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quinta-feira, fevereiro 12, 2015
“Como matámos Humberto Delgado”
Rosa Casaco, o chefe da brigada da PIDE que, faz agora 50 anos, assassinou Humberto Delgado, que em 1958 tinha desafiado o regime ao candidatar-se à eleição presidencial, contou ao Expresso a sua versão da morte do “general sem medo”. Republicamos agora, editado, o respetivo artigo, que foi publicado originalmente na Revista de 14 de fevereiro de 1998. Rosa Casaco morreu em 2006, aos 91 anos
TEXTO JOSÉ PEDRO CASTANHEIRA
António Rosa Casaco chefiou a brigada da PIDE que assassinou o general Humberto Delgado, no dia 13 de fevereiro de 1965, perto de Badajoz. Fugido do país depois do 25 de abril, foi julgado à revelia e condenado a oito anos de prisão. Em 1998, à beira de completar 83 anos, o ex-inspector da polícia política, que vivia no Brasil sob falsa identidade, quebrou o silêncio a que sempre se tinha remetido e contou ao Expresso a sua versão sobre o mais importante assassínio cometido pelo regime salazarista.
Assumiu que a cilada fatal foi montada pela PIDE, confirmou que o assassino foi Casimiro Monteiro, mas garantiu - contrariando o acórdão do Tribunal - que Arajaryr Campos, a secretária do general, foi morta por Agostinho Tienza.
A “Operação Outono” - nome de código da armadilha montada contra Humberto Delgado - começou a ser delineada “na sequência da tentativa de assalto ao quartel de Beja”, explica António Rosa Casaco. Realizado no primeiro dia de 1962, o golpe de Beja estava concebido para ser liderado pelo “general sem medo”, que conseguira iludir a vigilância da polícia e entrara em território nacional disfarçado com um bigode postiço.
O assalto frustrou-se, Delgado escapou-se, mas o estado-maior da PIDE (Polícia Internacional de Defesa do Estado) resolveu que, para grandes males, grandes remédios. Foi nessa altura que Barbieri Cardoso, cérebro e estratego da polícia, “decidiu estudar o modo de neutralizar as atividades de caráter político” do general, “designadamente as que assumiam formas violentas de assalto ao poder constituído e que beneficiavam os sectores mais à esquerda da Oposição” .
Uma ‘toupeira’ junto do general
Um primeiro passo foi “a introdução de uma ou mais 'toupeiras' na “entourage” do general, capazes de ganharem a sua confiança, “de modo a permitir a deteção de todos os seus movimentos e das atividades revolucionárias que congeminava”. O próprio Barbieri se encarregou de procurar a pessoa indicada. Subdirector-geral desde abril de 1962, Agostinho Barbieri de Figueiredo Batista Cardoso ingressara na polícia, como inspetor, em 1948, vindo da GNR.
Nascido em Lisboa em 1907, mas de ascendência italiana, Barbieri “mantinha contactos regulares da mais diversa natureza com personalidades italianas da direita e extrema-direita”. Entre elas, contavam-se Ernesto Bisogno, um médico com clínica em Roma, e Pascoale Pascuelino, “ex-oficial do exército fascista que fugira de um campo de concentração na Índia e atingira Diu”. Cunhado do inspector Cunha Passo, Pascuelino era tradutor da PIDE, valendo-se dos seus impressionantes dotes linguísticos, já que “falava 21 línguas e dialetos diferentes”.
Duas viagens a Roma
Pascuelino e Bisogno detetaram em Roma a presença de um cidadão português, Mário Alexandre de Carvalho, “que alegava ser oposicionista e refugiado político e que privava com Delgado, sendo, aparentemente, pessoa da sua estrita confiança”. Carvalho, um lisboeta da freguesia dos Anjos, nascido em 1912, residia em Itália há um punhado de anos e possuía um estranho e sinuoso currículo. No prolongado e paciente trabalho de aliciamento de Mário de Carvalho envolveu-se o próprio Barbieri, que “efectuou algumas viagens a Roma, sozinho”, bem como Pereira de Carvalho, o diretor dos chamados Serviços Reservados. Nascido na Figueira da Foz em 1920, Álvaro Augusto das Neves Pereira de Carvalho entrara para a PIDE em 1956, como inspetor, e era considerado, com propriedade, o n° 3 da hierarquia.
Inspector desde 1962, Rosa Casaco era um dos mais experimentados e eficientes operacionais da polícia, para onde entrara em 1937. Colocado na Secção Central, em Lisboa, e gozando da total confiança de Barbieri Cardoso, foi chamado a participar na Operação Outono, tendo sido enviado a Roma várias vezes com o objetivo de “controlar” a dupla Ernesto Bisogno/Mário de Carvalho. De uma das vezes, foi na companhia de Barbieri e de Pereira de Carvalho, a parelha que desde 1962 dirigia o nevrálgico serviço de informações. Numa segunda viagem a Roma, foi secundado por um sub-inspector, de nome Ernesto Lopes Ramos, que de certo modo entrara na PIDE pelas suas mãos.
Nascido nas Caldas da Rainha, em 1933, formado em Direito, concorrera aos serviços noticiosos da RTP nos seus primórdios. Hábil e destemido, Ernesto Lopes estagiara na CIA e era um operacional de mão-cheia, razão porque foi adstrito a Casaco. “Tínhamos de assegurar-nos, sem margem para quaisquer dúvidas, de que realmente o Mário de Carvalho dispunha, como afirmava, de acesso íntimo ao general”.
As eventuais dúvidas desvaneceram-se por completo. Carvalho passou a trabalhar ativamente para a polícia, que lhe atribuiu o nome de código de “Oliveira”, com uma remuneração de dez mil escudos mensais (50 euros). Com Carvalho a contar para Lisboa tudo quanto Delgado dizia, urdia e fazia, a PIDE decidiu “passar à fase seguinte, ou seja, ao contacto com o próprio general”.
A ideia foi gizada por Barbieri e Pereira de Carvalho. Casaco possuía todas as qualidades para o tentar, mas apresentava um senão insuperável: Delgado conhecia-o perfeitamente - “nos anos 50, quando o general exercia o cargo de director-geral da Aeronáutica Civil, eu chefiava o posto do aeroporto de Lisboa, tendo tido, então, inúmeros contactos com ele”. Eliminada a hipótese Casaco, a escolha acabou por incidir em Ernesto Lopes.
Encontro em Paris no Hotel Caumartin
Em dezembro de 1964, Casaco e Ernesto Lopes voaram de novo até Roma, donde tomaram um avião para Paris, com uma missão particularmente arriscada: “Manter um encontro `conspirativo' com Humberto Delgado.” A entrevista teve lugar no dia 27 de dezembro, no Hotel Caumartin.
O contacto, a que estiveram presentes Mário de Carvalho e o professor Emídio Guerreiro, ambos colaboradores do candidato às célebres eleições presidenciais de 1958, foi um êxito. “Mário de Carvalho apresentou Ernesto Lopes ao general como Ernesto de Castro e Sousa, nas supostas qualidades de advogado, oposicionista e recém-chegado de Portugal. E aí combinado o encontro de Badajoz, entre Humberto Delgado, Mário de Carvalho, Ernesto de Castro e Sousa e alguns 'militares' portugueses das fileiras da Oposição Democrática.” A data exacta viria a ser fixada mais tarde.
No dia imediato, 28 de dezembro, o general apareceu inesperadamente no Hotel Commodore, onde se haviam hospedado os dois homens da PIDE. O objetivo era entregar “pessoalmente a Ernesto Lopes um maço de cartas dirigidas à Drª. Alcina Bastos”. Era a prova provada de que Castro e Sousa - aliás Lopes Ramos - “havia, efetivamente, granjeado a confiança pessoal de Delgado”.
O sucesso da reunião de Paris permitiu consolidar o projeto delineado pelo estado-maior da PIDE. Ou, mais rigorosamente, por Barbieri e Pereira de Carvalho. Com efeito, o diretor-geral, Silva Pais, “discordava das linhas gerais do plano, não participando, via de regra, das conversas travadas sobre o assunto”. Apesar de ocupar o topo da hierarquia, Silva Pais “deixava-se intimidar um pouco perante o Barbieri. Este era muito mais culto e inteligente do que o Silva Pais, que se sentia inferiorizado”. Ainda por cima “com os serviços secretos na mão”, Barbieri era quem, na altura, “assumia o papel principal” na organização, “acolitado por Pereira de Carvalho, o verdadeiro n°2”, enquanto Silva Pais “havia sido relegado para funções quase marginais”.
Mas em que consistia, afinal, o plano? “Raptar o general e levá-lo clandestinamente para Portugal, para lhe ser dada voz de prisão e responder em tribunal por 'actos de terrorismo'.” A ideia de Casaco, como haveria de declarar em Madrid logo após o 25 de abril, era “cloroformizar o general”, por forma a adormecê-lo, transportando-o de seguida “na mala do automóvel pela fronteira de S. Leonardo”.
Casaco nega que a morte do general fosse o objetivo do plano, pelo menos tal qual lhe foi transmitido. Muitos anos depois, quando o caso subiu a tribunal, a acusação haveria de considerar que “o objetivo central” da direção da polícia era o de “reduzir” o general “à não atuação, quaisquer que fossem os meios necessários para tanto” - o que incluiria, obviamente, a possibilidade da liquidação física. Esta tese, contudo, não foi acolhida pelos juízes do Tribunal Militar. Na sua apreciação, a morte não figurava no plano traçado, que visava, outrossim, “tentar raptar e prender” o general, “trazendo-o para Portugal”.
Do ponto de vista legal, a detenção de Delgado justificar-se-ia, segundo Casaco, “por ter sido condenado pelos tribunais portugueses pelo grave crime da prática de terrorismo, tentado em Portugal por sequazes seus, oriundos do Brasil” - referência a um alegado projeto de “fazer ir pelos ares alguns postes de alta tensão e o comboio 'rápido' Lisboa-Porto, próximo de Alfarelos”.
Brigada escolhida ou imposta a Casaco?
A última fase da Operação Outono iniciou-se com a convocação de Casaco, já em Fevereiro de 1965, ao gabinete do diretor-geral. Presente o triunvirato da PIDE, ficou determinado, segundo o acórdão do tribunal, que “Casaco chefiaria a brigada” e que “assumiria o falso papel de coronel do Exército” ido ao encontro do general. Diferente é a versão do inspetor: “Fui incumbido de acompanhar e proteger a brigada que iria tentar deter o general em Badajoz, no dia 13.” A escolha foi justificada pelo facto de o considerarem “pessoa capaz de efetuar essa proteção, dado gozar de grande influência junto das autoridades militares e civis das províncias de Cáceres e Badajoz e, especialmente, dos altos comandos policiais de Madrid”.
Casaco prossegue: “Disciplinadamente tive de aceitar a missão, mas não deixei de chamar a atenção dos meus superiores para os perigos que implicitamente acarretaria tão perigosa incumbência, porque seria extremamente arriscado fazer passar pela fronteira espanhola o general sem que este protestasse, o que poderia provocar um conflito não só entre as duas polícias mas, principalmente, entre os governos de Portugal e de Espanha.”
A brigada seria completada pelo subinspector Ernesto Lopes Ramos - o elo de contacto com Delgado - e pelos chefes de brigada Agostinho Tienza e Casimiro Monteiro, ambos de 44 anos. Tienza entrara para a PIDE em 1947 e era o motorista de Casaco. Nascido em Goa, Casimiro Monteiro só fora admitido na PIDE em novembro do ano anterior. No seu cadastro figuravam vários crimes de sangue, particularmente na antiga Índia Portuguesa. “Era um facínora”, reconhece Casaco; “matava a torto e a direito. Mas era um patriota exacerbado”.
Quem escolheu estes dois agentes? O Tribunal foi perentório, ao sentenciar que Tienza e Casimiro Monteiro “foram escolhidos” por Casaco. Este, porém, diz que a brigada lhe foi “imposta pelo triunvirato”. Mais: os restantes elementos “tinham sido instruídos” na sua ausência - instruções que, de resto, não lhe “foram dadas a conhecer”.
Casaco aceitou a “diligência” de que foi incumbido, apesar de, sublinha, a ter considerado “uma estupidez, tanto mais que Delgado não oferecia qualquer perigo, por ser um homem gravemente doente (há mais de um ano que derramava pus do ventre, de forma quase incontida, e que os médicos em Roma nada puderam fazer contra este mal, dando-lhe o máximo de um ano de vida)”. Além de que, em sua opinião, ele “não dispunha de qualquer crédito político ou revolucionário e, em consequência, mais tarde ou mais cedo, se apresentaria às autoridades”, até porque estava “sem fundos para a sua subsistência e da sua amante”.
A armadilha de Badajoz
A brigada largou de Lisboa na tarde de 12 de fevereiro. Monteiro e Tienza seguiram no carro deste, um Opel verde e creme, com a matrícula EI-44-39; Ernesto Lopes e Casaco foram na viatura do primeiro, o Renault Caravelle IA-65-40. As viaturas e os agentes tinham documentação falsa. Casaco utilizou um passaporte a que já recorrera numa viagem ao Brasil, em nome de Roberto Vurrita Barral, um cidadão da Guatemala; Ernesto Lopes serviu-se de documentos passados em nome de Ernesto de Castro Sousa, o tal falso advogado; Tienza seguiu como se fosse Filipe Garcia Tavares; e a Monteiro foi dada a falsa identidade de Washdeo Kundaumal Nilpuri, da ilha de Jersey.
O grupo passou a noite numa pensão em Reguengos de Monsaraz. Na manhã seguinte os dois carros tomaram a direcção do posto fronteiriço de S. Leonardo, chefiado pelo agente da PIDE António Gonçalves Semedo. Antes, substituíram as placas de matrícula de ambos os veículos por outras, falsas. Em S. Leonardo, Casaco ordenou a todos os funcionários que “deixassem as suas armas de serviço no posto fronteiriço”. Casaco assegura que “as armas foram depositadas e guardadas” pelo chefe do posto - o que foi formalmente negado, em tribunal, pelo próprio António Semedo.
Já no lado espanhol da fronteira, verificou que, no carro do Tienza, “se encontravam um garrafão, um saco com cal, uma picareta e uma pá”. Admirado ao ver o ácido sulfúrico e a cal viva, Casaco terá perguntado a Tienza que material era aquele, respondendo-me o próprio que se “destinava a umas obras que estavam em curso, na sua casa em Sintra que não tinha tido a oportunidade de o retirar do carro”. Este pormenor não condiz com uma declaração de Casaco em Madrid, em 1974, segundo a qual “ignorava totalmente a existência daqueles produtos destrutivos” até ao momento em que os corpos foram enterrados.
Para o projetado encontro com Delgado, foi escolhido um local ermo, perto da estrada principal que liga Badajoz a Olivença. Foi aí que, cerca das 15 horas, surgiu a viatura de Ernesto Lopes, transportando o general. No assento da retaguarda, uma personagem não prevista no elenco idealizado pela PIDE: Arajaryr Campos, a secretária do general. Carioca, de 34 anos, divorciada, Arajaryr Canto Moreira de Campos era a dedicada colaboradora do general, que acompanhava para todo o lado desde há cinco anos. A apreciação de Casaco é deveras pejorativa, referindo-se sempre a Arajaryr como “a amante brasileira”.
A aguardar a chegada do general estavam, ansiosos e impacientes, os outros três elementos da PIDE, supostos “oficiais do Exército português anti-situacionistas”, liderados por um imaginário coronel: Casaco.
Monteiro dispara sobre Delgado...
É aqui que a versão do ex-inspector mais difere dos factos dados como provados pelo tribunal. Segundo o acórdão, Casaco estaria no interior da viatura de Tienza, a uma distância de cerca de dez metros do local onde se deteve o carro em que viajava Delgado. “Isso é falso”, protesta Casaco, que assegura que não só não estava no carro como ficara “a cerca de 120 metros de distância”, com o objetivo de “impedir qualquer possível intervenção das autoridades espanholas, pois o general poderia ter alguém a protegê-lo ou estar a ser seguido”.
Continuando a citar o texto judicial, Rosa Casaco - que se passava por um coronel que Ernesto Lopes prometera trazer de Lisboa - saiu do carro e dirigiu-se ao encontro do general. Mais lesto, Casimiro Monteiro, que já estava fora do veículo, tomou a dianteira e, ao aproximar-se de Delgado, empunhou uma pistola e disparou sobre o general. O revólver, de fabrico francês, de modelo Unique, estava munido de um silenciador e não fazia parte do armamento distribuído ao pessoal da PIDE, de marca Walther.
Atingido na cabeça, Humberto Delgado teve morte imediata. Casaco nega que se tenha dirigido ao general, até porque este o “conhecia pessoalmente”, desde os tempos em que trabalhara no aeroporto de Lisboa. Mantém a versão de que assistiu a tudo de longe: “Voltando a minha atenção para a estrada, ouvi um disparo seco e vibrante, como se fosse uma pistola de pressão de ar, vindo do alto da colina, e gritos agudos femininos. Verifiquei, então, que o Casimiro Monteiro estava abatendo o general.”
Estaria Delgado armado, como alguns membros da brigada viriam mais tarde a sustentar? “Eu não vi arma nenhuma.” Já o dissera, de resto, em Madrid: “O general não estava armado, tendo disso absoluta certeza.”
... e Tienza mata Arajaryr
Testemunha impotente de um assassínio a sangue frio, a secretária, descontrolada, desatou aos gritos. “Assustado”, prossegue Casaco, diz que correu coxeando para o topo do monte e gritou: “Calem-me essa mulher”. Após o que também Arajaryr foi mortalmente baleada. Segundo o tribunal, o autor do segundo homicídio voltou a ser Casimiro Monteiro. Casaco desmente em absoluto e acusa - tal como fizera na declaração de Madrid - o seu ex-motorista, Agostinho Tienza, o que até levou Ernesto Lopes a gritar “Eh pá, não me fodas o carro!”, aparentemente mais preocupado com a viatura do que com as mortes. A arma era do mesmo modelo que a utilizada por Monteiro.
“Perante a consumação deste duplo crime”, prossegue, “manifestei, de imediato, a minha veemente repulsa por tal acto tão miserável e, também, por ter sido enganado pelos meus superiores. Admiti, imediatamente, que o Monteiro e o Tienza iam predestinados e preparados para tão nefando ato, uma vez que ambos eram portadores de pistolas com silenciadores.”
Casaco garante que interpelou os seus subordinados, ao que o Casimiro Monteiro respondeu: “O Sr. Inspetor não se meta neste assunto! Isto não é nada consigo”, ao mesmo tempo que se mostrava “ameaçador, com a pistola na mão “. Mais tarde, Casaco terá indagado “junto dos elementos da brigada quem tinha dado a ordem de execução”, mas não obteve “qualquer resposta”. Cedo se convenceu que também Ernesto Lopes “nada sabia quanto à intenção de matar, porque os seus estados de espírito e de indignação eram idênticos” aos seus.
Os dois cadáveres foram, então, metidos nas bagageiras dos automóveis. Aqui surge mais uma contradição. Para os juízes, ambos os corpos foram colocados na mala do Opel de Tienza, levados por Monteiro e Casaco. Este nega: “Eu tinha lá força para isso! Tinha acabado de ser operado a uma perna... Quem os transportou foram o Casimiro e o Tienza, cada um para sua bagageira.”
Os corpos acabaram por ser sepultados numa vala natural, num local a cerca de seis quilómetros a sul de Villa Nueva del Fresno. O acórdão não o confirmou, mas Casaco não tem dúvidas em afirmar que os corpos foram previamente regados com ácido sulfúrico e cal viva. As roupas e os documentos pessoais das vítimas “foram queimados, posteriormente, noutro local”.
Em face do adiantado da hora, o grupo pernoitou na localidade espanhola de Aracena, tendo reentrado em Portugal na manhã seguinte, pela fronteira de Vila Verde de Ficalho. Pereira de Carvalho terá sido o primeiro responsável da PIDE a ser informado do resultado da missão. Casaco diz que foi pelo telefone, a partir da pousada de Serpa, onde a brigada almoçara. O acórdão sustenta que foi pessoalmente, na noite de dia 14, na residência de Pereira de Carvalho, em Lisboa.
Na manhã do dia seguinte, já na sede da PIDE, os seus três dirigentes máximos ouviram um relato completo do que se passara. “Todos eles manifestaram surpresa, em particular o major Silva Pais, que ficou aterrorizado.” No final da reunião ficou estabelecido que seria guardado o mais absoluto silêncio sobre o assunto. Não sem que, antes, tenha sido determinada a destruição de todas as provas suscetíveis de incriminar a PIDE no duplo homicídio - desde a documentação (verdadeira e falsa) utilizada até às duas viaturas.
Nova e farta contradição surge neste ponto. Casaco diz que não sabe “exatamente como isso se processou”, mas, tanto quanto pôde apurar, “essa destruição terá tido lugar numa quinta próxima de Sintra, previamente alugada”. O acórdão, contudo, é taxativo e acusa Rosa Casaco de ter tomado a iniciativa da destruição, seja dos automóveis, seja da maior parte da documentação.
Qual a justificação que Casaco apresenta para tantas e tão graves diferenças entre a sua versão e a sentença judicial? Desde logo, os mais de trinta anos que passaram sobre os acontecimentos e os seus inevitáveis efeitos sobre a memória de um octogenário. Aduz, por outro lado, que a sua “perturbação” no momento do crime “foi grande, o choque emocional tremendo, daí qualquer confusão que tenha surgido” no seu espírito. Considera, finalmente, que durante o julgamento todos o acusaram. “Era fácil descarregar tudo para cima de mim, porque eu não estava presente, não me podia defender”. Guardadas as devidas proporções, conclui que“as principais vítimas em todo este processo foram Humberto Delgado e... ele próprio.
O telefone toca duas vezes
Uma semana depois do crime, Casaco recebeu uma chamada telefónica de Badajoz. Era Manuel Pozo, o chefe da polícia daquela província espanhola e velho amigo, que pedia “ajuda na identificação de uns passaportes e de uma bagagem abandonada no Hotel Simancas” - o mesmo onde Delgado dormira a sua derradeira noite. Com a indispensável autorização de Silva Pais, e ainda que “bastante contrariado”, Casaco rumou a Badajoz no dia 20 de fevereiro. As suspeitas confirmaram -se em absoluto: “A documentação, as roupas, bagagens e uma bolsa de plástico com ligaduras cheias de pus pertenciam ao general e à sua amante.”
A 25 de abril, o telefone voltou a tocar, desta feita a partir de Madrid. Na linha, um outro amigo espanhol, general Eduardo Blanco Rodriguez, diretor da Dirección General de Seguridad, dizendo que “tinham aparecido”, na véspera, “os esqueletos de um casal nas proximidades de Villa Nueva del Fresno e que se suspeitava teria sido obra de um grupo de portugueses que atravessou aquela fronteira no dia 13 de fevereiro”.
Os cadáveres haviam sido localizados junto a um caminho conhecido por Los Malos Pasos, que conduz à fronteira portuguesa. O chefe da secreta espanhola solicitou a Casaco que “investigasse a quem pertenciam” as matrículas registadas no posto fronteiriço espanhol. A resposta foi dada meia hora depois: “Telefonei ao general referindo que as matrículas indicadas pertenceram a um camião e a um táxi, ambos fora de circulação há muitos anos.” Perante “tão insólito” facto, o general Blanco Rodriguez pediu ao amigo português que fosse pessoalmente a Madrid “apresentar explicações”.
Posta a questão à hierarquia da PIDE, esta concordou com a ida à capital espanhola, com o fito de “confirmar que a polícia portuguesa nada tinha a ver com os corpos aparecidos”.
Em Madrid, as autoridades já não tinham dúvidas: os cadáveres em causa eram mesmo do general Delgado e da secretária Arajaryr. Alarmada com as imprevisíveis consequências de um crime político daquele jaez, perpetrado no seu território, a DGS espanhola dispensou um acolhimento muito especial ao enviado da PIDE. “Fui recebido num amplo salão pelo general Blanco, pelo subdirector-geral, pelo chefe dos Serviços Secretos daquela corporação, Vicente Reguengo, e pelos chefes das 'secretas' dos três ramos das Forças Armadas espanholas.”
A seleta assistência parecia ter uma ideia já formada sobre a autoria dos dois crimes. “Notei que todos aqueles senhores estavam convencidos que o duplo assassínio tinha sido obra da polícia portuguesa. Tive dificuldade em convencê-los de que teria sido ação de terceiros, ou seja, um saldar de contas entre grupos oposicionistas rivais” - a versão oficial inventada e posta a correr pelo regime de Lisboa.
A reunião de Madrid esteve longe de ter sido agradável para o inspetor português. “Fui submetido a um interrogatório implacável durante várias horas. Consegui convencer os presentes que se iria proceder a exaustivas diligências em Portugal para se tentar descobrir quem seriam os ocupantes dos dois carros suspeitos. Devo dizer que passei um mau bocado, por ter que mentir descaradamente diante daquela assembleia, alguns deles meus amigos.”
No íntimo, verberou os seus superiores por não terem “tido a coragem de se justificar diante das autoridades espanholas, fugindo às suas responsabilidades por incompetência e cobardia”, empurrando-o “para a boca do lobo”.
Desde então, admite, passou a manifestar “uma irritação maior” perante a “troika” dirigente da PIDE, por o terem envolvido no crime que considerou “inútil, contraproducente e disparatado, por terem transformado o general num mito que iria ser glosado por toda a oposição durante anos”.
Na sequência da convocação de Casaco a Madrid, o tenente-coronel Blanco Rodriguez veio a Lisboa a 7 de maio. O chefe da DGS espanhola discutiu com a direção da PIDE uma articulação entre as duas polícias em torno do escaldante crime. Com o mesmo objetivo, Barbieri Cardoso voou até Madrid em 18 de maio. A sensação de Rosa Casaco é que “as autoridades espanholas não ficaram completamente convencidas” pela argumentação aduzida pela PIDE, ou seja, que nada tivera a haver com o duplo assassínio. Convencidas ou não, o facto é que “só vieram a saber a verdade dos factos depois do 25 de abril de 1974”.
quinta-feira, outubro 31, 2013
Smithsonian.com | History & Archaeology Powered by Click Here to Print SAVE THIS | EMAIL THIS | Close The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board Tool of the devil, harmless family game—or fascinating glimpse into the non-conscious mind? By Linda Rodriguez McRobbie Smithsonian.com, October 28, 2013, In February, 1891, the first few advertisements started appearing in papers: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” boomed a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop, describing a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy” and promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a link “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Another advertisement in a New York newspaper declared it “interesting and mysterious” and testified, “as sProven at Patent Office before it was allowed. Price, $1.50.” This mysterious talking board was basically what’s sold in board game aisles today: A flat board with the letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semi-circles above the numbers 0 through 9; the words “yes” and “no” in the uppermost corners, “goodbye” at the bottom; accompanied by a “planchette,” a teardrop-shaped device, usually with a small window in the body, used to maneuver about the board. The idea was that two or more people would sit around the board, place their finger tips on the planchette, pose a question, and watch, dumbfounded, as the planchette moved from letter to letter, spelling out the answers seemingly of its own accord. The biggest difference is in the materials; the board is now usually cardboard, rather than wood, and the planchette is plastic. Though truth in advertising is hard to come by, especially in products from the 19th century, the Ouija board was “interesting and mysterious”; it actually had been “proven” to work at the Patent Office before its patent was allowed to proceed; and today, even psychologists believe that it may offer a link between the known and the unknown. The real history of the Ouija board is just about as mysterious as how the “game” works. Ouija historian Robert Murch has been researching the story of the board since 1992; when he started his research, he says, no one really knew anything about its origins, which struck him as odd: “For such an iconic thing that strikes both fear and wonder in American culture, how can no one know where it came from?” The Ouija board, in fact, came straight out of the American 19th century obsession with spiritualism, the belief that the dead are able to communicate with the living. Spiritualism, which had been around for years in Europe, hit America hard in 1848 with the sudden prominence of the Fox sisters of upstate New York; the Foxes claimed to receive messages from spirits who rapped on the walls in answer to questions, recreating this feat of channeling in parlors across the state. Aided by the stories about the celebrity sisters and other spiritualists in the new national press, spiritualism reached millions of adherents at its peak in the second half of the 19th century. Spiritualism worked for Americans: it was compatible with Christian dogma, meaning one could hold a séance on Saturday night and have no qualms about going to church the next day. It was an acceptable, even wholesome activity to contact spirits at séances, through automatic writing, or table turning parties, in which participants would place their hands on a small table and watch it begin shake and rattle, while they all declared that they weren’t moving it. The movement also offered solace in an era when the average lifespan was less than 50: Women died in childbirth; children died of disease; and men died in war. Even Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the venerable president, conducted séances in the White House after their 11-year-old son died of a fever in 1862; during the Civil War, spiritualism gained adherents in droves, people desperate to connect with loved ones who’d gone away to war and never come home. “Communicating with the dead was common, it wasn’t seen as bizarre or weird,” explains Murch. “It’s hard to imagine that now, we look at that and think, ‘Why are you opening the gates of hell?’” But opening the gates of hell wasn’t on anyone’s mind when they started the Kennard Novelty Company, the first producers of the Ouija board; in fact, they were mostly looking to open Americans’ wallets. As spiritualism had grown in American culture, so too did frustration with how long it took to get any meaningful message out of the spirits, says Brandon Hodge, Spiritualism historian. Calling out the alphabet and waiting for a knock at the right letter, for example, was deeply boring. After all, rapid communication with breathing humans at far distances was a possibility—the telegraph had been around for decades—why shouldn’t spirits be as easy to reach? People were desperate for methods of communication that would be quicker—and while several entrepreneurs realized that, it was the Kennard Novelty Company that really nailed it. In 1886, the fledgling Associated Press reported on a new phenomenon taking over the spiritualists’ camps in Ohio, the talking board; it was, for all intents and purposes, a Ouija board, with letters, numbers and a planchette-like device to point to them. The article went far and wide, but it was Charles Kennard of Baltimore, Maryland who acted on it. In 1890, he pulled together a group of four other investors—including Elijah Bond, a local attorney, and Col. Washington Bowie, a surveyor—to start the Kennard Novelty Company to exclusively make and market these new talking boards. None of the men were spiritualists, really, but they were all of them keen businessmen and they’d identified a niche. But they didn’t have the Ouija board yet—the Kennard talking board lacked a name. Contrary to popular belief, “Ouija” is not a combination of the French for “yes,” oui, and the German ja. Murch says, based on his research, it was Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters (who was, Bond said, a “strong medium”), who supplied the now instantly recognizable handle. Sitting around the table, they asked the board what they should call it; the name “Ouija” came through and, when they asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good luck.” Eerie and cryptic—but for the fact that Peters acknowledged that she was wearing a locket bearing the picture of a woman, the name “Ouija” above her head. That’s the story that emerged from the Ouija founders’ letters; it’s very possible that the woman in the locket was famous author and popular women’s rights activist Ouida, whom Peters admired, and that “Ouija” was just a misreading of that. According to Murch’s interviews with the descendants of the Ouija founders and the original Ouija patent file itself, which he’s seen, the story of the board’s patent request was true: Knowing that if they couldn’t prove that the board worked, they wouldn’t get their patent, Bond brought the indispensible Peters to the patent office in Washington with him when he filed his application. There, the chief patent officer demanded a demonstration—if the board could accurately spell out his name, which was supposed to be unknown to Bond and Peters, he’d allow the patent application to proceed. They all sat down, communed with the spirits, and the planchette faithfully spelled out the patent officer’s name. Whether or not it was mystical spirits or the fact that Bond, as a patent attorney, may have just known the man’s name, well, that’s unclear, Murch says. But on February 10, 1891, a white-faced and visibly shaken patent officer awarded Bond a patent for his new “toy or game.” The first patent offers no explanation as to how the device works, just asserts that it does. That ambiguity and mystery was part of a more or less conscious marketing effort. “These were very shrewd businessmen,” notes Murch; the less the Kennard company said about how the board worked, the more mysterious it seemed—and the more people wanted to buy it. “Ultimately, it was a money-maker. They didn’t care why people thought it worked.” And it was a money-maker. By 1892, the Kennard Novelty Company went from one factory in Baltimore to two in Baltimore, two in New York, two in Chicago and one in London. And by 1893, Kennard and Bond were out, owing to some internal pressures and the old adage about money changing everything. By this time, William Fuld, who’d gotten in on the ground floor of the fledgling company as an employee and stockholder, was running the company. (Notably, Fuld is not and never claimed to be the inventor of the board, though even his obituary in The New York Times declared him to be; also notably, Fuld died in 1927 after a freak fall from the roof of his new factory—a factory he said the Ouija board told him to build.) In 1898, with the blessing of Col. Bowie, the majority shareholder and one of only two remaining original investors, he licensed the exclusive rights to make the board. What followed were boom years for Fuld and frustration for some of the men who’d been in on the Ouija board from the beginning—public squabbling over who’d really invented it played out in the pages of the Baltimore Sun, while their rival boards launched and failed. In 1919, Bowie sold the remaining business interest in Ouija to Fuld, his protégé, for $1. The board’s instant and now, more than 120 years later, prolonged success showed that it had tapped into a weird place in American culture. It was marketed as both mystical oracle and as family entertainment, fun with an element of other-worldly excitement. This meant that it wasn’t only spiritualists who bought the board; in fact, the people who disliked the Ouija board the most tended to be spirit mediums, as they’d just found their job as spiritual middleman cut out. The Ouija board appealed to people from across a wide spectrum of ages, professions, and education—mostly, Murch claims, because the Ouija board offered a fun way for people to believe in something. “People want to believe. The need to believe that something else is out there is powerful,” he says. “This thing is one of those things that allows them to express that belief.” It’s quite logical then the board would find its greatest popularity in uncertain times, when people hold fast to belief and look for answers from just about anywhere, especially cheap, DIY oracles. The 1910s and ’20s, with the devastations of World War I and the manic years of the Jazz Age and prohibition, witnessed a surge in Ouija popularity. It was so normal that in May 1920, Norman Rockwell, illustrator of blissful 20th century domesticity, depicted a man and a woman, Ouija board on their knees, communing with the beyond on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. During the Great Depression, the Fuld Company opened new factories to meet demand for the boards; over five months in 1944, a single New York department store sold 50,000 of them. In 1967, the year after Parker Brothers bought the game from the Fuld Company, 2 million boards were sold, outselling Monopoly; that same year saw more American troops in Vietnam, the counter-culture Summer of Love in San Francisco, and race riots in Newark, Detroit, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. Strange Ouija tales also made frequent, titillating appearances in American newspapers. In 1920, national wire services reported that would-be crime solvers were turning to their Ouija boards for clues in the mysterious murder of a New York City gambler, Joseph Burton Elwell, much to the frustration of the police. In 1921, The New York Times reported that a Chicago woman being sent to a psychiatric hospital tried to explain to doctors that she wasn’t suffering from mania, but that Ouija spirits had told her to leave her mother’s dead body in the living room for 15 days before burying her in the backyard. In 1930, newspaper readers thrilled to accounts of two women in Buffalo, New York, who’d murdered another woman, supposedly on the encouragement of Ouija board messages. In 1941, a 23-year-old gas station attendant from New Jersey told The New York Times that he joined the Army because the Ouija board told him to. In 1958, a Connecticut court decided not to honor the “Ouija board will” of Mrs. Helen Dow Peck, who left only $1,000 to two former servants and an insane $152,000 to Mr. John Gale Forbes—a lucky, but bodiless spirit who’d contacted her via the Ouija board. Ouija boards even offered literary inspiration: In 1916, Mrs. Pearl Curran made headlines when she began writing poems and stories that she claimed were dictated, via Ouija board, by the spirit of a 17th century Englishwoman called Patience Worth. The following year, Curran’s friend, Emily Grant Hutchings, claimed that her book, Jap Herron, was communicated via Ouija board by the late Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Curran earned significant success, Hutchings less, but neither of them achieved the heights that Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill did: In 1982, his epic Ouija-inspired and dictated poem, The Changing Light at Sandover, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. (Merrill, for his part, publicly implied that the Ouija board acted more as a magnifier for his own poetic thoughts, rather than as hotline to the spirits. In 1979, after he wrote Mirabelle: Books of Number, another Ouija creation, he told The New York Review of Books, “If the spirits aren’t external, how astonishing the mediums become!”) Ouija existed on the periphery of American culture, perennially popular, mysterious, interesting and usually, barring the few cases of supposed Ouija-inspired murders, non-threatening. That is, until 1973. In that year, The Exorcist scared the pants off people in theaters, with all that pea soup and head-spinning and supposedly based on a true story business; and the implication that 12-year-old Regan was possessed by a demon after playing with a Ouija board by herself changed how people saw the board. “It’s kind of like Psycho—no one was afraid of showers until that scene… It’s a clear line,” says Murch, explaining that before The Exorcist, film and TV depictions of the Ouija board were usually jokey, hokey, and silly—“I Love Lucy,” for example, featured a 1951 episode in which Lucy and Ethel host a séance using the Ouija board. “But for at least 10 years afterwards, it’s no joke… [The Exorcist] actually changed the fabric of pop culture.” Almost overnight, Ouija became a tool of the devil and, for that reason, a tool of horror writers and moviemakers—it began popping up in scary movies, usually openingthe doorto evil spiritshell-benton ripping apart co-eds. Outside of the theatre, the following years saw the Ouija board denounced by religious groups as Satan’s preferred method of communication; in 2001 in Alamogordo, New Mexico, it was being burned on bonfires along with copies of Harry Potter and Disney’s Snow White. Christian religious groups still remain wary of the board, citing scripture denouncing communication with spirits through mediums—Catholic.com calls the Ouija board “far from harmless” and as recently as 2011, 700 Club host Pat Robertson declared that demons can reach us through the board. Even within the paranormal community, Ouija boards enjoyed a dodgy reputation—Murch says that when he first began speaking at paranormal conventions, he was told to leave his antique boards at home because they scared people too much. Parker Brothers and later, Hasbro, after they acquired Parker Brothers in 1991, still sold hundreds of thousands of them, but the reasons why people were buying them had changed significantly: Ouija boards were spooky rather than spiritual, with a distinct frisson of danger. In recent years, Ouija is popular yet again, driven in part by economic uncertainty and the board’s usefulness as a plot device. The hugely popular Paranormal Activity1 and 2 both featured a Ouija board; it’s popped up in episodes of “Breaking Bad,” “Castle,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and multiple paranormal reality TV programs; Hot Topic, mall favorite of Gothy teens, sells a set of Ouija board bra and underwear; and for those wishing to commune with the beyond while on the go, there’s an app (or 20) for that. This year, Hasbro released a more “mystical” version of the game, replacing its old glow-in-the-dark version; for purists, Hasbro also licensed the rights to make a “classic” version to another company. In 2012, rumors that Universal was in talks to make a film based on the game abounded, although Hasbro refused to comment on that or anything else for this story. But the real question, the one everyone wants to know, is how do Ouija boards work? Ouija boards are not, scientists say, powered by spirits or even demons. Disappointing but also potentially useful—because they’re powered by us, even when we protest that we’re not doing it, we swear. Ouija boards work on a principle known to those studying the mind for more than 160 years: the ideometer effect. In 1852, physician and physiologist William Benjamin Carpenter published a report for the Royal Institution of Great Britain, examining these automatic muscular movements that take place without the conscious will or volition of the individual (think crying in reaction to a sad film, for example). Almost immediately, other researchers saw applications of the ideometer effect in the popular spiritualist pastimes. In 1853, chemist and physicist Michael Faraday, intrigued by table-turning, conducted a series of experiments that proved to him (though not to most spiritualists) that the table’s motion was due to the ideomotor actions of the participants. The effect is very convincing. As Dr. Chris French, professor of psychology and anomalistic psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, explains, “It can generate a very strong impression that the movement is being caused by some outside agency, but it’s not.” Other devices, such as dowsing rods, or more recently, the fake bomb detection kits that deceived scores of international governments and armed services, work on the same principal of non-conscious movement. “The thing about all these mechanisms we’re talking about, dowsing rods, Oujia boards, pendulums, these small tables, they’re all devices whereby a quite a small muscular movement can cause quite a large effect,” he says. Planchettes, in particular, are well-suited for their task—many used to be constructed of a lightweight wooden board and fitted with small casters to help them move more smoothly and freely; now, they’re usually plastic and have felt feet, which also help it slide over the board easily. “And with Ouija boards you’ve got the whole social context. It’s usually a group of people, and everyone has a slight influence,” French notes. With Ouija, not only does the individual give up some conscious control to participate—so it can’t be me, people think—but also, in a group, no one person can take credit for the planchette’s movements, making it seem like the answers must be coming from an otherworldly source. Moreover, in most situations, there is an expectation or suggestion that the board is somehow mystical or magical. “Once the idea has been implanted there, there’s almost a readiness to happen.” But if Ouija boards can’t give us answers from beyond the Veil, what can they tell us? Quite a lot, actually. Researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Visual Cognition Lab think the board may be a good way to examine how the mind processes information on various levels. The idea that the mind has multiple levels of information processing is by no means a new one, although exactly what to call those levels remains up for debate: Conscious, unconscious, subconscious, pre-conscious, zombie mind are all terms that have been or are currently used, and all have their supporters and detractors. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll refer to “conscious” as those thoughts you’re basically aware that you’re having (“I’m reading this fascinating article.”) and “non-conscious” as the automatic pilot-type thoughts (blink, blink). Two years ago, Dr. Ron Rensink, professor of psychology and computer science, psychology postdoctoral researcher Hélène Gauchou, and Dr. Sidney Fels, professor of electrical and computer engineering, began looking at exactly what happens when people sit down to use a Ouija board. Fels says that they got the idea after he hosted a Halloween party with a fortune-telling theme and found himself explaining to several foreign students, who had never really seen it before, how the Ouija works. “They kept asking where to put the batteries,” Fels laughed. After offering up a more Halloween-friendly, mystical explanation—leaving out the ideomotor effect—he left the students to play with the board on their own. When he came back, hours later, they were still at it, although by now much more freaked out. A few days post-hangover later, Fels said, he, Rensink, and a few others began talking about what is actually going on with the Ouija. The team thought the board could offer a really unique way to examine non-conscious knowledge, to determine whether ideomotor action could also express what the non-conscious knows. “It was one of things that we thought it probably won’t work, but if it did work, it’d be really freaking cool,” said Rensink. Their initial experiments involved a Ouija-playing robot: Participants were told that they were playing with a person in another room via teleconferencing; the robot, they were told, mimicked the movements of the other person. In actuality, the robot’s movements simply amplified the participants’ motions and the person in the other room was just a ruse, a way to get the participant to think they weren’t in control. Participants were asked a series of yes or no, fact-based questions (“Is Buenos Aires the capital of Brazil? Were the 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney?”) and expected to use the Ouija board to answer. What the team found surprised them: When participants were asked, verbally, to guess the answers to the best of their ability, they were right only around 50 percent of the time, a typical result for guessing. But when they answered using the board, believing that the answers were coming from someplace else, they answered correctly upwards of 65 percent of the time. “It was so dramatic how much better they did on these questions than if they answered to the best of their ability that we were like, ‘This is just weird, how could they be that much better?’” recalled Fels. “It was so dramatic we couldn’t believe it.” The implication was, Fels explained, that one’s non-conscious was a lot smarter than anyone knew. The robot, unfortunately, proved too delicate for further experiments, but the researchers were sufficiently intrigued to pursue further Ouija research. They divined another experiment: This time, rather than a robot, the participant actually played with a real human. At some point, the participant was blindfolded—and the other player, really a confederate, quietly took their hands off the planchette. This meant that the participant believed he or she wasn’t alone, enabling the kind of automatic pilot state the researchers were looking for, but still ensuring that the answers could only come from the participant. It worked. Rensink says, “Some people were complaining about how the other person was moving the planchette around. That was a good sign that we really got this kind of condition that people were convinced that somebody else was there.” Their results replicated the findings of the experiment with the robot, that people knew more when they didn’t think they were controlling the answers (50 percent accuracy for vocal responses to 65 percent for Ouija responses). They reported their findings in February 2012 issue of Consciousnessand Cognition. “You do much better with the Ouija on questions that you really don’t think you know, but actually something inside you does know and the Ouija can help you answer above chance,” says Fels. UBC’s experiments show that the Ouija could be a very useful tool in rigorously investigating non-conscious thought processes. “Now that we have some hypotheses in terms of what’s going on here, accessing knowledge and cognitive abilities that you don’t have conscious awareness of, [the Ouija board] would be an instrument to actually get at that,” Fels explains. “Now we can start using it to ask other types of questions.” Those types of questions include how much and what the non-conscious mind knows, how fast it can learn, how it remembers, even how it amuses itself, if it does. This opens up even more avenues of exploration—for example, if there are two or more systems of information processes, which system is more impacted by neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s? If it impacted the non-conscious earlier, Rensink hypothesizes, indications of the illness could show up in Ouija manipulation, possibly even before being detected in conscious thought. For the moment, the researchers are working on locking down their findings in a second study and firming up protocol around using the Ouija as a tool. However, they’re running up against a problem—funding. “The classic funding agencies don’t want to be associated with this, it seems a bit too out there,” said Rensink. All the work they’ve done to date has been volunteer, with Rensink himself paying for some of the experiment’s costs. To get around this issue, they’re looking to crowd-funding to make up the gap. Even if they don’t succeed, the UBC team has managed to make good on one of the claims of the early Ouija advertisements: The board does offer a link between the known and the unknown. Just not the unknown that everyone wanted to believe it was. Find this article at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-Strange-and-Mysterious-History-of-the-Ouija-Board-229532101.html#ouija-board-planchette-gallery.png Click Here to Print SAVE THIS | EMAIL THIS | Close Check the box to include the list of links referenced in the article. © Smithsonian Institution
sexta-feira, setembro 13, 2013
Inside a darkened conference room in the Miami Beach Holiday Inn, America’s most badass hackers are going to war – working their laptops between swigs of Bawls energy drink as Bassnectar booms in the background. A black guy with a soul patch crashes a power grid in North Korea. A stocky jock beside him storms a database of stolen credit cards in Russia. And a gangly geek in a black T-shirt busts into the Chinese Ministry of Information, represented by a glowing red star on his laptop screen. “Is the data secured?” his buddy asks him. “No,” he replies with a grin. They’re in. Fortunately for the enemies, however, the attacks aren’t real. They’re part of a war game at HackMiami, a weekend gathering of underground hackers in South Beach. While meatheads and models jog obliviously outside, 150 code warriors hunker inside the hotel for a three-day bender of booze, break-ins and brainstorming. Some are felons. Some are con artists. But they’re all here for the same mission: to show off their skills and perhaps attract the attention of government and corporate recruiters. Scouts are here looking for a new breed of soldier to win the war raging in the online shadows. This explains the balding guy prowling the room with an “I’m Hiring Security Engineers. Interested?” button pinned to his polo shirt. Hackers like these aren’t the outlaws of the Internet anymore. A 29-year-old who goes by the name th3_e5c@p15t says he’s ready to fight the good fight against the real-life bad guys. “If they topple our government, it could have disastrous results,” he says. “We’d be the front line, and the future of warfare would be us.” After decades of seeming like a sci-fi fantasy, the cyberwar is on. China, Iran and other countries reportedly have armies of state-sponsored hackers infiltrating our critical infrastructure. The threats are the stuff of a Michael Bay blockbuster: downed power grids, derailed trains, nuclear meltdowns. Or, as then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta put it last year, a “cyber-Pearl Harbor... an attack that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life, paralyze and shock the nation and create a profound new sense of vulnerability.” In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama said that “America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyberattacks.…We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.” The pixelated mushroom cloud first materialized in 2010 with the discovery of Stuxnet, a computer worm said to be designed by the Israeli and U.S. governments, which targeted uranium-enrichment facilities in Iran. Last fall, Iranian hackers reportedly erased 30,000 computers at a Middle Eastern oil company. In February, security researchers released a report that traced what was estimated to be hundreds of terabytes of stolen data from Fortune 500 companies and others by hackers in Shanghai. A leaked report from the Department of Homeland Security in May found “increasing hostility” aimed online against “U.S. critical infrastructure organizations” – power grids, water supplies, banks and so on. Dave Marcus, director of threat intelligence and advance research at McAfee Federal Advanced Programs Groups, part of McAfee Labs, a leading computer-security firm, says the effects would be devastating. “If you shut off large portions of power, you’re not bringing people back to 1960, you’re bringing them back to 1860,” he says. “Shut off an interconnected society’s power for three weeks in this country, you will have chaos.” Hence, events like HackMiami, where the competition to hire cyberwarriors is increasingly intense. “There’s too much demand and not enough talent,” says Jeff “The Dark Tangent” Moss, founder of the largest hacker convention, DefCon, held annually in Las Vegas. Despite the threats, a report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, a group comprised of former U.S. government, corporate and academic officials, recently concluded that so far the feds have been “utterly inadequate [in dealing] with the problem.” While Uncle Sam is jockeying for the Internet’s best troops, private security firms are offering way more pay and way less hassle. Charlie Miller, a famous hacker who exposed vulnerabilities in the MacBook Air and iPhone, spent five years with the National Security Agency before joining Twitter’s security team. Earlier this year, the DHS lost four top cybersecurity officials. In April, Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a renowned member of the pioneering hacker collective Cult of the Dead Cow who was working at the DOD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, split for Silicon Valley to join his former DARPA boss, Regina Dugan. “Goodbye DARPA,” he tweeted. “Hello Google!” As a result, there’s a metawar taking place: one between government and industry to score the country’s toughest geeks – like the ones here this weekend – to join their front lines before it’s too late. “We need hackers,” Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told Rolling Stone in June, “because this is the fastest-growing and fastest-changing area of threat that we’re confronting.” A month later, however, she announced that she was leaving DHS too – stepping down from her post to head the University of California system. Photos by Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images Hey, dude!” says David Bonvillain. “Let me buy you a mojito!” It’s not even noon at the Holiday Inn bar, but Bonvillain, head of the Denver-based Accuvant LABS, one of the most elite and flashiest computer-security firms, is already working the crowd because, as he puts it, the competition is “feverish.” A brash, Ferrari-driving 40-year-old who chain-puffs an e-cigarette and is sleeved with tattoos, Bonvillain is among the country’s top hacker scouts. While the feds try to recruit hackers on the glory of public service, Accuvant has honed a sexier pitch. “We built an environment that allows people to legally do the things that would put them in jail,” Bonvillain says, exhaling vapor, “and we have a great time and make a good living doing it.” Accuvant represents an upside to cyberwar: a booming market. Corporations spent $60 billion worldwide on information-security services last year, according to a report by Gartner, a technology-research firm, and are expected to shell out a whopping $86 billion in 2016. To the consternation of businesses around the world, entrepreneurial hackers hunt for security flaws, then sell the technical info to governments from Russia to North Korea, as well as the National Security Agency here. Google and Microsoft are among those who pony up as well, hoping to improve their products. Technical details on a single vulnerability go for as much as $150,000. Accuvant specializes in attack and penetration, or “attack and pen” for short, infiltrating their clients’ computer systems to expose and improve weaknesses. Their clients include everyone from banks and hotels to federal agencies, which can pay upward of $100,000 for a single test of their services. To maintain integrity during a penetration test, the client’s underlings aren’t told they’re being targeted. A Minnesota casino hired Accuvant to try to break into its computer room and access its most sensitive data. Not only did the team succeed – convincing workers they were tech-support staff – they walked out the door carrying the casino’s computer servers. They then posed with their bounty by the slot machines, flipping off the camera for a picture they sent to the casino’s boss. Another time, they hacked a Department of Defense contractor by parking a rental car outside a warehouse and scanning the wireless network with laptops and antennas. “It’s sad, honestly, how vulnerable they are,” Bonvillain says. Accuvant understands the talent better than most, because they rose from the hacker underground themselves. Bonvillain, a metal guitarist who spent a night in jail in high school after getting busted riding his motorcycle over 100 mph, started hacking computers and phone phreaking while at James Madison University in Virginia in the mid-Nineties. “I wanted to break into stuff,” he says. “I thought it was the coolest thing.” Inspired by the movie War Games but eager to stay out of trouble, he eventually put his skills to use as a professional hacker testing security for companies that paid him. “As soon as I found out that information security was actually a job and, even better, a job you could make some good cash at, that was all I wanted to do,” he says. Jon “Humperdink” Miller, a hulking, goateed 31-year-old in a backward baseball cap and shorts, who, as head of research and development, oversees Accuvant’s military clients, is like a supersmart Chris Farley. He started attending hacker conventions at age 13 and became notorious when he appeared at DefCon with no shirt and a vanity license plate of his nickname around his neck. He jokes that his greatest hacker skill is “drinking,” for which he has an award named after himself at the Vegas confab. When he was in high school in San Diego, he says, he made $80,000 a year doing his own attack-and-pen operations. At 17, the National Security Agency offered him a college education, a company car and a substantial stipend if he agreed to work for them after graduation. But he passed on the offer. “Guys like me refuse to get clearance,” he says, gulping a beer. “You have to be professional. You have to be reserved. Here, like, if you’re a loud asshole and you’re smart, sweet! We know a lot of loud assholes.” Bonvillain balks over security clearance too. “If you’ve smoked pot more than six times, you can’t join the FBI,” he says. “When they interviewed me, I asked, ‘In one day?’” The drug test is no small issue. A three-year no-use policy eliminates a huge slice of the young hackers coming out of school into the workforce. “That disqualifies a bunch of people that would be perfectly skilled and trustworthy,” says Moss, “just because they smoked pot in college.” Attracting and keeping cyberwarriors is as much about marketing a lifestyle as it is offering big bucks. (The money is good, though, with salaries for top contractors at firms like Accuvant easily topping $200,000 a year.) “Look at Alex,” Bonvillain says, pointing at Accuvant’s head of security architecture, Alex Kah, a tatted-up Kentuckian with a slacker drawl. “Could you imagine him trying to go into the NSA with ‘Louisville’ tattooed across his neck?” Accuvant hires electronic-music duo the Crystal Method for its parties and makes the hippest swag in the business: bootleg Adidas tracksuits, stickers and T-shirts modeled after Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper.” To score one notorious hacker, they agreed to buy him his own gold-plated, $1,000 espresso machine. “The reason we’re successful is because we market this like a metal band,” Bonvillain says. And they’re fired up by the enemy. Humperdink grows red in the face when he starts ranting about how China gives a pass to its rogue army of hackers. “If you’re a lone Chinese hacker not employed by the Chinese and you want to hack Charles Schwab, go for it,” Humperdink says. “Consequence-free. Do whatever you want. You’re fighting the great Satan. They’re completely covert about operational security. They don’t talk about active hacks against the U.S. That’s completely off the record. That shit happens every day.” Their outrage makes them even more patriotic. Humperdink comes from a family of Marines and law enforcement. Bonvillain draws inspiration from his dad, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army, who now works as an intelligence officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency – serving posts in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq – and has been nominated for the counterintelligence’s hall of fame. “I’m deeply patriotic,” Bonvillain says. It’s the same blend of working-class blues and American pride that fueled the old military. “Every serious hacker that I know came from very, very blue-collar or underprivileged backgrounds,” he says. “It made them hungry. They’re willing to do whatever it takes.” To get a sense of just how weak our cyberdefenses are, I take a trip with Jayson Street, Chief Chaos Coordinator for another firm, Krypton Security, into the basement of a hotel in South Beach. We breeze past an open door with a taped sign that reads, “Doors must be closed at all times!!!” This is where the brains of the building live – the computer network, the alarm system, the hard drives of credit-card numbers – but, as Street tells a brawny security guard, he’s here on the job, “doing a Wi-Fi assessment.” Street, a paunchy, 45-year-old Oklahoman in a black T-shirt and jeans, flashes the hulk some indecipherable graphs on his tablet and says, “We’re good,” as he continues into another restricted room. The doors aren’t locked. No one seems to be monitoring the security cameras. The wires for the burglar-alarm system are exposed, ready for an intruder to snip. We make our way to the unmanned computer room, where, in seconds, Street could install malware to swipe every credit-card number coming through the system if he wanted to. “They’re like every other hotel I’ve tried to go into,” he tells me. “They fail.” Government agencies and corporations fly Street around the world to see if he can bullshit his way into their most sensitive data centers. He has scammed his way into a bank in Beirut, a financial center across from Ground Zero, a state treasury department. He usually records his infiltrations on a spy watch, a 16-gigabyte HD video recorder with infrared lights, then turns over the footage to his clients. When I ask Street the tricks of his trade, he tells me there are two keys to stealing data in person: act like you’re supposed to be there and carry a tablet PC, which convinces victims he’s a tech-support worker. “People see this thing,” he says, waving his tablet, “and think it’s magical.” Street, who has authored a book about security flaws called Dissecting the Hack, is a highly sought-after speaker at hacker conventions from ones in China to this weekend’s in Miami, and has consulting gigs in Cyprus, Jamaica and Germany. “I am not an American hacker,” he says. “I am not a Oklahoma City hacker. I am a hacker. I don’t care what country you’re from. If you’re trying to defend yourself and you’re trying to work to better protect your company or your country, I’m all for it. I’m here trying to help secure the Internet.” But there’s one job he’ll never take: working for the feds. “The American government has to understand that to get someone who thinks outside the box to work for you, you can’t immediately put them in a box,” he says. “And that’s the problem.” Street is among the many who cite the legacy of the late hacktivist Aaron Swartz as a cautionary tale. A research fellow at Harvard, Swartz accessed the MIT computer system and downloaded millions of academic-journal articles. He was charged with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and, facing decades in prison and $1 million in fines, committed suicide in January. “The government says, ‘Hey, we really need your help, can you hack for us?’” Street says of Swartz. “And then, on the other hand, it’s like ‘Oh, you’re a hacker, you’re going to jail! We’re going to hound you until you kill yourself.’” Photos by Charles Ommanney/Reportage by Getty Images Gregory “Mobman” Hanis kicks back with his laptop on a florally upholstered couch in the Holiday Inn lobby, ready to annihilate another 45 million people. He’s not doing it in warfare, though: He’s hacking Candy Crush Saga, the most popular game on Facebook. As rows of sparkly treats fill his screen, he opens a second window, which contains a program he wrote. With a few deft strokes, he casually cranks his Candy Crush score to 10 million, earning the high score and swiftly crushing the dreams of players who devote hours a day – not to mention real money, which they use to buy extra lives – to the game. “It’s literally taking candy from babies,” he says, with a sigh. There’s a reason he sounds so weary. Mobman is a 32-year-old wizard who can hack just about anything but has to settle for a job as a network admin for an online-poker company. That’s because he’s a convicted felon, a black hat who, because of one major fuck-up as a teen, can’t get hired directly by the feds or most private companies. His story represents another hitch in the cyber-recruitment race: the brilliant hackers who’ve crossed the line earlier in life. “I’ve been in there. I know it, and I’ve done it,” he says. “That’s what you would get from me.” Like Street and the others, Mobman fits Bonvillain’s bill of being damaged and hungry. The son of a U.S. Marshall mother and an absentee father, he got A’s in schoolwork but F’s in conduct. “I was bored,” he says. “They didn’t push me.” Instead he pushed himself, writing a program that let him cheat in his favorite game, Ultima Online. Mobman just wanted to steal virtual weapons and gold to get an edge. But when the program, Sub7, leaked onto the Net, black hats around the world discovered it could be used to steal all kinds of things, including AOL accounts and credit-card numbers. Sub7, the first hacking tool of its kind, went viral. “I was like, ‘Holy shit,’” he recalls, “‘I’m gonna get in trouble.’” Sub7 itself wasn’t illegal; it was the criminal use of it that was a problem. But in 1999, when Mobman was 19, after getting pissed at AT&T for refusing to fix his overcharged cellphone bill, he hacked into the company to change it himself. Instead, he says, he accidentally took down the entire AT&T network in California and Nevada for almost two days. (An AT&T spokesperson won’t confirm or deny the attack.) After pleading to a charge of “modification of intellectual property,” Mobman spent seven months in jail awaiting trial before receiving five years' probation – and then spent months living on the streets after his mom refused to take him back in. The experience left him changed and determined to put his skills to good use. “That’s why I want a job,” he tells me. “So I can do it legally.” The federal cyberforces, though, generally don’t hire felons. But private contractors like Accuvant are technically free to employ whomever they want. “For me – it depends on the felony :),” Bonvillain writes me in an e-mail. “There was a day (10 years back or so) that such a conviction would have prevented his employment. Today, that’s not as strict of an unwritten rule.” Though a felon would have trouble getting security clearance for more hands-on jobs, he could still contribute as part of the security team. For now, this leaves guys like Mobman to hustle work on the private side, which he’s busy doing here this weekend. To help amp up his image, Mobman has been conducting his own security research at home, sometimes involving a bit of hacking. He gives companies the opportunity to fix bugs, then posts his findings in white papers online. One was about how hacking a single computer could take the entire country of Australia offline. Another one detailed security holes in the popular Web-page-programming software Joomla. However, a few days after he posted the former, he got a letter from the Department of Homeland Security. They weren’t impressed. They were informing him they’d taken the paper down. Cyberwar, like any war, never rests. Neither does the simulated one taking place at HackMiami, where co-founder Rod Soto, a 38-year-old computer-security specialist from the area, is running a cyberwar game. Though the consequences of their hacking are fake, the technology they’re breaking is real. They actually are hacking Fedora, an operating system used by computers in China, infiltrating Zeus, a malicious “botnet” army of computers, and commandeering North Korean industrial controls for power-plant systems. It’s just that everything’s simulated and run on a closed network, so as not to inadvertently start World War III. The purpose of this event, besides the recruiting going on, is to teach the hackers how to find vulnerabilities in other nation’s machines. “It gives you the blueprint and the knowledge if you ever want to attack them,” Soto says. So far, the truth about the extent of the U.S.’s offensive attacks against other countries has been shadowy at best. There’s Stuxnet, which has yet to be officially attributed to the U.S. (or Israel), and NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s recent claim the U.S. has launched widespread cyberattacks against China. Beyond that, the closest we’ve come was Hillary Clinton’s admission last year of a State Department attack on an Al Qaeda propaganda site in Yemen. Related: Julian Assange Opens Up About Wikileaks Battle, House Arrest and the Future of Journalism The tensions around this topic are partly because the laws governing cyberwar are still being determined. As Rear Adm. Margaret Klein, chief of staff of Cyber Command, the Ft. Meade-based defense center for U.S. military networks, put it last year, “Attorneys and scholars face a variety of complex legal issues arising around the use of this new technology.” But experts are pushing for more offensive measures regardless. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property concluded that “new options need to be considered.” It seems our government is already heeding the call. A June leak of a presidential directive from Obama, which had been issued in October, reveals that the U.S. is, at the very least, getting its cyberwarriors in line. In addition to calling for a list of international targets, the directive argued that “Offensive Cyber Effects Operations... can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance U.S. national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging.” But while the government remains quiet about the existence or extent of their offensive measures, hackers and contractors I spoke with are, albeit cautiously, more forthcoming. HackMiami organizers James Ball and Alex Heid, security specialists for a major financial company they prefer not to name so as not to anger their bosses, say they have based this weekend’s cyberwar simulation on real-life hacks they conducted on their own of terrorist networks and organized-crime groups. Ball infiltrated an Al Qaeda forum online and posted the archives on his site, TerroristMedia.com. Heid became notorious for hacking the stealthy Zeus botnet in Russia. But the government hires private contractors to do such attacks on its behalf as well. The cyberwar underworld is rife with contractors who fashion themselves to be “the Blackwater of the Internet,” as Heid puts it, “information mercenaries…private sector guys who are going on the offensive, but you don’t hear about it.” At least not usually. Companies like Accuvant are capable of creating custom software that can enter outside systems and gather intelligence or even shut down a server, for which they get can paid up to $1 million. For example, Humperdink says, they would be able to unleash an attack to take a country like China completely offline. “We could stop their cyberwarfare program,” he says. “Five years ago, I remember the North Koreans were doing missile testing, right? If [the U.S. government] came to a company like us and said, ‘Here’s $15 million,’ we could turn a North Korean missile into a brick. If you came to us with $20 million and said, ‘We wanna disable every computer there in Iran, and they’d have to replace them’ – not a problem.” For added flair, each program Accuvant sells gets its own cyberpunk handle – like Purple Mantis – and is delivered on a jet-black thumb drive inside a custom case with the name laser-etched on a plaque. “So how many offensive plays are going on now?” I ask. “A lot,” Bonvillain says. “More than people would realize?” “Yes,” he replies. Then Bonvillain falls silent. He puffs his e-cigarette, considering a more diplomatic response. “The U.S. government,” he says, “is great at hiding everything they do.” Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images To see what the front line of cyberwar really looks like, I visit the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Virginia, the Department of Homeland Security’s mission control. It’s one of our most important hubs in digital warfare, alongside the FBI and NSA. A wall of video screens show online the attacks on the IRS and NASA – both agencies were compromised by a Distributed Denial of Service Attack, a technique that floods a site with access requests, slowing or downing it completely. The four-year-old NCCIC – employees pronounce it “enkick” – is the country’s nerve center for online threats. Twenty-four hours a day, teams drawn from a pool of 500 DHS cyberpersonnel sit at the ready in this sprawling, windowless command cave. Flickering diagrams on the front wall track the dangers in real time: traffic anomalies at federal agencies, cyberalert levels for each state’s website, a map of our country’s telecommunications system (“There’s no cyber without fiber!” a steely engineer tells me). Fortunately, at the moment, the threat against the IRS and NASA proves to be relatively harmless. However, the number of cyberincidents is on the rise. Fiscal year 2012 saw 190,000; this year’s number is already over 214,000. Overhauling the feds’ image to lure young tech talent has become a major priority. In a way, it’s akin to the shift in Silicon Valley – away from the business suits of IBM to the Adidas sandals of today. The National Science Foundation now offers a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program that places winning students in government agencies. The DHS is among the sponsors of the invite-only “Cyber Camps,” which hold hacking contests for prospective employees. Aside from the “sense of duty” and high-level security clearance that NCCIC director Larry Zelvin tells me lures his team away from fat paydays elsewhere, the power of being inside the government system is the greatest perk. “You just don’t get that in a corporation,” he says. Last year, the DHS assembled a cyberskills task force, which drew from hacker hubs including Facebook and DefCon, to recommend changes in their recruiting. To get the estimated 600 more hackers the DHS needs, the report concluded, the agency should “focus more attention and resources on…‘branding’ of cybersecurity positions,” including “cool jobs.” Napolitano says that “the money and the culture” are the chief obstacles the Department of Homeland Security runs into when recruiting hackers to join. “We don’t require our folks to wear a coat and tie,” she says, “and I’m not interested in the precise hours they work as much as I’m interested in getting the work done” – but she stops short of saying hackers can work from home in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pajamas. But maybe if you’re young and brilliant and looking for online action, there’s something undeniable about working for the biggest, baddest government on the planet. Sitting here under the dormant red warning lights, there’s a sense of being at the center of the matrix – and this is plenty tantalizing for some, including th3_e5c@p15t, winner of the cyberwar contest back at HackMiami. With his skills, he can write his own ticket, which he hopes to cash in with the feds. He says he wants to be as close to the front line as he can get: “I see it as a righteous cause.” Rolling Stone contributing editor David Kushner is the author of “Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto.”
segunda-feira, setembro 22, 2008
domingo, setembro 21, 2008
Pode-se estar perdidamente apaixonado pela letra de uma música?
Tanto pode que estou. Ouvi este "Movimento Perpetuo Associativo" de uma banda chamada Deolinda Lisboa, juntamente com a proposta da banda em transforma-la em novo hino nacional. A letra, para esse feito, é tão perfeita, que eu vou ali á janela ao lado reservar um bilhete para o espectáculo deles na Aula Magna, só porque a paixão não se explica :)
O melhor papel da vida do Xor Cruise é neste filme:
Só a sua interpretação do produtor de cinema Lev Grossman vale os 5 (até valia 10!) euros. Eu, que nunca gostei dele, rendi-me. Se é para voltar assim, que volte mais e mais e mais e mais vezes!
sábado, agosto 23, 2008
Estão a fazer tudo para que eu volte para a frente do televisor feito lapa:
Assim de repente, decidiram voltar com o Domingo Desportivo e a Roda da Sorte, os dois grandes programas da minha infância/terna juventude. Metam os Jogos Sem Fronteiras e não se fala mais nisso.
segunda-feira, julho 28, 2008
"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something."
Randy Pausch era um professor de informática na CMU, uma das mais importantes universidades do mundo. Foi-lhe diagnosticado um cancro terminal e deu uma última aula que correu mundo via Youtube. O seu exemplo de mensagem optimista e verdadeiramente cristã na maneira como lidou com a dificuldade foi, e é, uma inspiração para muitos. Esta última aula (uma tradição académica para os professores que se retiram) é magnífica e só a vendo se percebe o alcance dela (é muito alegre, não se assustem). Outro dia vi na FNAC o livro (A última aula, ed. Presença) que este professor fez em conjunto com um jornalista do WSJ, baseado nesta aula. Sem querer violar nenhum direito de autor, hoje, no caminho para casa, li isto:
O homem do descapotável
Certa manhã, muito depois de me ter sido diagnosticado o cancro, recebi um e-mail de Robbee Kosak, a vice-presidente para o desenvolvimento da Carnegie Mellon. Ela contou-me uma história.
Disse que na véspera seguia no seu carro para casa e acabou por ficar atrás de um homem num descapotável. Estava uma noite agradável de início de Primavera e o homem tinha a capota e todas as janelas baixas. O braço estava dependurado sobre a porta do condutor e os dedos tamborilavam, acompanhando a música que tocava no rádio. A cabeça também balouçava, com o cabelo ao vento.
Robbee mudou de faixa e aproximou-se um pouco. De lado podia ver o homem que esboçava um sorriso, o tipo de expressão com que ficamos quando estamos sozinhos, felizes e perdidos nos nossos pensamentos. Robbee deu com ela a pensar: "Uau, isto é o paradigma de alguém a apreciar o dia e o momento."
O descapotável acabou por virar na esquina e foi então que Robbee pôde ver o rosto do homem. "Ó meu Deus", exclamou para si, "É o Randy Pausch!".
Ficou espantada por me ver. Sabia que o diagnóstico de cancro era terrível. Mesmo assim, segundo disse no e-mail, ficou comovida com o ar contente que eu tinha. Era óbvio que naquele momento privado estava bem-disposto. Robbee escreveu na sua mensagem: "Não fazes ideia de como o facto de te ter visto me alegrou o dia, recordando-me do que a vida deve ser."
Li o e-mail de Robbee várias vezes. Acabei por o considerar uma espécie de fim de ciclo.
Nem sempre tem sido fácil continuar positivo ao longo do meu tratamento. Quando sofremos um problema clínico grave, é difícil sabermos como verdadeiramente nos sentimos a nível emocional. Interrogara-me se parte de mim estaria a representar quando me encontrava com outras pessoas. Talvez ocasionalmente me forçasse a parecer forte e animado. Muitos doentes de cancro sentem-se obrigados a exibir uma máscara de coragem. Estaria eu a fazer o mesmo?
Mas Robbee vira-me num momento vulnerável. Gostaria de pensar que me viu tal como sou. É garantido que me viu como eu estava nessa noite.
A mensagem resumia-se a um parágrafo, mas significou muito para mim. Dera-me uma janela para o meu ser. Continuava empenhado. Ainda sabia que a vida era boa. Estava bem.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I don't seem as depressed or morose as I should be, I'm sorry to disappoint you."
Este livro é mesmo único.
Randy Pausch morreu na 6ª feira passada.