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US seeks to overthrow Venezuela government: official

December 21, 2014 by legitgov

US seeks to overthrow Venezuela government: official 20 Dec 2014 Tighter new US sanctions against Venezuela are aimed to foment violent unrest to try to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, his defense minister said Saturday. "This US interference is aimed at promoting violence...against our institutions" to oust staunch US critic Maduro, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino told Telesur television. US President Barack Obama signed a law on Thursday to allow sanctions against senior Venezuelan officials accused of violating the rights of protesters during [CIA-fomented] anti-government demonstrations that rocked the country earlier this year.

Two New York cops shot dead execution style 'in revenge for Eric Garner'

December 21, 2014 by legitgov

Two New York cops shot dead execution style 'in revenge for Eric Garner': Gunman crept up on car an opened fire after boasting 'they take one of ours let's take two of theirs' --Investigators reportedly investigating social media posts explaining death --Man posted that he was going to take 2 NYPD lives in revenge for Garner 20 Dec 2014 This is the man who shot dead two New York police officers in an apparent act of revenge for Eric Garner's death, law enforcement believes. Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, 28, shot his girlfriend in Baltimore on Saturday morning then traveled to Brooklyn, New York City, to kill police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos before turning the gun on himself. According to witnesses, Brinsley walked out of his home with a gun in his hand at 3pm, crept up behind a patrol car, and systematically shot both men in the head - then walked to a subway station and shot himself.

Investigators Said to Seek No Penalty for C.I.A.'s Computer Searches

December 21, 2014 by legitgov

Investigators Said to Seek No Penalty for C.I.A.'s Computer Searches 19 Dec 2014 A panel investigating [sic] the Central Intelligence Agency's search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.'s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode[s], according to current and former government officials. The panel [appointed by Mr. Brennan] will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency's inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director...The panel's decision not to recommend anyone for disciplinary action is likely to anger members of the Intelligence Committee, who have accused the C.I.A. of trampling on the independence of Congress and interfering with its investigation of agency wrongdoing.

North Korea says it's not involved in Sony hack; proposes joint probe with US

December 20, 2014 by legitgov

North Korea says it's not involved in Sony hack; proposes joint probe with US 20 Dec 2014 North Korea says it can prove it is not behind the massive Sony Pictures cyberattack that has led to several e-mail leaks, threats on movie theaters and the cancellation of the release of the movie "The Interview." The country has also said it proposes a joint investigation with the U.S. on the attack and if the U.S. does not agree, North Korea warns of "grave consequences," state [as opposed to corporate] media says. The announcement comes as a response to the FBI's statement saying it has enough information to "conclude that the North Korean government is responsible" for the actions. [The Sony hack was likely a US false flag, so that Obama and the Congress would pass an Internet speech-suppressing 'cybersecurity' bill.]

CLG Exclusive: CIA Torture Queen Bought $825K House While Torturing Her Way to the Top

December 20, 2014 by legitgov

CLG Exclusive: CIA Torture Queen Bought $825K House While Torturing Her Way to the Top By CLG staff writer, www.legitgov.org 20 Dec 2014

The redacted (525 of 6,700 pages) C.I.A. torture report has revealed possible war crimes and violations of the Nuremberg ban on human experimentation by C.I.A. agents and U.S. military contractors. On December 19, 2014, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Peter Maass revealed the name of the C.I.A. senior officer at the center of the C.I.A.'s torture scandals: Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.

Now, CLG can report that one Alfreda Bikowsky purchased (and likely still lives in) a well-appointed ranch house in McLean, Virginia. Nestled in a wooded lot at 1437 Brookhaven Drive, the well-concealed house is a short 19-minute, 12-mile commute to the Central Intelligence Agency in Mclean, Virginia. Formerly owned by Michael E. Geltner, the property was sold to Bikowsky for a mere $825,000 by realtor Michael Chang in April of 2012.

CIA Torture Queen's Residence

Thus, while Bikowsky's victims are probably scarred for life, she apparently lives quite comfortably under White House and intelligence cover in a lovely northern Virginia McMansion.

Reporting for the New Yorker on December 18, investigative reporter Jane Mayer had this to say about Bikowsky's illustrious career at the C.I.A.:

The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.--a woman who he does not name--appears to have been a source of years' worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.

Apparently, bungling critical national security intelligence information, while torturing and hunting the wrong people, constitute quite the career path at the C.I.A.
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Obama condemns Sony's decision to drop film, says US must retaliate and pass cyber bill

December 20, 2014 by legitgov

Ah, then came the dawn. The dreaded cybersecurity [aka Internet suppression] bill: Obama condemns Sony's decision to drop film, says US must retaliate and pass cyber bill 19 Dec 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment should have touched base with the White House before deciding to cancel the release of a controversial movie, United States President Barack Obama said Friday. Weighing in on the major Sony scandal only hours after federal investigators attributed the recent hack to North Korea [when it likely originated in Langley, Virginia], Pres. Obama said the Hollywood studio was wrong to pull "The Interview," a satirical film containing a plot to kill North Korean Pres. Kim Jong Un that was scheduled to be released on Christmas Day. At the same time, though, Obama said the attack should serve as a wake-up call to Congress and prompt lawmakers in Washington, DC to get serious about implementing cybersecurity legislation in the wake of what is only the latest hack to be endured by a major American company.

Obama authorizes 'economic embargo' on Russia's Crimea

December 20, 2014 by legitgov

Obama authorizes 'economic embargo' on Russia's Crimea 19 Dec 2014 US President Barack Obama has authorized sanctions against individuals and entities operating in Russia's Crimean peninsula, according to the White House statement. Obama has issued an executive order that "prohibits the export of goods, technology, or services to Crimea and prohibits the import of goods, technology, or services from Crimea, as well as new investments in Crimea," according to the statement. The executive order also authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to impose sanctions on "individuals and entities operating in Crimea."

Six tons of radioactive water leak at Fukushima No. 1

December 20, 2014 by legitgov

Six tons of radioactive water leak at Fukushima No. 1 18 Dec 2014 Up to 6 tons of radioactive water has leaked into the ground at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. The water, which had been scrubbed by Units A and C of the advanced liquid processing system (ALPS), leaked from pipes while being transported to storage tanks on Wednesday afternoon, the utility said. The ALPS system can remove all radioactive substances except tritium. It wasn't clear how radioactive the water was before the spill.

US-Israel Stuxnet Attack on Iran's Nuclear Plant 'Far More Dangerous' Than Previously Thought

December 19, 2014 by legitgov

US-Israel Stuxnet Attack on Iran's Nuclear Plant 'Far More Dangerous' Than Previously Thought 20 Nov 2013 The Stuxnet virus that ravaged Iran's Natanz nuclear facility "was far more dangerous than the cyberweapon that is now lodged in the public's imagination," cyber security expert Ralph Langer writes in Foreign Policy. Stuxnet, a joint U.S.-Israel project, is known for reportedly destroying roughly a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control. But the exploit had a previous element that was much more complicated and "changed global military strategy in the 21st century," according to Langer. The lesser-known initial attack was designed to secretly "draw the equivalent of an electrical blueprint of the Natanz plant" to understand how the computers control the centrifuges used to enrich uranium, Peter Sanger of The New York Times reported last June. [Gee, where's the FoxNews-CNN-MSNBC's outrage about -- or even coverage of -- *this* act of cyberterrorism?]

U.S. blames North Korea for Sony cyberattack

December 19, 2014 by legitgov

U.S. blames North Korea for Sony cyberattack 19 Dec 2014 The U.S. government on Friday blamed North Korea for a devastating cyberattack against Sony Pictures, calling it an unacceptable act of intimidation and vowing to impose "costs and consequences" on those responsible. It was the first time the United States has directly accused another country of a cyberattack of this nature on American soil. [What about the Stuxnet attack by the US and Israel on Iran's Natanz nuclear facility? Where's the FBI investigation of those events?]

Lavrov: US is organizing a coup d'etat in Russia

December 19, 2014 by legitgov

Lavrov: US is organizing a coup d'etat in Russia 18 Dec 2014 There are serious reasons to believe that the US is using its sanctions in an attempt to destabilize Russia and change its current political system, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to France 24. "I have serious reasons to believe that it is so. Some politicians don't even hide the fact," Lavrov said answering a question. He said Russia would not only survive the sanctions but would come out even stronger afterward.

CIA's No. 2 tapped to be deputy national security adviser

December 19, 2014 by legitgov

CIA's No. 2 tapped to be deputy national security adviser 18 Dec 2014 Avril D. Haines will become deputy to national security adviser Susan E. Rice, returning to the White House just 18 months after she left to be CIA Director John Brennan's second in command, administration officials said Thursday. Haines will succeed Antony Blinken, confirmed by the Senate this week as deputy secretary of state.

Drone strikes counterproductive, says secret CIA report

December 19, 2014 by legitgov

Drone strikes counterproductive, says secret CIA report 19 Dec 2014 Drone strikes and other "targeted killings" of terrorist and insurgent leaders favoured by the US and supported by Australia can strengthen extremist groups and be counterproductive, according to a secret CIA report published by WikiLeaks. According to a leaked document by the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence, "high value targeting" (HVT) involving air strikes and special forces operations against insurgent leaders can be effective, but can also have negative effects including increasing violence and greater popular support for extremist groups. The leaked document is classified secret and "NoForn" (meaning not to be distributed to non-US nationals) and reviews attacks by the United States and other countries engaged in counter-insurgency operations over the past 50 years.

Western nations want to chain 'the Russian bear' - Putin

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

Western nations want to chain 'the Russian bear' - Putin [Not gonna happen. Bears will NOT be chained.] 18 Dec 2014 Western nations want to chain "the Russian bear," pull out its teeth and ultimately have it stuffed, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned. He said anti-Russian sanctions are the cost of being an independent nation. Putin used the vivid metaphor of a "chained bear" during his annual Q&A session with the media in Moscow in response to a question about whether he believed that the troubles of the Russian economy were payback for the reunification with Crimea. "It's not payback for Crimea. It's the cost of our natural desire to preserve Russia as a nation, a civilization and a state," Putin said. The president said that even if "the Russian bear" started "sitting tight...and eating berries and honey," this would not stop pressure being applied against the country.

Assange: US prosecuting Barrett Brown for quoting assassination threats against me

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

Assange: US prosecuting Barrett Brown for quoting assassination threats against me 18 Dec 2014 The charges against journalist and activist Barrett Brown, accused of threatening an FBI agent, are partially based on his quoting another person's threat to assassinate the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange said. Brown, 33, whose sentencing was delayed until January on Tuesday, faced federal charges including computer-related crimes, obstruction of justice and publicly threatening an FBI agent performing his duty. He’s now looking at up to eight years in prison for aiding hackers in breaching corporate computers, after pleading guilty in April to being an accessory.

Doubles generated of Thursday's CLG Newsletter (18 December) is a technical problem - we are not sending two copies

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

Doubles generated of Thursday's CLG Newsletter (18 December) is a technical problem - we are not sending two copies By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 18 Dec 2014 Many folks who are receiving two copies of each CLG Newsletter think that we are sending doubles. That is not the case. This problem involves the mail server that disseminates the CLG Newsletter. CLG's webhoster, MayFirst, is trying to get to the bottom of the problem. The most recent posts in the Technical Support forum regarding the problem can be viewed here.

European Parliament votes to recognize Palestine statehood 'in principle'

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

European Parliament votes to recognize Palestine statehood 'in principle' 17 Dec 2014 The European Parliament has adopted a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood in principle. A total of 498 MEPs voted in favor, while 88 were against. A parliamentary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday could not decide on the matter, opting for further negotiations, but on Wednesday the European Parliament eventually adopted a resolution that "in principle" grants the troubled region statehood. The vote also saw 111 abstentions.

Sony cancels The Interview release amid threats

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

Sony cancels The Interview release amid threats 17 Dec 2014 Sony Pictures has cancelled the planned US release on 25 December of the [CIA propaganda] film The Interview, after major cinema chains decided not to screen it. The film is about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Hackers have already carried out a cyber attack on Sony and warned the public to stay away from cinemas screening the film. Earlier, the New York premiere of The Interview was cancelled.

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years 18 Dec 2014 The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce. The two leaders made the announcement in simultaneous televised speeches. The Vatican and Canada facilitated the deal.

Gov. Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks

December 18, 2014 by legitgov

Gov. Cuomo to Ban Fracking in New York State, Citing Health Risks 17 Dec 2014 Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks, ending years of uncertainty over the disputed method of natural gas extraction. State officials concluded that fracking, as the method is known, could does contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health. That conclusion was delivered during a year-end cabinet meeting Mr. Cuomo (D) convened in Albany. It came amid increased calls by environmentalists to ban fracking, which uses water and chemicals to release oil and natural gas trapped in deeply buried shale deposits.

Pakistan Militants Kill 141 in Army-Run School Massacre

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

Pakistan Militants Kill 141 in Army-Run School Massacre 16 Dec 2014 Taliban gunmen have killed 141 people, including at least 132 children, in a school attack in Peshawar, Pakistan. Nine men stormed the army-run school while around 500 children and teachers were believed to be inside, with many students taking exams at the time. Most of the victims of the country's deadliest terror attack were killed in the first few hours as the gunman fired bullets indiscriminately at pupils and teachers..."We selected the army's school for the attack because the government is targeting our families and females," said Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani.

Did CIA torture violate Nuremberg ban on human experimentation?

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

Did CIA torture violate Nuremberg ban on human experimentation? 16 Dec 2014 CIA health professionals may have committed war crimes by collecting and analyzing data on brutally interrogated detainees in potential violation of U.S. and international bans on research on human subjects without their consent, a human rights organization said Tuesday. Physicians for Human Rights called on President Barack Obama and Congress to establish a commission of inquiry to examine the participation of CIA and private medical personnel in the interrogation program, including possible breaches of domestic and international laws. "The CIA relied upon health professionals at every step to commit and conceal the brutal and systematic torture of national security detainees," the organization said in an analysis of a four-year study of the agency's interrogation program released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

US and Cuba to normalise diplomatic relations and end decades of hostility

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

US and Cuba to normalise diplomatic relations and end decades of hostility 17 Dec 2014 The United States and Cuba have ended decades of cold war hostility by agreeing to normalise diplomatic and travel relations after 18 months of secret talks on prisoner releases brokered by the Vatican. The surprise breakthrough came after a 45-minute phone call between Barack Obama and Raúl Castro on Tuesday finalised the release of Alan Gross, a US government aid contractor spy for USAID held for five years in Cuba, which accused him of being a spy. But as he was dramatically flown back to the US on Wednesday accompanied by three congressmen, it became clear that a far larger deal had been agreed between the two countries, not just to release other prisoners and spies, but to restore ties between the countries that have been frozen since 1967.

EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist [Now, just add Mossad and the CIA *to* it.] 17 Dec 2014 The EU General Court has ordered that the Palestinian militant group Hamas be removed from the bloc's terror blacklist. The move comes over four years after Hamas appealed its terror designation before the EU.

CIA medical professionals accused of committing war crimes

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

CIA medical professionals accused of committing war crimes 16 Dec 2014 Federal investigators in the United States should considering weighing whether or not health workers involved in the interrogation tactics highlighted in the recent CIA torture port should be charged with war crimes, a group said this week. Physicians for Human Rights, a New York-headquartered organization that examines instances of atrocities and severe human rights violations within the medical field, released a report on Tuesday urging federal authorities in the US to open a probe concerning revelations contained in the so-called "torture report" released last week by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence after a nearly four-year-long investigation.

Jeb Bush Will 'Actively Explore the Possibility of Running for President'

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

Jeb Bush Will 'Actively Explore the Possibility of Running for President' 16 Dec 2014 Jeb Bush announced this morning that he will "actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States." The former Florida governor, 61, said he made the decision over the Thanksgiving holiday in consultation with his family. His timing is to send the message to donors, GOP activists and other 2016 prospects that he is dead-serious about running and they should take that into account, a top Republican close to Bush told ABC News.

Activists Trash [FBI Snitch and Fraud] Sharpton for Silencing Speaker at DC Rally

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

Activists Trash [FBI Snitch and Fraud] Sharpton for Silencing Speaker at DC Rally 16 Dec 2014 Critics denounce him a race hustler [FBI snitch, corporatist, and fraud], and now some grassroots activists are calling the Rev. Al Sharpton an elitist and questioning his self-appointed role as a civil rights leader for a younger generation. Sharpton angered some protesters at a weekend march in Washington, D.C., after he created a VIP section for special guests and pulled the microphone on an activist who wanted to address the crowd. "Youth protesters push back against Al Sharpton's role in police brutality marches," the website Mashable reports. "If Rev. Al Sharpton ever hoped to lead the 'black lives matter' movement that's sweeping the United States, he likely lost that opportunity in one moment on Saturday."

NSA to defend Internet collection in court

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

NSA to defend Internet collection in court 16 Dec 2014 Digital rights advocate the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is taking the National Security Agency (NSA) to court on Friday over the agency's Internet data collection program. EFF said it's the first public court challenge of the NSA spying tool that collects Internet data from the major cables and nodes connecting computer networks around the world, known as "upstream" collection. The federal court in Oakland, Calif., will hear the case.

Hackers who targeted Sony invoke 9/11 attacks in warning to moviegoers

December 17, 2014 by legitgov

Hackers who targeted Sony invoke 9/11 attacks in warning to moviegoers 16 Dec 2014 The computer hackers who targeted Sony Pictures have invoked the 9/11 terror attacks in a warning to moviegoers considering seeing the controversial movie they claim provoked their hack. In the latest blow for Sony, the group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) posted a message online warning people to stay away from cinemas showing The Interview, a comedy [sic] starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts a fictional assassination attempt on the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. US authorities are investigating the possibility that the hack was orchestrated by North Korea, which the country denies.

Taliban take hundreds hostage at Pakistani military school, 18 dead

December 16, 2014 by legitgov

Taliban take hundreds hostage at Pakistani military school, 18 dead 16 Dec 2014 Taliban gunmen took hundreds of students hostage at a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, and at least 18 people were killed, including 16 pupils, officials said. A Reuters journalist at the scene heard heavy gunfire from inside the school as soldiers surrounded it. Helicopters hovered overhead and ambulances ferried wounded children to hospital.

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