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Friday, July 29, 2016

Two dozen Republican national security experts signed a letter to congressional leaders Thursday asking for an immediate investigation into the cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, writing that "this is not a partisan issue" but rather "an assault on the integrity of the entire American political process." The letter, signed by conservative luminaries of the Reagan and Bush administrations, urges political leaders to reject any effort to seek partisan advantage from the hack and its fallout. "Congress has a responsibility to get to the bottom of this extraordinary breach, not only to determine who was responsible but also to consider the appropriate response," reads the letter signed by Republican foreign policy hawks such as Elliott Abrams, who served as an assistant secretary of state in the Reagan administration and as deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush. read more

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Patrick Tucker, Defense One, Close your eyes and imagine that a hacking group backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin broke into the email system of a major U.S. political party. The group stole thousands of sensitive messages and then published them through an obliging third party in a way that was strategically timed to influence the United States presidential election. Now open your eyes because that's what just happened. Considerable evidence shows that the Wikileaks dump was an orchestrated act by the Russian government, working through proxies, to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. "This has all the hallmarks of tradecraft. The only rationale to release such data from the Russian bulletproof host was to empower one candidate against another. The Cold War is alive and well," Tom Kellermann, the CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures told Defense One. read more

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Charles Kinsey, a behavior therapist from Miami, Florida, was shot by police three times in the leg Monday while trying to help an autistic patient who had run away from a group home. Kinsey was unarmed. He was lying on the ground. He had his hands up. He was still shot. And he could have died. When he asked the police officer why he shot him, the officer's reply was: "I don't know." If these past few weeks didn't convince those in denial that America has a serious problem when it comes to police brutality and racism, which need solutions instead of denial... what will? The Miami officer's "I don't know" points to an overall culture of violence against black people that's bigger than just the involved officer. And the silence, and mental gymnastics people do to justify the shootings of Sterling, Castile and, now, Kinsey by police speaks to a national culture of intentional denial. read more

Authorities say a Florida police officer shot and wounded the caretaker of a man with autism following reports of a man threatening to shoot himself. Officers responded to the scene Monday and began giving orders to 47-year-old Charles Kinsey and his 23-year-old patient to lie on the ground. Kinsey lies down and tries to get his patient to comply. North Miami Assistant Police Chief Neal Cuevas says an officer then fired three times, striking Kinsey in the leg. No weapon was found. Kinsey's attorney, Hilton Napoleon, provided a cellphone video to the Herald on Wednesday taken moments before the shooting. It shows Kinsey lying in the middle of the street with his hands up, asking the officers not to shoot him, while the man with autism sits next to him, yelling at him to "shut up." Kinsey is black. Police haven't released the name or race of the officer who shot him.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In the course of one year as an elected official, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina was pulled over seven times by law enforcement. Another time, a Capitol Police officer demanded that Scott show him his ID because the special pin on Scott's suit jacket -- a pin assigned to United States senators -- evidently wasn't enough. Scott shared these stories and more Wednesday evening during a roughly 18-minute speech on the Senate floor. He is the only black senator in the Republican conference, and one of just two in the upper chamber. "There is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement -- a trust gap," Scott said. "We cannot ignore these issues. Because while so many officers do good -- and we should be very thankful in support of all those officers that do good -- some simply do not. I've experienced it myself." Scott said he chose to talk about his encounters with police, experiences that left him feeling humiliated and "very scared." read more


Trump Credits One Of 'Our Friends' In Russia, China With DNC Hack

"Little did [Wasserman Schultz] know, Russia, China, one of our many, many ‘friends'" – Trump emphasized with air quotes – "came in and hacked the hell out of us. Can you imagine?"

Trump was discussing the cyber attack on the DNC, which has been widely attributed to Russian intelligence forces.


I can only post the same information so many times. This thread's article postdates the one you linked to and now an evolved consensus. Crowdstrike is the only firm hired by the DNC and the one under who's watch the hack took place. However, they are not and never have been the sole source claiming the Russian connection:

Crowdstrike stood by their original analysis, writing: "these claims do nothing to lessen our findings relating to the Russian government's involvement, portions of which we have documented for the public and the greater security community."

Other security firms offered independent analysis and reached the same conclusion. The group Fidelis undertook their own investigation and found Crowdstrike to be correct.

A Twitter user named @PwnAlltheThings looked at the metadata on the docs that Guccifer 2.0 provided in his blog post and found literal Russian signatures. His findings were backed up by Dan Goodin at Ars Technica. "Given the evidence combined with everything else, I think it's a strong attribution to one of the Russian intelligence agencies," @PwnAllTheThings remarked to Motherboard.

Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai actually conversed with Guccifer 2.0 over Twitter. The hacker, who claimed to be Romanian, answered questions in short sentences that "were filled with mistakes according to several Romanian native speakers," Bicchieri found.

All of this predates any claims from either the Hillary camp or the DNC itself of the genesis and purpose of these hacks.

We "silly libs"?

Defense One delivers news, breaking analysis and ideas on the topics and trends that will define the future of U.S. defense and national security. Our editorial approach is to cover the people and forces shaping a new era for defense through the post-war transformation and into a 21st century global security landscape. Defense One informs national security professionals, stakeholders and citizens with what they need to know, from senior leaders in Washington to commanders abroad and next-generation thinkers far from the political scrum.

With an open-door policy to new voices and innovative, fearless commentary, Defense One provides a high-level, highly-visible conversation destination, from analysis of the hottest news events of the day to in-depth stories shining a critical light on unknown facets of the national security landscape.
Defense One is a property of Atlantic Media, whose mission is to inform, elevate and challenge the national discourse. It is produced by Government Executive Media Group.

Yeah, they sound like a vertiable commie-pinko outfit using Saul Alinsky principles, eh?

We can't people look at evidence on it's own without first assigning a political score to what it means? The acts and the influence behind them are a little more important than the political fallout from the leaks that hasn't received one comment from anyone outside of the right because it's going to be whatever it's going to be. The Russians hacking into our election is more important than finding out that the DNC operates as a political organization with biases and prejudices. It's only the right who thinks the left views itself as better than others. We're all flawed, often greedy gullible humans.

On June 14, cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, under contract with the DNC, announced in a blog post that two separate Russian intelligence groups had gained access to the DNC network. One group, FANCY BEAR or APT 28, gained access in April. The other, COZY BEAR, (also called Cozy Duke and APT 29) first breached the network in the summer of 2015.

Cybersecurity company FireEye first discovered APT 29 in 2014 and was quick to point out a clear Kremlin connection. "We suspect the Russian government sponsors the group because of the organizations it targets and the data it steals. Additionally, APT 29 appeared to cease operations on Russian holidays, and their work hours seem to align with the UTC +3 time zone, which contains cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg," they wrote in their report on the group. Other U.S. officials have said that the group looks like it has sponsorship from the Russian government due in large part to the level of sophistication behind the group's attacks.

It's the same group that hit the State Department, the White House, and the civilian email of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The group's modus operandi (a spearphishing attack that uploads a distinctive remote access tool on the target's computer) is well known to cyber-security researchers.

Murphy, I could care less about the politics. Stop looking at the shiny object and look at the target and objective. The leaked information is irrelevant because it alone isn't enough to sway an election over 3 1/2 months away in our 24 hour news cycle culture. This isn't an October surprise.

Now if it doesn't trouble you that the Russian government led by Putin is trying to influence our presidential election then say so. That's the first issue of major concern. But then one has to look at the business and financial ties - along with the sway - this same government may have with one particular candidate. That should be of concern to every American citizen.


In THIS year 2016, which party's candidate forced a plank change to soften the US's stance on Russia and our support for the Ukraine?

One noticeable change is found in the Republican Party's radical departure from its anti-Russia position. Suddenly, Republicans are cool with Vladimir Putin's war of aggression against the Ukraine. While a radical change, it's not surprising when you consider Donald Trump's public declarations of admiration the Russian dictator.

Trump wanted this very badly because, as Josh Rogin points out, his employees worked hard to prevent the Republican Party from calling to give Ukraine weapons to defend itself.

The story began when Diana Denman, a Cruz supporter, proposed a platform amendment calling to maintain or increase sanctions against Russia, increase aid for Ukraine and "providing lethal defensive weapons" for the Ukraine military. After attempting to water the amendment down, Trump staffers wrote an amendment to the amendment to replace the call for "lethal defensive weapons" with "appropriate support." That amendment passed.

When you combine this with Trump's public affection for the dictator who praised him, it isn't a stretch to conclude that Trump places a higher premium on making nice with said dictator than on inconsequential things like having our allies' backs and national security. PoliticusUSA

Take off your partisan glasses for a second and ask yourself why Trump is so deferential to the Russians especially since we know that he owes them money as a matter of his business ties?

An individual calling himself Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be the culprit behind the breach and released key documents to back up the claim, writing: "Shame on CrowdStrike." Crowdstrike stood by their original analysis, writing: "these claims do nothing to lessen our findings relating to the Russian government's involvement, portions of which we have documented for the public and the greater security community."

Other security firms offered independent analysis and reached the same conclusion. The group Fidelis undertook their own investigation and found Crowdstrike to be correct.

A Twitter user named @PwnAlltheThings looked at the metadata on the docs that Guccifer 2.0 provided in his blog post and found literal Russian signatures.

A large body of evidence suggests that Guccifer 2.0 is a smokescreen that the actual culprits employed to hide their involvement in the breach.

Whatever one may think of Putin as a person or leader, I don't think anyone imagines that he has the US' best interests behind his actions. Trump is an international businessman who is known to have financial interests (read: borrowed money from) Russian investor's and corporations. All Americans should demand that his personal financial records must be disclosed in the manner all prior presidential candidates were in the past. There is far more evidence of potential troubling Trump ties to still one of our greatest adversaries. This area of conflict of interest must be visited and vetted beyond any question of whom outside of voters and the American public's best interests might have Trump's real allegiance.

Last week, during a July 13 broadcast of her FOX News show, Megyn Kelly questioned whether or not Philando Castile had possibly drawn his firearm or threatened the police officer who shot and killed him. She questioned his innocence despite the existence of a video which showed him bleeding out in his car, with a child in the backseat, and his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds insisting he complied with the officer (even as the officer continued to point his gun at her).

For Kelly, and so many others, it's still easier to believe that these victims must have done something to prompt their deaths. This suspension of disbelief and doubt, makes it easier to deny that there might be a systemic problem with the way police interact with black and brown people.

Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and countless others ― these are all instances that should have jolted those who refuse to see the reality of racism and police brutality in America to at least consider the idea that their deaths weren't random flukes. Their deaths were part of a pattern, a system.

The Miami shooting was one of many instances that demonstrate how black people can be shot by police for no reason, even when they were unarmed, being respectful, and have an unblemished background.

This issue has to remain front and center if we're ever going to become the nation we're supposed to be. In our news cycle culture, the only way to affect change is the continued exposure of our problems until stasis becomes an impossible option to our consciouses.

A pension is a retirement account that an employer maintains to give you a fixed payout when you RETIRE.
What freaking American politician is going to retire in their 40's or 50's after a 6 year stint in the US Senate for $17,588? Using Rubio as the example, the actual PENSION dictates that Rubio cannot claim any money until he turns 62.

It's extremely perverse that otherwise intelligent people can be so cynical when dealing with those they tend to usually disagree with. The problem here is that you think that we're intentionally trying to lead the uninformed to an erroneous conclusion. I can certainly understand someone seeing the statement under the light that payouts would begin immediately when Rubio's term ended, but both of us have been open about the need for any single term Senator to be at least 62 before they can begin to collect a federal pension.

There's no deceit here, only ignorance of the definitions and terms of what we're specifically talking about.

On the video, Kinsey could be heard explaining to police that the autistic man was holding a toy truck and that neither of them was armed. "All he has is a toy truck in his hand, a toy truck," Kinsey explained from a supine position in the road. "I'm a behavior therapist at a group home."

After the shooting, Kinsey was handcuffed and left in the road until an ambulance arrived, his attorney, Hilton Napoleon, told NBC Miami.

Police said in a statement given to the Miami Herald that they "attempted to negotiate with the two men on the scene" and that "at some point during the on-scene negotiation, one of the responding officers discharged his weapon."

Ironically, Kinsey said he didn't have any fear that he would be shot. "I was really more worried about [the patient] than myself, because as long as I've got my hands up, they're not going to shoot me," Kinsey told WSVN. "This is what I'm thinking, ‘They're not going to shoot me.' Wow, was I wrong." www.huffingtonpost.com

Not to belabor the point, but this is why the cry "Hands up, don't shoot" became a national mantra throughout black America after Michael Brown's confrontation and death. It was never just about Brown, and most people missed that. It was only a matter of time before another black person would be shot clearly trying not to get shot or killed during a confrontation with LEOs.

And one last question: Is LE incapable of realizing they've made a mistake after their use of force and injuring someone? The man had to be handcuffed when all he did was get shot by a twitchy LEO? Good thing Kinsey didn't die or we'd probably see a mugshot photo and the dissemination of his criminal record (if he has one) used to insinuate that he was just another 'bad one,' somehow justifying his shooting by LEO in the non-black public's eyes.

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