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Fri, 07 May 2021
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Julian Assange: People in glass houses can't be too outraged by return fire

Julian Assange wikileaks
© Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: "Where did you get my number?"
In about April last year, just before his name became a byword for, depending on your viewpoint, either transparency or treason, I attempted to interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Armed with a mobile phone number passed on to me by a colleague from an unknown source, I found myself talking to Assange himself. His response to the call was understandable and hypocritical.

His first words were: ''Where did you get my number?'' When I offered a vague explanation, he expressed displeasure that it had been passed on to me. It was a natural response given his organisation was in the process of severely embarrassing the almighty US government by releasing the video from an American attack helicopter showing non-combatants, including two Reuters newsagency staff, being shot dead. Assange had reason to cover his tracks, but missed the irony in being contacted via leaked information.

We conducted a stilted discussion in which he said he had already been interviewed by Good Weekend (published subsequently), said he might talk to me if I had some information to trade, and required that I text my phone details. Apart from acknowledging that he received my SMS, I never heard from him again.

The WikiLeaks frontman's response was no different to some journalists who seem to give substance to the aphorism: suspicion of others stems from self-knowledge.

Many would dispute Assange's claim that he is a journalist, but I agree that in a loose sense he probably does qualify.

Journalism is changing as traditional news organisations contract. A couple of years ago I calculated there were probably three or four former journalists who had crossed to what we still in the business consider ''the dark side'', for every one left working for the mainstream media.

By the dark side I mean spin doctoring, public relating or otherwise manipulating information fed back to their former colleagues. Incidentally, I can't blame people taking this path given the contraction of media jobs; people have to earn a living.

Comment: The principle of Wikileaks is sound and it has done some good in some cases. For that we salute them. The problem is it is just as useful for a "limited hangout" operation. "We'll let you find out about some of our dirt, which will distract everyone from the really bad stuff we're doing." We are so starved for anything resembling real information, we scramble gratefully for the smallest crumbs wile missing the larger strategies of the PTB.

For more background on Wikileaks see here:

Wikileaks and the War for your Mind
Beware Julian Assange and Wikileaks - Darlings Of The Mainstream Media
Wiki-Leaks and Plausible Lies - Where Have All The Critical Thinkers Gone?
Gordon Duff: Wikileaks, A Touch Of Assange and the Stench of AIPAC


Star of David

Ahmadinejad: The real truth about 9/11 has been kept from Americans and the world

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© Press TV
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks during the International Conference on Global Fight against Terrorism in the capital Tehran June 25, 2011.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the US of using the September 11 attacks as a pretext to invade Iraq and Afghanistan and to divert the American public opinion from its domestic issues.

"Some believe that the motive behind the September 11 attacks was to ensure the safety of Israel, foment insecurity in regional countries, divert the US public opinion from the chaotic economic situation in the country and fill the pockets of uncivilized belligerent capitalists," President Ahmadinejad said in an address to a two-day anti-terrorism conference on Saturday, IRIB website reported.

"Two years after the incident that provided an excuse for the invasion of two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), led to the killing, injuring and displacing of millions... the US government, under pressure from the public opinion, tasked a group to investigate the reason behind the attacks. But the real truth has been kept from the Americans and the world," he added.

Vader

The Ugly Truth: video Of Libyan rebel beheading Gadhaffi soldier and other Nato war crimes

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NATO has been pumping propaganda out of Libya to justify its "humanitarian war" against the government of Moammar Gadhaffi. Until now, NATO has succeeded in large part because ordinary citizens around the world have no access to direct intelligence on which to base their own opinions.

As the former CIA Asset who covered Libya at the United Nations from 1995 to 2003 during negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial, I am compelled to break past that propaganda to examine actual evidence.

Responding to numerous requests, I am sharing primary evidence that I receive daily from sources inside Tripoli. Video documentation comes from Libyan refugees, collected by a fact finding commission called "Global Civilians for Peace in Libya."

The fact-finding team includes Europeans, Africans, Americans and international human rights attorneys, who are preparing allegations of War Crimes against NATO. Judging from these videos, financial damages that NATO will be required to pay Libya should be stupendous, indeed.

Above all, it's clear that NATO grossly misrepresented its arguments at the United Nations, in order to justify military action. Britain and France trusted bad intelligence from unreliable sources, trying to gain power from the conflict.

A more careful investigation shows that it is the NATO backed Rebels who are guilty of atrocities - not Gadhaffi's soldiers at all. Sanctions should be thrown out, and NATO should shift its military forces to back Gadhaffi in defending the Libyan people.

Comment: In a response to two readers doubting these videos were from Libya, Susan Lindauer posted:
American viewers are hindered by not understanding the Arab language. In Arabic it's clear who's who. There's other indications, like the pistol sodomy of the civilian wearing green - That's Gadhaffi's colors.
[...]
All the videos are from Libya. How do we know for sure they're definitely Libyan? Libya has its own Arabic dialect that's distinguished from other Arab countries - like American English vs. British English. Also the Libyan family has identified the beheaded soldier as husband/son/brother.

It's hard to face that we're supporting such wretched & monstrous human beings. That's why you have to see these videos. We've got to know honestly the sort of Rebel Allies that we have taken cause for. They're butchers.



Cell Phone

Policing the Police: The Apps That Let You Spy on the Cops

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© OpenWatch.net
Something like OpenWatch could help solve a major problem for investigative reporting in an age when newsrooms are shrinking

After the recent Vancouver riots, it became clear that the world is surveiling itself at an unprecedented scale. Angry citizens gave police one million photos and 1,000 hours of video footage to help them track down the rioters. If we aren't living in a surveillance state run by the government, we're certainly conducting a huge surveillance experiment on each other.

Which is what makes two new apps, CopRecorder and OpenWatch, and their Web component, OpenWatch.net, so interesting. They are the brainchildren of Rich Jones, a 23-year-old Boston University graduate who describes himself as "pretty much a hacker to the core." Flush with cash and time from a few successful forays into the app market, nine months ago Jones decided to devote some of his time to developing what he calls "a global participatory counter-surveillance project which uses cellular phones as a way of monitoring authority figures."

CopRecorder can record audio without indicating that it's doing so like the Voice Memos app does. It comes with a built-in uploader to OpenWatch, so that Jones can do "analysis" of the recording and scrub any personally identifying data before posting the audio. He said he receives between 50 and 100 submissions per day, with a really interesting encounter with an authority figure coming in about every day and a half.

Star of David

Israel's Jewish Exodus

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© www.inminds.co.uk
Israeli Passport in flames
Hard-line Israelis reject the idea of reasonable compromises for peace, arguing that any significant concessions to Palestinian sovereignty would threaten Israel's security or the Zionist cause, but Lawrence Davidson notes that demographic trends, including a growing Jewish exodus from Israel, could have far worse consequences.

If the historical goal of the state of Israel is to provide the world's Jews a secure national home, a place of refuge in a world of real or potential anti-Semitism, it seems to have failed.

It has failed not because this writer says so, but because an increasing number of its own Jewish citizens say so.

There have been studies originating both in Israel and abroad that show "as many as half of the Jews living in Israel will consider leaving ... if in the next few years the current political and social trends continue." This finding is in addition to the fact that yerida, or emigration out of Israel, has long been running at higher numbers than aliyah, or immigration into the country.

The Israel Central Bureau of Statistics states that as of 2005, 650,000 Israelis have left the country for over one year and not returned. The great majority of these were Jews. In addition, polls show that at least 60 percent and as high as 80 percent of remaining Israeli Jews "sympathize with those who leave the country."

Among those who stay, there is the conviction that the safe thing is to have a second passport issued by the United States or a European country.

As the Haaretz reporter Gideon Levy puts it, "if our forefathers dreamt of an Israeli passport, there are those among us who are now dreaming of a foreign passport."

Hourglass

Wikileaks - Kristinn Hrafnsson

Kristinn Hrafnsson
© unknown
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson
Until 2006, just five short years ago, no-one had heard of the whistleblower website Wikileaks.

That all changed very quickly when news footage from July 2007 was released showing a U.S. Apache helicopter shooting and killing a Reuters photographer in Baghdad. Then last year, almost 400,000 classified U.S. military documents on the war in Iraq were released by Wikileaks, the largest such leak in history. It happened just months after Wikileaks published tens of thousands of secret documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, and that information was spread across several newspapers - including the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel.

The public face of Wikileaks, Editor-in-Chief, Julian Assange was soon to become the focus of some unwanted attention himself culminating in allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. Detained by authorities in the UK, Assange will have spent six months under house arrest in the English countryside when he turns 40 on the third of July. On the 12th and 13th of July, he will fight extradition to Sweden.

Dollar

Ron Paul calls Congressional Hearing to demand full audit of US gold

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© Unknown
Who ate all the gold?
With the price of gold at record highs, presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul wants to make sure the U.S. gold bars at Fort Knox are really there.

Paul called a congressional hearing Thursday to grill federal officials about his bill to audit and inventory all of the gold reserves at Fort Knox, Ky., West Point, N.Y., and Denver, even though Treasury officials insist that the gold is audited annually and is all there.

During the hearing, Paul suggested that the Federal Reserve of New York, which has 5% of the U.S. gold reserves, has the ability to secretly sell or swap gold with other countries without anyone knowing.

"The Fed is pretty secret, you know," said Paul, who leans Libertarian. "Congress doesn't have much say on what's going on over there. They do a lot of hiding."

Bad Guys

Netanyahu Passed On His Psychopathic Genes? The Racist Facebook Rants of Netanayhu's Son

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© Unknown
Yair Netanyahu
Haaretz's Uri Blau uncovered today racist comments and extreme right-wing rhetoric on Yair Netanyahu's Facebook page. Yair, eldest son of PM Netanyahu, is currently in mandatory IDF service, on the army's spokesperson unit. He called to boycott Arab businesses (he even admined a Facebook group for that, but only 23 members joined him), made racist comments on Muslims and Arabs, and expressed fierce opposition to a Palestinian state.

On the information section of the boycott o group - formed after sectarian clashes between Arabs and Jews in Akko on Yom Kippur two and a half years ago - the young Netanyahu said:
"The Arab sons-of-bitches desecrated our holiest day... it is our duty to do the minimum to save our honor and boycott every Arab business or product. Beside, I boycotted those shits even before."

Laptop

NATO site hacked

NATO is warning subscribers to its e-Bookshop service that hackers have likely stolen its customer database.

The site is run as a separate service for distributing NATO information and does not contain any classified or secret information.

The bookshop has been closed and all members been warned by email to change their passwords if they are using them for other websites or services.

The email said: "Our examinations show a possible compromise of user information (username, password, address and email address) for people who have ordered publications from the e-Bookshop or subscribed to our email service.

Smiley

Despite Arrest, Lulzsec Sails on

The hacking group known as LulzSec pledged to continue their online rampage Tuesday, a day after U.K. police arrested a man allegedly affiliated with the group.

Scotland Yard declined to name the 19 year old man, but LulzSec and local media identified him as Ryan Cleary. According to LulzSec, he merely operated an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server used by the group and was not a leader.

"Ryan Cleary is not part of LulzSec; we house one of our many legitimate chatrooms on his IRC server, but that's it," the group said Tuesday in a Twitter message. "Clearly the UK police are so desperate to catch us that they've gone and arrested someone who is, at best, mildly associated with us. Lame."