February 21, 2014
"The details of how we have been waging our war on terror are appalling, and Scahill’s film paints a picture of callousness and ineptitude that shocked me. Having seen it, I am embarrassed to have been so trusting and complacent with respect to my government’s use of force."

Sam Harris

February 18, 2014
csmonitor:

Islam, the American way: A new generation of Muslim Americans separate what is cultural, what is religious, and what is American, finding that the ‘straight path’ isn’t the same path for all.
Sunni and Shiite Islam: Do you know the difference? Take our quiz.
Islam: Five pillars explained
Islam in the US – A brief history

LTMC:  It’s almost like the fact that Muslim civilians are the most frequent victims of terrorist attacks makes them more sensitive to the idea of killing civilians for ideological reasons.

csmonitor:

Islam, the American way: A new generation of Muslim Americans separate what is cultural, what is religious, and what is American, finding that the ‘straight path’ isn’t the same path for all.

Sunni and Shiite Islam: Do you know the difference? Take our quiz.

Islam: Five pillars explained

Islam in the US – A brief history

LTMC:  It’s almost like the fact that Muslim civilians are the most frequent victims of terrorist attacks makes them more sensitive to the idea of killing civilians for ideological reasons.

February 13, 2014
"By fueling anti-U.S. sentiment, drones also act as a recruiting tool for extremists. In Yemen, when the Obama administration started drone attacks in 2009, there were perhaps 200 people who identified as members of extremist groups. Today, there are over 1,000."

Medea Benjamin

February 13, 2014
"Your government is terrifying 250,000 people in my province to get one or two individuals, who could easily be captured. In your fight against terrorism, you are terrorizing us."

Entisar Ali (via azspot)

(via azspot)

February 12, 2014
"I am filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama because he has publicly refused to stop a clear and continuing violation of the 4th Amendment. The Bill of Rights protects all citizens from general warrants. I expect this case to go all the way to the Supreme Court and I predict the American people will win."

Sen. Rand Paul, who is joining FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe and lead counsel Ken Cuccinelli on the case.  Kibbe adds:

This class action suit isn’t about Republican versus Democrat, or progressive versus conservative. This is about defending the basic civil liberties of every American from a government that has crossed the line. FreedomWorks is participating in this suit on behalf of our community of 6 million citizens nationwide, along with any American who has a phone. If you use a phone, you should care about this case. Never in American history has there been such a warrantless gathering of citizens information. We believe it is time to put this before the courts.

February 10, 2014
"According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using."

The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program (via thefreelance)

LTMC: I can’t imagine what could go wrong here.

(via priceofliberty)

January 31, 2014
"I hated it from the beginning. It was a job that had me patting down the crotches of children, the elderly and even infants as part of the post-9/11 airport security show. I confiscated jars of homemade apple butter on the pretense that they could pose threats to national security.

I was even required to confiscate nail clippers from airline pilots—the implied logic being that pilots could use the nail clippers to hijack the very planes they were flying."

— Jason Edward Harrington, “Confessions of an Ex-TSA Agent” (via hipsterlibertarian)

January 21, 2014
A Running List of Things We Know the NSA Can Do. So Far.

hipsterlibertarian:

wnyc:

  • It can track the numbers of both parties on a phone call, as well location, time and duration. (More)
  • It can hack Chinese phones and text messages. (More)
  • It can set up fake internet cafes. (More)
  • It can spy on foreign leaders’ cell phones. (More)
  • It can tap underwater fiber-optic cables. (More)
  • It can track communication within media organizations like Al-Jazeera. (More)
  • It can hack into the UN video conferencing system. (More)
  • It can track bank transactions. (More)
  • It can monitor text messages. (More)
  • It can access your email, chat, and web browsing history. (More)
  • It can map your social networks. (More)
  • It can access your smartphone app data. (More)
  • It is trying to get into secret networks like Tor, diverting users to less secure channels. (More)
  • It can go undercover within embassies to have closer access to foreign networks. (More)
  • It can set up listening posts on the roofs of buildings to monitor communications in a city. (More)
  • It can set up a fake Linkedin. (More)
  • It can track the reservations at upscale hotels. (More)
  • It can intercept the talking points for Ban Ki-moon’s meeting with Obama. (More)
  • It can crack cellphone encryption codes. (More)
  • It can hack computers that aren’t connected to the internet using radio waves. (More)
  • It can intercept phone calls by setting up fake base stations. (More)
  • It can remotely access a computer by setting up a fake wireless connection. (More)
  • It can install fake SIM cards to then control a cell phone. (More)
  • It can fake a USB thumb drive that’s actually a monitoring device. (More)
  • It can crack all types of sophisticated computer encryption. (Update: It is trying to build this capability.) (More)
  • It can go into online games and monitor communication. (More)
  • It can intercept communications between aircraft and airports. (More)

-Jody, BL Show-

Fantastic list — I’ve been wanting to make one myself, but haven’t had the chance. Share, share, share.

December 30, 2013
"What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is not usually clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day with limited cloud and perfect light. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: “The feed is so pixelated, what if it’s a shovel, and not a weapon?” I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if we killed the right people, if we endangered the wrong people, if we destroyed an innocent civilian’s life all because of a bad image or angle."

Heather Linebaugh, former drone pilot.

December 16, 2013
"My opposition to intervention in Syria [and] my hope for a diplomatic solution in Iran is due to the fact that I think we need to understand that the blunt instrument of military power, whether it’s with invasions or attacks from the sky, just doesn’t work very well in the information age in which people can turn what we think we’re trying to do for good into an avenue to recruit jihadists against us…"

Sen. Chris Murphy  (via prettayprettaygood)

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