TBR News July 1, 2016

Jul 01 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. July 1, 2016: “Several days ago, I was having lunch with a highly-placed computer system analyist. During the course of the conversation, he told me that there are no “safe” computer systems; that the government can open and read any computer anywhere and at any time. He also said that a number of others, not associated with the government, are doing the same thing to government sites. In short, he said, there are absolutely no secure sites anywhere. There are no secrets any more in other words. ‘We spy on them but they spy on us,” he said and shook his head.”


The Müller Washington Journals   1948-1951

At the beginning of December, 1948, a German national arrived in Washington, D.C. to take up an important position with the newly-formed CIA. He was a specialist on almost every aspect of Soviet intelligence and had actively fought them, both in his native Bavaria where he was head of the political police in Munich and later in Berlin as head of Amt IV of the State Security Office, also known as the Gestapo.

His name was Heinrich Müller.

Even as a young man, Heini Müller had kept daily journals of his activities, journals that covered his military service as a pilot in the Imperial German air arm and an apprentice policeman in Munich. He continued these journals throughout the war and while employed by the top CIA leadership in Washington, continued his daily notations.

This work is a translation of his complete journals from December of 1948 through September of 1951.

When Heinrich Müller was hired by the CIA¹s station chief in Bern, Switzerland, James Kronthal in 1948, he had misgivings about working for his former enemies but pragmatism and the lure of large amounts of money won him over to what he considered to be merely an extension of his life-work against the agents of the Comintern. What he discovered after living and working in official Washington for four years was that the nation¹s capital was, in truth, what he once humorously claimed sounded like a cross between a zoo and a lunatic asylum. His journals, in addition to personal letters, various reports and other personal material, give a very clear, but not particularly flattering, view of the inmates of both the zoo and the asylum.

Müller moved, albeit very carefully, in the rarefied atmosphere of senior policy personnel, military leaders, heads of various intelligence agencies and the White House itself. He was a very observant, quick-witted person who took copious notes of what he saw. This was not a departure from his earlier habits because Heinrich Müller had always kept a journal, even when he was a lowly Bavarian police officer, and his comments about personalities and events in the Third Reich are just as pungent and entertaining as the ones he made while in America.

The reason for publishing this phase of his eventful life is that so many agencies in the United States and their supporters do not want to believe that a man of Müller¹s position could ever have been employed by their country in general or their agency in specific.

Friday, 30. March, 1951.

The Rosenberg gang has been convicted and the word is that they will get the death penalty…as expected. The State Department has fired several diplomats in China for being fairies and taking bribes from the Chinese in Hong Kong. I doubt if this will stop McCarthy but all beginnings are difficult.

Viktor and his wife and children came down last night and we are all having a most pleasant interlude in the spring countryside. The children are well behaved and enjoy feeding the ducks in one of the ponds and we let them ride on a pony.

I have pretended to have an infectious skin problem, which prevents Bunny from seeing the damage the Harvey slut has done to my body. The drooler called me at the office twice this week and I have told the operator to tell her that I am not in. I am certain she will tell her husband one of these days and I will have to deal with him. She said she marred him for excitement but she obviously doesn’t get too much.

He is fat and apparently endowed like a stud ant, stays drunk and masturbates in the bathtub while looking at pictures of actresses wearing fancy underwear.

Sunday, 1. April, 1951.

Today is what the Americans call April Fool’s Day. It should be a national holiday up in Washington. Just to entertain my friends, I had Arno call up the Sunday duty officer at the CIA and tell him he was calling from the White House and the Russians had just dropped an atomic bomb on Tokyo. The man began to stutter and Arno and I had quite a laugh, counting on him to ring up all the bosses and ruin their day. I told Bunny that I would cook pancakes for her as a special treat. I put small pieces of thin cloth onto each cake, poured more batter on and turned it over to be cooked. The cook thought it was very funny but Bunny did not. She poured a sweet syrup all over the cakes and then tried to cut them with a knife. They wouldn’t cut, of course, with the cloth inside, and slipped all over her plate, finally sailing off and onto the table. I am afraid I began to laugh and for a moment, I thought she was going to throw the pitcher of syrup at my head. She calmed down and we all had a laugh. At least some holidays can be fun.

Later: When I went to bed tonight (I am sleeping in a separate room because of my “skin rash”), I discovered a dead fish stuck in my pillow so Bunny got her revenge after all!


‘Shocked and disgusted’: Hate crime reports jump 500% since Brexit vote – UK police chief

July 1, 2016


A week after Brexit referendum, UK police have registered a staggering fivefold increase in hate crime incidents reported to the national online site. Local officials have also noted a surge in both physical and verbal attacks against migrants.

“Since last Thursday, 331 hate crime incidents have been reported to the national online reporting site True Vision compared to the weekly average of 63 reports,” Sara Thornton, head of the NPCC, wrote, adding that, although “many people are reporting hate crime than ever before,” it remains “significantly underreported.”

While Thornton has stressed that it is hard to tell how many of those cases are directly linked to the referendum, the national community tensions team has also noted a surge in anti-immigrant abuse. In just one week, migrants have been reporting “verbal abuse, negative social media commentary including xenophobic language, anti-migrant leafleting and, in very limited numbers, physical assaults.”

Expressing her own frustration, Thornton said she was “shocked and disgusted” by the upsurge. She has urging those who are suffering abuse not to “suffer in silence” and stop feeding into the atmosphere of fear by giving in to bullies.

The police report goes in line with the multiple cases of online abuse documented on social media in the wake of the vote. Under hashtag #PostRefRacism coined straight after the victory by the Leave camp was official announced, dozens of people posted evidence of hatred and racism towards migrants from Eastern Europe, in particular, Poland and Romania, and the Muslim world.

Just recently, Jordanian-born British artist Yasmeen Sabri has shared her story of being verbally attacked by a visitor to her London exhibition for displaying a burqa on a stand for everybody to try on. She was approached by an apparently disgruntled woman who started hurling insults at her and attempted to tear the veil down until she was apprehended by security.

“She told me to go back to Saudi Arabia, even though I’m Jordanian,” said Sabri, commenting on the incident, as cited by The Evening Standard.

“A couple of people tried to calm her down and she started telling them ‘Arabs don’t belong here, Arabs should leave the city,” she recalled, adding that that was the first time she was subjected to such kind of racially-motivated abuse in the six years she has been residing in London.

The unprecedented hike in ethnically motivated violence, including a reported attack on an eight-year-old Polish girl by fellow classmates and leaflets reading “No more Polish vermin” thrown into letter boxes and being distributed in the streets, prompted British PM David Cameron to pledge extra funding to police to provide security at the “vulnerable institution” and give new guidelines to prosecutors related to hate crimes.

“These attacks are appalling and they need to stop and it’s right everyone in this House and everyone on all sides of the referendum debate utterly condemns them,” he said, addressing parliament on Wednesday, stressing that the government must make utmost efforts to “drive these appalling hate crimes out of our country.”

Anti-migrant sentiment has been riding high in the UK already before the vote with anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric often employed by the right-wing forces such as UK Independence Party (UKIP).

The brutal murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, an adamant advocate against Islamophobia, who was shot and stabbed to death by an alleged far-right supporter a week before the vote, even brought the campaign to a brief halt.

US immigration services are at breaking point under 128,000 backlog of asylum cases as global refugee crisis drives surge in applications, warns watchdog

  • Asylum cases backlog hit 128,000 at the end of last year as US struggles to cope with double the number of requests in past five years
  • Last year, the Obama administration pledged to accept 85,000 refugees from around the world in 2016, up from 70,000 last year
  • Number that will rise to 100,000 in 2017 to help alleviate the worst global refugee crisis since World War II
  • Most are Syrians fleeing the sixth year of conflict which has killed 250,000
  • Others are fleeing Central and South America such as unrest in Venezuela

June 30, 2016

by Hannah Parry


The federal government is struggling to cope with a huge surge of asylum cases during a global refugee crisis as the request backlog soars by 1,400 per cent in just five years.

Unrest in areas of the Middle East and South America has seen numbers of refugees requesting asylum more than double in the same period – pushing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, CIS, to breaking point.

Unable to cope, the backlog of cases has been steadily rising and by the end of 2015, there were more than 128,000 cases still pending, the agency’s ombudsman Maria M. Odom, said in her annual report to Congress.

Unfortunately, the situation is only set to get worse, the U.S. immigration agency’s own watchdog said Wednesday, NBC reports.

Last year, the Obama administration pledged to accept 85,000 refugees from around the world in 2016, up from 70,000 last year.

That number will rise to 100,000 in 2017 to help alleviate the worst global refugee crisis since World War II.

The announcement sparked a backlash – particularly in the light of the terrorist attacks in Orlando, Florida, San Bernardino, California and most recently, the attack at a Turkish airport.

Critics believe that America should restrict the number of refugees in case would-be terrorists use the system to enter the country.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called for a ban on non-American Muslims coming the US – including Syrian refugees.

Most refugees will be Syrians displaced by a brutal civil war, while others will come from Central and South America.

In Syria, the conflict, which entered its sixth year in March, has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced close to half the pre-war population of 23 million.

Many of Syria’s refugees now live in dozens of sprawling encampments including in neighboring Jordan, which has taken in close to 640,000 migrants.

Millions of others have fled to Europe, making the dangerous passing to Turkey and across the sea to Greece from which they travel all over the continent.

Others hold out hope for the United States, but can be left waiting years as their asylum requests are processed.

The number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in the United States has also soared recently as the oil-dependent economy crashes and more of the middle-class flees.

In March 2016, Venezuelans climbed to second place among nationalities submitting asylum requests, with 1,345 applications during that month.

The South American country first cracked the top 10 asylum-seeking nations in February 2014 when a bloody, months-long street protest movement seeking to oust the socialist administration kicked off. But back then, amid the widespread jailing and harassment of opponents of President Nicolas Maduro, fewer than 100 Venezuelans per month sought asylum.

The number of applicants has accelerated sharply since December 2015, when the opposition scored a landslide victory in congressional elections – leading to more and more Venezuelans fleeing the country as an economic crisis marked by triple-digit inflation pulverizes salaries and widespread food and medicine shortages make life unbearable for many.

Obama may have promised to alleviate the world crisis by taking on more migrants, but the government has fallen far short of its own targets. As of April, State Department data showed that the United States had only accepted 1,285 of its 85,000 target.

Compounding the problem, the CIS is short of staff after they were forced to reassign asylum officers to its Refugee Affairs Division.

The agency is scrabbling to employ more officers but it will take time. Something many of the refugees simply don’t have.

Odom’s report also criticized CIS for not processing asylum applications for children from Central America and for the long delays in applications for naturalization for members of the US military and their families.

But the report lay at least part of the blame at the feet of other agencies, such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI.

New poll shows how many Americans want to bar all immigration from surprising countries

June 22, 2016

by Allan Smith

Business Insider

A poll released on Wednesday from Morning Consult found that many Americans are in favor of barring immigration from certain parts of the world — even from countries bordering the US.

Donald Trump injected a strong anti-immigration sentiment into the political conversation. More recently, he’s reintroduced his proposal for an indefinite barring of Muslim immigration into the country — a suggestion widely condemned by elected Republicans.

But despite being fiercely rejected by elected Republican leaders, nearly half of Republicans polled by Morning Consult said that they “strongly” support such a plan, while 48% of all Americans said they support barring Muslim immigration.

Morning Consult asked respondents whether they support an overall ban on immigration from 11 countries: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Mexico, Egypt, Belgium, France, and Canada.

Syria had the greatest support among respondents in favor of an immigration ban, with 56% saying they supported it. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan all followed close behind, each breaking 51% support.

Nearly half of respondents, 46%, favored a ban on all immigration from Mexico, a country Trump has zeroed in on throughout his campaign.

Belgium, France, and even Canada all received significant support for a total immigration ban. Roughly 30% of respondents were in favor of a ban on all immigration from Belgium and France, the sites of two of the worst terror attacks in the past year, while almost one-quarter of respondents were for banning Canadian immigration into America.

The Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,001 voters and had a margin of error of 2%.

Austrian court cancels presidential election result, orders re-run

July 1, 2016


The Austrian Constitutional Court has ruled that the presidential election must be held again. The vote, which took place on May 22, saw far-right candidate Norbert Hofer narrowly lose by just 31,000 votes, with Alexander Van der Bellen claiming victory.

Hofer, who was running for the Freedom Party (FPO), learned of the ruling halfway through giving an interview to RT and even afforded himself a brief smile as the news began to sink in, as he was congratulated by his fellow FPO  colleague, Barbara Kappel.

“A lot of mistakes have been made during this election and now the results cannot correspond to the real results and that is why we will have a re-run of the election,” he told RT.

However, Hofer, who lost by the slenderest of margins is not looking into the past and already has plans for the future.

“We will start our election campaigns for the next months and we will just talk about the policies of our political party and we will convince the public that we have the right policies. I hope I can convince the public that I have the right answers for the future,” he added.

The final count in May’s vote showed that Van der Bellen, who was endorsed by the Green Party had 50.3 percent of the vote, compared to Hofer’s 49.7 percent. However, Austria’s highest court says the election needs to be re-run after ruling in favor of the Freedom Party, which alleged gross irregularities had taken place with regard to the absentee vote count.

“The contest is allowed to go forward. The proceedings of the second ballot of the federal presidential election of May 22, 2016 will be annulled, from the announcement of May 2, 2016, by the Federal election institution; in as far as it contains the decree of a second ballot. To put it simply: this means that the entire second vote will have to be repeated across Austria,” said Gerhard Holzinger, the head of Austria’s Constitutional Court.

The far-right party said the law had been broken in most of the 117 electoral districts, and this included the sorting of absentee ballots before electoral commission officials arrived at the scene. Other alleged irregularities concerned the way the ballots were counted, including the premature processing of postal votes.

In June, the Interior Ministry said it had thrown out 23,000 votes because they were counted or processed before 9am on the day of the election. A further 2,000 votes were also declared void due to more serious violations, which included some underage teenagers casting ballots.

“Because … of the enormous amount of postal voting ballots it would barely have been possible to provide a result in time starting on the Monday at 9am,” Innsbruck-Land voting district head Wolfgang Nairz told the court, according to Reuters.

Van der Bellen says that the re-run of the presidential election is likely to take place in either late September or early October.

Hofer and the FPO had been campaigning under an “Austria first” mantra and had voiced their strong opposition to “forced multiculturalism, globalization and mass immigration.” The stance earned Hofer a surge in support due to the deepening frustration at the current ruling parties and how they are dealing with the refugee crisis that has engulfed Europe.

British Conservatives in Chaos Over Brexit, but Labour Party’s in No Position to Pounce

July 1 2016

by Robert Mackey

The Intercept

Until Thursday, the political wrangling in Britain over how, or whether, to withdraw from the European Union — a move supported by a narrow majority of the voters in last week’s referendum, but opposed by 75 percent of the members of Parliament elected just last year — seemed likely to trigger a new general election.

Although the ruling Conservative Party is not required to call an election until 2020, most political observers expected Prime Minister David Cameron to be replaced by the leader of the campaign for a British exit from the EU, Boris Johnson, who would then want a fresh mandate from the public.

That was the thinking, anyway, until an extraordinary sequence of events unfolded, starting with an announcement from Michael Gove, the Leave campaign’s ideologue, who was expected to run Johnson’s campaign to become the new leader of the Conservatives, and hence prime minister. Gove, the justice secretary, released a statement on Thursday saying that he did not think Johnson, his ally in the Leave campaign, was up for the job of running the country, and wanted to be prime minister himself.

Gove’s surprise move undermined Johnson’s chances of winning the internal party vote to be leader, but also seemed to make it unlikely that he could succeed either, given how many bitter accusations of betrayal it prompted from fellow Conservatives.

With the anti-EU faction of his party suddenly split, and rumors that his candidacy was opposed by the men who run Britain’s most influential right-wing tabloids, Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre, Johnson turned up late for the speech in which he was expected to announce his leadership bid, and revealed that he would not take part in the race.

Given that it was widely believed that Johnson had only joined the Leave campaign as a way to increase his popularity and make it more likely that he could become prime minister, this shocking turn of events earned him widespread derision online from Britons who see departure from the EU as a disaster for the country.

By Friday morning, Johnson was being heckled on the street, accused of plunging the country into chaos for his own advancement, and then dropping out of the contest to be in charge of cleaning up the mess.

This somewhat farcical series of events was made all the more absurd by how strenuously Gove had previously denied having any ambition to be prime minister in interviews which instantly resurfaced on social networks

Under normal circumstances, this kind of disarray inside the Conservative Party — with the resignation of a prime minister and a deep divide between the factions opposed to and in favor of EU membership — should present an opportunity for the opposition Labour Party. That party, however, has been busy with a civil war of its own.

In the aftermath of the referendum, and driven partly by speculation that there might be an election soon, about 80 percent of the party’s members of Parliament have called for their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to step down. Corbyn, who was accused of being lukewarm about the EU, has refused — pointing out that he was chosen not by his fellow MPs, but by a clear majority of the party’s members and paying supporters in a direct election held just 10 months ago.

A poll of Labour members released on Thursday suggested that he would easily win a new vote.

The attempt to topple Corbyn, whose left-wing politics are popular with young voters and trade unions, but frighten pro-business centrists, has led to bitter recriminations and public feuding. That, in turn, has drawn attention away from the fact that the Conservative government has divided the country over the EU, plunging the economy into uncertainty and fostering anti-immigrant hysteria — all without any apparent plan for how to manage the transition out of the EU.

That infighting continued on Thursday, as Labour released a report on confronting anti-Semitism in its ranks. News coverage of the report, however, was devoted not to its recommendations but to the outraged reaction from some members of the party to remarks by Corbyn that they called anti-Semitic. “Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government,” Corbyn said, “than our Muslim friends are for those of various self-styled Islamic states or organizations.”

That comment was widely misreported as Corbyn comparing Israel to “the Islamic State,” which he denied. But when video of his statement on the report was posted on his own Twitter account later, that part of his remarks was omitted.

A second spat between Labour members also marred the same news conference. That confrontation began when Marc Wadsworth, a black Labour activist who supports Corbyn, distributed a press release that accused those plotting against the leader of cooperating with the “right-wing, corporate media” to smear him. Wadsworth then complained of what he called an example of such collusion at the news conference, saying that a reporter for The Telegraph, Kate McCann, had handed a copy of his statement to a Labour MP, Ruth Smeeth.

Smeeth, who is Jewish, was outraged by the accusation and stormed out of the event. In a statement she released later, Smeeth said that Wadsworth had “used traditional antisemitic slurs to attack me for being part of a ‘media conspiracy.’” She added that it was “beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report on antisemitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories about Jewish people, which were ironically highlighted as such in Ms. Chakrabarti’s report, while the leader of my own party stood by and did absolutely nothing.”

Wadsworth wrote later that he “had no idea that Smeeth was Jewish,” had not intended to endorse any conspiracy theory about Jewish control of the media, and had “a life-long record of fighting against racism and anti-Semitism.”

The leadership of the Labour Party is perhaps a sideshow however, distracting attention from the worrying implications of the fact that voters in many of its traditional strongholds supported British withdrawal from the EU. Although just 10 of Labour’s 229 MPs supported the Leave campaign, one study suggested that majorities in 70 percent of the areas represented by Labour in Parliament voted for withdrawal.

Writing in The Guardian this week, John Harris argued that the referendum revealed signs of “a longstanding and possibly terminal malaise” for Labour, from which the party might never recover.

As with the centre-left parties across Europe in the same predicament, Labour is a 20th-century party adrift in a new reality. Its social foundations – the unions, heavy industry, the nonconformist church, a deference to the big state that has long evaporated – are either in deep retreat or have vanished completely. Its name embodies an attachment to the supposed glories of work that no longer chimes with insecure employment and insurgent automation.

Given that level of disarray, it appears unlikely that Labour will be able to capitalize on the Conservative split over leaving the EU any time soon. An early general election is also looking less likely, as the Conservative leadership contest coalesces.

While several Conservatives have put themselves forward to compete with Gove in the party’s internal contest, which will conclude in early September, the clear frontrunner for the job is now Home Secretary Theresa May, even though she supported the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU. As a senior figure in the government elected last year, May made it clear in a speech announcing her candidacy that she would not feel the need to call a new election before 2020.

In her declaration, May pledged to respect the referendum result, saying “Brexit means Brexit: the campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high and the public gave their verdict.”

She did not, however, specify what sort of arrangement Britain would seek with the remaining 27 members of the union, although it is widely expected to be something like membership of the European Economic Area, along with countries like Norway, that are not in the EU but can trade freely with the bloc in exchange for paying dues, and an agreeing to allow citizens from EU nations to live and work freely in their country.

May also said that Britain would not give formal notification of its departure from the EU, triggering a two-year time limit on negotiations over a new trade deal, until some unspecified time next year.

Although May publicly opposed leaving the EU before the referendum, she has previously worked to restrict immigration into Britain, which many voters said was their main objection to membership in the economic bloc.

As Rebecca Glover observed in The Independent, May is far from a champion of progressive values, as her harsh rhetoric on asylum-seekers and economic migrants at last year’s Conservative Party conference made plain.

“There are people who need our help, and there are people who are abusing our good will,” May said then. “When immigration is too high, when the pace of change is too fast, it’s impossible to build a cohesive society. It’s difficult for schools and hospitals and core infrastructure like housing and transport to cope, and we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.”

Statements like those, and a promise to restrict immigration in any new deal with the EU, might reassure voters who support the formal British exit, but troubled many of those on the left of the political spectrum who see May as partly to blame for the increasing anxiety over immigration.

Could Germans vote to exit the EU?

In the wake of Britain’s Brexit vote, many Europeans think their country should also hold a national referendum on EU membership. For Germans, however, the hurdles are high.

June 26, 2016


Britain’s historic vote on opting out of EU membership has led to a heightened interest in giving citizens a say. In a pre-Brexit poll of some 6,000 Europeans, 45 percent of the interviewees said their own country should hold a referendum on its EU membership.

Far-right French and Danish political leaders are calling for an EU membership referendum in their respective countries. Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party says they will call a vote if they enter parliament in the 2017 national election.

“Next year the AfD will enter the German parliament and ‘Dexit’ will be at the top of our agenda,” Franz Wiese declared, referring to an exit by Germany (Deutschland) from the EU.

Germany’s Left Party also demands a “new start” in the EU and “a debate and a vote on a European future.” Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht urges holding an EU referendum in Germany, too – though not on an exit but only on certain deals.

The people should have a say

Wagenknecht told Die Welt newspaper her party wants to change Europe so it doesn’t fall apart, adding that people should have “the chance to vote on important issues like the planned free trade TTIP deal, or other European agreements.”

Germany’s post-war constitution, however, does not easily allow for a binding nationwide referendum.

Heidelberg-based lawyer Uwe Lipinski says Germans could only vote on exiting the EU if they first changed their constitution to include such “direct democracy” at the national level. Only then could the Berlin government or parliament call a referendum.

Germany’s 16 states allow for indirect popular initiatives, but with an eye on the country’s Nazi past, the federal constitution only foresees a national vote in two cases: on changes to territory, or in case of constitutional reforms. Theodor Heuss, a German politician and president from 1949 to 1959, called direct democracy a “premium for every demagogue.”

More than seven decades after the end of WWII, the time has come to think about changing the constitution to include such “direct democracy,” Lipinski told DW, pointing out Switzerland and citizens’ initiatives at the German state level as positive models.

Germany’s More Democracy organization has long called for making possible popular national referendums in the country. On its website, the group argues that the government merely presents “politics without any alternative” which parliament then “nods through.”

Europe-friendly Germans A German opinion poll just days ahead of Britain’s EU membership vote showed that if there had been a similar vote in Germany, the outcome would have been different.

An overwhelming majority of 79 percent would have voted against leaving the EU, the Forsa pollsters found. Only 17 percent would have voted for an exit – and of the latter, 60 percent were AfD supporters.

Just a few years ago, at the height of the euro debt crisis in 2012, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Germans would likely have to vote in a referendum on a new constitution – probably rather sooner than later. If the country keeps on handing sovereign decisions to Brussels, he predicted, Germany’s constitution will reach its limits. Perhaps that time is inching closer. “The Bundestag is increasingly turning into a tool for the implementation of EU law,” lawyer Lipinski warns.

Turkey, a Conduit for Fighters Joining ISIS, Begins to Feel Its Wrath

June 29, 2016

by Rukminio Callimachi

New York Times

PARIS — When the bodies of Islamic State fighters are recovered on the Syrian battlefield, the passports found on them have often been stamped in Turkey, which thousands of recruits pass through on their way to join the terror group.

Fighters who call relatives abroad often do so using Turkish cellphone numbers, and when they need cash, they head to Western Union offices in southern Turkey, according to court and intelligence documents.

From the start of the Islamic State’s rise through the chaos of the Syrian war, Turkey has played a central, if complicated, role in the group’s story. For years, it served as a rear base, transit hub and shopping bazaar for the Islamic State, and at first, that may have protected Turkey from the violence the group has inflicted elsewhere.

Now, the Turkish government and Western officials say the suicide bombings at Istanbul’s main airport on Tuesday bore the hallmarks of an Islamic State attack, and they have added them to a growing roll call of assaults attributed to the group in Turkey in recent months.

Analysts said Turkey was paying the price for intensifying its action against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh. Under mounting international pressure, the country began sealing its border last year, as well as arresting and deporting suspected militants. And last summer, Turkey allowed the United States to use Incirlik Air Base to fly sorties over the group’s territory in Syria and Iraq.

“Turkey has been cracking down on some of the transit of foreign fighters who are flowing into as well as out of Turkey, and they are part of the coalition providing support, allowing their territory to be used by coalition aircraft,” the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John O. Brennan, said in an interview this week with Yahoo News. “So there are a lot of reasons why Daesh would want to strike back.”

Soon after the government’s decision to allow airstrikes to be carried out from the base in southern Turkey, the Islamic State began naming Turkey as a target, according to Michael S. Smith II, an analyst who closely tracks the group’s messaging. Last fall, the cover of the group’s Dabiq magazine ominously featured a photo of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, standing alongside President Obama.

The attacks attributed to the Islamic State began around then, too, including devastating bombings in the southern city of Suruc in July 2015 and in Ankara, the capital, in October. This year, two suicide bombings targeted tourists in Istanbul.

The Islamic State was blamed for all of those attacks, yet none of them were claimed by the group, despite its habit of reveling in its violence elsewhere in the world. While officials blamed it for the attack on the Istanbul airport, the group’s daily news bulletins for Tuesday and Wednesday made no mention of the bombing. Its main English-language channel on the Telegram encrypted messaging app instead posted a photo essay of fighters in fatigues posing with automatic weapons on a hill in Deir al-Zour, Syria.

Some analysts saw this as the Islamic State trying to have it both ways: punishing Turkey for starting to act against it, but leaving enough of a gray area that it avoids a full-on clash with a country that has been valuable to its operations.

Still, there has clearly been a shift.

“Since mid-2015, a significant rise in pejorative references to the Erdogan government in Islamic State propaganda has indicated Turkey is now in its cross hairs,” Mr. Smith said, adding that this kind of rhetoric also preceded attacks in Western Europe and beyond. “An increase in terrorist attacks in Europe, in North Africa, in Bangladesh and in the Caucasus region were all preceded by increased focus on these areas in Islamic State propaganda materials.”

The group’s long honeymoon with Turkey started with the country’s aid to rebel groups that were fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad of Syria, often with the blessing of Western intelligence agencies, according to analysts. At the start, the Islamic State fit into that category, though it then began focusing more on eliminating competitors than fighting Mr. Assad.

Among the competitors the group was killing were Turkey’s avowed enemies: Kurdish separatists sheltering in Syria and Iraq. Turkey’s Western allies began accusing it of clinging to ambivalence toward the Islamic State. Even when it began strikes against the group last summer, its actions against the Kurds were more numerous and intense.

The centrality of Turkey for foreign volunteers flocking to the Islamic State is evident in court documents and intelligence records. Dozens of young men and women were arrested by the F.B.I. in the United States and by officials in Western Europe after they booked flights to Istanbul. Because so many of the group’s foreign fighters passed through Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, the destination itself became synonymous with intent to join ISIS.

By 2015, the group was advising recruits to book round-trip tickets to beach resorts in southern Turkey instead, and to be sure to spend a few days pretending to be a tourist as a ruse.

That was the technique used by Reda Hame, a 29-year-old Parisian recruit. He explained to interrogators last summer, after he was arrested upon returning to France to carry out an attack, that he had made sure to buy a package stay at a beach resort in southern Turkey specifically because he wanted to throw off investigators, who knew to look for suspects heading to Istanbul. “I bought an all-inclusive holiday so that I could pass myself off as a tourist,” he said, according to a transcript of his interrogation by France’s domestic intelligence agency in August.

Thousands of pages of investigative documents from the agency, recently obtained by The New York Times, show that nearly all of the recruits arrested by officials in Europe had passed through Turkey on their way to join the Islamic State, as well as on their way back.

Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, said that Turkey also figured heavily in the travel patterns of American adherents trying to join the group.

“The vast majority of American ISIS recruits used, or considered using, Turkey as their route,” said Mr. Hughes, who provided a breakdown showing that, of the 91 people charged with ISIS-related offenses in the United States, 18 purchased tickets through Istanbul, and 15 others either traveled through Turkey or considered doing so.

When Islamic State fighters communicated with worried family members, it was often with Turkish SIM cards. And investigation records reviewed by The Times show that two fighters who were arrested in Austria late last year, and who the police believed were supposed to take part in the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, had been sent money from their ISIS handler through a Western Union office in Turkey.

In his fortified office in northern Syria, Redur Khalil — the spokesman for the Y.P.G., the main Syrian Kurdish group fighting the Islamic State — keeps a stack of passports found on the bodies of the fighters his group has killed. He brings them out for reporters and turns the pages to show the Turkish entry stamps they all bear: proof, he said in an interview last summer, that the terrorist group’s foot soldiers are passing through Turkey

Islamic State prisoners being held by the Kurds, whom The Times interviewed in the presence of a Y.P.G. minder, all said that they had moved freely across the Turkish border into Syria.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Turkey and its Western allies had not been quick enough to recognize the threat the Islamic State would pose.

He said that when the rebel groups in Syria began to gain strength, Turkey had nods of approval from the C.I.A. and MI6, the British intelligence agency, to allow arms and volunteers across its border and into rebel camps.

“Where Turkey can be accused of negligence is failing to understand, just as Pakistan did with the Taliban, that these radicals who crossed Turkey to get into Syria would morph into an organization that not only threatened the West, but ultimately itself,” Mr. Aliriza said. “The threat assessment simply did not happen fast enough.”

Leaked FBI doc reveals secret policy of targeting journalists, sources

July 1, 2016


FBI documents sought after in Freedom of Information Act requests for the last year are now available, thanks to a leak to the Intercept. They lay out secret rules for collecting phone records of journalists, bypassing normal judicial processes.

The documents, published Thursday, outline how FBI agents would utilize National Security Letters in obtaining journalists’ phone records. They date back to 2013, the same year the agency’s overseer, the US Department of Justice, amended its standards for subpoenaing for such records.

However, the newly leaked papers are marked “last updated October 2011,” and they seem to conflict with DOJ policy as well as reveal information that many say never should have been secret in the first place.

The FBI’s National Security Letters, or NSLs, are used like search warrants, but unlike a normal warrant, they are not signed off on by any judge or court. They are approved in-house without even a requirement to notify the target. For the purposes of these documents, that means not even the news organization employing the journalist would necessarily be informed. Furthermore, they nearly always come with some form of a gag order, preventing the target from talking about their NSL case.

Getting an NSL authorized typically requires the signatures of the FBI’s general counsel and its National Security Branch’s executive assistant director as well as other chain of command OK’s following the agent making the request, the Intercept reported. That is, as long as the NSL is deemed “relevant” to an investigation pertaining to national security.

Except in investigations over a leak, such as how these FBI documents came to be available, when the purpose of an NSL is “to identify confidential news media sources,” according to the documents, the general counsel and executive assistant director defer to the DOJ National Security Division’s assistant attorney general. To identify a leaker, however, the DOJ is not needed for NSL approval.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the DOJ for a more complete release of these rules, since they had previously been divulged under ample redaction in 2011, along with the rest of the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, or DIOG.

“These supposed rules are incredibly weak and almost nonexistent — as long as they have that second sign-off they’re basically good to go,” Trevor Timm, the executive director of the media advocacy group told the Intercept. “The FBI is entirely able to go after journalists and with only one extra hoop they have to jump through.”

FBI spokesman Christopher Allen gave little comment to the Intercept, only to say the agency was “very clear” that “the FBI cannot predicate investigative activity solely on the exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Press advocates have criticized President Obama’s administration harshly, as it has pursued more cases, including under the Espionage Act, against publishers, leakers and reporters than prior administrations.

In 2013, in response to backlash over its seizing the phone lines of the Associated Press and keeping tabs on Fox News’s James Rosen, the DOJ released new “Media Guidelines” that conveyed a tightening up of the practices. The information just leaked to the Intercept, though, “makes a mockery” of those guidelines, the Freedom of the Press Foundation wrote Thursday.

It is important to note that NSLs are covered by rules wholly separate from the DOJ’s media guidelines.

Efforts on Capitol Hill to loosen restrictions on NSLs have failed recently, but only by slim margins, and the fight does not seem to be letting up. An amendment to a Senate criminal justice funding bill failed last week by just two votes, while this past Monday, a similar amendment allowing the FBI to demand email header information, web browser history, social media account access and other metadata was blocked by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Reuters reported.

The Roots of Hillary’s Infatuation with War

An incorrigible belief in the purity of one’s motives is among the most dangerous endowments a politician can possess.

June 29, 2016

by David Bromwich


IN THE early 1970s, Hillary Clinton was a familiar face in the left-liberal milieu she had cast her lot with: a volunteer for the Yale Law School watchdog committee to monitor fairness in the trial of the Black Panther leader Bobby Seale; a worker for Marian Wright Edelman’s Washington Research Project (the precursor of the Children’s Defense Fund); a member of the legal staff of the Nixon impeachment inquiry. In one cause, however, she was mostly absent and unaccounted for: the protest against the Vietnam War. A friend of the Clintons, Greg Craig, told the New York Times reporter Mark Landler that while others in their circle were “heavily involved” in antiwar activism, “I don’t remember Hillary having much to do with that.” Clinton gave two pages to the war in her memoir Living History. She sympathized there with the burden of responsibility borne by President Johnson for “a war he’d inherited,” which turned out to be “a tragic mistake.” Johnson is her focus: the man of power who rode a tiger he could not dismount. On a second reading, “mistake” may seem too light a word to characterize a war that destroyed an agrarian culture forever and killed between one and three million Vietnamese. “Mistake” is also the word that Hillary Clinton has favored in answering questions about her vote for the Iraq War.

Like every Democrat who has run for president since 1960, Clinton sometimes talks as if she wished foreign policy would go away. A president’s most important responsibility, she agrees, is to strengthen the bonds of neighborhood and community at home, to assure a decent livelihood for working Americans and an efficient system of benefits for all. Yet her four years as secretary of state—chronicled in a second volume of memoirs, Hard Choices—have licensed her to speak with the authority of a veteran in the world of nations. War and diplomacy, as that book aimed to show, have become an invaluable adjunct to her skill set. Clinton would want us to count as well a third tool besides war and diplomacy. She calls it (after a coinage by Joseph Nye) “smart power.” Smart power, for her, denotes a kind of pressure that may augment the force of arms and the persuasive work of diplomacy. It draws on the network of civil society, NGOs, projects for democracy promotion and managed operations of social media, by which the United States over the past quarter of a century has sought to weaken the authority of designated enemies and to increase leverage on presumptive or potential friends.

Smart power is supposed to widen the prospects of liberal society and assist the spread of human rights. Yet the term itself creates a puzzle. Hillary Clinton’s successful advocacy of violent regime change in Libya and her continuing call to support armed insurgents against the Assad government in Syria have been arguments for war, but arguments that claim a special exemption. For these wars—both the one we led and the one we should have led—were “humanitarian wars.” This last phrase Clinton has avoided using, just as she has avoided explaining her commitment to the internationalist program known as “Responsibility to Protect,” with its broad definition of genocide and multiple triggers for legitimate intervention. Instead, in a Democratic primary debate in October 2015, she chose to characterize the Libya war as “smart power at its best.”

The NATO action to overthrow Muammar el-Qaddafi, in which Clinton played so decisive a role, has turned out to be a catastrophe with strong resemblances to Iraq—a catastrophe smaller in degree but hardly less consequential in its ramifications, from North Africa to the Middle East to southern Europe. The casus belli was the hyperbolic threat by Qaddafi to annihilate a rebel force in Benghazi. His vow to hunt down the rebels “like rats” door to door could be taken to mean a collective punishment of inhabitants of the city, but Qaddafi had marched from the west to the east of Libya, in command of an overwhelming force, without the occurrence of any such massacre, and the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence assigned low credibility to the threat. Clinton took more seriously an alarmist reading of Qaddafi by Bernard-Henri Lévy, Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, and chose to interpret his threat as a harbinger of “genocide.”

Landler, in his book Alter Egos on the Clinton-Obama relationship, joins the consensus that has lately emerged from the reporting of Patrick Cockburn, Anne Barnard and other journalists on the ground. “Libya,” Landler writes, “has descended into a state of Mad Max–like anarchy”; the country is now “a seedbed for militancy that has spread west and south across Africa”; it “has become the most important Islamic State stronghold outside Syria and Iraq”; “it sends waves of desperate migrants across the Mediterranean, where they drown in capsized vessels within sight of Europe.” Clinton’s most recent comments, however, leave no doubt that she continues to believe in the healing virtue of smart power. The belief appears to be genuine and not tactical.

Follow her definition a little further and a host of perplexities arise. Cyber war could presumably be justified as a use of smart power, on the Clinton model, since it damages the offensive capabilities of a hostile power in an apparently bloodless way. Shall we therefore conclude that the deployment of the Stuxnet worm against Iran’s nuclear program was an achievement of smart power? Or consider a related use that would disrupt the flow of water or electricity in a city of three million persons controlled by a government hostile to the United States—an action aimed at stirring discontents to spur an insurrection. Could that be called smart power? We approach a region in which terminological ingenuity may skirt the edge of sophistry; yet this is the rhetorical limbo in which a good deal of U.S. policy is conceived and executed.

Clinton also plainly has in view the civil associations that we subsidize abroad, and the democracy-promotion groups, funded indirectly through USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and other organizations. The nonviolent protests that turned bloody in Tahrir Square in Cairo, and in the Maidan in Kiev, received indications of American support by means both avowed and unavowed—a fact acknowledged by Victoria Nuland (assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs) when in December 2013 she said that more than $5 billion had been spent on democracy promotion in Ukraine since 1992. If the story of the Syrian Civil War is ever fully told, we are likely to discover that the early “liberal” or “moderate” rebels were encouraged in their misreading of U.S. intentions through social-media messaging approved by forces within the U.S. government.

In Ideal Illusions—a study of the history of NGOs, the international culture of rights and U.S. foreign policy—James Peck noticed how the responsibilities of the caretakers of human rights had expanded after the 1970s “from prisoners of conscience to the rights of noncombatants to democratization to humanitarian intervention.” It is the last of these elements that completes the R2P package; and Hillary Clinton is among its warmest partisans. The Western powers have a moral obligation to intervene, she believes, especially when that means guarding the rights of women and assuring the welfare of the neediest children. Her mistakes in the cause have been not tragic like President Johnson’s in Vietnam but, as she sees them, small, incidental and already too harshly judged. One ought to err on the side of action, of intervention. And military intervention in this regard bears a likeness to the “community intervention” that may save the life of a child in an abusive family.

The bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 were, among other things, an experiment to prove the neoconservative strategy of “force projection.” The experiment did not work out as planned. By contrast, the test for liberal interventionists was Kosovo, and popular memory has abetted the legend that Kosovo was a success. Thus Anne-Marie Slaughter was able to write in a tweet regarding the Munich Security Conference of February 2014: “Contrast b/w Serb-Kosovo panel this morning & ME panel now at #msc50 so striking; in Balkans US was willing to ACT w/ diplomacy AND force.” Recall that, in order to create the nation of Kosovo, NATO acted against the nation of Yugoslavia with smart power whose leading articulation was seventy-seven days of bombing. The satisfied pronouncements on Kosovo and Libya that emanate from liberal interventionists show a striking continuity. As a director of policy planning in Clinton’s State Department, Slaughter had written to her boss three days after the start of the NATO bombing of Libya: “I have NEVER been prouder of having worked for you.”

The truth is that the pretext for military intervention was almost as thin in Yugoslavia as it was in Libya. There, too, genocide was said to be in progress—the slaughter of tens of thousands of ethnic Albanians—but the reports were chimerical. In First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia, David Gibbs concluded that approximately two thousand had been killed before the NATO bombing; whereas, during the bombing itself and in retaliation for it, Serbian security forces killed approximately ten thousand. Given the status of the episode in liberal mythology, the treatment of Kosovo in Living History is oddly minimal: less than a paragraph, all told, scattered over several chapters. Living History was published in 2003; and it seems possible that Clinton had an inkling of the mob violence that would break out in March 2004 in the nationwide pogrom against the Serbs of Kosovo—violence that would lead in early 2016 to the construction of tent cities in the capital, Pristina, and the firing of tear gas canisters in parliament to protest the abridgment of the political rights of the remaining ethnic minority. The aftermath of the Kosovo intervention has recently entered a new chapter. “How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS” was the astute headline of a New York Times story by Carlotta Gall, on May 21, 2016. Gall’s opening sentence offers a symptomatic tableau:

“Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an impoverished mosque in a former furniture store.”

Sanctions have been the favorite smart weapon of both Clintons. Iraq was the target country for Bill in the 1990s, as Iran would be for Hillary starting in 2009. The point of sanctions is to inflict pain, in response to which (it is hoped) the people will blame their government. The point is therefore also to create the conditions for regime change. Neither of the Clintons seems to have absorbed a central lesson of the Amnesty International Report on Cuba in 1975–76: that the “persistence of fear, real or imagined, of counterrevolutionary conspiracies” bore the primary responsibility for “the early [Cuban] excesses in the treatment of political prisoners”; and that “the removal of that fear has been largely responsible for the improvements in conditions.” Both Clintons have felt pressed to perform supererogatory works to show that liberals can be tough. For Mrs. Clinton, there is the additional need—from self-demand as much as external pressure—to prove that a female leader can be tougher than her male counterpart.

Landler’s account suggests that neither the Iran nuclear deal nor the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba would have been likely to occur in a Hillary Clinton presidency. When President Obama announced the thaw with Cuba in December 2014, he said that the United States “wants to be a partner in making the lives of ordinary Cubans a little bit easier, more free, more prosperous.” Clinton, by contrast, warned that the Cuban regime should not mistake the gesture for a relaxation of hostility; and on a visit to Miami in July 2015, she threw in a characteristic warning and proviso: “Engagement is not a gift to the Castros. It’s a threat to the Castros.” She thereby subverted the meaning of Obama’s policy while ostensibly supporting the measure itself.

“Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire” was the title and message of a New Republic essay by Robert Kagan, published in May 2014, about the time it became clear that President Obama would not be confronting Russia over its annexation of Crimea and would disappoint the neoconservative appetite for regime change in Syria. Writing in Hard Choices of the eastward expansion of NATO, Clinton concurred:

“In the wake of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in early 2014, some have argued that NATO expansion either caused or exacerbated Russia’s aggression. I disagree with that argument, but the most convincing voices refuting it are those European leaders and people who express their gratitude for NATO membership.”

Those sentences are notable for a historical omission and a non sequitur. The NATO expansion that began under George H. W. Bush, was enhanced in the presidency of Bill Clinton and continued under George W. Bush and Obama, was not a widely appreciated moderate policy, as Mrs. Clinton implies. The policy was subject to skeptical challenge from the first, and one of its sharpest critics was George F. Kennan. (He described it, coincidentally, as “a tragic mistake.”) Leaving aside the abridgment of history, there is a disturbing logical jump in Clinton’s dismissal of the challenge regarding NATO. The gratitude expressed by newly admitted member states does nothing at all to “refute” the fact that Vladimir Putin, along with many Western diplomats, thought the post–Cold War expansion of a Cold War entity was a hostile policy directed provocatively against Russia in its own backyard.

It would do no harm to her persuasiveness if Clinton admitted a degree of truth in the case made by her opponents, whether on the Libya war, the advisability of repeating that experiment in Syria, or the innocent design of propagating democracy that drove the expansion of NATO. An incorrigible belief in the purity of one’s motives is among the most dangerous endowments a politician can possess. Her sentences about NATO could have been written by Tony Blair; and this explains why at least three neoconservatives—Eliot A. Cohen, Max Boot and Robert Kagan, in ascending order of enthusiasm—have indicated that a Clinton presidency would be agreeable to them. She is a reliable option for them. Her comparison of Putin to Hitler in March 2014 and her likening of Crimean Russians to Sudeten Germans were reminiscent, too, of the specter of Munich evoked by an earlier secretary of state, Dean Rusk, to defend the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1965—the kind of tragic mistake that Hillary Clinton seems prepared to repeat for the most laudable of humanitarian reasons.

What is InfraGard?

by Harry von Johnston, PhD

Collaboration for National Infrastructure Protection

Motto  Partnership For Protection

Formation      1996

Type    Non-profit organization

Membership   34,000

Website         www.infragard.net

List of consumer credit reporting agencies by country


Major bureaus

Other bureaus


Veda Advantage










Equifax, TransUnion


RKI Kredit Information A/S








First Cyprus Credit Bureau




Irish Credit Bureau




Equifax, TransUnion





New Zealand

Veda Advantage


CIB (State Bank of Pakistan), Credit Chex (Powered by Experian UK)


InFoScore BIG





South Africa


South Korea

KIS, NICE(National Information & Credit Evaluation)




Soliditet AB, UC







United Kingdom

Experian, Equifax, Callcredit

United States

Experian, Equifax, TransUnion

Innovis, PRBC


PO Box 105873

Atlanta GA 30348



PO Box 2002

Allen TX 75013

Consumer Credit Questions

888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)


Post Office Box 2000

Chester PA 19022

(800) 888-4213

From drinking water supplies to communications systems, chemical production processes to agricultural resources, Americans depend on a select group of critical infrastructures to sustain our way of life.  Any attempts to harm or destroy these resources would directly impact the security of the United States and its citizens.

Most of these systems and services are owned and operated by private industry. Therefore, the protection of our nation’s infrastructure cannot be accomplished by the federal government alone. It requires coordinated action from numerous stakeholders – including government, the private sector, law enforcement and concerned citizens.

InfraGard is the critical link that forms a tightly-knit working relationship across all levels. Each InfraGard chapter is geographically linked with an FBI Field Office, providing all stakeholders immediate access to experts from law enforcement, industry, academic institutions and other federal, state and local government agencies. By utilizing the talents and expertise of the InfraGard network, information is shared to mitigate threats to our nation’s critical infrastructures and key resources.

Collaboration and communication are the keys to protection.  Providing timely and accurate information to those responsible for safeguarding our critical infrastructures, even at a local level, is paramount in the fight to protect the United States and its resources.

Who is InfraGard?

Subject Matter Experts

At its core, InfraGard’s strength and effectiveness is based upon the subject matter expertise of its trusted membership.

An InfraGard member is a private-sector volunteer with an inherent concern for national security. Driven to protect their own industry and further motivated to share their professional and personal knowledge to safeguard the country, InfraGard members connect to a national network of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) communicate with federal law enforcement and government agencies through their local InfraGard chapters, and contribute to the security and protection of our national infrastructure from threats and attacks.

What does InfraGard protect?

Critical Infrastructures and Key Resources

Critical infrastructures are physical and cyber-based systems that are essential to the minimum operations of the economy and the government (as defined in Presidential Decision Directive/NSC 63, May 1998) Key resources are individual targets whose destruction would not endanger security on a national scales, but would create local disaster or profoundly damage national morale (as defined in Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7, December 2003) Together, critical infrastructures and key resources are so vital that their incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on the defense, economic security, public health or national confidence of the United States.

InfraGard has SMEs around the country in each of the following 17 categories of critical infrastructures and key resources, as recognized by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan:

Critical Infrastructures:

  • Agriculture and Food
  • Banking and Finance
  • Chemical
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment Systems
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Information Technology
  • National Monuments and Icons
  • Postal and Shipping
  • Public Health and Healthcare
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation Systems

Key Resources:

  • Commercial Facilities
  • Commercial Nuclear Reactors, Materials and Waste
  • Dams
  • Government Facilities

The benefits of joining InfraGard include:

> Network with other companies that help maintain our national infrastructure.

> Quick Fact: 350 of our nation’s Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard.

> Gain access to an FBI secure communication network complete with VPN encrypted website, webmail, listservs, message boards and much more.

> Learn time-sensitive, infrastructure related security information from government sources such as DHS and the FBI.

> Get invitations and discounts to important training seminars and conferences.

> Best of all, there is no cost to join InfraGard

Our 45000+ membership is voluntary yet exclusive and is comprised of individuals from both the public and private sector. The main goal of the Washington, DC Nations Capital Chapter of InfraGard is to promote ongoing dialogue, education, community outreach and timely communication between public and private members. Furthermore, to achieve and sustain risk-based target levels of capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all hazards or events, and to minimize their impact on lives, property, and the economy.

InfraGard members gain access to vital information and education that enables them to in turn provide assistance to prevent and address terrorism and other transnational crimes. InfraGard members are provided threat advisories, alerts and warnings and access to a robust secure web-VPN site and e-mail. InfraGard also helps promote an effective liaison with local, state and federal agencies, to include the Department of Homeland Security.

The FBI retained InfraGard as an FBI sponsored program, and will work closely with DHS in support of the CIP mission. The FBI will further facilitate InfraGard’s continuing role in CIP activities and further develop InfraGard’s ability to support the FBI’s investigative mission, especially as it pertains to counterterrorism and cyber crimes. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection are currently executing an InfraGard Partnership Program Plan under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2007.

Current Washington Field Office (WFO) cleared InfraGard members are encouraged to register on the Cybercop ExtraNet Portal to validate your affiliation with this chapter. For more information on how to become a member of InfraGard, please visit InfraGard National for more details.



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