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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,337

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The Snowden Fact-Check

Three years ago, Edward Snowden’s leaks sent shockwaves through the U.S. intelligence services, disclosing information about surveillance programs and foreign intelligence operations and sparking a global conversation about the balance between national security and the privacy of citizens.

The revelations brought some aspects of the intelligence community out of the dark and accelerated the debate on encryption. At the same time, they also presented an opportunity to obscure and misrepresent U.S. surveillance activities, a number of top former intelligence officials told The Cipher Brief.

For privacy advocates, the revelations set the stage for massive government surveillance reform — something that has not come to fruition. Three years on, supporters say, the disclosures need to spur more substantive policy reforms.

In the second of our two-part series, we fact check what many believe are the misconceptions that continue to swirl around about the information leaked by Snowden.

For General Michael Hayden, former CIA director from 2006-09 and NSA director from 1999-2005, there are a number of misconceptions — which he dubbed “urban legends, aka urban lies” — in the public sphere about the Snowden leaks that still need to be fact-checked, three years on:


(Snowden, Greenwald, and the rest of the cabal declined to be interviewed for this piece)

Frenchman 'planned attacks during Euro 2016'

Source: BBC

A Frenchman detained last month with a large cache of arms was planning mass attacks during the Euro 2016 football tournament, which starts on Friday, Ukrainian officials say.

The man, identified by French media as Gregoire Moutaux, 25, was arrested on the Ukrainian border with Poland.

Intelligence chief Vasyl Hrytsak said the man had planned 15 attacks and was driven by ultra-nationalist views.

He had amassed guns, detonators and 125kg of TNT, Mr Hrytsak said.

Mr Hrytsak listed bridges, motorways, a mosque and a synagogue among the suspect's potential targets. He was being prosecuted for arms smuggling and terrorism, he said.

It was not clear if the tournament itself was being targeted and Paris police prefect Michel Cadot told reporters there was "no specific threat against any site".

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36460569

Another Anders Brevik clone...

"A steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action"

Public outrage over the lenient sentencing of a star Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault has been compounded by a controversial letter written by the athlete’s father. Brock Turner was convicted in March of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at a fraternity party in January 2015 at the elite university. He faced up to 14 years in prison. Prosecutors asked for six.

Instead, Turner received only six months in jail and three years of probation after a judge worried that a stiffer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the 20-year-old. The light sentence drew harsh criticism from prosecutors and advocates and prompted widespread fury on social media.

That fury intensified Sunday as critics slammed a letter written by Turner’s father as oblivious, “tone-deaf” and “impossibly offensive.”

“His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve,” Dan A. Turner wrote in a letter arguing that his son should receive probation, not jail time. “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”


I'm beyond words...

Vice. Snowden. Fantasy.

I’ve read the Vice News report based on the FOIA-released documents three times now, and still do not see within it support for the headline, “Exclusive: Snowden Tried to Tell NSA About Surveillance Concerns, Documents Reveal.”

Perhaps there is more reporting to come based on this collection of documents, but if today’s report was supposed to expose the smoking gun revealing that Snowden took substantial steps to lodge his complaints about the legality of NSA surveillance activities, then it just doesn’t live up to the hype.

Instead, the report reveals:

An NSA workforce conducting a huge after-action search for documents seeking to affirm or refute Snowden’s claim that he had raised red flags internally before resorting to leaking classified documents;
Numerous officials terrified that they would miss something in the search, knowing full-well how easily that could happen in NSA’s giant and complex enterprise; and
The NSA and ODNI General Counsels, and others in the interagency process – doing their job.

The emails in the report do reveal that government officials debated whether to release the one document that was evidence that Snowden did, in fact, communicate with the NSA Office of General Counsel. It’s hard to be surprised by this. On one hand, the one email in and of itself does not support Snowden’s public claim that he lodged numerous complaints; on the other hand, experienced senior government officials have been around the block enough times to know that as soon as you make a public statement that “there’s only one,” there is a very high likelihood that your door will soon be darkened by a staff member telling you, “wait, there’s more.” So it is no wonder that there was some interagency disagreement about what to do.


What's also left unmentioned is that Snowflake was already stealing files for a year before lodging this "complaint"... So it seems a lot more like CYA than anything else...

The new president of the Philippines says many slain journalists deserved it

Many slain journalists in the Philippines had been corrupt and had "done something" to warrant being killed, the country's president-elect said.

"Just because you're a journalist you are not exempted from assassination if you're a son of a bitch," Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reported.

The brash, tough-talking former mayor, who will be sworn in as president on June 30, was responding to a question about how he would handle the killing of journalists.

He has previously attracted international outrage for his comments, including remarks about the rape and killing of an Australian missionary in 1989. Human Rights Watch has deemed him the "Death Squad Mayor."

The Philippines ranks as the second-deadliest country for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 75 journalists there have been killed since 1992.

Journalist Alex Balcoba was fatally shot this month in Manila, the Philippine capital.


Well that's never a good sign...

The Poet Laureate of Bernie Porn Does Not Want To Talk To The Beast

Every candidate gets the surrogate he deserves, and Bernie Sanders has H.A. Goodman, a dedicated, secretive supporter who’s become a cable TV staple and a near legend among the campaign press corps, which celebrates each new missive from the man who’s been called “the poet laureate” of “Bernie porn.”

When supporters of Bernie Sanders turned a normally placid state party convention into a chair-tossing riot, one that included death threats against the party chair, H.A. Goodman took to YouTube.

Wearing a polo shirt and glaring down at the camera below, Goodman said it was time for Hillary Clinton and her supporters to face facts and rally around the inevitable nominee—Sanders. If the party was descending into chaos, blame not the young supporters of the Socialist insurgent, but the establishment hacks blinded by their lust for the power.

“There are probably millions of examples online of Hillary supporters intimidating, bullying, berating and attacking Bernie Sanders supporters,” Goodman said beneath two framed water colors in the room where he shoots most of his legion of video commentaries, which appears to be in his Los Angeles-area home. “So the whole Bernie Bro myth is actually reversed. The most condescending, the most aggressive, the meanest people online, and also the most entitled people are Hillary supporters. They can’t even imagine not voting for someone not under criminal FBI investigation.”

For nearly 20 minutes Goodman goes on like this: It is Hillary Clinton who is propping up extremists, it is Bernie Sanders who is the front-runner and who would stand a better chance of beating Donald Trump in November if only the Democratic Party power base would listen, never mind that Clinton has an insurmountable lead in delegates and has won millions of more votes.


The huge price tag for missing warnings of L.A. teachers abusing students: $300 million

In a recent court hearing, one young man after another claimed that former Franklin High football coach Jaime Jimenez befriended them during summer practice before 9th grade, then sexually abused them.

But it’s not the allegations against Jimenez that are at the center of a lawsuit filed this month against the Los Angeles Unified School District. It’s about whether school officials once again missed — or ignored — warning signs about Jimenez that prolonged the alleged abuse.

The nation's second-largest school system has been plagued in recent years by a series of cases in which officials missed indications of teacher misconduct, and in some instances, continued to employ teachers who were under a cloud, or ignored or overlooked direct complaints. The result is a trail of victimized students and massive payouts to victims and attorneys that have surpassed $300 million in just the last four years.

The district paid $40 million related to abuse at Telfair Elementary School after plaintiffs claimed the district overlooked earlier molestation allegations made against a teacher. The settlement was $58 million in the case of a George De La Torre Elementary School teacher, who faced numerous accusations of touching students that the district ignored. The biggest payout -- $200 million -- came after revelations that the district knew of complaints dating back to 1983 about a Miramonte Elementary School teacher accused of abusing numerous students in his classroom.

"Districts are not liable for criminal acts," said attorney Mary Jo McGrath, who has advised school districts and conducted investigations for them. "They are liable for what they did not do.”


Holy damn this is some Catholic Church-level negligence going on here...

I have a nominee for induction into the BerniBro Hall of Fame:

Bill Clinton Gets Into 30-Minute Debate With A 24-Year-Old Bernie Fan

SANTA FE, N.M. — Five different times, aides tried to drag him away from the booth where Josh Brody, a 24-year-old supporter of Bernie Sanders, was holding forth about all that had gone wrong in the 1990s: welfare, NAFTA, Wall Street.

“Other people are waiting,” one staffer said, stepping forward.

“I think we’re gonna agree to disagree here, guys,” he tried again.

“All right, Mr. President. These folks are waiting,” a second aide said.

But for more than 30 minutes, Bill Clinton stayed to argue every point, turning a routine retail stop at Tia Sophia’s, a Mexican restaurant here in Santa Fe, into a one-on-one debate with Brody, a recent graduate of New York’s New School, who said he supported Hillary Clinton’s Democratic challenger. “For the next few weeks — then I’ll be a Stein supporter,” he added of Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The encounter on Wednesday was emblematic of a presidential election driven by questions about the politics of the 1990s — and the legacy of the Clinton years. On the campaign trail, when confronted with a voter on the rope line or a heckler in the crowd, Clinton is often unwilling to let his record go undefended.

The conversation here began when Clinton approached Brody’s booth. The young Sanders supporter, a Santa Fe native, appeared to decline a handshake with the former president, instead posing a question about “aid to families with dependent children.”


So a Berniestan who was playing with his fucking Legos and Power Rangers during the Clinton era wants to lecture WJC about his presidency? How on EARTH does he even walk with balls this fucking big? And real classy declining his handshake, asshole...

I can only come down on him so hard, though... I remember when I was 24 and knew everything there was to know about everything, and nobody could tell me shit. Hopefully someday this kid grows the fuck up and realizes how much of a bellend he was.

Any of our newer posters want to come forward and admit they were that guy? I can think of quite a few candidates...

Former Russian Prime Minister Caught on Camera Having Sex With Opposition Leader

Political campaigns in the U.S. can be dirty, but Russia just tipped the nasty meter—again.

On Saturday morning, a number of British newspapers—including Daily Mail and Mirror—broke the story to the West that some hours earlier glued millions of Russians to their television sets.

Mikhail Kasyanov, the former Minister of Finance and Prime Minister under Vladimir Putin, is a chairman of the opposition party, PARNAS (Party of People’s Freedom)—created long ago with the late Boris Nemtsov.

Mr. Kasyanov was caught in a scandal that will inevitably ruin not only his political aspirations, but also his family life.

Clips of a secretly taped 40-minute video were shown on the Kremlin-loyal NTV channel Kasyanov’s Day, in hopes of delivering another devastating blow to Mr. Putin’s rivals in the upcoming elections for the State Parliament Duma.

In the video, the former Prime Minister removes his usual sharp suit and expensive tie. Leaving his thick-framed glasses on, he goes to bed with his fellow party member and his personal political assistant, Natalia Pelevina. Mr. Kasyanov is 58, married and has two children.

Ms. Pelevina wears seductive lingerie and waits for him in bed.


Casey Anthony allegedly paid her lawyer with sex

Accused child-killer Casey Anthony paid her lawyer with sex, according to a report Tuesday.

A private investigator hired by Casey’s lawyer, Jose Baez, in her murder case claimed that he learned that Anthony was trading sex for legal representation after a TV show requested an interview with her that she didn’t want to do in 2008, according to the gossip website RadarOnline.

“ called the network saying they would have to take a raincheck, hung up the phone and said to Casey: ‘You now owe me three blowjobs,’ ” according to PI Dominic Casey, who Radar says gave the sworn testimony in January as part of a bankruptcy case.

The alleged shenanigans got worse as time went by because Anthony was broke, the private detective claims.

“The misconduct between Casey and Jose escalated,” the PI said, adding that he once “witnessed a naked Casey’’ run from Baez’s private chambers.


Do lawyers even accept that as payment??
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