And so very much more. . .
First up, from Al Jazeera’s AJ+, it’s official:
Fox News Says…The Holy War Is Here!
A Holy War has begun and you should be very afraid! That’s according to Fox News, the news network famous for fear mongering and “fair and balanced” reporting.
From the Washington Post, a domestic security problem:
Threatening ‘white power’ letters appear at police department with a history of racial tensions
Dozens of copies of a threatening and racially charged letter were circulated within a Connecticut police department with a long history of racial tensions, black officers said.
The note, typed on official City of Bridgeport Department of Police letterhead, began and ended with the words “WHITE POWER.” “These Black Officers Belong in the toilet,” the letter reads in part.
Bridgeport Police Lt. Lonnie Blackwell said the unsigned letter comes as no surprise to officers of color in the department, which has long struggled to remedy discrimination claims dating to at least the 1970s.
“This is not the first race-based letter that has circulated recently throughout the Bridgeport Police Department, but this is the most severe and damaging letter,” Blackwell, an African American department veteran, told The Washington Post in an interview. “We’re very concerned for our safety and our well-being as black police officers.”
From the Washington Post, we are not surprised:
Lying in the military is common, Army War College study says
A new study by Army War College professors found that not only is lying common in the military, the armed forces themselves may be inadvertently encouraging it.
The study, released Tuesday, was conducted by retired Army officers and current War College professors Leonard Wong and Stephen J. Gerras. They found that untruthfulness is “surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it.”
The paper’s release follows a series of high-profile incidents involving bad behavior across the services, including a still-widening corruption case involving senior Navy officers and at least two incidents in which Army generals were accused of sexual assault.
From The Hill, similarly unsurprising:
White House: Israel ‘cherry-picking’ intel that distorts Iran talks
The White House is accusing Israel of “cherry-picking” information that distorts the U.S. position in nuclear talks with Iran.
“There’s no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate. There’s no question about that,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing on Wednesday.
“We’ve also been very clear about the fact that the United States is not going to be in a position of negotiating this agreement in public, particularly when we see that there is a continued practice of cherry-picking specific pieces of information and using them out of context to distort the negotiating position of the United States.”
The White House spokesman said those involved in the talks are obligated to act in “good faith.”
From the New York Times, reasonable suspicions:
Fear of Israeli Leaks Fuels Distrust Over U.S. Talks With Iran
With the Obama administration racing to negotiate the outlines of a nuclear deal with Iran by the end of March, aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel have charged in recent days that they are being deliberately left in the dark about the details of the talks. The Americans have said that is untrue, but even one of Washington’s closest negotiating partners reports being warned about being too open with the Israelis, “because whatever we say may be used in a selective way.”
The tensions between the United States and Israel over negotiating with Tehran have a long and twisted history, and they plunged to a new low when Mr. Netanyahu engineered an invitation to address a joint meeting of Congress, in less than two weeks, to warn against a “bad deal.”
Now, with Mr. Netanyahu maneuvering to survive a March 17 election, and Mr. Obama pressing for a breakthrough agreement that could end three decades of enmity with Iran and reduce the chances of a military confrontation, it seems that Washington and Jerusalem are engaging in the diplomatic equivalent of posting notes to each other on the refrigerator door.
From the Guardian, Jeb endorses the panopticon:
Jeb Bush backs brother’s NSA surveillance program ‘to keep us safe’
- Presidential contender says of NSA dragnet ‘this is a hugely important program’, in sharp contrast to Republican rivals for the White House
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush delivered a full-throated defense of government surveillance programs on Wednesday, expressing a resounding faith in techniques pioneered by his brother, George W Bush, and staking out a position in sharp contrast with other prospective 2016 presidential candidates.
Dragnet metadata collection by the National Security Agency and similar programs were necessary to keeping US citizens safe from foreign terror threats, Bush said – unprompted – during remarks laying out his foreign policy vision as a prospective 2016 presidential candidate.
“For the life of me, I don’t understand – the debate has gotten off track, where we’re not understanding and protecting,” Bush said in a major speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
From the Associated Press, an accessory pays up:
Poland to pay $262,000 to inmates held at secret CIA prison
Poland will pay 230,000 euros ($262,000) in compensation to two terror suspects who say they were tortured at a CIA secret prison that Poland hosted from 2002-2003, a government minister said Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna spoke after the European Court of Human Rights in France rejected Poland’s appeal of its earlier ruling.
“We will abide by this ruling because we are a law-abiding country,” Schetyna told Polish Radio 3. “It is a question of the coming weeks, a month.”
But he questioned how the money would be used and whether it needed to be paid directly to the suspects, who are imprisoned in Guantanamo.
From the Guardian, NSAnywhere:
Google warns of US government ‘hacking any facility’ in the world
- Google says increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise ‘monumental’ legal concerns that should be decided by Congress
Google is boldly opposing an attempt by the US Justice Department to expand federal powers to search and seize digital data, warning that the changes would open the door to US “government hacking of any facility” in the world.
In a strongly worded submission to the Washington committee that is considering the proposed changes, Google says that increasing the FBI’s powers set out in search warrants would raise “monumental and highly complex constitutional, legal and geopolitical concerns that should be left to Congress to decide”.
The search giant warns that under updated proposals, FBI agents would be able to carry out covert raids on servers no matter where they were situated, giving the US government unfettered global access to vast amounts of private information.
From the Guardian, the penultimate contempt:
UK admits unlawfully monitoring legally privileged communications
- Intelligence agencies have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for past five years, government admits
The regime under which UK intelligence agencies, including MI5 and MI6, have been monitoring conversations between lawyers and their clients for the past five years is unlawful, the British government has admitted.
The admission that the activities of the security services have failed to comply fully with human rights laws in a second major area – this time highly sensitive legally privileged communications – is a severe embarrassment for the government.
It follows hard on the heels of the British court ruling on 6 February declaring that the regime surrounding the sharing of mass personal intelligence data between America’s national security agency and Britain’s GCHQ was unlawful for seven years.
The Independent covers InSecurity in British high places:
Downing Street accused of being ‘systemically negligent’ with national security secrets after name of ex-SAS officer finds its way into the public domain
Downing Street has been accused of “systemic” negligence in its approach to the handling of sensitive information – by the body charged with keeping threats to national security out of the media.
No 10 is at the centre of an extraordinary row with the secretive DA Notice Committee after the name of a senior former SAS officer found its way into the public domain, The Independent can reveal.
The officer was named when he took up his post as military adviser to No 10 last year. The DA Notice Committee alleges that the name of the ex-SAS man was deliberately given to The Sun newspaper in direct contravention of rules governing the identification of present or former members of Britain’s Special Forces.
After the jump, French surveillance gaps, Aussie metadata storage scheme costs still secret, another claim Pyongyang hacked Sony, whipping up malware with a British cooking site, fake Windows 10 update sites serve up malware too, a unique twist to an Israeli malware attack, a biased Pakistani web crackdown, while Obama disses North Korea’s hacker team, on to the Isis front and a fragmenting Iraq, the former U.S. ambassador to Syria changes course on arming “moderates,” whilst Washington admits having vetted at least 1,200, Isis threatens to flood an increasingly xenophobic Europe with refugees and Italy’s already alarmed, and a reminder of an American bad example, civilians killed in an anti-Boko Haram air strike in Nigeria while Nigeria claims beaucoup Bokos slain, another Tanzanian albino infant butchered for black magic, Pakistan orders a mass expulsion of Afghans, allegations Indian weaponized rape, India greenlights six nuclear subs, seven stealth frigates, mass flight from Myanmar civil war, China tells neighbors to order Uighur returns, Seoul censors a “Comfort Women” book, and a Japanese paper sued over “Comfort Women”a articles, Shinzo Abe’s government readies an overseas deployment law, Abe targets legalized foreign weaponry sales, and new Tokyo/Beijing security talks slated, And two reminders of some nasty old habits resurfacing, first in a racist rank by Brits in Paris, and then in dramatic evidence of prejudice against would-be Latino-named voters in the U.S. . . . Continue reading