Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #11535 on: Oct 13th, 2014, 09:37am »
These Are The Emails Snowden Sent to First Introduce His Epic NSA Leaks
By Andy Greenberg
Six months before the world knew the National Security Agency’s most prolific leaker of secrets as Edward Joseph Snowden, Laura Poitras knew him as Citizenfour. For months, Poitras communicated with an unknown “senior government employee” under that pseudonym via encrypted emails, as he prepared her to receive an unprecedented leak of classified documents that he would ask her to expose to the world.
Poitras’ remarkable new film, Citizenfour, premiered Friday at the New York Film Festival, and opens in theaters on October 24. It is a haunting, historic document of Snowden’s motivations and personality, the sort of revelatory filmmaking that could only have been achieved by a director who was herself at the center of the story; Poitras lived out the NSA drama almost as completely as Snowden himself.
When Citizenfour begins, the camera is speeding through a traffic tunnel in Hong Kong, as dark as the secure channel that connects Poitras and her anonymous source. The film’s first words come from that source’s emails, read by Poitras. And throughout the film, she reads aloud more of Snowden’s encrypted correspondence, which serves as much of the story’s narration.
Those emails stand apart from Poitras’ film as a preamble to Snowden’s epic disclosures. They are a piece of history in themselves. With Poitras’ permission, WIRED reveals excerpts from them below. The formatting may not be the same as the originals, as the messages were transcribed from Citizenfour‘s audio. They are presented in the order they appear in the film, which may not be chronological.
At this stage I can offer nothing more than my word. I am a senior government employee in the intelligence community. I hope you understand that contacting you is extremely high risk and you are willing to agree to the following precautions before I share more. This will not be a waste of your time.
The following sounds complex, but should only take minutes to complete for someone technical. I would like to confirm out of email that the keys we exchanged were not intercepted and replaced by your surveillants. Please confirm that no one has ever had a copy of your private key and that it uses a strong passphrase. Assume your adversary is capable of one trillion guesses per second. If the device you store the private key and enter your passphrase on has been hacked, it is trivial to decrypt our communications.
Understand that the above steps are not bullet proof, and are intended only to give us breathing room. In the end if you publish the source material, I will likely be immediately implicated. This must not deter you from releasing the information I will provide.
The mysterious workings of a Pentagon office that oversees clandestine operations are unraveling in federal court, where a criminal investigation has exposed a secret weapons program entwined with allegations of a sweetheart contract, fake badges and trails of destroyed evidence.
Capping an investigation that began almost two years ago, separate trials are scheduled this month in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., for a civilian Navy intelligence official and a hot-rod auto mechanic from California who prosecutors allege conspired to manufacture an untraceable batch of automatic-rifle silencers.
The exact purpose of the silencers remains hazy, but court filings and pretrial testimony suggest they were part of a top-secret operation that would help arm guerrillas or commandos overseas.
The silencers — 349 of them — were ordered by a little-known Navy intelligence office at the Pentagon known as the Directorate for Plans, Policy, Oversight and Integration, according to charging documents. The directorate is composed of fewer than 10 civilian employees, most of them retired military personnel.
Court records filed by prosecutors allege that the Navy paid the auto mechanic — the brother of the directorate’s boss — $1.6 million for the silencers, even though they cost only $10,000 in parts and labor to manufacture.
Much of the documentation in the investigation has been filed under seal on national security grounds. According to the records that have been made public, the crux of the case is whether the silencers were properly purchased for an authorized secret mission or were assembled for a rogue operation. Advertisement
A former senior Navy official familiar with the investigation described directorate officials as “wanna-be spook-cops.” Speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is still unfolding, he added, “I know it sounds goofy, but it was like they were building their own mini law enforcement and intelligence agency.”
The directorate is a civilian-run office that is supposed to provide back-office support and oversight for Navy and Marine intelligence operations. But some of its activities have fallen into a gray area, crossing into more active involvement with secret missions, according to a former senior Defense Department official familiar with the directorate’s work.
“By design, that office is supposed to do a little more than policy and programmatic oversight,” the former defense official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much of the directorate’s work is classified. “But something happened and it lost its way. It became a case of the fox guarding the henhouse, and I suspect deeper issues might be in play.”
Navy officials declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation and prosecution. “The Department of the Navy has fully cooperated with law enforcement since this investigation was initiated . . . and will continue to fully cooperate,” Cmdr. Ryan Perry, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon, said.
Prosecutors have said that the silencers were acquired for a “special access program,” or a highly secretive military operation. A contracting document filed with the court stated that the silencers were needed to support a program code-named UPSTAIRS but gave no other details. Advertisement
According to court papers filed by prosecutors, one directorate official told an unnamed witness that the silencers were intended for Navy SEAL Team 6, the elite commando unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
But representatives for SEAL Team 6 told federal investigators they had not ordered the silencers and did not know anything about them, according to the court papers.
Sorting out the truth has been made more difficult by the elimination of potential evidence.
At one pretrial hearing, a defense attorney for the auto mechanic, Mark S. Landersman of Temecula, Calif., accused the Navy of impeding the investigation by destroying a secret stash of automatic rifles that the silencers were designed to fit. Prosecutors immediately objected to further discussion in open court, calling it a classified matter.
The destroyed weapons were part of a stockpile of about 1,600 AK-47-style rifles that the U.S. military had collected overseas and stored in a warehouse in Pennsylvania, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
If the foreign-made weapons were equipped with unmarked silencers, the source said, the weapons could have been used by U.S. or foreign forces for special operations in other countries without any risk that they would be traced back to the United States.
In a separate move that eliminated more potential evidence, Navy security officers incinerated documents last year that they had seized from the directorate’s offices in the Pentagon, according to court records and testimony.
Two Navy security officers have testified that they stuffed the papers into burn bags and destroyed them on Nov. 15, 2013 — three days after The Washington Post published a front-page article about the unfolding federal investigation into the silencers.
One of the security officers said it did not occur to her that the documents should be preserved, despite Navy policies prohibiting the destruction of records that could be relevant to lawsuits or criminal investigations.
The officer, Francine Cox, acknowledged that she was aware the Navy directorate was under scrutiny and that she had read the Post article shortly before burning the documents. But she said she did not think the papers were important.
“I didn’t think the information we had was pertinent,” Cox testified at a pretrial hearing in July. “If you don’t tell me to hold onto something, I don’t have to hold onto it.”
Lee M. Hall, a Navy intelligence official who is charged with illegally purchasing the silencers and whose trial is scheduled to begin this month, argued that the burned material was crucial to his defense. He said the documents included handwritten notes and other papers showing the undersecretary of the Navy at the time had authorized the project.
“My notes would show I acted in good faith,” Hall testified at the July hearing.
« Last Edit: Oct 13th, 2014, 12:07pm by Sysconfig »
Most assume that Black Death quickly ravaged the fourteenth century western world was a bacterial bubonic plague epidemic caused by flea bites and spread by rats. But the Black Death killed a high proportion of Scandinavians -- and where they lived was too cold for fleas to survive. A modern work gives us a clue into this mystery. The “Biology of Plagues” published by Cambridge University Press analyzed 2,500 years of plagues and concluded that the Black Death was caused by a viral hemorrhagic fever pandemic similar to Ebola. If this view is correct, the future medical and economic impacts from Ebola have been vastly underestimated. Authors Dr. Susan Scott, a demographer, and Dr. Christopher J. Duncan, a zoologist at the University of Liverpool point out that the Bible used the term “plague” to describe a catchall of afflictions resulting from divine displeasure. The researchers analyzed the “Four Ages of Plague”, including “Plague of Athens” from 430 to 427 BC that killed about a third of the city; “Plague of Justinian” from 542 to 592 AD and killed 10,000 a day in Constantinople; Black Plague from 1337 to 1340 AD that killed a third of Eurasia; and a series of plague outbreaks in Europe from 1350 to 1670 that killed about half a number of city populations. Historical records of the Athenian plague paint a very similar picture to the Black Death and the accelerating Ebola pandemic. Like Ebola, the plague is believed to have originated in Africa and then travelled northward. Athenians suffered a sudden onset of severe headache, inflamed eyes, and bleeding in their mouths and throats. The next symptoms were coughing, sneezing, and chest pains; followed by stomach cramps, intensive vomiting and diarrhea, and unquenchable thirst. With flushed skin burning from fever and open sores, 50 to 90 percent died in the second week of symptoms. Desperate to cool off, contagious victims may have transmitted the disease to other humans by jumping into public cisterns and watering troughs. Th bubonic plague was first recorded in China about 37 AD and still is a worldwide public health problem, with thousands of cases each year. The most recent outbreak occured in the Chinese city of Yumen on July 22, 2014, where a man died after handling a dead marmot. The Chinese military responded by quarantining 30,000 local residents. The first symptom of bubonic plague is a mild and non-alarming fever. But bubonic swellings follow within a few days. Sufferers either go into a deep coma or become violently delirious, paranoid and suicidal. Most victims die within a few days. Recovery is almost certain for those whose “buboes”, sores lymph glands, fill with pus. But before antibiotics, the appearance of black blisters was considered a sign of imminent death. Bubonic plague is very seldom spread from person to person. The disease needs a rodent population, usually rats, to carry fleas to spread the infection to humans. Once the local rats die out from the infection, human infections tend to tail off. For the 2011 book, “The Black Death in London”, author Barney Sloane, an archaeologist who worked on medieval sites for the Museum of London and is now attached to English Heritage, documents the 1348-49 epidemic that killed two thirds of the city could not have been bubonic plague, because “The evidence just isn't there to support it.” “We ought to be finding great heaps of dead rats in all the waterfront sites but they just aren't there. And all the evidence I've looked at suggests the plague spread too fast for the traditional explanation of transmission by rats and fleas. It has to be person to person – there just isn't time for the rats to be spreading it.” The World Bank just estimated the cost of Ebola in West Africa is $32 billion over the next two years as it spreads from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to its larger neighbors. This estimate assumes that the Ebola hemorrhagic fever can only be transmitted by direct human to human contact with bodily fluids. But The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) in June 30, 1995 published guidelines (44(25);475-479) for managing patients with suspected viral hemorrhagic fever, including “Lassa, Marburg, Ebola, and Congo-Crimean hemorrhagic fever” to prevent hospital acquired “nosocomial transmission”. According to the CDC: “Epidemiologic studies of VHF in humans indicate that infection is not readily transmitted from person to person by the airborne route.” Although airborne transmission “is considered a possibility only in rare instances from persons with advanced stages of disease (e.g., one patient with Lassa fever who had extensive pulmonary involvement may have transmitted infection by the airborne route). In contrast, investigation of VHF in nonhuman primates (i.e., monkeys) has suggested possible airborne spread among these species.” On October 2, 2014, the CDC published Ebola Virus Disease: Transmission, stating: “Ebola is not spread through the air or by water”. The CDC states “Only mammals have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.” They suggest “humans, bats, monkeys, and apes” as transmitters. But this mammal to mammal theory should concern Americans, since 18.6 billion rats are the most populous mammal and six cities with the largest rat populations on earth are in the U.S; including: 1) New York; 2) Boston; 3) Baltimore; 4) Chicago; 5) New Orleans; and 6) Atlanta. Senator and opthamologist Rand Paul warns that US officials are underestimating the danger posed by Ebola, because, “This could get beyond our control.” The World Health Organization agrees “There is no evidence that the EVD [Ebola] epidemic in West Africa is being brought under control.” The WHO’s current “Ebola count” is 8,033 cases and 3,865 deaths from Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, Spain and United States. Australia, Germany and Turkey just reported new cases and some authoritarian nations may be suppressing disclosure of Ebola cases. A pandemic is “an epidemic (a sudden outbreak) that becomes very widespread and affects a whole region, a continent, or the world due to a susceptible population.” True pandemics cause a high degree of mortality”, like the Black Death and Ebola outbreak. The probable logic behind President Obama not closing U.S. airports to travelers from Ebola-ravaged countries is that with the death of first U.S. Ebola patient and numerous cities reporting potential cases, the U.S. risks becoming an “Ebola-ravaged” nation.
Most assume that Black Death quickly ravaged the fourteenth century western world was a bacterial bubonic plague epidemic caused by flea bites and spread by rats. But the Black Death killed a high proportion of Scandinavians -- and where they lived was too cold for fleas to survive. A modern work gives us a clue into this mystery. The “Biology of Plagues” published by Cambridge University Press analyzed 2,500 years of plagues and concluded that the Black Death was caused by a viral hemorrhagic fever pandemic similar to Ebola. If this view is correct, the future medical and economic impacts from Ebola have been vastly underestimated....
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #11546 on: Oct 14th, 2014, 09:03am »
HEY Z AND ALL OF OUR UFOCASEBOOKERS
Why I believe in ghosts: As the 'Grey Lady' of Dudley Castle is caught on camera, a respected (and very level-headed) literary critic gives his view
Author PETER LEWIS reviewed for national press for several decades
He remembers ghosts he saw including at Stowe School, Buckinghamshire
On another occasion he saw a withered hand in a bag in Fleet Street alley
Published: 19:11 EST, 13 October 2014 | Updated: 01:47 EST, 14 October 2014
Whenever I mention to people that I have seen ghosts, I can depend on one of two opposite reactions.
Some people will be fascinated and want to know more. Others will vehemently pooh-pooh the possibility of ghosts - either I’m deluded or I’m lying. There can be no such thing as ghosts!
The vehemence, even violence, with which sceptics deny their existence makes me suspicious. What are they afraid of? That there are more things in heaven and earth than science can account for?
England is a thrilling place for those who do believe in ghosts. It is the most haunted country there is - with 10,000 places which are famed for sightings.
One is the West Midlands’s Dudley Castle which appeared in the news pages last week after a tourist took an accidental photograph which appeared to show the castle’s ‘Grey Lady’ in an ancient archway. Only on digital magnification did the image become visible.
It looks like the grey ghost of a woman of the Tudor period or earlier. But, of course, ‘ghost’ photographs can always be the result of a trick of the light, not to mention our tendency to make images out of any shapes that we see.
It is actually very rare to see ghosts; it’s much more common to hear them. I’ve experienced both and it has made me sure that there is something ‘out there’.
Your hair stands on end. Your skin goes cold. Worms crawl up your spine. Your neck feels as though it is being clenched in an unseen grip.
It first happened to me at boarding school at Stowe, which is housed in the magnificent Palladian mansion built by the family which became Dukes of Buckingham.
One brilliant summer’s night I went for a walk under the full moon and was coming back up a grassy rise when I saw two figures, a man and a woman, walking towards the massive flight of steps up to the portico of the school with its Greek columns.
It was midnight. Everyone was in bed (bar myself), and these people had nothing to do with the school. Who were they?
I hastened to confront them, but by the time I reached the building they had turned up the steps and mounted them close together as if in conversation. Before I could catch up, very out of breath, they had disappeared over the top step into the dark shadows of the portico.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #11547 on: Oct 14th, 2014, 09:06am »
Mideast violence spreads as Turkey bombs Kurdish militants
By Daren Butler and Humeyra Pamuk ISTANBUL/SURUC Turkey Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:31am EDT
(Reuters) - War against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq threatened to spill into Turkey on Tuesday, where reports emerged that the air force had bombed Kurdish fighters furious at Ankara's refusal to help protect their kin in Syria.
At least 35 people were killed in riots last week when members of Turkey's 15-million-strong Kurdish minority rose up in anger at the government for refusing to help defend the Syrian border town of Kobani from an Islamic State assault.
The jailed leader of Turkey's banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has threatened to call off talks to end a decades-old insurgency in Turkey if no progress is made by Wednesday.
Hurriyet newspaper's website said Turkish warplanes had hit PKK targets in Turkey on Sunday, the first such strikes since a peace process began in Turkey two years ago. The strikes were also reported by media sympathetic to the PKK.
A U.S.-led coalition is launching air strikes against Islamic State fighters who control swathes of Syria and seized much of northern Iraq in recent months. The turmoil in Turkey shows the danger of spillover from two complex multi-sided civil wars in which every country in the Middle East has a stake.
Ankara has refused to join the U.S.-led military coalition against Islamic State unless it also confronts Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. On Monday it denied U.S. assertions that it had agreed to let American planes take off from its air bases.
Meanwhile, Islamic State fighters have been fighting their way into the mainly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani, where the United Nations says thousands could be massacred within full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene.
The fate of Kobani could wreck efforts by the Turkish government to end a three decades long insurgency by PKK militants, a conflict that killed 40,000 people but largely ended with the start of a peace process in 2012.
There was no immediate comment from the military on the report that it bombed Kurdish positions, once a regular occurrence in southeast Turkey but something that had not taken place for two years.
Hurriyet said the air strikes on Sunday caused "major damage" to the PKK. They were launched after three days of PKK attacks on a military outpost in Hakkari province near the Iraqi border, it added.
"F-16 and F-4 warplanes which took off from (bases in the southeastern provinces of) Diyarbakir and Malatya rained down bombs on PKK targets after they attacked a military outpost in the Daglica region," Hurriyet said.
It said the PKK had attacked the outpost for three days with heavy machine guns and rocket launchers. The general staff said in a statement it had "opened fired immediately in retaliation in the strongest terms" after PKK attacks in the area, but did not mention air strikes.
Jailed PKK co-founder Abdullah Ocalan has said peace talks between his group and the Turkish state could come to an end by Wednesday. After visiting him in jail last week, Ocalan's brother Mehmet told reporters the PKK leader had said: "We will wait until Oct. 15. We will convey to the visiting delegations our thoughts. After that there will be nothing we can do."
The peace process with the Kurds is one of the main initiatives of President Tayyip Erdogan's decade in power, and its potential collapse shows the difficulty Turkey has had in designing a Syria policy. Turkey has already taken in some 1.2 million refugees from Syria's three-year civil war, including 200,000 Kurds who fled the area around Kobani in recent weeks.
U.S. officials have expressed frustration at Erdogan's refusal to help them fight against Islamic State.
"TOO LATE FOR US"
The battle for Kobani has grinded for nearly a month, with Islamic State slowly advancing and now in control of much of the town. Kurdish fighters known as Popular Protection Units (YPG), allies of the PKK, are demanding Turkey allow arms across the border to help them resupply.
"There are fierce clashes, with no retreat or progress (by Islamic State). Yesterday, (IS) detonated three suicide car bombs in eastern Kobani," said Ocalan Iso, deputy head of the Kobani defense council.
In the Turkish town of Suruc, 10 km (6 miles) from the Syrian frontier, a funeral for four female YPG fighters was being held. Hundreds at the cemetery chanted "Murderer Erdogan" in Turkish and also "long live YPG" in Kurdish.
Sehahmed, 42, at the cemetery to visit the grave of his son who was a YPG fighter and died only a few days ago, said if Turkey had intervened in Kobani, the town would have been saved.
"For days now they are just watching our people get killed. (U.S. President Barack) Obama is too late too. (Islamic State) is now inside the city, they're on the streets. The airstrikes won't work, it will only delay the inevitable. Its too late for us. Our poor people, we face one disaster after another."
The U.S.-led coalition has hit Islamic State positions in and around the town but failed to halt the advance. At least six air strikes were heard from the Turkish side of the border on Tuesday. Gunfire and shelling were audible from the Turkish side, where Kurds, many with relatives fighting in Kobani, have maintained a vigil, watching the fighting from hillsides.
"I hear that people say (Islamic State) control the east and southeast but in fact they are scattered all across the city. That is why clashes are taking place pretty much everywhere," Adil Selmo, 28, said as he stood on the Turkish said.
He said his brother-in-law was still in Kobani and no weapons or ammunition had made it into the town.
Obama will discuss a strategy to counter Islamic State on Tuesday with military leaders from 20 countries, including Turkey, Arab states and Western allies, amid growing pressure to do more to stop the militants' advance.
Kurds in neighboring Iraq, who are also fighting hard against Islamic State, said they had sent ammunition to help their brethren in Syria make their stand in Kobani. Alan Othman, a Syrian Kurdish media official, said the shipment was trapped in another part of Syria and could not get to Kobani without help from Turkey opening a supply corridor.
In Iraq, Kurdish forces and government troops have rolled back some Islamic State gains in the north of the country in recent weeks, but the fighters have advanced in the west, seizing territory in the Euphrates valley within striking distance of the capital Baghdad.
The United States used helicopter gunships against the militants last week for the first time to prevent what Washington described as a threat to Baghdad's airport.
The White House says it will not send U.S. forces back into ground combat in Iraq, where Obama withdrew all troops in 2011 after an eight year occupation. U.S. commanders have spoken of increasing U.S. advice and support for Iraqi ground forces.
(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Phil Stewart in Washington; Writing by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Peter Graff)
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #11549 on: Oct 14th, 2014, 11:22am »
Swamp Crystal Z..that was somwe awsome stuff..
now I have terrible news..brace yourselves..
Sausausage The riot Dog of Greece has passed away from a heart attack . He Championed the Greek cause the Greek way..Democratic Protests at which you will never find the National Endowment for Democracy around as they are in other places...But he was.. This was a true hero
Famous for siding with protesters during the 2011 riots in Athens, the stray dog that almost won TIME’s Animal of the Year has gone to doggy heaven.
Sausage, the ginger mongrel who became famous for appearing at anti-austerity protests and barking at riot police at the height of Greece’s debt crisis, has died of a heart attack, local officials confirming the sad news on Oct 9.
The stray dog, called “Loukanikos” in Greek, became a media sensation and public darling in 2011 by regularly showing up on the side of demonstrators and yelping at police amid the chaos of teargas and flying petrol bombs. He was named runner up for TIME magazine’s Animal of the Year in 2011, only beaten to the top spot by the army dog that accompanied the US Navy SEAL team which took down Osama Bin Laden.
a nation mourns..
« Last Edit: Oct 14th, 2014, 11:24am by Sysconfig »