"Some things you can't find out; but you will never know you can't by guessing and supposing; no, you have to be patient and go on experimenting until you find out that you can't find out. And it is delightful to have it that way, it makes the world so interesting. If there wasn't anything to find out, it would be dull. Even trying to find out and not finding out is just as interesting as trying to find out and finding out, and I don't know but more so.
- /Eve's Diary /
Yup, you teach a man to fish and he will go fish for himself. You give a man some fishes and he will use them as he wishes. To paraphrase some ancient Chinese philosopher... :-). I too find the Snowden affair somewhat puzzling, though I am grateful for the contribution he has made to developing the debate on secrecy and the role of intelligence and the associated technology in international and national affairs. His method, though frustrating, has certainly helped keep the kettle on the boil. It is also very unusual in that he has managed to keep "independent" in Russia too, though one never knows what agreements or arrangements have been reached between him and the Russian state for his continuing political asylum. Asylum, by the way, which he would never have taken without being forced by the spy establishment in the USA wanting him dead or tried as a traitor. Whether he is a traitor or a hero seems a bit academic to me, his accusers and supporters are no more than "Sartre's waiters" in that respect, as far as I am concerned, as they too have participated in ignoring US law, in particular by running roughshod over the rights of their citizens consolidated in their constitution. For non-American citizens, there are of course, no rights, and they, their freedom of speech and freedom of thought, and their communications can be preyed upon or thwarted willy-nilly by US intelligence and secret services in the name of democracy and world policing. With profiling of every individual on the internet, there are even more openings for blackmail, co-ercion, manipulation and falsification of facts when it is necessary to discredit and undermine those who are considered as adversaries, or dissidents, whether it be in the private sector or by the state.
I certainly wouldn't like to be in Snowden's position, he has sacrficied the rest of his life to his cause and commitment, and at such an early age too. He obviously has high expectations that his fellow human beings will respond appropriately. It will be extremely difficult for him to get off the track he is pursuing and it could cost him his freedom for the rest of his life, if he chose to change it and return to the US to face justice. The US state is very unforgiving to its whistleblowers. I doubt if I would have the stamina or the determination, far less the courage to do such a thing, life is too precious...as Voltaire says, "So far as we know, we only get one life, so why not enjoy it"...:-).
Interesting information about the world in which we live, can always be found in all sorts of places and articles, I have found. The "memory hole", those obscure and little visited areas of the world wide web are lined with ditched and mostly irrelevant information, it just needs learning where to look from others, pointing ones nose in the right direction and a lot of sorting and sifting, categorizing and quantifying. Television, radio, newspapers, books, research papers, manuals social communications and communications systems and data and knowledge bases of all sorts. There is such a plethora of inputs, the world wide web and the internet is, even with all its faults, its false or inaccurate information, still contains a wealth of information on human activity, thinking and research, in all sorts of nooks and crannies. Search engines can save much time, and social media such as mailing lists can save so much time on research, when used wisely, and give lots of pleasure, as well as giving and sharing knowledge and information. They also have a wonderful function with the ability to spread information and activities (even if some of it is inaccurate and misleading) very quickly. However, it is the humans who do the abusing, not the technology.
Dickens and Wilde used to complain that the world is full of too much useless information. I wonder what they would think now...:-).
I do understand about Israel, its creation and what is having to do in trying to survive as a nation state, thanks to you reminding me about its roots and the Balfour Declaration. As I have said previously, I am not a believer in any religion, which means that I am not anti-semetic, but anti-religion, where it interferes in human freedom of thought. I lost my faith in scientific politics, i.e. Marxism, Leninism, Communism...and all the other isms and ologies, many years ago. As a human being who is a product of the universe, I don't see why I need to have a passport, or a birth certificate with my religion, or my ethnicity or nationhood stamped on it...to pass through or visit one nation state or another... :-). The sad thing will be if this terrorist action destroys the Shengen Agreement. I like the idea of visiting a Europe...indeed the whole world...without any borders...:-).
No leader and no member of the Communist Party told me about the follies and brutality of Stalin's Russia, or the policy of comradely starvation of the Ukraine for the greater good. I had to learn it for myself.
May I kindly draw to your attention, my dear Chien, that not only the IRA formed alliances and co-operated with the Nazis...before, during and after the 2nd World War. There were Conservatives, socialists and communists and democrats and liberals who also did the same. The UK had its own fifth column. There were catholics and protestants and Muslims and Bhuddists and Jews, who for all sorts of reasons, political, cultural, social, economic, belief systems, making money out of armaments and so on, who became bedfellows...
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Jewish_Nazi_collaborators
Here in the UK there was a whole movement devoted to Social Darwinism, the survival not of the fittest in the sense of the most adaptable, but in being the strongest in the sense of the most powerful economically and via their blood inheritance, and the "science" of eugenics became popular amongst a number of leading socialist and some communist intellectuals. George Bernard Shaw, being one and H.G. Wells another...
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw
see url: https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/eugenics/hg-wells-darwins-disciple-and-eugenicist-extraordinaire/
...to name but a few. These intellectual foreys and belief had a direct bearing in the 1930's of the development of Nazi and fascist theory. The collaboration and the signing of the peace pact between Stalin and Hitler for instance...
see url: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact
History is littered with our follies, our best intentions and motives, our utopian ideals, whether they be religious or scientific. As Oscar Wilde once said in Philosophies for the Young, "Science is the record of dead religions."
C'est la vie...
On 20/11/2015 10:22, Chien Fume wrote:
On Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 4:22 PM, doug <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:
No, I haven't been able to find anything as yet. Weird though,
how the intelligence services say that the terrorists are very
efficient, sophisticated and clever with their communications,
which is why the state needs more powers, resources and help; yet
other research available on cryptome (alas, I haven't got a
url...:-(. ) says that mostly terrorist communications are pretty
primitive, though they are aware of the big eyes in the sky and
the tracking of mobiles etc... (long before Snowden revealed the
mass surveillance and targetting). It only takes one bomb in a
mobile phone for people to learn the lesson, even if it blows up
the wrong person...
You're correct, Doug. It's clear that whatever technology the actual terrorists use is given to them by governments, who also train and provide logistical support for their activities.
The Snowden affair is puzzling. So few documents released, and what has been revealed doesn't seem to be that important... mostly things that were already known or suspected by researchers who keep up with RFPs, patent applications, and research papers.
In Israel, we first learned of the disturbing '911 Facility' being built by the U.S. because of an RFP for mezuzahs.
Contrary to what most people think, Israel has never been a sovereign country determining its own policies. It has always been only a front for the really big global entities. The majority here constantly vote for what's called 'Right Wing' slates, yet the things that are actually done are in line with 'Left Wing' ideology. For example, the so-called Right Wing Netanyahu, who's been described as 'a sheep in wolf's clothing'.
I know this is a contentious issue, but it ought not to be. A careful read of the 1948 article in the Marxist 'The Nation' lays out the basic problems we've had, and still have. "The British Record on Partition" http://emperor.vwh.net/history/br.htm http://www.tenc.net/history/pdf.htm -- this was written at a time when 'The Left' understood the necessity of a sovereign Jewish State. They no longer embrace this view and will only be happy when a Judenrein Muslim state is created in the heartland of Israel. This is very troubling to me because for so much of my life I've worked in 'Leftist' political and social organizations. I recall the time when the leadership of Leftist groups began taking the side of the PLO. When Billy Ayers and his Weather Underground published "Prairie Fire", with its anti-Israel section, this caused a big fracture in the SDS (composed largely of Jews). https://archive.org/details/PrairieFireThePoliticsOfRevolutionaryAnti-imperialismThePolitical --- this was the first of many experiences that would lead me to see Marxism, in general, as nothing but another front for the greedy corporate totalitarians I previously thought we were fighting.
During the time of the IRA troubles here in the UK, I remember
the struggle that went on to find the cells who came to the UK to
bomb. They mostly came in 3s, one woman and two men, pre-briefed with instructions and awaiting a phone call with a
code. After amassing whatever stuff they needed, a target, a date
and time, cars, arms and materials off they went to bomb and maim,
in the name of freedom and democracy. Sometimes, they were very
nice, caring, kind and considerate and gave a few minutes warning,
occasionaly they didn't or made a mistake and got it wrong. I was
a student at the time and can remember quite vividly the
explosions at Harrods when I was at the Guildhall researching
I believe that the IRA sided with the Nazis during the war. After the war, they were trained by the Otto Skorzeny operation that created, trained, and supplied the PLO. Skorzeny's story is an important link between the German Fascists and the Arab Nationalist Fascists.
The pressure on the British state became so great that various
secret services and agencies were employed to try and find out who
was doing what, who was leading it and so on. The discovery
operations were so secret that they even spied on each others
agent provocateurs, and it got to the point that one agent
provocateur was getting ready to torture another agent provocateur
who was also working for the British state. Luckily for them,
someone cottoned on before they got the honesty pills and electric
therapy. A whole number of innocent Irish people were prosecuted
too, the pressure was so great on law enforcement, with beatings
in prison and heavy sentences after the admission of guilt. Even
evidence such as the some of the chemicals present in playing
cards, was used to "prove" that they people were guilty. Stuff is
still coming out about it yet.
see url:http://cryptome.org/fru-stakeknife.htm for an introduction
and further urls.
Although I made a comment about enjoying a 'Black and Tan' drink in another place, I know this unit was responsible for atrocities against Irish individuals and groups. Britain was wrong to do what it did to Ireland. Today, the situation seems quiet... but I wonder if this is just an illusion.
I have no doubt that a variety of methods of communication will be
used, just as Osama Bin Laden relied on human couriers to pass on
instructions, rather than use the internet.
Didn't Bin Laden do this only after Clinton (I think) bragged about how the U.S. was using sophisticated technology to track him. Until that point, he'd been using every technological gadget available at the time.
Today's terrorists will also use a variety of internet methods,
but, because they know about the compromise of TOR, tails and how
anything encrypted gets targeted by the security services, they
will find workarounds such as Play Station 4 or apparently
innocuous networks on social media.
I think it's all an illusion. The only people the FBI have arrested have been those they recruited and supplied in 'sting' operations. That kind of activity was illegal before the totalitarian 'Patriot Act'... although it was routinely done but most of the time the target didn't have good enough legal representation to do the necessary discovery and interrogatories to impeach the police testimony and evidence. Today, I wonder how anyone can ever get out of the Kafka-Orwell nightmare once they've taken the bait.
Interesting too, to note that the attack on the theatre where the
most casualties were, was owned by Jewish proprietors up until a
few months ago. I suspect that the terrorists were trying to send
out a double message, but weren't quite up to date.
I have never understood religion myself. I came from a
religious background with a grandmother who was a great beleiver
in the Faith Mission. However, I have never had the faith. I
have never been able to develop an absolute belief in the
existence of God, and just don't understand how people can be that
certain...But there you are it takes all sorts to make the world. It is not that I am opposed to religion or people having religious
beliefs, but there are so many instances in history where religion
has been used as a justification for mass murder by drowning,
torture, raping, molesting, starving etc. Even science, with its
so called scientific method has been used to justify mass murder
on race or ethnic grounds...we have all got to have good genes, as
if one breed such things into human beings to create the perfect
human being with the perfect brain and mind...
see Fox's Book of the Martyrs url:
for the use of religious persecution on protestants by catholics
earlier on in English history... The book was almost as popular
amongst the masses as the Bible and Das Kapital...at one time... :-).
Thanks for pointing me to this reference. Never heard of it until now.
I, too, don't understand how people can believe in many of the things they're willing to kill others for (or to die for). Although Torah Judaism as we know it is called a religion, it's my view that in the past the basic message of the Tradition was much more than mere religion. Sure, it had its fables and fantasies... but these were usually acknowledged as such (stories for children and the feeble-minded). Abraham left Babylon because he wanted to be free. That's how I see the Tradition... as a stubborn anti-authoritarian system of life. Not many people understand that Torah law must be applied to everyone equally... that is, in criminal and civil matters, everybody must be judged based on the evidence, and everyone is 'equal under the law'. There are many instances here in Israel where a Muslim has taken a Jew to a Rabbinical Court and won. That can't happen in a Shariah Court (at least according to my research and conversations with attorneys here, it doesn't happen).
Interesting that you mention 'science' as often being the basis for the same types of madness as religion. There seems to be no limit to what people will do to justify their beliefs. As the Doc Cochran character in HBO's 'Deadwood' series says (in the second episode)... "I see as much misery outta them movin' to justify theirselves as them that set out to do harm."
P.S. Me missus and I went to Runnymede the other day, to visit the
place where the Magna Carta was signed...it being the anniversary
year. Interesting how much US input and money is in the place,
though the site is in the hands of the English National Trust, the
American Bar Association and rich Americans funded the memorial.
Alongside there is a memorial to President Kennedy. For a country
that lays such store on the rule of law, habeus corpus and human
rights, one wonders why they have Gauntanamo Bay in
operation...but there you are...it's a funny ole world...and of
course King John didn't keep to the Magna Carta...he saw it is a
temporary relief to consolidate his plans to dominate the
baronetcy even more.
Didn't know this... but it's not surprising. In law school, a lot of emphasis is placed on the Magna Carta and its role in the 'rule of law' and 'equality under the law' ideas that eventually produced the U.S. Constitution, which I think is one of the most remarkable documents ever written.
While King John may not have been happy about the Magna Carta, it had a positive long-term effect. Was he able to get around it, like most U.S. Presidents who've undermined the Constitution by Executive Orders?
It's an historical tragedy that the U.S. failed to outlaw slavery from the beginning, and took so long to implement the key principles of liberty and equality under the law... and that its foreign policy didn't bother to make the ideals in that document the primary focus of its strategy. Almost all the hard-won legal principles of the Constitution don't exist any longer.
I suspect that few on this list have a favorable opinion of Donald Trump; but he's correct when he says that if citizens in France would've had weapons (legally), the ones who had them illegally would've been stopped very quickly. He said the same thing about the Fort Hood jihad.
I'm an old man now, but I don't fret about it much... only in instances like this and all the nonsensical hysteria about citizens owning guns. Here in Israel, kitchen knives are wreaking havoc, and kids throwing rocks at fast-moving cars have caused scores of deaths (over the years)... but because off-duty soldiers, security guards, and a small number of private citizens carry guns, the knife attackers are usually stopped very quickly.
I agree with the sentiments of those who say "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" and "If guns kill people, then pens and pencils cause spelling mistakes".
I couldn't find an online reference, but remember an incident in America where a man died while cutting down a tree... he did something that caused the axe to slice an artery... and the local people put the axe on trial for murder. I don't recall the outcome. But they probably hung the offending, murderous axe.
Oh, yeah... the comment about Guantanamo Bay. It's a bit confusing that the U.S. has always had this base in Cuba. Never understood it myself, and still don't. It seems to me that the place is a training base for global 'false flag' operations.
I remember Fidel Castro appearing on the Ed Sullivan show; then not long after becoming a sock puppet for the Soviets. I also remember the 'Bay of Pigs' fiasco, and the 'Cuban Missile Crisis' that had us doing 'duck and cover drills every day for several months. Every time a jetliner passed overhead, my classmates and I had a bit of a panic.
I'm glad that relations with Cuba seem to be improving, but I think Fidel was and is a dictator. Many years ago I was in grad school with an intense, intelligent young woman from Cuba. I never understood the specific circumstances that allowed her to be there... only that she was part of a program that brought bright young people from all over the world to study in U.S. universities. Another clue that, at some level, all the public theatre and wrestling-spectacle politics is just part of a cynical game.
Thanks for your insights and references.
On 19/11/2015 11:51, Chien Fume wrote:
Doug: Perhaps by now you've gathered useful information on this
subject. I searched for the original Snowden document referenced
in the article I posted, but didn't find it... only references to
it in news reports such as a 2013 article titled"Online gaming
surveillance: So many NSA & CIA spies, they were spying on each
It's no secret that rivalry between agencies often results in
'dirty tricks' and 'revenge' (sometimes well-founded). But most
of the time what happens isn't intentional. This matter of one
agency unintentionally going after another agency is a very old
problem in the clandestine services world. The classical dilemma
is most often revealed to the public in drug enforcement
operations, where units from different agencies 'bust' each
other. Sometimes these 'busts' make the news; but those who pay
attention to such things know that the case always fizzles,
disappearing into the Orwellian 'Memory Hole'.
As the articles I've located related to the unknown Snowden
document show, the problem today is made even more complex by
modern technology. The new battalion of cyber warriors Doug
mentions will only make the situation more difficult. As Thomas
Pynchon says in one of his 'Proverbs for Paranoids'... 'if they
can get you to ask the wrong question, they don't have to worry
about what answers you come up with'. From my view, Security
Services all over the world are prone to asking the wrong
questions, looking in the wrong place, flatly ignoring the
blatantly obvious... and often getting bonuses and higher pay
grades for their actions.
In the not-so-distant past, in most cases much careful thought
was required before agents were given permission to act. Today,
the information glut makes it easier than ever to confuse
operators and their coordinators. It may well be that nobody
(literally nobody) has a grasp of what's actually going on.
Experience has made me what one of my friends describes as a
'transcendental cynic'. Everybody is being deceitful, not just
the government. Everybody will betray their closest friend, given
the right circumstances and incentives.
As John Young and others have been saying for years (at least as
I understand what they're saying), the increase in electronic
surveillance has decreased liberty and not made even a tiny dent
in the actual threats.
Most troubling of all, it's obvious (even without Snowden,
Manning, Anat Kam, or Wikileaks and only from OSINT) that
black-budget clandestine units operating under the protection of
'emergency security' laws enacted by governments are creating
most of the mayhem. The geist of my old departed friend Bob
Wilson just popped into my mind, in the form of a Pooka, saying
'most but not all'. There are still some decent, honest, truly
Human people in the agencies and orgs... hoping (intending to)
survive the madness and be there when the currently metastasizing
The actual malicious operators have exploited the 'security'
hysteria and found they have a lot of freedom to deploy tactics
in support of their strategy (in general, nihilistic). Freedom is
losing. Tyranny is winning. But, hasn't this been the dominant
theme of Human history? Only rarely have populations enjoyed
genuine freedom... yet this shows that it's possible, and somehow
gives just enough hope that a future of genuine freedom isn't a
Utopian pipe dream.
TANGENTIAL, BUT RELATED OBSERVATION/COMMENT
In Israel, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was one of those
instances where a special 'black budget' unit within the Security
Services itself was ultimately responsible for the untimely
demise of one of Israel's founders. An agent using the code name
'Champagne' (with an unlimited budget and the full backing of the
'Jewish Section' left over from the British Mandate days) created
an ultra-militant organization pretending to be carrying on the
legacy of Rabbi Meir Kahane. A few who knew and worked with
Kahane immediately saw that something wasn't 'kosher'... but the
operation was wildly successful and gathered a slough of
followers... including the young law student who would later
assassinate Rabin. According to some who were involved in
'Champagne's' faux Kahane group, the Security Services agent
(Champagne) was intense and persistent in his interactions with
the future assassin. That is, Champagne learned the weaknesses
and beliefs of the 'religious' law student and convinced him that
Rabin deserved to die because of his actions regarding the
Altalena, and his (Rabin's) intention to give away the Jewish
heartland to create a Jew-free Muslim state. A careful analysis
of Rabin's actual views on giving away land (especially his last
speech to the Knesset) suggest he didn't intend to do what
Champagne and others claimed... or what is today characterized as
'Rabin's Legacy of Peace' (i.e. totally giving up Israel's valid
legal claim to the unreasonably disputed territory... see Eli
Hertz Myths and Facts for the most concise legal argument and
proofs). Rabin's assassin is sitting in a special prison today,
in solitary confinement, but the Security Services provocateur
who set him up to do the deed, and even gave him the weapon to
use, is free, somewhere, enjoying a nice life at the expense of
the Israeli taxpayers (and probably also subsidized by the
taxpayers of other governments). Maybe Champagne is working on a
new operation, using the name 'Guinness' ('Guinness is Good for
You' but a Black & Tan is better, in my opinion). The point of
this tangential comment is that penetration and destabilization
operations often have a bad effect... although many credible and
experienced people in Israel suggest that Rabin was obstructing
the plans of others and was simply removed. As with many other
similar scenarios (such as JFK), I don't believe it's possible to
know the definitive truth... it's entered the realm of mythology.
But I do know it's a tragedy that Rabin was assassinated. It
accomplished nothing other than an unfair, untrue demonization of
a large segment of the Israeli population ('Religious' Zionists).
The people responsible for Rabin's assassination should be
executed (and that would include the provocateur, as well as
those who commanded him).
A man with one watch knows what time it is.
A man with two watches is never sure.
- Segal's Law
Technology as a magickal tool for business and government
tradecraft is overrated. How many newspapers around the world
today contained a classified ad saying only 'In thanks to St.
Jude for favors rendered' or 'Write the things which thou hast
seen and the things that are, and the things which shall be
hereafter'? Or something similar... something simple. I've been
told that Russia still uses vacuum tube technology for their
critical computing and radio systems. They also use typewriters,
carbon copies, and couriers for their most important information.
The Rothschild banks (at least in Europe) don't keep their
customers' accounts in any electronic form (at least they didn't
in 2008). How many people today have a hard-copy of their
critical and important information? Very few. A big mistake.
On Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 5:59 PM, doug
Chien Fume kindly raised the item in a recent posting,
regarding terrorist organisations using the likes of PS4 to
communicate and transmit instructions between its leadership
and its cells in the recent Paris shootings and bombings. He
mentioned a document from Edward Snowden and I notice that a
number of newspapers have also raised the subject. However,
I have been unable to find any research papers on the subject.
I am rather intrigued by this, as GCHQ is now to employ, at a
UK taxpayers expense of £2 billion, an extra 1900 members of
staff to become expert gamers so that the terrorists can be
stopped in their tracks. (What a fun time we live in...
:-)). We have come a long way from the good old days of
board games such as Diplomacy...:-).
I know that Bletchley, during World War 2 used transactional
analysis as a major part of its code-breaking exercises,
providing cracks derived from where they emanated, when they
were sent, to whom and how long they were, their length and
frequency both in terms of how often and on what wavelength,
and the ability to decipher some of the content, from the
likes of weather messages to UBoats etc; so the subject is
I am not familiar with internet gaming and just wondered
if terrorist organisations, rather than using sophisticated
intelligence and cryptograpy actually use steganography
perhaps, or some kind of argot in the exchange tokens or
bitcoins or via networks set up under the guise of playing a
game on PS4 and such like. With the increasing
sophistication and mass surveillance developing on the
internet, including the amassing of huge amounts of metadata;
then it is obvious that those who wish to communicate in
secret will develop all sorts of new methods and ways of
passing on information, rather than using TOR, or Tails or
encryption of various kinds and strengths.
Anyone point my nose to any research into this area?