Tuesday 24 October 2017

US may have knowingly caused the migrant crisis in Europe

The most stunning revelation that we have found so far in this batch was buried in the strategic forecasting for 2006-2010. Perhaps more than any other finding, this belies the true prerogatives of intelligence, but also contextualises one of the biggest geopolitical issues of our current time – the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.”

Suzie Dawson of the NZ Internet Party analyses 262 Snowden docs from the 3rd batch release by The Intercept, for Part 3 of my Decipher You series.

I hope she will upload her livefeed from earlier today.

Wikileaks documents indicate the US may have knowingly caused the migrant crisis in Europe


Analysing The Snowden SIDToday Files: Part Three

In December 2016, The Intercept published it’s third bulk release of files from the Snowden archives, 262 documents from SIDtoday, the newsletter of the Signals Intelligence Directorate of the National Security Agency.
SIDtoday is an internal NSA publication of bite size proportions, averaging just over a page per article. Predictably upbeat and celebratory in nature, the general themes are news bulletins on:
  • HR: awards, promotions and vacancies
  • Compliance & oversight
  • Theatres of NSA operations and “customers” (other agencies)
  • Employee safety including mental health
  • Events, meetings, trainings and employee profiles
Below are our unique findings from analysing this batch of documents. Only points not already highlighted by The Intercept when the files were released are included. As promised, we are mining the gems hidden in plain sight.

NSA analysts who transcribe collections are colloquially known as ‘scribes‘ within the organisation. One Snowden SIDToday document helpfully lists the key lingo used by ‘scribes‘ and those who refer to them.
Among the terms defined in the document;
* Scribes use a ‘foot pedal’ (literally) to skip back and forward through a recording (or speed it up) – this allows them to keep their hands free for typing
* The clarity of a recording is determined by its ‘read‘ factor – 5 for near-perfect audio quality, 1 for inaudibility
* A scribe’s level of conviction or certainty regarding the integrity of their audio analysis is represented by an alpha value – A-val is a positive, B a likelihood, an assertion.
* A ‘cut’ is an audio recording
* ‘UI fem’ and ‘UI male represent an unidentified female or male voice.

While the NSA makes use of many custom tools, programs and plug-ins, fundamentally the War on Terror is being waged using Microsoft Exchange Server and Dell workstations according to this document – as well as Oracle databases.
Indeed, those databases are discussed in the context of a document about the usefulness of metadata over content, particularly in the context of chaining contact information. The same document lets slip that in 2004, the NSA’s intention was to store internet data for seven years and telephony for three (as opposed to the current day, where it is believed that most information is now being stored perennially). It also states that the collection and storage of metadata is “a growth area“.

We often hear in tech and activism circles about threat models, but the NSA have this down pat. In this handy document titled OPSEC In SID – Some Answers”, the NSA provides a helpful guide to assessing what critical information a potential target may be giving away about themselves, how to lower the risk of doing so and alter their speech and behaviour accordingly.

The Signals Intelligence Directorate Deputy Director for Analysis and Production complained about the abject lack of space for employees. Apparently the division is somewhat cramped. “I am distressed by the conditions in which many of our people are working”, he writes in this memo to staff, stating that he has passed the complaint up the food chain but finishing with “I’m not even sure what a miracle in this area would look like, but I’m not expecting one.”

Short on qualified linguists for the Iraq theatre, the NSA was trialling solutions for machine translating Arabic. This is a somewhat alarming revelation, as prior releases have confirmed that SIGINT conclusions were often the sole intelligence relied on for bombing missions.

The rapid evolution of communications technologies and the fragmentation of information across myriad platforms, devices and providers were cited by the NSA as being the core challenges they faced in collections. Some of their solutions? Distributing their own collections architecture accordingly (developing programs tailored to collect from each source) and cross-platform analysis.

As far back as the Bosnian War, and as high up as Generals, there was in fact concern about implication in or potential prosecutions for war crimes according to this document. The report claims that, in the wake of incidents of civilian deaths, a General made a point of sighting and signing off on every individual intelligence package for bombing missions.

Apparently, for the Iraq Survey Group, responsible for ingesting and analysing both physical documents and storage devices seized on the ground in Iraq, there were three major priorities in 2004: WMD’s, Counterterrorism, and information about one Captain Speicher, described as a POW from the first Gulf War. His fate was unknown until years later, when in 2009 it was determined that he had in fact died in 1991.

What seemed a huge boast by the NSA caught our eye – that their “shop had “influenced the Secretary of State and changed history” by providing intelligence to the US mission to the United Nations. The document claims that information the NSA had supplied included confirmation on how each member state would vote, ahead of UN Resolution 1511. This assured the Secretary that the US “had the votes needed to assure adoption”.
Looking into the precise wording of UN Resolution 1511, this may have been the most significant resolution post-invasion of Iraq. Among other commitments, the resolution stipulates that UN member states will provide resources including military personnel, with the aim of securing Iraq. It also provides the framework for the Governing Council to administrate over Iraq until eventual democratic elections.
The resolution essentially, delivers the responsibility for what was originally a non-UN-mandated invasion of Iraq instigated unilaterally by the United States under the AUMF directly to the doorsteps of UN member states worldwide. Effectively, it was a pathway for the world to become the clean-up crew for the US mess.

The most stunning revelation that we have found so far in this batch was buried in the strategic forecasting for 2006-2010. Perhaps more than any other finding, this belies the true prerogatives of intelligence, but also contextualises one of the biggest geopolitical issues of our current time – the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe.
Remarkably, when asking themselves “What Does The Future Hold?”, the NSA determines that the biggest issues that they would face is to “US economic and foreign policy”. They go on to list their top foreseeable threats, and the first and foremost is not terrorism, not geopolitical instability, but “the expanding EU.”
“Rising states like China”, “unstable governments”, and “competition for strategic access to resources” play second, third and fourth fiddle to the economic threat of the EU surpassing the USA permanently as the primary global economic superpower.
Lending significant credence and contextualisation to theories posited in recent years that the destruction of Libya in 2012 resulting in a refugee and migrant tsunami pouring into Europe may have in fact been a known consequence manufactured specifically to undermine the economic strength and social cohesion of the European Union, thereby neutralising the US’s biggest economic competitor.

PLEASE NOTE: This article is still under construction. There are more documents in this batch yet to analyse. Please check back in coming days for updates. Thank you!
This article would not have been possible without the obviously immense amount of work invested by staff at The Intercept in preparing these files for release – you can read their report on the December 2016 SIDtoday files by clicking on this link.

See also this -



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