While the majority of Americans have
been involved in the "wedge issues" of abortion, guns, gays, poor teachers, etc.
the country has been taken away from them. The key to having any hope of
regaining our democracy is these NotSee Americans to open their eyes and get
actively involved. (If it isn't too late)
‘Most valued partner’: NSA fed Israel intel for
targeted assassinations, leaked docs show
Frustrated by a legal ban on sharing intelligence with Israeli operatives
conducting targeted assassinations against Hezbollah, the NSA crafted a
loophole giving them total access even to US citizens' data, leaked documents
The Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU), the NSA's counterpart in Tel Aviv,
convinced the Americans to circumvent the legal prohibition on providing
surveillance data for targeted assassinations during Israel's 2006 war with
Lebanon, according to the newest revelation from the archives obtained by
whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Using the familiar rationale of "terrorism" to excuse cooperation
they knew was illegal, the NSA and ISNU found a workaround using the Office of
the Director of National Intelligence that provided the Israelis with all the
intel they needed, according to an October 2006 article in the NSA's internal
"To ISNU, this prohibition [on sharing data for targeted killings] was
contrary not only to supporting Israel in its fight against Hizballah but
overall, to support the US Global War on Terrorism," said an
article in SIDToday.
Its author, whose name is redacted, details the "late-night, sometimes
tense discussions" he had with ISNU officials who believed they deserved
an exemption from the US prohibition on abetting targeted killings.
The documents don't include details of what "arrangement" was
eventually worked out with the ODNI, but the Israeli military used American
data to lay waste to Lebanon's civilian population, much like the tech-enhanced
US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose kill-counts swelled with civilian
victims after they received access to NSA targeting data.
"Israel repeatedly, and in some cases egregiously, violated the laws of
war," Human Rights Watch reporter Nadim Houry told the Intercept, adding that the Israelis "engaged in
indiscriminate aerial attacks" and cluster bombing against
"civilian infrastructure that was not tied in any way to the armed
This 'strategy' had a name – the "Dahiyeh doctrine" – and
Israeli officials admitted it was deliberate, but despite this brutality, they
were unable to win the war. A leaked presentation about the NSA-ISNU relationship notes that
"public confidence in IDF erodes" and "IDF image damaged"
after the seemingly-outmatched Hezbollah fighters were able to keep the
Israelis at bay. Nevertheless, the IDF was, according to the presentation,
"Gearing up for Round II."
Apparently unsatisfied with the legal loophole the Americans had created for
them, the Israelis sought and received full access to the NSA's massive
surveillance data troves after the war. A 2009 memorandum of understanding officially gave ISNU
unrestricted access to the NSA's raw intelligence data – including the phone
and internet records of American citizens and citizens of third-party
countries. Only American officials' data was excluded, on an honor-system
basis (with ISNU instructed to "destroy upon recognition" any
records originating with a government official). Almost no strings were
attached to this bonanza – the Israelis could even release the identities of
Americans whose information had been scooped up in the dragnet, as long as
they asked the NSA for permission first, and could pass the data on to
anyone at all if the names were redacted.
While a leaked presentation calls ISNU "NSA's most valued third party
partner," it also suggests there was "high anxiety" among the
Israelis "heavily reliant" on NSA data for support. One slide reads
"What Did ISNU Want? Everything!!!" and complaints about the Israelis'
"robust" spying on Americans crop up frequently in the Snowden
archives. The NSA did not seem to mind, because the Israelis were very, very
grateful for all the information.
"Throughout all of my discussions – no matter what the tone or subject –
ISNU stressed their deep gratitude for the cooperation and support they
received from the NSA," the SIDToday article reads.