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‘Rent-a-spy’ firm TigerSwan used Standing Rock intel to infiltrate other activist groups

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TigerSwan — a private surveillance and intelligence gathering firm with roots in the military conflicts in the Middle East — continued to track and spy on activists from the Standing Rock Anti-Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protests well after they returned home and went about their normal lives.

The Intercept reported Wednesday that a number of leaked documents from TigerSwan show that the company compared the protesters who gathered at Standing Rock Reservation to the “jihadist post-insurgency” movement that formed after the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and gave rise to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

Surveillance targets included the Answer Coalition in Chicago, anti-Trump protest movements and climate change activists. TigerSwan expanded its spying net to include locations in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa and New York.

“They’re trying to make connections where they aren’t. It’s almost like they’re trying to cast conspiracy theories across the entire progressive movement because they’re sympathetic to the NoDAPL movement,” said Answer’s John Beacham to the Intercept.

A leaked document calls the dispersing Standing Rock protesters an “anti-DAPL diaspora” and makes the case for tracking individual activists, embedding spies within protest groups and developing sources within progressive groups to enable monitoring and reporting of their plans and movements.

A document from February details TigerSwan’s plan to infiltrate the community organizing group Lifted Voices: “This would be a good opportunity for us to get someone inside, become known and gather the most current direct action [tactics, techniques, and procedures]. While Lifted Voices is not a #NoDAPL organization, Kelly Hayes has influenced organizing protest events and has spoken at the last two events in Chicago.”

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Hayes told the Intercept that the group was not surprised that their might be a “rent-a-spy” in their midst and was prepared for that eventuality.

The documents also detail the vast array of spying techniques aimed at protesters during the Standing Rock protests including radio spying, infrared heat tracking, drone flyovers, distance microphones and other military spying techniques.

TigerSwan worked hand-in-hand with local law enforcement, state authorities and the National Guard against the protesters. The group also met with Republican Sen. Jodi Ernst’s husband, but Ernst declined to comment about the connection.

Throughout the leaked documents, it is apparent that TigerSwan is playing up threats of violence and creating a narrative that the peaceful protesters are in fact embryonic anti-U.S. jihadi.

“The archetype of a jihadist post-insurgency is the aftermath of the anti-Soviet Afghanistan jihad,” one report said. “While many insurgents went back to their pre-war lives, many, especially the external supporters (foreign fighters), went back out into the world looking to start or join new jihadist insurgencies. Most famously this ‘bleedout’ resulted in Osama bin Laden and the rise of Al Qaeda, but the jihadist veterans of Afghanistan also ended up fighting in Bosnia, Chechnya, North Africa, and Indonesia, among other places.”

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Pentagon gives senators classified briefing on UFOs reported by the Navy

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While it might sound like something out of "The X-Files," Navy pilots have been seeing UFOs, and U.S. Senators now want to know what's happening.

According to Politico, three more senators met with Pentagon officials for a classified briefing Wednesday about encounters pilots are having with unidentified aircraft. It seems the Pentagon is getting more and more requests by officials with high clearances to figure out what's happening.

The crafts are, at their most basic, nothing more than "unidentified aircraft," and while it isn't likely they're little green men, there are some senators who might have concerns about whether these UFOs are actually a foreign adversary.

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Wall Street Journal issues blistering editorial asking Trump what the point is of a second term

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In a blistering editorial, the Wall Street Journal is asking President Donald Trump what the point of a second term is since he hasn't done anything in his first term.

During his rally in Orlando Tuesday, Trump repeated the same tired lines and same tired policies from 2016. The "Promises Made, Promises Kept" slogan shown over the crowd, yet the supporters didn't understand the irony.

"The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was," the editorial board said. "Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile."

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‘Crosses a line’: New York Times publisher unleashes on Trump for accusing paper of ‘treason’

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On Wednesday, New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger wrote a blistering editorial in the Wall Street Journal, saying that President Donald Trump's latest attack on his paper "crosses a line."

First it was the "the failing New York Times." Then "fake news." Then "enemy of the people," wrote Sulzberger. "President Trump's escalating attacks on The New York Times have paralleled his broader barrage on American media. He's gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues. Now the president has escalated his attacks even further, accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.

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