Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

The NSA Collected Porn Data on ‘Radicalizers’ to Discredit Them

Huffington Post surprised by a war tactic that goes back centuries, revealed by newest Edward Snowden leaks.

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

November 30, 2013 - 4:00 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

edward-snowden

Ed Snowden has leaked another trove of documents, and the Huffington Post is generating clicks with it. The upshot is that the NSA monitored the online activities of six people it characterizes as Islamist radicalizers. The NSA built up information on these Islamists’ porn habits, for the purpose of discrediting them.

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.

The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues.

None of this is especially new. The allies built up extensive profiles and dossiers on Hitler’s private and even sexual life during World War II, and I’m sure the axis did the same to allied leaders. The Soviets probably had great fun building up files on J. Edgar Hoover and JFK, among others. They didn’t really have to build up a file on Ted Kennedy. Once he left a woman to drown, there wasn’t much they could expose that would have cost him his Massachusetts Senate seat. Maybe they could have run an op outing him as a closet Republican or something, but he was much more useful to them as a senator.

An attached appendix lists the “argument” each surveillance target has made that the NSA says constitutes radicalism, as well the personal “vulnerabilities” the agency believes would leave the targets “open to credibility challenges” if exposed.

One target’s offending argument is that “Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam,” and a vulnerability listed against him is “online promiscuity.” Another target, a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a “respected academic,” holds the offending view that “offensive jihad is justified,” and his vulnerabilities are listed as “online promiscuity” and “publishes articles without checking facts.” A third targeted radical is described as a “well-known media celebrity” based in the Middle East who argues that “the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.” Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead “a glamorous lifestyle.” A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself” is said to be vulnerable to accusations of “deceitful use of funds.” The document expresses the hope that revealing damaging information about the individuals could undermine their perceived “devotion to the jihadist cause.”

The tactic of building up personal information on foreign enemies probably dates back, I don’t know, thousands of years. As long as humans have waged organized warfare. Sun Tzu would surely approve, and said as much when he wrote “Know your enemy.” We remain at war and we pay the NSA to conduct SIGINT on people who wish to harm Americans. That’s it’s job.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
No, Bryan is not 100% correct. And those scoring dissapproval of NSA activities such as this as approval of Snowden are really, really missing the point of the ambivalence. Let's think about this a second folks.

Do you actually think it is a good idea for an organization such as the NSA to be judging when "private and public behaviors are not consistent", and by porn viewing at that? Really?

Isn't the larger story what they DON'T consider using to discredit these people? In the past the fact that they were Islamicists would have been enough to discredit them. Imagine if the charge of being a communist had no real effect or shame on the Alger Hiss espionage case, and the FBI told Whittaker Chambers "Ok, well even if he's a communist that isn't enough. What we really need to know is whether he buys girlie magazines so we can discredit him." That's what we're dealing with here. Hiss was convicted of perjury, but the public implication and shame were that this meant he was a traitor to his nation, and he bitterly denied it (though it was true) for the rest of his life for the shame of it.

We're totally screwed when people like Bryan Preston can't distinguish between exposing *public* acts that would be considered shameful to one's family and peers (an enemy's adultery and patronizing of prostitutes) and tracking the private "online sexual activity" of jihadis or their families who we know have no shame. Are they ashamed that Bin Laden had porn? No! Their fight is ideological not moral, and they'd no more be shamed over porn than the average Nazi would be to find Hitler perused porn. This isn't about traditional morality to them. We want to show them as hypocrites? We already know they're hypocrites by hating Western culture while being parasites on and benefiting from Western culture! But we no longer have the confidence to think this is really the gross evil it is. Now people just think it somewhat ungrateful.

But we can't shame them for that because, um ... oh right, we've bought into the guilt theory of our own complicity in what has happened to the ME that the Islamicists are preaching just like VDH has always said. As VDH has said, without this self-doubting guilt they'd have no power over us. So we're reduced to tracking the private web surfing habits to try the shame the shameless, while the people in the NSA are sharing techniques with the IRS and others for targeting the private behavior of patriotic Conservatives who would be shamed by such things, and for the purpose of limiting their participation in their government.

I'm sure this will all work out just fine. "Score a point for the NSA." Wow.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
The number of people that support snowden is staggering. Just compare the average blog response across all related articles in the media industry. The media is not listening to the people on this issue, its obvious.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are those people aware that he also leaked critical info to the Chinese (who are our enemies), and other enemies of America, not to mention worked with a known Marxist-Leninist such as Assange? At least the authors of the Clinton Chronicles didn't leak sensitive data to Fidel Castro, to China, or to Iraq, they went directly to the people and to our representatives, even when the media covered up for Clinton. Now, I want Obama removed from office as much as the next guy, but that doesn't mean we should support treason, which Snowden's leaking of information to clear enemies of America is treason. Besides, just because someone wants to take down a president doesn't mean they have our best interests at heart. Look at Robespierre: He took down his king in a revolution for France, yet he proved to have hated France and wanted to see it burn.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
For this one, I have to score the point for the NSA.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's their job, yes. But the difference between when our spooks were collecting dossiers on Hitler and his henchmen and now is that the water in which they, and we, swim is muddied. Our spooks used to be able to distinguish clearly the good guys from the bad guys.

And our spooks, and increasingly our law enforcement officers generally, now cannot distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys. We used to let bad guys go if we had sufficient evidence to convict. Now we're not satisfied with that, and so by now we're all guilty of multiple felonies at any given time and we just have to trust that those who decide our case will do it wisely. Yeah, that'll work out just fine.

http://www.amazon.com/Three-Felonies-Day-Target-Innocent/dp/1594035229

So don't tell me that the matter is as simple as determining whether to use whatever means necessary to prosecute those who are planning on doing us harm is justified. The fact is that the same tactics are being used against those of us who they're quite sure aren't. And that, my friend, is the problem. What is the point of surviving terrorists if they've destroyed our liberties? Might as well do what they want now.

And why is that false choice seen as our only option? Because our elites think we'd all panic and run around like idiots if a bomb is set off on American soil, and yet we can't accept that preemption is legitimate. The alternative is to do all we can within reasonable limits in a free society within the limits of our freedoms to prevent terrorist attacks, preempt those governments who are sponsoring attacks on citizens (including and especially in the form of our military), and if an attack occurs we visit holy hell upon the sponsors of those that did. Nah, let's just trust both those with surveillance powers and the unlimited powers of direction and control that is the White House. Yeah, that's a much safer and better option isn't it?
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
this author (Bryan) is 100% correct. these people will do anything to stay in power. the idiots (51%) among us have given the keys to our destruction to our bitter enemies who ignore us and our laws. acting like it will all go away is not an option. the elections are fixed, they listen to everything and know all the congress/u.s.s.c's dirty little secrets. we no longer live in a democratic republic. be prepared for the worse, its coming.
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All