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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,972

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The Donald and the Dictator

Donald Trump tried to raise money from the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi two years before a 2011 revolution toppled the brutal leader, according to four people with knowledge of the effort. Trump even tried to set up a meeting with the tyrant himself, three of the sources say, to explore business ventures — despite the Libyan leader’s notorious sponsorship of terrorism that killed scores of Americans.

The Trump campaign did not respond to repeated requests from BuzzFeed News for comment on his dealings with Qaddafi, which have not previously been reported. But the presumptive Republican nominee is facing questions this week about his flip-flops on the U.S. policy toward Libya. Trump supported efforts to depose the dictator in 2011, just as the Obama administration was pulling together a military coalition to help battle Qaddafi. More recently, Trump said that the administration’s effort in Libya was misguided.

This Sunday, when asked about the U.S.’s Libya policy on CBS News’ Face the Nation, Trump brought up an incident many had forgotten: that time in 2009 when Qaddafi rented Trump’s opulent Westchester estate to erect a huge traditional tent where the Libyan leader would stay — and sacrifice a live lamb — while in New York for a United Nations assembly. The despised tyrant had been turned down by many other venues.

The dictator, who was overthrown and killed while resisting a bloody revolution by the Libyan people in 2011, never slept at the estate. After a storm of publicity stoked outrage, the town of Bedford yanked permission for the tent, scuttling the Libyans’ plans and forcing their leader to stay in Manhattan, indoors. Qaddafi, Trump said on Face the Nation, “paid me a fortune, never got to stay there. And it became sort of a big joke.”

But BuzzFeed News has learned there was more to the relationship between Trump and Qaddafi than the short-term rental of an expensive campground and surrounding estate. According to four U.S. and Libyan sources, Trump sought to use the opportunity to gain access to Qaddafi, who was in a position to release billions in investment capital.


How the hell is this not getting bigger play, even on DU?

Jacob Appelbaum allegedly intimidated victims into silence and anonymity

In the wake of programmer Jacob Appelbaum’s abrupt departure from the Tor Project, rumors and accusations about both sexual misconduct and bullying have surfaced that extend back years. Appelbaum was suspended without pay for two weeks from the Tor Project in March 2015 as a result of an internal complaint filed against him due to harassing behavior toward other employees, according to sources within the Tor Project.

Now, four witnesses—including a current senior Tor employee—are stepping forward into the public eye, adding valuable insight into how Appelbaum allegedly intimidated those around him to keep accusations of sexual misconduct secret and pressure those who are speaking out to remain anonymous.

Appelbaum, who has worked closely with the likes of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, became a prominent face of Tor in the last decade as he worked as a public advocate and occasional hacker for the Tor Project. Tor is a powerful U.S. government-funded anonymity software that protects the identity and location of its users. It’s used by a wide range of people including human rights activists, government employees, criminals, journalists, and dissidents in countries that impose online censorship and crack down on internet activity.

Glowing profiles by publications like Rolling Stone and Vice cemented his position as a 21st century political geek rock star. The cultural heights to which he rose make his fall all the more jarring for the community—and exacerbate the pressure to remain silent on those who claim to be his victims.


Are these people trying to market a fighter jet or the latest iPhone??

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...
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