Seth Rich

Exploration of Conspiracy Theories from Perspective of Esoteric Traditions

Moderator: yorick

Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:18 am

The CIA launched the Term “Conspiracy Theory” in 1967 to Conceal Its Own and Politicians´Crimes | May 6, 2017 ... piracy.jpg

This single word: “conspiracy theory” immediately stops any discussion. The C-word implies that the person who expresses a system / NWO-critical opinion is an ignorant or a contemptible dreamer who is not to be taken seriously. This method is tremendously effective – just like the word “antisemit”. One wonders time and again about the stupidity and manipulability of the herd animals, which call themselves mankind.

Zero Hedge: In 1967, the CIA Created the Label “Conspiracy Theorists” … to Attack Anyone Who Challenges the “Official” Narrative.

Conspiracy Theorists USED TO Be Accepted As Normal
Democracy and free market capitalism were founded on conspiracy theories.

The Magna Carta, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other founding Western documents were based on conspiracy theories. Greek democracy and free market capitalism were also based on conspiracy theories.

But those were the bad old days …Things have now changed.

Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation


Summarizing the tactics which the CIA dispatch recommended:
Claim that it would be impossible for so many people would keep quiet about such a big conspiracy
Have people friendly to the CIA attack the claims, and point back to “official” reports
Claim that eyewitness testimony is unreliable
Claim that this is all old news, as “no significant new evidence has emerged”
Ignore conspiracy claims unless discussion about them is already too active
Claim that it’s irresponsible to speculate
Accuse theorists of being wedded to and infatuated with their theories
Accuse theorists of being politically motivated
Accuse theorists of having financial interests in promoting conspiracy theories

The dispatch was produced in responses to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times in 1976.

Specifically, in April 1967, the CIA wrote a dispatch which coined the term “conspiracy theories” … and recommended methods for discrediting such theories. The dispatch was marked “psych” – short for “psychological operations” or disinformation – and “CS” for the CIA’s “Clandestine Services” unit.

Summarizing the tactics which the CIA dispatch recommended:
Claim that it would be impossible for so many people would keep quiet about such a big conspiracy
Have people friendly to the CIA attack the claims, and point back to “official” reports
Claim that eyewitness testimony is unreliable
Claim that this is all old news, as “no significant new evidence has emerged”
Ignore conspiracy claims unless discussion about them is already too active
Claim that it’s irresponsible to speculate
Accuse theorists of being wedded to and infatuated with their theories
Accuse theorists of being politically motivated
Accuse theorists of having financial interests in promoting conspiracy theories

The dispatch was produced in responses to a Freedom of Information Act request by the New York Times in 1976.

The dispatch states:

2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization.


The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the [conspiracy] question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors) , pointing out that the [official investigation of the relevant event] made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by … propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories.


4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider.


b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent–and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) …


c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc.


d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other.

g. Such vague accusations as that “more than ten people have died mysteriously” can always be explained in some natural way ….

5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission’s Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics. ... crimes.php


Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird was an alleged large-scale program of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that began in the early 1950s and attempted to manipulate news media for propaganda purposes. It funded student and cultural organizations and magazines as front organizations.

According to writer Deborah Davis, Operation Mockingbird recruited leading American journalists into a propaganda network and oversaw the operations of front groups. CIA support of front groups was exposed after a 1967 Ramparts magazine article reported that the National Student Association received funding from the CIA. In the 1970s, Congressional investigations and reports also revealed Agency connections with journalists and civic groups. None of these reports, however, mentions an Operation Mockingbird coordinating or supporting these activities.

A Project Mockingbird is mentioned in the CIA Family Jewels report, compiled in the mid-1970s. According to the declassified version of the report released in 2007, Project Mockingbird involved the wire-tapping of two American journalists for several months in the early 1960s.

More: ... gbird/295/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:51 am

Operation Mockingbird Legalized — FBI Can Now Impersonate the Media | 2017-07-17T06:41:09+00:00

Originally published at The Free Thought Project by Claire Bernish on 9/22/16

FBI agents conducting undercover investigations have now been given the green light to impersonate journalists, the Justice Department determined last week — effectively legalizing the government’s most notorious propaganda program, Operation Mockingbird.

Last Thursday, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General published what’s become the subject of outrage for journalists, civil and constitutional rights advocates, and legal experts — “A Review of the FBI’s Impersonation of a Journalist in a Criminal Investigation.”

Allowing agents to infiltrate media organizations for any reason threatens to utterly undermine public trust, kill the very concept of journalistic integrity, and throttle the flow of information from sources and whistleblowers concerned with the legitimacy of journalists they contact.

As shocking as the finding sounds, it only validates the practice — in fact, the report centers around a case from 2007 in which an FBI agent pretended to be an Associated Press journalist to identify an elusive suspect online. At the time, the FBI “did not prohibit agents from impersonating journalists or from posing as a member of a news organization,” the report states.

But even the ubiquitous, mainstream AP — whose outlet became an unwitting pawn for the agency — sharply criticized the DOJ’s announcement.

“The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007,” Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford said in a statement cited by US News. “Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns.”

In 2007, a high school student near Seattle emailed a series of bomb threats to his school, but his use of proxy servers thwarted police efforts to learn his identity — so they asked for assistance from the FBI’s Northwest Cybercrime Task Force.

Agents devised a plan, and, as the Intercept summarized, “An undercover agent sent the student email impersonating an editor for the Associated Press. The email included links to a fake news site designed to look like the Seattle Times.”

When the student followed the links, malware revealing his actual location installed itself.

It wasn’t until an ACLU technologist accidentally discovered copies of the bogus news stories in 2014 — buried in pages the Electronic Frontier Foundation obtained from the FBI via a Freedom of Information Act request in 2011 — that the plot to pose as journalists came to light, generating massive controversy and consternation.

Furthering the contempt, FBI Director James Comey penned a letter to the editor of the New York Times defending the agency’s impersonation, dismissively stating “we do use deception at times to catch crooks, but we are acting responsibly and legally.”

The Associated Press and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press didn’t believe either the veracity or legality of Comey’s statement, and sued the FBI to disclose documents relating to the practice — ultimately obtaining a redacted memo in which the agency acknowledged the agents violated the FBI’s own guidelines. However, the memo also stated that violation, under the circumstances, was not “unreasonable.”

A review was launched by the OIG, but Thursday’s conclusion simply confirmed the FBI’s previous finding it had done nothing wrong — and may proceed with future journalistic deception.

In June this year, the FBI firmed up its rules for when an agent can pretend to be a journalist — but the added rules haven’t quelled the ire.

As long as agents receive approval from the head of the FBI field office, the Undercover Review Committee, and the deputy director of the FBI — who then must meet with the deputy attorney general — they are free to pose as journalists during undercover investigations.

“We believe the new interim policy on undercover activities that involve FBI employees posing as members of the news media is a significant improvement to FBI policies that existed,” states the inspector general.

But no one outside the FBI or DOJ’s Office of Inspector General who grasps the grievous threat to free speech and press — or the potential slippery slope law enforcement co-opting the media represents — agrees anything short of an abolishment on the practice could be acceptable.

“The FBI guidelines adopted in 2016 in response to this incident still permit the FBI to impersonate news organizations and other third parties without their consent in certain cases, and fail to address the host of other dangers associated with FBI hacking,” Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU legislative counsel, said in a statement cited by US News.

“The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press is deeply troubled by today’s disclosure,” David Boardman, RCFP steering committee chairman, wrote in a statement last Thursday, “that the FBI believes that there is a place in this country for federal agents to impersonate journalists. Such a policy can seriously damage the public’s trust in its free press and the ability of journalists to hold government accountable. We urge the Justice Department to take seriously the need for reform and the importance of protecting the integrity of the newsgathering process.”

Anyone with cursory knowledge of the U.S. government’s nefarious programs to control its citizenry will undoubtedly see similarities between the FBI’s fake journalism plot and the post-World War II CIA propaganda campaign, Operation Mockingbird.

To ensure support for its operations and views, the CIA clandestinely recruited American journalists and media outlets, funded the creation of student and cultural organizations, launched purely propaganda-based print media, and, ultimately, worked its way into political campaigns and employed similar methods abroad.

Mainstream outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, and many others, actively and willingly disseminated propaganda disguised as news — through suppression, censorship, and selective focus, etc. — in the interest of the government.

Mockingbird covertly influenced national opinion for years, nefariously planting the CIA’s narrative on the unwitting collective public mind before finally being at least partially exposed over a decade later. It wasn’t until a congressional investigation in 1975 the putative full extent of the program was revealed. Although the CIA claimed it would no longer recruit journalists and media organizations into its folds, Mockingbird has oft been rumored never to have stopped.

Besides the revelations in this article concerning the FBI, documents revealed the government actively tried to influence public thought about Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, in 2011.

It would seem Mockingbird endures to this day — and whatever premise the government claims as reason to become the American media — the public remains, for the large part, its oblivious, captive audience.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:20 pm

Weird stuff..

DHS takes down EAM site. (?) This site just archived recorded and logged transmissions. The transmissions are encrypted.

I thought the timing interesting. They could have done this months ago.
The Carl Vincent just joined the beach party off NK.

The transmissions come from several locations. All are USB. ... ons_System

Just checked.. the site is back up with a note to visitors ..
Many think this was a spoof or publically stunt.. got me.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:24 am

Kim Dotcom proposes Twitter alternative over 'censorship of Seth Rich tweets'

RT International | 09:20 GMT, Mar 07, 2018

Kim Dotcom has called on Twitter to stop 'censoring' tweets, saying he’ll create an alternative to the social network if it continues. Dotcom told RT he believes Twitter is targeting tweets about late DNC staffer Seth Rich.

Tweeting early Saturday, the Megaupload founder urged Twitter’s Jack Dorsey to “stop messing with our free speech” and warning that if Dotcom creates an alternative platform, “Twitter could be toast within a year”.

Dotcom had earlier tweeted at Dorsey to ask why Twitter was preventing retweeting on certain tweets. He shared a screenshot of a notice from Twitter claiming a tweet he wished to retweet was “no longer available” despite it still being on the network.

Other Twitter users wrote that they too had experienced similar issues with retweeting, with some accusing Twitter of ‘shadowbanning’ certain users. This is when the person is not aware their account’s reach has been limited, but their followers don’t see their tweets or a warning appears over their tweets. Twitter has denied this practice is in place.

Last year, it publicized new anti-abuse measures which limit accounts deemed as abusive so their tweets are only seen by their followers. If a follower retweets their tweet, it doesn’t get shown to others.

Dotcom had earlier tweeted about Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who was murdered in July 2016. Rumors that his death was in some way connected to the hacking or leaking of DNC emails during the US presidential primaries have circulated since he died. Dotcom maintains he knows who passed the DNC’s emails on to WikiLeaks, and why.

Dotcom told RT many of his followers had shared similar experiences with retweeting, saying that it seems the platform “is actively targeting accounts that talk about the Seth Rich case.”

“There is a large number of Twitter users out there, especially Trump supporters, who claim that they sometimes cannot even retweet the tweets of the President,” he added. “I’m thinking this isn’t just a bug. I think Twitter is proactively interfering with free speech because of the political bias of its leadership,” Dotcom said. “And if that is true then the time has come for a Twitter alternative, a neutral platform without censorship.”

Dotcom said he likes the platform and wants to give Dorsey a chance to respond to reports of censorship. “If he can assure us that Twitter won’t violate free speech then I have no desire to create a twitter alternative,” he said. “I like Twitter. It’s a great communication tool that must be protected from the political bias of twitter management or shareholders.”

RT has contacted Twitter to respond to allegations of censorship.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ... im-dotcom/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:16 am

fēnix® 3 PART NUMBER: 010-01338-00
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Freezing Navy EA-18G Crew In Ice Filled Cockpit Navigated Home Using Their Smart Watches

The plane made it back to base, but the potentially deadly mishap is the latest spectacular failure for the Growler's environmental control system.
By Tyler Rogoway

The Drive | February 23, 2018

A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler recently made it back to base after suffering a terrifying mid-air mishap, which left its two-person crew flying blind and frostbitten after the aircraft’s environment control system failed in part thanks to a pair of high-tech wrist watches. The incident occurred just over a year after the canopy on another one of the electronic warfare planes exploded in a bizarre over-pressurization incident and as the service continues to struggle to find exactly what’s causing persistent reports of “hypoxia-like” symptoms across the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and Growler fleets.

Defense News was first to report this new incident, which occurred approximately 60 miles south of Seattle, Washington. The EA-18G, assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine (VX-9), was flying at approximately 25,000 feet on a mission from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, between Seattle and Vancouver BC, when the cockpit temperature plummeted to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The broken environmental control system (ECS) also let in a fine mist of liquid, which then froze, coating the inside of the canopy and vital flight instruments in an opaque sheen of ice. The ECS consists of a number of sub-components that are supposed to work together to manage oxygen flow to the crew, as well as cockpit pressure and temperature.

Despite using up all of their emergency oxygen supply, the crew was able to wend its way its way back to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island with help from air traffic controllers on the ground and their smart watches. In July 2017, Navy Hornet, Super Hornet, and Growler pilots each got a $450 Garmin Fenix 3 wristwatch, which can measure air pressure and altitude and display an individual’s course heading.

The service issued the watches in order to provide a backup alert mechanism in case the ECS' on-board oxygen generation system, or OBOGS, malfunctioned and cockpit pressure dropped to unsafe levels and the aircraft's built-in safety mechanisms and warning systems also failed. The Navy had not publicly stated that it could serve as a improvised navigational aid in an emergency. ... ign=buffer

The Navy is Issuing Every F/A-18 Pilot A Garmin Watch. Here's Why.

Military.comBy Hope Hodge Seck

The newest weapon in the Navy's fight to prevent physical episodes that endanger fighter pilots in the cockpit is an off-the-shelf watch that can measure air pressure and altitude. has learned that the Navy plans to equip every pilot who flies an F/A-18 Hornet or E/A-18G Growler a Garmin Fenix 3 watch, a sleek wrist-wearable device that retails for around $450. Navy Air Forces Commander Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker released a message to the force in January announcing that he had authorized the devices for deploying strike fighter squadrons 34 and 37, which both fly the older F/A-18C Hornet, rather than the E/F Super Hornet.

Since then, the Navy has ordered enough of the watches for all Hornet and Growler squadrons, Naval Air Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld told Thursday.

"We aim to have 100 percent of our fleet squadrons equipped with the watches by August," she said via email. ... s-why.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:26 am

Fitness tracking app Strava gives away location of secret US army bases

Alex Hern

the Guardian | Sun 28 Jan 2018 16.51 EST First published on Sun 28 Jan 2018 12.46 EST

Sensitive information about the location and staffing of military bases and spy outposts around the world has been revealed by a fitness tracking company.

The details were released by Strava in a data visualisation map that shows all the activity tracked by users of its app, which allows people to record their exercise and share it with others.

The map, released in November 2017, shows every single activity ever uploaded to Strava – more than 3 trillion individual GPS data points, according to the company. The app can be used on various devices including smartphones and fitness trackers like Fitbit to see popular running routes in major cities, or spot individuals in more remote areas who have unusual exercise patterns.

However, over the weekend military analysts noticed that the map is also detailed enough that it potentially gives away extremely sensitive information about a subset of Strava users: military personnel on active service.

Nathan Ruser, an analyst with the Institute for United Conflict Analysts, first noted the lapse. The heatmap “looks very pretty” he wrote, but is “not amazing for Op-Sec” – short for operational security. “US Bases are clearly identifiable and mappable.”

“If soldiers use the app like normal people do, by turning it on tracking when they go to do exercise, it could be especially dangerous,” Ruser added, highlighting one particular track that “looks like it logs a regular jogging route.”

“In Syria, known coalition (ie US) bases light up the night,” writes analyst Tobias Schneider. “Some light markers over known Russian positions, no notable colouring for Iranian bases … A lot of people are going to have to sit through lectures come Monday morning.”

In locations like Afghanistan, Djibouti and Syria, the users of Strava seem to be almost exclusively foreign military personnel, meaning that bases stand out brightly. In Helmand province, Afghanistan, for instance, the locations of forward operating bases can be clearly seen, glowing white against the black map.

Zooming in on one of the larger bases clearly reveals its internal layout, as mapped out by the tracked jogging routes of numerous soldiers. The base itself is not visible on the satellite views of commercial providers such as Google Maps or Apple’s Maps, yet it can be clearly seen through Strava.

Outside direct conflict zones, potentially sensitive information can still be gleaned. For instance, a map of Homey Airport, Nevada – the US Air Force base commonly known as Area 51 – records a lone cyclist taking a ride from the base along the west edge of Groom Lake, marked on the heatmap by a thin red line.

Strava demonstrated that the new heatmap was detailed enough to see kiteboarding in Mexico, to track the route of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain and to see the sea route of the Ironman triathalon in Kona, Hawaii. Perhaps the closest to the current operational security issues that it noted, however, was the layout of the Burning Man festival in the Nevadan desert. “The unique pentagonal pattern of Burning Man’s pop-up city is forever etched into the Heatmap, thanks to all the runners and cyclists who have used Strava to explore it,” the company wrote.

Graphics and full text ... army-bases


The Strava Heat Map and the End of Secrets

Jeremy Hsu


A modern equivalent of the World War II era warning that “loose lips sink ships” may be “FFS don’t share your Fitbit data on duty.” Over the weekend, researchers and journalists raised the alarm about how anyone can identify secretive military bases and patrol routes based on public data shared by a “social network for athletes” called Strava.

This past November, the San Francisco-based Strava announced a huge update to its global heat map of user activity that displays 1 billion activities—including running and cycling routes—undertaken by exercise enthusiasts wearing Fitbits or other wearable fitness trackers. Some Strava users appear to work for certain militaries or various intelligence agencies, given that knowledgeable security experts quickly connected the dots between user activity and the known bases or locations of US military or intelligence operations. Certain analysts have suggested the data could reveal individual Strava users by name.

But the biggest danger may come from potential adversaries figuring out “patterns of life,” by tracking and even identifying military or intelligence agency personnel as they go about their duties or head home after deployment. These digital footprints that echo the real-life steps of individuals underscore a greater challenge to governments and ordinary citizens alike: each person’s connection to online services and personal devices makes it increasingly difficult to keep secrets.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

The revelations began unspooling at a rapid pace after Nathan Ruser, a student studying international security at the Australian National University, began posting his findings via Twitter on Saturday afternoon. In a series of images, Ruser pointed out Strava user activities potentially related to US military forward operating bases in Afghanistan, Turkish military patrols in Syria, and a possible guard patrol in the Russian operating area of Syria.

Other researchers soon followed up with a dizzying array of international examples, based on cross-referencing Strava user activity with Google Maps and prior news reporting: a French military base in Niger, an Italian military base in Djibouti, and even CIA “black” sites. Several experts observed that the Strava heatmap seemed best at revealing the presence of mostly Western military and civilian operations in developing countries.

Many locations of military and intelligence agency bases pointed out by researchers and journalists had already been previously revealed through other public sources. But the bigger worry from an operations security standpoint was how Strava’s activity data could be used to identify interesting individuals, and track them to other sensitive or secretive locations. Paul Dietrich, a researcher and activist, claimed to have used public data scraped from Strava’s website to track a French soldier from overseas deployment all the way back home.

“This is the part that is perhaps most worrisome, that an individual's identity might be pullable from the data, either by combining with other information online or by hacking Strava—which just put a major bullseye on itself,” says Peter Singer, strategist and senior fellow at New America, a think tank based in Washington, DC. “Knowing the person, their patterns of life, etc., again would compromise not just privacy but maybe security for individuals in US military, especially if in the Special Operations community.”

Strava’s data could even be used to follow individuals of interest as they rotated among military bases or intelligence community locations, according to Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program in the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. In a sobering Daily Beast article, Lewis laid out a scenario by which Chinese analysts could track a Taiwanese soldier based on his activities at a known missile base and thereby discover other previously unknown missile bases as the soldier’s duties required him to rotate through those bases.

Taking Steps to Fix the Problem

The United States is clearly far from alone in dealing with such security challenges. Back in 2015, the People’s Liberation Army Daily issued a stern warning to members of the Chinese military about the security risks posed by smart watches, fitness bands, and smart glasses, according to Quartz. But the Strava example shows that the United States may be at greater risk, with its relatively large footprint involving troops, intelligence personnel, diplomats, and contractors deployed overseas in sensitive areas or conflict zones.

The US military’s Central Command has already begun reassessing its privacy policies for the troops after the Strava revelations, according to reporting by and others. Current US military service policies seem to allow for use of fitness trackers and other wearables with the caveat that local commanders have the discretion to tighten security. In fact, the US Army has previously promoted use of Fitbit trackers as part of a pilot fitness program.

Some of the security tightening may involve certain “no-go areas” or “leave-at-home policies” for personal smartphones and wearables, similar to what already exists in sensitive offices of the Pentagon and other installations, Singer says.

More ... s-privacy/

How to connect Garmin and Strava ... and-strava
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:18 pm

Contradictions In Seth Rich Murder Continue To Challenge Hacking Narrative

Zero Hedge

As rumors swirl that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing a case against Russians who are alleged to have hacked Democrats during the 2016 election - a conclusion based solely on the analysis of cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike, a Friday op-ed in the Washington Times by retired U.S. Navy admiral James A. Lyons, Jr. asks a simple, yet monumentally significant question: Why haven't Congressional Investigators or Special Counsel Robert Mueller addressed the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich - who multiple people have claimed was Wikileaks' source of emails leaked during the 2016 U.S. presidential election?

Mueller has been incredibly thorough in his ongoing investigations - however he won't even respond to Kim Dotcom, the New Zealand entrepreneur who clearly knew about the hacked emails long before they were released, claims that Seth Rich obtained them with a memory stick, and has offered to provide proof to the Special Counsel investigation.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

In addition to several odd facts surrounding Rich's still unsolved murder - which officials have deemed a "botched robbery," forensic technical evidence has emerged which contradicts the Crowdstrike report. The Irvine, CA company partially funded by Google, was the only entity allowed to analyze the DNC servers in relation to claims of election hacking:

Notably, Crowdstrike has been considered by many to be discredited over their revision and retraction of a report over Russian hacking of Ukrainian military equipment - a report which the government of Ukraine said was fake news.

In connection with the emergence in some media reports which stated that the alleged “80% howitzer D-30 Armed Forces of Ukraine removed through scrapping Russian Ukrainian hackers software gunners,” Land Forces Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine informs that the said information is incorrect.

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine asks journalists to publish only verified information received from the competent official sources. Spreading false information leads to increased social tension in society and undermines public confidence in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. – (translated) (1.6.2017)

CrowdStrike has retracted statements it used to buttress claims of Russian hacking
— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) March 28, 2017
In fact, several respected journalists have cast serious doubt on CrowdStrike's report on the DNC servers:

Pay attention, because Mueller is likely to use the Crowdstrike report to support the rumored upcoming charges against Russian hackers.

Also notable is that Crowdstrike founder and anti-Putin Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch sits on the Atlantic Council - which is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Who else is on the Atlantic Council? Evelyn Farkas- who slipped up during an MSNBC interview with Mika Brzezinski and disclosed that the Obama administration had been spying on the Trump campaign:

The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence. -Evelyn Farkas

Odd facts surrounding the murder of Seth Rich

"The facts that we know of in the murder of the DNC staffer, Seth Rich, was that he was gunned down blocks from his home on July 10, 2016. Washington Metro police detectives claim that Mr. Rich was a robbery victim, which is strange since after being shot twice in the back, he was still wearing a $2,000 gold necklace and watch. He still had his wallet, key and phone. Clearly, he was not a victim of robbery," writes Lyons.

Another unexplained fact muddying the Rich case is that of a stolen 40 caliber Glock 22 handguns stoken from an FBI agent's car the same day Rich was murdered. D.C. Metro police said that the theft occurred between 5 and 7 a.m., while the FBI said two weeks later that the theft had occurred between Midnight and 2 a.m. - fueling speculation that the FBI gun was used in Rich's murder.

Furthermore, two men working with the Rich family - private investigator and former D.C. Police detective Rod Wheeler and family acquaintance Ed Butowsky, have previously stated that Rich had contacts with WikiLeaks before his death.

"According to Ed Butowsky, an acquaintance of the family, in his discussions with Joel and Mary Rich, they confirmed that their son transmitted the DNC emails to Wikileaks," writes Lyons.

While Wheeler initially told TV station Fox5 that proof of Rich's contact with WikiLeaks lies on the murdered IT staffer's laptop, he later walked the claim back - though he maintained that there was "some communication between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks."

Wheeler also claimed in recently leaked audio that Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron – a Northrup Grumman employee, blocked him from looking at Seth’s computer and stonewalled his investigation.

Wheeler said that brother Aaron Rich tried to block Wheeler from looking at Seth’s computer, even though there could be evidence on it. “He said no, he said I have his computer, meaning him,” Wheeler said. “I said, well can I look at it?…He said, what are you looking for? I said anything that could indicate if Seth was having problems with someone. He said no, I already checked it. Don’t worry about it.”

Aaron also blocked Wheeler from finding out about who was at a party Seth attended the night of the murder.

“All I want you to do is work on the botched robbery theory and that’s it,” Aaron told Wheeler -Big League Politics

Perhaps the most stunning audio evidence, however, comes from leaked audio of a recorded conversation between Ed Butowsky and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, who told him of a "purported FBI report establishing that Seth Rich sent emails to WikiLeaks.”

As transcribed and exclusively reported on by journalist Cassandra Fairbanks last year:

What the report says is that some time in late Spring… he makes contact with WikiLeaks, that’s in his computer,” he says. “Anyway, they found what he had done is that he had submitted a series of documents — of emails, of juicy emails, from the DNC.”

Hersh explains that it was unclear how the negotiations went, but that WikiLeaks did obtain access to a password protected DropBox where Rich had put the files.

“All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said ‘I want money.’ Later, WikiLeaks did get the password, he had a DropBox, a protected DropBox,” he said. They got access to the DropBox.”

Hersh also states that Rich had concerns about something happening to him, and had

“The word was passed, according to the NSA report, he also shared this DropBox with a couple of friends, so that ‘if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems,’” he added. “WikiLeaks got access before he was killed.”

Brennan and Russian disinformation

Hersh also told Butowsky that the DNC made up the Russian hacking story as a disinformation campaign – directly pointing a finger at former CIA director (and now MSNBC/NBC contributor) John Brennan as the architect.

I have a narrative of how that whole f*cking thing began. It’s a Brennan operation, it was an American disinformation, and the fu*kin’ President, at one point, they even started telling the press – they were backfeeding the Press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press, fu*king c*cksucker Rogers, was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it.

Listen to Seymour Hersh leaked audio:

(full transcription and extended audio of the Hersh conversation )

Hersh denied that he told Butowsky anything before the leaked audio emerged, telling NPR “I hear gossip… [Butowsky] took two and two and made 45 out of it.”

Techincal Evidence

As we mentioned last week, Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator, who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The big hint

Last but not least, let’s not forget that Julian Assange heavily implied Seth Rich was a source:

Given that a) the Russian hacking narrative hinges on Crowdstrikes's questionable reporting, and b) a mountain of evidence pointing to Seth Rich as the source of the leaked emails - it stands to reason that Congressional investigators and Special Counsel Robert Mueller should at minimum explore these leads.

As retired U.S. Navy admiral James A. Lyons, Jr. asks: why aren't they?

Copyright ©2009-2018 Media, LTD ... -narrative
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:44 pm

Project Azorian / Project Jennifer

The Black Vault | 23 February, 2015

Recovery site of K-129


“AZORIAN” (erroneously called JENNIFER after its Top Secret Security Compartment by the press) was the code name for a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) project to recover the sunken Soviet submarine K-129 from the Pacific Ocean floor in the summer of 1974, using the purpose-built ship Hughes Glomar Explorer. The 1968 sinking of the K-129 occurred approximately 1,560 nautical miles (2,890 km) northwest of Hawaii.

Project Azorian was one of the most complex, expensive and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War at a cost of about $800 million ($3.6 billion in 2011 dollars). In addition to designing the high tech recovery ship and its unique lifting cradle, the U.S. had to develop precision stability equipment to keep the ship nearly stationary above the target while lowering nearly three miles of pipe, and scientists also developed methods for preserving paper that had been underwater for years in hopes of being able to recover and read the submarine’s codebooks.

Since the Soviet Union had no idea where their submarine was located, the recovery operation took place covertly (in international waters) with a supposed commercial purpose: mining the sea floor for manganese nodules. ... -jennifer/

The Sunken Russian Sub the CIA Asked Howard Hughes to Help Salvage

Interesting Shit

The following event took place during a politically precarious time period and is centered around nosy Russians, a covert operation sheltered under the umbrella of a carefully concocted lie and an American billionaire deemed crazy enough that his involvement in said lie helped make the whole thing believable. Don’t jump to any conclusions-Donald Trump’s name isn’t attached to it anywhere.

The Unlucky Russians

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but nowhere in this account will you find a topless (or fully clothed, for that matter), horseback-riding Vladimir Putin. Nor is this regarding nimble-fingered hackers being accused of attempting to sway international elections through cyber attacks.

Instead, it is about an incident that occurred in March of 1968 involving a 1,750 ton, 132-foot long Soviet Golf II-class submarine simply called K-129, sent out to patrol international waters about 1,500 miles northeast of Hawaii. This was a routine peacetime patrol mission, but with the Cuban Missile Crisis still a recent enough memory for both the United States and Russia the diesel-electric K-129 left port at Petropavlovsk fully loaded with three SS-N-4 nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and two nuclear-tipped torpedoes for those ‘just in case’ moments that could potentially pop up during the end of the Cold War.

It wasn’t long after leaving its home naval base that K-129 ran into trouble and sank, with its crew of 70 men and its four-megaton warheads coming to rest 16,500 feet beneath the surface.

The Americans hatch a super-stealthy top secret mission

A frantic and intense effort by Russia to recover the remains of their countrymen and the nuclear arsenal aboard K-129 followed, but after two months of futile searching the rescue attempt was officially called off.

Enter into the picture a little outfit from the American side of the equation called the Central Intelligence Agency, who couldn’t help but notice the sizeable fleet of Russian vessels suddenly gathered in the vicinity. What the U.S. didn’t know was why exactly the Russian Navy was there. Since all of this was taking place in international waters once the area cleared of any potential Red menace the U.S. Navy took over and began to discreetly snoop around.

With acoustic data obtained from four Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) sites and SOSUS underwater sound surveillance system posts set up along the floor of the Pacific Ocean designed specifically to track Soviet submarine activity, plus assistance from the specially outfitted search submarine the USS Halibut, the wreckage of K-129 was pinpointed approximately 1553 miles (2500 kilometers) northwest of Hawaii at a depth of almost 16,400 feet (5000 meters).

But what to do with it? The CIA decided it was worth the time and effort to raise K-129 and have a first-hand look at the nuclear weaponry onboard. There was also hope of gaining access to codebooks and possibly get a chance at obtaining the cryptographic equipment used by the Soviets to decipher those naval codes.

There were formidable hurdles to this becoming a reality, though. Not least of which was knowing the Soviets (not exactly America’s best buddy in the world’s political playground) were watching and tracking every single U.S. Naval ship and submarine in the area.

A complex plan was formulated and put forth to U.S. president Richard Nixon who approved a recovery mission of K-129—a mission that would move forward under the name Project Azorian that not only had to be cloaked in secrecy to avoid a potential nuclear arms throw-down with the Soviets but would also end up costing the Americans almost $3 billion in today’s dollars.

The crazy oil tycoon and the CIA’s billion-dollar lie

Sometimes the best way to cover a falsehood is to be so outrageously over the top about things people begin to think, “There’s no way they’d seriously even try that, would they?” And in this particular situation if they happen to be translating that into Russian or at least saying it with a heavy Russian accent, even better.

Add to this already simmering cauldron of secrecy stew the final key ingredient: American oil tycoon, businessman and former dashing playboy Howard Hughes. Once known for his involvement with Hollywood (both financially and flirtatiously) and piloting himself around all parts of the globe in cutting edge experimental aircraft, at this point in his life Hughes was a codeine addict and severe germaphobe rumored to be storing jars of urine in his closet and wearing tissue boxes on his feet à la Mr. Burns on The Simpsons. Hughes was a living, breathing example of a man who had more money than he knew what to do with.

There were other Americans out there that had money to burn and big manufacturing companies to their names, so why exactly did the CIA choose Howard Hughes? In declassified CIA documents released in 2010, a secret memo sent to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger explains it like so: “…he [Hughes] has the financial resources; he habitually operates in secrecy; and, his eccentricities are such that news media reporting and speculation about his activities frequently range from the truth to utter fiction.”

In 1970 the CIA used an offshoot branch of the Hughes Tool Company, the Summa Corporation, to construct a 618-foot, 36,000 ton recovery ship that was basically designed to be able to swallow the K-129 by means of its submersed retractable underbelly.

That vessel took four years to build and would be known as the Hughes Glomar Explorer, around which the CIA devised an elaborate cover story involving Hughes diving head-first into the deep ocean mining of manganese nodules.

To go along with the ‘Hughes is a bit loony’ aspect of the story the CIA put the creative side of its collective brain to work and began planting fake tech-spec laden press releases with media outlets which eventually lead to publications such as New Scientist reporting, “On 6 August the vessel Glomar Explorer slipped out of Philadelphia to mine nodules from the ocean floor using techniques more advanced than other companies have even planned.”

Of course, if the press is reporting it, it’s gotta be true…right?

The plan goes into action

On July 4, 1974, the Glomar Explorer, following numerous delays and an ever-skyrocketing budget, began the first steps in the recovery of K-129. This included a massive cover being put in place over top of the Glomar Explorer to keep its activities out of view of the eyes of the Peeping Tom Russians who were naturally curious as to what might be going on.

In early August and under literal cover, a specially constructed claw nicknamed Clementine by the crew was used to start raising the wreckage of K-129 upwards towards the hungry belly of the Glomar Explorer and the information-starved Americans awaiting to see what Russian nuclear secrets they might now be in possession of.

But what fun is it if everything goes exactly the way you want it to, especially when you’re talking about a potential international incident waiting to happen? On its ascent to the surface almost two-thirds of K-129’s hull broke away and the portion of the sub considered to contain vital materials-including the nuclear missiles-fell back to the seafloor.

What the Americans did manage to bring to the surface were two torpedoes and the bodies of six Russian crew members. The crew were later given a formal burial at sea with military honors, all of was which was filmed and archived. That film would eventually be presented to Russian president Boris Yeltsin in 1992 by the Director of Central Intelligence, Robert Gates.

Before a second attempt at recovering K-129 in 1975 news of Azorian was leaked to the press, thanks to a complicated series of events that began with the theft of sensitive documents detailing the Azorian mission from the Los Angeles offices of the Summa Corporation months prior to the Glomar Explorer even heading out to sea.

Director of Central Intelligence William E. Colby asked that those who had learned of the mission to keep things quiet for the sake of national security. The Los Angeles police would later be contacted and informed the papers would be returned if a ransom of $500,000 was paid.

A mission fails but a government response is born

On February 7th, 1975, the Los Angeles Times went to print with an error-filled article with a byline that read in part: ‘C.I.A Salvage Ship Brought Up Part of Soviet Sub Lost in 1968’. During a time when things weren’t exactly rosy on American soil with Richard Nixon recently being forced to resign (ironically during the same week the Glomar Explorer first raised part of K-129) and Watergate still a scandal in progress, the American press was hungry for answers from the CIA as to what was happening on Howard Hughes’ engineering marvel of a ship. Citing the Freedom of Information act in their demands for details, reporters were met with a terse, “We can neither confirm nor deny that such materials exist.” from the CIA-a first for the now infamous response from the agency.

With the mission officially compromised, Project Azorian was shelved. The Hughes Glomar Explorer was cast aside and sat unused for almost 25 years until the late 1990s when it was brought out of storage and eventually purchased by US petroleum company Transocean (whose name you might remember from the Deepwater Horizon disaster), re-christened the GFS Explorer and outfitted for deep sea oil drilling. It was unceremoniously scrapped in 2015.

As can sometimes be expected with stories involving secret government missions, foreign countries, technology, break-ins and alleged cover-ups sometimes details of events can vary significantly from source to source. Below you will find links to various media outlets that have their own take on the events surrounding Project Azorian.

Further Azorian Exploring:

Copyright © 2018, INSH, short for Interesting S#!t | Brought to you by Backyard Media Inc. ... clear-sub/

Project Azorian and Cold War Espionage

On August 8, 1974, the CIA and U.S. Navy recovered a portion of the Soviet submarine K-129 from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean using the purpose-built ship Hughes Glomar Explorer. The sub, armed with three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, had sunk six years earlier.

The operation, known as Project Azorian and personally approved by President Richard Nixon, was largely the brainchild of Carl E. Duckett, a Swannanoa native and the CIA’s deputy director for science and technology at the time.

Massive cost overruns, the high probability of failure and a détente between Moscow and Washington threatened to cancel the project, but Nixon and his national security team remained convinced that enormous amounts of intelligence could be gleaned from operation and it moved forward. The cover story for the mission was a seafloor manganese mining expedition by one of Howard Hughes’s varied businesses.

Finally arriving near the K-129 wreck in July 1974, recovery operations began on August 1 under almost constant surveillance from two nearby Soviet ships. After the sub’s remains were secured in the HGE’s massive hull, the ship sailed for Hawaii on August 9.

Many of the details of the project remain classified so it has been difficult to gauge the project’s success. But since most of the parts of ship that would have had significant intelligence value, including the ballistic missiles, fell back to the ocean floor, many consider Project Azorian largely a failure.

The National Security Security Archive has a detailed overview of the project

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts, nature and culture, visit DNCR online. To receive these updates automatically each day, make sure you subscribe by email using the box on the right, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. ... -espionage
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby MJK » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:33 am

There is a book, 'Red Rogue Star' I believe, that airs a theory that K-129 took on extra personnel that hijacked the sub. Allegedly they locked the regular crew down and attempted to launch on Pearl Harbor, an attempt that failed when built in safety checks detected the attempt and destroyed the missile and sub by firing rocket engines out of sequence. A false flag implicating the Chinese supposedly was the plan hatched by a powerful insider in Russia, the Soviet leadership clueless. It made for a good read anyways.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:04 am

That's an interesting story; I didn't know any thing about it. I'll look for the book.

I have some more to deliver on the topic, but have to read through it all.

Years back, when working as a PJ, tick- tock magazine sent me out to figure out where the GLOMAR was going. It was amazing to me back them that, a project so secret was known to the editors of this big magazine. They must have had sources within the CIA, Global Marine or Hughes Tool. No one at the Bureau bought the story that it was a Hughes mining platform. I didn't know much about it but, stayed interested after my first brush with it.

Thanks for the note, kd

I found this. It's in the piece a couple of frames below..

"The Los Angeles headquarters of the Hughes-owned Summa Corporation had been broken into. The burglars made off with cash and four boxes of documents. An inventory of papers that were missing after the burglary included a memo describing the secret CIA project. Had the memo been stolen, or had it been destroyed prior to the break-in? Nobody knew for sure."
Last edited by kinderdigi on Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:30 am

How The CIA Tried To Raise A Lost Soviet Submarine With A Giant Crane — And Sort Of Succeeded

Pierre Bienaimé Oct. 15, 2014, 6:04 PM 11,623

Business Insider | 2014-10-15

The Hughes Glomar Explorer, one of the most spectacular acts of folly in the CIA's history.
Wikimedia Commons

In August 1974, the United States undertook a top-secret mission that one CIA document disclosed in 2010 "ranks in the forefront of imaginative and bold operations undertaken in the long history of intelligence collection."

As the declassified article in the internal CIA journal Studies in Intelligence explains, Project AZORIAN was a collaboration among the CIA and private marine firms to recover a sunken Soviet submarine from the depths of the Pacific Ocean some 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii.

The Soviet G-II class ballistic missile submarine had sunk years before, killing all aboard in March 1968. It was diesel-powered, but US intelligence suspected the vessel was armed with nuclear weaponry.

If true, the US stood to learn much about its Cold War rival if it recovered the sub. It would give the US a look at Soviet weapons design, on top of other potential intelligence treasures. Fortunately for the Americans, Moscow was in the dark regarding its lost submarine's location.

Of course, the US first had to figure out how to even retrieve a 1,750-ton vessel that sat more than three miles below the ocean surface and under tremendous water pressure. The CIA's solution: a purpose-specific ship, the Hughes Glomar Explorer, which would lug the submarine upward with a giant eight-fingered claw in the style of a claw crane grabbing a plush toy.

Global Marine and other companies agreed to conceal the ship's true function behind a cover story: The Hughes Glomar Explorer was an experimental deep-sea mining vessel, and its inauguration came complete with a champagne christening ceremony and speeches from the enterprising seafarers.

The story of the US's partial success in this long endeavor — which spanned the tenure of two presidents and three Directors of Central Intelligence — is not newly surfaced. LA Times columnist Jack Anderson broke the news as early as February 1975, and the public radio program Radiolab dedicated a half-hour program to this curious Cold War footnote (In the episode, Julia Barton reported that one of the legacies of project AZORIAN was the birth of the now-typical "neither confirm nor deny" response by government officials faced with inquiring reporters).

But what the CIA's latest disclosure does offer is several stranger-than-fiction anecdotes on the many times the Hughes Glomar Explorer's mission could have gone awry.
Faith in the technical
But Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms, the paper discloses, was worried about the long-term consequences of backing out, feeling that "a termination now would appear capricious to contractors and jeopardize future cooperative efforts."

President Nixon finally gave the project a green-light after a "long series of high-level program reviews."

After jumping these bureaucratic hurdles, the mission also had a close encounter with a major political flare-up. Too broad for the Panama Canal, the Glomar had to sail around the southern tip of South America to get the Pacific Ocean. The crew then docked in the port city of Valparaiso, Chile, only to find themselves in the midst of August Pinochet's violent coup on September 11th, 1973.

Seven technicians had traveled to Chile to join the mission. "After checking in to their hotel, early on 11 September, the Global Marine personnel were awakened by the sounds of the revolution in the streets." The Americans were under virtual house-arrest for a few days before eventually leaving safely — though not without stoking suspicions that the United States had a hand in socialist president Salvador Allende's ouster. ... er-2014-10

'The Taking Of K-129': How The CIA Stole A Sunken Soviet Sub Off The Ocean Floor

September 16, 20176:07 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered Michel Martin | September 16, 2017

In 1968 — the middle of the Cold War — the Soviet submarine K-129 disappeared, taking with it its 98-member crew, three nuclear ballistic missiles and a tempting treasure trove of Soviet secrets. Without the technology to retrieve it from the ocean floor, the Soviet Union left it there. It was considered lost — until the CIA stepped in.

Josh Dean's new book, The Taking of K-129, tells the true story of Project Azorian, a secret CIA mission to lift the submarine from a depth of more than 3 miles into a custom-built ship called the Hughes Glomar Explorer.

"There had been no salvage of a submarine below 1,000 feet at that point," Dean says. " ... [It's] probably the greatest feat of naval engineering. And on top of that, you had to do it in secret because it's not like a giant ship parked in the middle of the Pacific — where giant ships aren't normally parked — isn't going to arouse suspicion."

Interview Highlights

On the CIA's cover story for Project Azorian

It was kind of a problem. They were like, "Well, if we're going to do it, we're going to have to build this ship. But then how do we explain to people, especially the Soviets, why we're going to have a ship out in the middle of the ocean?" Like, that's just going to seem strange.

So someone came up with the notion of: "Well, ocean mining is a thing ... So the CIA original task force decided, "Well, what if we pretended that we were ocean mining? We'll tell people that this is a mining ship and we are going to be the first people to mine the ocean."

But there's another part of that, which is, we can't be doing it, the U.S. government can't do it — that would obviously be a lie. We need somebody who would plausibly be mining the ocean, spending a lot of money despite all logic saying this is a feasible, economic thing. Who could that be? What about Howard Hughes, the guy who built a wooden airplane that didn't fly?

On the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes

Hughes, at that time, [was] probably the most famous business man in America. ... [He] came up in a mining family, so actually that's one reason this made plausible sense. ... He was a pilot, he made movies, and by 1968 he was just gigantically famous, but also living on the top floor of the Desert Inn Hotel in Las Vegas hopped up on pills, and he became a shut-in.

But to the public, still, he had these companies, he had a lot of money, he had [a] proven track record of doing bananas things that didn't make sense.

On how the mission's exposure in 1975 led to the popularization of the phrase "neither confirm nor deny"

It was an interesting case of a story that everyone was aware of, that the U.S. government never acknowledged and for decades would not acknowledge. It became this like total secret. ...

Because the ship was called the Hughes Glomar Explorer, the Glomar exemption was the phrase "can neither confirm nor deny," which was a CIA legal answer to the problem of [Freedom of Information Act] requests. Denying it on national security grounds would admit that they had built the ship and that its existence was real; confirming it, they obviously couldn't do. But they also couldn't deny it, so a lawyer at the CIA said, "Well, how about we neither confirm nor deny?" And that actually stood up in court. It was challenged by a Rolling Stone reporter and the ACLU, I believe, and it held up in court. And now we all deal with that phrase on a daily basis.

Marc Rivers and Jennifer Liberto produced and edited this interview for broadcast, and Sydnee Monday and Nicole Cohen adapted it for the Web.

© 2018 NPR ... cean-floor
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:42 am

That Time The CIA And Howard Hughes Tried To Steal A Soviet Submarine


Recently declassified documents reveal new details about Project AZORIAN: a brazen, $800-million CIA initiative to covertly salvage a Soviet nuclear submarine in plain sight of the entire world.

The story begins in March 1968, when a Soviet Golf II submarine — carrying nuclear ballistic missiles tipped with four-megaton warheads and a seventy-person crew — suffered an internal explosion while on a routine patrol mission and sank in the Pacific Ocean, some 1,900 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii. The Soviets undertook a massive, two-month search, but never found the wreckage. However, the unusual Soviet naval activity prompted the U.S. to begin its own search for the sunken vessel, which was found in August 1968.

The submarine, if recovered, would be a treasure trove for the intelligence community. Not only could U.S. officials examine the design of Soviet nuclear warheads, they could obtain cryptographic equipment that would allow them to decipher Soviet naval codes. And so began Project AZORIAN. The U.S. intelligence community commissioned Howard Hughes to construct a massive vessel — dubbed the Hughes Glomar Explorer (HGE) — to recover the sub. The ensuing salvage operation, which began in 1974, was only a partial success; the U.S. was planning to embark on a second attempt when, in 1975, the story was leaked to the press, and the operation was canceled.

In the years that followed, it was notoriously difficult to get information on Project AZORIAN beyond the details that were published in the newspapers. In response to a FOIA request, the CIA refused to release any documents, saying that it could "neither confirm or deny" any connection with the Hughes Glomar Explorer. (As a result, the phrase "neither confirm or deny" became popularly known as the "glomar response" or "glomarization.")

In 2010, the CIA permitted the publication of a heavily redacted, 50-page article describing Project AZORIAN that had appeared in a fall 1978 issue of the agency's in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. And, in recent years, veterans of the operation have come forth to tell their stories.

Now, however, we have even more details, thanks to the publication of the latest volume of The Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). Compiled by State Department historians, the FRUS series is an invaluable resource, containing declassified documents that include diplomatic cables, candid internal memos and minutes of meetings between the president and his closest advisors. For anyone who has the stamina to read through these 1,000-plus page volumes, it's a unique opportunity to experience history as it happened.

The most recent FRUS, National Security Policy: 1973-1976, contains some 200 pages on Project AZORIAN. And it doesn't disappoint.

We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

In 1969, the CIA assembled a small task force of engineers and technicians to come up with a concept for recovering the submarine. The technological and logistical obstacles were considerable. How could the U.S. salvage a 2,500-ton submarine, sitting on the ocean floor, at a depth of 16,500 feet? And, how could the U.S. conduct such a large-scale operation without arousing suspicion or being detected by Soviet reconnaissance?

Ultimately, the engineers opted for a plan that sounded like it was lifted from the plot of a James Bond film (actually, it did become the plot of a James Bond film). The plan involved three vessels: 1) An enormous recovery ship with an internal chamber and fitted with a bottom that could open and close. This ship would use a docking leg system that would, in effect, turn it into a stable platform for using a lifting pipe to raise and lower a 2)"capture vehicle" fitted with a grabbing mechanism that would be designed to align with the hull of the sub. The capture vehicle would be secretly assembled on a 3) massive barge with a retractable roof. The barge would be submersible, so that it could slip beneath the ocean, under the recovery ship, open its roof and deliver the capture vehicle — all the while remaining hidden from any potential reconnaissance.

The CIA contracted the Summa Corporation — a subsidiary of the Hughes Tool Company owned by billionaire industrialist Howard Hughes — to build the 618-foot-long, 36,000-ton recovery vessel, which was dubbed the Hughes Glomar Explorer (HGE).
Of course, the sight of a floating behemoth lingering in the Pacific Ocean was bound to raise some eyebrows. So, Project AZORIAN concocted a cover story that the HGE was being built for Hughes's private commercial venture to mine manganese nodules located on the ocean floor. A May 1974 memo to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger explained:

The determination reached was that deep ocean mining would be particularly suitable. The industry was in its infancy, potentially quite profitable, with no one apparently committed to a hardware development phase and thereby possessing a yardstick by which credibility could be measured… Mr. Howard Hughes… is recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur with a wide variety of business interests; he has the necessary financial resources; he habitually operates in secrecy; and, his personal eccentricities are such that news media reporting and speculation about his activities frequently range from the truth to utter fiction.

And they were right. Much of the media unknowingly and enthusiastically popularized the story. "The race is on to exploit mineral riches that lie in the deep," declared the Economist magazine. New Scientist reported on the HGE's capacity to "suck up" 5,000 tons of ore per day.

But as Project AZORIAN progressed, government officials began to express doubt as to whether it was still worth going through with the mission. A number of years had passed since the sub sank. Was it an intelligence asset or an artifact?

An ad hoc committee took another look at the matter and decided, on measure, that there was still much to be gained from the operation. Although the sub's short range SS-N-5 missiles were no longer deemed a major threat, they could still "provide potentially important technologies" relevant to the Soviet Union's recently deployed, long range SS-N-8 missiles. And the cryptographic equipment "would be of very high value to the U.S. intelligence effort against Soviet naval forces."

Moreover, in a separate memo, the Director of Central Intelligence expressed his view that the only thing more worrisome than pissing off the Soviet Union would be pissing off private contractors:

I think we should be concerned about the Government's reputation. To the contractors, a termination decision at this late date would, I believe, seem capricious. This is a serious matter in intelligence programs where security and cover problems require a closer relationship between the Government and its contractors than is customary in other contractual areas. Our reputation for stability within the contractor community is therefore an important matter, and I am concerned that in the wake of such a termination it would become more difficult to find corporations willing to participate with us in such a cooperative way.

It should be noted that, in addition to retrieving equipment from the sub, a memo stated that "provisions for handling and disposition of the target crew remains are generally in accordance with the 1949 Geneva Convention. They will be handled with due respect and returned to the ocean bottom." A later memo revealed the intent to collect the deceased crew's personal effects for potential return to their families — a goodwill gesture to help ease tensions in the event that the Soviets discovered the true intent of the operation.

Finally, on June 3rd, 1974, a memorandum from the National Security Council to Kissinger announced:

Culminating six years of effort, the AZORIAN Project is ready to attempt to recover a Soviet ballistic missile submarine from 16,500 feet of water in the Pacific.

The recovery ship would depart the west coast 15 June and arrive at the target site 29 June. Recovery operations will take 21–42 days (30 June to 20 July–10 August).

Project managers estimated a more than 40% chance of success — an acceptable figure, since the estimates for high-risk, innovative endeavors seldom went higher than 50%.

Two days later, the operation was approved.

AZORIAN Springs a Leak

The recovery mission, which lasted from June to August 1974, was only partially successful. Although a portion of the submarine was retrieved, the remainder of the vessel fell away from the capture vehicle following a failure of the grabber mechanism.

The deputy secretary of defense briefed Kissinger:

Extensive analyses of the grabber failures have resulted in conclusions that new grabbers must be fabricated that incorporate a less brittle material and improved design techniques. All necessary actions are now being taken to reconfigure the capture vehicle and refurbish the recovery ship for a second mission during the next optimum weather period; i.e., July and August 1975.

Should the U.S. attempt a second mission? Things had changed a lot in Washington since the Hughes Glomar Explorer set out to sea. President Richard Nixon had resigned on August 9th, and White House officials had entered into full-scale, cover-your-ass mode. There were growing doubts, given the current atmosphere in Washington, whether the CIA could sustain the operation for another year without the story leaking to the press.

Still, the consensus favored continuing the initiative. However, even Henry Kissinger, who was among the operation's strongest proponents, began to have private doubts. After one meeting with intelligence and defense officials in January 1975, Kissinger had a candid conversation with President Gerald Ford:

Kissinger: "There are so many people who have to be briefed on covert operations, it is bound to leak. There is no one with guts left. All of yesterday they were making a record to protect themselves about AZORIAN. It was a discouraging meeting. I wonder if we shouldn't get the leadership in and discuss it. Maybe there should be a Joint Committee."

Ford: "I have always fought that, but maybe we have to. It would have to be a tight group, not a big broad one."

Kissinger: "I am really worried. We are paralyzed."

Kissinger had another reason to be worried. Since as early as January 1974, New York Times journalist Seymour Hersh had been investigating the story. William Colby, the Director of Central Intelligence had twice met with Hersh — on February 1st, 1974 and February 10th, 1975 — urging him to delay publication. But how much longer could the story be kept out of the media?

Less than a week, as it turned out, though it wasn't Hersh who broke the story. Project AZORIAN became public knowledge because of a burglary that had taken place on June 5th, 1974 (ironically, the exact same day that the operation had been approved).

The Los Angeles headquarters of the Hughes-owned Summa Corporation had been broken into. The burglars made off with cash and four boxes of documents. An inventory of papers that were missing after the burglary included a memo describing the secret CIA project. Had the memo been stolen, or had it been destroyed prior to the break-in? Nobody knew for sure.

Months later, the LA police reported that they had been contacted by an intermediary for an individual who claimed to be in possession of the stolen papers, though he did not specifically mention any memo concerning the CIA and Project AZORIAN. The price for returning the papers would be $500,000.

What happened next can be best described as a comedy of errors. The CIA informed the FBI of the LA police report and the fact that the papers being offered for sale might include a sensitive memo dealing with Project AZORIAN. The FBI then told the LA police about the memo; and the LA police told the intermediary. By trying to determine whether the extortionists actually had the memo, the CIA itself had set into motion the circumstances that culminated in a leak.

On February 7th, 1975, the Los Angeles Times published a brief article, "U.S. Reported After Russ Sub," saying that, according to "reports circulating among local law enforcement officers," Howard Hughes had contracted with the CIA to "raise a sunken Russian nuclear submarine from the Atlantic Ocean… The operation, one investigator theorized, was carried out — or at least attempted — by the crew of a marine mining vessel owned by Hughes Summa Corp."

It was a vaguely sourced article, containing errors, but the story was out. On March 18th, 1975, syndicated columnist Jack Anderson mentioned the Hughes Glomar Explorer on his national radio show, and declared his intention to reveal more details about the operation. As a result of that announcement, journalists, including Hersh, were no longer obliged to delay publication. The next day, several major newspapers — including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and The New York Times — published front-page stories revealing that the Hughes Glomar Explorer, in an operation led by the CIA, had recovered a portion of a sunken Soviet submarine during the summer of 1974.

Mission Impossible

To the surprise of the White House, the Soviet reaction was muted. There had been expectations of outrage similar to the 1960 U-2 incident, when an American spy plane had been shot down over the airspace of the USSR.

A report prepared by the CIA in April 1975 believed that the Soviet decision to refrain from a public response was due to several factors:

— It precludes embarrassment at home and abroad in having to admit for the first time the loss in 1968 of the Golf submarine.

—It avoids public acknowledgement of Soviet inability to locate the lost submarine vis-a-vis the obviously superior technical capabilities of the U.S. to not only locate but recover their submarine.

— It hides chagrin at the failure of Soviet intelligence services being unable to uncover the true purpose of the Hughes deep ocean mining project during its five-year development.

The CIA concluded that the Soviet Union had a vested interest in not publicizing the affair any further. However, the CIA also warned, "It seems beyond doubt that the Soviets would go to great lengths to frustrate or disrupt a second mission."

That left one remaining question: How would the Soviet Union actually respond if a second recovery mission were attempted? The White House had not acknowledged any official connection to the Hughes Glomar Explorer. Would the Soviet navy actually open fire on an ostensible U.S. civilian vessel?

That turned out to be a moot question. Additional analysis from the CIA revealed multiple ways that the Soviets could covertly — and rather easily — disrupt the carefully choreographed operation. It would just require a couple of divers with cables to muck up the equipment.

On June 16th, 1975, Kissinger sent a memorandum to President Ford:

It is now clear that the Soviets have no intention of allowing us to conduct a second mission without interference. A Soviet ocean-going tug has been on station at the target site since 28 March, and there is every indication that the Soviets intend to maintain a watch there. Our recovery system is vulnerable to damage and incapacitation by the most innocent and frequent occurrences at sea—another boat coming too close or "inadvertently" bumping our ship. The threat of a more aggressive and hostile reaction would also be present, including a direct confrontation with Soviet navy vessels.

And with that, Project AZORIAN was terminated. The total cost of the operation: $800 million, which, in current dollars, translates into more than $3 billion. The Hughes Glomar Explorer would eventually be refitted to match its cover story and perform deep-sea drilling. It was sold to a private company in 2010 for $15 million.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:50 pm

Project AzorianThe CIA's Declassified History of the Glomar Explorer

Posted - February 12, 2010

Edited by Matthew Aid with William Burr and Thomas Blanton

For more information contact: 202/994-7000

Excerpt from Seymour Hersh story,The New York Times, March 19, 1975

Washington, D.C., February 12, 2010 - For the first time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified substantive information on one of its most secret and sensitive schemes, "Project Azorian," the Agency codename for its ambitious plan to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean in order to retrieve its secrets. Today the National Security Archive publishes "Project Azorian: The Story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer," a 50-page article from the fall 1985 edition of the Agency's in-house journal Studies in Intelligence. Written by a participant in the operation whose identity remains classified, the article discusses the conception and planning of the retrieval effort and the creation of a special ship, the Glomar Explorer, which raised portions of the submarine in August 1974. The National Security Archive had submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the CIA for the document on December 12, 2007.

National Security Archive director Tom Blanton commented that "the Navy alternative to the Glomar Explorer--investigation by a deep sea submersible--sounds more convincing than the claim in the Studies in Intelligence article that Project Azorian advanced the cutting edge of deep sea exploration the way the CIA did on aerial and satellite reconnaissance. To me, Glomar resembles the Bay of Pigs more than U-2 or Corona. On the latter, they brought in the best people, Ed Land and the Skunk Works, on the former, they only talked to themselves."

Also published today for the first time are recently declassified White House memoranda of conversations from 1975 which recount the reactions of President Ford and cabinet members to ongoing news of press leaks about the Glomar Explorer, including Seymour Hersh's exposé in The New York Times on March 19, 1975.

Project Azorian
The CIA's Declassified History of the Glomar Explorer
By Matthew Aid

For the first time, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has declassified substantive information on one of its most secret and sensitive schemes, "Project Azorian," the Agency codename for its ambitious plan to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean in order to retrieve its secrets. Today the National Security Archive publishes "Project Azorian: The Story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer," a "Secret" 50-page article from the fall 1985 edition of the Agency's in-house journal Studies in Intelligence. Written by a participant in the operation whose identity remains classified, the article discusses the conception and planning of the retrieval effort and the creation of a special ship Glomar Explorer, which raised portions of the submarine in August 1974. The National Security Archive submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the CIA for the document on December 12, 2007.

Also published today for the first time are recently-declassified White House memoranda of conversations from 1975 recounting the reactions of President Ford and cabinet members to ongoing news of press leaks about the Glomar Explorer, including Seymour Hersh's exposé in The New York Times on March 19, 1975.

The first sketchy details of the program were published by the Los Angeles Times in February 1975 and by columnist Jack Anderson in a March 18 radio program, and were further developed in Hersh's March 19 article in the New York Times. Since then the CIA has been so adamant in its refusal to declassify any material related to "Project Azorian" that it will neither confirm nor deny that the operation ever existed. This doctrine changed slightly in the 1990s, when the Agency declassified a videotape given previously to Russian president Boris Yeltsin showing the burial at sea of the Russian crewmen who were found in the portion of the submarine that the CIA raised to the surface. But other than this videotape, for the past 35 years the public has had to rely for everything that it knew about the project on a very small number of books and articles written without access to the classified records. (Note 1)

This newly-released CIA document vastly expands what we know about this poorly-understood operation. Despite significant redactions made by the CIA, the article contains a detailed chronological history of the program from its inception until Jack Anderson published the first hard details about the program in April 1975. Internal evidence suggests that the article was written in 1978, but it was prepared at such a high level of classification that it was apparently unpublishable until the Agency made decisions in 1985 to downgrade it to "Secret."

The story of "Project Azorian" began on March 1, 1968, when a Soviet Golf-II submarine, the K-129 (the CIA history refers to the submarine by its pendant number - 722), carrying three SS-N-4 Sark nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, sailed from the naval base at Petropavlovsk on the Kamchatka Peninsula to take up its peacetime patrol station northeast of Hawaii. If war had broken out, the K-129 would have launched its three ballistic missiles, each carrying a one megaton nuclear warhead, at targets along the west coast of the United States. But something went terribly wrong, for in mid-March 1968 the submarine suffered a catastrophic accident and sank 1,560 miles northwest of Hawaii with the loss of its entire crew. Interestingly, the CIA history is silent on the cause of the accident, mentioning neither how the agency came to learn of the sub's demise nor the exact location of its resting place 16,500 feet below the surface of Pacific. It is quite likely that this information was Top Secret, and could not be included in the article at the Secret classification level, despite the fact that books and articles about the project back in the 1970s mention that the U.S. Navy's SOSUS underwater sonar system detected the location of the sunken submarine.

The article traces in detail the trials and tribulations of "Project Azorian" over the next six years, culminating on August 8, 1974, when the commercial vessel specially modified to perform the secret mission, the Hughes Glomar Explorer, raised a portion of the K-129 to the surface and took it to Hawaii for detailed examination.

The declassified article is replete with information that has never been made public before now:
•On July 1, 1969, the CIA established the Special Projects Staff within its Directorate of Science and Technology to manage "Project Azorian." The head of the unit was John Parangosky, a senior official in the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology who had previously managed the development and operation of a number of highly-classified CIA aerial reconnaissance systems. His deputy, and the man who ran the day-to-day operations of Project Azorian for the next six years, was a U.S. Naval Academy graduate and World War II submarine officer named Ernest "Zeke" Zellmer. President Richard Nixon personally approved the creation of the special task force in August 1969. (pp. 4-5)
•With President Nixon's approval in hand, on August 19, 1969, CIA director Richard Helms placed all information concerning the work being done by Parangosky and Zellmer's staff in a special security compartment called "Jennifer," thus restricting all knowledge of what these men were doing to a very small and select group of people inside the White House and the U.S. intelligence community, including President Richard Nixon and his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger. It should be noted that in the 1970s, a number of books and articles claimed incorrectly that "Jennifer" was the name of the operation. (p. 5)
•It was not until October 1970 that a team of CIA engineers and specially-cleared contractors determined that the only technically-feasible way to lift the huge 1,750-ton Soviet submarine off the sea floor was to slip a specially-made sling made out of pipe-strings around the submarine, then slowly raise the sub to the surface using heavy-duty winches mounted on a specially-modified ship built for this purpose. (p. 9, 15)
•Initially, senior intelligence officials were not particularly optimistic about the chances of success for the operation, believing that there was only a 10 percent chance that the operation would succeed. (p. 11)
•In August 1971, during the early research and development stage of the program, "Project Azorian" came within inches of being cancelled because of huge cost overruns. According to the article, the only thing that saved the program from being terminated was the potential intelligence bonanza that would accrue if the project succeeded. Despite deep concerns about rising costs on the part of the officials overseeing "Project Azorian," on October 4, 1971 the CIA was authorized to proceed with the program. (pp. 13, 15)
•Work began immediately building a ship specifically designed to conduct the operation. On November 16, 1971, the keel was laid at the Sun Shipbuilders yard in Chester, Pennsylvania of what would become the Hughes Glomar Explorer. The initial schedule called for the ship to be launched on October 5, 1972, and delivered to the CIA on April 20, 1973. (p. 15)
•The developing U.S.-Soviet détente, symbolized by the cordial meetings between President Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at the May 1972 Moscow summit, threatened to derail Azorian. In July 1972, the special Executive Committee, which oversaw the project, asked the high-level and top secret 40 Committee, which oversaw all sensitive intelligence operations, to review the project due to the possibility that, by the time it was ready for deployment in 1974, "the developing political climate might prohibit mission approval." The views of other senior government officials cleared for access to "Project Azorian" were also solicited. The response was far from positive. The Deputy Secretary of Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) all recommended that "Project Azorian" be terminated because, in addition to the rapidly rising costs of the program and the political risks involved, the value of the anticipated intelligence gain from the operation was probably less than what the CIA believed. Despite the impressive heft of these negative assessments of "Project Azorian," on December 11, 1972, President Richard Nixon ordered that the program be continued. This proved to be the last major bureaucratic obstacle that "Project Azorian" had to clear. (pp. 16-19)
•While docked at the port of Long Beach, California between October 1973 and January 1974, 24 vans containing the classified equipment needed to perform the mission were loaded aboard the Hughes Glomar Explorer. (p. 25)
•In November 1973, a strike by union members belonging to the Marine Engineers Benevolent Association (MEBA) disrupted the completion of the fitting out of the Hughes Glomar Explorer for its mission at Long Beach. Because the mission could only be accomplished during a ten week "weather window" between July and mid-September, CIA officials were concerned that the delay could cause the ship to miss its deployment date. If that had happened, the mission would have been delayed for an entire year until the next period of favorable weather conditions occurred. (pp. 27-28)
•On June 7, 1974, President Nixon personally approved launching the "Project Azorian" mission, with the stipulation that the Hughes Glomar Explorer not begin its work until after he had returned from a summit meeting in Moscow scheduled to last from June 27, 1974, to July 3, 1974. The Glomar Explorer arrived at the recovery site 1,560 miles northwest of Hawaii on July 4, 1974, the day after Nixon left Moscow. Recovery operations commenced immediately to attach the pipe-string collars around the Soviet submarine. (pp. 36-37)
•The Hughes Glomar Explorer's recovery operations were greatly complicated by almost 14 days of near-continuous surveillance of the ship's work by two Soviet naval vessels. Despite the presence of the Soviet surveillance vessels, recovery work did not stop. But fearing that the Soviets might try to land personnel on his ship by helicopter, on July 18, 1974, the CIA mission director on the Glomar Explorer ordered crates stacked on his ship's helicopter deck to prevent the Soviets from landing on it. According to the article, orders were given to "be prepared to order emergency destruction of sensitive material which could compromise the mission if the Soviets attempted to board the ship. The team designated to defend the control room long enough to destroy the material... was alerted, but guns were not issued." (p. 39)
•The Hughes Glomar Explorer began lifting the K-129 off the sea floor on August 1, 1974, more than three weeks after the ship arrived at the recovery site. It took eight days to slowly winch the remains of the Soviet submarine into the massive hold of the Glomar Explorer, with the sub finally being secured inside the ship on August 8, 1974. The next day, recovery operations were completed and the ship sailed for Hawaii to offload its haul. (pp. 43-46)

Unfortunately, the CIA made significant deletions from the text of the article, which makes it extremely difficult to accurately gauge just how successful "Project Azorian" was. For example, the CIA refused to declassify any information concerning the massive cost overruns, which threatened to shut down the program during its early stages. Subsequent reports estimate that as much as $500 million (in 1974 dollars) were spent. Nor did the declassified portions of the CIA article answer the critically important questions of how much of the submarine the Hughes Glomar Explorer managed to bring to the surface, or what intelligence information was derived from the exploitation of the portions of the sub that were recovered. Unfortunately, this material apparently was either redacted from the text or not included because of the high classification assigned to this material.

So what can we surmise about what "Project Azorian" accomplished? Because the CIA article provides no answers to this critical question, the prevailing school of thought maintains that the project failed to accomplish its primary goals. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's March 1975 New York Times article reported that the mission was, in the opinion of senior U.S. Navy officials, a failure, because the CIA did not recover any of the K-129's SS-N-4 nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew's 1998 book Blind Man's Bluff reported that only a 38-foot long forward section of the K-129 was recovered, including the sub's torpedo compartment and its store of Russian nuclear torpedoes. Ninety percent of the highly-fragile submarine, including the conning tower, missile compartment, control room, radio shack and engine room, broke free and fell back to the ocean floor, disintegrating on contact. "Back to the ocean floor went the intact [SS-N-4] nuclear missile, the codebooks, decoding machines, the burst transmitters. Everything the CIA most wanted to reclaim." And because only small fragments survived the disintegration of the submarine when it hit bottom, the CIA decided not to make a second attempt to retrieve what was left. Sontag and Drew argue that a Navy proposal to use a deep-sea submersible to probe the sunken vessel was never properly vetted, although it may have produced better results. (Note 2)

There apparently were some tangential benefits that accrued from the project. In June 1993, a panel of Russian experts prepared a report for President Boris Yeltsin, using only information made available to them by the Russian intelligence services, which concluded that the CIA recovered at least two nuclear-armed torpedoes from the portion of the K-129 that it managed to bring to the surface. According to the report, the level of plutonium radiation the CIA team on the Hughes Glomar Explorer encountered was consistent with two nuclear warheads. (Note 3) This conclusion is partially confirmed in the surviving text of the CIA article, which reported that Glomar Explorer's recovery crew had to deal with plutonium contamination once the sub was raised to the surface caused by the one-point detonation of the high explosive components of one or more of the K-129's nuclear torpedoes. (p. 46)

So was "Project Azorian" a waste of time and taxpayer money? We will not know for sure until the CIA declassifies the remainder of this article and other documents relating to this operation.

Read the Documents

Another view of the Glomar Explorer(U.S. Government photo)

Document 1: [Author excised], "Project Azorian: The Story of the Hughes Glomar Explorer," Studies in Intelligence, Fall 1985, Secret, Excised copy

Document 2: Memorandum of Conversation, February 7, 1975, 5:22-5:55 p.m., Confidential, Excised copy
Archival source: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library; National Security Adviser--Memoranda of Conversation, box 9, February 7, 1975 - Ford, Kissinger, Schlesinger, Colby, General David C. Jones, Rumsfeld

Calling his national security team together, President Ford expressed his worries about leaks to the press, such as reports on recent National Security Council discussions of the SALT [Strategic Arms Limitations Talks]. During the course of the discussion, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI)William Colby interjected that he had been in touch with the Los Angeles Times, whose editors were going to publish an article about the Glomar Explorer. He said that he called Franklin D. Murphy, the chief executive officer of the Times-Mirror Company, which published the Times, but his call was to no avail. The next afternoon, February 8, 1975, it ran a story entitled "U.S. Reported After Russian Submarine/Sunken Ship Deal by CIA."

Document 3: Memorandum of Conversation, "[Jennifer?] Meeting,"March 19, 1975, 11:20 a.m., Secret, Excised copy
Archival source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser--Memoranda of Conversation, box 10, March 19, 1975 - Ford, Schlesinger, Colby, Buchen, Marsh, Rumsfeld

The day that Seymour Hersh's story appeared in The New York Times, Ford also met with top advisers. Secretary of Defense (and former Director of Central Intelligence) Schlesinger recommended acknowledging the "bare facts" because it was implausible to deny the story. DCI Colby, however, thought otherwise and his advice prevailed. Remembering that President Eisenhower's admission of the downed U-2 exacerbated the 1960 crisis, he suggested that confirming the story would put Moscow under "pressure to respond."


1. Two books have been written about the project: Clyde W. Burleson, The Jennifer Project (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1977); and Roy Varner and Wayne Collier, A Matter of RiskThe New York Times,TimeThe New York TimesStudies in Intelligence, Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring 1979, p. 45.

2. Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew, Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage (New York: Public Affairs, 1998), 83-84, 180, 198.

3. Jeffrey T. Richelson, A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth CenturyThe New York Times
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:55 pm


Imagine standing atop the Empire State Building with an 8-foot-wide grappling hook on a 1-inch-diameter steel rope. Your task is to lower the hook to the street below, snag a compact car full of gold, and lift the car back to the top of the building. On top of that, the job has to be done without anyone noticing. That, essentially, describes what the CIA did in Project AZORIAN, a highly secret six-year effort to retrieve a sunken Soviet submarine from the Pacific Ocean floor during the Cold War.

The story began in 1968 when K-129, a Soviet Golf II-class submarine carrying three SS-N-4 nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, sailed from the naval base at Petropavlovsk on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula to take up its peacetime patrol station in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii. Soon after leaving port, the submarine and its entire crew were lost. After the Soviets abandoned their extensive search efforts, the US located the submarine about 1,500 miles northwest of Hawaii on the ocean floor 16,500 feet below. Recognizing the immense value of the intelligence on Soviet strategic capabilities that would be gained if the submarine were recovered, the CIA agreed to lead such a recovery effort with support from the Department of Defense.

CIA engineers faced a daunting task: lift the huge 1,750-ton, 132-foot-long wrecked submarine intact from an unknown ocean abyss more than three miles below—under total secrecy.

In 1970, after careful study, a team of CIA engineers and contractors determined that the only technically feasible approach was to use a large mechanical claw to grasp the hull and heavy-duty winches mounted on a surface ship to lift it.

The ship would be called the Glomar Explorer, a commercial deep-sea mining vessel ostensibly built and owned by billionaire Howard Hughes, who provided the plausible cover story that his ship was conducting marine research at extreme ocean depths and mining manganese nodules lying on the sea bottom. The ship would have the requisite stability and power to perform the task at hand.

Constructed over the next four years, the ship included a derrick similar to an oil-drilling rig, a pipe-transfer crane, two tall docking legs, a huge claw-like capture vehicle, a center docking well (called the “moon pool”) large enough to contain the hoisted sub, and doors to open and close the well’s floor. To preserve the mission’s secrecy, the capture vehicle was built under roof and loaded from underneath the ship from a submerged barge. With these special capabilities, the ship could conduct the entire recovery under water, away from the view of other ships, aircraft, or spy satellites.

The heavy-lift operation was complex and fraught with risk. While moving with the ocean currents, the ship had to lower the capture vehicle by adding 60-foot sections of supporting steel pipe, one at a time. When it reached the submarine, the capture vehicle then had to be positioned to straddle the sunken submarine, and its powerful jaws had to grab the hull. Then the ship had to raise the capture vehicle with the submarine in its clutches by reversing the lift process and removing supporting pipe sections one at a time until the submarine was securely stowed in the ship’s docking well.

Sailing from Long Beach, California, the Glomar Explorer arrived over the recovery site on July 4, 1974 and conducted salvage operations for more than a month under total secrecy—despite much of the time being monitored by nearby Soviet ships curious about its mission. During the operation, many small things went wrong but were quickly corrected. However, during the lift when the submarine was a third of the way up, it broke apart, and a section plunged back to the ocean bottom. Crestfallen, the Glomar crew successfully hauled up the portion that remained in the capture vehicle.

Among the contents of the recovered section were the bodies of six Soviet submariners. They were given a formal military burial at sea. In a gesture of good will, Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates presented a film of the burial ceremony to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1992.

Almost immediately after the disappointing recovery effort, planning began for a second mission to recover the lost section. A bizarre and totally unforeseen occurrence, however, had already started a chain of events that would ultimately expose the Glomar Explorer’s true purpose and make another mission impossible. In June 1974, just before the Glomar set sail, thieves had broken into the offices of the Summa Corporation and stolen secret documents, one tying Howard Hughes to CIA and the Glomar Explorer. Desperate to recover this document, CIA called in the FBI, which in turn enlisted the Los Angeles Police Department. The search drew attention, and by the autumn of 1974 the media began to pick up rumors of a sensational story.

Director of Central Intelligence William E. Colby personally appealed to those who had learned about AZORIAN not to disclose the project. For a while they cooperated, but on February 18, 1975 the Los Angeles Times published an account that made connections between the robbery, Hughes, CIA, and the recovery operation. After that, investigative reporter Jack Anderson broke the story on national television, asserting that Navy experts had told him the sunken submarine contained no real secrets and that the project was a waste of taxpayers' money. Journalists flooded into the Long Beach area where the Glomar was preparing for its second mission. The Nixon Administration neither confirmed nor denied any of the stories in circulation, but by late June, the Soviets were aware of the Glomar's covert mission and had assigned a ship to monitor and guard the recovery site. With Glomar’s cover blown, the White House canceled further recovery operations.

The Glomar's brief covert career was now over, and it was mothballed for over a quarter century. Then in the late 1990s, a US petroleum company restored the ship and used it for deep-sea oil drilling and exploration.

Although Project AZORIAN failed to meet its full intelligence objectives, CIA considered the operation to be one of the greatest intelligence coups of the Cold War. Project AZORIAN remains an engineering marvel, advancing the state of the art in deep-ocean mining and heavy-lift technology. ... orian.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:22 pm

The Seth Rich story keeps on delivering. It won't die it seems..
It seems "professionals" are at work as the spin is constant and well crafted.

‘They never called us to check any facts’: Seth Rich’s parents blast Fox News

by Erik Wemple

Washington Post

As if their lawsuit hadn’t already spoken firmly enough, Joel and Mary Rich put their feelings about Fox News on the record in an interview with ABC News. “I want the people who started the lies, who are responsible for the lies, held accountable. This has got to stop,” said Mary Rich in an interview regarding a Fox News story about her son, Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who was slain on a D.C. street in July 2016. The unsolved murder — which D.C. police believe was a botched robbery attempt — provided grist for conspiracies: Maybe the hit was payback for Rich leaking DNC emails to WikiLeaks!

Indeed, that’s the thread that Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman pulled in a May 2017 story that ended up with a retraction. “Slain DNC Staffer Had Contact with WikiLeaks Say Multiple Sources,” read the headline on the bogus piece. Fox5, a local TV station, ran with a similar story.

“They never called us to check any facts. They took a rumor and ran with it,” said Mary Rich, referring to Fox News.

Read the timeline laid out in the lawsuit itself. It describes how Zimmerman, working with a Texas-based investor and Trump supporter named Ed Butowsky, maneuvered this story into place over several months. (Butowsky told the Erik Wemple Blog on Wednesday that the suit was without merit.) The enterprise required extensive coordination with a former D.C. cop, Rod Wheeler, who commented on Fox News regarding law-enforcement matters and whom Butowsky paid to allegedly assist the family in getting “closure” on the death of Seth Rich. Just before the story surfaced, Butowsky, according to the suit, sent a message to various Fox News officials, saying, in part: “One of the big conclusions we need to draw from this is that the Russians did not hack our computer systems and ste[a]l emails and there was no collusion like trump with the Russians.”

Funny how that takeaway aligned with what Fox News host Sean Hannity said on air: “It gets more mysterious by the minute. If it was true — we don’t know yet — if it was true that Seth Rich gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, wouldn’t that blow the Russian collusion narrative that the media has been pushing out of the water?”

The Riches’ lawsuit provides a granular description of Zimmerman’s activities. Fox News’s Zimmerman, according to the suit, did call the Riches, though the purpose of the call remains in doubt:

Fox’s Zimmerman reached out to Joel to request Joel and Mary’s comment, including on the “fact” that Zimmerman had “been in communication with a federal agent who reviewed an FBI report completed last July that showed Seth had been in communication with [Wikileaks] and that [Seth] had in fact transferred emails from the DNC to Wikileaks.”…Zimmerman’s statements to Joel were lies.

While Fox News was pursuing a story that aligned with its leanings, it was trampling a family that resides in Omaha — right smack in the middle of the America that Fox News claims to represent, to fight for, to reflect. “We lost his body the first time. And the second time, we lost his soul,” said Mary Rich in her interview with ABC News. “They took more from us with the lies. So we want our son’s life and his soul restored and I want our life back so we can move forward again.” Fox News on Wednesday declined to comment on the litigation.

Not to diminish the Riches’ standing as the primary aggrieved parties in this fiasco, but the republic suffers as well. It’s well documented that false and salacious stories travel faster on the Internet than the often more boring, truthful ones — like the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that Russia, not Seth Rich, was responsible for the DNC hack. Sure, Fox News ended up retracting its grand Seth Rich falsehood, a week after publishing it. Who knows how many people got the first bulletin, not the second. And who knows how many people scorn other outlets for not having followed this “scoop.”

The Rich family didn’t file a libel suit, as we noted Wednesday. Fox News’s reporting sullied the reputation of Seth Rich, who is now deceased. The way the law works, the dead “can’t be defamed,” as legal eagle Dan Abrams pointed out on ABC News. So the Riches sued for “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” among other things — a bar that’ll be tough to clear. “To get past this standard … you effectively have to be able to say, ‘They did this to hurt us. That’s why they did this,'” said Abrams. How about this: “They did this” without any apparent consideration of the family. Still no apology from the network.

© 1996-2018 The Washington Post ... a7df686e68

Fox News sued by family of dead Democratic employee

BBC News

The parents of a Democratic party employee who was shot and killed in 2016 are suing Fox News for spreading a conspiracy about his death.

After their son Seth Rich died, the cable network made an unsubstantiated link between his death and Wikileaks' disclosure of hacked DNC emails.

Joel and Mary Rich have filed a lawsuit that says Fox News "intentionally exploited" their son's murder.

The 16 May 2017 Fox story was retracted by the network after a week.

A Fox News spokesperson said: "We can't comment on this pending litigation."

The lawsuit says Fox News investigative reporter Malia Zimmerman and Fox News guest Ed Butowsky spread "false and fabricated facts" that caused emotional harm.

Mr and Ms Rich said in a statement: "No parent should ever have to live through what we have been forced to endure", according to US media.

"The pain and anguish that comes from seeing your murdered son's life and legacy treated as a mere political football is beyond comprehension," they said.

The lawsuit adds: "Fox continued to exploit the sham story because it was good for ratings."

Seth Rich, a 27-year-old Nebraksa college graduate and DNC staffer, had lived in Washington DC from 2012 until his death on 10 July 2016.

He was shot in the back in the north-west of the city at the Bloomingdale neighbourhood, where residents had reported a spate of gunpoint robberies.

Following his death, some right-wing media suggested his killing was revenge by figures linked to the Hillary Clinton campaign for allegedly leaking embarrassing DNC emails to Wikileaks.

Sean Hannity, writers at InfoWars, and Republicans in Congress contributed to spreading the conspiracy theory.

Prominent Republican Newt Gingrich took up the story after it was published and said on Fox News: "It wasn't the Russians [who hacked the DNC's emails].

"It was this young guy who was disgusted by the corruption of the DNC."

Mr and Ms Rich argue in the lawsuit that Fox News' reaction to his death painted their son "as a criminal and traitor to the United States".

Wikileaks itself fuelled the conspiracy theory by offering a reward for the capture of Mr Rich's killer and hinting that he may have been the source of the emails.

No evidence has emerged to indicate that Mr Rich provided the emails to the anti-secrecy organisation.

The Washington Metropolitan Police Department said his murder was part of an armed robbery.

The lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court of Manhattan, claims Fox spread the false story "through lies, misrepresentations, and half-truths - with disregard for the obvious harm that their actions would cause Joel and Mary".

Mr Butowsky, a wealthy Texas businessman sued by the Riches, told CNN on Tuesday night that he did not "understand this lawsuit at all".

"This whole thing has caused unbelievable damage to my life and my family," he said.

"And the idea that somebody has capitalised is ridiculous. It just doesn't make any sense to me."

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