activism

UnicornRiot Deprogram: Episode 23 interview covers information security and mobile encryption

My colleagues with the new activist oriented news service UnicornRiot.ninja interviewed me about encryption and privacy/security and it went pretty well overall. Check out the video and please support their efforts!! (original post) Deprogram airs every Wednesday night around 8PM central.


Ep. 23: #NSA #GCHQ #TPP #AirFrance #Kunduz #Calais #NoBorders #HaciBirlik #Turkey #Brazil #ClimateChange #MMIW #Palestine #DariusPinex #SouthCarolina #SCFloods #IndigenousResistance #Surveillance #Encryption

After the 12 topic rundown and music video, we had two interviews. In the first interview, we were graced with the presence of Kanahus Manuel to discuss Indigenous environmental issues in so-called Canada.

For our second interview, we were joined by Dan Feidt, who discussed privacy protection options for computer and phone users in the growing surveillance state.

“Deprogram”, a live show hosted by Zo and Niko that attempts to examine the roots of the struggles that preside throughout different communities. “Deprogram” airs live every Wednesday night at 9pmEST.

Design Fiction & Diegetic Prototypes in Trendy Radicalism = Synchronicity? Blind spots in startup culture correspond to new "liberal identitarian" politics

I was looking at a few different topics, seemingly unrelated, but somehow they got a bit mixed together and perhaps this is relevant to others out there. In a nutshell it seems like there is an epidemic of magical thinking in American activist world in terms of a very particular implementation of identity politics, and perhaps this whole thing is better understood as a design fiction by way of diegetic prototypes.

I see some overlap between the blind spots of activists and the blind spots in Internet startup culture. Both cultures (both newcomers and veterans) suffer from a pattern of seeing something new and cool as a political answer, when all too frequently it is not. Startup world suffers from magical thinking, and activist world suffers from astroturfing (pseudo grassroots) and distracting false solutions packaged with new semiotics [e.g. the illusion of totally 'safe spaces' in a militarized country is definitely a design fiction].

Salty science fiction writer Bruce Sterling popularized the idea of 'design fiction' to characterize the symbolic operation of the presentation of something new that doesn't exist. Could this be used to control radical politics?

For example Google Glass was introduced through a 'design fiction' video of people wandering around in augmented reality. See Bruce Sterling on design fictions:

It’s the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories.

Slate: Can you give an example?

Sterling: I think the most effective design fictions to date have been videos. They’re not science-fiction films; they don’t have any Avatar-style heroics. They’re mostly vignettes of people interacting with objects and services. There’s some element of intellectual sex appeal that makes people forward them to other people.

Slate: What is it that makes design fictions work so well?

Sterling: Talking about a future gadget isn’t like talking about a future government or women’s rights in the future or other hot-button problems. Plus people are interested in things like that.

Slate: Can you have a design fiction within a sci-fi film?

Sterling: Absolutely. All these props have to be designed in one way or another. They’re dramatic, but they don’t really have much evidence of serious design thinking behind them. They’re not cheap to manufacture, they’re not easy to maintain. … That really slows sci-fi [creators] down. [Design fiction] is not a thing which is going to replace Hollywood. I don’t think that’s its purpose.

Slate: What’s one design fiction that people might be familiar with?

Sterling: In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the guy’s holding what’s clearly an iPad. It just really looks like one, right? This actually showed up in the recent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple. That’s kind of a successful design fiction in the sense that it’s a diegetic prototype. You see an iPad in this movie and your response is not just, “Oh, what’s that’s that?” But “That would be cool if it existed.”

Slate: Why is design fiction important?

Sterling: It’s really a new set of tools that, I think they’re giving futurism a second wind in some ways. Instead of talking about grand, overarching things like futurism in the 1960s—we need a new consciousness—it suits the tenor of our own period. What kind of business model would that work in? That’s the question people of our time can engage in. I’m not saying design fiction’s going to resolve our economic problems. On the other hand, if you’re an unemployed designer, it’s one of the coolest things you can do now.

/////

[Somewhat related, in 2014 he gave 40 minute closing remarks that addressed some blind spots with the SXSW crowd here, good if you have time.]

This one from April 2013 is the more important: Bruce Sterling NEXT13 - Fantasy prototypes and real disruption. If you substitute his references to the startup audience members with newcomer activists vulnerable to astroturfing, perhaps you'll see the parallel I noticed:

He points out that the startup workers are in a kind of alliance with wealthy mostly baby boomer financier class who underwrite the startups, and in fact they are not actually working towards a cool networked egalitarian planet.

I think to some extent that the well-resourced new generation of NGOs (many set up since 2010) operates in a similar way, with the charmed/trendy activist set acting in alliance with discreet financiers. The new politics (which could be labeled "liberal identitarian" as CryptoCuttlefish puts it in the Twitter thread that inspired this post) is a kind of design fiction or diegetic prototype. Behind the design fiction of pseudo-emancipatory politics is a large network of discreet but relevant links of power and money.

It has become more noticed in recent months that the trend of the moment, "intersectional identity politics" (or last year, "anti-oppression politics") has major shortcomings. At least as far back as 2012 radical activists noticed a system of tokenism and unassailable identities were displacing class analysis in the scene. That is, figureheads who seemed to have the correct identity properties would be deemed as automatically authoritative and beyond critique. Alongside that "white [male] anarchists" became the catch-all label to effectively render radical people of color invisible; to hear some tell it, anarchist POC never do direct actions in Oakland, which is not true at all.

It seems quite possible that this new intersectional identity politics system is actually a design fiction. It is a method to create the appearance of a new theoretical direction, but it does not seem to actually generate concrete strategies. Intersectional analysis can certainly identify shared concerns (for example, American Indians and people of color are more likely to experience pollution and environmental racism, an important pattern) but it does not actually seem to generate new strategies from within itself.

We should consider the possibility that intersectional identity politics is the fantasy prototype of a new politics, but not an actual toolkit for solving problems. Instead, based on identities, the appeal to authority is baked in as a weakness that powerful classes (and the low profile foundation network players) can exploit. For example, Al Sharpton with a background and 'correct intersectional identity' as a black civil rights leader acts as a figurehead that consolidates opposition, acts as a lightning rod to funnel it off, away from institutions like the DOJ (where he previously worked as an informant).

We could also look at how Gloria Steinem still has authority in the feminist scene, even though it is well known she was a CIA plant [watch this video!] whose informing helped get leftists wiped out during the Cold War. To go further we could get into how individualized "diversity" programming from business schools is a very cagey way to divide workers from one another by setting identity categories above the shared class interests of workers vs management. Just look at the absence of unions from business school-sponsored 'diversity' conferences. Clearly this type of thing has not been lost on intelligence agencies and high level business & managerial strategists.

If in fact you hit the political circuit and make your way around, it doesn't take long to find people that seem to have all the 'identity' attributes that would seem to be 'prerequisites' for radical perspectives, but are actually quite reactionary people who don't want to rock various boats. These are frequently the very same people who will shut down others for attempting to advance radical agendas, using whatever identity politics tactics to shut down the would-be radicals. Then like clockwork, they make appeals to authority based on identity when anyone pushes back. It is almost a trained reflex, with just a tiny bit of trolling you can get a demonstration.

On countless occasions you can clearly see the contrast between radicals and non-radicals who share the same general identities but have diametrically opposed hopes and beliefs. The new trends is for the less radical people to use these "intersectional" claims to put a foundation of authority under their political ideas, undermine their opponents, and chase off everyone who's not on their program. "Check your privilege" is not a bad idea to keep in mind, but it's not a political program.

Another diversion in this mix is pop-culture politics, the obsessive focus on the mass popular culture plane as a site of resistance and maneuver. See Too poor for pop culture by Baltimore resident D. Watkins, Feb 2014, and Where’s Ja? Pop Culture Criticism Is Politically Pointless | Orchestrated Pulse by RobtheIdealist Jan 2015, to get right into it.

In conclusion I am not trying to suggest that intersectional identity politics or anti-oppression politics, and the people operating in that matrix, are all useless trojan horses for the Man, but at the same time they should not be considered above critique and the huge flaws in play trigger important real-world consequences. We should be vigilant when it seems like prototyped fictions are put forth as authoritative, functioning political programs, when in fact they so often fall short, and not be afraid to suggest more radical visions instead.

/////

More, much deeper, sources: Hat tips to @RancidTarzie @olaasm @cuttlefish_btc and @robtheidealist, several smart cats who have all kicked around some related, critical ideas on this front.

See the very insightful large review which inspired me to finally write something on this: April 2012: Who Is Oakland: Anti-Oppression Activism, the Politics of Safety, and State Co-optation.

I. Identity-Based Organizing
II. Institutional Struggles Over the Meaning of Anti-Oppression Politics
a. On the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (NPIC), Again
b. Politicians and Police Who Are “Just Like Us”
c. Anticapitalism and the Material Reproduction of “Race” and “Gender”
d. The Racialization of Rape and the Erasure of Sexual Violence
III. The Limits of Contemporary Anti-Oppression Theory and Practice
a. Identity is not Solidarity
b. Protecting Vulnerable Communities of Color and “Our” Women and Children: The Endangered Species Theory of Minority Populations and Patriarchal White Conservationism
c. On Nonprofit Certified “White Allies” and Privilege Theory
IV. Occupy Oakland as Example
a. Occupy Oakland, “Outside Agitators,” and “White Occupy”
b. The Erasure of People of Color From Occupy Oakland
V. Conclusion: Recuperating Decolonization and National Liberation Struggles; or, Revolution is Radically Unsafe

Also May 2014: Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex | Indigenous Action Media is quite relevant here.

Adolph Reed Jr. is also very insightful, see: Django Unchained, or, The Help: How “Cultural Politics” Is Worse Than No Politics at All, and Why | nonsite.org (Feb 2013) and Platypus “To unite the many”: An interview with Adolph L. Reed, Jr. April 2015.

There are levels to this shit: @RobtheIdealist has challenged intersectionality as lacking in generating any strategy, along with calling out other trendy surfaces that absorb so much attention. See all of the following! The Left’s Self-Destructive Obsession with Shame (Aug 2014), Cultural Appropriation is Dead (Nov 2014), Political Ambitionz az a Rioter (Aug 2014), Feminism Ain’t For Black Folks: Why My Mama Had It Right All Along (Mar 2014), My Skinfolk Ain’t All Kinfolk: The Left’s Problem with Identity Politics (Mar 2014), Challenging Feminism, Intersectionality, and Black Academics: An Interview w/ Dr. Tommy Curry (Podcast Mar 2014), #PrayForVenezuela and the Dangers of Hashtag Humanitarianism (Feb 2014), Privilege Is Not Enough, Oppression is Omnidirectional (Jan 2014), Are You Tired of the Social Justice Outrage Machine? (Jan 2014), Tim Wise & The Failure of Privilege Discourse (Oct 2013), Otherwise Liberalism (Jan 2015 re lack of strategy), Jon Stewart, Opiate of the Masses (Feb 2015), Mass Incarceration is Not the New Jim Crow (April 2014). Way to get into all those damn levels Rob!

The Problem with “Privilege” (Aug 2013) by Andrea Smith gets right into how privilege discourse is hopelessly jumbled up. Among many other salient points: "The concept of safe space flows naturally from the logics of privilege".

Audio: Rob Redding discusses w Dr. Tommy Curry says talking about white privilege is not profound it is just for profit - YouTube - August 2013. I don't agree with that entirely but it's a topic that has to be looked at.

The website Wrong Kind of Green charts many different levels of NGO problems with the ally-industrial complex and other trendy players that are very relevant today. More specifically see: Non-Profit Industrial Complex | Wrong Kind of Green

Jesse Jackson marketing takeover explored in The Original Rainbow Coalition: An Example of Universal Identity Politics | Tikkun Magazine

@OLAASM (originally Occupy LA AntiSocialMedia) suspects that a writer who uses tactics similar to those above (frequently erasing POC as "white anarchists") and has career & family experience in the international intelligence NGO sphere: Stranger Danger: The Infiltration of Dissident Communities by Freedom House’s Sarah Kendzior. In comments the last few days CryptoCuttlefish points out some links with Gamergate / harassment / appeal to authority intersections.

Somewhat related: There is a larger question of "agency" analysis in the international sphere as well: The Agency | 100 Flamingos. Also this is kind of fascinating: Who Was Ernst Henri? | a.nolen context of old school WWI-WWII era 'controlled Communists' of the intelligence/parlor scene with several cameos by Aleister Crowley.

The Rancid Honeytrap written by @RancidTarzie [private timeline] is often tuned into other aspects of the trendy 'celebrity left' storyline. I don't always agree but there are some ideas that can help us all get a grip when the scenesters get carried away.

Including this thought provoking thread, a chunk here:

crypto-cuttlefish.png

Tragic Gray State fallout: "Sandy Hook Hoaxer" stalker troll squad turns against Minnesota Truthers & late filmmaker David Crowley's family & friends in bizarre twist

If you want to help stop acting crazy so we can tell our loved ones that there is nothing to worry about. All the conspiracy buzz is freaking them out. They are afraid some of you lunatics are gonna come for them thinking we are covering stuff up.
One of late director David Crowley's friends begging the hoaxers to lay off before the funeral

One of the more disgusting displays I've ever seen on the Internet has gone down in the last week or so, with a bunch of creepy cats and sockpuppets emerging seemingly from nowhere to disparage the friends and family of the late David Crowley, a Minnesota alternative filmmaker who investigators currently believe shot himself as well as his wife and daughter. Unfortunately today this has escalated into veiled threats against at least one of Crowley's friends as well, a horrible display.

To cut a long and stupid story short, the core of this network of people are best known as the "Sandy Hook Hoaxers" who have now latched onto a new tragedy to wrap themselves in and give their lives meaning. Until now, I've never seen gangstalking instigated against Truthers after a tragedy, even before the funerals. These are the very same key people who have been harassing various families in Newtown Connecticut, generally creeping and making fools of themselves. They are the operators of Sandy Hook Hoax facebook group and friends.

While both the Sandy Hook shooting and the unfortunate demise of David Crowley & his family are both tragic and weird, these tragedies are seized upon by really unbalanced people who go crusading around after whoever they can find, in an effort to draw attention to themselves.

This mob of sick troll behavior also quite effectively wrecks the efforts of more principled "citizen investigators" or Truthers that attempt to discern the truth in these matters, not continuously verbally abuse the townspeople so to speak. This could be termed "poisoning the well" or "muddying the waters". Nowadays even people Obama cites in speeches get this treatment.

//// UPDATE 1/29: Brandan Hunt reiterates some points (w credits to this post) on a Youtube video which seems an accurate summary. Thanks! ////

A "poisoning the well" example in Sandy Hook: many of these hoaxers latched onto the memes and frame of "dallasgoldbug" who is notorious for claiming political figures are actually actors, like Steve Buscemi is actually Terrence McKenna for example. This delusion got thrown at seemingly everyone in Newtown CT, which also effectively helps poison research on the issue should covert operators actually use 'crisis actors' in some shady event.

Naturally this same delusion got directed at Crowley's friends and acquaintances - for some reason these people with the yellow 9/11 USA avatars are seemingly devoid of discernment and decency:

same-person.png

So-called "Justice for David Crowley & family" group run by full fruitbats: The Sandy Hook Hoaxer trolls are flocking to this new tragedy. Here, for example, the sole group administrator, Daniel Michael Hennen of Chaska, says that Crowley's friends, on Instagram sharing a laugh together on the same day they did media interviews on two local networks, are "the four guys who have the 'most to gain' from David Crowley NOT being alive. Let that sink in." and "...They have the most to gain with david six feet under, that's all." [Not run by the same person as this other page, which is not attacking the family or friends]

Hennen is essentially unknown to Crowley's friends, but has started a whole bunch of "Justice for X" groups of which he is always the sole administrator. This group is by far the most popular with 700+ people. Here he's attempting to demonize Crowley's friends using a favorite old Sandy Hook theory that bereaved people apparently never smile again. ("it takes me back to the Sandy Hook days…" as he tries to live within that tragedy's fallout.)

blame-friends.png blame-friends2.png

The day before, Hennen posited that Crowley's brother was "jealous" and therefore had a major motive to murder his own brother and his family. And earlier today he said that one of Crowley's close friends "certainly needs his ass kicked." Hennen's kept the innuendoes against David's brother rolling today:

blame-brother.png

Here is today's veiled threat against Crowley's friend Sean - I'm posting the both the folded and unfolded versions:


assault-sean-threat.png assault-sean-threat2.png

On this thread first it's worth noting that Minnesotan Michael Okishoff has some criminal convictions for domestic issues (and not surprisingly tried to order around female group members in private chats). Okishoff is also attempting to raise money in a GoFundMe he claims will ultimately be turned over for family medical bills, as a clone of a legitimate fundraising campaign Crowley's brother started.

Here we have the Sandy Hook Hoaxer rabbit hole of madness: As noted last May by CW Wade, Thomas Lapp has been cited as involved in cyberstalking Newtown parents and children, as well as his friend Tony Mead, also highly active on this group. Dan Hennen wrote a piece defending flagship hoaxer Wolfgang Halbig in March 2014. Wolfgang apparently briefly checked into this new group and then bounced.

Another Sandy Hook alt media writer, Brandan Hunt, traced Wolfgang Halbig's operations and circle of troll friends: SANDY HOOK: Wolfgang Halbig is a LIAR (Video Presentation, Transcript + Downloads) - Brendan Hunt.com. Halbig has adeptly scammed people who hope that some light can be shed on Sandy Hook.

Unfortunately apparently Jim Fetzer has been all over this bad behavior with Sandy Hook as well, embarrassing more respectful alternative researchers. Apparently he started promoting dallasgoldbug ages ago.

If anything the accusations and paranoia leveled by Hennen, Lapp and Mead resemble when another horrible middle aged hoaxer, Rick Santilli, accused Jim Fetzer of a role in murdering a Truther in Uptown Minneapolis several years ago, which I found appalling (and almost finished writing a post about shortly after it happened).

These kind of crazy accusations against other researchers and their friends is part of how this bitter conspiracy troll class seems to bond, and the more people call them out, the more they bunker up into their own worldview. More Sandy Hook links below...

////

Sean messaged me the same block message and suggests that we not engage Hennen or his hoaxer friends anymore, and instead go with the copypasta. I am including Sean's message here so it's not lost in the shuffle - linebreaks added for clarity:

dan michael hennen you coward... you take a few sentences of our conversation and share that why would you not share the whole thing... Like I said on the phone respect and rights are 2 completely different things, and when it comes to this you have neither. I will not let you get me angry, you do not have that power nor the respect to even let you cloud my thoughts through all of this. What I am happy to see is the true friends of mine, family and gray state team who have put countless hours to try and reason with your delusional false empathetic gestures.

But obviously you are a sociopath and unable to decipher with rational reason or emotion. I most feel sorry for your children. a message to all who are trying to rationalize with this psychotic please do not waste your time he is in this only to fulfill his sick needs of torment and has lacked the ability to deal with his inner demons im sure that he is sick and needs help. even through his hatred and disrespect for this situation I still have hope for him that he will one day learn respect and honor, for the only reason is that you have children. You are so lucky I am where I am mentally and have only strived to improve myself daily that I will never be the reason you look over your shoulder.

I cannot speak for others but all you have done is put yourself as the target for misguided anger, I pray that no one would ever harm you as that would be against the crowleys wishes and disappoint me. as far as any and all of my friends please do as I and the family and friends are doing and ignore these trolls. Dan is the one who has to look at himself and tho he might not see any of his actions as wrong that is just an apparent red flag is his sickness. Sean Wright, family friend of David Komel and Raniya

/// I sean Wright Give Dan Feidt full permission to troll Dan hennen with my comment and think this will be enough to get him to stop but we do not need to waste any of our time on him other than clicking "control v" that is all the respect he deserves, he does not deserve any actualy intellectual responses from any of us please keep our anger harnessed as it will only fulfill his sick mind. Thank you respectfully Sean Wright 1/25/2014

Before I realized that this was the Sandy Hook Hoaxer troll squad I posted the following to the group, a few days ago:

The statement from the group admin "In some circles, HE committed the crimes." referring to someone in Crowley's immediate family is a dangerous and defamatory statement to peg on the internet especially when David's actual real-world friends have warned plenty of times that they and the family are worried about unbalanced people coming after them. This followed an ad hominem attack saying anyone who doesn't believe it wasn't a murder/suicide is missing something obvious to a 5th grade education.

Detaching from reality and asserting an alternate one "In some circles, HE committed the crimes" as opposed to stating "some circles believe that" is defamatory and makes the situation more dangerous. There are mentally ill people sucked into this thing now and if you don't put some boundaries, especially defamation of family members, things are going to get worse, not better, and that is shameful.

Making ad hominem attacks about people who don't buy these speculative storylines peddled around all week is also the shortcut to failing to achieve any "truth" or justice and the lack of class shown in this moment is appalling.

Sean posted this back on the 22nd, before things got even crazier (check the thread from hell):

Please stop with the accusations of an inside job, and its our right to upload video thats not your work. Trolling is pointless. Us friends and fam have issued statements, met w press, and have been very accomodating due to the suspiciousness of the tragic events which took place. To settle the trolls:

Not a conspiracy of murder.

David did not receive 30 mil.

Not going to confirm any facts of the investigation until its complete and delivered to family.

The rise was only rough cut for a reason it was never meant to be publicly viewed. He put that up 2 years so we could help him with stuff he needed input on.

The 2nd cut and 3 are way different than the rough cut.

The finsl cut is what david wanted released and that will come out in time, first we must bury our friends and let the investigation take place there is a ton of information to go thru and so much more piling in daily. I have faith in the detectives working this case as does the family and rest of close friends.

We are not covering anything up.

We are carefully sharing what we can. We need to get access to all the pages to insure accurate information is released.

Too many people are trying to get their name out in vein of this event. david was on bring of many projects (cant disclose publicly and cuz of all that is going on from speculation you see why)

Only facts out is they went out painlessly and not a conspiracy. Please stop with the nonsense its scaring our loved ones and we have been so busy we have not even been able to begin to grieve. Its not fair to us.

If you want to help stop acting crazy so we can tell our loved ones that there is nothing to worry about. All the conspiracy buzz is freaking them out. They are afraid some of you lunatics are gonna come for them thinking we are covering stuff up.

Please have class and respect for the dead if not for me then please for the families of the deceased.

I had to tell my daughter her friend and whole family died. She was only able to smile when i told her paleo is ok. Stop scaring my loved ones. Put urself in our shoes how could you handle this better than we are i would love to know (not).

Danny August Mason Adam Shambour Mason Norsk Hest and have not had a second to grieve. Please give us the same respect the families deserve. Please respect david komel and rani and their families.

today we did 2 interviews w msm, that was shadowed by the release of the rough cut. Tomorrow ben swann interview. Family set up fund raiser and taking care of funerals wakes and everything else that has to be done.

///

Earlier vultures perch: I thought it was contemptible that Kevin Barrett immediately blamed the Mossad for this tragedy via Iranian state media PressTV site, without a particle of evidence. The ever-trashy Southern Poverty Law Center of course has a field day with all the fruitbattery and re-posting Crowley's videos under "hatewatch". Of course SPLC cites the stalker/hoaxer Thomas Lapp to prove their overall persistent point, that generally alt-media people are dangerous and prone to inducing violence.

///

Other Sandy Hook related material: For example this enters into the topic of the Sandy Hook Hoaxers and their military intelligence links: Sandy Hook Stalkers | Tracking the Vultures and Predators of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre - a number of specific hoaxes they've run in the Sandy Hook context. Hoaxers Put Sandy Hook Parents in Their Crosshairs | Sandy Hook Stalkers

Wolfgang’s Bad Company « Memory Hole: A prominent researcher on Sandy Hook James F Tracy explained that shadowy people tried to get him to peddle the crisis actors meme, and when he turned them down, then they started putting Wolfgang at the head of the hoaxer troll pack. Unfortunately he gave stalker Tony Mead space on his site in July as well, but this is probably the first thing worth reading about this mess:

"Those in the 9/11 Truth movement are well aware of the “cognitive infiltrators” who are only too happy to harness a loose cannon or two that will sabotage or otherwise hinder the genuine remedy of collective intelligence. I am aware that at least one of the parties who misinformed me is now operating as Wolfgang Halbig’s handler."

Via Brandan Hunt (xrayultra): EXPOSED - The Secret Troll Network Preying on the Truth Movement: Montagraph, October Reignz, CaliberHitter… "Try your best not to internalize their bullshit. Instead, speak out, but don’t spend any more of your precious time exposing these freaks than is absolutely necessary. It will distract you from the good work you do, and indeed, that is the goal." Great advice. Also: Sandy Hook Truth Movement takeover by Disinfo Agents & Morons - YouTube

Sandy Hook Hoax admins are LIARS [Videos + Transcript] - Brendan Hunt:

"folks who are posing as truth-seekers and online researchers, but are actually injecting disinformation into the communities that are looking into 9/11, the JFK assassination, and things like Sandy Hook…. Lenny Pozner’s recent editorial on Sandy Hook truthers which singled out Tony Mead and Wolfgang Halbig as some of the more toxic individuals in the community. I’m not saying I trust Pozner at all, but since the truther community hasn’t really taken a hard-line stance against these frauds, as I’ve tried to encourage, the media can hold them up as examples of the research community and say “See! We told you these truthers were bad!” These crazed individuals, such as Tony Mead and Erik Pearson, ReviewManify aka TeamWakeEmUp, Thomas Lapp, FreeRadioRevolution and his idiot pal RedPillRevolution, Odinrok, Jim Fetzer and the Veteran’s Today crew, and George Mason are all pissed at me for calling them out on the lies they've tried to perpetrate upon the truth movement."

Much of the same crew now turned against the MN Truthers via this group. Also: SANDY HOOK: Wolfgang Halbig is a LIAR (Video Presentation, Transcript + Downloads) - Brendan Hunt.com

Tracker blog: Sandy Hook Hoax Hall Of Shame

Satirizing hoaxers: Sandy Hook Hoax Hoaxers and Sandy Hook Hoaxers Are Not Bright

CW Wade's debunking site (also here) including on Wolfgang trying to demand identities of children. Sandy Hook- Facts & Research: Sandy Hook Hoax Erik Pearson and Tony Mead Continue Stalking of Victims

This is one of the hoaxer pages: Sandy Hook Hoax mainly promoting Wolfgang Halbig.

WillyLoman: Rainmaker Wolfgang Halbig – A Pure Fraud in the Classic Sense | American Everyman - March 2014

Unfortunately Tony Mead has been posting at ActivistPost (Aug 2014). Typical stuff. Another hoaxer site. They defend themselves from stalking charges in a convoluted post here.

Identity hijacking from Tony Mead's friends at InsaneMedia: Insanemedia Caught Stealing Woman’s Identity To Promote Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory | Newtown Post-Examiner, see also “We Need To Talk About Sandy Hook” Stalker Craven S Moorehead aka Swansong aka Swan | Newtown Post-Examiner: "In a previous post on the Sandy Hook Stalkers blog, Craven S Moorehead was shown to be partnered with Katja Bush, the wife of Captain Lashon Bush of the U.S. Army Cyber Command– all three of whom our team found linked to the IP-phishing Insanemedia website. For those unfamiliar, Tony Mead’s Sandy Hook Hoax Facebook page is where Hoaxers (those who believe that the SHES massacre was a government “false flag” operation) gather to spew libelous accusations and plot strategies to harass and intimidate those personally affected by the SHES tragedy. Their stalking and predations occur on a daily basis and have been well documented by those of us who have been monitoring their activities." Seems legit.

Delusional Internet postings saying Sandy Hook was a hoax deny the pain and anguish of parents, relatives and Newtown residents - Hartford Courant by Lenny Pozner, parent of one of the dead kids. July 25 2014:

Unfortunately, there still exists a small but obsessive faction of hoaxers who are either unable or unwilling to objectively discern the hard facts from among the fleeting hunches and groundless accusations. Others are well aware of the truth but exploit the tragedy for their own aggrandizement. Regardless of their motivation, all have one thing in common: They persist in stalking and harassing the Sandy Hook parents and others intimately connected to the tragedy.

Among their most active leaders is Tony Mead, apparently a resident of Florida. For several months, this serial cyber stalker has hosted a Facebook page where he has amassed a cult following of like-minded hoaxers who ravenously feed off each other's paranoia and hatred for anyone who was affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

This is not a place where meaningful discussions are held or investigative inquiries are made. This is a place where strategies are plotted against grieving relatives and children's identities are stolen and exploited to fulfill a twisted fantasy.

This is exactly the network that has now turned against the Minnesota Truthers and Crowley's friends and family.

HAL-BIG IS WOLF’S GANG? | THE CONSPIRACY CRITIC (March 2014)

The persistent Glenn Canady shills for VT, Wolfgang & Fetzer etc: The Sandy Hook "Smoking Gun": Game Set Match! | Alternative

Conspiracy cats more likely to conspire? Seems like this type all right: Does it take one to know one? New research reveals conspiring conspiracy theorists — ScienceDaily

There is even a counter-harassment org set up now: HONR Network: Report Harassment, Sandy Hook Hoaxers, Conspiracy Theories

Rather than focusing their delusional grievances and accusations on authorities, the ‘hoaxers’ take the path of least resistance, harassing and emotionally abusing the victims’ family members online, on the telephone, and even in person. This practice allows them to feel as though they are doing something productive to have their voices heard, while staying safely away from the clutches of the authorities. This is a cowardly approach to having their grievances heard, and we need to ensure that they find some other method of doing so which doesn’t directly affect victims’ family members, or anyone else involved in the management of the tragedies, such as emergency service workers or those who were in any way involved. Even these individuals have found themselves the target of hoaxer hostility and harassment.

///

Unfortunately until such disgusting tactics are railed out of the Truther world, we will continue to see investigations around tragedies like Sandy Hook and the Crowley family backfire horribly. To paraphrase what one of Crowley's Truther friends told me, he was damn near ready to switch into believing the official 9/11 story simply because of these appalling people. My condolences to all.

On a final note, I was able to exchange email with the late Crowley about the Oct 2013 draft cut of his film Gray State: The Rise, but I will hold those comments over for another time. There are other relevant statements, social media items and images that clearly show Crowley was going into a dark place. But this post is focused on the ugly troll crowd that wants to find another tragedy to cling to, with Sandy Hook now becoming a messy, opaque memory.

[Full research credit to Scott Wilson who originally flagged the Sandy Hook Hoaxer squad's existence on the fruitbat group, thank you.]

Barrett Brown's sentencing under shadow of federal falsehoods signals doom for Internet journalism, but at least information == drugs now!

In principle, American Internet Journalism just died horribly.

Fuck it dude, let's go bowling (and keep posting without prior restraint till they drag us all away).

prior-restraint-walter.jpg

Unfortunately, a confused federal judge in Texas decided to disregard the Supreme Court's round rejection of prior restraint and enhanced Barrett Brown's sentence because copying and pasting a link to a zip file — a file whose contents he only had a loose notion of at the time, and was posted in the context of corporate research — is now apparently a forbidden form of speech.

As best conveyed by Texas mag Dallas Frontburner here, the whole court hearing was surreal and full of strange and new concepts. Quinn Norton is quitting working on information security journalism because of this situation, and she was a defense witness for Brown, explaining the stupidity around credit card numbers to a court that never understood.

It's interesting – indeed horrifying – because almost no one actually looks at the full content of any link they post, ever. If Time Magazine were to post a link to some story that has credit card numbers attached in an invisible Javascript, they'd be fully liable under this new rationale. More likely they'd throw the book at a smaller target than Time.

I don't get if DOJ has a helpdesk for these things or what. Like are you supposed to call the division dedicated to killing modern journalism and check with them how prior restraint works next week? Does it count for giant zip files, invisible javascripts, Pastebins or what?

We are all targets now. If we are to take the DOJ at their word, internet journalism has more or less been made impossible. Responsibility got shifted from publishers (or 'leakers') to observers, researchers and aggregators. Will corporate weasel lawyers forbid high level journalists from linking to things? The chilling effects are open-ended and basically endless, as well as impossible to ascertain without skimming the HTML source code of every page you link to and every autoloading script attached therein.

Even after reviewing the HTML, it will still become more chilling if the proposed White House CFAA revision goes in because of some weird notion about trafficking that they were able to get to stick at Barrett's sentencing.

See: Barrett Brown Obama's War on Hackers | Al Jazeera America Jan 23 2015: What no one in government seems to understand about cases such as Brown’s is that this is simply the way journalism is done today.

Obama's cybersecurity plan: Share a password, click a link, go to prison as a hacker | Computerworld Jan 21 2015: you could be considered a hacker for innocent behavior like sharing your Netflix password with family members or clicking a link that contains unauthorized content.


share-netflix-password-be-prosecuted-for-cfaa-and-go-to-prison-100563985-large.idge.gif

So this speech would effectively be nuked, for example:

201501231621.jpg

...could make either retweeting or clicking on the above (fictional) link illegal. The new laws make it a felony to intentionally access unauthorized information even if it's been posted to a public website. The new laws make it a felony to traffic in information like passwords, where "trafficking" includes posting a link.

Via the link above ErrataRob Graham explains that security research will be rendered impossible, thereby making it a felony to correctly develop software with any defense:

Obama proposes upgrading hacking to a “racketeering” offense, means you can be guilty of being a hacker by simply acting like a hacker (without otherwise committing a specific crime). Hanging out in an IRC chat room giving advice to people now makes you a member of a “criminal enterprise,” allowing the FBI to sweep in and confiscate all your assets without charging you with a crime.

What Obama Gets Wrong About Cybersecurity Gizmodo last Tuesday.

Also Jan 16 2015: Obama's Computer Security Solution is a Mishmash of Old, Outdated Policy Solutions | Electronic Frontier Foundation

In this ludicrous security panic post-CharlieHebdo, they are also going back to Clipper Chip Redux demanding to be able to backdoor and intercept all encrypted communications, both the White House and Downing Street. This isn't the 1990s, they will have to ban Github and destroy General Purpose Computing soon enough.

///

On the upside, after the child porn argument fell apart, the government had to claim that information is the same kind of thing as drugs in order to cram the situation into a statutory conspiracy. So well done there, Barrett, you forced them to make speech into drugs. Drugs = Speech. The Supreme Court previously said that Speech = Money, so therefore Drugs = Money. Party on, robed ones.

///

Barrett Brown Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison in Connection to Stratfor Hack | WIRED

The ruling, in Texas, brings to a close an unusual saga that had the feds initially charging Brown with 12 counts of aggravated identity theft and trafficking in stolen data for simply posting a link in a chat room. That link pointed to a file containing data stolen by members of the hacktivist group Anonymous from the intelligence firm Stratfor, or Strategic Forecasting. The data included company emails as well as credit card numbers belonging to subscribers of Stratfor’s service. The charges against Brown caused a stir when they were first revealed, because Brown hadn’t stolen the data himself, but had simply copied the hyperlink from one public chatroom and posted it to another.

///

///

Oh well: Living in America will literally drive you insane. Indeed it is hard to attempt to contort one's mind to whatever the government's reasoning is in Barrett's case. We live under a ruthless system with little regard for logic and nothing but fear and loathing for hyperlinks. Federal prosecutors can blatantly lie in court and face no punishment - indeed they earn merit instead.

Blah. Keep plugging on lolcats. As the radicals know it's a good idea to live as if you are already free; the "prefigurative" application of traditional (and previously protected) legal principles of speech might eventually be respected in America again, but only if masses of writers don't flee from these terrible people after losing this ugly battle on terrible grounds.

There is plenty more that could be said but I will crosspost Barrett's daring allocution statement. I would bet it got him a couple more months from that judge but at least it's honest, and certainly the appropriate spot to bring up prosecutorial misconduct.

Good afternoon, Your Honor.

The allocution I give today is going to be a bit different from the sort that usually concludes a sentencing hearing, because this is an unusual case touching upon unusual issues. It is also a very public case, not only in the sense that it has been followed closely by the public, but also in the sense that it has implications for the public, and even in the sense that the public has played a major role, because, of course, the great majority of the funds for my legal defense was donated by the public. And so now I have three duties that I must carry out. I must express my regret, but I must also express my gratitude. And I also have to take this opportunity to ensure that the public understands what has been at stake in this case, and why it has proceeded in the way that it has. Because, of course, the public didn’t simply pay for my defense through its donations, they also paid for my prosecution through its tax dollars. And the public has a right to know what it is paying for. And Your Honor has a need to know what he is ruling on.

First I will speak of regret. Like nearly all federal defendants, I hope to convince Your Honor that I sincerely regret some of the things that I have done. I don’t think anyone doubts that I regret quite a bit about my life including some of the things that brought me here today. Your Honor has the Acceptance of Responsibility document that my counsel submitted to you. Every word of it was sincere. The videos were idiotic, and although I made them in a manic state brought on by sudden withdrawal from Paxil and Suboxone, and while distraught over the threats to prosecute my mother, that’s still me in those YouTube clips talking nonsense about how the FBI would never take me alive. Likewise, I didn’t have the right to hide my files from the FBI during a lawful investigation, and I would’ve had a better chance of protecting my contacts in foreign countries if I had pursued the matter in the courts after the raid, rather than stupidly trying to hide those laptops in the kitchen cabinet as my mother and I did that morning. And with regard to the accessory after the fact charge relating to my efforts to redact sensitive emails after the Stratfor hack, I’ve explained to Your Honor that I do not want to be a hypocrite. If I criticize the government for breaking the law but then break the law myself in an effort to reveal their wrongdoing, I should expect to be punished just as I’ve called for the criminals at government-linked firms, like HBGary and Palantir, to be punished. When we start fighting crime by any means necessary, we become guilty of the same hypocrisy as law enforcement agencies throughout history that break the rules to get the villains, and so become villains themselves.

I’m going to say a few more words about my regrets in a moment, but now I’m going to get to the unusual part of the allocution. I’m going to make some criticisms of the manner in which the government has pursued this case. Normally this sort of thing is left to one’s lawyers rather than the defendant, because to do otherwise runs the risk of making the defendant seem combative rather than contrite. But I think Your Honor can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time. I think Your Honor understands that one can regret the unjust things one has done, while also being concerned about the unjust things that have been done to him. And based on certain statements that Your Honor has made, as well as one particular ruling, I have cause to believe that Your Honor will understand and perhaps even sympathize with the unusual responsibility I have which makes it necessary that I point out some things very briefly.

I do so with respect to Your Honor. I also do it for selfish reasons, because I want to make absolutely certain that Your Honor is made aware that the picture the government has presented to you is a false one. But it is also my duty to make this clear as this case does not just affect me. Even aside from the several First Amendment issues that have already been widely discussed as a result of this case, there is also the matter of the dozens of people around the world who have contributed to my distributed think tank, Project PM, by writing for our public website, echelon2.org. Incredibly, the government has declared these contributors—some of them journalists—to be criminals and participants in a criminal conspiracy. As such, the government sought from this court a subpoena by which to obtain the identities of all of our contributors. Your Honor denied that motion and I am very grateful to Your Honor for having done so. Unfortunately the government thereafter went around Your Honor and sought to obtain these records by other means. So now the dozens of people who have given their time and expertise to what has been hailed by journalists and advocacy groups as a crucial journalistic enterprise are now at risk of being indicted under the same sort of spurious charges that I was facing not long ago, when the government exposed me to decades of prison time for copying and pasting a link to a publicly available file that other journalists were also linking to without being prosecuted. The fact that the government has still asked you to punish me for that link is proof, if any more were needed, that those of us who advocate against secrecy are to be pursued without regard for the rule of law, or even common decency.

Your Honor, I understand that this is my sentencing hearing and not an inquiry into the government’s conduct. This is not the place to go into the dozens of demonstrable errors and contradictions to be found in the government’s documentation and the testimony by the government. But it would be hypocritical of me to protest the government’s conduct and not provide Your Honor with an example. I will do so very briefly. At the September 13th bond hearing, held in Judge Stickney’s court the day after my arrest, Special Agent Allen Lynn took the stand and claimed under oath that in reviewing my laptops he had found discussions in which I admit having engaged in, quote, “SWATting”, unquote, which he referred to as, quote, “violent activity”, unquote. Your Honor may not be familiar with the term SWATting; as Mr. Lynn described it at the hearing it is, quote, “where they try to place a false 911 call to the residence of an individual in order to endanger that individual.” He went on at elaborate length about this, presenting it as a key reason why I should not receive bond. Your Honor will have noted that this has never come up again. This is because Mr. Lynn’s claims were entirely untrue. But that did not stop him from making that claim, any more than it stopped him from claiming that I have lived in the Middle East, a region I have never actually had the pleasure of visiting.

Your Honor, this is just one example from a single hearing. But if Your Honor can extrapolate from that, Your Honor can probably get a sense of how much value can be placed on the rest of the government’s testimony in this case. Likewise, Your Honor can probably understand the concerns I have about what my contributors might be subjected to by the government if this sort of behavior proves effective today. Naturally I hope Your Honor will keep this in mind, and I hope that other judges in this district will as well, because, again, there remains great concern that my associates will be the next to be indicted.

I’ve tried to protect my contributors, Your Honor, and I’ve also tried to protect the public’s right to link to source materials without being subject to misuse of the statutes. Last year, when the government offered me a plea bargain whereby I would plead to just one of the eleven fraud charges related to the linking, and told me it was final, I turned it down. To have accepted that plea, with a two-year sentence, would have been convenient—Your Honor will note that I actually did eventually plead to an accessory charge carrying potentially more prison time—but it would have been wrong. Even aside from the obvious fact that I did not commit fraud, and thus couldn’t sign to any such thing, to do so would have also constituted a dangerous precedent, and it would have endangered my colleagues, each of whom could now have been depicted as a former associate of a convicted fraudster. And it would have given the government, and particularly the FBI, one more tool by which to persecute journalists and activists whose views they find to be dangerous or undesirable.

Journalists are especially vulnerable right now, Your Honor, and they become more so when the FBI feels comfortable making false claims about me. And in response to our motion to dismiss the charges of obstruction of justice based on the hiding of my laptops, the government claimed that those laptops contained evidence of a plot I orchestrated to attack the Kingdom of Bahrain on the orders of Amber Lyon. Your Honor, Amber Lyon is a journalist and former CNN reporter, who I do know and respect, but I can assure Your Honor that I am not in the habit of attacking Gulf state monarchies on her behalf. But I think it’s unjust of them to use this court to throw out that sort of claim about Miss Lyon in a public filing as they did if they’re not prepared to back it up. And they’re not prepared to back it up. But that won’t stop the Kingdom of Bahrain from repeating this groundless assertion and perhaps even using it to keep Miss Lyon out of the country. Because she has indeed reported on the Bahraini monarchy’s violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests in that country, and she has done so from that country. And if she ever returns to that country to continue that important work, she’ll now be subject to arrest on the grounds that the United States Department of Justice itself has explicitly accused her of orchestrating an attack on that country’s government.

Your Honor, this is extraordinary. Miss Lyon isn’t the only journalist that’s been made legally less secure by this prosecution. Every journalist in the United States is put at risk by the novel, and sometimes even radical, claims that the government has introduced in the course of the sentencing process. The government asserts that I am not a journalist and thus unable to claim the First Amendment protections guaranteed to those engaged in information-gathering activities. Your Honor, I’ve been employed as a journalist for much of my adult life, I’ve written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, and I’m the author of two published and critically-acclaimed books of expository non-fiction. Your Honor has received letters from editors who have published my journalistic work, as well as from award-winning journalists such as Glenn Greenwald, who note that they have used that work in their own articles. If I am not a journalist, then there are many, many people out there who are also not journalists, without being aware of it, and who are thus as much at risk as I am.

Your Honor, it would be one thing if the government were putting forth some sort of standard by which journalists could be defined. They have not put forth such a standard. Their assertion rests on the fact that despite having referred to myself as a journalist hundreds of times, I at one point rejected that term, much in the same way that someone running for office might reject the term “politician.” Now, if the government is introducing a new standard whereby anyone who once denies being a particular thing is no longer that thing in any legal sense, that would be at least a firm and knowable criteria. But that’s not what the government is doing in this case. Consider, for instance, that I have denied being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, both in public and private, ever since the press began calling me that in the beginning of 2011. So on a couple of occasions when I contacted executives of contracting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton in the wake of revelations that they’d been spying on my associates and I, for reasons that we were naturally rather anxious to determine, I did indeed pretend to be such an actual official spokesman for Anonymous, because I wanted to encourage these people to talk to me. Which they did.

Of course, I have explained this many, many times, and the government itself knows this, even if they’ve since claimed otherwise. In the September 13th criminal complaint filed against me, the FBI itself acknowledges that I do not claim any official role within Anonymous. Likewise, in last month's hearing, the prosecutor accidentally slipped and referred to me as a journalist, even after having previously found it necessary to deny me that title. But, there you have it. Deny being a spokesperson for Anonymous hundreds of times, and you’re still a spokesperson for Anonymous. Deny being a journalist once or twice, and you’re not a journalist. What conclusion can one draw from this sort of reasoning other than that you are whatever the FBI finds it convenient for you to be at any given moment. This is not the rule of law, Your Honor, it is the rule of Law Enforcement, and it is very dangerous.

Your Honor, I am asking you to give me a time-served sentence of thirty months today because to do otherwise will have the effect of rewarding this sort of reckless conduct on the part of the government. I am also asking for that particular sentence because, as my lawyer Marlo Cadeddu, an acknowledged expert on the guidelines, has pointed out, that’s what the actual facts of the case would seem to warrant. And the public, to the extent that it has made its voice heard through letters and donations and even op-eds, also believes that the circumstances of this case warrant that I be released today. I would even argue that the government itself believes that the facts warrant my release today, because look at all the lies they decided they would have to tell to keep me in prison.

I thank you for your indulgence, Your Honor, and I want to conclude by thanking everyone who supported me over the last few years. I need to single out one person in particular, Kevin Gallagher, who contributed to my Project PM group, who stepped up immediately after my arrest to build up a citizens' initiative by which to raise money for my defense, and to spread the word about what was at stake in this case. For the two and a half years of my incarceration, Kevin has literally spent the bulk of his free time in working to give me my life back. He is one of the extraordinary people who have given of themselves to make possible this great and beautiful movement of ours. A movement to protect activists and journalists from secretive and extra-legal retaliation by powerful corporate actors with ties to the state. Your Honor, Kevin Gallagher is not a relative of mine, or a childhood friend. This is only the third time I’ve been in the same room with him. Nonetheless, he has dedicated two years of his life to ensure that I had the best possible lawyers on this case, and to ensure that the press understood what was at stake here. Your Honor, he set up something on Amazon.com whereby I could ask for books on a particular subject and supporters could buy them and have them sent to me. And he spoke to my mother several times a week. During that early period when I was facing over a hundred years worth of charges, and it wasn’t clear whether or not I would be coming home, he would reassure her.

A few weeks ago, he got a job at Freedom of The Press Foundation, one of the world’s most justifiably respected advocacy organizations. And, according to the government, he is also a member of a criminal organization, because, like dozens of journalists and activists across the world, he has been a contributor to Project PM, and the government has declared Project PM to be a criminal enterprise. I think that the government is wrong about Kevin, Your Honor, but that is not why I’ve brought him up. And although I am very glad for the opportunity to express my gratitude to him in a public setting, there are some gifts for which conventional gratitude is an insufficient payment. One can only respond to such gifts by working to become the sort of person that actually deserves to receive them. A thank you will not suffice, and so I am not bringing him up here merely to thank him. Instead, I am using him in my defense. Your Honor, this very noble person, this truly exemplary citizen of the republic who takes his citizenship seriously rather than taking it for granted, knows pretty much everything there is to know about me—my life, my past, my work, the things I’ve done and the things I’ve left undone, to the things I should not have done to begin with—and he has given himself over to the cause of freeing me today. He is the exact sort of person I tried to recruit for the crucial work we do at Project PM. I am so proud to have someone like him doing so much for me.

Your Honor, the last thing I will say in my own defense is that so many people like Kevin Gallagher have worked so hard on my behalf. And having now said all those things that I felt the need to say, I happily accept Your Honor’s decision.

For further updates see FreeBarrettBrown.org / https://twitter.com/freebarrett_

///

All the news isn't horrible. Robert MacLean won his TSA / Air Marshal whistleblower case at the Supreme Court, which took many years to achieve. With luck Barrett or the next sacrificial lamb will win in that venue as well.

Pipeline Politics: MNGOP moves fast for fossils; Minnesota Range Congressman Rick Nolan certain Keystone XL will "support" 42,000 jobs

A tough fight is brewing at both the state and federal level over the direction of environmental policies. In Minnesota, Republicans are totally committed to expanding fracked gas, shale oil from Bakken, and genocidal tar sands bitumen pipelines from Canada.

The Sandpiper pipeline project in Minnesota is the current major project with ongoing public hearings, opposition spearheaded by Friends of the Headwaters, the Carlton County Land Stewards, Winona LaDuke's Honor The Earth group has worked on this; MN350 has also been working on this. The PUC calendar has other date info..

Pipelines in the MN political economy: To capture the House in 2014, Minnesota Republicans leaned heavily on independent expenditures from the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, which in turn leaned heavily on Northern Oil & Gas Co., a shale oil finance shop in run by a colorful family in suburban Wayzata, to pay for it all.

The joke's on Northern (NOG): as the international oil price war has taken hold their stock plummeted, but if they're going to salvage any of this they need new pipelines more than ever.

northern-oil.png

The MN House GOP isn't wasting any time fighting for their backers' needs. One of the first House bills posted in St Paul this year, HF21 would slash pipeline review to 150 days up or down - just enough time to get ahead of ticked off locals before they know what's going on.

Democrats are split over the pro-pipeline agenda in Minnesota, and the pro-industry crowd has a plan this year. The Iron Rangers are trying to wheel out "streamlining" mining regulations, willing to work with ALEC-friendly GOP. Key players here include DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, GOP Rep. Rod Hamilton for Big Ag (especially hog corporations) & the affable GOP Rep. Paul Garofalo for twitter-friendly ALEC corporate agendas.

For the top circles of people pushing this agenda, ideally environmental concerns will get flipped around — usually pollution affects poor people & people of color (POC) communities the worst — to make it appear a hobby of oblivious, elite metro consultant people. They are interested in reframing environmental justice as an elitist hobby, all the better to roll queasy and/or suburban Democrats.

Other corporate agendas: The industrial agriculture lobby wants to max out factory farm sizes with minimal oversight. Killing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's citizen review board system is another major priority, and disinfo is already rolling out on that topic.

They've also tried running meetings without public notice (see Rural Task Force and AURI in Sept 2014 via Bluestem Prairie) in order to reconfigure obscure government organizations to their agenda.

In this context we have to wonder what you're supposed to do when your member in Congress peddles blatantly deceptive spin (Nolan represents an area where a lot of my family is from). I will highlight some major chestnuts in bold. Source from a friend on FB:

Dear [Submitter].,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on the Keystone Pipeline project.

The simple truth we must deal with is that the Alberta tar sands are already being developed and producing roughly two million barrels of oil per day which are then shipped by truck and rail. Additionally, the U.S. State Department and the government of Canada have confirmed these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval. Therefore, those of us who care about saving the environment must ensure that the heavy crudes are transported in the safest and most environmentally sensitive way possible. Pipelines – while not immune from accidents – have been shown to be a safer energy transportation method than truck and rail, producing a lower carbon footprint and preventing further rail and highway congestion. The fact is, the State Department concluded alternative rail transportation options to move the heavy crude from the tar sands would result in the release of 28-42% more carbon emissions than through the pipeline.

Moreover, the Keystone project will provide access to additional oil reserves not subject to the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, while supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs across our nation, translating to $2 billion in earnings for workers, substantial local and state tax revenue, and an additional $3.4 billion to our gross domestic product.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been rigorously studied and will generate urgently needed jobs and economic development across our nation. To that end, I recently joined the majority of the House in voting to pass legislation (H.R.3) to move forward with the Keystone XL pipeline project. Unlike previous Keystone legislation I opposed in the past, this legislation requires that Keystone be compliant with all other existing EPA and other US federal agency requirements that would need to be met by a domestic pipeline application.

I am disappointed we were not permitted to amend the bill to require use of 100 percent American steel in construction because it is proven to be better and less accident prone. Nonetheless, this legislation puts an end to almost seven years of gridlock, requires the pipeline operators to comply with tough U.S. environmental protections, and allows for a route change in Nebraska that will avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.

Please know I have long been a strong supporter of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, as well as other laws and regulations to protect our precious environment. To that end, during the 113th Congress I proudly cosponsored H.R.3674, the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 which would eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. Additionally, H.R.3674 would end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or deducting cleanup costs. At a time when energy companies are making record profits, we should not be providing them with generous subsidies.

Rest assured I will keep your concerns in mind as I continue to look for ways to protect our precious environment here in the Congress.

Thank you again for sharing your views with me. I truly appreciate your advice and counsel and hope that you will contact me in the future whenever I can be of assistance.

I encourage you to follow me on Facebook and Twitter and visit my website at nolan.house.gov to receive daily updates.

Sincerely,

Richard M. Nolan

Member of Congress

/////

"Heavy Crude": Nolan distributes disinformation here. The product thrown down these pipelines is superheated tar sands diluted bitumen ('dilbit' - wiki). It is a trade-secret laden petrochemical mixture which makes the bitumen (essentially raw asphalt - wiki) just slick enough to move along. In order to smooth the political process, diluted bitumen is reframed as "heavy crude oil (wiki)" and occludes the presence of environmentally dangerous secret diluent ingredients.

The bitumen also contains tiny quartz (sand) particles which steadily etch the pipeline interiors, as NRDC/Sierra Club mention (PDF). Whenever this mixture leaks, the bitumen sinks in water while much of the more volatile diluents tend to float - making cleanups a far messier affair than with conventional or "light crude", which does actually float and is pretty familiar in Hazmat training world. See: The Dangers of Diluted Bitumen Oil - NYTimes.com (OpEd Aug 2012) re Kalamazoo River in Michigan:

After the dilbit gushed into the river, it began separating into its constituent parts. The heavy bitumen sank to the river bottom, leaving a mess that is still being cleaned up. Meanwhile, the chemical additives evaporated, creating a foul smell that lingered for days. People reported headaches, dizziness and nausea. No one could say with certainty what they should do. Federal officials at the scene didn’t know until weeks later that the pipeline was carrying dilbit, because federal law doesn’t require pipeline operators to reveal that information.

Transcanada has its view on dilbit: "Is it really crude oil? Yes." but… "Dilbit and synbit approximate the characteristics of typical conventional heavy crude oil." Seems like they're having it both ways. And they're blatantly lying here: "Does it float or sink if it spills in water? Oil sands-derived crudes behave the same way as conventional crude oil, which floats in still or slow-moving water."

More on dilbit controversies: Will Canadian Crude Make the Keystone XL Pipeline Leak? | StateImpact Texas

Here is the actual Keystone XL State Dept thing on Dilbit:

Dilbit is bitumen mixed with a diluent so it can be transported by pipeline. The composition of the dilbit is only provided here generically because the particular type of bitumen and diluents blend produced is variable and is typically a trade secret. A common condensate stream (liquids derived from natural gas) is currently the primary type of diluent used for Canadian heavy crude. Diluent consists of condensates, ultra-light sweet crudes, and refinery and upgrader naphtha streams from several supply sources. Typically, dilbit uses approximately 25 percent of condensate, where companies use either their own supply sources of light hydrocarbons or purchase the above condensate stream. According to the Saskatchewan Condensate Monthly Report dated September 1, 2012 (Crudemonitor 2012b), the composition of gas condensate is mainly light hydrocarbons such as iso-butene, n-butane, iso-pentane, n-pentane, and hexanes. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) (for informational/planning purposes only) for two types of diluents, naphtha and natural gas condensate, assuming a maximum diluent mix, are provided in Appendix Q. It is important to note that the chemical make-up of the diluents can vary greatly from source to source. The bitumen-diluent mixture with bitumen from the oil sands is generally similar to heavy sour crude, which is discussed in more detail. SCO may also be used as a diluent for bitumen, in which case the commodity is known as synbit (bitumen diluted with SCO). Properties of generic dilbit are shown in Table 3.13-1.

dilbit-chart.png

Huh Toxicity is Class D Division 2 Subdivision A: Very Toxic Material. Interesting, didn't see that on Transcanada's page. Also "BTEX = benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes". Benzene is definitely carcinogenic.

See also: Keystone pipeline's 'dilbit' moment - Los Angeles Times - Dec 2012.

A Dilbit Primer: How It's Different from Conventional Oil | InsideClimate News - June 2012

Keystone XL Primer: Secrecy Still Shrouds Diluted Bitumen Risks | InsideClimate News - Nov 2011.

"supporting more than 42,000 good-paying jobs": This is another block of disinformation and reaches into the more dishonest level by adding "good-paying". This has been heavily debated since it counts temporary and partial work, and general economic ripples, as partial equivalents to a full job.

The most recent mainstream coverage on this spin chunk: Will Keystone XL pipeline create 42,000 ‘new’ jobs? - The Washington Post - Glenn Kessler Jan 6 2015 (reported by wapo in 2013 originally)

See: Keystone XL Job Claims Wouldn't Live Up To Hype, Experts Say - March 2014.

TransCanada CEO says 42,000 Keystone XL pipeline jobs are 'ongoing, enduring' | PunditFact - "Girling said, 'the 42,000 jobs is in ongoing, enduring jobs.'" Sure buddy. Even his spokester had to walk that whopper back.

This figure comes from the State Department study which, for example, claims that 300+ entertainment jobs indirectly get supported by pipeline construction, and assumes that the actual construction jobs last 19.5 weeks. These are batched together to count as one full "job", and the totals for the physical pipes that have already been completed are also included in this figure.

"these tar sands will continue to be developed regardless of this project's approval": That is not necessarily true - on two levels. The projects have been hitting the skids and losing investors, and funding is getting pulled as rapidly as they can from early-stage projects. Saying they "will continue to be developed" when they're losing investors is inaccurate. And of course, the projects only move if they are financially feasible. If they get priced out from transportation due to lack of capacity, then the overall statement is also false.

There is not some magic way to make these projects profitable without export capacity - and even with more export capacity the whole thing is going over the cliff anyway. See:

“Citizen Interventions” Have Cost Canada’s Tar Sands Industry $17B, New Report Shows | DeSmogBlog: "The report said market forces and public opposition have played a significant role in the cancellation of three major tar sands projects in 2014 alone: Shell’s Pierre River, Total’s Joslyn North, and Statoil’s Corner Project. " Yeah sounds like they are continuing to be developed, for sure.

Tar sands industry faces 'existential' $246 billion loss - The Ecologist- Nov 27 2014: "The report suggests that that investors are being misled about the economic viability of oil sands production… CTI calculate that 92% of future oil sands production will only viable if oil prices are $95 per barrel. However, prices stand at only $85, so producers are losing money for every barrel of oil they sell - unless they are cushioned by existing higher-priced contracts, which will sooner or later expire."

Is it time to panic in the oil sands? - Macleans.ca - Nov 29 2014 - graphic shows that bitumen is lower-priced because it requires so much processing, making it even worse of a business prospect. Plenty of industry details in this story.


ab_oil.jpg

As Oil Prices Drop, Canadian Oil Sands May Be Wasted Investment

Tar-sands industry loses $17.1 billion thanks to public opposition | Grist Nov 4 2014

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It is also worth noting that the anti-pipeline candidate, Green Party American Indian elder Skip Sandman got 4.3% or 11,450 votes. The diligent efforts of many at least forced Nolan to cover his flank with some better votes — frustrating but hardly wasted. Nolan received 48.5%, narrowly edging Stewart Mills at 47.1%. (Side note: the cheesy DCCC messaging to pigeonhole Mills as a rich guy seems to have backfired, this district shouldn't be that close really.)

For further nitty gritty updates: Please check out Minnesota Brown for the Ranger side and BluestemPrairie.com for industrial agriculture & related political maneuvering. Both sites did a great job covering another ranger, DFL Sen. Tomassoni, trying to double dip with lobbying gig.

Airchat Open radio / transmission packet network offers lulzy alternative communications for worldwide resiliency

An interesting project launched a few months ago worthy of specific note. Airchat (open source code on Github here) provides a basic protocol for making a rathe anonymous mesh network with radio gear, or other means of transmission. It can convert analog audio to and from packets, so that a HAM radio rig or other type of radio can send encrypted signals into the air and the correct other nodes can pull down the signal. Its developers claim to have used it at some distance.

The catch, of course there is one, in the USA and UK it is forbidden to encrypt information on public frequencies under FCC rules. Like all class pirate radio movies the FCC vans could come for you if this gets too big.

Still on a global scale it has obvious humanitarian utility such as transmitting digital medical information over more than 100km on cheap gear without any existing phone or internet connection. It also can do low-bandwidth digital audio. Truly this could make a major positive difference & I hope that its use can be extended.

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Writeup: Airchat, The Wireless Mesh Network From Lulzlabs

Some funny comments at Anonymous' Airchat Aim: Communication Without Need For Phone Or Internet - Slashdot

The fun intro video Airchat on Vimeo

Airchat from #lulzlabs on Vimeo.

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Another writeup from h+: AirChat: Secure Wireless from Anonymous -

Sounds pretty nifty. Good luck with that!

Libertarian Party candidate for MN Governor arrested, injured at Minneapolis' Lake Calhoun collecting signatures for ballot access; Parks apologizes

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Today's local moment of maniacal fascism comes from the Minneapolis Park Police who arrested a candidate for governor from the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, Chris Holbrook. Minneapolis Park Police & regular city police arrested the candidate for noncommercial political activity. Basic facts are still unknown but emerging right now…

UPDATE 6PM Saturday: Wider coverage from major media on story: City Pages cites this post for a relevant city ordinance; FOX9 interviewed people at Lake Calhoun about MPD officer's demand for ID in detail: Libertarian candidate for Minnesota governor arrested - KMSP-TV // AP story carried as far as Texas: Police sorry for detaining Libertarian candidate. KARE11 also did video report: Mpls. Park Police apologize to libertarian candidate. Well done everyone who contacted the media about this story - it's precisely stories like this about democratic processes getting chomped by the state which need to reach a wider audience. Hopefully this won't happen any more!

UPDATE 1PM Friday: I heard about another incident of harassment towards ballot signature gathering -- NOT from the Libertarian Party crew. If anyone has more of this, try to get video & tweet @hongpong or email hongpong @ hongpong.com . Remember signatures are due Tuesday 5PM!!

UPDATE 2AM Friday: It seems from the next two videos (they are pretty short) that the Holbrook campaign posted on FB tonight, that it was what looked like an MPD officer who really instigated the situation, after the Park Police had essentially called upon the MPD 'district' officer to figure it out.

Park police earlier, waiting on MPD: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1379526958988516

Then the MPD officer got ticked off at Holbrook and arrested him, & the officer clearly understands it's a political, not commercial activity. Video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1379527655655113 -

Video mirrored at http://youtu.be/dnz3TQ8SfIk:

Video Still here:

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UPDATE 9:30PM: The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board says they've apologized, while Holbrooks is seeking medical attention according to the LP Facebook page. Parks statement via Chris Steller:

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Verified by same email sent & posted by @Sen_B_Petersen as well (scribd).

VIDEO posted by Libertarian Party of Minnesota at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344 copied to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve2sP2a94xs

I sent this to my city council member:

I was rather shocked to see a video of the Minneapolis Park Police arresting a candidate for governor, Chris Holbrook of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, on Lake Calhoun, posted a couple hours ago. URL here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344

The Park Police state he "can't advertise in the park… you need a permit for it" but this is wrong. Minneapolis Ordinances Chapter 332.20: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@clerk/documents/webconte...

(1) Non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Nothing within this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit or restrict non-commercial door-to-door advocates. Person engaging in non-commercial door-to-door advocacy shall not be required to register as a solicitor under this chapter.

This is a really major affront to the processes of democracy, specifically the onerous ballot signature access collection process which has to be performed in public places. I would hope that the City Council can make clear to the Park Police that petition signatures do not require permits, and indicate to Minneapolis' members of the Legislature and the Secretary of State's office that a candidate was unlawfully impeded from their Constitutional, statutory & ordinance recognized right to do noncommercial activity in public parks in Minneapolis. The independent candidates only have until next Tuesday to collect signatures and this is really just terrible.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter.

..Dan Feidt, .. resident .

Thanks to "Iam B" on the thread for the cite on city ordinances.

I don't support various elements of the LP-MN platform but I strongly support them getting on the November ballot statewide, especially because they are adamantly fighting against drug war policies and cannabis prohibition. I definitely think Minnesota voters need options like Libertarians (and Independence and Greens etc) in order to pressure the prohibitionist corrupt Boomer Democrat level to drop their ever-profitable prohibition schemes. [I've also been working with MN NORML lately because dang it, it's time!]

Totally unacceptable. I have put a pretty good chunk of time in dealing with trying to get people on the ballot and stuff working for change in this system, and right in the home stretch of ballot signature collection the Minneapolis cops thrash Libertarians right here in the area. Not OK in any way.

Also the 2014 All-Star Game and 2018 Super Bowl are coming to Minneapolis as Rich Neumeister notes, could political speech be advertising without a permit? e will certainly see with all the dodgy deals cut (including with secret, undisclosed money flows) whether any freedom of speech will be able to withstand the silencing power of cold hard cash + police weapons. (Also: AP: more tax breaks!?)

@chris_steller sagely points out right away something I missed: in 2005 suppression against Jason Stone, a candidate for Minneapolis Park Board, see: Star Tribune: Minneapolis parks chief reverses flier ban (June 2005)

Star Tribune Letters: Stifling Free Speech

listserv items: [Mpls] Re: Jason Stone && [Mpls] An Ode to Jason Stone and Free Speech

Southside Pride background profile by Ed Felien

Minneapolis Park Board has pattern of problems with free speech | Twin Cities Daily Planet article by Chris Steller from 2009 Minnesota Independent helpful previous context.

VIDEO STILLS:

libertarian-arrested-4.png libertarian-arrested-3.png libertarian-arrested-2.png

STILLS VIDEO SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=654897927893344

Fortunately there's a classic Atmosphere song "Between the Lines" (2001) relates well to overheated Minneapolis police on summer days & goes pretty damn well w. clips above::

Keystone XL Spirit Camp coming up near Ideal South Dakota; St Paul Enbridge Tarsands hearing April 3rd; MazaCoin!

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A quick compilation of links on exciting new tar sands pipeline opposition projects…

First a new piece from our friends at UneditedMedia.com who were on Pine Ridge recently: "Come and take a walk with me":

The night after the walk we all gathered in the local elementary school for a feed to commemorate Carter Camp’s life. I sat and spoke to Vic about resistance, and the Lakota identity. He said that right now the battle is for the water. That pipelines like the Keystone XL are threatening their way of life.
“You know that we’re indigenous peoples. We’re of the land. It’s our duty to protect our mother. And Earth, she’s weeping right now.”
The drums shook the floorboards as people waited in line for their bowl of buffalo soup. The gym had “Warriors” in big red letters on the wall.
He leaned close to me.
“We’re the biggest threat to the United States Government. You know why?”
The people sat in bleachers eating and laughing. I shook my head.
“Because, we have another way to see the world,” he points east, “Out there, they only see the world through a financial lens. And that’s all they know. One way to see the world.”
He shrugged.
“They think they’re free, but that’s not freedom. We’re free because we know there’s another way to live, and that’s why we’re dangerous.”

Four Directions March


Rosebud Sioux Tribe Hosting Spirit Camp to Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline: MSNBC’s Ed Schultz to Attend

IDEAL, SOUTH DAKOTA — The Rosebud Sioux Tribe is hosting the Shield the People project this weekend near Ideal, South Dakota called the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Spirit Camp, which is an action to unite together in prayer for protection from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, and ultimately to request President Obama deny the permit for the proposed pipeline.

The appearance on the Ed Show on MSNBC is part of an ongoing dialogue that will make known the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s and the Oceti Sakowin’s opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Crews from the Shield the People Project, and the Ideal, Ihanktowan, and Rosebud tribal communities have erected tipis, and a fortified wall of 1,500 lb. grass bales to surround the spiritual encampment. A cooking tent has been put up also along with a tipi that will be manned twenty-four hours a day until either the proposed Keystone XL pipeline permit is denied or the ground gets broken with pipeline construction.

“We’re trying to devise plans to protect the people from these things like KXL,” stated Rosebud Sioux Tribal President Cyril “Whitey” Scott. “We’ve made an oath to protect you and we’re going to do that,” President Scott further added.

Tribal representatives from the Oceti Sakowin (7 Council fires), Nebraska, Montana, and South Dakota are anticipated to attend the Spirit camp opening. Representatives from the Cowboy Indian Alliance in Nebraska are also anticipated to attend.

via No to the Keystone XL Pipeline! tumblr.

See also Rosebud Sioux Tribe Hosting Spirit Camp to Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline. hashtag #edshow for the MSNBC host lurking onsite - but will Ed stick w security culture?? #edshow Camping Out Rosebud Sioux Tribe Hosting Spirit Camp to Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline : ndnstyl

See also: Native Americans: ‘No Keystone XL Pipeline Will Cross Our Lands’ | Humboldt Sentinel

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Honor The Earth video:

CENSORED NEWS: Oyate setting up camp on elbow of KXL pipeline

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Sounds pretty awesome. Time to move the narrative along again!! Previously in Minnesota: Enbridge Blockade - Nizhawendaamin Indaakiminaan. Here are some videos I shot about a year ago at Enbridge Blockade in Leonard MN including with Tito Ybarra and Tom Goldtooth from Indigenous Environmental Network.

Also locally in MN via Mn350: Building a Climate Movement in Minnesota: "Please SHARE this photo far and wide so we can get some great turn out for the April 3rd rally/march/hearing to stop the Alberta Clipper expansion! Also, please consider TESTIFYING at the hearing so the Public Utilities Commission can hear as many voices against the pipeline as possible.

RSVP for the event and INVITE FRIENDS by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/April3Rally "

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MAZACOIN: Last but not least, Mazacoin is the new semi-official cryptocoin of the Lakota Nation! For Al Jazeera interview w Payu Harris: http://mazatalk.com/payu-harris-founder-mazacoin-interview-al-jazeera/ and broadly: http://mazatalk.com/ & on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mazatalk - take that, fractional reserve banking!

We are all thawing out after this nasty winter -- and I am trying to reboot the narrative on this website. Onwards n upwards!

Leon Trotsky discusses Freemasonry as inspiration for Communism

karl_marx_062010.jpgPoppa Karl makes the Sign of the Itchy Belly

Here is an interesting angle which I just found. The connection between Freemasonry and Communism is debatable but a favorite of conspiracy cats, full of ironic twists.

While Trotsky talks about how Freemasons in different areas formed a revolutionary network of sorts, on the flip side high-ranking Freemason Robert Welch formed the classic anti-Communist John Birch Society.

Also For the lulz and early version of the "usual conspiracy theory narrative", a PDF the 1884 version of the Freemasonry/Satan/Illuminsm storyline by Monsignor George Dillon: http://www.iamthewitness.com/books/George.F.Dillon/Grand.Orient.Freemaso...

Anyway: from the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon: Trotsky on Freemasonry

Born on 26 October 1879 to Ukrainian farmers, Lev Davidovich Bronstein was a revolutionary student instrumental in founding the South Russia Workers Union and in 1898 the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). Arrested for his political activities, it was in prison in Odessa in 1898 that he read, in the prison library, back issues of Orthodox Review: "The articles dealing with freemasonry in the theological magazines aroused my interest. Where did this strange movement come from? I asked myself. How would Marxism explain it? [1] In 1902 he escaped to London and adopted the name Leon Trotsky. in 1903 at the Second Congress of the RSDLP, the Bolsheviks were led by Lenin, while Trotsky was among the Menshevik leaders. Trotsky participated actively in the first Russian Revolution in 1905, and in December that year he was elected President of the St Petersburg Soviet. Arrested and sent to Siberia in 1907, he again escaped to London where, among other work, he published Pravda. Returning to Russia in 1917, Trotsky became a member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. In 1918 Trotsky was appointed People’s Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs and was the Soviet Union’s first Foreign Minister. In 1927 Stalin had Trotsky expelled from the Executive Committe of Comintern and, the following year from the USSR. He eventually found asylum in Mexico. On 20 August 1940 Leon Trotsky was attacked with an ice-axe in his office in Mexico City by one of Stalin’s followers. He died the following day, survived by his wife Natal'ia Ivanovna Sedova (1882 - 1962). His children predeceased him: one daughter committed suicide, the other died of tuberculosis, both sons were killed by Stalin’s orders.

It was during that period that I became interested in freemasonry. For several months, I avidly studied books on its history, books given to me by relatives and friends in the town. Why had the merchants, artists, bankers, officials, and lawyers, from the first quarter of the seventeenth century on, begun to call themselves masons and tried to recreate the ritual of the mediaeval guilds? What was all this strange masquerade about? Gradually the picture grew clearer. The old guild was more than a producing organization; it regulated the ethics and mode of life of its members as well. It completely embraced the life of the urban population, especially the guilds of semi-artisans and semi-artists of the building trades. The break-up of the guild system brought a moral crisis in a society which had barely emerged from mediaevalism. The new morality was taking shape much more slowly than the old was being cut down. Hence, the attempt, so common in history, to preserve a form of moral discipline when its social foundations, which in this instance were those of the industrial guilds, had long since been undermined by the processes of history. Active masonry became theoretical masonry.

But the old moral ways of living, which men were trying to keep just for the sake of keeping them, acquired a new meaning. In certain branches of freemasonry, elements of an obvious reactionary feudalism were prominent, as in the Scottish system. In the eighteenth century, freemasonry became expressive of a militant policy of enlightenment, as in the case of theIlluminati, who were the forerunners of revolution; on its left, it culminated in the Carbonari. Freemasons counted among their members both Louis XVI [false - ed.] and the Dr. Guillotin who invented the guillotine. In southern Germany, freemasonry assumed an openly revolutionary character, whereas at the court of Catherine the Great it was a masquerade reflecting the aristocratic and bureaucratic hierarchy. A freemason Novikov was exiled to Siberia by a freemason empress.

Although in our day of cheap and ready-made clothing hardly anybody is still wearing his grandfather’s surtout, in the world of ideas thesurtout and the crinoline are still in fashion. Ideas are handed down from generation to generation, although, like grandmother’s pillows and covers, they reek of staleness. Even those who are obliged to change the substance of their opinions force them into ancient moulds. The revolution in industry has been much more far-reaching than it has in ideas, where piece-work is preferred to new structures. That is why the French parliamentarians of the petty bourgeoisie could find no better way of creating moral ties to hold the people together against the disruptiveness of modern relations than to put on white aprons and arm themselves with a pair of compasses or a plumb-line. They were really thinking less of erecting a new building than of finding their way back into the old one of parliament or ministry.

As the prison rules demanded that a prisoner give up his old exercise-book when he was given a new one, I got for my studies on freemasonry an exercise-book with a thousand numbered pages, and entered in it, in tiny characters, excerpts from many books, interspersed with my own reflections on freemasonry, as well as on the materialist conception of history. This took up the better part of a year. I edited each chapter carefully, copied it into a note-book which had been smuggled in to me, and then sent that out to friends in other cells to read. For contriving this, we had a complicated system which we called the "telephone." The person for whom the package was intended-that is, if his cell was not too far away-would attach a weight to a piece of string, and then, holding his hand as far as he could out of the window, would swing the weight in a circle. As previously arranged through tapping, I would stick my broom out so that the weight could swing around it. Then I would draw the broom in and tie the manuscript to the string. When the person to whom I wanted to send it was too far away, we managed it by a series of stages, which of course made things more complicated.

Toward the end of my stay in the Odessa prison, the fat exercise-book, protected by the signature of the senior police sergeant, Usov, had become a veritable well of historical erudition and philosophic thought. I don't know whether it could be printed to-day as I wrote it then. I was learning too much at a time, from too many different spheres, epochs, and countries, and I am afraid that I was too anxious to tell everything at once in my first work. But I think that its main ideas and conclusions were correct. I felt, even at that time, that I was standing firmly on my own feet, and as the work progressed, I had the feeling even more strongly. I would give a great deal to-day to find that manuscript. It went with me into exile, although there I discontinued my work on freemasonry to take up the study of Marxian economics. After my escape abroad, Alexandra Lvovna* forwarded the script to me from Siberia, through my parents, when they visited me in Paris in 1903. Later on, when I went on a secret mission to Russia, it was left in Geneva with the rest of my modest émigré archives, to become part of the Iskra’s archives and to find there an untimely grave. After my second escape from Siberia, I tried to recover it, but in vain. Apparently it had been used to light fires or some such thing by the Swiss landlady who had been intrusted with the custody of the archives. I can't refrain here from conveying my reproaches to that worthy woman.

The way in which my work on freemasonry had to be carried on, in prison, where literary resources at my disposal were of course very limited, served me in good stead. At that time I was still comparatively ignorant of the basic literature of the Marxists. The essays by Labriola were really philosophic pamphlets and presumed a knowledge that I didn't have, and for which I had to substitute guesswork. I finished them with a bunch of hypotheses in my head. The work on freemasonry acted as a test for these hypotheses. I made no new discoveries; all the methodological conclusions at which I had arrived had been made long ago and were being applied in practice. But I groped my way to them, and somewhat independently. I think this influenced the whole course of my subsequent intellectual development. In the writings of Marx, Engels, Plekhanov and Mehring, I later found confirmation for what in prison seemed to me only a guess needing verification and theoretical justification. I did not absorb historical materialism at once, dogmatically. The dialectic method revealed itself to me for the first time not-as abstract defiftitions but as a living spring which I had found in the historical process as I tried to understand it.

* Alexandra Lvovna Sokolovskaya, who was exiled to Siberia with the author and became his wife.-Translator. [2]


1. Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), My life : an attempt at an autobiography. With an introd. by Joseph Hansen. New York : Pathfinder Press, Inc., 1970. xxxvii, 602 p ; 23 cm Seventh printing 1987 ISBN: 0-863480-143-7 [translated from the Russian MS.] Also see: My Life: The Rise and Fall of a Dictator, Leon Trotsky. London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd, 1930, London, 1930. Cloth. First Edition. Red cloth boards, gilt titles. MOIA ZHIZN' (Russian Transliteration MY LIFE) ; MOIA ZHIZN', Leon Trotsky. Berlin Izd-vo "Granit" 1930. 2 volumes. First edition. 8vo, beige wrappers, lettered in Russian in black on the spines and in black and red on the upper covers. Red morocco over cloth clamshell box, lettered in gilt on the spine between raised bands. 325 (contents), 338 (contents). Note: anti-masons will misquote and quote out of context from My Life: The Rise and Fall of a Dictator to imply that Freemasonry was Trotsky’s inspiration for revolution. pp. 119, 120-23.

2. [Aleksandra L'vovna Sokolovskaia, m. Bronshteina (1872 - 1938) arrested, banished, shot]. "She [Sedova] was to remain his companion for the rest of his life and to share with him to the full triumph and defeat. Sokolovskaya [Sokolovskaia], however, remained his legal wife and bore his name. To all three the legal niceties of their connexion did not matter at all - like other revolutionaries they disregarded on principle the canons of middle-class respectability. [...] As far as we know, the question of a reunion between Trotsky and his first wife never arose. When he and Sedova returned to Russia there was no suggestion of discord. Ties of respect and a high-minded friendship were to bind the three of them to the end; and eventually his political fortunes affected with equal tragedy both the women and the children of both" [Deutscher, I.: The prophet armed, London, 2003, p.59]

See earlier: Kanye West Masonic/Egyptian "Power"; Viktor Bout's Back Baby! Videobits, FDA criminal Pfizer shell company & newstuff | HongPong.com // HongPong.com: Pop conspiratoria: Da Vinci Code & the Freemason States of America: George Washington hated the Illuminati. Really!! // Dashing Wartime Philosopher Bernard Henri Lévy ties Libyan rebels & Netanyahu, lolz at teh Bilderberg conspiracy - and your French Revolution Freemason delirium too! | HongPong.com.

DoublePlus Bonus points for the lulz: 76 days ago almaverdad2 a commenter at cryptogon.net suspects me of being a Freemasonry/sayanim/masonic mole disinfo agent. almaverdad2 finds some good stuff quite often but anyway lol: "Deceived World: Masonic U.S. Remains a British-manipulated Colony" « Cryptogon News Network. There are more links about their take on it the wider picture there. Good times!

Google State Network Operations: Google Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen, State Department nexus problem - Julian Assange notes they're holding the shit-bag

Date 2011-02-09 15:05:19
From burton@stratfor.com
To secure@stratfor.com
Others MessageId: <4D529F1F.30708@stratfor.com>
InReplyTo: 2045570843-1297258457-cardhu_decombobulator_blackberry.rim.net-421530589-@bda877.bisx.prod.on.blackberry
Text
** Cohen had dinner in Cairo the night before the Google Exec was picked up by GOE State Security.....one-hour after the dinner, the Gypo exec was grabbed off the streets heading into a friends apt.

More to follow.....

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http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/09/07/jared_cohen

State Department Innovator Goes to Google

Jared Cohen, a high-profile advocate of the State Department's forays into "21st-century statecraft," is leaving Foggy Bottom for New York. In an exclusive interview with FP, he talks about his time at State and his new project: building a "think/do tank" called Google Ideas.

via 1122191_Egypt - Google ** Suggest you read | Al Akhbar English. Jeremy Hammond's freedom died to bring you this information :[

"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do..." as Burton at Stratfor put it... As Jeremy Hammond rots in jail for the Stratfor leak, the emails in that leak showed that Eric Schmidt's wingman Jared Cohen was involved in using Google as an avenue to boil up unrest in various countries - and not merely by making blogs indexable either. It's gotten into a far more complicated game now. I am reposting some key articles on this. Julian Assange describes Cohen as a Generation Y Kissinger figure which is a pretty good way to put it.

Let's go back to 2012 for a bit here and see how the Jared Cohen / State Department thing got shaken out of the Wikileaks-supported Stratfor leak.

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By: Yazan al-Saadi - StratforLeaks: Google Ideas Director Involved in ‘Regime Change’ | Al Akhbar English

Published Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top Google execs, including the company’s CEO and one of Barack Obama’s major presidential campaign donors Eric Schmidt, informed the intelligence agency Stratfor about Google’s activities and internal communication regarding “regime change” in the Middle East, according to Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks and obtained by Al-Akhbar. The other source cited was Google’s director for security and safety Marty Lev.

Email exchanges suggest that Google execs were suspicious that Cohen was coordinating his moves with the White House.

The briefings mainly focused on the movements of Jared Cohen, currently the director of Google Ideas, a “think/do-tank” billed as a vehicle for spreading American-style liberal democracy. Cohen was also a former member of US Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff and former advisor to Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Email exchanges, starting February 2011, suggest that Google execs were suspicious that Cohen was coordinating his moves with the White House and cut Cohen’s mission short at times for fear he was taking too many risks. Stratfor’s vice-president of counter-terrorism Fred Burton, who seemed opposed to Google’s alleged covert role in “foaming” uprisings, describes Cohen as a “loose Cannon” whose killing or kidnapping “might be the best thing to happen” to expose Google.

The Cohen Conspiracy

Stratfor’s spotlight on Cohen began on 9 February 2012 after Burton forwarded to the secure email list a Foreign Policy article discussing Cohen’s move from the State Department to Google Ideas. With this article, Burton noted that Cohen had dinner in Cairo with Wael Ghonim on January 27, 2011 just hours before the Egyptian Google Executive was famously picked up by Egypt’s State Security. (doc-id 1122191)

On the same day, Stratfor’s staff make reference to a Huffington Post article which highlighted Cohen’s role in “delaying the scheduled maintenance on Twitter so the Iranian revolution could keep going” and a Foreign Policy article that noted that Cohen “was a Rhodes scholar, spent time in Iran, [and] hung out in Iraq during the war…”. These casual discovers further perked Stratfor’s curiosity about Cohen. (doc-id 1629270)

The following day, Burton forwarded a message to the secure email list from “a very good Google source” who claimed that Cohen “[was] off to Gaza next week”. Burton added, “Cohen, a Jew, is bound to get himself whacked….Google is not clear if Cohen is operating [with a] State Dept [or] WH [White House] license, or [is] a hippie activist.”

Korena Zucha, another senior analyst on the list, queried, “Why hasn’t Google cut ties to Cohen yet? Or is Cohen’s activity being endorsed by those higher up in the [company] than your contact?”

In turn, Burton replied, “Cohen’s rabbi is Eric Schmidt and Obama lackey. My source is trying to find out if the billionaire owners are backing Cohen’s efforts for regime change.” (doc-id 1111729)

Later on, Burton forwarded information from the “Google source” of Cohen’s links in establishing Movements.org. The source added, “A site created to help online organization of groups and individuals to move democracy in stubborn nations. Funded through public-private partnerships.” Burton pointed out that the US State Department is the organization’s public sponsor.” (doc-id 1118344)

Indeed, the State Department, partnering with a number of corporations, was the main sponsor for the 2008 inaugural Alliance of Youth Movements summit in New York City that subsequently established Movements.org. Hillary Clinton endorsed the organization and presented a video message during the second summit held in Mexico City a year later.

On 11 February, Burton wrote to the secure email list that Cohen was still planning to head to Gaza. He added, “The dude is a loose can[n]on. GOOGLE is trying to stop his entry into Gaza now because the dude is like scorched earth. It’s unclear to GOOGLE if he’s driving without a license, but GOOGLE believes he’s on a specific mission of “regime change” on the part of leftist fools inside the WH who are using him for their agendas.” (doc-id 1113596)

Throughout this day, the idea proposed by Burton, and seemingly felt by his Google contacts as well, of Cohen and the White House’s involvement in the uprisings was actively discussed among the analysts, especially in regards to who would be targeted next. (doc-id 1113965)

By Monday, 14 February 2011, Burton shared intelligence with George Friedman, Stratfor’s founder, and Scott Stewart, vice-president of Stratfor’s tactical department, from his source in Google that Cohen was ordered not to go to Gaza. Burton’s Google source further stated, “Also, thinking I [the unnamed source] may be on the right track about him despite his denials [in reference to Cohen working for the White House/State Department].”

When asked to clarify his sources on Cohen, Burton claimed that they were Marty Lev, Google’s director for security and safety, and Eric Schmidt, the current CEO of Google. (doc-id 398679)

A week later, Burton forwarded an internal Google email obtained from a ‘senior Google executive’. This email was seemingly sent by Cohen to the senior Google executive to discuss Cohen’s planned trip in March.

“GOOGLE are doing things the CIA cannot do."

In it, Cohen wrote, “I wanted to follow-up and get a sense of your latest thinking on the proposed March trip to UAE, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. The purpose of this trip is to exclusively engage the Iranian community to better understand the challenges faced by Iranians as part of one of our Google Ideas groups on repressive societies. Here is what we are thinking: Drive to Azerbaijan/Iranian border and engage the Iranian communities closer to the border (this is important because we need the Azeri Iranian perspective).”

After reading Cohen’s email, Stewart remarked, “Cohen might end up having an accident if he is not careful. This is not child’s play.”

Burton responded, “GOOGLE is getting WH [White House] and State Dept. support and air cover. In reality, they are doing things the CIA cannot do. But, I agree with you. He’s going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose GOOGLE’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and GOOGLE is left holding the shit bag.” (doc-id 1121800)

On 10 March 2011, Burton forwarded another message from his ‘senior Google executive’ source detailing how Cohen was requested not to travel on his proposed trip. The source explained that Google had concerns over Cohen’s “baggage” as a “US State Dept. policy maker, his research and publications on Muslim extremists and youth movements and his presence in Egypt just as the uprising started.”The source also stated that Cohen was recommended to “take a lower profile on this specific trip and let time pass before being visible and associated with people known by their states to be active in challenging repressive societies.” (doc-id 1164190)

A subsequent message from Burton’s source on 22 March 2011 affirmed that Cohen “heeded the advice not to go to Turkey or UAE for those meetings.” (doc-id 1133861)

The final email dealing with Cohen was on 30 March 2011.
Here, Burton forwarded to the alpha (secure) email list a response by his source to Burton’s question of whether Cohen was playing any role in Libya at the time. The source stated, “Not that I’m aware of. He heeded the advice to avoid Turkey and UAE and didn’t go on that trip.” (doc-id 1160182)

Google Ideas: Politicizing Technology

Certainly, there is more than meets the eye to Cohen and his actions; even his superiors in Google seem to think so.

The belief, chiefly by Burton, that Cohen had seemingly played a role in fermenting the uprisings that toppled Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak underplays, and at times entirely disregards, the ability and agency by local movements in Tunisia and Egypt.

Nevertheless, Google Ideas, which Cohen directs, is a new animal. According to a report by the Financial Times published last July, Google Ideas seems to bond idealistic activist sensibilities with Google’s pursuit for continued global expansion - blurring the lines between business and political action. Schmidt and Cohen dub Google Ideas as a “think/do-tank” that aims to tackle political and diplomatic matters through the use of technology.

The first public event for the think/do-tank, in partnership with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Tribeca Film Festival, was held last June in Dublin. It gathered around 80 ‘former’ extremists, including former Muslim radicals, neo-Nazis, US gang members, and others, in a “Summit Against Violent Extremism”. The announcement by Google declared that the summit’s aim is “to initiate a global conversation on how best to prevent young people from becoming radicalised and how to de-radicalise others” and that “the ideas generated at the Dublin summit will be included in a study to be published later in the year.”

One spin off was the creation of the Against Violent Extremism group, apparently a network for those who attended the Dublin Summit. Beyond merely networking, the group also advertises certain projects that are in need of funding. Notably, much of the projects pertain to the Middle East, including an “Al-Awlaki Counter-Campaign” - Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen of Yemeni origin, was assassinated in September of last year by the US for his alleged al-Qaeda connections.

But the Against Violent Extremism site does not seem to be presently active. The last update for projects in need of funding was made in September and the last announcement regarding the workings of the site was made in October.

More recently, Foreign Policy reported in January that the Brookings Institute, one of the oldest and most influential think-tanks in Washington, DC, named Google Ideas as “the best new think tankestablished in the last 18 months.” Such accolades arguably suggests that Google Ideas is expected to be a major player in the near future.

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Now Julian Assange goes into this mix pointing out the weird Google ventures

http://thestringer.com.au/google-and-the-nsa-whos-holding-the-shit-bag-now

The Stringer (Australia), August 24, 2013

Google and the NSA: Who’s holding the ‘shit-bag’ now?

by Julian Assange

It has been revealed today, thanks to Edward Snowden, that Google and other US tech companies received millions of dollars from the NSA for their compliance with the PRISM mass surveillance system.

So just how close is Google to the US securitocracy? Back in 2011 I had a meeting with Eric Schmidt, the then Chairman of Google, who came out to see me with three other people while I was under house arrest. You might suppose that coming to see me was gesture that he and the other big boys at Google were secretly on our side: that they support what we at WikiLeaks are struggling for: justice, government transparency, and privacy for individuals. But that would be a false supposition. Their agenda was much more complex, and as we found out, was inextricable from that of the US State Department. The full transcript of our meeting is available online through the WikiLeaks website.

The pretext for their visit was that Schmidt was then researching a new book, a banal tome which has since come out as The New Digital Age. My less than enthusiastic review of this book was published in the New York Times in late May of this year. On the back of that book are a series of pre-publication endorsements: Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Michael Hayden (former head of the CIA and NSA) and Tony Blair. Inside the book Henry Kissinger appears once again, this time given pride of place in the acknowledgements.

Schmidt’s book is not about communicating with the public. He is worth $6.1 billion and does not need to sell books. Rather, this book is a mechanism by which Google seeks to project itself into Washington. It shows Washington that Google can be its partner, its geopolitical visionary, who will help Washington see further about America’s interests. And by tying itself to the US state, Google thereby cements its own security, at the expense of all competitors.

Two months after my meeting with Eric Schmidt, WikiLeaks had a legal reason to call Hilary Clinton and to document that we were calling her. It’s interesting that if you call the front desk of the State Department and ask for Hillary Clinton, you can actually get pretty close, and we’ve become quite good at this. Anyone who has seen Doctor Strangelove may remember the fantastic scene when Peter Sellers calls the White House from a payphone on the army base and is put on hold as his call gradually moves through the levels. Well WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, pretending to be my PA, put through our call to the State Department, and like Peter Sellers we started moving through the levels, and eventually we got up to Hillary Clinton’s senior legal advisor, who said that we would be called back.

Shortly afterwards another one of our people, WikiLeaks’ ambassador Joseph Farrell, received a call back, not from the State Department, but from Lisa Shields, the then girlfriend of Eric Schmidt, who does not formally work for the US State Department. So let’s reprise this situation: The Chairman of Google’s girlfriend was being used as a back channel for Hillary Clinton. This is illustrative. It shows that at this level of US society, as in other corporate states, it is all musical chairs.

That visit from Google while I was under house arrest was, as it turns out, an unofficial visit from the State Department. Just consider the people who accompanied Schmidt on that visit: his girlfriend Lisa Shields, Vice President for Communications at the CFR; Scott Malcolmson, former senior State Department advisor; and Jared Cohen, advisor to both Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, a kind of Generation Y Kissinger figure -- a noisy Quiet American as the author Graham Greene might have put it.

Google started out as part of Californian graduate student culture around San Francisco’s Bay Area. But as Google grew it encountered the big bad world. It encountered barriers to its expansion in the form of complex political networks and foreign regulations. So it started doing what big bad American companies do, from Coca Cola to Northrop Grumman. It started leaning heavily on the State Department for support, and by doing so it entered into the Washington DC system. A recently released statistic shows that Google now spends even more money than Lockheed Martin on paid lobbyists in Washington.

Jared Cohen was the co-writer of Eric Schmidt’s book, and his role as the bridge between Google and the State Department speaks volumes about how the US securitocracy works. Cohen used to work directly for the State Department and was a close advisor to both Condolezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. But since 2010 he has been Director of Google Ideas, its in-house ‘think/do’ tank.

Documents published last year by WikiLeaks obtained from the US intelligence contractor Stratfor, show that in 2011 Jared Cohen, then (as he is now) Director of Google Ideas, was off running secret missions to the edge of Iran in Azerbaijan. In these internal emails, Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice President for Intelligence and a former senior State Department official, describes Google as follows:

"Google is getting WH [White House] and State Dept support and air cover. In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do... [Cohen] is going to get himself kidnapped or killed. Might be the best thing to happen to expose Google’s covert role in foaming up-risings, to be blunt. The US Gov’t can then disavow knowledge and Google is left holding the shit-bag."

In further internal communication, Burton subsequently clarifies his sources on Cohen’s activities as Marty Lev, Google’s director of security and safety and ... Eric Schmidt.

WikiLeaks cables also reveal that previously Cohen, when working for the State Department, was in Afghanistan trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. In Lebanon he covertly worked to establish, on behalf of the State Department, an anti-Hezbollah Shia think tank. And in London? He was offering Bollywood film executives funds to insert anti-extremist content into Bollywood films and promising to connect them to related networks in Hollywood. That is the Director of Google Ideas. Cohen is effectively Google’s director of regime change. He is the State Department channeling Silicon Valley.

That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.

END

///

Keyhole Google and the CIA: Another dimension of this relationship worth noting is the essentially Google/CIA joint venture known as Google Earth. It's well known to researchers but not widely: one of Google's principle products, Google Earth, started as Keyhole, turbocharged by the CIA's venture capital fund In-Q-Tel. See Oct. 2004: Google buys CIA-backed mapping startup • The Register. This is an interesting take: http://dusk.geo.orst.edu/Pickup/AAG2009/6-Cloud9_Keyhole.pdf

In-Q-Tel Announces Strategic Investment in Keyhole - 2003 I think: - original: http://www.iqt.org/press/2003/Keyhole_06-25-03.html

ARLINGTON, Va. and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -

- In-Q-Tel, a private nonprofit venture funded by the Central Intelligence

Agency, today announced a strategic investment in Keyhole Corp., a pioneer of

interactive 3D earth visualization. The investment, made in February 2003,

was In-Q-Tel's first engagement with a company on behalf of the National

Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA).

Immediately demonstrating the value of Keyhole's technology to the

national security community, NIMA used the technology to support United States

troops in Iraq. "Within two weeks of In-Q-Tel's engagement with Keyhole, we

implemented the technology to support our mission within the Pentagon," said

Rob Zitz, Director of NIMA's InnoVision directorate. "Introducing

technologies like Keyhole is part of NIMA's effort to transform the

intelligence business, and the way we serve our customers."

Keyhole's EarthViewer 3D client application uses videogame-like 3D

graphics and access to massive databases of network-hosted earth information,

including satellite imagery and aerial photography, to produce an interactive

digital model of the earth. Keyhole's EarthSystem(TM) combines a tradition

of 3D graphics technology for flight simulators with innovative network-

streaming technology to deliver enterprise software solutions for large

business and government customers, as well as an Application Service Provider

solution for professional and consumer users. The result is a virtual flyover

experience-so compelling that multiple TV media networks recently used

EarthViewer 3D to 'fly' over Iraqi cities and landscapes in news broadcasts

using publicly available satellite images. In addition to media customers,

Keyhole solutions serve a broad range of markets including real estate,

transportation, insurance, consumer and government.

"In-Q-Tel invested in Keyhole because it offers government and commercial

users a new capability to radically enhance critical decision making. Through

its ability to stream very large geospatial datasets over the Internet and

private networks, Keyhole has created an entirely new way to interact with

earth imagery and feature data," said Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel. "With

Keyhole's technology, individuals can see and manipulate their world in 3D,

meeting their business and operational challenges in powerful geographic

context."

"Keyhole's strategic relationship with In-Q-Tel means that the

Intelligence Community can now benefit from the massive scalability and high

performance of the Keyhole enterprise solution," said John Hanke, CEO of

Keyhole. "By capitalizing on trends in commercial markets, In-Q-Tel is

supporting an ever-higher standard of advanced technology adoption in

government. Keyhole is pleased to help set that standard for large-scale 3D

geospatial visualization."

NIMA's success with Keyhole highlights the significant overlap between

technology needs across the agencies of the Intelligence Community. "By

investing in Keyhole, In-Q-Tel is helping CIA and NIMA leverage limited

resources and gain access to a technology of high potential value to both

organizations," said Louie. Working through CIA, NIMA became a limited partner

with In-Q-Tel in the summer of 2002. In addition to an equity investment,

In-Q-Tel is partnering with Keyhole to further enhance Keyhole EarthSytem's

compatibility with a variety of government datasets through adoption of

advanced GIS data standards.

About In-Q-Tel

In-Q-Tel is a private, independent, enterprise funded by the CIA. Launched

in 1999, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and invest in companies developing

cutting-edge information technologies that serve United States national

security interests. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint that defines

the CIA's critical information technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with

entrepreneurs, established companies, researchers and venture capitalists to

deliver technologies that pay out in superior intelligence capabilities for

the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community.

About Keyhole

Based in Mountain View, CA, Keyhole, Inc., is the pioneer of interactive

3D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping

EarthViewer 3D system that transforms the way users interact with geographic

information and earth imagery. Keyhole's EarthViewer 3D accelerates and

enhances decisions for business and government by enabling fast, fluid

interaction with massive network-resident databases of earth imagery and

geospatial information. Users can "fly" from space to street level seamlessly

while interactively exploring layers of information including roads, schools,

businesses, and demographics. Further information about Keyhole is available

at http://www.earthviewer.com .

About NIMA

NIMA ( http://www.nima.mil ) is a member of the National Intelligence

Community and a DoD Combat Support Agency. NIMA's mission is to provide

timely, relevant and accurate Geospatial Intelligence in support of national

security. Geospatial Intelligence is the analysis and visual representation

of security-related activities on the Earth. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md.,

NIMA operates major facilities in the northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and

St. Louis, Mo. areas. NIMA Support Teams serve customers around the nation

and the world.

SOURCE Keyhole Corp.

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Few more notes: In-Q-Tel Keyhole Google Earth and CIA | Laboratory of Hidden Alternatives

Going to leave this post here for now but may expand upon the idea later....

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