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99th_Monkey

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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 9,377

Journal Archives

Ellsberg: Journalists Who Attack Glenn Greenwald Are "Tools"

Not to mention people who are not journalists.

Daniel Ellsberg: Journalists Who Attack Glenn Greenwald Are 'Tools' Who Do 'the Work of the Government'
America’s most famous whistleblower slammed the journalists attacking Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
August 26, 3013 * AlterNet * By Alex Kane

America’s most famous whistleblower criticized the journalists attacking Glenn Greenwald in an interview with the New York Times. Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1969, slammed journalists Jeffrey Toobin and Michael Grunwald during a conversation with the Times’ media columnist David Carr.

“With Snowden in particular, you have a split between truly independent journalists and those who are tools — and I mean that in every sense of the term — of the government. Toobin and Grunwald are doing the work of the government to maintain relationships and access,” Ellsberg said.

Ellsberg was reacting to recent comments made by both CNN’s Toobin and TIME magazine’s Grunwald about Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. Toobin recently said that Snowden belongs in prison and that David Miranda, Greenwald’s husband, was the equivalent of a “drug mule” for transporting documents between Berlin and Greenwald. Miranda was arrested by British authorities in Heathrow airport and held for nine hours.

Grunwald recently said on Twitter that he couldn’t “wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”

Carr also interviewed Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who likewise criticized journalists taking on Greenwald. “I think the people in our business who are suspicious of Glenn Greenwald and critical of David Miranda are not really thinking this through,” said Rusbridger. “The governments are conflating journalism with terrorism and using national security to engage in mass surveillance. The implications just in terms of how journalism is practiced are enormous.”

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/daniel-ellsberg-slams-jeffrey-toobin-and-michael-grunwald

Apparently, some in Germany suspect USA of spying on financial markets ...

... presumably so that the US/UK Corporate Elite can more easily rig the int'l financial marketplaces.

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

Germans seek transparency from government on US spying

Germans are seeking transparency after their government has offered a limited response to reports that the United States systematically and actively spied on the country, Press TV, reports.

The demands for answers from Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have come after reports show that Germany was the most spied country in Europe by the US National Security Agency (NSA) where NSA recorded 60 million calls and internet transactions on peak days.

“Half of the people in Germany is very unhappy with the situation that our friends spy at us and they ask our government, why do you allow such things? Should you not ask the United States to stop this? But our government tells us that there is no problem,” said Stefan Liebich from the Left Party.

Meanwhile, it was recently revealed that the large-scale surveillance by the NSA was not only for the purpose of security but that the agency also had a financial strategy, as it monitored markets in order to make financial decisions.

A report published last month showed that the NSA explored German market demands as it spied on Germans’ medical records to see which medicines they consumed.



http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/08/23/320128/germans-seek-transparency-on-us-spying/

Yo, DU. I think we all need to take a deep breath, just for a moment, to remember

Remember that it is precisely this kind of divisive, reciprocally disrespectful, culture warfare
that our Corporate Oligarchs LOVE to see on progressive websites. I love DU as forum to work
through sticky issues
like sexual-orientation, while hopefully not getting stuck at any point.

I've served on several juries recently where the Chelsea Manning topic was being fiercely debated,
to the point where people are feeling "hurt & deeply offended" by their DU counterparts in the debate.

Please remember to consider the need for cohesion and civility, and to not take things so damn personally,
while at the same time passionately standing for your personal truth on DU.

That is all. Peace out.

The New "Criminal" Menace: Peaceful creative Burning Man gatherings in middle of nowhere

Sadly, this makes me glad I didn't shell out $200-300 for a ticket this year, only to get harassed by
up-tight piggish cops. Hell I can stay home and get that any day of the week.

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Police cracking down on Burning Man this year
By jennifer-wadsworth * San Francisco Gate * Friday Aug 23, 2013

Heads up, party people, the cops seem ready to mete out a heavy dose of law and order at the annual Burning Man festival next week.

Startup founder Aaron Muzslaski trekked to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert a little early. He forecasts heavy rains with chance of the heavy reign of law enforcement at the annual pop up art and culture festival-slash-outdoor rave, according to Boing Boing.

“The pigs are here,” Muzslaski wrote. “And uncommonly badge heavy.”

They nabbed a Burner for a car registration violation, he says. Another got a $275 ticket and threat of getting registered as a sex offender for peeing in public.

“In 18 years on the playa, I’ve never seen a more aggressive police presence that what’s been going down today. Deeply upsetting, outrageous stuff.”


http://blog.sfgate.com/hottopics/2013/08/22/police-cracking-down-on-burning-man-this-year/

Cynicism is Corporate America’s Greatest Weapon: Disarm It

I think this is an incredibly good read, and I felt personally challenged by it, to remember
that it's not over until it's over, completely 100% over. And it won't be over until we break free of
these damnable top-down-fetters all over again, like has happened in the past, will happen again,
one way or the other. Doke! It's the arch of history thing.

~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ * ~~~~ *
Cynicism is Corporate America’s Greatest Weapon: Disarm It
by Richard Eskow * Thursday, August 22, 2013 * Campaign for America's Future via Common Dreams

September’s coming up fast, and we know what that means. Soon Congress will be back in session and we’ll be inundated with fresh evidence that our democracy is broken. That makes this a good time to reflect on the powerful forces arrayed against the public interest – and to remind ourselves that they can still lose.

If you’re a citizen who’s willing to take action, you have more power than you realize. As the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington approaches, it’s a good time to remember that, too.

Granted, my perspective may be a little skewed. I spent several years of my professional life working primarily behind the Iron Curtain – before, during, and after the fall of European Communism. That experience, for someone interested in economics, was something like what an astronomer might feel at the birth of a star. And for anyone who believes in political activism, it was inspiring and enlightening. In a few short months the impossible became the imaginable, the imaginable became an opportunity, and an opportunity was turned into the event that transformed the world.

The cynical view says that there were hidden forces behind that transformation. And it’s true: when it comes to the course of world events, the unseen is often far more significant than the seen. But who knows what we’re not seeing right now? How will we know how broad our horizons of opportunity are today unless we test them?

It’s easy to retreat into the idleness of the cynic, to become the kind of person essayist Sydney J. Harris once described as “prematurely disappointed in the future.” It’s easy – and it’s a mistake.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/08/22-4

Lavabit founder: 'My own tax dollars are being used to spy on me'

Lavabit founder: 'My own tax dollars are being used to spy on me'
Since shuttering his email service, which was used by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ladar Levison has been stuck in a Kafkaesque legal battle – and that's about all he can say
Dominic Rushe * The Guardian * Thurs. Aug. 22, 2013

The Obama administration has created a surveillance state on a scale not seen since senator Joe McCarthy's infamous 1950s crackdown on suspected communists, according to the tech executive caught up in crossfire between the NSA and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

"We are entering a time of state-sponsored intrusion into our privacy that we haven't seen since the McCarthy era. And it's on a much broader scale," Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit, told the Guardian. The email service was used by Snowden and is now at the center of a potentially historic legal battle over privacy rights in the digital age.

Levison closed down his service this month, posting a message about a government investigation that would force him to "become complicit in crimes against the American people" were he to stay in business. The 32-year-old is now stuck in a Kafkaesque universe where he is not allowed to talk about what is going on, nor is he allowed to talk about what he's not allowed to talk about without facing charges of contempt of court.

It appears that Levison – who would not confirm this – has received a national security letter (NSL), a legal attempt to force him to hand over any and all data his company has so that the US authorities can track Snowden and anyone he communicated with. The fact that he closed the service rather than comply may well have opened him up to other legal challenges – about which he also can not comment.

MORE HERE: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/22/lavabit-founder-us-surveillance-snowden

(RT) BREAKING: Manning is asking Obama for a Pardon

(RT) The lead attorney for Army Private first class Bradley Manning told the media on Wednesday that he’ll begin asking US President Barack Obama to pardon his client as early as next week.

Three hours after a military judge sentenced Pfc. Manning to 35 years in prison for disclosing sensitive government documents, attorney David Coombs said the appeals process will begin in a matter of days.

“I will file a request,” Coombs said in a Wednesday afternoon presser, “a request that the president pardon Pfc. Manning, or at the very least commute his sentence to time served.”

That request, Coombs said, includes in part a statement from Manning himself.

“I understand that my actions violated the law,” Coombs read the soldier’s statement. “I regret that my actions hurt or harmed the US. It was never my intent to hurt anyone. I only wanted to help people.”

Pfc. Manning and his counsel will ask the White House to remove the 35-year sentence handed down early Wednesday by Army Col. Denise Lind at a courthouse in Ft. Meade, Maryland. Should that request be refused, however, Manning wrote, “I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price for living in a free society.”

http://rt.com/usa/bradley-manning-obama-pardon-805/

NSA-Corporate Collusion Built Network to Reach 75% of Internet Traffic

Just in case you thought the extent of the NSA spying on American citizens has been "exaggerated" or "over-blown", here is yet more evidence that indeed, we are being spied upon more and more, and it's getting worse as time passes unless we get Congress to push back at some point before it's too late, if it isn't already.

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NSA-Corporate Collusion Built Network to Reach 75% of Internet Traffic
System is built on relationships between internet and phone providers working together and 'policing themselves'
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 * Common Dreams * Jon Queally, staff writer

In a fresh angle on the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance grip on domestic internet communications, the Wall Street Journal—citing current and former officials with "direct knowledge of the work"—reports that the agency has built a much more robust spy network than the agency has previously admitted, powerful enough to reach into "roughly 75% of all U.S. internet traffic" in its hunt for pertinent information.

"In some cases," the WSJ reports, " retains the written content of emails sent between citizens within the U.S. and also filters domestic phone calls made with Internet technology."

What the reporting also reveals are new details about the close relationship between the government's surveillance apparatus and private telecommunications companies that have given the NSA access to "major internet junctions" within the U.S. "The surveillance system is built on relationships with telecommunications carriers," writes the WSJ, describing how those companies "must hand over what the NSA asks for under orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."

But, as one expert explained, the involved telecommunications companies and the government are really left "policing the system themselves." According to him and despite repeated assurances from officials that only "the bad guys" are targeted, "There's technically and physically nothing preventing a much broader surveillance."

Though the new reporting includes references to programs made known to the U.S. and global public via classified documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the WSJ interviewed unnamed government officials to confirm aspects of how specific programs fit into a broader framework.



As the WSJ reports:

The NSA's filtering, carried out with telecom companies, is designed to look for communications that either originate or end abroad, or are entirely foreign but happen to be passing through the U.S. But officials say the system's broad reach makes it more likely that purely domestic communications will be incidentally intercepted and collected in the hunt for foreign ones.

The programs, code-named Blarney, Fairview, Oakstar, Lithium and Stormbrew, among others, filter and gather information at major telecommunications companies. Blarney, for instance, was established with AT&T Inc., former officials say. AT&T declined to comment.

This filtering takes place at more than a dozen locations at major Internet junctions in the U.S., officials say. Previously, any NSA filtering of this kind was largely believed to be happening near points where undersea or other foreign cables enter the country.

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/21

Greenwald: 'Sending a Message': What the US and UK Are Attempting To Do

'Sending a Message': What the US and UK Are Attempting To Do
State-loyal journalists seem to believe in a duty to politely submit to bullying tactics from political officials
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 * The Guardian * by Glenn Greenwald

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger on Monday night disclosed the remarkable news that UK authorities, several weeks ago, threatened the Guardian UK with prior restraint if they did not destroy all of their materials provided by Edward Snowden, and then sent agents to the basement of the paper's offices to oversee the physical destruction of hard drives. The Guardian has more details on that episode today, and MSNBC's Chris Hayes interviewed the Guardian's editor-in-chief about it last night. As Rusbriger explains, this behavior was as inane as it was thuggish: since this is 2013, not 1958, destroying one set of a newspaper's documents doesn't destroy them all, and since the Guardian has multiple people around the world with copies, they achieved nothing but making themselves look incompetently oppressive.

But conveying a thuggish message of intimidation is exactly what the UK and their superiors in the US national security state are attempting to accomplish with virtually everything they are now doing in this matter. On Monday night, Reuters' Mark Hosenball reported the following about the 9-hour detention of my partner under a terrorism law, all with the advanced knowledge of the White House:

One US security official told Reuters that one of the main purposes of the British government's detention and questioning of Miranda was to send a message to recipients of Snowden's materials, including the Guardian, that the British government was serious about trying to shut down the leaks."


~snip~

... vowing to report on the nefarious secret spying activities of a large government - which is what I did - is called "journalism", not "revenge". As the Washington Post headline to Andrea Peterson's column on Monday explained: "No, Glenn Greenwald didn't 'vow vengeance.' He said he was going to do his job." She added:

"Greenwald's point seems to have been that he was determined not to be scared off by intimidation. Greenwald and the Guardian have already been publishing documents outlining surveillance programs in Britain, and Greenwald has long declared his intention to continue publishing documents. By doing so, Greenwald isn't taking 'vengeance.' He's just doing his job."


But here's the most important point: the US and the UK governments go around the world threatening people all the time. It's their modus operandi. They imprison whistleblowers. They try to criminalize journalism. They threatened the Guardian with prior restraint and then forced the paper to physically smash their hard drives in a basement. They detained my partner under a terrorism law, repeatedly threatened to arrest him, and forced him to give them his passwords to all sorts of invasive personal information - behavior that even one of the authors of that terrorism law says is illegal, which the Committee for the Protection of Journalists said yesterday is just "the latest example in a disturbing record of official harassment of the Guardian over its coverage of the Snowden leaks", and which Human Rights Watch says was "intended to intimidate Greenwald and other journalists who report on surveillance abuses." And that's just their recent behavior with regard to press freedoms: it's to say nothing of all the invasions, bombings, renderings, torture and secrecy abuses for which that bullying, vengeful duo is responsible over the last decade.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/08/21-4

NSA Underbelly <= Corporate Overlords In The Saddle on Steroids

One of the most disturbing facts that has recently come to light, is how
much of the US Surveillance & Security State apparatus is PRIVATELY
OWNED, i.e. done by private corporations contracting with the NSA
and/or CIA/FBI/Etc. Of the 1.4 million who have the higher "top secret"
access, 483,000, or 34 percent, work for contractors.

Back in June, Democracy Now has just done a great segment on this, here:
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/6/11/digital_blackwater_how_the_nsa_gives

If this were "just" the government (with no private corporations involved)
doing all this illegal spying, it would be bad enough. That's basically what
happened with the Church Committee hearings in Congress regarding operation
COINTELPRO; and it was out of those hearings that we got FISA in the first place.
But back then, it was only the government spying agencies involved, not
shadowy private corporations, like Booz Allan & Blackwater.

Well now, flash forward to the present situation with massive amounts of
this spying work being done BY PRIVATE CORPORATIONS ON THE GOVERNMENT's
DIME. That means that our government is now basically PAYING PRIVATE
CORPORATIONS PUBLIC MONEY (OUR TAX DOLLARS) TO ILLEGALLY SPY ON
US CITIZENS. <--(that's us).

This is a deplorable & unprecedented travesty against all that is good, and true,
and honorable about being a citizen of the US of A. We literally cannot say anymore
to one another "Hey, it's a free country!" to remind ourselves that dissent and
unpopular views are never-the-less tolerated out of respect for the US Constitution.
Not anymore.

This needs to change, and change big-time. The entire surveillance & security
state apparatus needs to be almost completely dismantled, and rebuilt to the
specifications of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.


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