Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 18, 2013

House Select Committee On Intelligence Propaganda

In the United States Congress the House Select Committee On Intelligence is "the primary committee in the U.S. House of Representatives charged with the oversight of the United States Intelligence Community". The committee is the elected legislative part of the government which set and controls the limits of the executive.

It is currently holding a open hearing about the recent disclosures of various activities and programs of the National Security Agency.

Congress hearings have titles. What is the title of the currently ongoing hearing?

a. To Evaluate Recently Disclosed NSA Activities, and The Necessity Of Intelligence Gathering Reform

b. Structure And Legal Limits Of Domestic Signal Intelligence Activities

c. How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries

d. Role And Limits Of The NSA Within The Intelligence Community

e. Why Data Protection Is Hindering Intelligence Collection, and How More Data Collection Will Expand Our Freedoms

The correct answer is c. How Disclosed NSA Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries

Issuing such propaganda even in the title of the hearing is certainly not "oversight". It is pandering to the executive agency in question. It is therefore no wonder that the Senate Intelligence Committee even prohibits a former staffer to explain the oversight process to the media. The way we do, or don't do, our job is secret. Trust us and give us your money (and data). One wonders what those agencies the committees are supposed to control and investigate have in their vaults about each of those committee members and their families.

Aside from that the purpose of this post is to point you to a piece which looks a bit deeper into the whole intelligence nonsense. Why do we have these agencies and why have they grown into such enormous beasts?

Go read The NSA and the One Percent

Also good:

 

Posted by b on June 18, 2013 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

Comments

SORRY FOR OFF TOPIC
At the G8 meeting Mr Putin was exposed to max pressure.
He was made to feel small, isolated, lonely, exposed to power (literally under US guns) , long walk to Cameron, Love bombed, caught off guard in Public at a Mic. with Camerons Syrian terrorist support……. He fidgeted with his hands and feet looking nervous. Knowing of spying on all his private communication he was aware that they could expose, or manufacture, personnel transgressions. He was shown Obama receiving adulation.
The British Papers and people are strongly against arming the terrorists. Most members of Parliament (including most of Camerons Conservative party ) demand a vote to stop the arming. Cameron will suffer and Obama be humiliated. Superman has arrived.
Mr Putin replied well but should have STRESSED that he was legally helping a legitimate Government while Cameron, Obama etc were illegally arming terrorists. He has the high moral ground, the support of the vast majority in US, Britain, Germany, France etc and around the world. He has the power, the will to use it with the agreement of the most people everywhere. The West AND Russia have learned that the Wests unchallenged power is over.
The war in Syria has been won by Dr. Assad and allies who showed they are powerful, loyal, can be trusted even up to war and are the relevant future. The “west” has been blunted but not Israel, Rothchilds etc.who will continue their money /power manipulations
How to save face for Obama. Dr Assad will agree to being ‘forced’ to the table in Geneva (which he has asked for 2 years). Dr Assad is a supreme patriot and would freely offer to sacrifice his position, power and even life in his Country’s interests. He can agree to stand aside for elections at which he would be a candidate. ‘Agree’ that up front with Obama.
It has been demonstrated that Syria needs Russian arms for its survival and Russia has a moral duty to match the US supply of arms to Israel, Saudi Quater etc who will not negotiate while they are stronger. The momentum is now. Russia with Iran, Syria, Iraq can dominate the M.E.

Posted by: boindub | Jun 18, 2013 11:50:01 AM | 1

There is no doubt this kind of b.s. is why congress has an approval rating in the single digits (or something very close).

On policies the American people want - like healthcare, investigating the banks, job creation, taxes - they are unable to do a thing.

On policies Americans hate - like war, like domestic spying - they support unequivocally.

They're supposed to be an expression of the will of the American people. They're nothing but an expression of PR flacks on Wall Street and in Israel. Undoubtedly the most corrupt institution in the United States. And that's saying something.

The days of the Watergate hearings - I'm not old enough to remember but I have seen the footage - of elected representatives tearing into the executive branch are long, long, long gone. Now it simply 534 paid off citizens whose duty is to prevent blow jobs in the oval office and lower taxes for the 1%. If perchance some one gets in who tries to do the people's work, their opponent gets flooded with an unbeatable amount of Citizen's United cash, either in the primary or in the general election.

It's been a long time since the American people had anyone on their side in congress; that was Vito Marcantonio in 1948. He died of a heart attack while trying to make a comeback after being basically gerrymandered and legislated out of office.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 18, 2013 12:02:48 PM | 2

This will cheer you up:

Taliban fighters shrug off NSA surveillance revelations: ‘We knew’
Kevin Sieff, WaPo, Jun 14 2013

KABUL — Like the rest of the world, Taliban officials learned last week of the US government’s large-scale surveillance program on citizens and foreigners, which included access to a massive amount of information gathered from online communications. The Taliban was not surprised by the news. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the WaPo:

This news will have no impact on our activities. We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.

The US military and the NATO-led ISAF haven’t tried to hide their efforts to keep track of Taliban activity. Floating, blimp-like aerostats use cameras to keep an eye on all activity below. For years, US soldiers and their Afghan counterparts have listened in to Taliban radio communications. The Taliban, knowing their conversations were tapped, would often attempt to mislead snooping listeners, discussing ambushes that never materialized. Even the Taliban spokesman who spoke with the WaPo this week routinely changes his phone number to deter prying intelligence agents. The Taliban, which maintains a Web site and an active presence on Twitter, is a frequent victim of hackers, which insurgent officials have long assumed are working for the US government. For them, the surveillance revelation only justified their anger at US meddling online. “They have hacked our site and used a forged site as if it was ours,” Mujahid said. If the NSA is trying to keep tabs on foreign individuals involved in terrorist activities, the Taliban leaders, some of the world’s most prominent al-Qaeda sympathizers, are obvious targets. Some Afghan analysts also said they weren’t surprised by the Taliban response. Daud Sultanzoi, a political activist and former Afghan parliamentarian, said:
I don’t think it will disturb them. They’re like the energizer bunny. They keep going and going.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 18, 2013 12:55:18 PM | 3

The Lobe-log piece makes but one point, really: that the sprawling, private security apparatus is a huge money siphonerer (for the author to the 1% - well to some group, class. I prefer the security - milit. industry or something like that.) This point was made by many on this board, and long ago.

The Frank. All. makes an essential point, also not new (I made it last week for the nth time.) The NSA collects the data because it can. It points out that legally the ‘can’ is wishy washy but no surprise there. It can, the technology is there. What the piece neglects is that this is a case of Gvmt (its agencies and contractors) chasing the private sector to stop it from having too much power (information) and thus coerces or melds with them, in back-door and secret deals amongst others, to share that power, or at least take over as much of it as it can. Which is a step forward towards the Corp-Gov State. Not true though that phone calls are not listened to.

And on and on about terrorism and prevention of it etc. Which is complete BS, from A to Z. I won’t elaborate on that for now, but it is a smokescreen.

The main problem which is sort of buried is that the Gvmt. (in the shape of the famed ‘democracy’ rah rah etc.) etc. is no longer - hasn’t been for a long time - in charge, not controlling spying, info. gathering, procedures that regulate it, forbid it, or accept it in certain cases, and acting in secrecy, obfuscation, lying to the public, etc. (Or, has aims other than it is supposed to have, but let’s keep it light.) This is not discussed, or not much. The topic becomes privacy - who wants what privacy, what privacy is legit, what spying is necessary, etc. - but the whole conversation or media hullaballo is empty and useless as the ppl have no means at all to enforce or change anything.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 18, 2013 12:55:35 PM | 4

We should take the Taliban's advice and not allow this news to have any impact on our activities.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 1:06:06 PM | 5

WTF WRT the repetition of the term "adversaries", by all parties?

Not "enemies", "adversaries".

ad·ver·sar·y
/ˈadvərˌserē/
Noun
1. One's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute.

Posted by: L Bean | Jun 18, 2013 1:21:13 PM | 6

This post by b is revealing some disturbing things, after reading, I feel like I fell asleep and woke up in 1984.

Terms such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, new speak, and memory hole, come to mind. Not mention telescreens....

Posted by: OAB | Jun 18, 2013 1:21:56 PM | 7

Bacon--I think that everyone should put random sensitive words into every electronic communication we make, maybe in a footer initially. If enough people did that, and NSA had to personally investigate every instance of a sensitive key word use, that would grind the system to a halt.

As for Congress, a portion of the $75 Billion intelligence budget must line the pockets of each member of the "intelligence" committee. If not, then the spooks without a doubt have the goods on each and every one of these despicable people.

Terrorist, nuclear, attack...

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 18, 2013 1:27:18 PM | 8

"Why do we have these agencies and why have they grown into such enormous beasts?"

Because it takes smooth techy type men as well as rough men to keep us safe while we sleep? That must be it.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 18, 2013 2:01:23 PM | 9

"This post by b is revealing some disturbing things, after reading, I feel like I fell asleep and woke up in 1984."

Wow, like Rip Van Winkle, but in reverse! BTW 1984 was 29 years ago.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 18, 2013 2:02:53 PM | 10

"WTF WRT the repetition of the term "adversaries", by all parties?"

It's just a fun way of saying we can use our military for commercial looting.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 18, 2013 2:04:16 PM | 11

"We should take the Taliban's advice and not allow this news to have any impact on our activities."

The Taliban, and other Resistance movements, have for years assumed that they are being watched and listened to. And that knowledge most certainly shaped their activities. What we have just learned may not be surprising but it cannot be ignored.

We have to allow it to have an impact on our activities and our ideas.

The implications of this surveillance are enormous: they suggest that every one of the liberties that has allowed civilisation to develop through debate, critical thought and creativity, is in danger of being erased. The very idea of Justice, the institutions of trial by jury and the public testing of evidence are obsolescent.

The State knows everything. And it refuses to explain how it comes by this "knowledge" so we are asked-and surprisingly large majorities appear to accept this- to take the State's word as proof.

Already the institution of secret courts, with "evidence" that is kept from the accused and the public, are accepted. And we see at Guantanamo what must come from a system in which the State reserves the right to designate those it wishes, without explanation, as life prisoners in a cruel and vicious regimen. All this depends upon the State's insistence that it "knows" because it monitors communications and has thousands of secret sources of information.

And the there is the most obvious and chilling thing of all: the State, which so many liberals urge us to trust, is, in practical terms, the very worst elements, the most unprincipled and criminal elements of a Pentagon/CIA axis which has a record of running death squads, torturing suspects, assassinations and provocations. All delivered in a miasma of lies and propaganda of the worst kind.

It is these people, not the smiling politicians and the legal scholars but the evil scoundrels who are currently supervising the genocidal massacre of shi'ite villages, the rape and torture of children and the execution of prisoners. It is they who are collecting this information, analysing it and asking the world to accept their word as honest and their motives as decent.

This system of surveillance represents the perfecting of the Panopticon which the Utilitarians saw as essential to the complete control of a population which cannot be allowed to govern itself.

It is literally the architecture of a tyranny. And one far worse than anything that the idiotic Utilitarians ever dreamed off because this is a malevolent despotism, in which the parts formerly played by the Emperor Joseph or Tsarina Catherine are taken by the crew that brought us the Phoenix programme, the El Salvador option, Operation Cast Lead and the coups in Chile and Indonesia.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 18, 2013 2:10:02 PM | 12

As Nassim Taleb pointed out, the bigger the data, the more false-positive you'll get.

http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/02/big-data-means-big-errors-people/

Posted by: clubofrome | Jun 18, 2013 2:10:31 PM | 13

@JohnH #8
-I think that everyone should put random sensitive words into every electronic communication we make

But wouldn't that be risky, to put words like

organized crime Gangs National security State of emergency Security Breach Threat Standoff SWAT Screening Lockdown Bomb squad Bomb threat Crash Looting Riot Emergency Landing Pipe bomb Incident Facility Hazmat Nuclear Chemical spill Virus Evacuation Bacteria Recall Ebola Food poisoning

in an electronic communication?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 2:11:58 PM | 14

Mooser : "...a fun way of saying..."

Funguys, vampire squids; tomatoes tomahtoes.

Posted by: L Bean | Jun 18, 2013 2:14:56 PM | 15

@bevin
We have to allow it to have an impact on our activities and our ideas.

You may have to, but I don't, because if we allow it to affect us, then they have won.

Thus the state never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses. It is not armed with superior wit or honesty, but with superior physical strength. I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest. --Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 2:16:11 PM | 16

current headline:
NSA director: Surveillance foiled 50 terror plots

Hey, if intelligence and policing are so good then why do we need a War On Terror, complete with airstrikes, tanks and howitzers, which actually cause terrorism? Especially since this gibes with a 2008 RAND research effort which investigated how terrorist groups have ended in the past.

By analyzing a comprehensive roster of terrorist groups that existed worldwide between 1968 and 2006, the authors found that most groups ended because of operations carried out by local police or intelligence agencies or because they negotiated a settlement with their governments. Military force was rarely the primary reason a terrorist group ended, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory. These findings suggest that the U.S. approach to countering al Qa'ida has focused far too much on the use of military force. Instead, policing and intelligence should be the backbone of U.S. efforts. . . .Key to this strategy is replacing the war-on-terrorism orientation with the kind of counterterrorism approach that is employed by most governments facing significant terrorist threats today. Calling the efforts a war on terrorism raises public expectations — both in the United States and elsewhere — that there is a battlefield solution. It also tends to legitimize the terrorists' view that they are conducting a jihad (holy war) against the United States and elevates them to the status of holy warriors. Terrorists should be perceived as criminals, not holy warriors.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 2:50:53 PM | 17

Bacon--replacing GWOT with traditional policing and intelligence? OMG, a threat to war profiteers' profits. How un-American! And anti-Semitic to boot, since the Israel depends heavily on exports of security products.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 18, 2013 3:02:01 PM | 18

I had a great laugh yesterday (rolling on the floor) reading this Wikipedia article:
Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc

It is part of a whole collection of crappy pieces of Cold War propaganda, best left alone. This one is however especially bad, as beside being propaganda it is devoid of content and understanding. Allegedly telephone tapping in the countries of the Eastern Bloc was a widespread method of the mass surveillance of the population by the secret police.

The photo is interesting. It shows the famed KGB wiretapping center in Vilnius. They have a total of 7 Compact Cassettes worth of storage space for their massive surveillance and data mining.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 18, 2013 3:03:35 PM | 19

7 cassettes? Are they 60 minutes or 120s?

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 18, 2013 3:51:48 PM | 20

Mooser:

I am assuming your a dairy farmer from Indiana...

1984 was a book written by George Orwell, when I said I woke up in 1984, I meant the fictional dystopia described by Mr. Orwell in said book. Apologies for not clarifying...

Posted by: OAB | Jun 18, 2013 4:05:08 PM | 21

strange there are no protests on the street-must mean that americans support there country spying on them which means they support america spying on its allies in the west too

Posted by: fook | Jun 18, 2013 6:00:11 PM | 22

lysander 20

they were 120s once but the time the soviet union collapsed they were 60s after the worn out bits had been cut out and the guy holding the spools on pencils hadn't shown up

Posted by: heath | Jun 18, 2013 6:02:12 PM | 23

@17, Cheney started it all way back when. He insisted that the US Army would lead the fight, not Interpol. That was the original sin.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 18, 2013 6:58:56 PM | 24

Read this very good analysis of the G8 communique -- clearly a victory for Putin:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.ca/2013/06/the-g8-final-communique-communique-yet.html

Posted by: anon | Jun 18, 2013 8:08:34 PM | 25

Putin sends Obama and his EU lapdogs to the doghouse.

Reuters

Russia's Putin torpedoes G8 efforts to oust Assad

Russia's Vladimir Putin derailed Barack Obama's efforts to win backing for the downfall of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad at a G8 summit on Tuesday, warning the West that arms supplied to the rebels could be used for attacks on European soil.

After two days of intense talks that fell far short of what Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron had been hoping for, Putin fumed against Western moves to supply weapons to rebels while defending his own supplies of arms for Assad.

"We are supplying weapons under legal contracts to the legal government. That is the government of President Assad. And if we are going to sign such contracts, we are going to deliver," the Russian president said.

Putin, isolated at the summit, repeatedly clashed with other leaders over the fate of Assad and resisted pressure to agree to anything that would imply Assad should step down. In the end, a G8 communique did not even mention Assad's name.


Now do Aleppo, Bashar. You owe it to Vladimir.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 9:49:46 PM | 26

And General Dempsey, a junior General that was (luckily) tapped for the top job, takes on the flip-flopper.

Bloomberg

At a principals meeting in the White House situation room, Secretary of State John Kerry began arguing, vociferously, for immediate U.S. airstrikes against airfields under the control of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime -- specifically, those fields it has used to launch chemical weapons raids against rebel forces.

It was at this point that the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the usually mild-mannered Army General Martin Dempsey, spoke up, loudly. According to several sources, Dempsey threw a series of brushback pitches at Kerry, demanding to know just exactly what the post-strike plan would be and pointing out that the State Department didn’t fully grasp the complexity of such an operation.

Dempsey informed Kerry that the Air Force could not simply drop a few bombs, or fire a few missiles, at targets inside Syria: To be safe, the U.S. would have to neutralize Syria’s integrated air-defense system, an operation that would require 700 or more sorties. At a time when the U.S. military is exhausted, and when sequestration is ripping into the Pentagon budget, Dempsey is said to have argued that a demand by the State Department for precipitous military action in a murky civil war wasn’t welcome.


I'd say that Dempsey gave Kerry 57 varieties of what-for.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 18, 2013 9:57:19 PM | 27

Israel has been very quiet during the last week, could be Israel may lead a strike on Syria to circumnavigate the Russian objection and block? CNN did a Nazi suspect in the US all day, what year was WWII again?

Canada: Mr. Harper made his opposition to that position clear through a spokesperson shortly after Mr. Obama’s Middle East speech last week in a pre-G8 briefing, making him the lone leader in the G8 not to back the U.S. preconditions. A unified statement on a negotiated path to a Palestinian state had been a key goal of the Deauville summit, in large part because such a statement might have pre-empted an attempt to pass a United Nations resolution that would declare a Palestinian state against Israel’s will -Game play?

Posted by: kev | Jun 18, 2013 10:11:41 PM | 28

@28 Re Harper. That was in Deauville in 2011.

Posted by: dh | Jun 18, 2013 10:45:07 PM | 29

29, exactly! Two years later what has changed to The Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition? - They urged both sides to show the bold political leadership needed to achieve peace, to take the necessary steps to build trust and to work towards the resumption of negotiations without preconditions. Echoes of the past, forged with unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

Posted by: kev | Jun 19, 2013 12:13:29 AM | 30

Interesting read about Iranian soldiers moving to Syria:

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/06/obama-makes-strategic-mistake-in-syria.html

Iran itself denied sending any, so its either a usual spin from the West, or clandestine mission from Iran, all sources are from Lebanon. If its true, then its funny how the West got what they wished for :)

Posted by: Harry | Jun 19, 2013 12:16:45 AM | 31

Meanwhile Iran's National Football Team beat their hosts South Korea 1-0 on Tuesday and qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 19, 2013 12:21:56 AM | 32

Thanks b, good reads all. Corporate America uber alles. Hope some place else in the world can resist.

Posted by: ben | Jun 19, 2013 12:36:24 AM | 33

Yeah, it certainly seems like a good time for an explosion of popular revolt. I mean, everyone is compromised at this point. Every pot deal over your cell phone, any random aggressive statement - its all there just waiting to be used against us. You'd have to be a straight arrow (or a complete square) to not have something in there.

It's like the dreaded "permanent record" from grade school, only a million times worse and actually real.

Meanwhile they're telling us this could have stopped 9/11 when it couldn't even stop the Brothers Tsarnaev? Puh-lease.

This shit is for industrial espionage at best, for generating a giant murder map of humanity at worse.

bevin is exactly right about the CIA et al. These ruthless bastards have been listening in to the entire world phone calls for a decade now. Forget about Americans. When you're talking about foreigners, the CIA has carte blanche to do god knows what. And we shouldn't forget: for every Edward Snowden, how many really bad guys are in there doing who knows... informing on people? Framing them?

Mostly I love that Germany is so heavily listened in on. Industrial espionage? And here Fritz thought he was done paying "intellectual reparations" from WW2, didn't he...

What a world.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 19, 2013 1:00:57 AM | 34

@28
Israel has been quiet, but munitions depots in Russia aren't!

as for the other topics, I don't believe that the US mines all its recorded phone/email content for potential "terrorists".
the value in private communications data on EVERYONE is so you can pick someone and find out who he sleeps with or what his favorite drug is or who his friends are. the reasons for this are not because those running the country give a piss about any of us being in danger from "terrorists" (people get shot every day, they DON'T care), the reasons are so that the Booz Allen family gets along well with the Fed family and the other fossil-fuel-industrial-complexes etc. like controlling your dog with a shock collar. it works for the whistleblowers, too.
the tools may be very modern, but the concept is as old as empire.

Posted by: anon | Jun 19, 2013 2:00:28 AM | 35

p.s. I loved "Getting Over It". perfect.

Posted by: anon | Jun 19, 2013 2:05:06 AM | 36

Israel has been quiet, but a piece of WorldNetDaily-style disinfo has slithered out via WND's Aaron Klein:
http://world.time.com/2013/06/14/the-syrian-war-israel-and-u-s-coordinating-how-to-target-assads-arsenal/

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 19, 2013 6:39:12 AM | 37

The three stooges: http://thehill.com/images/stories/blogs/globalaffairs/obamasyrialetter.pdf

Posted by: georgeg | Jun 19, 2013 9:55:22 AM | 38

The implications of this surveillance are enormous: they suggest that every one of the liberties that has allowed civilisation to develop through debate, critical thought and creativity, is in danger of being erased. The very idea of Justice, the institutions of trial by jury and the public testing of evidence are obsolescent. - bevin.

Important, yes. Adding: The surveillance is used as a threat and a means of control. (...see the Stasi for ex. etc.) In the US, the threat acts directly and insidiously on opinion - and here I mean not public opinion for gain or other, or fake allegiance, but true, heartfelt opinion. Which is formed by the media, peers, superiors in the work place, family members, etc. The schisms are becoming more stark, and a ragmataggle of divided heretics is slowly taking shape. Which increases the surveillance / analysis of the data. Who, where, what?

Politically speaking, in the US, and somewhat similarly in other countries, such as France, one can note a moving away from economic questions, framed as capitalism agains socialism, to fundamental issues such as the rule of law, foreign interference, war, privacy, equality, anti-corruption, etc. Which imho is good news, but implies marriages of a political type that are against nature. As in for ex. in the US semi-libertarians (ex. Ron Paul) with paleo-Republican-conservatives and a nationalist hard left (MIA or terminally muted in the US but present in a minor role in F) as well as official opponents to the regime who are at heart all social democrats (Chris Hedges, Chomsky, Occupy, etc. because that is the most acceptable stance.)

The PTB do everything to keep these different strands divided and incapable of coalescing and are succeeding. One of the reasons they prevail is that ppl must, to get together, genuinely oppose on a narrow common platform, and give up adherence to say, anarchy, or universal med care, social issues like gay marriage, enviro stances like the protection of animal rights, etc. Ppl must identify what is rotten, illegitimate, destructive, and take on priorities.

Ex: US prison system and judiciary is sadistic, socially destructive, a scamming horror - but which factions will agree that is the case? (As an example. Gitmo serves as the emblem, the symbol.)

Non-authoritarian societies cannot survive without free opinion and free debate, even if it is bounded by taboos, politeness rules, or strict legislative channels. These can be accepted up to a point, provided that ppl agree on them, it has always been so.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 19, 2013 11:16:35 AM | 39

@Bevin #12;
Let me play the devil’s advocate, and please remember that I am just playing the devil’s advocate so what I say is not actually my opinion.

Bevin;
You say:

“And it refuses to explain how it comes by this "knowledge" so we are asked-and surprisingly large majorities appear to accept this- to take the State's word as proof.

Given the fact that large majorities seem to accept this trusting the state business, shouldn't we accept that as democratic? I mean the president has been elected by the majority, and there is congress voted by the majority. And somehow I have a feeling that people who share the same mind as you are an absolute minority. So shouldn't we accept this surveillance business as it is and trust the legitimate government voted in by the majority?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 19, 2013 12:35:07 PM | 40

Off-Topic.

Belfast and the G8. Independent journalist, Luke Rudkowski reveals fake shopfronts in Belfast in an attempt to disguise the true state of the economy. 2 million pounds (3 millions dollars) spent on this cover-up. WOW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=O45ooqXua3Q

Posted by: Kim Sky | Jun 19, 2013 1:09:10 PM | 41

State officials always invoke "National Security" as a magic spell to end further scrutiny into government wrong-doing. The nature of that National Security is never explained in the context of which it is invoked, but in all its vagueness one thing is certain: it is the opposite of the public's interest. If whistleblowers like Manning and Snowden are "aiding the enemy," then the real enemy of the powers-that-be must be democracy.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 19, 2013 1:33:06 PM | 42

@41 The story is excellent. Luke Rudkowski I'm not so sure about.

When him and Max "I'm in it for the money" Keiser get together to talk about "Social Networkism" (all hail PRISM) and calling our corporate run state "socialism" I really start to wonder exactly what the fuck they're getting at.


The story itself is schocking. Potemkin villages at the G8. We're really over the edge.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 19, 2013 3:47:24 PM | 43

guest77 @ 43:

Keiser's all about a return to 'real' or perhaps a 'pure' capitalism, i.e., one where there is real compeition, where the market is truly 'free'. A land of equals. Of course it's all bullshit. Ask Keiser when or where such a fantasy land ever existed?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 19, 2013 4:19:43 PM | 44

@Kim Sky 41 -they were more than likely intel and monitoring fronts, coordinated via special ops; in the past (The troubles) setting up shop (Butcher, fish 'n' Chips) was a way to obtain local intel. monitor movement. It's still done today, pretty old school, but the only way to get into an/the 'Community' as 'Loose lips sink ships' more so a night after a few beers in line waiting for the supper, people talk, and the classic corner shop trick was credit lines, gain trust etc. I just don’t think it is a 'Booming business' front, as that would be obvious and visits to the area with reports were conducted by all involved would know the 'picture'. I could be 100% wrong, then that is so fucking anal and a total bastardization of the G8 and its meaning, in turn the PR rep needs kneecapped for being moronic.

Posted by: kev | Jun 19, 2013 9:04:49 PM | 45

The marriage of Silicon Valley and the NSA/CIA.

Every bit of data you leave with Facebook and co will also go to the NSA ...

Silicon Valley and Spy Agency Bound by Web Advances

When Max Kelly, the chief security officer for Facebook, left the social media company in 2010, he did not go to Google, Twitter or a similar Silicon Valley concern. Instead the man who was responsible for protecting the personal information of Facebook’s more than one billion users from outside attacks went to work for another giant institution that manages and analyzes large pools of data: the National Security Agency.
...
Yet technology experts and former intelligence officials say the convergence between Silicon Valley and the N.S.A. and the rise of data mining — both as an industry and as a crucial intelligence tool — have created a more complex reality.

Silicon Valley has what the spy agency wants: vast amounts of private data and the most sophisticated software available to analyze it. The agency in turn is one of Silicon Valley’s largest customers for what is known as data analytics, one of the valley’s fastest-growing markets. To get their hands on the latest software technology to manipulate and take advantage of large volumes of data, United States intelligence agencies invest in Silicon Valley start-ups, award classified contracts and recruit technology experts like Mr. Kelly.
...
Skype, the Internet-based calling service, began its own secret program, Project Chess, to explore the legal and technical issues in making Skype calls readily available to intelligence agencies and law enforcement officials, according to people briefed on the program who asked not to be named to avoid trouble with the intelligence agencies.
...
Microsoft executives are no longer willing to affirm statements, made by Skype several years ago, that Skype calls could not be wiretapped. Frank X. Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, declined to comment.

Posted by: b | Jun 20, 2013 8:56:24 AM | 46

Talking of security, do you realize that the supposedly secure encryption offered by TOR is actually a project of and funded by, US Navy research?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 20, 2013 5:05:48 PM | 47

"I could be 100% wrong,"

Only "could"?

kev, that statement of your's was the most ridiculous load of old nonsense I have yet heard about these fake shopfronts. Maybe you missed the significance of the "fake" part of it?

"Fake", kev.

"Fake"

therefore. by definition, not real

ergo, couldn't possibly be being operated as intel-gathering sites, intentionally or otherwise.

Posted by: nobody | Jun 21, 2013 2:48:48 AM | 48

"then that is so fucking anal and a total bastardization of the G8 and its meaning,"

lol wut?

"The G8 and it's meaning"?

what would the G8's meaning be, when it's at home?

Posted by: nobody | Jun 21, 2013 2:51:21 AM | 49

@Nobody, - Definition: 'A person of no importance or influence'; Quit acting the Bollocks, and let's not get lost in semantics; the G(7)8 (governments of eight of the world's eleven largest national economies) yet a little to closed doors has a purpose, even if your agree with it or not, that is entirely besides the point, but it exists and meets.

'Fake' (Not my wording), yet, for a more apt word - 'Fronts' on my side and meaning. I could be wrong, as I stated, but dressing establishments, empty or derelict as shops is for 'Visual' economic needs is OTT and defeating the purpose of the G8, so utter stupidity? Again, the locals would have made gripes, fuck me they are Irish, they understand the 'Gardaí' and what comes with it, if it was BS, they would have reacted.

If it is 'Fake', then the 'Irish' (Proud) have lost their identity, as normally they are not vain, more ‘salt of the earth’, if that was the case \ Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister 'Martin McGuiness' was on parade with his RA kin, and he did this, or knew about this at a top level, in turn spending the $$$, otherwise it would not get a green light; then there is the blame. Even so if this was the G8 'planning' no matter how they 'fixed' it, Mi5and RA working together, it happens, then it is anal, and fuck, yeah 'Fake'; and I will reiterate, bastardizing its meaning (G8 and more) entirely as well as 'Irish politics' is a sellout!

'Fronts' are use both sides, working laundry mat that have backroom meetings, be it clandestine or not, Piggeries or chicken farms for Meth labs; it's not out of place as a concept, and this execution is not all that rare.

Mo chara, rather than rant in protest, give facts and I will be more than happy to listen. But, if you think that not one shop front (Either way) was not a front for monitoring; then you are a eejit!

Posted by: kev | Jun 21, 2013 8:46:42 AM | 50

ah kev, no need to be like that.

I was hoping more for, since you actually brought "meaning" into it, something along the lines of you actually informing us of what that "meaning" is. since you brought the subject up.

the "G8" has many meanings, if the phrase "The G8 and it's meaning" is to be treated as if it has any real.

I get what the G8 part stand for, kev. that really didn't require any explanation, but thanks nonetheless for offering one.

It's the "meaning" thing I was referring to.
What is that.

Posted by: nobody | Jun 21, 2013 10:16:01 AM | 51

oh yeah, just one more thing . . .

The fake shopfronts?

You seem to be implying (quite heavily) that these obviously fake shop-displays, which everyone knows by now are fake, and were obviously never really intended to withstand even the minutest scrutiny, could actually be hiding other more nefarious criminal enterprises, which are themselves also nothing but fake (criminal) enterprises hiding intel-gathering operations,.

As far as I can tell, cos TBH it's a little confusing at this stage, what with all the levels of fakery being alleged, but that's a whole additional layer of fake-fakery you just manufactured out of nothing but thin-air, kev, from what I can see.

one too many fakes, kev, seems to me. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: nobody | Jun 21, 2013 10:25:58 AM | 52

edIt: At least one too many.

It mostly depends on your alleged definition of the G8's alleged "meaning", I'd say

Posted by: nobody | Jun 21, 2013 10:29:51 AM | 53

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications

Exclusive: British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal

Th UK is tapping all transatlantic (and other) cables and lets the NSA and itself sniff through the tons of data.

Posted by: b | Jun 21, 2013 12:55:39 PM | 54

@Nobody, do you use other pen names? There something very reminiscent of one poster before 'Yeah_But' in your rants. She/it also used to repy in 3's (Posts) and get all excited.

Anyhow, private estate/letting agents have doing this in Dublin, pop down take a look, and without the G8, and other cities to better attract tenants/business, I think they call this marketing? L. Rudkowski reporting 'dramatized' facts as normal. In addition, the post where this was mentioned stated 2 million pounds, the figure touted for 'clean-up' was in fact 300,000 pounds. On expense; the US did buy tractors and have 100's of agent disguised as farmers that locals thought amusing.

And yes, some locations were used to monitor, and some previously derelict/empty buildings did store gear and pax that were leased for this event and were with decor - 9000 police, 5000 of which came from other parts, this number excludes the private security entities, secret services and Mil (SAS); many in plain clothes blending in, being waiters, shop attendants, window shoppers, passersby; it's the G8, but I could be wrong?

Posted by: kev | Jun 21, 2013 7:10:37 PM | 55

*Imagine the NSA or GCHQ having access to 600 million Facebook profiles and who is to say that they don't already have that access?*


http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/05/26/in-your-face.html

Posted by: denk | Jun 22, 2013 1:11:20 AM | 56

Current headlines on the South China Morning Post homepage in HongKong:

EXCLUSIVE: NSA targeted China's Tsinghua University in extensive hacking attacks, says Snowden

EXCLUSIVE: US hacked Pacnet, Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator, in 2009

EXCLUSIVE: US spies on Chinese mobile phone companies, steals SMS data: Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden 'in safe place' in Hong Kong, but time running out

Hong Kong govt silent on Snowden’s fate as lawmakers call for China to decide

Snowden called 'an American hero' on Sina Weibo after being charged

US charges Snowden with espionage, stealing government property

Hong Kong litigant files defamation suit against Snowden and US

Snowden says Britain’s spy agency secretly tapping fibre-optic cables

Did checks failure let whistle-blower slip through the net?

Today's Poll
Do you think Beijing and Hong Kong would hand over Snowden after the US filed criminal charges? (70% No!)

Editor's Pick
With Snowden case, Hong Kong must keep faith in its values and freedoms


That's Hongkong's premier English site homepage right now.

If the U.S. folks thinks that Hongkong will just deliver Snowdon they are seriously mistaken.

Posted by: b | Jun 22, 2013 3:00:44 PM | 57

SCMP - SCMP 南華早報 @SCMP_News
BREAKING: SNOWDEN LEAVES HONG KONG ON COMMERCIAL FLIGHT TO MOSCOW bit.ly/1gDOvb

Not confirmed yet

Posted by: b | Jun 23, 2013 3:37:06 AM | 58

@b - 58

Seems to be confirmed by the HK gov. Guardian: Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow

According to the South China Morning Post he boarded an Aeroflot flight to Moscow, although the newspaper said Russia was not his ultimate destination.

Posted by: Philippe | Jun 23, 2013 4:50:51 AM | 59

@DHL delivery Mr. Putin, would you like to slap the left or right cheeck of Obama?

The reservations agent added that the former intelligence operative was traveling on a one-way ticket to Moscow with one other person, who they identified as having the surname "Harrison". I wonder if that is Scot Harrison, Ex-CIA, currently BoA PSA, they have an office based in HK. http://www.psa-na.com/content/boardOfAdvisors.htm just chatting about him the other day over a unrelated story. If that is the case, this sage gets very wierd...

Posted by: kev | Jun 23, 2013 6:46:01 AM | 60

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