by Andrew G. Marshall
Global Research, August 28, 2007
Recently, it was announced that the use of US spy satellites is now to be expanded to include a domestic usage. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, “The U.S.’s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation’s vast network of spy satellites in the U.S,” and that “The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.’s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and law enforcement.”1 The article continued, “Until now, only a handful of federal civilian agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey, have had access to the most basic spy-satellite imagery, and only for the purpose of scientific and environmental study,” however, now “According to officials, one of the department’s first objectives will be to use the network to enhance border security, determine how best to secure critical infrastructure and help emergency responders after natural disasters. Sometime next year, officials will examine how the satellites can aid federal and local law-enforcement agencies, covering both criminal and civil law. The department is still working on determining how it will engage law enforcement officials and what kind of support it will give them.”
The article went on to explain the usage of these newly granted satellite spying powers, stating, “Access to the high-tech surveillance tools would, for the first time, allow Homeland Security and law-enforcement officials to see real-time, high-resolution images and data, which would allow them, for example, to identify smuggler staging areas, a gang safehouse, or possibly even a building being used by would-be terrorists to manufacture chemical weapons,” and further, “Plans to provide DHS with significantly expanded access have been on the drawing board for over two years. The idea was first talked about as a possibility by the Central Intelligence Agency after 9/11 as a way to help better secure the country. ‘It is an idea whose time has arrived,’ says Charles Allen, the DHS’s chief intelligence officer, who will be in charge of the new program. DHS officials say the program has been granted a budget by Congress and has the approval of the relevant committees in both chambers.” These new powers will be placed in the hands of a newly formed office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), called the ‘National Applications Office’ (NAO). And in a concerning statement, the article said, “Unlike electronic eavesdropping, which is subject to legislative and some judicial control, this use of spy satellites is largely uncharted territory.”
The Washington Post reported on this story as well, saying “A program approved by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security will allow broader domestic use of secret overhead imagery beginning as early as this fall, with the expectation that state and local law enforcement officials will eventually be able to tap into technology once largely restricted to foreign surveillance,” and that “Administration officials say the program will give domestic security and emergency preparedness agencies new capabilities in dealing with a range of threats, from illegal immigration and terrorism to hurricanes and forest fires. But the program, described yesterday by the Wall Street Journal, quickly provoked opposition from civil liberties advocates, who said the government is crossing a well-established line against the use of military assets in domestic law enforcement.”2 The article continued, “Although the federal government has long permitted the use of spy-satellite imagery for certain scientific functions — such as creating topographic maps or monitoring volcanic activity — the administration’s decision would provide domestic authorities with unprecedented access to high-resolution, real-time satellite photos. They could also have access to much more. A statement issued yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security said that officials envision ‘more robust access’ not only to imagery but also to ‘the collection, analysis and production skills and capabilities of the intelligence community’.”
Important to note is the following excerpt from the very same above-mentioned article, “Allen said the agreement with the DNI grew out of the general impetus for wider intelligence-sharing in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when administration and intelligence officials began examining the possibility of increasing officials’ access to secret data as a means of strengthening the nation’s defenses. The program was formally authorized in May in a memo by Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The two officials have been coordinating for months, as recommended in a 2005 study headed by Keith Hall, then the director of the National Reconnaissance Office. Hall’s group cited an ‘urgent need’ for expanding sharing of remote sensing data to domestic groups other than scientific researchers. ‘Opportunities to better protect the nation are being missed,’ the report said.” Further, the article states that, “Oversight of the department’s use of the overhead imagery data would come from officials in the Department of Homeland Security and from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and would consist of reviews by agency inspectors general, lawyers and privacy officers.”
The admission that this idea was fostered under the Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), is very significant, because as the Associated Press reported in 2002, “In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings. But the cause wasn’t terrorism — it was to be a simulated accident,” and that “Officials at the Chantilly, Va.-based National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency’s headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure,” and it further stated, “Agency chiefs came up with the scenario to test employees’ ability to respond to a disaster, said spokesman Art Haubold. No actual plane was to be involved — to simulate the damage from the crash, some stairwells and exits were to be closed off, forcing employees to find other ways to evacuate the building.” The same article explained that, “The National Reconnaissance Office operates many of the nation’s spy satellites. It draws its personnel from the military and the CIA,” and further, “After the Sept. 11 attacks, most of the 3,000 people who work at agency headquarters were sent home, save for some essential personnel,”3 [Emphasis added].
As Webster Tarpley mentioned in his book, 9/11: Synthetic Terror, “The NRO [National Reconnaissance Office] was a super-secret agency responsible for spy satellites and other eavesdropping from space. It was created in 1960, and its existence was not acknowledged for some 32 years. The NRO draws its personnel from the military and Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] and has a budget equal to the combined budgets of both the CIA and the National Security Agency. On 11 September 2001, the NRO director was Keith R. Hall, who had headed the agency since 1996. In his capacity as DNRO [Director of NRO], Hall was responsible for the acquisition and operation of all United States space-based reconnaissance and intelligence systems. At the same time Hall also served as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space. As Nico Haupt has pointed out, Booz Allen Hamilton [a global strategy and technology consulting firm] is a prominent subcontractor for the NRO. The obvious effect of evacuating the NRO was at least temporarily to blind institutional US intelligence to events which could have been monitored from outer space. NRO could have provided a real-time view of the air space over North America; as a result of the evacuation, this may not have been available. The advantages for the perpetrators are obvious.”4 Keith Hall, the head of the agency, who would have been a pivotal figure involved with the plane-into-building drill, which took place on 9/11, and as the Associated Press article had mentioned, after the actual “real world” 9/11 (plane-into-building) attacks were underway, the NRO was evacuated, except for ‘some essential personnel’. Without a doubt, one such personnel would have been Keith Hall.
Further, it was reported that, “On the morning of September 11th 2001, Mr. [John] Fulton and his team at the CIA were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building,” and in giving the biography of Fulton, it was explained that, “John Fulton’s 25 years in the intelligence community has contributed to his recognition as an expert in risk & threat response analysis, scenario gaming, and strategic planning. He is on staff for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), currently serving as Chief of the Strategic War Gaming Division of the National Reconnaissance Office, and as a member of U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Project Alpha – a prestigious ‘think tank’ for advanced concepts related to such issues as homeland security,” not to mention, “His counter-terrorism and homeland security responsibilities include advising the Director Central Intelligence Staff for Homeland Security, the U.S. Marshall’s Office, and collaboration with the National Security Council.”5
The ‘Project Alpha’ think tank “is a U.S. Joint Forces Command rapid idea analysis group. It was created to “scout the future” and identify high-impact ideas from industry, academia and the defense community that could transform the Department of Defense into an organization better equipped to deal with the uncertain landscape of the future,” and that some of the reports produced by this group have suggested, “Using lessons learned from bees and ants, the idea is to use numerous unmanned systems working in collaboration with each other to converge from disperse locations to strike and disable targets. Entities control themselves through use of digital signal to direct other entities to a target or to avoid a target. One person could monitor and control lots of small cheap unmanned vehicles rather than a team controlling one UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle].”6
So, John Fulton and Keith Hall were two individuals who were almost definitely among the stay-behind personnel at the NRO on September 11, 2001, which would have had the ability to monitor all the happenings in the North American air space that day. Not to mention, they were instrumental in running a drill that acted as a cover for the actual “real world” attacks that occurred. It is this very same Keith Hall who wrote the 2005 report on recommendations for enhancing the US security apparatus to ‘prevent’ another 9/11-type event, which outlined as a specific recommendation to “expand sharing” of information such as satellite imagery. However, this very concept, that he was writing a report to “help” security efforts is absurd, giving that he would have been a key individual who would be subject to a serious independent investigation for possible criminal actions on 9/11, and he is supposed to come up with security recommendations? Further, Keith Hall, after leaving the NRO as Director, joined the Board of Directors of Booz Allen Hamilton,7 the same consulting firm, which was a prominent contractor for the NRO.
Other people affiliated with Booz Allen Hamilton are James Woolsey,8 former CIA director and member of Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neo-con think tank that called for a “new Pearl Harbor” in September 2000, in order to justify an enormous increase in defense spending and to invade Iraq, Iran and North Korea, among other countries, all of which is outlined in their document, ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses’.”9 Another person affiliated with Booz Allen Hamilton is Dov Zakheim, who, from 2001-2004, served as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Defense, and who, during the 2000 Presidential campaign, served as a senior foreign policy adviser to the then-governor George W. Bush and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR),10 Pamela Lentz, who is on the Booz Board of Directors since 1994, “and now serves as client service officer for the firm’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and military intelligence markets, which include organizations within the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Unified Combatant Commands, and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence,” as well as that some of her projects have included “Managing a 120-person team supporting the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), providing a full range of systems engineering and technical assistance,” and “Managing a task supporting the DIA’s [Defense Intelligence Agency’s] Human Factors Analysis work,” not to mention, “Overseeing strategic planning activities for the intelligence organization at the Joint Forces Command,”11 which is the same organization that headed the “Project Alpha” think tank of which John Fulton was involved with, the man overseeing the 9/11 attack drill scenario.
Another very interesting person who is affiliated with Booz Allen Hamilton is Dale Watson, who was Executive Assistant FBI Director for Counterterrorism, and that “As a principal in Booz Allen’s Global Strategic Security practice, Watson will work to build public-private sector partnerships in support of the nation’s security and help ensure resilience in corporations, government agencies, and critical infrastructures.”12 But what’s most interesting about this individual is the role he has played in the Counterterrorism Department in the FBI. As reported by the Washington Post in 2002, “In separate cases, two new FBI whistle-blowers are alleging mismanagement and lax security — and in one case possible espionage — among those who translate and oversee some of the FBI’s most sensitive, top-secret wiretaps in counterintelligence and counterterrorist investigations,” and “That whistle-blower, Sibel Edmonds, 32, a former wiretap translator in the Washington field office, raised suspicions about a co-worker’s connections to a group under surveillance.” On top of this, the article mentions, “The FBI confirmed that Edmonds’s co-worker had been part of an organization that was a target of top-secret surveillance and that the same co-worker had ‘unreported contacts’ with a foreign government official subject to the surveillance,” and that “the linguist failed to translate two communications from the targeted foreign government official,” and most importantly, “The allegations add a new dimension to the growing criticism of the FBI, which has centered in recent weeks on the bureau’s failure to heed internal warnings about al Qaeda leading up to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.”13 The article continues, “In the second whistle-blower case, John M. Cole, 41, program manager for FBI foreign intelligence investigations covering India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, said counterintelligence and counterterrorism training has declined drastically in recent years as part of a continuing pattern of poor management,” and that “Cole also said he had observed what he believed was a security lapse regarding the screening and hiring of translators.”
With Sibel Edmonds, she joined the FBI shortly after 9/11, as they announced their need for Middle Eastern translators, and “She was fired less than a year later in March 2002 for reporting shoddy work and security breaches to her supervisors that could have prevented those attacks,” and that “Even though she followed all appropriate procedures for reporting her concerns up the chain of command, Edmonds was retaliated against and fired. After her termination, many of Edmonds’ allegations were confirmed by the FBI in unclassified briefings to Congress. More than two years later, in May 2004, the Justice Department retroactively classified Edmonds’ briefings, as well as the FBI briefings, and forced Members of Congress who had the information posted on their Web sites to remove the documents.”14 So, Sibel was fired because she was exposing flaws in the FBI’s security which could have prevented the 9/11 attacks, and since then, she has suggested that the government was covering up, and responding to a question on the Alex Jones Radio Show, she stated, “Well, that is the whole point, Alex. They are not letting out all the evidence. And since we don’t have it to this date. It is as I was telling you, the [unintelligible] Force has been all classified. They also had 35 pages– and this is according to Senator Graham– the most important evidence and information on 9/11 by the Senate and House Joint Inquiry that happened in 2002 classified and 5 years later everything about it is classified. And again, you are still having people who are gagged. So this already points out that they don’t want the evidence out. And they are keeping the evidence out of the public,” and she further commented, “The evidence points to a massive government cover-up,” as well as responding to a question that was asked about whether she believed that all available evidence is pointing to 9/11 being an inside job, she said, “Well, again, considering the level of cover-up and the length at which they have gone to gag people and prevent information– this information from coming out, I would say yes.”15
As the previously mentioned Washington Post article about the two FBI whistleblowers reported, “Edmonds and Cole have written about their concerns to high-level FBI officials. Edmonds wrote to Dale Watson, the bureau’s counterterrorism chief,” and every successive individual she reported her concerns to, she heard nothing and nothing was done, until she was fired. This same Dale Watson who Sibel wrote her concerns to without action being taken, is the very Dale Watson who joined Booz Allen Hamilton. As reported by Global Free Press, “Booz-Allen Hamilton (BAH), another global leader in strategy and technology consulting, runs the Military Staff College of Saudi Arabia. But BAH has its corporate headquarters in McLean, Virginia. On August 15th, 2002, Dale Watson, former FBIHQ, went to work for Booz. No one ever complained that it was Watson who was unwilling to connect the dots during the increased warnings on a pending attack against America in Summer, 2001, and it is clear why: Watson formerly worked for the CIA and seems to have political support from their headquarters.”16
Keith Hall, the man who was Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) during the 9/11 attack-scenario war game on 9/11 and who later joined Booz Allen Hamilton, had, while working for the NRO, written the report suggesting that the US expand its domestic use of spy satellites, and it was later reported, as of March 2007, “Keith Hall accepts a prominent role in overseeing GPS support for U.S. military interests—and for the needs of a global population,” and further, “Comprised of a constellation of about two dozen U.S. government satellites, the Global Positioning System (GPS) was built by the DoD to aid in national security,” as well as the fact that “With the potential of the GPS having such an enormous global impact, the President established the National Space-Based PNT Executive Committee in 2005 to advise federal agencies on GPS-related issues. Chaired by the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and Transportation, the committee includes officials from the Departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and NASA.” It was further reported that, “In March 2007, Hall was appointed to the 24-member PNT Advisory Board,” of which other members of the board include people from United Airlines, Ford Motor Company, OnStar Corporation, US Chamber of Commerce, Boeing, and the CIA.17
As the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security put into the action the ideas of Keith Hall, regarding using Satellite surveillance for domestic “security”, the man put in charge of the new office which runs this system, the National Applications Office (NAO), is Charles Allen, the Chief Intelligence Officer of Homeland Security. His Department of Homeland Security biography states, “Mr. Charles Allen is the Assistant Secretary for the Department’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis reporting directly to Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating with the Intelligence Community and providing guidance on Homeland Security specific issues,” and that “Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, Mr. Allen served as the Assistant Director of Central Intelligence for Collection since June 1998. In this capacity, he was responsible for Intelligence Community collection and requirements management and reported to the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) for Community Management. Mr. Allen also chaired the National Intelligence Collection Board, which ensured that collection was integrated and coordinated across the Intelligence Community.”18 This means that Charles Allen was a principal figure in the CIA, whose responsibilities included analyzing and collecting various intelligence and information, and reporting his analysis to the Deputy Director, and it just so happens that Allen had this position on 9/11. Again, here is another individual whose activities prior to 9/11 should be investigated in an independent inquiry.
Since the activities within high levels of the government that day remain largely a secret today, and the resources are not available to do an independent investigation of his personal actions on and leading up to 9/11, I will conduct an independent investigation into the history of Charles Allen himself, leading up to the present day, to examine who this man is who now is responsible for running the new domestic satellite surveillance program in Homeland Security. Allen’s biography on the Homeland Security website further states that, “Mr. Allen served in the CIA since 1958, holding a variety of positions of increasing responsibility both in analytic and managerial capacities. From 1974-1977, he served overseas in an intelligence liaison capacity and from 1977-1980 held management positions in the Directorate of Intelligence. From 1980 to November 1982, he served as a program manager of a major classified project, reporting to DDCI’s [Frank] Carlucci, Inman, and McMahon, respectively,” the same Frank Carlucci who was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm which had racked up some notable employees and investors, such as “the first President Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker; [Former British Prime Minister] John Major; one-time World Bank treasurer Afsaneh Masheyekhi and several south-east Asian powerbrokers,” as well as the fact that “among the firm’s multi-million-dollar investors were members of the family of Osama bin Laden,” and “former Philippines president Fidel Ramos is an adviser, as is former Thai premier Anand Panyarachun – as well as former Bundesbank president Karl Otto Pohl, and Arthur Levitt, former chairman of the SEC, the US stock market regulator,” and the Guardian article which reported this also continued, stating, “more investors, including the international financier George Soros and, in 1995, the wealthy Saudi Binladin family,” and that “The first president Bush is understood to have visited the Binladins in Saudi Arabia twice on the firm’s behalf,” and even “the current President Bush’s own links to the firm go far deeper. In 1990, he was appointed to the board of one of Carlyle’s first purchases.”19
Back to Charles Allen; his Homeland Security biography further stated, “In December 1982, Mr. Allen was detailed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense, where he held a senior position in strategic mobilization planning. In 1985, Director Casey asked Mr. Allen to return to CIA in the capacity of a National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Counterterrorism. In February 1986, he also was appointed Chief of Intelligence in CIA’s newly established Counterterrorist Center,” and that “Mr. Allen served as the NIO for Warning from 1988 to 1994. In this capacity, he was the principal adviser to the DCI [Director of the CIA] on national-level warning intelligence and chaired the Intelligence Community’s Warning Committee,” and “In October 2005, CIA Director Goss awarded Mr. Allen the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA’s highest and most coveted award. In addition, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Negroponte awarded Mr. Allen the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in October 2005.”
Off the official biography, we learn a very different story about Mr. Allen. For example, the New York Times reported on an impending CIA report in 2005, about the agency’s performance up until the 9/11 attacks, and it stated, “In 1998, after Al Qaeda’s bombing of two American embassies in East Africa, it was Mr. [Charles] Allen whom Mr. Tenet assigned to organize the agency’s efforts against the terrorist network, according to testimony Mr. Tenet gave last year . He said that at the advice of Mr. Allen, he created a special unit with officers from the C.I.A., the eavesdropping National Security Agency and the satellite photo agency to meet daily and focus on Al Qaeda’s leaders and headquarters in Afghanistan,” and that he was never even interviewed by the Commission investigating the 9/11 attacks.20 More discussion on the report entailed that “A long-awaited CIA inspector general’s report on the agency’s performance before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks includes detailed criticism of more than a dozen former and current agency officials, aiming its sharpest language at George Tenet, the former director of central intelligence, according to a former intelligence officer who was briefed on the findings and another government official who has seen the report,” and further, “One earlier draft of the inspector-general’s report criticized the management of the Counterterrorist Center, or CTC, and the Directorate of Operations.”21 So, Charles Allen, who was a leading figure in the CIA’s Al-Qaeda surveillance and tracking unit, which used satellite surveillance and the NSA (National Security Agency), up until and during the 9/11 attacks, was not interviewed by the 9/11 Commission. Well, considering his position, maybe he should have been; after all, he was involved with tracking, surveilling, and spying on Al-Qaeda’s leadership. Seems somewhat relevant. In fact, it was noted in the Pulitzer Prize winning book, Ghost Wars, that in the late spring of 2000, “[Chief Counter-Terrorism Adviser Richard] Clarke asked his longtime acquaintance in the national security bureaucracy, Charles Allen, who ran all of the CIA’s intelligence collection efforts, to work with Admiral Scott Fry, head of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on fresh approaches to the bin Laden problem.”22 So why was he not questioned?
As the Political Science Quarterly reported in the summer of 2002, a journal of the Academy of Political Science, that, in the run-up to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, “One high-level intelligence official on the National Intelligence Council (NIC), charged with advising the DCI [Director of Central Intelligence], was more forward leaning than the analytic judgments published in the NID [National Intelligence Daily – a CIA intelligence publication]. The National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Warning Charles Allen on 25 July issued a ‘warning of war’ memorandum in which he stressed that Iraq had nearly achieved the capability to launch a corps-sized operation of sufficient mass to occupy much of Kuwait. The memo judged that the chances of a military operation of some sort at better than 60 percent,” and that “Allen on 26 July visited NSC’s senior director for the Middle East Richard Haass [now President of the Council on Foreign Relations] and briefed him with satellite imagery that showed the magnitude of Iraq’s military build-up near Kuwait,” and further, “Allen on 1 August personally informed Haass that an Iraqi attack against Kuwait was imminent. Haass, in turn, informed [National Security Adviser Brent] Scowcroft, but the White House refrained from moving to a crisis mode.”23
But, during the war, Charles Allen played a very sinister and concerning role. In a summation cited from the book Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War, it was stated that, “Charles Allen, CIA’s National Intelligence Officer for Warning supported the selection of bomb targets during the first Gulf War. He coordinated intelligence with Colonel John Warden, who headed the Air Force’s planning cell known as ‘Checkmate.’ On February 10, 1991 Allen presented his estimate to Col. Warden that Public Shelter Number 25 in the Southwestern Baghdad suburb of Amiriyah had become an alternative command post and showed no sign of being used as a civilian bomb shelter. On February 11, Shelter Number 25 was added to the Air Force’s attack plan. At 4:30 am the morning of February 13, two F-117 stealth bombers each dropped a 2,000 pound, laser-guided, GBU-27 munition on the shelter. The first cut through ten feet of reinforced concrete before a time-delayed fuze exploded. Minutes later the second bomb followed the path cut by the first bomb,” and that, “Satellite photos and electronic intercepts indicating this alternative use were regarded as circumstantial and unconvincing to Brigadier General Buster Glosson, who had primary responsibility for targeting. Glosson’s comment was that the assessment wasn’t ‘worth a shit.’ A human source in Iraq, who had previously proven accurate warned the CIA that Iraqi intelligence had begun operating from the shelter. On February 11, Shelter Number 25 was added to the Air Force’s attack plan.” Lastly, it stated, “In the shelter at the time of the bombing were hundreds of Iraqi civilians. More than 400 people, mostly women and children were killed. Men and boys over the age of 15 had left the shelter to give the women and children some privacy. Jeremy Bowen, a BBC correspondent, was one of the first television reporters on the scene. Bowen was given access to the site and did not find evidence of military use.”24
This is very important, as it explains that the man who is now responsible for domestic satellite surveillance, running the unit in the Homeland Security Department whose purpose is to analyze, interpret, and forward intelligence and satellite imagery to local law enforcement agencies in the United States, has, in the past, in a very similar position of interpreting and analyzing satellite intelligence, been responsible for the deaths of 400 innocent women and children. Moreover, the fact that the General who was in charge of targeting rejected Allen’s proposal of target because it appeared “circumstantial and unconvincing” (until a field CIA agent spoke up with an identical, and equally false, report), is very concerning because now, Allen will not be “recommending” targets or any other satellite surveillance-related materials, because now Allen will be making the selections, as head of the unit.
In 1991, then-President George Bush nominated a man by the name of Robert Gates to be the new CIA Director [and who is currently the present George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense]. This brought to light, however, some more reminders and mentions of the Iran-Contra Scandal, which broke in the late 80s. The New York Times reported that, “Mr. Gates has done his best to dispel the doubts that forced him to withdraw when he was first nominated in 1987. He has seemed contrite and open-minded and cites his broad experience and future vision. But senators would do well to consider at least three criteria. Whether his past performance shows him to warrant their trust . . . whether he has earned the confidence of agency employees . . . and above all, whether he, an insider, is the right person to lead the agency into uncertain times. On each count, Mr. Gates falls short,” and further, it stated, “David Boren, the committee chairman, commends Mr. Gates for forthrightness. Yet he overlooks occasions when Mr. Gates helped skew intelligence assessments and was demonstrably blind to illegality. The illegality concerns the Iran-contra scandal. Mr. Gates contends he was `out of the loop’ on decisions about what to tell Congress. And he defends his professed ignorance on grounds of deniability–that he was shielding the C.I.A. from involvement. These contentions defy belief.” The article further explains, “The testimony of other puts Mr. Gates, on at least two occasions, very much in the loop. He supervised preparation of [CIA] Director William Casey’s deceitful testimony to Congress about the scandal. And one C.I.A. analyst, Charles Allen, says he informed Mr. Gates, before it came to light, of three unforgettable details: Oliver North’s involvement, the markup of prices of arms sold surreptitiously to Iran, and diversion of the proceeds into a fund for covert operations. In a telling lapse of his reputedly formidable memory, Mr. Gates could not recall the details when Congress asked two months later.”25
This was further mentioned during Gates’ Senate Confirmation Hearings, at which it was revealed that, “On September 9, 1986, a senior CIA analyst, Charles Allen, wrote a memo on the arms sales to Iran, a copy of which went to Mr. Gates. He also claims to have talked to Mr. Gates regarding shipments of arms to Iran. Mr. Gates cannot recall the conversation or receiving the memo,” and that, “A September 8, 1986, entry in Oliver North’s notebook on the proceeds from the arms sales to Iran includes a notation `Gates supportive.’ Another entry on September 30 includes the entry `Call Charlie [Allen] Re: letter to Gates.’ Mr. Gates claims he does not know the meaning of these notes. As Deputy DCI [Director of Central Intelligence] since April 1986 Mr. Gates was an authorized recipient of all the intelligence on the Iran initiative. He admits he may have scanned the relevant memos, but claims he did not bother to try and understand the codes,” and further, “Allen has testified that when he met with Mr. Gates on October 1, 1986, Mr. Gates appeared to already have some general awareness of pricing problems with the sale of weapons to Iran. According to Allen, `Mr. Gates captured the central message that I had brought to him, that there was possibly a diversion occurring and this was a matter of serious concern’.”26
It was further reported in the book, Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA, that “A number of outspoken analysts bitterly criticized him [Allen] for bending his views to political expediency during the Iran initiative. Allen, they said, took advantage of his access to [CIA Director William] Casey to promote a political line – that an opening could be made to Iranian moderates-that could not be supported by the information they had gathered on Iran’s internal politics. Allen played the White House game, these critics claimed, by using contrived information provided by CIA consultant George Cave to support the Iran program. ‘Charlie Allen briefed the NSC on the basis of Cave’s disinformation,’ a senior CIA analyst explains.”27 Charles Allen was even reprimanded by the new CIA Director William Webster, because Allen failed to properly comply with the Director’s request for total cooperation in the CIA’s own Iran-Contra investigation. However, Charles Allen got a very slick lawyer to get the reprimand lifted, whose name was James Woolsey, later to become a CIA Director himself, and later still, a member of the Project for the New American Century, and today, working with Booz Allen Hamilton.28
As Webster Tarpley notes in his book, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, on July of 1985, “Vice President George Bush was designated by President Reagan to lead the Task Force on Combating Terrorism (or Terrorism Task Force). Bush’s task force was a means to sharply concentrate the powers of government into the hands of the Bush clique, for such policies as the Iran-Contra armaments schemes,” and that Charles Allen of the CIA was a Senior Review Group member of the Task Force, and other members included John Poindexter, Oliver North [both convicted in Iran-Contra], and Noel Koch,29 who was Deputy to Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Armitage [who would go on to be Deputy Secretary of State during the George W. Bush administration]. Tarpley further mentioned, “CIA official Charles E. Allen, a member of George Bush’s Terrorism Task Force, wrote an update on the arms-for-hostages dealings with Iran. Allen’s memo was a debriefing of an unnamed member of the group of US government officials participating in the arms negotiations with the Iranians. The unnamed US official (from the context, probably NSC [National Security Council] terrorism consultant Michael Ledeen [who was a principal adviser to the current President, George W. Bush on foreign affairs30]) is referred to in the text as ‘Subject’. Allen wrote: ‘[Speaker of the Iranian Parliament] Rafsanjani . . . believes Vice President George Bush is orchestrating the US initiative with Iran. In fact, according to Subject, Rafsanjani believes that Bush is the most powerful man in the US because in addition to being Vice President, he was once Director of CIA.”31
Perhaps scariest of all, is the fact that as mentioned in the book, Eclipse: The Last Days of the CIA, that “From 1980 to November 1982, Allen was detailed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he was deputy director of a continuity of government [COG] planning project. A colleague quoted Allen as saying during a COG meeting, ‘our job is to throw the Constitution out the window’. His assignment to the COG project brought him into contact with Oliver North, who was delegated to monitor COG’s findings by National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane.”32 As it was even stated in Allen’s Homeland Security biography, “From 1980 to November 1982, he [Allen] served as a program manager of a major classified project, reporting to DDCI’s [Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, Frank] Carlucci, Inman, and McMahon, respectively.”
As UC Berkley Professor Peter Dale Scott pointed out in a recent article, “The Halliburton subsidiary KBR (formerly Brown and Root) announced on Jan. 24 that it had been awarded a $385 million contingency contract by the Department of Homeland Security to build detention camps. Two weeks later, on Feb. 6, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced that the Fiscal Year 2007 federal budget would allocate over $400 million to add 6,700 additional detention beds (an increase of 32 percent over 2006),” and that “The contract calls for a response to ‘an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs’ in the event of other emergencies, such as ‘a natural disaster.’ ‘New programs’ is of course a term with no precise limitation,” and he further mentions, “Since 9/11 the Bush administration has implemented a number of inter-related programs, which had been planned for secretly in the 1980s under President Reagan. These so-called ‘Continuity of Government’ or COG proposals included vastly expanded detention capabilities, warrantless eavesdropping and detention, and preparations for greater use of martial law.” On top of this, Scott reveals that, “Prominent among the secret planners of this program in the 1980s were then-Congressman Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was in private business as CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle. The principal desk officer for the program was Oliver North, until he was forced to resign in 1986 over Iran-Contra. When planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Vice President Cheney’s response, after consulting President Bush, was to implement a classified ‘Continuity of Government’ plan for the first time, according to the 9/11 Commission report. As the Washington Post later explained, the order ‘dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans’.” In discussing Oliver North’s Rex-84 COG (Continuity of Government) plans in 1984, Scott continued, “This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary ‘refugees,’ in the context of ‘uncontrolled population movements’ over the Mexican border into the United States. North’s exercise, which reportedly contemplated possible suspension of the United States Constitution, led to questions being asked during the Iran-Contra Hearings. One concern then was that North’s plans for expanded internment and detention facilities would not be confined to ‘refugees’ alone.”33
So, as this detention camp program is contracted out of Homeland Security, and is a very important aspect of Continuity of Government, it should be extremely concerning to everyone that someone who was once quoted as saying “our job is to throw the Constitution out the window”, is Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The ‘Analysis’ aspect of his title is what is most concerning, as we have seen from Charles Allen’s role in the Gulf War, where he worked as an intelligence analyst, choosing targets, which resulted in 400 innocent women and children to be murdered. Now, he will be running the spy satellite program, which is to support local law enforcement agencies by providing them updated satellite data and intelligence. However, considering that Allen is running this program, ‘analysis’ is a pretty creative term, as he is likely to analyze and decipher what he wants to see, not necessarily what’s true. In simple words; like how some people have selective hearing, hearing only what they want to hear; Allen may have selective analysis, analyzing things how he wants to see them. Then, this ‘information’ would be passed on to local law enforcement officials, who would be none the wiser.
The disturbing aspect of Continuity of Government is that under the new National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51, issued on May 9, 2007, it changes the role played by various actors in Continuity of Government. For example, the new Presidential Directive defines a ‘Catastrophic Emergency’ as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions,” and defines Continuity of Government as “a coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency.” It goes on to explain that, “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination,”34 [emphasis added].
What the above means is that, while regular government is divided between three branches; the Executive (President and administration), the Legislative (Congress), and the Judicial (Supreme Court); the government in a time of emergency, under the ‘Continuity of Government’, is to be run entirely by the Executive branch. It states that the President is in charge, and then designates two other individuals, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, who is Frances Townsend, who also sits as Chair of the Homeland Security Council, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, also known as the National Security Adviser, who is Stephen Hadley, and then announced the creation of a Continuity Policy Coordination Committee, which will be chaired by a member of the Homeland Security Council, which includes the top administration officials, including the Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Dick Cheney, as well as Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the CIA director Michael Hayden, Director of the FBI Robert Mueller, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
But the most important thing to note, is that, in the event that Continuity of Government is enacted, i.e. in the event a ‘Catastrophic Emergency’ occurs, the President of the United States overtakes all branches of government, rendering the Judicial and Legislative branches non-existent, under a state of complete irrelevance. In essence, the President, by definition, becomes a dictator, the Supreme Leader, Il Duce, der Fuhrer, Chairman, choose your terms, they all mean the same thing; a Presidential seizure of absolute power. Remember, in the event of ‘Continuity of Government’, the Constitution is “thrown out the window”.
In an article in the Oregonian, from July of this year, the issue of ‘Continuity of Government’ came to the mainstream media when they stated, “Oregonians called Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack. As a member of the U.S. House on the Homeland Security Committee, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure ‘bubbleroom’ in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents,” and then it continued, “On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.”35 The article continued, quoting DeFazio as saying, “I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” and then the article stated, “Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn’t know who did it or why.” Again quoting DeFazio, he said, “We’re talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America. [ . . . ] I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.” Further, “Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: ‘We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive’,” and that, “This is the first time DeFazio has been denied access to documents. DeFazio has asked Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., to help him access the documents.” The article ended with a quote from DeFazio, stating, “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right.”
In another Oregonian article written 8 days later, they wrote a follow-up to the previous article, saying, “After conspiracy theorists fanned the Internet with their outrage, the Oregon congressman renewed his push Friday to gain access to the classified portion of a White House plan to operate the government after a terrorist attack. This time, DeFazio is joined by two other Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee who wrote to a top Bush administration Homeland Security official requesting access to the information,” and then stated, “The letter was addressed to Frances Townsend, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism,” the very woman who would be acting directly under Bush as the National Continuity Coordinator, one of the top officials in the event of Continuity of Government. The article continued, “DeFazio wants to read the secret file after hearing from constituents concerned about a conspiracy. The public portion of the presidential directive lays out general policies for operating the government during a major catastrophe, but it referred to classified portions. According to the letter, White House staff had initially said it would provide the document to Homeland Security Committee staff so DeFazio could review it. But on July 18, White House staff, the congressmen wrote, ‘informed the committee that the request had been reconsidered and rejected. In fact, the committee staff was told the document is ‘close hold,’ and ‘frankly we are not willing to share it’.” It further revealed that DeFazio wrote that, “This response is as troubling as it is shocking.”36
Why all of the above about the ‘Continuity of Government’ is relevant to the topic of the domestic spy satellite program is that it is all a part of the same process; that is, the move towards a fascist state fully equipped with a state-of-the-art police-state apparatus. Take what the dictators of the past have done, and add on the massive technological advances made since the 1930s and 40s. This is why the ‘Continuity of Government’ issue is very relevant when it comes to the domestic spy satellite program, because of the announcement that it is to be used by local law enforcement agencies, provided to them by the Department of Homeland Security [the Department of Homeland Securitization and Militarization], which is incidentally, the same department which operates, under the direct command of the President, the Continuity of Government (COG) plans.
A recent article from Raw Story exposed how, “A Democratic congressman is seeking answers after revelations that the US plans to use spy satellites against American citizens. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who chairs a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, has written Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to ask a series of detailed questions about the new spying initiative,” and that the Congressman’s letter “outlines a string of inquiries about the legality of the domestic spying program and seeks assurances that American civil rights will be protected once the program becomes operational,” and further, “Eyeing the legality of the proposed spy plan, Congressman Markey inquires as to what ‘memoranda, opinions or analyses have been prepared’ to evaluate the new program, and asks specifically if the spying would violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which regulates the use of the U.S. military for non-military purposes.”37
However, maybe what this Congressman isn’t aware of is that the Posse Comitatus Act, which outlines the fact that the US military is never allowed to have the function of policing the United States, has already been made null and void, as on October 17, 2006, Bush signed the ‘Defense Authorization Act 2007’, of which according to US Senator Patrick Leahy, the Conference Report on the Defense Authorization Act “includes language that subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law”, and that, “it adopts some incredible changes to the Insurrection Act, which would give the President more authority to declare martial law. Let me repeat: The National Guard Empowerment Act, which is designed to make it more likely for the National Guard to remain in State control, is dropped from this conference report in favor of provisions making it easier to usurp the Governors control and making it more likely that the President will take control of the Guard and the active military operating in the States”. He continues, “The changes to the Insurrection Act will allow the President to use the military, including the National Guard, to carry out law enforcement activities without the consent of a governor. When the Insurrection Act is invoked posse comitatus does not apply. Using the military for law enforcement goes against one of the founding tenets of our democracy,” [Emphasis added].
So, as you can see, there is a significant risk of a declaration of martial law, and therefore the creation of a Presidential Dictatorship, under which the spy satellite program would be used domestically. That is why I felt it necessary to examine the history of the main individual running this new program, Charles Allen. Given his history, related to the “deep politics” of government, that is; the term coined by the academic, Peter Dale Scott to describe the ‘shadow government’, or ‘secret government’, or Scott’s term, the ‘Deep State’, I feel that it is a concerning sign that this particular individual is now going to be running the spy satellite program. Given the history of Charles Allen, I would not want him to have the authority over cleaning my dishes for fear that he would smash them all to pieces because he misinterpreted the chore. But this is a man who is now in charge of operating the most powerful satellite spy equipment to be used domestically in the United States. No, I’m sure there’s nothing to be concerned over regarding ‘civil liberties’ under a spy program run by a man who has said, “Our job is to throw the constitution out the window.”
Charles Allen is the spy who came out of the ‘shadow state’, with the intent to make the shadow bigger; steps out into the light, if only to bring it into darkness.
Bush Declares Himself Dictator – Presidential Directive 51 (May 2007; video link)