TBR News June 4, 2016

Jun 04 2016

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. June 4, 2016:” The following interesting historical documents recently surfaced and were offered for sale:
prq Inet Box 1206 SE 11479 Stockholm Sweden

Extensive file (1,205 pages) of reports on Operation PHOENIX. Final paper dated January, 1971, first document dated  October, 1967. Covers the setting up of Regional Interrogation Centers, staffing, torture techniques including electric shock, beatings, chemical injections. CIA agents involved and includes a listing of U.S. military units to include Military Police, CIC and Special Forces groups involved. After-action reports from various military units to include 9th Infantry, showing the deliberate killing of all unarmed civilians located in areas suspected of harboring or supplying Viet Cong units.

Medium file (223 pages)  concerning the fomenting of civil disobedience in Chile as the result of the Allende election in 1970. Included are pay vouchers for CIA bribery efforts with Chilean labor organization and student activist groups, U.S. military units involved in the final revolt, letter from  T. Karamessines, CIA Operations Director to Chile CIA Station Chief Paul Wimert, passing along a specific order from Nixon via Kissinger to kill Allende when the coup was successful. Communications to Pinochet with Nixon instructions to root out by force any remaining left wing leaders.

Medium file (187 pages) of reports of CIA assets containing photographs of Soviet missile sites, airfields and other strategic sites taken from commercial aircraft. Detailed descriptions of targets attached to each picture or pictures.

Large file (1560 pages) of CIA reports on Canadian radio intelligence intercepts from the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa (1958) and a list of suspected and identified Soviet agents or sympathizers in Canada, to include members of the Canadian Parliament and military.
Medium file (219 pages) of members of the German Bundeswehr in the employ of the CIA. The report covers the Innere Führung group plus members of the signals intelligence service. Another report, attached, covers CIA assets in German Foreign Office positions, in Germany and in diplomatic missions abroad.

Long file (1,287 pages) of events leading up to the killing of Josef Stalin in 1953 to include reports on contacts with L.P. Beria who planned to kill Stalin, believing himself to be the target for removal. Names of cut outs, CIA personnel in Finland and Denmark are noted as are original communications from Beria and agreements as to his standing down in the DDR and a list of MVD/KGB files on American informants from 1933 to present. A report on a blood-thinning agent to be made available to Beria to put into Stalin’s food plus twenty two reports from Soviet doctors on Stalin’s health, high blood pressure etc. A report on areas of cooperation between Beria’s people and CIA controllers in the event of a successful coup.

Short list (125 pages) of CIA contacts with members of the American media to include press and television and book publishers. Names of contacts with bios are included as are a list of payments made and specific leaked material supplied. Also appended is a shorter list of foreign publications. Under date of August, 1989 with updates to 1992. Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, Bradlee of the same paper, Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson and others are included.

A file of eighteen reports (total of 899 pages) documenting illegal activities on the part of members of the U.S. Congress. First report dated July 29, 1950 and final one September 15, 1992. Of especial note is a long file on Senator McCarthy dealing with homosexuality and alcoholism. Also an attached note concerning the Truman Administration’s use of McCarthy to remove targeted Communists. These reports contain copies of FBI surveillance reports, to include photographs and reference to tape recordings, dealing with sexual events with male and female prostitutes, drug use, bribery, and other matters.

A long multiple file (1,564 pages) dealing with the CIA part (Kermit Roosevelt) in overthrowing the populist Persian prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh. Report from Dulles (John Foster) concerning a replacement, by force if necessary and to include a full copy of AJAX operation. Letters from AIOC on million dollar bribe paid directly to J.Angleton, head of SOG. Support of Shah requires exclusive contracts with specified western oil companies. Reports dated from May 1951 through August, 1953.

Medium file (419 pages) of telephone intercepts made by order of J.J. Angleton of the telephone conversations between RFK and one G.N. Bolshakov. Phone calls between 1962-1963 inclusive. Also copies of intercepted and inspected mail from RFK containing classified U.S. documents and sent to a cut-out identified as one used by Bolshakov, a Russian press (TASS) employee. Report on Bolshakov’s GRU connections.

Large file (988 pages) on 1961 Korean revolt of Kwangju revolt led by General Park Chung-hee and General Kin-Jong-pil. Reports on contacts maintained by CIA station in Japan to include payments made to both men, plans for the coup, lists of “undesirables” to be liquidated. Additional material on CIA connections with KCIA personnel and an agreement with them  to assassinate South Korean chief of state, Park, in 1979.
Small file (12 pages) of homosexual activities between FBI Director Hoover and his aide, Tolson. Surveillance pictures taken in San Francisco hotel and report by CIA agents involved. Report analyzed in 1962.

Long file (1,699 pages) on General Edward Lansdale. First report a study signed by DCI Dulles in September of 1954 concerning a growing situation in former French Indo-China. There are reports by and about Lansdale starting with his attachment to the OPC in 1949-50 where he and Frank Wisner coordinated policy in neutralizing Communist influence in the Philippines.. Landsale was then sent to Saigon under diplomatic cover and many copies of his period reports are copied here. Very interesting background material including strong connections with the Catholic Church concerning Catholic Vietnamese and exchanges of intelligence information between the two entities.

Short file (78 pages) concerning a Dr. Frank Olson. Olson was at the U.S. Army chemical warfare base at Ft. Detrick in Maryland and was involved with a Dr. Gottleib. Gottleib was working on a plan to introduce psychotic-inducing drugs into the water supply of the Soviet Embassy. Apparently he tested the drugs on CIA personnel first. Reports of psychotic behavior by Olson and more police and official reports on his defenstration by Gottleib’s associates. A cover-up was instituted and a number of in-house CIA memoranda attest to this. Also a discussion by Gottleib on various poisons and drugs he was experimenting with and another report of people who had died as a result of Gottleib’s various experiments and CIA efforts to neutralize any public knowledge of these.

Medium file (457 pages) on CIA connections with the Columbian-based Medellín drug ring. Eight CIA internal reports, three DoS reports, one FBI report on CIA operative Milan Rodríguez and his connections with this drug ring. Receipts for CIA payments to Rodríguez of over $3 million in CIA funds, showing the routings of the money, cut-outs and payments. CIA reports on sabotaging DEA investigations. A three-part study of the Nicaraguan Contras, also a CIA-organized and paid for organization.

A small file (159 pages) containing lists of known Nazi intelligence and scientific people recruited in Germany from 1946 onwards, initially by the U.S. Army and later by the CIA. A detailed list of the original names and positions of the persons involved plus their relocation information. Has three U.S. Army and one FBI report on the subject.

A small list (54 pages) of American business entities with “significant” connections to the CIA. Each business is listed along with relevant information on its owners/operators, previous and on going contacts with the CIA’s Robert Crowley, also a list of national advertising agencies with similar information. Much information about suppressed news stories and planted stories.

A large file (875 pages) concerning Operation PBFORTUNE, the overthrow of Guatemalan president Arbenz at the urgent request of top officials of the United Fruit Company (Levy and Zentner-UFCO) A file under date of January 26,  1952 in which plans were made to kill 58 Guatemalan leaders by CIA-trained assassins. This had the full approval of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Payments to Lt. Carlos C. Armas. German WWII weapons bought by INTERARMCO from the Communist Polish authorities and shipped to Honduras for use in the coup. The disposal of Arbenz Guzman and later, the CIA assassination of Armas (who was following through on the expropriation of UFCO property.) Payments by UFCO to Dulles and the Eisenhower people via his Library listed (total $500,000)

A large file (543 pages) concerning the assassination of the British Lord Louis Mountbatten on August 27, 1979. His sailing yacht, the Shadow IV, was blown up with a 50 pound nitroglycerine bomb detonated from a position on the nearby cliffs. The attack was the responsibility of the Provisional wing of the IRA. One of the perpetrators was captured but the others escaped and were never found. The documents include lengthy British official police and forensic reports, a four page report showing that the IRA attack was instigated by a Paul Nolan, the pseudonym of a Canadian-Irish CIA officer, then serving in Dublin, as revenge for Mountbatten’s failed Dieppe commando raid that resulted in 6,000 Canadian casualties. Also are files on Mountbatten’s family background and a lengthy paper on the CIA support of the IRA conditional upon their leaving American business targets in Northern Ireland alone. Specifically mentioned is a large oil refinery in Belfast.

A medium file (220 pages) about the CIA recruitment and use of SS officer Otto Skorzeny in Ireland as liasion with the provo wing of the IRA. The purpose was the supplying of weaponry, untraceable to the United States, of weapons and explosives for the use of the IRA on the condition that American business interests in Northern Ireland, and elsewhere in Ireland, were not targeted by the IRA.

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.

Thursday, 1 June 1950
McCarthy has really gotten his teeth into this communist business and is now fencing with the State Department. That agency claims that McCarthy has not uncovered a “single communist” in their department and has gotten the U.S. Attorney General to attack McCarthy. However, in the Commerce Department, two senior people, Lee and Remington, have been asked to resign for the reason that they have been involved with communists in the past.

There is the question of loyalty oaths. A genuine communist agent would pose as a black stocking Republican and cheerfully sign ten such oaths. An intellectual communist would not. One gets by the public screening and the other does not. Of course it is obvious that Hollywood is full of left wing activists but no one wants to make a distinction between some softheaded left wing idiot and a cold, calculating spy.
Well, they will certainly pay for their flirtations with the Mad Maiden of Moscow, won’t they?

Friday, 9 June 1950
An interesting story today in the papers that I knew about a week ago.
Incriminating stolen papers found when the left-wing offices of “Amerasia” were raided in 1945 and seized, illegally, by the OSS! It turns out that some of these very sensitive documents clearly connected the father of the CIA with procommunist and certainly treasonable activities. Secretary Forrestal himself tried to block the business but Truman overruled him. Such a rushing around and cover-ups!

I can say that a number of my colleagues at the CIA are very frightened the way this “witch hunt” is going and would like to shut McCarthy up for good. I strongly doubt if they would have the nerve to kill him and they probably won’t. They are frightened that their own flirtations with the left, either while in college or when working for the very pro-Stalin OSS will emerge and ruin their chances in the great shield (and organizer) of current U.S. foreign policy.

My knee is bothering me again so I am going to take off a week and give it a rest. I like to walk to work and then take a long stroll around about lunchtime and admire the pretty secretaries out on their lunch hour. I haven’t the time, what with the various CIA wives I have been sleeping with and with Bunny who is seriously thinking of moving into my house (flattering, but to be discouraged for the time being). Too much secret work being done there.

Saturday, 24 June 1950 through Thursday, 29 June 1950
Momentous occasions! I’m putting this down based on brief notes taken over the last five days.

Harry decided to go back to his farm on Saturday and everything was very quiet in Washington. I was looking at some paintings and seeing to shipping some more degenerate art to New York for a Christie sale. Late in the afternoon, while I was sitting out on the terrace with a glass of iced tea, discussing the garden with Bunny, Heini came running through the door.

“There’s war, boss, war!”

I nearly fell out my chair. What was all this about? Someone had called from the agency to tell me, urgently, that the communist (North, ed.) Korean Army had launched a full-scale military attack on their southern neighbors! I was to go to the office at once and a car was sent for me. This was in my capacity as an expert on the Soviets, not as an Asian expert.

A disturbed anthill. Those in the agency who had tried to ignore Asia and whose reports will now certainly return both to haunt them and ruin their careers, are drinking openly in their offices and yelling like children caught in a burning barn. The President has just been informed and will be coming back.

Acheson is to blame for this by declaring in public a number of times that we were no longer interested in that area! I warned Harry about this and I will have to see how much good my warning did.

The real question here is: Will China join in? Will Russia?

I think possibly on the former but negative on the latter. Stalin cannot afford a new war and that devious old Turk will find a way to let the Chinese (whom he is not too fond of, take all the risks and all the blame if they fail) pull his chestnuts out of the fire for him. Oh clever Josef! I can see his hand (at least his good one) in all of this.

We have no troops there and MacArthur is very slow to react. He was even slower to react in December of 1941 when he had eight hours advance notice of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and sat on his Imperial Ass and did nothing at all. His air force, which had long-range bombers and could have done terrible damage to the Japanese fleet and transports, merely sat on the airfields on his specific orders and did nothing at all although his own generals begged him to let the planes attack! And what happened? His aircraft were destroyed on the ground and there was no counter attack. The Japanese were able to land and crush him and wipe out his army.

This time, he’s done nothing either. There was a strange relationship between M. and Roosevelt and we know the general loved money. He got a half a million dollars in cash about this time from the Philippine government. No one knows why. And Roosevelt had M. evacuated from Manila and left everyone else behind. We all know Roosevelt feared MacArthur and the general once said of Roosevelt that he would never tell the truth if a lie would suffice.

So now we have a reprise of 1941.

I ask: If the CIA is so clever and has such a nice budget to cover their spies worldwide, how did they, or MacArthur’s Tokyo intelligence group, manage to overlook large north Korean (and possibly Chinese) troop movements? You cannot conduct such things in the dark, after all.

Everyone at the CIA is blaming everyone else. The few of us who foresaw the possibility of some kind of Stalinist action are now feeling very superior to the others who studiously avoid us like a plague.

The President returns, very upset and nervous. Is there to be a major war over there or only a limited aggression? In any case, Stalin has picked the wrong man to play games with. Now, he’s trying to even the score with Truman over T’s victory with the Berlin airlift that cost Josef so much face in the eyes of the world.

It won’t work this time either, Josef. Truman is terrible in his determination and anger and he will fight a great deal faster than Josef will. Josef likes to bluff and Truman does not.

This might be the beginning of the end for the glorious Georgian murderer. We shall certainly see.

The U.S. stock market had a bowel movement on the 27th and four million shares were dumped. It was the worst drop since the beginning of the last war in 1939. It came back again the next day.

I have not yet decided whether or not I want to get into stocks and bonds. I know nothing about that field and wouldn’t think of it until I learned more. I did give an order to buy some stocks in what will be the war industry because this business looks as if it will go on for some time and now, rearmament is an absolute certainty!

War is certainly good for business, isn’t it?

In 1950, all Christie auctions were held in England but the firm had an office in New York that handled American consignments.

Turkey declares curfew in southeast in fight against Kurdish militants
June 4, 2016

Turkey declared a round-the-clock curfew in rural areas near the city of Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey on Saturday, ahead of a planned military operation targeting Kurdish militants, the provincial governor’s office said.

The move came a day after Turkish security forces called an end to operations targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters in the town of Nusaybin near the Syrian border and in Sirnak near the border with Iraq.

More than 1,000 people, mostly PKK fighters, have been killed in three months of clashes in those areas, security sources say. The fighting resumed in the largely Kurdish southeast last July after the collapse of a two-year-old ceasefire.

The latest curfew was declared at 10:30 am (0730 GMT) in 10 areas of Lice, in Diyarbakir province, where PKK militants including senior operatives were believed to be active, the statement said.

The PKK, designated a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies, launched its insurgency in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, now at its most intense level in two decades.
(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

WHO to assess Zika impact on Olympics in Brazil
An emergency committee “will meet shortly” to examine the impact of the virus on the summer games, the WHO chief has said. Over 1.5 million people have been infected in Brazil, the country most impacted by the outbreak
June 4, 2016

World Heath Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan said the UN’s public health body would convene a special committee to review the threat of Zika in Brazil and its impact on the Olympics scheduled for August.

“Given the current level of international concern, I have decided to ask members of the Zika Emergency Committee to examine the risks of holding the Olympic Summer Games as currently scheduled,” the WHO chief said in a letter to US Senator Jeanne Shaheen published on the lawmaker’s website on Friday.

“The experts, well-versed in travel medicine, the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, seasonal patters of mosquito-borne infections and risks communications, will meet shortly,” Chan added.

Earlier this month, 150 health experts from across the globe issued an open letter urging the WHO to delay or cancel the games in Brazil.

However, WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander on Friday told Reuters news agency that “it is not within our mandate” to make decisions on holding the Olympic Games, amid concerns the mosquito-borne virus could threaten athletes and spectators alike.
Last week, the UN body said postponing or canceling the games would not “alter the international spread of (the) Zika virus” since it has been recorded in at least 60 countries.

Zika: The risk of microcephaly

US officials in April announced the likely link between Zika and a rise in newborns with microcephaly, a rare condition resulting in a smaller head than normal.

The WHO also said it investigated the connection between the increase in recorded microcephaly cases and areas impacted by the virus.

In Brazil alone, over 1.5 million people have been infected with Zika, with over 1,000 cases of microcephaly registered since the outbreak last year.

UN officials in May also warned that “there is a risk of spread of Zika virus disease in the European region.”

Run silent, run scared? US Navy alarmed by ‘effective, advanced’ Russian subs
June 4, 2016

New, silent, and deadly Russian submarines are challenging NATO’s maritime dominance, says a senior US admiral who calls the current situation a “Battle of the Atlantic,” comparing it to the Cold War and the two World Wars.

“Once again, an effective, skilled, and technologically advanced Russian submarine force is challenging us,” Vice Admiral James Foggo III, commander of the US 6th Fleet, wrote in the June issue of the US Naval Institute’s magazine, Proceedings. “Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict.”

In the article, which was co-authored with naval analyst Alarik Fritz, Foggo argued that a “Fourth Battle of the Atlantic” is underway, comparing the present-day situation to Cold War tensions between NATO and the Soviet Union, as well as the Anglo-American battles with German submarines during the two World Wars.

Russia is “rapidly closing the technological gap” and the “clear advantage that we enjoyed in antisubmarine warfare during the Cold War is waning,” wrote Foggo and Fritz, pointing to the Severodvinsk, a Russian Yasen-class attack submarine commissioned in December 2013, which so impressed the US admiral in charge of submarine construction that he commissioned a model for his office in 2014.

Russia is rapidly building and deploying “more advanced and significantly quieter attack submarines and frigates armed with the long-range Kalibr cruise missile,” noted Foggo and Fritz. “Russia has the capability to hold nearly all NATO maritime forces at risk. No longer is the maritime space uncontested. For the first time in almost 30 years, Russia is a significant and aggressive maritime power.”

As proof of Russia’s “aggressive” intentions, Foggo and Fritz quote remarks made in March of 2015 by Russian naval commander Admiral Viktor Chirkov, who said that Russia had increased its submarine patrols by almost 50 percent since 2013, explaining the ramp up was “logical and necessary to guarantee the security of the state.”
The authors also pointed to Russia’s new national security strategy, which describes NATO and the US as threats.

Russia has “blunted our power-projection capabilities through A2/AD and extended its influence far beyond its borders,” they write, using the acronym for “anti-access/area-denial.”

Meanwhile, Foggo and Fritz themselves point out that the US Navy’s strategy for the 21s century “notes the critical importance of all-domain access,” while the Chief of Naval Operations published the “Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority” in January.
Foggo’s superior officer, Admiral Mark Ferguson, who is the commander of US Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, issued a similar warning about Russian submarines in April.

“The submarines that we’re seeing are much more stealthy,” Ferguson told CNN. “We’re seeing [the Russians] have more advanced weapons systems, missile systems that can attack land at long ranges, and we also see their operating proficiency is getting better as they range farther from home waters.”

While Russian deployments of attack and ballistic missile submarines are at levels unseen since the Cold War, the US Navy has only 53 submarines in service, and that number will drop to 41 by the late 2020s due to budget constraints, Ferguson said.
For all their advanced capabilities, Russia currently has only one operational Yasen-class attack sub, and three Borey-class nuclear missile submarines, compared to the US Navy’s 12 Virginia-class attack boats and three Seawolf-class subs.

Money worries may be behind the US Navy’s sudden obsession with Russian naval power. At $3 billion apiece, the Seawolf was the most expensive US submarine ever built before the program was canceled in 2005. The proposed Pentagon budget for 2017 allocates $18.3 billion for shipbuilding.

“Today, we are once again in a technological arms race with Russia. We must maintain an innovative edge and rapidly field new technologies if we are to prevail,” Foggo and Fritz argue in Proceedings. “We should increase our [anti-submarine warfare] exercises with our NATO allies, in both the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and elsewhere, to demonstrate that NATO can track Russian submarines at will, no matter where they are.”

NATO’s obsession with the “Russian threat” serves to justify the alliance’s continued existence long after the Cold War has ended, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Aleksandr Grushko, told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Monday. Another objective is to compel European countries to spend more money on American weapons, he added.
The construction of the first Yasen-class sub began in 1993, but it took until 2011 for Severodvinsk to be launched in 2011. Her sisters, the Kazan and the Novosibirsk, are currently being built at the Sevmash shipyards in Severodvinsk. Sevmash has also built three Borei-class nuclear missile submarines and is working on four more.

Turkey’s reaction to Germany genocide vote tempered by politics, trade
June 4, 2016
by Ercan Gurses and Noah Barkin

ANKARA/BERLIN-Turkish outrage over Germany’s decision to label the 1915 massacre of Armenians as an act of genocide was swift, but like the symbolic Bundestag vote itself, Ankara’s reaction is likely to be more for show than anything else.

German lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly endorsed the resolution, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador and summon a senior German diplomat to the foreign ministry. Newspapers across the political spectrum were united in their anger, with both the pro-government Star and the opposition Sozcu depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel as Adolf Hitler.

The Armenian massacre is a touchy subject for Ankara, which is sensitive to outside criticism. Turkey rejects the view that the killings of Christian Armenians during World War One amounted to a genocide.

Ruling party officials said Ankara’s response would be kept in check by economic reality. Germany is Turkey’s top export market, accounting for $13.4 billion in exports last year.
It is also home to more than 3 million Turks. Those ties – as well as talks with the EU to end the migrant crisis and give Turks visa-free travel to Europe – are unlikely to be permanently damaged.

“Our reaction to Germany will be limited to a political reaction,” a senior AK Party official told Reuters. “We do not think it will reach the level of economic sanctions… We don’t want to say ‘We will punish Germany’ and then go and punish our citizens who live there.”

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim took a similar stance.

“Nobody should expect German-Turkish relations to be completely spoiled, but no one should expect us to be unresponsive,” he told reporters before departing for an official visit to Azerbaijan.

The nature and scale of the killings remain highly contentious. Turkey accepts that many Armenians died in partisan fighting beginning in 1915, but denies that up to 1.5 million were killed and that this constituted an act of genocide, a term used by many Western historians and foreign parliaments.

President Tayyip Erdogan has previously described the killings as “inhumane” and has expressed condolences.


“Turkey and Germany have close relations in everything, including the economy and politics,” said commentator Cengiz Aktar. “The most sensitive issue is the visa and migrants deal, but I don’t see this resolution having an impact on it.”

Never one to shirk from voicing outrage, Erdogan said on Thursday the vote would “seriously impact” relations. Yet, tellingly, he has not yet given any details.

This time, Turkey’s language is markedly more reserved than in 2012, when it threatened a “total rupture” with France over a law outlawing denial of the genocide. France’s highest legal authority ruled that was an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech, prompting a thaw in relations.

Even the withdrawal of Turkey’s ambassador was tempered by the fact he was due to leave Germany this summer.

“We are looking past what Erdogan says and focusing on what he actually does. He may not be especially determined to join the EU but he clearly wants to use the EU-Turkey deal to get certain things like visa liberalization. We believe he has a strong interest in this deal,” said one senior German official.

Merkel is relying on the success of an EU-Turkey deal she has championed to stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for cash, visa-free travel for Turks to Europe and accelerated talks on EU membership.

At home, critics accuse her of going soft on Ankara over human rights because her desire to stop the flow of migrants. In April, she drew fire for allowing German prosecutors to look into charges against a comedian who mocked Erdogan in a crude poem.

Merkel herself did not take part in the vote, citing public engagements. Turkish officials said they recognized that domestic German politics a played a role in the resolution.
Initiated by the opposition Greens, the motion was almost unanimously endorsed – although the chamber itself was not full and the top three people in government, Merkel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier were all absent.

“This resolution was taken in response to Germany’s domestic political dynamics. They did not embrace it that closely. The turnout was low,” the senior AKP official said.

“We take that into account when giving our reaction.”

(Addditional reporting by Daren Butler and Melih Aslan in Istanbul; Orhan Coskun and Nevzat Devranoglu in AnkaraWriting by David Dolan, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Researchers have discovered a mysterious malware that can dupe operators at an industrial plant
June 2, 2016
by Ellen Nakashima
The Washington Post

A group of researchers discovered a rare instance of malicious computer software cleverly designed to mask the disruption of an industrial machine that’s being used, for instance, at an energy or chemical plant.

The team from FireEye, a cybersecurity firm, stumbled across the malware last year while researching viruses that attack industrial control systems. They dubbed it Irongate.
The researchers say it’s only the fourth such class of malware ever found. The most well-known example of this kind of malware is Stuxnet, which damaged nearly 1,000 centrifuges at an Iranian nuclear facility and was discovered in 2010. Stuxnet was jointly created by the United States and Israel, though neither country has officially acknowledged its involvement.

The FireEye team does not know who created Irongate or why, and the researchers say the malware is designed to work only on software that simulates a real machine.
But, the team said, its characteristics are still noteworthy.

For instance, researchers said the malware records five seconds of normal control activity and then plays it back over and over to deceive a control room operator into thinking everything is fine.

At the same time, as the operator sees only normal activity on his screen, the malware is able to substitute computer files that alter the temperature and pressure on a specific type of Siemens control system.

“You’re talking about physical equipment that needs to be monitored to be stable,” said Stephen Ward, FireEye communications director. “So if you can make them think everything’s fine here, don’t worry, they have no ability to respond. That’s alarming.”

The firm could find no clues to authorship.

“It could be research activity or it could be some sort of testing of concepts for a future attack,” said Dan Scali, a team member.

Whatever it is, he said, “it highlights challenges we have in the industry in detecting these types of threats.”

Team member Rob Caldwell said there have been no signs that the malware has been used in the real world.

The researchers found the malware on VirusTotal, a free online service and Google subsidiary that analyzes suspicious computer files and facilitates the detection of worms and other malware.

They marveled that it had sat on the database, unanalyzed, for two years before they spotted it.

Irongate also has an ability to detect and evade “sandboxes,” or software programs that try to protect systems by test-running suspicious computer code before it is allowed to enter a network to see what the code does. When Irongate detects a sandbox, it shuts itself down

They found a couple of similarities to Stuxnet.

Both Stuxnet and Irongate were designed to work on a single, highly specific process. With Stuxnet, it was control systems running uranium-enrichment centrifuges at Natanz. With Irongate, it is a specific simulated industrial process relying on Siemens software.

Both pieces of malware replace data files to manipulate a machine’s operation. Stuxnet accelerated the spinning of the centrifuges. Irongate appears to alter temperature and pressure.

But unlike Stuxnet, which was much more powerful, Irongate works only in a simulated environment. And Stuxnet was launched by two countries seeking to alter the behavior of a third — Iran. With Irongate, the creator’s motive is unknown.

“Our hope,” Scali said, “is we will get more information from the community” of researchers.

This iPhone car key is a hack waiting to happen
Apple’s latest patent allows you to let others unlock and start your car from a smartphone. Is that secure?
June 3, 2016
by Brian Lufkin
BBC News

Apple still hasn’t confirmed whether or not it’s working on a secret smart car. But a new patent granted to the US-based tech behemoth on 24 May suggests otherwise — and brings up questions about how susceptible to hackers the cars of the near future could be.

The patent is titled “Accessing Vehicles Using Portable Devices.” It seems to be a digital key that lives on your iPhone and unlocks or starts your car wirelessly via Bluetooth. The twist? You could also temporarily assign these powers to a secondary mobile device. For example, you could share access if you wanted to allow a family member to use the car for an afternoon.

But is all this safe?

Any data that lives on the cloud faces a security risk. But we’re not just talking about family vacation photos here. A smartphone car key like Apple’s could help carjacking hackers swipe your vehicle — or worse. As connected cars become more connected, hackers could open your garage from afar. They could even deactivate the open your front door, turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat and brew a pot of coffee.

To its credit, Apple has a history of ostensibly keeping the safety of customers’ data in mind: Earlier this year, the company denied the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s request to provide a “skeleton key” that would bypass an iPhone’s security mechanisms and unlock private data. The FBI wanted such a key in order to investigate an iPhone 5C used by the gunman who, with his wife, killed 14 people and wounded more than 20 last December in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple publicly refused to cooperate, on the grounds that such a “skeleton key” falling into the wrong hands would prove disastrous. (The FBI later managed to unlock the phone on its own.)

All this comes amidst a new era of car ownership. While this recent patent backs up possible plans of a rumoured iCar, Apple’s not the only company looking to connect cars to the cloud. Volvo began testing smartphone-based car keys of its own in February, and Toyota and Ford are working with Microsoft and Amazon respectively to increase interconnectivity between your auto and your home.

But whatever comes of Apple’s new patent (or its car), one thing is for sure: Cars will continue to become more technologically tied to every aspect of our lives. Tech companies need to stay viligant with each new development

The extraordinary survival of the boy left in a Japanese forest
Yamato’s discovery in an army hut deep inside thick woodland came about thanks to several pieces of good fortune
June 3, 2016
by Justin McCurry
The Guardian

Tokyo-He did not flinch when he came face to face with the first person he had seen in almost a week. There were no tears, either, just a composed answer to the soldier’s question: “Are you Yamato?”

“Yes, I am,” came the reply.

More than six days after his parents abandoned him on the side of the road in a forest as punishment for misbehaving, seven-year-old Yamato Tanooka was found alive and unhurt on Friday morning, marking the end of a search that has gripped Japan and prompted a debate over when parental discipline turns into abuse.

If his sudden disappearance was every parent’s nightmare, Yamato’s discovery, in an army hut deep inside thick woodland populated by hundreds of brown bears, came about thanks to several pieces of good fortune.

While the boy, who suffered only scratches to his arms and legs, was being kept in hospital overnight as a precaution, details emerged of his extraordinary survival.

Without food or water, possibly believing his parents had left him for good, he made his way through three miles (5km) of mountainous forest after leaving the narrow road where, minutes earlier, he had been left as punishment for throwing stones at cars and people during a family trip to a nearby park.

Hours later, he came across a gate marking the entrance to a self-defence force training ground in the town of Shikabe in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island.

In the pitch darkness that descends on the forest at night, he may not have been able to see the sign on the right warning members of the public to keep out. Either by climbing over the fence or making his way through the bushes either side, he set out along a path that, a few hundred metres on, took him to the corrugated-iron hut that became his makeshift home – and probably saved his life.

The hut’s two doors are supposed to be locked when it is not being used as sleeping quarters by soldiers out on exercise. Yamato, though, would have turned the handle on one of them to find it had been left open. Outside was a single tap, his sole source of sustenance during his ordeal, when overnight temperatures dropped to as low as 7C (45F).

Seeking shelter from the rain, three soldiers from the 28th Infantry Regiment at nearby camp Hakodate opened the door early on Friday morning to find Yamato, dressed in sweatpants, a T-shirt and trainers, curled up on a mattress. At night, he had sandwiched himself between two mattresses to keep warm.

Many were beginning to fear the worst when the search, involving 180 people accompanied by dogs, had still failed to turn up any clues after a couple of days. The discovery earlier this week of fresh bear droppings only added to the growing sense that the story of the “naughty” missing boy would end in tragedy.

After confirming his name, Yamato explained that he had stayed in the hut for several nights, and had not eaten for almost a week. The soldiers gave him two rice balls and called for a helicopter to take him to hospital.

It is not clear how many nights he spent in the hut. Early reports said a search of the training ground on Monday had not produced any clues as to his whereabouts. Later, though, the Asahi Shimbun said the area had not been checked because the entrance gate was usually secured.

Troops involved in the search broke into applause when they learned that Yamato had been found, while 900 of his fellow pupils at Hamawake elementary school in his hometown of Hokuto erupted in joy when they were given the news at an assembly.

As Yamato was being treated for mild dehydration, his father appeared at the entrance of Hakodate municipal hospital and attempted to explain his actions. “The first thing I did was apologise to him for the terrible suffering I had put him through,” Takayuki Tanooka said as he fought back tears. “I said that I was really sorry. He nodded and said: ‘OK,’ like he understood.”

Tanooka, 44, conceded he had gone too far when he ordered his son out of the car in the forest, before driving on for another 500 metres. By the time he had walked back to collect him, he was nowhere to be seen.

“We’ve raised him in a loving family, but from now on we’ll try to do a better job and give him even more attention as he grows up,” he said. “Our behaviour as parents was excessive, and that’s something I’m extremely regretful about. I thought that what I was doing was for his own good, but, yes, I realise now that I went too far.”

Yamato’s discovery did little to quell online criticism of his parents, whose idea of tough love has sparked a debate about the limits of parental discipline, with some describing their behaviour as abuse. That they had initially tried to avoid criticism by claiming their son had gone missing while the family were out foraging for wild plants only added to the sense of anger and disbelief.

“I wonder if his heart was broken as he was discarded in the mountains,” read a tweet by Shirokuma.

“Should he even be given back to his parents?” asked Fujimo.

Kyodo News said earlier this week that police were considering filing neglect charges against the parents, but it was not clear on Friday if they planned to take action.

“Beating and kicking are not the only forms of child abuse,” said Tamae Arai, the head of a family support service in Tokyo. “There is also neglect. Of course, we are all thrilled that he was found safe, but it is important to recognise that there could be a serious problem here.”

Naoki Ogi, a TV personality and education expert, was one of many who accused Tanooka and his wife of neglecting and abusing their son. Too many parents in Japan, Ogi said, regarded their children as little more than personal possessions.

Mitsuko Tateishi, an educator who has written a book promoting a more relaxed attitude towards parenthood, agreed. She said: “The punishment these parents chose is unthinkable. They have no idea how to raise a child. They did not try to explain what was right and wrong. A child is not a dog or a cat. You have to treat the child like an individual human being.”

Others voiced sympathy for the parents, describing their actions as a terrible lapse of judgment. Yumi Toyozaki, a literary critic, noted that she had been difficult to control as a child, and called for more understanding of the feelings of the parents, who must have considered the grim possibility that their son would not be found alive. “I really feel for the father, who left his child in the woods for a while to discipline him,” Toyozaki tweeted earlier this week. “I hope people stop condemning him.”

While most social media users heaped opprobrium on Yamato’s parents, others praised the resilience and resourcefulness of a boy whose grin has been a familiar sight on TV news programmes for the past week.

“He was incredibly calm considering he had been missing for seven days,” the doctor who assessed him after his ordeal said. “He showed no signs of panic.”

Ken Noguchi, a renowned mountaineer who has climbed Mount Everest, tweeted: “If he survived by himself, it’s a miracle.”

Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Overcompensation
She gets more hawkish the closer she gets to the White House
June 3, 2016
by Justin Raimondo

Likely Democratic party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is a woman – and that seems to be a very large part of her platform. She talks incessantly about her gender and how it infuses her politics, and her supporters, taking their cues from her, are quick to label any and all criticism of Mrs. Clinton as “sexist” – a label that, these days, can mean anything from believing traditional sex roles have some basis in human biology and the survival of the species to heterosexual men whistling and making lewd comments at attractive women as they walk down the street.

Now she has taken this strategy to its logical conclusion, accusing even her own would-be supporters in the Democratic party base of  being insufficiently enthusiastic about her candidacy because … they’re “sexists.” She recently told a writer for New York magazine that some people who attend her rallies tell her:

“’I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.’ I mean, they come to my events and then they say that to me. Unpacking this, understanding it, is for writers like you. I’m just trying to cope with it. Deal with it. Live through it.”

To begin with, I don’t believe a word of this, and neither do you. Can you imagine anyone saying that directly to her face at one of her carefully-staged rallies? I certainly can’t.
Putting that aside, however, no doubt there are some oldsters in the Democratic base who hold this archaic view: yet polls showing her support is strongest among the older crowd don’t bear this out. The core of Bernie Sanders’ base comes from the so-called millennials, whose commitment to feminism we can take for granted. Is Mrs. Clinton saying they are imbued with the poison of “sexism”?

On the other hand, it seems to me that there is something to what Hillary says, even if the specific incidents she refers to are entirely a product of her imagination. Although if I had the opportunity to engage with her, I might put it a little differently, as follows:
“While I can’t say that I actually like you, I do have to admire your grit: look how far you’ve come! However, I can’t vote for a woman whose foreign policy platform is an attempt to prove how macho she is.”

This need to overcome the unreasonable idea that women are naturally pacifistic has haunted female sovereigns since the days of Elizabeth I of England: Lizzie subdued these prejudices by defeating the Spanish armada, aiding the French Huguenots, and invading the Netherlands. Golda Meir had to overcome the objections of the Israeli religious parties, who defeated her in her bid to become Mayor of Tel Aviv on the grounds that a woman wasn’t up to the job: upon her ascension as Prime Minister, she put all doubts to rest by mobilizing the military in the run up to the Yom Kippur War and decisively defeating the Arabs. Maggie Thatcher, who no doubt had to overcome traditionalist attitudes, earned her nickname as the “Iron Lady” by crushing the Argentines in the Falklands, taking on the Irish Republican Army, and telling George H.W. Bush not to “go wobbly” on Iraq.

As far as we’ve come in debunking irrational ideas about gender roles, still they persist, and Hillary Clinton’s journey from Vietnam era antiwar activist to putative leader of the Free World has surely encountered the same obstacles that stood in the way of her predecessors. Given her history as a young opponent of the Vietnam war who campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in New Hampshire, and her subsequent reputation as being to the left of her husband, she may have good reason to think she has something to prove – and this is, I believe, the key to understanding the evolution of her foreign policy views.

While at Yale Law School, young Hillary chaired a meeting that called for a nationwide student strike against the Vietnam war. She became an acolyte of Saul Alinsky, the radical leftist strategist who advocated “social revolution,” as she put it in her senior thesis on his views.

To come out of that background and aspire to the presidency, Hillary had to “evolve” – and nowhere is this transformation more apparent than in the realm of foreign policy. Like many on the ostensible “left,” she was quite willing to make a deal with the interventionist Devil if it meant having a free rein in domestic affairs. Leaving her Vietnam era views far behind, she hectored Bill Clinton into bombing Serbia and launching the US intervention in the Balkans. She backed in full Bill’s sponsorship of the “Iraq Liberation Act,” which set the wheels of the US invasion of that unfortunate country in motion. From there it was a simple matter to vote for the Iraq war while in the Senate – and to defend her position against Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

As Secretary of State, she represented the interventionist wing of the administration, leading the charge to overthrow Moammar Qaddafi, coming up with a scheme to arm Syrian rebels, and – in spite of the “reset” with Russia – more recently comparing Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

In short, the closer Mrs. Clinton gets to the Oval Office, the more hawkish are her public pronouncements.

There may be an ideological reason for this: I have no doubt her metamorphosis from Sixties flower child to a modern Boadicea represents a true change of heart. And yet, to borrow an old cliché from the Sixties, “the personal is political”: in making her way in the “man’s world” of politics, one can easily see how the necessity of proving herself as strong and decisive shaped her ideological transformation.

Of course, one could say that this is an argument against any woman becoming President; after all, wouldn’t she, too, have to overcompensate? The answer is no: it is Mrs. Clinton’s overweening ambition and her well-known opportunism that have nullified her previous views and earned her the endorsement of a growing number of neoconservatives.

While it is certainly easier to assuage the doubts of those who quail at the prospect of a woman President by going into an Iron Lady act, there are other paths to power. And surely a more enlightened – and realistic – view of women has taken hold in our culture, to the point where such reassurances are arguably unnecessary. Yet Mrs. Clinton, hardened by years of an uphill climb to attain her present prominence, shows no signs of recognizing that times have changed: after all, she’s still playing the “woman card” for all it’s worth.

And therein lies the great danger: do we want someone who thinks she has to prove herself capable of going to war with the determination and, yes, bloodthirstiness of a man occupying the Oval Office? Donald Trump has accused her of being “trigger happy,” and there’s a whole lot of truth in that. Surely the need to prove her macho credentials would lead her – has led her – to overcompensate.

Which is one reason why I find the prospect of Hillary Clinton in the White House terrifying.
June 04, 2016
by Uri Avnery

I recently mentioned the German word Gleichschaltung – one of the most typical words in the Nazi vocabulary.

“Gleich” means “the same”, and “Schaltung” means “wiring”. The long German word means that everything in the state is wired up the same way – the Nazi way.
This was an essential part of the Nazi transformation of Germany. But it did not happen in any dramatic way. The replacement of people was slow, almost imperceptible. In the end, all important positions in the country were manned by Nazi functionaries.
We are now witnessing something like this in Israel. We are already well into the middle of the process.

Position after position is taken over by the far-far right, which is ruling Israel now.

Slowly. Very, very slowly.

It started right after last year’s election. Binyamin Netanyahu was able to form a coalition of the far right, though only with a slim majority. As has so often happened in the annals of fascism, he needed one “center” party for that. He found it in the form of Moshe Kahlon’s faction. Kahlon, an ex-Likud man, was popular because he promised cheaper housing. Instead, housing prices have continued to rise.

(Kahlon is the Smiling Man. He is very likable. One columnist compared him to the Cheshire cat, the cat that disappeared and left only a smile behind. “Not a cat with a smile,” as Alice said, “but a smile with a cat”. But he is the cat that keeps the far right in power, even now.)

The new government included an assortment of incredible appointments. The most outrageous new minister is Miri Regev, a primitive woman known for her proud vulgarity, who is now Minister of Culture. Well, I suppose even vulgarity has a right to be represented.

Ms Regev is now in charge of the allocation of government funds to theaters, literature, ballet, opera and such. She has already made it clear that they had better toe the government line, if they want to be funded.

Her nearest competitor is the new Minister of Justice, Ayelet Shaked (literally: the Almond Gazelle.) Her proclaimed aim is the subjection of the Supreme Court, the pride of Israel. Though quite timid by now, the court sometimes objects to oppressive new laws. So Ms Almond wants to stuff it with new “conservative” judges.

The most dangerous of the bunch is the Minister of Education – Naftali Bennett, one of the most extreme nationalist-religious politicians. Israel has three religious education systems. The sole “secular” system has already been steadily reduced throughout the years by earlier ministers. Putting Bennett, defined by many as a religious fascist, in charge of education means putting the fox in charge of the poultry house.All these ministers, as well as the others of the same ilk, are now busy replacing the senior officials with persons of their convictions, a steady and extremely dangerous process.

Then there are the keepers of the gate.

One of the most important persons in Israel bears the title “Legal Counselor to the Government”. He is the highest legal official, superior to the Attorney General and independent of the Minister of Justice. His advice is legally binding, subject only to the Supreme Court.

Netanyahu has several personal legal problems. He and his family have traveled around the world on other people’s money while in office. This and other affairs have been held up in the legal pipeline for many years, by the decision of the “Advisor”.
The last legal advisor, an inoffensive former judge appointed to this office by Netanyahu, has just been replaced by Netanyahu with – surprise, surprise – the government secretary, Avichai Mandelblit, a kippa-wearing lawyer who is as close to Netanyahu as can be.

To make quite sure, the State Comptroller, another very powerful official in Israel, was chosen by the Knesset majority according to the wishes of Netanyahu. Yosef Shapiro is also a former judge.

Why these two positions are crucial to Netanyahu is being illustrated now. The entire country is fascinated by several court cases in which employees at the Prime Minister’s official residence testified that Sarah Netanyahu is an unbearable, shouting, hysterical shrew, who also pays her private expenses from the official purse.

To complete this circle, there is the new commander of the police. For years the police high command has been sinking into a morass of sexual scandals, in addition to bribery. One officer has committed suicide, several others have been kicked out.

What better solution than to bring in an outsider, a high Shin Bet (secret service) officer? Brilliant idea, but now it transpires that the police has sunken even further into the morass. In several cases policemen have brutally and publicly beaten civilians, both Arabs and Jews, for no obvious reason, and received the full backing of Roni Alsheikh, their new supreme commander.

The Israeli media are decried by the right-wing as “leftist”, a bulwark of the “old elite”, which the rightists have sworn to replace.

Alas, this description is quite wrong. Of the two major newspapers, one, Israel Hayom (“Israel Today”) belongs to Netanyahu. Or, to put it precisely, to Sheldon Adelson, an American casino mogul, who is the abject voluntary slave and generous patron of “Bibi”.

The paper, whose sole object is to serve Netanyahu personally, is distributed in huge quantities gratis.

The other mass-circulation paper, Yediot Aharonot (“Latest News”), is trying to compete by being even more right-wing.

The only other important daily paper, Haaretz (“The Country”), which is critical of Netanyahu, is far smaller, and in constant economic danger.

Israel’s three TV channels are an intellectual desert. Except for the news and a tiny number of quality programs, they are empty of content, devoted mainly to “reality” programs, which have nothing to do with reality.

Who is in charge? Why, of course the Minister of the Media. And who is that? Again surprise, surprise. No other than a person by the name of Binyamin Netanyahu.
Under Israeli law, as Prime Minister he can keep to himself as many portfolios as his heart desires. This currently means several of them, including the Foreign Office and the Media.

For months now, all media people have been finding it difficult to sleep at night. All three TV channels need government support. Some courageous TV personalities still dare to criticize the government openly, and even sharply, but their number is steadily dwindling.

When I was on TV this week and told my interviewer that in a year’s time he and his colleagues will probably be out of their jobs, he laughed nervously and asked: “What, a whole year?”

Many TV journalists have already become rhinos (the Israeli nickname for people who have succumbed to the government, because they need thick skins). The process of rhinossification is steadily going on.

And now comes the coup de grace, in the form of Avigdor Ivett Lieberman.

Lieberman is a frightening person. In his presence, even a Donald Trump would shrink.
An immigrant from Soviet Moldova, a former bar bouncer and later close aide to Netanyahu, he is now the most extreme rightist politician on stage. He has proposed the bombing of the Aswan dam in Egypt (which would kill many millions of people). That was one of his more moderate ideas. He has criticized the army as too timid, and called Netanyahu (not so long ago) a cheat, a coward and a charlatan.

Lieberman (“Nice Man” in German) is very shrewd. It can be assumed that for some months, at least, he will be exceedingly forthcoming, peace-loving and liberal. Already, this week, both he and Netanyahu have declared themselves fervent adherents of the “Two States for Two Peoples” solution. That’s like Benito Mussolini declaring himself in 1939 a devoted pacifist.

The looming confrontation between the Minister of Defense and the General staff of the army looks like becoming a momentous event. The clash between an irresistible force and an immovable object.

The “Israel Defense Forces”, which includes the navy and air force, is an almost autonomous institution. Its official Supreme Commander is the government in toto, acting through the Minister of Defense.

It is an obedient army. Only rarely has it openly defied the government. One such case was in 1967, when the Prime Minister, Levy Eshkol, hesitated in face of the growing Egyptian military threat in the Sinai peninsula. A group of generals threatened him with collective resignation if he did not give the order to attack. He capitulated.

In face of a unified opposition of the army command, the minister is almost powerless. But he is in charge of a huge budget, by far the largest in Israel. He has a dominant influence over the appointment of the army’s commander (“Chief of Staff”) and superior officers.

Even worse, the army’s lower officers corps and rank-and-file has been educated by the nationalist school system. Most of them may by now be closer to Lieberman than to the Chief of Staff.

This was put to the test by the recent case of Elor Azariya, the soldier who shot and killed a severely wounded Palestinian lying on the ground. Many soldiers declared Azariya a national hero.

Azariya is now standing trial in a military court for manslaughter. The army high command has been obdurate in face of rightist opposition. And lo and behold, who pushed his considerable bulk into the overcrowded courtroom? Avigdor Lieberman. He came to express his support for the soldier.

Even Netanyahu bowed to pressure and called the soldier’s father to express his support.
(When we saw the killer in court on TV, we were surprised to see a mere boy, who looked bewildered and disoriented, with his mother sitting behind him and stroking his head. Woe to the state which puts a deadly weapon into the hands of such a primitive, immature boy!)

So here we are now: the government undermines the army and the peace camp puts its trust in the high command. Some may well be praying fervently to a God they don’t believe in for a military coup they would not really approve of.

The Military Is Building an Employee Database to Predict Traitors
May 27, 2016
by Aliya Sternstein  Nextgov

The Defense Department is building a massive information-sharing system detailing national security personnel and individuals cleared for accessing U.S. secrets, to flag who among them might be potential turncoats or other “insider threats.”

The “DoD Component Insider Threat Records System” is part of the U.S. government’s response to the 2010 leaks of classified diplomatic cables by former Pfc. Chelsea Manning. A 2011 so-called WikiLeaks executive order called for an “insider threat detection” program.

A review of the 2013 Washington Navy Yard shootings found that the department still lacked “a centralized hub” to obtain a holistic view into potential threats, Defense spokeswoman Linda Rojas told Nextgov in an email.

Now, the Pentagon is establishing a team of “cross-functional experts” trained in cybersecurity, privacy, law enforcement, intelligence and psychology—aided by the new workflow technology—to help fill that gap, she said.

But some civil liberties advocates say this Defensewide insider threat analytics system could create a culture of mutual suspicion that silences whistleblowers.

The Pentagon expects to enter into the tool information that is gleaned, in part, from a new ”continuous evaluation” approach to screening clearance-holders that uses automated data checks, according to a May 19 Privacy Act notice.

The insider-threat system also will share data pulled from public social media posts and “user activity monitoring” of employees’ private digital habits at work, the notice states. The surveillance of military networks may include keystrokes, screen captures, and content transmitted via email, chat, and data import or export.

Earlier this month, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper signed a policy that would authorize investigators to vet public social media posts when conducting background checks of national security personnel.

In the privacy notice, Aaron Siegel, alternate Defense Federal Register Liaison officer, describes user activity monitoring as the technical capability to “record the actions and activities of all users, at any time, on a computer network controlled by DoD.”

The insider threat technology also would disseminate equal employment opportunity complaints, security violations, and personal contact records, the notice states.  Logs of printer, copier, and fax machine use would be shared through the tool. Public information from professional certifications—like pilot’s licenses, firearms and explosive permits—would be fair game too, the notice states.

Traitor or Truthsayer?

Referring to the equal employment opportunity complaints and security violation data, some civil liberties advocates said the new technology could propagate misleading information about behaviors that are common in any workplace.

“Almost all of us at different periods of time, have been upset with the people we work with, and that is part of the human nature, so to identify that behavior as potentially troubling and indicative of being a—quote—insider threat is both inappropriate and likely to lead to errors,” said Michael German, a 16-year FBI veteran who now is a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program.

“When you read the insider threat material, what they view as a threat is somebody reporting information about government activity to the press, which is, in a democratic society, not only important but necessary,” he said.

According to the privacy notice, the system will be governed under the following definition of “insider threat:”The threat that an insider will use his or her access, wittingly or unwittingly, to do harm to the security of the United States. This threat includes damage to the United States through espionage, terrorism, unauthorized disclosure of national security information, or the loss or degradation of government, company, contract or program information, resources, or capabilities.

German said personnel who ruffle the feathers of managers while trying to root out government abuses could be tracked by the system.

“They are definitely attempting to get whistleblowers and people who are reporting the truth in the face of government efforts to suppress that truth,” he said. “The real threat are the people that they are not seeing,” German added, pointing to cases like that of Robert Hanssen, who spied for the Russian government while serving at the FBI—unnoticed—between 1979 and 2001.

And if national security personnel know their criticisms will be widely circulated, they might shy away from reporting problems, German said.

“If you have an agency whose mission is national security and that entity is being hampered by waste, fraud, misconduct or illegality, you would think reporting that would be something that is positive and promoted, but this program would tend to suppress that type of internal activity and instead cause more problems which then undermine our national security goals,” he said.

System Specs

Defense officials said only military-affiliated personnel who fall under certain criteria will be entered into the insider-threat system.

“Adequate controls, training, and oversight are in place to ensure that personally identifiable information is protected and that only information which meets a pre-determined threshold is entered into the system,” Rojas said.

The tool will share records on people eligible to hold sensitive Defense positions and people granted security clearances who have “exhibited actual, probable, or possible indications of insider threat behaviors or activities,” Siegel said in the privacy notice.
Only personnel trained in insider threat, privacy and civil liberties, and intelligence oversight, who are approved by the department, will be allowed to use the system, Rojas said. The system will not be activated until after a public comment period that ends June 20.

Insider threat programs require “a holistic approach to information management,” since the “data containing anomalous behaviors that may be indicative of an insider threat can come from many sources, such as personnel security, physical security, information assurance, and law enforcement,” Rojas said. But, right now, this information is not easy to access, plus the size and complexity of the Pentagon makes it hard to share information among military components, she said.

The insider threat tool’s ”workflow management and analytics” features will facilitate the exchange of information, Rojas said. When one department unit identifies and validates behavior that may signal a threat, it can be shared with other department units for further analysis, once the tool is in place, she said.

The system also will provide access to traditional background check records like biometric data files, and self-reported “SF-86” forms detailing the medical and personal lives of individuals applying for security clearances.

On the Record

A diverse group, including the press and civilian agency employers, will be able to use certain material in the system, according to the privacy notice.

Information in the tool also could be used outside the Pentagon for HR, licensing and counterterrorism purposes.For example, other federal and state agencies can obtain information that is relevant to a “decision concerning the hiring or retention” of a worker, the notice states. The “news media or the general public” can view factual information that is in the public interest and does not constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, Siegel said. And congressional offices can request records on specific individuals.

In addition to active troops, individuals profiled by the system could include National Guard members, civilian employees cleared to handle classified material, and defense contractors, the notice states.

U.S. Coast Guard members, “mobilized” retired military personnel, and Limited Access Authorization grantees could be documented in the system too, according to the notice

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