IT Independence is National Security

March 29, 2015 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The NSA's "Equation Group" is apparently behind the infection with malware of hard drive firmware on computers used by nations considered "enemies" by the United State. The installation of the malware is believed to have required access to trade secrets of IT manufacturers as well as physical access to the soon-to-be infected computers. Popular Science in their article "The World's Most Sophisticated Malware Ever Infects Hard Drive Firmware"suggests that the NSA intercepted computers in transit through global logistical chains.



However, a simpler and more logical explanation remains, though it is one manufacturers vehemently deny; that the NSA had/has direct access to the factory floors of several IT giants. These include Western Digital Corpororation, Seagate Technology, Toshiba Corporation, IBM, Micron Technology and Samsung Electronics.

The infection of hardware starting on the factory floor is nothing new. Australia's Financial Review revealed in 2013 in an article titled, "Intel chips could let US spies inside: expert," that, "one of Silicon Valley’s most respected technology experts, Steve Blank, says he would be “surprised” if the US National Security Agency was not embedding “back doors” inside chips produced by Intel and AMD, two of the world’s largest semiconductor firms, giving them the possibility to access and control machines."

Blank made his comments after it was revealed that many processors posses potential backdoors that could allow intelligence agencies to rig a computer's encryption process, rendering it virtually useless.

Such concerns have already prompted Russia to begin requiring computers used for the government sector to include Russian-made processors. With hard drives now potentially compromised, the NSA has once again given the world a reason to boycott US tech giants and those within America's sphere of influence, and replace them with locally produced alternatives manufactured under tighter security controls.

Besides access to factory floors, several high profile "cyber attacks" attributed to China targeting US tech giants, may have been in fact the NSA itself attempting to steal source code required to rewrite hard drive firmware.

Reuters in its report "Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program" would claim, "concerns about access to source code flared after a series of high-profile cyberattacks on Google Inc and other U.S. companies in 2009 that were blamed on China. Investigators have said they found evidence that the hackers gained access to source code from several big U.S. tech and defense companies."

When big US tech and defense companies aren't directly cooperating with the NSA, it appears they are pillaged regularly by them. This was also likely the case regarding Dutch SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, which was also recently compromised by the NSA and its British equivalent, GCHQ. The hijacking of the company's SIM cards required direct access to company trade secrets and likely involved the NSA and GCHQ stealing encryption keys from company servers.

US-Saudi Blitz in Yemen: Naked Aggression, Absolute Desperation

March 27, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The "proxy war" model the US has been employing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and even in parts of Asia appears to have failed yet again, this time in the Persian Gulf state of Yemen.


Overcoming the US-Saudi backed regime in Yemen, and a coalition of sectarian extremists including Al Qaeda and its rebrand, the "Islamic State," pro-Iranian Yemeni Houthi militias have turned the tide against American "soft power" and has necessitated a more direct military intervention. While US military forces themselves are not involved allegedly, Saudi warplanes and a possible ground force are.

Though Saudi Arabia claims "10 countries" have joined its coalition to intervene in Yemen, like the US invasion and occupation of Iraq hid behind a "coalition," it is overwhelmingly a Saudi operation with "coalition partners" added in a vain attempt to generate diplomatic legitimacy.

The New York Times, even in the title of its report, "Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen," seems not to notice these "10" other countries. It reports:
Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had launched a military campaign in Yemen, the beginning of what a Saudi official said was an offensive to restore a Yemeni government that had collapsed after rebel forces took control of large swaths of the country.  
The air campaign began as the internal conflict in Yemen showed signs of degenerating into a proxy war between regional powers. The Saudi announcement came during a rare news conference in Washington by Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.
Proxy War Against Iran 

Indeed, the conflict in Yemen is a proxy war. Not between Iran and Saudi Arabia per say, but between Iran and the United States, with the United States electing Saudi Arabia as its unfortunate stand-in.


Saudi Attack on Yemen - The New Normal?

March 26, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Saudi Arabia, in an unprecedented act of unprovoked unilateral military aggression against Yemen by the autocratic absolute monarchy, was allegedly triggered in a US-backed attempt to restore what Riyadh is calling the "legitimate government of Yemen."


What exactly constitutes a legitimate government is not clear for a despotic regime where elections are not held, women cannot drive, and enemies of the state are beheaded in medieval displays of public barbarism not entirely unlike their ideological ambassadors among the so-called "Islamic State" or ISIS.

The Yemeni Houthi militias are in fact the only viable force fighting Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the Persian Gulf State located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. With their recent successes on the battlefield leaving US-backed proxies in shambles, including apparently Al Qaeda itself, the West has decided it must take whatever measures necessary to stop them and reassert US interests in the region.

According to the New York Times in its report, "Saudi Arabia Begins Air Assault in Yemen," Saudi Arabia is intervening to stabilize the country before it descends into "civil war." It states:
Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday night that it had begun military operations in Yemen, launching airstrikes in coordination with a coalition of 10 nations. 
The strikes came as Yemen was hurtling closer to civil war after months of turmoil, as fighters and army units allied with the Houthi movement threatened to overrun the southern port of Aden where the besieged president, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has gone into hiding. 

In reality, a US-backed regime propped up by a steady stream of support afforded by America's long-standing client state, Saudi Arabia, had been ousted from power. The civil war has already been fought, and the US-backed side has decisively lost.

Instead of allowing the Yemeni people to now determine their own  fate, as the West had insisted regarding Ukraine, it is clear that everything up to and including military invasion has been reserved to ensure American interests prevail.

The New "Normal?" 

Saudi Arabia has exercised unilateral military force against a neighboring sovereign state without any notable threat being presented to its own national security. This is naked military aggression by every count. And while the US and UK have openly supported Saudi Arabia in its actions, not even the veneer of UN approval has been applied to this act of war.

Is this the new "normal?" Bombing and invading a country because a foreign power doesn't like the government, without even the semblance of international law being applied? Judging by the "calm" supportive response from the United States and British governments, and the muted tone of what is essentially a naked military invasion of a sovereign country, it is clear that we are expected to believe as much.

In contrast, consider the unhinged hysteria seen across the West when Russian troops uneventfully entered Crimea and held a peaceful referendum that overwhelmingly sought to return the peninsula back to Russia.

Saudi Arabia has begun bombing Yemen, and has plans to send in troops in addition to the already ongoing covert and semi-covert support the regime and its US sponsors have been providing proxy forces within Yemen from the US-engineered "Arab Spring" onward.

The dangerous precedent set by Saudi Arabia's actions will surely be jealously defended as a "West and allies" only option. Russia will not now be afforded the same leeway in the Western press to enter into Ukraine and bomb the regime occupying Kiev into oblivion. Nor would a joint Iranian-Syrian-Lebanese-Iraqi military force be allowed to sweep through the Levant and secure up to and perhaps even beyond the Turkish-Syrian border since NATO and the government of Turkey have for four years now failed to do so themselves.

The interesting question will be though, what if Russia or nations fighting in the Levant decide to do this anyway? What room will the West now have to condemn it considering what they have allowed Saudi Arabia, by every measure an illegitimate despotic dictatorship, to invade a neighboring state with absolute impunity, even with avid, eager Western support? Is the US prepared to accept the consequences of the dangerous new "normal" it has just created? 

Rebranding AlQaeda's Jabhat Al Nusra as "Moderates"

Since the US backed "Hazm" Syrian rebel group defected to Jabhat Al Nusra, the US has attempted to rebrand Al Nusra as a non-Al Qaeda "moderate" force.

March 23, 2015 (Maram Susli - NEO) - The CIA backed and armed Syrian rebel group, Hazm brigade disbanded and its members have defected to Al Qaeda linked Jabhat Al Nusra (JAN) and ISIS. Hazm brigade also left behind a warehouse of US provided weapons, including anti-tank TOW missiles, which JAN has seized. With no one left to arm against the Syrian state but JAN, the US State Department has attempted to rebrand JAN as a non-Al Qaeda moderate force. The next step of the plan is to allow US proxy Qatar to openly arm JAN. However, the audacious campaign has so far been an abysmal failure.



Hazm Brigade Provided Plausible Deniability

The latest defection and disbanding was not the first time that the US backed Hazm brigade had handed over US provided weapons to Al Qaeda, the last incident occurring in December of 2014. It was previously asserted that the US administration advertised the ‘moderate’ Hazm brigade in order to maintain plausible deniability whilst knowing the heavy weapons they provide, such as anti-tank missiles, would eventually end up in the hands of Al Qaeda.

Indeed, former-US ambassador Robert Ford recently admitted through his twitter account to Syrian journalist Edward Dark, that the US knew the Syrian rebels they were backing were allied to Al Qaeda. With the announcement that Hazm brigade had disbanded, the State Department has lost their cover to aid al Qaeda whilst maintaining plausible deniability.

Rebranding Al Qaeda

NATO media has acknowledged that JAN is the most powerful group fighting the Syrian state besides ISIS. JAN also have widespread support amongst all other insurgents groups in Syria. Given the level at which the US has committed itself to an anti-ISIS narrative, they have little left to paint as a moderate force but JAN. Though, the US has launched strikes against JAN in one instance, earning the ire of all Syrian insurgent groups who protested “We are all JAN”. Suggestions to train a new insurgent group from scratch have been called unrealistic. Hence NATO media has been running a PR campaign for JAN’s new found moderation.



The New York Times suggested that JAN may ‘cut ties with Al Qaeda in the hope of receiving more military aid”. Reuters reported that if the group were to lose its Al Qaeda ties that Gulf states could provide more support openly.
“Sources in the group have said it was considering severing its ties to al Qaeda, a move that could result in more support from Gulf Arab states hostile to both Assad and Islamic State.”
The word of “more” tentatively suggests the New York Times and Reuters acknowledge that Gulf states have already provided some support to Al Qaeda in the past.

Russian Crimea: One Year Later

NATO calls Crimea "invaded" and "occupied." NATO has taught the world well what invasion and occupation really looks like, and Crimea isn't it. 

March 22, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - In 2001, NATO invaded and began the occupation of the South-Central Asian country of Afghanistan. The invasion and occupation has left tens of thousands dead, many more displaced, and has resulted in continued chaos and violence up until and including present day. Throughout the conflict, revelations of abuses, mass murder, and other atrocities including systematic torture have been exposed, perpetrated by invading NATO forces and their Afghan collaborators.


The war has also resulted in the use of armed drone aircraft which regularly kill men, women, and children indiscriminately along the Afghan-Pakistani border - a campaign of mass murder ongoing for nearly as long as the conflict has raged.

In 2003, NATO-members joined the United States in the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. An estimated 1 million people would lose their lives, including thousands of Western troops. For nearly a decade the United State occupied Iraq, and during its attempts to prop up a suitable client regime, laid waste to the nation. American forces in their bid to exercise control over the Iraqi population would conduct sweeping assaults on entire cities. The city of Fallujah would be leveled nearly to the ground, twice.

The US also maintained prison camps across the entire nation. Some vast and spanning, others dark and secret, including the infamous Abu Ghraib prison and the atrocities carried out there. In addition to Western armed forces, a significant number of paid mercenaries participated in both the occupation and the atrocities carried out during it, including the mass killing of civilians resulting in criminal cases still reverberating through Western legal systems and undermining Western credibility worldwide.

This is what real invasions and occupations look like. The armed entrance into a nation, the absolute subjugation of all its people through maximum force - or as the US calls it "shock and awe" - and an occupation by gunpoint with tanks and troops in the streets of a people who do not want them there, and who are willing to fight and die to drive them out.

So when in March of 2014, Crimea was returned to Russia and NATO called the move an "invasion" and "occupation," the world was reasonably concerned. Some were concerned because they equated the words "invasion" and "occupation" with the levels of mass murder and decimation associated with NATO's decades of foreign interventions - believing that such violence was now unfolding in Crimea, this time at the hands of the Russians. Others were concerned because of the obvious falsehood within which NATO was framing events in Crimea.