Sep 242014
 

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=12416

Panel includes: William Binney, NSA whistleblower; Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower; Jessica Desvarieux, journalist [moderator]; Phil Donahue, journalist; Thomas Drake, NSA whistleblower; and Kirk Wiebe, NSA whistleblower – September 22, 14

Sep 152014
 

Auckland Town Hall meeting to publicize, New Zealand’s spying on own citizens.

Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden

Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called XKEYSCORE” – Edward Snowden

Snowden: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Isn’t Telling the Truth About Mass Surveillance

By Edward Snowden

September 15, 2014 “ICH” - “The Intercept” – Like many nations around the world, New Zealand over the last year has engaged in a serious and intense debate about government surveillance. The nation’s prime minister, John Key of the National Party, has denied that New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB engages in mass surveillance, mostly as a means of convincing the country to enact a new law vesting the agency with greater powers. This week, as a national election approaches, Key repeated those denials in anticipation of a report in The Intercept today exposing the Key government’s actions in implementing a system to record citizens’ metadata.

Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance.

The prime minister’s claim to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks.

If you have doubts, which would be quite reasonable, given what the last year showed us about the dangers of taking government officials at their word, I invite you to confirm this for yourself. Actual pictures and classified documentation of XKEYSCORE are available online now, and their authenticity is not contested by any government. Within them you’ll find that the XKEYSCORE system offers, but does not require for use, something called a “Five Eyes Defeat,” the Five Eyes being the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and yes, New Zealand.

This might seem like a small detail, but it’s very important. The Five Eyes Defeat is an optional filter, a single checkbox. It allows me, the analyst, to prevent search results from being returned on those countries from a particular search. Ask yourself: why do analysts have a checkbox on a top secret system that hides the results of mass surveillance in New Zealand if there is no mass surveillance in New Zealand?

The answer, one that the government of New Zealand has not been honest about, is that despite claims to the contrary, mass surveillance is real and happening as we speak. The GCSB provides mass surveillance data into XKEYSCORE. They also provide access to the communications of millions of New Zealanders to the NSA at facilities such as the GCSB station at Waihopai, and the Prime Minister is personally aware of this fact. Importantly, they do not merely use XKEYSCORE, but also actively and directly develop mass surveillance algorithms for it. GCSB’s involvement with XKEYSCORE is not a theory, and it is not a future plan. The claim that it never went ahead, and that New Zealand merely “looked at” but never participated in the Five Eyes’ system of mass surveillance is false, and the GCSB’s past and continuing involvement with XKEYSCORE is irrefutable.

But what does it mean?

It means they have the ability see every website you visit, every text message you send, every call you make, every ticket you purchase, every donation you make, and every book you order online. From “I’m headed to church” to “I hate my boss” to “She’s in the hospital,” the GCSB is there. Your words are intercepted, stored, and analyzed by algorithms long before they’re ever read by your intended recipient.

Faced with reasonable doubts, ask yourself just what it is that stands between these most deeply personal communications and the governments of not just in New Zealand, but also the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia?

The answer is that solitary checkbox, the Five Eyes Defeat. One checkbox is what separates our most sacred rights from the graveyard of lost liberty. When an officer of the government wants to know everything about everyone in their society, they don’t even have to make a technical change. They simply uncheck the box. The question before us is no longer “why was this done without the consent and debate of the people of this country,” but “what are we going to do about it?”

This government may have total control over the checkbox today, but come Sept. 20, New Zealanders have a checkbox of their own. If you live in New Zealand, whatever party you choose to vote for, bear in mind the opportunity to send a message that this government won’t need to spy on us to hear: The liberties of free people cannot be changed behind closed doors. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to restore our democracies. It’s time to take back our rights. And it starts with you.

National security has become the National Party’s security. What we’re seeing today is that in New Zealand, the balance between the public’s right to know and the propriety of a secret is determined by a single factor: the political advantage it offers to a specific party and or a specific politician. This misuse of New Zealand’s spying apparatus for the benefit of a single individual is a historic concern, because even if you believe today’s prime minister is beyond reproach, he will not remain in power forever. What happens tomorrow, when a different leader assumes the same power to conceal and reveal things from the citizenry based not on what is required by free societies, but rather on what needs to be said to keep them in power?

Sep 022014
 

By James F. Tracy
Global Research, September 01, 2014

In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes” and the “control over opinion” through “the manipulation of significant symbols.”[1] The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable.

The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events.

Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US were not the most powerful economic and military force on earth.

A case in point is the hysteria Western news media are attempting to create concerning the threat posed by the mercenary-terrorist army now being promoted as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or “ISIS.”

As was the case with the US intelligence asset and bogey publicized as “Al Qaeda,” and Al Qaeda’s Syrian adjunct, “Al Nusra,” such entities are—apparently by design—inadequately investigated and defined by major news media. Absent meaningful historical context they usefully serve as another raison d’ểtre for America’s terminal “War on Terror.”

A seemingly obvious feature of such terrorist forces left unexamined by corporate media is that they are observably comprised of the same or comparable personnel unleashed elsewhere throughout the Middle East as part of a strategy proposed during the George W. Bush administration in 2007.[2]

Read full article here

Aug 032014
 

Obama Admits: ‘We Tortured Some Folks’

By RT
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39300.htm
“We tortured some folks. We did things that were contrary to our values”

August 02, 2014 “ICH” – “RT” – President Barack Obama made a rare acknowledgment during a Friday press briefing concerning the United States’ past use of enhanced interrogation tactics in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did things that were contrary to our values,” Pres. Obama said near the end of a nearly hour-long press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC.

The commander-in-chief made the comment as he fielded a question concerning John Brennan, the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, in-between queries from journalists regarding the situations in Gaza, Ukraine and West Africa.

Earlier this week, Brennan admitted that CIA employees had, as alleged, spied on the computer usage of Senate Intelligence Committee staffers while they worked on a report concerning the agency’s use of contentious interrogation tactics. The report, a 6,000-page study, has yet to be made public, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), the chairperson of the intelligence panel, said it is “chilling” and will show “far more systematic and widespread than we thought.”

After acknowledging that the US had “tortured some folks” during Friday’s briefing, Obama added: “That’s what that report reflects.”

Earlier this week, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) told The Daily Beast that “The American people will be profoundly disturbed about what will be revealed in this report.”

On his part, Pres. Obama added during Friday’s briefing that “The character of our country has to be measured in part not by what we do when things are easy but what we do when things are hard.”

The word “torture” to describe the tactics used by the CIA is rarely used by government officials, but Pres. Obama has indeed condemned the agency’s past abuses before. During an address last year at the National Defense University, Obama said that, in some cases, “I believe we compromised our basic values — by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law.”

“So after I took office, we stepped up the war against Al-Qaeda but we also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted Al-Qaeda’s leadership. We ended the war in Iraq, and brought nearly 150,000 troops home. We pursued a new strategy in Afghanistan, and increased our training of Afghan forces. We unequivocally banned torture, affirmed our commitment to civilian courts, worked to align our policies with the rule of law and expanded our consultations with Congress,” Obama said in that address from last May.

The president spoke of the report after being asked for his opinion of Brennan, who previously insisted that Sen. Feinstein was speaking erroneously when she said the CIA had spied on intelligence committee staffers.

“I am deeply dismayed that some members of the Senate have decided to make spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts,” Brennan initially countered the senator’s claims.

On Thursday, McClatchy reported that an investigation conducted by the CIA’s Office of Inspector General concluded that its employees “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” between the agency and the intelligence committee. Brennan then responded by meeting with Feinstein and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), the vice chairman of the committee, and “apologized to them for such actions by CIA officers as described in the OIG” report, a CIA spokesperson told McClatchy.

“I have full confidence in John Brennan,” Obama said during Friday’s presser.
See also

Citing redactions, Feinstein delays release of report on CIA interrogations: The Obama administration censored significant portions of the findings of an investigation into the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation methods on suspected terrorists.

Jul 202014
 

The Impeded Pace of 9/11 Truth

http://www.911grassroots.org/2014/07/the-impeded-pace-of-911-truth.html

By James Hufferd, Ph.D.,
Coordinator, 911 Truth Grassroots Organization

It’s starting all over again with the plane shoot-down in Ukraine! Once again, the alarms are blaring loud and crazy! The much complained-of slow pace of 9/11 Truth, to begin with as slow as the progress of most any other variety of truth (that is, slow indeed) is slowed even further by the whole explosion of the establishment, government, and information industry proclaiming in concert, over and over and over from the start a message contrived to convince everyone of a parallel unsubstantiated message suiting their precise purposes. Don’t wait for the evidence. If it indicates otherwise (as it usually does), ignore it. Talk over it. In the case of the Malaysian plane in the Ukraine, we know who did it – Putin! An investigation on the ground is hardly necessary! And in general in these cases, if you, John Q., don’t want family trouble, marriage trouble, employment trouble, friend trouble – stay far away from any “outrageous conspiracy theories”! We’ll tell you what happened, who did it! You saw it on TV for yourself, in most cases (though not necessarily in this one). What could be simpler? The case of the mis-identified toxic gas deployers in Syria comes to mind, as well as 9/11 itself. But, in this case, it’s Putin! Putin! Putin! That sort of thing has started up again now, the alarms are clanging, the hounds are out – and I find myself overcome by a raging fever of searing, severe doubt.

Read full article here

Jul 202014
 

Sanctions and Airliners

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/07/17/sanctions-airliners-paul-craig-roberts/

Paul Craig Roberts

NOTE: Photos are now available of the wreckage from the Malaysian airliner crash. Notice the extensive debris and the large section of fuselage. You are observing remains of an airliner that was hit with a missile at 33,000 feet and fell to impact land. Remember, no such debris was present at the site where the airliner is alleged to have hit the Pentagon and at the alleged crash site in Pennsylvania of the 4th 9/11 hijacked airliner. Give that some thought. No doubt but that the 9/11 Commission will conclude that only Malaysian airliners leave debris.

The unilateral US sanctions announced by Obama on July 16 blocking Russian weapons and energy companies access to US bank loans demonstrate Washington’s impotence. The rest of the world, including America’s two largest business organizations, turned their backs on Obama. The US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers placed ads in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post protesting US sanctions. NAM said that the manufacturer’s association is “disappointed that the US is extending sanctions in increasingly unilateral ways that will undermine US commercial engagement.” Bloomberg reported that “meeting in Brussels, leaders of the European Union refused to match the US measures.”

In attempting to isolate Russia, the White House Fool has isolated Washington.

The sanctions will have no effect on the Russian companies. The Russian companies can get more bank loans than they need from China, or from France and Germany.

The three traits that define Washington–arrogance, hubris, and corruption–make Washington a slow learner. Arrogant people wallowing in hubris are incapable of learning. When they encounter resistance they respond with bribes, threats, and coercion. Diplomacy requires learning ability, but Washington left diplomacy years ago and relies on force.

Read full article here

Jul 012014
 

Adrian Salbuchi and Enrique Romero of the Second Republic Project (Argentina) do a special English language edition of the International News section of “Segunda República” (Second Republic) on Channel TLV1 from Buenos Aires Argentina. They address False Flag attacks, past, present and future:
(01:35) Pres. Obama: a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan???
(02:55) The Nature of False Flag Attacks
(03:45) Historical Perspectives
(07:01) Tell-tale signs BEFORE False Flag attacks take place…
(10:00) Will a Mega-False Flag event be used to trigger World War?
(10:54) Case Study I: 7th July 2005 London Transport attack… (Psy-War)
(23:11) Case Study II: False Flag Attacks in Argentina: Israeli Embassy (1992) and AMIA-DAIA (1994)
(25:49) The “strange case” of the assassination of Israel PM Yzahk Rabin in 1995…
(27:13) Conclusions. 4th August marks 100th Anniversary of the start of World War I.
(32:00) The time has come for all peoples to take our countries back!!

Jun 262014
 

By David Edwards

June 24, 2014 “ICH” – “Raw Story” – – Former Vice President Dick Cheney showed up on Fox News on Wednesday to make a familiar case for going back to war in Iraq: Nuclear weapons are “spreading” to extremists across the globe.

In recent weeks the al Qaeda splinter group ISIS has taken advantage of a power vacuum left after the U.S. invaded Iraq to take over large parts of the country, giving Cheney and other architects of the 2003 invasion an opportunity to use some of their original talking points for military action.

Cheney’s recent op-ed in The Wall Street Journal stopped just short of accusing President Barack Obama of treason, saying that he had been determined to take the United States “down a notch” before leaving office.

“Defeating them will require a strategy—not a fantasy,” Cheney wrote. “It will require sustained difficult military, intelligence and diplomatic efforts—not empty misleading rhetoric. It will require rebuilding America’s military capacity—reversing the Obama policies that have weakened our armed forces and reduced our ability to influence events around the world.”

After a campaign of television interviews failed to make his case against Obama, Cheney was back on Fox News on Wednesday to play the same nuclear weapons card that he used in 2003.

“The focus shouldn’t be just on Iraq,” he insisted. “It’s indicative of a much broader problem. We’ve had — The Rand Corporation just recently published a study that shows there’s been a 58 percent increase in the number of al Qaeda-type terrorist groups in the last four years. Fifty-eight percent! Doubling the number of terrorists roughly, and they’re spreading out from West Africa all across North Africa to East Africa, up through the Middle East, all the way around to Indonesia.”

“And the other problem, of course, is the developing possibility that sooner or later some of them will get their hands on deadlier weapons,” the former vice president added.

While Cheney was taking a breath, Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck tossed him a softball

“Are you indicating that we could be on track for something worse than 9/11?” she asked.

“I think that’s a possibility,” he declared. “You know, I can’t say at this point specifically when something like that might happen. But it would be foolish of us to ignore the extent to which there are people who — terrorist-sponsoring states who have in fact tried to provide nuclear technology.”

Read full article here

Jun 102014
 

Conforming to folkways and mores is natural, and it can help a society function cohesively and smoothly. There is, however, a threshold at which conforming becomes maladaptive and produces poor decisions. Crossing this threshold leads us into the phenomenon of “groupthink,” first studied by social psychologist Irving L. Janis.

Groupthink is a maladaptive manifestation of conformity in which the desire for unity by the group members results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Groupthink is the proclivity of members of an “in-group” to conform to the prevailing view within this particular group, as well as to apply peer pressure that strongly discourages alternative views from being expressed and evaluated. These dysfunctional dynamics produce an inflated sense of certainty in the decisions of the group, and they often result in irrational and dehumanizing actions by the in-group toward an “out-group.”

(Read the full article and find links to other articles in this interesting series.)

 Posted by at 10:10 am