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S. American states to recall ambassadors from Europe over Bolivian plane incident

RT | July 12, 2013

South American countries belonging to the Mercosur trade bloc have decided to withdraw their ambassadors for consultations from European countries involved in the grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane.

“We’ve taken a number of actions in order to compel public explanations and apologies from the European nations that assaulted our brother Evo Morales,” explained Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, who revealed some of the agenda debated during the 45th summit of Mercosur countries in Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo.

The decision to recall European ambassadors was taken by Maduro, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez, Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff, and Uruguay’s President, Jose Mujica, during the meeting.

Member states attending the summit expressed their grievances with “actions by the governments of France, Spain, Italy and Portugal” over the July 2 incident, when the aircraft carrying President Evo Morales back to Bolivia after attending an energy summit in Moscow was denied entry into the airspace of a number of EU member states.

The small aircraft, which required a stop-over before completing its flight, was forced to make an emergency landing in Austria after a circuitous flight path.

It was later revealed that the European countries’ actions were prompted by accusations made by the US ambassador to Austria, William Eacho, who alleged that American whistleblower Edward Snowden had been taken on board to help him gain political asylum in Latin America.

“The gravity of the incident – indicative of a neocolonial mindset – constitutes an unfriendly and hostile act, which violates human rights and impedes freedom of travel, as well as the treatment and immunity appropriate to a head of state,” the Mercosur nations affirmed in the joint statement.

The incident was further described as a “discriminatory and arbitrary” decision by European countries, as well as a “blatant violation of international law.”

July 12, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The NYT Continues to Misinform on Chemical Weapons in Syria

By Michael McGehee · NYTX · July 11, 2013   

Writing in his original preface to Animal Farm, George Orwell wrote about how “inconvenient facts [can be] kept dark, without the need for any official ban”:

Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news – things which on their own merits would get the big headlines – being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact […] At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

One way in which readers, listeners, or viewers can gauge the validity of news stories is by how quickly they drop off the media’s radar. If a story is sensationalist hype it will likely disappear as fast as it appeared. Another way is if the story gets reported at all.

Earlier this year was the scare story of an impending North Korea attack on the United States. The mainstream media, especially in the U.S. and the West, went ballistic (pun intended) on supposed North Korean threats. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of articles claimed over and over that North Korea threatened to attack South Korea and the United States. That was the popular narrative repeated ad infinitum. But it’s not entirely true. What North Korea “threatened” was retaliation, not an attack. Kim Jong-Un said his country would respond to South Korean and American aggression.

But, let’s rewind to the New Year. According to the Washington Post: “In New Year’s speech, N. Korea’s Kim says he wants peace with South”:

SEOUL — In a domestically televised New Year’s Day speech, North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Eun said he wants to “remove confrontation” on this divided peninsula and called on “anti-reunification forces” in South Korea to end their hostility toward the North.

The lengthy address, which laid out North Korea’s goals for the year, marked Kim’s first formal remarks since the election two weeks ago of Park Geun-hye as South Korea’s next president.

The North Korean leader asked for a detente — but with prerequisites that the conservative Park is likely to be reluctant to accept. Both sides, Kim said, must implement joint agreements signed years ago by the North and liberal, pro-engagement presidents in Seoul. Those agreements call for, among other things, economic cooperation, high-level government dialogue and the creation of a special “cooperation” zone in the Yellow Sea, where the North and South spar over a maritime border.

The peace overture was replied with the annual South-Korean-U.S. military exercise, but this time with an interesting twist: the exercise included a scenario of a pre-emptive attack on North Korea. Worse, the U.S. pulled out its B-52’s, that are capable of firing nuclear weapons, and flaunted them recklessly.

In chronological order: North Korea requests peace and steps to move in that direction, to which South Korea and the United States respond with a mock scenario of a pre-emptive strike, including the possible use of nuclear weapons, to which North Korea says it will retaliate against any such attack, and, finally, the American media largely ignores this context, that Kim was vowing retaliation, and whips up hysteria of North Korea coming out of the blue with threats of nuking America.

But then the story simply went away.

We have seen this also with the recent case of Syria and the regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons.

A month ago the White House came out with the claim that the Syrian government used chemical weapons “on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.”

And though FAIR’s Peter Hart quickly pointed out that skepticism was “warranted,” the mainstream media saturated news outlets with the story.

But, like the North Korean “threat,” the story simply went away.

Until yesterday.

The story is back on the radar as Russia provided the UN, and Western countries with their report on the Sarin attack in Aleppo, Syria. Unlike the US, the Russians have (and provided) evidence that it was the rebels who carried out the chemical attack.

According to Rick Gladstone of The New York Times, in his article “Russia Says Study Suggests Syria Rebels Used Sarin,” and which appears on page A7 of the July 10, 2013 edition, Moscow’s “scientific analysis of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria on March 19 showed it probably had been carried out by insurgents using Sarin nerve gas of ‘cottage industry’ quality delivered by a crudely made missile.” Gladstone then informs us that Russia’s findings “contradicted conclusions presented by Western nations, including the United States, that the Syrian government had been responsible.”

The most troubling aspect of Gladstone’s article was this passage: “The American conclusion was based in part on indirectly procured soil samples and interviews with survivors, as well as the Syrian insurgency’s lack of technical ability and materials to carry out a chemical weapons attack.”

The problem? Those last sixteen words—“the Syrian insurgency’s lack of technical ability and materials to carry out a chemical weapons attack”—are presented, not as a claim, but as a fact. As we at the NYTimes eXaminer pointed out last month, The New York Times has ignored two important news items that undermine this assertion: (1) the hacking of Britam, a British defense company, revealed a plan by Washington for the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and then blame it on the government; and (2) the arrest of Syrian rebels in Turkey, who happened to be in possession of Sarin nerve gas.

All of this occurred before the White House came out with their claim that the Syrian government was behind the Sarin attacks, and was readily available in the press, though not reported by The New York Times. To this day the “paper of record” has yet to mention either of these two incidences, even as they claim that the Syrian rebels have a “lack of technical ability and materials to carry out a chemical weapons attack.”

Readers should be concerned with why sensationalist stories of a threatening North Korea, and chemical weapon-using Syria, can appear long enough to outrage the public, but stories of false flags, and rebels getting caught with the very chemical weapons we claim they don’t have, go unreported.

July 12, 2013 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , | 1 Comment

EU subservient to US – Irish MP who called Obama ‘war criminal’

eu-subservient-us-clare-daly

RT | July 12, 2013

Standing up to one’s government is becoming the only way for citizens to stop the spread of Western imperialism and its double standards, said Clare Daly, the now famous Irish MP who lambasted President Obama at Northern Ireland’s G8 summit.

RT recently interviewed Daly, discussing matters of politics, economics and human rights set against a backdrop of US pressure on the world to comply with its vision.

Despite hefty political backlash incurred after the summit for calling Obama a “war criminal,” Daly appeared optimistic that her views were shared by many across the world. She ultimately believes, she said, that it is those people across Europe and America who should scrutinize their politicians and demand greater accountability in foreign affairs and a lesser flexibility to US coercion where matters like war in the Middle East and the fate of whistleblowers are concerned.

Speaking of Ireland, which some may remember was the subject of her attack at the summit, she complained of the country’s “unprecedented slobbering” whenever Obama appeared on the horizon, saying that, “It’s hard to know which is worse, whether it’s the outpourings of the Obamas themselves, or the sycophantic fawning over them by sections of the media and the political establishment.”

But she also takes a more encompassing view of things, underlining the suffering of the austerity-ridden Irish.

“When Obama visited, [the government] would make no points of criticism, everything was wonderful. We must get American companies into this country to create employment, but the reality is that most of the American companies come to avoid paying their taxes at home and in Ireland, which means it is ordinary people who suffer, and the very wealthy are those who want these companies to benefit,” she said, emphasizing Europe’s economic subservience to the United States.

The political and moral implications of this subservience are Daly’s main targets.

Ireland, she says, is a neutral country. But that policy loses meaning already at Ireland’s Shannon airport: whether it is the government’s ignoring of planes armed to the teeth, or suspicious cargo that could be anything from arms deliveries for third parties, to prisoners being relayed for rendition by the CIA, there is a relationship of unquestioning submissiveness when it comes to the Irish government and the US.

“The arrangement is that when a military aircraft lands on our territory, they are not supposed to be armed, carrying explosives, weapons, not engaged in intelligence or in any military exercise. But our question is, how do we know they are not providing ammunition for Syria? We don’t know that, because the Irish government won’t investigate or carry out inspections of those flights as they should.”

“They never go on to an aircraft when the US carries people suspected of being trafficked on rendition flights – do they ask them about passports? The Irish government turned a blind eye on that.”

The opposite logic was applied to the rumor of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden stopping over in Ireland on a commercial flight from Moscow to Cuba, with the Americans sending a provisional arrest warrant to the Irish in the hopes that they would hand him over. Daly herself is a great supporter of Snowden’s struggle and considers him an international hero.

And Daly is not surprised with the lax attitude European governments took to Snowden’s revelations about the US spying on the world and its governments. She believes those governments ultimately want the same thing, on the one hand, and on the other – they fear economic and political pressure from the US.

“They have a reason to be fearful because the United States is using its weight – its economic weight, in some instances, and its military weight in others – to intimidate those countries. I think we saw that graphically with Ecuador – threatening to take their trade preferences from them if they were to give him asylum.”

The grounding of the Bolivian president’s plane in Vienna and the collusion of every major Western European country in the incident is seen by Daly as a supreme example of this process.

Her final conclusion is that ordinary people must not give up the fight for what they believe is right. And that fight must encompass all spheres of life – from economics to politics and to the defense of people and whistleblowers of all kinds – because their governments appear unwilling to take the stance against US hegemony themselves.

Full video interview

July 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who’s at the top of Britain’s Tory party?

Prime Minister David Cameron shaking hands with Israeli regime’s agent in Britain, Daniel Taub.

Prime Minister David Cameron shaking hands with Israeli regime’s agent in Britain, Daniel Taub.
By Stuart-Littlewood | Press TV | July 11, 2013

Ten years ago Tam Dalyell, the ‘Father of the House’ (the most senior member of the House of Commons in the British Parliament), sparked a huge row by accusing the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, of “being unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisers.”

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dalyell named Lord Levy (Blair’s personal envoy on the Middle East), Peter Mandelson (whose father was Jewish), and Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary (who has Jewish ancestry), as three of the leading figures who had influenced Blair’s policies on the Middle East.

He told The Telegraph: “If it is a question of launching an assault on Syria or Iran…. then one has to be candid.” Blair, he said, was also indirectly influenced by Jewish people in the Bush administration, including Richard Perle, a Pentagon adviser, Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy defence secretary, and Ari Fleischer, the President’s press secretary.

Dalyell’s remarks were sad and unfounded, said Lord Janner, chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust. “Tony Blair is his own man. He will follow advice if he considers it correct and not otherwise. He has been a good friend of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.”

Dalyell was misguided, said Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, a spokesman for Britain’s Reform Synagogues. “Concerning Iraq it was crystal clear that Tony Blair was not swayed by popularity or anyone else but by his own deep convictions. It is also obvious that the majority of President Bush’s circle are Christian Evangelicals rather than Jews.”

Ned Temko, the American-born editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: “I just think these sort of comments are offensive and are a profound misunderstanding of the way foreign policy is made in the United States or here.”

Dalyell also told The Scotsman on Sunday: “Blair and Straw have become far too close to these people and Lord Levy, who is an unaccountable ambassador in the Middle East, is part of this group. They are acting on an extremely Zionist, Likud-nik agenda. In particular I am concerned that some of them are pushing for an attack on Syria, for reasons of Israeli security. ”

MP Louise Ellman, a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Committee Against Anti-Semitism, said: “This absurd proposition implies a Jewish plot in high places…”

Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a senior member of Scotland’s Jewish community, was rudely dismissive: “We all know that Tam gets bees in his bonnet and eight times out of 10 they are nuts but the other two are brilliant. This is, I’m afraid, one of the nutty ones.”

Next day the Guardian reported that Dalyell could face an investigation for inciting racial hatred. Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation, was seeking advice on whether there was a case for referral. “I believe there is,” he said.

Today it is obvious that old Tam was neither nutty nor misguided. He joined the dots and saw the danger, as did many others.

‘The Torah party’

Meanwhile the Jewish cabal flourishes. A few weeks ago Ian Livingston was handpicked by Prime Minister David Cameron for the trade minister job. Cameron, who had previously broken with traditional wisdom and appointed the first Jewish ambassador to Israel, was reported by an ecstatic Times of Israel as having now decided to bring into the government possibly its most committed Jew yet, and certainly its most outspoken supporter of Israel, which Livingston called “the most amazing state in the world.”

Livingston is not elected. He’s appointed. The newspaper went on to name other top Jewish figures in the Conservative party such as co-chairs Lord Feldman and Grant Shapps MP, senior treasurer Howard Leigh, a member of the Jewish Leadership Council; and former party treasurers Richard Harrington MP and Lord Fink, another member of the JLC.

“There are so many Jews at the top of Britain’s Conservative party, Prime Minister David Cameron once quipped, that it should be known as the Torah party rather than the Tory party,” crowed the paper.

And to make the Prime Minister feel thoroughly at home in his Torah party a Jewish scholar, after tracing Cameron’s ancestry, claimed he could be “a direct descendant of Moses or, at least, a cousin”.

In case our American friends are puzzled by this Torah/Tory business, ‘Tory’ is an old 17th century name for the modern Conservative party founded in the 1830s.

Three years ago The Jewish Chronicle published a list of Jewish MPs in Britain’s parliament, naming 24. The Jewish population in the UK at that time was – and probably still is – around 280,000 or just under 0.5%. There are 650 seats in the House of Commons so, on a proportional basis, Jews could expect 3 seats. But with 24 they were 8 times over-represented. Which meant, of course, that other groups were under-represented.

The UK’s Muslim population is about 2.4 million or nearly 4%. Similarly, their quota would be 25 seats but they had only 8 – a serious shortfall. If Muslims were over-represented to the same extent as Jews (i.e. 8 times) they’d have 200 seats. Imagine the hullabaloo.

Israeli flag-waving

Over-representation in the House of Commons is only part of the picture. Many more Jews have been inserted into the House of Lords and other non-elected and unaccountable positions. An even bigger worry is the huge number of non-Jewish Zionists that have infiltrated every level of political and institutional life. They swell the pro-Israel lobby to such an extent that it is believed to account for 80% of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, which now rules with the Liberal Democrats as their junior coalition partner.

Too many pro-Israel MPs speak and act as if they’d rather wave the Israeli flag than the Union Jack. These ‘Israel-firsters’ never condemn the regime’s illegal occupation, apartheid-style policies, war crimes and refusal to sign up to nuclear non-proliferation, inspection and safeguards. They lock Britain (and British foreign policy) into Israel’s sickening ambitions and immorality. Defending the indefensible, as they do, inevitably raises questions for our national security, a deadly serious issue given the sheer number of Zionists now in British public life and the enemies they have made across the world, and continually provoke.

The Jewish Chronicle, in its 2006 special report ‘Team Cameron’s big Jewish backers’, revealed the support that enabled Cameron to suddenly burst into the political limelight, almost unknown, to take the Conservative leadership. With no significant achievement under his belt he was then able to manoeuvre, with the help of his backers, into Britain’s PM slot.

He is also a self-declared Zionist and voted for the war in Iraq, so how trustworthy does that make him? In a speech to Jewish fundraisers in London last year he declared: “There is no contradiction between being a proud Jew, a committed Zionist and a loyal British citizen.” How can someone who so closely aligns himself with a belligerent foreign military power like Israel hope to convince us that he’s 100 percent loyal to Britain and her interests, while once again drawing us unwillingly into conflict with Israel’s enemies, this time Iran and Syria, with whom we have no quarrel?

Cameron’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has been a member of Conservative Friends of Israel since he was 15. Hague once said: “The unbroken thread of Conservative Party support for Israel that has run for nearly a century from the Balfour Declaration to the present day will continue.”

Alistair Burt, a former officer of the Parliamentary group of Conservative Friends of Israel, is Foreign Office minister for the Middle East. And David Lidington, who has spoken of being a “staunch defender” of the State of Israel, is Foreign Office minister for Europe.

So the key stooges are safely installed and activated.

Powerless to deliver justice

It is said that becoming a Friend of Israel is a necessary stepping-stone to high office. Consequently fans of Israel are embedded at all levels in the fabric of British political life and at the heart of the Government.

When a group of concerned academics wrote to the Committee on Standards in Public Life complaining about Israel’s “deep penetration”, they were told it was not something the committee could investigate. A closer look revealed that some members of the committee had close links with Friends of Israel.

How do these Israeli flag wavers think it looks, standing shoulder to shoulder with religious fanatics and psychopaths who horribly persecute the Christian and Muslim communities of the Holy Land? It is especially offensive to see them endorsing a pseudo democracy that dishes out thuggish treatment even to children who, says the UN, are arrested by Israeli military and police and systematically subjected to degrading treatment, and often tortured. Read the report and weep.

Thanks to its misplaced admiration for Israel, the British government fails to intervene and stand up for justice. The disgrace is unbearable. Here is just one of many appalling examples. Right now Christians in that once beautiful country are under imminent threat of losing their land, their livelihood, and their way of life because an emergency law cooked up by the illegal occupier Israel, and upheld by an Israeli court, allows the Israelis to seize territory in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem. This brazen land-grab opens the way for the hated separation wall (ruled illegal by the International Court of Justice) to be extended across the valley, connecting two Israeli settlements built on stolen Palestinian land in the eastern suburbs of Jerusalem.

The onward construction of the barrier will divide a Salesian Catholic monastery from the neighbouring Salesian Catholic convent, confiscate most of the convent’s property, and cut off 58 Palestinian families from their agricultural lands – including vineyards, olive groves, and pastures. The barrier will also separate families and surround an elementary school on three sides, forcing young children to pass through a checkpoint to go to class.

The ICJ required the wall to be dismantled, not extended. And it reminded all States party to the Fourth Geneva Convention that they are under an obligation “to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention”. That was 9 years ago. The world is still waiting. The States never act. Compliance never happens. Non-compliance is rife, and highly profitable to Israel.

And Israel’s allies, including Britain, perversely reward its non-compliance. Across the West Bank, continuing restrictions on Palestinian access to agricultural lands have led to the slow abandonment and eventual confiscation of those lands by Israeli authorities.

Israel’s Knesset has approved the first reading of the Prawer Plan to remove 40,000 indigenous Bedouin people from their ancestral homeland in the Negev. This evil scheme clears the way for the $4 billion “Blueprint Negev” project intended to transform the Negev into a majority-Jewish area even though the Bedouin have lived there for thousands of years.

At the same time one of Israel’s most dangerous lunatics, Avigdor Lieberman (chairman of the foreign affairs and defence committee), is calling for Israel, after imposing a vicious 7-year blockade, to conquer the Gaza Strip and carry out “a thorough cleansing”, just because Hamas still hasn’t succumbed to Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian homeland.

Britain could, at a stroke, bring Israel to heel and force the regime to conform to international law or face massive trade penalties.

July 12, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Microsoft helped the NSA bypass encryption, new Snowden leak reveals

RT | July 11, 2013

Microsoft worked hand-in-hand with the United States government in order to allow federal investigators to bypass encryption mechanisms meant to protect the privacy of millions of users, Edward Snowden told The Guardian.

According to an article published on Thursday by the British newspaper, internal National Security Agency memos show that Microsoft actually helped the federal government find a way to decrypt messages sent over select platforms, including Outlook.com Web chat, Hotmail email service, and Skype.

The Guardian wrote that Snowden, the 30-year-old former systems administrator for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided the paper with files detailing a sophisticated relationship between America’s intelligence sector and Silicon Valley.

The documents, which are reportedly marked top-secret, come in the wake of other high-profile disclosures attributed to Snowden since he first started collaborating with the paper for articles published beginning June 6. The United States government has since indicted Snowden under the Espionage Act, and he has requested asylum from no fewer than 20 foreign nations.

Thursday’s article is authored by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two journalists who interviewed Snowden at length before he publicly revealed himself to be the source of the NSA leaks. They are joined by co-authors Ewen MacAskill, Spencer Ackerman and Dominic Rushe, who wrote that the classified documents not only reveal the degree in which Microsoft worked with the feds, but also detail the PRISM internet surveillance program. The US government’s relationships with tech companies are also included in the documents, according to the journalists.

“The latest NSA revelations further expose the tensions between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration,” the journalists wrote. “All the major tech firms are lobbying the government to allow them to disclose more fully the extent and nature of their cooperation with the NSA to meet their customers’ privacy concerns. Privately, tech executives are at pains to distance themselves from claims of collaboration and teamwork given by the NSA documents, and insist the process is driven by legal compulsion.”

In the case of Microsoft, however, it appears as if the Bill Gates-founded tech company went out of its way to assist federal investigators.

Among the discoveries made by the latest Snowden leaks, Guardian journalists say that Microsoft specifically aided the NSA in circumventing encrypted chat messages sent over the Outlook.com portal before the product was even launched to the public.

“The files show that the NSA became concerned about the interception of encrypted chats on Microsoft’s Outlook.com portal from the moment the company began testing the service in July last year,” they wrote. “Within five months, the documents explain, Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on Outlook.com chats.”

According to internal documents cited by the journalists, Microsoft “developed a surveillance capability” that was launched “to deal” with the feds’ concerns that they’d be unable to wiretap encrypted communications conducted over the Web in real time.

“These solutions were successfully tested and went live 12 Dec 2012,” the memo claims, two months before the Outlook.com portal was officially launched.

In a tweet, Greenwald wrote that “the ‘document’ for the Microsoft story is an internal, ongoing NSA bulletin over 3 years,” and that The Guardian “quoted all relevant parts.” The document is not included in the article.

The Guardian revealed that Microsoft worked with intelligence agencies in order to let administrators of the PRISM data collection program easily access user intelligence submitted through its cloud storage service SkyDrive, as well as Skype.

“Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio,” the journalists wrote.

That allegation comes in stark contrast to claims made previously by Skype, in which it swore to protect the privacy of its users. RT reported previously that earlier documentation supplied by Snowden showed that the government possesses the ability to listen in or watch Skype chats “when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of ‘audio, video, chat and file transfers’ when Skype users connect by computer alone.”

RT earlier acknowledged that Microsoft obtained a patent last summer that provides for “legal intercept” technology. The technology allows agents to “silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session” without asking for user authorization. In recent weeks, however, Microsoft has attacked the government over its secretive spy powers and even asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court if it could be more transparent in discussing the details of FISA requests compiling tech companies for data.

“We continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues,” Microsoft Vice President John Frank wrote last month.

“In the past, Skype made affirmative promises to users about their inability to perform wiretaps,” Chris Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union told The Guardian. “It’s hard to square Microsoft’s secret collaboration with the NSA with its high-profile efforts to compete on privacy with Google.”

Earlier this week, Yahoo requested that the FISA court unseal documents from its own FISA battle. The court ruling in 2008 compelled Yahoo – and later other Silicon Valley entities – to supply the government with user data without requiring a warrant.

“Blanket orders from the secret surveillance court allow these communications to be collected without an individual warrant if the NSA operative has a 51 percent belief that the target is not a US citizen and is not on US soil at the time,” The Guardian reporters wrote. “Targeting US citizens does require an individual warrant, but the NSA is able to collect Americans’ communications without a warrant if the target is a foreign national located overseas.”

During a March press conference, FBI general counsel Andrew Weissman said that federal investigators plan on being able to wiretap any real-time Internet conversation by the end of 2014.

“You do have laws that say you need to keep things for a certain amount of time, but in the cyber realm you can have companies that keep things for five minutes,” he said. “You can imagine totally legitimate reasons for that, but you can also imagine how enticing that ability is for people who are up to no good because the evidence comes and it goes.”

Former CIA officer Ray McGovern expanded further on the subject to RT, remembering the Bush presidency and how unsurprising it is that this sort of breach of rights continues to exist.

“If you look at what happened when Bush, Cheney and General Hayden – who was head of the NSA at the time – deliberately violated the law to eavesdrop on Americans without a warrant, did the telecommunications companies cooperate? Verizon, AT&T…All the giants did…the one that didn’t was Quest. And what happened to Quest? Well, the CEO ended up in jail – and he still might be in jail – on some unrelated charges.”

Later the Congress voted to hold everyone in an innocent light, including the companies who were complicit in the spying. So there is absolutely no disincentive not to engage in violating people’s rights, McGovern warns.

July 12, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment