Social Media and Social Control: How Silicon Valley Serves the US State Department
by Morgan Artyukhina
Posted February 16, 2020
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is in the spotlight for “dining with far-right figures,” and their influence over the information that appears in your feed is apparent. However, Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley firm that’s masquerading as nonpartisan as it curates the “facts” you see in ads, posts, or searches: Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and others are deeply wedded to the U.S. security state and the billionaires it upholds.
Walter Lippmann’s groundbreaking 1922 study of the news media, “Public Opinion,” begins with a chapter titled, “The World Outside and the Pictures in our Heads,” in which he presents the media as a bottleneck through which information about the world beyond the perception of our senses must pass. More…
Pentagon Warns Military Mail-In DNA Tests Pose Security Risks: Report
By Katabella Roberts
Posted February 15, 2020
The Pentagon has warned members of the military against using mail-in DNA kits as they may pose a security risk, Yahoo reports. An internal memo, co-signed by the Defense Department’s top intelligence official, was issued Dec. 20 and obtained by the publication.
It warns that the kits are “largely unregulated” and that information collected by private companies could create a potential risk to military members. The Pentagon has warned members of the military against using mail-in DNA kits as they may pose a security risk.
An internal memo, co-signed by the Defense Department’s top intelligence official, was issued Dec. 20 and obtained by the publication. It warns that the kits are “largely unregulated” and that information collected by private companies could create a potential risk to military members. More…
New leaks shatter OPCW’s attacks on Douma whistleblowers
By Aaron Maté
Posted February 14, 2020
Facing accusations that it issued a doctored report alleging a chemical attack in Syria, the OPCW has released an inquiry attacking two whistleblowers as rogue actors. Leaked documents obtained by The Grayzone reveal serious distortions in the OPCW inquiry as well as a campaign of intimidation against internal dissenters.
For the past year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been roiled by allegations that it manipulated an investigation to falsely accuse the Syrian government of a chemical weapons attack. An OPCW report released in March 2019 lent credence to claims by Islamist militants and Western governments that the Syrian military killed around 40 civilians with toxic gas in the city of Douma in April 2018. The accusation against Damascus led to US-led military strikes on Syrian government sites that same month.
But leaked internal documents published by Wikileaks show that OPCW inspectors who deployed to Douma rejected the official story, and complained that higher-level officials excluded them from the post-mission process, distorted key evidence, and ignored their findings. More…
Why a Shadowy Tech Firm With Ties to Israeli Intelligence Is Running Doomsday Election Simulations
by Whitney Webb
Posted February 14, 2020
A shadowy tech firm with deep ties to Israeli intelligence and newly inked contracts to protect Pentagon computers is partnering with Lockheed Martin to gain unprecedented access to the heart of America’s democracy.
Election Day 2020: 32 Americans dead, over 200 injured, martial law declared and the election itself is canceled. While this horrific scenario seems more like the plot of a Hollywood film, such was the end result of a recent simulation examining the preparedness of U.S. officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Secret Service against “bad actors” seeking to undermine the upcoming presidential election.
Yet, this simulation was not a government-organized exercise but was instead orchestrated by a private company with deep ties to foreign and domestic intelligence services, a company that is also funded by investors with clear connections to individuals who would stand to benefit if such a catastrophic election outcome were to become reality. More…
New Details Show How Deeply Iowa Caucus App Developer Was Embedded in Democratic Establishment
by Lee Fang
Posted February 13, 2020
Democratic operative Tara McGowan is denying that her high-profile liberal firm ACRONYM played a role in the Monday evening caucus debacle, claiming that her firm was merely an investor in the company Shadow Inc., which developed the app at the center of the controversy. But internal company documents, a source close to the firms, and public records show a close and intertwined relationship between Acronym and Shadow.
In addition, ahead of the caucuses, questions swirled inside Shadow over the company’s ability to deliver a quality product, and there was concern from at least one staff member that senior leaders of Shadow and Acronym — both of which were launched as a new Democratic bulwark against President Donald Trump — have been far from neutral in the Democratic primary. More…
The Democratic Party elites were deeply involved in the “problems” associated with the Iowa caucus. The Democratic Party elites successfully rigged the 2016 primary elections to steal the nomination away from Bernie Sanders so they could anoint Hillary Clinton with the nomination.
Consider how this is an indictment of not only the Democratic Party elites, but also the unreliability of electronic vote counting that does not have a voter verified paper trail as part of the process. How can a democratic system survive once faith is lost in the voting process?
Can ‘Powerless Nobodies’ Fight the Corporate Powers?
by Jim Hightower
Posted February 13, 2020
The Formosa settlement victory sets a major legal precedent to advance other citizen lawsuits against polluters, requiring that the polluters (not taxpayers) pay for their messes.
The many sparkling bays along the Texas coastline of the Gulf of Mexico have long provided both a working-class living and a valued lifestyle for generations of shrimpers, oysterers and other fishing families. People and seafood, however, are not the only creatures here, for such wildlife as alligators and snakes also call many of these interconnected waterways home. Yet, by necessity and experience, the hardy people of the water have figured out how to share the bays so all creatures can get along.
But in the 1980s, a strange and invasive new critter entered Lavaca Bay, near the town of Port Comfort. Far from getting along, this species proceeded over the years to devour whole harvests of seafood, along with the livelihoods of local Gulf communities. This marauder was not some monster from the deep but a massive, 45,000-acre factory looming over Lavaca Bay. It is the Formosa Plastics Corporation, founded by the richest man in Taiwan. More…
What Upstanding Citizens Believe Vs. What Crazy Conspiracy Theorists Believe
by Caitlin Johnstone
Posted February 12, 2020
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe a mature worldview requires skepticism toward power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe the government is your friend, and the media are its helpers.
Crazy, stupid conspiracy theorists believe the very rich sometimes engage in nefarious behavior to expand their wealth and power.
Smart upstanding citizens believe billionaires always conduct themselves with the same values that got them their billions in the first place: honesty, morality, and generosity. More…
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