Feb. 11th, 2011

gozer: I made this! (Default)
I've been neglecting my flist of late, partly because I can't seem to sit through five minutes of H50 and you guys are all in the first blush of sweet, sweet fannish lurve with it, bless your hearts, but mainly because of what's going on with regard to Wikileaks. I've been reading all things Wikileaks and I cannot stop. It's too complicated for me to cover what's going on if you haven't been keeping up via the internet*, because so damned much is happening all over the planet, but this latest turn of events is so fucking chilling, I just feel like more people desperately need to know about it. I've cribbed info from articles I've found all over the net (with URLs!), and I'll try to keep this simple, but yeah, good luck with that:

In 2010, Wikileaks announced it was going to post major shit about "a corrupt U.S. bank", unnamed, some time in 2011. Bank of America immediately assumed that bank was itself, because even they have to admit the BofA makes Luthorcorp look like a charitable organization run by nuns. BofA immediately went into KILL KILL KILL DIE DIE DIE mode.

Excerpted from Thinkprogress:

According to e-mails obtained by ThinkProgress, the (US Chamber of Commerce) hired the lobbying firm Hunton and Williams. Hunton And Williams’ attorney Richard Wyatt was hired by the Chamber in October of last year. To assist the Chamber, Wyatt and his associates solicited a set of private security firms — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis**) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com.

Basically these powerful minions of the major corporations as represented by the US Chamber of Commerce were conspiring to start a surreptitious sabotage campaign against anyone who might try to take power from Big Business and give it back to the people. And how did we, the people, find out about it? This is where it gets good:

From here: Poking a bear with a sharp stick is smarter than this!>

Aaron Barr, the head of the security services firm mentioned above, HBGary Federal, bragged in an interview with The Financial Times that, via Facebook and other online sources, he had identified key members of Anonymous in the U.S., Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Australia.

If you know who Anonymous is, you know that Barr might as well have tattooed "Kick Me" on his own ass. They're the hacktivists who went after Scientology a few years ago and more recently did an internet slow down of service for Amazon, Paypal, and several credit card companies to protest when those companies refusing to service Wikileaks. (Please note that you can donate cash to the KKK via any and all of those financial service companies, just not Wikileaks.)

In less than 24 hours, Anonymous mocked Barr in a deadpan post sarcastically entitled "Anonymous admits defeat", then they hacked HBGary's emails and Barr's own private emails and posted them (50,000 emails!) on the internet. Anonymous also posted a slide presentation they'd found, the point of which was a plot detailing how to destroy Wikileaks that included threatening specific liberal-leaning journalists by name (there are actual pictures of the journalists to be attacked right there on the slides!) The emails indicated the presentation was part of a proposal to be submitted to Bank of America. That was Sunday, Feb. 5.

See also: More Fallout from Anonymous

Bank of America is doing their best Sgt. Schultz imitation -- they know "NOTHING! NOTHING!" about this dastardly and somewhat illegal plot to sow dissent, threaten journalists, and plant false documents to discredit Wikileaks. Palantir and Berico Technologies immediately distanced themselves from HBGary, and personally apologized to Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists mentioned by name and face on the slide deck. A respected journalist, Greenwald has been writing about and supporting Wikileaks and whistle-blowers in general since the beginning at Salon.com. At first he shrugged off HBGary's intent as laughable, but as the reality of the situation set in, he got angry.

An excerpt from Greenwald's article:

But the real issue highlighted by this episode is just how lawless and unrestrained is the unified axis of government and corporate power. I've written many times about this issue -- the full-scale merger between public and private spheres -- because it's easily one of the most critical yet under-discussed political topics. Especially (though by no means only) in the worlds of the Surveillance and National Security State, the powers of the state have become largely privatized. There is very little separation between government power and corporate power. Those who wield the latter intrinsically wield the former. The revolving door between the highest levels of government and corporate offices rotates so fast and continuously that it has basically flown off its track and no longer provides even the minimal barrier it once did. It's not merely that corporate power is unrestrained; it's worse than that: corporations actively exploit the power of the state to further entrench and enhance their power.

A comment by Salon's Editor in Chief: read it here!

Aaron Barr is having a bad day... but not as bad as America is having. Actually, we've been having a few bad decades. I wonder if America will one day go the way of Egypt and Tunisia, with rioting in the streets to protest corruption. I do not think the Tea Party is up to this task, as they are, themselves, a puppet organization funded by the Koch brothers of Koch Industries, Inc.

See also my main reading site: Greg Mitchell's blog called The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG. Every day he posts links to commentary and articles about what's being leaked and what the response is in the general public. It's fascinating to refresh the page and have more links and snark pop up! Go to http://www.thenation.com/ and click on their link to their blogs, you'll find a link to his blog there.

*And you would have to be reading about this on the internet because hardly anybody on TV or cable news is bothering to cover this due the overwhelming importance of reporting what Lindsey Lohan was wearing to her court date instead.

**Themis means "divine law" rather than human ordinance, literally "that which is put in place by the gods" -- which sounds pretty fucking arrogant to me.

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