This story come from Charles Johnson at the Little Green Footballs (LGF) blog. And he is all over the story! First, here is a brief excerpt:
Guardian/Observer Publishes, Then Pulls New NSA Bombshell Story Featuring Birther Wayne Madsen
Wow, a massive fail by the Guardian/Observer tonight, as their latest BREAKING BOMBSHELL story on NSA spying features Birther (and all-around tin foil hat conspiracy theorist) Wayne Madsen: Revealed: Secret European Deals to Hand Over Private Data to America | World News | the Observer.
The article’s been pulled down. . .
Here is the link to the full article:
Glenn Greenwald seems to be disputing some of the story. It’s all at the link. Meanwhile, Mr. Madsen does not seem to be a stranger to conspiracy theories. Wiki has an article about him, and I am going to provide a lengthy excerpt from that article to show the scope of his theories:
Reporting and opinions
In 2002 he suggested to The Guardian newspaper that the United States Navy had aided in an attempted overthrow of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.
In 2003 he said that he had uncovered information linking the September 11 attacks to the government of Saudi Arabia as well as to Bush administration. In 2005, he wrote that an unidentified former CIA agent claimed that the USS Cole was actually hit by a Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine.
On 17 May 2005, Madsen testified regarding American policy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) before a Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights hearing on the situation in the DRC. According to the news magazine New African, Madsens testimony was “was so revealing that the mainstream Western media…have refused to print it.”
In 2005 he said that the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had pressured American politicians to stay away from protests against the Iraq War.
Later that year he criticized the movie industry for indirectly causing suffering in Africa by promoting diamonds in movies like Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He included Leonardo DiCaprio, whose film Blood Diamond dealt with the issue, as well as Russell Simmons who is selling a line of “nonconflict diamonds.” Madsen said about them, “It’s a p.r. campaign. They should be saying, ‘Don’t buy diamonds at all.’
In a 2008 ArabNews article, Madsen is quoted as suggesting that the criminal prosecution of New York State governor Eliot Spitzer was partly due to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
On June 9, 2008 he reported that unnamed “GOP dirty tricks operatives” had found a Kenyan birth certificate registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. on August 4, 1961. “However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals.” This birth certificate was a cornerstone of the “Kenyan Born” subset of the birther conspiracy theories, and Madsen’s article was cited in a Washington state petition challenging Obama’s eligibility to serve. Madsen has also claimed that Obama is gay.
On April 25, 2009, Madsen reported that some unidentified UN World Health Organization officials and scientists believed the 2009 new H1N1 strain of swine flu virus appeared to be the product of U.S. military sponsored gene splicing, as opposed to natural processes. While it can not be ruled out that the virus was created in a research laboratory or vaccine factory, the most plausible explanation is that the virus is the result of modern farming techniques. New Scientist magazine cited the example of a H1N2 influenza pandemic in the 1990s that only affected pigs in the United Kingdom. This subtype of the H1N2 was also a reassortment (mix) of swine, human and avian strains.
In July 2009, Madsen released a report saying there was a “Q Group” within the National Security Agency tasked with plugging leaks of classified information and the monitoring and suppression of journalists who report on the NSA. He noted that with the approaching 10th anniversary of 9/11, the group have “made plans to stop any new revelations that would point to high-level U.S. and Israeli government involvement in the 9/11 attacks” that included the use of Wikileaks to identify potential “leakers”.
In 2010, Madsen reported in the Pakistan Daily that unnamed sources suggested that the company formerly known as Blackwater, had been conducting false-flag operations in Pakistan that were blamed on the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
In June 2012 Madsen self-published his sixth book. The book purports to be an expose of Barack Obama’s rise in American politics and the CIA’s role in his attaining the Presidency. He has been described by Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic Monthly as a conspiracy theorist.
In addition to the above, here is a youtube interview he had with Alex Jones on the Birther issue:
Now from all that it is pretty obvious that Madsen is a general all-round dyed in the wool conspiracy theorist. On top of that he is a full-fledged Birther adhering to both the “Kenyan Birth” and the “Two Citizen Parents” strains of Birtherism. From the above Wiki article, The Guardian has already cited him in 2002 on the U.S.Navy-Chavez conspiracy theory. So they knew who he was and what they were getting with him. But what has changed since then??? All the other conspiracy theories were in the same “The government is doing unbelievable underhanded stuff” vein.
There is a musical term called “timbre”, which is defined as the unique quality of an instrument’s sound; its “voice.” Timbre describes the difference between two tones played in the same pitch and volume. For example, timbre is what you observe when you compare the same note on a piano and a guitar, or between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar.
I think that term applies here. For most of his theories, Madsen is playing the note on a grand piano. For his Birtherism, he is playing the same note on a busted kazoo, and you can hear the toilet paper membrane flapping. One sound is tolerable, and the other is not. Before the Guardian article was pulled, Madsen’s conspiracy theory predilections were well known. See this from Note 1 below:
In an interview published last night on the PrivacySurgeon.org blog, Madsen, who has been attacked for holding controversial views on espionage issues, said he had decided to speak out after becoming concerned about the “half story” told by EU politicians regarding the extent of the NSA’s activities in Europe.
Sooo, it does not appear to be the run of the mill tin foil stuff that caused the Guardian to yank the Yank. That was being played on the grand piano, where even badly written music can be listened to without permanent otic damage. And the original story sounds totally believable to me. I don’t see why other governments wouldn’t work with the NSA.
A few minutes after I published this article, I checked The Drudge Report, and the Wayne Madsen NSA story is linked there to a Salon post:
The NSA has been working with at least seven European other countries to collect personal communications data, according to Wayne Madsen, a former NSA contractor who has come forward because he does not think the public should not be “kept in the dark.” According to Madsen, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy all have formed secret agreements with the US to submit sensitive data.
So, the problem isn’t the story. My GUESS is that the Birtherism nonsense is what put him over the top for them. Because Birtherism always sounds like an incompetent performer is trying to sadistically annoy you with a cruel and terrible kazoo. Once that happens, you just don’t want to go to another one of that guy’s concerts no matter what instrument he has switched to. Johnson at the LGF link above provides several tweets back and forth, to the Guardian specifically pointing out Madsens birthery opinions. So, I think there is some basis for my opinion.
This story is still developing, but for the time being, it looks like even purveyors of rabid conspiracy theories have their standards. And Birthers are persona non grata.
Note 1: Here is a copy and paste of the original Guardian article from the google cache. I have put it here because it will eventually be replaced with the updated article. Here is the link to the cache:
Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America
Germany ‘among countries offering intelligence’ according to new claims by former US defence analyst
At least six European Union countries in addition to Britain have been colluding with the US over the mass harvesting of personal communications data, according to a former contractor to America’s National Security Agency, who said the public should not be “kept in the dark”.
Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for the NSA in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US.
Madsen said the countries had “formal second and third party status” under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.
Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third party relationships.
In an interview published last night on the PrivacySurgeon.org blog, Madsen, who has been attacked for holding controversial views on espionage issues, said he had decided to speak out after becoming concerned about the “half story” told by EU politicians regarding the extent of the NSA’s activities inEurope.
He said that under the agreements, which were drawn up after the second world war, the “NSA gets the lion’s share” of the sigint “take”. In return, the third parties to the NSA agreements received “highly sanitised intelligence”.
Madsen said he was alarmed at the “sanctimonious outcry” of political leaders who were “feigning shock” about the spying operations while staying silent about their own arrangements with the US, and was particularly concerned that senior German politicians had accused the UK of spying when their country had a similar third-party deal with the NSA.
Although the level of co-operation provided by other European countries to the NSA is not on the same scale as that provided by the UK, the allegations are potentially embarrassing.
“I can’t understand how Angela Merkel can keep a straight face, demanding assurances from [Barack] Obama and the UK while Germany has entered into those exact relationships,” Madsen said.
The Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford, a senior member of the European parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said Madsen’s allegations confirmed that the entire system for monitoring data interception was a mess, because the EU was unable to intervene in intelligence matters, which remained the exclusive concern of national governments.
“The intelligence agencies are exploiting these contradictions and no one is really holding them to account,” Ludford said. “It’s terribly undermining to liberal democracy.”
Madsen’s disclosures have prompted calls for European governments to come clean on their arrangements with the NSA. “There needs to be transparency as to whether or not it is legal for the US or any other security service to interrogate private material,” said John Cooper QC, a leading international human rights lawyer. “The problem here is that none of these arrangements has been debated in any democratic arena. I agree with William Hague that sometimes things have to be done in secret, but you don’t break the law in secret.”
Madsen said all seven European countries and the US have access to the Tat 14 fibre-optic cable network running between Denmark and Germany, the Netherlands, France, the UK and the US, allowing them to intercept vast amounts of data, including phone calls, emails and records of users’ access to websites.
He said the public needed to be made aware of the full scale of the communication-sharing arrangements between European countries and the US, which predate the internet and became of strategic importance during the cold war.
The covert relationship between the countries was first outlined in a 2001 report by the European parliament, but their explicit connection with the NSA was not publicised until Madsen decided to speak out.
The European parliament’s report followed revelations that the NSA was conducting a global intelligence-gathering operation, known as Echelon, which appears to have established the framework for European member states to collaborate with the US.
“A lot of this information isn’t secret, nor is it new,” Madsen said. “It’s just that governments have chosen to keep the public in the dark about it. The days when they could get away with a conspiracy of silence are over.”
This month another former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed to the Guardian previously undisclosed US programmes to monitor telephone and internet traffic. The NSA is alleged to have shared some of its data, gathered using a specialist tool called Prism, with Britain’s GCHQ.