Hack Kills Dozens Of US Spies

Grind for November 15th, 2018
“No duty the Executive had to perform was so trying as to put the right man in the right place.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Conflict Of Interest

The Headline

FBI investigates patent company where Whitaker used to serve as a board member

The Grind

The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Florida-based World Patent Marketing after the FTC accused it of scamming investors out of $26 million.

This news is important because Matthew Whitaker – who is leading the Department of Justice following Jeff Sessions’ forced resignation – served as a paid board member for the company.

According to court documents, Whitaker was among several prominent individuals to serve on the company’s board of advisors.

He was paid $9,375 for minimal work.

As attorney Joe LoPiccolo has argued, the advisory board appears to have been used as an advertising tool to lure in customers.

In at least one instance, Whitaker used his clout as a former US Attorney to threaten an unhappy customer with “serious civil and criminal consequences.”

The Details

The FTC’s case against World Patent Marketing was settled earlier this year when the company’s founder – Scott Cooper – agreed to turn over a waterfront property he owned in Miami Beach to the FTC.

“The FTC’s action was a civil proceeding,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “The existence of a continuing FBI investigation suggests authorities are also looking into potential criminal charges.”

In 2013, Scott Cooper and his wife each contributed $2,600 to Whitakers’ Senate campaign.

According to DOJ guidelines, Whitaker is required to avoid any involvement in the investigation.

Whitaker claims he is unaware of any fraudulent activity by the company, but his handling of this case will set the tone for his tenure as Acting AG.

Whitaker has also been called on to recuse himself from the Russia investigation based on his previous comments about limiting the scope of the probe.


The Headline

Dozens of US spies killed after Iran hacks CIA messaging system

The Grind

According to reports from Yahoo and The Telegraph, dozens of US spies were killed after Iran used Google to hack into a “secure” communications system.

The Internet-based system was initially used only in war zones, but was eventually adopted by CIA agents due to its ease of use.

Using Google as a search tool, Iran was able to discover websites used by American spies and then hack into the network to locate those spies.

After killing the agents, Iran shared its knowledge with China.

The Details

At least 30 agents working for the US were executed by the Chinese government.

“Beijing had managed to break into a second temporary communications system, splintered from the initial platform, and were able to see every single agent the CIA placed in the country,” reports The Telegraph.

The killings occurred between 2009 and 2013. But in 2008, former defense contractor John Reid warned the CIA about flaws in the system.

The CIA used the system anyway.

The system was eventually shut down after an agent in Russia was notified about the takedowns.

“We’re still dealing with the fallout,” said a former national security official. “Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this.”

“Our biggest insider threat is our own institution,” complained another official.

Meanwhile, the CIA has struggled to deal with internal backlash for its failure while keeping the story away from the media.

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