TBR News May 19, 2016

May 19 2016

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. May 19, 2016:” “If the American public ever becomes fully aware of the degree and extent of the surveillance practiced on them, there will quickly be open revolt. Not only the alphabet agencies but local police departments, detective agencies, bill collectors any anyone else who is interested snoop into the most personal and intimate details of American citizenry. The social networks, so popular with the feeble-minded, are firmly in the hands of the alphabet agencies who save so much time, money and shoe leather poking into the harmless lives of the nation by simply looking at Facebook, Twitter and other entities. Medical records, school reports, property ownership, bank accounts, credit card records, library interests, internet search results, travel, emails to or from foreign sources, all of these areas are closely watched. Only private, not public, lavatories are safe but soon we will see robotic toilets that will report every movement.”


Power Loves the Dark

Police Nationwide Are Secretly Exploiting Intrusive Technologies With the Feds’ Complicity

May 19, 2016

by Matthew Harwood and Jay Stanley


Can’t you see the writing on the touchscreen? A techno-utopia is upon us. We’ve gone from smartphones at the turn of the twenty-first century to smart fridges and smart cars. The revolutionary changes to our everyday life will no doubt keep barreling along. By 2018, so predicts Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company, more than three million employees will work for “robo-bosses” and soon enough we — or at least the wealthiest among us — will be shopping in fully automated supermarkets and sleeping in robotic hotels.

With all this techno-triumphalism permeating our digitally saturated world, it’s hardly surprising that law enforcement would look to technology — “smart policing,” anyone? — to help reestablish public trust after the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the long list of other unarmed black men killed by cops in Anytown, USA. The idea that technology has a decisive role to play in improving policing was, in fact, a central plank of President Obama’s policing reform task force.

In its report, released last May, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing emphasized the crucial role of technology in promoting better law enforcement, highlighting the use of police body cameras in creating greater openness. “Implementing new technologies,” it claimed, “can give police departments an opportunity to fully engage and educate communities in a dialogue about their expectations for transparency, accountability, and privacy.”

Indeed, the report emphasized ways in which the police could engage communities, work collaboratively, and practice transparency in the use of those new technologies. Perhaps it won’t shock you to learn, however, that the on-the-ground reality of twenty-first-century policing looks nothing like what the task force was promoting. Police departments nationwide have been adopting powerful new technologies that are remarkably capable of intruding on people’s privacy, and much of the time these are being deployed in secret, without public notice or discussion, let alone permission.

And while the task force’s report says all the right things, a little digging reveals that the feds not only aren’t putting the brakes on improper police use of technology, but are encouraging it — even subsidizing the misuse of the very technology the task force believes will keep cops honest. To put it bluntly, a techno-utopia isn’t remotely on the horizon, but its flipside may be.

Getting Stung and Not Even Knowing It

Shemar Taylor was charged with robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint. The police got a warrant to search his home and arrested him after learning that the cell phone used to order the pizza was located in his house. How the police tracked down the location of that cell phone is what Taylor’s attorney wanted to know.

The Baltimore police detective called to the stand in Taylor’s trial was evasive. “There’s equipment we would use that I’m not going to discuss,” he said. When Judge Barry Williams ordered him to discuss it, he still refused, insisting that his department had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI.

“You don’t have a nondisclosure agreement with the court,” replied the judge, threatening to hold the detective in contempt if he did not answer. And yet he refused again. In the end, rather than reveal the technology that had located Taylor’s cell phone to the court, prosecutors decided to withdraw the evidence, jeopardizing their case.

And don’t imagine that this courtroom scene was unique or even out of the ordinary these days. In fact, it was just one sign of a striking nationwide attempt to keep an invasive, constitutionally questionable technology from being scrutinized, whether by courts or communities.

The technology at issue is known as a “Stingray,” a brand name for what’s generically called a cell site simulator or IMSI catcher. By mimicking a cell phone tower, this device, developed for overseas battlefields, gets nearby cell phones to connect to it. It operates a bit like the children’s game Marco Polo. “Marco,” the cell-site simulator shouts out and every cell phone on that network in the vicinity replies, “Polo, and here’s my ID!”

Thanks to this call-and-response process, the Stingray knows both what cell phones are in the area and where they are. In other words, it gathers information not only about a specific suspect, but any bystanders in the area as well. While the police may indeed use this technology to pinpoint a suspect’s location, by casting such a wide net there is also the potential for many kinds of constitutional abuses — for instance, sweeping up the identities of every person attending a demonstration or a political meeting. Some Stingrays are capable of collecting not only cell phone ID numbers but also numbers those phones have dialed and even phone conversations. In other words, the Stingray is a technology that potentially opens the door for law enforcement to sweep up information that not so long ago wouldn’t have been available to them.

All of this raises the sorts of constitutional issues that might normally be settled through the courts and public debate… unless, of course, the technology is kept largely secret, which is exactly what’s been happening.

After the use of Stingrays was first reported in 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other activist groups attempted to find out more about how the technology was being used, only to quickly run into heavy resistance from police departments nationwide. Served with “open-records requests” under Freedom of Information Act-like state laws, they almost uniformly resisted disclosing information about the devices and their uses. In doing so, they regularly cited nondisclosure agreements they had signed with the Harris Corporation, maker of the Stingray, and with the FBI, prohibiting them from telling anyone (including other government outfits) about how — or even that — they use the devices.

Sometimes such evasiveness reaches near-comical levels. For example, police in the city of Sunrise, Florida, served with an open-records request, refused to confirm or deny that they had any Stingray records at all. Under cover of a controversial national security court ruling, the CIA and the NSA sometimes resort to just this evasive tactic (known as a “Glomar response”). The Sunrise Police Department, however, is not the CIA, and no provision in Florida law would allow it to take such a tack. When the ACLU pointed out that the department had already posted purchase records for Stingrays on its public website, it generously provided duplicate copies of those very documents and then tried to charge the ACLU $20,000 for additional records.

In a no-less-bizarre incident, the Sarasota Police Department was about to turn some Stingray records over to the ACLU in accordance with Florida’s open-records law, when the U.S. Marshals Service swooped in and seized the records first, claiming ownership because it had deputized one local officer. And excessive efforts at secrecy are not unique to Florida, as those charged with enforcing the law commit themselves to Stingray secrecy in a way that makes them lawbreakers.

And it’s not just the public that’s being denied information about the devices and their uses; so are judges. Often, the police get a judge’s sign-off for surveillance without even bothering to mention that they will be using a Stingray. In fact, officers regularly avoid describing the technology to judges, claiming that they simply can’t violate those FBI nondisclosure agreements.

More often than not, police use Stingrays without bothering to get a warrant, instead seeking a court order on a more permissive legal standard. This is part of the charm of a new technology for the authorities: nothing is settled on how to use it. Appellate judges in Tallahassee, Florida, for instance, revealed that local police had used the tool more than 200 times without a warrant. In Sacramento, California, police admitted in court that they had, in more than 500 investigations, used Stingrays without telling judges or prosecutors.  That was “an estimated guess,” since they had no way of knowing the exact number because they had conveniently deleted records of Stingray use after passing evidence discovered by the devices on to detectives.

Much of this blanket of secrecy, spreading nationwide, has indeed been orchestrated by the FBI, which has required local departments eager for the hottest new technology around to sign those nondisclosure agreements. One agreement, unearthed in Oklahoma, explicitly instructs the local police to find “additional and independent investigative means” to corroborate Stingray evidence. In short, they are to cover up the use of Stingrays by pretending their information was obtained some other way — the sort of dangerous constitutional runaround that is known euphemistically in law enforcement circles as a “parallel construction.” Now that information about the widespread use of this new technology is coming out — as in the Shemar Taylor trial in Baltimore — judges are beginning to rule that Stingray use does indeed require a warrant. They are also insisting that police must accurately inform judges when they intend to use a Stingray and disclose its privacy implications.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

And it’s not just the Stingray that’s taking local police forces into new and unknown realms of constitutionally questionable but deeply seductive technology. Consider the hot new trend of “predictive policing.” Its products couldn’t be high-techier. They go by a variety of names like PredPol (yep, short for predictive policing) and HunchLab (and there’s nothing wrong with a hunch, is there?).  What they all promise, however, is the same thing: supposedly bias-free policing built on the latest in computer software and capable of leveraging big data in ways that — so their salesmen will tell you — can coolly determine where crime is most likely to occur next.

Such technology holds out the promise of allowing law enforcement agencies to deploy their resources to areas that need them most without that nasty element of human prejudice getting involved. “Predictive methods allow police to work more proactively with limited resources,” reports the RAND Corporation. But the new software offers something just as potentially alluring as efficient policing — exactly what the president’s task force called for. According to market leader PredPol, its technology “provides officers an opportunity to interact with residents, aiding in relationship building and strengthening community ties.”

How idyllic! In post-Ferguson America, that’s a winning sales pitch for decision-makers in blue. Not so surprisingly, then, PredPol is now used by nearly 60 law enforcement agencies in the United States, and investment capital just keeps pouring into the company. In 2013, SF Weekly reported that over 150 departments across the nation were already using predictive policing software, and those numbers can only have risen as the potential for cashing in on the craze has attracted tech heavy hitters like IBM, Microsoft, and Palantir, the co-creation of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.

Like the Stingray, the software for predictive policing is yet another spillover from the country’s distant wars. PredPol was, according to SF Weekly, initially designed for “tracking insurgents and forecasting casualties in Iraq,” and was financed by the Pentagon. One of the company’s advisors, Harsh Patel, used to work for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm.

Civil libertarians and civil rights activists, however, are less than impressed with what’s being hailed as breakthrough police technology. We tend to view it instead as a set of potential new ways for the police to continue a long history of profiling and pre-convicting poor and minority youth. We also question whether the technology even performs as advertised. As we see it, the old saying “garbage in, garbage out” is likely to best describe how the new software will operate, or as the RAND Corporation puts it, “predictions are only as good as the underlying data used to make them.”

If, for instance, the software depends on historical crime data from a racially biased police force, then it’s just going to send a flood of officers into the very same neighborhoods they’ve always over-policed. And if that happens, of course, more personnel will find more crime — and presto, you have the potential for a perfect feedback loop of prejudice, arrests, and high-tech “success.” To understand what that means, keep in mind that, without a computer in sight, nearly four times as many blacks as whites are arrested for marijuana possession, even though usage among the two groups is about the same.

If you leave aside issues of bias, there’s still a fundamental question to answer about the new technology: Does the software actually work or, for that matter, reduce crime? Of course, the companies peddling such products insist that it does, but no independent analyses or reviews had yet verified its effectiveness until last year — or so it seemed at first.

In December 2015, the Journal of the American Statistical Association published a study that brought joy to the predictive crime-fighting industry. The study’s researchers concluded that a predictive policing algorithm outperformed human analysts in indicating where crime would occur, which in turn led to real crime reductions after officers were dispatched to the flagged areas. Only one problem: five of the seven authors held PredPol stock, and two were co-founders of the company. On its website, PredPol identifies the research as a “UCLA study,” but only because PredPol co-founder Jeffery Brantingham is an anthropology professor there.

Predictive policing is a brand new area where question marks abound. Transparency should be vital in assessing this technology, but the companies generally won’t allow communities targeted by it to examine the code behind it. “We wanted a greater explanation for how this all worked, and we were told it was all proprietary,” Kim Harris, a spokeswoman for Bellingham, Washington’s Racial Justice Coalition, told the Marshall Project after the city purchased such software last August. “We haven’t been comforted by the process.”

The Bellingham Police Department, which bought predictive software made by Bair Analytics with a $21,200 Justice Department grant, didn’t need to go to the city council for approval and didn’t hold community meetings to discuss the development or explain how the software worked. Because the code is proprietary, the public is unable to independently verify that it doesn’t have serious problems.

Even if the data underlying most predictive policing software accurately anticipates where crime will indeed occur — and that’s a gigantic if — questions of fundamental fairness still arise. Innocent people living in or passing through identified high crime areas will have to deal with an increased police presence, which, given recent history, will likely mean more questioning or stopping and frisking — and arrests for things like marijuana possession for which more affluent citizens are rarely brought in.  Moreover, the potential inequality of all this may only worsen as police departments bring online other new technologies like facial recognition.

We’re on the verge of “big data policing,” suggests law professor Andrew Ferguson, which will “turn any unknown suspect into a known suspect,” allowing an officer to “search for information that might justify reasonable suspicion” and lead to stop-and-frisk incidents and aggressive questioning. Just imagine having a decades-old criminal record and facing police armed with such powerful, invasive technology.

This could lead to “the tyranny of the algorithm” and a Faustian bargain in which the public increasingly forfeits its freedoms in certain areas out of fears for its safety. “The Soviet Union had remarkably little street crime when they were at their worst of their totalitarian, authoritarian controls,” MIT sociologist Gary Marx observed. “But, my god, at what price?”

To Record and Serve… Those in Blue

On a June night in 2013, Augustin Reynoso discovered that his bicycle had been stolen from a CVS in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena. A store security guard called the police while Reynoso’s brother Ricardo Diaz Zeferino and two friends tried to find the missing bike in the neighborhood. When the police arrived, they promptly ordered his two friends to put their hands up. Zeferino ran over, protesting that the police had the wrong men.  At that point, they told him to raise his hands, too. He then lowered and raised his hands as the police yelled at him. When he removed his baseball hat, lowered his hands, and began to raise them again, he was shot to death.

The police insisted that Zeferino’s actions were “threatening” and so their shooting justified. They had two videos of it taken by police car cameras — but refused to release them.

Although police departments nationwide have been fighting any spirit of new openness, car and body cameras have at least offered the promise of bringing new transparency to the actions of officers on the beat. That’s why the ACLU and many civil rights groups, as well as President Obama, have spoken out in favor of the technology’s potential to improve police-community relations — but only, of course, if the police are obliged to release videos in situations involving allegations of abuse. And many departments are fighting that fiercely.

In Chicago, for instance, the police notoriously opposed the release of dashcam video in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald, citing the supposed imperative of an “ongoing investigation.” After more than a year of such resistance, a judge finally ordered the video made public. Only then did the scandal of seeing Officer Jason Van Dyke unnecessarily pump 16 bullets into the 17-year-old’s body explode into national consciousness.

In Zeferino’s case, the police settled a lawsuit with his family for $4.7 million and yet continued to refuse to release the videos. It took two years before a judge finally ordered their release, allowing the public to see the shooting for itself.

Despite this, in April 2015 the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners approved a body-camera policy that failed to ensure future transparency, while protecting and serving the needs of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).  In doing so, it ignored the sort of best practices advocated by the White House, the president’s task force on policing, and even the Police Executive Research Forum, one of the profession’s most respected think tanks.

On the possibility of releasing videos of alleged police misconduct and abuse, the new policy remained silent, but LAPD officials, including Chief Charlie Beck, didn’t. They made it clear that such videos would generally be exempt from California’s public records law and wouldn’t be released without a judge’s orders. Essentially, the police reserved the right to release video when and how they saw fit. This self-serving policy comes from the most lethal large police department in the country, whose officers shot and killed 21 people last year.

Other departments around the country have made similar moves to ensure control over body camera videos. Texas and South Carolina, among other states, have even changed their open-records laws to give the police power over when such footage should (or should not) be released. In other words, when a heroic cop saves a drowning child, you’ll see the video; when that same cop guns down a fleeing suspect, don’t count on it.

Curiously, given the stated positions of the president and his task force, the federal government seems to have no fundamental problem with that. In May 2015, for example, the Justice Department announced competitive grants for the purchase of police body cameras, officially tying funding to good body-cam-use policies. The LAPD applied. Despite letters from groups like the ACLU pointing out just how poor its version of body-cam policy was, the Justice Department awarded it $1 million to purchase approximately 700 cameras — accountability and transparency be damned.

To receive public money for a tool theoretically meant for transparency and accountability and turn it into one of secrecy and impunity, with the feds’ complicity and financial backing, sends an unmistakable message on how new technology is likely to affect America’s future policing practices. Think of it as a door slowly opening onto a potential policing dystopia.

Hello Darkness, Power’s Old Friend

Keep in mind that this article barely scratches the surface when it comes to the increasing numbers of ways in which the police’s use of technology has infiltrated our everyday lives.

In states and cities across America, some public bus and train systems have begun to add to video surveillance, the surreptitious recording of the conversations of passengers, a potential body blow to the concept of a private conversation in public space. And whether or not the earliest versions of predictive policing actually work, the law enforcement community is already moving to technology that will try to predict who will commit crimes in the future. In Chicago, the police are using social networking analysis and prediction technology to draw up “heat lists” of those who might perpetuate violent crimes someday and pay them visits now. You won’t be shocked to learn which side of the tracks such future perpetrators live on. The rationale behind all this, as always, is “public safety.”

Nor can anyone begin to predict how law enforcement will avail itself of science-fiction-like technology in the decade to come, much less decades from now, though cops on patrol may very soon know a lot about you and your past. They will be able to cull such information from a multitude of databases at their fingertips, while you will know little or nothing about them — a striking power imbalance in a situation in which one person can deprive the other of liberty or even life itself.

With little public debate, often in almost total secrecy, increasing numbers of police departments are wielding technology to empower themselves rather than the communities they protect and serve. At a time when trust in law enforcement is dangerously low, police departments should be embracing technology’s democratizing potential rather than its ability to give them almost superhuman powers at the expense of the public trust.

Unfortunately, power loves the dark.




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, 14 October 1949

Well, the New York business is over. All of the eleven defendants were found guilty by the jury in only a few hours. They will be sentenced on the 21st. The jury found that there had been a conspiracy to overthrow the U.S. government and that the orders for this came from Stalin. Not that I am surprised but only eleven people have so far been brought up. I know that there are literally thousands of spies, traitors and so on all over the United States as I am writing this. There is simply no way to go after all of them and even to try a few hundred would take years. I have put the idea around that if America could lock up quite innocent Japanese at the beginning of the war, it should not be too difficult to lock up a few thousand communist spies. They should either be sentenced to life in prison or better, shipped over to Russia where Josef and his thugs would soon kill all of them.

I was reading an account the other day about all the Jews we were supposed to have killed in Poland. Don’t these idiots realize that it was Stalin who killed off the Polish Jews, not Hitler? Of course the communist sympathizers write most of the history here and so would never dare to expose the terrible crimes of the Pope of the Kremlin.

The American people are very innocent in such matters but I am certainly not going to say anything about it. And the Jews in Poland who tried to escape Hitler by fleeing to the safety of the Internationalist Capital of the World and were not shot by Stalin, were quickly shoved back over the border for our police to take care of.

Not that we wanted them either. Stalin is now accusing the Germans of killing all the Poles, Jews and so on whom he had shot. God will eventually grow tired of this filthy beast and kill him but before He does, I wonder how many other millions Josef will liquidate?

Stalin, who is without doubt a brilliant man, is also completely mad and has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen for no reason whatsoever. Even his closest and most loyal assistants are taken off and shot and this is still going on at this moment. Wisner thinks that he can stir up a revolt inside Russia but he is as mad as Stalin.

Stalin will kill a whole city for no reason so any attempt to revolt against him would be shut down with horrible results for the Russian people. Wisner and his clique are elitists who never think through their actions and remind me of small children enthusiastically playing at soldiers with grandmother’s pots on their heads and beanpoles instead of guns in their hands.

This would be pathetic if it weren’t for the death and misery they are causing and will continue to cause. Rather than try such nonsense in Russia, they would be better off getting rid of the huge number of spies and traitors right in their own country.

Pash, it seems, is still looking for Hitler! He mentioned Spain and told me in strict confidence that Allen Dulles knows that Hitler flew down there at the end of the war. I was curious so I began to query Pash who will supply me with the documents that his small group is now working on. Between planning and executing the murders of all kinds of persona non-gratia individuals around Europe, Boris is trying to find Hitler!

It might not be a bad idea if he got on a real trail because Boris would vanish off the face of the earth like the members of that Zionist group who went to Spain last year to see if they could find the Chief. All of them dead I am told. Boris is now highly suspicious. “How could five people vanish overnight and never be seen again?”

Boris likes to shoot people in the head with a small caliber pistol equipped with a silencer and leave them in parks. A heart attack is much better but aside from that, never leave the corpses around to draw attention to your work.

With the Mediterranean so close to Barcelona, it would be so simple to take the unwanted dead out on fishing boat and throw them over the side equipped with heavy weights. This is too subtle for Boris and his friends who would doubtlessly like to hack off the heads of their enemies (who encompass almost everyone) and carry them around the Mall here on pikes.

If Dulles weren’t so stupid, I would have some fun with him over this.


When Mary Pinchot Meyer, divorced wife of Cord Meyer, Jr., Deputy Head of the CIA’s clandestine operations and mistress of John Kennedy, threatened to reveal devastating secrets about her personal knowledge of the Kennedy assassination, she was shot in the head with a small caliber silenced pistol while jogging in Washington’s Rock Creek Park.

Before the perforated Ms. Meyer had even assumed the local temperature, James Jesus Angleton of the CIA’s counterintelligence division and a great protector of that agency and its members, broke into her residence and quickly carried off all of her incriminating papers.

Evidently, Pash was not the only one to like small caliber silenced pistols nor to leave corpses in parks.

Saturday, 22 October 1949

Yesterday, (Judge Harold R., ed.) Medina sentenced almost all of the conspirators to five years in the prison. One of them got a lesser sentence because of his wartime actions in the Army. Hopefully, on to more.

A long and significant conference here about the directions and policy of the CIA. I deal with both them and the President’s commission, I think on alternate weeks or so it seems.

The well-known Mr. (Allen, ed.) Dulles, (Frank, ed.) Wisner and two strange creatures from the State Department were here most of the day. I could not use Irmgard to transcribe but I had a recorder in the next room and have it all. I have no shame, especially when Dulles told me they were recording the telephone conversations of the President (I must tell him about this next week, but carefully).

The main thrust…. The general aim is to stir up serious rebellions inside Stalin’s empire, rebellions that will cause it to collapse. The directions come from Dulles and the actions are prepared by Wisner.

It was made very clear that Truman has been deceived by these vicious assholes and they are hiding behind his permission to form an information group to build up a mighty empire to replace the communist-ridden OSS.

Their opinion of T. is very low. These are elitist idiots who think that Truman is only a stupid farmer without their exalted social backgrounds and that they know best how to defend this country against whatever enemies they decide on.

Of course, they all know who I am and Dulles and I talked with some humor about our days in Switzerland. I did not enlighten him as to the degree that I penetrated his organization nor did I tell him that I view him as a cretin. We must be polite to these rodents because if D. succeeds in building up a powerful organization he could be a serious enemy.

Methods to be used…political murders, assassinations, commando raids deep into Russian territory, blowing up Russian ships on the high seas, starting various plant diseases in the Ukraine so as to cripple their food supplies and so on. While no one can accuse me of loving communists, I find the CIA’s attitude juvenile and extremely dangerous and simplistic.

These overeducated idiots have no idea about the balances of power and I am badly afraid that they will be wallowing in gore before they are through. Also…. they do not like going after the domestic spies because, as the Department of State people say, so many of them are friends and not really spies at all. Of course not.

When (Walter, ed.) Krivitski came over here before the war and began to reveal all he knew (and he knew almost everything) about Stalin’s murder machine, the liberal/communists here, especially the artists and writers, howled with rage. Roosevelt howled even louder and tried to silence K. and throw him out of the country. This proved hard to do so a State Department official, a rich young communist who was a good personal friend of Roosevelt, immediately informed Stalin’s murderers where K. was hiding and they killed him. It was supposed to look like a suicide (it is never difficult to arrange a murder but to arrange a suicide takes talent) and was immediately swept under the edge of the carpet and the investigation was carefully controlled by the highest authority, namely the President himself.

That was dangerous for Roosevelt because K. knew how many of his top men were their agents. Now, of course, K. would be a national hero but they can’t dig him up for the ceremony.

So in the field of foreign policy, their aim is to attack Russia physically, stirring up rebellions, to murder their supporters in the West and to build up an empire under the very noses of those in power in this country. They state to me emphatically that they and they alone will make and implement American foreign policy. Those of whom they approve will receive large cash gifts and those who they disapprove of will be killed.

They totally ignore the fact that Josef has the famous bomb and might quite justifiably use it if armies of raving Ukrainians, armed by this country, start a major rebellion. I recall a statement made by Bismarck to some individual who was advocating a very provocative policy. “Are you prepared to carry your policy through with cannon? If not, I suggest you abandon it.” I could have said the same thing but I am not Bismarck and they wouldn’t listen if I were.

Wisner mentioned the names of very many Europeans, some of whom I know of, who he wants to set up in various U.S. dominated puppet governments to act as a barrier to what they call Soviet expansionism. Again, they have no idea what they are about and frankly, Wisner is a manic drunk, Dulles a brainless egomaniac and the two are peculiar State Department, pro-Soviet fairies. The British services are filled with these twittering perverts but now I see that the infection has spread to this country as well. I feel that if I put a blood sausage into the front of my pants, I would have their undivided attentions.

Heini was in attendance and one of the State Department men was drooling over him. Fortunately, H. has too much sense to punch the auntie in his mouth. Of course, as I told H. later, if he knocked the man’s teeth out, it could improve his performance in the public latrines. I understand that that’s where so many of the Washington elite congregate.

Hitler did the right thing, shoving them into camps. Of course punishing a fairy by locking him up in prison is like punishing a moth by locking it into a closet full of wool clothes.

Much conversation about the British. All are rabid Anglophiles of course. Great love of Roosevelt but they question as to why he destroyed the sacred empire by robbing it of all its assets in 39-40. Literally took all of their gold, every mark of it, and left them a huge debt, no navy and no hope for the future.

Roosevelt, then, was not entirely bad after all.

We give money to the state of Israel and far more to England. Better to keep it here and spend it here. I would think that the people in America would rather have it that way. Who knows what kinds of vipers we are nursing to our breasts?

They want…need…my help. I am not to do anything for the President and can I help them in convincing him that the CIA is nothing more lethal than a fact-finding group? Innocent academics and patriots, seeking to protect this country against invasion, looting and rape by barbarians.

Of course, and Father Christmas is alive and well in Argentina along with Hitler and Bormann. Next month, all of them are going to live in ice caves in Antarctica and dress up like penguins to fool any airplanes flying over their secret rocket bases

The CIA people are going on like Italian assassins while the DOS (Department of State, ed.) pretties squawk in the background like a couple of mangy parrots. I very seriously thought about serving them poisoned wine and saving everyone a great deal of trouble but then there is the problem of messes on the rugs and having to dispose of the bodies, the expensive sedans parked by my house and all the guards outside. And, of course, embarrassing questions such as “Whatever happened to Mr. Dulles?”

One cannot blame such high level extermination on a lightning strike or hungry mice.

I tell them, of course, I will help them. Will I inform Truman? When and if I can. Dulles is totally addicted to the use of the first person singular, Wisner loves alcohol and blood and the others should be left to heaven, which in their case would no doubt be a very well endowed Negro or a donkey.

  1. talked about Skorzeny whom he hopes to install as his chief assassin very soon. I doubt if Otto will go along with this sort of psychotic nonsense but I will be meeting with him soon enough and can find out for myself. Of course these are our enemies but they pay the bills in the end.


Saturday, 5 November 1949

I have now a most unique opportunity! It seems that Harold Philby is here to be the British intelligence director in America! This is an unbelievable stroke of good fortune for me, I can certainly say.

Philby, well known as a pro-communist in our old circles, also a homosexual, worked for me in 1939 into the war! We got on to him because of his father, St. John, who also worked for us. He was a leading figure in Saudi Arabia and completely pro-Hitler.

  1. went to Cambridge and got in with the communists there but he is really not one at all. Of course neither is he a Nazi. He is a perpetual intelligence agent and I know that he works for the British, in whose service he is, but also for Moscow and at least for a time, for us. That he gives a bit here and a bit there, just like the Swiss, is well known to me but I am sure not to the others. He tells the British he makes contact with the Russians to get information, the Russians he gives British secrets to just so they are happy and impressed with him, and to me he gave from both.

Now he is over here, directing the British spy apparatus against the United States for both Britain and Russia. Well, if I play my hand right, I should have some very interesting times ahead with this one.

I cannot tell Dulles and his gang of murderers nor Truman, who wouldn’t have the slightest idea what it was all about, so I may have to take this to Hoover and see what we can work out just between us.


Harold Adrian Russell “Kim” Philby was born in British India in 1912. His father, St. John Philby, was a converted Muslim and advisor to the Saudi Royal family.

Philby attended Cambridge University and later claimed to be an active communist but there is little evidence that he was more than a dilettante. He later joined a pro-German group at the urging of his pro-Hitler father and made a number of trips to Germany, meeting various German officials.

St. John Philby was arrested by the British in 1940 as a suspected German agent.

Postwar liberal writers have tried to make Kim Philby into a phenomenal and brilliant Soviet agent but the truth is far less interesting. The younger Philby worked for a number of people, was not particularly intelligent and tended to gravitate towards men of power just as Stauffenberg did.

During the Spanish Civil War, Philby was a newspaper reporter covering Franco’s forces and was personally decorated by the Caudillo.

More will be heard about Kim Philby later in these journals.


A domestic observance.

  1. is growing tired of Heini and is making great cow eyes at one of the gardeners. I must talk to Heini about this; not that he will be heartbroken about I’s defection but because of the security risk. Potentially very serious indeed. Heini tells me an American joke:

“How to get information around the world in three minutes: Tele-phone, telegraph and tell-a-woman!”






No theory ruled out over EgyptAir flight MS804 crash

Possible debris found in Mediterranean as Greek defence minister says plane carrying 66 people made ‘sudden swerves’ before dropping off radar

May 19, 2016

by Luke Harding in London, Kim Wilsher in Paris and Helena SMith in Athens

The Guardian

France and Egypt say no theory can be ruled out over the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804, though Egypt’s aviation minister said it was “more likely” that terrorism rather than technical failure caused the plane to come down.

A major international search is underway for the plane, which is believed to have plunged into the Mediterranean on Thursday morning with 66 people on board.

“The information we have gathered confirms, alas, that this plane has crashed, and it has disappeared,” said François Hollande at a press conference. “We have a duty to know everything about the cause and what has happened,” the French president added. “No theory is ruled out and none is certain right now.

Egypt’s aviation minister, Sherif Fathi, said he did not want to prematurely draw conclusions, but added: “The possibility of having a different action or a terror attack, is higher than the possibility of having a technical failure.”

There were reports that possible debris from the plane had been found in the Mediterranean. “There have been finds south-east of Crete, inside the Cairo flight information area,” a Greek army spokesman told AFP.

Earlier, a Greek frigate searching for the aircraft discovered two large plastic objects floating in the sea about 230 miles south of the island of Crete. The area is now the centre of a major international operation involving C-130 aircraft and at least eight boats.

“When we have the truth we will draw our conclusions; whether this was an accident or something else, perhaps terrorist,” Hollande said. “We will have the truth.”

The Airbus A320 took off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 11.09pm local time on Wednesday night, bound for Cairo. Contact was lost at about 2.30am Egypt local time.

The Greek defence minister, Panos Kammenos, said the plane made “sudden swerves” in mid-air and plunged before dropping off radars in the southern Mediterranean.

“The plane carried out a 90-degree turn to the left and a 360-degree turn to the right, falling from 37,000ft to 15,000ft, and the signal was lost at around 10,000ft,” Kammenos said.

Egypt’s prime minister, Sherif Ismail, said terrorism was one possible explanation. “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause,” Ismail said when asked if terrorism might be involved.

Greek authorities were investigating an account from the captain of a merchant ship who reported seeing a “flame in the sky” about 130 nautical miles south of the island of Karpathos. The plane was about 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace when it vanished.

The plane’s unexplained crash follows long-standing concerns about security at Egypt’s airports. Some 224 people were killed on 31 October last year after a bomb was smuggled on to a Russian passenger jet. The plane, which took off from the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, was brought down over the Sinai peninsula.

Britain warned Egyptian security officials about lax security at the airport back in 2014. Egypt initially denied any terrorist link. The Kremlin later said an explosive device was responsible and a local branch of the extremist group Islamic State claimed responsibility.

In recent years Egypt has faced a growing threat from Isis-affiliated groups, including Wilayat Sinai, based in the Sinai peninsula. It has claimed several bombings and shootings in the Nile valley against a backdrop of state repression under the Egyptian president, Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi.

The plane that crashed on Thursday had made four previous flights in the preceding 24 hours, including visits to Asmara in Eritrea and Tunis in Tunisia. Its experienced captain – he had clocked up 6,275 flying hours, according to EgyptAir – did not send a distress signal.

Those on board included 56 passengers and 10 crew, including three security guards. There were 30 Egyptians, 15 French nationals, two Iraqis and one person each from the UK, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada. At least two babies and one child were on board, the airline said.

Jean-Paul Troadec, the former president of the French air investigation bureau, told Europe 1: “We can make certain hypotheses. There’s a strong possibility of an explosion on board from a bomb or a suicide bomber. The idea of a technical accident when weather conditions were good seems possible but also not that likely.”Another possibility, he suggested, was that the plane might have been shot down – the fate of Malaysian Airlines MH17, downed in July 2014 above rebel-held eastern Ukraine by a sophisticated Russian surface-to-air missile.

“If the crew didn’t send an alert signal, it’s because what happened was very sudden,” Troadec said.

Relatives of some of the passengers were gathering at Cairo’s international airport.

“There’s no information inside. They’re not telling us anything for sure,” said one young woman who did not disclose her name. She said she had come to the arrival hall in the hope of hearing news of her friend Samar, one of the 30 Egyptian passengers on board the missing flight.

The UK foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, confirmed that a British passport holder was on board, and the Foreign Office in London said it was working closely with the Egyptian and French authorities.

An EgyptAir plane was hijacked and diverted to Cyprus in March. A man who admitted to the hijacking and is described by Cypriot authorities as “psychologically unstable” is in custody in Cyprus.

Additional reporting by Lara El Gibaly in Cairo


India set to start diverting major rivers including Ganges in unprecedented $300bn project

May 19, 2016


The Indian government is pushing ahead with one of the most ambitious and expensive engineering projects in history, despite staunch opposition from lawmakers, environmentalists and neighboring Bangladesh.

The idea was first conceived by the British in the 1850s, and has been revived several times, only to be definitively approved by the current government of Narendra Modi, which has proudly claimed that it “has done all the work for it.” As a result of the Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) 30 new canals will be built, changing the course and capacity of some of one of Asia’s greatest rivers, Ganges and Brahmaputra. Estimates for the project, which will take decades, have consistently risen, but the latest go up to 20 trillion rupees ($300 billion).

“Interlinking of rivers is our prime agenda and we have got the people’s support and I am determined to do it on the fast track,” Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti told the BBC. “We are going ahead with five links of the rivers now and the first one, the Ken-Betwa link in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is going to start any time now.”

The display of urgency is driven by a second consecutive year of droughts across the country, following a weak monsoon, which has affected over 330 million Indians. The country’s media has been filled with reports of villages on the verge of riots due to shortages, people having to walk marathons for vital supplies, and trains being commandeered to ferry water across the country.

“The water crisis will be there in the future because of climate change but through this we will be able to help the people. The public has welcomed it and they are happily ready to be displaced,” Bharti said.

The blueprints for the initial links by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) have already been submitted to the individual states, which, had in the past been some of the biggest opponents of the scheme, but have been overruled by a 2012 Supreme Court decision, favoring the government’s proposal. The Guardian reports that now authorities are merely waiting for a rubber stamp from the Environmental Ministry to begin work.

Critics at home and abroad

But critics of ILR say that for a project of such scale, it has not been properly planned out, with no real understanding of the ensuing consequences.

“It is even more impossible in the context of climate change as you don’t know what will happen to the rivers’ flows,” Himanshu Thakkar of the South Asia Network for Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) told the BBC. “The project is based on the idea of diverting water from where it is surplus to dry areas but there has been no scientific study yet on which places have more water and which ones less.”

Some believe it will not only be inefficient, but catastrophic.

“The government is trying to redraw the entire geography of the country. What will happen to communities, the wildlife, the farmers who live downstream of the rivers? They need to look at a river not just as a source of water, but as an entire ecosystem. They will have to dig canals everywhere and defy the ecology of the country,” Latha Anantha, from the River Research Centre, told the Guardian.

SANDRP believes that 1.5 million people will be displaced as a result, and 104,000 hectares of prime forested land will be submerged, while the effects on other life forms are unpredictable. Thakkar has also accused the NWDA of manipulating data to justify its plans.

Reservations have come from opposition politicians, and even members of the ruling BJP, one of whom Murli Manohar Joshi, recently said that the plan would be like transferring wealth “from one beggar to another beggar.” The states that stand to lose the greatest water surpluses have also raised dissenting voices, but Bharti has batted their worries away as “misconceptions.”

But an even bigger international battle is brewing with equally water-stressed, but much-poorer neighboring Bangladesh, which has disapproved of the scheme from the start.

“We will ask for data pertaining to our fair share of water. Fifty-four of 56 Indian rivers flow through Bangladesh. So efforts to extract water upstream in India or divert river courses will be cause for worry for us,” said State Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Nazrul Islam, as newspapers have launched outraged editorials. “India is giving a lot of importance to its own people hit by drought, but it must not ignore our rights. I don’t expect India to do that either.”

So far the Delhi has hoped to pacify its neighbor with vague reassurances.

“The Indian government is addressing Bangladesh’s water problems too. We don’t have the details, but we will ensure Bangladesh gets its share of water too,” the Water Resources Ministry said in a statement.


Google gets louder on voice-activated tech

Beyond delivering search results and the Android mobile operating system, tech giant Google is moving into virtual reality and voice-activation technology – going toe-to-toe with Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

May 19, 2016


Apple’s Siri may have gotten there first, as did Amazon Echo. But Google has also now introduced own artificially-intelligent, voice-controlled and always-listening assistant.

That assistant, in turn, is integrated into Google Home – a device the size of a small speaker. It doesn’t only play music on command, but is able to perform tasks in conjunction with devices it is networked to, like ordering a taxi or adjusting a thermostat and answering questions. Partner services for the Google Home system include ride-hailing app Uber, MyTaxi, and streaming music service Spotify.

The stronger push into voice activation technology was very much a user-driven development – Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said that half of the search engine’s queries are from mobile devices, and a fifth of those are made via voice activation.

Virtual reality is also a strongly-represented theme at the Google I/O Conference, the annual event where the tech giant traditionally presents its new products and services.

Daydream, Google’s Android-powered VR platform, is the updated version of Google Cardboard, the disposable headset able to connect with any smartphone.

Daydream, in contrast, can only work with Daydream enabled phones. But users won’t have long to wait – Daydream-ready phones are to be available starting this autumn, said Google.

Google also introduced Allo, a mobile-only messaging app that’s also artificially intelligent and able to answer questions and searches, like restaurant recommendations. It also comes with suggested replies to conversation partners, based on the context of the exchange.

The Duo app is similar, but is for video messaging. It’s meant to rival similar services like Apple’s Facetime and Skype. It’s set to be available this summer.


Neocon-Bashers Headline Koch Event as Political Realignment on Foreign Policy Continues

May 18 2016

by Zaid Jilani

The Intercept

In the latest example of how foreign policy no longer neatly aligns with party politics, the Charles Koch Institute — the think tank founded and funded by energy billionaire Charles Koch — hosted an all-day event Wednesday featuring a set of speakers you would be more likely to associate with a left-wing anti-war rally than a gathering hosted by a longtime right-wing institution.

At the event, titled “Advancing American Security: The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy,” prominent realist and liberal foreign policy scholars took turns trashing the neoconservative worldview that has dominated the foreign policy thinking of the Republican Party — which the Koch brothers have been allied with for decades.

Most of the speakers assailed the Iraq War, nation building, and regime change. During a panel event also featuring former Obama Pentagon official Kathleen Hicks, foreign policy scholar John Mearsheimer brought the crowd to applause by denouncing American military overreach.

“We need to pull back, stop fighting all these wars. Stop defending rich people who are fully capable of defending themselves, and instead spend the money at home. Period. End of story!” he said, in remarks that began with a denunciation of the dilapidated state of the Washington Metrorail system.

“I completely agree on infrastructure,” Hicks said. “A big footprint in the Middle East is not helpful to the United States, politically, militarily, or otherwise.”

Chas Freeman, a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, decried U.S. thinking on toppling foreign governments. “One has to start questioning the basic premise of regime change, whether it is to be accomplished by invasion and occupation or by covert action or the empowerment of NGO activity on the ground or other means,” he reflected. “Frankly, it generally doesn’t go well.”

“If you want to know why our bridges are rickety … our children are educationally malnourished, think of where we put the money,” concluded Freeman, pointing to the outsized military budget.

Over lunch, Stephen Walt, the Foreign Policy columnist and Harvard realist foreign policy scholar, said the presidential election is providing evidence that the military-restraint camp is starting to make progress. “On the campaign trail, both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have gotten receptive audiences when they questioned certain aspects of foreign policy. Really, Hillary Clinton is the only candidate defending the status quo,” he boasted. “I think those public doubts are not surprising because … our current policy has been a costly failure.”

Walt dubbed his own prescription for foreign policy “offshore balancing” — a middle ground between full-scale military engagement and isolationism, where the U.S. would engage diplomatically and economically first and foremost, and retain the capacity to militarily intervene only when major power imbalances occur, where one state would be able to threaten global security.

Mearshiemer, Walt, and Freeman are particularly despised by neocons, and not simply for their starkly different policy prescriptions. Walt and Mearsheimer’s 2006 book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy was critical of the U.S.-Israel relationship, arguing that it was overly influenced by domestic interest groups. Freeman’s nomination to an intelligence post in the Obama White House was derailed by behind-the-scenes accusations that he wasn’t sufficiently pro-Israel.

Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake, a hawkish supporter of Israeli government policies, expressed horror at their appearance on institute panels in a column on Wednesday, writing that “the Kochs have stayed away from the uglier fringes that blame Israel and its supporters for hijacking U.S. foreign policy. That is, until now.”

The lone prominent hawk among the panelists was Michael O’Hanlon, the Brookings Institute scholar and liberal interventionist. But perhaps in deference to the audience’s skepticism of nation building and sustained military engagement, even O’Hanlon said we need to be “very selective about when we actually employ military force,” insisting that he preferred utilizing economic sanctions rather than war in possible future confrontations with Russian and Chinese spheres of influence.

Still unresolved is whether the institute intends to take on neoconservative orthodoxy on a regular basis. “Part of what the Charles Koch Institute can do is to help increase the range of arguments on the table, have that marketplace of ideas, so the best ideas can win so that our country can flourish,” said William Ruger, the institute’s vice president for research and policy. Ruger told The Intercept that numerous additional foreign policy-centric events are planned.

“I certainly think we’re uneasy with the status quo. It doesn’t seem like the status quo is making us safer, especially given the cost of this to our soldiers, especially given the high expense in terms of our fiscal situation. Also in terms of some of the ways it affects our civil liberties as well as our standing in the world. We want to make sure that we’re not missing opportunities for ideas to be added to this conversation.”


‘Unprecedented destruction’ of Kurdish city of Cizre

Research by a Turkish human rights group found Turkey’s army turned the Kurdish city of Cizre into a ‘war zone’ where hundreds of civilians died and thousands of homes were destroyed. Tom Stevenson reports from Istanbul.

May 18, 2016


An extensive independent report from the Turkish human rights NGO Mazlumder concludes that Turkish army campaigns in the predominantly Kurdish city of Cizre in the country’s far southeast turned the city into a “war zone” where over 200 people were killed during the curfew. More than 10,000 homes were destroyed.

In interviews with dozens of local residents, local officials, as well as the local government and opposition party representatives, along with field research in Cizre, the NGO gathered evidence of multiple human rights violations after the city was subjected to a round-the-clock military lockdown from December to March.

“Cizre has witnessed unprecedented destruction following clashes which took place during a curfew lasting over 78 days, and unlike in curfews before, the curfew in Cizre saw mass killings,” Mazlumder said.

The military operations in Cizre were part of the Turkish army’s campaign against militants linked to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have been locked in an armed struggle with state forces in Turkey’s southeast for almost a year.

On May 10, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein criticized the Turkish military campaign in the southeast in general, and the killings in Cizre in particular. He demanded a full investigation into reported killings of civilians.

‘Basement massacre’

Mazlumder’s report concludes that between 203 and 266 people were killed during the military curfew and the fighting between state forces and militants in Cizre, the majority of whom were killed when Turkish security forces stormed three residential basements in which hundreds were sheltering from the fighting.

“A total of 85 people lost their lives before the basement incidents. All those 85 people were locals of Cizre and their official place of residence was Cizre. We knew who they were and where they were living,” Kadir Kunur, co-mayor of Cizre, told the NGO. “A total of 176 people were massacred altogether in three basements.”

The storming of the basements, which is referred to by Cizre residents as the “basement massacre” is the focus of many of the worst suspected rights abuses.

Osman Duymak, the uncle of Mahmuttin Duymak who was killed in one of the basements, recounted collecting his nephew’s body.

“We were made to wait there from morning to evening and treated in a humiliating way before we were able to get the body of my nephew. We saw eight bodies there. We brought my nephew’s body to a mosque for funeral services,” Osman said. “There was an imam there. He was going to make the ritual body washing, but the body was not in a state to be washed,” he added.

“There was a pile of bones, weighing two to three kilograms, nothing else.”

Was the curfew extented to cover up abuses?

Residents describe how the neighborhoods surrounding the basements were attacked by state forces using tanks and artillery. According to co-mayor Kunur, following the worst of the fighting the security forces extended the military curfew for a further 19 days to cover up the evidence of abuses.

“The buildings which were not demolished during the clashes were destroyed. Debris mixed with human remains were dumped on the banks of the Tigris River,” Kunur said.

After studying the claims, Mazlumder concludes that the fact that “no investigations were carried out over the 19-day period into the killings leads to allegations that the security forces may have destroyed evidence during that period.”

The report also gathered evidence that the Turkish army used snipers in Cizre, resulting in civilian casualties. Abdurrahman Ince, 60, recounts how his father and his nephew’s three-month-old daughter were killed by a sniper.

“Miray was my nephew’s daughter. Her aunt was taking her downstairs in her arms. Miray was hit by a cartridge in the face. While Miray was being taken to hospital, the same sniper shot my father Ramazan,” Ince told Mazlumder.

“It seems that snipers and heavy shelling are also responsible for the civilian deaths,” the NGO wrote in the report. “According to claims, security forces did not show any sensitivity when it came to putting the lives and properties of civilians at risk during the operations.”

Mazlumder’s investigation also documented the destruction of the houses of “more than 10,000 families” as well as serious damages to the town’s water and sewage system. The organization fears this will lead to serious and widespread health problems.

“The revelation of these acts – the state crimes in Cizre – is very significant,” said Nurcan Baysal, a founder of the Diyarbakir Institute for Political and Social Research, another independent rights organization working in Turkey’s southeast.

Baysal is skeptical, however, that legal action or other judicial accountability will result from the documentation of abuses in Cizre.

‘Little point in expecting justice’

“There is little point in expecting justice from the Turkish courts, in fact the government is now working on a law that will protect state forces from prosecution in the future because of this conflict,” she told DW.

“However if the EU or UN would have sent missions to Cizre during the curfews it might have been different – perhaps some of the dead would still be alive today.”

Though the conflict in Cizre has now all but ended, similar Turkish military campaigns are currently underway in the southeastern cities of Nusaybin, Sirnak, and Yuksekova.

“We couldn’t do anything in Cizre, but in Nusaybin, Gever [Kurdish name for Yuksekova] and Sirnak, it isn’t yet too late,” Baysal said.



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