Thursday, August 17, 2017

U.S. talks tough on trade deficit as NAFTA discussions begin



The United States drew a hard line for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday, demanding major concessions aimed at slashing trade deficits with Mexico and Canada and boosting U.S. content for autos.

At the start of talks in Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump's top trade adviser, Robert Lighthizer, said Trump was not interested in "a mere tweaking" of the 23-year-old pact, which Trump has threatened to scrap without major changes.

"We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement," Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, said at the start of the talks, which reflected Trump's relentless criticism that NAFTA has caused massive U.S. manufacturing job losses.


https://in.reuters.com/article/us-trade-nafta-idINKCN1AW09I

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Read Hunter S. Thompson’s correspondence with LBJ on their original letterhead



The O.G. (Original Gonzo) journalist Hunter S. Thompson wielded a way with words that cut through a lot of 20th-century America’s crap, and throughout the mythic course of his life, the moments in which he crossed the country’s police state were well-documented in his books and articles.

In some cases, these times also live on in the government’s filing cabinets, crumbs in the official record of a citizen concerned but good-humored. Materials living at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, for example, are characteristically stamped with the writer’s wry wit and the flair of life on the road, sixties-style. Though some of these materials have been published before, the original colorful copies are something special to see.

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/aug/16/HST-LBJ-OMG/

Monday, August 14, 2017

Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country



From his tiny sanctum in London, the founder of WikiLeaks has interfered with the world’s most powerful institutions.

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London is situated at the end of a wide brick lane, next to the Harrods department store, in Knightsbridge. Sometimes plainclothes police officers, or vans with tinted windows, can be found outside the building. Sometimes there are throngs of people around it. Sometimes there is virtually no one, which was the case in June, 2012, when Julian Assange, the publisher of WikiLeaks, arrived, disguised as a motorcycle courier, to seek political asylum. In the five years since then, he has not set foot beyond the Embassy. Nonetheless, he has become a global influence, proving that with simple digital tools a single person can craft a new kind of power—a distributed, transnational power, which functions outside norms of state sovereignty that have held for centuries. Encouraged by millions of supporters, Assange has interfered with the world’s largest institutions. His releases have helped fuel democratic uprisings—notably in Tunisia, where a revolution sparked the Arab Spring—and they have been submitted as evidence in human-rights cases around the world. At the same time, Assange’s methodology and his motivations have increasingly come under suspicion. During the Presidential election last year, he published tens of thousands of hacked e-mails written by Democratic operatives, releasing them at pivotal moments in the campaign. They provoked strikingly disparate receptions. “I love WikiLeaks,” Donald Trump declared, in exultant gratitude. After the election, Hillary Clinton argued that the releases had been instrumental in keeping her from the Oval Office.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/21/julian-assange-a-man-without-a-country

Reporter and Press Freedom Advocate James Risen to Join The Intercept and First Look Media



JAMES RISEN, who, as a best-selling author and New York Times reporter, has broken some of the biggest stories of the post-9/11 period, is joining The Intercept as our senior national security correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. Risen will write a reported column on national security and other national issues, as well as help to lead The Intercept’s investigative reporting efforts.

Risen was himself a target of the U.S. government’s crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers. He waged a seven-year battle, risking jail after the Bush administration and later the Obama administration sought to force him to testify and reveal his confidential sources in a leak investigation. Risen never gave in, and the government finally backed down.

As a New York Times reporter, Risen won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his stories about the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program, and he was a member of the reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and terrorism.

https://theintercept.com/2017/08/14/reporter-and-press-freedom-advocate-james-risen-to-join-the-intercept-and-first-look-media/

Sunday, August 13, 2017

No Agenda: Sunday (8-13-17) Episode 955 - Outrage Addition

Film: The Tiny West Virginia Town Haunted by an NSA Secret



Antennae at the NSA listening post, codenamed TIMBERLINE, were built to capture Soviet satellite messages as they bounced off the moon, imbuing a pristine stretch of Appalachia with a sort of cosmic gravity. Residents lived with the knowledge that something was hidden away on a hilltop above the town, even if it was something they could never know. TIMBERLINE’s mission has, to say the least, changed in the intervening years, as submarine-laid internet cables have become a greater priority for American spies than foreign satellite communication.

https://theintercept.com/2017/08/12/film-the-tiny-west-virginia-town-haunted-by-an-nsa-secret/

Friday, August 11, 2017

US Postal Service calls for price increases amid record losses



The US Postal Service has seen record losses as traditional mail is replaced by electronic means. Without enough money to pay for years of employee benefits, the agency is calling for legislation to enable them to raise their prices.

On Thursday, the USPS reported losses of $2.1 billion in the third fiscal quarter of 2017, compared to a $1.6 billion loss in the same quarter last year.

Over the past 10 years, the USPS has incurred a net loss of $63.3 billion and they project future losses without legislative and regulatory changes.

The agency also warned that it will likely have to default on $6.9 billion in payments for future retiree health benefits and pensions, according to the Associated Press. From 2012 to 2016, the USPS has defaulted on $33.9 billion in Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund prefunding payments.

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/us-postal-service-calls-for-price-increases-amid-record-losses_082017

EMP's and How To Survive Them

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Judge orders new searches for Clinton Benghazi emails



Nine months after the presidential election was decided, a federal judge is ordering the State Department to try again to find emails Hillary Clinton wrote about the Benghazi attack.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that the State Department had not done enough to try to track down messages Clinton may have sent about the assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound on Sept. 11, 2012 — an attack that killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

"To date, State has searched only data compilations originating from outside sources — Secretary Clinton, her former aides, and the FBI. ... It has not, however, searched the one records system over which it has always had control and that is almost certain to contain some responsive records: the state.gov e-mail server," Mehta wrote.

"If Secretary Clinton sent an e-mail about Benghazi to Abedin, Mills, or Sullivan at his or her state.gov e-mail address, or if one of them sent an e-mail to Secretary Clinton using his or her state.gov account, then State’s server presumably would have captured and stored such an e-mail. Therefore, State has an obligation to search its own server for responsive records."

http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/08/09/judge-orders-searches-for-clinton-benghazi-emails-241470

WIKILEAKS RELEASE: CIA system for intercepting video chat and security camera streams



Today, August 10th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the the User Guide for the CoachPotato project of the CIA. CouchPotato is a remote tool for collection against RTSP/H.264 video streams. It provides the ability to collect either the stream as a video file (AVI) or capture still images (JPG) of frames from the stream that are of significant change from a previously captured frame. It utilizes ffmpeg for video and image encoding and decoding as well as RTSP connectivity. CouchPotato relies on being launched in an ICE v3 Fire and Collect compatible loader.

https://wikileaks.org/vault7/releases/#CouchPotato

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A First Look at the New JFK Assassination Documents



Rex Bradford is the president and archivist of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, a nonprofit entity that has collected millions of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and other major events.

Just last week the National Archives released another batch of such documents. By law, all the records related to the assassination have to be released later this year, unless President Donald Trump blocks their publication.

With this new release, 88% of the National Archives store of Kennedy assassination material is now available to the public. This consists of 3,369 documents, some previously released with portions redacted and 441 formerly withheld-in-full documents. Most of these documents originate from the FBI and CIA.


https://whowhatwhy.org/2017/08/04/first-look-new-jfk-assassination-documents/

Formerly Jailed CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou: Jeff Sessions Is Extending Obama's War on Leaks



Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the FBI has formed a new team focused on investigating potential leaks to the press. During a press conference on Friday, Sessions said that leak investigations have tripled since President Donald Trump took office. Civil liberties groups criticized Sessions's remarks. Ben Wizner of the ACLU said, "A crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy as a whole." We speak with John Kiriakou, the former CIA analyst who exposed the Bush-era torture program and became the only official jailed in connection with it.

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/8/8/formerly_jailed_cia_whistleblower_john_kiriakou



The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II - A Collection of Primary Sources



Updated National Security Archive Posting Marks 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Japan and the End of World War II

Extensive Compilation of Primary Source Documents Explores Manhattan Project, Petitions Against Military Use of Atomic Weapons, Debates over Japanese Surrender Terms, Atomic Targeting Decisions, and Lagging Awareness of Radiation Effects

New Information Spotlights General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Early Misgivings about First Nuclear Use

General Curtis Lemay's Report on the Firebombing of Tokyo, March 1945

Originally posted - August 5, 2005
First update - April 27, 2007
Second update - August 4, 2015

Latest update - 7 August 2017

http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb525-The-Atomic-Bomb-and-the-End-of-World-War-II/

Britain pressed US to join Iran coup against Mosaddegh



The British government in 1952 repeatedly asked the US to join in a coup aimed at toppling Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iran’s prime minister, according to newly declassified State Department documents.

The files offer “the first officially-released confirmation of Britain’s expressed aim in late 1952 to persuade Washington to help oust Mosaddegh,” according to two scholars affiliated with the National Security Archive, the private non-partisan research organisation that obtained the documents. 

The “Top Secret” State Department memoranda — including one entitled “British proposal to organise a coup d’├ętat in Iran” — also offer fresh insights into London’s assessment of Iranian politics and the threat to British interests that eventually led to the August 1953 coup. 

That anti-government uprising, backed by Britain and the US, toppled Mosaddegh, ushered in more than two decades of authoritarian rule by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and embittered relations between Tehran and the west. 

https://www.ft.com/content/9ea5c5e0-7c50-11e7-9108-edda0bcbc928