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On Covert Action: [And] Marc Pitzke Excellent Article On Der Spiegel (Very Informative)

Introduction to Covert Action:

Before reprinting the article below in full, lets take sometime off to discuss what covert action means.

Covert Action is an operation conducted by a state or non-state to further it’s own preferred interests but without acknowledging it’s directorship of the operation; meaning, it seeks to distance itself from the operations and when somehow evidence are produce of any trace of links/association to such an operation, all sources involved will deny any relations to one another or to the operation itself (those on ground (that conducting actual operations) tend to accept the practice of ‘thrown to the wolves’ on their own fate; meaning when captured or linked to such operations they can never tell of the associations to the original sources, the masters behind the plans).

Covert Action is comprised of three distinct specialists areas;

  1. Psychological Operations: This is where the primary aim is to undermine or support the opposing side (friendly or foe) via the use of media outlets. This sees the intelligence and covert specialists spend a great deal of time, energy and money trying to buy ‘assets’ (that is key local, national or international media personnel and owners) during ‘peacetime years’ in order to be able to use these to propagate their ”versions of truth and events”; Voice of America, CNN, Washington Times/Post. New York Times, BBC, France24, Guardian, Telegraph, etc etc are some of the major ‘assets’ controlled by western intelligence (and military) establishments for the ”interests of the state”. The Article to be published below covers this aspect of covert action/operations.
  2. Political Warfare: This is where the aim is to manipulate foreign domestic (and international) political systems and structures to favour one’s own interests and/or ”pro-western individuals”, the best contemporary example is the recent so-called ‘coup’ in Egypt where to professionals and specialists (like ourselves) the obvious hand of western powers (UK, US and France) can be easily seen behind the shadows (like a puppet-masters shows). In other words, political warfare means the ability to use so-called ”independent think-tanks or non-governmental organizations” and other societies or front businesses (e.g. Save The Children, HSBC, British Council, Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise For Democracy etc) to incite political strife for change, from funding and directing protests, riots, to funding pro-western political parties/politicians and so forth.
  3. Paramilitary Activities. This is the ‘last option’ when hope for a ‘ease transition’ no longer looks viable. During this phase the specialists provide secret [para]military training, advice and support (arms, logistics etc) to local ‘pro-western’ groups or parties to seek violent overthrow of local regimes. Two excellent recent examples are Libya and Syria.

Above is the dark art of covert action or black operations.

The Article:

SPIEGEL ONLINE

07/15/2013 02:45 PM

Snowden Backlash

US Media Get Personal

By Marc Pitzke in New York

As the mainstream American press goes after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, the leakers’ revelations are becoming an afterthought.

Walter Pincus, 80, knows his way around a scandal. The columnist and former reporter at the Washington Post has written about Watergate and Iran-Contra, numerous intelligence-related affairs and has won the Pulitzer Prize. But he has been criticized, even by his colleagues, for being too close to the US government — especially the CIA, for which he spied in his younger years.

But now, Pincus has truly embarrassed himself: Last week the Washington Post had to add a three-paragraph-long correction to a two-day-old Pincus column, invalidating its core claims. This was an unprecedented measure in the 136-year history of the American capital’s most lauded newspaper.

Pincus had speculated that whistleblower Edward Snowden, as well as the two people centrally responsible for publicizing the NSA revelations, Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, had a political agenda and were surreptitiously “directed” by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Pincus’ “evidence” turned out to be demonstrably false, rendering the “corrected” column — or what was left of it — little more than malicious gossip.

Greenwald, who has been caught in the US media crossfire for some time, immediately protested against the “baseless innuendo” in an open letter. The Washington Post waited over 48 hours before correcting its blunder without comment.

A Growing Anti-Snowden Chorus

In his broadside against Snowden and Snowden’s press contacts, Pincus was going along with both the government and the zeitgeist. A growing number of mainstream media outlets have been focusing their criticism on the leakers — Snowden in Moscow, Greenwald in Rio — instead of the content of their leaks. American headlines aren’t being dominated by the latest details of the seemingly endless scandal, but by the men who brought them to light.

This began at the Post when Snowden, before contacting Greenwald, offered his secrets to security reporter Barton Gellman. Gellman quickly discredited Snowden as “capable of melodrama,” partly because of his uncompromising terms. Since then Snowden hasn’t provided any more revelations to the paper.

And so it has continued. The financially struggling Post, which was responsible for exposing the Watergate scandal, derided the Guardian as “financially struggling” as well as “small and underweight even by British standards.” “Why is a London-based news organization revealing so many secrets about the American government?”, it griped, as if that were only permitted of American journalists.

A recent Post editorial, that may as well have been written by the White House, argued that Snowden’s leak harms “efforts to fight terrorism” and “legitimate intelligence operations.” The leaks must immediately end, it argued — a strange conclusion from the grandmother of leak journalism. Columnist Richard Cohen didn’t hold back either: Snowden is “narcissistic,” Greenwald is “vainglorious.”

He wasn’t alone. In the New York Times David Brooks accused Snowden of having “betrayed honesty and integrity.” Roger Simon, chief political columnist at the website Politico, referred to Snowden as “the slacker who came in from the cold.” Jeffrey Toobin, a New Yorker essayist, called him a “narcissist who deserves to be in prison.” And Melissa Harris-Perry, from the otherwise progressive cable channel MSNBC, critized Snowden’s behavior as “compromising national security.”

In the Huffington Post, media critic Jeff Cohen called MSNBC the “official network of the Obama White House” — a White House which, under president Obama, has famously declared war on whistleblowers.

Guardian’s American Triumph

There’s another reason for the united media front: The Guardian is becoming a competitive threat for American media outlets. The first Snowden video interview received almost seven million clicks on the newspaper’s US website. “They set the US news agenda today,” Associated Press star reporter Matt Apuzzo tweeted enviously.

Why? Janine Gibson, the Guardian’s American chief, told the Huffington Post that their competition has a “lack of skepticism on a whole” when it comes to national security. Critical scrutiny, she said, has been considered “unpatriotic” since 9/11.

The greatest humiliation would be if the British usurper won a Pulitzer Prize. Only American media can apply for it, but the Prize committee accepted one submission by the Guardian last year. Its reasoning? The newspaper has an “unmistakable presence” in the United States.

Related SPIEGEL ONLINE links:

Related internet links

© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

Further Selected Headlines:

UK anti-terror law allows border cops to seize phone data with no justification
For excellent articles on the corrupt state of contemporary Britain see:
Corridors of powder: Drug scandal at the Houses of Parliament after traces of cocaine are found on toilets across Palace of Westminster
Home Office ‘helped police spies’
2,500 British bankers on at least 1million euros despite the financial crisis
NHS hit for millions by overcharging ‘scam’
Police find ‘no evidence’ that officers tried to smear Stephen Lawrence’s family and say man making claims won’t speak to them
Fraud chief claimed £100,000 in expenses for commuting to London from the Lake District
Forensic science graduate has been stopped 70 TIMES by police ‘after splitting from her PC lover’
Others;
$32bn industry
U.S. Repeals Propaganda Ban, Spreads Government-Made News To Americans | The Cable
A satellite dish on the roof of the US-backed broadcaster Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (AFP Photo / Nana Jakrlova) US ends ban on ‘domestic propaganda’
U.S. government pays big to snoop | StratRisks
Why ignorant racists still flourish in multicultural Italy | John Foot | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
‘Join fight for privacy now!’ Stallman on Snowden & how to escape surveillance
Creating a military-industrial-immigration complex – Le Monde diplomatique – English edition
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blood-money-uks-123bn-arms-sales-to-repressive-states-8711794.html
NSA is more than just a spy network, it’s global fascism
NSA Joke US Military Intervene over Facebook Event
The CIA’s New Black Bag Is Digital – By Matthew M. Aid | Foreign Policy
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