Thursday, April 5, 2012

WMR: Background on the Israeli penetration of NSA

In June 2005, WMR's first report at its inception dealt with Israeli intelligence penetration of the National Security Agency. 

The Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center 

In the article, Bamford describes the penetration of NSA's ultra-secret surveillance technology research and development "skunk works," the Signals Intelligence Automation Research Center (SARC), located at NSA's headquarters on the third floor of Operations Building 2B, a few doors down from the center where NSA monitored sensitive government communications in Russia.

The SARC is where companies linked to Israel helped set up NSA's controversial and top secret warrantless eavesdropping program code-named Stellar Wind. 

SARC's chief of staff, J. Kirk Wiebe, and the center's co-founded, Bill Binney, realized that a private company with links to Israel, Technology Development Corporation (TDC). 

This was a two-man operation with an Annapolis Junction post office box run by two brothers, Randall and Paul Jacobson of Clarksville, Maryland.

The man ran the Stellar Wind operation using software and equipment provided by two Israeli firms, Narus, later bought by Boeing, and Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, formerly Comverse Infosys. 

Both companies were formed by ex-Unit 8200 personnel. Unit 8200 is the Israeli counterpart of NSA. 

The NSA program manager for Stellar Wind was Ben Gunn, a U.S. naturalized Scotsman who once worked for Britain's NSA equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQin Cheltenham, UK.

Rather than investigate the Jacobsons, Gunn and their Israeli interlocutors, FBI agents raided the homes of Wiebe and Binney and confiscated their computer equipment as part of the failed Justice Department investigation of former NSA official Thomas Drake, the whistle blower who exposed massive contract fraud and illegal surveillance by NSA.

Paul Jacobson had his security access pulled by NSA in 1992 and he later changed his name to "Jimmy Carter" and "Alfred Olympus von Ronsdorf." 

Randall Jacobson continued working for NSA and when Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) was brought in to run the nascent Stellar Wind program, taking over from TDC.

NSA eavesdropping on US telecommunications

Randall Jacobson tipped Binney off to the illegal nature of the eavesdropping program, which included installing wiretapping rooms in some 20 telecommunications company switches around the United States.

Former AT&T technician Mark Klein outed one that was installed at the AT&T switch in downtown San Francisco.

Binney told Bamford that the NSA's advanced eavesdropping and data mining high-data analytical software may have been originally passed to Israel by a pro-Israeli technical director in NSA's Operations Directorate. 

The original software helped Narus and Comverse/Verint to improve on the work already performed by NSA and more advanced systems were then sold back to the NSA. 

The major compromise of NSA technology to the Israelis should have been made known to Binney, who was then the chairman of the NSA's Technology Advisory Panel, which monitored the signals intelligence capabilities of foreign nations. 

Rather than pass on to NSA the intelligence "take" of Unit 8200 using the NSA technology, Binney told Bamford that he believed that the Israeli government simply passed on the technology to Israeli start-up companies that used the NSA-developed know-how to spy on foreign countries, including the United States, and sell the technology back to countries like the United States. 

Israelis at NSA
The Israeli penetration of NSA was brought to WMR's attention by NSA personnel in June 2005. One of the firms mentioned as being involved in the compromise to Israel was CACI, part of an alliance of NSA contractors called the "Eagle Alliance." 

WMR reported: "CACI, called 'Colonels and Captains, Inc.' by critics who cite the revolving door from the Pentagon to its corporate office suites.  One example is former NSA Deputy Director Barbara McNamara as a member of its board of directors. 

Other CACI alumni include Thomas McDermott, a former NSA Deputy Director for Information Systems Security. Former NSA Director Adm. Mike McConnell is a Senior Vice President of Booz Allen. Former NSA Director General Ken Minihan is President of the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), an intelligence business development association that includes Boeing, Booz Allen, CACI, CSC, the Eagle Alliance, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC, and Windemere, all GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER contractors, among its membership. 

SASA's board of directors (surprise, surprise) includes CACI's Barbara McNamara. One of SASA's distinguished advisers is none other than General Hayden. 

Although contractors are required to have the same high level security clearances as government personnel at NSA, there are close connections between some NSA contractors and countries with hostile intelligence services. 

For example, CACI's president and CEO visited Israel in early 2004 and received the Albert Einstein Technology Award at ceremony in Jerusalem attended by Likud Party Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. 

The special ceremony honoring CACI's president was sponsored by the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva Fund. The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party's Jerusalem Mayor, Uri Lupolianski, was also in attendance. 

According to Lebanon's Daily Star, CACI's president also met with notorious racist Israeli retired General Effie Eitam who advocates expelling Palestinians from their lands. The U.S. delegation also included a number of homeland security officials, politicians, and businessmen. CACI has also received research grants from U.S.-Israeli bi-national foundations."

What has some NSA officials worried is that with pro-Israeli neocons now ingrained within the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), State Department, and National Security Council, NSA is ripe for penetration by Israeli intelligence. 

Troubled NSA Past
NSA has a troubled past with Israel. In 1967, Israeli warplanes launched a premeditated attack on the NSA surveillance ship, the USS Liberty, killing and wounding a number of U.S. sailors and NSA civilian personnel. 
Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard compromised a number of NSA sensitive sources and methods when he provided a garage full of classified documents to Israel. But NSA is also aware of an incident where Israelis used a contractor, RCA, to gain access to yet additional NSA sources and methods. 
In the 1980s, against the wishes of NSA, the Reagan administration forced NSA to permit RCA, one of its major contractors, to develop a tethered aerostat (balloon) signals intelligence and direction finding system for the Israeli Defense Force. According to NSA officials, the Israeli-NSA joint project, codenamed DINDI, was established at a separate facility in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and apart from the main NSA developmental center at RCA's facility in Camden, New Jersey. 
Although NSA and RCA set up a strict firewall between the contractor's national intelligence contract work and the separate DINDI contract, Israeli engineers, who were working for Mossad, soon broke down the security firewall with the assistance of a few American Jewish engineers assigned to the DINDI project. 
The security breach resulted in a number of national intelligence developmental systems being compromised to the Israelis, including those code named PIEREX, MAROON ARCHER, and MAROON SHIELD. DINDI was quickly cancelled but due to the sensitivity surrounding the American Jewish engineers, the Reagan Justice Department avoided bringing espionage charges. 
There were some forced retirements and transfers, but little more. But for NSA, the duplicity of the Israelis added to the enmity between Fort Meade and Israeli intelligence. 
NSA spies
[On June 5, 2005, WMR followed-up its story of Israeli spying at NSA: "Veterans of the RCA-NSA-Israeli joint SIGINT program code named DINDI report that Israeli engineer spies used the carve out contract with NSA, through RCA, to gain access to NSA and U.S. Navy secrets. 
In an RCA facility in Mount Laurel, NJ, the Israeli engineers had their own secured lab, and for three years that DINDI ran, they were walking out with their briefcases loaded with equipment, including scopes. 
When RCA engineers finally gained access to their lab, they found the prints laid out for the Trident missile system. RCA had an ongoing contract top develop the Trident communications suite at the time of the security leak. 
The Israeli engineers on DINDI claimed they were from the Israeli Air Force but months later, an RCA engineer was in New York and he ran into the same Israelis, but they were wearing Israeli Navy uniforms. 
One ex-RCA engineer commented about the DINDI Israeli spies: 'They were all a nice bunch of guys, even when they had their hands in your pockets.'] 
One RCA contractor for NSA later told WMR that the RCA program manager for DINDI, a Jewish engineer who he only named as "Irv," permitted the Israelis to rummage through NSA and RCA classified information.

With outside contractors now permeating NSA and a major Israeli espionage operation being discovered inside the Pentagon, once again there is a fear within NSA that foreign intelligence services such as the Mossad could make another attempt to penetrate America's virtual 'Fort Knox' of intelligence treasures and secrets.
Eagle Alliance Contractors get access to NSA secrets

Thanks to some very patriotic and loyal Americans inside NSA, this author is now in possession of an internal NSA contract document from November 2002 that shows how GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER  have allowed the Eagle Alliance and other contractors to gain access to and even virtual control over some of the most sensitive systems within the U.S. intelligence community. 
One suspect in this unchecked outsourcing is the person [then-NSA director Michael Hayden] hired from the outside to act as Special Adviser to his Executive Leadership Team, Beverly Wright, who had been the Chief Financial Officer for Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore. 
Before that, Wright had been the Chief Financial Officer for Alex Brown, the investment firm at which George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, once served as a board member. As one senior NSA official sarcastically put it, 'She's highly qualified to work in intelligence!'

According to the document, the future of some 10,000 Windows NT and UNIX workstations and servers that handle some of NSA's most sensitive signals intelligence (SIGINT) (the Signals Intelligence Directorate workstation upgrade is code named BEANSTALK) and electronics intelligence (ELINT) applications, including databases that contain communications intercepts, are now firmly in the grasp of the Eagle Alliance. 

Operational workstations are being migrated to a less-than-reliable Windows/Intel or 'WINTEL' environment. 
The document boldly calls for the Eagle Alliance to establish a SIGINT Service Applications Office (SASO) to 'provide and maintain Information Technology services, tools, and capabilities for all [emphasis added] SIGINT mission applications at the NSA.' 
This is a far cry from the non-operational administrative support functions originally specified in the GROUNDBREAKER contract.

The document also calls for NSA to provide extremely sensitive information on SIGINT users to the contractors: 'Identification of target sets of users in order to successfully coordinate with the Eagle Alliance modernization program.' 
The Eagle Alliance is involved in a number of systems that impact on other members of the U.S. intelligence community, foreign SIGINT partners, and national command authorities. 
These systems include INTELINK, Common Remoted Systems, National SIGINT Requirements Process, Overhead Tasking Distribution, RSOC (Regional SIGINT Operations Center) Monitoring Tool, RSOC Modeling Tool, Speech Activity Detection, Network Analysis Tools, Network Reconstruction Tools, Advanced Speech Processing Services, an a myriad of other  systems such as the SIGINT interception database ANCHORY and the ELINT database WRANGLER. 
In fact, the document states that the contractors' plans foresee the inclusion of NSA's intelligence community partners (foreign and domestic) in the contractors' revamping of NSA's operational systems.

The servers include those that support mission-critical National Time Sensitive Systems (NTSS). These National Time Sensitive System servers have been assigned various cover terms.

A number of SIGINT applications are also impacted by the outsourcing mania. 
Hayden was later "rewarded" for his actions at NSA by being named the first deputy director for the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) and, later, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After retiring, Hayden began working for former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has also been alleged to have close contacts with Israeli intelligence, at Chertoff Associates. 
A journalist who previously covered the Justice Department for a major wire service told WMR that FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors are dissuaded from investigating spies for Israel since it is known to be a "career killer" at both agencies. Moreover, Justice prosecutors have two sets of guidelines when it comes to prosecuting spies. One set calls for maximum treatment, including major criminal charges and heavy prison sentences and fines, for American spies who are charged with spying for Russia, China, Cuba, or Iran, and the lightest charges and penalties for those charged with spying for Israel, especially if they are Jewish.
Story is a Wayne Madsen Report exclusive. Rightardia edited the story to simplify it for readers who do not have intelligence backgrounds. 

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