Email services close and destroy data rather than reveal information
August 12, 2013

Lavabit, a Texas-based service that was reportedly used by Edward J. Snowden, announced the suspension of its service Thursday afternoon to avoid being “complicit in crimes against the American people,” The New York Times reports.

Within hours, a fast-growing Maryland-based start-up called Silent Circle also closed its e-mail service and destroyed its e-mail servers.

In effect, both businesses destroyed their assets — in part or in full — to avoid turning over  data of powerful clients.

In an effort to address public concern about the government’s surveillance programs, President Obama on Friday announced the creation of a task force to advise the government about how to ‘balance security and privacy’. Many understand this to mean that they plan to reboot the programs under different names and maintain a climate of secrecy and lies while continuing to pursue whistle-blowers relentlessly. Obama also claimed he supported a proposal to change the procedures of the secret court that approves electronic spying under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Source

As Assange has been saying, any changes made as a direct result of Snowden’s leaks PROVE that Snowden is in fact a whistle-blower (perhaps the most influential in American history) and not an enemy of the United States or whatever the hell they’re calling him now. 

NSA controls global Internet traffic via private fiber-optic cables
July 8, 2013

Deals brokered between federal agents and foreign corporations have allowed the United States government to easily intercept and interpret a vast swath of communication data sent around the world, new documents reveal.

In a National Security Agency slideshow obtained by The Washington Post and attributed to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the US government encouraged analysts to tap into an array of underwater, fiber-optic cables that serve as conduits for around 99 percent of the world’s Internet and phone traffic.

The report, published by the Post’s Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima, explains how NSA slides leaked by Snowden reveal yet another surveillance program undertaken as an alleged counterterrorism measure but at the cost of putting the privacy of millions, if not billions, of people at risk.

According to that report, the US government sent a team of attorneys from a number of alphabet soup agencies — including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security — to oversee post-9/11 efforts that would ensure most intelligence sent throughout the world could be collected by American agents.

“Among their jobs, documents show, was ensuring that surveillance requests got fulfilled quickly and confidentially,” the journalists wrote.

That much, the Post alleges, was accomplished by maintaining “an internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances” within the ranks of the foreign companies that control the fiber-optic cables carrying most telecommunications data around the world. One of those entities was Asia’s Global Crossing, and the US moved quickly to infiltrate its roster of employees shortly after 9/11.

The post writes that the “Network Security Agreement” signed between Global Crossing and the US in 2003 was one of the first major contractors giving the US the power to tap into these major telecom pipes, and in the decade since countless others have been authorized. In that instance and others, federal attorneys cooperating under the name “Team Telecom” compelled foreign owners of these cables to comply with American requests for information.

In the case of the Global Crossing contract, the US had the firm sign off on a deal that assured American intelligence agents could call up the company and be at a US-based “Network Operations Center” in only 30 minutes time to monitor and collect data. And while laws exist in order to allegedly provide safeguards to protect the privacy of Americans, the Post says that doesn’t stop American agencies from being able to collect that data nonetheless.

“As people worldwide chat, browse and post images through online services, much of the information flows within the technological reach of US surveillance. Though laws, procedural rules and internal policies limit how that information can be collected and used, the data from billions of devices worldwide flow through Internet choke points that the United States and its allies are capable of monitoring,” the Post writes. Along with the PRISM program disclosed by Snowden last month, tapping into these cables gives the US the ability to monitor essentially any communication that passes near the US.

The Post notes that both PRISM and the “Upstream” program that pulls from underwater cables intend to only target communications in which one part is believed to be outside of the US, but government agencies are unwilling to say how many Americans have incidentally or inadvertently entered the radar of the NSA. Previously, though, members of the United States Senate have used phrases like “profoundly appalled” to predict how Americans would likely react if they knew the full extent and scope of their country’s surveillance programs.

In the wake of Mr. Snowden’s disclosures that first began surfacing last month, the NSA, President Barack Obama and his administration have all celebrated the surveillance programs as necessary implements in the war against terror. The White House maintains that the practices are legally authorized through both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the post-9/11 PATRIOT Act, but continue to draw criticism from the public and politicians alike. Snowden, 30, is seeking asylum to avoid prosecution in the US where he is accused under the Espionage Act.

Source

Made rebloggable by request:
We’ve been told by multiple sources who’ve claimed that they are in direct contact with the legal team for Pfc. Manning, that as a strategic legal decision, they are not focusing on Pfc. Manning’s gender. We think that’s probably accurate and will respect what the legal team thinks will best position Pfc. Manning for as successful of a trial as possible. 
As an exception, in this post I used “Bradley” when referencing the Bradley Manning contingent because that’s how the group named themselves, same with the “Bradley Manning Support Network.” 
Based on conversations (both recorded and reported) with Pfc. Manning, there is reason to believe that Manning identifies as a woman and would like to use the name Breanna, instead of Bradley.
For anyone who is curious, Manning confided in informant Adrian Lamo about their fear as being publicized as a man:
"I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me…plastered all over the world press…as a boy."
However, Pfc. Manning has made no public statements on the matter and their legal team continues to use the name ‘Bradley’.

The People’s Record originally used the name ‘Breanna’ out of respect for expressed preference but after hearing back from people who say they’ve been in contact with the legal team, we’ve made the decision to try and remain as gender neutral as possible & refer to them as Pfc. B. Manning — although we often share pictures at pride and stuff with banners that say ‘Bradley’. 

Made rebloggable by request:

We’ve been told by multiple sources who’ve claimed that they are in direct contact with the legal team for Pfc. Manning, that as a strategic legal decision, they are not focusing on Pfc. Manning’s gender. We think that’s probably accurate and will respect what the legal team thinks will best position Pfc. Manning for as successful of a trial as possible. 

As an exception, in this post I used “Bradley” when referencing the Bradley Manning contingent because that’s how the group named themselves, same with the “Bradley Manning Support Network.” 

Based on conversations (both recorded and reported) with Pfc. Manning, there is reason to believe that Manning identifies as a woman and would like to use the name Breanna, instead of Bradley.

For anyone who is curious, Manning confided in informant Adrian Lamo about their fear as being publicized as a man:

"I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me…plastered all over the world press…as a boy."

However, Pfc. Manning has made no public statements on the matter and their legal team continues to use the name ‘Bradley’.

The People’s Record originally used the name ‘Breanna’ out of respect for expressed preference but after hearing back from people who say they’ve been in contact with the legal team, we’ve made the decision to try and remain as gender neutral as possible & refer to them as Pfc. B. Manning — although we often share pictures at pride and stuff with banners that say ‘Bradley’. 

eat-the-oppressor asked:

I'm a little confused on the appropriateness of the use of the names Bradley, Breanna, or B. for PFC Manning. Have they expressed desire for any of the above in particular?

We’ve been told by multiple sources who’ve claimed that they are in direct contact with the legal team for PFC Manning, that as a strategic legal decision, they are not focusing on PFC Manning’s gender. We think that’s probably accurate and will respect what the legal team thinks will best position PFC Manning for a successful trial. 

+ In this post I used “Bradley” when referencing the Bradley Manning contingent because that’s how the group named themselves, same with the “Bradley Manning Support Network.” 

Based on conversations (both recorded and reported) with PFC Manning, there is reason to believe that Manning identifies as a woman and would like to use the name Breanna, instead of Bradley.

For anyone who is curious, Manning confided in informant Adrian Lamo about their fear as being publicized as a man:

"I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me…plastered all over the world press…as a boy."

However, PFC Manning has made no public statements on the matter and their legal team continues to use the name ‘Bradley’.

The People’s Record originally used the name ‘Breanna’ out of respect for expressed preference but after hearing back from people who say they’ve been in contact with the legal team, we’ve made the decision to try and remain as gender neutral as possible & refer to them as Pfc. B. Manning — although we often share pictures at pride and stuff with banners that say ‘Bradley’. 

Mozilla, ACLU, others join fight against NSA domestic spyingJune 12, 2013
In response to the recent revelations of massive, secret surveillance programs conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA), organizations, businesses, and activists across the country are taking action.
On Tuesday, Mozilla announced that it has assembled a broad coalition of almost 100 groups and individuals aimed at pressuring Congress to take action address the issue of domestic spying.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on the other hand, is taking a more combative approach, having filed a lawsuit against the involved agencies in federal court.

The Mozilla campaign, appropriately named StopWatching.Us, posted an open letter to Congress on Tuesday that has already garnered more than 27,000 signatures.
The letter condemns both the NSA programs revealed last week, including the mass monitoring of phone conversations and the so-called PRISM initiative, which involves widespread, unrestricted collection of multiple forms of user data from major online service providers:

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy.

The letter calls upon Congress to take immediate action to reform sections of the Patriot Act, the state secrets privilege, and the recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to make it clear that blanket surveillance of US residents is against the law, whether it involves US citizens or not.
It also calls for a special Congressional committee to investigate the NSA’s programs and practices, and issue a report revealing to the public the true extent of the agency’s domestic spying, as well as making specific recommendations as to how to ensure that any unconstitutional surveillance programs are ended.
Finally, the letter’s last demand is plain enough:

Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Among the organizations backing the StopWatching.Us effort are the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, the Internet Archive, MoveOn.org, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and many others.
"Now is the time for Congress to act," EFF attorney Mark Rumold said in astatement. “We don’t need a narrow fix to one part of the PATRIOT Act; we need a full public accounting of how the United States is turning sophisticated spying technology on its own citizens, we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again.”
A number of businesses have also joined the cause – including Amicus, BoingBoing, DSLReports.com, Namecheap, and Reddit, among others – as have such activists and thinkers as John Perry Barlow, Cory Doctorow, Xeni Jardin, and Alexis Ohanian.
Taking it to the courts
Meanwhile, not content with writing letters to Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union has brought the matter to a different branch of government – the judicial – by filing a lawsuit in federal court charging the NSA with violating multiple constitutional protections.
"The ACLU’s complaint filed today explains that the dragnet surveillance the government is carrying out … infringes upon the ACLU’s First Amendment rights, including the twin liberties of free expression and free association," the organization said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added that the knowledge that the government is engaged in blanket monitoring of ACLU phone records might cause some people who would otherwise call the ACLU – many of whom might prefer to remain anonymous – to think twice.
"The kind of personal-data aggregation accomplished … also constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment," the statement goes on to explain, adding that the NSA’s activities violate the plain language of the relevant laws, which require data gathered to be "relevant" to ongoing foreign-intelligence or terrorism investigations.
The ACLU’s suit was filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, and names a number of prominent government officials as defendants, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
This latest effort joins the ACLU’s earlier attempts to uncover the government’s secret policy interpretations of the relevant laws through legal means, both through Freedom of Information Act requests and through an appeal to the FISA Court.
"When the government is claiming such chillingly expansive surveillance powers, it’s all hands on deck," the ACLU’s statement explains. "Stay tuned."
Source
Submitted by DashielSheen.

Mozilla, ACLU, others join fight against NSA domestic spying
June 12, 2013

In response to the recent revelations of massive, secret surveillance programs conducted by the US National Security Agency (NSA), organizations, businesses, and activists across the country are taking action.

On Tuesday, Mozilla announced that it has assembled a broad coalition of almost 100 groups and individuals aimed at pressuring Congress to take action address the issue of domestic spying.

The American Civil Liberties Union, on the other hand, is taking a more combative approach, having filed a lawsuit against the involved agencies in federal court.

The Mozilla campaign, appropriately named StopWatching.Us, posted an open letter to Congress on Tuesday that has already garnered more than 27,000 signatures.

The letter condemns both the NSA programs revealed last week, including the mass monitoring of phone conversations and the so-called PRISM initiative, which involves widespread, unrestricted collection of multiple forms of user data from major online service providers:

This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy.

The letter calls upon Congress to take immediate action to reform sections of the Patriot Act, the state secrets privilege, and the recent amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to make it clear that blanket surveillance of US residents is against the law, whether it involves US citizens or not.

It also calls for a special Congressional committee to investigate the NSA’s programs and practices, and issue a report revealing to the public the true extent of the agency’s domestic spying, as well as making specific recommendations as to how to ensure that any unconstitutional surveillance programs are ended.

Finally, the letter’s last demand is plain enough:

Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance.

Among the organizations backing the StopWatching.Us effort are the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace, the Internet Archive, MoveOn.org, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and many others.

"Now is the time for Congress to act," EFF attorney Mark Rumold said in astatement. “We don’t need a narrow fix to one part of the PATRIOT Act; we need a full public accounting of how the United States is turning sophisticated spying technology on its own citizens, we need accountability from public officials, and we need an overhaul of the laws to ensure these abuses can never happen again.”

A number of businesses have also joined the cause – including Amicus, BoingBoing, DSLReports.com, Namecheap, and Reddit, among others – as have such activists and thinkers as John Perry Barlow, Cory Doctorow, Xeni Jardin, and Alexis Ohanian.

Taking it to the courts

Meanwhile, not content with writing letters to Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union has brought the matter to a different branch of government – the judicial – by filing a lawsuit in federal court charging the NSA with violating multiple constitutional protections.

"The ACLU’s complaint filed today explains that the dragnet surveillance the government is carrying out … infringes upon the ACLU’s First Amendment rights, including the twin liberties of free expression and free association," the organization said in a statement on Tuesday.

It added that the knowledge that the government is engaged in blanket monitoring of ACLU phone records might cause some people who would otherwise call the ACLU – many of whom might prefer to remain anonymous – to think twice.

"The kind of personal-data aggregation accomplished … also constitutes an unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment," the statement goes on to explain, adding that the NSA’s activities violate the plain language of the relevant laws, which require data gathered to be "relevant" to ongoing foreign-intelligence or terrorism investigations.

The ACLU’s suit was filed in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, and names a number of prominent government officials as defendants, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel, US Attorney General Eric Holder, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

This latest effort joins the ACLU’s earlier attempts to uncover the government’s secret policy interpretations of the relevant laws through legal means, both through Freedom of Information Act requests and through an appeal to the FISA Court.

"When the government is claiming such chillingly expansive surveillance powers, it’s all hands on deck," the ACLU’s statement explains. "Stay tuned."

Source

Submitted by DashielSheen.

robert-cunningham
The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication 
Remembering Pat Tillman: Lies shield truth behind veteran’s deathMay 28, 2012
Former NFL player Pat Tillman enlisted in the U.S. Army after the events of 9/11 in 2002. After completing several tours, he began to develop a strong anti-war sentiment and spoke to his fellow comrades about rallying against another George W. Bush term once he was stationed in Afghanistan. This disapproval grew when he met outspoken MIT professor Noam Chomsky, who could have helped elevate Tillman’s voice as a veteran against wars once he had completed his tour. Word about the veteran’s anti-imperialism stance spread, and government officials are believed to have ordered Tillman’s assassination under the guise of friendly fire.
According to the Army’s initial reports, Tillman was shot three times in the forehead and killed in an ambush near the Pakistan border on April 22, 2004. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense found that his death was caused when a platoon he was a part of was divided in two and shot at each other by mistake when an explosive went off nearby.The lieutenant general withheld details on Tillman’s death from his family for several months.
But army doctors who conducted the autopsy found the shots on Tillman’s forehead were too close together, suggesting he was murdered from a shooter a couple of yards away from him by an M-16 rifle, which the military does not use as a weapon. There were reports that snipers were in the second platoon group who used the explosive device to create chaos as the opportune time to shoot Tillman. No evidence of enemy fire was found, and no other soldier was injured or shot on the scene. Doctors who conducted the autopsy released a report to AP about their suspicion that the veteran was murdered, and that an investigation should begin immediately.
Three years later, on March 26, 2007, the Pentagon released a statement saying, “None of the investigations suggested that CPL Tillman’s death was anything other than accidental. Our review, as well as the investigation recently completed by Army CID, obtained no evidence contrary to those key findings.” His mother, Mary Tillman, commented, “”Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It’s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived.”
The Obama administration has continued this war on whistleblowers, most notably with the detainment of Army soldier Bradley Manning who passed on classified government cables to shine light on war crimes and human rights violations all over the world. Tillman was approaching as a notable war opponent who would have brought his anti-war message home if he had not been gunned down by the U.S. Army.
So as we commemorate men and women who have given their lives in armed forces, we must question the legitimacy of the government that subjected Tillman and thousands of others to war in the first place. We must recognize the global bloodshed continuing to take place at the hands American imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and other countries beyond. The troops must be brought home, and with the solidarity of veterans and servicemembers, we must bring an end to all wars. 
- G. Razo
Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications.
— — — — —
From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication 

Remembering Pat Tillman: Lies shield truth behind veteran’s death
May 28, 2012

Former NFL player Pat Tillman enlisted in the U.S. Army after the events of 9/11 in 2002. After completing several tours, he began to develop a strong anti-war sentiment and spoke to his fellow comrades about rallying against another George W. Bush term once he was stationed in Afghanistan. This disapproval grew when he met outspoken MIT professor Noam Chomsky, who could have helped elevate Tillman’s voice as a veteran against wars once he had completed his tour. Word about the veteran’s anti-imperialism stance spread, and government officials are believed to have ordered Tillman’s assassination under the guise of friendly fire.

According to the Army’s initial reports, Tillman was shot three times in the forehead and killed in an ambush near the Pakistan border on April 22, 2004. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense found that his death was caused when a platoon he was a part of was divided in two and shot at each other by mistake when an explosive went off nearby.The lieutenant general withheld details on Tillman’s death from his family for several months.

But army doctors who conducted the autopsy found the shots on Tillman’s forehead were too close together, suggesting he was murdered from a shooter a couple of yards away from him by an M-16 rifle, which the military does not use as a weapon. There were reports that snipers were in the second platoon group who used the explosive device to create chaos as the opportune time to shoot Tillman. No evidence of enemy fire was found, and no other soldier was injured or shot on the scene. Doctors who conducted the autopsy released a report to AP about their suspicion that the veteran was murdered, and that an investigation should begin immediately.

Three years later, on March 26, 2007, the Pentagon released a statement saying, “None of the investigations suggested that CPL Tillman’s death was anything other than accidental. Our review, as well as the investigation recently completed by Army CID, obtained no evidence contrary to those key findings.” His mother, Mary Tillman, commented, “”Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It’s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived.”

The Obama administration has continued this war on whistleblowers, most notably with the detainment of Army soldier Bradley Manning who passed on classified government cables to shine light on war crimes and human rights violations all over the world. Tillman was approaching as a notable war opponent who would have brought his anti-war message home if he had not been gunned down by the U.S. Army.

So as we commemorate men and women who have given their lives in armed forces, we must question the legitimacy of the government that subjected Tillman and thousands of others to war in the first place. We must recognize the global bloodshed continuing to take place at the hands American imperialism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and other countries beyond. The troops must be brought home, and with the solidarity of veterans and servicemembers, we must bring an end to all wars. 

- G. Razo

Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications.

— — — — —

From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

robert-cunningham
The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication B. Manning: Updates on the Whistleblower’s Trial (photo source)
May 28, 2012United States Army soldier Breanna Manning, also known as Bradley Manning, has become one of the most influential figures in the quest for government transparency across the world. He was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 on suspicion of leaking classified government cables to activist publishers, Wikileaks. Cables he leaked revealed corruption in Kenya, human rights violations in Guantanamo Bay, footage of journalists and civilians being gunned down by U.S. military, expenditures of the Afghanistan war and other intelligence documents. Information Manning leaked to Wikileaks is considered to be one of the stimuli that sparked the revolution in Tunisia and in other countries throughout the Middle East.He is being detailed in Virginia on 22 charges, including a capital offense of “aiding the enemy,” which if found guilty, could imprison Manning in jail for life. Currently, Manning’s defense team says he is being denied a fair trial because of withheld information that may help prove his innocence. His lawyer has laid out the inconsistencies and violations of a fair trial. The military has not searched its own files to find any evidence that may aid in his release, which is it legally obligated to complete. In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights is petitioning the Army court of criminal appeals to open up more details about the case to the public and the media. Petitioners include Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Salon writer Glenn Greenwald. The secrecy behind the case is a clear violation of the First Amendment and cannot allow Manning to have a fair trial. Manning’s defense attorney has also called for 10 of the charges be dropped as they are “unconstitutionally vague or fail to state a prosecutable offense.” A military judge will review the charges and make a ruling at the pre-trial on June 8 in Fort Meade.
Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications. 
— — — — —
From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

The People’s Record Memorial Day Dedication 
B. Manning: Updates on the Whistleblower’s Trial (photo source)

May 28, 2012

United States Army soldier Breanna Manning, also known as Bradley Manning, has become one of the most influential figures in the quest for government transparency across the world. He was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 on suspicion of leaking classified government cables to activist publishers, Wikileaks. Cables he leaked revealed corruption in Kenya, human rights violations in Guantanamo Bay, footage of journalists and civilians being gunned down by U.S. military, expenditures of the Afghanistan war and other intelligence documents. Information Manning leaked to Wikileaks is considered to be one of the stimuli that sparked the revolution in Tunisia and in other countries throughout the Middle East.

He is being detailed in Virginia on 22 charges, including a capital offense of “aiding the enemy,” which if found guilty, could imprison Manning in jail for life.

Currently, Manning’s defense team says he is being denied a fair trial because of withheld information that may help prove his innocence. His lawyer has laid out the inconsistencies and violations of a fair trial. The military has not searched its own files to find any evidence that may aid in his release, which is it legally obligated to complete.

In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights is petitioning the Army court of criminal appeals to open up more details about the case to the public and the media. Petitioners include Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Salon writer Glenn Greenwald. The secrecy behind the case is a clear violation of the First Amendment and cannot allow Manning to have a fair trial.

Manning’s defense attorney has also called for 10 of the charges be dropped as they are “unconstitutionally vague or fail to state a prosecutable offense.” A military judge will review the charges and make a ruling at the pre-trial on June 8 in Fort Meade.

Click here for a complete list of The People’s Record’s Memorial Day dedications.

— — — — —

From our 2012 Memorial Day posts.

'Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer': Kissinger in new mass WikiLeaks document releaseApril 8, 2013
WikiLeaks has published the ‘Kissinger Cables’: its largest public release of documents in nearly a year, totaling some 1.7 million classified files, including information on the US’s secret diplomatic history.
A variety of files have been collected and collated, including from congressional correspondence, intelligence reports, and cables.
Julian Assange, who heads the organization, told the Press Association that the documents were illustrative of the “vast range and scope” of global US influence. He is to present and mark the release of the documents on Monday in a mass-press conference.
Assange is currently residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, under the threat of arrest if he leaves.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying, “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’,”during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.
Among the other information released is the revelation that that the Vatican may have collaborated with the US in supporting the Pinochet coup in Chile, which saw in a regime of bloodshed and disappearances.
In a cable dated 18 October 1973, it is stated that “Archbishop [Giovanni] Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, expressed to illing [sic] his and Pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.”  
The events which preceded Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship were dismissed as overblown.
“Bellini labeled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda, and highlighted fact that even moderate and conservative circles seem quite disposed to believe grossest lies about Chilean Junta’s excesses.”
It went on to admit that there had been bloodshed during what they labeled ‘mopping up’ procedures in Chile, but followed it up with the statement that the Junta was making ‘every effort’ to return the situation to normal.
Documents had previously come to light about US involvement in the bloody Chilean coup. One CIA document released in a 2003 book of collected works stated “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup…it is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”
The WikiLeaks releases additionally suggest that former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi, worked as a negotiator for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to Chile in the 1970s.
The documents are comprised of the 250,000 leaked state department memos made previously available through the ‘Cablegate’ release, alongside the new 1.7 million US State Department files from Kissinger’s time in the SoS position, from 1973-1976.
Although the 1.7 million had been officially declassified, and accessible through the National Archives and Records Agency, members of the WikiLeaks team consider their importance to be too significant for them to stay subtly tucked away.
“The Kissinger Cables provides unparalleled access to journalists and the general public,” said WikiLeaks in a statement.
Assange himself commented on the role that their publication of the documents’ played in preserving all sides of US history.
“The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organization with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy,” he said. He went on to call it the single most significant the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.
The lack of accessibility was also commented upon.
“One form of secrecy is complexity. That’s the reason why we decided to merge these files with our existing cables and put a lot of effort into making a user-friendly and accessible database” a WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told Forbes.
WikiLeaks has voiced additional concern over the possibility that some documents could be reclassified.
Julian Assange’s confinement in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy means the country has already spent some $4.5 million on police officers patrolling the building on 24-hour watch. He has been resident in the building since he lost a UK court case demanding his extradition to Sweden. (for questioning on sexual assault accusations)
WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell when it released over 250,000 leaked US cables in 2010, infuriating the US, as many related to the war in Iraq. The material released by the organization included the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video, which was shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, and documented direct attacks on unarmed Iraqi civilians. (Released by Pfc. B. Manning, who was been in prison under “cruel, inhuman & degrading” conditions, found by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez for 1049 days)
Source

'Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer': Kissinger in new mass WikiLeaks document release
April 8, 2013

WikiLeaks has published the ‘Kissinger Cables’: its largest public release of documents in nearly a year, totaling some 1.7 million classified files, including information on the US’s secret diplomatic history.

A variety of files have been collected and collated, including from congressional correspondence, intelligence reports, and cables.

Julian Assange, who heads the organization, told the Press Association that the documents were illustrative of the “vast range and scope” of global US influence. He is to present and mark the release of the documents on Monday in a mass-press conference.

Assange is currently residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, under the threat of arrest if he leaves.

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is quoted as saying, “Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, ‘The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’,”during a 1975 conversation which included a Turkish and Cypriot official.

Among the other information released is the revelation that that the Vatican may have collaborated with the US in supporting the Pinochet coup in Chile, which saw in a regime of bloodshed and disappearances.

In a cable dated 18 October 1973, it is stated that “Archbishop [Giovanni] Benelli, Vatican Deputy Secretary of State, expressed to illing [sic] his and Pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.” 

The events which preceded Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship were dismissed as overblown.

“Bellini labeled exaggerated coverage of events as possibly greatest success of Communist propaganda, and highlighted fact that even moderate and conservative circles seem quite disposed to believe grossest lies about Chilean Junta’s excesses.”

It went on to admit that there had been bloodshed during what they labeled ‘mopping up’ procedures in Chile, but followed it up with the statement that the Junta was making ‘every effort’ to return the situation to normal.

Documents had previously come to light about US involvement in the bloody Chilean coup. One CIA document released in a 2003 book of collected works stated “It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup…it is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [US government] and American hand be well hidden.”

The WikiLeaks releases additionally suggest that former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Ghandi, worked as a negotiator for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which was trying to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to Chile in the 1970s.

The documents are comprised of the 250,000 leaked state department memos made previously available through the ‘Cablegate’ release, alongside the new 1.7 million US State Department files from Kissinger’s time in the SoS position, from 1973-1976.

Although the 1.7 million had been officially declassified, and accessible through the National Archives and Records Agency, members of the WikiLeaks team consider their importance to be too significant for them to stay subtly tucked away.

“The Kissinger Cables provides unparalleled access to journalists and the general public,” said WikiLeaks in a statement.

Assange himself commented on the role that their publication of the documents’ played in preserving all sides of US history.

“The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world. Fortunately, an organization with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy,” he said. He went on to call it the single most significant the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published.

The lack of accessibility was also commented upon.

“One form of secrecy is complexity. That’s the reason why we decided to merge these files with our existing cables and put a lot of effort into making a user-friendly and accessible database” a WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told Forbes.

WikiLeaks has voiced additional concern over the possibility that some documents could be reclassified.

Julian Assange’s confinement in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy means the country has already spent some $4.5 million on police officers patrolling the building on 24-hour watch. He has been resident in the building since he lost a UK court case demanding his extradition to Sweden. (for questioning on sexual assault accusations)

WikiLeaks dropped a bombshell when it released over 250,000 leaked US cables in 2010, infuriating the US, as many related to the war in Iraq. The material released by the organization included the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video, which was shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, and documented direct attacks on unarmed Iraqi civilians. (Released by Pfc. B. Manning, who was been in prison under “cruel, inhuman & degrading” conditions, found by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez for 1049 days)

Source

No slack for Manning: Prosecutors to press for life
March 3, 2013

Military prosecutors intend to pursue more serious charges against Pfc. B. Manning despite their having plead guilty to lesser charges. The whistleblower faces life imprisonment if they are found guilty of aiding the enemy.

Manning, 25, admitted on Thursday to handing over a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks. They voluntary plead guilty to 10 relevant charges, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years.

The move was a ‘naked plea’ – unlike a plea bargain, there is no arrangement with the prosecution to drop other charges. It did, however, give prosecutors the option to only purse the charges to which Manning confessed, and proceed straight to sentencing.

But after the judge accepted the plea, military prosecutors announced they would pursue the 12 other charges, including the rarely used indictment of aiding the enemy. The crime is punishable by the death sentence, but the prosecution earlier ruled that out, saying they would seek life in prison without parole.

“Given the scope of the alleged misconduct, the seriousness of the charged offenses, and the evidence and testimony available, the United States intends to proceed with the court-martial to prove Manning committed the charged offenses beyond the lesser charges to which he has already pled guilty,” a statement from the Washington Military District said.

The court martial will begin on June 3, with 141 prosecution witnesses scheduled to testify. The prosecutors reportedly plan to reveal that some of the documents leaked by Manning were found by the Navy SEAL team that raided Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in May 2011.

Manning’s plea appears to give them little advantage in the trial, apart from probably winning some points from the judge, Col. Denise Lind, for not forcing the government to prove their role in the leak and their breaking the law in the process.

But there may be more strategic consideration, explained Michael Navarre, a former Navy judge advocate and military justice analyst.

"He’s laying the groundwork for a more lenient sentence and laying the groundwork for a potential defense to the aiding the enemy and the espionage charges," Navarre told AP. "You end up with a more reasonable starting position — ‘I admit I did it, but I didn’t think it was going to harm anyone.’"

Manning has many supporters, who see them as a hero for putting their well-being on the line to expose morally questionable secrets of the US government. The Bradley Manning Support Network has raised more than $900,000 for their defense. A vigil in their honor was held in front of the US embassy in London on Friday.

The case could set a worrisome precedent for free speech: Manning’s alleged crime of aiding the enemy constitutes publishing classified documents on the Internet, allowing enemies of the US to read them. A guilty sentence would mean that any leak of government secrets that ends up on the Internet, event through traditional media, could be subjected to similar charges.

Source

President Obama’s recent signing of cyber security executive order seems to be a response to Anonymous, not China
February 25, 2013

Last Tuesday, President Obama signed a new executive order seeking to give the executive branch more power over curbing cyber-security threats, calling it a move to protect against “America’s enemies.”

Although many news outlets are running with stories claiming the new plan was a response to hacking from China, it would appear, at least, that it was also a response to recent hacks to government websites by hacktivist group Anonymous.

At the time of this publication, two government sites, ussc.gov and miep.uscourts.gov, are met with “502 Bad Gateway” errors and cannot be accessed.

Anonymous also successfully hacked the Federal Reserve website.

The hacks are part of “Operation Last Resort,” a response to the death of “Internet freedom” activist Aaron Swartz and a demand for judicial reform. Swartz’s family and friends believe his suicide came as a result of legal pressure that did not fit his crime of downloading academic articles he had legal access to.

It appears Anonymous has not been fazed by Pres. Obama’s new cyber-security executive order.

Shortly after signing, Anonymous successfully hacked Goldman Sachs, leaking sensitive information such as names, addresses and bank account information.

Then, again, last week, the State Department’s website was successfully taken offline. In a Tweet, Anonymous asserted the attack was part of the ongoing Operation Last Resort.

The president is urging Congress to take legislative steps to put restrictions on the Internet, something Aaron Swartz was a champion at preventing.

His organization Demand Progress significantly aided in stopping last year’s SOPA, PIPA and CISPA bills many felt would spell the end to online privacy and Internet freedom. It seems that Anonymous is continuing the fight through the operation dedicated to him.

Emilie Rensink writes about civil liberties, counter-terrorism, cyber-security and political activism. Subscribe to get her articles delivered to your inbox.

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Bradley Manning: A tale of liberty lost in AmericaDecember 3, 2012
Over the past two and a half years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley (also known as Breanna) Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed on Thursday, when the 23-year-old US army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks testified at his court martial proceeding about the conditions of his detention.
The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures to which he was subjected, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced those conditions as “cruel and inhuman”. President Obama’s state department spokesman, retired air force colonel PJ Crowley, resigned after publicly condemning Manning’s treatment. A prison psychologist testified this week that Manning’s conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantánamo Bay.
Still, hearing the accused whistleblower’s description of this abuse in his own words viscerally conveyed its horror. Reporting from the hearing, the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington quoted Manning: “If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: ‘Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!’" And: "I was authorised to have 20 minutes sunshine, in chains, every 24 hours." Early in his detention, Manning recalled, "I had pretty much given up. I thought I was going to die in this eight by eight animal cage."
The repressive treatment of Bradley Manning is one of the disgraces of Obama’s first term, and highlights many of the dynamics shaping his presidency. The president not only defended Manning’s treatment but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning’s guilt when he asserted in an interview that he “broke the law”.
Worse, Manning is charged not only with disclosing classified information, but also the capital offence of “aiding the enemy”, for which the death penalty can be imposed (military prosecutors are requesting “only” life in prison). The government’s radical theory is that, although Manning had no intent to do so, the leaked information could have helped al-Qaida, a theory that essentially equates any disclosure of classified information – by any whistleblower, or a newspaper – with treason.
Whatever one thinks of Manning’s alleged acts, he appears the classic whistleblower. This information could have been sold for substantial sums to a foreign government or a terror group. Instead he apparently knowingly risked his liberty to show them to the world because – he said when he believed he was speaking in private – he wanted to trigger “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms”.
Compare this aggressive prosecution of Manning to the Obama administration’s vigorous efforts to shield Bush-era war crimes and massive Wall Street fraud from all forms of legal accountability. Not a single perpetrator of those genuine crimes has faced court under Obama, a comparison that reflects the priorities and values of US justice.
Then there’s the behaviour of Obama’s loyalists. Ever since I first reported the conditions of Manning’s detention in December 2010, many of them not only cheered that abuse but grotesquely ridiculed concerns about it. Joy-Ann Reid, a former Obama press aide and now a contributor on the progressive network MSNBC, spouted sadistic mockery in response to the report: “Bradley Manning has no pillow?????” With that, she echoed one of the most extreme rightwing websites, RedState, which identically mocked the report: “Give Bradley Manning his pillow and blankie back.”
As usual, the US establishment journalists have enabled the government every step of the way. Despite holding themselves out as adversarial watchdogs, nothing provokes their animosity more than someone who effectively challenges government actions.
Typifying this mentality was a CNN interview on Thursday night with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange conducted by Erin Burnett. It was to focus on newly released documents revealing secret efforts by US officials to pressure financial institutions to block WikiLeaks’ funding after the group published classified documents allegedly leaked by Manning, a form of extra-legal punishment that should concern everyone, particularly journalists.
But the CNN host was completely uninterested in the dangerous acts of her own government. Instead she repeatedly tried to get Assange to condemn the press policies of Ecuador, a tiny country that – quite unlike the US – exerts no influence beyond its borders. To the mavens of the US watchdog press, Assange and Manning are enemies to be scorned because they did the job that the US press corps refuses to do: namely, bringing transparency to the bad acts of the US government and its allies around the world.
Bradley Manning has bestowed the world with multiple vital benefits. But as his court martial finally reaches its conclusion, one likely to result in the imposition of a long prison term, it appears his greatest gift is this window into America’s political soul.
Source
Glenn Greenwald is a great source on the Manning case. He’s a former civil liberties lawyer & has been covering WikiLeaks/Manning for several years now. Subscribe to him via the Guardian.

Bradley Manning: A tale of liberty lost in America
December 3, 2012

Over the past two and a half years, all of which he has spent in a military prison, much has been said about Bradley (also known as Breanna) Manning, but nothing has been heard from him. That changed on Thursday, when the 23-year-old US army private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks testified at his court martial proceeding about the conditions of his detention.

The oppressive, borderline-torturous measures to which he was subjected, including prolonged solitary confinement and forced nudity, have been known for some time. A formal UN investigation denounced those conditions as “cruel and inhuman”. President Obama’s state department spokesman, retired air force colonel PJ Crowley, resigned after publicly condemning Manning’s treatment. A prison psychologist testified this week that Manning’s conditions were more damaging than those found on death row, or at Guantánamo Bay.

Still, hearing the accused whistleblower’s description of this abuse in his own words viscerally conveyed its horror. Reporting from the hearing, the Guardian’s Ed Pilkington quoted Manning: “If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: ‘Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!’" And: "I was authorised to have 20 minutes sunshine, in chains, every 24 hours." Early in his detention, Manning recalled, "I had pretty much given up. I thought I was going to die in this eight by eight animal cage."

The repressive treatment of Bradley Manning is one of the disgraces of Obama’s first term, and highlights many of the dynamics shaping his presidency. The president not only defended Manning’s treatment but also, as commander-in-chief of the court martial judges, improperly decreed Manning’s guilt when he asserted in an interview that he “broke the law”.

Worse, Manning is charged not only with disclosing classified information, but also the capital offence of “aiding the enemy”, for which the death penalty can be imposed (military prosecutors are requesting “only” life in prison). The government’s radical theory is that, although Manning had no intent to do so, the leaked information could have helped al-Qaida, a theory that essentially equates any disclosure of classified information – by any whistleblower, or a newspaper – with treason.

Whatever one thinks of Manning’s alleged acts, he appears the classic whistleblower. This information could have been sold for substantial sums to a foreign government or a terror group. Instead he apparently knowingly risked his liberty to show them to the world because – he said when he believed he was speaking in private – he wanted to trigger “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms”.

Compare this aggressive prosecution of Manning to the Obama administration’s vigorous efforts to shield Bush-era war crimes and massive Wall Street fraud from all forms of legal accountability. Not a single perpetrator of those genuine crimes has faced court under Obama, a comparison that reflects the priorities and values of US justice.

Then there’s the behaviour of Obama’s loyalists. Ever since I first reported the conditions of Manning’s detention in December 2010, many of them not only cheered that abuse but grotesquely ridiculed concerns about it. Joy-Ann Reid, a former Obama press aide and now a contributor on the progressive network MSNBC, spouted sadistic mockery in response to the report: “Bradley Manning has no pillow?????” With that, she echoed one of the most extreme rightwing websites, RedState, which identically mocked the report: “Give Bradley Manning his pillow and blankie back.”

As usual, the US establishment journalists have enabled the government every step of the way. Despite holding themselves out as adversarial watchdogs, nothing provokes their animosity more than someone who effectively challenges government actions.

Typifying this mentality was a CNN interview on Thursday night with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange conducted by Erin Burnett. It was to focus on newly released documents revealing secret efforts by US officials to pressure financial institutions to block WikiLeaks’ funding after the group published classified documents allegedly leaked by Manning, a form of extra-legal punishment that should concern everyone, particularly journalists.

But the CNN host was completely uninterested in the dangerous acts of her own government. Instead she repeatedly tried to get Assange to condemn the press policies of Ecuador, a tiny country that – quite unlike the US – exerts no influence beyond its borders. To the mavens of the US watchdog press, Assange and Manning are enemies to be scorned because they did the job that the US press corps refuses to do: namely, bringing transparency to the bad acts of the US government and its allies around the world.

Bradley Manning has bestowed the world with multiple vital benefits. But as his court martial finally reaches its conclusion, one likely to result in the imposition of a long prison term, it appears his greatest gift is this window into America’s political soul.

Source

Glenn Greenwald is a great source on the Manning case. He’s a former civil liberties lawyer & has been covering WikiLeaks/Manning for several years now. Subscribe to him via the Guardian.

Activists demand judge step down in Jeremy Hammond caseDecember 1, 2012
Supporters of Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago hacktivist denied bail by a federal judge in New York for his role in the hack of Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, are now demanding the judge in the case recuse herself. Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Hammond in court last week, saying that the alleged anonymous affiliated hacker posed a “substantial danger to the community.” Information revealed since her ruling shows that Preska’s husband, Thomas Kaveler is employed by Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a client of Stratfor, and Kaveler himself was a victim of the hack.
According to a press release from the collective Anonymous, Kaveler’s email address and other data was published by Wikileaks after the Stratfor hack. Preska never disclosed this information and supporters of Hammond say that conflicts with her ability to give him a fair trial. “Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evidenced by her statements,” the press release stated.
Truthout reports Gideon Oliver, president of the New York chapter of the National Lawyers Guild told supporters at a rally in New York on Thursday that, “The court regularly releases people accused of crimes more serious than the crimes Jeremy is accused of. Jeremy’s continuing pre-trial imprisonment will severely hamper his attorney’s ability to prepare a defense and defend Jeremy at trial.”
Hammond potentially faces 30 years to life imprisonment if convicted. He has been held for eight months without bail or trial and is not expected to take the stand until next year.
Source

Activists demand judge step down in Jeremy Hammond case
December 1, 2012

Supporters of Jeremy Hammond, the Chicago hacktivist denied bail by a federal judge in New York for his role in the hack of Stratfor, a private intelligence firm, are now demanding the judge in the case recuse herself. Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to Hammond in court last week, saying that the alleged anonymous affiliated hacker posed a “substantial danger to the community.” Information revealed since her ruling shows that Preska’s husband, Thomas Kaveler is employed by Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a client of Stratfor, and Kaveler himself was a victim of the hack.

According to a press release from the collective Anonymous, Kaveler’s email address and other data was published by Wikileaks after the Stratfor hack. Preska never disclosed this information and supporters of Hammond say that conflicts with her ability to give him a fair trial. “Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evidenced by her statements,” the press release stated.

Truthout reports Gideon Oliver, president of the New York chapter of the National Lawyers Guild told supporters at a rally in New York on Thursday that, “The court regularly releases people accused of crimes more serious than the crimes Jeremy is accused of. Jeremy’s continuing pre-trial imprisonment will severely hamper his attorney’s ability to prepare a defense and defend Jeremy at trial.”

Hammond potentially faces 30 years to life imprisonment if convicted. He has been held for eight months without bail or trial and is not expected to take the stand until next year.

Source

Anonymous hacker behind Stratfor attack faces life in prisonNovember 23, 2012
A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor.
Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year’s hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.
Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it’s been revealed that Judge Preska’s husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack.
According to the indictment filed in March, Hammond illegally obtained credit card information stolen from Stratfor and uploaded it to a server that was unbeknownst to him maintained by the federal government. Months earlier the FBI had arrested Hector Xavier Monsegur, a New York hacker who spearheaded LulzSec under the alias “Sabu,” and relied on from thereon out to help the authorities nab other individuals affiliated with Anonymous and LulzSec. The feds say Hammond openly admitted to compromising Stratfor’s data in online chats with their informant and unsealed a three count indictment against him relating to hacking back in March.
After Anons gained access to Stratfor’s servers, they collected a trove of internal emails and more thousands of credit card details belonging to the firm’s paid subscribers that were released last Christmas. A class action suit was filed against Strafor over the breach of security, and in June the company settled with its customers at an estimated cost of $1.75 million. Just now, though, it’s been learned that Judge Preska may have a vested interest in seeking a prosecution by any means necessary.
Among the thousands of Statfor client’s whose credit card data was compromised in the hack alleged to be linked to Hammond is Thomas J. Kavaler, a partner at the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and the husband of Judge Preska. The archived document dump released by LulzSec last year includes personal information from Mr. Kavaler that suggests he was victimized in the attack and thus qualifies for the class action settlement.
In a press release issued under the branding of the Anonymous collective, supporters for Hammond call for Judge Preska’s immediate resignation from the case.
“Judge Preska by proxy is a victim of the very crime she intends to judge Jeremy Hammond for. Judge Preska has failed to disclose the fact that her husband is a client of Stratfor and recuse herself from Jeremy’s case, therefore violating multiple Sections of Title 28 of the United States Code,” the statement reads.
“Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her Husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evident by her statements,” it continues. “Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected.”
According to Sue Crabtree, a member of the Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network and a witness to his bail hearing this week, Judge Preska ordered the continue incarceration of Hammond on the basis that he is a danger to the community and likely to flee the country if released from holding. Crabtree notes that Hammond does not now nor has he ever had a passport, though, and has also since been added to a terrorist watch list.
“In the end, Jeremy was denied bail because he was deemed a flight risk and more dangerous than [a] sexual predator. And yes, if you are asking yourself if this was said, it was said. Jeremy’s legal team stated they would appeal this denial of bail,” she writes on a Facebook group for Hammond.
After Anonymous went public with the hack of Strafor in December 2011, the internal emails from the intelligence firm were handed off to WikiLeaks, who soon after began publishing the findings. Among the information stored in the emails was documentation alleging that law enforcement agencies spied on Occupy Wall Street protesters and proof of an international surveillance system called Trapwire. Hammond is at this point likely to be the first US citizen tried in a civilian court for crimes relating to the whistleblower site.
Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) tells The Real News network this week that the denial of bail is both “very disturbing” and “legally wrong.”
“The bigger story is what they’ve done in this country to Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning, and what they have proposed to do to Julian Assange, and that’s really say that they’re going to come down as heavily as they can on people who expose government secrets, whistleblowers,” Ratner says.
Source

Anonymous hacker behind Stratfor attack faces life in prison
November 23, 2012

A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor.

Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year’s hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Hammond is not likely to take the stand until next year, but so far has been imprisoned for eight months without trial. Legal proceedings in the case might soon be called into question, however, after it’s been revealed that Judge Preska’s husband was a victim of the Stratfor hack.

According to the indictment filed in March, Hammond illegally obtained credit card information stolen from Stratfor and uploaded it to a server that was unbeknownst to him maintained by the federal government. Months earlier the FBI had arrested Hector Xavier Monsegur, a New York hacker who spearheaded LulzSec under the alias “Sabu,” and relied on from thereon out to help the authorities nab other individuals affiliated with Anonymous and LulzSec. The feds say Hammond openly admitted to compromising Stratfor’s data in online chats with their informant and unsealed a three count indictment against him relating to hacking back in March.

After Anons gained access to Stratfor’s servers, they collected a trove of internal emails and more thousands of credit card details belonging to the firm’s paid subscribers that were released last Christmas. A class action suit was filed against Strafor over the breach of security, and in June the company settled with its customers at an estimated cost of $1.75 million. Just now, though, it’s been learned that Judge Preska may have a vested interest in seeking a prosecution by any means necessary.

Among the thousands of Statfor client’s whose credit card data was compromised in the hack alleged to be linked to Hammond is Thomas J. Kavaler, a partner at the law firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and the husband of Judge Preska. The archived document dump released by LulzSec last year includes personal information from Mr. Kavaler that suggests he was victimized in the attack and thus qualifies for the class action settlement.

In a press release issued under the branding of the Anonymous collective, supporters for Hammond call for Judge Preska’s immediate resignation from the case.

“Judge Preska by proxy is a victim of the very crime she intends to judge Jeremy Hammond for. Judge Preska has failed to disclose the fact that her husband is a client of Stratfor and recuse herself from Jeremy’s case, therefore violating multiple Sections of Title 28 of the United States Code,” the statement reads.

“Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her Husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evident by her statements,” it continues. “Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected.”

According to Sue Crabtree, a member of the Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network and a witness to his bail hearing this week, Judge Preska ordered the continue incarceration of Hammond on the basis that he is a danger to the community and likely to flee the country if released from holding. Crabtree notes that Hammond does not now nor has he ever had a passport, though, and has also since been added to a terrorist watch list.

“In the end, Jeremy was denied bail because he was deemed a flight risk and more dangerous than [a] sexual predator. And yes, if you are asking yourself if this was said, it was said. Jeremy’s legal team stated they would appeal this denial of bail,” she writes on a Facebook group for Hammond.

After Anonymous went public with the hack of Strafor in December 2011, the internal emails from the intelligence firm were handed off to WikiLeaks, who soon after began publishing the findings. Among the information stored in the emails was documentation alleging that law enforcement agencies spied on Occupy Wall Street protesters and proof of an international surveillance system called Trapwire. Hammond is at this point likely to be the first US citizen tried in a civilian court for crimes relating to the whistleblower site.

Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) tells The Real News network this week that the denial of bail is both “very disturbing” and “legally wrong.”

“The bigger story is what they’ve done in this country to Jeremy Hammond, Bradley Manning, and what they have proposed to do to Julian Assange, and that’s really say that they’re going to come down as heavily as they can on people who expose government secrets, whistleblowers,” Ratner says.

Source

Nobel laureates slam the US over Bradley Manning case
November 16, 2012
Leaders of the United States have insulted the intelligence of the rest of the world, three Nobel laureates write this week, because of their continuously perverse mishandling of the case against accused WikiLeaks source Pfc Bradley Manning.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel have authored a statement to be published in an upcoming issue of The Nation that condemns the United States’ persecution of the 24-year-old Army private and implores the rest of America to question the country’s secretive torture of a soldier that the prize winners say defended democracy.
“As people who have worked for decades against the increased militarization of societies and for international cooperation to end war, we are deeply dismayed by the treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning,” the laureates write.
“Questioning authority, as a soldier, is not easy.But it can at times be honorable. The words attributed to Manning reveal that he went through a profound moral struggle between the time he enlisted and when he became a whistleblower. Through his experience in Iraq, he became disturbed by top-level policy that undervalued human life and caused the suffering of innocent civilians and soldiers. Like other courageous whistleblowers, he was driven foremost by a desire to reveal the truth.”
According to military prosecutors, Manning aided al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula by providing Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks site with hundreds of thousands of sensitive files, including diplomatic cables and a controversial video of US troops executing civilians from an Apache helicopter over Iraq. Earlier this month, just shy of his nine-hundredth day under military custody where he suffers from conditions considered torturous by the United Nations, Manning told a judge during a pretrial motion hearing that he was willing to accept responsibility for contributing to the whistleblower website. Defense attorneys hope that the government takes the plea, relieving Manning from the harshest of the charges against him, including aiding the enemy and espionage, in exchange for admitting general fault. If his plea notice is rejected and Manning is court-martialed and convicted on those charges, however, the government could ask for a sentence of life in prison.
In the letter from Tutu, Maguireand Esquivel, the laureates say Manning needs to be honored if he has done as accused, not made America’s whipping boy for blowing the whistle. Earlier this year, Manning was nominated himself for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by the Movement of the Icelandic Parliament, though the award was ultimately presented to the European Union.
“Private Manning said in chat logs that he hoped the releases would bring ‘discussion, debates and reforms’ and condemned the ways the ‘first world exploits the third,’” the laureates write. “Much of the world regards him as a hero for these efforts toward peace and transparency, and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as a result. However, much as when high-ranking officials in the United States and Britain misled the public in 2003 by saying there was an imminent need to invade Iraq to stop it from using weapons of mass destruction, the world’s most powerful elites have again insulted international opinion and the intelligence of many citizens by withholding facts regarding Manning and WikiLeaks.”
“The military prosecution has not presented evidence that Private Manning injured anyone by releasing secret documents, and it has asserted in court that the charge of ‘aiding the enemy through indirect means’ does not require it to do so. Nor has the prosecution denied that his motivations were conscientious; it has simply argued they are irrelevant. In ignoring this context and recommending a much more severe punishment for Bradley Manning than is given to US soldiers guilty of murdering civilians, military leadership is sending a chilling warning to other soldiers who might feel compelled by conscience to reveal misdeeds. It is our belief that leaders who use fear to govern, rather than sharing wisdom born from facts, cannot be just.”
Manning was one of just six persons charged by the Obama administration under the antiquated, World War One-era Espionage Act of 1917, until last week when Navy linguist James Hitselberger became number seven in the president’s perpetually growing list of persons targeted for allegedly airing state secrets.
Earlier this month, former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who was prosecuted by the government for blowing the whistle on the enhanced interrogation practices enforced on suspected terrorists under President George W. Bush, was presented in Washington with a Callaway Awards for Civic Courage because of his commitment to exposing the government’s wrongdoings.
“I may have been on the wrong side of the government, but in my heart I’m on the right side of history,” Kiriakou said during his acceptance speech. Kiriakou was expected to be sentenced to upwards of 45 years in prison for his whistleblowing until he, like Manning very might, pleaded to lesser crimes in exchange for a weaker sentence.
According to chat logs the government says show a confession between Private first class Manning and confidant Adrian Lamo, the soldier said he hoped the leaks would expose “one of the more significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetrical warfare.” The letter published in The Nation echoes that explanation and asks Americans to reconsider what Manning is accused of — an action that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says was an impetus in ending the Iraq War.
“We Nobel Peace Prize laureates condemn the persecution Bradley Manning has suffered, including imprisonment in conditions declared ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’ by the United Nations, and call upon Americans to stand up in support of this whistleblower who defended their democratic rights,” the award winners write. “In the conflict in Iraq alone, more than 110,000 people have died since 2003, millions have been displaced and nearly 4,500 American soldiers have been killed. If someone needs to be held accountable for endangering Americans and civilians, let’s first take the time to examine the evidence regarding high-level crimes already committed, and what lessons can be learned. If Bradley Manning released the documents, as the prosecution contends, we should express to him our gratitude for his efforts toward accountability in government, informed democracy and peace.”
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Nobel laureates slam the US over Bradley Manning case

November 16, 2012

Leaders of the United States have insulted the intelligence of the rest of the world, three Nobel laureates write this week, because of their continuously perverse mishandling of the case against accused WikiLeaks source Pfc Bradley Manning.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel have authored a statement to be published in an upcoming issue of The Nation that condemns the United States’ persecution of the 24-year-old Army private and implores the rest of America to question the country’s secretive torture of a soldier that the prize winners say defended democracy.

“As people who have worked for decades against the increased militarization of societies and for international cooperation to end war, we are deeply dismayed by the treatment of Pfc Bradley Manning,” the laureates write.

Questioning authority, as a soldier, is not easy.But it can at times be honorable. The words attributed to Manning reveal that he went through a profound moral struggle between the time he enlisted and when he became a whistleblower. Through his experience in Iraq, he became disturbed by top-level policy that undervalued human life and caused the suffering of innocent civilians and soldiers. Like other courageous whistleblowers, he was driven foremost by a desire to reveal the truth.”

According to military prosecutors, Manning aided al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula by providing Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks site with hundreds of thousands of sensitive files, including diplomatic cables and a controversial video of US troops executing civilians from an Apache helicopter over Iraq. Earlier this month, just shy of his nine-hundredth day under military custody where he suffers from conditions considered torturous by the United Nations, Manning told a judge during a pretrial motion hearing that he was willing to accept responsibility for contributing to the whistleblower website. Defense attorneys hope that the government takes the plea, relieving Manning from the harshest of the charges against him, including aiding the enemy and espionage, in exchange for admitting general fault. If his plea notice is rejected and Manning is court-martialed and convicted on those charges, however, the government could ask for a sentence of life in prison.

In the letter from Tutu, Maguireand Esquivel, the laureates say Manning needs to be honored if he has done as accused, not made America’s whipping boy for blowing the whistle. Earlier this year, Manning was nominated himself for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by the Movement of the Icelandic Parliament, though the award was ultimately presented to the European Union.

“Private Manning said in chat logs that he hoped the releases would bring ‘discussion, debates and reforms’ and condemned the ways the ‘first world exploits the third,’” the laureates write. “Much of the world regards him as a hero for these efforts toward peace and transparency, and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as a result. However, much as when high-ranking officials in the United States and Britain misled the public in 2003 by saying there was an imminent need to invade Iraq to stop it from using weapons of mass destruction, the world’s most powerful elites have again insulted international opinion and the intelligence of many citizens by withholding facts regarding Manning and WikiLeaks.

“The military prosecution has not presented evidence that Private Manning injured anyone by releasing secret documents, and it has asserted in court that the charge of ‘aiding the enemy through indirect means’ does not require it to do so. Nor has the prosecution denied that his motivations were conscientious; it has simply argued they are irrelevant. In ignoring this context and recommending a much more severe punishment for Bradley Manning than is given to US soldiers guilty of murdering civilians, military leadership is sending a chilling warning to other soldiers who might feel compelled by conscience to reveal misdeeds. It is our belief that leaders who use fear to govern, rather than sharing wisdom born from facts, cannot be just.”

Manning was one of just six persons charged by the Obama administration under the antiquated, World War One-era Espionage Act of 1917, until last week when Navy linguist James Hitselberger became number seven in the president’s perpetually growing list of persons targeted for allegedly airing state secrets.

Earlier this month, former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who was prosecuted by the government for blowing the whistle on the enhanced interrogation practices enforced on suspected terrorists under President George W. Bush, was presented in Washington with a Callaway Awards for Civic Courage because of his commitment to exposing the government’s wrongdoings.

“I may have been on the wrong side of the government, but in my heart I’m on the right side of history,” Kiriakou said during his acceptance speech. Kiriakou was expected to be sentenced to upwards of 45 years in prison for his whistleblowing until he, like Manning very might, pleaded to lesser crimes in exchange for a weaker sentence.

According to chat logs the government says show a confession between Private first class Manning and confidant Adrian Lamo, the soldier said he hoped the leaks would expose “one of the more significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetrical warfare.” The letter published in The Nation echoes that explanation and asks Americans to reconsider what Manning is accused of — an action that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says was an impetus in ending the Iraq War.

We Nobel Peace Prize laureates condemn the persecution Bradley Manning has suffered, including imprisonment in conditions declared ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’ by the United Nations, and call upon Americans to stand up in support of this whistleblower who defended their democratic rights,” the award winners write. “In the conflict in Iraq alone, more than 110,000 people have died since 2003, millions have been displaced and nearly 4,500 American soldiers have been killed. If someone needs to be held accountable for endangering Americans and civilians, let’s first take the time to examine the evidence regarding high-level crimes already committed, and what lessons can be learned. If Bradley Manning released the documents, as the prosecution contends, we should express to him our gratitude for his efforts toward accountability in government, informed democracy and peace.

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