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Elvis Costello And The Attractions "Watching The Detectives"

News & Opinion

Goldman and Apuzzo for AP.


WASHINGTON (AP) — In the early years after 9/11, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents then sent them home to help the U.S. kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said.

The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency's secret accounts.

It was a risky gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans.

For the CIA, that was an acceptable risk in a dangerous business. For the American public, which was never told, the program was one of the many secret trade-offs the government made on its behalf. At the same time the government used the risk of terrorism to justify imprisoning people indefinitely, it was releasing dangerous people from prison to work for the CIA.

TIME is doing their person of the year thing.  Not worth much but it's worth looking at the list of nominees.  Snowden is on the list but check out the rest of the names.  I'm voting for Benjamin Netanyahu, natch!
Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year?

Read more: Full List | Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year? | TIME.com http://poy.time.com/...

As always, TIME's editors will choose the Person of the Year, but that doesn't mean readers shouldn't have their say. Cast your vote for the person you think most influenced the news this year for better or worse - in both a straight yes/no poll and a candidate face-off. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 4, and the combined winner of our reader polls will be announced on Dec. 6. TIME's Person of the Year will be announced Dec. 11.

Read more: Full List | Vote Now: Who Should Be TIME’s Person of the Year? | TIME.com http://poy.time.com/...

Obama’s overhaul of spy programs so far cloaked in more secrecy

Obama has been gradually tweaking his vast government surveillance policies. But he is not disclosing those changes to the public. Has he stopped spying on friendly world leaders? He won’t say. Has he stopped eavesdropping on the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund? He won’t say.

Even the report by the group Obama created to review and recommend changes to his surveillance programs has been kept secret.

Critics note that this comes after he famously promised the most open administration in history.

“They seem to have reverted to a much more traditional model of secrecy except when it’s politically advantageous,” said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, and is an expert on – and prominent critic of – government secrecy. “That’s normal but not consistent with their pledge.”

I have to agree with Glenn Greenwald here. NSFWCorp announced yesterday that they're "selling out" and have been bought by Pando Daily and a libertarian Silicon Valley billionaire.  Now mind you, the thing that turned me against NSFW was when they started publishing stories damning and warning liberals against coalitions with libertarians before the Stop Watching Us coalition.  
Found: Libertarians' "Lying To Liberals" Guide Book by Mark Ames.
"We're all on the same team." by Olivia Nuzzi

There was a big push during that period trying to scare liberals, progressives and Democrats from joining together with libertarians in standing up against the bunkered intelligence community (IC).  In fact it had been brewing ever since the Amash-Conyers coalition in Congress formed and scared the hell out of the almighty IC.  And NSFW was all in.  

They had been taking shots at Glenn Greenwald and Pierre Omidyar and NewCo and then they published this hit piece on Pierre and proceeded to troll Greenwald on Twitter with this new meme, gaslighting Pierre and anyone associated with NewCo, and trying to grab some attention for their failing selves at the same time.
The Extraordinary Pierre Omidyar by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine

But guess what just happened?  NSFW ran out of money and sold out to... you guessed it, a real libertarian. And not just any libertarian. The libertarian that that they attacked in 2012, Peter Thiel.  The subtitle of an article by Paul Carr in The Nation was "Why does 76 percent of the civil libertarian’s Super PAC money come from billionaire Peter Thiel, whose Palantir Technologies helps the government spy on citizens?". And now Peter Thiel is their new owner and suddenly there's nothing wrong with the thing they've been attacking others for. Worse, when they published that hit piece on Pierre, they already knew they were going to be bought by Peter Thiel.  Not only is Thiel a libertarian, he's the cofounder of PayPal, the cofounder and chairman of Palantir (you remember them, right?) who have serious ties with the IC, and the first investor in Facebook.  In fact the ties with the IC in Silicon Valley and the titans' new interest in the media is something that I find really interesting.  

There are probably a lot more examples that can be found and you can certainly find a whole lot of trolling and provocateuring by the NSFW gang on social media right now, with pretty blatant attempts at causing trouble not just with NewCo but with the group of allied progressive journalists, bloggers and their followers who have a proven record of rejecting hyperpartisanship and who have been on the rise for a number of years now but who sort of solidified after the Snowden files reporting began.  They're even trying to use Assange and Wikileaks as a wedge. Assange is angry with anyone who was associated with Paypal or any organization who cut them off from funding when the government asked them to stop processing any payments going to Wikileaks.  Therefore Wikileaks is no friend of NSFW who just sold out to a Paypal founder but NSFW is still trying to drive a wedge by pointing out that Assange has turned on Greenwald, implying that a growing number of people in this progressive/independent force has been doing that (which isn't true as far as I know).  To me, it seems pretty obvious what's going on here and who is ultimately behind it, but of course that's just speculation.  So NSFW has a new libertarian life now. Here is their announcement on the NSFW site.  I'm pretty sure this is not behind the paywall but if it is, let me know and I'll unlock it.  I was going to cancel my subscription at the end of the month anyway. Now they are canceling all of them.  The article is a whole lot of Paul Carr and NSFW making themselves out to be a much bigger deal than they ever were, and talk about the exciting new plans for their investigative journalism unit.  Not much about the rest of the most relevant part of the story that I've outlined above except a promise that they'll still be tough on Silicon Valley billionaires.


[TL;DR version: you'll now find the NSFWCORP team over on PandoDaily.com where we're heading up a new investigative unit, subscribers will continue to receive the (relaunched, expanded, revamped) print edition and access to its online equivalent, and we're doing a marathon radio show next week to explain everything else.]

Greenwald published a link to his speech at CAIR a week or so ago.
Glenn Greenwald at CAIR-LA's 17th-annual banquet

And a new doc at NYT.

RT has a video and stills of the ads on DC buses thanking Snowden.

'Say NO to surveillance state!' Buses thanking Snowden cruise Washington (VIDEO)

Viewing NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Washington may rub salt into the fresh wounds of the Obama administration. A free-speech advocacy group put the fugitive’s face on Metro buses in a gesture of gratitude for his leaks.

The crowd funded ‘Thank You Ed Snowden’ bus ad campaign, launched this week, was organized by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).

Starbucks union-buster is ironic winner after liberals push nuclear option
With GOP obstruction defeated, attorney who helped Starbucks get away with firing union activists headed to bench

When Senate Democrats curbed filibusters in a historic Thursday vote, unions were among the major winners. The D.C. Circuit Court, where Republican obstruction has maintained a conservative majority, has repeatedly rejected modest pro-labor moves by the National Labor Relations Board. And restricting filibusters on nominations could pave the way for future senators to rein in filibusters on legislation, which have bedeviled unions’ labor law reform efforts every time that Democrats controlled both Congress and the presidency. Unions have thus been at the forefront of recent efforts to secure filibuster reforms.

So it’s ironic that one of the most acute and immediate beneficiaries of those efforts will be Patricia Ann Millett, a woman who helped Starbucks stymie unions. Millett is one of three D.C. Circuit nominees tapped by President Obama and blocked by Republicans; after invoking the so-called nuclear option, the Senate voted 55-43 Thursday to move forward on Millett.

“I find it troubling, because Ms. Millett and her firm Akin Gump went well beyond what I consider the bounds of decency and morality in the very aggressive anti-union campaign they really designed and helped Starbucks carry out,” Daniel Gross, a founding member of the Starbucks Workers Union, told Salon. “The campaign that Ms. Millett and her firm architected and really co-led, and continues to co-lead with Starbucks, involved all of the scorched earth tactics which are starting to come to light more and more.” The White House, the AFL-CIO and Starbucks did not provide comment on Millett’s Starbucks work in response to Thursday inquiries. Akin Gump declined to comment.

Escobar: Spin war started in Geneva, but world needs to follow deal

Zbig is not holding back.
Zbig Brzezinski: Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran

The national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gave an interview to The Daily Beast in which he suggested President Obama should make it clear to Israel that if they attempt to attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites the U.S. Air Force will stop them.
"We are not exactly impotent little babies," Brzezinski said. "They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? … We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse."
The USS Liberty was a U.S. Navy technical research ship that the Israeli Air Force mistakenly attacked during the Six Day War in 1967.

Overplaying Its Hand, Israel Still Holds Plenty of US Cards

More than ever, Israel is isolated from world opinion and the squishy entity known as “the international community.” The Israeli government keeps condemning the Iran nuclear deal, by any rational standard a positive step away from the threat of catastrophic war.

In the short run, the belligerent responses from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are bound to play badly in most of the U.S. media. But Netanyahu and the forces he represents have only begun to fight. They want war on Iran, and they are determined to exercise their political muscle that has long extended through most of the Washington establishment.

While it’s unlikely that such muscle can undo the initial six-month nuclear deal reached with Iran last weekend, efforts are already underway to damage and destroy the negotiations down the road. On Capitol Hill the attacks are most intense from Republicans, and some leading Democrats have also sniped at the agreement reached in Geneva.

Spooky Business: U.S. Corporations Enlist Ex-Intelligence Agents to Spy on Nonprofit Groups


Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

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