WASHINGTON — Following days of Anonymous defacement and deactivation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission website, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote a letter Monday to the attorney general requesting a briefing on attempts to prosecute late Internet activist Aaron Swartz for computer fraud and theft.
As to whether Anonymous computer fraud spurred the letter, the committee majority’s staff had not responded to requests for comment, and minority press staff say they have “no comment” beyond the letter itself. Meanwhile members of the hacktivist collective are likely to claim the timing of the letter as a success in their “OpLastResort” campaign to draw attention to overzealous copyright enforcement, particularly by former Swartz prosecutor Carmen Ortiz. To the end of drawing that attention, operation participants have loaded a whimsical, custom game of “Asteroids” onto the Justice Department’s Sentencing Commission website, or employed Structured Query Language injection causing its total inaccessibility, such as at the time of this writing.
Notably using the passive voice, the Oversight Committee representatives’ letter to Attorney General Eric Holder reads in part:
They ask that Mr. Holder schedule a committee briefing by next Monday and be prepared to answer the following questions:
As of midday Monday the following presentation from the OpLastResort (Operation Last Resort) campaign was the most viewed YouTube video in any category.
The video claims that federal sentencing guidelines are out of keeping with the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. To encourage authorities to institute enforcement and legislative changes, the video encourages members of Anonymous to download and redistribute “warheads,” information files encoded via the same PGP “.aes256″ standard WikiLeaks utilized for its eventually unraveled Cablegate “insurance” file. The video says that activists will release heavily redacted, private government files to a select media outlet. In order for authorities to deter the release of the full information “warheads,” the video makes the following demands:
 There must be reform of outdated and poorly-envisioned legislation, written to be so broadly applied as to make a felony crime out of violation of terms of service, creating in effect vast swathes of crimes, and allowing for selective punishment.
 There must be reform of mandatory minimum sentencing.
 There must be a return to proportionality of punishment with respect to actual harm caused, and consideration of motive and mens rea.
 The inalienable right to a presumption of innocence and the recourse to trial and possibility of exoneration must be returned to its sacred status, and not gambled away by pre-trial bargaining in the face of overwhelming sentences, unaffordable justice and disfavorable odds.
 Laws must be upheld unselectively, and not used as a weapon of government to make examples of those it deems threatening to its power.
While Anonymous has become famous for inciting vigilantism with imagery from the 2005 film “V for Vendetta,” this video also promotes action using scenes and music from the Batman “Dark Knight Trilogy.”
Much ado has been made persecuting compassionate and considerate member of the online family Andrew Auernheimer, a playful jokester who has brought delight to the faces of millions of Internet users. Monocultural chauvinists in federal law enforcement have run wild with accusations of “computer fraud,” while confused fellow “leftists” like Raw Story Editor Emeritus Ron Brynaert have smeared Andrew with vile accusations of sexism and near-genocidal racism. All of these accusations are the exact opposite of all of Andrew Auernheimer’s opinions.
I have worked throughout my life not only for the cause of LGBTQIA rights (or QLIBTGA — there need not be any order!) but for the welfare of individuals on barest public subsistence. To me, the Stonewall Riots seem like they were only yesterday, even though my parents birthed me right as the New Deal gave hope for the first time to masses of retired individuals. I can tell you with complete certainty that the loveable Mr. Auernheimer has no predilections against people of color, against sex workers, or anyone in the greater Semitic family. By citing with pseudo-pride his European heritage, Andrew is only ironically referring us to that continent’s relatively generous and effective social safety nets.
With a wink and a smile, Andrew’s latest blog post is letting us all know that he is with us in the Great Fight against Ignorance, and that by pretending to be some sort of brown-eyed, ginger Nazi he is with us on the picket lines for the long haul. He starts off with his usual tongue-in-cheek smirk:
Several people asked if I’d go see “The Hobbit” with them. I declined in a rather cruel fashion.
See? There he goes again, letting us know explicitly that his tone is cruel. While normally I’d decline to agree with the heartless, hard-nosed associates of Forbes magazine, their take on Andrew’s humor as being intentional and sarcastic in its offensiveness is right on.
Calm down, Time’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Old Andrew knows the score. He’ll be with us — next to our engineer sisters with signs — the next time former Harvard President Lawrence Summers tries to tell women they’re stupid, obsequious domestic playthings.
Andrew has done as much to promote multiculturalism as Auburn University’s own Alan Gribben, when the latter published the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn NewSouth Edition, effectively cleansing the book of its pro-white, pro-death code words.
Before taking us into his snarky, actually anti-Nazi diatribe against Hollywood’s latest money-grubbing snatch into theatergoers’ pockets, Andrew claims to be for some sort of unrealistically self-sufficient Nordic life ethic. Then — and this is the really brilliant part — the satirist comes out against barest government provision for working families. To this end, he cites the original end to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King.
In Tolkien’s version, the hobbits of the fellowship return to the Shire only to see it taken over by a snide old wizard controlling a horde of half-orcs. The hobbits do the only sensible thing that one would do when finding ones hometown infested by section 8 housing full of parasitic thugs, rapists and murderers: start a pogrom.
Did you see that? By playing on pop culture stereotypes of African-Americans as mindless killing, force-copulating machines, Andrew has held the Stormfront set slime up to the disinfectant of sunshine. Usually those Christian Identity losers are just able to keep to reinforcing each other somewhere in flyover country, or via their teledildonic message board activity.
Let me give you another example: The Tortoise and the Hare. I’m sure you were read it as a child. It always seemed to me to be an idiotic story to encourage people to slave away endlessly for a statistically impossible hope that they are somehow getting ahead.
When I finally read the real story, I knew hundreds of millions of children were being robbed.
Europe rose to power with children being read the Brothers Grimm classic, “The Hare and the Hedgehog.”
If my decades-long “Mirror Has Two Faces” marriage to acclaimed fellow feminist Andrea Dworkin taught me anything, it was how to use literary analysis to determine within seconds which males of white, Protestant descent were bigots. Through his brilliant satire — daresay his innumerable contributions to the computing community, for which he has been endlessly persecuted by our government — blessed Andrew is his generation’s Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer, all rolled into one!
The Tortoise and the Hare actually outdates the 19th century Grimm brothers tale by thousands of years. The former tale’s place in the foundation of Old Europe, which And-and calls “the most precious thing that I hold within me,” is actually far deeper. Andrew knows well that the Tortoise story’s Greek origins place it at the crossroads of democracy’s very founding. While the Grimm tale is meant to encourage young men to put women in “their place” and to marry women who look as much like them as possible, modern anthropological biologists and Andrew understand that intelligence quotients tend to be higher in the offspring of interracial couplings. This neo-Puck has extended his hand across from the hilltops of Appalachia straight to his brothers, sisters and intersex individuals at the tippitiest-top of the ivory tower.
His wink comes when he cites the story of Prometheus, who like Aesop’s tortoise is of Greek origin. Therein Andrew’s mission to open our eyes and hearts to the plights of LGBTQIA individuals and those of color blossoms into full view. “Promethian flame is being replaced with politically corrected filth,” he writes.
So it’s with a palm to my chin, and a high-cheeked grin that I call off the misguided, if well-meaning, attack dogs at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign and Anti-Defamation League who have unfairly maligned Andrew Auernheimer. My friends, you owe him an apology. Were my lifelong friend Andrea alive, I’m sure she would wholeheartedly agree. God bless.
FBI Confidential Informant: “We’re busy with other things, Chronicle, so here’s th3j35t3r.”
WASHINGTON — Tuesday morning The Internet Chronicle’s press release email list slowed to a crawl, as an internal FBI source said it wished to step forward and finger to the Washington Bureau neoconservative and militant zionist criminal hacker “th3j35t3r” once and for all.
However, as The Internet Chronicle has noted, “th3” j35t3r is in fact a collective. Here are the members of that collective, in no particular order:
Tom Ryan (an interview with Mr. Ryan here)
U.K. Resident Mark Walker
In coordination throughout 2011 targeting Islamic fundamentalists’ sites, journalists at WikiLeaks, and various others among the American cybersecurity press, including The Internet Chronicle. Now they do not hack anything at all, says the Internet Chronicle confidential informant, but engage in never-ending self-congratulations.
The internal FBI source seemed to find a personal breaking point in the group’s willingness to try to financially exploit the hacker’s “patriot” image, as tons of Special Forces operators seemed all too happy to imagine that there was one among their numbers, a SEAL, retired and fighting the good fight against Islamic extremists. Unfortunately these service peoples’ golden calf was just that. Now a confidential informant from within the FBI has confirmed that th3j35t3r is a group of civilians who have never shed a drop or blood or urea fighting Pashtuns in the high mountains of Southwest Asia.
WASHINGTON – A full 16 hours before an Internet Chronicle writer would issue his dire, satirical indictment of unnamed conspirators for the murder of Aaron Swartz, Iranian state media was already on the case, hinting early Eastern time Sunday morning the Internet activist’s opposition to President Barack Obama’s kill-list targeted assassination program led to his untimely death, which a New York medical examiner’s office has unequivocally called a self-hanging.
This however did not stop the intrepid Iranian state journalistic apparatus from putting two and two together to make whatever it wanted. PressTV quotes the medical examiner spokeswoman selectively to leave in doubt if her office believes foul play to be at work.
Police found the body of the 26-year-old in his apartment in New York City borough of Brooklyn on Friday, said a spokeswoman for the city’s chief medical examiner.
The article declines to mention, as any responsible media outlet would, that the exact same spokeswoman also mentioned a cause of death. Mr. Swartz achieved legal persecution and fame in the United States for redistributing copyrighted academic material from JSTOR. The free flow of this type of information is wholly responsible for the economic rise of the BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China — the countries’ middle classes now burgeoning. Education is no longer confined to buildings in Western countries. Increasingly an education is available to absolutely anyone able to read text with an Internet connection. To further the human race, Mr. Swartz supported a greater equilibrium, a crowdsourcing of this kind of academic information. This threat to the status quo is why U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz sought his incarceration for multiple decades.
Monday government snitch Adrian Lamo took to Twitter to term comments on the PressTV Swartz article “new [and] experimental forms of weaponized crazy.”
Iranian state media is also responsible for other complete outrages to decency and media ethics, such as their headline, as seen on Google:
PressTV tries to couch their attribution of the Newtown massacre to Israelis by attributing the claim to an “intelligence analyst” once one clicks the link. The analyst in question is a Gordon Duff, who expresses sympathy for downtrodden Palestinians in the same set of breaths or pen strokes that he blames the Israeli intelligence community for the slaughter of U.S. kindergarteners.
[The Newtown killings are] what [Israeli death squads] do in Gaza every day. It is what was done in Norway. It is what happened at Sandy Hook. Nobody buys the “lone gunman” story anymore, not with the Gabby Giffords’ shooting, not with the Aurora “Batman” shooting, certainly not with Breveik, and certainly not in Connecticut.
PressTV “Intelligence Analyst” Gordon Duff
Indeed, for full disclosure, while Sunday The Internet Chronicle’s own Kilgoar also claimed that Mr. Swartz’s suicide was some kind of Putin-esque murder, it is worth noting that our publisher does not yet have the full financial support of a nonaligned movement nation. Kilgoar also never directly fingered for the death the president. The only American nationals whose liquidations Mr. Obama is known to have unilaterally ordered were the al-Awlakis — a distributor of al-Qaida’s English language Insight magazine, in addition to his two minor children.
The PressTV article insinuating Mr. Obama ordered Mr. Swartz’s execution sings this praise of the now-dead 26-year-old, how Mr. Swartz sought to thwart “corporate cartels” (such as JSTOR) and the draconian Stop Online Privacy Act.
Swartz was critical of monopoly of information by corporate cartels and believed that information should be shared and available for the benefit of society.
“Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves,” he wrote in an online “manifesto” in 2008.
Also from the PressTV Swartz article:
DemandProgress argued that the thwarted Stop Online Piracy Act would have broadly authorized the US government to censor and restrict legitimate Web communication.
Iranian state media do not hasten to add that, for its own citizens, the government of Iran censors millions of Web pages and that, even before getting online in Iran, Internet users have to pledge not to access “non-Islamic” websites.
David Coombs, Army Reservist, America Hater Photo: Tyler Bass, Washington Correspondent, The Internet Chronicle
WASHINGTON — December 3rd Bradley Manning Attorney and Army Reservist spoke to a congregation near Mt. Pleasant, District of Columbia. He spoke for almost 90 minutes, part of which included a question period in which he answered questions from the press feed to him by members of the Bradley Manning Support Network, a group that has collected legal fees for the private suspected of leaking thousands of pages of data documenting war crimes, innocuous activity, the overclassification of information. Some call the Army Private a traitor; others, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, have called him a whistleblower.
“He told me that his dream would be to go to college to get a degree. And as a young man at that time he was 23. That makes sense. We all know that college degrees are pretty much the ticket to a productive future.” The Unitarian Church is notable for being one of the most educated denominations in the country, and certainly this line resonated well with attendees.
While Mr. Coombs told the crowd that he did not want to try Private Manning’s case with the public, whether or not he believes that the immense public pressure surrounding the case — especially since the diminutive former, now demoted, specialist no longer leaves in doubt his being the source of the WikiLeaks data that sparked global revolutions — was and will be key to shining attention on his mistreatment at the hands of the Quantico Marine Base in Virginia, where he was held and Judge Lind has ruled that he was mistreated. As though Mark Antony describing Caesar as an “honorable man,” Mr. Coombs said, “As I said to begin with, this public appearance is the exception for me. I believe that trying the case is not the way to representation of a client,” despite the public’s opinion certainly having an a heavy influence on the inevitable sentencing of the private. Mr. Coombs continued, “And Brad — at least from what he testified in the open hearing — didn’t want his case to be tried in the press, either. And also because that was his wishes early on but also because my perspective is you shouldn’t try your case in the press — I respected his wishes and didn’t grant issues. And even after this day I won’t be granting interviews. And the reason why, again, is because your focus has to be on your client and not on, you know, basically putting out facts to spin something your way in the press when that doesn’t achieve anything in the courtroom. When you’re in the courtroom, that’s what matters. What happens there matters. In the press, as I said here today, what really matters is you, the public, being involved and being informed and that the press can do wonderful things. That’s why I’m happy to see them here today. And that’s what really resulted in Brad being moved, in my opinion, from Quantico, to Fort Leavenworth.”
Next was The Internet Chronicle’s question (answered at 01:20:00 in the file below this article), which was based on concerns we had from the trial, in which Private Manning had complained about his jailers listening in on his phone call: “Are you and your client able to communicate freely on a privileged basis.”
Replied Mr. Coombs to The Internet Chronicle’s question, “Yes, Brad and I speak at least once a week, if not more, and we — obviously we see each other quite often as well. Our communications are always privileged. They’re never subject to any sort of recording or being monitored by anyone. And so because of that I act basically as kind of the conduit for Brad, giving him information and helping him stay in touch and informed. So those communications are not subject to monitoring.”
While attending the pre-trial in May, this reporter engaged in a conversation with a military police officer — last name “Parker” — who volunteered his view that protesters outside of Fort Meade, where the private’s trial was being held, in fact disliked the military. Asked if Lt. Dan Choi, a high-profile anti-“don’t ask, don’t tell” activist, also disliked the military, the MP still expressed skepticism. This is exactly the dynamic that drives Mr. Coombs to speak in public, despite his
Said Mr. Coombs, “I asked Brad: ‘Well, with that degree what do you plan on doing?’ And he said, ‘I want to go into pubic service.’ And I asked him what he meant by that. And he said, ‘I want to join some sort of campaign group, go into public service and perhaps one day run for public office.’”
That statement by the attorney was met by gentle murmurings.
Mr. Coombs continued with: “And I asked Brad, why would he want to do that. And he said, ‘I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference in this world.’”
“I can tell you that standing here today I hope that someday soon Brad can go to college. I hope someday soon he can in fact go into public service. But I am confident, as I stand here today, that Brad doesn’t have to worry about making a difference in this world. He has made a difference.” With that line, Mr. Coombs was greeted with steady applause by all in attendance except the press.
Of the two questions that The Internet Chronicle submitted on note cards to Nathan Fuller, this was perhaps the best answer to the other question staff had for Mr. Coombs, which we would later pose to leadership of the Center for Constitutional Rights: “Was there a net positive value in Private Manning have orchestrated the large leak of classified information in military history?”
Speaking to The Internet Chronicle, Michael Ratner, from the Center for Constitutional Rights, said, “Assuming [Private] Manning leaked it, there’s no doubt that he has exposed material that has been very important for both ending wars, end the hypocrisy of our government, and ending the corruption. I mean, it consider it to be no issue about it.” Mr. Ratner added, “What we have is a government of incredible secrecy that’s getting more secret. And unless you have people starting to expose material, we are facing a situation of a total surveillance state. And these guys are heroes, in my view, for what they’ve done.”
Asked if there were any negative consequences of leaking, even if they were outweighed by positives, Mr. Ratner told this reporter, “The government hasn’t come up with any that are negative in the sense of hurting anybody. What they’ve said is, yeah, they can’t do their diplomatic stuff in the same way and all that, but I don’t consider that a negative.”
Despite criticism from press, such as the highly intrepid Alexa O’Brien (@carwinb), who when we attended the trial, complained about lack of access and documentation, Defense Counsel Coombs said that the military justice system was the best place for Private Manning to be in and even said that it was more just than the civilian court system. He called it “the best courtroom you can go into.”
Speaking from the podium that evening to about 50 members of the public, “When you look at it from the outside, you could see and perhaps think that the system is built to obtain a certain outcome. I can tell you with confidence — again, having practiced both in state and federal and in military practice — that a court-martial is by far the fairest, justest system that I’ve ever practiced in. And that may sound confusing. And I actually get some looks of — I don’t — I don’t know about that.”
With that line, there was chuckling from the audience. The congregation, which I have attended, in which my own son was dedicated, I have noticed to be skeptical of military activities. Two years ago I attended a morning session in which an activist spoke of disassembling the entire nuclear weapons infrastructure in the United States to acclaim, to agreement and to accord.
“But let me tell you why,” said Mr. Coombs. “Military judges are not just picked out at random. They’re not voted in. A military judge is somebody who has done in most instances both federal — excuse me — acted as a prosecutor and as a defense counsel for a period of times, has seen both sides.
“Also that person usually has taken on the role of a chief of military justice, which would be the equivalent of a DA; or a senior defense counsel. And so from that perspective you have a lot of experience, plus once the judge becomes a judge usually that person is a lieutenant colonel or a colonel. People who go that route are not interested in becoming generals. And so you’ve kind of tapped out at the top of where you would want to be. So there is no influence issue. And you have somebody there that is truly experienced, who truly understands the law. And from my perspective I would take a judge who knows the law and is very experienced over many of the judges I’ve practiced in state and federal.
“And then from a panel standpoint, if you go with a panel, almost everybody in the military — once they have obtained a certain rank — has some sort of college degree.”
And here once again, Mr. Coombs was making an appeal to the members of the audience.
He said, “And I think that in and of itself speaks volumes about the person’s ability to at least have an open mind on certain topics.”
Since the date of this speaking engagement, the trial continues to be pushed back — court officials blaming the delay, as did Mr. Coombs, on “further defense motions.”
Nonsense at the beginning — Complete Internet Chronicle audio of the David Coombs speech on Manning, hosted via SoundCloud (Ratner begins at 35:00) while Coombs’ first public presentation begins at (51:00):
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Pro-Manning Protesters Outside of Fort Meade Tuesday
WASHINGTON – Retired Colonel Dan Choike, the former commander of Marine Corps Base Quantico, at which Private Bradley Manning was held, took the stand Tuesday and shed more light on the public relations and mental health concerns surrounding the incarceration of the Army intelligence analyst whose “Cablegate” document provisions to WikiLeaks sparked a global conflagration, culminating in the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Senior Quantico Marine officers anticipated ongoing complaints about the private’s treatment, and disregarded repeated advice from base forensic psychiatrists that the private did not need to be on suicide watch. Outright disagreement continued regarding the facts of an incident in which Private Manning alleges he was forced to stand naked. Col. Choike claims that he was offered a suicide smock and a blanket but refused those coverings.
Defense attorney David Coombs asked Col. Choike if he “knew” that Private Manning was asked to “put the blanket [covering him] back” when ordered to stand up. First the colonel replied simply, “no,” before adding to the attorney, “You’re talking hypotheticals.” As this exchange proceeded the private watched with wider, more interested eyes than usual, biting his lips.
Black-and-white factual disagreement also exists as to whether Private Manning was allowed only 20 minutes, as opposed to a full hour, of “sunshine call,” time outside in shackles.
The commander consistently ignored the advice of two psychiatrists, and Captain William Hoctor and Colonel Rick Malone — Capt. Hoctor’s advice particularly because one of his patients had recently killed himself while in the brig only a couple of weeks into his detention.
Presented exhibits included a “standard confinement pillow;” a “suicide mattress;” a green “suicide smock,” a cousin to the straitjacket; and two nooses — one a peach-colored makeshift bedsheet noose, the other constructed from sandbag ties. While defense counsel were quick to chime in that Private Manning had used neither noose, later this week Private Manning would testify to having made the bedsheet noose during his initial detention in Kuwait, a time during which American politicians and media personalities were roundly calling for the prisoner’s execution. Col. Choike cited factors that encouraged him to disregard psychiatrists’ advice that Manning not any longer be required to be put on suicide watch, a condition that would necessitate his wearing a chafing, restrictive smock the private claims gave him rub burns. Col. Choike, now a civilian employed at Stafford, Virginia’s Technology Associates, said the “seriousness” of Private Manning’s charges, “strained family relationships” and “erratic behavior” contributed to the continuing suicide watch. The “erratic behavior,” testified Col Choike, included “playing peek-a-boo,” “erratic dancing” and licking the bars of his cell.
Incredibly defense counsel claimed that the bar-licking might have been due to sleepwalking caused by anti-anxiety agents given to Private Manning. Neither side offered any details on the specific prescription medications given to Private Manning, but Capt. Hoctor said that Private Manning’s medication could cause sleepwalking and allegedly the bar-licking.
Col. Choike said that, instead of Capt. Hoctor and Col. Malone, he deferred to the chain of command and specifically the judgment of a dentist in charge of the Quantico medical clinic.
Both sides agree that Private Manning communicated to a guard that if he really wanted to hurt himself he could do with his waistband or his flip-flops. Col. Choike said that that guard took the statement so seriously that he relayed the concern to Barnes. In Mr. Coombs’ questioning of Col. Choike, he said that Private Manning was merely commenting on the absurdity of his being on suicide watch, a status that denied him more comfortable bedding and underwear to sleep in at night. Col. Choike said that subordinates did not make him aware that Private Manning was smiling when he made the observation, as Mr. Coombs implied.
Upon being questioned by David Coombs, Col. Choike disavowed the tone of a Dr. Seuss-ian poem in an email by Marine Corps legal counsel Christopher Greer to Col. Choike:
“I can wear them in a box. I can wear them with a fox. I can wear them in the day. I can wear them so I say. But I can’t wear them at night. My comments gave the staff a fright.”
Brig Commander Col. Robert Oltman would respond to Lt. Col. Greer’s email by himself referencing “Green Eggs & Ham,” signing his name “Sam I am.” On Wednesday, when he took the stand, Col. Oltman said that it would have been irresponsible not to take what Manning’s “flip-flop” line as being serious. “You don’t joke about suicide,” Col. Oltman testified, according to Bradley Manning Support Group writer Nathan Fuller.
Given the generally high rate of guilty verdicts in military trials, and his own offers to make a conditional plea “by substitution,” Private Manning’s defense strategy over the next three months hinges on calls for sympathy based, respectively, on the length of his pre-trial incarceration (over 900 days), and the severity of his treatment during that time. Private Manning will try to cut deals in which each day of his upcoming will count for multiple days, depending on how much defense counsel can impress upon Judge Denise Lind the degree of unpleasantness in at least 23-hour-a-day lockdowns in a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell. Private Manning has called for a dismissal of his case due to a claim that his right to a speedy trial was ignored.
David Coombs and prosecutor Major Ashden Fein are locked in a chicken-and-egg argument on the relationship between precautions allegedly intended to prevent Private Manning’s suicide, and those measures’ ironic, potential debilitating effects on Private Manning’s state of mind. The private’s treatment faced such scrutiny that it was enough to elicit criticism from a State Department spokesman and a U.N. special rapporteur on torture. Throughout his hours of questioning Tuesday’s witness Mr. Coombs tried to highlight for the judge and the press in attendance a contrast in the levels of attention Col. Choike and his superiors paid to public relations management of Private Manning’s incarceration, as opposed to the prisoner’s actual treatment.
Observers to the first day of the trial included Maryland Green Party Senate candidate and attorney Kevin Zeese and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who briefed multiple presidents on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As the trial was on recess, waiting in the observers trailer next to the courtroom, Mr. McGovern communicated his confidence that there was a net social benefit to Private Manning’s leaking of secret-classified documents. Near and dear to Mr. McGovern’s heart is fragmentary order (FRAGO) 242, revealed via the Iraq War logs, which Mr. McGovern said was the brain-child of now resigned CIA director David Petraeus, who then served as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Field reports, made available through Private Manning’s infractions, reveal a tolerance of detainee abuse by occupying U.S. authorities, in light of FRAGO 242, named in one May 16, 2005 instance as: “Provided the initial report [of abuse] confirms US forces were not involved in the detainee abuse, no further investigation will be conducted unless directed by [higher headquarters].”
A November 29, 2005 press conference provides an exchange in contradiction with this fragmentary order, during which then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chair General Peter Pace exhibited differing perspectives on the blind eye UPI’s Pam Hess said the U.S. military was turning to prisoner abuse by Iraqi security forces, who Secretary Rumsfeld opined were doing a “darn good job.”
General Pace said, “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it. As an example of how to do it if you don’t see if happening but you’re told about it is exactly what happened a couple weeks ago. There’s a report from an Iraqi to [General Karl Horst] that there is possibility of inhumane treatment in a particular facility. That U.S. commander got together with his Iraqi counterparts. They went together to the facility, found what they found, reported it to the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has taken ownership of that problem and is investigating it. So they did exactly what they should have done.
Secretary Rumsfeld said, “But I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it. It’s to report it.”
To this General Pace offered contradiction, “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.”
Ray McGovern published a blog post Wednesday that details his own take on Private Manning’s treatment, which takes much inspiration from The Guardian’s reporting on the revelations Private Manning brought to the eyes of the world. Secretary Rumsfeld did publicly urge the Iraqi government to investigate grisly examples of prisoner abuse, while insisting on deferring to Iraq’s own investigative mechanisms, citing the occupied nation’s “sovereignty.”
From The Guardian:
A man who was detained by Iraqi soldiers in an underground bunker reported that he had been subjected to the notoriously painful strappado position: with his hands tied behind his back, he was suspended from the ceiling by his wrists. The soldiers had then whipped him with plastic piping and used electric drills on him. The log records that the man was treated by US medics; the paperwork was sent through the necessary channels; but yet again, no investigation was required.
The court has ruled that Private Manning’s own motives or the effects of his leaks, as The Internet Chronicle has previously reported while attending a pre-trial session, are to have no effect on the outcome on his sentence or charges. As evinced by the private two consective nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, his motives have elicited widespread laud.
As The Internet Chronicle reported last April, David Coombs’ pre-trial arguments suggested the possibility that Private Manning may have exercised personal discretion in his choice of particular documents to hand off to WikiLeaks, leaving open the possibility that the private may have removed information to protect U.S. assets, techniques, tactics and procedures. However, as was reported, “the defense’s suggestions that Private Manning, Mr. Fein argued, had performed self-redactions to mitigate damage were not material; the defendant, he said, lacked the direct knowledge as well as the original classification authority (OCA) to properly make such an assessment [of what to leak].”
In conversation with Kevin Zeese in the parking lot of the Fort Meade base theater, long-time source Mr. Zeese contended that, had any harm come to a U.S. serviceman or servicewoman, as a result of Private Manning’s leaks, political pressure would have been too seductive to avoid placing this additional heat on the private, despite the State Department’s standard line, dating back to December 2010, that it does not comment on leaked classified information.
“If the government could show the documents Manning released caused direct harm they would jump at the opportunity,” said Mr. Zeese. “I would be surprised if they didn’t.”
WASHINGTON – The trailer for an upcoming film on the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden inaccurately represents tactics and techniques, thereby overstating pre-operational uncertainty regarding the terrorist leader’s hideout presence. While producing “Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden,” which National Geographic plans to air in the 48 hours before Election Day, Kathryn Bigelow consulted with senior White House, Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials.
On its YouTube channel below the video, National Geographic writes, “Don’t miss the World Premiere of National Geographic Channel’s very first feature-length film inspired by true events.”
To synopsize the trailer, as two men surveil from an adjacent structure the Abbottabad, Pakistan compound using conventional photography, actor William Fichtner — his character, “Guidry,” briefing seated intelligence analysts — relates that an al-Qaida courier has identified the location of a “suspected” high-value target.
As the trailer flashes to distant, blurry image from an unmanned aerial vehicle of an individual’s far-away profile, Guidry says that analysts have recognized “a man who appears taller than the rest.” A brief flash at 30 seconds — and again later in the trailer — shows aerial imagery, emphasizing the distance at which the CIA supposedly had to observe the target.
Then, a still shot of President Barack Obama and a voice-over together communicate that the president is staking his re-election on “this call.”
At 1:30, an authority, presumably a military official, asks, “So you’re still not sure if the target’s in there? You’re still not 100 percent?” To this Guidry replies, “A hundred percent’s hard to come by these days.”
John Young of Cryptome.org on August 6, 2011 pointed out problems with these types of hyped uncertainty claims as to bin Laden’s presence in the Abbottabad compound.
With emphasis added, most of note in relationship to this trailer are:
1. “A British newpaper Independent got the drawings shortly after the raid (a third floor added later). These detailed plans show the underground septic system for the house, a favorite means of gathering DNA and other evidence of occupants, as well as running sensors up the waste lines.”
2. “2. CIA has a slew of sensors to establish who occupies a structure, where they are located, what they talk about, when they eat and sleep. Sensors that read signals of window panes from distance, sensors down plumbing ventilation piping, sensors attached to plumbing and electrical systems, sensors attached to reinforcing bars sticking out of the top of the bin Laden House, sensors on drones and in nearby structures and heaved over and buried in the walls and dropped on the roof. Sensors in food supplies and medicines and clothing and vehicles. Tunnels under the house, piece of cake, water table not a barrier. Remote capture of emanations from electronic devices and video displays.”
3. “Not true that drones, [satellites] and ground-based cameras could not photograph bin Laden sufficiently to identify him” — emphasizing the proximity and size of the hill overlooking the walled terrace. The hill also overlooks the closed-in balcony on the third floor.
Hill Overlooking Walled Terrace, via Cryptome: Imagery of the distance and consequent operational uncertainty implied in the National Geographic trailer mislead.
Following up on Freedom of Information Act requests, in May Judicial Watch detailed the level of White House-facilitated Defense Department and CIA briefing given to the creators of “Zero Dark Thirty,” a topical Sony Pictures film Ms. Bigelow was producing simultaneously, including her meeting with the CIA.
In one of the emails Commander Bob Mehal, a communications adviser to the intelligence undersecretary of defense, reports to Defense Department Public Affairs, that “Zero Dark Thirty’s” writer, Mark Boal, had made overtures to DOD by saying that Mr. Boal was not interested in disclosing techniques, tactics and procedures, and that Mr. Boal “indicated that he was proud of not giving anything away in” the Bigelow-directed “The Hurt Locker.” Commander Mehal related that “USDI” — rather, he speaking for the Office of Defense Intelligence Undersecretary Michael Vickers — told the “Hurt Locker” writer that the bin Laden operation involved a “60-80% of certainty based on the Intell [sic]” and constituted a “‘gutsy decision’ by the [president],” adding that White House “involvement was critical.”
In reference to the larger-screen account of Operation Neptune Spear, “Zero Dark Thirty,” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in August 2011 that the White House was “counting on the Kathryn Bigelow . . . version of the killing of Bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual,” adding that Ms. Bigelow’s production would “no doubt reflect the president’s cool, gutsy decision against shaky odds.”
In response to complaints of “Seal Team Six’s” politicization of events, National Geographic released a statement:
SEAL TEAM SIX is a film that will provide our viewers with the first full length dramatization detailing one of the war on terrorism’s most crucial and historic events. It also showcases the extraordinary bravery and resourcefulnessof the United States military and national security teams. The National Geographic Channel has no political agenda, and believes that audiences can and will judge projects of this type on their own merits. National Geographic Channel also has a reputation of getting inside access, and bringing big events to our viewers first — for instance, we were the first and only network to have an exclusive with George W. Bush for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 (our highest rated show last year). SEAL TEAM SIX is a drama inspired by the real events of how the U.S. finally found Osama bin Laden in the network’s first feature film and scripted project marking the continued expansion of our programming. [emphases added]
OpenSecrets.org, a database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics, accounts that Ms. Bigelow donated $200 to President Obama’s re-election effort in November 2011. “Seal Team Six” Director John Stockwell donated $250 to the campaign August 23. Those are the creators’ only known direct-to-candidate political contributions for the 2012 cycle.
Xzibit, of Meme Fame, to Portray “Mule” in “Seal Team Six”
Increasingly, all people are being turned into objects. This is more than a gender issue. This is the death of the Subject. Nobody has truly come to grips with the horrible alienation of Social Media. On r/creepshots, people have entered a sick feedback loop that we all know ends with ragdoll porn and sex doll necrorape fantasy. Sure it’s legal, but so is investigating the identities of the people who moderate it.
“What kind of person would want to sit around and moderate Reddit all day?” ~ Viciously Raped Sex Doll
Adrian Chen is a dickhead who constantly steals his ideas from Chronicle.SU, and Gawker is a piece-of-shit tabloid, but Violentacrez, a person who didn’t even take elementary precautions to protect his identity, cannot be doxed. Just because he’s your friend and he’s being attacked by a tabloid doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the freedom of speech.
In this day and age it’s so common for meaning to be inverted by a small group of people who control media. Just look at the way Christians claim that abortion is an affront to religious freedom. Censoring Gawker in the name of freedom of speech is the same thing. Your bff, Violentacrez, might have been unfairly treated by someone trolling for tabloid hits, but is the answer really abusing your power to censor an entire media outlet? Why’d you even bother with the SOPA blackout?
I’ve had my run-ins with Reddit Moderators in the past. In fact, Chronicle.SU is banned from r/politics. By banning Gawker, a small group of people have ONCE AGAIN proven they are merciless tyrants.
“The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted many ways by many different people.”
WASHINGTON – Andrew Auernheimer, an American gray hat hacker better known as “weev,” tells The Internet Chronicle that his indictment in a New Jersey District Court over a June 2010 AT&T data breach is at its root an important free speech issue. Speaking to Chronicle.su’s Gray Phone, Mr. Auernheimer, a 27-year-old associate of Goatse Security, claims he made certain AT&T was aware of the breach in time to patch it, he never sought financial gain from what was in effect the the extraction of 114,000 iPad users’ email addresses, and that he never personally possessed more customer data than enough to communicate that the breach was bona fide. While prosecutors imply Mr. Auernheimer’s actions and statements may constitute computer fraud and foreknowledge of possible insider trading, he and his fellow Goatse Security associates saw themselves as merely tarnishing a company’s reputation due to its own reckless mishandling of customer data.
The actual extractor of iPad users’ email addresses, Daniel Spitler, 26, who may face as many as 10 years in prison, has already plead guilty to having gained unauthorized access to computers and identity theft. Mr. Spitler’s sentencing is forthcoming. Mr. Auernheimer served as a media liaison for the group, and only possessed iPad device signatures and email addresses related to media, such as Thomson Reuters and News Corporation.
Citing ’90s law enforcement debacles, such as the civilian deaths at Waco and the deaths in the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge, Mr. Auernheimer issued his appraisal of the honesty of federal law enforcement: “These are lying, perjurous, murderous thugs.”
He added, “If they will murder people, and no consequences of it will come for them, do you think they won’t manufacture evidence or coax false testimony? Give me break.”
“I’ve never shorted a stock, I’ve not solicited a third party to short a stock. And there’s nothing that I do that’s any different than what the financial press does. I’m issuing my opinion on AT&T’s — the information that they’ve made publicly accessible and giving my opinion of their infrastructure, as a result and of course Apple’s products.” He added, “There’s nothing illegal about this. This is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and also there is a system in violation here in that they have denied my right to due process by allowing AT&T to arbitrarily after the fact of access determine what is and isn’t not an authorized without the use of Congress to determine what is or is not an illegal act.”
A New Jersey district court informational document reads, “[D]efendent SPITLER, [Mr. Auernheimer], and other Goatse Security members discussed who in the press had disclosed the data breach to At&T, since, contrary to the Gawker Article, neither defendant SPITLER, nor anyone from Goatse Security had.” The document goes on to catalog an exchange between Mr. Auernheimer and colleague “Nstyr” in which they intimate they have not informed AT&T tech support by telephone.
“I don’t fucking care [about calling AT&T directly.] [I] hope they sue me,” wrote Mr. Auernheimer, in private correspondence confiscated by federal investigators. Asked by The Internet Chronicle’s Gray Phone why he didn’t go to AT&T first, he was concerned about greater liability by even talking to the telecommunications giant.
“Many people that have direct dialogue with companies in this sort of situation are accused of extortion, and I specifically wanted to avoid being accused falsely of extortion,” he says. Mr. Auernheimer contacted at least one third party — whom he declined to name but AT&T identified as a “business customer” — and says he was certain the patch would be forthcoming before leaking the data to Gawker could cause any harm. The third party’s identity, he says, makes it “inherently obvious” that he or she would make AT&T knowledgeable.
AT&T, he says, doesn’t “need to be informed by me. They need to be informed by somebody.”
An associate named “Pynchon” wrote to Mr. Auernheimer, “[H]ey, just an idea [ -- ] delay this outing for a couple days[,] tomorrow short some [AT&T] stock[,] then out them on [T]uesday[,] then fill your short and profit[.]
With this quote posed to him by Chronicle.su, Mr. Auernheimer said, “I don’t believe that anybody had an interest in shorting a stock,” adding, “And I certainly did not solicit them, too, and I’ve received no kickbacks for doing so. And I don’t believe anybody did, or otherwise I’d be charged with a securities-related crime, which I of course am not.”
Mr. Auernheimer said he doesn’t recall writing a reply to “Pynchon’s” stock-shorting idea with the reply: “[I]f you want to do it[,] go nuts.” However for Mr. Auernheimer and ultimately Mr. Spitler, the only entity to have extracted and held all the data, prosecutors are sure to make much of the transcript’s mentioning of any of their associates’ even jesting about or humoring such a securities violation. To be sure Goatse Security has a long history of conducting operations simply for reputational gain or their laughter at others’ expense — known as “lulz.”
Mr. Spitler’s indictment falsely claims that AT&T is headquartered in New Jersey. Mr. Auernheimer characterized this as perjury motivated by venue shopping, intended to maximize chances at prosecution. AT&T is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
In their analysis of chat logs federal prosecutors independently construed the sad-face emoticon “D8″ as the sexual metaphor “balls deep,” or as they put it, “to be deeply involved in an activity or to perform an activity to the greatest extent possible.” This revelation is not only humorous but shows, when taken in the context of Mr. Auernheimer’s relayed concern about civil, not criminal, liability for the data breach, Mr. Spitler was actually expressing fear.