Someone calling themselves "BillCaseyHoneyPot" and "the rodeo clown" made some comments to the Washington Post about alleged past covert operations, the Washington Post scrubbed the comments, Cryptome republished them, and Network Solutions blocked access to Cryptome (likely a coincidence -- see note at bottom of this post). Copies of the comments are held at SkidPaste and The comments look like the ramblings of a total crank and touch on several subjects:

  • A DARPA data harvesting project called GROVER that was capable of recreating the Washington Post's internal database in 2005
  • A satellite called Big Bird that could read the label off a golf ball from orbit
  • A satellite called SK-91 that orbits three times a day
  • A key: E4A966FF04DD296A41F5AAD497C64494 that should "scare the hell out of the CIA"
  • A 3/4 inch "Helms tape" that, if it were released publicly, would put Henry Kissinger and Porter Goss on death row, implicate Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney, and collapse the US dollar and make everyone go over to LlamaCoin, a cryptocurrency for people who don't think Dogecoin sounds dorky enough
  • Porter Goss "should be very grateful" that someone named Roman "is controlled"
  • Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who he claims the NSA is making no effort to track
  • "Kabul - Kazakhstan - Unocal - Bearden - NORTH"
  • "16 people shot" in Balochistan after Timothy L. Towell is dispatched there by Hillary Clinton, possibly a reference to an incident in 2010
  • Towell drugging a man and tying him to a bed in Uruguay. There is no evidence online that this ever happened. [Edit Mar 2] The location was Paraguay, and Towell was charged with rape.
  • The assassination of Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. He claims the CIA did it and that he has a full trail of documentation.

About the author:

  • He claims to have participated in talks by the Helmand Valley with North (Oliver?), Casey (Bill?), and Bush (George Sr?).
  • He claims to have enrolled at a university in Pennsylvania at 12 years old in 1973, which should make it easy to identify him.
  • He he claims to have taken the Helms tape in his first year at university.
  • He doesn't know how to use Youtube or else that tape would be online already.
  • He claims to have "taken everything from Loftus's computer", a possible reference to CIA historian John Loftus [Edit March 4] whose book he recommends. He is also a fan of Bodansky and avacados.
  • He claims that the Department of Justice is tracking him for talking to Edward Snowden.

It's possible that this is a real spook going senile or drunkposting, but it has a very crankish feeling to it.

Llamacoin is a nearly blank webpage with the text "You may also know Llamacoin by the name of TurtleCalabrese Coin." About which no, you may not have because no one else on the web has ever mentioned TurtleCalabrese Coin or any variation of Turtle Calabrese. There is another Llamacoin related to an Andres Abad in South America, but this seems to be a different person.

The takedown of Cryptome may be a coincidence. Reading between the lines of their twitter account, it looks like they were hosting the full-length movie Citizen Four and ate too much bandwidth for their shared hosting plan. The Internet Archive has also deleted a copy of the movie that they were hosting.

Updates cut for space )

Here's a big long blog post about Benghazi. The theory goes that Qatar was arming ISIS with US/NATO weaponry, UAE and Saudi families put up the money, US managed the logistics, and it was run under NATO's authority to get around the DoD. Take it with all the grains of salt in the Morton packaging plant, but at least somebody's looking into it. This excerpt is interesting:

2002 through 2010 saw zero occurrences of SAMS, Stingers, or MANPADS in general. Within months after delivering weapons to the Benghazi and Darnah rebels (May, June and July 2011) we began facing MANPADS in Afghanistan.

Here's someone saying the "Innocence of Muslims" film was produced by John Brennan's Analysis Corporation. That's John Brennan as in head-of-the-CIA John Brennan. They also say the filmmaker was a meth dealer who had been recruited as a DoJ asset in 2010, and that the film was shown as "The Innocence of Bin Laden" and marketed to the local Arab community of Los Angeles in mid-2012. This reminds me of Walid Shoebat's claims, mentioned earlier.

Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell leaked that the CIA was holding prisoners at the Benghazi annex during the fight. In possibly related news, The DoJ is currently pressing felony charges against Petraeus.

Here's another conservative conspiracy theory, but one that appears to have substantially more behind it than most. The Department of Homeland Security sought tenders for a $350 million contract to handle 65,000 unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the Mexican border well before such a number of minors crossed the border. The core claims are:

  1. The government was expecting up to 65k unaccompanied children to show up. (seems solid)
  2. The contract was for "transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement" (seems solid) for permanent resettlement in the US (justified speculation)
  3. Circa 65k children did show up. (The Washington Times claims 60,000.)
  4. No more than 5k unaccompanied children had shown up in a previous year. (Not quite true: 10,000 were found in 2007). ([Edit Jul 2]: the count was almost 25,000 last year)
  5. Large numbers of children don't just show up like this. This has to be organized. (a matter of speculation at this point)

The resulting conspiracy theory is that the government was planning to import a large number children to to pressure the public for immigration reform For The Children™. While everyone is speculating, I will add my own CT: this could be an intelligence operation. Cuba once once emptied its jails and mental institutions and sent everyone to the Florida Keys accompanied by several teams of intelligence officers, and presented them all as refugees fleeing Communism to fool the Cuban anti-communist movement into demanding that they be welcomed into the United States. It's possible that some of these children are members of politicized "youth" groups seeking to meet up with contacts inside the States. Even if they're not, stressing the target's economy and moving your population onto the target's land are classic strategies. Also, organized crime has the opportunity to make money from all sides: moving the children in, moving them around, moving them out, and moving contraband with them. Causing the problem and then billing the government to handle it is the sort of thing the mafia would do.

The points of contact on the federal contract are Tony Ross and Rachel Ali of DHS.

[Edit Jul 2] The feds are pushing through an extra $2 billion for the services that the government has already sought a contract for, which implied that they had already allocated the money. So some group of contractors is about to be $2 billion richer. This is over $30,000 per child, far more than is needed to feed, clothe, and house them.

Todd Starnes at Fox News claims that A security force from the Baptist Child and Family Services Emergency Management Division calling themselves the "Brown Shirts" had ordered the staff at the refugee camp at Lackland Air Force Base not to talk about what they saw there. Quote: "Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired." This comes from the political side of Fox News, so take it with a grain of salt.

The BFCS EMD is a "non-profit" security firm getting government contracts across the country and around the world, claiming operations in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Their website was registered in November 2012 and was not noticed by Internet Archive until 2014. Here's the boss's CorpWiki page. A former treasurer of BCFS retired from Arthur Anderson, moved from Texas to be self-employed in Richmond, Virginia, and now works for the Send Out Cards greeting card (and multi-level marketing) company with offices in Richmond and Salt Lake City.

The Emergency Management Division was involved in the seizure of the Mormons' Yearning for Zion Ranch (wikipedia background).

Edit #2: The private security contractors denied a Congressman entry to one of the holding camps, which is ringed by recently erected barriers to prevent anyone from looking inside. They have offered to let him come back in a few weeks on the condition that he ask no questions and talk to no one. WTF is this about? Our nuclear weapons research facilities are less secure.

[Edit Jul 12] Some of the kids are showing up wearing Obama shoes, assuming the pictures aren't Photoshopped. The same source published an alleged border patrol memo the day before. Both shoes look like the Nike Air Force One.

A little bit of Googling shows that a limited edition of Obama Air Force One shoes looking just like those two was produced in 2008, designed by the artist Van Taylor Monroe.

This one is fun. Walid Shoebat alleges that the Obama administration created the "Innocence of Muslims" video to incite riots that could be cited to justify new laws against criticizing Islam. What makes this worth mentioning is that Shoebat does have evidence of...something. A summary of his findings:

  • Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged planner of the attack who was recently captured by US forces, was a leader of the February 17 Brigades which the State Department had hired to secure the consulate.
  • Government service agency Stanley Associates gave the film some promotional support, including the new name of the movie which had previously been The Real Life of Muhammad. In one of those twists that means absolutely nothing, Stanley Associates is a subsidiary of CGI Federal which built the broken Obamacare website.
  • One of the film's actresses says that Nakoula Basseley aka Sam Bacile aka that guy that made the video told her he was a Muslim.
  • Nakoula's Youtube account includes signs of support for Nader Bakkar and Wisam Abdul Waris, two of the leaders of the Sep11 Cairo embassy attack.
  • Nakoula became a federal informant allegedly after giving evidence against Eiad Salameh, but the US refused to accept Canada's offer to extradite Salameh for prosecution.
  • Shoebat personally knows Eiad Salameh to be so right-wing that he would not go into business with a Copt.
  • Within the span of one month, Eiad Salameh was released from prison; Nakoula began the first steps of producing his movie; and Hillary Clinton and Turkey's foreign minister co-chaired a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference at which the organization called for laws to ban criticism of Islam.

So, that's it. It's not very convincing of anything, but it is interesting.

Shoebat's conspiracy theory fits into the conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration planned the Benghazi attack to kidnap Ambassador Stevens in order to justify releasing Omar Abdul Rahman in a prisoner swap.

If any of these rumours were true, I would assume that somebody could leak some evidence: NSA tapes, a list of everyone present when these decisions were made with a time and place that could be verified, or something that could potentially be trusted and validated.

Shoebat does not help his credibility by having a sidebar headline blaming Muslims for the MERS virus.

Interesting reading: The FBI OIG report on "The wall between intelligence and criminal terrorism investigations" that existed during the 1990s, and chapter 20 of the Final Report of the Attorney General's Review Team on the Handling of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Investigation which deals with the same subject. Here is a summary of key events.

US v. Truong

Before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was passed in 1978, US intelligence agencies engaged in warrantless surveillance under the presumption that the President could ignore the Constitution in the name of national defense. In the case of US v. Trong Dinh Hung, 629 F.2d 908, judge Harrison Winter of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals describes what appears to have been standard practice at the time:

No court authorization was ever sought or obtained for the installation and maintenance of the telephone tap or the bug ... the FBI sought and received approval for the surveillance from the President's delegate, the Attorney General ... The district court decided that the FBI investigation had become primarily a criminal investigation by July 20, 1977, and excluded all evidence secured through warrantless surveillance after that date.

In his decision, Winter found that "the Executive Branch need not always obtain a warrant for foreign intelligence surveillance" if the situation meets the Keith standard of 407 U.S. 297 (1972). That standard involves two questions:

  1. whether the needs of citizens for privacy and free expression may not be better protected by requiring a warrant before such surveillance is undertaken.
  2. whether a warrant would unduly frustrate the efforts of Government to protect itself from acts of subversion and overthrow directed against it.

What Keith Standard?

In that case, the US Supreme Court briefly raised those two questions before spending the next several paragraphs emphasizing the need to get a warrant, finding that "the constitutional basis of the President's domestic security role ... must be exercised in a manner compatible with the Fourth Amendment."

Also of relevance is an instruction to ignore this decision in cases involving investigations of foreign powers or their agents.

As stated at the outset, this case involves only the domestic aspects of national security. We have not addressed, and express no opinion as to, the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.

So this Keith standard appears not to be a standard at all, and it is not to be applied to cases like that of Truong which involve agents of foreign powers.

The Truong standard

In applying Keith to the Truong case, the Fourth Circuit took the very, very high bar raised by the Supreme Court and threw it on the ground.

the needs of the executive are so compelling in the area of foreign intelligence, unlike the area of domestic security, that a uniform warrant requirement would, following Keith, "unduly frustrate" the President in carrying out his foreign affairs responsibilities.

The Fourth Circuit also ruled that judges are incapable of processing warrants for cases involving foreign agents, in direct opposition to contravening language in Keith.

More importantly, the executive possesses unparalleled expertise to make the decision whether to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance, whereas the judiciary is largely inexperienced in making the delicate and complex decisions that lie behind foreign intelligence surveillance.

It is worth noting again that this decision was issued in 1980, two years after Congress passed FISA to require judicial approval for intelligence gathering. If read broadly, Winter implicitly overturns FISA as an infringement upon the President's war powers. In a concurring opinion, Kenneth Keller Hall references FISA to note that it allows the Attorney General to authorize warrantless wiretaps and therefore "does not contain a blanket warrant requirement".

Donald Russell "wholeheartedly" concurs with Winter's opinion while disagreeing on a triviality.

US v. Duggan

The 1984 case of US. v Andrew Duggan et al, 743 F.2d 59 involved evidence obtained under a FISA court order. The ruling by Amalya Kearse of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, with Wilfred Feinberg and Walter R. Mansfield concurring, relegates the Truong ruling to a discussion of the history of court rulings before FISA.

65 Prior to the enactment of FISA, virtually every court that had addressed the issue had concluded that the President had the inherent power to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence information, and that such surveillances constituted an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.


70. ... Congress passed FISA to settle what it believed to be the unresolved question of the applicability of the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement to electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes, and to "remove any doubt as to the lawfulness of such surveillance."

Kearse here states the "primary objective" rule that a criminal investigation cannot be the primary objective of a FISA investigation.

94. Defendants contend that the surveillance of Megahey's telephone was not authorized by FISA because the information was sought as part of a criminal investigation. We see no grounds for concluding that the requirements of FISA were not met.

95. ... The requirement that foreign intelligence information be the primary objective of the surveillance is plain not only from the language of Sec. 1802(b) but also from the requirements in Sec. 1804 as to what the application must contain. The application must contain a certification by a designated official of the executive branch that the purpose of the surveillance is to acquire foreign intelligence information, and the certification must set forth the basis for the certifying official's belief that the information sought is the type of foreign intelligence information described. Id. Sec. 1804(a)(7).

FBI procedures in the 1980s

According to the OIG report (page 24), the FBI reacted to the "primary purpose" rule by enacting procedures to separate intelligence investigations from prosecutors.

  1. "requiring prosecutors not to have control in intelligence investigations in which information was being collected pursuant to FISA"
  2. requiring intelligence investigators report evidence of criminal activity to prosecutors in the FBI's Criminal Division, rather than to the US Attorney's Office.

To quote from the report,

The Criminal Division and FBI Headquarters made the policy decision about when to involve the USAO in the investigation, since consulting with the USAO was viewed as a bright line signifying the transition from an intelligence investigation to a criminal investigation.

To my mind this raises the question of why the FBI prosecutors were not already being used if the FBI has prosecutors. If the people gathering the intelligence are not allowed to go anywhere else to seek a prosecution. this also makes it easier for a criminal organization or intelligence agency to exempt itself from the law by controlling the prosecutors.

The Scruggs memorandum

In 1994, Richard Scruggs of the FBI's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review tried to get all communications between intelligence and criminal divisions to go through OIPR first.

To address these concerns about coordination between the Criminal Division and the FBI in intelligence investigations, in 1994 Scruggs proposed amending the Attorney General’s FCI Guidelines to require that any questions in intelligence investigations relating to criminal conduct or prosecutions had to be raised first with OIPR, and that OIPR would decide whether and to what extent to involve the Criminal Division and the USAO in the intelligence investigation. Scruggs’ proposal also prohibited the FBI from contacting the Criminal Division or a USAO without permission from OIPR.

If anything came of that effort, then the wall between intelligence and criminal investigators would a name: the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.

Needless to say, centralizing these requests would make it far easier for a criminal organization or intelligence agency to disrupt the FBI.

The Gorelick memo

The FBI's wall has so often been blamed on Jamie Gorelick that it is often called the "Gorelick Wall". A reading of the notorious Gorelick memo of 1995 does not bear that out. The Gorelick memo explicitly requires the intelligence unit and the OIPR to each independently contact the FBI criminal division and the US Attorney's Office.

If, in the case of the FCI investigation, facts or circumstances are developed that reasonably indicate that a significant federal crime has been, is being, or may be committed, the FBI and OIPR are each independently responsible for notifying the USAO and the Criminal Division. Notice shall include the facts and circumstances developed ...

This is less of a wall than there was during the 1980s. If this is the Gorelick memo that defined the FBI's "wall" policy for the rest of the 1990s. then somebody in a position of authority was applying their own different rules and blaming it on Gorelick.

The memo does require that criminal investigators seeking "pro-active efforts or technical coverage" first get the approval of the OIPR and the intelligence unit.

OIPR interfence

According to the Los Alamos report, the OIPR indeed applied their own different rules in contravention of the Gorelick memo.

By September 1997, according to Daniel S. Seikaly, Director of the Executive Office for National Security (“EONS”), the Director of the FBI had complained to the Attorney General that, despite the July 1995 memorandum, OIPR was preventing the FBI from contacting the Criminal Division. [962] (Seikaly 4/4/00)

A working group to address the issue, formed by Eric Holder and headed by Daniel S. Seikaly, "disbanded without any written recommendation and no significant action was taken."

The OIPR certainly had an alternative interpretation.

[OIPR Deputy Counsel Alan] Kornblum, on the other hand, believes that the foreign counterintelligence goals of the investigation should be completed, or very nearly so, before the Criminal Division is notified. (Kornblum 7/15/99)

In other words, the Criminal Division will be notified when hell freezes over.

There were also threats:

As noted above, according to Richard, FBI agents have been told that it is a "career stopper if you're wrong" about contacting the Criminal Division. (Richard 8/12/99) Dion believes that a perception has been fostered that any contact with the Criminal Division during an FCI investigation will risk the FBI's ability to seek a FISA in the future or, if one is already in place, that such contact will result in it being shut down. (Dion 8/5/99)

And it was all blamed on Scruggs.

According to SC Bereznay, when Scruggs assumed office [in 1993], he "clamped down" on contacts between the FBI and the Criminal Division, and, since then, the FBI has not fought these restrictions.

2002 ruling

At some point the FISA court imposed even more restrictions on the FBI that led to the government filing suit against itself to get the restrictions lifted. The case is 310 F.3d 717, "In Re: Sealed Case", with a per curiam decision by Ralph Guy, Laurence Silberman, and Edward Leavy. The judges stated:

it is quite puzzling that the Justice Department, at some point during the 1980s, began to read the statute as limiting the Department's ability to obtain FISA orders if it intended to prosecute the targeted agents ... it is virtually impossible to read the 1978 FISA to exclude from its purpose the prosecution of foreign intelligence crimes...

On the topic of the Gorelick memo:

The procedures state that "the FBI and Criminal Division should ensure that advice intended to preserve the option of a criminal prosecution does not inadvertently result in either the fact or the appearance of the Criminal Division's directing or controlling the FI or FCI investigation toward law enforcement objectives." ... Although these procedures provided for significant information sharing and coordination between criminal and FI or FCI investigations, based at least in part on the "directing or controlling" language, they eventually came to be narrowly interpreted within the Department of Justice, and most particularly by OIPR, as requiring OIPR to act as a "wall" to prevent the FBI intelligence officials from communicating with the Criminal Division regarding ongoing FI or FCI investigations.

Overall, this ruling cuts a path through the confusion of different interpretations and the recent passage of the PATRIOT act. Notably, the ruling also raises the question of whether a FISA warrant meets the constitutional requirements for a search warrant but chooses not to answer the question.

Here, have a conspiracy theory. Allegedly from Al Martin's book "The Conspirators":

Lee Radek has been a chief of the Public Integrity Section for a long time. His confederates within the DoJ were Dave Margolis and Mark Richards. These three men, operating under George Terwilliger, essentially managed the Iran-Contra coverup for the Department of Justice. Below the three, there was a control mechanism that filtered down to the local US Attorney's offices. The control man in the Miami US Attorney's office during Iran-Contra was William Richard Scruggs who reported directly to Margolis. There is actually an official title, Cover-Up Operations Field Manager. You will see in the "pink cable" traffic - restricted cable traffic between the US Attorneys offices and the Department in Washington. Scruggs was one of the 1100 Reagan-Bush holdovers brought into the Clinton administration specifically for that reason. The control conspiracies and ensuing coverups remain from administration to administration. Scruggs rose to the rank of National Security Advisor for Janet Reno, while at the same time still being under indictment for kidnapping in Costa Rica. (Al Martin - The Conspirators, pgs 346, 349-350)

Some lightweight research suggests that this William Richard Scruggs is the same person.

This is interesting: Allan Kornblum co-authored the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The name is spelled slightly differently, but he was the same person. So it was a FISA co-author interpreting FISA to require a strict separation of the criminal and intelligence divisions.

There used to be something at There was the URL in my notes, and a web search shows people referencing the antiterrorism articles and conspiracy theories that used to be there. Now it's an autogenerated page controlled by a bot. I would have imagined that blogs under a major business domain might last until the business dies.

Mike Ruppert (the copvcia guy) committed suicide a few days ago. The conspiracy theory writes itself, although he hasn't done any investigative reporting in many years; lately he's been running a survivalist website.
"A senior CIA official has died in an apparent suicide..." He was probably upset about his demotion to middle management by the fourth paragraph of that report. This reminds me of when one of State's top Iraq experts fell from the roof shortly before the 2003 invasion.

Swedish radio reporter Nils Horner was assassinated in Kabul. This apparently took place in the most heavily defended district of the country.

The fog of early rumour-based reporting suggests the attackers may have been wearing NATO uniforms. The Sverges Radio report describes the attackers as "clad in Western clothes" while Aftonbladet claims they wearing military uniforms. The circumstances are still foggy and contradictory; some reports say Horner was interviewing members of the public on the street, while Aftonbladet places him in a restaurant. Aftonbladet claims there is video of the killing, so that should clear up some of these questions.

[Edit Mar 11] for the inevitable Betteridging, the latest trend in assassin fashion is that one killer was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, and the other was in traditional Afghan clothes. No more uniforms.

Danny Casolaro and the Octopus: an investigative reporter "commits suicide" while investigating Iran-Contra. The internet conspiracy theorists have had a great deal of fun with this one over the years. In all the reporting out there, there is one allegation that has never been further developed: "The group had come together over a covert operation to invade Albania that was betrayed by famed British turncoat Kim Philby."

That operation was known as VALUABLE, BGFIEND, and OBOPUS.


Feb. 11th, 2014 05:52 pm

The latest news from the Central African Republic is the retaliatory ethnic cleansing of Muslims by everyone else. Considering the recent history, it's odd that this is actually getting into the mainstream media and that this violence is being allowed by the powers that be.

The "Seleka" "rebel" alliance swept across the country in an instant and deposed the then-existing government. The only resistance they met was a South African peacekeeping force which they defeated by sending human waves until the South Africans ran out of ammo and surrendered. Western reaction: it's the middle of Africa, so nobody cares. Local reaction: every neighbouring country immediately recognized Seleka as the legitimate government.

Then we started getting reports from Christian missionaries who said that the "rebel" alliance was actually foreign fighters from al-Qaeda killing everyone, and the old Seleka commanders were only figureheads. This was allowed to go on for a year with all media considering that this was not news. There were rare reports of "bandits" or "highwaymen" appearing deeper into the rural areas as time went on, but these were reported as crime stories and not considered as part of the war.

Then there was a report that 20% of the country's population had fled their homes to escape the Muslims. Finally, the French sent peacekeepers to the country. Tens of thousands of refugees headed to the airport expecting the French to protect them. The French ignored them. Seleka's commanders were honored guests, even as the refugees accused them of war crimes. The French were there for the sole purpose of disarming the "anti-machete" militias fighting against Seleka. These militias had been threatening to recapture the capitol before the French arrived. So that became the stable state of affairs for a few months.

Very suddenly, the head of Seleka surrenders the country and Chad removes thousands of Muslim foreign fighters as "refugees". A new non-Muslim leader is appointed, and the survivors of the war start ethnically cleansing Muslims wherever they can find them. The peacekeepers are sitting back and letting it happen. With the foreign fighters out of the area, the targets are going to be the locals who were there before the war and may not have had any part in it.

It seems like foreign powers were involved and backroom deals were made at every major shift in power. Somebody financed and armed Seleka. Somebody convinced the other African governments to support Seleka and give no aid to the old CAR gov. Somebody convinced the French that disarming the local militia was a good idea. Somebody convinced the French and the world community to make a 180-degree shift in their policy toward the country. Somebody decided to allow the foreign fighters to escape rather than trying them for war crimes or at least identifying them. Somebody decided to let the victors have their bloodletting. None of this was done in public.

Rumour has it that the old CAR government, before the invasion, had just made a mining deal with China. This little bit of possibly non-information is the closest thing I have to a piece of the puzzle.

A Ballad of Drugs and 9/11, by Peter Dale Scott. Ignore the silly versing and read it as a straight series of sentences. The allegations are similar to those in Deep Capture's last report, probably due to the use of the same sources.

On the outskirts of conspiracy theories has been the claim that the US government created HIV in a laboratory, always with nothing supporting it other than the fact that it makes the US look bad. A few weeks ago I ran across a report, possibly the original Jakob Segal report from the '80s, which raised the quality of these claims by bringing verifiable (or debunkable) facts to the discussion. The report identified HIV as being a combination of two known viruses, identified the leading researcher of one of these two viruses as the head of an "anti-cancer" program at Fort Detrick, and proposed that HIV was introduced accidentally through hepatitis vaccine tests in prisoners in San Francisco and New York, with observation of the subjects ending when no symptoms showed after six months. These claims have a high barrier to validation. You would have to be a bioresearcher with access to a laboratory and/or have access to the classified program records at Fort Detrick to be able to debunk any of them. Let's say the people at Fort Detrick do look at their records and say it's not true. If you are disinclined to trust anything the government says, are you going to believe them?

As it turns out, the Segal report was part of a Communist disinformation campaign known as Operation Infektion. The bulk of this Wikipedia article was written by one SilverJade10, who created an account just for it, and cites Thomas Boghardt's report on Opertation Infektion and two US government reports, "Soviet Influence Activities: A Report on Active Measures and Propaganda 1987-1988" and "Soviet Active Measures in the Era of Glasnost". Wikipedia being Wikipedia, there is already an objection that the sources are unreliable because they are American. In addition, a few sites on the web say that DNA sequencing of HIV disproves the core claim of it being a combination of the two known viruses. I believe it. Time and technology have been sufficient to settle this question.

Side note: one reporter on the Segal claims was one Ian Johnson of the Baltimore Sun. I suspect he may be the same person as Ian Denis Johnson, author of "A Mosque In Munich", a history of al-Qaeda in Europe that I have not gotten around to reading but have heard is good.

I've been posting a lot of conspiracy theory and antigovernment stuff lately. This morning, my webhost suspended my account because of high CPU use caused by the Majestic 12 search engine crawler. This seems to be a total coincidence... or IS IT?!?!??

Dun dun duuuuuun!

oooOOOOOOOoooooooo!!! (waggles fingers)

In related news that is Reagan's Bush's Clinton's Shrub's Obama's fault, I'm going to try replacing Twiki with Dokuwiki. It's developed by a Sith apprentice. I see no possible way this can go wrong.

State Department cable 02HARARE786 of 2002-03-26 opens by discussing a meeting with Zimbabwe MDC secretary-general Welshman Ncube who mentioned a "Canadian company at the center of the alleged assassination plot" against Robert Mugabe. It gets to be an interesting story:

Ncube has been charged with treason along with MDC leader confidential confidential

Mr. Confidential Confidential appears in hindsight to have been Morgan Tsvangirai. The company, Dickens and Madson, approached the MDC with an offer to spy on the US and Canada for the MDC and call it lobbying, claiming to want in return only a small sum of money to meet a legal requirement. The director of this "Canadian" company was none other than Ari ben Menashe, an Israeli agent who gained a high profile by speaking on the Iran-Contra affair. The US ambassador advised Ncube that the MDC could avoid the future risk of doing business with unreputable persons by informing the US of everyone they choose to associate with. Heh.

Norm Dixon of Green Left Weekly claimed that the assassination plot was a con job arranged by Mugabe to discredit Morgan Tsvangirai. Dickens and Madsen recorded video of a meeting between ben Menashe and Tsvangirai in which they discussed plans to 'eliminate' Mugabe, and then released the video. They may have been working for Mugabe all along. The event is not currently mentioned on Wikipedia's biography of Tsvangirai. There's a likelihood that ben Menashe was freelancing by 2002.

Two drug smuggling ships were caught in the Mediterranean, both freighters registered in Tanzania, both carrying hashish, with both crews setting the cargo on fire after they were approached. Sounds interesting. Current estimates of the amount of drugs are 30 tons on the Gold Star and 20 tons on the Luna-S. These are police estimates of drug volume so they might get reduced to a sandwich baggy in some guy's locker on each boat by next weekend [EDIT: The Gold Star's cargo is down to 3.75 tons but they're blaming the fire for that], but from here and now it looks like an awful lot was intercepted. A website claiming to list the largest drug seizures in history would include either of these two ships near the top. This is going to be a huge hit to the smugglers.

I suspect that both drug ships belong to the same drug ring and that someone decided to bring the hammer down on them. My pet hypothesis is that one drug org is siccing the cops on its competition. Too many details... )

While the seizures are most likely the result of good old policework, I have a pet hypothesis that someone provided enough information to target one specific drug ring for a strategic purpose. There's not enough information to say who either side was. There are enough fragments to begin to suspect just about everybody operating in the Mediterranean region. The most obvious reason would be for one gang to knock out a competitor and establish higher prices for its own drugs. The timing of the Syria conflict presents another possibility: this could be the CIA hitting Syria's money supply. Or it could be Syria and Russia hitting the CIA as a response to the arming of AQ forces as alleged by Bodansky. We don't know enough to say anything about it, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

I'm surprised at how little press this story is getting given that it involves fire and drugs and novelty and high seas adventure and a second big event to keep the story in the news after the first one. The Daily Show covered it, but that's about it for the English-language press.

Egyptian Supreme Court judge Tahani al-Gebali claims that one of Obama's brothers is a top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood. (The link calls her a former Chancellor and current advisor; other websites say she is the sitting vice chair.) This means absolutely nothing since a man is not his brother and the President is separated from his family socially, geographically, and ideologically; his father was an atheist, IIRC. There is also a loose connection between this brother and the IRS maybe-scandal.

The wingnutosphere is tying the story to a vague claim by Saad al-Shater that his father, jailed Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat al-Shater, has information that could land Obama in prison. Curiously, the CIA was very interested in talking to the senior al-Shater. There is no sign that the two stories are connected and al-Shater's information has not been released, supposing it exists. I'm still waiting for Manuel Noriega's information that would send the elder Bush to prison.

€Wagn3r hacked into some US Army intelligence officers' email accounts and claims to have found evidence of the US having "staged" the chemical weapons attack in Syria. The evidence arises during a conversation between Col. Anthony J. "Jamie" MacDonald and Eugene "Gene" P. Furst discussing how intelligence contracts are funded. Gene breaks the conversation to say:
By the way, saw your latest success, my congratulations. Good job.

This is a link to the article on the chemical weapons attack. Jamie replies:

As you see I'm far from this now, but I know our guys did their best.

The second message of interest is from Jamie's wife Jennifer MacDonald to a Mary Shapiro. Speaking of the attack in Syria, she writes:

Tony comforted me. He said the kids weren't hurt, it was done for cameras.

Neither email exchange includes the word "staged", let alone "well staged". So the evidence released by an anti-American hacker does not say what the hacker says it does? Colour me shocked. Maybe something is hidden in one of the base64 sections that I haven't been able to open yet (this should help).

Both of the emails have alternate explanations that are just as believable and better fit Occam's razor by producing a less complicated story. For the first, they could be talking about intelligence gathering and/or building a story for the media. For the second, Tony lied to his wife to make her feel better and to shut her up. We need more evidence to say that anything has been proven either way.

Could the attack have been staged? Faking atrocities is a standard Muslim Brotherhood tactic. The Brotherhood in Syria has gone above this and held up their own Christian and Shiite massacre victims as Sunni victims of the Syrian secularists. (Examples: the Houla massacre and the Zayn al-Abidin Mosque bombing.) The Serbians claimed the Brotherhood was doing this back in Bosnia, with rumours of Serbian exiles recognizing their family members as the victims in the TV news reports of Serbian massacres of Bosnian Muslims. I didn't believe it at the time, but I'm starting to think they deserved a closer look.

Pretending that 1,400 people died in a nerve gas attack is more difficult to do. A real attack of that size would produce hospital and morgue records, graves, many families with missing members across all age groups (not only military-age males gone off to camp), many survivors suffering permanent brain damage, etc. All of this would need to be falsified. This would not be impossible, but it would be difficult and unlikely to hold up to scrutiny. Syria is a place where it would be difficult for that scrutiny to meet the evidence, and Middle East diplomacy is an area where honest scrutiny is in short supply.

My thoughts: as opposed to last time, I have no information. It sure looks like an attack took place and signs point to Syrian regime responsibility, but these signs all come from the pro-war media. As for whether this justifies a war (if true), the question is more complicated than it seems. Syria can claim that a chemical weapons attack is justified by the previous use of chemical weapons and acts of genocide by the Muslim Brotherhood.

From the rumour mill:

  • A report from Yahya Ababneh blames the attack on the Saudis, allegedly citing locals from the area. There are enough details to warrant scrutiny, repeat as above. Knowing nothing, it's just as easy to say he might have been rolled by Syrian/Iranian disinformation.
  • There was a report that the NSA had intercepted Syrian central command asking its officers in the field who the hell had ordered them to use chemical weapons. I can't find the link.
  • There are reports on right-wing blogs that Israeli intelligence intercepted Bashir Assad personally ordering the attack. That would seal it if true, but their sources are news articles that refer to Assad as a figurehead in describing the attack as being conducted by his forces.

Update: The rumour mill churned out a new one. In two articles, Yossef Bodansky is calling the attack a false flag done by the Muslim Brotherhood. His claims are:

  • A week before the attack, US, Turkish, and Qatari intelligence discussed an upcoming "war-changing development". Immediately following the attack, they would provide Muslim Brotherhood forces in the north of Syria with 400-1000 tons of weapons and ammunition.
  • A few days before the attack, US and Jordanian intelligence sent a small army of 650 men into Syria from Jordan where they got bogged down and started begging for American air support.
  • Two days before the attack, the local Muslim Brotherhood forces in al-Ghutah defected and appeared on state TV calling for the people to support Assad.
  • After the attack, Syrian forces raided Jobar and found precursor chemicals for producing sarin along with gas masks and laboratory equipment.

I haven't made up my mind about Bodansky. He says a lot of things that cannot be verified from publicly available information, but that cannot be discredited either. He was certainly in a position to know such things twenty years ago when he was head of the Republican congressional delegation's task force on terrorism, and there's a good chance that he made enough connections to still be in a position to know these things.

The WSJ reports that the CIA has been refusing to arm the "Free Syrian Army" "rebels" because they're fucking al-Qaeda. If Bodansky is correct about the arms shipments beginning after the attack, then the WSJ's information is old and it shows that somebody ordered the floodgates be opened over the CIA's objections.

Update #2: Via [personal profile] mindstalk, German intelligence intercepted a phone call where a Hezbollah commander informed an Iranian contact that Assad had personally ordered the attack. The US claims to have a separate intercept of "a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on August 21".

Update #3: Pierre Piccin da Prata claims he overheard Free Syrian Army soldiers taking responsibility for the attack while he was being held for ransom at a FSA base. He says he cannot release any more details of what he heard until a second witness, Domenico Quirico of La Stampa, goes through the "magistrate" in Italy, which sounds suspicious.

Side note: I find it interesting that Quirico was captured and held for ransom by the FSA almost immediately upon entering Syria under FSA protection, after he had previously been captured and released by anti-Ghadafi forces in Libya. It's almost as if the same people are calling the shots in both wars, and that payment of a ransom, bribe, or blackmail will result in a repeat of the demand. Who could have imagined? On a darker note, I wonder if certain people in Europe are arranging for their own underlings to get captured as a mechanism to justify funding al-Qaeda through ransom money, or if they're too dumb to understand what they're doing in paying the ransoms. It has the same effect.

Update #4: Signs point to Syrian responsibility in al-Ghutah gas attack

The Revolutionary Communist Party (note the sign), the Workers World Party (note the signs), the Occupy movement, and the Muslim Brotherhood are mobilizing in support of Trayvon Martin's right to beat up any untermensch he feels like attacking because he is of a superior race.

(For anyone who missed the trial, we learned from the prosecution's witnesses that Martin confronted Zimmerman, Martin started the fight, Martin was the one beating Zimmerman while Zimmerman was calling for help, Martin had racist motivations, Zimmerman did not, Zimmerman was telling the truth this whole time, and everything you've heard from the press against Zimmerman was wrong. The defense only had to show up.)

Beware of disinformation. All of these groups lie their lips off as a standard tactic and justify it as a way to hasten the revolution, and all four are competent at getting their propaganda into the mainstream culture.

Why is the MB involved? My guess is political strategy, making inroads into other groups. Next guess is someone is paying them.

One thing that's interesting is that these groups have international networks and also tend to take curious positions on international issues that would coincide with what fronts for hostile foreign intelligence agencies would be expected to say. It's curious. I'd love to have a look at their financial records.

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