News Items – 03.02.17

Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept:

WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)

The New Yorker’s Big Cover Story Reveals Five Uncomfortable Truths About U.S. and Russia

Key Question About DNC Race: Why Did Obama White House Recruit Perez to Run Against Ellison?

Trump’s Use of Navy SEAL’s Wife Highlights All the Key Ingredients of U.S. War Propaganda“: “This dehumanization — the suppression of any humanity on the part of the U.S.’ foreign war victims — is the absolute key to sustaining popular support for war.

Mehdi Hasan: “Trump’s ‘Moderate’ Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War” LOL: “Perhaps you were distracted…by President Trump’s online jihad against Nordstrom.”


Wall Street Journal: “Why Is Saudi King Salman Touring Asia?“: “Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is visiting Indonesia, the second leg of his month-long Asian tour that began in Malaysia on Sunday. Saudi Arabia wants to broaden its alliances beyond the West and attract investments as the kingdom diversifies its economy beyond oil.”

Here’s why, by Christina Lin — former researcher at Johns Hopkins University, Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, Department of State, and Export-Import Bank of the United States.



America’s Most Notorious Prison Was Supposed to Be Closed by Now,” by Karen Greenberg – Fordham Law School’s Director of the Center on National Security.


Politico: “Trump address Twitter numbers appear to be boosted by ‘bots’

“President Donald Trump’s first congressional address — widely celebrated as the most-tweeted presidential address to Congress ever — appears to have been boosted by pro-Trump ‘bot’ accounts. Even before they started trending yesterday, the official hashtags — #JointAddress and #JointSession — accumulated decidedly inorganic traffic, including from some accounts that had never tweeted about any other topic. Telltale signs of automated traffic include lack of a profile picture and prolific output. … Secure America Now, which formed in 2011 out of opposition to the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ in New York City, shot the poll to its 44,000 followers early yesterday morning. The group did not respond to emailed inquiries. The poll asked readers to select the top national security issue that Trump should address in his speech. The four possible answers aligned with Secure America Now’s core platform, including designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, scrapping the Iran deal, and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Trump did refer to ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ reportedly against the advice of his national security adviser, which was the fourth and most generic option. When Paul Ryan raised his gavel, responses to the Secure America Now poll accounted for approximately 3 percent of a sample of 25,000 tweets on #JointAddress. Earlier in the afternoon, the share was as high as 10 percent of tweets in the hashtag’s stream. … Many poll respondents seem to be Trump supporters — around 15 percent who tweeted the poll have pro-Trump slogans in their bios, like #MakeAmericaGreatAgain or ‘AmericaFirst.’ A number also describe themselves as conservative Christians. But the poll’s intrinsic virality doesn’t seem to account for how much play it got on a trending hashtag. Many of the accounts tweeting it out have a lot of bot-likecharacteristics. Among other tells, their astonishing output is virtually all retweets of pro-Trump memes and anti-Hillary screeds, hundreds of such posts per day. There were also plenty of ‘egg’ bots, which have no profile picture, and accounts with suspiciously generic bios.”

More on this:

The Guardian: “Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Motherboard: “The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

The Economist: “The role of technology in the presidential election

Psychology Today: “Mind control: Neuroscience in marketing

University of Sheffield: “The Invisible Government: Edward Bernays, Public Relations and Propaganda

New York Times: “Automated Pro-Trump Bots Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say

Scout.ai: “The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine

Stanford University: “Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior

The Independent: “Donald Trump rejects intelligence report on travel ban because it doesn’t say what he wants it to

The Independent: “Steve Bannon’s data firm in talks for lucrative White House contracts

Jonathan Albright — professor/researcher of news/journalism at Elon University:

FakeTube: AI-Generated News on YouTube

Left + Right: The Combined Post-#Election2016 News ‘Ecosystem’

The #Election2016 Micro-Propaganda Machine

What’s Missing From The Trump Election Equation? Let’s Start With Military-Grade PsyOps


More from The Intercept:

Trump’s Proposed Increase in U.S. Defense Spending Would Be 80 Percent of Russia’s Entire Military Budget

America’s Greatest Political Rhetoric Rewritten Using Paul Ryan’s Definition of Freedom

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Took Out $19 Million in Puzzling Real Estate Loans

Donald Trump’s Remarks Signal He Could Start a New Nuclear Arms Race

While War on Media Escalates, CBS Chief Praises Trump’s Deregulation Agenda

Mayor of Paris Trolls Donald Trump and His Friend Jim

Video: A Closing Prayer for Standing Rock’s Oceti Sakowin

Fox News Interview With Fake Expert on Sweden Further Baffles Swedes

The Long History of Deportation Scare Tactics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

“[Over 200GOP Lawmakers Duck Town Halls, But Still Make Time to Meet with Campaign Donors
Los Angeles Mayor Flirts With Sanctuary Movement While Collaborating With ICE

Donald Trump Plans to Bypass the Courts to Deport as Many People as Possible

New Bill Would Force NYPD to Disclose Its Surveillance Tech Playbook

In Confirmation Lovefest, Senators Tell Future Spy Chief He May Be Too Nice for the Trump Administration

Trump Can’t Accept That His Allies Are Targeting Jews — So He Blames His Opponents

The Only Concrete Takeaway From Trump’s Speech: Medicaid Is Doomed

TARGETING A SANCTUARY: After ICE Stakes Out a Church Homeless Shelter, Charities Worry Immigrants Will Fear Getting Help


Here’s Bruce Schneier (Harvard, Tor, EFF) on “who controls your medical data.”


Hindustan Times: “‘Trump has no comment’: White House faces heat over Kansas shooting

Washington Post: “Suspect in Kansas bar shooting of Indians apparently thought they were Iranians



Deutsche Welle: “Poland wants nuclear weapons for Europe” (Here’s more on this insanity.)

Reuters: “Al Qaeda confirms leader killed by drone strike in Syria“: Yay! This means the Global War on Terrorism’s over, right?! Oh, wait…

Reuters: “U.S. pounds al Qaeda in Yemen with more than 20 strikes“: “There were no immediate details available on damages or casualties caused by those strikes.”

Reuters: “U.S. jobless claims near 44-year low; rate hike expected this month“: Trump’s probably going to take credit for this, because [insert self-serving, false self-praising justification].

The Guardian: “Undocumented Texas woman arrested while seeking domestic violence help

Washington Post, 2010: “Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration

The Guardian: “Snapchat goes public at $33bn and makes co-founders tech billionaires


British Medical Journal (BMJ), 2008: “Fifty years of violent war deaths from Vietnam to Bosnia: analysis of data from the world health survey programme.“: “From 1955 to 2002, data from the surveys indicated an estimated 5.4 million violent war deaths (95% confidence interval 3.0 to 8.7 million) in 13 countries, ranging from 7000 in the Republic of Congo to 3.8 million in Vietnam. From 1995 to 2002 survey data indicate 36,000 war deaths annually (16,000 to 71,000) in the 13 countries studied. Data from passive surveillance, however, indicated a figure of only a third of this. [This is how Iraq Body Count and others falsely under-count US invasion of Iraq casualties.] On the basis of the relation between world health survey data and passive reports, we estimate 378,000 global war deaths annually from 1985-94, the last years for which complete passive surveillance data were available. The use of data on sibling history from peacetime population surveys can retrospectively estimate mortality from war. War causes more deaths than previously estimated, and there is no evidence to support a recent decline in war deaths.

Reuters: “Deaths in Vietnam, other wars undercounted: study

Nafeez Ahmed in Insurge Intelligence: “How the Pentagon is hiding the dead: The secret campaign to undercount the ‘war on terror’ death toll in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Latin America


Here are the last two daily shows from DM!, and here are the headlines/interviews:

Speaking to Congress, Trump Calls for Office to Track Immigrant Crimes

Betsy DeVos Ridiculed for Calling Historically Black Colleges ‘Pioneers’ of ‘School Choice’

India: Mourners Protest Trump at Funeral of Srinivas Kuchibhotla

Colombian Court Rules in Favor of Residents Fighting Gold Mine

Louisiana: 3rd Black Transgender Woman Murdered in February

Linda Sarsour: Muslim Americans Have Now Raised Over $125,000 for Vandalized Jewish Cemeteries

Trump Honors Widow of Navy SEAL Killed in Yemen, But Ignores His Father’s Calls for Investigation

Bernie Sanders Slams Trump for Ignoring Climate Change, Income Inequality & Voter Suppression

In Move Recalling Nazi-Era Policies, Trump to Create Office to Track Crimes Committed by Immigrants

‘Decade of Betrayal’: How the U.S. Expelled Over a Half Million U.S. Citizens to Mexico in 1930s


U.S. authorities raid Caterpillar’s Illinois facilities,” by Reuters:

“Federal law enforcement officials searched three facilities of heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar Inc on Thursday, prompting a sharp sell-off in the company’s stock. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney Office for the Central District of Illinois, Sharon Paul, confirmed that federal law enforcement officials conducted searches at locations in Peoria, East Peoria and Morton, Illinois, but did not say why federal agents raided the three locations. Caterpillar, in a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, said that the search may be related to an Internal Revenue Service investigation on profits earned by a Swiss subsidiary.”


Marine Le Pen loses EU parliament immunity over tweets,” by Reuters:

“European Union lawmakers lifted the EU parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen on Thursday for tweeting pictures of Islamic State violence. Le Pen, who leads her National Front party in the European legislature, is under investigation in France for posting three graphic images of Islamic State executions on Twitter in December 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley. Le Pen’s immunity shielded her from prosecution. By lifting it, after a request from the French judiciary, the parliament is allowing any eventual legal action against her. The move grants the prosecutor looking into the affair power to bring Le Pen in for police questioning.”

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