A Heightened Sense of Vulnerability

The gap between the happy-story fantasies of easy fixes to institutionalized corruption and systemic stagnation and the fraying-rope reality is widening, straining the bonds holding the whole contraption together to the breaking point. Am I the only one sensing an increase in systemic vulnerability? I’m not talking about TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) so much as a sense of things fraying beneath the surface of normalcy. I for one have never seen the outpouring of negative emotional energy from partisan political disagreements. It has become more a matter of quasi-religious faith than a matter of fact as to whether the Russians “hacked” the U. S. election and the Democratic National Committee. The “facts” are highly dependent on one’s faith in this quasi-religious conflict; if you’re anti-Trump, the now-discredited report by a private firm reporting to the FBI (red flag #1–doesn’t the FBI have its own digital forensics assets? Why hire a flaky contractor to do this critically important national security work?) is the gospel truth. if you’re in the other camp, Julian Assange’s declaration that the DNC material was offered to him by an insider is the obvious gospel truth.

This post was published at Charles Hugh Smith on MONDAY, APRIL 03, 2017.

A CIA CYBER FALSE FLAG

New revelations from Wikileaks’ ‘Vault 7′ leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.
Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit – most of which are American, British or Israeli – give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon’s Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA, whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post. It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.
While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and dtente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on MARCH 13, 2017.

WikiLeaks trove fails to shift dial on Trump-Putin narrative — Pepe Escobar

The massive WikiLeaks Vault 7 release is an extremely important public service. It’s hard to find anyone not concerned by a secret CIA hacking program targeting virtually the whole planet – using malware capable of bypassing encryption protection on any device from iOS to Android, and from Windows to Samsung TVs.
In a series of tweets, Edward Snowden confirmed the CIA program and said code names in the documents are real; that they could only be known by a ‘cleared insider;’ the FBI and CIA knew all about the digital loopholes, but kept them open to spy; and that the leaks provided the ‘first public evidence’ that the US government secretly paid to keep U.S. software unsafe.
If that’s not serious enough, WikiLeaks alleges that ‘the CIA has lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal;’ several hundred million lines of code – more than what is used to run Facebook.
Someone among the former U.S. government hackers and contractors ended up leaking portions of the CIA archive (Snowden II?). WikiLeaks also stressed how the CIA had created, in effect, its ‘own NSA’ – maximum unaccountability included.

This post was published at Asia Times

THIS EMAIL PROVES OBAMACARE IS MEANT TO FAIL IN ORDER TO USHER IN GOVERNMENT-RUN SOCIALIST HEALTH CARE

Who can keep up with all the revelations coming out of over 10,000 of Hillary camp chairman John Podesta’s leaked emails?
It’s actually a brilliant strategy to give people corruption fatigue because it’s so many revelations so quickly that, just like the Snowden leaks, it overwhelms people and they shut down. Toss something about learned helplessness in there, and we’re about on target for what’s going on with Hillary right now. It’s actually pretty amazing she’ll be able to show her face at the debates tonight.
But this particular email is key to just how utterly fake and fraudulent our government really is.
Remember when Nancy Pelosi infamously told Congress they’d have to pass the Affordable Care Act bill so they could find out what was in it?
Check this out:

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 19, 2016.

INVESTIGATION REVEALS THAT POLICE ARE ABUSING CONFIDENTIAL WORK DATABASES FOR PERSONAL GAIN

Shootings, rape, fraud…it seems like nearly every day a story about police corruption makes the headlines.
Today is no different: This morning, the Associated Press broke a chilling story about widespread police misconduct.
The AP conducted an investigation and found that police officers across the US misuse confidential law enforcement databases to access personal information about romantic partners, ex-girlfriends, neighbors, journalists, business associates, politicians, and others for reasons that have nothing to do with police work.
Criminal history and driver databases are supposed to be used by officers to obtain information about people they encounter on the job.
But the AP’s investigation revealed that the systems can be exploited by officers who, ‘motivated by romantic quarrels, personal conflicts or voyeuristic curiosity,’ disregard the rules – and sometimes the law – and use the systems for nefarious purposes.


This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 28, 2016.

The House Intelligence Committee’s Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Snowden Report

Late yesterday afternoon the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a three-page executive summary (four, if we count the splendid cover photo) of its two-year inquiry into Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency (NSA) disclosures. On first reading, I described it as an ‘aggressively dishonest’ piece of work.
With a day or so to reflect on it, I believe it’s worse than that. The report is not only one-sided, not only incurious, not only contemptuous of fact.
It is trifling.
After twenty-five months of labor, the committee’s ‘comprehensive review’ of an immensely complex subject weighs in at thirty-six pages. (None of which we may read, because it ‘must remain classified.’) I have graded college term papers that long. It is one more dispiriting commentary on the state of legislative oversight that the committee’s twenty-two members, Republican and Democratic, were unanimous in signing their names.
A reminder at the outset. I am one of four journalists (with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and Ewen MacAskill) who received classified archives of NSA documents from Snowden. I am writing a book on the subject for Penguin Press. Feel free to consider, as you read this, that my stories in The Washington Post played a role in the disclosures that the committee is at pains to denounce.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 20, 2016.

Thanks For The Tips, Buddy – -Washington Post Makes History Calling For Prosecution Of Its Own Source (Snowden)

THREE OF THE four media outlets that received and published large numbers of secret NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden – The Guardian, the New York Times, and The Intercept – – have called for the U. S. government to allow the NSA whistleblower to return to the U. S. with no charges. That’s the normal course for a news organization, which owes its sources duties of protection, and which – by virtue of accepting the source’s materials and then publishing them – implicitly declares the source’s information to be in the public interest.
But not the Washington Post. In the face of a growing ACLU and Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone biopic ‘Snowden,’ the Post editorial page today not only argued in opposition to a pardon, but explicitly demanded that Snowden – the paper’s own source – stand trial on espionage charges or, as a ‘second-best solution,’ accept ‘a measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U. S. government offers a measure of leniency.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept ‘ September 19, 2016.

Pardon Edward Snowden – -He Courageously Exposed The Deep State Lawbreakers

On 6 June 2013, the Guardian broke the news National Security Agency (NSA) had ordered Verizon to provide it with the phone records of its customers. As the story developed it became clear that the two other major telephone networks as well as credit card companies were doing the same thing; and that the NSA and FBI were being provided with access to server systems operated by Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Skype.
On 11 June the Guardian reported the source as Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old who had been working at the NSA for four years.
Snowden believed it was important for him to publicly acknowledge his role in order to provide a human face to the story. He knew he was putting his life at risk and exposing himself to decades of incarceration. ‘My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them,’ he explained. Snowden hoped to trigger a debate ‘about the kind of world we want to live in’. The US government began an immediate campaign to track, harass and silence him.
More revelations followed that exposed a massive national security complex that spies on virtually everyone, everywhere. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), which is a secret court that was supposed to protect our privacy rights, was rubber-stamping every NSA request for the authority to spy without any real oversight. The US government was spying on foreign leaders, working with British spies to collect massive amounts of global data across the planet, and collecting over 200 million text messagesdaily. And the NSA was working to stop encryption (a technology developed to protect the privacy of both private individuals and businesses).

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Jill Stein, The Guardian ‘ September 15, 2016.

The Road To Trumps Rise – – Big Bank Abuse Of Flyover America

Eight years ago Wednesday, Lehman Brothers collapsed into bankruptcy. To stem the panic, the feds launched the biggest bailout the world has ever seen. In rewarding failure, America allowed a broken, corrupt financial system to flourish – and, yes, has invited populists like Donald Trump to take the stage.
The latest example of how greed is not good, especially when it’s backstopped by government guarantees: Last week, federal regulators revealed that Wells Fargo, the country’s third-largest bank, had opened 1.5 million bank accounts and 565,000 credit-card accounts without customers’ permission over the past five years.
How could that happen? At least 5,300 workers engaged in what the government calls ‘abusive’ acts: using a customer’s personal information from one legitimate account to open another one, and then taking money from the real account to put it into the fake one. Workers went so far as to create fake e-mail addresses and PIN numbers.
And why would this happen? Wells Fargo wanted to grow – and so it rewarded workers who opened new accounts. Employees were ‘spurred by sales targets and compensation incentives,’ the government notes.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 12, 2016.

Want “Unlimited Access To A Target’s Mobile Devices… Leaving No Trace”? Ask NSO Group

For the affordable price of $650,000, Israeli company NSO Group will enable you to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge. The cost is a little higher for Blackberry users (5 for $500,000).. and there is a 17% maintenance fee every thereafter to ensure “leaving no traces whatsoever.” Welcome to the new world of private companies selling surveillance tools to the ‘average joe’…
Since its founding six years ago, the NSO Group has kept a low profile. But, as The New York Times reports, last month, security researchers caught its spyware trying to gain access to the iPhone of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates. They also discovered a second target, a Mexican journalist who wrote about corruption in the Mexican government.
NSO is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2016.

The National Security ‘Experts’ Denouncing Trump Are a Who’s Who of Disastrous Neocons

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch.com.
It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happeningmore and more frequently. The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men – and a few women – who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump.
They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer ‘lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.’
That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. The letter’s signers include, among others, the man who was Condoleezza Rice’s legal advisor when she ran the National Security Council (John Bellinger III); one of George W. Bush’s CIA directors who also ran the National Security Agency (Michael Hayden); a Bush administration ambassador to the United Nations and Iraq (John Negroponte); an architect of the neoconservative policy in the Middle East adopted by the Bush administration that led to the invasion of Iraq, who has since served as president of the World Bank (Robert Zoellick). In short, given the history of the ‘global war on terror,’ this is your basic list of potential American war criminals.
Their letter continues, ‘He weakens U. S. moral authority as the leader of the free world.’
There’s a sentence that could use some unpacking.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 24, 2016.

“Russian” Hacker Guccifer 2.0 Publishes Complete Personal Information Of 200 Congressional Democrats

According to so-called experts, the Romanian (as he described himself) hacker Guccifer 2.0 is really a Russian (even though there is still not a shred of evidence to confirm this) who several weeks ago provided a trove of 20,000 emails to Wikileaks, which exposed the corruption at the Democratic National Committee as it rigged the primary election on behalf of Hillary, further revealing just how deeply in bed the DNC and the “independent” media were.
As of this afternoon, the “Russian” has made it possible for millions of American to contact their Democratic representative instantly, after he released an excel spreadsheet on his blog – obtained from hacking the DNCC – which includes the personal cell phone number, physical and email address as well as full personal information for some 200 congressional Democrats.
On his WordPress blog, Guccifer 2.0 says the following:
Hi all!
It’s time for new revelations now. All of you may have heard about the DCCC hack. As you see I wasn’t wasting my time! It was even easier than in the case of the DNC breach.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2016.

Cyberspying and Hacking into Domestic Political Campaigns – – NSA Beats Russia Hands Down

National attention is focused on Russian eavesdroppers’ possible targeting of U. S. presidential candidates and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Yet, leaked top-secret National Security Agency documents show that the Obama administration has long been involved in major bugging operations against the election campaigns – and the presidents – of even its closest allies.
The United States is, by far, the world’s most aggressive nation when it comes to cyberspying and cyberwarfare. The National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign cities, politicians, elections and entire countries since it first turned on its receivers in 1952. Just as other countries, including Russia, attempt to do to the United States. What is new is a country leaking the intercepts back to the public of the target nation through a middleperson.
There is a strange irony in this. Russia, if it is actually involved in the hacking of the computers of the Democratic National Committee, could be attempting to influence a U. S. election by leaking to the American public the falsehoods of its leaders. This is a tactic Washington used against the Soviet Union and other countries during the Cold War.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on August 5, 2016.

Open Letter to the Guardian

The Guardian headline is supporting government propaganda that 9 out of 10 economists warn of a dire future if Britain exits the EU. For a newspaper who published Snowden, I would expect a lot more integrity on this issue. The Guardian is reporting propaganda on a grand scale. They reported that ‘Some 72% [of economists] said that a vote to leave would most likely have a negative impact on growth for 10-20 years.’
The propaganda implies that economic growth in Britain has benefited from the EU single market since it joined in 1973. Let us expose the lies and corruption propagated by this pool of economists. Using the government’s own statistics from the Office for National Statistics, annual economic growth for Britain peaked BEFORE it joined the EU and has been declining ever since. This forecast that leaving the EU will have a negative impact on British economic growth is clearly a bunch off lies. Annual economic growth for Britain has fallen ever since it joined the EU in 1973. Each rally produced a lower economic growth peak.
This is the end of Britain if it remains in the EU and the media will not tell the truth or expose what is going on all to save the jobs of bureaucrats at the expense of their own families (feel free to forward this article to everyone). The British pound peaked against the dollar in 1864. It has been a bear market long-term. If the pound simply now closes below 14600 for 2016, it will fall to make new historic lows well under par to the dollar seen back in 1985.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 30, 2016.

Edward Snowden On Whistleblowing And Resistance To The Security State

‘I’VE BEEN WAITING 40 years for someone like you.’ Those were the first words Daniel Ellsberg spoke to me when we met last year. Dan and I felt an immediate kinship; we both knew what it meant to risk so much – and to be irrevocably changed – by revealing secret truths.
One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency, who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: What begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice.
But unlike Dan Ellsberg, I didn’t have to wait 40 years to witness other citizens breaking that silence with documents. Ellsberg gave the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971; Chelsea Manning provided the Iraq and Afghan War logs and the Cablegate materials to WikiLeaks in 2010. I came forward in 2013. Now here we are in 2016, and another person of courage and conscience has made available the set of extraordinary documents that are published in The Assassination Complex, the new book out today by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of TheIntercept. (The documents were originally published last October 15 in The Drone Papers.)

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on 04 MAY 2016.

Hoisted on Her Own Petard – -Hillary’s Gratuitous Attack On Snowden And Lies About Her Own Emails

A few weeks after leaving office, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have breathed a sigh of relief and reassurance when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied reports of the National Security Agency eavesdropping on Americans. After all, Clinton had been handling official business at the State Department like many Americans do with their personal business, on an unsecured server.
In sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, Clapper said the NSA was not collecting, wittingly, ‘any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,’ which presumably would have covered Clinton’s unsecured emails.
But NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations – starting on June 5, 2013 – gave the lie to Clapper’s testimony, which Clapper then retracted on June 21 – coincidentally, Snowden’s 30th birthday – when Clapper sent a letter to the Senators to whom he had, well, lied. Clapper admitted his ‘response was clearly erroneous – for which I apologize.’ (On the chance you are wondering what became of Clapper, he is still DNI.)

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 30, 2016.

The FBI’s iPhone Snow Job – -It’s Not About Terrorist Attacks

It all started so ‘harmless.’ The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) wanted to access the information of a person being investigated for mass murder so, the FBI said, it could try to prevent more terrorist attacks.
A couple months later this has morphed into a situation where the FBI is offering to help police departments across America access secured information of any electronic device connected to criminal investigations and where members of the United States Senate are moving forward with legislation to force technology companies to give the government access to secured, including via encryption, electronic devices information.
First, the FBI’s bumbled handling of an iPhone connected to a mass killing in San Bernardino provided an opening for the FBI to seek a precedent-setting court order to require Apple to assist the government in overcoming the phone’s security. Ratherconvenient, one might say, for a government agency determined to search and seize with the minimum possible constraint. Then, when Apple resisted the court’s order that was obtained ex parte (without Apple being afforded an opportunity to present its opposing arguments), the FBI dropped the case, claiming it found people who helped it bypass the iPhone’s security. This is after the FBI had told the magistrate judge that the FBI needed Apple’s help to accomplish the task.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on April 21, 2016.

Ron Paul: First They Came for our iPhones…

The FBI tells us that its demand for a back door into the iPhone is all about fighting terrorism, and that it is essential to break in just this one time to find out more about the San Bernardino attack last December. But the truth is they had long sought a way to break Apple’s iPhone encryption and, like 9/11 and the PATRIOT Act, a mass murder provided just the pretext needed. After all, they say, if we are going to be protected from terrorism we have to give up a little of our privacy and liberty. Never mind that government spying on us has not prevented one terrorist attack.
Apple has so far stood up to a federal government’s demand that it force its employees to write a computer program to break into its own product. No doubt Apple CEO Tim Cook understands the damage it would do to his company for the world to know that the US government has a key to supposedly secure iPhones. But the principles at stake are even higher. We have a fundamental right to privacy. We have a fundamental right to go about our daily life without the threat of government surveillance of our activities. We are not East Germany.
Let’s not forget that this new, more secure iPhone was developed partly in response to Ed Snowden’s revelations that the federal government was illegally spying on us. The federal government was caught breaking the law but instead of ending its illegal spying is demanding that private companies make it easier for it to continue.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Ron Paul ‘ February 29, 2016.

The FBI’s Demand For An Apple Backdoor – -A Blatant and Dangerous Attack On The Constitution

‘ February 25, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) The FBI versus Apple Inc. An unstoppable force meets an immovable object – the feverish momentum of American technocracy accelerating into the cavernous Orwellian entrenchment of the surveillance state. You thought the patent wars were intense? The ‘Battle of the Backdoor’ pits one of America’s most monolithic tech conglomerates against the Department of Justice and, ultimately, the interests of the national security state. And this case is likely only the opening salvo in what will be a decades-long ideological war between tech privacy advocates and the federal government.
On its face, the case boils down to a single locked and encrypted iPhone 5S, used by radical jihadist Syed Rizwan Farook before he and his wide Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people in San Bernardino on December 2nd. The DOJ wants Apple to build a backdoor into the device so that it can bypass the company’s state of the art encryption apparatus and access information and evidence related to the case.
At least, that’s the premise presented to the public. As we are learning, the FBI and the federal government have a far more comprehensive end-game in mind than merely bolstering the prosecution of this one case.
Whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted last week that ‘crucial details [of the case] are being obscured by officials.’ Specifically, he made the following trenchant points:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Jake Anderson Anti Media.