« | Home | Categories | »

The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents.

But as the State Department publicly catalogued those very abuses, the NSA worked to provide increased surveillance assistance to the ministry that perpetrated them. The move is part of the Obama Administration’s increasingly close ties with the Saudi regime; beyond the new cooperation with the MOI, the memo describes “a period of rejuvenation” for the NSA’s relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.


Write a comment

Comments:

  1. Too many guys in white bed sheets for my taste.

NSA and Germany

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:34 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

After the judges at the NSA investigation comission of the german parliament noted that most of the foreign intelligence program of the BND is against the constitution, the german government now answered that

http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/18/021/1802128.pdf

1)The german government has noted the opinion of the german judges.
2) Everything what the BND does is legal and justified.
3) in general the german government only wants to act after the investigation comission has finished, (which could, however, take some years)…..

Furthermore the german government was asked what was in the letter that it had send to the US, asking questions on the criminal activities that the US government suspects Edward Snowden has done. (Note that interpol does exclude political crimes as a reason for extradition)

https://netzpolitik.org/2014/informationsfreiheits-ablehnung-des-tages-antwort-der-usa-wird-beeinflusst-wenn-frage-oeffentlich-wird/

The german government answered, that not even these questions can be published, because

1) this would perhaps modify the answers of the US government
2) decisions on extradition requests from other governments regularly contain an assessment of the juridical standards of the state that requests the extraditions. The letter sent to the US government is used with respect to this assessment. If the questions would become public, it could affect the cooperation of germany with the united states on extraditions…

In other words:

If this letter would become publicly known it would show the US as a government of low juridical standards and they fear Germany could never extradite anyone to the United States….


Write a comment

Feds drop Cancer Society’s charitable status after determining organization is politically biased against cancer

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 20:18 by John Sinteur in category: batshitinsane

[Quote]:

The federal government has removed the Canadian Cancer Society’s charitable status after an CRA audit revealed the organization was conducting political activities with a strong prejudice against cancer.

“The Cancer Society has made a concerted political effort against all forms of cancer,” said Minister of Revenue Kerry-Lynne Findlay. “Radical and ideological members of the Society have demanded everyone to stop smoking, using asbestos in construction and even had the nerve to remind everyone to wear sunscreen. Clearly, this does not meet the definition of a charity.”

The audit stated that 98% of the activities that the Canadian Cancer Society since 1938 has been politically slanted against malignancy, while tens of thousands of volunteers have canvassed neighbourhoods spreading their own negative opinions on cancer and raising money to fight it.

“There was also an extensive anti-cancer research network worth billions of taxpayer dollars that pay scientists who oppose cancer,” Findlay stated with a complete look of disgust on her face.

The auditors pointed out that “preventing cancer” is not allowed, but “relieving cancer” is charitable as long as no one knows about it.

[Quote]:

The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world if it wants to keep its charitable status for tax purposes. It can only alleviate poverty — because preventing poverty might benefit people who are not already poor.


Write a comment

Comments:

  1. “When I fed the poor they called me a Saint. When I asked why the poor were hungry, they called me a communist.”

  2. I don’t understand why this has the “batshitinsane” category. You do realize this is from a satire site, right? I like a couple of their other headlines:

    Comic-con fans eager to discover what they’ll spend next 12 months bitching about
    One weird trick to summoning Cthulhu, dread lord of R’yleh
    New app locates hottest nearby places to curl up and die

  3. @Mudak: It’s fair comment though. The CRA _is_ investigating PEN. And a bunch of environmental charities, because, you know, terrorism.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/tom-henheffer/canada-charities-audit_b_5620754.html

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/flaherty-cites-terrorism-when-asked-why-cra-auditing-environmental-charities

“I see you’re using the clever ‘not moving’ ploy…”

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 19:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


Write a comment

Comments:

  1. John, you are a day late – yesterday was Caturday! 🙂

The most important battle you’ve probably never heard of

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 18:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

“Bouvines is the most important battle in English history that no-one has ever heard of,” says John France, professor emeritus in medieval history at Swansea University.

“Without Bouvines there is no Magna Carta, and all the British and American law that stems from that. It’s a muddy field, the armies are small, but everything depends on the struggle. It’s one of the climactic moments of European history.”

[..]

Only three clauses are still valid – the one guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church; the clause confirming the privileges of the city of London and other towns; and the clause that states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful judgement of his equals

Unfortunately, the UK now has arbitrary detention without trial, so what remains are the liberties of the Church, and if you interpret “the city of London” in the modern, financial way, well…..


Write a comment

How the F-35 boondoggle shows that deficit hawkery is a sham

Posted on July 27th, 2014 at 1:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote]:

Yesterday in Fort Worth, officials from the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin, and the Australian government gathered to celebrate the fact that two F-35 fighter jets bound for our ally down under were rolling off the assembly line. The news about this plane over the last few years has largely been buried on the inside pages of newspapers, but if you’d been following it you know that it has been one of the most remarkable boondoggles we’ve ever seen, not only the most expensive weapons system in history, but one that has been plagued by one disastrous problem after another (the latest of which came last month when an F-35 caught fire when taking off and the whole fleet of them were grounded).

The remarkable lack of interest in figuring out how things could have gone so wrong with this plane, especially from people who claim to be so desperately concerned about runaway government spending, tells you something about what a sham deficit hawkery really is.


Write a comment