November 21, 2014

The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA In 90 Minutes; ‘Every Move You Make, Every Step You Take I’ll Be Watching You”



Shame Bauer, writing in the November 20, 2014 edition of MotherJones, begins, “Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over — revealing a short list of letters and numbers.” “Here is my DNA profile. He smiled, I have nothing to hide.” “I had come to meet Schueren, CEO of IntegenX, at his company’s headquarters in Pleasanton California, to see its product: a machine the size of a large desktop printer that can unravel your genetic code — in the time it takes to watch a movie.”

“Schueren grabbed a cotton swab, and dropped it into a plastic cartridge. That’s what, say, a police officer would use to wipe the inside of your cheek to collect a DNA sample after an arrest, he explained,” wrote Mr. Bauer. “Other bits of material with traces of DNA on them, like cigarette butts, or fabric, could work too.” Or, a post-it-note if one were to touch the sticky side of the note. “He inserted the cartridge in the machine; and pressed a green button on its touch screen: “It’s that simple.” “Ninety minutes later, the RapidHIT 200 would generate a DNA profile , check it against a database; and, report on whether it found a match.”

“The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap –testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited,” Mr. Bauer wrote. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Justice Department funded the initial research for “rapid DNA,” technology, and just after a year on the market, the $250K RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.”


“We’re not always sure how it is being used,” Schueren said. “All we can say is that it’s used to give accurate identification of an individual.” Civil liberties advocates worry that Rapid DNA will spur new efforts by the FBI, and police to collect ordinary citizens’ genetic code.”

“The U.S. Government will soon test the machine in refugee camps in Turkey and possibly Thailand, and on families seeking asylum in the U.S.,” said Chris Miles, Manager of the Department of Homeland Security’s Biometrics Program. “We have all these families that claim they are related, but we don’t have any way to verify that,” he added. Miles added that “rapid DNA testing will be voluntary, though refusing a test could cause an asylum application to be rejected.”

spy7“Miles added that federal immigration officials are interested in using rapid DNA to curb trafficking, by ensuring that children entering the country are related to adults with them. Jeff Heimberger, the Vice President of Marketing at IntegenX, says the government has also inquired about using rapid DNA to screen green-card applicants.”

“Meanwhile, police have started using Rapid DNA in Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina,” Mr. Bauer wrote. “In August, sheriffs in Columbia, South Carolina, used RapidHIT to nab an attempted murder suspect. The machine’s speed provides a major “investigative lead,” said Vince Figarelli, Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, which is using RapidHIT to compare DNA evidence from property crimes against the state’s database of 300K samples. Heimburger notes the system can also prevent false arrests, and wrongful convictions: There is great value in finding out that somebody is not a suspect.”

spying3“But, the technology is not a silver bullet for DNA evidence,” Mr. Bauer wrote. “The IntegenX executives brought up rape kits so often that it sounded like their product could make a serious dent in the backlog of a half million untested kits. Yet, when I pressed Schueren this,” Mr. Bauer wrote, “he conceded that RapidHIT is not actually capable of processing rape kits…since it can’t discern individual DNA in comingled, bodily fluids.”

“Despite the new technology’s crime-solving potential, privacy advocates are wary of its spread,’ Mr. Bauer notes. “If rapid-DNA machines can be used in a refugee camp, “they can certainly be used in the back of a squad car,” says Jennifer Lynch, a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “I could see that happening in the future, as the prices of those machines goes down.”

spying6“Lynch is particularly concerned that law enforcement agencies will use the devices to scoop up and store even more DNA profiles. Every state already has a forensic DNA database, and while these systems were initially set up to track convicted, violent offenders, their collection thresholds have steadily broadened. Today, at least 28 include data from anyone arrested for certain felonies, even if they are not convicted; some store the DNA of people who have committed misdemeanors as well. The FBI’s National DNA Index System has more than 11 million profiles of offenders; plus 2 million people who have been arrested….but, not necessarily convicted of a crime,” Mr. Bauer observed.

“For its part,’ Mr. Bauer notes, “DHS will not hang onto refugees;’ DNA records, insists Miles.” (“They aren’t criminals, he pointed out.”) “However, undocumented immigrants in custody may be required to provide DNA samples, which are put in the FBI’s database. DHA documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation say there may even be a legal case for “mandating collection of DNA” from anyone granted legal status under a future immigration amnesty. (The documents also state that intelligence agencies, and the military are interested in using Rapid DNA to identify, race, sex, and other factors machines currently do not reveal).”

spying7“The FBI is the only federal agency allowed to keep a national DNA-database,” Mr. Bauer says. “Currently police must use a lab to upload genetic profiles to it. But, that could change,” Mr. Bauer warns. “The FBI’s website says it is eager to see rapid DNA in wide use; and that it supports “legislative changes necessary” to make that happen. IntegenX’s Heimburger says the FBI is almost finished working with members of Congress on a bill that would give “tens of thousands” of police stations…..Rapid-DNA machines that could search the FBI’s system; and, adds arrestees’ profiles to it. (The RapidHIT is already designed to do this).IntegenX has spent $70K lobbying the FBI, DHS, and Congress over the last two years.”

“The FBI declined to comment.” Mr. Bauer wrote, “and Heimburger wouldn’t say which lawmakers might sponsor the bill. But, some have already given Rapid DNA their blessing. Rep. Eric Swalwell, a former prosecutor who represents the district where IntegenX is based, says he’d like to see the technology “put to use quickly, to help law enforcement” — while protecting civil liberties. In March, he and seven other Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Barbara Lee of California, urged the FBI to access Rapid DNA’s “viability for broad deployment” in police departments across the country.”

spyingDNA Shedding, Facial Recognition, IRIS Scanning, Fingerprints on Cell Phones, Drones Overhead, Camera’s Everywhere, And, Digital Exhaust Are Making Identity Management Ubiquitous And, Undermining Intelligence Agencies And Law Enforcement Abilities To Keep Someone Under Cover For Very Long

The musical group/band, Sting and The Police made the lyrics “Every Move You Make, Every Step You Take, I’ll Be Watching You,” famous; but, it is the rise of the machines, and advancements in nanotechnology, biometrics, pixel clarity, diagnostics, body scanning at airports and biometric passports, and computing algorithms that are wreaking havoc on our ability to maintain a reasonable expectation of privacy; and, for the law enforcement and intelligence communities — keeping someone under cover for very long. Biometric passports, for example, are embedded with microchips containing a person’s face, sex, fingerprints, date and place of birth, and other personal data. As the body scanning technology at airports and elsewhere get more sophisticated, coupled with biometric passports, etc. — how indeed — are we going to be able to keep a very valuable undercover operative — undercover? I don’t have the answer; and, I hope we are still one step ahead of the adversary in this realm; but, logic would tell you that undercover operations are likely to get increasingly more difficult and challenging — if the aren’t already.

“If you go to one of those countries under an alias, you can’t go again under another name,” said a career spook to cyber security guru Bruce Schneier a few years back. “So, it’s a one-time thing — one and done. The biometric data on your passport and maybe your iris too, has been forever linked forever to whatever name was on your passport the first time. You can’t show up again under a different name — with the same data,” game over.

It is not hard to envision a mobile, hand-held version of RapidHIT, soon being available to criminal gangs, nation-states, and other malcontents, who will use this technology to discover and ferret out “spies” within their midst. How accurate is this technology? And, what are the chances of a false positive/negative, and/or, how ‘easily’ can it be fooled, or defeated? Presumably, the engineers who developed this technology know the answer; and, if they don’t they better wargame these kind of scenarios and figure it out — before one of our adversaries do, and put one of our most precious HUMINT operatives out of business. V/R, RCP

The CIA Has Legal Justification to Kill American Citizens

imageedit_2_2876208674Monday a federal court released the outline of the legal justification for the 2011 killing of Anwar al-Awlaki which was previously declared a secret government memo. Al-Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen, was a U.S. Citizen and had been accused of being an al-Qaeda operative.

It was David Barron from the First Circuit Court of Appeals who gave President Obama the legal justification, without a trial, to kill this American citizen.

Because of his suspected dealing and ties to al-Quada, al-Aulaki was targeted and killed by our administration. Barron and another lawyer, Marty Lederman, were the authors of the first two memos on how the administration could rationalize this act.

first white paper  (Memo’s)

The Central Intelligence Agency’s first memo consisted of only seven pages and was deficient. “As that length suggests, the memo, which could have resulted in a human’s death at any moment, was woefully incomplete as a legal analysis,” stated The Atlantic.

The judicial logic in the memo was lacking to say the least. Both Barron and Lederman agreed and they became uncomfortable with the content of their first memo.

imageedit_10_6173133797The next memo the Barron and Lederman drew up was much longer and went into much more description of how al-Aulaki was not only guilty but that he needed to die.


The 22-page memo entitled “Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency against a U.S. Citizen” provides the reasoning behind fatal operations by the agency.

Because of a very lengthy lawsuit against the Justice Department, the document was released under the order of the U.S, Court of Appeals and the memo was given to Vice News. The Obama administration had fought for years to keep the memo secret from the public, not to mention several other aspects of the targeted-killing agenda.

imageedit_14_5545698773“We do not believe that al-Aulaki’s U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action,” by the CIA or United States military, the memo stated, and made it possible for a drone strike knowing it would cause powerful political and legal debate.

Ex Parte Quirin, the 1942 Supreme Court decision, states that “by universal agreement and practice, the law of war draws a distinction…between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. [A]n enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property” is an illustration of a confrontational individual who is an “offender against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by a military tribunal.”

It was the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union who filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain the release of the document in July 2012.

“The release of this memo represents an overdue but nonetheless crucial step towards transparency,” stated Jameel Jaffer. Jaffer is the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Jaffer stated, “The release of this memo will allow the public to better understand the scope and implications of the authority the government is claiming.”

Legal analysis, Conor Friedersdorf wrote, “Barron and Lederman signed off on an American’s death before delving into intelligence reports and doing other due diligence they completed for the later memo, which would be more than four times as long as their earlier effort.”

“High-Level government officials have concluded, on the basis of al-Aulaki’s activities in Yemen, that al-Aulaki is a leader of al-Qaeda [in the Arabian Peninsula] whose activities in Yemen pose a ‘continued and imminent threat’ of violence to the United States persons and interests…The contemplated DoD operation, therefore, would be carried out against someone who is in the core of individuals against whom Congress has authorized the use of necessary and appropriate force,” stated Barron and Lederman in the second memo.

However, reports state that sections of importance in the Justice Department’s legal analysis were omitted and revised before being released to the public. The accusation states that the sections explaining why the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel “determined that killing Awlaki in a drone strike would not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees due process to U.S. citizens accused of crimes,” reports The Washington Post.

Kevin Jon Heller, an international law expert and professor of criminal law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said that the government is worried about the status of the CIA.


“There’s absolutely no question that if any of these CIA agents involved in al-Awlaki’s killing ever went on vacation in Yemen or ever went on vacation in a state that has universal jurisdiction over war crimes, they could be arrested and prosecuted for murder. They certainly have committed murder under the laws of other states. Whether they have committed murder under American domestic law is another question.”

There are three statutes that could forbid the CIA from lethal force against U.S. citizens who are abroad, the War Crimes Act, the foreign murder statute, and conspiracy to murder a citizen outside the U.S.  There are also two provisions in the constitution that apply here, the Fourth Amendment that prohibits unreasonable seizures or searches, and the Fifth Amendment that guarantees due process.

There are two doctrines, however, the 2001 Authorization to use Military Force (AUMF) and the not so well-known doctrine called the “public authority justification” that were used to prove Barron and Lederman’s point. They used these doctrines to explain that the CIA’s actions were well within the legal realm and that no law prohibited the killing of a U.S. citizen by the CIA.

Barron and Lederman stated that “Awlaki’s relationship with al-Qaeda brings him within the scope” of the use of military force, according to the document. CIA and Pentagon were cited as references by the memo and stated that Awlaki “has operational and leadership roles [with al-Qaeda] and continues to plot attacks intended to kill Americans.”

According to The Washington Post, “The administration has acknowledged killing three other U.S. citizens in Yemen, including Awlaki’s teenage son in a separate strike a month after his father was killed. But only the elder Awlaki was targeted intentionally, according to U.S. officials who have said the others were killed incidentally in strikes against other targets.”

As long a U.S. citizen possess “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and to capture them alive is not an option, Eric Holder is in agreement that killing them is acceptable as a last resort.


Heller told Vice News, “They clearly realize they needed to come up with their independent justification of why [the CIA] has public authority to kill. Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t really tell us anything because of the way it’s been redacted. If the Question is, Where does the CIA get their authority to use lethal force abroad?, given that’s the necessary condition for them to avoid this foreign murder statute, this memo doesn’t tell us anything. It could be there. But if it is, it’s behind a redaction.”

When another memo was written by the Justice Department on November 8, 2011, explaining the “lawfulness” of assassinating a U.S. citizen, it took seven months for the Justice Department to share the memo with the Judiciary Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee, among other departments.

“Obama nominated the author of the targeted killing memo, David Barron, to serve as a judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals,” reports, Vice News. His nomination was held up by lawmakers over the White House’s refusal to share a copy of his memo with them. The administration relented, and in late May he was confirmed by the Senate in a near party-line vote of 53-45.”

Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky refused to support the nomination of Barron’s, however.


Paul, on the senate floor, stated, “I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the president has the power to kill an American citizen not involved in combat and without a trial. I rise to say that there is no legal precedent for killing citizens not involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a president is not worthy of being one step away from the Supreme Court.”

A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) stated a hope that “the memo would generate new pressure for the executive branch to answer other pressing questions.” Wyden wanted to know if a president can order the killing of an American citizen “anywhere in the world” and also what it means “to say that capturing an American must be unfeasible.”

Paul is not alone in his concerns and many commend his public stand against the nomination.

Americans are donning a new age in American citizenship and they, too, want to know the answers to Wyden’s questions and more.


By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

CURL: Obama making fools of the media

imageedit_2_8828426290Back on July 10, Germany expelled the CIA station chief in Berlin, charging espionage.

The move was extraordinary: Germany, one of America’s closest allies, went public with a private gripe. More, the move was the kind expected by a rival country like Russia, signaling a complete breakdown of diplomacy between the U.S. president and the German chancellor.

Asked about the stunning move, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said this: “I’m not in a position to comment.”

Has he called Chancellor Angela Merkel, a reporter asked. “I don’t know of any calls “

“Q: So since then there haven’t been any

“Mr. Earnest: I’m saying that I don’t know of any.”

The earnest spokesman, clearly a skilled prevaricator, bobbed and weaved on every question, saying at one point: “I’m not in a position to offer any reaction, either in terms of articulating our position or previewing any actions that we may or may not take.”

Then, he simply moved on: “Questions on other topics?” The assembled press corps obliged — asking about the border and immigration (the story the White House wanted to keep front burner). And the CIA story disappeared — not another word was written, not another question was asked.

The Obama administration, the most politically calculating team in U.S. history, had once again succeeded, simply by falling silent. When disastrous news emerges, Team Obama does two things: refuses comment and charges its foes with playing politics. And because the news cycle streams on, the media jump onto the next shiny thing they see and the disastrous news becomes old news replaced by new news.

There have been dozens of scandals, and most have simply slipped away, replaced by newer scandals. The Fast and Furious gun-running scheme has never been fully explained, and Congress was so fed up that it held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt (another story that disappeared).

There was (and is) Benghazi, Solyndra, the IRS targeting conservative groups, the “disappeared” hard drive, the Justice Department collecting AP phone logs, “Rosengate,” the GSA scandal, the VA mess, and on and on. None of them has resulted in a firing or even a mild admission of wrongdoing by the administration.

But what has been most fascinating about the scandals is the way they drop. Nearly every time, they appear just as the president’s back is against the wall and he is dying to change the subject.

Take last week. Two more scandals emerged but disappeared just as quickly.

With Congress battling over immigration, Team Obama, sure that it could bank on that issue remaining A1, dumped a damaging story: The Central Intelligence Agency had in fact been spying on computers used by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the spy agency. (Of course, the Justice Department and Mr. Holder earlier decided that there had been no spying  that no one should be charged.)

 The story dropped Thursday: There was just one question on it during the daily White House briefing. The press corps was far more interested in what the White House wanted to talk about — House Speaker John Boehner suing the president.

The next day, no one thought to ask the president about the scandal during his 50-minute press conference, at least until the very end, when one reporter blurted out: “What about John Brennan?” (That came just after another reporter wished the president a happy birthday.)

Meanwhile, another scandal came and went even faster. “The White House ‘accidentally emailed’ non-classified talking points regarding a classified torture report and how the CIA likely withheld information from then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to an Associated Press reporter on Wednesday,” The Blaze reported.

That’s right, just when Mr. Obama is in a veritable sandstorm of scandal, out “leaks” a report — accidentally, of course — about terrorist interrogation during the George W. Bush administration. Said The Blaze: “The New York Times’ Matt Apuzzo put a positive spin on the ‘accidental’ email, saying he chooses to ‘see it not as a mistake but as an exciting move toward transparency for this White House.’”

But clearly, the “accidental” email was sent to distract and deflect. Team Obama was flooding the zone: With the media fixated on the pointless immigration debate (did anyone really think it would ever go anywhere, with the midterms two months away?), Mr. Obama dumped some disastrous news (CIA spying on the Senate) while deflecting with a story he knew his liberal media friends would hype (Bush torture).

Say what you will about the president and his soulless team of sycophants, but they’re good. They know how to play the media, which apparently doesn’t mind in the least being played.

And by now, what’s another scandal, really?

Reported by The Washington Times by Joseph Curl


By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier


Top CIA Official Outed by The White House

President Obama

President Obama

A top CIA official’s name, identified as “chief of station,” was inadvertently revealed by the White House on Sunday during President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan.


The CIA Station Chief’s name was unintentionally included on an itinerary outlining Obama’s weekend visit. It was then distributed to more than 6000 media personnel. There were 15 other officials listed as well who were scheduled to brief Obama at Bagram Air Force Base.


The list of names came from the military and was later distributed by the White House press office. “The list then went to a much wider audience when it was included as part of what’s known as a “pool report,” which in this case was filed by The Washington Post,” stated Fox News.


At the request of the Obama administration, the official’s name has been withheld in order to protect the official’s life from danger.


This isn’t the first time such a scandal has happened in The White House. During the Bush administration there was a situation know as “Valerie Plame Affair” where a political scandal resulted from a CIA leak from The White House. Journalist Robert Novak had publicly outed Valerie Plame as a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer in 2003.


A spokesperson for the National Security Agency, Caitlin Hayden, said that The White House Counsel Neil Eggleston will comprise a report “with recommendations on how the administration can improve processes and make sure something like this does not happen again.”


Speaking out are former CIA officials about the unthinkable error of the White House. “It looks like a rookie mistake, but it’s in year six of the administration,” stated Michael Hayden, a former Air Force Gen.


“Astonishing: White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan,” Valerie Plame tweeted on Monday.


Chairman Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich), former House Intelligence, also commented saying, “This is not the president’s first trip overseas. He’s now nearly six years into his presidency and for an ‘experienced’ staff to be making these kinds of mistakes is pretty inexcusable.”


This incident has alarmed Privacy administration official and with good reason.


As of yet, the White House and CIA have declined to comment publicly about the incident.


By, Lorra B. Chief writer for Silent Soldier