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Sun, 28 May 2023
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Bad Guys

Psychopath Alan Dershowitz rips Edward Snowden: 'We have an absolute right' to spy on other countries

alan dershowitz
Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz criticized National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday during a debate with Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, who published Snowden's first interview since being granted asylum in Russia earlier this year.

"He could have easily gone on 60 Minutes, and disclosed the existence of the program without disclosing the contents, some of which is extremely damaging to our national security," Dershowitz told Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish, arguing that he could have released the information he compiled while working at the agency in a classified debriefing, instead of going to the Post and The Guardian.

In particular, Dershwoitz slammed Snowden for bringing to light the agency's surveillance activities against other countries, saying they "raise some questions, but [were] not unconstitutional.

"We have an absolute right under our Constitution to listen to the prime minister of Israel, to listen to the chancellor of Germany," Dershowitz said. "That is not a constitutional issue, and yet he disclosed - or people working on his behalf - the fact that we are using surveillance abroad, outside the country, where the Constitution does not apply."


'Front-Page Rule' is unprecedented in U.S. intelligence community

Should the United States engage in secret, covert or clandestine activity if the American public cannot be convinced of the necessity and wisdom of such activities should they be leaked or disclosed?

To intelligence professionals, that's a bizarre question. The answer is that the public's opinion shouldn't matter, because espionage, clandestine intercepts of intelligence and covert acts carried out by the United States and other governments are often, by their nature, dirty and mostly illegal operations where they are carried out.

The prime reason for secrecy is that you don't want the targets to know what you are doing. But often in democracies, another reason is that you don't want your citizens to know what their government is doing on their behalf to keep them secure, as long as it's within their country's law.

"Accountability and secrecy" were two watchwords a former senior intelligence official said guided operations during his 40-year career, not whether the public would approve of everything he was doing.

Heart - Black

An open letter to the makers of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the wolf himself

© Christina McDowell
Christina McDowell (then Prousalis) with her father and his private plane during headier times.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, dear Kings of Hollywood, but you have been conned.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Christina McDowell, formerly Christina Prousalis. I am the daughter of Tom Prousalis, a man the Washington Post described as "just some guy on trial for penny-stock fraud." (I had to change my name after my father stole my identity and then threatened to steal it again, but I'll get to that part later.) I was eighteen and a freshman in college when my father and his attorneys forced me to attend his trial at New York City's federal courthouse so that he "looked good" for the jury -- the consummate family man.

And you, Jordan Belfort, Wall Street's self-described Wolf: You remember my father, right? You were chosen to be the government's star witness in testifying against him. You had pleaded guilty to money laundering and securities fraud (it was the least you could do) and become a government witness in two dozen cases involving your former business associate, but my father's attorneys blocked your testimony because had you testified it would have revealed more than a half-dozen other corrupt stock offerings too. And, well, that would have been a disaster. It would have just been too many liars, and too many schemes for the jurors, attorneys or the judge to follow.

Comment: To learn more about psychopaths like Tom Prousalis and Jordan Belfort read: Snakes in Suits by Robert D. Hare and Paul Babiak

Bad Guys

False flag attack unravelling? Ukraine opposition tied to reporter's attack says police

Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian opposition leader
© Unknown
Vitali Klitschko, Ukrainian opposition leader and head of Udar political party

Ukrainian police have accused five suspects detained over the assault of a journalist of links to the opposition, including its leader Vitali Klitschko.

The interior ministry's chief investigator, Mykola Chynchyn, linked on Friday Klitschko, who is the leader of opposition party Udar, and his brother Wladimir Klitschko to the suspects who attacked Tetyana Chornovil earlier this week.

In addition, Chynchyn also linked several other parliamentarians as well as local lawmakers to the detained suspects.
"In the course of the investigation it was established that the detained had been in close contact with members of the party Udar," said Chynchyn.

Furthermore, Chynchyn said the police investigation had established links between one of the suspects and the leader of a criminal gang "with whom the Klitschko brothers had closely cooperated."

Comment: After the Russian deal with Ukraine the energy of the protesters ebbed a bit. Suddenly comes an attack on a regime critical journalist and the opposition is reignited. Who benefits?

It is certainly clear that the same people from the West, who have travelled to Ukraine and spoken in support of the Syrian protesters have also funded, trained and armed the mercenaries who have inflicted untold misery in Syria. Not to mention that the same people also supported regime change at all cost in Libya. So those people are not afraid of using a small false flag operation in order to refuel the protests anew.


MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin blames Congress for Obama's failures

© Mediaite
MSNBC.com political reporter Benjy Sarlin revealed a scoop on Tuesday. Citing unnamed officials with the Obama admiration, Sarlin reported that the White House blames Congress for their failure to pass even a symbolic item on the president's second term agenda in 2013. Why the White House would bury this earth-shattering revelation on Christmas Eve is beyond me.

"President [Barack] Obama had a fairly ambitious agenda he talked up in 2012 election," Sarlin observed while touting his most recent piece, "The Year Congress Stole."

"He thought if he won he would break the fever among Republicans and that they would suddenly be interested in helping him out on things like infrastructure, immigration, the environment," he added. "It hasn't quite turned out that way."

Sarlin noted that Republicans, who retain control of the chamber of Congress most responsive to the popular sentiment, uncompromisingly refuse to pass a Democratic president's agenda. "When I talk to former Obama administration officials, people to the White House, that's what they will mention," Sarlin revealed.

"'Look,'" the MSNBC reporter said, adopting the voice of an Obama ally. "'These guys can't keep the lights on, let alone pass major policy.'"

Brick Wall

Civilization Regresses: Local courts reviving 'debtors' prison' for overdue fines, fees

© Unknown
Marshalsea Debtor's Prison - Charles Dickens, whose father had been imprisoned for debt in 1824, used that experience as the setting for "Little Dorrit"
As if out of a Charles Dickens novel, people struggling to pay overdue fines and fees associated with court costs for even the simplest traffic infractions are being thrown in jail across the United States.

Critics are calling the practice the new "debtors' prison" -- referring to the jails that flourished in the U.S. and Western Europe over 150 years ago. Before the time of bankruptcy laws and social safety nets, poor folks and ruined business owners were locked up until their debts were paid off.

Reforms eventually outlawed the practice. But groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union say it's been reborn in local courts which may not be aware it's against the law to send indigent people to jail over unpaid fines and fees -- or they just haven't been called on it until now.

Advocates are trying to convince courts that aside from the legal questions surrounding the practice, it is disproportionately jailing poor people and doesn't even boost government revenues -- in fact, governments lose money in the process.

"It's a waste of taxpayer resources, and it undermines the integrity of the justice system," Carl Takei, staff attorney for the ACLU's National Prison Project, told FoxNews.com.

"The problem is it's not actually much of a money-making proposition ... to throw people in jail for fines and fees when they can't afford it. If counties weren't spending the money jailing people for not paying debts, they could be spending the money in other ways."


JFK: A Conspiracy Theory

Lee Harvey Oswald was your typical America-hating communist from Louisiana, and like every Russkie-loving pinko from the South he grew up watching American spy dramas, volunteered for a Civilian Air Patrol run by a CIA contract agent and joined the US Marines. Nicknamed Oswaldski for his tendency to speak Russian and spout pro-Soviet propaganda, he was given special training and assigned to one of the most sensitive facilities in the world running the radar for the U2s spying on the Russkies and the ChiComs. After contracting gonorrhea in the line of duty, Oswald was tested for Russian proficiency before being honorably discharged to take care of his mother who wasn't ill and flew to Europe using money he didn't have on planes that didn't exist to arrive at Helsinki, where he stayed at the most luxurious hotel in town before waltzing into the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. While there he kept a detailed log of Soviet facilities, made notes about microdots, and carried a CIA standard-issue Minox camera, before getting bored and returning to the United States on a military jet using money loaned to him from the US Embassy.

Take 2

Forgotten kidnapped American asks U.S. to negotiate with al-Qaeda for his release

© AFP/Site Intelligence Group
A U.S. government contractor kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan in 2011 has recorded a video message calling on the Obama administration to negotiate with his captors, saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."

Warren Weinstein looked ashen and sounded lethargic as he pleaded for renewed interest in his case and asked the U.S. government to consider releasing al-Qaeda militants in its custody. The 72-year-old development expert from Rockville, Md., began his address by urging President Obama to step up efforts to get him released.

"You are now in your second term as president of the United States and that means that you can take hard decisions without worrying about reelection," said Weinstein, who was recorded sitting against a white wall wearing a gray tracksuit top and a black woolen hat. No one else appeared in the video.

The video, which included the yellow logo of As-Sahab, al-Qaeda's media production outlet, was sent in an anonymous e-mail to several journalists who have reported from Afghanistan. Included were links to a handwritten note that purports to be from Weinstein, saying "Letter to Media" at the top. The note is dated Oct. 3. It is not clear when the video was made.

A State Department spokeswoman and a member of Weinstein's family said Wednesday night that they had not independently received the note or video. The Washington Post provided a copy to both of them.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf later said that U.S. officials were "working hard to authenticate" the contents of the message.

"We reiterate our call that Warren Weinstein be released and returned to his family," she said in a statement. "Particularly during this holiday season - another one away from his family - our hopes and prayers are with him and those who love and miss him."

Star of David

The U.S. is a powerless peace broker in face of Israel's mercurial demands


Israel's insane demands are insane because they're not meant to be met
Palestinians and Israelis have met more than twenty times since July 2013 with little progress. Israel security issues dwarfed the final status negotiators while it continued to build, at an accelerated rate, "Jewish only" colonies undermining the very peace talks.

Fearing its collapse, US Secretary of State John Kerry amassed earlier this month a team of 160 American diplomats and security specialists led by General John Allen, former commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, to draft a framework "that could help both Israelis and Palestinians get to an agreement."
Inarguably, President Barak Obama and Secretary Kerry are much more serious on pushing a peace agreement than any previous U.S. administration. Nevertheless, they have proven equally powerless overcoming Israel's mercurial demands.

Since Oslo, Palestinians have endorsed all of the U.S. and Israeli pre-conditions, starting with UN resolution 242, the recognition of Israel and annulling the Palestinian National Charter without any reciprocal recognition of their rights by Israel.

Today, Israel is requesting to prequalify previous Palestinian recognition of it, not just as a nation of people, but as an ethnocentric 'Jewish state'. It is also demanding that any future peace agreement must codify its occupation of parts of the West Bank - the Jordan River valley - under a euphemism called "security arrangements."

Arrow Down

Passage of budget bill is NOT a victory for the American people ... Only for the Military-Industrial Complex

Preface: D.C. and the mainstream media are trumpeting the passage of a budget bill as a victory for bipartisanship and the American people. But the truth is very different.

Military Spending Is Destroying Our Economy

We've repeatedly documented that military waste and fraud are the core problems with the U.S. economy.

For example, we've noted that we wouldn't be in a budget crisis in the first place if we hadn't spent so much money on unnecessary wars ... which are killing our economy.

But it goes far beyond actual fighting. We could easily slash the military and security budget without reducing our national security.

For example, homeland security agencies wasted money on seminars like "Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?" and training for a "zombie apocalypse" instead of actually focusing on anti-terror efforts.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn notes that the Department of Defense can reduce $67.9 billion over 10 years by eliminating the non-defense programs that have found their way into the budget for the Department of Defense.

BusinessWeek and Bloomberg point out that we could slash military spending without harming our national security. Indeed, we could slash boondoggles that even the generals don't want.