Category: Featured

NICKY HAGER: New Book “Hit And Run”. SAS In Afghanistan And The Meaning Of Honour.

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Causing a stir in the MSM right now:

New Hager book is Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the Meaning of Honour

http://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/21-03-2017/new-hager-book-is-hit-run-the-new-zealand-sas-in-afghanistan-and-the-meaning-of-honour/

Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson have just published Hit & Run: The New Zealand SAS in Afghanistan and the meaning of honour, which they say ‘tells the story of a dark and guilty secret of New Zealand’s recent history’, and makes the case that six civilians were killed and 15 wounded in an SAS operation.

Below is the Q&A they have issued to media. Beneath that, the NZ Defence Force response, issued at 8.25pm. More comment, analysis and response to follow.

What, where, when, and who?

The events in the book occurred in 2010, mainly in an isolated and mountainous area of Baghlan province known as Tirgiran valley, about 50 kilometres across country from the then-Kiwi base in neighbouring Bamiyan province. New Zealand SAS troopers, supported by Afghan commandos and US helicopters, raided two villages in the valley early in the morning on 22 August 2010. The SAS believed, based on flimsy intelligence, that they would find a group of Taliban fighters who’d attacked a New Zealand patrol 19 days earlier. But the group wasn’t there, and the 21 people killed and wounded in the operation were all civilians – mostly women and children. The campaign continued over the following two years.

How do you know 21 people were wounded or died?

The book contains details of each person: their name and family connections, and injuries, as well as details of precisely where they were when they were wounded or killed. These names have been officially confirmed by the district governor and by numerous other sources; they were all civilians. Each name on the list has a human story: the recently graduated school teacher home on holiday who was killed behind his parents’ house; the three-year-old girl killed by exploding munitions as her mother was trying to carry her to safety; the farmer who lay without medical assistance for nine hours, with a piece of shrapnel lodged in his body, before he died. (See chapter 4)

The New Zealand Defence Force has claimed on multiple occasions that only insurgents were killed in this raid. Is this possible?

No. The defence force knew very soon after the raid that none of the fighters they were targeting had been found during the raid. The claims about killing insurgents, made then and later, were simply false. Indeed, within a day of the raid, an Afghan informer gave our defence force video footage that had been taken on a  mobile phone showing the whole insurgent group arriving alive and well at the funerals for the dead villagers. (See chapter 5). It was common in Afghanistan for US-led forces to claim that civilians killed during military operations were “dead insurgents”.

Who is responsible for the events described in the book?

Most of all, people in the SAS. They gathered the intelligence, planned the raid and commanded and led the operation. The authors believe that the deaths and injuries of 21 civilians, the destruction of homes, and the beating and torture of a detainee were due in large part to their actions and inactions, and that they led the efforts to keep it quiet afterwards. Next there are officers in the defence force who were responsible for overseeing the SAS and who should have investigated more responsibly when news of civilian casualties emerged. This includes the then-chief of defence force Lieutenant-General Jerry Mateparae, who was in Afghanistan at the time, and who watched on the screens at the SAS operations room in Kabul as the operation unfolded. Then there are the political leaders. Most government decisions are made by individual ministers or by Cabinet as a whole. However in this case, as Chapter 2 describes, the prime minister John Key was briefed by phone from the SAS compound in Kabul and personally gave his approval for the raid.

How did you get the information for the book?

This book would not have been possible without the assistance of present and former New Zealand, Afghan and US military personnel, who spoke to the authors on the condition that their names and identities would not be revealed. These interviews allowed the facts gradually to be assembled and cross-checked. At the same time, people from the Afghan villages that were raided assisted enormously, describing in detail what they experienced and where and when each part of the event occurred.

Why should New Zealanders care?

New Zealanders were told that their military was in Afghanistan to bring peace and reconstruction and that they treated the locals with empathy and respect. But when a New Zealander died in the attack on a New Zealand patrol, our military response was reckless: innocent people were killed and wounded, houses were blown up or burnt down, and our soldiers did nothing to check on or assist the wounded. All this happened in New Zealand’s name, in an operation commanded by New Zealanders, by people whose salaries are paid for by the New Zealand public. Our soldiers’ actions, and those of their US allies, alienated locals and led many to join or support the insurgents and was a key factor in the Taliban gaining complete control of the area.

Surely bad things happen in all wars?

Even in wars and conflicts, people must behave legally. It is vital for the world that they do, or there would be chaos. This is why we have international agreements like the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture which New Zealand has signed and is committed to observing. The New Zealand Defence Force prides itself on obeying international law and acting with integrity. Its core values and Code of Conduct lay out the principles and rules. What is seen in this book goes against much of what the New Zealand military stands for.

Is this book an attack on the troops?

Not at all. Many people in our defence force will be appalled by what is revealed in the book. It was kept secret from most of them as well. Indeed, there would be no book now if there had not been professional New Zealand personnel who were upset with what happened, believed the story needed to be told and helped the authors. Most criticism in the book is reserved for the senior staff and politicians who made the decisions, failed to stop abuses and then, later, when news of the tragedy began to leak out, did nothing about it and joined in the cover up.

Have parts of this story come out before?

Yes. A few of details have emerged in the past, thanks to the efforts of journalists. But the vast majority of the story has remained secret, and what the authors have discovered is much worse than anyone knew. As the book reveals in chapter two, the defence minister at the time, Wayne Mapp, has privately called the raid on Tirgiran “our biggest and most disastrous operation. A fiasco.” (Chapter 2.) But the military decided to keep it all from the public.

Is the SAS responsible for casualties and destruction of property caused by US helicopter gunships or the torture of a detainee by the Afghan secret police?

For a number of reasons, the answer is yes. Under military law, the commander of an operation is responsible for the actions of the subordinate personnel. This was an SAS-led and commanded operation, with a dedicated radio network linking the various New Zealand, Afghan and US components. The SAS collected the intelligence, decided the targets, and led the raid on the ground. That ground commander reported to SAS operations staff at their compound in Kabul. The SAS had requested the use of US helicopters for the operation and were responsible for briefing the pilots. During the operation, US attack helicopters made numerous attacks in two different villages while the SAS commander was present at the scene, yet the SAS on the ground did nothing to help the people caught in the heavy fire. In addition, some of the deaths appear to have been from bullets, not helicopter weapons. An inquiry is needed to determine if any of those deaths were caused by SAS snipers who were reportedly involved in the raid. (See chapters 3 and 4.) Later, when one of the fighters was captured in Kabul, he was beaten by an SAS trooper and handed to the Afghan secret police, where he was tortured. It is not good enough to say that our Afghan allies were responsible for the torture; the SAS knew the people they were handing him to were notorious for mistreating and torturing detainees, yet they transferred him anyway (Chapter 6). When they learnt he had been tortured, they did nothing.

Does the book undermine the safety of the troops by talking about secret SAS operations?

No. And it is very important that “security” isn’t used as an excuse for the military and government to evade responsibility for their decisions and actions. The events in the book occurred when New Zealand was running a military base in Bamiyan province and an SAS contingent in Kabul, but both groups returned to New Zealand several years ago. This is the time to face up to wrongdoing. In fact, international law requires countries to investigate their own breaches, including potential war crimes. The government and military have failed to do this. It’s fallen to others to get the story out.

Are you saying there were war crimes?

War crimes are a highly technical area of law and the authors will leave it to experts to determine whether they have been committed. What we are saying is that there are grounds to suspect that war crimes were committed and it is vitally important that these are taken seriously and investigated in an independent way. We asked human rights lawyer and former Chief Human Rights Commissioner Margaret Bedggood to read the book before it was published and her response is printed on the back cover. She says the alleged actions and decisions described in the book, “if confirmed, would seriously breach international human rights and humanitarian law and could amount to war crimes.”

What do you expect the Defence Force and the government to do in response to the book?

We hope they will order a full and independent inquiry into the raid at Tirgiran and other operations and incidents outlined in the book. We also hope they’ll consider immediately offering an apology and reparations to the affected people in the Afghan villages. What do we expect? Based on their actions to date, there is a chance they may deny and dodge, running the dishonourable line that if anything bad happened – which they won’t admit – it had nothing to do with New Zealand. The whole country will be able to watch how they respond. It will be an important test of the military’s avowed core values: courage, commitment, comradeship and integrity.

Is this all too old to worry about?

Not at all. Things as serious as potential crimes of war fester away, sometimes for decades, until they reach the public and are dealt with. It took six years in this case until enough of the people involved felt ready and willing to help reveal the guilty secrets.

What needs to happen?

First, there needs to be the independent inquiry into all these events, with the power to gather all the relevant information and compel witnesses to appear. Besides the SAS’s own secret reports on their various operations, there may be radio communications and weapon systems video recorded during the raids. There will also be reports and official paperwork relating to the handover of the detainee to the Afghan secret police, and the reports the defence force received describing his torture and interrogation. Finally, there will be defence force and SAS documents showing how much the SAS tried to keep the story secret – even from the rest of the defence force. Chapter 7 documents years of cover-up and it is now time for the SAS and defence force to front up about this.

The government also needs to give the apology and reparations to the villagers. But perhaps most important, there need to to be changes to the SAS and defence force to make what occurred in Afghanistan less likely to happen again. The public should have been told about the SAS action within days of it happening – not years later. The public should not have had to rely on insiders being willing to be whistle blowers. The defence force needs a culture change to be more open to the kind of accountability and democratic control we expect from other government organisations. These issues are explored in Chapter 8.

NZDF RESPONSE TO BOOK

The New Zealand Defence Force stands by the statement it made dated 20 April 2011.

As the 2011 statement says, following the operation, allegations of civilian casualties were made. These were investigated by a joint Afghan Ministry of Defence, Ministry of the Interior and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) assessment team, in accordance with ISAF procedures.

The investigation concluded that the allegations of civilian casualties were unfounded.

The NZDF does not undertake investigations or inquiries into the actions of forces from other nations.  That was the role of the joint Afghan-ISAF investigation.

The NZDF is confident that New Zealand personnel conducted themselves in accordance with the applicable rules of engagement.

Chris Finalyson:

A spokesperson for acting defence minister Chris Finlayson has said in a statement: “The matter was investigated at the time and I am advised by the New Zealand Defence Force they stand by what they said at the time.”

Ryancare Dead On Arrival: Can We Please Now Try Single Payer Please?

VIDEO: Let the States Provide Single Payer Health Care

The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans. . . . We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan, as many individual states are doing.  — Donald Trump, The America We Deserve (2000)

The new American Health Care Act has been unveiled, and critics are calling it more flawed even than the Obamacare it was meant to replace. Dubbed “Ryancare” or “Trumpcare” (over the objection of White House staff), the Republican health care bill is under attack from left and right, with even conservative leaders calling it “Obamacare Lite”, “bad policy”, a “warmed-over substitute,” and “dead on arrival.”

The problem for both administrations is that they have been trying to fund a bloated, inefficient, and overpriced medical system with scarce taxpayer funds, without capping its costs. US healthcare costs in 2016 averaged $10,345 per person, for a total of $3.35 trillion dollars, a full 18 percent of the entire economy, twice as much as in other industrialized countries.

Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992, had the right idea: he said all we have to do is to look at other countries that have better health care at lower cost and copy them.

So which industrialized countries do it better than the US? The answer is, all of them. They all not only provide healthcare for the entire population at about half the cost, but they get better health outcomes than in the US. Their citizens have longer lifespans, fewer infant mortalities and less chronic disease.

President Trump, who is all about getting the most bang for the buck, should love that.

Hard to Argue with Success

The secret to the success of these more efficient systems is that they control medical costs. According to T. R. Reid in The Healing of America, they follow one of three models: the “Bismarck model” established in Germany, in which health providers and insurers are private but insurers are not allowed to make a profit; the “Beveridge model” adopted in Britain, where most healthcare providers work as government employees and the government acts as the single payer for all health services; and the Canadian model, a single-payer system in which the healthcare providers are mostly private.

A single government payer can negotiate much lower drug prices – about half what we pay in the US – and lower hospital prices. Single-payer is also much easier to administer. Cutting out the paperwork can save 30 percent on the cost of insurance. According to a May 2016 post by Physicians for a National Health Program:

Per capita, the U.S. spends three times as much for health care as the U.K., whose taxpayer-funded National Health Service provides health care to citizens without additional charges or co-pays. In 2013, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for 64.3 percent of U.S. health care — about $1.9 trillion. Yet in the U.S. nearly 30 million of our citizens still lack any form of insurance coverage.

The for-profit U.S. health care system is corrupt, dysfunctional and deadly. In Canada, only 1.5 percent of health care costs are devoted to administration of its single-payer system. In the U.S., 31 percent of health care expenditures flow to the private insurance industry. Americans pay far more for prescription drugs. Last year, CNN reported, Americans paid nearly 10 times as much for prescription Nexium as it cost in the Netherlands.

Single payer, or Medicare for All, is the system proposed in 2016 by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. It is also the system endorsed by Donald Trump in his book The America We Deserve. Mr. Trump confirmed his admiration for that approach in January 2015, when he said on David Letterman:

A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble, and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.

Contrary to the claims of its opponents, the single-payer plan of Bernie Sanders would not have been unaffordable. Rather, according to research by University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Gerald Friedman, it would have generated substantial savings for the government:

Under the single-payer system envisioned by “The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act” (H.R. 676), the U.S. could save $592 billion – $476 billion by eliminating administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry and $116 billion by reducing drug prices . . . .

According to OECD health data, in 2013 the British were getting their healthcare for $3,364 per capita annually; the Germans for $4,920; the French for $4,361; and the Japanese for $3,713. The tab for Americans was $9,086, at least double the others. With single-payer at the OECD average of $3,661 and a population of 322 million, we should be able to cover all our healthcare for under $1.2 trillion annually – well under half what we are paying now.

The Problem Is Not Just the High Cost of Insurance

That is true in theory; but governments at all levels in the US already spend $1.6 trillion for healthcare, which goes mainly to Medicare and Medicaid and covers only 17 percent of the population. Where is the discrepancy?

For one thing, Medicare and Medicaid are more expensive than they need to be, because the US government has been prevented from negotiating drug and hospital costs. In January, a bill put forth by Sen. Sanders to allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada was voted down. Sanders is now planning to introduce a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, for which he is hoping for the support of the president. Trump indicated throughout his presidential campaign that he would support negotiating drug prices; and in January, he said that the pharmaceutical industry is “getting away with murder” because of what it charges the government. As observed by Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the Organic Consumers Association, in February 2017:

. . . [B]ig pharmaceutical companies, for-profit hospitals and health insurers are allowed to jack up their profit margins at will. . . . Simply giving everyone access to Big Pharma’s overpriced drugs, and corporate hospitals’ profit-at-any-cost tests and treatment, will result in little more than soaring healthcare costs, with uninsured and insured alike remaining sick or becoming even sicker.

Besides the unnecessarily high cost of drugs, the US medical system is prone to over-diagnosing and over-treating. The Congressional Budget Office says that up to 30 percent of the health care in the US is unnecessaryWe use more medical technology then in other countries, including more expensive diagnostic equipment. The equipment must be used in order to recoup its costs. Unnecessary testing and treatment can create new health problems, requiring yet more treatment, further driving up medical bills.

Drug companies are driven by profit, and their market is sickness – a market they have little incentive to shrink. There is not much profit to be extracted from quick, effective cures. The money is in the drugs that have to be taken for 30 years, killing us slowly. And they are killing us. Pharmaceutical drugs taken as prescribed are the fourth leading cause of US deathsafter heart disease, cancer and stroke.  

The US is the only industrialized country besides New Zealand that allows drug companies to advertise pharmaceuticals. Big Pharma spends more on lobbying than any other US industry, and it spends more than $5 billion a year on advertising. Lured by drug advertising, Americans are popping pills they don’t need, with side effects that are creating problems where none existed before. Americans compose only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we consume fully 50 percent of Big Pharma’s drugs and 80 percent of the world’s pain pills. We not only take more drugs (measured in grams of active ingredient) than people in most other countries, but we have the highest use of new prescription drugs, which have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious adverse reactions after they have been approved.

The US death toll from prescription drugs taken as prescribed is now 128,000 per year. As Jon Rappaport observes, with those results Big Pharma should be under criminal investigation. But the legal drug industry has grown too powerful for that. According to Dr. Marcia Angell, former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, writing in 2002:

The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion). Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has [become] a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, [using] its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself.

It’s Just Good Business

US healthcare costs are projected to grow at 6 percent a year over the next decade. The result could be to bankrupt not only millions of consumers but the entire federal government.

Obamacare has not worked, and Ryancare is not likely to work. As demonstrated in many other industrialized countries, single-payer delivers better health care at half the cost that Americans are paying now.

Winston Churchill is said to have quipped, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing after they have tried everything else.” We need to try a thrifty version of Medicare for all, with negotiated prices for drugs, hospitals and diagnostic equipment.

Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute and a Research Fellow at the Democracy CollaborativeShe is the author of a dozen books including the best-selling Web of Debt, on how the power to create money was usurped by a private banking cartel; and The Public Bank Solution, on how the people can reclaim that power through a network of publicly-owned banks. She has written over 300 articles, posted at EllenBrown.com; and co-hosts a radio program on PRN.FM called “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown.”

Look who the Hawaii judge met with before ruling against Trump’s executive order!

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Well well well… Look who the Hawaii judge met with before ruling against Trump’s executive order!

Full article here:  http://redstatewatcher.com/article.asp?id=68118

President Trump’s revised travel ban was put on hold Wednesday by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii just hours before it was set to take effect after hearing arguments that the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality. According to reports, Watson met with President Obama the day before requesting a temporary restraining order on President Trump’s new executive order.

 

NZ: We’re Coming For Your Water

 Considering the other water associated ills currently affecting New Zealand; Over-extraction by irrigating dairy farms, dirty dairying, the “swimmable rivers’ debacle,  the last thing we need is our precious water being practically given away to overseas corporations.  Read and weep people.
And the Environment minister wants us to believe that the amount of water taken is ‘Insignificant”. The same minister who wants us to believe a scummy, dried up river bed is a swimmable river. Sickening.

Chinese company Nongfu Spring wants more NZ water

  • 14/03/2017
  • By Isobel Ewing

 http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/should-companies-pay-royalties-to-export-water.html

A Chinese company wants to buy a Bay of Plenty water bottling plant and dramatically increase its water take, and it will get the water virtually for free.

Otakiri Springs currently pays only $2003 in compliance costs each year, allowing it to take 700,000 litres a day. The consent doesn’t expire until 2026.

Now prospective owner Nongfu Spring Natural Mineral Water wants to increase the water take to 5 million litres a day. It’s the same aquifer where New Zealand company Oravida takes 400,000 litres a day.

Whakatane District Councillor Mike van der Boom says companies are taking a precious resource from his area and not paying a cent for it.

“We’re subsidising them to make a profit,” he says.

“We just want our water preserved, a sustainable take – what is a sustainable take? Do they know what that is? I have a lot of questions and not many answers.”

Environment Minister Nick Smith maintains his stance that charging companies to take water is ridiculous

“If parties opposite want to start imposing new taxes on the use of water, where are they going to stop? Will air be charged for next?”

But Parliament’s opposition parties are united – get water, pay a royalty.

“We do believe that commercial businesses that are taking water out of the ground for free and then making a profit out of it should pay for the use of that resource,” Greens co-leader James Shaw says.

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters also says there should be a royalty paid.

“They will pay to export it offshore, and the money will go back to the local community from where the water was extracted in the first place.”

The Overseas Investment Office is currently assessing the sale of Otakiri Springs to Nongfu Spring.

Otakiri Springs has been contacted for comment about its plans.

Newshub.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/03/should-companies-pay-royalties-to-export-water.html

THIS IS WHAT NZ GOVERNMENT CALLS A “SWIMMABLE RIVER”:

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Spicer Explains “Wiretapping” Claims

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spicer-says-trumps-wiretap-claim-wasnt-meant-to-be-literal-2017-03-13

White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday back-pedaled President Donald Trump’s claims that his phone line was ordered tapped by then-President Barack Obama, an allegation of illegality that Trump recently made on Twitter without providing any evidence.

In an animated question-and-answer session with reporters during his regular briefing, Spicer suggested Trump had been speaking broadly when he posted his accusations against Obama on March 4.

“He doesn’t really think that President Obama went up and tapped his phone personally,” Spicer said. “But I think there’s no question that the Obama administration — that there were actions about surveillance and other activities that occurred in the 2016 election. That is a widely reported activity that occurred back then. The president used the word ‘wiretapped’ in quotes to mean broadly surveillance and other activities during that — and that is again something.”

Spicer’s remarks on Monday were the first from the press secretary suggesting the president hadn’t meant his allegation as necessarily literal — and therefore wasn’t maintaining that he, and his own phone lines at Trump Tower in Manhattan, were targeted directly by the Obama administration.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

 

Actually, I think Spicer has a good point about the general use of the term “wiretapping”, especially in light of WikiLeaks Vault7 revelations and confirmations about the techniques available to the CIA for covert surveillance, making “wiretapping” in the literal sense rather archaic and redundant.

 

The Deep State Just Broke Into Open Warfare: by Tyler Durden

 

The Deep State Just Broke Into Open Warfare

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The battle raging in the Deep State isn’t just a bureaucratic battle – it’s a war for the soul, identity and direction of the nation.

When do the unlimited powers of the Intelligence/Security agencies threaten America’s domestic and global national interests? The CIA and its political enablers claim the agency’s essentially unlimited powers, partially revealed by Wikileak’s Vault 7, pose no threat to America’s interests, since they are intended to “defend” American interests.

This is the rationale presented by neocon CIA allies in both political parties: the CIA can’t possibly threaten America’s interests because the CIA defines America’s interests.

This is the wormhole down which civil liberties and democracy have drained. It is an extraordinarily defining moment in American history when the director of the FBI publicly declares that there is no such thing as “absolute privacy” in the U.S.

In effect, privacy is now contingent on the level of interest the Security State has in the private conversation/data. If we read the U.S. Constitution, we do not find such contingencies: civil liberties are absolute. Post-1790 presidents have temporarily mooted civil liberties in time of war, and the CIA-led camp of the Deep State has justified its unlimited powers by effectively declared “a state of war is now permanent and enduring.”

So what’s left to defend if America has become the enemy of civil liberties and democracy, i.e. become a totalitarian state ruled by Security Services and their political henchmen and apologists?

I have long suggested that the tectonic plates of the Deep State are shifting as the ruling consensus has eroded. Some elements of the Deep State–what I call the progressive wing, which is (ironically to some) anchored in the military services– now view the neocon-CIA (Security State)-Wall Street elements as profoundly dangerous to America’s long-term interests, both domestically and globally.

Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014)

I have suggested that this “rogue Deep State” quietly aided Donald Trump (by subtly undermining Hillary Clinton’s campaign) as the last best chance to save the nation from the neocon’s over-reach that the Establishment’s Wall Street-funded leadership (Bush, Clinton, Obama, et al.) has overseen–including granting the CIA and its allies virtually unlimited powers unhindered by any effective oversight.

Does a Rogue Deep State Have Trump’s Back? (January 18, 2017)

This profound split in the Deep State has now broken into open warfare. The first salvo was the absurd propaganda campaign led by Establishment mouthpieces The New York Times and The Washington Post claiming Russian agents had “hacked” the U.S. election to favor Trump.

This fact-free propaganda campaign failed–having no evidence didn’t work quite as well as the NYT and Wapo expected– and so the propaganda machine launched the second salvo, accusing Trump of being a Russian patsy.

The evidence for this claim was equally laughable, and that campaign has only made the Establishment, its propaganda mouthpieces and the neocon Deep State look desperate and foolish on the global and domestic stages.

The desperate neocon Deep State and its Democratic Party allies went to absurd lengths to undermine Trump via the “Boris ad Natasha” strategy of accusing Trump of collaborating with the Evil Russkies, even going so far as to briefly exhume former President G.W. Bush from deep-freeze to make a fool of himself, saying the Trump-Evil Russkies connection should be “investigated.”

Now the rogue elements have launched a counterstrike–Vault 7. Here is one example of how quickly the CIA’s over-reach has been absorbed by the body politic:

I highly recommend reading Wikileak’s summary of Vault 7: Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed.

We now know that the CIA maintained a special program (UMBRAGE) to mimic Russia-based hackers and create false trails back to fictitious “Russian hackers.” A number of highly experienced analysts who reviewed the supposed “Russian hacks” had suggested the “evidence” smelled of false trails– not just bread crumbs, but bread crumbs heavy-handedly stenciled “this is Russian malware.”

The body count from Vault 7 has not yet been tallied, but it wouldn’t surprise me if former President Obama and his team eventually end up as political casualties. Non-partisan observers are noting all this over-reach occurred on Obama’s watch, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed that one of Obama’s last executive orders stripped away the last shreds of oversight of what could be “shared” (or invented) between the Security Agencies.

Indeed, the entire leadership of the Democratic Party seems to have placed all their chips on the increasingly unviable claim that the CIA is the squeaky clean defender of America.

Vault 7 is not just political theater–it highlights the core questions facing the nation: what is left to defend if civil liberties and democratically elected oversight have been reduced to Potemkin-village travesties?

If there are no limits on CIA powers and surveillance, then what is left of civil liberties and democracy? Answer: nothing.

The battle raging in the Deep State isn’t just a bureaucratic battle–it’s a war for the soul, identity and direction of the nation. Citizens who define America’s interests as civil liberties and democracy should be deeply troubled by the Establishment’s surrender of these in favor of a National Security State with essentially no limits.

Americans tasked with defending America’s “interests” globally should be asking if a CIA/NSA et al. with unlimited power is detrimental to America’s soft and hard power globally, and toxic to its influence.

The answer is obvious: a CIA with unlimited power and the backing of a corrupt Establishment and media is more than detrimental to America’s soft and hard power globally–it is disastrous and potentially fatal to America’s interests, standing and influence.

Those of us on the sidelines can only hope that the progressive wing of the Deep State, the rogue elements who see the terrible danger of an unlimited National Security State, will succeed in undermining the powerful political support for this toxic totalitarian regime.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-10/

WikiLeaks Vault 7

https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7” by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead u….

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

“Year Zero” introduces the scope and direction of the CIA’s global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of “zero day” weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.

Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force — its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency’s hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA’s hacking capacities.

By the end of 2016, the CIA’s hacking division, which formally falls under the agency’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified.

In a statement to WikiLeaks the source details policy questions that they say urgently need to be debated in public, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor stated that “There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber ‘weapons’. Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such ‘weapons’, which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of “Year Zero” goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.”

Wikileaks has carefully reviewed the “Year Zero” disclosure and published substantive CIA documentation while avoiding the distribution of ‘armed’ cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA’s program and how such ‘weapons’ should analyzed, disarmed and published.

Wikileaks has also decided to redact and anonymise some identifying information in “Year Zero” for in depth analysis. These redactions include ten of thousands of CIA targets and attack machines throughout Latin America, Europe and the United States. While we are aware of the imperfect results of any approach chosen, we remain committed to our publishing model and note that the quantity of published pages in “Vault 7” part one (“Year Zero”) already eclipses the total number of pages published over the first three years of the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.

Analysis

 

CIA malware targets iPhone, Android, smart TVs

CIA malware and hacking tools are built by EDG (Engineering Development Group), a software development group within CCI (Center for Cyber Intelligence), a department belonging to the CIA’s DDI (Directorate for Digital Innovation). The DDI is one of the five major directorates of the CIA (see this organizational chart of the CIA for more details).

The EDG is responsible for the development, testing and operational support of all backdoors, exploits, malicious payloads, trojans, viruses and any other kind of malware used by the CIA in its covert operations world-wide.

The increasing sophistication of surveillance techniques has drawn comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984, but “Weeping Angel”, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB), which infests smart TVs, transforming them into covert microphones, is surely its most emblematic realization.

The attack against Samsung smart TVs was developed in cooperation with the United Kingdom’s MI5/BTSS. After infestation, Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations.

The CIA’s Mobile Devices Branch (MDB) developed numerous attacks to remotely hack and control popular smart phones. Infected phones can be instructed to send the CIA the user’s geolocation, audio and text communications as well as covertly activate the phone’s camera and microphone.

Despite iPhone’s minority share (14.5%) of the global smart phone market in 2016, a specialized unit in the CIA’s Mobile Development Branch produces malware to infest, control and exfiltrate data from iPhones and other Apple products running iOS, such as iPads. CIA’s arsenal includes numerous local and remote “zero days” developed by CIA or obtained from GCHQ, NSA, FBI or purchased from cyber arms contractors such as Baitshop. The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites.

A similar unit targets Google’s Android which is used to run the majo…. 1.15 billion Android powered phones were sold last year. “Year Zero” shows that as of 2016 the CIA had 24 “weaponized” Android “zero days” which it has developed itself and obtained from GCHQ, NSA and cyber arms contractors.

These techniques permit the CIA to bypass the encryption of WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by hacking the “smart” phones that they run on and collecting audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.

 

CIA malware targets Windows, OSx, Linux, routers

The CIA also runs a very substantial effort to infect and control Microsoft Windows users with its malware. This includes multiple local and remote weaponized “zero days”, air gap jumping viruses such as “Hammer Drill” which infects software distributed on CD/DVDs, infectors for removable media such as USBs, systems to hide data in images or in covert disk areas ( “Brutal Kangaroo”) and to keep its malware infestations going.

Many of these infection efforts are pulled together by the CIA’s Automated Implant Branch (AIB), which has developed several attack systems for automated infestation and control of CIA malware, such as “Assassin” and “Medusa”.

Attacks against Internet infrastructure and webservers are developed by the CIA’s Network Devices Branch (NDB).

The CIA has developed automated multi-platform malware attack and control systems covering Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris, Linux and more, such as EDB’s “HIVE” and the related “Cutthroat” and “Swindle” tools, which are described in the examples section below.

 

CIA ‘hoarded’ vulnerabilities (“zero days”)

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA, the U.S. technology industry secured a commitment from the Obama administration that the executive would disclose on an ongoing basis — rather than hoard — serious vulnerabilities, exploits, bugs or “zero days” to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other US-based manufacturers.

Serious vulnerabilities not disclosed to the manufacturers places huge swathes of the population and critical infrastructure at risk to foreign intelligence or cyber criminals who independently discover or hear rumors of the vulnerability. If the CIA can discover such vulnerabilities so can others.

The U.S. government’s commitment to the Vulnerabilities Equities Process came after significant lobbying by US technology companies, who risk losing their share of the global market over real and perceived hidden vulnerabilities. The government stated that it would disclose all pervasive vulnerabilities discovered after 2010 on an ongoing basis.

“Year Zero” documents show that the CIA breached the Obama administration’s commitments. Many of the vulnerabilities used in the CIA’s cyber arsenal are pervasive and some may already have been found by rival intelligence agencies or cyber criminals.

As an example, specific CIA malware revealed in “Year Zero” is able to penetrate, infest and control both the Android phone and iPhone software that runs or has run presidential Twitter accounts. The CIA attacks this software by using undisclosed security vulnerabilities (“zero days”) possessed by the CIA but if the CIA can hack these phones then so can everyone else who has obtained or discovered the vulnerability. As long as the CIA keeps these vulnerabilities concealed from Apple and Google (who make the phones) they will not be fixed, and the phones will remain hackable.

The same vulnerabilities exist for the population at large, including the U.S. Cabinet, Congress, top CEOs, system administrators, security officers and engineers. By hiding these security flaws from manufacturers like Apple and Google the CIA ensures that it can hack everyone &mdsh; at the expense of leaving everyone hackable.

 

‘Cyberwar’ programs are a serious proliferation risk

Cyber ‘weapons’ are not possible to keep under effective control.

While nuclear proliferation has been restrained by the enormous costs and visible infrastructure involved in assembling enough fissile material to produce a critical nuclear mass, cyber ‘weapons’, once developed, are very hard to retain.

Cyber ‘weapons’ are in fact just computer programs which can be pirated like any other. Since they are entirely comprised of information they can be copied quickly with no marginal cost.

Securing such ‘weapons’ is particularly difficult since the same people who develop and use them have the skills to exfiltrate copies without leaving traces — sometimes by using the very same ‘weapons’ against the organizations that contain them. There are substantial price incentives for government hackers and consultants to obtain copies since there is a global “vulnerability market” that will pay hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for copies of such ‘weapons’. Similarly, contractors and companies who obtain such ‘weapons’ sometimes use them for their own purposes, obtaining advantage over their competitors in selling ‘hacking’ services.

Over the last three years the United States intelligence sector, which consists of government agencies such as the CIA and NSA and their contractors, such as Booz Allan Hamilton, has been subject to unprecedented series of data exfiltrations by its own workers.

A number of intelligence community members not yet publicly named have been arrested or subject to federal criminal investigations in separate incidents.

Most visibly, on February 8, 2017 a U.S. federal grand jury indicted Harold T. Martin III with 20 counts of mishandling classified information. The Department of Justice alleged that it seized some 50,000 gigabytes of information from Harold T. Martin III that he had obtained from classified programs at NSA and CIA, including the source code for numerous hacking tools.

Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by peer states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.

 

U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a covert CIA hacker base

In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ( “Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe” or CCIE) are given diplomatic (“black”) passports and State Department cover. The instructions for incoming CIA hackers make Germany’s counter-intelligence efforts appear inconsequential: “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat, and all they did was stamp your passport”

Your Cover Story (for this trip)
Q: Why are you here?
A: Supporting technical consultations at the Consulate.

Two earlier WikiLeaks publications give further detail on CIA approaches to customs and secondary screening procedures.

Once in Frankfurt CIA hackers can travel without further border checks to the 25 European countries that are part of the Shengen open border area — including France, Italy and Switzerland.

A number of the CIA’s electronic attack methods are designed for physical proximity. These attack methods are able to penetrate high security networks that are disconnected from the internet, such as police record database. In these cases, a CIA officer, agent or allied intelligence officer acting under instructions, physically infiltrates the targeted workplace. The attacker is provided with a USB containing malware developed for the CIA for this purpose, which is inserted into the targeted computer. The attacker then infects and exfiltrates data to removable media. For example, the CIA attack system Fine Dining, provides 24 decoy applications for CIA spies to use. To witnesses, the spy appears to be running a program showing videos (e.g VLC), presenting slides (Prezi), playing a computer game (Breakout2, 2048) or even running a fake virus scanner (Kaspersky, McAfee, Sophos). But while the decoy application is on the screen, the underlaying system is automatically infected and ransacked.

 

How the CIA dramatically increased proliferation risks

In what is surely one of the most astounding intelligence own goals in living memory, the CIA structured its classification regime such that for the most market valuable part of “Vault 7” — the CIA’s weaponized malware (implants + zero days), Listening Posts (LP), and Command and Control (C2) systems — the agency has little legal recourse.

The CIA made these systems unclassified.

Why the CIA chose to make its cyberarsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the ‘battlefield’ of cyber ‘war’.

To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet. If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet. Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution. This means that cyber ‘arms’ manufactures and computer hackers can freely “pirate” these ‘weapons’ if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.

Conventional weapons such as missiles may be fired at the enemy (i.e into an unsecured area). Proximity to or impact with the target detonates the ordnance including its classified parts. Hence military personnel do not violate classification rules by firing ordnance with classified parts. Ordnance will likely explode. If it does not, that is not the operator’s intent.

Over the last decade U.S. hacking operations have been increasingly dressed up in military jargon to tap into Department of Defense funding streams. For instance, attempted “malware injections” (commercial jargon) or “implant drops” (NSA jargon) are being called “fires” as if a weapon was being fired. However the analogy is questionable.

Unlike bullets, bombs or missiles, most CIA malware is designed to live for days or even years after it has reached its ‘target’. CIA malware does not “explode on impact” but rather permanently infests its target. In order to infect target’s device, copies of the malware must be placed on the target’s devices, giving physical possession of the malware to the target. To exfiltrate data back to the CIA or to await further instructions the malware must communicate with CIA Command & Control (C2) systems placed on internet connected servers. But such servers are typically not approved to hold classified information, so CIA command and control systems are also made unclassified.

A successful ‘attack’ on a target’s computer system is more like a series of complex stock maneuvers in a hostile take-over bid or the careful planting of rumors in order to gain control over an organization’s leadership rather than the firing of a weapons system. If there is a military analogy to be made, the infestation of a target is perhaps akin to the execution of a whole series of military maneuvers against the target’s territory including observation, infiltration, occupation and exploitation.

 

Evading forensics and anti-virus

A series of standards lay out CIA malware infestation patterns which are likely to assist forensic crime scene investigators as well as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Nokia, Blackberry, Siemens and anti-virus companies attribute and defend against attacks.

“Tradecraft DO’s and DON’Ts” contains CIA rules on how its malware should be written to avoid fingerprints implicating the “CIA, US government, or its witting partner companies” in “forensic review”. Similar secret standards cover the use of encryption to hide CIA hacker and malware communication (pdf), describing targets & exfiltrated data (pdf) as well as executing payloads (pdf) and persisting (pdf) in the target’s machines over time.

CIA hackers developed successful attacks against most well known anti-virus programs. These are documented in AV defeats, Personal Security Products, Detecting and defeating PSPs and PSP/Debugger/RE Avoidance. For example, Comodo was defeated by CIA malware placing itself in the Window’s “Recycle Bin”. While Comodo 6.x has a “Gaping Hole of DOOM”.

CIA hackers discussed what the NSA’s “Equation Group” hackers did wrong and how the CIA’s malware makers could avoid similar exposure.

 

Examples

 

The CIA’s Engineering Development Group (EDG) management system contains around 500 different projects (only some of which are documented by “Year Zero”) each with their own sub-projects, malware and hacker tools.

The majority of these projects relate to tools that are used for penetration, infestation (“implanting”), control, and exfiltration.

Another branch of development focuses on the development and operation of Listening Posts (LP) and Command and Control (C2) systems used to communicate with and control CIA implants; special projects are used to target specific hardware from routers to smart TVs.

Some example projects are described below, but see the table of contents for the full list of projects described by WikiLeaks’ “Year Zero”.

 

UMBRAGE

The CIA’s hand crafted hacking techniques pose a problem for the agency. Each technique it has created forms a “fingerprint” that can be used by forensic investigators to attribute multiple different attacks to the same entity.

This is analogous to finding the same distinctive knife wound on multiple separate murder victims. The unique wounding style creates suspicion that a single murderer is responsible. As soon one murder in the set is solved then the other murders also find likely attribution.

The CIA’s Remote Devices Branch‘s UMBRAGE group collects and maintains a substantial library of attack techniques ‘stolen’ from malware produced in other states including the Russian Federation.

With UMBRAGE and related projects the CIA cannot only increase its total number of attack types but also misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.

UMBRAGE components cover keyloggers, password collection, webcam capture, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

 

Fine Dining

Fine Dining comes with a standardized questionnaire i.e menu that CIA case officers fill out. The questionnaire is used by the agency’s OSB (Operational Support Branch) to transform the requests of case officers into technical requirements for hacking attacks (typically “exfiltrating” information from computer systems) for specific operations. The questionnaire allows the OSB to identify how to adapt existing tools for the operation, and communicate this to CIA malware configuration staff. The OSB functions as the interface between CIA operational staff and the relevant technical support staff.

Among the list of possible targets of the collection are ‘Asset’, ‘Liason Asset’, ‘System Administrator’, ‘Foreign Information Operations’, ‘Foreign Intelligence Agencies’ and ‘Foreign Government Entities’. Notably absent is any reference to extremists or transnational criminals. The ‘Case Officer’ is also asked to specify the environment of the target like the type of computer, operating system used, Internet connectivity and installed anti-virus utilities (PSPs) as well as a list of file types to be exfiltrated like Office documents, audio, video, images or custom file types. The ‘menu’ also asks for information if recurring access to the target is possible and how long unobserved access to the computer can be maintained. This information is used by the CIA’s ‘JQJIMPROVISE’ software (see below) to configure a set of CIA malware suited to the specific needs of an operation.

 

Improvise (JQJIMPROVISE)

‘Improvise’ is a toolset for configuration, post-processing, payload setup and execution vector selection for survey/exfiltration tools supporting all major operating systems like Windows (Bartender), MacOS (JukeBox) and Linux (DanceFloor). Its configuration utilities like Margarita allows the NOC (Network Operation Center) to customize tools based on requirements from ‘Fine Dining’ questionairies.

 

HIVE

HIVE is a multi-platform CIA malware suite and its associated control software. The project provides customizable implants for Windows, Solaris, MikroTik (used in internet routers) and Linux platforms and a Listening Post (LP)/Command and Control (C2) infrastructure to communicate with these implants.

The implants are configured to communicate via HTTPS with the webserver of a cover domain; each operation utilizing these implants has a separate cover domain and the infrastructure can handle any number of cover domains.

Each cover domain resolves to an IP address that is located at a commercial VPS (Virtual Private Server) provider. The public-facing server forwards all incoming traffic via a VPN to a ‘Blot’ server that handles actual connection requests from clients. It is setup for optional SSL client authentication: if a client sends a valid client certificate (only implants can do that), the connection is forwarded to the ‘Honeycomb’ toolserver that communicates with the implant; if a valid certificate is missing (which is the case if someone tries to open the cover domain website by accident), the traffic is forwarded to a cover server that delivers an unsuspicious looking website.

The Honeycomb toolserver receives exfiltrated information from the implant; an operator can also task the implant to execute jobs on the target computer, so the toolserver acts as a C2 (command and control) server for the implant.

Similar functionality (though limited to Windows) is provided by the RickBobby project.

See the classified user and developer guides for HIVE.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why now?

WikiLeaks published as soon as its verification and analysis were ready.

In Febuary the Trump administration has issued an Executive Order calling for a “Cyberwar” review to be prepared within 30 days.

While the review increases the timeliness and relevance of the publication it did not play a role in setting the publication date.

 

Redactions

Names, email addresses and external IP addresses have been redacted in the released pages (70,875 redactions in total) until further analysis is complete.

  1. Over-redaction: Some items may have been redacted that are not employees, contractors, targets or otherwise related to the agency, but are, for example, authors of documentation for otherwise public projects that are used by the agency.
  2. Identity vs. person: the redacted names are replaced by user IDs (numbers) to allow readers to assign multiple pages to a single author. Given the redaction process used a single person may be represented by more than one assigned identifier but no identifier refers to more than one real person.
  3. Archive attachments (zip, tar.gz, …) are replaced with a PDF listing all the file names in the archive. As the archive content is assessed it may be made available; until then the archive is redacted.
  4. Attachments with other binary content are replaced by a hex dump of the content to prevent accidental invocation of binaries that may have been infected with weaponized CIA malware. As the content is assessed it may be made available; until then the content is redacted.
  5. The tens of thousands of routable IP addresses references (including more than 22 thousand within the United States) that correspond to possible targets, CIA covert listening post servers, intermediary and test systems, are redacted for further exclusive investigation.
  6. Binary files of non-public origin are only available as dumps to prevent accidental invocation of CIA malware infected binaries.

 

Organizational Chart

The organizational chart corresponds to the material published by WikiLeaks so far.

Since the organizational structure of the CIA below the level of Directorates is not public, the placement of the EDG and its branches within the org chart of the agency is reconstructed from information contained in the documents released so far. It is intended to be used as a rough outline of the internal organization; please be aware that the reconstructed org chart is incomplete and that internal reorganizations occur frequently.

 

Wiki pages

“Year Zero” contains 7818 web pages with 943 attachments from the internal development groupware. The software used for this purpose is called Confluence, a proprietary software from Atlassian. Webpages in this system (like in Wikipedia) have a version history that can provide interesting insights on how a document evolved over time; the 7818 documents include these page histories for 1136 latest versions.

The order of named pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first). Page content is not present if it was originally dynamically created by the Confluence software (as indicated on the re-constructed page).

 

What time period is covered?

The years 2013 to 2016. The sort order of the pages within each level is determined by date (oldest first).

WikiLeaks has obtained the CIA’s creation/last modification date for each page but these do not yet appear for technical reasons. Usually the date can be discerned or approximated from the content and the page order. If it is critical to know the exact time/date contact WikiLeaks.

 

What is “Vault 7”

“Vault 7” is a substantial collection of material about CIA activities obtained by WikiLeaks.

 

When was each part of “Vault 7” obtained?

Part one was obtained recently and covers through 2016. Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.

 

Is each part of “Vault 7” from a different source?

Details on the other parts will be available at the time of publication.

 

What is the total size of “Vault 7”?

The series is the largest intelligence publication in history.

 

How did WikiLeaks obtain each part of “Vault 7”?

Sources trust WikiLeaks to not reveal information that might help identify them.

 

Isn’t WikiLeaks worried that the CIA will act against its staff to stop the series?

No. That would be certainly counter-productive.

 

Has WikiLeaks already ‘mined’ all the best stories?

No. WikiLeaks has intentionally not written up hundreds of impactful stories to encourage others to find them and so create expertise in the area for subsequent parts in the series. They’re there. Look. Those who demonstrate journalistic excellence may be considered for early access to future parts.

 

Won’t other journalists find all the best stories before me?

Unlikely. There are very considerably more stories than there are journalists or academics who are in a position to write them.

https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/

Image result for wikileaks cia

UPDATE 10 March:

Assange offers protection:

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/wikileaks-offers-to-shield-tech-firms-from-cia-hacking-tools-julian-assange/ar-AAo4Zqp?ocid=SK2MDHP

Driving Towards Nuclear Disaster: North Korea

Hard to believe this little communist nation can generate so much fuss. More manufactured diversion? One minute it’s imminent financial collapse, the next it’s imminent nuclear Armageddon.

What next…?

http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/world-leaders-condemn-north-korea-over-missile-launches/ar-AAnU70A?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=SK2MDHP

Image result for north korea nuclear war

 

A shocked international community has condemned North Korea after it launched four ballistic missiles on Monday morning, three of which fell into Japanese waters.

Calling on Pyongyang to “stop its provocative actions”, the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said the launches were in violation of multiple UN security council resolutions and threatened international peace and security.

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said “strong protests” had been lodged with nuclear-armed North Korea, saying the scale of the attack represented a new development. “It is an extremely dangerous action,” he said.

South Korea’s acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn, condemned the launches as a direct challenge to the international community and said Seoul would swiftly deploy a US anti-missile defence system despite angry objections from China.

Meanwhile, North Korea warned that military exercises by the US and South Korea were driving the region towards nuclear disaster.

In a letter to the UN security council on Monday, North Korea’s ambassador Ja Song Nam claimed the joint exercises that began on 1 March were “the most undisguised nuclear war manoeuvres”.

He said: “Consequently, the situation on the Korean peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war.”

North Korea’s four missiles flew about 620 miles, with three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone. A fourth splashed down just outside the EEZ.

South Korea said it was too early to say what the relatively low altitude indicated about the types of missiles, but experts said the launch did not look like an inter-continental ballistic missile, but the launch of previously tested missile.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, confirmed the US had seen no ICBM launch attempt but otherwise gave no clear response to the missile launches.

He did suggest more missiles may have been fired, telling reporters: “There were four that landed. There may be a higher number of launches that we’re not commenting on. But four landed and splashed in the Sea of Japan.”

The EU foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, said the launches showed “utter disregard” for several UN resolutions, while Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was “seriously worried”. “These are the sort of actions that lead to a rise in tension in the region and of course in this situation, traditionally, Moscow calls for restraint from all sides,” Peskov said.

Speaking on behalf of the UK, Johnson said: “We urge North Korea to stop its provocative actions, which threaten international peace and security. North Korea should instead re-engage with the international community, and take credible, concrete steps to prioritise the wellbeing of its own people instead of the illegal pursuit of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.”

The French foreign office said: “We call on North Korea to immediately comply with its international obligations and to ensure the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear and ballistic programmes.”

The test launches appeared to be a reaction to huge US-South Korean military drills last week which those countries consider routine but which are viewed as an invasion rehearsal by Kim Jong-un.

The US has about 28,500 troops and equipment stationed in South Korea, and plans to roll out the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) anti-missile defence system by the end of the year.

Japan also plans to reinforce its ballistic missile defences and is considering buying either Thaad or building a ground-based version of the Aegis system that is currently deployed on ships in the Sea of Japan.

The launches also come as Kim’s regime faces international isolation over the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the leader’s half-brother, in Kuala Lumpur airport last month.

On Sunday Malaysia expelled the North Korean ambassador over the death, a move which prompted Pyongyang to announce a tit-for-tat expulsion of Malaysia’s ambassador to North Korea. State media said the Malaysian envoy would leave within 48 hours.