Monday, December 2, 2013

Continuity of NSA surveillance after martial law declaration ? Wonder why National Intelligence Director James Clapper thought running this through recently ( quite quietly with the fuss over the Obamacare disaster website providing cover ) was paramount ? As this was just signed November 12 , 2013 , is a national emergency looming ? NSA Employees receive talking points for Thanksgiving ?? And NSA surveillance of porn sites - and not just so called terrorists targeted of course....

Directive Provides Government With Intelligence After Declaration of Martial Law

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James Clapper’s directive fires up NSPD 51 providing Department of Homeland Security with ominous police state authority.
Kurt Nimmo
November 2, 2013
A constellation of federal government intelligence agencies.
A constellation of federal government intelligence agencies.
Even in the unlikely event there is a nuclear war or some other catastrophic event, a directive issued by the director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, will make sure the NSA still listens in on your calls, that is if there are any phones or cell towers left following Armageddon.
The directive, issued on November 12, makes certain the “President, the Vice President, statutory successors, and other national leaders, as appropriate, are provided with timely, insightful, objective, and relevant national intelligence wherever they are located and in all conditions.”
Clapper’s directive sets in motion NSPD 51, which provides the Department of Homeland Security with ominous police state authority.
“The new Directive implements the Bush Administration’s 2007 National Security Presidential Directive 51 on ‘National Continuity Policy.’ Presidential directives remain in force unless or until they are superseded or rescinded,” the FAS Project on Government Secrecy reported on December 2.
The directive falls under COG, or Continuity of Government, and draws on the National Security Act of 1947 (creating the current national security state and the CIA), a number of executive orders, NSPD-51, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, and “other applicable provisions of law.”
COG Designed to Establish Police State Following Declaration of Martial Law
During the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, COG was exposed as a plan to suspend the Constitution and impose martial law in America.
According to a report published in the Miami Herald, the plan called for taking over federal, state and local government functions during a national emergency. COG, as envisioned by the National Security Council, called for “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the government over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, emergency appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law,” writes Peter Dale Scott.
Initially established as a response to nuclear war, COG planning underwent a critical transformation during the Reagan administration. Under Reagan, it was modified to be a police state response for any “national security emergency,” a move that was codified in Executive Order 12656.
“In other words extraordinary emergency measures, originally designed for an America devastated in a nuclear attack, were now to be applied to anything the White House considered an emergency,” writes Scott.
The Boston Globe spelled out the new parameters: “Lt. Col. Oliver North was working with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency… to draw up a secret contingency plan to surveil political dissenters and to arrange for the detention of hundreds of thousands of undocumented aliens in case of an unspecified national emergency. The plan, part of which was codenamed Rex 84, called for the suspension of the Constitution under a number of scenarios, including a U.S. invasion of Nicaragua.”
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we witnessed a FEMA beta test of the extraordinary powers under COG and Rex 84, the latter a military readiness exercise designed to round-up and intern in concentration camps dissidents and other elements considered threatening to the government.
“These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law need to be implemented in the United States and all it would take is a presidential signature on a proclamation and the attorney general’s signature on a warrant to which a list of names is attached,” the Miami Herald reported on July 5, 1987.
“And there you have it — the real purpose of FEMA is to not only protect the government but to be its principal vehicle for martial law,” writes Allen L. Roland.

Rep. Jack Brooks questions COG and REX-84.
COG was implemented during the attacks of September 11, 2001, by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, two of the original planners.
“What few have recognized is that, nearly a decade later, some aspects of COG remain in effect,” Scott continues. “COG plans are still authorized by a proclamation of emergency that has been extended each year by presidential authority, most recently by President Obama in September 2009. COG plans are also the probable source for the 1000-page Patriot Act presented to Congress five days after 9/11, and also for the Department of Homeland Security’s Project Endgame — a ten-year plan, initiated in September 2001, to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone.”
Laws passed since the 9/11 attacks, including the Patriot Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, and the Military Commissions Act, are designed top compliment and enhance COG operations that are more tightly focused on responding to internal dissent and palatable threats to the status quo than maintaining government cohesion after a nuclear attack.
Jerome Corsi talks about NSPD-51:

NSA employees received talking points for Thanksgiving dinner

Published time: December 02, 2013 22:10
NSA Director General Keith Alexander (Reuters / Steve Marcus)
NSA Director General Keith Alexander (Reuters / Steve Marcus)
If a politically-charged dinnertime debate sidelined your Thanksgiving, don’t blame the National Security Agency. New documents have surfaced suggesting the NSA sent their employees home for the holidays with pre-determined talking points.
Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake published a document on Monday that was allegedly handed out to employees of the intelligence agency ahead of Thanksgiving to ensure embattled staffers would stand their ground if family members or friends berated them about the ongoing surveillance scandal started six months ago by contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The first of a series of classified documents were disclosed by Snowden all the way back in June, and a steady stream of leaks has ensured that the US government’s top-secret surveillance operations haven’t gone unreported in the months since. In a document dated November 22, NSA employees and staffers of the Central Security Service (CSS) are presented with a laundry-list of items to share with loved ones this holiday season who might want to learn more about the most interesting federal agency of the year.
“NSA’s mission is of great value to the nation,” reads the first bullet point on a list of items cleared by the government “employees are authorizes to share . . . with family and close friends.”
The documents goes on to list over the course of two pages a number of factors that could brought up in conversation to remind others that the NSA is far from the most sinister organization in the world, even after revelations made possible through Snowden’s leaks have spawn a firestorm of criticism at the US intelligence community from seemingly all corners of the globe.
Elsewhere the document reminds staffers that the “NSA performs its mission the right way — lawful, complaint and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy,” and that that mission is performed “exceptionally well.”
As Gosztola was quick to note, however, independent audits of the NSA’s performance indicates anything but. Gosztola notes that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court acknowledged that the NSA has been found guilty of committing “longstanding and pervasive violations.” Additionally, calls for the agency to reform how it collects and handles personal data have been so widespread that congressional action earlier this year came exceptionally close to ending the NSA’s surveillance programs.
Again, though, the talking points memo makes claims that the “NSA is committed to increased transparency, public dialog and faithful implementation of any changes required by our overseers.” But half-a-year since the Snowden leaks first raised concern, critics of the agency’s surveillance operations insist that all too little is publically known about the NSA’s operations. Indeed, even the Obama administration’s supposed attempt to add a lawyer of oversight to the intelligence community in the wake of the blowback brought on by Snowden’s leaks was largely rejected when it was revealed that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would head an oversight committee.
The ‘review’ the NSA expects us all to appreciate is being overseen by the man who lied to Congress ,” wrote Gosztola, “and has also permitted various employees under his purview to lie to the secret surveillance court purportedly in place to prevent abuses of surveillance powers.” 
Other allegations made by the NSA in an attempt to drum up support for the agency are borderline erroneous and directly contradict leaked internal documents supplied to the media by Snowden during the last several months. “NSA does not target US citizens or permanent resident aliens,” the agency insists with one bullet point, adding that the government requires intelligence officers to show probable cause that a person in question should be targeted before moving forward with a probe — quite the contrary to leaked documents showing the NSA routinely collects telephony metadata pertaining to millions of Americans on a regular basis. Then one line down, the NSA claims they aren’t in the business of “stealing industry secrets in order to give US companies a competitive advantage,” but leaked Snowden docs showing American efforts in South America with respect to their oil industry suggest just that.
The latest memo from the NSA comes less than three months after Gosztola obtained a similar letter send home to intelligence workers early on in the Snowden saga in which the agency insisted, “We have weathered storms before and we will weather this one together, as well.”

The NSA's Porn-Surveillance Program: Not Safe for Democracy

Its targets extend beyond suspected terrorists—and some rhetoric that the First Amendment would protect is singled out.
Let's think through the troubling implications of the latest surveillance-state news. "The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches," Glenn Greenwald, Ryan Gallagher, and Ryan Grim report.
NSA apologists would have us believe that only terrorists have cause to be worried. A surveillance-state spokesperson told the Huffington Post, "without discussing specific individuals, it should not be surprising that the US Government uses all of the lawful tools at our disposal to impede the efforts of valid terrorist targets who seek to harm the nation and radicalize others to violence."
As the story notes, however, the targets are not necessarily terrorists. The term the NSA uses for them is "radicalizes," and if you're thinking of fiery orators urging people to strap on dynamite vests, know that the NSA chart accompanying the story includes one target who is a "well known media celebrity," and whose offense is arguing that "the U.S. perpetrated the 9/11 attacks." It makes one wonder if the NSA believes it would be justified in targeting any 9/11 truther. The chart* shows another target whose "writings appear on numerous jihadi websites" (it doesn't specify whether the writings were produced for those websites or merely posted there), and whose offending argument is that "the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself." That could be a crude description of what the Reverend Jeremiah Wright or Ron Paul thinks about 9/11.
The article quotes another defender of the program as follows:
Stewart Baker, a one-time general counsel for the NSA and a top Homeland Security official in the Bush administration, said that the idea of using potentially embarrassing information to undermine targets is a sound one. "If people are engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans and we can discredit them, we ought to," said Baker. "On the whole, it's fairer and maybe more humane" than bombing a target, he said, describing the tactic as "dropping the truth on them."
Any system can be abused, Baker allowed, but he said fears of the policy drifting to domestic political opponents don't justify rejecting it. "On that ground you could question almost any tactic we use in a war, and at some point you have to say we're counting on our officials to know the difference," he said.
That is a stunning quote. If the history of the FBI and NSA teach us anything, it is that officials cannot be counted on to know the difference between legitimate surveillance and abuses of power. Constant checks on the judgment of insiders is vital. As well, the characterization of targets as people "engaged in trying to recruit folks to kill Americans" isn't necessarily accurate. The chart appears to set forth targeting criteria that go well beyond people trying to recruit killers of Americans.
"The NSA is using its considerable resources to repeat J Edgar Hoover’s tactics," Marcy Wheeler writes. "But it also shows that it is deploying such efforts against men who may not be the bogeymen NSA’s apologists make them out to be." Here's what I see:
1) The NSA is conducting surveillance on the porn habits of individuals, which means that the NSA is developing expertise in discrediting people with their online behavior. It's that same expertise that led to serious surveillance abuses in the past.
2) The people targeted aren't necessarily terrorists. They aren't necessarily terrorist recruiters either, even though NSA defenders talk as if they're the only targets.
3) It's unclear exactly what makes one a target, which is troubling, especially since the chart in the story includes rhetoric that would be protected by the First Amendment. Do we trust the NSA to decide what makes someone a radicalized? It isn't clear what, if anything, would stop the NSA from targeting someone illegitimately.
4) One target is identified as a "U.S. person," so that clearly isn't off-limits.
5) Apart from the propriety of this program, there is a question of its effectiveness. The NSA is responsible for intercepting intelligence that tips us off to the next Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Is it really an effective use of time and resources to monitor the pornography habits of "radicalizes" in a bid to discredit them by proving them hypocrites? I wonder what the NSA would point to as successful cases, if they revealed such things, and whether the benefits outweighed the costs.
In my estimation, it is folly to empower a secretive, unaccountable national-security bureaucracy to discredit people with their private sexual habits, because that is exactly the sort of program that humans seem unable to run without perpetrating abuses. NSA defenders talk as if past abuses of very similar programs are irrelevant. "I think we can describe them as historical rather than current scandals," Baker said. What he didn't explain is why history won't repeat itself. Human nature hasn't changed. The tendency of secretive national security bureaucracies to expand the sorts of people it targets and violate civil liberties hasn't changed. Jameel Jaffer is right: "The NSA has used its power that way in the past and it would be naïve to think it couldn't use its power that way in the future." The sketchy information we have suggests that the NSA does not have narrowly defined criteria for what makes legitimate targets, and it is unclear how abuses would be flagged.
The need for reform is clear.
*As an aside, I wonder why this chart was shared with the Drug Enforcement Administration.