"Altman: Afghan politician seeks Jill Kelley's help" "Tampa socialite Jill Kelley: The saga continues" (my emphasis in red):
"Allen and Kelley exchanged 3,000 e-mails from July 2010 to July 2012, according to Rep. Jackie Speier, the California Democrat on the Armed Services Committee. She was briefed by the inspector general on the report but not shown the document. Of those e-mails, 41 were reviewed more thoroughly, Speier was told."Gen John Allen investigated for 'inappropriate communications' to Jill Kelley" "Gen. John Allen cleared in misconduct inquiry" "Gen. John Allen intends to retire, decline military’s top post in Europe"
Speier wants Allen to divulge e-mails from his private account to Kelley. He refused to provide them to the inspector general, Speier said."
"Gen. John Allen appointed U.S. security envoy in peace process" (this is where I have to take a short pause, and laugh)
"Jill Kelley (Khawam). The Lebanese Mata Hari?" It remains rather astonishing that this Maronite Christian (Maronite Christians are the best friends of Zionism, and another prominent Maronite Christian is Carlos Slim) took down not one, but two top American generals, after taking up the 'hobby' of living close to an air force base and hosting expensive parties she couldn't really afford for prominent military men.
Afghanistan, the graveyard of military careers:
- "McKiernan Assumes Command of NATO Forces in Afghanistan"
- "Press Conference with Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen on Leadership Changes in Afghanistan From the Pentagon"
- "Obama Relieves McChrystal Over Critical Remarks, Names Petraeus as Replacement" "Michael Hastings' Takedown Of Stanley McChrystal Is Filled With Insights That Will Be Relevant For Years"
- Petraeus (taken down by Kelley)
- Allen (taken down by Kelley)
- Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. (who really better watch his back).
Comment by Guy Montag to Antiwar obit of Hastings (and his comments that follow):
"In his 2012 book “The Operators” Michael Hastings responded to criticism of of profile: ”The investigation reads comically. It is the last whitewash of McChrystal’s military career. … Pentagon officials would privately tell journalists that the intent of the investigation wasn’t even to find wrongdoing; it was to “damage” my credibility.”
In an interview Hastings was asked the question: “are there individual reporters whom you want to call out publicly for their sort of following the Pentagon line and not doing their job?” He replied, “Yeah. I saw a pretty egregious example with the New York Times Pentagon correspondent [Thom Shanker] who literally just published the Pentagon spokesperson's anonymous quotes when he was reporting on my stories. And he didn't bother to call Rolling Stone for a comment, of course, because, well, he's got the official line from the Pentagon.”"
"Michael Hastings researching Jill Kelley case before death" "Michael Hastings was not working on Jill Kelley story, wife says" The original story came from 'a person close to Kelley' (which doesn't mean it is wrong).
Interview with Peter Ludlow (look at my emphasis in red - an important expert on this? Barnaby Jack):
"PETER LUDLOW: —things like Endgame Systems, for example. Yeah, Endgame is a very interesting thing. I mean, Endgame is this kind of very secretive private intelligence company. And you even see in the HBGary hack, you see these messages where someone from Endgame says in an email, "We don’t ever want to see our name in a press release from you guys." And what makes it particularly interesting is, if you read the search warrant that’s issued to Barrett when he’s busted, it says, "Well, we’re looking for stuff related to HBGary and Endgame Systems." You know, like, why Endgame Systems?And this is a corporation that’s involved in what are called "zero-day exploits." Now, what’s a zero-day exploit? Basically, what that means is that there are certain security flaws in the software that we have and that we use, and sometimes the company doesn’t know about it. Sometimes it’s known about it for seven days, and they’ve had seven days to work on it. A zero-day exploit is one that the software company doesn’t know about. And Endgame Systems packages these things and sells them. So, for example, they have one where you get—it’s a subscription for like $2.5 million a year, and you get these exploits. So it’s things that a hacker would do, but because they’re a business and they’re making money for it, it’s—apparently it’s OK, right? And it seems that the Justice Department is kind of running interference for these guys. And there’s a—I mean, you don’t have to take my word for it. There’s a great article in Businessweek on this in which they talk about the guys from Endgame, you know, running—setting up slides and showing you targets in airports, telling you what the computers are running there, and what kind of the—what the vulnerabilities are and so forth.JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And who runs Endgame? Where are they based?PETER LUDLOW: They’re based in Atlanta, Georgia, I believe. Someone recently posted a video on YouTube in which he walked into the place and—just to see what was going on there. And the people—I think it’s an ex—it’s started by an ex-intelligence person and by a security guy at IBM.AMY GOODMAN: And, very quickly, Project PM?PETER LUDLOW: Yeah. Project PM is basically Barrett’s—I mean, one of the genius things about Barrett was that he wanted to crowdsource all this information, because you get a hack of Stratfor and it’s five million emails, and how do you sort through all that? So he had a number of friends and acquaintances, including Michael Hastings, by the way, who were members of Project PM.AMY GOODMAN: Michael Hastings, the reporter who just died in a fiery car crash.PETER LUDLOW: The reporter who just died in the suspicious car accident, yeah, exactly right. And so, they would—he would basically crowdsource this. And so, the case where he copied that link, he was basically notifying the members of Project PM where they could find the information from the Stratfor hack."
"Nathaniel Fick, Former CNAS Chief, Heads Cyber Targeting Firm" They made a TV series about his unit: "Generation Kill" Who made it? David Simon.
"HBGary's leaked e-mail ain't getting boring yet": "The service sounds a lot like Metlstorm's "low hanging kiwi fruit"* project from a couple of years ago . . . " Scroll down for the "Do your fruit hang low?" talk by Metlstorm aka Adam Boileau (the economics starts about 5:25).
"Greek wiretapping case 2004–05" (pioneer)
"Connections Between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden and Barrett Brown—The War With the Security State":
"The fact that he planned to interview Brown was corroborated by documentarian Vivien Weisman, who told WhoWhatWhy that she spoke to Hastings about it at a Los Angeles book signing for “Dirty Wars” in May 2013. And the editor of Buzzfeed reportedly confirmed that Hastings was in the midst of working on the Brown expose at the time of his death.and (my emphasis in red; Kelley, now a privacy advocate, may know some things about what is going on at MacDill, things that Hastings might have wanted to write about):
Knowing this prompts the question: what angle of the PPM research was Hastings about to tackle?
The evidence seems to point to another shadowy project revealed in the cache of hacked emails that PPM was sifting through: Romas/COIN.
Gallagher, who was briefed on the last discussion Hastings had with Brown before the planned interview, says, “Hastings had specifically asked about Romas/COIN.”
Romas/COIN was the name given to a program through which the U.S had been conducting “a secretive and immensely sophisticated campaign of mass surveillance and data mining against the Arab world,” according to emails hacked from the cybersecurity firm HBGary Federal. Evidently, this program allows the intelligence community to “monitor the habits, conversations, and activity of millions of individuals at once.”
Over the course of a year, Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary Federal, sought out various companies to form a consortium that could wrest control of Romas/COIN from the current contract holder, Northrop Grumman. Eventually the consortium included no less than 12 different firms — ranging from niche software companies to behemoths like Google, Apple, and even Disney.
From the emails, it’s clear that “mobile phone software and applications constitute a major component of the program,” concludes the entry in ProjectPM. Periodic references to “semantic analysis,” “Latent Semantic Indexing,” and “specialized linguistics” indicate that the government agency overseeing the contract was clearly interested in automated dissection of spoken or written communication. This is the hallmark of NSA surveillance.
Is it possible that this consortium planned on developing mobile phone software and applications with bugs that would allow the US government to hack into targets’ phones and give it access to all of the communications within?"
"One look at Endgame’s product line explains a lot about their wariness. Their premier software, “Bonesaw,” shows what a powerful asset the corporation has become to America’s intelligence agencies.Romas/COIN: "A sinister cyber-surveillance scheme exposed" by Barrett Brown (you'll note that this is exactly what Snowden is talking about, except the larger spying now points to the United States):
Bonesaw is a targeting application that tracks servers and routers around the world. It maps out all the hardware attached to the Internet. Through these access points, NSA and Cyber Command can hack into or launch attacks against adversaries. The Bonesaw program functions essentially as a user-friendly map.
That map has at its disposal the geolocation and Internet address of every device connected to the Internet around the globe. By designating a country and city — like Beijing, China for example — and the name or address of a target — say, a People’s Liberation Army research facility — a user can find out what software is running on all of the computers inside the facility, what entry points to those computers exist, and a menu of custom exploits that can be used to sneak in.
Other clues as to what ProjectPM-related material may have led the FBI to investigate Michael Hastings can be found in his published work.
In a May 18, 2012, article on propaganda efforts by the State Department, Hastings referred to a “program being developed by the Pentagon [that] would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets.” The HBGary emails are littered with references to this type of “persona management” technology. Principal among these was a June 2010 United States Air Force (USAF) contract from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. It sought providers of “persona management software” that would allow 50 users to control up to 500 fictional personae.
These sock puppets were required to be “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally, and geographically consistent.” In other words, avatars so convincing they could fool the people with whom they were interacting into believing they were real.
MacDill Air Force Base is home to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the section of the military that oversees and coordinates all special-forces activity globally. USSOCOM lists under its “core activities” the employment of psychological operations (PSYOPS) and information operations (IO)—exactly the type of activity this “sockpuppeting” technology would be employed in.
To put it another way: a clone army for future psywars."
"The programme appears to allow for the large-scale monitoring of social networks by way of such things as natural language processing, semantic analysis, latent semantic indexing and IT intrusion. At the same time, it also entails the dissemination of some unknown degree of information to a given population through a variety of means – without any hint that the actual source is US intelligence. Scattered discussions of Arab translation services may indicate that the programme targets the Middle East."
"Project PM Leaks Dirt on Romas/COIN Classified Intelligence Mass Surveillance"
- the NSA;
- private contractors (HBGary, Endgame, Booz Allen);
- use and sale of 0-day exploits for snooping (but scum like Microsoft do their 'patriotic duty' and give them away for free, presumably for favorable government treatment);
- MacDill Air Force Base.