Voxnews applauds the courage and efforts of the Anonymous movement.
Dispensing with the non existent "objectivity" the mainstream media fakes every moment of it's existence, when we cover an event or protest we find ourselves more thoroughly as protestors ourselves, then journalists. But we notice that Americans are so beaten, so lost, so apathetic, that few show up to protests these days. Their great last hope was Barack Obama and we all know how that turned out. Is it that they are still clinging to the empty hopes? Or is it that they just aren't informed how bad it is?
Of course every American should applaud any person or organization who stands up against this fascist filth. But they are not. But many still can't see who is on their side. Nevertheless, there will always be the real Americans, like the Anonymous collective and the real Occupy activists (not the FBI infiltrators). The real ones, the ones with the genuine American spirit, are out there every day confronting the most sinister and well financed juggernaut of death and suffering - the US Government and it's owners.
These true selfless movements, like Anonymous and Occupy are holding the torch for the hopes and dreams of the future of humankind. And the heroes, the whistleblowers, the hackers will be victorious.
These movements play a vital role in the protection of our liberties. But they all seem to have self destruction mechanisms. The Anonymous movement does very much play a role in the never ending resistance to tyranny. They are on the frontiers of resistance. One problem though must be addressed in the Anonymous movement. It is too male-centric. I deplore any cliche about gender so this is not some impotent Neo Liberal cliche, but the Anonymous movement I believe should address it's overwhelmingly male iconographic representations. It's time to have both men and women on those iconic images of the movement, and if the movement must continue to use that fucking Time Warner copyright creation (which is another issue that should be more thoroughly addressed as to it's ultimate implications for a "liberation" movement) there should at least be some clearly female version. In it's current manifestation and iconography, it appeals mostly to adolescent and young males ages 16-24 from my observation. And this will forever limit the concept and movement as a whole.
In the huge November Occupy march several years ago, there were teacher's unions joining in, nurses unions, AFLCIO, doctors, lawyers, elderly. That November march was a deeply moving experience precisely because it really was a broad cross section of us all. That massive November march was real momentum.
The Million Mask MArch however, failed to bring out the many diverse elements to make it great. Although we are angry and have a reason to be angry - Anger ONLY can work if all the other things are present, a deep philosophy, a deep understanding, a deep commitment to success, and a healthy sense of humor. Anger left out there all by itself shouting, "Fuck You NSA!, Fuck You NSA!," will not yield much results. So there needs to be a clear articulation of the philosophy and the anger (if done right) moves the whole thing along.
can And not to mention that the mask is both male AND a wholly owned copyright of Time Warner Inc. In other words every time you purchase one of these masks, TIME WARNER GETS PAID... which of course is an irony too hard to really deal with once it sinks in - It's not a resistance movement if you're paying your oppressor for the rights to use their logo over your face for "your" movement.
Also the iconography is somewhat limited, comprised primarily of a series of images that we associate with on a nightmarish level. One logo is a suit without a head, or several men in suits behind the smiling Guy Fawkes masks, the smile being anything but cheery. All these images strike at a deep sense of horror and terror. And the taglines, "We never forgive" "We never forget," are not likely to resonate with average sinners such as myself. Nor will nurses unions and teacher unions or the elderly don their Guy Fawkes masks and take to the streets shouting fuck the NSA! Yes of course we must definitely fuck the NSA but we can only do that with more elegant arguments than "Fuck the NSA!"
The idea that Anonymous represents is a big idea and worthy of inclusion in our lexicon, imaginations, and political discourse. But it is being shortchanged by press releases or announcements which seems to purposely scare off and marginalize large segments of society which might actually appreciate most of what the idea of anonymity is about. And so by scaring broad segments of society off, they also set back the cause of anonymity which is a very important cause to understand, defend and utilize.
Barrett Brown. (Photo courtesy of Barrett Brown’s YouTube channel.)
In early 2010, journalist and satirist Barrett Brown was working on a book on political pundits, when the hacktivist collective Anonymous caught his attention. He soon began writing about its activities and potential. In a defense of the group’s anti-censorship operations in Australia published on February 10, Brown declared, “I am now certain that this phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social developments to have occurred in decades, and that the development in question promises to threaten the institution of the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human organization.”
By then, Brown was already considered by his fans to be the Hunter S. Thompson of his generation. In point of fact he wasn’t like Hunter S. Thompson, but was more of a throwback—a sharp-witted, irreverent journalist and satirist in the mold of Ambrose Bierce or Dorothy Parker. His acid tongue was on display in his co-authored 2007 book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, in which he declared: “This will not be a polite book. Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.”
But it wasn’t Brown’s acid tongue so much as his love of minutiae (and ability to organize and explain minutiae) that would ultimately land him in trouble. Abandoning his book on pundits in favor of a book on Anonymous, he could not have known that delving into the territory of hackers and leaks would ultimately lead to his facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison. In light of the bombshell revelations published by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman about government and corporate spying, Brown’s case is a good—and underreported—reminder of the considerable risk faced by reporters who report on leaks.
In February 2011, a year after Brown penned his defense of Anonymous, and against the background of its actions during the Arab Spring, Aaron Barr, CEO of the private intelligence company HBGary, claimed to have identified the leadership of the hacktivist collective. (In fact, he only had screen names of a few members). Barr’s boasting provoked a brutal hack of HBGary by a related group called Internet Feds (it would soon change its name to “LulzSec”). Splashy enough to attract the attention of The Colbert Report, the hack defaced and destroyed servers and websites belonging to HBGary. Some 70,000 company e-mails were downloaded and posted online. As a final insult to injury, even the contents of Aaron Barr’s iPad were remotely wiped.
The HBGary hack may have been designed to humiliate the company, but it had the collateral effect of dropping a gold mine of information into Brown’s lap. One of the first things he discovered was a plan to neutralize Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Wikileaks by undermining them both. (“Without the support of people like Glenn, wikileaks would fold,” read one slide.) The plan called for “disinformation,” exploiting strife within the organization and fomenting external rivalries—“creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization,” as well as a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error.” Greenwald, it was argued, “if pushed,” would “choose professional preservation over cause.”
Other plans targeted social organizations and advocacy groups. Separate from the plan to target Greenwald and WikiLeaks, HBGary was part of a consortia that submitted a proposal to develop a “persona management” system for the United States Air Force, that would allow one user to control multiple online identities for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grassroots support or opposition to certain policies.
The data dump from the HBGary hack was so vast that no one person could sort through it alone. So Brown decided to crowdsource the effort. He created a wiki page, called it ProjectPM, and invited other investigative journalists to join in. Under Brown’s leadership, the initiative began to slowly untangle a web of connections between the US government, corporations, lobbyists and a shadowy group of private military and information security consultants.
One connection was between Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce. WikiLeaks had claimed to possess a large cache of documents belonging to Bank of America. Concerned about this, Bank of America approached the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ directed it to the law and lobbying firm Hunton and Williams, which does legal work for Wells Fargo and General Dynamics and also lobbies for Koch Industries, Americans for Affordable Climate Policy, Gas Processors Association, Entergy among many other firms. The DoJ recommended that Bank of America hire Hunton and Williams, explicitly suggesting Richard Wyatt as the person to work with. Wyatt, famously, was the lead attorney in the Chamber of Commerce’s lawsuit against the Yes Men.
In November 2010, Hunton and Williams organized a number of private intelligence, technology development and security contractors—HBGary, plus Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and, according to Brown, a secretive corporation with the ominous name Endgame Systems—to form “Team Themis”—‘themis’ being a Greek word meaning “divine law.” Its main objective was to discredit critics of the Chamber of Commerce, like Chamber Watch, using such tactics as creating a “false document, perhaps highlighting periodical financial information,” giving it to a progressive group opposing the Chamber, and then subsequently exposing the document as a fake to “prove that US Chamber Watch cannot be trusted with information and/or tell the truth.” In addition, the group proposed creating a “fake insider persona” to infiltrate Chamber Watch. They would “create two fake insider personas, using one as leverage to discredit the other while confirming the legitimacy of the second.” The leaked e-mails showed that similar disinformation campaigns were being planned against WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald.
It was clear to Brown that these were actions of questionable legality, but beyond that, government contractors were attempting to undermine Americans’ free speech—with the apparent blessing of the DOJ. A group of Democratic congressmen asked for an investigation into this arrangement, to no avail.
By June 2011, the plot had thickened further. The FBI had the goods on the leader of LulzSec, one Hector Xavier Monsegur, who went under the nom de guerre Sabu. The FBI arrested him on June 7, 2011, and (according to court documents) turned him into an informant the following day. Just three days before his arrest, Sabu had been central to the formation of a new group called AntiSec, which comprised his former LulzSec crew members, as well as members as Anonymous. In early December AntiSec hacked the website of a private security company called Stratfor Global Intelligence. On Christmas Eve, it released a trove of some 5 million internal company e-mails. AntiSec member and Chicago activist Jeremy Hammond has pled guilty to the attack and is currently facing ten years in prison for it.
The contents of the Stratfor leak were even more outrageous than those of the HBGary hack. They included discussion of opportunities for renditions and assassinations. For example, in one video, Statfor’s vice president of intelligence, Fred Burton, suggested taking advantage of the chaos in Libya to render Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who had been released from prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal illness. Burton said that the case “was personal.” When someone pointed out in an e-mail that such a move would almost certainly be illegal—“This man has already been tried, found guilty, sentenced…and served time”—another Stratfor employee responded that this was just an argument for a more efficient solution: “One more reason to just bugzap him with a hellfire. :-)”
(Stratfor employees also seemed to take a keen interest in Jeremy Scahill’s writings about Blackwater in The Nation, copying and circulating entire articles, with comments suggesting a principle interest was in the question of whether Blackwater was setting up a competing intelligence operation. E-mails also showed grudging respect for Scahill: “Like or dislike Scahill’s position (or what comes of his work), he does an amazing job outing [Blackwater].”)
When the contents of the Stratfor leak became available, Brown decided to put ProjectPM on it. A link to the Stratfor dump appeared in an Anonymous chat channel; Brown copied it and pasted it into the private chat channel for ProjectPM, bringing the dump to the attention of the editors.
Brown began looking into Endgame Systems, an information security firm that seemed particularly concerned about staying in the shadows. “Please let HBGary know we don’t ever want to see our name in a press release,” one leaked e-mail read. One of its products, available for a $2.5 million annual subscription, gave customers access to “zero-day exploits”—security vulnerabilities unknown to software companies—for computer systems all over the world. Business Week published a story on Endgame in 2011, reporting that “Endgame executives will bring up maps of airports, parliament buildings, and corporate offices. The executives then create a list of the computers running inside the facilities, including what software the computers run, and a menu of attacks that could work against those particular systems.” For Brown, this raised the question of whether Endgame was selling these exploits to foreign actors and whether they would be used against computer systems in the United States. Shortly thereafter, the hammer came down.
The FBI acquired a warrant for Brown’s laptop, gaining the authority to seize any information related to HBGary, Endgame Systems, Anonymous and, most ominously, “email, email contacts, ‘chat’, instant messaging logs, photographs, and correspondence.” In other words, the FBI wanted his sources.
When the FBI went to serve Brown, he was at his mother’s house. Agents returned with a warrant to search his mother’s house, retrieving his laptop. To turn up the heat on Brown, the FBI initiated charges against his mother for obstruction of justice for concealing his laptop computer in her house. (Facing criminal charges, on March 22, 2013, his mother, Karen McCutchin, pled guilty to one count of obstructing the execution of a search warrant. She faces up to twelve months in jail. Brown maintains that she did not know the laptop was in her home.)
By his own admission, the FBI’s targeting of his mother made Brown snap. In September 2012, he uploaded an incoherent YouTube video, in which he explained that he had been in treatment for an addiction to heroin, taking the medication Suboxone, but had gone off his meds and now was in withdrawal. He threatened the FBI agent that was harassing his mother, by name, warning:
“I know what’s legal, I know what’s been done to me.… And if it’s legal when it’s done to me, it’s going to be legal when it’s done to FBI Agent Robert Smith—who is a criminal.”
“That’s why [FBI special agent] Robert Smith’s life is over. And when I say his life is over, I’m not saying I’m going to kill him, but I am going to ruin his life and look into his fucking kids…. How do you like them apples?”
The media narrative was immediately derailed. No longer would this be a story about the secretive information-military-industrial complex; now it was the sordid tale of a crazy drug addict threatening an FBI agent and his (grown) children. Actual death threats against agents are often punishable by a few years in jail. But Brown’s actions made it easier for the FBI to sell some other pretext to put him away for life.
The Stratfor data included a number of unencrypted credit card numbers and validation codes. On this basis, the DOJ accused Brown of credit card fraud for having shared that link with the editorial board of ProjectPM. Specifically, the FBI charged him with traffic in stolen authentication features, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as an obstruction of justice charge (for being at his mother’s when the initial warrant was served) and charges stemming from his threats against the FBI agent. All told, Brown is looking at century of jail time: 105 years in federal prison if served sequentially. He has been denied bail.
Considering that the person who carried out the actual Stratfor hack had several priors and is facing a maximum of ten years, the inescapable conclusion is that the problem is not with the hack itself but with Brown’s journalism. As Glenn Greenwald remarked inThe Guardian: “It is virtually impossible to conclude that the obscenely excessive prosecution he now faces is unrelated to that journalism and his related activism.”
Today, Brown is in prison and ProjectPM is under increased scrutiny by the DOJ, even as its work has ground to a halt. In March, the DOJ served the domain hosting service CloudFlare with a subpoena for all records on the ProjectPM website, and in particular asked for the IP addresses of everyone who had accessed and contributed to ProjectPM, describing it as a “forum” through which Brown and others would “engage in, encourage, or facilitate the commission of criminal conduct online.” The message was clear: Anyone else who looks into this matter does so at their grave peril.
Some journalists are now understandably afraid to go near the Stratfor files. The broader implications of this go beyond Brown; one might think that what we are looking at is Cointelpro 2.0—an outsourced surveillance state—but in fact it’s worse. One can’t help but infer that the US Department of Justice has become just another security contractor, working alongside the HBGarys and Stratfors on behalf of corporate bidders, with no sense at all for the justness of their actions; they are working to protect corporations and private security contractors and give them license to engage in disinformation campaigns against ordinary citizens and their advocacy groups. The mere fact that the FBI’s senior cybersecurity advisor has recently moved to Hunton and Williams shows just how incestuous this relationship has become. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is also using its power and force to trample on the rights of citizens like Barrett Brown who are trying to shed light on these nefarious relationships. In order to neutralize those who question or investigate the system, laws are being reinterpreted or extended or otherwise misappropriated in ways that are laughable—or would be if the consequences weren’t so dire.
While the media and much of the world have been understandably outraged by the revelation of the NSA’s spying programs, Barrett Brown’s work was pointing to a much deeper problem. It isn’t the sort of problem that can be fixed by trying to tweak a few laws or by removing a few prosecutors. The problem is not with bad laws or bad prosecutors. What the case of Barrett Brown has exposed is that we confronting a different problem altogether. It is a systemic problem. It is the failure of the rule of law.
Journalist Michael Hastings, 33, died in a car crash yesterday. Read Greg Mitchell’s obituary here.
Republican Speaker of the House John Beohner is so alcoholic looking that when querying Google on the question, Google completes the autofill after the entry "IS JOHN B..." BLAMMO up comes "Is John Boehner Alcoholic"
(Apparently quite a few people are asking this same question - hence the autofill)
Don't hold your breath waiting for the mainstream media to point any of this out, they promote personalities like Boehner.
Go ahead - have a look see for yourself - go to Google and type: "is john b" and google finishes the sentence for you.
OK so it's all been verified. Every single move you make is recorded, tracked, traced and archived in a massive database organized by your name, social security number, birthday. Soon able to be accessed by any local police officer or government agency. And hardly a whisper out of any of you about this?
What will it take, must they break down your doors and stick a hot poker up your asses? Will you have a bit of a protest then?
Or must they kill your whole family, would that get a reaction from you?
Oh it would?!? Really?
OK so what about the hot poker up the ass?
Oh, you'd protest that too? are you sure? really?
OK so you would protest the hot poker up the ass, very good, we're getting somewhere. Now lets backtrack a little. What if they broke down your door and came right in and installed cameras in every room and informed you that you were not to meddle with these cameras under threat of imprisonment? Would that rankle you a little bit? It would? are you sure? OK lets move on then.
What if they came in and installed cameras in every room in your house while you were out. And when you returned there were all these cameras and a note on the door from a neighbor that there was a bunch of guys in black suits with wires in their ears seen entering your house earlier. Would you be a bit curious about what was going on? I mean would you at least think it was newsworthy enough to tell your friends on facebook? "Wow what a weird day, just got back from inking the color in the comedy tragedy masks that i'm adding to the circus scene on my foreskin, and there's all these camera's in my house, what gives?"
OK so i'll just assume that you would indeed raise an eyebrow at presence of cameras that were previously not present.
Lets move on.
NOW, WHAT IF:
They entered your house surreptitiously, and installed covert hidden bugging devices on all your computers, internet connections and telephones? All without your knowledge nor that of your neighbor. And when you returned you were unaware that anything had occurred. But months (or years) later you overhear rumors that the government had all along been recording your life with all these bugs and wiretaps and that they had it all stored in a massive database in a mega storage facility carved into the depths at the foot of a mountain in utah? Would this concern you? It would? Are you sure?
Welcome to your world
Day 4 of US MAINSTREAM MEDIA BLACKOUT ON EDWARD SNOWDEN NOMINATION FOR NOBEL PRIZE:
The 2009 Nobel "Peace" Prize winner, Mr, Barack Obama, is in hot pursuit for the capture, imprisonment and possible execution of the 1013 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Edward Snowden. The paradoxes and ironies are for all to see. The mainstream media is busy painting Snowden as a traitor, shoring up their key demographic, their only demographic, the 20% of the dumbest of the dumb, into actually "believing" Snowden to be a traitor.
There are some analysts who are pointing out that Snowden himself may not be what he is purporting to be. The leading political analyst Webster Tarpley writes that snowmen is a triple agent, still working for the NSA. If so, this would explain Snowden's rapid rise to media prominence (literally just minutes from total obscurity to being the center of attention of all networks for days) and sudden media blackout because someone had to throw a wrench in the NSA's plans and nominate Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize!
It would seem unlikely that the NSA would want Snowden (whether or not he is still an undercover agent for the agency) to receive such vaunted recognition such as the Nobel Peace Prize. That wouldn't seem to fit within the narrative they have been orchestrating for their purposes, should it turn out that Snowden is still working in deep cover. The narrative they have been promoting is, "Yes we are doing Total Surveillance! Yes there is nothing you can do about it. And, yes everyone agrees that people like Snowden who don't appreciate the police state can and should be crushed!"
The American population is not known for their appreciation of irony, they seldom recognize it, even when it presents itself in such stark light. IN a perfect countermove, European powers may pressure the Nobel Prize committee into awarding Snowden the big prize! - as a defiant gesture to the US. Such a move should ordinarily present a public relations dilemma for the US, not to mention an international crisis in lawlessness and outright fascist belligerence for the whole world to witness.
However in light of the nearly non existent response from groups within the US who were traditionally opposed to US government policies it is not certain whether the US has any electoral reasons to reel in their aggression against the people of the US and the entire world.
Is there a way to slow down the US government's blanket assaults on international law, human rights, civil liberties, dissenters, whistleblowers, rule of law, and basic fundamental truths? At this point, the fascism is so "in our faces" and we are, so "lets do doing nothing about it" that, why in the world, shouldn't the fascists dispense with even the false surfaces that they are here as a "force of good" and just roll out full blown, full steam, naked fascism? The US ruling class has seen clearly how little of the traditional opposition to their policies still exists.
The Left in the US has all but dried up. With only a few still clinging onto the empty rhetoric of the "hope and change" which never materialized. The rest of the former left are just hopeless and apathetic and generally completely inactive on matters involving things such as "rights." The left has lost the passions for this long struggle. The left is unaware of what their rights are, they are unfamiliar with the philosophies behind the various rights that have been described as inalienable, inseparable from our existence as human beings.
And how ironic is it that the ONLY SIGNIFICANT POLITICAL FORCE WHO IS NOW PROTESTING RESIST THESE ENCROACHMENTS OF OUR LIBERTIES IS THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT ??? How genius it was of them to put Barack Obama in and by doing so - totally silence any opposition to their plans for us all. How genius they were to completely eliminate all opposition to war from the groups MOST traditionally opposed to war, (gays and women) by simply renaming it an "Equal Opportunity" and not what it really is, which is a crime against innocence, a crime against humanity.
How genius they were. How genius!
If Obama sent a drone over to kill a post Nobel Prize winning Snowden, could such an act, "raise a few eyebrows," at least, in the somnambulistic left? The, "progressives?"
Seeing what we have seen from this collection of utter sheep called Liberals, they might just dig deep and come up with some brilliant way out of their moral abyss and say, "Well, Snowden did break the law!"
Know Your Enemy!
Over the past 50 years, an American was 13 times more likely to be struck by lightening, more likely to be killed by a bee sting and 164 times more likely to die slipping or drowning in their bathrooms, than from a terrorist attack. Yet in the name of terrorism which has killed far fewer people in fifty years than bathtubs do in several months, our fear pushing, so called, "leaders" are trying to con us all into giving up our rights, giving up all of our money to the military weapons manufacturers who control them, shredding the constitution, spreading worldwide perpetual war, killing and mutilating hundreds of thousands of innocent people throughout the world (in the name of "protecting us" but we all know it's to steal the oil) and transforming this once rich "land of opportunity" into a poor country increasingly isolated and hated by more and more people and nations throughout the world.
Next time some slimy little politician tries to con you with his big terrorism fear rubbish, our recommendation is to THROW HIM OUT OF OFFICE!
They are lying to you because they are getting paid to lie to you. They are lying to you because they think they can make a name for themselves serving the Wall Street military arms manufacturers. They are trying to trick you all because they know that fear is the easiest way to trick people into doing exactly what they want you to do.
Next time they try to scare you into forking over all your money so that they can protect us, tell them to go after the bathtubs - they kill more Americans in two months than terrorism has in 50 years. And that's a fact.
(data compiled from NIH and CDC data)
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