What really bugs me is how little the D.C. elite seem to care about exposing themselves as bald faced liars and incompetant fools.
Today’s cases in point- it turns out Barack Obama and Joe Biden never had the least intention of removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year and instead are going to maintain a residual force of between 10 and 12 thousand (depending on NATO contributions).
Of course they make the same empty noises about needing to continue the “training mission”, but that’s not what it’s about at all. It’s about providing a security force so we can continue our illegal and murderous drone strikes in Pakistan and our torture chambers at Bagram Air Field.
President Obama looks to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan
By EDWARD-ISAAC DOVERE and PHILIP EWING, Politico
5/27/14 12:26 PM EDT
President Barack Obama will announce Tuesday afternoon that he plans to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the end of the year to continue training Afghan forces and supporting operations against Al Qaeda, a senior administration official said.
The White House did not detail Monday how many non-U.S. troops might remain in Afghanistan, but American commanders have said they’ve endorsed a plan for as many as 12,000 total NATO troops. If that figure remains an official goal, the balance of the ultimate force would likely come from Europe.
Obama’s announcement, scheduled for the Rose Garden at 2:45 p.m., follows two days after the president made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to renew his pledge to end all combat operations by the end of the year and meet with commanders on the ground about steps forward.
American military commanders have said they would not support leaving behind a force in Afghanistan without a BSA, which would protect U.S. troops from being prosecuted in Afghan courts and set other important policy for their time there.
So there’s the lie exposed just 2 days after he said exactly the opposite.
Now the incompetance-
White House staff tried to ‘un-ring the bell’ after revealing CIA chief’s identity
Tom McCarthy, The Guardian
Monday 26 May 2014 13.24 EDT
The agent in question, listed as chief of station, would be a top manager of CIA activity in Afghanistan, including intelligence collection and a drone-warfare programme under which unmanned aerial vehicles mount cross-border attacks into Pakistan.
The name appeared on a list of attendees requested by White House officials for the president’s visit to Bagram air base to mark Memorial Day, the national day of tribute to fallen service members. The list of 15 people was drawn up by the military, written into a routine press report and sent to Washington. The Obama press office then sent the list, unredacted, to the larger group.
The mistake did not come to light until the reporter who had filed from Afghanistan, the veteran Washington Post correspondent Scott Wilson, looked more closely at what he had sent and noticed the name and title.
“I drew it to their attention before they had noticed what had happened,” Wilson said on Monday, hours after returning from the 33-hour trip overseas.
But wait! There’s more!
Former CIA Director And Defense Secretary Says CIA Tried, But Failed, To Do Economic Espionage
by Mike Masnick, TechDirt
Tue, May 27th 2014 9:55am
US intelligence officials still seem to think that there’s some big distinction between the kind of intelligence work the US does versus the kind that other countries do. US officials time and time again claim that they don’t do “economic espionage” — even though it’s pretty clear that [they do it ], just through indirect means (i.e., while they don’t hand trade secrets over to companies, they’re certainly using economic information to impact policy and trade discussions).
Former Defense Secretary and CIA boss Robert Gates continued this sort of tone deaf line of thinking from US intelligence defenders by claiming that French intelligence downloads the contents of laptops from businessmen visiting Paris.
Throwing everyone else under the bus does nothing to make the US and the NSA’s activities any better, and it’s bizarre that intelligence officials seem to think they have the moral upper hand here. Almost no one sees it that way. They just look petty.
Even more bizarre: for all of Gates’ talk about how the US doesn’t do economic espionage… he then basically admits that he tried to do exactly that and failed.
(H)e says “this is something we don’t do” while admitting that he tried to do exactly that. He was just stymied by whoever was Commerce Secretary. If a more… permissive Commerce Secretary were in the job, it would be a very different story, now wouldn’t it? In fact, this is a pretty major admission. For all the talk of “we don’t do that,” what Gates really means is “we tried to do economic espionage, and we would do economic espionage, if we could.”
Where was the NSA before the Isla Vista Mass Shooting?
By: Peter Van Buren, Firedog Lake
Tuesday May 27, 2014 7:47 am
He stabbed three men to death in his apartment and shot the others as he opened fire on bystanders on the crowded streets of Isla Vista, California. Rodger then killed himself. Three semi automatic handguns, along with 41 loaded ten-round magazines- all bought at local gun stores- were found in his car. There could have been many more dead.
So where was the NSA?
For the year since Edward Snowden revealed in detail the comprehensive spying on every aspect of American lives, we have been assured by the president and the NSA that every single one of those intrusions into our life was necessary to protect us. The now-former NSA chief said he knows of no better way his agency can help protect the U.S. than with spy programs that collect billions of phone and Internet records. “How do we connect the dots?” he said, referring to often-hidden links between people, events and what they do online. “There is no other way that we know of to connect the dots. Taking these programs off the table is absolutely not the thing to do.”
So where was the NSA?
Elliot Rodger posted on his social media, presumably monitored by the NSA, about suicide and killing people. His family asked police to visit Rodger’s residence. But when they showed up, Rodger simply told deputies it was a misunderstanding and that he was not going to hurt anyone or himself. No search was conducted.
Barely 24 hours before the killing spree, Rodger posted a video on YouTube, presumably monitored by the NSA, in which he sat behind the steering wheel of his black BMW and for seven minutes announced his plans for violence. The video has been leaked- see it here.
And finally this gem- GCHQ and the NSA has identified their hardware hacks (the chips they are replacing in your laptop so they can more easily spy on you) by their very specific and targeted destruction when the raided The Guardian’s offices.
GCHQ targeted input components in Guardian newspaper raid
By Graeme Burton, Computing
23 May 2014
The government had demanded that The Guardian destroy the documents, which it did. But that was not enough for the security services, and police were sent in to seize computing equipment.
“Surprisingly, however, GCHQ were not just interested in hard drives nor did they destroy whole devices,” claims Privacy International, which has led an examination of the hardware that the security services targeted.
It continued: “During our investigation, we were surprised to learn that a few very specific components on devices, such as the keyboard, trackpad and monitor, were targeted along with apparently trivial chips on the main boards of laptops and desktops.”
Indeed, when the devices were returned to The Guardian, these chips had clearly been ripped out.
Coming at the same time that it was revealed that US security services have tampered with exports of networking equipment in order to plant bugs, the particular seizures of these devices indicates that they may have played a role in UK security services’ eavesdropping.
Excellent tradework you morons.