Alternative News Media
3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so
When a National Security Agency contractor revealed top-secret details this month on the government's collection of Americans' phone and Internet records, one select group of intelligence veterans breathed a sigh of relief
Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way. ... Read more
Inside 'Prism' Success: Even Bigger Data Seizure
In the months and early years after 9/11, FBI agents began showing up at Microsoft Corp. more frequently than before, armed with court orders demanding information on customers. ...
... But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government and technology officials and outside experts show that, while Prism has attracted the recent attention, the program actually is a relatively small part of a much more expansive and intrusive eavesdropping effort. Americans who disapprove of the government reading their emails have more to worry about from a different and larger NSA effort that snatches data as it passes through the fiber optic cables that make up the Internet's backbone. ... Read more
New Leak Indicates Britain and U.S. Tracked Diplomats
A new set of classified documents disclosed Sunday suggested that Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has provided a trove of documents to The Guardian newspaper, had obtained a wider range of materials about government surveillance than had been known, including one document revealing how American and British intelligence agencies had eavesdropped on world leaders at conferences in London in 2009. ... Read more
G20 summits: Russia and Turkey react with fury to spying revelations
Turkey, South Africa and Russia have reacted angrily to the British government demanding an explanation for the revelations that their politicians and senior officials were spied on and bugged during the 2009 G20 summit in London.
... The Guardian revealed that the UK secret wiretapping agency, GCHQ, targeted Mehmet Simsek, the Turkish finance minister and a former Merrill banker, during a G20 economics meeting hosted in London in September 2009. It also considered monitoring the communications of 15 named members of his staff and of Turkey's central bank. ...
... oscow Russian officials said the Guardian revelation that US spies had intercepted top-secret communications of Dmitry Medvedev at a G20 summit in London in April 2009 would further harm the struggling US-Russia relationship and cast a shadow over the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Monday and Tuesday. ... Read more
The Making of a Global Security State, The Five Uncontrollable Urges of a Secrecy-Surveillance World
Fracking Is Already Straining U.S. Water Supplies
As the level of hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells in the United States has intensified in recent years, much of the mounting public concern has centered on fears that underground water supplies could be contaminated with the toxic chemicals used in the well-stimulation technique that cracks rock formations and releases trapped oil and gas. But in some parts of the country, worries are also growing about fracking's effect on water supply, as the water-intensive process stirs competition for the resources already stretched thin by drought or other factors. Every fracking job requires 2 million to 4 million gallons of water, according to the Groundwater Protection Council. ... Read more
PRISM Is Just Part Of A Much Larger, Scarier Government Surveillance Program
Around the world, government spies and eavesdroppers were tracking the email and Internet addresses used by suspected terrorists. Often, those trails led to the world's largest software company and, at the time, largest email provider. The agents wanted email archives, account information, practically everything, and quickly. Engineers compiled the data, sometimes by hand, and delivered it to the government.
... Inside Microsoft, some called it "Hoovering" -- not after the vacuum cleaner, but after J. Edgar Hoover, the first FBI director, who gathered dirt on countless Americans. This frenetic, manual process was the forerunner to Prism, the recently revealed highly classified National Security Agency program that seizes records from Internet companies. As laws changed and technology improved, the government and industry moved toward a streamlined, electronic process, which required less time from the companies and provided the government data in a more standard format. ...
... But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government and technology officials and outside experts show that, while Prism has attracted the recent attention, the program actually is a relatively small part of a much more expansive and intrusive eavesdropping effort. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDN | Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, June 18 [14:15]
*DN | Glenn Greenwald: As Obama Makes "False" Surveillance Claims, Snowden Risks Life to Spark NSA Debate (06/18/13) 
*Charlie Rose | President Obama On NSA leaks, Syria, Iran & China. (06/17/13) [50:47]
US wildfires destroy scores of homes (06/14/13) [1:21]
*USAToday | 3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so (06/17/13) [9:11]
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Lawrence Lessig: Big Brother's Prying Eyes (06/14/13) [56:47]
Whatever your take on recent revelations about government spying on our phone calls and Internet activity, there's no denying that Big Brother is bigger and less brotherly than we thought. What's the resulting cost to our privacy -- and more so, our democracy? Lawrence Lessig joins Bill to discuss the implications of our government's actions.
PBS | FrontlinePBS Frontline | Syria Behind the Lines (04/03/13) [53:41]
Syria Behind the Lines Articles
PBS Frontline | Al Qaeda in Yemen, Frontline investigates how Al Qaeda and affiliated militants have seized areas in southern Yemen -- and are winning some popular support (05/29/12) [28:28]
Al Qaeda in Yemen Articles
CBS | 60 Minutes News*60 Minutes | Taking down Colombia's "super cartel" (06/16/13) [13:03], Part 2 [7:39]
Sniffing For Bombs: Meet America's most elite dogs (04/21/13) [13:30]
Diane Rehms Show*How The FBI And Police Are Using Facial Recognition Systems (06/18/13) [1hr]
JSOCJSOC - Americas Assassination Division (2009) [7:54], Discovery | Special Operations Americas Secret Soldiers [15:01], Part 2 [15:00]
Dispatches | Americas Secret Killers [48:00]
The Daily ShowJohn Oliver | Slams GOP For Backing NSA, Not Gun Control: 2nd Amendment Wins! (06/11/13) [8:55]
More News Articles
*Rotting, Decaying And Bankrupt -- If You Want To See The Future Of America Just Look At Detroit
Eventually the money runs out. Much of America was shocked when the city of Detroit defaulted on a $39.7 million debt payment and announced that it was suspending payments on $2.5 billion of unsecured debt, but those who visit my site on a regular basis were probably not too surprised. Anyone with half a brain and a calculator could see this coming from a mile away.
But what Detroit is facing is not really that unique. In fact, Detroit is a perfect example of what the future of America is going to look like. We live in a nation that is rotting, decaying, drowning in debt and racing toward insolvency. Already there are dozens of other cities across the nation that are poverty-ridden, crime-infested hellholes just like Detroit is, and hundreds of other communities are rapidly heading in that direction. So don't look down on Detroit. They just got there before the rest of us. ...
'Dirty Wars' Is Our Responsibility
... Since 9/11 we have largely trusted the government to keep us "safe" with actions in plain sight, including invading Iraq and airport body scanners. But mostly we have trusted the government with actions we don't know about, actions that exist in the shadowy no-man's-land of "Top Secret" and "National Security." We have been largely content with this arrangement as long as we are kept safe from the "bad guys." But at what cost to us, to the people targeted and to our shared humanity? Who exactly determines who the bad guys are? And is there such a thing as a "clean" war, as President Obama claims?
These are some of the questions I left the movie theater asking myself after seeing Dirty Wars, the incredible documentary by Jeremy Scahill and Rick Rowley. Dirty Wars is a detective story that unfolds in countries we know in name only, places we hear about but will likely never visit, and from the people who populate these faraway lands from which we are so disconnected. In the movie we discover what our government is doing covertly, without our knowledge, while glimpsing the impact on those affected... and on our future. ... Read more
'Dirty Wars' uncloaks U.S. forces
In "Dirty Wars," journalist Jeremy Scahill examines the ascent and actions of the Special Joint Operations Command, the super-secret military force that performs drone strikes, targeted assassinations and other lethal operations in its function as a paramilitary arm of the U.S. president.
It begins in Gardez, Afghanistan. A night raid has killed a police commander and two pregnant women. Interviews with the family, plus some sleuthing, reveal that American fighters performed the attack and the victims were not terrorists. Scahill discovers that the then-unknown SJOC conducted the raid. The attack was one of about 1,700 such incidents.
A picture emerges of SJOC as a deadly force that acts with approval from the U.S. government and NATO without accountability or congressional oversight. It operates in 75 countries, including many where no war exists. ... Read more
Atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches 400 parts per million concentration milestone
For the first time in human history, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 400 parts per million (ppm). The arrival at this threshold represents a powerful symbol of the growing human influence on the Earth's climate.
Manmade emissions of carbon dioxide have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 from around 270 to 280 ppm in the late 1700s to today's record high level of 400 ppm. Measurements of CO2 trapped in air bubbles from ice cores in Antarctica indicate today's levels are unsurpassed in at least 800,000 years.
How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power
I reread this article again yesterday... it is really reveling on how contractors are misusing the information they are gatheringRead more
Colorado Is Burning Even Worse Than Last Year
The Black Forest fire is the most destructive fire in the state's history, and has completely destroyed at least 379 homes, according to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. At least two people have been killed.
... Is climate change making wildfires worse? Big wildfires like Colorado's thrive in dry air, low humidity, and high winds; climate change is going to make those conditions more frequent over the next century. We know because it's already happening: A University of Arizona report from 2006 found that large forest fires have occurred more often in the western United States since the mid-1980s as spring temperatures increased, snow melted earlier, and summers got hotter, leaving more and drier fuels for fires to devour. ... Read more
US spy operation that manipulates social media
Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda. A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world. ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, June 17 [14:15]
*DN | As World Awaits U.S. Reaction to NSA Leaks, Movement Emerges to Support Edward Snowden in Hong Kong (06/17/13) [19:20]
DN | Long Before Helping Expose NSA Spying, Journalist Laura Poitras Faced Harassment from U.S. Agents (06/17/13) [6:56]
Diane Rehms ShowNew Developments in the Middle East (06/17/13) [1hr]
Aljazeera | Jeremy Scahill investigates the disastrous American War in Yemen (03/15/12) [25:01]
Aljazeera | 101 East - The Pacifist War (06/14/13) [25:16]
In the waters of the East China Sea, a daily show of aggression is displayed around the uninhibited Senakaku/Diaoyutai Islands. Coast guards from China and Japan play a dangerous game of cat and mouse as both sides try to lay claim to the disputed resource-rich territory. The concern is - that the two powers are riding towards war.*Aljazeera | People & Power - America's War Games (04/25/13) [25:01]
The United States' military expenditures today account for about 40 percent of the world total. In 2012, the US spent some $682bn on its military - an amount more than what was spent by the next 13 countries combined.Aljazeera | People & Power - Attack of the Drones (07/18/12) [24:50]
The US government's growing reliance on aerial drones to pursue its war on al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere is proving controversial. As governments are increasingly relying on drones, what are the consequences for civil liberties and the future of war?Aljazeera | Fault Lines - Robot wars (12/26/12) [24:50]
TYT NewsTYT | Is Climate Change Action Doomed? (06/09/13) [5:10]
Business of War*Vice | The Business of War: SOFEX (07/05/12) [20:10]
SOFEX is where the world's leading generals come to buy everything from handguns to laser-guided missile systems. It stands for "Special Operations Forces Exhibition Conference" and it's essentially a trade-show where just about anyone with enough money can buy the most powerful weapons in the world.
MSNBC | Weekend ProgramsMSNBC | Why don't Repubicams vote down the $955 Billion Farm Bill? (06/16/13) [16:08]
*MSNBC | Bamfort: NSA chief has temendous power (06/16/13) [5:12]
MSNBC | Recent leaks raise suspicion within security agencies (06/16/13) [3:57]
MSNBC | Do private contractors pose a danger to government security? (06/16/13) [8:46]
MSNBC | Chris Hayes - All InChris Hayes | Obamacare victory in Arizona (06/14/13) [10:52]
Chris Hayes | Not so fast on Syrian intervention (06/14/13) [6:42]
Chris Hayes | Why you should know Art Pope (06/14/13) [8:04]
MSNBC | Rachel Maddow*Rachel Maddow | Leaks, unofficial news leave world guessing at US plans for Syria (06/14/13) [12:44]
MSNBC | Meet the Press
There are 18 videos for this Sunday's Meet the Press show on MSNBC's website. Thus I decide t point to the site and let you choose the videos you want to view.Meet the Press | Linsy Graham speaks on Syria and immegration (06/14/13) [10:52]
'Top Secret America': A look at the military's Joint Special Operations Command
The CIA's armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America's enemies in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
CIA operatives have imprisoned and interrogated nearly 100 suspected terrorists in their former secret prisons around the world, but troops from this other secret organization (JSOC) have imprisoned and interrogated 10 times as many, holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since 9/11, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA has managed. "We're the dark matter. We're the force that orders the universe but can't be seen," a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit. ... Read more
JSOC from Wikipedia
JSOC is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics. It was established in 1980 on recommendation of Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw. It is located at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, USA.
Jeremy Scahill about Obama's JSOC (05/04/13) [8:22]
CNN | JSOC - Americas Assassination Division (03/31/09) [7:54]
Global Journalist: 'Dirty Wars' tells the story of covert US operations (02/28/13) [29:49]
ReasonTV | Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield" (06/13/13) [41:31]
Aljazeera | Jeremy Scahill: The Stream - Uncovering America's 'dirty wars' (04/29/13) [36:10]
DN | Jeremy Scahill: WikiLeaks Docs Helped Me Expose the U.S. "Dirty Wars" (04/24/13) [1:52]
Everything is Rigged: This Time, It's Currencies
I'll get into this in more detail later (I'm on deadline for a magazine feature), but this story just landed. Given the LIBOR story, the Interest Rate Swap manipulation story, the Euro gas price manipulation story, the U.S. energy price manipulation story, and (by now) countless others of the "Everything is Rigged" variety, this screams out for immediate notice. Via Bloomberg:
... This time the rates allegedly being rigged are in the foreign-exchange or "FX" markets, meaning that if this story is true, it would almost certainly trump LIBOR for scale/horribleness.
As one friend of mine who works on Wall Street put it, "It's endless! This is the biggest market in the world." Bloomberg suggested the story is just the tip of the iceberg: ... Read more
it's the same thing: Insiders rigging benchmark rates, shaving money from basically everyone on earth, systematically and over periods of many years.
NSA head: Leaks have caused U.S. 'great harm'
The head of the National Security Agency defended his agency's broad electronic surveillance programs Wednesday, saying that they have helped thwart dozens of terrorist attacks and that their recent public disclosure has done "great harm" to the nation's security.
Facing his first public grilling since it was revealed that the NSA has secretly collected millions of telephone records as well as e-mails and other Internet data, Gen. Keith Alexander sought to aggressively rebut congressional and other criticism of the Obama administration's anti-terrorism tactics. ... Read more
Connecting the Dots on PRISM, Phone Surveillance, and the NSA's Massive Spy Center
Physically, the NSA has always been well protected by miles of high fences and electrified wire, thousands of cameras, and gun-toting guards. But that was to protect the agency from those on the outside trying to get in to steal secrets. Now it is confronting a new challenge: those on the inside going out and giving the secrets away. ... Read more
How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power
"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the president if I had a personal email." --Edward Snowden, Booz Allen Hamilton whistleblower, during his interview with The Guardian. Could the sprawling surveillance state enable government or its legion of private contractors to abuse their technology and spy upon domestic political targets or judges?
This is not a far off possibility. Two years ago, a batch of stolen e-mails revealed a plot by a set of three defense contractors (Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary Federal) to target activists, reporters, labor unions and political organizations. The plans-- one concocted in concert with lawyers for the US Chamber of Commerce to sabotage left-leaning critics, like the Center for American Progress and the SEIU, and a separate proposal to "combat" WikiLeaks and its supporters, including Glenn Greenwald, on behalf of Bank of America-- fell apart after reports of their existence were published online. But the episode serves as a reminder that the expanding spy industry could use its government-backed cybertools to harm ordinary Americans and political dissident groups. ... Read more
You Wouldn't Believe Bank of America's Latest Scam
The American banking industry is back and more dangerous than ever before. According to the FDIC, U.S. banks posted a record $40.3 billion profit in the first three months of the year. This staggering profit tops the previous first-quarter profit record that was set more than six years ago, before the financial crisis and big-bank caused Bush Great Recession.
So, now that the big banks have fully recovered from the financial crisis that they themselves caused, and are raking in massive profits yet again, you would think that they'd be extra careful not to cause another financial meltdown, right? Wrong.
It's appears that big bank Bank of America is up to the same old dirty tricks that helped contribute to America's financial meltdown in the first place. According to the American Banker magazine, Bank of America is using a misleading sales pitch and a flood of fine print to sell you and me on mortgage refinancing plans. ...
... The mailer talks about annual savings of more than $4,000 if borrowers refinance their mortgages, but according to National Consumer Law Center attorney Andrew Pizor, the refinancing offer would actually add more than $37,000 to the cost of a borrower's loan. ... Read more
In 2006, a UN report revealed that the world's richest 1% own 40% of the world's wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the "super rich." More than a third of the world's super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world's richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet's total assets, while the bottom half of the population -- more than 3 billion people -- owned less than 1% of the world's wealth.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Friday, June 14 [11:32] *DN | James Bamford on NSA Secrets, Keith Alexander's Influence & Massive Growth of Surveillance, Cyberwar (06/14/13) [20:52]
DN | Breast Cancer Patients Declare Victory as Supreme Court Bars Patenting of Human Genes (06/14/13) [18:36]
NSA VideosHighlights of NSA's Senate hearing (06/13/13) [3:27]
CHAMP lights out Video [2:09]
TYT News*TYT | Snowden Leak "Tip of the Iceberg" of NSA Surveillance Program (06/13/13) [4:02]
Homeland Security Committee member Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D - California) on C-Span today stated the information leaked by Edward Snowden is the "tip of the iceberg" of the full NSA surveillance program.*TYT | How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power (06/12/13) [6:59]
"Could the sprawling surveillance state enable government or its legion of private contractors to abuse their technology and spy upon domestic political targets or judges This is not a far off possibility. Two years ago, a batch of stolen e-mails revealed a plot by a set of three defense contractors (Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary Federal) to target activists, reporters, labor unions and political organizations. The plans-- one concocted in concert with lawyers for the US Chamber of Commerce to sabotage left-leaning critics, like the Center for American Progress and the SEIU, and a separate proposal to "combat" WikiLeaks and its supporters, including Glenn Greenwald, on behalf of Bank of America-- fell apart after reports of their existence were published online. But the episode serves as a reminder that the expanding spy industry could use its government-backed cybertools to harm ordinary Americans and political dissident groups..."*TYT | Edward Snowden: American Hero or Traitor? (06/11/13) [10:03]
"The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell." Edward Snowden has revealed himself be the whisteblower who exposed the NSA's secretly-ordered blanket mass surveillance. Many pundits are calling him a traitor, while others call him a hero for alerting Americans to an unconstitutional privacy-violating program.*TYT | Caught Lying About The NSA, James Clapper Tries To 'Clarify' (06/12/13) [3:43]
TYT | Bill O'Reilly & Sean Hannity Massive Hypocrisy On NSA Surveillance (06/13/13) [3:47]
TYT | Bill O'Reilly & Sean Hannity Record Breaking Hypocrisy on Fox News (06/13/13) [3:24]
TYT | Chemical Weapons Used In Syria (06/13/13) [5:13]
Diane Rehms ShowDomestic News - Friday 06/14/13 [1hr]
International News - Friday 06/14/13 [1hr]
MSNBC | Chris Hayes - All In*Chris Hayes | The bizarre battle lines in the war over NSA spying (06/13/13) [17:43]
Chris Hayes | White House: Syria has used chemical weapons (06/13/13) [6:15]
Chris Hayes | Landmark Supreme Court ruling on patenting human genes (06/13/13) [4:43], Part 2 [6:00]
Jon Stewart | Stephen ColbertStephen Colbert | suggests an alternate form of communication for people who don't want to be caught up in government surveillance efforts. (06/13/13) [8:04]
Jon Stewart | Jon Stewart Tears Apart Obama, DOJ For Prosecuting Whistleblowers And Potheads But Not Bankers. (05/23/13) [8:51]
NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
NSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah Click to zoom
NSA Utah Data Center Super ComputerTitan Super Computer (2013) [3:31]
How NSA Spys On You With Utah Data Center Super Computer (03/23/13) [9:38]
NSA Whistle BlowerNSA Whistle-blower Reveals "Stellar Wind" Spying on You - code named The Program (03/29/13) [8:28]
60Minutes | U.S. v. Whistleblower Tom Drake (older) [14:28]
Tom Drake, a former NSA senior executive indicted last year for espionage after leaking to the media allegations that the nation's largest intelligence organization had committed fraud, waste and abuse will appear in his first television interview.RT | NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post (12/02/12) [12:29]
RT talks to William Binney, whistleblower and former NSA crypto-mathematician who served in the agency for decades. Virtual privacy in US, Petraeus affair and whistleblowers' odds in fight against the authorities are among key topics of this exclusive interview."The NSA Is Lying": U.S. Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails Says NSA Whistleblower (04/20/12) [14:37]
Edward Snowden: US government has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years
US whistle-blower Edward Snowden yesterday emerged from hiding in Hong Kong and revealed to the South China Morning Post that he will stay in the city to fight likely attempts by his government to have him extradited for leaking state secrets.
In an exclusive interview carried out from a secret location in the city, the former Central Intelligence Agency analyst also made explosive claims that the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland for years. ... Read more
NSA: Senators Who Back NSA Spying Oppose Gun Background Checks For Infringing Rights
Just months after many U.S. senators opposed tougher background checks for gun buyers on the grounds that they would tread on Americans' liberties, many of them are standing behind the far more intrusive intelligence-gathering programs of the National Security Agency.
Senators -- mainly Republicans -- argued during the debate after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre that instituting broader background checks would violate the Second Amendment, infringe on privacy, and be the first step toward taking away people's guns. ... Read more
Quote of the Day: Senators: Background Checks Are Bad, But NSA Spying Is Good
NSA Director Says Programs Key to Stopping Attacks
WASHINGTON--National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander said that he would work to try to declassify secret court opinions that make possible the agency's collection of most Americans' phone records, while also defending the government's controversial surveillance programs as critical to stopping terrorist attacks.
"We need to bring as many facts as we can out to the American people," Mr. Alexander told the Senate Appropriations Committee. "We want to tell you what we're doing….but I don't want to jeopardize the security of our country or our allies." ... Read more
NSA surveillance played little role in foiling terror plots, experts say
Lawyers and intelligence experts with direct knowledge of two intercepted terrorist plots that the Obama administration says confirm the value of the NSA's vast data-mining activities have questioned whether the surveillance sweeps played a significant role, if any, in foiling the attacks. ... Read more
Earlier Denials Put Intelligence Chief in Awkward Position
For years, intelligence officials have tried to debunk what they called a popular myth about the National Security Agency: that its electronic net routinely sweeps up information about millions of Americans. In speeches and Congressional testimony, they have suggested that the agency's immense power is focused exclusively on terrorists and other foreign targets, and that it does not invade Americans' privacy.
But since the disclosures last week showing that the agency does indeed routinely collect data on the phone calls of millions of Americans, Obama administration officials have struggled to explain what now appear to have been misleading past statements. Much of the attention has been focused on testimony by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, to the Senate in March that the N.S.A. was not gathering data on millions of Americans. ... Read more
Bond bubble threatens financial system, Bank of England director warns
Andy Haldane fears the bursting of 'the biggest bond bubble in history' after electronic money printing exercises by the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in the US.
A key Bank of England policymaker has warned of the risks to global financial stability when "the biggest bond bubble in history" bursts. In a wide-ranging testimony to MPs, Andy Haldane, Bank of England director of financial stability, admitted the central bank's new financial policy committee is taking too long to force banks to hold more capital and appeared to criticise the bank's culture under outgoing governor Sir Mervyn King.Haldane told the Treasury select committee that the bursting of the bond bubble -- created by central banks forcing down bond yields by pumping electronic money into the economy - was a risk "I feel acutely right now". ... Read more
RBS resignation of Stephen Hester causes debate to rage
City surprise at chief executive's exit as politicians are accused of getting 'sticky little paws' on bank's future
The debate about the future of Royal Bank of Scotland was raging on Wednesday night after the surprise resignation of the bailed out bank's chief executive Stephen Hester. His departure is intended to clear the way for what will be one of the biggest ever public sell-offs.
The business secretary, Vince Cable, who opposes a rapid sale of the taxpayer's 81% stake, said the bank needed to focus more lending to small businesses and supporting the economy. ... Read more
*Videos I found Really RealisticShadow Company: Private Military Company (2006) [1:25:32]
America`s Secret Soldiers:Special Forces [44:51]
Movie TrailersTHE EAST: Official Trailer (04/26/13) [1:42]
In THE EAST, Sarah Moss (Brit Marling) is a brilliant operative for an elite private intelligence firm whose top objective is to ruthlessly protect the interests of their A-list corporate clientele. She is assigned to go undercover to infiltrate an anarchist collective known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. Living amongst them in an effort to get closer to their members, Sarah finds herself unexpectedly torn between two worlds as she starts to fall in love with the group's charismatic leader, finding her life and her priorities irrevocably changed.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, June 13 [13:00]
*DN | Chris Pyle, Whistleblower on CIA Domestic Spying in 70s, Says Be Wary of Attacks on NSA's Critics (06/13/13) [19:33]
DN | A Mexican Migrant's Death Portends Dangers of Harsh "Border Security" in Senate Immigration Bil (06/13/13) [16:44]
Fat, Bald, White Guy - holding onto power
'Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?' (06/07/13) [0:35]
Fox Shepard over James Clapper: At Least China Admits Monitoring People while We Lie About It (06/07/13) [5:12]
TRNN News*TRNN | Phyllis Bennis: Will any amount of surveillance make Americans secure when US foreign policy is based on global hegemony? (06/13/13) [8:49]
PBS | Frontline*PBS Frontline | Syria Behind the Lines (06/11/13) [53:41]
Top Secret America
Military Contractors - Click to zoom
Security Contractors - Click to zoom
US Department of Defense
A Look At The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Armies
MSNBC | Chris Hayes - All In*Chris Hayes | Plot thickens in real-life spy story unfolding in the news (06/12/13) [14:45]
Chris Hayes | Silicon Valley and the National Security State (06/12/13) [7:50], Part 2 [4:39]
MSNBC | Rachel Maddow*Rachel Maddow | NSA power augmented by weak Congress (06/12/13) [13:30]
But Obama appeared to change his approach almost as soon as he was elected in 2008. "His people made it clear that in the terrorism arena, he was going to be as tough, if not tougher, than the Bush people," former CIA general counsel John Rizzo told FRONTLINE in June 2011. "He was going to be extraordinarily aggressive."
The following four PBS | Frontline videos help us see inside the NSA's intelligence apparatus.
PBS Frontline | Spying on the Homefront (older) [56:10]
"It is inevitable that totally innocent Americans are going to be affected by these programs," Suzanne Spaulding, a former CIA senior attorney, told Frontline. In this 2007 film, we investigate the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping of American citizens - and how the NSA started building a secret outpost inside AT&T's San Francisco office.PBS Frontline | Cheney's Law (older) [56:15]
The NSA program to spy on Americans was so controversial within the Bush administration that it led to a dramatic showdown at the hospital bed of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was suffering from acute pancreatitis. Ashcroft was supposed to reauthorize the program every 45 days, but this time, he refused on the advice of his then-deputy James Comey -- who is now Obama's expected nominee to head the FBI. Find out what happened next in this 2007 film:
PBS Frontline | Top Secret America - from 9/11 to the Boston Bombings (04/13/13) [53:51]
"NSA sucking down information from computer networks, from radios, from telephone calls all over the world, so much information that no human being could ever go through it on a daily basis," he told FRONTLINE. In the full film below, go inside the NSA's intelligence operations at home:PBS Frontline | A Perfect Terrorist [53:40]
Is the NSA eavesdropping worth it? Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the program has helped the U.S. foil terror plots, as well as aided in the capture of David Coleman Headley, a onetime U.S. government informant who helped to plot the 2008 attack on Mumbai. In this 2011 film, FRONTLINE and ProPublica tracked Headley's strange path from informant to terrorist.
Meet the contractors analyzing your private data
Private companies are getting rich probing your personal information for the government. Call it Digital Blackwater
From Narus, the Israeli-born Boeing subsidiary that makes NSA's high-speed interception software, to CSC, the "systems integrator" that runs NSA's internal IT system, defense and intelligence, contractors are making millions of dollars selling technology and services that help the world's largest surveillance system spy on you. If the 70 percent figure is applied to the NSA's estimated budget of $8 billion a year (the largest in the intelligence community), NSA contracting could reach as high as $6 billion every year. ...Read more
How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power
"I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the president if I had a personal email." --Edward Snowden, Booz Allen Hamilton whistleblower, during his interview with The Guardian. Could the sprawling surveillance state enable government or its legion of private contractors to abuse their technology and spy upon domestic political targets or judges?
This is not a far off possibility. Two years ago, a batch of stolen e-mails revealed a plot by a set of three defense contractors (Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and HBGary Federal) to target activists, reporters, labor unions and political organizations. ... Read more
Boy, all you have to do is see who-owns-who, and the spinning (revolving) door in the intelligence world to realize why they need to keep this secret. They are protecting their paychecks.
Pentagon Five-Year Cybersecurity Plan Seeks $23 Billion
A Pentagon cybersecurity budget outline calls for spending almost $23 billion through fiscal 2018, as efforts are expanded on initiatives from protecting computer networks to developing offensive capabilities.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this month cited "the growing threat of cyber-intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military." His predecessor, Leon Panetta, said last year that "a cyber-attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11." ... Read more
Guess who owns Booz Allen Hamilton... Carlyle Group. Ring a bell?
NSA revelations put Booz Allen Hamilton, Carlyle Group in uncomfortable limelight
The Carlyle Group has spent years attempting to shed its image as a well-connected private equity firm leveraging Washington heavyweights in the defense sector. Instead, it nurtured a reputation as a financially sophisticated asset manager that buys and sells everything from railroads to oil refineries.
The recent disclosures involving National Security Agency surveillance on U.S. citizens by an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton, a Virginia consulting firm that is majority owned by Carlyle, has thrust two of Washington's most prominent corporate entities uncomfortably into the limelight, bound by the thread of turning government secrets into profits. ...
... Booz Allen, which employs 24,500, had a net profit of $219 million on revenue of nearly $5.8 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31. For the same period ending in 2010, the year the company went public, the company earned $25 million on $5.1 billion in revenue. ... Read more
They keep saying Edward Snowden is a publicity seeker. Do they listen to these guys interviews? They make much more sense then the people calling them traitors.
27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine
Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up? He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world.
There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare. And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn't even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society. Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally. Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us. ...
27 thinks that should scare you about the NSA... Read On ... Read more
Salmon Confidential--How a Canadian Government Cover-Up Threatens Your Health, and the Entire Ecosystem
Many environmental experts have warned about the unsustainability of fish farms for a decade now, and we have documented those objections in many previous articles. Unfortunately nothing has yet been done to improve the system.
Salmon Confidential is a fascinating documentary that draws back the curtain to reveal how the Canadian government is covering up the cause behind British Columbia's rapidly dwindling wild salmon population. A summary of the film reads: ... Read more
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Wednesday, June 12 [11:41]
*DN | More Intrusive Than Eavesdropping? NSA Collection of Metadata Hands Gov't Sweeping Personal Info (06/12/13) [13:43]
*DN | Is Edward Snowden a Hero? A Debate With Journalist Chris Hedges & Law Scholar Geoffrey Stone (06/12/13) [28:06]
*DN | Digital Blackwater: How the NSA Gives Private Contractors Control of the Surveillance State (06/11/13) [23:21]
*Tim Shorrock Asks Why It Took the Washington Post So Long to Investigate the US Intelligence System (older) [11:40]
*Spies for Hire: Carlyle Group to Become Owner of "One of America's Largest Private Intelligence Armies" (older) [27:14]
"Spys for Hire" book by Tim Shorrock (preview)
Jeremy Scahill: Killing Anwar al-Awlaki (04/22/13) [3:45]
Diane Rehms ShowLeakers Versus Whistle-Blowers (06/12/13) [1hr]
Jesselyn Radack - national security & human rights director, Government Accountability Project.
Matthew Cooper - editor, National Journal Daily.
Scott Fredericksen - managing partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner, and a former federal prosecutor and independent counsel.
Bill Moyers*Bill Moyers | Glenn Greenwald on the High Cost of Government Secrecy (04/26/13) [24:45]
Columnist Glenn Greenwald explains what the Boston bombings and U.S. drone attacks have in common, and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power.*Bill Moyers | Richard Wolff: Taming Capitalism Run Wild (06/07/13) [52:53]
Economist Richard Wolff talks about battling rampant capitalism and fighting for economic justice.*Lawrence Lessig Joins Bill in the Studio [18:19]
Strike the Roots website
60 Minutes News*60 Minutes | Hospitals: The cost of admission (06/09/13) [15:18]
60 Minutes | God's Architect: Antoni Gaudi's glorious vision (06/09/13) [13:18]
MSNBC | Chris Hayes - All In
*Chris Hayes | Who's the target in a surveillance state? (06/11/13) [8:38]
Chris Hayes | Chicago homicides plummeted, but is it a fluke? (06/11/13) [5:30]
Chris Hayes | Rubio shows two faces on immigration bill. (06/11/13) [5:09]
Chris Hayes | Walmart shareholders meeting or Tony Awards. (06/11/13) [4:19], Part 2 [5:43]
MSNBC | Rachel Maddow*Rachel Maddow | Senators move to advance surveillance debate with sunlight (06/11/13) [11:37]
More Great Information56 Healthier Burger Recipes for Summer (website)
Salmon Confidential -- How a Canadian Government Cover-Up Threatens Your Health, and the Entire Ecosystem [1:09:52]
Animation | HumorCorporations are People [1:51]
iEvade: Apple just released another groundbreaking new product that is already changing the world. [1:21]
Slab CityA Visit to Salvation Mountain [3:35]
Living Without Laws: Slab City, USA [20:45]
American Nomads: A BBC Documentary called America Nomads. People who roam the South West free from the bonds and chains of normal every day life [1:29:00]
Slab City - Wikipedia
Slab City or The Slabs (located at 33°15'32?N 115°27'59?W) is a snowbird campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It takes its name from the concrete slabs that remain from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks of Camp Dunlap.
Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months. These "snowbirds" stay only for the winter, before migrating north in the spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during the summer are unforgiving (105,110 and as high as 120 degrees F); nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in the Slabs all year round. Some of these "Slabbers" derive their living by way of government checks (SSI and Social Security and Social Security Disability) and have been driven to the Slabs through poverty. Others have moved to The Slabs to learn how to live off the grid and to be left alone. Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.
The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The camp has no electricity, no running water, no sewers nor toilets, and no trash pickup service. Many campers use generators or solar panels to generate electricity. Supplies can be purchased in nearby Niland, California, located about four miles (6 km) to the southwest of Slab City.
Into The Wild
Into the Wild is a 2007 American biographical drama film directed by Sean Penn. It is an adaptation of the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer based on the travels of Christopher McCandless across North America and his life spent in the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s. The film stars Emile Hirsch as McCandless with Marcia Gay Harden and William Hurt as his parents and also features Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, and Hal Holbrook.Into the Wild Movie Trailer [2:15]
I added "Into the Wild" movie, because they spend some time at Slab City. In December 1991, McCandless arrives at Slab City in the Imperial Valley region of California, and encounters Jan and Rainey again. There, he meets Tracy Tatro (Kristen Stewart), a teenage girl who shows interest in McCandless, but he rejects her because she is underage. After the holidays, McCandless decides to continue heading for Alaska, much to everyone's sadness.
Into the wild - Best Moments [21:42]
Into the Wild - Exclusive: Kristen Stewart Interview [4:13]
Into the Wild - Wikipedia
Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data
The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.
The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks. ... Read more
Boundless Informant NSA data-mining tool -- four key slides
The top-secret Boundless Informant tool details and maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks
Prior NSA Whistleblower Warns Edward Snowden: Government Will Seek "Revenge and Retaliation"
Thomas Drake, a National Security Agency whistleblower who several years ago provided information to the press about fraud, waste, and privacy abuses at the super-secret spy agency and who was prosecuted for doing so, has a warning for Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old whistleblower who on Sunday outed himself as the source of the blockbuster leaks revealing two sweeping NSA surveillance programs.
Drake says Snowden can expect to be targeted by the full force of the United States government. And Drake should know. The Justice Department pursued Drake fiercely, charging him with violating the Espionage Act--as if he had been a spy for a foreign power. Drake maintained that he had only conveyed unclassified information to a reporter. The government's case eventually fell apart, and it dropped the most serious charges. ... Read more
"Digital Blackwater": Meet the Contractors Who Analyze Your Personal Data
Amid the torrent of stories about the shocking new revelations about the National Security Agency, few have bothered to ask a central question. Who's actually doing the work of analyzing all the data, meta-data and personal information pouring into the agency from Verizon and nine key Internet Service Providers for its ever-expanding surveillance of American citizens?
Well, on Sunday we got part of the answer: Booz Allen Hamilton. In a stunning development in the NSA saga, Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald revealed that the source for his blockbuster stories on the NSA is Edward Snowden, "a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton." Snowden, it turns out, has been working at NSA for the last four years as a contract employee, including stints for Booz and the computer-services firm Dell. ... Read more
500,000 contractors can access NSA data hoards
As Tim Shorrock pointed out as long ago as 2007 (and reminded us in light of the NSA leaks) "about 70 percent of our national intelligence budgets being spent on the private sector." The AP reported Tuesday that nearly 500,000 contractors -- employees like whistleblower Edward Snowden -- have access to the government's top secret programs.
Of the 4.9 million people with clearance to access "confidential and secret" government information, 1.1 million, or 21 percent, work for outside contractors, according to a report from Clapper's office. Of the 1.4 million who have the higher "top secret" access, 483,000, or 34 percent, work for contractors. ... Read more
It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a "target" of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: "I'm tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I'll talk to you." ... Read more
Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm
As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet. The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. High-performance NSA computers alone will fill up 100,000 square feet.
... Last summer, during a speech at the American Enterprise Institute, a reporter asked NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander, whether the Utah center "will hold the data of American citizens." "No," Alexander responded. "While I can't go into all the details of the Utah Data Center, we don't hold data on U.S. citizens." ...
... The estimated power of those computing resources in Utah is so massive it requires use of a little-known unit of storage space: the zettabyte. Cisco quantifies a zettabyte as the amount of data that would fill 250 billion DVDs ... Read more
TRNN NewsTRNN | Glenn Greenwald: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things' (06/10/13) [12:35]
TRNN | Michael Ratner: NSA Whistleblower Ed Snowden Risks Freedom to Expose Extensive Government Spying (06/10/13) [15:48]
TRNN | Bill Black: Bank Profits Soar, Wages Suffer Sharpest Decline in 60 Years. (06/10/13) [10:28]
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Tuesday, June 11 [14:23] *DN | Digital Blackwater: How the NSA Gives Private Contractors Control of the Surveillance State (06/11/13) [23:21]
As the Justice Department prepares to file charges against Booz Allen Hamilton employee Edward Snowden for leaking classified documents about the National Security Agency, the role of private intelligence firms has entered the national spotlight. Despite being on the job as a contract worker inside the NSA's Hawaii office for less than three months, Snowden claimed he had power to spy on almost anyone in the country. "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge, to even the president, if I had a personal email," Snowden told the Guardian newspaper. Over the past decade, the U.S. intelligence community has relied increasingly on the technical expertise of private firms such as Booz Allen, SAIC, the Boeing subsidiary Narus and Northrop Grumman. About 70 percent of the national intelligence budget is now spent on the private sector. Former NSA director Michael V. Hayden has described these firms as a quote "Digital Blackwater." We speak to Tim Shorrock, author of the book "Spies For Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence."*DN | "A Massive Surveillance State": Glenn Greenwald Exposes Covert NSA Program Collecting Calls, Emails (06/07/13) [14:16]
*DN | James Bamford: Inside the NSA's Largest Secret Domestic Spy Center [31:15]
Comment: I usually don't agree with Fox News, but I do think they are agreeing that MASSIVE data collection is wrong.Napolitano: NSA Leaker Is an "American Hero" (06/10/13) [6:22]
O'Reilly Slams 'Unconstitutional' NSA Surveillance: 'Should Be Shut Down Immediately' (06/11/13) [7:35]
NYTimes | The Program: NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All (08/29/12) [8:28]
"I Stand With Edward Snowden (06/10/13) [9:07]"
NPR | Amid Data Controversy, NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm (06/10/13) [3:37]
CommentMSNBC | Glenn Greenwald Takes MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, to Task for Using NSA WH Talking Points (06/10/13) [17:03]
1. NSA is the largest employer in Maryland.
2. 1 in 4 of government workers is a contractors.
RT | Jeremy Scahill: Dirty Wars - US War Masters! (04/30/12) [37:27]
Inside The NSA: Americas Cyber Secrets [45:00]
Nova: The Spy Factory [52:58]
NSA Intelligence Agency
FacilityWhere - Click to zoom
The Utah Data Center is currently under construction and is expected to open in October 2013. Our 1.5 billion-dollar one million square-foot Bluffdale / Camp Williams facility will house a 100,000 sq-ft mission critical data center. The remaining 900,000 SF will be used for technical support and administrative space. Other supporting facilities include water treatment facilities, chiller plant, power substations, vehicle inspection facility, visitor control center, and sixty diesel-fueled emergency standby generators and fuel facility for a 3-day 100% power backup capability.
Code-Breaking Supercomputer Platform
In October 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory launched the Titan Supercomputer, which is capable of churning through more than 20,000 trillion calculations each second or 20 petaflops. (1 petaflop = 1 quadrillion instructions per second).
Data Storage Capacity
The storage capacity of the Utah Data Center will be measured in "zettabytes". What exactly is a zettabyte? There are a thousand gigabytes in a terabyte; a thousand terabytes in a petabyte; a thousand petabytes in an exabyte; and a thousand exabytes in a zettabyte.
PRISM Data Collection Program:
Established in 2007, the PRISM program, our analysts can extract information directly from the servers of nine major American internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. This important partnership gives us direct access to audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs for each of these systems.
What - Click to zoom
When - Click to zoom
ACLU | What can the NSA do? (pdf)
Office of the Director of National Intelligence - Click to zoom
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (webpage)
National Security Agency - Wikipedia
Diane Rehms ShowThe Economic Impact Of Climate Change Policy (06/11/13) [1hr]
Floyd Abrams: "Friend Of The Court: On The Front Lines With The First Amendment" (06/11/13) [1hr]
MSNBC | Chris Hayes - All In*Chris Hayes | Edward Snowden the largest whistle blower of the century (06/10/13) [14:58]
Chris Hayes | Did NSA leaker Edward Snowden do the right thing? (06/10/13) [6:26]
Chris Hayes | The unique danger of government surveillance (06/10/13) [14:58]
MSNBC | Rachel Maddow*Rachel Maddow | Lack of checks distinguished NSA surveillance (06/10/13) [12:56]
Rachel Maddow | NSA whistleblower confirms what public already knew (06/10/13) [9:10]
US in damage control mode after Edward Snowden's explosive NSA leaks
Washington was struggling to contain one of the most explosive national security leaks in US history on Monday as public criticism grew of the sweeping surveillance state revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Political opinion was split with some members of Congress calling for the immediate extradition of a man they consider a "defector", but other senior politicians on both parties questioning whether US surveillance practices had gone too far.
Daniel Ellsburg, the former military analyst who revealed secrets of the Vietnam war through the so-called Pentagon Papers in 1971, described Snowden's leak as even more important and perhaps the most significant leak in American history. ... Read more
Key to government's monitoring power lies in war, technology
Expanded government surveillance was cast as a price of war in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Yet nearly a dozen years later, the war on terrorism is showing signs of ebbing while the surveillance systems created to fight it continue unabated. If anything, they are becoming more powerful.
That's because the nation went to a war footing at a time of profound technological change that fueled an explosion of personal data. Governments and businesses have developed the ability to mine, sort and analyze this information as never before -- and show little inclination to relinquish that power. ... Read more
Comment: "The fact that there would be so much data collected on U.S. persons has got to be mind-blowing," said Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "The sense we have now is that the system of checks and balances has simply collapsed."
How Congress unknowingly legalized PRISM in 2007
On Sept. 11, 2007, the National Security Agency signed up Microsoft as its first partner for PRISM, a massive domestic surveillance program whose existence was reported by the Washington Post today. That's barely a month after Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, the Protect America Act.
The Bush Administration portrayed the PAA as a technical fix designed to close a gap in America's surveillance capabilities that had been opened by a then-recent ruling of the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). It proved to be much more than that. ... Read more
Better Late Than Never on Deeming Nonbanks Too Big to Fail
New systemic-risk tags are better late than never. The American International Group, GE Capital and Prudential Financial are among the first nonbank firms to be deemed systemically important financial institutions by the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
All three financial giants on Monday said they had been flagged for the stiffer oversight bestowed on systemically important institutions, but A.I.G. and GE Capital seem especially deserving. Uncle Sam had to swoop in to help both during the financial crisis, with A.I.G. receiving a $182 billion lifeline and GE Capital a federal guarantee for its new debt. ... Read more
Pressure in Britain Over What to Do With Bailed-Out Banks
The three stalwarts of the British establishment -- Justin Welby, Nigel Lawson and Mervyn King -- are all calling for the breakup of the part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland.
... Now, nearly five years after British taxpayers first took stakes in the lenders, the government is preparing to reduce its holdings before the next general election, which is expected in early 2015. The government owns 81 percent of R.B.S. and 39 percent of Lloyds. ... Read more
Quote of the Day: "Lucifer spells his name J. P. Morgan," he added.
Debt Deal in Alabama Will Cost JPMorgan
Under the deal to settle the bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Ala., firms that invested in its distressed debt will have the most to gain, JPMorgan Chase will face a big loss, and residents will be wondering whether there will be any relief for them
When the dust finally settles, JPMorgan Chase, which many in the county hold responsible for the financial collapse in the first place, will have given up nearly $1.6 billion as a result of its dealings with the county and its ill-fated effort to finance sewer repairs. The new deal calls for the bank to forfeit $842 million on the $1.22 billion of sewer debt that it holds, which comes on top of $647 million it forgave in termination fees on derivatives contracts with the county and a $75 million penalty it paid to settle a complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Read more
A Message From Your Friendly ECHELON/Total Awareness/Boundless Informant Surveillance System
... In my routine search of your public records, and all 11,379 emails, texts, message board posts and phone calls you've made in recent years, I found a disturbing trend I am obligated to report to you: your affection for pepperoni pizza with hot chilis and olives (most often from Frank's Pizza Parlor, 1.34 miles from your home) appears to be negatively impacting your health, as your medical records indicate high blood pressure and high cholesterol. ...Read more
Dirty War... type documentariesBBC | Untold Story of the Iraq War, Dirty Wars and Col. James Steele (03/22/13) [51:08]
A 15-month investigation by the Guardian and BBC Arabic reveals how retired US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centers in Iraq. Another special forces veteran, Colonel James Coffman, worked with Steele and reported directly to General David Petraeus, who had been sent into Iraq to organize the Iraqi security services.
DemocracyNow Daily NewsDemocracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Monday, June 10 [14:38] *DN | "You're Being Watched": Edward Snowden Emerges as Source Behind Explosive Revelations of NSA Spying (06/10/13) [15:27]
*DN | Glenn Greenwald on How NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Helped Expose a "Massive Surveillance Apparatus" (06/10/13) [15:15]
Speaking from Hong Kong where he broke the story of Edward Snowden outing himself as the NSA whistleblower, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald joins us to discuss Snowden's actions and the multiple disclosures he's revealed about government surveillance. "There is this massive surveillance apparatus being gradually constructed in the United States that already has extremely invasive capabilities to monitor and store the communications and other forms of behavior not just of tens of millions of Americans, but of hundreds of millions, probably billions of people, around the globe," Greenwald says. "It's one thing to say that we want the U.S. government to have these capabilities. It's another thing to allow this to be assembled without any public knowledge, without any public debate, and with no real accountability. What ultimately drove [Snowden] forward -- and what ultimately is driving our reporting -- is the need for a light to be shined on what this incredibly consequential [surveillance] world is all about and the impact it's having both on our country and our planet."*DN | "On a Slippery Slope to a Totalitarian State": NSA Whistleblower Rejects Gov't Defense of Spying (06/10/13) [11:27]
Fat, Bald, White Guys Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warns the recent leaks could "render great damage to our intelligence capabilities" *1.8 gigapixel ARGUS-IS. World's highest resolution video surveillance platform by DARPA [4:41]
Diane Rehms Show*What's Private In The Modern Age 06/10/13 [1hr]
An ex-CIA computer technician and a relatively low level consultant for Booze Allen Hamilton has admitted that he was the source of the series of leaks on the us surveillance programs. The revelations shed light on NSA programs that collect data from smartphones, tables, social media, email, and many other forms of electronic communication. Advances in technology allow analysts to sift through this vast trove of data in what some say amounts to something of a universal dragnet. The disclosures prompted a lengthy defense from President Obama last week.
NSA - Utah Data CenterIn Washington Congress can't agree on anything, but ...
"These goals have considerable support in Congress. Last November a bipartisan group of 24 senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him to approve continued funding through 2013 for the Department of Energy's exascale computing initiative" (the NSA's budget requests are classified).
2 Billion Dollars Data Center
And I'm sure the 2 billion dollars is just a drop in the bucket to what it will really cost!
Needs and Costs