Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: IC on the Record

This Tumblr, Intelligence Community on the Record, is a real-world resource for anyone interested in the US intelligence community. IC on the Record was created by the United States’ intelligence community Powers That Be to react to the public relations shellacking the community and the Obama Administration had taken since the Snowden defection; it remains live in the Trump Administration (we think. Last post was on 1/20).

(President Trump is widely seen has having fences to mend with the community, with both sides having a share of the blame, Trump for blasting the intelligence professionals and the community, which tends to be top-heavy with idle Washington bureaucrats, for leaking documents which appeared to frame Trump. Accordingly, it makes sense that his first vist to any agency was to The Agency (YouTube video of officials’ speeches; Trump beings about a half-hour in). It also makes sense that IC on the Record will survive any admin-change website purge.) 

In case you’ve been under a rock, an NSA contractor named Edward Snowden defected to the Russians under a smokescreen of revelations in the media, information calculated to embarrass, shame or disrupt national intelligence operations.

This was made possible, of course, by the overreach of said operations, increasingly targeted on US persons and increasingly abused for reasons beyond foreign intelligence; but to the irritation of insiders, only some of Snowden’s and his media and foreign intelligence service enablers’ accusations have been correct.

(It may be more irritating when the accusations are correct; the FISA court is clearly, for example, a rubber stamp that gives no serious consideration to the constitution or the rights of men, a statement that stings the expensive do-nothing court all the more because it is true. For example, periodically the FISA court rubber-stamps NSA dragnet collection of all American telephony metadata for another period… the actual rubber stamp is, of course, classified).

The site has information in the following categories:

  • Official Statements
  • Declassified Documents
  • Testimony
  • Speeches & Interviews
  • Fact Sheets
  • Oversight & Compliance
  • Video

Of these, the only one of real value is the  Declassified Documents section. Occasionally there is a nugget in congressional testimony. The rest of it is pablum and obfuscation written by PR flacks.

Many of the declassified documents are written by lawyers and they’re worth reading for the many fine-print and exact-terminology ways of obfuscating what their clients, the spymasters building their surveillance state, are actually doing. Here’s an example of that:

http://icontherecord.tumblr.com/tagged/statement

But one thing the tumblr did do is flag us to the DNI’s release of lists of the books and excerpts of the documents that were recovered by the sensitive site exploitation of Osama Bin Laden’s Abbotabad, Pakistan hideout. The third, and they say final, tranche of declassified (and translated) material from Bin Laden’s Bookshelf was published on 19 January 2017.

It includes, inter alia, this gem in a letter to two of Bin Laden’s sons (.pdf), that indicates (1) how sophisticated the Iranian intelligence services have become, and (2) how paranoid Bin Laden had become. (Well, serious people really were out to get him. Was it really paranoia?)

Note:

You and the brethren should remember any questionable action or observation in any hospital in Iran. If they inject you with a shot, this shot might be loaded with a tiny chip. The syringe size may be normal but the needle is expected to be larger than normal size. The chip size may be as long as a seed of grain but very thin and smooth. Notice if they take any of you for an operation, for good or no good reason, and inject you. Make sure to remember any comments about the reasons for setting you free.

Take notes of dates and times of any of such actions.

The Reason for Going to Peshawar:

There are instructions to all brethren to get out of Waziristan. It became clear that the region is well known to the enemy. Upon receiving this message, move immediately into Peshawar. I told the brethren to move their children to inside Pakistan if they fail to go to Peshawar.

We can’t guarantee you’ll find something fascinating like that in every document you pick up from the archive, but you just might.

Makes you wonder what they got that isn’t declassified.

7 thoughts on “Wednesday Weapons Website of the Week: IC on the Record

    1. Ti

      Wow. Cellphone cameras and the internet. That’s amazing how many different perspectives that was captured in.

      Looks to me like he got too close to those buildings when he started the turn and then he really had to crank it around scrubbing whatever speed he had. He probably should have decided just to climb out over the bldgs. and then initiate a nice coordinated turn in a safer area with AIRSPEED.

      1. Hognose Post author

        A shocking number of pilots are unclear on what a stall angle of attack feels like in accelerated flight. Especially in a big plane like an Albatross that they probably never stalled. Must have been a hell of a shock when aileron wouldn’t pick up that wing, and elevator wouldn’t raise the nose.

        Also, this kind of low maneuver almost always starts out slow. No margin of error.

        ETA – the reporters saying he lost power appear to be FOS. It looks like both engines were making power at impact. The reporters probably heard the word “stall” from someone and don’t know the aviation term of art for a loss of laminar airflow and lift due to excess AoA.

  1. Buckaroo

    Hognose, are you familiar with George Webb’s work? He’s an open-source intelligence guy who has put together a remarkable series of videos on YouTube analyzing the Clinton Foundation and how the Clintons (mainly Hillary, she was the brains while Bill was the political face) subverted and hijacked elements of the CIA, FBI, and NATO, and with help from the Muslim Brotherhood, formed an international criminal gang that has looted the middle east. He has a series of around 120 short videos (avg 10 minutes in length) that gradually build up his case. As he goes along he starts to come to the conclusion that Clinton is going to use the techniques she developed (largely in cooperation/competition with the Bush family) to overthrow the government of the United States…something that would have been easier had she been elected president, but are entirely within her scope of power to do from outside the administration.

    I strongly, strongly encourage you to start watching these videos. They tend to be repetitive, frequently going over the same ground over and over again, but adding in new bits and pieces to the picture as he goes along, which really helps him to reinforce and bolster his case.

    He generally publishes one of these videos every day, the idea being to update people on the progress of his overall investigation, and he got up to about fifty videos before somebody at YouTube erased them unexpectedly. He foolishly did not have backups, so he had to restart the series all over again at Day 53, so that’s where you need to start. Here is the playlist starting from 53 on.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcgk8FfGnzkxDSYW-3gqzNBVxJVE2a9Hh

  2. Ti

    Saw the Snowden movie. Especially your comment about men and the constitution above.

    Another HI story for you that care. Whilst sta. at Wheeler AFB in ’80 I of course had no idea of this Kunia thing. Go down to the dining hall which was technically AF, everyday, I notice an army soldier PFC eating in the place every day and every meal. Usually sitting alone and no electric strawberry on his shoulder. I notice that in it seems like literally in six month’s this guy is rippin’ through the rank pfc, spec 4, spec 5. One day, it’s a weekend morning and I’m down to get fed and he’s sitting at the table alone in civies eating, so I walk over to the table and ask if I can sit down. Conversation is casual, so I ask him what is your MOS? Chinese interpreter – I work over there under that pineapple field.

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