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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: 9,609

Journal Archives

FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly fired for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes

FBI Whistleblower Was Allegedly Terminated for Reporting Fraud & Sexual Misconduct Involving Prostitutes
By Kevin Gosztola * The Dissenter/FireDogLake * Tuesday August 27, 2013

An FBI whistleblower alleges he was retaliated against and fired because he reported two pilots serving in the FBI had allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct in addition to a “clear pattern of fraud, waste and abuse over a period of years,” which “cost the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars” while also “damaging the reputation of the FBI and Justice Department.”

LtCol. John C. Parkinson, who served as a special agent in the FBI as part of a Special Operations Group ground team until he was terminated in October 2010, contends an undercover facility for FBI operations was compromised in 2006 because pilots, Special Agents Steven Broce and Andrew Marshall, allegedly engaged in sexual acts with women, who were brought back to the facility. They also allegedly participated in activities costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over a period of years. However, supervisors in the FBI apparently looked the other way and did nothing to punish the two pilots.

Parkinson and other colleagues sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Justice Department on September 27, 2008. They asked the OIG to investigate Broce and Marshall, who were assigned to the FBI’s Sacramento Division at the time. They informed the OIG that Broce would regularly use “the symbols of his position as an FBI agent, specifically, his gun, badge and official identification” to solicit sex from prostitutes. Broce even, “on at least two occasions,” allegedly left these items behind in brothels.

Since Broce had unrestricted access to an FBI hangar, plane and aviation fuel, Broce used a plane to fly to Reno, Nevada, one night for “the sole purpose of engaging prostitutes in acts of illicit sex.” According to Parkinson, he spent “thousands of tax dollars to fund his prurient interests in prostitution.” Broce also apparently violated FBI and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations by flying alone from California to Nevada, especially because he had “failed multiple check rides and has vision and hearing impairments.”

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/08/27/fbi-whistleblower-terminated-reporting-prostitutes/

Obama doubles-down w/NYTs James Risen: rat on your sources or 'Go straight to jail. Do not pass go'

The Obama administration is trying to dissuade federal judges from giving the New York Times reporter James Risen one last chance to avoid having to disclose his source in a criminal trial over the alleged leaking of US state secrets.

The Department of Justice has filed a legal argument with the US appeals court for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, in which it strongly opposes any further consideration of Risen's petition. Risen's lawyers have asked the court to convene a full session of the 15-member court to decide whether the journalist should be granted First Amendment protection that would spare him from having to reveal the identity of his source to whom he promised confidentiality.

A three-member panel of the same court last month issued a 2-1 majority ruling in which they found that reporters had no privilege that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in a criminal trial. The judgement leaves Risen, a prominent investigative reporter specialising in national security issues, facing the prospect of having to break his promise to his source or go to jail.

The legal crunch emerged from Risen's 2006 book, State of War, in which the author reveals details of the CIA's attempts to foil Iran's nuclear programme. James Sterling, a former CIA employee, is being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for the criminal disclosure of the information – one of seven officials to face the severe charges under the Obama administration including Chelsea Manning who has been sentenced to 35 years in military jail as the WikiLeaks source.

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2013/aug/27/obama-administration-james-risen-no-privilege

Swiss (publicly funded) "Sex Box" drive-in seeks to make prostitution safer.

Zurich opens drive-in 'sex boxes'
Swiss city aims to increase safety of sex workers and contain trade with doorless, alarmed buildings in a former industrial area
Associated Press in Zurich * The Guardian * Monday 26 August 2013

Switzerland has launched a novel experiment to make prostitution safer: publicly funded drive-in "sex boxes".

The teak-coloured wooden garages will be open for business from Monday for drive-in customers in a country where prostitution has been legal since 1942. The several dozen sex workers who are expected to use them will stand along a short road in a small, circular park where they can negotiate with clients. The park was built in a former industrial area nestled between a rail yard and the fence along a major highway.

The publicly funded facilities – away from the city centre and open all night – include bathrooms, lockers, small cafe tables and a laundry and shower. Men won't have to worry about video surveillance cameras, but the sex workers – who will need a permit and pay a small tax – will have a panic button and on-site social workers trained to look after them.



As far as Daniel Hartmann, a Zurich lawyer, is concerned, it's a win-win situation.

"Safety for the prostitutes. At least, it's a certain kind of a shelter for them. They can do their business, and I respect them," he said. "They do a great job, and they have better working conditions here … They're not exposed to the bosses, to the pimps, in here."

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/26/zurich-drive-in-garages-prostitutes

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.

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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.

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

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/
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