Oct 12

The cover of the program at the Oct. 7 “Roast of Dick Cheney.”

Neocons Roast Dick Cheney in NYC – Joke About Waterboarding and War Crimes (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Oct 10, 2013):

On Monday night, the disgraced neocon establishment gathered at the Plaza Hotel in New York City to celebrate the depravity of Dick Cheney by having a gigantic laugh about all of the pain and suffering they inflicted on the rest of the world while they held the reigns of power. The event was hosted by Commentary magazine, which is edited by John Podhoretz. Celebrated guests included none other than Donald Rumsfeld himself, who Richard Nixon once described as “a ruthless little bastard, you can be sure of that.” But hey, what’s a couple of jokes centered around crimes against humanity amongst sociopathic friends?

From Buzzfeed:

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman “said something to the effect that it’s nice that we’re all here at the Plaza instead of in cages after some war crimes trial,” recalled one person who was there.

Two attendees said the edgy jokes were in appropriate spirit of a roast; the third found them in poor taste, even in that setting.

“There were some waterboarding jokes that were really tasteless,” the guest said. “I can see the case for enhanced interrogation techniques after Sept. 11 but I can’t really endorse sitting there drinking wine and fancy dinner at the Plaza laughing uproariously about it.”

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Dec 05

Flashback: Lieberman Demands YouTube Censorship


Senator Joseph Lieberman and other lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime for anyone to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source, in a direct swipe at the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks.

“The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just the latest example of how our national security interests, the interests of our allies, and the safety of government employees and countless other individuals are jeopardized by the illegal release of classified and sensitive information,” said Lieberman in a written statement.

“This legislation will help hold people criminally accountable who endanger these sources of information that are vital to protecting our national security interests,” he continued.

The so-called SHIELD Act (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) would amend a section of the Espionage Act that already forbids publishing classified information on U.S. cryptographic secrets or overseas communications intelligence — i.e., wiretapping. The bill would extend that prohibition to information on HUMINT, human intelligence, making it a crime to publish information “concerning the identity of a classified source or informant of an element of the intelligence community of the United States,” or “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” if such publication is prejudicial to U.S. interests.

Leaking such information in the first place is already a crime, so the measure is aimed squarely at publishers.

Lieberman (ID-CT) has been going after WikiLeaks with a fury he once reserved for video-game zombies, pressuring first Amazon, and then data-visualization company Tableau, to blacklist the organization in the wake of this week’s State Department leak.

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Dec 04

Everydns.net says attack against leaks site endangered other customers’ service – effectively pushing site off the web


WikiLeaks was removed from its wikileaks.org address. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The US was today accused of opening up a dramatic new front against WikiLeaks, effectively “killing” its web address just days after Amazon pulled the site from its servers following political pressure.

The whistleblowers’ website went offline for the third time in a week this morning, in the biggest threat to its online presence yet.

Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate’s committee on homeland security, earlier this week called for any organisation helping sustain WikiLeaks to “immediately terminate” its relationship with them.

On Friday morning, WikiLeaks and the cache of secret diplomatic documents that have proved to be a scourge for governments around the world were only accessible through a string of digits known as a DNS address. The site later re-emerged with a Swiss domain, WikiLeaks.ch.

Julian Assange this morning said the development is an example of the “privatisation of state censorship” in the US and is a “serious problem.”

“These attacks will not stop our mission, but should be setting off alarm bells about the rule of law in the United States,” he warned.

The California-based internet hosting provider that dropped WikiLeaks at 3am GMT on Friday (10PM EST Thursday), Everydns, says it did so to prevent its other 500,000 customers of being affected by the intense cyber attacks targeted at WikiLeaks.

The site this morning said it had “move[d] to Switzerland”, announcing a new domain name – wikileaks.ch, with the Swiss suffix. However, the new address still only points to an IP address, suggesting WikiLeaks has been unable to quickly find a new hosting provider.

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Jun 16
white-house-internet-control

A new US Senate Bill would grant the President far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of, or even shut down, portions of the internet.

The legislation says that companies such as broadband providers, search engines or software firms that the US Government selects “shall immediately comply with any emergency measure or action developed” by the Department of Homeland Security. Anyone failing to comply would be fined.

That emergency authority would allow the Federal Government to “preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people,” Joe Lieberman, the primary sponsor of the measure and the chairman of the Homeland Security committee, told reporters on Thursday. Lieberman is an independent senator from Connecticut who meets with the Democrats.

Due to there being few limits on the US President’s emergency power, which can be renewed indefinitely, the densely worded 197-page Bill (PDF) is likely to encounter stiff opposition.

TechAmerica, probably the largest US technology lobby group, said it was concerned about “unintended consequences that would result from the legislation’s regulatory approach” and “the potential for absolute power”. And the Center for Democracy and Technology publicly worried that the Lieberman Bill’s emergency powers “include authority to shut down or limit internet traffic on private systems.”

The idea of an internet “kill switch” that the President could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that ZDNet Australia‘s sister site CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to “declare a cybersecurity emergency”, and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to “order the disconnection” of certain networks or websites. Continue reading »

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May 09

A draconian bill proposed by the independent senator would open a Pandora’s box of civil liberties issues

joseph_lieberman
Joseph Lieberman

Bombs do not always have to explode to have their desired impact. That would appear to be a simple, and disturbing, lesson to draw from the failed attempt to set off a car bomb in Times Square, New York, last weekend.

If you assume that one of the main aims of terrorists is to use fear to force Americans to change their open society, then the attack, allegedy carried out by Faisal Shahzad, succeeded perfectly well. It took only a few days after the bomb was discovered for independent Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman to propose a draconian new law that would strip US citizenship from anyone linked to foreign terrorists. His move was swiftly backed by leading Republicans.

The bill is a nightmare for those who believe that a democratic society’s greatest strength lies in the primacy of the impartial rule of law. “If you have joined an enemy of the United States in attacking the United States to try to kill Americans, I think you sacrifice your rights of citizenship,” Lieberman said. The point would be that stripping someone of their citizenship would remove many legal rights. It follows on from the outrage that many Republicans expressed when Shahzad – who is an American – was read his Miranda rights as he was arrested. Continue reading »

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May 20

Joe Lieberman, senator and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman, wants to censor what you watch on Google and YouTube. Lieberman has sent a letter to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, accusing the corporation of allowing “offensive material” on its site, namely “videos produced by al-Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups.” Joe wants these taken down immediately and demands Google “prevent them from reappearing.” No word if Schmidt has responded, but a letter sent by a bigwig commissar such as Lieberman is nothing to take lightly. Schmidt and his corporate lawyers have likely confabbed.

“Today, Islamist terrorist organizations rely extensively on the Internet to attract supporters and advance their cause. The framework for much of this Internet campaign is described in a bipartisan staff report released last week by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which I am privileged to chair, titled Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat,” writes Lieberman. “The report explains, in part, how al-Qaeda created and manages a multi-tiered online media operation that produces content intended to enlist followers in countries all over the world, including the United States. Central to this media campaign is the branding of content with an icon or logo to guarantee authenticity that the content was produced by al-Qaeda or allied organizations like al-Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Islam (a.k.a Ansar al-Sunnah) or al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb.”

Or how about an “allied organization” such as the CIA, military intelligence or one of its cutouts? An expert computer analyst has presented evidence that so-called ‘Al-Qaeda’ tapes are routinely digitally doctored and has also unwittingly exposed an astounding detail that clearly indicates a Pentagon affiliated organization in the U.S. is directly responsible for releasing the videos,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote last August. Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, examined the image quantization table of a 2006 Ayman al-Zawahiri tape and made a fascinating discovery – al-Qaeda’s As-Sahab logo (supposedly the media arm of al-Qaeda) was placed on the tape at the same time as the IntelCenter logo. As it turns out, IntelCenter, notorious for releasing al-Qaeda videos, is run by Ben Venzke, former director of intelligence at a company called iDefense, a Verisign company. Jim Melnick, a senior military psy-op intelligence officer who worked directly for Donald Rumsfeld, is billed as iDefense’s director of threat intelligence. In short, there is a distinct possibility the al-Qaeda videos mentioned by Lieberman are fake. Continue reading »

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Apr 06

WASHINGTON (AP) – Members of Congress have as much as $196 million collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq war, according to a study by a nonpartisan research group. Continue reading »

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