August 9, 2014. Washington. (ONN) There’s a new source of leaks coming out of America’s spy apparatus and it’s not Edward Snowden. That revelation was confirmed last week when secret US spy materials were leaked to two international news outlets. The reason it’s clear this is a new intelligence leak is because some of the information being exposed wasn’t created until after Snowden had been revealed and he escaped the US.
A slide from the US government’s just-leaked Terror Watchlist Guidelines. Image courtesy of The Intercept.
If there’s a silver lining to the news that America has a new high level, secret whistleblower it’s that the person is just that, a whistleblower. Unlike spies like Jonathan Pollard who stole US military secrets for foreign regimes, Israel in Pollard’s case, this new leaker is following in the footsteps of Jeremy Hammond, Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning and Edward Snowden. The secrets weren’t passed on to America’s enemies. They were instead leaked to news outlets in an attempt to warn the American people and their allies of what the US federal government has been up to.
Are you on the US Terrorist Watch list?
Journalist Glenn Greenwald was one of two reporters that Edward Snowden secretly sent his stolen treasure trove of US intelligence to. He’s admitted in the past that the massive data dump was so huge, investigators have still only read through 10% of the material so far. That 10% included revelations that America’s communications companies have been drafted by the US secret police to spy on Americans, all Americans are being spied on by their government, and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel isn’t immune from Washington’s spies.
The latest leaked US intelligence materials contain something that’s been floating around in various forms and versions for some time - the US government’s criteria for deciding who is and isn’t a potential terrorist. The 166-page secret document is titled, ‘March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance’ and it was released in its entirety this week by Greenwald’s independent news outlet The Intercept. The guide was compiled and published by the National Counterterrorism Center - one of America’s 19 known secret police agencies.
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The Intercept took the leaked guidebook to the ACLU for their response. “Instead of a Watchlist limited to actual, known terrorists, the government has built a vast system based on the unproven and flawed premise that it can predict if a person will commit a terrorist act in the future,” The ACLU’s Hina Shamsi told the outlet, “On that dangerous theory, the government is secretly blacklisting people as suspected terrorists and giving them the impossible task of proving themselves innocent of a threat they haven’t carried out.”
Sounds like Stratfor and Trapwire
Whiteout Press readers may be wondering where they heard that before. Using prediction software to identify future domestic terrorists is a secret US spy program that we published back in 2012 thanks to Anonymous, LulzSec and Jeremy Hammond. The young hacker exposed the secret mercenary spy corporation Stratfor and its top secret program titled, ‘Trapwire’.
Stratfor stands for ‘Strategic Forecasting’ and Trapwire is a massive computer system that steals the feeds of every single video camera and microphone on Earth, creating a virtual time machine that allows agents to watch anyone they want on their monitors, anywhere and at any point in the past. The program’s key feature and selling point to the US government was its alleged ability to use that vast arsenal of personal information to predict which Americans will become terrorists in the future, what they will attack, who they will work with, and how they will do it.
Read the 2012 Whiteout Press article, ‘Trapwire and Time Travel – Denzel movie Déjà vu is real’ for details.
US Terrorist Watch List
The just-leaked guidebook details the criteria by which Americans will find themselves listed on the secret Terrorist Watch List. The biggest red flag of all is that agents are using predictive analytics to label Americans terrorists, not actual acts, speech or even thoughts.
The Intercept explains, ‘The document’s definition of “terrorist” activity includes actions that fall far short of bombing or hijacking. In addition to expected crimes, such as assassination or hostage-taking, the guidelines also define destruction of government property and damaging computers used by financial institutions as activities meriting placement on a list. They also define as terrorism any act that is “dangerous” to property and intended to influence government policy through intimidation.’
Investigators poured over the 166 pages to find out how one gets put on the Terrorist Watch List, or ‘nominated’ as the guidelines call it. As it turns out, one single government employee on any level of any government can have an American nominated for the federal Terrorist Watch List simply by noting that they saw a social media post assumedly made by the person that raises some kind of suspicion.
The investigators quote the leaked guidebook saying, “Single source information, including but not limited to ‘walk-in,’ ‘write-in,’ or postings on social media sites, however, should not automatically be discounted…the NOMINATING AGENCY should evaluate the credibility of the source, as well as the nature and specificity of the information, and nominate even if that source is uncorroborated.”
The secret document details other methods by which Americans can be put on the Terrorist Watch List. If you have a spouse, parent, child, brother or sister that is on the suspected Terror Watch List, you can be put on it as well for that reason alone. Also, if you are an “associate” of someone on the Watch List, you can be added for no other reason. And the most far-reaching of all, if you have “a possible nexus” that touches the possible nexus of someone on the Watch List, you can be added as well.
The materials also show that the US government makes little or no effort to keep innocent people off of the list. It was revealed that in 2013 alone, government employees and contractors nominated 468,749 people to the Terrorist Watch List. Only 4,915 - or 1% - were rejected. 99% of all Americans fingered by their friends, neighbors or co-workers as potential terrorists were put on the list, regardless of the credibility of the accusations.
Who’s leaking US secrets?
A report from Business Insider this week details how US officials are quietly confirming that they have a new, high-level leaker in their midst. The first indication came in July when two German newspapers were the first to publish leaked US espionage secrets. Edward Snowden used US and a UK news outlet, including Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, not German journalists.
When the secret documents were published last month, Greenwald confirmed that he believed there was a second Edward Snowden on the loose and these new intelligence documents were coming from somebody new. Greenwald took his confirmation one step further this week when he grabbed the world’s attention by publishing the above Terrorist Watch List Guidelines from the National Counterterrorism Center. The journalist is now thought to be sitting on two separate troves of US spy files.
Two not-so-surprising revelations arising from Glenn Greenwald’s publishing of America’s secret Terrorist Watch List and guidelines are who knew already, and who’s been exposed the most. It seems the American news industry was keeping the government’s secret without exception. It wasn’t until Tuesday when Greenwald let the cat out of the bag himself that US news outlets finally reported the security breech.
The UK’s Telegraph describes, ‘The existence of a second high-level leaker - separate from the former defence contractor Edward Snowden - has been mooted in intelligence and journalistic circles for some weeks.’ CNN is being credited as the first media company to break the Washington-Wall Street imposed silence by reporting The Intercept’s publishing of the materials earlier in the day. The Telegraph report explains, ‘CNN, citing unnamed "US officials," reported that national security officers fear that they are now faced with a second source leaking classified intelligence from within their own ranks.’
Another interesting revelation from the US government’s far-reaching espionage programs is that Israel is considered one of the top threats to America’s security. Newsweek reports that the leaked NSA materials show Israel and its own spy apparatus, the Mossad, are the United States’ top espionage threat. The Jewish state is also reportedly considered a top threat to America’s economic system, along with North Korea, Cuba and India.
In possibly the most damning evidence against Israel, Newsweek writes, ‘In a section of the document headed “Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence; Denial & Deception Activities: Countering Foreign Intelligence Threats,” Israel was listed as a leading perpetrator of “espionage/intelligence collection operations and manipulation/influence operations…against US government, military, science & technology and Intelligence Community” organs.’
Americans may be surprised to find out that Israel is the third biggest perpetrator of espionage and cyber attacks against the United States, following only China and Russia. The leaked NSA documents specifically say, ‘One of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel.’ Another NSA report calls Israel and its Mossad, ‘the third most aggressive intelligence service against the US.’
Read the full 166-page Terrorist Watch List guidelines from The Intercept.