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3 years, 9 months ago
  • what’s the manpower ratio between bad guys and u.s. gov security agents?

    The problem is it’s not a simple ratio, it’s an inverse square. Cut the number of bad guys in half and we get 4x as many security types. It’s also the equation for the pitch of a slippery slope.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post FBI Aspires to Be the Stasi

    2011-06-13 20:45:51View | Delete

    There’s your justification for a “proactive assessment”, even if the advocacy of violence comes from one of their own, as it so often has.

    Acknowledging the change of the rules of “assessment” itself becomes the pretext for assessing each and every one who participates in the conversation, or views it, or who has ever visited the site, or one like it.

    We’ve been here before, but without the technology:

    “Are you now or have you ever been,
    Were you ever sympathetic to or interested in?
    When did you start, how long did it last,
    Tell us all about your interesting past –
    Answer yes or no!”

    “Did you go to a meeting, did you sign a petition,
    Did you ever hold an executive position?
    Did you make a speech, did you carry a card,
    Did you ever hold a conference in your back yard?”

    Talking Unamerican Blues – 1952

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post FBI Aspires to Be the Stasi

    2011-06-13 19:54:43View | Delete

    Things like No Script and Better Privacy for Firefox are needed too. LSO cookies are stinkers. All the browser add ons are in addition to up to date hardware and OS firewalls, OS, anti-virus, and anti mal-ware tools.

    You can at least make it a little harder for the bozos to casually “assess” you. However, if someone with actual national technical means wants any of us we’re dead meat.

    Remember too which Agency has been consulting with the tech sector on security. That includes at least two generations of Windows, and the newest generation of Intel cpus that have remarkable capabilities to do things like phone home or brick your system without letting you know or asking your permission. It is reasonable to infer that the newer the technology, the greater the probability that backdoors are baked in from the beginning.

    Never consider that any electronic communication, or any communication where electronics are present, is private or protected. Never.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post Thomas Drake to Government: “Bring It”

    2011-06-09 11:54:00View | Delete

    Yes to “(in effect) a stalking horse“. Johnson had them all intimidated. It seemed at the time that Bobby, and several others, were opportunists who jumped in once McCarthy demonstrated that LBJ was mortal.

    Like McCarthy in New Hampshire, Obama derailed the Clinton juggernaut that had been all but coronated. He broke out in Iowa on his opposition to the war du jour and Hillary’s vote to go to war without even reading the intelligence finding. It would seem Obama is vulnerable on war in ’12, and on jobs, and state secrets, and jobs, and trillions for Wall St, and jobs, and the bill of rights, and …did I mention jobs?

    I expect you are right, once someone with integrity stands up it gets easier for the rest of us. Not terribly flattering to all us “usses”.

    Drake made me think about McCarthy, honorable and willing to stand for principle when it is potentially personally very expensive.

    Tom Drake is a link to earlier generations at the Agency who would have quit before turning their tools inward, and who valued elegant solutions. I have a great deal of respect for him.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post Thomas Drake to Government: “Bring It”

    2011-06-09 10:48:34View | Delete

    the only name that could stop him in a primary is Hillary

    My first primary involvement was with Eugene McCarthy’s candidacy. He was soft spoken, a poet who could put you to sleep if you were not listening closely to what he said. He did not win, but he brought LBJ down. He demonstrated that truth spoken quietly, with purpose and perseverance can successfully challenge leaders gone wrong.

    …dumping on her based on lies Obama sold in 2008

    I beg your pardon. I did not need Obama or anyone else, truthful or otherwise, to move me to work actively against Hillary’s nomination. The truth about her was all that was needed to form a well founded antipathy to her blue cur, DLC, Dick Morris toe sucking, compromising, capitulating, warmongering, Repub lite campaign.

    but he will not be primaried because some would view that as racist

    My first ’12 campaign mailing was a black and white photo of an earnest Obama. It was followed closely by Rep. Clyburn’s comments that Obama’s problems were because of the color of his skin. It now seems clear that in ’08 they had to sell “Change” to help voters embrace a non-white candidate. In ’12 it seems as clear as black and white that criticism is racist,

    I would argue that ’08 was the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream, and that we are now engaged in judging Obama’s fitness for a second term based on the content of his character.

    Primary like your life depended on it. If you doubt that, ask Tom Drake.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post How’s that Plan Going, Mr. President?

    2011-06-04 09:08:32View | Delete

    How about “I’m the negotiater”?

    Maybe it’s not really negotiating but contracting to accomplish shared goals. For example, in March ’09 O contracted with Pharma that in exchange for a government funded and guaranteed free ride (aka the mythical projected long term trivial restraint in pricing figleaf) that they would support his health care “reform” and re-election. It was a Wimpy equation. “I will gladly give you a $100B in profits over a decade in exchange for $150m in advertising today.” As with every other damned issue, it was never adversarial, nor did it ever have anything to do with the best interests of the other 99% of us. All we get to do is pay, and pay, and pay until there ain’t no more. We have been the Chumps for Change.

    Primary ’12 like your Ass depended on it, and it does.

  • A very good guess would be using geolocation data from cell phones to collect information on the whereabouts of Americans.

    Let’s see, with what we know, what can be reasonably inferred… 100% intercepts + phones squawking geolocations + surveillance cameras + overhead imaging = potential to create and maintain individual moving plots with multiple views in near real time.

    Add the story about mistaken targeting last year based on cell phone intercepts. Anyone care to speculate on integration with weapons control systems? The joystick jockeys may be well on the way to becoming as obsolete as real pilots.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post The Osama bin Laden Trail Shows Waterboarding Didn’t Work

    2011-05-03 10:03:57View | Delete

    States rights, sure that’s the answer. Teabaggers don’t ever seem to get beyond Boston harbor. How’d those Articles of Confederation thingies work out anyhow?

    Bad bad government picking winners and losers, yeah sure, I’d much prefer the Koch brothers and Goldman Sachs do it. They’ve got such wonderful track records.

    Vote with your feet, there’s an enlightened political philosophy. It’s hard to find good trolls these days.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post The Osama bin Laden Trail Shows Waterboarding Didn’t Work

    2011-05-03 09:34:20View | Delete

    We are a Repubic that is far far away.

    It may be a distinction without a difference anymore. I was informally referring to a time when we at least seemed to be freer, not to the formal description of our political structure.

    However, now that you raise the issue, the forms of Republic seem more illusion than meaningful these days. Recent decades have been increasingly ruled by an ultra rich elite with the toadying bipartisan complicity of elected Repubs and Dems in both Administrative and Legislative branches. That rule has been enforced by the judiciary they have nominated and confirmed. The Bill of Rights has been shredded, individual rights are not protected from a majority that has accepted, among many other things, executive authority for extra judicial execution of US citizens, and state secrets to hide wrongdoing. Corporate primacy over individual rights is being directly enshrined by the judiciary, and indirectly by permitting corporate preemption of individuals in elections.

    There is a good argument to be made that we have become a democracy with republican forms that have ceased to be functional. Curiously, hope may be that the 98% percent of the unrich, and getting unricher by the day, will exercise democratic majority rule to take control back from the 2% minority. I stand on my comment.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post The Osama bin Laden Trail Shows Waterboarding Didn’t Work

    2011-05-03 05:12:50View | Delete

    Consider that torture/interrogation leads may be peripheral, and perhaps mostly cover story to distract from actual methods. The more we see, the harder it is to believe the Pacs were unaware of whose house that was. Big, secure, in sight of the national military academy in a city full of retired military in a country where they run the show. It strains credulity to think no one was interested who that could be. The Pacs may not be our best friends, but they’re not dumb, and they are rightfully anxious about who is who, where and why.

    The NSA has a long history of being at its “best” against state systems (pre room 641a et al. anyway). It has had every reason to be interested in Pac communications for a long time. SIGINT begins to smell like the more likely main source.

    OTOH, some of the 911 guys lived in a motel in Laurel in the shadow of the Agency and watched NSA employees by the thousands come and go daily…but that was long, long ago in a democracy far, far away.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post The Blowjob that Shall Not Be Named

    2011-04-28 22:52:11View | Delete

    It’s the hippies’ fault

    It probably is our fault, but I don’t believe we actually invented blowjobs, although it certainly seemed like it at the time.

    Why didn’t O provide the original years ago? He’s given the nut jobs and teabaggers (do I repeat myself?) a free ride for years of paranoid agitation. That corrosiveness has done damage that won’t just blow away. O sucked on habeas, he sucked on health care, he’s about to blow Boner on SS and Medicare… aw hell you know the tune. He knew his birth certificate was legit all along, why did he choke on that for more than 2 years? BO=BS. No more Change=Same. Real Change in ’12. Tax the rich. Put real people to work making real things right here in the USA. Bring our troops home alive and whole. Tell the running blue dogs to go hump someone else’s leg. C’mon hippies, get it on one more time. We left work undone in ’74 and we’re paying the price now. We owe it to our country and ourselves to make things right before we croak.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post USAMRID Lost Vials in 2003 AND 2009

    2011-03-25 08:31:30View | Delete

    One cannot believe the kind of pressure brought to bear when the federal government comes down hard on you, and makes you out to be a terrorist or mass murderer.

    There’s no mention of things like offering Ivins’ son millions of dollars and a sports car to rat him out, or showing his daughter pictures of anthrax victims and telling her that her dad did it, or, or, or… Looks like Wired has mostly helped the FBI get its story out yet again.

    Remember, there were two waves of letters. The first went to media and contained anthrax described as “coarse brown granular material looking like Purina Dog Chow”. The second wave, about three weeks later, went out on Oct 9 to the senators. It contained the “highly refined dry powder consisting of nearly pure spores”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks

    Different material, different technology, different targets, different time. Could there have been different perps? Nah, even the fbi could have figured that out.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post FBI’s Shrinks-4-Hire: Stalkers Are Likely Bioterrorists

    2011-03-23 18:55:39View | Delete

    Part of Ivin’s Exceptional Civilian Service Award was for developing the standard test strain of Anthrax that he, and everyone else, used in developing vaccines and antidotes. It went everywhere. The mysterious, supposedly telltale, vial RMR-1029 held that strain.

    As one of Ivin’s co-workers testified: “Heine said he did not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins’ flask, which led the FBI to conclude that Ivins had grown the spores from a sample taken from the flask. Heine pointed out that samples from the flask were widely shared. Accusing Ivins of the attacks, he said, was like tracing a murder to the clerk at the sporting goods shop who sold the bullets.”[11]

    In the end, all the astonishing, golly gee wiz, phantazmagorical, never dreamed of before by mere mortals “science” the FBI paid to have developed wasn’t even able to prove what Ivins, Heine and others had already voluntarily told them. “Man that shit’s everywhere. It’s The Gov’t Standard we all use to test against. Bruce got an award for it.”

    Go figure, and weep.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post FBI’s Shrinks-4-Hire: Stalkers Are Likely Bioterrorists

    2011-03-23 17:56:40View | Delete

    “After all, we are surely a class A threat to USG.”

    That’s what cost Bradley Manning his trou you know. War is Peace, Lies are Truth, Change is Same, it’s ok when THEY do it. But oh no, it’s Mr. Literal with a ‘tude for anything the rest of us say.

  • lefty665 commented on the blog post Sister Sara, RIP

    2011-01-16 21:54:53View | Delete

    It seems so long ago and far away. My first draft notice was in January ’66 and the last November ’72 when the SS decided not to draft me at the moment, but they reserved the right. I was at the top of the list until well into the Reagan years.

    My Dad was civilian DoD, in the days when Agency folks seemed to really believe that the first commandment was to never, ever turn the very sharp tools they built inward, although COINTELPRO eventually told another story. We did not always agree, but he would take me into D.C. for demonstrations and arrange to pick me up. His advice was consistent, whether it was dealing with Washington’s finest or the SS. “You don’t accomplish anything by going to jail. There are two sides to the law. Those in authority have the right to require that you obey the law. You have equal right to require that they fulfill their obligations under it too. It behooves you to understand exactly what the rules are.” With that guidance I never was arrested in demonstrations running from new MOBE in ’67 to the counter inaugural in ’73, and I argued the SS to a stalemate over 7 years.

    Kent State divided the DoD folks we knew. It was either “My god we’re shooting our kids” or “Line up some more of the hippie bastards”. Dad took me to play golf at the Ft. Meade course one weekend when I was in town for a demonstration. We were quite a sight, me with hair over my shoulders, shaggy beard, jeans and tie dye shirt. Him crew cut in kakis and chomping a cigar. Looking back I believe he too was making a statement.

    Where is the willingness to stand for what we believe in today? Where is the outrage? I stood in the rain on election day ’08 with precinct folks in my district working the polls and turning Virginia blue. The country voted for Change that day, but we got Same, Same with an attitude, and in areas like finance, economics, war, FISA and state secrets, worse than Same. I’ve now been thrown off the Exec Committee of the local Dems twice for agitating that to be leaders people need to get their heads out of the sand and think instead of being sycophantic lemmings. The State party is not better, and National makes me cringe, even, or especially, with our own Timmy running the show. The ’09 and ’10 elections show that much of the rest of the country has gotten the message, but not the Dems.

    Where do we go today to work constructively? The Dems are hopeless, and it sure ain’t the Teabaggers or Repubs. Sara burned with a bright light to the end. Help please, it’s dark out, my cabinets are from Lowe’s, and like the song said, “I can’t find my way home.”