The following is translated from the French press outlet VOLTAIRENET. Funny how this story is being covered in the foreign press while being largeley ignored here–and COMPLETELY ignored in the era of Obama.
The FBI enlisted the employees of large companies, not only as informants about their clients, but as supplementary to the law enforcement in a situation of martial law. This status implies the right to “shoot to kill”. This device, created during the Clinton era, was developed by George W. Bush when he established the Department of Homeland Security during its “war on terror”, and extended by Barack Obama.
More than 23,000 employees of private industry have been recruited as auxiliaries of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS English) . They are responsible for collecting and providing information on their fellow Americans. They are attached to a unit, called InfraGard, which is growing visibly. They are privately warned of terrorist threats before the public, and sometimes even before some officials. “There is evidence qu’InfraGard is more of a ‘program of operation Total Information’ (TIPS, by his signs in English) referred to private companies, some of which can monitor the activities of millions of their clients-the eyes and ears of the FBI “, as confirmed by a report of the American Civil Liberties Union (the U.S. equivalent of a League of Human Rights) entitled The surveillance-industrial complex: how the U.S. Government enlists individuals and businesses in creating a surveillance society.
InfraGard brings together employees from 350 companies listed in the classification Forbes the 500 largest U.S. companies. It reproduces the model piloted in Cleveland in 1996, when the private sector of the city cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats. “At the time, the FBI cloned the experience,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the Office of the National Alliance of InfraGard members and principal architect of the growth of InfraGard over recent years .
Robert Mueller, FBI Director , Gave a speech at an InfraGard convention, August 9, 2005: “There are currently more than 11,000 members of InfraGard … from our perspective, it is 11,000 contacts, 11,000 partners involved … our mission is to protect the USA. ” He added: “The private sector employees are the first line of defense.”
On May 9, 2007, George W. Bush signed National Security Presidential Directive No. 51. It expanded the powers of the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate its activities with the “private sector owners and companies with vital infrastructure, as necessary to maintain essential services in a situation emergency.
“They are closely related to our preparation,” said Amy Kudwa, spokesperson for the secretariat to the Homeland Security. “We provide trainers and organize joint presentations [with the FBI]. In addition, we train with them, and they participated (often hundreds at a time) to exercise national preparedness. ”
According to several members interviewed, being a member of InfraGard means being allowed to “shoot to kill” under martial law, without incurring any legal proceedings.
“We gain access easily to information secure, exclusively for members of InfraGard,” says Schneck. “If you had to call 1-800 – FBI, you would not take the trouble to do,” noted the official. “But if you’ve met Joe at a meeting and you ate a piece with him, you may call it, is to give information or to obtain. We hope everyone has a little black book. ”
Jay Stanley, a leader of the ACLU, warned: “The FBI must refrain from creating a privileged class of Americans benefiting from special treatment. There is no “business class” in policing. If there is information the FBI can share with 22,000 private-sector bigwigs, why did not he would share with the public? The secret is not a festive gift that is offered to her friends … This is akin to a bribe that the FBI used for large companies to thank them for joining the national surveillance machine.
For the public, it is not easy to access InfraGard. Its communications with the FBI and DHS are working outside the framework of the law on access to information since they benefit from the exemption provided under the protection of “trade secrets”, so any conversation with the public or the media must be carefully prepared, it has been noted on its website.
Update from Matt Rothschild
The Progressive issued a press release on the InfraGard story and I was interviewed by Air America, Democracy Now! and by many other radio alternatives. The mainstream media chose to ignore this history, with the exception of a dispatch published by a small agency. But the FBI He has not ignored.
On 15 February, the FBI issued a statement denouncing the article. “The charges of the article are clearly false,” wrote Shawn Henry, deputy director of the Computer Division of the FBI. “The InfraGard members have no extraordinary power, and have no more right to” shoot to kill “than other civilians.”
“No more right?” Is this the appropriate language? It reminded me of a quote that I brought Curt Haugen, executive director of S’Curo Group and proud member of InfraGard. When I asked him if the FBI or Homeland Security had told members of InfraGard they could exercise at will of “deadly force” in a crisis, he replied: “I will not make too many comments on this issue, but individually, you have the right to use force if you feel threatened.”
Note that the FBI did not deny that he suggested to members of InfraGard to “shoot to kill”. Everything Henry has said, is that InfraGard members “have no more right. And it is not exactly what crippled my article …
The FBI seemed annoyed that I did not give further details on the meeting at which the author had participated in these revelations. “Unfortunately, the author of the article Progressive even refused to specify where and when was this’ small meeting where issues relating to martial law were discussed, “noted the press release from Henry. “If we get this information, the FBI certainly will follow up this matter and take care to dispel any possible misunderstanding.”
It goes without saying that I failed to specify the place and date of the meeting not to expose my source.
Unsurprisingly, the press release fails to mention that I received confirmation of statements on the “lethal force” made by another member of InfraGard, which it is named in the article. I keep each of the imputations of my article and I urge Congress to investigate InfraGard and the FBI review the plans not only in relation to that unit but which affects us all in times of crisis.
A final note: Since the article appeared I was put on new tracks, and some sources indicate that in addition to individuals, a private company was given the “lethality”.
The Progressive, February 7, 2008
Title of award-winning article: “Exclusive! The FBI Deputizes Business ”
Author: Matthew Rothschild
Student investigators: Chris Armanino and Sarah Maddox
Tutor: Josh Meisel, Ph.D.