Tag Archive: Michael Chertoff


The former NSA director is held up by the Face the Nation host as an objective authority when he is everything but that

Michael Hayden during his time as the head of the CIA

Michael Hayden, former head of NSA and CIA, has become a leading media defender of government eavesdropping. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

In 2006, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize for having revealed that the NSA was eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. The reason that was a scandal was because it was illegal under a 30-year-old law that made it a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison for each offense, to eavesdrop on Americans without those warrants. Although both the Bush and Obama DOJs ultimately prevented final adjudication by raising claims of secrecy and standing, and the “Look Forward, Not Backward (for powerful elites)” Obama DOJ refused to prosecute the responsible officials, all three federal judges to rule on the substance found that domestic spying to be unconstitutional and in violation of the statute.

The person who secretly implemented that illegal domestic spying program was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, then Bush’s NSA director. That’s the very same Michael Hayden who is now frequently presented by US television outlets as the authority and expert on the current NSA controversy – all without ever mentioning the central role he played in overseeing that illegal warrantless eavesdropping program.

As Marcy Wheeler noted: “the 2009 Draft NSA IG Report that Snowden leaked [and the Guardian published] provided new details about how Hayden made the final decision to continue the illegal wiretapping program even after DOJ’s top lawyers judged it illegal in 2004. Edward Snowden leaked new details of Michael Hayden’s crime.” The Twitter commentator sysprog3 put it this way:

Inviting Hayden to comment on regulation of surveillance is like having Bernie Madoff comment on regulation of Wall Street.”

But inviting Hayden to do exactly that is what establishment media outlets do continually. Just yesterday, Face the Nation featured Hayden as the premiere guest to speak authoritatively about how trustworthy the NSA is, how safe it keeps us, and how wise President Obama is for insisting that all of its programs continue. As usual, no mention was made of the role he played in secretly implementing an illegal warrantless spying program aimed directly at the American people. As most establishment media figures do when quivering in the presence of national security state officials, the supremely sycophantic TV host Bob Schieffer treated Hayden like a visiting dignitary in his living room and avoided a single hard question.

But worse than the omission of Hayden’s NSA history is his current – and almost always unmentioned – financial stake in the very policies he is being invited to defend. Hayden is a partner in the Chertoff Group, a private entity that makes more and more money by increasing the fear levels of the US public and engineering massive government security contracts for their clients. Founded by former Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, it’s filled with former national security state officials who exploit their connections in and knowledge of Washington to secure hugely profitable government contracts for their clients. As the Huffington Post’s Marcus Baram reported:

“After last month’s plot to send bombs from Yemen to the United States aboard a cargo plane, former U.S. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff’s whiskerless visage was ubiquitous on cable news. Solemnly warning that the nation needed stronger security procedures . . . .

“Almost unmentioned in these appearances: Chertoff has a lot to gain financially if some of these measures are adopted. Between his private consulting firm, The Chertoff Group, and seats on the boards of giant defense and security firms, he sits at the heart of the giant security nexus created in the wake of 9/11, in effect creating a shadow homeland security agency. Chertoff launched his firm just days after President Barack Obama took office, eventually recruiting at least 11 top officials from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as former CIA director General Michael Hayden and other top military brass and security officials. . . .

“‘They’re trying to scare the pants off the American people that we need these things,” [passenger rights advocate Kate] Hanni told The Huffington Post. ‘When Chertoff goes on TV, he is basically promoting his clients and exploiting that fear to make money. Fear is a commodity and they’re selling it. The more they can sell it, the more we buy into it. When American people are afraid, they will accept anything.‘”

The article further detailed how much of a huge financial stake the Chertoff Group has in scaring the nation about cyber threats and obtaining large NSA contracts relating to cyber-warfare. Hayden’s bio at the Chertoff Group says that his focus includes “technological intelligence and counterintelligence (communications and data networks)” and “brief[ing] clients on intelligence matters worldwide – including developments in cybersecurity – that may affect their businesses.”

In other words, Hayden has a clear financial stake in the very NSA debates he’s put on television to adjudicate. And while he’s sometimes identified as a principal of the Chertoff Group, what that means – the conflicts of interest it creates in the very debates in which he’s participating – is almost never mentioned. That’s because one inviolable rule for establishment TV hosts like Bob Schieffer is that US military officials must be treated with the greatest reverence and must never be meaningfully challenged (contrast that with what actual journalist David Halberstam described as the “proudest moment” of his career: when he stood up in press conferences in 1963 in Vietnam to make clear he knew US generals were lying, to the point that the Pentagon demanded that his New York Times editors remove him from covering the war).

That political figures have undisclosed financial stakes in the policy positions they pretend to favor is so common in Washington that it has become normalized, something its mavens barely recognize as noteworthy. The same is true of former national security officials who exploit their credentials, their connections, and – especially – the Fear of Terrorism to generate massive profits for themselves. But that this manipulation is incredibly common in sleazy Washington does not justify having TV-journalists conceal those conflicts when presenting these officials as authorities and experts. When it comes to people like Michael Hayden, the profoundly unhealthy reverence harbored by TV journalists means that they would never dare utter any such facts. We are thus subjected to “journalism” in which those least qualified to opine, and those with the greatest personal interests in the outcome of debates, are presented as objective experts, while viewers remain entirely uninformed about all of this.

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[Editors Note:  Admist all the Cyber Warfaer hype, the Israeli threat was completely censored out, by government, media, and the official intelligence community. We have another ‘stand down’ situation.]

… by  Jim W. Dean, VT Editor      … with  Press TV 

First published  –  February 22nd, 2013

________________________

“Something old – with something new

A terror attack on America is in motion as I write. Defense contractors all over America are deploying their March 1st human shields.

If contractors like the cyber warfare hustlers don’t get their money, we are all doomed. They are going to Samson Option us all.

After the US leading the world in cyber war development and stimulating those we have targeted to increase their own capabilities, this is now spun as ‘they are attacking us.’

And like the nuclear weapons that the Israelis don’t have, and the espionage operations they do not run here, we can now add to that list the cyber warfare that they don’t do. This is how our leaders protect us.

My instincts tell me they feel the sun is setting on their Iran attack plans so they have to replace that with something very expensive like the threat of a Pearl Harbor like cyber attack from the likes of China, Russia and Iran… but not Israel, even though Israel already has.

That’s right folks, after hours of reviewing dozens of past articles and YouTubes, sometimes listening to some really silly stuff, never once were Israel’s extensive cyber war operations mentioned.

The ‘pay up or die’ cyber war scam has been played on us before. The first big push came in 2010 with the November 60 Minutes TV show. The 2007 cyber attack on DC… the Pentagon, State Dept, NSA and others, where terabytes of classified information were taken, served as the trigger.

But it also showed a huge failure on our part. Someone on the inside showed someone on the outside how to get in. Gosh, I wonder who?

It is claimed that we still don’t know who did it. But many of the top ‘War on Terror’ people from the Bush administration just happen to be major players with the big cyber warfare contractors now, and still good friends with the Israelis. So the bill was passed in 2010 and Americans began paying for having themselves monitored along with everybody else.

Going forward to February of 2012, there was some pushback to the beltway bandits as they are called, so they brought out their big guns. From FBI director Robert Mueller we had, “The cyber threat will equal or surpass the threat from counter terrorism.” Leon Panetta from the CIA was next with, “The next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyber attack that cripples our power systems.”

The one button image is hype – a visual tie in to a nuclear launch

Cyber security had changed since the 2010 days. Jim Harper of the CATO institute said in 2012 that there was no chance whatsoever that nuclear power plants would be hacked or electrical infrastructure taken down.“The worst we would have is a disruption, and that is not terror, or a war.”

And from Congress we had Mike Rogers, Republican from Michigan, reading from his prepared script, “An attack is on its way… we will suffer a catastrophic attack…”

Gosh, I wonder if he is an AIPAC man. Remember that Israel was still pushing hard at this time for a bomb attack on Iran’s IAEA-approved nuclear facilities.

This year the big guns are still some of the old faces. Ex-Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff who we hear is also an Israeli citizen has his own cyber warfare consulting company.

He left government work early to get on the War on Terror bonanza. As director he had even flown over to Israel to put on ‘fast track’ seminars for Israeli contractors. They got their pick of those wonderful communications contracts they were looking for, where they would have back door access to spy on America for many years to come.

Former Admiral and National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is Exec. VP of Booz Allen’s cyber security division, and making good use of his former insider contacts.

Read Full Article Here

…..

 

Israel launches cyber-warfare programme

Israel Herald (IANS) Tuesday 1st January, 2013

Israel will train teenagers on cyber-warfare to prepare them for their future role in the military and intelligence community.

“The threat of cyber attacks against Israel comes from Iran and other elements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the launch of the cyber-warfare program.

“Our vital systems are targets for attack, and this will only increase as we enter the digital age.

“We are bolstering our ability to deal with these threats and are building a digital Iron Dome,” he said at Ashkelon.

The Israel National Cyber Bureau will run the three-year program to develop expertise in cybernetics and computers among outstanding high school students, Xinhua reported.

Cyber security has become a national priority in Israel, with significant resources being invested in protecting the military and civilian computing networks.

…..

The scene of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City

The scene of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City
Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:37AM GMT


By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Ellen Mariani’s petition to the Supreme Court sought to reinstate her wrongful death lawsuit against US government officials and others – a suit which had been denied, at lower levels, on the grounds that she had no standing to sue those responsible for her husband’s death! In fact, Ellen Mariani was cheated by lawyers who were secretly working for the other side, and by judges with massive conflicts of interest.”

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the United States Supreme Court slammed its door in the face of the last 9/11 family member seeking justice through the American legal system.

Ellen Mariani, whose husband Neil was murdered on September 11, 2001, had turned down more than a million dollars in government hush money to pursue the real 9/11 criminals in federal court.

After eleven years, two separate lawsuits, and an unbelievable series of encounters with corrupt lawyers and Israeli-American judges, Ellen Mariani has finally heard from the United States Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court’s message is loud and clear: There will be no truth, and no justice, concerning 9/11… at least not in the US court system.

Ellen Mariani’s petition to the Supreme Court sought to reinstate her wrongful death lawsuit against US government officials and others – a suit which had been denied, at lower levels, on the grounds that she had no standing to sue those responsible for her husband’s death! In fact, Ellen Mariani was cheated by lawyers who were secretly working for the other side, and by judges with massive conflicts of interest.

Vincent Gillespie of the Ellen Mariani Legal Defense Fund explains: “It’s politics. They don’t want any 9/11 cases to go forward… If this had come to trial, there’s all kinds of evidence that could have come out.”

Ellen Mariani’s case, like almost all 9/11-related litigation, was channeled through the courtroom of Judge Alvin Hellerstein. Gillespie charges:

“One of the problems was Judge Hellerstein. He’s an immense problem. First, we have Israeli defendants here. ICTS (the airline security company established in 1982 by members of Israeli intelligence) is one of the defendants. And Hellerstein is a Zionist Jew with all kinds of connections to the Jewish community. His sister lives in Israel, his son works in an Israeli law firm, he’s involved in a couple of Jewish organizations in New York. His wife is involved in a Jewish organization. Just that by itself is going to create a conflict of interest. He’ll want to protect Israeli defendants.”

Israeli defendants? Were there Israelis involved in 9/11?

Gillespie explains: “There were over 180 Israelis arrested on and around 9/11. The person overseeing that was Michael Chertoff, a dual national Israeli-American. And he sent them all back with a slap on the wrist for visa violations.”

Politics, Legislation and Economy News

Politics  :  Hypocrisy – Security –  Corruption

Ex-CIA chief slams Biden for throwing U.S. spies under the bus during debate by ‘blaming those who put their lives on the line’ for Benghazi debacle

  • Biden said ‘we weren’t told’ that the consulate had asked for more security
  • State Department officials have testified more security was requested
  • Michael Hayden, ex CIA director, speaks out
  • Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security chief, joins him in scathing statement about Biden’s Benghazi claims
  • Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in attack, wrote cable warning militias could turn against U.S. on day he died

By Toby Harnden

Two former intelligence chiefs today blasted Vice President Joe Biden for making the U.S. intelligence community a scapegoat for ‘the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration’.

Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and Michael Chertoff, who served as Homeland Security chief, hit out after Biden stunned many in the intelligence community by insisting that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi did not ask for additional security before it was attacked on September 11 – directly contradicting what security officials and diplomats have testified under oath.

The tough joint statement was issued via the Romney campaign. In it they added: ‘Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.’

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Hayden
chertoff

Shameful: Michael Hayden (left), ex-CIA director, and Michael Chertoff (right), who served as Homeland Security chief, said: ‘Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs’

Showdown: Joe Biden faced off against Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan last night Scapegoats: Joe Biden has come under fire from former intelligence chiefs for using them as the fall guys for ‘the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration’

Biden
Biden

Denial: Biden claimed that he didn’t know U.S. officials in Benghazi had asked for additional security before the consulate attack, an apparent contradiction

‘During the Vice Presidential debate, we were disappointed to see Vice President Biden blame the intelligence community for the inconsistent and shifting response of the Obama Administration to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi,’ they said in the statement.

‘Given what has emerged publicly about the intelligence available before, during, and after the September 11 attack, it is clear that any failure was not on the part of the intelligence community, but on the part of White House decision-makers who should have listened to, and acted on, available intelligence. Blaming those who put their lives on the line is not the kind of leadership this country needs.’

Hayden, a career intelligence officer and retired U.S. Air Force general, and Chertoff, a former prosecutor, both served in the Bush administration.

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential running mate, hit out at the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya assault which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The Vice President defended the government’s handling of the crisis and denied that the State Department had turned down a request for security reinforcements in the months before the raid.

The heated debate exchange came just hours after presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched his own denunciation of Barack Obama’s response to the attack, saying the administration ‘failed to grasp the seriousness of the challenges that we face’.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Stevens himself expressed concerns about security at the facility.

Also, the head of a special operations team helping out with security asked for ‘more, not less’ reinforcements before the government pulled dozens from Libya earlier this year.

But Biden, when asked about it by debate moderator Martha Raddatz, said: ‘We weren’t told they wanted more security there.’

Ryan kept up his attack, saying: ‘There were requests for extra security – those requests were not honoured.’

He compared the situation in Libya with the heavily guarded American embassy in France as he insisted: ‘Our ambassador in Paris has a Marine detachment guarding him, shouldn’t we have a Marine detachment guarding our ambassador in Benghazi?’

Clash: The pair disagreed over many aspects of how the administration handled the crisisClash: The pair disagreed over many aspects of how the administration handled the crisis

The Vice President attempted to deflect the blame for the security failures onto Republicans in Congress, saying that Ryan’s fiscal plan ‘cut embassy security in his budget by $300million below what we asked for.’

The pair also sparred over another controversial issue connected to the Benghazi assault, as Biden again insisted that the administration initially believed the deadly raid was the result of protests over an anti-Muslim YouTube video which were sweeping the Islamic world at the time.

‘The intelligence community told us that,’ he said. ‘As they learned more facts about exactly what happened, they changed their assessment.’

But Ryan replied: ‘It took the President two weeks to acknowledge this was a terrorist attack. He went to the UN and in his speech at the UN six times talked about the YouTube video.

‘Look, if we are hit by terrorists, we are going to call it for what it is: a terrorist attack.’

Criticism: Mitt Romney also launched an attack on the President's handling of the deadly raidCriticism: Mitt Romney also launched an attack on the President’s handling of the deadly raid

Former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich predicted on Friday that Biden’s uncompromising statements would ‘haunt’ the Obama campaign ahead of next month’s election.

‘Biden on Benghazi was so wrong last night, it’s going to haunt them from now until the next debate,’ the former House speaker told CBS This Morning.

Romney also launched a blistering assault on the Obama administration’s treatment of the crisis as he spoke at a campaign rally in North Carolina.

After an Obama official suggested that the tragedy had been politicised by Republicans, the GOP candidate responded: ‘I think today we got another indication of how President Obama and his campaign fail to grasp the seriousness of the challenges that we face here in America.’

He continued: ‘Mr President, this is an issue because we were attacked successfully by terrorists on the anniversary of 9/11.

‘President Obama, this is an issue because Americans wonder why it was it took so long for you and your administration to admit that this was a terrorist attack.’

A protester holding his rifle during the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 11th SeptemberRage: A protester holding his rifle during the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi on September 11th

The White House today defended Biden’s comments saying what he meant to say was that the Sate Department handles security and that Obama and Biden weren’t told of the need for security.

Hours before the debate, two top security officials who had been to the consulate testified on Capitol Hill that they had made requests for more troops.

Former regional security forces officer Eric Nordstrom and Lt Col Andrew Wood, who was head of a Special Forces ‘Site Security Team’ in the country, placed blame on Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charlene Lamb for rejecting their requests.

‘The takeaway… for me and my staff, was abundantly clear – we were not going to get resources until the aftermath of an incident,’ Nordstrom said. ‘And the question that we would ask is: how thin does the ice have to get before someone falls through?’

‘We were fighting a losing battle,’ Wood added. ‘We couldn’t even keep what we had.’

Lamb and Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, testified that they believed the security measures in place were enough.

Attack: The four men died after riots over an anti-Islamic film stormed past the U.S. embassy in BenghaziAttack: Four U.S. citizens died in the raid on the consulate in Benghazi, including Mr Stevens

 

On September 11, the day he died, Stevens wrote to Washington officials detailing a dispute involving the leaders of two prominent Benghazi militias who were responsible for security in the city, according to the Daily Beast.

The two men, Wissam bin Ahmed and Muhammad al-Gharabi, claimed that the U.S. was lobbying for centrist politician Mahmoud Jibril to become Libya’s prime minister.

They said that if he won the vote, they ‘would not continue to guarantee security in Benghazi, a critical function they asserted they were currently providing,’ according to Stevens.

Despite that warning, Stevens did not ask for more U.S. troops, and commented that Benghazi officials believed the city was becoming safer.

The cable made no mention of a U.S.-made YouTube video mocking the Prophet Muhammad which was originally thought to have been the motivation for the deadly assault on the consulate later that night.

Pleas: Lt. Col. Andrew Wood said he asked for reinforcements in Libya but faced troop withdrawals insteadPleas: Lt. Col. Andrew Wood said he asked for reinforcements in Libya but faced troop withdrawals instead

The American compound was being guarded by members of the ‘February 17 Martyrs Brigade’, a militia which shared members with the groups run by Mr bin Ahmed and Mr al-Gharabi.

It was not only Stevens who saw potential security issues cropping up in Libya before the September 11 raid.

Wood said officials felt ‘like we were being asked to play the piano with two fingers’ after a number of troops were withdrawn from Libya in August.

He told CBS This Morning that worried embassy staff had approached him to ask if they would still be safe when his team had left.

‘I could only answer that what we were being told is that they’re working on it,’ he said.

He added: ‘Shooting instances occurred, many instances involved the local security guard force that we were training.

 

Aftermath: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi the day after last month's deadly assaultAftermath: The U.S. consulate in Benghazi the day after last month’s deadly assault

‘Constantly, there were battles going on between militias, criminal activity and that became an increasing danger as time went on as well.’

Wood claimed that other senior officials, including Stevens, had requested a boost in the U.S. security presence, saying: ‘We felt we needed more, not less.’

Although his team was based in the city’s capital Tripoli, Wood said he would have accompanied the ambassador to Benghazi had he still been in the country.

State Department officials said that as the Site Security Team was intended to help re-open the embassy in Tripoli, their departure from Libya was irrelevant to the subsequent security situation.

They also claimed that Wood did not know the details of the situation in Benghazi, which is 400 miles from the capital.

VIDEO: Paul Ryan and Joe Biden talk about Libya during the debate...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2216830/Ex-CIA-chief-slams-Biden-throwing-U-S-spies-bus-debate-blaming-lives-line-Benghazi-debacle.html#ixzz298gB80sw
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