Wednesday, August 24, 2016

NSA formulating American foreign policy in secret By The Wayne Madsen Report

NSA formulating American foreign policy in secret

By The Wayne Madsen Report

The recent disclosures of classified National Security Agency documents liberated from NSA databases by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the signals intelligence agency has been heavily involved in formulating American foreign policy. Information contained in a series of internal NSA newsletters called "SID Today," SID meaning the Signals Intelligence Directorate, describe a foreign policy bureaucracy, rivaling that of the State Department and Pentagon, existing within the intelligence agency. The degree to which NSA now influences U.S. foreign policy represents a sea change in the role of an agency originally charged with eavesdropping on foreign diplomatic and military traffic and protecting U.S. government communications from surveillance.

Many of the detailed foreign policy decisions by NSA are carried out by SINIOS, or
SIGINT National Intelligence Officers, assigned particular areas of responsibility. For example, there are SINIOs for Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, East Asia, Strategic Programs and Arms Control, Science and Technology issues, and Global and Multilateral Issues, the latter including the operations of the United Nations. The SINIOs meet at regular and ad hoc SINIO Council meetings that assess and prioritize the most critical foreign policy issues facing the United States. The SINIOs operate under the aegis of the NSA's SID Customer Relationships Directorate. This top secret foreign policy apparatus operates with little oversight from the Congress and little, if any, input from the State Department. The proceedings of the SINIO Council and even its very existence would have never been known to the public or the press had it not been for Snowden's disclosures.

A July 17, 2003, SID Today item dealt with ways to eliminate Liberian President Charles Taylor's government in Liberia. The SINIO for Sub-Saharan Africa prepared a top secret report on Taylor and elimination options, titled "Charles Taylor -- West African Pariah;    Down But Is He Out?" 

In October 2003, the SINIO for Global and Multilateral Issues proposed ways to deal with a recalcitrant Germany and France, which opposed a UN Security Council imprimatur on an Iraq reconstruction donors' conference in Madrid. Other disclosed NSA classified documents described how NSA authorized "surge" surveillance of the UN missions of members of the Security Council, including those of Germany and France. The SINIO Council called such opponents of U.S. policy in Iraq, the "Coalition of the Unwilling" in an August 6, 2003 SID Today. The SINIO Council also aped the Bush administration's "Axis of Evil" terminology to describe Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

Other SINIO Council meetings held in 2003 dealt with deterring Vladimir Putin's Russia, dealing with "political Islam" in the Middle East and South Asia, and how the United States, Japan, and South Korea could best deal with a "rising China."

On July 22, 2003, the SINIO Council was briefed by an outside entity called the Eurasia Group. The SID Today announcement stated: "Ian Bremmer, head of Eurasia Group, and severa colleagues will be coming to speak at NSA. Eurasia Group is a research and    consulting firm that focuses on global political-risk analysis, as well as country-specific    and industry research for emerging markets. The name is a bit deceiving, as their    country research coverage includes more than 65 countries in Africa, East and Southeast Europe, Former Soviet Union, Latin America, Middle East, and Southeast and East Asia." The focus on the briefing was on oil and natural gas, terrorism, and Iraqi reconstruction. Bremmer is an advocate of the "weaponization of finance," the use of sanctions, trade embargoes, and asset freezes to supplement America's military power. It is easy to see why NSA was enthused about Bremmer's ideas about waging economic warfare since that eventually became a main focus of NSA's and its US Cyber Command's offensive information warfare strategy.

Bremmer was not the only dalliance by NSA, then headed by General Michael Hayden, with war-hungry neoconservatives. A November 2013 seminar at NSA on "China Rising: Implications of Military Modernization" had, as one of its speakers, a representative from Frank Gaffney's extreme neoconservative Center for Security Policy.

NSA's role in formulating U.S. foreign policy can be traced back to 1971, when the agency created its own International Affairs Institute (IAI), a top secret version of the Council on Foreign Relations. The IAI became its own bureaucracy, inviting hundreds of intelligence community and outside speakers to address NSA audiences and publishing a number of foreign policy papers. In August 2003, NSA and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) conducted a joint classified seminar on the instability of the south Caucasus region at the secure FANX facility near the NSA's Fort Meade headquarters. FANX is an acronym for the "Friendship Annex," a reference to Friendship Airport, the old name for Baltimore-Washington International Airport. The seminar discussed ways to pursue America's interests in the region.

Under Michael Hayden, now a major opponent of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, NSA received foreign policy briefings from the ultra-neocon Center for Security Policy.

A December 2003, NSA three-day foreign policy seminar dealt with ways for the U.S. to deal with "populist and left-of-center leaders in Latin America over the past five years." This seminar undoubtedly dealt with the ill-fated April 2002 coup attempt by the U.S. to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The coup had the support of the CIA and NSA.

The initial goal of the IAI was to promote an interest among NSA employees in international events and affairs. NSA's foreign affairs "interest" has now grown to include foreign policy formulation.

Through NSA's Foreign Affairs Directorate (FAD), the agency even decides on major foreign policy initiatives with its FIVE EYES signals intelligence partners in Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand outside of the civilian foreign policy infrastructures of the five nations. These initiatives included the decision in 2003 to jointly target communications in Burma, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia by NSA, the Australian Defense Signals Directorate (DSD), and New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

A June 12, 2003, SINIO Council meeting dealt with Turkey. It is clear that NSA had suspicions, along with the Turkish military's General Staff with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is also highly probable that the recent abortive coup attempt against Erdogan was carried out by U.S.-aligned members of the Turkish General Staff, aided and abetted by certain elements within the U.S. military-intelligence complex, including defense and intelligence contractor companies. WMR has a string reason to believe that these elements hatched the coup plot in February of this year but without a Presidential Finding from Barack Obama or a green light from CIA director John Brennan, both of whom have close ties to fellow travelers of Erdogan's Islamist leanings. The 2003 NSA briefing discussed how the "pro-Islam Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Turkish General Staff (TGS), guardian of Turkey's    secular democracy, view each other with mutual suspicion. The strategic relationship with the U.S. is seriously weakened, so the U.S. is unlikely to champion Turkey's cause in Europe or with the IMF/World Bank as fervently."

The presence of a super-classified U.S. foreign policy apparatus buried deep within the bowels of the NSA is yet another indication that American democracy died a slow death when intelligence bureaucracies like the NSA were given a wide berth to operate. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the last two and current NSA directors are hard core neoconservatives who believe in American global supremacy.    

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ukrainian "black ledger" a forgery concocted by Clinton team and its Ukrainian donors By Wayne Madsen Report

Ukrainian "black ledger" a forgery concocted by Clinton team and its Ukrainian donors By Wayne Madsen Report
The Ukrainian government ledgers recently disclosed by the right-wing government in Kiev and which allegedly contain records of under-the-table payments by the former Ukrainian government to Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort are rank forgeries, according to well-placed sources who spoke to WMR on conditions of anonymity.

Although our sources admit that Manafort was paid by his Ukrainian clients for political consulting services, they also point out that Manafort's company at the time was Davis Manafort, Inc., a partnership based in Alexandria, Virginia, between Manafort and John McCain's former presidential campaign manager, Rick Davis. The media, including the pro-Clinton New York Times, made no mention in its reporting on the Manafort-Ukraine relationship of the inclusion of Davis and McCain in the Ukrainian political consulting deal. Later, McCain actively supported the 2014 coup against Davis Manafort's client, then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. Manafort's and Davis's consulting business in Ukraine was under the aegis of the since-dissolved Davis Manafort International.

Manafort's name allegedly appeared in a handwritten ledger of political payoffs by the former ruling Party of Regions of the now-exiled Yanukovych. The ledger was "found" in the abandoned headquarters of the political party, which was overthrown in a 2014 coup financed by the United States and George Soros and his International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) and Open Society Foundation (OSF). Also involved in the coup planning was then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, and Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian steel and uranium magnate who has donated as much as $25 million to the Clinton Foundation and who maintains a close relationship to Hillary and Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky. Also reportedly involved with 2011 to 2012 discussions at the State Department concerning the future the putsch against the democratically-elected Yanukovych government was Melanne Verveer, a Ukrainian-American State Department official under then-Secretary of State, Clinton, and Douglas Schoen, a longtime political consultant to the Clintons. Yanukovych was elected as president of Ukraine in 2010.

According to leaked Soros files, others involved in the 2014 coup against Yanukovych included David Meale (Economic Counselor to Pyatt); Lenny Benardo (OSF); Yevhen Bystrytsky (Executive Director, IRF); Oleksandr Sushko (Board Chair, IRF); Ivan Krastev (Chariman, Centre for Liberal Studies, a Soros-funded operation in Sofia, Bulgaria); Sabine Freizer (OSF); and Deff Barton (Director, U.S. Agency for International Development, Ukraine [USAID is a conduit for the Central Intelligence Agency]). Soros was also present at a post-coup meeting on March 21, 2014 that involved U.S. support for the "New Ukraine." Soros pushed for sanctions against Russia for refusing to recognize the coup government, which included neo-Nazis, and rejected a federalized Ukraine that would grant self-government to the Russian-speaking eastern Donbass region.
The so-called "black ledger" is said to cover the years 2007 to 2012 and consists of 400 pages "removed" by the newly-formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau from Party of Regions bound ledger books. As any forensic specialist is aware, the removal of bound pages from a ledger renders the authenticity of both the ledger and its information highly suspect. The new bureau is rife with operatives of Soros, who, according to files hacked from Soros computers, actually ran Ukraine shortly after Yanukovych was deposed in the themed "Euromaidan" uprising of 2014. Although Manafort was charged with accepting $12.7 million from Yanukovych's party, no records of such payments are found in the pages released by the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

A very poor quality image of a page from the alleged Party of Regions payments ledger. Paul Manafort's name does not appear on the page released by the Ukrainian government. Knowledgeable sources told WMR that the ledger is a forgery concocted by the Ukrainian government of President Petro Poroshenko, Victoria Nuland at the State Department, George Soros, Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, and the Clinton presidential campaign.
Pinchuk's involvement in the Democrats' operation against Manafort, who resigned as Trump's campaign manager after the Ukraine story hit the press, is problematic. In addition to donating millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, Pinchuk's annual Yalta European Strategy (YES) summit held in Yalta on the Black Sea coast of Ukraine has drawn participation from Bill Clinton; former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; former NATO military commander, Clinton confidante, and noted anti-Russian polemicist General Wesley Clark; former George W. Bush chief adviser Karl Rove; disgraced and criminally-convicted former CIA director David Petraeus; Bush national security adviser Condoleezza Rice; former President of Georgia and current governor of Odessa Mikheil Saakashvili; disgraced former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn; former Polish foreign minister and noted neo-conservative Radoslaw Sikorski, who is married to Washington Post neocon columnist Anne Applebaum; Bill Clinton pal and journalist Strobe Talbott; and Wikipedia's dubious and disingenuous co-founder Jimmy Wales.

Rove's connections to Pinchuk are noteworthy, considering the fact that he has been covertly advising the Hillary Clinton campaign. The appearance of Ukrainian forgeries in an attempt to derail the Trump campaign bears all the markings of a typical Rove dirty tricks operation. Rove has also been a longtime political enemy of Manafort and Davis.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Helen Caldecott: “America Still Thinks It Can Win a Nuclear War”

Helen Caldecott: “America Still Thinks It Can Win a Nuclear War”

I just attended the 31st annual national Veterans for Peace convention here in Berkeley and was truly inspired by the hundreds of vets who attended it, and by their organization’s heroic stand for peace.  As one vet put it, “Been there, done that — war doesn’t work.”
And while wandering around the grounds of the convention center before the festivities began, I ran into Helen Caldecott, an Australian doctor who has bravely spoken out against the use of nuclear weapons ever since the terrible days of America’s Cold War.  I’m not sure what I was expecting that she would look like — perhaps Super Girl in a cape?  But she was just an ordinary-looking person, like someone you would meet on the street.  Until she started speaking to an audience of 300-plus veterans.  And then her eyes flashed, her voice rang out like a warning bell and her passion came alive.
“I am a pediatrician,” she told us, “and if you love this planet, if you love the next generation of babies, you will change the priority of your lives — because right now, America’s top priority seems to be for us to come as close to nuclear war as we possibly can.”
“A baby is a baby is a baby — born with that beautiful purity of soul.  We have to tap into that.  But instead our political representatives have become corporate prostitutes.  Americans hold the golden key to the future.  But instead, Americans are holding the world for ransom with their guns and their bombs.”  And according to Caldecott, what a lot of bombs we do have!
And as if all those mega-stockpiles of bombs we have now aren’t enough, “the government is currently planning to spend one trillion dollars more on replacing every single bomb, tank and missile we own.”
And if that’s not scary enough for ya, America still thinks it can fight and win a nuclear war.  No no no and no!  The powers that be think that dropping 100 nuclear bombs on 100 cities will win the current war-de-jour for us.  “But all that will do is end life on earth.”
And the most scary part of all is that, “It could happen tonight.  It could happen right now.  We are closer now to nuclear annihilation than ever, even closer than we were during the Cold War.  North Korea and Iran cannot end the world.  But the sociopaths in charge of our nuclear weapons can.  For instance, Clinton has never seen a war that she doesn’t like.”
And Americans don’t clearly understand what a nuclear war will be like either.  “Everything throughout the world will be vaporized and burned.”  If we understood this, we would all be taking to the streets in protest right now.  Perhaps we think that American exceptionalism will save us?  “What exactly are Americans exceptional at?  Nothing.  They don’t even have kangaroos.”
Every single city in America is targeted by the Russians right now.  “Twelve H-bombs are targeted on New York City alone.  Every city in America is targeted with at least one nuclear missile.  And Russian cities are targeted the same way by America.  And all this insanity is at the mercy of human fallibility too.”
And fighting with Russia is crazy.  Continuing to stock Europe with nuclear weapons pointed at Russia is like waving a red flag at a bull.  It would be as if Russia was arming Canada with nuclear missiles aimed straight at Washington DC.  Not cool at all.  “The Russians will fight to the last person to defend themselves, just like they did against Hitler.  Putin is being set up as the evil one in this scenario, but it is the USA that is the evil one,” by even thinking that they can actually win a nuclear war.
Caldecott spoke passionately about her motivation for trying to stop nuclear war — motivated by her love of our babies who will grow up to be our next generation.  And we can only hope that these babies will grow up to be wiser than us.  Or at least that they will even get achance to grow up!
Next up to speak at the convention?  Andrew Bracevich, Oliver Stone, Roy Scranton, Rhodessa Jones, Ann Jones, Antonia Juhasz, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Patrick McCann, Gerry Condon, Col. Ann Wright, David Cobb, Brian Willson, Kathy Kelly, Zahra Billoo, Jonathan Hutto and Daniel Ellsberg — among others.  Dr. Caldecott is a hard act to follow but let’s see what they have to say.