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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ENGLISH -- "9/11: Nothing smart by al-Qaeda did that. It was NSA's own doing."






"9/11: Nothing smart by al-Qaeda did that.
It was NSA's own doing."

ForbiddenKnowledgeTV
Alexandra Bruce
July 29, 2013

On the same day last week, that Congress shot down any notion of curtailing the rampant and illegal violation of the Fourth Amendment that has been ongoing by the National Security Agency (NSA) for several decades, veteran NSA whistleblowers convened last Thursday at the National Press Club to share their insights into the history of that organization, its escalating mismanagement and abuse of the U.S. legal system, which had led to their resignations from their positions, each of which they had held for 30 years or more.

All of them had gone through the "accepted" channels, which had been created for the very purpose of reporting the illegality, fraud, obstruction of justice and mismanagement to which they were witness and by which they could no longer abide.

Yet, for their decades of service and for the dutifully discreet manner in which they'd reported the wrongs they saw in their midst, they were rewarded by having their professional and personal lives destroyed, with one of them, Thomas Drake, actually being prosecuted by the Federal Government for his efforts -- a man with a highly distinguished record, who had started out working in Air Force spy planes in 1979 and who served at NSA and other U.S. intelligence organizations for almost 40 years, as a decorated United States Air Force and United States Navy veteran. 

Luckily, Drake was represented by attorney Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (and a Brown University Alumna, like me), who was able to get all 10 of the original charges made against him by the U.S. Government dropped.

Drake is the 2011 recipient of the Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling and co-recipient of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award.

Intrepid FKTV reporter, Tyler Bass was in Washington, D.C., with his cellphone camera and he captured most of this session. (I will now buy him a camera with the donations made by so many kind FKTV subscribers, so that his future videos are of improved production quality!)
There are many jaw-dropping revelations in this 12-minute clip. Here are some of the most salient quotes from this July 25, 2013 conference:

THOMAS DRAKE: For me, it's really simple: DARPA made a conscious decision to sell our National Security to the highest bidder and it's one of the great, huge elephants in the room: A massive re-distribution of wealth in this country, to a very small, select group. 

"Just think about the trillions -- literally, the trillions -- of dollars that have been spent since 9/11, alone on quote unquote "National Security" and "Homeland Security" and "Defense" -- and what have we gotten in return?

"You have to really ask that question -- and it's a strategic question that we must ask, in terms of the future impact on our country, as well as the world."

WILLIAM BINNEY: "The system that I designed worked against metadata, as a way of looking into content and pulling out content that was in the world that would be relevant to the targets that we were after, like terrorism or dope smuggling.

"So, [it was] to reduce the problem into something that was manageable -- instead of sucking in the entire world and dumping it on the analysts and saying: "Here, you figure it out." 

Well, that's why they miss all these things lie the bombers in Boston and the shooter at Fort Hood: they've got too much data to go through, they can't get through it -- so they're making themselves dysfunctional.

"There were a lot of people, internally at NSA who were really upset about it [the invasion of privacy] and they would express that to us, individually...[but] they're not extroverts; they're not the kind that would expose a lot of things or be willing to go out in front and do it -- but nevertheless, there are a lot of them that are upset about it. We hear a lot about it from our retired people."

"You have no freedom of association without NSA knowing about it, OK? Your entire social network is mapped by NSA and it can be timelined and all of that is done automatically by software…

"And unfortunately, they turned it in on the people of the United States and that's why I couldn't stay there."

J. KIRK WIEBE: "Bill and I walked out of NSA on Halloween Day, 2001, just a few weeks after 9/11 and we did it in absolute disgust: 3,000 people -- innocent people, minding their own business died that day -- more than on the day of Pearl Harbor. NSA was created to prevent another Pearl Harbor!

And I will tell you, [NSA'S] mismanagement, its self-interest and ego and arrogance led to 9/11. Nothing smart by al-Qaeda did that. It was NSA's own doing.

===

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO, ABOVE:

DRAKE: It's crucial if we say "legal" here, "legal" is a term of art, behind which they have the excuse and justification for the conduct that has been disclosed. I'm certainly one of the prime exhibits of what happens when you disclose government wrongdoing and illegality and then the government, itself -- the lawbreaker -- the very entity that's engaged in the unconstitutional behavior, or the massive, fraud-based abuse -- or the obstruction of justice, as in the case of NSA, in terms of the 9/11 Congressional investigations -- it's very convenient for them to hide themselves behind the Kabuki Dance of faux legality. That's precisely what it is.

And then to charge the very person who'd have the temerity, who would dare to hold up the mirror and charge them with criminal behavior -- and on top of that, to charge them on the Espionage Act.

BINNEY: It has taken them how many years to try to get through Congress, laws -- or exceptions to the laws -- that would allow them to call this legal? And still, they haven't faced the Constitutional issue.

And that's now why there are several lawsuits going forward trying to address the Constitutional issue of NSA collecting all of this information, to begin with.

Now, to your point: There were a lot of people, internally at NSA who were really upset about it [the invasion of privacy] and they would express that to us, individually.

The problem is, most people at NSA -- over 85% of them, I think -- are "ISTJs" in the Meyers-Briggs Scale [audience laughs]. They're introverted, very introverted people, I mean, these are people that worked on codes and cyphers; they were looking at these things all day, sitting at their desks. This is a really introverted society, really focused -- and it's conducive to this type of character.

And so, they're not extroverts; they're not the kind that would expose a lot of things or be willing to go out in front and do it -- but nevertheless, there are a lot of them that are upset about it. We hear a lot about it from our retired people.

We do not talk to people who we know are working at NSA now because if we did, they would be interrogated and probably fired. Because they [NSA] wouldn't want them talking to the "wrong kinds of people."

The system that I designed worked against metadata, as a way of looking into content and pulling out content that was in the world that would be relevant to the targets that we were after, like terrorism or dope smuggling.

So, to reduce the problem into something that was manageable -- instead of sucking in the entire world and dumping it on the analysts and saying: "Here, you figure it out." Well, that's why they miss all these things lie the bombers in Boston and the shooter at Fort Hood: they've got too much data to go through, they can't get through it -- so they're making themselves dysfunctional.

So, the system I designed simplified that as much as possible and gave focus to the analysis process to do that and it basically allowed the social networking of the entire world. In other words, everybody' social network; if you're on the telephone or Internet, you're all mapped into this social network that maps all the way around the world. So, it manages all that and keeps it in a very small space -- not that complicated, at all -- and it can handle any number -- trillions of transactions and narrow them down to billions of relationships around the world.

And then, all of this information is sitting there, it's like a violation of your ability to associate with people. You have no freedom of association without NSA knowing about it, OK? Your entire social network is mapped by NSA and it can be timelined and all of that is done automatically by software.

It's simply transactions that are copied and indexed to the lines that are connected in the graph -- what we call the graph, which is a social network. So, that if we wanted to pull out portions of a social network -- yours, for example, and I'd say, "OK, I'm going to timeline every activity of this social network, for this period of time, it's already been indexed. It's a matter of software. People do not do this, software does.

And unfortunately, they turned it in on the people of the United States and that's why I couldn't stay there.

WIEBE: There's nothing magic about a contractor; they put on clothes, just like other human beings; the wrongdoing at IRS; human beings in government; they're the same at NSA and they're all susceptible to the same weaknesses and things that go wrong.

You really need to understand a little history about NSA. When NSA was first founded, it lived in a world of communications that was relatively easy to understand, technically and the pace at which it evolved was rather slow, compared to what we've seen on the Internet Age [background clatter], in the Age of the Internet, if you will.

It's very difficult to keep up with all the applications and capabilities and the chats and the videos -- all of these kinds of things. Just ask your wife, have you done that lately and she'll tell you. But the point of it is, that Senior Management believed that NSA was no longer "on the cusp," that technology was evolving so quickly, with regard to the Internet, that inside the "Black Box" of NSA, it wasn't rubbing shoulders with industry every day, industry had to compete in the marketplace -- things sailed off. NSA needed industry, if it had any hope to catch up and maintain "par", if you will, with the evolving Digital Age and that's what fostered this.

Now, at the same time, Congress swallowed a pill, the Government swallowed a pill that outsourcing was somehow magical and a good thing to do and they proved, seven ways till Sunday that it would save money in the long run. So, those figures seemed to look OK -- and voila, you see what we have today; the burgeoning growth in contracting and outsourcing and I really do believe that's why we're here today.

DRAKE: For me, it's really simple: DARPA made a conscious decision to sell our National Security to the highest bidder and it's one of the great, huge elephants in the room: A massive re-distribution of wealth in this country, to a very small, select group.

Just think about the trillions -- literally, the trillions that have been spent since 9/11, alone on quote unquote "National Security" and "Homeland Security" and "Defense" -- and what have we gotten in return?

You have to really ask the question -- and it's a strategic question that we must ask, in terms of the future impact on our country, as well as the world.

So, if there is a direct incentive, for those who are on the outsource end, to persist the problem, to persist the issue -- you don't really want to solve it, particularly, when you know the government's feeding you.

MODERATOR: So, we hear a lot about how whistleblowers are "narcissists". That's one of the things, the reflexive things out there, "Oh, they're narcissists, they're looking for attention. I mean, I've seen what you guys have gone through -- it's hard to believe anybody would want to go through what you've gone through, so tell us a little bit about that."

DRAKE: (Sardonically) It's very narcissistic for someone to take an oath to protect the Constitution -- the idea and the premise that's encapsulated in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights -- that makes me a narcissist!

So, yes, as a narcissist, I would go ahead and blow the whistle, as a narcissist, I would expose myself to being destroyed in my professional life, in my personal life -- everything's turned upside down -- that's obviously something that a narcissist would volunteer to do. [Audience laughs].

That's all projection, it's all that is. In fact, just use reverse psychology and hold up the mirror and you'll see who the true narcissist is -- especially if they're in positions of power.

WIEBE: Bill and I walked out of NSA on Halloween Day, 2001, just a few weeks after 9/11 and we did it in absolute disgust: 3,000 people -- innocent people, minding their own business died that day -- more than on the day of Pearl Harbor. NSA was created to prevent another Pearl Harbor!

And I will tell you, it's [NSA's] mismanagement its self-interest and ego and arrogance that led to 9/11. Nothing smart by al-Qaeda did that. It was NSA's own doing. And that's what motivated me, personally as a whistleblower. It wasn't narcissism. I could care less who met me on what TV show -- it's not important to me -- but that 3,000 innocents who died made a difference.

Tears came to my eyes over the frustration, "what could I do?" I can remember going through this emotional conflict about "how do you deal with something on this magnitude?"

And I can only tell you: you try to go through the channels...you know, I remember an email, Loomis, Binney, Drake, Wiebe, talking about, "Do we go the IG [Office of the Inspector General] route -- or do we do the "nuclear option"? The nuclear option would have been to go to you [the press].

And, because of our training, over so many years, because we had been told the DoDIG [Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General] was an open door to report mismanagement, fraud and the like, we decided to go that route, the "accepted channels". It absolutely resulted in NOTHING good for anyone! No truths were made known.

In fact, Michael Hayden went on to oversee one of the largest intelligence failures in the country, called "Trailblazer," and during the three or four intervening years, untold intelligence was lost by the NSA. You have to understand this: When you don't have a view into the data that is smart: you lose -- they win.

And yet, this man was promoted. He also had the audacity to re-define the 4th Amendment, if you've ever seen this little gesture (Wiebe makes a square with his hands). And he did it unilaterally. It sounded good to the attorneys at the DoJ and he went off. They never asked the Supreme Court, they never asked anybody in this audience whether it was a good thing to do [mass-invasion of privacy]. We knew it wasn't necessary.

Bill Binney's concept for ThinThread protected identities.

We didn't need to do that [mass-invasion of privacy]. Bill Odom, former Director of NSA, in a 2006 interview was asked about what NSA was doing and he said, "My God, Michael Hayden should be in jail." Bobby Inman, one of the best directors in NSA's history said, "It's a line we never would've have crossed."

So, what are we doing? Are we making the country safer? Are we going to prevent another 9/11? But we already are missing key intelligence opportunities and so I worry we are doing it completely the wrong way and we've become the very enemy that we were trying to thwart, in essence, is what we've done.

- See more at: http://www.forbiddenknowledgetv.com/videos/activism/nsa-whistleblowers-discuss-escalating-fraud-and-abuse-of-the-us-legal-system.html#sthash.RNSLte0X.dpuf
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