U.K. Forces Taught Torture Methods :.The sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison was not an invention of maverick guards, but part of a system of ill-treatment and degradation used by special forces soldiers that is now being disseminated among ordinary troops and contractors who do not know what they are doing, according to British military sources.
The techniques devised in the system, called R2I - resistance to interrogation - match the crude exploitation and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad.
One former British special forces officer who returned last week from Iraq, said: "It was clear from discussions with US private contractors in Iraq that the prison guards were using R2I techniques, but they didn't know what they were doing."
He said British and US military intelligence soldiers were trained in these techniques, which were taught at the joint services interrogation centre in Ashford, Kent, now transferred to the former US base at Chicksands.
"There is a reservoir of knowledge about these interrogation techniques which is retained by former special forces soldiers who are being rehired as private contractors in Iraq. Contractors are bringing in their old friends".
Using sexual jibes and degradation, along with stripping naked, is one of the methods taught on both sides of the Atlantic under the slogan "prolong the shock of capture", he said.
OFF THE RAILS: U.S. PERSONNEL MADE RAPE VIDEOS :.Rumsfeld did not describe the photos, but U.S. military officials told NBC News that the unreleased images showed U.S. soldiers severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi female prisoner [this means rape, in case you were wondering] and "acting inappropriately with a dead body." The officials said there was also a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys. Related: Limbaugh on Torturing Iraqis: U.S. Guards Were Just "Having a Good Time"
Rumsfeld on Unreleased Videos, Pictures: "They're Hard to Believe" :.
What does it tell you when a psychopath has difficulty dealing with the content of these materials?HUNDREDS more photographs and at least two videos of abuse of Iraqi prisoners could worsen the scandal that has engulfed the US military, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned today, as he apologised for the scandal.
Mr Rumsfeld said he and General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, looked at all the images for the first time on Thursday US time (yesterday AEST) after days of trying to get copies from military investigators.
"If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse. That's just a fact," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"I mean, I looked at them last night, and they're hard to believe."
Mr Rumsfeld extended "my deepest apology" to Iraqis brutally abused in US military prisons and said he favoured compensating them for their suffering.
I find it interesting that Rumsfeld never apologized for the "care" and "humanity"
he unleashed on Iraqi civilians in the earlier phases of this illegal and unnecessary slaughter.
My guess, if we are actually seeing the catalyst that will serve to get the U.N. into Iraq, is that the really shocking stuff will come out. It will be "leaked" on purpose.
Allegation: 12 Year Old Iraqi Girl Stripped Naked, Beaten by U.S. Troops :.
This is starting to sound like the accounts of Serb atrocities during the catastrophe in Yugoslavia. Russian soldiers in Chechnya rape both men and women. Is that where this is headed next?The US military has said it will investigate claims by a former inmate of Abu Ghraib prison that a girl as young as 12 was stripped and beaten by military personnel.
Suhaib al-Baz, a journalist for the al-Jazeera television network, claims to have been tortured at the prison, based west of Baghdad, while held there for 54 days.
Mr al-Baz was arrested when reporting clashes between insurgents and coalition forces in November.
He said: "They brought a 12-year-old girl into our cellblock late at night. Her brother was a prisoner in the other cells.
"She was naked and screaming and calling out to him as they beat her. Her brother was helpless and could only hear her cries. This affected all of us because she was just a child.
Limbaugh on Torturing Iraqis: U.S. Guards Were Just "Having a Good Time" :.
There's a nice Skull and Bones reference in there, too:Hours before President George W. Bush announced plans to address the Arab world to condemn the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison, Rush Limbaugh justified the U.S. guards' mistreatment of the Iraqis, stating that they were just "having a good time," and that their actions served as an "emotional release."
Secret GM pHarming Experiments in Germany :.Seven of Germany's 16 states were revealed to be hosting secret trials of genetically modified crops after environmental activists destroyed a field of corn in Saxony-Anhalt, in the east of the country.
Saxony-Anhalt, which, with Bavaria, is one of two states to admit funding GM crop trials, said five other states were holding trials in 29 secret locations.
Saxony-Anhalt's economics minister, Horst Rehberger, said GM corn, which will be fed to cattle, was also being cultivated in Baden-W�rttemberg, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony and Thuringia.
Germany's Green party, which is backing a tough genetic engineering law, said it was dismayed to discover from the media the extent of GM cultivation. The Greens are the junior partner in the ruling coalition.
"We were surprised not only to discover the number of trial fields but also the total size more than 300 hectares [750 acres] ... This is not just an experiment, they are growing the corn for profit," said a spokesperson.
F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements :.
This is one for the I Shit You Not
file:At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said in a report today.
The taping began before noon on Sept. 11 at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, where about 16 people met in a basement conference room known as "the Bat Cave" and passed around a microphone, each recalling his or her version of the events a few hours earlier.
But officials at the center never told higher-ups of the tape's existence, and it was later destroyed by an F.A.A. official described in the report as a quality-assurance manager there. That manager crushed the cassette in his hand, shredded the tape and dropped the pieces into different trash cans around the building, according to a report made public today by the inspector general of the Transportation Department.
Is it Time for Bush to Press the Panic Button? :.
Personally, I can't believe "it" hasn't happened already. Mock funerals for the next terrorist attack!Bush may be thinking about hitting the "panic button".
What I refer to is, of course, a last ditch attempt to prop up his sagging poll numbers and revive support for the wars of conquest by staging yet another phony "terror" attack, framing it on the intended invadee. Planes crashing into buildings is now pass�, and repeating that stunt would only underscore the utter uselessness of the millions of dollars spent on increased airport security. So, scratch that one. Maybe a truck with a bomb in it on the Golden Gate Bridge? Those San Franciscans got lots of other bridges anyway and there are lots of great places for the news crews to shoot from at the Presidio. Ah, but maybe that's not scary enough. Not every city has a bridge, and Tacoma survived the collapse of "Galloping Gerty" without major trauma. Soooooooooo, mebbe a suitcase nuke welded to the keel of a cargo ship? Not scary enough; most of the nation is landlocked. They don't worry about cargo ships coming into town from far away. So, that leaves us with everyone's favorite boogeyman, BIOLOGICAL TERROR!
Keep Your Eyes on the Ball: Massive PSYOPs Underway
A year ago, Alex Jones
predicted the events unfolding before our eyes right now. He said the U.S. would wind up being humiliated in Iraq and that the U.N. would be forced to take over as a result. This is exactly what is beginning to happen. The PSYOPs involving the release of the torture pictures from the prisons in Iraq is serving as the catalyst.
The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been TRAINING torturers all over the planet for over 50 years, and the types of things that are happening in Iraq are standard operating procedure in many U.S. jails and prisons. So, ask yourself: What is the left hand doing while the right hand is waving at you, trying to get your attention?
U.S. = Bad Cop. U.N. = Good Cop.
I just hope the Iraqis remember what the U.N. has done to them since the end of the first Persian Gulf War. Somehow, I don't think they will ever be able to forget.
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Quotes from Aftermath News Service
The Aftermath News Service is the best list that I'm aware of. I pull stories from it often. If you think you can take it, send an email with SUBSCRIBE as the subject to pjw56108 at yahoo dot com:"The Iraqi people are now free. And they do not have to worry about the secret police coming after them in the middle of the night, and they don't have to worry about their husbands and brothers being taken off and shot, or their wives being taken to rape rooms. Those days are over."
- Paul Bremer, Administrator, Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority, Sept. 2, 2003 "Iraq is free of rape rooms and torture chambers."
- President Bush, remarks to 2003 Republican National Committee Presidential Gala, Oct. 8, 2003"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in time of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality."
- Dante, The Inferno
U.S. Outsourcing Torture :.
Extraordinary Rendition:CIA director George Tenet let slip other revelations in his testimony to the 9-11 Commission, admissions that sharpen the contours of the shadowy intelligence practice called "extraordinary rendition."
The policy, codified in the late 1980s to allow U.S. law enforcement to apprehend wanted men in lawless states like Lebanon during its civil war, has emerged in recent years as one of America's key counterterrorism tools, and has now expanded in scope to include the transfer of terrorism suspects by U.S. intelligence agents to foreign countries for interrogation�and, say some insiders, torture prohibited inside this nation's borders.
Tenet testified that in an unspecified period before September 11, the U.S. had undertaken over 70 such renditions, adding that the Counterterrorist Center at the CIA had "racked up many successes, including the rendition of many dozens of terrorists prior to September 11, 2001." Tenet's testimony marked a rare occasion when the CIA, which doesn't comment publicly on the practice, provided any details about rendition.
Student Requests Information, Gets Interrogated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force :.
Just don't ask for the "wrong" information:What interested the agents, from Austin's Joint Terrorism Task Force, was an open records request he filed with UT administrators for information about the underground campus tunnel system.
"The point was to see if there was any type of a threat to campus or public safety due to the nature of the information being sought," said Mark Rich, a special agent in the FBI San Antonio field office. "I don't think it had anything to do with the fact that a records request was made. It was what the request involved."
Miller said the agents wanted to know everything from his major to why he wears long hair.
They asked, how did he know open records laws? How did he know about campus tunnel systems? Did he ever think of joining UT Watch or filing a lawsuit through the American Civil Liberties Union?
"What disturbed me was the fact, that they went on for about 10 minutes asking me if I belonged to things like UT Watch. Anything to overthrow the government," Miller said. "They used the term 'activist organization.' Any stuff like that."
He said he had no luck visiting the Austin Secret Service office to ask what information on him had been collected. He also filed an open records request for this information with the FBI. It was denied.
Photos of Dead May Indicate Graver Abuse :.
Liberation:Grisly photographs taken at Abu Ghraib prison of two dead men may indicate that the violence at the prison went far beyond degrading treatment of detainees. The Bush administration has provided only limited information about one of the men; the other remains a mystery.
The photographs come from the same collection of pictures that show military guards humiliating other detainees. All of the photographs, including those of the dead men, were taken at Abu Ghraib, according to people who provided them to The New York Times.
One photograph shows the body of a man with a huge head wound. Next to him is a piece of paper with a detainee identification number: 153399.
Pentagon officials have not answered any questions about the identity of that prisoner or the circumstances of his death. However, an internal military report completed in March by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba described the death of prisoner No. 153399 during a riot on Nov. 24, 2003. The Taguba report said that the guards were authorized to use deadly force, but it harshly criticized the handling of the incident.
Among the problems cited were overcrowding, lack of training for guards, poor communication between commanders and soldiers and "the mix of less than lethal rounds with lethal rounds in weapons."
The other unidentified photo shows the body of a man with facial wounds and a bandage under his swollen right eye. He is in an unzipped body bag covered with bags of ice. There is no other information.
Military officials have said they are investigating 10 deaths of detainees, but have not said where any of the deaths occurred and have so far declined to provide any explanation of the photographs or describe the circumstances of the deaths.
The photograph of the man packed in ice appears to match a reference in a diary entry made by Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick, who was a guard at the prison. He is one of six members of a military police unit charged in the abuse cases at Abu Ghraib.
The diary mentioned an incident in November 2003 involving a detainee that Sergeant Frederick described as an "O.G.A. prisoner." That reference to O.G.A., or Other Government Agency, usually meant prisoners under the control of the C.I.A. or other intelligence agencies.
In his diary, Sergeant Frederick wrote of the detainee: "They stressed him out so bad that the man passed away. They put his body in a body bag and packed him in ice for approximately 24 hours in the shower in 1B. The next day the medics came in and put his body on a stretcher, placed a fake IV in his arm and took him away. This O.G.A. was never processed and therefore never had a number."
Update On Covert Assassination Booklet
A few days ago, I found a booklet about covert assassination outside my front door. (Originally reported here
.) I've read the thing, and here's the story.
The title and author are as follows:The Pricker: A True Story of Assassination, Terrorism and High Treason
by Kevin Harris
First of all, I'm almost sure that this booklet wasn't directed specifically at me. Near the end of the text, Harris indicates that he personally distributes these booklets (by the thousands) to neighborhoods throughout South Orange County (where I happen to live). He lives in Costa Mesa (very near me), gives his home address, and even asks people to drop by on the first of each month!
Harris describes a covert assassination weapon that he calls, "The Pricker." This is a tiny and very sharp barb that is covered with various toxic substances. After the victim has been jabbed, these substances (he lists them) can induce a wide array of deadly medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, heart attack, stroke, etc. According to Harris, the victim does not know that he or she has been attacked.
As proof, he offers some stories about how the wives of federal agents die of chronic diseases at a much higher rate than women who are not married to federal agents.
Obviously, I'm very open to all sources of information. However, about a third of the way through this short booklet, it becomes clear that Harris is delusional and has potentially had a break from reality. The rest of the booklet is a nonsensical, deranged mess that wanders into macro scale geopolitical weirdness involving the Chinese being behind everything happening on the planet. If you ever come across this booklet, suppress the urge to start skipping paragraphs as you read through it. The extra few minutes is worth it for the entertainment value. Harris believes that his booklet contains such incredible information that events subsequently happen because he has distributed it to various people and organizations. And near the end, he includes an ominous warning:"Now that you have been warned I should also point out that my adversaries know you have been warned. They may now take the precaution of killing you without determining your intent."
Why, for example, if his information is so explosive, doesn't someone bump him off? Why would They be after the people who have received his booklet and not the author of the booklet? Crazy people always have great answers to questions like these. (If Harris addressed this point, I missed it.) He also worries that copies of his booklet are intercepted and tampered with before influential readers have had a chance to read it... On and on...
I'm not sure if Kevin Harris is an old man, but I suspect he might be. Why not post this information on the web and really blow the lid off this thing? <--- Attempt at humor. (The booklet isn't online. I checked.)
Placing it on the web might eliminate the time consuming duties of walking around, breathing fresh air and meeting new people. So, in that respect, this activity is probably healthy for him. (Maybe I should do this!)
I don't make a point of trying to reason with neurochemically unhinged people, but I'm sometimes willing to attempt to filter the signal from the noise of what they're saying. Just because someone is nuts doesn't mean that everything they say is worthless. Much of it is deranged babble, but some small percentage of it may be useful. I apply the same filter to the ravings of alcoholics, dope fiends and psychopaths as I do to CNN, the New York Times and White House Press releases.
Having said all of that, you might be surprised (and/or frightened) to know that I believe the weapon Harris refers to as "The Pricker" is real to some extent. It's obviously real. Harris, though, came to his conclusions through some dodgy logic and probably something resembling the activities of John Nash in the film A Beautiful Mind
. If Harris had done his homework, he could have cited the evidence that came to light as part of the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa to bolster his argument. That information is more solid than anything he presents.
After you read about Project Coast
and the Dr. Mengele-type antics of Wouter Basson
, it's clear that this type of weapon is very real. Furthermore, I don't think it's out of the question to wonder about a potentially higher death rate in the wives of federal agents, but I certainly didn't see a convincing argument for that position from reading this booklet. The statistics Harris cites as proof are dubious at best.
I appreciate what Kevin Harris is trying to do, but he needs to stick to the initial thesis, firm up his facts and evidence and avoid talking about the events that he thinks correlate to the distribution of his information. His message might be taken more seriously at that point. Maintaining the appearance of sanity is definitely helpful when engaging in a discourse on any topic related to covert assassination!
Finally, you might be wondering why I'm dedicating so much space to a pamphlet like the one distributed by Kevin Harris. The reason is that, if he has actually distributed thousands of these things, people might start looking for information on the Internet. I'd like people searching for more information to keep in mind that the basis of what Harris is saying is sound, but don't look to his "proof" as confirmation. Look at that South African experience and the CIA's connection to South Africa during the Apartheid years.
U.S. Torture of Iraqis: Another "Independent" Commission? :.
Get out the hip waders, again...Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will tell congressional committees Friday that he plans to form an independent panel to review how the Pentagon handled investigations into allegations of abuses of Iraqi prisoners, a senior administration official said.
By Endorsing Sharon's Plan Bush Has Legitimized Terrorism :.So President George Bush tears up the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan and that's okay. Israeli settlements for Jews and Jews only on the West Bank. That's okay. Taking land from Palestinians who have owned that land for generations, that's okay. UN Security Council Resolution 242 says that land cannot be acquired by war. Forget it. That's okay. Does President George Bush actually work for al-Qa'ida? What does this mean? That George Bush cares more about his re-election than he does about the Middle East? Or that George Bush is more frightened of the Israeli lobby than he is of his own electorate. Fear not, it is the latter.
Research Credit: DG
Business Buys Into Fuel Cells :.
It's getting so old, beating the same dead horses, over and over again:Joel Makower, co-founder of green energy consultancy Clean Edge, said fuel cells have "extremely exciting potential" for reducing demand on the energy grid, but they won't likely relieve the strain on the system during the next few years.
Makower said Californians may encounter rolling blackouts or brownouts again this summer. He said companies are turning to fuel cells powered by natural gas as insurance policies that also provide more capacity and a cleaner-burning alternative to the diesel generators currently used as backup systems.
Makower said the federal government needs to provide incentives to ramp up demand because fuel cells will remain more expensive than traditional energy sources for the immediate future. The adoption of fuel cells "has more to do with political will than with technological problems," he said.
<--- I've been saying this, almost word for word, since 1996.
Here's the way I put it most recently
:The barriers to the wide adoption of alternative sources of energy are political and economic in nature, not scientific or technical.
Depopulation Research: Fears Rise with 'Hot Lab' Building Boom :.From Boston to Livermore, Calif., "hot labs" designed to combat bioterrorism and house the world's deadliest germs are being planned and constructed with a huge cash infusion from the federal government.
Supporters of the unprecedented building boom say the new or expanded high-containment labs -- there are at least 18 -- are essential to national security in a post-Sept. 11 world.
But as the labs rise on college campuses and government installations across the country, so do concerns about safety and security.
Neighbors fear that some frightening variant of Ebola virus, plague or other deadly disease could be loosed into their backyards, and are filing lawsuits and lobbying politicians to halt construction.
A growing number of scientists complain that the $6 billion earmarked by Congress for fighting bioterrorism is excessive, is being doled out with little oversight and is detracting from efforts to combat problems that are much more deadly -- for example, AIDS and malaria, which are already killing millions of people.
Others worry that the buildup actually threatens national security, by arming more people with the know-how to construct bioweapons, and perhaps even sparking a new biological arms race since two of the hot labs are to be built inside national weapons labs at Livermore and Los Alamos, N.M.
Universities in Boston, Pittsburgh, Texas and elsewhere have already won grants to build labs, some in urban neighborhoods.
WORLD FOOD PRICES RISING: Decades of Environmental Neglect Shrinking Harvests in Key Countries :.
There is going to be a return to sane food production practices. Organic agriculture, using open pollinated seeds and natural compost fertilizers, will again be the norm. Unfortunately, this is only going to happen after our societies collapse into chaos:After nearly tripling from 1950 to 1996, growth in the world grain harvest came to a halt. In each of the last four years world grain production has fallen short of consumption, forcing a drawdown of stocks. During this period, expanding deserts, falling water tables, crop-withering temperatures, and other environmental trends have largely offset the positive contributions of advancing technology and additional investment in agriculture.
Prices of basic food and feed commodities are climbing. Wheat futures for May 2004 that traded as low as $2.90 a bushel within the last year on the Chicago Board of Trade have recently topped $4 a bushel, a climb of 38 percent. A similar calculation shows the price of corn up by 36 percent, rice up 39 percent, and soybeans doubling from just over $5 per bushel to over $10 a bushel. Rises in the price of wheat and rice (the world's two basic food staples) and corn and soybeans (the principal feedstuffs) are contributing to higher food prices worldwide, including in China and the United States, the largest food producers.
California May Declare 1st Fuel Emergency in 15 Years :.California regulators may declare the first motor-fuels emergency in 15 years amid concern the rupture of a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP pipeline will cause shortages of gasoline and diesel and further price increases.When You're Tired of Being Scammed, Check Out: wind
and fuel cell
Which One of You Freaks Dropped "That" Booklet in Front of My House?
I walked outside, yesterday, and found a booklet about how murder can be made to look like death by natural causes. I haven't read the thing yet, but here's the deal:
If you have information that you think should be posted on Cryptogon, send me an email for f*ck's sake. Don't come by my house and drop booklets on covert assassination techniques on my doorstep!
If this is someone trying to frighten me, trying to give me a hint
, you're going to have to do better than that. Wouldn't it just be easier to buy me off? I want a minimum of 10 acres, somewhere in Western Oregon, a yurt, a woodstove, 10 hens, 2 goats and a pig. Thank you.
NYPD Planning to Install Its Own Surveillance Cameras :.The NYPD is reportedly planning to install hundreds of cameras around the city that can automatically recognize the faces of suspected criminals or terrorists.
There are already tens of thousands of private surveillance cameras trained on city streets and buildings. According to the New York Post, the NYPD wants to install its own centralized system.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner James Onalfo is working on a plan for up to $1 billion in new computer and camera equipment, according to the Post. Facial recognition technology would allow police to pick out and follow suspects in high-crime areas and near potential terrorist targets.
Police reportedly hope to install many of the cameras before this summer's Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden.
Research Credit: TR
Toward a Petro-Apocalypse :.
Make your time:In a few years, the global production of conventional oil will fall, while the global demand continues to rise. The resulting shock of this structural oil famine is inevitable, so great are the dependency of our economies on cheap oil and, related to the first, our inability to wean ourselves from this dependency in a short period of time.
We can hope to soften the shock, but only if its imminence immediately becomes the unique reference point for a general mobilization of our societies, with, as a consequence, drastic consequences in every sector. The alternative is chaos.
Longhorn Projected System Requirements :.
Oh yeah, this is just what everyone needs. I sure would like to know what these systems are going to be doing, besides monitoring everything you do. I'm using a two year old system right now, and the last thing on my mind is upgrading it. What are normal people going to do with systems running at 6GHz with a minimum of 2 gigs of RAM!?
These specs are pure madness:Microsoft is expected to recommend that the "average" Longhorn PC feature a dual-core CPU running at 4 to 6GHz; a minimum of 2 gigs of RAM; up to a terabyte of storage; a 1 Gbit, built-in, Ethernet-wired port and an 802.11g wireless link; and a graphics processor that runs three times faster than those on the market today.
Research Credit: AL
Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush :.
Welcome to Democracyland:The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday.
The film, "Fahrenheit 911," links Mr. Bush and prominent Saudis � including the family of Osama bin Laden � and criticizes Mr. Bush's actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Gates Paying $800,000 to Settle with U.S. Over Securities Violations :.
Pocket change for BGates:Bill Gates, chairman of Redmond-based Microsoft Corp., has agreed to pay an $800,000 fine to settle charges that he failed to make a timely disclosure of an investment in Bothell biotech company Icos Corp.
Hell on Earth in Beta Testing Now :.
I don't even have to look into this to know that there are spook connections to it. If someone feels like digging up some of it, I'll post it. I'm beyond caring about this stuff, because I won't accept it. I won't live like this. It's that simple. Draw your own conclusions as to what that means:In coming years, visitors to Ayers Island, the site of an abandoned paper and textile mill in Orono, Maine, will be spied upon by a comprehensive network of video cameras, motion detectors and sensors. Lurking behind all of those sensors will be an artificial intelligence system that will decide who can be trusted and who is deserving of greater scrutiny.
Ayers Island will be open to the public, who are expected to visit the island for its nature trails, amphitheater, sculpture garden and museum, all part of a planned renovation project for the island. A contemporary arts festival on Ayers Island is scheduled for this summer. Many cameras and motion detectors will be in place by that time, according to the company that owns the island, Ayers Island LLC.
The island's initial monitoring systems will be rudimentary, made from off-the-shelf parts and store-bought alarm systems. But eventually, ubiquitous cameras and biometric readers, backed by a central computer, will recognize and record faces and license plates, and make it possible for someone sitting at a computer monitor to track individuals everywhere they go on the island, said George Markowsky, president of Ayers Island LLC.
"This is going to push the envelope on a lot of fronts," said Markowsky. "The goal is to detect anyone coming onto the island at any point, and to follow them if they exhibit suspicious behavior."
The central computer will pay special attention to individuals who seem to be trying to avoid detection, such as those slipping quietly onto the island in kayaks, for example. (The island is accessible via a one-lane bridge.)
The surveillance system will learn to recognize and trust regular visitors to Ayers Island, such as a woman who walks her dog on the island every morning, said Markowsky. "But if it sees three big guys it has never seen before, it will take notice," he said.
The system, called Intelligent Island, would also make Ayers Island less welcoming to visitors with nothing to hide, said a privacy lawyer who specializes in video tracking. Surveillance cameras put people on edge, and people learn to change their behaviors to avoid suspicion, or to conform to social norms, said Cedric Laurant, policy counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.
"People start fitting in to what they think is good social behavior," Laurant said. "And that leads to increased discrimination against those that don't conform to those norms."
What Happened at the Verizon Datacenter in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday Night? :.
The physical layer of the global information infrastructure is extremely vulnerable. The potential for a catastrophic attack is so great that most people don't even notice it. Spooks, feds and some cops know about it, but they don't talk about it in public. This isn't because they would be releasing information that "terrorists" could use to launch an attack. Nope. That information is freely available to anyone who wants to find it. They don't talk about it because there is nothing anyone can do to prevent an attack in the event that some group, any group, decides to do it. A grad student named Sean Gorman
had his thesis project classified by the U.S. government because it showed street level paths of all of the fiber the matters. The fact that they classified it is laughable, since he compiled all of the information from open sources.
My essay, Cyberwar: How Terrorists Could Defeat the U.S., and Why They Won't
, while intentionally omitting information that would have gotten me in trouble, lays out a scenario that could be operationalized by a handfull of people with basic research skills, hatchets and shovels. Things would get really weird if someone had a large budget, knowledge of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons and distributed Denial of Service (dDOS) software. But never mind all of that...
What happened in New York on Sunday night?
What follows is long on speculation, and short on facts. This is me thinking out loud, hoping to get someone out there who has some information on this incident to write in and set me straight. If you normally take everything you read on here with a grain of salt, take what follows with a handful:
The public is being told that four DS-3 network interface units were removed from a router on Sunday night, and that several corporate clients lost service. Yet, the submitter
of the story to Slashdot says there are rumors of cut fiber. To have four DS-3s go down is nothing to sneeze at, although, at about 180Mbits/sec total, it's not much in terms of the larger picture of bandwidth in and out of a datacenter like this.
Here's what worries me.
A) It would be impossible to enter/exit the rackspace in a datacenter like this without passing through (probably armed) security guards, keyscanners and maybe even biometric access control measures. Security cameras would be everywhere. We're talking about a core network service provider's facility in Midtown Manhattan. In other words, it shouldn't be a mystery as to who was in the "cage" where these DS-3 units were located at the time of the outage.
B) Maybe the cut fiber rumor is more than just a rumor, hence the immediate involvement of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Maybe the missing DS-3 cards story is just a cover for the fact that the DS-3 lines themselves were cut.
C) If those circuits were cut, it would, in my opinion, mean that the attacker screwed up and hit the wrong targets. Did the attacker, if there was one (or more than one), think he was taking out an OC-768 instead? Now, I don't know if this particular datacenter uses OC-768 class equipment, but I'd say that there is a VERY high probability that it does. How important are OC-768s? Let's put it this way, if an OC-768 was cut (and it wasn't the result of an obvious accident), I think that there's a good chance that the national threat level could be raised to Code Red.
Indeed, if three downed DS-3s got the Joint Terrorism Task Force involved, what would happen if multiple OC-768s went down? Food for thought.
I want to know if people in Manhattan have noticed cops/feds hanging around manholes, sub street vaults, streetlevel vaults (big boxes that don't say much, but might have a Verizon emblem), etc. I know that there are several Cryptogon readers in New York City. Keep an eye out for this kind of activity. Do you know anyone who works for Verizon? Let's try to figure out what happened.RELATED? 420,000 Verizon Customers Lose Service in Boston Area on Monday :.
The municipal power feed to a Verizon datacenter went down, and then the backup generator failed. Sure, this could be SNAFU (Situation Normal All F*cked Up), kinda like this
. The question becomes, what happens when groups put thought and money into targeting these systems for a takedown?About 420,000 Verizon Communications Inc. telephone subscribers in communities north and west of Boston lost voice mail -- but not dial tones -- after 1 p.m. yesterday when a power failure in Cambridge affected a Verizon telecommunications hub there. As of 5:45 p.m. about half of lost service was restored, but the company had no estimate of when full service would be resumed. Spokesman Jack Hoey said the problem occurred when the voice-mail system's backup emergency power unit failed to kick in at the Bent Street switching station near Kendall Square. NStar Electric said 15,000 Cambridge customers lost service for up to one hour. Among Verizon customers affected was Eastern Bank with nearly 1,000 employees. (Peter J. Howe)EXAMPLE: Single Cut Fiber Takes Down Phone Service in Several Iowa Towns :. Qwest Comminications technicians figured they were right on schedule late Monday afternoon to restore emergency telephone communications to much of Dickinson County and full service to the communities of Milford, Arnolds Park and Okoboji.
Monday's outage was the result of a fiber-optic cable cut in north Spencer where tiles were being laid for drainage along the west shoulder of U.S. Highway 71.
Allen Purvis of C.E. Construction Company of Hampton, Iowa, was operating a backhoe when he cut the fiber-optic cable. Both Purvis and his boss, Larry Havig, said the line was not marked.
The line was cut at about 9 a.m. Monday and affected all Qwest telephone customers in Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Milford, as well as 911 and long distance service to the western portion of Dickinson County, including Lake Park.
According to Qwest spokeswoman DeViney-McNeley in Des Moines, other services may have also been affected as well, including service to some telephone users in Spirit Lake. Those services, she said, were not to Qwest customers, but customers of other utility companies that lease the lines cut Monday morning.
While the cut cable appeared to be about an inch in diameter, what's inside is much smaller, explained Qwest tech Tim Stahle, who drove to Spencer from Sioux City to make the repairs.
Google Chum *Reader, please ignore.*: strategic information warfare cut fiber tiered connection optical carrier fiber optic cable single mode cut fiber in manhattan new york man hole sewer dedicated service t3 infrastructure vulnerability demarc demarcation point vault closet rack cage
RIP, Pat Tillman: Sorry You Believed the Beast and It Ate You :.
Hey, nobody said that carrying out the criminal whims of maniacs was going to be easy. It's much easier for the Ministry of Truth-MSN/Slate Directorate to simply send information that doesn't meet, "standards of fairness and taste" down the memory hole:The cartoon, like others on MSNBC.com, is published daily on the site via an automated syndication feed. Such feeds are rarely reviewed. However, MSNBC.com Editor in chief Dean Wright concluded Monday's Rall item did not meet MSNBC.com standards of fairness and taste.
Brazil Gang Robs Air Force Armory :.Armed men stole a van with assault rifles from a Brazilian Air Force armory on Monday in Rio de Janeiro and police found anti-tank rockets in a slum -- fresh signs that the city's drug gangs are expanding their arsenal and firepower.
The events occurred two weeks after police discovered an arsenal in another shantytown in the crime-ridden city that surprised even hard-boiled Rio violence experts as it contained eight Belgium-made land mines and more than 100 grenades.
The finds underscored the drug gangs' increasing firepower and sophistication at a time when authorities are struggling to crack down on their trade and the government is considering sending army troops into the city.Watch it Again: Film Festival Entry Offers Glimpse at Our Hellish Future :.
I really hope you guys are able to see the connections that I'm identifying. This stuff is happening right in front of us:Keep in mind that U.S. war fighting doctrine began a major transformation in the mid-1990s. Heavy emphasis has been placed on urban combat (see MOUT) ever since. According to Mike Davis, writing in the San Francisco Bay View, "Military theorists are now deeply involved in imagining how the evolving capacity of high-tech warfare can contain, if not destroy, chronic 'terrorist' insurgencies rooted in the desperation of growing mega-slums." The primacy of robots in the future of warfare is obvious.
TV Serves the Same Purpose Inside Prisons as in "Open" Society :.
Pay attention to what the prison guard says. The more you watch that thing, alone, in your cell, the less trouble you are:Rank and file officers, however, are nearly as happy as the inmates.
"It's cut down on the number of inmates that come out in the evening to watch TV," said Julian Ruiz, a corrections officer who operates electronic door locks and monitors a cell block. "The more people you get down here in the evening, the more problems."Related: Stoned on Television :.
This article discusses the psychological and physiological responses that occur when someone uses television.
U.S. Intelligence Involved with Torture at Abu Ghraib Prison :."The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment." - George W. Bush
This is from a long, detailed and extremely disturbing article by Seymour Hersh:A fifty-three-page report, obtained by The New Yorker, written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba and not meant for public release, was completed in late February. Its conclusions about the institutional failures of the Army prison system were devastating. Specifically, Taguba found that between October and December of 2003 there were numerous instances of "sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses" at Abu Ghraib. This systematic and illegal abuse of detainees, Taguba reported, was perpetrated by soldiers of the 372nd Military Police Company, and also by members of the American intelligence community.
Film Festival Entry Offers Glimpse at Our Hellish Future :.
Every time you read a story about artificial intelligence or robotics, keep this little movie from The Embassy Visual Effects
in mind. I can't think of a more pure and simple depiction of where we're headed...
Armed robots patrolling urban slums.
We are now witnessing the initial stages of the robotification of military and law enforcement operations. The autonomous drones and the various remote controlled systems of today are just the beginning. Your children's children will exist under a totalitarian system that will be maintained by machines.*
Keep in mind that U.S. war fighting doctrine began a major transformation in the mid-1990s. Heavy emphasis has been placed on urban combat (see MOUT
) ever since. According to Mike Davis, writing in the San Francisco Bay View
, "Military theorists are now deeply involved in imagining how the evolving capacity of high-tech warfare can contain, if not destroy, chronic 'terrorist' insurgencies rooted in the desperation of growing mega-slums."
The primacy of robots in the future of warfare is obvious.
During a discussion of the Tetra Vaal film with fellow researcher, TR (who also happens to be an expert in AI and human consciousness), he brought up an interesting point. He wondered why the Elite wouldn't simply eliminate the slums, and the people in them, altogether? If the AI gets that
good---which TR doubts will happen in time before we experience a Simplification
-type event---of what use is average humanity to the Elite? Why not perform a mass culling of the human population and eliminate the problem? Perhaps, this would be the likely scenario in the years following the era depicted in the short film.
* Assuming that cataclysmic nuclear, genetic engineering and or nanotechnology mishaps have not already destroyed existing societies. The robot scenario will probably need something like two additional decades to incubate before we see systems like the one depicted in this movie.
Robotic Legs Could Produce Army of Super Troopers :.
One of the recurring themes in Killer Robot research is the need to keep humans in the loop... at least for the moment. Since artificial intelligence is not yet good enough to serve as the basis of terminator
brains, the maniac quacks who are doing this research plan on using humans as middleware:Move over Bionic Man and make room for BLEEX -- the Berkeley Lower Extremities Exoskeleton, with strap-on robotic legs designed to turn an ordinary human into a super strider.
Ultimately intended to help people like soldiers or firefighters carry heavy loads for long distances, these boots are made for marching.
"The design of this exoskeleton really benefits from human intellect and the strength of the machine," said Homayoon Kazerooni, who directs the Robotics and Human Engineering Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley.
The exoskeleton consists of a pair of mechanical metal leg braces that include a power unit and a backpack-like frame. The braces are attached to a modified pair of Army boots and are also connected, although less rigidly, to the user's legs.
More than 40 sensors and hydraulic mechanisms function like a human nervous system, constantly calculating how to distribute the weight being borne and create a minimal load for the wearer.
"There is no joystick, no keyboard, no push button to drive the device," said Kazerooni, a professor of mechanical engineering. "The pilot becomes an integral part of the exoskeleton."
NOTE: The human generated articulation data (collected from the sensors) will probably be used to create software that will help engineers create more autonomous robots.
Selective Service Eyes Women, Specialists, Older People for Military Draft :.
Just sit there, don't worry, watch more MTV, shop at WalMart... None of it matters until you get a knock
on the door. Then what?The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft and requiring that young Americans regularly inform the government about whether they have training in niche specialties needed in the armed services.
The proposal, which the agency's acting Director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, also seeks to extend the age of draft registration to 34 years old, up from 25.
The Selective Service System plan, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, highlights the extent to which agency officials have planned for an expanded military draft in case the administration and Congress would authorize one in the future.
"In line with today's needs, the Selective Service System's structure, programs and activities should be re-engineered toward maintaining a national inventory of American men and, for the first time, women, ages 18 through 34, with an added focus on identifying individuals with critical skills," the agency said in a Feb. 11, 2003, proposal presented to senior Pentagon officials.
U.N. Oil for Food Records: Gone :.
The dog must have eaten them:The vast majority of the United Nations' oil-for-food contracts in Iraq have mysteriously vanished, crippling investigators trying to uncover fraud in the program, a government report charged yesterday.
The General Accounting Office report, presented at a congressional hearing into the scandal-plagued program, determined that 80 percent of U.N. records had not been turned over.
The world body claims it transferred all information it had - including 3,059 contracts worth about $6.2 billion for delivery of food and other civilian goods to the post-Saddam governing body, the Coalition Provisional Authority.Related: Saddam Hussein, the U.N. and Corporations Use Oil-for-Food Program as Slush Fund
Cryptogon Garden Update
I'm encouraged by how well everything is working out. Seeing as this is my first attempt at growing anything, I'm very pleased. Take a look:
96 square feet of organic goodness.
Is this really going to make a cabbage?
Did I sow too many carrot seeds?!
I ate a handfull of these peas today. Pods and all. Sweet like candy.
Coccinella septempunctata patrolling my sweet corn. Here's a closeup.
One Contractor Escapes, 11 U.S. Soldiers Die :.
What do you think is the top story on all the mainstream news sites?The wife of American contractor Thomas Hamill told reporters Sunday that her husband was "fine" and looking forward to seeing his family after escaping captivity in Iraq.
Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture by Andrew Kimbrell
Readers will come to see
that industrial food production is indeed a "fatal harvest"
- fatal to consumers, as pesticide residues and new disease vectors
such as E. coli and "mad cow disease" find their way
into our food supply; fatal to our landscapes, as chemical runoff
from factory farms poison our rivers and groundwater; fatal to
genetic diversity, as farmers rely increasingly on high-yield
monocultures and genetically engineered crops; and fatal to our
farm communities, which are wiped out by huge corporate
Fascism: The New Face of Power in America by Bertram Myron Gross
This is a relatively
short but extremely cogent and well-argued treatise on the rise
of a form of fascistic thought and social politics in late 20th
century America. Author Bertram Gross' thesis is quite straightforward;
the power elite that comprises the corporate, governmental and
military superstructure of the country is increasingly inclined
to employ every element in their formidable arsenal of 'friendly
persuasion' to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans
through what Gross refers to as friendly fascism.
by Scott and Helen Nearing Helen
and Scott Nearing are the great-grandparents of the back-to-the-land
movement, having abandoned the city in 1932 for a rural life based
on self-reliance, good health, and a minimum of cash...Fascinating,
timely, and wholly useful, a mix of the Nearings' challenging
philosophy and expert counsel on practical skills.
Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth by David Bollierd
In Silent Theft, David Bollier
argues that a great untold story of our time is the staggering
privatization and abuse of our common wealth. Corporations are
engaged in a relentless plunder of dozens of resources that we
collectively own—publicly funded medical breakthroughs,
software innovation, the airwaves, the public domain of creative
works, and even the DNA of plants, animals and humans. Too often,
however, our government turns a blind eye—or sometimes helps
give away our assets. Amazingly,
the silent theft of our shared wealth has gone largely unnoticed
because we have lost our ability to see the commons.
Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It: The Complete Back-To-Basics
Guide by John Seymour The
Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It is the only book that
teaches all the skills needed to live independently in harmony
with the land harnessing natural forms of energy, raising crops
and keeping livestock, preserving foodstuffs, making beer and
wine, basketry, carpentry, weaving, and much more.
Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten
Rule the World explains how economic globalization has concentrated
the power to govern in global corporations and financial markets
and detached them from accountability to the human interest. It
documents the devastating human and environmental consequences
of the successful efforts of these corporations to reconstruct
values and institutions everywhere on the planet to serve their
own narrow ends.
New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques
for the Home and Market Gardener
of a now-classic guide originally published in 1989 is intended
for the serious gardener or small-scale market farmer. It describes
practical and sustainable ways of growing superb organic vegetables,
with detailed coverage of scale and capital, marketing, livestock,
the winter garden, soil fertility, weeds, and many other