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04.05.15

Links 5/4/2015: Linux Australia Server Woes, MATE 1.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Magic Lantern Brings Linux to Canon EOS Cameras

    On April 1st the Magic Lantern team announced a proof of concept that lets you run Linux on a Canon EOS camera. Because of the date of the post we’ve poured over this one and are confident it’s no joke. The development has huge potential.

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview

      This is a “first impression” review. I’ve had the system in my hands for all of about twenty-four hours and am still exploring and forming more solid opinions. Also any problems I had likely do have solutions, but as I said: less than forty-eight hours of ownership so I haven’t had a chance to. Linux-centric system review will follow this weekend / next week.

    • A Million People Switched To GNU/Linux In Spain, France, and Germany Q1 2015

      A rise of 0.5% represents 1M increase in users, assuming share of page-views = share of desktop PCs = share of users.

  • Server

    • Linux Australia server hacked, personal information may have been stolen

      A public server belonging to Linux Australia, the umbrella group for Linux user groups in the country, were breached on March 22, and the personal information of members may have been stolen.

    • How Linux Australia Handled Its Recent Data Breach

      In an email, Linux Australia revealed that its servers where compromised during the morning of 22 March. Over the course of a few hours, the organisation believes its databases containing conference information were dumped to an external source. A “currently unknown vulnerability” caused a buffer overflow that allowed the hacker to acquire root access.

    • On featuring and writing clickbaity articles

      I think you do not even begin to understand the complexities of how communities in Linux interact with each other. I have friends across Red Hat, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, Debian and countless other distributions that I’ve acquired during the past 5 years of working on Kubuntu and KDE. Sure, from time to time we joke about the short comings of one another’s projects, but that’s what they are, jokes. We most certainly do not intend to belittle each others work and to be honest, I am quite happy that you’re not part of this community.

    • Have you heard of ONLYOFFICE? It’s like Google Docs, only it’s not from Google … and you might be able to run your own instance

      How could I have missed ONLYOFFICE? If not for this How to Forge article on installing it, I would have never known that it existed as a hosted alternative to Google Docs/Spreadsheets or that you can self-host the software, though I’m not sure how functional the roll-your-own version is at this point.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Torvalds’ temptress comes of age: Xfce 4.12 hits the streets

      Torvalds, in a now-deleted Google Plus post, had called Xfce “A step down from GNOME 2, but a huge step up from GNOME 3″.

      Xfce’s biggest problem seems to be that no one sticks with it. Torvalds soon moved back to GNOME and, after experimenting with Xfce, Debian also went back to using GNOME as the default for the upcoming Debian Jessie.

    • MATE 1.10 Desktop Environment Arrives with Better GTK3 Support

      MATE, one of the most lightweight and appreciated open source desktop environments used in numerous distributions of Linux, including Ubuntu MATE and Linux Mint, has reached today version 1.10.0, a released that introduces several new features and a great number of improvements.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krunner – The birth of a cyborg

        Krunner is exactly like that lovely, lovely 80s futuristic Dystopian sci-fi movie with Arnold and Jesse, except that is different in every single way. Now, for those of you who’ve fiddled with KDE before, possibly on a roof, hihi, then Krunner is not a stranger. It’s a familiar and useful application available in the desktop framework set of default tools. Only now we have Plasma at our disposal, and we need to give it a fresh new try.

      • The Space-Time Continuum of KDE’s Activities

        This is not about KDE e.V.’s new time travel program. This is about Plasma and its concept of Activities. They have been a topic of hot debates. Some people love them, some don’t care. Björn called for finding a new metaphor which better fits the mental model of the user, so that Plasma’s activities can appeal to a larger group of people. Here are my thoughts.

      • Work In Progress, all the way

        I must say KDE Connect is one of my personal killer features in our KDE eco system and if you haven’t tried it, you should. Really. It always makes me smile when someone tells me “sure I’m using KDE Connect” – my sister’s been over for lunch a few days ago and I spotted her phone on the “Available Devices” list. That was quite surprising, to say the least. However, it makes me sad to see how we suck at marketing. This made me think on how we could make KDE Connect an integral part of our user experience rather than a 3rd party kind of thing.

      • Some Skrooge news

        The next Skrooge version, initiating the 2.x naming scheme, will be based on kf5. Don’t expect too much in terms of functionalities or appearance, this is for some other time.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • MakuluLinux unity Desktop is Live !

        finally the long wait is over, The MakuluLinux unity desktop is now live and available for download, You can head over to the Unity section and check out the release notes and grab your copy from the download section. Hope you guys enjoy this release, a lot of hard work went into making this and I want to than all the testers for their hard work in helping making this release a unique one !

      • LXLE 14.04.2 & 12.04.5 Release Notes with Screenshots

        The next incremental update of LXLE has been released, ticking it up to 14.04.2 along with the last 32bit version of LXLE ever, which is based on 12.04.5. The 32bit closely mirrors the changes to the latest 64bit edition of the OS.

      • LXLE 14.04.2 and 12.04.5 Officially Released, the Last to Support 32-bit Architectures

        Approximately a month ago, we’ve reported that the Beta release of the Lubuntu-based LXLE Linux distribution was released introducing UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) support in the 64-bit ISO images, and that they’ve decided to switch to SeaMonkey as the default web browser. Today, we announce that the final release of LXLE 14.04.2 is now available for download.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Debian Family

      • Improving creation of debian copyright file

        In my opinion, creating and maintaining Debian copyright file is the most boring task required to create a Debian package. Unfortunately, this file is also one of the most important of a package: it specifies some legal aspect regarding the use of the software.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • An Ubuntu Touch OTA Update Will Be Available Soon

            Canonical is about to release a new update for the Ubuntu Touch RTM branch, used on both Ubuntu Phones, created by Bq and Meizu, which will most likely bring improvements in battery life, among others.

          • Ubuntu Touch Has Over 1200 Apps And Scopes

            Despite the fact that Ubuntu Touch is a young platform, over 1200 apps are already available for the Ubuntu Touch OS, including some real important apps, like Telegram, Cut The Rope, Tox or GCompris.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny SODIMM-style module runs Linux on Cortex-A5
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Getting To Know Android: Lollipop Edition

          Android 5.0 Lollipop (known previously as just L) was the biggest change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Frankly, I’d rank it as the biggest change to Android ever, for a variety of reasons.

        • OnePlus releases its own version of Android as a replacement for Cyanogen

          Last year, Chinese phone maker OnePlus tried to take on Samsung and HTC with a flagship-style phone at half the price. That device, the OnePlus One, ran a customized version of Android developed by Cyanogen, but now the company is ready to unveil its own software. After a couple of delays, OxygenOS is now available for OnePlus One owners to download and flash onto their smartphones.

        • OnePlus releases OxygenOS, its custom take on Android

          After a pretty sizable delay, OnePlus has at last released OxygenOS, its in-house version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. As promised back near the start of the year, this Cyanogen replacement is all about a “back to basics” approach that keeps things stock unless the startup thinks a new feature would be genuinely useful. Right now, that’s largely limited to features you already had on your One: you can draw Oppo-style gestures to trigger functions when the screen is off, switch between hardware and software navigation keys and customize your quick-access settings. OxygenOS isn’t for the faint of heart at this stage, since you’ll have to be comfortable with installing ROMs (and likely put up with early bugs), but it’s worth a shot if you want to catch a glimpse of OnePlus’ software future.

        • OnePlus’s Android Lollipop-based ROM, OxygenOS, is available to download now

          The China-based mobile phone manufacturer has been teasing OxygenOS since last year, after the company encountered issues when launching its One phone in India. It learned that Cyanogen, the organization behind CyanogenMod, had granted exclusivity to another manufacturer in the country, which ultimately expedited OnePlus’s development of OxygenOS.

        • Top Android news of the week: Samsung not working on update, unified mailbox, Asus on fire

          Asus has raised its sales expectations for smartphones to 30 million for this year. The company is on the rise in this category, given it only shipped 10,000 units in early 2014.

        • ASUS raises sales expectations to 30 million smartphones in 2015

          ASUS has been ramping up its mobile strategy in the past few months, announcing cost effective products in both the smartphone and wearables markets. As the new Zenfone 2 range makes its way out around the world, ASUS has just updated its sales expectations to 30 million units for 2015.

        • Android 5.1 L Update Release Date for Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Note 4, Note Edge

          The Android 5.0 update (also known as Android L or Lollipop) has been very slow to roll out on Samsung flagship phones. Ever since it was announced in June of last year and officially launched in November of that year, its trickling down has been very slow, especially for those who are users of the Samsung Galaxy S5, the S4, the Note 4, the Note 3, and the Note Edge. There have been reports that Android 5.1 might be just as delayed as Android 5.0.

        • Amazon Prime Instant Video Now Supports Android Tablets

          Amazon doesn’t seem to particularly want Android users to enjoy its video streaming service. First it took its sweet time expanding the offering out from Fire and iOS devices. Then when it did finally bring the app to Android, it required installing the standard Amazon app, which then prompted you to install a dedicated Prime Instant Video app from the Amazon Appstore (Google Play, what’s that?). After that, it only ran on phones. Tablets, for the most part, were inexplicably left out.

        • Mailbox for Android version 2.0.1 update brings a Material Design refresh

          If you’re a fan of the “inbox zero” mentality when it comes to managing email, odds are you’ve tried Mailbox for Android. The app, which was an iOS exclusive for some time, makes it easier than ever to delete, snooze and archive emails with just a few swipes. When the application launched on Android, there were few differences between the iOS and Android versions, at least aesthetically speaking. But today that changes, as Mailbox is receiving quite the update to version 2.0.1 which brings a Material Design refresh to the app.

        • Why Android could kill Google’s struggling standalone Chrome apps

          But that positive news carries a darker undertone. Google’s “Chrome app” platform was already underperforming, and now developers have even less incentive to write Chrome apps when they can reuse their existing Android apps.

        • Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 tablet get Android 5.0 Lollipop update

          The Sony Xperia line will finally get the much awaited Android Lollipop 5.0 OS update after the company formally announced the rollout through Twitter.

        • Android 5.1 certified for Sony Xperia Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact?

          Sony might have taken a lot of heat for being so late to update its current flagship phone. But the manufacturer apparently isn’t taking any chances when it comes to Android 5.1. New firmware has been certified for both the Sony Xperia Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. The new firmware version is 23.2.A.0.278.

        • Sony Xperia Z Android 5.0 Lollipop update: Teaser image hints at imminent release

          Sony has shared a teaser on its Sony Xperia Google+ page showing the Xperia Z with Android 5.0 Lollipop’s lock-screen notification feature and the tag “Coming Soon”, indicating that the Japanese company could release the new update to the first generation Xperia smartphone, ahead of the newer Z1 and Z Ultra models.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ONOS Blackbird Release Demonstrates SDN Control Plane Performance and Scale Leadership
  • ONOS ‘Blackbird’ Promises Carrier Grade SDN Option for Service Providers

    ONOS has announced the availability of the second release of its open networking operating system, Blackbird, promising to bring carrier grade Software Defined Networking (SDN) implementation option for service providers. The ONOS Blackbird release includes a set of metrics to effectively measure performance and other carrier-grade attributes of the SDN control plane.

  • 6 operating systems designed just for Docker and other container runtimes

    If you’re familiar with Unix-like free software operating systems, I’m sure you’ve probably lost count of the number of Linux distributions in active developments. I know, it’s a very long list, and growing.

    But get ready for the same trend on the container technology side, because the conditions that made it possible to have hundreds of Linux distributions – freely available source code, hordes of developers with time to spare and an itch to scratch – are also in play in the field of containerization.

    So far, I’ve been able to identify just six of such container-native operating systems, as they are called, but trust me, there will be many more to come.

    So here are six container-native operating systems that I’m aware of. If you know of any not in the list, please post a comment.

    Read more

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis Joins Open Source PaaS Project Cloud Foundry Foundation

      Mirantis, the pure-play OpenStack company, has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation, an open source Platform as a Service (PaaS) project that acts as a middleware for OpenStack deployments. Mirantis is commited to supporting Cloud Foundry and partnering with distribution vendors in its ecosystem instead of building its own Cloud Foundry distribution.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

Leftovers

  • Teenagers have never been a smaller portion of our population

    The problem for teen density is that the rest of the country keeps getting older and the population keeps growing.

  • Fear in Chelsea on the campaign trail: third Clinton is Hillary’s secret weapon

    They called it “the Chelsea effect”. Senior advisers to Barack Obama coined the phrase during his 2008 campaign for president, after they noticed a surprising trend in the long and bitter battle for the nomination between the then-senator from Illinois and Hillary Clinton.

  • Here’s how to unlock four secret Easter eggs in Android

    Happy Easter!

    From wild pranks on April Fools Day to hidden tricks in its search engine, the Google team loves creating surprises for users. Here’s how to find Google’s Easter eggs, for the four latest versions of its Android operating system.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Full Toxic Beauty Treatment?

      Most people visit hair and nail salons, at most, only for a few hours a month. Beauticians, however, work in these often toxic environments all day, every day, breathing in fumes and absorbing chemicals through the skin. Hair sprays, permanent waves, acrylic nail applications and other salon products contain ingredients associated with asthma, dermatitis, neurological symptoms and even cancer. Because these products are considered neither foods nor drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no responsibility to ensure the products are made safer.

    • First full body transplant is two years away, surgeon claims

      Sergio Canavero, a doctor in Turin, Italy, has drawn up plans to graft a living person’s head on to a donor body and claims the procedures needed to carry out the operation are not far off.

    • MN lawmaker wants to give veterans more ‘choices’

      Even more than measuring travel as the crow flies, what Congressman Walz finds illogical is using a medical facility incapable of providing the care a veteran needs, to deny that veteran access to the Choice Card program.

    • Justices Say Nonprofit Hospitals Can Be Liable for Injuries

      A nonprofit hospital that operates a free clinic on the side can be held liable for damages when people are injured on its property, the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled.

      In a unanimous decision, the court said a nonprofit hospital is covered by the limited liability protections afforded to hospitals, which cap damages at $250,000, rather than the complete immunity afforded by the Charitable Immunity Act, even though it was engaged in a charitable act when the injury occurred.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Nicola Sturgeon speaks at anti-Trident rally and warns “future generations would never forgive us”

      First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has this afternoon spoken at the annual anti-Trident rally in Glasgow, urging people across the UK to seize the moment of the Westminster election to block the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons.

    • Iran, Stubborn History and a Toast to the Future

      Whatever the truth may be regarding the manner in which the release of the hostages was secured, the truth remains: The Iran Revolution happened, the Shah fell and fled, Khomeini rose, the US Embassy was sacked, the hostages were taken and subsequently freed, and since that time the United States and Iran have been in a de-facto state of war. After the hostages were home and President Reagan was installed, sanctions were levied against Iran – against its currency, its weapons program, and most notably its nuclear program – which have shattered its economy.

    • Not everyone on the right balks at Iran deal

      For the most part, commentary and analysis of the preliminary nuclear deal with Iran falls along predictable lines. On the one hand, we see President Obama’s policy backed by the American mainstream, many congressional Democrats, a variety of foreign policy experts, and most of our allies.

    • U.S. to Train Nazi Troops in Ukraine

      The Azov Battalion was founded and its members were selected by Andrei Biletsky, a Ukrainian nazi (that’s an ideological term, meaning racist fascist — not a term referring specifically to the first political party with that particular ideology, the National Socialist Party of Germany). When Britain’s Guardian interviewed members, the reporter was shocked to find that they’re nazis (“neo-Nazis”).

    • Manning Joins Twitter, Has More Than 1K Followers Before Posting
    • Chelsea Manning Joins Twitter From Prison & We Can’t Wait To See What She Has To Say
    • Chelsea Manning joins Twitter and gets over 1,000 followers before posting

      Chelsea Manning, the US soldier serving 35 years in military prison for leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks, has joined the social media site Twitter.

    • The lies still killing Gulf War vets

      More than 200,000 US troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. The Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today, notes

    • The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths

      Another widespread fallacy is that such neoconservatives as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz strong-armed an inexperienced president into taking the country to war. President Bush, as he himself famously asserted, was the “decider.” One could argue, however, that Hans Blix, the former chief of the international weapons inspectors, bears some responsibility. Though he personally opposed an invasion, Mr. Blix told the U.N. in January 2003 that despite America’s ultimatum, Saddam was still not complying fully with his U.N. pledges. In February, he said “many proscribed weapons and items,” including 1,000 tons of chemical agent, were still “not accounted for.”

      [...]

      By then, however, most Americans had concluded that no such weapons existed. These were not new chemical arms, to be sure, but Saddam Hussein’s refusal to account for their destruction was among the reasons the White House cited as justification for war.

    • The Pentagon Ups the Ante in Syria Fight
    • Is US The “Good Guy” Imposing Sanity On Iranian “Bad Guy”?

      Ex CIA analyst Ray McGovern today points out that “The mainstream U.S. media portrays the Iran nuclear talks as ‘our good guys’ imposing some sanity on ‘their bad guys.’”

    • How the United States welcomed Nazis after World War II

      Years ago, when the United States and the Soviet Union had both experienced setbacks in their space programs, one of my professors suggested that our scientists and theirs may have flunked the same course at Heidelberg. It was no great secret that, in the waning days of World War II, the United States scrambled to capture German rocket scientists before the Soviets got them. Hitler’s rocket attacks on Great Britain had made clear that the Germans were far ahead of us in that technology. The Cold War was in its infancy, and the United States already foresaw using rockets to transport nuclear weapons.

      Of the more than 1,600 Nazi scientists brought to the United States, Eric Lichtblau, author of “The Nazis Next Door,” singles out Wernher von Braun as the preeminent catch. Infamous for having led development of the German V-2 rocket, von Braun ended up in Huntsville, Ala., helping develop the rockets that eventually took American astronauts to the moon. It was well known that the V-2s had been built by slaves, mostly prisoners of war, many of whom were abused, starved and worked to death. Von Braun did not deny his role in this, yet with the aid of Walt Disney, who on his TV show repeatedly turned to von Braun as an expert on space travel, the German emerged as an American hero.

    • Drone movie review

      “The robotic war is here, and the future of war could be an Orwellian version of Terminator.” This quote, taken from the director’s statement, best summarises the growing fear of future, and even contemporary, military combat. Documentary director Tonje Hessen Schei wants to bring to the forefront the secretive CIA drone war, and the impact this has on both the victims and the combatants.drone (1)

    • Why Iran Distrusts the US in Nuke Talks

      The Iranians may be a bit paranoid but, as the saying goes, this does not mean some folks are not out to get them. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his knee-jerk followers in Washington clearly are out to get them – and they know it.

      Nowhere is this clearer than in the surreal set of negotiations in Switzerland premised not on evidence, but rather on an assumption of Iran’s putative “ambition” to become a nuclear weapons state – like Israel, which maintains a secret and sophisticated nuclear weapons arsenal estimated at about 200 weapons. The supposed threat is that Iran might build one.

    • Verbal outburst between Turkey and Iran

      Iran has been an important player in the region since the ousting of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in 1953 by a coup. The CIA much later acknowledged that the coup to overthrow Mosaddeq, who was nationalizing Iranian oil, was carried out under CIA direction.

    • US repair crew arrives to fix F/A-18s

      The US Marine Corps’ press office said the Tainan Airport is an US-approved divert airfield, but China’s foreign ministry said it had complained to Washington about the two US F/A-18s that landed in Tainan on Wednesday

    • Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons to the enemy

      The United States has a long tradition of arming its allies to advance Washington’s foreign policy. In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the U.S. the “arsenal of democracy” as he pledged thousands of ships, tanks and warplanes to countries battling Nazi Germany.

      Roosevelt’s characterization is no less true today. The U.S. government is sending large amounts of weapons to allies desperately battling Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria. Washington is also considering equipping the battered Ukrainian military, which has been fighting Russian-sponsored rebels in the country’s east.

      Broadly speaking, there are two ways the U.S. can arm an ally. America can donate, or sell cheap, the latest U.S.-made weaponry. Or it can send foreign-made weaponry — Russian usually — through a middleman.

    • Iran breakthrough provides no hint about fate of detained Americans

      Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who also had worked for the CIA, disappeared during a visit to Iran’s Kish Island more than eight years ago. While Iran has denied holding him, U.S. officials believe he has been in Iranian custody.

    • ‘Framework’ agreement with Iran sparks hope for jailed Americans

      Supporters of four Americans believed to be held in Iran are hoping the “framework” for a deal between the West and the Islamic Republic includes freedom for the U.S. citizens.

    • A Disappearance in Mexico

      The main part of the Samford event involved two parents of missing students addressing the crowd through an interpreter. At times breaking down in tears, they said their children had gone out to fundraise for their education. After fundraising, the parents explained, the students were attending protests in Iguala and hoping to travel to Mexico City. They were instead intercepted by the Iguala police and eventually handed off to the drug-trafficking organization called Guerreros Unidos, the parents said.

    • Honduran death squads kill four student protesters, including a 13-year-old

      The remains of 13 year-old Soad Nicole Ham were found in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa last Wednesday after a death squad kidnapped and murdered her for participating in recent student demonstrations against the country’s crumbling education system. A medical examination of the girl’s remains, which were discovered in a plastic bag on the street, revealed signs of brutal torture.

      Soad Nicole was the fourth demonstrator to be killed by death squads in Tegucigalpa last week. The bodies of Elvin Antonio López, Darwin Josué Martínez, and Diana Yareli Montoya—all between the ages of 19 and 21 and all actively involved in student protests—were also discovered in various neighborhoods of the city. Yareli Montoya, whose body was riddled with 21 bullets by masked attackers, took two painful days to die.

    • Cold War mystery: Israeli spies may have stolen US uranium to build the bomb

      In the 1960s, hundreds of kilograms of uranium went missing in the US state of Pennsylvania. Is it buried in the ground, poisoning locals – or did Israel steal it to build the bomb, Scott Johnson asks.

    • Another CFR-Rhodes Agent for Secretary of Defense

      In sum, nearly all US defense secretaries have been CFR members or analysts, some even high-ranking Council officials. At the same time, US defense secretaries and CFR agents have counseled one another and collaborated in efforts to shape the course of Western globalization. Given this ubiquitous exchange between the CFR and the office of United States Secretary of Defense, an Ashton Carter military should be expected to follow the CFR’s script.

    • “A Necessary, If Still Unpalatable, Potential Ally in Combating the Islamic State”

      It’s a good thing the Times is keeping the faith about the dangers of NSA surveillance, the moral necessity of closing Guantanamo, the crucial importance of accountability in drone strikes, and the urgency of a laser-like focus on CIA interrogations that took place more than a decade ago.

    • Iran Riches Coveted by Big Oil After Decades of Conflict

      The discovery of crude in 1908 laid the foundations for the company that would become British Petroleum and opened one of the richest opportunities that Western oil companies have ever enjoyed in the turbulent Middle East. Since then, the industry’s history in Iran is intertwined with CIA-backed coups, colonial exploitation and the anti-Western resentment surrounding the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    • NEWS ANALYSIS: Oil majors likely to kiss and make up with Iran

      Outside the boardroom of BP’s headquarters in London, a display case houses the geological data from Masjid-i-Solaiman, Iran’s first oil well. The discovery of crude in 1908 laid the foundations for the company that would become British Petroleum and opened one of the richest opportunities that western oil companies have ever enjoyed in the turbulent Middle East. Since then the industry’s history in Iran is intertwined with Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-backed coups, colonial exploitation and the anti-western resentment of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    • Cold War-era plane repair firm Air Asia still active in Taiwan

      US military aircraft are no longer allowed to be deployed to Taiwan after Washington established ties with Beijing in 1979, but Air Asia was able to deal with the US planes, showing it is still active. Chang Ching, a Taiwanese military expert, rejected rumors on the internet that the US was trying to provide F/A-18C technology to Taiwan by sending the two fighters, calling the claims nonsense.

    • Letters to the Editor: Watch where we send troops

      The U.S. interventions around the world have not always been for the good. We have overthrown democratically elected governments because they were supposedly Communist. The Chilean people might have a different take on our allowing the C.I.A. to overthrow the democratically elected Allende and then to install a dictator like Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet was wanted in Spain and arrested in England for his crimes. He was later reindicted in Chile but died before trial. George W. Bush was actually convicted in absentia in Malaysia for torture. We expect other countries to follow the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations. It is no wonder so many citizens of Venezuela and Cuba have a negative attitude towards the good old U.S.A. We also tried to overthrow the Castro government militarily and with exploding cigars. Our CIA also told the white South African police where Nelson Mandela was hiding after his conviction on terrorism by the same legal system, leading to 27 years on Robbins Island at hard labor. We also replaced a head of state picked by the citizens of Iran in the 1950s and replaced him with the Shah of Iran. We all know how that turned out, but just as in this country, we care about those of lighter skin colors. We should heed the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.”

    • Yossi Melman: There is no no existential threat to the Jewish State

      In an analysis in Jerusalem Post today, Yossi Melman makes the case that there is no existential threat to Israel and indeed Israel has a submarine capability to make a nuclear retaliatory strike against Iran, should Iran destroy Israel with nuclear weapons. Melman reports that the submarines are coming from Germany out of “pangs of guilt following the Holocaust.”

    • More on Senator Menendez’s favorite (ex?) terrorist group and the insanity of neocon policy in the Mideast

      Even at this late date a lot of people claim not to know the difference between us true conservatives and the so-called “neo” conservatives.

      Hint: “Neo” means new. And if you have new beliefs, then by definition you’re not a conservative. We stick to the tried and true. Plato’s fine but that Aristotle guy was getting a little ahead of himself.

      Another hint: If you’re a true conservative, then people will call you an “isolationist.”

    • Why still meddling?

      The US has not limited its dealings to the Middle East but has conspired to control many countries by making them financially dependent. This has been done by promising countries the US would help in power generation and construction of infrastructure. Huge loans were organised and contracts awarded to US companies such as Haliburton, so the money never left the US. The loans were impossible to repay which led to increased unemployment and poverty in the target country. The US could then control the assets of that country for its own gain, whether it be oil, gas, minerals or, in the case of Panama, the canal.

    • U.S. Military Planes Cleared to Refuel Saudi Jets Bombing Yemeni Targets

      The U.S. Defense Department has cleared the way for American military planes to start refueling Saudi Arabian jets bombing Houthi fighters in Yemen as the U.S. deepens its role in the expanding regional conflict, U.S. defense officials said Thursday.

    • Yemen as Vietnam or Afghanistan

      It is hard to believe that history now seems to be repeating with Egypt and Saudi Arabia again engaged in a counter-guerrilla war in Yemen! For Nasser, it was Egypt’s Vietnam. Will the new Yemen war be Egypt’s (and Saudi Arabia’s) Afghanistan? I think it is very likely. All of the signs point in that direction.

      And, as I have laid out in numerous essays on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Mali and Algeria, and in my little book Violent Politics, guerrilla wars are almost never “won” but usually drain the supposedly dominant power of its wealth, moral position and political unity.

    • From Turkish prison, Kurdish leader tells followers to lay down their arms

      It has been one of the world’s longest and deadliest civil conflicts. Since the first incidents more than three decades ago, an estimated 40,000 lives have been lost.

      It has been, some say, a battle by activists among Turkey’s Kurdish minority for independence. It has been, others say, a guerrilla war by rebels who have punctuated their campaign with terrorist acts.

    • The Libyan quagmire

      Libya is no exception to this rule. Since the overthrow of Libya’s ruler Muammar Qaddafi in October 2011, the country has fallen into chaos in which armed militias govern their own patch of territory while successive governments have been unable to stabilize the situation and actively take control of the country. According to a BBC report, there are more than 1,700 armed and ideologically divided groups across Libya creating indescribable havoc, which is not only fragmenting the country but bringing Libya to the status of a lawless failed state. Some of the groups are Jihadist, others secular, liberal, or split according to geographical location, ethnic identity, or along tribal lines.

      [...]

      Khalifa Haftar was a colonel under Qaddafi. He led Libyan forces during a disastrous war with Chad in the south. After his defeat by Chadian forces in 1987, he was taken captive for almost five years, refusing to return to Libya out of fear Qaddafi would “punish” him for his defeat. Later, the CIA succeeded in whisking him out of Chad together with 300 of his men to Virginia where he underwent special training by the CIA. After living in exile in the U.S. for 20 years, he returned to Libya and led ground forces to help oust Qaddafi in 2011.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Obama’s Secrecy Obsession

      But Obama’s lack of transparency — after promising in 2008 to run a transparent administration — has left him at the mercy of Washington’s closed club of insiders, while alienating him from the broad American public. With neoconservatives and other opinion leaders dictating the dominant narrative on topic after topic, Obama has ended up reacting to events, not controlling them.

    • Obama Administration Improperly Claims Secrecy Power Over Videos of Former Guantanamo Prisoner’s Force-Feeding

      President Barack Obama’s administration claims that the executive branch alone may decide whether to disclose previously classified videos of the force-feeding of a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner—even though the videos are judicial records and a judge should be able to unseal and release them to the public.

      On October 3, 2014, a federal district court ordered the Obama administration to review videos of Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Syrian who at the time was still being held in indefinite detention. The government was granted permission to redact portions they believed needed to be censored for “national security.” Lawyers for Dhiab and media organizations, which supported disclosure, were to put forward a proposal for the release of videos.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Cheating’ jockey is caught in finish line photo: Winning rider who ‘used secret device to give horse painful electric shocks’ exposed

      After being confronted by Texas Department of Public Safety investigator Jeff Green, Chapa first denied having seen the photo, then claimed it was ‘photo-shopped and someone was trying to frame him,’ the complaint stated.

      Two days after the race, Texas Racing Commission stewards suspended Chapa, pending an investigation and hearing.

      ESPN reports that Chapa faces a felony charge and that a warrant was issued for his arrest on Tuesday, but authorities have so far been unable to locate him.

    • Indian Army Team To Scale Mount Everest, Will Come Back With 4000 Kg Garbage

      Mountaineers usually shed baggage as they climb higher. A 30-member Indian team setting out for Mount Everest next month plans to come down with 4,000 kilos of excess baggage, or rather, garbage.

    • Toward Democracy? Part Eight

      Offshore oil is not the only resource the UK Government wants kept out of Scottish control; England needs our water supplies. Over-population has begun a series of famines which will increase throughout the century. More wastelands must be cultivated, and Scotland has many used as sporting estates by very few. Unionist politicians thwarted Irish Home Rule by giving a separate UK parliament to northern Protestants who owned Ireland’s heaviest industries. In the 1970s the Westminster party leaders created an oil fund for the Shetland Islands, whose people have quietly benefited from local oil fields in a way Westminster openly denied to the rest of Scotland. The Shetlanders have now a generally higher standard of living than on the Scottish mainland, and higher than many parts of London.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Holyrood inquiry to probe historic CIA-backed human brainwashing experiments

      THE Holyrood inquiry into historic child abuse will be asked to investigate Scottish links to an infamous CIA-backed brainwashing programme, the Sunday Express can now reveal.

    • For Obama Critics, Google Is Part of the Conspiracy — Until It Isn’t

      Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt is apparently friends with Obama–cue fanfare and commence the investigation! SearchEngineLand reported Republicans think the Federal Trade Commission is treating the search giant with kid gloves when it comes to antitrust laws and are calling for an investigation.

    • Tragedy in Chico

      The story of Cass Edison is nothing short of tragic. At age 55, the accomplished journalist had had many experiences most of her peers could only imagine—living in Singapore and the Philippines, being recruited by the CIA, starting her own newspaper. Alcoholism took its toll, though, and led to lost relationships, money, and even her home. Then, one morning last month, she was found dead, her body dumped in a stranger’s yard. A suspect is in custody and, based on evidence, the case against him is strong.

    • Why conservative media are so powerful

      In this context, Fox News’s “Fair and Balanced” slogan is a bit of genius. It gives Fox’s opponents something to drive themselves nuts over, since the network is (with a few exceptions, such as Shepard Smith’s straight news reporting) so manifestly uninterested in adhering to its own stated mission. But while liberals fight to preserve the idea that news should be fair and balanced, Fox News and publications built on its model get on with their real work of being wildly entertaining and pushing the ideas and narratives its anchors and writers think are important.

  • Censorship

    • Senator Feinstein calls for internet ban of Anarchist Cookbook and Inspire magazine

      Feinstein is currently Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, but under her chairmanship of the committee, which ended last year, she was responsible for the release of the report on the CIA’s use of torture against detainees during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She released her request on Friday.

    • Sen. Feinstein Wants DIY Bomb-Making Guide ‘Anarchist’s Cookbook’ Off The Internet

      The Anarchist Cookbook was written by William Powell in 1971, and contains instructions to make explosives. Powell has fought to have is own book removed from publication, but the publisher has refused.

    • DDoS attacks that crippled GitHub linked to Great Firewall of China

      Earlier this week came word that the massive denial-of-service attacks targeting code-sharing site GitHub were the work of hackers with control over China’s Internet backbone. Now, a security researcher has provided even harder proof that the Chinese government is the source of the assaults.

    • BBC Rape Documentary Misses the Point

      This International Women’s Day marked the beginning of a large-scale campaign to eradicate gender inequality and end violence against women in India. India’s Daughter, a documentary from Leslee Udwin focusing primarily on the December 2012 gang-rape of Jyoti Singh, was intended to air on BBC that day to launch the campaign. According to Udwin, the campaign will show this film to 20 million schoolchildren in an effort to educate them on issues of gender sensitivity. BBC decided to release the film four days early while the Indian government banned it amid controversy. Discussion around India’s Daughter since then has primarily focused on the ban.

    • Real Action For Children Not Censorship

      No, it was screaming tabloid headlines and a promise from the Tories to bring in web blocking powers, Internet regulation and what amounts to electronic ID cards.

    • Free speech under fire

      That said, many outlets in the United States debated publishing some of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons after the attacks. The New York Times declined to do so, saying it would cross the “line between gratuitous insult and satire.” Online outlets, including BuzzFeed, Vox and the Huffington Post, opted to publish the cartoons.

    • Porn sites must have age checks, say Conservatives

      Pornography websites must adopt age-restriction controls or face closure, the Conservatives say.

    • Google Asked to Wipe Record Breaking 100 Million Pirate Links in 2015

      We’re just three months into 2015 but Google has already processed copyright takedown requests for 100 million allegedly infringing links. This is a significant increase compared to last year, and one that hasn’t been without controversy.

  • Privacy

    • Opinion: Mixing the world of spying and public office

      Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was a KGB officer before he moved on to politics. Mixing the secret world of spying and public office is not a good idea, argues DW’s Alexander Andreev.

    • On Movies, Dynasties, and Hope

      One of the most interesting political movies of recent years was the German film The Lives of Others, which gave a realistic depiction of the overwhelming espionage to which the government of East Germany subjected the citizens of that country, and of the corruption at the highest level, as officers of the state and the ruling party used their powers for unspeakable private purposes. The movie won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, along with a number of other prizes, and was acclaimed by many as a masterpiece.

    • All of the ways US intelligence thought Hitler may try to disguise himself

      Fearful that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler would attempt to flee Germany, US intelligence tried to predict what the Führer would like if he altered his appearance.

    • The Government Says It Has a Policy on Disclosing Zero-Days, But Where Are the Documents to Prove It?

      We have known for some time that the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement community looks to find and exploit vulnerabilities in commercial software for surveillance purposes. As part of its reluctant, fitful transparency efforts after the Snowden leaks, the government has even officially acknowledged that it sometimes uses so-called zero-days. These statements are intended to reassure the public that the government nearly always discloses vulnerabilities to software vendors, and that any decision to instead exploit the vulnerability for intelligence purposes is a thoroughly considered one. But now, through documents EFF has obtained from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, we have learned more about the extent of the government’s policies, and one thing is clear: there’s very little to back up the Administration’s reassuring statements. In fact, despite the White House’s claim that it had “reinvigorated” its policies in spring 2014 and “established a disciplined, rigorous and high-level decision-making process for vulnerability disclosure,” none of the documents released in response to our lawsuit appear to be newer than 2010.

    • Section 215’s Multiple Programs and Where They Might Hide after June 1

      But my post was about more that just the phone dragnet. It was about two things: First, the way that, rather than go “cold turkey” after it ended the Internet dragnet in 2011 as the AP had claimed, NSA had instead already started doing the same kind of collection using other authorities that — while they didn’t collect all US traffic — had more permissive rules for the tracking they were doing. That’s an instructive narrative for the phone dragnet amid discussions it might lapse, because it’s quite possible that the Intelligence Community will move to doing far less controlled tracking, albeit on fewer Americans, under a new approach.

    • Times Hammers NSA for Inspector General Info

      Dogged in pursuit of hidden national security-related documents, the New York Times and investigative reporter Charlie Savage are returning to federal court to demand the release of the National Security Agency’s inspector general reports.

  • Civil Rights

    • US to UN Human Rights Committee: Move Along, Nothing to See Here

      Yesterday the United States gave the U.N. Human Rights Committee its one year follow-up report on progress made to implement four priority recommendations made by the committee a year ago. The independent human rights experts had reviewed the United States’ compliance with a major human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). They found the U.S. coming up short in many areas, including accountability for torture, privacy and surveillance, Guantánamo, and gun violence.

    • UK Intelligence Services Attack SNP

      Ever since Treasury Permanent Secretary Nicholas MacPherson stated that civil service impartiality rules do not apply in the case of Scottish independence, I have been warning the SNP that we are going to be the target of active subversion by the UK and US security services. We are seen as a danger to the British state and thus a legitimate target. I spelled this out in my talk to the Edinburgh SNP Club on 6 March, of which more below.

    • #Frenchgate: Definitely the Security Services

      It seems to me the overwhelming probability is that this document, whether it purports to be a FCO or Scottish Office document, was originated by the Security Services, possibly with the active collusion of someone in the Scottish Office, or equally possibly without their knowledge. Whatever it purported to be, it never entered the normal civil service distribution systems, as the FCO would have a copy, and it would have raised alarm bells all over the place as seriously weird and improbable. It is in that sense a fake, even if it were physically produced inside the Scottish Office. Its purpose was to be leaked to the media and influence the election.

    • Three Reasons Why the United States Is Broken, Bloated and Bleeding

      Between 1979 and 2007, average incomes for the 1% increased 241 percent. In the same time period, middle-class incomes grew 19 percent.

      The top 10 percent in this country earns an average income of $161,000 (a little less than the average salary of your Congressional representative) while the bottom 90 percent bring in a little under $30,000.

    • EXCLUSIVE: As Chicago Police Kill Youth, Vast Misconduct Allegations Purged

      The high cost of failed oversight

      A combined $21 million in taxpayer funds are dedicated to the city’s police accountability structure, among the Independent Police Review Authority, Internal Affairs, and the Police Board, according to the City of Chicago’s 2015 budget. In contrast, a proposed ordinance to fund reparations for police torture victims seeks a one-time sum of $20 million, to provide counseling and education to those tortured into false confessions by police, alongside monetary restitution and inclusion of the city’s decades-long police torture scandal in Chicago public school curricula.

      Between 2012 and 2014, the City of Chicago Department of Law requested payment of $192 million in settlements, verdicts and fees attributed to the Chicago Police Department. $61 million was paid to settle wrongful convictions, and another $43 million went toward cases charging excessive force. The majority of cases were from the city’s backlog, which as of September 2014 included 491 Chicago police cases – but on average 20 percent, or 250 cases, were the result of incidents taking place in the years of the current administration.

    • Exclusive: Lithuania prosecutors restart investigation into CIA jail
    • Exclusive – Lithuanian prosecutors restart investigation into CIA jail

      Lithuanian prosecutors said on Thursday they had restarted an investigation into allegations that state security officials helped the CIA run a secret jail in the Baltic state as part of the agency’s global programme to interrogate al Qaeda suspects.

      Prosecutors re-opened a probe, which was dropped four years ago, after a U.S. Senate report last year detailed a secret CIA facility that matched reports about a site in Lithuania, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said.

    • Lithuania reopens CIA ‘black site’ investigation

      Lithuanian prosecutors said Thursday they have reopened an investigation into allegations that the Baltic nation hosted a secret US interrogation centre for Al-Qaeda suspects a decade ago.

    • Lithuania Next in Line as New Evidence of Secret CIA Jail Emerges

      Lithuanian prosecutors have restarted an investigation into claims that state security officials helped the CIA run a secret jail in the country, as part of the US intelligence agency’s post 9/11 interrogation and rendition program.

    • Lithuania prosecutors restart probe into secret CIA ‘black site’

      Lithuanian prosecutors have reportedly reopened a criminal investigation into claims that state security officials helped the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to operate a ‘black site’ in the Baltic country.

      Senior prosecutor Irmantas Mikelionis has decided to restart the investigation into the “possible abuse” of power by state employees, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor-general’s office told Reuters in an email on Thursday.

    • CIA Interrogations: what have we learned in the UK?

      When late last year the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence published parts of its 6,700 page report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme, it shed light – remarkable light – on how the ‘war on terror’ had been conducted by the US for some time.

      It very rightly prompted questions for this country. The most immediate and top level question was, if that is what the US did, what did Britain do? But one need barely scratch the surface of the matter before encountering some difficult questions about method – how do we find out what Britain did? – and about scrutiny – are there lessons to be learned about oversight and accountability?

    • It’s Been A Year Since Senators Voted To Reveal CIA Torture. What Do We Have To Show For It?

      One year ago Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee, then under the command of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), voted to share with the world some of Washington’s most tightly held secrets: gruesome accounts of CIA personnel torturing detainees for the good of all Americans — who had little idea what was being done in their name.

      After a protracted battle with both the CIA and the White House over how much information to release, the executive summary of Feinstein’s massive torture report finally saw the light of day in early December. Its release did not set off a violent backlash overseas despite panicked warnings from the intelligence community, nor did it irrevocably damage U.S. national security. It didn’t sit well with the American public either, who saw headlines about rectal feeding and sodomization for weeks.

    • Poland risks breaching court ruling on CIA jail: lawyer

      Poland must de-classify details of an investigation into a secret CIA jail on its soil, or it will be in breach of a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, a lawyer for a former inmate at the secret jail said.

    • Worse in Store for Russian Economy, Bosnia Just Beats Deadline to Form Government

      A lawyer for a man who was held at a secret CIA prison in Poland is warning Warsaw that it must declassify documents related to the investigation or be in breach of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, Reuters reports.

    • Poland risks breaching EU court ruling on CIA jail

      Poland must de-classify details of an investigation into a secret CIA jail otherwise it will be in breach of a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling.

    • Cough Up the Docs: Poland Warned of Court Breach Over Secret CIA Jail

      Poland has been warned that it must de-classify details of an investigation into a secret CIA jail in the country, or it will be in breach of a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, according to the lawyer of a former inmate who was held at the facility.

    • Polish airport used by CIA obtains millions in EU funds

      A small airport in north-eastern Poland used by the CIA to fly in kidnapped detainees for torture at a nearby intelligence training camp has received over €30 million in EU funds.

      The EU money is part of a larger €48.5 million sum to turn the former military airstrip into an international commercial airport known as Szymany.

    • Poland asks U.S. to spare alleged USS Cole bomber from execution

      Poland, which allowed the CIA to have a secret interrogation site there after 9/11, has formally asked the United States to make sure the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing is spared the death penalty, Poland’s Foreign Office said Wednesday.

    • Poland seeks U.S. assurances over Guantanamo inmate

      Poland’s government has sent an official note to U.S. authorities seeking diplomatic assurances that an inmate at the U.S. military jail in Guantanamo Bay will not be subject to the death penalty, the Polish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

    • Britain spied on Argentina until 2011 over fears that it would try to retake Falklands, CIA whistleblower Edward Snowden claims
    • Whistleblower Edward Snowden claims Britain spied on Argentina over fears of new Falklands invasion
    • UK ‘spied on Argentina’ over Falklands, claims Edward Snowden
    • UK ‘spied on Argentina for five years’ fearing new Falklands invasion
    • REVEALED: Britain spied on Argentina over fears of ANOTHER Falklands invasion
    • Britain spied on Argentina, says Snowden
    • CIA Allowed To Keep Interrogation Program Docs Secret

      A Washington, D.C., federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Central Intelligence Agency did not have to cough up documents to a Vice Media Inc. reporter on its use of contentious “enhanced interrogation” techniques, finding the documents were exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

    • Judge Rules That the CIA’s ‘Panetta Review’ Can Remain Private
    • Court Denies FOIA Request for Panetta Review on CIA Torture
    • Judge: CIA can keep Panetta review secret
    • Federal judge denies FOIA request for secret CIA document
    • CIA Veteran Sees Big Hole In Sterling Espionage Conviction

      Leutrell Osborne is a 27-year veteran of the CIA who as a case officer oversaw spies and assets in 30 countries. He said he befriended Sterling, who like Osborne is African American, during the course of a discrimination lawsuit Sterling initiated against the CIA in 2000. That litigation was ultimately dismissed by the courts in early 2006 due to the government’s national security claims.

      [...]

      However, Osborne said the CIA never contacted him about Sterling, prior to or during the course of the criminal investigation targeting Sterling. That criminal investigation, which led to Sterling’s indictment in 2010, was initiated by at least 2008 — when reporter Risen was first subpoenaed in the case. Osborne also said that, to date, the CIA has not returned a call he made to the agency shortly after Sterling’s conviction in late January.

      If the CIA was truly concerned that Sterling was leaking classified information, then the agency should have vetted anyone who had his confidence, particularly current and former CIA personnel, to determine the extent of his alleged espionage activities, Osborne contends.

      “The CIA investigated Sterling, and they knew I knew him, or should have known, yet they did not talk to me,” Osborne said. “Is the CIA that incompetent in security? The CIA is supposedly the best security organization in the world, and yet they didn’t care that there were holes in their investigation? That raises a red flag for me.”

    • Was I a CIA Spy? 50 Years On, I Still Don’t Know

      A new book tells the story of how the CIA used unwitting college kids to send in reports from Third World countries. And I was one of them.

    • Views of the News: CIA reform adds cyber and regional analysis

      A major problem in adding cyber resources will be avoiding duplication with NSA and with the Pentagon’s Cyber Command.

    • Perils of the CIA’s reform and what Congress can do

      Unlike many other Congressional reports that are soon forgotten, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation program has been quickly followed by a major restructuring in the agency it so harshly criticized. Unfortunately, the CIA’s reform announced by its director, John Brennan, goes in the opposite direction of the Senate’s report logical conclusions.

    • Whistleblower says US keeping him from think tank work, as he ‘might comment on prison reform’

      Whistleblower John Kiriakou, a former CIA veteran recently released from federal prison for disclosing the agency’s torture program, says the federal government recommended he not work for a Washington think tank on account of his goal of prison reform.

      Kiriakou tweeted Wednesday that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) — a subagency of the US Department of Justice that is responsible for operation of all federal prisons, including the one Kiriakou served time in — said it was “inappropriate” for him to work at the Institute of Policy Studies, a social justice think tank located in Washington, given his stated desire to work for reform of the US prison system.

    • Free Brazil Movement Leader Denies CIA Link

      The national coordinator of the Free Brazil Movement, or Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL), Renan Haas, denied any links or financing by US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in an interview with Sputnik.

    • US Manipulates Students as Part of Spy Game – Former CIA Officer

      Former CIA Officer Larry Johnson says that CIA exploiting college students travelling abroad to gather intelligence during the Cold War is not a shocking discovery.

    • Views of the News: CIA reform adds cyber and regional analysis

      CIA Director John Brennan announced recently that the organization will be broadly restructured to include cyberspying—plus 10 mission centers to analyze dangerous regions worldwide.

      Cyberspying will enable the CIA to track targets via their digital activity such as car rentals. It will also help CIA agents conceal their online tracks.

    • What Harvard Law Students Should Know About the Torture Lawyers: What Will They Tell Their Children?

      John Yoo (Yale Law, ’92), is a charter member of the Richard Rich Society. He is the very model of a modern Richard Rich. At the CIA’s request, Yoo wrote secret memos assuring CIA agents that they had legal authority to use “extraordinary techniques” when interrogating prisoners. These memos were secret, of course, because they could not have withstood the light of day. CIA officials jokingly referred to them as “get out of jail free cards” because they were meant to give American war criminals a new legal defense: “I’m not a war criminal because my lawyer said I could do it.”

      Yoo also wrote memos justifying the creation of military tribunals that would not be bound by the ordinary rules of evidence – something officials don’t do unless they intend to introduce evidence obtained by illegal means.

      The memos were a “bad idea and even worse advice,” Dean Chris Edley (Harvard Law, ’78) conceded when he defended Yoo’s return to his tenured position at Boalt Hall, but they couldn’t be deemed criminal unless a court so ruled. And because President Barack Obama (Harvard Law, ‘91), would not allow the torturers to be prosecuted, there was nothing to prevent Yoo from returning to the classroom.

    • The Torturous Evasions of the American Psychological Association

      Even as the Senate Intelligence Committee released its scathing report last December highlighting the role of psychologists in designing and implementing the CIA’s torture of detainees, the American Psychological Association (APA) had already begun to distance itself from the two leading psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who created what the committee called the “ineffective” and “inhumane” $81 million program for the CIA. That program was also adapted by the U.S. military, leading to the horrors of Abu Ghraib. In an October, 2014 press release and public statements in response to James Risen’s book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War, the world’s largest psychology organization sought to rebut the damning confidential emails in Risen’s book about how the APA’s own leaders apparently colluded with the Bush administration’s top national security psychologists, including those with the CIA, to provide ethical and legal cover for psychologists’ involvement in “enhanced interrogation.”

    • Florida Teen, War Criminal: The Life Of An ‘American Warlord’

      Only one American in history has ever been convicted of torture committed abroad: Chuckie Taylor, the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

      His father led militants to take control of Liberia in the late ’90s, went in exile after Liberia’s Second Civil War and was found guilty of abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. But young Chuckie Taylor seemed far removed from that warlord life — he lived in America with his mother and stepfather, just another teenager listening to hip-hop and watching TV in his room.

    • Confessions of a D.C. Madam

      Confessions of a DC Madam (Trine Day, March 2015) is an autobiographical account of Henry W. Vinson’s odyssey from the humble origins of Williamson, West Virginia to running the largest gay escort service in Washington, D.C. by the time he was 26 years old.

      This haunting exposé is the first book to tell the tale of sexually blackmailed politicians and government officials in the U.S. by an individual who actually witnessed these sinister maneuverings first-hand. Confessions of a DC Madam proves that there is a clandestine checks-and-balances system in effect within our government—blackmail.

      Vinson intricately documents his interactions with various closeted and non-closeted VIPs who solicited the escorts he employed. Moreover, this new book details Vinson’s numerous exchanges with a CIA asset whose specialty was sexually compromising the power brokers of Washington, DC, and the trials and tribulations Vinson suffered because he was privy to information that could have produced a seismic political scandal.

    • Guantanamo Bay Diary

      Also nearby is the only known military “black site” on American soil. A place where torture happened.

    • How Canada lets people get tortured

      Following December’s release of the U.S. Senate report on American complicity in torture, Prime Minister Stephen Harper quickly declared, “It has nothing to do whatsoever with the government of Canada.” Despite the CIA’s close relationship with Canadian state security agencies, as well as two judicial inquiries finding Ottawa complicit in the torture of Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt, Harper preferred to ignore the facts.

      At about the same time, a stunning memoir was published that paints another damning portrait of Canadian authorities from even before September 11, 2001. Guantanamo Diary was originally composed by hand in 2005 from a cell at the infamous U.S. torture camp, which remains open despite President Obama’s promise to close it eight years ago. It tells the remarkable story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Mauritanian national who remains detained there despite a 2010 U.S. release order.

    • Detained mothers launch hunger strike

      About 40 mothers being held at an immigration detention camp in Karnes, Texas, have launched a hunger strike to protest the detainment of their children as the families await immigration and asylum hearings, according to detainees and advocates working on their behalf.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Peter Sunde: The ‘Pirate Movement’ is Dead

        Give up the idea of pirates being cool. They’re not. My biggest regret in my part in all of this was to use the word pirate. Not even Johnny Depp can make pirates look cool – and he manages to make cocaine-dealers look awesome. Pirates are awful. And today’s pirates – the ones in Somalia – also lost their battles. Good! So let’s get rid of this stupid culture of having a stupid culture.

IRC Proceedings: March 22nd – April 4th, 2015

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: March 22nd – March 28th, 2015

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IRC Proceedings: March 29th – April 4th, 2015

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