Edward Snowden, Booz Allen Hamilton, “NATO 3”: Connecting the Dots

Today’s breaking news is that Edward Snowden – a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) who released internal NSA documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post – has fled to Latin America.


He’s been joined by Wikileaks employee Sarah Harrison. Missed in much of the hoopla surrounding Snowden’s “OJ Simpson in his White Bronco Take Two“: Booz Allen’s central role in Chicago’s “NATO 3” domestic terrorism case.

NATO 3” is shorthand for Jared Chase (29), Brent Betterly (25) and Brian Church (21), three Occupy activists who drove up to Chicago in late-April of 2012 before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit. Weeks later, they saw themselves faced with several domestic terrorism charges and many more serious felony charges.


Currently sitting in Cook County Jail – the most heavily populated prison in the U.S. and cited in a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Justice for inhumane conditions – they face 85 years behind bars.

It’s the first time Illinois’ state terrorism statute has ever been utilized, with an official trial starting date set for Sept. 16, 2013 at Cook County Courthouse. That’s one day before the two year anniversary of the launch of Occupy Wall Street.

The Booz Allen Connection

Two undercover Chicago Police Department officers going by the names Mo and Nadia were instrumental to the eventual arrest and charging of the “NATO 3.” They were on a temporary 90-day assignment before the NATO Summit beginning in Feb. 2012 as part of Field Intelligence Team 7150 to keep an eye 0n any “criminal activities” of anarchists or Occupy Chicago.

A stack of  court records have come out during the pre-trial phase.

Some of those records show that members of the FBI’s Chicago Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory (RCFL) may be called to testify if the case goes to trial. A domain name search for Chicago RCFL’s web site shows that it was registered by Booz Allen.

Booz Allen Hamilton is referred to by its proponents as a “Digital Blackwater,” a reference to what Jeremy Scahill referred to as the “world’s most powerful mercenary army,” now going by the name “Academi.”

“[BAH] is one of the NSA’s most important and trusted contractors. It’s involved in virtually every aspect of intelligence and surveillance,” wrote investigative journalist Tim Shorrock in a recent article. “Among other secret projects, Booz was deeply involved in ‘Total Information Awareness,’ the controversial data-mining project run for the Bush administration.”

Booz’s Connection to the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System

As I wrote in my article on TruthOut, Booz Allen is also deeply involved in the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System and its Human Terrain Teams, which “map the human terrain” of communities abroad for the military and CIA as part of counterinsurgency warfare campaigns.

Booz Allen provides IT and logistical support for the HTS/HTTs. 


My piece further explained:

A career New York cop, Chicago Police Department (CPD) superintendent Garry McCarthy is no stranger to the Human Terrain System.

It wasn’t long he after formally assumed the mantle of CPD superintendent in 2011 that McCarthy drew fire for having allowed a spy ring tasked to “map the human terrain” of Newark, N.J.,’s Islamic community to operate there, where he served as police chief before taking the position as CPD’s top dog.

McCarthy also served as an NYPD commander when the police set up spy rings before the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City and during “CIA on the Hudson,” the joint NYPD/CIA project that was set up and run by former CIA Deputy Director for Operations David Cohen to “map the human terrain” of New York City’s Islamic community.

“Architecture of Oppression”

Snowden referred to the Frankenstein the NSA and its private contractors have created as an “architecture of oppression” in his exclusive interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in The Guardian.

“Digital Blackwater,” as AlterNet‘s Tom Hintze pointed out, is but a tiny piece of the “architecture of oppression.” The architecture also includes the use of undercover officers, agent provocateurs, and paramilitary-style policing of protests, to name a few.

Snowden’s comments to Greenwald speak well to the “NATO 3” case, which revolves predominantly on things they said to Mo and Nadia and things they said to one another on Facebook before heading to Chicago. It’s what Roger Shuy referred to as “language crimes.”

“[E]ven if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call,” Snowden told Greenwald. “And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.”

Obama Crafts New Anti-WikiLeaks Law

From Secrecy News:

The Obama Administration is putting the finishing touches on a new executive order that is intended to improve the security of classified information in government computer networks as part of the government’s response to WikiLeaks.

The order is supposed to reduce the feasibility and the likelihood of the sort of unauthorized releases of classified U.S. government information that have been published by WikiLeaks in the past year.

[…] the order establishes new mechanisms for “governance” and continuing development of security policies for information systems.  Among other things, it builds upon the framework established — but not fully implemented — by the 1990 National Security Directive 42 (pdf)…

As far as anybody can tell, the release of the classified material by Wikileaks, despite the hyperbolic haranguing about Assange being a terrorist and about leaked documents harming our national security, has done no measurable harm to any individuals in the U.S. government. Nor is any damage to the safety and security of Americans as a whole at all perceivable. What the leaks have done is to give Americans a better idea of what their government does in their name. It’s possible even, as some have argued, that they’ve done much more good than just that. But sticking to the dangerous national security threat these leaks were promised to present by the apologists for shadow government, not even the government itself has pointed to any specific occurrences of danger or threats to safety or national security. Not even the Obama administration has made that charge.

So why craft an executive order specifically with the purpose of preventing the release of government secrets which have been shown to be safely made public? We have the benefit of an experiment in releasing classified information, and – at least in the hundreds of thousands of documents released by Wikileaks – it has been shown to be legitimate public information and have no danger to national security. Yet the Obama administration is crafting a law to prevent these from ever being released again. They want to hide the business of government from the American people. We are to be spectators merely of the partisan show put on by PR consultants for public consumption. What the government is actually up to…that’s none of our business.

And there is still a very long way to go, since in 2010 there were 76 million classification decisions. And again, it is now terribly trite to say, but this is the kind of thing stands in sharp contrast to all that we were promised by Barack Obama about open government and transparency. The sad thing is, those same gullible fools who fell for it in 2008, are almost guaranteed to fall for it again in 2012.

Crocker: Iraqi PM Maliki’s Turn Towards Dictatorship Is “In U.S. Interest”

Another new Wikileaks cable on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki provides some insight into U.S. intentions in one of its newest client states. The diplomat writing the cables is Ryan Crocker, just recently appointed Ambassador to Afghanistan. He talks about Maliki’s turn towards authoritarianism and how his tactics and behavior have served to benefit U.S. interests there on the whole.

A key question posed by Maliki's evolving hold on
levers of political and security power is whether the PM is
becoming a non-democratic dictator bent on subordinating all
authority to his hand or whether Maliki is attempting to
rebalance political and security authority back to the center
after five-plus years of intended and unintended dispersal to
(and in some cases seizure by) actors and power structures
outside Baghdad.
[...] First seen as weak, ineffective, and ill-informed
about the political and security structures put in place
since Saddam's fall (Maliki was not a participant in the
governing bodies set up during the CPA), Prime Minister
Maliki was by the fall of 2008 being widely criticized - by
leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) and other Sunni
politicians, by the Kurdish political leadership, and by
fellow Shi'a from outside Maliki's Da'wa Party -- as
autocratic and excessively ambitious, with the long-term aim
of becoming a new strong man dictator.  The "political reform
resolution," passed by parliament in conjunction with its
approval of the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement and Strategic
Framework Agreement on November 27, 2008 (reftel), amounted
to a manifesto of grievances against the Prime Minister that
had been growing among his coalition partners, and the
opposition, throughout the year. 

The document urged the Maliki Government to adhere to
the Constitution, to commit to a democratic federal system,
to share power with the legislature, to professionalize and
depoliticize the security forces, to guarantee a free
judiciary, disband "unconstitutional structures" within the
government, and release prisoners eligible for amnesty or
held without due process, among other demands.

Details are given about Maliki’s incessant corruption, nepotism, and over-reliance on security forces to get his way. And what does the U.S. think of this turn to centralized authority and strong-arm security tactics? It’s in the U.S. interest.

The critical progress on security and stability made
over the past year, while underpinned by the U.S. military
surge, owes much to Maliki's leadership and restoration of
central government authority.  It is in the interests of the
U.S. to see that process of strengthened central authority

There is a caveat thrown in there about doing this in a more “sustainable” way that reflects strong “institutions rather than personalities” and a “consensus national vision” among Iraq’s main groups. That is, so long as the main groups don’t interfere with our interests in Iraq. For example, to act as a check on Iran, to give primacy to American business, not interfering with U.S. military occupation and operations, and ignoring any part of Iraqi public opinion that contradicts U.S. imperial dictates.

No, Assange Still Very Much Hoist by the State’s Petard

A few bits on the Assange “smear” leak:

1) Getting into even more (quite boring) alleged details of the incidents does not negate the accepted fact that these women continued to gushingly pal around with Assange quite a bit after the “rapes.” As pointed out by Assange, and as not challenged by “Miss A,” the WikiLeaks founder continued to sleep in her bed for another week. Stockholm syndrome? (lol)

2) It’s clear this was engineered by the United States as no Swede would think such intimate details as scandalous and fatally damaging as dowdy Americans. “We’ll embarrass him good,” some Mormon covert-ops button-up no doubt chuckled as he unleashed this ho-hum operation. “Look, it mentions his penis!”

3) And most importantly to demolish, Assange is not now, in any way, hoist by his own petard, thank you very much apparently-recently-re-resurrected neoconservative New York Sun. WikiLeaks exists to expose the misdeeds of those in power, the nearly invincible elites. Court charges are kept secret so that accused and assumed innocent individuals — almost the embodiment of those with the least power – get a fair hearing in a system run by the very power elites targeted by WikiLeaks. I have a feeling Glenn Greenwald will go into detail on this very subject in the coming week.

Why are they so dangerous?

Why Julian Assange (and Wikileaks) are so dangerous. In Assange’s own words – – –

Sun 31 Dec 2006 : The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance

…different structures of power are differentially affected by leaks (the defection of the inner to the outer) [and] its motivations may become clearer.

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive "secrecy tax") and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance. ja-conspiracies.pdf