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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Snowden’

The Rutherford Institute :: John Lennon vs. the Deep State: One Man Against the ‘Monster’ | By John W. Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2019

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/john_lennon_vs._the_deep_state_one_man_against_the_monster

By John W. Whitehead

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)

John Lennon, born 79 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the Deep State will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files illegally collected on his activities and associations.

For a while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI at the time, directed the agency to spy on the musician. There were also various written orders calling on government agents to frame Lennon for a drug bust. “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes,” observed reporter Jonathan Curiel.

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” Incredibly, FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government, steeped in paranoia, was spying on Lennon…

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968…

So what’s the answer?

Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“War is over if you want it.”

“Produce your own dream…. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders…. You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

And my favorite advice of all: “Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”

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hoover

Yes son, you too can grow up to be lying scum and hate black people.

 

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The Ukrainegate ‘Whisteblower’ Isn’t a Real Whistleblower – Rolling Stone

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2019

Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/whistleblower-ukraine-trump-impeach-cia-spying-895529/

Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post “broke” on September 18th:

TRUMP’S COMMUNICATIONS WITH FOREIGN LEADER ARE PART OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT SPURRED STANDOFF BETWEEN SPY CHIEF AND CONGRESS, FORMER OFFICIALS SAY

The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.

Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.

Drake, who was the first to expose the NSA’s secret surveillance program, seems to have fared better than most. He ended up working in an Apple Store, where he ran into Eric Holder, who was shopping for an iPhone.

I’ve met a lot of whistleblowers, in both the public and private sector. Many end up broke, living in hotels, defamed, (often) divorced, and lucky if they have any kind of job. One I knew got turned down for a waitressing job because her previous employer wouldn’t vouch for her. She had little kids.

The common thread in whistleblower stories is loneliness. Typically the employer has direct control over their ability to pursue another job in their profession. Many end up reviled as traitors, thieves, and liars. They often discover after going public that their loved ones have a limited appetite for sharing the ignominy. In virtually all cases, they end up having to start over, both personally and professionally.

With that in mind, let’s look at what we know about the first “whistleblower” in Ukrainegate:

  • He or she is a “CIA officer detailed to the White House”;
  • The account is at best partially based upon the CIA officer’s own experience, made up substantially by information from “more than a half dozen U.S. officials” and the “private accounts” of “my colleagues”;
  • “He or she” was instantly celebrated as a whistleblower by news networks and major newspapers.

That last detail caught the eye of Kiriakou, a former CIA Counterterrorism official who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture program.

“It took me and my lawyers a full year to get [the media] to stop calling me ‘CIA Leaker John Kirakou,” he says. “That’s how long it took for me to be called a whistleblower.”

Kirakou’s crime was talking to ABC News and the New York Times about the CIA’s torture program. For talking to American journalists about the CIA, our federal government charged Kiriakou with espionage. That absurd count was ultimately dropped, but he still did 23 months at FCI Loretto in Western Pennsylvania.

When Kiriakou first saw the “whistleblower complaint,” his immediate reaction was to wonder what kind of “CIA officer” the person in question was. “If you spend a career in the CIA, you see all kinds of subterfuge and lies and crime,” he says. “This person went through a whole career and this is the thing he objects to?”

It’s fair to wonder if this is a one-person effort. Even former CIA official Robert Baer, no friend of Trump, said as much in an early confab on CNN with Brooke Baldwin:…

That might prove to be true, but if we’re talking about the treatment of whistleblowers, Trump has a long way to go before he approaches the brutal record of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, as well as the cheerleading Washington political establishment. Forgetting this is likely just the first in what will prove to be many deceptions about a hardcore insider political battle whose subtext is a lot more shadowy and ambiguous than news audiences are being led to believe.

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Boy Blowing Whistle And Calling Time Out Stock Footage ...

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Edward Snowden On Trump, Privacy, and Threats to Democracy: One Hour Interview on MSNBC – Antiwar.com Blog

Posted by M. C. on September 25, 2019

https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2019/09/23/edward-snowden-on-trump-privacy-and-threats-to-democracy-one-hour-interview-on-msnbc/

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The Very Book The Government Does Not Want You To Read Just Went #1 In The World – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on September 20, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/09/18/the-very-book-the-government-does-not-want-you-to-read-just-went-1-in-the-world/

In Brief

  • The Facts:Edward Snowden recently released a book titled “Permanent Record.” The US government is now suing the publisher of the book for not giving the CIA and the NSA a chance to erase classified details from the book.
  • Reflect On:What is the government really protecting? Are they protecting the well being of the citizenry or are they protecting immoral, unethical, political, corporate and elitist interests?

George Orwell’s 1984 is a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” This party seeks power above all, and, through the propagandist Ministry of Truth, presents the people with their version of truth and casts away all other information and opinion. Sound familiar?

 

This is exactly what’s happening today right in front of our eyes. The “ministry of truth” comes in the form, at least on social media, as FakeNews watchdogs. These are entities that are flagging information that threatens corporate and political interests and labels it as “fake news” when a lot of it, is in fact, the complete opposite. Since when does an authoritative entity like the government have to step in and decide for the people what is real and what is not? Are people not capable of examining sources and determining this for themselves? These fake news watchdogs have some interesting sponsors. One of these sponsors, for example, is NewsGuard. They are funded by Clinton donors and big pharma, with ties to the CFR. You can read more about that entity here.

Companies and government agencies who are threatened by information also seem to be employing an “army of bloggers, surrogates, trolls, and bots on Twitter, Facebook, and by email” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) to try and sway discussion and brainwash people. We here at Collective Evolution have been experiencing them as well.

The world knows why the hunt for Julian Assange was ongoing for so long, it’s because he leaked secrets and exposed those who keep them. He exposed the lies, corruption and deceit that represents the backbone of the Western military alliance and the American empire. He exposed, in the words of John F. Hylan, former Mayor of New York City, the “real menace of Republic”, the “invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation.” He exposes the ones “who virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.” (source)(source)

He exposed immoral and unethical actions that have no basis and justification, he is a hero.

The same thing goes for National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents regarding the scope of the US governments surveillance programs, which is and was huge. He is and was not the first, William Binney did the same, along with Thomas Drake and many others.

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Keep in mind that this is a global mass surveillance program. Snowden recently released a book about it, and more.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, the US government suing the publisher of Snowden’s book is only bringing more attention to the truth of mass censorship and that this global elite is losing power. The more the global elite respond the way they are, with this like the mass censorship of information, alternative independent media outlets being shut down, and jailing people like Julian Assange, the more they hurt their own interests… which is inspiring for humanity as we awaken

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Assange

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Edward Snowden Responds After Trump DOJ Sues Whistleblower Over New Memoir the US Government “Does Not Want You to Read”

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2019

https://www.activistpost.com/2019/09/edward-snowden-responds-after-trump-doj-sues-whistleblower-over-new-memoir-the-us-government-does-not-want-you-to-read.html

By Julia Conley

Citing what First Amendment advocates have called an “unconstitutional” system of controlling what federal employees can and cannot say about their work, President Donald Trump’s Justice Department on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden over the publication of his new memoir.

The day the book Permanent Record was released, the DOJ filed its lawsuit claiming Snowden had published without submitting the book for “pre-publication review.”

The DOJ is not seeking to block publication of the book but is instead arguing that Snowden should not profit from the story of his 2013 decision to leak files about the NSA’s phone and email spying program since he didn’t have permission from the government to share the information.

The government wants all proceeds from the book and is asking MacMillan Publishers to keep any revenue from being transferred to Snowden.

Government approval is required of federal employees before they write or speak publicly about their work—a requirement that the ACLU says has kept millions of Americans from being able to speak openly about the government.

Snowden tweeted about the lawsuit shortly after it was reported, including a link to his book’s page on Amazon and the words, “This is the book the government does not want you to read.”

“Mr. Snowden wrote this book to continue a global conversation about mass surveillance and free societies that his actions helped inspire,” said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project and a lawyer for Snowden. “He hopes that today’s lawsuit by the United States government will bring the book to the attention of more readers throughout the world.

“This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations,” added Wizner. “Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified.”

The Movement for a People’s Party decried the Justice Department for continuing its “war on whistleblowers” targeting Snowden and others who in recent years have publicized government secrets, including war crimes.

The ACLU and the Knight First Amendment Institute are currently challenging the pre-publication review in court, arguing it violates the First and Fifth Amendments.

“The prepublication process in its current form is broken and unconstitutional, and it needs to go,” Brett Max Kaufman, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, said in April when the groups filed suit. “It’s one thing to censor the nuclear codes, but it’s another to censor the same information high schoolers are pulling from Wikipedia. Prepublication review gives the government far too much power to suppress speech that the public has a right to hear.”

Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, called the agreement that demands federal workers’ silence a “far-reaching censorship system” that “simply can’t be squared with the Constitution.”

“The government has a legitimate interest in protecting bona fide national-security secrets,” said Jaffer, “but this system sweeps too broadly, fails to limit the discretion of government censors, and suppresses political speech that is vital to informing public debate.”

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?u=http3.bp.blogspot.com-wtTO_3E8owUUb8nrVXrTBIAAAAAAAAWJIrSPHNLg-_4As640DigitalprivacyInternetSurveillanceandThePRISM-EnemiesoftheInternet.jpg&f=1

 

 

 

 

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NSA asks Congress to permanently reauthorize spying program that was so shambolic, the snoops had shut it down • The Register

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2019

No matter which way you look at it, two things are clear: one, ordinary Americans are being screwed over; and two, there is insufficient accountability at the highest levels of government.

Like a cockroach, the NSA never dies.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/08/16/spying_reauthorization_coats/

By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco

Analysis In the clearest possible sign that the US intelligence services live within their own political bubble, the director of national intelligence has asked Congress to reauthorize a spying program that the NSA itself decided to shut down after it repeatedly – and illegally – gathered the call records of millions of innocent Americans.

Not only that but in a letter from Dan Coats to the heads of two key Senate committees, the director argues that the powers should be permanently reauthorized, rather than put into a law bill that requires renewal: an approach that has long been standard when it comes to awarding extraordinary powers to Uncle Sam’s snoops.

Coats’ letter [PDF] was sent yesterday, his last day in office, and ahead of a December cut-off for the spying powers that are contained within Section 215 of the Patriot Act. It was first obtained by the New York Times.

The powers he refers to have been hugely controversial ever since they were revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. In fact the program, which relies on two different, ridiculous, interpretations of the law has repeatedly been found to be unconstitutional.

Even after the law was changed, the NSA has been unable to make the system work and has twice been forced to admit that it gathered millions of call records it shouldn’t have. Back in June 2018, it deleted 534 million call records that it had gathered the previous year but gave virtually no details over how and why that had happened, prompting inquiries from senators – who were roundly ignored.

Then the exact same thing happened again just a few months later – in October 2018. That massive slurp of personal information was again kept quiet and only emerged in June 2019 when a report of the NSA’s inspector general was declassified following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

We’ll probably just ditch it

The intelligence services were well aware that the second failure of its system was due to become public, and so it started letting congressional aides know that it thinking about axing the program in early 2019.

In a sign of just how little oversight there is over malfunctioning spy programs, the fact that the NSA was considering ditching the program only came out when the national security adviser to House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) mentioned it during a podcast interview….

Since then, the NSA has repeatedly refused to discuss the program or even confirm that it has stopped the program. However in a sign that it has been talking behind the scenes to key senators, a law bill intended to reauthorize the spying powers before December notably did not include this specific program (it does include three other spying measures.)

Many had assumed that was the end of it. But Coats in his letter this week not only suggests reauthorizing the program but says it should be done so on a permanent basis – meaning that there will be even less accountability since Congress will not be in a position to ask questions and threaten to let the powers expire if they are not answered.

It’s a shambles but we like it

And if all that wasn’t sufficiently mind-boggling, Coats explicitly acknowledges that the program is a mess but says the NSA should have the powers anyway in case they prove useful in future…

As such, Trump is extremely skeptical of surveillance powers and the security services and, given a clear choice, would likely prevent their reauthorization. In that respect, Coats’ letter could be a seen as a last-ditch effort to lock spying powers in place before he loses his influence.

No matter which way you look at it, two things are clear: one, ordinary Americans are being screwed over; and two, there is insufficient accountability at the highest levels of government.

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Message In A Bottle (Sort of) - Granite Grok

 

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The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

Posted by M. C. on June 12, 2019

With 8m documents on its website after years of leaking, the importance of publishing and maintaining source documents for the media, general public and court cases can’t be under-estimated. “I see Wikileaks as a library”, Assange said. “We’re the librarians who can’t say no.”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/the-ultimate-goal-of-the-nsa-is-total-population-control

At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’

William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.

Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

He praised the revelations and bravery of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and told me that he had indirect contact with a number of other NSA employees who felt disgusted with the agency’s work. They’re keen to speak out but fear retribution and exile, not unlike Snowden himself, who is likely to remain there for some time.

Unlike Snowden, Binney didn’t take any documents with him when he left the NSA. He now says that hard evidence of illegal spying would have been invaluable. The latest Snowden leaks, featured in the Washington Post, detail private conversations of average Americans with no connection to extremism.

It shows that the NSA is not just pursuing terrorism, as it claims, but ordinary citizens going about their daily communications. “The NSA is mass-collecting on everyone”, Binney said, “and it’s said to be about terrorism but inside the US it has stopped zero attacks.”

The lack of official oversight is one of Binney’s key concerns, particularly of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa), which is held out by NSA defenders as a sign of the surveillance scheme’s constitutionality.

“The Fisa court has only the government’s point of view”, he argued. “There are no other views for the judges to consider. There have been at least 15-20 trillion constitutional violations for US domestic audiences and you can double that globally.”

A Fisa court in 2010 allowed the NSA to spy on 193 countries around the world, plus the World Bank, though there’s evidence that even the nations the US isn’t supposed to monitor – Five Eyes allies Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – aren’t immune from being spied on. It’s why encryption is today so essential to transmit information safely.

Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a “totalitarian mentality” that was the “greatest threat” to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century…

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Wikileaks Julian Assange: ‘Wednesday Hillary Clinton Is ...

 

 

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How You Can Be Certain That The US Charge Against Assange Is Fraudulent – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on April 13, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/04/12/how-you-can-be-certain-that-the-us-charge-against-assange-is-fraudulent/

Julian Assange sits in a jail cell today after being betrayed by the Ecuadorian government and his home country of Australia. A British judge named Michael Snow has found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of violating bail conditions, inserting himself into the annals of history by labeling Assange “a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interest.” So that tells you how much of a fair and impartial legal proceeding we can expect to see from the British judicial process on this matter.

But the real reason that Assange has been surrendered by the Ecuadorian government, imprisoned by the British government, and ignored by the Australian government is not directly related to any of those governments, but to that of the United States of America. An unsealed indictment from the Trump administration’s District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, accompanied by an extradition request, charges Assange with “conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer” during Chelsea Manning’s 2010 leak of government documents exposing US war crimes.

This charge is premised on a fraudulent and manipulative distortion of reality, and you may be one hundred percent certain of it. Let me explain.

You can be absolutely certain that this charge is bogus because it isn’t based on any new information. The facts of the case have not changed, the information hasn’t changed, only the narrative has changed. In 2010 the United States opened a secret grand jury in Virginia to investigate whether Assange and WikiLeaks could be prosecuted for the publication of the Manning leaks, and then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration was conducting “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into the matter. The Trump administration has not turned up any new evidence that the Obama administration was unable to find in this active, ongoing criminal investigation (US government surveillance has surely acquired some new tricks since 2010, but time travel isn’t one of them), and indeed it does not claim to have turned up any new evidence.

“There’s a huge myth being misreported about today’s indictment of Assange,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted today. “The claim that Assange tried to help Manning circumvent a password to cover her tracks isn’t new. The Obama DOJ knew about it since 2011, but chose not to prosecute him. Story on this soon.”

“Holder chose not to prosecute Assange based on the same info Trump DOJ cited,” Greenwald added.

“The weakness of the US charge against Assange is shocking,” tweeted NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “The allegation he tried (and failed?) to help crack a password during their world-famous reporting has been public for nearly a decade: it is the count Obama’s DOJ refused to charge, saying it endangered journalism.”

This is all information that the Obama administration had access to (journalist Tim Shorrock observed that the alleged 2010 correspondence between Assange and Manning “looks like it came straight from NSA surveillance” of the two), yet it chose not to do what the Trump administration is currently doing because it would endanger press freedoms. This means that nothing has changed since that time besides (A) the fact that there is now a more overtly tyrannical administration in place, and (B) the fact that the public has been paced into accepting the prosecution of Assange by years of establishment propaganda.

Last year, after it was revealed that the Trump administration was seeking Assange’s arrest, Greenwald wrote the following:

“The Obama DOJ – despite launching notoriously aggressive attacks on press freedoms – recognized this critical principle when it came to WikiLeaks. It spent years exploring whether it could criminally charge Assange and WikiLeaks for publishing classified information. It ultimately decided it would not do so, and could not do so, consistent with the press freedom guarantee of the First Amendment. After all, the Obama DOJ concluded, such a prosecution would pose a severe threat to press freedom because there would be no way to prosecute Assange for publishing classified documents without also prosecuting the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and others for doing exactly the same thing.”

Nothing has changed since 2010 apart from a more thoroughly propagandized populace and a more depraved US government, which means that this new charge that the Trump administration issued in December 2017 is based on nothing other than a diminished respect for press freedoms and an increased willingness to crush them. This makes it fraudulent and illegitimate, and the precedent that is being set by it should be rejected and opposed by everyone in the world who claims to support the existence of a free press which is capable of holding power to account.

So what are we left with? We’re left with the US government filing criminal charges against a journalist (and Assange is indisputably a journalist) for protecting his source and encouraging his source to obtain more material, both of which are things that journalists do all the time.

“While the indictment against Julian Assange disclosed today charges a conspiracy to commit computer crimes, the factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source,” said Assange lawyer Barry J Pollack in a statement today. “Journalists around the world should be deeply troubled by these unprecedented criminal charges.”

“There are parts of the indictment that are clearly designed to criminalize things journalists routinely do,” Greenwald told CNN. “Part of the accusation is that [Assange] encouraged Chelsea Manning to provide him with more documents than the original batch that she gave him, which is something that as a journalist I’ve done many times with my sources, that journalists do every day. They say ‘Oh thanks for this document, maybe you could get me this?’ They also say that he helped her to essentially cover her tracks by giving her advice about how to get this information without being detected. The only thing in the indictment, and it’s very vague, is a suggestion that he tried to help her circumvent a password; it didn’t seem to be successful, but it’s unclear whether that was designed to get documents or to simply help her cover her tracks. But either way it’s clearly a threat to the First Amendment, because it criminalizes core journalistic functions.”

In an article for Rolling Stone titled “Why the Assange Arrest Should Scare Reporters“, journalist Matt Taibbi writes that “The meatier parts of the indictment speak more to normal journalistic practices.”

“Reporters have extremely complicated relationships with sources, especially whistleblower types like Manning, who are often under extreme stress and emotionally vulnerable,” Taibbi writes. “At different times, you might counsel the same person both for and against disclosure. It’s proper to work through all the reasons for action in any direction, including weighing the public’s interest, the effect on the source’s conscience and mental health, and personal and professional consequences. For this reason, placing criminal penalties on a prosecutor’s interpretation of such interactions will likely put a scare into anyone involved with national security reporting going forward.”

The Espionage Act has not at this time been employed to prosecute Assange as many have speculated it might, and the computer crimes he’s been charged with carry a maximum sentence of five years. But this does not mean that further far more serious charges cannot be added once Assange is imprisoned on American soil, especially after his guilt in the Manning leaks has been made official government dogma following the conspiracy conviction.

In my opinion this charging Assange with a lower-level crime (not espionage) is a trick that would allow the UK to extradite him to the US with ‘no threat of capital punishment’ only to have US prosecutors do what they always do: pile on charges,” tweeted Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Liberty Report, referring to assurances sought by the UK and Ecuador that Assange would not face the death penalty if extradited to the United States for the conspiracy charge.

Either way, this is a cataclysmic threat to press freedoms, and the time to act is now. The US government’s arbitrarily gifting itself the right to use fraudulent distortions to imprison anyone in the world who publishes facts about it will chill any attempts to do so in the future, and poses a far greater threat to press freedoms than anything we’ve seen in our lives. Anyone who sits idly by while this happens is signing over the sovereign right of every human being on this planet to hold power to account, and anyone calling themselves a journalist who does anything other than unequivocally oppose this move is confessing that they are a state propagandist. This is an intolerable plunge toward Orwellian dystopia, and is an assault on human dignity itself.

It’s time to shake the earth and refuse to let them cross this line. Enough is enough.

Roar, humans. Roar.

___________________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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The NSA, CIA, and the Promise of Industrial Espionage

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2019

https://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/28/the-nsa-cia-and-the-promise-of-industrial-espionage/

In a weekend interview with German ARD public television network, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government uses its broad electronic surveillance capabilities to engage in industrial espionage. Snowden told ARD TV that, “I will say is there is no question that the U.S. is engaged in economic spying,” Snowden gave the example that, “If there is information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.” Snowden left hanging what exactly is done with such potentially useful economic intelligence, and he provided little additional information on this subject beyond indicated the news outlets holding copies of yet published NSA leaked documents could provide more specific information.

As we await further NSA documents, we should recall that such abuses of surveillance powers, and the powers deriving from the lawless swagger of intelligence operations have long existed in the United States and other nations. In some instances, national security intelligence operations have historically been corrupted to serve private, rather than national interests. Read the rest of this entry »

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The World’s Most Exclusive “Spy Club” | The Nestmann Group

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2018

That’s thanks to a little-known surveillance consortium that is undoubtedly the world’s most exclusive spy club. Nicknamed “Five Eyes,” it’s a top-secret intelligence-sharing alliance that was formed in 1946, whereby members agree to share intelligence they collect with one another. The club’s first members were the UK and the USA. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand joined later.

If you think you will get caught spying on your own citizens…order a club member to do it.

https://www.nestmann.com/the-worlds-most-exclusive-spy-club

By Mark Nestmann

To understand the scope of the US government spying on its own citizens, not to mention the rest of the world, you need a long attention span.

A case in point is a lawsuit filed a decade ago by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies. The lawsuit seeks to force the NSA to end its practice of “dragnet surveillance,” the interception and copying all internet traffic that passes through the US. The NSA refers to this surveillance program, which was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, as Stellar Wind.

The lawsuit relies in part upon an unclassified draft report published in 2009 by the NSA acknowledging Stellar Wind’s existence. But in a Kafkaesque irony which is common in litigation involving the NSA, the agency refuses to acknowledge the report’s authenticity, even though the NSA wrote the report. Thus, the NSA argues, the court must disregard the document and dismiss the lawsuit.

Help for the EFF arrived in an unexpected form earlier this month, when Edward Snowden himself filed a declaration stating that the report was in fact genuine. Now the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals must decide whether to allow the lawsuit to proceed. Read the rest of this entry »

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