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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

U.S. invasion of America: what goes around comes around

Spies come home to feed techie addiction
Re-reporting, editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett

Oblivious regression

What happens when we fail to progress. Political tribes who by nature are vested in the status quo are also vested in regress. In very harmful ways we regress (wane, decay, weaken, reverse, revert to the worst); and at some point in the future, the heirs of present generations will have to return to a point where we had appeared to move forward; recoup the losses; and begin again in some constructive forward movement.

Until then, officials in Washington will continue to secure their own positions while driving the United States ─ as they are driving (have driven) Iraq and Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, west, central, and eastern Africa ─ into to antiquity.

Drone chief
John Owen Brennan
Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; 
former chief counterterrorism advisor to 
U.S. President Barack Obama
Brennan’s official title was 
Deputy National Security Advisor for 
Homeland Security and 
Counterterrorism and
 Assistant to the President.
orld Socialist Web Site’s headline March 19 sourcing Reuters “Plans for military surveillance of Americans’ financial records” doesn’t tell half of a story featuring Washington’s destructive elite. Here’s some of what the sources reported that to me reflects an U.S. invasion of America and a destruction of its spirit.

A series of administrations have effectively abolished the Legislative branch’s advise and consent mandate. Here again is an example of Congress, presumably representative of the people, opposing; and the Executive branch proposing. This time a deepening infringement on the rights of U.S. citizens is being resurrected by the Obama administration through the Department of the Treasury (not unlike his resurrected assassination drone chief), which had been rejected by the U.S. Congress.

The charge: “suspicious”

Surveilled criminals uncaught

Something called the “Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),” a computer network for U.S. law enforcement and military agencies called the “Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System,” and reportedly involving the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in overseeing a spider’s web of links with the Department of the Treasury’s secreted database on “suspicious customer activity” is being resurrected and aimed at the American people.

Routinely, the news report says, “More than 25,000 banks, securities dealers, wire transfer services, and casinos regularly file ‘suspicious activity reports’ or SARs with the U.S. Treasury.” These include “reports of transactions exceeding $10,000 and those possibly involving money laundering.”

But the surveillance program didn’t stop, or it chose to ignore, the money laundering by big banks such as HSBC and others who operated inside the United States and against the public interest.

Addicted to the game

Spy Drones come home
The problem with narrow-focused technologically reckless pols and their agents in love with their surveillance or hacking toys is that nothing, no reach is ever enough ─ far is never far enough; they need more “apps.” Like a psychotic accelerating or cocaine addicts heightening the hit.

overnment hacking into the affairs of citizens will never be enough; and the reasons, though purporting to be on the hunt for criminals, may themselves be nefarious, unlawful, even personal (an aggrieved neighbor seeking revenge, a relative scorned). Anyone under the colors of government including private independent contractors, of which there are legions, with an ax to grind may scour the affairs of other Americans.

Collateral damage: dissent silenced

An estimated “15 million ‘suspicious activity reports’ are filed annually,” according to the news reports; and institutions making these reports “cast a broad net” thus reeling in all kinds of people. This means untold numbers of people using banks in the United States ─ including those who have committed no crime ─ will “end up in the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network database.”
Mining information and sharing it with various private and public agencies will not touch the “bad guys” but they will infringe on the rights and legitimate constitutional freedoms of ordinary individual citizens. FinCEN records “will not help uncover actual terrorists, who can easily circumvent the types of transactions that would trigger ‘suspicious activity reports’,” Private investigator Kenneth Cummins told Russia Today,” but “the information being opened up to military intelligence can be used, for example ─

[t]o create profiles of anti-war activists and others who oppose the government’s policies by following their usage of debit and credit cards.

The military can track travel, donations to non-profit organizations, spending habits.
n agent or agency can destroy people and their reputations (in the same way as a private hacker can, but much more powerfully and lethally) and neither the injured, the deceased nor the family will be able under the rule of law to face the assassins or bring them before the bar of justice.

 Accusers secreted

U.S. (alpha)
Foreign and domestic
relations policy:

Collateral damage
“Under current law, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or National Security Agency (NSA) must request information from FinCEN on a case-by-case basis. Civilian-run agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security already have full access to the FinCEN database. And institutions filing ‘suspicious activity reports’ on persons or businesses are shielded: “prohibited from letting the subject know that such a report has been filed.” SARs are also “exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.” 

The current administration is deepening the infringement on the constitutional rights of American citizens. The charge: “suspicious.”

he executive branch, WSWS comments, “that has asserted its right to kill American citizens secretly and without charge or trial now insists  on allowing the U.S. military unfettered access” ─ without oversight ─ to the financial records of citizens of the United States of America. In July of last year, whistleblower and former National Security Adviser employee William Binney warned of
a ‘very dangerous process’ whereby Washington was secretly gathering information ‘about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country.’

Sources and notes

“Plans for military surveillance of Americans’ financial records” (By Ed Hightower),
March 19, 2013, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/03/19/surv-m19.html

Reuters reported last week that it had viewed a document (dated March 4) from the U.S. Treasury Department detailing plans to provide military intelligence agencies with unfettered access to financial records of U.S. citizens. Under the new plan, there will be no need to request access to such records on a case-by-case basis.

“Exclusive: U.S. plans to let spy agencies scour Americans’ finances” (by Emily Flitter and Stella Dawson and Mark Hosenball, NEW YORK/WASHINGTON | Wed March 13, 2013 6:51pm EDT: NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is drawing up plans to give all U.S. spy agencies full access to a massive database that contains financial data on American citizens and others who bank in the country, according to a Treasury Department document seen by Reuters.

William Binney
William Binney is described as one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in the history of the National Security Agency. Reported in December of last year, according to Binney the FBI records the emails of nearly all U.S. citizens, including members of congress.

An NSA whistleblower, William Binney resigned the agency in 2001 saying that he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the Constitution, such as how the FBI engages in widespread and pervasive surveillance through powerful devices called ‘Naris.’

Binney is a recipient of the Callaway award, an annual prize that recognizes those who champion constitutional rights and American values at great risk to their personal or professional lives.

Kenneth Cummins
Kenneth Cummins is a former investigative reporter, current freelance journalist and president of Capitol Inquiry, a firm that “provides investigative research support in criminal/civil background investigations, corporate/business intelligence investigations, litigation support, surveillance, process service (in-house servers), computer forensics, real estate investigations and domestic/family investigations.

“Capitol Inquiry investigators are experienced researchers with language capabilities in Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Dutch and English.” The firm currently maintains offices in downtown Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, MD, http://www.linkedin.com/in/kcummins


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