Laden's Magic Carpet - Secret U.S. PROMIS Software
Claims of Discontinued Use Leave Questions Unanswered
in the Lurch?
bin Laden Use It To Break White House Codes And Threaten
Air Force One?
[© Copyright 2001,
Michael C. Ruppert and From The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com.
All Rights Reserved. May be recopied or distributed for
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Violations subject to legal action. ]
FTW, October 26,
2001 - 1300 PDT (UPDATED Nov. 16, 2001) - An October 16
FOX News report by correspondent Carl Cameron indicating
that convicted spy, former FBI Agent Robert Hanssen, had
provided a highly secret computer software program called
Promis to Russian organized crime figures - who in turn
reportedly sold it to Osama bin Laden - may signal a potential
intelligence disaster for the United States. Admissions
by the FBI and Justice in the FOX story that they have discontinued
use of the software are most certainly a legal disaster
for a government that has been engaged in a 16-year battle
with the software's creator, William Hamilton, CEO of the
Inslaw Corporation. Over those 16 years, in response to
lawsuits filed by Hamilton
charging that the government had stolen the software from
Inslaw, the FBI, the CIA and the Department of Justice have
denied, in court and under oath, ever using the software.
Bin Laden's reported
possession of Promis software was clearly reported in a
June 15, 2001
story by Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper. That story
went unnoticed by the major media. In it Seper wrote, "The
software delivered to the Russian handlers and later sent
to bin Laden, according to sources, is believed to be an
upgraded version of a program known as Promis - developed
in the 1980s by a Washington
firm, Inslaw, Inc., to give attorneys the ability to keep
tabs on their caseloads. It would give bin Laden the ability
to monitor U.S.
efforts to track him down, federal law-enforcement officials
say. It also gives him access to databases on specific targets
of his choosing and the ability to monitor electronic-banking
transactions, easing money-laundering operations for himself
or others, according to sources."
In a series of excellent
stories by The Times, and as confirmed by parts of the FOX
broadcast, it appears that Hanssen, who was arrested in
February, in order to escape the death penalty this summer,
agreed to provide the FBI and other intelligence agencies
with a full accounting of his sale of Promis overseas. Reports
state that almost until the moment of his capture, Hanssen
was charged with "repairing" and upgrading versions
of the software used by Britain
On October 17, two
different spokespersons at the FBI's Office of Public Affairs
told FTW, "The FBI has discontinued use of the Promis
software." The spokespersons declined to give their
On October 24, Department
of Justice spokesperson Loren Pfeifle declined to answer
any questions about where, when or how Promis had been used
and would say only, "I can only confirm that the DoJ
has discontinued use of the program."
INSLAW had two limited
contracts to provide Promis to Justice in 1982 and 1983.
Neither application had anything to do with tracking terrorist
suits charged that Reagan Administration officials, including
Edwin Meese, pirated the software, modified it for intelligence
and financial uses and made millions by selling it to the
governments of Israel,
and other friendly nations. After the installation of a
CIA-created "back door" into the program, Israel,
using its lifelong Mossad agent Robert Maxwell, reportedly
sold the software to "unfriendly" nations and
then secretly retrieved priceless intelligence data.
The statements of
FBI and Justice sources in the FOX story on October 16 have
case. They also give but the barest hint of the security
breaches that may now be helping the most wanted man in
the world. Bin Laden's reported possession of Promis may
also explain the alleged threatening messages that were
received by President Bush while aboard Air Force One on
A mild uproar erupted
in the days after the WTC attacks when Presidential aide
Carl Rove indicated that threatening calls had been placed
to Air Force One just hours after the attacks while President
Bush was onboard. Some journalists excoriated Rove for suggested
that bin Laden might have a mole in the White House who
could have given him the secure codes to reach the aircraft
Bin Laden's possession
of Promis would provide a possible explanation. According
under the right circumstances, Promis could have enabled
the threatening calls to be made. "I have no way of
knowing whether any Promis-related base has dial-up access
to Air Force One. But if that happens, and if you have Promis,
it's a straightforward thing to do. But one would still
need to have access to the targeting computer.
"There is a
central locator system to track members of the National
Command Authority 24/7. If that is a database created with
Promis and if anyone had access you could do it."
Such a penetration
using Promis might also explain why Vice President Dick
Cheney was hurriedly whisked out of sight and reportedly
taken to a secure underground facility, where he reportedly
works to this day. Cheney's prolonged absences from the
public eye would also be explained by such a breach of security.
Numerous news stories,
books and investigative reports, including a September 2000
story in FTW (Vol. III, No.7), spanning nearly two decades,
have established that Promis holds unique abilities to track
terrorists. The software has also, according to numerous
sources including Hamilton,
been modified with artificial intelligence and developed
in parallel for the world's banking systems to track money
movements, stock trades and other financial dealings. Systematics
- since purchased by Alltel - an Arkansas
financial and technical firm headed by billionaire Jackson
Stephens, has often been reported as the primary developer
of Promis for financial intelligence use. Systematics through
its various evolutions had been a primary supplier of software
used in inter-bank and international money transfers for
many years. Attorneys who have been connected to Systematics
and Promis include Webster Hubbell, Hillary Clinton and
the late Vince Foster.
If true, and if claims
by the FBI and the Department of Justice that they have
"recently" discontinued the use of Promis are
accurate, the likelihood than bin Laden may have compromised
the systems the U.S.
government and its allies use to track him is high. Additional
information in the FOX broadcast indicating that Britain
stopped using the software just three months ago and that
Germany stopped using the software just weeks ago are equally
disturbing. These are mission-critical systems requiring
years of development. What has replaced them? And even if
government has replaced the software given to its allies
with newer programs - several of which FTW knows to be in
existence - the FOX report clearly implies that bin Laden
and Associates have had ample time to get highly secret
intelligence data from both Britain
Those systems might, in turn, have compromised U.S.
systems. The WTC attacks had - by all reckoning - been in
the works for years, and bin Laden would certainly have
known that the U.S.
would be looking for him afterwards.
WHAT IS PROMIS
AND WHAT DOES IT DO?
PROMIS stands for
Prosecutor's Management Information System.
In the late 1970s
the legal system of the United States Department of Justice
(DoJ) was comprised of more than thirty semi-autonomous
regional U.S. Attorneys (USA) offices. Each had a computer
system to track case management for prosecutions, investigations,
and civil litigations. The problem was that they used as
many as seven different programming languages. This made
the transmission and sharing of information between offices
virtually impossible. The computers in the USA's
office in San Francisco
could not read files sent from the USA
in New York.
The genius of Hamilton
and Inslaw was to create a software program that could access
files in any number of databases and programming languages
and translate and then unify them into one consistent file.
Promis was the Rosetta stone of computer languages.
Inslaw won a $10
million, three-year contract in March 1982 to install a
16-bit architecture version of Promis, which the government
had the right to use but not the right to modify without
paying license fees to Inslaw, on government computers
in the 22 largest U.S. Attorneys' Offices. In April
1983, the second year of the three-year contract, the government
modified Inslaw's contract in order to obtain delivery
of a 32-bit architecture version of Promis, which the government
could not even use without paying license fees. In modifying
the contract, the government promised to pay license fees
if it decided to substitute the 32-bit version for the 16-bit
version. In May 1983, the month following Inslaw's delivery
of the 32-bit version of Promis, the government reneged
on its contractual agreement to pay license fees and
simultaneously began to find fault with Inslaw's implementation
services as justification for withholding services payments.
The Justice Department thereafter
withheld $1.77 million in services payments forcing
Inslaw to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February
In January 1988,
following several weeks of trial in 1987, the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court issued fully litigated findings of fact that the Justice
Department "took, converted, stole" the 32-bit
version of Promis "through trickery, fraud and deceit,"
implemented the 32-bit version of Promis in the 44
largest U.S. Attorneys Offices, and then tried to force
INSLAW out of business in order to incapacitate INSLAW from
litigating the Justice Department's theft of Promis. The
Bankruptcy Court imposed a compulsory license on the 44
largest U.S. Attorneys Offices for the perpetual use of
the 32-bit version of Promis and issued a permanent
injunction against any further dissemination of Promis
by the government except under license from Inslaw.
by the government saw the original rulings overturned on
legal, not factual, grounds. Legal actions in the case continue
to this day.
told FTW that none of the uses described above had anything
to do with any licensing agreements for the software's use
to track terrorists, intelligence matters or worldwide financial
The paper tracking
of the refinements in Promis after the legal dispute erupted
between INSLAW and the Reagan administration, verifies that
at least one version of Promis was given to Martin Marietta,
now Lockheed-Martin, which is now the nation's second largest
defense contractor. Until late 2000, Lynne Cheney, the wife
of Vice President Dick Cheney sat on Lockheed's board of
directors. Research conducted by many investigative journalists
has indicated that Promis has spread widely throughout the
defense contractor network. FTW has received multiple reports
of Promis use by companies and institutions like DynCorp,
Raytheon, Boeing, SAIC and the Harvard Endowment as well
as by government agencies such as the Financial Criminal
Enforcement Network (FINCEN) and the U.S. Treasury.
Here's how powerful
the software is.
weeks after the September 11 attacks on the World
and the Pentagon, the History Channel aired a documentary
entitled "The History of Terrorism." In that documentary,
a law enforcement officer described some of the methods
used to track terrorist movements. He stated that "computers"
were able to track such things as credit card purchases,
entry and exits visas, telephone and utility usage etc.
It was implied that these diverse data base files could
be integrated into one unified table. He gave an example
that through the use of such a system it would be possible
to determine that if a suspected terrorist entered the country
and was going to hide out, that by monitoring the water
and electrical consumption of all possible suspects in a
given cell, it would be possible to determine where the
terrorist was hiding out by seeing whose utility use increased.
Conversely, it would be possible to determine if a terrorist
was on the move if his utility consumption declined or his
local shopping patterns were interrupted. Aren't those "club"
cards from your supermarket handy?
This is but the barest
glimpse of what Promis can do. Mated with artificial intelligence
it is capable of analyzing not only an individual's, but
also a community's entire life, in real time. It is also
capable of issuing warnings when irregularities appear and
of predicting future movements based upon past behavior.
In the financial
arena Promis is even more formidable. Not only is it capable
of predicting movements in financial markets and tracking
trades in real time. It has been reported, on a number of
occasions, to have been used, via the "back door"
to enter secret bank accounts, including accounts in Switzerland
and then remove the money in those accounts without being
traced. Court documents filed in the various INSLAW trials
include documentation of this ability as well as affidavits
and declarations from Israeli intelligence officers and
The one essential
weakness of Promis is that it must be physically installed
on a targeted computer for it to be effective. Hence, if
Osama bin Laden is able to penetrate a U.S. Government system
it must mean that Promis is there.
FTW has previously
reported that the CIA uses Promis to track stock trades
in real time. Thus, as described in FTW stories on insider
trading directly connected to the September 11 attacks,
the Agency had the ability to determine that immediate impending
attacks were planned against both American and United Air
Lines. The Israeli Herzliyya Institute for Counterterrorism
was able to publish a detailed accounting of the trades
within days of the attacks and their report underscores
the connection between counterterrorist efforts and the
monitoring of financial markets. [See FTW
Vol. IV, No 7 - Oct.
15, 2001] Suspicions of CIA advance knowledge of the attacks
were heightened when FTW disclosed that the current Executive
Director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard was,
until 1998, the CEO of A.B. Brown, the company which handled
many of the suspicious trades.
All of these abilities
were a given when this writer met with members of the RCMP
National Security Investigation Section in the summer of
2000. Our meetings were reported in the Toronto Star and
are described in the previously referenced issue of FTW.
A key question that lingered after the meetings with the
RCMP was how many versions of the software had the CIA and
the U.S. government given out and might they not have been
also using a back door against "friendly" nations
for economic motives to give advantage to U.S. companies.
It was not a question that the RCMP dismissed as unlikely.
In another mind boggling
development, on November 10 The Calgary Sun reported: U.S.
police said many of the suspected al-Qaida terrorists were
nabbed through the use of a state-of-the-art computer software
program called Promis The system interfaces with any database
and can provide information on credit card, banking, pension,
tax, criminal and immigration records. Police can
input an alleged terrorist name or credit card and the software
will provide details of the person's movements through purchases
or phone records." After so many years of denials these
public confirmations that Promis is widely in use must come
as a relief to Hamilton who now can walk into court and
reopen his case. But they also indicate that newer generations
of software have likely replaced the legendary program that
has been connected with so much death, intrigue and mystery.
The FOX story reported
that Osama bin Laden once boasted that his youth "knew
the wrinkles of the world's financial markets like the back
of their hands and that his money would never be frozen."
He may be right. And an administration so lost in covering
up criminal conduct - no less than the conduct of the ones
which preceded it -- while trying to fight a war at the
same time -- might find itself doubly wounded by the software
of Bill Hamilton and Inslaw.
The Washington Times - Search Archives for "Promis"
Insight Magazine - a four part series by investigative reporter
Kelly O'Meara located at http://www.insightmag.com/archive/200101307.shtml.
If the link is broken, do an archive search from their main
web page at www.insightmagazine.com.
"The Last Circle" - An online e-book by Carol
Marshall located at http://www.lycaeum.org/books/books/last_circle/.
"Trail of The Octopus" - by Lester Coleman, 1993,
Bloomsbury Publishing, London. This book is almost impossible
to find and FTW is unable to direct readers to a good source
for obtaining it.
The Inslaw Affair - http://www.webcom.com/~pinknoiz/covert/inslaw.html.
Includes Congressional testimony supporting Inslaw and a
record of court proceedings.
FTW: Vol. IV, No 7 - Oct. 15, 2001 -