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How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

By 24 Feb 2014, 6:25 PM EST
Featured photo - How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations A page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”.

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:

GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world”, including “information ops (influence or disruption)”.

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the newly created NSA review panel announced by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell”, devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:

Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack”, while dissecting how human being can be manipulated using “leaders”, “trust, “obedience” and “compliance”:

The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:

We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?

As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”

These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.

Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.

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School Shooting Expert Threatened Over Sandy Hook Investigation

Was told if he didn’t back off “bad things are going to happen”

Adan Salazar
Infowars.com
February 18, 2014

The Sandy Hook school shooting was a giant, elaborate hoax and no one really died; that’s the conclusion Wolfgang Halbig, a former educator, US Customs agent and Florida state trooper, has reached after ten months of investigation and multiple disputes with federal, state and school authorities.

Halbig is convinced a deluge of discrepancies prove that the whole scenario was a scripted event.

“..I suspect, in my professional opinion as a consultant and doing this a long, long time, I think it’s a scripted event that took place. I think it was in planning for maybe two, two and a half years,” Halbig said recently in an explosive interview with American Free Press.

Halbig is not your average conspiracy theorist. In fact he’s not one at all.

He’s a former educator and law enforcement officer who now contracts out as a national school safety consultant.

His job is to help schools prevent incidents like the one that unfolded in Newtown. In order to do that, he needs to know exactly what happened at Sandy Hook.

“How do I tell people how to make their school safer when we don’t even have the truth about Sandy Hook?” asked a frustrated Halbig. “See, there is a nexus, I do this for a living.”

But school, state and federal officials aren’t making his job easy, and the state’s even threatened him for meddling in their affairs.

“They were in plain clothes,” Halbig recalled, describing a visit from Lake County homicide investigators. “They introduced themselves, they showed me their identification, their badges, and they basically said, ‘We need to have a conversation,’ and I said, ‘Well come on in, sit down, make yourselves comfortable,’ and then they read off my resumé. I mean, somehow, they did a lot of homework.. Basically the next thing they said was if I don’t stop, the Connecticut state police were gonna file charges and they recommended that I hire an attorney.”

The retired school principal, however, affirmed he’s in the right. “I said there is no way in the world that I’m gonna hire an attorney, because I’m following the procedures of the Connecticut state Freedom of Information Act. I mean, if anybody ought to be arrested, I said you tell those guys they ought to be arrested for failing to comply by the law of Connecticut.”

He says they also treated him in a threatening manner, stating “if I don’t comply that bad things are going to happen to me.”

Nevertheless, Halbig says, like any homicide investigation, Sandy Hook is a giant puzzle, but one which the public hasn’t been provided all the pieces to solve.

“..[T]his crime that was committed is a puzzle and no one can show me the pieces to put together to finish this puzzle. They don’t fit no matter how hard you try.. you and your listeners will not be able to put this puzzle together,” Halbig attested to host Dave Gahary.

Unanswered Questions

National school safety consultant Wolfgang Halbig.

National school safety consultant Wolfgang Halbig.

For Halbig, there are unanswered questions, lots of them.

For instance, why in the immediate aftermath of the shooting were no medical helicopters summoned?

“Think about it: you have 20 children, 6 staff members who were supposed to have been shot. They’re seriously injured. Where’s the trauma helicopters? Those are the quickest and the best medical services that any child or any school staff member can receive, and no trauma helicopters were ever requested?”

Halbig also called Life Star emergency services, who confirmed they were never summoned that morning. “[T]hey said, ‘Mr. Halbig we were never requested on that morning. We were shocked and surprised, we were ready, we thought we were going to go to Sandy Hook.’ They had helicopters ready to go, but they were never asked.. Here’s my premise.. there wasn’t anybody there to be treated.”

Halbig also questions why EMT and firefighters, who were mere minutes away from the scene, were prevented from entering the school and possibly saving lives, and additionally, he wants to know how, within the first 11 minutes, America was already presented with a death toll.

“Who declared all those 26 people dead within the first 11 minutes? Connecticut law states that only a doctor can declare them dead, legally dead.”

Moreover, Halbig says the FBI’s classification of the school shooting report is something he’s never witnessed in his entire career. “I can tell you [out of] all the shootings, never has an FBI agency ever classified an investigative report on a school shooting.”

More Unanswered Questions

There are also a whole host of peculiarities Halbig is still baffled by.

For example, why was Sandy Hook elementary torn down? Even in the Columbine tragedy, whose crime scene Halbig assisted with and in which he testified as a key witness, the school was cleaned up, but was never torn down.

According to Halbig, no one could tell him which environmental company cleaned up the bloody mess, or who installed the school’s security system, all things his job would require him to know.

He has other pressing questions, such as: Why was there a registered nurse found in the building four hours after the shooting? Why was there a sign flashing “Everyone must sign in?” Why were there port-a-potties on site within three hours? Why were children turned around by officers and sent back into rooms supposedly littered with dead bodies? How did someone with Asperger’s have the physical coordination to carry the large amount of munitions Adam Lanza supposedly carried? Why did no parents file a lawsuit against the school, when in every other school shooting suits have been filed? And ultimately, why would the state threaten Halbig?

“The things [we’re] talking about.. they should never offend any parent…These are simple questions that we as homicide investigators, we need to know and we should know.”

Sandy Hook elementary / Image: Wikimedia Commons

Sandy Hook elementary / Image: Wikimedia Commons

Truth Seeking Won’t Stop

Altogether, from the puzzle pieces he’s collected and analyzed, Halbig concludes there is a massive cover up.

“Absolutely… It is.. when you refuse to respond to simple requests, something is not right.”

The next step legally, Halbig says, would be to hire attorneys and depose the key players of the investigation, because, “The only way you’re ever gonna get the truth is by getting them to raise their right hands..” “..[I]f you lie in a deposition and if you’re caught in that lie, there’s a lot of things that you can lose, you can go to jail and you can lose your retirement..” warns the safety consultant.

When asked if he feels his life could be in danger if the cover-up goes all the way up to the White House, Halbig answered he is not fearful because he’s led a rich life, but that for him, people showing up and knocking on his door was the final straw.

“Here’s the problem and this is what got me fired up even more, is when they start bringing people to my house.”

Halbig says next he’s traveling to Newtown, Conn. and scoping out the crime scene, and that he’s possibly planning a Sandy Hook event in Orlando, Florida sometime in the near future.

He says he won’t stop until he gets some answers.

Below, check out Infowars’ report on why so many people think the Sandy Hook school shooting was a staged event.

This article was posted: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Congress Backs Terrorists In Syria, Says We Need NSA Spying Because There are Terrorists In Syria

Washington’s Blog
December 4, 2013

The civil war in Syria started in March 2011. And see this.

However, the U.S. has been funding the Syrian opposition since 2006 … and arming the opposition since2007. (In reality, the U.S. and Britain considered attacking Syrians and then blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change … 50 years ago (the U.S. just admitted that they did this to Iran) . And the U.S. has been planning regime change in Syria for 20 years straight. And see this.)

The New York Times, (and here and here) , Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, McClatchy (andhere), AP, Time, Reuters, BBC, the Independent, the Telegraph, Agence France-Presse, Asia Times, and the Star (and here) confirm that supporting the rebels means supporting Al Qaeda and two other terrorist groups.

Indeed, the the New York Times has reported that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorists.

The Syrian rebels are now calling for terrorist attacks on America. And we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.

And yet the U.S. is stepping up its support for the Islamic extremists.

The chair of the House Intelligence Committee – Mike Rogers – voted for arming the Syrian rebels. And the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee – Diane Feinstein – has apparently quietly let arms flow to the rebels.

So are they admitting their mistake?

Heck, no! They’re using the specter of Syrian terrorists to justify mass surveillance by the NSA on innocent Americans …

And now he’s trying to use rebel Al Qaeda as an excuse for mass surveillance by the NSA.

As Juan Cole notes:

Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers took to the airwaves on Sunday to warn that Americans are less safe than two years ago and that al-Qaeda is growing and spreading and that the US is menaced by bombs that can’t be detected by metal detectors.

Call me cynical, but those two have been among the biggest detractors of the American citizen’s fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure of personal effects and papers. I think their attempt to resurrect Usama Bin Laden is out of the National Security Agency internal playbook, which specifically instructs spokesmen to play up the terrorist threat when explaining why they need to know who all 310 million Americans are calling on our phones every day. [Here’s what he’s talking about. Andhere.]

CNN’s Candy Crowley interviews them

Now, obviously there are violent extremists in the world and the US like all other societies is likely to fall victim to further attacks by terrorists. But if they could not inflict significant damage on us with 9/11 (and economically and in every other way except the horrible death toll, they could not), then it is a little unlikely that this kind of threat is existential.

In fact the number of terrorist attacks in the US has vastly declined since the 1970s (as has violent crime over-all), as WaPo’s chart shows:

(The chart shows each attack as a number and does not show fatalities; obviously the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 would be prominent in that case. But the fact is that foreign terrorist attacks kill almost no one in America these days. You’re far more likely to fall in your bathtub and die than to face terrorism).

Rogers makes a big deal out of the fighting in northern Syria as a threat to the United States and says “thousands” of “Westerners” have gone to fight there. But Rogers is just obfuscating by mentioning vastly exaggerated statistics.

The number of Americans estimated by the FBI to be fighting in Syria? 24. Two dozen. That’s it.

The Syrian civil war has nothing to do with the US, and is a local struggle rather unlikely to involve hitting America (more especially since, as Rogers carefully avoids mentioning, the US is committed to arming these rebels to fight against al-Assad.)

That’s right. Mike Rogers voted to give arms to the Syrian rebels. And while he may hope they don’t go to the al-Qaeda affiliates (as happened when Ronald Reagan gave $5 billion to the Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s) [oops], he has no guarantee that won’t happen and is willing to take the risk. If Rogers were really, really concerned about the Jabhat al-Nusra, he wouldn’t be risking upping its firepower with Americans’ tax dollars as a justification for monitoring who your 15 year old daughter calls on her cell phone.

Let us say that again. Feinstein and Rogers just came on television to scaremonger the American people with the Syrian jihadis, and both of them voted to give the Syrian rebels millions of dollars in arms.

That’s a pretty good racket. You support the jihadis abroad and then point to jihadis abroad as the reason for which you have to get into the underwear of the American people.

Then they brought up Iraq, which is another local struggle. Dick Cheney repeatedly warned that if the US left Iraq, the terrorists created by the US Occupation (he didn’t put it that way) would follow us home. But it was never very likely an allegation. You could easily get an attack in the US by a disgruntled Sunni Iraqi. But that the Sunni Arabs of Iraq are gunning for the US? No sign of it.

Indeed, Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country.

And U.S. policy has lead to a world-wide increase in terrorism.

Of course, mass surveillance doesn’t really have much to do with terrorism in the first place.

No wonder Americans have such a low opinion of Congress. But people like Feinstein and Rogers couldn’t care less.

This article was posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

 

Madison, Jefferson Vs. Obama, Reid, Pelosi on Obamacare Exemptions

William F. Jasper
The New American
November 16, 2013

Thomas Jefferson believed that “legislators ought not to stand above the law they create but ought generally to be bound by it as are ordinary persons.” So noted the U.S. Supreme Court in its 1972 decision in Gravel v. United States.

The ideas of liberty will stand forever.

The ideas of liberty will stand forever.

James Madison expounded on this principle in The Federalist, No. 57, explaining that Congress “can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society.”

It is a principle based on plain fairness and common sense. And it is going to play a key role in the ongoing battle over ObamaCare.

Every member of Congress who voted for the deceptively named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ObamaCare) knows that he is facing potential political extinction in the November 2014 elections because of that vote. That means the entire lineup of Democrats in the House and Senate, with the exception of Reps. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.).

Many Democrats are desperate and are openly, vocally in revolt against the Obama White House and their party leadership. Zeke J. Miller at Time.com noted on November 14:

President Barack Obama is facing one of the toughest tests of his political life: a Democratic revolt that threatens to do irreparable harm to his signature legislative achievement.

There is plenty in the mammoth ObamaCare program to anger everyone. But perhaps one of the most troublesome issues that will plague congressional Democrats in the coming election is the matter of the controversial exemptions to ObamaCare that the Washington ruling class arranged for themselves. ObamaCare cheerleaders vehemently insist that it is wrong to call the special privileges they are receiving “exemptions.” Technically they may be correct, but substantively they are wrong. The ACA, thanks to constitutionalist and Tea Party Republican opposition, does indeed require that members of Congress and their staffs purchase healthcare insurance provided under ObamaCare. However, as we have reported in previous articles (here and here), Democrat and Republican leaders later connived with President Obama to have the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) come up with an illegal ruling that allows members of Congress and their staffs to keep the luxurious Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) “Rolls Royce” subsidy that pays for 75 percent of their premium costs. This amounts to $5,000 in subsidy for an individual plan and $11,000 for a family plan.

Members of Congress insisted that Capitol Hill would be hit with a terrible “brain drain,” as staff members would leave if they had to pay for their own health care without these subsidies. The same congressional whiners making these complaints have not shown the same concern for the tens of millions of Americans they have pushed into the same situation with the ACA. The ordinary citizen facing ObamaCare sticker shock cannot simply vote himself a fat subsidy.

This is not the first time, of course, that Congress has exempted itself from laws it imposes on the rest of us, or provided itself with special privileges. A continuing sore point with many taxpayers is the cushy pension system that Congress has bestowed on its members, in addition to the many other perks they have voted for themselves. Members of Congress become fully vested in the retirement system after only five years of “service” and receive payouts far in excess of what their constituents receive in the private sector. Only two members of Congress, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.), have steadfastly stood on principle and refused to participate in the system, claiming that it is inappropriate and immoral to saddle taxpayers with the bill for this extravagant pension plan for privileged politicians.

A “Vigilant and Manly Spirit” — Madison

Congressmen Paul and Coble would, no doubt, merit the approbation of James Madison for their stands on this issue. Madison, frequently referred to as the “father” of the U.S. Constitution, wrote in The Federalist, No. 57:

I will add, as a fifth circumstance in the situation of the House of Representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.

“Without which every government degenerates into tyranny.” That’s pretty strong. And who will argue with Madison on that point? Almost every day that passes brings new evidence that federal bureaucrats and federal politicians are becoming more and more a class of privilege and oppression, like the nomenklatura, the small, Communist Party elite that ruled the old Soviet Union and other communist states.

Madison continued in The Federalist:

If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.

If this spirit shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.

This article was posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

 

School Test Teaches Kids: “Commands Of Government Officials Must Be Obeyed By All”

Papers produced by global education corporation; Part of ‘No Child Left Behind’ program

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
Oct 29, 2013

A parent of a ten year old was shocked to discover a grammar and writing test paper that their child brought home from school reads more like document from an authoritarian country such as China.

The parent sent a portion of the test paper to Infowars, revealing that it contains sentences such as “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”

The paper uses such sentences and asks school children to replace certain words in order to make the sentence contain a possessive noun.

Others within the paper include:

“The job of a president is not easy.”

“He makes sure the laws of the country are fair”

“The wants of an individual are less important than the needs of a nation”

Here is the portion of the paper Infowars received:

Upon further investigation it appears that the paper is part of a set produced by Pearson Education, a global corporation that provides education publishing and assessment services to schools in the US and the rest of the world. Pearson is the world’s largest for-profit education business.

The particular sentence about everyone obeying government commands appears in other Pearson papers, such as this fifth grade grammar test.

According to the company’s Wikipedia page and its website, Pearson owns leading educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, BBC Active, Bug Club, eCollege, Fronter, Longman, MyEnglishLab, Penguin Readers, Prentice Hall, Poptropica and Financial Times Press. Pearson is part of Pearson PLC, which also owns Penguin Books and the Financial Times.

In 2010, Pearson also negotiated a 5 year, $32 million, contract with the New York State Department of Education to design tests for students in grades 4-8.

Some have criticized the company’s test papers. Last year papers designed for NYSED were found to contain over 30 errors. Writing for the New York Times, Gail Collins noted:

“We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that’s costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars.”

Collins outlines the fact that Pearson is being contracted under the controversial No Child Left Behind program set up by the government in 2001:

“This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, and choice, and innovation. But when No Child Left Behind was passed 11 years ago, do you recall anybody mentioning that it would provide monster profits for the private business sector?”

Collins continues:

“[Pearson’s] lobbyists include the guy who served as the top White House liaison with Congress on drafting the No Child law. It has its own nonprofit foundation that sends state education commissioners on free trips overseas to contemplate school reform.”

Ah… all becomes clear. Government contracted education papers telling children that they must obey the commands of the government. Nice.

Along with enforcing government mandated rules such as banning packed lunches, this will be seen by many as yet another example of how the nanny state is encroaching via the public education system.

It’s a concept also being promoted by the mass media. Earlier this year, MSNBC ran a segment pushing the notion that kids belong to the “collective,” and that the “idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families” should be eliminated.

These revelations also remind one of Common Core, federally mandated education principles, which are effectively dumbing down students by standardizing education across the board and shutting out diversity in teaching.

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

This article was posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Food Stamp Dependency, Riots Lead to Martial Law

Americans will be caught in the middle between rioters and the police state

Kit Daniels
Infowars.com
October 16, 2013

By encouraging mass dependency on the welfare state, the Obama administration is ensuring that nationwide rioting due to a large-scale collapse of the food stamp program will “justify” an explosive expansion of the police state.

Under pressure from above and pressure from below, the American people will be in serious danger of losing their  rights and what remains of the republic. (Image by Kit Daniels)

Under pressure from above and pressure from below, the American people will be in serious danger of losing their rights and what remains of the republic.
(Image by Kit Daniels)

The administration’s goal to dramatically increase food stamp enrollment, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), follows a strategy called pressure from above and below, in which the government deliberately creates problems in order to offer “solutions” which only expand government powers at the expense of individual rights.

The government’s “solution” to nationwide rioting due to a crash in the food stamp system will no doubt involve a federalized police state takeover, perhaps even martial law, with Department of Homeland Security tanks and VIPR squads roaming America’s streets to supposedly “restore order” out of the chaos while ignoring the Bill of Rights with impunity.

Regional “mini-riots” have already occurred during an electronics benefit transfer (EBT) system glitch last Saturday.

Now that over 47.7 million Americans, nearly 1/6th of the U.S. population, are dependent on food assistance and that the United States Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, ordered states to withhold electronic transfers of benefits for the month of November until further notice, the rise of the police state under the guise of riot response may very well come into fruition.

“The hidden objective will be to expand the power of the bureaucracy and to move the country closer to the ultimate goal of total government,” wrote G. Edward Griffin in a related essay.

The government’s deliberate push for welfare dependency is obvious considering that the USDA spent vast amounts of taxpayer money to encourage illegal immigrants to apply for food stamps through television and print ads.

On July 19, 2012, the Daily Caller reported that the USDA began working with the Mexican government to “increase participation in SNAP.”

Knowing that there was more to the story, Judicial Watch made a Freedom of Information Act request the next day asking for “any and all records and communications” relating to the USDA/Mexico food stamp partnership.

Nine months later, Judicial Watch received welfare promotional documents including a Spanish-language flyer targeted to illegal immigrants, telling them that they do not need to “divulge information” regarding their “immigration status” in order to receive welfare benefits for their children.

The USDA was running Spanish-language television ads promoting the food stamp program to illegal immigrants as early as 2006, during the Bush administration.

Once Obama took over, however, welfare enrollment exploded.

“Since President Obama came into office, SNAP participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said. “This explosive growth in both the SNAP enrollment and federal cost of the program is alarming.”

This skyrocketing increase in government dependency is no accident.

By pushing for massive enrollment into SNAP, the Obama administration is making a sizable number of people dependent on welfare to the point where they will riot if they are denied access to food stamps, which the government controls at whim.

The government can therefore trigger violent food stamp riots, either intentionally or through incompetence, and DHS can exploit the ensuing chaos to expand its power while unleashing its stockpile of armored tanks and two billion rounds of ammunition onto We the People.

Under a two-prong attack of pressure from above and pressure from below, the American people will be in serious danger of losing their lives, their rights and what remains of the republic.

This article was posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 9:37 am

Video Shows Syrian Rebels Firing Chemical Weapons

Footage coincided with August 21 attack

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
September 18, 2013

A new video purportedly shows jihadist rebels in Syria firing chemical weapons just hours after the August 21 attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, an incident which stoked global condemnation and was blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces.

The footage shows opposition militants firing shells and rockets at night. They are wearing gas masks and are surrounded by jihadist garb. The video was shot in the early hours of August 21, coinciding with the alleged chemical weapons attack on Ghouta.

The name of the militant group is the Islam Battalion, which is based in eastern Ghouta. The operation is dubbed “al-Reeh al-Sarsar” (Almighty Wind), and the shells are being launched towards the Damascus suburb of al-Qaboun.

As blogger Eretz Zen points out, “The name of ‘al-Reeh al-Sarsar’ is coincidentally the name of the “chemical brigade” that posted videos threatening the use of chemicals on Syrian government supporters, especially Alawites, while testing the chemicals on rabbits.”

The video was highlighted by blogger Brown Moses, who has been routinely cited by the mainstream media as an accurate source on chemical weapons. The blogger is by no means an apologist for the Assad regime since his analysis almost always points the finger at the Syrian government for using chemical weapons.

As we highlighted last month, a story by Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak featured interviews with rebels who admitted being responsible for the August 21 chemical weapons attack. According to the militants, they mishandled chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia, causing an explosion which led to the incident that killed hundreds of people.

Leaked phone conversations that emerged earlier this year between two members of the Free Syrian Army contained details of a plan to carry out a chemical weapons attack capable of impacting an area the size of one kilometer. Footage was also leaked showing opposition militants testing what appeared to be nerve agents on laboratory rabbits.

Earlier this month, we featured a video of an FSA militant apparently confessing to using chemical weapons in order to follow Osama Bin Laden’s mantra of killing women and children.

Pro-opposition journalists who were kidnapped by rebels and released last week told the media that they had heard rebels discussing the fact that the August 21 attack was not launched by Assad’s forces.

Phone calls intercepted by Germany’s BND intelligence also indicate that Assad was not behind last month’s attack nor any other alleged chemical weapons incident.

Russia is set to provide the UN Security Council with data, “proving that the chemical weapons near Damascus were used by the opposition,”according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm

DHS Detains Oathkeepers Heading To Gun Rally

Infowars.com
September 18, 2013

Liberty lovers gathered at the Texas capitol building to show appreciation for the U.S. Constitution.

Some arrived late however, having been detained by the Department of Homeland Security for using a public walkway to pass by a federal building.

One of the DHS agents was not even aware that in Texas, it is legal to carry a longarm.

This article was posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Origins of the Modern Surveillance State

Pentagon wanted searchable database of people’s lives in 2003

Josh Peterson

Tech Editor

Ten years before the recent global panic over the U.S. government’s domestic spying program, the Pentagon solicited contractors for a searchable database of people’s lives.

In 2003, the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hoped to create a database that would amass everything about the life of a person participating in the project, ranging from GPS coordinates to every email and phone call sent and received.

The participant would wear a camera, microphone and sensors to record the minutia of everyday life. The program, called Lifelog, would act as a person’s digital diary.

Lifelog was a feature of DARPA’s Perceptive Assistant that Learns (PAL) program, which was meant to create intelligent digital personal assistants.

DARPA hoped the database would further research in artificial intelligence. It would take the data gathered from consenting participants and map out relationships and events found in the data.

After privacy advocates voiced concerns that effectively brought Lifelog to a halt in 2004, DARPA rebooted its attempt to create PAL technology several months later by tailoring the project with a military focus in order to assuage critics.

Private sector versions of PAL technology also emerged on the market in later years, Apple’s Siri being a direct descendant of DARPA’s PAL initiative.

DARPA would not confirm any connection between the National Security Agency’s surveillance database technology, such as PRISM, and DARPA’s PAL program.

The revelations about the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism surveillance apparatus, however, illuminate how both governments and corporations effectively collect data on the commercial and personal activities of everyday life.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Daily Caller that there are options for people, and they don’t have to accept the destruction of personal privacy as the new normal.

“There are economic and political incentives that are very hard to fight, no-one questions that,” Tien said.

“We didn’t want the Patriot Act after 9/11, but we couldn’t stop it,” he said, “but just because you couldn’t stop it then doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to fight it now.”

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Snowden Showed Evidence Of US Hacking China To Hong Kong Newspaper

Adam Taylor Jun. 12, 2013, 1:32 PM

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has told a Hong Kong newspaper that the U.S. government has been hacking Hong Kong and Chinese networks for at least four years.

The comments were made as part of the South China Morning Post’s exclusive interview with Snowden — his first since revealing himself on Sunday.

Snowden reportedly showed reporter Lana Lam documents that showed the NSA had been hacking computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland since 2009. He estimated there were hundreds of targets in Hong Kong and mainland China, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong. None of the documents revealed any information about Chinese military systems, Snowden said.

“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” Snowden told Lam.

China’s own online espionage efforts were put in the spotlight earlier this year after a report from U.S. security firm Mandiant that accused military-linked groups of hacking major U.S. companies. After that story, China hit back saying Washington was the “real hacking empire.”

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