Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 15,306
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 15,306
- 2015 (349)
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In Latest Vindication of Snowden, Court Rules UK Mass Surveillance Illegal
by Nadia Prupis, staff writer * Friday, February 06, 2015 * Common Dreams
'We must not allow agencies to continue justifying mass surveillance programmes
In the latest vindication of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, a U.K. ruled on Friday that the British government violated human rights law by failing to safeguard some aspects of its intelligence-sharing operations until December 2014.
The Investigatory Powers Tribunal found that the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) accessed information obtained by the National Security Agency (NSA) without sufficient oversight, violating Articles 8 and 10 of the European convention on human rights. According to Reuters, "The tribunal's concern, addressed in the new ruling, was that until details of how GCHQ and the NSA shared data were made public in the course of the court proceedings, the legal safeguards provided by British law were being side-stepped."
The Guardian adds, "The ruling appears to suggest that aspects of the operations were illegal for at least seven years—between 2007, when the Prism intercept was introduced, and 2014."
Article 8 guarantees the right to privacy; Article 10 protects free expression.
The New York Times reports:
Although privacy campaigners claimed the decision as a victory, many experts said the British and American intelligence agencies would continue to share information obtained with electronic surveillance, even if they had to slightly alter their techniques to comply with human rights law.
Named in the decision (pdf) were the NSA's controversial PRISM program, which whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 as the invasive spying operations being conducted on U.S. citizens.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Fri Feb 6, 2015, 04:31 PM (109 replies)
I can't find it listed anywhere on the forums page.
Or is CT jusr a place where OPs get disappeared and tombstoned?
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 10:08 PM (1 replies)
Michelle Obama Praises 'American Sniper' At Veterans Event
AP * By MARK KENNEDY * 02/01/2015 10:37 am EST
NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated "American Sniper," which has received criticism for its depiction of war.
Bradley Cooper, who is nominated for best actor for his portrayal of the late Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, joined Obama and media heavyweights in Washington, D.C., on Friday to launch "6 Certified" with representatives from Warner Bros., National Geographic Channels and the Producers Guild of America.
The initiative will allow TV shows and films to display an onscreen badge that tells viewers the show they're watching has been certified by the group Got Your 6, which derives its name from military slang for "I've got your back." To be approved, the film or show must cast a veteran, tell a veteran story, have a story written by a veteran or use veterans as resources.
"We hope our country will welcome back our veterans — not by setting them apart but by fully integrating them into the fabric of our communities," Mrs. Obama said.
Mrs. Obama also came to the defense of "American Sniper" — about Kyle, considered the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. It has become a box-office sensation and has strong supporters but has also weathered a growing storm of criticism that the film glorifies murder and serves as war propaganda.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Sun Feb 1, 2015, 08:16 PM (5 replies)
39th Banker Dead in 13 Months, Third this Year
Shepard Ambellas * January 27, 2015 * Anti-Media.org
(INTELLIHUB) OVERVEEN, Netherlands — ABN Amro banker Chris Van Eeghen allegedly committed suicide in is home Monday, marking the fourth Amro banker to die in 4-years, and the 39th banker to die in the last 13 months, in an unusual string of deaths.
Neighbors and colleagues of Van Eeghen describe him as an extremely nice guy, pointing out how they were shocked by his death. Van Eeghen previously attended the University of Buckingham, studied law and was also a football player. He was considered a professional banker with a good reputation.
Although some can’t beleive Van Eeghen committed suicide, it’s worthy to point out that his Facebook page was recently changed to read “former” head of syndicate, ABN Amro Corporate Finance & Capital Markets, as reported by Quote 500.
Van Eeghen’s girlfriend wrote in an email, “We were like boys in dealings among themselves, talking about women, the world. That was perhaps also the friendship I had with him, my courage and freedom versus his humor. To accept his death I assume that Chris wanted freedom, this was the way to take his freedom. He was always thinking of others. He kept neatly in earthly life.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Fri Jan 30, 2015, 01:33 AM (65 replies)
BREAKING: NYPD to Permanently Patrol Protests with Machine Guns
Carey Wedler * Januaray 29, 2015 * The Anti-Media.org
(ANTIMEDIA) NEW YORK, NY- NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Thursday that 350 heavily armed NYPD officers, called the “Strategic Response Group,” will soon be patrolling protests and the city at large.
He said the new strain of hyper-armed police will be
Bratton announced their purpose is specifically
“…designed for dealing with events like our recent protests, or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris.”
Lumping protesters in with terrorists, he said the permanent force will deal with “disorder control and counterterrorism protection capabilities.” It will allegedly assist on crime scenes and help with “crowd control and other large-scale events.”
It is not unusual for authorities to ramp up “security” efforts following attacks (such as the ax attack against officers in October), but the idea of machine-gun clad officers is disturbing, especially considering past NYPD abuses of protesters and other residents. The federal government, which has attempted to feign concern with police brutality, is partially funding the militarized venture. The Department of Homeland Security is supplying resources, as is the city of New York. The Pentagon has previously provided machine guns, ammuniton, and other military gear to New York police and other local cops around the country.
The program is set to begin with two precincts in Queens and two in Manhattan, though Bratton did not specify when. During the announcement at a Police Foundation breakfast at the Mandarin Hotel, Bratton also said his plan was backed by both Mayor Bill de Blasio (who came under fire from cops last year) and the city council.
He said the effort is intended to improve police relations with communities since “regular” police will no longer be called from their local precincts to deal with protests and alleged security threats:
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Jan 29, 2015, 11:39 PM (4 replies)
$5 Million for Co-op Development in Madison
City government and cooperatives are working together to create opportunities for workers and neighborhoods
by Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo * GeoCoop.com * Jan. 28, 2015
It started with a conversation.
Kevin Gundlach, president of the South Central Federation of Labor in Madison, WI, had heard about Spain’s Mondragon cooperative complex and their union cooperatives in the U.S. He researched how labor could support cooperative development in this country. During his research, Gundlach read about the city of New York investing a million dollars for worker cooperative development. It sparked an idea for Madison.
Then he bumped into the mayor, Paul R. Soglin, at a community picnic. Gundlach told Soglin about his idea to have the city help with cooperative development, not just to create good jobs, but to support neighborhoods. The mayor, Gundlach, responded with: “This is something I’d been interested in as well.”
Soon after that conversation, Soglin initiated Madison’s Capitol Improvement Plan, “Co-operative Enterprises for Job Creation & Business Development.” This plan would authorize the city to spend $1 million each of five years starting in 2016 to fund “cooperative/worker-owned business formation for the purposes of job creation and general economic development in the city.”
The Madison Common Council, known as city councils or commissions in other cities, approved the initiative on Nov. 11, 2014. This allocation is the largest by a U.S. municipality. Earlier last year, New York allocated $1.2 million to help worker cooperative development.
City and community planners hope to use the money to not only create jobs and cooperatives, but to boost poor neighborhoods, form union cooperatives, create group entrepreneurship and to develop cross-sectoral cooperative collaboration.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Wed Jan 28, 2015, 04:02 PM (0 replies)
The Oligarch Party: Koch Bros Vow Nearly $1 Billion for 2016 Elections
The Koch Brothers announced the historic budget to donors and elected officials at an annual winter meeting
byDeirdre Fulton, staff writer * Common Dreams * Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The political network backed by right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaigns, a stunning amount on par with both the major political parties, the Washington Post reported Monday.
According to the Post, "he new $889 million goal reflects the anticipated budgets of all the allied groups that the network funds. Those resources will go into field operations, new data-driven technology and policy work, among other projects, along with likely media campaigns aimed at shaping the congressional and White House elections."
The Koch Brothers announced the historic budget to donors attending the annual winter meeting of Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce in Palm Springs, California. About 450 donors and supporters attended the gathering, including four GOP presidential hopefuls (Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas) and six newly elected Republican senators.
"We have never seen this before," Sheila Krumholz, who runs the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, told USA Today. "There is no network akin to this one in terms of its complexity, scope and resources."
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:25 PM (0 replies)
The Invisible Man: Jeffrey Sterling, CIA Whistleblower
by Norman Solomon * Common Dreams * Jan 27, 2015
The mass media have suddenly discovered Jeffrey Sterling — after his conviction Monday afternoon as a CIA whistleblower.
Sterling’s indictment four years ago received fleeting news coverage that recited the government’s charges. From the outset, the Justice Department portrayed him as bitter and vengeful — with the classic trash-the-whistleblower word “disgruntled” thrown in — all of which the mainline media dutifully recounted without any other perspective.
Year after year, Sterling’s case dragged through appellate courts, tangled up with the honorable refusal of journalist James Risen to in any way identify sources for his 2006 book State of War. While news stories or pundits occasionally turned their lens on Risen, they scarcely mentioned Sterling, whose life had been turned upside down — fired by the CIA early in the Bush administration after filing a racial discrimination lawsuit, and much later by the 10-count indictment that included seven counts under the Espionage Act.
Sterling was one of the very few African American case officers in the CIA. He became a whistleblower by virtue of going through channels to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2003 to inform staffers about the CIA’s ill-conceived, poorly executed and dangerous Operation Merlin, which had given a flawed design for a nuclear weapons component to Iran back in 2000.
Long story short, by the start of 2011, Sterling was up against the legal wall. While press-freedom groups and some others gradually rallied around Risen’s right to source confidentiality, Sterling remained the Invisible Man. ~snip~
As the whistleblower advocate Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project has said: “When journalists become targets, they have a community and a lobby of powerful advocates to go to for support. Whistleblowers are in the wilderness. … They’re indicted under the most serious charge you can level against an American: being an enemy of the state.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Tue Jan 27, 2015, 04:12 PM (7 replies)
Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal Isn't Secret, Says US Official, But Access To Text Is Highly Restricted
By David Sirota @davidsirota firstname.lastname@example.org on January 23 2015 3:42 PM
DAVOS, Switzerland -- The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the U.S. and 11 Asian nations would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy -- but don't ask what they are. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. Nevertheless, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the Obama administration Friday at the World Economic Forum from intensifying criticism of its refusal to release the full text of the proposed TPP.
“We can always do better on transparency,” he said, but added that “there is no area of policy where there is closer collaboration between the executive and Congress than trade policy.” Froman, who said his office has held more than 1,600 briefings with lawmakers over the TPP, said his office also has released summaries of proposed provisions.
Yet the actual text of the agreement remains under lock and key. That represents a significant break from the Bush administration, which in 2001 published the text of a proposed multinational trade agreement with Latin American nations.
“It is incomprehensible to me that leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge of what’s in it,” wrote U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in a letter to Froman earlier this month.
Sanders’ office confirmed to International Business Times that congressional lawmakers are permitted to view the text of the agreement only in the Trade Representative’s office, without their own staff members or experts present. They are not allowed to take copies of the agreement back to Capitol Hill for deeper, independent evaluation.
Despite those restrictions, specific details of the agreement’s text have surfaced from unauthorized leaks -- some of which appear to contradict the Obama administration’s promises. Froman, for instance, said in Davos that “none of want to lower our health, safety or environmental standards,” yet one of the leaks showed the U.S. proposing to empower corporations to attempt to overturn domestic regulations, while critics say another leaked provision would help the pharmaceutical industry inflate the price of medicines in poor countries.
Froman and Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo, the director-general of the World Trade Organization, were asked at the World Economic Forum why the TPP is being kept secret by the U.S. at the same time the European Union has just published the full text of a separate proposed trade agreement with the United States. If, as the Obama administration has argued about TPP, some confidentiality is necessary for frank negotiations, was the EU wrong to publish its full proposal?
Froman suggested that nations have varying definitions of transparency.
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Mon Jan 26, 2015, 10:28 PM (2 replies)
What Happens When a Civilian Kills a Cop in Self Defense?
By Alex Henderson * AlterNet * January 21, 2015
The careless use of SWAT teams in no-knock drug raids -- when heavily armed police burst into a home without warning -- has resulted in a long list of innocent people being killed or seriously injured in the United States. 2014 alone found SWAT teams in Georgia senselessly killing businessman David Hooks and maiming toddler Bounkham “Baby Boo Boo” Phonesavanh. And when those raids victimize people who aren’t even selling drugs, narcotics officers seldom face criminal charges and are given every benefit of the doubt. But if, on the other hand, Americans shoot narcotics officers during militarized drug raids—perhaps believing that they are being robbed and are acting in self-defense—charges of first-degree murder are likely. The case of Marvin Louis Guy in Texas is a glaring example.
Guy, an African-American man who is now 50, was the target of a no-knock drug raid on May 9, 2014. Narcotics officers, operating on a tip from an informant who claimed that Guy was selling bags of cocaine, carried out a SWAT raid on his home in Killeen, Texas at around 5:30 AM—and Guy grabbed his gun and opened fire. Charles Dinwiddie, one of the officers, was hit and died two days later. Guy was charged with capital murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty despite his assertions that he thought he was acting in self-defense. Guy’s trial is scheduled for June of this year.
No drugs were found during a search of Guy’s home, only a glass pipe and a grinder—which indicates that Guy was, at worst, a recreational drug user and not a drug dealer. Journalist Radley Balko, author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, has commented on the case in the Washington Post, saying: “The fact that the police didn’t find any drugs in the house suggests that Marvin Louis Guy didn’t know he was shooting at cops. Drug dealer or no, unless he had a death wish, it’s unlikely that a guy would knowingly fire at police officers when he had nothing in the house that was particularly incriminating.”
Posted by 99th_Monkey | Thu Jan 22, 2015, 04:00 PM (3 replies)