Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: terrorists

New York State County Sheriff Trashes State’s Handgun Renewals

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, January 23, 2015:

Map of New York highlighting Fulton County

Map of New York highlighting Fulton County

The sheriff of Fulton County, New York, Thomas Lorey, made a presentation to some Second Amendment supporters on Friday, January 16. The next day seven minutes of it was posted on YouTube. He told them that Fulton County has been targeted by New York’s state capital, Albany, for a “pilot program” to see if those owning handguns in his county would desire to renew their permits to possess them early, for a small fee of $15. (In New York, one must have a permit to even own a handgun.) He was very against renewing the permits early, or renewing them at all, for that matter. He explained:

I want to set the record straight. Fulton County is one of the pilot counties.… They are going to send out 500 invitations to my county and that’s all they are … invitations.

I’m asking everyone that gets those invitations to throw them in the trash because that is where they belong.

Mike Piccone, the Guns & Gear editor for the conservative blog The Daily Caller, gave a bit of background to the circumstances:

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Israel Considering Relaxing Gun Laws Following Synagogue Attack

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 

Embed from Getty Images

Following the horrific attack by two Palestinians on unarmed worshipers at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, vowed to ease restrictions on carrying firearms for self-defense. The attack by the Palestinian cousins who wielded knives and a gun resulted in four deaths and eight seriously wounded. Police who arrived at the scene killed the attackers but only after the innocents had been slashed, shot, and murdered.

Aharonovitch announced other measures as well, including

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What Happened to the rule of law in Ferguson?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 22, 2014:

Jay Nixon at the Missouri AFL-CIO State Convention

Jay Nixon at the Missouri AFL-CIO State Convention

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s remarkable rush to judgment on Tuesday was breathtaking. In a video-taped statement concerning the shooting in Ferguson, Nixon said that “vigorous prosecution must now be pursued” in the case. Any who thought he meant to say “investigation” was disappointed when he continued:

We have a responsibility to … do everything we can to achieve justice for [Brown’s] family … justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly and correctly.

Justice? What about justice for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson? Doesn’t he deserve justice, too? What about his family? More fundamentally, what about the fundamental rule of law that says Wilson is innocent until proven guilty?

That apparently doesn’t concern Nixon, the governor responsible for

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Russian Malware Infecting U.S. Energy Grid

This article was first published by TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 2, 2014:

 

English: United States Power Grid

English: United States Power Grid

An alert from software giant Symantec on Monday announced an “ongoing campaign” by Russia-based cyber-terrorists who have changed their focus from espionage to sabotage. Their primary targets are energy companies using oil and natural gas to provide electrical power to the national grid.

The infections are so powerful that not only can they disrupt internal messaging and controls but they can also disrupt the operations of the physical power plants and pipelines, according to Symantec:

An ongoing cyberespionage campaign against a range of targets, mainly in the energy sector, gave attackers the ability to mount sabotage operations against their victims.

 

The attackers, known to Symantec as Dragonfly, managed to compromise a number of strategically important organizations for spying purposes and … could have caused damage or disruption to energy supplies in [the] affected countries.

The attacks emanating from Russia target not only the United States but Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Poland, but they are focused primarily on the United States and Spain.

Symantec said that Dragonfly is no small group of weekend hackers, either: “The Dragonfly group is technically adept and able to think strategically … the group found a “soft underbelly” … invariably smaller, less protected companies.”

According to Symantec, this a government-sponsored operation: “The Dragonfly group is well-resourced with a range of malware tools at his disposal and is capable of launching attacks through a number of different [malware protocols].”

Eric Chien, the chief researcher for Symantec, is frightened over the implications of its discoveries: “When they do have that type of access, that motivation wouldn’t be [just] for espionage. When we look at where they’re at, we’re very concerned about sabotage.”

Dragonfly has already had success in infecting “industrial control systems” (ICS) equipment providers by using “software with a remote access type Trojan.” Once installed, the software handed off control of physical plant operations to the saboteurs in Russia:

[The Trojan] caused companies to install the malware when downloading software updates [to their] computers running ICS equipment.

These infections not only gave the attackers a beachhead in the targeted organizations’ networks but also gave them the means to mount sabotage operations.

In trying to decipher the attacks for laymen reading their chilling report, it compared the Trojan malware to Stuxnet, the computer worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear power plant’s fast-spinning centrifuges. It resulted in nearly one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning out of control, destroying themselves as a result. The big difference is that Stuxnet was focused on a very narrow target, while the latest expansion now targets entire power grids across the country and around the world.

Explained Symantec: “Dragonfly appears to have a much broader focus, with espionage … as its current objective with sabotage as an optional capability.”

Dragonfly is Symantec’s name for the operating group behind the attacks, while other observers call it the “Energetic Bear.” Its existence has been known and tracked since at least 2011, said Symantec, and its initial targets were defense and aviation companies in the United States and Canada. But it shifted its focus to the more vulnerable energy sector in the United States in early 2013.

While using arcane language in its customer alert such as “back doors” and “watering holes” — terms familiar only to computer techies and their managers — Symantec identified seven different companies targeted by the group, one of whom downloaded the infected software to 250 of its unsuspecting customers.

Symantec is not the first to discover the group masterminding the attacks, nor the first to pin the blame on government-sponsored groups in Russia. Stuart Poole-Robb, a former MI6 (British Secret Intelligence Service) agent and founder of a security consulting firm, said:

To target a whole sector like this at the level they are doing … speaks of some form of government sanction.

These are people working with FAPSI [Russia’s Spetssvyaz intelligence service], working to support mother Russia.

CrowdStrike, a California company engaged in exposing Internet adversaries, has been tracking Dragonfly for years, and in its January update, it noted that “Energetic Bear [synonymous with Dragonfly] is an adversary group with a nexus to the Russian Federation that conducts intelligence collection operations against a variety of global [targets] with a primary focus on the energy sector.”

Symantec offers Internet security software and consulting services to help companies protect themselves from such attacks but the U.S. government has also been very busy as well. Recognizing the potential disaster inherent in such potential attacks, which could destroy the energy infrastructure of the country, the United States Cyber Command was established as a part of the United States Strategic Command in 2009 in Fort Meade, Maryland. Its mission is: “To conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to … ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries.”

This is being matched by similar cyber warfare units in South Korea and Great Britain.

Neither Symantec nor CrowdStrike offered any scenarios of the possible impact such attacks might have on the United States, but fiction writers such as James Wesley Rawles (author of Survivors) and William Forstchen (author of One Second After) have carefully crafted believable scenarios following successful attacks on America’s power grid. In One Second After, after an electromagnetic pulse shuts down the electric grid, no electronic appliances work, and citizens are largely forced to live an 18th-century life — hunger and die offs of people begin quickly when food storage is compromised.

What is clear from Symantec’s warning to its customers, however, is that Russia is no friend of the United States. It fully intends to extend its present advantage through its “well-resourced” efforts to gain control of America’s electric power grid, while the U.S. government and private companies such as Symantec are playing catchup ball to keep that from happening.

The Supreme Court Passes on an Opportunity to Defend Freedom

Call to Action! National Defense Authorization...

Call to Action! National Defense Authorization Act (S.1867) Makes America a Police State! (g1a2d0077c1) (Photo credit: watchingfrogsboil)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 2, 2014: 

Rarely does the Supreme Court have the opportunity to rectify major wrongs and mend egregious infringements coming from an out-of-control federal government: wrongs so outrageous that they threaten the very basis of society, so extreme that they risk emasculating and eviscerating the legal basis of an ordered existence, so far-reaching that they neutralize major amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.

On Monday, April 28, the Court had that opportunity, and they whiffed.

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States Beginning to Demand SWAT Team Transparency

SRA Dave Orth (L) and SRA Clarence Tolliver (R...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Examples of no-knock raids performed by SWAT teams on innocents across the country have even raised the consciousness of the London-based Economist magazine which declared in its most recent issue that “America’s police have become too militarized.” It opened with the story of the raid on the home of Sally Prince in Ankeny, Iowa, by a SWAT team fully helmeted and

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Holder’s Impeachable Offenses

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, February 12, 2014:

Jeffrey Toobin may have been a little too enthusiastic in his announcement in the New Yorker magazine (issue dated February 17th) that Attorney General Eric Holder was going to be leaving the Department of Justice before the end of the year, perhaps even sooner. It was based on an interview Toobin had with Holder in late December:

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Mixed Reactions to New Law Reopening Government

Once the 11th-hour vote to avoid the potential default was passed by the Senate and the House and signed into law by President Obama, key players in the game of fiscal chicken just ended began issuing their justifications and frustrations. That game, variously called “political brinkmanship”, a “temporary fix”, “a temporary ceasefire” and “a political achievement for Obama”, does everything the president wanted while

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South Dakota becomes the first state to allow teachers to arm themselves

On July 1st South Dakota’s “School Sentinel” law became effective, making that state the first in the nation to allow teachers and other school officials to carry a sidearm in the classroom. Signed into law in March by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, the law provides that teachers wishing to carry must first

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Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, likely headed for Ecuador for asylum

As of 10:32AM EDT on Monday Edward Snowden’s whereabouts were unknown, despite an international effort to track him down. His final destination was also in doubt, with reports of Ecuador, Venezuela or even Cuba being his target to escape prosecution for whistleblowing by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Following his leaking of NSA’s surveillance of phone calls and emails of citizens and government officials worldwide, Snowden headed for

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Boston Bombing Investigation Reveals Government Surveillance of Phone Calls

Sari Horwitz, a writer from the Washington Post reporting on the investigation of Katherine Russell, the wife of the deceased Boston bomber, inadvertently wrote that federal officials had access to the content of phone calls she tried to make to her husband when she learned of his involvement in the incident. Buried inside the fifth paragraph of her report was this:

Officials said that Russell called her husband when she saw his photograph on television – following the FBI’s release of the pictures of the suspects…

Almost immediately Erin Burnett, the host of CNN’s Outfront, wanted to know how the government knew. Aren’t phone calls supposed to be private? She interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent on May 1st, asking:

Is there any way … they [the federal investigators] can try to get the phone companies to give that up … It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they can actually find out what [was said on the call], right, unless she tells them?

Clemente:  There is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation … we certainly can find that out.

Burnett: So they can actually get that? … that is incredible.

Clemente: Welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak, whether we know it or like it, or not.

Glenn Greenwald, writing in The Guardian, explained just what kind of “stuff” the FBI is able to track: “all digital communications – meaning phone calls, emails, online chats and the like – are automatically recorded and stored and [are] accessible to the government after the fact. To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.”

Greenwald pointed to the experience of Mark Klein, covered by The Washington Post back in 2007, when he was working as an AT&T technician in San Francisco in 2002. He was interrupted by an agent from the National Security Agency (NSA) who then introduced Klein to the system the NSA was setting up to “vacuum up internet and phone call data from ordinary Americans” with the help of AT&T. The article explained:

 [Klein] said the NSA built a special room to receive data streamed through an AT&T Internet room containing “peering links,” or major connections to other telecom providers. The largest of the links delivered 2.5 gigabits of data — the equivalent of one-quarter of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s text — per second…

When Klein saw what was happening, it was his “aha moment. They’re sending the entire Internet to the secret room!” Using a glass prism that divided the information into two pieces, the NSA could monitor every bit of data going across the internet without impeding its flow:

This splitter was sweeping up everything, vacuum-cleaner style. The NSA is getting everything. These are major pipes that carry not just AT&T’s customers but everybody’s.

I flipped out. They’re copying the whole Internet! There’s no selection going on here. Maybe they select out later, but at the point of handoff to the government, they get everything.

In April of last year, an NSA whistleblower, William Binney, was interviewed by Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and revealed just how extensive the data collection is and how it is justified. Binney said that Section 215 of the Patriot Act

 gives them license to take all commercially held data about us…

 [This] is extremely dangerous because if you take that and put it into forms of graphing … and then watch it over time, you can build up knowledge about everyone in the country.

And having that knowledge then allows them ability to concoct all kinds of charges, if they want to target you.

When asked about how much information is already stored, Binney responded: “I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens.”

And where is that information being stored? Bluffdale, Utah. Said Binney: “[The Utah Data Center located at Bluffdale, Utah] is a very large storage device, actually, for remote interrogation and remote processing. That’s the way I view that. Because there’s not enough people there to actually work the data there, so it’s being worked somewhere else.”

The facility in Utah will exceed 1 million square feet, nearly six times the size of a Walmart Supercenter, and will be able, when it is completed in September, to capture “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails: parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter,’” according to James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory.

An associate of Bamford’s, Jeff Wright, author of The Citizen’s Last Stand, noted in his book:

James Bamford, a New York Times bestselling author, has detailed some of the NSA’s … capabilities…

Bamford actually began his career during the Viet Nam War as an administrative tech in the same place I did, the Naval Security Group. His first book [The Puzzle Palace] freaked-out the core leadership at the Agency. In actuality, it barely scratched the surface.

In an interview with The New American, Wright added:

This capability [to capture all digital information on Americans] has existed for quite some time…

I have seen the access points at several major carrier facilities…

It started during the Cold War as a program named “HYDRA.” It has morphed … since then. The facilities, such as at Bluffdale, Utah, will allow real-time analysis.

Naturally, the NSA denies all of this. On April 15th, the agency issued a statement denying that it will eavesdrop on innocent citizens:

Many unfounded allegations have been made about the planned activities of the Utah Data Center…one of the biggest misconceptions about NSA is that we are unlawfully listening in on, or reading emails of, U.S. citizens. This is simply not the case.

There’s a rule about power and restraint of that power: “If they can, they will.” Since they can, they are. Now there’s a new rule: “Watch what you say. Somewhere, someone out there is listening.” Just ask Katherine Russell.

 

 

 

 

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann