Some of my favorite album artwork and other things I found in my pictures.
United States of Secrets Part 2
In my estimation… I think this is the most important documentary of the last 10 years. Thank you PBS and Frontline for having the courage to make this. Part 2 talks about how various Internet companies are complicit in aiding the NSA in its dragnet program. Very scary. We have no privacy left. If you think you do… and live anywhere in the US you are in denial.
JSOC- Joint Special Operations Command. The secretive branch of the Military that was responsible for taking out Bin Laden plus many of the Drone strikes being done now. JSOC is the highly tight lipped branch of
The US military primarily responsible for things such as Seal team 6 (and other branches that operate similarly to ST6)
From what I can understand. JSOC operates somewhat loosely from the law usually associated with war. They work at times hand in hand with a para military subcontractor A firm I will write about in the near future as well. Blackwater (aka Xe) apparently now (aka Acedemi) Any sort of semi illegal enterprise
they will run will be outsourced basically so the damage can not be traced back. I do not see how you can understand JSOC as separate and apart from Blackwater. Consider this as well at one point there were 360,000 soldiers in Iraq from US. 230,000 were from military branches. 130,000 were private subcontractors — mainly Blackwater.
I guess I am shocked after researching at first JSOC but then additionally Blackwater is just how much of the wars are being fought with basically no accountability to anyone. At times when it is convenient to the Govt. they operate outside the Military Uniform Code of Justice.
Amazing.. if you want to gather how hand in hand Blackwater is tied into the Government and operating things that would most likely disturb you
consider this. Over a 6 year period 2001-2007 they had contracts with the U. S. Govt. totalling over 1 billion dollars. Yes.
“Blackwater USA, based in Moyock, North Carolina, was established in 1997 and has
grown to become one of the world’s largest providers of private military services, offering a
diverse range of services including personal security details, military training services, aviation
support, K-9 services, and its own line of armored vehicles. Prior to the war in Iraq, the
company primarily offered training services for law enforcement and military personnel. But
during the past six years, the business has expanded and diversified to include private military
Blackwater’s government contracts have grown exponentially during the Bush
Administration, particularly since the start of the war in Iraq. Blackwater went from having
government contracts worth less than a million dollars in 2001 to contracts worth more than half
a billion dollars in 2006. Figure A shows the increase in Blackwater’s government contracts
over the past six years, while Table A shows the dollar amounts Blackwater received in each of
Table A: Blackwater’s Federal Contracts
Year Amount Paid
2001 $ 736.906
2002 $ 3,415,884
2003 $ 25,395,556
2004 $ 48,496,903
2005 $ 352,871,817
2006 s 593.601.952
This pdf below is from the US House oversite committee.
Just as I argued in this post. Blackwater often did jobs the CIA/JSOC were hesitant to do.
“”””””””””But the most noteworthy thing about the largely failed prosecution wasn’t the outcome. It was the tens of thousands of pages of documents—some declassified—that the litigation left in its wake. These documents illuminate Blackwater’s defense strategy—and it’s a fascinating one: To defeat the charges it was facing, Blackwater built a case not only that it worked with the CIA—which was already widely known—but that it was in many ways an extension of the Agency itself.””””””””
“””But according to the documents Blackwater submitted in its defense—as well as an email exchange I had recently with Prince—the contractor’s relationship with the CIA was far deeper than most observers thought. “Blackwater’s work with the CIA began when we provided specialized instructors and facilities that the Agency lacked,” Prince told me recently, in response to written questions. “In the years that followed, the company became a virtual extension of the CIA because we were asked time and again to carry out dangerous missions, which the Agency either could not or would not do in-house.”
Wow.. devastating article in the Guardian about JSOC. I have to see the documentary Dirty Wars.
“Scahill and Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSoc assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the “kill lists” they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people.
Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes.”
JSOC in theory is the place of unified command of Special Operations and Exercises. In practice however it seems to be the main arm that deals with Counter terrorism around the world and is most likely responsible for a majority of Drone Strike.
“””””Although JSOC’s stated purpose is to provide a unified command structure for conducting joint special operations and exercises, it is widely reported that JSOC is actually the command responsible for conducting US counter-terrorism operations. JSOC is reported to command the US military’s Special Missions Units (SMUs). These SMUs are tasked with conducting counter-terrorism operations, strike operations, reconnaissance in denied areas, and special intelligence missions.””””
“””JSOC units reportedly had been involved in a number of covert military operations since its inception. Some of these operations included providing assistance to Italian authorities during their search for kidnapped US Army General James Dozier; participating in Operation Urgent Fury, the US invasion of Grenada; planning a rescue attempt of US hostages being held in Lebanon; rescuing hostages being held aboard the cruise liner Achille Lauro; participating in Operation Just Cause, the US intervention in Panama; directing US Scud missile hunting efforts during Operation Desert Storm; conducting operations in support of UN mandates in Somalia; and searching for suspected war criminals in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.””””” Not to mention the raid on the Bin Laden compound in the heart of Pakistan.
As the map shows the US was in Indian air space as part of the attack on Bin Laden.
One of the better articles I read when looking into JSOC. You have to remember this is all highly secretive and information is fairly hard to come by.
Interesting quote from the article.
“”””“The CIA doesn’t have the size or the authority to do some of the things we can do,” said one JSOC operator.””””
“”””””Despite the secrecy, JSOC is not permitted to carry out covert action as the CIA can. Covert action, in which the U.S. role is to be kept hidden, requires a presidential finding and congressional notification. Many national security officials, however, say JSOC’s operations are so similar to the CIA’s that they amount to covert action. The unit takes its orders directly from the president or the secretary of defense and is managed and overseen by a military-only chain of command.””””””
A quote from the article that highlights the scariest aspect of JSOC to me. It is accountable to almost no one.
“”””””””Yet JSOC operates with practically no accountability. In Iraq, it ran a torture chamber at a place called Camp Nama — until its leader, Stanley McChrystal and his intelligence chief, Michael Flynn, cleaned it up. (There’s a debate in military circles about whether McChrystal or his friend and successor, Adm. William McRavendeserve credit for JSOC’s resurgence; but Ambinder’s reporting suggests Flynn is the real father of the modern JSOC.) The unit is supposed to answer to the chain of command, but it advised President Obama not to ask which Navy SEAL actually killed Osama bin Laden — and then wouldn’t tell Obama’s chief of staff, who ignored the advice. Even while the CIA works intimately with JSOC, it whispers to reporters, self-interestedly, that the unit is out of control.”””””””””””””