Donald Trump Praises Saddam Hussein’s Approach to Terrorism — Again

While the GOP loves them some authoritarian dictators, I hope this Jack Bauer extra-judicial approach to terrorism doesn’t resonate with the public beyond the small circle of committed idiots that Trump has already cultivated. When he says things like this he’s stating that he gives not a single shit for human rights, that he can magically determine who is and isn’t a terrorist, and that he can then pretend that the constitution does not exist for them. I mean – Fuck reading them their rights before you torture them amiright? Trump’s just like Jack, he knows when someone is lying, when someone’s bad, when someone’s good, he’s just that intuitive…

Saddam Hussein was a monster, murdering and torturing the citizenry of his country on whims and hearsay. (see here, an article on his practices before the GOP got us into the war in Iraq.)

Donald Trump is against our civic institutions, hates our legal practices, despises our American essence, and he loathes our very culture. If there is a such thing as a civic religion in this nation, then Trump and his cohorts in the GOP have formed a heretical cult to destroy that very thing. Indeed, the Republican leadership might as well go to our National Archives, march into the rotunda, break the bullet proof glass and then piss in unison on our constitution; because their presidential candidate is rhetorically doing that every single day with every speech he makes and every breath he takes.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Donald Trump praised former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein Tuesday night, allowing that he was a “really bad guy” but had redeeming qualities when it came to his handling of terrorists.

Trump lauded the former U.S. adversary for how “well” he killed terrorists, recalling that he “didn’t read them the rights, they didn’t talk. They were terrorists, over.” Now, Trump assessed, “Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to be a terrorist, you go to Iraq.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign seized the opportunity to once more paint Trump has unfit for office. “Donald Trump’s praise for brutal strongmen seemingly knows no bounds,” Senior Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan said in an emailed statement. “Trump’s cavalier compliments for brutal dictators, and the twisted lessons he seems to have learned from their history, again demonstrate how dangerous he would be as commander-in-chief and how unworthy he is of the office he seeks.”

More: Donald Trump Praises Saddam Hussein’s Approach to Terrorism — Again – NBC News

Facebook Biometric Snooping Called Illegal By LISA KLEIN

Noteworthy news on the privacy front:

By Lisa Klein, Courthouse News Service:

Facebook violated its users’ privacy to acquire the largest privately held stash of biometric face-recognition data in the world, a class action claims in Chancery Court.

Lead plaintiff Carlo Licata claims Facebook began violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy act of 2008 in 2010, in a "purported attempt to make the process of tagging friends easier."

Through its "tag suggestions" program, Facebook scans all pictures uploaded by users and identifies any Facebook friends they may want to tag, according to the April 1 lawsuit in Cook County Court.

Facebook got its facial recognition technology from the Israeli company Face.com, which Facebook later bought. Face.com is not a party to the lawsuit.

via Courthouse News Service.

Microsoft Tells U.S.: The World’s Servers Are Not Yours for the Taking

Microsoft legal has a philosophy that local laws ought to apply to data — the only part that gets fuzzy under this approach is cloud data that is mirrored in multiple servers across multiple nations.

This discussion and case is highly important for the future of technology – if one country can by fiat demand that only country of origin laws apply to US companies doing business in foreign countries, what kind of reception and business can they expect? If your data is not secure when housed in US data farms, where will the data farms go? There will be lots of fallout from this case that could affect US employment. Right now businesses seek secure and stable locations that have class A networks for their data farms – if we fall behind in laws protecting data, and in network, we aren’t going to see many cloud farms built here.

The major market share players for PaaS and SaaS cloud services are Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – if the NSA continues to take an “All your base are belong to us” approach then that’s not going to continue.

Microsoft’s fight against the US position that it may search its overseas servers with a valid US warrant is getting nasty.

Microsoft, which is fighting a US warrant that it hand over e-mail to the US from its Ireland servers, wants the Obama administration to ponder a scenario where the “shoe is on the other foot.”

“Imagine this scenario. Officers of the local Stadtpolizei investigating a suspected leak to the press descend on Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany,” Microsoft said. “They serve a warrant to seize a bundle of private letters that a New York Times reporter is storing in a safe deposit box at a Deutsche Bank USA branch in Manhattan. The bank complies by ordering the New York branch manager to open the reporter’s box with a master key, rummage through it, and fax the private letters to the Stadtpolizei.”

In a Monday legal filing with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, Microsoft added that the US government would be outraged.

More: Microsoft Tells US: The World’s Servers Are Not Yours for the Taking

Also See:
For in depth coverage of these positions
Brad Smith and Jonathan Zittrain on Privacy, Surveillance, and Rebuilding Trust in Tech | Noblesse Oblige
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/verizonamicus.pdf
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/applebriefinremicrosft.pdf

Putin Decrements Our Peace Dividend: U.S. Ground Troops Being Deployed To Poland

If you were looking to the wind down of the Afghan war as creating a potential peace dividend, that’s now unlikely due to Putin’s nationalistic moves on the Ukraine.

Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.

More from Fred Hiatt at The Washington Post

Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet – NSA, Berkman Center Panel Discussion

A good discussion on what’s right and what’s wrong with the current NSA rule sets and oversight. It starts dry but gets very interesting, please stick with it to the end.

The long-term viability of an unowned, open Internet remains in question. Any analysis of where the Internet is headed as a protocol and a platform must take into account the activities of both public and private entities that see the Internet as a source of intelligence — and a field of contention. Yochai Benkler, Bruce Schneier, and Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center are joined by John DeLong and Anne Neuberger of the National Security Agency in a conversation moderated by Berkman Faculty Director Terry Fisher on the future of an open internet in the face of challenges to privacy in an unsecure world.
More info on this event here: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/events/2…

This talk was co-sponsored by: the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the Harvard Law School American Civil Liberties Union, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, National Security Journal, and National Security and Law Association.

License

Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

via Intelligence Gathering and the Unowned Internet – YouTube.

Justice Department Fights Release of Secret Court Opinion Finding Unconstitutional Surveillance

Putting aside all the allegations of a massive all seeing prism eye in the sky program, this is where the real breakdown of our constitution occurs. It’s a couple of Senate Democrats on the intel committee and EFF vs. the FISA court and Justice Department in a battle to just discover the breach. Somewhere out there is a ruling that in at least one instance the government violated federal surveillance laws.

From David Corn at Mother Jones:

In the midst of revelations that the government has conducted extensive top-secret surveillance operations to collect domestic phone records and internet communications, the Justice Department was due to file a court motion Friday in its effort to keep secret an 86-page court opinion that determined that the government had violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying.

This important case–all the more relevant in the wake of this week’s disclosures–was triggered after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate intelligence committee, started crying foul in 2011 about US government snooping. As a member of the intelligence committee, he had learned about domestic surveillance activity affecting American citizens that he believed was improper. He and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), another intelligence committee member, raised only vague warnings about this data collection, because they could not reveal the details of the classified program that concerned them. But in July 2012, Wyden was able to get the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify two statements that he wanted to issue publicly. They were:

* On at least one occasion the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held that some collection carried out pursuant to the Section 702 minimization procedures used by the government was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

* I believe that the government’s implementation of Section 702 of FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] has sometimes circumvented the spirit of the law, and on at least one occasion the FISA Court has reached this same conclusion.

Personally I have no doubts that our constitution has been folded, mutilated, and even spindled at a few points during the GWOT. However it’s not due to some massive conspiracy or government program and I doubt that it’s endemic.

Instead when looked back at in retrospect the violations will most likely turn out to be very human and sordid failings and short-cutting of programs and process coupled with ignorance by a small hand full or two of individuals. After a decade of popular shows like “24” and “NCIS LA” where every plot device seems designed to allow the protagonists to find reasons to violate rights it’s reasonable to assume that at least a few individuals in security agencies can’t separate the facts from their favorite fictions.

More: Justice Department Fights Release of Secret Court Opinion Finding Unconstitutional Surveillance

Let’s take back the Internet: Today’s Internet Censors and Arbiters

Rebecca MacKinnon: Let’s take back the Internet! | Video on TED.com.

Qualia Soup: Good without gods??

Qualia Soup in the first of a series on why good does not require religion.


YouTube – ?Morality 1: Good without gods??.

President Obama: Consistent and Persistent

President Obama got this exactly right during the campaign, and ever since he was elected. He’s been pounding the leadership of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in both Waziristans without relenting for two years now to great effect. Now under his command and his direction, Osama Bin Laden has been taken out. Kudos to him for his consistent focus on the actual terrorists, and his successful prosecution of the war against them. If anyone cares to argue this, I will merely point out the huge number of successful drone strikes within Pakistan, there’s no need to point out the fact that we got Bin Laden.

Let’s put this into language even wingnuts can understand. Obama promised to get our greatest enemy inside Pakistan, and he sent seals in to do that. They kicked ass, took names, and turned our greatest enemy into fishfood. President Obama has my vote in 2012.