Thursday, June 13, 2013
Is “Prism” news? or is it ECHELON?
By now most people have heard the "new" disclosure of "Prism;" but for the most part there is little or no mention of the possibility that this program is virtually identical to ECHELON which was reported years ago; in fact it was exposed before the attacks on 9/11 or even when George Bush was inaugurated president. Anyone that takes a close look at this would almost certainly come to the conclusion that they're very similar if not virtually the same thing and perhaps that the biggest thing that is news isn't that the program was exposed but that they're covering it in a high profile manner, and that they're making a major appeal to emotions that is getting much more attention.
The vast majority of the coverage in the commercial media about this clearly seems to imply that this program is a few years old and that it was created after the attacks on 9/11; yet this almost certainly isn't true. ECHELON was created first and then after 9/11 they passed laws that made it legal without reminding the public that this was already in place. This was previously reported in several outlets, including an article in the National Geographic although none of them were nearly as high profile as the coverage that is going on now. The way they covered it in the past was, mostly to ignore it when possible or to refuse to acknowledge or deny the existence of this program. Some other countries admitted that they participated in it; but it received so little coverage that only a fraction of the public knew about it. One notable exception was when it apparently appeared on 60 Minutes in 2000 (for transcript of segment see http://cryptome.org) and there wasn't nearly as much hype surrounding it nor was the whistle blower threatened with prosecution as Edward Snowden is now being threatened. Mike Frost disclosed most if not all the same material that Edward Snowden covered except for the possibility that they have apparently been searching Google and Facebook, but these two companies weren't nearly as big, if they existed at all at the time. Expanding the program to cover this would have been predictable and the way it was described was a blanket surveillance program that would have covered most if not all internet activity anyway so even though they didn't directly report on this they did so indirectly.
This didn't end there; apparently in 2002 George Bush attempted to implement a program, "Total Information Awareness" promoted by John M. Poindexter, who was involved in the Iran Contra scandal that did virtually the same thing, only with a different name. However when this was exposed it was supposedly abandoned, although ECHELON was already in place. This makes absolutely no sense; they try to start a program, that for all practical purposes is already up and running under another name, then claim that they're abandoning it while ECHELON is still running meaning that it isn't actually being abandoned at all.
Additional whistle blowers have also been cited including a couple that blew the whistle on Nightline in 2008; these two didn't mention ECHELON nor did the reporters, as far as I know and they implied that this began after 9/11. As far as I know they weren't persecuted anymore than Mike Frost was; nor did they receive nearly as much attention. This was reported in a low profile manner and the vast majority of the public hardly paid any attention and didn't even notice that they were reporting similar stories as if they were isolated incidents and they seemed to start all over each time as if it was the first time one of these stories is being exposed.
And furthermore since this has happened several times before and when they were reported they just downplayed them and they went away many people in power virtually had to know that if they did the same thing it would be virtually guaranteed that they could get the same results. Yet they chose not to and it is being blown up into a much bigger story.
What this may mean is that the only thing that is new about the disclosure of this information is the amount of coverage they're providing and the way they're providing it and that they're doing it with much more appeal to emotion and an attempt to intimidate people; and intentionally or not they are actually stirring up much more opposition from a large segment of the public and this was predictable with the information they had beforehand. Someone has started a White House petition asking to "Pardon Edward Snowden" and it already has more than 68,000 signatures as of now; and will almost certainly have much more by the time I finish writing this. (There is a second petition requesting that they Let Glenn Greenwald Interview President Obama About The NSA which I also recommend even though I have doubts about the coverage.)
The fact that there is so much opposition to this program is great; but there is something wrong with the way they're presenting this and the possibility that even the alternative media outlets aren't reporting the whole truth or mentioning ECHELON, or at least not the highest profile alternative media outlets. If they thought this through they would have predicted that the public would have been opposed to this and that they would have faced an enormous amount of resistance; yet they took positions that would clearly antagonize many of their constituents. One of the more ironic examples is the supposedly "liberal" Senator Feinstein; who once declared, as mayor of San Francisco, that she thought the public had the right to know when there is something going on to justify disclosing information about the "Night Stalker," who later turned out to be Richard Ramirez. The information she disclosed wasn't limited to the possibility that he could be in the San Francisco area but it also included the fact that the police knew he had size 11 Reebok and they had a mold of it for potential prosecution purposes. This fact did absolutely nothing to protect the public but it enabled Richard Ramirez to know that he should dispose of the sneakers which were never recovered. Diane Feinstein has displayed an incredible lack of discretion when it comes to recognizing what the public should have a right to know and what will only interfere with an investigation.
It may not seem obvious to anyone that isn't familiar with this but the failure to mention ECHELON indicates what should be considered a major blunder and there are some people who have clearly recognized this although they don't seem to have access to the commercial media. One of these includes the author of To the Guardian – why PRISM? ECHELON has been around since 1948 supported by US, UK, Canada, Australia; who doesn't seem entirely opposed to spying as well as many other people that are often refereed to as "conspiracy theorists" implying that they're irrational fringe people. this is sometimes justified but some of them do a much better job checking the facts and even some of the less rational ones occasionally get things right. If you Google "Prism ECHELON" you'll find there are plenty of people that have already made this connection and the reporters investigating this almost certainly have known this would happen and reported on it for those who haven't. When there is an important fact like this in a diverse media there should be an opportunity for someone to get that message to a large segment of the public once it is recognized as important; but those that recognize it's importance have no access to the mass media and those that do ignore it. Not only that but Edward Snowden almost certainly should have known this as well. Yet they aren't mentioning it at all, as far as I can tell.
So far it clearly indicates an enormous amount of what I would consider incompetence at best but there is more that is worth considering; and I suspect that it might go beyond incompetence. As I indicated the fact that they would receive an enormous amount of opposition from the public was predictable to the government as well as those that are reporting it; yet the government isn't doing the best they could to minimize the opposition they indicate they're opposed and, as far as I can tell, the "alternative media reporters" aren't exposing this in the most effective way possible with the resources that they have.
In my opinion this looks like an enormous amount of theater being played out for one reason or another and I suspect that when it is all said and done it won't be for the reasons that most people seem to think it is for right now. A lot of this seems to present him as either a "hero or a traitor" but I'm not sure he is either. The alternative media outlets are playing into the hands of the government when trying to claim, or imply, that this program came after 9/11, which is clearly not the case. the government is feeding the enormous response by addressing it so incompetently; and I suspect that some people that are familiar enough with the CIA and their typical practices as reported in many of the articles and books about them might have some questions about what Edward Snowden is doing and why he chose to do this, and whether he was truly and "ex-CIA agent." the CIA is well known for continuing to deal with so called "ex-CIA agents," and many of them almost certainly aren't retired from the CIA at all.
One of these "ex-CIA" agents is Bob Baer who has written at least two books on the CIA and become a TV pundit. He has been critical of the CIA at times but if he was too critical they almost certainly wouldn't allow him to have that much media access. His material is almost certainly authorized. He has claimed that Edward Snowden should be prosecuted; however he has also provided some testimony in one of his books that might raise doubts about whether he really left at all and support the assumption that the CIA encourages people to stay on for their career for life. He wrote about how much it costs to train a CIA agent before he can be sent out into the field and it is a lot, perhaps at least a quarter million dollars plus enough money to support his activities once he gets started. This indicates that what ever they do is extremely expensive and inefficient and when you consider how much incompetence they have been involved in and how much their activities have backfired in many cases there should be doubts about their effectiveness.
Furthermore they don't normally admit to being CIA agents or there not supposed to according to most reports; in fact there have been some people who have even claimed that there is no such thing as an "ex-CIA agent," implying that they're all really still working for the CIA. I find this extremely hard to believe but it is apparently still the case that many of these so-called "ex-CIA agents" haven't really left the CIA at all and they almost certainly wouldn't have hired him at Booz Allen Hamilton if he left on suspicious terms. Another problem is that several of the whistleblowers from the CIA in the past have indicated that the CIA likes to hire people with the expectation that they would be with them for life although I'm reasonably certain that this isn't always the way it works out. It would probably be very unusual for someone to leave while they were so young however it might not be nearly so unusual for them to take on another job under cover, which is supposedly routine for the CIA; which implies the possibility that the job at Booz Allen Hamilton might have been his cover but for some reason it isn't being reported that way.
Another thing that the people at the CIA almost certainly must be considering, assuming they're able to think rationally is the possibility that there might be major reform coming and if there isn't then the current course of action that they've been carrying out is virtually guaranteed to backfire on everyone including them,selves.
Essentially it seems as if they might be in a situation where they figuratively have a tiger by the tail and they don't know how to let it go.
We're in the process of major protests all over the world and there is an enormous amount of major issues that need to be addressed, including environmental destruction, endless war, economic inequality and many other things. If there isn't some major reform then they won't be addressed and many of the most important decisions will continue to be handled by the ideological fanatics currently in power.
Under the current circumstances our economic and political system, either in the government or the private sector seems to be increasing the amount of expenditures that we spend on things that don't benefit the majority of society while cutting the expenditures that do.
We're increasing the amount spent on war, espionage, propaganda, prosecuting those that expose this while letting those off the hook that are involved in torture, advertising, shipping products half way around the world and many other things. For every "terrorist" we kill we alienate more people creating more potential terrorists. this system didn't prevent the Boston Bombings or many other attracts; instead it almost certainly antagonized them.
At the same time we're cutting the budget for schools especially in low income areas and they're increasing the budgets for prisons in many of those same areas. A longer list of false priorities would indicate many more problems.
If a collapse of the current society is inevitable without reform and they know it then they almost certainly have to support some kind of reform although they may not want more than they have to but if it is too much then they could be held accountable for it. If they have to have some kind of reform then wouldn't it be reasonable to believe that they would want to control, or at least partially control, it?
This almost certainly is not be the first time someone from the CIA disclosed some of their information when they didn't have to and possibly mixed it in with misinformation. As I explained in a previous post about Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect and Stanford Prison Experiment I have reason to suspect that he might have been conducting research for the CIA. He has admitted to doing some of his work with funding from the Office of Naval Research which Alfred McCoy believes has been used as a front for CIA work in the past. He has indicated that he thought that Philip Zimbardo's classmate, Stanley Milgram, was also doing work for them along with their professor in the 1950's, Irving Janis who researched "Groupthink." Philip Zimbardo was involved in the obedience to authority experiments that Alfred McCoy cited and his other experiments clearly seem to be related. As indicated in the blog cited I have reason to suspect that Philip Zimbardo disclosed a lot of information that he didn't have to if he was trying to keep it as secret as possible and use the manipulation tactics that he was researching; but at the same time he was also using the same manipulation tactic and presenting himself as an authority figure.
If he was trying to disclose things in the most effective and trustworthy way possible this wouldn't be the way to do it; however if he wanted to keep it hidden so that they could continue indoctrinating people without their knowledge it wouldn't help to tech them their tactics since many people might recognize that he is using it against them. This led me to consider the possibility that they might be preparing for possible disclosure at some point but at the same time it indicates that they can't be trusted to do so and that everything has to be carefully fact checked.
Now some of you must think that I'm starting to sound like an absurd fringe "conspiracy theorist," and that this is absurd. If so I certainly agree that it is absurd, and I certainly don't consider this possible explanation to be a strong conspiracy theory without additional back up. However just because it is absurd doesn't mean that it is factually flawed or false; anyone that has been paying attention to the news for the past few years might have noticed that an enormous amount of what they've been presenting to the public is completely absurd. With all the experience that these politicians and media people have are we supposed to believe that they can't conduct a better scam than what they did when they presented the most recent batch of Republican presidential candidates. Did anyone watch all those debates and avoid coming to the conclusion that many of these candidates are absurd, or that many of the other things that have been going on in the news aren't absurd; and yet just because they're absurd we're still supposed to believe them.
That doesn't mean there aren't flaws with this assumption or that there is more than circumstantial evidence and speculation to back it up but one way or another they would like to control the disclosure of the information if they could and the media has behaved in a manner that has given it an enormous amount of attention when they could have easily avoided it and they have done so on many occasions in the past.
If partial or controlled reform and perhaps disclosure was your objective would this be the way you would have done it? It's certainly not the way I would have done it; but the more important question is is it the way the people at the CIA would do it? Seems unlikely if they're acting rationally but if they're acting rationally and this is the way they accomplish their goals what could their goals possibly be? I can't think of any possible answer which opens the possibility for irrational goals and methods and there are an enormous amount of stories about that which have leaked over the years.
Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall reported on what she considers 'The CIA And The “Left” Gatekeepers' (This was also reported on Open Salon on her blog in April of 2011.); this explains how the CIA has been partially influencing the left progressive news outlets. The full details are uncertain and they almost certainly aren't conducting some of the most extreme activities through outlets like Democracy Now or the Guardian; but it might be possible that they have been able to influence their coverage in other ways. This could conceivably explain why they would avoid covering things that they might consider inconvenient ahead of schedule at least. If they expose this then they had to know that people would eventually figure out that this is ignoring ECHELON and many other activities but it would enable them to control a large portion of the debate at least for a little while.
If they're controlling the debate then they could be disclosing information when and only when it suits their purposes and it could put them in a position to implement as much reform and only as much reform as they want to prevent this from backfiring on them if possible; or if they don't think they could completely control it then they could at least minimize or avoid any repercussions if they control the disclosure of some of this information, which they may not be able to completely control indefinitely.
This would also enable them to continue debating it as if this program was developed after 9/11 for what ever reason they might have in mind. Also they may know what else is coming that might follow it and they might not want to disclose any more than they have to at least until it suits their purposes. One thing they might not want to expose if possible or at least not until their ready is the full involvement of many of the individuals and companies that will inevitably be exposed if the discussion of this eventually leads to many more disclosures. This might even lead to the disclosure of how a lot of this technology was developed and it might not be the way many people have been led to believe.
In "The Day After Roswell" Philip Corso claims that a lot of technology that was developed since World War II was done so with the help of what they call "reverse engineering;" which means that he claims that they found alien technology and studied it and learned how to replicate it. quite frankly there are a lot of problems with this hypothesis, or at least the way he presents it and I wouldn't assume that there is anything to it without further back up; however it might be worth considering the possibility that this might be partially close to the truth.
Philip Corso provides a theory that involves aliens that have come here to invade us and he concludes that we could easily beat them at the end of the book and it includes a certain amount of cold war paranoia or at least it seems to; however if there is something to this it is almost certainly full of an enormous amount of disinformation as well as the discussion that accompanied it in the UFO community. This seems to be standard operating procedure when discussing UFOs in a high profile manner. If you watch enough of it you will find a lot of colossal blunders by both the "believers" and the "skeptics." It is hard to understand why the "skeptics" would make so many blunders if they truly were as scientific as they often claim to be. With all the blunders that the "believers" make it often seems as if the strongest evidence they have that will stand up to scrutiny is that their opponents have blundered a lot too.
One of the UFO researchers, and believers, that many people consider the most credible is Stanton Freidman, and he claims that he doesn't find Philip Corso to be credible at all; however when he is trying to make his case for UFOs he often criticizes certain tactics they use but when he criticizes Philip Corso he uses some of these same tactics. this is typical of the disinformation in the UFO debate. This doesn't prove anything except that the subject isn't being handled well at all, at least when it comes to the high profile presentation of it. this doesn't mean that we should come to the conclusion that they are real or not; but it does mean that we should research it in a scientific manner not with all hype and misinformation before coming to conclusions.
However if there was some truth to it then either they would want to disclose it eventually or they wouldn't. If they did want to disclose it then they might want to control that disclosure; and if they had additional activities that they wanted to consider that couldn't be done after disclosure then they wouldn't want the disclosure to interfere with it.
If this is true then the use of the technology that they received whether it was through "reverse engineering" or something else seems as if it might include many other technologies that have been developed fast over the past few decades including cloning and Genetic engineering or genetically modified crops including Monsanto. According to Philip Corso, "General Trudeau encouraged me to start contacting plastics and ceramics manufacturers, especially Monsanto;" which if it were considered would raise some serious questions about where Monsanto get their technology; not just the technology that Philip Corso, but additional technology that might not be discussed in the book. It should also raise major doubts about whether Monsanto has any justification for the extreme claims they make for "intellectual property;" even if they did develop this technology on their own or still had to do a lot of development research to relearn it then their claims for "intellectual property" rights are still being taken too far. This is also discussed in Ohio Company Linked To Alien Tech, Informant Says
This disclosure, assuming there is something to it, would also indicate that the first use for most of this technology was almost always to increase control of the authoritarians, not for benevolent purposes; although it could be used for benevolent purposes if it was exposed. Actually this would also be true about the development of the technology if it without any help from aliens at all as well; but if it is with their help one way or another they wouldn't be benevolent nor would they be the military threat that many make them out to be since if they were they would have already conducted their military activities directly.
You think this hypothesis is so ridiculous it isn't worth considering that it is close to the truth?
One problem with that hypothesis is that something just as ridiculous is the version of the truth that is being presented by the commercial media and the government;. a reasonable amount of skepticism is understandable and advised; but this should also go for the official truth, which isn't adding up.
Even if the UFO hypothesis is false there is still a problem with the coverage they've been providing for the Prism program and that would mean there is another explanation; and this should be exposed with thorough peer review.
The following are some related articles including some that were used as sources.
NSA Bombshell Story Falling Apart Under Scrutiny; Key Facts Turning Out to Be Inaccurate
ECHELON: Exposing the Global Surveillance System
The continuing attempts to SILENCE US on the net. Tim Berners-Lee.
ECHELON intercept station at Menwith Hill, England.
Is This What Democracy Looks Like?
NSA scandal: what data is being monitored and how does it work?
Edward Snowden, NSA files source: 'If they want to get you, in time they will'
Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations
The Progressive Review
Inside the NSA: America's Cyber Secrets Welcome to the NSA
Prism, Echelon, Unlimited Data Mining, the NSA, Where Did it Start?
Forget PRISM – ECHELON The Real Threat To Our Privacy!
Edward Snowden Beware: How Spooks Smear Whistleblowers
"Inside the Company: CIA Diary." by Philip Agee