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Authored by Nafeez Ahmed via Medium. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world.
The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet.
This exclusive is being released for free in the public interest, and was enabled by crowdfunding. Please support independent, investigative journalism for the global commons.
US and European politicians have called to protect NSA-style snooping, and to advance the capacity to intrude on internet Customizing footer thesis theme by Customizing footer thesis theme encryption.
What any of this would have done to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks remains a mysteryespecially given that we already know the terrorists were on the radar of French intelligence for up to a decade.
There is little new in this story. Yet there is little indication that this tried and tested formula has done anything to reduce the danger. If anything, we appear to be locked into a deepening cycle of violence with no clear end in sight. The lynchpin of this story is the corporation that in many ways defines the 21st century with its unobtrusive omnipresence: Google styles itself as a friendly, funky, user-friendly tech firm that rose to prominence through a combination of skill, luck, and genuine innovation.
But it is a mere fragment of the story. In reality, Google is a smokescreen behind which lurks the US military-industrial complex. These strategies have been incubated, if not dictated, by a secret network inside and beyond the Pentagon. Established under the Clinton administration, consolidated under Bush, and firmly entrenched under Obama, this bipartisan network of mostly neoconservative ideologues sealed its dominion inside the US Department of Defense DoD by the dawn ofthrough the operation of an obscure corporate entity outside the Pentagon, but run by the Pentagon.
Inthe CIA created its own venture capital investment firm, In-Q-Tel, to fund promising start-ups that might create technologies useful for intelligence agencies. But the inspiration for In-Q-Tel came earlier, when the Pentagon set up its own private sector outfit.
Despite changes in civilian administrations, the network around the Highlands Forum has become increasingly successful in dominating US defense policy.
But while these contractors compete for power and money, they also collaborate where it counts. The Highlands Forum has for 20 years provided an off the record space for some of the most prominent members of the shadow intelligence community to convene with senior US government officials, alongside other leaders in relevant industries.
The white paper clarified the thinking behind the new initiative, and the revolutionary scientific and technological developments it hoped to capitalize on.
Linton Wells II right former Pentagon chief information officer and assistant secretary of defense for networks, at a recent Pentagon Highlands Forum session. Its biggest successes have been in the development of high-tech network-based warfare.
But if that was the case, why had no one noticed? Despite being sponsored by the Pentagon, I could find no official page on the DoD website about the Forum.
Active and former US military and intelligence sources had never heard of it, and neither did national security journalists.
Starting fromthe position was transitioned into what is now the undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Delegates include senior US military officials across numerous agencies and divisions? The Highlands Group website also reveals that Highlands is partnered with one of the most powerful defense contractors in the United States. He served his last post as deputy for strategy and policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence, before setting up Highlands.
Some call him Yoda, indicative of his mythical inscrutable status… He had served many administrations and was widely regarded as above partisan politics.
He was a supporter of the Highlands Forum and a regular fixture from its beginning. Ideas that were anathema in had been adopted as policy just three years later.
They are there for the long haul and are able to influence government policies with real scholarly work… We produce ideas and interaction and networks for these people to take and use as they need them. The Department of Defense also did not respond to multiple requests for information and comment on the Forum.
There is no clearer evidence of this than the truly instrumental role of the Forum in incubating the idea of mass surveillance as a mechanism to dominate information on a global scale. How would the Internet and other emerging technologies change the world? All such consultations should take place via federal advisory committees that permit public scrutiny.
FACA requires that meetings be held in public, announced via the Federal Register, that advisory groups are registered with an office at the General Services Administration, among other requirements intended to maintain accountability to the public interest.
By his own admission, the secret Pentagon consultations with industry that have taken place through the Highlands Forum since have been accompanied by regular presentations of academic and policy papers, recordings and notes of meetings, and other forms of documentation that are locked behind a login only accessible by Forum delegates.
This violates the spirit, if not the letter, of FACA? Its purpose is to provide the Pentagon a shadow social networking mechanism to cement lasting relationships with corporate power, and to identify new talent, that can be used to fine-tune information warfare strategies in absolute secrecy.Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the footer, part of WordPress DIY: Community Website.
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