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Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

Seth Rich Refuses to Stay Buried – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on May 12, 2020

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/05/seth_rich_refuses_to_stay_buried.html

By Jack Cashill

“I am reliably informed that the NSA or its partners intercepted at least some of the communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks,” wrote attorney Ty Clevenger in a startling letter last week to Richard Grennell, Interim Director of National Intelligence.

Clevenger represents Ed Butowsky, a high-profile author and financial adviser who dared to ask questions about the late Seth Rich and was sued for his troubles.

The known facts of Rich’s still unsolved murder were largely established within hours by the local media. “A 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee was shot and killed as he walked home early Sunday in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C.,” NBC Washington reported.

The shooting occurred at 4:19 a.m. on Sunday, July 10, 2016. “There had been a struggle,” said Seth’s mother, Mary Rich. “His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything.” She added, “They took his life for literally no reason.”

In the real world, most killers have a reason. Those who fire two shots and take nothing from the victim always do. In the major newsrooms, journalists have been perversely keen on not knowing what this reason was. In the years since the shooting, they have offered little useful information beyond the account above.

Butowsky was much more curious. The woman who stirred his curiosity was Ellen Ratner, a veteran TV news analyst. On the day after the 2016 presidential election, Ratner participated in a videotaped panel discussion at Embry-Riddle University.

“I spent three hours with Julian Assange on Saturday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” said Ratner with a curious lack of emphasis. “One thing he did say was the leaks were not from, they were not from the Russians. They were an internal source from the Hillary campaign.”

As Ratner should have known, this was a major revelation, and she was a credible source. An open supporter of Hillary Clinton with access to Assange through her late brother and Assange attorney, Michael Ratner, she had no reason to make this up.

Ratner was referring to emails from inside the DNC and the Hillary campaign that the media, the Democrats and the deep state insisted had been hacked from the DNC computers by the Russians. She should have been shouting this contrary news from the rooftops, but she did little more than share it with colleague Butowsky.

According to Butowsky’s multi-party suit, Ratner repeated to him a more detailed claim by Assange, namely that “Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to WikiLeaks.” Following up on this claim got Butowsky into a world of a trouble. He is one several would-be investigators, Fox News included, who have been sued into silence.

Based on his deposition of Asst. U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines, Clevenger makes a compelling case that the FBI did indeed review Rich’s electronic accounts. Sines’s testimony contradicted the official FBI narrative that Rich was never the subject of an FBI investigation and has no records pertaining to Rich.

Clevenger also cites a troubling August 2016 FBI email chain unearthed by Judicial Watch. The exchange began with a note from an FBI public-affairs official, name redacted, noting Assange’s recently televised suggestion that Rich was involved in the DNC hack. The official wanted to know “what involvement the Bureau has in the investigation.”

An unidentified agent passed the email along to the FBI’s notorious Peter Strzok with the notation, “Just FYSA [for your situational awareness]. I squashed this with [redacted].” Strzok, in turn, forwarded this email to his lover and co-conspirator, Lisa Page.

Clevenger reports too that former NSA officials Bill Binney, Ed Loomis, and Kirk Wiebe “are prepared to testify that the DNC emails published by Wikileaks could not have been obtained via hacking.”

Clevenger’s evidence that the NSA captured exchanges between Rich and Assange is largely circumstantial but credible. According to Clevenger, the NSA refused to produce 32 pages of records about Seth Rich due to their classified nature.

In addition, one of Clevenger’s consultants was reportedly informed that the NSA possessed “additional communications between Mr. Rich and Wikileaks.” Were Rich and Assange communicating, capturing that information would have been within the legitimate purview of the NSA or its “Five Eyes” partners.

“I believe the NSA is trying to conceal wrongdoing that occurred during the Obama Administration,” Clevenger concludes his letter to Grennell. “I respectfully request that you de-classify the NSA’s records about Seth Rich.”

Clevenger adds, “Disclosure would go a long way toward exposing the depravity of the ‘deep state,’ and that is long overdue.”

If Rich’s ultimate fate remains certain, what is altogether clear is the conspiratorial role the major media have played in keeping this story buried. As renegade Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi observed in his book Hate Inc., “Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump.”

(Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.)

Fox News screen grab via Vox

 

 

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Cuomo: Need ‘Hard Look’ at Experts, Organizations, and ‘International Watchdogs’ on Coronavirus

Posted by M. C. on April 24, 2020

Even commies can find the acorn once in a while.

CDC, NIH, NIAID, WHO, NSA, CIA, FIB, Fauci all missed it.

How can they all miss it when it has been known since H1N1 or before than Wuhan was a coronavirus cesspool.

The US even funded the Wuhan research lab.

How could everyone miss this? How indeed…

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2020/04/23/cuomo-need-hard-look-at-experts-organizations-and-international-watchdogs-on-coronavirus/

by Ian Hanchett

During a town hall on CNN on Thursday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) stated that there has to be a “hard look” at “the experts, the organizations, the international watchdogs” who should have been watching for the coronavirus outbreak “because obviously, we missed it.” Cuomo also stated that banning travel from China was sensible, but came after it was too late.

Cuomo said, “Well, look, global pandemic, the words had been used for many years, doctor, but we’ve never actually lived through it. So, I don’t think that this country was ready for it. I don’t even think our experts were ready for it. You know, in retrospect, it seems so simple, right? China has a virus last November, last December. The virus can get on a plane, can go to Europe, can come to New York, can be anywhere in 24 hours. What made anyone think it was going to stay in China last November and last December? And then, we’re taking actions in March. What happened to January and February? You know, when you look back at it, it seems to be so plain and so obvious. The president has talked — spoken about the World Health Organization and what they should have done, but I think we have to take a hard look. Where were the experts, the organizations, the international watchdogs who should be watching for something like this? Because obviously, we missed it. March — we’re taking actions in March. I have the first case in March, but the data is now saying it may have been here in January. It may have been here in February.”

He added, “Well, in retrospect, close the door on China, yeah that makes sense. But it had already left China.”

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Beware: Our New Online Culture is a Feast for Mass Surveillance | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on April 11, 2020

What! You still haven’t taped over your PC and selfie camera lenses?

Nothing is private online unless you are using VPNs and secure email. Even then…

Do you really think Facebook messenger and (Facebook’s) WhatsApp are secure?

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/beware-our-new-online-culture-is-a-feast-for-mass-surveillance/

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has caused network traffic to surge as Internet users resort to video conferencing to work remotely.

For example, last December online meeting provider Zoom hosted roughly 10 million participants. In March this statistic jumped to 200 million. The public’s stampede to the cloud is an auspicious development for the intelligence community as sensitive discussions that once occurred in physical office buildings are now channeled through a relatively small number of digital gatekeepers. The implications are unsettling.

From the vantage point of professional spies, the desire to eavesdrop on popular communication channels is all but irresistible. In the United States we’ve witnessed classified programs like PRISM, where the NSA succeeded in convincing all of the big names in Silicon Valley to participate. Chatting up tech CEOs on a first name basis. Authoritarian regimes like China are even more eager to tap commercial data streams. Which is particularly salient given that most of Zoom’s engineers work over in China and that Zoom has unfettered access to the online conferences that it hosts despite marketing claims to the contrary.

Hence, efforts to limit the spread of contagion offer a golden opportunity to double down on mass surveillance. Data collection tools wielded during an emergency on behalf of public safety —facial recognition, drones, mobile device apps, smart phone geolocation, payment card records— over time take on a hue of legitimacy. Furthermore the bureaucrats using such tools are loath to give up their newfound access and will actively identify additional threats to justify it.

China serves as an instructive example. The Communist Party remains in power through an unspoken agreement with the rest of Chinese society. It’s the sort of deal that exists in many repressive nations. The government assures economic growth and in return citizens are expected to stay out of politics and submit to extreme social control measures. The Chinese government asserts that growth will continue at around 6 percent, but keep in mind that it also aggressively censors bad economic news, in the same manner that it suppressed news about the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s highly unlikely that the Party will be able to keep delivering results forever. The COVID-19 outbreak will simply hasten a looming economic crisis in China, despite the Party’s best efforts to maintain control. With China’s towering mountain of debt, zombie factories, and conspicuous industrial overcapacity, it’s just a matter of time before the average citizen realizes that they’re not going to get what they were promised. This raises the specter of military action as the government directs attention outward in search of enemies to mobilize its restive populace. Against this backdrop mass surveillance will be ramped up in a desperate attempt to buttress the status quo.

Common sense dictates that relying on technology that’s developed in a police state like China is inherently risky. The instinctive response for many users is to turn to American technology. However, thanks to whistleblowers like Edward Snowden the public record shows that domestic companies are also cooperating with the intelligence community as well as monetizing their access to user data. So if you’re wondering whether a particular online platform is secure, you’re asking the wrong question. The salient question is which group of security services and big data aggregators have access?

Sadly this makes achieving higher levels of communication security a sort of DIY affair. The key is to prevent the current COVID-19 setting from becoming the new normal by recognizing what’s at stake. The more that we rely on Internet platforms to communicate the more power we yield to a narrow set of vested interests. Such that our need to stay in touch with each other during a disaster secretly morphs into a feeding frenzy for spies. Just as it did in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. As always, freedom entails responsibility. This means leaving mainstream channels for sensitive discussions and doing so in a manner that doesn’t create baseline anomalies that might alert watchers.

Pervasive monitoring is not the behavior of a confident nation. Mass surveillance isn’t the harbinger of stability. It’s a dangerous political tremor. A display of anxiety rather than strength. An indicator that leaders have recklessly chosen to dispense with civil liberties behind closed doors under the guise of addressing perceived threats. As citizens we have an obligation to protect the values which actually make America strong. To encourage lawmakers to resist the impulse to trade essential liberty for short-term promises of security and to forge our own paths forward when they fail to do so.

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Who killed Thomas Merton? | Catholics Against Militarism

Posted by M. C. on February 25, 2020

The most likely suspect in plotting Merton’s murder, a man who was a much stronger force for peace than most people realize, they identify as the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government. Thomas Merton was the most important Roman Catholic spiritual and anti-warfare-state writer of the 20th century and the powers-that-be in the corporate world, in the military world, in the world of the CIA, FBI and NSA and in the world of government were as acutely aware of the power he possessed to undermine their bloody profit making schemes as they were of King and Kennedy’s power to do the same.

http://catholicsagainstmilitarism.com/uncategorized/who-killed-thomas-merton/

The following was written by Fr. Emmanuel McCarthy:

Friends,

On February 18: The U.S. State Department announced the highest U.S. casualty toll of the Vietnam War, with 543 Americans killed in action and 2,547 wounded during the previous week.

On March 16: U.S. ground troops murdered more than 500 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam.

On April 4: Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in Memphis, TN

On June 5: Robert Kennedy was murdered in Los Angeles, CA.

On December 10: Thomas Merton is murdered in Bangkok, Thailand

The Martyrdom of Thomas MertonPaperback – March 7, 2018

 Hugh Turley (Author), David Martin (Author)

Review from Amazon:

“Seldom can one predict that a book will have an effect on history, but this is such a work. Merton’s many biographers and the American press now say unanimously that he died from accidental electrocution. From a careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false. The widely repeated story that Merton had taken a shower and was therefore wet when he touched a lethal faulty fan was made up several years after the event and is completely contradicted by the evidence. Hugh Turley and David Martin identify four individuals as the primary promoters of the false accidental electrocution narrative. Another person, they show, should have been treated as a murder suspect. The most likely suspect in plotting Merton’s murder, a man who was a much stronger force for peace than most people realize, they identify as the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government. Thomas Merton was the most important Roman Catholic spiritual and anti-warfare-state writer of the 20th century and the powers-that-be in the corporate world, in the military world, in the world of the CIA, FBI and NSA and in the world of government were as acutely aware of the power he possessed to undermine their bloody profit making schemes as they were of King and Kennedy’s power to do the same. To date, Merton has been the subject of 28 biographies and numerous other books. Remarkably, up to now no one has looked critically at the mysterious circumstances surrounding his sudden death in Thailand. From its publication date on the 50th anniversary of his death, into the foreseeable future, this carefully researched work will be the definitive, authoritative book on how Thomas Merton died.”

I read this book cover to cover and it is a solid presentation of the logically unbridgeable abyss between the physical evidence that is available for anyone to examine and the official story put out by the U.S. Government and the Church regarding Thomas Merton’s death. What concerns me is not that the U.S. government had a hand in Merton’s murder and cover-up of the murder. Clandestinely murdering innocent people is the ordinary modus operandi of all major governments all the time. What concerns me is that the leadership of the institutional Church acquiesced to a narrative regarding the murder of one of its own, which narrative cannot be sustained, indeed is in contradiction to, the evidence. Of course, maybe the leadership of the institutional Church did not see Merton as one of its own but saw him rather as a hair shirt of truth to whom they were glad to say, ever so piously, “Good riddance.”

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Thomas Merton | January 30, 2015 | Religion & Ethics ...

 

 

 

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We Were Warned About the Deep State, but Refused to Listen by Larry C Johnson – Sic Semper Tyrannis

Posted by M. C. on January 2, 2020

What has happened to Donald Trump can happen to any of us. It is time to take this threat seriously and put the intel agencies back into a properly monitored corral. Otherwise, we will lose this Republic.

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/12/we-were-warned-about-the-deep-state-but-refused-to-listen-by-larry-c-johnson.html

by Larry C Johnson

Larry Johnson-5x7

Many of the critical tools employed in the coup to paint Donald Trump as a tool of the Russians and to manufacture a pretext for removing him from office, were created more than twenty years ago. I am talking about the surveillance state that the American electorate has ignorantly accepted as necessary in order to keep us safe from terrorists. Despite previous warning from whistleblowers like Russ Tice, Bill Binney, Ed Loomis and Kird Wiebe, no action to rein in the surveillance monster was taken until Edward Snowden absconded with the documents exposing the vast amount spying that the U.S. Government is doing to its own citizens. But even those weak efforts to supposedly rein in the NSA proved to be nothing more than mere window dressing.

The spying got worse. Just ask Donald Trump and the members of his campaign that were targeted first by the CIA and NSA and then by the FBI. Fundamental civil rights were trampled.

The real irony in all of this is that Barack Obama, as President, took credit for helping revise the laws in order to prevent the spying exposed by Edward Snowden. But under the Obama Administration, spying on political opponents–both real and perceived–escalated. We know for a fact that journalists, such as James Rosen and Sheryl Atkinson, were targets and their communications and computers attacked by the U.S. Government.

We know, thanks to a memo released by Judge Rosemary Collyer, that “FBI consultants” were making illegal searches of NSA material using the names of Donald Trump, his family and members of his campaign staff.

Some of this NSA material came courtesy of the Brits and their collection on U.S. targets. Some of this material came from the NSA’s own collection and storage of all electronic communications and was obtained using a nifty NSA tool called XKEYSCORE. Listen to Ed Snowden’s description. Also, take time to appreciate the irony that CNN and other journalists were actually trying to report real news. Now they are full blown apologists for the abuse of the intelligence collection tools. 

Six years ago, former NSA Technical Director for Military and Geopolitical Issues, Bill Binney, and Russ Tice, a former NSA analyst, appeared on the PBS News Hour. Once again, they make very clear the enormous nature to the threat to our civil liberties.

Too bad Donald Trump did not listen to their warning.

Given the robust, wide ranging ability of the NSA to probe all communications by any person in the United States, it is remarkable that no real dirt on Donald Trump was ever uncovered. Had such information existed, it would be in the NSA’s storage vaults in Utah and crooked CIA analysts under Brennan’s direction would have found it and used it. But that did not happed. The best the intel folks could fabricate were the salacious claims attributed to reports ostensibly created by former British spy, Christopher Steele. Turns out that the titillating account that Trump hired hookers to perform coprophilia (could of been worse, coprophagia) was nothing more than idle bar talk.

What has happened to Donald Trump can happen to any of us. It is time to take this threat seriously and put the intel agencies back into a properly monitored corral. Otherwise, we will lose this Republic.

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FIB

 

 

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Living in a World Bereft of Privacy – Consortiumnews

Posted by M. C. on December 8, 2019

This low-level and laughably amateur attempt at extortion is risible. Unfortunately, the threat from our governments spying on us all is not.

Even back then we knew that computers could be captured by adversaries and turned against you – keystroke loggers, remote recording via microphones, cameras switched on to watch you, and many other horrors.

Living in a World Bereft of Privacy

By Annie Machon
in Brussels
Special to Consortium News

A few days ago I first received a menacing email from someone calling herself Susana Peritz. She told me “she” had hacked my email, planted malware on my computer, and had then filmed me getting my jollies while watching “interesting” porn online. Her email had caught my attention because it mentioned in the subject line a very old password, attached to a very old email address I had not used for over a decade. The malware must have been planted on a defunct computer.

Putting aside the fact that I am far more concerned about GCHQ or the NSA hacking my computer (as should we all be), this did rather amuse me.

Apparently, I must pay this “Susana” $1000 via Bitcoin or, shock, have my alleged pleasures shared with my acquaintances. And just last night I received another courteous request for cash from someone calling themselves Jillie Abdulrazak, but the price has now been inflated to $3000.

Why am I not concerned? Well, I can safely say – hand on heart – that I have never watched online porn. But this got me thinking about how or why I could have been singled out for this mark of a blackmailer’s esteem, and that brings me on to some rather dark thoughts.

It is perfectly possible that a rare, unguarded moment of long-distance online love might have been captured (but by whom?). That would probably be over a decade ago and would certainly have been using the old email account which was attached to the particular password at the time.

However, even those memories have been denied me – I distinctly remember that I have been too paranoid for too long and have always covered the built-in computer camera lens. Anything that could possibly have been recorded could only be audio – a saucy phone call at most. There can be no video of my younger self, alas.

I have had good reason to be paranoid. In the late 1990s I supported my former partner and fellow MI5 intelligence officer, David Shalyer, in his whistleblower exploits to expose the crimes and incompetence of the UK spy agencies at the time. This resulted in us literally going on the run across Europe, living in hiding for a year in la France profonde, and another two years in exile in Paris before he voluntarily returned to the UK in 2000 to face the music and inevitably, under the terms of the UK’ draconian 1989 Official Secrets Act, being sent to prison for exposing the crimes of British spies.

From those years, knowing what we knew about the spies’ capabilities even then, the sense of being always potentially watched has never rubbed off.

The Bigger Picture

So, knowing absolutely that I have never watched any online porn and that I always keep my computer camera lens covered, “Susana” and “Jillie” can go whistle. You have tried to shake down the wrong paranoid ex-MI5 whistleblower, darlings. And my tech people are now hunting you.

Any possible audio could, I suppose, be spliced in some way to some dodgy video to make this the stuff of a blackmailer’s dreams. That, surely, will be easy to “forensicate” – and indeed I have other friends who can do this, at world class level.

Alternatively, the former love at the time could have recorded the audio for his own nefarious personal usage for some nebulous time in the future. And if that future is now, after he had shown himself a long time ago to be chronically dishonest, why do this in 2018 when we have been separated for years?

He may have possibly continued to used the old email account himself to watch vile material – he certainly had the password back then and perhaps he uses it to distance himself from his own porn habit (fapware, as the geeks call it)? If that is the case, he is even less honorable than I had considered him to be.

Or perhaps this is some type of dark LoveInt operation by the spooks, in some failed attempt to frighten or embarrass me?

But there is, of course, a bigger, more political picture.

Ever since I worked as an intelligence officer for MI5, before going on the run with Shayler during the whistleblowing years in the late 1990s, I have been painfully aware of the tech capabilities of the spies. Even back then we knew that computers could be captured by adversaries and turned against you – keystroke loggers, remote recording via microphones, cameras switched on to watch you, and many other horrors.

The whistleblowing of Edward Snowden back in 2013 has confirmed all this and more on an industrial, global scale – we are all potentially at risk of this particular invasion of our personal privacy. I have kept my computer and mobile camera lenses covered for all these years precisely because of this threat.

One specific Snowden disclosure, which has received little mainstream media traction, was a programme called OPTIC NERVE. This was a GCHQ program (funded by American money) that allowed the spooks to intercept in real time video conferencing calls. It turned out, horror, that 10 percent of them were of a salacious nature, and the spooks were shocked!

I have spoken about privacy and surveillance at conferences around the world and have many, many times had to debate the supposition that “if you are doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.”

However, most people would like to keep their intimate relationships private. In this era of work travel and long distance relationships, more of us might well have intimate conversations and even video play via the internet. In an adult, consensual and mutually pleasurable context, we are doing nothing wrong and we have nothing to hide, but we surely don’t want the spooks to be watching us or listening in, any more than we would want the criminals capturing images and trying to shake us down for money.

This low-level and laughably amateur attempt at extortion is risible. Unfortunately, the threat from our governments spying on us all is not.

Annie Machon is a former intelligence officer in the UK’s domestic MI5 Security Service.

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Republicans & Democrats Agree: Give Vast Snooping Powers to The U.S. Government

Posted by M. C. on November 25, 2019

https://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/republicans-democrats-agree-give-vast-snooping-powers-to-the-u-s-government_11212019

Mac Slavo

Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.

The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reason proposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?

House Democrats have successfully slipped an unqualified renewal of the draconian PATRIOT Act into an emergency funding bill – voting near-unanimously for sweeping surveillance carte blanche that was the basis for the notorious NSA program.
Buried on the next-to-last page of the Continuing Appropriations Act, meant to keep the government’s lights on and dated yesterday, is the following language:

Section  102(b)(1)  of  the  USA  PATRIOT  Improvement  and  Reauthorization  Act  of  2005  (50  U.S.C.  101805  note)  is  amended  by  striking  “December  15,  2019”  and inserting “March 15, 2020”.

This relatively innocuous language pushes back the sunset provision of the Patriot Act by three months, leaving its vast powers in the hands of a president who Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden charges with “failure to uphold basic democratic principles,” who House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused of “alarming connections and conduct with Russia” and, joined by Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, says is making an attempt to “shred the Constitution.” –Reason

If democrats honestly believed that Trump was all of the things he’s being accused of, why trust him with the Patriot Act?

The American Civil Liberties Union agrees, calling the Patriot Act “an overnight revision of the nation’s surveillance laws that vastly expanded the government’s authority to spy on its own citizens, while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court.”

Attempts to roll back the spying powers of the government have all failed. This power is only expanding and it’s going to get harder for people to protect themselves against the government when they abuse this power. The last time (in 2018) libertarian-leaning Republicans and a handful of Democrats wanted to strip the government of some of its mass surveillance power, it failed.

“It became quickly apparent that leading Democrats intended to side with Trump and against those within their own party who favored imposing safeguards on the Trump administration’s ability to engage in domestic surveillance,” The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald wrote at the time. “The most bizarre aspect of this spectacle was that the Democrats who most aggressively defended Trump’s version of the surveillance bill—the Democrats most eager to preserve Trump’s spying powers as virtually limitless—were the very same Democratic House members who have become media stars this year by flamboyantly denouncing Trump as a treasonous, lawless despot in front of every television camera they could find.”

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State Secrets and the National Security State | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2019

I’ve got a better idea: Let’s just dismantle America’s decades-long, nightmarish Cold War-era experiment with the totalitarian structure known as a national-security state and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

Jacob Hornberger is has thrown his hat in the Libertarian presidential candidate ring.

https://mises.org/wire/state-secrets-and-national-security-state

Inadvertently released federal documents reveal that U.S. officials have apparently secured a secret indictment against Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks who released secret information about the internal workings of the U.S. national-security establishment. In any nation whose government is founded on the concept of a national-security state, that is a cardinal sin, one akin to treason and meriting severe punishment.

Mind you, Assange isn’t being charged with lying or releasing false or fraudulent information about the U.S. national-security state. Everyone concedes that the WikiLeaks information was authentic. His “crime” was in disclosing to people the wrongdoing of the national-security establishment. No one is supposed to do that, even if the information is true and correct.

It’s the same with Edward Snowden, the American contractor with the CIA and the NSA who is now relegated to living in Russia. If Snowden returns home, he faces federal criminal prosecution, conviction, and incarceration for disclosing secrets of the U.S. national-security establishment. Again, his “crime” is disclosing the truth about the internal workings of the national-security establishment, not disseminating false information.

Such secrecy and the severe punishment for people who disclose the secrets to the public were among the things that came with the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state.

Recall that when the U.S. government was called into existence by the Constitution, it was a type of governmental structure known as a limited-government republic. Under that type of governmental structure, the federal government’s powers were extremely limited. The only powers that federal officials could lawfully exercise were those few that were enumerated in the Constitution itself.

Under the republic form of government, there was no enormous permanent military establishment, no CIA, and no NSA, which are the three components of America’s national-security state. That last thing Americans wanted was that type of government. In fact, if Americans had been told that the Constitution was going to bring into existence a national-security state, they never would have approved the deal and would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a type of governmental system where the federal government’s powers were so few that it didn’t even have the power to tax.

Under the republic, governmental operations were transparent. There was no such thing as “state secrets” or “national security.” Except for the periodic backroom deals in which politicians would make deals, things generally were open and above-board for people to see and make judgments on.

That all changed when the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. Suddenly, the federal government was vested with omnipotent powers, so long as they were being exercised by the Pentagon, the CIA, or the NSA in the name of “national security.”

Interestingly enough, the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state was not done through constitutional amendment. Nonetheless, the federal judiciary has long upheld or simply deferred to the exercise of omnipotent powers by the national-security establishment.

An implicit part of the conversion was that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA would be free to exercise their omnipotent powers in secret. Secrecy has always been a core element in any government that is structured as a national-security state, especially when it involves dark, immoral, and nefarious powers that are being exercised for the sake of “national security.”

One action that oftentimes requires the utmost in secrecy involves assassination, which is really nothing more than legalized murder. Not surprisingly, many national-security officials want to keep their role in state-sponsored murder secret. Another example is coups initiated in foreign countries. U.S. officials bend over backwards to hide their role in such regime-change operations. And then there are the surveillance schemes whereby citizens are foreigners are spied up and monitored. Kidnapping, indefinite detention, and torture are still more examples.

Of course, these are the types of things that we ordinarily identify with totalitarian regimes. The reason for that is that a national-security state governmental system is inherent to totalitarian regimes. For example, the Nazi government, which was a national-security state too, had an enormous permanent military establishment and a Gestapo, which wielded the powers of assassination, indefinite detention, torture, and secret surveillance. And not surprisingly, to disclose the secrets of German’s national-security state involved severe punishment.

But it’s not just Nazi Germany. There are many other examples of totalitarian regimes that are based on the concept of national security and structured as a national-security state. Chile under Pinochet. The Soviet Union. Communist China. North Korea. Vietnam. Egypt. Pakistan. Iraq. Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia. Turkey, Myanmar. And the United States. The list goes on and on.

And every one of those totalitarian regimes has a state-secrets doctrine, the same doctrine that the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA have.

A newspaper in Vietnam, which of course is ruled by a communist regime, reported that a Vietnamese citizen named Phan Van Anh Vu was sentenced to 9 years in prison for “deliberately disclosing state secrets.”

A website for the Committee to Protect Journalists reported that the Chinese communist regime charged a Chinese journalist named Yang Xiuqiong with “illegally providing state secrets overseas.” The Chinese Reds have also charged a prominent environmental activist named Liu Shu with “revealing state secrets related to China’s counterespionage work.”

The military dictatorship in Myanmar convicted two Reuters reporters for violating the country’s law that prohibits the gathering of secret documents to help an enemy.

RT reports that the Russian military will “launch obligatory courses on the protection of state secrets starting next year.

US News reports that the regime in Turkey is seeking the extradition from Germany of Turkish journalist Can Dunbar, who was convicted of revealing state secrets.

Defenders of Assange and Snowden and other revealers of secrets of the U.S. national security state point to the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press to justify their disclosures.

I’ve got a better idea: Let’s just dismantle America’s decades-long, nightmarish Cold War-era experiment with the totalitarian structure known as a national-security state and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

Originally published by the Future of Freedom Foundation.

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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The Realist Report: (Israeli trained) Police State in America

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Stranger in a Strange Land – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 13, 2019

Stories about good people doing good things on a daily basis are boring to those controlling the narrative. The purpose of the propagandists supporting the Deep State is to keep the masses fearful and distracted. Scare tactics and keeping half the country at the throats of the other half is good for business. While the masses are distracted by trivialities, boogeymen (Russians), and impeachment porn, the ruling class absconds with what remains of the national wealth.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/jim-quinn/stranger-in-a-strange-land/

By

The Burning Platform

“Secrecy begets tyranny.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“Thinking doesn’t pay. Just makes you discontented with what you see around you.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read quotes by men like H.L. Mencken and Robert Heinlein, I realize I’m not really a stranger in a strange land, even though I feel that way most of the time. These cynical, critical thinking, libertarian minded gentlemen understood government tended towards corruption and tyranny, the populace tended towards ignorance and distraction, and reality eventually teaches a harsh lesson to fools, knaves and dumbasses.

Sometimes we think the current day worldly circumstances are new and original, when human nature, politicians, and governments never really change. When Mencken and Heinlein were writing and providing social commentary during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, they observed the same fallacies, foolishness, lack of self-responsibility, government malfeasance, and inability of the majority to think critically, that are rampant in society today.

The quotes above, written during the 1950s, are even more pertinent today. As the ongoing Surveillance State attempted coup against president Trump approaches its denouement, the fabric of this country is being torn asunder. It is the secrecy in which the Deep State has operated without oversight which has led to government tyranny. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden exposed the secrets of powerful interests operating within the CIA, NSA, FBI, White House, Congress and military industrial complex, revealing the malevolent disregard for the Constitutional rights of American citizens and wielding of power for power’s sake.

The collection of all electronic communications by Americans by all-powerful, unaccountable Deep State psychopaths is worse than anything conceived by Orwell in 1984. The fact Assange and Snowden are treated as traitors and criminals reveals the Deep State is still in control of our political and legal systems. Even though Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Clinton and Obama used their Deep State power to try and overthrow Trump, he still toes the company line by calling Assange and Snowden criminals. Government tyranny is still going strong.

Heinlein’s point about thinking is well taken. When you look at what is going on in this country and around the world with a critical eye, how could you not be discontented with what you see. We have government run schools inhabited by social justice engineers, teaching our children there are 47 genders, but not basic math or how to read and spell. We have the masses glorying in their ignorance as they worship silicone inflated shallow idols and vote for socialists and communists to provide them with free shit…

The vast majority of Americans choose not to think, not because it would cause them discontent, but because they are incapable of critical thought. Our joke of an educational system has taught generations of Americans how to feel, rather than how to think. Government controlled schools serve the purposes of the Deep State – dumb down the populace through social engineering, rewarding mediocrity, obscuring history, punishing critical thinking, feminizing boys and drugging those who don’t conform.

The dumbing down of the masses makes them pliable and easily manipulated through the mass media propaganda spewed from the boob tube and social media conglomerates. The unholy alliance between big tech, big media and big government keeps the masses uninformed, misinformed and distracted by meaningless minutia. The truth is hidden and obscured at all costs. A huge swath of populace will unquestioningly believe whatever they are told to believe, while millions more are so distracted with their iGadgets, they aren’t even paying attention.

The ruling class doesn’t want people thinking why they have used the military industrial complex in securing Syrian oil fields, supporting Saudi aggression, threatening Iran, attempting a coup in Venezuela, creating havoc in the Ukraine, occupying Afghanistan, and treating Russia and China as imminent threats, when their narrative is we are self-sufficient with regards to oil. The propaganda press peddles half truths about being a net exporter, when we still import 6 million barrels of oil per day…

Heinlein always considered himself a libertarian. In a letter written in 1967 he said, “As for libertarian, I’ve been one all my life, a radical one. You might use the term ‘philosophical anarchist’ or ‘autarchist’ about me, but ‘libertarian’ is easier to define and fits well enough.” The theme of personal freedom resonates throughout his body of work. Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the nature of sexual relationships, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought.

Much like Mencken, Orwell, and Steinbeck, as Heinlein aged, he became more cynical about government and society. He feared our culture and form of government was fatally flawed. Again, he foresaw where we are today – having lost freedoms, liberties, and rights as government laws, regulations and taxes have expanded.

“At the time I wrote Methuselah’s Children I was still politically quite naive and still had hopes that various libertarian notions could be put over by political processes … It [now] seems to me that every time we manage to establish one freedom, they take another one away. Maybe two. And that seems to me characteristic of a society as it gets older, and more crowded, and higher taxes, and more laws.” – Robert Heinlein

Government Power, Corruption and Tyranny

“Democracy is a poor system of government at best; the only thing that can honestly be said in its favor is that it is about eight times as good as any other method the human race has ever tried. Democracy’s worst fault is that its leaders are likely to reflect the faults and virtues of their constituents – a depressingly low level, but what else can you expect?” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“Government! Three-fourths parasitic and the rest stupid fumbling.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

When I read Heinlein’s view of democracy, the American populace, and politicians from the 1950s, it makes me wonder whether my cynical pessimistic assessment of our country is nothing new. Has the country been wallowing in ignorance, lack of virtue, parasitic politicians and government incompetence for decades and my depression with the current state of affairs is nothing new among libertarian minded people?…

Heinlein’s view of politicians, their corruptibility, and ability to tell half truths which are really lies, is even more evident in today’s world. The candidates are hand picked by the corporate interests. Their salaries while in office are fairly modest, but they leave office as multi-millionaires and are paid handsomely on the Boards of the corporations they were supposed to regulate.

Bernanke and Yellen now make more giving one speech at a Wall Street bank than they made annually as the Federal Reserve Chairman. Every local, state and federal politician is bought off to some extent. They do the bidding of the vested interests who got them elected, not what is best for their constituents. We are lost in a blizzard of lies. A society addicted to falsehoods and bereft of truth will surely degrade and eventually collapse.

“He’s an honest politician–he stays bought.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

“The slickest way in the world to lie is to tell the right amount of truth at the right time-and then shut up.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

Liberty, Freedom & Obligations to Society

“I believe in my fellow citizens. Our headlines are splashed with crime. Yet for every criminal, there are ten thousand honest, decent, kindly men. If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news. It is buried in the obituaries, but it is a force stronger than crime.” – Robert Heinlein

Heinlein still believed in the noble decency of the majority of people back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The climactic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life captured the belief that even though there will always be cold hearted evil bankers like Mr. Potter (the Jamie Dimon of his day) feeding off the misery of others, most people are good hearted, kind and giving. Is Heinlein’s view applicable in today’s world? Bad news, bad people and crime produce views, clicks and eyeballs for the corporate media complex…

Based upon Heinlein’s definition of a dying culture, we have already crossed the Rubicon. The level of vitriol spewed on a daily basis on social media, by the propagandist media, by politicians, and by intellectual yet idiots is a clear indication of a culture gasping its dying breath. There are still good people in this country who can be counted on by their neighbors, friends and families. As the current culture dies and is swept away during this Fourth Turning, what kind of culture will follow?

Will decent, libertarian minded, freedom loving people arise to guide the country towards a better future? Or will totalitarian minded evil men crush the hopes and dreams of the good people and reign over an even darker period in our history. Goodness without backbone, wisdom and willingness to fight to the death will be overrun by evil.

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“But goodness alone is never enough. A hard, cold wisdom is required for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

I still feel like a stranger in a strange land. But, based on my interactions with good people with hard, cold wisdom over the last ten years, I believe there is still hope for our nation. I think there are enough good people with common sense, critical thinking skills, and the courage and fortitude to stand up to the Deep State and defeat the evil permeating the current social order. Conflict against fellow Americans looms. Allying yourself with good people is essential. Maybe I’m being naïve believing good can win over evil, but it’s better than throwing in the towel and accepting our fate.

Reprinted with permission from The Burning Platform.

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The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda – a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.

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Edward Snowden on the Joe Rogan Podcast – Says US Government Could Have Prevented 9/11

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2019

https://www.wakingtimes.com/2019/10/23/edward-snowden-on-the-joe-rogan-podcast-says-us-government-could-have-prevented-9-11/

Vic Bishop

ince 2013 the real government whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been in political asylum in Russia, where he continues to write books and tell his story of how as an employee of the NSA he discovered that the government was breaking the law in constructing a massive surveillance state. Today, the surveillance is such a ubiquitous par of our lives, that people have come to see it as a normal part of everyday life, and hardly any politician bothers to work against it. It’s here to stay, sadly.

Recently, Snowden published a book entitled Permanent Record, which was immediately attacked by the US government, prompting them to sue Snowden for all of the profits related to the book. The government does not want you to hear his message. Ironically, though, Permanent Record became an instant bestseller, and Snowden’s popularity has only increased in recent years.

In a newly released podcast by Joe Rogan, Snowden calls in from Russia, talking about his understanding of how corruption from within has led the permanent establishment of the massive and highly profitable surveillance state which has filled the coffers of defense contractors and corrupt politicians. Snowden discusses the fact that all three branches of the U.S government are corrupt and that for admirable government employees who witness government agencies breaking the law have no available channels to blow the whistle and get the truth out to the American people.

Interestingly, in the podcast Snowden also talks about his experience on 9/11 when he was working for a small business out of a house on Fort Meade near the DC metro area. He describes how the base, which is home to a vast portion of the U.S. Military’s intelligence apparatus, was immediately dispatched and the base cleared as soon as the events of the day began to unfold.

Snowden points out how strange this was, considering that all of the personnel on the base would have been more than willing to take the risk of being attacked in order to fulfill the duty they has all signed up for, that of protecting the American people. Snowden’s point here is that the intelligence agencies were essentially taken off-line at the most critical moment in the entire history of their existence.

So, why did the directors of these agencies send all of these resources home on 9/11?

Snowden continues…

“It says so much about the bureaucratic character of how the government works. The people who rise to the top of these governments. It’s about risk management for them. It’s about never being criticized for something…

 

Everybody wants to believe in conspiracy theories because it helps life make sense. It helps us believe that somebody is in control… that somebody is calling the shots, that these things all happen for a reason. There are real conspiracies… but when you look back at the 9/11 report and when you look back at the history of what actually happened, what we can prove. Not on what we can speculate on, but what are at least are the commonly agreed facts… it’s very clear to me, as someone who worked in the intelligence community… that these attacks could have been prevented.” ~Edward Snowden

He goes on to explain that the government’s excuse for not preventing the attacks was essentially due to the fact that the various intelligence agencies were unable to effectively share information, coordinate investigations, and work together. Snowden is implying that 9/11 was essentially allowed to happen so that the mass surveillance state, which is insanely profitable to certain people, could be created. And it has since been created.

Considering that the Patriot Act soon followed 9/11, and in the nearly two decades since, the massive warfare and surveillance state continues to balloon and spread its reach into American citizen’s lives and around the globe, Snowden’s assessment seems rather accurate.

The full interview is almost 3 hours long, and is posted in full here:

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

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