TBR News August 10, 2010

Aug 10 2010

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C. August 9, 2010: “As more and more information, garbled and censored though it may be, emerges about PFC Bradley Manning, the more it appears that he ought to be considered a hero like Daniel Ellsberg rather than hidden in a solitary confinement cell in a military jail. Why is Manning there? Because the government is terrified, literally terrified, lest word leaks out about not only the amount of classified government material he passed on to others but what this material contained. It is one thing for WikiLeaks to have these but quite another for anyone in the general community to see any of some of the material. Never mind  the tons of paperwork about low level U.S> military actions but the real terror looms when the Department of State secret messaging from embassies to Washington becomes public. The idea, frantically being fed to the American public, that only WikiLeaks has seen this latter sewage is entirely false. Copies of these papers were sent out, by whom is unknown, to others. The government does not know who received these or believe it, they, too would end up in solitary confinement somewhere while frantic searchers were stealing their computers and ripping through their harddrives to find, and destroy, what promises to be one of the most devastating eruptions in modern history. A number of these messages are being privately, and very carefully, being sent around by an elite circle of advanced hackers. I have seen hundreds of them (but not, I hasten to assure the frenzied searchers, on my own computer) and some, if not all, must be reprinted. Rather put these up in public, we have decided to release selections of the most devastating messaging on The Slaughterhouse Informer. As this is a subscription only entity, it is far safer for some, but not for all. To those who read these, do enjoy!?


Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case

August 8, 2010

by Ginger Thompson

New York Times

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — He spent part of his childhood with his father in the arid plains of central Oklahoma, where classmates made fun of him for being a geek. He spent another part with his mother in a small, remote corner of southwest Wales, where classmates made fun of him for being gay.

Then he joined the Army, where, friends said, his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.

But it was around two years ago, when Pfc. Bradley Manning came here to visit a man he had fallen in love with, that he finally seemed to have found a place where he fit in, part of a social circle that included politically motivated computer hackers and his boyfriend, a self-described drag queen. So when his military career seemed headed nowhere good, Private Manning, 22, turned increasingly to those friends for moral support.

And now some of those friends say they wonder whether his desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur — may have led him to disclose the largest trove of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers.

“I would always try to make clear to Brad that he had a promising future ahead of him,” said Daniel J. Clark, one of those Cambridge friends. “But when you’re young and you’re in his situation, it’s hard to tell yourself things are going to get better, especially in Brad’s case, because in his past, things didn’t always get better.”

Blond and barely grown up, Private Manning worked as an intelligence analyst and was based east of Baghdad. He is suspected of disclosing more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, more than 90,000 intelligence reports on the war in Afghanistan and one video of a military helicopter attack — all of it classified. Most of the information was given to WikiLeaks.org, which posted the war reports after sharing them with three publications, including The New York Times.

WikiLeaks has defended the disclosure, saying transparency is essential to democracy. The Pentagon has denounced the leaks, saying they put American soldiers and their Afghan allies in grave danger.

And while that dispute rages on, with the Pentagon having recently demanded that WikiLeaks remove all secret documents from the Internet and hand over any undisclosed materials in its files, Private Manning is being held in solitary confinement at Quantico, Va., under suicide watch.

Private Manning’s military-appointed lawyer, Maj. Thomas F. Hurley, declined an interview request.

Much remains unknown about his journey there from Crescent, Okla., the small town where he was born. But interviews with people who know him, along with e-mail exchanges between him and Adrian Lamo, the computer hacker who turned him in, offer some insights into Private Manning’s early years, why he joined the Army and how he came to be so troubled, especially in recent months.

“I’ve been isolated so long,” Private Manning wrote in May to Mr. Lamo, who turned the chat logs over to the authorities and the news media. “But events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive.”

Survival was something Private Manning began learning as a young child in Crescent. His father, Brian Manning, was also a soldier and spent a lot of time away from home, former neighbors recalled. His mother, Susan Manning, struggled to cope with the culture shock of having moved to the United States from her native Wales, the neighbors said.

One neighbor, Jacqueline Radford, recalled that when students at Private Manning’s elementary school went on field trips, she sent additional food or money to make sure he had something to eat.

“I’ve always tried to be supportive of him because of his home life,” Ms. Radford said. “I know it was bad, to where he was left to his own, had to fend for himself.”

At school, Bradley Manning was clearly different from most of his peers. He preferred hacking computer games rather than playing them, former neighbors said. And they said he seemed opinionated beyond his years about politics, religion, and even about keeping religion out of politics.

In his Bible Belt hometown that he once mockingly wrote in an e-mail had “more pews than people,” Private Manning refused to recite the parts of the Pledge of Allegiance that referred to God or do homework assignments that involved the Scriptures. And if a teacher challenged his views, former classmates said, he was quick to push back.

“He would get upset, slam books on the desk if people wouldn’t listen to him or understand his point of view,” said Chera Moore, who attended elementary and junior high school with him. “He would get really mad, and the teacher would say, ‘O.K., Bradley, get out.’ ”

It was something he would hear a lot throughout his life.

After Private Manning’s parents divorced, he moved with his mother to Haverfordwest, Wales, her hometown, and began a new chapter of isolation. Haverfordwest is several times bigger than Crescent. It is also centuries older, with traditions that run much deeper. A bustling market town, it offered a pace of life that was significantly faster.

Former students at his school there, Tasker Milward, remembered Private Manning being teased for all sort of reasons. His American accent. His love of Dr Pepper. The amount of time he spent huddled before a computer.

And then, students began to suspect he was gay.

Sometimes, former classmates said, he reacted to the teasing by idly boasting about stealing other students’ girlfriends. At other times, he openly flirted with boys. Often, with only the slightest provocation, he would launch into fits of rage.

“It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through,” said Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in high school. “Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages.”

But life ahead did not immediately brighten for Private Manning. After his troubled high school years, his mother sent him back to Oklahoma to live with his father and his older sister.

He was hired and quickly fired from a small software company, where his employer, Kord Campbell, recalled him as clean-cut and highly intelligent with an almost innate sense for programming, as well as the personality of a bull in a china shop. Then his father found out he was gay and kicked him out of the house, friends said. Mr. Clark, the Cambridge friend, said Private Manning told him he lived out of his car briefly while he worked in a series of minimum-wage retail jobs.

He enlisted in the Army in 2007, to try to give his life some direction and to help to pay for college, friends said.

He was granted a security clearance and trained as an intelligence analyst at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., before being assigned to the Second Brigade 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Before being deployed to Iraq, Private Manning met Tyler Watkins, who described himself on his blog as a classical musician, singer and drag queen. A friend said the two had little in common, but Private Manning fell head over heels. Mr. Watkins, who did not respond to interview requests for this article, was a student at Brandeis University. On trips to visit him here in Cambridge, Private Manning got to know many in Mr. Watkins’ wide network of friends, including some who were part of this university town’s tight-knit hacker community.

Friends said Private Manning found the atmosphere here to be everything the Army was not: openly accepting of his geeky side, his liberal political opinions, his relationship with Mr. Watkins and his ambition to do something that would get attention.

Although hacking has come to mean a lot of different things, at its core, those who do it say, is the philosophy that information should be free and accessible to all. And Private Manning had access to some of the most secret information on the planet.

Meanwhile, his military career was anything but stellar. He had been reprimanded twice, including once for assaulting an officer. He wrote in e-mails that he felt “regularly ignored” by his superiors “except when I had something essential, then it was back to ‘Bring me coffee, then sweep the floor.’ ”

And it seems the more isolated he felt in the military — he wore custom dog tags that said “Humanist,” and friends said he kept a toy fairy wand on his desk in Iraq — the more he clung to his hacker friends.

According to Wired magazine, Private Manning told Mr. Watkins last January that he had gotten his hands on a secret video showing a military helicopter attack that killed two Reuters photographers and one Iraqi civilian.

In a computer chat with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning said he gave the video to WikiLeaks in February. Then, after WikiLeaks released it in April, Private Manning hounded Mr. Watkins about whether there had been any public reaction. “That was one of his major concerns once he’d done this,” Mr. Watkins told Wired. “Was it really going to make a difference?”

In his computer chats with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning described how he downloaded the video and lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables.

“Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack,” he boasted. But even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself “emotionally fractured” and a “wreck” and said he was “self-medicating like crazy.”

And as he faces the possibility of a lifetime in prison, some of Private Manning’s remarks now seem somewhat prophetic.

“I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much,” he wrote, “if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press.”

Ben Fenwick contributed reporting from Oklahoma City, and Ravi Somaiya from Haverfordwest, Wales. Toby Lyles contributed research.

What to do about WikiLeaks? Not much can be done

August 7, 2010

by Lolita C. Baldor

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An online whistle-blower’s threat to release more classified Pentagon and State Department documents is raising difficult questions of what the government can or would do, legally, technically or even militarily to stop it.

Constrained by the global reach of the Internet, sophisticated encryption software and the domestic legal system, the answer seems to be: Not much.

But if the U.S. government believes that the release of classified documents WikiLeaks is preparing to disclose will threaten national security or put lives at risk, cyber and legal experts say the options could expand to include cyber strikes to take down the WikiLeaks website and destroy its files or covert operations to steal or disable the files.

It all sounds, at times, like a spy movie, where the possibilities extend as far as the imagination can reach. But most outsiders agree that reality is probably far less dramatic.

At the center of the drama was the posting last week of a massive 1.4 gigabyte mystery file named “Insurance” on the WikiLeaks website.

The “Insurance” file is encrypted, nearly impossible to open until WikiLeaks provides the passwords. But experts suggest that if anyone can crack it — it would be the National Security Agency.

That file, coupled with WikiLeaks’ release of more than 77,000 secret military documents last month, prompted the Pentagon to demand that the website’s editor-in-chief, Julian Assange, cancel any new document dumps and pull back the Afghan war data he already posted.

WikiLeaks slammed the demand as an obnoxious threat, and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell declined to detail what, if any, actions the Defense Department may be ready to take.

Few people involved, for the Pentagon and other agencies, would talk openly about what the Pentagon or the clandestine NSA could or would do to stop the expected document dump. It is not even clear if U.S. officials actually know what WikiLeaks has.

“Do we believe that WikiLeaks has additional cables? We do,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. “Do we believe that those cables are classified? We do. And are they State Department cables? Yes.”

Officials say the data may also include up to 15,000 military documents related to the Afghanistan war that were not made public in the initial release.

Daniel Schmitt, a WikiLeaks spokesman in Berlin, said Saturday the new batch of classified documents the website is preparing to release will contribute to the public’s understanding of the war.

“Hopefully with this understanding, public scrutiny will then influence governments to develop better politics,” he told The Associated Press.

Schmitt denied that the disclosure of the documents is a threat to U.S. security interests.

Assuming the documents contain highly sensitive information that threatens national security, the U.S. must weigh a number of options, experts say.

First, from a legal standpoint, there is probably little the U.S. government can do to stop WikiLeaks from posting the files.

It is against federal law to knowingly and willfully disclose or transmit classified information. But Assange, an Australian who has no permanent address and travels frequently, is not a U.S. citizen.

Since Assange is a foreign citizen living in a foreign country, it’s not clear that U.S. law would apply, said Marc Zwillinger, a Washington lawyer and former federal cyber crimes prosecutor. He said prosecutors would have to figure out what crime to charge Assange with, and then face the daunting task of trying to indict him or persuade other authorities to extradite him.

It would be equally difficult, Zwillinger said, to effectively use an injunction to prevent access to the data.

“Could the U.S. get an injunction to force U.S. Internet providers to block traffic to and from WikiLeaks such that people couldn’t access the website?” Zwillinger said. “It’s an irrelevant question. There would be thousands of paths to get to it. So it wouldn’t really stop people from getting to the site. They would be pushing the legal envelope without any real benefit.”

Legal questions aside, the encrypted file conjures visions of secret codebreakers hunched over their laptops, tearing open secret, protected files in seconds with a few keystrokes.

Reality is not that simple. It appears WikiLeaks used state-of-the-art software requiring a sophisticated electronic sequence of numbers, called a 256-bit key, to open them.

The main way to break such an encrypted file is by what’s called a “brute force attack,” which means trying every possible key, or password, said Herbert Lin, a senior computer science and cryptology expert at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.

Unlike a regular six- or eight-character password that most people use every day, a 256-bit key would equal a 40 to 50 character password, he said.

If it takes 0.1 nanosecond to test one possible key and you had 100 billion computers to test the possible number variations, “it would take this massive array of computers 10 to the 56th power seconds — the number 1, followed by 56 zeros” to plow through all the possibilities, said Lin.

How long is that?

“The age of the universe is 10 to the 17th power seconds,” explained Lin. “We will wait a long time for the U.S. government or anyone else to decrypt that file by brute force.”

Could the NSA, which is known for its supercomputing and massive electronic eavesdropping abilities abroad, crack such an impregnable code?

It depends on how much time and effort they want to put into it, said James Bamford, who has written two books on the NSA.

The NSA has the largest collection of supercomputers in the world. And officials have known for some time that WikiLeaks has classified files in its possession.

The agency, he speculated, has probably been looking for a vulnerability or gap in the code, or a backdoor into the commercial encryption program protecting the file.

At the more extreme end, the NSA, the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies — including the newly created Cyber Command — have probably reviewed options for using a cyber attack against the website, which could disrupt networks, files, electricity, and so on.

“This is the kind of thing that they are geared for,” said Bamford, “since this is the type of thing a terrorist organization might have — a website that has damaging information on it. They would want to break into it, see what’s there and then try to destroy it.”

The vast nature of the Internet, however, makes it essentially impossible to stop something, or take it down, once it has gone out over multiple servers

In the end, U.S. officials will have to weigh whether a more aggressive response is worth the public outrage it would likely bring. Most experts predict that, despite the uproar, the government will probably do little other than bluster, and the documents will come out anyway.

“Once you start messing with the Internet, taking things down, and going to the maximum extent to hide everything from coming out, it doesn’t necessarily serve your purpose,” said Bamford. “It makes the story bigger than it would have been had the documents been released in the first place.”

“If, in the end, the goal is to decrease the damage, you have to wonder whether pouring fuel on the fire is a reasonable solution,” he said.


AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.

AP Exclusive: CIA flight carried secret from Gitmo

August 6,2010

by Matt Apuzzo And Adam Goldman,

Associated Press–

WASHINGTON – A white, unmarked Boeing 737 landed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before dawn on a CIA mission so secretive, many in the nation’s war on terrorism were kept in the dark.

Four of the nation’s most highly valued terrorist prisoners were aboard.

They arrived at Guantanamo on Sept. 24, 2003, years earlier than the U.S. has ever disclosed. Then, months later, they were just as quietly whisked away before the Supreme Court could give them access to lawyers.

The transfer allowed the U.S. to interrogate the detainees in CIA “black sites” for two more years without allowing them to speak with attorneys or human rights observers or challenge their detention in U.S. courts. Had they remained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for just three more months, they would have been afforded those rights.

“This was all just a shell game to hide detainees from the courts,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a Seton Hall University law professor who has represented several detainees.

Removing them from Guantanamo Bay underscores how worried President George W. Bush’s administration was that the Supreme Court might lift the veil of secrecy on the detention program. It also shows how insistent the Bush administration was that terrorists must be held outside the U.S. court system.

Years later, the program’s legacy continues to complicate President Barack Obama’s efforts to prosecute the terrorists behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The arrival and speedy departure from Guantanamo were pieced together by The Associated Press using flight records and interviews with current and former U.S. officials and others familiar with the CIA’s detention program. All spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the program.

Top officials at the White House, Justice Department, Pentagon and CIA consulted on the prisoner transfer, officials said.

“The so-called black sites and enhanced interrogation methods, which were administered on the basis of guidance from the Department of Justice, are a thing of the past,” CIA spokesman George Little said.

The American Civil Liberties Union renewed its call for a broad criminal investigation into the detention program Friday.

“Secret detention constitutes a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, and the officials who authorized the CIA’s secret prisons and torture program should be held accountable,” Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director said.

At least four admitted al-Qaida operatives, some of the CIA’s biggest captures to date, were on the plane to Guantanamo: Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-Nashiri, Ramzi Binalshibh and Mustafa al-Hawsawi.

Binalshibh and al-Hawsawi helped plan the 9/11 attacks. Al-Nashiri was the mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Zubaydah was an al-Qaida travel facilitator. They had spent months overseas enduring some of the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history.

By late summer 2003, the CIA believed the men had revealed their best secrets. The agency needed somewhere to hold them, but no longer needed to conduct prolonged interrogations.

The U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay seemed a good fit. Bush had selected the first six people to face military tribunals there, and a federal appeals court unanimously ruled that detainees could not use U.S. courts to challenge their imprisonment.

And the CIA had just constructed a new facility, which would become known as Strawberry Fields, separate from the main prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The agency’s overseas prison network, meanwhile, was in flux. A jail in Thailand known as Cat’s Eye closed in December 2002, and in the fall of 2003 the CIA was preparing to shutter its facility in Poland and open a new one in Romania. Human rights investigators and journalists were asking questions. The CIA needed to reshuffle its prisoners.

The prisoner transfer flight, outlined in documents and interviews, visited five CIA prisons in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania, Morocco and Guantanamo Bay. The flight plan was so poorly thought out, some in the CIA derisively compared it to a five-card straight revealing the program to outsiders: Five stops, five secret facilities, all documented.

The flight logs were compiled by European authorities investigating the CIA program.

The flight started in Kabul, where the CIA picked up al-Hawsawi at the secret prison known as the Salt Pit. The Boeing 737 then flew to Szymany, Poland, where a CIA team picked up professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and took him to Bucharest, Romania, to the new prison, code-named Britelite.

Next it was on to Rabat, Morocco, where the Moroccans ran an interrogation facility used by the CIA.

At 8:10 p.m. on Sept. 23, 2003, the Boeing 737 took off from a runway in Rabat. On board were al-Hawsawi, al-Nashiri, Zubaydah and Binalshibh. At 1 a.m. the following day, the plane touched down at Guantanamo.

The existence of a CIA prison at Guantanamo was reported in 2004, but it has always been unclear who was there. Unlike the overseas black sites, there was no waterboarding or other harsh interrogation tactics at Strawberry Fields, officials said. It was a holding facility, a place for some of the key figures in the 9/11 attacks to await trial.

Not long after they arrived, things began unraveling. In November, over the administration’s objections, the Supreme Court agreed to consider whether Guantanamo Bay detainees could sue in U.S. courts.

The administration had worried for several years that this might happen. In 2001, Justice Department lawyers Patrick Philbin and John Yoo wrote a memo saying courts were unlikely to grant detainees such rights. But if it happened, they warned, prisoners could argue that the U.S. had mistreated them and that the military tribunal system was unlawful.

“There was obviously a fear that everything that had been done to them might come out,” said al-Nashiri’s lawyer, Nancy Hollander.

Worse for the CIA, if the Supreme Court granted detainees rights, the entire covert program was at risk. Zubaydah and al-Nashiri could tell their lawyers about being waterboarded in Thailand. Al-Nashiri might discuss having a drill and an unloaded gun put to his head at a CIA prison in Poland.

“Anything that could expose these detainees to individuals outside the government was a nonstarter,” one U.S. official familiar with the program said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the government’s legal analysis.

In early March 2004, as the legal documents piled up at the Supreme Court, the high court announced that oral arguments would be held in April. After that, a ruling could come at any time, and everyone at the island prison — secretly or not — would be covered.

On March 27, just as the sun was setting on Guantanamo, a Gulfstream IV jet left Cuba. The plane landed in Rabat the next morning. By the time the Supreme Court ruled June 28 that detainees should have access to U.S. courts, the CIA had once again scattered Zubaydah, al-Nashiri and the others throughout the black sites.

Two years later, after The Washington Post revealed the existence of the program, Bush emptied the prison network. Fourteen men, including the four who had been at Guantanamo Bay years earlier, were moved to the island prison. They have remained there ever since.

The four men who were making their second journey to Guantanamo Bay received what they nearly obtained years earlier, before they were spirited away.

“The International Committee of the Red Cross is being advised of their detention and will have the opportunity to meet with them,” Bush said in a White House speech Sept. 6, 2006. “Those charged with crimes will be given access to attorneys who will help them prepare their defense, and they will be presumed innocent.”

Appeals court limits use of GPS to track suspects

August 7, 2010

by Spencer S. Hsu

Washington Post

A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Friday that police cannot use a Global Positioning System device to track a person’s movements for an extended time without a warrant, clearing the way for the Supreme Court to decide the privacy impact of the new surveillance technology in products such as cellphones and vehicle-navigation systems.

The decision, by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, created a split with federal circuit courts in New York and California that have upheld warrantless GPS tracking of a vehicle by law enforcement. Feeding the national debate, a half-dozen state courts have issued conflicting rulings, while police across the country embrace GPS tools in hunting drug dealers, sexual predators and violent criminals.

In striking down the drug conviction of Antoine Jones, former co-owner of a District nightclub called Levels, the D.C. court said the FBI and District police overstepped their authority by tracking his movements round-the-clock for four weeks, placing a GPS monitoring device on his Jeep after an initial warrant had expired.

U.S. Circuit Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, writing for a unanimous and ideologically diverse panel that included judges David S. Tatel and Thomas B. Griffith, said such surveillance technology represents a leap forward in potential government intrusion that violates constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.

“A single trip to a gynecologist’s office tells little about a woman, but that trip followed a few weeks later by a visit to a baby supply store tells a different story,” Ginsburg wrote.

He added, “A person who knows all of another’s travels can deduce whether he is a weekly churchgoer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups — and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts.”

Bill Miller, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. of the District said, “We’re studying the opinion and have no further comment.”

Jones’s attorney, Stephen Leckar, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed friend of the court briefs, called the case an important constitutional precedent ready for Supreme Court review.

“This case is really a big step toward bringing the Fourth Amendment into the 21st century,” said Arthur Spitzer of the D.C. ACLU. “The technology of the 21st century needs to be judged on its own terms, and not in terms of what some early 20th-century technologies meant.”

Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the case has important implications for cellphone GPS tracking. The federal government has mandated that U.S. cellphone carriers make nearly all their phones trackable for help in 911 emergencies. However, companies say that the federal law that allows them to turn over data to law enforcement without subpoenas is prone to abuse.

Although federal magistrate judges typically require warrants for GPS-enabled cellphone tracking, the issue is before a federal circuit court for the first time in Philadelphia, Bankston said.

In the Jones vehicle-tracking case, civil libertarians say police should have obtained a judge’s approval for a warrant based on probable cause that he was committing a crime. Police argue that officers can freely trail a person on public thoroughfares, and using technology to do the same thing saves taxpayer money and police resources.

The Supreme Court in 1983 held that the use without a warrant of a “beeper”-like transponder to track five gallons of chemicals carried by a suspect in his car from Minneapolis to a drug lab at a lakeside cabin in Wisconsin was permissible. The car’s driver had no expectation of privacy because he drove on public roads and “voluntarily conveyed to anyone who wanted to look” where he was going.

However, the Court also noted that evidence about the suspect’s car monitored only a single one-way trip, and withheld judgment about whether a warrant would be needed for “dragnet-type” or “twenty-four hour surveillance” by law enforcement. In Friday’s opinion, the D.C. appellate judges focused on the unprecedented reach of new technology, making surveillance possible continuously and cheaply.

“Practical considerations prevent visual surveillance from lasting very long. Continuous human surveillance for a week would require all the time and expense of several police officers,” Ginsburg wrote.

Obama Presidency Showing True Colours

August 7, 2010

By Niles Gardiner

Telegraph/co UK

What the great French historian Alexis de Tocqueville would make of today’s Obama administration were he alive today is anyone’s guess. But I would wager that the author of L’Ancien Régime and Democracy in America would be less than impressed with the extravagance and arrogance on display among the White House elites that rule America as though they had been handed some divine right to govern with impunity.

It is the kind of impunity that has been highlighted on the world stage this week by Michelle Obama’s hugely costly trip to Spain, which has prompted a New York Post columnist Andrea Tantaros to dub the First Lady a contemporary Marie Antoinette. As The Telegraph reports, while the Obamas are covering their own vacation expenses such as accommodation, the trip may cost US taxpayers as much as $375,000 in terms of secret service security and flight costs on Air Force Two.

The timing of this lavish European vacation could not have come at a worse moment, when unemployment in America stands at 10 percent, and large numbers of Americans are fighting to survive financially in the wake of the global economic downturn. It sends a message of indifference, even contempt, for the millions of Americans who are struggling just to feed their families on a daily basis and pay the mortgage, while the size of the national debt balloons to Greek-style proportions.

While the liberal-dominated US mainstream media have largely ignored the story, it is all over the blogosphere and talk radio, and will undoubtedly add to the President’s free falling poll ratings. As much as the media establishment turn a blind eye to stories like this, which are major news in the international media, the American public is increasingly turning to alternative news sources, including the British press, which has a far less deferential approach towards the White House.

The First Lady’s ill-conceived trip to Marbella and the complete disregard for public opinion and concerns over excessive government spending is symbolic of a far wider problem with the Obama presidency – the overarching disdain for the principles of limited government, individual liberty and free enterprise that have built the United States over the course of nearly two and a half centuries into the most powerful and free nation on earth.

It is epitomised above all by the President’s relentless drive towards big government against the will of the American people, and the dramatic increases in government spending and borrowing, which threaten to leave the US hugely in debt for generations. It is also showcased by Barack Obama’s drive towards a socialised health care system, which, as I’ve noted before, is “a thinly disguised vanity project for a president who is committed to transforming the United States from the world’s most successful large-scale free enterprise economy, to a highly interventionist society with a massive role for centralized government.”

There is however a political revolution fast approaching Washington that is driven not by mob rule but by the power of ideas and principles, based upon the ideals of the Founding Fathers and the US Constitution. It is a distinctly conservative revolution that is sweeping America and is reflected in almost every poll ahead of this November’s mid-terms. It is based on a belief in individual liberty, limited government, and above all, political accountability from the ruling elites. The Obama administration’s mantra may well be “let them eat cake”, as it continues to gorge itself on taxpayers’ money, but it will be looking nervously over its shoulder as public unease mounts.

Source: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100050002/the-obama-presidency-increasingly-resembles-a-modern-day-ancien-regime-extravagant-and-out-of-touch-with-ordinary-people/

The Conversations with the Crow

When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert  T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

Crowley did not listen to them (noe one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:


Here is the twenty-first chapter

Conversation No. 21

Date:  Tuesday, July 2,, 1996

Commenced:  2:34 PM CST

Concluded: 2:50 PM CST

RTC: Good afternoon, Gregory. How is it with you?

GD: Well enough. And with you?

RTC: Getting feeble, Gregory, and I forget names as you know but other than that, fine. GD: How is your death ray working against the Swiss?
RTC: Well, there haven’t been any ambulances out there so I assume it doesn’t kill them. And no one running naked down the street, screaming either.

GD: Pity. Or perhaps not. Most humans look much better with clothes. Maybe about sixteen they peak and from then, it’s down hill all the way. Gravity takes over in women and the tits and the food bags sag a bit.

RTC: Unkind. Gregory, what do you know about bubonic plague?
GD: A bit. I worked in pathology once and read several papers on it. Why? Do you think you have it?

RTC: No, I was talking with an old friend I used to work with occasionally yesterday and the subject came up. I don’t like to appear ignorant so I listened appreciatively while we had coffee and cakes. What do you know about it?

GD: Now it’s called Yersi nia pestis Changed the name a few years back, I think. Caused by the bite of infected fleas which, in turn infect people. Get it from squirrels, rabbits and often from cats. Dogs too, for that matter. Is that what you wanted to know?
RTC: Is it easy to spread?

GD: Depends.

RTC: If they put it into an aerosol?
GD: Pneumonic plague. Yes, I’m sure it could be done.

RTC: Oh, it has, it has. Up at Detrick.[1] Uses aerosol. So I’m told. What’s the fatality rate, if you know.

GD: As I recall over 50%. It takes about a week to develop. If the weather conditions are just right, pneumonic plague can be very deadly. That spreads in the air. I mean, if someone infected with it got on a commercial aircraft, they circulate the air in those germ hostels and as I said, if an infected person was on a flight, I think everyone on that flight would be at serious risk. And, naturally, they would spread it in public transportation, at home or at work. Nasty stuff. What are they up to at Detrick?

RTC: Ah well, these people are always making up batches of death just like the Army is always drawing up plans to invade Canada. Their idea is to have it ready just in case.

GD: Yes. I have found that if some new and deadly weapon is developed, the general staffs of various countries having it just can’t wait to use it Müller said the German Army used plague in their Russian POW camps to thin them out but that he effectively blocked it by telling Hitler that there are no customs posts around to stop the disease from spreading to the rest of the country. They felt the camps were far enough east to keep that under control but Hitler put a stop to it.

RTC: Interesting.

GD: Dr. Schreiber was their man. And yours, too. We got him in ’48 and he went to San Antonio.

RTC: Well nothing happened

GD: That was then. I doubt if Clinton would approve that sort of thing but who know about someone else?

RTC: If they did do that, they would have to send the clean-up squad around to off the ones who were in the know.

GD: Something like that would work in an overcrowded and poor country. Here, yes, it would kill a lot but there are medical means to stop it pretty well if they can get a handle on it.

RTC: Well, it isn’t on the agenda for domestic use.

GD: Any place in mind? I mean, I do travel and you know if there was some target area……

RTC: Russia has been mentioned but mostly China. It is coming up but basically poor and heavy population density. And there has been talk about letting a rice plague loose down there. All of them gobble up rice…they live on it…and if we killed of the crops there for, oh let’s say about two-three years running, they would starve.

GD: True and their resistance would be greatly lowered. A one-two punch,  Robert? First the rice crops are ruined and then the plague? I’m sure there are plenty of rats in China and plenty of unsanitary living conditions.

RTC: Well, right now, we do a lot of business with them so the word is out they are off the table but if they ever turn out to be a threat to us…you know what I mean of course.

GD: Flaming pragmatism, Robert.

RTC: Let’s call it defending the nation.

GD: Well, the civilized British put out smallpox infected blankets and killed off many Indians. I notice the even more civilized French preferred to work with the Indians rather that slaughter them. Still, that is over and done with, isn’t it?

RTC: Don’t be too sure, Gregory.

GD: Yes, but they could do it to us first, couldn’t they. I know the Chinese and they are a cold-blooded lot.

RTC: Mutual destruction thesis? Yes, of course. But then this is just talk.

GD: They must be working on it…

RTC: No, lad, they have it. It isn’t making it and putting in the bug cans but deciding to use it I was thinking of.

GD: I really wouldn’t want to live in DC at all. Reasons like this.

RTC: I’m too old and too set to move and I suppose I will die soon enough.

GD: We grow rice here in California and Louisiana but rice isn’t a real staple. I think that’s a Pandora’s Box. Leave it closed.

RTC: Nothing I would recommend but just wondered what you knew.

GD: Well, if your chum tips you that they are about to do something like that, please let me know. I could send my mother-in-law to ground zero. No, actually, the old pig exploded some time ago. God, the bitch was fat. My wife told me that her mother was dead and do you know what I said?

RTC: Something meaningful and sympathetic?
GD: No, not actually. I said ‘How can they tell?’ No sex for a week, Robert. Too bad we didn’t have a cat or I wouldn’t have had to make up with her.

RTC: (Laughter) Did you say that?

GD: Yes, and I meant it. It was hard for Tubs to get into a shower so she just doused herself with cheap perfume. My God, it stank like a Mexican whorehouse. Did you know, Robert, that someone once asked me if I played the piano and I told them that I did and that I had learned to play in my aunt’s whorehouse in Juarez.

RTC: Your aunt….

GD: Do not let us speak of my aunt. I have said before, Robert, that one of the dreams of my life was to watch her do the breaststroke in a septic tank.

(Concluded at 2:50 PM CST)

Dramatis personae:

James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organizaion eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired and lives in retirement in Florida

Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarian and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.

Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers.

[1] Fort Detrick a 1,200 acre secure U.S. Army Medical Command installation located in Frederick, Maryland, Historically, Fort Detrick was the center for the United States’ biological weapons program (1943-69). And while officially no longer engaged in preparations for biological warfare against external enemies, is is still involved in research on such diseases as smallpox and various forms of other entities. Oft-heard ruimors circulating in intelligence circles, both in the U.S. and abroad, suggest that the anthrax attacks following the 9/11 attacks had a connection with a strain developed at Detrick.

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