By GH Eliason
The Vault 7 exposé by WikiLeaks neglected to mention the most important part of the disclosure. Sure, the CIA has all these tools available. Yes, they are used on the public. The important part is; it’s not the CIA that’s using them. That’s the part that needs to frighten you.
The CIA, by the definition of its mission, cannot use the tools in Vault 7, and definitely not on Americans. All the tools are unclassified, open-source, and can be used by anyone. It makes them not exactly usable for secret agent work. That’s what makes it impossible for them to use Vault 7 tools directly. Because of the possible exposure for the agency, use of the tools was farmed out.
Instead, they are there for subcontractors to use. Are you worried about your TV watching you? Has your car developed the habit of starting itself in the morning?
If these tools were solely in the hands of a US agency, you would be much safer. The agencies have limits on what they can do and agencies have oversight providing protections.
Instead, intelligence and counterterrorism tools are in the hands of people that make most of their money pushing political agendas forward. And there is no oversight for what they are doing with the tools.
In March 2015, I started writing about private NSA guns for hire. These hired guns work in the revolving door between government Intel and counterterrorism and private intel and counterterrorism. What it showed was the same people that worked for US agencies and trained them were using the same tools and methods on Americans that they used for terrorist hunting. And they brag about it in social media.
The same people that take counterterrorism measures against Al Qaeda, are free to use those tools on you. According to CNN, Aaron Weisburd models his methods on the no-holds-barred Al Qaeda model.
From CBS News-“sources close to U.S. intelligence as saying that “hackers knocked out Al Qaeda’s online means of communication, thus preventing them from posting anything to commemorate 911 anniversary.” The paper also said Western intelligence suspects two hackers were responsible: Aaron Weisburd from Internet Haganah and Rusty Shackleford from the web group My Pet Jawa.”
According to Sputnik News “As much as 80 percent of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) budget is privatized, demonstrating the merger between Washington and corporate organizations, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday.”
This means that up to 80% of that budget is going to people in the private sector that are also working on other agendas, including their own. That’s why we see more headlines like “NSA staff used spy tools on spouses, exlovers:watchdog.” or “The Crazy Emails That Took Down NSA Spook John Schindler.” Both articles show contractors use Vault 7 tools for their own domestic spying or revenge.
In May 2015, the Nation published an article that is a must read to grasp how dangerous this has become. I’ve written intensively on how these tools are used to create news and policy from a ground and company level for NGO’s and lobbyists. This article ratchets it up by looking at the policy makers and former agency heads that go into the private Intel and policy crafting business for hire.
According to The Nation “These are the people—often referred to as “intelligence professionals”—who do the actual analytical and targeting work of the NSA and other agencies in America’s secret government. Over the last 15 years, thousands of former high-ranking intelligence officials and operatives have left their government posts and taken up senior positions at military contractors, consultancies, law firms, and private-equity firms. In their new jobs, they replicate what they did in government—often for the same agencies they left. But this time, their mission is strictly for-profit.”
What does this have to do with overhauling the ODNI and 17 Intel agencies? Everything. From oversight to policy, the level of non-partisan professionalism needed to conduct unbiased intelligence work is no longer there. The Vault 7 leak could well be an inside attempt to address these issues.
“In the intelligence community in the United States, there are certain disgruntled individuals [concerned] about the way operations are being run, and it’s obvious that material has come out that was felt by some of these individuals needed to be discussed,” Kampmark explained.”
The ODNI and its agencies descent into shambles have been three presidencies in the making. Why a shambles? When intelligence is based on political agendas, rumor, or speculation instead of facts, it’s in trouble. All of it was done in the name of getting faster intelligence and making actionable Intel available to members of Congress that had no business getting involved with classified, need to know basis intelligence.
The second part of this article will address how much effect these intel releases have on breaking story news over the years.
Many of the Intel experts hired as contractors are not Intel experts. As you’ll soon see, a housecleaning at the agency level and contractors is both unavoidable and necessary.
I asked Michael Jasinski, Assistant Professor Department of Political Science University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh about this. Professor Jasinski had oversight over researchers that were later hired by US Intel agencies and provided evaluations of them prior to their employment.
His comments show why a radical cleanup in both intel and counter-terrorism needs to happen. With the following statement he also added that their obvious patriotic feelings were real, but: “Considering how the intelligence community is depicted in the media or in the movies (and clearly CIA “outreach” plays a role here), you’d think Jedi Knights. The Justice League. Gandalf. But if you ever had personal contact with the “three-letter agencies” for any period of time, you’d think different. My most recent experience with the “intelligence” community was at MIIS, post-9/11 when the agencies were coming there to hire, and they were hiring big. They hired many of my research assistants–I was doing what might be termed “open-source intelligence” on WMD proliferation–and in the process, they’d ask me, their immediate supervisor, for my opinion. So I’d tell them point-blank: can’t read, can’t write, can’t analyze. I don’t care what their CV says, the only language they can function in at any level is English. No matter, they’d get hired anyway. Drug convictions? No matter, they’d get hired anyway (at least at the time, the CIA would hire you if you didn’t have any drug convictions within the last 3 years). Scary political views they wore on their sleeve? No matter, they’d get hired anyway. All of my good assistants went to work for the UN, IAEA, major NGOs. The dregs went to “intelligence.” So now when I see a) the “Russian interference” stories and b) the inability to safeguard, and presumably use responsibly, your own cyber-warfare arsenal, I can’t say I’m exactly surprised. But there are no shortcuts in this kind of work. If you rapidly expand at the cost of dramatically lowering standards, you (and the country) are going to pay a price. We’re paying it right now..”
When OSINT was pioneered, from the 1990’s into the 2000’s, none of the agencies had any experience with OSINT. It was a new concept. To get Intel gathering and online counterterrorism where it is today, US intelligence agencies relied on the methods and help of an out of work web-designer, a pornographer suffering from toxic black-mold induced delusions, a gift shop employee, a stay at home dad whose last job was selling underwear, and a man that heard coded intel messages in fax transmission beeps. Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke.
One thing all these people have in common is that none of them have a background in intelligence or antiterrorism. In the years before and after 9/11, these concerned citizens took to the web and started pioneering a new form of intelligence called OSINT (Open Source Intelligence). This would later provide the basis for the establishment of the NSA and become the backbone of US intelligence gathering.
All the intelligence gathering agencies rejected it at first because it relied on social media. At best this intelligence can only be looked at as unsubstantiated or rumor level information. While it’s OK for pointing to a potential problem, it’s limitations are that it provides unproven and possibly compromised and tainted information. The CIA was focused on HUMINT (Human Intel, using human agents or trusted sources) and SIGINT(Signals Intel/ communications).
These Open Source Intel pioneers started gaining ground by emailing community leaders and US Congressmen. They pushed OSINT to the forefront of US intelligence by sending it to anyone they thought would listen and forward their Intel to the US government. At first, they worked on the War on Terror.
Along the way, they collected letters of recommendation which they flashed around to the next prospective clients in government, Intel agencies, military, and lobbyists. This is important because letters of recommendation from people not in the Intel business became the basis for this new internet, Google search based, cottage industry.
Some of them work directly with Israeli intelligence. Most of these pioneers found ready help by sending their Intel to Israeli embassies that sent the info to US government agencies. At the same time, with the help of the connections they were making, they published news stories in major publications before US agencies had time to digest the information that they received. This forced the US government to react to their online Google-driven research.
Because it was Open Source Intel, these pioneers figured out quickly that they could send or sell the information BEFORE it was reviewed by an agency and classified. All Intel the CIA receives is given a classified rating whether it is open source or not. This one point increased the status of the practitioners.
Congressmen, Governors, and news outlets that were interested started getting the same “Intel” the CIA was. It also became clear quickly that the new Intel could be framed on whatever bias you chose. This meant it could be used to create policy.
Lobbyists and Congress quickly figured out that by using these sources, they could push pet or paid foreign policy forward. Because it was a private effort, OSINT operators got paid to deliver Intel for groups looking for specific insights. For instance, during the Gulf War, they searched for WMD and Al Qaeda connections.
From the mid-1990’s this became a boom industry thanks to pioneers Steve Emerson and Rita Katz. Emerson’s big break came with CNN after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He was sure Islamists were behind it. Being wrong didn’t slow him down.
Before 9/11, Emerson and Katz open source Intel was being spread far and wide and thanks to personal networking efforts it made then president Bush’s daily briefings about Al Qaeda. Emerson and Katz provided erroneous open source Intel to support Ahmed Chalabi’s drive for invading Iraq. This was personal to Katz and Intel agencies noted that most of her Intel is one-sided and politically charged.
Katz made it a habit of bombarding agencies and media with new social media findings that came so fast news cycles couldn’t keep up with it. To ignore her meant you could be scooped by another news agency. To publish it meant that it was unsubstantiated information.
For Katz, this came to a head in 2007 when she posted an Osama bin Laden interview online before Al Qaeda had a chance to. How many conclusions does this point to? Al Qaeda got the video from Katz.
According to the Washington Post, “A similar event occurred Friday when another group beat al-Qaeda by nearly a full day with the release of the first video images of bin Laden to appear publicly since 2004. That group, the SITE Institute, provided the tape to government agencies and news organizations at a time when many well-known jihadist Web sites had been shut down in a powerful cyber attack by unknown hackers.”
According to the Newsweek article “How Richard Clarke Outsourced Terrorist Intel,” both Emerson and Katz became the go-to companies for OSINT. US intelligence had no experience with it until this period. And US intel and law enforcement didn’t want any.
“Emerson and Katz furnished Clarke and his staff with the names of Islamic radical Web sites, the identities of possible terrorist front groups and the phone numbers and addresses of possible terror suspects–data they were unable to get from elsewhere in the government.
This private pipeline of information–which began under President Clinton and continued under Bush even after September 11–irritated top officials at FBI headquarters, especially when much of the private research bore fruit and was later used to help develop a U.S. government list of banned organizations whose assets were frozen by the Treasury Department.”
After the Patriot Act, it was these two in particular and contractors like them that caused the “no-fly” lists to fill out so quickly. The search for terrorists had begun and it looks like it was paid on a piece-work basis. The more potential terrorists there were the more money in government contracts that could be had.
Until this point, Emerson and Katz research was funded by unnamed wealthy donors and foundations who had an interest in finding Islamic terrorists operating in the US online. In his book “Against All Enemies” Clarke writes “Within days” of his first request in late 1999, Clarke writes, Emerson provided him “with a long list of Web sites sitting on servers in the United States.” Clarke then passed along the list to the Justice Department and FBI. But officials there balked at using it and complained at the time about “how difficult it was to prosecute ‘free speech’ cases.”
While all of this sounds good and noble, the reality was and is that most of the targeted websites were American citizens expressing free speech. The only qualification to get on their list for a news site or a website was to print anti-Zionist articles, pro-Palestinian articles, or write something against the policies their donors or lobbyist bosses were against. When the government refused to act, OSINT pioneers took it upon themselves to shut down, hack, makeup, and plant evidence on websites to try to get convictions.
Big media and the agencies themselves did their job letting the public know what was going on. Because no one understood the technology and therefore didn’t care about this, the problem grew to where it is today. As early as 2003 in the Chicago Tribune, the FBI gave warnings like this one about a particular website it was asked to investigate, “The site is not illegal in any way [nor does it condone] illegal activity,” said FBI spokesman Frank Bochte in Chicago. “We cannot be the Orwellian thought police. If it is mere words and nothing beyond that, there’s nothing we can do.”
The proof terrorist hunter Aaron Weisburd offered was simple. “It talks about the “Zionist” rope over American leaders and lists 45 Jews in top positions of U.S. government. A photo gallery features the burning of the American flag, and one section is called “Know Your Enemy.”
In 2005, the Washington Post interviewed Weisburd and he unabashedly states his group uses the same tactics as Al Qaeda. He goes on to say that not everything they do is legal. According to his victims, he used the tools, access, and criminal activity to destroy their lives. They had nothing to do with the war on terror. They wrote human rights articles.
The Guardian made the point in November 2014 saying “Our choice isn’t between a world where either the good guys spy or the bad guys spy. It’s a choice of everybody gets to spy or nobody gets to spy.”
The privatized NSA makes its living off building hate. They are hired to drive headlines and policy. A longtime partner of Rita Katz and Aaron Weisburd drove these headlines in the UK.
‘Terror expert warns of ‘new 9/11’’, The Express, 1 January 2009; ‘Attack on US ‘soon’’, The Sun, 1 January 2009, HATE HIT LIST’, The Sun, 7 January 2009
In her 2003 book “The Terrorist Hunter,” Rita Katz went as far as to say “the F.B.I., didn’t “possess one-thousandth of my knowledge on the relevant issues.”
Through agency overhaul in 2004, Congress set the stage and legislated the method that agencies and media warned would result in politically motivated, goal oriented reports loosely defined as intelligence. All of it affects policy today because a lot of it is designed to.
Because of the overhaul the US Government hired an out of work web-designer, a former reporter that was really bad at finding terrorists, a gift shop employee, and a man who dropped out of college to jump into the fray with no terrorism expertise to teach government agencies how to conduct OSINT.
With over 20 years of experience, Steve Emerson must deliver crazy good OSINT intel to the US government. Just how good is the god-father of US government OSINT intel?
Unfortunately, this isn’t a joke. These same experts taught NATO, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and related agencies their expertise in the business through 6-week courses and seminars. They also testify as expert witnesses for Congress and supply an endless stream of Intel built on the policies their clients or prejudice dictates. Today’s DNI is filled with people that learned his methods.
How serious are they taken? The Information Operations Newsletter Vol. 12, no. 06 (April 2012) Compiled by: Mr. Jeff Harley, US Army Space and Missile Defense Command Army Forces Strategic Command G39, Information Operations Division quotes the above-listed OSINT pioneers as the experts to listen to.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, I followed a team of these OSINT pioneers setting up to attack people in the USA using these technologies. Because no one had ever cared before, they were very open about what they were doing in social media if you knew where to look. They geo-located victims, collected information, and added hackers in the group to attack American news websites.
I followed this group as they destroyed the income of news websites and started to destroy the reputations of owners and journalists. After documenting enough of the facts, I tried to contact the concerned parties directly and indirectly. I wrote a couple articles describing how it was happening and even quoted the group doing it describing what they were setting up for. This even included screen shots.
Why would they go as far as geo-location? Vault 7 makes that clear. The pioneer in this area also helped set up the Peacemaker website for Ukraine. This site provides kill lists with all the information known or needed to find someone. Within a month of my first article about Peacemaker in March 2015, the first victim was murdered.
It raises some serious questions about what is occurring in 2017. When it’s clear the people using Vault 7 tools don’t think of you as anything more than an enemy in a “Call of Duty” video game and they get paid for results, it’s time to question the legality.
When they do it for foreign governments, it’s time bring up treason. When they turn around, work for government and then put the same people and news site on lists; Are they working for their private clients or for the US government? If you disagree with their employers politics, they get paid to destroy your life. They are a privatized NSA attacking you.
Let’s look at the second fork using these tools took. Understanding who is behind the stories about Russian election influence, hacking, and even the MH-17 disaster in 2014, and why they did it is an eye opener.
This dissects fake news and shows how prominent fabricated intelligence is in mainstream media. The article shows the methodology and the technicians that ignited and pushed the biggest controversies of the past few years.
These are the tools and these are the players that built the election interference and Russian hacking story. The 17 Intel agencies need a ground up rebuild.
Why Vault 7 Tools Used by Private Contractors Shows US Intel Needs a Ground-Up Rebuild- It’s the News- Part 2
So, let’s begin at the end. The fastest way to get things done on a geopolitical level has become hiring the private Intel and policy making professionals and letting them loose as experts to the mainstream media.
Who is using chemical weapons on the Syrians? Who was involved in the Russian election interference and fake news during the 2016 elections? Who shot down MH-17 in 2014? Someone, somewhere had to be doing something, right?
In part 1 of this article, I detailed the rise of privatized Intel. Their history clearly shows that it wouldn’t have been possible without a helping hand from Congressional members that found out they could get their hands on top secret Intel if, and only if, they got it before it was labeled classified.
Although impact on policy is the subject of another article, both lobbyists and Congress found they could build or destroy any administration’s foreign policy by hiring the right Intel providers from the private sector Intel community.
Lobbyists found out they could run their own foreign policy to a degree by hiring some members of the Intel community that were in the policy making business. Using the same people, members of Congress figured out the same method to run around the State Department and get the Executive branch to react to their fabricated/paid for by lobbyists Intel.
They provide their employers the facts they were paid to find. They provide their employers story to the media by stretching the connecting dots or fabrication. It’s become a huge ($Billions) cottage industry and these experts won’t be challenged.
As I detailed in part 1, they all started out by emailing someone they knew about something they found on the internet. As they became a little more adept at Google search techniques, they found obscure facts that they sold as Intel. They emailed their Congressman and the press about their facts.
They gathered “letters of recommendation” from anyone that would listen to them, everywhere they went. As the doors opened they found they could make tons of money connecting the dots to whatever it was their clients hated and wanted changed.
When the Iraq war rolled around, some of them were part of the President’s daily briefing. We couldn’t have had the Iraq war without them. Mainstream media was inundated with material from these sources that were employed by lobbyists to get the USA to go to war.
Here we go again, same story, their story.
The Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on Russia and the 2016 elections couldn’t have come at a better time for me. A quick look at the experts testifying shows they can be traced back to an out of work web-designer, a pornographer suffering from toxic black-mold induced delusions, a gift shop employee, a stay at home dad whose last job was selling underwear, and a man that heard coded intel messages in fax transmission beeps. Unfortunately, this still isn’t a joke. These are the Intel experts that provide most of the Intel available in media today.
According to CNN, Clint Watts, the terrorism expert that gave the expert testimony to the Senate got involved in cyber almost by accident in 2014. With Aaron Weisburd, he is a senior fellow at the Center For Cyber and Homeland Security at The George Washington University.
Starting with no experience in Intel or Russian Influence Operations Watts was able to “watch and track the rise of Russia’s social media influence operations starting in 2015 and witnessed their update of an old Soviet playbook known as Active Measures.”
Clint Watts great breakthrough moment came when he got incensed that a Kardasian look alike Syrian girl spoke against Obama’s Syrian policy. He just couldn’t have that. It was…anti-American.
Watts and Weisburd(out of work web-designer) both work as consultants and do training and research programs for a range of military(US Military, NATO, and NATO partners- Latvia, Ukraine, et al), intelligence(ODNI, CIA, FBI,NSA, et al) and law enforcement entities.
We are going to define the big WHO that was on trial at the Senate hearing. Let’s look at how credible the track record has been for this group of experts. Starting with election interference, we’ll look at other major international events that shaped US policy. This group shaped the news narrative of the past few years providing stories including the Russian influence and election interference, the Syrian gas attacks (past and present), and the MH-17 disaster. You won’t be surprised to know that most of the MSM information only comes from these select sources.
When the Washington Post first introduced propornot with Clint Watts it was signaling the beginning of a new information policy. The problem is other than RT or Sputnik, Russia doesn’t publish the news, opinion, and analysis the websites listed on propornot covers. The list itself was a copy and paste of Aaron Weisburd’s list at aktivnye.com and the websites are American.
From liberal to conservative, Sanders to Trump, if you didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton the Senate hearings is all the trial by peers you are entitled to. You are on trial and like Joseph K, no one else is going to tell you why.
What is interesting from the above image is that redstate.com is decidedly anti-Trump conservatives. According to Weisburd and Watts both redstate.com and Trump are on Putin’s payroll along with globalresearch.ca. They don’t even need to be consistent.
According to Senator Mark Warner said in the latest case, “the paid trolls apparently focused on swing states in an attempt to influence votes there — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where people were “reading during the waning days of the election that “‘Clinton is sick,’ or ‘Clinton is taking money from whoever for some source’ … fake news…Warner said it’s crucial that investigators determine if voting results were actually affected. Each of the three states narrowly fell to Trump.”
Someone please enlighten the poor Senator that you can’t carpet bomb a large voting bloc’s families and then expect their vote. There was a good reason Clinton stayed away from the states Warner mentioned. The information he is quoting comes from Weisburd protege Jessika Aro, whose fabrication was included in the ODNI report in January.
How does the Senator know what people were reading? Warner tried to describe botnets. In reality the confused man was describing the websites that make up the propornot list. Quite recently propornot added Rollingstone’s Matt Tiabbi to the list. He is again referring to Weisburds work on websites and geolocating readers to find out where media influence is.
The Senate hearings and follow-ups are about controlling what information the general public has available to it starting with the propornot list. What they are after isn’t just to control what you read or the facts you know, this time they want to control how you think. As information policy starts to sanction these sites new domestic enemies will found in larger publications.
How do I know this? I’m taking an industrial view. Screw the politics. Both sides of the aisle are playing this game. All the pigs are sucking at the same lobbyist tit and selling Americans and the world out in the process.
If Sanders won the nomination and ran against Jeb Bush, the climate today would be the same. Both sides of the aisle cater to large blocs that first get them through the primaries. In a Sanders vs Bush run, these same blocs would have voted Republican. A Sanders win would have similar consequences as Trump but for different reasons.
Commie, commie, commie, commie…is the one thing a nationalist hates more than life itself or Russians, for that matter. Sanders would have been painted red to lose. At his victory, many of the moneyed people deep frying Donald Trump would have done it to him too.
The point is this problem is on both sides. It started years ago on the Republican side of the aisle. The activist groups are the largest and most well heeled that exist in the world today. Yes, it includes George Soros (Hungarian nationalist). At the street level, they are the most active and they can’t be touched in terms of contributions to campaigns.
The propornot story started out as a paid or placed article by these same activists. It did its job by igniting a shitstorm of anti-Russian media fallout. The same people that provided the websites on the list, testified as the experts before Congress this time, as well as multiple times before.
Reacting to this Google has started fact checking articles, sites, and journalists. Guess who has the fact checking job? The same experts, fact finders, ultra-nationalist related groups and paid private Intel that testifies in the Senate hearings are now deciding what fake news is and who is responsible for it. That’s right, a former underwear salesman gets to decide if your website is paid for by Vladimir Putin.
RINF.com is finding this out now. Over the course of 2 days, Google’s ultra-nationalist fact checkers decided that a teaser portion of an article reprinted from TruthOut and an article by Eric Zuesse needed to be taken down or the publisher would lose access to adsense. Adsense provides the ads that many sites earn a portion of their income with. RINF complied with the first one and the next day the demand came to take the second one down.
Mick Meaney who started RINF in 2004 took a principled stand and re-published the articles. According to Meaney, neither one violated Google’s TOS. He will keep publishing substantial articles regardless of the fallout. Every publisher is going to need to make a similar decision soon.
Once a Clint Watts has been paid for finding an enemy, he needs to find another to get paid again. And again. And again. This week it’s RINF, OpedNews.com and the Alex Jones media empire. Next week it will be the Nation, the National Interest, or the National Review.
In part 1, I showed finding the enemy was the reason for the no-fly lists growing so fast in the 2000’s. It is the same today as it was then. You are once again getting called the potential enemy of the state by the same people that make money by creating threats. The linked publication StopFake is a Ukrainian propaganda site and a Google fact checker.
Because you didn’t accept the “facts” they laid out in MSM with no proof, you are on Putin’ payroll. Because they are the experts that MSM goes to now, you are challenging their authority and possibly their potential income.
Your news organization, website, or reputation as a journalist is as easy to destroy as one single mention of it in front of Congress. Guess what? That’s exactly what they did.
Right now the US Congress is deciding how to legislate away the right Americans have to factual information without looking like they are trampling free speech and freedom of the press. Yes that’s being done and you are sitting there like a lump watching it happen.
Your politics don’t matter. This time everyone got Berned. Everyone conveniently forgets that Sanders was the first one labeled as the Kremlin candidate running against Hillary Clinton. Thanks to Aaron Weisburd work and Clint Watts testimony, the average American looks like Vladimir Putin to the US Congress. It’s called Information Policy.
The importance of both men in today’s news cycles can’t be overestimated. Watts and Weisburd provided the substance to Russian election interference. Watts and Weisburd’s work provided the Propornot list. Watts and Weisburd’s circle provided the information that went into the ODNI report in January on Russian 2016 election interference without proof.
The reason is simple. You are the Russian interference. If you wrote about or supported, Sanders, Jill Stein, or Donald Trump, you are the UNNAMED agent responsible. Weisburd has gone as far as geo-locating where the more vocal Russian agents work and live. And those are just engaged readers. There you are baby!
Since 2015 Watts and Weisburd have been working for a foreign government trying to incite US policy against Russia. Their circles which includes the Atlantic Council make up the 18th Intelligence Agency the US has at its disposal. The only difference is they are for hire by anyone who wants to prove anything. Want to prove Thailand is plotting a US takeover? Give them a call.
In a lot of cases this private sector Intel is the same unnamed Intelligence community planting stories in the press. They create the new round of experts. They provide most of the Intel facts/fictions for hotspots such as Syria and Donbass that US policy has been built on. They provided all the proofs in January’s ODNI report. As ludicrous as it sounds, they are the go-to experts on Russian interference for both the MSM and the US Congress.
They have determined that you were the Russian interference in the 2016 election cycle.
Let’s look at Syria. In 2013 according to @bellingcat, Syrian president Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. This Bellingcat Intel information was part of what caused Obama to draw his red line in Syria and became widespread across the MSM.
“Based on the latest findings of two prominent experts, which appear to confirm other reports and investigations, it would have been impossible for the Assad dictatorship to have perpetrated the chemical attack outside Damascus as outlined by Obama and other Western officials. Instead, it seems that the more likely culprits of the attack were foreign-backed “rebel” groups hoping to overthrow the relatively secular regime and install an Islamist dictatorship based on Sharia law. Estimates suggest almost 1,500 people died in the attack, including more than 400 children.
The new report, entitled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” was published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Science, Technology, and Global Security Working Group. It was written by former United Nations weapons inspector Richard Lloyd and MIT Science, Technology, and National Security Policy Professor Theodore Postol. Among other major concerns, the two experts in the field found that despite official claims and “intelligence,” the August 21 nerve-agent attack in East Ghouta “could not possibly” have come from the center or even the Eastern edge of regime-controlled territory.”
That’s a large problem for Bellingcat which will become evident in their work on Ukraine. Why couldn’t they place the origin of the attack? Isn’t that their claim to fame? Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh further destroyed the “underwear man” @bellingcat story which was corroborated by Turkish police.
MIT professor Theodore Postol then pulled the carpet out from under Elliot Higgins by explaining to him that Bellingcat’s smoking gun evidence (hexamine) wasn’t unique to chemical weapons. The composition is found on any battlefield because it is common in most explosives.
Elliot Higgins and Bellingcat information dominated the headlines even though he struck out on the facts.
On April 4th 2017, Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council once again scooped the world, delivered the headlines and the Intel the US government acted on. Assad had once again used chemical weapons on the Syrian people on April 4th 2017. And they even covered their tails in case they were wrong. Their expert report was based on assumptions they think are true. This happens when you need to grab a headline the same day from thousands of miles away based on relevance instead of substance.
From Bellingcat’s report- “Another issue is that, if the Syrian regime actually did believe that the warehouse stored chemical warfare agents, then striking it deliberately was an act of chemical warfare by proxy.”
According to the victims, Higgins shouldn’t have given up his day job. Testimony from victims points to the Salafists, Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood insurgent coalition as the culprits. Leading member of the UN commission of inquiry Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof” that ISIS did it..
“Patrick Lang — a former DIA(Defense Intelligence Agency) Colonel — does not mince words about the US attacks on Syria. Lang claims that Donald Trump’s decision to launch cruise missile strikes on a Syrian Air Force Base was based on a lie.” @INTEL_TODAY
According to the experts at Swedish Professors & Doctors For Human Rights (SWEDHR) the chemical attack in Syria was staged.
“Nothing about what was going on outside the room and other evidence that would have been important in order to evaluate the correspondence between the life-saving procedures and the agent that was producing those injuries… It is absolutely necessary for an expert to examine that evidence – what is a fact, what is a fantasy, what is a fake and trying to deceive the public with the political purpose of establishing a no-fly zone in Syria which would have enormous consequences in geopolitical terms.”
The images of the White Helmets in action show scenes that are beyond absurd for treating people that have Sarmin poisoning. Without gloves, respirators, and wearing sandals the White Helmet show must go on.
The problem with the story is that Syria’s president Assad didn’t have chemical weapons to use. He is trying to free his country from foreign Salafists, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood. He isn’t fighting a rebel insurgent coalition. The link above interviewing former DIA Chief Mike Flynn makes that painfully clear.
Even publications that are against Assad don’t understand the logic of a chemical attack by him. He is winning the war and defeating ISIS. It looks like they’ll be on the propornot list soon. And it looks like the second strikeout for Bellingcat in Syria. Assad is trying to save his people, not kill them.
What is Weisburd and Watts reaction to this? Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul are all working for Vladimir Putin because of their principled stand on Syria.
Now if you’ve been paying attention, you are witnessing a buildup of facts. YOU are not on Vladimir Putin’s payroll and neither are 65 million other Americans. American and other western news sites and journalists are not on Vladimir Putin’s payroll. Assad did not attack his people with chemical weapons in 2013. All evidence is pointing to the fact he didn’t attack his people with non-existent chemical weapons in 2017.
We’ll get to why this is happening shortly. First, let’s look at Bellingcat involvement in Ukraine.
On July 11th 2014 an event happened that shook my world, literally. Bellingcat reported that the Russians attacked Ukrainian armed forces from across the border in Zelenopillya. The Ukrainians suffered traumatic losses. Once again, Eliot Higgins provides the data to determine this. Once again Bellingcat was wrong about the origin of the attack.
This single battle marked the turning point for the entire war. The Donbass militia went on a large offensive for the first time and destroyed a big Ukrainian encampment with a rocket attack.
How can I afford to be so assertive? At 4:30 in the morning on July 11th every house in my town started shaking because of the massive explosions going on at Zelenopillya. I did say it shook my world, didn’t I?
I was between the Russian border and the camp. We could see the smoke from the rockets and the sky was lit with the explosions. The explosions were loud enough to wake the dead that morning. There were no rockets flying over my head. For Russia to fire them, that’s exactly where they would have been.
At that point we were under Ukrainian occupation for a couple of months. Two days before the attack on Zelenopillya happened, a Ukrainian army officer told the post master to get the children out of town within 2 days. The army was pulling out and a cleansing battalion (Donbas battalion) was coming in to weed out “separatists and supporters.” That was when I came face to face with Mark Paslowsky, the American nazi. The article gives his background and tells what was going on.
Bellingcat misidentifies the weapon as artillery. Grad rockets were fired at Zelenopillya by the Rovenki militia that day. I spoke with the militia that fired them about 1 week after the fact. In the linked articles the Ukrainians state plainly that it was militia using Grad rockets.
The Ukrainians took some of their wounded across the border to Russia. It’s not quite something you do if Russia was really attacking you. The worst injuries were treated locally. Donbass people ran there after the battle to help the wounded and the Ukrainian soldiers were treated at local hospitals. Ukraine abandoned them.
The story got a lot of play in the west in the west as a Russian attack on Ukraine thanks to this event. It was added to the list of reasons to sanction Russia. If the attack on Zelenopillya didn’t happen, I probably wouldn’t be here to write this.
For the third time on an important event, Bellingcat shows it cannot identify the origin or firing location of a weapon and misidentifies both the weapon type and the direction of fire in media.
Getting the facts straight about the MH-17 shoot down is the difference between hundreds of families getting justice and closure for those deaths or never seeing it. Convict the wrong party and justice is never served. New victims are made with false or erroneous evidence.
Bellingcat’s importance to the JIT (Joint Investigative Team) investigation of MH-17 is apparent through all the media Higgins and Toler are quoted in media as the independent experts.
That last statement should grab your attention. Bellingcat and its founders Elliot Higgins and Aric Toler’s credibility rests on the fact that they are independent researchers. If they are working for an interested party in any investigation, Bellingcat’s credibility is destroyed and their research means nothing. After all, it’s been paid for.
Bellingcat really grabbed the public’s attention and imagination after the shoot down of flight MH-17 over Ukraine. Independent researchers Higgins and Toler went to work to find the missile launch site and the responsible parties, or did they?
As early as February 2014, Higgins showed the beginning of a clear pattern regarding Ukraine. In the tweet below this OSINT expert researcher was linking to a 1 month old blog started by Sviatoslav Yurash. What’s special about Yurash at this time is that he was Ukrainian ultranationalist Dimitry Yarosh’s English language spokesman. If that well known fact wasn’t enough to caution Higgins, what was?
In the next article to follow, starting with Yurash as the first example, I’ll show you how all these volunteer experts including Higgins get paid. The article will further cement and establish the relationships between Bellingcat, Weisburd, Watts and other intel and news headline providers with each other as well as their employers.
For now, the admission made by the Ukrainian Information Ministry and Aric Toler will have to be enough.
“September 29 and November 19, 2015 in Kharkov Crisis Infocentre Information Policy Advisor to the Minister Dmitry Zolotukhin conducted trainings on the search for information in open sources for journalists and bloggers in Kharkov.
In addition, already 21 November Dmitry Zolotukhin met with his US counterpart, team representative Bellingcat Arik Toler , who conducted a similar training for journalists in Kyiv on the invitation of Media Development Foundation. They also discussed the possibility of holding a conference in Kiev on thematic instruments OSINT-use techniques in the modern media.”
One of the Media Development Center’s sponsors is NATO. It is a project of the US Embassy in Kiev because of the association with the embassy’s diplomatic paper, the Kyiv Post.
If that isn’t enough, let’s see how close Bellingcat’s Aric Toler views the relationship.
According to both Information Policy Advisor Dmitry Zolotukhin and Toler, they are partners. Eric Toler and Eliot Higgins(Bellingcat), along with Aaron Weisburd, Clint Watts, and Joel Harding have been working with the same Ukrainian Information Ministry that started the “Mytorovyets” or Peacekeeper website.
They help the SBU geo-locate people in Ukraine. As shown above, they also train people to geo-locate anyone considered anti-Maidan or anti-nationalist in Ukraine. They didn’t disappoint.
The Ministry of Information has been targeting journalists in Ukraine by geo-location for arrest or murder. The first public case was the Ukrainian journalist Oleh Buzina in May 2015. This was one month after my first article about Peacekeeper showed clearly that this was its purpose.
I think this pretty well sums up how independent Bellingcat’s investigation has been. To add insult to injury, Higgins and Toler work directly with previously identified Ukrainian Intelligence hackers and Pravy Sektor members (ultra-nationalist Ukrainians) to get Bellingcat “independent research” information.
InformNapalm and its hackers are Ukrainian Intel agents working for the Information Ministry. In their own words- The main activities of the project are collecting and analysing OSINT-information, found in open sources, including social networks. InformNapalm’s investigation of 53rd Artillery Brigade commander colonel Sergei Muchkayev, suspected of killing the MH17 passengers, was used in the report of the Bellingcat research team.
Who was the information source for independent researchers at Bellingcat? Dimitry Yarosh’s best friend, Valentyn Nalivaychenko was one of them. In the spring of 2014, he replaced SBU(Ukraine’s Security Service) personnel with ultra-nationalists because they had the right ideology. Another was Anton Gerashchenko who is responsible for persecuting the press in Ukraine.
“In few days and hours after the crash of MH17 Ukrainian officials widely publicly discussed all that data (except the photo of “Paris Match”) anonymously downloaded by someone to social nets. For example on July 17 Gerashchenko (The ministry of internal affairs) showed the photo of Buk at Torez; on July 18 Avakov (The ministry of internal affairs) showed the video of Buk at Luhansk; also on July 18 Nalivaychenko (the chief of Ukrainian security service) showed the video of Buk at Snizhne, and on July 19 Vitaliy Naida (Ukrainian security service) showed shot fragment of video frame (not the video itself) from Zugres.”
Under the best circumstances Bellingcat’s research can only be seen as a Ukrainian Intelligence production. If neither Higgins or Toler were actively engaged with Ukrainian operations on the many levels that they are, their source material is still very tainted. When all your research material comes from a party under investigation, you are no longer a neutral party. You can’t pee in a blood sample and call it evidence. Are Higgins and Toler credible? You decide.
Max van der Werff has become a go-to resource for understanding information about MH-17. I have spoken at length with Max and his fellow researchers. This linked article shows the strength of research these REAL volunteers have brought to the MH-17 investigation. I had to ask Max the great who-dun-it question. His response was after thousands of hours of research, he didn’t know. Too many people were withholding information and remaining uncooperative on all sides.
What he was sure of is that Bellingcat’s research is shoddy and a lot of the evidence appears fabricated. Max van der Werf has been interviewed by the JIT investigative team on 4 occasions, given over 6 hours of recorded interviews to them, as well as over 14GB of data.
Examples of this include the fact that all of the images and video are such low quality and resolution, it’s impossible to make definite determinations from them.
One of the chase vehicles (jeep) in Bellingcat’s BUK convoy is driving with the door open. In another image of the BUK transport supposedly taken by a local resident, the apartment was not occupied in the summer of 2014. There was no one there to take the image. It was again so grainy and low quality that even a military vehicle substitution was not noticeable. None of the neighbors that were there saw a BUK on a trailer.
The route of travel according to Bellingcat would have taken the BUK launcher toward the conflict zone twice while battles were being fought across the region. Anyone familiar with the area or that had a map would take a direct route which would have made it much less noticeable driving through unpopulated areas.
Images taken after the shoot down are just as bad. Some unimportant parts of the image are in focus while it’s almost impossible to make out the BUK even though it’s right beside the photographer.
The so-called wire-tapped conversation was proven to be a Ukrainian SBU production. How is it still a part of the evidence chain?
What van der Werff has proven unequivocally is that another investigation needs to take place that looks for real evidence. The JIT, for their part had the impossible task of investigating a hostile shoot-down of a jetliner with no previous airline disaster investigation experience in a war zone that was active. The problem with it is objectivity was thrown out the window as soon as Ukraine got the right to reject evidence and control what would be made public.
What has looking for Ruskies done? In the eyes of Congress it made you and every publication that strives for neutral information or even writing from their political slant a Ruskie. You work for Vladimir Putin.
It has taken away any hope of justice for people in Syria and the families of MH-17 victims unless real neutral investigations take place.
It’s taken away real news from the masses and replaced it with policy pieces from people that get paid to hate you. You are after all, the Russian interference that they talk about.
It’s time to stop this bs.
George Eliason is an American journalist that lives and works in Donbass. He has been interviewed by and provided analysis for RT, the BBC, and Press-TV. His articles have been published in the Security Assistance Monitor, Washingtons Blog, OpedNews, the Saker, RT, Global Research, and RINF, and the Greanville Post among others.
He has been cited and republished by various academic blogs including Defending History, Michael Hudson, SWEDHR, Counterpunch, the Justice Integrity Project, among others.