The violation of civil liberties in the name of security has had a profound impact on those who came of age after 9/11…
When Darrell Anderson, 22, joined the US military he knew there was going to be a war, and he wanted to fight it. “I thought I was going to free Iraqi people,” he told me. “I thought I was going to do a good thing.”
Until, that is, he realised precisely what he had to do. While on patrol in Baghdad, he thought: “What are we doing here? Are we looking for weapons of mass destruction? No. Are we helping the people? No, they hate us. What are we working towards, apart from just staying alive? If this was my neighbourhood and foreign soldiers were doing this then what would I be doing?” Within a few months, he says, “I was cocking my weapon at innocent civilians without any sympathy or humanity”. While home on leave he realised he was not going to be able to lead a normal life if he went back. His mum drove him to Canada, where I met him in 2006 at a picnic for war resisters in Fort Erie.
Anderson’s trajectory, from uncritical patriotism to conscious disaffection and finally to conscientious dissent, is a familiar one among a generation of Americans who came of political age after 9/11. Over time, efforts to balance the myth of American freedom on which they were raised, with the reality of American power that they have been called on to monitor or operate, causes a profound dislocation in their world view. Like a meat eater in an abattoir, they are forced to confront the brutality of the world they are implicated in and recoil at their role in it – occasionally in dramatic fashion.
It is from this generation that the most recent prominent whistleblowers have emerged: Edward Snowden, 29, the former National Security Agency contractor, now on the run after passing evidence of mass snooping to the Guardian; Bradley Manning, who at 22 gave classified diplomatic and military information to WikiLeaks and now faces a court martial; the late Aaron Swartz, who by 24 was a veteran hacker when he was arrested for illegally downloading academic articles from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later took his own life; and Jeremy Hammond, 28, who is facing federal criminal charges for allegedly publicising the internal files of a private spying agency.
Just as America’s military record abroad, complete with torture and “collateral damage”, has helped push a section of disaffected Muslim youth across the globe towards terrorism, so the violation of civil liberties and privatisation of information has driven a number of disillusioned Americans to law-breaking dissent at home.
In a 2008 book, The Way We’ll Be, US pollster John Zogby categorised this age cohort as First Globals. Tracking everything from views on gay marriage to propensity to travel, he described young Americans aged 18-29 as “the most outward-looking and accepting generation in American history”. Unfazed by social diversity at home, they held more open attitudes towards the rest of the world. They were far more likely to travel abroad than others, have friends or family overseas, and to be aware of international politics. “[They] might not be more able than other age cohorts to point to Darfur on a map,” argued Zogby, “but they at least know there is a Darfur, and they care what’s happening there.”
The perpetual war and accompanying “anti-terror” security structure after 9/11 is all this generation has ever known. And it has had a profound impact on shaping their views on US foreign policy.
In 2007, 63% (significantly higher than any other age group) disagreed with the statement “I support my country, right or wrong”. In 2004, 86% thought “an imperialist power that acts on its own regardless of what the rest of the world thinks” was improper or somewhat improper, while just 3% thought the opposite. On the latter question, Zogby wrote: “No other group we studied, not Democrats nor self-described progressives, not readers of the New York Times, had a greater spread between the two extremes.” It is in this context that the defiance and determination of these young people must be understood.
One could make too much of their age as a unifying factor. Since these leaks demand proficiency with new technology, those involved are bound to be younger. And older people, with families, careers and pensions, are less likely to do things they know will put them in jail or force them to flee. Moreover, for all the similarities between them, there are significant differences. Snowden contributed money to Republican libertarian Ron Paul’s campaign; Hammond describes himself as an “anarchist-communist”.
Yet, while each acted separately from the other, their unrepentant justifications read as though they were unconsciously working in concert. “I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors,” wrote Hammond.
“We need to take information,” wrote Swartz. “Wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world.”
“This is the truth. This is what is happening,” said Snowden. ”You should decide whether we need to be doing this.”
Manning said: “I want people to see the truth, because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”
They seek to liberate not land or people, but information. The state seeks to criminalise them as spies. But it wasn’t treachery but patriotism (once blind, now wide-eyed, and arguably always misplaced) that brought most of them to this point. Their aim was neither to enrich themselves nor to aid a foreign power, but to make the power in which they invested much of their identity – America – more transparent, knowledgeable, accountable and honourable.
Anderson, Manning and Snowden, for example, all joined the military-security sector after Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib were in the public domain. They knew what could be done in America’s name. They just never thought they would be put in a position where they would have to choose between doing it, concealing it or exposing it. Raised in the true American ideal that an individual can make a difference, they spoke up.
Forced to choose between allegiance to the flag and uniform, and loyalty to the ideals the flag is supposed to represent and the uniform is supposed to defend, they chose the latter. Their defiance stems from the fact that, in acting as they have, they don’t believe they’ve let down America. They believe they had to act because America was letting itself down.
Source: Gary Younge | The Guardian
I hate to do this, but I feel obligated to share, as the story unfolds, my creeping concern that the writer Naomi Wolf is not whom she purports to be, and that her motive in writing an article on her public Facebook page speculating about whether National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden might actually be still working for the NSA, could be to support the government’s effort to destroy him.
After all, with Snowden under vicious attack by both the government and the corporate media, being wrongly accused of treason, or portrayed as a drop-out slacker, a narcissist, a loser hoping to gain fame and even a “cross-dressing” weirdo, what defender of liberty would pile on with publication of a work of absolutely fact-free speculation as to whether he might also be a kind of “double agent” put out there by the NSA in order to discourage real potential whistleblowers from even considering leaking information about government spying on Americans.
Because that is exactly what Wolf has done on her website  (the first clause at the opening of this article is a direct quote from the lead in Wolf’s Facebook piece, but with her name substituted for Snowden’s).
What basis does she offer for her wild-eyed speculation that Snowden is perhaps “not who he purports to be”?
Well, first of all she notes darkly that US spy agencies “create false identities, build fake companies, influence real media with fake stories, create distractions or demonizations in the local news that advance US policies, bug (technologically) and harass the opposition, disrupt and infiltrate the meetings and communications of factions that the US does not wish to see in power.” This, she says, touting her own now rather dated 2007 book The End of America, is “something you can’t not see if you spend time around people who are senior in both the political establishment and the intelligence and state department establishments. You also can’t avoid seeing it if you interview principled defectors from those systems, as I have done…”
Then, after having assuring us of how well-connected she is, she raises what she calls “red flags” about Snowden:
Who’s acting in the interest of the NSA: Naomi Wolf or Edward Snowden?
* “I was concerned about the way Snowden conveys his message. He is not struggling for words, or thinking hard, as even bright, articulate whistleblowers under stress will do. Rather he appears to be transmitting whole paragraphs smoothly, without stumbling. To me this reads as someone who has learned his talking points — again the way that political campaigns train surrogates to transmit talking points.” (Um, Naomi, you know, don’t you, that he was videotaped for that by a filmmaker, and there were, no doubt, multiple takes and edits to allow him to get it right?)
* “He keeps saying things like, ‘If you are a journalist and they think you are the transmission point of this info, they will certainly kill you.’ Or: ‘I fully expect to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.’ He also keeps stressing what he will lose: his $200,000 salary, his girlfriend, his house in Hawaii. These are the kinds of messages that the police state would LIKE journalists to take away.” In case we miss the point, she adds, implying rather strongly that she is concluding Snowden is a fake, “A real whistleblower also does not put out potential legal penalties as options, and almost always by this point has a lawyer by his/her side who would PROHIBIT him/her from saying, ‘come get me under the Espionage Act.’ Finally in my experience, real whistleblowers are completely focused on their act of public service and trying to manage the jeopardy to themselves and their loved ones; they don’t tend ever to call attention to their own self-sacrifice.”
* “It is actually in the Police State’s interest to let everyone know that everything you write or say everywhere is being surveilled, and that awful things happen to people who challenge this. Which is why I am not surprised that now he is on UK no-fly lists – I assume the end of this story is that we will all have a lesson in terrible things that happen to whistleblowers.” She adds, in a further indictment of Snowden, “That could be because he is a real guy who gets in trouble; but it would be as useful to the police state if he is a fake guy who gets in ‘trouble.’”
* She says he talks incessantly about the beautiful “pole-dancer” girlfriend he abandoned (actually he did that for her safety, Naomi), implying his repetition process might be so that the media have a justification to keep showing her sexy photo (as though our prurient media needs a justification to do such a thing).
* The media keep saying he is in a “safe house” in Hong Kong, which according to Wolf cannot exist in the former British colony, now a part of China, “Unless you are with the one organization that can still get off the surveillance grid, because that org created it.”
* He’s not surrounded by an army of attorneys the way Wikileaks’ Julian Assange was when he traveled (and by the way, I recall that for a long time, after Wikileaks ran the Bradley Manning documents, including the horrific “Collateral Damage” war crime video, there were conspiracy theorists out there claiming baselessly that he was actually probably a Mossad asset — this on the basis that he had not been sufficiently leaking damaging information about Israel’s actions against Palestinians).
That’s it, folks! All sheer wild speculation about Snowden, with not even one shred of actual evidence against him to suggest he’s anything but what he says he is: a young man who was hired to do some really dirty work spying on Americans en masse, who decided that what was happening was the creation of a totalitarian system, and who had the courage of, instead of walking away from it, putting his life in jeopardy by publicly blowing the whistle.
I have nothing against trying to uncover conspiracies, particularly those orchestrated by a government like our own which we know has manufactured from whole cloth faked evidence to justify a war in Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, even to the point of torturing captives to get them to make up tales that would justify that fake evidence. But when someone with Wolf’s reputation on the left sinks to this level of baseless and libelous accusations against a brave person who is under attack by that government, it cannot be allowed to pass.
Of course, I don’t really think that Wolf is acting as an agent for the government (I could only speculate about that, and I won’t). And if she were just thinking these idle thoughts, and maybe raising them in a playful discussion at home with a few friends over dinner, I would see nothing wrong in the exercise. But as a highly media-savvy public person, she’s publishing them intentionally where they will be widely circulated: on her publicly accessible Facebook page. I have to conclude she has allowed her instinct for self-promotion and grandstanding in this case to let her do something truly treacherous and unconscionable: baselessly defaming and attacking the credibility of a brave whistleblower who is under officially orchestrated attack.
As a long-time investigative reporter, I also dispute Wolf’s self-serving claim that her own experience in dealing with whistleblowers shows them to be uniformly disorganized and inarticulate. In my experience, some are very disorganized and hard to follow because of their focus on the trees in their personal forest, but some whistleblowers are intensely organized and know exactly what they want to tell you as a journalist. They are also apt, organized or not, contrary to what Wolf says, to highlight the danger they are in, and that they may be putting the reporter in. Sometimes this may be simply to make sure you are interested and recognize the seriousness of what they have to say, and sometimes it is out of genuine fear for themselves and concern for the journalist’s safety, and perhaps also to make sure you fully understand what you’re getting into and that you will not cave and reveal their identity the moment you are put under pressure yourself.
Wolf, who always makes a point of mentioning she’s a Yale grad and a Rhodes Scholar who studied at Oxford, should take care in assuming that someone with only a high school diploma speaking in whole sentences or paragraphs is probably reciting “talking points” from a script. Her assumption reeks of class-based stereotyping. I have met car mechanics, who besides working miracles on my old cars, can speak in multiple paragraphs about politics, often with more wisdom and insight than most of the ivy-league pundits on the tube.
As for Wolf’s claim of there being “no safe houses” in Hong Kong, I just have to laugh. Having lived in Hong Kong for five years, I can assure her that there are myriad urban warrens all over Hong Kong where one could hide for decades undetected, as well as vast stretches of tropical wilderness in the New Territories where people can become lost for days, even with professional rescue teams looking for them. Wolf should stick to things she has actual knowledge about (maybe vaginas, judging by the name of her latest book?), instead of trashing good people on the basis of ignorant speculation and pretend savvy.
Unless and until someone comes up with a single hard fact seriously suggesting that Snowden is a fake, this kind of fantasizing should halt. Wolf should apologize for her self-aggrandizing tripe and make a generous donation from her book sales to the Snowden defense fund  – unless of course she has evidence that the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is an NSA or CIA front group.
DAVE LINDORFF, fluent and literate in Chinese, spent five years living in Hong Kong as a correspondent for Business Week, and two years living and working in China. He did not go to an Ivy undergraduate school, but did attend the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Over the years in his profession he has adhered to fundamental principles of journalism, like basing articles on facts, on being fair, and on following that old Joseph Pulitzer axiom the good journalism means “afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.”
Source URL: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1806
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day? The government is likely logging even the most mundane day-to-day computer habits of millions of Americans, but there’s a way to stand up against surveillance while also rocking out.
According to leaked NSA documents published by The Guardian last week, the United States National Security Agency is conducting dragnet surveillance of the communications of Americans, regularly receiving phone records for millions of Verizon customers while also being capable of accessing the conversations that occur over Facebook, Google and several other major Internet names through a program called PRISM. Now a 28-year-old artist and developer from Brooklyn, New York has found a fun way of warning computer users about potential government surveillance, and he’s incorporated one of the best-selling rock albums ever in the process.
Justin Blinder released a plugin for the Web browser Firefox this week, and he’s already seeing a positive response in the press if not just based off of the idea alone. His “The Dark Side of the Prism” browser extension alerts Web surfers of possible surveillance by starting up a different song from Pink Floyd’s 1973 classic “The Dark Side of the Moon” each time a questionable site is crossed.
Blinder told the Guardian that he built the program over the course of four hours with the hopes he could “create some sort of ambient notification that you are on a site that is being surveiled by the NSA.”
“I was really interested in the fact that, although the PRISM leaks were a shock to many of us, we pretty much already kind of know we’re being surveiled a lot of the time and giving away so much data,” he said.
Upon news of the phone tracking program, even members of Congress said they couldn’t get over how much information was being shared between the telecoms and the government. Walking out of a briefing this Wednesday, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-California) said, “What we learned in there is significantly more than what is out in the media today,” and described her reaction as “astounded.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) said the program “represents an outrageous abuse of power and a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” and the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the government with a similar complaint filed in federal court.
Separate from leaking a document about the NSA’s access to phone records, former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden also gave The Guardian evidence of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL and others sharing private communications of customers with the government. When “The Dark Side of the Prism” is installed, users of those sites will be reminded with one of the most iconic albums of the twentieth century.
“I just Googled ‘Prism’ and the cover came up,” Blinder said. It just so happened that the long-time best-seller also fits the mood for exactly what the programmer was looking for.
“I didn’t want it to be too jarring because a lot of us seem to be giving in to being surveiled on a daily basis. I feel like people already know that. I didn’t want it to be alarming,” he said.
Image from pinkfloyd.com
“The Dark Side of the Moon” was Pink Floyd’s eighth studio album and most commercially successfully, selling roughly 50 million copies and landing on the Billboard charts for 741 consecutive weeks. Surveillance, on the other hand, isn’t quite as popular: according to a Post/Washington Post poll released this week, 52 percent of Americans oppose the PRISM program.
With regards to Snowden, the American public is largely polarized on the issue. He’s been labeled as both a traitor and whistleblower and is currently the target of a Department of Justice investigation.
“He’s not a whistleblower, by the way, because a whistleblower actually wants the rule of law to be enforced,” Jeremy Bash, the former chief of staff for then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, told Politics Confidential this week. “He copied documents and he made a run for it. He may be actually aiding our enemies.”
On his part, Snowden said he leaked the documents because, “I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
Earlier this year, Pink Floyd lyricist Roger Waters lent his support to Army Private first class Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial for the largest intelligence leak in US history.
“We need more whistl blowers,” Waters wrote in a statement. “Blowing the whistle on our behalf is not just brave, it is heroic and it is our duty.”
Signals collection has a long secretive and enigmatic history. The very definition of espionage implies spying, most closely associated with foreign sources. Since the Echelon network, the unified function of data retrieval became a given during the cold war. With the revelation of Prism, advances in sophisticated electronic devices and software algorithms provide a major leap. The article, Is PRISM the US version of Echelon?, sums up the evolution. “With this kind of setup and ambition to capture and evaluate private conversations (well, not so private now), makes Echelon that much more believable, and that PRISM is a reflection of the infamous project, but focused solely on the US.”
Bankwatch takes a sanguine attitude towards Why PRISM? ECHELON has been around since 1948 supported by US, UK, Canada, Australia. At the same time, the publication references the capacities of the original analogue technology.
“The ECHELON system is fairly simple in design: position intercept stations all over the world to capture all satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications traffic, and then process this information through the massive computer capabilities of the NSA, including advanced voice recognition and optical character recognition (OCR) programs, and look for code words or phrases (known as the ECHELON Dictionary) that will prompt the computers to flag the message for recording and transcribing for future analysis. Intelligence analysts at each of the respective listening stations maintain separate keyword lists for them to analyze any conversation or document flagged by the system, which is then forwarded to the respective intelligence agency headquarters that requested the intercept.”
This machinery of electronic snooping has no instinctive restraint on the subject or content, when the technocratic engineers are left to design the next level of the “All Seeing Eye”. The notion that the Prism program is shocking certainly does not conform to the even increasing capacity of surveillance society that has already discarded the presumption of privacy.
The Wall Street Journal forecasts the total integration of data because Technology Emboldened the NSA, to capture all that is digital.
“At a 2009 conference on so-called cloud computing, an NSA official said the agency was developing a new system by linking its various databases and using Hadoop software to analyze them, according to comments reported by the trade publication InformationWeek.
The system would hold “essentially every kind of data there is,” said Randy Garrett, who was then director of technology for the NSA’s integrated intelligence program. “The object is to do things that were essentially impossible before.”
Nonetheless, the Director of National Intelligence issues fact sheet on PRISM in response to leaks, wants you to accept that the government is adhering to stature authority and protecting vital national security interests. “While focusing on the letter of the law and the government’s good intentions, Clapper dodges any mention of how much information (or what kind) is actually collected with the PRISM program.”
OK, only a blood brother operative of the intelligence community will challenge the proposition that the collection of electronic information is the main function of their Skynet self-aware artificial intelligence system. The true debate is whether the data collected is destined for use against targeted American citizens, for nefarious purposes.
Mashable attempts to explain the methodology of PRISM: Does the NSA Really Get Direct Access to Your Data?, and how the “so called” judicial review function of FISA Court approval is processed.
“For Ashkan Soltani, an independent privacy researcher and technologist, this is “a process for submitting [Section] 702 requests and getting responses in a machine-readable form.”
The 41-page PRISM Powerpoint presentation “could be seen as a business development deck indicating all the various providers that they currently have ‘relationships with,’” he told Mashable.
The system is “basically a data-ingestion API,” he said.
Soltani speculated that based on what we know now, PRISM is a “streamlined way” to submit Section 702 orders to the companies for them to review the requests, and it gives the NSA the ability to handle and process the response “in an automated fashion,” just like an app like TripIt, which automatically parses information from your flight reservations.”
According to the American Dream, the terminator assignment is being assembled. The disturbing use of a database maintained since the 1980s by the federal government, Main Core: A List Of Millions Of Americans That Will Be Subject To Detention During Martial Law, is the ultimate application of the individual dossiers that are generated from signals collection.
“Main Core contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders. The database’s name derives from the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”
Looking through the historic prism and behavioral pattern of the shadow government agencies, the lack of dramatic public outrage seems to be the only consistent factor out of the denial denizens that love to salute the flag, while willingly forfeiting their bill of right protections. This regretful conduct is seen in the example from, “Christopher Ketchum of Radar Magazine that first reported on the existence of Main Core. At the time, the shocking information that he revealed did not get that much attention. That is quite a shame, because it should have sent shockwaves across the nation…”
Now we are all supposed to empathize with the hysteria of the political careerist class over the disclosures of Edward Snowden. The bipartisan spots of the carnivore leopards never change. When John Boehner Calls Snowden a Traitor, he speaks for much of the establishment and equates loyalty to the state as the very definition of nationalism.
Again, the chronicle of the military-industrial-intelligence-complex is replete with treasonous deeds against the constitutional republic. Remember the Carnivore system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications? Maybe your memory goes back to the archetype whistleblower. None other than the iconic Daniel Ellsberg speaks out on the current scandal in the Guardian letter, Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America.
“In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:
“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”
The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left.”
That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.”
Yes, Virginia our great founding fathers came from not only this old dominion, but had a state of mind that fought the revolutionary war against tyranny. The United Stasi of America is the definitive meaning of the evil empire that protects the globalist criminals that control the political apparatus, known as the federal government.
The echelon network of subversion and espying is but a rung on a ladder of a coercive control. The prism of deception is the false reality your controllers use to relinquish your will to oppose the repression. The secret intelligence agencies only serve their own bureaucratic interests as they obey their master operative superiors.
The disinformation culture is the permanent realism and the snitch society is an essential requirement necessary to keep the imperium in power. With the Americanization of domestic terrorists, Tea Party activists and the Patriotic Truth movement are in the sights of totalitarian gangsters.
Is there any doubt that the NSA, FBI and CIA act as if they are above the law and unaccountable? The great divide between legitimate authority and clandestine oppression is narrow and fragile. The essential question is who is the true enemy? As the surveillance technology perfects their reach and assimilates the application of their data assets, the military option under martial law intensifies. No one is safe. Big Brother has become the impending Terminator.
The Stasi Skynet engulfs everyone. There is no way out of the matrix as long as the globalists operate their spy network. The system is designed to eliminate any and all dissent. Overload the data collectors by intensifying the practice of liberty at every opportunity.
The recent NSA leaks from whistleblower Ed Snowden have publicly confirmed that digital privacy does not exist. The federal government and intelligence agencies have direct server access to the world’s most popular sites and services including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and more. This means that all of your data when using these services including Skype, YouTube, etc has been compromised and can be used against you whenever strategically necessary.
Always remember, you are being recorded and monitored regardless of whether you have done anything wrong or not. This includes your emails, internet activity, searches, banking activity, passwords, etc. Basically everything to build a complete profile about who you are, how you think, how you live, etc. This is very powerful data gathering and the goal of the intelligence agencies is nothing less thanTotal Information Awareness to be used to control and manage populations.
For these reasons, I have compiled some helpful tips to help you maintain your privacy and integrity when using the Internet. These are by no means comprehensive, but they can be quite useful and give you some semblance of peace when browsing.
1. Use StartPage.com for all your searches. Known as “the world’s most private search engine”, StartPage will allow you to search anonymously and securely through Google. It is probably the only search engine that does not collect or share any personal information about you. You can even access pages through a proxy quickly and easily. StartPage functionality can be easily added to your browser for all searches made through the address bar. If you value your privacy, this is really a no-brainer.
If you use Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc then everything you search is logged to your IP address and is used to build a comprehensive profile about all your online activity. This means that the government literally has the ability to know everything you’ve been interested in, how you type (thus, how you think), and much more. Protect your searches!
2. Consider using an Anonymizer such as Tor to protect your identity. Tor prevents anyone from learning your location, browsing habits, and is an extremely effective tool against network surveillance and traffic analysis. Tor is essentially a network of virtual tunnels run by volunteers that allows your real IP address to remain hidden and undetectable when browsing the Internet. It is used by whistleblowers, hackers, and all those who value anonymity. You can also use it to access sites that your ISP has blocked or banned. Keep in mind, if you use Tor to access personally-identifying sites like Facebook then you pretty much lose your ability to remain anonymous. Learn more about this powerful software and please use it responsibly! To get started quickly, please download the Tor Browser Bundle. Using this software wisely and effectively will likely require changing your browsing habits, so be aware of this.
3. Consider using a private and secure social network like Pidder. This is a private social network that uses encrypted communication and offers the ability to remain anonymous. If you are truly looking for ways to stay in touch with close ones in a uncompromised manner, this could be the site for you. While it will not have the userbase of Facebook, this is still an excellent alternative for secure social networking.
4. Use a firewall and a secure wireless connection. Protecting your inbound and outbound network traffic is essential. There are many free software options available for this. I cannot guarantee the integrity of these programs, but I personally recommend Little Snitch for Mac users. It appears that Outpost may be a good alternative for Windows. The key is to be able to see what services/sites are trying to send/receive data over your connection. The more stringent your firewall rules are, the better. Keep your computer clean by using some kind of anti-spam/spyware software and minimize your use of highly sketchy sites.
5. Delete your cookies regularly and log out of Facebook when you are not actively using it. Almost everytime you visit a site, you download a cookie from that site, which is often used to track and collect data about you, the sites you visit, etc. Therefore, deleting cookies and temporary internet files from your browser frequently is necessary. I recommendCCleaner as an effective way to do this. Most people leave a Facebook tab open and continue browsing, not realizing that every page that has a “Like” button actively logs and tracks their online activity. Facebook collects all your browsing data and then sells it to third parties, including passing it onto intelligence agencies. Therefore, when you are not actively using Facebook, be sure to log out! Why should they know everything you’re up to online?
CORRECTION: It has now been confirmed that Facebook tracks your online activity even while you are logged out. Thus, I highly recommend you install the browser plug-in called DoNotTrackMe. The installation takes seconds and you don’t have to do anything once you’ve added it to your browser. This extremely handy program will show you how many tracking attempts it has blocked in a small counter near your address bar. Because all the trackers are rejected (even those other than Facebook), sites load up to 4x faster than usual! A must-have for all privacy advocates if you don’t want your activity tracked!
6. Cover up or disconnect your webcam when you are not using it. Did you know that your webcam can be secretly activated without you being aware of it? Hackers and intelligence agencies have the ability to do this, so effective countermeasures must be taken here. This can be done WITHOUT the indicator light coming on, so you won’t even know that you are being watched or recorded. This is why I recommend taping over or covering up your webcam when you’re not using it. Why take the risk? Do you really want the government to have the ability to spy on you while you are in your bedroom? The same thing can be done on cellphone cameras/microphones, so be aware of that too. The only way your phone cannot be used to track/record you is if the battery is taken out, which is another reason why many new smartphones come with non-removable batteries these days.
7. Learn to use secure email services like HushMail or encrypted email. Communicating using email is vital and part of our everyday lives. If we use services like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, those services are not secure and are compromised. Therefore, switching over to a secure service such as Hushmail can be valuable. Or learn how to use Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), which is a way to send encrypted email and files that only a trusted third party can open and view. Essentially, PGP uses public-private key cryptography, where you will give out your public key to trusted recipients. Messages can only be decrypted by using your special private key file (that you keep safe) and the sender’s public key. You can even encrypt files so that only a specific person can open them. Learning to use PGP requires some technical knowledge but can be very useful for those who want to communicate securely and is well worth learning, in my opinion. Please see this tutorial or this video to get started. There are some excellent YouTube videos that can really help out with this.
Be smart about how you communicate online. If you take no precautionary measures, then you should assume that your communications are being recorded and monitored at all times. Do not discuss illegal or secret activities on Facebook or through Skype or Gmail. Ultimately, we should be greatly decreasing our use of these compromised services altogether! Be aware of what you type and consider their ramifications if ever made public. We must exercise great discretion and discernment when it comes to our online activities now. The methods listed above are by no means comprehensive and are just a small way to boost your privacy. If you have other privacy tips, please mention them here in the comments for all to see and benefit from. In the end, it is all up to the user to do their part in maintaining their online integrity. Safe browsing my friends!
If you want to know what a real traitor looks like, all you need to do is watch on television one government hack after another clamoring for the arrest of whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Revealing the truth often hurts, especially to those who function in an atmosphere of deception and falsehoods.
The Obama administration and the intelligence apparatus in the US government function in the illusory alternate reality that they perpetrate on our society and anyone that exposes them as criminal liars are immediately labeled as traitors.
These authoritarians conveniently use the overdone canard of ‘national security’ as a pretext for unlawful conduct. They break not only our own laws but international law as-well, not to secure our nation from terrorist organizations that they run, but to take away our own God-given liberties which they detest.
When you see the likes of Dianne Feinstein, John Boehner, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Janet Napolitano, Jeffrey Toobin, Lindsay Graham and John McCain characterize ‘whistle-blowers’ as “traitors” who bravely expose them as lawbreakers and psychopathic deviants, it is easy to come to the realization for any seeker of truth and justice that they are in fact the real traitors that need to be brought to justice.
These political elite that function ‘above the law’ go on mainstream media and defend the trashing of the 4th and 1st amendments like it is some kind of patriotic virtue which only a real psychopath can understand. They wantonly murder American citizens deemed by them as an enemy combatant without any legal due process, who are the real dangerous traitors here?
Snowdon’s detractors will incessantly accuse him of being a traitor and a coward, something they hate most about themselves.
Living in a world steeped in deception, an individual with honest integrity is to be feared and slandered.
What Edward Snowdon did was expose real tyranny functioning in the US government, and should be regarded as an exemplary exercise in patriotism.
Edward Snowdon is an authentic ‘purveyor of truth’ against one of the most vile and pernicious governments on the face of the earth. His valiant act to expose criminal behavior in government is an exercise in real courage. This country needs more Snowdon’s and Manning’s if it is to survive the tyrannical onslaught against liberty permeating from Washington D.C.
What the NSA has done to the United States makes Orwell’s despotic vision in “1984” pale in comparison.
The globalists in the ‘district of criminals’ want us to believe that liberty and privacy is no longer a virtue too pursue and defend, but rather a draconian surveillance state run by them is the new technocratic paradigm in security and freedom that we must accept. We are to keep quiet and obey.
For psychopaths, a crisis that they created can always be turned into a bloody opportunity.
The revelation into NSA illegal conduct is already being used by the Obama administration to escalate its wars abroad. Obama has opportunely accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against rebel forces, crossing his narcissistic “red line” while supplying no real evidence against the Assad government.
More bloodletting and death on the way, but don’t worry, its for your safety and freedom.
Breitbart.com recently carried a report saying, “During his speech in San Jose, California on Friday, President Obama took one question from the press on national security monitoring of Americans. Without any sense of irony whatsoever in the aftermath of the IRS’ targeting of conservatives, the administration’s stonewalling on Benghazi, the Department of Justice’s targeting of reporters, the Department of Health and Human Services’ leveraging of private organizations for Obamacare public relations cash, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s secret email addresses, Obama unloaded this line:
“‘If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress, and don’t trust federal judges, to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution with due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.’”
See the report here:
Well, ladies and gentlemen, we DO have some problems here! And the culprits are exactly the ones whom President Obama identified: the executive branch, Congress, and federal judges, or in other words, the federal government in Washington, D.C. As I have said repeatedly, the American people have more to fear from Washington D.C., than they do Tehran, Kabul, Baghdad, or Pyongyang.
Foreign governments cannot strip the American people of their liberties; they cannot expunge our First Amendment rights; they cannot eviscerate our Second Amendment rights; they cannot extinguish our Fourth Amendment rights; etc. But Washington, D.C., can do those things. In fact, Washington, D.C., is in the process of doing those very things right now.
And it is obvious that Obama KNOWS that the federal government threatens the liberties of the American people. He knows it, because he is hell-bent on helping the federal government do it. He is also feeling the heat of freedom-loving people who refuse to submit to his Machiavellian machinations.
During the commencement speech at Ohio State University, Obama said, “You’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”
See the report at Fitsnews.com here:
The Fitsnews.com report goes on to say, “Obviously less than a week after uttering these words it was revealed that Obama’s State Department deliberately misled the public (and Congress) about a 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya (someplace America shouldn’t be, it’s worth noting). And officials at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acknowledged targeting groups on the basis of their ideology. And Obama’s Justice Department secretly took two months of phone records from three Associated Press offices. And then there’s the comparatively underreported matter of Obama’s Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius–who has been shaking down private companies she regulates for ‘seven figure donations’ to help fund the implementation of Obama’s socialized medicine law.”
Yes, Mr. Obama, the federal government in Washington, D.C., has become a “sinister entity.” And, yes, the federal government is “at the root of all of our problems.” Furthermore, it is true that “tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.” And you are right about this, too, Mr. President: there are millions of us freedomists who are indeed determined to “gum up the works.”
This past Tuesday, the AP released a report that began, “When the federal government went looking for phone numbers tied to terrorists, it grabbed the records of just about everyone in America.
“Why every phone number?
“‘Well, you have to start someplace,’ Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told NBC News on Monday.
“That breadth, that willingness to sweep up enormous information on Americans with no ties to terrorists, is making it hard for the Obama administration to tamp down controversy over a separate program, called PRISM, to monitor Internet traffic.
“In short, critics ask, if looking for terrorists means collecting every American’s phone records, how can anyone believe the president when he says Americans aren’t being monitored on the Internet?”
See the AP report covered by Business Week at:
Well, now it is out in the open: the federal government is collecting the private communications of the American citizenry. All of the American citizenry! Some of us have been trying to warn the American people of these shenanigans for years.
Glenn Greenwald at the London Guardian recently filed a report in which he said, “The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.
“The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an ‘ongoing, daily basis’ to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.
“The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk–regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.
“The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.
“Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.
“The disclosure is likely to reignite longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.
“Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.”
See the Guardian report at:
Folks, did you catch that last paragraph? All of this spying began under the G.W. Bush administration, and it has continued and expanded ever since. Both Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable in dismantling the Bill of Rights, in trampling our liberties, and in bringing the United States to the precipice of a police state.
According to other published reports, “The US National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation have been harvesting data such as audio, video, photographs, emails, and documents from the internal servers of nine major technology companies, according to a leaked 41-slide security presentation obtained by The Washington Post and The Guardian.”
The report also said, “The program, codenamed PRISM, is considered highly classified and has never been made public before. The list of companies involved are the who’s who of Silicon Valley: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Dropbox, though not yet an official part of the program, is said to be joining it soon. These companies have all willingly participated in the program, says the Post.”
See the report at:
So, let me ask readers a question: how is all of this different from what the Nazi government did in Germany, or what the communist government did in the former Soviet Union, or what the communist government is still doing in China? How is it different? It isn’t, and you and I both know it isn’t!
Well, now that the mainstream media has decided to actually cover the story, how will the American people react? How will pastors and Christians react?
For far too long the vast majority of Americans, including the vast majority of pastors and Christians, have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to this burgeoning police state that began in earnest under G.W. Bush. Until now, when one tried to talk to their pastor about these things, he or she was dismissed as a “conspiracy nut.” And when one would try to educate his or her friends and co-workers, they would get the same response. How many times did we hear the retort, “This is America; it can’t happen here”?
Well, IT IS HAPPENING HERE; and this is America in name only.
Years ago on my website, I began compiling those few media reports that would surface regarding America’s plunge into a surveillance state. I invite readers to peruse these reports here:
Again, the real question now is what are the American people going to do about it? With the exception of now-retired Congressman Ron Paul (and a few others), hardly anyone on Capitol Hill was interested in arresting this out-of-control federal government. What will Congress do now?
If Bill Clinton deserved to be impeached (and he did), Barack Obama certainly deserves to be impeached. And for that matter, G.W. Bush deserved to be impeached. Any President who deliberately and willfully tries to strip the American people of their Natural liberties by unleashing the spy agencies of the federal government against them should be impeached. They should also be tarred and feathered!
So, what is YOUR congressman or congresswoman doing? What is your senator doing? What are your State officials doing? What is YOUR pastor and church doing? What are YOU doing?
This issue transcends partisan politics. It should not matter to a tinker’s dam whether one is a Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, white or black, male or female, Christian or non-Christian, businessman or laborer. If we do not have the right to privacy, we have forever forfeited the right to call ourselves a free country.
Furthermore, shame on those corporations who, for the sake of money, are helping to turn our once free republic into a police state. Shame on them! And shame on those pastors and churches that have sat in their ivory palaces and refused to be the watchmen on the wall, the duty to which they have been called. Shame on them!
Yes, we DO have some problems here. The first problem is an arrogant, tyranny-prone, out-of-control federal government that, like a leviathan, is swallowing up our liberties. The second problem is the indifference, apathy, and greed of corporate America, the media (until lately), and America’s pastors and churches that refuse to do anything to resist it.
Make no mistake about it: what the federal government is doing by its wholesale spying on the American people is a blatant attack against our liberties, our homes, and our way of life. We (all of us) either fight off this insidious attack or forever are labeled as the cowards and traitors that we will have become. President John F. Kennedy is quoted as asking, “If not us, who? If not now, when?” Amen.
Edward Joseph Snowden follows a noble tradition. Others before him established it. Daniel Ellsberg called his NSA leak the most important in US history. More on him below.
Expressions of patriotism can reflect good or ill. Samuel Johnson said it’s the last refuge of a scoundrel. Thomas Paine called dissent its highest form. So did Howard Zinn.
According to Machiavelli:
“When the safety of one’s country wholly depends on the decision to be taken, no attention should be paid either to justice or injustice, to kindness or cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy or ignominious.”
“In our day the feeling of patriotism is an unnatural, irrational, and harmful feeling, and a cause of a great part of the ills from which mankind is suffering; and consequently, this feeling should not be cultivated, as is now being done, but should, on the contrary, be suppressed and eradicated by all means available to rational men.”
Philosophy Professor Stephen Nathanson believes patriotism involves:
special affection for one’s own country;
a sense of personal identification with the country;
special concern for the well-being of the country; and
willingness to sacrifice to promote the country’s good.
Socrates once said:
“Patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does, and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.”
The best involves strict adherence to the highest legal, ethical and moral standards. Upholding universal civil and human rights is fundamental. So is government of, by and for everyone equitably. Openness, accountability and candor can’t be compromised.
When governments ill-serve, exposing wrongdoing is vital. It takes courage to do so. It involves sacrificing for the greater good. It includes risking personal harm and welfare. It means doing what’s right because it matters. It reflects patriotism’s highest form.
Daniel Ellsberg, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are best known. So is Mordechai Vanunu. More on him below. Few remember Peter Buxtun. He’s a former US Public Health Service employee.
He exposed the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. About 200 Black men were infected. It was done to watch their progression. They were left to die untreated. Whistleblowing stopped further harm.
A. Ernest Fitzgerald held senior government positions. In 1368, he exposed a $2.3 billion Lockheed C-5 cost overrun. At issue was fraud and grand theft. Nixon told aides to “get rid of that son of a bitch.”
Defense Secretary Melvin Laird fired him. Fitzgerald was a driving force for whistleblower protections. He fought for decades against fraud, waste and abuse. He helped get the 1378 Civil Reform Act and 1389 Whistleblower Protection Act enacted.
Gregory Minor, Richard Hubbard and Dale Bridenbaugh are called the GE three. They revealed nuclear safety concerns. So did Arnold Gundersen, David Lochbaum and others. At issue then and now is public safety over profits.
Mordechai Vanunu was an Israeli nuclear technician. He exposed Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. He paid dearly for doing so.
He was charged with espionage and treason. In 1386/87, he was secretly tried and sentenced. He was imprisoned for 18 years. He was confined in brutalizing isolation. He’s been harassed and deprived of most rights since.
Daniel Ellsberg called him “the preeminent hero of the nuclear era.” In July 2007, Amnesty International (AI) named him “a prisoner of conscience.” He received multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
Vanunu said “I am neither a traitor nor a spy. I only wanted the world to know what was happening.” People have every right to know.
Mark Whitacre was an Archer Daniels Midland senior executive. He exposed price-fixing, wire and tax fraud, as well as money laundering.
He had his own cross to bear. He was prosecuted and imprisoned. He lost his whistleblower immunity. After eight and a half years, he was released on good behavior.
Jeffrey Wigand was Brown & Williamson’s research and development vice president. He went public on 60 Minutes. He exposed deceptive company practices. He was fired for doing so.
B & W enhanced cigarette nicotine content. It was done without public knowledge. At issue was increasing addiction. Wigand told all. He received death threats for doing so. He now lectures worldwide and consults on tobacco control policies.
Gary Webb was an award-winning American journalist. His investigative work exposed CIA involvement in drugs trafficking. His book “Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion” told what he knew.
New York Times, Washington Post, and other media scoundrels assailed him. They did so wrongfully and viciously. Then and now they support CIA crimes. They abhor truth and full disclosure. They ruined Webb’s career. They did so maliciously.
In December 2004, Webb was found dead at home. He died of two gunshot wounds to the head. Reports called it suicide. Critics believe otherwise. Two wounds suggest murder. Doing the right thing involves great risks. Webb paid with his life.
Swiss lawyer Marc Hodler was International Ski Federation president and International Olympic Committee member.
In 1398, he exposed 2002 Salt Lake City winter games bid-rigging. Olympism profiteering, exploitation and corruption is longstanding.
Deceptive hyperbole promotes good will, open competition, and fair play. Olympism’s dark side reflects marginalizing poor and other disenfranchised groups, exploiting athletes and communities, as well as sticking taxpayers with the bill for profit.
Harry Markopolos exposed Bernie Madoff’s hedge fund operations. He called them fraudulent. He obtained information firsthand. He got them from fund-of-fund Madoff investors and heads of Wall Street equity derivative trading desks.
He accused Madoff of operating “the world’s largest Ponzi scheme.” Large perhaps but not the largest.
Wall Street firms make money the old fashioned way. They steal it. They do so through fraud, grand theft, market manipulation and front-running. They scam investors unaccountably. They bribe corrupt political officials. In return, they turn a blind eye.
Compared to major Wall Street crooks, Madoff was small-time. Others mattering most control America’s money. They manipulate it fraudulently for profit.
Coleen Rowley’s a former FBI agent. She documented pre-9/11 Agency failures. She addressed them to Director Robert Mueller. She explained in Senate Judiciary Committee testimony. She now writes and lectures on ethical decision-making, civil liberty concerns, and effective investigative practices.
Joseph Wilson’s a former US ambassador. He exposed Bush administration lies. He headlined a New York Times op-ed “What I Didn’t Find in Africa.”
“Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq,” he asked?
“Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.”
Bush administration officials accused Wilson of twisting the truth. So did Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and other scoundrel media editors. They front for power. Wilson explained what people have a right to know. He was unjustifiably pilloried for doing so.
Wendell Potter was a senior CIGNA insurance company executive. He explained how heathcare insurers scam policyholders. They shift costs to consumers, offer inadequate or unaffordable access, and force Americans to pay higher deductibles for less coverage.
Sibel Edmonds is a former FBI translator. She founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). She did so to aid “national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods.”
The ACLU called her “the most gagged person in the history of the United States.” She knows firsthand the consequences of secret, unaccountable government operations.
Her memoir is titled “Classified Woman: the Sibel Edmonds Story.”
Previous articles discussed Mark Klein. He’s a former AT&T employee turned whistleblower. He revealed blueprints and photographs of NSA’s secret room inside the company’s San Francisco facility. It permits spying on AT&T customers.
Karen Kwiatkowski’s a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel. She exposed Defense Department misinformation and lies. She discussed how doing so drove America to war.
Ann Wright’s a former US Army colonel/State Department official. In 1397, she won an agency award for heroism.
She’s more anti-war/human rights activist/person of conscience than whistleblower. In 2003, she resigned from government service. She did so in protest against war on Iraq.
Edward Joseph Snowden continues a noble tradition. On June 8, London’s Guardian headlined ”Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower: ‘I do not expect to see home again.’ ”
He leaked information to The Guardian and Washington Post. He exposed unconstitutional NSA spying. He served as an undercover intelligence employee.
Asked why he turned whistleblower, he said:
“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.”
“If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things.”
“I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
NSA spies globally, he said. Claims about only doing it abroad don’t wash. “We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians,” he said.
Previous articles said NSA works with all major US telecom companies. They do so with nine or more major online ones. They spy on virtually all Americans.
They target everyone they want to globally. NSA capabilities are “horrifying,” said Snowden. “You are not even aware of what is possible.”
“We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify (it). You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”
Asked what he thought might happen to him, he said “Nothing good.”
He left America. He moved to Hong Kong. He fled for his safety. He knows he can’t hide. If US authorities want him targeted, they’ll act no-holds-barred.
If they want him arrested, they’ll find him. If they want him disappeared, imprisoned and tortured, he’s defenseless to stop them. It they want him dead, they’ll murder him. Rogue states operate that way. America’s by far the worst.
DNI head James Clapper accused Snowden of “violat(ing) a sacred trust for this countryâ¤|.I hope we’re able to track whoever is doing this,” he said.
These type comments expose America’s dark side. So does unconstitutional NSA spying and much more. Washington flagrantly violates fundamental rule of law principles. It does so ruthlessly. At stake is humanity’s survival.
Snowden fears recrimination against his family, friends and partner. He’ll “have to live with that for the rest of (his) life,” he said.
“I am not going to be able to communicate with them. (US authorities) will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.”
Asked what leaked NSA documents reveal, he said:
“That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America.”
America “hacks everyone everywhere.” he said. “(W)e are in almost every country in the world.”
“Everyone, everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten – and they’re talking about it.”
On June 9, London Guardian editors headlined ”Edward Snowden: more conscientious objector than common thief,” saying:
What’s next is certain. US authorities “will pursue Snowden to the ends of the earth.” America’s “legal and diplomatic machinery is probably unstoppable.”
Congress should eagerly want to hear what Snowden has to say, said Guardian editors. They should “test the truth of what he is saying.”
They know full well. Many or perhaps most congressional members are fully briefed on what goes on. They’re condone it. So do administration and judicial officials.
Obama could stop it with a stroke of his pen. So can congressional lawmakers. Supreme Court justices could uphold the law.
Lawlessness persists. Moral cowardice pervades Washington. America’s dark side threatens everyone. There’s no place to hide.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Beirut — A number of analysts and security experts who specialize in intelligence and security subjects in Lebanon and France have expressed this week shock at the way many Western authorities, including several in Europe and the United States, are avoiding engagement with the Syrian authorities and thus missing important avenues to help end the crisis in Syria.
This dismay follows increasing evidence of the grave dangers now threatening to turn Syria into a main operations base for anti-Western and anti-sectarian international jihadist groups and organizations. Some specialists spoke to “Afrique Asie” recently and expressed surprise and concern that authorities in the United States and Europe are deliberately ignoring the daily warnings sent out by intelligence and security organizationsin those countries including the Intelligence Community in the US with is comprised of the 16 American intelligence organizations , also referred to as “elements”. These are the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),United States Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), National Security Agency (NSA),National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA),National Reconnaissance Office (NRO),Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency (AFISRA),Army Intelligence and Security Command(INSCOM),Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), United States Department of Energy , Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (OICI), United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A),Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI),United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of National Security Intelligence (DEA/ONSI),United States Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), United States Department of the Treasury, and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI).
One of France’s leading experts on terrorism, who visited Libya and Syria after the start of the turbulences, concluded:
“It is understandable that the that authorities in the United States and Europe are deliberately exploiting the Syrian revolution to punish President Bashar Al-Assad for his policies of siding with Iran and supporting organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that pose threats on Israeli security. However, the real strangeness lies in the fact that those nations are continuing to provide support, weaponry, military training and funding to the Syrian opposition and the media, with their knowledge that the class dominating the armed Syrian opposition is that of Al-Nusra terrorists who are closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda.”
Discussing the reasons preventing those authorities from changing their stance, the acknowledge expert concluded that Western political authorities, including the White House, believe that the Salafist movement’s attacks can be controlled through countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Hitherto, the relationship with Bashar Al-Assad has proven his independence as well as his adherence to the policies that bound him to Iran and other anti-Israeli organizations. However, French, European and American security officials perceive this differently.
Most Western intelligence apparatuses sounded out their danger sirens pointing to the necessity of cooperating with Syrian security authorities. This is because the Syrian intelligence is still considered the most effective party facing Salafist movements in the Middle East, and the Syrian army is fighting “terrorist/jihadists” on a daily basis. In this context, the Syrian intelligence never lost the penetrations it had into Al-Qaeda and other Syria-based Salafist movements as part of it work of planning to neutralize future terrorist attacks. To this end, Syrian intelligence committed substantial resources and senior officers in pursuit of international terrorists who are currently based in Syria, but who are laying the groundwork for terrorist attacks soon to be executed in European capitals.
While the United States and its Western allies are offering military, media, financial and political aid to thearmed opposition in Syria, allied with Al-Qaeda and like movements, the Syrian intelligence continues to fight against terrorism on behalf of the world, but with no assistance from countries whose interests and people they are work to protect.
One expert posed a rhetorical question, “Imagine that an assassination as big as that of the “Crisis Cell” officers in Syria was executed during the time when we discovered that among the victims was one of the most cooperative Syrian people with the French intelligence services in the fight against terrorism. And what have we done to protect it? Nothing.” However, as the Syrian story puts it, the Americans might well have been involved with his assassination.
In addition to the death of the “Crisis Cell” officers, in July of 2012, in a complex security operation widely believed to have been executed by the Syrian opposition, Western authorities are in pursuit of Syrians officers who helped save the lives of thousands of French and other Europeans over the past years. It is worthy to note here that one of those officers was wounded and almost killed while he was defending Western embassies under attack by” terrorists.”
When the scholar was asked whom he meant by this and replied: “It is obvious Colonel Hafez Makhlouf, the competent expert in combating Salafist terrorism who currently resides in Syria. It was through the efforts of officer Makhlouf that the Syrian authorities captured a number of terrorist cells, and thus, thwarted major operations that were being prepared for execution in Europe in general, and specifically in France.”
For his part, the security expert and former Lebanese Army General Elias Farhat, argued recently that security operations targeting senior Syrian officers do not only affect Syrian security, but are undermine operations for weakening international security and strengthening terrorists around the world. This is because the Syrian role is viewed even by the US Intelligence Community as being effective in fighting “international terrorism”, and had it not been for the cooperation the Syrians provided to Western security services, “terrorist organizations” would have succeeded in many attacks on European capitals.
Regarding the impact of sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe on the Syrian officers for global security, General Farhat argued that what is incomprehensible is the self-targeting process today being carried out by Western powers because what they are doing with the Syrian security authorities is similar to refusing any help offered to save them from the monster of “terrorism.”
According to the Lebanese General, “Western authorities are providing enormous support for the armedopposition in Syria and they continue targeting senior Syrian officers, with sanctions, as well as planning and executing assassinations against the very peoples who helped save the lives of many Europeans. By doing so inlight of the internal security crisis in Syria, these authorities are curbing all future prospects for Syriancooperation.”
Indeed, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, who was largely responsible for security cooperation to combat international terrorism between the Syrians and the West in the past decade, was subject to the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe. In addition, the “Crisis Cell” operation, which participated in the assassination ofagents who were undoubtedly related to the West, resulted in the death of a number of Syrian officers who were responsible for some key security cooperation between Syria and the West. The West is killing and sanctioning many of those who provide it with help.
Walid Zeitouni, a former Lebanese Army General and an intelligence and extremist movements specialist, claims that imposing sanctions on Syrian Generals and senior security officers by the United States and Europe “is suicide carried out by Western governments. These sanctions can only be categorized under stupidity, forthe assassination of the members of the most prominent cell in Syrian security was indisputably executed by Western intelligence agents. Moreover, imposing sanctions on Colonel Hafez Makhlouf came simultaneous to him achieving a lot of security accomplishments not only in favor of Syria, but also for the benefit of international security and that of the West in particular.
The West killing senior Syrian intelligence officers who are some of the key individuals fighting terrorists who are enemies of the West while claiming to fight terrorism while they are taking measures to intensify political, economic, security and media pressure on Syria and its officers and leaders, is self-destructive for these countries.
It is these Syrians are considered among the most effective forces combating global terrorism. While Al-Qaeda and the West are working hand-in-hand in their fight the Syrian army, the West is also busy conspiring against Syria, while engaging in, and aspiring for, the formulation of yet more sanctions against the population of Syria in order to achieve a purely politically motivated regime change. These sanctions are in fact resulting in the rise to power of fundamentalist groups promoting terrorism.
Moreover, there is no benefit for Europe in such a policy, as it targets those who offer help by killing some of their officers, imposing sanctions on others, and aspiring to transfer others to the International Criminal Court. Those being punished are the same people helping fight terrorism on behalf of the world – as with the cases of Colonel Hafez Makhlouf, Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk, and the officers of the “Crisis Cell”.
In both the Makhlouf and Mamlouk’s cases, both were blacklisted and sanctions were imposed on them by the United States and Europe, preparatory to transferring them to the International Criminal Court. However, this did not detour either gentleman from continuing to combat terrorist organizations funded by the West to fight President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
These organizations are working in parallel and currently are planning terrorist and security attacks in Western capitals, despite the fact that a number of Western and Jordanian officers have repeatedly certified that Colonel Makhlouf achieved numerous successes in the field of security, especially in the fight against international terrorism. Makhlouf’s efforts resulted in saving the lives of many Westerners who were targeted in their home towns by Al-Qaeda’s assets in Syria who operate a planning center. Makhlouf also arrested a number of senior terrorists in Damascus who confessed to planning for operations that were halted through the information offered by the Syrians to the West via intermediary security organizations in the Middle East. When the French requested that the cooperation with the Syrians be restored, their request was turned down, pending the French governments ending its fighting alongside the terrorists in Syria.
Brigadier-General Mahmoud Matar, who was involved in person during the Cold War in a Lebanese-Western security operation that led to foiling a Russian KGB operation to steal a Mirage Airplane from Lebanon to Russia, told “Afrique Asie”:
“It is unfortunate that the extensive presence of Western security agents in Syria is serving the aim to fight the opponents of terrorism, which is wrong. However, I expect that the West would conduct a comprehensive review of its policy in Syria, and that security cooperation between the West and President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime be restored, since the situation is now even worse for the West than it is for Syria.”
This is one subjects that is reportedly being analyzed by the by US Intelligence Community. It is to be hoped that Washington and Brussels listen and act appropriately. If so they will avoid a steep price for their currently flawed policy.
“I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the President, if I had a personal e-mail,” Edward Snowden told the Guardian. Snowden is twenty-nine; he had worked in a technical capacity for the C.I.A. and then, by way of his employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, as a contractor for the N.S.A. He is the reason our country has, in the last week, been having a conversation on privacy and the limits of domestic surveillance. That was overdue, and one wishes it had been prompted by self-examination on the part of the Obama Administration or real oversight by Congress. But both failed, and it came in the form of Snowden handing highly classified documents—a lot of them—to journalists.
He did so, he said, because he had seen “abuses”—the framework for an “architecture of oppression”—and had come to “realize that these things have to be decided by the public, not someone who is hired by the government.” Snowden, of course, is someone hired by the government, and will be asked why he thought the decision to expose secrets was his. He offered, in his interview, several answers: one is that the normal processes were broken. The second was that he is willing to come out in the open himself. Saturday night, the N.S.A. asked for a criminal investigation into the leaks. As we learn more about him, in the next days, those answers are worth evaluating seriously.
Snowden is now holed up in Hong Kong, in a hotel room where, according to the Guardian, he stuffs pillows against the doors and “puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords.” The interview has the bylines of Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Laura Poitras. Poitras was also a co-author, with Barton Gellman, of a report in the Washington Post based on documents Snowden provided; and Gellman and Aaron Blake posted their own piece with Snowden later Sunday. [Update: Sunday night, Gellman posted a piece on his interactions with Snowden, who had used the code name Verax.]
So far, the leaks have revealed that the N.S.A. is collecting records from Verizon Business (and, it emerged, from any number of other companies) for every phone call placed in the United States; that, with a program called Prism and some degree of coöperation from technology companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Apple, it is looking at the private data of both foreigners it targeted and—“incidentally”—Americans a degree or even two removed from them; that another program, called Boundless Informant, processed billions of pieces of domestic data each month, and many times that from abroad. We also learned that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, flat-out lied to the Senate when he said that the N.S.A. did not “wittingly” collect any sort of data on millions of Americans. And we were reminded of how disappointing President Obama can be. These were all things the public deserved to know.
Snowden never actually questions the good will of the people he worked with at the N.S.A.; he grants them (as we might grant Obama) their belief that they are working in the interests of the United States—that there is no ideology of oppression. Each step is modest, and does start with the goal of looking for foreign threats. But they collect data wherever and however they can. All of the talk about not specifically targeting Americans should not be reassuring: “The NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for a period of time.”
And why should this bother us? Snowden:
It’s getting to the point, you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they could use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.
As he must know, that scrutiny will now be applied to him.
The Guardian reported that Snowden made about two hundred thousand dollars a year and lived in Hawaii, where he had a girlfriend who, he says, didn’t know where he was going or why or when he left for Hong Kong. He had started at the N.S.A. without a high-school diploma, moving along with community-college classes, time in the Army, and technical skill, theGuardian said. (This is somewhat surprising.) In the video, he seems comfortable in his own skin—he will strike some as too at ease, or even pleased. His affect is not that of a haunted informant in the dark corner of a bar. He is the cheeriest major leaker one is likely to come across. That may just accentuate what he is leaving behind by coming forward. (The Guardiansaid that he got tears in his eyes when discussing the effect this all will have on his family.)
And Snowden is self-aware enough to talk, in the interview, about his own privilege, in two distinct senses of the word. One has to do with his privileges on the job:
When you’re in positions of privileged access, like a systems administrator for these sort of intelligence communications agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee. And because of that, you see things that may be disturbing.
The other is social: “You live a privileged life. You’re living in Hawaii, in paradise, you’re making a ton of money. What would it take to make you leave everything behind?” He talked about living “comfortably” but “unfreely.” (The dystopia he seems to be obsessing about is less “1984” than “Brave New World.”)
Again, he portrayed the niceness of the current custodians as one of the dangers. We were protected, he said, only by “policies,” and not by law: “It’s only going to get worse, until eventually there comes a time when policies change,” and “a new leader will be elected, they’ll flip the switch.” He used a phrase that has come up before: “turnkey tyranny.”
Speaking of tyranny after having fled America for a hotel at the edge of China—the logic won’t be entirely self-explanatory. The Guardian asked Snowden why he chose Hong Kong, which is a Special Administrative Region of China, and does have its own way of doing things—“one country, two systems”—but not at all full autonomy. Did he want to defect? He said he didn’t. We aren’t at war with China, he said, so he wasn’t running to “the enemy”; he put value in Hong Kong’s tradition of free speech. He told Gellman that “I intend to ask for asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy.” (Aaron Blake pointed out that Hong Kong does have an extradition treaty with the United States.) That may prove to be a harder position to maintain than he would like. Skyscrapers and bookstores are good signs, but they can be deceptive. (It’s also possible that he just wants to complicate the plot.) He talked about the prospect of being rendered by the C.I.A.—“or they could pay off the Triads.” He was, he told both publications, careful about the documents he chose. Had he set out to harm America, he said, there was worse he could do: “I had access to the full rosters of everyone working at the N.S.A., the entire intelligence community and undercover assets around the world.” He also mentioned the money he could have made selling private or corporate information.
The part about undercover assets—and Snowden’s reasons for mentioning his knowledge—will cause many people to pause, properly so. We recognize those as secrets. How many people with a private contractors’ job and a password have the privilege of knowing the names of our spies? (“I’m just another guy,” he told the Guardian.) Sometimes this is a matter of too much classification, rather than too little: if you make everything secret, people need clearances they shouldn’t have just to do their jobs.
But the records of our private lives—whom we called when, where we got lost or fell in love, and what we wrote in late-night e-mails—are secrets, too; of a different scale, not a different species. The prosecutors and politicians who asked how this man had access to one kind of secret should also ask about the other. What are government’s proper privileges? How we respond to the vast assembly of information on Edward Snowden’s computer, or Bradley Manning’s for that matter, is a test. Do we think that the answer is to collect and collect, classify and classify, and then hunt wildly and angrily when a guy in his twenties walks away with more than he should? Or are we ready to talk about our secrets?
Source: Amy Davidson | The New Yorker
“There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”
International, constitutional and US statute laws no longer matter. Obama declared them null and void. He does so by disregarding them.
He consigned them to the dustbin of history. They’ve been heading there for years. Post-9/11, state terror accelerated.
Bush administration rogues enacted numerous police state laws. Previous articles discussed them. Constitutionality was ignored. Obama added his own. Doing so exceeded the worst of his predecessor’s policies.
Unconstitutional mass surveillance is official US policy. What Bush began, Obama accelerated. He did so straightaway as president.
Free societies don’t tolerate these practices. Obama authorized them secretly. He subverted constitutional law. He violated the public trust. He broke a key campaign pledge.
On January 8, 2008, he promised to end Bush/Cheney practices. Under an Obama administration, he said, they’ll be no “wiretaps without warrants.”
Straightaway as president he authorized them. On Friday, he tried defending the indefensible. He fell short and then some. His comments belie his policies.
“When I came into this office,” he said, “I made two commitments that are more important than any commitment I made: number one to keep the American people safe, and number two to uphold the Constitution.”
Americans have never been less safe. Freedom is more illusion than reality. Obama’s done more to subvert constitutional law than any previous president. He made freedom a four-letter word.
“You can’t have 100% security and also then have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience,” he claimed.
“We’re going to have to make some choices as a society. I think that on balance, we have established a process and a procedure that the American people should feel comfortable about.”
Obama made all the wrong choices. He violated constitutional law doing so. America’s unsafe to live in. Police state priorities threaten everyone.
Obama claimed surveillance “help(s) prevent terrorist attacks.” He lied saying so. No terrorist threat whatever exists. It didn’t earlier. It doesn’t now.
Obama called what’s ongoing “modest encroachments on privacy.” It’s sweeping, pervasive and lawless.
He urged Americans to trust him, Congress and federal courts. Why anyone would do so, they’ll have to explain.
“When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls,” he said. “That’s not what this program is about. As was indicated, what the intelligence community is doing is looking at phone numbers and durations of calls.”
“They are not looking at people’s names and they are not looking at content.” Permission to do so, he claimed, requires “go(ing) back to a federal judge just like (for) a criminal investigation.”
“With respect to the Internet and emails, this does not apply to US citizens and it does not apply to people living in the United States.”
False on all counts. Civil libertarians expressed outraged. John Simpson heads Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project. He calls what’s ongoing “a completely unwarranted violation of our constitutional rights.”
Obama authorized sweeping domestic spying. He did so unconstitutionally. He institutionalized it. It’s ongoing daily. It’s warrantless.
The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying for another five years. It violated constitutional protections doing so.
Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization.
Probable cause isn’t needed. So-called “foreign intelligence information” sought means virtually anything. Vague language is all-embracing.
Hundreds of millions of Americans are targeted. Major telecom and Internet companies cooperate. They do so willingly.
All three branches of government are involved. They’re complicit in sweeping lawlessness. Congress is regularly briefly. Bipartisan leaders are fully on board. So are US courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) called what’s ongoing the most sweeping surveillance ever ordered. It’s challenging administration practices to stop them.
CCR v. Obama is currently pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Initially it was filed against Bush, NSA director General Keith Alexander, and heads of other major US security agencies.
At issue is lawless, secretive, warrantless surveillance. CCR sought a cease and desist injunction. In January 2007, Bush administration officials claimed the program ended. They lied saying so.
In August 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) became law. Included is a Protect America Act (PAA) amendment. It permits unrestricted warrantless data-mining.
It claims to restrict surveillance to foreign nationals “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.”
Not so! The law targets virtually everyone domestically. It does so if the Attorney General or Director of National Intelligence claims they pose a potential terrorist or national security threat. No corroborating evidence is needed.
CCR challenged PAA in court. It did so in January 2006. It called NSA surveillance illegal. It lacks judicial approval or statutory authorization.
It violates “FISA’s clear criminal prohibitions.” It exceeds executive authority under the Constitution’s Article II. It breaches the First and Fourth Amendments. CCR wants data and other information collected under PAA destroyed.
On January 31, 2011, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed CCR’s case. In April, CCR appealed. The Ninth Circuit initially scheduled oral arguments on June 1, 2012.
On May 21, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a similar ACLU case. It challenged the 2008 FISA Amendments Act’s constitutionality.
The Ninth Circuit postponed arguments until the High Court ruled. On February 26, 2013, it dismissed ACLU’s case. It did so 5 – 4.
The Ninth Circuit requested supplemental CCR briefs by April 26, 2013. Previously it said it would reschedule oral arguments. On June 3, “the panel indicated that it would submit the case for resolution without oral argument.”
There’s more. Obama’s waging war on freedom globally. On June 7, London’s Guardian headlined “Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks.”
He did so by secret presidential directive. It was issued last October. A copy was leaked to The Guardian.
It says Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) “can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging.”
Washington will “identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power.”
It suggests operating domestically the same way. Perhaps human rights organizations, anti-war activists, social justice advocates, independent journalists, alternative media web sites, and other individuals and organizations challenging lawless government practices will be targeted.
Everyone is vulnerable. Police states operate that way. America’s by far the worst. Obama’s waging war on freedom. It may not survive on his watch.
Unrestricted surveillance, other police state laws, and global cyber attacks constitute full-scale war to destroy it.
According to Professor Sean Lawson:
“When militarist cyber rhetoric results in use of offensive cyber attack it is likely that those attacks will escalate into physical, kinetic uses of force.”
Cyberwar is official US policy. An unnamed intelligence source told The Guardian that cyber attacks are commonplace. Foreign computer systems are hacked. Doing so seeks information wanted.
“We hack everyone everywhere,” the source said. “We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world.”
Obama bears full responsibility. He signed numerous police state laws on his watch. He authorized lawless surveillance and cyberwar. He did so unconstitutionally. Claiming otherwise doesn’t wash. Documents The Guardian obtained refute his claims. US policy is do what we say, not what we do.
According to The Guardian, Obama’s “move to establish a potentially aggressive cyber warfare doctrine will heighten fears over the increasing militarization of the internet.”
On June 7, Gizmodo.co.uk headlined “Anonymous Just Leaked a Trove of NSA Documents. Included are DOD plans for Internet control. Information on NSA’s Prism program were released.
A link provided (http://thedocs.hostzi.com/) fails to gain access. Perhaps Anonymous was hacked.
Information the Guardian posted relates to nine or more major online companies cooperating with lawless NSA spying. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, YouTube and others are involved.
Prism gives NSA access to search histories, emails, file transfers and live chats. It’s gotten directly from US provider servers. Doing so facilitates mass surveillance. Google denied involvement, saying:
It “cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully.”
“From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”
Previous articles discussed Google’s involvement with Bilderberg. CEO Eric Schmidt’s a regular conference attendee. He’s participating now in suburban London.
Infowars reporters Paul Joseph Watson and Jon Scobie said Google and Bilderberg are “merging.” Schmidt thinks “privacy is a relic of the past.”
He wants Google transformed into “the ultimate Big Brother.” Conspiring with Bilderberg and NSA are key ways to do it. Company deniability doesn’t wash. Google operations are very suspect.
CIA funding reportedly launched them. Allying with Bilderberg shows what’s at stake. Bilderberg wants Internet control through “cyber resistance.”
It wants a ministry of truth established. It wants all public information controlled. Google’s apparently on board to help. Obama’s very much involved. He’s waging full-scale war on freedom. It may not survive on his watch.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached email@example.com.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
On April 3, 2012, James Bamford headlined “Shady Companies with Ties to Israel Wiretap for US for the NSA.”
He said NSA chief General Keith Alexander’s “having a busy year.” He’s “cutting ribbons at secret bases and bringing to life the agency’s greatly expanded eavesdropping network.”
“In January he dedicated the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, and in March he unveiled the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia.”
It’s for around “4,000 earphone-clad intercept operators, analysts and other specialists, many of them employed by private contractors.”
Spies “R” Us defines US policy. NSA’s “mammoth 1-million-square-foot, $2 billion Utah Data Center is far more sweeping.”
It’s located at Camp Williams. It’s a Utah National Guard training facility. Once fully operational, says Bamford, it’ll “become, in effect, the NSA Cloud.”
It’ll receive data from NSA satellites, overseas listening posts, and nationwide multipleNo telecom facility monitoring rooms. What’s planned is an unprecedented global spy network.
NSA operatives and hackers will harvest around 2.1 million gigabytes of data per hour. It’ll do so on the world’s most powerful computer.
It’s call Titan Supercomputer. It can handle over 20,000 trillion calculations per second or 20 petaflops. One petaflop = one quadrillion instructions per second.
Supercomputer power will be used to collect and analyze foreign and domestic communications from all possible sources.
Two Israeli companies are involved. High-tech firms Verint and Narus have longstanding US/Israeli intelligence connections. For many years, Verint was a majority-owned Comverse Technology subsidiary.
Both companies have about half their employees in Israel. In August 2012, Verint acquired Comverse. It now operates independently.
It makes security software. It calls itself “a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions.”
Narus calls itself a cybersecurity company. It’s an independent Boeing subsidiary. It provides real-time network traffic and analytics software. It does so with enterprise class spyware capabilities.
In 1997, it was founded in Israel. It created NarusInsight. It’s a supercomputer system. A previous article said AT&T uses it at their secret San Francisco facility. It lets NSA spy on its customers.
Verint’s software also is used to do it. Bamford called it “especially troubling that both companies have had extensive ties to Israel, as well as links to (its) intelligence service.”
A previous article discussed Israeli spying on America. The CIA calls Israel America’s main regional spy threat. An Israeli-based CIA operative once found food in his refrigerator rearranged.
Washington knows what’s going on. Publicly it’s ignored. Pre-9/11, the FBI uncovered a massive US-based Israeli spy ring. It remains active.
It betrays America. Numerous Israeli citizens are involved. They have close ties to foreign military, criminal and intelligence sources. They reportedly breach US laws with impunity.
Israel’s featured prominently in annual FBI reports. It actively seeks proprietary/secret US information. It’s mainly on military systems and advanced computer applications.
Proprietary commercial and industrial data are stolen. Israel recruits spies. Sophisticated methods are used. Computers are hacked for information.
Washington’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Israel “conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally.”
The Pentagon accused Israel of “actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States. An Israeli citizen working in the US who has access to proprietary information is likely to be a target of such espionage.”
FBI whistleblower John Cole said Justice Department officials ordered dozens of Israeli espionage cases dropped. At issue was political pressure.
Washington gives Israel billions of dollars in annual aid, state-of-the-art weapons and technology, and numerous other special privileges. In return, it steals US state and commercial secrets.
Despite longstanding close ties, Washington considers Israel both ally and counterintelligence threat. In terms of technical capability and human resources, it matches America’s best.
It has access to the highest US political, military and intelligence sources. Bamford said NSA-developed advanced analytical/data-mining software was lawlessly given Israel.
An Operations Directorate technical director did so secretly. Apparently Israeli companies got access. Technology they got advanced their own.
Narus once boasted about being “known for its ability to capture and collect data from the largest networks around the world.” Unexplained was that stolen software facilitates is capabilities.
Retired Israeli General Hanan Gefen ran its secret Unit 8200. It’s Israel’s NSA equivalent. He admitted Israeli ties to Comverse.
At the time, it owned Verint. It owns other Israeli high-tech companies. They specialize in eavesdropping and surveillance. They operate globally.
According to Gefen, the “correlation between serving in the intelligence Unit 8200 and starting successful high-tech companies is not coincidental.”
“Many of the technologies in use around the world and developed in Israel were originally military technologies and were developed and improved by Unit veterans.”
Kobi Alexander founded Verint. He formerly served as chairman. He’s a fugitive. FBI accusations include fraud, theft, lying, bribery, money laundering and related crimes.
Two of his top Comverse associates were indicted on similar charges. Both were imprisoned. They paid millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
NSA claims it takes malfeasance and other legitimate complaints seriously. Spying technology and expertise take precedence.
Bamford says take NSA assurances cautiously. “Who’s listening to the listeners,” he asks?
Haaretz asked if Verint and Narus “collected information from the US communications network” for NSA?
Neither company responded when asked. Former senior NSA official-turned whistleblower Thomas Drake exposed fraud, waste, abuse and other lawless agency practices.
They relate to warrantless data-mining practices. In April 2010, he was indicted under the Espionage Act. Charges included “willful retention of classified information, obstruction of justice, and making false statements.”
After a May 22, 2011 60 Minutes broadcast, all charges were dropped. In return, Drake pled guilty to a minor misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year probation and community service. He lost his high-paying NSA job and pension.
On March 15, 2013, he spoke at the National Press Club. He focused on First Amendment rights. In part he said:
“The threats to the First Amendment by the government is bull’s eye-centered on a free unfettered press designed to suppress and repress speech and political expression in America, create fear through privilege and unilateral authority over what is fit or unfit for the First Amendment.”
“If speech becomes the instrument of crime when revealing government crime and wrongdoing, we are under arbitrary authoritarian rule and not the rule of law.”
“I can make an argument that government increasingly prefers to operate in the shadows and finds the First Amendment a constraint on its activities.”
“And yet, taking off the veil of government secrecy has more often than not turned truth-tellers and whistleblowers into turncoats and traitors, who are then often criminally burned and blacklisted and broken by the government on the stake of national security.”
“I knew too much truth and exposed government illegalities, fraud and abuse and was turned into a criminal for doing so.”
“I was charged under the Espionage Act, faced many years in prison and became an enemy of the state.”
“It was five years of living under the boot of the Surveillance State, and yet I was saved by the First Amendment and the court of public opinion and the free press, including the strength and growing resiliency of the alternative media.”
“Do we really want the government listening in on and tracking the lives of so many others? Have our constitutional freedoms become the latest victims of 9/11?”
“Will national security replace our individual rights? Will fear take priority over freedom? Will government censorship and propaganda triumph over personal choice and disclosure, use suppression repression?”
“If we starve liberty for the increasingly myopic sake of security, what will we have left to defend?”
If truth-telling is criminalized, freedom no longer exists.
Drake corroborated information AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein and others reported. Spies “R” Us reflects US policy.
Drake verified NSA’s use of Narus techology. Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) collects intelligence from major US Internet companies. They do it via Prism electronic surveillance.
Officially it’s called US-984XN. It’s used for sweeping domestic and foreign spying. It’s the main source for raw NSA intelligence. It’s top secret for good reason. Now it’s existence is publicly known.
Mossad’s longstanding ties to Verint, Narus, and other Israeli surveillance technology companies assures it access to information they collect.
It’s true wherever these companies operate. America has 16 active intelligence agencies. They operate the same way. Warrantless dragnet spying is lawless.
Freedom pays the greatest price. It’s disappearing in plain sight. It’s heading for the dustbin of history without legitimate resistance enough to stop it. Nothing less has a chance.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Recent Revelations are Worse Than Our Worst Nightmare…
This past Thursday (June 6), The Guardian (the British newspaper) and the Washington Post simultaneously reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting staggering amounts of user data and files from seven of the world’s most powerful technology companies.
An information collection program called Prism has been routinely tapping the servers of these companies and collecting emails, articles, on-line searches, chat logs, photos and videos. There are no subpeonas, court orders or even clearly-defined investigations supporting this program. Traditionally, the government must establish that what they’re seizing is relevant to an investigation. With Prism, they seize everything, review it and then decide its relevance. It’s an information vacuum cleaner.
It’s also a key tool of the Obama Administration. Data gathered through Prism now accounts for almost one in seven intelligence reports, the NSA said in a statement.
“Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan “Your privacy is our priority” – was the first (company in the program), with collection beginning in December 2007,” the Guardian reported . “It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.”
Because these are the companies whose services comprise Internet life for most of us, the program signals the effective end of privacy as a right. If you use Google or Yahoo or Iphone or Skype, at least some of what you do, write, search, say in chat or put in your a video or photo on any of those services is being collected.
The story’s centerpiece is a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation, apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program and leaked to the two newspapers. It is classified as “top secret with no distribution to foreign allies”. The document also implies that the program has the consent of the companies, although most of them immediately denied that.
“Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data,” the company said. “We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data.”
As one who has repeatedly accused Google of having that “back door”, I declare myself acutely skeptical. Google is one of the world’s most sophisticated Internet firms and its CEO, Eric Schmidt, is the Obama Administration’s key advisors on technology. To say that the government could remove data for four years without the company catching on while risking its cozy relationship with Google holds less water than a bottom-less bottle.
Among the most remarkable aspects of the story is that the government quickly admitted it’s true…almost. In one of those non-admission admissions Washington is famous for, Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper said Prism was “designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-US persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any US citizen, any other US person, or anyone located within the United States.” He also pointed out  that Prism doesn’t really collect everything; it takes data that matches search terms.
That is ludicrous. The Internet has no national boundaries and the idea of “intentional targeting” is a cynical joke. The power and value of the Internet is that it’s world-wide and people routinely communicate with others all over the world. Even those who don’t get email from someone in another country certainly visit websites that are beyond U.S. borders or view material from other countries. In order to determine whether you have communicated in some way with “a target”, they seize and review all your data and a large library of search terms (which is undoubtedly what they are using) doesn’t screen out data. It merely organizes it.
The casualness with which Klapper made his admission is understandable. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, recently reauthorised by Congress, allows government agencies to use this investigative approach and the Obama administration believes what it’s doing is completely legal and morally defensible. “Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect,” Klapper insisted, “and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.”
But what threat can be greater than losing your privacy? Privacy is, as we’ve written here before, a right that allows us to communicate with, work with and act with people without government surveillance. It’s what allows us to organize and analyze as a movement without government interference and disruption. It’s key to our ability to oppose government policies and mobilize against them: a cornerstone of a democracy. Privacy, we now learn, no longer exists in this country. That’s not the picture of a democracy; it’s a snapshot of a police state. When one considers the intense national campaign organized  and run by the federal government to spy on, infiltrate, harass and ultimately to crush the Occupy Movement — a totally peaceful and constitutionally protected protest movement — in this light, there is no way Prism can be viewed as benign, much less legal or moral.
To make things even more frightening, it’s the military that is doing the gathering. “It’s shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this,” Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, said. “The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications. This is unprecedented militarisation of domestic communications infrastructure. That’s profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation.”
Anyone who is not concerned is nuts! This is the same military that has become a mass murder machine: fighting illegal wars, murdering civilians world-wide and, the symbol of this moral bankruptcy, using drones that kill people indiscriminately with “signature strikes” . If they can do that with lives, imagine what they’re willing to do with email.
What do you call a country where the military gathers massive information on its citizens?
In an example of “things getting worse quickly”, the stunning Prism revelations actually eclipsed a story released Wednesday about the NSA collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. That dance of intrusion was brought to light after the Guardian (having a great “scoop” week) published a secret government order that Verizon hand over its records: all of them, for a three-month period that is currently running.
What was amazing about that story is that Congressional leaders from both Republican and Democratic sides of the aisle reacted with a shrug. It’s no big thing, they said, we’ve been authorizing that for years.
So they seize all Verizon phone records and most of our data from the Internet. That’s the end of privacy as we’ve known it.
There are alternatives to these big companies and activists should certainly explore using them. But progressive movements have also been reluctant to take this privacy issue on as a priority. It’s not clear what we’ve been waiting for but it’s clear we can wait no longer. We need to take back what we’ve lost, before it becomes impossible to do so.
Source URL: http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/prism
The data mining technology that is integral to the Google AdWords experience is a power tool in creating an individual profile for anyone who surfs the web. The amazing capacity to target specific ads to personal search topics, geographic locations and web history is the harbinger of a total recall on your personality. If the benefits of getting relevant advertisement that maximize sales opportunities were the only purpose of the process, the relatively benign intrusion of a materialistic message might be tolerable to most internet users. However, the bull in the china shop is not merely in the business of making a commercial profit. Google is a wonder creation of the calculate surveillance society.
Research at Google acknowledges:
“When data mining systems are placed at the core of interactive services in a rapidly changing and sometimes adversarial environment, statistical models need to be combined with ideas from control and game theory; for example, when using learning in auction algorithms.
Research at Google is at the forefront of innovation in machine learning and data mining – we have one of the most active groups working on virtually all aspects of data mining.”
OK, so the dominant internet technology company is in business to harvest information on the inner recesses of each unique login. Should a cyber sleuth be concerned? Well, according to the scholarly paper, The Google-NSA Alliance: Developing Cybersecurity Policy at Internet Speed by Stephanie A. DeVos:
“On February 4, 2010, the Washington Post reported that Google and the National Security Agency had partnered to analyze the cyberattacks, with the objective of better defending Google and its users from future attack. Though neither organization commented on the partnership, sources told the Washington Post that the alliance allows for the sharing of critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect Americans’ privacy of online communications. Under the terms of the alliance, Google will not be sharing proprietary data and the NSA will not be viewing users’ searches or e-mail accounts. The article stated that Google approached the NSA shortly after the attacks, but due to the sensitivity of the alliance, the deal took time to be formulated. Any agreement would be the first instance where Google had entered a “formal information-sharing relationship” with the NSA.”
PC World in the article, The Google-NSA Alliance: Questions and Answers lists the following concerns and would have you believe there is nothing ominous behind any alleged relationship.
1) Is the Google-NSA alliance really happening?
2) What would be the point of a Google-NSA partnership?
3) Would the government gain access to my personal information?
4) Why would Google work with the NSA instead of the Department of Homeland Security?
5) Has the NSA worked with Google before?
If the nature of the relationship between Google and the National Security Agency is innocent, where is the transparency? This item from Legal Times, DOJ Asks Court To Keep Secret Any Partnership Between Google, NSA, has a disturbing appearance.
“The Justice Department is defending the government’s refusal to discuss—or even acknowledge the existence of—any cooperative research and development agreement between Google and the National Security Agency.
The Washington based advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center sued in federal district court here to obtain documents about any such agreement between the Internet search giant and the security agency.
The NSA responded to the suit with a so-called “Glomar” response in which the agency said it could neither confirm nor deny whether any responsive records exist. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington sided with the government last July.”
Another concern comes from a report in Higher Thinking Primate. “The ruling comes as controversy has been growing around CISPA, a bill that passed the House last month that would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons.”Even if one accepts that, the NSA agreement preserves Google’s stated policies on Americans’ privacy, what will be the effect of the new CISPA legislation on the supposed firewall protecting your personal data history?
The technology behind the most successful search engine evolves as different objectives develop. Anyone conducting Google searches knows that changes to their algorithms have the net effect of filtering out results that once were routine. TheElectronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has concerns about “the vagueness of what Google considers to be a high number of removal notices, how Google plans to make its determinations, and how “there will be no process of recourse for sites who have been demoted.”Many civil libertarians fear that the sordid political agenda of the NSA is influencing the business practices of Google to ban “undesirable” content from search queries.
Wire publishes a disturbing article, NSA Mimics Google, Pisses Off Senate.
“In 2008, a team of software coders inside the National Security Agency started reverse-engineering the database that ran Google.
They closely followed the Google research paper describing BigTable — the sweeping database that underpinned many of Google’s online services, running across tens of thousands of computer servers — but they also went a little further. In rebuilding this massive database, they beefed up the security. After all, this was the NSA.”
Even more sinister is the description of NSA projects on How The NSA Used Google To Spy On Americans — Until The Internet Figured It Out. The 634-page book, “Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research”, which is available for downloadand was published by the NSA’s Center for Digital Content, has an interesting chapter entitled “Google Hacking.”
If you are still a skeptic, watch the video, Google is an NSA tool DE-CLASSIFIED DOCUMENT.
The lingering questions about the nature of the Google – NSA relationship, jeopardize business confidence in the use of their services and ad programs. The persistent claims that Google data integration is coordinated with the NSA and that the Utah Data Center has linkage with the Google server network, gains traction when the government refuses public disclosure of the full historical relationship.Once online, the data lives eternally. Act accordingly.
The authoritarian arrogance of the executive branch is defined by their tyrannical decrees. As any reader of BREAKING ALL THE RULES commentary, knows all too well, the dictatorship of central planning and unlawful administration has hijacked our federalist form of a constitutional republic. The primacy of the legislature over the executive branch was always the intent of our founding fathers. Unfortunately, the exact reverse has taken hold in the den of inequity that holds court in Washington, DC.
Thomas Jefferson was a staunch advocate of freedom of the press, asserting in a January 28, 1786, letter to James Currie (1745-1807), a Virginia physician and frequent correspondent during Jefferson’s residence in France: “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” Without a vigorous and principled exposure of government abuses and crimes, Congress is unable to muster critical public support to hold accountable unelected bureaucratic agencies. These departments not only codify the regulations but also administer penalties and pick favored factions.In order to understand the nature of legislative oversight, the bipartisan betrayal of recent presidencies needs acknowledgement by every ideological viewpoint. Two current examples of such misuse of the public trust should outrage any honest citizen.
The subversion of the Obama regime sends a chilling message, intent to intimate and inhibit journalism. The Justice Department and Fox News’s Phone Records, also sets a fear factor in place against elected representatives that regularly interact with the press.
“William Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney, told The New Yorker this afternoon, “Because that information is sealed, I can’t confirm the owner or subscriber for any of those records.” Asked if the phone numbers of any reporters had been targeted in the Kim investigation, Miller said he could not comment.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that, as part of the investigation of the Kim leak, Obama’s Department of Justice seized e-mails from Rosen’s personal Gmail account. In the search warrant for that request, the government described Rosen as “an aider, and abettor, and / or co-conspirator” in violating the Espionage Act, noting that the crime can be punished by ten years in prison. Rosen was not indicted in the case, but the suggestion in a government document that a reporter could be guilty of espionage for engaging in routine reporting is unprecedented and has alarmed many journalists and civil libertarians.”
Another and far more frightening perversion of George W. Bush’s “Gestapo Police” goes to the heart of the phony war on terror. The significance of filing the Antiwar.com Sues FBI After Secret Surveillance, spans every administration, because the surveillance society is the key component of the technocratic tyranny that operates well above the office of the presidency.
“The website’s founder and managing editor Eric Garris, along with longtime editorial director Justin Raimondo, filed a lawsuit in federal court today, demanding the release of records they believe the FBI is keeping on them and the 17-year-old online magazine.
The unidentified agent writing the memo concludes, “it is recommended that ECAU (Electronic Communications Analysis Unit) further monitor the postings on the website … it is recommended that a PI (preliminary investigation) is opened to determine if [line redacted] have engaged in, or are engaging in, activities which constitute a threat to national security on behalf of a foreign power.”
This is the decisive point of the memo as it pertains to Antiwar.com: that Garris and Raimondo and Antiwar.com, for writing about a particularly sensitive subject and for linking to information that is already circulating around the Internet, may be a “threat to national security on behalf of a foreign power,” and therefore subject to secret surveillance. That would make any journalist, who say, linked a story to documents published by Wikileaks, which is currently under federal investigation, suspect too, surmised the plaintiffs.”
Emphatically, these cases illustrate the systemic treason practiced by presidential hacks, crooks and appointees. The lesson for frustrated voters, per the latest Gallop Poll, Congress Approval Remains in a Slump, “Fifteen percent of Americans now approve of the way Congress is handling its job” clearly requires dramatic proactive involvement that demands House and Senate, constitutional oversight of executive agency exploitation.
Unfortunately, Congress has its own brand of shortcomings and scoundrels; often compounded by a lack of term limits and strictly enforced ethical accountability. However, the labyrinths of executive agencies are populated by wicked witches like IRS Lois Lerner, who hide for cover under Bill of Right protections, while violating the natural rights of taxpayers as a normal course of government extortion.Folks, the only built-in constitutional recourse are for the House to take back their legitimate authority of withholding budget funding for oppressive agencies. The phony charade of selecting a supreme junta dictator every four years has been exposed for the farce it has become. Meaningful reform is impossible, when the global corporatists control the process.
The merits of the 19th Century Whig Party supports for the supremacy of Congress over the Presidency have a resonance for our times. A viewing of the Whig Partyvideo provides a brief historical summary. While some of their positions are less worthy, the fundamental perspective of opposition against centralized executive power is valid. The Whigs made use of a key advantage that rested in a strong network of newspapers and merchant class political support.Their opposition to the imperium style of governance by Andrew Jackson was a direct affront to the growth in the aggrandizement of presidential tenets. No matter what weight you place on their various positions or social policies, it is difficult to deny that the expansion of presidential dominance has been the norm since the demise of this loyal opposition party.
The constitutional safeguard against high crimes and misdemeanors is to remove officials from office. Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the legislature that allows for formal charges against a civil officer of government for crimes committed in office. Note Article II, Section 4:
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Now the practicality or the lack of political will to exercise this constitutional mechanism for relief is a fair concern, especially when the crony Senate club of careerist criminals failed to execute their duty by removing William Jefferson Clinton. The fact that the entire two party election process is a false choice fraud is undeniable. Yet, the procedure exists to remove goons from their organized crime syndicates, more commonly known as official federal agencies.
Congressional representatives dispatched from office for their own acts of corruption often occur. Usually those targeted for removal are threats to the establishment order. The skilled outlaws get to become committee chairs. However, when did you last hear of a bureaucratic appointee getting a jail sentence for their high crimes and misdemeanors?
Both George W. Bush deserved and Barack H. Obama needs to be removed from office for a litany of offenses so numerous that the list goes on to infinity. A compliant mainstream media routinely covers up for the political structure of reprehensible executive administrations.
Here lies the linkage in defense of a free and independent press with the remote possibility of pushing elected Congressional representatives to conduct impeachment procedures against the likes of Eric Holder and Lois Lerner. Only a condition of citizen critical mass of justifiable outrage can affect the national pulse to hit the ceiling.
The dissemination of pervasive anger against governmental corruption needs the widest voice available. The public, seldom noted for their courage or involvement, must enter the dirty slime of the political cesspool.
Federal judges and the Supreme Courts are integral co-conspirator protectors of the subverted system. The law is too important to allow lawyers to practice their profession of esquire privilege over the sovereign citizenry. Congress is all that is left to strip the illegitimate despotism from the presidential potentates, who practice a version of divine right kingship.
The legislature is the last refuge of representative sentiment. Yet, the suicidal amnesty immigration betrayal by the Senate confirms, once again, the inbred elitism of globalist stooges. Obviously, the intent of extending indiscriminate citizenship is to eliminate the lingering remains of the Whig Party disdain for the imperial presidency.
Impeachment should become the full time agenda of Congress. The ultimate goal of eliminating entire agencies starts with passing legislation that defunds budgets and remove from positions of authority, the minions of international collectivism. Autocratic presidents and senate traitors that pass treasonous treaties, foster the advancement of the New World Order.
The House is the people’s body and is the final hope of constitutional legitimacy. Purging the bureaucratic offenders and shyster counsel from public office is imperative if Thomas Jefferson’s vision for America is to be resurrected, “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” Congress needs to make the presidency accountable to the nation.
What I have noticed is that whenever a stunning episode occurs, such as 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing, most everyone whether on the right or left goes along with the government’s explanation, because they can hook their agenda to the government’s account.
The leftwing likes the official stories of Muslims creating terrorist mayhem in America, because it proves their blowback theory and satisfies them that the dispossessed and oppressed can fight back against imperialism.
The patriotic rightwing likes the official story, because it proves America is attacked for its goodness or because terrorists were allowed in by immigration authorities and nurtured by welfare, or because the government, which can’t do anything right, ignored plentiful warnings.
Whatever the government says, no matter how problematical, the official story gets its traction from its compatibility with existing predispositions and agendas.
In such a country, truth has no relevance. Only agendas are important.
A person can see this everywhere. I could write volumes illustrating how agenda-driven writers across the spectrum will support the most improbable government stories despite the absence of any evidence simply because the government’s line can be used to support their agendas.
For example, a conservative writer in the June issue of Chronicles uses the government’s story about the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to argue against immigration, amnesty for illegals, and political asylum for Muslims. He writes: “Even the most high-tech security systems imaginable will inevitably fail as they are overwhelmed by a flood of often hostile and dangerous immigrants.”
The writer accepts all of the improbable government statements as proof that the brothers were guilty. The wounded brother who was unable to respond to the boat owner who discovered him and had to be put on life support somehow managed to write a confession on the inside of the boat.
As soon as the authorities have the brother locked up in a hospital on life support, “unnamed officials” and “authorities who remain anonymous” are planting the story in the media that the suspect is signing written confessions of his guilt while on life support. No one has seen any of these written confessions. But we know that they exist, because the government and media say so.
The conservative writer knows that Dzhokhar is guilty because he is Muslim and a Chechen. Therefore, it does not occur to the writer to wonder about the agenda of the unnamed sources who are busy at work creating belief in the brothers’ guilt. This insures that no juror would dare vote for acquittal and have to explain it to family and friends. Innocent until proven guilty in a court has been thrown out the window. This should disturb the conservative writer, but doesn’t.
The conservative writer sees Chechen ethnicity as an indication of guilt even though the brothers grew up in the US as normal Americans, because Chechens are “engaged in anti-Russian jihad.” But Chechens have no reason for hostility against the US. As evidence indicates, Washington supports the Chechens in their conflict with Russia. By supporting Chechen terrorism, Washington violates all of the laws that it ruthlessly applies to compassionate Americans who give donations to Palestinian charities that Washington alleges are run by Hamas, a Washington-declared terrorist organization.
It doesn’t occur to the conservative writer that something is amiss when martial law is established over one of America’s main cities and its metropolitan area, 10,000 heavily armed troops are put on the streets with tanks, and citizens are ordered out of their homes with their hands over their heads, all of this just to search for one wounded 19-year old suspect. Instead the writer blames the “surveillance state” on “the inevitable consequences of suicidal liberalism” which has embraced “the oldest sin in the world: rebellion against authority.” The writer is so pleased to use the government’s story line as a way of indulging the conservative’s romance with authority and striking a blow at liberalism that he does not notice that he has lined up against the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence and rebelled against authority.
I could just as easily have used a left-wing writer to illustrate the point that improbable explanations are acceptable if they fit with predispositions and can be employed in behalf of an agenda.
Think about it. Do you not think that it is extraordinary that the only investigations we have of such events as 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing are private investigations, such as this investigation of the backpacks: http://whowhatwhy.com/2013/05/20/official-story-has-odd-wrinkles-a-pack-of-questions-about-the-boston-bombing-backpacks/
There was no investigation of 9/11. Indeed, the White House resisted any inquiry at all for one year despite the insistent demands from the 9/11 families. NIST did not investigate anything. NIST simply constructed a computer model that was consistent with the government’s story. The 9/11 Commission simply sat and listened to the government’s explanation and wrote it down. These are not investigations.
The only investigations have come from a physicist who proved that WTC 7 came down at free fall and was thus the result of controlled demolition, from a team of scientists who examined dust from the WTC towers and found nano-thermite, from high-rise architects and structural engineers with decades of experience, and from first responders and firefighters who were in the towers and experienced explosions throughout the towers, even in the sub-basements.
We have reached the point where evidence is no longer required. The government’s statements suffice. Only conspiracy kooks produce real evidence.
In America, government statements have a unique authority. This authority comes from the white hat that the US wore in World War II and in the subsequent Cold War. It was easy to demonize Nazi Germany, Soviet Communism and Maoist China. Even today when Russian publications interview me about the perilous state of civil liberty in the US and Washington’s endless illegal military attacks abroad, I sometimes receive reports that some Russians believe that it was an impostor who was interviewed, not the real Paul Craig Roberts. There are Russians who believe that it was President Reagan who brought freedom to Russia, and as I served in the Reagan administration these Russians associate me with their vision of America as a light unto the world. Some Russians actually believe that Washington’s wars are truly wars of liberation.
The same illusions reign among Chinese dissidents. Chen Guangcheng is the Chinese dissident who sought refuge in the US Embassy in China. Recently he was interviewed by the BBC World Service. Chen Guangcheng believes that the US protects human rights while China suppresses human rights. He complained to the BBC that in China police can arrest citizens and detain them for as long as six months without accounting for their detainment. He thought that the US and UK should publicly protest this violation of due process, a human right. Apparently, Chen Guangcheng is unaware that US citizens are subject to indefinite detention without due process and even to assassination without due process.
The Chinese government allowed Chen Guangcheng safe passage to leave China and live in the US. Chen Guangcheng is so dazzled by his illusions of America as a human rights beacon that it has never occurred to him that the oppressive, human rights-violating Chinese government gave him safe passage, but that Julian Assange, after being given political asylum by Ecuador is still confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington will not allow its UK puppet state to permit his safe passage to Ecuador.
Perhaps Chen Guangcheng and the Chinese and Russian dissidents who are so enamored of the US could gain some needed perspective if they were to read US soldier Terry Holdbrooks’ book about the treatment given to the Guantanamo prisoners. Holdbrooks was there on the scene, part of the process, and this is what he told RT: “The torture and information extraction methods that we used certainly created a great deal of doubt and questions in my mind to whether or not this was my America. But when I thought about what we were doing there and how we go about doing it, it did not seem like the America I signed up to defend. It did not seem like the America I grew up in. And that in itself was a very disillusioning experience.” http://rt.com/news/guantanamo-guard-islam-torture-608/
In a May 17 Wall Street Journal.com article, Peggy Noonan wrote that President Obama has lost his patina of high-mindedness. What did Obama do that brought this loss upon himself? Is it because he sits in the Oval Office approving lists of US citizens to be assassinated without due process of law? Is it because he detains US citizens indefinitely in violation of habeas corpus? Is it because he has kept open the torture prison at Guantanamo? Is it because he continued the war that the neoconservatives started, despite his promise to end it, and started new wars?
Is it because he attacks with drones people in their homes, medical centers, and work places in countries with which the US is not at war? Is it because his corrupt administration spies on American citizens without warrants and without cause?
No. It is none of these reasons. In Noonan’s view these are not offenses for which presidents, even Democratic ones, lose their high-minded patina. Obama can no longer be trusted, because the IRS hassled some conservative political activists.
Noonan is a Republican, and what Obama did wrong was to use the IRS against some Republicans. Apparently, it has not occurred to Noonan that if Obama–or any president–can use the IRS against opponents, he can use Homeland Security and the police state against them. He can use indefinite detention against them. He can use drones against them.
All of these are much more drastic measures. Why isn’t Peggy Noonan concerned?
Because she thinks these measures will only be used against terrorists, just as the IRS is only supposed to be used against tax evaders.
When a public and the commentators who inform it accept the collapse of the Constitution’s authority and the demise of their civil liberties, to complain about the IRS is pointless.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts