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One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.
There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power.
For nearly ten years, Brian Hooker has been requesting documents that are kept under tight wraps by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His more than 100 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests have resulted in copious evidence that the vaccine preservative Thimerosal, which is still used in the flu shot that is administered to pregnant women and infants, can cause autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
On paper, the lobbying industry is quickly disappearing. In January, records indicated that for a third straight year, overall spending on lobbying decreased. Lobbyists themselves continue to deregister. In 2013, the number of registered lobbyists dipped to 12,281, the lowest number on file since 2002. But experts say that lobbying isn’t dying; instead, it’s simply going underground.
Based on Edward Snowden’s revelations, opposition to National Security Agency (NSA) spying has spread across the world, upsetting diplomatic relations and threatening shifts in global power balances. However, as Cyril Mychalejko reports, the NSA network also includes an equally far-reaching, though lesser-known operation called the Open Source Indicators (OSI) Program. The OSI Program involves “academics working at the behest of a research branch of the NSA”—the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA—who analyze and interpret online data collected by other government agencies and contractors in order to predict future events, such as political protests, pandemics, resource shortages, mass migrations and economic crises.
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
As Kathleen Geier put it for the Washington Monthly, “This story reads like your most paranoid, far-out conspiratorial left-wing nightmare come true.”
Trial is set to begin in Manhattan Criminal Court Monday for Occupy Wall Street activist, Cecily McMillan, who faces 2nd degree assault charges stemming from a 2012 encounter with the NYPD that left her beaten and unconscious. McMillan was brutally arrested on the evening of March 17, 2012 at an event marking the 6-month anniversary of the group’s occupation of Zuccotti Park. The series of events leading up McMillan’s beating was documented extensively by the press, and began with a male NYPD officer forcibly grabbing her right breast. McMillan was 23 years old at the time.
The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.
The National Security Agency is involved in industrial espionage and will take intelligence regardless of its value to national security, the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has told a German television network.
A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.
In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple’s board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt “got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.”
Anyone who has ever struggled to get her landlord to fix a broken appliance can imagine how much worse it could have been if she were paying rent to a faceless hedge fund based thousands of miles away. That tenant’s nightmare may be on its way to reality for hundreds of thousands of Americans, as Wall Street firms have snapped up 200,000 family houses with the intention of renting them out.
That's a text message that thousands of Ukrainian protesters spontaneously received on their cell phones today, as a new law prohibiting public demonstrations went into effect. It was the regime's police force, sending protesters the perfectly dystopian text message to accompany the newly minted, perfectly dystopian legislation. In fact, it's downright Orwellian (and I hate that adjective, and only use it when absolutely necessary, I swear).
In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. A year ago this month one of that movement's leaders, Aaron Swartz, tragically passed away. Today we face a different threat, one that undermines the Internet, and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance. If Aaron were alive, he'd be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Now, on the anniversary of Aaron's passing, and in celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA that he helped make possible, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.
Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and personal friend/attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty in the wrongful death of Martin Luther King. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript.
There will be no fracking on French soil. The ban is final – “absolute” – says the government. France’s highest court has spoken.
Ambien is becoming better known for triggering bizarre behavior than it is for treating insomnia.
A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida's rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines.
For over a decade, under multiple administrations, the U.S. government had a secret agreement with the ruthless Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed it to operate with impunity, an in-depth investigation by a leading Mexican newspaper confirmed this week. In exchange for information and assistance in quashing competing criminal syndicates, the Bush and Obama administrations let the Sinaloa cartel import tons of drugs into the United States while wiping out Sinaloa competitors and ensuring that its leaders would not be prosecuted for their long list of major crimes. Other revelations also point strongly to massive but clandestine U.S. government involvement in drug trafficking.
On Capitol Hill on Thursday, CNSNews.com asked Blumenauer: “The omnibus bill yesterday, it was 1,582 pages, did you have a chance to read all the pages before voting on it?” Blumenauer laughed and said: “Nobody did!” “Nobody did?” said the CNSNews.com reporter. “Nope,” said Blumenauer.
Today President Obama plans to announce some reportedly limited reforms to National Security Agency surveillance programs. Since the first disclosures based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Obama has offered his own defenses of the programs. But not all of the president’s claims have stood up to scrutiny. Here are some of the misleading assertions he has made. 1. There have been no abuses. 2. At least 50 terrorist threats have been averted. 3. The NSA does not do any domestic spying. 4. Snowden failed to take advantage of whistleblower protections.
Yesterday, January 15th, a bi-partisan group of elected officials in Washington State introduced legislation that would restrict the state from providing material support to federal agencies engaging in warrantless, bulk meta-data collection. House Bill 2272 is based on model legislation put forward by the OffNow coalition led by BORDC and the Tenth Amendment Center.
As recently as 2011, the National Security Agency was collecting almost 200 million text messages each day, according to a new story by The Guardian that cites documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The texts were used to develop financial and location data, the newspaper says.
The NHRebellion is a group of people walking the length of the State of New Hampshire — right now, in January. Their purpose is to make sure every candidate in the 2016 presidential primary answers clearly and specifically this one question: How are you going to end the system of corruption in Washington?
The latest data are out on the prevalence of global warming denial among the US public. And they aren't pretty. The new study, from the Yale and George Mason research teams on climate change communication, shows a 7-percentage-point increase in the proportion of Americans who say they do not believe that global warming is happening. And that's just since the spring of 2013. The number is now 23 percent; back at the start of last year, it was 16 percent:
Edward Snowden has made some dangerous enemies. As the American intelligence community struggles to contain the public damage done by the former National Security Agency contractor’s revelations of mass domestic spying, intelligence operators have continued to seethe in very personal terms against the 30-year-old whistle-blower.
A Wikileaks post published on The Nation shows that the Obama Administration fought to keep Haitian wages at 31 cents an hour. This infuriated American corporations like Hanes and Levi Strauss that pay Haitians slave wages to sew their clothes. They said they would only fork over a seven-cent-an-hour increase, and they got the State Department involved. The U.S. ambassador put pressure on Haiti’s president, who duly carved out a $3 a day minimum wage for textile companies (the U.S. minimum wage, which itself is very low, works out to $58 a day).
Those who push an extreme anti-environmental agenda often use the concept of freedom to promote their ideas. They are not concerned with your freedom to breathe clean air or to drink clean water. Instead they want to give corporations the freedom to exploit natural resources without regard for the adverse impacts, and they want to ensure that polluters have freedom from accountability for the potentially deadly impacts of their actions.