Author Topic: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System  (Read 106906 times)

Pæs

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #360 on: August 04, 2013, 11:26:25 am »
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html

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Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

Hahaha.  So the US can assassinate or indefinitely imprison suspected terrorists, but it cannot break off contracts with them because it might violate their right to due process.  Come on now.

That is beautiful.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #361 on: August 04, 2013, 01:36:13 pm »
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-30/al-qaeda-backers-found-with-u-s-contracts-in-afghanistan.html

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Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

Hahaha.  So the US can assassinate or indefinitely imprison suspected terrorists, but it cannot break off contracts with them because it might violate their right to due process.  Come on now.

 What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #362 on: August 04, 2013, 02:18:24 pm »
 :lulz: Magnificent!

Corporations are people, but Those People aren't people. I mean, duh.

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #363 on: August 04, 2013, 02:24:41 pm »
What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.

Assuming this is stupidity.  Lets take this apart a bit:

Who are the biggest financial backers of the Taliban insurgency?  Likely the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service and (probably) the Saudis.

What else do the ISI (and probably the Saudi intelligence agencies) do?  Well, they sponsor Islamist militants all over the Middle East and Central Asia.

What is happening in the Middle East at the moment?  Lots of political movements are underway to topple various dictators in the region and replace them with "democratic" governments.

Some of those regimes are overly friendly with Iran.  Others may take the whole "democracy" thing a bit too seriously, cancelling debts owed by their former dictators ("odious debt") and be looking at nationalizing their oil and gas industries, either partially or entirely.

Islamists undermine those regimes which are friendly with Tehran, while keeping democratic reformers in US allied states weak and in line through intimidation and outright violence.

How best to pay for such services?  Well, there are lots of no-bid contracts available in Afghanistan, where budget concerns are apparently not an issue....

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #364 on: August 04, 2013, 04:14:51 pm »
What the fuck? I can't even wrap my head around that level of stupidity.

Assuming this is stupidity.  Lets take this apart a bit:

Who are the biggest financial backers of the Taliban insurgency?  Likely the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence service and (probably) the Saudis.

What else do the ISI (and probably the Saudi intelligence agencies) do?  Well, they sponsor Islamist militants all over the Middle East and Central Asia.

What is happening in the Middle East at the moment?  Lots of political movements are underway to topple various dictators in the region and replace them with "democratic" governments.

Some of those regimes are overly friendly with Iran.  Others may take the whole "democracy" thing a bit too seriously, cancelling debts owed by their former dictators ("odious debt") and be looking at nationalizing their oil and gas industries, either partially or entirely.

Islamists undermine those regimes which are friendly with Tehran, while keeping democratic reformers in US allied states weak and in line through intimidation and outright violence.

How best to pay for such services?  Well, there are lots of no-bid contracts available in Afghanistan, where budget concerns are apparently not an issue....

Ugh. I figured there was more to it than the government just bumbling around, but my optimism got the better of me.

Thank you for the detailed response. Your knowledge and insight are invaluable for helping me understand the world of politics. I wouldn't know which way was up without you.
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #365 on: August 04, 2013, 08:28:33 pm »
Well, I'm not saying it's definitely happening, or happening exactly like that, only that it's a possibility.

I mean, the US does some pretty stupid shit at times.  But giving money to contractors with suspected links to the insurgents they are currently fighting, and then citing due process as the reason why they cannot do anything about it?  It does strain credibility a bit.

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #366 on: August 08, 2013, 06:35:50 pm »
http://consortiumnews.com/2013/08/08/pinning-argentine-bombing-on-iran/

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Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman based his 2006 warrant for the arrest of top Iranian officials in the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994 on the claims of representatives of the armed Iranian opposition Mujahedin E Khalq (MEK), the full text of the document reveals.

The central piece of evidence cited in Nisman’s original 900-page arrest warrant against seven senior Iranian leaders is an alleged Aug. 14, 1993 meeting of top Iranian leaders, including both Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then president Hashemi Rafsanjani, at which Nisman claims the official decision was made to go ahead with the planning of the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA).

But the document, recently available in English for the first time, shows that his only sources for the claim were representatives of the MEK or People’s Mujahideen of Iran. The MEK has an unsavory history of terrorist bombings against civilian targets in Iran, as well as of serving as an Iraq-based mercenary army for Saddam Hussein’s forces during the Iran-Iraq War.

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Nisman does not cite any non-MEK source as claiming such a meeting took place. He cites court testimony by Abolghassem Mesbahi, a “defector” who had not worked for the Iranian intelligence agency since 1985, according to his own account, but only to the effect that the Iranian government made the decision on AMIA sometime in 1993. Mesbahi offered no evidence to support the claim.

Nisman repeatedly cites the same four NCRI members to document the alleged participation of each of the seven senior Iranians for whom he requested arrest warrants. A review of the entire document shows that Kouchaksaraee is cited by Nisman 29 times, Roshanravani 16 times and Ahmadi and Eshagi 16 times, always together making the same statement for a total of 61 references to their testimony.

Nisman cited no evidence or reason to believe that any of the MEK members were in a position to have known about such a high-level Iranian meeting. Although MEK propaganda has long claimed access to secrets, their information has been at best from low-level functionaries in the regime.

Needless to say, MEK have provided a lot of factually incorrect propaganda designed to discredit the Iranian regime, as the article goes on to show.

Furthermore, when one reads the Argentinian newspapers, one finds a number of police officers were suspected as having a role in the bombing, though they were later cleared.  There is also the problem that Carlos Vladimir Corach, interior minister at the time of the bombing, gave $400,000 to Carlos Telleldin, whose van was used in the attack. 

The bombing also came at a time when Iran was negotiating with Argentina about the transfer of nuclear technology from the latter to the former.

Was the bombing designed to derail negotiations and prevent the transfer of nuclear technology?

Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #367 on: August 08, 2013, 07:01:48 pm »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/BUGGER

Adam Curtis would like to remind you that sometimes spies don't know what the fuck they are doing:

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"One of the most famous successes of the British Security Service was its great spy round-up of August 1914. The event is still celebrated by MI5, but a careful study of the recently-opened records show it to be a complete fabrication - MI5 created and perpetuated this remarkable lie.

The great spy round-up of August 1914 never took place - as it was a complete fabrication designed to protect MO5(G) from the interference of politicians or bureaucrats.

The claim made next day that all but one had been arrested was false, and its constant repetition by Kell and Holt-Wilson was a lie."

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The leading MI5 dissident who was leaking the information to Pincher was called Peter Wright. He was one of the most senior members of MI5 but he was also somewhat paranoid.

To get a sense of Peter Wright and how he saw the world I have put together some bits of him being interviewed in the 1980s about another of his conspiracy theories. This was that the Prime Minister - Harold Wilson - had also been a Soviet agent.

In Wright's mind much of the British establishment had been directly or indirectly taken over by the Soviet Union. He had no hard evidence for this - but he was driven by an underlying mind-set that was going to spread throughout much of the intelligence agencies - and journalism - over the next twenty years.

This said that if you imagined the other side was doing something devilish and deceptive - then they probably were. It meant that in the dark world of intelligence, imagination was more powerful than obvious facts. Because if you couldn't find the evidence it proved how clever the enemy had been at covering their tracks.

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But then - in the midst of all these weirdos - a dissenting voice emerged.

James Rusbridger had been a spy back in the 50s and 60s - and he now wrote a book called The Intelligence Game arguing that all this was rubbish - and that all the journalists had been conned by a crazy gang of right-wing nutters in MI5.

Rusbridger said that the newspapers and TV were being used to promote the obsessive belief of MI5 officers that their failure to do anything worthwhile for a quarter of a century was the consequence of there being a Russian spy in MI5.

They couldn't face the fact that they were completely useless and incompetent.

At last a voice of sanity.

But unfortunately James Rusbridger was then found dead in his garden shed - apparently the victim of an auto-erotic game that had gone wrong. He was naked apart from a rubber coat and a gas mask - and his feet and legs were attached to the wall by a complicated system of pulleys.

Of course it might have been a fiendishly clever assassination.

Or just another spy-world weirdo.

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Because at the very same time that everyone was talking excitedly about completely invented moles, MI5 missed the real moles at the heart of the intelligence services - even though they were completely obvious, and almost screaming to be noticed.

Michael Bettaney worked in counter-espionage in MI5. He had been recruited when he was at Oxford university - where he had been an admirer of Adolf Hitler and had a habit of singing the Nazi Party anthem in local pubs.

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Bettaney came back to London a changed man. He decided that MI5 was both corrupt and incompetent. He started drinking heavily and told his colleagues loudly that he was no longer a fascist - but he had become a communist.

So MI5 decided to promote him. He was positively vetted again - found to be perfect MI5 material, and sent to the Russian desk.

Bettaney became more and more unstable. In October 1982 he was convicted of being drunk and disorderly. The next week he was convicted for fare-dodging. Finally MI5 did begin to notice - and two separate inquiries were set up to look into Bettaney's behaviour. But each was unaware of the other's existence.

Neither of them noticed that he had been stealing a huge amount of MI5 top secret documents and stashing them at his home. Bettaney was only caught when he took some of the best of these secrets and tried to stuff them into the letter box of the Second Secretary of the Russian Embassy - Mr Gouk.

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The terrible truth that began to dawn in the 1980s was that MI5 - whose job it was to catch spies that threatened Britain - had never by its own devices caught a spy in its entire history.

The case that really shocked Mrs Thatcher was the traitor Geoffrey Prime. In the 1970s he had worked at the top secret listening centre GCHQ and had been selling all it's secrets to the Russians.

And yet again it wasn't MI5 who uncovered his treachery - it was the local police in Cheltenham.

In 1982 a policeman came to his house enquiring about his car - a rather distinct two-tone brown and white Mk IV Cortina - a which had been seen in the vicinity of an assault on a young girl.

Prime told the policeman that he had been at home all day. But that evening he and his wife Rhona went for a drive to the top of Cleeve Hill. As they sat in the twilight Prime told Rhona that he was the man the police were looking for. And not only that, he was also a Russian spy.

Here is part of a very powerful interview Rhona Prime gave to the BBC where she describes that day - and what she then did.

Prime was a paedophile - and had used spying techniques to monitor the activities of thousands of young girls around Cheltenham. He had created a vast set of index cards which showed when the girls were most likely to be alone at home. He then went round to their houses in his two tone Cortina and sexually assaulted them.

Despite this Prime had been positively vetted six times.

Even the Russians got worried about his paedophile activities and seemed to want to dump him. In 1980 Prime had gone to Vienna to meet the KGB. Instead of meeting him secretly as they normally did, the Russians took him openly to the best restaurants where they knew Western intelligence agents would recognise them as KGB agents.

But even then noone noticed them - or Prime.

Prime's wife Rhona wrestled with her conscience - and in the end went to the police and told them everything about Prime. He was sent to jail for 35 years for spying and 3 years for the assaults on young girls - which says a lot about the priorities of the British establishment at that time.

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But the real reason that the intelligence agencies didn't predict the collapse of the Soviet system was because many of the people at the top of the agencies couldn't believe it was true.

Sir Percy Cradock was one of the most powerful figure in the British establishment. He was the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee - which co-ordinated the activities of MI5, MI6 and other intelligence groups. Even at the end of the eighties when everyone else was realising that the Soviet Union was collapsing, Sir Percy remained convinced that this was all a trick. That the Soviet Union was still aiming for communist domination of the world.

Cradock - along with a number of others high up in the intelligence agencies - really believed that Gorbachev's reforms were just a cunning ruse to deceive the West. And - as Mark Urban has pointed out in his book UK Eyes Alpha - Sir Percy used his position to make sure that this view dominated the Joint Intelligence Committee.

But as Urban also points out - Sir Percy and his allies had no secret evidence for this. They relied on what was pompously called "analysing open source data". Otherwise known as reading the newspapers and watching TV. Except they interpreted that data in a mad way - driven by their own fevered imaginings of a world completely possessed by infinite levels of deception

Mrs Thatcher realised this was bonkers - and she finally gave up on the spies.

And that really should have been that for MI5.

Except ten years later it was saved by the War on Terror - and since then MI5 has grown massively. But what no-one seems to know is whether MI5 has changed.

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #368 on: August 08, 2013, 07:09:43 pm »
Wow.  :lulz:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #369 on: August 08, 2013, 07:25:12 pm »
Incredible.

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But as Urban also points out - Sir Percy and his allies had no secret evidence for this. They relied on what was pompously called "analysing open source data". Otherwise known as reading the newspapers and watching TV. Except they interpreted that data in a mad way - driven by their own fevered imaginings of a world completely possessed by infinite levels of deception


How the FUCK do you get to a senior position in an intelligence agency and use THIS as your way to plan ANYTHING.

Memo - When I get stuck in charge of an intel outfit and anyone suggests this, shoot them immediately. Not worth the risk.
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Cain

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #370 on: August 08, 2013, 07:27:43 pm »
Actually, open-source data is usually fairly good, so long as you rely on good newspapers.  Certainly better than most analyses by MI5 and MI6, anyway. 

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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #371 on: August 08, 2013, 08:24:04 pm »
I'll stand corrected.

However, I doubt these chaps were relying on anything more than the  BBC and the Sunday Sport(concealed craftily in a copy of the FT Daily Mail or somesuch)

I'd bet a fiver on that right now.

Edited obvious mistake. It wouldn't be a broadsheet. That's actually got half a chance of working.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2013, 08:26:01 pm by Junkenstein »
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Re: News Stories Which Highlight the Structure of the System
« Reply #372 on: August 08, 2013, 08:46:20 pm »
Interesting stuff. Thanks for passing that along, Cain.
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