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Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a Military-Industrial Takeover of US Elections

ElectionGuard | Voting Machines

Microsoft’s ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a Military-Industrial Takeover of US Elections

“The fact that we are handing over the keys of American democracy to the military-industrial complex — it’s like giving the keys to the henhouse to a fox and saying, ‘here come in and take whatever you want.’ It’s obviously dangerous.” — Investigative journalist Yasha Levine

Earlier this month, tech giant Microsoft announced its solution to “protect” American elections from interference, which it has named “ElectionGuard.” The election technology is already set to be adopted by half of voting machine manufacturers and some state governments for the 2020 general election. Though it has been heavily promoted by the mainstream media in recent weeks, none of those reports have disclosed that ElectionGuard has several glaring conflicts of interest that greatly undermine its claim aimed at protecting U.S. democracy. 

In this investigation, MintPress will reveal how ElectionGuard was developed by companies with deep ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities and Israeli military intelligence, as well as the fact that it is far from clear that the technology would prevent foreign or domestic interference with, or the manipulation of, vote totals or other aspects of American election systems.

Election forensics analyst and author Jonathan Simon as well as investigative journalist Yasha Levine, who has written extensively on how the military has long sought to weaponize public technologies including the internet, were consulted for their views on ElectionGuard, its connections to the military-industrial complex and the implication of those connections for American democracy as part of this investigation.

In January, MintPress published an exposé that later went viral on a news-rating company known as Newsguard. Officially aimed at fighting “fake news,” the company’s many connections to U.S. intelligence, a top neoconservative think tank, and self-admitted government propagandists revealed its real intention was to promote corporate media over independent alternatives.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Electric Grid Hacked: Perpetrators Could Have Shut Down the System

Hackers broke into the US electric grid with spearphishing techniques targeting contractors with system access.

The Wall Street Journal has a detailed report out today regarding a sophisticated, and successful attack by hackers into the US electric grid. The hackers could have temporarily shut off power.

The Journal claims Russia is responsible. I hate such assumptions. In the absence of hard proof, the hack could have come from China, North Korea, Israel, or even the US. Even if Russian hackers did this, there is a difference between “Russian” and “Russia”.

Early victims

In the summer of 2016, U.S. intelligence officials saw signs of a campaign to hack American utilities, says Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity and communications program. The tools and tactics suggested the perpetrators were Russian. Intelligence agencies notified Homeland Security, Ms. Manfra says.

Mr. Vitello of All-Ways Excavating has no idea how the hackers got into his email account. He doesn’t recall reading CFE’s websites or clicking on tainted email attachments. Nonetheless, the intrusion was part of the Russian campaign, according to the security companies that studied the hack.

On March 2, 2017, the attackers used Mr. Vitello’s account to send the mass email to customers, which was intended to herd recipients to a website secretly taken over by the hackers.

Once Mr. Vitello realized his email had been hijacked, he tried to warn his contacts not to open any email attachments from him. The hackers blocked the message.

Sneak Attack

Hackers sent bogus emails from the account of Oregon construction contractor Mike Vitello to herd recipients to a website they had secretly taken over, called imageliners.com. Hackers then used the site to seek access to contractors that do business with U.S. power utilities.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NBC and MSNBC Blamed Russia for Using “Sophisticated Microwaves” to Cause “Brain Injuries” in U.S. “Diplomats” in Cuba. The Culprits Were Likely Crickets.

NBC NEWS AND MSNBC SPECIALIZE in repeating and disseminating what U.S intelligence officials tell them to say and then calling that servitude “reporting.” Those two networks really are the all-but-official outlets for CIA messaging. And this status has led their brightest on-air stars to broadcast a series of extremely consequential stories that turned out to be humiliatingly wrong.

This stenographic and highly jingoistic practice of mindlessly reciting the whispered claims of anonymous “intelligence officials” is what notoriously led the New York Times and other leading U.S. media outlets to deceive the country into believing Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz’s fairy tales about Iraqi WMDs and Jeffrey Goldberg’s tales about Saddam’s alliance with Al Qaeda.

But while many of those outlets apologized for that behavior and vowed to avoid it in the future, NBC and MSNBC have committed themselves to it with greater vigor than ever, as evidenced by the increasing prominence of their national security reporter Ken Dilanian, whose entire career has been defined by repeating what the CIA tells him to say – and has thus been plagued by one embarrassing false story after the next.

On Friday, veteran national security reporter William Arkin announced his departure from those networks, blasting them as stenographic servants of the security state agencies and pro-war propaganda. Noting that ex-generals and CIA officials dominate the NBC/MSNBC airwaves, Arkin wrote: “in many ways NBC just began emulating the national security state itself – busy and profitable,” adding: “the national security leaders and generals we have are allowed to do their thing unmolested.”

We now have what might be the most vivid, reckless and dangerous illustration yet of how NBC and MSNBC functions. If their behavior weren’t so journalistically shameful and destructive, this would be darkly humorous.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Intel Officials Publicly Contradict Netanyahu’s UN Speech On “New” Iran Atomic Facility

Netanyahu’s Thursday UN General Assembly speech predictably included the familiar props and visuals condemning Iran over what the Israeli prime minister says is a continuing nuclear program it is hiding from the world’s view.

Like pretty much all prior Netanyahu speeches focusing on Iran, he held up a physical “evidence” to illustrate his points as he spoke this time it was a “proof” that Iran has yet another secret warehouse holding nuclear-related material in the form of an aerial photograph of the Iranian capital marked with a red arrow pointing to a large building.

Though this was perhaps a step up from the cartoon bomb performance at the UNGA in 2012, the act is now a fixture and entirely predictable after many others spanning years, barely eliciting much media excitement compared to six years ago.

But unlike the last number of similar speeches, US intelligence officials have told Reuters that the claims are not true.

Jerusalem Post: “Netanyahu has made a name for himself as the “prop master,” using visual aids to underline his message.”

“I am disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran, a secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran’s secret nuclear program,” Netanyahu said as if breathlessly leading a breaking news press conference.

He said the site had previously held some 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of radioactive material that has since been moved in a curiously specific claim that would now seem very hard if not impossible to prove given that… well it’s all been moved according to the claims. He called on the UN atomic agency to initiative immediate inspection with Geiger counters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Paranoia Ramps Up Infowar on Russia

US Paranoia Ramps Up Infowar on Russia

US Paranoia Ramps Up Infowar on Russia

This week saw renewed effort by US politicians and media to ramp up the information war against Russia. The impetus came from the US-based social media network, Facebook, declaring that it had identified “coordinated political influence campaigns”.

Never mind that the internet giant admitted that it did not know the actual identify of the organizers, that did not stop US news media and senior Washington politicians jumping to conclusions that Russia was guilty (again) of interfering in US politics.

Facebook’s head of cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher was quoted as saying: “At this point in our investigation, we do not have enough technical evidence to state definitively who is behind it.”

Somehow this baseless information was miraculously turned into “evidence” pointing to Russian “malign activity”.

Mark Warner, a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, reacted to the non-issue with the following categorical words: “Today’s disclosure is further evidence that the Kremlin continues to exploit platforms like Facebook to sow division and spread disinformation.”

It’s rather astounding that a senior US lawmaker who is running the “intelligence community” can make such a preposterous assertion based on no facts.

Even the Trump White House, which is caught up in a web of contradictions, was impelled to jump to wrong conclusions. A spokesperson said President Donald Trump “will not tolerate foreign interference in our electoral process from any nation state or other malicious actors.”

It is a clear sign of how collectively paranoid the US political and media establishment have become whenever they make such wild extrapolations based on infantile innuendo and fatuous reasoning.

In the following editorial comment in a New York Times report it was stated: “Like the 2016 Russian interference campaign, the recently detected campaign sought to amplify divisive social issues, including through organizing real-world events.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

VIPS to Trump:  Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

VIPS to Trump:  Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

As drums beat again for war — this time on Iran—-the VIPS’ warning is again being disregarded as it was before the Iraq debacle and this time VIPS fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC. 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: 
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test

Mr. President:

As the George W. Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see no compelling reason for war.  We decided, though, to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others.  We chose to allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence” that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

To us in VIPS it was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was bogus.  Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We take no satisfaction at having been correct — though disregarded — in predicting the political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. Most Americans have been told the intelligence was “mistaken.” It was not; it was out-and-out fraud, in which, sadly, some of our former colleagues took part.

Five years after Powell’s speech, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee minced few words in announcing the main bipartisan finding of a five-year investigation. He said:  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Anatomy of a Displacement-Projection Syndrome


“For more than a decade, Russia has meddled in elections around the world, supported brutal dictators and invaded sovereign nations — all to the detriment of United States interests.”
The New York Times

The Resistance sure got a case of the vapors this week over Mr. Trump’s failure to throttle America’s arch-enemy, the murderous thug V. Putin of Russia, onstage in Helsinki, as any genuine Marvel Comix hero is expected to do when facing consummate evil. Instead, the Golden Golem of Greatness voiced some doubts about the veracity of our “intelligence community” — as the shape-shifting Moloch of black ops likes to call itself, as if it were a kindly service organization in Mr. Rogers neighborhood, collecting dimes for victims of childhood cancer.

If I may be frank, the US Intel community looks like a much bigger threat to American life and values than anything Mr. Putin is doing, for instance his alleged “meddling” in US elections. This word, meddling, absolutely pervades the captive Resistance news outlets these days. It has a thrilling vagueness about it, intimating all kinds of dark deeds without specifying anything, as consorting with Satan once did in our history. The reason: the only specific acts associated with this meddling include the disclosure of incriminating emails among the Democratic National Committee leadership, and a tiny gang of Facebook trolls making sport of profoundly idiotic and dysfunctional American electoral politics.

The brief against Russia also contains vague accusations of “aggression.” It is hard to discern what is meant by that — though it apparently warms the heart of American war hawks and their paymasters in the warfare industries. They allege that Russia “stole” Crimea from Ukraine. Consider: Crimea had been a province of Russia since the 1700s.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Intelligence Community Is Neither

The Intelligence Community Is Neither

At the big “Treason Summit” “Russopocalypse” “Catastrovent” on Monday, journalist Sam Husseini tried to ask a question about banning nuclear weapons, and was physically hauled out of the room by officials from the “Land of Press Freedom,” Finland. Meanwhile, an Associated Press reporter was permitted to ask a perfectly respectable question pushing a blatant lie that risks nuclear war. Yay for press freedom!

The AP reporter claimed that “every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that” the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election of 2016. In fact, the report that this common lie always refers to was concocted by a group of “hand-picked” (James Clapper’s description) people from three agencies out of 18 or so. The three were the NSA, FBI, and CIA — none of which ever, ever lie or get things wrong, ever. The INR and DIA were excluded along with all the others.

That’s why the Associated Press told a lie. Here’s why it’s a blatant and dangerous lie. The same report didn’t conclude a damn thing. It just “assessed,” which is a weasel word for guessed. Of the three agencies involved, two assessed with high and one with moderate confidence that Russia did something or other to benefit Trump. Whether that something was revealing to the public the DNC’s slanting of its primary against Bernie Sanders we are not told. We are also not offered any evidence for whatever it was. We are also not told Trump was involved in it, or offered any degree of assessment of that, much less any evidence. We are also not given any claim that informing us about the DNC’s shenanigans, or any other actions, had any impact on the outcome of the election. We also are not presented any case that keeping the rigging of primaries secret from the public is essential to the sanctity and freedom of our democracy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Intelligence Developing Better Storage To HOARD YOUR DATA Based On Human DNA

US Intelligence Developing Better Storage To HOARD YOUR DATA Based On Human DNA

Since the United States insists on spying its own people and saving massive amounts of personal data, the government is running out of storage space.  So now, they are developing a new and improved data storage system based on human DNA.

It’s obvious the spying isn’t going to stop, and the US is no longer making it a secret that they want every scrap of data available on you stored. The Molecular Information Storage program, run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), is recruiting scientists to help develop a system for storing huge amounts of data on sequence-controlled polymer, molecules with a similar makeup and structure to DNA.

According to RT, US intelligence services struggle to store the trove of data collected during their snooping operations, so a team of researchers is developing the radical new storage technology. The issue for the government of how to store data is one the world’s intelligence services intend to solve for the overbearing governments of the planet. Costly data centers take up huge amounts of land, which is unsustainable given the increasing amount of data generated by each person on a daily basis.

Some data centers are currently being housed in urban locations. The Lakeside Technology Center in Chicago is the largest data storage facility in the US. It spans a whopping 1.1 million square feet, which is equivalent to an entire city block. The site is actually at the location of the former printing press for the Yellow Pages, but the center was transformed in 1999 and now holds more than 50 generators whirring around the clock. The Chicago facility is only matched by the NSA’s $1.5 billion Bumblehive data center in Bluffdale, Utah, which is just over 1 million square feet.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Americans Trust ‘Our’ Intelligence Agencies. Should We?

Americans Trust ‘Our’ Intelligence Agencies. Should We?

Americans Trust ‘Our’ Intelligence Agencies. Should We?

The record is clear that ‘our’ (that is, the ruling Establishment’s) intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, have lied to the public many times, actually lie routinely — but these lies are always revealed only decades later, by historians, which is too late, because the damage was already done. Think, for example, of just two of the now-famous cases, Iran 1953, and Chile 1973, in both of which instances the US Government ended a democracy abroad, and established a brutal dictatorship there (the Shah in Iran, and Pinochet in Chile) — but what good can a historian do, when the Government and its ‘news’-media were persistently lying, and they had fooled the US public, at the time — which is all that really counted (and ever will count)? Can a historian undo the damage that the Government and its propaganda-agencies had perpetrated, by means of their lies, and coups, and invasions? Never. But this Government, and its propaganda-agents, claim to defend democracies, not to end them. Can it actually be a democracy, if it’s doing such things, and doing it time after time?

Something’s deeply wrong here. Government by deceit, cannot be a democracy. And, yet, the public still don’t get the message, even after it has been delivered to us in history-books. By then, it’s no longer in the news, and so only few people really care about it. The message of history is not learned. The public still accepts the ongoing lies — the new lies, in the new ‘news’, for the new atrocities.

During the period after the Soviet Union, and its communism, and its Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended in 1991, the US-and-allied historical record (all now after the Cold War has supposedly been over) is even worse, and is even more clearly evil, because the ideological excuse that had formerly existed (and which was only the excuse, and not the reason, in most cases, such as in Iran, and in Chile) is gone.

Iraq in 2003 was a particularly blatant demonstration of the US-Government’s psychopathy regarding foreign affairs. So: let’s consider this example (hopefully, to learn a lesson from it — which still hasn’t yet been learnt):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Know Your History: Google Has Been a Military-Intel Contractor from the Very Beginning

Levine’s investigative reporting on the connection between the Silicon Valley tech giants and the military-intelligence community has been praised by high-level NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and many others. [See my interviews of Drake here:

“Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google’s involvement.” — Gizmodo / March 6, 2018

Gizmodo’s report on Google’s work for the Pentagon has been making headlines all day. It’s also thrown the normally placid halls of Google’s Mountain View HQ into chaos. Seems that Googlers can’t believe that their awesome company would get involved in something as heinous as helping the Pentagon increase its drone targeting capability.

But the fact that Google helps the military build more efficient systems of surveillance and death shouldn’t be surprising, especially not to Google employees. The truth is that Google has spent the last 15 years selling souped-up versions of its information technology to military and intelligence agencies, local police departments, and military contractors of all size and specialization — including outfits that sell predictive policing tech deployed in cities across America today.

As I outline in my book Surveillance Valley, it started in 2003 with customized Google search solutions for data hosted by the CIA and NSA. The company’s military contracting work then began to expand in a major way after 2004, when Google cofounder Sergey Brin pushed for buying Keyhole, a mapping startup backed by the CIA and the NGA, a sister agency to the NSA that handles spy satellite intelligence.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Snowden Explains Deep State’s Influence on Presidents Obama, Trump

Famed whistleblower Edward Snowden was recently interviewed by Italian publication La Repubblic. The publication noted the 5-year mark of Snowden’s historic act of blowing the whistle on the NSA’s expansive surveillance programs and that “many thought he would end up very badly, but when he connects via videolink for this interview with la Repubblica, he seems to be doing very well: the frank smile and peaceful face of someone who is easy in his mind.”

In an excerpt from the exclusive interview, Snowden explained how the presidencies of both Obama and Trump are shaped by the Deep State following an illuminating question by journalist Stefania Maurizi.

Stefania Maurizi: We saw that President Obama, who was an outsider to the US military-intelligence complex, initially wanted to reign in the abuses of agencies like the CIA and the NSA, but in the end he did very little. Now we see a confrontation between president Trump and so-called Deep State, which includes the CIA and the NSA. Can a US president govern in opposition to such powerful entities?

Edward Snowden: Obama is certainly an instructive case. This is a president who campaigned on a platform of ending warrantless wiretapping in the United States, he said “that’s not who we are, that’s not what we do,” and once he became the president, he expanded the program.  He said he was going to close Guantanamo but he kept it open, he said he was going to limit extrajudicial killings and drone strikes that has been so routine in the Bush years. But Obama went on to authorize vastly more drone strikes than Bush. It became an industry.

As for this idea that there is a Deep State, now the Deep State is not just the intelligence agencies, it is really a way of referring to the career bureaucracy of government. These are officials who sit in powerful positions, who don’t leave when presidents do, who watch presidents come and go, they influence policy, they influence presidents and say: this is what we have always done, this is what we must do, and if you don’t do this, people will die.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Rand Paul: Deep State Exists, Uses Intelligence for Political Purposes

Washington, D.C.— Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday during an appearance on The Laura Ingraham Show podcast that the term “deep state” accurately describes how an unelected bureaucracy of national security officials in positions of power exert influence without Congressional oversight.

“Absolutely, there is a deep state, because the deep state is the intelligence agencies that do not have oversight,” he said. “Only eight people in Congress know what they’re doing, and traditionally, those eight people have been a rubber stamp to let the intelligence communities do whatever they want. There is no skeptic among the eight people that are supposedly overseeing the intelligence community.”

The “Gang of Eight”  that Paul referenced is made up of the majority and minority leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, along with the chairmen and ranking members of the two intelligence committees, and are the select few members of Congress with real-time access to America’s most sensitive intelligence.

Paul pointed out that he believed Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others used intelligence collected “without any judicial warrants” for political purposes, in addition to “try to bring Trump down.”

“John Brennan and James Clapper were doing whatever the hell they wanted, without any judicial warrants, and I think there were numerous people in the Obama administration who were using intelligence — one, to try to bring Trump down; but two, also, they were using it for political purposes,” he said. “And this is very, very worrisome.”

Paul evidenced his point by noting Brennan’s politicized tweet over the weekend calling Trump a corrupt demagogue, and promising that America would “triumph” over him.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Tell Me More About How Google Isn’t Part Of The Government And Can Therefore Censor Whoever It Wants?

Tell Me More About How Google Isn’t Part Of The Government And Can Therefore Censor Whoever It Wants?

When you tell an establishment Democrat that Google’s hiding and removal of content is a dangerous form of censorship, they often magically transform into Ayn Rand right before your eyes.

“It’s a private company and they can do what they like with their property,” they will tell you. “It’s insane to say that a private company regulating its own affairs is the same as government censorship!”

This is absurd on its surface, because Google is not separate from the government in any meaningful way. It has been financially intertwined with US intelligence agencies since its very inception when it received research grants from the CIA and NSA for mass surveillance, pours massive amounts of money into federal lobbying and DC think tanks, has a cozy relationship with the NSA and multiple defense contracts.

“Some of Google’s partnerships with the intelligence community are so close and cooperative, and have been going on for so long, that it’s not easy to discern where Google Inc ends and government spook operations begin,” wrote journalist Yasha Levine in a 2014 Pando Daily article titled “Oakland emails give another glimpse into the Google-Military-Surveillance Complex”.

“The purchase of Keyhole was a major milestone for Google, marking the moment the company stopped being a purely consumer-facing Internet company and began integrating with the US government,” Levine wrote in a recent blog post about his book Surveillance Valley. “While Google’s public relations team did its best to keep the company wrapped in a false aura of geeky altruism, company executives pursued an aggressive strategy to become the Lockheed Martin of the Internet Age.”

And now we learn from Gizmodo that Google has also been helping with AI for the Pentagon’s drone program.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How ‘Operation Merlin’ Poisoned U.S. Intelligence on Iran

How ‘Operation Merlin’ Poisoned U.S. Intelligence on Iran

The CIA’s “Operation Merlin,” which involved providing Iran with a flawed design for a nuclear weapon and resulted in an alleged whistleblower going to prison, was the perfect example of creating intelligence in order to justify operations, reports Gareth Porter.


Jeffrey Sterling, the case officer for the CIA’s covert “Operation Merlin,” who was convicted in May 2015 for allegedly revealing details of that operation to James Risen of the New York Times, was released from prison in January after serving more than two years of a 42-month sentence. He had been tried and convicted on the premise that the revelation of the operation had harmed U.S. security.

The entire case against him assumed a solid intelligence case that Iran had indeed been working on a nuclear weapon that justified that covert operation.

But the accumulate evidence shows that the intelligence not only did not support the need for Operation Merlin, but that the existence of the CIA’s planned covert operation itself had a profound distorting impact on intelligence assessment of the issue. The very first U.S. national intelligence estimate on the subject in 2001 that Iran had a nuclear weapons program was the result of a heavy-handed intervention by Deputy Director for Operations James L. Pavitt that was arguably more serious than the efforts by Vice-President Dick Cheney to influence the CIA’s 2002 estimate on WMD in Iraq.

The full story the interaction between the CIA operation and intelligence analysis, shows, moreover, that Pavitt had previously fabricated an alarmist intelligence analysis for the Clinton White House on Iran’s nuclear program in late 1999 in order to get Clinton’s approval for Operation Merlin.

Pavitt Plans Operation Merlin

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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