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Plutocrat Payback, the Worst Kind

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Thu, 04/03/2014
 My guest today, Jeff Milchen of the American Independent Business Alliance out of Montana fought Citizens United and he's fighting the  plutocrats again in the wake of the supreme Court Justices disgracefull decision on campaign finance:  Here's a quote to get he riot under way:     "The five Justices who voted to expand the Court's 'money equals free speech' doctrine have made the democratic republic, promised to us by our Constitution, impossible. Citizens' votes are stripped of power when the wealthiest few can pre-determine which candidates and parties are acceptable for the rest of us to make our choices."
Still believe that The Great recession was a total surprise that left the plutocrats gobsmacked sideways? Have a look at this lovely bridge - newly new!  Once upon a time the prosperity of the upper classes depended upon and to some degree underwrote the prosperity of the American middle class. Not so now.  Since 2008, the number of people who call themselves middle class has fallen by nearly a fifth, according to a survey in January by the Pew Research Center, from 53 percent to 44 percent. Forty percent now identify as either lower-middle or lower class compared with just 25 percent in February 2008.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's expected vote to approve declassifying part of a secret report on Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects puts the onus on the CIA and a reluctant White House to speed the release of one of the most definitive accounts about the government's actions after the 9/11 attacks.   Or we could simply wat for another whistleblower to come forward with the goods. Many people would be far more likely to trust the process and the documents resulting from suuch an event.  The vote to reveal comes tomorrow.
The project, dubbed "ZunZuneo," slang for a Cuban hummingbird's tweet, was publicly launched shortly after the 2009 arrest in Cuba of American contractor Alan Gross. He was imprisoned after traveling repeatedly to the country on a separate, clandestine USAID mission to expand Internet access using sensitive technology that only governments use. The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter" — a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks.
Doesn't smell quite right....Don't expect to find genetically modified salmon — or any other engineered fish or meat — on store shelves anytime soon.
Look out below !!! Here comes that avalanche of money.  And it looks a lot like Giv Chris Christie knew something the rest of us did not know about the Supreme court decision opening the campaign funding floodgates...Donors have given $33 million to the Republican Governors Association since New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie took the helm late last year.   The committee to elect GOP governors said Thursday it raised $23.5 million during the first three months of the year. That sum more than doubles the $9.1 million raised at this point in 2010, the last time there were 36 gubernatorial races.
A century-old farmhouse has been demolished near Pendleton to allow workers to continue cleaning up almost 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in an accident last month.   Members of the family that owns the Hill Ranches looked on Tuesday as two excavators tore down the house.   Fritz Hill reared two sons there and planted some of the trees surrounding the place. He appeared shaken and didn't want to comment.
  • Length: 12:31 minutes (11.46 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 48kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Coos Bay: The Cost of Playing Cards with Mother Nature

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Wed, 04/02/2014
1, Hanford workers say they don't know what's going on.  They have voiced concerns to the Department of Energy,  another entity that does not know what's going on but is less forthcoming.  Two-dozen workers have reported medical problems over the past two weeks after breathing chemical vapors. The vapors were detected primarily in the Hanford area that houses large tanks holding radioactive waste.
2, The cage fight of the decade is underway in Astoria. It's the corporate legal battle between Westerlund Log Handlers, a deeply indebted Clatsop County timber operator, against versus  China National Building Materials Import & Export Co., part of a $30-billion-a-year enterprise partially owned by the People's Republic of China.Westerlund wants to end its relationship with China National and move on. China National is seeking to install its own executive atop Westerlund and is demanding immediate repayment of the $3.55 million it loaned Westerlund. It has even hired an auctioneer to sell off Westerlund's heavy equipment.
3, Medical marijuana in Hillsboro? Hillsboro City Councilor Megan Braze cast the sole no-vote against the first reading of a one-year ban on medical marijuana facilities yesterday.  There was no council discussion of the ban, which received its first of two readings*. The one-year moratorium will get a final vote April 15.
4, Yesterday Oregon United for Marriage pushed U.S. District Judge Michael McShane to strike down Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage by May 23, which is when the group says it has to make a decision on whether to go to the ballot.
5, The mayor of Castle Rock is required to take anger management classes for violating the courtesy code at a City Council meeting when he raised his voice against the police chief who asked for more money for ammunition.
6,  It is rare but not unprecedented for a pipeline company to be charged with criminal safety laws.  But yesterday  Pacific Gas and Electric Co. was charged with federal felony counts involving safety violations linked to a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area
7,  District of Columbia elections officials say some problems with electronic voting machines have led to a delay in reporting results from the city's Democratic mayoral primary.  I guess if gerrymandering isn't possible, Republicans have to revert to other proven methods.
8, Just When You Thought it was Safe to go Back to the Beach…Chile's President Bachelet gets cautious on the tsunami threat as 8.2 quake kills 5 in northern Chile.
And Finally, This:
9, Jared Buzzell, of Lisbon, Maine says he was searching for wild mushrooms Thursday when he saw a porcupine get hit by a car in Minot. Buzzell says he'd heard that a valuable mineral deposit used in Chinese medicine formed in the stomachs of porcupines.  He then cut open the dead porcupine to search for the mineral and instead found the baby.  When he cut the umbilical cord he thought the baby porcupine was dead until he started massaging it and it began breathing.  Buzzell and the baby pocupine are resting comfortably  No word on the search for precious minerals or mushrooms or how and where  Buzzell acquired his apparent pocupine midwifery skills.
  • Length: 15:39 minutes (14.33 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Conscientious Objectors: Stand up with Dr. Margaret Flowers for Single-Payer

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Tue, 04/01/2014
Octavio Paz Quotes

1, State and federal pipeline safety investigators have been dispatched to the site of an explosion and fire at a liquefied natural gas storage facility in southeastern Washington.
2, The Eugene City Council had voted that the closing of the homeless camp could beginning immediately .   With city officials set to begin closing the unauthorized Whoville homeless camp as early as today, about 30 camp residents and homeless advocates made a public plea Monday for another short delay.  All Whoville coalition wants is for the the city to hold off until the City Council returns from its monthlong break on April 9.
3, Hanford: How long How much? and when should we pack up and run for our lives? 
4, Gerrymandering: it's the only way Republicans can and will win seats in this next round of fanasty electioneering.  Even if Democrats recruit great candidates, raise gobs of money and run smart campaigns, they face an uphill fight to retake control of the House in this year’s congressional elections, regardless of the political climate in November.
For lo these many years now Republican strategists have been developing a plan to take advantage of the 2010 census, first by winning key state legislatures and then redrawing House districts to tilt the playing field in their favor.
5, Christopher Hedges continues to hammer away at the ramparts of power. Barack Obama’s administration has filed a detailed brief designed  to compel the courts to void a law that permits the military to arrest U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and indefinitely detain them. The Admin has filed a detailed brief with the Supreme Court asking the justices to refuse to accept Hedges et al’s  petition to hear their appeal. Hedges & Co.  will respond within 10 days. “The arc  of history is long but it bends toward justice…”
6, Too much weather; too many people crowded together on a small, exhausted planet. Science has come through with the bad news once again: Yes Virginia the link between climate collapse and civil society collapse. The danger of civic unrest is increased by the pressure of extreme weather events that cause wild competition for non-existent resources and shelter. That plus the climate refugees who find avenues of escape overcrowded and closed.
7, It's that time again: Conscientious Objector Time, of course. Dr. Margaret Flowers doesn’t have health insurance. She’s not eligible for Medicaid and she’s too young to qualify for Medicare.
If she doesn’t sign up, she will be fined.
Dr. Flowers is not going to sign up.
And she’s not going to sign up as an act of civil disobedience. Dr. Flowers plans to be a coscientious Objector in the the fight for single-payer health insurance.  And so do I.
8, Yesterday, March 31st was the anniversary of the 100the birthday of Octavio Paz, Although he would reject Socialist realism, later repudiate Stalinism and maintain his distance from the Cuban Revolution, Paz would long retain his faith in revolution as the true lever of social redemption, the only possible means for the positive transformation of history. As late as 1967, he would write that Marxism is “our point of view” and that the Revolution (with the capital letter ascribed to it in Mexican, and anarchist, tradition) was “anointed by the light of the idea, philosophy converted into action, lucid violence.” Enrique Krause wrote this Op Ed this past  Saturday in the New York times

  • Length: 12:13 minutes (11.18 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Marathon Men: 5 hours of questioning + 1 dead Russian is not an Answer

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Wed, 03/26/2014
1, Officials from Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies are in Vancouver this week to support for a $110 million facility capable of handling as much as 380,000 barrels of oil per day. The facility would transfer oil arriving by rail from North Dakota to ships that would take it to refineries.
The Columbian newspaper ( ) reports at least 30 people testified during Tuesday's meeting of the Port's board of commissioners, with almost all concerned about safety and environmental risks. The testimony came a week after a majority of Vancouver City Council members opposed the project.
2, Senator Ron Wyden says he applauds the odious deal in which the Dept. of energy wins its coveted  Jordan Cove LNG export terminal.  But we should be looking at U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., wasting no time turning her new position as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources into a soapbox for increased natural gas drilling and exports.
In her first set of hearings since taking over leadership of the committee from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Landrieu contended that "increasing exports of liquefied natural gas will create thousands of high-paying jobs and support U.S. allies abroad."
1, The Obama administration said it will extend next week's deadline for Americans who have begun applying for private health insurance but have been unable to complete the process.
2, Rescue workers sifted through mucky rubble on Tuesday amid dwindling hopes of finding any more survivors from among scores of people still missing from a devastating weekend mudslide in Washington state that killed at least 14.
3, At this point in time, the CIA  seems to be Losing Friends in Congress .  Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s recent denunciation of CIA spying on her Intelligence Committee “suggests that criticism of the national security state has reached such a fever pitch that even its entrenched allies in Congress are starting to peel off.   Feinstein’s committee is considering whether to release a report on CIA torture and detention programs.
4, Omnivorous Banks Seek to Devour Detroit:   Activists are encouraging Detroiters to send a bankruptcy court their formal objections to state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr’s plans to restructure the city. Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellerman, pastor of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a key member of D-REM, Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management, said the banks are Detroit’s ultimate nemesis.
5, Microsoft’s recent lawsuit against a former employee accused of leaking trade secrets teaches us an important lesson: Your data is not your data.The Redmond-based software giant admitted in court documents to accessing the Hotmail and messaging accounts of a French blogger in order to determine who was sending him prerelease screenshots of Windows programs and other proprietary corporate information. Federal prosecutors have charged the sender,  with theft of trade secrets.   Microsoft’s power play should be a wake-up call to journalists and bloggers .  In other words:  think twice  the next time you use your Gmail account to report on an article about Google.
6, Ibrahim Todashev, 27, a Russian immigrant friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot and killed last May 22 in the middle of the night by the FBI at the violent end of a five-hour interrogation in his home in Orlando. Now the FBI, ten months later, is claiming that its agent was attacked by Todashev, and was justified in killing him. But a CounterPunch investigation raises grave questions about what happened in that apartment.
  • Length: 17:03 minutes (15.62 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

A Republican from Colorado just sold the Oregon coast to Russia.

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Tue, 03/25/2014
Jordan Cove's conditional export license comes ahead of several congressional hearings scheduled to examine the LNG export issue this week.
The House energy committee on Tuesday will weigh a bill introduced by Colorado Republican Cory Gardner that would immediately approve export applications already filed with the Energy Department and mandate approval of future proposals of exports to World Trade Organization members.
Currently only gas exports to countries with free trade agreements with the United States are automatically deemed to be in the public interest.

1, This past Saturday was World Water Day. Water and agriculture are inextricably interlinked and interdependent. Agriculture is a major user of both ground and surface water for irrigation — accounting for about 70 percent of water withdrawal worldwide.
2.  Long-term unemployment is the most prophetic of all possible  pillars of salt:  eventually even under the most compassionate of all possible political leaders, the money will dry up because the money is created by the jobs that  increasingly are not there.   A deal to extend long-term unemployment benefits is still alive in the Senate, as lawmakers push ahead with the bill despite obstacles in the House.
3, So Mayor Charlie Hales sought clearance in his role as police commissioner to supervise Portland officers working with the JTTF, the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI denied Portland Mayor Charlie Hales the "secret" clearance he applied for last year to access information about the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the mayor's spokesman confirmed.  The Mayor's intrepid Spokesman Dana Haynes said he didn't know why clearance was denied.
4, Under President Obama’s proposal to Congress, data about Americans’ calling habits would be kept in the hands of phone companies, according to senior administration officials.
5,  Many GMO crops are resistant to the chemical herbicide Roundup (active ingredient: glyphosate). This allows farmers to spray the herbicide over the crop to control weeds. As weeds in the US and elsewhere have progressively gained resistance to Roundup, farmers have been spraying higher doses of the herbicide and spraying them more often. By implication, there will be concomitant effects on food and the environment. However, even though there is increasing concern about the health impacts of Roundup/glyphosate, little is known about current levels in food and animal feed. Now, a new study has found that glyphosate in GMO soybeans is at levels higher than many vitamins.
6, Ibrahim Todashev, 27, a Russian immigrant friend of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was shot and killed last May 22 in the middle of the night by the FBI at the violent end of a five-hour interrogation in his home in Orlando. Now the FBI, ten months later, is claiming that its agent was attacked by Todashev, and was justified in killing him. But a CounterPunch investigation raises grave questions about what happened in that apartment.
7,  A scientist who documented the landslide conditions on a Washington hill that buckled last weekend in a massive mudslide warned in a 1999 report filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of "the potential for a large catastrophic failure."   The Seattle Times reports  that report was written by Daniel J. Miller and his wife, Lynne Rodgers Miller. Daniel Miller told the newspaper, "We've known it would happen at some point." 
  • Length: 15:09 minutes (13.87 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Gareth Porter: 'Manufactured Crisis'

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Mon, 03/24/2014
  • Length: 13:26 minutes (12.3 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

A Week of News from the Western World; White People Behaving Badly (mostly)

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Fri, 03/14/2014

The Free Software Movement will save your sad ass when the NSA's malware comes calling ...but only if you know it, support it and use it.  

Here's why:

0314 OR Jackson official: Local GMO ban would cost $200,000 a year to enforce
 Ore. — A local ban on genetically modified crops could cost Jackson County more than $200,000 a year to enforce, according to a report the county commissioners asked for.
The report delivered Wednesday by County Administrator Danny Jordan also said the ban could put a stop to medical marijuana crops grown from seed to increase its DNA and yield and could bar strains of lawn grass that are genetically modified, the Medford Mail Tribune ( reported.
Advocates of the measure on the May ballot disputed the estimates, saying costs should be minimal, at most, because the county has discretion in enforcement efforts.
"We've already heard the opponents trying to scare people by claiming the Family Farms measure would have high enforcement costs, but this is pure political fiction," said Elise Higley, the director for Our Family Farms Coalition.
Organic farmers who fear their crops will be tainted through cross-pollination have backed the measure.
If voters approve it, the measure would be unique among Oregon's 36 counties. The Legislature has since voted to pre-empt local regulation of genetically modified crops, allowing the Jackson County measure to be grandfathered.
Jordan said the estimate was based on having a full-time code inspector, a hearings officer's time, the cost of a testing contractor and administrative expenses.
The measure has "undefined terms and vague terminology" that will give county officials trouble, Jordan said.
"In order to enforce the proposed ordinance, the county is going to have to make policy/legal judgments on the various terms that are not defined, increasing the risk of litigation," he said.
The report also said the costs of cleaning up fields could run to thousands of dollars an acre, depending on whether soil was removed and dumped in a landfill or whether the fields were chemically fumigated and heated.
0314 WA FBI won't conduct marijuana-license background checks for Washington state
The FBI is refusing to run nationwide background checks on people applying to run legal marijuana businesses in Washington state, even though it has conducted similar checks in Colorado — a discrepancy that illustrates the quandary the Justice Department faces as it allows the states to experiment with regulating a drug that's long been illegal under federal law.
Washington state has been asking for nearly a year if the FBI would conduct background checks on its applicants, to no avail. The bureau's refusal raises the possibility that people with troublesome criminal histories could wind up with pot licenses in the state — undermining the department's own priorities in ensuring that states keep a tight rein on the nascent industry.
It's a strange jam for the feds, who announced last summer that they wouldn't sue to prevent Washington and Colorado from regulating marijuana after 75 years of prohibition.
The Obama administration has said it wants the states to make sure pot revenue doesn't go to organized crime and that state marijuana industries don't become a cover for the trafficking of other illegal drugs. At the same time, it might be tough for the FBI to stomach conducting such background checks — essentially helping the states violate federal law.
The Justice Department declined to explain why it isn't conducting the checks in Washington when it has in Colorado. Stephen Fischer, a spokesman for the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, referred an Associated Press inquiry to DOJ headquarters, which would only issue a written statement.
"To ensure a consistent national approach, the department has been reviewing its background check policies, and we hope to have guidance for states in the near term," it said in its entirety.
In Washington, three people so far have received licenses to grow marijuana — without going through a national background check, even though the state Liquor Control Board's rules require that that they do so before a license is issued.
"The federal government has not stated why it has not yet agreed to conduct national background checks on our behalf," Washington state Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith said in an email. "However, the Liquor Control Board is ready to deliver fingerprints as soon as DOJ is ready."
0313 US How the NSA Plans to Infect 'Millions' of Computers with Malware
By Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald12 Mar 2014, 9:19 AM EDT235
One presentation outlines how the NSA performs "industrial-scale exploitation" of computer networks across the world.
Top-secret documents reveal that the National Security Agency is dramatically expanding its ability to covertly hack into computers on a mass scale by using automated systems that reduce the level of human oversight in the process.
The classified files - provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden - contain new details about groundbreaking surveillance technology the agency has developed to infect potentially millions of computers worldwide with malware "implants." The clandestine initiative enables the NSA to break into targeted computers and to siphon out data from foreign Internet and phone networks.
The covert infrastructure that supports the hacking efforts operates from the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, and from eavesdropping bases in the United Kingdom and Japan. GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, appears to have played an integral role in helping to develop the implants tactic.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target's computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive. In others, it has sent out spam emails laced with the malware, which can be tailored to covertly record audio from a computer's microphone and take snapshots with its webcam. The hacking systems have also enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.
The implants being deployed were once reserved for a few hundred hard-to-reach targets, whose communications could not be monitored through traditional wiretaps. But the documents analyzed by The Intercept show how the NSA has aggressively accelerated its hacking initiatives in the past decade by computerizing some processes previously handled by humans. The automated system - codenamed TURBINE - is designed to "allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually."
In a top-secret presentation, dated August 2009, the NSA describes a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the "Expert System," which is designed to operate "like the brain." The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and "decides" what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines.
Mikko Hypponen, an expert in malware who serves as chief research officer at the Finnish security firm F-Secure, calls the revelations "disturbing." The NSA's surveillance techniques, he warns, could inadvertently be undermining the security of the Internet.
"When they deploy malware on systems," Hypponen says, "they potentially create new vulnerabilities in these systems, making them more vulnerable for attacks by third parties."
Hypponen believes that governments could arguably justify using malware in a small number of targeted cases against adversaries. But millions of malware implants being deployed by the NSA as part of an automated process, he says, would be "out of control."
"That would definitely not be proportionate," Hypponen says. "It couldn't possibly be targeted and named. It sounds like wholesale infection and wholesale surveillance."
The NSA declined to answer questions about its deployment of implants, pointing to a new presidential policy directive announced by President Obama. "As the president made clear on 17 January," the agency said in a statement, "signals intelligence shall be collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions, and not for any other purposes."
"Owning the Net"
The NSA began rapidly escalating its hacking efforts a decade ago. In 2004, according to secretinternal records, the agency was managing a small network of only 100 to 150 implants. But over the next six to eight years, as an elite unit called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) recruited new hackers and developed new malware tools, the number of implants soared to tens of thousands.
To penetrate foreign computer networks and monitor communications that it did not have access to through other means, the NSA wanted to go beyond the limits of traditional signals intelligence, or SIGINT, the agency's term for the interception of electronic communications. Instead, it sought to broaden "active" surveillance methods - tactics designed to directly infiltrate a target's computers or network devices.
In the documents, the agency describes such techniques as "a more aggressive approach to SIGINT" and says that the TAO unit's mission is to "aggressively scale" these operations.
But the NSA recognized that managing a massive network of implants is too big a job for humans alone.
"One of the greatest challenges for active SIGINT/attack is scale," explains the top-secret presentation from 2009. "Human 'drivers' limit ability for large-scale exploitation (humans tend to operate within their own environment, not taking into account the bigger picture)."
The agency's solution was TURBINE. Developed as part of TAO unit, it is described in the leaked documents as an "intelligent command and control capability" that enables "industrial-scale exploitation."
TURBINE was designed to make deploying malware much easier for the NSA's hackers by reducing their role in overseeing its functions. The system would "relieve the user from needing to know/care about the details," the NSA's Technology Directorate notes in one secret document from 2009. "For example, a user should be able to ask for 'all details about application X' and not need to know how and where the application keeps files, registry entries, user application data, etc."
In practice, this meant that TURBINE would automate crucial processes that previously had to be performed manually - including the configuration of the implants as well as surveillance collection, or "tasking," of data from infected systems. But automating these processes was about much more than a simple technicality. The move represented a major tactical shift within the NSA that was expected to have a profound impact - allowing the agency to push forward into a new frontier of surveillance operations.
The ramifications are starkly illustrated in one undated top-secret NSA document, which describes how the agency planned for TURBINE to "increase the current capability to deploy and manage hundreds of Computer Network Exploitation (CNE) and Computer Network Attack (CNA) implants to potentially millions of implants." (CNE mines intelligence from computers and networks; CNA seeks to disrupt, damage or destroy them.)
Eventually, the secret files indicate, the NSA's plans for TURBINE came to fruition. The system has been operational in some capacity since at least July 2010, and its role has become increasingly central to NSA hacking operations.
Earlier reports based on the Snowden files indicate that the NSA has already deployed between 85,000 and 100,000 of its implants against computers and networks across the world, with plans to keep on scaling up those numbers.
The intelligence community's top-secret "Black Budget" for 2013, obtained by Snowden, lists TURBINE as part of a broader NSA surveillance initiative named "Owning the Net."
The agency sought $67.6 million in taxpayer funding for its Owning the Net program last year. Some of the money was earmarked for TURBINE, expanding the system to encompass "a wider variety" of networks and "enabling greater automation of computer network exploitation."
Circumventing Encryption
The NSA has a diverse arsenal of malware tools, each highly sophisticated and customizable for different purposes.
One implant, codenamed UNITEDRAKE, can be used with a variety of "plug-ins" that enable the agency to gain total control of an infected computer.
An implant plug-in named CAPTIVATEDAUDIENCE, for example, is used to take over a targeted computer's microphone and record conversations taking place near the device. Another, GUMFISH, can covertly take over a computer's webcam and snap photographs. FOGGYBOTTOM records logs of Internet browsing histories and collects login details and passwords used to access websites and email accounts. GROK is used to log keystrokes. And SALVAGERABBIT exfiltrates data from removable flash drives that connect to an infected computer.
The implants can enable the NSA to circumvent privacy-enhancing encryption tools that are used to browse the Internet anonymously or scramble the contents of emails as they are being sent across networks. That's because the NSA's malware gives the agency unfettered access to a target's computer before the user protects their communications with encryption.
It is unclear how many of the implants are being deployed on an annual basis or which variants of them are currently active in computer systems across the world.
Previous reports have alleged that the NSA worked with Israel to develop the Stuxnet malware, which was used to sabotage Iranian nuclear facilities. The agency also reportedly worked with Israel to deploy malware called Flame to infiltrate computers and spy on communications in countries across the Middle East.
According to the Snowden files, the technology has been used to seek out terror suspects as well as individuals regarded by the NSA as "extremist." But the mandate of the NSA's hackers is not limited to invading the systems of those who pose a threat to national security.
In one secret post on an internal message board, an operative from the NSA's Signals Intelligence Directorate describes using malware attacks against systems administrators who work at foreign phone and Internet service providers. By hacking an administrator's computer, the agency can gain covert access to communications that are processed by his company. "Sys admins are a means to an end," the NSA operative writes.
The internal post - titled "I hunt sys admins" - makes clear that terrorists aren't the only targets of such NSA attacks. Compromising a systems administrator, the operative notes, makes it easier to get to other targets of interest, including any "government official that happens to be using the network some admin takes care of."
Similar tactics have been adopted by Government Communications Headquarters, the NSA's British counterpart. As the German newspaper Der Spiegel reported in September, GCHQ hacked computers belonging to network engineers at Belgacom, the Belgian telecommunications provider.
The mission, codenamed "Operation Socialist," was designed to enable GCHQ to monitor mobile phones connected to Belgacom's network. The secret files deem the mission a "success," and indicate that the agency had the ability to covertly access Belgacom's systems since at least 2010.
Infiltrating cellphone networks, however, is not all that the malware can be used to accomplish. The NSA has specifically tailored some of its implants to infect large-scale network routers used by Internet service providers in foreign countries. By compromising routers - the devices that connect computer networks and transport data packets across the Internet - the agency can gain covert access to monitor Internet traffic, record the browsing sessions of users, and intercept communications.
Two implants the NSA injects into network routers, HAMMERCHANT and HAMMERSTEIN, help the agency to intercept and perform "exploitation attacks" against data that is sent through aVirtual Private Network, a tool that uses encrypted "tunnels" to enhance the security and privacy of an Internet session.
The implants also track phone calls sent across the network via Skype and other Voice Over IP software, revealing the username of the person making the call. If the audio of the VOIP conversation is sent over the Internet using unencrypted "Real-time Transport Protocol" packets, the implants can covertly record the audio data and then return it to the NSA for analysis.
But not all of the NSA's implants are used to gather intelligence, the secret files show. Sometimes, the agency's aim is disruption rather than surveillance. QUANTUMSKY, a piece of NSA malware developed in 2004, is used to block targets from accessing certain websites. QUANTUMCOPPER, first tested in 2008, corrupts a target's file downloads. These two "attack" techniques are revealed on a classified list that features nine NSA hacking tools, six of which are used for intelligence gathering. Just one is used for "defensive" purposes - to protect U.S. government networks against intrusions.
"Mass exploitation potential"
Before it can extract data from an implant or use it to attack a system, the NSA must first install the malware on a targeted computer or network.
According to one top-secret document from 2012, the agency can deploy malware by sending out spam emails that trick targets into clicking a malicious link. Once activated, a "back-door implant" infects their computers within eight seconds.
There's only one problem with this tactic, codenamed WILLOWVIXEN: According to the documents, the spam method has become less successful in recent years, as Internet users have become wary of unsolicited emails and less likely to click on anything that looks suspicious.
Consequently, the NSA has turned to new and more advanced hacking techniques. These include performing so-called "man-in-the-middle" and "man-on-the-side" attacks, which covertly force a user's internet browser to route to NSA computer servers that try to infect them with an implant.
To perform a man-on-the-side attack, the NSA observes a target's Internet traffic using its global network of covert "accesses" to data as it flows over fiber optic cables or satellites. When the target visits a website that the NSA is able to exploit, the agency's surveillance sensors alert the TURBINE system, which then "shoots" data packets at the targeted computer's IP address within a fraction of a second.
In one man-on-the-side technique, codenamed QUANTUMHAND, the agency disguises itself as a fake Facebook server. When a target attempts to log in to the social media site, the NSA transmits malicious data packets that trick the target's computer into thinking they are being sent from the real Facebook. By concealing its malware within what looks like an ordinary Facebook page, the NSA is able to hack into the targeted computer and covertly siphon out data from its hard drive. A top-secret animation demonstrates the tactic in action.
The documents show that QUANTUMHAND became operational in October 2010, after being successfully tested by the NSA against about a dozen targets.
According to Matt Blaze, a surveillance and cryptography expert at the University of Pennsylvania, it appears that the QUANTUMHAND technique is aimed at targeting specific individuals. But he expresses concerns about how it has been covertly integrated within Internet networks as part of the NSA's automated TURBINE system.
"As soon as you put this capability in the backbone infrastructure, the software and security engineer in me says that's terrifying," Blaze says.
"Forget about how the NSA is intending to use it. How do we know it is working correctly and only targeting who the NSA wants? And even if it does work correctly, which is itself a really dubious assumption, how is it controlled?"
In an email statement to The Intercept, Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said the company had "no evidence of this alleged activity." He added that Facebook implemented HTTPS encryption for users last year, making browsing sessions less vulnerable to malware attacks.
Nancarrow also pointed out that other services besides Facebook could have been compromised by the NSA. "If government agencies indeed have privileged access to network service providers," he said, "any site running only [unencrypted] HTTP could conceivably have its traffic misdirected."
A man-in-the-middle attack is a similar but slightly more aggressive method that can be used by the NSA to deploy its malware. It refers to a hacking technique in which the agency covertly places itself between computers as they are communicating with each other.
This allows the NSA not only to observe and redirect browsing sessions, but to modify the content of data packets that are passing between computers.
The man-in-the-middle tactic can be used, for instance, to covertly change the content of a message as it is being sent between two people, without either knowing that any change has been made by a third party. The same technique is sometimes used by criminal hackers to defraud people.
A top-secret NSA presentation from 2012 reveals that the agency developed a man-in-the-middle capability called SECONDDATE to "influence real-time communications between client and server" and to "quietly redirect web-browsers" to NSA malware servers called FOXACID. In October, details about the FOXACID system were reported by the Guardian, which revealed its links to attacks against users of the Internet anonymity service Tor.
But SECONDDATE is tailored not only for "surgical" surveillance attacks on individual suspects. It can also be used to launch bulk malware attacks against computers.
According to the 2012 presentation, the tactic has "mass exploitation potential for clients passing through network choke points."
Blaze, the University of Pennsylvania surveillance expert, says the potential use of man-in-the-middle attacks on such a scale "seems very disturbing." Such an approach would involve indiscriminately monitoring entire networks as opposed to targeting individual suspects.
"The thing that raises a red flag for me is the reference to 'network choke points,'" he says. "That's the last place that we should be allowing intelligence agencies to compromise the infrastructure - because that is by definition a mass surveillance technique."
To deploy some of its malware implants, the NSA exploits security vulnerabilities in commonly used Internet browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.
The agency's hackers also exploit security weaknesses in network routers and in popular software plugins such as Flash and Java to deliver malicious code onto targeted machines.
The implants can circumvent anti-virus programs, and the NSA has gone to extreme lengths to ensure that its clandestine technology is extremely difficult to detect. An implant named VALIDATOR, used by the NSA to upload and download data to and from an infected machine, can be set to self-destruct - deleting itself from an infected computer after a set time expires.
In many cases, firewalls and other security measures do not appear to pose much of an obstacle to the NSA. Indeed, the agency's hackers appear confident in their ability to circumvent any security mechanism that stands between them and compromising a computer or network. "If we can get the target to visit us in some sort of web browser, we can probably own them," an agency hacker boasts in one secret document. "The only limitation is the 'how.'"
Covert Infrastructure
The TURBINE implants system does not operate in isolation.
It is linked to, and relies upon, a large network of clandestine surveillance "sensors" that the agency has installed at locations across the world.
The NSA's headquarters in Maryland are part of this network, as are eavesdropping bases used by the agency in Misawa, Japan and Menwith Hill, England.
The sensors, codenamed TURMOIL, operate as a sort of high-tech surveillance dragnet, monitoring packets of data as they are sent across the Internet.
When TURBINE implants exfiltrate data from infected computer systems, the TURMOIL sensors automatically identify the data and return it to the NSA for analysis. And when targets are communicating, the TURMOIL system can be used to send alerts or "tips" to TURBINE, enabling the initiation of a malware attack.
The NSA identifies surveillance targets based on a series of data "selectors" as they flow across Internet cables. These selectors, according to internal documents, can include email addresses, IP addresses, or the unique "cookies" containing a username or other identifying information that are sent to a user's computer by websites such as Google, Facebook, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Twitter.
Other selectors the NSA uses can be gleaned from unique Google advertising cookies that track browsing habits, unique encryption key fingerprints that can be traced to a specific user, and computer IDs that are sent across the Internet when a Windows computer crashes or updates.
What's more, the TURBINE system operates with the knowledge and support of other governments, some of which have participated in the malware attacks.
Classification markings on the Snowden documents indicate that NSA has shared many of its files on the use of implants with its counterparts in the so-called Five Eyes surveillance alliance - the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
GCHQ, the British agency, has taken on a particularly important role in helping to develop the malware tactics. The Menwith Hill satellite eavesdropping base that is part of the TURMOIL network, located in a rural part of Northern England, is operated by the NSA in close cooperation with GCHQ.
Top-secret documents show that the British base - referred to by the NSA as "MHS" for Menwith Hill Station - is an integral component of the TURBINE malware infrastructure and has been used to experiment with implant "exploitation" attacks against users of Yahoo and Hotmail.
In one document dated 2010, at least five variants of the QUANTUM hacking method were listed as being "operational" at Menwith Hill. The same document also reveals that GCHQ helped integrate three of the QUANTUM malware capabilities - and test two others - as part of a surveillance system it operates codenamed INSENSER.
GCHQ cooperated with the hacking attacks despite having reservations about their legality. One of the Snowden files, previously disclosed by Swedish broadcaster SVT, revealed that as recently as April 2013, GCHQ was apparently reluctant to get involved in deploying the QUANTUM malware due to "legal/policy restrictions." A representative from a unit of the British surveillance agency, meeting with an obscure telecommunications standards committee in 2010, separately voiced concerns that performing "active" hacking attacks for surveillance "may be illegal" under British law.
In response to questions from The Intercept, GCHQ refused to comment on its involvement in the covert hacking operations. Citing its boilerplate response to inquiries, the agency said in a statement that "all of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight."
Whatever the legalities of the United Kingdom and United States infiltrating computer networks, the Snowden files bring into sharp focus the broader implications. Under cover of secrecy and without public debate, there has been an unprecedented proliferation of aggressive surveillance techniques. One of the NSA's primary concerns, in fact, appears to be that its clandestine tactics are now being adopted by foreign rivals, too.
"Hacking routers has been good business for us and our 5-eyes partners for some time," notes one NSA analyst in atop-secret document dated December 2012. "But it is becoming more apparent that other nation states are honing their skillz [sic] and joining the scene."
0313 US
Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona Will Not Seek Re-election
Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona said Wednesday that she would not run for re-election, ending speculation about her plans.
Even though the Arizona Constitution limits governors to two terms, Ms. Brewer had talked lately about trying to find a way around it. Her first term came by appointment, after the governor at the time, Janet Napolitano, left to become President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, and Ms. Brewer could make a case in court that although she has served two terms, one of them was not an elected term, so it should not count.
0314 US White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA investigation
from the Kansas City Star
McClatchy Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.
In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.
The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons.
The dispute indicates that the White House is more involved than it has acknowledged in the unprecedented power struggle between the committee and the CIA, which has triggered charges that the agency searched the panel’s computers without authorization and has led to requests to the Justice Department for criminal investigations of CIA personnel and Senate aides.
“These documents certainly raise the specter that the White House has been involved in stonewalling the investigation,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University Law School.
The committee and the CIA declined to comment.
In a statement to McClatchy, the White House confirmed that “a small percentage” of the 6.2 million pages of documents provided to the committee were “set aside because they raise executive branch confidentiality interests.”
The White House also said that it had worked closely with the committee “to ensure access to the information necessary to review the CIA’s former program.”
Speaking to reporters earlier during a White House event, Obama said that the administration has worked with the committee to ensure that its study is “well informed” and that he was committed to seeing the report declassified once a final version is completed. He said it wouldn’t be proper for him to comment directly on the battle between the CIA and the committee, except to say that CIA Director John Brennan had referred the issues to the “appropriate authorities and they are looking into it.”
The Democrat-controlled committee has largely kept silent about the tussle with the White House, even as some members have decried what they contend has been the CIA’s refusal to surrender key materials on the agency’s use under the Bush administration of interrogation methods denounced by the panel chairwoman as “un-American” and “brutal.”
The chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, made no mention of the White House documents during a blistering floor speech Tuesday in which she charged that the CIA may have undermined the Constitution and violated the law by searching computers used by her staff to compile the study. Brennan has denied her allegations and the White House has expressed continued confidence in his leadership of the CIA.
In question are some 9,400 documents that came to the committee’s attention in 2009, McClatchy has learned. It’s unclear whether the CIA first gave the committee staff access to the materials before the White House withheld them.
Obama, however, still hasn’t formally decreed that the documents are protected by executive privilege, McClatchy learned. Although the doctrine isn’t mentioned explicitly in the Constitution, the Supreme Court in 1974 recognized a limited power by the White House to withhold certain communications between high officials and close aides who advise and assist them.
The withholding of the documents “may not be a smoking gun” proving White House obstructionism, said Goitein, a former Senate Judiciary Committee legal adviser.
Among the other explanations: The White House might have determined that the documents are not relevant to the inquiry or that they are indeed covered by executive privilege but that the president has not yet been forced to assert the claim, she said.
“The most nefarious explanation is that they are not privileged and the White House simply doesn’t want to hand them over,” Goitein said. “Executive privilege is generally asserted after negotiations and brinksmanship behind the scenes. People put on paper what they want to be formalized, and these negotiations by their very nature are very informal.”
The committee, the CIA and the White House have held periodic talks on the materials since 2009. Their apparent failure to resolve the standoff prompted Feinstein to write several letters last year to Obama’s chief legal adviser, Kathryn Ruemmler, seeking a resolution, McClatchy has learned.
A White House official, who declined to be further identified as a matter of administration policy, said that Ruemmler responded to Feinstein’s letters, although information obtained by McClatchy indicated that she hadn’t.
It was not known if the materials came up during a visit that Ruemmler and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough paid to Feinstein and the committee’s vice chairman, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., on Tuesday after Feinstein delivered her speech.
To date, the most explicit public reference to documents being withheld by the White House appears to have been made last August by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., an Intelligence Committee member who has led calls for a full disclosure of the CIA interrogation program.
In written questions that he submitted for the confirmation process of former CIA General Counsel Stephen W. Preston to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer, Udall asked Preston what role he’d played in an agency decision to withdraw documents that initially had been provided to the committee staff.
“During the CIA’s document production of more than six million pages of records, the CIA removed several thousand CIA documents that the CIA believed could be subject to executive privilege claims by the president,” Udall wrote. “While the documents represent an admittedly small percentage of the total number of records produced, the documents – deemed responsive – have nonetheless not been provided to the committee.”
Preston responded that “a small percentage of the total number of documents was set aside for further review. The agency (CIA) has deferred to the White House and has not been substantially involved in subsequent discussions about the disposition of those documents.”
In a related episode in 2010 as described by Feinstein in her speech on Tuesday, the committee staff discovered that it was no longer able to access hundreds of documents that it previously had been able to read.
“This was done without the knowledge or approval of committee members or staff and in violation of our written agreements,” she said.
CIA personnel initially accused computer technicians of removing the documents and then asserted that they were pulled on the White House’s orders, Feinstein said. The White House denied issuing such orders, she said, and “the matter was resolved” with renewed administration and CIA pledges that there would be no further intrusions into the staff’s database.
Feinstein, however, did not say what happened to the documents.
The records being held by the White House are separate from materials generated by an internal CIA review of some 6.2 million pages of operational cables, emails and other top-secret documents made accessible to committee staff in a secret CIA electronic reading room in Northern Virginia. The committee approved a final draft of the $40 million, 6,300-page study in December 2012.
In his first significant comments on the scandal, Chambliss took to the Senate floor late Wednesday afternoon to launch an apparent counterattack on Feinstein’s speech.
“Although people speak as though we know all the pertinent facts surrounding this matter, the truth is, we do not,” said Chambliss, who pointed out that the committee’s Republican staff didn’t participate in investigating the detention and interrogation program.
“We do not have the actual facts concerning the CIA’s alleged actions or all of the specific details about the actions by the committee staff regarding the draft of what is now referred to as the Panetta internal document,” Chambliss said. “Both parties have made allegations against one another, and even speculated (on) each other’s actions, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that must be addressed.”
“No forensics have been run on the CIA computers . . . at the CIA facility to know what actually happened either regarding the alleged CIA search or the circumstances under which the committee came into possession of the Panetta internal review document.”

And then comes this on the LA Times Tech page:
0314 US NSA posed as Facebook to infect computers with malware, report says
Complete with an ardent denial from the NSA:
[Updated 1:25 p.m. PDT March 13: The NSA has said that the report by the Intercept is inaccurate.
"NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites," the agency said in a statement. "Nor does NSA target any user of global Internet services without appropriate legal authority."]
The NSA has reportedly been using an automated system codenamed TURBINE to infect computers and networks with malware. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press / June 6, 2013)
'Angry Birds' used for NSA, British spying efforts, documents say
Silicon Valley's reaction to Obama's NSA reforms: Not enough
Apple Gotofail bug: Simple mistake or NSA conspiracy?
By Salvador Rodriguez This post has been updated, as indicated below.
March 12, 2014, 11:34 a.m.
The National Security Agency has reportedly used automated systems to infect user computers with malware since 2010, according to a Wednesday report. And at times the agency pretended to be Facebook to install its malware.
The NSA has been using a program codenamed TURBINE to contaminate computers and networks with malware "implants" capable of spying on users, according to the Intercept, which cited documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Between 85,000 and 100,000 of these implants have been deployed worldwide thus far, the report said.
ALSO: Will Flappy Bird fly again? Developer is 'considering it'
To infect computers with malware, the NSA has relied on various tactics, including posing as Facebook.
The federal agency performed what is known as a "man-on-the-side" attack in which it tricked users computers into thinking that they were accessing real Facebook servers. Once the user had been fooled, the NSA hacked into the user's computer and extracted data from their hard drive.
Facebook said it had no knowledge of the NSA"s TURBINE program, according to the National Journal. However, the social network said it is no longer possible for the NSA or hackers to attack users that way, but Facebook warned that other websites and social networks may still be vulnerable to those types of attacks.
"This method of network level disruption does not work for traffic carried over HTTPS, which Facebook finished integrating by default last year," Facebook told the National Journal. "If government agencies indeed have privileged access to network service providers, any site running only HTTP could conceivably have its traffic misdirected."
Other ways the NSA infects malware onto computers include sending out spam emails.
The NSA is capable of installing different kinds of malware, each capable of performing different tasks. According to the report, certain malware can:
Use a computer's microphone to record audio
Use a computer's webcam to take photos
Record a computer's Internet browsing history
Record login details and passwords use for Web services
Log users' keystrokes
Extract data from flash drives when they are plugged into infected computers
Block users from accessing certain websites
Corrupt files that computers attempt to download
When the NSA first began infecting computers with malware in 2004, it would do so manually, according to the report. At that time, only between 100 and 150 implants had been deployed.
0314 AC
Tony Benn: the establishment insider turned leftwing outsider
The upper-middle class nonconformist radical had a tireless reformist zeal who was loved and loathed in equal measure by both the right and the left
Tony Benn former Labour MP, cabinet minister, writer, and a much-admired hate figure Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the guardian
Tony Benn was one of the most mesmerising and divisive figures in the mainstream of postwar British politics. An establishment insider who became a rebellious leftwing outsider, a cabinet minister turned street protester and reviled prophet of capitalism's demise, he nonetheless managed in old age to become something of a national treasure. "It's because I'm harmless now," he would explain.
In the course of a 60-year career in public life which left a more lasting impact on the constitution than on the direction of governments or their policies – first as Anthony Wedgwood Benn, briefly as Viscount Stansgate, and from 1973 as plain Mr Benn – he was both loved and loathed in equal measure by countless voters who had never met him.
As such Benn stood in a long line of upper-class, nonconformist radicals with a moral crusader's unsettling zeal, as recognisably English as a character out of Anthony Trollope or even PG Wodehouse. His former Oxford tutor, later his Notting Hill neighbour and cabinet colleague, the cerebral Tony Crosland, was devoted to him even though he accused Benn – known to some intimates as "Jimmy" – of working so hard that "he creates endless crises". Crosland would say affectionately: "Nothing the matter with him except he's a bit cracked."
It was a lack of any direct dealings with their troublesome, often self-righteous colleague which characterised many of "Jimmy's" more ardent admirers in the opinion of detractors less forgiving than Crosland. To them he symbolised disastrous and rancorous splits in the 1970s and 80s, a decade of unrealistic self-indulgence made worse when fellow-leftwingers, Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock led the party. Between the left and Roy Jenkins's rightwing SDP split, it cost them power for 19 years.
Benn outside parliament in 1961. Photograph: Philip Jones Griffiths
Surviving Bennites and their leftwing allies in the unions and grassroots labour movement were quick to counter criticism with praise for his far-sighted warnings against globalisation or unaccountable corporate power and his resilient optimism, after Benn's death at 88 was announced on Friday. With the possible exceptions of Aneurin Bevan and Arthur Scargill on the left and Margaret Thatcher or Enoch Powell on the radical right, no mainstream postwar political figure aroused such partisan loyalty – or fear.
  • Length: 66:09 minutes (60.57 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

The Pentagon Feels the Heat: 2014 QDR Cites Climate Change among 'Threat Multipliers'

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Thu, 03/06/2014
0306 OR Verbal altercation closes Port of Portland container terminal
 The Port of Portland's container yard closed for the second day in a row. This time following an argument between security workers and longshoremen.
Port spokesman Steve Johnson told The Oregonian ( ) that the angry words were exchanged Wednesday after longshoremen started moving traffic cones in a parking lot.
The closure came a day after dockworkers stopped working to honor a picket line.
The Terminal 6 container terminal has been the site of repeated turmoil since 2012, as members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union clash with the company hired to operate it.
Hanjin Shipping, Portland's most important container carrier, has threatened to abandon the city because labor-management friction has reduced productivity.
0306 WA Minimum wage increase supporters pack Seattle hearing
Last night A public hearing on Seattle's minimum wage drew a crowd estimated at about 700 people . many of them red-shirted advocates of a move to increase the city's minimum to $15 an hour.
The mayor's Income Inequality Committee is expected to offer the City Council a proposal by April 30.
The Times says that so far, the committee hasn't addressed the issues of how much to increase pay, how quickly and whether there will be exemptions.  Washington state's minimum wage is $9.32 an hour.
0306 US Pentagon Calls Climate Change Impacts "Threat Multipliers," Could Enable Terrorism
A “civilizational threat”  is how the Pentagon puts it.  and as the source of terror for millions of people around the world, the US military would know whereof it speaks.  And speak it did in the 2014  U.S. Department of Defense Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). Out yesterday. the Review  , declaries that  the threat of climate change impacts a very serious national security vulnerability that, among other things, could enable further terrorist activity. 
Released every four years, the QDR is a broad outline of U.S. military strategy discussing how to maintain global U.S. military hegemony. Like the 2010 document, the 64-page 2014 QDR again highlights the threats posed to national security by ever-worsening global climate disruption.
The report states that the  impacts of climate change may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities, while at the same time undermining the capacity of our domestic installations to support training activities.
"Climate change poses another significant challenge for the United States and the world at large. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures are increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating."
For sake of context, some members of the U.S. Congress still deny the existence of climate change, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But the Pentagon's assessment is that global warming is not only real, but also a civilizational threat, as stated in sobering language in the past three QDRs.
As outlined in Christian Parenti's 2011 book, "Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence," the military establishment understands climate change is an unparalleled global threat, saying so clearly in reports like the QDR. The problem: its activities around the world are in large part responsible for the threat to begin with.
0306 US Massive license plate location database just like Instagram, Digital Recognition Network insists
It started yesterday At a state house hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Transportation Committee , the chief executive of the largest license plate scan database in the country insisted that license plate recognition technology is “simply photography.”
Or, as Chris Metaxas, chief executive of Digital Recognition Network based in Fort Worth, Texas, puts it, the scans are the same as storing pictures on Instagram, which are available for all to see.”
Metaxas was the sole witness to testify against a bill that would regulate use of license plate readers. His company oversees a nationwide network of license plate reader cameras operated by repo agents, many of whom collect their geotagged “pictures” of license plates in shopping mall parking garages, office park lots, and residential parking facilities.
DRN’s database currently stores 1.8 billion vehicle location records, and its network adds 70 million scans each month. 
A bill proposed by state Senator Cynthia Creem (D - Newton) and state Representative Jonathan Hecht (D – Watertown)  would put a number of restrictions on license plate readers. If passed, the bill would ban most uses of the technology, making exceptions only for law enforcement, toll collection, and parking regulation.
License plate scan companies argue that the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, passed in 1994, adequately guards against abuses of the technology. DPPA limits the disclosure of Registry of Motor Vehicles information that connects a particular plate to an individual.
Supporters of restrictions countered that DPPA allows a wide range of permissible uses, and that RMV listings are not the only way to tie a plate to an individual.   
DRN has filed suit against the state of Utah over a similar ban on commercial use of license plate scanning, claiming that the company has a First Amendment right to photograph license plates in public view.
A handful of civil liberties and privacy groups also testified in support of restrictions, including the American Friends Service Committee, the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice and the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus.
Law enforcement representatives were notably absent among witnesses. 
0306 US Massive Pushback in Utah
Private businesses are using the 1st Amendment to mount a legal challenge to regulations on automatic license plate readers signed into law in the state of Utah in April of last year. License plate readers are another in the great panoply of spying technologies that automatically read the plate number, direction and time of travel for any car it catches in its lens. This data can then be aggregated and cross-referenced by police or other government agents to discern whether or not the car is stolen or otherwise involved in a criminal investigation.
The regulation in Utah effectively banned the private use of license plate scanners and put in place strict guidelines for how the scanners are to be used by police. Included in the regulation is a 30-day cap on information retention, meaning all the license plate data collected by the cameras is discarded after the 30-day period is up.
Private companies who collect and sell data gleaned through the use of license plate scanner technology are now prevented from engaging in the practice as a result of the ban on private data collection. From Ars Technica:
“Two major private LPR firms—Digital Recognition Network and Vigilant Solutions—are suing Utah’s governor and attorney general, arguing that they have a First Amendment right to collect data on license plates, which are displayed in public on open roads.
The case seemingly pits the privacy rights of individuals against the First Amendment rights of corporations to engage in constitutionally protected speech. Legal experts say that this case presents a unique challenge in balancing these two constitutional rights, and it may have implications for future, similar laws across the country.”
0306 US CIA Accused Of Spying On Senate Intelligence Committee Staffers
from Techdirt
from the biting-the-hand-that-oversees-you dept
While at times, it's appeared that the Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Dianne Feinstein, serves more to prop up the intelligence community than to handle oversight, it has actually clashed quite a bit with the CIA. We've discussed a few times how the Committee has been pushing to release a supposedly devastating 6,000 page report about the CIA's torture program, which cost taxpayers an equally astounding $40 million to produce. However, the CIA has been fighting hard to block the release of the report, arguing that it misrepresents the CIA's actions. 
However, things are getting even more bizarre, as the NY Times is reporting that the CIA is now accused of spying on the Intelligence Committee and its staffers in its attempt to keep that report from being released. 
The details are still a little cloudy, but in December, Senator Mark Udall revealed that the Senate Intelligence Committee had come across an internal CIA study that apparently corroborated the information that is in the big Senate report -- and which directly contradicted claims by the CIA to the Committee about how the report was inaccurate -- suggesting that, on top of everything else, the CIA lied to the Intelligence Committee. Udall quizzed CIA boss John Brennan about that internal report. And according to the NY Times, it appears that CIA folks freaked out that the Intelligence Committee somehow got access to that internal study, and responded the way the CIA knows best: by starting to spy on Intelligence Committee staffers:
The agency’s inspector general began the inquiry partly as a response to complaints from members of Congress that C.I.A. employees were improperly monitoring the work of staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, according to government officials with knowledge of the investigation. 
The committee has spent several years working on a voluminous report about the detention and interrogation program, and according to one official interviewed in recent days, C.I.A. officers went as far as gaining access to computer networks used by the committee to carry out its investigation.
On Tuesday, Udall sent a strongly worded letter to President Obama, pushing for the declassification and release of the big 6,300 page report, but also that internal CIA study, which would highlight how the CIA lied. On top of that, he made an oblique reference to this spying activity by the CIA:
As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the Committee in relation to the internal CIA review, and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee's oversight responsibilities and for our democracy. It is essential that the Committee be able to do its oversight work -- consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers -- without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today.
In many ways, the idea that the CIA is directly spying on the Senate Committee charged with its own oversight is a bigger potential scandal than many of the Snowden NSA revelations so far. Even more importantly, it may finally lead to Congress taking action against an out-of-control intelligence community.
0306 US Blocked confirmation of Obama civil rights enforcement has lawyers worried about clients
 Should a lawyer be disqualified from public service for representing a client like a cop killer? The question arises after the Senate rejected President Barack Obama's candidate to be the government's chief civil rights attorney.
The White House, attorneys and civil rights groups argued that a bipartisan vote Wednesday blocking Debo Adegbile from advancing toward confirmation set a troubling precedent that could dissuade lawyers with aspirations to serve in government from taking on unpopular clients or working for unpopular causes.
"The fact that his nomination was defeated solely based on his legal representation of a defendant runs contrary to a fundamental principle of our system of justice," Obama, a lawyer himself, argued after the final vote.
Adegbile spent much of his career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he argued before the Supreme Court that Mumia Abu-Jamal's conviction for killing a Philadelphia police officer should be overturned because of discrimination in jury selection. Abu-Jamal is now serving a life sentence without parole.
The National Fraternal Order of Police urged senators to oppose Adegbile for his advocacy in the case. All 44 Republicans and eight Democrats voted against his nomination as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, likely dooming the nomination in what Obama called a "travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks." It was unknown what the next steps the White House will take with the nomination
Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a lawyer, voted no because Adegbile "would face such visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job." But Coons also said he embraces "the proposition that an attorney is not responsible for the actions of their client."
Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said senators had a right to probe Adegbile's work because it was for an advocacy group.
"They tried to bring racial politics into this murder of a police officer, and not only that, they used it to try to try to make the false claim that we have an entirely racist judicial system and they used it to raise money," he said. "I don't know of any private attorneys who use their representation of clients to try and raise money for their organization. It is very much on point to be able to criticize him for the kind of representation they provided."
The Adegbile vote was the latest example of changing standards for legal nominees that reflects increasing politicization of the nomination process. Adegbile's backers point out that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts aided in the representation of Florida death row inmate John Ferguson, convicted of killing eight people.
"During the course of their long careers, both John Roberts and Debo Adegbile each performed a vital constitutional service by representing an unpopular client on death row," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "Roberts is now chief justice of the Supreme Court, but opponents of the Adegbile nomination twisted reality and resorted to some of the dirtiest attacks I've seen in my professional career."
Democrats opposed Obama's nomination of Atlanta attorney Mark Cohen as a federal judge because he argued in favor of Georgia's voter identification law. And Republicans opposed Obama's nomination of Caitlin Halligan as an appellate judge because of her work on a case against gun manufacturers as solicitor general of New York.
Obama's counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, said rising young lawyers who have taken on unpopular clients were watching the Adegbile vote and thinking they will never be able to serve at a senior level in the government.
0306 US Senate to vote on bill that would strip commanders of authority to prosecute sex crimes
Will legislation to curb sexual assaults in the military by stripping senior commanders of their authority to prosecute rapes and other serious offenses make it a vote in the Senate?  It could happen this afternoon…
The bill, is firmly opposed by the Pentagon's leadership, which argues officers should have more responsibility, not less, for the conduct of the troops they lead.
A solid majority of the Senate backs the bill, sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., illustrating the deep frustration among Republicans and Democrats over the military's failure to stem the epidemic of sexual assaults in the ranks. 
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Lynne Stewart - Never a Prisoner, Never a Slave to Injustice...

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Tue, 03/04/2014
It isn't possible - even reasonable - to tyhink of Lynne Stewart as a "prisoner".  Her life is dedicated to Freedom.  Freedom for everyone, not just the people with money and lawyers; not just for people who write laws, tear them down, write more laws, the shape-shifters who never find themselves behind bars because they own the bars. 
Lynne Stewart and her husband Ralph are activists - always have been and always will be. 
But Lynne has 4th stage breats cancer anmd while she was incarcerated, denied medical treatment, her medical insurance was cancelled. So now she is fighting the disease, fighting the insurance industry and still paying her own legal fees.
Do the right thing.
  • Length: 19:57 minutes (18.26 MB)
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Transform Now Ploughshares Support Group: A Long, Shining Line in the Sand

Air Cascadia
program date: 
Thu, 02/20/2014
It’s a strange nation we’ve built in which men and women – one, an 84 year-old nun, fer crissakes – are arrested and charged with “destruction of property” at a nuclear weapons factory…But it happens, Oh, it happens. Ralph Hutchinson, Paul Magno and Ellen Barfield, fellow activists with Transform Now Ploughshares Support Group bring you a firsthand report on the sentencing of fellow activists for their protest at Tennessee's  Oak Ridge Nuclear Weapons Plant.
Eugene police are gunning for a “security forum” that takes  on “School Safety and Dangerous Acts of Violence.”  The Eugene, Springfield, University of Oregon and Junction City police chiefs will be among the law enforcement officials will be there.  But wait…
Let's parse that: isn't enforced poverty and its criminalization a form of violence against the disenfranchised?  
The question: Is social media making us dumber? And the simple answer: Yes. Now that social media are speeding up and exaggerating the copycat trend, it’s easy to see where humankind might be getting dumber, if grabbing information from someone else substitutes for exercising intellectual ability.
For years, decades even,  reporters have been allowed to sit in on and observe  the Eugene School  Board meetings  on condition they do not report on the proceedings. Last night however The  School Board voted 4-3 to bar the media from all future closed meetings on labor negotiations.
The state Land Use Board of Appeals has overturned Lane County’s decision to grant a special use permit to a private events center called Prindel Creek Farm in the Siuslaw National Forest.  Quite simply: No music and musical camping in the forest.  Now if the presenters had planed to clear-cut trees on public land..well that's a lot easier to arrange: just ask Governow Kitzhaber, He'll sign  off on it.
The Oregon Logging Conference opened in  Eugene yesterday to the roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd.  And it was a pretty smelly crowd.  Thanks to a new report from an international market research firm attendance is expected to soar this year as the industry continues to recover from the blows dealt by the recession and  the forestry industry additional grounds for some optimism.
6, President Barack Obama  was In Mexico Wednesday for a summit with his North American counterparts — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to discuss issues of trade, security and other words, a little Transpacific Partnership and arm-wrestling
'Sanction' is one of those odd-duck words that lays claim to two contradictory meanings.  Sometimes the second unintended meaning is the more appropriate descriptor.  Here, for instance:  The US Treasury Department is sanctioning a Colombian suspected of leading an international drug trafficking and money laundering organization that exported nearly 100 tons of cocaine a year from Colombia. Because if all the drug money laundered through the Streets of Wall, well, the Wall would fall.
Human Rights Watch released a report on the drone strike Thursday, citing interviews with eight witnesses and relatives of the dead as well as Yemeni officials. The report said four Hellfire missiles were fired at a wedding procession of 11 vehicles on Dec. 12, 2013, in Radda in southern Yemen, killing at least 12 men and wounding at least 15 others, six of them seriously.
And shortly thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security warned US travelers that Disgruntled targets of American diplomacy may try to bring down airliners by blowing their shoes up.
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membership means more

your threat of quitting your membership gives me two options for analysis:

1) you gave money to Theresa via KBOO.

2) if Theresa died tomorrow, you'd give up your membership.

my interpretation

1) that's cool, man.  you support community-based radio based solely on your dedication to one weekly half-hour show. that demonstrates that Theresa's voice represents/intrigues you (and many, many others); however you don't feel represented by any one of the other 500 people who volunteer their time and energy in the 24/7 endevour, and you don't value the input (and miraculous existence!) of the other 5-10,000 members and ten times as many listeners; neither do you support the KBOO mission of including as many underrepresented voices as possible on the air, with natural turnover, schedule changes and opportunities as new people arrive.  Membership gives you the power to affect the decision-making, which is why you gave money to Theresa via KBOO; and, by golly, you will do everything in your power to keep her on the air, and you want the KBOO website visitors to know how you feel when they read the comments.  You'd even like them to join you in your fight.

2) wow.

my opinion

Personally, Theresa's show is one of my  favourites and there are plenty of shows that I not only don't like or don't listen to, but also complain about out loud.  It's my radio station, and, like my family, I will not be quiet when they need to shape up or ship out.

writing inflammatory statements on the webpage will remain simply that: inflammatory statements with a reaction or two from trolls (see the 20 pages of Anonymous written about me because of the audio I submitted that Jenka edited), which, in the end, result in: NOTHING.  If you want to chat with others online, that's fine, but you should know that nothing said here is considered in the Committee meetings. It's just an informal public forum, not policy binding.

my advice

Instead of threatening us (volunteers, members, listeners and our very existence), why not use your valuable internet time to phrase it as, for example, a question to which one of us could easily respond:  "Have there been any changes to Theresa's show?  I noticed lately that it has been preemented or even cut.  It is my favourite show. [I fear Air Cascadia will take its place--not necessary but very telling that you chose Chris' page to write it--ed.]. "  You can copy the question to Theresa's email (though I know from experience she doesn't respond) and/or print it out and put it in her cubby hole at the station. And/or show up to the meetings.  And/or call Theresa during her show--she takes calls, you know.  Ask her if she'll train or mentor you to do the same kind of work she does.

p.s.  Air Cascadia basically is the AM News is Chris Andreae: i was engineering {i'm flattered that you liked it}and was very sad when it was cut--but that is the way of the station; we adhere and adapt to the ever-fluctuating needs of the larger community--but i watched, with great pleasure, as it morphed into Air Cascadia.  Though i adore Dennis Bernstein, 15 less minutes of his voice is no skin off my back. 



air cascadia

im a conservative right wing trucker and i think cris andrae is the greatest broadcaster on the radio. i try to listen when i dont need traffic reports.
her scathing commentary is the best. i would join kboo but i fear america will become too weak and barry will force me to find a green job soon . keep up the good work
michael j

The anchor news program

The anchor news program Democracy Now, conveiniently aired at 11 AM so that all could tune in was moved to 7 AM with a result that most if not all of the people who work nights won't be tuning in as they are still sleeping. Also missed the 40th anniversary bash as it was inconveinently held from 4 to 10 Pm, on a weekday, which would exclude anyone working swing from attending unless they took a day off. Why couldn't this have been held on a Saturday or Sunday?
Air Cascadia is a very rough and unpolished program that leaves me tuning to OPB or just turning it off.
The choppy, emergent voice of Cris Andreae is certainly a large part in that.
If it is true that Press Watch will be axed for this then it will be an easy decision to withhold future pledges from this listener.

What happened to Presswatch?

Is Air Cascadia taking over what Therisa has been doing? If so, I may give up my membership. First, the am news gets axed to accomodate Democracy Now, now is Presswatch going under the plow?


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