In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the great good wizard Saruman becomes slowly corrupted by a malign influence named Sauron. Hoping to look into the future, the distance and the past he gazes into a magical crystal ball called a palantir. He finds Sauron's great unblinking eye looking back at him, bending his will, subverting him, causing him to both compete with Sauron and become just like him. He slowly breeds foul creatures and converts his citadel of Isengard into a replica of the great furnace factory of death that is Sauron's own seat of power at Mount Doom.

The Obama administration's modern day flaming eye stares at us in part through its own crystal ball called PRISM, which appears to be a data integration product made by Palantir Technologies, a secret cybersecurity firm that got its start up funding from the CIA.

In early 2011, LulzSec hacked into the servers of a private security firm called HBGary. HBGary's emails and other files were later dumped on the internet. It was revealed that HBGary was conspiring with Palantir Technologies to target journalist Glenn Greenwald for supporting Wikileaks and to market their services to the US Chamber of Commerce to spy on, defame and attack progressive activists. The proposed campaign of defamation against Greenwald seems to be part of an ongoing campaign by the Obama administration against journalists.

Palantir quickly scurried away from the scheme when it was revealed and suspended one of its employees with pay. The employee was later cleared and reinstated. HBGary executive Aaron Barr resigned. He was last seen continuing his crusade against the enemies of America in Zuccotti Park as he attempted to infiltrate Occupy Wall Street. It is not known who Barr was working for as he continued his crusade on behalf of the patriotic banking institutions that underwrite our consumer freedom.

Hackivist Jeremy Hammond was later arrested for breaching HBGary’s and other intelligence firms’ security and exposing their secrets. After awaiting trial for 15 months, and after being placed in solitary confinement when his defense team exposed the trial judge's conflict of interest, Hammond pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and faces 10 years in prison. Prosecutors had threatened him with 42 years in prison if convicted and a series of eight more trials if acquitted.

Thursday, through the, Glen Greenwald revealed that Verizon had been turning over data to the FBI on every single one of it's domestic cell phone subscribers. Within hours, that revelation was followed by another. It was revealed that many major internet firms, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook had been supplying the NSA with a back door into all of their user's data. This program is called PRISM and supplies president Obama with nearly 1/7th of his daily information, possibly helping him to deliberate on whom to kill with secret drone strikes.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg led the charge by Silicon Valley in denying the charges. All the firms named denied having ever heard of PRISM. This may be true. Although PRISM is the code name for the project, it might not be the code name for the data gathering portion of it. PRISM, ironically, is the name of an intelligence integration tool manufactured by Palantir Technologies. It's function, so it seems, is to bring disparate points of data together to help America's government and corporate secret police apparatus have a clear picture of what a person is doing, what they believe, who they talk to and who is in their social network.

Palantir was brought to the table by HBGary to provide the data integration end of its attack on progressive activists, journalists and Wikileaks supporters. President Obama's claim that “Nobody is listening to your phone calls” rings hollow when the flaming eye of Sauron has already cast its gaze upon domestic dissidents on behalf of corporate interests. Like Saruman, gazing into the palantir has turned Americas burning eye inward on itself.

The Free Press will continue to cover this story and others about America's secret intelligence war against its own subjects.