War crimes

The shoe is on the other foot it seems. I have known this was a definite possibility since mid 2002 when details of secret detentions and abuses started surfacing. You can’t accuse and hold countries to task if you are doing the exact same things yourself.

On November 3, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) informed the court’s Pre-Trial Chamber, ”[T]here is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan.”

In what Amnesty International’s Solomon Sacco called a “seminal moment for the ICC,” Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asked the court for authorization to commence an investigation that would focus on US military and CIA leaders, as well as Taliban and Afghan officials.

Bensouda wrote in a November 14, 2016, report that her preliminary examination revealed “a reasonable basis to believe” the “war crimes of torture and ill-treatment” had been committed “by US military forces deployed to Afghanistan and in secret detention facilities operated by the Central Intelligence Agency, principally in the 2003-2004 period, although allegedly continuing in some cases until 2014.”

The chief prosecutor noted the alleged crimes by the CIA and US armed forces “were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,” but rather were “part of approved interrogation techniques in an attempt to extract ‘actionable intelligence’ from detainees.” She added there was “reason to believe” that crimes were “committed in the furtherance of a policy or policies … which would support US objectives in the conflict of Afghanistan.”

Torture

The US needs to hold itself to a higher standard. Period.

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Crazy?? Perhaps not

Before I unmask who wrote the first several quotes please read them with an open mind.

INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY AND ITS FUTURE

Introduction

1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in “advanced” countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in “advanced” countries

“If the [technological] system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.”

“Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the breakdown of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.”

All of these conditions can be found in modern society. In fact, one cause for isolation is technology. Not only has it separated humans from nature, but more importantly, from each other.

According to a 2014 article in The Daily Universe citing a recent study, “Most children and teens spend 75 percent of their waking lives with their eyes fixed on a screen.”

And perhaps the most disturbing part of the study was the reveal that, “students who unplugged their electronic devices for one 24-hour period felt extremely lonely and didn’t know how to fill their time.” (3)

Ted Kaczynsky otherwise known as the Unabomber was admitted to Harvard when he was 16. He had a PhD in Math when he was 25. When his manifesto was released he was openly mocked by everyone. It is an amazing document. In hindsight most of what he said is true. His methods obviously were ghastly and morally abhorrent…. but was he actually right about technology? It seems totally hypocritical that I am writing this on my cell phone. I have always thought he was right about technology making us more separate rather than making us closer. For as much as technology was supposed to make our lives easier it has actually had the opposite consequence. It is presented as something we HAVE to have but in reality my life was better before the cell phone.

The NSA and CIA could not have dreamed up a better tracking device than cell phones. Every thing we look up or text is swept up and added to a database that defines us as people.

Kaczynski’s manifesto discussed modern leftism, defining it not as a philosophical view, but a psychological type. He defined modern leftism as having advanced beyond its previous incarnation of socialism.

He concludes that modern leftism is “fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, ‘politically correct’ types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like.”

At first examination, it appears that some of Kaczynski’s definition of modern leftism might have been revealed during the 2016 Presidential election. The resistance to the leftist ideology of “political correctness” did indeed manifest into a wave of defiance against it across America.

Kaczynski discussed who and what political correctness was. He wrote:

“Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual white males from middle- to upper-middle-class families.”

In October 2016, NYU Liberal studies prof Michael Rectenwald who’d fought against political correctness and student coddling was placed on “paid leave for the rest of the semester.”

His colleagues complained about his tweets, that argued against the college campus trends of “safe spaces, trigger warnings, policing Halloween costumes and other aspects of academia’s growing PC culture.”

His fellow professors “complained about his ‘incivility’.” (2)

Unabomber

Was he ready right

Space…..hacking

The future of war and conflict are in space as well as your computer screen. Those who control space will control the future.

There is no way to know our space assets as I am sure they are one of the highest guarded secrets that we have currently. We obviously know less about Chinese or Russian assets or capabilities.

How do you stop another powerful country from taking out your satellites?

“There are vast ways,” says Raymond, “and I won’t get into the operational details of what we may or may not be able to do, but we’re working on being able to protect and defend capabilities from everything from low-end reversible jamming all the way up to the higher-end kinetic activities.”

“Kinetic” is the military’s favorite euphemism for lethal force via missiles, bullets and the like. In this case, it means destroying a satellite with a weapon that physically smashes into it. Whether the U.S. or other countries are planning to put weapons in orbit—either to kill other satellites or to strike the ground—is classified information. When asked about weapons in space, Raymond simply said, “I’m not going to talk about that.” Given the stakes, it’s safe to assume that such capabilities are being discussed if not already designed.

But kinetic operations are only a small part of military deterrence. Arguably the most crucial capability, particularly in orbit, is simply knowing where everything is and what it’s doing.

Spave–popular mechanics

In other news

Apparently the CIA is sketchy.. Who knew? There are some good links to the info that was released today.

Almost two months after releasing details of 23 different secret CIA hacking tool projects under Vault 7 series, Wikileaks today announced a new Vault 8 series that will reveal source codes and information about the backend infrastructure developed by the CIA hackers.

Not just announcement, but the whistleblower organisation has also published its first batch of Vault 8 leak, releasing source code and development logs of Project Hive—a significant backend component the agency used to remotely control its malware covertly.

In April this year, WikiLeaks disclosed a brief information about Project Hive, revealing that the project is an advanced command-and-control server (malware control system) that communicates with malware to send commands to execute specific tasks on the targets and receive exfiltrated information from the target machines.

Hacker news

Cyberwarfare

I predicted awhile back that stuxnet issued in a new era of warfare with cyberwarfare being the future of warfare. How accurate I was in hindsight.

Russian interference in Europe’s politics and its information space is not new, of course. Its roots lie in old KGB disinformation methods, now actively combined with new technologies. In Britain, the question has taken on an important new twist, with growing calls for parliamentary scrutiny of the financing of the pro-Brexit campaign, whose social media dimension mattered greatly. If the “special relationship” still has meaning, surely it must now include a joint effort to get to the bottom of how Russian social media manipulation in the US resonated with what happened in the UK referendum.

The ramifications of this debate are huge. The US and the UK, the two countries that laid the foundations of the post-1945 global liberal order, may have had their political integrity compromised by hostile foreign meddling in a way that helped produce Trump and Brexit. If that turns out to be true, then we are looking at an entirely new world – one whose complexities we may only be starting to fathom. Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, written 70 years ago, contained not just “newspeak”, “facecrime” and surveillance screens. It also described a geopolitical vision in which “Oceania” (including the Americas and Britain), “Eurasia” and “Eastasia” were all in the grip of totalitarian nightmares, with control over minds even more important than control over bodies.

Literary analogies shouldn’t be abused, but the US probe surely has deep significance for other parts of the world too – and European democracies need to pay close attention. Make no mistake, this isn’t just about Trump and whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin. It is about how the large, ungoverned areas of cyberspace are the new arena where authoritarian powers and democracies will increasingly be waging a battle – one that the latter are insufficiently prepared for. Likewise, Russia’s attempts to undermine western democracies from within may be only the tip of an iceberg that is heading towards us. Think China. At a recent thinktank conference in Brussels, I was struck by how some European business people were head over heels about China’s “One Belt One Road” project to Europe. One participant gushed that the Chinese firms were “so good” at using new technologies and data – no matter that the regime has utilised its skill at data mining for the purposes of crowd control and suppressing dissent. Recent revelations about how China imposed online censorship on entities such as Cambridge University Press and the Springer publishing group should be ringing more alarm bells. China has incomparably larger resources than Russia, whose economy is the size of Italy’s.

Cyber

Paradise Papers

So.. You don’t believe in a ruling elite? An illuminati? New World Order?

A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.

The new files come from two offshore services firms as well as from 19 corporate registries maintained by governments in jurisdictions that serve as waystations in the global shadow economy. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries.

I would say that even the most trivial investigation would point you in the right direction. The top 1% of the richest people have more wealth than 4 billion people on earth combined.

The playing field has been rigged. The idea of upward mobility is an illusion.

There is this small group of people who are not equally subject to the laws as the rest of us, and that’s on purpose

Brooke Harrington

The promise of tax havens is secrecy – offshore locales create and oversee companies that often are difficult, or impossible, to trace back to their owners. While having an offshore entity is often legal, the built-in secrecy attracts money launderers, drug traffickers, kleptocrats and others who want to operate in the shadows. Offshore companies, often “shells” with no employees or office space, are also used in complex tax-avoidance structures that drain billions from national treasuries.

The offshore industry makes “the poor poorer” and is “deepening wealth inequality,” said Brooke Harrington, a certified wealth manager and Copenhagen Business School professor who is the author of ‘Capital without Borders: Wealth Managers and the One Percent.’

Paradise papers