Processing Distortion: “Early NSA Whistleblower on Snowden’s Summer of Leaks”

Peter B. Collins Presents NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein


Mark Klein was among the first to expose the NSA's domestic wiretapping efforts. The former A T & T technician watched the construction of the secret switching room at the telecom's facility on Folsom Street in San Francisco, and described it in detail in his book, Wiring Up the Big Brother Machine....And Fighting It. In this wide ranging conversation, Klein displays deep knowledge of the surveillance state, and offers many candid comments. He praises Ed Snowden for his disclosures, embraces proposals to repeal the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments laws of 2008 and 2012, and calls for the FISA court to be dismantled. Klein is not afraid to call out the lies of Obama, Clapper and Alexander. While he supports a deep investigation and reform of our rogue intelligence agencies, he doesn't believe the current Congress is capable of real reform, and is especially critical of Senate Intelligence chair Dianne Feinstein.

*Mark Klein worked for A T & T for 22 years, and is retired. His book is available at Amazon.com

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The EyeOpener- Silicon Spies: The US government and the tech revolution

BFP VideoEarlier this week Wired Magazine released a background check of Steve Jobs conducted by the Department of Defense in 1988. The background check highlights Jobs' use of LSD in the 1970s and his fears of blackmail or kidnapping due to his substantial wealth. The check was part of a security clearance investigation conducted by the DoD during Jobs' tenure at Pixar, an investigation that was first revealed earlier this year.

Precisely what Steve Jobs needed security clearance for has not yet been revealed, but that Jobs did have some relationship with the Department of Defense will come as no surprise to those who know the long and intimate history between the US military, the US intelligence apparatus, and Silicon Valley.

In this episode of our EyeOpener Report James Corbett presents the latest revelations about Steve Jobs' security clearance with the Department of Defense, the history and examples of the disturbing government connections, stockholdings, regulations and infiltrations when it comes to technology companies, and how the Department of Defense, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, In-Q-Tel and other agencies are quietly opening doors and writing checks for the technology industry's chosen few.

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*The Transcript for this video is available at Corbett Report: Click Here

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The EyeOpener- Stratfor and the Privatization of Intelligence

BFP VideoLate last year, hackers with the anonymous hacking group LulzSec raided the servers of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence company in Austin, Texas, coming away with some 5 million emails. Last month, Wikileaks began publishing the emails as “The Global Intelligence Files” to much fanfare. All of the claims that continue to emerge on a daily basis from this email archive are just that: claims. Regardless of the truth of this or that particular claim, perhaps the most significant thing to emerge from the emails is the fact that companies like Stratfor exist at all. That private companies are in possession of vast intelligence networks and vast sums of data on private individuals is a trend that few are comfortable with, but few are aware of until situations like the Stratfor leak bring it to the public's attention.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett, presenting the disturbing trend of outsourcing intelligence work to private companies, the unhealthy relationship between intelligence agencies and the private sector, the culpability for misconduct and shielding the government from being held accountable for crimes committed on its behalf, and the creation of a revolving door that allows the private companies enormous leeway in bending and breaking laws by offering incentives to the agencies that are supposedly keeping an eye on them.

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Notorious “Star Chamber” Courts Protect Government Wrongdoing

U.S. Embraces Tool of Despots


starchamberRecently, Mark Hosenball dropped the bombshell that a secret panel of White House Security Council members meets to draw up a “kill list” of American militants. Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald wrote a scathing critique of the panel, comparing it to a notorious English court known as the “Star Chamber.”

“[A] panel operating out of the White House — that meets in total secrecy, with no known law or rules governing what it can do or how it operates — is empowered to place American citizens on a list to be killed by the CIA, which (by some process nobody knows) eventually makes its way to the President, who is the final Decider.  It is difficult to describe the level of warped authoritarianism necessary to cause someone to lend their support to a twisted Star Chamber like that.”

The Star Chamber, an English court dating back to the middle ages, reportedly was named for the stars on the ceiling of the courtroom, located at Westminster Palace.  Over time, it grew increasingly powerful and corrupt.  By the 17th century, under Charles I, it had become a vehicle for prosecuting political dissent.  The court’s procedures made it virtually impossible for defendants to get a fair hearing and served as a rubber stamp for the monarchy.

“Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.”

The Star Chamber also punished religious dissent, ultimately driving the Puritans to seek refuge in North America’s wilderness. Their descendents would form a new nation and endow it with laws that prohibited Star Chamber abuses. Today, “star chamber” is a pejorative term used to describe any administrative body with “strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings” that “cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings.”  Notwithstanding its infamous past, the Star Chamber appeals to government officials who abhor accountability.

The panel that authorized the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki is the most public U.S. example of a star chamber--but it is far from the only one.  The federal government operates a network of star chamber courts administered by government agencies for the purpose of hearing appeals from military and civilian federal employees stripped of their security clearances. Many of those employees are whistleblowers who have disclosed government wrongdoing, thus implicating senior officials.  Senior officials use the star chambers to punish whistleblowers, to discredit their disclosures and to discourage other employees from exposing negligence, waste and corruption.  Existing whistleblower protection laws are helpless to protect federal employees with security clearances from agency reprisal.

Security clearance star chambers violate the U.S. Constitution’s due process protections by presidential order--Executive Order (E.O.) 12968.  These courts go by a variety of names.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Star Chamber is the “Personnel Security Review Board.” The Department of Defense (DOD) calls its star chamber the “Department of Hearings and Appeals.” Each federal agency interprets the executive order differently, and some—for example, USDA—actually provide less due process than E.O. 12968 allows.  All are offensive to modern notions of justice, but none have been held accountable.  Government officials argue that national security requires the suspension of due process; but, a close examination of the appeals process shows that the government’s claim is a fraud. [Read more...]

The EyeOpener- Exposing ‘In-Q –Tel’: The CIA’s Own Venture Capital Firm

Google, Facebook, the IT Sector and the CIA

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IQTIn-Q-Tel was formed by the CIA in 1999 as a private, not-for-profit venture capital firm with the specific task of delivering technology to America's intelligence community. Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market. In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.

In-Q-Tel has generated a number of stories since its inception based on what can only be described as the "creepiness" factor of its investments in overtly Orwellian technologies.

This is our EyeOpener Report by James Corbett presenting documented facts and cases on the CIA’s privately owned venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, in which well-connected board members drawn from the private sector profit from the investments made with CIA funds that come from the taxpayer.

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*The Transcript for this video is now available at Corbett Report: Click Here

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Podcast Show #17

The Boiling Frogs Presents Mark Klein

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Mark Klein provides us with his personal account of the illegal spying apparatus installed at AT&T by the National Security Agency and his battle as a whistleblower to bring it to light. He talks about the difficulties in getting a reluctant media to report the story, the incredible betrayal by the L.A. Times, his role as a witness in a lawsuit brought against AT&T by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the alarming state of our civil liberties today, the need for vigilant activism, and more.

MarkKlein Mark Klein is a former AT&T technician who disclosed knowledge of his company's cooperation with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) in installing network hardware to monitor and process American telecommunications. The subsequent media coverage became a major story in May 2006. In recognition of his actions, the Electronic Frontier Foundation picked Klein as one of the winners of its 2008 Pioneer Awards. Klein worked for AT&T as a technician for over 22 years, first in New York and then in California, before retiring in 2004. He is the author of Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine And Fighting It.

Here is our guest Mark Klein unplugged!

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An Analysis of Warrantless Wiretapping-Part I

Definition of Terms & Analysis of Klein’s Affidavit

IshmaelLogoThis piece will attempt to analyze the US Government’s Warrantless Wiretap Program utilizing open source information including A.T.&T. Whistleblower Mark Klein’s EFF affidavit, podcasts by James Bamford and Russell Tice available on this site, and comparisons with similar surveillance networks currently in use in Great Britain and China. The rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the past thirty years has been touted as a mechanism of information freedom and open societies, a global clearinghouse for political and personal empowerment and a panacea against the forces of repression and censorship. What I will attempt to show in this piece is how those lofty goals remain largely unrealized and how governments, under the guise of “security” are, in fact, using the Internet as a new, overarching and suffocating surveillance state to monitor, compile and track the personal and private lives of virtually everyone who uses modern telecommunications in any form. I will attempt to demonstrate that, because of the erection of this surveillance regime, privacy of communications is essentially dead. I will also attempt to show how information gathered under this program can be used to populate private corporation databases and affect the general populace through credit reports, employment opportunities and the convergence of private and government databases.

Let me begin by defining some terms to help the reader understand the overall scope of Warrantless Wiretaps. These terms will give the reader an idea of the masses of data being monitored:

[Read more...]