Meet Bill Binney, one of the earliest NSA whistleblowers (well before anyone had ever heard of Edward Snowden). He worked for the NSA for 30 years before resigning because of concerns he had regarding illegal spying on U.S. citizens in 2001. Mr. Binney thankfully has never stopped fighting for The Constitution that he swore to defend, unlike most other government officials who happily stomp all over the basic civil liberties enshrined in our founding document. He had some very choice words recently and it would be wise for all of us on planet earth to pay very close attention - Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a “totalitarian mentality” that was the “greatest threat” to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century.
On the heels of John Kerry's accusation that Russia's behavior does not belong in the 21st century, Germany's Angela Merkel has come out swining against the escalating spying scandal with the US (which saw allegations that the US had recruited two Germans to sell secrets this week). During an interview with ZDF, the German leader blasted “that we have different perceptions on the work of intelligence services," adding that "we don’t live in the Cold War anymore." The White House's response, so far, a shrug of 'business-as-usual' from Josh Earnest; which fits with Merkel's conclusion: "I think it's not that easy to convince the Americans ... to completely change the way their intelligence services work."
As We Reported 6 Years Ago: The Pentagon Is Using AI Programs To Predict How People - e.g. Americans - Will React To PropagandaSubmitted by George Washington on 07/10/2014 13:59 -0400
US Military Admits Spending Millions to Study Manipulation of Social Media
You know things are not going your way when a long-time ally and peer in the world's power structure 'shuns' you. On the heels of the exposure of a 2nd "spy case", Germany has had enough...
*GERMANY EXPELS U.S. DIPLOMAT OVER ESPIONAGE AFFAIR
*GERMAN GOVT TAKING ISSUE 'VERY SERIOUSLY,' CHANCELLERY SAYS
*EXPULSION LINKED TO INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED U.S. SPYING
It appears the US surveillance efforts was crossing Merkel's red line and the 'diplomat' appears to the CIA station chief. Of course, we are sure President Obama knew nothing about this spying...
It’s vogue, trendy and appropriate to look to dystopian literature as a harbinger of what we’re experiencing at the hands of the government. Certainly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm have much to say about government tyranny, corruption, and control, as does Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. Yet there are also older, simpler, more timeless stories - folk tales and fairy tales - that speak just as powerfully to the follies and foibles in our nature as citizens and rulers alike that give rise to tyrants and dictatorships. One such tale, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, is a perfect paradigm of life today in the fiefdom that is the American police state, only instead of an imperial president spending money wantonly on lavish vacations, entertainment, and questionable government programs aimed at amassing greater power, Andersen presents us with a vain and thoughtless emperor, concerned only with satisfying his own needs at the expense of his people, even when it means taxing them unmercifully, bankrupting his kingdom, and harshly punishing his people for daring to challenge his edicts.
It just hasn't been a good week for the CIA. A year after Edward Snowden revealed that the US was bugging Angela Merkel's cell phone, first one then, moments ago, Suddeutsche Zeitung revealed that a second "spy case" involving the US (read CIA) have been revealed. According to SZ, an unidentified man working in military-related area likely to be questioned today over suspicion of spying for a U.S. intelligence service in Germany. The home and office of the suspect were being searched in Berlin area. SZ adds that the case is more serious than unrelated allegations against double agent at BND Federal Intelligence Service that emerged last week. In the meantime, the US ambassador to Germany went to the foreign ministry for a "talk" - perhaps it is to remind the local just how extensive Angela Merkel's DDR file is, and just what would be revealed about her proximity to the Kremlin if push came to shove.
- Headline of the day: Complacency Breeds $2 Trillion of Junk as Sewage Funded (BBG)
- Israel intensifies Gaza offensive after surge in rocket fire (Reuters)
- Profits plunge at Vatican bank (FT)
- Investors Are Buying Troubled Golf Courses and Giving Them Makeovers (NYT)
- Pimco Dissidents Challenge Bill Gross in ‘Happy Kingdom (BBG)
- That's a new one: Marks and Spencer blames new website for sales drop (Reuters)
- Iran's Supreme Leader calls for more enrichment capacity (Reuters)
- Boeing Faces Long-Term Credit Risk if Ex-Im Bank Closed, S&P Says (WSJ) not to mention the collapse risk to US durable goods orders
- U.K. Manufacturing Unexpectedly Slumps Most in 16 Months (BBG)
- Some Still Lack Coverage Under Health Law (WSJ)
You know it has become a farce when...
You know you've made it when you land on the official "yes, you can spy on them" NSA list. As WaPo reports, this exhibit lists the 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions, political organizations and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance, for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence. One thing comes to mind... what about Canada?
Earlier today Reuters reported that the European Commission said on Monday it had approved a Bulgarian request to extend a credit line of 3.3 billion levs ($2.30 billion) in support of banks that have come under speculative attack. “The Commission concluded that the state aid implied by the provision of the credit line is proportionate and commensurate with the need to ensure sufficient liquidity in the banking system in the particular circumstances,” the EU executive said in a statement. The statement said Bulgaria’s banking system was “well capitalised and has high levels of liquidity compared to its peers in other member states. For precautionary reasons, Bulgaria has taken this measure to further increase the liquidity and safeguard its financial system”. The move follows runs by jittery depositors on two major Bulgarian commercial banks in the space of a week. And while this latest backstop of the Bulgarian bank system should provide a respite from bank insolvency fears (if only for the time being), one wonders about Europe's true intentions.
Let Us Count the Ways ...
Many believe the most significant battle of our era is between the forces of Decentralization vs. Centralization. Niall Furguson takes that battle and looks at it from a historical perspective, describing it as Networks vs. Hierarchies, and warns we "need networks, for no political hierarchy, no matter how powerful, can plan all the clever things that networks spontaneously generate. But if the hierarchy comes to control the networks so much as to compromise their benign self-organizing capacities, then innovation is bound to wane."
"The one unlimited resource we have on the planet is the human brain – the current strategy of 1% capitalism is failing because it is killing the Golden Goose at multiple levels. Unfortunately, the gap between those with money and power and those who actually know what they are talking about has grown catastrophic. The rich are surrounded by sycophants and pretenders whose continued employment demands that they not question the premises."
Russia Puts Troops In Central Region On Combat-Ready Alert After Launch Of Massive Surprise Drill - VideoSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 06/21/2014 14:25 -0400
So much for the Ukraine ultimatum. Just hours after fighting erupted on both sides of the Ukraine-Russian border to commemorate Ukraine's "ceasefire" proposal roundly mocked by the Kremlin, Russian forces in Siberia, the Urals and beyond were been put on combat-ready alert, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said after President Putin ordered surprise drills. "Over 65,000 troops, about 5,500 weapon units and vehicles, over 180 planes, and about 60 helicopters will be involved in the test.
So what’s a Peeping Tom, anti-democratic, Constitution-trampling intelligence crony to do after leaving decades of “public service?” Move into the private sector and collect a fat paycheck from Wall Street, naturally. So what is Mr. Alexander charging for his expertise? He’s looking for $1 million per month. Yes, you read that right. That’s the rate that his firm, IronNet Cybersecurity Inc., pitched to Wall Street’s largest lobbying group the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)