El 6to Estado - En Espanol

Monday, February 21, 2005

What the 9/11 widows never knew ...

[There is a graduate level post and it has a pre-requisite. If you haven't read my comment "First you have to admit you're a wingnut," do so. Then come back and read this.]

This post is on how the intelligence agencies, under President William Jefferson Clinton (DArk), were redirected away from following terrorists and threats to the U.S. and toward commercial espionage. I've been working on this conspiracy theory since the "Rosetta Stone" to the whole conspiracy by Scott Shane was published in The Baltimore Sun/The Sun of Baltimore County.

Remember my comment about insider trading? This is the ultimate insider trading scheme.

This particular compilation was posted to the Conspiracy-net archives in early December, 2004, quickly becoming one of the most read theories there. Within a few weeks, the Conspiracy-net archives went dark. Was it because they couldn't afford the funds, got threatened. I don't know. But it'd make a good conspiracy theory in and of itself don't you think?

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[Most of the following information was part of the Conspiracy-Net site, but that site has not been up and active for several weeks and may have been shuttered.]

What the 9/11 widows never knew ...

During President Clinton's administration, the primary goal of the intelligence agencies was diverted toward ECONOMIC intelligence, spying on behalf of the president's campaign contributors. This is not conspiracy theory but reported fact. It's what John Kerry and the DNC neglected to tell the 9/11 widows who supported them.

When the cold war ended, there was a significant push by both parties to get the intelligence agencies to pay for themselves by "helping" U.S. corporations compete. Searching for terrorists was not revenue generating. The key to promotion at the agencies became how much economic intelligence they could provide to President Clinton's campaign contributors. It wasn't just to counter the threat of MITI (Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, a thinly disguised economic spy factory), or French or German intelligence. It was proactive, let's steal _their_ contracts. In retaliation, the French and Germans began looking the other way when companies in those countries started selling banned goods to countries the U.S. wanted blockaded. And you wonder why the French and Germans don't want to help in Iraq?

(Surprisingly enough, former DCI James Woolsey who has managed to finagle his way in with the so-called "neocons" was a significant player in all this, and fell over himself getting CIA to supply economic intelligence to President Clinton and his campaign contributors! Helping President Clinton's friends with economic intelligence was a way for Mr. Woolsey to ingratiate himself with an administration he claims had no interest in intelligence. It went far beyond ferreting out who was bribing who.)

You might have read about it as Project Echelon but it comprised much more than that. Developed under President Clinton's administration was the Daily Economic Intelligence Briefing, a classified, controlled circulation digest of economic opportunities discovered by DIA, NSA, CIA, et al they gleaned from eavesdropping on cellular and satellite calls and from electronic interception of faxes and data transfers. Briefers from CIA would brief President Clinton's insiders at Dept of Commerce who then passed particular information to President Clinton's campaign contributors. (The mysterious crash that killed Ron Brown also killed a number of corporate honchos behind helped by President Clinton to secure post war contracts in Kosovo.)

This intelligence collection was not limited to foreign owned companies operating on foreign shores but also foreign owned corporations operating in the U.S., employing U.S. workers. Many of those companies no longer are in business, including software companies that competed with Microsoft which now provides software to the world market filled with crackable holes. If you can't get a "clipper chip" get "clipper software."

While President Clinton was looking for the dollars for his contributors, bin Laden was killing Americans, destroying our embassies and planning 9/11.


The "Rosetta Stone" was published in The (Baltimore) Sun on Nov. 1, 1996:

Mixing business with spying
Secret information is passed routinely to U.S. companies
By Scott Shane
Originally Published on 11/01/96
Copyright 1996 The Baltimore Sun

At least once a day, a CIA courier stops by the Department of Commerce in downtown Washington with a packet of top-secret information, gathered around the globe by satellites picking up phone calls, agents inside foreign governments and American spies posing as businessmen abroad.

The Central Intelligence Agency packets have gotten fatter in recent years, as U.S. spies have shifted their focus from Soviet missiles to international trade. And the nuggets of information inside can be used not only to make policy but to make a buck.

In the case of John Huang, the international businessman turned Commerce Department official turned Democratic Party fund-raiser, there is no evidence or allegation that he misused secret intelligence he was given on the job.

But the scrutiny of Huang's position at Commerce has opened a rare window on the department's growing role as a link between the intelligence agencies and the business world.

"There's greater potential for conflict of interest when the information can be used for direct economic benefit," said Jeffrey T. Richelson, author of several books on U.S intelligence. "You have prohibitions on insider trading on the stock market. This is just a different kind of insider information."

Security laws prohibit passing secret intelligence directly to outsiders who lack the proper clearance. But former intelligence officials and other experts say tips based on spying nonetheless regularly flow from the Commerce Department to U.S. companies to help them win contracts overseas. And there are few specific guidelines governing the practice.

"I think the government has got a major weakness there," said Loch K. Johnson, a historian and author who served on the staff of the Brown Commission, which recommended intelligence reforms last March. "At Commerce, there's no code or book to consult to say when and what information can be passed to a U.S. company."

Huang served from 1994 until early this year as the principal deputy assistant secretary of commerce for international economic policy. In a deposition this week, Huang denied that while at the Commerce Department he had "any commercial dealing, any involvement" with his former employer, the Indonesia-based Lippo Group, which paid him nearly $900,000 in the year before he took his government job.

But Huang, like other top political appointees at the Commerce Department, came from and returned to a private sector where a morsel of information can be turned into a feast of profit. Documents released by the department this week underscore how routine the mingling of Commerce officials and CIA analysts has become.

One such document consists of minutes from an August 1994 Commerce Department meeting attended by Huang to identify major contracts open for bid in Indonesia in order to help U.S. companies win the work. A CIA employee, Bob Beamer, spoke at the meeting; five of the 16 people on the routine distribution list for the minutes were from the CIA.

Commerce officials say Huang had a top-secret security clearance and received weekly intelligence briefings. The briefings were conducted by the department's Office of Executive Support -- a new name for the office previously known as Intelligence Liaison -- which receives information from the CIA and distributes it to officials with the proper clearances.

Since Huang was the principal deputy to the assistant secretary of commerce for international economic policy, his interests "covered the world" but had an East Asia focus, the Commerce Department statement said. Huang "was provided copies of relevant intelligence material," it added.

"The specter it raises is that Mr. Huang, after getting his intelligence briefing, could have picked up the phone and called his old colleagues at Lippo and said: `Why don't you sell this, or buy that, based on what I heard?' " said Matthew M. Aid, a Washington researcher writing a book on the National Security Agency, whose eavesdropping provides much of the most important commercial intelligence.

For most Asian and European governments, such sharing of intelligence with corporations "is a very common practice," Aid said. "If you're in the Suharto government, you see increasing the wealth of Lippo as increasing the wealth of Indonesia."

Johnson, the staff member of the intelligence reform commission chaired by former Defense Secretary Harold Brown, said providing intelligence-based information to a foreign company would always be inappropriate, if not illegal. But officials at the departments of Commerce, Treasury and State sometimes pass information to U.S. companies without revealing the intelligence source, he said.

If, for instance, a government official learned that a foreign competitor was about to win a contract sought by a U.S. company, "someone in Commerce might call a U.S. executive and say, `Look, you might have a better shot at that contract if you sweetened your bid a little,' " Johnson said. "They pass on the information. But they usually do it in a very veiled fashion."

Former CIA Director Robert M. Gates said the decision to share with a company information derived from spying should never be made by an official on his own.

"The decision to assist a U.S. company should be made openly, on a policy level," Gates said. "Among other things, you have to find a way to sanitize the material to protect sources and methods."

William E. Odom, a former NSA director who is now at the Hudson Institute in Washington, said the intelligence agencies and the Commerce Department collaborated throughout the Cold War to prevent U.S. companies from exporting products with military applications to the East Bloc.

"You could use that information to catch the bad guys," Odom said. "But you don't make money off that kind of information."

Now, with Commerce officials trying to turn the billions spent on intelligence to the benefit of U.S. business, "it doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see the potential for abuse," Odom said. "You finally just have to have honest officials."


From a post I made on the usenet in alt.politics.org.cia in 1999 predicting the inevitable result of not standing guard:

Did you hear the news? On Fri, 19 Feb 1999 16:04:58 -0000, in
, our ether buddy "Holmes"
spaketh thusly:

:)Both the US and UK overseas Intelligence services (and other nations', no
:)doubt) regularly brief the multinationals as to opportunities,
:)competitor/client strengths and weaknesses, and other commercially useful
:)info. Trusted senior executives of major British companies receive briefings
:)from the SIS; and US executives from the CIA. This is because commercial
:)strength is part and parcel of a nation's economic health, and that is seen
:)as a legitimate Intelligence interest.
:)We read of the East German spies looting the West of its technical and
:)economic secrets; *we* in the West are past masters of it.
:):)It may also interest to note that there are no allies in this game. Members
:)of Nato all try and steal from each other.

There's a point that apparently is forgotten by the intelligence community and the state commerce departments, both in your country and mine. Public funds are being used to gather that intelligence that is then provided to _SPECIFIC_ companies. Any information provided them strengthens those companies, empowering them over their smaller competition, at no cost to them.

Would Netscape's Jim Barksdale be happy to know that his taxes, and the taxes of his employees, are being used to aid the market dominance and increase the warchest of Microsoft, potentially at the cost down the road of his company's existence and his paycheck? I certainly doubt it. Justice would dictate that if the spooks help Microsoft garner a $100 million overseas contract, it must also help every other software developer in the U.S. each garner a $100 million contract.

Moreover, there is a high probability that product refinements - garnered by the intelligence agencies as passed to commercial contractors - will then be patented by the receiving company, which then profits from those patents for decades to come, as well as controlling what's developed based on those patents and who develops it. I can only assume that such things as GPS and nightvision technology has benefited from intelligence acquisitions, but does the public receive royalties from the commercialization and sale of this technology? No.

These companies receiving this information have large coffers from which to draw -- if they want it, let them hire and pay retired spooks to obtain and supply information they seek out of their own pockets and not the public trough.

Bottomline: If the spooks for your country or my country are concentrating on acting as marketing and new product development managers for company X, how can they then concentrate on obtaining real intelligence ... like locating Osama bin Laden, nuclear weapon suitcases from the stockpile of the former Soviet Union, et al. Perhaps the continued claims that the intelligence agencies are useless from a defense standpoint is a result of their diversion into commercial pursuits rather than concentrating on the job they were chartered to do


The following is Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet's denial on April 12, 2000 to Congress that the CIA was not currently being used for commercial espionage except to "level the playing field" -- Clintonese justification for cheating. (Note that this date is 11 days after April Fool's Day, I don't know if this is just serendipity or if it's just the way things were scheduled.):

Pertinent paragraphs listed:

There also have been allegations that the Intelligence Community is conducting industrial espionage to provide unfair advantages to US companies. I recognize that it is standard practice for some countries to use their intelligence services to conduct economic espionage, but that is not the policy or practice of the United States. If we lose the confidence of the American people because they think we are violating their privacy rights, or if we were to violate the trust of our allies and steal their business secrets to help US companies increase their profits, we would put your support for our SIGINT programs in jeopardy, and risk losing our eyes and ears­as well as US influence­around the world. I cannot afford to let that happen.

For this reason, I welcome the opportunity, in the face of provocative allegations about NSA that have attracted national and international attention, as well as legitimate congressional interest, to allay concerns that have arisen in recent months about the conduct of SIGINT activities. I will say a few words, then turn to NSA Director General Hayden so that he can address more specifically the system under which NSA operates and some of the specific questions that have been raised.

As you know, signals intelligence is one of the pillars of US intelligence. Along with our other intelligence collection activities, we rely on SIGINT to collect information about the capabilities and intentions of foreign powers, organizations, and persons to support the foreign policy and other national interests of the United States. SIGINT is critical to monitoring terrorist activities, arms control compliance, narcotics trafficking, and the development of chemical and biological weapons and weapons of mass destruction. We could not monitor regional conflicts affecting US interests or assess foreign capabilities and protect our military forces and civilian personnel overseas as effectively without SIGINT.

As DCI, I am responsible for ensuring that requirements for intelligence collection are clearly established and assigned to appropriate Intelligence Community elements for action. I look to my Assistant Directors of Central Intelligence for Collection and for Analysis and Production to help ensure that SIGINT collection is addressing and satisfying high priority intelligence needs. NSA and an interagency process under my overall cognizance specifically address intelligence needs identified by the policy community, military commands, and the Intelligence Community. This long-standing process and the regular review of proposed activities help ensure that SIGINT collection and reporting is consistent both with approved needs and with US laws and policies to protect personal privacy and the rights of US persons.

We conduct SIGINT to protect US national security and the lives of Americans. Our targets are foreign. There are, as you know, some special circumstances recognized in the law in which collection on Americans is permitted. US persons, both individuals and companies, who engage in activities on behalf of foreign powers, terrorist groups, and others working against the US are of great concern to us. General Hayden will explain in more detail how NSA can lawfully obtain such information.

I can assure this Committee that the Intelligence Community adheres to a strict legal regime for approval, implementation, conduct, minimization and use, which involves the General Counsels Offices of each of the Agencies involved as well as the Attorney General herself. We protect the rights of Americans and their privacy; we do not violate it.

With respect to allegations of industrial espionage, the notion that we collect intelligence to promote American business interests is simply wrong. We do not to target foreign companies to support American business interests.

* First, our business is to gather information vital to the national defense and foreign policy of the US. Other departments and agencies in the US have the responsibility to assist US business interests. Our valuable resources are directed elsewhere.

* Second, if we are to maintain good relations with our allies, they have to know they can trust us not to become involved in missions that are not directly related to national security. That is important for us, and it is important to them as they justify their cooperation with us to their own people.

* Third, if we did this, where would we draw the line? Which companies would we help? Corporate giants? The little guy? All of them? I think we quickly would get into a mess and would raise questions of whether we are being unfair to one or more of our own businesses.

Of course, SIGINT does provide economic information that is useful to the United States Government. It can provide insight into global economic conditions and trends and assist policymakers in dealing with economic crises. On many occasions, it has provided information about the intentions of foreign businesses, some operated by governments, to violate US laws or sanctions or to deny US businesses a level playing field. When such information arises, it is provided to the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department, or other government agencies responsible for enforcing US laws. The Intelligence Community is just not in the business of conducting industrial espionage, and is not working on behalf of US companies to provide them unfair advantage.



26 December 2008 -- For some reason, several editors on Wikipedia don't want the information contained in this blog readily available to the viewing public, deleting all references to it.


At 07:17, Blogger Ethan Smith said...

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