Archive for the ‘Glenn Greenwald’ tag
Citizen Radio is a member-supported show. Visit wearecitizenradio.com to sign up and support media that won’t lead you to war!
More on that fake feminism thing, Anonymous to U.S. gov’t: ‘there will be change, or there will be chaos’
Allison and Jamie talk some more about the fake feminism thing, Anonymous tells the U.S. government: “there will be change, or there will be chaos” in response to Aaron Swartz’s death, Israel finally admits to giving birth control to Ethiopian women, and read this Glenn Greenwald article about how the White House shielded Wall Street from prosecutions in order to make your blood boil.
Citizen Radio is a member-supported show. Visit wearecitizenradio.com to sign up and support media that won’t lead you to war!
Citizen Radio celebrates its 300th episode with best-of clips from interviews with Glenn Greenwald and Digby, plus a re-airing of one of CR’s most popular moments: The Teddy Bear Chronicles. Also, Jamie talks about a sad story involving the person who inspired him when he was a youngin.
Thanks for the support, Maniacs!
A source sent me email exchanges between Dawn Meyerriecks, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition and Technology, Tom Conroy (HB Gary,) and Aaron Barr, the head of HB Gary Federal, which is the company behind Greenwaldgate. Of course, Anonymous has already made 44,000 of HB’s emails public, but nonetheless, I found them to be noteworthy and think they should be part of the public record.
Of interesting note: Barr brags to Conroy about his busy day when he was contacted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the FBI, and the Department of National Intelligence. This again highlights the cozy relationship between the government and private companies hired to squash whistleblowers who dare to make public the crimes of the corrupt state.
Also fascinating (if not unsurprising) is how overwhelmed the US gov’t is by the acts of Anonymous and Wikileaks: “The admit they had no idea this was happening until it hit the streets. They have no idea how to manage things like this in the future.”
It’s disconcerting to read Barr’s interpretation of government players’ attitudes towards the pesky Constitution and Bill of Rights. Basically, they desire to actively circumvent these guards by outsourcing the dirty work to private companies: ”they are not capable of doing the right activities (like I did) to be better prepared in the future because of authority and policy restrictions.” It just goes to show that an increasingly authoritarian executive branch doesn’t think privacy and Constitutional rights are being repealed quickly enough.
Then there’s the shadowy talk of an offshore intel gathering organization – free from the burdensome rule of law – in order to avoid “government” with all its hassles of policy restrictions. For what? Well, obviously to spy on meddlesome citizens. Too bad Anonymous got them before HB Gary could set up its extrajudicial spy ring. Curses! Those damn hackers.
(Gmail’s formatting is a pain, but the emails are displayed chronologically backwards. Start at the end and work your way up.)
Subject: Re: Research Data
From: “Aaron Barr”
Do you suppose there might be a market for an offshore intel gathering organization that would sell results?
Any chance you would be OK dragging me along to visit Dawn. Its not necessary and it is purely selfish of me to ask, but…. What do you think?
Yes….always enjoy our chats and would be interested in an update on our other conversation. I’ve cc:-ed Cathy, who can set this up.
From: Aaron Barr
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 5:37 PM
To: Dawn Meyerriecks
Cc: Tom Conroy
Subject: Research Data
I have been doing some research on the Anonymous group of wikileaks fame for an upcoming presentation. I have put together what I believe is a significant data set on this group, how it’s organized, individuals. I shared some of this with Tom and he recommended that I should mention this to you to see if there is any interest in discussing my results, methodologies, and significance of social media for analysis and exposure.
I also received the following email exchange between Rich Cummings (HB Gary) and various HB Gary employees. Cummings encourages his co-workers to check out the “must-read” article on Stuxnet, the computer worm that took Iran’s nuclear program offline. The article was first sent to Cummings by DHS’s Brian Varine, who tells Cummings he thinks he has “a potential customer” for HB Gary. Now, why would a government employee cloud his pretty little mind with thoughts of future employment for a private security firm? Unless, of course, the government and HB Gary have an extremely intimate relationship.
From: Rich Cummings
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 09:39:20 -0500
Subject: FW: New Business
To: Greg Hoglund, Penny Leavy, Sam Maccherola,
Cc: Joe Pizzo, Shawn Bracken, Phil Wallisch, Matt Standart, Bob Slapnik, Maria Lucas, Carma Beedle
Must read this article on stuxnet.
- *From:* Varine, Brian R
- *Sent:* Thursday, December 09, 2010 6:00 PM
- *To:* Rich Cummings
- *Subject:* New Business
- I think you guys have a potential customer:
- Assuming you can get the State Dept. to give you a license to sell.
- Brian Varine
- Chief, ICE Security Operations Center and CSIRC
- Information Assurance Division, OCIO
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Russian spies, David Cameron still sucks, a private security firm targets Greenwald, Egypt’s revolution
Dispatches from their deathbeds: Allison and Jamie bring you tales of Russian spies, awful, awful David Cameron, a private security firm which has targeted blogger Glenn Greenwald, Egypt’s evolving revolution, and more on Obama’s austerity cuts.
This, and all CR podcasts, are brought to you by the good folk at Vegan Essentials (http://veganessentials.com/). Buy cruelty-free products there and tell ‘em Citizen Radio sent you!
This week, Citizen Radio interviewed Salon blogger, bestselling author, and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald, and returning champ, Noam Chomsky. Both interviews can be heard by subscribing to the free podcast at wearecitizenradio.com. You can also view a teaser of Glenn’s interview at our Youtube channel, which you should subscribe to in order to see more neat interviews.
Greenwald interview: Topics include: How the Obama administration has continued Bush era policies, why the War on Drugs is similar to the War on Terror, Elena Kagan, cause and effect in the War On Terror, Jon Stewart and false equivalencies, the unconstitutional detention of Guantanamo prisoners, gay teen suicides and the Obama administration’s treatment of the LGBT community, third party candidates, America’s collapsing empire, and of course…puppies.
Chomsky interview: Topics include: his friend, the late Howard Zinn, refugee prisons, debt, Capitalism, and love.
Citizen Radio is a political-comedy internet radio show hosted by Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein that airs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Subscribe to the show at http://wearecitizenradio.com.
“Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny have created an important political radio show that balances humor and unreported news. At a time when media conglomerates dominate the airwaves, independent media like Citizen Radio is vital to national discourse.” – NOAM CHOMSKY
Michael Wolff is tired, and not just from writing his column over at Vanity Fair and founding the news aggregator newser.com. He’s tired of all these no-name bloggers badmouthing Maureen Dowd. The criticism pouring from the Internet is passe, petty jealousy from a bunch of runts that wish they could work within spitting distance of David Brooks.
And Wolff doesn’t even want you to ask him about Dowd. He’s that over it. He can’t even be bothered to talk about the whole plagiarism issue…except for the length of an entire column.
Wolff just has one question for all you snide little basement-dwelling bloggers out there: “Why are boring people so interested in her?” Clearly, bloggers aren’t preoccupied with Dowd because bloggers have been called parasitic, and now a major columnist in a prominent newspaper has been caught leaching an idea from a well-known blogger. They must be jealous!
She’s titillating to the I-made-the-effort-to-read-the-New-York-Times-and-so-have-got-to-take-it-seriously crowd. She’s catnip to the I-can-be-a-media-insider-too wannabes. She infuriates the I-have-opinions-too-so-why-does-she-get-a-column bunch.
If you got through that poorly written paragraph, congratulations! Now you know that bloggers, who frown upon plagiarism, just secretly want their own column. Wolff then calls the whole scandal uninteresting again…in the middle of his column…his column about the scandal he wants everyone to stop talking about.
At this point, I suggest you kick up your feet and help yourselves to a cocktail because Wolff digresses into a little fantasy about young, popular Maureen Dowd as she must have been in high school. Imagine that thick red mane of hers. That smile. The way she would sashay down the hallway.
Dowd is like some much-vaunted high school type whose success and popularity drive everybody else mad with either envy and spite or inspire a perverse (evidence of great-self-loathing) desire to be her way-too-loyal friend and supporter.
Am I reading a column, or did I just tune into Gossip Girl? Here I’ve been thinking that bloggers had an issue with Maureen Dowd’s plagiarism of a blogger, but apparently we’re in the midst of some high school warfare. Is this all because Maureen made cheerleading squad and is dating the quarterback, Chip?
To read Wolff’s claim that “unpowerful bloggers” are the only ones taking issue with Dowd is really misleading. Many prominent bloggers, and several mainstream news sources, also picked up on the story because it’s news. And the reason it’s news is because plagiarism is a serious offense, even if it’s done by a fairly useless columnist like Maureen Dowd. Wolff tries to explain away Dowd’s plagiarism by pointing out that she only lifted 43 words from Marshall’s column as if that somehow excuses her theft. I’ve also read claims that Marshall’s column was poorly written, so therefore, it’s acceptable to steal his work. Both of these arguments are pretty silly, and would get Wolff kicked out of any university if he tried using either of them to offset accusations of plagiarism.
The issue is important to bloggers – not because they’re petty and jealous – but because this case of plagiarism is a perfect example of how the relationship between blogs and newspapers is more symbiotic than parasitical. While the scale is definitely tipped in favor of newspapers due to their large staffs and budgets, bloggers have shown remarkable reach and resourcefulness in their news gathering capabilities. That’s precisely why bloggers like Josh Marshall, Glenn Greenwald, and Marcy Wheeler have been receiving much deserved attention from the establishment for their contribution to the field of journalism.
Wolff’s tired argument fails to acknowledge that if the tables were turned, and a well-known blogger plagiarized Maureen Dowd, the mainstream media would throw a fit. It would be another example of parasitical bloggers leaching good information from poor, defenseless newspapers. No doubt, Wolff wouldn’t be filled with such an enormous amount of apathy and exhaustion as he rattled off a column about the shameless act of word piracy.
I’m also confused as to why the creator of a news aggregator, which thrives on lots of content, would discourage more input about a prominent columnist’s plagiarism. Unless, of course, Wolff’s provication was only meant to stir up more drama, and more content. In which case, damnit! I’ve played right into his hands. Touche, sir. Touche.
Alas, we’ll never know the answers to these questions. Wolff ends his column with the familiar reiteration: “Please don’t ask me about Maureen Dowd. I don’t care.” The author needs his rest.
Listen here: http://www.breakthruradio.com/index.php?show=6633.
Citizen Radio discusses Allison’s amazing encounter with former Nixon operative (and prison inmate,) G. Gordon Liddy.
Next, Allison and Jamie discuss the ongoing Somali pirate standoff, and why the mainstream media is only explaining half the story.
Hope Watch! continues this week with Citizen Radio listing the various Obama promises that our new president has already broken.
* Glenn Greenwald
* Matt Taibbi
* Janeane Garofalo
* Jeremy Scahill
Tell your friends about Citizen Radio!
Join us on Facebook.
Glenn Greenwald has written an excellent piece about the AIG bonuses, and the contracts guaranteeing those bonuses that are apparently too sacred and holy to break. Of course, our government stood idly by and let the Big Three shatter all kinds of contracts with the UAW, and nary a word was uttered about the holiness of those contracts. In America, the only contracts that matter are the ones belonging to billionaire CEOs.
An excerpt from Greenwald’s article:
Apparently, the supreme sanctity of employment contracts applies only to some types of employees but not others. Either way, the Obama administration’s claim that nothing could be done about the AIG bonuses because AIG has solid, sacred contractual commitments to pay them is, for so many reasons, absurd on its face.
As any lawyer knows, there are few things more common – or easier — than finding legal arguments that call into question the meaning and validity of contracts. Every day, commercial courts are filled with litigations between parties to seemingly clear-cut agreements. Particularly in circumstances as extreme as these, there are a litany of arguments and legal strategies that any lawyer would immediately recognize to bestow AIG with leverage either to be able to avoid these sleazy payments or force substantial concessions.
Read the rest here.
Note from Allison: I highly recommend reading Roger Cohen’s columns from the past 3 weeks. It’s encouraging, not because Cohen is suddenly a leftist radical when it comes to Israel, but because he’s very much a mainstream voice in a mainstream newspaper. This is a clear indication that the Israel dialogue is shifting to a more sane place.
Anyone who doubts that there has been a substantial — and very positive — change in the rules for discussing American policy towards Israel should consider two recent episodes: (1) the last three New York Times columns by Roger Cohen; and (2) the very strong pushback from a diverse range of sources against the neoconservative lynch mob trying, in typical fashion, to smear and destroy Charles Freeman due to his critical (in all senses of the word) views of American policy towards Israel. One positive aspect of the wreckage left by the Bush presidency is that many of the most sacred Beltway pieties stand exposed as intolerable failures, prominently including our self-destructively blind enabling of virtually all Israeli actions.
First, the Cohen columns: Two weeks ago, Cohen — writing from Iran –mocked the war-seeking cartoon caricature of that nation as The New Nazi Germany craving a Second Holocaust. To do so, Cohen reported on the relatively free and content Iranian Jewish community (25,000 strong). When that column prompted all sorts of predictable attacks on Cohen from the standard cast of Israel-centric thought enforcers (Jeffrey Goldberg, National Review, right-wing blogs, etc. etc.), Cohen wrote a second column breezily dismissing those smears and then bolstering his arguments further by pointing out that “significant margins of liberty, even democracy, exist” in Iran; that “Iran has not waged an expansionary war in more than two centuries”; and that “hateful, ultranationalist rhetoric is no Iranian preserve” given the ascension of Avigdor Lieberman in Benjamin Netanyahu’s new Israeli government.
Today, Cohen returns with his most audacious column yet. Noting the trend in Britain and elsewhere to begin treating Hezbollah and Hamas as what they are — namely, “organizations [that are] now entrenched political and social movements without whose involvement regional peace is impossible,” rather than pure “Terrorist organizations” that must be shunned — Cohen urges the Obama administration to follow this trend: the U.S. should ”should initiate diplomatic contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah” and even ”look carefully at how to reach moderate Hamas elements.” As for the objection that those two groups have used violence in the past, Cohen offers the obvious response, though does so quite eloquently:
Speaking of violence, it’s worth recalling what Israel did in Gaza in response to sporadic Hamas rockets. It killed upward of 1,300 people, many of them women and children; caused damage estimated at $1.9 billion; and destroyed thousands of Gaza homes. It continues a radicalizing blockade on 1.5 million people squeezed into a narrow strip of land.
At this vast human, material and moral price, Israel achieved almost nothing beyond damage to its image throughout the world. Israel has the right to hit back when attacked, but any response should be proportional and governed by sober political calculation. The Gaza war was a travesty; I have never previously felt so shamed by Israel’s actions.
No wonder Hamas and Hezbollah are seen throughout the Arab world as legitimate resistance movements.
So absolute has the Israel-centric stranglehold on American policy been that the U.S. Government has made it illegal to broadcast Hezbollah television stations and has even devoted its resources to criminally prosecuting and imprisoning satellite providers merely for including Hezbollah’s Al Manar channel in their cable package. Not even our Constitution’s First Amendment has been a match for the endless exploitation of American policy, law and resources to target and punish Israel’s enemies. But this trilogy of Cohen columns reflects the growing awareness of just how self-destructive is that mentality and, more importantly, the growing refusal to refrain from saying so.
* * * * *
The still-expanding battle over the appointment of Charles Freeman by Obama’s DNI, Adm. Dennis Blair, provides even more compelling evidence. I’m not going to detail all of the facts surrounding this controversy because so many others have done such an excellent job of arguing the case — particularly Andrew Sullivan (all week) and Stephen Walt – and the crux of the matter was summarized perfectly last night by Josh Marshall:
The real rub, the basis of the whole controversy, however, is that [Freeman] has been far more critical of Israeli policy than is generally allowed within acceptable debate in Washington. . .
The whole effort strikes me as little more than a thuggish effort to keep the already too-constricted terms of debate over the Middle East and Israel/Palestine locked down and largely one-sided. . . . But the gist is that campaigns like this are ugly and should be resisted. Not just on general principles, but because the country needs more diversity of viewpoints on this issue right now.
Precisely. The Atlantic‘s James Fallows and Daniel Larison both compellingly document that the real issue here is whether the suffocating prohibition on government officials’ questioning U.S. policy toward Israel will continue, or whether the range of permissive debate on this vital question will finally be expanded. The Freeman appointment is so important precisely because it signals that rejecting the long-standing orthodoxy on Israel is no longer disqualifying when it comes to high level government positions [and, perhaps as importantly, that it's now even permissible to raise the previously verbotenpoint that perhaps one of the reasons why many Muslims want to attack the U.S. is because the U.S. (both on its own and through Israel) has spentdecades continuously attacking, bombing, invading, occupying and otherwise interfering in Muslim countries].
Ezra Klein argues, persuasively, that even if Freeman ends up being appointed, the lynch-mob smear campaign will still have achieved its purpose:
But for Freeman’s detractors, a loss might still be a win. As Sullivan and others have documented, the controversy over Freeman is fundamentally a question of his views on Israel. Barring a bad report from the inspector general, Chas Freeman will survive and serve. But only because his appointment doesn’t require Senate confirmation. Few, however, will want to follow where he led. Freeman’s career will likely top out at Director of the NIC. That’s not a bad summit by any means. But for ambitious foreign policy thinkers who might one day aspire to serve in a confirmed capacity, the lesson is clear: Israel is off-limits. And so, paradoxically, the freethinking Freeman’s appointment might do quite a bit to silence foreign policy dissenters who want to succeed in Washington.
There is, by design, definitely a chilling effect to these smear campaigns. Freeman is being dragged through the mud by the standard cast of accusatory Israel-centric neocons (Marty Peretz, Jon Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg,Commentary, The Weekly Standard‘s Michael Goldfarb, etc. etc., etc.), subjected to every standard, baseless smear, as a warning to others who think about challenging U.S. policy towards Israel in a similar way. Ultimately, though, I think that each time one of these swarming, hate-campaigns is swatted away, they incrementally lose their efficacy, emboldening others to risk their weakening wrath.
Ultimately, the greatest weapon to defeat these campaigns is to highlight the identity and behavior of their perpetrators. Just consider who is behind the attack on Freeman; how ugly and discredited are their tactics and ideology; and, most importantly, how absurd it is, given their disgraceful history, that they — of all people — would parade around as arbiters of “ideological extremism” and, more audaciously still, as credible judges of intelligence assessment. Sullivan compiled a comprehensive time line demonstrating that the attacks on Freeman originated and were amplified by the very same people for whom American devotion to Israel is the overriding if not exclusive priority and who have been so glaringly wrong about so much. Though they have since tried, with characteristic deceit and cowardice, to disguise their agenda by pretending to oppose Freeman on other, non-Israel grounds (such as their oh-so-authentic concern for Chinese human rights), that masquerading effort — as Matt Yglesias notes here – is so transparently dishonest as to be laughable.
Indeed, some of them, early on, were perfectly honest about the fact that Freeman’s views on Israel is what has motivated their opposition, including theIsrael-based “concerns” over the appointment voiced by Sen. Chuck Schumer to Rahm Emanuel. And — demonstrating that these taboos are still formidible — Schumer’s sentiments have since been echoed by unnamed “Democratic leaders.” Chuck Schumer, along with Dianne Feinstein, single-handedly enabled the confirmation of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General despite Mukaseky’s refusal to say that waterboarding was torture (and Schumer evenvoted to confirm Michael Hayden as CIA Director despite his overseeing Bush’s illegal NSA program). Yet Obama appoints someone who is critical of Israel and who questions American policy towards Israel, and Schumer springs into action by calling Rahm Emanuel to express “concern” over the appointment.
It’s not a mystery what is behind this attack on Freeman. As Spencer Ackerman wrote last week:
Basically, Freeman’s major sin is that he doesn’t take a simplistic or blinkered view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a number of mostly-right-wing Jewish writers at Commentary, the Weekly Standard, the Atlantic and The New Republic have been arguing that he’s not fit to serve.
That’s really the crux of the issue here: are we going to continue to allow these actual extremists to define “extremism” and dictate the acceptable range of views when it comes to Middle East policy?
As Ackerman noted the other day, one of the leading anti-Freeman generals is AIPAC’s Steve Rosen, who has been indicted for passing American secrets onto the Israeli Government. That’s almost satire: an AIPAC official accused of spying for a foreign country purporting to lead the charge against Freeman based on Freeman’s ”extremism” and excessive ties to another Middle Eastern country.
Or consider the Washington Post Op-Ed by The New Republic‘s Jonathan Chait railing that Freeman — who opposed the attack on Iraq – is an “ideological fanatic.” That’s the very same Jonathan Chait who spent 2002 and 2003 running around demanding that we invade Iraq and who even went on national television to declare: ”I don’t think you can argue that a regime change in Iraq won’t demonstrably and almost immediately improve the living conditions of the Iraqi people.” That’s someone who — after spending years working for Marty Peretz — thinks he’s in a position to demonize others as being “ideological extremists” and unfit to assess intelligence reports and to define the legitimate parameters of the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East. To describe Chait’s view of himself is to illustrate its absurdity.
Or review the rank propaganda and/or glaring ignorance spread by anti-Freeman crusade leader Jeffrey Goldberg before the Iraq War. Or just read this painfully deceitful, humiliatingly error-plagued 2003 column fromFreeman critic Michael Moynihan of Reason. And that’s to say nothing of the rest of the Weekly Standard and National Review propagandists purporting to sit in judgment of what constitutes mainstream views towards Israel. Just looking at the opponents of Freeman and their reckless history powerfully conveys how disastrous it would be to continue to allow this extremist clique, of all people, to continue to dictate the scope of legitimate debate over Israel, the Middle East and our intelligence policies generally. It’s like allowing Dick Cheney and John Yoo to dictate what constitutes mainstream legal opinion and to reject prospective judges as being “extremists” on Constitutional questions.
Summing up the attacks on Freeman, Andrew Sullivan wrote that he finds “the hysterical bullying of this man to be repulsive.” There’s no question about that. Hysterical bullying — rank character smearing — is what they’ve been doing for many years in an attempt to intimidate people out of dissenting from their so-called ”pro-Israel” orthodoxies. But last night, Sullivan made the more important observation about this controversy:
The idea that Obama should not have advisers who challenge some of the core assumptions of the Bush years, especially with respect to Israel-Palestine, seems nuts to me. And the impulse to blackball and smear someone as a bigot is reprehensible.
It’s destructive enough to artificially limit debate on a matter as consequential as U.S. policy towards Israel. We’ve been doing that for many years now. But it’s so much worse that the people who have been defining and dictating those limits are themselves extremists in every sense of that word when it comes to Israel and U.S. policy towards that country. Their demands that no distinctions be recognized between Israeli and Americans interests have been uniquely destructive for the U.S. Few things are more urgent than an expansion of the debate over U.S. policy in this area, which is exactly why this radical lynch mob is swarming with such intensity to destroy Freeman’s reputation and fortify the limitations on our debates which, for so long, they have thuggishly enforced. If someone like Freeman can occupy a position like Chair of the National Intelligence Council — handpicked by Obama’s DNI, an Admiral — the taboos they are so desperate to maintain will erode just that much further.