Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 09, 2013

U.S. Successful With Cyber Defense Protection Racket

"Nice computer systems you have here. It would be a shame if something bad were to happen to them. You may want to buy some cyber protection?"

The New York Times reports on a scam with which the Unites States will milk billions of dollars out of the coffers of Persian Gulf monarchies:

The Obama administration has begun helping Middle Eastern allies build up their defenses against Iran’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons, and will be doing the same in Asia to contain computer-network attacks from North Korea, according to senior American officials.

The report is solely based on unnamed "senior U.S. officials" who assert, as uncritically stenographed by  Thom Shanker and David Sanger, various fantastic Iranian or North Korean capacities in cyberattacks. Thus we get:

  • "Iran’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons"
  • "crippling infrastructure attacks that Iran appears to be working on against American and allied targets"
  • "Iran’s swift advances in its computer weaponry, particularly its ability to disrupt existing infrastructure"
  • "growing danger of computer-network attacks from Iran or North Korea"
  • "Iran, in particular, is viewed as having greatly accelerated its computer efforts"
  • "The emerging Iranian program is far more disciplined and mature than Tehran’s previous efforts"
  • "Iran now is believed to be hiring foreign computer programmers associated with Internet criminal activity"
  • "Iran and other nations now are able to purchase powerful malware that, while costly, is available on the black and gray markets"
There is not one fact, not one, in the story that justifies any of the above statements. There is not one described incident that could led to the conclusions of "advances" or "accelerated efforts". These are all just pure assertions.

The only "evidence" the stenographers wrote down is an attack on internal networks of Saudi Arabia's oil company Aramco which wiped out some hard disks. But that attack turned out to have been an insider attack and any connection of it to Iran is just speculation with no supporting evidence.

Another case cited as "evidence" is an attack on some South Korean bank and media companies that was first attributed to North Kora and China but turned out to have been based on a rather unsophisticated spear-fishing attack originating in South Korea itself.

Thus both cases cited as Iranian or North Korean attacks were likely to have come from other sources.

But based on such scaremongering the U.S. will now - generously - sell software, hardware and training to Gulf monarchies to protect from Iranian "threats" that likely do not exits at all. Those countries will have to pay hundreds of millions dollars for those "services" to "defend" against "threats" that mysteriously came up from unknown sources and are now cited as justification to pay out for their "prevention".

This doesn't just sound like a protection racket. It is one.

Adding: Also interesting that these anonymous officials come out at a time where the U.S. government accused of cyber spying on its own people. A sad diversion attempt?

Posted by b on June 9, 2013 at 05:05 AM | Permalink

Comments

obama is pretty much bought by the alpac and hes worse than bush when it comes to war and destroying civil and privacy rights in the US.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 9, 2013 5:18:20 AM | 1

how is is a body to make a billion bucks?

Posted by: brian | Jun 9, 2013 5:31:41 AM | 2

Looking for the next meal -1 in 6 people in the United States are starving; hunger is a reality in the US, 1 in 5 for Children. http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts.aspx?convio_source=WXXOHOME

Smell the coffee, and wake up!

Posted by: kev | Jun 9, 2013 6:02:06 AM | 3

The wahabeebees can afford it. Once the USA has milked them for all they are worth, they will be Balkanized. I won't be shedding any tears when that happens.

Posted by: Hilmihakim | Jun 9, 2013 7:39:42 AM | 4

legend has it that the chinese have been *tapping into* the data base of lockheed martin, ge, general dynamics, pentagoon , whenever they wish. [sic]
if so, the wahabees might do better to engage the chinese as their consultants ;-)

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 8:55:43 AM | 5

"Protection racket" is precisely what this is. The entire programme of surveillance is part of the US government's offer, to global capitalism, to act the part of world sovereign.

As the permanent depression of living standards begins to bite capitalists everywhere are wondering where the next Tahrir, Occupy, Watts, Paris '68, 1789 or 1917 is coming. And how they can possibly deal with it.

With 20% unemployment, and counting, in the USA, and youth unemployment rates nearing 50% in Europe- and these are the prosperous regions. With pensions disappearing, health and education systems dissolving before our eyes and wages falling the ruling class are just waiting for the explosion.

They know it is coming and it scares them, badly.

And Washington is showing the world that, when it comes to controlling the proles, they have the technology. They can identify the likely ring leaders. They aren't afraid to detain and extract confessions without trial or restraint. They can pick off leaders and wipe out villages. They offer capitalists protection as the rate of profit falls, raw materials grow scarce and mass apathy turns into anger.

"How", the US asks employers and property owners, "can you refuse our offer? We are the professionals. Adopt us as your enforcer. Let us use our full spectrum domination to protect your wealth, control your slaves, collect your debts and silence your critics."

Posted by: bevin | Jun 9, 2013 9:29:56 AM | 6

Seriously, Americans needn't worry as much about Iran or any other country launching cyber warfare against them as much as they should be worried about the police state, dictatorial, and totalitarian tactics of their own government. America's greatest enemy is the enemy within. Better for Iran to manage to shut down sewage treatment plants across the USA than for Americans to lose their freedoms and privacy to a very sadistic and intrusive government. It's been said the government is keeping tabs on every single phone call, text, email, etc etc etc. Worry about your government before you worry about Iran. The signs are crystal clear. If the government continues on its current path then Americans can look forward to nothing but oppression and persecution which basically amounts to slavery of the mind and the mouth. You will not be allowed to your right to free thought and speech and expression thereof in the not-too-distant future. Big Brother is here.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jun 9, 2013 10:12:43 AM | 7

Wow, that "nancy soderbergh" is quite some lawless warmonger.

http://goingtotehran.com/americas-failed-syria-strategy-flynt-leverett-on-al-jazeeras-inside-story

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 9, 2013 11:24:51 AM | 8

This story is clumsy and artless deflection. All the bs the USG believes in is unravelling faster than the speed of light. Xi Jinping has concluded talks with Obama which the MSM isn't reporting - except some blather about what a fascinating departure from Chinese Tradition Mrs Xi Jinping seems to be. One may safely assume that President Xi delivered a list of Yankee daydreams which are NOT going to come true unless they're feeling lucky ("Well do ya, Punks?").

Here in Oz, for example, the reaction to Obama's spying announcement, from the satire-based media reality community, has been "WTF is 'Americans don't have to worry about the USG spying on them - we're spying on everyone else' supposed to mean?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 9, 2013 11:26:55 AM | 9

The Crassus manifesto : create a problem, offer the solution.

[problem] Cyber attacks [1]
[solution] Cybercom [2]
[Cui bono ?] Mic bonanza [3]
[bonus] Screw china

[1]
*The military-industrial-complex needs an enemy. They cannot function without one whether we are talking about economic competition or war-making.*
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2012/11/04/reader-mail/cyber-war-needs-an-enemy/

[2]
*it should be apparent that designating CYBERCOM a STRATCOM branch all but guarantees an aggressive posture.
As Antifascist Calling reported in May, the Pentagon’s geek squad, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently building a National Cyber Range (NCR), a test bed for developing, testing and fielding cyber weapons.*
http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/07/cyber-command-launched-us-strategic-command-to-oversee-offensive-military-operations/

* Cuba accuses USAID of waging internal cyberwar, instigating disruptive instability.
On December 10, Parliamentary President Ricardo Alarcon said*
http://www.countercurrents.org/lendman150311A.htm

[3]
*As Bloomberg News reported back in 2008, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing “are deploying forces and resources to a new battlefield: cyberspace.”

Bloomberg averred that military contractors and the wider defense industry are “eager to capture a share of a market that may reach $11 billion in 2013,” and “have formed new business units to tap increased spending to protect U.S. government computers from attack.”

Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed’s Information Systems & Global Services unit told Bloomberg, “The whole area of cyber is probably one of the faster-growing areas” of the U.S. budget. “It’s something that we’re very focused on.” [sic]


http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/06/pentagon-ramps-up-cyberwar-plans/

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 11:46:09 AM | 10

An early report on NPR, which I haven't heard repeated, had a reporter or guest, can't recall which, saying that Google (no mention of other search engines) may have big worries in Germany as there are actual and strong privacy laws there which would make sharing info with the US government illegal.

As I said, I haven't heard this brought up again, but I have also been extremely busy so may have missed reports.

Can anyone comment on the situation in Germany, perhaps other nations with actualy laws proteccting personal privacy?

Thnx.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 9, 2013 11:57:26 AM | 11

*It was the cleverest protection racket since men convinced women that they needed men to protect them, for if all the men vanished overnight, how many women would be afraid to walk the streets?*
http://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/rogue-state-introduction

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 12:21:04 PM | 12

*It was the cleverest protection racket since men convinced women that they needed men to protect them, for if all the men vanished overnight, how many women would be afraid to walk the streets?*

http://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/rogue-state-introduction

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 12:22:39 PM | 13

"There is not one fact, not one, in the story that justifies any of the above statements. There is not one described incident that could led to the conclusions of "advances" or "accerated efforts". These are all just pure assertions."

"Facts", shmacts! We don't need no stinkin' facts. Doesn't the fact that all the claims against Iran closely resemble recent techno-thriller movies count for anything? Look, if they can make those things happen in movies, it only shows they happen in real life, right?

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 9, 2013 12:51:50 PM | 14

"obama is pretty much bought by the alpac"

But he will have to wait until his term is over to do dog-food commercials. Federal law, conflict of interest.

Posted by: Mooser | Jun 9, 2013 12:54:02 PM | 15

Another brilliant Machiavellian move by the world's "indespensable nation".

"Listen... We'll sell you our high-tech state-of-the-art protection software (read, hacky, buggy mess of a computer program produced by some private cronies of ours at 16x the cost, sold to you at 36x the cost) which will keep you protected (cough - dependent) in the cybersphere. We'll tell you them when, how, and by whom they've been attacked.

The only necessity of course is that we'll have to have complete an unfettered access and control to all of your nations most sensitive servers and networks... for your protection of course. You can trust us..."

Then, a decade from now when the non-OPEC the US is an energy exporter (read, strip mined, fracked, deepwater drilled and spilled, and pipeline crisscrossed post-modern nightmare pollution-state) and they want the Gulf petro playboys (psychopaths) balk at lowering production (so that they can continue to guarantee the slave labor import and high living standards that prevents their heads from being chopped off, there can be an "attack" by the "Iranians" that lowers production.

And they'll have no way at all to say otherwise.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 9, 2013 1:37:50 PM | 16

Gee, I sure missed this article covered in the US.

Probably because it's de rigueur for a country's intelligence agencies to contract out to a foreign state, right?

What was the Israeli Involvement in Collecting U.S. Communications Intel for NSA?

http://www.haaretz.com/how-was-israel-involved-in-collecting-u-s-communications-intel-for-nsa-1.528529

June 08, 2013 "Information Clearing House - "Haaretz" - Were Israeli companies Verint and Narus the ones that collected information from the U.S. communications network for the National Security Agency?

The question arises amid controversy over revelations that the NSA has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans every day, creating a database through which it can learn whether terror suspects have been in contact with people in the United States. It also was disclosed this week that the NSA has been gathering all internet usage - audio, video, photographs, emails and searches - from nine major U.S. Internet providers, including Microsoft and Google, in hopes of detecting suspicious behavior that begins overseas.

According to an article in the American technology magazine "Wired" from April 2012, two Israeli companies – which the magazine describes as having close connections to the Israeli security community – conduct bugging and wiretapping for the NSA.

Verint, which took over its parent company Comverse Technology earlier this year, is responsible for tapping the communication lines of the American telephone giant Verizon, according to a past Verizon employee sited by James Bamford in Wired. Neither Verint nor Verizon commented on the matter.

Posted by: guest | Jun 9, 2013 2:35:07 PM | 17

North Korea has computer programmers? Now that's news! But somehow it doesn't jibe with Washington's description of North Korea as a backward country.

Also, cyber protection fits neatly with the energy protection racket that Washington has been running for years. Pipelines from the east can't exist without Camp Bondsteel in between Europe and its gas. And the US Navy "protects" the Persian Gulf and world shipping lanes, just in case some consumers get uppity.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 9, 2013 2:35:31 PM | 18

http://i.imgur.com/0CFAPrc.jpg

Posted by: rototo | Jun 9, 2013 2:50:17 PM | 19

Cyber threats are being hyped as the preeminent threat in the U.S. SecDef Hagel:

Cyber threats are real. They're terribly dangerous. They're probably as insidious and real a threat to the United States -- as well as China, by the way -- and every nation. This is not a threat just unique to America. It's unique to no one. It crosses all borders.

And when you look at the quiet, stealthy, insidious, dangerous outcomes that occur and can occur by taking down power grids and wiping out energy computers and financial systems, and neutralizing defense capability computers and space, that's not, again, a unique threat to the United States; everybody.

So we've got to find ways here -- goes back to my earlier points -- working with the Chinese, working with everybody, a rules of the road, some international understandings, some responsibility that governments have to take. I mean, we know, the United States knows, most countries that have any kind of saber -- cyber capacity know where many of these incursions come from.


and Hagel again:
Cyber May Be Biggest Threat, Hagel Tells Troops
HONOLULU, May 31, 2013 – The devastatingly destructive potential of cyberattacks has become the security challenge of our age, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told U.S. troops here yesterday.

“Cyber warfare capabilities: we are increasing that part of the budget significantly,” he said, noting that means the department can devote more people and more sophisticated approaches to defending U.S. networks and information.


and let's not forget that yesterday was another anniversary of the USS Liberty, attacked by Israel.
The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy spy ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. The Liberty was performing a signal intelligence collection mission in international waters near the north coast of Sinai, Egypt.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 9, 2013 3:42:38 PM | 20

Looks like the leaker has revealed himself.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

Posted by: GulfCoastPirate | Jun 9, 2013 3:57:32 PM | 21

guest77 (16)

The only necessity of course is that we'll have to have complete an unfettered access and control to all of your nations most sensitive servers and networks... for your protection of course. You can trust us..."

Right. And *that* is the really valuable issue; the protection sales is just small change.

It's not just about enemy attacks. With more and more of a countries administration and infrastructure depending on and controlled by networked IT, access to those central security systems is critical and immensely valuable in more that one regard.
It is also powerful in the sense of being able to basically dictate IT development, purchases and more.

With israel deeply in the game (they basically sit inmidst zusas nerve center) I guess though, that the mid-east puppets will regard - and handle - it as a protection racket that is, they will build a shiny nice cyber protection facility, spend some 100 million $ for zusa protection technology and then ignore it.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Jun 9, 2013 3:59:50 PM | 22

Then the Defense Science Board may be wrong.

WaPo, May 27, 2013

Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies

Designs for many of the nation’s most sensitive advanced weapons systems have been compromised by Chinese hackers, according to a report prepared for the Pentagon and to officials from government and the defense industry.

Among more than two dozen major weapons systems whose designs were breached were programs critical to U.S. missile defenses and combat aircraft and ships, according to a previously undisclosed section of a confidential report prepared for Pentagon leaders by the Defense Science Board.

The Defense Science Board, a senior advisory group made up of government and civilian experts, did not accuse the Chinese of stealing the designs. But senior military and industry officials with knowledge of the breaches said the vast majority were part of a widening Chinese campaign of espionage against U.S. defense contractors and government agencies.

The significance and extent of the targets help explain why the Obama administration has escalated its warnings to the Chinese government to stop what Washington sees as rampant cyber­theft.

In January, the advisory panel warned in the public version of its report that the Pentagon is unprepared to counter a full-scale cyber-conflict. The list of compromised weapons designs is contained in a confidential version, and it was provided to The Washington Post.

Some of the weapons form the backbone of the Pentagon’s regional missile defense for Asia, Europe and the Persian Gulf. The designs included those for the advanced Patriot missile system, known as PAC-3; an Army system for shooting down ballistic missiles, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD; and the Navy’s Aegis ballistic-missile defense system. Also identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore.

Also on the list is the most expensive weapons system ever built — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is on track to cost about $1.4 trillion. The 2007 hack of that project was reported previously.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 9, 2013 4:00:11 PM | 23

@#23
There are those that say that the Defense Science Board IS wrong, because the US doesn't store classified design information anywhere that is vulnerable to hacking. That might require a denial of Bradley Manning. But perhaps not, if the Pentagon is smarter on the acquisition (their term for R&D and procurement) side than it is on the operational side.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 9, 2013 4:21:03 PM | 24

"War is a Racket" by Smedley Butler

Posted by: Mark | Jun 9, 2013 7:53:56 PM | 25

Washington's blog has a long series of articles about the NSA spying issue including the Israeli involvement. Start with this one http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/exclusive-top-nsa-whistleblower-spills-the-beans-on-the-real-scope-of-the-spying-program.html But there are many more.
I suspect this "IT Security" caper is more about the US getting into the critical computer systems of the Gulf States to install all their necessary spyware and back doors (Hmm, sounds like something from Battlestar Galactica!). Many of those states have restrictions around Internet use so potentially they have controls in place which obstruct US spying?

Posted by: pauly | Jun 9, 2013 9:43:33 PM | 26

This scam sounds like the Martians residing in the US telling everyone...
All your base are belong to us!
(One of niqnaq's evergreen jokes)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 9, 2013 10:32:01 PM | 27

*As I reported last year, the Obama administration will soon be seeking legislation that would force telecommunications companies to redesign their system and information networks to more readily facilitate internet spying.

And, as the administration builds upon and quietly expands previous government programs that monitor the private communications of the American people, The New York Times revealed that our “change” regime will demand that software and communication providers build backdoors accessible to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Such “backdoors” will enable spooks trolling “encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ‘peer to peer’ messaging like Skype” the means “to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.”

These are precisely the technological “fixes” which firms like HBGary, General Dynamics and presumably other defense contractors are actively building for their secret state security partners.*

dissidentvoice.org/2011/06/pentagon-ramps-up-cyberwar-plans/

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 11:37:44 PM | 28

test

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 11:38:28 PM | 29

@Denk#12/13, classic!

Posted by: kev | Jun 9, 2013 11:40:00 PM | 30

kev 29
william blum is must read
having problem posting :-(

Posted by: denk | Jun 9, 2013 11:46:45 PM | 31

"A sad diversion attempt?"

Definitely. But I wonder if the whole hype over cyberwar in general was timed with all the snooping; when it inevitably leaked, they could say "but look at all these threats we've been telling you about! You need us in the toobz!!"

Posted by: JessicaJessica Sager | Jun 9, 2013 11:50:12 PM | 32

@Denk#30, I just read 'Killing hope'a very good read. One line - "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't see Hitler victorious under any circumstances."

Posted by: kev | Jun 10, 2013 12:45:27 AM | 33

what is the aftermath of the 'arabspring' in egypt? is it good government? http://intellihub.com/2013/06/09/egyptian-politicians-caught-on-live-tv-hatching-false-flag-plot-to-sabotage-ethiopian-dam/

Posted by: brian | Jun 10, 2013 2:08:34 AM | 34

About the nsa-leak.
So from being exposed of spying to focus on catching this " criminal " obama have once again showed he dont think its problematic with these pying activities and try to bury them once and for all. Just like wikileaks, no one pays attention to the actual leaks, only to catch the man that have leaked. And MSM play along. Sigh.

On another note, US may start arming rebels...sigh
http://presstv.com/usdetail/308128.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 10, 2013 4:48:14 AM | 35

So the US has hacked all your R&D, Finance, Politics, Pharma research, private connections, which all use email / web search/ etc. in ALL countries
Is a vast legal claim against the US opening up.
Huge opportunity for BLACKMAILING individuals .
Israel at the epicentre.
Relax , we wont use it. Trust us. Its for your own good. Saves you from terrorists.
Ideas needed for retaliation.

Posted by: boindub | Jun 10, 2013 7:02:11 AM | 36

History Lane:

Aldous Huxley on You tube (audio):

1h 22 mins.

UC Berkeley 1962. - just before his death. - the questions were quite good as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEXs3RspWyU&feature=youtu.be

He talks, amongst other topics, about suggestibility and persuasion and makes the point that controlling that 20pc of suggestibles is a fantastic political tool (Obama voters listen up), points out that Hitler was an intuitive demagogue. About his ‘Invented’ drug “Soma”, narcotic and hallucinogen. New technology, as well. Etc. Ex:, paraphrase:

The prospects of dictatorships in large areas around the world rises because of pressure on resources and rising expectations.

The video is a *historical* document, some aspects sound old fashioned today, others are completely accepted as contemporary wisdom, plus ca change.. Striking is that nobody at US Berkeley is making speeches like this.

-----------------------

Much of the recent news in the past week concerns cyberspace - i.e. communications, data (of all kinds), and public policies that control its dissemination and use, or fail to do so, or lie about it, etc.

Spying and leaks about spying, and scams.

This leaves the real world - territory, agri, people, hungry children, arms, slaves, and so on, incl. as an ex. climate science, in the shade, behind the scenes. It is a distraction, of course, but more than that. It is a sign of the powerful becoming more enmeshed amongst each other in a globalized Mafia-type functioning. (The Mafia is a predatory parasite on an existing structure, to extract money around the edges, and grasp very partial control.)

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 10, 2013 10:34:48 AM | 37

Antifascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory on his Spitefire site writes "On the subject of those "shocking" disclosures about NSA/GCHQ electronic surveillance(Y-A-W-N)... this isn't new, other countries do the same thing, including Germany. ...what is significant is journalist Glenn Greenwald is..associated with the Cato Institute....nazi fellow traveler Ron Paul and the nazified GOP..the underground reich."
Stalin would drool with delight reading Emory's analysis.

Posted by: hank ketchum | Jun 10, 2013 10:16:09 PM | 38

For the less sophisticated and less informed, especially those who trust the US MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media), the revelations about the US government spying on its citizens and hording copies of just about all the digital records available is, well, pretty damn scary,

I seem to recall people thought Skype was safe from being wiretapped. So much for that.

But for many in the US, at least it is scary. It appears there is a sizable majority which thinks anything the government says it is doing to protect the "homeland" from "terrists" is just peachy keen and A-OK. Wow.

Also, it's one thing to be pretty sure the government is spying on us and by many degrees more impactful to see clear evidence it is doing so. Followed, of course, by the admission it is doing so, but it isn't reading or listening to any of the digital records unless there is a court saying it's necessary to do so....

Riiiiiight. And we're back to can't prove it, think the reading/listening is going on, so now have to wait for another whistleblower.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 11, 2013 9:59:10 AM | 39

@37 Thanks. Fantastic talk.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 12, 2013 9:17:06 PM | 40

I've seen the most amazing reactions to the leaks story on twitter.

A smear campaign is definitely being directed out of the Obama for America organization. Some key nodes in the Obamabot circles (meaning follower to following ratio being quite high, something very hard to do) are pumping out really vicious stuff - against Snowden, and against Greenwald too. They are spinning it as a personal attack on the President.

And they might not be too off base as some goofy rightists like Glenn Beck and O'Reilly are clearly hoping to use this against Obama, calling Snowden a Hero after having called for Manning's execution or imprisonment. Real hypocritical scumbags, these guys.

There was also an interesting small bite against Hillary - some kind of child-sex scandal that was "handled in-house" by the State Dept. during her tenure. It almost seemed as if it was intentionally put out now so that it would get lost in the noise.

Funny thing is, if Obama cared at all about civil liberties, he could use this to his advantage. All the polls (a new gallup one today at least) show a majority against the spying. Another stonewall of his base. Who could possibly be surprised at this point though.

Basic attacks on Snowden are that he went to China. He's a traitor. Lots of noise about "the girl he left behind" and now there are these "modelling" images of him (oh god). The actual extremely important issues themselves are of course lost in all this focus on "personality". So, just like a US Presidential election then...

Oh christ...

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 12, 2013 9:31:05 PM | 41

I found this very intersting:

One of the targets in the SAR, according to Snowden, was Chinese University and public officials, businesses and students in the city.

It appears they are hacking private Chinese citizens emails and computers. Is it as simple as just mapping networks or are they looking for more concrete things?

For public officials, clearly they could be looking for dirt. But are they also looking for dissidents to feed it to? Is this how they start to build networks for Color Revolutions?

This rabbit hole goes way deep.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 12, 2013 9:37:15 PM | 42

@39 - "It appears there is a sizable majority which thinks anything the government says it is doing to protect the "homeland" from "terrists" is just peachy keen and A-OK. Wow."

Interesting new poll though, Google (er...something else maybe) "gallup surveillance".

53% disapprove of the spying, only 37% approve.

PRINCETON, NJ -- More Americans disapprove (53%) than approve (37%) of the federal government agency program that as part of its efforts to investigate terrorism obtained records from U.S. telephone and Internet companies to "compile telephone call logs and Internet communications."

These results are from a June 10-11 Gallup poll. Although the current survey context was different, these results are similar to those obtained in a May 2006 Gallup poll measuring support for a government program that "obtained records from three of the largest U.S. telephone companies in order to create a database of billions of telephone numbers dialed by Americans." In that survey, 43% approved and 51% disapproved.

There are significant partisan differences in views of the government's program to obtain call logs and Internet communication. Democrats are more likely to approve, by 49% to 40%. Independents (34% vs. 56%) and Republicans (32% to 63%) are much more likely to disapprove than approve.

In 2006, when Gallup asked the similar question about a program that came to light at that point, Republicans were significantly more likely to approve than Democrats. The differences in partisan reaction between 2006 and 2013 reflect the party of the president under whose watch the programs were carried out at those two points in time.

Twenty-one percent of Americans disapprove of the government's actions, but say there could be circumstances in which it would be right for the government to carry out such a program, yielding a combined total of 58% of all Americans who either approve or could theoretically approve under certain circumstances.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 12, 2013 9:39:52 PM | 43

This blows my mind, I have to say: "Democrats are more likely to approve, by 49% to 40%. Independents (34% vs. 56%) and Republicans (32% to 63%) are much more likely to disapprove than approve."

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 12, 2013 9:40:58 PM | 44

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