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03.14.14

Privacy Watch: UN Voices Anger, Zuckerberg Phones Obama, Corporate Looting at Risk, Constitution Ignored

Posted in News Roundup at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NSA/GCHQ

Drones

CIA

  • The White House Is Firmly on the Side of the CIA in Its War with the Senate

    It seems that President Obama has chosen sides in the fight between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over a report describing the agency’s torture program under President George W. Bush. The executive branch is standing with the CIA, standing behind its director, and even reportedly withholding documents from the Senate investigation.

  • The Outrageous and Criminal Cover-Up By Obama and the CIA

    Imagine you commit a heinous crime. Then imagine that, once facing charges in court, you’re allowed to withhold incriminating evidence brought forth by the prosecutors, keeping the jury in the dark about the details of your lawbreaking. Further, imagine you commit more crimes while on trial and imagine the judge enables and covers up these additional offenses.

  • White House refuses to hand over top-secret documents to Senate committee

    The White House is refusing to hand over top-secret documents to a Senate investigation into CIA torture and rendition of terrorism suspects, claiming it needs to ensure that “executive branch confidentiality” is respected.

    In the latest development in the spiralling clash between Congress and the administration over oversight of the intelligence agencies, Barack Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that certain material from the George W Bush presidency was being withheld for fear of weakening Oval Office privacy.

  • Chances for prosecution unclear in CIA-Senate spat

    A fight between the Senate and the CIA over whether crimes were committed in the handling of sensitive classified material appears unlikely to be resolved in the courts, legal experts say.

  • Our view: Cloaks, daggers and the CIA

    Congress needs to get to the bottom of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s astonishing allegations of a CIA attempt to intimidate congressional staffers investigating the spy agency’s past actions.

    Feinstein, a Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, can have no partisan motive in roiling these waters. And she has been a firm supporter of the agency, even defending the CIA’s controversial use of armed drones to kill terrorists overseas.

  • American Proxy Wars in Africa
  • Senate approves CIA counsel amid snooping fight

    The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the nomination of Caroline Krass to serve as the CIA’s top lawyer amid a snooping fight pitting the spy agency against Congress and ensnaring the CIA’s acting general counsel.

  • Senate confirms Caroline Krass as CIA general counsel
  • Ego trumps principle: Sen. Feinstein Finally Goes after the CIA, but not for Lying to and Spying on US

    Feinstein, after all, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee since 2009, has yet to see an NSA violation of the Constitution, an invasive spying program or a creative “re-interpretation” of the law that she hasn’t applauded as being lawful and “needed” to “keep people safe.”

03.13.14

Links 13/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 6:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 13/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • Wine, ChromeOS and Cross-Platform Computing in the Cloud Age

    Wine has been around for more than two decades and works pretty well on most Linux desktops, laptops and servers (not that there is really any good reason for running a Windows app on a Linux server). But since Wine depends on parts of the Linux operating system that are not always available in the Linux variants used to power many smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and Chromebooks, configuring Wine for them is more problematic.

  • Popcorn Time: Open Source Torrent Streaming Netflix For Pirates
  • Popcorn Time lets you stream torrent movies on your Linux desktop

    Gizmodo reports that a new open source application called Popcorn Time lets you stream torrent movies in Linux, as well as Windows and OS X. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of an application that could actually stream torrent video content, but I’m sure the movie industry isn’t going to be happy about it.

  • Up-and-Coming Clients to Tweet
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 1.7.14 is now available.

  • Wine 1.7.14 Arrives With More Task Scheduler Support
  • New Animation with Open source
  • Five Funny Little Linux Network Testers and Monitors
  • Adios, Nedit

    And I’m not the first to notice this. This is probably because the latest version, NEdit 5.5, was released in 2004. So I need a new programmer’s editor.

  • SXSW: Pitivi Aims To Bring Real Video Editing to Linux

    Quite obviously, musicians and the people around them have a great need for video editing software — not only because YouTube is a popular place to listen to music, but because videos have so much promotional value. Tour diaries, talk-to-the-camera confessionals, live show videos, viral stunts, and other types of videos are all part of the gameplan for recording artists these days.

  • Musl Libc 1.0 Is Going To Be Released Real Soon

    I’ve been informed by the musl development camp that they intend to release version 1.0 of their standard C library in the next few weeks.

  • Bluefish – Powerful Editor for Developers

    Bluefish is a powerful text editor aimed towards developers with features such as syntax highlighting, indentation, support for projects, auto-completion and more. Considering Linux is saturated with various text editors and integrated development environments ranging from the simplest to the more complex and feature-rich ones, let’s see what Bluefish offers for programmers and not only.

  • Docker Releases Version 0.9 With Major Improvements

    I love Docker, it’s a fantastic concept, and so far the execution and progress of the project has been flawless. I also love FreeBSD; FreeBSD is a clean and powerful system with advanced features like Dtrace, ZFS, and Jails. Combine the two and it sounds better than chocolate and peanut butter. With the recent version 0.9 release, Docker announced the infrastructure support to glue the two together, along with KVM, OpenVZ, Solaris Zones, and nearly any other environment for application isolation through an execution driver API.

Links 13/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Samsung Galaxy Back Door, NSA Malware, Congressional Backlash, More Drone Strikes, and Ukraine Intervention

Posted in News Roundup at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android

Privacy

  • Think Deleted Text Messages Are Gone Forever? Think Again

    Last month, National Football League special investigator Ted Wells delivered a shocking report about Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito’s bullying tactics aimed at teammate Jonathan Martin. At the heart of the report: More than 1,000 text messages, many of them outrageously explicit, that Incognito and Martin swapped between October 2012 and November 2013.

NSA’s Latest Scandal

US Congress

European Parliament

Google

Drones

  • 8 Questions the World Faces as Lethal Drones Proliferate

    His report on targeted killing, discussed on Tuesday, is partly an effort to spur the United States and other countries to bring drone killing under the auspices of international law. The report sets forth key questions raised by targeted and semi-targeted killing, and encourages the international community to grapple with them.

  • U.N. Report on Drone Strikes Calls for Clearer Global Norms and More Accountability
  • What Obama Doesn’t Get About Gitmo

    We cannot “kill” terrorism with a drone.

  • The CIA Is Not a Fourth Branch of Government

    John F. Kennedy once said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” He reached that conclusion after CIA officials, including Director Allen Dulles, had misled him on many of the planning details of the disastrous April 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

    With the revelations that the CIA has been aggressively obstructing the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee, even to the point of spying on Senate staff conducting a long overdo review of its “detention and interrogation” program, we see the CIA has not changed its ways.

    The Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, called the committee’s current battle with the CIA “a defining moment for the oversight role of our intelligence committee . . . and whether we can be thwarted by those we oversee.”

  • US drone kills three Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen

    Sana’a, March 13: A US drone strike killed three suspected Al Qaeda militants in Yemen’s Al Jawf province on Wednesday, Yemeni officials said.

  • Fear is fear, no matter where you are from

    Earlier this month, I spoke at a panel in Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. During the talk, I showed a photo of a young Yemeni boy in the province of Mareb (which was hit by five drone strikes this month), demonstrating how he ducked in his school as soon as he heard the sound of a plane. He was not sure whether it was a drone or a fighter jet, but he has become used to ducking this way ever since his village was hit and his friend hit with a shrapnel.

  • How can secret drones campaign really make us safer?
  • How can secret drones really make us safer?

Ukraine

  • Between the Lines

    International law is suddenly very popular in Washington. President Obama responded to Russian military intervention in the Crimea by accusing Russia of a “breach of international law.” Secretary of State John Kerry followed up by declaring that Russia is “in direct, overt violation of international law.”

  • McCain to lead delegation to Ukraine

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and a group of senators are slated to travel to Ukraine on Thursday to show support for the new interim government there.

03.12.14

Today’s General News: Extraordinary Power and Extraordinary Surveillance

Posted in News Roundup at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aggression

Drones

  • North Africa: Maghreb Jihadists Killed in Mali Airstrike

    France recently acquired the two American-made drones. They are based in Niamey, Niger.

  • The bleak comedy of Barack Obama: Mallick

    When politicians perform, as Obama did with comedian Zach Galifianakis this week, the joke’s on us.

    [...]

    Jeremy Scahill has reported that Obama holds what are known as “Terror Tuesdays,” in which he says yes or no to “nominated” targets on a drone kill list. Few Americans know that because they didn’t buy Scahill’s book, Dirty Wars, or see his subsequent documentary. But many Americans will indeed see Obama sitting down with a comic actor and joking with him about drone killing, not comprehending Obama’s sheer gall.

  • National Security: Going “Up” or “Down?”

    Of course, both of these documents pre-date the latest explosion of new knowledge about aggressive NSA spying. They don’t reflect new information about the NSA’s forthcoming code-breaking supercomputer that can breach every “secure” https ever created.(2) The two documents I’ve cited above also preceded the current level of critique, both at home and abroad, of U.S. war-proxy drone attacks. New information is now available about not-so-reliable, way too general, and far too remote NSA drone targeting info that does kill the innocent. (3)

  • Students asked to help build drone sculpture

    Construction will begin March 16 on a life-size replica of a military drone, an art project on campus that aims to display lives lost in attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Privacy

Ukraine

  • ​World Bank to lend Ukraine $3bn

    The World Bank is ready to grant almost bankrupt Ukraine a loan of up to $3 billion this year to support reforms and infrastructure projects.

    The Washington-based organization already has several projects in Ukraine aimed at reducing poverty.

  • Ukraine: How to Hide a Nazi Army

    Still, the impression the Daily Beast would like to get across to readers is that the concept of Neo-Nazis leading the so-called “revolution” in Kiev, is absurd. In fact, the truth that Kiev’s Independence Square was full of Nazis, was right under the nose of the entire world – with a handful of Western journalists even admitting as much.

Venezuela

  • What is Going on in Venezuela?

    The majority of the media in today’s Venezuela are private. Many of the private TV stations were actively involved in 2002 coup attempt. Today, the majority of Venezuelans still watch TV stations owned by private corporations. The majority of these stations and most of the main newspapers, although a little bit more diverse politically than in 2002, are anti-government and anti-Chavista. They have not been taken off the air, prevented from printing and the social media has not been shut down. Social media like Facebook and Twitter have been particularly active and inaccurate in portraying Venezuela as a repressive police state with total suppression of the media.

    The mainstream U.S. media (e.g., CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, etc.) have a very strong anti-Chávez bias and a continued hostility to the building of 21st century socialism in Venezuela. For example, pictures that supposedly showed violent police brutality and repression in Venezuela were actually old photos from police repression in Bulgaria, Egypt and Chile. The New York Times, while generally hostile to the Venezuelan revolution with very biased reporting, has been slightly more balanced recently, even admitting that in the poorer areas of Caracas, there are no signs of protest,

Lockerbie

  • Lockerbie

    The UK authorities have known for over 20 years that Megrahi was innocent. The key witness, a Maltese shopkeeper named Tony Gauci, was paid a total of US $7 million for his evidence by the CIA, and was able to adopt a life of luxury that continues to this day. The initial $2 million payment has become public knowledge but that was only the first instalment. This was not an over-eagerness to convict the man the CIA believed responsible; this was a deliberate perversion of justice to move the spotlight from Iran and Syria to clear the way diplomatically for war in Iraq.

Police

Ubuntu News: Wallpapers, Beta, Phones, Chromium…

Posted in News Roundup at 4:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some of the past week’s news about Ubuntu, the most hyped up distribution of GNU/Linux

Desktop

  • Linux Bugs, Cheese Quesadilla, and Ubuntu Looks
  • Ubuntu 14.04 default and community wallpapers revealed

    Continuing the new trend of adding community wallpapers to the default Ubuntu installation, Ubuntu devs released today 11 community contributed wallpapers to be included in the latest iteration of Ubuntu, 14.04 LTS. These 11 wallpapers were chosen from a community wallpaper contest which ended on 5th March. Shortly after releasing the community wallpapers, the default wallpaper was also released.

  • Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

    Version 14.04, nicknamed Trusty Tahr, will be an important one because it culminates in a Long Term Support (LTS) version, the first in two years.

  • What to expect in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    Every two years a Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu is made available to the public. Every LTS is supported for 5 years by Canonical. This year is the year of LTS release and its just 1 month away. Canonical will be keen to keep up the stability of LTS release like it has done in the past. Lets have a quick look at what can we expect from this year’s LTS release.

  • Ubuntu 14.04 beta 1 offers a sneak peek at ‘Trusty Tahr’

    Not long ago we learned that Ubuntu will be ditching Unity’s global menu and returning to in-app menus instead. I’m hoping we’ll see that later this month when the next beta release arrives, since the main, Unity-based Ubuntu version will be participating in that one. Stay tuned for more updates when that happens.

  • Local Menus are making a comeback in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – albeit, with one small twist!
  • Early Look at How Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Is Shaping Up

    The next Ubuntu Long-Term Release, codenamed Trusty Tahr, will be released on April 17th, 2014 and will ship with several notable features, while mainly focusing on stable main components rather than bleeding-edge software, a very good decision which fits perfectly such a big release. Trusty will be supported for five years on both the desktop and the server. I must say, this is a long awaited release, and probably not only by Ubuntu users, but also the ones of Mint and other distributions based upon Ubuntu, since the upcoming Mint 17 will be based on Trusty. I’m really expecting a solid experience here, which could last for years as a main desktop and development machine.

Mobile

  • CeBIT: Ubuntu smartphones to cost between $200 and $400

    Smartphones on Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system will cost between $200 and $400, according to the firm’s chief executive Mark Shuttleworth.

    Speaking at CeBIT, he said: “Ours will come out in the mid-higher edge, so $200 to $400. We’re going with the higher end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC, the future personal computing engine.”

    The Ubuntu project aims to produce hardware that can act as a smartphone and also work as a PC when plugged into a monitor, something Shuttleworth said many audiences found attractive.

    Canonical teamed up with phone makers Meizu and BQ earlier this year to produce the devices, following what Shuttleworth called the “spectacular failure” of the firm’s efforts to raise $32m for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone. But he also called it a “spectacular success” because of the amount of attention it drew and the influence it could have on the industry.

  • Mark Shuttleworth Talks Up The Phone’s Bottom Edge On Ubuntu
  • Canonical Has Stopped Promoting Ubuntu Touch Images Yet Again, Due To Some Unity 8 Regressions And QMLScene Crashes
  • How to get a side launcher like Ubuntu on your Android device

    Ubuntu users get to take advantage of a sidebar giving them access to shortcuts for many programs. Thanks to the Glovebox, this app allows you to get this Ubuntu feature on your Android smartphone.

  • Android woes could be an opportunity for Ubuntu smartphones

    Canonical announced in February that it plans to release smartphones based on its widely used Ubuntu distribution of the Linux platform are back on, with the first devices expected later this year.

    This triggered eager anticipation among some members of the V3 team, including yours truly, as Canonical’s original vision for an Ubuntu phone sounded like a compelling prospect, as well as a novel one for those of us who have seen smartphones become ever-more generic over recent years as vendors try to copy Apple’s formula for success.

    First disclosed early last year, Canonical proposed a version of Ubuntu with a touch-optimised user interface that could run on high-end smartphone hardware. While some mobile platforms, notably Android, are already underpinned by the Linux kernel, Ubuntu for phones was going to be the real deal; it would be able to run full Linux applications as well as HTML5 web apps optimised for mobile devices.

Chromium

Misc.

  • Is Ubuntu Animosity Misplaced?

    As for the feelings of the Linux community in general, the consensus is that it felt like GNOME was somehow being slighted or ignored. Remember early on, Ubuntu was a GNOME-centric experience. While today, Ubuntu is most definitely Unity-centric instead. Obviously alternative desktop environments are a mere “apt-get install” away, but most people will use Ubuntu because they’re fans of the entire experience – end to end.

03.11.14

DroNSA: Targeted Assassinations, Surveillance on Torture Reporters/Researchers, and Snowden’s Latest Speeches

Posted in News Roundup at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drones

Ukraine

War on Privacy

  • NSA Barred From Destroying Phone Records

    The US National Security Agency was stopped by a judge from destroying phone records collected via its controversial surveillance practices, after a privacy group said they are still relevant and could be used in the lawsuits against the agency.

  • So Far, The FBI Is Benefiting The Most From The NSA Leaks

    The FBI is now basking in the darkness the NSA used to occupy. The first leak had the FBI’s name all over it, and it’s the power granted to the FBI that allows the NSA to collect millions of domestic phone records. The NSA technically isn’t allowed to vacuum up domestic records. The FBI, however, is. But the NSA “takes home” the bulk collection and “tips” a few hundred phone numbers to the agency whose name is listed on the first page.

  • Yahoo Selects NSA Critic For Chief Security Role

    Internet giant Yahoo has recruited Alex Stamos, one of the more vocal opponents of mass US spying, as its new chief information security officer (CISO).

  • NSA views encryption as evidence of suspicion and will target those who use it, security journalist says

    Glenn Greenwald, editor of the newly launched digital publication The Intercept, told attendees at SXSWi that the National Security Agency is wary of anyone who takes steps to protect their online activity from being hacked, such as using encryption tools.

    “In [the NSA's] mind, if you want to hide what you’re saying from them, it must mean that what you’re saying is a bad thing,” Greenwald said via a Skype video call. “They view the use of encryption… as evidence that you’re suspicious and can actually target you if you use it.”

  • NSA leading us to phones that may well outsmart even the spooks

    If the physical handset case is prised open, the phone will automatically erase all data it holds.

    Ask Boeing for more details if you dare.

    Call us paranoid, but you may very well find the NSA has opened a file on you.

  • Vodafone’s SecureCall app ‘could have protected Angela Merkel from NSA’

    Vodafone’s new smartphone app Secure Call could have protected Angela Merkel from the NSA.

  • Change Agents: The Curious Case of the “Responsible” NSA Revelations

    Well, hold on there a minute, Arthur, you incorrigible skeptic you. What about the latest revelation from The Intercept, the flagship enterprise of First Look? Just last weekend, the Interceptors dug into this vast trove of criminality to inform us that … the NSA’s newsletter has its own Dear Abby column (or “agony aunt,” as the Brits would say). Now how about that! The NSA has an internal advice column offering tidbits on personnel issues. Now that’s transformative journalism with a vengeance! Just think how many innocent lives now doomed to die from Washington’s surveillance state-supported death squads will now be saved because of this revelation!

  • Debates on beefing up EU data protection and NSA inquiry findings

    A major overhaul of the EU data protection rules and MEPs’ findings and recommendations after six months investigating US mass surveillance schemes will be debated on Tuesday from 15.00. The data protection reform would greatly strengthen EU citizens’ control over their personal data and punish firms which pass it on without permission.

  • Germany rejects Snowden claim it bowed to NSA

    Germany on Monday dismissed a claim by NSA leaker Edward Snowden that it had bowed to US demands to water down privacy rights for German citizens.

    Snowden told the European parliament in a statement published Friday that Germany was pressured to modify its legislation on wiretapping and other forms of lawful telecoms surveillance. The former National Security Agency contractor didn’t elaborate on how the laws were changed or when, but suggested it was standard practice for the NSA to instruct friendly nations on how to “degrade the legal protections of their countries’ communications.”

  • NSA gave ‘legal guidance’ to NZ

    NSA leaker Edward Snowden says New Zealand is one of a number of countries the US spy agency helped to change laws in order to enable mass surveillance.

    The revelation came during his written answers to questions from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. The committee is undertaking an inquiry into mass electronic surveillance of EU citizens launched following Snowden’s original allegations of widespread internet surveillance.

  • Michael Rogers goes before Senate committee to outline vision for NSA

    The likely next director of the National Security Agency will testify on Tuesday for the first time about his new job, in perhaps the agency’s best chance for a post-Edward Snowden reboot.

  • Surveillance by Algorithm

    Increasingly, we are watched not by people but by algorithms. Amazon and Netflix track the books we buy and the movies we stream, and suggest other books and movies based on our habits. Google and Facebook watch what we do and what we say, and show us advertisements based on our behavior. Google even modifies our web search results based on our previous behavior. Smartphone navigation apps watch us as we drive, and update suggested route information based on traffic congestion. And the National Security Agency, of course, monitors our phone calls, emails and locations, then uses that information to try to identify terrorists.

  • Edward Snowden speaks up for encryption at SXSW

    SURVEILLANCE WHISTLEBLOWER Edward Snowden has taken part in a video conversation at the South By Southwest (SXSW) conference along with representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Edward Snowden discusses NSA leaks at SXSW: ‘I would do it again’

    Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose unprecedented leak of top-secret documents led to a worldwide debate about the nature of surveillance, insisted on Monday that his actions had improved the national security of the United States rather than undermined it, and declared that he would do it all again despite the personal sacrifices he had endured.

  • Google’s Schmidt ‘Pretty Sure’ Networks Are Now Secure After Being ‘Attacked’ By The United States

    Among the biggest revelations made by the Snowden documents so far was of course the fact that in addition to negotiating with companies like Yahoo and Google for user data via the front door (PRISM), the NSA was also busy covertly hacking into the links between company data centers for good measure (trust is the cornerstone of any good relationship, you know). The moves pretty clearly pissed off Google engineers, who swore at the agency and immediately began speeding up the already-underway process of encrypting traffic flowing between data centers.

  • Please Contact MEPs: Big Votes in European Parliament

    Two of the biggest stories over the last year have been data protection and – of course – Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive spying by the NSA and GCHQ on all online activity in Europe (and elsewhere). As it happens, both of these important issues are coming to a head this week: after a preliminary debate tomorrow, on Wednesday the European Parliament will vote on both (draft agenda.) That means we still have time to drop them a friendly email today asking them to support strong privacy and civil liberties in Europe.

  • US intelligence officials to monitor federal employees with security clearances

    Intelligence officials have long wanted a computerized system that could continuously monitor employees, in part to prevent cases similar to former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden. His disclosures bared secretive U.S. surveillance operations.

  • Snowden On Going Through ‘Proper Channels’: Reporting Concerns Gets You Flagged As A ‘Troublemaker’

    The NSA defenders who label Ed Snowden a “traitor” (senators, congressmen and any number of former intelligence officials) often assert the whistleblower had an opportunity to use “proper channels” rather than take the route he chose: leaking documents to journalists.

War on Peace

  • The Propaganda of Death

    The terrible loss of life in the Malaysian air crash is tragic. But the attempt to ramp up a terrorism scare is ghoulish. We even had both the BBC and Sky speculating that it was the Uighurs. Now the suppression of Uighur culture and religion by the Chinese had been a great and long-term evil, and the West has been only too eager to shoehorn their story into the “Islamic terrorism” story. There is of course an enormous security industry, both government and private, which makes a very fat living out of “combating Islamic terrorism”, and a media which make a fat living out of helping to ramp it.

Covert Intervention/Spying

  • Selling a Mossad Book

    Raviv reported that President Barack Obama would raise the assassination issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their March 3rd meeting at the White House. The book also repeats previous claims that Israeli spies who were possibly drawn from Persian Jews who had emigrated to Israel had infiltrated Iran and, using a string of safe houses and some help from friendly Iranians, had managed to kill five scientists. The authors have added the new information about the White House talks, noting also that Netanyahu has already decided to end the program because of the risk to Israel’s “most talented and experienced spies,” choosing instead to focus Mossad efforts on proving that the Iranians are cheating on their nuclear program.

    The motto of Israel’s foreign intelligence service the Mossad translates as “By way of deception you shall make war,” and one might modify that a bit to claim that “by way of deception you can sell books.” The whole story, intended to create some buzz for the new edition while at the same time touting the invincibility of Israeli intelligence, smells. It is the kind of narrative that is impossible to check. The sources are “secret,” Israel has never admitted its involvement, there is no indication that the president and prime minister actually spoke regarding the assassinations, and there is no suggestion why Obama would have any motive raise the issue. The Iranians are not demanding any action from Washington regarding the killings as part of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, so why would Obama even mention it?

  • US war movie military policy: Baby Boomers grew up on films where battle was noble and Americans never died

    War, these movies taught me, is entered reluctantly and only after due, transparent discussion by the nation’s leaders. But as a child eating popcorn and tossing Jujubes from the balcony of the theater, I learned nothing about the imposition of freedom, of democracy, of American values on those who hold different values and beliefs and refuse to adopt what America “offers.”

  • Dianne Feinstein launches scathing attack on CIA over alleged cover-up

    The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of a catalogue of cover-ups, intimidation and smears aimed at investigators probing its role in an “un-American and brutal” programme of post-9/11 detention and interrogation.

  • CIA accused of spying on Congress over torture report

    According to the Associated Press, Sen. Feinstein said the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network at the agency’s Langley, Virginia headquarters that was put in place so that Intelligence Committee staffers could view sensitive documents.

  • Snowden: Feinstein a Hypocrite for Blasting CIA Spying
  • 4 reasons the latest CIA revelation is serious

    The latest fight over America’s spycraft has triggered serious constitutional questions.

    On the Senate floor Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the CIA searched computers used by Senate staff to investigate the CIA, confirming a story reported by the New York Times last week.

  • Temple intern breaks national story involving CIA

    A senior in Temple University’s journalism program helped break a recent national story that has members of the U.S. Senate pointing fingers at the CIA.

    Ali Watkins, currently a 22-year-old intern for McClatchy in Washington, D.C., received a tip from sources who came to trust her while making herself a presence on Capitol Hill, according to a posting by Temple’s School of Media and Communications.

  • Analysis: Why Does Congress Lack the Backbone to Oversee the CIA?

    Ongoing efforts to make public a report on torture perpetrated by the CIA has the spy agency “nearly at war” with its Senate overseers, Eli Lake reports in The Daily Beast. In theory, that would mean that the CIA is in deep trouble. Congress has the power to destroy the CIA if it desires. Congress could cut the CIA budget to zero! Yet the press is filled with stories about the CIA and its overseers written as if they are on equal footing, or even as if the CIA has the upper hand.

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