Archive for June 30th, 2013

by lizard

Fast and Furious is a scandal that emanates a right-wing stink to it, and is therefore easily dismissed by those predisposed to act and think differently when it’s their team supposedly in charge.

But forget that angle for a moment, and instead consider The Strange Case of Barrett Brown; specifically, the Stratfor leak:

The contents of the Stratfor leak were even more outrageous than those of the HBGary hack. They included discussion of opportunities for renditions and assassinations. For example, in one video, Statfor’s vice president of intelligence, Fred Burton, suggested taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to render Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal illness. Burton said that the case “was personal.” When someone pointed out in an e-mail that such a move would almost certainly be illegal—“This man has already been tried, found guilty, sentenced…and served time”—another Stratfor employee responded that this was just an argument for a more efficient solution: “One more reason to just bugzap him with a hellfire. :-)”

(Stratfor employees also seemed to take a keen interest in Jeremy Scahill’s writings about Blackwater in The Nation, copying and circulating entire articles, with comments suggesting a principle interest was in the question of whether Blackwater was setting up a competing intelligence operation. E-mails also showed grudging respect for Scahill: “Like or dislike Scahill’s position (or what comes of his work), he does an amazing job outing [Blackwater].”)

When the contents of the Stratfor leak became available, Brown decided to put ProjectPM on it. A link to the Stratfor dump appeared in an Anonymous chat channel; Brown copied it and pasted it into the private chat channel for ProjectPM, bringing the dump to the attention of the editors.

There is so much information surfacing right now, and big things afoot, it’s hard to keep up. Barrett Brown’s disturbing case is getting some attention right now because the death of Michael Hastings has sparked some interest into what story spooked him enough to send this e-mail about going “off the radar”.

Though I’m not familiar with, this post asks some decent questions:

Los Angeles police say there is no evidence of foul play in the car crash that killed Michael Hastings, yet mystery still surrounds the award-winning journalist’s death. So far, no one has explained why Hastings was driving at high speed down Highland Avenue at 4 o’clock in the morning Tuesday, and reports that Hastings was under investigation by the FBI were flatly denied by the bureau. Meanwhile, an e-mail Hastings sent to a colleague the day before he died has added to the confusion by referencing a “big story” he said he had begun working on.

In the immediate aftermath of the fiery accident that killed Hastings, supporters of Barrett Brown, former spokesman for the Anonymous hacker collective, said Hastings had been planning a story about Brown, who has been jailed in Texas on federal charges since his arrest last September. However, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that Hastings “was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.” Kelley says she received threatening anonymous e-mails that proved to have come from Paula Broadwell, who had an adulterous affair with former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus.

Yet in an e-mail sent Monday afternoon to one of his colleagues at the liberal blog BuzzFeed, Hastings mentioned neither of those stories. Instead, the subject line was “FBI investigation, re: NSA.”

Hastings wrote that the FBI was “interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” and suggested that if the FBI contacted BuzzFeed, it “may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.”

Hastings’ reference to the National Security Agency, whose surveillance programs were recently exposed by a former contract worker, Edward Snowden, seemed to imply that this was also the reason for his concern about the FBI. In his last article for BuzzFeed on June 7, Hastings cited the NSA scandal in denouncing “Obama’s national security state.” Yet his e-mail Monday also included this unexplained sentence: “I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radar for a bit.” About 15 hours after he sent that e-mail, Hastings was killed when his Mercedes-Benz C250 sports coupe slammed head-on into a palm tree near the intersection of Highland and Melrose avenues.

Was the “big story” about the NSA? And what was Hastings doing in the final hours of his life? Those questions remain unanswered, as does the question of why the 33-year-old reporter believed he was the target of an investigation that the federal agency says it never conducted. ”At no time was journalist Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI,” a spokeswoman for the bureau told reporters Friday.

What does any of this have to do with Fast and Furious? In the deluge of information leaking from the global security offensive launched from American soil, it appears a few loose gun shipments south of the border may just be symptoms of a deeper symbiosis between cartels and the US govt.

Thanks to the Stratfor leak, the internal e-mail perspective from one of many players in the corporatizing of national security is worth looking into. The e-mail is very illuminating… Continue Reading »


“In May 2004, the NSA briefed [Then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and GW Bush appointee Colleen] Kollar-Kotelly on the technical aspects of that program’s collection, according to the report. She also met with the NSA director, Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, on two successive Saturdays during the summer of 2004 to discuss the issue, the report said.

‘It was very professional,” Hayden said in an interview. “We of course had to explain to her what it was we had been doing, what it was we wanted to do, how we would do it, what kind of safeguards we felt able to put in. We left it to her judgment whether there was proportionality in terms of was this worth doing, in the balance between security and liberty.'”

Oh, Ok. I feel better now that I know who is balancing “security and liberty” in the good ole U.S. of A!

I’m going off-grid for a week. Dontcha all go and revolt without me now, ok? Full text of the above quote, copied from behind the WaPo’s paywall. If you want to try and read it there and click on some good links to background info, just hit the stop button on your web browser right after the text loads, and before the paywall pops up. If the paywall pops up, just hit reload, and stop as soon as the text renders ya gotta be quick. This sort of content just shouldn’t be offered up for subscribers — it needs to be read in context with everything else that is leaking out.

And have a wunnerful “Independence” day folks, in Babylon. I’m going to go and be interdependent with my homies, where there are no fireworks, and people are living their anarchistic ideals. Continue Reading »

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