Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for February 27th, 2012

Murdoch bribery scandal: widespread corruption penetrating police, military, and public office

Posted by Charles II on February 27, 2012

For some reason, only Keith seems to have grasped how serious testimony by Sue Akers was. Even Dan Sabbagh doesn’t quite seem to get it.

Posted in corruption, Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | 5 Comments »

What’s The Difference Between A Chicago Minister’s Squat And Occupy Chicago?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 27, 2012

You may have heard about this:

A Chicago pastor said Sunday that it was worth living in a tent on the icy roof of an abandoned motel for three months to draw attention to gun violence, despite the long hours of loneliness and cold winter nights punctuated by the pop of gunfire.

The Rev. Corey Brooks ended his 94-day vigil on Friday after a $100,000 donation from movie mogul Tyler Perry put him over the top in his goal to raise $450,000 to buy and demolish the dilapidated Super Motel on Chicago’s South Side. The building had become a haven for prostitution and drug dealing. Now, Brooks is seeking to raise money to build a community center on the site.

And you may have heard about this:

An activist coalition affiliated with Occupy Chicago on Monday launched a campaign against the harsh fines and restrictions Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced for the upcoming G8 and NATO summits in the city in May.


The campaign arrives almost one week after activists applying for demonstration permits allowing them to legally demonstrate against the upcoming summits called the requirements outlined in Emanuel’s ordinances “ridiculously burdensome” for protesters.

In December, Emanuel announced that the fine for resisting a police officer would be doubled from its current range of $25 to $500 to $200 to $1,000. The mayor’s ordinance also restricted the hours of public parks, playgrounds and beaches in accordance with the Chicago Park District’s hours of operation. A second ordinance applying to the protests also, among other changes, requires organizers to provide a parade marshal of their own for every 100 demonstration participants.

Emanuel came under criticism as activists pointed out that new requirements initially said to only temporarily apply to the May summits would be the new law of the land in Chicago. The mayor, in response, claimed that he had misspoke and admitted that the new fines and requirements would, indeed, be permanent.

So, what are the differences between the two events?

The similarities are what stand out to me: Both were done for worthy causes as far as I can see. Both involved long-term camping or squatting on other people’s property, out in the open where they were readily seen and heard by passersby.

As far as differences go? Hmmm. Well. Oh, I see — Rahm Emanuel approved of one but not the other.

As for who has permission from the landowners to occupy their respective spaces: Occupy Chicago is on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Reserve Bank, and the sidewalk is public property so they shouldn’t need explicit permission to stay there — though as a way to shove them out as well as to stifle all future protests and gatherings, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decreed new and draconian laws severely restricting such gatherings and punishing the gatherers. Rev. Brooks may or may not have had permission to squat on the motel roof; I’d love to find this out for certain, but no media piece or church press release I could find on the rooftop squat mentions the identity of the building’s owner, much less whether or not the owner gave Rev. Brooks permission to occupy the roof of the motel, which is a crime magnet now and was a crime magnet before it was shut down in the wake of a police raid in April of 2010, a raid and shutdown that at the time was expected to end the crime problems in the neighborhood:

A team of Chicago police, city inspectors and Cook County state’s attorney’s investigators raided a South Side motel today that for years has been a neighborhood nuisance for prostitution, drugs and other crimes.

Four people — two men and two woman — were taken into custody this afternoon during a prostitution raid at Super Motel Suites, said Chicago police Lt. Ozzie Valdez. Charges were pending, he said.

Sandwiched between two churches, the motel had been the target of neighborhood marches calling for it to be shut down.

I wonder if the Rev. Brooks would be able to repeat his occupation of the motel rooftop under Mayor Rahm’s new rules?

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s The Difference Between A Chicago Minister’s Squat And Occupy Chicago?

WikiLeaks Still Alive, Publishing Stratfor E-Mails

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 27, 2012

Remember how, when Daniel Domscheit-Berg left the WikiLeaks group a little over a year ago, it was allegedly permanently crippled and unable to do any more work once Dumbshit — erm, Domscheit-Berg — defected and took WikiLeaks’ coding platform and data archive with him? (Being that, according to him, he was the real coder in the group and nobody left in WikiLeaks was much more than a script kiddie.)

Remember how DDB was going to set up an “ethical whistleblower” organization called “OpenLeaks”, except that a year later it’s not much than a website and Domscheit-Berg’s hot air? In fact, as was pointed out in August of 2011 by Der Spiegel’s Marcel Rosenbach, Domscheit-Berg actually said in the German weekly Der Freitag “I took no documents from WikiLeaks with me”, which is not what he’d told German hacker club spokesman Andy Müller-Maguhn at the time: “He told me last Thursday evening that he had to look at each document before handing them over. It doesn’t match up.”

With all this in mind, it’s not surprising to see that WikiLeaks is alive and functioning and still getting document submissions, like these recent ones:

The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would begin publishing more than five million emails on Monday from a US-based global security think tank, apparently obtained by hackers.

In its latest high-profile disclosure, WikiLeaks said in a statement it had acquired access to a vast haul of internal and external correspondence of Strategic Forecasting Inc (Stratfor), based in Austin Texas.


WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange told Reuters: “Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the US government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists.”

“What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organisations fighting for a just cause.”

And since it’s now Monday, the e-mail releases have started:

LONDON—Today, Monday 27 February, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files – more than five million emails from the Texas-headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The emails date from between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defense Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods, for example :

“[Y]ou have to take control of him. Control means financial, sexual or psychological control… This is intended to start our conversation on your next phase” – CEO George Friedman to Stratfor analyst Reva Bhalla on 6 December 2011, on how to exploit an Israeli intelligence informant providing information on the medical condition of the President of Venezuala, Hugo Chavez.

The material contains privileged information about the US government’s attacks against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Stratfor’s own attempts to subvert WikiLeaks. There are more than 4,000 emails mentioning WikiLeaks or Julian Assange. The emails also expose the revolving door that operates in private intelligence companies in the United States. Government and diplomatic sources from around the world give Stratfor advance knowledge of global politics and events in exchange for money. The Global Intelligence Files exposes how Stratfor has recruited a global network of informants who are paid via Swiss banks accounts and pre-paid credit cards. Stratfor has a mix of covert and overt informants, which includes government employees, embassy staff and journalists around the world.

The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients. For example, Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the “Yes Men”, for the US chemical giant Dow Chemical. The activists seek redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. The disaster led to thousands of deaths, injuries in more than half a million people, and lasting environmental damage.

Go over to WikiLeaks and see for yourself.
Charles butts in: Kevin Gosztola at FDL is on it. Some interesting points: corporate monitoring of Bhopal victims (Dow) and PETA (Coca Cola). Also, according to the correspondent for L’Expresso, Stratfor had sources inside the anti-Osama operation, which goes to show how dangerous to national security loose cannons like Stratfor can be. And the Spanish correspondent (, I think) points out that the government is also paying Stratfor to spy on it. Oh, and Stratfor is investing money based on the intelligence it collects!

Joanne Leon at DK has a series of links, including this link from Beirut’s Al-Akhbar newspaper describing Stratfor’s founders and machers.

MSNBC denies the claim that Stratfor’s boss, George Friedman, has resigned.

Posted in Wikileaks | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

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