Reblogged from the Wayne Madsen Report
The Obama White House is running a covert operation that is using authorized leaks of information through groups such as WikiLeaks and Anonymous to battle against other parts of the U.S. intelligence community that are resisting Obama efforts to engage in massive warfare in cyber-space, according to well-placed Pentagon insiders.
Using the assets of the U.S. Cyber Command, headed by General Keith Alexander and continuing warrantless wiretapping authorities carried over from the Bush administration, a covert group of White House conspirators working under the direction of White House Office of Information Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) chief Cass Sunstein and National Security Council adviser Samantha Power, Sunstein’s wife, cyber-hackers have gained access to various computer networks and released information damaging to White House enemies in the intelligence community. The most recent target of such activity was the private intelligence firm Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based company that is close to Republicans and employs a number of former CIA and Military Intelligence personnel.
While the White House has actively engaged in indicting and punishing government whistleblowers who have contacted the media, the OIRA-led group has been responsible for leaking volumes of data to the media, using WikiLeaks and members of the hacker group Anonymous as go-betweens. Although the Justice Department is trying Army Private First Class Bradley Manning and is seeking the extradition of Australian WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, the White House and State Department have admitted that none of the State Department cables, the highest classified as “Secret,” released through WikiLeaks were damaging to U.S. national security. However, Manning and Assange were unwitting pawns in high-stakes warfare between the Obama White House and its accomplices the U.S. intelligence community, including Alexander and CIA director David Petraeus.
U.S. government infiltration of activist groups
Two low-level operatives of the White House operation have already been identified as working as confidential informants for the FBI. Adrien Lamo helped to lure Manning into his web in order to provide the covert White House team with a “patsy” to ensure “plausible deniability” of White House involvement in the State Department cable release. And more recently, Hector Monsegur, aka “Sabu,” was identified as an FBI informant within the ranks of the hacker group LulzSec, which is linked to the hacking activities of Anonymous.
The entire covert White House operation is designed to advance cyber-space as a battleground in which to wage information warfare against various governments around the world with a view to undermining their credibility and causing them to fall as a result of U.S.-orchestrated street action and “themed” or “color” revolutions. It is known that there was resistance to such activities from career State Department foreign service officials, as well as current and retired CIA and Defense Intelligence agency personnel, some of whom work for Stratfor.
The leak of some 250,000 State Department cables and 5 million Stratfor e-mails by the covert White House group was engineered to undermine members of the Foreign Service and older and retired members of the U.S. intelligence community who oppose the use of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in actions that contributed to the ouster of regimes long-supported by the CIA and some senior U.S. diplomats, including those in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen.
U.S. government-sponsored campaigns of opinion-shaping and disinformation
The release by Invisible Children, an NGO with dubious motives, of the viral video about Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his long-time abuse of child soldiers, “Kony 2012,” on YouTube, an act encouraged by the Sunstein/Power husband-wife team, is seen by State Department Africanists as a way to inject the already war-weary Pentagon into internal African civil warfare to the benefit of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) clients in the region, including Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame.
However, the White House team was sloppy in not thoroughly checking the content of the Stratfor emails. The push-back against the White House hacking and disinformation team can be seen in two Stratfor e-mails that mentions the operations of one of the members of the Sunstein/Power team, off-and-on State Department official Jared Cohen of Movements.org, one of the many organizations that are partly or fully funded by George Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI). Cohen is now the director of Google Ideas.
In one email, dated February 11, 2011, Stratfor’s Fred Burton refers to Cohen as a “loose cannon” who is using his Google position to engage in “regime change” through a “scorched earth” policy. Burton suggests that Israel’s security agency Shabak pick Cohen up for an “interview” while entering Gaza after being involved in fomenting street protests in Tunisi8a and Egypt. The e-mail also says it was uncertain whether Cohen was acting on his own — “driving without a license” — or working on the “part of leftest [sic] fools inside the WH who are using him for their agendas.”
WMR has learned from Pentagon sources that Cohen was, in fact, acting on behalf of the Sunstein/Power group. In addition, we have learned that Cohen’s operation was supported by Sarah Sewall, the founder of the Mass Atrocity Response Operations (MARO) Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Carr Center and a close adviser to Petraeus and Obama. Sewall was a member of the Obama Transition Team for national security and she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance in the Clinton administration. Along with Petraeus, Sewall wrote a foreword to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual, released in 2007.
Along with Sunstein, Power, U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, and chief Obama policy adviser Valerie Jarrett, Sewall is part of the “brain trust” running the covert White House computer hacking and information warfare team. After successfully engineering the toppling of the Ben Ali, Mubarak, Qaddafi, and Saleh regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, respectively, the team is now concentrating on regime changes in Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, Myanmar, Sudan, Algeria, Russia, and China.
Conversely, the White House operation, using automatic “sock puppet” software among other tactics, is attempting to forestall the popular overthrow of unelected supranationally-installed austerity governments in Greece and Italy by spreading the meme that the Greek and Italian working class are lazy tax evaders who have been living off the public dole.
In a March 29, 2011, e-mail, Stratfor’s Sean Noonan wrote that Cohen was part of a State Department initiative in 2008 that saw the foundation of Movements.org and that this was part of a program initiated during the Bush administration to engage in “public diplomacy” over the Internet. The email cites the 21st Century Diplomacy and Civil Society 2.0 programs as being part of this initiative and that one of the first operations of the State Department team was to organize a worldwide protest against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2008. But where the Stratfor analysis was mistaken was its conclusion that Cohen’s Movements.org had split with the U.S. government. If one defines the covert White House information operations team as separate from the U.S. government, Stratfor would be correct. However, the Sunstein/Power/Sewall/Rice/Jarrett/McFaul team has been officially sanctioned by President Obama, CIA director Petraeus, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Even though Power referred to Mrs. Clinton as a “monster” during the 2008 presidential election campaign, this has not curbed Clinton’s enthusiasm for using the “soft power” of Facebook, Twitter, NGOs, and propagandized Al Jazeera, Voice of America, and other media to bring about regime change in targeted countries. The Noonan email states that Cohen and Movements.orgestablished cells across Cairo in support of the Egyptian April 6 Youth Movement.
The White House covert information warfare program also enjoys the support of International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo who is ensuring that officials of the United States and its allies are not accused of war crimes in fomenting and stoking the flames of internal rebellions.
The Noonan email cites the role of two organizations funded by the CIA, used to mount and anti-government uprising in Serbia, and inspired by the Albert Einstein Institutions Gene Sharp, the architect of the current CIA blueprint for co-opted revolutions — the Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) and OTPOR! The role of the 2008 State Department-sponsored Alliance for Youth Summit in New York in backing the future April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt is also referenced. The email also states that Otpor! lost much of its steam after the 2003 assassination of Otpor’s favored leader, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Dindic, in 2003. In a “not for publication” paragraph, the email states, “Serbia is exactly what we don’t want to see”—Otpor needed a political leader and was able to create that, but Dindic was assassinated in 2003 and the momentum of Otpor has not been maintained afterwards.”
The Noonan email also states that Myanmar and Cuba are targets for Movements.orgin organizing themed revolutions. The information corresponds to the information WMR received about the current priorities of the covert White House information operations group.
Re:movements.org founder Cohen
Date 2011-02-11 19:42:49
To firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The dude is a loose canon.
GOOGLE is trying to stop his entry into Gaza now because the dude is
like scorched earth.
Its unclear to GOOGLE if he’s driving w/out a license, but GOOGLE
believes he’s on a specific mission of “regime change” on the part of
leftest fools inside the WH who are using him for their agendas.
I would hope the Shabak pick him up for “an interview”.
Re: [alpha] INSIGHT- US/MENA-Movements.org
Date 2011-03-29 23:45:20
From: Sean Noonan
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2011 16:17:19 -0500 (CDT)
To: Alpha List
ReplyTo: Alpha List
Subject: Re: [alpha] INSIGHT- US/MENA-Movements.org
He is a co-founder and board member. So he oversees the show, but isn’t
doing day-to-day work.
On 3/29/11 4:12 PM, Bayless Parsley wrote:
So what is Cohen’s current ties with them?
On 3/29/11 4:04 PM, Reginald Thompson wrote:
ATTRIBUTION: STRATFOR source
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: Main organizer at movements.org
PUBLICATION: Some is not for publication. Rest is background
ITEM CREDIBILITY: [in terms of knowing what movements.org is doing,
they are A-1, but in terms of what the other groups are doing, source
is not great]
SPECIAL HANDLING: none
SOURCE HANDLER: Sean
How Movements.org got started: [This part is not for publication]
in 2008 it became apparent to the USG that they needed to do public
diplomacy over the Internet. So Jared Cohen was at DoS then and
played a major role in starting the organization. The main goal was
just spreading the good word about the US. Similar inititiaves have
come about in 21st Century Diplomacy and Civil Society 2.0, but
Movments.org has since split from the US government. A key turning
point in leading to its creates was seeing Oscar Morales organize a
Global Day of Protest against FARC in 2008. This is the first time
social networking was really used to organize a protest. [This part
is not for publication]
Three goals- Taking people wanting social change from the internet to
constructive activism by:
1. monopolizing on initial success (this generally means getting
popular on facebook)
2. Staying secure
3. Peer-to-peer training
Currently choosing “Unlikely Leaders” to be invited to the next Global
Summit. These are people that for example start a facebook activisit
group that becomes very popular and then suddenly are completely
unprepared–much like April 6 in Egypt. CANVAS will also be invited.
Source is familiar with them, but has not been through their
they are part of a network of NGOs ready to negotiate with Facebook
when activist accounts are deleted or hacked. Movements.org wants a
sort of Facebook customer service to be created just to deal with
activism, since there are positives and negatives to allowing
anonymous accounts, and those will probably never be allowed anyway.
Movements.orgis engaging with these groups once they actually get
popular. This is the main criteria for their involvement, or inviting
them to their Summits.
Answer to the neutrality issue– “we are by no means trying to
overthrow governments.”Movements.orggoal is to develop civil society
and social movements.
[Not for Pub. And don’t let this get back to RS501, for now]
“Serbia is exactly what we don’t want to see”—Otpor needed a
political leader and was able to create that, but Dindic was assinated
in 2003 and the momentum of Otpor has not been maintained
afterwards. [Not for pub]
The Internet is helpful in bring people together, but the hard part is
keeping them together. The first real examples politically were the
color revolutions and now MENA. But the challenge has been keeping
the momentum going to keep these social movements alive. They were a
case study in the power of technology for short-term political change,
but that’s it.
Movements.orgwas communicating with someone at April 6 who said they
had established different cells across Cairo in case one group was
arrested. [not sure if we knew this]
Egyptians are now presented with two choices–1. to find a political
leader and take power or, 2. To create a sustainable social movement.
Source sees this as a dichotomy.
Manuel Castells is the only academic to have really examined the
internet in terms of social networks.
Agrees with S-weekly on Social media. The impetus for these
revolutions is there already, social media is just tapping into that.
MY THOUGHTS AND IMPRESSIONS
First, to explain the thing about Serbia- the source is pretty set on
trying to create these long-term sustainable social movements that are
effective over various issues, rather than new political parties that
take power. The criticism of OTPOR is interesting, and is telling
about how Movements.org would like to work.
I get the idea that this organization is actually farther behind then
we are–understaffed and inexperienced. I don’t mean this critically,
because really no one is that experienced in on line organization–they
are breaking new ground. They have a pretty good understanding of the
challenges presented by social media–and that is really what they are
focusing on, but don’t really have solutions yet. Their main response
to this is to develop this peer-to-peer training done through people
they designate as ambassadors to work with others in their own country
or region. So really what Movements.org is doing right now is
creating a database of training materials and valuable networks for
groups to learn from each other–not doing direct training like
They are also doing everything after things get started–waiting for
these groups to get big, then trying to work with them. This means
they aren’t identifying countries or groups to start some shit in.
Though, I get the impression they would like to be more active in the more oppressive countries like Cuba and Myanmar. You can probably
see how the idealism bleeds through.