The Weaponising Of Social Part 2: Stomping On IOError’s Grave

I once tried to tell Jacob Appelbaum a funny joke. He did not think it was funny.

In fact, he was visibly mortified and uncomfortable.

My joke was a retelling of something that had happened to me when I was still on the opposite side of the planet.

I have a really dark, sardonic, acerbic Kiwi sense of humour, that has been sharpened by surviving everything that has been thrown at me to date.

Unfortunately, it didn’t translate well.

Fortunately, he didn’t make a smear website lambasting me about it.

Warning

There are Persons of Interest who the surveillance state merely monitors – and there are those who it actively harms.

The latter, and those who facilitate and inflict that harm, will instantly understand that every word of this article is true.

Everyone else is going to need to read carefully, do a lot of thinking, and click on all the links and their source links in turn.

For this post is not just about a group of women who accused Jacob Appelbaum of heinous assaults and social improprieties, although that will be extensively covered.

This article is, as promised, about the mammoth and monumental, colossal issues which are intertwined with that and are conveniently being overshadowed by it.

For we are all being polarised into a fake diametric supposition – that either Jacob Appelbaum targets people, or Jacob Appelbaum is being targeted.

But the real target is WikiLeaks.

The Joke

I was stunned by the massive and consequential ramifications of Appelbaum’s #30c3 revelations, so I was determined to get the key messages through to non-techy people.

I had been talking about what was being done to activists cellphones by spy agencies since early 2012. The reason I knew what was happening was not from reverse engineering spyware like Jake or Morgan Marquis-Boire or Jeremie Zimmerman and other clever people do, but from my own personal experience of being a target.

Quoting from the blurb of this video of “To Protect and Infect – The Militarisation of the Internet“, presented by Morgan Marquis-Boire and Claudio Guarnieri:

“Chaos Communication Congress – 29/12/2013

2013 will be remembered as the year that the Internet lost its innocence for nearly everyone as light was shed on the widespread use of dragnet surveillance by the NSA and intelligence agencies globally. With the uprisings of the Arab Spring where people raided the offices of their regimes to bring evidence to light, we’ve seen a tremendous phenomenon: a large numbers of whistleblowers have taken action to inform the public about important details. The WikiLeaks SpyFiles series also shows us important details to corroborate these claims. There is ample evidence about the use and abuses of a multi-billion dollar industry that have now come to light. This evidence includes increasing use of targeted attacks to establish even more invasive control over corporate, government or other so-called legitimate targets.”

That amazing speech was then followed by Jacob’s astonishing presentation: “To Protect and Infect Part 2“.

To have hacker-journalists discussing the intracies of the capabilities I had seen in use against me and other Kiwi activists, was incredible. As far as I was concerned, and still am, that Congress was one of the most important ever, and to this day the vast majority of people still remain willfully ignorant of the messages contained in it.

[Note: that also happened to be the very same Congress at which Nick Farr says he entertained the notion of giving airtime to someone who claimed Jacob Appelbaum was a plant. Yet Jake’s work revealed in the above talk is utterly beyond reproach.]

So I endeavoured to belatedly tweet out a point by point time-stamped, dumbed-down, layman’s-terms version of his speech, hoping that the NZ mainsteam media, who by late 2013 were avidly following my timeline in the wake of the GCSB movement, would pick it up.

As soon as I started the tweets, the stalkers/spies/private contractors who had been increasingly intruding on my life ever since I had first started documenting FBI and DHS activities in New Zealand, during Occupy, went into overdrive.

I could always tell when I was hitting a nerve by their reaction, which would be immediately reflected in the aggressiveness of their interventions in my life and by 2014, their outright physical assaults on me. On this particular occasion, I was at home alone, and once again, they began hurting me.

You see, it isn’t just as a rape victim that I had to struggle to be believed. All tellers of uncomfortable yet obvious truths not yet accepted by the mainstream face a hell of a time trying to explain what is being done to us.

For a long time I didn’t talk to anyone outside of my immediate activist circle about electronic weapons being used on me. Because they “didn’t exist” as far as the public was concerned, and as a solo mother, the stakes were twice as high for me if I disclosed it. It likely would have been used by the state as justification to question my mental health, which is a known tactic that they use to cover for their crimes and silence their victims.

So I developed my own method of coping with it when it would happen. First, I would call someone from my media team and tell them “I’m going onto TrapWire“. They would know instantly what I meant – that I would escape my house and go to somewhere as visible and as public as possible. So public in fact, that it was on public surveillance cameras (hence the TrapWire reference).

This was a deliberate tactic that we had developed to force an evidence trail if we were followed and continued to be hurt.

So in this particular instance, I went to the original site of Occupy Auckland at Aotea Square, which is an urban green space wedged between the Town Hall and the Auckland Council building. It is surrounded by cutting edge facial recognition cameras with pan, tilt, zoom, area mics and all the bells and whistles, and I continued my tweeting.

Two years later, in Berlin, what was the joke that I was trying to tell Jacob?

That when being attacked with electronic weapons by teams of private contractors intent on preventing us from spreading his truth-telling, we had evaded them by learning how to use public surveillance systems against them.

To me, especially as someone who had written about TrapWire when the GIFiles revelations came out, the irony of using The Empire’s own fascist systems to outwit them and continue my work, was delicious.

Jacob Appelbaum didn’t laugh.

He was aghast.

Beyond Any Shadow Of A Doubt

It is a testament to how well truth is hidden that many will get to this point of the article and have decided that I am certifiably nuts.

Because they will not have read this:

htew

Hacking Team is a government contractor, and they don’t hand over EUR8,800 for a weapons procurement report that is conspiracy theory.

They pay it because they know it is fact.

For those who were too lazy to check the link and read the article, here’s more:

htew1

The above is the specific list of contracts for the procurement of electronic weapons and who by.

Below is the list of manufacturers of the weapons.

htew2

So we know electronic weapons exist, that they have been tested *prior* to their roll-out for use by law enforcement 2014-2024, we know who manufactures them and who they have been sold to.

We know this because of the Hacking Team leak published by WikiLeaks.

The source email for the above article, can be found here and there are more emails related to this topic if you go to the WikiLeaks’ Hacking Team main page here and type ‘Directed Energy Weapons’.

What The Hell Does This Have To Do With IOError?

To answer that question, you have to look at what I was tweeting that day, that so enraged those paid to harm me.

This Pirate Pad contains 10 of the key points. [Other people made transcriptions of some of my tweets which were derived from Jacob’s speech].

But that’s just a drop in the bucket. To read what should technically be all of my tweets from that day of me being chased around Auckland, it seems you need to expand each one to read them all – click here to have a go at it.

(Please note – the dates are Twitter dates not New Zealand dates. Which is why this tweet is marked 4 Jan 2014, when the earlier ones are marked 3 Jan. They were in fact all tweeted on the same day.)

The content speaks for itself.

As does the fact that by attempting to translate and promote Jacob Appelbaum’s work to mainstream audiences, activists can be and are subject to such attacks.

What Total Surveillance Really Means

If you work for WikiLeaks like Jacob Appelbaum; or if you start movements against intelligence agencies; or if you write about the FBI/DHS/CIA & co without massive organisational backing, funding and visibility; or if you boldly and righteously declare to people in a position of significant governmental power that they should leak sensitive internal intelligence information about immoral government activity that should be in the public realm, then are flabbergasted and elated to find that they do so; or if you are involved in any serious research which is inconvenient or dangerous to the security state; or if you target any individual in the chain of political hierarchy and they get wind of what you’ve done; then the great Eye of Sauron feels entitled to, and does, make a point of of trying to know every single thing you do, say and think, 24 hours out of every day, 7 days a week.

It pays for the entire undertaking with a virtually limitless pool of tax money.

Even if Jacob was able to secure all his devices, his communications, his hardware and his personal spaces, he still could not do a damn thing to prevent external methods of surveillance intruding upon him. Satellite surveillance, which is used at the push of a button as readily as XKeyscore, PRISM or anything else, right down to private investigators mounting microphones and sound amplifiers pointed at Jacob’s house and wherever else he frequents, are just some of those ways. Let alone HUMINT.

Therefore it is highly unlikely that any events that occurred within the supposedly private space of his home were actually private.

In yet another great irony, if anyone knows the truth about the accusations against ioerror – it is likely to be those who control the global surveillance apparatus, and I presume he would be well aware of that fact.

Listening to the stories being told about him, you would think Jacob a callous, foolhardy, exhibitionist. Every experience I’ve had of him and his inner circle (and no, I do not know them exceedingly well however, being in Berlin, they are very visible within the community) is that they were the opposite. Careful, reserved, private. Particularly wary of outsiders and newcomers.

Well aware that they are all targets and of the ways in which they could be entrapped.

Early on in my investigation into this giant debacle, it occurred to me that taking down Jacob may be part of a continuing series of major blows against WikiLeaks, stripping it of key allies.

It is election year after-all and as far as The Empire is concerned, Julian Assange is Enemy Number One.

The WikiLeaks Connection

One of the first ‘corroborating’ public testimonies against Appelbaum was a historic claim made by Leigh Honeywell.

I was instantly struck by the following passage from her blogpost, which at the time seemed anomalous:

lhja

Leigh identifies herself as siding with Assange’s persecutors.

She says that she didn’t ‘fully realize how bad [her] own experiences with [Appelbaum] had been‘ until she saw him support Julian Assange.

The link in the above screenshot leads to a post she wrote in December, 2010.

In that post, she details the reasons why she thinks Assange is at fault, then says ‘I’m tired of my friends being assaulted’, and links to feminist blogs she has read on the issue, as well as other links she feels are pertinent to support her opinion.

The key problem with this, and which Leigh couldn’t have known in December 2010, is that Assange’s “victims” themselves say they were not raped.

From John Pilger’s special investigation:

frcjaPilger’s source is an affidavit from the case.

The following passage is from this International Business Times article:

ibja

Honeywell might not be blamed for jumping to conclusions in December 2010. Many people did and WikiLeaks themselves didn’t know about this evidence until December 2011.

But with the “victims” themselves saying they weren’t raped, it certainly shines a different light on her position.

jaa

So if Appelbaum supporting an alleged rapist tipped the balance for Honeywell, but then the alleged rapist turns out to be innocent, where does that leave us?

Yet not only does Honeywell still blame Assange, she describes the allegations against him – as recently as this month – as “sexual violence“.

Despite there being no allegation of such.

This made me wonder – what are the opinions and positions of Appelbaum’s other accusers and key supporters, on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

Back in December 2015 – five years after Honeywell’s post about Assange and four years after the text messages from the “victims”, Honeywell has the following exchange:

lhva

So Honeywell wouldn’t donate to Freedom of the Press Foundation because of their support for WikiLeaks.

Her tweet is ‘liked’ by one Valerie Aurora.

Appelbaum Detractor’s Takes On WikiLeaks

Vocal supporter of the alleged Appelbaum victims, Valerie Aurora has been quoted in the media about the case. From her Twitter account:

vaja

Yet as pointed out by the commenter, WikiLeaks’ first tweet had in fact linked to the website featuring the accusations against Appelbaum. Its second, linked to his denial.

They did not take a public position (and still have not, to my knowledge) as being in favour of either side. Yet Valerie Aurora ostensibly deliberately, and quite ridiculously, extrapolates the benign reporting as being an attack on anonymity and whistleblowing, even though neither are even mentioned by WikiLeaks.

Tor Project employee Alison Macrina recently disclosed that she is ‘Sam’, the ‘nonconsensual washing‘ bath story discussed in the first part of this article.

In that disclosure, she states “it took months to be honest with myself about what happened” and then alleges hearing of “often violent” behaviour by Jacob Appelbaum.

amov

Much like the original ‘Serial rapist‘ claim by @VictimsofJake, the ‘often violent‘ claim seems to be completely unsubstantiated. Taking a protracted period of time to realise she’d been allegedly violated, however, is a recurrent theme in the allegations against Appelbaum.

It seems Macrina has also displayed past hostility towards Julian Assange despite her having shared stages with him as recently as March 2016.

amwl2

Macrina recently wrote the following tweet:

amwl

The person she has cc’d into that tweet, is someone who recently disclosed that she is the Appelbaum accuser “Forest”.

ilc

Her post begins:

ilc1

…after two years spent trying to inhibt my rage and convince myself that I hadn’t been hurt, followed by seeking out other victims..” – Isis Lovecruft

In a sub-section of her disclosure titled “The Plan”, Lovecruft describes how she “first started out seeking other [alleged] victims“, and had planned to group them together to confront him at a Tor event in Spain. Jake apparently found out, and that plan was set aside.

Having run out of ideas and being threatened out of alternative options, I reported everything to the rest of The Tor Project. Well, almost everything. Originally, I only reported others’ stories (with their permission). I left my own story out, and I did not tell it until it was decided that Jake would no longer be part of The Tor Project.”

Despite repeatedly stating that she doesn’t recommend filing legal complaints, (a position endorsed by many rape victims including myself who have had horrific experiences trying to obtain justice through law enforcement) Lovecruft strangely goes on to list a whole bunch of laws and accompanying sentencing guidelines that she feels would apply to Applebaum.

Curiously, these include charges that aren’t reflected in the original allegations themselves, even if they are taken at face value, including: “Instructing a third party to rape the victim (§177 of the Strafsgesetzbuch paragraph 2, sentence 2), making it a “severe case”.

Although she attributes the application of this law to the accusations by ‘River’, those accusations do not state that Jacob instructed another party to rape the alleged victim.

Given the gravity of the situation and that both Macrina and Lovecruft are garnering hundreds of retweets effectively declaring the takedown of Appelbaum as a done deal, it is impossible to reason why the exaggeration of potential charges would be deemed necessary, or in fact the inclusion of them at all.

It is as if those references to laws and sentences exist only as an overt threat to Appelbaum.

Given the pattern of anti-WikiLeaks sentiment amongst the other accusers, I looked to see what Lovecruft’s position was.

I saw this:

wlsub

Then I saw THIS:

wlsub2

The bottom tweet on that thread is Isis Lovecruft effectively asking for access to WikiLeaks’ source code for their whistleblower submission platform.

I’m going to say that twice.

The bottom tweet on that thread is Isis Lovecruft effectively asking for access to WikiLeaks source code for their whistleblower submission platform.

Who Is Behind The Website?

The identities of most of the accusers including the lone rape accusation, and of those who co-ordinated the launch of the site are an ‘open secret’.

That said, I am not at all comfortable with revealing the name of anyone who has not already done so themselves in a public forum. I do believe that the alleged victims have a right to anonymity should they so choose to exercise it.

I have also received a number of communications from various people providing further contextual information. I am not prepared to and will not publish the names of, or information provided by, anyone whom I cannot independently verify and who has not given me express permission to do so. Therefore the information that appears in this article is restricted to what is already in the public realm.

Neither of the women who have made these recent disclosures outright admit to being a part of creating the website JacobAppelbaum.net, presumedly either for legal reasons, or because they actually weren’t involved in the creation of it, or both.

It might also be because the site itself is a travesty from a privacy perspective. Non-HTTPS, with a stated JavaScript reliance and apparently lacking a no-JS fallback, which is used to make sure a site can be displayed, and forms used, by dated or uncommon browsers.

At the present time it is still not public which person/s actually registered, built, wrote copy for, curated and edited the site, although there are certainly many clues.

Some other people who came forward to media and were named as eye-witnesses to an alleged incident (which, as discussed in the first part of this article, was later disproven) were already named in my previous article, and that incident referenced.

They are Meredith L. Patterson, Andrea Shephard and Emerson Tan.

To the best of my knowledge they are yet to issue a retraction of or apology for their very public false allegations.

Meredith appears to be the root of the ‘plagiarism’ accusations against Appelbaum, of which there seems to be a tiny bit more light shed on in this thread, which really speaks for itself, both in terms of not actually appearing to justify any accusation of plagiarism by definition, and in her refusal to continue to engage on the subject.

While great pains seem to be taken by the accusers to validate the sexual assault claim, very little seems to be forthcoming about the claims of plagiarism.

Here is the first iteration of the JacobAppelbaum.net ‘About’ page:

jan

As pointed out to me by researcher Janine Römer, the About page originally consisted of five lines of text attacking Jake for everything under the sun except rape and sexual assault, then the claims of sexual, emotional and physical abuse are shoved into the final line.

Making it really clear where the writer’s priorities, or where they felt the strength of their arguments, lay.

In this thread, Meredith explains why a person’s behaviour off the stage and on the stage should be considered seperately. When someone argues that it shouldn’t, Andrea Shepherd backs Meredith up. Meredith’s theory is that if they exhibit unsavoury behaviour off the stage, you should separate it from their public speaking. She says if they exhibit their bad traits on the stage, you can kick them off the stage. But if they don’t exhibit it on the stage, to leave them on.

I had a look to see what Meredith’s take is on WikiLeaks.

wlis

In 2012 Meredith decries “Assange supporters *attacking allies*” and says it “delights both’s mutual enemies”.

mp1

Given that the accusations against Appelbaum have been picked up and are being run with 24/7 by every known anti-Snowden anti-WikiLeaks anti-Assange anti-privacy pro-govt and anti-Tor troll under the sun, the above is just plain ironic.

Targeting an iconic essay by Assange in the book ‘Cypherpunks’ – “A Call To Cryptographic Arms”;

mp2

Given sentiments like that, it is getting harder and harder to deny that WikiLeaks, rather than Appelbaum, may be the utimate target here.

Despite the statements of the women involved in Assange’s case actually exonerating him, Andrea Shephard agrees with a commenter that she sees “parallels” between the women in both the Assange and the Appelbaum allegations:

pv1

Previously, to her credit, she had rightly been critical of the New York Times’ tabloid-style reporting about Assange.

pv2

However there is more derision of WikiLeaks by Andrea.

jcas2

Manhunting WikiLeaks

Stepping back to 2010 again, we discover where Tor and WikiLeaks really intersect.

The manhunt of Julian Assange.

pentja

prayingforja

wltor

In the same time period as FBI agents were showing up in New York looking for Assange at a conference, and he was being ‘manhunted’ by the Pentagon, WikiLeaks identified Tor as being a core part of their infrastructure, and asked their supporters to use and help strengthen it.

From Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept’s analysis of Snowden documents relating to the WikiLeaks ‘manhunt’:

manhuntingwl

So according to the US Government, “non-state actor Assange, and the human network that supports WikiLeaks” are the dangerous ones.

As opposed to everyone named in this article who publicly kick the shit out of WikiLeaks.

Women Protecting Women

As much as I would have liked to wrap up this article and never have to write about it again, it seems inevitable that there will eventually be a 3rd part.

With the creators of the site still not yet taking reponsibility for it, Jacob’s enduring silence and the key sole accusation of an actual rape occurring and the context of that remaining obscured, it is highly unlikely this is the end of the saga.

The primary complainant is being sheltered behind a periphery of other women complainants. If this is truly for her protection that is admirable. But if that person is indeed being sheltered to prevent the discovery of other profoundly mitigating information that would dramatically change the overall depiction of this situation, the effort is not only corrupt but is in vain.

The truth will out.

When it does, the 3rd part of this series will be titled “The Weaponising of Social Pt 3: The Resurrection of Jacob Appelbaum”.

What caused me to write these articles was not a wish to protect Jacob, or to befriend him. We are not in direct contact, nor have I sought to be.

The “risks” (in terms of that hideous and constantly flung-about term ‘social capital’) far outweighed the gain for me but if I was risk averse out of self-interest I wouldn’t be me.

I am speaking out because of all the reasons above, below, aforementioned, and yet to come.

Why Did I Continue Writing, When His Accusers Are Already Celebrating?

Because there is clearly more to the story than is being told, much, much more. I will not sit idly by while the life of a genuine radical is dismantled by women of privilege bizarrely aspiring to victim status who want to take him down in the name of representing rape survivors.

The initial and most serious allegation of all, that Jacob is a ‘serial rapist’ is clearly utterly without merit. It is additionally frankly offensive that an alleged ‘rape’ testimony sits alongside what by contrast seem to be frivolous complaints. Is there such doubt in the original claim that it couldn’t stand alone? Does it really need to be surrounded with circumstantial accounts of what, by comparison, are the most minor of alleged infractions?

Has sexual assault really now come to mean ‘anything I found uncomfortable, was upset by or was unable to deal with’? From being kissed, to bad jokes, to being propositioned, to being pulled into a bath and washed, to having someone out the fact that you were dating a workmate in front of your workmates?

Who hasn’t had these things happen? Why don’t we just declare everyone on Earth a victim? Because when you actually are a survivor of a violent rape, you understand clearly what the difference is.

Presenting common social occurrences as being tantamount to sexual assault, or even posting them on equal ground alongside them, profoundly trivialises what real rape and sexual assault are.

Likewise these accusations of ‘violence’ in terms of the use of the word ‘rape’ fall well short of the violent rapes that are genuinely prevalent in society – violent, horrific rapes that occur every single day all over this planet – especially to teenagers, street-workers and the homeless. Particularly to women of colour. For some people rape is a seemingly constant experience. There are women who can’t remember how many times they were raped. There are victims of domestic violence and incest who are raped for years on end.

Is it really necessary for the accusers to assemble a list of everyone their accused ever offended in his adult life, in order to lend their testimonies credibility?

The lack of victim impact in the statements is massively disturbing. It is as if the statements were written and/or edited by women who are not victims at all.

I have highlighted that in bold type because it is such a profound and obvious discrepancy. It sticks out like a sore thumb, across all of the testimonies.

There is constant complaint of power imbalance and fear of reprisal but no tangible complaint of ongoing personal emotional ramifications from these alleged experiences, other than embarrassment. No claim or description of lasting harm. This contradicts everything I have seen, witnessed and personally experienced over the years, and I find it impossible to ignore.

If you don’t understand what victim impact is, let me spell it out for you.

I was abducted from quite literally the central street of my city. I had to walk up and down that street countless times in my life since. Every time, swallowing the memories. Feeling that the concrete under my feet, my very city, had betrayed me.

I was gang raped at night in the rain on a children’s playground at what Americans would call an elementary school. I knew that the next day, little children’s feet would be skipping over the asphalt where I lay, or playing hopscotch. It haunted me for years. (Massive understatement). I still remember the feeling of the asphalt, the feeling of the rain (which far from soothing, felt like a karmic betrayal in itself; it was just wet and cold and utterly miserable), and anytime I went near a school, I relived the experience as if it was floating in front of my eyes like a translucent movie superimposing itself over my vision. For months if not years afterwards, you walk around in a semi-stupor, as if you are inebriated, out of focus, because you are seeing two things at once – what is in front of you and what is behind you.

The sign at the front of the school is forever burned into my mind’s eye. Because when I saw it, I still didn’t know whether or not they were going to kill me, so I was trying to memorise everything I saw in case I survived. I constantly had the irrational urge to go to the school and demand that they close it down, because it seemed too sick to allow young children to play every recess and lunchtime on the very ground where a woman was gang raped. Even though I knew on a subconscious level that the closure of an entire school was a ridiculous and extreme measure that would never manifest. For years I wondered inane irrelevant things… had the teachers been told? Did the caretaker know? Did the student’s parents know? Even though the school was in a part of town I had never been to in my life and would never go to again. A part of town where I knew no one. Even though the actual location where they did that to me could have been anywhere, I was transfixed on the specificities.

You see, it is not merely the act that is grotesque and destructive it is the haunting. The way in which completely normal things become utterly poisoned by the experience: in later years, going to events at my children’s school and wondering if anyone had ever been raped on their playground. Being triggered by the back seats of cars. By petrol stations. By things you have to see again every single day, and somehow have to learn to live with, or else drown in the pain.

It is this haunting, and the profound emotional after-effects, which take a horrendously long time to begin to fade, All of your relationships are affected. No matter of what type. From re-learning how to answer when a stranger says “How are you?” To how to face your parents. How to explain to your friends why you stare off blankly into space when they’re trying to talk to you. How to make love again without fearing an impending act of violence with every touch.

Your very identity is internally called into existential question.

There are a hundred, a thousand more intimate details of aspects that haunted me, which I will not detail here because they are utterly disgusting and despicable and it is frankly no ones business. It took a significant portion of my life for the memories to start to not be so jagged, the triggers to not be so visceral, all-encompassing.

Generally speaking, I actually consider myself healed. Enough so that I don’t feel physically ill anymore. I am finally able to live in the present now.

I am re-opening that old wound for the sole purpose of demonstrating for you all what victim impact is. It is hideous and embarrassing to have to do but it serves a greater good. The difference between the Stanford rape survivor’s victim impact statement and the allegations on the Appelbaum-hit site should be abundantly obvious to even the most casual observer. Seven supposed testimonies on that site and not a single one describing post-trauma victim impact. It is not a coincidence.

They have conflated common tenets of rape culture with actual rape.

There was a time when a trigger would cripple me for an entire week, then eventually just an entire day. Now when I read the Stanford rape testimony – all 7,500 words of it, I just press my clenched fist against my mouth, squeeze my eyes shut, tell myself ‘breathe, breathe’ for a few seconds and then I can resume reading.

I can tell you exactly how many triggers I had while reading that testimony. Three. And its been 17 years.

Victim impact is what made the Stanford rape victim’s account so compelling, because real rape testimony cannot be manufactured.

Sadly, with the level of co-ordination behind their efforts and realising that they’ve been seen right through, I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a belated go at it now, so vociferous is their opposition to Appelbaum, so fervent their stated desire to prevent him speaking truth on stages. Still, they will fail.

Survivor status is not something to aspire to or to claim lightly.

It is an indescribable burden.

Ending Appelbaum’s Career

The constant demand that Appelbaum, who so directly confronts superpowers, stop doing so in the name of victims is just plain suspicious.

What is being exercised by his accusers is the power to harness social media to cause mass distraction and brutal damage, to their own ends.

In practice, their demand for the utter exclusion of Appelbaum entails preventing him from continuing to explain to Persons of Interest the precise ways in which the agencies trying to torture and kill us on taxpayer dollars are doing so.

Information that has been of extreme value to targets and should be also to the public, who largely remain blissfully unaware of the full extent of what is being done on their dime.

Information that he has long been circulating that, more than an inconvenience; is an extreme danger to the perpetrators of torture, rendition and murder.

Information which cannot be replaced by a bunch of Tor developers waxing lyrical about safe spaces and self-care while ripping our community apart.

Just try self-care on for size if 3-letter agencies have decided they want to actively destroy your entire existence. I wish you the best of luck.

Mammoth resources – literally BILLIONS OF DOLLARS – are being wielded against people like us, and the too few truly combating it, those like Jacob and Julian, are constantly under life-threatening attacks, including from personalities in our own movements.

I would be far more sympathetic to a description of how the state interferes with and meddles in every single aspect of the lives of Persons of Interest as being ‘rape’, than I am someone being kissed in a bar or propositioned at dinner, or embarrassed in front of workmates.

POI’s are unable to hold down a job because the state will not allow them to have access to funds or employment. The Empire literally destroys any and every opportunity that comes their way because one of their main priorities is to not allow POI’s to have any assets or sustainable resources. They set teams of HUMINT against POI’s in the workplace, in domestic spaces, in social spaces.

(Don’t believe me? The Snowden docs aren’t academic. They are an in-practice guide of what is still happening every single day.)

At least that kind of all-encompassing trauma comes closer to the after-effects of an actual rape because it fucks up your entire life. But for those who have made a career out of privacy, those who came to it from academia or because they work for an NGO, or because it is “The Scene” – or because they heard about it in some cool videos – guess what? You might be monitored but you aren’t individually targeted. Any more than someone who has been hit on or propositioned is a sexual assault victim. You live in a bubble of luxury – a meritocracy as you call it – where you can actually make something of yourself despite being monitored.

Unless a gang of people and their group-think activism come after you and do the government’s work for them.

For first they came for Julian Assange… then they came for Jacob Appelbaum.

Real militant truth-tellers can only run and hide and seek refuge however and wherever they can, while telling as much truth about The Empire as they can, in whatever time they have left before they are taken out of the equation. The truth is not permitted in this day and age. The truth is not published by Dell Cameron in The Daily Dot. If it was, they would have Michael Hastings’d him. Yes, my hero, and that of thousands, Michael Hastings, is now a verb. You won’t see Dell running articles on how we know for a fact electronic weapons are being used on human beings, on activists and (truly radical) feminists, on journalists, and have been for years. Or how Julian Assange’s vanguardism through WikiLeaks, which the WikiLeaks detractors are all busy shitting on, is the only reason we even know that. Nor will you see the Guardian writing that, or Violet Blue, or any of the half dozen publications that it is now claimed are interested in running more stories about the accusations against Appelbaum.

Have a guess how long any mainstream journalist would remain employed if the manufacturers and sub-contractors making, distributing, experimenting with and selling electronic weapons became their subject of choice.

The last person to seriously go after that network was Barrett Brown.

Instead everyone wants to play popularity contest, and protect-my-job’ism, and be-politically-correct’ism, and listen to each other wax lyrical about power and social capital and solidarity, while the bodies of real POI’s, activists, journalists, hacktivists and lawyers stack up around them.

While they sit in comfy chairs critiquing WikiLeaks and convincing themselves that they are “dangerous together”, hardcore supporters of WikiLeaks are being taken out one by one. People are losing their LIVES, their citizenships, their liberty. The biggest investigation in US history is ongoing – remember why the FBI supposedly wants to talk to Isis Lovecruft?? Because they’re already after Jake and WikiLeaks. Yet these women are now writing congratulatory tweets about how they took down someone who is actually an FBI target.

The difference between the instances of alleged sexual assault and all the other superfluous crap that has been kicked up could stretch from the North Sea to Antarctica.

The way this campaign against Appelbaum – and let’s be frank, that’s exactly what it is – has been conducted is a disservice to rape victims, a disservice to activism, a disservice to the privacy community and a disservice to humanity.

Somewhere the heads of the agencies that harm us are rubbing their hands together with glee at our own-goals. Proposing toasts. Laughing at our collective foolishness. Exactly what Meredith once accused WikiLeaks supporters of, Appelbaum’s detractors are fulfilling. That is their legacy.

Every time this scandal is used to smear Snowden, to smear Assange by association, to hurt WikiLeaks, and subsequently all the whistleblowers and journalists they support through the Courage Foundation, Freedom of the Press and anywhere else.

six

The above tweet using the Appelbaum allegations to disparage WikiLeaks is authored by the FBI snitch Adrian Lamo. Lamo is responsible for social engineering the heroic whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who as a direct result of Lamo’s manipulations, was arrested and sentenced to decades in jail.

For the next 5 years, this hit on Appelbaum will be used to undermine everyone whose life is actually on the line. It is already happening.

Dear Jake

If someone passes you this to read and you make it past the reminder of my terrible joke, the documentation about the electronic weapons, the umpteen stupid tweets from foolish people, and the example of an actual victim impact statement, to this point: here’s my unsolicited advice.

You helped start Noisebridge? Start another collective. Make it invite only. The most skilled of the skilled will continue to work with you just as they continue to work when targeted by the same shit themselves.

Funding-dependent conferences jumping on the CIA bandwagon? Start your own conferences. They don’t even have to be attended in person. Put up a black sheet and tell us the truth Snowden-style. We will still listen, be inspired by it, and share it.

Your audience will follow you.

Because to be honest, we don’t give a flying toss how many new libraries are running Tor nodes nor do we want to spend hours on end listening to a bunch of pseudo-“victims” waxing lyrical about the inherent violence in their non-violent would-be-rapes.

We want to hear about what you described as those who operate on the dark edges of society – the agencies, the contractors, the sub-contractors, and the technology they use against anyone that they perceive is standing in the way of their fantasy of global domination.

You helped build the following that the deluded think they can usurp.

You can do it again and time will tell all truths.

Karma Rules

Karma rules and I suspect that there are many, many more revelations to come. They will come from people way smarter and more accomplished than me. So I am going to set this aside for now and do what I do best.

Writing, for free, about which country the CIA wants to pass new laws to legally-illegally kill people next, or why we are being taught to hate refugees, or what immoral weapons of torture are being used against Persons of Interest in the shadows of the mainstream, or what the Prime Minister of my country, which exiled me after trying to kill me, has been up to with his dodgy lawyer.

In the meantime, Appelbaum’s accusers will continue collecting their salaries while sticking Jake’s head on a pike and dancing on his grave. THAT is their privilege.

Trading on the profiles they have gained from sitting on stages that WikiLeaks’ support of the Tor Project put many of them on in the first place.

Click here to read Part 1: The Crucifixion Of IOError

Click here to read Part 3: The Resurrection Of IOError

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Please note: further source links and supporting materials may be added to this post given time.

The Weaponising Of Social Part 1: The Crucifixion of IOError

Thanks to a small group of supposed anonymity-protecting privacy activists thousands of people now know the name of Jacob Appelbaum’s fiancée`. Even those that didn’t want to.

We found it out by reading an extremely controversial website launched a week ago, that had a few sparse accounts of some nasty sounding happenings allegedly involving Jacob, with promises of more to come.

No one truly concerned with privacy issues should care if Jacob has a fiancée let alone who she is, out of respect for his right to a private life and because it is patently obvious that attacks on him shouldn’t extend to her.

Her name was later removed after the bulk of the damage had been done, without any editorial admission that it had ever been there in the first place.

Unfortunately, that simple yet far-reaching invasion of privacy, is only the tip of the iceberg.

[Update 12/06/16: Detractors are claiming the above is factually incorrect as they say Appelbaum is no longer engaged. The source was the smear website itself, which named Appelbaum’s ‘partner’, then removed her name and called her his ‘fiancée’, and now implies past tense. IMO, who he is or isn’t engaged to is frankly his own business. The point stands.]

Preamble

In a strange paradox, Jacob Appelbaum’s accusers both want to deny any relevance between their accusations and him being a known target of the US government as a result of the nature of his work, while having the clearly stated aim of wanting to prevent him from being able to continue it.

Even as they are being dwarfed, swept aside and forgotten in the controversy, the topics on which Jacob Appelbaum and WikiLeaks work are much larger and more important than any individual.  Those who concertedly dedicate themselves to such causes are unjustly forced to quite literally risk our safety, our families, our livelihoods, our citizenships, our liberty and everything we own, in our fight to preserve our ideals and our planet.

The high stakes in a situation like this demand more than knee-jerk reactions, hearsay, and because-all-my-friends-say, when one of us is attacked or discredited. They deserve the investment of time; of serious, weighty yet measured consideration; analysis; and investigation. All of the elements that should be prerequisite to forming any intellectual opinon, let alone one where reputations and potentially lives are at stake.

But we are yet to see any of that, at least anything more in-depth than a series of personal statements via “Twitlonger”. Just a whole lot of uproar; a whole lot more silence; and a bunch of axe-grinding. With very little actual analysis, because the topic of rape is so taboo that most people are shit scared of approaching it objectively.

As such, this post should be subtitled “We Owe IO More Than 600 Words”. Because we do. We owe him much, much more than that.

We owe it to him and to our causes, to find out the truth.

Preamble dispensed with, I’m going to give some historical context to what made me write this article and analyse the claims made on and by the anti-IO website. In Part 2 of this article, we will look into the main personalities that appear to be driving this, discuss some of the environmental factors affecting the response and get into the wider context, which is all but being ignored

Lessons Long-Since Learned 

The website now being widely sourced as justification for dismantling Appelbaum’s career and reputation does as much to discredit itself as it does to discredit Jacob.

That the name of the female closest to him was disclosed in a forum that claims to exist to protect women was not the first red flag.

Several years ago, a situation unfolded where a prominent activist (Activist A)  was privately accused of rape by another activist (Activist B). This was then broadcast far and wide through the creation of a Twitter account that purported to be Activist B talking directly and openly about her first hand experience of being raped by Activist A.

Many fell for it, and instantaneously an online frenzy was being whisked up against Activist A. For all the same – on the surface – seemingly valid reasons that we see people turning on Jacob Appelbaum for now.

However, when I read the tweets of the account calling for the persecution of Activist A, I innately knew that what I was reading was not the words of a rape survivor. It came across to me as someone trying to posture themselves as one, out of empathy and/or indignation, rather than legitimately recounting an actual firsthand memory of a personal experience.

So I did the socially unacceptable but morally right thing and spoke out. While people were aghast that I dared to question a “victim” – the facade soon crumbled and it turned out that my instincts were absolutely correct.

The account claiming to be a rape victim was not Activist B at all. It was Activist C, her boyfriend, who had (according to Activist B, without her knowledge) taken it upon himself to impersonate her and attack Activist A in public after she had raised issues in confidence. There had been some question of infidelity, she had privately claimed lack of consent, Activist C had decided that Activist A’s life should be ruined as a result, and gone public.

Whether or not Activist A ever did in fact rape Activist B got lost in the controversy of Activist C’s foolish meddling in the entire situation. Activist A claimed no. Activist B claimed yes. Activist C permanently obscured the situation by his actions.

So how was I able to immediately identify, on gut feeling, that this anonymous account claiming to be a rape victim was not a rape victim? And why did I risk my “social capital” to speak out on such a highly contentious topic?

Because people who are not survivors of rape cannot competently impersonate survivors of rape. They think the act itself is the whole story but it is just a tiny fraction of it. So when they attempt to concoct the scenario, they always limit it to the specific event rather than the holistic experience, the emotional journey.

Rape Testimony

Real rape testimony is 20% what physically happened and 80% how it affected us. It is visceral. It is memories and shapes and impressions and images. It is sights and smells and feelings, a twisted nostalgia we would desperately like to free ourselves from but cannot ever. It is asymmetrical and it evolves. It unfolds. The expression of it is a cathartic, painful release but a necessary step in the healing.

It is not a telegram. It is not a thematical construct with set form or submission rules.

They are not a fixed length. Nor fixed sentence structures. They do not have a statistical linguistic pattern. They are not uniform. They ebb and flow in proportion to the victim’s telling. They sway and move, mobile in the outpouring of emotion, of grief.

When multiple examples of rape testimonies are compared side by side, they don’t conform in any way save in their effective translation of trauma, of a raw and primal pain.

So when I realised the extent to which the accounts on the anti-Jacob website do conform and began to note other anomalies, huge alarm bells started ringing.

Speaking From Experience

As someone intimately acquainted with the plight of survivors, you can feel inside you when something is just not right with a situation like this. As a survivor, my personal obligation to other victims and to the truth has led me to speak up several times in the past – even when it is utterly humiliating, damaging to my reputation or even outright dangerous to do so. This is not an expectation I have of others – I have the benefit of the passage of time, maturity, experience and healing – water under the bridge – that many others don’t. Thus I spoke out in an article addressing statements made by the Minister of Police and the grotesquely poor conduct of NZ cops in handling sexual assault including my own historical abduction and gang rape. I likewise spoke the difficult and humiliating truth against the notorious ‘FBI’ snitch Sabu when he assumed the identity of one of my friends in order to target me sexually, in an attempt to entrap me. I spoke out about my favourite publication in the world when a new staffer there published a ridiculous pile of rape apologist bullshit. I spoke out against the self-admitted serial pack rapists known as The RoastBusters who weren’t even so much as arrested after bragging about stupefying and pack-raping dozens of 13-16 year old girls. Then I spoke out against media’s irresponsible reporting on the issue. And again, when the Minister of Justice used the plight of the many Roastbusters victims who had received no justice whatsoever, in order to falsely justify the passage of anti-trolling legislation.

Even though it triggered the hell out of me to do so, I attended protest events, supported movements, and covered live actions in support of survivors, and in defiance of the repressive tactics wielded by New Zealand’s blatantly corrupt and incompetent police forces, who so profoundly fail survivors, and the public.

As faithfully as I spoke out in all those cases, so must I speak out too when I believe that rape testimony may be being falsely manufactured, or manipulated, or misrepresented, or used to serve the ulterior motives and agenda of someone(s) who may not be rape survivors at all.

Believe victims“, some people say. The key word is not believe. The key word is victims. Not “believe any two-bit twat(s) who impersonate survivors and/or edit rape testimony because they have something to gain by smearing someone all over the net, in the name of other victims.”

Especially when in doing so, knowingly or not, those someone(s) are also serving the interests of The Empire and damaging movements that people pay dearly to create, build and sustain. (If you are in any doubt about this take note that among the first people gloating about Jacob Appelbaum’s perceived downfall was in fact, Sabu.)

For The Empire, I can assure you, does not give the slightest flying shit about rape victims, unless they can be used to its advantage. On a daily basis, it perpetuates and facilitates mass rape all over the world, while expending tax dollars to cement and maintain all of the societal and environmental conditions that create rape culture.

The double-edged sword of the taboo of rape was constantly wielded against Julian Assange and his supporters over the last five years, albeit with ever-dwindling effectiveness. Allegations of rape against information activists are a lose-lose situation for us but a ‘win’ for our enemies, and that is again apparent in Appelbaum’s case. The end result is a real-life example of why these types of accusations are such an efficient tool for those wishing to utterly devastate and incapacitate a perceived rival. It emboldens the targets enemies and silences their friends. It isolates them and eclipses all their prior undertakings.

For all these reasons I cannot merely sit silent, or put out an ambiguous 600-word opinion piece sitting on a fence.

Instead I did what I do best. I read, read, read, read and read more. Dug, investigated and analysed.

The following, is my findings.

Analysis Is What We Do Best – So Let’s Do It

In the first hours of the allegations against Jacob hitting the public sphere, they were primarily pushed through one website, a shady Twitter handle with acrid yet low output, and two personal Twitter accounts. Although in the days that followed many, many others jumped on board, some of the first out of the gates were:

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mlpj32

mlpj3

The Meredith quoted above, who, incidentally, is described as the founder of a “think-tank” called “Weaponizing Social”, went on to send more than a dozen tweets about the situation, in surplus to those quoted above.

From this post about Weaponizing Social on AspirationTech.org:

ws

What a strange question they ask – “who watches those watching the watchmen?” One would assume, the Watchmen do, because they keep a super close eye on anyone questioning or shining a light on them, and in reality they do much more than simply “watch”.

[“Weaponizing Social” both as a concept and an entity will be further discussed in the second part of this article.]

For now, looking closely at the anonymous website featuring the accusations against Jacob is key to better understanding the whole situation.

JacobAppelbaum.net

The first impression of the website (which strangely, is not HTTPS) is of a huge picture of Jacob Appelbaum with his name written across it in bold type. It initially gives the impression of being an official website. Until you read the ‘About’ page.

Hey there! We’re a collective of people who have been harassed, plagiarized, humiliated, and abused — sexually, emotionally, and physically — by Jacob Appelbaum. Jake enjoys manipulating people through his built-up social capital, influence, and power, in order to get what he wants.

Here are some of our stories.

— http://jacobappelbaum.net

Taken at face value, the About page conforms to all the rules of good marketing – short, to the point and high impact.

The high gloss effect slips though, the further you get into the content.

The ‘Victims’ Page

This page makes three central claims.

Firstly, that Jacob Appelbaum seeks out ‘new’ members in activist communities and targets them for their naiveté.

Although several stories published on the site mention looking up to Jacob as a central figure in the movement, none claim to have been fresh on “The Scene” at the point of the alleged incidents.

Secondly, under the sub-heading “Have a partner?”  the page states “If you spurn Jake or attempt to stand up to him, he’ll go after the people you care about the most next, doing whatever he can to humiliate and harm them.” Given the fact that Jacob’s alleged fiancée became the collateral damage of the publishers of the website, this passage is highly ironic.

Nor does their concern appear to be providing any protection to a woman being accused of being currently romantically involved with Jacob Appelbaum:

dell

Thirdly, the page claims that Jake is a plagiarist who falsely claims credit for other people’s work in order to “increase his level of power and influence“. The claims of plagiarism against Jake are extremely hard to track down, especially Meredith’s. While she waxes lyrical about Jacob having allegedly taken credit for “our research in 2007” it is difficult to ascertain to what she is referring. Then there is this semi-famous exchange between Appelbaum and @kaepora, which is frankly an obscene stretch of the term plagiarism to say the least, for which kaepora ultimately withdraws and apologises, stating: “I’m sorry I let [a] personal fight interfere with my judgment of Jacob on a purely professional issue. That’s something I certainly should apologize for.”

But the hollow complaint of plagiarism, and the ascribed accusation of a motive of wanting to increase his power and influence, completely ignore Jacob’s numerous, frequent and significant achievements in recent activism history. From calling for civil disobedience against the behemoth NSA data storage facility in Utah; to being extremely visible (understatement) in the #Landesverrater movement that stopped a German treason investigation into journalists in its tracks and resulted in the German Minister of Justice firing the Chief Prosecutor who had brought the charges; to being a supporter of @PengBerlin’s #IntelExit initiative advocating for the employees of intelligence agencies to quit their jobs; to supporting the victims of renditions and wrongfully accused ex-prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, to photographing noteworthy activists and journalists by old-school means and holding gallery openings…  the guy has hardly been sitting on his laurels. To claim that he makes his bones via plagiarism when he is so prolific, is a massive stretch at best. It’s like throwing one tiny brick at a wall and hoping it will fall down. No wonder they needed something more to try to cut him at his roots.

The FAQ

The FAQ, which contains more content that appeared in the wake of the initial launch, gives away much.

As to the question of “Who Made This Site?” the pseudo-answer reads: “Some of us have personal stories of being abused by Jake and some don’t.” Red flag! Another red flag in the very next sentence: “We have heard lots of complaints about his behavior over the years, and have experienced it first hand.” Given the recently debunked eye-witness accounts provided by Tan, Shephard and Patterson… the words “have experienced it first hand” just don’t quite have the ring they used to.

If this is a site about rape victims, it needs to be by and for rape victims, without the meddling of non-victims who have merely “heard lots of complaints” and talked of experiencing things that turned out to not be at all what they claimed. “What Is The Goal Of This Site?” another question asks. This is where the biggest giveaway of all can be found, after a smooth claim that it is just for awareness and protecting people. Word for word, the crux of the issue:

“Also we hope that this site will prompt groups and organizations to think twice about any involvement they have with [Jacob Appelbaum]. Maybe it is not a great idea for him to be part of their communities. Maybe they shouldn’t invite him to speak at or attend their conferences. Maybe they don’t want to be associated with a person who is accused of the behaviors detailed on this site.”

Could the NSA have written it any better themselves? By making these stipulations, the publishers are literally stating the express wishes of The Empire. They don’t ask for apologies. They don’t ask for Jacob to acknowledge his actions. They don’t ask for him to be educated. They don’t ask for him to spend his life educating others about rape culture and sexual assault. They ask for him to no longer be allowed to educate the world about privacy, information security, activism and surveillance.

Appelbaum was involved with both the Snowden disclosures and with Julian Assange – literally the two most controversial, polarising, wanted, endangered men in the entire world. Men who have massive resources set against them, up to and including for the purposes of their immediate detainment, rendition and/or extradition, and trial.

Are we really supposed to believe that an anonymous group of people expressly stating that they wish to put a permanent and wholesale end to Jacob’s inclusion in the forums in which he promotes his work, and to his professional relationships, are valid in doing so, based on prima facie complaints?

On “Why Should I Believe You” the would-be career-ending complainants state “If you’re a sexual predator, what better cover story is there than “the FBI is making shit up about me.” If the FBI has it in for you, what better story is there than for you to be anonymously labelled a sexual predator??? None.

Their response to “Why won’t you stand publicly behind what you’re saying?” gets even more ludicrous: “We are afraid we will be doxxed or harassed… We are afraid Jake will threaten us or falsely smear our reputations.”

Any activist worth their salt – let alone a legit Tor developer – has already been doxed or worse, long since. First and foremost by multiple governments and a network of private security companies (yup, they call it a file) then secondarily through social media. Such people are already harassed on a daily basis. Are usually rightly in fear for their very life.

The only people who could reasonably by “afraid” of such elementary levels of actions being taken against them, at this echelon of infotech, are either active in fields which are not seen as threats at all to any government, or who serve their purposes. Everyone else is a target.

There are gaping holes all the way through the rest of the FAQ. From the claim that Twitter requiring phone numbers for new accounts prevented them getting a Twitter (as if there aren’t free guides as to how to circumvent this, not to mention the option of just buying a throwaway SIM or using a virtual number… come on now, countless anonymous accounts are created every day…) to the claim that the site was created out of an altruistic wish to make people safe. Considering the timeline of events as revealed by Cryptome, there are indications that the existence of the complaints were used as a tool for what could easily be described as employment-related blackmail before they even went public.

If that isn’t damning enough: the proof is in the pudding:

mc1 mc2

The Stories
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect is the vague and then staggered manner in which the stories appeared on the site.

The best part of a dozen images of Jacob Appelbaum appear under (fake) names of victims – each linking to an individual story of being wronged by him. Unfortunately, in its first iteration, the vast majority of these images, when clicked on, simply lead to text which read  “This is a placeholder“.

Several instances still remain to this day. Leaving it up to our imagination as to whether or not there was actually a victim behind each fake name at the time of first publishing, or whether the publishers were hoping to collect more once the site was live and post them at a future date.

Immediately sensing something wrong, I tried to put my finger on it. Then I realised the first giveaway. The word counts. I ran some basic stats on each testimony that was posted. These and my observations on the stories that did appear, both initially and in the later versions of the site, are as below.

Story 1: Sam  (369 words)

1sam

“Sam”‘s story did not initially appear on the website. It starts “Jake and I had some minor romantic interest in each other when he invited me to his apartment one evening.” It continues on to describe Jake allegedly pulling him or her into a bath and then washing their back against their wishes. “His nonconsensual washing lasted about a minute or two before I leaped out of his bathtub and started crying in the corner of his bathroom.” The alleged victim states “I eventually confronted Jake about this, plus other behaviors I’d witnessed: he started drunkenly kissing another person at the bar with no invitation, he started giving another friend a really aggressive shoulder massage with no invitation, plus a million stories that I’d heard through backchannels.”
[It is unclear whether the bar incident to which they refer is the same incident which is the subject of allegations made to Gizmodo by Meredith Patterson, Emerson Tan and Andrea Shepherd which have since been debunked by the alleged victim herself.]

2. River (703 words)

2river

This account was one of the first published and is by far the most serious accusation against Jacob. Firstly because it is the only story that involves an actual allegation of outright rape and secondly because it implicates (but does not name) other people as being witness to and/or complicit in the alleged rape.

The account begins: “I didn’t know until very recently that nonconsensual sex, by a friend, is rape.” indicating that it is a historical claim (which does not make it any more or less valid, but is contextual information) and that something that has occurred “very recently” has altered how the alleged victim viewed what happened.

There are 34 instances of the word “I” in the first section of the story before there is a break in what had very clearly been, until then, a first-person narrative. The break reads in its entirety:

This cannot continue.

He cannot be a leader in this community, the first name that many people think of, an inspiration to those new entering the field, and also someone who uses his power and influence to sexually prey on individuals who think he is trusted.

It is critical that our community is safe for women, and for any individual who is passionate about protecting privacy and anonymity.”

“The Tor Project in particular should be recognized for how they have handled this respectfully and honorably.”

Due to the sudden lack of personalisation of the sentence structure, and the concrete position, it reads as if another voice has been inserted into the text.

The break over, the testimony is concluded with a final paragraph, which includes another 6 instances of the term “I”, feeling very much as if it has returned to the original voice.

The most puzzling aspect of the account is why the person involved fails to name any of the eye-witnesses and/or participants that they allege were present.

Under the cover of anonymity, and obviously having a good idea of what was at stake for Jake, why not name the others involved? In not naming them, anyone who is one of Jacob’s “friends” or “followers” is subject to fall under the cloud of suspicion. Was this intentional or negligent?

The storyteller states firmly that they believe they were not the only one to receive this treatment from this group of people. So if the stated aim of the site, as it claims, is to forewarn other women and to protect them, why only name Jacob? If he is, as claimed, just one of a group participating in the sexual assault of intoxicated women?

3. Forest (596 words)

3forest

This is the story which initially named “Jake’s partner [REDACTED]” which was later removed without acknowledgement and replaced by the term fiancée. The writer complains that both her partner and her had been “completely humiliated” by Jacob, yet then “invited him to stay at my house” and to sleep in her bed, as friends. She says this “turned out (mostly) fine” though it is unclear what “mostly” means in this context. The author says they “proceeded to share beds in a friendly manner over the years, and nothing bad ever happened.” She then describes visiting Germany and staying at Jake’s house and sleeping in his bed, where she describes him sexually assaulting her while they were sleeping. She then describes confronting Jake, and him initially denying it, then apologising and saying that he had mistaken her for his fiancée in his sleep.

4. Daniel (463 words)

4daniel

Unlike the aforementioned accounts, “Daniel” writes in a markedly different linguistic style, as noted by the above table. The crux of the accusation is that Jacob divulged the existence of a romantic relationship between workmates that they had endeavoured to keep secret. This appears to conform to the prior instances of misconduct discussed in a recently leaked Tor Project HR email.

torhr

5. Kiwi (257 words)

5kiwi

“Kiwi”‘s complaint is that Jacob has attempted to influence and/or control the trajectory of his or her career and professional relationships. They state “sexual abuse is not the only form of abuse” and refer to not having “so much social power as Jacob.” Whether or not true, equating interpersonal social and employment issues with sexual abuse just waters down the seriousness of the other allegations.

6. West (81 words)

6west

At 81 words, it is hard to put much stock in “West”. Were they really so alarmed or harmed, it seems incredibly hard to believe that all they would have is 81 words to say about the matter.  The account reads as if it were an attempt to write in the first person by someone else – perhaps someone who had believed they had witnessed the incident and was attempting to write as the victim, in a foolish attempt to lend credibility to other claims on the website.

The core of the whopping 4 sentences posted is that Jake kissed them without first gaining prior consent. The triviality of the claim by comparison to the accusations of sexual assault, is stark.

When someone kisses you, it is generally referred to as “being hit on”, or someone “making a pass” at you. While I certainly don’t suggest that people go around kissing people who they don’t know for sure want to kiss them back, the act of being hit on is usually the point at which you either return the attention, or not, rather than a crime or an actionable offence.

7. Phoenix (408 words)

7phoenix

Phoenix appears to suggest that, a) Jake solicited a sexual encounter with them, b) that he used his access to Julian Assange to impress them and made a foolish remark about Julian being accustomed to him doing so. Despite the obvious discomfort of the storyteller, which should be taken into account, the complaints could as easily amount to being the subject of a bunch of bad jokes being taken the wrong way. In UK English, we would call it “taking the piss“. Americans might call it “joshing“.
While the writer clearly wasn’t amused, there is no way to be sure that humour was not the intention.
If not, and Jacob was being as knowingly inappropriate as the writer suggests, once again these allegations dramatically pale in comparison to those of sexual assault.

8. Nick (1,661 words)

8nick

Nick’s 1,661 words leave no doubt at all that he feels victimised sufficiently to be compelled to express it at length. Again there are references to “social capital” – in this case, his own – and then a rather disproportionate comparison to Bill Cosby, who is known to have drugged and raped dozens of women (if not more) over decades.

Nick clearly takes the other complaints at face value and proclaims “whatever you do don’t cast doubt on Jake’s vctims of sexual abuse. It’s one thing to be raped, that’s enough to destroy someone’s life. It’s quite another thing to speak up after being raped by your hero and lose your job, your friends, everything you’ve worked for and your trust in humanity to boot. Imagine what that must be like.”

To date, the only person who appears to have “lost their job” as a result of making allegations against Jake, was not in fact claiming to be a victim, but to have been made aware of the rumours/allegations of others and then spreading them in turn.

When they participated in circulating these, they were, along with Jake, subject to disciplinary action and subsequently resigned, as outlined in the leaked Tor Project internal email linked to already.

The strangest part of Nick’s story is that he admits that he attracted ire by entertaining the notion of giving people who wanted to snitch-jacket Jacob Appelbaum a platform in a forum in which he was participating. I can’t help but wonder if the situation were reversed, and it was Jake considering giving someone ‘Lightning Talk’ space at Congress in order to snitch-jacket Nick, how Nick would have felt about that. In such a situation, surely you have to ask ‘but what if the shoe was on the other foot?’

The most serious allegation made by Nick is that anonymous notes were left in his hotel room. He feels sure that these were left by someone close to Jacob or Jacob himself.

Yet this is a tactic known as “gaslighting“, and is usually perpetuated by intelligence agencies. As a ‘Person of Interest’ in New Zealand, I would routinely return to my home to find items that didn’t belong to me, left in unmissable places. On occasion a newspaper I had not purchased would be left lying open on my coffee table, turned to a specific article about a topic on which I would understand the significance.

If Nick was having a very public beef with Jacob, as it seems, it is not out of the realm of possibility that intelligence agencies were aware of this, and intervening with the express purpose of accelerating and aggravating the gravity of the situation.

From Nick’s testimony there is absolutely no way to know for sure that Jacob or his friends were somehow accessing his hotel room and planting the notes, or whether other malicious parties had a hand in the events and were capitalising on the situation.

“Alice” / null  – remains a “placeholder”

“Briar” / null – remains a “placeholder”

The Stanford Rape Testimony

For comparison, here is the stats on the testimony of the rape survivor in the case of the convicted rapist Brock Turner that recently went viral.

stanford

Lack Of Evidence

The site is particularly unusual in that it lumps in people who have personal grievances against Jake alongside allegations of rape.
Evidence of one rape is enough to destroy any reputation. But it is clear that the authors of the site were going for quantity over quality; hoping to win over readers with the sheer number of testimonies, rather than actual evidence.
This has the net effect of both trivialising and cheapening the experiences of rape victims, and of watering down the severity of the claims, in an attempt to present a united front – or in the words of the site, “a collective” – of victims.

cloudingissue

Early on, top Italian journalist and WikiLeaks affiliate Stephanie Maurizi had tweeted:

smaurizi

The lack of hard evidence is likely why the media were initially reluctant to report on the accusations, although that changed when Tor released a statement about Jacob Appelbaum leaving the Project.

Given the recent unravelling of some of the accusations, and the fervour with which the same paid government troll accounts that have been going after Assange, WikiLeaks, Snowden, Appelbaum and anyone associated with them for years, are now lapping up the opportunity to milk the Appelbaum controversy for all it is worth, it is impossible to exclude the motives of and gain to The Empire, from this analysis.

The Empire

Nothing pisses The Empire off more than those of us who engage others to fight against their corruption and oppression. Perusing and spreading information puts you on their radar. Instructing others to undertake actions takes you to a whole other level.

So when you hear Jacob Appelbaum openly calling on the employees of intelligence agencies to leak secrets to him, or encouraging people to compromise utilities at NSA facilities as acts of civil disobedience, there can be no doubt how far up the shitlist of the military-industrial complex that puts him.

By its own admission, The Empire classifies us all as either:

a) Idealist (can be disillusioned, such as by fallen heroes etc, or otherwise convinced to turn away from their ideals)
b) Realist (motivated by money or self-interest, can be bribed/coerced into capitulation)
c) Reformist (restricted to conventional avenues of political change… politics, academia, NGO’s; places where you are forced to  ultimately tacitly compromise your ethics in order to achieve/excel or progress in your environment)

OR… dum de dum dum….

d) Radical (demands system-wide change, is active & incorruptible)

The Empire has decided that the best way of dealing with “radicals” (the label THEY have constructed and imposed upon qualifying “persons of interest”) is to completely dismantle their lives at a “whole of Government” level. Which means, politely, using all the various departments and avenues of civic oppression available to them.

The Empire has deemed Jacob Appelbaum, a radical.

As it did Julian Assange.

Part Two of this article will cover the elephants in the room:

  • The (second) Tor Statement
  • The media response
  • Other accusations against Jacob on the WWW
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • A much deeper look into those who lay behind the curtain of JacobAppelbaum.net

Click here to read Part 2: Stomping On IOError’s Grave

Click here to read Part 3: The Resurrection Of IOError

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Please note: further source links and supporting materials may be added to this post given time.

The Desecration Of New Zealand

Thanks to the Panama Papers whistleblower, some of the fantastical delusions that most of the world holds about New Zealand, are finally falling to pieces.

While trust lawyers market us to foreign capital, Tourism New Zealand has spent the last 17 years proclaiming us to be “100% Pure New Zealand“.

Although there was a time when New Zealand had a pristine and untouched environment, it is long past.

Yet the assertions to the contrary are deliberately constructed, tailored and manicured by marketing and advertising gurus who, with wheels freshly greased by public funds, then impress them upon the global public.

Exactly how much public money is spent on maintaining the facade, no one knows.

According to this brilliant article by Stuff.co.nz, titled “100% Pure Fantasy? Living Up To Our Brand”:

“The national tourism agency can’t put a dollar figure on the total cost of 100% Pure over its [then] 13-year run, citing commercial sensitivity…”

Indeed the Tourism Authority, which publishes its Three Year Marketing Strategy, has redacted the entire budget allocation section. It is the only segment which has been blacked out.

redacted

Astonishingly, the leader of New Zealand likened the country’s tourism marketing to, of all things, a McDonalds meal and infers that the advertising should not be taken seriously. Stuff.co.nz reports:

Prime Minister John Key compared New Zealand’s global “100% Pure” tourism marketing campaign to a fast food ad. “It’s like saying ‘McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it’ – I’m not sure every moment that someone’s eating McDonald’s, they’re loving it… it’s the same thing with 100% Pure,” he said.

“It’s got to be taken with a bit of a pinch of salt.”

The Panama Papers is a prime example of the Prime Minister applying this ‘with a bit of a pinch of salt’ attitude to the international image and reputation of New Zealand .

Now the world is beginning to rub its eyes and awaken from the dream that has become a nightmare: ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ is as pure as a Big Mac Combo.

New Zealand Is A Big Mac

According to McDonalds.com a Big Mac contains:

“A double layer of sear-sizzled 100% pure beef mingled with special sauce on a sesame seed bun and topped with melty American cheese, crisp lettuce, minced onions and tangy pickles.”

According to Fooducate.com, a Big Mac contains over 80 ingredients, the vast majority of which are human-manufactured chemical compounds, including:

eia

So this is what our Prime Minister’s political agenda and spin has reduced us to. A Big Mac combo. Looks good and safe in the posters, but it can kill you.

Unfortunately there is a whole lot more under the surface than just dodgy hamburger ingredients. The damage that has been wreaked upon the land, particularly after the last 8 years is vast, profound and potentially irreversible.

It is overdue for us to examine how precisely the Land of the Long White Cloud was so thoroughly desecrated – when, why and who by.

The Big Picture

The 1% run a transnational operation and they collect countries like baseball cards. Once consumed those countries exist in name and our memories only. They are added like stocks to a portfolio, run by the real bond traders – a conglomerate of intelligence agencies that, where New Zealand is concerned, operate under the auspices of the Five Eyes (FVEY).

The countries are asset stripped, resource depleted, socially degraded, legislatively homogenised, privatised, and usually dressed in a worthless rag called ‘democracy’, although in the most lucrative examples, far less savoury, authoritarian regimes are either instituted or welcomed into the Empire’s club.

The only countries that aren’t welcome are those that want to retain their sovereignty, their resources, their societies and their heritage. They then become targets, viewed as ripe for hostile takeover.

Tiered, like a twisted wedding cake in reverse, FVEY holds the vast majority of all the world’s electronic data. A two-way waterfall, it vacuums up everything it can off all those below it, with or without their co-operation, then trickles a portion of it back down over the tiers, in quantities that reflect their diplomatic priority or favoured status.

The harsh truth is that for the countries who have been sucked into this arrangement, there are effectively no governments. The entire charade of politics is precisely that – a pantomime. You could turn the sound off and it would make no tangible difference to the political course of the country which, except in extremely rare circumstances, is not charted by the citizens.

Those extremely rare circumstances are what intelligence and police agencies are in fact hell-bent on avoiding. They are tasked to expend great resources mitigating the risk of actual democracy occurring. Because democracy is the greatest undelivered promise of the 20th century. Which is why the mask of Western civilisation is set askew by any exercise of democratic rights to dissent – by any mass movement of the people – be it Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, or any other.

The gloves come off. The veneer is shattered. Grotesque, state-sanctioned, publicly funded violence, censorship, suppression, oppression, repression, corruption. On naked display.

Democracy in name only.

Our heads of government are civil servants only in the sense that they maintain a public veneer of civility and they are indeed servants – to people who we seldom know the names of and have never voted for.

Who Does New Zealand Belong To, Anyway?

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key frequently accuses Kiwis who oppose his policies of being “anti-American.”

But the truth is, he is pro-American.

In his May 9th press conference about the Panama Papers revelations, he stated:

“Our relationship with the United States is in the best shape it’s been in for a very, very long time.” – John Key

This is unsurprising given that a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been in charge of our country for the last 8 years.

According to Wikipedia, the FRBNY is ‘the most important of the banks‘.

frba

frbny

So first we get a Prime Minister with a U.S. Federal Reserve seal of approval, then next thing we know, American National Security Agency facilities are revealed on New Zealand soil.

Despite the obvious lack of any foreign bases operating on American soil. Because funnily enough, the Americans do not allow foreign countries to operate bases on their soil.

As I once discovered by reading Bob Woodward’s books, you can often learn more from those who disagree with you than from those who agree. It’s amazing what slips through the cracks. While full of imperial apologism, this link is an absolutely fascinating anatomy of the justifications for US military hegemony that are used to indoctrinate much of the First World.

I highly recommend that you take the time to read the full discussion. There are countless edifying morsels. Also many contradictions. The various reasonings for American global domination include:

  • It’s just to save global trade from pirates and criminals
  • It’s because other countries can’t defend themselves
  • It’s so other nations don’t have to spend so much on their own military
  • It’s because “America cooks the dinner and Europe does the dishes

While more than 90% of the conversation is pro-Empire, eventually the excuses lessen and there are some pretty major insights.

TD

Which indicates that the exercise of US power is less about stopping pirates or protecting trade routes, but actually involves outright malicious invasion and subterfuge to the detriment of its perceived enemies.

Here is another worthy link on the same topic but with a different angle.

The author opens with:

The US military is that house guest of dubious benefit, questionable timing, faulty manners, but impeccable credit.

What has never been sufficiently explained either in rhetoric or in law is how a Commonwealth Country like New Zealand, supposedly beholden to the British Crown, has American military facilities and direct political influence, seemingly more so than British.

New Zealand is, after all, a corporation. Registered to the Queen of England. So if any foreign nation is to go planting military facilities on our land you’d think it would be hers.

Or that they would be at least mildly affronted when another sovereign nation – the United States of America – is so heavily involved in one of their territories.

Yet Britain ostensibly didn’t bat an eyelid at the Edward Snowden revelations about New Zealand. Which suggests that, as with arguably more than 100 other countries, the U.K. has also been thoroughly compromised by the United States. That from a military perspective, they function as one. That their national interests are aligned.

But this is not how we were raised. We were raised to believe we are a sovereign nation that, when necessary, stands up to the superpowers and exerts an independent foreign policy, even if that comes at a diplomatic or political cost.

Yet how could we ever again engineer and assert a differentiating foreign policy now? With the infrastructure of global oppression present on our soil, hoovering up the private communications of all our citizens, in complete irreverence for our Bill of Rights?

We have to go back 30 years to get a glimpse of a Prime Minister prepared to take personal risks on principle.

One who not only stood against the Americans, but even against the Commonwealth itself, when Prime Minister David Lange went to England to publicly defend our anti-nuclear stance.

From the documentary, “Revolution“:

David Lange: “Margaret Thatcher sent a note through her High Commissioner, which he delivered to me, asking me not to do it and that sealed it as far as I was concerned. I told him what I thought of him, and of his new hair dye and various other things like that! And I decided definitely to go, and we settled the terms of the debate. It was one of those interesting occasions when Foreign Affairs were put to the test. I went to the UK without any Foreign Affairs official. It was the only time a Prime Minister has ever travelled out of New Zealand, without a Foreign Affairs official.

Interviewer: “Was that because they disapproved…’

David Lange: “Oh, they disapproved completely. ”

Interviewer: “Did they try to talk you out of it?”

David Lange: “They did… It was unbelievably fraught with danger and yet had such potential for advantage, and I was attracted to it.”

There was of course, despite the risk, a happy ending. Lange’s performance was historic and compelling; he received a standing ovation from both sides of the debate at the Oxford Union – an occurrence the President of the Union said he had never witnessed in 25 years.

In that very debate, Lange spoke to the United States’ reaction to New Zealand’s exertion of its own sovereignty.

Lange: “We are in fact, to be made an example of! We are to be ostracised! We are to be convicted of some form of heresy and put on probation. We are to be kept there until we are compelled to resume our seat in the dress circle of the nuclear theatre.”

The debate was a huge win, for which Lange was internationally lauded. Yet it was soon followed by an act of terrorism on New Zealand territory, when French agents bombed the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, killing a New Zealander and sinking the vessel.

David Lange: “It was a defining moment for me because I knew that was the end of any New Zealand commitment to the so-called Western alliance. It was not when it was sunk that I knew, it was when we knew who’d sunk it that I knew. Then the overwhelming silence from Great Britain. Margaret Thatcher was prepared to condemn Gaddafi for everything but the French could go and kill people in our harbour. [Australian Prime Minister] Hawke never said anything. Ronald Reagan pretended total indifference. We never had a peep out of those people that we were allegedly in a Western alliance with, those people who fought for democracy.”

So the UK was silent when an ally committed an act of “state-sponsored terrorism” on its own Commonwealth territory. What a remarkable object lesson.

New Zealand, however, was not cowed. It upped the ante and passed its nuclear-free legislation into law and was promptly kicked out of the ANZUS defense agreement.

Yet we stood tall and defiant.

David Lange: “The great irony of the last fifteen years of foreign policy, has been that our foreign policy stance had the seeds of its change.. in my government… it was nurtured and watered by the American reprisals, but it was set in a hanging basket by the French. It was all their own work.

Thus the bullying of New Zealand had the opposite of its intended effect.

This short video discusses the impact of New Zealand’s past political independence.

As Marianne Elliott from ActionStation.co.nz says:

“…it reminds me that it is possible to completely shift a political narrative and to arrive at a political outcome which seemed radical and impossible at the beginning.”

And Peter Douglas:

“…New Zealanders are very proud of the fact that they live in a country that was small but brave enough to make those sort of pronouncements and to suffer the consequences of them at that time.”

The American political and military subjugation of New Zealand that has occurred in this new millennium would once have been considered a literal invasion.

Their bases being present on our land, an act of war.

Yet John Key’s government, awash in and drunk on the conspiratorial secrecy of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, has been complicit in playing down the extent of the American infiltration and projected a nonchalance in the face of the recent revelations.

It has openly accelerated our very obvious transition into American vassalage and despite there being no legal precedent outside of various secretive military co-operation agreements, New Zealanders are supposed to ignore or accept the corrosion and ultimately the loss of their natural rights and their national identity.

Patriotism: A Foreign Concept

We are suffering attack after attack on hard-won liberties and allowing the agenda of the global American Empire to dominate all domestic considerations.

An Empire that literally consumes everything it touches. Sucks out all worth and value, asset-strips and impoverishes. Privatises gains and socialises losses.

Kiwis watch in horror as our food is poisoned and we are not even allowed to grow and trade our own anymore; as our oceans are violated; our military is used to suppress lawful protest; our reserve land is raped; our water supplies endangered and/or outright sold; our people become homeless in our own land and our children starve.

While banksters gorge themselves on our heritage, our inheritance and applaud.

We battle for sovereignty, by opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and many other encroaching initiatives that ultimately are intended to strip New Zealand of its lawful authority and jurisdiction, or to supersede it. But with foreign countries dominating our defense landscape and controlling our government by proxy, we have no sovereignty.

Our country is but a hollow shell, relegated to nostalgia.

A country where patriotism has become a foreign concept – a luxury only afforded within the bounds of American Exceptionalism – and even then, the only true loyalty is to capital.

A country where the desecration of our land and the blood and pain of our people is the price of our enslavement to the global 0.00001%.

Where humanitarianism is depicted as a dirty word and empathy ill-advised; a privilege; one with strings attached, that attracts blowback.

In a world where narcissists brand the courageous narcissistic; and call the learned naive. Empaths, they call us. They spit it. As if to care about others is the most dirty, heathen concept imaginable to them.

All the while communities are fractured and uprooted and culture is either commercialised or eradicated.

The Most Peaceful Country On Earth

New Zealand has, at various times, been determined to be the most safe, the most peaceful, and the least corrupt country on Earth.

The problem is of course, that that is total bullshit.

Bullshit because the impotent indexes themselves are inherently flawed. They prop up a myth that ‘somewhere is OK!’ and provide false hope to the global populace.

But I call bullshit mostly because New Zealand is in fact, unsafe, not at all peaceful, and corrupt.

It is however, accomplished at hiding it, and trades on a reputation that is extremely outdated, if not outright misleading.

Street fights are a norm in the central business districts at night, but also happen in broad daylight and in schools.

The fighting is not limited to men.

Women are frequently sexually assaulted in New Zealand and when they complain about it, they are more likely to be smeared by the Police than protected.

This appalling website has an almost endless list of the small percentage of incidents that are publicly acknowledged, and states:

ul

The E2NZ website catalogues first hand experiences of migrants.

e2nz

Tourists are ‘often targeted’ in New Zealand.

Children are not safe in New Zealand either – there are countless instances of horrific child abuse.

Poverty is on the rise. Homelessness is on the rise. Domestic violence is at epidemic levels.

Domestic break-ins and petty theft, white-collar fraud abound.

Austerity measures target the physically and mentally disabled, as well as re-victimising rape victims. Sexual abuse is also at epidemic levels in New Zealand, which has the same tacit tolerance of the subjugation and degradation of women as other colonised nations.

Massive co-ordinated civil unrest is now a routine occurrence. Each time the will of the people is thwarted and a social movement ignored, the next movement grows larger.

Political corruption is rife. On the rare occasion that it is exposed, it is effectively whitewashed and enabled to continue.

It is inevitable that something has got to give.

What They Didn’t Show You In ‘The Hobbit’

A legacy of John Key’s predecessor, Helen Clark, is the absolute mountains of money spent on international P.R. during the making of Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord Of The Rings’ movies, to promote an image of New Zealand befitting the scenery of the movies: wholesome. Green. Natural. Untouched.

The decades of unregulated fracking of New Zealand farmland makes a mockery of that image.

As did the Rena oil spill.

The lifting of sanctuary status from our precious marine reserves, for oil exploration.

The fallout from Fukushima.

Not a single shot of the movies features effluent run-off poisoning the waterways.

Soil poisoned by chemicals, on land earmarked residential and sold to unsuspecting home-buyers.

Nor did they show you Hobbits committing suicide at record rates.

John Key’s National government, is drilling the hell out of Middle Earth.

Yes, in this, the most peaceful, safe and least corrupt country in the world. Where “thousands” of people queue to apply for the same supermarket jobs. At a supermarket that sells meat that has been injected with controversial growth hormones. New Zealand factory farms are notorious for appalling conditions.

Child obesity going through the roof. Adult obesity going through the roof.

Citizens who dare protest the above conditions, are being interfered with, stalked, harassed, maligned, abused, assaulted and exiled by the domestic security agencies.

All this under the auspices of the Five Eyes.

The Five Eyes Is Actually The Four Eyes… And The Three Eyes…

Herein lies the great inequality of the intelligence sharing agreements with the United States that New Zealand citizens have been subjected to.

For while we are told that through the FVEY, we are ‘partners’, which supposedly is of significant enough value to justify spying on our entire domestic citizenry and handing all that intelligence over to FOREIGN NATIONS…. it turns out that actually, FVEY is not the top-tier of that twisted, reverse wedding cake.

There is in fact:

esnfv

Kiwis refusal to allow nuclear-powered US warships in our waters led to the creation of the Four Eyes, a new military intelligence-sharing tier and explicitly excluding us.

Then when the Canadians had a crisis of conscience, quite rightly as history shows us, and refused to join in the destruction of Iraq in 2002, they too effectively got kicked from the club, and the Three Eyes was born.

Making the US, the UK and Australia the top tier of the wedding cake. Right?

Well, actually, no.

The Two Eyes

According to a commenter on electrospaces.net:

usi

Cost Vs Benefit

Given all the above, we have to ask ourselves.

What is New Zealand really gaining by our alignment with Empire?

There is clearly no risk of piracy, or of hostile military invasion.

Is it about money?

Or just about power?

Was it the price of our appointment to the greatest warmonger’s club of all – the UN Security Council?

Where then, would our allegiance lay, if the long-predicted implosion of the American economy and thus empire, were to occur?

It is widely accepted that the castle is built on sand; that a return to the Gold Standard or the end of the petrodollar could soon herald an economic collapse that would make 2008 look like the good old days.

No matter what happens, Prime Minister Key can always retire to his mansion in Hawaii. Or his mansion in London. Or his mansion in Aspen, Colorado. If he doesn’t stay in his mansion in Auckland’s Parnell. Or his Omaha beach house.

New Zealanders have no such luxury – they are sleeping in garage and tents.

While inevitably, study after study will come out claiming that we are a Utopian paradise.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If the country in its current form really is the best this world has to offer – we have utterly failed ourselves, this planet, its peoples and our future generations.

For the desecration of New Zealand continues to be tolerated domestically and concealed internationally.

The picture is really bleak and will remain so, until we accept responsibility and rise to change it.

I pray to one day be able to report on how we reversed the trend.

But that will take courage, unity and action.

Foresight, commitment and integrity.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

UN Ruling On Assange Exposes UK Lawlessness

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

For any student of modern propaganda techniques, the ruling announced last week in favor of WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) has provided fertile ground for research. Indeed, the level of media frenzy sparked by the ruling can be regarded as a barometer of the power and extent of establishment forces ranged against him and his organization.

UNWGAD found that the predicament of Assange amounts to ‘arbitrary detention’, a legal term that is clearly defined, deriving from Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that both the United Kingdom and Sweden are signatories to. Article 9 states that ‘no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile’. Arbitrary arrest or detention ‘are the arrest or detention of an individual in a case in which there is no likelihood or evidence that they committed a crime against legal statute, or in which there has been no proper due process of law’. ‘Due process’ is defined as ‘the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person’.

Dr. Roslyn Fuller, a lecturer in International Law based in Ireland, has this to say about the ruling:

The Working Group stated they considered Assange’s case to fall under Category III, which covers cases where a trial does not comply with international human rights norms. The Working Group found that Sweden and the UK have pursued Assange in a disproportionate manner, given that the Swedish prosecutors could have questioned Assange at any point and he had declared himself willing to cooperate.

The two claims against Assange that were ‘dropped’ by the prosecutor last year were dropped because they were about to become time-barred. The prosecutor chose to allow this rather than to question Assange. One would think that if the prosecution had the interests of the alleged victims at heart, they may have chosen to pursue questioning in the UK – a common enough activity – rather than let the investigation lapse.

So while Assange may be holding out, so is Sweden, and nations have obligations to move the wheels of justice along as swiftly as practicable. The Working Group’s assessment is basically, “how hard can it be to conduct a preliminary investigation?” with the implication that if the prosecutor were serious, they would have gotten this wrapped up by now.

Furthermore, the Working Group found that “the grant itself and the fear of persecution on the part of Mr Assange based on the possibility of extradition, should have been given fuller consideration in the determination and the exercise of criminal administration, instead of being subjected to a sweeping judgment as defining either merely hypothetical or irrelevant”.

In other words, British and Swedish authorities should have considered that Assange’s fear of persecution might be founded and questioned him in the embassy, something it was perfectly possible to do with minimal effort in the interests of pushing their case forward. Questioning Assange at the embassy would not have jeopardized their case, whereas coming out of the embassy could have jeopardized Assange’s life. Thus, it would be disproportional to force him to do so when there was nothing to be gained by it. Assange’s interest in being protected from extradition to the United States outweighed the Swedish prosecution’s interest that he only be questioned in Sweden. Dismissing these concerns out-of-hand was arbitrary.

Even before UNWGAD’s announcement, serious pressure will have been felt by members of the group not to rule for Assange, according to the former chair, Norwegian lawyer Mads Andenas, as he explains in this short radio interview. Although reluctant to provide specifics, he makes it clear that any ruling against ‘big’ nations like the UK or the US face considerable institutional resistance.

The media reported the ruling before its announcement, allowing the headlines to get the digs in early. This BBC article stated: ‘Julian Assange is being “arbitrarily held”, UN panel to say’. In casual speech, ‘arbitrarily’ is often used in a roughly synonymous manner to ‘randomly’, implying that the UK is randomly detaining Assange. Cue an avalanche of outrage and indignation on social media and elsewhere from casual news readers deeply offended at the suggestion that the UK is somehow behaving like a dictatorship and randomly applying justice, given that Assange is of course free to leave the embassy at any time and further given that through relentless media disinformation and misinformation for years, the average news consumer now believes that Assange must ‘face justice’.

A Downing Street spokesman was on hand to supply fuel for the fire: “We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy.”

This statement also employs the non-legal use of the term ‘arbitrary’. Readers, the vast majority of whom have little or no knowledge of or concern about the details of the Assange case, are therefore given validation of an already misleading statement by an authority figure: classic psychological manipulation.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond rejected the UN group ruling, condemning it as ‘ridiculous’. Mr. Hammond, who has no legal expertise or background, further made the false claim that the group is made up of ‘lay people, not lawyers’ and that the ruling is ‘flawed in law’. [Note: Former Guardian journalist Jonathon Cook expands on this point expertly here]

The corporate media was also on hand to deride and condemn the ruling. The Guardian’s Marina Hyde, who has form smearing Julian Assange, wrote a rambling, vindictive, error-strewn article that has to be read to be believed. She then engaged in a smug, arrogant and self-congratulatory round of ‘banter’ [here and here] with like-minded journalist mates on Twitter, displaying a staggering level of contempt for a man described by the United Nations as deprived of liberty (add sunlight to that) for years as well as an embarrassing lack of awareness of her own gatekeeper role. It raises serious questions about editorial integrity at the Guardian, a newspaper of record, that a journalist with such obvious dislike for the subject of her article (with precedent) was permitted to write an analysis of a major story like this, particularly in light of the fact that Hyde usually covers showbiz and, by her own admission, has no detailed familiarity with the Assange case.

Social media lit up as soon everyone became an expert on international law and the qualifications and credentials of the members of UNWGAD. Comments below the line of articles all over the world slammed Assange with the usual tired and long discredited arguments.

The first wave of attack generally concerns the allegations of rape. It takes only a short period of research to find out the facts. [Note: anyone who believes they know what they are talking about with regard to the Assange case should read this FAQ here]

From the FAQ [emphasis (bold) mine]:

[] new information has emerged that both women explicitly deny having been raped by Mr. Assange. In a statement to the UK Supreme Court, the prosecutor acknowledged that the complainants wished only to ask the police for advice about HIV tests, having discovered they’d had both had sex with Mr. Assange. (There has never been an allegation Mr. Assange has HIV.) Neither of the women wished to lodge a formal complaint.

The woman of whom Mr. Assange is accused of the offence of “lesser rape” (a technical term in Swedish law) sent an SMS to a friend saying that she “did not want to accuse JA [of] anything” and “it was the police who made up the charges”. The other woman tweeted in 2013 that she had never been raped. Both women’s testimonies say that they consented to the sex. A senior prosecutor already dismissed the ’rape’ accusation, saying that there were no grounds for accusing Mr. Assange on this basis. But a third prosecutor, lobbied by a politician who was running for attorney general, took over the investigation and resurrected the accusations against Mr. Assange. Due to the great number of incorrect reports [], it is best to rely on primary source documents in this matter, which are on the internet and the UK Supreme Court “Agreed Statements of Facts” agreed to by the UK, the Swedish authoritiesm and Mr. Assange’s legal team. (See here and here.)

The women themselves in their own words explicitly say they were not raped. The women themselves in their own words said they had no wish to lodge a complaint. Yet to the experts in the corporate media and on social media or below the line, Assange is apparently a ‘cowardly rapist’ who is ‘holed up’ in an embassy ‘evading justice’. They occasionally even remember to write ‘alleged’ before ‘rapist’.

The next line of attack concerns Assange’s alleged evasion of justice. Yet Assange left Sweden on 27th September 2010 without impediment from prosecutor Marianne Ny, who had been assigned to the case from September 1st. It is worth noting that if this case was so serious that it became an international incident leading to the (very unusual) issuance of an Interpol Red Notice, and if the well-being of the alleged rape victims was such a priority for the prosecutor, the fact that Ny did nothing to question Assange before he left as a matter of urgency is highly suspicious.

It is also notable that Assange’s Swedish lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, made some very disturbing claims with regard to the two women involved:

Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer was shown scores of text messages sent by the two women who accuse him of rape and sexual assault, in which they speak of “revenge” and extracting money from him, an extradition hearing was told.

Björn Hurtig, who represents the WikiLeaks founder in Sweden, told Belmarsh magistrates court that he had been shown “about 100” messages sent between the women and their friends while supervised by a Swedish police officer, but had not been permitted to make notes or share the contents with his client.

“I consider this to be contrary to the rules of a fair trial,” he said. A number of the messages “go against what the claimants have said”, he told the court.

One message referred to one of the women being “half asleep” while having sex with Assange, Hurtig said, as opposed to fully asleep. “That to my mind is the same as saying ‘half awake’.” One of the women alleges that Assange had sex with her while she was sleeping.

Before destroying a man’s reputation an objective, honorable or honest person would first look into the details and circumstances surrounding the case. Such considerations obviously do not apply to Assange.

One final line of attack is the idea that Assange is ‘voluntarily’ hiding in the embassy. It is insulting to the intelligence and legal abilities of the UNWGAD lawyers to think that they are incapable of correctly interpreting this unusual situation in legal terms. Anyone believing that they are in danger of political persecution, as Assange does, has the legal right under international law to seek protection on humanitarian grounds. From the FAQ:

International law says that a sovereign country has decided to recognise Mr. Assange as needing protection from political persecution on humanitarian grounds. Mr. Assange has a right to meaningfully exercise that protection through passage to Ecuador. Ecuador invoked a number of applicable conventions, including the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. The United Kingdom and Sweden are also parties to the 1951 Convention and are obligated to recognise the asylum decision of Ecuador. While both states have been careful to avoid saying that they do not recognise the asylum, their actions can only be interpreted as a wilful violation of Mr. Assange’s right to ’seek, receive and enjoy’ his asylum. In international law, the obligation to protect persons from persecution under the 1951 Refugee Convention prevails over extradition agreements between states.

The United Kingdom says it has a treaty obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden even though he has not been charged with an offense. There is a conflict between the United Kingdom’s obligations to the 1951 UN refugee convention and its obligations under the European Arrest Warrant system. It is established law that these conflicts are to be resolved in favour of the higher obligation which is to the 1951 convention.

Rather than follow[] international law, the United Kingdom has chosen to interpret the conflict in favor of its geopolitical alliances. The United Kingdom has a history of breaking international law in this manner, for example, in its invasion of Iraq, its cooperation with US rendition operations, and its facilitation of global mass spying via its intelligence service GCHQ. Sweden is also a party to these last two violations.

Assange has reason to be concerned. A secret, long-running US investigation has been mounted against him, according to US Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd. “The grand jury is a serious business,” said Michael Ratner, a human rights lawyer advising Assange. “They’re all over this,” he added. [Sources here]

Reason for concern indeed given the US approach to whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning, who was tortured while awaiting trial, as well as the US’s clear contempt for international laws and conventions, highlighted dramatically when it forced down the plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales in the mistaken belief that Edward Snowden was aboard. That case also highlighted the powerful influence the US wields over European nations: France, Italy and Spain all denied airspace to Morales forcing the plane to land in Austria.

The UN ruling puts the UK and Sweden in a very sticky position as they recklessly try to play it both ways. In the past both nations have welcomed rulings by the same group when they benefited their geopolitical priorities, as this Crikey article explains:

What happens when the UN panel that you previously thought was excellent produces a verdict that you don’t like?

That was the problem facing UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (little-known outside the Tory Party and best known for having been a Goth in his younger days, not that there’s anything wrong with that) when the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found in favour of Julian Assange’s complaint that he had been arbitrarily detained by the UK and Sweden.

But Hammond’s problem is the Cameron government had a very different view of the WGAD when it ruled that the Burmese regime’s ongoing detention of Aung San Suu Kyi was a breach of international human rights law. “As in its previous five ‘opinions’, the Working Group has found that the continuous deprivation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s liberty is arbitrary, and has requested the government of Myanmar to implement its previous recommendations and to remedy the situation,” Hammond’s predecessor William Hague said in calling for her release. Indeed, it’s been only a few months since the British government was happy to quote the WGAD in its guidance on handling particular types of protection and human rights claims about China.

China is a constant target of the WGAD. Unlike other UN bodies that might be criticised for obsessing about Western governments while ignoring the human rights abuses of dictatorships, WGAD focuses almost entirely on non-Western countries. In the years while Assange has been detained, the Working Group has ruled against China 14 times — with most rulings dealing with multiple detainees — and against Iran nine times, as well as ruling against Cuba and North Korea (again, often covering multiple cases) four times each. Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the Palestinian Authority have also been among its targets. It’s in such company the UK and Sweden now find themselves.

The United States was also happy to cite the WGAD in the case of Alan Gross, who spent several years in a Cuban jail after travelling to the country to provide Cuba’s Jewish community with internet access. US politicians and the State Department were happy to cite WGAD’s finding that Gross was arbitrarily detained. The US Justice Department also cites WGAD decisions in its criticisms of the human rights records of other countries. And the WGAD ruled last August that Iran was holding US journalist Jason Rezaian arbitrarily as well; the State Department also invokes the WGAD’s decision about other imprisoned journalists.

In short, the WGAD is usually a reliable source for Western countries eager to criticise the human rights records of countries like China, Iran and Cuba. But the moment it looks askance at Western practices, it’s “ludicrous” and dismissed.

This episode teaches some lessons. Essential among them is the fact that analysis in the corporate media is now crippled beyond repair, its credibility a smoking wreck. If one desired an analysis of an aspect of astronomy or cosmology, would one read the opinions of a writer who still advocates the Ptolemaic Model of the solar system? The same applies to an analysis of the complicated legal case of Assange by obviously biased and prejudiced non-experts who are given a platform to speak to millions nonetheless. This further applies to much of foreign policy and other areas that require ‘nuance’ in the corporate media because advertisers are so touchy about what reaches the general public. The only meaningful analyses now come from independent journalists and writers who are free from corporate or government/lobby-group influence.

We also learn that corporate journalists not only act as gatekeepers in their day job, but even in their free time, gleefully towing the establishment line and seemingly oblivious to the deadly consequences of their obfuscations as they help to bring liberal, anti-war opinion over to the ‘humanitarian interventionist’ camp of the imperialist ‘right to protect’ doctrine.

Disturbingly we can also acquire a sense of the enormous power wielded behind the scenes by those who want Assange. If the UK and Sweden are willing to reject the findings of a United Nations panel of legal experts, a panel they never had complaints with in the past when they were condemning China etc., then we know that the stakes are as high as they get. The recklessness of this rejection is staggering, as explained by the Center for Constitutional Rights [Emphasis (bold) mine]:

In our briefs to the WGAD, we argued that someone is effectively detained when they are forced to choose between confinement and running the risk of persecution. That is the precise dilemma faced by Mr. Assange, who would lose the protection of his asylum if he stepped out of the embassy. The risk of extradition is the ‘fourth wall’ for the now repudiated claim that he is free to leave the embassy. As a result, it has been years since Mr. Assange has had access to proper medical care, sunlight, or the ability to see his family.

The WGAD’s decision in Mr. Assange’s case sets an important precedent for refugees. In our submissions we analogized the situation faced by Mr. Assange to that of asylum-seekers in detention facilities. States may claim that asylum-seekers held in subhuman conditions are not ‘detained’ because they are technically free to leave for their home country, but this is a non-choice, since the home country would persecute the asylum seeker.

In choosing to reject the UN ruling, not only are Sweden and the UK failing to live up to their treaty obligations because they do not suit their agendas – a working definition of an action of what Western nations traditionally call ‘rogue nations’ – but they are also putting their own citizens at risk by setting a dangerous precedent that will allow any evil dictator anywhere to also reject the findings of the UN in the future.

It is profoundly telling – a shocking demonstration of the power of media propaganda – that millions of people automatically side with governments who have lied time and time again on every issue imaginable, that have committed some of the most terrible crimes in history, against one man who has risked his freedom and life to expose some of those crimes. The idea that he might have been set up or has been persecuted is summarily dismissed despite the obvious motive for Western governments to do such a thing and despite the enormous amount of documented evidence demonstrating that this is precisely the case.

The Assange situation has long been a farce but now a ruling of the United Nations has been permitted to become a political football. This way utter lawlessness lies. The UK must immediately release and compensate Julian Assange as the UN ruling dictates. Failure to do this will only serve to confirm its status as a rogue nation and US lapdog.

Written by Simon Wood

Twitter: @simonwood11
Official Website: The Daily 99.99998271%

The Agenda To Destabilize Europe

There is always a manufactured enemy – a scapegoat – behind which geopolitical puppeteers hide.

An ever-increasing concentration of anti-Muslim propaganda has been circulating in social media, more broadly since 9/11 but particularly over the last two years – gradually seeping into the common verbiage of citizens in ‘First World’ societies.

Tolerance hard won over multiple generations, has been lost within one.

Diversity is again being made a dirty word, rather than an integral, structural pillar of any ethical society.

Those who take fixed positions either pro or anti refugee – pro or anti Muslim – are being divided and conquered. Rather than be pitched against each other, we must examine what lies beneath the propaganda.

For the true bi-polar, diametric positions are that of pro or anti Western intelligence agencies and their interests. Interests that seldom align with that of the general public they are supposed to serve, but more often align with the wishes of the comptrollers in economics and industry and the insatiable governmental aspirations of empirical power.

Tony Gosling, an investigative journalist from Bristol in the UK, was interviewed by RT in 2013 and talked about this acceleration and the origins of the mentality, laying the blame squarely at the feet of intelligence agencies like Britain’s MI5:

“Western intelligence services have been involved in criminal acts in the past which have actually fueled this kind of sectarian violence which seems to be beginning again here in Britain. There’s some serious questions that MI5 have got to answer…”

“…we’ve got other extremists here in Britain, that is to say, anti-Islamic extremists. Two weeks ago a pensioner coming home from his mosque in Birmingham, in the Midlands of Britain, was murdered, and this got almost no coverage whatsoever and we need to make sure the security services are taking exactly the same sort of measures against the anti-Muslims like the English Defense League and these kinds of organisations, as they are against the Islamic organisations…”

“…what they’re actually trying to do is demonise Muslims in a similar way to the Nazis demonising Jews back in the 1930s and its ridiculous. We’ve got to stop that, and we don’t want that from MI5 thank you very much!”

Gosling makes great points, but MI5 is just one of countless agencies hiding behind the anti-immigrant curtain.

American Hostility Towards The EU

The root of American contempt for the European Union is likely not just political, but also economic. The total gross domestic product (GDP) of the European Union is slightly larger than that of the United States, although the per capita GDP is approximately one-third less.

This means the two super-powers are not simply allies, or trading partners, but are also competitors.

The European Union has, to date, proven resistant to many of the ills of American economic convention; largely remaining GE/GMO-free, and acting to regulate lobbying by interest groups.

Such constraints are abrasive to the corporate power of the United States.

While the United States has brought many of the world’s countries to heel through military adventure or economic coercion, the European Union has, in some ways, remained legislatively impervious to those pressures.

The contempt of US diplomats towards the European Union was never more blatant than that revealed by the leak of the now-infamous Fuck The EU” tape.

Revealing the culpability and craftiness of US diplomats in converting the Maidan protests into an opportunity for a pro-US regime change and then micro-managing the formation of the new Ukrainian government, the tape more broadly illustrates their general contempt for the European Union.

While it is difficult to verify the efficacy of the associated Twitter accounts, a quick search makes it clear that the ‘Fuck The EU‘ sentiment is becoming increasingly widespread.

Signs Of Schengen Fracturing (Again)

According to The Economist: “various studies over the years have argued that the Schengen agreement led members to form closer trading partnerships, boosted both imports and exports, and drew tourists.”

This opinion has been ratified by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German Economy Minister at the Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, this week.

Their comments were made in the wake of Austria having recently “temporarily” suspended Schengen.

As Reuters reports:

reuters

The cracks were apparent at least as far back as August, 2015, but were not the first existential pressure on the Schengen pact, as explained by The Economist:

This is not the first time that the Schengen agreement has appeared to be in danger of fraying. In 2011, fearing an influx of North African refugees, Italy and France pushed for a review of the agreement. Earlier this year the Dutch prime minister threatened Greece with expulsion if it allowed migrants free passage to the rest of Europe. Neither eventuality came to pass.

So why did those countries expect “an influx” of migrants from North Africa, as far back as 2011? What caused this original threat to Schengen?

The destruction of Libya.

The True Roots Of The Migrant Crisis

NATO’s official story about the bombing of Libya is, of course, that it was a humanitarian intervention. However, there is ample evidence that it was actually a war fought for economic reasons and the control of resources.

Regardless of the ‘why’, the end result was foreordained by none other than Muammar Gaddafi himself.

In Part 4 of the new documentary “World Order”, hosted by LiveLeak, Gaddafi is shown saying:

“Negligence of the stability in Libya will result in collapse due to instability in the Mediterranean. In case our power in Libya were to stop, millions of Africans will illegally flow to Italy, to France. Europe would become ‘black’ within the shortest possible period. We prevent migration by resisting Al-Qaeda. If the stability in Libya is disrupted, it will immediately cause bad consequences for Europe and Mediterranean countries. Everyone will be in danger.”

This suggests that it was known well in advance of the destabilization of Libya, that failure to secure that country would result in a human tidal wave of economic migrants from the North of Africa that, compounded by the Iraqi, Syrian and other refugees that have resulted from the many military misadventures of Western interventions in the Middle East, might ultimately overwhelm Europe.

At 05:00 in the same segment of the documentary, Russian President Vladimir Putin sub-textually ratifies the theory that the United States sees a unified European Union as an economic foe.

“The united Europe is more than 300 million people, the biggest economy. The Euro keeps its position stable… It recovers the space for itself as a world reserve currency. It is good, because when there is only one reserve currency, the USD, it restricts the space for maneuver for the whole world economy.”

EU Introduction Of Biometric Databases Threatens The CIA

Wikileaks’ 2014 releases of ‘The CIA Travel Documents‘ shed light on further benefits to the United States intelligence agencies, were Schengen to be collectively abandoned by European states.

As stated in the accompanying press release:

“The documents show that the CIA has developed an extreme concern over how biometric databases will put CIA clandestine operations at risk – databases other parts of the US government made prevalent post-9/11.”

From within the leaked documents themselves (specifically, the ‘Infiltrating Schengen‘ document):

The European Commission is considering requiring travelers who do not require visas to provide biometric data at their first place of entry into the Schengen area, which would increase the identity threat level for all US travelers.

So it seems that what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. While the US pushes the advances of biometrics for security purposes, the adoption of those same technologies by other states, in this case the European Union as a whole, threatens the cover of its intelligence agents.

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

Agitating for the termination of the border-less zone isn’t just about prioritizing American economic interests, or protecting US intelligence assets. It is also about pressuring the EU into sharing more of its citizen’s data with intelligence agencies.

There are some very high-profile talking heads that have been predicting that the end of Schengen is nigh, and who have fascinating input on the subject.

On November 22nd, 2015, in the wake of the Paris attacks, and just as Belgium was being locked down due to alleged terror threats, CNN hosted two such guests on a panel with anchor Fareed Zakaria.

Namely, Richard Haass – the President of the Council on Foreign Relations and Philip Mudd; CNN Counter-terrorism analyst, former deputy director of the CIA’s Counter Terrorist Center and the ex FBI deputy director of the National Security Branch.

Haass directly declared the end of the Schengen Zone, stating “those days are over“.

Zakaria: Richard, you’ve dealt with the Europeans for many years. This is a case where, you know, you need more Europe in a sense. You need the Europeans to share more, to deepen the ties, but the politics is less Europe.

Haass: Absolutely right. You need much more sharing. You’re not seeing it. We’re also going to see a whole change, I think, to what’s called the Schengen area, the idea that once you get into Europe you’re essentially free to move around. Those days are over. So rather than European – the European project moving forward in some ways, Fareed, I think we’re actually more likely to see it move backwards where the balance between nationalism and Europeanism is about to move more in the direction of nationalism.

Zakaria: Fascinating. When we come back I’m going to ask Richard about Hillary Clinton who gave a big speech about ISIS hosted by him. Stay with us.

So the President of the Council on Foreign Relations – an entity whose membership, according to Wikipedia, “has included senior politicians, more than a dozen secretaries of state, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, and senior media figures” not only predicts that Schengen is already done and dusted, but that Europe as a whole is moving backwards and heading in the direction of nationalism – a phenomena not seen since pre World War II.

But wait, there’s more.

Haass: Well, I actually think not just in Europe but here in the United States we’re on the cusp of what will be a second great debate about the balance between individual privacy and collective security. And the sorts of questions you just raised are going to come to the fore. And the answer is I think the pendulum is going to have to swing. Not dramatically. We’re not talking going to the other end but somewhat in the direction of greater collective security. So we are going to have to gather more data, more information about societies and about our populations.

So the country whose intelligence mantra has been ‘Collect It All‘ wants yet more data – but rather than collect it, it wants Europe to hand it over on a silver platter, on the premise that this will somehow improve their security situation.

And to what end?

Zakaria: Do you think that this will extend to being able to kill a French citizen on a battlefield if, you know, again, they haven’t committed a crime. You know, we’ve crossed that bridge with Anwar al-Awlaki. The British just did. Are the French now facing this issue?

Mudd: I do. I think this is one of the great untold stories of this war. People debated, it’s not widely known. Presidents of countries having the authority to authorize the killing of a citizen on foreign soil when that citizen can’t be brought in for the judicial process. We’ve had, as you said, with an American, with the British citizen. If you’re the French president and you find with the Americans because the Americans are likely to develop intelligence on this, that you can locate the perpetrators, you then have the choice, do you allow that plot or plotters to continue because you can’t bring them home to justice immediately or do you authorize a targeted killing? And I think given what the French president said after this event you’re going to have a third country say, it is appropriate for the leader of a country to authorize the killing of a citizen on foreign soil without a judicial process.

The implications are enormous. Mudd’s suggestion is that the Americans will supply intelligence to European countries (in this case, France) which will lead to them authorising targeted killings of their own citizens on foreign soil, without judicial process.

Just how does one go from being Deputy Director of the CIA, to a CNN analyst?

While Mudd doesn’t appear to have a Wikipedia page dedicated to him, he does appear in several references. Including the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture.

pm1

The use of the term ‘get out and sell‘ is puzzling, until you dig a little deeper. In a video of a presentation by Mudd to his alma mater, Villanova University, he constantly refers to the CIA as ‘the business’, and repeatedly references himself as having decades of experience ‘in the business’.

Bringing us full circle to the real agenda behind the attrition of European unity and the increase in intelligence sharing – solidifying and expanding America’s financial and economic power.

Sure enough – according to Mudd he does “a week a month at a boutique wealth management firm” – which appears to map to his CNN biography which states “Mudd is the Director of Enterprise Risk at SouthernSun Asset Management in Memphis, Tennessee.”

The last 10 minutes of his Villanova speech gets really interesting. When asked what was his biggest mistake, Mudd sheds light on the impetus for his transition from the public to private sectors.

“I quit government, I didn’t retire. I quit in 2010 because I was nominated by the President to take over Homeland Security Intelligence. Which is a low budget Presidential nomination – although when you join government as an entry level guy – the President doesn’t have that many nominees…

…that Presidential nomination requires Senate confirmation. You’ve got to sit in front of the Senate on C-SPAN and get your ass handed to you. I quit because the Senate at the end of the confirmation process, which is about a six-month process, said ‘this guy knows about CIA and what they did to CIA prisoners, and we’re going to hammer him’…

…professionally, I’m like, this is going to be front page news, I’m not doing it. That’s an embarrassment to the President. I allowed the Congressional Affairs Office to handle the six months with the Congress, and they let it get out of hand. I’m happy I quit, I have a great life, I don’t work very hard and I make a lot of money. And I drink a lot of wine… [laughter]

…so I pulled my nomination. It was front page news for one day, which is the right thing. I don’t have very many regrets but I probably should not have trusted the Congressional Affairs Office, so I lost the career…

…Can you turn the camera off?” [Cameraman stops tape]

Wikipedia is less kind: “CIA Deputy Director Philip Mudd deliberately lied to Congress about the [torture] program…”

pm2

Multiple Government Agencies Hiring ‘Cyber-Warriors’ By The Thousands

According to Ms Victoria ‘Fuck The EU’ Nuland in her “first Twitter briefing of 2012” (seriously) – she says of the State Department:

“…we’re also developing and distributing new technologies – more than 20 of them – to empower activists around the globe to access uncensored content on the internet and to communicate with each other and to tell their stories. And to date, we’ve funded the training of more than 7,500 activists around the world in these programs.”

Wired appears to reference the same State Department program, but is less kind about its purposes – the article is titled “Newest U.S. CounterTerrorism Strategy: Trolling.”

The Pentagon and FBI are looking for 6,000 cyber-warriors between the two agencies, but having trouble finding them.

The “Warrior-To-Cyber-Warrior” program looks to convert existing military personnel and veterans into ‘cyber-warriors’, and states that “cyber security experience is not required…”

The US Navy wants 1,000 more cyber warriors.

The private sector is in the same business. Wired reported that Raytheon had advertised for 250 cyber-warriors including “media sanitation specialists.”

Even the banks are in on it – with JP Morgan building a cyber-security staff of over 1,000 people “more than twice the size of Google’s security group”. As Bloomberg writes: “To make it easier to woo military talent, the bank built a security services facility in Maryland near Fort Meade, home of the National Security Agency.”

George Monbiot for Alternet wrote: “..about the daily attempts to control and influence content in the interests of the state and corporations..”

“This is not a police state – it is a thought police state” wrote Rona Kuperboim in YNetNews, of the Israeli government’s legion of online propagandists:

“Imposters on behalf of the government are threatening free discourse even if they only wander through the virtual space. The Internet was meant to serve as an open platform for dialogue between people, rather than as a propaganda means”…

…”Any attempt to plant talkbacks online must fail. Especially if the State is behind it. Not only because it’s easy to identify responses made on behalf of someone, but also because it’s anti-democratic. When the Israel Electric Company or other companies do it, it’s annoying. Yet when the State does it, it’s dangerous.

Michael Snyder for Washington’s Blog says that “Government Trolls Are Using ‘Psychology-based Influence Techniques On YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”

Wikipedia calls these troll armies ‘Web Brigades’ yet despite the reams of information available regarding other state and non-state actors, somehow only references Russian examples of them.

This truly is a global phenomenon of epic proportions: if the statistics Business Insider reports are factual, then China has hired some 300,000 trolls to defend the Chinese government and its political stances online.

Are The Troll Armies Behind The Anti-EU Propaganda?

Especially given the prevalence of factually incorrect posts and astro-turf media circulating on the topics, it stands to reason that at least a portion of the myriad social media accounts posting anti-Muslim, anti-Islam, anti-migrant and anti-refugee content may be the work of the troll armies.

The remainder are likely those regular internet users who they have influenced, or who were already inclined towards similar biases or opinions.

Likewise with the anti-Schengen and anti-EU content that now abounds, leading one to wonder whether we will ever again be able to re-establish trust in the efficacy of the internet, or to have online debates that genuinely reflect the opinions of legitimate users, rather than promoting the political agendas of paymasters.

As for whether the Schengen Agreement will indeed become a relic of the past and whether the European Union will somehow be able to reestablish a unified front and keep itself together despite the monolithic and powerful interests hell bent on tearing them apart – that remains to be seen.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

[Update/January 2018] This post is now available at my Steemit blog

What Lies Beneath: The Agenda To Demonise Refugees

The recent saturation of the Internet in anti-refugee propaganda, including via hashtags like #Rapefugees, #WhiteGenocide & #IStandWithSweden, have shocked and appalled users worldwide.

Long-held and widely-touted constitutional principles of inclusion and multi-culturalism are laying in tatters and the democratic ‘Left’ of Europe is reeling, as the hate speech extends beyond the digital realm to the formation of nationalistic vigilante mobs who are demonstrating en masse, burning down refugee centres and attacking migrants throughout Europe, Scandinavia and the entire Western World.

Echoing events and rhetoric of 1930s Germany, many cannot believe that a return to the widespread and popular denunciation of entire ethnic groups is again occurring, or that such behaviour is achieving political results.

When populations are implored to detest a demographically diverse sub-sector of society, that group is homogenised by the use of caustic and derogatory blanket terminology. That language of fascism is again manifesting.

cr

Utterances of highly abrasive terms like ‘cockroaches‘ in reference to migrants and refugees is reminiscent of the lead-up to multiple genocides where the same word was employed as justification for the attacks – from Hitler deeming Jews ‘cockroaches‘, to Hutus using the same term to describe the Tutsis that they were massacring in Rwanda, to Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who called the Palestinian peoplecockroaches‘ when openly proposing their wholesale annihilation.

The practice of using a repeated and heinous invective to socialise a citizenry into villifying and ultimately acting against other groups has been extensively studied.

It is well established that the precursor is the formulation and circulation of propaganda.

Anti-Muslim, Anti-Refugee, Anti-Immigrant Propaganda

Tweets like this have been appearing in their thousands, and are then copied and circulated exponentially.

Depicting what is implied to be a blonde European girl being accosted by males of Middle Eastern origin, it is easily taken at face value. However, the picture isn’t at all what it seems. The girl is not European. She is also Middle Eastern; and it isn’t a photograph at all. It is in fact, a still shot taken from a comedy video, a parody – where in the next scene, the girl is rescued by an Arabic ‘Superman’ figure, replete with costume.

In a Last Week Tonight‘ episode from September, 2015 titled ‘Migrants and Refugees‘, host John Oliver calls out Fox News’ circulation of a video of what is purported to be refugees chanting ‘Allahu Akhbar‘ (God is great) on a train within Europe’s borders.

“Describing that as a new video that sheds light on the migrant crisis is a little misleading because in researching this story, we found a version of that same video uploaded onto You Tube back in 2010, well before the migrant crisis even began.” – John Oliver

Some of the propaganda comes from the obvious sources – such as Trump supporters. But a lot of it is derived from places that are less obvious, or more obscure.

Refugees Under Attack, Smeared As Rapists

You Tube is awash with countless examples of anti-Muslim/anti-refugee propaganda. The content is often obscene in nature, and although they won’t be directly linked to here, the uploads feature inflammatory titles such as:

* ‘Sweden Being Raped To Death By Muslim Migrants’

* ‘Sweden Now Rape Capital of Europe Thanks To Muslim Migrants!’

* ‘ISIS Using Refugee Crisis As A Trojan Horse’

* ‘Refugee Tsunami Will End National Sovereignty’

* ‘Why Global Elite Want To Collapse Countries Using Illegals’

* ‘NWO Using Refugee Crisis As Endgame To Create Eurabia’

* ‘Islam Is The Religion Of The NWO’

* ‘Pope Uses Migrant Crisis To Escalate Race War’

Given that Europe is directly embroiled in the turmoil, you would expect these videos to be posted by Europeans. However, a closer look at the accounts posting the content, frequently leads back to American, British and Israeli sources.

The titles mentioned above are all featured on the channel “THEINFOWARRIOR” which is an off-shoot of Alex Jones’ Info Wars. Info war indeed.

Alex Jones’ main channel also carries similar content, featuring titles like ‘Muslims Engage In Sexual Terrorism Across Europe’.

Journalist Kit O’Connell exposed how damaging Alex Jones’ content can be.

Unfortunately, that damage is also being inflicted by a multitude of other actors pushing politically-charged propaganda, to the detriment of refugees, migrants, Muslims and Islam as a whole.

Islamic Invasion Of Sweden Has Led To Rape Crisis‘ declares the ‘Patriots Global Alliance’ (UK).

Muslims Have Made Sweden The Rape Capital Of The West Vs Japan‘ says ‘thetruthdamit’, who is ostensibly an African American Trump supporter.

One of the most prolific (and apparently widely-watched) channels, is by British ex-comedian Pat Condell.

Featuring titles like ‘Message To Offended Muslims’, ‘It’s Good To Be Anti-Islam’, ‘Why I Support Israel’, ‘Sweden Goes Insane’, ‘Boo Hoo Palestine’, ‘The Rape Of Sweden’, ‘The Invasion Of Europe’ and ‘How To Insult A Progressive’, one might wish he had never quit comedy so that they could give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, the nature of his politics is abundanty clear and Condell also has a Twitter account, featuring some 47,000+ followers, on which he has posted this fascinating breakdown of the geolocations of his viewing audience.

pc

Of his top six viewing countries, four are members of the Five Eyes alliance and one is Israel.

The Elephant In The Room

The elephant in the room is that the REAL rape epidemic is global in nature and pre-dates the migrant crisis by, frankly, eons.

Rape being used to push a political agenda that is to the benefit of governmental and military interests, rather than the interests of rape victims themselves, is an oft-employed information warfare tactic that has been used in everything from passing legislation that is unfavourable to civil liberties, to smearing Julian Assange.

On Twitter, accounts featuring traumatising and emotive profile pictures of rape victims are used to push xenophobia and notions of white supremacy.

This is the reality that none of them will dare acknowledge: that sexual violence and rape is and always has been at epidemic levels in Western civilisation – where assaults are frequent and widespread; reporting, arrest and conviction statistics are abysmal and sexual aggression, misogyny and rape apologism are commonplace and tacitly endorsed if not constantly celebrated and perpetuated by mainstream media, political and pop culture.

This recent portrayal of rape, gang rape and sexual assault as being a ‘Muslim’, ‘Islam’, ‘Middle Eastern’, ‘Third World’ or ‘refugee’ problem is a completely disingenuous display of wanton ignorance.

While some may argue that the alleged scale of the attacks seen in Cologne and elsewhere mark a turning point – and they certainly are heinous and deplorable crimes – the statistics demonstrate that in fact the United States remains the global center of rape and sexual assault, with 1 in 6 women experiencing sexual assault within their lifetime, and 1 in 4 college students.

According to this link Sweden already was the so-called ‘rape capital of Europe’ in 2010, despite the fact that its rape statistics are constantly touted as being a result of the recent influx of migrants.

So what, or more pertinently, who is behind the refugee propaganda? Whose interests do the rise of nationalism and the far-Right really serve?

[Author’s note: this article was originally composed on January 18th, 2016. It was the prequel to “The Agenda To Destabilise Europe” but sat on a publishing queue of another website for some months before now being published here.]

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

 

Music To The Ears Of Entitlement

“We have allowed our party to be hijacked by people joining by text for three quid” – Unknown Labour MP (quoted by Guardian columnist Andrew Rawnsley)

As any career journalist will tell you, the first paragraph of your article must have a killer hook in these days of fickle, easily bored readerships. Tim Ross, senior political correspondent at The Daily Telegraph doesn’t disappoint:

Jeremy Corbyn’s close associates are secretly planning to purge the shadow cabinet of moderate MPs who disagree with his radical, anti-war policies, as he seeks to impose his will on the Labour Party.

It’s a masterpiece:

Secret: Sly/underhand/undemocratic.

Purge: Echoes of Stalin.

Moderate MPs: Supporters of a war that – by any even slightly honest and accurate examination of the actual situation in Syria – is insane.

Disagree: Implies Corbyn is acting in a dictatorial manner in choosing his cabinet when leaders of all political parties routinely do so.

Radical anti-war policies: Standing against yet more mass slaughter (and taking into account other recent catastrophic interventions) that serves only to send stocks in arms manufacturers higher is ‘radical’ in this enlightened era.

Impose his will: Just in case you missed it a few words earlier: Corbyn acts like a dictator – Stalin, subtly foreshadowed by our intrepid keeper of the sacred trust of the fourth estate, is the man Mr. Ross has in mind for us.

One should not expect anything different from this particular newspaper, but inversion of the concepts of ‘moderate’ and ‘radical’ lies at the heart of corporate media propaganda. In order to protect and sustain the crony capitalist system that is condemning billions to inescapable poverty and dozens of nations to war and chaos while enriching a tiny, privileged class all as the environment is ravaged, the single key issue that must be hammered relentlessly home is that the system as it stands, while not perfect, is nonetheless the only option we have; the only viable way of allocating the resources of the planet. Any alternative vision, no matter how well conceived or by whom, is unanimously condemned as naive, idiotic, clueless and even as a dire threat to national or global security. As for the brave soul proposing such an alternative, he or she can look forward to being smeared in every way imaginable until they are no longer a threat.

An integral part of this obscenely skewed version of reality is the concept of ‘leadership’, the unquestioned and unquestionable idea that some among us are endowed with certain intangible qualities of character that can lead us through the dark and into the light. By an astounding coincidence, in Western democracies, these people who are portrayed as born to lead must also toe the establishment line.

In the US this means unqualified support for foreign policy: the continuation of the operation of hundreds of bases in foreign nations; unconditional backing of Israel no matter how murderous and insane the actions of its government may be; the continuation of the drone campaign that has killed thousands of completely innocent people including kids, toddlers and babies; and support of the status quo with regard to blanket surveillance as well as the electoral system and campaign donations.

In the UK it is broadly the same: support for foreign adventures and Israel along with the US as well as the UK’s electoral system that ensures only establishment-friendly political parties and their filtered representatives have any chance of power. [It is worth noting here that the reason Jeremy Corbyn has been subjected to the most comprehensive media smear campaign in history is because he has slipped through the cracks and must be stopped at all costs, as the quotation at the beginning of this article demonstrates.] It also means support of the British royal family.

From a Guardian report:

Britain is “deeply elitist” according to a report by the government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty commission, with people educated at public school and Oxbridge creating a “closed shop at the top”.

Andrew Sparrow writes today: The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said its study of the social background of those “running Britain” was the most detailed of its kind ever undertaken and showed that elitism was so embedded in Britain “that it could be called ‘social engineering’”.

The report shows that in many of the UK’s top professions there is a hugely disproportionate proportion of privately educated people compared to the general profile of the UK population.

Just 7% of the UK public attended private school, which compares to 71% of senior judges, 62% of senior armed forces officers, 55% of Whitehall permanent secretaries and 50% of members of the House of Lords.

The rate is also disproportionately high in other influential roles: 44% of people on the Sunday Times Rich List, 43% of newspaper columnists and 26% of BBC executives were all educated privately.

Just one in 100 members of the UK public was educated at Oxbridge, however graduates from those two universities make up 75% of senior judges, 59% of cabinet posts, 57% of permanent secretaries, 50% of diplomatics, 47% of newspaper columnists, 44% of public body chairs and 33% of BBC executives.

There is a massive disparity in representation of the public at large. The enormous influence over politics and the public discourse as depicted in the media is one born of a demographic that has no experience or understanding of poverty and many of the ills that result from it. The utterly false and self-flattering idea that hard work always leads to success [and the converse] holds sway among them, their own enormous headstart that came from being born into a wealthy family or benefiting from the advantages that come from being privately educated notwithstanding:

From another article:

The report says: “Our examination of who gets the top jobs in Britain today found elitism so stark that it could be called ‘social engineering’.”

It adds that the “sheer scale of the dominance of certain backgrounds” raises questions about whether getting a top job is about ability or knowing the right people.

[Commission Chair] Mr Milburn said: “Where institutions rely on too narrow a range of people from too narrow a range of backgrounds with too narrow a range of experiences they risk behaving in ways and focusing on issues that are of salience only to a minority but not the majority in society.

“Our research shows it is entirely possible for politicians to rely on advisors to advise, civil servants to devise policy solutions and journalists to report on their actions having all studied the same courses at the same universities, having read the same books, heard the same lectures and even being taught by the same tutors.

“This risks narrowing the conduct of public life to a small few, who are very familiar with each other but far less familiar with the day-to-day challenges facing ordinary people in the country.”

All of which brings us to the much-lauded closing speech in the House of Commons by Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn. The reactions from within the media class were almost unanimously gushing.

A selection:

“Quite extraordinary scenes: some Tory MPs even giving Hilary Benn a standing ovation” – Deputy Political Editor of BBC News, James Landale.

“For those of us who thought Hilary Benn had failed to inherit his father’s rhetorical gifts, it’s time to reconsider”The Guardian columnist (and 2014 Orwell Prize winner) Jonathan Freedland.

“I think that is the finest speech I’ve ever heard in the Commons, and delivered under such pressure”The Spectator political editor James Forsyth.

“Long after most have forgotten the detail of the House of Commons debate…many will remember the words of Hilary Benn.” – The Times

[Sources: Media Lens Twitter timeline]

But what did Benn actually say?

Now I share the concerns that have been expressed this evening about potential civilian casualties. However, unlike Daesh, none of us today act with the intent to harm civilians. Rather we act to protect civilians from Daesh, who target innocent people.

See how the civilian deaths that are certain to occur (and already have occurred) are so deftly brushed off. We apparently protect civilians by bombing the places where they live, but that’s OK because Daesh target innocent people; unlike us, who will in fact be targeting people who will certainly be completely innocent. Could Kafka have done better?

With the delicate consciences of the UK’s elected representatives expertly salved, Benn moved to close the deal:

Now Mr Speaker, I hope the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House. As a party, we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another. We never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road. And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us here tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for this motion tonight.

Contempt! All a great orator needs to do, it appears, is keep repeating an emotive noun that feeds into the false notions of an ignorant, fearful and confused populace. This was George Bush all over again telling us that they hate us for our freedoms, an ignorant and simplistic assertion. Writer Sheldon Richman explains:

Let’s give these members of the American elite their due: one has to work hard to make a mystery of anti-American (and anti-Western) terrorism emanating from the Middle East. It takes prodigious effort to maintain an air of innocence about San Bernardino and Paris, because no one who claims to be informed can plead ignorance of the long history of U.S. and Western imperialism in the Muslim world. This includes the CIA’s subversion of Iranian democracy in 1953, the U.S. government’s systematic support of compliant autocratic and corrupt Arab monarchies and dictatorships, its empowering of Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims, and its unconditional backing of Israel’s brutal anti-Palestinian policies. (The savage 2014 war on Gaza killed many noncombatants.)

In the 10 years before the 9/11 attacks the administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton bombed Iraq while maintaining an embargo, most especially on equipment for the water and sanitation infrastructure the U.S. Air Force had destroyed during the Gulf War. Half a million children died. This was also when U.S. officials promised, then reneged on the promise, to remove U.S. forces from the Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

From the air Americans routinely kill noncombatants in Syria and Iraq, most recently this week, when “at least 36 civilians, including 20 children, in a village in eastern Syria” were reportedly killed, according to McClatchyDC. Do Americans notice? Of course not. That’s why San Bernardino and Paris can be made to appear so mysterious.

Things like this happen all the time. The U.S. attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was especially egregious against this background of war crimes.

The UK’s establishment media love Hilary Benn and despise Jeremy Corbyn. They love the rhetoric and reserve no patience for the detailed facts and expert analysis (as urged by Corbyn) a situation as complex as this requires. We simply have to do something because they have contempt for our values. These are the words of a real leader – decisive, strong, born…entitled…to rule and it is music to their ears because that is how they also think. Democracy is all well and good until it gets in the way of the people who know by their very nature what is best for all of us. The wise caution exhibited by Corbyn and other opponents is easily depicted as ‘weak’ and ‘doing nothing in the face of an implacable enemy’. Benn is their vision of a real leader because he keeps it simple and speaks like one of them, facts and caution be damned. Benn is one of us: welcome to our exclusive club.

The adulation poured over Benn has nothing to do with love or concern for the nation and its security: indeed, it is entirely cynical. The media need a viable replacement for Corbyn if they succeed in bringing him down and what better preparation than to build someone up as Churchillian, someone who can return the Labour Party to ‘grown-up’ politics and put the naive children like Corbyn back in their playpen where they can’t do any damage? In other words, to ensure that the fake duopoly that ensures the rich remain in control whoever wins the election is restored.

Supporters of the airstrikes on Syria are deeply ignorant – wilfully or otherwise – of the facts on the ground. They may or may not be aware of the vast geopolitical/commercial interests in the region, interests that will be opened to plunder with Assad out and a Washington-friendly administration installed. Lack of awareness may be forgivable for the average person on the street, but it most certainly is not for those tasked with making such momentous decisions or reporting on them, officials and watchdogs entrusted by the public to ensure that decisions made in their name are done so with honest, objective and exhaustive consideration of all the information available. With Syria, this has demonstrably not occurred, with politicians and the bulk of the media keen instead to focus on the tub-thumping, substance-free oratory of a warmonger.

The politicians and journalists who sold this war have the blood of innocents on their hands, as they did with Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and dozens of other ‘interventions’ throughout history. They remain unrepentant and serve in effect as shills for the deeply corrupt arms industry: armed and dangerous.

[Note: For more on Benn’s speech, read the latest Media Lens analysis].

Written by Simon Wood

Twitter: @simonwood11

FVEY vs Kim Dotcom

Here is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth: The Five Eyes are after Kim Dotcom and the litigation against him is effectively a circus performance for media and the public because in private, the system has already been meting out his extra-judicial punishment for years.

The corporate, law enforcement and military infrastructure in play against him has virtually unlimited resources, little to no accountability, twisted, vengeful tactics and a very long memory.

With his extradition hearing presently unfolding in an Auckland Court, it is a critical moment for Kim Dotcom, his co-defendants and their families. But the mechanics of the lawsuit and extradition process are just a drop in the bucket of what has been inflicted upon them.

The real story isn’t about a prosecution at all. It is about illegal surveillance, slashed tyres, dead pets, electoral sabotage, infiltration, suspicious car accidents and a drive-by shooting.

Gone Rogue

For all intents and purposes, whether it’s because they’ve gone rogue or are off the leash or whether it is just unofficial deep state policy; New Zealand intelligence agencies have been acting “arguably at the behest of a foreign poweraccording to Bryce Edwards. Including against their own countrymen.

That used to be called treason. Now it is called international co-operation and is self-justified by a secret treaty that was hidden from the public for 60 years: known only as the UK/USA Agreement. According to this link detailing the complex history of the agreement, which instituted and eventually encompassed the Five Eyes, the full text only became available in 2010 – some 64 years after its genesis.

The very existence of the respective intelligence agencies remained secret for years and was only ever (eventually) confirmed due to public inquiries and investigative journalism.

In more recent years, the UK/USA Agreement  was further enhanced by a string of post-9/11 “War on Terrorcounter-terrorism and ‘intelligence sharing agreements’.

New Zealand

In the light of Edward Snowden’s revelations of secret NSA facilities in New Zealand, it is common knowledge that the country has effectively become a client state of the USA. A political and economic Mini-Me replete with fracking and GMO‘s. Run by a banker – an ex Member of the United States Federal Reserve who was also Minister in charge of the intelligence agency caught illegally spying on its own citizens – the GCSB.

As with the rest of the Five Eyes, New Zealand is a country where under-regulated private investigation and security interests work hand-in-hand alongside the state intelligence agencies. For those agencies, increasing the pool of targets has a monetary gain attached to it, in these days of state surveillance turning a profit.

Stalking Kiwis on the basis of political belief or association is a commercial enterprise. A well-funded and well-armed industry.

The East Stasi tactics of the past, as memorialised by a museum in Berlin, Germany, are a short-list of what is in play against dissidents in the Five Eyes countries.

Each time spy agencies are caught out red-handed, they pass a law to retrospectively legalise their illegal activities, then continue them unabated.

We have police filing thousands of warrantless data requests to companies which then hand over the private data of citizens without true legal compulsion. Intelligence agencies openly filming Kiwis and their families, inside their own homes, Orwell-style.

This is the environment in which the litigation against Kim Dotcom and co is unfolding.

Capitalism and The Great Lie of Meritocracy

The children of capitalism are taught that anyone can become a millionaire. If you are clever, apply yourself and take risks, you could one day make the rich list.

But this is extremely deceptive and misleading because the millionaires club is full of bullies with a pedigree and/or government connections. Once a person reaches a certain level of business success, raising their head above the parapet, gaining a profile, the powers that be hand-select who will be allowed to take the next step up, or who will have the full weight of the state thrown at them and be ruined.

Billionaires don’t become billionaires under their own steam. They are pre-selected, accepted or rejected by the system. Millionaires who don’t directly serve capital interests, or who disrupt them, are not allowed to remain millionaires, or become billionaires.

Thus, old money corrals and controls new money. If you don’t play the game, you will never be passed the ball. You will instead be red-carded and/or blacklisted.

This kind of economic bullying is used against entire countries in the form of “economic sanctions“. When used against individuals, it takes the form of character assassination, malicious commercial interference and/or persecution by Financial Crimes Agencies operating under the “Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009” legislation, as have been investigating Kim Dotcom.

The same police investigation team was used to investigate the Urewera activists in the Operation 8 “terrorism” debacle. The case against Dotcom has not only been fraught with illegal spying but with other anomalies and examples of puzzling ineptitude on the part of the Crown.

This year, a lead Inspector in the investigations, Grant Wormald, was found not guilty of perjury.

Fueling Dissent

The tactics of oppression being utilised – which are literally a Global War on Terror counterinsurgency strategy that can be and has been academically studied – actually fuels dissent. The persecuted only grow more determined and the protests grow bigger and more frequent with every injustice inflicted.

In New Zealand and Europe, this is most visibly seen with the mass movements against the TPPA and against the TTIP respectively. In America, it has been most pronounced in the mass civil unrest and police curfews of Ferguson and Baltimore.

The groans of public pain and insistence have become so loud that occasionally people have seized back the media narratives as, in alternately blacking out and distorting information related to the public interest, major media outlets have stretched their credibility to breaking point.

In New Zealand the movements have come in waves, each bigger than the last. The intensive state targeting of political dissidents, while forever altering individual lives, has failed in stemming the tide of anti-government sentiment and public derision for John Key’s government is now widespread, even amongst its own traditional support base.

Media Duplicity

Thanks to the duplicity and maliciousness of corporate media towards the entire political left, in particular, the Mana Party and the Internet Party, I was the only journalist granted a video interview with Hone Harawira at the Mana Party Annual General Meeting where the alliance with Dotcom’s Internet Party was announced.

Our media team had made a name for ourselves producing unedited, unmanipulated, raw, live footage. In doing so, we provided people with what they couldn’t get out of mainstream media: unadulterated truth. Those we interviewed appreciated the fact that they wouldn’t be misquoted, spliced, edited or misrepresented.

A Mandela confidante and indigenous leader, Harawira quoted Malcolm X straight into my camera.

“‘By Any Means Necessary’ is a book written by Malcolm X and I’ve always liked that phrase; that when you struggle, you don’t struggle politely. You don’t ask politely, for something that is yours by right. You go and say, ‘this is my right. I would like it back. If you’re not prepared to give it back, I’ll fucking take it off you. Set aside the protocols of a civilised society. Chase that which is yours. Stand up for your rights.”

The following day, I was the only journalist granted a video interview with Kim Dotcom at his Mansion for the Internet Party #SwimWithKim event.

I asked him what was the one thing that he would love to be asked by the mainstream media, that he had not been asked to date. He answered:

“I would want to be asked how we are going to select our candidates. How we are going to develop our policies. How are we a truly democratic party compared to all the other operators that basically just tell their members what they are doing instead of asking them and involving them in the whole process. I think the media has not asked the right questions around that. Today is the best example.. we are sitting here listening to you because we want to make this a truly democratic process.”

Media ignored the actual content of Kim’s speech at the event, where he referenced the technological savvy the Internet Party employed; from being the first political party to allow sign-ups via mobile app, to their crowd-sourced Loomio policy platform and their internet-generation candidates.

Where the paid media flailed at their lost access and printed conjecture-laden hit pieces, unpaid independent media and citizen journalists discussed the real issues. We created an elaborate mosaic of pics, vids and commentary to memorialise the events.

As I reported previously, corporate media were far comfier with fireworks and super-yachts. Where tabloid angles didn’t exist, they were manufactured.

I took this picture of Kim Dotcom, Chris Yong and Miriam Pierard for Occupy NZ, at the Internet Party #PartyParty event on Auckland’s famous K’Road. A picture that was then misappropriated by Rachel Glucina and published unaccredited in a poorly-executed smear of Pierard in the New Zealand Herald.

I was the only journalist to get a video interview (with then Internet Party Leader Laila Harre) at the tumultuous press conference that immediately followed the ‘Moment of Truth‘ event. A press conference where the New Zealand media refused to ask Glenn Greenwald about the content of the revelations or his Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, completely ignoring the Snowden revelations about NSA bases on New Zealand soil and XKeyscore being used against New Zealanders, instead obsessively honing in on attacking Kim Dotcom.

Much has been written about the media’s malicious vendettas – at length by Nicky Hager in Dirty Politics, and in shorter form by Giovanni Tiso and Mandy Hager.

The issues are complex, unresolved and involve a large cast of characters – an insidious web of political interference in media.

Extra-judicial Punishment

To say that I am uniquely placed to comment on the topic of extra-judicial punishment would be an understatement. A barrage of it was imposed upon me ostensibly for my post FBI-raid interest in, coverage of and satellite involvement in the Dotcom saga and it is a part of why I am now effectively exiled in Berlin.

The list of economic, psychological and physical assaults on me is a long one and similar to some of what has been endured by the central figures in the Dotcom saga.

In my interview with Hone the shakiness in my voice is very apparent. The quality of my voice is a cross between intense anxiety and a dogged determination to steel myself and continue forward stoically.

What isn’t so visible are the reasons why I was proverbially crapping myself: I was wholly aware of the historical importance of the footage I was capturing and aware that I and others would continue to pay a high personal price for doing so.

As a result of my journalism, my house had been repeatedly broken into, my car tyres had been slashed, my family’s personal details and photographs of my home and vehicle published on the internet along with false accusations of me being a police officer. (Had I been a police officer the material would have been removed immediately; because I am not, and am in fact a target, the Police refused to get it removed and the completely false claims remained online for years).

I was harrassed at home, at events, by email, by phone and on Facebook. I had been followed on foot, tailed by vehicles, stalked and repeatedly photographed by strangers. My mail had been tampered with and my telecommunications intercepted.

When complaints to Police went nowhere, I was blatantly told to my face by an officer at our local police station that “as long as you are an activist these things will happen to you.”

As if that wasn’t creepy enough – things were about to get even more crazy in the lead-up to the 2014 general election and beyond. Here’s a partial timeline.

April 12 & 13, 2014: Hone Harawira spurns mainstream media and quotes Malcolm X to my camera, Kim speaks with me.

April 26, 2014: While holidaying in a remote location with my children, the oil cap was removed from our vehicle overnight by persons unknown, resulting in oil spilling all over the engine, catching fire and burning, stranding us.

May 11, 2014: The children and I are returning from Northland when we are boxed in by multiple unknown vehicles and “dazzlers” are used to attempt to cause us to cross the center-line/drive off the cliff in a blind spot of a cellular deadzone in Dome Valley, north of Auckland. It is Mother’s Day.

May 12, 2014: I call journalist Andrea Vance and report the attempt on my life. The Department of Immigration, meanwhile, is busy issuing deportation notices to Dotcom’s children’s nannies.

May 17, 2014: Kim and Mona Dotcom announce their separation.

June 25, 2014: Hone Harawira’s electorate office is the site of a drive-by shooting. The media takes nearly a week to report on it. Although Harawira is a sitting Member of Parliament at the time, very little is said about it in the mainstream media.

August, 2014: Hone Harawira’s car is driven off a cliff in a cellular deadzone in Northland. Details are sparse, other than that he is no longer present at the scene when police arrive. Given their past conduct towards him, and that he likely would have had no cellphone communications at the location, that is hardly surprising.

14 September 2014: In the week leading up to the Kim Dotcom/Glenn Greenwald/Julian Assange/Edward Snowden ‘Moment of Truth’ event, the constant intrusion of physical surveillance on me especially while I was circulating the event media resources got so intensive that I took refuge at a friend’s house and somehow kept it together enough to record this live radio segment a day ahead of the event.

20 September, 2014: in the wake of a media snow-job on Snowden’s revelations, coupled with low-voter turnout, the ruling government win re-election. The persecution of Kim Dotcom is to continue relentlessly.

22 September, 2014: Having received several death threats and relentless piggy-backing of my communications, I file numerous and ultimately largely fruitless official information act requests in an attempt to discover who is behind the threats.

Valentines Day, 2015: One of Kim Dotcom’s pet swans is killed.

kd1

[1/1/2016:  CORRECTION / UPDATE]  Kim says it is safe to say the swan was not shot dead as initially reported. He says:

kdcreply

 

The Glimmer Of Hope

…is that Dotcom wins at the Supreme Court resoundingly enough for his persecutors to have to leave him alone and/or pay costs. It seems this largely depends on the degree to which the Courts value the sovereignty of New Zealand and remain free of corruption. Whether Court orders that go against their interests hold weight with and would be enforced or respected by the partially-privatised military industrial complex is another thing entirely. They may continue to do what they damn well please regardless of whether Kim Dotcom is ultimately found ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’.

If someone(s) can continue to make money off stalking and surveilling Dotcom and anyone else within two degrees of separation of him then that is highly likely to continue regardless of any court outcome. Unless the cumulative geopolitic, financial and socio-political cost of them doing so becomes too great however, and some form of amnesty if not asylum is granted him.

The Perceived Threat of Innovation and Technology

Certainly, few in New Zealand can outproduce Kim in the tech space, both in innovation and organisational ability. FVEY despise him because he is viewed as competition by the corporations and because he is a wildcard. Unpredictable, experienced and resourceful.

The Internet Revolution doesn’t fit their risk management strategy, after all.

Unfortunately, the Kiwi public are the losers in the transaction, if we abide by domestic and international intelligence agencies who protect the interests of multi-national corporations, despite the fact that they threaten public access to future technologies and deprive the growth of the local tech sector.

Like the intelligence agencies, the corporations have a total disregard for democracy. Political sway, influence and representation is merely an entry on the general ledger to them – business transactions.

Politics after all is just one column of the structure of power and control outlined in the counterinsurgency theory – the others columns being economics and security.

If the political column falls, the Empire still reigns.

It is only when the base of the structure – information – turns against them, that all three columns are affected.

The Information Activists and the War on Journalism

Kim Dotcom said long ago that he believed a donation he had made to Wikileaks triggered the investigations into him.

Julian Assange recently revealed that it is the same Eastern District Court of Alexandria, Virginia Prosecuting Attorney involved in the investigations into Assange, Edward Snowden and Kim Dotcom.

According to this infographic, the grand jury investigation into Wikileaks and its supporters has now extended over five years.

Given this wider context, it is clear that the vendetta against Kim Dotcom is about much, much more than copyright.

This Is The Story You Will Not Hear In Court

The law that everyone attends Kim’s High Court hearing to debate at length is just one of the avenues that his oppressors use to hurt him.

Whether he wins or loses the case may be irrelevant to their ultimate intent. The Court action was a method to deprive him of resources, to attempt to malign his character, divide his family and friends. But it is just one piece of the counterintelligence pie.

It is pretty clear that this case isn’t about what it appears to be on the surface. Instead, it is and has been for years, FVEY vs Kim Dotcom.

It didn’t start in a Court room, isn’t always played out in one and regardless of the outcome, state interests and spies have long since judged Kim guilty and meted out their diverse and horrific punishments accordingly.

With no small amount of collateral damage and blowback.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

[Update/January 2016] This is what Kim Dotcom had to say about this article:

[Update/January 2018] This post is now available at my Steemit blog.

In Plain Sight: Why WikiLeaks Is Clearly Not In Bed With Russia

With Glenn Greenwald debating General Keith Alexander live on stage as I write this, it is rather convenient timing for this insipid hit piece to emerge claiming definitively that Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and anyone who supports them are “in bed with the Russians”.

wlr2

John Schindler’s tweet is just plain irresponsible and dangerous as well as untrue. The smear is an old one; the tactic timeless; the source/author dubious but several angles are worth addressing that I don’t think have been properly before.

The Primary Lie: That WikiLeaks Censors Itself For Russia

The biggest lie is the easiest to disprove. Heard so many times it’s impossible to count – that WikiLeaks doesn’t print documents on/about Russia or that aren’t in its interests… that they somehow exclude Russia from their databases or only print approved messages.

Using the most basic investigative method available, let’s see whether this is true: by going to WikiLeaks official website and typing “Russia” into the search bar.

wlr

In case you can’t see that writing at the bottom – there are 647,208 results for ‘Russia’ in WikiLeaks’ database.

Let’s look a little closer.

wl1

So. Just in the first few results alone we have:

  • an article exposing Russian investigations into Tor users – from the Edward Snowden files no less
  • an article describing a Russian government decision as ‘foolish’
  • a report on Russian attempts to regulate the blogsophere/new media
  • a report on Russian censorship of a BBC interview

I think it’s safe to say we won’t have to analyse the entire 647k docs to find more that are critical of Kremlin political views and positions.

WikiLeaks’ Solidarity With Russian Activists

The Russian activists and performance artists known as “Pussy Riot” aren’t just friendly to the cause – they even sit on the advisory board of the Courage Foundation.

None of the detractors explain why, if WikiLeaks is so far “in bed with the Russians”, they work with Russian dissidents who have been targeted for arrest and prosecuted by the State.

Stuck In The Airport For 39 Days

In the pro-NSA anti-Snowden “counterintelligence” fantasy-land of John Schindler, WikiLeaks sent one lone woman to take Snowden ‘from Hawaii to Moscow’ to “defect” only so that he could be… stuck in a Moscow airport with no valid passport for 39 days, desperately applying for asylum, to a whole host of countries?

No, if he was defecting, he’d be welcomed with a parade. Not stuck in civil and physical limbo for over a month. He would have had entire teams of security guys flying him around in military or private jets – instead his entire transit was on civilian airliners.

What makes far more sense is that Edward and Sarah Harrison’s lack of co-operation is what effected their circumstance, leaving them stranded in the airport.

Even after asylum was granted, Sarah stayed on with Edward for several months… this too, indicates that WikiLeaks provided aftercare for him; he was not simply abandoned or left to fend for himself.

A Long Look In The Mirror

Central to the claims that Snowden is colluding with the Russians is the suggestion that intelligence agencies are just so badass that non-cooperation with them is not an option.

This may be true for those without public visibility and a high profile, but as Sarah herself pointed out, Russian authorities were aware that she had access to a platform with millions of followers able to rally in defense of their rights at a moment’s notice.

I can’t help but wonder – who is Julian Assange supposed to hire for bodyguards? Americans? Why is the mere presence of people of Russian origin in one’s life basis for a conspiracy theory?

But any smear will do and smear they have. If the constant boasting of Schindler’s “counterintelligence” / “counterterrorism” background isn’t enough of a clue, a quick look through the author’s past posts exposes his agenda.

He entreats;

Ever since the Snowden saga broke a few weeks back I’ve defended the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) against the most scurrilous charges in the media..

Like clockwork, derisive, salacious and defamatory posts date from June 2013 to the present day, making wild accusations. That Snowden is working with the Chinese – that he is working with the Russians – that WikiLeaks is working for the Russians – with the grave nature of what Snowden actually leaked ignored in an attempt to deflect blame away from the elites in control of the intelligence agencies.

One of the author’s smear pieces claims Snowden did no damage and is irrelevant – the next that he did vast, lasting and unforgivable damage. Snowden’s position and access is minimised to him being “just an IT guy”; the next minute it is complained that he took over a million documents. The story is ever-changing and in aggregate, discredits itself.

Snowden’s True Significance

Edward Snowden did many remarkable things – countless things. That he managed to extricate so much information, get it out to the public, and make his “escape” is in itself incredible.

But his greatest achievements are the least talked about.

Snowden is solution-focused. Rather than merely inform the public, he presents them with an array of tools and resources with which to protect themselves.

It is this engagement that is next level. Not just standing on a stage and giving a speech but taking steps to implement actual change. Not merely educating his audience, but changing their practical behaviours, impacting their decision-making.

As much as his critics downplay him as “just an I.T. guy” Snowden’s words and actions are reminiscent of every individual role in a development team. He is the tester – testing the safety and suitability of open source products for public use. He is the analyst… mapping and understanding systems and making recommendations. He is the database administrator… the networker… the technical writer… the architect… the development manager… the delivery manager… the CTO.

Yet it is not these roles he is recognised for so much as his less tangible qualities. Truth-telling. Bravery. Valour, in its truest sense – ‘great courage in the face of extreme danger‘.

Snowden has brought back a time when celebrity meant more than vain idolatry. When statues were carved, or buildings were named, not for those of elite birthright, great wealth or superficial beauty but for those of daring, heroic deeds undertaken for a greater good.

False promises of corrupted political systems aside – when our children aspire to be more like Edward Snowden than Justin Bieber; or Jesselyn Radack than Britney Spears; there is hope and there will be change.

The World Grows Weary

While humans bicker and slander, steal, oppress, tax and incite, the Earth grows weary. There is ecological devastation wherever we look. Apocalyptic weather patterns, extinctions of multiple species and constant natural disasters.

Refugees are fleeing war-torn countries in their millions while financial systems inflict poverty upon billions.

Pretty soon there will be no amount of anti-Snowden op-eds sufficient to bedazzle us in the face of our reality: humankind is in big fucking trouble and it will take more than words to get us out of it.

Critical thought, research and dissemination of information are the foundations to change but we are now past the point where action is required. Our support for whistleblowers needs to be more material than effortlessly debunking the libel of the status quo’s talking heads. To that end, this article is going to be about more than just the critics.

WikiLeaks is doing a brilliant job of directly confronting the system by holding a mirror up to it. Now we need to show our solidarity and not just declare it. Let our actions combine in beautiful, complex ways.

Effecting change where the State refuses to do so, creating new systems that bypass it entirely.

For we should not aspire just to slowing the pace of human destruction, but to creating new pathways of preservation, new avenues of possibility…

…to literally birth a new world. The evidence of the unsuitability and unsustainability of the old one is all around us.

No longer do we need to debate it.

We need to create it.

Successes

There have been three recent geographically-disparate and diverse political actions that have produced immediate results.

Glenn Greenwald and First Look Media co-ordinated a brilliant fundraising effort to raise contributions for the legal defense of whistleblower Chelsea Manning, resulting in over $100,000 being donated within the first 48 hours.

Aspects of Manning’s case are precedent-setting and will have ramifications for future whistle-blowers therefore empowering her to pursue her rights to their full extent now may become even more consequential later.

Berliners responded to a treason investigation into two journalists from Netzpolitik by taking to the streets, and launching an online solidarity statement signed by local and international journalists, publishers, academics and various luminaries in support.

The investigation was dropped and the investigating prosecutor fired.

  • Transsexual Kiwi Prisoner Wins Transfer To Female Prison

A group of activists in New Zealand who began a hunger strike and various online initiatives in protest at a transsexual woman being incarcerated in a men’s prison has achieved a resounding victory.

Prisoner Jade Follett has now been transferred to a womens prison and is to receive an apology from the Department of Corrections. The Twitter account of protest group No Pride In Prisons that organised the actions, is calling for more than an apology.

In their press release celebrating success, the group states:

‘The fact that the policy places trans women almost always in men’s prisons by default shows how much needs to be changed…

That it took a hunger strike to get Corrections’ attention to this urgent issue indicates just how little regard they have for prisoners’ safety…

‘If it emerges that other trans prisoners have been treated in a similar manner, we will not hesitate to take action’

In Conclusion

The above is proof that diversity of tactics is more than a catch-phrase; ends can be achieved by a variety of means.

It is also proof that people power is winning battles.

These victories are won when actions are organised and carried out speedily, loudly and on hot-button issues, where the State has insufficient time to prepare countermeasures and is forced to opt for ‘damage control’ tactics that can ultimately count in the favour of protesters and effect change.

With all the problems of the present and uncertainties of the future it is WikiLeaks, independent media and whistleblowers informing us; open-source technological initiatives protecting us; and real people opening their hearts, raising their voices and taking action on the streets, that are the difference between certain human self-destruction and social evolution.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D

Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Journalists who write truth pay a high price to do so. If you respect and value this work, please consider supporting Suzie’s efforts via credit card or Bitcoin donation at this link. Thank you!

[Update/January 2018] This post is now available at my Steemit blog

Debunking The Dinosaurs: Dismantling Snowden’s Detractors

With the Sunday Times Snowden smear completely, utterly and thoroughly debunked, notably if not inadvertently by the journalist and editor themselves, it is time to move on to some of the logical fallacies and prevailing attitudes that continue to support the (albeit-dwindling) anti-Snowden sentiment lingering among certain political hangers-on.

While there were a number of humble apologies made in the Twittersphere and eventually, a “correction“, the most stubborn of establishment sycophants seem determined to press their case.

In particular, the below 15-point Twitter diatribe by columnist Michael Cohen was unmissable and he raised a number of easily dispellable falsehoods that less astute observers appear to have fallen victim to. Let’s take a closer look.

sb1

Given that the journalist himself openly stated that that’s precisely what they were doing. it is Cohen’s tweet that is absurd, rather than Greenwald’s theorum.

viness

sb2

But what about that Vine. The journalist says, direct quote:

We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British Government – Tom Harper, Sunday Times journalist

There we have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth.

sb3

Many national security reporters, analysts and correspondents have far closer, more incestuous and uncritical relationships with the security state that they are supposed to investigate. Public relations executives have invaded the management structure of major print publications and the public relations industry has grown while journalism as a whole has atrophied. State corruption of mainstream media dates back at least half a century.

What Michael Cohen is really accusing Glenn Greenwald of is loyalty to his source, national security whistle-blower Edward Snowden; an accusation which conversely espouses a disloyalty to the establishment which seeks to manipulate public discourse in favour of government policies – policies which include pervasive secrecy and the withholding of information in the public interest from the public arena.

Greenwald’s adversarial role is precisely what real journalism is about. His loyalty absolutely should be with his well-respected and internationally-renowned source, whose veracity and historic significance are long-since established, rather than with Democrat or Republican party lines trumpeted by those with a financial and political interest in the continuation of the status quo.

sb4Glenn Greenwald has been very open from the outset about the interrogation that went into vetting Snowden. Quoting from Greenwald’s interview with PBS’s Frontline:

Having been a lawyer before I was a journalist, and having been a litigator, and therefore having taken a lot of depositions, the purpose of which is to take somebody’s story and just break it down through hours of relentless questioning, where you just ask them similar questions but from different angles and different contexts to ask how reliable those claims are, because if somebody is lying, that process will usually ultimately reveal that, I decided to use those tactics, because I had to be 100 percent certain that I kicked the tires as hard as I could on his story.

The hotel room was relatively small. He sat on his bed. I sat on a chair, probably three feet away from him, maybe four or five feet, and I just looked at him, and I just asked him one question after the next. He didn’t go to the bathroom. He didn’t eat. He didn’t stop and have water. It was really a very rigorous interrogation. I think he later said that it was much more intense than debriefing sessions that he had at the CIA.

I wanted it to be that way by design, because I felt confident that if there was some mendacity or deceit or something scripted, that I would be able to discover it through that process. By the end of that five or six hours, I had zero doubt that he was completely real.

Greenwald went on to spend a further two weeks interviewing Snowden in Hong Kong, and countless hours since. This hardly seems like ‘publishing Snowden’s statements at face value’. Given the origin of the materials Snowden leaked, much of what he says isn’t even a matter of opinion, but a matter of provable fact.

To complain that Greenwald has subsequently become an advocate for Snowden is to ignore the rest of the political landscape and both paid and informal advocacy occurring on all sides. The President of the United States has a Press Secretary, who advocates for and articulates White House positions to the press. Corporations have lobbyists, who advocate for and articulate the positions of big business, to politicians. Politicians have public relation teams, who advocate for and advise them.

Until the launch of the Courage Foundation, whistle-blowers really had very little direct advocacy support. There was some measure of legal support, and limited if any direct governmental support. What is so offensive about journalists who advocate for the weak against the strong? I doubt it’s offensive at all, but rather the impact they are having is growing to be so huge that it is minimising the effectiveness of the disinformation campaigns run by their opponents.

No one, least of all Snowden himself, could have imagined the international sensation he would grow to become. All and sundry expected his fate to be much different. That the advocacy work undertaken on his behalf by his supporters has been achieving spectacular results seems to have provoked some professional jealousy from a political quarter who are used to controlling the media narratives themselves – a quarter that is being displaced by the rising groundswell of public opinion set against them.

sb5

The keystone of journalism is access. Access is forming and maintaining a close connection to a source or subject. Those who have access are fundamental to shaping the public narrative. For a mainstream political columnist to suggest this is an unusual arrangement is rather precious. Who does Michael Cohen think should be shaping the narrative? People who don’t have access or who have an alternate agenda? Like Snowden’s opponents? Or who have no moral investment, no stake in the outcome and no clue? Like these guys?

Cohen must know all about access. His timeline is full of Jeb Bush this, Hilary Clinton that. Campaign agendas are all about access. From fundraising to policy announcements to interviews. As a columnist for the Boston Globe, World Politics Review and the London Observer as well as an avid follower of mainstream political campaigns, surely Cohen understands full well the necessity, import and impact of access.

sb6

All media eats at Snowden’s table, regardless of whether they are pro-Snowden or anti-Snowden. The entire international media has been profiting off him for the last two years. They ALL have a financial stake in him, one way or the other. He has been the single largest recurring news story in memory, both for organisations and freelancers.

To that end, why should anyone for whom Snowden represents a meal ticket be trusted?

Beneficiaries can be divided into three groups:

* Those who take risks to support Snowden against the full weight of the state and get paid for it

* Those who take risks to support Snowden against the full weight of the state and don’t get paid for it

* Those who kick the shit out of Snowden and get paid for it, while getting kudos (if not additional funding) from the security state for doing so.

No points for guessing which group is the most heavily populated by the affluent, predominantly white cis male, dinosaurs of conventional media.

sb7

There is no greater irony than when those who would proclaim themselves the least inclined to put stock in conspiracy theories, begin inventing their own. At this point, Cohen launches headlong into supposition and innuendo.

sb8

Rather than playing Pin The Tail On Edward Snowden, Cohen could remove his blindfold with some simple research – reading Greenwald’s ‘No Place To Hide‘ would be a great start, as would watching Sarah Harrison and Julian Assange’s interviews about Snowden’s transition from Hong Kong to Russia.

In doing so he would realise that Snowden didn’t choose to be exiled in Russia, but was stranded there by the American government when it revoked his passport, presumably for exactly this reason – leaving him in Russia bereft of travel documentation created an easy opportunity to smear him as somehow being improperly affiliated with the Russians. And smear him they have, as Julian Assange explains clearly in this interview with Democracy Now. Julian’s answer is prefaced by a clip of Hillary Clinton leveling precisely the same accusation as Michael Cohen.

Hillary says:

Mr. Snowden took all this material, he fled to Hong Kong, he spent time with the Russians in their consulate, uh, and then he went to Moscow seeking the protection of Vladimir Putin — Hillary Clinton

Julian Assange responds:

This is sadly typical of Hillary Clinton… not even the National Security Agency accuses [Snowden] of working with the Russians. In fact, the NSA, formally in its investigation, has said that they don’t think he was working with the Russians, at least not before he left the agency. Hillary Clinton, however, tries to reshape the chronology in order to smear Edward Snowden with being a Russian spy. The actual chronology is that Edward Snowden went to Hong Kong, he then saw that the situation was very difficult, reached out to us for help, and we were intimately involved from that point on, so I know precisely myself and our staff know, what happened. We submitted 20 asylum applications on behalf of Edward Snowden, to a range of different countries… it was [Snowden’s] intent to go to Latin America… Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador was also looking favourable and Bolivia offered him asylum. En route to Latin America the U.S. State Department canceled his passport, leaving him marooned in Russia, unable to catch his next flight. Which had already been booked from the very beginning. His whole path had been booked while he was in Hong Kong.

Hillary says that he went to the Russian consulate in Hong Kong – I don’t know about that but I’m sure that, perhaps he was looking at all different kinds of asylum options and that would have made perfect sense for anyone to do that in such a severe situation.

Hillary Clinton was of course, Secretary of State from January 2009 until February 2013, with her tenure ending just a few short months before the State Department would cancel Snowden’s passport while he attempted to transit Russia.

And that is of course, the same State Department who won’t be launching an internal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

sb9

Cohen’s “how long is a piece of string” argument is best answered by a commenter on the thread:

sbcomment

No one can prove anything in the negative. Proof is supposed to require evidence and evidence can’t be non-existent or it wouldn’t be evidence at all. What questions like these are really intended to do is to obfuscate, distract and smear. They are completely unbecoming.

sb10

As with much of Cohen’s commentary, he fails to back up his accusations with references so this point has been particularly difficult to research. Many hours of reading South China Morning Post’s Snowden archive later, and the only ‘operational info’ I’ve been able to establish that Snowden discussed with them, was wholesale spying on Chinese university students and on the SMS messages of the general population. Unless he is referring to the mention of mass surveillance being undertaken at-cable, which is a worldwide phenomenon that has been reported consistently around the globe, in many regions..

Indeed, the SCMP revelations fit perfectly with the ongoing theme of Snowden’s leaks; where the public of various countries (most of the countries in the world in fact) are spied on in by the U.S. in a wholesale fashion, without warrants or individual suspicion to justify the targeting.

Snowden’s releases have not been about military versus military – but military versus civilians: mass surveillance. To expect him to exclude Chinese civilians, or Russian civilians, or any other, just because the names of those countries are incendiary to the U.S. political mainstream, would be to expect him to discriminate on the basis of nationality, the way his government does. Yet Snowden has very much proved to be a global citizen, and clearly does not adhere to the inherently unjust principle of ‘American exceptionalism’. This does not detract from, but enhances his efficacy in the eyes of the global public.

sb11

Funnily enough, even the South China Morning Post has repeated this mainstream echo-chamber claim that Snowden somehow reversed his position about whether he had read the documents he leaked, during his interview with Last Week Tonight. Business Insider also claimed that host John Oliver had caught Snowden in a ‘lie’. Yet that itself is a lie, because the wording used by the echo chamber was never Snowden’s wording at all and the heavy editing in the segment makes it clear that whatever his real answers were, they lay on the cutting room floor.

Transcription from the relevant section of the John Oliver interview:

JO: How many of those documents have you actually read?

ES: I’ve evaluated all of the documents that are in the archive.

JO: You’ve read every single one?

ES: <edit>Well, I do understand what I turned over.

JO: <edit>There’s a difference between understanding what’s in the documents and reading what’s in the documents.

ES: <edit>I recognise the concern

JO: Right cos when you’re handing over thousands of NSA documents the last thing you want to do is read them.

ES: I think it’s fair to be concerned about, did this person do enough, were they careful enough, were they thorough

JO: Especially when you’re handling material like we know you were handling

ES: Well, in my defense, I’m not handling anything anymore, that’s been passed to the journalists and they’re using extraordinary security measures to make sure this is reported in the most responsible way.

Oliver uses the word ‘read’. Snowden immediately qualifies it with the word ‘evaluated’. The same word he had used all along. Yet in this ridiculous Business Insider article the onus is again flipped back to the word ‘read’ and a hyper-inflammatory tweet is included, to raise the drama a notch:

RFT

The outright accusation that Snowden is lying is way beyond the pale. It is clear that by his continuing use of the word ‘evaluate‘ that Snowden assessed (whether by computer script or manually) the content of the documents, likely considering their provenance, affiliation, meta-data or otherwise and then entrusted the documents to the journalists, instructing them to only publish what is in the public interest.

To try to split hairs by suggesting he should have read every single word on every single page prior to leaking it is nonsense and in the case of the “many tens of thousands of documents” Greenwald describes having received, outright impossible.

Were Last Week Tonight‘s editing not so appallingly obvious and heavy-handed, the misconception that Snowden lied may not be so easily clung to by his detractors and the content of his full answers could be known. However, the short, snappy style of the interviewer (which I wholly accept is for comedic effect) was clearly carried over to the editing of Snowden’s responses, to his detriment.

sb12

Having spent upwards of 15 hours researching this article and hundreds upon hundreds more studying and writing about Snowden’s releases “on my own”, I’m pretty sure I qualify. As with many others who are intrigued by the revelations, I have turned every possibility in my mind over, and over again, while reading, watching and analysing everything that is available in the public sphere.

Ultimately, what convinces me of Snowden’s authenticity is not his supporters but his detractors. They run the exact same establishment ‘deny, degrade, distract, disrupt, destroy‘ playbook against him that his revelations showed are being used against every other significant activist or political opponent in the Five Eyes. This in itself demonstrates how much of a threat he is perceived to be. The voraciousness with which he is attacked by sock puppet accounts and the uniformity of the disparagements they make about him is telling, as is the cast of characters trotted out to discredit him. Cheney. Clinton. Hayden. Current and past directors of this, that and the other agency including proponents of the Iraq war; the disinformation dinosaurs. As usual, the issues are interlinked. The arbiters of American exceptionalism and international economic exploitation detest Snowden and everything he stands for, which, when assessing his credibility, weighs heavily in his favour.

sb12b

Even if they were trying to protect Snowden and/or their images – how is this any different to the journalists who try to shield the U.S. government from scrutiny, and thus protect their own images? I’ll tell you how – because they are protecting a vulnerable whistle-blower in an unprecedented situation, rather than protecting the behemoth, colossal machine of war, economic bullying and austerity, racism, colonisation and Empire of the U.S. Government and the world is a better place for it. Those who get paid defending empire are hypocrites when finger-pointing at those who get paid to confront it.

sb13

There is a vast difference. Journalists who protect vulnerable sources, at great personal risk, cannot be equated with journalists who seek to protect their own government and in doing so uphold cushy, privileged lifestyles and self-justify their positions.

sb14

No. What is an incredible insult to a journalist is having a pro-government shill boast that they would like to write a defense of the journalist being droned to death. Or to have a journalist write an article about all the ways in which their pro-government military sources would like to murder a whistle-blower.

If being called a stenographer hurts your feelings, perhaps it is time to walk a mile in a whistleblower’s shoes before casting judgement.


Finally, one more fallacious argument amplified by Cohen:

Screenshot from 2015-06-26 02:44:11

Anonymity is not the problem. The motivation for acquiring the anonymity and the institution benefiting from it is the problem, alongside the willingness of the media outlet to provide it when it is aware that the source has a personal interest in propagating opinions which are of direct benefit to their employers; sources for which there is a clear financial and social gain.

Which is diametrically opposed to the motivations of Edward Snowden, as evidenced in the very same John Oliver interview.

JO: So, did you do this to solve a problem?
ES: I did this to give the American people the chance to decide for themselves, the type of Government that they want to have. That is a conversation that I think the American people deserve to decide.
JO: There is no doubt it is a critical conversation…

…and it’s one that without Edward Snowden, we may never have had.

Written by Suzie Dawson

Twitter: @Suzi3D
Official Website: suzi3d.com

International Spin Bin