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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the producer of a weekly podcast "This Week in WikiLeaks" that has been tweeted by WikiLeaks to their more than 900, 000 followers (which he continues to post at The Dissenter each weekend).
Sunday, January 12, 2014 The Fantasy That Obama Is Currently Planning to ‘Overhaul’ Surveillance Programs (5 comments)
The opening sentence of a report from the New York Times on reforms President Barack Obama is considering suggests that he is assembling a "plan to overhaul the nation's surveillance programs."
Even though Obama claimed in June, "I welcome this debate," the truth is this was never the case. The administration fought in the courts against the very information that has fueled debate.
Monday, December 9, 2013 When Those in Power Invite Us to Learn the Wrong Lessons from Nelson Mandela
Mandela's true lesson for people of the world lies in all that he did prior to becoming president and negotiating with de Klerk. It comes from the courage and spirit he showed in his work with the ANC, during his imprisonment and then when he emerged from prison as an anti-apartheid icon. He was willing to fight and die for an idea if necessary.
Saturday, November 9, 2013 Kurt Eichenwald's Espionage Fantasy: Edward Snowden Has Become a Chinese Spy (3 comments)
There is no proof or evidence that Snowden has been working on behalf of China to expose US state secrets that the country could use specifically to aid in its hacking against industrialized democracies around the world. Yet, in addition to this feature story on Snowden, Eichenwald has spent hours upon hours on Twitter pushing a wild theory that what Snowden did makes him a spy.
Thursday, October 24, 2013 Political Case Brought Against Palestinian Organizer in Chicago for Immigration Fraud
The US supports Israel's occupation with military assistance. It similarly views all Palestinians fighting back against this occupation as terrorists.
Do we empathize with Odeh's decision to hide her past so she could have a better life and become a productive US citizen or do we support the government for displaying zero tolerance for a person who Israeli Defense Forces convicted of terrorism?
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 What the Verdict in Bradley Manning's Trial Means for Whistleblowers (17 comments)
the key result from the Manning verdict may be that the Justice Department and other parts of the US government are emboldened more than ever to bring leak prosecutions and charge individuals, including national security whistleblowers who lack protections under laws, with Espionage Act offenses, even when there is no evidence of acts of espionage.
Friday, July 19, 2013 Significance of Military Judge's Decision to Not Acquit Bradley Manning of "Aiding the Enemy' (1 comments)
A military judge issued a ruling in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning today where she declined to acquit Manning of the "aiding the enemy" charge.
His defense had filed motion requesting what is called a "directed verdict" because they believed the government had presented no evidence that Manning had "aided" any enemies when it presented its case during the trial.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 The Propaganda & Yellow Journalism Which Undermines Snowden's Whistleblowing (3 comments)
When Snowden came forward to identify himself as the source behind stories on US secret surveillance. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing." He also wrote, "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
Thursday, September 8, 2011 WikiLeaks Cables: TSA Listing After Attempted Christmas Day Bombing Upset Some Countries (2 comments)
Newly published cables from WikiLeaks shed light on reactions from leaders of countries that were put on the list. From January to February 2010, US diplomats had to explain and justify the designation. Some leaders from countries on the list took serious offense thus relations between the US and certain countries were in jeopardy.
Monday, August 22, 2011 OpenLeaks Founder Destroys Cache of Unreleased WikiLeaks Documents (6 comments)
For the past months, media have held up DDB and his OpenLeaks as a solid alternative to WikiLeaks--a project that would do "what WikiLeaks is trying to do without the drama." This recent action by DDB means those who have suggested OpenLeaks is a valuable "alternative" to WikiLeaks can no longer in good conscience elevate DDB's project as a credible one.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011 BART Shutdown of Cell Phone Services Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest (8 comments)
To prevent a planned protest from going "viral," Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco shut down cell phone service at four stations on August 11. The hacktivist group Anonymous responded with plans that included a peaceful protest on August 15. Anonymous drew attention to a move that many believe has no precedent because no government agency has cut off communications out of fear that a protest might happen before.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 London Riots: A Symptom of the 'Burning' & 'Looting' of UK Public Services (16 comments)
What seems lost on those in power is their role in triggering the riots--how the UK coalition government's assault on the middle class, working class, students, school children, the working poor, the unemployed, the disabled and everyone else who does not count themselves as rich or super-rich ultimately led to this eruption of arson, muggings and looting.
Friday, August 5, 2011 Decoding the White House Strategy on Preventing 'Violent Extremism' (14 comments)
The White House has released its strategy for "countering violent extremism in the United States." The strategy seeks to encourage the development and use of community approaches to addressing "all types of extremism that lead to violence, regardless of who inspires it." It seems to be a reasonable and well-rounded approach. However, the strategy does not define "extremism."
Thursday, August 4, 2011 ACLU's New Project to Uncover Details on Law Enforcement Use of Location Tracking (3 comments)
The ACLU has launched a massive effort with more than thirty of its state affiliates to uncover just how law enforcement agencies, large and small, are using cell phone location data to track Americans. The national organization and its affiliates submitted 379 requests through state Freedom of Information (FOI) laws.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 Debt Ceiling Deal Trickery: A Catalyst for an Uprising? (23 comments)
There are many initiatives going on in the country. Protests are happening every day and the people are coming out to show their leaders they are angry and outraged. As one organizer of a major October 2011 action finds, "People are all reaching the same conclusion together. There is a group consciousness that is developing that the dysfunctional government that's corrupted by corporate dollars is not acceptable anymore."
Monday, August 1, 2011 The US Drone Program, Terrorism & the Debt Ceiling Talks
At the Aspen Security Forum, former intelligence chief to President Obama, Dennis Blair, offered constructive criticism on drone strikes and the cost of the war on terror, which were later scrubbed by AP's Kimberly Dozier & replaced with remarks from a current official much more gung-ho about the use of drones.
Saturday, July 30, 2011 FBI Director's Term Extension Ensures Neo-COINTELPRO Operations Will Prevail (1 comments)
The Obama Administration and Congress effectively made legitimate all the operations of the FBI since FBI Director Robert Mueller took over the agency one week before the September 11th terror attacks. No senators had a problem with granting this extension, despite the fact that it would establish a clear precedent for undoing one of the biggest reforms to come as a result of the Church Committee.
Friday, July 29, 2011 The 'WikiLeaks Phenomenon' & the Disease of Secrecy in US Government
The ACLU has released a report on government secrecy. It gives attention to all the abuses of secrecy committed since President Barack Obama's inauguration. It takes a look at the increasing level of overclassification in the US and makes several key points about leaks and what the report terms the "WikiLeaks phenomenon."
Friday, July 1, 2011 The Newburgh Four Sentencing: FBI Sting Operation Used the Men as Counterterror Lab Rats (3 comments)
US District Judge Colleen McMahon understood the men were only in her court for sentencing because the FBI "created an act of terrorism." She understood the FBI scripted the plot from "start to finish." But, afraid to upset superiors or government officials, she condemned the defendants' anti-Semitism and their willingness to "kill, maim and destroy for money."
Thursday, June 30, 2011 UK Police Stop & Search Striking Citizens to Prevent Possible 'Hooliganism' (2 comments)
Public workers, up to seven hundred and fifty thousand teachers and civil servants, are alleged to have participated in a June 30 general strike called for in the United Kingdom after UK Parliament passed changes to pensions and retirement, specifically, increasing the amount an employee has to contribute. A number of people participating were subjected to stop and searches by UK police.
Friday, June 24, 2011 Lt. Dan Choi: Proud to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder with Bradley Manning (1 comments)
While at Netroots Nation 2011, I had the privilege of speaking to Lieutenant Dan Choi, who served in the US Army infantry, went to war in Iraq and graduated from West Point with a degree in Arabic. He expressed solidarity with Bradley Manning, one of the first times Choi had spoken about him on camera.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 Local News Stations Engage in Covert Consolidation to Circumvent Media Ownership Rules
A new trend in news (particularly in local newsrooms) is changing the independence of news networks. A business practice of covert consolidation that consists of deals, loopholes and legal agreements between local television stations that allow them to outsource all the majority of their news programming and circumvent media ownership rules is being employed.
Sunday, June 19, 2011 Obama DOJ's War on Free Speech & Activism (5 comments)
The war on free speech and activism is apparent here at Netroots Nation as people like Lt. Dan Choi and Tim DeChristopher speak on panels and as individuals like David House are discussed during panel sessions.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 CNN's 'WikiWars' Documentary Exploits Character of Julian Assange to Cast Doubt on WikiLeaks (2 comments)
Here are two key questions for the producers of "WikiWars": Why, all over the globe, is WikiLeaks being given credit for being a force for good? Why is it being nominated for peace prizes and medals when here in the United States most contend it has put lives at risk and exercises reckless authority when deciding what information to publish and not publish?
Thursday, June 9, 2011 Time for Those Subpoenaed in WikiLeaks Grand Jury Investigation to Setup Support Committee? (5 comments)
The grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks has widened. A subpoena has been issued to David House, co-founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network. Manning's ex-boyfriend, Tyler Watkins and Nadia Heninger also were issued subpoenas.
These subpoenas lead one to wonder if it isn't time for the subpoenaed to band together and launch a support committee to open up a conversation on the US government's investigation.
Sunday, June 5, 2011 A Derelict Congress Unwilling to Exercise Its War Powers (5 comments)
Dueling resolutions from Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Democratic House Representative Dennis Kucinich sparked a debate in Congress. The debate centered around the War Powers Act, the US Constitution and whether President Obama had violated the law by taking the United States into a war in Libya.
Thursday, June 2, 2011 WikiLeaks Through the Looking Glass: A Panel Discussion in a School of Journalism Classroom (6 comments)
A student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Chicago was gracious enough to invite me to speak on a panel on Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower to WikiLeaks, which he had to put together for his "Media, Ethics and the Law" class. I participated in the panel Wednesday morning. See what a former Homeland Security official had to say.
Sunday, May 29, 2011 We Have the Rest of This Year to Save Bradley Manning (1 comments)
A little more than a year ago, Pfc. Bradley Manning was arrested for allegedly leaking classified information, specifically the "Collateral Murder" video that showed the slaying of two Reuters journalists by the US military forces. To discuss Manning and the one year anniversary of his arrest, I had Kevin Zeese, a Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee member, come on "This Week in WikiLeaks."
Thursday, May 26, 2011 Did PBS Smear Bradley Manning? (6 comments)
I wrote a review of the PBS FRONTLINE documentary "WikiSecrets," which aired on Tuesday night. "The Alyona Show," a show on RT, invited me to appear and discuss the review. Here's video of my appearance along with more discussion of the "WikiSecrets" documentary.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Review: PBS FRONTLINE's 'WikiSecrets' Wants to Be Objective and Fair and That's Why It is Weak (3 comments)
Anyone familiar with the stories of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, the organization's founder and Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower to WikiLeaks, would be forgiven for wondering whether PBS Frontline's documentary "WikiSecrets" presents anything new or not. The documentary attempts to make a sensational connection between Manning and Assange and suggest that Assange might know Manning is the source of the information
Monday, May 23, 2011 On the Issue of the US, Pakistan is Playing with Fire (3 comments)
It's not just the Pakistan military. I would say Pakistan's civilian and military elites have never trusted their people and they have been posturing on the one hand on an anti-Americanism platform and on the other they have been negotiating and bargaining with the West and in particular the Americans, Raza Rumi, a writer based in Lahore, Pakistan explains.
Saturday, May 21, 2011 Pakistan Papers: US Drone Strikes Violate Sovereignty, Fuel Anti-American Sentiment (2 comments)
A new batch of US State Embassy cables released specifically dealing with the US relationship with Pakistan draw attention to a number of Pakistani political issues, the military aid the US has been giving Pakistan, the deployment of US troops in Pakistan and the growing conflict between India and Pakistan, which the US appears to be gaming to advance its own foreign policy.
Friday, May 20, 2011 Obama's Middle East Speech Deceitfully Projects Esteem for People Power
The core of the speech aims to highlight the value of ordinary citizens sparking movements for change. He says these movements "speak to a longing for freedom that has built up for years." He explicitly highlights how America came from a history of nonviolence, protest and rebellion against empire. But, this focus is deceitful on many levels
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Cornel West's Disgust with Obama Should Not Make Him a Pariah (11 comments)
Hedges conducted an interview with philosopher and author Cornel West. (It can be read in Hedges' latest column, "The Obama Deception: Why Cornel West Went Ballistic.") Melissa Harris-Perry, a contributor to The Nation, chose to critique the words of Cornel West. Her critique was one of the top articles published yesterday.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 New US International Cybersecurity Strategy Aims to Institute 'Rule of Law' on the Internet (1 comments)
The United States officially launched its international cyber security strategy in a White House event on Monday, May 16. But, at no time during the launch of the strategy was WikiLeaks mentioned. Not even Clinton bothered to mention it, despite the fact that she heads a State Department that had their department's classified information leaked.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 Behind the Blogger Who Made the WikiLeaks Confidentiality Agreement a Top Story (3 comments)
David Allen Green, legal correspondent for the New Statesman out of the UK, has spent the last few days calling attention to a leaked WikiLeaks confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which he revealed in a blog post on May 11. Green, who is the blogger who was the first to draw attention to the agreement, called it a "draconian and extraordinary legal gag that WikiLeaks imposes on its own staff."
Thursday, May 12, 2011 Leaked WikiLeaks Confidentiality Agreement: Neither 'Draconian' Nor 'Extraordinary' (4 comments)
A leaked confidentiality agreement that those doing "business" with WikiLeaks are expected to sign was obtained and published by the New Statesman. The New Statesman and other news organizations believe they have uncovered another aspect of the WikiLeaks organization that indicates it is unfit to be trusted by whistleblowers.
Monday, May 9, 2011 US Dept of Treasury Freezes Palestinian Solidarity Activist's Bank Accounts (2 comments)
Right before Mother's Day weekend, the US government froze the bank accounts of Hatem Abudayyeh, a long-time Palestinian solidarity activist and organizer, and his wife, Naima. Abudayyeh is one of twenty-three activists from the Midwest in the US, who has been the subject of an FBI Grand Jury investigation since September of last year.
Saturday, May 7, 2011 WSJ Launches WikiLeaks-Imitation Website to Further Solidify Role as Gatekeeper
With the creation of this new "leaks portal," it appears the Wall Street Journal, like other traditional media, is setting this up because it believes it needs a digital platform for accepting news tips from sources instead of having sources go through a traditional system that may mostly exist offline.
Thursday, May 5, 2011 The Hunger Strikers of Guantanamo as Detailed in Files Released by WikiLeaks
Hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay are known to have engaged in hunger strikes at the prison in protest of conditions and their prolonged confinement without trial. A recent report from Jason Leopold of Truthout.org details how, as of March, detainees continue to participate in hunger strikes with the hope that the conditions of their detention will improve.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 US Hosts World Press Freedom Day in the Midst of Prosecuting Media Publisher WikiLeaks (1 comments)
Today, the United States hosts World Press Freedom Day. The day, which was proclaimed to be May 3 by the UN General Assembly in 1993, is supposed to be an occasion for informing citizens of violations of press freedom. When it was announced in December 2010 the US would be hosting World Press Freedom Day, WikiLeaks had just partnered with a few media organizations to release the US State Embassy Cables.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 The Guantanamo Children: These Aren't What You'd Call 'Little League' Terrorists (3 comments)
Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as "every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." However, the US and the Pentagon does not care about child rights. Fourteen or forty years old, detainees are terrorists and should be treated as such.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 New York Times, NPR Collude with Pentagon on Release of Gitmo Files (1 comments)
Michael Calderone reports "representatives from NPR and the Times visited the White House and spoke with Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell and members of Joint Task Force Guantanamo." And, "The news organizations agreed to some redactions requested by government officials but not all of them."