Sunday, September 26, 2010

More Missives From the Opaque Boss: More on NSA DIRgrams

During the summer, I posted a partial list of DIRgrams, messages produced by then National Security Agency director Michael Hayden to his NSA/CSS minions. Shortly thereafter, the NSA opted to declassified with token redactions on b(3) grounds(8), another document that, when combined with the record I first posted here, presents the some total of DIRgrams produced by Hayden and his successsor General Keith Alexander.

(*) Some redactions were made on non-responsive grounds, but this did not result in the redaction of DIRgram data.

NSA DIRgram List part Deux

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Branko Peshelj's Newly Released FBI Files

Branko Peshelj was a member of the Croatian Peasant Party and advisor to its long time leader Vladko Macek. He was also an American government employee and informant to the FBI. Combined this makes him one of the more important Croatian emigres during the post-Second World War period.

However, only a portion of his FBI files were released as part of Interagency Working Group efforts. Back when I was doing archival research, I pressed the NARA staff to release for more of his records. This summer, I achieved the success seen below. I was also informed another of Peshelj's FBI files was being dispatched to NARA. While this will force me to miss work to hop over there and acquire it, it just seems tacky, after all my bitching, not to grab it.

New Branko Peshelj Files

Milovan Djilas' State Department Obituary

Here is the United States State Department’s “obituary” for famed Yugoslav Communist Leader Milovan Djilas.

This 4/21/1995 cable from the US Embassy in Belgrade is succinct, poignant, and a complete contrast how the US Embassy in Belgrade treated Djilas while he was alive. As noted by Warren Zimmerman, the last Ambassador to Tito’s Yugoslavia, it was American policy not recognize Djilas so long as Tito was alive. This policy survived Tito. It was not until Zimmerman that Djilas actually met with the American ambassador.

Why Was the FBI Interested in Bobby Thomson?

At some point, for some reason, Bobby Thomson, author of the famed “Shot Heard 'round the World,” a home run in the third game of the 1951 pennant playoff series, which won the NL Pennant for the New York Giants, came into contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We know this because the FBI has admitted having “responsive records” when presented with a FOIA request.

Why Thomson came to the attention of the FBI is not known. Was he suspected of gambling? Was he a victim of a federal crime? Was he a suspected Communist? Was his name merely mentioned in an investigation into Major League Baseball or, perhaps, a teammate?

Why Bobby Thomson drew the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation will remain forever unknown. In the same letter in which the FBI admitted to having “responsive records” regarding Bobby Thomson, the FBI announced that it had destroyed the records in accordance with its record retention schedule.
Most striking about the FBI’s destruction of Thomson’s records was the date of their annihilation. They were destroyed on 4/1/2010, several months before Thomson’s demise and before anyone would have had a chance to submit a FOIA request for them. Without ever having given them the chance to become part of the public record, the FBI simply scooped up the records and confined them to pulping or a burn bag.

Now, baseball fans around the world will be left wondering, why was the FBI interested in Bobby Thomson?

FBI Response Letter regarding Bobby Thomson

Follow the Money. Or Not: The FBI and WikiLeaks' Funding (Updated)

For all the hubbub about WikiLeaks and alleged plots by the CIA and Department of Defense to frame or assassinate its leader Julian Assange, it seems that many federal law enforcement agencies are simply not putting in significant effort to stop WikiLeaks.

I have previously reported on the perfunctory investigation of WikiLeaks by NCIS, similarly lackluster efforts by US Army CID, and, finally, a no records response from the Defense Technical Information Center on the matter of WikiLeaks.

It can now be reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has thus far declined to investigate the Wau Holland Foundation. The Wau Holland Foundation, named after a famed member of the German computer hacking collective Chaos Computer Club, has been named as a leading source of WikiLeaks of funding (processor of donations see below) by the Wall Street Journal. Despite this and the linkage to the Chaos Computer Club, the FBI has opted not to investigate further.

Nota Bene

I was informed via Twitter that describing Wau Holland Foundation as a "funder" was incorrect. Looking at it again, I'm inclined to treat it as a funder. It is claimed that all it does is accept donations for WikiLeaks which it then (allegedly) dispenses. However, I have never dealt or seen any organization that supposedly just accepts funds on behalf of a non-profit for that non-profit's use turn around and demand receipts before issuing out grants.

Even if I am wrong on this point, my major point about American law enforcement and military agencies not caring about WikiLeaks remains unchallenged.

FBI Wau Holland Response Letter

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jack Chick Declares War on Halloween and Calls for Restoration of Reformation Day

Jack Chick, publisher of the "Chick Tracts," the delightful piece of American religious pop culture one can find scattered almost anywhere were the public congregates and his time on their hands, has issued a call for the return of Reformation Day and announced a renewed "War on Halloween."

In a 9/1/2010 letter announcing the launch of a new Halloween centered "Chick Tract" titled "Stinky," Chick bemoaned the return of Halloween and the lack of interest in Reformation Day which is a Protestant celebration. Chick decries that "no remembers that day [Reformation Day] anymore. Now it's ghosts and goblins with kids pushing up the steps for treats".

Jack Chick intends for the new "Stinky" Chick Tract to help Evangelical Christains defeat "Satan's troops by winning kids and their folks to Christ."

Chick proclaims some success in this endeavor allegeding that "sometimes angry witches will call our ladies who take orders over the phones. They begin screaming that we are ruining their highest holy day for Satan-- and we love it."

However, a Wiccan this author has texted with responded "Hell, no," when asked if Satan was involved in Wicca or other mainstream forms of witchcraft. Apparently, Wicca and other religions that produce "witches" do not believe in Satan.

More updates on this budding war against Halloween as they develop.

Jack Chick letter for War on Halloween

Saturday, September 18, 2010

NSA Technical Ship History

Below is a highly redacted, but still provides the broad outlines of policy and history of the NSA/US Navy’s Technical Research Ship Program written by Ms. Julie Alger. The history which, according to its preface, was written in early Spring 1970, is an early account of the NSA/US Navy’s Technical Research Ship Program. These ships were floating SIGINT/COMINT/ELINT(1) platforms that collected intelligence from hostile targets by trawling off-shore and scooping up whatever intelligence they could gather. The most famous of these was the USS Liberty which was attacked and nearly sunk by Israeli forces during the Six-Day-War. The USS Pueblo, seized by North Korean forces in 1968, is not mentioned in this report, but was a ship of similar function for a US Navy only program.

NSA Technical Ship Paper

(1) SIGINT= Signals Intelligence/ COMINT = Communications Intelligence/ ELINT = Electronics Intelligence

Monday, September 13, 2010

WikiLeaks: An Extremist Website

WikiLeaks is an “extremist website” according to a February 2009 Agent’s Activity Summary from [redacted], a Criminal Intelligence Specialist with US Army Criminal Investigation Division.

Other than choice tidbit and the revelation that WikiLeaks is not a member of the Better Business Bureau, there is little else of interest in [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist’s Agent’s Activity Summary. This report tells that WikiLeaks was investigated again on 2/18/2009 when a captain with the Washington State Patrol called the 44th Military Police Detachment (CID), Fort Lewis, WA to warn them about a “website that may solicit soldiers to upload sensitive or classified documents to a public website.”

After the website was identified as, an investigation was launched. Rudimentary and limited in scope, the investigation into WikiLeaks revealed that “according to Google, Wikileaks publishes and comments on leaked documents alleging government and corporate misconduct.” [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist proceeded to check the “About” section on the WikiLeaks home page, to find out that it was started by “Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians, and startup company technologists, from the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.” [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist also noted that WikiLeaks disavowed any “formal relationship with Wikipedia” and WikiLeaks ’ proclamation that it “was not a front for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) or the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) AKA MI6.” [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist detailed that WikiLeaks encourage “whistleblowers” to submit documents and details the process by which those submissions occurred.

[redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist then lists some of the United States military records then available on WikiLeaks before concluding with a listing of the assorted inquires conducted during [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist’s investigation. [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist reported that a check of shows that WikiLeaks is registered through, and the point of contact listed in the is [redacted] causing [redacted] Criminal Intelligence Specialist to mock WikiLeaks’ “army of analysts, journalists and other staff”. Finally, Lexis Nexis and the Better Business Bureau “revealed no record.”

The report is concluded with Army CID record keeping matters. The report and the information contained within were “disseminated for criminal purposes,” while no “.0015 funds were expended.” Finally, the report is noted as being “terminal.” At the very end, the standard CID boilerplate about use of their reports is included along with a distribution list for the report itself.

My other post on the NCIS' WikiLeaks investigation is available here. For my report on the Defense Technical Information Center lack of records, see here Finally, here is an earlier posting about an investigation into WikiLeaks by the Army CID.

Army CID Wikileaks Extremist

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Threat of Serbian Suicide Attacks

This August 1992 cable from the American Embassy in Belgrade reveals that the Bosnian Serbs openly threatened to conduct terrorist attacks against Western targets which included, but was not limited to nuclear power plants, using “kamikaze pilots” and “volunteers from friendly nations.” Who these volunteers were, assuming they existed is left unstated in the cable. I would presume they were, again assuming they were make-believe, members of the Serbian diaspora or Serbian underground in Europe, America, Australia, and elsewhere.

See the bottom of the second page of the PDF.

SerbianSuicide Attacks Cable

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The DTIC has No Records on WikiLeaks

The Defense Technical Information Center has emerged to join NCIS and the Army CID as agencies not paying any particular attention to WikiLeaks.

DTIC No Wikileaks Records Response Letter

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Study of Eastern-Bloc Intelligence Services

This is a copy of Practices and Methods of East- Bloc (Secret) Intelligence Services produced by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigations. Other than the redaction of some form of cover sheet and the author's name, the document is fully disclosed. It presents information on which East-Bloc intelligence services were active in Germany and the methods and techniques they used to ply their trade, making this document useful for the nascent spy or student of the Cold War.

Practices and Methods of East- Bloc (Secret) Intelligence Services