In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.”
The huge file, posted on the Afghan War page at the WikiLeaks site, is 1.4 GB and is encrypted with AES256. The file’s size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. The file has also been posted on a torrent download site as well.
WikiLeaks, on Sunday, posted several files containing the 77,000 Afghan war documents in a single “dump” file and in several other files containing versions of the documents in various searchable formats.
Cryptome, a separate secret-spilling site, has speculated that the file may have been posted as insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to the organization’s founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password or passphrase to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.
It’s not known what the file contains but it could include the balance of data that U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning claimed to have leaked to Assange before he was arrested in May.
When the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) back in December 1948, 58 member states voted for a historic document covering political, economic, social and cultural rights.
On Wednesday, nearly 62 years later, a widely-expanded 192- member General Assembly adopted another memorable resolution: this time recognising water and sanitation as a basic human right.
The United States abstained, as did some of the European and industrialised countries, including Britain, Australia, Austria, Canada, Greece, Sweden, Japan, Israel, South Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland.
"Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp," Cameron said, according to a transcript of the speech provided by his office.
Residents of Gaza say they have suffered greatly under an Israeli goods blockade implemented since Hamas took control of the territory after elections in 2006. But Israel says its tough measures are necessary to stop weapons from reaching Hamas militants intent on destroying Israel.
Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to Britain, reacted quickly to the prime minister’s remark, saying that Hamas is responsible for the misery in Gaza.
"The people of Gaza are the prisoners of the terrorist organization Hamas," Prosor said in a statement. "The situation in Gaza is the direct result of Hamas’ rule and priorities."
Barack Obama: “I’m concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations.”
Dennis Kucinich: “We can no longer look the other way, or pretend that the war is something that is it not. Occupying Afghanistan does not help further the freedom of the Afghan people. It is not the leak of documents that endangers the lives of American troops and our allies, it is the belief that occupying Afghanistan will make us safer. Congress must say no to war funding, bring our troops home, and invest in the American recovery.”
Because of poor record-keeping and lax oversight, the Department of Defense cannot account for how it spent $2.6 billion that belonged to the Iraqi government, according to the inspector general for Iraq reconstruction.
An audit of a $9.1 billion fund of Iraqi oil proceeds showed that most American military agencies entrusted with spending the money on reconstruction projects failed to adhere to U.S. rules on how such money must be tracked and spent, the inspector general found.
U.S. officials failed to create bank accounts for $8.7 billion in the Development Fund for Iraq, as mandated by the Department of Treasury, creating “breakdowns in controls [that] left the funds vulnerable to inappropriate uses and undetected loss,” according to the report, which is scheduled to be released Tuesday.
“We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have, and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.”—
The irony here is that both French philosopher Albert Camus and British author George Orwell subscribed to political ideologies that Gingrich, who recently wrote “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine,” would find anathema. Camus was an avowed atheist and one of the founders of humanist existentialism. He also was a member of several left-wing socialist and communist parties, including the French Communist Party, and wrote a famous essay calling for the unequivocal abolition of the death penalty. Later in his life, he became a noted anti-war activist advocating for peace between Algerian independence fighters and the French government. Meanwhile, Orwell moved to Spain specifically to fight in its civil war on behalf of the Workers Party of Marxist Unification, and his most famous book, 1984, warned about the dangers of a government that is always at war. Previously, Gingrich has cited Orwell and Camus to lecture about issues like financial bubbles and how radical the Obama administration supposedly is. Given his choice of role models, one has to wonder whether Gingrich is speaking out against anti-war secular socialists or endorsing them.
To get a sense of how much has to be done to catch up, consider that “the U.S. would have to add 1 million college degrees per year through 2025, on top of the 2 million degrees already awarded annually, to reach 56 percent.” Part of the problem here is that the U.S. is also falling behind in terms of percentage of the population that even attends college. Just 35 percent of 18-24 year olds were enrolled in some form of higher education in 2008, according to the National Center on Public Policy and Education, compared to more than 50 percent of South Koreans.
Will we ever be #1 at something other than military spending?
If anything, this data understates the Roberts Court’s rightward drift. Because the Supreme Court largely gets to choose which cases it wants to hear, a conservative Court will not simply move the law to the right by handing down conservative opinions, it will also do so by hand-selecting cases that achieve conservative results. In 2008-09 term, for example, the Supreme Court handed down five decisions cutting back environmental law. Such an event could not have occurred without the justices taking the unusual step of agreeing to hear five environmental cases in a single term.
Barack Obama is going to be on The View on Thursday, because he is not too popular now, and he was popular in 2008 when he was on that show last, so certainly viewers who don’t have jobs and commercials for cleaning products are the magic he needs to get back that ‘08 touch. According to Barbara Walters, THIS IS HISTORY, as no sitting president has wasted his time on daytime television before.
President Obama will then go and win $11,600 on Plinko on The Price Is Right, kill Lisa Grimaldi on As the World Turns, and navigate the legal process of suing Arizona for its discriminatory anti-illegal-immigration law on Dora the Explorer.
“BP CEO Tony Hayward has been exiled to Siberia, where he will oversee TNK-BP, a joint venture between BP and a group of Russian oil billionaires, one of whom boasts a name that even the most jaded hack screenwriter would likely think too lame to bestow on an evil master-villain: German Khan.”—
In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.
The effort is part of President Obama’s larger project “to make our national laws actually work,” as he put it in a speech this month at American University.
On the ground, a program known as Secure Communities uses the fingerprints of people in custody for other reasons to identify deportable immigrants. Morton predicts it will “overhaul the face of immigration.” The administration has expanded the system to 437 jails and prisons from 14 and aims to extend it to “every law enforcement jurisdiction” by 2013.
“Today the church is speaking with a clear voice,” the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, one of the seven gay pastors participating in the ceremony, said at a news conference just before it began. “All people are welcome here, all people are invited to help lead this church, and all people are loved unconditionally by God.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, known as the E.L.C.A., with 4.6 million members, is now the largest Protestant church in the United States to permit noncelibate gay ministers to serve in the ranks of its clergy — an issue that has caused wrenching divisions for it as well as for many other denominations.
The often controversial Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann said yesterday that if Republicans will the House in November, “all we should do” is subpoena and investigate the Obama administration.
achmann went on to claim that while prior to President Obama’s election, “the private economy was 100 percent held in private hands,” while “today 65 percent of the economy is now held in government’s hands - either through direct ownership or control.”
It’s not clear where Bachmann got the 65 percent figure. She claimed on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in March that the government owns or controls 51 percent of the U.S. economy, which her communications director explained by combining an estimate from an economics professor of government ownership and “the passage of the health care bill, which makes up about 18 percent of the economy.”
At no time since 1929, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis data, was the United States’ GDP 100 percent private.
Virtually all of the $4.7 million raised by Karl Rove’s new conservative outfit was contributed by just four billionaires, three of whom are based in Dallas, Texas, and two of whom made their fortune in the oil and gas industry.
The IRS filing of American Crossroads, an outside 527 group that was conceived by Rove and ex-RNC chair Ed Gillespie, gives a good taste of who is funding the GOP effort to make big gains in the House and Senate come the fall. The group has already burned through $600,000 on ads attacking Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing a reelection contest against Republican Sharron Angle (see one of the spots below). Chaired by another ex-RNC chair, Mike Duncan, American Crossroads has pledged to raise $50 million to beat Democrats in the midterms and has been seen by some as a competitor to the Republican National Committee itself.
And despite the group’s description of itself as “grassroots,” Salon’s review of its IRS filings show that four billionaires have contributed 97 percent of the $4.7 million it has raised to date.
And while the Great Wall Street Recession has devastated the middle class, the truth is that working families have been experiencing a decline for decades. During the Bush years alone, from 2000-2008, median family income dropped by nearly $2,200 and millions lost their health insurance. Today, because of stagnating wages and higher costs for basic necessities, the average two-wage-earner family has less disposable income than a one-wage-earner family did a generation ago. The average American today is underpaid, overworked and stressed out as to what the future will bring for his or her children. For many, the American dream has become a nightmare.
But, not everybody is hurting. While the middle class disappears and poverty increases the wealthiest people in our country are not only doing extremely well, they are using their wealth and political power to protect and expand their very privileged status at the expense of everyone else. This upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class which has made the United States the envy of the world. In its place they are determined to create an oligarchy in which a small number of families control the economic and political life of our country.
The 400 richest families in America, who saw their wealth increase by some $400 billion during the Bush years, have now accumulated $1.27 trillion in wealth. Four hundred families! During the last fifteen years, while these enormously rich people became much richer their effective tax rates were slashed almost in half. While the highest-paid 400 Americans had an average income of $345 million in 2007, as a result of Bush tax policy they now pay an effective tax rate of 16.6 percent, the lowest on record.