Friday, October 31, 2014

Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans

Adequate oversight is impossible when even diligent members of the Senate Intelligence Committee can't get basic facts about surveillance.

The biggest lie Americans are told about the NSA is that it is subject to "strict oversight." Listening to President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, or most any high-ranking official in the national-security bureaucracy, one gets the impression that the Senate and House intelligence committees are keeping careful tabs on the most technologically empowered spy agency in human history.

The truth is that Congress is alarmingly ignorant about NSA spying. It's not all the national-security state's fault. There are too many issues for every legislator to master them all; surveillance policy is a particularly complicated; and national security is an area many in Congress undermine checks and balances by deferring to the president.

Yet even the most diligent, knowledgeable members of the Senate Intelligence Committee consistently lack basic information that's plainly needed for adequate oversight. No one who assesses the relevant evidence can credibly deny this.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/10/congress-still-has-now-idea-how-much-the-nsa-spies-on-americans/382114/

US spent $136 billion on spying in two years: Government figures

The United States spent nearly $136 billion in the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014 on intelligence gathering, according to government figures.

According to figures released by the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) (ODNI) and the Department of Defense, the United States Intelligence Community, a federation of 17 government spy agencies, gobbled up some $80 billion in 2011.

The figures show that the Central Intelligence Agency had consumed most of the money out of $68 billion approved by Congress in the fiscal year of 2014 that ended in September.

According to the data, Congress also handed over $68 billion to the intelligence agencies in fiscal year 2013.

Officials did not provide a breakdown of the intelligence budget or details about how the funding was used.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/31/384217/us-spent-136bn-on-spying-in-2-years/

Is Your Judge for Sale?

Thanks to Karl Rove and Citizens United, judicial elections have been overtaken by secretive interest groups, nasty ads, and the constant hustle for campaign cash.


These days, as more candidates for the bench face rough contests—buffeted increasingly by outside money, thanks to the US Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United—state judges around the country often raise six- and seven-figure sums, mount statewide campaigns, and fend off attack ads from groups that don't disclose their donors. This trend has escalated over the last decade and a half as partisan groups realize that donating to judges can get them more influence, for less money, than bankrolling legislative campaigns. After all, the donors often end up with business before the very judges they are helping elect.

These are also the judges that most citizens who interact with the system have to face. Can Americans still trust in getting their fair day in court?

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/judicial-elections-citizens-united-karl-rove

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Three Spooky Ways You’re Being Spied on This Halloween

It’s that time of year when people don sinister masks, spray themselves with fake blood, and generally go all out for a good fright. But here at EFF, we think there are plenty of real-world ghouls to last all year-round. Fortunately, we won’t let them hide under your bed. Sometimes our work sounds like science fiction, but the surveillance techniques and technology we fight are all too real. Here are some of the beasts hiding in your backyard that we’ve been fighting to expose:

Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) are cameras that can either be mounted on squad cars or stationary. They read license plates and record the time, date, and location a particular car was encountered. And they’re paving the way for wholesale tracking of every driver’s movements. ALPRs can scan up to 1,800 license plates per minute, and can collect data on vast numbers of vehicles. In Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles Police Department and Sheriff’s Department collect data on 3 million cars per week.

Fusion centers are information clearinghouses that enable unprecedented levels of bi-directional information sharing between state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies and federal agencies like the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. Bi-directional means that local law enforcement can share information with these agencies while also accessing federal information, through portals like the FBI’s eGuardian database.

Fusion centers are a serious threat to privacy. They magnify the impact of excessive spying by making sure that it gets shared through a vast network of agencies, with almost no oversight.

Last but not least, we’re keeping an eye on the spreading use of Stingrays. These are devices that are used by law enforcement to electronically search for a particular cell phone's signal by capturing the International Mobile Subscriber Identity of potentially thousands of people in a particular area. Small enough to fit in a van, they masquerade as a cell phone tower, and trick your phone into connecting with them every 7-15 seconds. As a result, the government can surreptitiously figure out who, when and to where you are calling, the precise location of every device within the range, and with some devices, even capture the content of your conversations.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/three-spooky-ways-youre-being-spied-halloween

Surprise! Controversial Patriot Act power now overwhelmingly used in drug investigations

One of the more controversial provisions of the Patriot Act was to broaden the “sneak-and-peek” power for federal law enforcement officials. The provision allows investigators to conduct searches without informing the target of the search. We were assured at the time that this was an essential law enforcement tool that would be used only to protect the country from terrorism. Supporters argued that it was critical that investigators be allowed to look into the lives and finances of suspected terrorists without tipping off those terrorists to the fact that they were under investigation.

Civil libertarian critics warned that the federal government already had this power for national security investigations. The Patriot Act provision was far too broad and would almost certainly become a common tactic in cases that have nothing to do with national security.

But this was all immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and there was little patience for civil libertarians. The massive Patriot Act of course passed overwhelmingly, including the sneak-and-peek provision, despite the fact that only a handful of members of Congress had actually read it. (Not to mention the public.)

More than a decade later, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an analysis on use of the sneak-and-peek power. Just as critics predicted, it’s now a ubiquitous part of federal law enforcement.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/10/29/surprise-controversial-patriot-act-power-now-overwhelmingly-used-in-drug-investigations/

Red Cross 'Diverted Assets' During Storms' Aftermath To Focus On Image

In 2012, two massive storms pounded the United States, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless, hungry or without power for days and weeks.

Americans did what they so often do after disasters. They sent hundreds of millions of dollars to the Red Cross, confident their money would ease the suffering left behind by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac. They believed the charity was up to the job.

They were wrong.

The Red Cross botched key elements of its mission after Sandy and Isaac, leaving behind a trail of unmet needs and acrimony, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. The charity’s shortcomings were detailed in confidential reports and internal emails, as well as accounts from current and former disaster relief specialists.

What’s more, Red Cross officials at national headquarters in Washington, D.C. compounded the charity’s inability to provide relief by “diverting assets for public relations purposes,” as one internal report puts it. Distribution of relief supplies, the report said, was “politically driven.”

During Isaac, Red Cross supervisors ordered dozens of trucks usually deployed to deliver aid to be driven around nearly empty instead, “just to be seen,” one of the drivers, Jim Dunham, recalls.

“We were sent way down on the Gulf with nothing to give,” Dunham says. The Red Cross’ relief effort was “worse than the storm.”

During Sandy, emergency vehicles were taken away from relief work and assigned to serve as backdrops for press conferences, angering disaster responders on the ground.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/propublica/redcross/the-red-cross-secret-disaster.html


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The NRA Comes Out in Support of Warrior Cops

The NRA has long walked a delicate line between glorifying law enforcement and fanning fears of big, tyrannical government. In 1995, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre infamously wrote of "jack-booted government thugs" and "federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms," and he still routinely warns of imminent crackdowns on gun owners. As Stewart coyly acknowledges, "For many there is a certain Orwellian level of mistrust in government and law enforcement."

Yet the NRA is also a trade lobby for firearms manufacturers, which may explain its soft stance on the militarization of American police. As I detail in the current issue of Mother Jones, a multibillion dollar industry has sprung up to provide ever-bigger weapons and military-style equipment to law enforcement. Since 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has given local police departments $41 billion to buy new gear.

This puts the NRA in a tricky position. Ever since the Ferguson protests, people from all political persuasions have become wary of efforts like the Pentagon's 1033 program, which has transferred $5.1 billion worth of equipment to local law enforcement. Stewart's article makes the NRA's position on 1033 clear: "The program is not evil; it is responsible." He also defends the police's use of camouflaged battle dress "for tactical advantage," especially for those who "serve on the frontline of illegal activity along our southern border." It is "unconscionable," he maintains, to make cops wear their "everyday duty uniforms" in "extremely dangerous situations"—such as protests.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/10/nra-warrior-cop-police-militarization

Gary Webb Interview on his "Dark Alliance" series (1996)

FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance

The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.

Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would ride roughshod over strict limits to searches and seizures laid out under the fourth amendment of the US constitution, as well as violate first amendment privacy rights. They have protested that the FBI is seeking to transform its cyber capabilities with minimal public debate and with no congressional oversight.

The regulatory body to which the Department of Justice has applied to make the rule change, the advisory committee on criminal rules, will meet for the first time on November 5 to discuss the issue. The panel will be addressed by a slew of technology experts and privacy advocates concerned about the possible ramifications were the proposals allowed to go into effect next year.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/29/fbi-powers-hacking-computers-surveillance

British spies can go through Americans' telephone calls and emails without a warrant reveals legal challenge in the UK

British spies can help themselves to data collected by the NSA from the telephone calls and Internet communications of Americans without a warrant, a new court document shows.

The agreement between the NSA and its British equivalent, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) means that American citizen's data can be seen and stored by the United States' closest ally without a warrant when that is 'not technically feasible'.

Anything discovered in the data, once obtained, can be kept by the British for up to two years and specifically relates to 'unselected' or raw data.

But, this deadline can be extended unilaterally by 'senior UK officials' if they believe it to be necessary for national security purposes.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812728/British-spies-American-s-telephone-calls-emails-without-warrant-reveals-legal-challenge-UK.html

4th Amendment Fight Against NSA Continues

The National Security Agency illegally searches and seizes Americans' Internet communications, class plaintiffs continue to argue in Federal Court.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the high-profile domestic spying case Jewel v. NSA in 2008, submitted a brief Oct. 24 responding to the government's opposition to a motion for partial summary judgment in September. The privacy advocacy group also filed a motion the same day to strike a secret brief filed by the government.
In its new brief, the EFF strikes back against what it calls on its website "the government's various attempts at constitutional circumvention."
The EFF has argued that the government, by tapping fiber-optic cables of telecommunications companies and copying the data stream without a warrant, violates the Fourth Amendment.
The government claims it cannot disclose how its data collection program - known as "Upstream" - works, on national security grounds.
It's partially on those grounds that the government sought dismissal of the EFF's claims.
The Jewel case stems from a 2006 revelation by a former AT&T technician that the company was routing copies of emails, Web browsing data and other Internet information to a secret NSA-controlled location in San Francisco.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/10/29/72888.htm

NYPD Officers Strip-Search, Assault, Arrest and Charge Man with Jaywalking for Recording Cops

Jose LaSalle, 44, claims cops grabbed his camera, threw him against a fence, cuffed him and strip-searched him on Sept. 28 in the Bronx. LaSalle, who runs the watchdog group Copwatch Patrol Unit, also claims cops took his camera and slapped him with a summons for jaywalking. Now he plans to sue the city, the NYPD and the cops for $500,000.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/man-cops-roughed-filming-plans-sue-nypd-article-1.1988283


http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2014/10/29/nypd-officers-strip-search-assault-arrest-charge-man-jaywalking-recording-cops/

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

John Draper AKA 'Captain Crunch' on Alex Jones Show (10-28-14)

Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S.

In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.

The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax.

The audit, along with interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, offers one of the first detailed looks at the scope of the program, which has played an important role in the nation’s vast surveillance effort since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The audit, which was reported on earlier by Politico, found that in many cases the Postal Service approved requests to monitor an individual’s mail without adequately describing the reason or having proper written authorization.

NY Times

Monday, October 27, 2014

Feds identify suspected 'second leaker' for Snowden reporters

By Michael Isikoff

The FBI has identified an employee of a federal contracting firm suspected of being the so-called "second leaker" who turned over sensitive documents about the U.S. government's terrorist watch list to a journalist closely associated with ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, according to law enforcement and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the case.

The FBI recently executed a search of the suspect's home, and federal prosecutors in Northern Virginia have opened up a criminal investigation into the matter, the sources said.

But the case has also generated concerns among some within the U.S. intelligence community that top Justice Department officials — stung by criticism that they have been overzealous in pursuing leak cases — may now be more reluctant to bring criminal charges involving unauthorized disclosures to the news media, the sources said. One source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said there was concern "there is no longer an appetite at Justice for these cases."

https://news.yahoo.com/feds-identify-suspected--second-leaker--for-snowden-reporters-165741571.html

99.6 Percent of Patriot Act ‘Sneak & Peek’ Searches Unrelated to Terrorism

Peekaboo, I See You: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/peekaboo-i-see-you-government-uses-authority-meant-terrorism-other-uses

In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

In all, the American military, the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and other agencies used at least 1,000 ex-Nazis and collaborators as spies and informants after the war, according to Richard Breitman, a Holocaust scholar at American University who was on a government-appointed team that declassified war-crime records.

The full tally of Nazis-turned-spies is probably much higher, said Norman Goda, a University of Florida historian on the declassification team, but many records remain classified even today, making a complete count impossible.

“U.S. agencies directly or indirectly hired numerous ex-Nazi police officials and East European collaborators who were manifestly guilty of war crimes,” he said. “Information was readily available that these were compromised men.”

None of the spies are known to be alive today.

The wide use of Nazi spies grew out of a Cold War mentality shared by two titans of intelligence in the 1950s: Mr. Hoover, the longtime F.B.I. director, and Mr. Dulles, the C.I.A. director.

By ERIC LICHTBLAU New York Times

The Myth of the Free Press

By Chris Hedges

There is more truth about American journalism in the film “Kill the Messenger,” which chronicles the mainstream media’s discrediting of the work of the investigative journalist Gary Webb, than there is in the movie “All the President’s Men,” which celebrates the exploits of the reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal.

The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy—even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses. The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power.

When Webb, writing in a 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News, exposed the Central Intelligence Agency’s complicity in smuggling tons of cocaine for sale into the United States to fund the CIA-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua, the press turned him into a journalistic leper. And over the generations there is a long list of journalistic lepers, from Ida B. Wells to I.F. Stone to Julian Assange.

The attacks against Webb have been renewed in publications such as The Washington Post since the release of the film earlier this month. These attacks are an act of self-justification. They are an attempt by the mass media to mask the collaboration between themselves and the power elite. The mass media, like the rest of the liberal establishment, seek to wrap themselves in the moral veneer of the fearless pursuit of truth and justice. But to maintain this myth they have to destroy the credibility of journalists such as Webb and Assange who shine a light on the sinister and murderous inner workings of empire, who care more about truth than news.

Truthdig

Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer

A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put
President Obama in a bad light
says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed.
“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying.
She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources.
Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

New York Post

2010 ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION DOCUMENT ENVISIONS PANDEMIC POLICE STATE SCENARIO

A May 2010 scenario planning report produced by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network envisions the likely creation of a technological police state in response to a deadly worldwide pandemic.

The document, entitled Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development, attempts to wargame different government responses to several potential disasters, while painting the solution as global governance. Page 18 of the document breaks down a fabricated scenario in which the United States refuses to protect its borders and restrict air travel following the outbreak of a new deadly virus.

"Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified"

MIKAEL THALEN | INFOWARS.COM

Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development (Rockefeller Foundation and Global Bus... by adan_infowars

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Free apps used to spy on millions of phones

Millions of people are being spied on by free apps they have installed on their mobile phones, security experts have warned. Many flashlight apps which allow a device to be used as a torch also secretly record the most sensitive personal information. This may include the location of the phone, details of its owner and their contacts, and even the content of text messages. The data is then transmitted to market research companies and advertising agencies to track user’s shopping habits, experts claim. But it is also suspected that criminal gangs, hackers and identity thieves have developed torch apps of their own to obtain personal data about consumers which could give them access to their bank accounts. The most popular flashlight apps for Android smartphones have been downloaded tens of millions of times. They include the Super-Bright LED Flashlight, the Brightest Flashlight Free and the Tiny Flashlight+LED. But few customers realise that many programs have capabilities far beyond switching on the phone’s light, according to American cyber-security firm SnoopWall, whose founder Gary Miliefsky has advised the US government. Written warnings that data will be passed on to third parties are buried in the lengthy terms and conditions, which very few people read through.

http://www.techodrom.com/etc/free-apps-used-spy-millions-phones/

Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.


“They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, “This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.’s mission and key priorities.” He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not apply to past seizures.

NY Times

The Deep State and the Bias of Official History

How do Wall Street, oil companies and the shadow government agencies like the CIA and NSA really shape the global political order?

That’s the question author Peter Dale Scott examines in his forthcoming book “The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil and the Attack on U.S. Democracy,” due out on Nov. 12. Scott, a professor emeritus of English at Berkeley and former Canadian diplomat, is considered the father of “deep politics”—the study of hidden permanent institutions and interests whose influence on the political realm transcends the elected.

In the “American Deep State,” Scott takes a compelling look at the facts lurking behind the official histories of events to uncover the real dynamics in play. In this exclusive excerpt—the first of several we will feature on WhoWhatWhy—he looks at the revolving door between Wall Street and the CIA, and what that demonstrates about where power truly resides.

http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/10/26/the-deep-state-and-the-bias-of-official-history-2/

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Police Are Still Out of Control...I should know...By FRANK SERPICO

Forty-odd years on, my story probably seems like ancient history to most people, layered over with Hollywood legend. For me it’s not, since at the age of 78 I’m still deaf in one ear and I walk with a limp and I carry fragments of the bullet near my brain. I am also, all these years later, still persona non grata in the NYPD. Never mind that, thanks to Sidney Lumet’s direction and Al Pacino’s brilliant acting, “Serpico” ranks No. 40 on the American Film Institute’s list of all-time movie heroes, or that as I travel around the country and the world, police officers often tell me they were inspired to join the force after seeing the movie at an early age.


In the NYPD that means little next to my 40-year-old heresy, as they see it. I still get hate mail from active and retired police officers. A couple of years ago after the death of David Durk — the police officer who was one of my few allies inside the department in my efforts to expose graft — the Internet message board “NYPD Rant” featured some choice messages directed at me. “Join your mentor, Rat scum!” said one. An ex-con recently related to me that a precinct captain had once said to him, “If it wasn’t for that fuckin’ Serpico, I coulda been a millionaire today.” My informer went on to say, “Frank, you don’t seem to understand, they had a well-oiled money making machine going and you came along and threw a handful of sand in the gears.”


In 1971 I was awarded the Medal of Honor, the NYPD’s highest award for bravery in action, but it wasn’t for taking on an army of corrupt cops. It was most likely due to the insistence of Police Chief Sid Cooper, a rare good guy who was well aware of the murky side of the NYPD that I’d try to expose. But they handed the medal to me like an afterthought, like tossing me a pack of cigarettes. After all this time, I’ve never been given a proper certificate with my medal. And although living Medal of Honor winners are typically invited to yearly award ceremonies, I’ve only been invited once — and it was by Bernard Kerick, who ironically was the only NYPD commissioner to later serve time in prison. A few years ago, after the New York Police Museum refused my guns and other memorabilia, I loaned them to the Italian-American museum right down street from police headquarters, and they invited me to their annual dinner. I didn’t know it was planned, but the chief of police from Rome, Italy, was there, and he gave me a plaque. The New York City police officers who were there wouldn’t even look at me.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-police-are-still-out-of-control-112160.html#.VEr1XMmwXEA


50 Percent Of American Workers Make Less Than 28,031 Dollars A Year

The Social Security Administration has just released wage statistics for 2013, and the numbers are startling. Last year, 50 percent of all American workers made less than $28,031, and 39 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000. If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make $20,000. So the fact that 39 percent of all workers made less than that amount is rather telling. This is more evidence of the declining quality of the jobs in this country. In many homes in America today, both parents are working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Our paychecks are stagnant while the cost of living just continues to soar. And the jobs that are being added to the economy pay a lot less than the jobs lost in the last recession. In fact, it has been estimated that the jobs that have been created since the last recession pay an average of 23 percent less than the jobs that were lost. We are witnessing the slow-motion destruction of the middle class, and very few of our leaders seem to care.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/50-percent-of-american-workers-make-less-than-28031-dollars-a-year

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Land of the Free – 1 in 3 Americans Are on File with the FBI in the U.S. Police State

The Wall Street Journal has a powerful article about how children in schools systems across the U.S. are being arrested or turned over to police custody for doing things that children have always done since the beginning of time. Things such as wearing too much perfume, sharing a classmates’ chicken nuggets, throwing an eraser or chewing gum.

As a result of our insane societal obsession with authority and disproportionate punishment, the WSJ reports that “nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database.”

Over the past 20 years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates. Nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database.

http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/10/21/1-in-3-americans-are-on-file-with-the-fbi-in-the-u-s-police-state/

Gary Webb Interview on Black Op Radio - August 23, 2001

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FBI Declassifies Additional Portions of 2007 Inspector General Report on Problems With National Security Letters


In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the New York Times, the FBI has declassified additional portions of a 2007 inspector general report about National Security Letters, a kind of administrative subpoena used to get records without judicial oversight in counterterrorism investigations. It also declassified additional portions of a 2008 follow-up report. The newly revealed portions are marked in notes below.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/24/us/23-FBI-NSL-FOIA.html?_r=0

DOJ OIG Review of FBI's Use of National Security Letters 2003-2005



DOJ OIG Review of FBI's Use of National Security Letters 2006



http://leaksource.info/2014/08/15/doj-oig-reviews-of-fbis-use-of-national-security-letters-2003-2009/

CIA Mockingbird Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

Benjamin C. Bradlee, a Massachusetts paperboy in his youth who became the longtime editor of The Washington Post where he inspired a legion of reporters and led the paper’s coverage of the Watergate scandal, died Tuesday from natural causes. …

“One of the most important journalists under the control of Operation Mockingbird was Joseph Alsop, whose articles appeared in over 300 different newspapers. Other journalists willing to promote the views of the CIA included Stewart Alsop (New York Herald Tribune), Ben Bradlee (Newsweek), James Reston (New York Times), C. D. Jackson (Time Magazine), Walter Pincus (Washington Post), Walter Winchell (New York Daily Mirror), Drew Pearson, Walter Lippmann, William Allen White, Edgar Ansel Mowrer (Chicago Daily News),Hal Hendrix (Miami News), Whitelaw Reid (New York Herald Tribune), Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star), William C. Baggs (Miami News), Herb Gold (Miami News) and Charles L. Bartlett (Chattanooga Times). …” (Source: “Operation Mockingbird,” Spartacus International)

http://www.constantinereport.com/cia-mockingbird-ben-bradlee-dead-93/

10 Things About The U.S. News Media That They Do Not Want You To Know

Do you trust the news media? Do you believe that the information that they are giving you is true and accurate? If you answered yes to either of those questions, that places you in a steadily shrinking minority. Yes, on average Americans watch approximately 153 hours of television a month, but for their news they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of information such as this website. Big news channels such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News are losing hordes of viewers, and they are desperately searching for answers. Things have gotten so bad at CNN that they have been forced to lay off hundreds of workers. The mainstream media is slowly dying, but they will never admit it. They are still convinced that they can find some way to turn this around and regain the trust of the American people. But it simply is not going to happen. The following are 10 things about the U.S. news media that they do not want you to know...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/10-things-about-the-u-s-news-media-that-they-do-not-want-you-to-know

Blackwater Founder Remains Free and Rich While His Former Employees Go Down on Murder Charges

A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007.

The jury found one guard, Nicholas Slatten, guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards were found guilty of voluntary manslaughter: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard. The jury is still deliberating on additional charges against the operatives, who faced a combined 33 counts, according to the Associated Press. A fifth Blackwater guard, Jeremy Ridgeway, had already pleaded guilty to lesser charges and cooperated with prosecutors in the case against his former colleagues. The trial lasted ten weeks and the jury has been in deliberations for 28 days.

The incident for which the men were tried was the single largest known massacre of Iraqi civilians at the hands of private U.S. security contractors. Known as “Baghdad’s bloody Sunday,” operatives from Blackwater gunned down 17 Iraqi civilians at a crowded intersection at Nisour Square on September 16, 2007. The company, founded by secretive right-wing Christian supremacist Erik Prince, pictured above, had deep ties to the Bush Administration and served as a sort of neoconservative Praetorian Guard for a borderless war launched in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

While Barack Obama pledged to reign in mercenary forces when he was a senator, once he became president he continued to employ a massive shadow army of private contractors. Blackwater — despite numerous scandals, congressional investigations, FBI probes and documented killings of civilians in both Iraq and Afghanistan — remained a central part of the Obama administration’s global war machine throughout his first term in office.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/22/blackwater-guilty-verdicts/

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

“Freeway” Rick Ross on The Alex Jones Show - October 21,2014

Afghan opium poppy yield hits all-time high

Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has hit an all-time high despite years of counter-narcotics efforts that have cost the US $7.6bn (£4.7bn), according to a US government watchdog.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime reported that Afghan farmers grew an “unprecedented” 209,000 hectares (523,000 acres) of opium poppy in 2013, surpassing the previous high of 193,000 hectares in 2007, said John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

“In past years, surges in opium poppy cultivation have been met by a coordinated response from the US government and coalition partners, which has led to a temporary decline in levels of opium production,” Sopko said in a letter to the secretary of state, John Kerry, the defence secretary, Chuck Hagel, and other top US officials.

“The recent record-high level of poppy cultivation calls into question the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of those prior efforts,” he said on Tuesday.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/21/afghan-opium-poppy-cultivation-all-time-high?CMP=twt_gu

How the Local Police State is Caused by the Federal Government

With the sight of cops in Ferguson, Missouri and Boston resembling totalitarian warriors out of a stereotypical dystopian novel, many Americans have become alarmed at the apparent transition of law enforcement to a role as an occupation force.

They also wonder where the police got the money to pay for it.

According the Center for Investigative Reporting, the answer is that most of it comes from the federal government. In the past decade alone, police departments throughout the country have received a total of $34 billion in federal grants.

Police getting new toys on the fed’s taxpayer’s dime is nothing new. Ever since the War on Drugs was declared in the 1970s, the feds have offered equipment and resources to local law enforcement agencies to help enforce their unconstitutional laws.

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2014/10/21/how-the-local-police-state-is-caused-by-the-federal-government/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Propaganda 101 – How the Pentagon is Trying to Rewrite Vietnam War History

In case you weren’t aware, the Pentagon is set to roll out a 50th anniversary commemoration of the Vietnam War. Personally, it’s hard to get excited about commemorating an event that led to the death of over 58,000 American soldiers and more than a million Vietnamese, particularly since much of it was the direct result of well documented lies and deception, such as the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

What’s worse, the Pentagon intends to rewrite history by whitewashing this period of civil unrest and government shame from American history. The propaganda is so blatant that it has resulted in many of the era’s most well known protestors and activists to come together in order to stop it.

The New York Times reports 'Paying Respects, Pentagon Revives Vietnam, and War Over Truth'

http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/10/16/propaganda-101-how-the-pentagon-is-trying-to-rewrite-vietnam-war-history/

Virginia Police Have Been Secretively Stockpiling Private Phone Records

The database, which affects unknown numbers of people, contains phone records that at least five police agencies in southeast Virginia have been collecting since 2012 and sharing with one another with little oversight. Some of the data appears to have been obtained by police from telecoms using only a subpoena, rather than a court order or probable-cause warrant. Other information in the database comes from mobile phones seized from suspects during an arrest.

The five cities participating in the program, known as the Hampton Roads Telephone Analysis Sharing Network, are Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Suffolk, according to the memorandum of understanding that established the database. The effort is being led in part by the Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Task Force, which is responsible for a “telephone analysis room” in the city of Hampton, where the database is maintained.

The unusual and secretive database contains telecom customer subscriber information; records about individual phone calls, such as the numbers dialed, the time the calls were made and their duration; as well as the contents of seized mobile devices. The information is collected and shared among police agencies to enhance analysis and law enforcement intelligence.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/virginia-police-secretively-stockpiling-private-phone-records/

https://beta.cironline.org/reports/5-virginia-police-agencies-quietly-stockpile-private-phone-records/

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

The people we elect aren’t the ones calling the shots, says Tufts University’s Michael Glennon

Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

Boston Globe

Friday, October 17, 2014

FBI quest for smartphone data will fuel privacy battle

In the battle over how much access law enforcement should have to your smartphone, don’t expect the government to be outsmarted without a fight.

FBI Director James Comey said as much Thursday in a speech at the Brookings Institution in Washington, suggesting the agency might ask congress to force companies to provide what amounts to a “back door” to law enforcement to obtain password-protected data on targeted personal mobile devices.

“We’re hoping to start a dialogue with congress” on updating laws that require tech companies to comply, he told the audience.

But he might find more than the usual resistance on Capitol Hill these days, and not just from known privacy critics and libertarians. A White House advisory panel convened in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks about widespread government surveillance of Americans formally recommended that laws should “not in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable generally available commercial software.”

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/10/17/fbi-will-face-stiff-resistance-in-quest-for-smartphone-data/

WikiLeaks Releases Updated Intellectual Property Rights Chapter of Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Draft

Today, Thursday 16 October 2014, WikiLeaks released a second updated version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the world’s largest economic trade agreement that will, if it comes into force, encompass more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The IP Chapter covers topics from pharmaceuticals, patent registrations and copyright issues to digital rights. Experts say it will affect freedom of information, civil liberties and access to medicines globally. The WikiLeaks release comes ahead of a Chief Negotiators’ meeting in Canberra on 19 October 2014, which is followed by what is meant to be a decisive Ministerial meeting in Sydney on 25–27 October.

Despite the wide-ranging effects on the global population, the TPP is currently being negotiated in total secrecy by 12 countries. Few people, even within the negotiating countries’ governments, have access to the full text of the draft agreement and the public, who it will affect most, none at all. Large corporations, however, are able to see portions of the text, generating a powerful lobby to effect changes on behalf of these groups and bringing developing country members reduced force, while the public at large gets no say.

http://leaksource.info/2014/10/17/wikileaks-releases-updated-intellectual-property-rights-chapter-of-secret-trans-pacific-partnership-draft/

https://www.wikileaks.org/tpp-ip2/pressrelease/

Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules

Americans may have a Florida drug dealer to thank for expanding our right to privacy.

Police departments around the country have been collecting phone metadata from telecoms and using a sophisticated spy tool to track people through their mobile phones—often without obtaining a warrant. But a new ruling out of Florida has curbed the activity in that state, on constitutional grounds. It raises hope among civil liberties advocates that other jurisdictions around the country may follow suit.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that obtaining cell phone location data to track a person’s location or movement in real time constitutes a Fourth Amendment search and therefore requires a court-ordered warrant.

The case specifically involves cell tower data for a convicted drug dealer that police obtained from a telecom without a warrant. But the way the ruling is written (.pdf), it would also cover the use of so-called “stingrays”—sophisticated technology law enforcement agencies use to locate and track people in the field without assistance from telecoms. Agencies around the country, including in Florida, have been using the technology to track suspects—sometimes without obtaining a court order, other times deliberately deceiving judges and defendants about their use of the devices to track suspects, telling judges the information came from “confidential” sources rather than disclose their use of stingrays. The new ruling would require them to obtain a warrant or stop using the devices.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/florida-court-requires-warrant-cell-tower-data/

‘Kill the Messenger’: Rare Truth-telling

By James DiEugenio

I only met Gary Webb once – in December 1996 at the late, great activist bookstore, The Midnight Special, in Santa Monica, California. I was writing at Probe Magazine then and had covered Webb’s groundbreaking San Jose Mercury News three-part series, titled “Dark Alliance.”

This fascinating, compelling series outlined a malevolent network which helped fund the CIA-backed Nicaraguan Contra forces with profits from the cocaine trade in California. The Nicaraguan supplier was a man named Norwin Meneses, who associated with top-level Contra leader Adolfo Calero.


Meneses’s agent, Danilo Blandon, distributed the cocaine in Los Angeles to a former high school tennis player named Ricky Ross. The Blandon/Meneses brand of cocaine was high grade but cheap, so Ross became a millionaire. He was nicknamed “Freeway Rick,” because he made so much money selling drugs that he purchased properties along the Harbor Freeway, including motels and theaters.

Webb’s story did not actually say the CIA was directly involved with this network. It said the Agency knew about it and turned a blind eye because the overriding objective had been to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua – even if that meant letting the CIA’s clients and their associates import large amounts of cocaine into California and elsewhere in the United States.

The end result was to financially bolster the Contras, while thousands of Americans who could not afford powder cocaine now found themselves addicted to low-cost but high-grade crack. This took the old political adage – “the ends justify the means” – to mind-boggling new heights. In fact, under oath, Blandon testified that Contra military leader Enrique Bermudez used precisely that phrase, “the ends justify the means.”

Webb’s series ran from Aug. 18-20, 1996. And, for several weeks, the story advanced unopposed through talk radio, cable TV and the Internet, which was then still in its formative stages. Webb’s compelling story gained further traction because the Mercury News had created a state-of-the-art, interactive web site which linked to scores of documents and hundreds of pages of supplemental materials.

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/10/16/kill-the-messenger-rare-truth-telling/

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Alex Jones Reviews 'Kill the Messenger'

Lars Schall and Paul Zarembka Dissect the 9/11 Insider Trading

Today James Corbett talks to Lars Schall of LarsSchall.com and Dr. Paul Zarembka at SUNY Buffalo about Jim Rickards’ recent “revelations” regarding the 9/11 insider trading. We discuss the evidence that Rickards (who supports the official 9/11 narrative) leaves out of his analysis and where the economic analysis of 9/11 insider trading stands today.

http://www.corbettreport.com/interview-955-lars-schall-and-paul-zarembka-dissect-the-911-insider-trading/#

http://911blogger.com/news/2014-10-16/lars-schall-and-paul-zarembka-dissect-911-insider-trading

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels

The Central Intelligence Agency has run guns to insurgencies across the world during its 67-year history — from Angola to Nicaragua to Cuba. The continuing C.I.A. effort to train Syrian rebels is just the latest example of an American president becoming enticed by the prospect of using the spy agency to covertly arm and train rebel groups.

An internal C.I.A. study has found that it rarely works.

The still-classified review, one of several C.I.A. studies commissioned in 2012 and 2013 in the midst of the Obama administration’s protracted debate about whether to wade into the Syrian civil war, concluded that many past attempts by the agency to arm foreign forces covertly had a minimal impact on the long-term outcome of a conflict. They were even less effective, the report found, when the militias fought without any direct American support on the ground.

NY Times

NSA Documents Suggest a Close Working Relationship Between NSA, U.S. Companies

Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents suggest a closer relationship between American companies and the spy agency than have been previously disclosed.

The documents, published last week by The Intercept, describe "contractual relationships" between the NSA and U.S. companies, as well as the fact that the NSA has "under cover" spies working at or with some U.S. companies.

While not conclusive, the material includes some clear suggestions that at least some American companies are quite willing to help the agency conduct its massive surveillance programs.

The precise role of U.S. companies in the NSA's global surveillance operations remains unclear. Documents obtained by Edward Snowden and published by various news organizations show that companies have turned over their customers' email, phone calling records and other data under court orders. But the level of cooperation beyond those court orders has been an open question, with several leading companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook, asserting that they only turn over customer information that is "targeted and specific" in response to legal demands.

http://www.propublica.org/article/nsa-documents-suggest-close-relationship-between-nsa-us-companies

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

James Risen Prepared to "Pay Any Price" to Report on War on Terror Amid Crackdown on Whistleblowers

We spend the hour with veteran New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, the journalist at the center of one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades. In 2006, Risen won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting about warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the National Security Agency. He has since been pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations in a six-year leak investigation into that book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." Risen now faces years in prison if he refuses to testify at the trial of a former CIA officer, Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of giving him classified information about the agency’s role in disrupting Iran’s nuclear program, which he argues effectively gave Iran a blueprint for designing a bomb. The Obama administration must now decide if it will try to force Risen’s testimony, despite new guidelines issued earlier this year that make it harder to subpoena journalists for their records. Risen’s answer to this saga has been to write another book, released today, titled "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War." "You cannot have aggressive investigative reporting in America without confidential sources — and without aggressive investigative reporting, we can’t really have a democracy," Risen says. "I think that is what the government really fears more than anything else." Risen also details revelations he makes in his new book about what he calls the "homeland security-industrial complex."

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/10/14/james_risen_prepared_to_pay_any

Monday, October 13, 2014

The War on Leaks - James Risen 60 Minutes Interview 10/12/2014

Was RFK a JFK Conspiracy Theorist?

What else did Bobby Kennedy know? Last year, the son and namesake of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy revealed publicly that his father had considered the Warren Commission’s final report, which largely ruled out the possibility of a conspiracy in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to be a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship.” Robert Jr. said his father suspected that the president had been killed in a conspiracy involving Cuba, the Mafia or even rogue agents of the CIA. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a close friend of the Kennedy family, would disclose years later that he was told by Robert Kennedy in December 1963, a month after the president’s murder, that the former attorney general worried that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was “part of a larger plot, whether organized by Castro or by gangsters.” Schlesinger said that in 1966, two years after the Warren Commission report, Kennedy was still so suspicious about a conspiracy that he wondered aloud “how long he could continue to avoid comment on the report—it is evident that he believes it is was poor job.”

Newly disclosed documents from the commission, made public on the 50th anniversary of its final report, suggest that the panel missed a chance to get Robert Kennedy to acknowledge publicly what he would later confess to his closest family and friends: that he believed the commission had overlooked evidence that might have pointed to a conspiracy.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/was-bobby-kennedy-a-jfk-conspiracy-theorist-111729.html#.VDtOnhZ_T_e

Edward Snowden @ Observer Ideas 2014

The Virtual Interview: Edward Snowden – The New Yorker Festival

Saturday, October 11, 2014

CONFIRMED: Glenn Greenwald Working With Second U.S. Intelligence Whistleblower

The investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald has found a second leaker inside the US intelligence agencies, according to a new documentary about Edward Snowden that premiered in New York on Friday night.

Towards the end of filmmaker Laura Poitras’s portrait of Snowden – titled CITIZENFOUR, the label he used when he first contacted her – Greenwald is seen telling Snowden about a second source.

In the key scene, Greenwald visits Snowden at a hotel room in Moscow. Fearing they are being taped, Greenwald communicates with Snowden via pen and paper.

While some of the exchanges are blurred for the camera, it becomes clear that Greenwald wants to convey that another government whistleblower — higher in rank than Snowden — has come forward.

http://leaksource.info/2014/10/11/confirmed-glenn-greenwald-working-with-second-us-intelligence-whistleblower/

The Resurrection of Gary Webb: Will Hollywood Give Journalist Last Word Against CIA’s Media Apologists?

It’s been 18 years since Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series in the San Jose Mercury News exploded across a new medium – the Internet – and definitively linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere to drug traffickers allied with the CIA’s rightwing Contra army in Nicaragua. Webb’s revelations sparked anger across the country, especially in black communities.

But the 1996 series (which was accompanied by unprecedented online documentation) also sparked one of the most ferocious media assaults ever on an individual reporter – a less-than-honest backlash against Webb by elite newspapers that had long ignored or suppressed evidence of CIA/Contra/cocaine connections.

The assault by the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times drove Webb out of the newspaper business, and ultimately to his death.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/10/06/resurrection-gary-webb-will-hollywood-give-journalist-last-word-against-cias-media

Key Figures In CIA-Crack Cocaine Scandal Begin To Come Forward

With the public in the U.S. and Latin America becoming increasingly skeptical of the war on drugs, key figures in a scandal that once rocked the Central Intelligence Agency are coming forward to tell their stories in a new documentary and in a series of interviews with The Huffington Post.

More than 18 years have passed since Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb stunned the world with his “Dark Alliance” newspaper series investigating the connections between the CIA, a crack cocaine explosion in the predominantly African-American neighborhoods of South Los Angeles, and the Nicaraguan Contra fighters -- scandalous implications that outraged LA’s black community, severely damaged the intelligence agency's reputation and launched a number of federal investigations.

It did not end well for Webb, however. Major media, led by The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, worked to discredit his story. Under intense pressure, Webb's top editor abandoned him. Webb was drummed out of journalism. One LA Times reporter recently apologized for his leading role in the assault on Webb, but it came too late. Webb died in 2004 from an apparent suicide. Obituaries referred to his investigation as "discredited."

Now, Webb’s bombshell expose is being explored anew in a documentary, “Freeway: Crack in the System,” directed by Marc Levin, which tells the story of “Freeway” Rick Ross, who created a crack empire in LA during the 1980s and is a key figure in Webb’s “Dark Alliance” narrative. The documentary is being released after the major motion picture “Kill The Messenger,” which features Jeremy Renner in the role of Webb and hits theaters on Friday.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/gary-webb-dark-alliance_n_5961748.html

Gary Webb "People Realized They Had Been Lied to"

NSA May Have Undercover Operatives in Foreign Companies

The brief reveals new details about six categories of NSA operations that fall under the Sentry Eagle rubric. These are also known as the NSA’s “core” secrets and are identified as:

Sentry Hawk—which involves computer network exploitation (aka CNE), the government’s term for digital espionage. (For example, programs like Flame would fall into this category.)

Sentry Falcon—which involves computer network defense.

Sentry Osprey—which appears to involve overseeing NSA clandestine operations conducted in conjunction with the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency and Army intelligence. These operations involve human intelligence assets, or “HUMINT assets (Target Exploitation—TAREX) to support signals intelligence (SIGINT) operations.”

This is one of the biggest reveals of the report. Apparently, under Sentry Osprey, people responsible for target exploitation operations are embedded in operations conducted by the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and FBI to provide technical expertise these agencies lack. This would include covert or clandestine field activities as well as interception, or “interdiction” of devices in the supply chain to modify equipment or implant bugs or beacons in hardware. The TAREX group specializes in physical subversion—that is, subversion through physical access to a device or facility, rather than by implanting spyware remotely over the internet. The report doesn’t indicate if the kinds of modifications made to equipment involve sabotage, but it’s possible the alterations made could include planting logic bombs in software to destroy data or equipment, as the Stuxnet worm did in Iran.

Some of the TAREX bases of operation overseas appear to be located in South Korea, Germany and Beijing, China. But domestic centers for these operations are also based in Hawaii, Texas and Georgia. The NSA also handily keeps TAREX personnel stationed at U.S. embassies.

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald described this so-called interdiction activity in his recent book No Place to Hide, which included a photo of NSA agents opening packages that had been intercepted enroute to their destination in order to implant surveillance beacons in them.

Sentry Raven—focuses on cracking encryption systems. The documents state that the NSA “works with specific U.S. commercial entities . . . to modify U.S manufactured encryption systems to make them exploitable for SIGINT.” It doesn’t name the commercial entities or the encryption tools they modified, however. This activity has been previously reported, but the stark declaration here underscores the cooperation that U.S. companies appear to be giving the NSA.

Sentry Condor—involves computer network attacks (CNA), the government’s term for computer and network penetrations that involve degrading, damaging, delaying or destroying systems.

Sentry Owl—a program involving collaboration with private companies. The report doesn’t elaborate on this.

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/nsa-may-undercover-operatives-foreign-companies-new-documents-show/

Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany

The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used “under cover” operatives to gain access to sensitive data and systems in the global communications industry, and that these secret agents may have even dealt with American firms. The documents describe a range of clandestine field activities that are among the agency’s “core secrets” when it comes to computer network attacks, details of which are apparently shared with only a small number of officials outside the NSA.

“It’s something that many people have been wondering about for a long time,” said Chris Soghoian, principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, after reviewing the documents. “I’ve had conversations with executives at tech companies about this precise thing. How do you know the NSA is not sending people into your data centers?”

Previous disclosures about the NSA’s corporate partnerships have focused largely on U.S. companies providing the agency with vast amounts of customer data, including phone records and email traffic. But documents published today by The Intercept suggest that even as the agency uses secret operatives to penetrate them, companies have also cooperated more broadly to undermine the physical infrastructure of the internet than has been previously confirmed.

In addition to so-called “close access” operations, the NSA’s “core secrets” include the fact that the agency works with U.S. and foreign companies to weaken their encryption systems; the fact that the NSA spends “hundreds of millions of dollars” on technology to defeat commercial encryption; and the fact that the agency works with U.S. and foreign companies to penetrate computer networks, possibly without the knowledge of the host countries. Many of the NSA’s core secrets concern its relationships to domestic and foreign corporations.

Some of the documents in this article appear in a new documentary, CITIZENFOUR, which tells the story of the Snowden disclosures and is directed by Intercept co-founder Laura Poitras. The documents describe a panoply of programs classified with the rare designation of “Exceptionally Compartmented Information,” or ECI, which are only disclosed to a “very select” number of government officials.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/10/core-secrets/

Kill The Messenger: How The Media Destroyed Gary Webb

In the mid- to late '80s, a number of reports had surfaced that connected the Contras to the cocaine trade. The first was by Associated Press scribes Brian Barger and Robert Parry, who published a story in December 1985 that begins, "Nicaraguan rebels operating in northern Costa Rica have engaged in cocaine trafficking, in part to help finance their war against Nicaragua's leftist government, according to U.S. investigators and American volunteers who work with the rebels."

Only a few outlets followed Barger and Parry's lead, including the San Francisco Examiner and the lefty mag In These Times, which both published similar stories in 1986, and CBS's "West 57th" TV series, which did a segment in 1987. A Nexis search of the year following Barger and Parry's revelation turns up a total of only four stories containing the terms "Contras" and "cocaine" -- one of them a denial of the accusation from a Contra spokesperson. Stories popped up here and there over the next decade, but many of them make only oblique reference to a couldn't-possibly-be-true conspiracy theory.

Then came the San Jose Mercury News piece, a 20,000-word three-parter by Pulitzer Prize–winning staffer Gary Webb published under the title "Dark Alliance." "For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found," it begins.

The series initially received little attention from major media outlets, but it was eventually transported across the nation by the Internet and black talk radio. The latter put its own spin on the tale: That the U.S. government had deliberately spread crack to African-American neighborhoods to quell unruly residents. The Post newsroom was bombarded with phone calls asking why it was ignoring the story, the paper's ombudsman later reported.

In response, the Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times would all weigh in with multiple articles claiming that Webb's assertions were bunk. His career was effectively ruined, and even his own paper eventually disavowed "Dark Alliance," despite having given it a cutting-edge online presentation complete with document transcriptions and audio recordings.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/10/kill-the-messenger_n_5962708.html

Friday, October 10, 2014

"Kill the Messenger" Resurrects Gary Webb, Journalist Maligned for Exposing CIA Ties to Crack Trade

The new Hollywood film "Kill the Messenger" tells the story of Gary Webb, one of the most maligned figures in investigative journalism. Webb’s explosive 1996 investigative series "Dark Alliance" for the San Jose Mercury News revealed ties between the CIA, Nicaraguan contras and the crack cocaine trade ravaging African-American communities. The exposé provoked protests and congressional hearings, as well as a fierce reaction from the media establishment, which went to great lengths to discredit Webb’s reporting. We revisit Webb’s story with an extended clip from the documentary "Shadows of Liberty," and speak with Robert Parry, a veteran investigative journalist who advised Webb before he published the series.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/10/9/kill_the_messenger_resurrects_gary_webb

Thursday, October 9, 2014

MAE BRUSSELL AND FASCISM IN AMERICA - The Conspiracy Show Podcast (10-5-14)

Richard Syrett welcomes ALEX CONSTANTINE, an author/investigative journalist to discuss the life and career of the late Mae Brussell, a radio personality whose work centered around the JFK assassination and the history of fascism.

http://www.zoomerradio.ca/shows/the-conspiracy-show/podcast-the-conspiracy-show/conspiracy-show-podcast-october-5th/

http://feralhouse.com/the-essential-mae-brussell-investigations-of-fascism-in-america-excerpt/

http://www.amazon.com/The-Essential-Mae-Brussell-Investigations/dp/1936239981

Mae Brussell Archive - You Tube


Bid to Solve 9/11 Mystery Via NYC Ballot Ends After Court Ruling

An effort to put a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 up for vote in New York City won’t be on the November ballot, after a New York State Supreme Court judge upheld a ruling dismissing the proposed referendum.

The High-Rise Safety Initiative, which raised $350,000 and collected about 100,000 signatures to support its effort, decided not to appeal the decision by Judge Paul Wooten. Why? To keep open an avenue to try again at the next election in 2016, according to Ted Walter, the group’s executive director.

“We are going to take a little break, and try to evaluate whether we can redraft the petition to be successful in the future,” he told WhoWhatWhy.

The chances of winning on appeal now are slim and a loss now would foreclose an opportunity to counter the City’s use of a particular technicality to successfully scuttle this attempt, Walter said. That involved a finding that the High-Rise Safety Initiative’s proposed ballot measure was “merely advisory” and therefore not allowed. A special referee assigned to oversee the case (whose findings Judge Wooten upheld) also ruled that the group’s plan to finance the investigation wasn’t legally permissible.

That the High-Rise Safety Initiative made it this far should be considered against this fact: only two proposed referenda have made it to the ballot in New York City in the last 50 years. And neither of those cost money to implement, as the High-Rise Safety Initiative would have. New York City electoral laws are written such that it’s next to impossible to get any similar measures in front of voters.

http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/10/09/bid-to-solve-911-mystery-via-nyc-ballot-ends-after-court-ruling/

Court Spotlights the FBI’s Super-Secret National Security Letters

Last year, in a sharp rebuke to the government, a judge found that the gag order that comes with NSLs violated the First Amendment. The nondisclosure rule “significantly infringe[s] on speech regarding controversial government powers,” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, of Northern California, wrote in March 2013. She also ordered that the FBI stop sending out NSLs entirely, but put the order on hold to give the government a chance to appeal.

The government, predictably, did appeal, and in arguments yesterday before the 9th Circuit, a Justice Department lawyer said that they would lose “an extremely useful tool” if the court upholds the ban on NSLs. (Documents related to the case can be found here.)

The letters, the reach of which was expanded under the Patriot Act in 2001, let the FBI get business records from telephone, banking, and Internet companies with just a declaration that the information is relevant to a counterterrorism investigation.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/09/court-spotlight-super-secret-national-security-letters/

Scientific study reveals conspiracy theorists the most sane of all

If you're a conspiracy theorist, then you're crazy, right? That's been the common belief for years, but recent studies prove that just the opposite is true.

Researchers -- psychologists and social scientists, mostly -- in the U.S. and United Kingdom say data indicate that, contrary to those mainstream media stereotypes, "conspiracy theorists" appear to be more sane than people who accept official versions of controversial and contested events.

The most recent study was published in July 2013 by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent in the UK. Entitled "'What about Building 7?' A Social Psychological Study of Online Discussion of 9/11 Conspiracy Theories," the study compared "conspiracist," or pro-conspiracy theory, and "conventionalist," or anti-conspiracy, comments on news websites.

The researchers noted that they were surprised to find that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventional ones.

"Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist," the researchers wrote.

'The research showed that people who favored the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile'

http://www.naturalnews.com/047168_conspiracy_theorists_sanity_propaganda.html

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence

In this 5-part video, Douglas P. Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board and who is the author of the five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK, discusses deceit and deception in the official autopsy of John F. Kennedy.

http://fff.org/freedom-in-motion/videos/series/1-altered-history/

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 8 - Cindy Sheehan

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top German Editor: CIA Bribing Journalists

Members of the German media are paid by the CIA in return for spinning the news in a way that supports US interests, and some German outlets are nothing more than PR appendages of NATO, according to a new book by Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany's largest newspapers...Operation Mockingbird, which began in the 1950s, was a secret CIA operation which recruited journalists to serve as mouthpieces for the American government. The program was officially terminated after it was exposed by the famous Church Committee investigations, but evidence of ongoing CIA influence over the media continues to accumulate. [I mean, can you listen to cable TV 'pundits' for more than five picoseconds and not arrive at the conclusion that the warmongering, corporate wh*res are not on the CIA payroll? It's a no-brainer.]

http://www.legitgov.org/Top-German-Editor-CIA-Bribing-Journalists

Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth - September 11,2014

Shut Up, Conspiracy Theorist !!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Millions Missing From DEA Money-Laundering Operation

At least $20 million went missing from money seizures by law enforcers, critical evidence was destroyed by a federal agency, a key informant was outed by a US prosecutor — contributing to her being kidnapped and nearly killed — and at the end of the day not a single narco-trafficker was prosecuted in this four-year-long DEA undercover operation gone awry.

Those revelations surfaced in a recently decided court case filed in the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.

“Throughout this protracted litigation, the agency [DEA] delayed producing documents until the 11th hour and destroyed potentially relevant evidence,“ states Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams in an Aug. 30 ruling awarding the informant in the case, with the code name “Princes,” more than $1.1 million. “…The conclusion that there were missing trafficker funds is supported by … DEA documents, including a statement by [a] DEA confidential informant.”

http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/bill-conroy/2014/10/millions-missing-dea-money-laundering-operation

Exclusive: Hundreds Of Devices Hidden Inside New York City Phone Booths

Beacons can push you ads — and help track your every move. Update: Hours after BuzzFeed News exposed the devices, the city ordered the removal of the devices.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/exclusive-hundreds-of-devices-hidden-inside-new-york-city-ph?s=mobile#2emmh3m

List of Top Conspiracy Theorists

The following is a list of some of the most popular and influential individuals in the field of conspiracy research to date. Since conspiracy theorists are a very diverse group it is expected that many will not agree with this listing; however, it is my belief that the individuals listed here represent the major figures in the genre of conspiracy theory.

Candidacy and ranking was determined using three criteria:

Reputation & Influence – How much interest do others have in the candidate?

Dedication - How much has the candidate contributed to their specific field? How long have they been involved in the field?

Influence – What impact has the candidate had on society?

1. Alex E. Jones
2. David V. Icke
3. Gary Allen (1936-1986)
4. John Robison (1739-1805)
5. Steven M. Greer, M.D.
6. Jim Marrs
7. Jordan Maxwell
8. John Lear
9. John A. Keel (1980-2009)
10. David Ray Griffin

More...

http://mandrake1975.hubpages.com/hub/List-of-Top-Conspiracy-Theorists

The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11

By Peter Dale Scott

For some time now, I have been analyzing American history in the light of what I have called structural deep events: events, like the JFK assassination, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, or 9/11, which repeatedly involve law-breaking or violence, are mysterious to begin with, are embedded in ongoing covert processes, have political consequences that enlarge covert government, and are subsequently covered up by systematic falsifications in the mainstream media and internal government records.

The more I study these deep events, the more I see suggestive similarities between them, increasing the possibility that they are not unrelated external intrusions on American history, but parts of an endemic process, sharing to some degree or other a common source.

For example, one factor linking Dallas, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11, has been the involvement in all four deep events of personnel involved in America’s highest-level emergency planning, known since the 1950s as Continuity of Government (COG) planning, or more colloquially inside the Pentagon as “the Doomsday Project.” A few of these actors may have been located at the top, as overseers of the secret COG system. Others – including some I shall talk about today – were located further down in its secret communications network.

I see this planning group as one among many in what I have chosen to call the American deep state, along with agencies like the CIA and NSA, the private groups like Booz Allen Hamilton to which more than half of the US intelligence budget is outsourced, and finally the powerful banks and corporations whose views are well represented in the CIA and NSA. But if only one group among many, the COG planning group is also special, because of its control of and access to a communications channel, not under government control, that can reach deeply into the US social structure. I discuss these matters at some length in my next book, The American Deep State, due out in November.

http://whowhatwhy.com/2014/10/05/the-hidden-government-group-linking-jfk-watergate-iran-contra-and-911/

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New York Times Belated Admission on Contra-Cocaine

Exclusive: Since the Contra-cocaine scandal surfaced in 1985, major U.S. news outlets have disparaged it, most notably when the big newspapers destroyed Gary Webb for reviving it in 1996. But a New York Times review of a movie on Webb finally admits the reality, writes Robert Parry.

Indeed, the New York Times took a leading role in putting down the story in the mid-1980s just as it did in the mid-1990s. That only began to change in 1998 when CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz conducted the spy agency’s first comprehensive internal inquiry into the allegations and found substantial evidence to support suspicions of Contra-cocaine smuggling and the CIA’s complicity in the scandal.

Though the Times gave short-shrift to the CIA’s institutional confession in 1998, it did at least make a cursory acknowledgement of the historic admissions. The Times’ co-collaborators in the mugging of Gary Webb did even less. After waiting several weeks, the Washington Post produced an inside-the-paper story that missed the point. The Los Angeles Times, which had assigned 17 journalists to the task of destroying Webb’s reputation, ignored the CIA’s final report altogether.

So, it is perhaps nice that the Times stated quite frankly that the long-denied scandal “really happened” – even though this admission is tucked into a movie review placed on page AR-14 of the New York edition. And the Times’ reviewer still can’t quite face up to the fact that his newspaper was part of a gang assault on an honest journalist who actually got the story right.

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/10/04/nyts-belated-admission-on-contra-cocaine/

Resurrecting a Disgraced Reporter

‘Kill the Messenger’ Recalls a Reporter Wrongly Disgraced

If someone told you today that there was strong evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency once turned a blind eye to accusations of drug dealing by operatives it worked with, it might ring some distant, skeptical bell. Did that really happen?

That really happened. As part of their insurgency against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, some of the C.I.A.-backed contras made money through drug smuggling, transgressions noted in a little-noticed 1988 Senate subcommittee report.

Gary Webb, a journalist at The San Jose Mercury News, thought it was a far-fetched story to begin with, but in 1995 and 1996, he dug in and produced a deeply reported and deeply flawed three-part series called “Dark Alliance.”

That groundbreaking series was among the first to blow up on the nascent web, and he was initially celebrated, then investigated and finally discredited. Pushed out of journalism in disgrace, he committed suicide in 2004. “Kill the Messenger,” a movie starring Jeremy Renner due Oct. 10, examines how much of the story he told was true and what happened after he wrote it. “Kill the Messenger” decidedly remains in Mr. Webb’s corner, perhaps because most of the rest of the world was against him while he was alive. Rival newspapers blew holes in his story, government officials derided him as a nut case and his own newspaper, after initially basking in the scoop, threw him under a bus. Mr. Webb was open to attack in part because of the lurid presentation of the story and his willingness to draw causality based on very thin sourcing and evidence. He wrote past what he knew, but the movie suggests that he told a truth others were unwilling to. Sometimes, when David takes on Goliath, David is the one who ends up getting defeated.

NY Times

The FBI and the Shattering of Students for a Democratic Society

The collapse of SDS is an ugly moment that stands in 1960s history as a train wreck. The most prominent student organization confronting the Vietnam War and racial injustice was reduced to tatters; a critical instrument for meeting the challenges to come was no more. Unfortunately, the story of its destruction has largely revolved around the particular political actors and their conflicts - especially the emergence of the Weathermen - effectively ignoring the FBI's not inconsequential role.

While in the end, the FBI was not mainly responsible for the destruction of the group - by 1969 its leadership and most committed members broadly speaking were far more radical, divided and sectarian than the wide-open, ultra-democratic organization they were part of could tolerate - the Bureau did play a critical role. In practical terms, it unleashed a flurry of initiatives against these young radicals: sophisticated initiatives to exacerbate real political divisions in order to set groups and individuals against one another, the use of the media for vilification and fractious ends, a sophisticated (for its time) technology to surveil and snoop, and the extensive deployment of informants with the aim of disruption, disorientation and the supplying of the intelligence to be used to undermine this highly influential organization.

Things since the spring of 1969 have changed in dramatic ways. Today, it is possible for law enforcement and government spies to carry out sophisticated snooping with keystrokes and mouse clicks; the proliferation of laws leveled against offenders high and low serve as ubiquitous leverage to "flip" "offenders" into informants, and the media, while open to far more people, is at the same time a much more ready instrument to target protest and dissent - whether or not an FBI agent is whispering in anyone's ear. This is the place we have arrived at, not from nowhere, but from measures and methodologies - many tried and true and still in play - honed in their execution during earlier times.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26558-the-fbi-and-the-shattering-of-students-for-a-democratic-society