glenn-greenwald

Bill Maher getting his ass handed to him on Islam is making the rounds again today. (x)

The whole exchange is part of a larger segment about Benghazi from May of last year, but The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald really lays it out in black and white.  Given the situation in Gaza, I can see why this clip has had a boost in popularity.

Glenn:  Lots of religions – not just Islam – produce violence.

Bill: That’s a silly, liberal view that all religions are alike because it makes you feel good.

Glenn:  No it makes you feel good to say our side is better because those people over there are –

Bill:  No it makes you feel good to put a crown on your head and say, “I’m a good person.  How do I prove that – ”

Glenn:  You get to ignore the responsibility that your own government has for the violence and instability in the world by saying, “Look.  It’s that primitive religion over there that’s to blame.”

This tea is just so flavorful and full of truth.

Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.
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Andrew Bacevisch, as quoted by Glenn Greenwald in “How many Muslim countries has the U.S. bombed or occupied since 1980?”

If you don’t feel like counting, it’s 14 countries.

A central premise of US media coverage of the Israeli attack on Gaza - beyond the claim that Israel is justifiably “defending itself” - is that this is some endless conflict between two foreign entitles, and Americans can simply sit by helplessly and lament the tragedy of it all. The reality is precisely the opposite: Israeli aggression is possible only because of direct, affirmative, unstinting US diplomatic, financial and military support for Israel and everything it does. This self-flattering depiction of the US as uninvolved, neutral party is the worst media fiction since TV news personalities covered the Arab Spring by pretending that the US is and long has been on the side of the heroic democratic protesters, rather than the key force that spent decades propping up the tyrannies they were fighting.
The FBI on Friday announced the arrests in Oakland of two animal rights activists, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane, and accused the pair of engaging in “domestic terrorism.” This comes less than a month after the FBI director said he does not consider Charleston Church murderer Dylann Roof a “terrorist.” The activists’ alleged crimes: “They released thousands of minks from farms around the country and vandalized various properties.” That’s it. Now they’re being prosecuted and explicitly vilified as “terrorists,” facing 10-year prison terms.

When Edward Snowden was ready to leak the classified documents he’d stolen from the National Security Agency, the first journalist he contacted was Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald’s new book, No Place To Hide, tells the story of how he met Snowden, the editorial decisions he’s made and the revelations contained in the documents Snowden leaked.  

One of the revelations was about how the NSA intercepts shipments of computer network devices (like servers and routers), redirects them to a secret location and implants surveillance equipment: 

“This is one of the documents that I found the most remarkable… They literally interdict the package, take it back to the NSA’s location, they then open the package, (and these routers, servers and switches are intended to provide internet service to large groups of people, municipalities, or large corporations or companies or villages) –they physically implant a back door device internally in the product that would be undetectable to the eye. They then close the package, reseal it with the factory seal and then send it on to the unwitting user so that any communications that ever are transported over any of those products are automatically redirected into NSA repositories.

It’s a remarkably invasive program. There’s an entire unit and team in the NSA devoted to doing this on a regular basis… For many years, without evidence, the U.S. government was accusing the Chinese of doing exactly that with Chinese products and warning the world not to buy Chinese products—routers, switches and servers on the claim that that the Chinese government is implanting backdoors into it, and it turns out that it’s exactly what the U.S. government, through the NSA, is actually doing to American products.”

Photo Glenn Greewald. © Ludovic Carème for Télérama

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Bill Maher is taken apart by Glenn Greenwald for trying to absolve the US from any responsibility for the mass slaughter and destruction in Muslim countries, blaming it on Islamic fundamentalism, as if the Afghanistan and Iraq wars never happened, as if the US wasn’t pushing for more war in Iran, as if it isn’t intervening in Somalia and Yemen.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, Destroy Reputations by Glenn Greenwald | The Intercept

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series ofarticles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

(Read Full Text)

The way in which “America’s soul is totally poisoned” is evident in virtually every debate over US policies of militarism. Over the weekend, several pro-war national security “experts” argued: “I’d pay closer attention to critics of drone strikes if they explained their recommended alternative.” This is a commonly heard defense of Obama’s drone assaults: I support drones - despite how they constantly kill innocent adults and children - because the alternative, “boots on the ground”, is worse.

Those who argue this are literally incapable even of conceiving of an alternative in which the US stops killing anyone and everyone it wants in the world. They operate on the assumption that US violence is and should be inevitable, and the only cognizable debate is which weapon the US should use to carry out this killing (drones or “boots on the ground”?). Even though they have no idea who the US government is killing, they assume, with literally no evidence or basis, that those being killed are “terrorists” who want to attack the US and that therefore they - and anyone close to them - must be killed first. As Jonathan Schwarz noted on Sunday, they have literally embraced the same mindset as the Terrorists they claim to loathe: we must use violence and killing, even if it means we kill innocents, because we simply cannot conceive of any alternative.

Never once do they stop and wonder: why are there so many people in the world who want to attack the US? Never once do they do what King so bravely and rather subversively urged: “the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence” is it “helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves”. King explained: “from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.” King thus urged the nation to “understand the arguments of those who are called enemy.”

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How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

By Glenn Greenwald

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”