Comment…

There is just SO much going on right now, and a LOT of it does NOT reach “the mainstream media”, but if it DOES then it is “their” VERSION, the one they WANT you to believe! In case you might have “missed” some things however, here is a summary…

There is HUGE significance to more recent revelations regarding YOUR “personal privacy” with the events that have unfolded around a certain individual who, as others before him, has revealed that two of the main protagonist governments, long ago, decided that their ILLEGAL actions AGAINST the peoples of the world “were necessary” and are “for your protection”. The sheer SCALE of what they are doing, and have planned further for the near future, boggles the mind, and they are totally serious about it!

While this is going on, the Mid-East situation is coming to a head, with all sides “jockeying for the best position”, and this also is definitely “no small thing”! What most people DON’T realise is that this is NOT “a confined theatre of operations” to THAT region, but that it has GLOBAL significance, and the effects will be GLOBALLY FELT! One of the purposes of the planned outcome is to bring the rest of the world into line, by having control over not just “the resources” available, but the CURRENCIES that are AFFECTED BY those resources, which affects ALL OTHER COMMODITIES, such as fuel and food prices!

Which brings me to… The “economic crises”! I say “crisEs”, because IT IS ALL INTERCONNECTED! – The banksters’ frauds and ripoffs of their clients, students, pensioners, home-owners, the middle-class, small businesses, etc, etc, through their selfish manipulation and movement of currencies, stocks, bonds, etc (while lining their own pockets); The governments’ stealing from their peoples through their taxes, in order to finance and support the banksters, and illegal wars on behalf of “the big money boys”, the corporations; The “dumbing down” of the populations of the world through “pharma-mega-bucks” (“science FALSELY so-called”) and “genetically-MUTATED” (let’s call it what it really IS) so-called “foods”, along with the corruption of the education systems, the brain-numbing commercialism of so-called “entertainment” and “consumerism”, and the over-whelming of the minds with “technological advancements”!

Then there is the soon-to-be revealed “full disclosure” of a so-called “alien” presence among us, and all that that will mean to mankind, along with all the repercussions that will result!

And let us not discount the significance of the recent “Bilderberg” meetings in the UK IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWED BY THE G8 meetings, which were ALSO attended by the current “leaders” of the EU (WHY was THAT you might wonder? Well…..!). We are being “setup”, and ALL THE TIME now people!

Need I say more? I think you get the picture! It is ALL “coming to a head” folks, and a LOT of the peoples of the world seem to be waking up to the facts, going by the number of demonstrations that have been reported going on all over the world! But “what to do?” Well, pretty soon there will be “no way out” but UP! And THAT is COMING, and the sooner the better! 😀

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A Valid Question…

…with a more than valid answer, with which I am TOTALLY in agreement! 😀

Love Wins – God is Love – God Wins – Otherwise……..“It would have to be an admitted failure of God that He wasn’t able really to save all of His creation & all of His creatures…….. if the Devil remains unsaved along with all of his angels that he led astray & along with all the people they led astray, then God’s plan for Universal Reconciliation, eternal redemption of all, failed! (HELL’S END! — Every Age Has an End! ML# 1465, David Berg)

Please, Jesus, Protect Me From Your Followers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_76SlSwZU8

(10:55 video length)

Thoughts on Eternal Punishment, Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iCibySGAMzU

(9:51 video length)

A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivwfqBNICf4

(2:58 video length)

“Love Wins” is sparking evangelism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an5PKVhjn8o

(6:06 video length)

Jesus Friend of Sinners

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66zqQBxhUDA

(5:35 video length)

les miserables–finale 10 anniversary concert

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FmaTNf4YhEs

(2:03 video length)

HOW CAN A LOVING GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?

http://therebelgod.com/hell.html

(Excerpts – to read the full article click the link above)

 

HOW CAN A LOVING GOD
SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?


Over the years I have been increasingly troubled by the doctrine of Hell. As my love for God and my neighbor increased, the horror at the thought of many of those I love suffering eternal punishment had increased with it. I was shocked at how nonchalantly my fellow Christians accepted that the majority of the world was going to Hell. How could they believe this and not be deeply broken and grieved over it? I found the fact that they were not disturbed to be deeply disturbing. Not only did I hear people casually justifying the hypothetical person burning in torment with callous references to freewill
(“they had their chance to decide”), or responding out of fear that God is being challenged in his justice with all sorts of completely awful unchristlike theories in much the same way as Job’s friends did with him: “Well sure God is love, but enough is enough!” or “Wouldn’t you be mad too?”, ad nauseum.


In this paper I would like to take a look at what the Bible tells us about the nature of who God is, and who we are, and then with this background to take a new look at Hell through that paradigm. In so doing I hope to find a biblical and livable approach to dealing with the problem of Hell.

God is love. I can’t state that strongly enough. When we make statements like “God cannot leave sin unpunished” as a justification for people going to Hell we do not accurately reflect God’s true heart and character. A more biblical description would be “God is not willing that any should perish – regardless of the personal cost to himself” God is not so concerned with questions of guilt and deserving and justice as he is concerned with you. When God died for you on the Cross he was basically saying “I don’t care about whose fault it is, I just want you back!”

Don’t get me wrong. Sin and lostness are very real. Love is not blind. I am definitely not saying that sin does not matter. It cost God his life to save us. Without God’s salvation we are all separated from God and lost, headed on a collision course with Hell. Hell is the natural consequence (like gravity) of our life without God, it is what life looks like separated from love, from life, from hope. Hell is looking our own lostness straight in the face. Just like we have glimpses of what Heaven will be like through our experiences of God’s salvation here, we also have glimpses of what Hell will be like through the lostness and despair and hopelessness around us. Hell is the very definition of lostness, of the absence of God. Hell is evil, destruction, and Godlessness in its most final and extreme form. God won’t send us there, we’re already on our way. God’s job is to stop us.


The fundamental problem with the traditional doctrine of Hell is that it creates a conflict between what we understand to be God’s version of justice and ours. What I am proposing is that the Bible paints no such conflict. What you understand as justice, God does too. Judgment day will not be unfair and tyrannical, but governed by love. It’s true that love is not wimpy or soft, but what many of us have been taught as “biblical justice” was in fact merely legalistic and primitive and not a reflection of what real Godly justice is. God is not merely the highest being in the universe – He is the height. He is love. He isjustice. It is not possible for us to develop a higher concept of justice or love than God already embodies. Without God there is no love, there is no justice. Everything you understand about what these two things mean, you have because God has revealed these truths to you, because he has planted these things in your heart. The conflict between our understanding of justice and God’s is simply not there. Still it seems that it is by what we read in the Bible. We will be going over many of these things now, trying to make sense of them throughout the rest of this paper, but we now have a starting point: God is love, God is just. These are theological absolutes. Anything that calls these two things into question is either wrong, or we have misunderstood it.

It is said that God cannot be where sin is. But we see in Christ that this is exactly where he was. He walks through the streets, filled with death and loneliness, and kneels beside the empty faces. It is sin that cannot be where God is. It is our dysfunction, our hypocrisy and hurt that can’t remain when we are with Him.

As a result of this wrong picture of God’s justice and character that we have been taught, we tend to develop a schizophrenic approach to evangelism. In our experience with God, He is loving. Overwhelmingly loving in fact. When we expect

h

“Evangelism
rushing ahead of,
and outside the
context of love,
is a polluted
and ineffectual Gospel.”

 

im to react harshly he often surprises us with tenderness and forgiveness. David talked about this a lot in the Psalms. Paul said “It is your kindness that leads us to repentance”. This unconditional love of God sends us to our knees. It breaks us. But although we experience this with God ourselves, when we tell non-Christians about God we present a God who cannot leave sin unpunished, who loves justice, who seems by our description to be unfair and hateful. We try to scare the Hell out of people, rather than believing that God meant it when He said that it is kindness that leads us to repentance.

 


Out of fear and urgency we try to help God out a bit, and speed up the process by playing the Holy Spirit. But fear is always a bad motivation. Love is patient. Love always hopes, always waits, always trusts, always believes, and though it’s hard to take – love hurries for no one. We are not the Holy Spirit. Salvation is God’s responsibility, ours is to love. Evangelism rushing ahead of, and outside the context of love, is a polluted and ineffectual Gospel. We cloth the naked, we heal the sick, we love those around us, not as a bait for salvation, but simply because it is good, because it is loving. Our means is love, and this is never a waste of time.

WHAT ABOUT THE BUDDHISTS?

Now we turn our focus to Jesus and His claims to be the only way to God. This statement is often times a stumbling block to sensitive people who ask “What about people in other religions? What about people who have never heard? What about people who live good lives but were raised in a totally different culture?” The basic question is: How can a just God limit himself to one specific cultural expression or world religion? The answer is simple: He doesn’t. We as Christians do not believe that Christianity is the truth, we believe that Christ is the truth. Christianity is our human-made cultural imperfect attempt to follow Him. As E. Stanley Jones wrote:


“I do not conceive of the gospel of Christ as a religion at all. Jesus was not coming to set one religion over against another. He came to set the gospel over against human need, whether that need be in the Jewish faith, in the Gentile religions, or among Jesus’ own followers. For religions are man’s search for God; the Gospel is God’s search for man.


“I know when I say that it sounds presumptuous, for a religion was built up around Jesus, man-made and fallible. True, but the gospel confronts that man-made and fallible system with the same demand and offer as it does the other religions. We do not preach the system built up around Jesus, we preach to the system just as we would preach to any other human need. Our message is not the system but the savior. He is the Gospel. He did not come to bring the good news, he is the good news. We therefore bring him to East and West and say: You do not have to take our interpretation of Christ except as you find it helpful in forming your own. Go straight to the gospels and discover Jesus anew; and if you show us a better interpretation, we shall sit at your feet.”

Maybe we shouldn’t say that Christ is the only way to God (which might imply that the system built around Christ – a belief or a technique – is the only right one) but rather that Christ is the only way from God. When God reaches out his hand, that’s what it looks like. The reason Jesus is the only way to God is because Jesus is God.

CONCLUSIONS

We have seen very good evidence to give us hope for a lost world. Now we need to think about how we should respond to this. What matters is how these doctrines effect how we perceive God, and how we represent him to others. It is vital to a healthy relationship that we view God as being just, loving, and in control. People get so enflamed about the issue of Hell because of just that – what it implies about who God is. How has a traditional doctrine of Hell effected how we present the Gospel? How has it motivated our response to God? It is often said that without the threat of Hell that no one will repent, and no one will evangelize. I would propose that the opposite is true. If you come to God because you are afraid of going to Hell, or if you evangelize out of a fear of Hell, then your motivation is based on fear and not love, And that is wrong. Fear of punishment is a selfish motivation, and if that is your motivation you need to change it. We do not love God or our neighbor because of what we can get out of it – maximizing our self-interest. We love because it is right. Period. If you find that you no longer love God, or your neighbor after the weight of a motivation of guilt and fear are lifted from over your head, then I would question whether you ever really loved them at all.
When some Universalists say that sin has no consequences – that it is not enslaving us and destroying us – this is absurdly naive. But it is just as absurd to champion justice in the name of God when he has shown us that he wants mercy, reconciliation, and Grace. The irony is that we defend the doctrine of Hell because of justice even though justice is the problem with Hell. Hell is not just, God is just. Hell is evil. Hell is not a good thing, it is a bad thing, just like sin. Hell is what God fights against, not for. We should fight with God, not against him. What Victor Hugo wrote in the introduction of his brilliant novel Les Misérables epitomizes for me what it means to have Christ’s heart for the lost:

“A society that tolerates misery, a religion that tolerates Hell, a humanity that tolerates war, is to me an inferior one. With all of the strength of my being I want to destroy this human depravation. I damn the slavery, I chase away the misery, I heal the sickness, I brighten the darkness, I hate the hatred. “

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“Shock Jocks” and…

…”Populist Politicos”!? Dear Max Keiser can be a little sarcastic in his presentation sometimes, but his scathing attacks on financial and political corruption are his forté, and all based in facts! Read on…

Shock jocks and populist politicos inspiring change in Britain

Max Keiser, the host of RT’s ‘Keiser Report,’ is a former stockbroker, the inventor of the virtual specialist technology, virtual currencies, and prediction markets.

Published time: June 13, 2013 11:20

 

Shock jock Alex Jones exploded on Andrew Neil’s “Sunday Politics” show on the BBC and Brits were aghast. This man opined the host, while make circling gestures around his head indicating mental instability, “We have an idiot on the program today.”

24-hours later a video of the appearance surpassed 1million views on YouTube and this is the point. There is a huge audience for Alex Jones and alternative media in general.

Is this just a stunt or is there something more at play here?

In two words: Nigel Farage. Nigel is one of the most radical populists in British politics in years and thanks to shock jocks like Alex Jones, he’s somewhat under a radar while he accumulates – what some now estimate – 15% of the British popular vote; and trending higher. When compared to what Alex Jones is blaring at the top of his lungs to, a huge British audience of millions who tune into his show regularly, an upstart politician like Farage – with a radical agenda – appear highly reasonable. It’s the old ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine played for votes (Ron and Rand Paul have appeared on Alex Jones’ show in the US increasing their political fortunes enormously using the same technique).

Two years ago Nigel Farage of UKIP was destined to be a fringe MEP of a fringe party but then videos of Nigel making impassioned speeches on Youtube attracted a worldwide audience of dissatisfied and disaffected voters and supports around the world. Then Nigel started appearing on major, albeit alternative media outlets like Eric King’s influential “King World News” (with a global base of very educated, very wealthy HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals). Then the Drudge Report picked up the scent, and other influential sites like Peter Schiff’s “Schiff Report.”  As a result Nigel Farage is more famous globally than any other UK politician.

RT too started playing videos of Nigel as well as interviewing him, and RT is the first broadcaster to cross 1 billion videos on YouTube for a global TV network; with a global reach approaching 700 million viewers. It’s a reciprocal relationship. Their audience is hungry for honesty and a new wave of journalist, politicians and shock jocks are giving it to them.

Nobody in the Mainstream Media reports on these trends in Britain or in the U.S. and in the case of Alex Jones there is no chance Alex will lead a majority party in the UK but in Farage’s case there is a real possibility that he’ll supplant the Liberal Democrats as Britain’s third biggest party and could very well be on his way to becoming part of the UK’s political duopoly. And this was accomplished under the noses of the BBC and every major outlet in the UK who is playing catch up to other global broadcasters and alternative media who are pushing candidates of Alex Jones into the ‘superstar’ category and possibly the front benches.

Addendum: I sent an email to BBC producer Robbie Gibb who asked me to email him regarding the phenomenon that is Alex Jones and how the BBC might be able to tap into this huge, under served, and politically aware audience – and in typical BBC fashion – the response so far is that they’ll ‘think about it.’ Meanwhile, the media and political landscape beneath Britain’s feat is shifting and those who ignore the significance of Alex Jones’ ranting on “Sunday Politics” will have to take early retirement. But in a country of media laggards and layabouts I’m sure that’s the best possible news they could hope for. 

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 

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Statistics!

By the 4th August my other site will have been up for 2 years! At that time it will have had around 7,500 visitors maybe. – If you check out the “ClustrMaps” widget there, you will notice that this includes people from (basically) all over the planet!

In contrast, this NEW site (which holds material “less liked” by most, I thought – i.e. “Heavy man!”) has had 1,020+ “hits” to date, in just short of a month ! Does this mean that people are more interested in “the heavy stuff” I wonder?

I don’t know, BUT I think it was “a good idea”!

Talking of statistics, did you know that YOU are one?… (See items following below!)

The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

Photo: Name Withheld; Digital Manipulation: Jesse Lenz

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

Magazine2004

Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects ofpolygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.

But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.

Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.

The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

For the NSA, overflowing with tens of billions of dollars in post-9/11 budget awards, the cryptanalysis breakthrough came at a time of explosive growth, in size as well as in power. Established as an arm of the Department of Defense following Pearl Harbor, with the primary purpose of preventing another surprise assault, the NSA suffered a series of humiliations in the post-Cold War years. Caught offguard by an escalating series of terrorist attacks—the first World Trade Center bombing, the blowing up of US embassies in East Africa, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, and finally the devastation of 9/11—some began questioning the agency’s very reason for being. In response, the NSA has quietly been reborn. And while there is little indication that its actual effectiveness has improved—after all, despite numerous pieces of evidence and intelligence-gathering opportunities, it missed the near-disastrous attempted attacks by the underwear bomber on a flight to Detroit in 2009 and by the car bomber in Times Square in 2010—there is no doubt that it has transformed itself into the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever created.

In the process—and for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net. And, of course, it’s all being done in secret. To those on the inside, the old adage that NSA stands for Never Say Anything applies more than ever.

UTAH DATA CENTER

When construction is completed in 2013, the heavily fortified $2 billion facility in Bluffdale will encompass 1 million square feet.

Utah Data Center

1 Visitor control center

A $9.7 million facility for ensuring that only cleared personnel gain access.

2 Administration

Designated space for technical support and administrative personnel.

3 Data halls

Four 25,000-square-foot facilities house rows and rows of servers.

4 Backup generators and fuel tanks

Can power the center for at least three days.

5 Water storage and pumping

Able to pump 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day.

6 Chiller plant

About 60,000 tons of cooling equipment to keep servers from overheating.

7 Power substation

An electrical substation to meet the center’s estimated 65-megawatt demand.

8 Security

Video surveillance, intrusion detection, and other protection will cost more than $10 million.

Source: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Conceptual Site plan

A swath of freezing fog blanketed Salt Lake City on the morning of January 6, 2011, mixing with a weeklong coating of heavy gray smog. Red air alerts, warning people to stay indoors unless absolutely necessary, had become almost daily occurrences, and the temperature was in the bone-chilling twenties. “What I smell and taste is like coal smoke,” complained one local blogger that day. At the city’s international airport, many inbound flights were delayed or diverted while outbound regional jets were grounded. But among those making it through the icy mist was a figure whose gray suit and tie made him almost disappear into the background. He was tall and thin, with the physique of an aging basketball player and dark caterpillar eyebrows beneath a shock of matching hair. Accompanied by a retinue of bodyguards, the man was NSA deputy director Chris Inglis, the agency’s highest-ranking civilian and the person who ran its worldwide day-to-day operations.

A short time later, Inglis arrived in Bluffdale at the site of the future data center, a flat, unpaved runway on a little-used part of Camp Williams, a National Guard training site. There, in a white tent set up for the occasion, Inglis joined Harvey Davis, the agency’s associate director for installations and logistics, and Utah senator Orrin Hatch, along with a few generals and politicians in a surreal ceremony. Standing in an odd wooden sandbox and holding gold-painted shovels, they made awkward jabs at the sand and thus officially broke ground on what the local media had simply dubbed “the spy center.” Hoping for some details on what was about to be built, reporters turned to one of the invited guests, Lane Beattie of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Did he have any idea of the purpose behind the new facility in his backyard? “Absolutely not,” he said with a self-conscious half laugh. “Nor do I want them spying on me.”

For his part, Inglis simply engaged in a bit of double-talk, emphasizing the least threatening aspect of the center: “It’s a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the intelligence community in its mission to, in turn, enable and protect the nation’s cybersecurity.” While cybersecurity will certainly be among the areas focused on in Bluffdale, what is collected, how it’s collected, and what is done with the material are far more important issues. Battling hackers makes for a nice cover—it’s easy to explain, and who could be against it? Then the reporters turned to Hatch, who proudly described the center as “a great tribute to Utah,” then added, “I can’t tell you a lot about what they’re going to be doing, because it’s highly classified.”

And then there was this anomaly: Although this was supposedly the official ground-breaking for the nation’s largest and most expensive cybersecurity project, no one from the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for protecting civilian networks from cyberattack, spoke from the lectern. In fact, the official who’d originally introduced the data center, at a press conference in Salt Lake City in October 2009, had nothing to do with cybersecurity. It was Glenn A. Gaffney, deputy director of national intelligence for collection, a man who had spent almost his entire career at the CIA. As head of collection for the intelligence community, he managed the country’s human and electronic spies.

Within days, the tent and sandbox and gold shovels would be gone and Inglis and the generals would be replaced by some 10,000 construction workers. “We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project, told a local reporter. The plans for the center show an extensive security system: an elaborate $10 million antiterrorism protection program, including a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.

Inside, the facility will consist of four 25,000-square-foot halls filled with servers, complete with raised floor space for cables and storage. In addition, there will be more than 900,000 square feet for technical support and administration. The entire site will be self-sustaining, with fuel tanks large enough to power the backup generators for three days in an emergency, water storage with the capability of pumping 1.7 million gallons of liquid per day, as well as a sewage system and massive air-conditioning system to keep all those servers cool. Electricity will come from the center’s own substation built by Rocky Mountain Power to satisfy the 65-megawatt power demand. Such a mammoth amount of energy comes with a mammoth price tag—about $40 million a year, according to one estimate.

Given the facility’s scale and the fact that a terabyte of data can now be stored on a flash drive the size of a man’s pinky, the potential amount of information that could be housed in Bluffdale is truly staggering. But so is the exponential growth in the amount of intelligence data being produced every day by the eavesdropping sensors of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. As a result of this “expanding array of theater airborne and other sensor networks,” as a 2007 Department of Defense report puts it, the Pentagon is attempting to expand its worldwide communications network, known as the Global Information Grid, to handle yottabytes (1024 bytes) of data. (A yottabyte is a septillion bytes—so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.)

It needs that capacity because, according to a recent report by Cisco, global Internet traffic will quadruple from 2010 to 2015, reaching 966 exabytes per year. (A million exabytes equal a yottabyte.) In terms of scale, Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, once estimated that the total of all human knowledge created from the dawn of man to 2003 totaled 5 exabytes. And the data flow shows no sign of slowing. In 2011 more than 2 billion of the world’s 6.9 billion people were connected to the Internet. By 2015, market research firm IDC estimates, there will be 2.7 billion users. Thus, the NSA’s need for a 1-million-square-foot data storehouse. Should the agency ever fill the Utah center with a yottabyte of information, it would be equal to about 500 quintillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.

The data stored in Bluffdale will naturally go far beyond the world’s billions of public web pages. The NSA is more interested in the so-called invisible web, also known as the deep web or deepnet—data beyond the reach of the public. This includes password-protected data, US and foreign government communications, and noncommercial file-sharing between trusted peers. “The deep web contains government reports, databases, and other sources of information of high value to DOD and the intelligence community,” according to a 2010 Defense Science Board report. “Alternative tools are needed to find and index data in the deep web … Stealing the classified secrets of a potential adversary is where the [intelligence] community is most comfortable.” With its new Utah Data Center, the NSA will at last have the technical capability to store, and rummage through, all those stolen secrets. The question, of course, is how the agency defines who is, and who is not, “a potential adversary.”

The NSA’S SPY NETWORK

Once it’s operational, the Utah Data Center will become, in effect, the NSA’s cloud. The center will be fed data collected by the agency’s eavesdropping satellites, overseas listening posts, and secret monitoring rooms in telecom facilities throughout the US. All that data will then be accessible to the NSA’s code breakers, data-miners, China analysts, counterterrorism specialists, and others working at its Fort Meade headquarters and around the world. Here’s how the data center appears to fit into the NSA’s global puzzle.—J.B.

SPY NETWORK

1 Geostationary satellites

Four satellites positioned around the globe monitor frequencies carrying everything from walkie-talkies and cell phones in Libya to radar systems in North Korea. Onboard software acts as the first filter in the collection process, targeting only key regions, countries, cities, and phone numbers or email.

2 Aerospace Data Facility, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado

Intelligence collected from the geostationary satellites, as well as signals from other spacecraft and overseas listening posts, is relayed to this facility outside Denver. About 850 NSA employees track the satellites, transmit target information, and download the intelligence haul.

3 NSA Georgia, Fort Gordon, Augusta, Georgia

Focuses on intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Codenamed Sweet Tea, the facility has been massively expanded and now consists of a 604,000-square-foot operations building for up to 4,000 intercept operators, analysts, and other specialists.

4 NSA Texas, Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio

Focuses on intercepts from Latin America and, since 9/11, the Middle East and Europe. Some 2,000 workers staff the operation. The NSA recently completed a $100 million renovation on a mega-data center here—a backup storage facility for the Utah Data Center.

5 NSA Hawaii, Oahu

Focuses on intercepts from Asia. Built to house an aircraft assembly plant during World War II, the 250,000-square-foot bunker is nicknamed the Hole. Like the other NSA operations centers, it has since been expanded: Its 2,700 employees now do their work aboveground from a new 234,000-square-foot facility.

6 Domestic listening posts

The NSA has long been free to eavesdrop on international satellite communications. But after 9/11, it installed taps in US telecom “switches,” gaining access to domestic traffic. An ex-NSA official says there are 10 to 20 such installations.

7 Overseas listening posts

According to a knowledgeable intelligence source, the NSA has installed taps on at least a dozen of the major overseas communications links, each capable of eavesdropping on information passing by at a high data rate.

8 Utah Data Center, Bluffdale, Utah

At a million square feet, this $2 billion digital storage facility outside Salt Lake City will be the centerpiece of the NSA’s cloud-based data strategy and essential in its plans for decrypting previously uncrackable documents.

9 Multiprogram Research Facility, Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Some 300 scientists and computer engineers with top security clearance toil away here, building the world’s fastest supercomputers and working on cryptanalytic applications and other secret projects.

10 NSA headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland

Analysts here will access material stored at Bluffdale to prepare reports and recommendations that are sent to policymakers. To handle the increased data load, the NSA is also building an $896 million supercomputer center here.

Before yottabytes of data from the deep web and elsewhere can begin piling up inside the servers of the NSA’s new center, they must be collected. To better accomplish that, the agency has undergone the largest building boom in its history, including installing secret electronic monitoring rooms in major US telecom facilities. Controlled by the NSA, these highly secured spaces are where the agency taps into the US communications networks, a practice that came to light during the Bush years but was never acknowledged by the agency. The broad outlines of the so-called warrantless-wiretapping program have long been exposed—how the NSA secretly and illegally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was supposed to oversee and authorize highly targeted domestic eavesdropping; how the program allowed wholesale monitoring of millions of American phone calls and email. In the wake of the program’s exposure, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which largely made the practices legal. Telecoms that had agreed to participate in the illegal activity were granted immunity from prosecution and lawsuits. What wasn’t revealed until now, however, was the enormity of this ongoing domestic spying program.

For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamedStellar Wind, in detail. William Binney was a senior NSA crypto-mathematician largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. A tall man with strands of black hair across the front of his scalp and dark, determined eyes behind thick-rimmed glasses, the 68-year-old spent nearly four decades breaking codes and finding new ways to channel billions of private phone calls and email messages from around the world into the NSA’s bulging databases. As chief and one of the two cofounders of the agency’s Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center, Binney and his team designed much of the infrastructure that’s still likely used to intercept international and foreign communications.

He explains that the agency could have installed its tapping gear at the nation’s cable landing stations—the more than two dozen sites on the periphery of the US where fiber-optic cables come ashore. If it had taken that route, the NSA would have been able to limit its eavesdropping to just international communications, which at the time was all that was allowed under US law. Instead it chose to put the wiretapping rooms at key junction points throughout the country—large, windowless buildings known as switches—thus gaining access to not just international communications but also to most of the domestic traffic flowing through the US. The network of intercept stations goes far beyond the single room in an AT&T building in San Francisco exposed by a whistle-blower in 2006. “I think there’s 10 to 20 of them,” Binney says. “That’s not just San Francisco; they have them in the middle of the country and also on the East Coast.”

The eavesdropping on Americans doesn’t stop at the telecom switches. To capture satellite communications in and out of the US, the agency also monitors AT&T’s powerful earth stations, satellite receivers in locations that include Roaring Creek and Salt Creek. Tucked away on a back road in rural Catawissa, Pennsylvania, Roaring Creek’s three 105-foot dishes handle much of the country’s communications to and from Europe and the Middle East. And on an isolated stretch of land in remote Arbuckle, California, three similar dishes at the company’s Salt Creek station service the Pacific Rim and Asia.

The former NSA official held his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are that far from a turnkey totalitarianstate.”

Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there. According to Binney—who has maintained close contact with agency employees until a few years ago—the taps in the secret rooms dotting the country are actually powered by highly sophisticated software programs that conduct “deep packet inspection,” examining Internet traffic as it passes through the 10-gigabit-per-second cables at the speed of light.

The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.” And when Bluffdale is completed, whatever is collected will be routed there for storage and analysis.

According to Binney, one of the deepest secrets of the Stellar Wind program—again, never confirmed until now—was that the NSA gained warrantless access to AT&T’s vast trove of domestic and international billing records, detailed information about who called whom in the US and around the world. As of 2007, AT&T had more than 2.8 trillion records housed in a database at its Florham Park, New Jersey, complex.

Verizon was also part of the program, Binney says, and that greatly expanded the volume of calls subject to the agency’s domestic eavesdropping. “That multiplies the call rate by at least a factor of five,” he says. “So you’re over a billion and a half calls a day.” (Spokespeople for Verizon and AT&T said their companies would not comment on matters of national security.)

After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.” And the agency is gathering as much as it can.

Once the communications are intercepted and stored, the data-mining begins. “You can watch everybody all the time with data- mining,” Binney says. Everything a person does becomes charted on a graph, “financial transactions or travel or anything,” he says. Thus, as data like bookstore receipts, bank statements, and commuter toll records flow in, the NSA is able to paint a more and more detailed picture of someone’s life.

The NSA also has the ability to eavesdrop on phone calls directly and in real time. According to Adrienne J. Kinne, who worked both before and after 9/11 as a voice interceptor at the NSA facility in Georgia, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks “basically all rules were thrown out the window, and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans.” Even journalists calling home from overseas were included. “A lot of time you could tell they were calling their families,” she says, “incredibly intimate, personal conversations.” Kinne found the act of eavesdropping on innocent fellow citizens personally distressing. “It’s almost like going through and finding somebody’s diary,” she says.

In secret listening rooms nationwide, NSA software examines every email, phone call, and tweet as they zip by.

But there is, of course, reason for anyone to be distressed about the practice. Once the door is open for the government to spy on US citizens, there are often great temptations to abuse that power for political purposes, as when Richard Nixon eavesdropped on his political enemies during Watergate and ordered the NSA to spy on antiwar protesters. Those and other abuses prompted Congress to enact prohibitions in the mid-1970s against domestic spying.

Before he gave up and left the NSA, Binney tried to persuade officials to create a more targeted system that could be authorized by a court. At the time, the agency had 72 hours to obtain a legal warrant, and Binney devised a method to computerize the system. “I had proposed that we automate the process of requesting a warrant and automate approval so we could manage a couple of million intercepts a day, rather than subvert the whole process.” But such a system would have required close coordination with the courts, and NSA officials weren’t interested in that, Binney says. Instead they continued to haul in data on a grand scale. Asked how many communications—”transactions,” in NSA’s lingo—the agency has intercepted since 9/11, Binney estimates the number at “between 15 and 20 trillion, the aggregate over 11 years.”

When Barack Obama took office, Binney hoped the new administration might be open to reforming the program to address his constitutional concerns. He and another former senior NSA analyst, J. Kirk Wiebe, tried to bring the idea of an automated warrant-approval system to the attention of the Department of Justice’s inspector general. They were given the brush-off. “They said, oh, OK, we can’t comment,” Binney says.

Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.

There is still one technology preventing untrammeled government access to private digital data: strong encryption. Anyone—from terrorists and weapons dealers to corporations, financial institutions, and ordinary email senders—can use it to seal their messages, plans, photos, and documents in hardened data shells. For years, one of the hardest shells has been the Advanced Encryption Standard, one of several algorithms used by much of the world to encrypt data. Available in three different strengths—128 bits, 192 bits, and 256 bits—it’s incorporated in most commercial email programs and web browsers and is considered so strong that the NSA has even approved its use for top-secret US government communications. Most experts say that a so-called brute-force computer attack on the algorithm—trying one combination after another to unlock the encryption—would likely take longer than the age of the universe. For a 128-bit cipher, the number of trial-and-error attempts would be 340 undecillion (1036).

Breaking into those complex mathematical shells like the AES is one of the key reasons for the construction going on in Bluffdale. That kind of cryptanalysis requires two major ingredients: super-fast computers to conduct brute-force attacks on encrypted messages and a massive number of those messages for the computers to analyze. The more messages from a given target, the more likely it is for the computers to detect telltale patterns, and Bluffdale will be able to hold a great many messages. “We questioned it one time,” says another source, a senior intelligence manager who was also involved with the planning. “Why were we building this NSA facility? And, boy, they rolled out all the old guys—the crypto guys.” According to the official, these experts told then-director of national intelligence Dennis Blair, “You’ve got to build this thing because we just don’t have the capability of doing the code-breaking.” It was a candid admission. In the long war between the code breakers and the code makers—the tens of thousands of cryptographers in the worldwide computer security industry—the code breakers were admitting defeat.

So the agency had one major ingredient—a massive data storage facility—under way. Meanwhile, across the country in Tennessee, the government was working in utmost secrecy on the other vital element: the most powerful computer the world has ever known.

The plan was launched in 2004 as a modern-day Manhattan Project. Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop—the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record. And as with the Manhattan Project, the venue chosen for the supercomputing program was the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee, a rural area where sharp ridges give way to low, scattered hills, and the southwestward-flowing Clinch River bends sharply to the southeast. About 25 miles from Knoxville, it is the “secret city” where uranium- 235 was extracted for the first atomic bomb. A sign near the exit read: what you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Today, not far from where that sign stood, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it’s engaged in a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.

In 2004, as part of the supercomputing program, the Department of Energy established its Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility for multiple agencies to join forces on the project. But in reality there would be two tracks, one unclassified, in which all of the scientific work would be public, and another top-secret, in which the NSA could pursue its own computer covertly. “For our purposes, they had to create a separate facility,” says a former senior NSA computer expert who worked on the project and is still associated with the agency. (He is one of three sources who described the program.) It was an expensive undertaking, but one the NSA was desperate to launch.

Known as the Multiprogram Research Facility, or Building 5300, the $41 million, five-story, 214,000-square-foot structure was built on a plot of land on the lab’s East Campus and completed in 2006. Behind the brick walls and green-tinted windows, 318 scientists, computer engineers, and other staff work in secret on the cryptanalytic applications of high-speed computing and other classified projects. The supercomputer center was named in honor of George R. Cotter, the NSA’s now-retired chief scientist and head of its information technology program. Not that you’d know it. “There’s no sign on the door,” says the ex-NSA computer expert.

At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.

Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.

The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

In addition to giving the NSA access to a tremendous amount of Americans’ personal data, such an advance would also open a window on a trove of foreign secrets. While today most sensitive communications use the strongest encryption, much of the older data stored by the NSA, including a great deal of what will be transferred to Bluffdale once the center is complete, is encrypted with more vulnerable ciphers. “Remember,” says the former intelligence official, “a lot of foreign government stuff we’ve never been able to break is 128 or less. Break all that and you’ll find out a lot more of what you didn’t know—stuff we’ve already stored—so there’s an enormous amount of information still in there.”

The NSA believes it’s on the verge of breaking a key encryption algorithm—opening up hoards of data.

That, he notes, is where the value of Bluffdale, and its mountains of long-stored data, will come in. What can’t be broken today may be broken tomorrow. “Then you can see what they were saying in the past,” he says. “By extrapolating the way they did business, it gives us an indication of how they may do things now.” The danger, the former official says, is that it’s not only foreign government information that is locked in weaker algorithms, it’s also a great deal of personal domestic communications, such as Americans’ email intercepted by the NSA in the past decade.

But first the supercomputer must break the encryption, and to do that, speed is everything. The faster the computer, the faster it can break codes. The Data Encryption Standard, the 56-bit predecessor to the AES, debuted in 1976 and lasted about 25 years. The AES made its first appearance in 2001 and is expected to remain strong and durable for at least a decade. But if the NSA has secretly built a computer that is considerably faster than machines in the unclassified arena, then the agency has a chance of breaking the AES in a much shorter time. And with Bluffdale in operation, the NSA will have the luxury of storing an ever-expanding archive of intercepts until that breakthrough comes along.

But despite its progress, the agency has not finished building at Oak Ridge, nor is it satisfied with breaking the petaflop barrier. Its next goal is to reach exaflop speed, one quintillion (1018) operations a second, and eventually zettaflop (1021) and yottaflop.

These goals have considerable support in Congress. Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy’s exascale computing initiative (the NSA’s budget requests are classified). They cited the necessity to keep up with and surpass China and Japan. “The race is on to develop exascale computing capabilities,” the senators noted. The reason was clear: By late 2011 the Jaguar (now with a peak speed of 2.33 petaflops) ranked third behind Japan’s “K Computer,” with an impressive 10.51 petaflops, and the Chinese Tianhe-1A system, with 2.57 petaflops.

But the real competition will take place in the classified realm. To secretly develop the new exaflop (or higher) machine by 2018, the NSA has proposed constructing two connecting buildings, totaling 260,000 square feet, near its current facility on the East Campus of Oak Ridge. Called the Multiprogram Computational Data Center, the buildings will be low and wide like giant warehouses, a design necessary for the dozens of computer cabinets that will compose an exaflop-scale machine, possibly arranged in a cluster to minimize the distance between circuits. According to a presentation delivered to DOE employees in 2009, it will be an “unassuming facility with limited view from roads,” in keeping with the NSA’s desire for secrecy. And it will have an extraordinary appetite for electricity, eventually using about 200 megawatts, enough to power 200,000 homes. The computer will also produce a gargantuan amount of heat, requiring 60,000 tons of cooling equipment, the same amount that was needed to serve both of the World Trade Center towers.

In the meantime Cray is working on the next step for the NSA, funded in part by a $250 million contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It’s a massively parallel supercomputer called Cascade, a prototype of which is due at the end of 2012. Its development will run largely in parallel with the unclassified effort for the DOE and other partner agencies. That project, due in 2013, will upgrade the Jaguar XT5 into an XK6, codenamed Titan, upping its speed to 10 to 20 petaflops.

Yottabytes and exaflops, septillions and undecillions—the race for computing speed and data storage goes on. In his 1941 story “The Library of Babel,” Jorge Luis Borges imagined a collection of information where the entire world’s knowledge is stored but barely a single word is understood. In Bluffdale the NSA is constructing a library on a scale that even Borges might not have contemplated. And to hear the masters of the agency tell it, it’s only a matter of time until every word is illuminated.

James Bamford (washwriter@gmail.com) is the author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

22 Nauseating Quotes From Hypocritical Establishment Politicians About The NSA Spying Scandal

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Establishment politicians from both major political parties are rushing to defend the NSA and condemn whistleblower Edward Snowden.  They are attempting to portray Edward Snowden as a “traitor” and the spooks over at the NSA that are snooping on all of us as “heroes”.  In fact, many of the exact same politicians that once railed against government spying during the Bush years are now staunchly defending it now that Obama is in the White House.  But it isn’t just Democrats that are acting shamefully.  Large numbers of Republican politicians that love to give speeches about “freedom” and “liberty” are attempting to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The government is not supposed to invade our privacy and investigate us unless there is probable cause to do so.  Apparently many of our politicians misunderstood when they read the novel 1984 by George Orwell.  It wasn’t supposed to be an instruction manual.  We should be thanking Edward Snowden for exposing the deep corruption that is eating away at our own government like cancer.

Now the American people need to pick up the ball and start demanding answers, because without a doubt we are going to see establishment politicians from both major political parties try to shut this scandal down.  Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans both love the Big Brother surveillance grid that the U.S. government has constructed, and they are both making it abundantly clear that they will defend the NSA to the very end.  The following are 22 nauseating quotes from hypocritical establishment politicians that show exactly how they feel about the NSA spying scandal…

#1 Barack Obama: “I think it’s important to understand that you can’t have 100 percent security and then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”

#2 Barack Obama in 2007: “This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand… That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists… We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”


#3 Speaker Of The House John Boehner on what he thinks about NSA leaker Edward Snowden: “He’s a traitor.”

#4 U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham: “I hope we follow Mr. Snowden to the ends of the Earth to bring him to justice.”

#5 U.S. Senator Al Franken: “I can assure you, this is not about spying on the American people.”

#6 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “For senators to complain that they didn’t know this was happening, we had many, many meetings that have been both classified and unclassified that members have been invited to.”

#7 U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell: “Given the scope of these programs, it’s understandable that many would be concerned about issues related to privacy. But what’s difficult to understand is the motivation of somebody who intentionally would seek to warn the nation’s enemies of lawful programs created to protect the American people. And I hope that he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

#8 U.S. Representative Peter King on why
he believes that reporters should be prosecuted for revealing NSA secrets: “There is an obligation both moral, but also legal, I believe, against a reporter disclosing something which would so severely compromise national security.”

#9 Director of National Intelligence James Clapper making a joke during an awards ceremony last Friday night: “Some of you expressed surprise that I showed up—so many emails to read!”

#10 Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper about why he lied about NSA spying in front of Congress: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner.”

#11 National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden: “The president has full faith in director Clapper and his leadership of the intelligence community”

#12 White House press secretary Jay Carney: “…Clapper has been straight and direct in the answers that he’s given, and has actively engaged in an effort to provide more information about the programs that have been revealed through the leak of classified information”

#13 Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee: “There is no more direct or honest person than Jim Clapper.”

#14 Gus Hunt, the chief technology officer at the CIA: “We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever.”

#15 Barack Obama: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls.”

#16 Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency: “We do not see a tradeoff between security and liberty.”

#17 An exchange between NSA director Keith Alexander and U.S. Representative Hank Johnson in March 2012…

JOHNSON: Does the NSA routinely intercept American citizens’ emails?

ALEXANDER: No.

JOHNSON: Does the NSA intercept Americans’ cell phone conversations?

ALEXANDER: No.

JOHNSON: Google searches?

ALEXANDER: No.

JOHNSON: Text messages?

ALEXANDER: No.

JOHNSON: Amazon.com orders?

ALEXANDER: No.

JOHNSON: Bank records?

ALEXANDER: No.

#18 Deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino: “The intelligence activities undertaken by the United States government are lawful, necessary and required to protect Americans from terrorist attacks”

#19 U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss: “This is nothing new.  It has proved meritorious because we have gathered significant information on bad guys and only on bad guys over the years.”

#20 Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton on NSA leaker Edward Snowden: “Let me ask, who died and made him king? Who gave him the authority to endanger 300 million Americans? That’s not the way it works, and if he thinks he can get away with that, he’s got another think coming.”

#21 Senior spokesman for the NSA Don Weber: “Given the nature of the work we do, it would be irresponsible to comment on actual or alleged operational issues; therefore, we have no information to provide”

#22 The White House website: “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.”

Right now, the NSA is building a data collection center out in Utah that is so massive that it is hard to describe with words.  It is going to cost 40 million dollars a year just to provide the energy needed to run it.  According to a 2012 Wired article entitled “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)“, this data center will contain “the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches” in addition to “parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases” and anything else that the NSA decides to collect…

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

The goal is to know as much about everyone on the planet as possible.

And the NSA does not keep this information to itself.  As an article in USA Today recently reported, the NSA shares the data that it collects with other government agencies “as a matter of practice”…

As a matter of practice, the NSA regularly shares its information — known as “product” in intelligence circles — with other intelligence groups.

So when the NSA collects information about you, there is a very good chance that the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS will have access to it as well.

But the U.S. government is not the only one collecting data on American citizens.

Guess who else has been collecting massive amounts of data on the American people?

Barack Obama.

According to those that have seen it, the “Obama database” is unlike anything that any politician has ever put together before.  According to  CNSNews.com, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters says that this database “will have information about everything on every individual”…

“The president has put in place an organization that contains a kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life,” she added. “That’s going to be very, very powerful.”
Martin asked if Waters if she was referring to “Organizing for America.”

“That’s right, that’s right,” Waters said. “And that database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.”

Waters said the database would also serve future Democratic candidates seeking the presidency.

Perhaps this helps to explain why so many big donors got slapped with IRS audits immediately after they wrote big checks to the Romney campaign.

We are being told to “trust” Barack Obama and the massive government surveillance grid that is being constructed all around us, but there has been example after example of government power being grossly abused in recent years.

A lot of Americans say that they do not care if the government is watching them because they do not have anything to hide, but is there anyone out there that would really not mind the government watching them and listening to them 24 hours a day?

For example, it has been documented that NSA workers eavesdropped on conversations between U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and their loved ones back home.  Some of these conversations involved very intimate talk between husbands and wives.  The following is from a 2008 ABC News story

Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of “cuts” that were available on each operator’s computer.

“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News.

Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall’s “smoke pit,” but ended up feeling badly about his actions.

Is this really what we want the future of America to look like?

Do we really want the government to watch us and listen to us during our most intimate moments?

(David: And here we have the ultimate in “partners in crime” – By the way, it was said “Never believe anything, until it has been officially denied!” – Har, har, har!)

PRISM fallout: Hague says UK citizens have ‘nothing to fear’ from GCHQ surveillance

Published time: June 09, 2013 16:35
Edited time: June 11, 2013 08:55

Law-abiding citizens need not fear intelligence sharing between the US and UK, Britain’s Foreign Secretary promised. His comments follow reports data gathered in the US-run PRISM program was shared with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

British Foreign Secretary William Hague affirmed that a “lot of information was shared with the United States,” adding that the two countries shared “an exceptional intelligence sharing relationship.”

However, Hague would neither confirm nor deny GCHQ, Britain’s electronic eavesdropping and security agency,  had received information clandestinely obtained via the United States National Security Agency’s (NSA) ‘PRISM’ electronic surveillance program.

The Foreign Secretary is set to appear before the House of Commons to provide a statement on Monday following media reports that since June 2010, GCHQ has had access to PRISM, which grants the NSA a direct line to data stored on the servers of Google, Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and five other tech giants.

GCHQ generated 197 intelligence reports from data obtained via the program last year, allegedly allowing the agency to bypass the legal checks normally required to obtain such information.

The GCHQ was also reportedly given access to so-called “telephony metadata” culled from the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon –  one of the largest telecommunication companies in the United States in a separate NSA-run program.

The Foreign Secretary dismissed as “nonsense” claims that GCHQ “are sitting around working out how to circumvent a UK law with another agency.”

Hague continued that any information arriving in the UK from the US is “governed by our laws,”insisting that efforts to thwart terrorism did not endanger civil liberties.

“If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country … you’ll never be aware of all the things those (intelligence) agencies are doing to stop your identity being stolen or to stop a terrorist blowing you up tomorrow,” Reuters cites Hague as saying.

“But if you are a would-be terrorist or the center of a criminal network or a foreign intelligence agency trying to spy on Britain you should be worried because that is what we work on and we are on the whole quite good at it,”
 he continued.

The Foreign Secretary stressed that any intelligence gathering was “authorized, necessary, proportionate and targeted,” adding that he personally signed off on GCHQ intercepts “most days of the week.”

However, Business Secretary Vince Cable, speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan program, said that PRISM may have allowed the government to operate a covert sort of ‘snoopers charter’ by the back door. 

Douglas Alexander, the opposition Labour party’s spokesman for foreign affairs, expressed his intention to ask Hague in the House of Commons how exactly his department oversees the legal frameworks governing such intelligence gathering operations.    

“It is vital that the Government now reassures people who are rightly concerned about these reports,” Alexander said in a statement. 

Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee Committee (ISC) has demanded a report from GCHQ on the matter “and will decide what further action needs to be taken as soon as it receives that information,” chairman Malcom Rifkind said. 

ISC Committee members are set to discuss the issue with US security officials during a planned visit to Washington on Monday.

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