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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/16/14

Targeting Dissent is the Real Purpose of NSA Programs

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America - We're Number One!
America - We're Number One!
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These programs were never about terrorism: they're about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They're about power.

 -Edward Snowden

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia briefly let the mask slip during  recent comments  to University of Hawaii law students it was a rare moment of openness as to reveal the pathology of the leadership class here in  The Homeland .  During an exchange over a World War II era case involving Japanese Americans who were rounded up and placed in internment camps such as the infamous Manzanar Scalia stated that   ""you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again"  and  "In times of war, the laws fall silent."  Times of war such as the permanent war on terror that is now in its thirteenth year running and still picking up steam, especially so with the rampage towards a newly rebooted Cold War. With the ultimatums of Kerry and Obama, goaded on by a corrupt media with an insatiable thirst for blood and a  resurgent neocon menace  we now stand on the edge of great peril as the oppressive apparatus of the power of Leviathan that has been exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will find refuge in the climate of paranoia and fear that will be triggered anew. Time is short and we all must do our part to now apply immense pressure to ensure that the illegal programs of the surveillance state are exposed before the hydra is allowed to reconfigure behind the looming war to end all wars.

The ongoing flow of revelations provided by the documents that Snowden appropriated as a public service to an America that has ever since the  'day when everything changed'  on September 11, 2001 been bludgeoned by fear into a state of meek acceptance and submission to their own enslavement continue to emerge. What is starting to come out now is even worse than just the massive unconstitutional warrantless surveillance, data-mining and mass storage of all of the communications and financial information of millions of law-abiding citizens that has been a constant nuisance to the Obama administration. Now we get the  real  stuff, first there was the  trolling of porn  sites for incriminating data, the obvious involvement in  economic trickery  and industrial espionage,  blackmail  of political officials and now thanks to Polk Award winner Glenn Greenwald - targeting political dissent.

In a story that broke last month by Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher on First Look Media's new online magazine The Intercept entitled "Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters" it was revealed that the NSA and its foreign partners went after supporters of Wikileaks as well as other activist groups. The greatest enemy of the secret state is transparency and the relentless manner in which the US government and its Norsefire lackeys across the pond have gone after Assange, Snowden and Greenwald is an indication of just how much it fears the truth about the real intent of the surveillance programs ever getting out. The list of those who have run afoul of the secret state is long and the vengeance has often been of the most severe nature.

Some targets of note with the exception of the aforementioned three are free lance journalist Danny Casolaro who was investigating high crimes involving government officials when his body was found in a West Virginia hotel room back in 1991 in a blood filled bathtub. It could be speculated that he was on to something big involving the surveillance state, particularly the CIA and NSA as well as foreign intelligence services as his research included matters associated with the now forgotten PROMIS software, a powerful and advanced precursor to today's NSA surveillance and data-mining programs. He could have been the first casualty in the war on journalism and as it was the era before the internet it was much easier to simply 'shut down' a dangerous line of inquiry by eliminating a 'nuisance' than it is in 2014. More recently there was journalist Michael Hastings whose reporting brought down General Stanley McChrystal  formerly of JSOC and whose uncompromising style had led to him having amassed a large list of enemies. His mysterious and fiery death in an automobile 'accident' has been relegated to the memory hole just months afterwards, it is of note that according to some reports that he was also onto something big and was allegedly in contact with Wikileaks lawyers shortly before his new Mercedes was engulfed in a ball of fire.

But l digress...

Greenwald's expose was a damning indictment of just how out of control that the rogue elements of the deep state have become in their relentless drive to forever lock down their power and the targeting of dissenters is the most critical component of their long term strategy. I excerpt from the piece:

The efforts -- detailed in documents provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden -- included a broad campaign of international pressure aimed not only at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but at what the U.S. government calls "the human network that supports WikiLeaks." The documents also contain internal discussions about targeting the file-sharing site Pirate Bay and hacktivist collectives such as Anonymous.

 One classified document from Government Communications Headquarters, Britain's top spy agency, shows that GCHQ used its surveillance system to secretly monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site. By exploiting its ability to tap into the fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of the Internet, the agency confided to allies in 2012, it was able to collect the IP addresses of visitors in real time, as well as the search terms that visitors used to reach the site from search engines like Google.

Another classified document from the U.S. intelligence community, dated August 2010, recounts how the Obama administration urged foreign allies to file criminal charges against Assange over the group's publication of the Afghanistan war logs.

 A third document, from July 2011, contains a summary of an internal discussion in which officials from two NSA offices -- including the agency's general counsel and an arm of its Threat Operations Center -- considered designating WikiLeaks as "a "malicious foreign actor' for the purpose of targeting." Such a designation would have allowed the group to be targeted with extensive electronic surveillance -- without the need to exclude U.S. persons from the surveillance searches.

 In 2008, not long after WikiLeaks was formed, the U.S. Army prepared a report that identified the organization as an enemy, and plotted how it could be destroyed. The new documents provide a window into how the U.S. and British governments appear to have shared the view that WikiLeaks represented a serious threat, and reveal the controversial measures they were willing to take to combat it.

Two quick things to take away from the excerpt is that the rogue agency as well as the U.S. military is not only speaking of designating WikiLeaks as a "malicious foreign actor" which would make it subject to the anti-terror (anti-dissent) secret system of laws jammed down Americans' throats after 9/11 but that it is also going after those who are even supportive of the organization - including domestic targets. This is the key component of the entire piece in my personal opinion in that all of that data-mining that will take up residence at the massive NSA Utah facility and other locations for vague future purposes has now become a little clearer. The data will be perused for going after 'enemies of the state' and the oppression will not be limited to dissenters and sympathizers but also to all of their known acquaintances, family members, friends and other associates past and present so as to intimidate, bully, threaten and extort in order to build a case against the targets.

NSA whistleblower William Binney perfectly sums it up in a recent interview with Rob Kall of the progressive website OpEd News available here:

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Donn Marten is a free lance writer and consultant who resides in West Central Florida.

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