [Edit Diary]
Wed Jan 25, 2006 at 10:25:59 AM PDT
The National Security Scandals of Jack Abramoff - Part II

(Pt. 1,

While Jack Abramoff's scandalous rip-off of Indian tribes is well know, his role as a GOP fixer for NSA and CIA contractors has gone virtually under the radar screen. Abramoff's lobbying activities raise serious questions about the role of his corporate and foreign clients in compromising highly sensitive NSA and Capitol Hill communications networks, in domestic spying and in other illegal national security-related activities.

leveymg's diary :: ::
We now learn that Abramoff is at the center of a much wider web of criminal activity involving private-sector NSA contractors and GOP lawmakers. Abramoff served as a conduit between the NSA and private companies that have become the focus of multiple criminal prosecutions and national security investigations, including the abuse of prisoners abroad, and alledged spying on Capitol Hill lawmakers by Abramoff clients.

Yesterday, we reported that Verizon (dba Qwest Wireless), is the focus of an NSA contracting scandal and a little-noticed trial of executives for cooking company books. Attorneys for Qwest's CEO, Joseph Nacchio, raised knowledge of classified government contracts anticipated by Qwest in 2001 as "one of the key elements to his defense." ; also, see,

That trial reveals something far more important about the corruption scandal that is gripping top GOP lawmakers. Abramoff and his associates manueuvered his clients -- including now bankrupt Enron, Global Crossing and Tyco International -- into federal contracts that gave them leverage over strategic U.S. markets, a role in framing foreign policy options, or unprecedented private-sector access to operating classified government data networks. This has resulted in the gravest constitutional crisis since Watergate, as well as a massive damage to U.S. national security.

The 2001 Contract to Privatize NSA's Surveillance Systems

In 2001 Verizon, along with CACI (a defense contractor shepherded by Abramoff that heavily contributed to the GOP), was awarded part of a multi-billion dollar NSA contract to privatize the NSA's information technology systems, capabilities that were then used by the Bush Administration to carry out illegal domestic spying. This massive privatization of NSA was managed by its Director at the time, Gen. Michael Hayden. As part of that ten-year program, code-named Project Groundbreaker, NSA surveillance systems continue to be developed, operated and maintained by private sector IT companies.  See,


When asked point-blank recently whether the data being funneled into this privatized surveillance system was being used for domestic partisan purposes, Gen. Hayden refused to answer. At a question and answer session following an address at the National Press Club on January 23, 2006, Hayden was asked whether the Bush Administration was wiretapping its domestic political enemies. When Hayden dodged the question, the questioner repeated, "No, I asked, are you targeting us and people who politically oppose the Bush government, the Bush administration? Not a fishing net, but are you targeting specifically political opponents of the Bush administration?" Hayden looked at the questioner, and after a silence called on a different questioner. (Hayden National Press Club remarks, 1/23/06)


As is normally the case with matters involving covert operations that become embarassingly public, there are at least three layers to the NSA and CIA spy scandals, all of which prominently feature General Michael Hayden in various roles.

These cover stories are meant to mask the offensive odor of political espionage being conducted by GOP-allied contractors who have been privatizing NSA and CIA operations during the past six years, which coincides with Gen. Hayden's watch at NSA and the tenure of the Bush Administration.

The outer layer of the onion is the lie repeated by Administration spokesmen to the public -- essentially a denial that the NSA is spying on anyone other than al-Qaeda's international communications. The second cover story is the one which is available through open sources to better-informed consumers, such as intelligence beat journalists, bloggers, and middle-level intelligence community personnel -- that acknowledges the obvious fact that, as the Robb-Silberman Commission termed it, a "gross failure" of intelligence system occurred related to pre-Iraq war intelligence, and that certain, limited number of private contractors and officials (MZM and the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center) were the source of massive and pervasive "errors".

The middle cover story has some sex appeal, a scandal involving hookers and Congressmen and a corrupt defense-intel contractor, and the sudden resignation of the CIA's Nos. 1 and 3. The gist of that middle cover story is best captured by an old, inside pages story with a bland headline in The Washington Post, in this case by Walter Pincus, "Intelligence Center, Contractor MZM on Cozy Terms"; Sunday, July 17, 2005; Page A07;, which portrays Gen. Hayden leading an emergency inter-agency investigation and repair effort. Finally, we come to the heart of the matter.

The inescapable fact -- and this is the "inner-secret" -- is that Hayden has been in charge of the transformation of NSA from a government spy agency tasked with monitoring threats from foreign states that uses technology provided by the private sector into a publicly-funded, privately operated domestic spy conglomerate whose primary mission is to suck up every byte of electronic data produced by every U.S. citizen so that it can analyzed by private corporations using highly classified proprietary algorithms that nobody except their owners, who are virtually uniformly GOP supporters, understand and utilize. After all that has happened to NSA on his watch since 2000, we are now supposed to just simply trust him to be neutral and objective as he similarly takes over and transforms the human intelligence side at CIA. No.

2006. Mark G. Levey

Originally posted to leveymg on Sun May 07, 2006 at 06:39 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  much to chew on (0+ / 0-)
    I will definitely reference Hayden's CACI shenanigans to my senators when I vainly instruct them to deny him the CIA post.

    But I'm doubtful that the FBI will energetically persue these rent-a-spooks.  Bush and Co. gave the Feebs a big pass on 9-11 screwups, probably fearing the wrath of the Sons of Hoover in re: political spying.  Expect the Feebs to return the favor.

    Keep smiling. Drives 'em bats.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun May 07, 2006 at 07:33:33 AM PDT

    •  There are cross-cutting differences that are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      driving these disclosures.  It isn't really about FBI vs. CIA.  These disclosures are coming from the career officers at the highest levels of DIA, CIA and FBI.  There's a powerful faction of government professionals who have had enough, and are now using their formidable skills to remove the most abusive political appointees and Bushbots.

  •  Don't forget Rove's 'enemies database' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In Nov, 2005,Doug Thompson reported on the whitehose database of dossiers on 10,000 political enemies.

    Spurred by paranoia and aided by the USA Patriot Act, the Bush Administration has compiled dossiers (using National Security Letters, courtesy of the Patriot Act, to obtain the information!) on more than 10,000 Americans it considers political enemies and uses those files to wage war on those who disagree with its policies.

    The “enemies list” dates back to Bush’s days as governor of Texas and can be accessed by senior administration officials in an instant for use in campaigns to discredit those who speak out against administration policies or acts of the President.

    The computerized files include intimate personal details on members of Congress; high-ranking local, state and federal officials; prominent media figures and ordinary citizens who may, at one time or another, have spoken out against the President or Administration.

    Capitol Hill Blue has spoken with a number of current and former administration officials who acknowledge existence of the enemies list only under a guarantee of confidentiality. Those who have seen the list say it is far more extensive than Richard Nixon’s famous “enemies list” of Watergate fame or Bill Clinton’s dossiers on political enemies.

    “How is that you think Karl (Rove) and Scooter (Libby) were able to disseminate so much information on Joe Wilson and his wife,” says one White House aide. “They didn’t have that information by accident. They had it because they have files on those who might hurt them.”

    White House insiders tell disturbing tales of invasion of privacy, abuse of government power and use of expanded authority under the USA Patriot Act to dig into the personal lives of anyone the administration deems an enemy of the state.

    Those on the list include former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, former covert CIA operative Valarie Plame, along with filmmaker and administration critic Michael Moore, Senators like California’s Barbara Boxer, media figures like liberal writer Joe Conason and left-wing bloggers like Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (the Daily Kos) and Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette).

    This database's server is not maintained on the premises of the White House:

    The database of political enemies of the Bush administration is not maintained on White House computers and is located on a privately-owned computer offsite, but can be accessed remotely by a select list of senior aides, including Rove. The offsite location allowed the database to escape detection by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald during his investigation of the Valerie Plame leak. The database is funded by private donations from Bush political backers and does not appear on the White House budget or Federal Election Commission campaign reports.

    I haven't seen anyone following up on this story.  I'll bet 50 quatloos that this database will be found (if it is ever located) on the premises maintained by MZM.  It's right up their alley.

    "You have to keep your knee on [Bush's] windpipe until the danger is past." -- Garry Trudeau

    by tbetz on Sun May 07, 2006 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps. But, consider the source. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wouldn't cite CHB.  I'm not as imaginative as Doug.

    •  BTW, Thompson's entertaining rant on the subject (0+ / 0-)

      ... of the accusation of "creativity" can be found here.

      Despite what the naysayers claim, we get it first and get it right.  We reported on Bush's temper tantrums a full year before it appeared in Newsweek. We revealed Bush's executive order allowing the National Security Agency to spy on Americans on June 7, 2004 -- 18 months before the New York Times printed the story. Last week we revealed President Bush ordered Vice President Cheney to go public about his hunting "accident."  Time got around to it a few days later.  I have no doubt that more information about Cheney's drinking will surface down the line and confirm what we reported Wednesday.

      We're human and we do make mistakes, but when we do we admit them, which is a lot more than most media outlets ever do.

      "You have to keep your knee on [Bush's] windpipe until the danger is past." -- Garry Trudeau

      by tbetz on Sun May 07, 2006 at 08:39:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thompson was a year ahead of everyone else on NSA (0+ / 0-)

    And Thompson was right, as it turns out he is, time and time again.

    I'd be very happy to see cites for stories where it turned out he got it wrong.

    "You have to keep your knee on [Bush's] windpipe until the danger is past." -- Garry Trudeau

    by tbetz on Sun May 07, 2006 at 08:29:44 AM PDT

  •  Lets FWD to ALL IN Congress (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this Amazing resource!

    We can help by sending Opposition to all our representatives.

    I've already forwarded to a friend of a very inflential retired Admiral - hopefully to get his public opposition to this Gen Hayden appointment.

    Much scarier than even the original Hayden:

    Hayden as General Jack D. Ripper, ordering Armageddon, in "Dr. Strangelove"


    Blind loyalty to self-defeating strategies is equally destructive as working for your enemy.

    by Hiroprotag on Sun May 07, 2006 at 08:41:47 AM PDT

  •  Link to general Jack D. Ripper bad (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry about Tech issue from non-techie.  

    Blind loyalty to self-defeating strategies is equally destructive as working for your enemy.

    by Hiroprotag on Sun May 07, 2006 at 08:43:58 AM PDT

  •  These investigations seem to have merit, but (0+ / 0-)

    meanwhile it's not clear whether the FBI is merely doing the job it's supposed to do, or whether there is some hidden FBI or political agendas also at work in the investigation. Treating these as straight law-enforcement stories may not be enough, given the depth of political manipulation involved in the current administration.

  •  I always thought (0+ / 0-)

    that the reason why there was such reluctance to disclose the details behidn the NSA spying was that they'd been using it to eavesdrop on Democrat rivals.

    It's the only thing that makes sense for the level of defending they've been doing. If the policy does what they claim then with a simple disclosure of cases where they spied on terrorist suspects they could make it all go away. They haven't provided ANY examples, which leads me to suspect that they haven't even done any, or not to any great degree, and that this program is basically so they can remain in power indefinitely by outflanking their opponents at every turn.

    With all the other possible scandals involving lobbyists and elections I can see this as extremely probable but without any proof it's going to stay a mystery. The November elections may well decide the world's future for the next 25 years. - my first short story publication online here!

    by darrkespur on Sun May 07, 2006 at 09:27:00 AM PDT

  •  Fornigate? (0+ / 0-)

    Almost every scandal since the original Watergate has had -gate appended onto the context (Irangate for Reagan, Slurpgate for Clinton, etc), and this one happened, in the fine tradition of history repeating itself, back at the same location, so could we call it Watergategate?  Watergate II?  Watergate, The Empire Strikes Back?  Watergate, Bride Of Chucky?

  •  I believe what is driving all of this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the real fear inside the CIA and FBI among career people that this can no longer be considered a "game" anymore, that financial and political shenanigans behind the scenes as a friendly but cut-throat political reality has been eclipsed by something very dangerous. Bush is the culmination of years of rampant corruption, and it is scaring them. We are looking at losing our Republic, a Constitution in tatters, threats of nuclear war. The only way to stop it is to make sure that the players fall and a balance is restored. That can only happen by public exposure of crimes and letting the chips fall.

    ...and now that I'm cooking with THAT line of seasoning...

    by bastrop on Sun May 07, 2006 at 10:25:18 AM PDT

  •  The security/intelligence biz is growing fast (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The 2nd Annual Intelcon Conference starts today in Bethesda. From the Agenda we get gems like:

    PE4: Trolling for OSINT
    It estimated that at least 90 percent of the data that underlies intelligence analysis and reporting is unclassified, and available with varying degree of difficulty. We will explore the type, quality, accuracy, timeliness and availability of Open Source Intelligence information and its application to a variety of fields.
    Dr. Peter Leitner, Higgins Foundation
    Terry Ward, Consultant; Former DO, CIA

    CR1: 50,000 Unfilled Jobs
    Defines the scope and depth of defense, government, and intelligence industry opportunities available across the USA and worldwide. Focuses on career change from total inexperience through executive transition. Covers why security clearances are your passport to success. Defines future trends that you should know about.
    William Golden,

    SL2: Cross-Enforcement: Blending Police Ops With Civil Agencies
    What is cross enforcement, its methods, effectiveness, and its capabilities as a significant force multiplier at the state and local levels?
    Lennie Mitchell, DC Metro Police

    CR3: Self Evaluation and Building a Strategy
    Learn how to determine your marketplace value and develop strategies for the hidden defense job market. There are as many as 50,000 defense industry jobs going unfilled just in the metro District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and Maryland areas. Seldom are they publicly advertised. Most are with companies and organizations unheard of by career changers. This session helps build a strategy to find positions that match skills, pay well, and offer future opportunities.
    William Golden,

    PS4: The International Muslim Brotherhood: Heart of the Sunni Arab Terror Hydra
    Why is it that the United States is the only Western nation that does not recognize the Muslim Brotherhood for what it is: the heart and soul of the world’s Sunni Arab terror networks? This presentation begins with a discussion of the Ikhwan movement’s strategic intentions codified in a subversive educational program called Pax Islamica and in the writings of the movement’s leading theoretician, educator, and martyr, Sayid Qutb. In addition, this is an overview of the Brotherhood’s tri-partite legacy of alliances with hostile foreign powers, political violence, and covert action. Given the past and what we know of Ikwhan activity within U.S. borders, the speaker asks whether or not the United States might have become unwittingly infiltrated from below, in a manner reminiscent of Soviet subversion in American intellectual and political culture in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
    Terri K. Wonder,University of South Florida

    PS5: Think Tanks
    Think tanks have played a vital role in developing and keeping alive an institutional knowledge of the terrorism problem. How have they taken on the role of "institutional memory" for government organizations, as well?
    Dr. Ariel Cohen, Heritage Foundation
    David Siegrist, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies

    BN5: Investment and M&A Trends in Companies Serving the IC
    The rapid growth of the U.S. Intelligence Community after 9/11, combined with the community's increasing use of contractors for everything from IT to analysis, has created an increasingly visible business sector accounting for billions of dollars of activity. Hear what venture capitalists and Wall Street pros see coming in this vibrant market.
    Scott Greiper, C.E. Unterberg, Towbin
    Michael Murphy, A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc.
    E. Rogers Novak, Jr., Novak Biddle Venture Partners
    Mark Sauter, Chesapeake Innovation Center
    John Shaw, Legend Merchant Group

    PS7: Academia: Terrorist Battleground?
    A war is raging on college campuses throughout the nation. It is a campaign for hearts & minds, as well as political influence, being waged by radical Islamic entities, including the Muslim Students Association (MSA), et al. What are the state of this struggle and the role of the Federal government in addressing this issue?
    Terri K. Wonder, University of South Florida

    PS8: Intelligence Opportunities in Iran
    Virtually everything is for sale in today's Iran, especially in the intelligence arena. A wide array of Revolutionary Guards officers, top regime officials, defectors and exiles are peddling inside intelligence information from Iran. Some of this information is valuable, but active measures by the regime, as well as encounters with intelligence conmen and a notorious Marxist-Leninist opposition group, has jaded many U.S. intelligence professionals from seriously considering much of the potential intelligence take. This presentation will discuss some of these potential sources, and advocate a non-governmental intelligence-gathering program that can receive, filter and evaluate information from sources normally rejected by many professional intelligence officers.
    Ken Timmerman, Consultant

    PS11: Private Sector Intel Databases*
    What private-sector databases are available, who are the purveyors of such data, and what are their utilities? How is this data used and what are the possibilities?
    Matt Devost, Terrorism Research Center
    Colleen McCue, RTI International

    With over 100 speakers, this is a pretty big conference. Just how big is the industry? From their Market page:

    Intelligence today embraces far more than the 15 civilian and military agencies which define the federal intelligence community. Close to $50 billion is now being spent annually in that segment of the overall intelligence domain alone, according to best estimates.

    And who can deny how critically important it is for state and local law enforcement to know how and where to obtain intelligence, and to whom it should be forwarded? So, add another $20 billion or so in 2006 for that, say industry observers.

    Then there are the corporate and private-sector intelligence managers who face new and diverse challenges, from defending against economic espionage to creating innovative technology to meet their future intel needs. It's estimated that expenditures just on business intelligence will approach $3 billion next year. As for all the rest - NGOs, the academic community, media, and ethnic and religious organizations - it's anybody's guess how many billions more are being allocated for intelligence products and services among them!

    This is probably one of the fastest growing industries in the US right now, and it is all being done under a built-in cover of some secrecy, with security clearances being required to enter the industry. And it looks to me, at least, to be rather paranoic, especially the parts about the Muslim's war on the US.

    To say nothing of what part of this data is used for political purposes, especially from all the private companies involved.

    (PS Sorry for the length, but this is important stuff that is pretty much under the radar.)

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Sun May 07, 2006 at 11:25:18 AM PDT

  •  Looks like you've connected dots here (0+ / 0-)

    ...and that you've done yeoman's work in explaining this scandal, leveymg. Most interesting are the dots from this scandal drawn to our loss of civil liberties, which had not been prevously apparent, at least to me. I think that's what takes what could be garden variety DC scandal into the realm of "sit up and take notice, folks. This one matters"

    I am following the links to your previous diaries and see they were egregiously under noticed and therefore underplayed. I wonder if that has something to do with the time of day of posting. (I've not figured that out.)

    Great work, leveymg!!!  

  •  Largemouth Bass ett? (0+ / 0-)
    I was reading through a few stories on the net just now.

    One was about Bush talking about the best thing that's happened since he has been president, or something like that, you know what I'm referring to. He said catching a Largemouth Bass on his ranch.

    Then I read the interview he had with someone at his ranch talking about his man-made lake and all the different fish he had stocked the lake with. No mention of ever stocking Largemouth Bass in it.

    Then I come here to this diary, reading about Nine Fingers Brent Bassett, and how more important he might become to this investigation.

    Did Bush catch the big one? Is Largemouth Bass some code to Brent Bassett to keep him in line? I know, very fishy and it rots from the head and I don't seem to trust much anymore.

    Somebody just tell me I'm losing it or something.

  •  Private Military Contractors are involved.. (0+ / 0-)

    Dear Folks,

    ..I lived for several years in Europe, get there from time to time, and friends from there visit me..

    ..the point is, I have asked them to peruse bookshelves, as I have here, searching for books on a most concealed subject:  Private Military Contractors, in all their forms..

    ..I've read everything James Bamford has written, most especially his "Rolling Stone" expose' of "Rendon Group" private contractors who manufactured the propaganda for Iraq invasion..
    (and of course all his books on NSA)

    ..American taxpayer monies spent on illegal war and
    DEBT on paper (note "Enron-The Smartest Guys in the Room") parallel to Enron, (Hedge Funds are unregulated / no oversight) are the only economics left in the U.S...

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