This 17 December 2018 video from the USA says about itself:
In a historic vote, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution on Thursday calling for an end to U.S. military and financial support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. This represents the first time in U.S. history the Senate has voted to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Resolution.
A remarkable piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine traces how bombs built by Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona, made its way into the Saudi arsenal and then were dropped on Yemeni villages. The article centers on what happened in the remote village of Arhab when U.S.-backed Saudi warplanes carried out a series of bombings on September 10, 2016. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 31 civilians were killed, three of them children; 42 people were injured. We speak to journalist Jeffrey Stern.
REFUGEE MOTHER HOLDS DYING CHILD A Yemeni mother finally got the chance this week to hold her terminally ill son after the Trump administration’s travel ban kept her out of the U.S. for months. [HuffPost]
The aerospace and defense corporations United Technologies (UTC) and Raytheon announced a merger over the weekend that will create a single giant entity worth a reported $100 billion. Following rumors that a deal was in the making, the two companies published a website on Sunday that made the “all-stock merger of equals” plan official: here.
This 13 August 2018 video says about itself:
Thousands have gathered in Yemen for the funerals of the 51 people killed in a Saudi-UAE-US military alliance airstrike, including 40 children traveling on a school bus. Even after a Raytheon-made MK-82 bomb was found in the wreckage, Defense Secretary James Mattis told said that the US is “not engaged in the civil war”. We are joined from Sana’a by journalist Nasser Arrabayee.
This 13 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:
YEMEN BUS BOMB SUPPLIED BY U.S. The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a recent attack on a school bus in Yemen was supplied by the U.S. State Department, according to CNN. [CNN]
This 3 August 2018 video from the USA says about itself:
“Readers, a small detective story. Note down this number: MFG BGM-71E-1B. And this number: STOCK NO 1410-01-300-0254. And this code: DAA A01 C-0292. I found all these numerals printed on the side of a spent missile casing lying in the basement of a bombed-out Islamist base in eastern Aleppo last year.
At the top were the words “Hughes Aircraft Co”, founded in California back in the 1930s by the infamous Howard Hughes and sold in 1997 to Raytheon, the massive US defence contractor whose profits last year came to $23.35bn (£18bn). Shareholders include the Bank of America and Deutsche Bank.
Read more here.
This video from the USA says about itself:
Syrians, tortured by Al Nusra, demand that Qatar pay indemnity: here.
‘The idea Britain hasn’t intervened in Syria is a complete fantasy’. Ben Cowles speaks with Stop the War’s LINDSEY GERMAN on the campaign’s opposition to the West’s latest bombing raid on Syria and the ridiculous claims that anti-interventionists have blood on their hands.
This video from the USA says about itself:
10 April 2017
It sure appears that way… Ana Kasparian and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.
“While the world is dealing with both the implications and the fall-out from President Donald Trump’s missile attack on a Syrian airfield on Thursday, the manufacturer of the Tomahawk missile used in the attack is seeing their stock surge which is good news for their investors — including the president.
As noted by the Palmer Report, Trump owns stock in Raytheon, which was reported by Business Insider in 2015.
According to Trump’s financial disclosure reports filed with the FEC in 2015, his stock portfolio includes investments in technology firms, financial institutions and defense firms, including Raytheon.
On Thursday, Trump launched an attack on the al-Shayrat military airfield, used by both Syrian and Russian military forces, hitting it with 59 Tomahawk missiles manufactured by Raytheon. Trump’s attack on Syria was reportedly in response to a deadly gas attack …
While the Tomahawk attack did little damage to the airfield — with the Syrian air force continuing to launch assaults from the same base on Friday — investors, sensing an increasing escalation in tensions between two countries and the possibility of war, pushed Raytheon stock up.”
Read more here.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Take a stand for peace
Saturday 15th April 2017
AS THE dust clears on the “mother of all bombs” dropped on Afghanistan we might reflect on the senseless horror caused by 16 years of the “war on terror.”
Coming less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York, the invasion was officially aimed at capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, “dismantling” his al-Qaida terror network and removing the Taliban from power.
We can leave aside the point that the Taliban would never have been in power had the US not armed and backed the medievalist mojahedin rebels — including bin Laden — in its long war to overthrow Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed socialist government in the 1980s, and simply measure the success of those war aims.
Al-Qaida is far, far stronger than it was in 2001, most notably because of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which prompted an explosion of sectarian violence which continues to this day.
Its Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, is one of the two main forces fighting to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad — the other being Islamic State (Isis), which was once part of al-Qaida and is no less brutal.
As for the Taliban, they may have been driven from Kabul, but their war against the Afghan government that replaced them has never ceased.
Thursday’s bombing is actually likely to help them, since their forces were fighting Isis in the area that was targeted.
The most powerful bomb dropped since Washington incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 killed “dozens” of Isis fighters, apparently, and conveniently no civilians.
Since Isis was known to hold prisoners in the tunnel complex that was hit, this might seem surprising — although it is slightly easier to erase civilian deaths when you count every man between 18 and 49 who falls victim to an air or drone strike as an “enemy combatant,” which the Pentagon has admitted to doing.
There is no doubt that Isis is a murderous organisation … — a cult that massacres women, men and children at the drop of a hat and glorifies the “martyrdom” of the deaths of its own fighters is never going to be party to a negotiated peace.
But US President Donald Trump is showing a dangerous recklessness and an apparently random willingness to deploy force.
Following the illegal assault on a Syrian air base after the Khan Sheikhoun chemical weapons attack (which Washington has refused to countenance an independent investigation into) he let slip on US television that he couldn’t even remember which country he’d lashed out against — saying “Iraq” until corrected by the interviewer.
Now we find that he hasn’t just dropped another bomb on a country the US has been bombing for 16 years — he has dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb there is, with little in the way of a military explanation for why that was thought necessary.
Trump is giving a worrying impression of a child who has found his dad’s gun. And Britain does nothing but egg the president on.
This Easter we must take a stand for peace — and commit to building a movement so strong we can rein back the frenetic aggression of our rulers.
This video is about how Raytheon software tracks you online.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Software that tracks people on social media created by defence firm
Exclusive:Raytheon’s Riot program mines social network data like a ‘Google for spies’, drawing ire from civil rights groups
A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
Raytheon says it has not sold the software – named Riot, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology – to any clients.
But the Massachusetts-based company has acknowledged the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national security system capable of analysing “trillions of entities” from cyberspace.
The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns.
The sophisticated technology demonstrates how the same social networks that helped propel the Arab Spring revolutions can be transformed into a “Google for spies” and tapped as a means of monitoring and control.
Using Riot it is possible to gain an entire snapshot of a person’s life – their friends, the places they visit charted on a map – in little more than a few clicks of a button.
In the video obtained by the Guardian, it is explained by Raytheon’s “principal investigator” Brian Urch that photographs users post on social networks sometimes contain latitude and longitude details – automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called “exif header data.”
Riot pulls out this information, showing not only the photographs posted onto social networks by individuals, but also the location at which the photographs were taken.
“We’re going to track one of our own employees,” Urch says in the video, before bringing up pictures of “Nick,” a Raytheon staff member used as an example target. With information gathered from social networks, Riot quickly reveals Nick frequently visits Washington Nationals Park, where on one occasion he snapped a photograph of himself posing with a blonde haired woman.
“We know where Nick’s going, we know what Nick looks like,” Urch explains, “now we want to try to predict where he may be in the future.”
Riot can display on a spider diagram the associations and relationships between individuals online by looking at who they have communicated with over Twitter. It can also mine data from Facebook and sift GPS location information from Foursquare, a mobile phone app used by more than 25 million people to alert friends of their whereabouts. The Foursquare data can be used to display, in graph form, the top 10 places visited by tracked individuals and the times at which they visited them.
The video shows that Nick, who posts his location regularly on Foursquare, visits a gym frequently at 6am early each week. Urch quips: “So if you ever did want to try to get hold of Nick, or maybe get hold of his laptop, you might want to visit the gym at 6am on a Monday.”
Mining from public websites for law enforcement is considered legal in most countries. In February last year, for instance, the FBI requested help to develop a social-media mining application for monitoring “bad actors or groups”.
However, Ginger McCall, an attorney at the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Centre, said the Raytheon technology raised concerns about how troves of user data could be covertly collected without oversight or regulation.
“Social networking sites are often not transparent about what information is shared and how it is shared,” McCall said. “Users may be posting information that they believe will be viewed only by their friends, but instead, it is being viewed by government officials or pulled in by data collection services like the Riot search.”
Raytheon, which made sales worth an estimated $25bn (£16bn) in 2012, did not want its Riot demonstration video to be revealed on the grounds that it says it shows a “proof of concept” product that has not been sold to any clients.
Jared Adams, a spokesman for Raytheon’s intelligence and information systems department, said in an email: “Riot is a big data analytics system design we are working on with industry, national labs and commercial partners to help turn massive amounts of data into useable information to help meet our nation’s rapidly changing security needs.
“Its innovative privacy features are the most robust that we’re aware of, enabling the sharing and analysis of data without personally identifiable information [such as social security numbers, bank or other financial account information] being disclosed.”
In December, Riot was featured in a newly published patent Raytheon is pursuing for a system designed to gather data on people from social networks, blogs and other sources to identify whether they should be judged a security risk.
In April, Riot was scheduled to be showcased at a US government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”
According to records published by the US government’s trade controls department, the technology has been designated an “EAR99” item under export regulations, which means it “can be shipped without a licence to most destinations under most circumstances”.
Raytheon may sell it to dictatorships in Bahrain and elsewhere.
The Obama administration is close to announcing its support for a law that would force Google, Facebook and other Internet communications companies to build back doors for government wiretaps, according to an article in the New York Times Wednesday: here.
- Raytheon making social-network-mining software to help gov’ts spy on citizens (boingboing.net)
- ‘Google for spies’ software mines social networks to track users’ movements and could even predict what you’ll do next (dailymail.co.uk)
- New software can track your every move and predict future behavior (rt.com)
- Big Brother spyware Riot can even predict future crime (metro.co.uk)
- RIOT Surveillance Software Tracks People’s Movements & Predicts Future Behavior (occupycorporatism.com)
- Stalking software “Raytheon”: Capable of tracking people’s movements using photographs on social media sites (nextlevelofnews.com)
- ‘Google for spies’ software mines social networks to track users’ movements and could even predict what you’ll do next (inzanec.wordpress.com)
- Raytheon’s Standard Missile-3 Receives $28 Million in New Funding (fool.com)
- UPDATE 1-Raytheon to pay fine for U.S. export control violations (xe.com)
This video from Ireland says about itself:
Eamonn McCann Speaks at AntiWar Rally
Prominent peace activist and journalist speaks at an anti-war rally in Belfast on the occasion of the visit of George W Bush. McCann was recently acquitted, as part of the Raytheon 9, of criminal damage to the Raytheon HQ in Derry.
Sandy Boyer co-host of Radio Free Eireann on WBAI in New York City and a veteran organizer for Irish political prisoners, reports on the start of a trial of antiwar protesters in Northern Ireland who targeted the weapons firm Raytheon: here.
This video is called Antarctic Wildlife Adventure.
From Denver News in the USA:
Life in Antarctica is cold — but bloggers there can still get burned
By Jonathan Shikes
Published on October 06, 2009 …
The United States has three permanent stations in Antarctica — McMurdo, Amundsen-Scott South Pole and Palmer — and conditions there are tough, especially during the winter (our summer), when it’s dark 24 hours a day. The crew members have to be very careful when they go outdoors, and the constant darkness robs them of their normal circadian rhythms and the vitamin D that humans need. After a few months on the ice, many of them develop a condition they call “brain freeze,” in which they start mumbling, and it can take seconds, even minutes, to complete a thought or form a cohesive sentence.
The three stations are operated by Raytheon Polar Services, a Centennial-based division of Raytheon, the $23.2 billion, multinational defense contractor that has 73,000 employees worldwide. Raytheon won the ten-year, $1.12 billion Antarctic Support Contract from the National Science Foundation in 1999 and reapplied this year, but it’s facing competition from six other conglomerates that have spent millions of dollars just to prepare their bids. The new, thirteen-and-a-half-year contract is valued between $1.5 and $2 billion; it was supposed to be awarded October 1, but the NSF recently delayed its decision without explanation.
The contract involves not just supporting the NSF’s scientific research — on climate change, astronomy, biology and atmospheric and environmental science — that has to be justified to Congress and to taxpayers, but also constructing and maintaining the buildings and equipment at the U.S. bases, providing water production and fuel operations, planning missions, transporting personnel and cargo, and maintaining communication. The contractor must also hire, train, feed, house, pay and protect the small army of support staffers who live in Antarctica, whether for five months or twelve, keeping them alive, warm, fed and happy.
That’s not always easy, as Raytheon has discovered. …
Bloggers have also criticized Raytheon and its corporate policies. As a result, say a number of current and former employees, Raytheon has cracked down both on blogging and on some of Antarctica’s odder traditions — particularly as the new contract deadline approaches.
“What is most disturbing is the censorship,” one Raytheon employee says in an e-mail. “We are told to never speak to the press. Raytheon fears a PR black eye and doesn’t want things to get out. Two people who are blogging down here have been told to stop.”
Raytheon spokeswoman Valerie Carroll says the company has no anti-blogging policies, but employees insist that posts are closely watched and that critical ones have resulted in retaliatory actions. …
Midwinter’s Day is a tradition that dates all the way back to 1898, when the crew of the Belgica became the first people to spend the winter in Antarctica after the Belgian ship got stuck in the ice. Since then, the day has been celebrated to some degree by nearly everyone who’s spent the coldest month on the Continent, including explorers like Ireland’s Ernest Shackleton in 1907, Norway’s Roald Amundsen in 1911, and American Richard Evelyn Byrd in the 1940s. …
In 2008, Raytheon canceled the extra day off.
The decision wasn’t explained, and on June 11, 2008, blogger Nick Johnson posted the following message on his site, BigDeadPlace.com: “For those who haven’t heard, someone in Denver has decided that U.S. Antarctic stations this year won’t have the day off for Midwinter’s Day dinner (June 21st). No big deal. However, coincidentally, on June 21, [Raytheon Polar Services] is sponsoring, for its 250+ employees in the office, a ‘Summer Picnic’ at a Denver-area amusement park called Elitch Gardens, including a picnic and a Randy Travis concert.”
This wasn’t the first time that Johnson, a heavy equipment operator at McMurdo, had been critical of his employer. …
Johnson managed to remain employed after the book came out, and he started signing his name to his blog. And in May 1998, he began posting questions from Raytheon’s anonymous suggestion box, along with management’s answers. The exchanges seemed innocuous enough — but not to Raytheon. So instead of partying on Midwinter’s Day in 2008, Johnson was called in for a teleconference with Sam Feola, the program director for Raytheon Polar Services.
“He told me I had made some blog posts that involved ‘sensitive information,'” Johnson remembers. “I didn’t say I would take anything down, I didn’t say I wouldn’t, but I asked, ‘What information, specifically, do you want me to take down?’ He replied, ‘All the information.’ I wasn’t going to do that.”
Although Johnson had worked in Antarctica off and on for a decade, Raytheon didn’t renew his contract for the following year. “I was blacklisted,” Johnson says. “That’s how it works. No one is surprised.”
Raytheon, which kept its Antarctic headquarters in the Denver area after taking over from ASA in 1990, has 354 employees in Centennial, including Feola, who declined to be interviewed for this story. …
Still, the perceived censorship, along with the cancellation of Midwinter’s Day in 2008 and other issues, remain a concern. “I have seen a big change in the way the companies have handled morale over the years,” the employee, who also has a blog, says. “When I started, there was a big recreation department, dedicated to keeping us happy and busy. This winter there was zero recreation, at least fostered by the company or NSF. I used to tell my non-ice friends that the USAP program went out of their way to provide good morale to cut down on random drinking and negativity. There is no sign any more that anyone cares about that at all, at least in the winter.”
“One of the most fun things we used to do is Bingo. We’d sell Bingo tickets for a buck or two, and the winners would get small cash prizes. My understanding is that Raytheon put an end to that, saying it was immoral.”…
When Johnson started BigDeadPlace.com in 2002, he knew of no other blogs about Antarctica. “Pre-Internet, there were a bunch of photocopied underground newsletters that people had made. Two important ones were called The Shadow and The Antarctic Moon, from the early ’90s, I believe,” Johnson says in an e-mail from Afghanistan, where he now works for another private contractor. Because of that, he adds, BigDeadPlace.com got a lot of attention. …
Today there are dozens and dozens of Antarctica blogs — written not just by Raytheon employees, but also by scientists and people who work on bases owned by other countries. Some of them detail daily life, while others focus on science or photography. Examples include:
Antarctiken.com, from Ken Klassy, a systems admin at McMurdo who posts his gorgeous photos, but also details his daily successes and frustrations.
Icewishes.wordpress.com, which follows the life of a “peripatetic redhead” at the South Pole.
60south.com, which focuses on art and photography at the bottom of the world, but also features a discussion board and other links.
Vagabumming.com, a view from Palmer Station.
Harriettstomato.com, an unusual look at the life of a cook at the South Pole. …
Like most major corporations, Raytheon has a social media policy, but Carroll declines to offer any specifics. …
A Raytheon employee provided the specifics of the social media policy, which begins: “Raytheon Company recognizes that employees may wish to create, maintain, and participate in external social media tools such as blogs, wikis, chatrooms, podcasts, microblogging (e.g., Twitter), discussion boards, and participate in social websites such as Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn.” …
But while the policy says the company “respects its employees’ rights to personal expression,” it also warns that Raytheon retains the right to “direct an employee to refrain from commenting on topics related to the Company or, take steps to remove or mitigate exposure of the offending material on the social media tool, to comply with applicable laws…and/or Company policy.”
While Raytheon’s weapons kill, inter alia, Iraqi civilians, its workers in Antarctica have participated in the worldwide demonstrations against the Iraq war in February 2003.
Companies Around The World Are Banning Social Media Sites At Work: here.
- Raytheon reorganizes, cutting 200 jobs (bostonherald.com)
- Raytheon’s Patriot missiles receive US Army service life extension (spacewar.com)
- Antarctic team digs deep to predict climate future as frozen continent becomes research hub (theprovince.com)
- Antarctic ice samples: What do they say about global warming? (csmonitor.com)