Shooting at Charleston, South Carolina, church leaves at least eight people dead, several injured | 17 June 2015 | Police are on the scene of a mass shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. It happened around 9 p.m. Wednesday around the Emanuel AME Church. Sources told ABC News that at least eight people are dead, and several are injured. Emanuel AME Church is one of the largest, oldest black congregations in the South.
A gunman remained at large early Thursday after nine people were shot and killed in Charleston, South Carolina, during a Bible study session at one of the nation’s oldest African-American churches, authorities said.
“I do believe this was a hate crime,” Charleston Police Chief Gregory Mullen said early Thursday near the scene at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Among the victims was the church’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, 41, a Democratic member of the state Senate, two sources told NBC News.
Mullen said police were called on a report of a shooting at the church at 9:05 p.m., and when officers arrived there they found eight people dead and others injured. Two of the wounded were rushed to a hospital, and one of those victims later died, he said.
“This is a tragedy that no community should have to experience. It is senseless,” Mullen said. “It is unfathomable that somebody in today’s society would walk into a church, when people are having a prayer meeting, and take their lives.”
[multiple videos at link]
[Straight, No Chaser]
The great TPP deathtrap for India, China
And the other 10 member-nations
The terms of destruction
The clues are all there in Obamatrade and Obamacare
by Jon Rappoport
June 17, 2015
“Once in a while, a major leak oozes out of the government-corporate nexus. First responders and damage-control experts quickly arrive on the scene and throw a blanket over the shocking revelation. Media fall silent. Nothing happened. It was a momentary delusion. Everything is fine. To the degree that the public becomes aware of the truth, the public registers utter disbelief and denial. Why? Because believing this one thing would torpedo their faith in the whole structure of the synthetic invention called Reality.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
The truth emerges out of the shadows of secrecy…
Let’s start here. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade treaty, coming down the homestretch toward ratification, involving 12 nations which account for a staggering 40% of the world’s GDP. The TPP encompasses 775 million consumers.
Waiting in the wings is something much larger. It is the intention, up the road, to fold India and China into the treaty.
China is the most populous nation in the world. 1.4 billion people. India is the second most populous. 1.28 billion people. India is projected to overtake and pass China by 2025.
During his seven years in office, the most publicly recognizable PR man in the world, Barack Obama, has sweated and hammered on two policies. Just two. He is now in a panic over forcing one of those: the TPP. The other one was Obamacare. That’s it. Everything else was a Sunday picnic in the park.
Obamacare, the US national health insurance plan, when you strip it down to basics, was about one thing: bowing to drug companies.
It brought huge numbers of new people, previously uninsured, into the game. Meaning those people would be able to take the drugs—and the prices for those drugs would remain high.
So it is with the TPP, as it turns out. One of the major priorities is forcing member countries to accept higher pricing on medical drugs. Which was exactly the deal in Obamacare. Big Pharma backed Obamacare for the express purpose of cutting out debates about lowering costs on drugs.
In that respect, Obamacare and the TPP are mirror images of each other.
One other vital detail: the TPP will also allow pharmaceutical companies to push drugs and force them into markets where, ordinarily, they could be rejected as unsafe.
The problem? Well, how about this: every year, in the US, by a conservative assessment, medical drugs kill 106,000 people.
What’s Really Going on at Fukushima?
by Robert Hunziker / June 14th, 2015
Fukushima’s still radiating, self-perpetuating, immeasurable, and limitless, like a horrible incorrigible Doctor Who monster encounter in deep space.
Fukushima will likely go down in history as the biggest cover-up of the 21st Century.
The world is abuzz (or not) about the possibility of a Donald Trump-Oprah Winfrey ticket. Oligarchists lining up at the pit stop egress chute for the POTUSIAN 500, or what RT calls “the freak show”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dum9fEQI0l8
Donald Trump Campaign Offered Actors $50 to Cheer for Him at Presidential Announcement | 17 June 2015 | Donald Trump’s big presidential announcement Tuesday was made a little bigger with help from paid actors — at $50 a pop. New York-based Extra Mile Casting sent an email last Friday to its client list of background actors, seeking extras to beef up attendance at Trump’s event. “We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement,” reads the June 12 email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
New $10 bill will feature a woman, Treasury Department announces | 17 June 2015 | Last year in a Kansas City speech, President Obama said he received a letter from a young girl asking why there were no women on American currency…Now, the Obama administration is following through on that idea. The Treasury Department has announced that it’s redesigning the $10 bill to feature a woman. “Our democracy is a work in progress. We’ve always been committed to a more perfect union,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told reporters Wednesday. “This decision to put a woman on the $10 reflects our aspirations for the future, as much as it is a reflection of the past.”
“On this week’s episode of Real Politik, James Tracy speaks with environmental activist and award-winning filmmaker Michael J. Murphy, director of What in the World Are They Spraying? (2010) and Why in the World Are They Spraying? (2012). The feature-length documentaries have brought the controversial topic of geoengineering or “chemtrails” to an entirely new level. Michael is busy at work on his third film, UNconventional Shade of Grey, addressing the relationship between UN Agenda 21, “extreme weather,” and geoengineering. He is also seeking to bring a class action lawsuit against the parties behind these programs. These are especially timely projects because international agreements being forged throughout 2015 will legalize many efforts to manipulate and weaponize the atmosphere, making it increasingly difficult for citizens to turn back such programs.”
… It must be hard to work every day wielding the kind of power and authority a policeman has and remaining grounded, humble, connected to the people you serve. The violence that comes with the job over time erodes idealism, hardens you to ordinary surprise, banks your sympathy at often miserly rates because it’s hard to do your job and retain an intact core of humanity that must nevertheless be there for you to function. Protecting people requires sympathy, but it can become muddled in the contradictions inevitable in protecting people from other people who in their turn need (and deserve) your protection.
In a post that could have easily been entitled “Abuse of Six-Cell-Flashlights”, Mark Tiedemann, a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area, in http://dangerousintersection.org/2014/08/22/myths-of-authority-in-practice/ [read the whole piece please].
Russia Accuses US Of Placing Bio-Weapons Labs On Its Borders
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has accused the U.S. of using a Georgian “health center” to mask its activities in the field of biological weapons research close to Russian borders, according to a report in TASS.
The ministry’s comments came in a statement last week, where it slammed the U.S. for undermining international efforts to strengthen the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction.
The Washington government has “long chosen the tactics of the spread of provocative conjectures and insinuations against other states on the issues related to the specified Convention,” the ministry said, in reaction to a Report on Adherence to and Compliance With Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments from the U.S. State Department.
Moscow took issue with a facility located in Tbilisi, Georgia, called the Richard G. Lugar Public Health Research Centre, which it accuses of being a secret high-level biosafety containment laboratory.
“It has long been sheltering a medical research division of the US Ground Forces, which is a branch of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR),” the Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry went on to accuse U.S. and Georgian authorities of conspiring to conceal the facility’s true activities, which are focused on the research of dangerous infectious diseases with a view to making them into bio-weapons. It added that the U.S. is making efforts to establish similar camouflaged bio-weapons facilities in other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) states, and that it has an “obvious disinterest” in strengthening the Convention as a collective security instrument.
The ministry pointed to the U.S.’s previous obstructive behavior on the issue, saying it unilaterally disrupted multilateral negotiations on a universal BWC verification mechanism in 2001, and has been blocking the resumption of talks ever since then.
In the interest of global peace, the United States must mend relations with China, or else suffer the consequences of World War III. At least, that’s what billionaire investor George Soros says.
Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable,” Soros wrote in an article for the New York Review of Books.
Full article here:
“… The prominent front-page story was titled: ‘British spies betrayed to Russians and Chinese; Missions aborted to prevent spies being killed’. It sounded like an exciting plot for a James Bond film. And the first line was suitably dramatic:
‘Russia and China have cracked the top-secret cache of files stolen by the fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden, forcing MI6 to pull agents out of live operations in hostile countries, according to senior officials in Downing Street, the Home Office and the security services.‘ (our emphasis)
What followed was a series of assertions from faceless sources, backed by zero evidence and outright falsehoods…..
This is raw submission to power with the result that:
‘government officials know they can propagandize the public at any time because subservient journalists will give them anonymity to do so and will uncritically disseminate and accept their claims.’
As Greenwald observes, there is a long history of anonymous government accusations and smears being laundered through the media whenever damaging information is revealed by whistleblowers….”
The latest, astute Media Lens alert [above] examines the astounding regurgitation – entirely unfiltered – by the Sunday Times and the BBC of British state propaganda against Edward Snowden.
The misinformation campaign – alleging, without a shred of evidence, that the Russians and Chinese have cracked Snowden’s encrypted files, placing secret agents in harm’s way – was designed both to discredit Snowden and smooth the way for Britain to subject us to new, even more draconian surveillance.
In Britain, the only major media organisation to come out of this affair smelling of roses is the Guardian, which questioned the credibility of the allegations. Media Lens observe that kicking back against the Sunday Times / BBC “revelations” offered “an opportunity for liberal journalists to attack the corporate competition in the form of a Murdoch newspaper and make themselves look good”.
This is certainly true, but I think we can see additional reasons the Guardian took their stance in defence of Snowden.
The main one is actually territorial. The Snowden files are the Guardian’s story. He’s their “product” – they even won a Pulitzer Prize for publishing his leaks. They therefore have every interest in defending him from attacks, because such attacks discredit them too. Had the Guardian conceded the turf war to the Sunday Times, the implication would have been that they, like Snowden, had “blood on their hands”.
Further, most Guardian staff are genuine liberals.
Does Ed Snowden Really Trust Apple?
by William A. Blunden / June 16th, 2015
In the wake of Congress passing the USA Freedom Act Ed Snowden composed an editorial piece that appeared in the New York Times. There are aspects of this article that may surprise those who’ve followed events since Snowden first went public two years back.
For example, Ed referred to the bill as a “historic victory” though there are skeptics in the peanut gallery like your author who would call it theater. That is, an attempt to codify otherwise expired measures which have been of little use according to their stated purpose. The USA Freedom Act provides the opportunity for elected officials in Washington to do a victory lap and boast that they’ve implemented restructuring while former American spies, with a knowing wink, understand that what’s actually been instituted is “hardly major change.”
Moving onward through his laudatory communiqué, Ed warns that hi tech companies “are being pressured by governments around the world to work against their customers rather than for them.” He opted not to say who was being leaned on.
But wait, he did mention a name. It’s just that, in this specific case, it was in the context of a product placement for one of the world’s largest technical companies. Here’s the excerpt:
Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private.
Let’s consider for a moment the underlying assumptions inherent to this narrative. The messaging scheme at work is one which allows business leaders to channel public outrage by depicting corporations as unwilling partners who’ve every intention of protecting the privacy of their users instead of knowingly cavorting with spies.
CEOs like Tim Cook have gone so far as to publicly scold their industry for monetizing user data. Specifically, in a speech delivered at an event hosted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center Cook stated:
They’re [tech companies] gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.
Hold it right there.
Keep in mind that Apple is a colossal multinational company. It has no qualms about collecting information on users, using slave labor to save a buck, stockpiling profits overseas to avoid paying taxes, giving companies like Google unencumbered access to its user base, participating in a wage-fixing cartel, or cooperating with the NSA when executives (who chatted up spymasters on a first-name basis) thought that they could get away with it.
Can a profit-driven monolith like Apple be trusted to do the right thing when it’s just as easy to secretly continue doing otherwise? If we’ve learned anything from the Snowden revelations it’s that intelligence services exist primarily to pursue the interests of private capital. Why not have their cake and eat it too? Assuage the public with encryption marketing pitches and then bury their collusion even deeper. Issues like “trust” in the corridors of the C-suites are usually viewed as a mere public relations issue.
Apple wouldn’t lie to us again, right?
Bill Blunden is an independent investigator whose current areas of inquiry include information security, anti-forensics, and institutional analysis. He is the author of several books, including The Rootkit Arsenal and Behold a Pale Farce: Cyberwar, Threat Inflation, and the Malware-Industrial Complex. He is the lead investigator at Below Gotham Labs.
June 17th, 2015 by Kevin
Via: USA Today:
The Department of Homeland Security plans to open a satellite office in Silicon Valley, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told a crowded hall at RSA, the world’s largest computer security conference, on Tuesday.
It’s also pushing back against moves by tech companies to digitally encode computer traffic to protect it from prying eyes.
Financial disclosure forms for both James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan of the CIA are available at http://cryptome.org.
The OPM Hack and the New DOD Law of War Manual
Last Friday was a big day in cybersecurity news. OPM announced that, in addition to the compromise of the personnel information of federal employees revealed on June 4, Chinese hackers also breached a database containing millions of security clearance forms. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Potomac, the Department of Defense released its new Law of War Manual — the first since 1956 — including a new chapter on “Cyber Operations.” Considering the OPM hack in light of the Law of War Manual shows why, as a legal matter, the U.S. government is in a tough spot in responding to the hack.
Debates are raging over just how damaging the two OPM hacks are. In the first of what are sure to be many congressional hearings on the breaches, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asserted that she “consider[s] this attack … a far more serious one to the national security” of the United States than the 9/11 attacks. Others have called the hacks the long-warned-about cyber 9/11 or cyber Pearl Harbor. But other commentators have pushed back. Robert Knake of CFR noted that he is “a bit blasé” about the hack because “if the Chinese government is indeed behind it, it’s not by any stretch the most dastardly thing they have done in cyberspace.” Prof. Henry Farrell on the Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog similarly explained that “hacking into information on U.S. government employees, however sensitive, is not a Pearl Harbor attack,” but rather “an (extremely worrying) exercise in espionage.”
That’s also the rub for international law. However damaging the hacks ultimately are to US national security — something that will be revealed only over time — they were fundamentally espionage, not an act of war or use of force. For an explanation, see the DOD Law of War Manual (emphasis added):
16.3.2. Peacetime Intelligence and Counterintelligence Activities. International law and long-standing international norms are applicable to State behavior in cyberspace, and the question of the legality of peacetime intelligence and counterintelligence activities must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Generally, to the extent that cyber operations resemble traditional intelligence and counter-intelligence activities, such as unauthorized intrusions into computer networks solely to acquire information, then such cyber operations would likely be treated similarly under international law. The United States conducts such activities via cyberspace, and such operations are governed by long-standing and well-established considerations, including the possibility that those operations could be interpreted as a hostile act. (footnotes omitted, emphasis added)
This section shows two reasons that make a full-throated US denunciation of the hacks difficult.
First, the OPM hacks were “unauthorized intrusions into computer networks solely to acquire information,” as opposed to causing system disruption or physical destruction. Per the Law of War Manual, they are equivalent to non-cyber intelligence activities under international law. What the Manual implies, but does not explicitly state, is that international law traditionally doesn’t prohibit espionage. (For background, see these articles by William Banks and Ashley Deeks.)
Second, and perhaps more importantly, the Manual acknowledges that the United States “conducts such activities [i.e., espionage] via cyberspace.” The United States regularly denounces China for engaging in commercial espionage, such as theft of intellectual property for the benefit of Chinese companies. But the OPM hack is government-on-government espionage, not commercial espionage. As Jack Goldsmith noted, “this is almost certainly the type of collection we are trying to do, and probably succeeding in doing, against China’s government officials,” and “[w]e can hardly go ballistic if we are doing the same thing.”
There is an irony here: because of the administration’s policy in favor of transparency and attempting to protect individuals’ whose information was compromised in the hacks, the US government is in the position of announcing foreign intelligence agencies’ successes, at least when they compromise individuals’ personal information. Foreign countries are not so forthcoming if or when the United States achieves similar intelligence wins. And of course the announcement of breaches also telegraphs to US adversaries what the United States does and does not know about ongoing vulnerabilities in and breaches of its systems.
Despite the debate over exactly how bad the OPM hacks are for national security, there is no doubt that they are a blow, the magnitude of which will become clearer over time. Where any US claim to the legal or moral high ground would be shaky at best, we should assume that spies are going to spy and act accordingly. This means that the government must better secure its sensitive information going forward and take steps to protect the individuals already put at risk. Beyond such responses, allusions to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor are misplaced and tend to frame these hacks in terms countenanced neither by realism in international relations nor by the rules of international law. [That emphasis by Ed. ]
Kristen Eichensehr is a Visiting Assistant Professor at UCLA School of Law. She previously served as Special Assistant to the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State.
In the continuing saga of the IRS, the Department of Justice, and their efforts to hide evidence and obstruct justice to protect Lois Lerner and the administration’s targeting of its political opposition, the IRS now claims that thousands of emails found on backup tapes Commissioner Koskinen told Congress did not exist are not IRS records, the IRS has no control over them, and they can’t produce them. In fact, the IRS won’t even say whether it has the thousands of additional “lost” emails. And down the rabbit hole we head—where “up means down” and “stop means go.”
Knowledge of Ms. Lerner’s abuse of power within the IRS to target conservative groups for harassment and denials of tax-exempt status surfaced more than two years ago, along with apparent links to the White House. Congress has been investigating, but the IRS has repeatedly lied and stonewalled. The Treasury Inspector General issued a report, acknowledging the abuse and improprieties and is now in the midst of a criminal investigation. The Department of Justice has done nothing.
Well, would you look at this? One of my online sensei’s in search of peace alerts me to the existence of Training Across Borders, founded by a fellow prominently featured in my je ne sais quoi online virtual symposium as well as inside my e-book on how to use your mind.
“To replace barriers built by years of fear, hatred, and disappointment with foundations for peace, trust, and friendship” is the purpose and the tool is the discipline, or way, of peace and harmony of spirit.
Richard Strozzi-Heckler has a short video at the second link in this small paragraph that speaks to the transformation of individuals and communities. I first encountered this sensei of my bookshelves when I crossed the threshold into a Borders store and serendipitously found its last copy of the first edition of his famous book “In Search of The Warrior Discipline: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets”.
I wonder how many of the warriors training now in Jade Helm are even aware of this book, this man, his body of work (pardon the pun). That he is recognized as one of the top executive coaches in the world hasn’t apparently yet gotten all the way through to the heart. mind and soul of the militarists.
Historic Tours of America, Inc.,
an outfit out of Key West, Florida,
invites folks to
“a night of colonial merrymaking!”
“Leave your 21st century troubles and cares behind, grab a mug of ale, and join the Sons and Daughters of Liberty for the best hospitality in all of 18th century Boston. Revel with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Dorothy Quincy and other prominent Bostonians as they lift their glasses in celebration, raise their voices in song and determine the fate of Colonial America! Sample rustic fare, play authentic games, learn boisterous songs and cheerful dance in a spirited colonial tavern atmosphere.”
[Ed.: Before you revel too much with Samuel Adams ale and lift your voices about the fate of modern-day America, lift that candlestick to make sure it isn’t bugged, and bring that smart phone with Palantir software and a facial recognition app to make sure that Dorothy Quincy isn’t really an informant for Homeland Security.]
“It seems like a stretch to call these [pornographic] materials operational files,” said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy. “Although they may have been obtained in the course of an operation, they do not have anything to do with the planning or conduct of the operation. So they don’t really fit the definition of an operational file in the CIA Information Act.”