Snowden and Assange stuff

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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#21  Postby arugula2 » Sep 21, 2020 1:52 am

Alan C wrote:I have my doubts about Greenwald these days, sometimes he comes off as a Russia apologist.

That's like reverse-engineering substance from a stylistic impression, though.

Hypothetical:
    I have a good sense about Greenwald these days, often he comes off as a harsh critic of neoliberalism.

Even if my stylistic impression is accurate, it tells me nothing about the merit of his attacks on neoliberalism. And even if his attacks on neoliberalism are well-founded, it tells me nothing about the merit of any of his other stances. It's an expending of energy with no outcome around which to form a valid opinion - on any single fact claim, much less on any broader topic.

I avoid surface impressions like the plague.

Image



Edit: Also, Greenwald is almost irrelevant in those excerpts. :lol: He makes some specific assertions and some broader ones, and each one can be judged on its own merits.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#22  Postby arugula2 » Sep 21, 2020 3:36 am

The NBC interview referenced at the beginning of this thread is a point in Greenwald's favor: Snowden has an interview spot on network prime time... not a single question about Assange... war crimes... WikiLeaks... press freedom... the Espionage Act... NSA domestic spying... nothing. Iirc he wasn't even asked about the appellate court decision from a few days before. He was on for 10 minutes in between commercial breaks, in the middle of the broadcast, and all he was really asked about was Russian propaganda.

It's thoroughly embarrassing. But these people have no measurable, tangible, fiduciary reason to feel embarrassed. Because their audiences are as vapid and/or as cynical as themselves, and also, yeah, it's definitely pretend journalism.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#23  Postby arugula2 » Sep 21, 2020 8:04 pm

I was mulling over making a thread about the toxicity of US foreign policy over the last 5 decades, which is daunting given the scope, density, and complexity - inversely proportional to the level of interest in the public mind. I was going to subtitle it something like "The Bones Speak".

But this thread will do. "Snowden and Assange Stuff" pretty much covers the topic. The diversity will force me to condense things.

The story that caught my eye just now is, apparently, Inocente Orlando Montano was sentenced in Madrid on the 11th, to 133 years in prison for the 1989 CIA-backed killings of 6 Jesuit priests, a housekeeper, and her 16-year-old daughter in El Salvador. Five of the victims were Spanish citizens. His trial had begun in June. He will make good fertilizer.

The connection to the Assange nexus goes beyond the topic of US crimes abroad. The setting of the trial is important: Spain isn't just known for its judiciary's willingness to enforce human rights statutes across national borders. There happens to be another trial on its docket, which people should be fixating on: that of David Morales, CEO of the CIA contractor firm UnderCover Global S.L. which planted bugs in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, stole documents from lawyers, broke into journalists' phones, and discussed pilfering poopy diapers and killing Assange by poisoning him after entering the embassy through an unlocked door at night. Their client, the US government, to which they funneled information, likely secured the contract after Morales attended a 2017 spook convention in a Las Vegas casino owned by Sheldon Adelson, one of Trump's main billionaire backers.

Of course, the US government is not cooperating.

One of the complainants is investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi, who previously filed Freedom of Information petitions to the UK, Swedish, US, and Australian governments in uncovering government maneuverings around Assange. This interview is from a year ago, and it's long - but it provides interesting background:



Publishers were somehow not interested in funding her investigations. One of the biggest stories in modern history, with direct and lasting repercussions to the journalistic profession. She's mainly worked for free.

I find this hilarious.


Anyway, Max Blumenthal can get you up to speed.

"Max Blumenthal: The CIA/Assange Spy Shocker They're Not Reporting" (The Zero Hour)

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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#24  Postby arugula2 » Sep 24, 2020 4:23 pm

Featured items: Tavor X95 service rifle; M203 under-barrel grenade launcher (pictured below), designed by Maryland-based AAI, a subsidiary of Textron Systems (NYSE: TXT).

Image


A field demo, using realistic "enemy combatant" dummies:



Textron has come a long way since the company's 1923 founding as a textile firm specializing in synthetic yarn.
Image Image


The "Tex" in "Textron" means "textile"! :) (No, "tron" doesn't mean what you hoped it meant.) Its founder, Royal Little, got a taste for government contracts after the company experienced a parachute-manufacturing-related boom during WW2.
Image

A strategy of acquisition was adopted in the 50's, to maintain the high, and Textron found itself collecting aviation and weapons manufacturers. Who knows why! Maybe something to do with parachutes?
_ :dunno: :grin: _


Enter AAI, acquired in 2012. As the Wayback Machine tells us, AAI implores its clients to "CAST A POWERFUL SHADOW" in this glossy advert for the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System, used in several "combat zones".
Today’s Shadow is enhanced for the digital age, backed by our expanding family of interoperable ground control technologies, and optimized for new mission profiles and greater performance. The Shadow TUAS powers the 21st century warfighter with enhanced capabilities and proven performance.

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For more comprehensive field test results, follow these helpful links:
Afghanistan
Pakistan
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#25  Postby arugula2 » Oct 01, 2020 1:44 am

...featuring perennial favorite CIA spook and baby-killer, Leon "I think he should be punished" Panetta.

"Wikileaks - USA against Julian Assange" (ARD) - in German, with English subtitles




"What Leon Panetta’s Memoir Says About Drone Strikes" (CFR blog, October 17, 2014)
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#26  Postby arugula2 » Oct 19, 2020 8:55 am

US government, the OAS, white supremacism, fascism, Washington Post, New York Times, Reuters, all their fellow stenographers to power, and American lithium interests... can all fuck off for a night. Bolivia is free again, in theory.

Image


"Bolivia 'Has Recovered Democracy', Says Arce As Exit Poll Suggests Win"

editors.png
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[Reveal] Spoiler: links in reference to last year's coup
"OAS Should Retract Its Press Release on Bolivian Election, CEPR Co-Director Says"
(Statement by DC-based research group, 22 Oct 2019.) <-- 2 days after the election.

"The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible.".
(Elizabeth Warren, implying election was a fraud, 18 Nov 2019.) <-- 4 weeks after the election.

"Reuters Shields OAS Over False Claims That Sparked Bolivia Coup"
(fair.org, 19 Dec 2019)

Washington Post:
"Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests."
(10 Nov 2019) <-- ~20 days after the election.
"Bolivia dismissed its October elections as fraudulent. Our research found no reason to suspect fraud."
(26 Feb 2020) <-- 4+ months after the election.

New York Times:
"Election Fraud Aided Evo Morales, International Panel Concludes."
(05 Dec 2019) <-- ~ 7 weeks after the election.
"M.I.T. Researchers Cast Doubt on Bolivian Election Fraud."
(28 Feb 2020) <-- 4+ months after the election.
"A Bitter Election. Accusations of Fraud. And Now Second Thoughts."
(07 Jun 2020) <-- who the fuck cares?
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#28  Postby arugula2 » Oct 30, 2020 6:31 pm

JRE 1556 - Glenn Greenwald.

Snowden & Assange discussed in the first third. The bulk of the 3-hour convo is about open discourse, journalism, social media, human interactions, gender identity, etc. Embarrassingly above-average (by a lot).

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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#29  Postby Mike_L » Nov 02, 2020 8:06 am

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to apply for Russian CITIZENSHIP after 7 years in legal limbo

1 Nov, 2020

Exiled US whistleblower Edward Snowden has announced his decision to apply for Russian citizenship so that his son doesn’t have to share his fate, living separated from family and without a place to call home.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son,” former CIA and NSA contractor turned-whistleblower wrote in a series of tweets on Saturday.

“That's why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we're applying for dual US-Russian citizenship. Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love – including the freedom to speak his mind,” Snowden added.
“Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited.”

The surprise announcement, which is poised to galvanize critics demanding he be tried for "treason," comes days after Edward Snowden and his wife Lindsay revealed they are expecting their first child – who will receive Russian citizenship when born.
Last week – seven years after he had arrived in Moscow and eventually received sanctuary from Washington's attempts to silence him – Snowden was granted a Russian permanent residency permit.
...

Full text at:
https://www.rt.com/russia/505215-snowden-son-russian-citizenship/
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#30  Postby arugula2 » Nov 02, 2020 8:31 am

Good for him, under the circumstances. Since most governments do the bidding of their American masters, and the rest can be easily broken... Russia is the safest haven for now. I'm jealous his boy gets to learn Russian. Tough language. :whine:

How sad that he has to proclaim "freedom to speak his mind" as an American value, to score points with our fellow sheep. :lol:

Both the residency & citizenship aren't a surprise to me, given that Trump chickened out; he's way outmatched by the apparatus, and he knows it.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#31  Postby Mike_L » Nov 02, 2020 11:55 am

arugula2 wrote:Good for him, under the circumstances. Since most governments do the bidding of their American masters, and the rest can be easily broken... Russia is the safest haven for now. I'm jealous his boy gets to learn Russian. Tough language. :whine:

How sad that he has to proclaim "freedom to speak his mind" as an American value, to score points with our fellow sheep. :lol:

Both the residency & citizenship aren't a surprise to me, given that Trump chickened out; he's way outmatched by the apparatus, and he knows it.

:nod:
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#32  Postby Alan C » Nov 02, 2020 8:13 pm

How is Russia a safe haven? If he's careless he might accidentally fall off a balcony or get some special tea if he ends up annoying Putler.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#33  Postby arugula2 » Nov 03, 2020 12:09 am

Not 'safe', but 'safest'. Beyond that... where do I begin... let's see...

Almost anywhere else in Europe, and basically anywhere in Latin America outside Venezuela, he'll be kidnapped and/or extradited. Apparently, while he was in Hong Kong in 2013, he was preparing to seek asylum in France (and possibly Belgium or Netherlands?), but the Obama administration (Biden, allegedly) intervened & threatened sanctions. France chickened out of course, and denied him the visa. It took a couple years, I think, for Obama to signal that he's not worth it, but... that's not what counts anymore, obviously.

Iirc he contemplated Ecuador, too. We know how that turned out for Assange, thanks to a steady political shift to the right, with American/IMF-driven poking and who knows what other official meddling.

The list goes on. My earlier post sums it up: of all the countries that might have ability & motivation to resist such coersion, Russia is the safest for him imo, and the most capable of deterring interference. To annoy Putin or a crony enough that he kills you, you have to go to some relative extremes; and ties to the Russian state are almost prerequisite.

Snowden was already involved in at least one anti-authoritarian ad campaign about freedom of expression & freedom of conscience, alongside Pussy Riot and Ai Wei Wei (through Amnesty), while in Moscow.

Image

If you know Pussy Riot, you know that they queer-troll Putin, call him fascist, and openly mock him when he cuts their prison sentences short. It's not because they're awesome. (They are.) :P It's because there's actually widespread resistance to authoritarianism among regular peeps, and he depends on popularity to remain in control. It's a balancing act. You have to realistically threaten to depose him, or threaten his money or that of one of his friends, imo. It takes much less to get killed by the American government.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#34  Postby arugula2 » Nov 03, 2020 2:07 am

"'Cuz vagina's got a lot to say". :awesome:

"Straight Outta Vagina" (Pussy Riot ft. Desi Mo & Leikeli47)
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#35  Postby arugula2 » Nov 08, 2020 7:23 am

Docs:

In late 2013, WaPo cited "unnamed officials" in the Obama government stating the obvious for why AG Holder wouldn't prosecute Assange over classified information published through WikiLeaks: they'd have to go after other publishers too.

Mueller investigated the role of WikiLeaks in the acquiring of the DNC emails in 2016, and concluded there wasn't enough to link Assange to the "hacking" itself (translation: they'd have to make something up to charge him). He included this in the report, and Barr had it redacted. A district court judge in September found that redacting the 15-page section that contained this information was unlawful, and ordered the DOJ to make the section available by Nov 2. This was in response to a Freedom of Information challenge brought on by BuzzFeed and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The section also included the following: that Trump lied under questioning about whether or not he was tipped off ahead of time (by Stone) that the emails would be released. Two sufficient reasons for Barr to hide the section - to protect his boss, and to withhold the WikiLeaks stance from Assange.

For a second time, from a second angle, a US government prosecutor looked for a reason to charge Assange, and found none.

BuzzFeed story here: New: Mueller Investigated Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, And Roger Stone For DNC Hacks (Nov 2020)
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#36  Postby arugula2 » Nov 15, 2020 8:28 am

Apparently, Netflix added Oliver Stone’s Snowden a couple weeks ago. It’s maybe one of 2-3 Joseph Gordon-Levitt performances that weren’t immersion-breaking for me (and I’m counting 3rd Rock From the Sun). He’s understated here, and so is Stone. Recommended.

Image Snowden (2016)

Also plugging Citizenfour by Laura Poitras, her documentary of her encounter with Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013. That’s streaming on Prime (and Tubi). Easy to recommend, very barebones & direct.

Image Citizenfour (2014)

Poitras also made an Assange docu, Risk (2016), but I haven’t seen it.

Image
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#37  Postby arugula2 » Nov 21, 2020 9:35 pm

    Thread relevance: US soft power abroad; election interference (see CLS Strategies post in the "Democrat Watch" thread). Clinton email stash @WikiLeaks here. Relevance of Clinton emails to the Honduras coup explained here.

(Short clip...) Evo Morales, in his "low-class" indigenous Spanish, describes how an engaged workers' movement can sometimes foil the transparent skullduggery that political elites usually get away with, especially in US-client states.



The clip is from a longer interview from ~1 week ago. He has since been re-elected as president of the regional labor cooperative (Coordinadora de las Seis Federaciones del Trópico de Cochabamba). The coup in Honduras gets a brief mention. The distinction he makes between the two countries, and why the struggle to recover from a US-backed right-wing coup is playing out differently in Honduras (still not recovered since 2009), is important. The full interview focuses on the labor movement & its procedures. It's a decent summary of what makes the Bolivian situation unique, and the envy of progressive movements in neighboring countries. In the latter half of the interview, he details events during last year's coup in Bolivia, including the role of rank-and-file members of the army who refused to shoot protesters, and who were punished by the interim government.

Bolivia was mostly a remnant of extreme colonialism: an indigenous mass (the largest ratio in the hemisphere world) ruled over by a tiny, racist white elite exploiting their labor. Mostly tin & copper mining, and more recently the largest lithium deposits in the world. You can infer what the political flavors of such a post-colonial system boil down to: a move to nationalize industries so their revenues tend to benefit the whole country, versus a move to privatize them so the tiny white elite are enriched. This is the way of the world. Bolivia's brown people simply have the numbers, and decades-long union organizing has nurtured an individual sense of dignity & basic entitlement in them, which is the true anomaly. (Movies like Zona Sur (Southern District), which is free on youtube, explore this social divide. An understanding of Bolivian politics is incomplete without it.)

One other advantage is allyship in progressive movements in Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Mexico. It's still (how absurd!) considered risky in these societies to openly criticize US government intrusions into Latin America. Such a comically imperialist stance is allowed to play out in the open because 1) most everyday people in the colonial countries are disinterested & uninformed about it; 2) media in those countries generally slant in the colonial direction; and 3) it's hard, in any case, to empathize with the "Other".

When the braver politicians in Argentina & elsewhere criticize this relationship, they usually mention the OAS (Organization of American States), one of the main instruments for US meddling in the hemisphere. If a picture = 1000 words, here's a Google Earth photo of the heart of Washington, DC: the OAS main building (bottom left) sits literally in the backyard of the White House. Monroe Doctrine as architecture.

oasdc.png
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OAS members sometimes buck the trend, such as when in 2009, the presidents of Honduras and Nicaragua (Manuel Zelaya & Daniel Ortega) successfully lobbied to reinstate Cuba into the organization. Obama had sent Clinton to talk the members out of it, but they refused, calling the isolation shameful & describing it in terms of an OAS that was always expected to rubber-stamp US foreign policy. Clinton's visit was on June 3; Zelaya was deposed in a military coup 25 days later, on June 28. The coup leaders were trained at the United States Army School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia - recently rebranded as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Linger on the name for a moment.

The Honduras coup was swift and has still not been reversed... The Nicaragua meddling less-well executed: the Sandinistas hold out, and the Reagan years remain a fresh wound there.

Meanwhile, the myth of Cuba's 'opening' as a feature of Obama's maverick foreign policy... persists.
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Re: Snowden and Assange stuff

#38  Postby arugula2 » Nov 25, 2020 10:38 am

US accused of spying on Danish and European defence industries (The Local Denmark, 17 November 2020)
[Reveal] Spoiler: click for article text
Image

Seven years after the Edward Snowden scandal, new allegations that the US spied on close allies have emerged in Denmark, this time regarding the defence industry and a Danish fighter jet tender won by the US.
Denmark's foreign ministry told AFP on Monday it had "no comment" on a report by Danish public television DR, which said the espionage took place from 2012 to 2015.


That would suggest that the US spying, if confirmed, was going on during and after the 2013 Snowden affair, which erupted when former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the US government was spying on its own citizens and its allies.

According to DR, the fresh allegations are based on internal Danish intelligence reports written by a whistleblower who wanted his superiors to act.

DR said its investigation showed the US National Security Agency (NSA) "took advantage of a top secret Danish-American surveillance collaboration to deliberately spy on central ministries and private companies in Denmark."

The broadcaster reported that much of the espionage concerned the defence sector and in particular Denmark's tender for a new jet fighter to replace its ageing fleet.

Copenhagen ended up ordering 27 F-35s from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which beat out the Eurofighter and Sweden's Saab Gripen.

Other US allies, such as Germany, France, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden, were also the targets of US espionage in the defence sector, DR's report said.


'US spied on allies, including the Netherlands, from Denmark' (NRC Netherlands, 16 November 2020)

Thanks to a collaboration with the Danish intelligence service in 2008, the US had access to a cable network with which data could be tapped. It used the spy program Xkeyscore, spyware with which the browser history, email exchanges and chat history of internet users can be viewed. The data intercepted was stored in a data center on an island in Denmark, which was accessed by both the FE and the NSA.

However, without the Danes' knowledge, the Americans would have used the access to spy on the Danish State Department and the Treasury Department, while also tapping data from targets in Sweden, Germany, France, Norway and the Netherlands. It is unclear when the Netherlands was spied on and which targets were monitored.
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