Ten Things We Didn’t Know About the CIA Before Last Week

Recent events in Washington have also shown us that the CIA is in opposition to even mild civic nationalism. It now seems very unlikely that there is a White, patriotic, racially-conscious faction there.

WIKILEAKS’ Vault 7 release of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents yesterday opened eyes worldwide about an agency President John F. Kennedy once vowed to “splinter… into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.”

Here’s a list of ten things we didn’t know about the CIA before last week’s leak:

1. The CIA has an illegal domestic spying apparatus similar to the NSA’s

Perhaps one of the most revealing things that we just learned is that the CIA’s domestic surveillance capabilities rival and may well surpass those of the National Security Agency (NSA).

While both agencies were required under the Obama administration to report vulnerabilities found in hardware and software to manufacturers, each failed to do so — endangering national security and personal privacy by weakening encryption and in the NSA’s case installing “back doors” in consumer electronic devices. Obama’s likely intentional loophole which allowed such mischief was that the agencies didn’t have to disclose any exploit found “if it helped them.”

In 2014, Michael Daniel, a former National Security Council cybersecurity coordinator and special adviser to the president on cybersecurity issues, told WIRED that the government doesn’t stockpile large numbers of “zero days” (vulnerabilities not deployed yet and hard for security professionals to counter because they are so new) for use.

“There’s often this image that the government has spent a lot of time and effort to discover vulnerabilities that we’ve stockpiled in huge numbers … The reality is just not nearly as stark or as interesting as that,” he said.

Yet the agencies did just that — hoarding zero-day vulnerabilities, exposing systems to other malicious hackers — whether they are foreign governments or criminals, violating the Consumer Protection Act.

In doing so, both agencies also violated the Fourth Amendment which protects against unauthorized search or seizure. The CIA admitted in 2014 to the Guardian that it was obliged to follow federal surveillance laws, laws that we now know both the NSA and CIA have broken an unfathomable amount of times.

We know the NSA violated surveillance restrictions thousands of times — so the question must be posed: How many times did the CIA violate those same surveillance restrictions?

How can Americans trust the CIA or the NSA, when the two agencies made us less safe by breaking the law and endangering private information such as bank account numbers and credit card numbers, by keeping security holes open in the devices of millions of Americans, just so they could exploit them? As security expert Bruce Schneier said back in 2013, “It’s sheer folly to believe that only the NSA can exploit the vulnerabilities they create.”

2. The CIA has a secret base in Germany

The CIA has a secret U.S. hacking base at the consulate in Frankfurt, Germany that it disguises as a State Department facility. The CIA even instructed its employees at the base on how to avoid German security and gave them a cover story. This base is now under investigation by German authorities.

CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover. The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport”

Your Cover Story (for this trip)
Q: Why are you here?
A: Supporting technical consultations at the Consulate.

3. The CIA has a cyber group dedicated to forging other countries’ digital fingerprints in false-flag attacks

The CIA has a secret espionage group called UMBRAGE that is dedicated to forging the malware “signatures” of other countries — including Russia.

The group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques stolen from malware produced in other countries.

With UMBRAGE and related projects, the CIA can not only increase its total number of attack types, but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups from which the attack techniques were stolen — allowing them to create cyber false-flag attacks in which they can attack targets in the U.S. or elsewhere — and blame another country for the resulting damage.

4. The CIA can spy on you through your “smart TV” and tap into the microphone

What was absent from Edward Snowden’s leaks was evidence of the ability for the NSA to spy on you through your smart TV. The CIA has found a way to do so through a program it called “Weeping Angel.”

5. The CIA can spy on you through any tablet or phone

While the NSA displayed similar capabilities to breach a phone or tablet’s security and hijack its camera or intercept text messages, the CIA proved it could do more.

Through its Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) they can exploit Android and Apple phones and tablets to do numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones then can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geo-location, audio, and text communications, as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

6. The CIA can transcribe your Skype conversations

Kim Dotcom and 0hour explain how this is done:

7. The CIA has exploits for every major Anti-virus software provider and major personal computer software programs, including Microsoft Word, VLC, and all operating systems

Wikileaks notes that a program called Fine Dining provides 24 decoy applications for CIA spies to use. To witnesses, the spy appears to be running a program showing videos (e.g. VLC), presenting slides (Prezi), playing a computer game (Breakout2, 2048) or even running a fake virus scanner (Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos). But while the decoy application is on the screen, the underlying system is automatically infected and ransacked. This would allow CIA agents to pose as testing a company’s security and appear as if they were really an IT technician, when in reality they were pillaging data. Wikileaks also revealed that the CIA has exploits for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX systems, as well as general software exploits for various applications on all three OS versions.

8. The CIA can hack vehicle control modules in cars, trains, and planes

Ex-FBI agent Ted L. Gunderson said that the way that the elite get rid of people is through train, car, and plane accidents. While the capabilities of hacking vehicles may not be something new, the evidence that the CIA has this capability warrants looking back at several suspicious incidents in the past few decades which raised flags as being possible assassinations rather than simply unfortunate accidents. Yesterday We Are Change reported on journalist Michael Hastings’ suspicious death, but many others that raise suspicion include John F. Kennedy Jr’s death and Senator Paul Wellstone — both powerful political dissenters that died in strange plane crashes.

9. The CIA has an “air gap” virus that can infect systems even if not connected to the internet

Air gapping is a technique this reporter personally learned about in 2015 when a whistleblower personally came to me with what sounded like insane information.

What is air gapping? Well, it’s hacking a computer that isn’t connected to the Internet.

Using the GSM network, electromagnetic waves, and a basic low-end mobile phone; and through intercepting RF radio signals; researchers in Israel found they could extract data from computers, Wired has now reported. Two weeks ago Wired reported that a drone can be given that type of capability, too.

The CIA’s “Hammer Drill” infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, they have infectors for removable media such as USBs, and systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas (“Brutal Kangaroo”).

10. The CIA has a Meme Warfare Center. The meme war – is real.

The CIA actually has a meme warfare center which it uses to spread memes — giving cause for concern to anyone worried about government propaganda. Meme warfare is real, and the CIA has apparently been using it to spread disinformation. This is Operation Mockingbird in the 21st Century.

The CIA is not a friend to the people of the U.S., historically serving only Wall Street and its owners, and the military-industrial complex elite. The CIA has been caught before spying domestically in the 1960s and 70s, including spying on journalists under Operation CELOTEX I-II and others in 702 documents called the “family jewels,” that catalog the agency’s domestic wiretapping operations, failed assassination plots, mind-control experiments and more during the early years of the CIA.

* * *

Source: Anonymous News


From the Shadows of the Cold War: the Rise of the CIA

Veteran journalist David Talbot, founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, doesn’t skim over the surfaces of things. With the help of his long-time associate and ace researcher Karen Croft, he digs deep and keeps digging. Season of the Witch, his history of San Francisco in the late 1960s-early ’80s, is a must-read for anyone interested in the aftermath of the ’60s Bay Area counter-culture.

Talbot’s new book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, is equally essential reading, especially for readers with even a passing interest in post-WW2 U.S. foreign policy.

The longest running director of the CIA (1952-1961), Dulles helped coordinate extremely bloody coups throughout the world. Not surprisingly, he comes off as a nasty piece of work. He and his brother John Foster Dulles both worked with the prestigious Wall Street firm Sullivan and Cromwell, which made a fortune representing cartels that were part of the Nazi war machine (John Foster Dulles went on to become Eisenhower’s Secretary of State). The Dulles brothers were quite cozy with Nazi higher ups in the ’30s and remained staunch apologists for Hitler well into the the ’40s.

Readers of Christopher Simpson’s excellent histories Blowback and The Splendid Blond Beast, which Talbot cites extensively, will be familiar with much of the history of U.S. intelligence recruitment of Nazis but Talbot adds plenty of interesting, albeit horrific, information. Talbot writes, “Like many convicted Nazi criminals in the early Cold War years, a number of the Nuremberg defendants sentenced to prison were later the beneficiaries of politically motivated interventions and early releases; few of the many thousand convicted Nazis were still in prison after 1953. A number of those interventions on behalf of fortunate war criminals could be traced to the quiet stratagems of Allen Dulles.”

Dulles insisted that in the post-war world, “you can’t run railroads without taking in some [Nazi] party members,” but he didn’t stop at efficiently run trains: Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s intelligence chief on the Eastern Front and an avid proponent of devilschesstorture, was set up as the head of West Germany’s new intelligence apparatus. Among Gehlen’s colleagues in his new post was Dr. Franz Six, in Talbot’s words “an intellectual architect of the Final Solution as well as one of its most enthusiastic enforcers.” Gehlen’s placement was controversial in Washington, but what Talbot calls “the Dulles faction within the national security establishment” had his back, and prevailed.

In Talbot’s words, “The Cold War in the West was, to an unsettling extent, a joint operation between the Dulles regime and that of Reinhard Gehlen. The German spy chief’s pathological hatred of Russia, which had its roots in Hitler’s Third Reich, meshed smoothly with the Dulles Brothers’ anti-Soviet absolutism. In fact, the Dulles policy of massive nuclear retaliation bore a disturbing resemblance to the Nazis’ exterminationist philosophy…” Thanks to Dulles and his colleagues, other prominent Nazi officials wound up providing their services to such stalwart U.S. allies as Franco in Spain and Pinochet in Chile.

Dulles was nothing if not industrious, and the book provides plenty of page-turning narrative focusing on some of the coups that Dulles was involved with. Starting with the overthrow of the Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz (a bete noir of the Dulles-connected multinational United Fruit for his focus on land and labor reforms), Dulles’s operations moved from one country to another, destabilizing governments and coordinating the assassination or exile of any leader that threatened U.S. corporate interests. In addition to Guatemala, the book lays out the history of CIA actions in Iran, Congo, and Vietnam.

The Devil’s Chessboard also shows that one of the first cases of “extraordinary rendition” took place under Dulles’s watch. On March 12, 1956, Jesus de Galindez, a lecturer in Spanish and Government at Columbia University, was snatched off the streets of New York. Friends and colleagues never saw him again. Galindez’s crime was being an outspoken critic of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, whose friends in the CIA made sure Galindez was delivered to the Dominican Republic. Galindez was tortured to death by Trujillo underlings.

The New Republic printed a letter about the abduction in which one of Galindez’s students, Marina Joy, stated, “There is no hope … Everybody who has some sense of responsibility and a feeling for democracy and freedom should be concerned.” (Presciently, in 1955 Galindez told an FBI informant that “since John Foster Dulles entered into the picture, the United States has started to write the blackest pages of its international relations. Never before in the history of the world has one single Government more efficiently supported dictatorial powers in free nations.”)

Talbot and Croft combed through a decent-sized library of books for the details that pack The Devil’s Chessboard. Other sources include interviews with surviving Dulles colleagues and relatives (especially his daughter Joan Talley, who at 90 remains aghast at her father’s behavior); testimony of John F. Kennedy administration insiders and others on the scene at the time of the JFK assassination; and the papers of Dulles, his wife, and his mistress.

Though he had a soft spot for mass murderers, Dulles didn’t have much love to share with his family. In letters to his wife Clover he openly discussed his conquests of other women, one of whom eventually made friends with Clover (the two women also shared a psychoanalyst: Carl Jung). In a diary she left for her children, Clover was unsparing in her dissection of Dulles. She wrote, “It took me a long time to realize that when he talks it is only for the purpose of obtaining something. … He has either to be making someone admire him, or to be receiving some information worth his while; otherwise he gives one the impression that he doesn’t talk because the person isn’t worth talking to.”

Their son Allen Jr. returned from the Korean war with shrapnel in his head that left him brain damaged. Dulles’s response, as Joan Talley told Talbot, was to submit his son to treatments by doctors associated with the infamous mind control program MKULTRA (launched at the same time the CIA falsely claimed that North Korea was conducting similar sorts of testing). Talbot characterizes the experiments performed on the younger Dulles as “unspeakable.”

In both The Devil’s Chessboard and his 2007 book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, Talbot stresses John F. Kennedy’s more progressive tendencies. Talbot doesn’t deify Kennedy: he acknowledges that JFK was a masterful practitioner of realpolitique who often contradicted himself from one day to the next, depending on which group he was speaking to. This was especially true on Cuba policy. Talbot argues that JFK initially went along with the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion because he was boxed in by hawks in his administration. But in Talbot’s eyes JFK’s refusal to provide air support for the Bay of Pigs anti-Castro fighters rankled both the rabidly right wing Cuban exile community and the Dulles circle in the CIA. The book makes a convincing case that though the Kennedy brothers were never consistent on their line toward Cuba, and did indulge in gratuitous sword rattling, they never went far enough for right wingers in Florida and Washington, who saw them as traitors; the most deranged of JFK’s national security adversaries, Air Force chief Curtis LeMay, would have preferred nuclear annihilation of Castro’s island nation.

Talbot emphasizes the importance of French reporter Jean Daniel’s presence in Cuba at the time of the assassination. Daniel was an emissary from JFK sent to advance back-door peace negotiations, and said that when word of the murder reached Castro, the Cuban leader noticeably crumpled at the news, then said Kennedy could have become one of the greatest U.S. presidents. (For a more critical view of JFK and the leftward policies he may have been planning, see Noam Chomsky’s Rethinking Camelot.)

Talbot writes, “Over the final months of JFK’s presidency, a clear consensus took shape within America’s deep state: Kennedy was a national security threat. For the good of the country, he must be removed. And Dulles was the only man with the stature, connections, and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen. He had already assembled a killing machine overseas. Now he prepared to bring it home to Dallas. All that his establishment colleagues had to do was to look the other way – as they always did when Dulles took executive action.” So much for mincing words.

Among the assortment of damaged characters Talbot connects to the JFK assassination are William Harvey, a CIA killer based in Italy who, Talbot discovered, flew to Dallas shortly before the assassination (the CIA has ignored Talbot’s Freedom of Information Act request for the travel vouchers of Harvey and other CIA operatives). Talbot also cites intelligence sleazeball Howard Hunt’s deathbed confession to an assassination researcher about Hunt’s role in JFK’s murder.

Over the years there have been periods of increased pressure on the CIA to disclose information about its operations. To appease its critics the Agency has occasionally released carefully chosen (and often heavily redacted) documents. One, written at the time of the anti-Arbenz coup but not made public until 1997, was titled “A Study of Assassination.” The passages from this document Talbot quotes show exactly what the CIA stands for. “The simplest tools are often the most efficient means of assassination,” it explained. “A hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lap stand, or anything hard, heavy, and handy will suffice.” For those disturbed by such advice, the manual advised, “Murder is not morally justified … Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.”

The Devil’s Chessboard (a reference to the Dulles brothers’s favorite board game) belongs on the shelf next to CIA books by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, Gary Webb, Phillip Agee, and Michael Levine. The book has largely been ignored by mainstream reviewers, which is not surprising given the long history of corporate media fealty to CIA officials (see the mainstream U.S. press’s long-running demonization of Gary Webb). But The Devil’s Chessboard has become a bestseller anyway. That’s very good news – the book deserves to be widely read.

Ben Terrall is a writer living in the Bay Area. He can be reached at: bterrall@gmail.com

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‘Monster’ Facebook: Israeli minister slams social network for ‘sabotaging’ police work

‘Monster’ Facebook: Israeli minister slams social network for ‘sabotaging’ police work
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security, has berated Facebook for “sabotaging the work of Israeli police” and urged the nation to confront its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, “in every possible place.”

The minister, who comes from the right-wing Likud party, chaired by PM Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed the social networking site refuses to cooperate with Israeli authorities in the West Bank. This referred to the Judea and Samaria Area, which Israel officially considers to be its own administrative region. The territory is generally regarded to be Palestinian land under Israeli occupation by the international community.

“Facebook today sabotages, it should be known, sabotages the work of the Israeli police, because when the Israeli police approach them, and it is regarding a resident of Judea and Samaria, Facebook does not cooperate,” Erdan lamented in an interview to the Israeli Channel 2.

In addition to that, the high-ranking politician blamed he company for refusing to delete “inciteful content and posts” by making it extremely difficult to meet the standards qualifying the hateful speech to be removed.

READ MORE: Thousands of Iranians stage anti-Israel rallies to mark ‘Al-Quds Day’ (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

While Erdan admitted that Facebook was not evil in the first place, as it managed to bring “an amazing, positive revolution to the world,” he said the company has “simply become a monster” in the recent years which marked the rise in terror activity all over the world and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terror group onslaught.

Facebook’s reluctance to assist Israel in its struggles against Palestinian insurgents can be blamed directly on the company’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, Erdan said, while going as far as saying that “some of the victims’ blood is on Zuckerberg’s hands,” according to Haaretz.

The minister was referring to the recent murder of a 13-year old teenage girl, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who was stabbed to death by a 17-year old Mohammed Nasser Tra’ayra, a resident of the Palestinian village of Bani Naim. The girl, who was later confirmed by US State Department to be a US citizen, was assaulted in her bedroom in the Kiryat Arba settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The attacker was shot at the scene.

It later emerged, that the assailant, who was an active Facebook user, posted a series of alarming messages on his page, expressing his admiration for martyrdom after his relative and friend Yousef Walid Tarayrah was killed by the Israeli forces in March.

READ MORE: ‘Once occupation ends, terrorism will disappear’: Abbas speech in EU parliament enrages Israel

“Yousef is not the first martyr nor the last…God willing I will walk in the martyr’s footsteps”, he wrote in a post from March 17, according to The Times of Israel.

Apart from grieving over his friend, he also reportedly praised Palestinian attacks on Israelis, posting pictures of stone-throwing Palestinians and hailing a woman who allegedly deliberately wreaked car into the Israeli vehicle.

Erdan said Facebook “could have reported to the police or defense officials about the post put up by that despicable murderer,” Haaretz reported.

In order to pressure Zuckerberg into changing the Facebook policy guidelines, Israelis should “flood him in every possible place with the demand to monitor the platform he established and from which he earns billions,” Erdan said.

Since October, 34 Israelis and two US tourists fell victims to the new violent spiral of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. IDF forces, in their turn, killed 201 Palestinians with 137 of them considered to be perpetrators, according to the data, provided by Reuters.

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