John Robb: Micro Drones Threaten US Citizens at Home

07 Other Atrocities, 10 Security, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Corruption, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, IO Deeds of War, Law Enforcement, Military
John Robb

DRONES and US Internal Security

Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren't always known. The bulk of CIA's drone strikes are signature strikes.  Wall Street Journal.

Drones are changing the dynamics of warfare in very scary ways.  They make oppression much easier (and cost-effective).

Click on Image to Enlarge

To recap:  Drones are extremely cost effective vs. ground/air assets (particularly in that with drones, operators aren't put at risk).  They also enable extremely centralized command and control (as in: operations can be micro-manged in Washington, down to the decision to kill).  In sum, a small number of people in Washington DC can control/operate a vast 24×7 killing field for very few $$.

Here's how they are changing warfare:

  • An Assassination List.  Drones, in combination with other forms of electronic surveillance, make it easy to rapidly find and kill people (even in non-permissive areas).  As a result, assassination of threats has become the easy solution to many problems.  It has become so popular that the process has become bureaucratized and automated through the development of an assassination list.  The US President has one, and he can put US citizens on it via a simple, non-judicial, bureaucratic process.
  • Signature Strikes.  The current practice of the CIA in Pakistan is to kill groups of people that “look” like terrorists or guerrillas.  Exactly what a group of people needs to do, wear, or be to trigger the signature of a terrorist/guerrilla group is unknown.  The Pakistani authorities are only told about strikes that kill more than 20 people.   While these strikes have generated some push-back from Pakistani press/politicians, it's relatively small given the number of people killed.
  • Borders melt.  Nearly every country in the world, except a few key allies, can be penetrated with drones.  In most cases, they don't know they've been penetrated.  In others, there's nothing they can do to prevent it.  The big barrier to cross border special ops or air force hits/strikes in the past was the chance that operators would be captured.  That's not true anymore.  So, in effect, anybody can be killed nearly anywhere at anytime by a flip of a switch.

What's Next?

It's a pretty slippery slope from here.  The simple answer is that US practice we see at work in Pakistan will eventually become common place in Mexico, Central America, and Northern Africa.  However, the more interesting answer is how it gets applied to US internal security when the US/global economy crumps into depression, the US government goes bankrupt, and the current system loses much of its remaining legitimacy.  In that scenario:

  • any armed group would instantly fit the signature of terrorists/guerrillas (the further you are away from an urban zone, the easier a target you will be),
  • even a mildly radical post to a blog, Facebook or Twitter ( particularly if it could lead to a flashmob or an occupy style protest) would invite inclusion on the drone assassination list (in that case, the occasional flash of a car being blown up by a drone patrolling a highway and IDing a listed driver, will become common),
  • drone to citizen ratios will rise to 100:1 as new micro-drones cut cost and new software allows DHS control centers to manage large region wide “drone clouds.”

Penguin: FBI Discovers Gangs Have Infiltrated US Military

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence, DHS, DoD, IO Deeds of War, Law Enforcement, Military
Who, Me?

This is very old news, but thought it interesting to highlight lag time between FBI and the original reports.

The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military

The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military (via Stars and Stripes).

The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.

Read full story with link to report.

Phi Beta Iota:  One can only marvel at the ability of the US Government (both political leaders and senior civil servants) to carry on without intelligence or integrity for decades.  The USA remains the top proliferator of nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological, and small arms as well as cyber-weaponry.  The USA remains locked into elective wars that have nothing to do with national interests and everything to do with special interests.  And now we learn again (DHS published first, in 2007) that we are also training tens of thousands of gang members who are at the same time gaining access to weapons and munitions that we cannot account for…

See Also:

2007 Reference: Gangs in the US Military



07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, Civil Society, Corruption, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, DHS, Ethics, Law Enforcement, Officers Call, Peace Intelligence
Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf: how I was arrested at Occupy Wall Street

Arresting a middle-aged writer in an evening gown for peaceable conduct is a far cry from when America was a free republic

Naomi Wolf

Guardian, Wednesday 19 October 2011

Last night I was arrested in my home town, outside an event to which I had been invited, for standing lawfully on the sidewalk in an evening gown.

Read full article (includes short video).

Click on Image to Enlarge

Phi Beta Iota: Naomi Wolf is the author of The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot and also Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries.  Safety copy of Guardian article with additional comments from others below the line.  The NYPD and DHS are OUT OF CONTROL and far, far beyond the bounds of the Constitution.  The time has come to begin demanding impeachments of public officials and criminal prosecution of specific police officers so that they might learn what they evidently were not taught: the responsibility to refuse illegal orders.  What our military officers abroad and our police officers at home are doing is illegal, unconstitutional, and reprehensible in every possible morally disengaged way.

See Also:

So Much For the First Amendment: Author, Reporter Naomi Wolf Just Latest of 1,500 Arrested For Peaceable Assembly at #OccupyWallStreet Protests

Updates from Naomi Wolf – Permit Seen, NYPD Officers Were Ignorant or Lying

Continue reading “Naomi Wolf: #OWS NYPD & DHS OUT OF CONTROL”

Chuck Spinney: Iranian Plot a Sting, False Flag, or Both?

02 Diplomacy, 05 Iran, 07 Other Atrocities, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Civil Society, Corruption, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, IO Deeds of War
Chuck Spinney

US Attorney General Eric Holder held a press conference on 11 Oct where he claimed Federal authorities had foiled a plot by men linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington (NYT).

The vagueness and innuendo in the language of the complaint filed with the federal court reek of a half-baked sting operation.

For example, attacking the embassy of Saudi Arabia is mentioned as merely a  “possibility” of bombing foreign government facilities of Saudi Arabia and “another country”  located “within and outside of the United States.”

Phi Beta Iota:  Brother Chuck's entire commentary and all three attachments are fully repeated in this post (below the line).  The Iranian “plot” is significant because it could serve as a precipitant of revolution in the USA.  Combined with OWS and a soccer mom torching herself on the front steps of Capitol Hill, the USA is close to “the perfect storm.”

See Also:

2011 Thinking About Revolution in the USA and Elsewhere (Full Text Online for Google Translate)

Below the line full comment by Chuck Spinney and all three attachments in full text online.

Continue reading “Chuck Spinney: Iranian Plot a Sting, False Flag, or Both?”

Marcus Aurelius & DefDog: Google, NSA, Domestic Spying

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Corruption, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), Government, IO Deeds of War
Marcus Aurelius

NSA spooks win fight to keep secret possible ties to Google

The National Security Agency will get to keep secret documents that may, or may not, show a working relationship with Google.

In a decision made public Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon denied a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the curious souls at the Electronic Privacy Information Center. EPIC sought documents relating to NSA's possible relationship with Google following news of an alleged cyber attack by hackers in China and of a subsequent cooperation agreement between Google and NSA.

Read more.

(Reuters) – Internet companies such as Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week.

Read more.

G.I. Wilson: Killer Drones, Moral Disengagement, + War Crimes RECAP

04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Genocide, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Cultural Intelligence, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, IO Deeds of War, Law Enforcement, Military, Officers Call
Col GI Wilson, USMC (Ret)

The Psychology of Killer Drones – action against our foes; reaction affecting us

G. I. Wilson

Fabius Maximus, 28 September 2011

Summary:  We now have enough experience with drone warfare to study its effects.  Just as in physics, our actions affect ourselves as well as our targets. Social science research shows that drones are a gateway to moral disengagement dehumanization, and deindividuation. The great distances drones operate over, manipulated by faceless-nameless-lawyeristic-voyeurs, creates an emotional, mental, and physical divide between “us” ( i.e. our government) and the enemies we kill. Drones allow us to dissociate our actions from our values, a useful high-cost and high-tech justification.  At the end are links to gain more information about this new form of warfare.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
— Newtons Third Law of Motion, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (1687)


  1. Moral Disengagement
  2. Dehumanization
  3. Deindividuation
  4. For more information

Read full article with many supporting links and references.

Winslow Wheeler:  His article gives a chilling rebuke to those who glibly see them as “the future of warfare” and essential for counter-terror operations without acknowledging the consequences.

Robert Steele:  The US Government has lost both its intelligence and its integrity.  This has been a consistent theme of this web site, and while I have distanced myself from the day to day operations of Phi Beta Iota–they now have a life of their own–G. I. Wilson is one of the original Marines in this era able to demonstrate both intelligence and integrity, and one of the original gurus on asymmetric warfare.  That he got to be a Colonel is a credit to the Marine Corps.  “Authority” in the U.S. Government is now irrational, illegitimate, and out of control.  Even from a practical stand-point, the bandwidth for remote killer drones costs more than human pilots would, and human pilots would have the added advantage of situational awareness, something that simply cannot be achieved from a one-dimensional cockpit in the middle of the USA.  From killer drones to JSOC assassinations to the totally illegal war on Libya, the US Government is now a monstrous collage of atrocities being perpetuated against its own public (22% unemployment, 18 veterans a day committing suicide, just under 16% under the poverty line) as well as foreign publics from Palestine and Libya to Central Asia to the Southern Hemisphere.  What is being done “in our name” is unaffordable, reprehensible, and long over due for presentation to the International Tribunal with a long list of “by name” perpetrators that should run from Congress and the White House down to the individual pilots and squadron commanders that have betrayed their Oaths of office.  What we are doing every day is neither patriotic nor moral.

See Also:

Continue reading “G.I. Wilson: Killer Drones, Moral Disengagement, + War Crimes RECAP”

AFIO: Bizarre System of Hiring Intelligence Contractors

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corporations, Corruption, DHS, Director of National Intelligence et al (IC), DoD, Government, Intelligence (government), Methods & Process, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy

The Bizarre System of Hiring Intelligence Contractors

Joshua Foust – Joshua Foust is a fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from

The Atlantic, 20 September 2011

This morning I testified at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs' Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia (a mouthful, I know) about how we can better manage and administer contractors within the intelligence community. I'm pasting a brief excerpt of my written testimony below, followed by a link to the full text of my remarks.

Every contract the government issues for a company to perform work is defined by the Statement of Work (SOW). This is a document that defines the parameters of the work the contractor will perform, including a description of the project, expected duties the contractor must fulfill, and the outputs and metrics by which performance will be measured. These are often poorly written, kept intentionally vague, and wind up not actually addressing the stated intent of the contracts.

As one example, every SOW I've had to either administer, edit, review, or write has stated as a basic metric of performance the number of employees the contractor should hire. That is, the basic means by which the government measures the contractor's performance is based first and foremost on the number of people hired to work on the contract. This has two serious consequences that affect the contracting environment: it removes the distinction between employees that would make work products better, and it confuses the number of employees with contract performance.

The frankly bizarre system of hiring intelligence contractors is born from several interdependent processes: getting a security clearance, getting hired, and getting “read on” to work at a government site. The system of getting a clearance is structured such that those with clearances are given preference above those without clearance, regardless of the relevant experience of either employee. In other words, if two candidates are competing for a job with a contractor, and one has deep relevant experience but no clearance, she will most likely lose to a candidate with less relevant experience but a current and active security clearance.

There is a great deal more to this, and I would suggest anyone interested in this topic to download both my own testimony (At SCRIBD, or PDF here), and checking out the Hearing page, which includes written remarks from Daniel Gordon from the Office of Management and Budget, DHS Chief of Intelligence Charles E. Allen, Scott Amey from the Project on Government Oversight, and Dr. Mark Lowenthal.