Die Afghanistan Papiere: Was soll das?
November 30, 2012
Bei den von der WAZ veröffentlichten Berichten handelt es sich um sogenannte „Unterrichtungen des Parlamentes“. Diese Papiere stellt das Verteidigungsministerium jede Woche dem Verteidigungsausschuss des Bundestages zu Verfügung. Sie sollen die Abgeordneten über die weltweiten Einsätze der Bundeswehr auf dem Laufenden halten und sind mit dem Hinweis „VS – Nur für den Dienstgebrauch“ gestempelt.
-> zu den Afghanistan Papieren
Bei “VS – Nur für den Dienstgebrauch“ handelt es sich um die niedrigste Geheimhaltungsstufe in Deutschland. Die Bundeswehr lehnte auf Anfrage eine Veröffentlichung der Berichte ab, weil aus ihnen Rückschlüsse auf „Einsatzverfahren und Einsatztechniken“ möglich sein sollen. Die WAZ-Gruppe hat trotzdem mehrere tausend Seiten dieser geheim gestempelten Berichte im Internet veröffentlicht.
Die Originaldokumente erlauben erstmals einen ungefilterten Blick auf den Kriegsverlauf im deutsch kontrollierten Gebiet am Hindukusch. Sie umspannen den Zeitraum von 2005 bis 2012. Wir haben nicht alle Dokumente, und einige sind kaum lesbar.
Trotzdem zeigen die Papiere die weitgehende Wirkungslosigkeit der bisherigen ISAF-Strategien – enthalten aber keine Informationen über „Einsatzverfahren und Einsatztechniken“ der Bundeswehr, wie von der Bundeswehr behauptet.
Mehr als 1000 Tote in 2012
Stattdessen werden in den geheimen Berichten auch Zahlen zu Opfern des Krieges genannt, die in den frei verfügbaren „Unterrichtungen der Öffentlichkeit“ von der Bundeswehr nicht verbreitet werden. So zitiert das Verteidigungsministerium etwa im geheimen Bericht 33 aus dem August 2012 eine Statistik der UNO. Demnach wurden in den ersten sechs Monaten des Jahres 3099 Zivilisten verletzt oder getötet, darunter 925 Frauen und Kinder; 1145 Menschen starben, 1954 mussten behandelt werden.
Laut UNO sind für 80 Prozent der Opfer die Aufständischen verantwortlich. ISAF-Soldaten und afghanische Sicherheitsdienste hätten etwa 310 Opfer verschuldet. In den öffentlichen Berichten der Bundeswehr fehlen diese Zahlen. Dabei sind auch diese Angaben nicht geheim. Die UNO veröffentlicht sie im Internet.
Weiter enthalten die geheimen Berichte Informationen über Einsätze der Bundeswehr im Süden des Landes. Dort sind sie für ihre Bündnispartner aktiv. So setzt die Bundeswehr seit Jahren reguläre Soldaten des ehemaligen Fernmeldebataillons 284 aus Wesel in der Unruheprovinz Kandahar ein. Sie helfen dort den militärischen Flughafen zu kontrollieren – jeweils mit einer Ausnahmegenehmigung des gerade amtierenden Verteidigungsministers.
Diese Einsätze verschweigt die Bundeswehr in ihren erst seit 2011 wöchentlich erscheinenden „Unterrichtungen der Öffentlichkeit“. Dabei handelt es sich bei den Angaben durchaus nicht um Geheimnisse. Soldaten aus Wesel berichteten in der Vergangenheit offen in Zeitungen über ihren Einsatz in Kandahar.
27. November 2010 von David Schraven
Find this story at 27 November 2012
Die Afghanistan Papiere
Die Afghanistan Papiere: Wir sind online
November 30, 2012
Die Afghanistan Papiere sind online. Tausende geheime Seiten über einen Krieg, den die deutschen Soldaten nicht mehr gewinnen können. Unser Video gibt eine Einführung in das Projekt.
-> zu den Afghanistan Papieren
Was soll das?
Über den Krieg in Afghanistan wird in der Öffentlichkeit nicht immer wahrheitsgetreu gesprochen. Das wollen wir ändern und die Faktenbasis der Debatte vergrößern. Wir veröffentlichen die sogenannten “Unterrichtungen des Parlamentes”. Die sind “VS – nur für den Dienstgebrauch” gestempelt. Wir finden aber, die Öffentlichkeit sollte über den Krieg in Afghanistan umfassend informiert werden. -> Die Erklärung
Die Lage in Afghanistan ist brisanter als öffentlich dargestellt. Wie aus den Afghanistan Papieren hervorgeht, verschlechtert sich die Sicherheit am Hindukusch kontinuierlich. Von 2007 bis 2012 verdreifachte sich die Zahl der Angriffe auf die Koalitionstruppen. Allein in einer Woche im September 2012 kam es zu über 620 Attacken. Am Mittwoch will die Bundesregierung das neue Mandat für Afghanistan beschließen. -> Das Wichtigste
Das verfehlte Ziel
Der Afghanistan-Krieg der Bundeswehr war zu Beginn ein Kampf um ein hohes Ziel. Bundesaußenminister Joschka Fischer gab es vor: „Es geht darum, eine Weltordnung zu schaffen, die Zonen der Ordnungslosigkeit nicht mehr zulässt.“ Ein demokratischer Rechtsstaat sollte am Hindukusch entstehen. Dieses Ziel ist verfehlt, stattdessen lässt sich die Bundeswehr mit mutmaßlichen Kriegsverbrechern ein. Es geht nur noch um einen funktionierenden Rückzug. -> Das Hintergrund-Stück
Zeit für eine Diskussion
Jahrelang wurde der deutschen Öffentlichkeit der Krieg in Afghanistan als Friedensmission verkauft. Dabei riskieren deutsche Soldaten ihr Leben für einen korrupten Staat. Spitzenpolitiker haben es vernachlässigt, über die zukünftige Rolle der Bundeswehr offen zu sprechen. Mit der Sprachlosigkeit muss Schluss sein. -> Der Kommentar
Die wichtigsten Stories
Einige der aus unserer Sicht wichtigsten Stories zum Krieg haben wir hier verlinkt. -> Die Stories
Die ergiebigsten Quellen
Von offiziellen Webseiten über wissenschaftliche Analysen bis hin zu Soldatenblogs gibt es hier die ergiebigsten Quellen. -> Die Quellen
Die besten Bücher
Über Afghanistan sind zahlreiche Bücher erschienen. Hier die aus unserer Sicht besten. -> Die Bücher
Die Afghanistan Papiere wurden uns zugespielt; sie liegen teilweise nur in schlechter Qualität vor – deswegen brauchen wir ihre Hilfe. Bearbeiten Sie die Berichte, geben Sie Hinweise, diskutieren Sie die Afghanistan Papiere. Wir bleiben am Thema dran und freuen uns über Ihre Mithilfe. Haben Sie Informationen oder Dokumente zum Krieg in Afghanistan? Mailen Sie uns an firstname.lastname@example.org, rufen Sie uns an oder nutzen Sie unseren verschlüsselten, anonymen Upload.
27. November 2012 von Autorengruppe
Find this story at 27 November 2012
Die Afghanistan Papiere
Top Secret CIA Documents on Osama bin Laden Declassified
June 25, 2012
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2012 – The National Security Archive today is posting over 100 recently released CIA documents relating to September 11, Osama bin Laden, and U.S. counterterrorism operations. The newly-declassified records, which the Archive obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, are referred to in footnotes to the 9/11 Commission Report and present an unprecedented public resource for information about September 11.
The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counterterrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al-Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al-Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
Today’s posting is the result of a series of FOIA requests by National Security Archive staff based on a painstaking review of references in the 9/11 Commission Report.
The documents released by CIA detail the meticulousness of al-Qaeda’s plot against the United States and CIA attempts to counter the rising terrorist threat. A previously undisclosed raw intelligence report that became the basis for the December 4, 1998, President’s Daily Brief notes that five years before the actual attack, al-Qaeda operatives had successfully evaded security at a New York airport in a test-run for bin Laden’s plan to hijack a U.S. airplane. [1998-12-03]. CIA analytical reports also provide interesting insights into al-Qaeda’s evolving political strategies. “In our view, the hijackers were carefully selected with an eye to their operational and political value. For instance, the large number of Saudi nationals was most likely chosen not only because of the ease with which Saudi nationals could get US visas but also because Bin Ladin could send a message to the Saudi Royal family.” [2003-06-01]
Reports on early attempts to apprehend bin Laden detail the beginning of the U.S. Predator drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “First Predator mission over Afghanistan [excised] September 7, 2000.”  “Twice in the fall of 2000, the Predator observed an individual most likely to be Bin Ladin; however we had no way at the time to react to this information.” [2004-03-19] American UAVs did not have sufficient weapons capabilities at the time the CIA likely spotted bin Laden in 2000 to fire on the suspect using the UAV.
Al-Qaeda’s ties to Pakistan before September 11 are also noted in several documents. “Usama ((Bin Ladin))’s Islamic Army considered the Pakistan/Afghanistan area one region. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan serve as a regional base and training center for Islamic Army activities supporting Islamic insurgencies in Tajikistan, the Kashmir region and Chechnya. [Excised] The Islamic Army had a camp in Pakistan [Excised] purpose of the camp was to train and recruit new members, mostly from Pakistan.” [1997-07-14] While, “UBL elements in Pakistan reportedly plan to attack POTUS [U.S. President Clinton’s] plane with [excised] missiles if he visits Pakistan.” [2000-02-18]
Similar to the 9/11 Commission Report, the document collection details repeated CIA warnings of the bin Laden terrorist threat prior to September 11. According to a January 2000 Top Secret briefing to the Director of Central Intelligence, disruption operations against the Millennium plot “bought time… weeks… months… but no more than one year” before al-Qaeda would strike. [2000-01-07] “A UBL attack against U.S. interests could occur at any time or any place. It is unlikely that the CIA will have prior warning about the time or place.” [1999-08-03] By September 2001, CIA counterterrorism officials knew a plot was developing but couldn’t provide policymakers with details. “As of Late August 2001, there were indications that an individual associated with al-Qa’ida was considering mounting terrorist operations in the United States, [Excised]. No further information is currently available in the timing of possible attacks or on the alleged targets in the United States.” [2001-08-24]
Despite mounting warnings about al-Qaeda, the documents released today illustrate how prior to September 11, CIA counterterrorism units were lacking the funds to aggressively pursue bin Laden. “Budget concerns… CT [counterterrorism] supplemental still at NSC-OMB [National Security Council – Office of Management and Budget] level. Need forward movement on supplemental soonest due to expected early recess due to conventions, campaigning and elections. Due to budgetary constraints… CTC/UBL [Counterterrorism Center/Osama bin Laden Unit] will move from offensive to defensive posture.” [2000-04-05]
Although the collection is part of a laudable effort by the CIA to provide documents on events related to September 11, many of these materials are heavily redacted, and still only represent one-quarter of the CIA materials cited in the 9/11 Commission Report. Hundreds of cited reports and cables remain classified, including all interrogation materials such as the 47 reports from CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from March 24, 2003 – June 15, 2004, which are referenced in detail in the 9/11 Report.
Highlights of the CIA September 11 Document Collection Include:
The 1998 Raw Intelligence Report on UBL’s Plans to Hijack an Airplane that Became an Item in the December 4, 1998 President’s Daily Brief [1998-12-03].
The report details how bin Laden was planning “new operations against the United States (U.S.) targets in the near future. Plans to hijack a U.S. aircraft were proceeding well. Two individuals from the relevant operational team in the U.S. had successfully evaded security checks during a trial run at “New York airport [excised].”
Internal CIA E-mails on Osama bin Laden
1998-05-05 – “[Title Excised]” “Planning for the UBL Rendition is Going Very Well,” To: Michael F. Scheuer, From: [Excised], Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Capture Op,” “[Gary] Schroen to Mike.” [Chapter 4, Endnote 22 9/11 Commission Report]
1998-12-20 – “Re: urgent re ubl,” Note For: Michael F. Scheuer, From: [Excised], Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “[Gary] Schroen to Mike” [Chapter 4, Endnotes 117, 119 9/11 Commission Report]
1998-12-21 – “your note,” Note For: [Excised], From: Michael F. Scheuer, Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Mike to [Gary] Schroen,” [Chapter 4, Endnote 119 9/11 Commission Report]
1999-05-17 – “your note,” From Michael F. Scheuer, To [Excised], Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Mike to [Gary] Schroen” [Chapter 4, Endnote 174 9/11 Commission Report]
2001-05-15 – “[Excised] Query [Excised].” Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Dave to John.” [Chapter 8, Endnote 72 9/11 Commission Report]
2001-05-24 – [Title Excised] “Agee (sic) we need to compare notes,” Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Dave to John.” [Chapter 8, Endnote 64 9/11 Commission Report]
2001-07-13 – “[Excised] Khalad [Excised],” Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Richard to Alan” [Chapter 8, Endnote 64 9/11 Commission Report]
2001-08-21 – “Re: Khalid Al-Mihdhar,” Memorandum, Central Intelligence Agency Email. Cited in 9/11 Commission Report as “Mary to John.” [Chapter 8, Endnote 106 9/11 Commission Report]
Two Definitive CIA Reports on the September 11, 2001 Attacks
2003-06-01 – “11 September: The Plot and the Plotters,” CTC 2003-40044HC, Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Report.
[Chapter 5, Endnotes 42, 60, 61, 64, 70, 105, Chapter 7, Endnotes 45, 52, 60, 83, 86, 92, 94, 95, 96, 97, 105 9/11 Commission Report]
This document is a comprehensive CIA history of the 9/11 attack. Analysis includes notes on al-Qaeda, the evolution of the plot, terrorist techniques, timelines and detailed hijacker profiles.
2004-03-19 – “DCI Report: The Rise of UBL and Al-Qa’ida and the Intelligence Community Response,” Draft, Central Intelligence Agency Analytic Report. [Chapter 2, Endnote 67]
This document is a detailed summary of CIA efforts to apprehend Osama bin Laden from 1989-2004. Highlights include:
Agency notes on bin Laden’s evolution from “terrorist financier” in the early 1990s to a significant threat to U.S. interests by mid-1990.
Discussions and debates regarding the use of Predator drones as early as 2000. 
Critiques of FBI information systems as impediments to counterterrorism efforts – “A major, ongoing concern is FBI’s own internal dissemination system. CIA officers still often find it necessary to hand-deliver messages to the intended recipient within the FBI. In additional FBI has not perfected its FI reporting system and headquarters-field communications so dissemination of intelligence outside of FBI is still spotty.” And the report confirms suggestions by the 9/11 Commission Report that “the different organizational culture and goals of the FBI and CIA sometimes get in the way of desired results.” (p. 22)
A group of Afghan trial leaders worked with the CIA on the UBL issue, but “[Excised] judged to be unlikely to successfully attack a heavily guarded Bin Ladin.” “Masood has to be engaged to help in the attempt to capture Bin Ladin, but with the understanding that he would be his own man, never an agent of surrogate of the US government… Even if he agreed to do so, his chances of success against the Taliban were judged to be less than five percent.” (p. 58)
Note “DIF” written on multiple pages stands for “Denied in Full”
A Series of CIA Senior Executive Intelligence Briefs (SEIBS) from June-September 2001 Warning of “Imminent” Al-Qaeda Attacks:
2001-06-23 – “International: Bin Ladin Attacks May Be Imminent [Excised]” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 14, See also p. 257 9/11 Commission Report]
2001-06-25 – “Terrorism: Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats,” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnotes 12, 14]
2001-06-30 – “Terrorism: Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks [Excised],” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 12]
2001-07-02 – “Terrorism: Planning for Bin Ladin Attacks Continues, Despite Delay [Excised],” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 18]
2001-07-13 – “Terrorism: Bin Ladin Plans Delayed but Not Abandoned [Excised],” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 28]
2001-07-25 – “Terrorism: One Bin Ladin Operation Delayed, Others Ongoing [Excised],” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 28]
2001-08-07 – “Terrorism: Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in the US,” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief. [Chapter 8, Endnote 38. Chapter 11, Endnote 5. Page 342]
Detailed Reports on Al-Qaeda Organization
“The spike in the network’s activity stems in part from changes in Bin Ladin’s practices. To avoid implicating himself and his Taliban hosts, Bin Ladin over the past two years has allowed cells in his network, al-Qa’ida, to plan attacks more independently of the central leadership and has tried to gain support for his agenda outside the group. – The network also has benefited from a sharp increase in mujahidin recruitment since the resumption of the conflict in Chechnya in 1999, which exposed a new generation of militants to terrorist techniques and extremist ideology through training at al-Qai’da-run camps in Afghanistan. – Violence between Israelis and the Palestinians, moreover is making Sunni extremists more willing to participate in attacks against US or Israeli interests.” 2001-02-06 – “Sunni Terrorist Threat Growing,” Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, The Central Intelligence Agency. [Chapter 8, Endnote 4 9/11 Commission Report]
Bin Laden’s Attempts to Acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction
“Bin Ladin and his associates have experimented by crude means to make and deploy biological agents… Bin Ladin has sought to acquire military-grade biological agents or weapons.” 2001-02-14 –”Afghanistan: Bin Ladin’s Interest in Biological and Radiological Weapons,” Central Intelligence Agency Analytical Report [Chapter 11, Endnote 5. 9/11 Commission Report Page 342]
A Positive CIA Assessment of CIA Counterterrorism Capabilities in August 2001
In contrast to the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report and a 2004 CIA Office of Inspector General’s review of its pre-9/11 counterterrorism practices, a report completed in August 2001 by the CIA Inspector General gives very positively reviews to CIA counterterrorism practices, the management of information and interagency cooperation. “CTC fulfills inter-agency responsibilities for the DCI by coordinating national intelligence, providing warning, and promoting the effective use of Intelligence Community resources on terrorism issues. The Center has made progress on problems identified at the time of the last inspection in 1994 – specifically its professional relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Find this story at 19 June 2012
The Central Intelligence Agency’s 9/11 File
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 381
Posted – June 19, 2012
Edited by Barbara Elias-Sanborn with Thanks to Archive Senior Fellow Jeffrey T. Richelson
For more information contact:
Barbara Elias-Sanborn – 202/994-7000
Prostitutes, drunken behaviour and illegal wiretaps: US reveals accusations against Secret Service
June 20, 2012
The US government has revealed details of serious allegations since 2004 against Secret Service agents and officers, including claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior. It was not immediately clear how many of the accusations were confirmed to be true.
The heavily censored list — which runs 229 pages — was quietly released today under the US Freedom of Information Act to The Associated Press and other news organizations following the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. It describes accusations filed against Secret Service employees with the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general. The service protects the president and those close to him.
In many cases, the government noted that some of the claims were resolved administratively, and others were being formally investigated.
Basic details of the dozens of complaints were first revealed last month during a Senate hearing about the Colombia scandal, as senators questioned whether the Colombia incident was a sign of a broader culture problem at the storied agency tasked with protecting the president.
Secret Service Direct Mark Sullivan apologized for the incident during the May hearing, but insisted that it was an isolated case.
The list of complaints, however, suggested otherwise senators said at the time.
Secret Service officials did not immediately comment today.
Find this story at 15 June 2012
Alicia A Caldwell
Friday, 15 June 2012
The C.I.A.’s Misuse of Secrecy
June 8, 2012
In Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere the C.I.A. has used drones to kill thousands of people — including several Americans. Officials have aggressively defended the controversial program, telling journalists that it is effective, lawful and closely supervised.
But in court, the Central Intelligence Agency refuses even to acknowledge that the targeted killing program exists. The agency’s argument is based on a 35-year-old judicial doctrine called Glomar, which allows government agencies to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, by refusing to confirm or deny the existence of the records that have been requested.
The doctrine sometimes serves a legitimate purpose, but the C.I.A. has grossly abused it, in cases relating to the targeted killing program and other counterterrorism operations. It is invoking the doctrine not to protect legitimately classified information from disclosure, but to shield controversial decisions from public scrutiny and to spare officials from having to defend their policies in court.
The doctrine owes its name to a ship called the Hughes Glomar Explorer, which the C.I.A. used in the early 1970s to salvage a sunken Soviet submarine. When The Los Angeles Times exposed the effort in 1975, the agency tried to suppress coverage, asking news organizations not to publish follow-up stories. Harriet A. Phillippi, a journalist for Rolling Stone, filed a FOIA request to learn more about the C.I.A.’s effort. The C.I.A. refused to confirm or deny the existence of the records Ms. Phillippi had requested.
The C.I.A.’s response was unusual. Ordinarily, an agency served with a FOIA request is required to produce a list of relevant records. The agency must then release the listed records or cite specific legal justifications for keeping them secret. In the Glomar case, the C.I.A. argued that there were circumstances in which it was impossible for an agency to acknowledge even the existence of relevant records without also revealing some fact that the government had a right to withhold.
There are indeed cases in which merely confirming or denying the existence of certain records would reveal a classified fact, such as whether a particular person is a covert intelligence agent or the current target of lawful surveillance.
Those cases, however, are far less common than the C.I.A.’s increasingly frequent reliance on the Glomar doctrine would suggest. A study by the National Security Archive shows that federal court opinions cited the doctrine three times as often in the decade after 9/11 as in the quarter-century preceding it.
There has been a qualitative shift, too. Most of the cases before 2001, including the 1976 Glomar case, involved relatively narrow intelligence-gathering programs that were plainly within the C.I.A.’s mandate. More recently, the agency has used the Glomar doctrine to shield exceptionally controversial programs, and even unlawful conduct, including the torture and rendition of terrorism suspects.
The doctrine has also been invoked since 9/11 to shape public debate. A slew of administration officials have already spoken about the targeted killing program to reporters, both anonymously and on the record, and President Obama himself answered questions about the program during an online town hall. Thus the Glomar doctrine is not serving to keep the targeted killing program a secret, but rather to control which facts about the program are made public, and when. Not coincidentally, the C.I.A.’s reliance on the Glomar doctrine also makes it more difficult for individuals injured by the agency’s counterterrorism policies to challenge those policies in court.
Without pressure from outside, the C.I.A. is unlikely to end its manipulation of the classification system. But the Justice Department, which represents the C.I.A. in court, could decline to defend questionable invocations of the doctrine. President Obama, who at some important junctures has been receptive to arguments for transparency, could direct the C.I.A. to answer FOIA requests that it would prefer to evade.
In one of the American Civil Liberties Union’s cases relating to the targeted killing program (a case in which The New York Times is also involved), the government recently told the court that officials “at the highest level” are re-evaluating the government’s stance on the secrecy of the targeted killing program. This is a noncommittal statement, but perhaps a promising one. The administration should direct the C.I.A. to abandon its pretense that the very existence of the targeted killing program is a secret. It should also direct the C.I.A. to release the legal memos that authorized the program and the evidence it relied on to carry out the drone strikes that killed three Americans in Yemen last year.
Find this story at sp April 2012
By JAMEEL JAFFER and NATHAN FREED WESSLER
April 29, 2012
© 2012 The New York Times Company
Revealed: Hundreds of words to avoid using online if you don’t want the government spying on you (and they include ‘pork’, ‘cloud’ and ‘Mexico’) nieuwere artikelen >>
May 29, 2012
Department of Homeland Security forced to release list following freedom of information request
Agency insists it only looks for evidence of genuine threats to the U.S. and not for signs of general dissent
Revealing: A list of keywords used by government analysts to scour the internet for evidence of threats to the U.S. has been released under the Freedom of Information Act
The Department of Homeland Security has been forced to release a list of keywords and phrases it uses to monitor social networking sites and online media for signs of terrorist or other threats against the U.S.
The intriguing the list includes obvious choices such as ‘attack’, ‘Al Qaeda’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘dirty bomb’ alongside dozens of seemingly innocent words like ‘pork’, ‘cloud’, ‘team’ and ‘Mexico’.
Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats.
The words are included in the department’s 2011 ‘Analyst’s Desktop Binder’ used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify ‘media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities’.
Department chiefs were forced to release the manual following a House hearing over documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit which revealed how analysts monitor social networks and media organisations for comments that ‘reflect adversely’ on the government.
However they insisted the practice was aimed not at policing the internet for disparaging remarks about the government and signs of general dissent, but to provide awareness of any potential threats.
As well as terrorism, analysts are instructed to search for evidence of unfolding natural disasters, public health threats and serious crimes such as mall/school shootings, major drug busts, illegal immigrant busts.
The list has been posted online by the Electronic Privacy Information Center – a privacy watchdog group who filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act before suing to obtain the release of the documents.
In a letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counter-terrorism and Intelligence, the centre described the choice of words as ‘broad, vague and ambiguous’.
Threat detection: Released under a freedom of information request, the information sheds new light on how government analysts are instructed to patrol the internet searching for domestic and external threats
They point out that it includes ‘vast amounts of First Amendment protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters.’
Find this story at
By Daniel Miller
PUBLISHED: 09:32 GMT, 26 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:46 GMT, 26 May 2012
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
© Associated Newspapers Ltd