- The Secret History of the New York Times's National Security Failures
- What little our citizenry asks of those whom it pays to watch the state on its behalf. And what little the citizenry itself cares for the state it fuels, and blindly puts into motion.
- First we must repeat what was already made clear, though not clear enough for certain reporters: This operation is information-oriented, and will not consist of any hacks. An unconfirmed incident in which the Times' administrator password was changed to changeme123123 was done by a lone individual in borderline violation of Anonymous tradition, which prevents most Anons from attacking private media outlets via those means (Lulzsec was merely an amusing abberation).
- Secondly, we again essay to make clear that this operation is being done in retaliation for the incompetence of several reporters and editors at The New York Times, and specifically those involved in this most recent series of events in August during which the Trapwire story was misreported and even undersold based apparently on the claims of state officials who are left unnamed and unchallenged. This is not merely bad journalism or a disagreement over what merits coverage; it is another instance in which The Times has used its position in such a way as to confuse the populace, the media, and the officials of the republic while providing them with undue assurance as to the secret dangers we face from a sector whose crimes require shadow and silence. The passing on of unpublished material to the CIA by reporter Mark Mazzetti, so far explained only in contradictory and inexplicable terms by two Times officials, is another failure that must not go unnoted, and which we hope to make known to the many as this operation concludes. Meanwhile, the Times has yet to apologize to the CIA employee in question for forcing her to read a Maureen Dowd column. But then such people tend to read at their own volition the work of Thomas Friedman, who in 2001 called on America to "keep rootin' for Putin" but is nonetheless read by Barack Obama, President of the Secret Waning Empire. May the Beltway consume itself in cannibalistic backstabbing and then be destroyed altogether by some divine meteor, guided by Providence and Fortuna.
- Now we bring you the meat of our info operation against the Times - correspondence between Anonymous propagandists who keep reporters appraised of the crimes of our enemies and the relative correctness of our conduct, and a New York Times reporter whom We will not name in public, being a well-meaning fellow and merely one of many who serve the Grey Lady with less competence than she once deserved. These exchanges occurred in 2011 and 2012 and will be verified upon request to those journalists who know where to find us.
- We will also note, in advance of the made-up assertions that we have come to expect from certain media quarters and will be correcting in a very public manner over the coming weeks, that this same reporter and the Times itself has written extensively about our movement and our work. Some of what has been written has even been without error and managed to focus on key aspects rather than nonsense (Julian Assange, whose bathroom habits were detailed by the NYT not long ago, must envy us a bit on this point). We are not unhappy simply because the Times does not agree with us about the world and what parts of it merit attention; no one has a monopoly on priorities of coverage, even if some things are clearly more important than others in the agreement of all. But we should not have had to struggle to prompt other outlets, more attentive than the Times, to acknowledge that Trapwire's links to Cubic are significant and that anonymous DHS officials ought not determine what a paper considers troubling. We have other battles to fight. We ask only that the NYT not add to our workload through its own failures. Too many worse failures, such as those the Times perpetrated a decade ago at the behest of the disgraced criminal Scooter Libby, have pushed this republic into wars it lacked the focus to win. Cry for those who are dead because of those of us in the West cannot handle the duties of citizenship, or blame for the catastrophes we bring upon the world in our mistakes.
- Finally, if future events mirror those of the past and we are prompted to revive this campaign in the wake of any additional aid and comfort to our criminal opponents in the various governments, the unusual restraint we showed yesterday in not stealing the Times' e-mails for our own review is unlikely to be repeated. After Operation Mockingbird, outlets like the Times and the Post are subject to perpetual review for clandestine operational control by the CIA and other agencies and if deemed to be state-affiliated in covert rather than official fashion, will likely elevate to the status of preferred target by others over whom none of us have any control.
- Don't wait. Retaliate.
- We do not forget.
- [Portions of the below text have been edited to remove identifying details of Anons and reporter]
- [February 6th 2011, a few minutes after completion of Anonymous attack on HBGary servers]
- [E-mail to reporter who had covered Anonymous matters such as legal defense efforts for those raided in Paypal case as well as recent successful attacks on Egyptian government online infrastructure]
- You may have seen yesterday's Financial Times piece which claimed that the operational heads of Anonymous had been identified by a certain Aaron Barr of the internet secuity firm HBGary Federal. Barr claimed that Q is co-founder of Anonymous, which is demonstrably false (Q set up the #anonymous channel at anonops.ru, which is simply an IRC channel) and that he is seeking replacements for OWen. OWen merely runs and owns that particular server, which as I told you is one of several de facto operational centers. Everyone involved laughed their assess off yesterday and several of us wrote a silly press release which was thereafter posted at Daily Kos and AnonNews. Barr, for his part, is reportedly set to meet with the FBI tomorrow in order to provide them with info gleaned from our entirely non-secret IRC channels, and meanwhile his allegedly successful intel operation will no doubt help his firm acquire further business.
- The only problem is that Anonymous has just taken over the website of HBGary Federal founder Greg Hoglund and deleted all bakcups. Suffice to say that HBGary has attempted to interfere with a movement that has made substantial contributions to the liberty and well-being of North Africans and others and will be further dealt with over the coming hours. Please see: http://rootkit.com/. And enjoy your weekend.
- [another e-mail to same reporter a few minutes later]
- This document: http://hizost.com/d/zjb
- ... was to be provided to the FBI by HBGary. Much of it appears to be hilariously inaccurate; I,for instance, am listed as potentially having several different screen names, whereas in fact I only have one. [several sentences redacted]
- [response from reporter]
- I told [redacted] that I don't think this is an NYT story right now, but that I want to try and do something longer on all of this in the next week or two.
- [Within 48 hours, countless other outlets had reported on the story, with a few investigating the 70,000 e-mails seized from the firm and discovering that HBGary, Palantir, Berico, and Endgame Systems had conspired with Bank of America and U.S. Chamber to covertly attack activist groups, Wikileaks, and journalist Glenn Greenwald and set up certain targets on fraud charges, among other things. The e-mails went on to yield further stories on persona management, Endgame Systems’ offensive capabilities against Western European targets, and the Romas/COIN surveillance/propaganda system, none of which the Times has seen fit to cover. The paper did eventually note something about the HBGary hack without adding any additional information not already published elsewhere].
- [Late 2011: OpCartel. Not as egregious as some of what is yet to be released, but indicative of Times’ cluelessness on certain matters, in this case those involving Mexico and legitimate security concerns involving the life of a kidnap victim]
- [redacted]: Hey , hope you're well.
- me: indeed
- [redacted]: Just wondering if this Mexico thing today is bullshit. Have you heard anything?
- me: it's not at all bullshit
- 5:19 PM [redacted]: I mean the rumour that a woman has been released by the Zetas.
- me: I don't know about it being a woman, necessarily, but the release did apparently occur, but not in response to the op; the person was not known by the Zetas to be the Anon
- 5:20 PM This person can tell you more
- [e-mail redacted]
- I'm not sure what other details I can give out at this point
- [redacted]: Who is that person?
- The email address, I mean
- 5:21 PM me: a Mexican Anon whom I've been working with on this
- [description redacted]
- 5:22 PM [redacted]: Can you tell me, off the record, any details about the person who was taken? I'm not going to publish even the hint of a detail, as I don't want to endanger a life. But it would help in researching.
- me: and perhaps more as other informants come to me as a result of the media coverage
- I cannot, you'll have to ask this Mexican Anon
- 5:23 PM [redacted]: What evidence have you seen that the kidnap really happened?
- 5:24 PM me: None, nor would I have expected to as we have no intention of providing a chance that the person could be identified
- however, this other person might be able to tell you more.
- [redacted]: But if the person couldn't be identified, how could the Zetas respond to the threat?
- 5:25 PM me: These Anons assumed that the Zetas knew who it was
- But obviously they had no way of knowing the exact situation
- 5:27 PM [redacted]: So, just to clarify: an Anon was taken by the Zetas. The video was released, then the Anon was released, but because the Anon was never identified it is not clear if it is linked to the op.
- me: That's basically it, yes. But you really should check with [redacted]
- 5:28 PM [redacted]: I definitely will, thanks for the email address.
- me: no problem
- [redacted]: I'm going to ask a stupid question.
- If no one has any evidence a person was kidnapped, how do you know a person was kidnapped?
- 5:29 PM me: I'm relying on the account of someone I've known and worked with in the past and whom I believe to be telling the truth based on the nature of her responses as well as other details I can't go into due to the present situation
- 5:30 PM Obviously if I were functioning as a journalist, that wouldn't be sufficient. But in this case...
- 5:31 PM We already have journalists looking too fucking closely into who the person is, including a review of Mexican records, and as such we're very reluctant to assist them in finding out more.
- [redacted]: But a responsible journalist won't run the name.
- So what difference does it make?
- 5:32 PM me: If you take a few minutes to think about the process by which such a name would come up and the nature of the situation in Mexico, and concede that mistakes occur in journalism, you can probably guess.
- [redacted]: True.
- 5:33 PM me: Again, this would be of greater concern to me if the U.S. media bothered to pay attention to those larger issues on which I have already produced evidence.
- As it is, we don't really need the trust of the media insomuch as that most of our operations are fait accompli when reported
- 5:34 PM So, we are confronted with the decision between risking someone's life and proving that a person exists to reporters with whom we already have an ambivalent relationship
- [redacted]: I can see your argument.
- 5:35 PM But if you take me, for example, I don't think I've ever done anything that might make you think I'm not trustworthy with sensitive information.
- me: At any rate, even I have few details on this, so even if I wanted to - and of course I'd be happy to have this confirmed rather than have my outlets deem me untrustworthy - there's nothing I could do.
- 5:36 PM No, you're the exact opposite.
- The Times can be trusted to withhold even information that is of public concern.
- 5:37 PM [redacted]: Ha -- I can understand your frustration, but the NYT's news sense and yours will not always align.
- me: That's true.
- [redacted]: But sometimes it will, obviously.
- 5:38 PM me: But again, I have few details to provide anyway, so I don't want to waste your time on that particular issue.
- 5:39 PM [redacted]: Fair enough. Any details whatsoever -- however minor -- would be appreciated if you are so minded.
- me: Nothing more I can say about the kidnapping victim. I suggest you talk to [redacted] about it.
- [Note: Despite consistent explanations to the Times and other outlets that no one was in a position to confirm the kidnappings, they were reported as fact by the paper - a decision the reporter later expressed regret for on his Twitter account, thereby helping to spawn a narrative to the effect that the original claims were now somehow under dispute. They were later claimed to be a hoax by at least one outlet, Gawker. Months later, Anonymous Veracruz participants would reveal to the Mexican press why they were initially reluctant to provide identifying details about the kidnap victim, who had spoken via webcam with several prominent activists after being released - that he had been involved in selling marijuana and his kidnapping stemmed from a dispute with a “minor” Zeta operative]
- Additional correspondence will be released tomorrow, demonstrating among other things an even more egregious failure on the part of the Times to report on revelations of Apple and Google’s involvement with disgraced intelligence contractor Aaron Barr and other parties on the multi-capability apparatus know as Romas/COIN (reportedly replaced by an even lesser-understood capability Odyssey in 2011). In fairness to the Times, only Der Spiegel, Raw Story, The Guardian, and a few other outlets mostly outside of the U.S. bothered to even mention the report, which was offered as an exclusive to various outlets before being released to the public in mid-2011.
Anonymous #OpNYT Secret History of NYT Nat Sec Failures
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