There is suspicion that the pharmaceutical industry is cooking the studies that prove that antidepressant drugs are safe and effective, and that the industry’s direct-to-consumer advertising is encouraging people to demand pills to cure conditions that are not diseases (like shyness) or to get through ordinary life problems (like being laid off).
Leah Oates: Your images deal with working-class people and environments in the United States, and have a melancholy side to them. How did you come to this theme in your artistic practice?
Me: The working-class people, as you refer to them, the workingman is the victim lab rat of this great experiment called America. America is founded upon a man at the top of the pyramid shitting in a bucket and then handing it down to the man below him, then that guy shits in the bucket and hands it down to the man below him. As each man takes his turn shitting in the bucket and handing it down, it eventually reaches the man at the bottom and that is the workingman. The workingman is given a bucket of shit filled so high that there is no room for him to shit, and no one below him to hand the bucket down to, so he is stuck with it. He has no other option or choice, and he is forced to eat and deal with everyone else’s shit, everyone else’s mistakes, failures, miscalculations, and selfishness. And, well, that ain’t cool with me. This bucket of shit or perhaps a nice way of referring to it is the trickle down society we have built our politics and economy on, doesn’t work for everyone, and problems can’t just be pushed downward, swept under the carpet and forgotten about. It takes Americans the absolute worst to realize that there is problem, and usually at that point the pile of forgotten problems under the carpet have become so big that the carpet looks like the tiny white snow cap on top of a mountain. And by then it is too late.
Microsoft Takes Down Whistleblower Site, Read the Secret Doc Here
Microsoft has managed to do what a roomful of secretive, three-letter government agencies have wanted to do for years: get the whistleblowing, government-document sharing site Cryptome shut down.
Microsoft dropped a DMCA notice alleging copyright infringement on Cryptome’s proprietor John Young on Tuesday after he posted a Microsoft surveillance compliance document that the company gives to law enforcement agents seeking information on Microsoft users. Young filed a counterclaim on Wednesday — arguing he had a fair use to publishing the document, a full day before the Thursday deadline set by his hosting provider, Network Solutions.
Regardless, Cryptome was shut down by Network Solutions and its domain name locked on Wednesday — shuttering a site that thumbed its nose at the government since 1996 — posting thousands of documents that the feds would prefer never saw the light of day.
Microsoft did not return a call for comment by press time.
The 22-page document (.pdf) contains no trade secrets, but will tell Microsoft users things they didn’t know. (You can read it directly on your own computer from the above link, or read it inline below.)
For instance, Xbox Live records every IP address you ever use to login and stores them for perpetuity. While that’s going to be creepy for some, there’s an upside if your house gets robbed, according to the document: “If your investigation involves a stolen Xbox console, if the console serial number or Xbox LIVE user gamertag is provided and the console has been connected to the Internet, IP connection records may be available.”
The Microsoft® Online Services Global Criminal Compliance Handbook (.pdf) also goes so far as to provide sample language for subpoenas and diagrams on how to understand server logs.
Other things you might not know and which Microsoft (sometimes oddly) doesn’t want you to know?
Microsoft retains only the last 10 login records for Windows Live ID. As for your instant messages, it tells police that it keeps no record of what anyone says over Microsoft Messenger – though it will turn over who is on your buddy list.
And if you like to use Microsoft’s social networking products — like its old-school Group mailing list or its Facebook-like Spaces product, be aware that it’s very social when it comes to law enforcement or court subpoenas.
As Microsoft tells potential subpoenaees, “when you are looking for information on a specific incident like a photo posting or message posting, please request all group content and logs. We cannot retrieve single incident data.” The same holds for Spaces — if you are interested in a single picture, just request the entire thing. Call it Subpoena 2.0.
The compliance handbook is just the latest in a series of leaks of similar documents from other companies. Yahoo, like Microsoft, reacted as if its secret sauce had somehow been spilled by letting curious users know the hows and whys of how the companies deal with lawful surveillance requests. Google, for all its crusading for internet freedom, refuses to say how often law enforcement comes searching for user data.
The one company who has had a stand-up policy for years is the Cox Communications’ ISP, which has had this information and their price list public for years.
But hypocrisy is the name of the game for giant internet companies like Yahoo, Microsoft and Google that want us to entrust large portions of our lives to Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Buzz, Xbox, Hotmail, Messenger, Google Groups. When it comes to the most basic information about how, why and how often our data is subpoenaed and collected without our knowledge, these online innovators resort to lawyers, abusive legal process and double-talk.
The illusion machine.
Obama lawyers set to defend Yoo
By: Josh Gerstein
January 28, 2009 09:49 AM EST
In Democratic legal circles, no attorney has been more pilloried than former Bush Justice Department official John Yoo, chief author of the so-called torture memos that Barack Obama last week sought to nullify.
But now President Obama’s incoming crew of lawyers has a new and somewhat awkward job: defending Yoo in federal court.
Next week, Justice Department lawyers are set to ask a San Francisco federal judge to throw out a lawsuit brought against Yoo by Jose Padilla, a New York man held without charges on suspicion of being an Al Qaeda operative plotting to set off a “dirty bomb.”
The suit contends that Yoo’s legal opinions authorized Bush to order Padilla’s detention in a Navy brig in South Carolina and encouraged military officials to subject Padilla to aggressive interrogation techniques, including death threats and long-term sensory deprivation.
That’s not all. On Thursday, Justice Department lawyers are slated to be in Charleston, S.C., to ask a federal magistrate there to dismiss another lawsuit charging about a dozen current and former government officials with violating Padilla’s rights in connection with his unusual detention on U.S. soil, without charges or a trial.
The defendants in that case are like a who’s who of Bush administration boogeymen to Obama’s liberal followers — former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.
SIBEL EDMONDS: THE TRAITORS AMONG US
SIBEL EDMONDS HAS NAMED NAMES. WHY ISN’T THE MEDIA REPORTING THE STORY?
by Brad Friedman
for HUSTLER MAGAZINE – March 2010
SIBEL EDMONDS, a former FBI translator, claims that the following government officials have committed what amount to acts of treason. They are lawmakers Dennis Hastert, Bob Livingston, Dan Burton, Roy Blunt, Stephen Solarz and Tom Lantos, as well as at least three members of George W. Bush’s inner circle: Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and Marc Grossman. But is Sibel Edmonds credible?
“Absolutely, she’s credible,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) told CBS’s 60 Minutes when he was asked about her in 2002. “The reason I feel she’s very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story.” Edmonds’s remarkable allegations of bribery, blackmail, infiltration of the U.S. government and the theft of nuclear secrets by foreign allies and enemies alike rocked the Bush Administration. In fact, Bush and company actually prevented Edmonds from telling the American people what she knew—up until now.
John M. Cole, an 18-year veteran of the FBI’s Counterintelligence and Counterespionage departments, revealed the panic of upper-echelon officials when Edmonds originally started talking back in 2002. “Well, the Bureau is gonna have to try to work something out with Sibel,” Cole said an FBI executive assistant told him at the time, “because they don’t want this to go out and become public.”
But they couldn’t “work something out with Sibel” because, it seems, she wasn’t looking to make a deal. Edmonds says she was looking to expose what she believed to be the ugly truth about the infiltration of the U.S. government by foreign spies. They were enabled, Edmonds claimed, by high-ranking U.S. officials and insider moles planted at nuclear weapons facilities around the nation.
“Everybody at headquarters level at the Bureau knew what she was saying was extremely accurate,” Cole said recently. “They were trying to figure out ways of keeping this whole thing quiet because they didn’t want Sibel to come out.”
Her under-oath testimony for the Ohio Election Commission, given in a recent videotaped deposition, is both shocking and horrifying. (Edmonds was the star witness for Congressional candidate David Krikorian in connection with a formal complaint initiated by Representative Jean Schmidt [R-Ohio]. Challenging her in 2008, a Krikorian flyer had accused Schmidt of accepting “blood money” from Turkish interests to help block a House bill recognizing Turkey’s genocide of Armenians in 1915.) The deposition was allowed to proceed by the Obama Administration, which chose not to invoke the draconian and little-known “State Secrets Privilege” to gag her, as the previous administration had done, twice.
Edmonds testified that Congressman Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois), a former Speaker of the House, was involved in “several categories” of corruption on behalf of Turkish agents, according to information she claims to have heard while translating and analyzing FBI counterintelligence wiretaps recorded from 1996 through 2002. She mentioned his “acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash” coupled with the ability “to do certain favors…make certain things happen for… [the] Turkish government’s interest.”
Edmonds also alleged, on the public record, Hastert’s use of a “townhouse that was not his residence for certain not very morally accepted activities” and said that “foreign entities knew about this. In fact, they sometimes participated in some of those…activities in that particular townhouse.”
The allegations against Hastert include accepting some half-million dollars in bribes. While several FBI sources have corroborated Edmonds’s account, the best Hastert’s attorneys could do was offer a nondenial denial to the charges. But the proof, as they say, may be in the post-Congressional pudding. As Edmonds had predicted years earlier, Hastert—who left Congress in 2007—now makes $35,000 a month lobbying his old colleagues as a registered foreign agent for the Turkish government.
Former Congressman Bob Livingston (RLouisiana), who was set to become Speaker prior to Hastert until evidence of a sexual affair was revealed by Larry Flynt, was described in Edmonds’s deposition as having participated in “not very legal activities on behalf of foreign interests” before leaving office in 1999. Afterward, she said, Livingston acted “as a conduit to…further foreign interests, both overtly and covertly,” and also became both a lobbyist and “an operative” representing Turkish interests.
According to Edmonds, Representative Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)—likely to run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010—was “the recipient of both legally and illegally raised…campaign donations from…Turkish entities.” Edmonds also claimed that hard-right Representative Dan Burton (R-Indiana), who was instrumental in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, carried out “extremely illegal activities” and covert operations that were “against the United States citizens” and “against the United States’ interests.”
Edmonds named allegedly traitorous Democrats too. She said that former New York Congressman Stephen Solarz, now also a lobbyist, “acted as conduit to deliver or launder contributions and other bribe[s, including blackmail] to certain members of Congress.” And, according to Edmonds, the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-California) was said to have been involved in “not only…bribe[ry], but also…disclosing [the] highest level protected U.S. intelligence and weapons technology information both to Israel and to Turkey [and] other very serious criminal conduct.”
The most overtly salacious of the allegations involved Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois), who is “married with…grown children, but she is bisexual,” according to Edmonds. The FBI whistleblower described how Schakowsky was “hooked” by Turkish agents into having a lesbian “sexual relationship with one of their spies,” and “the entire episodes of their sexual conduct was being filmed because the entire house…was bugged…to be used for certain things that they wanted to request.”
Edmonds noted, however, that she didn’t “know if she [Schakowsky] did anything illegal afterwards” since Edmonds was fired by the FBI before learning what came of that particular setup. The Turks, she said, intended to get at Schakowsky’s husband, lobbyist Robert Creamer, who in April 2006 began serving five months in prison (and 11 months of house arrest) for check-kiting and failing to collect withholding tax.
Schakowsky’s office has vehemently denied the allegations. As head of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Schakowsky might be expected to hold hearings on any of the former FBI employee’s revelations but she has not. She has also refused Edmonds’s challenge to take a polygraph test and has not yet sued her for libel, as the whistleblower has challenged her to do.
Edmonds’s most disturbing allegations, however, may be against high-ranking appointed officials in the Bush Administration. Elaborating on testimony she laid out in her sworn deposition, Edmonds told American Conservative magazine’s Phil Giraldi—a 17-year CIA counterterrorism officer—very specific details of alleged traitorous schemes perpetrated by top State and Defense Department officials. As already noted, these included Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz and, perhaps most notably, former Deputy Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman, the third-highest-ranking official in the Bush State Department.
Edmonds said that Feith and Wolfowitz were involved in plans to break Iraq into U.S. and British protectorates months prior to 9/11. She also claimed that the duo shared information with Grossman on how to blackmail various officials and that Grossman had accepted cash to help procure and sell nuclear weapons technology to Israel and Turkey—and, from there, on to the foreign black market. There the technology would be purchased by the highest bidder, such as Pakistan, Iran, Libya, North Korea or possibly even al-Qaeda.
Additionally, Edmonds claimed that Grossman, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey before taking his State Department post, had tipped off Turkish diplomats to the true identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson’s front company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, a full three years prior to their being publicly outed by columnist Robert Novak. That in itself, according to George H.W. Bush, would be an act of treason carried out by “the most insidious of traitors.”
Former CIA counterterrorism officer Giraldi summed up Edmonds’s disclosures to me in blunt terms: “This was a massive coordinated espionage effort directed against United States nuclear secrets engineered by foreign agents who successfully corrupted senior government officials and legislators in our Congress. It’s that simple.”
According to a declassified version of a 2005 Department of Justice Inspector General’s report, Sibel Edmonds’s allegations are “credible,” “serious” and “warrant a thorough and careful review by the FBI.”
Perhaps more damningly, the FBI’s John Cole recently confirmed a key element of Edmonds’s claims when he revealed the existence of “the FBI’s decade-long investigation” of the State Department’s Grossman. Edmonds claimed that Grossman was perhaps the top U.S. ringleader for the entire foreign espionage scheme. The probe, Cole added, “ultimately was buried and covered up.”
Cole, who now works as an intelligence contractor for the Air Force, not only finds Edmonds “very credible,” but also confirms the “ongoing and detailed effort by Turkey to develop influence in the United States” through a number of illegal means.
“Turkish individuals would ask for favors—ya know, ‘You help me out, and I’ll help you out’—and basically what would happen is the elected official would either receive money or some kind of gift,” Cole explained. “Or, if it was a government employee, I’ve seen it where after they retired, they get these very lucrative positions with a Turkish company, or whatever the country may be.”
As noted, Hastert now works for Turkey, and Grossman now works for a Turkish company and as a lobbyist—no doubt raking in a pretty penny from both. Hastert and Grossman repeatedly ignored requests to comment on these charges.
The mainstream U.S. media, however, apparently remain uninterested in investigating any of it. Not even after Cole himself called for a “Special Counsel” to investigate and prosecute. So what the hell is going on here?
Giraldi believes that, as with companies such as AIG and GM becoming “too big to fail,” the size and success of this massive national security espionage scandal has simply become too big to bust.
He told me, “You have to look at Marc Grossman being part of a much bigger operation in terms of the Israelis and the Turks obtaining influence over our legislators and over a number of senior government officials at the Pentagon and State Department. Because this thing was so big, and it affected both Democrats and Republicans, I think the U.S. government is terrified of opening up this Pandora’s box.”
Giraldi added, “The people in Congress and in the Justice Department who should be investigating this…and also in the media—because the media is tied hand and foot to government—this is all part of one big, you know, conspiracy, if you want to look at it this way. And, essentially, this is a story that they don’t want to get out.”
So why, exactly, isn’t the media covering Sibel Edmonds, whom the ACLU once described as “the most gagged person in the history of the U.S.,” now that she is finally able to tell her story? It’s a story, after all, that the legendary 1970s whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg has deemed “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers.”
“If we had an effective mainstream media that was going after this story, that would make it come out,” Giraldi noted. “But we don’t have an effective media.” He then pointed out one more reason for the media’s reluctance to dig into this story: “According to Sibel, Grossman actually bragged that he would get from the Turks the information that they wanted to appear in an article. He would write it up, and he would fax it over to the New York Times, and they would print it just as he had written it under somebody else’s byline.”
Guess we won’t expect any coverage of this scandal from the New York Times, “the paper of record,” any time soon. And if a story isn’t covered by the Times, and thereafter picked up by everybody else, did it really happen? Given the complicity of the media with regard to Sibel Edmonds, it would appear the government never even needed to invoke the “State Secrets Privilege” in the first place.
As of this writing, HUSTLER stands to be the largest, most “corporate” U.S. outlet in which these startling, now-public, on-the-record disclosures have been reported. The moral: Pull off a large enough crime, and it becomes too big to do anything about.
by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Conducting human mind control experiments are clearly illegal and unethical. They’re more sophisticated than ever today, and claims that MK-ULTRA experiments were halted in the 1970s were false. …
MK-ULTRA was the code name for a secret CIA mind control program, begun in 1953, under Director Allen Dulles. Its purpose was multifold, including to perfect a truth drug for interrogating suspected Soviet spies during the Cold War. It followed earlier WW II hypnosis, primitive drugs research, and the US Navy’s Project Chatter, explained by its Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request as follows:
It began “in the fall of 1947 focusing on the identification and testing of drugs (LSD and others) in interrogations and the recruitment of agents. The research included laboratory experiments on both animal and human subjects. The program ended shortly after the Korean War in 1953.”
It was run under the direction of Dr. Charles Savage of the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, MD from 1947 – 1953, after which CIA’s Office of Scientific Intelligence continued it under the name Project Bluebird, its first mind control program to:
* learn how to condition subjects to withstand information from being extracted from them by known means;
* develop interrogation methods to exert control;
* develop memory enhancement techniques; and
* establish ways to prevent hostile control of Agency personnel.
I’m getting really tired of this line: “America can’t afford to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
Obama repeatedly uses this Voltaire quote paraphrase as an excuse for breaking promises he made to progressives.
And that’s why I wrote this double limerick: Dear Obama, Enough With The Voltaire!
Terra Terra Terra! Let bring in the Shock Doctrine!
Let’s be honest: you’ll never win the lottery.
On the other hand, the chances are pretty good that you’ll slave away at some miserable job the rest of your life. That’s because you were in all likelihood born into the wrong social class. Let’s face it — you’re a member of the working caste. Sorry!
As a result, you don’t have the education, upbringing, connections, manners, appearance, and good taste to ever become one of us. In fact, you’d probably need a book the size of the yellow pages to list all the unfair advantages we have over you. That’s why we’re so relieved to know that you still continue to believe all those silly fairy tales about “justice” and “equal opportunity” in America.
Of course, in a hierarchical social system like ours, there’s never been much room at the top to begin with. Besides, it’s already occupied by us — and we like it up here so much that we intend to keep it that way. But at least there’s usually someone lower in the social hierarchy you can feel superior to and kick in the teeth once in a while. Even a lowly dishwasher can easily find some poor slob further down in the pecking order to sneer and spit at. So be thankful for migrant workers, prostitutes, and homeless street people.
Always remember that if everyone like you were economically secure and socially privileged like us, there would be no one left to fill all those boring, dangerous, low-paid jobs in our economy. And no one to fight our wars for us, or blindly follow orders in our totalitarian corporate institutions. And certainly no one to meekly go to their grave without having lived a full and creative life. So please, keep up the good work!
You also probably don’t have the same greedy, compulsive drive to possess wealth, power, and prestige that we have. And even though you may sincerely want to change the way you live, you’re also afraid of the very change you desire, thus keeping you and others like you in a nervous state of limbo. So you go through life mechanically playing your assigned social role, terrified what others would think should you ever dare to “break out of the mold.”
Naturally, we try to play you off against each other whenever it suits our purposes: high-waged workers against low-waged, unionized against non-unionized, Black against White, male against female, American workers against Japanese against Mexican against…. We continually push your wages down by invoking “foreign competition,” “the law of supply and demand,” “national security,” or “the bloated federal deficit.” We throw you on the unemployed scrap heap if you step out of line or jeopardize our profits. And to give you an occasional break from the monotony of our daily economic blackmail, we allow you to participate in our stage-managed electoral shell games, better known to you ordinary folks as “elections.” Happily, you haven’t a clue as to what’s really happening — instead, you blame “Aliens,” “Tree-hugging Environmentalists,” “Niggers,” “Jews,” Welfare Queens,” and countless others for your troubled situation.
We’re also very pleased that many of you still embrace the “work ethic,” even though most jobs in our economy degrade the environment, undermine your physical and emotional health, and basically suck your one and only life right out of you. We obviously don’t know much about work, but we’re sure glad you do!
Of course, life could be different. Society could be intelligently organized to meet the real needs of the general population. You and others like you could collectively fight to free yourselves from our domination. But you don’t know that. In fact, you can’t even imagine that another way of life is possible. And that’s probably the greatest, most significant achievement of our system — robbing you of your imagination, your creativity, your ability to think and act for yourself.
So we’d truly like to thank you from the bottom of our heartless hearts. Your loyal sacrifice makes possible our corrupt luxury; your work makes our system work. Thanks so much for “knowing your place” — without even knowing it!
Rich $cum of America
He who hath the gold makes all the rules.
Please make copies and share with other members of your caste!