Aletho News


Former CBS reporter accuses government agency of bugging her computer

RT | October 27, 2014

A journalist formerly with CBS News claims in her new memoir that a United States “government-related entity” hacked into her computer to conduct surveillance and set her up for possible criminal charges.

Sharyl Attkisson, a former anchor for the CBS Evening News and a multi-time Emmy Award winner, says in her forthcoming book that government spies tried not only to keep track of her digital habits, but to potentially put her in jail.

According to an article published in the New York Post on Monday this week, Attkisson says in her book that she was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” over what was supposedly revealed through a forensics analysis of her laptop conducted in 2013.

Previously, media sources alleged that Attkisson’s March 2014 resignation from CBS News was a result of disagreements she had with the network’s supposed liberal bias. After she announced she was leaving the network earlier this year, Politico writer Dylan Byers reported that unnamed sources said Attkisson “had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting.”

“Feeling increasingly stymied and marginalized at the network, Attkisson began talking to CBS News President David Rhodes as early as last April about getting out of her contract,” Byers added.

Now Attkisson writes in her memoir, “Stonewalled,” that a source “connected to government three-letter agencies” took the reporter’s laptop to be inspected for malware last year and concluded after the fact that it had been compromised by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, non-attributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” Attkisson claims she was told.

According to the Post journalists who have read Attkisson’s new book, the former CBS reporter was surprised to see that not only had her computer been hacked to contain keylogging software and other spyware, but was compromised in such a way that secret, classified documents were “buried deep” within her operating system, “In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Attkisson said she heard from the unnamed government source who set-up the examination of her laptop.

“This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quoted the source as saying of the analysis.

Currently, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter James Risen is sought by federal authorities to testify as to the source of classified documents provided to him that later served as fodder for a book he authored about the Central Intelligence Agency’s efforts to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. Risen, who refuses to disclose the source of the classified files, faces potential jail time if he continues to keep quiet.

Both CBS News and the White House declined to comment to the Post ahead of Monday’s publication,

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | Leave a comment

Nobel Peace Prize laureates call on Obama to release CIA torture report

RT | October 27, 2014

Twelve winners of the Nobel Peace Prize have urged fellow laureate, US President Barack Obama, to release a Senate report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s post-9/11 Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program, also known as the torture report.

The laureates revealed late Sunday an open letter that called for “full disclosure to the American people of the extent and use of torture and rendition by American soldiers, operatives, and contractors, as well as the authorization of torture and rendition by American officials.”

The letter, posted on, also asked for a concrete plan to close secret international “black site” prisons – used by the US to hide, hold, and interrogate post-9/11 detainees – as well as the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, where many War on Terror captives languish with few or inconsistent legal maneuvers, if any at all, at their disposal.

The letter was signed by past Nobel winners José Ramos-Horta, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, F.W. De Klerk, Leymah Gbowee, Muhammad Yunus, John Hume, Bishop Carlos X. Belo, Betty Williams, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Oscar Arias Sanchez, and Mohammad ElBaradei.

“In recent decades, by accepting the flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law in the name of combating terrorism, American leaders have eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend,” the laureates wrote.

“They have again set an example that will be followed by others; only now, it is one that will be used to justify the use of torture by regimes around the world, including against American soldiers in foreign lands. In losing their way, they have made us all vulnerable.”

The letter called on Obama, winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize after less than a year in the White House, to follow principles of international law outlined in the UN Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions.

The US Senate Intelligence Committee’s $40 million investigation into the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation Program – which was active from September 11, 2001 to 2006 – has found that the spy agency purposely deceived the US Justice Department to attain legal justification for the use of torture techniques, among other findings. The investigation and subsequent crafting of the report ran from March 2009 to December 2012.

Of that 6,000-page investigative report, the public will only see a 500-page, partially-redacted executive summary that is in the process of declassification.

According to sources familiar with the unreleased report, the CIA, and not top officials of the George W. Bush administration, are blamed for interrogation tactics that amount to torture based on international legal standards.

The report outlines 20 main conclusions about the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program which, according to the investigation, intentionally evaded White House, congressional, and intra-agency oversight.


You can join the laureates’ call by signing a petition to President Obama here.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sneak and Peek: Government Authority Intended for Terrorism is Used for Other Purposes

By Mark Jaycox | EFF | October 26, 2014

The Patriot Act continues to wreak its havoc on civil liberties. Section 213 was included in the Patriot Act over the protests of privacy advocates and granted law enforcement the power to conduct a search while delaying notice to the suspect of the search. Known as a “sneak and peek” warrant, law enforcement was adamant Section 213 was needed to protect against terrorism. But the latest government report detailing the numbers of “sneak and peek” warrants reveals that out of a total of over 11,000 sneak and peek requests, only 51 were used for terrorism. Yet again, terrorism concerns appear to be trampling our civil liberties.

Throughout the Patriot Act debate the Department of Justice urged Congress to pass Section 213 because it needed the sneak and peak power to help investigate and prosecute terrorism crimes “without tipping off terrorists.” In 2005, FBI Director Robert Mueller continued the same exact talking point, emphasizing sneak and peek warrants were “an invaluable tool in the war on terror and our efforts to combat serious criminal conduct.”

A closer look at the number of sneak and peek warrants issued (a reporting requirement imposed by Congress) shows this is simply not the case. The last publicly available report about sneak and peek warrants was released in 2010; however, the Administrative Office of the US Courts has finally released reports from 2011, 2012, and 2013.

What do the reports reveal? Two things: 1) there has been an enormous increase in the use of sneak and peek warrants and 2) they are rarely used for terrorism cases.

First, the numbers: Law enforcement made 47 sneak-and-peek searches nationwide from September 2001 to April 2003. The 2010 report reveals 3,970 total requests were processed. Within three years that number jumped to 11,129. That’s an increase of over 7,000 requests. Exactly what privacy advocates argued in 2001 is happening: sneak and peak warrants are not just being used in exceptional circumstances—which was their original intent—but as an everyday investigative tool.

Second, the uses: Out of the 3,970 total requests from October 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010, 3,034 were for narcotics cases and only 37 for terrorism cases (about .9%). Since then, the numbers get worse. The 2011 report reveals a total of 6,775 requests. 5,093 were used for drugs, while only 31 (or .5%) were used for terrorism cases. The 2012 report follows a similar pattern: Only .6%, or 58 requests, dealt with terrorism cases. The 2013 report confirms the incredibly low numbers. Out of 11,129 reports only 51, or .5%, of requests were used for terrorism. The majority of requests were overwhelmingly for narcotics cases, which tapped out at 9,401 requests.

Section 213 may be less known than Section 215 of the Patriot Act (the clause the government is currently using to collect your phone records), but it’s just as important. The Supreme Court ruled in Wilson v. Arkansas and Richards v. Wisconsin that the Fourth Amendment requires police to generally “knock and announce” their entry into property as a means of notifying a homeowner of a search. The idea was to give the owner an opportunity to assert their Fourth Amendment rights. The court also explained that the rule could give way in situations where evidence was under threat of destruction or there were concerns for officer safety. Section 213 codified this practice into statute, taking delayed notice from a relatively rare occurrence into standard operating law enforcement procedure.

The numbers vindicate privacy advocates who urged Congress to shelve Section 213 during the Patriot Act debates. Proponents of Section 213 claimed sneak and peek warrants were needed to protect against terrorism. But just like we’ve seen elsewhere, these claims are false. The government will continue to argue for more surveillance authorities—like the need to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act—under the guise of terrorism. But before we engage in any updates, the public must be convinced such updates are needed and won’t be used for non-terrorist purposes that chip away at our civil liberties.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments

Hamas official denies group’s involvement in Sinai attacks

MEMO | October 27, 2014

mousa-abu-marzouk-2Mousa Abu-Marzouk, deputy of the Hamas political bureau, offered his condolences to the families who lost members in the terrorist attack in Abu Zeid, Sinai, on Friday.

Abu-Marzouk said: “We regret hearing about any drop of blood spilt in Egypt or anywhere in the Arab world as such news is very painful.”

In a telephone interview on Egyptian TV show Lazem Nafham, Abu-Marzouk stressed that linking Hamas to the attack in Sinai is an unwarranted claim that lacks any evidence. He said Hamas is a resistance movement that focuses its efforts toward the Israeli occupation and not its brothers in Egypt.

Abu-Marzouk went on to clarify that Hamas’ forces inside the Gaza Strip have increased their security measures to ensure that no activity takes place in Sinai and he asked the Egyptian government to avoid blaming the Palestinian people for actions and events that they have nothing to do with.

Emphasising that Palestinian have no reason to interfere in internal Egyptian affairs, he stressed that no party should accuse Hamas of anything without clear evidence and pointed out that the Palestinians have done nothing short of ensuring Egyptian national security.

“My statements regarding the kidnapping of Egyptian soldiers in Sinai are verified by a trustworthy source,” Abu-Marzouk said. He went on to emphasise that Gaza is the least extremist area in the entire Arab region.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

US universities see a rise in pro-Palestine activism


Al-Akhbar | October 27, 2014

Pro-Palestinian activism has risen significantly on US campuses since Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip in the summer, according to a Jewish civil society organization.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League said in a report published Friday that there had been 75 “anti-Israel” events scheduled on US campuses since the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year, which started in late August or early September at most American universities.

“During the same time period last year, there were only 35 of those events scheduled, marking a 114 percent increase in the number of those events scheduled to take place this year,” the report said.

Israel’s recent offensive in the Gaza Strip began July 7 and lasted for 51 days; it killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to Palestinian health officials. More than 10,000 others were reported injured.

During the previous academic year, student groups at US colleges hosted at least 374 anti-Israel events, the report said.

It said nearly 40 percent of those events were held in support of an international campaign to seek boycott against Israel.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known by the initials BDS, calls for various forms of boycott against Israel until it ends its occupation of Palestinian lands.

The report also said pro-Palestinian protestors on US campuses drew parallels between Israeli actions in Gaza and the shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

It mentions a particular “die-in” protest at John Jay College in New York, in which many students reportedly chanted slogans such as “from Ferguson to Palestine, Inifada Intifada,” referring to two popular Palestinian uprisings aimed at ending the Israeli occupation.

Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9. His death set off mass protests, which have since continued at various levels in the country.

Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that more than 500 anthropologists have publicly joined an academic boycott of Israel initiated by the American Studies Association, with another 77 joining anonymously.


October 27, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Harvest of hardship: Yala Swamp land grab destroys Kenyan farmers’ livelihoods

GRAIN | October 23, 2014

Dominion Farms arrived in Kenya’s Yala Swamp basin in 2004 with big promises. The company claimed it would turn a defunct state demonstration farm into a modern rice plantation, provide locals with good jobs, and build hospitals and schools. The American owner of the company, Calvin Burgess, presented himself as a ‘man of God’, on a mission to bring US-style progress to Africa. The locals, sold on this grand vision, decided – with some hesitation and dissent – to allow Dominion to farm on 3,700 ha of their lands.

But a decade later, the communities have harvested nothing but hardship.

Yala Swamp (Photo: Janak Communications)

Yala Swamp (Photo: Janak Communications)

“When Burgess came, we did not object to him taking the lands that had already been allocated to the Government years before for the development of an experimental farm,” says Erastus Odindo, a local farmer. “But Dominion Farms has put a fence around much more land than that. The company has taken over all of our community lands without our consent and blocked our access to water.”

Odindo and other local farmers lost nearly all of the lands that they use for grazing their cattle.

“Burgess mocked our farming methods and said we should abandon our traditional cattle breed because it was backwards,” says Odindo. “But now he’s put a fence around our grazing lands and is using the lands for his own local cattle. We are losing doubly because he then sells the cattle on the local market and undercuts us.”

The agreements that Dominion Farms signed with local authorities were for a large scale rice farm. But the company has also gone into cattle, vegetables, bananas and fish.

“The company produces and sells the same foods we local farmers produce,” says Odindo. “First Dominion took our lands and water away from us, and now it is taking our markets. And they are not doing agriculture in a more efficient way than us local farmers. All the machines they have are just for making noise.”

Dominion’s rice farm now extends right up to the edge of Odindo’s village. “When the company sprays pesticides by plane, it comes directly into our homes, poisoning people and contaminating our water supply,” he says. “Workers also face regular exposure to pesticides.”

The local communities accuse Dominion of polluting their soil, water and air, and of badly damaging the area’s biodiversity. They say that it is now difficult to access clean water because of the pollution by pesticides and chemical fertilisers, and that this is damaging the health of mothers and children.

Odindo says that the company’s promises of good jobs have also proven to be a mirage. Most workers are employed on a casual basis, with only a few watchmen hired as permanent staff. Their pay is irregular and sometimes late. “The company hasn’t been paying wages over the past two months and people have been wondering if it’s in financial problems,” says Odindo.

But Dominion still seems intent on grabbing more lands. Having already taken control of all the lands collectively managed by the communities, the company is now aggressively pursuing deals with private land holders. Odindo says that they believe that Dominion is working with Kenyan millionaires to secure land for large agriculture projects, such as a sugar cane plantation that the company is in the initial stages of implementing.

Meanwhile Dominion Farms is also pursuing a new project for a rice plantation in Taraba State, Nigeria, that would be several times the size of its Yala Swamp venture. Odindo hopes that the communities in Nigeria can learn from what his community has gone through and not be duped by Dominion’s promises.

For further information, please contact:

Erastus Odindo:

Chris Owalla:

(Thanks to Chris Owalla of CIAG-Kenya for his help with this interview)

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Economics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Increases Nuclear Weapons Production and Research

By Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | October 27, 2014

The U.S. nuclear weapons complex is greatly expanding the production of fissile cores to levels not seen since the end of the Cold War three decades ago.

The dramatic increase comes as part of a long-term billion-dollar effort to renew the nuclear arsenal under President Barack Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize largely because of his promise to greatly reduce the nation’s stockpile of these weapons—a promise he has not kept.

Instead, the Department of Energy, which oversees the nuclear weapons laboratories, is planning to produce 80 explosive plutonium cores—the key to every warhead—a year by 2030, according to The Guardian. The U.S. hasn’t needed this level of production since it was facing nuclear Armageddon with the former Soviet Union last century.

Over the next decade, the federal government plans to spend $355 billion modernizing the nuclear arsenal even though there are 15,000 cores in reserve in a Texas facility.

“I’ve never seen the justification articulated for the 50-80 pits per year by 2030,” James Doyle, a former scientist in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said. Doyle was fired last summer for publishing an article that urged nuclear disarmament, even though the laboratory had approved the article for publication.

The commitment to build more cores stands in stark contrast to Obama’s declaration after taking over the White House in 2009 to cut the stockpile from 5,113 warheads to 1,500 by 2016. Only 309 weapons have been destroyed under his watch. His predecessor, George W. Bush, “cut the nuclear stockpile in half during his eight years in office,” Caty Enders at The Guardian reported.

Plans to expand nuclear weapons production come at a time when the Energy Department is still recovering from a significant accident earlier this year at the nation’s only repository for nuclear weapons waste. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico has been closed since February, when a drum of radioactive waste exploded and exposed 22 workers to radiation.

To Learn More:

Nuclear Weapons Expansion Pushed in Congress Despite Accidents at Lab (by Caty Enders, The Guardian)

What Happened at WIPP in February 2014 (Department of Energy)

Nuclear Weapons are not Going Away…3,970 Still Deployed (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)

GAO Audit Accuses Obama Administration of Lowballing Cost of Maintaining Nuclear Arsenal (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Economics, Militarism, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

Merkel angry over calls by business leaders insisting that EU sanctions against Moscow be eased

ITAR-TASS | October 26, 2014

BERLIN – There is growing discontent in the German Chancellery that leaders of key German concerns are making attempts to influence the government’s policy towards Russia, Der Spiegel weekly said on Sunday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel “is angry over numerous calls by leaders of the DAX companies [Germany’s index] that insist the EU sanctions against Moscow be eased”, the weekly said.

“The meeting between businessmen and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in early week aroused less delight,” Der Spiegel said pointing to the session of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia.

“The last thing we need is companies’ parallel foreign policy,” the weekly said.

German officials, who took part in the meeting in Moscow, informed the German Chancellery and not the German Foreign Ministry about their trip to Russia as is usually done before such visits, Der Spiegel said.

The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

Dr. Eberhard Sasse, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, said in early October Bavaria’s entrepreneurs want Western sanctions against Russia to be lifted.

“We have about 9,000 members in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and we all want the sanctions against Russia to be lifted, enabling business relations between our countries to develop further,” he said.

Sanctions as a foreign policy tool do not always produce the desired effect, Sasse said. “Sanctions create uncertainty in business prospects. This is a political tool and not a business tool,” he added.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Economics | , , | Leave a comment

Russia recognizes Ukraine poll despite violations, doubts

RT | October 27, 2014

It is obvious that the Supreme Rada elections in Ukraine can be considered valid despite a rather harsh and dirty campaign, Russia’s deputy foreign minister has said.

“We expect the official confirmation of the elections result, the information we are getting now is quite controversial. But even now it is obvious that the elections have taken place, despite a hard struggle and dirty tricks,” the Interfax news agency quoted Grigory Karasin as saying.

“The forming balance of forces will probably allow the Ukrainian authorities to deal with some rooted problems in the society,” the senior Russian diplomat added.

Karasin’s words echo an earlier statement from Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin who described the Ukrainian parliamentary campaign as “dirty and cynical”, but did not exclude the possibility of cooperation between Russian authorities and the new Rada.

The head of the Russian Upper House’s commission for monitoring the situation in Ukraine, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov told the RIA Novosti news agency that Russian officials would try to cooperate with the freshly elected Ukrainian government despite doubts of its legitimacy.

“The southeast has not voted and there were lots of violations,” he said.

Dzhabarov noted that the new Rada would be much more radical than the previous one and emphasized the fact that the Communist Party of Ukraine did not make it into the parliament. Communists held over 13 percent of seats in the Rada after 2012 polls. The Russian senator said that this was a very surprising fact in a democratic country.

“We will attempt to cooperate in any case. We hope that reason would prevail among our new colleagues,” the senator said. “We cannot but attempt to build cooperation with the Rada because we have common history and we are neighbors.”

He also added that Russian Upper House chair, Valentina Matviyenko, had already sent the Ukrainian parliament an invitation to participate in the November session of the parliamentary assembly of the Russia-led CIS economic and political bloc.

The head of the Federation Council’s Committee for Constitutional Law, Andrey Klishas, promised the Russian parliament would cooperate with Ukrainian politicians who press for an end to the civil war and oppose the neo-Nazi state, and the arbitrariness and mass violations of human rights in Ukraine

“Ukrainians themselves cannot fail to notice the mass violations of human rights during the latest parliamentary campaign. These were the ban of free speech, attacks on opposition candidates, mass violence in the form of the so called ‘popular gatherings,’ even lynch mobs on the side of the pro-fascist political forces,” Klishas told RIA Novosti.

According to latest reports PM Arseny Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party is ahead of rivals with 21.69 percent of votes, and President’s Petro Poroshenko Bloc is only slightly behind, so far garnering 21.63 percent. The other four parties making it into the Ukrainian parliament are the Samopomosh of Lvov’s Mayor Andrey Sadovy (10.9), Opposition Bloc (9.77), Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko (7.47), and Yulia Tymoshenko’s party Batkivshchina (Fatherland) (5.77).

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Desaparecidos (Ruben Blades)

Video Music that shows the political violence in Peru, using the song composed by Ruben Blades, with the same title. Rodolfo Pereira was the director and editor.

October 27, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment