Leaks/Reports: U.S. Military Abandons Pretexts, Engages In War Planning To Support Corporations





Leaks/Reports: U.S. Military Abandons Pretexts, Engages In War Planning To Support Corporations

by Bob Swern

Apparently, today is “the day” where, once and for all, the public becomes privy to the greaterfacts about U.S. government double-speak concerning corporate “personhood” and we’re informed, as a country, that—a topic about which many have written for many centuries—our government’s ongoing war-planning efforts are primarily focused upon supporting the welfare and blatantly enriching the bottom lines of America’s largest corporations. Period.

Based upon articles published by Marcy Wheeler (with a big assist from Kossack joanneleon) and Glenn Greenwald over the past few hours, it would appear that our country’s military-industrial-surveillance complex has abandoned all moral pretenses when it comes to legitimizing why it must plan for war.

Finally, the truth goes mainstream––well, at least in the blogosphere…

The U.S. Government’s Secret Plans to Spy
for American Corporations
By Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept
09/05/2014 6:47 AM
Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The Washington Post to say (emphasis in original): “The department does **not** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”

After that categorical statement to the Post, the NSA was caught spying on plainly financial targets such as the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic summits; international credit card and banking systems; the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel; and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the U.S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in economic spying, but unlike China, the spying is never done to benefit American corporations.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, for instance, responded to the Petrobras revelations by claiming: “It is not a secret that the Intelligence Community collects information about economic and financial matters…. What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of—or give intelligence we collect to—U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line…”

The Intercept article references a document obtained by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: a “secret 2009 report issued by Clapper’s own office,” titled “2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review,”  which “explicitly contemplates doing exactly that.” Described by reporter Glenn Greenwald as a “fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies as they identify future threats to the U.S. and lay out the actions the U.S. intelligence community should take in response. It anticipates a series of potential scenarios the U.S. may face in 2025, from a ‘China/Russia/India/Iran centered bloc [that] challenges U.S. supremacy’ to a world in which ‘identity-based groups supplant nation-states,’ and games out how the U.S. intelligence community should operate in those alternative futures—the idea being to assess ‘the most challenging issues [the U.S.] could face beyond the standard planning cycle.'”

…One of the principal threats raised in the report is a scenario “in which the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips”— in particular, “that the technological capacity of foreign multinational corporations could outstrip that of U.S. corporations.” Such a development, the report says “could put the United States at a growing—and potentially permanent—disadvantage in crucial areas such as energy, nanotechnology, medicine, and information technology.”How could U.S. intelligence agencies solve that problem? The report recommends “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence” (emphasis added). In particular, the DNI’s report envisions “cyber operations” to penetrate “covert centers of innovation” such as R&D facilities…

Report excerpt from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that

Excerpt from secret 2009 report issued by Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) James Clapper, titled “2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review,” that “…envisions ‘cyber operations’ to penetrate ‘covert centers of innovation’ such as R&D facilities…” (CREDIT: Office of the Director of National Intelligence via The Intercept, 9-5-14).
But, today’s news doesn’t stop there. In fact, as Marcy Wheeler notes below the orange squiggly, it’s morphed into something that’s even more surreal

The Article 5 Cyber-Trap
Marcy Wheeler
September 5, 2014
The other day, I noted the dodginess of the evidence behind claims that Russia had launched a sophisticated cyberattack on JP Morgan. I suggested one reason people like Mike Rogers might be crying wolf was to support a plan to reimburse the banks in case of a massive attack.

But there’s another, even more obvious explanation.

NATO just added cyberattacks to its definition of attacks that would merit a unified response. Citing Russia’s Special Forces tactics (the same ones we’re using in something like 80 places around the world), including its cyberattacks, General Phillip Breedlove today ratcheted up the fear of Russia. (h/t JoanneLeon)

…Russia’s utilization of troops without national uniforms — the so-called “little green men” — and perhaps “the most amazing information warfare blitzkrieg we have ever seen in the history of information warfare” were part of the first Russian push in Ukraine, Breedlove said.NATO members, especially the Baltic states that border Russia, must take into account such tactics as allies prepare for future threats, he said. That means steps should be taken to help build the capacity of other arms of government, such as interior ministries and police forces, to counter unconventional attacks, including propaganda campaigns, cyberassaults or homegrown separatist militias…

Here’s where it gets even more interesting. Marcy references the widely-publicized JPMorgan security attack which, she notes “…no one seems to have any evidence to substantiate. It was often attributed as arising somewhere in Eastern Europe. Which could be Russia — or Ukraine. Both countries, in fact, have significant numbers of organized criminals that launch fairly sophisticated cyberattacks.”She concludes…

…How convenient, then, to ratchet up the cyberfear when unattributable attacks from the general region have been made a casus belli for the entire alliance.

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The other day, Kossack gjohnsit posted an excellent diary on the JPMorgan cyberattack, titled: “Wall Street banks hacked; taxpayers on the hook again.”

Yes, as many who’ve read my posts over the years may already know, and as today’s news reminds us, I think our government’s just a little confused about those who are–versus those who are not–the real terrorists among us.

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I thought it would be appropriate to closeout this diary with a few of the very incisive words of Smedley Butler

“We must take the profit out of war.”

U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler

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