Tag: Daniel Ellsberg

HopeX: A Hackers Convention Meets New York City

While a couple of thousand people spent a lost weekend in Detroit Michigan at Netroots Network 2014, a few thousand crammed themselves into the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City at HopeX, a convention for hackers. Hackers? Really? The reason for the enthusiasm was the agenda with speakers, guests and fascinating workshops and projects. It was the place to be for Jane Hamsher and Kevin Gosztola of FireDogLake.

We went in large part because Daniel Ellsberg, Jessalyn Raddack, Thomas Drake and Edward Snowden were all speaking at the event. But I have to give the conference high marks overall; the panels and talks were extremely well coordinated and really interesting. And surprisingly political. [..]

I went there thinking that 50% of the presentations would be extremely technical and go way over my head, but that didn’t happen. Among the programs that I attended:

   Barrett Brown and Anonymous: Persecution of Information Activists with Gabriella Coleman, Kevin Gallagher and Brown’s attorney Ahmed Ghappour.

   Community Owned and Operated Cellular Networks in Rural America with Peter Bloom and Maka Munoz

   Building an Open Source Cellular Network at Burning Man with Johnny Diggz and Willow Brugh

  Darkmail:  A preview of the new encrypted email program being developed by Ladar Levinson (Lavabit) and Stephen Watt, which will attempt to encrypt metadata

   Unmasking a CIA Criminal, Alfreda Frances Bikowsky: A really fascinating presentation by Ray Nowosielski about a largely unknown figure inside the CIA who may have been responsible for epic screw-ups ranging from hoarding data about Al Quada prior to 9/11 to the distorting the truth of the efficacy of torture

   SecureDrop: A Wikileaks in Every Newsroom with William Budington, Garrett Robinson and Yan Zhu

   When You Are the Adversary: Discussion of the infosec needs of the 99% with Quinn Norton

   Biohacking and DIYbiology North of the 45th Parallel with Kevin Chen and Connor Dickie

  Codesigning Countersurveillance: Projects of the MIT Civic Media Codesign Studio which develops civic media projects with community-based organizations

Normally I probably wouldn’t got to that many presentations at a conference but by and large they were all really interesting and many dealt with subjects (like building open source cellular networks and biohacking) that I previously knew nothing about.

However, the highlight of the convention was the conversation between NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the Pentagon Papers leaker, Danile Ellsberg.

A Whistleblower and former NSA Lawyer Debate the Snowden Effect

The great debate in the media and on the internet is was the disclosure of the NSA’s massive spying apparatus in the United States and across the globe by Edward Snowden justified. Former National Security Agency lawyer Stewart Baker and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg joined Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman and Juan González to debate that question.

Snowden’s leaks to The Guardian and other media outlets have generated a series of exposés on NSA surveillance activities – from its collection of American’s phone records, text messages and email, to its monitoring of the internal communications of individual heads of state. Partly as a consequence of the government’s response to Snowden’s leaks, the United States plunged 13 spots in an annual survey of press freedom by the independent organization, Reporters Without Borders. Snowden now lives in Russia and faces possible espionage charges if he returns to the United States.



Transcript can be read here

This debate will continue for quite some time.

Must See TV on PBS Tonight!

Cross-posted at Dkos.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

Tonight on PBS (check your local listings for time), POV will present The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

If you don’t know anything about the Vietnam war, Daniel Ellsberg, or the Pentagon papers, and want to bring yourself up to speed, or, if you just want a good refresher on what you already know, here’s your chance.

From the full description of this film, below the fold:

We Didn’t Have Computers, An Internet, 24/7 Cable News or a Wikileaks

By now most have heard about the Afghanistan Docs, some 92,000, that were released by Wikileaks and with coordinated release at roughly the same time by three News Media outlets:

The Guardian: Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

New York Times: An archive of classified military documents offers an unvarnished view of the war in Afghanistan

Der Spiegel: The Afghanistan Protocol; Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It

Whoever hasn’t will as it’s become the main News Story today hitting every level and the links above give you the main outlets of the reports on the documents released and more.

Ellsberg Afraid US May Kill Wikileak’s Assange Over Iraq Leaks

This was previously blogged this afternoon over at FDL much better than I could do it, so I’m going to direct you over to there and Jane Hamsher and Jim White:

Transcript:  Daniel Ellsberg Says He Fears US Might Assassinate Wikileaks Founder

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c…

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange released the Iraq War video “Collateral Murder” this past April, which is shot from the viewpoint of the US Apache Helicopter crew who murdered 2 Reuters journalists in 2007.   The person who leaked the video to Wikileaks, Spc Bradley Manning, was arrested May 26th 2010 in Iraq.

My previous diary 6/7/10  “Wikileaks source arrested, hacker snitched”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

Diary on the video, 4/5/10,   “Wikileaks: Reuters and kids as collateral damage”

https://docudharma.com/diar…

For you younger folk, Daniel Ellsberg was the reason we finally began to get out of the Vietnam War, because he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971.  

Ellsberg wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D…

He attended Harvard University, graduating with a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Economics in 1962 in which he described a paradox in decision theory now known as the Ellsberg paradox. He graduated first in a class of almost 1,100 lieutenants at the Marine Corps Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and served as an officer in the Marine Corps for two years. After his discharge, he became an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

Ellsberg served in the Pentagon from August 1964[1] under Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (and, in fact, was on duty on the evening of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, reporting the incident to McNamara). He then served for two years in Vietnam working for General Edward Lansdale as a civilian in the State Department.

After returning from Vietnam, Ellsberg went back to work at the RAND Corporation. In 1967, he contributed to a top-secret study of classified documents regarding the conduct of the Vietnam War that had been commissioned by Defense Secretary McNamara.[2] These documents, completed in 1968, later became known collectively as the Pentagon Papers. Because he held an extremely high-level security clearance, Ellsberg was one of very few individuals who had access to the complete set of documents.[3] They revealed that the government had knowledge all along that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly.[4] Further, the papers showed that high-ranking officials had a deep cynicism toward the public, as well as disregard for the loss of life and injury suffered by soldiers and civilians.[4]

Pentagon Papers wiki


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…

The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States-Vietnam Relations, 1945-1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, was a top-secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States’ political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. Commissioned by United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in 1967, the study was completed in 1968. The papers were first brought to the attention of the public on the front page of the New York Times in 1971.[1]

Daniel Ellsberg quote, years later:



Well, I had been consulting for the government, and this is now ’64, for about six years at that point, since ’58, in particular since ’59: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and now Johnson. And I had seen a lot of classified material by this time-I mean, tens of thousands of pages-and had been in a position to compare it with what was being said to the public. The public is lied to every day by the President, by his spokespeople, by his officers. If you can’t handle the thought that the President lies to the public for all kinds of reasons, you couldn’t stay in the government at that level, or you’re made aware of it, a week. …..   The fact is Presidents rarely say the whole truth-essentially, never say the whole truth-of what they expect and what they’re doing and what they believe and why they’re doing it and rarely refrain from lying, actually, about these matters.[26]

Daniel Ellsberg on Obama’s double standard

Spiegel interviewed Daniel Ellsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers. The interview, ‘Obama Deceives the Public’, touches on a subject close to Ellsberg, which is whistleblowers. He explains:

For instance, the Obama administration is criminalizing and prosecuting whistleblowers to punish them for uncovering scandals within the federal government.

Ellsberg gives the example of the indictment of Thomas Drake by the Obama administration as an example of how “Obama is continuing the worst of the Bush administration”. Drake provided information to reporters about the shortcomings in the NSA. By indicting Drake, Ellsberg thinks it shows a double standard by the U.S. president.

For Obama to indict and prosecute Drake now, for acts undertaken and investigated during the Bush administration, is to do precisely what Obama said he did not mean to do — “look backward.” Of all the blatantly criminal acts committed under Bush, warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, aggression, torture, Obama now prosecutes only the revelation of massive waste by the NSA, a socially useful act which the Bush administration itself investigated but did not choose to indict or prosecute!

Bush brought no indictments against whistleblowers, though he suspended Drake’s clearance. Obama, in this and other matters relating to secrecy and whistleblowing, is doing worse than Bush. His violation of civil liberties and the White House’s excessive use of the executive secrecy privilege is inexcusable.

Ellsberg doesn’t “even listen anymore” to Obama’s rhetoric. For him, Obama has demonstrated that “his actions are totally uncoupled from his public statements… He has turned 180 degrees.”

Iraq Moratorium, war’s 5th anniversary demand action

The convergence of the 5th anniversary of “shock and awe” with Christian Holy Week and Iraq Moratorium #7 has sparked hundreds of antiwar actions across the country this week.

The Iraq Moratorium, a loosely-knit grassroots movement, is usually observed on the Third Friday of every month, but March events are spread throughout the week.

It began last weekend, when more than 500 people gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco for a rally, march and vigil.

Speakers included Daniel Ellsberg, State Sen. Carole Migden and former San Francisco Supervisor and current Green Party vice presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez.

Ellsberg invited the crowd at the church to join him in a “die in” Wednesday at noon outside the San Francisco office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “We may be arrested for disturbing the peace,” he said. “But there is no peace.

Golden Gate XPress, the student newspaper at San Francisco State University, reports:

[Cindy]Sheehan,(right) a congressional candidate … concluded the event by reflecting on her personal loss. She told the story of her son who was killed in the third bloody mission into Sadr City, a mission forced upon him against his will.

“Today I have one dead son,” she said to a silent hall, using a tissue to dry a tear. “When your child is killed in a war, they always say ‘Your child volunteered. Your child was a hero,'” she said. “What makes him a hero if he was ordered to kill innocent Iraqis?”

Sheehan further acknowledged the Americans and Iraqis who lost their lives in the war and the politicians who put them there.

“It’s bullshit that we’re not impeaching,” she said.

Because the Moratorium, which encourages local grassroots action on the Third Friday of every month, coincides with the Christian observance of Good Friday, March 21, some actions will include a religious theme.

The Pike’s Peak Justice Coalition will take part in Pax Christi’s Way of the Cross/Way of Justice procession in downtown Colorado Springs.  

A Hartford, CT “Lamentation and Protest” will begin with an interfaith prayer service, followed by a silent procession to the federal building, where marchers will pile stones bearing the names of victims of the Iraq war.  Church bells will ring in a number of communities in Massachusetts to mark Moratorium observances.

In Cincinnati, candlelight vigils will be held in eight neighborhoods, and dozens of street corner vigils are planned across the country.  Most vigils take place every month, and some have been going since the war began.  

In a session called “Write Some Wrongs,” people in Cornwall, CT will meet at the public library to write their Congressman about “what is in your heart about the Iraq war and what you want him to do about it.”

The Iraq Moratorium encourage local organizers to “do their own thing” on the third Friday of the month – but to do something, whatever it is, to end the war.  It is all a loosely-knit national grassroots effort operating under the Iraq Moratorium umbrella.

Friday is the seventh monthly Moratorium, and more than 800 events have been listed on the group’s website, IraqMoratorium.org , which has a list of this month’s actions and reports, photos and videos from previous months.

HOW THE IRAQ MORATORIUM CAN BOOST THE PEACE MOVEMENT

Xposted at PDA Blog

I first heard of the IRAQ MORATORIUM at the 20 year anniversary of  Nuremberg Actions.   September 1, 1987 was the day a  US navy munitions train ran over Brian Willson when he and Nuremberg Actions were protesting US actions in Central America.  The commemoration lasted a couple of hours at the Concord Naval Weapons Station “tracks.”   Then we gathered in a Berkeley backyard for a great barbeque, many reminiscences, and lots of laughter.  

With so many old time activists in attendance, it wasn’t long before the conversation turned to strategizing about what could be done to get us out of our current situation–the madness, the craziness, the intransigence of war on Iraq and threats against Iran.   Some of the folks present were already involved with the Iraq Moratorium, and the conversation really settled on that.  Dan Ellsberg was one of the main participants.  Despite his busy schedule, Dan stayed all day, from 10 AM to 8:30 PM.  He seemed so eager to find a way, a new possibility.  He related the story of the Vietnam Moratorium in the late 60s.

In October 1969 Nixon was so discouraged, angry and disheartened with the course of the war in South East Asia, he decided to threaten bombing North Vietnam with Nuclear Weapons.  Whether this threat was real or a bluff is still up for debate; it was most probably both.  According to Ellsberg, Nixon made it clear to North Vietnam and the world, both through direct statements and through the Russian Ambassador, that “…the train had left the station and was heading down the tracks…,” a phrase meant to convey the irreversibility of his plans.  

However, at the very same time, yet separately from Nixon’s plans, the peace movement came up with the “Vietnam Moratorium.”  A movement where people pledged to be in non compliance with the system 1 day a month, to walk out from school, from work, from business as usual in the name of peace and in protest of the war.  According to Dan Ellsberg, when Nixon saw 2 million people engage in this action, and state their intention to do the same the following month, he really felt he could not risk this large display of non cooperation with the system.  Ellsberg indicated that it was the Vietnam Moratorium which deterred Nixon from going forward with his plans to “nuke” North Vietnam.  

There are many reasons the Iraq Moratorium movement can be so potent:

    1) The actions are incredibly simple, ranging from wearing a black arm band to

         not shopping (especially for gas) to standing in a vigil to civil

         disobedience.  

    2) The actions are spread out across the nation and therefore close to our homes.

    3) The main thing is to sign the pledge to do something to make a statement for

         peace on the 3rd Friday of every month.  By signing the pledge, the numbers are

         counted.

    4) These gentle steps can lead to the most potent action of all, a General Strike.  

         Please read a short essay on this:

                 Garret Keizer, “Specific Suggestion: General Strike,” HARPERS

                                           MAGAZINE, October 2007, “Notebook”

    5) The Iraq Moratorium is designed to find the 65% to 75%  who oppose the war

         but who don’t know how to speak out.  This is a way to find them and to give

         them a means to speak out and be counted.  The Iraq Moratorium is an umbrella,

         not a group.  All groups can fit under the umbrella.

    6) The Iraq Moratorium breaks the competitive tendency amongst different groups.

         It isn’t one group against another.  It isn’t come to “our” demo instead of

         “that” demo.  The Iraq Moratorium is an umbrella, not a group.  All groups

         can fit in under the umbrella.

For this to happen, imo, all the activist groups must come together and YELL about the Iraq Moratorium.  All the Peace and Justice groups need to spread the word of the Iraq Moratorium far and wide.  Sign the Pledge!  Do something the 3rd Friday of every month!  And the essence of what you do is non-cooperation, a refusal to cooperate, with the system, with the status quo.  

The fine video documentary, “A Force More Powerful,” tells the stories of 6 successful nonviolent resistance actions from Gandhi to Apartheid South Africa, to the Civil Rights movement and more.   The refusal to cooperate, the refusal to go along is the key.  But it takes massive numbers to be this powerful against the recalcitrant sturm and dreng of the repressive immobilists.

And the question is:  How do we get these massive numbers?  We need to take the simple message “wear a black arm band” to every nook and cranny of mainstream America.  And for those who are strong of heart already, and are able to take the day off from work, then do it, General Strike!  

When I have contemplated the sagging turn out numbers at our recent demonstrations, it would be easy to despair.  After all, the ‘big’ National rally of October 27th, which had been planned for almost a year, saw only between 80 and 150 thousand people turn out.

The population of the US is 300 million.  The percentage of 80 or 150 thousand to 300 million is…

           

…5/100 of 1%!…

NO, no, no, boys and girls.  This won’t do.  Rather than become discouraged, I’m going to keep YELLING LOUDER to get people to stand up, speak up in some form or other, and TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK.

I agree with Dan Ellsberg, that the Iraq Moratorium presents perhaps the best opportunity for doing that.  

This is a plea to the Peace & Justice community to YELL with me.  

 STAND UP AND YELL WITH ME…IRAQ MORATORIUM…GENERAL STRIKE!