Shorter Question Everything
I think its high time we took a look at the people who are “handling” Edward Snowden and what their agenda is in all of this. That’s because I think the questions are more broad than the one’s we’re currently hearing about related to NSA surveillance and actually go to the question of who controls the world-wide web. There is a battle raging beneath all this that has serious implications for all of us.
…So, who are these people that are handling Edward Snowden? To understand the stakes, one of the best examples to look at is the battle that raged between Wikileaks and Bank of America. The story starts with the troves of donations Wikileaks was banking based on their “handling” of the Bradley Manning leaks (20,000 euros a month). Several banking institutions responded by refusing to process these donations. And Julian Assange (founder of Wikileaks) fought back by hacking into the hard drive of an executive at Bank of America and threatening to “take them down.”
What we know now is that the Bank of American began working with HB Gary to develop a strategy to go after Wikileaks. We know that because the group Anonymous (which works closely with Wikileaks) hacked HB Gary’s system and released 44,000 of the company’s emails – including a plan to go after Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald (who they saw as the critical spokesperson for Wikileaks…interesting).
Personally, I don’t have a dog in the fight between Wikileaks and the Bank of America. But I tell that story to point out the agenda of some of the players involved in the Snowden situation. Does it strike you that they’re really interested in anyone’s “privacy” when their modus operandi is hacking into other people’s computer systems? Take just a moment to review that Wikipedia article I linked to above about Anonymous and count up all the private information about innocent people they’ve hacked and released. And then take a moment to read the speech Jacob Applebaum (Wikileak’s promoter) gave about the importance of the work of Anonymous.
… When folks like Julian Assange, Jacob Applebaum and Laura Poitras say that they are being surveilled by the US government (and therefore we should all be scared shitless about being surveilled ourselves), this is why. They are not innocent players in this world-wide battle over the internet. And they’re fighting back…with the likes of Edward Snowden. Just like they fought back against Bank of America by hacking their secrets.
• No such thing as privacy online: 1 – Take a look at the real agenda of folks like Greenwald, Assange, and Applebaum – it has absolutely nothing to do with privacy. 2 – There is no such thing as privacy online. If we could understand that, we might actually be able to have a reasonable conversation about the very real issues that are involved.
• The brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has been arrested by police in Egypt, security sources said Saturday. Mohammed al-Zawahri, the younger brother of the terror network leader, was detained at a checkpoint in the Cairo suburb of Giza.
• Egypt: Gunfire has been heard at a mosque in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, following a stand-off with barricaded Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Dozens of supporters had refused to leave, fearing for their safety. Television pictures showed security forces firing up towards the main minaret. Meanwhile, the interim PM has proposed legally dissolving the Brotherhood, which has been demanding ousted leader Mohammed Morsi be reinstated. The Brotherhood has called for daily demonstrations since a crackdown on its protest camps in Cairo on Wednesday left hundreds of people dead. The mosque stand-off followed another day of bloody clashes on Friday, in which 173 people died and 1,000 Brotherhood supporters were arrested.
• CIA crushes UFO conspiracy theorists’ hopes and dreams with Area 51 documents: Newly declassified documents with the dry title “Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and Oxcart Programs, 1954-1974? reveal that Area 51, long thought by conspiracy theorists to house debris from a crashed extraterrestrial vehicle, was merely a testing site for government spy planes. CIA officials had acknowledged the facility’s existence before, but this marks the first time documents have referred to it by name and addressed its purpose. The report makes no mention of its status after 1974. The U-2 was a lightweight, single-engine plane that flew [10,000] feet higher than any other plane during that period. The report states that “high-altitude testing of the U-2 soon led to an unexpected side effect — a tremendous increase in reports of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).” According to the documents, “U-2 and later OXCART flights accounted for more than one-half of all UFO reports during the late 1950s and most of the 1960s.” The Air Force responded to reports by linking to them to weather-related phenomena, but the distinctively man-made shape of the planes made residents suspicious.
• ‘This is a moral conundrum for me’: Here’s the pitch: Wieland, in his capacity as an elected state lawmaker in Missouri, receives health insurance that covers himself, his wife, and their daughters. That insurance, thanks to federal law, makes the Wieland family — and indeed, every family — eligible to receive basic preventive care available without a copay. That includes everything from blood-pressure tests to mammograms, contraception to flu shots. If the Wieland family wants to take advantage of these benefits, great. If not, that’s fine, too. It’s entirely up to them — it’s about services that are available, not required. The Wielands say that’s not good enough. They’ve filed a federal lawsuit claiming their civil rights have been violated. Why? Because the law gives them access to medication they find morally objectionable. Just so we’re clear, they don’t have to take the birth control, just like they don’t have to get a flu shot or have their blood pressure checked. They could simply not seek contraception, but that would be too easy. The Wielands instead want federal courts to give them an exemption from a benefit they have no intention of using. What’s more, they hope to empower others who share their worldview to also have an exemption from a benefit they, too, have no intention of taking advantage of. I’ve been following the debate over health care and contraception for a while, and this is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard.
• Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams tells ‘persecuted’ western Christians to grow up: Christians in Britain and the US who claim that they are persecuted should “grow up” and not exaggerate what amounts to feeling “mildly uncomfortable”, according to Rowan Williams, who last year stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury after an often turbulent decade. “When you’ve had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely,” he said. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. ‘For goodness sake, grow up,’ I want to say.”
• RNC Votes To Ban CNN/MSNBC Debates – Which They Have No Power To Do: Today Priebus made good on his threat by shepherding a resolution though the RNC’s annual meeting that declares that they “will neither partner with these networks in the 2016 presidential primary debates nor sanction any primary debates they sponsor.” There is, however, a small problem with the Priebus declaration. The RNC has no power whatsoever to prohibit any debate by an network. Sure, they can pass resolutions that make grandiose claims to authority that they don’t have, but reality trumps their hubris. The truth is that any network can announce its intention to produce a debate. They can invite candidates to participate. The candidates are free to accept or reject any offer as they see fit. Chances are, the second and third tier candidates will accept virtually any opportunity to promote themselves on national television. Subsequently, the frontrunners will be reluctant to let their competitors have the stage to themselves. So the debates will go on with a full cast of characters.
• Pennsylvania: A Pennsylvania state judge issued an order Friday that is expected to block enforcement of Pennsylvania’s strict voter-identification law in the Nov. 5 general election. Local poll workers can ask voters to show IDs if they have them and distribute written material about the law, but they may not tell voters at the polls that photo IDs could be required in future elections, Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said.