British government plan to jail journalists and whistleblowers

This video from Britain says about itself:

26 December 2016

Councils were given permission to carry out more than 55,000 days of covert surveillance over five years, including spying on people walking dogs, feeding pigeons and fly-tipping, the Guardian can reveal.

A mass freedom of information request has found 186 local authorities – two-thirds of the 283 that responded – used the government’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) [‘against terrorism‘] to gather evidence via secret listening devices, cameras and private detectives.

Among the detailed examples provided were Midlothian council using the powers to monitor dog barking and Allerdale borough council gathering evidence about who was guilty of feeding pigeons.

Wolverhampton used covert surveillance to check on the sale of dangerous toys and car clocking; Slough to aid an investigation into an illegal puppy farm; and Westminster to crack down on the selling of fireworks to children.

Surveillance has gone too far.

Maybe British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, during her recent visit to dictator Erdogan in Turkey to sell him British weapons, saw the persecution of journalists and dissidents in Turkey, and thought that would be a good idea for Britain as well?

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 13 February 2017

New Espionage Act under way to jail journalists and whistleblowers

THE Tory government is set to introduce a new Espionage Act under which its judiciary will be able to jail journalists and ordinary members of the public as spies for revealing information that the government demands be kept a secret.

The government’s advisers have recommended a ‘future-proofed’, draconian Act that will put leaking information and whistleblowing in the same category as spying for foreign powers and turn the UK into one big prison for basic democratic rights.

The plan is to treat whistleblowers, leakers and journalists as agents of a foreign power, even if they are British nationals, and even if they insisted that they were acting in the public interest. The recommendations of the UK Law Commission are contained in a 326-page consultation paper titled Protection of Official Data.

One legal expert said the new changes would see the maximum jail sentence increase from two years to 14 years; make it an offence to ‘obtain or gather’ rather than simply share official secrets; and to extend the scope of the law to cover information that damages ‘economic well-being’. ‘It is clearly an attempt to criminalise ordinary journalism,’ said Jim Killock, chief executive of the Open Rights Group.

John Cooper QC, a leading criminal and human rights barrister who has served on two Law Commission working parties, added: ‘These reforms would potentially undermine some of the most important principles of an open democracy.’

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said: ‘The proposed changes are frightening and have no place in a democracy, which relies on having mechanisms to hold the powerful to account. It is unthinkable that whistleblowers and those to whom they reveal their information should face jail for leaking and receiving information that is in the public interest.’

Such official data will range from the secret plans of the government for running down the NHS, to the functioning of the nuclear power industry, or any strategic industry. The Law Commission report asks, rhetorically, if ‘sensitive information relating to the economy should be brought within the scope of the legislation… in so far as it relates to national security’.

Alan Rusbridger, the former Guardian editor who published the Snowden revelations has commented that: ‘It is alarming that such a far-reaching proposed reform of laws which could be used to jail whistleblowers and journalists should have been drafted without any adequate consultation with free speech organisations.’

According to the Commission, the proposed ‘redrafted offence’ of espionage would ‘be capable of being committed by someone who not only communicates information, but also by someone who obtains or gathers it’.

To emphasise that the enemy is the whole of society it is being stipulated that there should be ‘no restriction on who can commit the offence,’ from hackers, leakers, elected politicians, journalists, NGOs or just citizens who have got themselves into a situation where they just know too much as far as the government and its secret state is concerned.

Cited as a primary reason for the new legislation is the fact that the former Guardian editor Rusbridger could not be thrown into prison for handling copies of ten documents that were passed to his reporters by Edward Snowden. As it was state agents could only threaten him with a gagging order and prison, and then force him to destroy newspaper computers.

A proposed feature of the new legislation is that British Embassies abroad, intelligence and security offices, and data centres not officially publicised by the government would be designated as ‘prohibited places’ or ‘protected sites’, making it an offence to publish information about them or to ‘approach, inspect, pass over or enter’ for any ‘purpose prejudicial’ to national security.

The proposed law would replace four Official Secrets Acts dating back to 1911, as well as a raft of other government restrictions on releasing information, providing extra powers instead. There should be no statutory public-interest defence for anyone accused of offences, the Commission says.

Donald Trump, his generals, Snowden and Assange

This video from the USA says about itself:

“This is Not a Coup, But It’s Not Normal”: Trump Picks 3 Generals for Top Foreign Policy Posts

6 January 2017

As President-elect Donald Trump’s key nominees for Cabinet and Cabinet-level positions include three generals, we get response from Gordon Adams, professor emeritus at American University’s School of International Service, who recently wrote in The New York Times about “Donald Trump’s Military Government.” Confirmation hearings begin Monday, including for retired Marine General John Kelly as homeland security secretary, retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as defense secretary and retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

This video from the USA says about itself:

6 January 2017

In our extended conversation, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to claims NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations helped Russia, and examines what actions the Trump administration may take against him and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “Exactly the same playbook was used against [Daniel] Ellsberg that is now being used against Snowden, which is to say, ’Don’t listen to these disclosures. Don’t regard this person as a hero for exposing our corruption and lawbreaking. Focus instead on the fact that these are traitors working with our enemies,’” says Greenwald. “And just as it was completely false in the case of Ellsberg, so too is it completely false in the case of Snowden.”

Murder Edward Snowden, Canadian spying bigwig says

This 2 December 2016 Amnesty International video says about itself:

Edward Snowden – Whistleblower

When Edward Snowden shared USA intelligence documents with journalists in June 2013, he revealed the shocking extent of global mass surveillance.

He showed how governments were secretly hoovering up huge chunks of our personal communications, including private emails, phone locations, web histories and so much more. All without our consent.

His courage changed the world. He sparked a global debate, changing laws and helping to protect our privacy. For the first time in 40 years, the USA passed laws to control government surveillance. Globally, technology companies including Apple and WhatsApp are now doing more to protect our personal information.

None of this would have happened without Edward Snowden. A former US Attorney General admitted that Snowden’s revelations “performed a public service”. Even President Obama said that this debate about surveillance “will make us stronger”.

Edward Snowden is a human rights hero. Yet he faces decades in prison, accused of selling secrets to enemies of the USA. With no guarantee of a fair trial in his home country, he is living in limbo in Russia.

By Roger Jordan in Canada:

Canada’s top spy “watchdog” says Edward Snowden should be shot

15 December 2016

Michael Doucet—the director of the government “watchdog” agency tasked with ensuring the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) doesn’t violate Canadians’ rights—has publicly declared that US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden should be shot.

Far from being an individual outburst, Doucet’s remarks exemplify broad sentiments within establishment circles. More than three years after Snowden lifted the veil on the NSA’s illegal activities, including the major role that Canada plays in the NSA-led “Five Eyes” global spy network, the Canadian ruling elite remains outraged at his exposures.

The head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC), Doucet responded to a question at a recent talk he gave at Toronto’s Ryerson University on what Snowden’s fate would have been had he been Canadian by saying, “Do you want my opinion on that? Do you really want it? I’ll give it to you. If Edward Snowden had worked for CSIS and did what he did, he should be shot.”

Doucet’s outburst underscores the fraudulent character of the SIRC and like government “oversight” bodies charged with ensuring CSIS, Canada’s premier intelligence agency, and other parts of the national-security apparatus don’t violate Canadians’ civil liberties. Such “watchdogs” are in fact lapdogs—state bodies committed to defending, and covering up for, the police and intelligence agencies and upholding the capitalist social order.

The Liberal government response to Doucet’s inflammatory comments is no less revealing. Asked about them, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale noted blandly, “That remark strikes me as highly inappropriate.”

Beyond this, there has been no official government response, let alone any suggestion that Doucet should be removed or otherwise sanctioned. Nor have the opposition parties seen fit to raise the issue. As for the corporate media, only the Globe and Mail reported Doucet’s remarks and Goodale’s tepid criticism of them.

The indifference among ruling circles to Doucet’s effective call for Snowden’s execution reflects the ruling elite’s general contempt for basic democratic rights. In the name of the “war on terror,” successive Liberal and Conservative governments have erected the framework of a police state over the past 15 years, including sanctioning the intelligence agencies to systematically spy on Canadians. They would rather see figures like Snowden, whose courageous actions brought some of the state’s illegal practices to public attention, silenced, or even eliminated, than lift a finger in defence of democratic rights.

No country’s national security apparatus is more closely integrated with that of the US than Canada’s. As a key Washington ally for over three quarters of a century, Ottawa is deeply implicated in US imperialism’s aggressive pursuit of its geostrategic interests around the world. Canada has participated in virtually every US-led war over the past two decades, is playing a major role in the US military-strategic offensives against Russia and China, and through the “Five Eyes” surveillance network both assists the Pentagon in its wars and helps monitor the political beliefs and activities of the world’s population.

In 2013, Snowden revealed that the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), Ottawa’s signals intelligence agency, functions as a veritable arm of the NSA. This includes: assisting the NSA in developing surveillance programs; carrying out operations, especially in countries where US citizens have limited access; and training personnel. It also conducts economic spying to benefit Canadian corporate interests, as shown by Snowden’s revelation that CSE eavesdropped on mining companies active in Brazil.

Other documents revealed by Snowden provided evidence that the CSE systematically collects the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications, a blatant violation of their constitutional rights, not to mention the mandate of CSE, which is authorized to spy only on foreign targets.

CSIS has been no less aggressive in its law-breaking activities. The domestic spy agency has been combing Canadians’ metadata since 2004 and has lied to the courts about its actions. Federal court judges have repeatedly chastised CSIS and CSE for deliberately withholding information from them.

Doucet, who is ostensibly the top watchdog tasked with holding CSIS to account, was himself deeply implicated in the CSE-NSA partnership and as such, no doubt, in the development of the mass surveillance of North Americans’ electronic communications and internet use. He told his student audience that in the mid-2000s, when he worked for CSE, he served as the embedded liaison officer at NSA headquarters.

From the outset, Canada’s ruling elite made no secret of its hostility to Snowden. Like all other Western governments, Canada refused to grant Snowden asylum, despite the fact that he faces almost certain execution or incarceration for life should he return to the United States. He currently resides in Moscow, where he was stranded in 2013 after the US made clear that it was determined to seize him. This included forcing down the Bolivian president’s plane, because they believed it might be carrying Snowden to asylum in South America.

Canada’s then foreign minister, John Baird, declared his full support for the US efforts to bring Snowden to “justice,” publicly demanding Snowden surrender to US authorities. For his part, Jean-Pierre Plouffe, the government-appointed commissioner tasked with overseeing CSE’s activities, denounced Snowden’s exposures of the illegal activities of the NSA and CSE, saying they had led “to a lot of misinformation.”

In his Ryerson appearance, Doucet continued in this vein, asserting that Snowden’s actions had damaged “national security.” Immediately following his declaration that Snowden deserves to be shot, Docuet claimed that if Snowden had concerns about the scope and legality of the NSA’s spying he should have raised them with his superiors.

“(I)f he worked for CSIS, there are all the mechanisms there, as there were in the States, to raise the issues that he felt needed to be raised,” claimed Doucet. “If he really cared about the US, the US system, he would have exhausted every avenue … he would not have released so much information that would have placed Americans, allies and others in risk of harm.”

This is a pack of lies. In the first place, the spying operations of the NSA, CSE and the “Five Eyes” alliance are not directed at safeguarding the population, but at upholding the predatory interests of US and Canadian imperialism and their British, Australian and New Zealand allies. Not Snowden, but the national security apparatus, which functions as a state within the state to spy on and suppress political opposition, constitutes the real threat to the population, as demonstrated by their systematic violation of basic democratic rights.

Second, bodies like SIRC and their counterparts in other countries have proven worse than useless at preventing the erection of a police state apparatus and the embrace of illegal surveillance methods by the agencies that they are supposed to oversee.

While Doucet boasts that in Canada “there are all the mechanisms” for would-be whistle-blowers to come forward, his call for Snowden’s death (subsequently qualified to include his criminal prosecution) constitutes—to say the least—a chilling warning as to how the SIRC and Canadian elite would receive any internal complaints of illegal activities by the national security apparatus.

Since Snowden’s revelations were made public, the Canadian ruling class has further strengthened the repressive powers of its state. In 2015 the Conservatives and Liberals collaborated to ram through parliament legislation (Bill C-51) that guts privacy protections, creates a new “speech crime” of “promoting terrorism,” and empowers CSIS to break virtually any law when “disrupting” vaguely-defined threats to national security.

Although they ensured Bill C-51’s speedy passage, the Liberals, recognizing it was highly unpopular, promised during last fall’s election campaign that they would amend it. Predictably, this promise has proven to be a fraud. To date, the only amendment they have introduced is to create a parliamentary oversight committee, a move, which as the populations of Britain and the United States can testify, will do nothing to hinder the intelligence agencies’ illegal mass surveillance.

The silence of the smaller opposition parties, the New Democrats, Bloc Quebecois, and Greens, on Doucet’s call for Snowden’s execution should come as no surprise. All of the established parties accept the “war on terror” narrative as good coin and refuse to challenge the intelligence agencies’ practices.

The muted reactions to Doucet’s comments underscore that as the deepening capitalist crisis heightens already explosive social tensions, the ruling elite is preparing to use the most ruthless measures to suppress opposition to its program of austerity and imperialist war. Earlier this month, Liberal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr revealed the government is ready to use the military to suppress “non-peaceful” anti-pipeline protests.

The author also recommends:

Canadian spy agency concealed mass data intelligence-bank from courts
[10 November 2016]

Canada’s Liberals defend “war on terror,” spy agencies in Bill C-51 consultation
[17 September 2016]

Canada’s foreign minister calls on Edward Snowden to surrender to US authorities
[23 December 2016]

Amid a barrage of anti-Russian hysteria whipped up by the US government and media, a House committee report declassified on Thursday alleges that former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden stole information both for his own personal gain as well as for foreign governments, including Russian intelligence agencies with whom he had purportedly been in close contact. This report also comes amid popular demands to the Obama administration that Snowden be pardoned: here.

Edward Snowden, Oliver Stone film reviewed

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 September 2016

Director Oliver Stone joined Ron Suskind, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, for a conversation about his upcoming film Snowden. In a both informative and entertaining Forum, Stone explained the artistic process and difficulties of translating the controversial story of Edward Snowden into a film. While answering questions from the audience, Stone touched on his work in prior films, his motivation in telling political stories through cinema, and his views on the state of America’s government surveillance programs.

On 26 November 2011, I went to see the film Snowden by Oliver Stone.

The film starts with young Edward Snowden, from a conservative military family, indignant about the 9/11 attacks, joining the United States military Special Forces. Soon, he gets injured.

Snowden switches to the CIA; where his computer skills are welcome.

The CIA also welcomes that Snowden says his inspiration is right-wing author Ayn Rand. And that he says emphatically Yes to the question whether he considers the USA to be the greatest country in the world.

However, gradually Snowden changes. Partly influenced by his girlfriend, an opponent of George W Bush’s Iraq war. Partly by what Edward Snowden learns during his CIA work. That the Bush administration’s ‘war on terror‘ and the gigantic ‘intelligence’ bureaucracy linked to it are not really about fighting terrorism; but about confrontation with other nuclear armed countries like Russia and China. And about making sure money will keep going to the military-industrial complex. And about acquiring power over the private lives of hundreds of millions of people who have nothing to do with terrorism.

Snowden finds out that a backup program which he wrote for emergency cases if United States government communication would be in trouble, is abused for drone attacks in Pakistan, killing civilians, including children.

In the film, the character Corbin O’Brian is Snowden‘s CIA mentor. The name O’Brian is probably based on the character O’Brien in George Orwell’s novel 1984. Both O’Brien and O’Brian are characters who at first to protagonists Winston Smith (in 1984) respectively Edward Snowden seem to be good guys, but turn out to be bad guys.

In spite of his increasing doubts, Snowden stays in the ‘intelligence community’ because he hopes Obama’s election victory in 2008 will change things.

However, then, in 2013, top spying bureaucrat James Clapper lies to the US Congress that the NSA supposedly is not spying on hundreds of millions of United States citizens.

That settles it for Snowden. He decides to travel to Hong Kong, to tell what he knows to Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald and independent film maker Laura Poitras.

The rest is history.

Donald Trump’s far-right nominees

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Taps Racist For Top Cop Position

18 November 2016

Alabama senator Jeff Sessions is in line to be Trump’s Attorney General. Cenk Uygur, Brett Erlich, Jimmy Dore, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“WASHINGTON ― The man who President-elect Donald Trump will nominate as the 84th attorney general of the United States was once rejected as a federal judge over allegations he called a black attorney “boy,” suggested a white lawyer working for black clients was a race traitor, joked that the only issue he had with the Ku Klux Klan was their drug use, and referred to civil rights groups as “un-American” organizations trying to “force civil rights down the throats of people who were trying to put problems behind them.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), an early Trump supporter who has been playing a major role on the Trump transition team, met with the president-elect in New York on Thursday. In a statement, the Trump team said the president-elect was “unbelievably impressed” with Sessions.

On Friday morning, Trump and Sessions confirmed that Sessions had been offered the attorney general position.

J. Gerald Hebert remembers Sessions’ time as the top federal prosecutor in Mobile, Alabama, well. Speaking to The Huffington Post earlier this month, Hebert said he was stunned that an Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a possibility.”

Read more here.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Trump begins selecting ultra-right cabinet

19 November 2016

President-elect Donald Trump announced his first two cabinet nominations Friday, as well as the selection of his national security adviser. The three appointments—Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama for attorney general, retired General Michael Flynn for national security adviser, and Representative Mike Pompeo for CIA director—underscore the ultra-right, militaristic and anti-democratic character of the new Republican administration.

Trump has been encouraged by the response of the Democratic Party to the election to press forward with an extremely right-wing agenda, confident that he will encounter no significant political opposition. In the 10 days since the election, leading Democrats have, in succession, come out to wish Trump well and pledge to work with him in implementing key elements of his nationalist policy.

Trump’s selection for “chief strategist” of Stephen Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, which has ties to fascistic and white nationalist organizations, has been largely dropped by the Democrats and the media. Trump’s government appointments, while drawn from the political and military establishment, are generally along the same line.

For attorney general, who supervises both the FBI and the Civil Rights division of the Justice Department, Trump has selected Senator Sessions, an extreme-right figure best known because his nomination as a federal judge was rejected by a Republican-controlled Senate 30 years ago due his racist sympathies.

The foremost qualification for Sessions to be the chief law enforcement officer of the United States is his loyalty to Trump, whose vast business empire is mired in scandal and litigation, making his administration a ripe target for investigations into corruption and conflicts of interest.

Sessions was the first Republican senator to endorse Trump’s campaign for the presidency, and the only one to offer support until Trump had effectively clinched the Republican nomination.

Born in Selma, Alabama in 1946, Sessions was 18 at the time of the famous civil rights march there, led by Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. He graduated from Huntingdon College in 1969, and then the University of Alabama law school in 1973, soon joining the US attorney’s office in Mobile. In 1981, Ronald Reagan named him US attorney for the southern district of Alabama, a position he held for 12 years.

During this period, Sessions carried out a notorious witch-hunting prosecution of three veteran civil rights workers, Albert and Evelyn Turner, and Spencer Pogue, charging them with vote fraud under a section of the Voting Rights Act, because of their efforts to register elderly rural black voters. The three were brought to trial, but a racially mixed jury unanimously acquitted them of all charges after deliberating only three hours. Four months after this legal farce, Reagan nominated Sessions to fill a vacant position on the US District Court.

Four co-workers of Sessions from the Justice Department testified to racist comments, ranging from favorable references to the Ku Klux Klan to calling a black attorney “boy” during an office discussion. Sessions admitted to describing both the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union as “un-American” and “communist.” The political uproar was so strong that a Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee ultimately refused to bring his nomination to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

While denied a judgeship, Sessions continued as US attorney and built a political career on the alleged snub, which became a cause célèbre for southern racists. He ran for Alabama state attorney general in 1994 and won, then ran for a vacant US Senate seat in 1996, winning first the Republican primary and then the general election. He has been reelected three times, in his last campaign, in 2014, running unopposed, without even a token Democratic challenger.

Sessions has been one of the most consistently reactionary figures in the US Senate, particularly in relation to immigration. He once told the publication Roll Call that “nativist” was a perfectly acceptable description of his viewpoint. His hardline opposition to both legal and illegal immigration was apparently the basis for his early enthusiasm for the Trump campaign.

More recently, he criticized the finding by FBI Director James Comey that Hillary Clinton had committed no crime in her use of a private email server while secretary of state. As attorney general, Sessions would be Comey’s direct superior and could order him to reopen the Clinton investigation, or appoint a special prosecutor, as Trump has suggested.

If confirmed, Sessions would be the first Republican attorney general from the Deep South since the Southern segregationists moved en masse into the Republican Party after the civil rights reforms of the 1960s.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump Adds Islamophobic General To ‘Cabinet Of Deplorables’

18 November 2016

Trump’s future National Security Advisor has some scary beliefs. Cenk Uygur, Brett Erlich, Jimmy Dore, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“President-elect Donald Trump has offered the job of national security adviser to Michael Flynn, a former military intelligence chief who has been a vocal critic of the Obama administration, according to a senior Trump official.

Flynn, 57, who served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has advised Trump on national security issues for months. As national security adviser, he would work in the White House shaping foreign and military policy and have frequent access to a president with no national security experience.

The Trump official, who was not authorized to discuss the offer publicly, would not say whether Flynn had accepted the job.

According to photographs released by the Japanese government, he was however present at a meeting on Thursday in New York between Trump and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, at which the US president-elect’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner were also present.”

Read more here.

The Patrick Martin article continues:

In the person of retired Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, Trump has put a former military intelligence officer in charge of coordinating foreign and military policy, a clear indication that a Trump administration will engage in even more ferocious military aggression than its Democratic predecessor.

A registered Democrat from a middle-class family in Rhode Island, Flynn entered the military from an ROTC program, not from West Point, and specialized in military intelligence. He was associated particularly with the Special Forces assassination campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 15 years.

Flynn clashed with the Obama administration in 2014 and was fired by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper because of his insistence on portraying the conflict with Al Qaeda and later ISIS as a war against Muslims. According to press reports, his obsession led to espousing what subordinates called “Flynn facts,” assertions that bore no relation to reality but bolstered the concept that the US was engaged in a “world war” against Islamist militants.

Like Sessions, a major qualification for Flynn is unconditional loyalty to Trump. He signed on early as an adviser on national security issues, backing Trump throughout a campaign in which virtually the entire military-intelligence apparatus, including most Republican specialists in this area, supported Hillary Clinton.

He has since evinced a deepening obsession with the conflict with Islam, claiming that sharia, a form of Islamic law, is spreading across the United States, and that the Obama administration has failed to fight the spread of ISIS because it refuses to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” to characterize the threat.

According to one press account, Flynn appeared before a right-wing group in Texas last summer and declared, “I don’t see Islam as a religion. I see it as a political ideology.” He continued, arguing that Islam will “mask itself as a religion globally, especially in the West and especially in the United States… Because it can hide itself and protect itself behind what we call freedom of religion.”

Flynn has backed Trump’s declarations in support of torture, including waterboarding, saying in one interview that he was a “believer in leaving as many options on the table right up until the last possible minute.” Most notoriously, he delivered an anti-Clinton, anti-Obama diatribe at the Republican National Convention, during which delegates began chanting, “Lock her up. Lock her up.” Flynn joined in.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Trump’s CIA Director: Execute Edward Snowden

18 November 2016

Trump’s pick for CIA director wants Edward Snowden to face the death penalty. Cenk Uygur, Brett Erlich, Jimmy Dore, and Michael Shure, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“Trump has reportedly picked Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) to run the Central Intelligence Agency. What sort of CIA director would Mike Pompeo be?

Well, for one thing, he thinks Edward Snowden should be executed:

That’s Pompeo speaking on C-Span’s Washington Journal this past February. … His comments came in the midst of a discussion of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Benghazi scandal. Here is a transcript of his Snowden remarks:

It’s absolutely the case that we have not been able to secure all the American information that we needed to, and that we’ve had the traitor Edward Snowden steal that information. He should be brought back from Russia and given due process, and I think the proper outcome would be that he would be given a death sentence for having put friends of mine, friends of yours, who served in the military today, at enormous risk, because of the information he stole and then released to foreign powers.”

Read more here.

The Patrick Martin article continues:

For CIA director, Trump has chosen Republican Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, a three-term congressman from Wichita with close ties to the billionaire Koch brothers, whose Koch Industries holding company is headquartered there.

A West Point graduate, Pompeo served in an armored unit of the Army from 1986 to 1991, but was not deployed overseas. After leaving the military, he launched an aerospace components manufacturer in southern California, which eventually relocated to Wichita, Kansas, a center of light aircraft manufacturing. There Pompeo began his political career in 2010, running to succeed an incumbent Republican who stepped down to run for US Senate.

His first campaign was notable because he baited his Democratic opponent, Raj Goyle, the US-born son of Indian immigrant doctors, with billboards urging, “Vote American, Vote Pompeo.” Supporters distributed scurrilous attacks on Goyle as a “turban topper” and non-Christian,

Pompeo wrote: “a turban topper” who “could be a Muslim, a hindy [sic; Hindu], a buddhist etc who knows.”

in area that has long been a hotbed of religious right activity centered on attacks on local abortion providers.

Pompeo supported Senator Marco Rubio in the Republican presidential primaries, only endorsing Trump after Rubio withdrew. Unlike Sessions and Flynn, his political connection to the new administration is vice president-elect Mike Pence, not Trump himself. Pompeo and Pence served in Congress together from 2010 to 2014, and developed a political rapport as part of the most conservative faction of the House Republican majority.

Throughout his six years in the House, Pompeo has stood for the most militaristic and anti-democratic policies, backing the illegal bulk data collection by the National Security Agency when it was exposed by Edward Snowden. He is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and was also chosen to serve on the House Select Committee on Benghazi, set up by the House Republican leadership to undermine the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

After the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Pompeo denounced Muslim clerical leaders for encouraging such attacks. He also stridently denounced the six-nation Iran nuclear deal, claiming that the Obama administration had surrendered to “the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” On the eve of his nomination to head the CIA, he went on Twitter to declare his determination to terminate the agreement with Teheran.

President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, an open aficionado of torture practices used in the “war on terror,” to be CIA director shows that Trump was serious when he said he would support “waterboarding and much worse”: here.

In the wake of a television appearance in which a Trump campaign activist said that a registry of Muslim visitors to the United States could be justified under the “precedent” set by the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, a leader of the Trump transition team has revealed that a formal proposal for such a registry is under discussion: here.

Trump in the White House: An Interview With Noam Chomsky: here.

Trump’s election as seen from Europe: here.

India’s ruling elite has enthusiastically welcomed the election of Donald Trump as US president, calculating that his aggressive anti-China and anti-Pakistan positions will boost New Delhi’s geo-political interests against its principal Asian rivals: here.

Every faction of the Sri Lankan ruling elite, including the leaders of the pro-US government and the parliamentary opposition parties, have issued statements voicing their readiness to collaborate with the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump: here.

President-elect Donald Trump, who is just two months away from his inauguration, woke up Saturday morning with a pressing concern on his mind. No, it wasn’t about the violence being carried out in his name, nor did it concern how to deliver his election policies amid a wave of protests across America against some of his most controversial pledges, such as building a wall across the U.S. border with Mexico, deporting millions of immigrants or registering Muslims. What got him worked up was the fact that Mike Pence was booed by the audience during a performance of “Hamilton” on Friday, and that the cast took time to deliver a personal message to the Vice President-elect after the show: here.

Edward Snowden on United States elections

This video says about itself:

Snowden Q&A on how US election affects your privacy, his pardon

10 November 2016

The conflict within the US government and intelligence apparatus over allegations of Russian intervention in the US election escalated on Monday with the direct intervention by the White House and the Clinton campaign: here.

Trump presidency, more spying on citizens?

This video says about itself:

9 June 2016

Edward Snowden on Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Freedom of Speech.

From Reuters news agency:

Wed Nov 9, 2016 | 7:50pm EST

Trump election ignites fears over U.S. encryption, surveillance policy

By Dustin Volz and Joseph Menn | WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO

Donald Trump’s surprise election victory has alarmed technology companies and civil libertarians fearful that a self-described ‘law and order’ president will attempt to expand surveillance programs and rejoin a long-running battle over government access to encrypted information.

Trump’s campaign featured numerous broadsides against the tech sector, including calls for closing off parts of the internet to limit militant Islamist propaganda and urging a boycott of Apple Inc products over the company’s refusal to help the FBI unlock an iPhone associated with last year’s San Bernardino, California shootings.

The battle over encryption, which dates to the 1990s, could heat up quickly with Trump’s win and the reelection of Republican Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee.

Burr spearheaded a failed effort last year to pass legislation requiring that companies build ‘back doors’ into their products that would allow government agents to bypass encryption and other forms of data protection.

Such requirements are fiercely opposed by the tech industry, which argues that back doors weaken security for everyone and that the government has no business mandating tech product design.

“I imagine (Trump) is going to be a guy who is probably going to mandate back doors,” said Hank Thomas, chief operating officer at Strategic Cyber Ventures and a veteran of the National Security Agency. ”I don’t think he’s ultimately going to be a friend to privacy, and the fearful side of me says he will get intelligence agencies more involved in domestic law enforcement.”

Jan Koum, co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service, owned by Facebook Inc, told Reuters that WhatsApp would be “extremely vocal” against any such effort, as it “would damage the reputation of American companies in the global arena.”

WhatsApp rolled out encrypted messages and phone calls on the service earlier this year.

Burr will likely reintroduce his encryption legislation next year, this time with White House support, according to a technology company staffer who works on policy issues and spoke on condition his company not be named.

Trump will enjoy Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. That one-party dominance makes efforts to enact any legislation in Washington more likely, though a broad coalition of Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans in the House of Representatives has repeatedly acted as a bulwark against efforts to expand surveillance or undermine digital security.

A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment about the President-elect’s encryption or surveillance policies.


Little is known about who is advising Trump on technology policy, but he is expected to lean heavily on former Defense Intelligence Agency director Michael Flynn. He could be tapped as Director of National Intelligence or head of the NSA, said Thomas, who knows Flynn.

Former Republican Congressman Mike Rogers and retired lieutenant general Ronald Burgess are part of Trump’s transition team and are focusing on intelligence and security matters, according to a Trump team document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Trump’s ability to expand surveillance operations at the NSA is especially troubling to some privacy advocates because of the level of secrecy that shrouds the programs, said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program.

The President-elect has said that he may want to place some mosques in the U.S. under surveillance and suggested he may want to maintain a national database of Muslims.

A key revelation from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was that few checks and balances were in place to prevent abuses of secret surveillance programs, Goitein said.

“You always have to ask yourself, can you trust the next administration, and the one after that?” she said. “And now there is a reckoning. Are people comfortable with a president Trump that has quite broad powers to conduct surveillance on Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing?”

(Reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington and Joseph Menn in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Bill Rigby)

The assault on democratic rights under cover of the “war on terror” has provided the incoming Trump administration with a pseudo-legal framework to impose authoritarian methods of rule: here.

In response to Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States, Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, has criticized Trump.

WHAT TO EXPECT OUT OF A DONALD TRUMP PRESIDENCY Mitch McConnell says the repeal of Obamacare is a top priority. The fight against climate change is looking dicey. There’s new hope for the Keystone XL pipeline, good news for coal and likely the death of Merrick Garland’s chances at the Supreme Court. These are the two things Trump could feasibly do on his first day in office. And protests flared around the country following the election. [Jonathan Cohn, HuffPost]

WHY HUFFPOST POLLSTER’S PRESIDENTIAL FORECAST DIDN’T SEE A TRUMP WIN COMING Breaking down exactly how our polling went wrong. [Natalie Jackson, HuffPost]


Folks are loving this 2012 tweet from Donald Trump about the electoral college.

The idiot speaks: Slavoj Žižek endorses Donald Trump. By Andre Damon, 9 November 2016. Slavoj Žižek, the Slovenian-born academic and prominent representative of postmodernism, psychoanalytic philosophy and pseudo-left politics, has endorsed Donald Trump for US president: here.

The German elites are using the US presidential election and the “dirtiest election campaign of modern times” (Der Spiegel) as an excuse to promote the return of German militarism: here.