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Sunday, September 14, 2014


Secret Sentry, the untold story of the National Security Agency

 Author: Matthew M. Aid, Bloomsbury press 2009

I just finished reading a seminal work on the National Security Agency written by Matthew M. Aid. It should be noted that perennial anti-hawk commentator Seymour M. Hersh went so far as to say about the book, “by far the best book ever written on the national security agency, it’s outside operations and internal struggles”.

Although I am a little more sanguine about the writing, I will say that I did learn quite a bit about the historical leadership of the NSA. I realize that most Americans could not care less about the list of generals who have run the NSA since its inception back in 1943 but I think it’s important to know how one of the most feared and hated federal agencies came into existence. Many would be surprised to know that the NSA as we know it today basically started after U. S. Army Brigadier General Carter Clarke ordered cryptologists to begin secretly cracking Soviet codes at a former girls’ preparatory school named Arlington Hall in Arlington, Virginia. 

Later, Clarke became convinced the Soviets were working on obtaining an atomic bomb. He kept a sharp ear tuned to the inner workings of the Soviet bomb program to prevent what he called, “an atomic Pearl Harbor”.
Still, beyond the rather stilted prose and long-winded dissertations, the book still manages to reveal many stunning revelations which I had not previously found in any of the equally well-researched words by James Bamford, author of “The Shadow Factory”, nor by the excellent documentary news program, “Frontline”. Here are some of those stunning revelations:

Matthew M. Aid
see his book discussion on C-SPAN here

  • The so-called, “switchboard” in Yemen which acted as a relay station for many of Al Qaeda’s conversations had a phone number (011-967-1-200-578). Americans learned of this house in Yemen from an FBI interrogation of a bombing suspect in the East Africa attacks on U. S. embassies. The NSA tapped the phone line for years to keep tabs on Al Qaeda. The telephone intercepts remained ongoing until Yemeni police, acting on their own initiative, raided the home and arrested everyone inside effectively ending the NSA’s only window into Al Qaeda operations inside Afghanistan/Pakistan. I was half tempted to call the number myself just to see if anyone would answer, but fear of being placed on some secret NSA watchlist prevented that.

  • U. S. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith was largely responsible for the push to supply bogus information about the links between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Al Qaeda leadership. We now know that almost all of the material provided in the National Intelligence Estimate was either made up from whole cloth, or purposely distorted to give the U. S. a Casus Belli for war in Iraq. In fact the distinguished British defense corresponded and military historian Max Hastings has described the Iraqi WMD intelligence fiasco as, “the greatest failure of Western intelligence in modern times”.

  • On Oct. 18, 2002 the NSA director at the time, General Michael V. Hayden, ordered a 29 person unit stationed at the NSA listening post in Fort Gordon Georgia to focus their attention solely on obtaining SIGINT on WMDs in Iraq.

  • On Dec. 3, 2001 a U.S. Army Grey Fox signals intelligence (SIGINT) team near Gardez, Afghanistan picked up walkie-talkie communications which indicated Al Qaeda, and indeed UBL, was hiding out in the Tora Bora mountain range. In what can only be described as a monumental tactical failure then U. S. CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks ordered his subordinate Major General Franklin “Buster” Hagenbeck to engage in Operation Anaconda to surround and trap the Al Qaeda command structure. Perhaps for political reasons, Franks and Hagenbeck did not enlist the help of a nearby elite 2, 300 man U. S. coalition Special Forces unit known as Task Force K-bar. Instead, the Army relied on a hastily assembled team of local militiamen and other Western alliance Afghans to do the important job of cornering and capturing Osama bin Laden. The result was that even though the CIA had paid the fighters hundreds of thousands of dollars, those fighters would not actively participate in killing other Muslims. In fact, many of the fighters referred to UBL as, “the Sheik” and grew excited like giddy schoolgirls whenever they came close enough to hear his voice over their handheld walkie-talkies. The result was a missed opportunity to decapitate Al Qaeda quickly and efficiently.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  •  NSA was virtually blind to activities conducted by the military apparatus of Saddam Hussein’s regime because Iraq had hired European contractors to install fiber optic communication lines to link their military units. Apparently, the NSA had no way of conducting SIGINT capable of penetrating that technology. In fact, some of the first airstrikes in the opening salvo of the Iraq war were to damage those fiber-optic nodes in the hopes that Iraqi leadership would begin using less secure communications. This made me wonder if this is one of the reasons why Google is currently experiencing so much difficulty and government push- back in rolling out its Google Fiber program which uses fiber-optic cable to conduct Internet and other communications at extremely high speeds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  • The American SIGINT community is now scrambling to find and keep qualified operators because of the military’s “Stop-Loss” policy. Stop-loss prevents military members with specialized skills from separating from military service during times of war or emergencies even after they’ve served their enlistment commitment. Many specialists fled the military because of stop-loss forced extended tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, others with Arabic, Pasto, Urdu, Dari language skills are purposely not enlisting because they know that a stint in the military can lead to multiple forced deployments working long hours for extended periods of time. The NSA was reduced to lowering its security clearance standards and scouring for recruits in the streets of Fremont, California which is known as the largest concentration of Afghan expatriates in the U.S.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
  • the actual NSA building and support facilities in Fort Meade, Maryland sucks up so much electricity that they can hardly keep the computers inside running. This shortage of electricity often results in brownouts which leaves some portions of NSA computer facilities down for hours at a time. The NSA routinely racks up electrical bills from Baltimore Gas and Electric which averaged about $30 million in 2007.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  • The NSA director’s office is considered one of the best offices in all of the federal government. The spacious and well-appointed office is nicknamed, “the penthouse”. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Williams Method-Bedbug Co2 Trap for Free.

Hello, if you have bedbugs and you also have limited funds then this may be just what you need to get some sleep.WATCH THE COMPLETE VIDEO FOR FREE HERE: The Williams Method

The Williams Method- Bedbug Trap and Lure Construction
Items you will need:
·         2-Quart Pitcher- something to mix the yeast, sugar and water in. This can also be a 2-liter bottle with the top half cut off, or even a large pot or bowl in a pinch.
·         Stirring spoon- To mix up the yeast, sugar and water.
·         2-Liter bottle with its cap. To serve as the lure, choose a darker bottle as that will reduce the amount of sunlight getting to the inside of the bottle which will speed the fermentation.
·         Granulated sugar-Brown sugar is better.
·         Active dry yeast. Fleichmann’s is probably the most common, but Red Star, Redi-Rise or any generic dry yeast will also be suitable. You will find this in the baking section of the grocery store. I prefer the strip of three individually sealed ¼ ounce packets which sell for about $3.00. That’s because each ¼ ounce packet contains exactly 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast. Just enough for one 2-Liter Bottle. (There are 3 teaspoons in every tablespoon in case you only have a big spoon).

·         Flexible straws. Plastic tubing is better. I like clear vinyl tubing. ¼”x .170”. A 20 ft. roll cost me $3.00 on Amazon.
·         Smooth Bowl. or similar container to act as the pitfall. A shot-glass works best. If you have kids then select a plastic container so that it doesn’t shatter if someone accidentally kicks it when you place it under the bed.
·         Paper towel. Fabric or tape will also work for this as well to serve as the ramp for the bedbugs to climb up to the pitfall, also known as the ascension platform.
·         Tablespoon.
·         Measuring cup.
·         Funnel.

·         Scissors-something to create a hole in the lid of the 2-liter bottle. This can also be an Exacto knife, a hammer and a nail, even the sharp edge of a steak knife. Basically anything which will create a small hole in the center of the lid about the diameter of a toothpick.
·         Glue. This is used to seal the hole cut into the bottle when using flexible straws or vinyl tubing. This prevents the Co2 gas seepage. Silicone adhesive sealant (RTV) works best. You can find this at Walmart. A small dab of strawberry jam will also work in a pinch.
·         Baby powder, corn starch, diatomaceous earth.
·         Petroleum jelly. (Vaseline).

Co2 Generator Recipe for 2-liter bottle
STEP 1) The Proof:
Begin with “kick-starting” or proofing a small amount of yeast, sugar and water in a separate clean glass. For this let’s use the average-sized drinking glass which is about 12 ounces or the same amount as a can of soda.
·         Add about 6 ounces of lukewarm water to the glass, or until half full. Lukewarm means that the temperature of the proofing water should be around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 C), or about the temperature of an average human. Think about this as if you were preparing a bottle for a baby. The reason for extreme caution in this process is because most of the yeast you are able to find in the store is called active dry yeast. This yeast is dehydrated and often coated with a thick jacket of dead yeast cells which allow it to be stored for over a year at room temperature and nearly a decade when frozen. What you are doing in the proof process is gently rehydrating the dried, but still living, yeast cells so that you don’t have a massive die off of the active cells.

·         A cause of many CO2 generator failures is because people shock the yeast by using cold water which kills off many of the active cells. You need to be able to gradually, rehydrate the yeast without killing a lot of the active Saccharomyces cerevisiae fungi in the process.

·         Now add one tablespoon of sugar to the lukewarm water.

·         Next, add a full ¼ ounce packet of the active yeast to the drinking glass which now contains sugar and water. Stir the mix vigorously using a clean spoon. It is important to keep your proofing tools as sterile as possible.

·         Let that mixture proof for about 10-15 minutes. You will know it is proofing correctly if you begin to see it creating frothy bubbles similar to a head on a beer.

Step 2) The Lure:
·         While the proof is developing you can begin adding 2 cups of sugar to your 2-liter bottle. Brown sugar is best if you have it, yet regular white granulated sugar is sufficient.
·         Fill the bottle about ¾ full with lukewarm water.
·         Put the cap on the 2-liter bottle and shake the sugar/water mixture vigorously.
·         Remove the cap from the 2-liter bottle and create a hole in the center of the cap about the diameter of a fat toothpick (1/16” in.) which will allow the gas being generated inside of the lure to escape at a slow rate. An X-acto knife, steak knife or even a hammer and a nail will make short work of this. Please take care not to cut yourself.
·         Using a funnel, pour the contents of the now proofed yeast mix into the 2-liter bottle and replace the cap onto the bottle.

Step 3) Creating and attaching the ramp to the pitfall:
·         Use three strips of duct tape to connect the floor to the center of the lip of the bowl. The concept here is that you want to create a ramp so that the bedbugs will be able to climb up to the top of the bowl, after being attracted by the scent of Co2, and then fall into the pitfall. A good ramp can even be made out of a bandanna or similar strips of cloth. Make sure you create your ramp just right on the lip of the bowl so that the bedbugs will essentially “fall over a cliff” into the bowl, but not be able to use the ramp to get back out. This step is the primary reason why most of these traps fail. A poorly constructed ramp negates the effectiveness of even the most accurately assembled lure.
·         Apply a liberal coating of baby powder or corn starch to the interior wall of the bowl to make it extra slippery and prevent bedbugs from crawling out of the pitfall.
·         For added lethality you can also dab petroleum jelly in spots along the inside of your pitfall. The bedbugs will get “stuck” in place and exhaust themselves faster after they come into contact with the jelly.

Formulas for smaller lures:

For 1 liter or 32 ounce bottles:
Follow the same steps but reduce your proofing yeast amount to ½ of the package (1.25 teaspoons) of yeast, and ¾ cups of sugar in the lure. This assumes that your yeast package is one of the most commonly sold strips of three individually-wrapped packets containing ¼ ounce of yeast or 2 ½ teaspoons per each packet.

12-16 ounce bottles:
Follow the same steps as before but reduce your proofing yeast amount to 1/3 of the yeast package or (0.8 teaspoons). Use 1/4 cups of sugar or 4 tablespoons or 12 teaspoons in the lure bottle. This assumes that your yeast package is one of the most commonly sold strips of three individually-wrapped packets containing ¼ ounce of yeast or 2 ½ teaspoons per each packet.

Please be sure to post back to this site about your progress and any successes you want to brag about.

I will post congratulations to anyone capturing bedbugs and posting a pic of them in a ziploc bag.

Gold Medal= 100 bedbugs captured.
Silver Medal= 50 bedbugs captured.
Bronze Medal= 25 bedbugs captured.

Thank you for visiting my site. My name is Joel Z. Williams. People in my neighborhood call me the poor people's advocate. You will recognize me by my white hat, but you will know me by my virtuous ways.