Wednesday, March 22, 2017

In an era of fake news, fake security threats By The Wayne Madsen Report

In an era of fake news, fake security threats
By The Wayne Madsen Report

Fake air travel security threats have joined the current fake news fad. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration, as well as their British counterparts, have announced a ban on laptop computers, tablets, cameras, Kindles and other e-readers, DVD players, and game consoles in carry-on baggage on the flights of certain airlines originating from or destined to a series of predominantly Muslim nations. Passengers flying from or the designated airports are required to pack laptops and tablets in their check luggage. The decision has resulted in criticism from technical experts in the fields of communications, information technology, and improvised explosive devices or IEDs. Unlike the American ban, the British ban on carry-on items includes certain types of cell phones.

The British ban applies to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. ban applies to Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. While the British include Tunisia and Lebanon on their list, the U.S. does not. On the other hand, while the U.S. list includes Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE on its list, the British do not. U.S.-flag carriers are not affected by the ban, which is unusual since the threats are said to be with the particular airports of departure and destination. American, United, and Delta, which all fly to some of the airports subject to the ban, remain free of the device ban in passenger cabins. Some air travel industry experts believe the Trump administration has imposed the ban as a method of giving the U.S. carriers an advantage over Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar, which all receive subsidies from the governments of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar, respectively. Canada may initiate a similar ban in coming days.

The airports covered by the U.S. ban are Queen Alia International Airport in Amman; Cairo International Airport in Egypt; Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul; King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah and King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International Airport; Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco; Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar; and Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE. The British ban applies to Ataturk in Istanbul, Rafik Hariri International in Beirut, Lebanon; Queen Alia in Amman, Cairo International, Jeddah and Riyadh airports, and Tunis-Carthage International Airport in Tunis.

The ban does not apply to crew members and it exempts medical devices.

The ban was initiated as a result of some unspecified threats picked up by U.S. and British intelligence from the Middle East, particularly on alleged newer and stealthier explosive device capabilities developed by Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, the chief bomb-maker of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Some intelligence sources claim the ban arose from the detonation of a laptop computer bomb aboard a Somali-flag carrier, Daallo Airlines. The plane managed to land safely and the only casualty was the terrorist. However, that explosion occurred over a year ago, in February 2016.

What makes no sense about the ban is that it assumes that a dedicated trained terrorist could not take advantage of on board WiFi networks to link from a smart phone to a WiFi- enabled component in a laptop or tablet contained in checked bags sitting practically below him or her in an aircraft's luggage compartment. An anonymous senior security official with an international travel organization was reported in the March 21 Washington Post as saying, "Why should I feel safer if the laptop is stowed in the belly of the plane and the perpetrator can use his iPhone to set it off? . . . I’m not personally privy to what the TSA or DHS has, but I just don’t get it."

WMR surveyed the airlines affected by the laptop/tablet ban and discovered which of them offer in-flight WiFi connectivity. Of the 15 air carriers covered by the U.S. and U.K. ban, nine offer in-flight WiFi connectivity.

Airline                                 WiFi Service                 
Turkish AirlinesYes
Royal JordanianYes
Etihad AirwaysYes
Qatar AirwaysYes
Royal Air MarocNo
Kuwait AirwaysYes
Saudi Arabian AirlinesYes
British AirwaysYes
Monarch AirlinesNo
Thomas CookNo

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Presidential candidate insisted NSA and CIA spied on him By The Wayne Madsen Report

Presidential candidate insisted NSA and CIA spied on him
By The Wayne Madsen Report
A billionaire political outsider who ran for the presidency of the United States claimed that his investigation of deep ties of his opponents to international drug cartels resulted in his surveillance by the U.S. intelligence community. Responding to the charge by the presidential candidate, the man who had been director of the National Security Agency and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency said, "I am prepared to say that there is not a word of truth in this."

The CIA and its friends in the media labeled the presidential hopeful a conspiracy hound and ridiculed his notion that the U.S. political system was actually run by various hidden dark forces. If one thinks this is a description of the 2016 campaign and the presidential candidate making the charges about the CIA is Donald Trump, they would be wrong.

It was independent businessman H. Ross Perot in 1992 who incurred the wrath of former NSA director and CIA second-in-command Admiral Bobby Ray Inman and stood accused of dabbling in far-out conspiracies.

Perot believed that his efforts to uncover the existence of U.S. prisoners-of-war and missing-in-action servicemen in Laos were stymied by the former CIA director George H. W. Bush, who just so happened to be running for re-election in 1992. Perot claimed that after the Indochina War ended in 1975, Bush, then the CIA director, transferred all responsibility for U.S. POWs/MIAs from the CIA to the Defense Intelligence Agency. Perot believed that Bush wanted the CIA's fingerprints off the POW/MIA issue because it had been involved in the heroin trafficking business in Laos. Perot believed that the reports of possibly over a hundred U.S. MIAs being seen in Laos were ignored because Langley and Bush wanted the secrets possessed by the CIA about the missing U.S. servicemen to remain buried, along with the CIA's secret war in Laos that involved the Royal Laotian Army, Hmong tribesmen, and heroin smuggling.

Perot cited the activities of two CIA fronts, Nugan Hand Bank in Australia and a Hawaii-based company, Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham & Wong (BBRDW), in laundering the proceeds of the CIA's Southeast Asian drug-running operations. Moreover, Perot said the CIA proprietary airline, Air America, was involved in transporting heroin out of Southeast Asia. The CIA issued denials all-around about the bank, the Hawaii company, and Air America. Perot claimed that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Colin Powell and his close friend, Richard Armitage, whose nomination for Secretary of the Army in 1989 was scuttled as a result of pressure from Perot, were involved with BBRDW and the POW/MIA cover-up.
How soon we forget: U.S. Intelligence was accused of spying on Perot in 1992.

Senators John McCain and John Kerry led the charge to keep the POW/MIA-Laos issue secret. Both would later receive the presidential nominations of their respective parties. Perot alleged that a CIA agent was hired by the Bush campaign to hack into Perot's computerized stock trading program, preventing the third party candidate from gaining access to funds for campaign. The incident is similar to the Jeb Bush campaign hiring former British MI-6 agent Christopher Steele to develop a "dirty dossier" on  Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. There is a distinct possibility that the NSA covertly asked its signals intelligence partners in Britain, Australia, and Canada, on George H. W. Bush's orders, to conduct electronic surveillance of Perot in 1992.

There was evidence that the CIA and NSA spied on a presidential candidate -- in 1992 -- with the target being H. Ross Perot.