Tag Archive: US government


S.C.G. News

Posted by S.C.G. February 12, 2014

Rather than grovel and beg for the U.S. government to respect our privacy, these innovators have taken matters into their own hands, and their work may change the playing field completely.

People used to assume that the United States government was held in check by the constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and which demands due process in criminal investigations, but such illusions have evaporated in recent years. It turns out that the NSA considers itself above the law in every respect and feels entitled to spy on anyone anywhere in the world without warrants, and without any real oversight. Understandably these revelations shocked the average citizen who had been conditioned to take the government’s word at face value, and the backlash has been considerable. The recent “Today We Fight Back” campaign to protest the NSA’s surveillance practices shows that public sentiment is in the right place. Whether these kinds of petitions and protests will have any real impact on how the U.S. government operates is questionable (to say the least), however some very smart people have decided not to wait around and find out. Instead they’re focusing on making the NSA’s job impossible. In the process they may fundamentally alter the way the internet operates.

1

Decentralized Social Media – Vole.cc

Anyone who was paying attention at all over the past several years knows that many of the top social media websites Facebook and Google have cooperated with the NSA’s surveillance program under PRISM, handing over the personal information that they’ve been hoarding over the years. Many of us have grown to despise these companies but continue to use their services due to the fact that no real competitors have presented themselves. Yes there are a few sites oriented towards the anti-government niche but nothing that has the potential of opening up the kind of reach that’s possible on Facebook or Google plus. The underlying problem here is that the server technology to run a site even a fraction of the size of Facebook is highly expensive, and to build and maintain a code base that can handle millions of users requires a full time team of highly skilled programmers. What this means is that anyone who wants to launch a real competitor to these sites would have needed to be well funded and have a sustainable business model. But what if someone came up with a system that removed the need for massive centralized servers? That’s just what vole.cc is working to accomplish. Vole.cc is a decentralized social media system in development based on bittorrent and Ember.js which completely cuts the server out of the equation and allows users to build social media networks without exposing their personal information to “authorities” or data mining companies.

2

Getsync Decentralized and Encrypted File Sharing – A Dropbox Alternative

With the revelations that data in Apple’s iCloud was available to the NSA as part of PRISM it has become clear that any centralized file sharing service is vulnerable, and any information that you upload to services like dropbox may end up being inspected by government agents. The folks at Bittorrent didn’t like that idea, so they decided to build a viable alternative, one that doesn’t depend on a centralized server at all and encrypts your data to make it difficult if not impossible to open without your permission. The service claims to already have amassed over 2 million users. Interestingly the vole.cc social media project uses Getsync to manage the social media data on your computer.

 

3

Decentralized & Encrypted Communications – Bittorrent Chat

Don’t like the fact that the NSA has been rummaging through your skype chats, emails and other instant messaging services? Well if you were a bit tech savvy you might have opted to set up your own mumble server or IRC channel, but this route will likely never be approachable for the average citizen and the reliance on a centralized server brings security vulnerabilities. However work is currently underway on a protocol that will completely remove the need for a centralized server and cut the NSA out of the loop entirely.

 

Read More Here

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David Miranda with journalist Glenn Greenwald at an airport in Brazil. Credit: Joao Laet/DPA/Press Association Images

ITV News

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The White House says the U.S. government got a “heads-up” that detention was going to happen

Elements of the U.S. government were given a “heads-up” before the British government detained David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, for nine hours over the weekend, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. He also declined to condemn the action.

“There was a heads-up that was provided by the British government,” he told reporters in the midst of a spirited exchange with reporters. “So this — again, this is something that we had an indication was likely to occur, but it’s not something that we requested. And it’s something that was done specifically by the British law-enforcement officials there.”

Earnest said there were “classified, confidential conversations” around the detention, but would not state whether the U.S. government expressed displeasure with the action. He would not say why the British informed the American government before the detention.

Miranda was detained for nine hours under that country’s Terrorism Act while transiting through Heathrow Airport, and had a range of electronic devices confiscated. He was traveling home from Germany, where he had stayed for a time with Laura Poitras, an American documentary filmmaker who has worked with Greenwald on stories about the National Security Agency. Greenwald is the author of a series of articles about the U.S.’s intelligence efforts at home and abroad based on information given to him by Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor.

Earnest would not say whether U.S. intelligence services have reviewed any documents obtained from Miranda’s devices. “I’m just not in a position to talk to you about the conversations between British law-enforcement officials and American law-enforcement officials,” he said.

Earnest denied that the U.S. government was involved in the decision to detain Miranda. ”What you’re referring to is a law-enforcement action that was taken by the British government,” Earnest said. “The United States was not involved in that decision or in that action.”

Earnest would not state whether Miranda is on any U.S.-government operated travel watch-lists.

A selection of the exchange with reporters Monday:

Read More and Watch Video Here

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BBC

Wikileaks accused Bradley Manning loses challenge to most serious charge

Army Pte Bradley Manning, right, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland 18 July 2013
Pte Manning has said he intended to spark a public debate

Lawyers for the 25-year-old argued there is no proof he “aided the enemy”, a charge carrying a life prison term.

Prosecutors have argued he “systematically harvested” documents eventually seen by Osama Bin Laden.

The case, allegedly involving 700,000 files, is considered the largest-ever leak of secret US government documents.

“He [Pte Manning] was knowingly providing intelligence to the enemy,” said Judge Colonel Denise Lind at Thursday’s hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland.

The decision does not exclude the possibility of Pte Manning being ultimately acquitted of the charge.

No ‘evil intent’

The accused, who appeared to be following the proceedings closely, showed no reaction to the ruling.

He has previously pleaded guilty to 10 of the more than 20 charges he faces.

But on Thursday, Judge Lind also denied a defence request to drop a computer fraud charge.

She is still considering a motion by Pte Manning’s lawyers to dismiss five charges of theft.

A G8 protester shows support for Bradley Manning, in a rally in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Bradley Manning supporters say attacks on “whistle-blowers” are an attack on democracy

Some two dozen of his supporters sat quietly in the courtroom, some wearing t-shirts printed with the word “truth”.

“We’re disappointed,” Jeff Paterson, head of the Bradley Manning Support Network, told the Associated Press news agency outside court.

 

Read More and Watch Video  Here

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WASHINGTON — Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who leaked secret details of official surveillance programs, pledged Monday to release more information about U.S. intelligence-gathering methods that he described as “nakedly, aggressively criminal.”

“All I can say right now is the U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me,” Snowden wrote in an online chat hosted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”

Writing from an undisclosed location believed to be in Hong Kong, the former CIA and National Security Agency systems administrator vigorously defended his disclosures about the breadth of U.S. surveillance, including programs that sweep up data about Americans’ telephone calls, emails and Internet use.

U.S. officials have said that under laws governing the surveillance programs, including the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, U.S. citizens are not the targets of the surveillance and their information is “minimized,” or set aside, unless it becomes relevant to a national security investigation.

But Snowden alleged that intelligence agencies keep the information on government computers “for a very long time” and are available for analysts to view as long as they produce a “rubber stamp” warrant.

Read More  and  Watch Video Here

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Snowden hits back against critics of NSA leaks

Mon, Jun 17 2013

By Deborah Charles and Laura MacInnis

WASHINGTON | Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:07pm EDT

(Reuters) – The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data fought back against his critics on Monday, saying the government’s “litany of lies” about the programs compelled him to act.

Edward Snowden told an online forum run by Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he considered it an honor to be called a traitor by people like former Vice President Dick Cheney, and he urged President Barack Obama to “return to sanity” and roll back the surveillance effort.

Taking questions from readers and journalists, Snowden talked about his motivations and reaction to the debate raging about the damage or virtue of the leaks. Snowden remains in hiding, reportedly in Hong Kong.

Snowden said disillusionment with Obama contributed to his decision but there was no single event that led him to leak details about the vast monitoring of Americans’ activity.

“It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress – and therefore the American people – and the realization that Congress … wholly supported the lies,” said Snowden, who had worked at an NSA facility in Hawaii as an employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton before providing the details to the Guardian and Washington Post.

Snowden referred to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s testimony to Congress in March that such a program did not exist, saying that seeing him “baldly lying to the public without repercussion is the evidence of a subverted democracy. The consent of the governed is not consent if it is not informed.”

The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into Snowden’s actions, and U.S. officials promised last week to hold him accountable for the leaks.

Since Snowden went public in a video released by the Guardian on June 9, many U.S. lawmakers have condemned his actions and intelligence officials have said the leaks will compromise national security.

Some lawmakers have been more restrained. Republican Senator Rand Paul, a Tea Party favorite, has said he is reserving judgment about Snowden’s methods, and separately encouraged Americans to be part of a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government for the surveillance programs.

Snowden, who traveled to Hong Kong before details of the programs were published, has promised to stay in the China-ruled former British colony and fight extradition.

China made its first substantive comments on Monday regarding Snowden’s revelations. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that Washington should explain its surveillance programs to the world, and she rejected a suggestion that Snowden was a spy for China.

Snowden said during the online forum on Monday that he does not believe he can get a fair trial in the United States.

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Relogged  from :   Blavatar   Sheeple: People unable to think for themselves

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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.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.  Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.  Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us.  But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything.  Essentially, his previous life is now totally over.  And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere.  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.  Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain.  Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world.  The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…

#1 ”The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”

#2 ”…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”

#3 ”The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”

#4 ”…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

#5 ”The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”

#6 ”With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

#7 ”Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… 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…”

#8 ”To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”

#9 ”I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

#10 ”…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”

#11 ”Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”

#12 ”Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

#13 ”Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”

Read More  Here

ransomware

Ransomware is a computer virus that locks up victims’ computers

 

 

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia’s Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has submitted a report to the US Congress proposing anti-piracy measures and is considering the government-sanctioned use of ransomware.

(Pirate flag image by Oren neu dag, CC BY-SA 3.0)

According to studios and publishers, piracy constitutes a massive threat to both jobs and economies. yet, there is no good way to combat the practice — at least, not within the current scope of US law.

The use of malware is therefore what the commission, a committee formed to investigate, document and come up with ideas for fighting piracy, is considering, as spotted by Lauren Weinstein. In an 89-page report submitted to US Congress, it has detailed how “IP theft” worth “hundreds of billions of dollars per year” hurts the US economy, and proposed measures for fighting it — including the covert installation of spyware:

While not currently permitted under US law, there are increasing calls for creating a more permissive environment for active network defence that allows companies not only to stabilise a situation, but to take further steps, including actively retrieving stolen information, altering it within the intruder’s networks or even destroying the information within an unauthorised network. Additional measures go further, including photographing the hacker using his own system’s camera, implanting malware in the hacker’s network, or even physically disabling or destroying the hacker’s own computer or network.

Read Full Article Here

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Hack the hacker: US Congress urged to legalize cyber-attacks to fight cybercrimes

Published time: May 27, 2013 23:07

Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Tags

Crime, Internet, Law, USA

US Congress should legalize attacking hacker’s computers with malware, physically destroy networks and take photos of data thieves and copyright violators with their own cameras in order to punish IP thieves, the IP Commission recommends.

The commissioners – former US government officials and military men – say that the “scale of international theft of American intellectual property (IP) is unprecedented”. However, the US government response has been “utterly inadequate to deal with the problem.”

Almost all the advantages are on the side of the hacker; the current situation is not sustainable,the commissions’s report says.

“New options need to be considered,” the authors call, then adding that current laws are limited and “have not kept pace with the technology of hacking.”

Thus, the commission suggests allowing active network retrieving stolen information, “altering it within the intruder’s networks, or even destroying the information within an unauthorized network.”

For example, locking down the computer of unauthorized users and forcing them to come out to police could be one of the options.

The file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account,” the commission recommended.

 

Read Full Article Here

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RussiaToday RussiaToday

Published on May 24, 2013

Amid accusations the Monsanto corporation enjoys protection from the authorities, a recent report showed the US government has been aggressively lobbying for GM foods all across the world. RT America correspondent Megan Lopez reports.

 

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March against Monsanto highlights food safety concerns

 

 

Worldwide march against Monsanto takes place today

 

Today hundreds of thousands of people all around the world are marching to protest the proliferation of genetically modified (GM) food crops. The focus of their ire is the mega-corporation, Monsanto, which controls large portions of the agricultural seed and chemical markets.

The first protests from Japan were streaming live by Revolution News as the day began. Marches and demonstrations are expected to sweep the globe as the day progresses.

 

The GM crops produced by Monsanto include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soybean and sugarbeet. These crops have been bio-engineered to withstand repeated applications of Roundup, a weed-killer also manufactured by Monsanto.

Between the increased use of herbicides, the inadvertent spread of modified genes, and the potential health risks of consuming GM foods, these crops are believed to pose a grave risk to the environment. A study by the National Institute of Health concluded that “the commercial GMOs in question contain pesticide residues, some of which have been demonstrated as human cellular endocrine disruptors at levels around 1000 times below their presence in some GM feed.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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From Alaska to Florida: Americans take to streets against Monsanto and GMOs

  RT

Published time: May 25, 2013 19:56
Edited time: May 25, 2013 22:36

 

Protesters across the US are joining the worldwide rally against biotech giant Monsanto and genetically engineered crops. The mass protest comes shortly after the Senate turned down a bill that would allow states to require the labeling of GM foods.

People hold signs during a demonstration against agribusiness giant Monsanto and genetically modified organisms (GMO) in front of the White House in Washington on May 25, 2013. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

People hold signs during a demonstration against agribusiness giant Monsanto and genetically modified organisms (GMO) in front of the White House in Washington on May 25, 2013. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

Organizers of the major rally that swept through dozens of nations around the globe on Saturday, urge a repeal of the so-called Monsanto Protection Act, and call for a boycott of Monsanto products.

Participants in the March Against Monsanto were also demanding the right to know what they’re paying for and what their children eat. The protesters called for labeling of GM foods, which they say could pose a danger to human health, and demand further scientific research of such products.

 

 

Stanimal032 @Stanimal032

This makes me happy. This is a huge issue that directly affects EVERYONE!

 

 

The March Against Monsanto, New York, May 25, 2013. (Photo by Anastasia Churkina, RT)

The March Against Monsanto, New York, May 25, 2013. (Photo by Anastasia Churkina, RT)

RT covers the protest which is getting a mainstream media blackout, with RT’s Anastasia Churkina – who as at the heart of the protest march in New York City – one of dozens of American cities that are staging protests against Monsanto.

According to our estimates there are over 2,000 here,” she said. “All these people have gathered here today to speak out against this giant biotech corporation that for years has been accused of manipulating and corrupting farmers throughout the world and monopolizing the agriculture industry.

 

Anastasia Churkina @NastiaChurkina

Chants ” , how many people have you poisoned today?” fill NY streets in

 

In Washington DC, a crowd of marchers gathered in front of the White House waving banners and posters.

A crowd of marchers gathered in front of the White House. (Image from twitter user@@gmo917)

A crowd of marchers gathered in front of the White House. (Image from twitter user@@gmo917)

Meanwhile, the US-based seed giant maintains that its seeds improve agriculture since it helps farmers to produce more from their land while saving resources such as water and energy. At the same time, Monsanto said on Saturday, they respect people’s rights to express their opinion on the matter, AP reported.

 

The High Chef @The_High_Chef

A company that made agent orange now makes our food…not cool. to keep it natural and healthy please

 

Jenna Pope @BatmanWI

A bee “die in” outside of Monsanto headquarters in DC right now. pic.twitter.com/XXloWMFEM0

Initially a small movement, the March Against Monsanto campaign turned into a global event with an hundreds of thousands of participants in over 40 countries thanks to the efforts of activists and social networking services.

 

Read Full Article Here

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‘Israel used depleted uranium shells in air strike’ – Syrian source

Published time: May 05, 2013 19:08

RT

Video still of Hezbollah TV's footage claiming to show the aftermath of an alleged Israeli airstrike on a military facility near Damascus, on May 5 2013

Video still of Hezbollah TV’s footage claiming to show the aftermath of an alleged Israeli airstrike on a military facility near Damascus, on May 5 2013

Israel used “a new type of weapon”, a senior official at the Syrian military facility that came under attack from the Israeli Air Force told RT.

“When the explosion happened it felt like an earthquake,” said the source, who was present near the attack site on the outskirts of Damascus on Sunday morning.

“Then a giant golden mushroom of fire appeared. This tells us that Israel used depleted uranium shells.”

Depleted uranium is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process that creates nuclear weapons, and was first used by the US in the Gulf conflict of 1991. Unlike the radioactive materials used in nuclear weapons, depleted uranium is not valued for its explosiveness, but for its toughness – it is 2.5 times as dense as steel – which allows it to penetrate heavy protection.

Countries using depleted uranium weapons insist that the material is toxic, but not dangerously radioactive, as long as it remains outside the body.

Read Full Article Here

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‘Toxic chemicals in US drone strikes’

Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:3AM
Press TV
Watch Video Here
Pakistani physicians and experts say the US uses chemical munitions in its non-UN-sanctioned drone strikes on Pakistan’s tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Experts revealed that those Pakistani civilians who have come under the unauthorized drone airstrike in Pakistan’s troubled northwest have been afflicted with complicated skin, eye and respiratory diseases due to the deadly chemical materials used in the missiles, the Press TV correspondent in Peshawar reported on Thursday.

According to journalists and experts from Waziristan that is a mountainous region of northwest Pakistan which has often been the focal point of US drone attacks, they have received numerous reports from several people and local doctors pointing at the hazardous effects of the ongoing drone attacks on the entire population.

“Since these drone strikes have been carried out, we have witnessed several peculiar disease cases, and our press club have been frequently visited by those complainants, who have developed skin and bronchial diseases in the aftermath of drone airstrikes. I’d like to add further that the agriculture and the livestock are also showing pitiable condition,” journalist Safdar Dawar told Press TV.

An expert from Waziristan says his daughter died of blood cancer soon after she had developed a skin disease, which was no more than the toxic effect of chemical substances used in the non-UN-sanctioned drone strikes.

“I myself lost my daughter, who was just 28 months old, she developed a skin disease and later on she was diagnosed, within a month, with blood cancer. At that time people were talking about the chemical bombings being carried out. The same is the case now that wherever the drone attacks are carried out, people in that area are complaining about skin diseases, lung infections, throat infections and various kinds of other diseases,” Pakistani political expert Safiullah Gul said.

The report strikes at the heart of growing tension between the United States and Pakistan over the US aerial attacks on Pakistani soil.

Washington claims the airstrikes target militants. However, the attacks have killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan since 2008, local reports say.

HA/AGB/MGH

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VICE on HBO: Congressman Jim McDermott Interview (Episode 3 – Toxic Iraq)

vice vice

Published on Apr 18, 2013

On the next episode of VICE, premiering on HBO this Friday, April 19th at 11 PM, we interview Congressman Jim McDermott of the Seventh District of Washington State. Congressman McDermott has been one of the only experts and advocates in the US government on the issue of depleted uranium in Iraq. We sit down with him to get a firsthand account of the military’s history of using depleted uranium munitions, the legacy it has left behind in Iraq, and why the US government refuses to do anything about it.

#VICEonHBO

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Toxic Fallout in Fallujah

Since the assaults on Fallujah in 2004, the city has seen an astronomical rise in birth defects and abnormalities, including some too new to even have a proper medical name. VICE went back to Iraq to investigate.

  • IRAQ WAR: Birth Defects And Cancer
  • PLAGUE: Birth Defects Plague Iraq
  • PROJECT: Justice For Fallujah Project
    We are a group of veterans, students, and working people dedicated to raising awareness about the suffering of the people of Fallujah, promoting solidarity with the victims of U.S. war crimes, and ultimately ending all U.S. wars and occupations.

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Justice for Fallujah Fundraiser: Noam Chomsky (1/3)

Chomskyan

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2010

The Justice For Fallujah Project Fundraiser, 9/16/2010
Paulist Center, Boston, MA
http://www.thefallujahproject.org

Recorded and edited by
Charngchi Way
Additional audio by
Jason Pramas

 

 

The  entire list  of  videos  from  Justice  for Fallujah  can  be found here

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                                            “History is written by the victors”

File:Churchill HU 90973.jpg

  Image Source Public domain

.~”attributed to Winston Churchill, but of unknown origin.”~

~Desert Rose~

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By Paul Rosenberg, FreemansPerspective.com

1981: I was looking through some old books that somehow ended up at my parents’ house. Among them, I found a set of history books from the 1930s. With an innate interest in the topic, I began reading them, and was absolutely shocked by what I found.

The last book of the series covered what were then modern times, and to my horror, I found lavish praise for – of all people – Benito Mussolini.

These were American books, by the way, beautifully produced by a respected publisher. And there, in authoritative tones, was the story of the great Mussolini, the savior of Italy. Given that I was taught precisely the opposite, a mere 30-odd years later, you can imagine my surprise.

Just to establish my point, here are a few quotes from that time about Mussolini:

What a man! I have lost my heart!

- Winston Churchill

The greatest genius of the modern age.

- Thomas Edison

I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy.

- Franklin Roosevelt

Obviously, these quotes are no longer mentioned in ‘respectable’ circles. And that’s my point: What is inconvenient to the current ruling establishment is dropped from the books.

When I was young, the USSR was famous for horribly twisting history to make themselves look like the great and mighty ones. They even made jokes about it on the original Star Trek. But here was clear evidence that history – in America – had been altered. In this case, parts had not been added, but they most certainly had been taken away. That rather shook my view of history, as it had been taught to me at school.

A few years later I came across an even more troubling instance of history being pulled out of the books:

I had been writing a few books for a major publisher, and one of my editors asked me to meet him for dinner, which, of course, I did. We discussed projects that we might pursue and generally had a pleasant evening. At some point we left off discussing our projects and talked about history. Somehow, we ended up at the Armenian genocide. He was surprised that I knew about it (many still don’t), but I had known quite a few Armenian kids growing up, and I had heard their stories.

Then, my editor took a deep breath and said, “then I want to tell you something.” He explained that a few years before, he had been working for one of the big three textbook publishers, and happened to be editing a high school history book. One day, he got a phone call from the US State Department. He was shocked, and asked them why they would be calling him. “It’s about the history book you’re editing,” the man said.

My friend had been raised in about the same way I had, so the idea of censoring a textbook was astonishing to him. “We need you to cut back the section on the Armenian genocide,” the man from the State Department said. My friend was horrified, and complained that it was the true history. “Yes,” said the man, “but we need to keep the Turks happy.” My friend’s 2-3 pages on the Armenian genocide was reduced to 2-3 paragraphs, and it was a victory that he got that much space.

According to all I learned in school, such things did not happen in America. According to all that is self-promoted about academia, they are the sworn enemies of such things. But they do happen – a lot.

I’ve encountered the same thing on museum walls: descriptions that are clearly misleading, but which glorify the rulership of our time.

There is much more to this, but I’ll let the point stand as I’ve made it thus far: History is manipulated. You can find the truth if you dig through old books and artifact records, or from some specialists, but not from schoolbooks. The books aren’t filled with lies, they just remove the facts that don’t make their bosses look good.

And this is not a trivial thing; it affects a lot more than school children. As Adolf Hitler was starting his aggression against the Poles, the London Times quoted him as saying: Go, kill without mercy. After all, who remembers the Armenians?

What is deleted from history can teach us nothing, and those who have this power use it to glorify themselves. This is a very dangerous thing, and it rules the schoolbooks of America and the Western world in general.

I’ll close with a line from Paul Simon’s song, Kodachrome:

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school,

it’s a wonder I can think at all.

What you learned in school was a partial, cartoon version of history. You learned what made the big bosses look good, and no more.

[Editor's Note: Paul Rosenberg is the author of FreemansPerspective.com, a collection of insights on topics ranging from Internet privacy to economic freedom, the purpose of life to alternative currencies. Join our free e-letter list to receive other articles like this one... and immediately get a report that explains in a unique way how the US Government got into the mess it's in, the dangers that creates for us, and how to protect ourselves from it.]

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About Freeman’s Perspective

Freeman's PerspectiveFreeman’s Perspective is unlike any newsletter you’ve ever read. There’s no stock picking, no economic analysis and we don’t get bogged down in analyzing the lies and doublespeak of politicians. It’s not theory but practical, actionable strategies for finding clarity in an unclear world.

It’s a concise monthly publication that invites you to see the world as it really is – beyond the headlines – how current events fit into the disturbing big picture. And then, what you can do to protect yourself against it.

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Selective Empathy and Psychopaths in Power

© Massoud Hossaini
Aftermath of a shrine bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed sixty-three people. The bomb was a direct result of the illegal US occupation of that country.

Every night as I lay my head down to sleep, I think of all those who do not have the luxury of doing so. Those sleepy folks in so many faraway places who can’t afford to close their eyes because they have to keep a vigilant watch over their families, homes, streets and neighborhoods. People who are constantly kept on a razor’s edge of anxiety and fear. People very directly being oppressed, occupied and attacked, living a nightmare reality most here in the West cannot even fathom.

And I know these people can’t afford to close their eyes because of the actions of psychopaths in power in governments that allegedly represent whole populations of people. They cannot get a decent restful night’s sleep because they don’t know if their eyes – or the eyes of their children, their parents, etc…will open tomorrow.

They can’t afford to shut their eyelids because soldiers are stalking their streets and invading their homes on a daily basis and yanking them out into the darkness. Americans mostly have no clue about so many of the things and peoples they claim to ‘hate’ because they mostly just adopt the attitudes and opinions of those who feed them propaganda and opinion parading as fact and truth. For a people who mostly have not a clue about the reality of the situation with respect to current events, past events, Middle East events, or events pretty much anywhere you can stick a pin on a map, Americans sure do seem to bitch and moan a lot about ‘events’ and ‘foreigners’ and ‘Islamic terrorists’ and ‘Muslims’.

Much bitching can be heard coming from the West, but where is any real awareness of the gravity of the overall world situation from the mass majority? One doesn’t have to work very hard to discover that more often than not, there is also practically zero curiosity from ‘Joe Q. Public’ to know the details of what’s happening.

Nobody wants to know because it’s easier to ignore the murder when one pretends the murder isn’t happening. Or,if they know, they justify it by parroting back the spoon-fed propaganda so liberally dished out via the mainstream media.

Americans are apparently quite proficient at regurgitating the repetitive messages of psychopaths. You can see this on any given day on any social networking site.

People spitting hatred for people they know nothing about, have no inherent curiosity to know anything about, or will likely ever meet face to face.

The media decides what the masses will think about you, or you, or you or him or her or them. Today it’s Muslims, but who knows, perhaps tomorrow it will be the Italians we’ll be told to hate, or maybe the Episcopalians. One patsy group is just as fair game as another in these dangerous times, and I doubt the psychopaths will lose any sleep over any of it. A patsy is a patsy. Americans never learned the important lessons from the JFK assassination. The drumbeat of death beats on and the wrong groups of people are being made into icons of terror and punished for crimes they never committed.

People are being killed by the dozen just because they exist.

And every night, I’m painfully aware of the gravity of this situation, and of how the continued silence of my own ‘countrymen’ helps to keep occupation alive, the oppression, genocide, apartheid – the terror – ongoing.

And I bow my head in shame and frustration, anger and sadness because so few people care that there are innocent human beings being profiled, labeled, targeted and terrorized. There are so many children being emotionally and psychologically devastated, severely traumatized, so many being killed for no other reason than that they exist and can be easily killed because the U.S. government can provide the weapons of death and the monies to keep the Death Machine rolling and the body counts high.

And this makes me ashamed to even be called an American.

Blah, blah, blah, we’re supposed to be BETTER than this.

Yet, how the hell can this be so when we keep feeding this beast through silence, apathy and the ever-flowing almighty tax dollars funneled to parasitic, terrorist welfare states like ‘Israel’ and the mass majority of Americans are STILL supporting the political psychopaths orchestrating and perpetrating all the murder and indiscriminate airstrikes on very real human beings so far away.

Why is it we in the West deserve to sleep undisturbed through the night, while somewhere beyond our earshot, out of view, our bombs explode, bursting in air across the same skies we share with those under fire, those who are being ‘liberated’ through death. Where do we get off denying something as basic as sleep, or water, or medicine, or food, or freedom of movement – to others? We’re complicit in human rights violations if we support the psychopaths imposing the inhumane sanctions and implementing psychopathic directives.

© Paul-Hansen
Palestinians bury their children that were murdered by Israeli ‘Defence’ forces

Who the hell do we think we are?

How can you sleep when people are being picked off systematically because your government sanctions mass murder of innocent civilians and, smiling for the cameras, carries through with mass murder – day after day, month after month, year after year – with U.S. tax dollars and with the blessing of your complicit silence?

Read Full Article Here
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