Whistleblower’s Stunning Claim: “NSA Has All Of Hillary’s Deleted Emails, It May Be The Leak”

[Note: This item comes from friend Steve Schear. DLH]

Whistleblower’s Stunning Claim: “NSA Has All Of Hillary’s Deleted Emails, It May Be The Leak”
By Tyler Durden
Aug 1 2016

Over a year before Edward Snowden shocked the world in the summer of 2013 with revelations that have since changed everything from domestic to foreign US policy but most of all, provided everyone a glimpse into just what the NSA truly does on a daily basis, a former NSA staffer, and now famous whistleblower, William Binney, gave excruciating detail to Wired magazine about all that Snowden would substantiate the following summer.

We covered it in a 2012 post titled “We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State” – Big Brother Goes Live September 2013.” Not surprisingly, Binney received little attention in 2012 – his suggestions at the time were seen as preposterous and ridiculously conspiratorial. Only after the fact, did it become obvious that he was right. More importantly, in the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, what Binney has to say has become gospel.

Which is why we are confident that at least a subset of the US population will express great interest in what Binney said earlier today, when the famous whistleblower said in a radio interview on Sunday that the NSA has “all” of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails and the FBI could gain access to them if they so desired, William Binney, a former highly placed NSA official.

Speaking on Aaron Klein’s Sunday radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Binney raised the possibility that the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s server was done not by Russia but by a disgruntled U.S. intelligence worker concerned about Clinton’s compromise of national security secrets via her personal email use.

Binney was an architect of the NSA’s surveillance program. He became a famed whistleblower when he resigned on October 31, 2001, after spending more than 30 years with the agency. He referenced testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 2011 by then-FBI Director Robert S. Mueller in which Meuller spoke of the FBI’s ability to access various secretive databases “to track down known and suspected terrorists.”

“Now what he (Mueller) is talking about is going into the NSA database, which is shown of course in the (Edward) Snowden material released, which shows a direct access into the NSA database by the FBI and the CIA. Which there is no oversight of by the way. So that means that NSA and a number of agencies in the U.S. government also have those emails.”

“So if the FBI really wanted them they can go into that database and get them right now,” he said of Clinton’s emails as well as DNC emails.

Asked point blank if he believed the NSA has copies of “all” of Clinton’s emails, including the deleted correspondence, Binney confirmed.

“Yes,” he responded. “That would be my point. They have them all and the FBI can get them right there.”

Binney then went on to speculate about something even more shocking: that the hack of the DNC could have been coordinated by someone inside the U.S. intelligence community angry over Clinton’s compromise of national security data with her email use.


U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities

U.S. police chiefs group apologizes for ‘historical mistreatment’ of minorities
By Tom Jackman
Oct 17 2016

The president of America’s largest police organization on Monday issued a formal apology to the nation’s minority population “for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.”

Terrence M. Cunningham, the chief of police in Wellesley, Mass., delivered his remarks at the convention in San Diego of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, whose membership includes 23,000 police officials in the United States. The statement was issued on behalf of the IACP, and comes as police executives continue to grapple with tense relationships between officers and minority groups in the wake of high-profile civilian deaths in New York, South Carolina, Minnesota and elsewhere, the sometimes violent citizen protests which have ensued as well as the ambush killings of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.

Police chiefs have long recognized the need to maintain good relations with their communities, of all races, and not allow an us-versus-them mentality to take root, either in their rank-and-file officer corps or in the neighborhoods where their citizens live. Cunningham’s comments are an acknowledgement of police departments’ past role in exacerbating tensions and a way to move forward and improve community relations nationwide. Two top civil rights groups on Monday commended Cunningham for taking an important first step in acknowledging the problem.

“Events over the past several years,” Cunningham said, “have caused many to question the actions of our officers and has tragically undermined the trust that the public must and should have in their police departments…The history of the law enforcement profession is replete with examples of bravery, self-sacrifice, and service to the community. At its core, policing is a noble profession.”

But Cunningham added, “At the same time, it is also clear that the history of policing has also had darker periods.” He cited laws enacted by state and federal governments which “have required police officers to perform many unpalatable tasks…While this is no longer the case, this dark side of our shared history has created a multigenerational — almost inherited — mistrust between many communities of color and their law enforcement agencies.”

Cunningham continued, “While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future…For our part, the first step is for law enforcement and the IACP to acknowledge and apologize for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.”

He concluded, “It is my hope that, by working together, we can break this historic cycle of mistrust and build a better and safer future for us all.”

Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, applauded Cunningham’s statement. “It seems to me that this is a very significant admission,” Robinson said, “and a very significant acknowledgement of what much of America has known for some time about the historical relationship between police and communities of color. The fact someone high in the law enforcement community has said this is significant and I applaud it because it is long overdue. And I think it’s a necessary first step to them trying to change these relationships.”

Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, said, “I think Chief Cunningham correctly identifies the need to acknowledge and apologize as a first step, and I don’t want to diminish how important the first step is,” because many police organizations have been reluctant to grapple with racial issues. She said the Legal Defense Fund has been speaking with the IACP about the role the Legal Defense Fund can play in improving policing. “They know that there’s a problem,” Ifill said. “They know that it’s a complicated and difficult one. They know there are problems in their own departments. And now we’re trying to take tentative steps toward what we hope will be productive measures.”


When Journalists Align With Thieves

When Journalists Align With Thieves
The press is mining the dirty work of Russian hackers for gossipy inside-beltway accounts.
By Steven Levy
Oct 17 2016

On June 17, 1972, Washington, D.C. police caught five men breaking into the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate hotel-apartment-office complex. “The five men had been dressed in business suits and all had worn Playtex surgical gloves,” Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein described in their famous book. “Police had seized a walkie-talkie, 40 rolls of unexposed film, two 35-millimeter cameras, two lock picks, pen-size tear-gas guns, and bugging devices that apparently were capable of picking up both telephone and room conversations.”

In 2016, Donald Trump did not need to dispatch burglars to loot the Democratic National Committee and use the information to his advantage. He had Gmail, the Russians, WikiLeaks, and the New York Times. In the two major document dumps so far, thousands of private emails that were stolen by hackers and provided to Julian Assange’s organization have been published on the internet for the perusal of all.

First came a serverload of mail from the Committee itself; then more recently, on October 8, came a wholesale delivery of the contents of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s inbox. If the US intelligence agency’s conclusions are to be believed, Vladimir Putin and his government did the hacking, apparently in an attempt to tilt the American election. The perpetrators were counting on the US media to feast on this purloined corpus, sucking the meat from the bones of every email.

Feast they did. Since the leak dropped, the Times, the Washington Post, and numerous other publications and blogs have been mining the emails for stories. This is perfectly legal. As long as journalists don’t do the stealing themselves, they are solidly allowed to publish what thieves expose, especially if, as in this case, the contents are available to all.

In 1972, journalists helped bring down a president by exposing the theft of political information. In 2016, it’s a presidential campaign urging us to gloss over the source of emails and just report what’s in them, preferably in the most unflattering light. Indeed, it’s not the theft that’s taken center stage, but rather the contents of the emails, as journalists focus on getting maximum mileage by shifting through the loot as if the DNC’s collected ephemera were the Pentagon Papers. And they are not.

Which leads me to wonder: is the exploitation of stolen personal emails a moral act? By diving into this corpus to expose anything unseemly or embarrassing, reporters may be, however unwillingly, participating in a scheme by a foreign power to mess with our election. Still, news is news, and it’s arguably a higher calling than concerns about privacy. (At least that’s what we journalists would argue!) By her refusal to share transcripts of her high-paid speeches to Wall Street firms, Hillary Clinton had already ignited efforts to find out what the heck she said to those fat cats. So it seems, well, seemly, that news organizations would leap at the unfortunate emails in which Podesta and colleagues did the work for journalists by pulling out the most uncomfortable portions of her appearances.

But then came a secondary wave. Taking advantage of WikiLeaks’s easy searchfunction, journalists went deep into the emails. On October 10, the New York Times ran two more stories drawn from the release. One article mined a series of exchangesthat suggested tension between the Clinton campaign and the mayor of New York. The other used the emails to document the not-terribly-earthshattering revelation that the Clinton campaign was having difficulty honing its message.

Both stories were inside-politics subjects that, without the juicy immediacy of information never intended to be public, might have been the kind of dry stories that run deep in the paper. But in this case, the stories wrote themselves because the reporters had emails stolen from Russian hackers. I’m guessing that they got better placement in the paper and more attention online because of the easy scoops.


Why We’re Living in the Age of Fear

Why We’re Living in the Age of Fear
This is the safest time in human history. So why are we all so afraid?
By Neil Strauss
Oct 6 2016

Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he transferred to a new job that required a long commute and began listening to conservative radio host Bob Grant during the drive. Eventually, he was holing himself up for three hours every day in the family kitchen, mainlining Rush Limbaugh and, during commercials, Fox News.

“It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Senko says. “He used to love talking to different people to try to learn their language, but then he became angry about illegal immigrants coming to the country, that they were taking jobs from Americans, and that English was becoming the secondary language.”

Senko is not alone. A California schoolteacher says her marriage fell apart after her husband started watching Fox News and yelling about government plots to take away his guns and freedom. On the left, my friend Phoebe has had to physically remove her mom, who she describes as a “Sam Seder news junkie,” from family functions for raging against relatives about the “dark place” this country is going to.

“All of these emotions, especially fear, whip people up into a state of alarm and they become angry and almost evangelical about what they believe,” says Senko. “It’s like a disease infecting millions of people around the country.”

If this election cycle is a mirror, then it is reflecting a society choked with fear. It’s not just threats of terrorism, economic collapse, cyberwarfare and government corruption – each of which some 70 percent of our citizenry is afraid of, according to the Chapman University Survey on American Fears. It’s the stakes of the election itself, with Hillary Clinton at last month’s debate conjuring images of an angry Donald Trump with his finger on the nuclear codes, while Trump warned “we’re not going to have a country” if things don’t change.

Meanwhile, the electorate is commensurately terrified of its potential leaders. According to a September Associated Press poll, 56 percent of Americans said they’d be afraid if Trump won the election, while 43 percent said they’d be afraid if Clinton won – with 18 percent of respondents saying they’re afraid of either candidate winning.

Trump’s rhetoric has only served to fan the flames: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” “It’s only getting worse.” “You walk down the street, you get shot.” Build a wall. Ban the Muslims. Obama founded ISIS. Hillary is the devil. Death, destruction, violence, poverty, weakness. And I alone can make America safe again.

But just how unsafe is America today?

According to Lewis & Clark College president Barry Glassner, one of the country’s leading sociologists and author of The Culture of Fear, “Most Americans are living in the safest place at the safest time in human history.”

Around the globe, household wealth, longevity and education are on the rise, while violent crime and extreme poverty are down. In the U.S., life expectancy is higher than ever, our air is the cleanest it’s been in a decade, and despite a slight uptick last year, violent crime has been trending down since 1991. As reported in The Atlantic, 2015 was “the best year in history for the average human being.”

So how is it possible to be living in the safest time in human history, yet at the exact same time to be so scared?

Because, according to Glassner, “we are living in the most fearmongering time in human history. And the main reason for this is that there’s a lot of power and money available to individuals and organizations who can perpetuate these fears.”

For mass media, insurance companies, Big Pharma, advocacy groups, lawyers, politicians and so many more, your fear is worth billions. And fortunately for them, your fear is also very easy to manipulate. We’re wired to respond to it above everything else. If we miss an opportunity for abundance, life goes on; if we miss an important fear cue, it doesn’t.

“The more we learn about the brain, the more we learn it’s not something that’s supposed to make you happy all the time,” says Andrew Huberman, a Stanford neurobiology professor who runs a lab studying fear. “It’s mostly a stress-reactive machine. Its primary job is to keep us alive, which is why it’s so easy to flip people into fear all the time.”

In other words, our biology and psychology are as flawed and susceptible to corruption as the systems and politicians we’re so afraid of. In particular, when it comes to assessing future risks, there is a litany of cognitive distortions and emotional overreactions that we fall prey to.


Your brilliant Kickstarter idea could be on sale in China before you’ve even finished funding it

Your brilliant Kickstarter idea could be on sale in China before you’ve even finished funding it
By Josh Horwitz
Oct 17 2016

Shenzhen, China

Yekutiel Sherman couldn’t believe his eyes.

The Israeli entrepreneur had spent one year designing the product that would make him rich—a smartphone case that unfolds into a selfie stick. He had drawn up prototypes, secured some minimal funds from his family, and launched a crowdfunding campaign. He even shot a professional promo video, showing a couple taking the perfect selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower.

But one week after his product hit Kickstarter in December 2015, Sherman was shocked to see it for sale on AliExpress—Alibaba’s English-language wholesale site. Vendors across China were selling identical smartphone case selfie-sticks, using the same design Sherman came up with himself. Some of them were selling for as low as $10 a piece, well below Sherman’s expected retail price of £39 ($47.41). Amazingly, some of these vendors stole the name of Sherman’s product—Stikbox:

Sherman had become a victim of China’s lightning-fast copycats. Before he had even found a factory to make his new product, manufacturers in China had spied his idea online, and beaten him to the punch. When his Kickstarter backers caught on, they were furious. “You are charging double the price for what the copycats are charging, yet I seriously doubt the final product will be any better than the copycats,” one person commented.

Years ago, experts in the hardware industry would have had more sympathy for Sherman. Now, no one does—not even Sherman himself. While discussions of intellectual property in China’s manufacturing centers once focused on how brands and investors could protect their designs from China’s rapacious copycats, things have changed. Startups and foreign manufacturers are embracing a new reality—someone in China is going to make a knockoff of your unique invention, almost immediately. All any company or entrepreneur can do is prepare for it.

The origins of copycat culture

China’s knockoffs come in many different forms, and can affect businesses large and small.

In some cases, factories will make products that physically resemble ones made by prominent brands. Quality may vary—an Android phone with rounded edges and a stamped-on Apple logo will never come close to replicating the feel of an iPhone. But a counterfeit Gucci bag might easily pass for the real thing.

Sometimes, as was the case with Stikbox and the hoverboard, a factory or design team will spot a fledgling new product on the internet, figure out how it’s made, and start churning out near-identical products. Other times, a Chinese partner factory will produce extra units of a product they agreed to make for another company, and sell the surplus items themselves online or to other vendors.

Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, drew criticism when he told investors in June (paywall) that fake goods “are of better quality and of better price than the real names” and come from “exactly the same factories” as authentic goods. But there’s some truth to his comments.


Striking new research on inequality: ‘Whatever you thought, it’s worse’

[Note: This item comes from friend Bob Frankston. DLH]

Striking new research on inequality: ‘Whatever you thought, it’s worse’
By Ana Swanson
Oct 6 2016

Social mobility, the amount that a typical American moves up or down the economic ladder from where their parents and grandparents stood, has became a major focus of political discussion, academic research and popular outrage in the years since the global financial crisis. While Americans have traditionally seen their country as a place where anyone can make through hard work and a stroke of luck, data collected in the past decade have shown otherwise.

Compared with many European countries, for example, few Americans end up with an income or educational level that is substantially different than their parents. Research by economists from Harvard and Berkeley found that fewer than 10 percent of people in the bottom fifth of the wealth distribution will make it into the top fifth. Things weren’t much better for the middle class: Only about 20 percent of people in the middle fifth would rise into the top fifth over the course of their lives.

Now, new research suggests that social mobility in America may be even more limited than researchers have realized. In a new paper, Joseph Ferrie of Northwestern University, Catherine Massey of the University of Michigan and Jonathan Rothbaum of the U.S. Census Bureau draw on a newly constructed dataset about American families reaching back to 1910. Unlike past studies, which have mainly compared parents and children, the new work adds data on grandparents and great-grandparents to show just how fixed the fortunes of many Americans have become.

In the past, researchers have overestimated the amount of social mobility in American society because they had a limited amount of data to study, Ferrie and his colleagues argue. Much scholarly work has been done examining how inequality has persisted between parents and children since the 1960s and beyond, but researchers have lacked data on previous generations.

That limited historical insight is a problem, says Ferrie, because families can see one-generation fluctuations in education and income. For example, suppose you have a banker whose son decided to become a poet, surrendering a huge income in favor of a more fulfilling career. But the poet’s daughter decides to go back to the family business and become a banker.

If you just looked at the poet and his daughter, you might think that economic mobility is alive and well in America — she probably makes a lot more money than her father does. But actually, the daughter might be drawing on much older, preexisting family resources – such as financial resources, personal connections, or knowledge about how Wall Street works from her grandfather – that make it easier for her to become a banker than it is for the average kid.

Looking across multiple generations gives researchers a better idea of the real state of inequality, “because there can be these one-generation blips that obscure the total amount of generational mobility,” says Ferrie.

The new calculations suggest that these one-generation blips have obscured a lot. Adding in data about past generations, Ferrie and his colleagues find that conventional measures of immobility, which just look at parents and children, have underestimated mobility by 20 percent compared to looking at three generations or more.


China launches longest manned space mission, aims to explore ‘more deeply and more broadly’

China launches longest manned space mission, aims to explore ‘more deeply and more broadly’
By Simon Denyer
Oct 16 2016

China’s march into space took another step forward Monday, as two astronauts embarked on the nation’s longest manned mission.

The pair aim to dock with an orbiting space lab and remain aboard for 30 days, a crucial step in China’s plans to operate its own space station by 2022, and part of a much broader space program that has ambitions to put astronauts back on the moon and land an unmanned rover on Mars.

State-run China Central Television (CCTV) showed the Shenzou-II spacecraft taking off from a launch center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China at 7:30 a.m., carried by a Long March-2F rocket.

The pair were seen on board saluting seconds before takeoff. They will dock with the Tiangong-2 lab in two days, and conduct a series of scientific experiments, testing computers as well as propulsion and life-support systems, CCTV reported.

After the launch was declared a success, Defense Minister Fan Changlong read a congratulatory message from President Xi Jinping calling for China’s astronauts to explore space “more deeply and more broadly.”

The president also encouraged them to “constantly break new ground for the manned space program, so that Chinese people will take bigger steps and march further in [their] space probe, to make new contributions to the building of China into a space power.”

The astronauts were Jing Haipeng, who will turn 50 during the trip and is flying his third mission, and Chen Dong, 37.

“It is any astronaut’s dream and pursuit to be able to perform many space missions,” Jing said Sunday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

China is spending heavily on a space program that aims to catch up with established space powers the United States and Russia, and outpace Asian rivals India and Japan. As in all those countries, the space program is a source of great national pride.

China was excluded from participation on the International Space Station, largely because of U.S. concerns that its space program had a strong military component.

Instead, it aims to build its own space station, and hopes that other countries will also launch missions there. It insists that its motives are peaceful.

“Shenzhou-11 is a new beginning. It marks the imminent end to the exploratory stage of China’s manned space program,” said Zhang Yulin, deputy commander in chief of China’s manned space program, who is also deputy chief of the armament development department of the Central Military Commission.