Thursday, April 16, 2015

Welcome to Unofficial Sources - The Intercept

Welcome to Unofficial Sources - The InterceptMuch of the U.S. media might as well as be named “Official Sources Say.” And by using their standard method of newsgathering — calling up powerful people and writing down what they’re told — the media has been a key accomplice to the invasion of Iraq (cost: $5 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives), the collapse of the U.S. economy ($6.5 trillion in lost output) and numberless smaller catastrophes.

Secret documents shine light on GCSB spying in Bangladesh - National - NZ Herald News

Secret documents shine light on GCSB spying in Bangladesh - National - NZ Herald NewsSecret documents reveal New Zealand has shared intelligence collected through covert surveillance with Bangladesh despite that country's security forces being implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture and other human rights abuses.

The documents shine light on the major role played by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in electronic spying operations conducted in the small South Asian nation.

The surveillance has been used to aid the United States as part of its global counter-terrorism campaign, launched after the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The FBI Informant Who Mounted a Sting Operation Against the FBI - The Intercept

The FBI Informant Who Mounted a Sting Operation Against the FBI - The InterceptWhen you’re introduced to Saeed Torres in the new documentary (T)ERROR, you hear him bickering with the filmmaker, Lyric Cabral. The screen is black.

“I told you I didn’t want my face in that shit,” he says.

“Even if your face is shown, how would somebody come after you?” Cabral asks.

“You’d be surprised who knows me,” Torres insists.

The blackness lifts. Torres is dressed in a chef’s apron and a white headscarf, making hot dogs at an amateur basketball game, as if he were an all-American guy.

NBC's Conduct in Engel Kidnapping Story is More Troubling than the Brian Williams Scandal - The Intercept

NBC's Conduct in Engel Kidnapping Story is More Troubling than the Brian Williams Scandal - The InterceptThroughout 2012, numerous American factions were pushing for U.S. intervention in Syria to bring down the regime of Bashar Assad, who throughout the War on Terror had helped the U.S. in all sorts of ways, including torturing people for them. But by then, Assad was viewed mostly as an ally of Iran, and deposing him would weaken Tehran, the overarching regional strategy of the U.S. and its allies. The prevailing narrative was thus created that those fighting against Assad were “moderate” and even pro-western groups, with the leading one dubbed “the Free Syrian Army.”

Whether to intervene in Syria in alliance with or on behalf of the “Free Syrian Army” was a major debate in the west through the end of that year. Then-Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry was openly discussing ways for the U.S. to aid the rebels to bring about regime change. Senator Joe Lieberman was saying: “I hope the international community and the U.S. will provide assistance to the Syrian Free Army in the various ways we can.” Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while ruling out direct military intervention, said: “[W]e have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”

Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans' Support for Israel - The Intercept

Religious Fanaticism is a Huge Factor in Americans' Support for Israel - The InterceptAlmost half of all Americans want to support Israel even if its interests diverge from the interests of their own country. Only a minority of Americans (47 percent) say that their country should pursue their own interests over supporting Israel’s when the two choices collide. It’s the ultimate violation of George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address warning that “nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded. … The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave.”

UAE Gave $1 Million to NYC Police Foundation; Money Aided 'Investigations' - The Intercept

UAE Gave $1 Million to NYC Police Foundation; Money Aided 'Investigations' - The InterceptThe New York City Police Foundation received a $1 million donation from the government of the United Arab Emirates, according to 2012 tax records, the same amount the foundation transferred to the NYPD Intelligence Division’s International Liaison Program that year, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.

Seven Things You Didn’t Know the U.S. and Its Allies Did to Iran - The Intercept

Seven Things You Didn’t Know the U.S. and Its Allies Did to Iran - The InterceptIt’s hard for some Americans to understand why the Obama administration is so determined to come to an agreement with Iran on its nuclear capability, given that huge Iranian rallies are constantly chanting “Death to America!” I know the chanting makes me unhappy, since I’m part of America, and I strongly oppose me dying.

But if you know our actual history with Iran, you can kind of see where they’re coming from. They have understandable reasons to be angry at and frightened of us — things we’ve done that if, say, Norway had done them to us, would have us out in the streets shouting “Death to Norway!” Unfortunately, not only have the U.S. and our allies done horrendous things to Iran, we’re not even polite enough to remember it.