"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Why Putin Despises Edward Snowden


By Michael Bohm

When Edward Snowden, with the assistance of his curators in the Russian government, held his makeshift news conference last Friday in Sheremetyevo Airport's transit zone, it was no surprise that pro-Kremlin opinion makers dominated the short, invitation-only list of attendees. Among them were prominent lawyer and Public Chamber member Anatoly Kucherena, political analyst and State Duma Deputy Vyacheslav Nikonov and human rights ombudsmen Vladimir Lukin. Basking in the spotlight amid Snowden's sudden reappearance after nearly a month of being incognito in the airport's transit zone, they took full advantage of this PR opportunity, explaining to several hundred journalists on hand that Russia should offer Snowden political asylum because he is a refugee of U.S. repression.

"Snowden is not a criminal," Lukin said, "and deserves asylum status."

"He deserves protection," Kucherena said. "We need to defend him. I consider him a hero. … [The U.S. government] is persecuting him."

This kind of demagoguery is expected from Kremlin loyalists. But what was surprising and disheartening was that the Moscow-based directors of two respected global rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, joined the chorus of support for Snowden's quest to receive political asylum. It was unsettling to see these organizations in full solidarity with Kremlin spin doctors. Indeed, the two groups make strange bedfellows, particularly considering that these NGOs have been victims of government harassment and a state-­sponsored smear campaign that depicts them as U.S.-paid agents.

Vladimir Putin: I will not let Edward Snowden harm Russia's relations with US


These ardent Snowden supporters fail to understand a fundamental principle in asylum jurisprudence: Political asylum should be granted in cases of persecution, not prosecution. To qualify for asylum, Snowden must produce evidence that he is being persecuted based on his political opinion, race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group. These are United Nations and internationally recognized categories to determine the legitimacy of a person's asylum request. Asylum should not be granted to suspected criminals like Snowden who are simply trying to avoid a jail sentence in their home country.

A good example of a legitimate asylum seeker would be Leonid Razvozzhayev, an opposition leader who fled to Ukraine in October to escape political persecution in Russia. When Razvozzhayev tried to seek political asylum in the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kiev, he was seized by masked men believed to be Russian intelligence agents, handcuffed and dragged back to Moscow, where he is still being held in pretrial detention on trumped-up charges of "plotting riots." In this case, both Amnesty International and ­Human Rights Watch were correct in protesting Razvozzhayev's kidnapping, detention and prosecution.

Most Snowden supporters in Russia agree that Snowden broke the law by leaking classified information but say there is a higher law — a moral law — that justifies his decision to expose massive surveillance by the National Security Agency that Americans and the entire world had a right to know about. His actions, the argument goes, amounted to civil disobedience in the spirit of U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

But these Snowden advocates are missing two key differences: King, a Noble Peace Prize laureate, did not flee the U.S., and he worked within the democratic system to push for human rights legislation that addressed the immorality of existing segregation laws. Snowden, too, should have also worked within the U.S. legal system to declassify the NSA programs, thus subjecting them to larger public scrutiny, instead of engaging in criminal cyber-vigilantism.

Snowden claims to be a whistleblower, but he is far from one. Unlike real whistleblowers — such as Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 — Snowden did not reveal anything illegal in the NSA surveillance programs and thus cannot be protected under U.S. whistleblower laws. His sole position was that he was against the NSA surveillance programs and thought they should be declassified.

But Snowden's personal dislike of the NSA programs is not sufficient grounds to leak classified information. This is precisely why he is a criminal, not a whistleblower. According to Snowden's logic, a pedophile who doesn't like anti-pedophile laws would have the same self-anointed right to violate the law on the grounds that it also contradicts his or her personal values.

While pro-Kremlin spin doctors are having a heyday with Snowden's extended stay in Moscow and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to give him asylum, President Vladimir Putin remains highly unenthusiastic, to say the least, about Snowden's presence in the country for two main reasons.

First, Putin has a strong dislike for human rights activists as a class, especially those working in Russia. They hardly mix well with his vertical power structure. Putin may like activists more when they reveal rights abuses in the U.S., but having someone like Snowden living in Russia and becoming cozy with Russian-based rights groups, who have their own long laundry lists of abuses committed by Putin's regime, probably makes Putin a bit uneasy.

Last week, pro-Kremlin defense analyst Igor Korotchenko said in an interview with state-­controlled Rossia 24 television that if Snowden receives asylum in Russia, "he will have a fabulous opportunity to continue his human rights activities, including battling against the state's interference in private lives."

The problem, though, is that if Snowden were to turn his attention toward Russia's poor record on human rights, government transparency and privacy protection, Russia could easily get more than it bargained for with Snowden. After all, Putin's condition for giving Snowden political asylum was that he refrain from inflicting more damage on the United States. Putin said nothing about Russia.

This situation is complicated by the fact that Russian authorities are keen on expanding surveillance of Russians who use Google, YouTube, Skype and Facebook, the preferred site for organizing protests. These foreign companies, unlike Russian ones such as Yandex, are largely out of the reach of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, since their servers are located in the U.S. Thus, the Kremlin is trying to force these U.S.-based companies to give the FSB direct, unlimited access to their servers as a condition for them being able to operate in the country. Snowden, whose main mission was to fight the "U.S. surveillance state," would likely have trouble swallowing this exponentially larger surveillance state in Russia.

Given Snowden's apparent obsession with privacy rights and government transparency, Putin doesn't trust him. There is no guarantee that Snowden would remain silent about the FSB's widespread spying abuses, which make even the NSA's worst abuses look like child's play. (For example, the e-mails and telephone conversations of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday, were regularly hacked, even before charges were filed against him.) And once Snowden received asylum status, even Putin would have trouble taking it away if Snowden got out of hand.

The second reason Putin, a former KGB agent, is wary about Snowden is because Putin remains religiously faithful to the lifetime oath he took: Never give away state secrets. Whatever initial gratification he might have experienced when Snowden revealed U.S. government abuses was quickly replaced by a sense of disdain for Snowden, who betrayed his nation. For this reason alone, Putin clearly considers Snowden a traitor, not a hero.

Putin put it best in 2010, when he spoke of a Russian informant who gave away 10 sleeper agents in the U.S.: "Traitors are swine. … The lives of traitors always end badly." And this is precisely why Putin said that the sooner Snowden leaves Russia, the better.


Monday, 15 July 2013

On Crimes Against Western Muslims


[Special Focus]: Matthew Harwood’s Must Read Article On US Laws & American-Muslims

Source: Le Monde Diplomatique

For a British-focus report see the post below on the rise of ‘domestic terror’ attacks against Muslims [by white-extremists] in persons (check for more posts by typing ‘Woolwich’ on our blog search space) and places of gatherings (mosques, community centres etc: the first bomb attack was also in the West Midalnds).
The study ‘Mapping Muslims’ (see the article below for the link to the study in full is a must read for all Muslims).

The article is truly a must-read for all Muslims.

Political violence and privilege

Why violent right-wing extremism doesn’t scare Americans
by Matthew Harwood
The evangelical Christians of Greenville County, South Carolina, are afraid.

There has been talk of informants and undercover agents luring young, conservative evangelicals across the South into sham terrorist plots. The feds and the area’s police want to eliminate a particularly extreme strain of evangelical Christianity opposed to abortion, homosexuality, and secularism, whose adherents sometimes use violent imagery and speech. They fear such extreme talk could convince lone wolves or small groups of Christian extremists to target abortion clinics, gay bars, or shopping malls for attack. As a result, law enforcement has flooded these communities with informants meant to provide an early warning system for any signs of such “radicalization.”

Converts, so important to the evangelical movement, are now looked upon with suspicion — the more fervent, the more suspicious. In local barbecue joints, diners, and watering holes, the proprietors are careful not to let FOX News linger onscreen too long, fearing political discussions that could be misconstrued. After all, you can never be too sure who’s listening.

Come Sunday, the ministers who once railed against abortion, gay marriage, and Hollywood as sure signs that the U.S. is descending into godlessness will mute their messages. They will peer out at their congregations and fear that some faces aren’t interested in the Gospel, or maybe are a little too interested in every word. The once vibrant political clubs at Bob Jones University have become lifeless as students whisper about informants and fear a few misplaced words could leave them in a government database or worse.

Naturally, none of this is actually happening to evangelical Christians in South Carolina, across the South, or anywhere else. It would never be tolerated. Yet the equivalents of everything cited above did happen in and around the New York metropolitan area — just not to white, conservative, Christian Americans. But replace them with American Muslims in the New York area and you have a perfect fit, as documented by the recent report Mapping Muslims. And New York is hardly alone.

Since 9/11, American law enforcement has taken a disproportionate interest in American Muslims across the country, seeing a whole community as a national security threat, particularly in California and New York City. But here’s the thing: the facts that have been piling up ever since that date don’t support such suspicion. Not at all.

The numbers couldn’t be clearer: right-wing extremists have committed far more acts of political violence since 1990 than American Muslims. That law enforcement across the country hasn’t felt similarly compelled to infiltrate and watch over conservative Christian communities in the hopes of disrupting violent right-wing extremism confirms what American Muslims know in their bones: to be different is to be suspect.

Conducting suspicionless surveillance

In the aftermath of 9/11, law enforcement has infiltrated Muslim American communities and spied on them in ways that would have outraged Americans, had such tactics been used against Christian communities after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, or after any of the other hate crimes or anti-abortion-based acts of violence committed since then by right-wing extremists.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests by the American Civil Liberties Union make clear that FBI agents in California used community outreach programs to gather intelligence at mosques and other local events, recording the opinions and associations of people not suspected of any crime. In 2008, the FBI loosened its internal guidelines further, allowing agents to collect demographic information on ethnically concentrated communities and map them for intelligence and investigative purposes.
There is no question that the most extreme example of such blanket, suspicion-less surveillance has been conducted by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). As revealed by the Associated Press, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division carried out a secret surveillance program on the city’s varied Muslim communities based on the erroneous belief that their religion makes them more susceptible to violent radicalization.

The program, which continues today, looks something like this, according to Mapping Muslims: “rakers,” or undercover officers, are sent into neighborhoods to identify “hot spots” — mosques, schools, restaurants, cafes, halal meat shops, hookah bars — and told to chat up people to “gauge sentiment,” while setting up “listening posts.” “Crawlers,” or informants, are then recruited and sent to infiltrate mosques and religious events. They are ordered to record what imams and congregants say and take note of who attended services and meetings.

These crawlers are encouraged to initiate “create and capture” conversations with their targets, bringing up terrorism or some other controversial topic, recording the response, and then sharing it with the NYPD. The intelligence unit also went mobile, checking out and infiltrating American-Muslim student groups from Connecticut to New Jersey and even as far away as Pennsylvania.

When news of the NYPD’s spying program broke, it shattered trust within the city’s Muslim communities, giving rise to general suspicion and fraying community ties of all sorts. This naturally raises the question: How many terrorism plots were identified and disrupted thanks to this widespread and suspicionless surveillance program? The answer: none.

Worse, the chief of the NYPD Intelligence Division admitted in sworn testimony last summer that the Muslim surveillance program did not even generate a single criminal lead. The incredibly invasive, rights-eroding program was a complete bust, a total waste of the resources of the New York City Police Department.
And that’s without even considering what is surely its most harmful aspect: the likelihood that, at least in the short term, it has caused irreparable damage to the Muslim community’s trust in the police. Surveillance, concludes the Mapping Muslims report, “has stifled constitutionally protected activity and destroyed trust between American Muslim communities and the agencies charged with protecting them.”

When people fear the police, tips dry up, potentially making the community less safe. This is important, especially given that the Muslim-American community has helped prevent, depending on whose figures you use, from 21%-40% of all terrorism plots associated with Muslims since 9/11. That’s grounds for cooperation, not alienation: a lesson that would have been learned by a police department with strong ties to and trust in the community.

Numbers may not lie, but they sure can be ignored

The idea that American law enforcement’s mass surveillance of Muslim communities is a necessary, if unfortunate, counterterrorism tool rests with the empirically false notion that American Muslims are more prone to political violence than other Americans.

This is simply not true.

According to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), right-wing terrorists perpetrated 145 “ideologically motivated homicide incidents” between 1990 and 2010. In that same period, notes START, “al Qaeda affiliates, al Qaeda-inspired extremists, and secular Arab Nationalists committed 27 homicide incidents in the United States involving 16 perpetrators or groups of perpetrators.”

Last November, West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center published a report on America’s violent far-right extremists. Its numbers were even more startling than START’s. “The consolidated dataset,” writes report author Arie Perliger, “includes information on 4,420 violent incidents that occurred between 1990 and 2012 within U.S. borders, and which caused 670 fatalities and injured 3,053 people.” Perliger also found that the number of far-right attacks had jumped 400% in the first 11 years of the 21st century.

It’s highly probable that the FBI drastically undercounts instances of terrorism perpetrated by right-wing extremists because of cultural double standards. As the New America Foundation’s Peter Bergen has noted, attacks associated with anti-abortion or white supremacist ideologies are rarely, if ever, counted as terrorist attacks. A typical example: the massacre of worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in August 2012 by a white supremacist.

Simply put, there is an unhealthy obsession among American law enforcement agencies (and American society at large) with stopping violence perpetrated by American Muslims, one that is wholly out of line with the numbers. There is no doubt that the events of 9/11 play into this — never mind that not one hijacker was American — but there is something much darker at work here as well. It’s the fear of a people, a culture, and a religion that most Americans do not understand and therefore see as alien and dangerous.
The fear of the “other” has wiggled its way into the core of another American generation.

“While vile, all of this speech is protected by the first amendment”

Widespread surveillance and suspicion aren’t the only things American Muslims have to worry about, feel frustrated by, or fear. They can also point to the way fellow American Muslims are treated in the larger criminal justice system.

Since 9/11, the FBI has used tactics that clearly raise the issue of entrapment in arresting hundreds of Muslims inside the U.S. on terrorism-related charges. Investigative journalist Trevor Aaronson, author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, did the hard work of compiling and analyzing all of these cases between September 11, 2001, and August 2011. What he found was alarming.
“Of the 508 defendants, 243 had been targeted through an FBI informant, 158 had been caught in an FBI terrorism sting, and 49 had encountered an agent provocateur. Most of the people who didn’t face off against an informant weren’t directly involved with terrorism at all, but were instead Category II offenders, small-time criminals with distant links to terrorists overseas. Seventy-two of these Category II offenders had been charged with making false statements, while 121 had been prosecuted for immigration violations. Of the 508 cases, I could count on one hand the number of actual terrorists… who posed a direct and immediate threat to the United States.”

Those numbers, however damning, still don’t fully reflect the inequity American Muslims face within the U.S. criminal justice system when it comes to terrorism allegations. An analysis of two separate but similar cases offers a clear sense of how terrorism allegations targeting the American right and American Muslims in the criminal justice system can end with very different results. The common question running through two federal terrorism prosecutions — one against a group of seven anti-government right-wing Christian paranoids, better known as the Hutaree Militia, and the other against a Massachusetts pharmacist and Islamic radical — is what kind of speech is protected by the First Amendment and just who can rest safely under its shield?
In late March 2010, FBI raids led to the arrest of members of the Hutaree Militia across the Midwest. A Christian Patriot militia, Hutaree members believed that the end of the world was near and local, state, and federal law enforcement officers were actually “foot soldiers” in the “New World Order.” According to thefederal indictment, Hutaree leader David Brian Stone, Sr., planned the murder of a local police officer. But that was just to be the bait. When law enforcement from across the nation attended his burial, the Hutaree would attack the funeral procession with improvised explosive devices and other homemade bombs, sparking a revolt against the government.

Seven Hutaree members were charged with at least four felonies, including seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. Like many post-9/11 counterterrorism investigations, the case was built via an undercover FBI agent, primarily by using the violent, antigovernment statements some of the accused made as proof that a terrorist conspiracy existed. The defendants all filed motions for a judgment of acquittal, arguing that the government didn’t have enough evidence to sustain a conviction.
In March 2012, Judge Victoria Roberts agreed with the motions of the defendants, acquitting all seven on the most serious charges. (David Stone, Sr., and his son were convicted of weapons-related offenses and were sentenced to time served.) Read Roberts’s decision and it’s hard to disagree with her ruling, which concludes that the plot was all talk among paranoid people.

Referring to Stone Sr.’s anti-government statements, Roberts writes, “While vile, all of this speech is protected by the First Amendment.” Ultimately, Roberts concluded, the government’s case was far too flimsy. “The plethora of inferences the Government asks this Court to make are in excess of what the law allows,” she wrote. “But the Government crosses the line from inference to pure speculation a number of times in this case. Charges built on speculation cannot be sustained.”

Can anyone doubt, however, that if David Stone, Sr., had an Islamic-sounding name, he, his two sons, and the four other codefendants would likely be spending the rest of their lives in a federal penitentiary?

Does the first amendment have a blind spot for Muslims?

Consider the case of 29-year-old Tarek Mehanna. In April 2012, he was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda, providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country, and lesser charges like lying to the FBI.

According to the federal government’s case, Mehanna and two associates went to a terrorist training camp in Yemen in 2004 with the intention of later making their way to Iraq to resist the U.S. occupation of that country. Mehanna countered that he went to Yemen to study Islam and learn Arabic. Whatever Mehanna intended, we know that, in fact, he never made it to any terrorist training camp.

That, however, wasn’t the alleged “crime” the FBI was most interested in. On his return from Yemen, Mehanna began translating into English and posting jihadist videos and documents on the Internet advocating that Muslims defend their lands against American imperialism. One video was particularly gruesome. It showed the mutilation of the remains of U.S. personnel in Iraq after the reported rape of an Iraqi girl by an American service member. After watching it, an associate asked Mehanna whether there was a way to try the U.S. serviceman suspected of the crime. Mehanna replied, “Who cares? Texas BBQ is the way to go.”
However grotesque or cruel Mehanna’s Internet activity or talk may have been, it all constituted First-Amendment protected activity. The government, however, argued that Mehanna’s online activities materially supported al-Qaeda, even though Mehanna was known to have rejected al-Qaeda’s worldview. He did not, among other things, believe civilians should be targeted in response to the actions of their government abroad. His belief was clear enough: “Those who fight Muslims may be fought, not those who have the same nationality as those who fight.”

The distinction didn’t matter. Mehanna is currently serving a 171/2-year sentence in a federal supermax prison. His thought crime: engaging in the same kind of violent but constitutionally-protected online advocacy regularly engaged in by white supremacists and anti-government militias on the radical Right.
That, to say the least, is the benefit of the doubt American Muslims cannot take for granted in the United States more than a decade after 9/11. White Christians rarely have to worry that an informant or undercover agent has infiltrated their churches, their neighborhoods, or their student groups. They never have to fear someone watching them and taking notes. They never have to question whether the new person who seems so friendly may be just a little too friendly, just a little too provocative. They don’t have to think twice before they say or post online something political, controversial, or even violently angry. None of this is their responsibility, their burden in life, just because some random person within their community lashes out in the name of God. And that’s how it should be, for everyone.


9/11 could be insurance fraud as “trial” of conspiring duo begins in NY today


By Dr. Kevin Barrett

Is this the world's worst case of insurance fraud...ever?

That's what many are saying, as the world's biggest real-estate swindler and the world's most corrupt judge meet in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. At issue: billions of dollars in loot from the demolition of the World Trade Center complex on September 11th, 2001.

World Trade Center owner Larry Silverstein - who confessed on national television to “pulling” World Trade Center Building 7 - will appear in the courtroom of Judge Alvin Hellerstein at 500 Pearl St. in New York City. The non-jury trial, which is expected to last three days, will decide whether Silverstein is entitled to recover $3.5 billion from airlines and airport-related companies, in addition to the $4.9 billion he has already received for his “losses” on September 11th.

The question on everyone's mind is: Why is Silverstein claiming that airliners destroyed his buildings, when he has already confessed to demolishing at least one of them himself? In the 2002 PBS documentary “America Rebuilds,” Silverstein admitted to complicity in the controlled demolition of WTC-7, a 47-story skyscraper that dropped into its own footprint in 6.5 seconds.

The mysterious destruction of Building 7 has become the Rosetta Stone of 9/11. Virtually all independent experts who have studied the case, including thousands of architects and engineers, agree that the government's explanation - that a few small office fires somehow destroyed WTC-7 - is a non-starter. Building 7, these experts say, was obviously taken down in a controlled demolition, as Silverstein himself admitted. (A nationwide ad campaign called “Re-Think 9/11” will remind millions of Americans about Building 7 this September.)

Despite his confession to demolishing his own building, Silverstein has already received $861 million from insurers for Building 7 alone, as well as over $4 billion for the rest of the Trade Center complex. That $861 million for WTC-7 was paid on the basis of Silverstein's claim that airplanes were somehow responsible for making Building 7, which was not hit by any plane, disappear at free-fall acceleration.

    The insurance companies are not openly accusing Silverstein of insurance fraud, presumably because doing so would threaten to demolish the 9/11 cover-up and bring down the US and Israeli governments at free-fall speed. But they have gone so far as to call Silverstein's demand for more money “absurd,” a considerable understatement.

The insurance companies claim that Silverstein's demands amount to “double recovery.” They say that Silverstein was already paid $4.9 billion - vastly more than the paltry $115 million or so that he and his backers paid for the complex just weeks before it was demolished - so why is he asking for another $3.5 billion? Silverstein's answer: He needs the money.

And does he ever. He was originally demanding an extra $11 billion, before Hellerstein capped it at $3.5 billion.

The insurers have not mentioned the fact that the World Trade Center Towers were condemned for asbestos in early 2001, just months before Silverstein bought them in July, six weeks prior to their demolition. They have not mentioned that Silverstein doubled the insurance coverage when he purchased the Trade Center. They have not mentioned that Silverstein hardballed his insurers to change the coverage to “cash payout.” They have not mentioned that Silverstein engineered his purchase of the Trade Center through fellow Zionist billionaire Lewis Eisenberg, Chair of the Republican National Committee and head of the New York Port Authority.

As Christopher Bollyn wrote in 2002:

“Silverstein and Eisenberg have both held leadership positions with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA), a billion dollar Zionist 'charity' organization. Silverstein is a former chairman of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc. This is an umbrella organization which raises hundreds of millions of dollars every year for its network of hundreds of member Zionist agencies in the United States and Israel.”

According to Ha'aretz, Silverstein is a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. They speak on the phone every weekend.

The insurance companies have likewise neglected to mention that after doubling his insurance coverage immediately before 9/11, Silverstein re-doubled his winnings after 9/11 by claiming double indemnity. According to Silverstein's spokesman, “the two hijacked airliners that struck the 110-story twin towers Sept. 11 were separate 'occurrences' for insurance purposes, entitling him to collect twice on $3.6 billion of policies.” The bizarre double-indemnity claim was approved in 2004.

Additionally, the insurers have failed to mention that on the morning of 9/11, Silverstein and his daughter both failed to show up for their daily breakfast at Windows on the World restaurant atop the North Tower. Both offered flimsy pretexts - Silverstein claiming that he had suddenly remembered a dermatologist's appointment.

How has Silverstein managed to get away with murder, in the most obvious case of insurance fraud ever?

Thanks to his partner in crime, Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

Hellerstein's courtroom is Ground Zero in the cover-up of the crimes of 9/11. Virtually all 9/11 litigation has been funneled through his courtroom, including Ellen Mariani's recent lawsuit against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others.

Like Silverstein and Eisenberg, Hellerstein is a rabid Zionist with close ties to Israel. The judge's son and sister both emigrated from the US to orthodox Zionist settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Investigative journalist Christopher Bollyn writes: “Hellerstein's son is an Israeli lawyer who emigrated to Israel in 2001 and whose law firm works for and with the Rothschild-funded Mossad company responsible for the 9-11 terror attacks.”

Bollyn notes that Hellerstein's son, an Israeli lawyer, represents “the Mossad-controlled airport security firm named International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS) N.V., which is the owner of Huntleigh U.S.A., the passenger screening company that checked the passengers that boarded the aircraft at the key airports on 9-11.”

Additionally, Bollyn writes, “Both Alvin Hellerstein and his son Joseph worked for the well-known Jewish law firm of Stroock, Stroock & Lavan before moving to the positions they now hold...Stroock, Stroock & Lavan played a key role in the setting up of 9-11...Stroock has a long history of representing the Rothschilds and other high-level Zionists.”

Will New York City 9/11 skeptics protest the Silverstein-Hellerstein trial this Monday through Wednesday?

Will truth and justice ever triumph?

In order to triumph, truth and justice will have to defeat the world's wealthiest and most powerful criminal network.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America's best-known critics of the War on Terror. Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications. Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He is the co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance, and author of the books Truth Jihad: My Epic Struggle Against the 9/11 Big Lie (2007) and Questioning the War on Terror: A Primer for Obama Voters (2009). His website is www.truthjihad.com.


Sunday, 14 July 2013

Der Spiegel Encrypted E-mails Interview with whistleblower Edward Snowden

Part 1: The NSA and Its Willing Helpers

Part 2: 'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted' (See below)

- The NSA and Its Willing Helpers
In an interview conducted using encrypted e-mails, whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses the power of the NSA, how it is "in bed together with the Germans" and the vast scope of Internet spying conducted by the United States and Britain.

 Shortly before he became a household name around the world as a whistleblower, Edward Snowden answered a comprehensive list of questions. They originated from Jacob Appelbaum, 30, a developer of encryption and security software. Appelbaum provides training to international human rights groups and journalists on how to use the Internet anonymously.

Appelbaum first became more broadly known to the public after he spoke on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a hacker conference in New York in 2010. Together with Assange and other co-authors, Appelbaum recently released a compilation of interviews in book form under the title "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet."

Appelbaum wound up on the radar of American authorities in the course of their investigation into the WikiLeaks revelations. They have since served legal orders to Twitter, Google and Sonic to hand over information about his accounts. But Appelbaum describes his relationship with WikiLeaks as being "ambiguous," and explains here how he was able to pose questions to Snowden.

"In mid-May, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras contacted me," Appelbaum said. "She told me she was in contact with a possible anonymous National Security Agency (NSA) source who had agreed to be interviewed by her."

"She was in the process of putting questions together and thought that asking some specific technical questions was an important part of the source verification process. One of the goals was to determine whether we were really dealing with an NSA whistleblower. I had deep concerns of COINTELPRO-style entrapment. We sent our securely encrypted questions to our source. I had no knowledge of Edward Snowden's identity before he was revealed to the world in Hong Kong. He also didn't know who I was. I expected that when the anonymity was removed, we would find a man in his sixties."

"The following questions are excerpted from a larger interview that covered numerous topics, many of which are highly technical in nature. Some of the questions have been reordered to provide the required context. The questions focus almost entirely on the NSA's capabilities and activities. It is critical to understand that these questions were not asked in a context that is reactive to this week's or even this month's events. They were asked in a relatively quiet period, when Snowden was likely enjoying his last moments in a Hawaiian paradise -- a paradise he abandoned so that every person on the planet might come to understand the current situation as he does."

"At a later point, I also had direct contact with Edward Snowden in which I revealed my own identity. At that time, he expressed his willingness to have his feelings and observations on these topics published when I thought the time was right."

Editor's note: The following excerpts are taken from the original English-language version of the interview. Potential differences in language between the German and English versions can be explained by the fact that we have largely preserved the technical terms used by Snowden in this transcript. Explanations for some of the terminology used by Snowden as well as editor's notes are provided in the form of footnotes.
Interviewer: What is the mission of America's National Security Agency (NSA) -- and how is the job it does compatible with the rule of law?

Snowden: They're tasked to know everything of importance that happens outside of the United States. That's a significant challenge. When it is made to appear as though not knowing everything about everyone is an existential crisis, then you feel that bending the rules is okay. Once people hate you for bending those rules, breaking them becomes a matter of survival.

Interviewer: Are German authorities or German politicians involved in the NSA surveillance system?

Snowden: Yes, of course. We're 1 in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we 2 tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports (that we for example, have learned from the cell phone of a suspected hacker's girlfriend in a totally unrelated third country -- and they hand them over to us. They 3 don't ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa, to insulate their political leaders from the backlash of knowing how grievously they're violating global privacy.

Interviewer: But if details about this system are now exposed, who will be charged?

Snowden: In front of US courts? I'm not sure if you're serious. An investigation found the specific people who authorized the warrantless wiretapping of millions and millions of communications, which per count would have resulted in the longest sentences in world history, and our highest official simply demanded the investigation be halted. Who "can" be brought up on charges is immaterial when the rule of law is not respected. Laws are meant for you, not for them.

Interviewer: Does the NSA partner with other nations, like Israel?

Snowden: Yes. All the time. The NSA has a massive body responsible for this: FAD, the Foreign Affairs Directorate.

Interviewer: Did the NSA help to create Stuxnet? (Stuxnet is the computer worm that was deployed against the Iranian nuclear program.)

Snowden: NSA and Israel co-wrote it.

Interviewer: What are some of the big surveillance programs that are active today and how do international partners aid the NSA?

Snowden: In some cases, the so-called Five Eye Partners 4 go beyond what NSA itself does. For instance, the UK's General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has a system called TEMPORA. TEMPORA is the signals intelligence community's first "full-take" Internet buffer that doesn't care about content type and pays only marginal attention to the Human Rights Act. It snarfs everything, in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit. Right now the buffer can hold three days of traffic, but that's being improved. Three days may not sound like much, but remember that that's not metadata. "Full-take" means it doesn't miss anything, and ingests the entirety of each circuit's capacity. If you send a single ICMP packet 5 and it routes through the UK, we get it. If you download something and the CDN (Content Delivery Network) happens to serve from the UK, we get it. If your sick daughter's medical records get processed at a London call center … well, you get the idea.

Interviewer: Is there a way of circumventing that?

Snowden: As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances. Their fibers are radioactive, and even the Queen's selfies to the pool boy get logged.

Interviewer: Do the NSA and its partners across the globe do full dragnet data collection for telephone calls, text and data?

Snowden: Yes, but how much they get depends on the capabilities of the individual collection sites -- i.e., some circuits have fat pipes but tiny collection systems, so they have to be selective. This is more of a problem for overseas collection sites than domestic 6 ones, which is what makes domestic collection so terrifying. NSA isn't limited by power, space and cooling PSC constraints.

Part 2: 'US Multinationals Should Not Be Trusted'

Interviewer: The NSA is building a massive new data center in Utah. What is its purpose?

Snowden: The massive data repositories.

Interviewer: How long is the collected data being stored for?

Snowden: As of right now, full-take collection ages off quickly ( a few days) due to its size unless an analyst has "tasked" 7 a target or communication, in which the tasked communications get stored "forever and ever," regardless of policy, because you can always get a waiver. The metadata 8 also ages off, though less quickly. The NSA wants to be at the point where at least all of the metadata is permanently stored. In most cases, content isn't as valuable as metadata because you can either re-fetch content based on the metadata or, if not, simply task all future communications of interest for permanent collection since the metadata tells you what out of their data stream you actually want.

Interviewer: Do private companies help the NSA?

Snowden: Yes. Definitive proof of this is the hard part because the NSA considers the identities of telecom collaborators to be the jewels in their crown of omniscience. As a general rule, US-based multinationals should not be trusted until they prove otherwise. This is sad, because they have the capability to provide the best and most trusted services in the world if they actually desire to do so. To facilitate this, civil liberties organizations should use this disclosure to push them to update their contracts to include enforceable clauses indicating they aren't spying on you, and they need to implement technical changes. If they can get even one company to play ball, it will change the security of global communications forever. If they won't, consider starting that company.

Interviewer: Are there companies that refuse to cooperate with the NSA?

Snowden: Also yes, but I'm not aware of any list. This category will get a lot larger if the collaborators are punished by consumers in the market, which should be considered Priority One for anyone who believes in freedom of thought.

Interviewer: What websites should a person avoid if they don't want to get targeted by the NSA?
Snowden: Normally you'd be specifically selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content. The only one I personally know of that might get you hit untargeted are jihadi forums.
Interviewer: What happens after the NSA targets a user?

Snowden: They're just owned. An analyst will get a daily (or scheduled based on exfiltration summary) report on what changed on the system, PCAPS 9 of leftover data that wasn't understood by the automated dissectors, and so forth. It's up to the analyst to do whatever they want at that point -- the target's machine doesn't belong to them anymore, it belongs to the US government.

1 "We're" refers to the NSA.
2 "We" refers to the US intelligence service apparatus
3 "They" refers to the other authorities.
4 The "Five Eye Partners" is a reference to the intelligence services of United States, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
5 "ICMP" is a reference to Internet Control Message Protocol. The answer provided here by Snowden was highly technical, but it was clear that he was referring to all data packets sent to or from Britain.
6 "Domestic" is a reference to the United States.
7 In this context, "tasked" refers to the full collection and storage of metadata and content for any matched identifiers by the NSA or its partners.
8 "Metadata" can include telephone numbers, IP addresses and connection times, among other things. Wired Magazine offers a solid primer on metadata.
9 "PCAPS" is an abbreviation of the term "packet capture".
Interview conducted by Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras


The Israeli Vigilante Movement Spewing Hate In Occupied Palestine


Translated by Charlotte Fichou

Cases of violent vandalism are multiplying against Arab villages and places of worship. 

Standing in front of his house in this Arab-Israeli village west of Jerusalem, Ibrahim Hatem stares in disbelief: “I don’t understand. I am Israeli. I like this country. On my street, my neighbors are all Jewish.”
On June 18, Ibrahim Hatem became yet another victim of the “price tag” movement, which has been gaining momentum lately and performing acts of vandalism all over the country. In Abu Gosh, about 30 cars had their tires slashed during the night. Graffiti reading “Arabs out,” and “racism or assimilation” was spray-painted on the walls.

And yet, of all Arab villages, Abu Gosh is perhaps the most loyal to Israel – it was the only Palestinian village to side with Israel in 1948. “If those who committed these crimes want to make the country implode, they chose just the right place to do it,” worries Hatem.

This attack on a symbol of Arab-Israeli coexistence puts the government in an increasingly uncomfortable situation. On June 16, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu refused to classify the authors of this racist vandalism as “terrorists,” against the wishes of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who had been advocating for the classification of the attacks as “acts of terror.”

In the past month, attacks have been multiplying in Israel and in the West Bank. They have been attributed to Jewish radicals from the Hilltop Youth movement, a group of second-generation settlers, proponents of a “Greater Israel” – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. The modus operandi is usually the same: slashed tires, burnt cars and “price tag” graffiti, which often mention Eviatar Borovsky, a father of five from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhak who was stabbed by a Palestinian while waiting for a bus on April 30.
Acts of revenge between Palestinians and West Bank settlers are nothing new – the expression “price tag” first appeared in 2008. Their objective is to respond eye for eye to every attack against Israeli settlements. They justify their actions by saying they are “exacting a price” after acts perpetrated by the Palestinians against them or after moves by the Israeli security forces to dismantle illegal settlement outposts.

The concept was theorized in a 2009 book called Torat Hamelech (“The King’s Torah”), written by extremist rabbis who argued that killing non-Jews is acceptable as part of a religious war. Coincidence? After this inflammatory book was published, the number of attacks against Palestinians went up 144% between 2009 and 2011.

Targeting places of worship

In addition to these assaults, what is most striking is how fast the “price tag” concept has been spreading. “It has now largely overtaken its initial concept of taking back the West Bank, and even the issue of settlements. It has become a way to express the hatred of minorities,” explains Barak Weiss, coordinator of the Tag Me’ir group, which fights against this growing phenomenon. Since September 2011, he says, 25 “price tag” attacks have been perpetrated inside Israel’s Green Line, particularly in Arab-Israeli towns.
Since the beginning of 2012, more and more of these attacks have been targeting places of worship, including Christian churches. On May 31, 2013, the phrase “Christians are monkeys” was spray-painted on the walls of the Benedictine Dormition Abbey on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. On June 13 in Tel Aviv, tombstones were vandalized in the Christian Orthodox cemetery, in the historic district of Jaffa.

"Arabs out" price tag in Abu Gosh - Photo: reshettv

Christian authorities are starting to worry about this new development: “Anti-Christian acts have always existed. What is new is that they are happening within a political protest movement. But what do West Bank settlements have to do with churches?” asks Father David Neuhaus, a patriarchal vicar in Jerusalem.
On the other hand, we are also witnessing a shift in the way the “price tag” activists are acting out. At first, it was mostly impulsive acts of vengeance, but now we are seeing a spate of well thought-out and planned attacks. “There hasn’t been any particular event recently against West Bank settlements,” Weiss points out.

This development has not escaped Prime Minister Netanyahu. On June 2, he condemned the “Racism against Israeli Arabs and acts of hooliganism against Palestinians, without any provocation or justification.”
Aside from these official condemnations, Israel has not done much to put an end to the movement. The Israeli police, who has been accused of doing nothing, tried show its good faith by announcing that in the past 18 months, it had opened 788 investigations, arrested 276 people and indicted 154 of them.
Israeli NGOs however remain skeptical about these numbers. According to B’Tselem, over the past ten years, only a dozen of people have been charged for these attacks. So far, none of them have yet been brought to trial.