Search News from Limbo


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Guardian staff convinced
of heavy spook harassment
Shortly after the Guardian's New York office published the first NSA bombshell, heavy handed surveillance, intimidation and cyber harassment dogged the footsteps of Guardian journalists, according to a Guardian reporter's account of the Snowden affair.

"The paranoia was understandable," writes Luke Harding in The Snowden Files, an account written at the behest of the Guardian's top editor, Alan Rusbridger. "From now on the Guardian found itself under intense NSA scrutiny" following its report based on the data leaked by Edward Snowden, an NSA systems expert. "It was unclear on what basis the NSA was spying on our journalists going about their job and protected by the first amendment. But it was clear that whatever electronic privacy they had once enjoyed had now vanished."

Guardian staff members thought it strange that a work crew showed up in front of its New York offices on a Wednesday night and dug up the street. The same activity occurred in front of its Washington office, Harding relates.

"Soon, every member of the Snowden team was able to recount similar unusual moments -- 'taxi drivers' who didn't know the way and forgot to ask for money, 'window cleaners' who lingered and re-lingered next to the editor's office." In other words, the feds, in a classic intimidation operation, wanted to make clear that the journalists were being watched.

"In the coming days, the Guardian's laptops repeatedly stopped working," Harding relates. New York editor Janine Gibson, who had defied Washington pressure to kill the NSA stories, was "especially unlucky," says Harding. "Her mere presence had a disastrous effect on technology. Often her encrypted chats with Greenwald would collapse, raising fears of possible hacking. She stuck a Post-it on one compromised machine. It read: 'Middlemanned! Do not use!'"

Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA story for the Guardian, discovered that a laptop had vanished from his locked Brazilian residence, he wrote in his account, No Place to Hide. British associates tipped him that the CIA's Rio de Janeiro station was very active and led by a highly aggressive spy.

As is customary in such situations, there is no proof that a specific agency was involved. However, seasoned journalists would certainly be aware that odd things were going on that hadn't been going on prior to their exposes being published.

Harding, page 248:

"Using tactics perfected by the 1970s Stasi, East Germany's secret police, the FSB [successor to the KGB] would break into the homes of so-called enemies. Typically these were western diplomats and some foreign journalists. But the FSB also played a leading role in the suppression of internal dissent, and targeted Russians too, including those working for US or British embassies. A team of agents would break into a target's flat. They would leave clues that they had been there -- open windows, central heating disconnected, mysterious alarms, phones taken off the hook, sex manuals by the side of the bed.

"These methods of psychological intimidation became more pervasive during Putin's second ... term..."

This shows that such tactics are an old standby. My claim is that they have been used by security forces on Americans, including myself.

Harding charges that as he was writing The Snowden Files, just-written paragraphs would vanish before his eyes. This malicious hazing didn't cease until the matter became public, he says.

Post reporter found Google swindle
Another reporter for a major news organization found that Google's search data were falsified on behalf of a government entity.

When Washington Post reporter Dana Priest was researching Top Secret America, she entered the address of one of the many new top secret installations, an address that was visible from the street. Google changed the address she entered -- every time she tried, she writes.

Well, such a trick may be predictable, given the circumstances. But it shows that either Google is willing to falsify data on behalf of government entities, or that Google permits its search engine to be overridden by government code writers.

'The Blacklist' by Franz Kafka

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hats off to Gen. Sherman

I don't know whether Gerry Adams had a hand in Jean McConville's killing.

But I am reminded of General William Tecumseh Sherman's observation: "War is hell."

I have been reading "D-Day" by Antony Beevor, and am appalled at the atrocities and tragedies that afflicted both combatants and noncombatants, with quite a few incidents of people executed merely on what seemed plausible suspicion.

My memories of Vietnam are etched with images of the recently killed: a young soldier with his face hanging off and an old "mama sahn" machine-gunned during a "hot landing" of copter-borne GIs. I recall a forward area noncom assigned, in order to satisfy a parental inquiry, the task of obtaining a soldier's last words. The last word: "Fuck!"

We GIs all agreed with Gen. Sherman.

When people are in a combat mode, it makes little difference that certain officials characterize combat actions as criminal or terrorist behavior.

In the minds of the IRA killers, McConnell was a "spotter" and needed to be eliminated. But the dragging her off as her children watched aroused great public indignation. Yet emotions were running hot in the wake of ghastly incidents afflicting the Catholic citizenry. That's the way war is. Beevor tells of young GIs who, when a buddy was killed, suddenly acquired a passionate hatred of Germans. Irrational, but that's human nature. Catholic militants inflamed Protestant militants and vice versa in a vicious cycle. Irrational. But that's part of the psychology of war.

The horror of the McConville kidnaping and slaying is typical of the anguish that war generates. The McConville children were among the many who grieved during the Troubles.

In the midst of the passions of war, it is hard to remember that it is often so that the wrong people get hurt.

War is hell.

And may God be with the McConvilles and all who suffered during the Troubles.

As Christians, we must remember (hard as it is to do so) that the killers who survive are also war's victims. Not a few cases of post traumatic stress disorder stem from the pangs of remorse over terrible deeds.

Until we learn the ways of peace, then it may well be so that this saying points back at us:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Apologies for the misspelling of the McConville name in the original post. A mitigating circumstance is that I have been under extreme cyber harassment, and that has severely affected my ability to write and edit. Such cyber-bullying by persons disrespectful of the right of free speech has been going on for years, but reached outrageous proportions about two weeks before the McConville post.

A computer was destroyed by military-style malware, bypassing four layers of security, and since then my internet access has been fraught with difficulties. I am tempted to wonder whether there exists a secret "no-compute" list secretly rationalized by the Justice Department against activists who have been targeted as "terrorist connected" by secret accusers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classic sexist attack from CIA sector

Michael Hayden, former chief of both the CIA and the NSA, sparked a firestorm by appealing to male pride and dissing Sen. Dianne Feinstein as 'emotional.'

The fact that he is now in the private sector doesn't entirely insulate the CIA from his attack, as he has been vigorous in his defense of the intelligence sector as a person still highly networked with the intelligence establishment.

Feinstein deserves quite a bit of criticism for her overly protective attitude toward Constitution-busting surveillance policies. But whether she might or might not react to certain issues emotionally is not in this case the issue. The issue is the arrogant contempt shown by spook chiefs toward true congressional oversight.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

SanD  says... by Alan Cupton...

A new blog on San Diego and West Coast concerns:

Of tumblers and temblors

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Barred from commenting on Greenwald column

When I tried to post a comment on Greenwald's column concerning hypocritical party liners who zig-zagged on the release of the Bin Laden death photos and those who zig-zag concerning NSA controls, I was barred, with this falsehood:

"Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!"

This sort of thing is an ongoing problem found at various media outlets.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

NSA's Facebook denial
clashes with leaked files

Why not use a web monitoring service such as ChangeDetection to keep track of the Intercept's NSA exposes?

Friday, March 7, 2014