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Saturday, May 27, 2006


NSA Snoop Program: All About
The Neocon Enemies List

Written by Kurt Nimmo
[Copyright (c) 2006 in the U.S.A. and
Internationally by Another Day in
the Empire (kurtnimmo.com),
and/or Kurt Nimmo.
All rights reserved.]

 

     National Review Online, the home of many a Straussian neocon, has posted an excerpt from William Arkin on its Media Blog page. Arkin, who writes a column for the CIA’s favorite newspaper, the Washington Post (the editors over there like to call Arkin’s Early Warning a blog), declared on May 16, in regard to the massive NSA snoop program, “there is no enemies list” and the “Bush administration has been arrogant and incompetent in communicating to the American public. It has cynically split the country into red and blue in order to give itself greater power to pursue a wrong-headed national security strategy that it claims is red, white and blue…. The Congress has also utterly failed in five months to get to the bottom of the NSA’s warantless surveillance program and thereby resolve its legality and assuage public anxiety.” In other words, it is simply more partisan politics and splenetic political manipulation la mode de Karl Rove. Nothing to see here, except a bit of unresolved legality. Please move along.

If you believe that Bush and the neocons in the White House and the Pentagon, as Arkin suggests, have not drawn up a comprehensive list of domestic enemies, and are not snooping them right now, I have a chartreuse pony to sell you.

It’s no mistake Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden was breezily selected, as predicted, by a large number of senators (78-15 in his favor) earlier today. Hayden will merge CIA and Pentagon covert and snoop operations and scant little of the work will concentrate on Osama’s cartoonish cave dwellers and the spurious boogieman known as “al-Qaeda.” William Arkin may trust his government to employ a colossal snoop program in a myopic effort to gain short term political gain, but those of us who take a look at not too distant history understand otherwise.

Verne Lyon, a former CIA undercover operative, wrote for Covert Action Information Bulletin, Summer 1990, that with “the DCS, the DOD [Domestic Operations Division], the old boy network, and the CIA Office of Security operating without congressional oversight or public knowledge, all that was needed to bring [Operation Chaos] together was a perceived threat to the national security and a presidential directive unleashing the dogs. That happened in 1965 when President Johnson instructed [John] McCone to provide an independent analysis of the growing problem of student protest against the war in Vietnam. Prior to this, Johnson had to rely on information provided by the FBI, intelligence that he perceived to be slanted by Hoover’s personal views, which often ignored the facts.” In order to “achieve the intelligence being asked for by the President, the CIA’s Office of Security, the Counter-Intelligence division, and the newly created DOD turned to the old boy network for help.” Lyon continues:

As campus anti-war protest activity spread across the nation, the CIA reacted by implementing two new domestic operations. The first, Project RESISTANCE, was designed to provide security to CIA recruiters on college campuses. Under this program, the CIA sought active cooperation from college administrators, campus security, and local police to help identify anti-war activists, political dissidents, and “radicals.” Eventually information was provided to all government recruiters on college campuses and directly to the super-secret DOD on thousands of students and dozens of groups. The CIA’s Office of Security also created Project MERRIMAC, to provide warnings about demonstrations being carried out against CIA facilities or personnel in the Washington area.

All of this should be familiar, as the Pentagon’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA) kept a database on “a motley group of about 10 peace activists [who] showed up outside the Houston headquarters of Halliburton” in 2004, according to Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, in order to protest the corporation’s “supposed” war profiteering. “A Defense document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA’s database. It’s not clear why the Pentagon considered the protest worthy of attention,” muses the clueless Isikoff, about as tuned in to domestic spook operations (in the case of the CIA, quite illegal under its charter) as his colleague, William Arkin, who should know better. The CIFA’s activity in regard to Haliburton is reminiscent of Project RESISTANCE, a domestic espionage operation coordinated under the DOD, a fact discovered with a simple Wikipedia search (obviously, writers working for Newsweek and the Washington Post cannot be bothered with online encyclopedias).

Under Operation Chaos and Project MERRIMAC, the CIA went about violating the strictures of the Bill of Rights with customary zeal. The CIA “infiltrated agents into domestic groups of all types and activities. It used its contacts with local police departments and their intelligence units to pick up its 'police skills'; and began in earnest to pull off burglaries, illegal entries, use of explosives, criminal frame-ups, shared interrogations, and disinformation. CIA teams purchased sophisticated equipment for many starved police departments and in return got to see arrest records, suspect lists, and intelligence reports. Many large police departments, in conjunction with the CIA, carried out illegal, warrantless searches of private properties, to provide intelligence for a report requested by President Johnson,” writes Lyon.

After Johnson left office, Nixon continued the programs. “In June 1970 Nixon met with Hoover, [Richard] Helms, NSA Director Admiral Noel Gaylor, and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) representative Lt. Gen. Donald V. Bennett and told them he wanted a coordinated and concentrated effort against domestic dissenters. To do that, he was creating the Interagency Committee on Intelligence (ICI), chaired by Hoover. The first ICI report, in late June, recommended new efforts in ‘black bag operations,’ wiretapping, and a mail-opening program. In late July 1970... the members of the ICI (were told) that their recommendations had been accepted by the White House.”

If not for the Church Committee (the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, a Senate committee chaired by Senator Frank Church in 1975), the extent of crimes committed by the CIA, FBI, and the Pentagon would have likely remained secret. According to revelations brought forth by the committee (see the Church Committee’s supplementary detailed staff report on Operation Chaos), during “the life of Operation CHAOS, the CIA had compiled personality files on over 13,000 individuals including more than 7,000 U.S. citizens as well as files on over 1,000 domestic groups. The CIA had shared information on more than 300,000 persons with different law enforcement agencies including the DIA and FBI. It had spied on, burglarized, intimidated, misinformed, lied to, deceived, and carried out criminal acts against thousands of citizens of the United States. It had placed itself above the law, above the Constitution, and in contempt of international diplomacy and the United States Congress. It had violated its charter and had contributed either directly or indirectly to the resignation of a President of the United States (Nixon). It had tainted itself beyond hope.”

Of all this, the CIA’s blatant contempt for the rights of individuals was the worst. This record of deceit and illegality, implored Congress as well as the President to take extreme measures to control the Agency’s activities. However, except for a few cosmetic changes made for public consumption such as the Congressional intelligence oversight committee nothing has been done to control the CIA. In fact, subsequent administrations have chosen to use the CIA for domestic operations as well. These renewed domestic operations began with Gerald Ford, were briefly limited by Jimmy Carter, and then extended dramatically by Ronald Reagan.

According to the corporate media and the standard gaggle of neocon pundits, we have nothing to fear now that Hayden has won over the Senate. After all, as the neocons assure us, the CIA and spook operations emanating out of the Pentagon (and the NSA) focus on “al-Qaeda,” a shadowy group with unestablished and undocumented ties within the United States, and those of us worried about the return of Operation Chaos, Project MERRIMAC, and the FBI’s COINTELPRO are simply paranoid tinfoil hatters or worse.

Never mind the superabundance of material demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt consistent government complicity in not only denying American citizens the right to dissent and seek redress of grievances, but also employing harassment and violence against them. It appears William Arkin simply does not bother to read history and is woefully ignorant of government subversion and desecration of the Constitution. His assertion that the Bush administration and the neocons at (their) core are not interested in “enemies list” a' la Nixon is, on its face, absurd and should be discarded as a dangerous fallacy.

Addendum

Allan Uthman writes for the Buffalo Beast (Top 10 Signs of the Impending U.S. Police State):

If Bush’s nominee for CIA chief, Air Force General Michael Hayden, is confirmed, that will put every spy program in Washington under military control. Hayden, who oversaw the NSA warrantless wiretapping program... is clearly down with the program. (W)hat program? To weaken and dismantle or at least neuter the CIA. Despite its best efforts to blame the CIA for “intelligence errors” leading to the Iraq war, the picture has clearly emerged — through extensive CIA leaks — that the White House’s analysis of Saddam’s destructive capacity was not shared by the Agency. This has proved to be a real pain in the ass for Bush and the gang.

Who’d have thought that career spooks would have moral qualms about deceiving the American people? And what is a president to do about it? Simple: make the critical agents leave, and fill their slots with Bush/Cheney loyalists. Then again, why not simply replace the entire organization? That is essentially what both Rumsfeld at the DoD [Department of Defense, aka "Department of War"] and newly minted Director of National Intelligence John (Negroponte) are doing — they want to move intelligence analysis into the hands of people that they can control, so the next time they lie about an “imminent threat” nobody’s going to tell. And the press is applauding the move as a “necessary reform.”

Remember the good old days, when the CIA were the bad guys?

It should be noted, regardless of the witless declarations of William Arkin and his ilk, the military is busy at work ferreting out and monitoring "terrorists", that is to say American citizens who have nothing to do with the CIA asset Osama bin Laden or the phantom “al-Qaeda,” the database.

“NBC investigative correspondent Lisa Myers reported that NBC News had obtained a secret 400-page Defense Department document listing more than 1,500 ’suspicious incidents’ across the country over a recent ten-month period,” Barry Grey wrote last December. “One of the items listed as a "threat" was a meeting held by a group of activists a year ago at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Florida to plan a protest against military recruiting at local high schools. Myers said the Defense Department data base obtained by NBC News included nearly four dozen anti-war meetings or protests. Among them was an anti-war protest held last March in Los Angeles, a planned protest against military recruiters last December in Boston, and a planned protest last April in Fort Lauderdale, Florida…. A separate press report noted that the Pentagon data base also mentioned weekly protests at an Atlanta, Georgia military recruiting station and an anti-war protest at the University of California in Santa Cruz.”

These limited revelations in and of themselves reveal that the Bush administration and the Pentagon, with the collusion of congressional Democrats as well as Republicans, have pushed aside limits on military domestic spying that were imposed following congressional hearings in the 1970s on Pentagon spying against civil rights organizations and opponents of the Vietnam War.

In addition to the creation of CIFA, mentioned above, a “second major effort to expand the military's domestic spying operations involves legislation being pushed by the Pentagon on Capitol Hill that would establish an exception to the Privacy Act, allowing the FBI and others to share information about US citizens with the Pentagon, the CIA and other agencies, as long as it was deemed that the information was related to foreign intelligence…. In addition, each of the military services has launched its own program to collect domestic intelligence. The Post quotes a Marine Corps order approved in April of 2004 that states the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity will be ‘increasingly required to perform domestic missions,’ and as a result ‘there will be increased instances whereby Marine intelligence activities may come across information regarding US persons.’”

Of course, since there is zero oversight, there really is no need to make the fraudulent claim these operations will be conducted only if “related to foreign intelligence.” As the above indicates, the government is primarily interested in snooping and subverting its own citizens, who are more of a threat to their stranglehold on power than any number of phony “al-Qaeda” groups or other contrived Freddy Kruger scarecrows.

[Privacy and the Constitution are systematically being done away with; and if "We, the People" continue to allow this to happen, very soon freedom and liberty will become a memory of something exceedingly important that no longer exists, and everyone will supposedly have to do what they're told "or else". But we must not capitulate to any of this. We must be truly courageous, and non-violently and peaceably stand up against all of these inroads of an authoritarian and totalitarian fascist police state, where liberty and freedom no longer exist, taking over the United States and the world. We must stand up against it with little or no concern(s) for what befalls us as a result of this which is doing nothing but standing up for what's right, true and in the interests of freedom and liberty, the principles upon which this country was monumentally, immutably and inalienably founded, and no less than our duty and responsibility to stand up for the preservation of, no matter what is inflicted upon us for doing so. LONG LIVE FREEDOM! (Subtitle, words in brackets ("[ ]") and/or emphasis added by Wolf Britain.)]










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