October 2, 2013

Special Report: Naval War College’s involvement in personal cyber-attacks no mere aberration

October 1, 2013

by Wayne Madsen
Wayne Madsen Report dot com

The latest release of National Security Agency slides from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals that the NSA is heavily involved in monitoring social media and the social networking activities of Americans. The NSA will claim that this is part of their obligation to protect national security by conducting surveillance of potential threats from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and similar social networking providers but NSA has another side to what it calls “defensive information warfare.” NSA calls such monitoring, irrespective  of nationality or location, “contact chaining” and it is a follow-on to what the agency has done respective to the surveillance of land line and cellphone telephone calls for decades. Although “contact chaining” represents a method for NSA to conduct surveillance of networks of individuals it considers to be threats to U.S. national security, “contact chains” can also be used to carry out offensive information warfare activities on behalf of NSA and its U.S. Cyber Command.

It is NSA’s “offensive information warfare” that has been rearing its ugly head on the Internet with both paid and unaware shills for NSA engaging in almost non-stop personal attacks on NSA whistleblowers, journalists, authors, politicians, and, essentially, anyone who questions NSA’s authority to engage in total information surveillance.

Ever since Snowden’s release of a mountain of classified NSA PowerPoint slides and documents detailing NSA’s illegal surveillance operations, a small group of Twitter users have engaged in a campaign of libel and defamation aimed at NSA critics, including The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Russell Tice, William Binney, and journalists and authors James Bamford, Seymour Hersh, Jeremy Scahill, and this editor.

In my case, the offensive information warfare operations of NSA was on full display when a small cadre of cyber-provocateurs and agitateurs centered on what could be called “cyber swabbies” at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island reacted at warp speed to an article written on NSA “Third Party” signals intelligence partners in The Observer, the sister newspaper of The Guardian. The article, titled “Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America” pointed out a couple of declassified NSA documents that pointed out the presence of “third party” partners, including France and Germany, that cooperated with NSA and Britain’s “Second Party” Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to hand over communications intercepts to NSA.

There was an immediate Twitter storm of activity calling this editor a “nut jobs,” “conspiracy kook,” and stating that The Observer’s reporter Jamie Doward never spoke to me and merely made up his quotes or stole them from an article written by longtime privacy advocate and former Director General of Privacy International, Simon Davies. At the same time, my Wikipedia entry, for which I never had any input, was altered by two individuals who erased my past work for the FBI and Naval Investigate Service in busting a pedophile commanding officer and deleted and added information that was aimed to provide a reference point for further attacks on my credibility.

The facts, which are meaningless to the NSA’s offensive information warfare team, are clear. As a former senior fellow for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, I had provided input to the European Parliament in the late 90s on NSA’s ECHELON surveillance program. EPIC and I worked with Davies and Privacy International on reports on ECHELON that were then picked up by The Observer, The Guardian, and CBS 60 Minutes, the latter hosting me in a 2000 interview. In addition, I reported on ECHELON for Elsevier in the United Kingdom.

ECHELON, a signals intelligence sharing system, was the forerunner to current NSA operations in Europe involving the signals intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and other European countries mentioned in The Observer article.

One of the first out of the gate in launching an attack was The Daily Beast’s/Newsweek’s Michael C. Moynihan, a libertarian activist who spent time heralding libertarian/conservative anti-social security causes in Sweden. Moynihan’s editor at The Daily Beast was Tina Brown, whose media shilling for British intelligence and the royal family is legendary among Fleet Street journalists.

Navy- and NSA-financed on-line attack dogs

The Naval War College’s John Schindler, a former NSA and Naval Security Group Activity officer who dubiously claims to have run a large SIGINT operation at NSA, while also working in NSA security and counter-intelligence, as well as being single-handedly responsible for a major addition to the National Cryptologic Museum outside the gates of Fort Meade, Maryland, led the charge against The Observer.

It should be noted that Jack Ingram, the museum’s first curator, was the brains and muscle behind the museum. Schindler’s name is featured nowhere in the records of the museum’s founding or expansion. It should be noted that in 2008 there were reports that a number of NSA employees had bought bogus academic degrees from diploma mills, including a St. Regis University in Canada.

Schindler seemingly appeared out of nowhere on cable news programs and on the Web after Snowden surfaced in Hong Kong and then in Moscow with revelation after revelation of NSA malfeasance. Schindler defended NSA at every turn against all of its critics and the media that was reporting on the content of Snowden’s slides and documents. Before Snowden’s revelations, Schindler was only known for authoring two rather unremarkable books, Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War and Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad.

Schindler, who is well-known for his caustic and acerbic tweets in which he engages in childish name calling while working on the U.S. Navy’s clock and collecting a government paycheck, continued in the attack on The Observer and this editor. Schindler has a colleague at the war college who follows up on the acerbic twitter messages, much like a standard comedy duo featuring a sharp-tongued straight man and a compliant and sycophantic “yes man.”

Member of the Naval War College “contact chain” that react almost instantly to any article critical of NSA is Moynihan’s partners at The Daily Beast, John Avlon and Josh Rogin. All three appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” to lambast me and The Observer for the NSA story on Third Parties. CNN never corrected its diatribe, which averred that Doward never spoke to me before the article was published and that the content of The Observer’s report was false. But on-air lying by the same network that features truth dissembler Wolf Blitzer as an anchor should be no surprise to anyone.

Rallying to the Naval War College Twitter contact chain was Louise Mensch, the former Tory member of Parliament who resigned amid allegations that she was shilling for Rupert Murdoch during Parliament’s investigation of the phone hacking scandal by Murdoch’s newspapers. Mensch now writes for Murdoch’s Sunday Sun, a competitor of The Sunday Observer, which featured this editor’s interview on its front page before pressure from the NSA contact chain forced it to pull its print edition and alter its web page. Mensch, who is an avid Twitter user, called for Twitter and Facebook to be shut down in the UK during 2011 riots. Ironically, Mensch accused the social networking sites of spreading false rumors. Mensch is married to Peter Mensch, the manager for Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But Mensch is not the only connection NSA’s contact chain has to washed up and drugged out rock personages. One of Schindler’s ardent re-tweeters is Charles Johnson, proprietor of the website Little Green Footballs, who, during the Bush administration was a right-wing defender of George Bush’s and Dick Cheney’s wars. In 2009, like any good government shill and provocateur, Johnson flipped sides and began supporting Barack Obama against his old pals from the right-wing.

Other cyber-gnats that buzz around the NSA’s contact chain are Bob Cesca, of the knee-jerk pro-Obama Daily Banter; Paul Szoldra of BusinessInsider.com; Joshua Foust, who bills himself as a journalist affiliated with something called the American Security Project but is also a defense contractor according to his resumé; and Josh Gillin of the Poynter Institute’s MediaWire blog. Whenever one or more of these contact chain shills is called out on the Internet, it is Johnson who usually comes to their defense in much the same way that drugged-out rock performer Ted Nugent comes to the rescue of every gun nut who brandishes a weapon in public.

“Repeated efforts to have the Naval War College comment about the conflict of interest in having Schindler, and to a lesser degree, Nichols, hammering journalists and private American citizens on the government’s time and payroll have been to no avail.”

As part of the research for this story, WMR contacted the Naval War College’s Public Affairs Office and inquired about Schindler’s prolific attack tweets that occur during normal government working hours and whether his political statements cross the line fo adherence to the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from engaging in political activism while using their government affiliations. We received the following response from the war college:

“Mr. Madsen,
We received your email.  The Naval War College administration is aware of your concerns and is taking appropriate action.”

Schindler claimed in a Twitter message that this editor was trying to have him fired by the war college. Apparently, some Naval War College professors consider themselves exempt from the Hatch Act because of academic freedom. They insist their rights to engage in activist political discourse are different from those of an employee of the National Park Service or Food and Drug Administration. In addition to his employment as a government employee with the war college, Schindler claims to be a current U.S. Naval Reserve officer, which carries its own Hatch Act responsibilities while one is serving on active duty.

Naval War College: a focal point for NSA’s “contact chain” operations

A close examination of the Naval War College curriculum and research activities provide an insight into the activities of the institution in NSA’s information operations practices that may, in fact, be part of Schindler’s and Nichols’ jobs at the war college and not an exercise in their “free expression” of opinion.

On the staff of the Naval War College are a number of personnel with extensive backgrounds in NSA information operations and cyberspace operations.  The war college hosts the Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG), which examines the use of the Web by armed and irregular opposition groups around the world.  On the staff of CIWAG are found personnel who have worked with the US Cyber Command and US Strategic Command on cyber-control and cyber-denial, components of overall offensive information warfare. The war college’s curriculum includes courses on information operations.

The Naval War College: the NSA’s quiet center for web disruption and cyber-attacks in Newport, Rhode Island. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have brought home some very unsavory “pork” to their state.

The course work includes offensive computer network operations, psychological warfare (now renamed Military Information Support Operations or MISO because of the
“sinister” connotations of psychological warfare), network centric warfare, disruption, deception operations, and the role that social networking and other technology played in the 2011 Libyan Revolution.

The Naval War College also hosts the Center for Cyber Conflict Studies (C3S). The center states that it “explores potential capabilities of cyber operations in future warfare.” C3S works with civilian partners through the Rhode Island Academic Collaboration on Cybersecurity Technology and Policy (CCTP).

NSA’s newly-revealed “contact chain” operations are described concisely in Naval War College publications.

They principally use three components:

– an Information Strategy Cell that develops deception strategies and propaganda themes under the protection of special access programs (SAPs). An NSA cut-out contract for the Naval War College to engage in on-line attacks on NSA critics would be classified under an SAP.

– an Integration Cell that relies on civilian partners to help spread disinformation and propaganda. The Naval War College has amassed a large network of civilian partners in the guise of Twitter followers of their main information operations and MISO (Psyops) faculty personnel.

– a Synchronization Cell that monitors the tempo, execution, and duration of the  information operation/MISO attack. This would involve monitoring of surge levels of Twitter, website comments, and Facebook postings favorable to NSA such as what occurred after the publication of The Observer article on NSA Third Party agreements.

The Naval War College has an important alumnus in Rear Admiral Sean Filipowski, a longtime NSA officer who currently serves as the director of Intelligence at U.S. Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Maryland, a sister command of NSA. NSA director General Keith Alexander also serves as commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and is in control of all offensive information warfare assets.

Filipowksi’s predecessor as Director of Intelligence for the U.S. Cyber Command, as well as deputy director for Tailored Access Operations (TAO) at NSA, is fellow Naval War College alum Rear Admiral Willie Metts, now Director for Intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii. Metts’ responsiblities as deputy director for TAO inluded
NSA’s infiltration and monitoring of computer systems and networks using programs like XKEYSCORE and GENIE. Social networking targeting uses such programs as OCTAVE, LEXHOUND, and MAINWAY.

Another Naval War College graduate is Rear Admiral William Leigher, the director of Warfare Integration for Information Dominance at Chief of Naval Operations Staff and whose background is also heavy in cyber warfare activities: Deputy Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command at US Fleet Cyber Command, Commanding Officer at Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk, and Deputy Director for Information Operations at Naval Network Warfare Command.

This past July, the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic in Charleston, South Carolina awarded cyber-warfare contracts to thirteen companies that could be worth as much as $899.5 million over the next four years.

Navy’s cyber-warfare chain-of-command

Cyber-warfare is part of the Navy’s education and training system, of which the Naval War College is a major element.

The U.S. government as the number one enemy of free speech and freedom of the press

Government employees attacking journalists on Uncle Sam’s clock is nothing new, especially when it comes to the Internet.  The State Department’s “International Information Program” and one of its officials, a former associate of Jack Abramoff named Todd Leventhal, used a State Department website to attack U.S. journalists by name. The two singled out were author John Perkins and this editor. Leventhal wrote that his work for the State Department and Pentagon was “countering 9/11 conspiracy theories, etc.”

NSA and the Pentagon are typically reactionary to policies set forth by any president’s senior staff. When Obama’s then-chief of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, was known to favor a policy of “cognitive dissonance  [infiltration],” for example, the disruption of “conspiracy theory” websites, the Pentagon and NSA went into action to gain favor with the White House.  The Air Force initiated a program to counter bloggers and websites that were critical of the Obama administration and the Air Force. Some of the 27 teams under the U.S. Cyber Command began employing offensive information warfare bloggers who can employ multiple screen names and identities to post government propaganda and personal smear articles on blogs and comments sections of news websites. In addition, Palantir Technologies, the firm that is believed to have developed the PRISM meta-data collection program for NSA, also developed persona management software and other offensive information warfare programs for use by the government and private sector.

The recent decision by the government to abrogate the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which banned disseminators of U.S. government propaganda from subjecting the American population to such biased information, has given the NSA, State Department, Pentagon, and the Naval War College further license to disseminate their propaganda and personal attacks on American citizens and journalists on government time. As the unrestrained Twitter activity from the Naval War College campus confirms, the so-called “college” has become a hotbed for covert and offensive NSA information warfare operations. Newport has not been a center of anti-war and anti-Pentagon protests since the Vietnam War and even then protests were restrained in the tony town that is more well known as the location for the mega-mansions of the Vanderbilts and the patrician activities of the Kennedy family.

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Wayne Madsen is author of “Manufacturing of a President: The CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama Jr. Into the White House” as well as several other books on the NSA and the Patreaus Affair. He is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs. Madsen is a regular contributor on Russia Today. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on Fox News and has also appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. Madsen has taken on Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on their television shows. He has been invited to testifty as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He subsequently worked for the National Security Agency, the Naval Data Automation Command, Department of State, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation. Madsen is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), Association for Intelligence Officers …

Other Madsen Reports –

Manufacturing of a President: The CIA’s Insertion of Barack H. Obama, Jr. , Into the White House ~ http://www.lulu.com/shop/wayne-madsen/the-manufacturing-of-a-president/paperback/product-21034700.html;jsessionid=F89753E229E50555B92CDDA948213592?showPreview=true

Grandma “Toot’s” Hawaiian banking intrigue ~ http://www.t-room.us/2013/09/grandma-toots-hawaiian-banking-intrigue/

Fascists of the ‘Left’ ~ http://www.t-room.us/2013/05/fascists-of-the-left/

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