Intelligence community historically involved in manipulating news organizations.
December 13, 2013
Sibel Edmonds, whistleblower and purveyor of the Boiling Frogs blog, has raised serious questions about journalist Glenn Greenwald’s relationship with Paypal and its billionaire owner, Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
In October, it was reported that Greenwald and his associate, Laura Poitras, had entered into a deal with Omidyar to establish a new media organization in response to “rising concern about press freedoms in the United States and around the world,” the Guardian reported. Omidyar is said to have invested a quarter of a billion dollars in the alternative media operation.
Edmonds reports that NSA whistleblowers are highly skeptical of the project and its stated objective. Moreover, as Wikileaks points out, it is outrageous that Paypal would be interested in establishing an alternative media organization when it moved to shut down Julian Assange and his whistleblowing organization by cutting off the organization’s ability to receive donations over the internet.
“How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?” asked WikiLeaks staffer and Edward Snowden collaborator Sarah Harrison earlier this month.
Omidyar’s excuse for the financial boycott “is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time,” Harrison said. “Well, he is on the board of directors. He can’t shake off responsibility that easily. He didn’t even comment on it. He could have said something like: ‘we were forced to do this, but I am against it.’”
Back in June, prior to the arrangement with Omidyar, Greenwald said parts of the Snowden cache would never see the light of day. “We’re not engaged in a mindless, indiscriminate document dump, and our source didn’t want us to be,” Greenwald wrote in an email sent to BuzzFeed.
The corporate media connected Greenwald’s assertion to a statement released by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper accusing the media of exploiting “reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures used to keep Americans safe.”
However, according to Edmonds and NSA whistleblowers, the Snowden documents contain information about the relationship between “major U.S. financial institutions, including credit card companies and PayPal Corporation,” and the NSA. This is, at least in part, the reason the cache is untouchable.
Russell Tice, a former NSA Intelligence Analyst and Capabilities Operations Officer, also confirmed the report, and stated that based on his knowledge, NSA regularly obtains financial information from major financial institutions, including credit card companies and PayPal. In January 2009, during an interview with Keith Olberman, he stated that information from credit card records and other financial transaction was being collected and stored by NSA.
On Wednesday, during an interview with Boiling Frogs, Tice elaborated:
“For NSA, information from financial institutions such as PayPal is equally if not more valuable and sought after than that obtained from social media and other software companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google.” He added, “I wouldn’t doubt the existence of evidence and documents implicating corporations such as PayPal within the large cache obtained by Edward Snowden. The partnership and data collection arrangements have existed for many years.”
Tice said there is something not quite right about Snowden’s silence in the matter. “I would be outraged and highly vocal if I were in Edward Snowden’s shoes,” he told Boiling Frogs. “For a journalist whom I had placed my trust in to go and withhold documents meant for the public?! For the journalist to make fortune and fame based on my sacrifices and disclosure?! Forming a lucrative business partnership with entities who have direct conflicts of interest?! No. That wouldn’t have been acceptable.”
Boiling Frogs then concentrates on efforts by Omidyar to stifle the work of whistleblowers. “The history of the billionaire’s stand and actions, when it comes to liberties, whistleblowers and freedom of the press, seems to be limited to: opposing, fighting and quashing government whistleblowers at every chance. Simply put, Mr. Omidyar has been consistently maintaining his stand as a billionaire who is pro-government, anti-government whistleblowers, and against transparency,” Edmonds writes.
Omidya’s close friend and Paypal co-founder, Max Levchin, has staunchly defended illegal NSA surveillance. “I think it’s ridiculous for a citizen of a country that view his government’s duty to protect me, protect all of us from evil, from harm, from terrorists, from foreign powers meaning ill — to classify a body of government that is designed to figure out what might hit us next and prevent it, throwing them into an evil bucket is just thoughtless,” Levchin has said.
Considering the history of Paypal, Levchin’s comments are not unusual.
A Close Relationship with In-Q-Tel and the CIA
Max Levchin cofounded Paypal with Peter Thiel. Mr. Thiel has an interesting curriculum vitae. His company, Palantir Technologies, Inc., was founded with money from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital operation. In-Q-Tel’s primary interest is in information technology.
“Publicly, In-Q-Tel markets itself as an innovative way to leverage the power of the private sector by identifying key emerging technologies and providing companies with the funding to bring those technologies to market,” writes James Corbett. “In reality, however, what In-Q-Tel represents is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the public and private sectors in a way that makes it difficult to tell where the American intelligence community ends and the IT sector begins.”
Although tenuously documented, it appears the CIA also shares a connection with Facebook. On the other hand, “Google’s connection to In-Q-Tel is more straightforward, if officially denied,” Corbett writes.
Intelligence veteran Robert David Steele told Homeland Security Today in 2006 that Google “has been taking money and direction for elements of the US Intelligence Community, including the Office of Research and Development at the Central Intelligence Agency, In-Q-Tel, and in all probability, both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command.”
Steele told Alex Jones, also in 2006, that CIA seed money helped get Google off the ground. “I think Google took money from the CIA when it was poor and it was starting up and unfortunately our system right now floods money into spying and other illegal and largely unethical activities, and it doesn’t fund what I call the open source world,” said Steele.
Snowden said as much in an interview with Greenwald earlier this year. “Companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft — they all get together with the NSA and provide the NSA with direct access to the backends to all of the systems you use to communicate, to store your data, to put things in the cloud, and even just to send birthday wishes and keep a record of your life. And they give the NSA direct access that they don’t need to oversee, so they can’t be held liable for it.”
National Security State Surveillance and Political Control Grid
The implication is obvious: the intelligence establishment has developed a number of close relationships with technology companies in a long-term effort to build an all-encompassing surveillance and control grid alongside a militarized police state apparatus. Both operate under a manufactured war on terror premise.
Financial information, naturally, plays an important role in the ongoing effort to surveil Americans and build comprehensive dossiers on them, especially those who may now or in the future pose a political threat to the establishment.
Finally, that the CIA is likely involved in an effort to establish a bogus alternative media organization, and possibly front a number of individuals perceived to be whistleblowers and heroic journalists, is hardly revelatory.
From the creation of the national security state in the late 1940s onward, the elite has worked to control the media and establish media front organizations.
“Deputy Director Frank Wisner proudly referred to the CIA’s worldwide propaganda machine as ‘the mighty Wurlitzer.’ And indeed, the agency’s skill at murdering people is matched only by its ability to murder the truth,” writes Mark Zepezauer.
Operation Mockingbird, along with the FBI’s COINTELPRO, and dozens of other covert and not so covert psychological and propaganda operations are alive, well, formulating consensus, and discrediting opponents in numerous ways.