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3 stories

1st read

Justice Department will monitor Detroit, Hamtramck elections

Washington — The U.S. Justice Department said Monday it will monitor municipal elections Tuesday in Detroit and Hamtramck along with Orange County, N.Y., and Cuyahoga and Lorain counties in Ohio.

The department said monitoring is designed to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.

During the 2012 elections, the federal government had about a half-dozen or so inspectors in Detroit monitoring polling stations and responding to complaints. The department will have a smaller presence for Tuesday’s election.

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Founder of anti-voter fraud group harassed by the IRS, FBI, OSHA, and the ATF?

vote cc

This is a chilling story.

A woman sets up (or tries to set up) a group to keep an eye on voter fraud and the federal government comes down on her.

Cathrine Englebrecht is not a woman of vast means and it appears that the feds sought to make life as difficult as they could on both the business and political fronts. Her group True the Vote filed for tax exempt status 3 years ago and has yet to get the OK. Her business has been fined by OSHA, her group has been publicly lambasted by Senator Barbara Boxer. Life has been made pretty difficult, all because (it appears) Ms. Englebrecht wanted to make sure dead people and unregistered people weren’t voting.

3rd story
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Why won't the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate electronic vote fraud?
Is it because the DOJ and FBI have long been involved in it, themselves? 

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Spy Agency to the Rescue
            Put the NSA in charge
            of Obamacare

            Congressman Mike J. Rogers, at a hearing last week over the latest National Security Agency scandals, non-ironically disseminated this beautiful piece of sophistry: “You can’t have your privacy violated if you don’t know your privacy is violated.

            If the NSA snoops on everyone, and no one knows enough to complain, does it still make a stink?

            It’s unsettling to note that Congressman Rogers is a former FBI agent—but not unsurprising. It’s a little worse to note that Rogers is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee—one whose response to reports that the NSA had monitored 70 million French calls was that that French citizens should actually be “applauding and popping Champagne corks.”

            But bewildering understandings of privacy are all too common in Congress. In a hearing over the disastrous roll-out of the federal health care exchange website, Representative Joe L. Barton wondered, “How in the world can this be HIPAA compliant?”

            His colleague, Representative Frank J. Pallone, noted astutely that the patient privacy component of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act “only applies when there’s health information being provided. No health information is required in the application process. And why is that? Because pre-existing conditions don’t matter!”

            When Barton pushed back, Pallone called the hearing a “monkey court.”

            If I may offer a modest proposal to calm the partisan clamor: It appears that the great problem of our times is that some parts of the government are too technically advanced and others are decidedly less so.

            So why not put the NSA in charge of healthcare.gov?

            Think about it. Instead of a shoddy registration system so inept that only six people were able to sign up fully on the first day, nothing of the sort would happen with the pros at the NSA running things. You could just plop in front of the computer and the NSA would have all your information already inputted for you (which means more time for aimless browsing)!

            The NSA already contracts its intelligence work through the startup firm Palantir, named after the seeing stones in Lord of the Rings that Sauron and Saruman use to coordinate their malevolent plans to massacre basically everyone in Middle Earth.

            And the spy agency, amply funded with $10.8 billion, already appears to have time on its hands, allegedly spying on the papal conclave, obscure Venezuelan economic officials, and climate change conferences.

            Instead of infuriating European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose cellphone we had been lovingly looking after since 2002 when she was just the chair of the Christian Democratic Union, we could offer them entry to our exceptional healthcare system instead.

            Giving the gift of healthcare to world leaders we want to keep eyes on (what could be more useful to intelligence than a real-time plot of Francois Hollande’s heart rate?) would be a boon for otherwise strained diplomatic relations with Europe. It would certainly beat Russia’s idea of gift giving: The country recently distributed memory sticks and mobile chargers in gift bags to world leaders, spyware included free of charge.

            It could also be a smart political move for President Obama, whose aloofness on both the NSA’s excesses and his signature achievement have not done much to ease the “What did the president know and when did he know it?” attitude of Republicans on every scandal, real or fictional (Benghazi-gate still hasn’t quite fizzled out).

            Instead of reinforcing his image as automaton-in-chief, the president could appease his liberal supporters by making sure Obamacare actually improves the sorry state of healthcare for too many Americans. Conservative support would be ensured since the NSA is a security institution and to oppose any act or operation related to security would be unthinkably unpatriotic.

            Maybe then we can move on from the temporary website problems and onto the larger aim of providing less costly healthcare for more Americans—a goal that remains attainable even after Republicans’ 40-something repeal votes and government shutdown intended to suffocate it. Put the NSA to work for the good of the country.

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Agent feared FBI was stalling Petraeus investigation until after 2012 election

A veteran FBI counterterrorism agent repeatedly raised concerns last year that senior bureau officials were stalling an investigation into then-CIA Director David Petraeus’ extramarital affair to avoid a distraction prior to the 2012 presidential election, according to a former FBI official and two sources with direct knowledge of the agent’s account.


New details about the claims of Fred Humphries, a 17-year FBI veteran who is assigned to the bureau’s Tampa office, are expected to be included in a legal filing soon by Jill Kelley, a Tampa Bay socialite who became embroiled in the Petraeus investigation. NBC News independently learned how Humphries raised concerns about possible interference in the investigation with a former senior bureau official and Republican lawmakers, arguing that it could pose a potential national security risk. 

Kelley, who had close social connections to a wide array of senior U.S. military and intelligence officials, many of whom she met at parties she threw at her home, is suing current and former Obama administration officials for allegedly leaking her name and smearing her reputation after the case became public. Kelley’s lawsuit threatens to force a re-examination of the details of Petraeus’ resignation and to require a number of key players — including former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce (who announced his resignation this week), Homeland Security Secretary nominee Jeh Johnson and many others — to answer questions under oath.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director one year ago this week after an FBI “cyberstalking” investigation into harassing emails sent to Kelley uncovered a sexual relationship between the CIA director and his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

Humphries’ claims about high-level interference from FBI headquarters were raised in multiple conversations last year with his former boss, Charles Mandigo, a former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office, where Humphries had previously been assigned. Mandigo then helped arrange for Humphries to raise his concerns with two Republican members of Congress, including House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.

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The FBI Doesn't Want You To Know Why It Won't Tell You Its Secrets



The FBI is going long to keep its secret files on animal rights activists a secret: It is fighting public records requests about why it keeps denying public records requests.

It's a deeply meta strategy that's also like the set-up for an Abbott and Costello routine -- but to Ryan Shapiro, the MIT doctoral candidate profiled in Mother Jones on Wednesday as "the punk rocker who can liberate your FBI file," it's nothing new.

For years, Shapiro and the agency have engaged in a tug-of-war over how many records the FBI will release to enable his academic research on the history of the animal rights movement. Since 2010, Shapiro has barraged the agency with records requests. He says he now has roughly 600 records requests open and is fighting for the release of 350,000 pages of files -- which likely makes him the agency's most prolific requester (or tormentor).

The federal Freedom of Information Act is supposed to force bureaucracies to reveal upon request the records their tax dollars have paid for. But agencies -- particularly the FBI -- often fight releases for months or years.

So transparency advocates are forced to go to court. In one of his five ongoing lawsuits against the FBI, Shapiro wants to force the agency to turn over the "search slips" it produces when it slow-walks his records requests.

"Basically you can file on a [Freedom of Information Act request] -- you can FOIA a FOIA -- and it gives you insight into how an analyst handles your request," said Jason Leopold, a journalist at Al Jazeera America who often collaborates with Shapiro because Shapiro is so adept at navigating the bureaucratic hurdles the agency throws up. The search slips, Leopold said, often provide "the additional information as a reporter I can use to turn the request into a story."

The FBI, for its part, claims that releasing the search slips would reveal sensitive law enforcement techniques. Shapiro is playing connect-the-dots, but the agency considers it quite dangerous: Mother Jones reported that in a court filing responding to a separate lawsuit, the agency claimed releasing his requests could create a "mosaic" of information that could "significantly and irreparably damage national security."

"This is flatly absurd. Sadly though, it’s not surprising," Shapiro said of the FBI's resistance to his FOIA of FOIAs.

The FBI declined to comment on the lawsuit to The Huffington Post.

Shapiro's lawsuit is ongoing, and it is not clear when the judge overseeing the case might issue a ruling. The FBI has been slow to provide an explanation of how releasing the search slips might jeopardize law-enforcement techniques.

So for now, even the FBI's logic behind keeping secrets about its secrets is secret.

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The FBI files on being and nothingness

/ November 19, 2013 / 
From 1945 onwards, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI spied on Camus and Sartre. The investigation soon turned into a philosophical inquiry
I was leafing through some FBI files on French philosophers when a new candidate for occupancy of the populous Grassy Knoll in Dallas leapt out at me. To the massed ranks of the CIA, the Mafia, the KGB, Castro, Hoover, and LBJ, we can now add: Jean-Paul Sartre. FBI and State Department reports of the 1960s had drawn attention to Sartre’s membership of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, of which Lee Harvey Oswald was also a member. And—prophetically?—Sartre had “dismissed the US as a headless nation.” Naturally I rushed around trying to work out exactly where Sartre might have been on 22nd November 1963. Could he, after all, have been the Second Shooter? Suddenly all the pieces started to fall into place.
But subsequent references in the main Oswald file showed that the FBI, although generally perturbed by the “Leftist tendencies” of Sartre, and his association with Communists, Castro, and Bertrand Russell, were specifically concerned that he was now—in addition to protesting against US involvement in Vietnam—threatening to “take an active part in the French Who Killed Kennedy Committee” (according to an article in the Washington Post of 14th June 1964). The FBI was wedded to the Lone Gunman theory. The emphasis of their interest in Sartre, then, was not on whether he had participated in any conspiracy, but rather that he was a believer in conspiracy theory and “supported the position that Oswald was not the true assassin of President Kennedy.”
The FBI had been keeping an eye on Sartre from as early as 1945. Soon after, they began to investigate his contemporary, Albert Camus. On 7th February, 1946, John Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, wrote a letter to “Special Agent in Charge” at the New York field office, drawing his attention to one ALBERT CANUS, “reportedly the New York correspondent of Combat [who] has been filing inaccurate reports which are unfavorable to the public interest of this country.” Hoover gave orders “to conduct a preliminary investigation to ascertain his background, activities and affiliations in this country.” One of Hoover’s underlings had the guts to inform the director that “the subject’s true name is ALBERT CAMUS, not ALBERT CANUS” (diplomatically hypothesizing that “Canus” was probably an alias he had cunningly adopted).
The irony that emerges from the FBI files on Camus and Sartre, spanning several decades (and which, still partly redacted, I accessed thanks to the open-sesame of the Freedom of Information Act) is that the G-men, initially so anti-philosophical, find themselves reluctantly philosophizing. They become (in GK Chesterton’s phrase) philosophical policemen.
Hoover needed to know if Existentialism and Absurdism were some kind of front for Communism. To him, everything was potentially a coded re-write of the Communist Manifesto. That was the thing about the Manifesto—it was not manifest: more often it was, as Freud would say, latent. Thus FBI agents were forced to become psychoanalysts and hermeneuts—drawn into what the historian Carlo Ginzburg neatly called the “cynegetic paradigm” (a brotherhood of clue-hunting detectives in which he includes Freud and Sherlock Holmes). Thus we find intelligence agents studying scholarly works and attending lectures.
But the FBI were “philosophical policemen” in a second sense: in tracking Camus and Sartre (surveillance, eavesdropping, wiretapping, theft) they give expression to their own brand of philosophical investigations. In particular, the FBI philosophy files reveal how the agency became so dogmatically anti-conspiratorial.
Sartre had been invited to the US, towards the end of World War Two, as part of a propaganda campaign overseen by the Office of War Information (OWI). In the face of FBI scepticism as to whether the author of Nausea and Being and Nothingness was capable of coming up with decent propaganda on behalf of anyone, Sartre had at least one stout supporter: Archibald Macleish, Under Secretary of State, and assistant director at the OWI. Macleish is now best-known as the author of the classic formulation of the modernist aesthetic: “A poem should not mean/ But be.” He was a poet in Paris in the 1920, and went on to become Librarian of Congress and Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard. But during the war he was a founding figure of the “Research and Analysis Branch” of the Office of Strategic Services—precursor to the CIA, the more international intelligence service (and thus rival to the FBI) that Hoover tried to abort and undermine.
In an interview published in France-Amérique in March 1945, Macleish asked his interviewer “not to forget to inform Sartre, whose talent he loved so much, that he was rejoicing in advance over his visit.” Meanwhile, from the FBI point of view anyone who had been in the Resistance (whether actively—Camus—or more marginally—Sartre) was automatically under suspicion. Especially journalists and philosophers. And even more so when another French writer, based in the US, Geneviève Tabouis, was busily denouncing them as Communists. (Sartre wrote an article denouncing her as a spy for the State Department, something she vigorously denied, even while reporting it back to the State Department.)
Sartre expected to be spied on. But he was never undercover. He valued total transparency. Hence his scorn for the Freudian unconscious and his anticipation and appreciation of the role that visibility plays in celebrity culture. Sartre proved a mystery to the FBI: it was impossible to steal information from him because he was desperate to give it away. Even so, after a quarter century of puzzling over his work, noting his links with Che, Russell, the Black Panthers, and the anti-Vietnam War movement they had to conclude, in their 1970 synopsis of his oeuvre, that, on the one hand, he can be “described as pro-communist” (and “encouraged youth to believe in nothing spiritual”) while at the same time is “also described by some sources as anti-communist.”
Camus, following in Sartre’s footsteps in 1946, was held briefly by immigration owing to Hoover’s stop notice. In contrast to Sartre, Camus proposed an aesthetics of discretion and privacy. Whereas Sartre tended towards a maximization of information, to the point of obscenity, Camus believed that there can be such a thing as too much information.
Camus, like Sartre, had a supporter within the proto-CIA: Justin O’Brien, Professor of French at Columbia, and translator of the journals of André Gide. O’Brien was also chief of the French desk at the Office of Strategic Services during the war, which was tasked with “establishing intelligence networks behind German lines in France.” In the course of the Occupation, he developed a fondness for the work of Eluard, Michaux, Vercors, “the poetic renaissance that marked the occupation,” and Louis Aragon, who was explicitly Communist.
Once the war was over, the two intelligence services, the FBI and the CIA became locked into “a binary praxis of antagonistic reciprocity” (as Sartre would say). In other words, the FBI, specifically Hoover, hated first the OSS and then, after 1947, its avatar, the CIA. But there is more than just a turf war dividing the two agencies. There is a broad philosophical (and, it should be added, aesthetic) divergence.
Hoover’s FBI was deeply suspicious of philosophers, especially foreign ones, virtually philosophobic; but this does not stop the organisation from developing its own brand of philosophical thinking in response to Sartre and Camus—the FBI files on being and nothingness.
The FBI did not read Sartre or Camus in the original French. One of the agents, having stolen some notebooks and diaries (“obtained from the personal effects”) in early 1945, complains that this “material [is] all in French” and translators were drafted in. Then the investigation proper could begin.
The FBI emerge from these files as neo-existentialists in the classic early Sartrian mould. They, like the early Archibald Macleish, take the view that people, not just poetry, “should not mean, but be.” They don’t like meaning—they are on the look-out for it, especially secret coded meanings, but they don’t like it. They certainly subscribe to the “hell is other people” school of thought. And Hoover, in particular, would be greatly relieved if only everyone across the whole of the USA was an angst-ridden, anomic, introverted loner. In short, an Outsider. What they fear and object to is meaning, and finally, the plot—or narrative. They are anti-narrativists.
The FBI echo Sartre’s classic modernist critique of narrative, in his novel Nausea. Hoover’s FBI are quintessential existentialists in refuting teleological narrative—they would rather have contingency and chaos than telos. The FBI found Camus fundamentally their kind of guy: the Camus of the Absurd and the Outsider, according to which the individual will never really make sense of the world, nor hook up, in any kind of long term way, with others.
We are apt to think of the FBI as the great conspiracy theorists. But the reality is quite nuanced: I am tempted to say they are not conspiratorial enough. They resist theory. They don’t really want to believe in plots. Hence their primal attitude, their metaphysics, when it comes to the question, Who Killed Kennedy? Was the assassination of Kennedy a conspiracy? The FBI won’t have it. They were, in their typically neo-existential way, intent on the Oswald lone-wolf story—or non-story. Oswald, in short, is just their kind of guy: a conflicted, anomic, disconnected loner. More Meursault than conspirator.
Narrative, philosophy, and espionage share a common genesis: they arise out a lack of information. Sartre’s expectation of a world of total information would kill them all stone dead. There would be no need of the FBI, novelists, or French philosophers. Existentialism and Absurdism insist on an asymmetry  between being and information. Agent James M. Underhill, who heroically pursued the elusive “Albert Canus,” encapsulated the theory in a resonant phrase:  “The file does not show the final disposition.”
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The FBI will take over the investigation into the sexual misconduct by Secret Service agents
according to unidentified sources in the whisper stream. FBI  agent Ryan Seese has been
selected to head up the investigative task force.

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as always funded by the taxpayer for their own safety needs

1st read
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Secret Service Investigation into Sexual Misconduct Is Bungled by Federal Officials

Investigations into the U.S. Secret Service have been bungled by senators and plagued with nepotism allegations against an inspector general, according to congressional and government sources, the Washington Times reports.

Despite allegations of sexual misconduct against a Secret Service agent, Sen. Claire McCaskill has demanded an end to the investigation, and Deputy Inspector General Charles K. Edwards is accused of abusing agency resources and hiring his wife.

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FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public
May 25, 2007
FBI Agent Accused Of Masturbating In Public

Posted by, Marissa Pasquet KOLD News 13 News Editor

FBI Special Agent Ryan Seese, 34, is facing sex offense charges after a cleaning woman said she found him masturbating in a women's lavatory on campus, according to a University of Arizona police spokesman.
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NSA, GCHQ Caught Spying on Online Games

December 9, 2013

If you thought you could evade the National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) by slipping into an online multiplayer game, think again: Both agencies have infiltrated "World of Warcraft" and "Second Life" in an effort to foil terrorist conspiracies.

Reports from The New York Times and the Guardian explain that, according to documents leaked by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the NSA and GCHQ viewed online games as a potentially rich source of information.

While it's not clear how many agents were involved, how they gathered information or whether monitoring games yielded any useful anti-terrorist info, the documents reveal that "World of Warcraft" and "Second Life" were both monitored, as was Xbox Live.

MORE: 15 Best Classic PC Games Gone Free

Since Xbox Live is a comprehensive online service and not a single game, it's possible that agents monitored text and voice messages and content consumption history, in addition to in-game communications. Microsoft has a history of being cooperative with the NSA.

What the documents do reveal is that the NSA and GCHQ, along with the FBI and the CIA, viewed online games as an "opportunity" for potential terrorists to "hide in plain sight."

Since online games foster very easy communication and provide tools for large groups of people to organize and communicate (as with guilds in "World of Warcraft" or clans in multiplayer shooters), they could foster terrorist networks in a much less obvious fashion than traditional email or chat rooms.

What's more, so many CIA, FBI, GCHQ and NSA employees and contractors dove headfirst into online games that they needed an advisory group to ensure that they weren't spying on each other.

Blizzard, the company behind "World of Warcraft," told the Times and the Guardian that it did not give permission to spy on its players, although it's not clear if anything could have prevented the surveillance. Nothing prohibits players from recording conversations from "World of Warcraft," or from reporting suspicious ones to law-enforcement authorities.

Microsoft and Linden Realms (the developer of social simulator "Second Life") did not provide any comments on the issue.

In-game spying has been going on since 2008, and the NSA theorizes that Islamic extremists, arms dealers and even purveyors of nuclear-weapons technology use video games as an under-the-radar hub.

MORE: 6 Ways Tech Companies' 'Reform Government Surveillance' Fails

As always, unless you use online games as a way to discuss your plans to destabilize the Western world, you probably have nothing to fear from government agents in your online games. In fact, those agents will have spent so much time building up their characters and honing their skills that they may actually make very useful teammates.

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            Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders
            SIBEL EDMONDS | DECEMBER 8, 2013 \
            The NSA Whistleblowing Case: Something is Awfully Rotten in the State of …?
            Imagine a major government whistleblower who leaks his evidence and obtained documents to the highest bidders in the mainstream media and mega corporations. Does that sound awful, disgraceful and despicable? Okay. Now, imagine a pseudo journalist who obtains over 50,000 documents from a government whistleblower, and then takes some of this information and puts it out for bid, reserves a certain portion for a lucrative book deal, and saves the rest for a mega corporation that has a record of screwing whistleblowers. How does that sound? This is what I mean by the title of this commentary: Checkbook Journalism & Leaking to the Highest Bidders.For the past twelve years I have been known as one of the most notorious government whistleblowers, even given the title of The Most Classified Person in the History of the United States by a civil liberties organization. I am the founder and director of a whistleblower organization that includes over 150 national security whistleblowers. I have known and represented over 150 national security whistleblowing cases in Congress and the media. And let me tell you this, I have never seen a case that even comes close to this bizarrely unethical and despicable case.A government whistleblower obtains over 50,000 pages of documents that implicate the government in severely illegal and unconstitutional practices. This whistleblower risks everything, including fleeing the country, in order to leak these documents and let the public know how its government has been breaking the nation’s laws and violating their rights. So he goes to another country and then entrusts all this evidence to a few reporters and wanna-be journalists. Why does he do that? He does it so that these reporters will present all this information to the public: not only those in the United States, but everyone all over the world. Think about it. Why else would someone risk everything, including his own life, to obtain and leak such documents? Are you thinking? Because what would be the point to all this, to taking all these risks, if 99% of these documents remain secret and hidden from the public? Ludicrous, right?Now, here is what happens next: The whistleblower hands over these documents, and goes through a surreal escape journey. So surreal that even Hollywood could not have matched it. Of the handful of reporters who were entrusted with 50,000 documents, a few do nothing. By that I mean absolutely nothing. A couple from this entrusted group does a little bit more. They meet with a few mainstream media outlets, they spend many hours around the table with their mega companies’ mega attorneys and U.S. government mega representatives (the same government that is implicated in these documents). Then what happens? Here is what happens[biggrin]uring the six-month period since they received the documents and the whistleblower’s story broke, the supposed-journalists released 1% (One Percent) of these documents:
            Out of reported 50,000 pages (or files, not clear which), about 514 pages (>1%) have been released over 5 months beginning June 5, 2013. At this rate, 100 pages per month, it will take 42 years for full release. Snowden will be 72 years old, his reporters hoarding secrets all dead.
            That’s right. A whistleblower breaks the law to obtain 50,000 documents, he flees the country to escape prosecution and jail time, he hands over these 50,000 pages to a handful of individuals in return for their promise to present these documents to the public, six months pass, and the public gets 1% of these documents. But please, wait. This is not all. Far more interesting and troubling things happen meanwhile.The main wanna-be reporter begins his relentless pursuit of high dollars in return for … for what? In return for exclusive interviews where he would discuss some of this material. In return for a very lucrative book deal where he would expose a few extra pages of these 50,000-page documents. In return for a partnership with and extremely high salary from a Mega Corporation (think 1%) where he would … hmmmm, well, it is not very clear: maybe in return for sitting on and never releasing some of these documents, or, releasing a few select pages? That’s right. The culprit is able to use his role in the whistleblower case, and his de facto ownership of the whistleblower’s 50,000-page evidence, to gain huge sums of money, fame, a mega corporate position, book and movie deals … yet, making sure that the public would never see more than a few percent of the incriminating evidence. Of course, secondhand checkbook profiteers tend to be very savvy, able to blow smoke, muddy water, and obscure their real deeds and true personhoods. This particular one is famous for spending years as an ambulance-chasing style attorney, where all he had to do was to write dozens of pages to make cases that were never cases, or make real cases appear as if they never were. Sensible people always advise against using personal background information to expose other non-personal cases of subjects. I agree with these sensible people. I think it is disgraceful to bring in irrelevant personal information to make a case on a non-personal issue. However, sometimes personal information becomes part of the picture and very relevant. Allow me to provide you with an example in our case. What if the personal facts paint a figure that does anything and everything for money and fame? What if a checkbook leaker (or a checkbook censorship agent) is the type of person who has engaged in the following:
            · Has represented corrupt mega banks and financial institutions as an attorney to make mega bucks, yet claims to be a Marxist Leninist Socialist who supports the Occupy movement.· Has left short-lived civil liberties activities to set up an exploitive pornography business with names such as Hairy Studs and Hairy Jock… All for money and profit.· Has been known as an individual who has always used anything and everything to bring frivolous lawsuits (many of them) to get rich quick.· Has been representing himself as a Marxist-Socialist, Liberal and Libertarian, simultaneously, and based on circumstances, never having to reconcile the discrepancies between those positions and his partnership with corporate billionaires, his luxurious lifestyle, putting on a Marxist front, representing himself as a Libertarian … and the list goes on. Which one is he? Really?
            You see, when you add these qualities and personal history to the fact that a whistleblower and 50,000-pages of documents are being used to make mega money and mega fame, while simultaneously the public at large is being kept in the dark and 99% of these documents are censored, what do you get? A few days ago the checkbook wanna-be journalist released a very long argument in defense of his indefensible actions and practices. I am going to address a couple of those, but I want you to keep in mind that the argument is coming from a person known as an ambulance-chaser attorney and litigious money grabber, thus is brilliant at obscuring facts and realities with mud and distortions. Consider how a partnership with a mega billionaire corporate man is being characterized and fudged here:
            It has the backing and is being built by someone whom I am absolutely convinced is dedicated to this model of independent, adversarial journalism.
            This is not the first time this supposed pro-whistleblowers and civil liberties oriented wanna-be journalist has described his new Billionaire owner. The new owner has been characterized by him several times as a solid owner with a solid track record on whistleblowers issues, First Amendment, Freedom of the Press, etc. We have been searching and researching the new owner’s record. There is not much to be found to qualify this man as someone with a good record on the significant areas mentioned above. None … except:
            Paypal suspended online payments to WikiLeaks in December of 2010 after, its managers said, they read a letter by the State Department indicating WikiLeaks was breaking American laws. In retaliation, a group of Anonymous hacktivists brought down the payment site with DDoS attacks two days later. The hacktivists who were apprehended, known as the PayPal 14, were in court today and accepted plea bargains in order to avoid felony charges.Omidyar has been ‘the director and Chairman of the Board since eBay’s incorporation in May 1996,’ and noted that “eBay owns PayPal.” …
            In our next BFP Roundtable video session I will talk more about this, and other eye-brow raising items in Omidyar’s record, including his connections and associations with Iranian lobby groups for “Regime Change” in Iran. But for now, let’s shoot down this muddying counter-argument presented by someone with true expertise in muddying and fudging facts as an ambulance-chaser litigious attorney who has gotten away in life by threatening everyone he could with a lawsuit and libel suits. Now back to lies, contradictions and then muddying it all a la the litigious attorney. For the last few months, whenever pressured about the 99% unreleased documents, the answers have been swinging between two or three more years to we are done with releasing. You see, this was not the case initially, not during the first couple of months prior to signing deals with mega corporate new sugar daddies and mega publishers for the book deals. Here is the triple-talking, mud-making and fudge-creating wanna-be journalist on June 26, 2013, the month the public saga began:
            When they met, Snowden supplied Greenwald with a “volume of documents so great that I haven’t actually gone through them all.” Snowden was meticulous — Greenwald described the files as beautifully organized, “almost to a scary degree.” Stories based on the leaked documents will continue for another few months, Greenwald said, but not, he hopes, beyond that. “I get bored with myself,” he said. “If I’m still working on these stories a year from now, I’ll probably be in an asylum somewhere.”…
            So what happened since the greasy checkbook reporter made those statements? Please don’t tell me that at that point he was not aware how deep things went or how thick those documents were. Because he knew exactly how deep and how thick, and that they were all meticulously and beautifully organized: Meaning the whistleblower had done all the work for the reporters in advance. This was not a thick pile of hodgepodge documents – they were already analyzed, organized, categorized, sub-categorized, and sub-sub-categorized. As for what happened since June 26, 2013? A lot. A new very lucrative book deal was struck. He is being very secretive and tight-lipped on how many millions of dollars he received from this US mega publisher, however, he had to deal a whistleblower’s document to secure this deal:
            According to the publisher, it will “contain new revelations exposing the extraordinary cooperation of private industry and the far-reaching consequences of the government’s program, both domestically and abroad.” …
            So there – one reason why a checkbook wanna-be journalist is not providing the public with the information they have the right to know. How is that for integrity?Further, no one is asking the crucial question: With the mega publishing corporations’ record, how is it that they are willing to publish classified government documents? Do you know what these same publishers said about my own book? Here is what they said:
            “without the approval by the FBI-DOJ prepublication review board we will not publish your book. The government will come after us.”
            So, isn’t it amazing that an American mega publisher, a mainstream American publisher, is giving millions to publish a book that will reveal US government classified material? I can tell you from experience and with one hundred percent certainty: the publisher has the government’s consent. How does that bear with the claims that this checkbook reporter is under arrest and even death threats by the U.S. government? Let me tell you something: it does not. What it tells you is this: A Dog & Pony Show put on by the U.S. government and its agents. The checkbook wanna-be reporter is also securing a million dollar movie deal with Hollywood.
            You had to know this was coming. There’s a bidding war heating up between Hollywood studios over the rights to bring Glenn Greenwald’s forthcoming tell-all book about the Edward Snowden affair to the big screen.
            Well, as we all know, the CIA blesses these movie deals with mainstream Hollywood. Don’t we? Without the handlers’ blessing no such deal could have been made. When the pretender shows up at the Oscar Gala, ask yourself this: Weren’t they supposed to arrest and maybe even drone the hell out of this guy? So what happened, dude?The exact same questions should be posed for a new mega corporate sugar daddy tucking checkbook journalists under his wing in return for…? Your guess is definitely as good as mine. The billionaire who stomped upon a whistleblower’s account with his PayPal Corporation has suddenly found a heart? I didn’t think so either
            In her first interview since leaving Moscow for Berlin last month, Harrison told German news weekly Stern: “How can you take something seriously when the person behind this platform went along with the financial boycott against WikiLeaks?” Harrison was referring to the decision in December 2010 by PayPal, which is owned by eBay, to suspend WikiLeaks’ donation account and freeze its assets after pressure from the US government. The company’s boycott, combined with similar action taken by Visa and Mastercard, left WikiLeaks facing a funding crisis.“His excuse is probably that there is nothing he could have done at the time,” Harrison continued. “Well, he is on the board of directors. He can’t shake off responsibility that easily. He didn’t even comment on it. He could have said something like: ‘we were forced to do this, but I am against it’.”…
            In our coming BFP Roundtable we will have first-hand accounts from reporters who have witnessed how our checkbook journalist has been asking for money in return for interviews and documents.I started this commentary by introducing my credentials as a whistleblower and someone who has known and represented many government whistleblowers from the intelligence and law enforcement agencies- hundreds of whistleblowers, honorable people such as NSA’s Russ Tice, DEA’s Sandalio Gonzalez and FBI’s John Cole. In this case of a checkbook wanna-be journalist and a whistleblower, I have nothing but many questions when it comes to the whistleblower in question. I do consider the selfless act of releasing this incriminating information on our government’s illegality heroic; however, I have numerous unanswered questions for the whistleblower in question:
            Did he give his full consent to the mainstream and checkbook reporters so that they could sit on 99% of these documents if they chose to?Is he perfectly okay with this disgraceful and opportunist person using these documents to secure millions of dollars in book and movie deals?Does he consider the censorship of 99% of his documents justified and okay? If so, what kind of image does he hope to maintain when the leaking is selective and based on bidding in dollars?Does he have an arrangement where he gets a cut from the opportunist’s mega millions obtained via documents he entrusted him with? If so, wouldn’t that make him tainted and a culprit in this?Why is he in Russia (in exile), when the checkbook opportunist is in the belly of the beast making deals in millions of dollars, and is about to head a $250 Million news corporation set up by his billionaire sugar daddy?
            And finally, a bit crudely,
            What the fu.. is wrong with this picture?! Because as a whistleblower and an expert on whistleblowers I see thousands of wrong things with this picture!
            Please do not get me wrong here. I have no questions but answers when it comes to the checkbook opportunist in question. I have known about him for years, long before this NSA episode. What I don’t have is an answer when it comes to the NSA whistleblower in question. I have been sitting on the fence on this one. Unlike my own whistleblower members, I do not know this guy. I don’t. I have never corresponded with him, and he has never reached out to me or my organization. I keep going from silently cheering and supporting him, to doubting what he is all about. I have never seen a case like this. I don’t think anyone has. However, in light of the case of our checkbook journalist, Mainstream Publishers’ mega million book deals, Mainstream Hollywood’s mega studio deals, Mainstream Media backing and showcasing, and Mega Corporation’s mega millions getting involved … and in all this, zero retaliation or interference from our mega government known for being ruthless on whistleblowers, I just don’t get this case. My experienced gut says something is awfully rotten in the state of … this NSA whistleblower-Checkbook Opportunist Drama Set. I get half of the rotten state, but am still wondering about the other half. # # # #Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

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see link for full story




FBI Allowed Informants To Commit at least 5,939 Crimes In 2012 


WASHINGTON -- The FBI allowed its informants to break the law at least 5,939 times last year, a 5 percent jump from 2011, according to a newly disclosed document.

In a Jan. 14, 2013, letter to Justice Department officials, obtained by The Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, FBI officials disclosed that its 56 field offices authorized informants to break the law at least 5,939 times during the 2012 calendar year. USA Today reported earlier this year that the bureau allowed its informants to break the law 5,658 times in 2011.

The breakdown of how many crimes were authorized by each individual FBI field office were redacted from the 2012 report, which is known as the Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. The FBI's fellow federal law enforcement agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- do not track how often their sources commit crimes.

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without the help of the Secret Service President Kennedy would not have been assassinated

in Dallas Texas


Secret Service Celebrates 50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination

|  Monday, Jan 6, 2014  |  Updated 11:03 AM CST
3rd Annual United States Secret Service Golf Tournament

The Dallas Field Office of the United States Secret Service invites you to their Third Annual Charity Golf Outing on Monday, March 31, at the Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving, with an 11:00 a.m. Shotgun Start.

The Charity Golf Outing will consist of a four (4) person scramble, with additional contests such as a Par-3 Hole-in-One, Closest to the Pin, and the Longest Drive, following the golf outing. The fun continues with a dinner, raffle prize drawings and a silent auction. The Proceeds generated from this event will benefit The Jimmy V Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Sons of the Flag.

For more information, visit http://secretservicedallas.com.

3rd Annual United States Secret Service Golf Tournament
Dallas Field Office Charity Golf Outing
Monday, March 31
11:00 a.m.
Hackberry Creek Country Club
1901 West Royal Lane
Irving, TX


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Wednesday, 15 January 2014 17:57

Big Banks Launder Hundreds of Billions of Illegal Drug Cartel Money … But Refuse to Provide Services for Legal Marijuana


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Ruling upheld in suit over judicial bribery book
Published 4:13 pm, Wednesday, September 17, 2014

See link for full story


— The Mississippi Court of Appeals has agreed with a judge's rejection of defamation claims that an FBI agent made in a lawsuit against authors of a book about a judicial bribery case.

In December 2010, FBI agent Hal Neilson sued authors Tom Dawson and Alan Lange and a publishing company.

The lawsuit claimed Dawson, a retired assistant U.S. attorney, and Lange, who runs the Y'all Politics blog, lied and made slanderous statements about Neilson in the book, "King of Torts," as retaliation for Neilson filing a 2001 complaint against Dawson.

A Lafayette County circuit judge ruled for the authors in 2012. The publishing company was dismissed from the lawsuit.

Neilson was the supervising agent for the FBI's Oxford's office from 1998 through 2008.
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FBI Special Agent to Address Fall MSPWorld' 2014 Conference in Las Vegas
September 24
9:27 2014


FBI Special Agent to Address Fall MSPWorld' 2014 Conference in Las Vegas

CHICO, Calif., Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ The International Association of Cloud and Managed Service Providers, (MSPAlliance http://www.mspalliance.com), has announced that this year's MSPWorld Fall 2014 conference (http://www.mspworldconference.com/) agenda will feature sessions on cybercrime prevention, presented by an FBI Special Agent from the cyber crime division of the FBI. The conference will be held October 15-17, 2014 at the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

MSPWorld promises to have a wide variety of speakers and sessions designed to help Managed Services Providers build and run a better Managed Services practice as well as provide them with practical go-to strategies on how to achieve a more strategic, efficient and profitable business.

"We are very honored to have an FBI special agent presenting on the unique ways in which MSPs can help prevent cyber crime from impacting their customers," said Charles Weaver, CEO of MSPAlliance. "We are also paying particular attention to topics that can help MSPs grow their MSP practices; sessions like cloud & managed services sales. This is truly a one of a kind conference, and one that MSPs the world-over should not miss."

Agenda Items:
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Artists take aim at hidden world of modern US surveillance

'Covert Operations’ exhibition brings FOIA requests and dogged investigative fieldwork into museum setting
September 26, 2014 6:00AM ET

Detail from "Six CIA Agents Wanted in Connection with the Abduction of Abu Omar from Milan, Italy" by artist Trevor Paglen, 2007.Trevor Paglen

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona - While walking to the mosque in Milan where he was imam, radical Egyptian cleric Abu Omar was pepper sprayed and bundled into a van by Central Intelligence Agency operatives working in tandem with Italy's security services.

Omar was flown in a Learjet from Aviano Air Base to Egypt where he was held without trial for four years, during which time he said he was interrogated, tortured with electricity and abused.

Grainy, off-center Xeroxed copies of the passport photo pages of six CIA officers wanted in connection with the abduction of Omar back in February 2003 now hang in a groundbreaking exhibition that seeks to make visible the opaque workings of the United States' national security apparatus.

"Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns," which opens Saturday at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, brings together works by 13 artists that lift the veil on the clandestine world of illegal rendition flights, Hunter drones, spy satellites, border technologies and terrorist profiling that has flourished in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Trevor Paglen, Untitled (Reaper Drone), 2010
Upon close inspection, Trevor Paglen's "Untitled (Reaper Drone)," 2010, reveals an all-but-invisible MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle which is used in combat in Afghanistan, Pakistan and along the U.S. borders. Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen reportedly indirectly obtained copies of the passport pages – reproduced in the show as individually framed inkjet prints - from hotels where the alleged agents stayed in Italy after an investigation by Milan police using cell phone records, credit card purchases, hotel bills and travel documents reconstructed their movements. The probe led to the conviction in absentia of more than 20 U.S. agents.

“These artists have each undertaken a weighty responsibility: To make the invisible visible for the rest of us,” curator Claire C. Carter wrote in the prologue to a book accompanying the show. “Bearing witness visually can be more successful than a thousand words.”

The visual artists in the exhibition, including Paglen, use a variety of tools such as the Freedom of Information Act, government archives and their own dogged fieldwork to reveal some of the government's covert activities along with its haunting missteps in the weeks before the 9/11 attacks.

Holzer, a conceptual artist, reproduces a heavily redacted report sent by Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams to his superiors in July 2001, warning that Osama bin Laden may have been sending students to U.S. flight schools who would be "in a position in the future to conduct terror activity against civil aviation targets." It flagged the investigation of Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, a Prescott, Arizona, flight-school student known for his connections to Al-Qaeda. The unheeded report, which Holzer splashes across seven panels in a work titled "Phoenix yellow and white," was a key piece of evidence drawn on by the 9/11 Commission Report while looking into failures to prevent the attacks.
Jenny Holzer, Phoenix yellow white (detail), 2006
For "Phoenix yellow white (detail)," 2006, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer draws on an overlooked FBI report that called attention to Osama bin Laden's activities in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.Jenny Holzer / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The sprawling growth of national security programs is obliquely captured in photographs by Paglen, an artist, geographer and writer who probes the intersection between the secret state and the visible world. A picture of a white slash scored across a star-splashed night sky records the fleeting arc of Lacrosse/Onyx II, a radar-imaging reconnaissance satellite able to peer through clouds. The technology’s existence remained classified until 2008.

His work "Untitled (Reaper Drone)" is at first glance an impressionistic photograph of a crimson- and violet-suffused twilight snapped near Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Close inspection reveals an all-but-invisible MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle which is used in combat in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other conflict zones, and, in an unarmed surveillance role, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to monitor its land and sea borders.
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Weekend Edition September 12-14, 2014
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Follow the Money; Follow the Oil
How the West Created the Islamic State


“This is an organisation that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision which will eventually have to be defeated,” Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon press conference in August.

Military action is necessary to halt the spread of the ISIS “cancer,” said President Obama. Yesterday he called for expanded airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, and new measures to arm and train Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces.

“The only way to defeat [IS] is to stand firm and to send a very straightforward message,” declared Prime Minister Cameron. “A country like ours will not be cowed by these barbaric killers.”

Missing from the chorus of outrage, however, has been any acknowledgement of the integral role of covert US and British regional military intelligence strategy in empowering and even directly sponsoring the very same virulent Islamist militants in Iraq, Syria and beyond, that went on to break away from al-Qaeda and form ‘ISIS’, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or now simply, the Islamic State (IS).

Since 2003, Anglo-American power has secretly and openly coordinated direct and indirect support for Islamist terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda across the Middle East and North Africa. This ill-conceived patchwork geostrategy is a legacy of the persistent influence of neoconservative ideology, motivated by longstanding but often contradictory ambitions to dominate regional oil resources, defend an expansionist Israel, and in pursuit of these, re-draw the map of the Middle East.

Now despite Pentagon denials that there will be boots on the ground – and Obama’s insistence that this would not be another “Iraq war” – local Kurdish military and intelligence sources confirm that US and German special operations forces are already “on the ground here. They are helping to support us in the attack.” US airstrikes on ISIS positions and arms supplies to the Kurds have also been accompanied by British RAF reconnaissance flights over the region and UK weapons shipments to Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Divide and Rule in Iraq

“It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs,” said one US government defense consultant in 2007. “It’s who they throw them at – Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

Early during the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the US covertly supplied arms to al-Qaeda affiliated insurgents even while ostensibly supporting an emerging Shi’a-dominated administration.

Pakistani defense sources interviewed by Asia Times in February 2005 confirmed that insurgents described as “former Ba’ath party” loyalists – who were being recruited and trained by “al-Qaeda in Iraq” under the leadership of the late Abu Musab Zarqawi – were being supplied Pakistan-manufactured weapons by the US. The arms shipments included rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, ammunition, rockets and other light weaponry. These arms “could not be destined for the Iraqi security forces because US arms would be given to them”, a source told Syed Saleem Shahzad – the Times’ Pakistan bureau chief who, “known for his exposes of the Pakistani military” according to the New Yorker, was murdered in 2011. Rather, the US is playing a double-game to “head off” the threat of a “Shi’ite clergy-driven religious movement,” said the Pakistani defense source.

This was not the only way US strategy aided the rise of Zarqawi, a bin Laden mentee and brainchild of the extremist ideology that would later spawn ‘ISIS.’

According to a little-known November report for the US Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) and Strategic Studies Department, Dividing Our Enemies, post-invasion Iraq was “an interesting case study of fanning discontent among enemies, leading to ‘red-against-red’ [enemy-against-enemy] firefights.”

While counterinsurgency on the one hand requires US forces to “ameliorate harsh or deprived living conditions of the indigenous populations” to publicly win local hearts and minds, “the reverse side of this coin is one less discussed. It involves no effort to win over those caught in the crossfire of insurgent and counterinsurgent warfare, whether by bullet or broadcast. On the contrary, this underside of the counterinsurgency coin is calculated to exploit or create divisions among adversaries for the purpose of fomenting enemy-on-enemy deadly encounters.”

In other words, US forces will pursue public legitimacy through conventional social welfare while simultaneously delegitimising local enemies by escalating intra-insurgent violence, knowing full-well that doing so will in turn escalate the number of innocent civilians “caught in the crossfire.” The idea is that violence covertly calibrated by US special operations will not only weaken enemies through in-fighting but turn the population against them.

In this case, the ‘enemy’ consisted of jihadists, Ba’athists, and peaceful Sufis, who were in a majority but, like the militants, also opposed the US military presence and therefore needed to be influenced. The JSOU report referred to events in late 2004 in Fallujah where “US psychological warfare (PSYOP) specialists” undertook to “set insurgents battling insurgents.” This involved actually promoting Zarqawi’s ideology, ironically, to defeat it: “The PSYOP warriors crafted programs to exploit Zarqawi’s murderous activities – and to disseminate them through meetings, radio and television broadcasts, handouts, newspaper stories, political cartoons, and posters – thereby diminishing his folk-hero image,” and encouraging the different factions to pick each other off. “By tapping into the Fallujans’ revulsion and antagonism to the Zarqawi jihadis the Joint PSYOP Task Force did its ‘best to foster a rift between Sunni groups.’”

Yet as noted by Dahr Jamail, one of the few unembedded investigative reporters in Iraq after the war, the proliferation of propaganda linking the acceleration of suicide bombings to the persona of Zarqawi was not matched by meaningful evidence. His own search to substantiate the myriad claims attributing the insurgency to Zarqawi beyond anonymous US intelligence sources encountered only an “eerie blankness”.

The US military operation in Fallujah, largely justified on the claim that Zarqawi’s militant forces had occupied the city, used white phosphorous, cluster bombs, and indiscriminate air strikes to pulverise 36,000 of Fallujah’s 50,000 homes, killing nearly a thousand civilians, terrorising 300,000 inhabitants to flee, and culminating in a disproportionate increase in birth defects, cancer and infant mortality due to the devastating environmental consequences of the war.

To this day, Fallujah has suffered from being largely cut-off from wider Iraq, its infrastructure largely unworkable with water and sewage systems still in disrepair, and its citizens subject to sectarian discrimination and persecution by Iraqi government backed Shi’a militia and police. “Thousands of bereaved and homeless Falluja families have a new reason to hate the US and its allies,” observed The Guardian in 2005. Thus, did the US occupation plant the seeds from which Zarqawi’s legacy would coalesce into the Frankenstein monster that calls itself “the Islamic State.”

Bankrolling al-Qaeda in Syria

According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business,” he told French television: “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”

Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, confirmed that as of 2011, US and UK special forces training of Syrian opposition forces was well underway. The goal was to elicit the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

Since then, the role of the Gulf states – namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan (as well as NATO member Turkey) – in officially and unofficially financing and coordinating the most virulent elements amongst Syria’s rebels under the tutelage of US military intelligence is no secret. Yet the conventional wisdom is that the funneling of support to Islamist extremists in the rebel movement affiliated to al-Qaeda has been a colossal and regrettable error.

The reality is very different. The empowerment of the Islamist factions within the ‘Free Syrian Army’ (FSA) was a foregone conclusion of the strategy.

In its drive to depose Col. Qaddafi in Libya, NATO had previously allied itself with rebels affiliated to the al-Qaeda faction, the Islamic Fighting Group. The resulting Libyan regime backed by the US was in turn liaising with FSA leaders in Istanbul to provide money and heavy weapons for the anti-Assad insurgency. The State Department even hired an al-Qaeda affiliated Libyan militia group to provide security for the US embassy in Benghazi – although they had links with the very people that attacked the embassy.

Last year, CNN confirmed that CIA officials operating secretly out of the Benghazi embassy were being forced to take extra polygraph tests to keep under wraps what US Congressman suspect was a covert operation “to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.”

With their command and control centre based in Istanbul, Turkey, military supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular were transported by Turkish intelligence to the border for rebel acquisition. CIA operatives along with Israeli and Jordanian commandos were also training FSA rebels on the Jordanian-Syrian border with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. In addition, other reports show that British and French military were also involved in these secret training programmes. It appears that the same FSA rebels receiving this elite training went straight into ISIS – last month one ISIS commander, Abu Yusaf, said, “Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.”donate now

The National thus confirmed the existence of another command and control centre in Amman, Jordan, “staffed by western and Arab military officials,” which “channels vehicles, sniper rifles, mortars, heavy machine guns, small arms and ammunition to Free Syrian Army units.” Rebel and opposition sources described the weapons bridge as “a well-run operation staffed by high-ranking military officials from 14 countries, including the US, European nations and Arabian Gulf states, the latter providing the bulk of materiel and financial support to rebel factions.”

The FSA sources interviewed by The National went to pains to deny that any al-Qaeda affiliated factions were involved in the control centre, or would receive any weapons support. But this is difficult to believe given that “Saudi and Qatari-supplied weapons” were being funneled through to the rebels via Amman, to their favoured factions.

Classified assessments of the military assistance supplied by US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar obtained by the New York Times showed that “most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups… are going to hardline Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster.”

Lest there be any doubt as to the extent to which all this covert military assistance coordinated by the US has gone to support al-Qaeda affiliated factions in the FSA, it is worth noting that earlier this year, the Israeli military intelligence website Debkafile – run by two veteran correspondents who covered the Middle East for 23 years for The Economist – reported that: “Turkey is giving Syrian rebel forces, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, passage through its territory to attack the northwestern Syrian coastal area around Latakia.”

In August, Debkafile reported that “The US, Jordan and Israel are quietly backing the mixed bag of some 30 Syrian rebel factions”, some of which had just “seized control of the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing, the only transit point between Israeli and Syrian Golan.” However, Debkafile noted, “al-Qaeda elements have permeated all those factions.” Israel has provided limited support to these rebels in the form of “medical care,” as well as “arms, intelligence and food…

“Israel acted as a member, along with the US and Jordan, of a support system for rebel groups fighting in southern Syria. Their efforts are coordinated through a war-room which the Pentagon established last year near Amman. The US, Jordanian and Israeli officers manning the facility determine in consultation which rebel factions are provided with reinforcements from the special training camps run for Syrian rebels in Jordan, and which will receive arms. All three governments understand perfectly that, notwithstanding all their precautions, some of their military assistance is bound to percolate to al-Qaeda’s Syrian arm, Jabhat Al-Nusra, which is fighting in rebel ranks. Neither Washington or Jerusalem or Amman would be comfortable in admitting they are arming al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in southern Syria.”

This support also went to ISIS. Although the latter was originally founded in Iraq in October 2006, by 2013 the group had significantly expanded its operations in Syria working alongside al-Qaeda’s al-Nusra until February 2014, when ISIS was formally denounced by al-Qaeda. Even so, experts on the region’s Islamist groups point out that the alleged rift between al-Nusra and ISIS, while real, is not as fraught as one might hope, constituting a mere difference in tactics rather than fundamental ideology.

Officially, the US government’s financial support for the FSA goes through the Washington DC entity, the Syrian Support Group (SSG), Syrian Support Group (SSG) which was incorporated in April 2012. The SSG is licensed via the US Treasury Department to “export, re-export, sell, or supply to the Free Syrian Army (‘FSA’) financial, communications, logistical, and other services otherwise prohibited by Executive Order 13582 in order to support the FSA.”

In mid-2013, the Obama administration intensified its support to the rebels with a new classified executive order reversing its previous policy limiting US direct support to only nonlethal equipment. As before, the order would aim to supply weapons strictly to “moderate” forces in the FSA.

Except the government’s vetting procedures to block Islamist extremists from receiving US weapons have never worked.

A year later, Mother Jones found that the US government has “little oversight over whether US supplies are falling prey to corruption – or into the hands of extremists,” and relies “on too much good faith.” The US government keeps track of rebels receiving assistance purely through “handwritten receipts provided by rebel commanders in the field,” and the judgement of its allies. Countries supporting the rebels – the very same which have empowered al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists – “are doing audits of the delivery of lethal and nonlethal supplies.”

Thus, with the Gulf states still calling the shots on the ground, it is no surprise that by September last year, eleven prominent rebel groups distanced themselves from the ‘moderate’ opposition leadership and allied themselves with al-Qaeda.

By the SSG’s own conservative estimate, as much as 15% of rebel fighters are Islamists affiliated to al-Qaeda, either through the Jabhut al-Nusra faction, or its breakaway group ISIS. But privately, Pentagon officials estimate that “more than 50%” of the FSA is comprised of Islamist extremists, and according to rebel sources neither FSA chief Gen Salim Idris nor his senior aides engage in much vetting, decisions about which are made typically by local commanders.

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Tea with FBI sends chilling message to Cleveland Palestine activist
Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Fri, 10/03/2014

Abbas Hamideh says activists should not be intimidated by law enforcement visits.
(Anwar Omeish)

Abbas Hamideh, an activist with Al-Awda – The Palestine Right of Return Coalition in Cleveland, Ohio, was on his way home from work yesterday when his wife called to tell him two FBI agents were waiting for him.

“I was pretty shocked,” Hamideh told The Electronic Intifada. “I thought maybe she was joking, like a prank. So I texted her and said, are you serious?”

Hamideh said he immediately posted this information to his Facebook page, which generated much concern from friends.

“When I got home they were actually sitting there having tea and enjoying it,” Hamideh said.

The longtime organizer said he has been contacted by the FBI previously in relation to safety issues for planned public demonstrations, but normally he would speak to them in a public place.

“I thought it was a bit creepy to find them in my house,” Hamideh said. “I didn’t feel comfortable about it but they were already there, because my wife had let them in.”

This time too the agents said they were coming to talk to Hamideh about a protest Al-Awda has called for this Sunday against a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team and Israel’s Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv.

“They told me they just wanted to know is this going to be another peaceful rally, because they understand this is what Al-Awda does,” Hamideh said. “Obviously I told them, yes, it’s going to be a peaceful rally.”

Hamideh said he told them he had notified the Cleveland police department of the location as his group typically does when a large event is planned.

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland is promoting the exhibition game as an opportunity to “show your solidarity with Israel.”

It also attacked the planned protest and blamed Palestinians in Gaza for their own deaths during Israel’s summer assault that killed more than 2,100 people, including more than 500 children.

“Once again, this Palestinian group refuses to protest in the right place,” Jewish Federation of Cleveland president Steve Hoffman told Cleveland.com.

“They should be protesting the terrorist leadership of Hamas that started the war this summer, prolonged the war this summer, and, in doing so, caused the death of its own innocent civilians,” he added.
FBI responds

Special Agent Vicki D. Anderson, spokesperson for the FBI Cleveland division, confirmed the visit to Hamideh’s home.

She told The Electronic Intifada that the agents had “a very pleasant visit and drank tea with everyone and it wasn’t something they wouldn’t have done if it was an Israeli group staging this protest.”

Anderson insisted “it’s not in any way an intimidation thing,” but rather was “proactive outreach” to say “if someone in your group is taking your message and perversing it, then here’s who to call.”

Asked if anyone had reported the planned protest to the FBI, Anderson said, “We can’t comment. We’re obviously aware when any gathering is occurring in our territory.”

She said that “we look online and we see where people post things about public events so we’re not caught unawares.”

When asked if the visit to Hamideh had occurred because Al-Awda is a Palestinian and Arab-American related organization, Anderson replied “Absolutely not.”

She said that during the recent Gay Games that were hosted in Cleveland the FBI had carried out similar “outreach” efforts.

“Obviously the FBI does not have an issue with anyone protesting,” Anderson said. “We respect freedom of speech.”

Given that the Jewish Federation of Cleveland had criticized the Al-Awda protest, The Electronic Intifada asked if FBI agents had visited it as well.

“I don’t know. I can’t get into specifics,” Anderson said. “We do know the Jewish Federation. I’m not at liberty to release those details.”
Hot tea, chilling effect

The visit to Hamideh prior to a planned public protest is especially notable in light of persistent efforts by the Anti-Defamation League and other anti-Palestinian groups to paint Palestine solidarity protests as potentially violent, criminal and inherently threatening to Jews.

Hamideh acknowledged that the FBI might have a legitimate interest in ensuring public safety. But he also said that such visits have a chilling effect on the community.

“It makes activists uncomfortable. Because here’s two agents sitting in my house. If I had been home I would not have let them in,” he said.

“I think the impact is if you let them get to you, and if people hear about this, it creates a fear. You know, ‘Abbas is active, and the FBI is on his tail.’”

“I felt there was kind of a deceiving tactic that they went to my door and they went through my wife,” Hamideh said.

“I’m sure to a certain extent they do have concerns about safety issues,” he added. “But I think it’s also to create some fear in the community [saying] that ‘if you’re vocal, we’re monitoring you.’”

Hamideh said there were widespread concerns in the community about the FBI trying to recruit people as informants. He said that while he was prepared to speak to public authorities about safety issues, he would not go beyond that.

“But if it gets too personal and if they start asking questions about other people, I put a stop to that right away,” he said.

Hamideh stressed that no one is required to talk to law enforcement.

Following his own experience, Hamideh’s advice to activists is “don’t let this intimidate you. When we get these types of visits we know we’re doing the right thing and the Zionists are making noise about it.”

Above all, he advises, know your rights.
Know your rights

The National Lawyers Guild has published a pamphlet called “You have the right to remain silent: A know your rights guide for law enforcement encounters.”

It is designed to be “a practical resource for activists and others when dealing with law enforcement.”

If the FBI or the police come to your door, NLG advises:

Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.

This is exactly the advice followed by a member of the Palestinian American community when he was visited recently by FBI agents in Chicago.

Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and the Center for Constitutional Rights have also published a “Legal and Tactical Guide for Palestinian Human Rights Advocacy in the US.”

In 2012, youths with Chicago’s Arab American Action Network produced this video as “a humorous look at an important topic in our community – the rights that we believe too many of us do not fully understand when approached by the FBI”:
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2 stories



McCulloch to appear at NAACP forum

By American staff | Posted 1 hour ago

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch will join key regional and federal law enforcement officials at the “Update on Justice” for Michael Brown Community Town Hall, to be held 6:30 p.m. Thursday October 23 at the Bethesda Temple Church, located at 5401 Bishop J.A Johnson Lane in Normandy.

Appearing with the controversial McCulloch will be St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar; Christy Lopez, deputy director of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice; and Michael Schneider, deputy Special Agent in Charge at FBI St. Louis.

The town hall, which is open to the public, will be moderated by Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors.

The purpose of the Town Hall, according to the NAACP, is to provide the community with factual and reliable information regarding the on-going investigation of the shooting of Michael Brown and to educate the public on the functions of civil rights and criminal investigations.


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organization that assassinated President Kennedy and Martin Luther King cared about what you download

couple of reads

see link for full story


Wed, Oct 15th 2014 3:46pm

FBI Wants To Know If Applicants Have Been Downloading Unauthorized Content
from the limiting-the-supply dept
Earlier this year, FBI Director James Comey suggested that the FBI might consider backing off its policy of refusing to hire anyone who has used marijuana in order to find competent computer folks who can deal with online crimes. After some backlash (and some support) for those statements, Comey quickly backed down, claiming it was all just a joke.

Now, TorrentFreak has revealed that beyond pot smoking disqualifying you, so might your history of downloading some music and movies. This came up at a Sacramento State Career Center information session held by the FBI, where the FBI made it clear that your downloading practices matter to the agency.

“If you’re doing that, stop doing it.” Dupree said.

He explained how the FBI will ask people during interviews how many songs, movies and books they have downloaded because the FBI considers it to be stealing.

During the first two phases of interviews, everything is recorded and then turned into a report. This report is then passed along to a polygraph technician to be used during the applicant's exam, which consists of a 55-page questionnaire

Who Killed Robert Kennedy? by Philip Melanson
With the FBI's assistance, they spent the next fourteen months investigating the ... The files made it clear that the LAPD had engaged in a massive cover-up, both ...
Robert F Kennedy assassination witness says FBI covered up fact ...
Apr 30, 2012 - 'There definitely was another shooter': RFK assassination witness says FBI covered up fact there was a SECOND gunman. Sirhan Sirhan was ...
Robert F. Kennedy (1968) - Wikipedia
The conspiracy theories relating to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, a United ... [hide]. 1 Second gunman; 2 The security guard; 3 Manchurian candidate .... FBI. Retrieved 2008-07-25. Jump up ^ "Democracy Now! Special: Robert F.
‎Second gunman - ‎The security guard - ‎Manchurian candidate hypothesis
RFK assassination witness tells CNN: There was a second shooter ...
Apr 30, 2012 - As Sirhan Sirhan challenges his conviction in Robert F. Kennedy assassination ... "She identified fifteen errors including the FBI alteration which quoted her ..... which confirms the existence of the cover-up efforts," he told CNN.
The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: New Revelations on the ...
A reexamination of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy presents new evidence ... An Expose of the Cover-Up of the Conspiracy ... and, the official investigation authorities (LAPD, FBI) covered up evidence that suggested conspiracy (p.4).
JFK Assassination And Coverup: New Evidence and Testimony ...
Nov 19, 2013 - This same modus operandi applies to the coverup as well. ... that certain elements within the CIA, Secret Service, FBI and Dallas Police ... Chicago Mafia — JFK had a run in with Sam Giancana; RFK took on organized crime
'There definitely was another shooter': RFK assassination witness ...
Apr 30, 2012 - Alternative News Covering Finance, Economy, Politics, World News, ... shooter': RFK assassination witness says FBI covered up fact there was ...
Probe V5N3: Sirhan and the RFK Assassination: The Grand Illusion
Mangan in particular has come up with evidence that should properly cause any court to ... Bill Barry, an ex-FBI man who was ostensibly serving as Kennedy's bodyguard ... have really been accessories after the fact to a deliberate cover-up?

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1The Bureau is seeking a rule-change from the Administrative Office of the US Courts that would give it the power to distribute malware, hack, and trick any computer, anywhere in the world, in the course of investigations; it's the biggest expansion of FBI spying power in its history and they're hoping to grab it without an act of Congress or any public scrutiny or debate.

But under the proposed amendment, a judge can issue a warrant that would allow the FBI to hack into any computer, no matter where it is located. The change is designed specifically to help federal investigators carry out surveillance on computers that have been “anonymized” – that is, their location has been hidden using tools such as Tor.

The amendment inserts a clause that would allow a judge to issue warrants to gain “remote access” to computers “located within or outside that district” (emphasis added) in cases in which the “district where the media or information is located has been concealed through technological means”. The expanded powers to stray across district boundaries would apply to any criminal investigation, not just to terrorist cases as at present.

Were the amendment to be granted by the regulatory committee, the FBI would have the green light to unleash its capabilities – known as “network investigative techniques” – on computers across America and beyond. The techniques involve clandestinely installing malicious software, or malware, onto a computer that in turn allows federal agents effectively to control the machine, downloading all its digital contents, switching its camera or microphone on or off, and even taking over other computers in its network

FBI demands new powers to hack into computers and carry out surveillance [Ed Pilkington/The Guardian]
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Defense lawyers press for details in FBI agent misconduct case

see link for full story

November 10 2014
Days after federal prosecutors dismissed drug cases against nearly two dozen felons amid a misconduct investigation of an FBI agent, defense lawyers in other cases linked to the agent are pressing for similar consideration.

But on Monday, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan refused to release on bail two men who have pleaded guilty to distributing drugs but whose sentencings have been put on hold during the investigation into the agent, Matthew Lowry.
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see link for full story

The FBI’s Dangerous Misrepresentation of Encryption Law
November 20, 2014 • 4:00 AM

The FBI no more deserves a direct line to your data than it deserves to intercept your mail at the post office. But it doesn’t want you to know that.

FBI Director James Comey certainly wants you to think that he’s not going to be able to get inside of your iPhone 6. Lately, Comey has been the source of a slew of off-the-cuff comments about how the FBI is “going dark”: “Those charged with protecting our people aren’t always able to access the evidence we need,” he said in a recent speech at the Brookings Institution. “We have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to court order, but we often lack the technical ability to do so.”

Comey’s consternation stems from Apple and Google’s decisions to manufacture their smartphones and operating systems with encryption baked in by default. “In the past, conducting electronic surveillance was more straightforward,” Comey said during the speech. Such encryption would damage the organization’s access to the real-time data of its suspects, or such is the line that Comey is pushing. “Some believe that the FBI has these phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time…. It is simply not the case in real life,” he said.

Privacy experts agree that Comey’s comments are not only misleading, but outright false. Installing encryption on individual devices is a fundamental political right that the FBI seems to be ignoring, despite the fact that laws banning this encryption have already failed to pass. Comey’s comments are a repetition of an old narrative. His recommendation of mandating the installation of a backdoor into encryption for government access would be damaging to users, businesses, and national security alike, critics argue.

Installing encryption on individual devices is a fundamental political right that the FBI seems to be ignoring, despite the fact that laws banning this encryption have already failed to pass.

“The fundamental misunderstanding is that the Fourth Amendment gives the government an affirmative right to information, which is it doesn’t,” says Liza Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program. The amendment “provides an affirmative right to people, not the government.” In other words, Comey seems to think that the FBI has a legal right to blank-check access to unencrypted information from our personal devices. But there is “absolutely nothing wrong or illegal about a person encrypting their information or Apple offering encryption as a default,” Goitein adds.

Comey is also misrepresenting the extent to which encryption from Google and Apple changes how information is protected. Privacy, after all, has always been a third-party option for devices. “Strong encryption services and products are already out there,” says Harley Geiger of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “You can buy a black phone, a Silent Circle phone, or use PGP to encrypt your data.” What the FBI is speaking out against is the spread of encryption technology to a wider audience that may have not been aware of it before. “What Apple and Google have done is make strong encryption available to the average user, not just those who are security conscious—that’s hugely valuable,” Geiger adds.

Not only would mandating an encryption backdoor damage personal privacy, it could have much wider consequences. “There’s no way to create a vulnerability that only the U.S. government can exploit,” Goitein says. This means hackers, cyber-criminals, and foreign governments could easily use such a hole. “In the end it creates much less security than if you had strong encryption in place without the backdoor,” Geiger says.

The burden of such a backdoor will also fall squarely on U.S. businesses, which may find themselves unable to compete in foreign markets with the added risk of vulnerability. “Small businesses, large businesses use encryption,” says Mark Jaycox of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The notion that FBI likes to push is only terrorists use encryption, but everyone uses encryption.”

Comey is pushing for an update of the Communications Assistance of Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which was passed in 1994, mandating telecommunications companies to install backdoors so the FBI could continue wiretapping even without the presence of a physical wire. But a renewed CALEA could push for applying the same rules to individual users, when legal tools like subpoenas and warrants already exist for the organization to get the data it needs for evidence. Efforts to pass a new version of the law have failed. “Congress could have extended [CALEA] to Internet communications, but Congress didn’t,” Goitein says.

More on Privacy

Privacy Tools: How to Safely Browse the Web

The Celebrity Photo-Hacking Scandal Shows Why Old Privacy Laws Need a Serious Update

As we move farther beyond the initial Edward Snowden leaks and into a Republican-controlled Congress, overreaches like CALEA might pass unnoticed. But Comey’s speeches should raise alarms. Not only is the director of the FBI advocating for something that could make America’s Internet infrastructure weaker, he is actively misrepresenting the legal context of encryption for individuals, a much larger infringement on technology users—i.e., everyone. As Goitein states, encryption is perfectly legal, and the FBI no more deserves a direct line to your data than it deserves to intercept your mail at the post office.

The illogic of the situation is gradually coming to light. In fact, not all branches of the government support the FBI’s push.

In a recent speech at Stanford in front of an audience of Silicon Valley insiders, National Security Agency director Michael Rogers noted that “when you find vulnerabilities, we are going to share them; the default mechanism is that we’re going to share the vulnerabilities.” (Presumably they will work to solve these vulnerabilities as well rather than exploiting them.) “A fundamentally strong Internet is in the best interest of the nation,” he said.

We can only hope that both the FBI and NSA have the ultimate safety of Americans in mind when they push for access to more and more consumer da
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Big Brother IS watching you. Don’t be complacent about surveillance
Nick Cohen
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Thomas Daly photo FBI agent
In 1988, FBI agent Thomas Daly called Globe reporter Kevin Cullen and threatened that Bulger would kill Cullen if the Globe printed that Bulger was an informant. Daly insisted that Bulger was not working with the bureau and said Bulger knew where Cullen lived in South Boston. The Globe published a Spotlight Team series that revealed Bulger as an FBI informant.
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Justice appealing ruling on DEA’s reckless
use of witness

Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The Justice Department is appealing a $1.1 million ruling against the Drug Enforcement Administration, asking an appeals court to throw out a ruling that the agency acted with “reckless disregard” for one of its most prized drug informants by sending her into an investigation after her cover had been blown.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/24/justice-appealing-ruling-on-deas-reckless-use-of-w/#ixzz3Mrr1HeEk
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
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Corbett report

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