Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Zelensky’s readiness for talks points to rift within NATO


Moscow has been trying for years to have dialogue with Ukraine and the west but any agreements/promises have repeatedly been violated by the US controlled puppets in Europe. Now it looks like some things might be changing.

According to journalist Baris Doster, "the US does not have such influence on its allies as before and is not effective in containing its adversaries and rivals"


ANKARA: Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s readiness for negotiations with Russia is indicative of a split in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, according to Baris Doster, a columnist for Turkey’s opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper.

"Finally, something that was expected happened. As key US media outlets have been reporting for several days already, US pressure on Ukraine in order to make it return to negotiations with Russia produced results. Ukraine’s President Zelensky said that he was open to talks with Russia and that he was setting forth several conditions for it. Not only does this statement give an idea of Ukraine’s situation on the frontline but it also points to a schism within the North Atlantic Alliance," the journalist wrote.

According to him, "the US does not have such influence on its allies as before and is not effective in containing its adversaries and rivals." "The war between Ukraine and Russia has yet again demonstrated this. Germany intends to improve relations with Russia and China, despite US’ objections. From North Korea to Iran, from Syria to Cuba, many countries resist the US. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is expanding. The Belt and Road Initiative is developing. Tense relations between the US and Saudi Arabia over oil production and the negative reaction they triggered are well-known. Let’s not forget that the Netherlands lifted sanctions against Russia," the columnist added.

He also notes that "the US does not have the power to impose order on the world and introduce new rules." "The [US national security] doctrine was too subjective, too selfish, too condescending," Doster explained.

Kiev’s softening stance

Earlier, Politico reported that the US administration urged Zelensky to remove the provision on the impossibility of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin from his list of preconditions to begin dialogue. The newspaper noted that on Monday, Zelensky listed five conditions to launch talks with Moscow which did not include the impossibility of negotiations with Putin. According to Politico, this new stance "was directly due to soft nudging by the Biden administration." The newspaper says that this change came after lengthy talks between Kiev and Washington, including during a visit to Ukraine by Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser. Politico says that US officials did not ask Zelensky to alter his position directly but did convey that Kiev needs to show the world its willingness to end the conflict peacefully. That said, Washington does not think that the negotiations should begin immediately.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Russian leadership remained ready to continue talks on Ukraine. He noted that Russia was ready to hear out its Western colleagues if they put forward a proposal to organize a dialogue on reducing tensions taking into account Moscow’s interests.

Friday, November 11, 2022

New GN Hoodies & Tees available



New Global Network Hoodies and T-shirt design now available for purchase

Many colors and sizes

Great holiday gifts

US-NATO practice war in Arctic zone


US-NATO war game 'Cold Response' began on the Norway/Russian border in February at the same time the 'Special Military Operation' began in Ukraine. The US-UK-EU want control of Russia's vast resource base in the Arctic and for years have been escalating their military presence in the region.


 US Spec Ops Admit to ‘Intentionally’ Provoking Russia With Arctic Missile Drill


NATO has dramatically ramped up its presence in Northern Europe and above the Arctic Circle in recent years, with thousands of troops deployed to Norway for cold-weather training, and the White House recently laying down a 10-year Arctic strategy calling for enhanced military presence in the region to “deter” Russian “aggression.”

US Special Operations forces “intentionally” provoked Russia in the Arctic by holding a missile drill on Wednesday, Special Operations Command Europe commander Lawrence Melnicoff has said.

“We are intentionally trying to be provocative without being escalatory,” Melnicoff told US media. “We’re trying to deter Russian aggression, expansionist behavior, by showing enhanced capabilities of the allies,” the officer added.

Melnicoff did not specify how the US was “deterring Russia” by engaging in “provocative” drills over 5,000 kilometers from America’s shores.

Wednesday’s exercise, conducted at the Andoya Space Center in northern Norway, about 500 km from Russia’s Murmansk region, saw US spec ops troops drop a long-range missile out of a C-130 strategic transport aircraft, with the missile launching in mid-air. The launch constituted the first successful demonstration of the US’ "Rapid Dragon" program in Europe.



Rapid Dragon is a palletized weapons system that has been tested on board C-130 and C-17 cargo aircraft, and is designed to launch Lockheed Martin AGM-158 JASSM cruise missiles against both ground and sea-based targets at standoff ranges (i.e., well outside of the effective range of enemy air defenses). The subsonic missiles have a range of between 370 and 1,900 km.

The Pentagon published footage of the missile test, showing the palletized weapons system dropping out of the C-130 and descending toward the ground using parachutes, with the missile dropping out of its launch container and roaring to life before proceeding to its target, eventually touching down in the water and detonating.

“It complicates Russian decision-making because we know that they’re targeting very, very large specific aggregations of allied power [like] Ramstein Air Base, RAF Lakenheath, things like that,” Melnicoff said of the system.

The missile test demonstrates that NATO’s capabilities are “survivable,” and that “if worse comes to worse and somebody takes out these power hubs, we can forward-project precision artillery fire across the alliance with our partners,” according to the officer.

The Pentagon considers Rapid Dragon an asset for US allies who do not have long-range bomber capabilities, with the system enabling them to engage in long-range strikes using ordinary cargo aircraft.

The US military has dramatically expanded its presence in Northern Europe above the Arctic Circle in recent years, regularly deploying Marines and warships to Norway and the Arctic Sea for cold-weather training and expanding intelligence collection. The US-led alliance has also set its sights on Sweden and Finland as those two countries prepare to join the bloc, prospectively adding 1,300 km worth of direct borders between the bloc and Russia. The Nordic nations’ NATO bid is currently being held up by Turkey, with Ankara demanding that Stockholm and Helsinki take “concrete steps” demonstrating they no longer support Turkish Kurdish militants which the Turkish government classifies as “terrorists.”

The White House released a 10-year "National Strategy for the Arctic Region" last month, calling for the further buildup of the US military presence in the region, the modernization of NORAD air defenses, and the construction of new Coast Guard icebreakers.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Controversy over Russian withdrawal from Kherson


Russia’s Ministry of Defense has announced the withdrawal of Russian forces from Kherson city to the east bank of the Dnieper River. 

This was alluded to 3 weeks ago by General Sergey Surovikin and for the purpose of weathering Ukraine’s all-or-nothing offensive while preserving Russian manpower and equipment. 

While Russian forces have successfully defended the city until now, even the slightest possibility of Ukrainian forces overwhelming Russian troops on the wrong side of the river would result in a defeat of historic proportions. Russia has now eliminated that possibility. 

Meanwhile, Russian forces continue dismantling Ukraine’s national power grid, its air defense network, and what remains of its overstretched forces. Ukraine fights for today’s headlines, Russia is fighting to win the long war.    

~ Brian Berletic is an ex-US Marine Corps independent geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok. 

Corruption in UK's Labour Party: Cleansing the membership


In the final episode of The Labour Files – The Spying Game – Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit tells the sinister story of how The Labour Party used hacked data from a journalist to investigate their own members who were critical of the party.

Despite questionable ethical and legal issues, and with the knowledge of the party’s leadership, the hacked emails were used as evidence to discipline Labour councillors and activists in a London borough. 

The Spy Games lifts the lid on underhand tactics inside the Labour Party to impose order on party rivals using stolen confidential data.  

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Ajamu Baraka on the midterm elections



For African/Black Working Class and Colonized Peoples, Midterm Elections in the U.S. Offer No Relief from War, Repression and Capitalist Misery

By Ajamu Baraka, Black Agenda Report editor and columnist

The 50-year old neo-liberal agenda explains why political choices in this country provide little change that benefits the masses of people. The recent midterm election results will not bring about an improvement in the lives of the Black working class.

The agenda was set with the Lewis Powell Memorandum in 1971. Written at the request of the United States Chamber of Commerce, probably the most influential structure of capitalist rule at the time, the concern for the Chamber was the need to find a more coherent counter-offensive to the attacks against the system over the previous years. At the center of the anti-system attacks during the 1960s was, of course, the Black Liberation Movement and the Anti-War movement.

Powell made the argument that the capitalist class had to recognize that their very survival was at stake and that meant capitalists had to understand that as a class their interests transcended their individual enterprises.

And while the tone of Powell’s memo was “professional” and lacked rhetorical excesses, the need for a more intentional and strategic class war was the call that leaped out from the Powell memo.

“The day is long past when the chief executive officer of a major corporation discharges his responsibility by maintaining a satisfactory growth of profits, with due regard to the corporation's public and social responsibilities. If our system is to survive, top management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself.”

The policy implications were obvious. The U.S. ruling class concluded that it could no longer afford the “excesses” of the liberal welfare state and reform liberalism that as far as it was concerned had produced a failed war strategy, cultural decadence, rampant inflation, urban riots and demands for rights from groups representing every sector of U.S. society.

This was the beginning of the right-wing neo-liberal turn. A societal-wide counterrevolutionary policy that also required a domestic counterinsurgency strategy that would have a military, but more importantly, an ideological/cultural component. Domestically the main target of the counterinsurgency would be the revolutionary nationalist and socialist forces of the Black liberation movement and “new communist” formations.

Internationally, the turn to neo-liberalism translated into a brutal intensification of colonial/capitalist (imperialist) value extraction from nations in the global South buttressed by weak, corrupt, repressive neo-colonial states politically and militarily propped-up by the U.S. 


The neo-liberal counterrevolution produced irreconcilable contradictions that we are living through today. The gap between rich and poor nations and between workers and capitalists had never been more pronounced and immiseration so cruel.

For the Black working class, the neo-liberal turn was a catastrophe. The off-shoring of the U.S. industrial base with its relatively high paying jobs along with the reorganization of the economy to a service economy and the privatization wave that devastated social services and public employment where black workers were disproportionately located created structural precarity that only needed one incident to push tens of thousands into desperation. In the 2000s there were two. Hurricane Katrina and the economic collapse of 2008 that saw the greatest loss of Black wealth and income since the end of the reconstruction period between 1877 and 1896.

Compounding this devastation, the crimes against humanity represented by the 2020 covid pandemic in which literally tens of thousands of Black people, mainly poor, unnecessarily died because the state failed to protect their fundamental human rights to health and social security.

While Katrina exposed the fragility of Black life in the Gulf Coast, the economic crisis of 2008 just a few years later plugged millions of African workers into a desperate, depression era scramble for survival in conditions where Black labor was superfluous, and the very existence of Black life was seen as a social problem. The mass slaughter of the covid pandemic closed out the first two decades of a century that was supposed exemplify “American” greatness with a demoralized and confused electorate turning to a washed-up hack politician named Joe Biden.

Midterm Elections: If Stopping Fascism is on the Ballot, what was it the Africans Experienced all These Years?

Neo-liberalism was a rightist capitalist reform project. Today it informs the context for the midterms elections for African/Black workers. The objective material needs of Black workers and our desire for self-determination, independent development and peace were not on the ballot.

And while the duopoly represents the primary political contradiction obscuring the reality of the dictatorship of capital, the most aggressive neo-liberal actors now operate in and through the democratic party. Consequently, the unspoken character of the competition between the two parties is that elections have now shaped up since 2016 as a contest between the far-right elements represented today by Trump forces and the neo-liberal right represented by corporate democrats tied to finance capital and transnational corporations.

This is the undemocratic choice. The republicans represent the disaffected white nationalist petit-bourgeoisie settlers who think they are indigenous to this land. The ruling corporate capitalist elements of that party are for the most part nationalist oriented, dependent for their profits on the domestic economy. Some elements produce for the global markets, but they are in constant struggle with big capital as the capitalist economy “naturally” concentrates into its monopoly stage.


Democrats who historically had been associated with labor and the common man even during the period when it was the party of racist segregation under the apartheid system in the South, is today the party controlled by U.S. based monopoly capital. For workers, this form of bourgeois democracy has no space or structure representing the interests of workers, the poor and structurally oppressed. The working class and poor are slowly beginning to understand that.  

That is why early evidence suggests that African/Black workers did not participate in numbers that were necessary for the democrats to have prevailed in some of those key races. The democrats have nothing to offer, no policies, no hope, and no vision.

Some of the cowardice phony “progressives” in that party suggest that the national democrats did not push an economic message even though it was clear that the economic crisis was their most pressing concern.

But what economic message? The democrats long ago abandoned their base and they continue to desperately find ways to dilute the influence of their most loyal base – African Americans – by seeking out that elusive white, primarily female, suburban vote.

What the midterms reaffirmed is that the class war that Powell advocated for in the 1970s as a primary strategic objective of the ruling class continues and is intensifying, even as the ruling class is in crisis and cannot rule in the same way. This means that the people must disabuse themselves of all illusions and sentimental ideas around common national interests with this reckless and increasingly irrational bourgeoisie.

We cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to the slick propaganda that diverts attention away from the failures of the capitalist system. January 6th and Trump, evil Putin, the calculating Chinese, the exaggerated crime issue, and immigration issue, are all meant to divert us away from the fact that our lives are empty, that we have no time for friends and family, mindless soul crushing work characterizes our existence, if we have it, and the fear and anxiety that comes from a precarious existence saps our spirits and turns our confusion and anger inward.

Ideological clarity that stems from a liberated consciousness directs us to the conclusion that it is the system that is the enemy. Not our neighbor, or the undocumented gardener or food delivery person, not the peoples of Nicaragua, Haiti, Venezuela and Cuba who just want to live in their own way and in peace.

The democrat party is a morally bankrupt shell, hollowed out by years of lies and corruption. Many do not want to accept the bitter reality that we (Africans and colonized peoples) must objectively acknowledge, that nothing will substantially change by this election or any other bourgeois election. We can and must contest in those spaces but we are clear -  as long as power is retained by the Pan European colonial/capitalist dictatorship Black people will continue to suffer and collective humanity will face an existential threat.

~ Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. Baraka serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council and leadership body of the U.S. based United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) and the Steering Committee of the Black is Back Coalition. 

Most important video of the year was filmed in 1983


Former CIA officer Frank Snepp exclaims how he, on behalf of the CIA, targeted respected journalists who had large followings in major media networks, including newspapers, in order to attempt to get them to publish and print propaganda during the Vietnam war times in 1975. 

Snepp details how the CIA would use these respected journalists to ‘plant disinformation’ and slip pieces of falsehoods into tips to media which in many cases would be used as journalists would believe they were receiving exclusive information from the agency. 

Snepp was directed to socialize with the journalists and “cultivate them” and/or gain their confidence. 

The CIA would carefully use pieces of information that could not easily be checked out or verified. 

The interview was first filmed in 1983 but has recently went viral through social media. 

Edward Snowden, a former computer intelligence consultant who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013, shared the clip saying “The most important video of the year was filmed in 1983”.   

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

Not great news - Washington is nuts and wants war



Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor is among the most reasonable and educated in the west on the Russian-Ukraine-US-NATO war.  

Very concise, very accurate and very fair.  

If you are not worried about the suicidal steps that Neo-con Washington is taking then you are not paying close enough attention. 

Italians rally to stop sending weapons to Ukraine




Some 30,000 Italians marched through Rome on Saturday calling for peace in Ukraine and urging Italy to stop sending weapons to fight the Russian invasion.

NATO founding member Italy has supported Ukraine from the start of the war, including providing it with arms. New far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has said that will not change and the government is expected to send more weapons soon.

But some, including former prime minister Giuseppe Conte, have said Italy should be stepping up negotiations instead.

"The weapons were sent at the beginning on the grounds that this would prevent an escalation," protester Roberto Zanotto told AFP.

"Nine months later and it seems to me that there's been an escalation. Look at the facts: sending weapons does not help stop a war, weapons help fuel a war."

Student Sara Gianpietro said the conflict was being dragged out by arming Ukraine, which "has economic consequences for our country, but for the respect of human rights too".

G7 foreign ministers, including Italy, on Friday vowed to continue supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia. 

Gideon Levy comments on recent Israeli election



 "INTERVIEW: The choices in Israel in recent years have been between extreme right wingers and right wingers, says Israeli journalist #Gideon Levy. 

The masquerade that the country was a liberal, western democracy is over.  

Monday, November 07, 2022

United Nations votes on Nazi resolution



A resolution in support of condemning the growing Nazi movement across much of the west passed despite pressure from the US-UK-EU to vote it down.

Check out the voting results. 

The resolution expresses concern about glorifying Nazism, neo-Nazism and former Waffen SS members, and condemns the construction of monuments and the holding of public ceremonies honoring the Third Reich. Introducing the resolution, the Russian delegate referenced an increase in xenophobia, anti-migrant sentiment, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, among other forms of discrimination. 

A German Die Linke party leader critiques Berlin policies


Die Linke (The Left) party member Sahra Wagenknecht (member of German parliament) gives an excellent critique of Berlin's policy toward Russia.

We are not likely to watch this news clip on most western TV. 

Journalist Pepe Escobar has a new article out on the German-China meeting just held in Beijing where German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Pepe reports: “Olaf Scholz is being accompanied on this trip by German industrialists who actually control Germany and are not going to sit back watching themselves being destroyed.”

Pepe postulates that Scholtz was carrying peace negotiation proposals for Russian review via his meeting with Xi. 

Washington would surely not be happy about that if indeed true.


Listening yesterday to a video talk by Alexander Mercouris on The Duran, he spelled out his review of the official Chinese 'readout' of the Scholz-Xi meeting. The bottom line for China was that they no longer have trust in German (and other EU) leaders. Trust must be earned Xi told Scholz, who is very shaky when it comes to staying in power if life in Deutschland continues to deteriorate.

(Germany badly needs Chinese investment if it is to remain a viable economic nation.)

Soon after his meeting with Xi, Scholz called Joe Biden to report on their conversation. Is that likely to build trust with China? Scholz could be another Liz Truss. It's done....

I wonder if after the November 8 elections in the US things will begin to change in regard to the neo-con controlled Washington war policies/sanctions against Russia.  If Republicans win Congress then there could be some new avenues taken. The neo-cons are increasingly becoming unpopular throughout the US. Most of them are Zionists who also keep the US chained to Israel's apartheid system.

With the protests across Europe continuing (and growing) and discord across the US about our own economic future, change must be on the way. It would help alot if more Americans became vocal about ending Washington's funding, supplying and directing the Kiev puppet regime's proxy war on Moscow.

Time will tell. 


Sunday, November 06, 2022

Former Israeli spies work top jobs at Google, Facebook & Microsoft




By Alan MacLeod, Mintpress News

A MintPress study has found that hundreds of former agents of the notorious Israeli spying organization, Unit 8200, have attained positions of influence in many of the world’s biggest tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

The Israeli Defense Forces’ (IDF) Unit 8200 is infamous for surveilling the indigenous Palestinian population, amassing kompromat on individuals for the purposes of blackmail and extortion. Spying on the world’s rich and famous, Unit 8200 hit the headlines last year, after the Pegasus scandal broke. Former Unit 8200 officers designed and implemented software that spied on tens of thousands of politicians and likely aided in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


According to employment website LinkedIn, there are currently at least 99 former Unit 8200 veterans currently working for Google. This number almost certainly underestimates the scale of the collaboration between the two organizations, however. For one, this does not count former Google employees. Nor does it include those without a public LinkedIn account, or those who do have an account, but have not disclosed their previous affiliations with the high-tech Israeli surveillance unit. This is likely to be a considerable number, as agents are expressly prohibited from ever revealing their affiliation to Unit 8200. Thus, the figure of 99 only represents the number of current (or extremely recent) Google employees who are brazenly flouting Israeli military law by including the organization in their profiles.

Among these include:

  • Gavriel Goidel: Between 2010 and 2016, Goidel served in Unit 8200, rising to become Head of Learning at the organization, leading a large team of operatives who sifted through intelligence data to “understand patterns of hostile activists”, in his own words, transmitting that information to superiors. Whether this included any of the over 1,000 Gazan civilians Israel killed during their 2014 bombardment of Gaza is unknown. Goidel was recently appointed Head of Strategy and Operations at Google.
  • Jonathan Cohen: Cohen was a team leader during his time in Unit 8200 (2000-2003). He has since spent more than 13 years working for Google in various senior positions, and is currently Head of Insights, Data and Measurement.
  • Ori Daniel: Between 2003 and 2006, Daniel was a technical operations specialist with Unit 8200. After a stint with Palantir, he joined Google in 2018, rising to become Head of Global Self-Service for Google Waze.
  • Ben Bariach: For nearly five years between 2007 and 2011, Bariach served as a cyber intelligence officer, where he “commanded strategic teams of elite officers and professionals.”Since 2016, he has worked for Google. Between 2018 and 2020, he concentrated on tackling “controversial content, disinformation and cyber-security”. Today, he is a product partnership manager for Google in London.

Notably, Google appears to not only accept former Unit 8200 agents with open arms, but to actively recruit current members of the controversial organization. For example, in October 2020, Gai Gutherz left his job as a project leader at Unit 8200 and walked into a full time job at Google as a software engineer. In 2018, Lior Liberman appears to have done the same thing, taking a position as a program manager at Google after 4 years in military intelligence. Earlier this year, she left Google and now works at Microsoft.

Spying On Palestinians

Some might contend that all Israelis are compelled to complete military service, and so, therefore, what is the problem with young people using the tech skills they learned in the IDF in civilian life. In short, why is this Unit 8200-to-Silicon-Valley-pipeline a problem?

To begin with, Unit 8200 is not a run-of-the-mill regiment. Described as “Israel’s NSA” and located on a gigantic base near Beer Sheva in the Negev desert, Unit 8200 is the IDF’s largest unit – and one of its most exclusive. The brightest young minds in the country compete to be sent to serve at this Israeli Harvard. Although military service is compulsory for Jewish Israelis, Arab citizens are strongly discouraged from joining the military and are effectively blocked from Unit 8200. Indeed, they are the prime targets of the apartheid state’s surveillance operations.

The Financial Times called Unit 8200 “Israel at its best and worst” – the centerpiece of both its burgeoning high-tech industry and of its repressive state apparatus. Unit 8200 veterans have gone on to produce many of the world’s most downloaded apps, including maps service Waze, and communications app Viber. But in 2014, 43 reservists, including several officers, sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him they would no longer serve in its ranks due to its involvement in the political persecution of Palestinians.

This consisted of using big data to compile dossiers on huge numbers of the indigenous domestic population, including their medical history, sex lives, and search histories, in order that it could be used for extortion later. If a certain individual needed to travel across checkpoints for crucial medical treatment, permission could be suspended until they complied. Information, such as if a person was cheating on their spouse or was homosexual, is also used as bait for blackmail. One former Unit 8200 man said that as part of his training, he was assigned to memorize different Arabic words for “gay” so that he could listen out for them in conversations.

Perhaps most importantly, the dissenters noted, Palestinians as a whole are considered enemies of the state. “There’s no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence,” the letter read. It also claims that much intelligence was gathered not in service of Israel, but for powerful local politicians, who used it as they saw fit.

The letter, despite being intentionally vague and not naming anyone, was considered such a threat that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced that those who signed it would be “treated as criminals.”

In short, then, Unit 8200 is partially a spying and extortion organization that uses its access to data to blackmail and extort opponents of the apartheid state. That this organization has so many operatives (literally hundreds) in key positions in big tech companies that the world trusts with our most sensitive data (medical, financial, etc.) should be of serious concern. This is especially true as they do not appear to distinguish between “bad guys” and the rest of us. To Unit 8200, it seems, anyone is fair game.

Project Nimbus

Google already has a close relationship with the Israeli government. Last year, along with Amazon, it signed a $1.2 billion contract with Israel to provide military surveillance tech services – technology that will allow the IDF to further unlawfully spy on Palestinians, destroy their homes and expand illegal settlements.

The deal led to a staff revolt at both companies, with some 400 employees signing an open letter refusing to cooperate. Google forced one Jewish employee, Ariel Koren, out of the door for her part in resisting the deal. Koren later told MintPress that,

“Google systematically silences Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, and Muslim voices concerned about Google’s complicity in violations of Palestinian human rights – to the point of formally retaliating against workers and creating an environment of fear…in my experience, silencing dialogue and dissent in this way has helped Google protect its business interest with the Israeli military and government.”

Another link between Google and the Israeli security state comes in the form of cybersecurity group Team8, a collaboration between former Google CEO and chairman Eric Schmidt, and three ex-Unit 8200 officers, including its former leader, Nadav Zafrir. Team8’s mission, according to a press release, is, “To leverage the offensive and defensive skills of veterans of Israel’s cyberwar efforts to build new security startups.”




Meta – the company that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp – has also recruited heavily from the ranks of Unit 8200.

Undoubtedly, one of the most influential people at Meta is Emi Palmor. Palmor is one of 23 individuals who sit on Facebook’s Oversight Board. Described by Mark Zuckerberg as Facebook’s “Supreme Court”, the Oversight Board collectively decides what content to accept and promote on the platform, and what should be censored, deleted, and suppressed.

Palmor is a Unit 8200 veteran and later went on to become General Director of the Israeli Ministry of Justice. In this role, she directly oversaw the stripping away of Palestinian rights and created a so-called “Internet Referral Unit” which would find and aggressively push Facebook to delete Palestinian content on its platform that the Israeli government objected to.

Other ex-Unit 8200 hold influential positions. For instance, Eyal Klein, the head of data science for Facebook Messenger since 2020, served for fully six years as a captain in the controversial Israeli military unit. Today, he is tasked with handling privacy issues for billions of users of Meta’s platforms.

Another former Unit 8200 leader now working in big tech in America is Eli Zeitlin. Two years after leaving Unit 8200, Zeitlin was employed by Microsoft and rose to become the corporation’s senior development lead, becoming, in his own words, the “go to person in file processing and cloud protection” for the company. For the last six years, however, he has worked for Meta, where he leads the company in “prevent[ing] data misuse by third parties” – exactly the sort of operation that current Unit 8200 officers likely continue to carry out.

Other Unit 8200 veterans working in influential roles for Facebook include Tom Chet, head of activations and production for North American small business; Gilad Turbahn, a manager for Meta; engineering manager Ranen Goren; software engineers Gil Osher and Yoav Goldstein; security engineering manager Dana Baril; and software developer Omer Goldberg. Meanwhile, according to Yonatan Ramot’s LinkedIn biography, earlier this year, he was simultaneously working for Meta while still an active duty manager in Unit 8200.



Spying On The World

Why is having former Unit 8200 officers in charge of security, development and software design at some of the world’s most important communications companies a problem? To start with, one of the military unit’s primary functions is to use their tech know how to carry out spying operations across the world. As Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted in an investigation, “Israel has become a leading exporter of tools for spying on civilians,” selling invasive surveillance software to dozens of governments, many of them among the world’s worst human rights abusers. In Indonesia, for instance, the software was used to create a database of gay people.

Unit 8200 also spies on Americans. Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA regularly passes on the data and communications of U.S. citizens to the Israeli group. “I think that’s amazing…It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen,” Snowden said.

The most well-known example of Israeli spyware is Pegasus, a creation of NSO Group, a technically private company staffed primarily by Unit 8200 veterans. The software was used to eavesdrop on more than 50,000 prominent people around the world. This included dozens of human rights defenders, nearly 200 journalists, several Arab royals, and over 600 politicians, including French president Emmanuel Macron, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and Iraqi President Barham Salih.

Meanwhile, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi used the software to dig up dirt on his personal opponents. Other members of his government hacked the phone of a woman accusing the Chief Justice of India of raping her.

Pegasus was also found installed on murdered Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, implying that NSO was collaborating with the Saudi government, aiding them to silence dissent and criticism.

Pegasus works by sending a text message to a targeted device. If a user clicks on the link provided, it will automatically download the spyware. Once infected, it is possible to track an individual’s location and movements, take screenshots, turn on the phone’s camera and microphone, retrieve messages and steal passwords.

But while the NSO’s Pegasus made worldwide news, another firm, more worrying and dangerous, has flown under the radar. That firm is Toka, established by former Israeli defense minister and prime minister, Ehud Barak, with the help of a number of Unit 8200 officers. Toka can infiltrate any device connected to the internet, including Amazon echoes, televisions, fridges and other home appliances. Last year, Journalist Whitney Webb told MintPress that the company effectively acts as a front group for the Israeli government’s spying operations.

A third private spy firm filled with Unit 8200 graduates is Candiru. The Tel Aviv-based company barely exists, officially. It does not have a website. And if you go to its headquarters, there is no indication that you are in the right place. Nevertheless, it is widely believed that Candiru was behind malware attacks observed in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Qatar and Uzbekistan.

The company is named after a parasitic Amazonian fish that is said (apocryphally) to swim up human urine streams and enter the body via the urethra. It is an apt analogy for a firm that spends its time finding security flaws in Android and iOS operating systems and browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari, using this knowledge to spy on unsuspecting targets.

The utility of these technically private Israeli spy groups filled to the brim with ex-military intelligence figures is that it allows the government some measure of plausible deniability when carrying out attacks against foreign nations. As Haaretz explained, “Who owns [these spying companies] isn’t clear, but their employees aren’t soldiers. Consequently, they may solve the army’s problem, even if the solution they provide is imperfect.”


Data from LinkedIn suggests that there are at least 166 former Unit 8200 members who went on to work for Microsoft. In addition to those already mentioned, others include Ayelet Steinitz, Microsoft’s former Head of Global Strategic Alliances, Senior Software Engineer Tomer Lev, and Senior Product Managers, Maayan Mazig, Or Serok-Jeppa and Yuval Derman.

Notably, the Seattle-based giant also heavily leans on ex-Unit 8200 professionals to design and upkeep its global security apparatus. Examples of this phenomenon include Security Researchers Lia Yeshoua, Yogev Shitrit, Guni Merom, Meitar Pinto and Yaniv Carmel, Threat Protection Software Engineer Gilron Tsabkevich, Data Scientist Danielle Poleg, Threat Intelligence Officer Itai Grady and Security Product Manager Liat Lisha. In Merom, Carmel and Pinto’s cases, they went straight from Unit 8200 into Microsoft’s team, again suggesting that Microsoft is actively recruiting from the regiment.

Other Microsoft security products such as Microsoft Defender Antivirus and Microsoft Azure secure cloud computing are also designed and maintained by ex-Unit 8200 individuals. These include former Senior Architect Michael Bargury, Principal Software Engineering Manager Shlomi Haba, Senior Software Engineering Managers Yaniv Yehuda, Assaf Israel and Michal Ben Yaacov, Senior Product Manager Tal Rosler, Software Engineer Adi Griever, and Product Manager Yael Genut.

This is notable, as it was reported that malware likely produced by Unit 8200 was used to attack Microsoft products, such as its Windows operating system. It reportedly exploited loopholes it found to attack control systems, delete hard drives, and shut down key systems, such as the energy infrastructure of Iran.

Big Tech, Big Governments

None of this means that all or even any of the individuals are moles – or even anything but model employees today. But the sheer amount of people graduating from an organization such as Unit 8200 and going on to influence the world’s largest communications companies certainly causes concern.

Unit 8200 certainly has a reputation for excellence in its field. The trouble is that their craft includes spying, extortion, gross violations of personal rights, and the hacking of exactly the tech companies that are now hiring them en masse. This does not appear to be a poacher-turned-gamekeeper scenario, however; there is no indication Silicon Valley is hiring whistleblowers.

Of course, Israel is far from the only country that attempts to spy on foes or manipulate the public. However, former spies from adversary countries such as Russia, Venezuela or Iran are not being hired in their hundreds to design, maintain and oversee the largest channels of public communication. In fact, this study could find no examples of ex-FSB (Russia) ex-SEBIN (Venezuela) or former agents from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence working at Silicon Valley corporations.

MintPress has previously documented how, in recent years, big tech companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, TikTok and Reddit have hired hundreds of spooks from the CIA, NSA, FBI, Secret Service, NATO, and other intelligence agencies. The fact that Unit 8200 is also a recruitment reserve underlines how strong an ally Israel is considered in the West.

However, it also highlights the increasing intersection between Silicon Valley and big government and further undermines any pretense that big tech companies are on our side in the fight to secure and maintain privacy online.

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