Seth Rich

Exploration of Conspiracy Theories from Perspective of Esoteric Traditions

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:32 am

15 Things..
Fifteen Things To Know About ‘Pakistani Mystery Man’ Imran Awan

Luke Rosiak

Investigative Reporter

9:45 PM 04/20/2018

Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Wendy Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018

The “Pakistani Mystery Man” is Imran Awan, who worked as Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email server administrator in the House of Representatives. Nearly his entire family then joined the payroll of other Democrats, until they worked for 1 in 5 House Democrats and had - as the House inspector general called it - the ‘keys to the kingdom‘ and ability to access any file.

1. Imran worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz since 2004 and had the passwords to her devices

A search of his name on WikiLeaks shows the DNC summoned Imran when they needed her device unlocked.

A September 30, 2016, presentation alleged Imran Awan and his family members were logging into the servers of members who had previously fired him, funneling data off the network, and that evidence “suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity.”

The Awan group’s behavior mirrored a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” the briefing materials allege. The presentation especially found problems on one server: that of the House Democratic Caucus, an entity similar to the DNC that was chaired at the time by then-Rep. Xavier Becerra.

3. The Awan group was left on the House computer network until February 2, 2017 — days after Donald Trump’s inauguration

Police then banned the Awan group from the network. The Committee on House Administration put out a statement saying “House Officials became aware of suspicious activity and alleged theft committed by certain House IT support staff.” Since then, no official body has ever publicly provided any information about the case. But the IG report, obtained by TheDCNF, shows that theft was not the primary issue being warned about.

Authorities took the disappearance as evidence tampering, they said. Becerra said he won’t discuss the incident because of an ongoing criminal investigation.

5. Wasserman Schultz declined to fire Imran despite knowing he was suspected of cyber-security violations, even though she had just lost her job as DNC chair after its anemic handling of its data breach

Her office claimed Imran could work on “websites and printers” without accessing the network. Watchdog group FACT has filed an ethics complaint saying this was impossible, and a cybersecurity publication called the judgment negligent.

along with a letter to prosecutors and a copy of his ID. Capitol Police found the laptop at midnight and seized it because they recognized Imran as a criminal suspect. Wasserman Schultz still didn’t fire Imran. Instead, she threatened Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa with “consequences” if he didn’t give it back, implying it was “a member’s laptop.” The police chief refused.

She hired a lawyer to block prosecutors from examining the laptop, then later said, “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop.” Imran’s lawyer then said he “very strongly” believes the laptop cannot be examined because of “attorney-client privilege.” Imran left a note with that phrase near the backpack.

She flew to Pakistan with cardboard boxes of possessions, FBI agents said in an affidavit. They approached her at the airport, but she refused to talk to them. They found $12,000 in cash but let her board anyway, writing they do “not believe that Alvi has any intention to return to the United States.”

8. Prosecutors arrested Imran at the airport after he began liquidating assets

Imran and his wife had wired $300,000 to Pakistan after allegedly both cashing out a federal retirement account and taking a second mortgage under allegedly false pretenses. The FBI arrested Imran at the airport, and he was charged with bank fraud. Democrats have claimed the case is therefore about bank fraud, but prosecutors imply in court papers the bank fraud occurred because The Awans learned they were under investigation for other activities. “Based on the suspicious timing of that transaction, Awan and Alvi likely knew they were under investigation at that time,” prosecutors wrote of the money moves.

Imran’s lawyer is a former aide to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Wasserman Schultz’s brother is an attorney at the same prosecutor’s office that is handling the case, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia.

9. A former business partner of Imran’s father says the father handed over USBs of data to a Pakistani official and that Imran claimed he power to ‘change the US president’

The FBI never interviewed the business partner. TheDCNF traveled in Pakistan where numerous locals alleged that Imran traveled that country with an entourage of Pakistani government agents, and routinely boasted about mysterious political influence.

10. Nearly Imran’s entire family was on the House payroll at high salaries, despite most of them having no training in IT — Democrats failed to vet them

All 44 of their House employers exempted them from background checksdespite the House policy encouraging checks.

Among the red flags in Imran’s brother’s Abid’s background were a $1.1 million bankruptcy; six lawsuits against him or a company he owned; and at least three misdemeanor convictions.

Rao Abbas was added to Reps. Emanuel Cleaver and Ted Deutch’s payroll shortly after court paperwork showed Abid owed him money.

12. Money from an Iraqi political figure

Imran and Abid operated a car dealership referred to as CIA that took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities, according to a business partner’s testimony in a civil lawsuit.

After Imran was banned from the House network, an email address that belonged to him,, appeared to still be active and invoked the name of a “national security and foreign affairs” specialist for Rep. Andre Carson, an intelligence committee member.

13. The cybersecurity investigation started after allegedly falsified invoices caught administrators’ attention, and the Awans’ lawyers blamed members.

No one has been charged for “unauthorized access” or falsified invoices, and Imran’s court date has been postponed five times. It is now scheduled for May 4, 2018.

14. The Awans’ relatives, colleagues and tenants say they would ‘do anything for money’

The Awans’ relatives, colleagues and tenants say they would ‘do anything for money’

Their own stepmother alleges they wiretapped, extorted her and held her captive.

15. Imran’s own wife, Hina Alvi, filed a lawsuit in Pakistan in September 2017 alleging he controlled Hina with violent threats

Wasserman Schultz said police might be Islamophobic, but Imran was the subject of repeated calls to police by multiple Muslim women.

A list of TheDCNF’s 50 stories is below, followed by a list of all the Congress members to whose data the Awans had access.

Here is the list of all the Congress members to whose data the Awans had access.

For the list and graphics.. ... mran-awan/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:45 am

Only Two-Thirds Of American Millennials Believe The Earth Is Round

Trevor Nace

Forbes | 2018-04-04

Millennials in America sometimes get a bad reputation, this time for good reason. A recent survey found that just 66 percent of young adults aged 18 to 24 years old have "always believed the world is round."

YouGov polled 8,215 US adults on February 8th, 2018 to get a representative idea of America's views on the shape of the Earth. What they found would make any scientist shake their heads, a surprising percentage of responders weren't convinced the Earth is round.

The question asked individuals to categorize their thoughts surrounding the shape of the Earth into one of the five buckets below:

The survey found that 2% of Americans firmly believe the Earth is flat, with interesting differences segmented by age, religion, income, and political affiliation.

Of the thousands of American adults surveyed, the percent that always believed the Earth is round decreased with younger generations. In total, 84% of Americans responded that they believe the Earth is round. While the large majority believe the world is round, young millennials aged 18 to 24 are more likely to subscribe to the flat Earth belief (4%).

Religious beliefs appear to be correlated with one's likelihood to subscribe to a flat Earth. YouGov found that 52 percent of flat earthers consider themselves "very religious."

The degree to which Americans, particularly those who are very religious and/or a millennial is troubling on many levels. Are millennials sourcing their beliefs from sports stars such as Kyrie Irving, who regularly claims the Earth is flat? Or is there an underlying disbelief of science that is fueling their rejection of a spherical world? It's hard to know for sure the underlying causes prompting a belief in a flat Earth for different segments of Americans.

Robin Andrews with IFLScience pointed out that staunch religious conservatives tend to hold a disbelief in science and are unwilling to support scientific research and findings.

Comparing religious beliefs, YouGov found that Democrats are slightly less likely to believe the Earth is round than Republicans (83 versus 89 percent, respectively). This, perhaps, could be an overprint of younger generations more likely to lean Democratic and older generations more likely to lean Republican. While YouGov didn't find a significant variation in flat Earth beliefs geographically, they did find a significant variation based on income level.

The survey found that those with an income less than $40,000 (79%) are much less likely to believe the world is round compared to those with an income over $80,000 (92%).

Trevor Nace is a PhD geologist, founder of Science Trends, Forbes contributor, and explorer. Follow his journey @trevornace.

Charts and graphs at the link. ... -is-round/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:48 am

A Third of Young Millennials Are Confused About This Incontrovertible Fact

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | April 4, 2018 04:53pm ET

Live Science

Only 66 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. are confident that the world is round, according to a new national survey.

The findings don't necessarily indicate an epidemic of flat-Earthism, as only 4 percent of the 18- to 24-year-old age group said they actually believe the world is flat. Rather, there seem to be a relatively large number in this age group who are willing to entertain doubts: 9 percent said they had always believed the world was round but were recently having doubts, 5 percent said they had always believed the world was flat but were becoming skeptical of that conclusion and 16 percent just weren't sure.

Flat-Earth philosophy has been around since the 19th century, but it has recently blown up online, particularly on YouTube and Twitter. Believers post videos and memes arguing their case for a flat Earth and positing conspiracy theories to explain away everything that makes it clear that the planet is, in fact, a globe.

Flat-Earth believers

It's hard to pin down precisely how many flat-Earthers there are. The first flat-Earth conference in the United States, held last year, drew a crowd of 500, according to its organizers. The new survey, conducted by YouGov, drew respondents from its online panel of 1.8 million residents of the United States. The survey questioned 8,215 adults, and the results were then weighted to represent the demographic makeup of the U.S. population. [7 Ways to Prove the Earth Is Round (Without Launching a Satellite)]

Overall, the results suggest that 84 percent of Americans believe the world is round. Five percent said they always believed the world to be round but have recently become skeptical. Two percent said the world is flat. Another 2 percent said they always thought the world was flat but have recently become skeptical. And 7 percent just weren't sure.

"Young millennials," or those ages 18 to 24, were the most likely to exhibit round-Earth skepticism, with only 66 percent firm in their belief in a spherical world. For comparison, 94 percent of those 55 and older think the world is round, as do 85 percent of 45- to 54-year-olds, 82 percent of 35- to 44-year-olds and 76 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds.

There weren't many differences in flat-Earth beliefs across regions of the country or between genders or people of different political persuasions. People who reported incomes of less than $40,000 a year were slightly less likely to say the world was round than people who made higher incomes (79 percent versus 87 percent in the $40,000 to $80,000 income bracket, and 92 percent in the $80,000 and up income bracket).

The geography of religion

The most predictive demographic factor that explains flat-Earth belief appears to be religion, the YouGov survey suggested. According to the results, 52 percent of those who said the world was flat also called themselves "very religious," a descriptor that only 20 percent of Americans as a whole use for themselves. Another 23 percent of flat-Earth believers called themselves "somewhat religious," while 25 percent said they were either not very religious or not religious at all.

While few polls have focused specifically on flat-Earth beliefs, other national polls have suggested that Americans are shaky on facts generally taught by the time they reach fourth grade. A 1999 Gallup poll found that 18 percent of Americans mistakenly thought the sun revolves around the Earth, rather than the other way around. (Germans and Britons were similarly heliocentrically confused in surveys taken around the same time, according to Gallup.)

Google Trends suggests that interest in the concept of "flat Earth," if not necessarily belief, has been on the rise over the past few years. The search trend for the term in the United States crept upward over 2016 and 2017, with spikes coinciding with particular events. For example, searches for "flat Earth" rose around the time of the August 2017 solar eclipse, which spurred much sparring between flat-Earthers and mainstreamers online.

Original article on Live Science.

Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved. ... elief.html‎‎

Inside Flat Earth International Conference, where everyone believes Earth isn't round

ABC News | Apr 24

There are a few undisputed truths that most people agree on: The sky is blue, one plus one equals two and Earth is round. But for a group of flat Earth believers that final point is up for debate.

For the attendees of the Flat Earth International Conference, such as Mark Sargent, "Everybody here can agree on absolutely one thing, which is [Earth] is not a globe," he said.

Sargent, who has a large following on YouTube thanks to his series, "Flat Earth Clues," said he denies that he is the "father" of the movement and rather thinks of himself more like a "recruiter."

The flat Earth movement has grown online, with YouTube channels like Sargent's and others including "Globebusters" as well as "ODD TV," a flat Earth rapper with over 100,000 subscribers.

Last November, Sargent and other flat Earth believers gathered at an Embassy Suites hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, for the Flat Earth International Conference, an educational seminar where individuals and organizations discuss scientific questions about Earth.

Sargent said he thinks there are more people who believe the theory than just those outspoken on the subject.

"You know flat-Earthers," he told ABC News' Eva Pilgrim. "I guarantee it. But you don't know who they are because they are afraid of talking about it."

Conference attendees Amy Nicholson and Kim Gurley both told ABC News they are more reserved in their beliefs.

Gurley, who traveled from Houston, Texas, to attend the conference, said, "I haven't really come out all the way yet." Nicholson said she wrote a book of poetry about her flat Earth journey, but even her best friend told her she "sounds psychotic."

Laini Inivale, who came all the way from New Zealand to be a part of the experience, said he is able to have conversations about the theory back home. "I mix with quite a lot of flat-Earthers in New Zealand."

Other conference attendees told ABC News they believe there is tangible proof behind the idea.

"When it comes to science, there's things you can test right now," Sargent explained, citing fire, water and gravity. "Think about this, for the last 20, 25 generations, this is what we've told people [about Earth.]"

For centuries, scientists have pointed to evidence of a round Earth in everything from the slope of the horizon to the gravitational pull of the Earth. The claims of a flat Earth are at odds with physics and astronomy.

Some flat-Earthers imagine Earth looks like a snow globe with a dome -- round but not a sphere. According to most flat Earth maps, the North Pole is at the center with the ice of Antarctica holding everything in.

Sargent told ABC News he is "pretty sure" that’s what the flat Earth looks like. "I mean there are some details to be worked out, sure. But the basic concept is sound," he said. "Absolutely sound."

Flat-Earthers denounce traditional and iconic "blue marble" images taken from space as fake, including Rob Skiba.

"As soon as you start looking into the pictures of the globe, you start seeing words like 'composite' or 'animation' or you know something that tells you this is not an actual photograph of the earth," Skiba said. "And at that point you're sort of saying, 'Wait a minute.'"

But Mike Massimino, senior adviser for space programs at the Intrepid Museum in New York City, told ABC News the topic is not up for debate. "Looks round folks. It is round," Massimino said.

The former NASA astronaut added that in his own experience looking at the planet from space, Earth looks round. "[It's] my eyewitness account and I looked at it as much as I could. It is round and it is gorgeous. It's beautiful. It looks like a paradise. I felt like I was I was looking into heaven," he continued.

Many flat-Earthers, including Sargent, believe that astronauts are actually actors who are part of a larger conspiracy.

"No astronaut has ever been and this is going to sound wild when I say this, no astronaut has ever been on a top of a pile of liquid explosives launched off in space," Sargent purported. "Oh, the rockets go up, sure, [but] there's nobody in them."

Skiba believes the conspiracy is rooted in deeper religious implications. "The bigger picture many of us have come to believe is hiding God," Skiba said. "To me, that would be the ultimate motivation," he added.

In his YouTube videos and podcasts, Skiba looks at clues from the Bible in the book of Genesis. "It's describing a snow globe basically. When you break down the text of what it represents, there's no way you can get a spinning heliocentric globe out of anything in the Bible," he said.

Skiba said, "I have become skeptical of everything. And I think rightfully so."

Fellow skeptic and conference organizer Robbie Davidson said he thinks many of the flat-Earthers share a common trait, conspiracy. "This might be a little higher on the spectrum, but I think there's a little bit of conspiracy theorists in all of us. I really do," he said.

Many flat-Earthers believe in testing the theory.

Darryle Marble said he conducted his own in-flight experiment using a leveler to test if the plane was flying parallel to a flat Earth.

"If it were a sphere then the surface of the Earth still would have been curving underneath the airplane while it's flying level," he reasoned. "It’s so simple it'll go right over your head," he said adding that people who have flown planes allegedly told him they "haven’t seen any curvature."

Even celebrities like "Nothing on You" rapper B.o.B. are looking for new forms of exploration for the conspiracy theory. B.o.B. launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for research to “try every available experiment and test including but not limited to weather balloons, drones, [and] blimps even."

It's something Sargent and Skiba both think is invaluable to learning more about this theory.

“Go out and test,” Skiba said. “I could tell you something, and then you just look at me like I'm crazy. ... I would say, 'Well, they’re crazy for not testing what they think they believe.'” ... d=52580041
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:07 am

Sorry for the weird formatting. I got tired of trying to fix it.. kd

The Earth is round, and other myths, debunked by the flat Earth movement (you read that right)

By David Kelly Jan 15, 2018 | 3:00 AM |Golden, Colo. | 2018-01-15T11:00:00Z

Moving with missionary zeal, Nathan Thompson swept into a brewpub here bearing a battered globe under his arm with the words "this is a scam" scrawled on the side.

He dropped the defaced orb like a vanquished enemy on a table amid pints of beer.

"They say we are cult," he announced, "but the globe is the biggest cult of all."

Thompson, the 31-year-old host of the Official Flat Earth Globe & Discussion group on Facebook, was guest of honor at the night's flat Earth meet-up. Clad in a green jumpsuit festooned with flat Earth maps, he worked the room hard all the while proclaiming Earth is less a big blue marble than a big blue pancake.

A 16-year-old boy approached and said his friend had started a GoFundMe campaign to prove the world is a disk. Moments later a middle-aged man declared, "Earth is flat, not spheroid!"

Thompson beamed.

"This is not a conspiracy theory," he said. "This is a conspiracy fact."

With more people rejecting traditional sources of information and the internet giving rise to a variety of alternative worldviews, the granddaddy of all conspiracy theories is enjoying a renaissance and Colorado is the epicenter.

Thousands of YouTube videos claim the world is flat, gravity is uncertain, space is fake and the curvature of the planet is an optical illusion. Followers say this ruse is perpetuated by a powerful cabal determined to make humans feel small and powerless.

A conspiratorial mind-set and a deep current of religious ideology permeate the movement, which preaches that Earth was created by design, not by accident. As evidence of its shape, some reference Bible verses touting "the four corners of the Earth," "foundations of the Earth" and Earth being God's "footstool."

Many of the most popular flat Earth videos come out of Colorado, host of next year's Flat Earth International Conference along with the Colorado International Flat Earth Film Festival.

Mark Sargent, a software analyst from Boulder now living in Seattle, is the primary organizer of the movement and has made more than a thousand videos. He believes Colorado's open-mindedness accounts for its prominent position among believers.

Back in 2015, when he typed "flat Earth" into YouTube he'd get 50,000 hits. Now it's more than 18.7 million, beating out Lady Gaga and closing in on Donald Trump at about 21.3 million. Sargent said he suspects millions of believers remain "in the closet" to avoid ridicule.

"My channel broke 10 million views in December," he said. "This is my full-time job now."

Sargent, 49, became a believer after watching videos and realizing he could "no longer prove the globe."

The flat Earth revival, he said, can be explained in large part by YouTube, increased skepticism of authority and the message of hope it conveys.

"You're not on a tiny little speck of rock just flying through this endless, incomprehensible universe and you are not small," said Sargent, who believes Earth is beneath a dome. "It was built just for you. All the world is a stage and you're in it. You are on a ride. Part stage, part terrarium, part planetarium. Whatever it is, it is very deliberate."

The concept of a flat Earth goes back to the Bronze Age. Later on, Greek philosophers and mathematicians like Ptolemy, Aristotle and Pythagoras used calculations and observations of Earth's curved shadow on the moon during lunar eclipses to conclude the planet was round.

Yet millenniums later that still doesn't sit well for some.

One of the nation's first meet-ups dedicated to the flat Earth cause convenes weekly at the Purple Cup Cafe in Fort Collins. For many, it's a safe space to discuss matters others might scoff at.

John Vnuk started it in 2016 and soon received more than 200 calls from people eager to know more.

"I suspect there are more people open to the idea of flat Earth then we think," he said. "We had a multitude of engineers attend our meeting … who just would rather have a peaceful life with full employment than join the battle."

At a recent meeting, Nathan Nichols, 39, rattled off "proofs" for a tabular Earth. He said it looks curved from high altitudes because of wide-angle camera lenses. Ships disappear over the horizon because of the limits of human vision, not a spherical world.

Some members believe Earth is surrounded by a wall of ice holding back the seas while others suspect it's an infinite plane. Circumnavigating the world, they explain, is simply traveling in a big circle.

"I don't know the motivation for hiding the truth," Nichols said. "The sobering part of this is that you have been lied to and continue to be lied to."

As conspiracies go, this one is remarkably nonpartisan, said Joseph Uscinski, associate professor of political science at the University of Miami and author of the book "American Conspiracy Theories."

"Just like some have a left- or right-wing worldview, some people have a conspiratorial worldview where they think every institution is a liar," he said. "These people are living in the matrix, they are brains in a jar where everything they see and hear is absolutely fake."

The Los Angeles-based Independent Investigations Group, which looks into claims of the paranormal and pseudoscience, plans a test in the coming weeks at the Salton Sea hoping to convince a group of flat Earthers. They will fire a laser eight feet above the water to a target on the other side.

"If the Earth is flat the laser will stay at eight feet the whole way," said Spencer Marks, an investigator with the group. "If it's curved, it will descend toward the surface of the water."

Marks has debated flat Earthers including Thompson, but he's not a scientist. In fact, few scientists have weighed in.

"Science doesn't even get their arguments out there," Sargent said. "They try to beat us with math but people don't understand it. It might as well be static, so they listen to me."

David Falk, assistant professor of astronomy at Los Angeles Valley College, thinks that's a mistake.

"The serious science community feels it's so basic that they don't want to waste their time debunking it," he said. "But this is a scary thing…. The danger isn't that people don't believe the Earth is round, it's the lack of scientific literacy."

Back at the Golden pub, Bob Knodel, a 57-year-old engineer whose "Globebusters" series has more than 2.6 million views on YouTube, held forth on the flat Earth universe.

"The sun is about 3,419.5 miles away by my calculations. It's not a burning ball of hydrogen gas, it is electrostatic energy," he said. "We don't know how it's powered."

Brian Gegan, 55 and not a flat Earther, wandered over.

"So you believe the Earth is flat and stationary?" he asked.

Thompson jumped in: "We don't believe, we know. We live in a closed system. The Earth is not spinning. What would keep us on it if it was spinning so fast?"

"Gravity," said Gegan.

"Gravity has never been proven," Thompson said.

Gegan asked why it would be hidden.

"They want to dissuade you from the idea of a God," Knodel said. "Beyond that, as a way to control your mind. They want us to think that we aren't special, but we are."

Gegan walked away unconvinced.

Kelly is a special correspondent.

Copyright (c) 2018 Los Angeles Times
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:32 am

Pakistani ‘Mystery Man’ Now in Possession of Docs Wasserman Schultz Wanted Suppressed

Luke Rosiak

The Western Journal

A key, if under-covered, aspect of the “Pakistani mystery man” story is that Imran Awan, the Pakistani-born IT aide of former DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz, took a laptop with username RepDWS after he was banned from the House computer network for “unauthorized access to data,” and then left it in a phone booth with a letter to prosecutors.

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.”

Trump appears to have accurately identified a key issue with the “Pakistani mystery man” that comes straight from court documents.
•Lawyers for Pakistani-born Imran Awan currently have a copy of the contents of a laptop with the username RepDWS.
•Wasserman Schultz wanted to block prosecutors from seeing what was on it.
•Imran’s lawyers have attempted to set up a situation where it is up to Imran whether prosecutors can see the laptop, claiming “attorney client privilege.”
•Other analysts say the laptop should be fair game for review.

Each twist has increased the intrigue:
•On Feb. 2, 2017, Imran was banned from the House computer network for making “unauthorized access” to congressional data, according to the House inspector general.
•This happened not long after Wasserman Schultz was fired from the DNC after a cyber breach, yet she refused to fire Imran or even put him on paid leave, claiming that an IT aide didn’t need to access the internet to do his job.
•Wasserman Schultz’s refusal to fire him meant he had continued physical access to the congressional office buildings, even though all of his other part-time employers fired him and he knew there was an ongoing criminal investigation.
•On April 5, 2017, despite not being allowed to connect to the House network, he was in possession of a laptop with the username RepDWS and left it in a phone booth, where it was picked up by police who confiscated it because they recognized that it was left there by a criminal suspect.

Let that sink in. A Pakistani IT aide, who had just been fired by all his other employers for being a suspected hacker, left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a phone booth. The laptop was placed next to a letter to prosecutors. What it said is not publicly known.

The cache of documents also included copies of Awan’s ID (which assured that police tied the laptop to a criminal suspect and seized it as evidence rather than returning it as lost property) and a note that said “attorney client privilege,” which put the laptop into legal limbo.

It is not clear whether the laptop was left out of carelessness or was potentially stolen and possibly planted for police to find.
•It was left in the booth with highly specific and sensitive materials.
•It may have been left there late at night. Building staff called police at 12:21 a.m. to report “an unattended bag in the phone booth on the 2nd floor.” Imran’s attorney said in court that it was snatched by police while he had stepped out of the phone booth to search for better reception: “What occurred is a backpack from my client was found, he was trying to get a better signal, there was a note that said attorney client privilege and a hard drive.” Gowen later offered TheDCNF a seemingly conflicting account, saying in an email: “He wasn’t there late at night that is just false.”
•The phone booth is in the Rayburn House Office Building. Wasserman Schultz’s office is in Longworth, a different building.

What happened next adds to the mystery. On May 17, 2017, Wasserman Schultz used a hearing on the Capitol Police’s budget to threaten Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa with “consequences” if he didn’t return what she characterized as “a member’s equipment.”

She repeatedly asked whether it was a member or a staffer who was under investigation, saying since it was a member’s equipment, police shouldn’t be able to take it unless the member was under investigation. A member of the Committee on Appropriations’ Legislative Branch Subcommittee, she has significant influence over the Capitol Police’s budget.

When that didn’t work, she escalated, raising the prospect of rearranging the Capitol Police’s entire board to prevent Verderosa from being a voting member, and lamented that not all of the board’s members were subject to oversight by her committee.

Questioning Verderosa’s boss, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, she said: “We have had jurisdictional issues and a challenging time conducting oversight because of the structure of the Capitol Police Board and there — there being a (inaudible) line rather than a direct line to us in terms of being able to hold the board accountable.”

“I’d like to know, sergeant, if you think that we should be looking at restructuring the way the board makes decisions so that we can establish a more direct line of accountability. … At the end of the day, (the chief) doesn’t have a decision-making role,” Wasserman Shultz continued.

She also used campaign funds to hire a lawyer to keep the laptop out of prosecutors’ hands. And it wasn’t just any lawyer — it was Bill Pittard, who until months prior had been working as acting general counsel of the House of Representatives, a position with responsibilities that include deciding what to turn over to the executive branch pursuant to legal activity.

In August, after Imran’s arrest at Dulles airport, Wasserman Schultz changed her tune, saying, “This was not my laptop. I have never seen that laptop. I don’t know what’s on the laptop.” She said it was Imran’s laptop but purchased using taxpayer funds from her office.

She said Imran’s “due process” rights had inspired her demeanor during the Capitol Police exchange and the lengths to which she went to shield the laptop. She then said she was no longer seeking to block prosecutors from looking at the laptop.

But by then, Imran had taken up the same quest.

In September, prosecutors turned over a copy of the government laptop to Imran, even though he had been banned from the House network because he was viewed as a threat. In October, Imran’s attorney, Chris Gowen — a former aide to Hillary Clinton — said in court that Imran was invoking attorney-client privilege on the laptop and that they “feel very strongly” that the hard drive not be able to be used as evidence.

That seemed to set up a situation where Imran was shielding the laptop that Wasserman Schultz had initially not wanted examined, but where it would be within his power to drop the objection. That’s significant because House sources have said that Democrats aren’t cooperating with the Awans’ prosecution, and raised questions about whether he has leverage over them.

Former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy questioned that attorney-client privilege applies to the laptop at all, saying, “If I give my lawyer my bank records and ask him if they show evidence of a crime, the bank records do not become (attorney-client) privileged — only his advice to me would be (attorney-client) privileged. And if I stuck a sign on my bank records that said ‘(attorney-client) privileged documents,’ that would not make them (attorney-client) privileged documents.”

Wasserman Schultz has declined to answer questions about the laptop, but given that it was government equipment that, as she noted previously, belongs to her, she might be able to explicitly give permission to prosecutors to look at it.

In particular, if Imran wasn’t authorized to have the laptop, it could be more difficult to invoke privilege on it. (Wasserman Schultz’s brother is an assistant U.S. attorney at the same office that is handling the case, and he has tweeted dismissively about it.)

Rather than simply swatting down the claim and using what McCarthy said is the universally employed solution to such a dilemma — using a “taint team” to go through the laptop and isolate specific files that are communications to Imran’s lawyer — prosecutors have delayed the court hearing five times, telling the judge repeatedly: “The government has been in discussions with counsel for the defendants regarding complex discovery issues and other legal issues in this case, in particular issues surrounding claims of attorney-client privilege being raised by defendant Imran Awan,” court papers filed Tuesday say.

The next court date is set for May 4, though could be postponed a sixth time.

A version of this article previously appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website. ... uppressed/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:59 am

America’s flat-Earth movement appears to be growing


The Economist

Daily chart
Is NASA covering up the truth? No

IT IS a stunt worthy of Evel Knievel. This week, if all goes to plan, “Mad” Mike Hughes, a Californian, will launch himself 1,800 feet (550 metres) into the sky in a homemade steam-powered rocket made of scrap metal. As well as providing entertainment, Mr Hughes wants to prove a point. On his trip over the Mojave Desert, which could propel him at speeds of up to 500 miles (800km) per hour, the 61-year-old limousine-driver-turned-daredevil hopes to prove that the Earth is flat.

Some may be surprised to learn that people still hold such views. After all, the Earth has been photographed from space. But such photos could have been faked by the evil forces who secretly control the world, right? And all those centuries of scientific evidence suggesting that the Earth is spherical could be wrong, right? In America interest in the flat-Earth movement appears to be growing. In September Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., a rapper also known as B.o.B, launched a crowd-funding campaign to send satellites into orbit to determine the Earth’s shape. On November 9th, 500 “flat-Earthers” assembled in North Carolina for the first annual Flat Earth International Conference. Data from Google Trends show that in the past two years, searches for “flat earth” have more than tripled (see chart).

Conspiracy theories are not always harmless. The bogus notion that vaccines cause autism has led to a decline in immunisation rates in some places, which has allowed outbreaks of measles. Scepticism about climate change has infiltrated schools. A recent survey found that a third of American science teachers tell their students that climate change is driven in part by natural causes. One in ten say humans play no role in it.

Conspiracy theories are appealing because they offer simple explanations for complex phenomena, or because they let people believe they are in possession of secret knowledge that the powerful wish to suppress. They tend to be most popular among less-educated people who do not trust public institutions. They are extremely common in dictatorships, where people assume, often correctly, that the authorities are lying.

Simply rebutting conspiracy theories may make adherents even more entrenched in their views. (If “they” are so keen to deny it, it must be true!) Absence of evidence is taken as evidence of a fiendishly effective cover-up. Some conspiracy theories are irrefutable—the American government cannot prove, for example, that it is not storing dead aliens in a secret underground laboratory.

If schools were better at teaching analytical thinking, that might reduce the appeal of conspiracy theories. And it would not hurt if governments were more open and trustworthy. Meanwhile, the best response is often to ignore the tinfoil-hat brigade. After the rapper B.o.B sparked an argument on Twitter about the shape of the Earth in 2016, one of the groups supposedly responsible for misleading the public on this point, NASA, chose not to weigh in. A spokeswoman told the Washington Post: “we don’t think there’s a debate to be had.”

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Wed May 02, 2018 1:37 pm

Shaffer: Evidence That Wasserman Schultz Used Pakistani Imran Awan For Malevolent Activities Against Bernie Sanders

Posted By Ian SchwartzOn Date July 28, 2017

Retired Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer said Thursday on Tucker Carlson Tonight that there is now evidence that then-Democratic National Chairwoman and current Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz used Imran Awan

Shaffer talked about Awan's other brothers who worked on Capitol Hill, family members fleeing the country to Pakistan, and that he got paid 3 times the average Congressional I.T. employee.

FOX News reported

Awan was arrested at Dulles airport trying to leave the country.

Entire transcript:

LAURA INGRAHAM: What happens when a Congressional staffer with close ties to a top Democrat and access to sensitive hard drives gets caught wiring $300,000 to Pakistan and then is arrested trying to flee the country? Sounds like a pretty fascinating story. But if you're in the American media, they're not much interested.

Former DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz kept Imran Awan on her payroll for months, even as he was being investigated by the Capitol Police for a host of possible crimes. She even tried to hinder that investigation, but our intrepid press has shown little interest in the story.

Tony Shaffer is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, he joins us, and he has been following this case.

This is wild. I watched CNN earlier today. I'm jetlagged, so I needed something that would put me to sleep temporarily. So I had it on, and the guy, I don't remember the reporter's name, but he reported it by saying "there were these conspiracy theories out there about this Debbie Wasserman Schultz staffer" who basically is just in trouble for some bad checks, for some bank fraud, it's just a conspiracy theory. Implying that people like you who have been covering this and have been looking into it are the conspiracy theorists.

LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER, U.S. ARMY (RET): This is more like a Quentin Tarantino movie with everything except a gimp, and I think the gimp will show up... Look, this is complex, but let me try to simplify. Basically, Debbie Wasserman Schultz employed three brothers who are of Pakistani origin at three times the salary of everybody else who does I.T. on Capitol Hill. This all started years ago.

INGRAHAM: They must be really good at their jobs.

SHAFFER: Apparently, they failed at working at Best Buy and other places, so I guess if you fail at Best Buy you get to be hired by the Hill.

INGRAHAM: Were they at Best Buy?

SHAFFER: I can't remember which one, it was one of those outlets. Now, what happened though is that she has employed those folks, and over the past years, there's been real issues regarding the fact that every other Democrat person they worked for on the Hill fired them. But they were retained by her. Now, what is really key here to remember, Laura, is not about hard drives. It's about the fact that these individuals, during a time they worked for her on Capitol Hill, and her position as a member of Congress --

INGRAHAM: Three brothers, Pakistani origin, which is not in and of itself a bad thing.

SHAFFER: -- had massive access to all databases to include e-mail of members of Congress, super user access to the system itself, and most importantly the sensitive information being held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee and other committees that they had access to. What this all comes down to is like, okay, you can have all that, but what gets worse is she actually employs these folks apparently to do hideous things behind the scenes.

There is evidence now that a least one of these brothers was helping her do the Bernie Sanders malevolent activities, trying to manipulative things against him that actually helped her do things like voice change calls, they actually did all other things which and then --

INGRAHAM: Who are these characters? Who are they?

SHAFFER: And then they dumped -- then there's evidence some of the information they had access to dumped off into a third database that's actually being called a breach. That's why the Capitol Hill Police rolled in saying there's something wrong here.

Now the FBI has rolled in and let me give you the big take away here, it looks like a foreign intelligence service may be the recipient of all this. Something called the Muslim Brotherhood.

INGRAHAM: Whoa, whoa, whoa. The Muslim Brotherhood and Debbie? They are really going to say it's a conspiracy theory now.

SHAFFER: It's a conspiracy now, but that's apparently where all of this has been going. That's why the FBI has now been investigating.

INGRAHAM: These brothers have been kicking around Capitol Hill in various capacities for IT, but they essentially were blacklisted by most of the other Democrats. Correct?

SHAFFER: That's correct.

INGRAHAM: Yet she gave him a home. Very interesting.

SHAFFER: She gave them a home. And they actually suspended most of their access in February of this year and she kept them on anyway.

INGRAHAM: She's just a very nice person. Apparently, it's a jobs program over there at the DNC.

SHAFFER: $300,000 being kicked over to Pakistan finally was the straw that broke the camel's back.

INGRAHAM: The wife is gone, she's safely over there in Pakistan.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Sat May 05, 2018 9:33 pm

Ex-Dem IT aide Imran Awan’s case hit with repeated delays, as feds probe new allegation.

By Alex Pappas | Fox News

Fox News

The federal court case against Imran Awan, the former IT aide to congressional Democrats, has been hit with repeated delays over the last six months -- a situation fueled by allegations in the media that, according to his attorney, have piqued the curiosity of prosecutors.

Since November, a judge has postponed Awan’s court hearing in U.S. District Court five times at the request of the prosecution and defense. The latest postponement came Thursday, when the judge pushed Friday’s scheduled hearing to June 7.

In an interview Thursday with Fox News, Awan’s attorney, Christopher J. Gowen, blamed the delays on the steady stream of allegations against Awan that have been published online, especially by The Daily Caller, and pushed by President Trump and Republican members of Congress.

The reports suggest Awan, who worked for former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others, could have been involved in a cyber breach operation, something his legal team vigorously denies.

Gowen -- who argues his client is a victim of “made up allegations” -- said federal prosecutors have repeatedly asked them to provide information in response to these stories. The defense has been cooperative in turning over “evidence, documentation,” Gowen said, but the process has slowed the case.

“We are trying to be as helpful as possible to law enforcement to provide them any information or access they need,” Gowen said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the postponements.

“We typically do not comment on pending cases and have no comment on this particular matter,” said Bill Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

But in a Thursday court filing, prosecutors hinted that a deal could be in the works.

“The parties are currently exploring a possible resolution of this matter,” prosecutors wrote. “Therefore, the parties are requesting additional time in which to explore that resolution.”

A grand jury in August returned an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, with a total of four counts, which included federal bank fraud and conspiracy. Awan has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The facts of the case on paper are relatively mundane. Awan and his wife are facing allegations they engaged in a conspiracy to obtain home equity lines of credit from the Congressional Federal Credit Union by giving false information about two properties – and sending the proceeds to individuals in Pakistan.

But the case has drawn interest from Republican lawmakers because of Awan’s role for prominent Democrats and the access he had to sensitive data. The Daily Caller has published numerous news stories suggesting Awan inappropriately accessed congressional servers while working for Democrats.

“I know that my client did not have access to any confidential or security clearance documents,” he said.

Gowen also took aim at President Trump, who has tweeted about the case and referred to Awan as “the Pakistani mystery man.”

“I do not think these tweets by the president are assisting the administration of justice in any way,” Gowen said. “The president’s tweets are irresponsible, false and disrespectful to law enforcement.”

Trump also mentioned Awan in a New York Times story last year, saying, “Whatever happened to this Pakistani guy who worked with the DNC?”

The Daily Caller has published extensive reports on Awan’s case. In a recent story reported from Pakistan, a reporter interviewed a person they said is Awan’s father’s ex-business partner. That person reportedly claimed Awan’s father once transferred a USB drive to a former head of a Pakistani intelligence agency.

Fox News has not independently confirmed the claim, and it's unclear whether it has anything to do with Awan’s work in Congress.

Awan and other IT aides for House Democrats originally had been on investigators’ radar for months over concerns of alleged equipment theft, access to sensitive computer systems and more, according to reports dating back to early 2017.

Awan was born in Pakistan, but came to the U.S. with his family when he was a teenager. He became a U.S. citizen more than a decade ago.

The broader case surrounding him also has put renewed scrutiny on Wasserman Schultz for keeping Awan on the payroll for months, even after a criminal investigation was revealed and he was barred from the House IT network.

Most lawmakers fired Awan in February 2017, but Wasserman Schultz had kept him on until his arrest in July.

Prosecutors have warned that Awan is a “flight risk” and could flee to Pakistan if a judge approves his request to lift “all of the conditions of his release.”

Awan has been enrolled in the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP) with conditions that he abide by an electronically monitored curfew of 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. and a limit on traveling beyond 150 miles from his residence, according to court documents.

Wasserman Schultz has blamed the “right-wing media circus fringe” for the attention on Awan, suggesting it's all part of an effort to distract from the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign and possible ties to Trump's team.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson contributed to this report. ©2018 ... tions.html
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 08, 2018 1:05 pm

Northrop Grumman's 'H03' Firebird Spy Plane Is Now Flying At Mojave Air and Space Port

New photos give us a much more complete view of the aircraft, clearly showing its lineage to Scaled Composites' Firebird long-endurance design.

By Joseph Trevithick and Tyler Rogoway

The Drive | May 5, 2018

The War Zone recently got an interesting look at what turned out to be the latest derivative of Scaled Composites Firebird optionally-manned long-endurance aircraft, also known as the H03. Now we’ve received additional images of the aircraft, which carries the civil registration code N326JG, in flight.

Photojournalist David Wirth captured these latest pictures near the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Northrop Grumman, which owns Scaled Composites at present, has a hangar at the airport and that’s where the all-gray H03 had previously emerged. The aircraft has a large air data boom, indicative of flight test activities, but we don’t know if this was its first flight or not.

Otherwise, the aircraft’s most prominent difference from the second iteration of the Firebird is the significantly longer wings. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Northrop Grumman has of the previous types, known as R02s, which carry the civil registration’s N241PR and N412DB. The original Firebird demonstrator, which has the tail number N355SX, remains linked directly to Scaled Composites in the FAA database.

In addition, the H03 has a revised engine and nacelle configuration. The R02s reportedly used a single Lycoming TEO-540E engine, a turbocharged variant of a relatively simple design that dates back to 1957, as its powerplant. That the aircraft only needed one these engines was good evidence of their highly efficient performance. As of 2012, Scaled Composites said the "production ready" design could use a "heavy fuel" powerplant.
The changes near the engine area suggest that the new version could have a different and more efficient or powerful powerplant to fly higher, longer, or with a larger payload. Scaled Composites’ demonstrator already boasted the ability to fly at a maximum altitude of between 30,000 and 35,000 feet and at a top speed of around 230 miles per hour. The company said it could stay aloft for up to 40 hours at a time.

Beyond that, the H03 appears to largely share the same twin-boom and fuselage configuration as the R02s and looks to have a nearly identical two-person, side-by-side cockpit arrangement. A still unknown buyer reportedly requested the addition of the second seat so that the aircraft could accommodate a copilot, also acting as the payload operator, during manned flight.

The sensor and equipment fit also appears to be unchanged since we last saw N326JG. There is a single, large, black sensor turret underneath the fuselage. The aircraft, like its predecessor, is presumably capable of carrying various electro-optical, infrared, or multi-spectral video cameras, along with laser range-finders and designators.

There’s a “platter” antenna on the right boom, which is likely associated with a UHF satellite communications suite, as well various other antennas and aerials for other types of communications equipment and data links. The two black aerials under the wings are much more apparent in these new images, which likely work as line-of-sight UHF data links.
There appears to be another line-of-sight (LOS) data link under the nose and another one on top of the right tail. On the original Firebird and the R02s, personnel could install additional beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) links in the cockpit area for unmanned operations with an operator controlling the aircraft remotely from a ground station. It is said that the H03 can fly without a pilot in a similar configuration.

However, it is almost certain that the H03 can carry additional sensors, such as imaging radars and multi-camera wide-area persistent surveillance systems, as well as other equipment, including communications relays and electronic intelligence gathering suites. The R02s had a number of modular payload bays to accommodate these systems and it is likely that this newer aircraft retains many of those same compartments.

The original demonstrator also flew for a time with a sensor turret, what appeared to be a small radome, and an antenna array of the kind associated with signals intelligence equipment. The H03 looks like it could offer an even more capable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platform than its predecessors.

The real mystery of this plane remains what customer or customers Northrop Grumman might have lined up to purchase it and/or other production examples in the future. As of 2012, the R02s reportedly cost $10 million each, including a rudimentary sensor and communications setup. This would make it an attractive and cost-effective competitor to various long-endurance manned and unmanned intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft, especially medium-altitude, long-endurance designs such as MQ-9 Reaper, and even the RQ-4 Global Hawk to a more limited degree. It could also offer a low-cost surrogate for those aircraft during training exercises or in order to test new equipment on a representative platform.
On top of that, compared to its strictly unmanned competitors, pilots would be more readily able to deploy the aircraft to a theater of operation before personnel there reconfigure it for unmanned operations, all with a relatively limited logistical footprint. With its modular equipment bays, a single aircraft could be a more flexible platform, as well, with crews swapping out systems as necessary. As noted the H03’s payload capacity could exceed that of the R02s, which could already reportedly carry almost 1,250 pounds of sensors and other systems in their fuselages and sponsons.

Now that N326JG is clearly flying, we’ll be keeping an eye out to see where it might turn up next, and in what configuration, which could offer new clues as to potential buyers and what missions they have in mind for the aircraft.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Thu May 10, 2018 12:38 am

Leaked Report Points To Accuracy, Reliability Issues With The Marine Corps' Newest Rifles

The review notes truncated test points and risky assumptions, raising questions about the M27 and M38 rifles, especially when using suppressors.

By Joseph Trevithick

The Drive | May 4, 2018

The U.S. Marine Corps continues to push ahead with plans to make Heckler and Koch’s M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle the service’s standard infantry weapon, as well as the platform for a new designated marksman rifle called the M38. At the same time, a test report has surfaced that raises concerns about whether the M38 is accurate enough to perform in that role and whether either of the weapons will work reliably with sound suppressors. obtained the Marine Corps Systems Command report and posted a copy online in April 2018. The document is marked 2015 and “For Official Use Only,” but clearly states that it covers evaluations that ran through 2016, suggesting the cover date may be a typo. The test specifically evaluated the M38, which the Marines identified at the time as the “M27 Special Purpose Rifle,” but many of the data points apply equally to both weapons.

The designated marksman rifle version, which the Marines are already fielding operationally, is essentially the same as the base M27 weapon with a Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T scope on top. In 2011, the Corps first began issuing M27s as a substitute for the larger M249 Squad Automatic Weapons in its infantry squads.

According to the report, the Marine Corps’ requirement for the M27-based designated marksman rifle emerged in 2014 when it retired its stock of Mk 12 Mod 1 Special Purpose Rifles. Originally designed by the U.S. Navy for special operations forces, these Marines obtained these weapons to meet urgent demands from the service’s conventional units in 2007.

The Mk 12 Mod 1 was a heavily modified M16A1 rifle. Though the M27, itself a variant of Heckler and Koch's HK416, is derived from the M16-series of rifles, it uses a different operating mechanism with a physical piston over the barrel to cycle the weapon’s action. This system has proven more reliable than the original AR-15/M16-pattern design, which siphoned some propellant gas from the barrel and used it to directly move the gun's internal components. As a result, this would blow carbon particles matter straight into the center of the rifle, which could build up over time and cause the gun to jam unless the operator was careful to clean the weapon regularly and thuroughly.

Though the report says that the combination of the M27 rifle with the Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/T scope met nearly all of the test objectives, it has a number of extremely significant caveats. The most obvious issue is the scope itself, which is a dated design that the Marine Corps reportedly chose because it already had them in inventory, left over from the Mk 12 Mod 1 rifles.

“They’re trying to justify using archaic optics they found sitting on a shelf somewhere,” an unnamed former Marine Corps sniper told Marine Corps Times before the test report emerged in April 2018. “Anyone that thinks that optic is acceptable is completely and utterly removed from current optics choices, training, DM [designated marksmen] operations, and reality.”

The Leupold TS-30A2 Mark 4 MR/Ts have a reticule pattern that does not feature range measurements in the same units of measure as the external adjustment knobs. As the noted, this means a shooter cannot make easy changes by turning the knobs a certain amount based solely on what they see through the scope.
More worrisome, by using the existing optics, Marine Corps Systems Command also decided it could limit testing to determine whether or not the scopes were truly suitable when installed on the M27s. The evaluators themselves noted that data about how well the scope worked on the older Mk 12 Mod 1s might not reflect its performance on the new rifles.

“The TT [test team] limited the amount of rounds fired to 2700 rounds per weapon based on the successful performance of the Leupold Mark 4 Scope on the Mk 12 Mod 1,” the report says. “There is [a] risk that the optic may not perform as well or in the same manner under a higher round count on the M27.”

The Marine Corps has largely dismissed these concerns, saying that the M38 is more than accurate enough for the designated marksman role. It is important to note that the weapon is not intended a high-precision sniper rifle.

“I don’t doubt that they [Marine snipers] don’t like it,” now-retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, who previously served as in the 2nd Marine Division and was at the head of a number of experimental infantry modernization efforts, told Marine Corps Times. “The M38 is not intended for scout snipers. The M38 is only supposed to be in the rifle squads.”

A Marine holds an M38 designated marksman rifle during an evaluation in 2017.

But there are concerns for how the combination might stand up to the rigors of more conventional use, too. The test points related to the scopes only involved data taken when shooters fired shots in the semi-automatic fire mode, as one would expect from designated marksman. Much of the available information about the scope in combination with the Mk 12 Mod 1 also involved predominately semi-automatic fire.

Marines now armed with the M38 may find themselves called upon to perform more traditional infantry duties, as well, which could call for fully automatic suppressive fire. “There is [a] risk that the optic and/or suppressor may not perform as well or in a similar manner under extended automatic fire,” the report notes, adding that the optic might just end up damaged to some degree from the strain.

The report also prompts serious questions about whether the M27 or the M38 are reliable when shooting with a suppressor attached. This is a particularly significant issue given that the Marines are exploring the potential of issuing these devices to infantry units on a broad basis and are looking to make the M27 the standard rifle across the service.

The evaluators reviewed two different suppressors during the tests, the Knight's Armament Company (KAC) QDSS-NT4 and a modular Operator Suppressor Systems (OSS) unit made up of its Back Pressure Regulator (BPR) and a Signature Reduction Module (SRM).

The KAC product is already in widespread service across the U.S. military and operator surveys during the tests showed it was the preferred option. The Marines found that the OSS system was more complex, maintenance intensive, and difficult to quickly install and remove, even though it produced better accuracy results.
The KAC suppressor, on the other hand, was more user-friendly, but threw off the aim – “point of impact,” or POI – of the weapon by an average of nearly two and half minutes of angle. When it comes to firearms, this unit of measurement, abbreviated MOA, is best understood as a cone with a circle at its base that grows one inch in diameter for every 100 yards. A weapon with a stated accuracy of approximately one MOA can reliably hit within a one-inch diameter circle at 100 yards and an 8-inch diameter one at 800 yards.

Shifting the point of impact two and half minutes of angle equates to sending the bullets off target up to 20 inches away at 800 yards. Some of the test weapons had deviations closer to five minutes of angle. The Marines' stated requirement was no more than a two MOA shift when an operator put the suppressor on.

This change in accuracy could effectively preclude users from switching rapidly from suppressed to unsuppressed operations in the field, where they might not be able to quickly adjust their sights. Otherwise, they might have to estimate the new point of impact and manually adjust their point of aim. At the time of the test, the Marines threw out these concerns, as well.

“It is the Test Manager’s opinion that POI shift is not as important as it once was,” the report concludes. “Marine Corps snipers are interested in what the POI shift is for their weapon, but their Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP’s) call for them to shoot suppressed rather than unsuppressed. If the TTP for the SPR will require the operator to shoot suppressed rather than unsuppressed, then this attribute should be changed.”

The Marines are moving toward a doctrine where shooting suppressed will be a standard practice for regular infantry units using both M27s and M38s. The attribute will have to change, if it hasn’t already, and it’s not clear how that might affect either weapon’s suitability for routine operation with a suppressor.

On top of that, suppressors as a general rule also produce additional pressure on the operating mechanism since they capture propellant gasses in a confined chamber right at the muzzle of the gun. This in turn typically causes the action to cycle faster than it would without the device installed. The OSS suppressor’s BPR is specifically there to mitigate this issue.

During the tests, the M27s with the KAC suppressor suffered a significant number of jams, almost all attributed to the increased cyclic rate. These failures occurred during both semi-automatic and fully-automatic fire.

Taken together, all of these issues raise important questions about the Marine Corps’ near-term plans for the M38 and the wider issue of M27s with suppressors. Modifications to either the weapons or purchase of new optics or suppressors with improved features might reduce or even eliminate the problems, but could easily incur additional costs. Based on the reviews of the OSS suppressor, adding improved ancillary equipment onto the guns in the future could make them more expensive to operate and maintain, as well.

The price of the rifles, which have been significantly higher than earlier M16-pattern guns, has long been an issue. Members of Congress have openly questioned the wisdom of the Marines desire to rapidly buy thousands more of the guns without holding an open competition, especially to a foreign-headquartered firm.

At the end of April 2018, the service issued its latest sole-source deal with Germany-based Heckler and Koch’s American subsidiary for up to 15,000 more M27s and spare parts. That contract could be worth nearly $30 million.

In this latest purchase, though, each M27 will cost the Marines around $1,300. This is less than half the cost the service had paid per weapon in the past, suggesting that the increased orders had led to lower unit costs.

“What I expect is that with the issuance of the M27 to all Marines in every squad, the ongoing mass employment of suppressors, and the development of variable power optics, every Marine in the squad will have the M38 capability in his own rifle,” retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Wade said in his interview with Marine Corps Times. “The rifleman with an M27 IAR [Infantry Automatic Rifle], suppressor, variable power optic, advanced NODs [night vision], etc. who is fully trained, is a game changer.”

In the meantime, unfortunately, Marines will have to make do with the rifles, scopes, and suppressors they have now, which could be less accurate and less reliable under actual operational conditions than advertised.

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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 15, 2018 12:24 am

This is stuff on Cheyenne Mountain, The Blue Cube and related (NRO) stuff.

The first link contains some great historic construction photos.

Photos from Inside NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Combat Center
September 8, 2016

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a joint US-Canada military command tasked primarily with controlling and defending the airspace of North America. Formed in 1958, it has become the stuff of legend for a number of reasons, including the fact that (unlike the rest of the military) it's not subject to FOIA, the way it dropped the ball on 9/11, and the enormous underground command center it built inside of a mountain.

That Combat Operations Center deep inside Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado, has triggered lots of speculation over the decades. NORAD moved its headquarters to nearby Peterson Air Force Base in 2006, but the underground complex is still used by a number of military and intelligence agencies.

Photos from inside the mountain have never been plentiful, and all images taken or released since 9/11 have been tightly controlled. But there are two older sources of images available, though they've been nearly impossible to obtain.

One is a NORAD report from 1966: "NORAD Underground COC [Combat Operations Center]: Initial Requirement to Initial Operation, 1956-1966" by David W. Shircliffe, Directorate of Command History, Command Public Affairs Office, Headquarters NORAD. The Memory Hole 2 has obtained a copy [click here for the PDF].

The other source is a book from a tiny regional press that was published 46 years ago: NORAD Command Post: The City Inside Cheyenne Mountain by Henry W. Hough (Denver CO: Green Mountain Press, 1970). No copies are available on Amazon or ABE, and only 27 libraries in the world have a copy. Happily, I live near one of them.

Photos from both these publications are below. Recent photos (and footage) inside Cheyenne Mountain have been taken by USA Today, 7News Denver, and the Air Force's magazine, Airman.

Please consider donating to the one-person operation that is The Memory Hole 2
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 15, 2018 12:54 am

kinderdigi wrote:This sub archive is on the topic of Cheyenne Mountain, The Blue Cube and related (NRO) stuff.

The first link contains some great historic construction photos.

Photos from Inside NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Combat Center
September 8, 2016

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a joint US-Canada military command tasked primarily with controlling and defending the airspace of North America. Formed in 1958, it has become the stuff of legend for a number of reasons, including the fact that (unlike the rest of the military) it's not subject to FOIA, the way it dropped the ball on 9/11, and the enormous underground command center it built inside of a mountain.

That Combat Operations Center deep inside Cheyenne Mountain near Colorado Springs, Colorado, has triggered lots of speculation over the decades. NORAD moved its headquarters to nearby Peterson Air Force Base in 2006, but the underground complex is still used by a number of military and intelligence agencies.

Photos from inside the mountain have never been plentiful, and all images taken or released since 9/11 have been tightly controlled. But there are two older sources of images available, though they've been nearly impossible to obtain.

One is a NORAD report from 1966: "NORAD Underground COC [Combat Operations Center]: Initial Requirement to Initial Operation, 1956-1966" by David W. Shircliffe, Directorate of Command History, Command Public Affairs Office, Headquarters NORAD. The Memory Hole 2 has obtained a copy [click here for the PDF].

The other source is a book from a tiny regional press that was published 46 years ago: NORAD Command Post: The City Inside Cheyenne Mountain by Henry W. Hough (Denver CO: Green Mountain Press, 1970). No copies are available on Amazon or ABE, and only 27 libraries in the world have a copy. Happily, I live near one of them.

Photos from both these publications are below. Recent photos (and footage) inside Cheyenne Mountain have been taken by USA Today, 7News Denver, and the Air Force's magazine, Airman.

Please consider donating to the one-person operation that is The Memory Hole 2
Last edited by kinderdigi on Tue May 15, 2018 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 15, 2018 12:58 am

Cheyenne Mountain Complex

The Cheyenne Mountain Complex (CMC) outside Colorado Springs, CO is the main correlation center of the Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITW/AA) system. Cheyenne Mountain is the command, control, communication and intelligence center for coordinating and controlling North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) missions. The facility houses operations centers which are equipped with processors, displays, and communications link the centers to forward sensors and to the NCC.

The centers, which conduct missile, atmospheric, and space warning activities, are: • The Air Operations Center (AOC) [also known as the Air Defense Operations Center - ADOC] maintains constant surveillance of North American airspace to prevent overflight by hostile aircraft. It tracks over 2.5 million aircraft annually. The ADOC collects and consolidates surveillance information on suspected drug-carrying aircraft entering or operating within North America, and provides this information to counternarcotice agencies.
• The Missile Warning Center (MWC) detects launches globally and determines whether they are a threat to North America.
• The Space Control Center (SCC) [also known as the Space Defense Operations Center - SPADOC] detects, identifies and tracks all man-made objects in space. It currently tracks over 8,000 objects including payloads, rocketbodies and debris. Knowing where these objects are contributes to several mission areas, including collision avoidance for the space shuttle crew.
•The NORAD/USSPACECOM Combined Command Center (CCC) [also known as the NORAD Command Center - NCC] serves as the hub for all activity within the workcenters. The Command Director (CO), an one-star general officer or colonel, is always on duty in the command center. It provides coordination and direction to the mission work centers, and forwards critical information from the other centers to the President and Prime Minister of Canada. The center supports the Commander in Chief NORAD/Commander in Chief US Space Command to provide warning and assessment of attack on North America or its allies to the National Command Authorities (NCA), the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), and other users.
• The Combined Intelligence Watch Center (CWIC) [also known as the Combined Intelligence Center - CIC] serves is the indications and warning center for worldwide threats from space, missile, and strategic air activity, as well as geopolitical unrest that could affect North America and U.S. forces/interests abroad. The center's personnel gather intelligence information to assist all the Cheyenne Mountain work centers in correlating and analyzing events to support NORAD and US Space Command decision makers.
•The National Warning Facility is the US civil defense warning center located in the Aerospace Defense Command Post to provide FEMA with access to warning information at the same time it is available to NORAD. In case of attack, the center would sound the alarm over the civilian alerting circuits of the National Warning System [NAWAS].
•The Space and Warning Systems Center (SWSC) is responsible for the maintenance and evolution of mission-critical software meeting operational requirements for NORAD, USSPACECOM, and AFSPC2 for these Cheyenne Mountain Command and Control (C2) centers responsible for national attack warning/assessment and space surveillance/defense/control. The SWSC currently maintains in excess of 12 million lines of code on 34 separate operational systems written in 27 languages.
• The Weather Support Center (SOLAR) is located in building 1470 on Peterson AFB but also reports to the Command Center.

There are five crews that man the centers. Each crew consists of approximately 40 people, and are designated as Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. Under normal conditions only one crew will be on duty during an eight-hour shift.

With the development of large computers and with the advent of the threat of ballistic attack, NORAD developed a series of semiautomated warning and assessment systems, culminating with the development of the 427M system contained within Cheyenne Mountain, which became operational in 1979. As soon as the 427M system became operational NORAD and the US Air Force Air Defense Command developed a series of command-level programs to resolve operational and sustainment problems with the 427M system by the creation of individual acquisition programs with limited scope and cost. In 1981, the Air Force began a modernization effort consisting of five separate acquisitions to replace aging and obsolete computer systems at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. By the mid 1980s, six programs were underway with an aggregate cost of almost $2 billion. It soon became evident that the set of Cheyenne Mountain upgrades needed to be restructured as a single, major, integrated upgrade program. The consolidated program was formally started in 1989.
The Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade (CMU) Program consists of upgrades to NORAD ballistic missile, air, space, and command center elements within the CMC, as well as upgrades and provides new capability to survivable communication and warning elements at the National Military Command Center (NMCC),USSTRATCOM, and other forward user locations. CMU additionally provides at Offutt AFB an austere backup to Cheyenne Mountain ballistic missile warning. CMU's modernization and new capabilities enhance the ability to rapidly and accurately correlate ITW/AA information, providing commanders with timely, accurate, and unambiguous information regarding enemy missile, air, and space systems throughout the full spectrum of conflict. The CMU program consists of the following major subsystems: • Granite Sentry provides a Message Processing Subsystem and a Video Distribution Subsystem, and it upgrades the NORAD Computer System display capability and four major centers: (1) the Air Defense Operations Center, (2) the NORAD Command Center, (3) the Battle Staff Support Center, and (4) the Weather Support Unit. Granite Sentry also processes and displays nuclear detection data provided from the Integrated Correlation and Display System. In March 1993 the government awarded a contract to Martin Marietta (now Lockheed-Martin) to complete the Granite Sentry upgrades to the processing and display capabilities of the ADOC, the NCC, and the Operations Planning Staff, which performs nuclear, biological, and chemical event processing.
• The Communications System Segment Replacement (CSSR) is an internal Cheyenne Mountain Complex and Alternate Missile Warning Center communications system that provides connectivity between mission areas, sensors, and forward users.
• The Survivable Communications Integration System (SCIS) provides the system with reliable and survivable communications between the ten missile warning sensor sites, two correlation centers, and eight forward users for transmission and receipt of missile warning sensor data and other Integrated TW/AA information.
• The Space Defense Operations Center 4 provides an automated command, control, and communication capability for space defense and space surveillance to the National Command Authorities.
The Command and Control Processing and Display System Replacement (CCPDS-R) provides near-real-time processing, display and distribution of ballistic missile ITW/AA information, including nuclear detonation reports, to the National Command Authorities and forward users.
• The Alternate Missile Warning Center, located at Offutt AFB, is functionally equivalent to Cheyenne Mountain's systems for processing, display, and distribution of missile warning data and is the prime correlation center providing missile warning data to USSTRATCOM for force management.
The five original acquisition programs for the Cheyenne Mountain Complex were initially scheduled for completion in 1987 at a cost of $968 million. After a series of delayed completion schedules and increased development cost estimates, as of 1994 the CMU program was 8 years behind schedule and $792 million over budget. Initial versions of several CMU subsystems that the Air Force declared operational were unreliable and did not meet users' requirements. As a result, those subsystems were operated in parallel with the systems they were meant to replace.
Sources and Resources
• Going Ballistic! By Phil Patton Wired 7.11 - Nov 1999 "Cheyenne Mountain is one of the truly mythic locales of the modern era," says John Pike, a policy analyst at the Federation of American Scientists who tracks nuclear-defense issues. "It's a place where America contemplates ultimate reality and the void."
• Mountain Nerve Center Remains Relevant to Warfighting 27 April 1998 -- By Douglas J. Gillert American Forces Press Service The Soviets no longer pose a viable threat. Why does DoD maintain this mysterious complex? Has the complex, in fact, remained relevant to DoD operations for the '90s and beyond?
•Attack Warning: Status of the Cheyenne Mountain Upgrade Program (Letter Report, 09/01/94, GAO/AIMD-94-175)

These are all Hyperlinks you'll find at the link at the bottom of this page:

•Cheynne Mountain Air Station Official Homepage
•The Cheynne Mountain Story - Information Booklet
•NORAD - A Mission Day - Information Booklet
•A Case Study In Legacy System Migration: Prototypes to Support the Evolution of NORAD�s Air Defense Mission Sean P. Mullen MITRE Corporation
• Space and Warning Systems Center (SWSC) Domain Engineering Guidebook
•Cheyenne Mountain Trivia
•Info on SIDE CAR callword SPECIAL TOPIC REPORT 95-1 The WORLDWIDE UTE NEWS Club An Electronic Club Dealing Exclusively in Utility Signals
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 15, 2018 1:50 am

USAF Onizuka Station

Herhold: The closing of the legendary Blue Cube

By Scott Herhold | Bay Area News Group

The Mercury News | PUBLISHED: July 28, 2010 at 10:23 am | UPDATED: August 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Before a color guard and the wife of a hero, they said goodbye Wednesday to a famous artifact of space and the Cold War — Sunnyvale’s “Blue Cube,” the windowless blue box that housed secret operations for four decades.

Formally, it was the closure of the Onizuka Air Force Station, whose operations are being moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base in Southern California.

Informally, it was a reunion for hundreds who monitored satellites at the Cube in the days when the difference between good guys and bad guys was a lot clearer to most of us.

“It was pretty darn exciting,” said Air Force Lt. General Tom Sheridan, who began at the Cube as a captain in 1982. “It was hard to do this business, and we succeeded.”

The future of the Onizuka station — named for pioneering Asian-American astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who was killed in the 1986 Challenger crash — remains unclear. Even gentle and gracious words from Onizuka’s widow, Lorna, could not change that.

The city of Sunnyvale, which will inherit the bulk of the property after the Air Force vacates it next year, has talked about converting the land into a cluster of auto dealerships, save for one building claimed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. If that happens, the Cube would probably be demolished. But the auto dealership idea seems unlikely in the recession. And just how a fortresslike building from the 1960s could be reused perplexes Sunnyvale officials.

“There’s been talk about saving it,” Sunnyvale Mayor Melinda Hamilton says. “I don’t know of anyone with the deep pockets to do it.”

Wednesday was a day for looking back fondly at what was once called the Air Force Satellite Test Center, or STC, which was opened in July 1960, almost exactly a half-century ago.

Critical work

Particularly in its first 25 years, the people at the center did critical work as a global antenna for military and civil satellites.

One of the center’s first missions was helping with Project Corona, a cadre of military reconnaissance satellites run by the CIA.

Early in the 1970s, the satellite center commanded insectlike “Vela” satellites, designed to monitor other countries’ compliance with the nuclear test ban treaty.

And in the ceremonies Wednesday, the Air Force brass was careful to note that the Blue Cube has “supported” — the verb is deliberately vague — all 132 space shuttle missions.

The center’s signature windowless building, which was built between 1967 and 1969, contains a warren of offices and computer rooms spread over four stories.

In many ways, it is a monument to technology long since supplanted. The Cube was built to house big mainframe computers, which demanded temperatures in the 60s.

To the local public, the Cube was memorable primarily because of its opaqueness: Whatever was happening in the big blue box next to Highway 237 had to be super-secret: The mystery only burnished the legend.

“It’s a maze,” says Linda Lavigne, who began working as a secretary at the Cube in 1984. “When I first started working there, I had to get someone to show me around. All the doors look the same.”

Fond stories

Even now, the rules of classification forbid the Cube’s veterans from talking about most of what they did. But they can tell a few fond stories of how they did it.

There was, for instance, the matter of butcher paper. In the early days, the Cube’s engineers would use butcher paper marked by felt pens to predict the timing for when the tracking station would have to dedicate its full resources to monitoring a satellite.

And more than a few remember the affair of the manhole covers. To emphasize security, supervisors at the Cube warned employees that the Russians, the bad guys of the time, could photograph a manhole cover from space.

The Cube’s pranksters responded one day by wearing hats bearing an unusual adornment. On each was a picture of a manhole cover. No word about the reaction of the Russians.

Contact Scott Herhold at or 408-275-0917.

1960: The Air Force Satellite Test Center, or STC, opens in Sunnyvale.
1967-69: The Blue Cube, the key structure on the site, is constructed.
1960 to present: The center tracks military and civilian satellites, including the Corona and Vela missions, NATO III Skynet and the GPS satellite system.
1981: The center provides support for launch of space shuttle Columbia, the first of 132 shuttle missions it helps.
1986: Renamed the Onizuka Air Force Base after astronaut Ellison Onizuka, who died in the Challenger shuttle explosion in 1986.
2005: Base closure commission recommends closure of Onizuka.
2010: Air Force closes Onizuka, with operations moving in coming months to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Source: U.S. Air Force

Onizuka Air Force station

© 2017 Digital First Media ... blue-cube/
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Re: Seth Rich

Postby kinderdigi » Tue May 15, 2018 12:54 pm

Good photos at the link.

‘The most secure facility in the world’: The former Cold War control centre built in a mountain

NewsComAu | April 28th 2018

THE Cold War ended long ago but a secret base built inside a mountain in Colorado remains active — and it’s designed to survive a nuclear attack.

The US blasted a warren of tunnels out of the mountain’s hard granite in the 1960s so officers of the North American Aerospace Defence Command, or NORAD, could survive a nuclear attack.

Although NORAD called off its “nuclear watch” in 1992 after the Soviet Union disintegrated, Cheyenne Mountain is still teeming with electronics and personnel watching for terrorist attacks and cyber assaults as well as missiles.

Saturday is the 60th anniversary of NORAD, a unique bi-national command created by the US and Canada to protect the skies over both nations. To mark the occasion, NORAD has offered a sneak peak into the mountain base.

The bunker lies 610m under Cheyenne Mountain outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. It can be sealed off by two giant blast doors made of concrete and steel, each 1m thick and weighing 21 tonnes.

“We like to say it’s the most secure facility in the world,” deputy director of the base Steve Rose said.

The heart of the complex is a grid of six tunnels up to 12m wide and three stories high. They hold 15 connected buildings made of steel plates, riding on massive coil springs to absorb the shock of a nuclear blast or earthquake.

The granite and steel also protect electronics from destructive pulses of electromagnetic energy that nuclear explosions produce. Asked whether Cheyenne Mountain is vulnerable to more powerful modern nuclear warheads, Mr Rose answered indirectly: “I don’t think we would be open if it was.”

The military put NORAD in Colorado because it is near the centre of the continent, far from Soviet bomber bases and missile launchers, NORAD’s deputy historian Brian Laslie said.

The first command centre was at the now-decommissioned Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

By the early 1960s, it was clear Ent would not survive a nuclear attack, so work began on burrowing into the mountain, Dr Laslie said. The room is surprisingly small, about 12m square. Eight big video screens line the walls. Soft lighting, muted colours and sound-muffling surfaces give the room a hushed, sombre feel.


In 2008, the military opened a bigger command centre at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, saying Cheyenne Mountain was costly to run and that the primary threats at the time, North Korea and Iran, did not have missiles capable of reaching Colorado.

Cheyenne Mountain became the alternate command centre, but operations regularly return there for a few days at a time to make sure the room and its staff are ready in the event of a crisis.

Mr Rose, the base deputy director, rejected the notion that Cheyenne Mountain is a relic.

“Couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said, noting the mountain is fully occupied by a permanent NORAD contingent as well as commands for cyber, intelligence and space surveillance. “A lot of the other areas, I can’t talk about,” he added.


After the Soviet Union collapsed, “NORAD had a bit of a slump as far as the focus of the mission,” senior command centre officer Colonel Travis Morehen said.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks abruptly changed that. Before 9/11, NORAD watched only for external threats. After the terrorists turned domestic airliners into weapons, NORAD began peering inward as well, monitoring civilian air traffic for potential threats.

NORAD regularly launches fighter jets to intercept private aircraft that stray into restricted airspace, including areas where the President is travelling. It is usually a civilian who didn’t read official notices, Col Morehen said.


In 1979 and 1980, NORAD computer glitches produced false alarms about incoming missiles. Each time, the problem was discovered quickly.

Cheyenne Mountain is an alluring setting for science fiction. It was depicted in the 1983 movie WarGames starring Matthew Broderick, the Terminator movies (it was the installation site for Skynet), Interstellar, and in the Stargate TV series, among others.

It takes 45 seconds for built-in hydraulic machinery to close the blast doors. If the hydraulics fail, two people can close them by hand. One door usually remained shut at all times during the Cold War. Since then, commanders ordered them closed only once, on 9/11.

NORAD is also known worldwide for its “NORAD Tracks Santa” operation, fielding calls from children on Christmas Eve asking where Santa is. However, the operation has always been run out of Ent or Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, never Cheyenne Mountain, Dr Laslie said.

— AP

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