Category Archives: Whistle blowers

HAMMERing Whistleblowers

In the public interest. The surveillance of the public is breaching the line of control. We the People do not want to live in a Surveillance State where the public or democracy becomes the enemy of the state. This is the deeper question of State.

I just had a conversation with a security guard. Both of us talked about privacy. I said to him I can’t be sure this is private as I talk in front of the computer. I said I want to feel I live in a world when I go home I am not recorded, profiled or targeted. There is bravery in speaking up or claiming democracy which should be a right rather than a courageous act. We spoke of Assange and the courage he had to reveal corruption. Where was the public jumping up in outrage at illegal surveillance. So the mirror turns not only on those illegally surveilling, gathering intelligence for their interests but also the mirror is on the community who say nothing. This gives tacit consent to those who are committing crimes. We both were shocked that the 911 Twin Towers revelations of an inside job has not seen arrests at the highest levels. Even our own Prime Minister removed and the interests behind the scenes get away with treason with impunity, as if there is one law for them and one for the rest of us.

The truth matter, integrity matters and to set standards in the world community that ensure the health and safety of billions of people. We have to deeply explore this state of corruption, as it is the mirror of who we are becoming. To look with great integrity into the face of a crumbling system that has lost its way as greed became god and truth became what you can get away with or spin. Truth I felt many years ago is alive within us. I believe Gandhi was right to say that ‘God is truth’ and ‘truth is God’, whatever you believe this higher intelligence to be. When you align with it, you will speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. Life silently responds. These revelations are part of a mass awakening caused by mass surveillance. Our world is transforming as we all get to choose.

I just had the inspiration ‘what you do to another returns to the self’. There are no enemies only unquestioned thoughts. So surveilling so called foreigners (could be us Australians) is the same as surveilling domestic citizens. If you ask the citizens what they want, they would all say in a chorus, privacy, as would the ones surveilling. It is necessary to be able to have your own thoughts, your own discussions and activities behind closed doors without someone spying through cameras, computers, sensors, smart meters, NBN’s, iPhones and so on. This is most definitely a line drawn in the sand. Privatisation is the next frontier of unaccountability in domestic markets as foreigners can own these telecommunications, gather data for profit and be unaccountable in that country. It is very concerning.

Below is another perspective in respect of Whistleblowers.

MONTGOMERY, ‘THE HAMMER’ SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM WHISTLEBLOWER, BECAME THE DEEP STATE’S ENEMY NUMBER ONE AFTER EXPOSING THE TRUTH

 
Dennis Montgomery

By Mary Fanning and Alan Jones | May 22, 2019

Remember, do not kill a mockingbird. When a whistleblower is singing for America’s protection, we embrace and celebrate him.

Inventor and software designer Dennis Montgomery, a CIA/DOD/DHS/NSA/FBI  contractor-turned-whistleblower, alerted FBI Director James Comey’s office in 2015 that President Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had turned the super-surveillance system that Montgomery designed for foreign surveillance, known as THE HAMMER, into a domestic surveillance system.

Montgomery became alarmed when Obama and his intelligence chiefs Brennan and Clapper turned the super-surveillance system against the American people.

Montgomery asserts that Obama, Brennan, and Clapper used THE HAMMER in a diabolically intrusive manner in order to spy on the American people and collect massive amounts of surveillance data for “leverage” and “blackmail.”

THE HAMMER was only to be used for foreign surveillance, not to be weaponized for domestic surveillance against the American people, according to Montgomery and to U.S. military sources.  

According to those U.S. military sources, Montgomery’s surveillance technology not only saved American lives as America’s “War on Terror” broadened, but also featured built-in safeguards to prevent the system from ever being used for domestic surveillance.

“Multiple echelons” of government, including the FISA court, had to sign off on each and every foreign surveillance operation conducted with the use of THE HAMMER, those sources say.

Montgomery claims that Brennan and Clapper used the super-surveillance system Montgomery designed to spy on Article III federal judges, including the onetime head of the FISA court Judge Reggie Walton, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts.

Montgomery’s revelations about his super-surveillance system THE HAMMER call into question Chief Justice Robert’s strange and inexplicable 2012 decision that stood in direct opposition to his own stated legal argument. At the eleventh hour, Roberts flipped and supported the individual mandate for President Obama’s highly unpopular Affordable Care Act.

Montgomery, who is constrained by non-disclosure agreements, has spoken about the system but has not publicly identified the system by name. The secretly-recorded “Whistleblower Tapes” identify the name of the system as “THE HAMMER,” as we first reported in our March 17, 2017 exclusive exposé. The March 2017 WikiLeaks CIA Vault 7 document dump confirms the name of the system as THE HAMMER (HAMR).

Military sources, we can now report exclusively, confirm the existence of the super-surveillance system known as THE HAMMER. Those sources caution that the super-surveillance system was only to be used for foreign surveillance.

Comey Knew

In August 2015, Montgomery turned over to FBI General Counsel James Baker, who represented the office of FBI Director Comey, physical evidence, in the form of 47 computer hard drives containing 600 million pages of documents.

Montgomery maintains that the data on the hard drives prove the existence of THE HAMMER and prove that Brennan and Clapper engaged in illegal domestic surveillance, despite the existence of safeguards that were already in place.

In August 19, 2015, Montgomery turned over the hard drives under two immunity agreements struck with the U.S. Department of Justice. The 600 million pages of documents stored on those hard drives, when stacked one upon another, would measure a stunning thirty miles high, says Montgomery.

The FBI provided Montgomery with a detailed receipt for the 47 hard drives, including handwritten descriptions of each and every hard drive.

FBI Director Jim Comey took Montgomery’s evidence and buried it.

Montgomery’s claim that Obama, Brennan, and Clapper illegally spied on millions of Americans is by itself explosive.

Montgomery’s identification, by name, of one particular U.S. citizen that Montgomery insists was under constant surveillance “for years” by Obama, Brennan, and Clapper via THE HAMMER has led Obama’s inner circle to take desperate measures.

The name of that U.S. citizen targeted by THE HAMMER is Donald J. Trump.

Whistleblower Tapes: Trump Wiretapped “A Zillion Times” By ‘The Hammer,’ Brennan’s and Clapper’s Secret Computer System – The American Report

The Whistleblower Tapes released by U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow reveal that Donald Trump was wiretapped a “zillion times.”

The CIA feared Trump, maintains Montgomery.

Donald Trump and his late father Fred Trump are both known for their lifelong aversion to communism.

President Obama’s CIA Director, admitted communist John Brennan, feared Trump.

As we previously reported, Brennan and Comey both affirmed their belief in communism.

We noted in our May 12, 2019 exlusive exposé connecting “THE HAMMER” to FBI Director Comey’s launch of the Trump Russia Collusion investigation that John Brennan admitted  during his initial CIA polygraph test that he voted for Communist Party USA (CPUSA) candidate Gus Hall in the 1976 presidential election.

Comey, we simultaneously reported, told New York Magazine “I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now.”

Frank Marshall Davis, President Barack Obama’s mentor during Obama’s formative years in Hawaii, was a card-carrying Communist Party USA member (CPUSA member #47544) and suspected KGB agent who was listed on the FBI’s Security Index, Davis’s lengthy FBI file reveals. According to Paul Kengor, “Davis hailed Joe Stalin’s state for its alleged freedom and democracy.”

Stalin could only have dreamed of a Soviet surveillance system with capabilities approaching those of THE HAMMER. Russian historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn says that Stalin murdered 60 million of his own countrymen during his reign of terror.

With THE HAMMER, Brennan, Clapper, and Obama were implementing a political system — communism — that is antithetical to America’s system of justice and to the U.S. Constitution.  

Under the U.S. Constitution, the purpose of American government is to secure the rights of each American to life, liberty, and private property.

Brennan, Clapper, and Obama illegally used THE HAMMER as a technological instrument of tyranny in order to take away Americans’ inalienable rights as outlined under the U.S. Constitution.

These conspirators transformed a high technology tool designed to protect the American people from foreign threats into a tool of tyranny.


During a 2017 radio interview with his attorney Larry Klayman, Montgomery explained:

I provided to the FBI seventeen businesses of Donald Trump, including the Trump Tower, the Trump leasing programs, all of these different programs, and including Trump himself and the various family members that had been wiretapped under these programs. There has been a wiretap on Trump for years…

…I was a CIA contractor both under John Brennan and under James Clapper and these individuals were running domestic surveillance programs in the United States collecting information on Americans…they collected everything they could find. Bank accounts, phone numbers, chats, emails, and they collected a massive amount of it under the Obama administration.

According to sources, Comey was the general counsel and senior vice president of Lockheed Martin when Montgomery was paid $8,000 to use a supercomputer at a Lockheed facility in the Los Angeles area to collate the tranche of data harvested by The Hammer into individual files for each of the individuals being targeted.

“The proof of Donald Trump being wiretapped is in the documents that were handed over to the FBI” Attorney Klayman told reporter Fanning.

Brennan and Clapper covertly operated THE HAMMER out of a U.S. government facility in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fort Washington, Maryland, according to the secretly-recorded audio tapes released by a U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow in 2015.

From September 13, 2001 until June 2006, Clapper was the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), known until 2003 as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).  Clapper’s previous post as NGA director is an important detail because NGA is known to operate out of Fort Washington.

Obama and his henchmen were using THE HAMMER to create a tyrannical police state in America worthy of the East German Stasi or Hitler’s Gestapo.

According to Montgomery, the FBI, under Director Robert Mueller’s leadership, provided the computers for THE HAMMER super-surveillance system.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia collusion investigation entirely cleared President Donald Trump of collusion with the Russians.

Regardless of the evidence and the $35 million dollar two-year investigation, many, including John Brennan and James Clapper and, according to Democrats’ spin, Robert Mueller himself, continue to smear and characterize President Trump as guilty of collusion and treason.

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THE HAMMER Was Ground Zero Of the Trump Russia Collusion Hoax; Obama Administration Insiders Are Panicking

As Department of Justice investigators begin the hunt for the true origins of the Russia collusion investigation, Democrat insiders are beginning to unravel. Blood is in the water. And it is their own.

Brennan, Clapper, and Comey are maintaining and even ramping up their relentless tempo of frenetic television appearances as they struggle to keep their stories straight.  The conspirators are turning on one another.

COUP D’ÉTAT: DOJ, FBI OFFICIALS ON MUELLER’S RUSSIA TEAM IN COVER UP OF MUELLER’S, CLAPPER’S, AND BRENNAN’S SURVEILLANCE ‘HAMMER’ THAT SPIED ON TRUMP, STRZOK-PAGE TEXT SHOWS – The American Report

Many of these insiders appear to be well aware of THE HAMMER and of the Obama administration’s illegal surveillance of Donald Trump.

Evelyn Farkas, a former Obama administration Defense Department official and Russia specialist, blurted out during a March 2, 2017 television appearance on MSNBC “the Trump folks if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians that they would try to compromise the sources and methods meaning that we would no longer have access to that intelligence.”

The unravelling of the Russia collusion scheme and the coup d’etat will lead to the trial of the century that will make the Rosenbergs look like small-time crooks.

Our May 12, 2019 exclusive feature investigation “Comey Launched Trump Russia Investigation Day After General Exposed ‘The Hammer’” first identified THE HAMMER as ground zero of the Trump Russia collusion investigation.

The Russia Collusion investigation was a coup launched in response to the exposure of THE HAMMER.

When two four-star flag officers of sterling reputation brought THE HAMMER to America’s airwaves the Deep State panicked.

U.S. Air Force General Thomas McInerney (Ret.), U.S. Navy Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons (Ret.), and Dr. Dave Janda, during the March 19, 2017 broadcast of Janda’s “Operation Freedom” terrestrial radio program, dared to bring the truth to the American people.

Within a matter of hours, the Deep State jumped into action.

COMEY LAUNCHED TRUMP RUSSIA INVESTIGATION DAY AFTER GENERAL EXPOSED ‘THE HAMMER’ – The American Report

Fanning and Jones revealed on May 12, 2019 at The American Report:


FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division Peter Strzok and his supposed paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, exchanged a cryptic, indeed coded, text message on Sunday, March 19, 2017, twenty-six minutes after retired U.S. Air Force Four Star General Thomas McInerney read our exclusive “Whistleblower Tapes” exposé over America’s airwaves, revealing “The Hammer”…

…Late that Sunday evening, just hours after General McInerney’s radio appearance, Strzok and Page exchanged a text message that explicitly referenced Dennis Montgomery and Montgomery’s attorney Larry E. Klayman.

General McInerney appeared on Dr. Dave Janda’s “Operation Freedom” that broadcasts from terrestrial radio station WAAM 1600.

The next morning, the Russian Collusion investigation was born.

Early the following morning, Monday, March 20, 2017, FBI Director Jim Comey announced before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the FBI Counterintelligence Division, where Strzok served as Deputy Assistant Director, was investigating Trump’s connections to the Kremlin, and that the FBI had “no information” to support Trump’s tweet claiming that President Obama wiretapped Trump.

Montgomery’s Journey From Computer Genius To Enemy Of The Deep State

Dennis Montgomery was celebrated and hailed from many quarters as a “computer genius.”

Montgomery was later reduced from whistleblower to enemy number one of the Deep State, with purpose and forethought. Those holding and abusing positions of power within the intelligence community who had previously hired Dennis Montgomery as a national security contractor for classified projects could not afford to have him expose their duplicitous and treasonous actions.

“IT IS NOT THE FACTS THAT MATTER, IT IS THE PERCEPTION”

Montgomery claims that the FBI buried its investigation into his federal whistleblower claims about illegal domestic surveillance and that U.S. intelligence agencies, several years earlier, attempted to destroy his reputation.

According to Montgomery, the same intelligence agencies, after they had finished smearing his reputation, quietly rehired him.

In 2011, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau authored a New York Times article in which they painted Montgomery as a fraud, citing CIA sources.

In 2016, Montgomery sued Risen and the publisher of Risen’s book Pay any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War for defamation over a chapter that portrayed Montgomery’s work for the U.S. government as a hoax.

Lichtblau has been exposed. Lichtblau, who was working as CNN editor, and two other reporters resigned from CNN in June 2017 after CNN retracted their discredited story linking the Trump transition team to a Russian investment fund. Only two months earlier, CNN had recruited Lichtblau to its investigative unit.

Montgomery stated:


They [the intelligence agencies] leaked false information about me in 2009 and 2011 to the press to discredit me in case their domestic surveillance programs ever became public. Somebody leaked my name to [New York Times reporter James Risen] saying that my work for the government didn’t work and so forth, which is ridiculous.

My work saved lives…he knew that I could not respond to his [Risen’s] articles because I was under U.S. protective gag order on me saying I could not respond to anything, and I had the state secrets privilege filed against me that if I would have violated I would have been charged with treason under the U.S. Espionage Act…

…Stroke or no stroke, I am going to expose the CIA and NSA misdeeds until the American people know the truth. I have put my family for years at great risk by coming forward. This is my last stand for America.

‘THE HAMMER’ TIMELINE

  • November, 2015

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow releases the “Whistleblower Tapes.”

  • August 19, 2015

Dennis Montgomery, under a limited immunity agreement, turns over to Comey’s FBI 47 hard drives that he says prove the existence of Brennan’s and Clapper’s super surveillance system.

  • March 4, 2017

President Trump tweets that Obama wiretapped him.

  • March 7, 2017

WikiLeaks dumps CIA Vault 7, confirming the existence of The Hammer (HAMR).

  • March 17, 2017

Whistleblower Tapes: Trump Wiretapped ‘A Zillion Times’ By ‘The Hammer,’ Brennan’s And Clapper’s Secret Computer System” by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones published at TheAmericanReport.org.

  • March 19, 2017 3:30 pm

General Thomas McInerney exposes The Hammer on America’s airwaves with Dr. Dave Janda during Operation Freedom on WAAM 1600.

  • March 19, 2017 4:26 pm

Strzok and Page exchange cryptic text.

  • March 19, 2017 11:00 pm

Strzok and Page exchange text referencing Montgomery and Klayman hours after General McInerney’s radio interview about The Hammer

  • March 20, 2017

Comey announces Russia collusion investigation.

  • April 24, 2017

FISA court lets Brennan, Clapper and others amend their statements and orders destruction of criminal case records.

  • May 12, 2019

Comey Launched Trump Russia Investigation Day After General Exposed ‘The Hammer’” by Mary Fanning and Alan Jones published at TheAmericanReport.org.

  • May 13, 2019

U.S. Attorney General William Barr appoints John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to explore the origins of the Trump Russia collusion investigation.

COPYRIGHT 2019 MARY FANNING AND ALAN JONES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

SAS soldier Braden Chapman speaks out about War Crimes

The article below is from the ABC and discusses Australian SAS war crimes in Afghanistan. War is not a game, real people die. No-one thinks deeply about the real suffering for families of each death, how terror impacts communities and the reality that violence cannot bring peace no matter how you dress it up. Only peace brings peace.

All violence has the same root, powerlessness. The destruction of war or violence deepens powerlessness which expands violence. It is a formula that has never been about peace, it has always been endless war as men believe force works. War is an imbalance with our true nature.

Immediately looking at the story below I contemplate the Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC. The person of interest was David McBride, an SAS officer who was raising concerns about military abuses and as a lawyer investigating humanitarian law.

Refer YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXWoKgKyudk
Refer YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNp7pHbZ0HE

This issue is a murky one in the sense that where is the line drawn in respect of lawful killing. I always feel uneasy with the words ‘lawful killing’ contrasted to the situation when civilians are arrested and jailed if they commit murder. Yet in the military setting they have safeguards as they are in the business of killing. They use buzz words such as national security, defending democracy, ridding the war of terrorism when it is evident through important whistle-blowers that the wars are not about defence but oil interests. It is evident that there is a revolving door into government by commercial interests who are making money out of disasters, a term coined ‘disaster capitalism’. Disaster capitalism makes clear that defence contractors are paid in one day what a regular soldier makes in one week and do not have government oversight at all. The large military industrial complex is embedded in government as contractors alongside government employees with high level secret clearances. This is called the ‘deep state’.

My heart goes to the Afghan citizens who have experienced decades of heart wrenching abuse, who are the poorest people on the planet and who have suffered like no other with no outpouring of compassion for their plight. They have experienced their families murdered, Taliban oppression, harassment and murder of women who break (in their eyes) sharia law, they witness their country invaded, ransacked, polluted with depleted uranium and turned to rubble with no legal consequence. They have been so hungry that they eat grass and dirt. The perpetuated violence was the continuance of the cold war orchestrated by elements in the United States attempting to create another Vietnam for Russia. The CIA paid mercenaries (extremists) to come in to Afghanistan and fight the Russians. The violent war lords had no allegiance other than to money were ruthless in their violation of human rights, executions and exploitation. This country which was once a peaceful country where families were incredibly close, poetry and music was their entertainment as they survived the harshest winters and invaders to become a hardy people. Their innocence was shattered.

I recall Donald Rumsfeld regarding Afghanistan as not a good target as it was a pile of rocks. He wanted more spectacular targets to feel he was fighting a real war and could test out weaponry. Thus, we are not talking responsible leadership focused on the noble vision of securing peace and security, but rather an cold and calculated interest in perpetuating violence without any regard for civilians using the name of national security which is today code for commercial interests who have co-opted the US government through donations or political status. It was Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector in Iraq who stated the US was engaged in an illegitimate war of aggression. The same applied to Afghanistan. He was critical of John Howard, the Australian Prime Minister who he regarded as turning Australian into the 51st State of the US. He advised for us to take down the Australian flag and hoist up the US flag. Thus, Australian military activities in Afghanistan are under the command of the US and the real issue is under humanitarian law how are civilians (unarmed) protected.
Refer my recordings of Scott Ritter at the University of Melbourne: https://www.worldpeacefull.com/peace-journalism/

This link is how a few US Generals viewed the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/04/donald-rumsfeld-iraq-war

The Australian government followed US policy and entered Afghanistan to fight ‘terrorism’. The close ‘oil’ relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi Royal family and the revelations about the Clinton Foundation and Isis funded by the Saudi’s, suggests the interests having nothing to do with the public interest but are commercial profiting from conflict. The fact that the Saudi’s funded the US invasion of Afghanistan matching dollar for dollar (see Charlie Wilson’s war) reveals foreign interference and collaboration with other agenda’s playing out. The US nationally promoted the cold war fight with Russia and ironically the Taliban went to Texas to meet with Unocol to construct a gas pipeline. The profits from the deal between oil barons, the US government and the Taliban provided material aid to an extremist regime (created by the war with Russia) that violated human rights justified by extreme Islam. The Taliban hung people in Kabul stadium, religious police raids, oppressed and stoned women to death and applied harsh punishments for anyone violating Sharia law.

Ref https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/01/10/bush-enron-unocal-and-the-taliban/
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm

The is the “pink elephant” in the room where all look the other way, it is the profit that matters not the human rights of people. Torture emerges from the same indifference to humanity that is profiled in the psychopath. I always remember Bill Clinton’s announcement of decoupling of human rights from trade (as a red flag) and later the US exited the UN Human Rights Council as a statement of ‘who they have become’. That should alarm the Australian government given the Australian people’s values and what we regard as the very basis of democratic principles and the rule of law. This demonstrates a culture of violent abuse that is called business as usual, as it is profit that matters not human life. Does this make America great? I am sure Abraham Lincoln would turn in his grave as life, liberty and happiness is distorted for the benefit of the few not the many.

Afghanistan is the poorest country on earth and was used for a proxy war benefiting commercial interests without any regard for civilians. There has been no compassion for these long suffering people who survived against the odds. They would see the great evil in the West as their country was polluted with depleted uranium, villages bombed, civilians addicted to heroin, women turning to prostitution and an illegal child trafficking trade. They are a beautiful and kind people, very humble and simple who had no defence against forces greedily seeking their resources and not standing in nobility to protect an abused people. The greed is a core issue.

The most important issue in this sad tale is the US shadow government and deep state has to be put on the global agenda and referred to the International Criminal Court for ‘crimes against humanity’. These are unaccountable powerful organisations, corporations and non profits engaged in illegal endless wars, the drug trade, guns and trafficking. Kevin Shipp (former CIA) stated Hillary Clinton heads up ‘a criminal cartel’ in Washington D.C.. This must be investigated in an international court of law. Otherwise the dark intelligence war becomes one of assassinations to silence whistle-blowers furthering the targeted killing of civilians rather than justice. Refer https://www.fortheloveoffreedom.net/

Refer https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/julian-assange-clinton-foundation-isis-same-money-saudi-arabia-qatar-funding-a7397211.html

As a peacemaker it is vital that the truth comes out if peace is what we truly desire for our children and grandchildren. Yes, it can be scary as those who feel threatened will use legal or bullying means to silence others. The rule of law by neutral judges holding the real scales of justice must be the nonviolent pathway that leads to peace and reconciliation as accountability is central to trust in government. This has to be done as the violence is ‘not who we are’ as we become awakened to the fact that we live in a global village where not only are we each others keepers (responsible for each other) but to know ‘what you do to another returns to the self’ (universal law). For those who believe they are fighting for a higher power I can assure you that power is love as truth. Denial and powerlessness stays silent in the shadows. True power is the love that shines the light on the darkest corner, for even those languishing in ignorance and hatred are calling for the light of change. Karma can only be removed by unconditional love. So there is a way out of darkness.

My last point is I want my country to become sovereign and protect the civilians interests not follow the unofficial licence to abuse and murder civilians in illegitimate wars that do not benefit our country. May those in positions of power find the wisdom to Advance Australia fair for the highest good of all. Australia could position itself as a mediators not accomplice in crimes against the people. What stops them bringing this behaviour to Australian citizens when oppression orders a crack down and criminalises dissent? We must all remain vigilant to the wolf in sheep’s clothing or the smiling assassin.

It is the truth that sets us free. ‘us’ has two meanings.

https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/former-australian-sas-soldier-braden-chapman-speaks-out-about-unlawful-killings-and-war-crimes-in-afghanistan/ar-BB11gHcQ?ocid=spartandhp

 

Special Air Service Regiment sandy berets © Commonwealth of Australia Special Air Service Regiment sandy berets They are Australia’s elite special forces, the lethal operatives of the Special Air Service Regiment, the SAS.

For years, the secrets about what they did in the valleys, fields and mud villages of Afghanistan have remained hidden.

Until now. 

Former SAS operative Braden Chapman first deployed to Afghanistan in 2012, when the brutal conflict there was in its 11th year.

With a major inquiry soon to report on suspected war crimes, Chapman, who was on many covert missions, has decided to speak out about what he saw.

He said he witnessed soldiers in SAS patrols commit executions in cold blood.

A Four Corners investigation has uncovered a culture of impunity and cover-up within the SAS.

“When you’re back at the unit, people would make jokes about the size of the rug that they’ve swept everything under, and that one day it’ll all come out and people are going to be thrown in jail for murder or anything else that they’ve done,” Chapman said.

Attached to 3 Squadron SAS as a signals intelligence officer, Chapman’s mission was to track Taliban targets.

He said there was a “buzz of elitism” being part of the SAS.

“It is the best thing you could do for your career to go to that unit, especially when you’re a lower rank and you’re actually gonna get to do a lot of hands-on stuff.” 

But he was soon shocked at the behaviour of some of his comrades. 

“They’re going to look back and see that we were the guys in there murdering people, and invading, and not there to do something that is honourable,” he said.

‘Almost like target practice’

In May 2012, Chapman was on patrol with 3 Squadron SAS in a village.

The unit was moving towards a target building, when they saw an Afghan man leave the area.

“When we got to within maybe 20 to 30 metres away and he saw us, he quickly grabbed his phone from his pocket and he threw it. And at that stage he stopped. He put his hands up just like that, then just stood there,” Chapman said.

“As we got closer to him, the soldier then just fired and hit him twice in the chest and then shot him through the head as he walked past him.”

Chapman said the soldier was an experienced member of 3 Squadron SAS.

“I was only 5 to 10 metres behind him at the time,” he said.

“The visual image to me was, the guy had his hands up and then it was almost like target practice for that soldier.”

Chapman was ordered to go through the dead Afghan man’s pockets.

Another Australian patrol with an assault dog then arrived at the scene.

3 Squadron SAS soldiers during deployment in Afghanistan in 2012.

“It [the dog] actually came and started chewing on the head of the man who’d been shot. And I remember looking to the dog handler and saying, ‘Can you get this thing away from it,’ because it was pretty gruesome,” Chapman said.

“And he’s just like, ‘Oh, let him have a taste.'”

Chapman said the killing by his fellow SAS patrol member disturbed him greatly.

“In my books, it’s murder.”

Just days later the helmet camera of another SAS operator captured members of 3 Squadron discussing the soldier who had killed the Afghan man with his hands up. 

“F***ing bullshit. Not happy with it.”

“[The soldier is] a brother, but, ‘Bash who I want. Shoot at whoever. Kill a kid. Oh well, just keep shooting c***s.'”

The soldier who shot the man is still serving in the special forces.

‘Straight-up execution’

During the same month, a 3 Squadron SAS patrol was searching for an insurgent bombmaker when another unlawful killing took place.

The patrol’s dog handler and another SAS soldier, who Four Corners has called Soldier C, were headed towards a mud compound when a young Afghan man in his 20s was spotted in a wheat field by one of the Black Hawk helicopters ahead.

What happened next was captured on a helmet camera. 

Soldier C aims his assault rifle at the Afghan man.

The man is cowering on the ground and appears to only have a set of red prayer beads in his right hand.

Soldier C turns to the dog handler and asks: “You want me to drop this c***?”

The dog handler tells him to ask the patrol commander.

Soldier C then asks the same question twice to the patrol commander, whose response is inaudible on the video.

Within seconds, Soldier C squeezes the trigger and the bullet tears into the Afghan man on the ground.

The Australian shoots him twice more and then walks off.

Chapman was not aware of this shooting until Four Corners showed him the video, but knows the identity of the soldiers involved.

“He’s asked someone of a superior rank what he should do. But it comes down to the soldier pulling the trigger. It’s a straight-up execution.”

The killing of the civilian, identified as Dad Mohammad, was later investigated by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), after Afghan tribal elders complained.

Soldier C told ADF investigators he had killed the Afghan man because he had been seen with a radio.

He also said he shot the young man from 15 to 20 metres away, in self-defence.

But the video shows he was fewer than two metres away while the man was lying on the ground.

Dad Mohammad's father Abdul Malik said his son had face wounds. © ABC / Four Corners Dad Mohammad’s father Abdul Malik said his son had face wounds. The ADF investigators concluded that Dad Mohammad was lawfully killed because he posed a direct threat to the Australians.

Four Corners can reveal that Soldier C is still serving in the special forces.

As part of a major inquiry into allegations of war crimes within the special forces in Afghanistan, the Inspector-General of the ADF is investigating whether it was common practice to plant radios on bodies.

Chapman said throughout his deployment, there was systematic use of planted weapons and radios to justify killings.

“I did see plenty that were planted,” the former soldier said.

“They definitely got them off somebody else and walked over and sat it next to a body.”

Chapman said weapons were also planted on dead Afghans.

“Other members of my troop back in Australia, they did use to joke about how the same serial number [of a gun] was in every single photo of a dead Afghani,” he said.

“So, you know, inferring that somebody was planting these AK-47s.”

‘Someone’s lied giving evidence’

Another incident that still haunts Braden Chapman involved the death of an elderly Afghan man, Haji Sardar, during a raid on the village of Sarkhume in mid-March 2012.

Chapman is the only Australian witness to speak publicly about what happened to Haji Sardar.

He said Haji Sardar was initially shot in the leg by the SAS-led patrol.

An Australian medic helped patch up the wound, which was not life-threatening.

A senior SAS soldier then took the injured man away.

“Some time later he came back and our medic asked him, ‘What happened, where is he?’ Because he’d worked on him, he [the medic] considered him his patient. And then he [the soldier] just…shook his head and said, ‘He didn’t make it.'”

Chapman said the SAS medic was upset, because he believed the man had been killed.

“He was just saying that the man, he was fine. There was no way he would have died, and he knew that the soldier had killed him,” he said.

After complaints by villagers, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) found Haji Sardar had been beaten to death by an Australian soldier.

“Haji Sardar was first injured and then taken away for investigation and died as a result of torture,” said AIHRC chairwoman Shaharzad Akbar.

AIHRC chairwoman Shaharzad Akbar and Haji Sardar after he was killed.

Australian Defence Force investigators later determined that Haji Sardar had been carrying a weapon and that his killing was lawful.

AIHRC was told by villagers that Haji Sardar was an unarmed civilian.

“I’d say that someone’s lied giving evidence because there’s no way that you can justify an execution,” Chapman said.

Four Corners has obtained hours of footage shot by members of 3 Squadron SAS during the unit’s 2012 rotation through Afghanistan.

It shows the destruction of buildings, motorbikes and the shooting of dogs.

“We try and say that we’re there to help and the Taliban are bad. But if we go in and we start destroying infrastructure or destroying their private vehicles and burning down their homes it doesn’t really send the right message,” Chapman said.

“They’re going to run straight back to the Taliban, who usually are not doing that.”

Potential for war crimes charges

Braden Chapman’s squadron and its time in Afghanistan in 2012 are of key interest to the Inspector-General’s investigation.

Glenn Kolomeitz, a former special operations lawyer for the ADF in Afghanistan, said the special forces were highly trained in the rules of war.

“These guys were given training throughout their work,” he said.

“[There’s] no excuse in terms of the training as provided and the understanding, absolutely.”

Mr Kolomeitz said he believed there was potential for charges to be laid under the war crime murder provisions of the Commonwealth criminal code.

“We have obligations at international law, domestic law, and indeed moral obligations, to not ignore these sorts of allegations,” he said.

3 Squadron SAS successfully captured many targets during its deployment in 2012.

Chapman said the unlawful killings he witnessed may constitute war crimes, and he believes the soldiers responsible deserve to go to jail.

“I just want the truth to come out, and people who did commit crimes to be held accountable,” he said.

He said he also believed officers who ran the special forces should wear some of the blame.

“It is a culture issue as well, and these incidents that are happening would filter through to them. They know what’s going on over there,” he said.

Chapman said a strict code of silence was observed by members of the regiment.

He said he learned this early on in his deployment when talking with one of the more experienced operators.

“He said to me, ‘I hope you’re ready and prepared for this deployment because you need to make sure that you’re OK with me putting a gun to someone’s head and pulling the trigger. Because I don’t want to read about it in 10 or so years.'”

Chapman said that soldier was the one who later dragged the wounded Haji Sardar away before he was found allegedly beaten to death.

For Chapman, speaking out is his chance to atone for staying silent about what he witnessed in Afghanistan.

He believes even if he had made a complaint at the time, it would have gone “nowhere”.

“I didn’t break any rules of engagement,” he said.

“But I feel now that even if it had ruined my career back then, I probably should have made that complaint.

“It’s definitely affected me. You try to look back at your career, try and be proud of it, but then you’ve got all these incidents. You see yourself as part of the bad guys.”

Defence did not answer Four Corners’ questions about particular incidents involving the killing of Afghans.

In a statement, it said the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force was investigating “whether there is any substance to rumour and allegations” about possible war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

It said the inquiry was ongoing. 

The Vatican, Illegality and when the Holy Can’t See

In the public interest. What the holy can’t see won’t hurt them hmmmm. Corruption is revealing unethical and criminal behaviour in an institution that preaches moral virtues and humility. This is the lesson for the Catholic church (and others). The trust of the people is what has been betrayed overtime. One can’t just confess sins it is to face what actions have done to innocent people. So a person would have to go to those personally he or she affected. This is how the crime is seen and felt. Forgiveness is then the next step of one’s greed, lust, indifference. The corruption of character.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-vaticans-dirty-money-problem

The Vatican’s Dirty Money Problem

 
FISHY

A mysterious firing and a new report on the Vatican’s creative bookkeeping begs the question: Why does no one ever get in trouble for laundering money at the Holy See?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

 

ROME—In 2015, the Council of Europe’s financial-evaluation arm Moneyval laid down the law for the Vatican Bank, telling the rather unholy financiers who had been accused of abetting money laundering for years that it isn’t enough to just smoke out suspicious account holders and freeze assets. Instead they said the Vatican Bank, formally known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, needed to start actually prosecuting criminal cases.

Two years later, thousands of accounts have been closed or frozen, but Moneyval still isn’t happy. According to its 209-page December 2017 progress report, the Vatican gets good marks for not funding terrorism and for flagging potential illegal behavior. But the holy bank fails once again to actually hold anyone accountable for what are clearly crimes such as “fraud, including serious tax evasion, misappropriation and corruption,” according to the report.

More curious still, a week before the highly anticipated report was released, the IOR Deputy Director Giulio Mattietti was fired with no advance warning and escorted from his office out of fear he might remove files from his desk.

Mattietti was hired in 2007 by Paolo Cipriani, the former head of the bank who resigned under pressure a few months after Pope Francis was elected in 2013, after a Vatican accountant nicknamed “Monsignor 500” for his penchant for 500-euro notes, was arrested for trying to smuggle $26 million to Switzerland. Mattietti’s removal followed the sacking of a lower-level IOR employee days earlier. The Vatican gives no official reason for either of the firings beyond “reforms,” but a source close to the bank says the bank employees who were let go may have been whistleblowers who were alerting officials outside the bank about continuing impropriety.

In fact, despite apparently precise record keeping on the part of IOR, Moneyval evaluators still found 69 actions involving 38 customers that were not in accordance with money laundering and fraud standards set forth by the Council of Europe. None of those suspect cases were prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law, and instead Moneyval investigators point to vague records that imply that the cases were closed.

“Eight money-laundering investigations have been closed formally without any charges, while six additional investigations have been concluded without an indictment for any offense and their formal closure has been requested,” the report states.

And that is a problem.

The report specifically points to the recent Vatican tribunal case in which the chairman of the Vatican’s children’s hospital was accused of serious financial crimes using around a half million euros in funds meant for sick children to renovate a penthouse apartment for the former Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The cardinal was never under investigation, but the hospital’s former president and treasurer were tried in a Vatican court for using funds they funneled through the Vatican Bank.

Moneyval is calling foul on the judicial outcome. The chairman was given a suspended sentence and the treasurer was acquitted even though the money clearly was misappropriated. “An immediate custodial sentence was not imposed on the former chairman of the  foundation. He received a one-year suspended prison sentence and was placed on probation for five years,” the report notes, adding the fact that there was “no application for restitution or compensation to the foundation.” That means the half-million that was criminally mishandled will never go to the sick children for whom it originally was intended.

In this case, Moneyval evaluators have advised the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,” or chief prosecutor, to “impose a fine, as foreseen by the law, in addition to the custodial sentence” essentially demanding that the chairman spend his year in prison.

The Moneyval report also outlines a case in which a Vatican Bank customer who was “a foreign citizen” and not a Vatican resident, withdrew more than $3 million from his private IOR account and deposited that money into three separate safety deposit boxes kept in the bank, which was a practice apparently used by Mother Teresa and others who had big sums of money but who lacked the paperwork to move it around legally.

The Moneyval report says that the cash was then subsequently “gradually withdrawn from the safety boxes and transferred to a third country without declarations.” In 2014, the Vatican Bank reported the case and suspended access to the safety boxes, the contents of which, by then, had been depleted. An unnamed foreign country then opened its own investigation into the deposit of the same sum ($3 million) that had apparently come from the Vatican Bank account.

The Vatican tribunal originally levied a sanction of more than $250,000 on the customer, but in a secret hearing in June of this year, the Vatican promoter of justice apparently reduced the fine by more than half. “The appeal against the administrative sanction was heard by the Vatican Tribunal in June 2017, when the fine, was reduced considerably,” according to the Moneyval report. Moneyval then leaned on the Vatican’s promoter of justice to reopen the case and consider reinstituting the original fine for apparent money laundering but found that “So far there has been no indictment in this case.”

The evaluators went further to suggest the promoter of justice is actually complicit in keeping cases out of its courts. “While this review cannot form a view on the quality of the evidence adduced in financial-crime cases that have so far come before the Tribunal, the success rate of the promoter before the tribunal so far is not encouraging,”  the evaluators state. “It is noted that persons have been discharged by the tribunal. That is the tribunal’s prerogative, having heard the evidence in the case. However, if the promoter is dissatisfied with evidential decisions of the tribunal or decisions of the tribunal to convict on lesser charges than those brought by his office, he is encouraged to be proactive in appealing those decisions in appropriate cases.”

The bank once had more than 30,000 account holders, including several religious entities and private citizens who maintained accounts worth millions at the hallowed institution, which is tucked safely within the sovereign state of  Vatican City. The bank has since closed several high-profile accounts, including many held by diplomatic missions and the consulates to Syria, Iran, and Iraq who moved millions of euros around through “vague cash transactions,” but it has never been able to shake its troubled past.

Last June the Vatican’s prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, Cardinal George Pell was sent back to Australia to face child sex-abuse charges in early 2018, leaving a notable gap in the pope’s efforts to reform the church’s troubled finances, which had been a priority since his election in 2013.

The Vatican had little to say after the recent Moneyval report. “The Holy See is committed to taking the necessary actions in the relevant areas to further strengthen its efforts to combat and prevent financial crimes,” was the only official word from the Vatican press office. Just shortly after he was elected, Pope Francis threatened to close the bank for good after widespread allegations that it was involved in corrupt practices including money laundering. No doubt he has been second-guessing the decision to keep it open ever since.

Is Domestic Surveillance Legal? What do YOU Think?

Surveillance and visibility is in the public interest.

The same discussion applies to Australians under surveillance. The question would be – is Pine Gap (US facility) and other intel operators surveilling Australians?

Snowden, PRISM, and Surveillance: an Aftermath

In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaked information about government surveillance activities, Congress passed a law restricting some of the actions of US intelligence agencies. This law, known as the USA Freedom Act, was a valiant attempt to rein in excesses of the National Security Agency (NSA).
As part of Internet Privacy week, Namecheap is exploring different topics relating to online privacy. Below we’ll examine the USA Freedom Act and what it accomplished, as well as what still needs to be done to protect American privacy rights.

What is the USA Freedom Act?

The USA Freedom Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 2, 2015.
It is a modified reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act and was passed in response to the leak of classified documents by Edward Snowden exposing details of various government surveillance programs.

Domestic Surveillance and PRISM

As we explored in the article Why Edward Snowden Matters, we now know a great deal more about US surveillance efforts thanks to the actions of a young NSA contractor.

In 2013, Edward Snowden’s concerns over US surveillance activities led him to release thousands of documents exposing the United States’ and several of its allies’ efforts to spy on their own citizens. In particular, Snowden’s leaks revealed that the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies were monitoring domestic communications using a program known as PRISM.
Isolated monitoring cameras
PRISM enables the NSA to obtain data from multiple private Internet companies, including the content of emails and instant messages, photographs, and videos. Furthermore, the NSA created a system for cataloguing the surveillance data it has collected, ominously known as Boundless Informant, and used data mining procedures to analyze all of the records.
PRISM and Boundless Informant are able to track and record nearly every aspect of people’s online activity without obtaining a warrant. The NSA has reportedly been able to collect contact lists from private email accounts all over the world, search the content of email messages sent into and out of the U.S., and track the location of cell phones anywhere in the world.

The NSA Bulk Collection Program

These surveillance programs were created to collect information on people outside the United States, but the Snowden leaks also revealed that many of the NSA’s activities are directed at U.S citizens. For example, a “bulk collection program” by the NSA involved the collection of massive amounts of telecommunication metadata for telephone calls within the U.S.
This metadata does not include the actual content of a call, like a wiretap might provide. Instead, it includes information like phone numbers and the time and duration of calls.
Even without the substance of the call, the sheer volume of information collected by the NSA through this program gives it an unprecedented ability to track people’s interactions and movements.

Is Domestic Surveillance Legal?

Yes and no.

icons relating to surveillance
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The NSA claimed the authority to collect telecommunication metadata in bulk through Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the sweeping national security law passed by Congress shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This clause gave the federal government broad authority to obtain a wide range of information, including “books, records, papers, documents, and other items,” with very little oversight.
However, the law states that the law may not be used against U.S. citizens who are exercising their First Amendment rights. This led to numerous critics arguing that the NSA routinely exceeded its authority, such as by:
  • Collecting records of nearly every telephone call made within the United States during periods lasting weeks or longer; and
  • Using the PRISM program to obtain massive amounts of information about email, text, and other communications from internet and telecommunications companies, all without search warrants

What Does the USA Freedom Act Do?

The success of the USA Freedom Act gave privacy advocates reason to cheer, but they remain wary.
While the law effectively eliminated the statutory provision used by the NSA to justify its bulk metadata collection program, ending one type of domestic surveillance, there are other laws that still allow for domestic surveillance.

woman on smartphone
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For example, the Reagan-era Executive Order 12333 authorizes the collection of telephone and electronic communications in other countries by U.S. intelligence agencies. Domestic surveillance was never the intent of this order. Still, it reportedly allows the NSA to capture information about communications that take place within the U.S., once again without a warrant, if the communication is stored on servers in other countries.
In a recent positive development, a federal court sided with Microsoft in its refusal to comply with an FBI subpoena for communications records stored on servers in Ireland.
Several other federal laws could still allow the NSA to resume surveillance on American citizens. For example, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) potentially allows mass surveillance of domestic communications. FISA is up for reauthorization in 2017.

Protect Your Privacy

Despite efforts across the globe, Internet privacy remains elusive. Because so much of the NSA’s activities happen outside of public (or even Congressional) scrutiny, Americans and people all around the world must continue to push for transparency and fairness, and to demand a balance between privacy and security.
It requires, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “eternal vigilance.”

Remain Vigilant

Join Namecheap in the call to strengthen laws and policy dealing with Internet privacy.  
With Internet Privacy Week (Oct. 18-24), we will offer more information about government surveillance as well as how private companies track your data.
By signing our Internet Privacy Bill of Rights we encourage you to take a stand for Internet privacy for all.
Follow Namecheap on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter (in the sidebar) to learn more about Internet Privacy Week and how you help hold companies accountable for privacy.


David C. Wells is an Austin, Texas-based writer and blogger. He was a lawyer for nine years, and while he no longer practices law, the experience helped make him a better writer. Also, he still sometimes gets to play a lawyer on the Internet. David is also a dog caretaker, an improviser and actor, an avid comic book reader, and a proud husband.