Do.Not.Trust.the.Intercept


A warning heard increasingly fervently among many alternative journalists and bloggers.

First: ‘Whom Not To Trust – U.S. Government Indicts Another Intercept Source;  Another source that provided government secrets to The Intercept has been uncovered and indicted by the U.S. government, May 9, 2019, moonofalabama.org
“Another [beyond Reality Winner whom he’d featured earlier] source that provided government secrets to The Intercept has been uncovered and indicted by the U.S. government.

The Intercept was created to privatize the National Security Agency documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The online magazine is financed by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay, who’s is known for many shady connection to Obama administration and for promoting various regime change efforts.” [snip]

“Our mistrust towards The Intercept got reinforced by the arrest of another of The Intercept’s sources.

Today the Justice Department arrested and charged a former U.S. Airforce soldier, Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville, Tennessee, who had worked at the National Security Agency (NSA), as an intelligence analyst in Afghanistan, and at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA). The Justice Department alleges that Hale leaked several secret and top secret powerpoint presentations and papers to an online outlet:

According to allegations in the indictment, beginning in April 2013, while enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the NSA, Hale began communicating with a reporter. Hale met with the reporter in person on multiple occasions, and, at times, communicated with the reporter via an encrypted messaging platform. Then, in February 2014, while working as a cleared defense contractor at NGA, Hale printed six classified documents unrelated to his work at NGA and soon after exchanged a series of messages with the reporter. Each of the six documents printed were later published by the reporter’s news outlet.

According to allegations in the indictment: while employed as a cleared defense contractor for NGA, Hale printed from his Top Secret computer 36 documents, including 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA. Of the 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA, Hale provided at least 17 to the reporter and/or the reporter’s online news outlet, which published the documents in whole or in part. Eleven of the published documents were classified as Top Secret or Secret and marked as such.”

bernhard continues to match the indictment’s dates, publications, and meetings with Intercept reporter Jeremy Scahill, as well as a Reuters piece that similarly had done.

“The indictment does not say how the government found out that Hale provided the documents to Scahill. But the two seem to have at times communicated openly via phone, email and through text messages. That should have been a no-no. The government recovered at least parts of those communications. Hale attended several of Scahill’s book tour events. Beyond that Hale openly communicated with ‘a confident’ [confidante] about his contacts with Scahill. Later Scahill and Hale used the encrypted chat tool Jabber. Hale also used Tails, a software package The Intercept recommends for leaking documents to it.”

He then posits that the DOJ could file charges against Scahill in the same manner as the charges that Assange had allegdly actively helped Chelsea Manning to escape scrutiny by using her access to secret documents under a different account than her own.

“While it is not known how the government found out that Hale leaked the documents in questions, its knowledge of phone and text contacts show that all open communication with any Intercept reporter will likely be intercepted by the relevant agencies.”

“That R.L. Winner went to jail because an Intercept reporter, who was known to not be trustworthy, ‘mishandled’ the leak is terrible. That a second source is now under arrest after lengthy open communication with another Intercept writer only reinforces our recommendation:

Do not trust The Intercept.

If you’d read the comments on b’s thread, you may have noticed Margaret Kimberly (BAR) saying ‘and don’t forget Terry Albury’, Whitney Webb has not forgotten him. But first, this is the first coverage I’d seen:

Ex-US intelligence analyst charged with leaking top-secret drone war docs’, 9 May, RT.com, May 9, 2019

“Daniel Everette Hale was arrested and charged under the Espionage Act on Thursday for illegally disclosing top-secret and secret documents to the media, according to the indictment.”

There are Tweets from both Webb and Mark Ames, and I’d laughed when I’d seen his atop Webb’s:

@MarkAmesExiled   “The Intercept is getting whistleblowers pinched & jailed—just as it quietly shut down *our* Snowden docs. Warned ya years ago nothing good would come from a tech billionaire with deep ties to the US military-intel world, but this is worse than I imagined”

That made me laugh, as it mirrored so well the detractors who’d called the publication of the Snowden docs ‘a limited hang-out’.  Webb’s notes: “Another whistleblower to The Intercept about to go prison. ALL WHISTLEBLOWERS CHARGED UNDER TRUMP HAVE BEEN INTERCEPT SOURCES. See thread below for proof of Intercepts involvement @TimothyS @MarkAmesExiled

 ‘Another Whistleblower Bites the Dust as The Intercept Adds a Third Notch to Its Burn Belt; The Intercept, which has long been associated with the documents shared by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has yet to fire any of the reporters responsible for these breaches that have seen two whistleblowers already imprisoned and third, Daniel Hale, likely to be imprisoned’, Whitney Webb, mintpressnews.com, May 10, 2019

It’s necessarily long, but while discussing Hale, she mentions other possibilities to the timing lag:

The indictment does not specify what led federal investigators to Hale several years after the events in question took place. Indeed, the indictment deals exclusively with events that took place between 2013 and 2015, and Hale’s house had been raided in August 2014, from which some of the evidence cited in the indictment was likely acquired. However, the Obama administration never pressed charges and it is unclear why the Trump administration has waited until now to do so, or if investigators acquired new information on Hale’s whistleblowing activities relatively recently. Hale, who appeared in the 2016 documentary National Bird about drone whistleblowers, had stated in that film that he anticipated being indicted at some point in time.”

This is  the trailer; apparently you can find the entire documentary on youtube as well, and watch if you…pay to watch.

National Bird Official Trailer 1 (2016) – Documentary

Now this gets interesting as to ‘other plausible theories’:

“While the indictment suggests that the lack of secure communication with Scahill was a likely factor, there are other possibilities, such as the “friend” of Hale, noted in the indictment, with whom he discussed his relationship with Scahill.

Another possibility is that someone else at the Intercept other than Scahill was made aware of Hale’s identity, a point raised years ago by CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou and recently pointed out by independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone. After it was revealed that the Intercept had obtained information from a whistleblower on drone warfare, which turned out to be Daniel Hale, in 2015, Kiriakou tweeted: “New drone whistleblower at The Intercept. For God’s sake don’t let Matthew Cole learn his identity.

Cole, as will be noted later on in this report, has been accused by Kiriakou for outing him as a journalistic source to the federal government and, two years after Kiriakou’s tweet, was believed to have helped lead federal investigators to Intercept source Reality Winner in 2017. Thus, it is possible that Cole or another employee of the online publication had learned of Hale’s identity from Scahill and then passed it along, either intentionally or inadvertently, to the government.”

Webb then quotes Jessely Raddack, Hale’s attorney’s recent Tweet: “unsophisticated whistleblowers” like Hale, now 31 years old but who was only 23 when he met Scahill, should not have borne the burden of keeping his identity safe.” All of which had led to John Kiriakou Tweeting this question:

@JohnKiriakou  “Serious question for The Intercept: Do you secretly work for the FBI? David Hale, Reality Winner and Terry Albury are all in prison because of you. Is it incompetence or are you compromised? You owe a lot of people an explanation. And an apology.”

From the Intercept’s page on Matthew Cole:

“Matthew Cole is an investigative journalist with The Intercept, specializing in national security and intelligence issues. Most recently, Cole worked as a television producer at ABC News’ investigative unit. There, he garnered two Emmy nominations in 2011 for his coverage of the CIA and an al Qaeda terrorist plot.” Hmmmm; is that CV a tell? But back to Miz Whitney:

Terry Albury


MintPress reported on the acts by the online publication and noted that the Intercept made two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in March 2016 for documents that the publication had already received from Albury — so the requests were an effort to “launder” or obfuscate the fact that the classified documents had been obtained from a whistleblower. Yet, both FOIA requests contained specific information identifying the names of the documents that were not publicly available, an error that led the FBI to link references contained in the requests to Albury’s activity on FBI information systems. The FBI subsequently found that documents that Albury had accessed had been later published by the Intercept.

Albury, a father of two young children, is currently serving a four-year sentence for bringing important information about the FBI’s abuse of power in relation to its counter-terrorism activities and surveillance of journalists to the public. To date, no one at the Intercept was fired in connection with Albury’s prosecution, despite the role of the FOIA requests made by the Intercept in his arrest.”

“Furthermore, journalist Barrett Brown — who served a lengthy 63-month prison sentence for linking to hacked material — has recently stated that Intercept journalist Sam Biddle played a role in his imprisonment, further worsening the optics of the publication’s track record. Brown originally faced a combined sentence of over 100 years in prison before negotiating a plea deal.”

Webb then wonders if Pierre Omidyar’s can keep Scahill out of hot water.  She links to two exposés on Pierre, both by Alexander Rubenstein and Max Blumenthal:

Pierre Omidyar’s Funding of Pro-Regime-Change Networks and Partnerships with CIA Cutouts’;  To [Omidyar] it’s … about … integrating things together to give technocrats, business executives and government officials a God’s-eye view of the world — to manage and control society more efficiently.” — Yasha Levine, author of “Surveillance Valley: The Military History of the Internet’, Feb. 20, 2019

and

How One of America’s Premier Data Monarchs is Funding a Global Information War and Shaping the Media Landscape’, Through his purchase of influence over the daily flow of information to American media consumers, a dizzying array of connections to the national security state, and a media empire that shields him from critical scrutiny, Pierre Omidyar has become one of the world’s most politically sophisticated data monarchs.’, Feb. 18, 2019

I will note that in my own files (one such messy compilation from 2018), Sibel Edmonds had covered a lot of the same ground earlier.

The ‘Justice’ Department’s May 9 indictment of Daniel Everett Hale is here.  Back to Whitney Webb:

What did Hale’s whistleblowing reveal?

Briefly, that Obama’s expanded use of drone programs with no oversight, leading to untold numbers of civilian deaths abroad… which Trump has since significantly expanded — including the fact that U.S. drones killed innocent people 90 percent of the time, victims who were subsequently labeled “enemy combatants” regardless of their actual status’.  You may remember that if the families of ‘bug splat’ victims could prove that their loved ones were NOT terr’ists, they could be awarded some Blood Money by ISAF or whatever coalitions.  ‘Never walk in a tactical fashion, even while tending your family’s goats’ became the byword during the ‘Liberation’ of Afghanistan.

Now there are boatloads of reasons why I personally don’t trust the Intercept, but I’ll name just a few for now:

One is that at last count there were 99 fearless investigative journalists at Pierre’s Place, why are they there save for Intercepting the News and Controlling it?

Among those fearless journalists they have smeared Julian Assange at least four times, although one was a more subtle two-fer by Greenwald and Klein.  Micah Lee’s may have been the worst:

In February of (then) last year, Lee called Assange a “rapist, liar & ally to fascists” in a tweet — despite the fact that Assange was never charged with rape, his alleged accusers have also claimed that Assange had not sexually assaulted them, and there is abundant evidence suggesting that the rape investigation was a means of ensnaring Assange to ensure his extradition to the United States. Based on Lee’s other tweets, the “ally to fascists” charge ostensibly refers to Lee’s belief that Wikileaks’ publications of emails from the DNC and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta was done explicitly, with Assange’s blessing, to aid the Trump campaign.

The place has paid extraordinary homage to the White Helmets… (click for larger)

and engaged in other anti-Assadist rhetoric, and had teamed up with (atlantic council partner bellingcat in a 3-day workshop.  Remember the bana alabed syrian child in Aleppo psyop? Eva Bartlett:


“The child’s [Twitter] account, which now has 369,000 followers, continues to vilify the Syrian and Russian governments and hobnobs with world leaders and global celebrities. Time magazine lauded Bana as among the most 25 influential people on the internet. On June 30, the Bana account tweeted the announcement of her memoirs, published by Simon & Schuster.”

Having recalled some discussions as to the veracity v. extreme bias of TI’s James Risen, I dug out his page noting that he’s the Intercept’s Senior National Security Correspondent; this is his oeuvre. (Sprawling Russian Spy Game, Trump’s Cozy Relationship with Vlad, etc.)

But as for Pierre himself and GG having recently closed down the Snowden Archives, given Omidyar’s deep connection and financing of the Maidan  putsch in Ukraine and other regime change operations via USAID, etc., one does tend to wonder if the 95% or so remaining unpublished docs might have, yanno, put Pierre in a compromising position. (graphic from the exiled, ames and levine)

I may bring more in the comments, as you may, but this is long enough already. Should I award prizes for those who finish?  ; )

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

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