Aletho News


Greenwald on ‘coming’ leak: NSA can obtain one billion cell phone calls a day, store them and listen

RT | June 29, 2013

The NSA has a “brand new” technology that enables one billion cell phone calls to be redirected into its data hoards, according to the Guardian’s Glen Greenwald, who told a Chicago conference that a new leak of Snowden’s documents was ‘coming soon.’

Calling it part of a “globalized system to destroy all privacy,” and the enduring creation of a climate of fear, Greenwald outlined the capabilities of the NSA to store every single call while having “the capability to listen to them at any time,” while speaking via Skype to the Socialism Conference in Chicago, on Friday.

Greenwald was the first journalist to leak Snowden’s documents, having travelled to Hong Kong to review them prior to exposure.

“What we’re really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency,” he said.

While he underlined that the NSA are not necessarily listening in on the full billion calls, he pointed out their capability to do so and the lack of accountability with “virtually no safeguards” which the NSA were being held to.

The Guardian journalist made hints that he was sitting on further details of the NSA’s billion-call backlog, which he’d keep under wraps until the documents’ full publication, which he said was “coming soon.”

He additionally suggested future exposures to come from Snowden, while lauding the sheer risk the whistleblower took in revealing the NSA’s covert surveillance program.

“More a recluse than a fame whore”

Greenwald spoke highly of Snowden throughout, saying that he apparently lacked remorse, regret and fear, while not seeking notoriety of any form.

“He’s a person who has zero privilege, zero power, zero position and zero prestige, and yet by himself he has literally changed the world,” Greenwald said of Snowden, using him as an example of the powers individuals still have.

“Courage is contagious,” he said, commenting on the demonization of whistleblowers, and saying it was necessary as Snowden could potentially set an example – something that Snowden himself aimed to do, as he had been looking for a leader to fix the problems inherent in the US system, but found nobody.

“There is more to life than material comfort or career stability… he thought about himself by the actions he took in pursuit of those beliefs,” said Greenwald.

He outlined his meeting with the NSA whistleblower, who he said contacted him anonymously via email suggesting Greenwald might be ‘interested’ in looking over the documents – a suggestion labeled by Greenwald to be “the world’s largest understatement of the decade.”

After Snowden sent Greenwald an “appetizer,” of the documents he had on hand, Greenwald recalled being dizzy with “ecstasy and elation.”

“Climate of Fear”

It was Snowden’s exposure of the documents while operating in a highly surveilled environment that Greenwald was particularly complimentary about, citing an intensifying “climate of fear” being pushed on people who may be hazardous to the government.

“One of the things that has been most disturbing over the past three to four years has been this climate of fear that has emerged in exactly the circles that are supposed to challenge the government… the real investigative journalists who are at these outlets who do real reporting are petrified of the US government now. Their sources are beyond petrified,” he commented.

He called Friday’s scandal over the US army’s blocking of the Guardian website a prize of “a significant level above” a Pulitzer or a Peabody, pointing out the seeming contradiction that soldiers fighting for the country were considered mature and responsible enough to put their lives on the line, but clearly weren’t ‘mature’ enough to be exposed to the same information that the rest of the world was accessing.

“If you talk to anybody in journalism or in the government, they are petrified of even moving. It has been impossible to get anyone inside the government to call us back,” said Greenwald, throwing some thought on the possible reasoning behind people contacting the press regarding the actions of government.

“If you look at who really hates Bradley Manning or who has expressed the most contempt about Wikileaks or who has led the chorus in demonizing Edward Snowden, it is those very people in the media who pretend to want transparency because transparency against political power is exactly what they don’t want,” he opined.

Greenwald finished by pointing out the increasing reluctance for people in government to even communicate with journalists, while highlighting the usage of the mass surveillance program to keep an eye on both dissident groups and Muslim communities.

“There’s a climate of fear in exactly those factions that are most intended to put a check on those in power and that has been by design,” Greenwald stated, saying that Snowden was a prime example that people could stand up to the government, and that there was no need to be afraid of publishing “whatever it is we think should be published in the public good.”

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Euro 2013, Football and Palestine

PhilosophyFootball | June 4, 2013

A film by Gregg McDonald of Consequential Films

Producers, Hugh Tisdale and Deborah Rich of Philosophy Football

In the autumn of 2011 Philosophy met Honey Thalijeh, then captain of the Palestine Women’s Football team.

Honey told us the story of football in her country and we made a promise. That for Euro 2013, the Under 21s tournament hosted by Israel, we would visit Palestine to make a film and help tell the world what football means for ordinary Palestinians living on the other side of the wall Israel built to encircle and occupy their land.

The film was made on the eve of Israel hosting Euro 2013. Filmed, cut and edited in the space of 48 hours this is politically-committed reportage at its rapid and rough best. It was premiered at the Palestine Olympic Association HQ in Ramallah. Please spread this film far and wide.

The Palestine Football Supporters Club T-shirt is available at

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Comments Off on Euro 2013, Football and Palestine

Jewish settlers attack buses filled with children in Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – 29/06/2013

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Palestinian sources in Jerusalem said Jewish settlers on Friday night attacked buses carrying 100 Palestinian children participating in a summer camp organized by Health Work Committees in Silwan in occupied Jerusalem.

Health Work Committees pointed in a press release on Saturday that the camp includes a group of children between 7 and 12 years old, a number of them had been previously arrested in the occupations jails.

The settlers threw stones at the buses, breaking their windows and terrorizing the children.

The committees condemned the attack and called for “providing protection for the Palestinian people and children from settlers’ violence in occupied Palestine, committed under the protection of the occupation army.”

In al-Khalil, another group of Israeli settlers attacked on Thursday evening a Palestinian civilian near Yatta, and fled the scene in the absence of the occupation forces, locals reported.

They added that the citizen sustained wounds as the settlers threw stones at him and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Jewish settlers set on Thursday fire to agricultural lands in the archaeological area of Sebastia near the city of Nablus in the north of the West Bank.

Na’el Shaer, Sebastia’s mayor, said that groups of settlers from the settlement of Shavei Shomron built on the town’s land set fire to agricultural land, damaging large stretches of land, including land planted with olives and almond trees.

He added that the settlers have been continuously targeting the town as it represents an archaeological and historical area, noting that they had previously destroyed crops after pumping wastewater into the cultivated lands.

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | Comments Off on Jewish settlers attack buses filled with children in Jerusalem

Rohani vows to pursue a moderate foreign policy based on detente


Tehran Times | June 29, 2013

TEHRAN – Iran’s President-elect Hassan Rohani has said that he will pursue a moderate foreign policy based on detente and constructive interaction with the world to help resolve the problems facing the country.

“Moderation in foreign policy is neither surrender nor conflict, neither passiveness nor confrontation, but rather is interaction,” Rohani said in Tehran on Saturday during his first live televised speech since winning the election on June 14.

“Moderation in foreign policy should be achieved through realism based on idealism, values, self-esteem, reliance on national might, domestic capacity, and effective and constructive interaction with the world. But interaction and dialogue should take place on equal terms,” added Rohani, who has repeatedly emphasized that the tension between Iran and the West over the country’s nuclear program should be defused only through logical dialogue and active interaction.

The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program may have military dimensions. But Iran says it is entirely for peaceful purposes, such as electricity generation and medical uses.

Rohani added that engagement with the world should be based on “mutual respect, mutual detente, and interaction with the aim of building trust, but mutual confidence-building based on the rights of all Iranian people and national demands and dignity.”

Enemy seeking to portray Iran as a police state

Elsewhere in his speech, Rohani, who will take office in August, also said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a great regional power or the greatest regional power at this juncture, should play its role efficiently, and this necessitates moderation.”

“The enemy is seeking to portray the Islamic Republic of Iran as a police state to the world, and we should scuttle the enemy’s plan, and we need prudence and planning and firm but fundamental steps,” he added, referring to what he had previously called a “securitized atmosphere” in the society.

Rohani promises to form an extra-factional cabinet

Commenting on the composition of his cabinet, Rohani said, “My cabinet will be completely extra-factional, and its reliance will be on merit. And given that the administration has given no commitment to any party or faction, it is not indebted to any party or faction.”

On the freedom of the press, the new president said, “A government which has its roots in the people’s support and derives its legitimacy from the participation of voters, not only is not afraid of a free press but also becomes stronger by a free press that obeys the law.”

Rohani hailed the high voter turnout in the presidential election, saying, “The election provided a unique opportunity for all. Everyone should get the message of the election, respect it, and act based on it.

“Parties, groups, the people, each and every person, and others outside Iran in other countries, should properly appreciate the message of the election and respond to it appropriately.”

The people chose a new path in the election, he said, adding, “The people said that they love their country (and care about its) destiny and national goals. The people said in the election, ‘We want change and evolution.’”

Rohani also said, “The next administration will honor the promises it has made.”

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Comments Off on Rohani vows to pursue a moderate foreign policy based on detente

Brzezinski: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, their western allies orchestrated Syria crisis

Press TV –  June 29, 2013

The former US national security adviser says the ongoing crisis in Syria has been orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and their western allies.

“In late 2011 there are outbreaks in Syria produced by a drought and abetted by two well-known autocracies in the Middle East: Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview with The National Interest on June 24.

He added that US President Barack Obama also supported the unrest in Syria and suddenly announced that President Bashar al-Assad “has to go — without, apparently, any real preparation for making that happen.”

“Then in the spring of 2012, the election year here, the CIA under General Petraeus, according to The New York Times of March 24th of this year, a very revealing article, mounts a large-scale effort to assist the Qataris and the Saudis and link them somehow with the Turks in that effort,” said Brzezinski, who was former White House national security adviser under Jimmy Carter and now a counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a senior research professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

Criticizing the Obama administration’s policies regarding Syria, he questioned, “Was this a strategic position? Why did we all of a sudden decide that Syria had to be destabilized and its government overthrown? Had it ever been explained to the American people? Then in the latter part of 2012, especially after the elections, the tide of conflict turns somewhat against the rebels. And it becomes clear that not all of those rebels are all that ‘democratic.’ And so the whole policy begins to be reconsidered.”

“I think these things need to be clarified so that one can have a more insightful understanding of what exactly US policy was aiming at,” Brzezinski added.

He also called on US officials to push much more urgently to draw in China, Russia and other regional powers to reach some kind of peaceful end to the Syrian crisis.

“I think if we tackle the issue alone with the Russians, which I think has to be done because they’re involved partially, and if we do it relying primarily on the former colonial powers in the region-France and Great Britain, who are really hated in the region-the chances of success are not as high as if we do engage in it, somehow, with China, India and Japan, which have a stake in a more stable Middle East,” Brzezinski said.

Brzezinski also warned again any US-led military intervention in Syria or arming the militants fighting government forces there.

“I’m afraid that we’re headed toward an ineffective American intervention, which is even worse. There are circumstances in which intervention is not the best but also not the worst of all outcomes. But what you are talking about means increasing our aid to the least effective of the forces opposing Assad. So at best, it’s simply damaging to our credibility. At worst, it hastens the victory of groups that are much more hostile to us than Assad ever was. I still do not understand why — and that refers to my first answer — why we concluded somewhere back in 2011 or 2012 — an election year, incidentally that Assad should go.”

Foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.

The New York Times said in a recent report the CIA was cooperating with Turkey and a number of other regional governments to supply arms to militants fighting the government in Syria.

The report comes as the US has repeatedly voiced concern over weapons falling into the hands of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups.

Al-Nusra Front was named a terrorist organization by Washington last December, even though it has been fighting with the US-backed so-called Free Syrian Army in its battle against Damascus.


Excerpt from TNI interview:

Heilbrunn: Are we, in fact, witnessing a delayed chain reaction? The dream of the neoconservatives, when they entered Iraq, was to create a domino effect in the Middle East, in which we would topple one regime after the other. Is this, in fact, a macabre realization of that aspiration?

Brzezinski: True, that might be the case. They hope that in a sense Syria would redeem what happened originally in Iraq. But I think what we have to bear in mind is that in this particular case the regional situation as a whole is more volatile than it was when they invaded Iraq, and perhaps their views are also infected by the notion, shared by some Israeli right-wingers, that Israel’s strategic prospects are best served if all of its adjoining neighbors are destabilized. I happen to think that is a long-term formula for disaster for Israel, because its byproduct, if it happens, is the elimination of American influence in the region, with Israel left ultimately on its own. I don’t think that’s good for Israel, and, to me, more importantly, because I look at the problems from the vantage point of American national interest, it’s not very good for us.

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Turkish government combing Twitter in search of protest organizers to arrest

RT | June 29, 2013

Turkish government officials are investigating Twitter and similar social media platforms in an attempt to identify and eventually prosecute the organizers of mass demonstrations, Erodgan administration officials said this week.

In the latest attack on social media’s role in protests, the country’s Transportation and Communications Minister Binali Yildirim called on social media networks on Friday to cooperate with authorities in the probe.

“Yes to the Internet … but an absolute no to its misuse as a tool for crimes, violence, chaos and disorder,” Yildirim said quoted as saying by the local Dogan news agency.

Authorities have scoured social networks searching for protest leaders since national unrest began on May 28 at a rally in Instanbul’s Taksim Square. Police have turned over at least 35 names to prosecutors in the city, according to Turkey’s Aksam newspaper.

It is illegal to ‘insult’ public officials in Turkey.

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag acknowledged the existence of the list, the Associated Press reported, only saying ‘profanities and insults conducted electronically’ had contributed to the protests.

‘Crimes determined as such by the law don’t change if they are carried out through Facebook, Twitter or through other electronic means,’ he said. ‘No one has the right to commit crimes under the rule of law.’

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has taken international criticism for the brutal police crackdown on protesters in the past month. The prime minister himself, when the rallies began, branded Twitter a ‘troublemaker’ used to spread ‘lies.’

What began as a protest against the redevelopment of Istanbul’s historic Gezi Park morphed into a national movement calling for a pluralistic society instead of Erdogan’s ‘authoritarian’ rule. The prime minister has also lost support for what critics say has been an attempt to impose Islamist values on a largely secular population.

He previously banned YouTube for two years beginning in 2008, citing the widespread presence of obscene material.

Erdogan’s deputies expressed hope that Facebook would allow them to comb through data and identify possible demonstration organizers. Facebook released a statement this week denying the disclosure, though, of any information to the government and expressing concern about future requests.

‘We will be meeting with representatives of the Turkish government when they visit Silicon Valley this week, and we intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly at that that time,’ Facebook said in a statement.

Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim added that Twitter has not shown a ‘positive approach’ despite ‘necessary warnings’ from Turkey. He said that the Turkish government has asked Twitter, along with other social media sites, to set up a representative office inside the country.

‘We have told all social media that… if you operate in Turkey you must comply with Turkish law… When information is requested, we want to see someone in Turkey who can provide this… there needs to be an interlocutor we can put our grievance to and who can correct an error if there is one,’ he said.

‘Twitter will probably comply too. Otherwise, this is a situation that cannot be sustained,’ Yildirim stressed. His statement was presumably referring to social media’s role in the recent protests, though the social media companies themselves have had no role. He added that the government seeks only to ‘turn down the volume of the social media,’ rather than blocking it altogether.

June 29, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Turkish government combing Twitter in search of protest organizers to arrest