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Top Secret America
#1
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
Not bad for the MSM.....
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#2
Pretty radical for the Post...but ...the implication is "if we don't get it right" there will be another attack . Ho hum. Same old Company drivel.

Dawn
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#3
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/19/ti...hy_it_took
a critical look at the Post's article....and right on....although the info in the article is important, none the less....

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we’re joined by Tim Shorrock, an investigative journalist and the author of Spies for Hire: The Secret World of [Intelligence Outsourcing].

Tim, as you go through the first of the series of pieces in the Washington Post—you’ve been looking at these issues for a long time—what are you—what do you think is most important?

TIM SHORROCK: Well, first of all, let me say that, with all due respect to the Washington Post—and Dana Priest and Bill Arkin are very good reporters—we have to ask, why did it take them seven years to do this story? Anyone who’s been covering intelligence or national security in Washington knows that intelligence has been privatized to an incredible extent and national security has been privatized to an incredible extent.

I broke the first stories on the intelligence-industrial complex. The first one appeared in Mother Jones in 2005. In 2007 I wrote a major story for Salon and a whole series in Salon. I disclosed that 70 percent of the US intelligence budget is spent on private-sector contractors. And then, of course, I wrote this book, which has a lot of this information that’s in the Post series. So, I find it rather amazing that it took them this long to actually do this kind of piece, because the information has been there.

And the American people have been ill-served by the Washington Post, whose coverage of these companies has been basically rah-rah journalism—rah-rah Lockheed Martin, rah-rah Booz Allen, look at the profits they’re making. There has not been this kind of careful look at what’s actually happening. So, that’s the first point I’d like to make. And I think, you know, people should look at the work of myself, Jeremy Scahill, other journalists that have covered this sector and put out the word of how much intelligence is controlled and gathered by private-sector corporations.

AMY GOODMAN: What should most be understood by these private companies? And what is your major concern? One of the things Bill Arkin was saying, you know, he was surprised—well, they’ve done the series now for—they were researching the series for two years, that maybe there were 200 firms. There are 2,000, he says, now.

TIM SHORROCK: Well, a lot of the—yeah, there’s about—I would say there’s about 200 firms that really control most of the business with the intelligence community, as well as the national security community. There are hundreds of companies in this area. As you know, there’s a Beltway around Washington. They’re called Beltway bandits. They start up. They develop a specific kind of technology, some kind of special apparatus that’s used by a certain intelligence agency. They get money from the agency. They develop it. And then, pretty soon, a bigger company looks at them and says, "Hey, we’d like to get their contracts. We’d like to buy them." And that’s what they do. And that’s how these companies, like Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen and others, have grown so large, is that they’ve picked up a lot of these smaller companies. Northrop Grumman is another one, BAE Systems. So there’s literally, you know, hundreds and hundreds of companies.

And I think one of the things about the first day of this piece that’s quite amazing, if you look at the national map, and you see all these offices of both, you know, private contractors as well as government agencies, basically, you know, doing intelligence on the world and the American people. You know, it’s an enormous spy apparatus. You know, you can drive, say, from—you know, just pick a random state, New Mexico, where I’ve spent some time. You drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, you pass the big building on the right side, which used to be National Guard headquarters, and that’s one of these—you know, one of these centers where they integrate all the intelligence with—you know, and pass it on to local police and local law enforcement. These kind of buildings are all over the United States, and I think if readers look at this, they’ll see, you know, what an incredible secret police state we’ve really built here.

AMY GOODMAN: You have written a piece, "The Corporate Intelligence Community: A Photo Exclusive." Talk about how this has grown and both what you’re doing, what the Washington Post has done—those that raise the question of are you putting the nation’s intelligence community at risk by locating where it is, by naming it all.

TIM SHORROCK: Well, you know, if you fly into DC National Airport and drive, you know, up to—up the river and into DC, all you see on the Virginia side are buildings like Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrop Grumman, etc., etc. It’s very clear where these buildings are. You know, in my website, timshorrock.com, the top story, which I posted over the weekend, is a little tour, is a photo tour I did a few months ago of northern Virginia, just looking at some of these buildings, some of these colossal headquarters of contractors like Accenture Corporation, which most people just know as some kind of, you know, consulting, corporate consulting firm, but does a huge amount of work the intelligence agency. These are huge buildings. They’re all over the place, and you can’t but notice them. So I think it’s foolish of the intelligence community or intelligence agencies to accuse us of, you know, somehow compromising national security.

After all, if you want to keep the stuff secret, don’t contract it out to private companies who sell their stocks on the stock market. Half the information I got for my book, Spies for Hire, came from attending, you know, investor conferences, reading up on their SEC documents that they file, Securities and Exchange, looking at their press releases. Just take a look at a website such as the company called C-A-C-I International, CACI International, which is the company that sent the interrogators to Abu Ghraib under an IT contract, one of the IT contracts that Bill Arkin mentioned. Just take a look at their website and go through it, and you’ll see. You’ll learn a whole heck of a lot about national security and what’s going on in intelligence that you never would have been able to learn if this industry had not been privatized to the extent that it is. So I think that the IC’s concerns here are really ridiculous. They should probably, you know, ask all these corporations to cover up their logos, if they want to keep it secret.

AMY GOODMAN: Tim Shorrock, the Senate Intelligence Committee is going to hold confirmation hearings Tuesday for General James Clapper, President Obama’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence. Tell us who he is.

TIM SHORROCK: James Clapper used to be the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was an Air Force general, came through the ranks. He took over the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the NGA, which you discussed a little bit there with Bill Arkin. He took over the NGA just after 9/11, a few days after 9/11, and ran it for four or five years. And actually, the NGA is a very interesting organization. It collects the imagery—it analyzes the imagery they pick up from satellites and overhead UAVs, and they merge that with intelligence that the National Security Agency picks up, and they can actually, you know, track individual people, track people in real time. And that’s how a lot of the assassinations that have taken place in Iraq and Pakistan have been done, with technology like that. But the NGA is a very important agency. It also does—conducts a lot of domestic surveillance. I actually wrote a story, and it’s in my book, as well, about how the NGA, for the first time, for the first time ever during Hurricane Katrina, flew U-2s over the Gulf Coast and collected imagery intelligence. So Clapper has a lot of experience in this area.

He also has close connections to contractors, which I write about. You can also find that article on my website, an article I wrote recently for Foreign Policy in Focus about the many contractors that he has been—either been a board member of or been an adviser to. And interestingly enough, in his written testimony to the Senate committee, he called this whole thing "the intelligence enterprise," quote-unquote. And I think that’s a very interesting phrase for someone to use. It’s not accidental that they’re calling this the "enterprise," because, after all, it is a combination of private-sector companies and US national intelligence agencies. But, you know, going back to the point I made earlier, 70 percent of our budget—excuse me—goes to these companies, so the vast majority of our funds in intelligence go to private-sector corporations.

And what we’ve got to ask is, what does it mean to have these companies, private-sector companies, making profits at the highest levels of our national security? Our last Director of National Intelligence, Michael McConnell, is now back at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the largest intelligence contractors. Before he began his job as Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, he ran Booz Allen’s military intelligence. Before he went to Booz, he was the director of the National Security Agency during the Clinton administration. So you have these people going in and out, in and out of these companies, having top-level security clearances, yet they’re in the private sector making huge profits off of this. And I think we have to wonder—we have to take the intelligence that they gather and the advice that they give to our government agencies with a huge grain of salt, because when you get a contract, the important thing about that contract is you want to get the next contract. You want to get that contract renewed. You might get a five-year contract with one-year renewals. You want to get it renewed every year. So, do you think you’re going to downplay the threat? Do you think you’re going to say, "Oh, there’s no more, you know, problem over here in this area of the world, so we can just—you know, you can just pull our contract"? They’re not going to do that. And I think we really have to wonder about the quality of the intelligence you get from these private-sector companies.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Tim Shorrock, I want to thank you very much for being with us. His book is Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. And we’ll link to your website at http://www.timshorrock.com.

---------------------
By Tim Shorrock

Program note: I was a guest on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman on Monday 7/19 talking about this article and the Washington Post stories on privatized intelligence.

Not long ago, as I was preparing an article on government contracting, I was given a tour of Northern Virginia by a friend who spent over a decade as an intelligence operative and another five years working as an intelligence contractor. We drove through Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Tysons Corner and McLean, and up to Dulles Airport. Our route took us from the entrance to the CIA through “contractor alley” and past the huge, gleaming office buildings that house the dozens of corporations that make up what Lt. Gen. James Clapper, the incoming director of the Office of National Intelligence, likes to call “the intelligence enterprise.”

This industrial neighborhood is home to around 60 percent of the Intelligence Community. These are the private sector warriors who staff the offices and installations of the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the rest of the so-called “Intelligence Community.” As I first reported in Salon in 2007 and later in my book, SPIES FOR HIRE, 70 percent of our intelligence budget goes to these companies. Officially, according to a 2008 ODNI study of human capital within the IC, nearly 40,000 private contractors are working for intelligence agencies, bringing the total number of IC employees to more than 135,000.

So here, as an introduction to the upcoming Washington Post series on intelligence contractors that has the agencies quaking in their boots, is a guide to the “real” IC (I’m sure the Post isn’t going to credit my work, so here’s my chance – with a little help from fellow muckrakers like emptywheel – to scoop the paper for once: screw ‘em).

Enjoy the ride; initial links to company names are to their section of the intelligence database I built with CorpWatch. All photos are copyright Tim Shorrock/2010.

We begin the tour: Ah, yes, SAIC, the Big Daddy of privatized intelligence, the company responsible for the failed $5 billion Trailblazer program at the NSA, which was supposed to keep track of the billions of bits of data downloaded by the NSA around the world but totally failed. SAIC, which recently moved its headquarters from San Diego to this building, stands like a private colossus across the whole intelligence industry. Of its 42,000 employees, more than 20,000 hold U.S. government security clearances, making it, with Lockheed Martin, one of the largest private intelligence services in the world.

SAIC’s offices stand in this office park, right next to its biggest competitor, Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz is involved in virtually every aspect of the modern intelligence enterprise, from advising top officials on how to integrate the 16 agencies within the Intelligence Community (IC), to detailed analysis of signals intelligence, imagery and other critical collections technologies.

Booz’s strategic role in the IC was best described in 2003 by Joan Dempsey, then the top assistant to CIA Director George Tenet for community management. “I like to call Booz Allen the Shadow IC,” she said when receiving a lifetime achievement award from a contractor group, because it has “more former secretaries of this and directors of that” than the entire government. Dempsey, whose picture is to the right (speaking at a contractor-sponsored event known as GEOINT) is now Booz’s senior vice president, responsible for many of the programs she managed while at the CIA. Booz itself it owned by the Carlyle Group, one of the nation’s most politically-connected private equity funds. Booz is also known for being king of the revolving door at the IC, as personified by former NSA Director Mike McConnell, who left the NSA to become Booz’s top executive on military intelligence, served for most of the Bush administration as DNI, and is now back in his old slot at Booz. So, not surprisingly, security is tight at this building; just after I took this picture, a pair of burly security guards came out and gave me the cold stare. I smiled and promptly left.

This collosal building, near the SAIC/Booz complex, is the headquarters for Accenture, the global consulting company that was formerly a branch of Andersen Consulting. Few people know (and you certainly wouldn’t pick up from their website) that Accenture is deeply involved in intelligence work. But as I learned at several industry gatherings I attended while researching my book, it does financial planning and audits for the IC and recently began providing information-sharing and collaboration tools to agencies. Its customers, according to Accenture literature I’ve gathered, include the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the NGA and the National Reconaissance Office.

Down the road, visible for several miles, is this Sheraton Hotel. It’s not a contractor building, of course, but it is where the CIA and other agencies like to wine and dine their contractors as well as visiting dignitaries from foreign intelligence agencies such as Britain’s MI5.

This building behind the trees is the headquarters for Scitor, a virtually unknown company that does over $300 million worth of business with U.S. intelligence every year. Scitor is “the biggest company you never heard of,” a former NSA officer who knows the company well once said (see the company’s profile in my book). It is a technology company that does extensive work for the Air Force in aerospace communications and satellite support services. The privately held company is also an important contractor for the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology. Within that directorate, it is used primarily by the Office of Technical Services, the secretive unit that develops the gadgets, weapons, and disguises used by spies. If you can divine anything from its website, you’re probably a spook yourself. So too if you can recognize these companies, whose logos are pointed out by my guide: Juniper, Blackbird Technologies and RavenTech (so many predator metaphors!)

On the other hand, most people recognize BAE Systems, one of the many British companies that have made deep inroads into the U.S. intelligence market. BAE’s intelligence division has extensive operations throughout the DC area and operates numerous Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) for intelligence agencies. These facilities have special windows that prevent outside infiltration of electronic spying devices. According to BAE, “Our newest facility in Herndon, Virginia, known as the Information Analysis Center (IAC) is a state-of-the-art workspace, built to stringent…customer security, communications, and analytic requirements. This facility, which was opened in July, 2005, provides over 150,000 square feet of accredited SCIF space accommodating over 700 personnel.” BAE provides much of its contracting services (especially to the CIA) through its Global Analysis intelligence unit, which described itself as “a leading provider of skilled, fully cleared, and experienced intelligence and geospatial analysts working directly with Government agencies and U.S. military commands to satisfy regular and surge requirements.” This is no bit player.

Not every building in contractor alley is marked. Only those who know can identify the headquarters of the DNI or the National Counter-Terrorism Center. But it’s easy to figure out which facility in the Herndon-Fairfax corridor is an intelligence center: the intense security just gives it away.

This building is reportedly a special intelligence office; next to it is a small building with a CACI logo on it. That makes the barricaded site even more obvious.

Finally, if you think that Dulles International Airport is just for the public, guess again. Throughout the complex are terminals often used by the CIA to whisk officials, operatives and contractors to their foreign destinations without being seen by ordinary travellers and with heavy security. That’s what this building is; my tour guide said he had used it several times to depart for the Middle East and other spots, both as an intelligence operative and as a contractor. Dual use, you might say, and a metaphor for the entire intelligence enterprise.

Then of course there’s the industry parties, where the contractors get to spend their money on lavish events of back-slapping and celebration. That’s what’s happening here, where Stan Soloway, the executive director of the Professional Services Council, the voice and chief lobbyist of the contractor industry, is opening the “Academy Awards of the Government Contracting World” at the swank Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tysons Corner.

At this event, held every October, the scions of the Washington business community pay tribute to the leading companies in the government contracting industry. Like A-List actors at the Oscars, it’s the high-flying intelligence contractors that usually sweep the awards: at this event, in 2008, the big winner was Booz Allen, which was chosen best contractor of the year for companies earning more than $300 million a year. Booz’s competitors for the top spot were CACI International, which earns much of its money from the CIA, and CSC, another big NSA contractor.“This is the new face of government,” Soloway, a top Pentagon acquisition official during the Clinton administration, later told me about the 350 corporate members of his association. So who elected you? I thought.

The highlight of the PSC’s gala was the induction of Norman R. Augustine (below), the former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, into the contractor “hall of fame.” Lockheed Martin, largely on the basis of its huge military and intelligence business, is the government’s largest contractor, bringing in close to $17 billion in contracts in 2009 (see the rankings here). “There are fewer greater burdens that one could bear than accepting the fiduciary responsibility of spending the public’s money,” Augustine told the contractors. Ah yes, the new white men’s burden: spying for profit.

So that’s our tour. Enjoy the sites. And enjoy the Dana Priest-Bill Arkin series in the Post. It’s about damn time they covered this story: intelligence outsourcing to this extent has only been a fact of life in Washington since, oh, 2002. The real question to be asked of the Post is: why the hell did it take them eight years?
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
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#4
Published on Monday, July 19, 2010 by Salon.com The Real US Government

by Glenn Greenwald


The Washington Post's Dana Priest demonstrates once again why she's easily one of the best investigative journalists in the nation -- if not the best -- with the publication of Part I of her series, co-written with William Arkin, detailing the sprawling, unaccountable, inexorably growing secret U.S. Government: what the article calls "Top Secret America." To the extent the series receives much substantive attention (and I doubt it will), the focus will likely be on the bureaucratic problems it documents: the massive redundancies, overlap, waste, and inefficiencies which plague this "hidden world, growing beyond control" -- as though everything would better if Top Secret America just functioned a bit more effectively. But the far more significant fact so compellingly illustrated by this first installment is the one I described last week when writing about the Obama administration's escalating war on whistle blowers:
Most of what the U.S. Government does of any significance -- literally -- occurs behind a vast wall of secrecy, completely unknown to the citizenry. . . . Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. That's why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics. They're one of the very few classes of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place.
Virtually every fact Priest and Arkin disclose underscores this point. Here is their first sentence: "The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work." This all "amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight." We chirp endlessly about the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Democrats and Republicans, but this is the Real U.S. Government: functioning in total darkness, beyond elections and parties, so secret, vast and powerful that it evades the control or knowledge of any one person or even any organization.

Anyone who thinks that's hyperbole should just read some of what Priest and Arkin chronicle. Consider this: "Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications." To call that an out-of-control, privacy-destroying Surveillance State is to understate the case. Equally understated is the observation that we have become a militarized nation living under an omnipotent, self-perpetuating, bankrupting National Security State. Here's but one flavoring anecdote:
Command centers, internal television networks, video walls, armored SUVs and personal security guards have also become the bling of national security.
"You can't find a four-star general without a security detail," said one three-star general now posted in Washington after years abroad. "Fear has caused everyone to have stuff. Then comes, 'If he has one, then I have to have one.' It's become a status symbol."
What's most noteworthy about all of this is that the objective endlessly invoked for why we must acquiesce to all of this -- National Security -- is not only unfulfilled by "Top Secret America," but actively subverted by it. During the FISA debate of 2008 -- when Democrats and Republicans joined together to legalize the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping program and vastly expand the NSA's authority to spy on the communications of Americans without judicial oversight -- it was constantly claimed that the Government must have greater domestic surveillance powers in order to Keep Us Safe. Thus, anyone who opposed the new spying law was accused of excessively valuing privacy and civil liberties at the expense of what, we are always told, matters most: Staying Safe.

But as I wrote many times back then -- often by interviewing and otherwise citing House Intelligence Committee member Rush Holt, who has been making this point repeatedly -- the more secret surveillance powers we vest in the Government, the more we allow the unchecked Surveillance State to grow, the more unsafe we become. That's because the public-private axis that is the Surveillance State already collects so much information about us, our activities and our communications -- so indiscriminately and on such a vast scale -- that it cannot possibly detect any actual national security threats. NSA whistle blower Adrienne Kinne, when exposing NSA eavesdropping abuses, warned of what ABC News described as "the waste of time spent listening to innocent Americans, instead of looking for the terrorist needle in the haystack." As Kinne put it:
By casting the net so wide and continuing to collect on Americans and aid organizations, it's almost like they're making the haystack bigger and it's harder to find that piece of information that might actually be useful to somebody. You're actually hurting our ability to effectively protect our national security.
The Government did not fail to detect the 9/11 attacks because it was unable to collect information relating to the plot. It did collect exactly that, but because it surveilled so much information, it was incapable of recognizing what it possessed ("connecting the dots"). Despite that, we have since then continuously expanded the Government's surveillance powers. Virtually every time the political class reveals some Scary New Event, it demands and obtains greater spying authorities (and, of course, more and more money). And each time that happens, its ability to detect actually relevant threats diminishes. As Priest and Arkin write:
The NSA sorts a fraction of those [1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of daily collected communications] into 70 separate databases. The same problem bedevils every other intelligence agency, none of which have enough analysts and translators for all this work.
The article details how ample information regarding alleged Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hassan and attempted Christmas Day bomber Umar Abdulmutallab was collected but simply went unrecognized. As a result, our vaunted Surveillance State failed to stop the former attack and it was only an alert airplane passenger who thwarted the latter. So it isn't that we keep sacrificing our privacy to an always-growing National Security State in exchange for greater security. The opposite is true: we keep sacrificing our privacy to the always-growing National Security State in exchange for less security.
* * * * *
This world is so vast, secretive and well-funded that it's very difficult to imagine how it could ever be brought under control. That's particularly true given its inextricable intertwining with the private sector: the billions upon billions of dollars funneled from the Government to its private-sector "partners," which is the subject of the not-yet-published second installment of the Priest/Arkin article. As I wrote when examining the revolving public/private shuttling of former DNI and Booz Allen executive Michael McConnell:
In every way that matters, the separation between government and corporations is nonexistent, especially (though not only) when it comes to the National Security and Surveillance State. Indeed, so extreme is this overlap that even McConnell, when he was nominated to be Bush's DNI, told The New York Times that his ten years of working "outside the government," for Booz Allen, would not impede his ability to run the nation's intelligence functions. That's because his Booz Allen work was indistinguishable from working for the Government, and therefore -- as he put it -- being at Booz Allen "has allowed me to stay focused on national security and intelligence communities as a strategist and as a consultant. Therefore, in many respects, I never left."
As the NSA scandal revealed, private telecom giants and other corporations now occupy the central role in carrying out the government's domestic surveillance and intelligence activities -- almost always in the dark, beyond the reach of oversight or the law.
Long before the Priest/Arkin article, Tim Shorrock has been documenting this sprawling, secretive, merged public/private world that combines unchecked surveillance and national security powers with enormous corporate profits. So long as the word Terrorism continues to be able to strike fear in the hearts of enough citizens and media stars -- as Communism did before it -- the political class, no matter who is elected, will be petrified to oppose any of this, even if they wanted to, and why would they want to? They wouldn't and they don't. And it thus grows and becomes more powerful, all justified by endless appeals to The Terrorists.

That's why it is difficult to imagine -- short of some severe citizen unrest -- how any of this will be brought under control. One of the few scenarios one can envision for such unrest involves growing wealth disparities and increasingly conspicuous elite corruption. In The New York Times today, investment banker and former Clinton Treasury official Roger Altman announced that the alleged "tension between President Obama and the business community" can be solved only if the political class is willing to "fix Social Security" -- i.e., to slash Americans' retirement security. Sooner or later (probably sooner), one way or another (probably this way), that's going to happen. It's inevitable. As George Carlin put it several years ago, in an amazingly succinct summary of so many things:
And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
That's really the only relevant question: how much longer will Americans sit by passively and watch as a tiny elite become more bloated, more powerful, greedier, more corrupt and more unaccountable -- as the little economic security, privacy and freedom most citizens possess vanish further still? How long can this be sustained, where more and more money is poured into Endless War, a military that almost spends more than the rest of the world combined, where close to 50% of all U.S. tax revenue goes to military and intelligence spending, where the rich-poor gap grows seemingly without end, and the very people who virtually destroyed the world economy wallow in greater rewards than ever, all while the public infrastructure (both figuratively and literally) crumbles and the ruling class is openly collaborating on a bipartisan, public-private basis even to cut Social Security benefits?

More... Read the entire article at Salon.com

© 2010 Salon.com
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/07/19-10
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
Buckminster Fuller
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#5
See also:

Search Top Secret America’s Database of Private Spooks


Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/...z0uBV9MuC9



Nation’s Spies, Contractors Brace For Post Expose



Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/#ixzz0uBUqbpNm



Intelcrats’ Awesomely Bad Pushback to ‘Top Secret America’


Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/...z0uBUZy6BT
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#6
The Corporate Intelligence Community: A Photo Exclusive

Posted on July 17, 2010 by Tim Shorrock
[Image: ACCENTURE-150x150.jpg]
By Tim Shorrock
Program note: I was a guest on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman on Monday 7/19 talking about this article and the Washington Post stories on privatized intelligence.
Not long ago, as I was preparing an article on government contracting, I was given a tour of Northern Virginia by a friend who spent over a decade as an intelligence operative and another five years working as an intelligence contractor. We drove through Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Tysons Corner and McLean, and up to Dulles Airport. Our route took us from the entrance to the CIA through “contractor alley” and past the huge, gleaming office buildings that house the dozens of corporations that make up what Lt. Gen. James Clapper, the incoming director of the Office of National Intelligence, likes to call “the intelligence enterprise.”
This industrial neighborhood is home to around 60 percent of the Intelligence Community. These are the private sector warriors who staff the offices and installations of the CIA, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the rest of the so-called “Intelligence Community.” As I first reported in Salon in 2007 and later in my book, SPIES FOR HIRE, 70 percent of our intelligence budget goes to these companies. Officially, according to a 2008 ODNI study of human capital within the IC, nearly 40,000 private contractors are working for intelligence agencies, bringing the total number of IC employees to more than 135,000.
So here, as an introduction to the upcoming Washington Post series on intelligence contractors that has the agencies quaking in their boots, is a guide to the “real” IC (I’m sure the Post isn’t going to credit my work, so here’s my chance – with a little help from fellow muckrakers like emptywheel – to scoop the paper for once: screw ‘em).
Enjoy the ride; initial links to company names are to their section of the intelligence database I built with CorpWatch. All photos are copyright Tim Shorrock/2010.

[Image: SAIC-300x168.jpg]We begin the tour: Ah, yes, SAIC, the Big Daddy of privatized intelligence, the company responsible for the failed $5 billion Trailblazer program at the NSA, which was supposed to keep track of the billions of bits of data downloaded by the NSA around the world but totally failed. SAIC, which recently moved its headquarters from San Diego to this building, stands like a private colossus across the whole intelligence industry. Of its 42,000 employees, more than 20,000 hold U.S. government security clearances, making it, with Lockheed Martin, one of the largest private intelligence services in the world.
SAIC’s offices stand in this office park, [Image: BOOZ-SAIC-150x150.jpg]right next to its biggest competitor, Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz is involved in virtually every aspect of the modern intelligence enterprise, from advising top officials on how to integrate the 16 agencies within the Intelligence Community (IC), to detailed analysis of signals intelligence, imagery and other critical collections technologies.
[Image: BOOZ-300x168.jpg]Booz’s strategic role in the IC was best described in 2003 by Joan Dempsey, then the top assistant to CIA Director George Tenet for community management. “I like to call Booz Allen the Shadow IC,” she said when receiving a lifetime achievement award from a contractor group, because it has “more former secretaries of this and directors of that” than the entire government. [Image: dempsey-150x150.jpg]Dempsey, whose picture is to the right (speaking at a contractor-sponsored event known as GEOINT) is now Booz’s senior vice president, responsible for many of the programs she managed while at the CIA. Booz itself it owned by the Carlyle Group, one of the nation’s most politically-connected private equity funds. Booz is also known for being king of the revolving door at the IC, as personified by former NSA Director Mike McConnell, who left the NSA to become Booz’s top executive on military intelligence, served for most of the Bush administration as DNI, and is now back in his old slot at Booz.[Image: BOOZ2-300x168.jpg] So, not surprisingly, security is tight at this building; just after I took this picture, a pair of burly security guards came out and gave me the cold stare. I smiled and promptly left.
This collosal building, near the SAIC/Booz complex, is the headquarters for Accenture, the global consulting company that was formerly a branch of Andersen Consulting. Few people know (and you certainly wouldn’t pick up from their website) that Accenture is deeply involved in intelligence work. [Image: ACCENTURE-300x168.jpg]But as I learned at several industry gatherings I attended while researching my book, it does financial planning and audits for the IC and recently began providing information-sharing and collaboration tools to agencies. Its customers, according to Accenture literature I’ve gathered, include the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the NGA and the National Reconaissance Office.
Down the road, visible for several miles, is this Sheraton Hotel. [Image: CIA-HOTEL1-300x168.jpg]It’s not a contractor building, of course, but it is where the CIA and other agencies like to wine and dine their contractors as well as visiting dignitaries from foreign intelligence agencies such as Britain’s MI5.
This building behind the trees is the headquarters for Scitor, a virtually unknown company that does over $300 million worth of business with U.S. intelligence every year. [Image: SCITOR-300x271.jpg]Scitor is “the biggest company you never heard of,” a former NSA officer who knows the company well once said (see the company’s profile in my book). It is a technology company that does extensive work for the Air Force in aerospace communications and satellite support services. The privately held company is also an important contractor for the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology. Within that directorate, it is used primarily by the Office of Technical Services, the secretive unit that develops the gadgets, weapons, and disguises used by spies. If you can divine anything from its website, you’re probably a spook yourself. So too if you can recognize these companies, whose logos are pointed out by my guide: Juniper, Blackbird Technologies and RavenTech (so many predator metaphors!)
[Image: BAE-300x168.jpg]On the other hand, most people recognize BAE Systems, one of the many British companies that have made deep inroads into the U.S. intelligence market. BAE’s intelligence division has extensive operations throughout the DC area and operates numerous Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) for intelligence agencies. These facilities have special windows that prevent outside infiltration of electronic spying devices. According to BAE, “Our newest facility in Herndon, Virginia, known as the Information Analysis Center (IAC) is a state-of-the-art workspace, built to stringent…customer security, communications, and analytic requirements. This facility, which was opened in July, 2005, provides over 150,000 square feet of accredited SCIF space accommodating over 700 personnel.” BAE provides much of its contracting services (especially to the CIA) through its Global Analysis intelligence unit, which described itself as “a leading provider of skilled, fully cleared, and experienced intelligence and geospatial analysts working directly with Government agencies and U.S. military commands to satisfy regular and surge requirements.” This is no bit player.
Not every building in contractor alley is marked. Only those who know can identify the headquarters of the DNI or the National Counter-Terrorism Center. But it’s easy to figure out which facility in the Herndon-Fairfax corridor is an intelligence center: the intense security just gives it away.
[Image: UNMARKED-300x168.jpg]This building is reportedly a special intelligence office; next to it is a small building with a CACI logo on it. That makes the barricaded site even more obvious.
Finally, if you think that Dulles International Airport is just for the public, guess again. [Image: DULLES-JET-CENTER-300x168.jpg]Throughout the complex are terminals often used by the CIA to whisk officials, operatives and contractors to their foreign destinations without being seen by ordinary travellers and with heavy security. That’s what this building is; my tour guide said he had used it several times to depart for the Middle East and other spots, both as an intelligence operative and as a contractor. Dual use, you might say, and a metaphor for the entire intelligence enterprise.
Then of course there’s the industry parties, where the contractors get to spend their money on lavish events of back-slapping and celebration. That’s what’s happening here, [Image: SOLOWAY-300x168.jpg]where Stan Soloway, the executive director of the Professional Services Council, the voice and chief lobbyist of the contractor industry, is opening the “Academy Awards of the Government Contracting World” at the swank Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tysons Corner.
At this event, held every October, the scions of the Washington business community pay tribute to the leading companies in the government contracting industry. Like A-List actors at the Oscars, it’s the high-flying intelligence contractors that usually sweep the awards: at this event, in 2008, the big winner was Booz Allen, which was chosen best contractor of the year for companies earning more than $300 million a year. Booz’s competitors for the top spot were CACI International, which earns much of its money from the CIA, and CSC, another big NSA contractor.[Image: PSC-300x168.jpg]“This is the new face of government,” Soloway, a top Pentagon acquisition official during the Clinton administration, later told me about the 350 corporate members of his association. So who elected you? I thought.
The highlight of the PSC’s gala was the induction of Norman R. Augustine (below), the former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, into the contractor “hall of fame.” Lockheed Martin, largely on the basis of its huge military and intelligence business, is the government’s largest contractor, bringing in close to $17 billion in contracts in 2009 (see the rankings here). [Image: AUGUSTINE-300x168.jpg]“There are fewer greater burdens that one could bear than accepting the fiduciary responsibility of spending the public’s money,” Augustine told the contractors. Ah yes, the new white men’s burden: spying for profit.
So that’s our tour. Enjoy the sites. And enjoy the Dana Priest-Bill Arkin series in the Post. It’s about damn time they covered this story: intelligence outsourcing to this extent has only been a fact of life in Washington since, oh, 2002. The real question to be asked of the Post is: why the hell did it take them eight years?

Posted in Corporations, Intelligence, Military Industrial Complex | 10 Comments
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#7
A 108-second promo video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDLVCyCm1ck&feature=player_embedded#!
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#8
Am I Missing Something Or Are "Top Secret America" and the "End of the Establishment" A Bit Over-Hyped? - By
from Shadow Government by Peter Feaver
http://shadow.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010..._are_over_hyped

There are two breathless stories today that are hyped as shock and awe assaults on the national security establishment. I have read both and tried several times to muster the requisite emotion, but both struck me as the analytical equivalent of fizzles.

The first and biggest, is the Washington Post's long-awaited investigative series on the growth of the national security establishment. Taking its cue from British tabloids, the Post has breathlessly promoted this series with its own brand -- "Top Secret America" -- sensational headlines -- "A Hidden World, Growing Beyond Control" -- and extravagant but somewhat unprovable claims -- such as the charge that the intelligence community failed to connect the dots in a timely manner on the recent terrorist attempts because of the redundant nature of the system. Its most innovative aspect is a series of nifty interactive features that allow tailored searches and graphics-rich displays of two basic (and I would have thought, well-established) facts: (1) that the national security world is complex and (2) that defense spending has grown in the last decade. Bottom line: This is a very glossy website that so far seems to try a bit too hard to shock viewers with how much gambling is going on in the casino.

The series has just begun and perhaps future installments will offer more bombshell revelations, but the first installment leaves me wondering what the fuss was about. The major claim that the complexity of the intelligence community has made it hard to manage in a centralized fashion is neither new nor proven in a novel way. I am sympathetic to the charge -- anyone who has worked in government understands how complex the national security establishment is and can probably name a publication or an organization that, in one person's humble opinion, could be dropped without fatally wounding national security. The difficulty is that when you aggregate across a variety of experienced perspectives, you do not come up with a common list of things to axe. One man's meat is another man's fluff, and vice-versa. You need look no further than this very series to establish this fact. The Washington Post team have spent two years talking with scores of people and compile all of the complaints without producing (yet, yet ... perhaps the best is yet to come) any coherent and viable set of reforms.

The two leads, Dana Priest and Bill Arkin, have a wealth of experience bringing obscure matters to a more general audience (full disclosure: Bill and I co-moderated a discussion group at washingtonpost.com called Planet War for a time). I would like to think that some of the purple prose got foisted upon them by editors desperate to generate traffic to the website. So perhaps the series will develop in a more constructive direction.

I have less high hopes for Jacob Heilbrunn's crocodile tears complaint about the waning of establishment Republicans on foreign policy. He begins with the hook that one of the leading Republican contenders for 2012, Mitt Romney, came out opposed to the new START treaty with Moscow, a treaty supported with varying degrees of enthusiasm by several senior Republican wise men. But debates among Republicans about the wisdom of specific compromises on specific nuclear arms control treaties is as old as, well, nuclear arms control. Indeed, because Heilbrunn explicitly avoids taking up the merits of the case either way, he does not demonstrate that this new debate is especially shallow or even especially vigorous.

Alas, the piece goes downhill from there and quickly reaches farce by the fourth paragraph, which reads:

Just as Republicans have united by reflexively saying no to Obama's domestic program, so they are also attacking his approach to foreign affairs as tantamount to a new round of Carteresque appeasement of foreign adversaries. Any deviations from the catechism, such as Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele's comment that Afghanistan is "Obama's war" and may not be winnable, are excoriated with the verbal equivalent of a death sentence by stoning in Iran. The liturgy is enforced by the likes of Liz Cheney or William Kristol and obediently recited by party leaders such as Republican House whip Eric Cantor, who informed the Heritage Foundation on May 4 that America's defenses are "hemorrhaging" and that Obama's "policies bespeak a naive moral relativism in which the United States bears much responsibility for the problems we face around the world.

I have read this paragraph several times and I still can't make sense of it. Republicans have not reflexively criticized Obama's foreign policies. The "stoning" of Michael Steele by other Republicans was actually a defense of one set of Obama's foreign policies regarding Afghanistan. Bill Kristol has been one of the loudest supporters of Obama on the foreign policy in question. And so on.

But beyond mere sloppy editing, the paragraph and the entire piece betrays a more fundamental wrong-headedness. It wants to claim that there is a new Republican orthodoxy on foreign policy, and, of course, that the new orthodoxy is flawed and a rejection of the old Republican establishment. But the evidence it presents actually reveals something else: a rich panoply of debate among Republicans today and throughout the Cold War. Doubtless some of those positions were flawed and some of them are flawed today (put it this way, George Will and Bill Kristol cannot both be right about Afghanistan). But there is no orthodoxy and it is certainly not reflexively opposed to everything the Obama administration has attempted to do on national security. And, of course, neither is it reflexively anti-establishment. Even a casual reader of the Shadow Government blog will find a range of opinion, and we are hardly the full spectrum of Republican foreign policy specialists.

I can imagine an interesting piece doing the intellectual geography of mapping out various Republican debates. But I haven't read that piece yet, and somehow I doubt it will begin with the premise that Republican intellectuals have sold out to the barbarians.

Two big pieces, both worth reading, but count me just poked, not provoked.
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#9
Intel Chief: Don’t Get ‘Shrill’ About Spooks-for-Hire


[Image: DD-SD-08-13537.jpeg]
Some of America’s spy agencies probably rely too much on outside companies. But don’t freak out about spooks-for-hire just because of a newspaper article or two, Director of National Intelligence nominee James Clapper told the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday afternoon.
It’s an understatement to say that the Washington Post’s series on the sprawl of the intelligence community hung over Clapper’s nomination hearing. Most senators on the panel asked Clapper, the current chief of defense intelligence and decades-long intel veteran, about how he’d exercise control over one of its key themes: what Senator Olympia Snowe called the intelligence “mega-bureaucracy.” But Clapper wasn’t so thrilled with the series. “I think there was some breathless[ness] and shrillness to that that I don’t subscribe to,” he said, adding that he’s “very concerned about security implications” after the Post revealed the (not-so-specific) locations of companies contracting with the intelligence community.
But Clapper also vowed to address another of the series’ central premises: the intelligence community’s reliance on contractors. Only he wants to take a scalpel to the issue, not a chainsaw.
It would be a mistake, Clapper said, to look monolithically at contractors, or to presume that they’re distributed equally throughout the intelligence community. The National Reconnaissance Office — builders and operators of spy satellites — is one of the most reliant, he said, as it relies on contractors for “operations,” while the military services’ intel shops are far less so. And the reliance on contractors is a hangover of the post-Cold War drawdown of intelligence spending, something that stopped with a “screech” on 9/11, he said, leaving intelligence agencies with little choice but to bulk up personnel with contractors — and intelligence would not have been able to respond to post-9/11 counterterrorism requirements.
So instead of cutting contractors across the board — as last year’s intelligence bill sought to do — Clapper said it was more important to “come up with organizing principles for where contractors are needed and where they are not.” One place Clapper indicated he would look first: his own office, if confirmed. “I’m sensing that it’s got a lot of contractors,” he said, “and we have to look at whether that’s appropriate or not.” He solicited the committee to help him come up with those “standards” for the use of intel contractors.
That was enough to break the ice for Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the committee. Feinstain has been openly critical of Clapper’s fitness to take a job that’s short on budgetary and personnel authorities, out of fear that he’s too deferential to the Pentagon, which holds between 75 and 90 percent of intelligence assets, by most estimates. But collaborating with the next DNI on contractor standards was a prize for Feinstein, who pointedly said she’d be eager to do help ”when you are confirmed.”
Outside of the contractor issue, though, Clapper held to a more restrictive role for the next intelligence chief than most senators on the panel desired. He said that that he didn’t believe that “everything in the intelligence community needs to be run from the confines of the Director of the National Intelligence.” He resisted numerous efforts from Senator Barbara Mikulski to take charge of cybersecurity, something at least roughly commensurate with ex-director Dennis Blair. He was blase about personally delivering the President’s Daily Brief. And he resisted one of the major critiques of the Post’s intelligence series: that there are too many redundant, sprawling programs that make the intelligence agencies incoherent. ”One man’s duplication is another man’s competitive analysis,” Clapper said.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Before President Obama nominated him to become the next director, Clapper argued in an April memo that the relatively weak bureaucratic position didn’t need additional legislative authorities to bolster it. But Clapper appeared to have overcome much of his congressional opposition. One senator, Richard Burr, portrayed Clapper as the last best hope for the director of national intelligence job, Congress’s post-major post-9/11 intelligence reform. “Your tenure as DNI,” Burr said, will establish “whether the structure can work.”
What the hearing never addressed, though, was what structure should be put in place if the fourth Director of National Intelligence in six years crashes and burns like the first three.
Credit: DoD
See Also:


Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/07/...z0uHO1VoMc
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#10
Pyops Contractors Listed Via Washinton Post

Posted on July 20, 2010 by willyloman
Traditional psychological operations, including the creation and delivery of messages via leaflet, loudspeaker, radio or television; the newer “influence operations” associated with the creation of Web sites and the use of social media to extend U.S. influence, both overtly and covertly; and the separate clandestine and covert activities associated with influence, deception and perception management.
Psychological operations listing Via Washington Post article
Company Name HQ Location Year Est. Employees Revenue Locations Govt. Clients

General Dynamics Falls Church, Virginia 1952 10,000+ $10 billion to $50 billion 100 32

L-3 Communications N.Y., New York 1997 10,000+ $10 billion to $50 billion 96 29

(many right here in my own backyard….)
Advanced C4 Solutions, Inc. Tampa, Florida 2002 101-500 Under $100 million 12 5

Archimedes Global Tampa, Florida 2005 Unknown Unknown 1 5

Calhoun International Tampa, Florida 2005 <25 Under $100 million 6 6

Celestar Corporation Tampa, Florida 2001 26-100 Under $100 million 4 4

Cybrix Group, Inc., The Tampa, Florida 2002 <25 Under $100 million 1 2

Espial Services, Inc. Pinellas Park, Florida 2003 26-100 Under $100 million 4 7 Vykin Corporation Tampa, Florida 2006 26-100 Under $100 million 7 8
[W]e suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of believers by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity. (Page 219.) Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein





2 Responses


  1. [Image: bbc07384828d3929147ce8fcbcc63cec?s=32&d=monsterid]
    Johnny de Vulcan, on July 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm Said:
    And that is by far not all:US.patent :5,159,703 by Dr.:Oliwer Lowrey is a: “Silent subliminal presentation system” or “Silent sound spread system” (they also like many SS-s) is transmitting,through all loudspeakers on or not, ) frequenies that can manipulate the audiences feelings and perceptions. Subliminal commands as well as “remote-controlling feelings” are possible .Any feeling ,like solemnity,hopefulness, ready to cange, and quasi-religious sentiments and “Fuhrer-adoration” . Charging bulls have been stopped in an instant. Was probably used at Obama Bin Lyins rallies in Berlin and pre-election-rallies, could explain the ir-rational “Obama (Bin Lyin) -fewer”. Is rumored to be installed , covertly , with the HD-system (are they really SO interested in giving us a better TV-picture? It is not so bad actualy as it is) or do they want to spy some MORE on us???
  2. [Image: f344237f0474f7c0762d81ecc21786eb?s=32&d=monsterid]
    G Street, on July 20, 2010 at 5:17 pm Said:
    James Crown of General Dynamics should be asked under oath if any of those 10K+ employees or $10-50 billion were used to help get Obama elected.
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