Archive for September, 2007

Terrorism

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Terrorism is defined by the US Department of Defense as “the unlawful use of — or threatened use of — force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.”

Hmm… Good thing we declared war before going into Iraq… oh wait

Police Burn Man Alive Using Taser Gun

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Police in Texas shot 47-year-old Juan Flores Lopez, who was doused in gasoline, with a taser gun, casing him to burst into flames and burn to death. Police initially used pepper spray when they tried to take Lopez into custody. Then they used the Taser, which obviously packs more than enough of an electrical punch to ignite the gasoline. As if surprised that an electrical jolt would ignite gasoline, police said, “We don’t know what ignited the fire.” It was unclear whether Lopez had been charged with anything.

Original article

Shocking Footage of John Stewart’s The Daily Show

Friday, September 21st, 2007

America Is No More

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

I'm not trying to defend the way Andrew Meyer acted before he was thrown to the ground and tased by the police, but it infuriates me that he was arrested at all. This is nuts. The guy asked a question and was promptly arrested for "disrupting a public event". The video makes it clear that it was the police, not Andrew, that inspired the great disruption.

If you have something to say about this to the UF police department, their phone number is (352) 392-1111.

What An Online Bank Run Looks Like

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

TechDirt.com author Mike Masnick, who is obviously unaware of the Countrywide bank run, writes about how the Northern Rock bank run has played out online:

In the bad old days (or in countries with questionable financial situations) when there were concerns a bank might run out of money, there would be an old-fashioned “bank run,” with tons of customers all trying to withdraw their money at once. That could cause all sorts of problems, since most banks work on the theory that such runs won’t happen. Thanks to the FDIC, you don’t see bank runs in the US these days, but apparently that’s not the case in the UK, where concerns over the financial status of the bank Northern Rock led to what certainly looks like an old-fashioned bank run. However, in this modern age, not everyone is lining up on the street to get into their nearest Northern Rock branch. Apparently, the bank’s website has experienced the equivalent of a bank run on its servers — meaning that they’ve been pretty much unable to handle the traffic, frustrating a number of online account holders who say the terms of service say the only way they can retrieve money is via the online interface. Of course, the fact that many of those account holders can’t even reach the site is leading to increased panic among those who fear that the site is down permanently. Apparently, even if the interface is different, an online bank run pretty much mimics the offline one.

Christopher Null of Yahoo! Tech writes:

Northern Rock says everything is fine, that your money is safe, and that the web difficulties are a mere technical hiccup. That isn’t sitting well with people who have followed Northern Rock’s provisions regarding account access for years, only to face an impossible task while trying to get to their funds when the chips are down.

We’re currently minutes away from hearing if the Fed will put off the inevitable economic crisis by increasing inflation.

Ron Paul at the Values Voter Debate

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

For those who missed it:

Latest Bin Laden Video Is a Forgery: All References to Current Events Are Made During Video Freeze

Monday, September 10th, 2007

From George Maschke:

Osama Bin Laden's widely publicized video address to the American people has a peculiarity that casts serious doubt on its authenticity: the video freezes at about 1 minute and 58 seconds, and motion only resumes again at 12:30. The video then freezes again at 14:02 remains frozen until the end. All references to current events, such as the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Japan, and Sarkozy and Brown being the leaders of France and the UK, respectively, occur when the video is frozen! The words spoken when the video is in motion contain no references to contemporary events and could have been (and likely were) made before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The audio track does appear to be in the voice of a single speaker. What I suspect was done is that an older, unreleased video was dubbed over for this release, with the video frozen when the audio track departed from that of the original video.

This raises the following questions:

  • Why haven't the mainstream media outlets announced this?
  • Why is the "new Bin Laden video" still a headline on foxnews.com?
  • Why did the bogus Bin laden plug
  • Which US official said that initial analysis of the audio of the video shows that it is Bin Laden?
  • Why did Bush tout the bogus video as a reminder of why the War on Terror is so important?  Could he have been in the dark, too?

Former Chief of CIA Bin Laden Unit: Internet Video Can’t Be Tracked

Saturday, September 8th, 2007




Tonight Fox News has announced the existence of a new Bin Laden video.  During the Hannity & Colmes show, just after the news broke, Michael Scheuer (former chief of the CIA Bin Laden unit) was featured as an expert commentator.  Here's an excerpt of the conversation that transpired:

Allen Colmes: If [Bin Laden] can get tapes to us, could we trace that back to get to him?

Michael Scheuer: You know sir… that's, uhh… alot of people have raised that criticism of the agency and of other intelligence groups, but as you know working in communications as you do, you can send a packet of electronic information from Bolivia to Uruguay to Sweden and the track is just can't be found because there's so much material out there.

What??  You can't track the source of the video because there's too much material on the Internet?

Let me be the first to say: What a load of horse-shit.

Anyone who has so much as a technical-school level of computer-related education can tell you that every device connected to the internet has an IP address.  Tracing the source of a video on internet is as simple as setting up a packet sniffer upstream of the server the video is being posted to.  This will give you the IP address of the device from which the video is being posted.  Even if this reveals an IP address of a proxy or shell server in Bolivia, Uruguay, or Sweden, an additional packet sniffer could be set up to reveal the source of that connection.  This can easily be done using free software that is available to everyone. Furthermore, it would be even easier if any of the servers involved keeps good logs as no packet sniffer would be required.  You can't tell me that our government has the resources to take over a country but somehow can't run a few packet sniffers.  That makes no sense at all.

I think it’s also worth noting that the user who posted the original announcement had made over a hundred prior posts on the forum. Shouldn’t that be over 100 opportunities to track the source? Suppose the user was using public computers. The SITE Institute has been watching this forum for several months. That should be plenty of time for the US government to setup cameras around the public computers that were being used.

From the AP article:

American officials said the U.S. government had obtained a copy even though the video had not been posted yet by al-Qaida — and intelligence agencies were studying the video to determine whether it was authentic and to look for clues about bin Laden’s health.

I guess the best question is, how is the CIA capable of obtaining the tape before it gets posted on the internet, but is not capable of tracking the source?