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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,783

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LIVE FEED: Watch Wendy Davis’ Filibuster of Texas Abortion Law



Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) is in the midst of what she plans to be a 13-hour filibuster to protest legislation that would close nearly every abortion clinic in the state.

Thanks to our friends at the Texas Tribune you can watch the live stream of Davis’ filibuster on the floor of the state Senate. It’s below.

BREAKING: Putin: Snowden in Transit Zone of Moscow Airport, Russia Will Not Extradite Him.

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Putin: Snowden is in transit zone of Moscow airport, Russia will not extradite him.

@Reuters: Edward Snowden is a free man, and the sooner he chooses a destination the better: Russia's Putin #breaking

@Reuters: Putin says Russia security agencies "never worked with [Edward Snowden] and are not working with him today" #breaking


— Jun. 25 11:00 AM EDT

NAANTALI, Finland (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden is in the transit zone of a Moscow airport and will not be extradited to the United States.

Putin said that Snowden hasn't crossed the Russian border and is free to go anywhere.

Speaking on a visit to Finland Tuesday, he added that Russian security agencies "didn't work and aren't working" with Snowden. He gave no more details.

Commenting on a U.S. request to extradite him, Putin said that Russia doesn't have an extradition agreement with the U.S. and thus wouldn't meet the U.S. request.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nsa-leakers-global-flight-appears-stalled-now

BREAKING: Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Part of Voting Rights Act

Source: Reuters / Bloomberg

@Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court strikes down key part of Voting Rights Act law aimed at protecting minority voters #breaking


Bloomberg News' Greg Stohr reports:

A divided U.S. Supreme Court threw out a core part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, rolling back a landmark law that opened the polls to millions of southern blacks.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices said Congress lacked grounds for requiring some states, and not others, to get federal approval before changing their election rules.

From the opinion, via SCOTUSblog: "The Court makes clear that: 'Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2. We issue no holding on [Section] 5 itself, only on the coverage formula. Congress may draft another formula based on current conditions.'"


Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-25/voting-rights-act-provision-struck-down-by-u-s-supreme-court.html

@SCOTUSblog: DOJ will now prob try to save preclearance by bringing actions to "bail in" states and localities with the worst history of discrimination.

"How Barrett Brown Shone Light on Security Contractors" (Remember the Plan to Discredit Greenwald?)



Monday 24 June 2013 08.30 EDT

How Barrett Brown shone light on the murky world of security contractors

- snip -

Brown made a splash in February 2011 by helping to uncover "Team Themis", a project by intelligence contractors retained by Bank of America to demolish the hacker society known as Anonymous and silence sympathetic journalists like Glenn Greenwald (now with the Guardian, though then with Salon). The campaign reportedly involved a menagerie of contractors: Booz Allen Hamilton, a billion-dollar intelligence industry player and Snowden's former employer; Palantir, a PayPal-inspired and -funded outfit that sells "data-mining and analysis software that maps out human social networks for counterintelligence purposes"; and HBGary Federal, an aspirant consultancy in the intelligence sector.

The Team Themis story began in late 2010, when Julian Assange warned WikiLeaks would release documents outlining an "ecosystem of corruption [that] could take down a bank or two." Anticipating that it might be in Assange's sights, Bank of America went into damage-control mode and, as the New York Times reported, assembled "a team of 15 to 20 top Bank of America officials … scouring thousands of documents in the event that they become public." To oversee the review, Bank of American brought in Booz Allen Hamilton.

- snip -

According to the Team Themis proposal, its partners suggested creating false documents and fake personas to damage progressive organizations such as "ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com". According to reporting by Wired, the three companies hoped to bill the Chamber of Commerce for $2m a month. But while (as leaked emails showed) the parties in the plan went back and forth over how to apportion the spoils, nothing was forthcoming.

- snip -

The tech companies' emails – which Anonymous hacked and Barrett Brown helped publicize – listed planned tactics:

"Feed(ing) the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization. Submit fake documents and then call out the error."

They also proposed "cyber attacks", using social media "to profile and identify risky behavior of employees", and "get people to understand that if they support the organization we will come after them", implying threats. There was also email chatter about attacking journalists with "a liberal bent", specifically naming Greenwald. Some aspects of the Team Themis proposal were reminiscent of a leaked 2008 Pentagon counterintelligence plan against WikiLeaks.

- snip -

Within days of the Team Themis scandal, Palantir issued a statement announcing that it was cutting ties with HBGary Federal and issued an apology to Greenwald.



Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

SECURITY | 2/11/2011 @ 8:03AM |16,736 views

Palantir Apologizes For WikiLeaks Attack Proposal, Cuts Ties With HBGary

It’s been a long week for security firm HBGary.

- snip -

Now, just a few days later, one of those firms, Palo Alto-based Palantir, has publicly cut ties with HBGary and apologized for its role in the WikiLeaks response plan, essentially verifying the reality of that plan and isolating HBGary further.

In a statement to the press, Palantir chief executive Alex Carp writes, “I have directed the company to sever any and all contacts with HBGary.” Karp adds that “Palantir Technologies does not build software that is designed to allow private sector entities to obtain non-public information, engage in so-called ‘cyber attacks’ or take other offensive measures. I have made clear in no uncertain terms that Palantir Technologies will not be involved in such activities.”

On Thursday, the Tech Herald reported that hacked emails from HBGary revealed a PDF document outlining a proposal to Bank of America to sabotage WikiLeaks on multiple fronts, a response plan to what some believe may be a release of Bank of America’s internal documents by WikiLeaks in coming months. The PDF suggested launching cyberattacks on WikiLeaks servers, spreading misinformation about its insecurity, and even pressuring journalists who support the site, specifically focusing on Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com.




Russian Foreign Minister: US Demands for Snowden Extradition 'Ungrounded & Unacceptable'

Source: Associated Press / USA Today

The Associated Press @AP 5m
BREAKING: Russian foreign minister says US demands for Snowden's extradition 'ungrounded and unacceptable.'

BBC Breaking News @BBCBreaking 3m
Moscow denies involvement in case of fugitive Edward #Snowden and says he has not entered Russian territory http://bbc.in/136bmaO


Associated Press
— Jun. 25 5:21 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister has rejected U.S. demands to extradite National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who has apparently stopped in Moscow while trying to evade U.S. justice.

Sergey Lavrov said that Snowden hasn't crossed the Russian border and insisted that Russia has nothing to do with him, his relations with U.S. justice or his travel plans.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, he angrily lashed out at the U.S. demands for the extradition and warnings of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply.

Lavrov said that accusing Russia of "violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy" with regard to Snowden is "absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nsa-leakers-global-flight-appears-stalled-now

U.S. Officials Don't Know How Much Secret Material Snowden Took

Source: Reuters

U.S. officials don't know how much secret material Snowden took

By Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON | Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:46pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence agencies are worried they do not yet know how much highly sensitive material is in the possession of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, whose whereabouts are unclear, several U.S. officials said.

The agencies fear that Snowden may have taken many more documents than officials initially estimated and that his alliance with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange increases the likelihood that they will be made public without considering the security implications, they said.

Investigators believe Snowden, who was working in Hawaii for an NSA contractor, was partly successful at covering his tracks as he accessed a broad array of information about operations conducted by NSA and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), according to the sources, who declined to be identified.

- snip -

But one non-government source familiar with Snowden's materials said that Feinstein grossly understated the size of Snowden's document haul and that he left for Hong Kong with thousands of documents copied from the NSA files.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE95N1F820130624

Breaking: Flight to Cuba for Which Snowden Booked Departs, But He's Not Seen on Board

Source: Associated Press

@AP: MORE: Flight from Moscow to Cuba for which Snowden booked departs, but he's not seen on board. http://t.co/7AlkoyBJbb - VW


— Jun. 24 6:54 AM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — Aeroflot says a Cuba-bound flight for which National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was registered has departed from Moscow, but he has not been seen on board.

An airline representative told The Associated Press that the Havana-bound flight has left Moscow. The representative, who wouldn't give her name as she wasn't authorized to speak to the media, said Snowden wasn't on the flight.

AP reporters on the flight couldn't see Snowden in the seat he booked or anywhere else on the plane.

The airline said earlier Snowden registered for the flight using his U.S. passport, which American officials say has been annulled.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nsa-leaker-snowden-expected-fly-cuba

Juan Cole: Top Ten Ways US TV News Screwing Us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)


Top Ten Ways US TV News are Screwing us Again on NSA Surveillance Story (Iraq Redux)

Published on June 24th, 2013
Written by: Juan Cole

- snip -

Now, corporate television news is repeating this shameful performance with regard to the revelations by Edward Snowden of massive, unconstitutional government surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications. The full failure to do proper journalism was on display on Sunday (when, unfortunately, critical voices such as Rachel Maddow are absent). Here are the propaganda techniques used to stack the deck on Sunday:

- snip -

4. Ignore important breaking stories that impugn the government case. For instance, The Guardian broke the story Saturday morning that the NSA PRISM program was small compared to the TEMPORA program of GCHQ, its British counterpart, which Snowden alleged has attached sniffers to the fiber optic cables that stretch from New York to London, and is vacuuming up massive amounts of email and telephone conversations. A Lexis Nexis search in broadcast transcripts for Sunday showed that no US news broadcaster mentioned TEMPORA or GCHQ. This was true even though the NSA has 250 analysts assigned to TEMPORA and even though that program sweeps up and stores exactly the kind of material (telephone calls, emails) that President Obama denied were being collected.

5. Skew the guest list. Television news interviewed Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Ilena Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a gaggle of retired FBI and CIA figures. All of them without exception were cheerleaders for the Iraq War. Glenn Greenwald was virtually the only voice allowed on the other side. He was cut short on CNN and was at a disadvantage on television because he was on the phone from Rio. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Al Gore, Steve Wozniak, Pierre Omidyar, and a whole host of figures supportive of Snowden having told us what is going on were not invited on the air to balance the hard liners interviewed.

- snip -

7. Ignore past government misuse of classified information. Television news has studiedly avoided referring to Dick Cheney’s outing of Valerie Plame as a CIA field officer (and therefore outing of all the CIA field officers who used the same dummy corporation as she did as a cover,as well as all local informants known to be connected to that dummy corporation). Television anchors seem to think that the government is always trying to ‘protect’ us and is on the side of the angels, and sidestep the question of whether secret information can be used for private or shady policy purposes. Plame, by the way, is warning about the intelligence-industrial complex.

8. Continually allege or allow guests to allege that Snowden could have taken his concerns to the NSA or to Congress internally. None of his predecessors had any luck with that approach. Even sitting senators of the United States of America like Ron Wyden have been muzzled and cannot conduct a public debate on these abuses.


Rights Case Ruling Favors Transgender 6-Year-Old

Source: Associated Press


Jun. 24 12:06 AM EDT

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of a transgender 6-year-old child who was barred from using the girls' bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain.

The Denver Post reports (http://bitly.com/10LSRqG ) that the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said Sunday it would a hold a news conference Monday to explain the decision affecting Coy Mathis.

The fund filed the complaint on behalf of Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, claiming that Coy has been discriminated against.

Kathryn Mathis said in a statement that the family is "thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/rights-case-ruling-favors-transgender-6-year-old

NYT: Assange Says Ecuador Issued Key Travel Doc Last Monday

@GregMitch: NYT just posted interview with Assange--says Ecuador issued key travel doc long ago, last Monday. http://t.co/GugWe8PyU4

In Interview, Assange Describes WikiLeaks’ Role

Our colleague Scott Shane interviewed Julian Assange on Sunday about the role that he and other members of the WikiLeaks organization have been playing in Mr. Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong.

Mr. Assange, who has resided in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for a year because of his fugitive status, said his group had arranged for Mr. Snowden to travel via a “special refugee travel document” issued by Ecuador last Monday — days before the United States announced the criminal charges against him and revoked his passport. Mr. Assange said he believed that Ecuador was still considering Mr. Snowden’s asylum application.

“He left Hong Kong with that document,” Mr. Assange said.

Mr. Assange told Mr. Shane that he had raised Mr. Snowden’s case with Ecuador’s foreign minister in a meeting at the embassy last Monday.

Mr. Assange said it was unclear whether Mr. Snowden’s passport was revoked before he left Hong Kong. But, he said, Mr. Snowden was informed of the revocation when he landed in Moscow. He said it was uncertain whether and where Mr. Snowden might be able to travel from Moscow using the Ecuadorean document, which he described as a “safe pass.”

“Different airlines have different rules, so it’s a technical matter whether they will accept the document,” he said.

He added that the rights of refugees to travel were guaranteed by various international treaties.

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