Approved for release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
US Army Operational Group US Army Intelligence and Security Command Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755
Approved for release 2003/09/10 : CIA-RDP96-00788R001700210016-5
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
US Army Operational Group US Army Intelligence and Security Command Fort George G. Meade, Maryland 20755
American spies kept close tabs on Scotland with probes into UFOs, spoon-bending and psychics among the declassified documents released.
Incredible evidence has emerged of the extent that American CIA agents have kept tabs on Scotland.
Declassified documents range from paranormal research to political intrigue – lifting the lid on the Scots ‘X-files’.
Dusty files locked away include UFO sightings, psychic powers and Cold War espionage over decades of spy games.
Some of the weirdest records relate to the controversial Stargate programme which has long fascinated conspiracy theorists.
The shadowy work was widely credited for influencing the 2009 movie The Men Who Stare at Goats – starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor.
In the film, US special forces attempt to harness paranormal powers as a weapon – by trying to explode the hearts of animals just by looking at them.
Lecturer in intelligence and international security at the University of Glasgow Damien Van Puyvelde said: “The references reflect the global scope of CIA activities and the evolution of its interests”.
“From assessments of the Soviet economy, to public perception of the Vietnam War abroad, to perceived communist influence in Latin America, to the rise of the terrorist threat, and more eccentric issues like UFOs and psychists”.
“All of these can be linked to the broader context of the Cold War.”
Buried in the historical files is a 1964 report by the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena research group – which included retired armed services chiefs.
Kept in closed CIA files for nearly 40 years, the 186-page document lists UFO sightings across the globe and includes a mysterious case in Wigtownshire on April 4, 1957.
It tells how three radar posts tracked a UFO which “dove and circled” at between 60,000 and 14,000ft.
The close encounter was described by Wing Commander W P Whitworth, based in Scotland, as: “Quite definitely this was no freak”.
“It was an object of some substance and no mistake could have been made.”
Recommendations in the report include boosting attempts to communicate with extraterrestrials and even drafting ‘space law’ to govern how humans interact with ET.
It concludes: “On the basis of the evidence in this report, NICAP has concluded that UFOs are real and that they appear to be intelligently controlled”.
“We believe that it is a reasonable hypothesis that UFOS (beyond those explainable as conventional objects or phenomena) are manifestations of extraterrestrial life.”
However, the report accepted that evidence was too “sketchy” to suggest what aliens looked like or the purpose of their visits to earth.
Van Puyvelde said: “Sightings of unidentified flying objects could provide information on Soviet ballistic missiles or airplanes”.
“It was also important to understand and manage people’s threat perception.”
He said a CIA study group concluded the Soviets could use UFO reports to generate “panic” and wage a form of information warfare.
Van Puyvelde added: “UFO reports could also be used to overload the US air warning system.”
It certainly appears to have been too early to break out the intergalactic welcome mats.
Van Puyvelde said: “In general though, CIA and US Air Force investigations into these found that most of them could be linked to optical illusions and hallucinations, hoaxes and misinterpretations.”
In the 1980s, the CIA took an interest in the work of leading Edinburgh University parapsychologist Deborah Delanoy.
She exposed a “bright and very affable” 17-year-old self-proclaimed metal-bender called Tim as a fake in 1983-84.
Delanoy’s report reads: “Tim claimed to have started bending metal, mostly cutlery, at the age of four and to have been doing so ever since.”
After seven-and-a-half months of lab tests, researchers began to suspect Tim was a fraud and used a hidden camera to expose him.
The report continues: “Tim confessed to deceptive behaviour. He said that he was a practicing magician who had wished to see if it were possible for a magician to pose successfully as a psychic in a laboratory.”
Delanoy concludes: “We must never let ourselves forget that our subjects may be deceiving us”.
Van Puyvelde explained why CIA agents tasked with defending the most powerful country in the world against all foes might be interested, at least for a time, in Scots spoon-bending teens.
He said: “The focus on psychics also sounds quite eccentric. But when digging further we can see an agency that looks for scientific studies to inform its views, following rumours that the Soviet Union was interested in psychics in the 1970s.
“This search for scientific evidence inevitably creates links with universities, more often than not in indirect ways“.
“The CIA’s own conclusion by the mid-1990s was that the entire program was not useful to its operations.”
An offshoot of the Stargate programme was project Sun Streak – which tried to tackle the Lockerbie bombing in unorthodox fashion.
Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down over the Scottish village by the device on December 21, 1988, killing all 259 passengers and crew on board and a further 11 people on the ground.
By 1990, the investigation was still ongoing and it would be another year until Libyans Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah were indicted.
On June 7 of that year at an unknown location, a psychic was tasked with describing a photo of the reconstructed baggage carrier which held the plane’s bomb.
Filed under “special access required”, the notes are headed: “Warning notice: Intelligence sources and methods involved.”
Sun Streak’s mission was to collect intelligence information through ‘psychoenergetics’ – including telepathy.
The Lockerbie test produced 22 pages of scrawled notes and sketches and a typed up account of the session.
Notes state: “There is a bomb in the box and it explodes.
“It makes me think of a bomb blowing up a person. I can see red, fire and jagged flames. Something about the target makes my eyes burn.”
An information report, marked ‘secret’ from August 1951 shows the lengths the CIA went to in order to monitor activity in the Eastern Bloc – however mundane it might appear.
Released 50 years later and still with redacted sections, the file contains two reports on the production of screws and bolts in what was then Czechoslovakia.
US intelligence services are known to have meticulously monitored industry output in the Societ bloc for fear of any military or technological use.
Intelligence experts say firms in the Eastern Bloc were often used as fronts for the USSR to get around trade barriers with the West for any goods on watch lists.
Buried in the report is an order in June 1950 for one tonne of two-pointed rivets imported to Prague from Dieck’s Ltd in Glasgow.
The report adds: “There is a complete lack of all sizes of winged screws. There are none at all in stock.”
However seemingly innocuous the order, authors of the report requested “evaluation of this material” within a month.
Glasgow was even mentioned in dispatches during the Vietnam War – at what would become one of American foreign policy’s darkest hours.
A memo marked ‘confidential’ on August 6, 1964, examines foreign reaction to the “Crisis in Vietnam”- specifically US airstrikes against the North.
The date is highly significant coming the day after a report to Congress on the notorious Gulf of Tonkin incident which led to the escalation of US action in Vietnam.
It detailed an attack on a US warship by North Vietnamese torpedo boats – reports later debunked as US government lies to justify a war against the communist North.
The memo mentions how the escalating crisis in South East Asia was front page news in the UK – with most media backing US action.
Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home was returning to London from a holiday in Scotland and was expected to issue a statement.
The memo adds: “The only anti-American incident reported was in Glasgow where demonstrators daubed slogans outside the US consulate.”
A terrorism review from 1983 delves into a rise in letter bombs in the UK – with the Scottish National Liberation Army among those responsible.
Branded ‘secret’, the report was deemed so sensitive, it was only released in 2010 and even then in a “sanitized” form.
It chronicles eight letter bombs attributed to the SNLA in a little over a year between March 1982 and the following spring.
Targets were identified as an undisclosed location in Edinburgh on March 1, 1982, followed by government offices in both the capital and Glasgow on March 17.
In May, letter bombs were sent to the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh, followed by unnamed political party headquarters in the capital on June 19.
On November 22, 1982, the British Industry Secretary was targeted in London, followed by Glasgow’s City Hall on February 17, 1983.
Later that year, letter bombs were set to the Prime Minister’s Office in London on successive days – March 15 and 16.
Authors describe the SNLA as “a Scottish separatist group opposed to British rule.”
They conclude: “In the attacks to date, the letter bombs have contained only small amounts of explosives, probably to avoid personal injury and to preclude discovery by security measures.”
A ‘top secret’ national intelligence cable from March 1982 reveals the extent of the CIA’s interest in UK domestic politics.
It includes analysis of Roy Jenkins’ Glasgow by-election victory on March 26 when he won a third of the vote in overturning a Tory majority of 2,000.
It credits the win as reviving the Social Democrat/Liberal alliance of the day but predicted “potentially serious differences” to come.
The report’s writers comment: “Jenkins’s victory at least temporarily will breathe new life into the Social Democrats’ sagging fortunes and should make him the clear favorite to be elected party leader at next fall’s annual conference.”
Jenkins was indeed made leader of the SDP ahead of the 1983 general election – only to resign after a disappointing SDP performance.
A quarterly report on ‘significant international terrorist incidents’ from 1981 documents an attack on the US consulate in Edinburgh.
CIA analysts embarrassingly refer to the consulate as being in England before giving an account of the September 5 incident.
They report how three “gasoline” bombs were hurled at the ground floor windows of the consulate on plush Regent Terrace.
The author’s assessment goes on: “A security-glass window cracked but kept the bombs out of the building.
“Damage was minor and no injuries were reported. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.”
In the mid-1950s, CIA analysts bemoan Pakistan’s move into jute production – to the detriment of Dundee.
A confidential report from 1955 links the shift into the trade in Asia to nationalism.
It adds: “Formerly the jute produced in Pakistan was manufactured in India and at Dundee, Scotland; and that city was the center for the marketing of the finished product.”
Report authors list three Dundee firms as jute kingpins – MacGregor, Gateshead and John Ireland and Son.
They conclude: “Now they will be forced to turn to other activities or their employees will be thrown out of work.”
A ‘secret’ intelligence report from March 1984 tackles European, including Scots, support for communist regimes in Central America.
At the time, CIA chiefs were trying to stop the toppling of regimes to their south by revolutionaries aligned with the Soviet Union.
Intelligence chatter was rife over where the next Cuba would be with Nicaragua only recently falling to the Sandinistas.
Worse still, the leftist guerillas appeared to be winning the propaganda war in the west by drumming up sympathies.
The report points the finger at the Soviet Bloc with a “massive propaganda and disinformation” campaign launched in 1980.
Documents seized from captured insurgents in El Salvador reveal guerillas coordinating their international activities through Mexico City, claims the report.
It states: “During 1981, some 80 mass meetings were held ranging from 15 people in Adelaide, Australia, to 75 people in Vancouver, Canada, to a few hundred in Edinburgh.
“This process could one be carried out through the apparatus that the communists have put together in the world peace movement, student groups, unions etc.
“There is no way a small Central American country or even Cuba could mount a worldwide propaganda campaign of this kind.”
Van Puyvelde praised the CIA for making nearly one million documents available online – and encouraged other nation’s intelligence agencies, including the UK’s, to follow suit.
He said: “Overall, it is quite remarkable that the CIA is making all of this material available online.
“By comparison, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) does not make its records available at The National Archives or its website.
“This is a missed opportunity to improve public understanding of intelligence.
Source: Daily Record UK
By: Yana Dianova
Do the US intelligence services troll Linkedin as well as other social media?
The author is a Moscow based private practice lawyer
Though not having been an active user of LinkedIn from the moment of joining it in 2010 (I browse the newsfeed there mostly when traveling to and from from work and occasionally on weekends) with the outbreak of the Ukrainian crisis at the beginning 2014, while glimpsing occasionally (but not on an everyday basis) at the posts and comments of my contacts I began to notice some strange activities.
There are obviously some fake profiles, with altered images of certain countries’ leaders or blurred photos, and/or bogus credentials that cannot be independently verified, including current and previous employment and education (further – the “assaulters”) who post provocative and often explicitly insulting “trolling” comments in groups (in particular, the Russian International Affairs Council) and/or under updates regarding Russia and the Ukraine, and when countered by other users, if they have not been able respond with fact-based arguments, they will employ the lowest argumentative fallacies, including:
– False attribution (e.g. citing American corporate media like the New York Times and the Washington Post, Ukrainian propagandist sites like euromaidanpress.com and such notorious “opposition activists’” as Kasparov blogs and Facebook pages as credible sources of information) and trying to disparage alternative media, investigative journalists and bloggers as ″conspiracy theorists″ and/or ″Kremlin propagandists″: See here.
Note: the fact that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored Ukrainian opposition groups prior to the coup in February 2014 is quite well documented, just like the fact that three weeks before the putsch in Kiev, the U.S. State Department was planning to orchestrate the removal of Ukraine’s duly elected President Viktor Yanukovych and select new leaders for Ukraine (i.e. a four-minute intercepted telephone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt was published on YouTube). See here
Note: On 21 February 2014, Victor Yanukovych conceded to the Maidan protesters and signed the Agreement on settling the crisis in the Ukraine that provided, in particular, for a return to the Constitution of 2004 and re-election of the president by the end of 2014. Apparently fearing that the violence at the Maidan would escalate nevertheless, since the shootings that took place just a couple of days before showed there were gunmen among the crowd and professional snipers provoking the escalation, Yanukovych ordered the police and special forces to withdraw from Kyiv by the same date as the Agreement was signed, fled from Kyiv himself and made a public statement that what was happening was an unconstitutional takeover.
On 22 February 2014, the Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) was “reformed”: seventy deputies of the pro-government Regions Party that held the majority gave up their seats. The reformed Rada decided to hold early presidential elections on 24 May 2014 – in violation of both the Constitution of the Ukraine article 108, which provides that the president may be ousted only in the following cases: 1. resignation (Yanukovych had not resigned); 2. inability to perform his duties due to health conditions (he was able but was not permitted to); 3. impeachment (he was not impeached); 4. death. The respective decision of Rada did not even refer to the Constitution regarding the legal basis for ouster of the president. A complete analysis of all the violations of the Ukraine’s Constitution sustained in the process of ousting Yanukovych and the election of the new government was made by the Kyiv Times.
Occasionally, when assailants totally ran out of arguments, they would suggest that if you did not like the way they lead a ″discussion″ you could leave LinkedIn, since it is ″their″ social network: here here and here
Although such actions constitute blatant violations of the LinkedIn Community Guidelines and the LinkedIn User Agreement, paragraphs 8.1. and 8.2., LinkedIn support has usually done nothing when such users’ insulting and often defamatory comments were flagged as inappropriate and in response to the allegedly fake notices on their profiles, even when obvious discrepancies in the information on their profiles are clearly demonstrated and evidence of the respective misrepresentation from external sources (i.e. official web sites of government authorities and companies’ registers, as well as e-mail correspondence with their alleged employers) was provided.
The most active of these assaulters who appear to spend 24/7 at LinkedIn posting and commenting, have something in common (if one takes for granted at least part of the data on their profiles)
they claim to be either former or active US government officials, including a “retired CIA operations officer”, or “management analysts at the Office of Security, U.S. Department of Commerce” or a “US army veteran” or an “analyst at Wikistrat″, or a ″retired independent consultant″, an ″independent contractor”, etc.;
they try not only to insult but also to defame and discredit anyone who dares to argue with them, libeling the latter as a “Russian troll” and/or ″Kremlin asset″, be it a Russian Ph.D engineer or lawyer, an American professor of political science, a French entrepreneur or a Canadian journalist, etc.
they appear to do all this scientifically, i.e. recording their own and others comments (in particular, in order to file ″collective″ complaints with LinkedIn when someone they specifically provoke does not respond politely): here
The most constructive way to deal with assailants has been to block them, but even then you receive messages from your contacts that continues to insult and defame you when your name is mentioned by a third party or without any reason whatsoever.
Generally, the assailants have act not as typical Internet trolls but rather as IPredators engaged in ″victimization, stalking or disparagement of others using information and communications technology″. They can go so far as to publish on their blogs outside LinkedIn posts dedicated to particular LinkedIn users (whom they could not ″defeat″ in the course of exchanges of comments) in which they libel them as “Russian trolls” without any proof or valid reason, spreading this libel/defamation throughout LinkedIn.
This phenomenon of cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking on the 400 millions user social network is peculiar not only considering the claimed background of the “assailants” (US intelligence services and/or military forces) and the geopolitical context (the “Cold War-II”), but also given that the most active assailants expressly state on their profiles”Information Operations/Information Warfare, Electronic Warfare, Deception, Operational Security, Cyberwar, Intelligence, Special Forces and Special Operations”.
This prompts a reasonable question: could they actually be US government-sponsored trolls?
According to anecdotal evidence by former CIA clandestine service trainee and DIA analyst Lynnae Williams, the FBI and CIA use trolls to monitor social media and interact with users to discredit information disseminated on the web. Williams explained that the CIA provides training videos to new recruits on how to troll the internet. Once a target is locked-in, all open source information is obtained on the individual, and any angle is used on social media sites to discredit them.
The trolls’ work usually falls within several categories, in particular:
they combine vast knowledge with disinformation and ridicule, in order to make a subject appear as uninteresting and misleading as possible;
they usually post discrediting messages in groups, supporting each other’s claims, while demoting, ridiculing or spreading disinformation in all interesting threads. These trolls are usually very active and are the first to post replies;
they usually support each other’s threads;
they are very active and are part of many groups and communities, but they are mainly activated by specific subjects – those they know best.
As revealed by the Guardian, the US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.
A Californian firm Ntrepid was awarded the $2.76m contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that would allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world and, working around the clock in one location, respond to online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. The personas should be “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent”, a Centcom tender document said.
The multiple persona contract was thought to have been awarded as part of a program called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces.
David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to “counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard”. Petraeus’s successor, General James Mattis, then told the US Senate’s armed services committee that OEV “supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities”.
According to Centcom, their only objective was ″to counter extremists and enemy propaganda outside of the U.S.″, saying that it would be unlawful to address U.S. audiences.
However, the 2013 version of the NDAA included an amendment that legalized domestic deceptive propaganda. The new law allows the U.S government to legally carry out misinformation campaigns against U.S. citizens.
It is worth mentioning in this connection that a close adviser of Obama and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein proposed in 2008 that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups, as well as sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government.
Papers leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate that the US and British intelligence agencies have been deeply engaged in planning ways to covertly use social media for purposes of propaganda and deception. Documents prepared by NSA and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) (and previously published by the Intercept as well as NBC News) revealed aspects of some of these programs.
In particular, Glenn Greenwald published and analyzed the document issued by a previously secret unit of GCHQ – Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”
According to this document, among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and
(2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.
The tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
The “targets” for this deception and reputation-destruction include: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. The title page of one of these documents reflects JTRIG’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats. The discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political end. As Glenn Greenwald concludes, ″the broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats.″
The U.S. government as well has actually been caught manipulating social media discourses at such big sites like Reddit and editing Wikipedia, in particular, suggesting that InforWars anchors Alex Jones and Abby Martin are Kremlin propagandists.
The circumstantial evidence, therefore, suggests, that LinkedIn may have one of the US intelligence agencies’ programs for “countering the enemy’s narrative”, actively implemented through the “assailants” who employ the tactics according to the rules for Internet disruption and disinformation, in particular:
pretend that alternative media – such as blogs written by op experts in their fields, without any middleman – are untrustworthy or are motivated solely by money (for example, use the derogatory term “blogspam” for any blog posting, pretending that there is no original or insightful reporting, but that the person is simply doing it for ad revenue);
coordinate with a couple of others to “shout down” reasonable comments (especially effective when the posters launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession, the original, reasonable comment gets lost or attacked so much that it is largely lost);
use “sock puppets” to monitor social media and “correct” information which you don’t like, or use software that allows you to quickly create and alternate between several false identities, each with their own internet address;
question motives: twist or amplify any fact that could be taken to imply that the opponent has a hidden personal agenda or other bias which avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
Another question that a reasonable person would ask in this connection is to what extent LinkedIn Corporation is involved in the implementation of such a program: does it act as a mere provider of an interactive computer service that “shall not be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act or does it deliberately provide the platform for government sponsored trolls to cyber harass and assault anyone who expresses views that may be deemed an “information threat” by certain circles within the US establishment, curbing thereby the freedom of speech, – one of the fundamental constitutional freedoms in many jurisdictions?
To be continued
Author: Yana Dianova
Source: Russian Insider