Sunday, November 15, 2009
In May 2007, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency, based at Fort Meade, Md., to launch a sophisticated attack on an enemy thousands of miles away without firing a bullet or dropping a bomb.
At the request of his national intelligence director, Bush ordered an NSA cyberattack on the cellular phones and computers that insurgents in Iraq were using to plan roadside bombings. The devices allowed the fighters to coordinate their strikes and, later, post videos of the attacks on the Internet to recruit followers. According to a former senior administration official who was present at an Oval Office meeting when the president authorized the attack, the operation helped U.S. forces to commandeer the Iraqi fighters'
communications system. With this capability, the Americans could deceive their adversaries with false information, including messages to lead unwitting insurgents into the fire of waiting U.S. soldiers.
Former officials with knowledge of the computer network attack, all of whom requested anonymity when discussing intelligence techniques, said that the operation helped turn the tide of the war. Even more than the thousands of additional ground troops that Bush ordered to Iraq as part of the 2007 "surge," they credit the cyberattacks with allowing military planners to track and kill some of the most influential insurgents. The cyber-intelligence augmented information coming in from unmanned aerial drones as well as an expanding network of human spies. A Pentagon spokesman declined to discuss the operation.
Bush's authorization of "information warfare," a broad term that encompasses computerized attacks, has been previously reported by National Journal and other publications. But the details of specific operations that specially trained digital warriors waged through cyberspace aren't widely known, nor has the turnaround in the Iraq ground war been directly attributed to the cyber campaign. The reason that cyber techniques weren't used earlier may have to do with the military's long-held fear that such warfare can quickly spiral out of control. Indeed, in the months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, military planners considered a computerized attack to disable the networks that controlled Iraq's banking system, but they backed off when they realized that those networks were global and connected to banks in France.
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John Harris of TPUC.org presents the FKN Newz
By Juliana Gruenwald, Tech Daily Dose
The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Wednesday that it will represent the Yes Men in fighting a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the activists for staging a fake news conference claiming the business association had changed its stance on climate change legislation. The chamber's lawsuit, filed in October, claimed the Yes Men unlawfully used the group's trademark and other intellectual property by using the chamber's logo in a press release and at the fake news conference.
At the October event, the Yes Men, who describe themselves as targeting "leaders and big corporations who put profits ahead of everything else," announced the chamber had reversed its position on climate change legislation and pledged not to lobby against a strong bill. The staged event was interrupted by a chamber official who notified those gathered that it was a fake news conference and that the chamber had not change its position on the issue.
EFF argued that the Yes Men, which will also be represented by the Davis Wright Tremaine law firm, engaged in political theater that is protected by the First Amendment. "Trademark rights do not encompass the right to silence criticism," said EFF senior staff attorney Matt Zimmerman. The chamber, in announcing its lawsuit, said that while it supports free speech, the Yes Men deliberately broke the law to sell their books, movies and other merchandise.
The burger chain is looking to hire an assistant manager for its outlet at the military base on Cuba where the US holds foreign terrorist suspects.
The sole McDonald's branch on the communist island has featured in news reports about the controversial prison, with interrogators allegedly buying Big Macs and fries in an attempt to make captives more amenable.
The restaurant is located within the perimeter of the naval base on the southern coast of Cuba and caters for the 6,000 people – sailors, guards and their families – who call it home.
Despite the sensitive work carried out at the camp the advert does not demand that applicants have security clearance. In fact it does not mention Guantánamo Bay by name at all.
"We are searching for an Assistant Manager for our McDonald's restaurant located on the United Stated Naval base in Cuba," reads the posting on one of the chain's job websites.
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From: The man who brought the '60s to town: As owner of hippie hot spot The Barn, Leon Tabory planted a flag for the counterculture in SV
Despite its reputation as a natural wildlife preserve for 1960s-style hippies and similarly free-spirited lifestyle rebels, Santa Cruz County was once, in fact, a quiet, conservative, decidedly un-hip place.
reputation as a natural wildlife preserve for 1960s-style hippies and similarly free-spirited lifestyle rebels, Santa Cruz County was once, in fact, a quiet, conservative, decidedly un-hip place.
If anyone were ever to draw up a list of those most responsible for turning Santa Cruz from the latter to the former, among the top five names would certainly be Leon Tabory.
Tabory, who died in September a week before turning 84, will be remembered at a memorial service on Sunday for a life that reads like a grand 20th century novel. But in the cultural history of the county, Tabory stands, for good or ill, as a pioneer in establishing the '60s counterculture in this area. He brought in the DayGlo colors where once had been only red, white and blue.
For a few crucial years in the mid-1960s, Tabory was the owner/operator of The Barn, a landmark off Highway 17 in Scotts Valley that, for a brief moment, was the local epicenter of the flower-power movement. In the middle of tranquil, bucolic Scotts Valley, Tabory attracted droves of young longhairs where few had been seen before. A psychologist by training, Tabory presided over a vibrant weekend scene that featured some of the earliest rock light shows as well as live musical acts including such iconic figures as Janis Joplin and Country Joe & the Fish.
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Coincidentally, the city of Scotts Valley was first incorporated the same year Tabory took control of The Barn — 1966. The Barn wasn't the first outpost of the counterculture in the area — the Hip Pocket Bookstore and the old Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz had opened earlier, providing a welcoming atmosphere for the politically conscious beat-generation vibe that had flourished in San Francisco in the 1950s. He wasn't even the first to bring a new cultural scene to The Barn. Fabled beat figure Eric “Big Daddy” Nord opened a coffee shop in The Barn in 1964.
But it was Tabory who first brought the full-blown hippie aesthetic to the county, and it was Tabory who found himself in a long, draining battle with the newly established city. The Scotts Valley Planning Commission approved Tabory's first application to open The Barn as a community center, but warned him with a “no beatniks” rule.
The Barn opened with its light shows, its live concerts, its colorful crowds and its eye-popping guest list, which often featured not only Janis Joplin and Country Joe McDonald, but beat generation luminaries Neal Cassady and Ken Kesey, both Tabory friends.
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Forty years ago today, Jack Kerouac died. Not for him the glorious blaze that's the proverbial price of a life lived too fast. At the age of 47, he may have died relatively young, but he didn't leave a good-looking corpse. Kerouac had retreated into the philosophical if not actual loneliness of the writer's life, and died in hospital after vomiting much of his vitality out into the toilet of the home he shared with his wife and mother in Florida, America's sunshine retirement capital.
Bloated, reactionary and guileless, his was a painful and undignified death, brought on my too much drink and dissolute living, played out in the presence of the mother whose apron strings he couldn't seem to cut, and the wife who didn't understand him. Venerated by his fans and dismissed by many critics (Truman Capote was probably the most memorably sniffy about his spontaneous prose-poetry and the work of the Beat writers at large: 'None of these people have anything interesting to say,' he said, 'and none of them can write, not even Mr Kerouac.' It 'isn't writing at all - it's typing.' But he did not want for detractors), Kerouac has divided opinion as to his literary merit since his ungainly demise. But has his time finally come round again?
The evidence against Kerouac is, on the face of it, overwhelming. As joyful as his lyrical, stream-of-consciousness prose could be, it wasn't, we are reminded, proper writing. For a counterculture legend, he could come across like a grumpy old man from a US sitcom; while his foil and pal Neal Cassady moved seamlessly from the 1950s Beat Generation to the hippy revolution of the 60s, Kerouac couldn't or wouldn't understand this brave new world. When Cassady, by now running with the new generation epitomised by Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, visited him in 1964, Jack doubtfully took LSD and ended up silently beating himself up over the perceived failings which saw him kicked out of the Merchant Navy.
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