Anonymous #OpFerguson

Greetings world, we are Anonymous.

On August 9th in Ferguson, Missouri the 17 year old and unarmed Mike Brown was shot several times and killed by an officer of the Ferguson Police Department. His body was left to lie in a pool of blood in the sweltering heat for hours while 15 police departments militarized the area against protesters, sealed the roads leading to Ferguson in a vain attempt to prevent protesters from reaching the city. The police has clearly crossed a line in the sand.


War's First Casualty: The Truth

This week Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis about why facts, logic and reason are often missing in the rush to war.

From Bill Moyers


Glenn Greenwald: No Place to Hide - Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State

Harvard Book Store welcomed political commentators Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky for a discussion of Greenwald's latest book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State.

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency's widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden's disclosures.

Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity eleven-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA's unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.

Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation's political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.

This talk was taped on April 15, 2014.


Former SAS soldier Ben Griffin: I Will NOT Fight For Queen and Country

Benjamin Griffin (born 1977) is a former British SAS soldier who refused to return to Iraq and left the Army, citing not only the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces but also that the invasion itself was contrary to international law. He expected to be court-martialled, but was instead let go with a glowing testimonial from his commanding officer. He spoke to an anti-war rally in 2008 about UK involvement in extraordinary rendition the day before he was served with an injunction preventing him from speaking publicly and from publishing material about his time in the SAS.

He is the founder of Veterans for Peace in the UK
http://veteransforpeace.org.uk/

Speech: Ben Griffin of VFP London (1001) at The Oxford Union


The Plan To Take Our Democracy Back

Help us reduce the influence of money in politics! Professor Lawrence Lessig goes over the problem - and the plan to solve it.

The Mayday Political Action Committee is crowdsourcing the money it needs to get a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016. This is our first essential step.

How Aaron Swartz Helped Inspire the Super PAC to End All Super PACs
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/how-aaron-swartz-helped-inspire-lawrence-lessigs-mayday-pac

http://mayday.us


I Am Bradley Manning

It's time to stop the war on whistle-blowers.

http://iam.bradleymanning.org | #iambradleymanning

Appearances:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, Roger Waters, Oliver Stone , Daniel Ellsberg, Phil Donahue, Michael Ratner, Alice Walker, Tom Morello, Matt Taibbi, Peter Sarsgaard, Angela Davis, Moby, Molly Crabapple, Tim DeChristopher, LT Dan Choi, Bishop George Packard, Russell Brand, Allan Nairn, Chris Hedges, Wallace Shawn, Adhaf Soueif, Josh Stieber , Michael Ratner.

This work produced by independent volunteers in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network.


Edward Snowden on 9/11 and the Government’s Defense of Spy Programs

E. Snowden: I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do. And I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories, to sort of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our Constitution says we should not give up.

B. Williams: But you can see how it happened. Guys with box cutters spent $200 using our own aviation system to take down our own buildings and smash into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. What are we going to do? It’s a non-traditional enemy — the expression is, an enemy we can’t see. What are we going to do?

E. Snowden: You know, and this is a key question that the 9/11 Commission considered. And what they found, in the post-mortem, when they looked at all of the classified intelligence from all of the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States to detect this plot. We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we have.

The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we already don’t understand, and this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country. If these programs aren’t keeping us safe, and they’re making us miss connections — vital connections — on information we already have, if we’re taking resources away from traditional methods of investigation, from law enforcement operations that we know work, if we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country? Or are we — are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life?


Pussy Riot Goes Back to Jail

The members of Pussy Riot shocked Russia when they performed their "Punk Prayer" in a Moscow church back in February 2012. The group was protesting the growing closeness between church and state under Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they became international celebrities when three of the members of the feminist, punk-rock protest group were arrested by the Russian authorities a few weeks later.

From Vice


How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful: Noam Chomsky & Glenn Greenwald

The basis for power elite membership is institutional power, namely an influential position within a prominent private or public organization. One study of power elites in the USA under George W. Bush identified 7,314 institutional positions of power encompassing 5,778 individuals.[15] A later study of US society found that the demographics of this elite group broke down as follows:

Age
Corporate leaders average about 60 years of age. The heads of foundations, law, education, and civic organizations average around 62 years of age. Government-sector members about 56.
Gender
Women are barely represented among corporate leadership in the institutional elite and women only contribute roughly 20 percent in the political realm. They do appear more among top positions when it comes to cultural affairs, education, and foundations.
Ethnicity
White Anglo-Saxons dominate in the power elite, with Protestants representing about 80 percent of the top business leaders and about 73 percent of members of Congress.
Education
Nearly all the leaders are college-educated with almost half having advanced degrees. About 54 percent of the big-business leaders and 42 percent of the government elite are graduates of just 12 heavily endowed, prestigious universities.
Social Clubs
Most holders of top position in the power elite possess exclusive membership in one or more social clubs. About a third belong to a small number of especially prestigious clubs in major cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, and D.C.[16]

In the 1970s an organized set of policies promoted reduced taxes, especially for the wealthy, and a steady corrosion of the welfare safety net.[17] Starting with legislation in the 1980s, the wealthy banking community successfully lobbied for reduced regulation.[18] The wide range of financial and social capital accessible to the power elite gives their members heavy influence in economic and political decision making, allowing them to move toward attaining desired outcomes. Sociologist Christopher Doob gives a hypothetical alternative stating that these elite individuals would consider themselves the overseers of the national economy, appreciating that it is not only a moral but a practical necessity to focus beyond their group interests. Doing so would hopefully alleviate various destructive conditions affecting large numbers of less affluent citizens.

Mills determined that there is an "inner core" of the power elite involving individuals that are able to move from one seat of institutional power to another. They therefore have a wide range of knowledge and interests in many influential organizations, and are, as Mills describes, "professional go-betweens of economic, political, and military affairs."[19] Relentless expansion of capitalism and the globalizing of economic and military power binds leaders of the power elite into complex relationships with nation states that generate global-scale class divisions. Sociologist, Manuel Castells, writes in The Rise of the Network Society that contemporary globalization does not mean that "everything in the global economy is global."[20] So, a global economy becomes characterized by fundamental social inequalities with respect to "the level of integration, competitive potential and share of the benefits from economic growth."[21] Castells cites a kind of "double movement" where on one hand, "valuable segments of territories and people" become "linked in the global networks of value making and wealth appropriation," while, on the other, "everything and everyone" that is not valued by established networks gets "switched off... and ultimately discarded."[21] The wide-ranging effects of global capitalism ultimately affect everyone on the planet as economies around the world come to depend on the functioning of global financial markets, technologies, trade and labor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite


Bill Maher: America's Syria Policy Makes Us Look Like George Zimmerman

September 13, 2013 - For his final New Rule of the night, Bill Maher returned to Syria and this week's 12th anniversary of 9/11. With the country on the verge of bombing another Muslim country, Maher said, "America must stop asking, "Why do they hate us?'" "We're starting to look not so much like the world's policeman, but more like George Zimmerman," he explained. "Itching to use force and then pretending it's because we had no choice." As much as he hates chemical weapons, Maher said, "We have to stop bombing Muslim countries if we ever want to feel safe from terrorism in our own."

"How did we inherit this moral obligation to bring justice to the world via death from above?" Maher asked. "It doesn't make any sense. Our schools are crumbling and we want to teach everyone else a lesson."

Subtly mocking the entertainment industry's typical peacenik stance, Maher said, "I am no fan of Assad, and I say that openly. I don't care if it costs me jobs in Hollywood." He also made fun of America's tendency to "muse out loud" about who we're going to bomb. "People in other countries don't talk like this. Probably because if they did, we'd bomb them!"

He ended his closing rant by remembering the time, just after September 11th, 2001, when he sat down with Howard Stern, who suggested bombing any Muslim country at random. "And I remember thinking to myself, 'Really? Bomb any Muslim country? That's the policy? Just get a map of the Middle East and throw a dart at it?'"

"Well apparently George W. Bush was listening," he concluded, "because that's exactly what we did."