Archive | June 11th, 2013

EDWARD SNOWDEN: THE U.S. WHISTLEBLOWER BEHIND THE NSA SURVEILLANCE REVELATIONS

 

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Edward Snowden: The US Whistleblower Behind the NSA Surveillance Revelations

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras / The Guardian | Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 22:26 Beijing

4TH mEDIA VERSION
INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

NSA whistleblower

Click for the video: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35231.htm

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world’s most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. “I don’t want public attention because I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. “I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me.”

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. “I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in.” He added: “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 has had “a very comfortable life” that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

‘I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made’

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week’s series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for “a couple of weeks” in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. “That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world.”

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because “they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent”, and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. “I’ve left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay,” he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

“All my options are bad,” he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

“Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets,” he said.

“We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. “I am not afraid,” he said calmly, “because this is the choice I’ve made.”

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and “say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become”.

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

‘You can’t wait around for someone else to act’

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: “I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression”.

He recounted how his beliefs about the war’s purpose were quickly dispelled. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

“Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he says. “I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good.”

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: “Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn’t feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone”. Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he “watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in”, and as a result, “I got hardened.”

The primary lesson from this experience was that “you can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act.”

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA’s surveillance activities were, claiming “they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them”.

He described how he once viewed the internet as “the most important invention in all of human history”. As an adolescent, he spent days at a time “speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own”.

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. “I don’t see myself as a hero,” he said, “because what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA’s surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. “What they’re doing” poses “an existential threat to democracy”, he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”

For him, it is a matter of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: “I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation,” reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. “That has not happened before,” he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week’s news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN’s Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden’s leaks began to make news.

“I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest,” he said. “There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn’t turn over, because harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it “harder for them to get dirty”.

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week’s haul of stories, “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets.”

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras in Hong Kong

© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

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BBC Gatekeeper’s Shill-Out on Alex Jones, In Efforts to Draw Attention Away From Bilderberg

NOVANEWS

Popular alternative media icon, Alex Jones, appeared on last Sunday’s edition of the BBCtelevision show Sunday’s Politicshosted by Andrew Neil, to expose the Bilderberg Group on Television.

 

Andrew Neil host of the BBC’s “Sunday’s Politics”.

by Shepard Ambellas

LONDON — From the moment the cameras were rolling you could just tell that something was up, the BBC had no intention of informing the general public what is really going on around them, keeping the Bilderberg meeting a conspiracy theory in nature.

“Bilderberg is heavily involved in the EU plan”, Jones explained as Niel (the host) took nothing Jones said seriously, downplaying the seriousness of the Bilderberg meeting to the fluoride-head mainstream  listeners. Jones continues to explain how the alternative media and thousands activists have now drawn the Bilderberg meeting out of the shadows and have thrust the issue into the mainline news. The criminal cabal will now find it harder to operate as their mettles have been tested over the past few years.

Neil continues to dumb-down the listeners in a gatekeeper fashion, as Jones likely could then see just where the interview was heading. Jones shouts, “Infowars.com”, squeezing a shameless plug onto the mainstream as the shows two jesters, Andrew Neil and Times columnist David Aaronovitch, act like fools.

David Aaronovitch then said facetiously, “If you talk to Alex for any length of time you discover a lot of things you didn’t know about the world…. But it leaves me with a huge question Alex…. You have uncovered the New World Order, which is deadly, it’s full of criminals who seek to run the world and will kill anyone who gets in there way, and you are a lone crusader against them”, insinuating the question to Jones, why are you still alive?

Jones goes on to explain how if he was killed it would validate the conspiracies are real and make him a “martyr”, putting “big explanation points on the end of what” Jones has said.

Aaronovitch went on to poke fun at cancer viruses in vaccines, as Jones spouted aloud “Hey listen, this isn’t a joke! I’m here to warn people!”. 

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Senator John McCain Meets Leaders of Terror Brigade in Syria. The NGOs that Made it Happen

NOVANEWS
Global Research

The recent furore surrounding US senator John McCain’s illegal trip inside Syria, and the supposed ‘rebels’ he was seen posing with alongside Supreme Military Council (SMC) Chief Salim Idriss, have shed further light on what appears to be another corrupt ‘NGO’ enterprise.

After the worldwide publication of the photographs, McCain was quick to try to dispel rumours that the Syrian ‘rebels’ were the very people responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese pilgrims inside Syria, who still remain in captivity to this day. Contrary to McCain’s – and his media apologists – desperate attempts to refute the claims; many reports suggested it was indeed the kidnappers he was seen posing with. Furthermore, in one report in Lebanon’s Al Akhbar, it is claimed McCain even went so far as to ask the kidnappers to hold some of the captive pilgrims, as they are suspected members of Hezbollah. According to a source who had previously been in contact with the kidnappers, McCain was allegedly there “to obstruct the efforts… to secure the release of the hostages.” Lebanon’s the Daily Star also reported on the “crossing of paths” between McCain, Mohammad Nour and Ammar Al-Dadikhi (a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim), who are members of ‘rebel’ group the Northern Storm; alleged to be holding the 11 Lebanese pilgrims.

mccain-syria-rebels

In a report by Josh Rogin of the Daily Beast, it is claimed the ‘rebels’ McCain was seen posing with were not those responsible for the kidnapping, stating: (my emphasis)

The man said to be Nour by the Lebanese press never identified himself to McCain or to anyone else and that man was not inside McCain’s meeting with the rebels, two American NGO workers who were there on the scene told The Daily Beast on Thursday.

The first of these American ‘NGO’ workers responsible for setting up the McCain meeting and illegal trip into Syria is one Mouaz Moustafa, who is named as the Executive Director of ‘non-profit’ organisation the Syrian Emergency Task Force. (SETF). Moustafa has previously worked as a staffer at the US House of Congress and Senate. He was also an ‘activist’ during the US/NATO- led illegal war in Libya and overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi. Moustafa is listed as an ‘expert’ at the Wasington Institute for Near East Policy, (WINEP), the sub-branch of the huge Israeli lobby: the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee AIPAC; which regularly lobbies for US militarism and ‘intervention’ in the Middle East to uphold Israeli ‘interests’.

Moustafa, in his ‘expert’ role, has also recently addressed a WINEP conference on the Syrian conflict. (since these suspicious links were highlighted by an investigative reporter they have been removed from WINEP’s website.) Anyone with a passing knowledge of Israeli/Syrian relations and the power and influence these lobbying groups hold in Washington and within corporate US media, knows these affiliations are dubious to say the least. In a report by investigative journalist Maidhc Ó Cathail on the Passionate Attachment blog, it is also revealed:

Even more intriguingly, one of the web addresses for Moustafa’s nonprofit is “syriantaskforce.torahacademybr.org.” The “torahacademybr.org” URL belongs to the Torah Academy of Boca Raton, Florida whose academic goals notably include “inspiring a love and commitment to Eretz Yisroel.”

The second ‘NGO’ worker quoted in the Daily Beast is one Elizabeth Obagy, named as Political Director of the same ‘NGO’ the SETF. The name Elizabeth Obagy immediately rang alarm bell’s. Obagy is also a “Syria analyst” at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). The ISW in its mission statement describes itself as: (my emphasis)

The Institute for the Study of War advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s [the US] ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives. ISW is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.

Upon reading ISW’s Board of Directors and donors from their 2011 annual report, it becomes rather obvious as to what the ISW is designed for and whose ‘objectives’ it is designed to propagate. A quick glance of the ISW’s main donors for 2011 is telling; the list of military (defense) contractor’s donors include:

General Dynamics, (General Dynamics is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat vehicles and systems, armaments, and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and mission-critical information systems and technology.) CACI, (CACI provides information solutions and services in support of national security missions and government transformation for Intelligence, Defense, and Federal Civilian clients. A member of the Fortune 1000 Largest Companies and the Russell 2000 Index, CACI provides dynamic careers for approximately 15,000 employees working in over 120 offices worldwide.)

DynCorp International, (DynCorp International is a global government services provider in support of U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives, delivering support solutions for defense, diplomacy, and international development.)

Palantir,(Our products are built for real analysis with a focus on security, scalability, ease of use and collaboration. They are broadly deployed in the intelligence, defense, law enforcement and financial communities.)

Northrop Grumman, (Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.)

These companies represent just a few of the huge US corporate military contractors, ranging from hardware and logistics, to telecommunications and intelligence software that are primary donors of the ISW. The ISW describes its Corporate affiliations as a “Corporate Council”: (my emphasis)

Many of America’s top corporations are members of ISW’s Corporate Council. Corporate Council members believe that an advanced understanding of military issues results in significantly better national security policy. They recognize the relevance, accuracy, and impact of ISW’s research and analysis. Corporate Council members receive a number of benefits, including exclusive briefings with ISW’s leadership, advance publications, access to our network, tailored analysis, increased corporate visibility, and invitations to exclusive events and discussions with national security leaders.

So the ISW is providing “tailored analysis” for its Corporate clients, and also provides “exclusive briefings with ISW leadership”. Does this sound like a ‘non-profit’ organisation? Does providing “tailored analysis” for military contractors include raising the ‘need’ for such equipment and contracts? And do military contractors make money in any other way than profiting from war? One would find it difficult to put these things together and not see a conflict of interest from this alleged ‘objective’ research NGO.

The board of Directors at the ISW is also somewhat telling as to its political and corporate affiliations, some of the distinguished board members include such humanitarian adherents as founder of ISW Kimberly Kagan (Supported US ‘surge in Iraq, husband is resident scholar at Neo-Con ‘think-tank’ the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), brother is the husband to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland) Liz Cheney, (daughter of war-criminal Dick) and leading Neo-Con mouthpiece and US militarist William Krystol, who all sit alongside many fellow US-militarism proponents, retired US Army Generals, and policy planners.

It seems that at least one of the organisers for McCains trip: Elizabeth Obagy, named as a “Political Director” of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, is also a “Syria specialist” at what appears to be a Neo-Con led US ‘NGO’ that propagates US militarism on behalf of huge military contractors and ‘defense’ corporations. So why would Liz Obagy be organising illegal trips for US Senator John McCain into Syria in her role as “political director” at the SETF, whilst also claiming to offer ‘balanced’, ‘neutral’ and ‘objective analysis’ on the Syrian conflict? One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to realise there is a massive conflict of interest here. When approached on Twitter, Moustafa of the SETF, which is based in Washington DC, claimed their funding comes from American Syrian doctors and expatriate donors. The mission statement of the SETF is as follows: (my emphasis)

To organize, mobilize and empower the Syrian American community, and our partners in order to play a positive role in public policy regarding Syria and the Middle East, supporting the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people, improving the lives of average Syrian people, strengthening the rule of law, and helping in transitioning Syria into a viable, inclusive, diverse, democratic state.

Without delving too far into Moustafa’s ties to the US Government through his previous work experience and former ‘activist’ work; it becomes clear that his current duties are at the behest of the US State Department. In a recent press release the SETF personally thanked the State Department: (my emphasis)

Washington, DC–The Syrian Emergency Task Force would like to thank all those involved in making Senator McCain’s trip to Gaziantep and to Syria a success, particularly the U.S. Department of State….It was a pleasure working with the Department of State in ensuring that the Senator’s visit went safely and flawlessly,” said SETF Executive Director Mouaz Moustafa.

Employing “political Directors”, that are affiliated with Neo-Con, and military contractor funded ‘NGO’ the Institute for the Study of War, seems somewhat contradictory to “improving the lives of average Syrian people”, and “supporting democratic aspirations” in the Middle East. Has it occurred to Moustafa and Obagy, that the vast majority of Syrian people want nothing to do with war criminals and pushers of all things US/Israeli militarism under the guise of “freedom and democracy”? One thinks this is out of the equation, and Moustafa’s ‘Syrian Emergency Task Force’ outfit is nothing more than a State Department/Neo-Con/Israel lobby initiated, propaganda outfit.

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Police and Activists Hug and Have Good Times at Bilderberg Protest

NOVANEWS

 

Policemen loosened up with Bilderberg protesters, as not all are fully obedient to their masters.

 

WATFORD – BILDERBERG MEETING June 10, 2013: A policeman exchanges a hug with a Bilderberg protestor.

By Shepard Ambellas

WATFORD — The recent Bilderberg protest was a success, as thousands of activists gathered peacefully in front of what used to be an ultra secret yearly meeting at posh hotels throughout the world.

The king of the alternative media, Alex Jones himself, and David Icke were the main attractions at the event, which garnered worldwide press attention.

Aside from past Bilderberg protests, the policemen at this event were rather friendly, one was even seen hugging activists.

Dan Dick from Press For Truth (Canada) documented the occasion on video.

Dicks explains to another officer just how bad the police were at the former G20 in Toronto, Canada. “We appreciate officers like you setting a good example”, said Dicks to the officer.

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The Surveillance State of England-Talking Cameras Discourage “Anti Social Behavior

NOVANEWS

 

In Britain, there have been talking CCTV cameras everywhere in city centers, monitoring behavior and telling people to do things like “stop littering”, for about 5 years now. The surveillance state is coming like the calm before a storm of a military dictatorship, and the only way to oppose it is to wake people up to the truth that we must stand up for our liberties or they will be systematically taken away.

 

by Cassius Methyl

In England, CCTV cameras completely cover the urban areas of all major cities. Of course, the transparently deceptive excuse for why these are necessary, is to “stop crime”.

Typically, they are used during the day to stop littering and petty crimes, by barking commands at people, clearly an Orwellian intrusion into people’s peace and privacy.

In fact, copies of “1984” by George Orwell have been selling at an abnormally rapid pace since the NSA scandals came to light recently, so it apparently is in fact on people’s minds that the police state is cracking down.

This surveillance state infrastructure is only allowed to be built because the people (in most of the western world) are brainwashed into acceptance. Why the term “brainwashed”? Not meant to be condescending or offensive at all, the people of this western world, and most all of this state controlled, now police state planet earth, people have become universally dysfunctional at understanding many things, especially whether or not a politician’s so called efforts to solve a ‘problem’ are effective.

Of course, any objective, non propagandized person who has looked into the issue will tell you that these cameras do little to nothing in preventing real crime, because the person has actually looked at the facts. The facts are, cities with these cameras, often have even higher rates of unsolved crime exactly where the cameras are, while cities without the cameras proportionally have lower rates.

Essentially, the cameras aren’t necessary, or even In any way beneficial and do not stop crime, the statistics are there, and anyone who thinks the cameras do prevent crime, is factually incorrect. Of course, the cameras in the wrong hands ( and they ARE in the wrong hands), are nothing more than the tools for a future total police state, surveillance state, and military dictatorship if people don’t wake up.

No, this wasn’t written to offend, this was written to wake people up; so if you care about peace, and liberty from this incredibly wealthy and powerful, tax-fed, monetary system controlling fascist merger between the wealthy and the political powers, I would advise that you take time to wake up as many people as possible, and give people around you the necessary knowledge- the knowledge that we citizens need to globally, all speak out and rise up against this tyranny, any government anywhere that will lock peaceful people in cages or manipulate their currency and control them like slaves, or the citizens will be more deeply enslaved.

The point at which the countries, under the world power’s agenda, systematically become military dictatorships, is the point of no return from our enslavement.

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US to Blame China on NSA Scandal. Chinese Warships Enter American Waters. Japanese Troops Drill with Marines in CA

NOVANEWS

 

Rising Red tide: China encircles U.S. by sailing warships in American waters, arming neighbors

 

China has been quietly taking steps to encircle the United States by arming western hemisphere states, seeking closer military, economic, and diplomatic ties to U.S. neighbors, and sailing warships into U.S. maritime zones.

The strategy is a Chinese version of what Beijing has charged is a U.S. strategy designed to encircle and “contain” China. It is also directed at countering the Obama administration’s new strategy called the pivot to Asia. The pivot calls for closer economic, diplomatic, and military ties to Asian states that are increasingly concerned about Chinese encroachment throughout that region.

Read more:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/china-encircles-us-arming-western-hemisphere-state/#ixzz2Vo5RjOqX

Obama urged to ‘punch’ China

A leading U.S. manufacturing group on Monday called on President Obama to take a tough line on China when he holds his first summit with new Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end of the week in California.

Even as Chinese companies are stepping up their acquisitions in the American market, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), suggested the Obama administration should “punch back hard” against the Chinese for recent national securityand economic intrusions of U.S. military and business targets.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/3/obama-urged-to-punch-china/#ixzz2VobPW0yR
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

 

Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops aimed at improving that country’s amphibious attack abilities.

U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters.

China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea.

“It’s another dot that the Chinese will connect to show this significant expanding military cooperation,” said Tai Ming Cheung, an analyst of Chinese and East Asian security affairs and director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/09/japanese-troops-head-to-california-for-military-exercise-with-us-marines/?test=latestnews#ixzz2VlA0bkX1

China has, for the first time, attempted to spell out its strategy — and plans — to secure its interests in the Indian Ocean in its first “blue book” on the region, released here on Saturday.

The blue book makes a case for China to deepen its economic engagements with the Indian Ocean Region’s (IOR) littoral states, but stresses that Beijing’s interests will be driven by commercial — rather than military — objectives.

However, it warns that the Indian Ocean could end up “as an ocean of conflict and trouble” if countries like India, the U.S. and China failed to engage with each other more constructively as their interests begin to overlap.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/china-details-indian-ocean-strategy-and-interests/article4795550.ece?homepage=true

Nicaragua canal: Will China build rival to Panama Canal?

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0609/Nicaragua-canal-Will-China-build-rival-to-Panama-Canal

With NSA Leaker in Hong Kong, US Looks to Blame China

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/06/09/with-nsa-leaker-in-hong-kong-us-looks-to-blame-china/

RT @tomphillipsin: Staff @ Hong Kong’s Mira hotel just told me #snowden was def there, checked out today, won’t say what time

https://twitter.com/TomLasseter

Could Hong Kong shelter Edward Snowden?

Mr Snowden said he chose to hide in Hong Kong because of it’s “strong tradition of free speech”

Edward Snowden, who has identified himself as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes, is believed to be holed up in a hotel in Hong Kong.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-22837599#TWEET784322

Posted in USAComments Off on US to Blame China on NSA Scandal. Chinese Warships Enter American Waters. Japanese Troops Drill with Marines in CA

The NSA’s Greatest Hits: “We’re the Only Ones Not Spying on the American people”

NOVANEWS
Global Research

 

The title of this piece comes from a statement by the NSA director on spying right before the recent stories on mass surveillance broke.

The hero of the day, 29 year-old Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor, revealed himself in an interview with The Guardian: “after several days of interviews [we are]…revealing his identity at his request…“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America’s most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning.” In an interview done by Glenn Greenwald, in Hong Kong, Snowden spoke of this and more, along with warning people of the current problems with the massive surveillance state.

The current American empire, with state capitalism, is not simply a police state, a surveillance state but is rather a national security state with mass surveillance and police repression. Maybe this is why Ralph Nader recently said America fascism, using FDR’s definition he said in April 1938:

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

More frighteningly, we have approached the world George Orwell wrote about in 1984or mass surveillance as envisioned in the movie, The Truman Show. Recently numerous scandals have opened up the surveillance state of America and put it up for show. This is something whistleblowers have been warning us about for years! Still, some defend it, like a comment on a New York Times that says they are supposedly for civil liberties, but asks “why do people care so much if the government knows whom they call, how long they speak, and from where” and they don’t care “if the government has my phone records.” This article tries to answer theseconcerns. Maybe they’d think differently if they guessed that the DOJ was wiretapping the cloakroom of the House of Representatives, that the NSA tried to wiretap an unknown member of Congress or like Julian Assange they said that “Facebook is a spying machine” that does free work for the intelligence community. All of these concerns have been amplified recently.

In the past week there have a number of recent revelations about the current surveillance state in the United States which were in part confirmed by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. Even the New York Times recently said that that such revelations show that the Obama administration has “lost all credibility” while even right-wing publications like Human Events and Commentary, a neo-conmagazine had their share of criticism. First was the revelation of the secret order compelling Verizon to hand over their phone records. Blogitivist Glenn Greenwald wrote in The Guardian that

“The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April…Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered…The court order expressly bars Verizon from disclosing to the public either the existence of the FBI’s request for its customers’ records, or the court order itself…While the order itself does not include either the contents of messages or the personal information of the subscriber of any particular cell number, its collection would allow the NSA to build easily a comprehensive picture of who any individual contacted, how and when, and possibly from where, retrospectively…It is not known whether Verizon is the only cell-phone provider to be targeted with such an order, although previous reporting has suggested the NSA has collected cell records from all major mobile networks.”

An expert told the Washington Post that this was a routine renewal of surveillance by the FISA court which many are now calling a “rubber stamp” and a Senator also confirmed this renewal as well according to Russia Today. Al Gore in his rare criticism called this “obscenely outrageous.” Patrick Duruseau wrote in a guest post for Naked Capitalism that this program could be a kickback for Verizon campaign contributions to the Obama machine. Before this was revealed, an article was published in The Vergenoting that the “sweeping surveillance campaign against [AP]… reporters over the course of two months” done by the DOJ had included the collection of “numbers, call durations, location data, and other telecommunications byproducts — not the content of the communications themselves” just like the secret order compelling Verizon to hand over the data which in their view is in part thanks to a “weak privacy law that keeps allowing the US government to capture data en masse without any warrants or legal repercussions: the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986.”

High profile senators like Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham who declared “the world is a battlefield” defended the program among others. Then, there was an another revelation. The NSA had set up a program called PRISM to collect data from tech giants, as the slides posted on the Washington Post show, and an article about how Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, and Apple are all participating in top secret spying program. Once again this was posted on The Guardian by Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill which noted that while the internet giants denied it, the NSA had

“obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants…[which is] part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats…[supposedly] run with the assistance of the companies…[and] was enabled by changes to US surveillance law…renewed under Obama in December 2012…The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.”

The story continues noting that companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, AOL and Apple participated in this program which allows the gathering of data including “email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more, all of which was allowed thanks to the FISA Amendments Act and there has been over 24,000 requests in 2012. Its even possible that the secure Dropbox will be next on the list. At the same time, the Obama administration says this is justified by trying to fight terrorism, the Washington Post said this program is part of “blanket surveillance” for up to a year at a time, it seems highly likely that Microsoft acquired Skype to bring it into PRISM (maybe even acquiring Xbox for the same reason), the DNI issued a report of “facts” denying what The Guardian wrote, making it seem like it is only aimed at foreign targets and a person wrote in The Atlantic that they were not sure why the program was classified to begin with.

One June 8th, another article came out by Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill noting another top-secret document had been revealed. They wrote that

“the National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from…called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks. The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message. The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013…[a] heat map reveals how much data is being collected from around the world…Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered…followed by…Pakistan. Jordan…Egypt…and India…The heatmap gives each nation a color code based on how extensively it is subjected to NSA surveillance…Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses. IP address is not a perfect proxy for someone’s physical location but it is rather close…The documents show that the team responsible for Boundless Informant assured its bosses that the tool is on track for upgrades.”

One wonders if this is any surprise considering previous revelations. As it turns out, no one should be outraged. Definitely they should be outraged but as Greenwald and a number of other writers noted on June 6th, the NSA was in secret for two decades after its establishment and they also said:

“When Harry Truman set up the NSA, it was exclusively aimed at monitoring communications abroad. The question that had exercised politicians and civil rights organisations since the Senate unveiled it in 1975 is to what extent its ferocious appetite for data has encompassed American citizens. General Lou Allen, the first NSA chief to appear in public, told Congress in the mid-1970s that the agency maintained lists of hundreds of names, including US citizens under surveillance for anti-war dissent or suspicious foreign connections…Domestic snooping exploded in scale after 9/11, when George W Bush authorised the agency to eavesdrop on Americans without the previous requirement for warrants…With every passing administration, the NSA has ballooned…While the NSA is by far the biggest surveillance agency in the world, it shares some of its work with four other allies: Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Collectively, they are known as the “five eyes”. Of the five, the biggest after the NSA is Britain’s General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)…It was a Democratic senator and lawyer, Frank Church, who in 1975 first raised the alarm at the agency’s sprawling tentacles…The Church Senate hearings led to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa), which required a warrant to conduct surveillance of communications within the US…In the years since 9/11, as the role of the NSA has snowballed, so has the debate over its operations. In 2005, the New York Times reported that the Bush administration had secretly authorised the NSA to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the US, to search for terrorist activity without the Fisa court warrants…The massive surveillance programme has continued under the Obama administration, at home as well as abroad. And the culture of intense secrecy persists.”

Maybe this is why intelligence officials talked about the leaker of the information to The Guardian and The Washington Post, saying they “disappeared” and some are saying this person will be treated harsher than Bradley Manning! The scary thing is with such wide NSA surveillance, as David Seaman noted it “allows for govt to blackmail, shame, or discredit any activist or journalist who threatens status quo.”

Think this the only secret dealings of our government? You’d be deeply mistaken. For one, we do know that the NSA does collect information on millions of Americans despite what James Clapper said. William Blum devoted a whole chapter to his book about American Empire, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, to eavesdropping. He wrote that

“like a vacuum cleaner in the sky, the National Security Agency (NSA) sucks it all up: fax, home phone, cellular phone, email…voice, text, images…Perhaps billions of messages sucked up each day…Under a system codenamed ECHELON…the NSA and its…junior partners in Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada operate a network of massive, highly automated interception stations, covering the globe…the ECHELON system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large quantities of communications…[and] is carried out without official acknowledgment of its existence…In their quest to gain access to more and more private information, the NSA, the FBI and other components of the US national security establishment have been engaged for yeas in a campaign to require American telecommunications manufacturers and carriers to design their equipment and networks to optimize the authorities’ wiretapping ability…And the FBI is now enjoying its newest Big Brother toy: “roving wiretaps”,which allows the tapping of any phone physically near the targeted subject…the worst possible scenario [includes]…the possibility of blackmail or forcing a person to engage in espionage or treason…[and the] NSA had…install[ed] secret programs in Microsoft software [while]…the Pentagon…was Microsoft’s biggest client in the world.”

Keep in mind this was written in 2000, before the Patriot Act and the infamous Room 641A which takes in all communications from AT&T. As historycommons.org notes, the NSA repeatedly from 1999 to 2007 kept trying to access the data of private companieswith only Qwest refusing access. That act still includes (the provisions that weren’t struck down or reauthorized): roving wiretaps, the issuing of National Security Letters which allows the US to get data on certain individuals, searches of business records and surveillance of “lone wolves” or those not part of terrorist groups. One must jump back to the revelations about the Intelligence Community which lead to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The Church Committee revealed a number of things and foretold about the surveillance state. In Part I of Book II of their final report, titled INTELLIGENCE Activities and the Rights of Americans notes thatnotes that

“our investigation has established that the targets of intelligence activity have ranged far beyond persons who could properly be characterized as enemies of freedom and have extended to a wide array of citizens engaging in lawful activity…intelligence activity in the past decades has, all too often, exceeded the restraints on the exercise of governmental power which are imposed by our country’s Constitution, laws, and traditions…Excesses in the name of protecting security are not a recent development in our nation’s history. In 1798, for example, shortly after the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, the Allen and Sedition Acts were passed. These Acts, passed in response to fear of proFrench “subversion”, made it a crime to criticize the Government. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Hundreds of American citizens were prosecuted for anti-war statements during World War I, and thousands of “radical” aliens were seized for deportation during the 1920 Palmer Raids. During the Second World War, over the opposition of J. Edgar Hoover and military intelligence…120,000 Japanese-Americans were apprehended and incarcerated in detention camps…We have examined the collection of intelligence about the political advocacy and actions and the private lives of American citizens. That information has been used covertly to discredit the ideas advocated and to “neutralize” the actions of their proponents…When a police system passes beyond these limits, it is dangerous to the proper administration of justice and to human liberty, which it should be our first concern to cherish…We have seen segments of our Government, in their attitudes and action, adopt tactics unworthy of a democracy, and occasionally reminiscent of the tactics of totalitarian regimes…United States intelligence agencies have investigated a vast number of American citizens and domestic organizations…Too many people have been spied upon by too many Government agencies and to much information has been collected. The Government has often undertaken the secret surveillance of citizens on the basis of their political beliefs, even when those beliefs posed no threat of violence or illegal acts on behalf of a hostile foreign power. The Government, operating primarily through secret informants, but also using other intrusive techniques such as wiretaps, microphone “bugs” surreptitious mail opening, and break-ins, has swept in vast amounts of information about the personal lives, views, and associations of American citizens…For approximately 20 years the CIA carried out a program of indiscriminately opening citizens’ first class mail…Since the early 1930′s, intelligence agencies have frequently wiretapped and bugged American citizens without the benefit of judicial warrant. Recent court decisions have curtailed the use of these techniques against domestic targets…The overwhelming number of excesses continuing over a prolonged period of time were due in large measure to the fact that the system of checks and balances — created in our Constitution to limit abuse of Governmental power — was seldom applied to the intelligence community.”

Such strong language continues in Volume 5 of the report devoted to the NSA, the rest of Book II, and sections of Book III. The Pike Committee, headed by Otis G. Pike, whose whole report is almost non-existent from the internet, except on the website of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, notes about this. In one draft report titled Interception of International Telecommunications by the National Security Agencyit notes that the NSA has the “technological capability to intercept a significant portion of worldwide communications” which Frank Church (who lead the Church Committee) said that it would result in no privacy for the American people. The report continues, noting that the government stopped them from investigating further and how the Church Committee held an open session on the NSA but that people refused to testify, but still the report notes that telcom companies have worked with the Feds since World War I!

The Rockefeller Commission was a bit more mild but still revealed important information. They noted that the CIA kept biographical listings on Americans as part of an “operations directorate”, how the CIA was involved in Watergate (and other scandals) and interception of mail by the CIA since the 1950s, among other aspects.

Today, its even worse, and more than what was noted earlier. Already, the NSA isaccording to the Wall Street Journal is monitoring “credit card transactions…as part of its [supposed] effort to target possible terrorists.”

Don’t forget the NSA is building the country’s biggest spy center to store our information. On top of this, the Supreme Court ruled in Maryland v. King that if you are arrested they can put a swab in your mouth to get your DNA, saying that “DNA identification of arrestees is a reasonable search that can be considered part of a routine booking procedure,” an extension of the national security state. On top this, there are reports that Obama Administration officials are using secret emails according to Firedoglake to avoid FOIA requests! At the same time there “controlled” leaks for PR purposes like the information Leon Panetta gave to the filmmaker of Zero Dark Thirty, the kill list, the deposition matrix and other ideas. At the same time, groups like Megaupload are targeted possibly because they help groups like Wikileaks. In 2008, Obama promised to not do this, evenproposing a bill to stop the warantless wiretapping but now he has completely reversed himself.

Washington’s Blog wrote recently how

“foreigncompanies have had key roles scooping up Americans’ communications for the NSA” which included content not just metadata but a “breathtakingly wide program of spying…a secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act which allows the government to obtain…any information as long as it came from a private company … foreign or domestic. In other words, the government is using the antiquated, bogus legal argument that it was not using its governmental powers…but that it was private companies just doing their thing…Binney confirmed that this was correct…Binney said that…the government is gathering everything, including content…Binney explained…that the government is storing everything, and creating a searchable database…to be used whenever it wants, for any purpose it wants…Binney said that former FBI counter-terrorism agent Tim Clemente is correct when he says that no digital data is safe…Binney gave me an idea of how powerful Narus recording systems are. There are probably 18 of them around the country, and they can each record 10 gigabytes of data…Binney next confirmed the statement of the author of the Patriot Act – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner – that the NSA spying programs violate the Patriot Act…[later he said] it’s clear to me that they are collecting most e-mail in full plus other text type data on the web. As for phone calls, I don’t think they would record/transcribe the approximately 3 billion US-to-US calls every day. It’s more likely that they are recording and transcribing calls made by the 500,000 to 1,000,000 targets in the US and the world.”

This is just the beginning. As another post by Washington’s Blog notes,

“the American government is in fact collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American…Binney says that if anyone gets on the government’s “enemies list”, then the stored information will be used to target them. Specifically, he notes that if the government decides it doesn’t like someone, it analyzes all of the data it has collected on that person and his or her associates over the last 10 years to build a case against him…In addition, the amount of money and effort the government is putting into spying on Americans using a wide variety of other technologies tends to discredit any notion that the government is exercising restraint in monitoring our phone calls (which are already being tapped) for content. For example, the government is flying drones over the American homeland to spy on us…Cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011…Your iPhone, or other brand of smartphone is spying on virtually everything you do…Fox news notes that the government is insisting that “black boxes” be installed in cars to track your location. The TSA has moved way past airports, trains and sports stadiums, and is deploying mobile scanners to spy on people all over the place. This means that traveling within the United States is no longer a private affair….the Department of Homeland Security is going to continue to allow searches of laptops and phones based upon “hunches”…Going further down the high tech Big Brother rabbit hole, the FBI wants a backdoor to all software…The CIA wants to spy on you through your dishwasher and other appliances. Verizon has applied for a patent that would allow your television to track what you are doing, who you are with, what objects you’re holding, and what type of mood you’re in. The new Xbox may be able to spy on you as well.”

As a recent article in the New York Times notes, in March 2013 alone, the NSA collected 97 billion pieces of date from worldwide networks!That is the state of the American national security state which Julian Assange recently said is part of the collapse of the American justice system.

This is not the only parts of this tyranny in place. As Thomas Drake, an NSA whistleblower has said we are all “persons of interest”. Larry Wilkerson added to this, noting that “so this business of we’ve got to listen to Americans to find out whether or not we’re going to be attacked and we’ve got to listen to them in such intrusive ways that clearly violate our civil liberties I think is a preposterous premise in the first place…What they’re doing is gathering all this so-called metadata, storing it, and then applying algorithms to it, the length and breadth and specifics of which we have no way of knowing, and extracting data when and if the algorithm tells them it needs extracting…they’re storing those phone calls and they might listen to them in the future.

And is there probable cause? Is there reasonable suspicion?.” Additionally, it seems clear that Obama is a liar as in 2007 he said “[Bush] acts like violating civil liberties is the way to enhance our security. It is not.” while today he clear has become the one he decried. Already, Barrett Brown, supposedly the Anonymous spokesperson was digging into the surveillance state, NSA contractors and the like before he was arrested by the Feds. At the same time, Amnesty International raised serious questions about “respect for the right to privacy” by the US, there are reports that Congress in a sense legalized the PRISM program in 2007, there was a crime report filed on the leaks from the NSA, and there is a possibility that PRISM could be hacked by China! Even in 2006, there was the possibility of NSA warantless wiretapping, defendants who alledged it backed off and decided to enter a plea deal rather than invalidate the whole prosecution.

The EFF wrote in May 2013 that President Obama “..could formally support reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which still says law enforcement agencies do not need warrants to obtain emails over 180 days old….could come out in favor of warrant protection for cell-phone location information since it’s requested by authorities literally millions of times a yearwithout a warrant…[but instead he supports] CALEA II, a dangerous proposal…[that] would force companies like Google and Facebook to install backdoors in all of their products to facilitate law-enforcement access, putting both our privacy and security at risk.” This is on top of the fact which many occupiers knew: if you engage in a protest your data will be tracked and stored as a “routine practice!”

Continuing to look into surveillance I became more and more mad. Consider that three of the main candidates in the NYC mayoral race (Anthony Weiner, Bloomberg clone Christine Quinn, and Bill de Blasio) support surveillance on Muslim groups saying they saw nothing wrong (but not good ‘ole Randy Credico)! In the same vein, lawmakers like bigot Peter King called for increased surveillance of Muslims or in general (in the ground and in the sky). Anonymous released thirteen documents, which I analyzed on my blog, Interesting Blogger, in what I call “Defensegate” and don’t need to be described in depth here. All I will say is that this documents show the DOD is involved in spying, that accessing metadata is part of their networks that share information, that they promoting cyberwarfare and more.

At the same time, we cannot forget the mass government surveillance of the Occupy Movement by the DHS, FBI, Federal Reserve and local police departments, among others who worked as the de facto police force for the power elite as noted hereherehere,herehereherehere and here. There are additional reports of corporate entities spying on environmental groups, spying on anti-war acitivsts (also hereherehere and here)andPETA and Greenpeace. There have also been an invesitigation by NBC News into Pentagon surveillance of Americans, EPIC suing the DHS over covert surveillance, spying of Maryland anti-war protesters and opponents of the death penalty according to theWashington PostACLUDemocracy Now!TruthoutZ Magazine,and Socialist Worker.

The ACLU said recently that the NSA has direct access to every corner of Americans’ digital lives. Forbes Magazine wrote in May 2012 an even more startling revelation: the DHS was monitoring social networking sites. The article talked about how they had to release a list of keywords of what they were monitoring. On top of this, let us not forget the privacy issues with facial recognition which has spread on a nationwide scale, the NSA call database which pulls in calls from the two biggest telecoms, AT&T and Verizon, the fact that the internet is a surveillance state, the massive amount of surveillance cameras in Boston, the advancement of “Orwellian surveillance” by the US Senate, the amount of surveillance in Baltimore city (see here and here), the drones “coming to a sky near you” as the FAA integrates them into the sky after Congress legalized it with some not even waiting for regulations be put in place and some like Mayor 1%er Bloomberg said that thedrones are Big Brother and that you should get used it!

Let us also not forget about: the former Information Awareness Office, the FISA Amendments Act, the Combined DNA Index System, the Law Enforcement National Data Exchange, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, Combat Zones that See which the Village Voice calls Big Brother, the Information Processing Technology OfficeIntellipediaCALEA which has broad reaching affects, DCSNET from which the FBI can do instant wiretaps on any US telcom device, the Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulations and the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange.

If you thought that was bad, consider a program that has cameras in streetlights. What Dead Prez sang in their song, Police State, partly describes this program, especially the last two lines: “F.B.I. spyin on us through the radio antennas/And them hidden cameras in the streetlight watchin society/With no respect for the people’s right to privacy.” While that may seem conspiratorial, consider the graphic on their website which looks really damn creepyThey wrote that they are a “Detroit-area lighting design and multi-media firm with clients around the world, but did not anticipate the immediate attention this would garner,”that their critics learned everything from “the “Big Brother” movies” and that “the Intellistreets system is designed to do is simply make our streets safer, more energy efficient and smarter, while being informative and entertaining…[and] includes the collection and reporting of information immediately and completely so that first responders…can react very quickly in moments of danger…That’s why we proudly reached out to the Department of Homeland Security to share our technology…Intellistreets is very much a case of private enterprise, working in the private sector, with private dollars, to help solve the security, energy and financial challenges facing our cities and citizens.” Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Consider this article in Russia Today, noting that “in Farmington Hills, Michigan, things just got a whole lot creepier. Officials say the installation of ten new high-tech light posts will curb crime and cut energy costs for the Midwest community. All the townspeople have to do in return is give up their privacy…Simply put, the Intellistreets project is a system of Internet-connected luminaries that communicate with one another across the city. In addition to lighting the area, they can broadcast verbal and written messages, monitor rainfall and give directions…Not only does Intellistreets offer information about the neighborhood and provide light, it also monitors the conversations of pedestrians, records video, monitors foot-traffic and counts heads — all of which is recorded and stored for possible analysis…Detroit, Chicago and Pittsburgh have [also] placed orders…one must be comfortable knowing that their every move and whisper is recorded and monitored by a network of computers between posts that can be controlled by a central hub, iPhone or tablet…As a backlash began to hit Intellistreets, the company removed a YouTube video that offered an eerie insight into the surveillance capabilities…and discusses the system’s ability to store and analyze data…At $3,000 a piece, IntelliStreets luminaries have the potential of lowering energy costs by adjusting brightness to match the appropriate atmosphere and location. Additionally, the company says it has an endless number of entertainment options and can serve as a public address system of sort and offer advertisements up to passersby. That’s right — it records video, counts heads and spews propaganda!”

As Fox Charlotte notes, “these street lights double as surveillance. They can play music, monitor conversations, direct traffic, send emergency signals, and take pictures.” An article in WXYZ, ABC 7, notes that Intellistreet polls “are being used for entertainment and safety. but some critics say this is nothing more than the watchful eye of big brother keeping track of your every moment…LED video screens and cameras add to the wireless infrastructure that is remotely controlled. It can provide entertainment, save energy, make announcements, and even counts people for police. When you step come into view of the street light, there is a camera that spots you, and the person on the other side sees you by white specs on a black screen. The camera senses that somebody is there, and if wants, it can even take your picture. The system is also capable of recording conversations making critics cry invasion of privacy…Basic light starts at $3,000 dollars. By Spring of next year there is a good chance you could see them pop up in your city.”

That’s not all. The sarcastic “Fear Department” even has something to say, noting that they are “excited about a new system that renders street lights capable of spying on the American people and transmitting our messages to them“and they feature the promotional video which is creepy and reminds me of the loadspeakers in V for Vendetta. In an articlein Daily Mail, they note that “Like something out of a sinister Orwellian vision of the future, streetlights with the ability to monitor conversations and announce government warnings are being installed on American streets. As part of a federally-funded project, manufacturers Illuminating Concepts have begun installing the system, dubbed ‘Intellistreets’ in the town of Farmington Hills, Michigan.

According to the company’s video presentation the capabilities of the devices include homeland security, public safety, traffic control, advertising and video surveillance features…Conspiracy theorists and freedom of information campaigners have been quick to suggest the devices amount to a plot by federal government to control communications and eavesdrop on people’s lives. Fears the lampposts are a step towards the creation of a police state were further fueled when the firm removed a promotional video from You Tube, rumoured to be a result of negative publicity about the ‘Homeland Security’ features. Each street light contains a speaker system to broadcast emergency alerts, and a video display and is also equipped with proximity sensors capable of recording both pedestrian and road traffic…In Britain, Middlesbrough council introduced streetlights with speakers attached in 2006 to blast warnings at people indulging in anti-social behaviour.

Last month Mail Online revealed that talking bins, which feature celebrity voices thanking people for not dropping litter are being installed in Liverpool and London.” Wired Magazine followed up on this but praised the program, not even talking about the implications for privacy saying it makes the streetlight “intelligent” and is part of “smart cities.” Public Intelligence said that the streetlights will monitor pedestrians and broadcast government alerts. An article in the Examiner notes that “the U.S. Department of Energy partially funded technology equips mundane street lights with public safety, homeland security, information and audio. The first high tech light poles are already installed and functioning in Farmington Hills, Michigan where the light poles are manufactured…The energy efficient streetlights, remotely controlled LED or LCD video screens and cameras once manufactured for entertainment only, now can (potentially) count people for the police, record conversations and detect everything from explosives to radiation gas leaks…

The fact that environmentally friendly and affordable streetlights with the potential to videotape private conversations, to a shrinking number of American citizens – but still Americans – is still creepy. The technology clearly becomes a 4th amendment violation when the Department of Homeland Security rolls out the fully loaded streetlights on every street corner in America.” The official view is shown by a report done by the Urban Institute in conjunction with the DOJ: “Public surveillance systems—once referred to as closed-circuit televisions—which have previously been utilized only by private businesses, are now expanding to encompass both private and public sector agencies, giving law enforcement agencies a new tool in their public safety toolbox…While public surveillance systems are widely employed in the business sector to improve security, until recently the use of cameras to monitor public spaces has been much less common in the United States, in part due to concerns about privacy and civil liberties…Public surveillance systems might also yield a secondary impact, serving to increase legitimate users’ perceptions of safety and thus their presence in public areas, which in turn may increase guardianship, improve police-community partnerships, and reduce crime.”

Then there’s fusion centers which were created after 9/11 and only a small part of what journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin call “Top Secret America.” The ACLU noted that“in November 2007, the American Civil Liberties Union issued its first report on intelligence fusion centers, warning that these rapidly developing multi-jurisdictional spying centers lacked clear guidelines or sufficient oversight, and posed a severe risk to Americans’ civil liberties. By 2012, congressional investig

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Secret Strategy behind Drone Attacks

NOVANEWS
By Sajjad Shaukat

Majority of our political experts see CIA-operated drone attacks in Pakistan in isolation, while these are co-related with other subversive activities, which have perennially been taking place in various regions as part of the US secret strategy against the country.

When in the past, the elected government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had signed the peace agreement with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), US had opposed it, and had accelerated predator strikes so as to castigate it. As a result, Pakistan faced dire consequences because TTP not only suspended peace agreement, but also occupied Swat, Dir, Buner and other adjoining areas. In that backdrop, Pakistan’s armed forces successfully ejected the TTP militants out of these regions. And leader of the TTP Maulvi Fazlullah who has close connections with Pakistan-based TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud, had run to Afghanistan. Based in the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, his insurgents intensified subversive activities in Pakistan by sending suicide bombers and heavily-equipped militants in the country.

Pakistan’s civil and military leadership lodged a strong protest with their counterparts in Afghanistan, but no action was taken against these terrorists. Besides, Kabul also rejected Islamabad’s demand to hand over Maulvi Faqir, former deputy commander of the TTP to Pakistan along with four other accomplices who were from Pakistan’s tribal areas, and had been arrested by Afghan security forces in February 2013.

In fact, in order to fulfill collective covert designs of India, Israel and US, TTP has been given a free hand by these countries to continue acts of sabotage in Pakistan because it is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. In this regard, Pak-China strategic ties and Pak-Iranian close friendship also irritate them.

In these terms, America has been acting upon a secret strategy against Pakistan by continuing drone attacks. While the newly-elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an end to predator strikes, but on June 7, this year a US drone attack killed six persons in North Waziristan. After the results of elections 2013, Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) which have now formulated their governments had repeatedly favoured peace dialogue with the TTP and to make efforts to stop attack by the spy planes. While during election campaign, TTP which conducted terror attacks on the leaders and election-sites of other political parties such as ANP, MQM and PPP had said that it will not target PML-N and PTI as these are liberal parties. But ambitions of the newly-elected government received a greater blow when on May, 29 2013; US pilotless aircraft killed four men in North Waziristan.

In this context, US State Department stated that Wali-ur-Rehman, the TTP second in command was killed in a drone attack on a tip off provided by an informer from Hakimullah Mehsud group. This has been a grave blow to Wali-ur-Rehman’s faction of TTP, while Hakimullah Mehsud succeeded in eliminating his major opponent in TTP. Notably, killing of Wali-ur-Rehman has been an outcome of split between TTP high command and Hakimullah Mehsud who is responsible for the death of Wali-ur-Rehman.

The new leader Khan Saeed alias Sajna hailing from Mehsud tribe of Shobikhel must realise that their leader has been eliminated by Hakimullah Mehsud group to get the award of $5million from US. The US State Department refused to disclose the real name of informer belonging Hakimullah group, however, it confirmed that the award will be paid. In the past, Hakimullah Mehsud made numerous attempts to kill Wali-ur-Rehman and this time his plot succeeded by providing information to CIA about his location.

Nevertheless, TTP has lost the visionary leader who had supported to start negotiations with the newly-elected government of Pakistan to reach a peace accord and bring peace in the country. But under the pretext of drone attacks, Hakimullah Mehsud who has clandestine connections with CIA withdrew its offer of having peace talks with the elected government. On the other hand, US President Barack Obama who has recently stated that America will continue these strikes on Pakistan also seeks to create obstacle in the way of any peace process between the TTP and Pakistan Government as his policy remains to destabilise our country through subversive acts.

Repercussions of these predator strikes and the coming ones are dangerous for Pakistan as the entire nation now expects retaliation from TTP terrorists who would create difficult challenges for the newly-elected government of the country. It means, in connivance with CIA, TTP-led by Hakimullah Mehsud, which has already started terror-attacks in some places of Pakistan would re-commence suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and assaults on security forces’ check posts including sectarian violence.

These strikes by the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) which continued on Pakistan’s tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama era.

As regards civilian casualties, on August 11, 2011, a report of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism said, “The Guardian published some of the pictures, we have obtained…as many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years.” While rejecting CIA’s false claim, the report disclosed, “It is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.”

A story published in the Washington Post recently, pointed out the deaths of more civilians than militants by these drone machines. For example, it disclosed that on June 3, 2012, the US spy planes killed one militant commander and 20 innocent people in Pakistan’s region of North Waziristan.

Details collected by the Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties are higher as indicated by the US officials in this respect. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 20 Al Qaeda commanders have been murdered by the US spy planes.

Although President Obama and his counterterrorism advisor John Brennan have defended attacks by the CIA-controlled unmanned planes by justifying their success in eliminating Al Qaeda militants, yet these strikes are proving counterproductive for Pakistan.

While, addressing the UN General Assembly on September 25, 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari said, “Drone strikes and civilian casualties on our territory add to the complexity of our battle for hearts and minds through this epic struggle” against terrorism.

In fact, American such a duplicity contans many other covert designs. Now, US seeks to incite the Haqqani network as in the past 18 months, most of these strikes have targeted the North Waziristan. Besides, America wants to provoke the tribal people against Pakistan’s security forces, and to increase recruitment of insurgents through drone attacks.

In this respect, a report of the New America Foundation revealed, “When the US drones attack Pakistan’s tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50 innocent civilians they kill, these killings provide reason to the youngsters for joining terrorist groups waging war against US and of course Pakistan…while killing 10 militants, the US has murdered more than 1400 Pakistanis, not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1400 militants?”

America’s drone campaign could give a setback to the democratic system in Pakistan. Its another aim is to create a rift between Pakistan’s armed forces and the newly-elected government on one side and opposition parties including general masses on the other.

However, by setting aside the previous resolution of parliament, new rapprochement between Islamabad and Washington after the reopening of NATO supply routes to Afghanistan in wake of public protests—meeting of the Pak-US spymasters on August 4, last year and despite the opposition of civil and military leadership, without bothering for any internal backlash, President Obama seems determined to continue drone attacks on Pak tribal areas as part of his so-called counterinsurgency programme.

The New York Time on May 26, 2011, disclosed, “President Obama has become personally involved in the process” and “has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of America’s temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.”

Now, even by neglecting criticism at home and abroad that predator strikes are illegal, unethical and violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty as well as the UN Charter, US warrior President Obama remains intransigent to continue his secret war through these drone attacks as part of US secret strategy against Pakistan.

So, it is the right hour that the entire leadership of Pakistan must stand united to get rid of drone attacks and settle the issue of war on terror as well.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

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Majority of the Baloch Rejected Separation

NOVANEWS
By Sajjad Shaukat

A Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 2012, disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This proved quite true when in case of Balochsitan where like the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the foreign-backed separatist groups such as the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and Baloch Republican Party (BRA) accelerated their terror-activities by targeting the leaders, offices of Balochistan National Party (BNP) and the National Party (NP) including independent candidates to sabotage the elections 2013. Leaders of these anti-Pakistan organisations and Dr. Allah Nazir propagated that Islamabad has occupied Balochistan. But, despite the boycott-call of elections by the separatist outfits, BNP and NP including several independent candidates participated in the polls, while a majority of the Baloch cast their vote in wake of threats and violent assaults on the polling stations.

It is a good sign for Balochistan that by ignoring the boycott, even those nationalist parties and the Baloch who boycotted the elections 2008, took part in the polls.

In fact, the Baloch separatists who are in minority interpreted the participation of the nationalist parties in polls as a means to strengthen Islamabad’s writ over Balochistan. This has weakened the so-called case of the separatists who were trying to make before the international community that the Baloch people wanted Balochistan’s secession from Pakistan. They knew well that once the popular Baloch nationalist parties reach the parliament and became a part of the provincial government, armed struggle for Balochistan’s independence will lose sympathies and dissipate with the passage of time. They wanted Baloch nationalist parties to boycott elections, and instead support the separatists, waging a bloody war against the security forces.

Due to a number of reasons, a majority of the Baloch and nationalist parties took part in the elections.

In this regard, credit goes to the President of Balochistan National Party (BNP), Sardar Akhtar Mengal returned to Pakistan, and decided to participate in the elections. He is a changed man who has put his past behind on a positive note. He encouraged other Baloch parties and people to participate in the elections.

It is owing to the progressive works of Pak Army in the province that a division has been created among the militant groups’ leaders in Balochistan. Besides other insurgent outfits, rift has especially been widened between the leaders of Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) and United Balochistan Army (UBA). In this context, UBA leader Zarman Marri was more active on media for projecting Balochistan issue and was less inclined towards militancy, while Harbiyar Marri who wanted total control over BLA and favoured militant activities rather than popular politics, strongly opposed Zarman’s stand. By rejecting Harbiyar Marri’s stand and other extremist Baloch groups in wake of threats by their death squads, Sardar Akhtar Mengal took part in the elections.

As regards the positive role of Army, on 2011, I had visited Balochistan along with other journalists. I saw a number of institutes, set up by army, and these were providing especially technical training to thousands of Balochis. Besides other developments works, Pak Army was also imparting army training to the Baloch youth. The purpose was to bring the Baloch people in the mainstream of the country. I had also a trip to far-flung areas of the province and witnessed various mega projects and mineral sites. I was greatly surprised that no military operation was going on in Balochistan, as propagated by the foreign elements. People told me that some subversive events are being arranged by the minority separatist elements so as to create chaotic situation in the province.

Now, majority of the Baloch persons have understood that Balochistan’s mineral resources and geo-strategic location with deep Gwadar seaport, connecting rest of the world with Central Asia have further annoyed the US and India because China has already invested billion of dollars to develop this seaport. It is due to multiple strategic designs that the US which signed a nuclear deal with India in 2008 seeks to dismember both Pakistan and Iran. Notably, by rejecting US growing pressure, on March 11, 2013 Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari inaugurated the gas pipeline project with Iran. Meanwhile, Pakistan has handed over the control of Gwader seaport to China.

During the trip of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to Islamabad, Pakistan and China signed several agreements‚ Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on May 22, this year to strengthen and diversify cooperation in various fields. Besides increase in trade, China would also cooperate with Pakistan in power generation on priority-basis, as Islamabad seeks to end the energy crisis. In a joint press conference, both President Asif Ali Zardari and Premier Li Keqiang supported the proposal of China-Pakistan economic corridor to improve connectivity between Pakistan and Western regions of China. Premier Li Keqiang stated that both sides have decided on a long term programme—a strategic idea, adding:  “We hope by pushing forward connectivity…economic corridor will become a reality for the benefit of the two people.” He assured that Beijing was also ready to upgrade Karrakuram Highway and to sign Sino-Pak civilian nuclear deal. He recalled his visit as part of the friendship between the two countries, which was time-tested.

However, under these agreements, Gwadar Port would be connected with China via rail, road and air routes. Beijing would also provide financial aid to Islamabad to complete this project which would also provide employment opportunities to the Baloch people.

Meanwhile, a day before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Islamabad; Chinese engineers being driven through Clifton Block-1 in Karachi escaped a major bomb attack.

As a matter of fact, Afghanistan has become a hub of anti-Pakistan activities from where external secret agencies like American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad have perennially been supporting bomb blasts, suicide attacks, abductions, target killings, ethnic and sectarian violence in other parts of the country—especially in Balochistan through their affiliated militant groups such as BLA, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) including other insurgent groups and some Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) to fulfill the secret strategic designs of US, India and Israel at the cost of Pakistan, China and Iran. Besides martyring several personnel of law-enforcing agencies and security forces in Balochistan, these foreign-backed entities kidnapped and massacred many Punjabis, Pushtuns, Shias, people of Hazara community and patriot Balochis including Iranian Shias. In the past few years, they abducted and killed many Chinese and Iranian nationals in Pakistan. On a number of occasions, BLA, Jundollah and other separatist groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts.

In this context, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had indicated, “The bloody actions being committed in Iraq, Pakistan and Iran are aimed at creating a division between the Shias and Sunnis…those who carry out these terrorist actions are directly or indirectly foreign agents.”

In this regard, Pakistan’s former Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik had revealed that he also showed proof about training camps being run in Afghanistan, and supply of arms and ammunition by the Afghan government to Baloch operators inside Balochistan.

It is mentionable that on July 23, 2008, Brahmdagh Bugti told the BBC that they had the right to accept foreign aid and arms from anywhere including India.

Particularly, on February 8, 2012, the hearing of the US Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Dana Rohrabacher discussed target killings and human rights violations in Balochistan, blaming Pakistan’s security agencies. He also favoured an independent Balochistan. It has exposed US covert move regarding Balochistan.

Moreover, with the help of Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in western countries, US-led entities are launching false campaign to distort the image of Islamabad and its security agencies.

Nonetheless, army’s positive steps will increase income of the Baloch youth and reduce their dependence on sardars. Now patriot Balochis have come to know that Pak Army is neither mercenary nor occupying force, while external-backed insurgency has hampered the growth and development of the province.

As media have played a key role in pointing out the real situation of instability in Balochistan, so Baloch people also know that the feudal lords who have been fighting for their own so-called status, prestige and influence, do not want to give up the old system of feudalism. They are now well-aware that with the assistance of US-led India and Israel, these anti-Pakistan elements are inciting them for independence of the province, while a majority of the Baloch people has rejected the separation of Balochistan.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Affairs

 

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Venezuela Launches Electronic Rationing Card

NOVANEWS

 

Restrictions on the sale of 20 basic items including toilet paper and chicken, are set to begin next week in Venezuela

By JG Vibes

Venezuela’s most populated state is scheduled to begin a system of rationing, with consumers in Western Zulia being given electronic cards to limit their purchases of items such as rice, cooking oil and toilet paper.

“Considering the average size of a family, one person should only buy 20 staple products during the period that we establish, which we think will be one week,” Blagdimir Labrador, an official with the Zulia state government, told the newspaper Panorama in an interview published on Tuesday.

The shortages of everyday necessities across the country are being blamed on the government’s attempts to control the economy.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney reports from Caracas:

An economist at Andres Bello University, Ronald Balza, said he doesn’t see how rationing certain foodstuffs can address the true cause of shortages.

“The reason for shortages (in Zulia) is the same as it is in the rest of the country: fixed prices, supply problems and the preventative purchases that consumers make every time new (higher) prices are coming.”

“We cannot allow the government to use our state to create a Cuba-style rationing system,” said opposition legislator Elias Matta of Zulia. “This shows the failure of 21st century socialism.”

 

Sources:

^http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/04/us-venezuela-shortages-idUSBRE9530V520130604

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