The voice of the semi-official spokeswoman for the ruling clique, Martha Raddatz, crackles resonantly as if she had a personal investment when she announces the mortal attack on Major General Greene, a two star major general and the highest ranking official to have been killed in the Afghanistan war.
Martha Raddatz had had her ticket punched in all the right places, having been married to Ben Bradlee Jr. and the Obama Administration’s former FCC Commissioner, having held down a slot on the New York Times best-seller list, and having been spoofed on SNL. She also sports a hip hop ring tone.
But this isn’t about Martha: it’s about a mythical software with special powers and whether, as is claimed here by a “former Palantir field service rep”, it was being used on-scene at the Boston Marathon during the bombing.
Was there a field test of this technology during a pre-planned drill that was a cover for an op? Or was, as is claimed, the technology in use to help catch the perps?
Who has funded the technology, and for what purposes? Who are the company’s clients? What military contractor groups have access to the technology? How many police, security or governmental organizations are now using this technology in a domestic application? What has happened to the people who know?
What is truth, and what is purposeful disinformation or misdirection?
Greene was simply the highest ranking of the soldiers picked as targets the day that the “guardian angels” of NATO were apparently paying their attention elsewhere during yet another example “of what has come to be known as a “green on blue” attack–that is, Afghan trainees at the base killing their Western trainers”. The role of a “guardian angel” is to “watch people’s backs and hopefully identify people that would be involved in those attacks,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters during an Aug. 14 briefing at the Pentagon.
[ http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/08/14/guardian-angels-in-afghanistan/ ]
Here’s a detailed look at Major General Greene’s background in military skills, technology and engineering. The Pentagon, in their ultimate wisdom, decided he needs some time in a battle zone. His expertise was at the forefront of anti-IED technology, a suite of tools that process “huge amounts of battlefield data”. “The project used a controversial piece of military technology called Palantir.”
“…The Washington Times first reported in July about an internal battle within the Army. Commanders and intelligence officers in Afghanistan complained in messages to Army headquarters about the Defense Common Ground System.
Some asked for permission to buy Palantir, an off-the-shelf software platform that specializes in linking disparate bits of information to form a clear picture of the battlefield.
In some cases, Army officials involved in shielding the Defense Common Ground System from possible budget cuts viewed Palantir as a competitor and worked to shut off the requests.
Thursday’s news conference offered a different view.
The generals said the Defense Common Ground System, which has been in development for a decade, grew out of a giant gap in intelligence collection: There was no single database to bring together information in Afghanistan and look for links among suspected enemy fighters.
“We had a difficult time [in] what we were collecting and even what it was collecting, when it was collecting and where it was collecting,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, who heads the Army Intelligence and Security Command. He has held senior posts in special operations, Central Command and Afghanistan.
“Data from all that collection resided in different databases that were often incompatible,” Gen. Fogarty said.
A different tale
Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the Army’s deputy for acquisition and systems management, said the Defense Common Ground System “replaced nine different intelligence systems.”
“This really is a change in methodology,” Gen. Greene said. “It reduces the amount of hardware we have to buy and the footprint on the ground.”
Intelligence processing has become especially important in fighting terrorists such as the Taliban, who wear no uniforms and hide among the population, making them difficult to identify.
“It’s really the Army intelligence-analyst weapon system,” Gen. Fogarty said. “DCGS has been used effectively in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world by both conventional and our special operations forces. We believe it enhances soldiers’ situational awareness and improves commanders’ ability to protect the force.”
The Times has obtained a series of messages from combatants that tell a far different story.
Officers lauded Palantir for its ability to zero in on data that helped soldiers find roadside bombs, the No. 1 killer of troops in Afghanistan. They complained that the Army-issued Defense Common Ground System was too slow.
A November 2011 memo from the 82nd Airborne Division provides an example:
“Solving very hard analytical problems takes several days when using existing tools against these data sources,” the message states. “In our experience in using the Palantir platform against the same problems, we were able to reduce this time to a few hours. This shortfall translates into operational opportunities missed and unnecessary risk to force.” …
“Every intelligence officer wants the best capability available,” Gen. Fogarty said. “People have preferences. We have some very aggressive analysts. Frankly, they drive us to continue to improve the system.”
He asserted that once a brigade opts to use Palantir “that data is not completely available, is not interoperable” with other intelligence systems.
“The ease of use [with Palantir], that has been very important to them,” he said.”
The deceased general’s daughter was a vice president at ManTech_International.
“… The commander in chief has said nothing about the incident, leaving it to the Defense Department and his own press secretary, Josh Earnest, to discuss it…..”
The Boston Globe acknolwedged that the Police had deployed “air patrols, K9 units, and more than 1,000 uniformed officers and soldiers along the 26-mile course and the finish line,” but it made no mention of the private contracting of soldiers-for-hire like the Craft International.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that a top official for the Massachusetts state Homeland Security Department, Undersecretary Kurt Schwartz, told a group at Harvard University that his agency had “planned” for a possible bombing attack on the marathon, even running a “table-top” exercise about such an event a week before the race.
http://fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-11-22.pdf (See Pages D-4 and D-4)
The rabbit’s hole in re: Chris Kyle
“Part of the reason green-on-blue attacks have subsided since 2012 is because security measures were put in place to prevent such incidents following the spike (there were only two green-on-blue attacks in 2008, five in 2008 and 2009, and 16 in 2011, according to a tally compiled by the Long War Journal). Among the changes to security were “guardian angels,” or NATO soldiers who watch over NATO and Afghan troops. Then-U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the plan in August 2012, according to Foreign Policy.”
Program Executive Officer for Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors…
Maj. General Harold Greeene spent four years as the U.S. Army’s Project Manager, Battle Command.
intelligence, electronic warfare, and sensors,
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
Intelligence, Electronic Warfare and Sensors in BattleCommand
Palantir Valued at $2.5 Billion or More
By EVELYN M. RUSLI date published MAY 6, 2011 12:05 PM
“… In addition to Facebook, Thiel has made early-stage investments in numerous startups (personally or through his venture capital fund), including Booktrack, Slide, LinkedIn, Friendster, Rapleaf, Geni.com, Yammer, Yelp, Inc., Powerset, Practice Fusion, MetaMed, Vator, Palantir Technologies, IronPort, Votizen, Asana, Big Think, Caplinked, Quora, Rypple, TransferWise, Nanotronics Imaging, Stripe, and Legendary Entertainment. Slide, LinkedIn, Geni.com, and Yammer were founded by Thiel’s former colleagues at PayPal: Slide by Levchin, Linkedin by Reid Hoffman, Yelp by Jeremy Stoppelman, and Geni.com and Yammer by David Sacks. Fortune magazine reports that PayPal alumni have founded or invested in dozens of startups with an aggregate value of around $30 billion. In Silicon Valley circles, Thiel is colloquially referred to as the “Don of the PayPal Mafia“, as noted in the Fortune magazine article. Thiel’s views on management are highly regarded,[by whom?] especially his famous observation that start-up success is highly correlated with low CEO pay.
Thiel founded Palantir Technologies funded by the CIA’s venture capital arm In-Q-Tel.
Thiel believes in the importance and desirability of a technological singularity.
Thiel is listed as a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group, a private, annual gathering of intellectual figures, political leaders and business executives.
“…. the government now has software made by Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley company that’s become the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.
The day Fikri drives to Orlando, he gets a speeding ticket, which triggers an alert in the CIA’s Palantir system. An analyst types Fikri’s name into a search box and up pops a wealth of information pulled from every database at the government’s disposal. There’s fingerprint and DNA evidence for Fikri gathered by a CIA operative in Cairo; video of him going to an ATM in Miami; shots of his rental truck’s license plate at a tollbooth; phone records; and a map pinpointing his movements across the globe. All this information is then displayed on a clearly designed graphical interface that looks like something Tom Cruise would use in a Mission: Impossible movie.
As the CIA analyst starts poking around on Fikri’s file inside of Palantir, a story emerges. A mouse click shows that Fikri has wired money to the people he had been calling in Syria. Another click brings up CIA field reports on the Syrians and reveals they have been under investigation for suspicious behavior and meeting together every day over the past two weeks. Click: The Syrians bought plane tickets to Miami one day after receiving the money from Fikri. To aid even the dullest analyst, the software brings up a map that has a pulsing red light tracing the flow of money from Cairo and Syria to Fikri’s Miami condo. That provides local cops with the last piece of information they need to move in on their prey before he strikes.
Fikri isn’t real—he’s the John Doe example Palantir uses in product demonstrations that lay out such hypothetical examples. The demos let the company show off its technology without revealing the sensitive work of its clients. Since its founding in 2004, the company has quietly developed an indispensable tool employed by the U.S. intelligence community in the war on [of] terrorism. Palantir technology essentially solves the Sept. 11 intelligence problem. The Digital Revolution dumped oceans of data on the law enforcement establishment but provided feeble ways to make sense of it. In the months leading up to the 2001 attacks, the government had all the necessary clues to stop the al Qaeda perpetrators: They were from countries known to harbor terrorists, who entered the U.S. on temporary visas, had trained to fly civilian airliners, and purchased one-way airplane tickets on that terrible day.
An organization like the CIA or FBI can have thousands of different databases, each with its own quirks: financial records, DNA samples, sound samples, video clips, maps, floor plans, human intelligence reports from all over the world. Gluing all that into a coherent whole can take years. Even if that system comes together, it will struggle to handle different types of data—sales records on a spreadsheet, say, plus video surveillance images. What Palantir (pronounced Pal-an-TEER) does, says Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner (IT), is “make it really easy to mine these big data sets.” The company’s software pulls off one of the great computer science feats of the era: It combs through all available databases, identifying related pieces of information, and puts everything together in one place.
Palantir has built a customer list that includes the U.S. Defense Dept., CIA, FBI, Army, Marines, Air Force, the police departments of New York and Los Angeles, and a growing number of financial institutions trying to detect bank fraud. These deals have turned the company into one of the quietest success stories in Silicon Valley—it’s on track to hit $250 million in sales this year—and a candidate for an initial public offering. Palantir has been used to find suspects in a case involving the murder of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent, and to uncover bombing networks in Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. “It’s like plugging into the Matrix,” says a Special Forces member stationed in Afghanistan who requested anonymity out of security concerns. “The first time I saw it, I was like, ‘Holy crap. Holy crap. Holy crap.’ ”
… Before joining Palantir, Karp had spent years studying in Germany under Jürgen Habermas, the most prominent living representative of the Frankfurt School, the group of neo-Marxist philosophers and sociologists. After getting a PhD in philosophy from the University of Frankfurt—he also has a degree from Stanford Law School—Karp drifted from academia and dabbled in stocks. He proved so good at it that, with the backing of a handful of European billionaires, he set up a money management firm called the Caedmon Group.
[Ed.: See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_school and the reference to Habermas by Elihu Katz, the c-author of “Media Events”: http://www.thesullenbell.com/2015/01/05/communications-21st-century/ ]
Palantir’s name refers to the “seeing stones” in Lord of the Rings that provide a window into other parts of Middle-earth. They’re magical tools created by elves that can serve both good and evil. Bad wizards use them to keep in touch with the overlord in Mordor; good wizards can peer into them to check up on the peaceful, innocent Hobbits of the Shire. As Karp explains with a straight face, his company’s grand, patriotic mission is to “protect the Shire.”
Most of Palantir’s government work remains classified, but information on some cases has trickled out. In April 2010, security researchers in Canada used Palantir’s software to crack a spy operation dubbed Shadow Network that had, among other things, broken into the Indian Defense Ministry and infiltrated the Dalai Lama’s e-mail account. Palantir has also been used to unravel child abuse and abduction cases. Palantir “gives us the ability to do the kind of link-and-pattern analysis we need to build cases, identify perpetrators, and rescue children,” says Ernie Allen, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The software recently helped NCMEC analysts link an attempted abduction with previous reports of the suspect to the center’s separate cyber-tip line—and plot that activity on a map. “We did it within 30 seconds,” Allen says. “It is absolutely a godsend for us.”
In Afghanistan, U.S. Special Operations Forces use Palantir to plan assaults. They type a village’s name into the system and a map of the village appears, detailing the locations of all reported shooting skirmishes and IED, or improvised explosive device, incidents. Using the timeline function, the soldiers can see where the most recent attacks originated and plot their takeover of the village accordingly. The Marines have spent years gathering fingerprint and DNA evidence from IEDs and tried to match that against a database of similar information collected from villagers. By the time the analysis results came back, the bombers would be long gone. Now field operatives are uploading the samples from villagers into Palantir and turning up matches from past attacks on the spot, says Samuel Reading, a former Marine who works in Afghanistan for NEK Advanced Securities Group, a U.S. military contractor. “It’s the combination of every analytical tool you could ever dream of,” Reading says. “You will know every single bad guy in your area.”
Palantir has found takers for its data mining system closer to home, too. Wall Street has been particularly receptive. Every year, the company holds a conference to promote its technology, and the headcount swelled from about 50 people at past events to 1,000 at the most recent event in October. “I saw bankers there that don’t go to any other conferences,” says Gartner’s Litan. The banks have set Palantir’s technology loose on their transaction databases, looking for fraudsters, trading insights, and even new ways to price mortgages. Guy Chiarello, chief information officer for JPMorgan Chase (JPM), says Palantir’s technology turns “data landfills into gold mines.” The bank has a Palantir system for fraud detection and plans to use the technology to better tailor marketing campaigns to consumers. “Google (GOOG) unlocked the Internet with its search engine,” Chiarello says. “I think Palantir is on the way to doing a similar thing inside the walls of corporate data.”
Using Palantir technology, the FBI can now instantly compile thorough dossiers on U.S. citizens, tying together surveillance video outside a drugstore with credit-card transactions, cell-phone call records, e-mails, airplane travel records, and Web search information. Christopher Soghoian, a graduate fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, worries that Palantir will make these agencies ever hungrier consumers of every piece of personal data. “I don’t think Palantir the firm is evil,” he says. “I think their clients could be using it for evil things.”
Soghoian points out that Palantir’s senior legal adviser, Bryan Cunningham, authored an amicus brief three years ago supporting the Bush Administration’s position in the infamous warrantless wiretapping case and defended its monitoring domestic communication without search warrants. Another event that got critics exercised: A Palantir engineer, exposed by the hacker collective Anonymous earlier this year for participating in a plot to break into the PCs of WikiLeaks supporters, was quietly rehired by the company after being placed on leave….”
Special forces and Marines are embracing the commercial software Palantir for analyzing battlefield intelligence even as the Army seeks to downplay its effectiveness, according to a new report from government auditors.
911stealth E-4B Washington Pentagon
Mark Howard Gaffney
“… The E-4Bs are usually assigned to Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska, which is also the home of STRATCOM, i.e., the Strategic Command (formerly SAC, the Strategic Air Command). The squadron is under the operational control of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,xxv although it is maintained by the First Airborne Command and Control Squadron (ACCS), a part of the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. Incidentally, the Wing’s motto is Videmus Omnia, which means: “We see all.” ….”
More on Palantir:
http://vidgrids.com/u/palantir [An online video search platform…. Just press “search” to find all the videos on Palantir]
Palantir’s advisors include Condoleezza Rice and former CIA director George Tenet…
“They’re in a scary business,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Lee Tien. ACLU analyst Jay Stanley has written that Palantir’s software could enable a “true totalitarian nightmare, monitoring the activities of innocent Americans on a mass scale.”
‘Big Data’: Bilderberg Firm Palantir Works for NSA Spy Agenda
EXPOSED: DHS Planned Drill Targeting Patriot Groups w/ Backpack Bombs Before Boston Marathon Bombing
“… Palantir sells a powerful line of data-mining and analysis software that maps out human social networks for counter-intelligence purposes, and is in huge demand throughout government and in the financial and banking industries. Its customers includes the CIA, the FBI, the U.S. Special Operations Command, the Army, Marines and Air Force, as well as the police departments of New York and Los Angeles.
The NSA, which intercepts and analyzes global communications traffic, is a highly likely client as well. It was “eyeing” Palantir in 2009, according to the Wall Street Journal. One laudatory media profile called it “the darling of the intelligence and law enforcement communities.” …[snip]
In 2005, In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital fund, invested about $2 million in the company, and CIA officials began introducing Palantir to other intelligence agencies and the Pentagon. It is currently valued at around $8 billion, according to Karp.
“Palantir was developed to address the most complex information analysis and security challenges faced by the U.S. intelligence, military, and law enforcement communities,” In-Q-Tel says on its website. The “Palantir platform,” it adds, “uniquely leverages [the] innate human ability” to identify patterns in information “with advanced computational power to accelerate the analysis of data at massive scale.”
C4ISR Journal, a specialty publication on defense technologies, explains that Palantir now uses these programs to work “with defense and intelligence agencies to merge signals intelligence, imagery, message traffic and other documents in a database that analysts can use to search for information.”
A detailed profile in the Wall Street Journal described how Palantir “tags, or categorizes, every bit of data separately, whether it be a first name, a last name or a phone number,” thus allowing analysts to “quickly tag information themselves as it arrives in the form of field reports from spies overseas, and to see who else in the agency is doing similar research so they can share their findings.”
Palantir has been particularly useful in tracking terrorist and insurgent networks in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere that build improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which would make it ideal to track the Tsarnaev brothers’ network in Boston.
And it so happens that one of Palantir’s top executives, Michael Leiter, is an “analyst” for NBC News as well as MSNBC.
Leiter, who started at NBC last fall, is the former director of the National Counter Terrorism Center, the inter-agency situation room in Northern Virginia where the U.S. government synchronizes all of its intelligence analysis. As I pointed out in a recent article in Salon, he is almost always introduced in connection with the NCTC rather than as someone affiliated with Palantir. This is misleading, to say the least…..”
[Ed.: As may be the author….]
“… Writing for The Guardian in 2011, Brown exposed a plan by three technology security companies — HBGary Federal, a subsidiary of ManTech International, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — to hire out their information war capabilities to corporations which perceived threats in organizations, like WikiLeaks, an organization that publishes secret information, and people, such as Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist, who revealed many of Edward Snowden’s accounts about mass public surveillance.
Brown wrote that the connection was part of a program called Romas/COIN. Writing for Project PM, he explained the nefarious capabilities of this program:
“Unprecedented surveillance capabilities are being produced by an industry that works in secret on applications that are nonetheless funded by the American public – and which in some cases are used against that very same public. Their products are developed on demand for an intelligence community that is not subject to Congressional oversight and which has been repeatedly shown to have misused its existing powers in ways that violate U.S. law as well as American ideals.”
HBGary’s CEO Aaron Barr was forced to step down as a result of the revelations…..”
SOURCE: SEAN NEVINS
January 12th, 2015
Palantir’s data analysis solution targets three industries: government, the finance sector and legal research. Each of these industries must wrestle with massive sets of data. To do this, Palantir’s toolsets are aimed at massive data caches, allowing litigators and the police to make connections otherwise invisible. For example, a firm hired by the Securities Investment Protection Corporation used Palantir’s software to sort through the mountains of data, over 40 years of records, to convict Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff (of all things).
The document confirms that Palantir is employed by multiple US Government agencies. One of the company’s first contracts was with the Joint IED Defeat Organization in 2006. From 2007-2009 Palantir’s work in Washington expanded from eight pilots to more than 50 programs.
As of 2013, Palantir was used by at least 12 groups within the US Government including the CIA, DHS, NSA, FBI, the CDC, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, Special Operations Command, West Point, the Joint IED-defeat organization and Allies, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.