Monday, August 11, 2014

Sovereign citizens seen as top terrorist threat by US law enforcement

Source: RT

The sovereign citizen movement is considered the top threat for domestic terrorism, according to a survey of state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Islamist extremists and militia/patriot groups round out the top three threats to communities in the United States considered most serious by 364 officers of 175 state, local, and tribal law enforcement entities, according to a survey conducted by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

Source: The Intercept

The U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.
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The new documents underscore the indispensable, direct involvement of the U.S. government and its key allies in Israeli aggression against its neighbors.
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The new Snowden documents illustrate a crucial fact: Israeli aggression would be impossible without the constant, lavish support and protection of the U.S. government, which is anything but a neutral, peace-brokering party in these attacks. And the relationship between the NSA and its partners on the one hand, and the Israeli spying agency on the other, is at the center of that enabling.
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But even as the NSA and its partners are directed by political branches to feed the Israelis surveillance data and technology, they constantly characterize Israel as a threat – both to their own national security and more generally to regional peace. In stark contrast to the public statements about Israel made by American and British officials, the Snowden archive is replete with discussions of the Israelis as a menace rather than an ally.

NSA documents previously published by the Guardian stated that “one of NSA’s biggest threats is actually from friendly intelligence services, like Israel.” Another notes that the National Intelligence Estimate ranked Israel as “the third most aggressive intelligence service against the U.S.”

British officials have a similar view of the Israelis, describing them as a “very real threat to regional stability.” One top secret GCHQ planning document from 2008 notes that “policy makers remain deeply concerned over the potential threat that Israel poses to a peaceful resolution of the Iran problem, and to some of Israel’s less desirable activities in the region.” Moreover, “Israel’s thinking on the long-term threat offered by Iran to its fundamental foreign policy strategy of armed deterrence may create very real threats to regional stability in 2009.”
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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Scientists warn time to stop drilling in the dark

Image Credit: Simon Fraser University Public Affairs and Media Relations. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Source: Simon Fraser University

One of the greatest threats to animal and plant-life is the cumulative impact of rapid, widespread shale development, with each individual well contributing collectively to air, water, noise and light pollution
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Determining the environmental impact of chemical contamination from spills, well-casing failure and other accidents associated with shale gas production must become a top priority.
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The lack of accessible and reliable information on spills, wastewater disposal and fracturing fluids is greatly impeding improved understanding.
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This study identifies that only five of 24 American states with active shale gas reservoirs maintain public records of spills and accidents.
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... two out of three wells were fractured with at least one undisclosed chemical.
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... fracturing fluid and wastewater, which can include carcinogens and radioactive substances, is often unknown.
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...development that outpaces our understanding of ecological impacts can have dire unintended consequences,” notes Ryan. She is a research fellow in the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences.

Friday, August 1, 2014

It’s About the Lying

Source: The Intercept

I don’t want to understate how seriously wrong it is that the CIA searched Senate computers. ...
... CIA Director John Brennan lied to everyone about it.

“As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell in March. “We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.”
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... what compelled Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein to make a dramatic floor speech ... was that Brennan had responded to her initial concerns ... by firing back with an allegation of criminal activity by her own staff. ...
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Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, famously lied when he assured the Senate intelligence committee that the government wasn’t collecting data on Americans in bulk when, as it turns out, it was.
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The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

Source: The Intercept

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.
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The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a166-page document issued last year by the National Counterterrorism Center,
... was developed behind closed doors by representatives of the nation’s intelligence, military, and law-enforcement establishment, including the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI.
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Because the government tracks “suspected terrorists” as well as “known terrorists,” individuals can be watchlisted if they are suspected of being a suspected terrorist, or if they are suspected of associating with people who are suspected of terrorism activity.
... When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed. Once the U.S. government secretly labels you a terrorist or terrorist suspect, other institutions tend to treat you as one. It can become difficult to get a job (or simply to stay out of jail). It can become burdensome—or impossible—to travel. And routine encounters with law enforcement can turn into ordeals.
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