US Blocks Access to WikiLeaks For Federal Workers

Land of the free!

See also:

WikiLeaks Fights to Stay Online After US Hosting Company Withdraws Domain Name


Employees unable to call up WikiLeaks on government computers as material is still formally classified, says US


WikiLeaks has been blocked from being accessed by federal employees of the US, because the files are still seen as classified. Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

The Obama administration is banning hundreds of thousands of federal employees from calling up the WikiLeaks site on government computers because the leaked material is still formally regarded as classified.

The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.

Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.

The move comes at a time when civil rights and other liberal groups are becoming increasingly critical, inviting parallels with the kind of bans on information imposed by China and other oppressive governments.

The Library of Congress, one of the biggest libraries in the world, serving both Congress and the public, and essentially the library of record for the US, issued a statement tonight, which read: “The library decided to block WikiLeaks because applicable law obligates federal agencies to protect classified information. Unauthorised disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents’ classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents.”

Disclosure of the ban brought a flood of criticism from liberal bloggers, critical of the Library of Congress’s behaviour.

News of the ban was first reported by the Washington Post.

Read moreUS Blocks Access to WikiLeaks For Federal Workers

Senator Joseph Lieberman Introduces Anti-WikiLeaks Legislation

Flashback: Lieberman Demands YouTube Censorship


Senator Joseph Lieberman and other lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would make it a federal crime for anyone to publish the name of a U.S. intelligence source, in a direct swipe at the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks.

“The recent dissemination by Wikileaks of thousands of State Department cables and other documents is just the latest example of how our national security interests, the interests of our allies, and the safety of government employees and countless other individuals are jeopardized by the illegal release of classified and sensitive information,” said Lieberman in a written statement.

“This legislation will help hold people criminally accountable who endanger these sources of information that are vital to protecting our national security interests,” he continued.

The so-called SHIELD Act (Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination) would amend a section of the Espionage Act that already forbids publishing classified information on U.S. cryptographic secrets or overseas communications intelligence — i.e., wiretapping. The bill would extend that prohibition to information on HUMINT, human intelligence, making it a crime to publish information “concerning the identity of a classified source or informant of an element of the intelligence community of the United States,” or “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government” if such publication is prejudicial to U.S. interests.

Leaking such information in the first place is already a crime, so the measure is aimed squarely at publishers.

Lieberman (ID-CT) has been going after WikiLeaks with a fury he once reserved for video-game zombies, pressuring first Amazon, and then data-visualization company Tableau, to blacklist the organization in the wake of this week’s State Department leak.

Read moreSenator Joseph Lieberman Introduces Anti-WikiLeaks Legislation

New York Organ Harvesting Wagons To Accompany Ambulances

Deaths will rise and so will organ donations! Vultures!


Organ Wagons To Make House Calls


MYFOXNY.COM – It might sound a little disturbing to some people but a new pilot program will attempt to recover kidneys from people who die at home in Manhattan.

A team of organ specialists will have about 20-minutes after a cardiac-arrest patient is declared dead to arrive at the home, check a donor registry, determine medical eligibility, obtain a family member’s consent and get the person into a specialized ambulance.

A special team will monitor 9-1-1 calls about people in danger of dying and they will travel directly to a person’s home without being summoned.

The program is being launched Wednesday. It could eventually lead to thousands more organs donated each year. But the five-month trial, a collaboration between Bellevue Hospital and New York City’s police and fire departments, could be declared a success without a single organ being recovered, organizers say.

It’s being called the Organ Donation Unit. It is being funded by a $1.5 million grant from the U. S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA),

Read moreNew York Organ Harvesting Wagons To Accompany Ambulances

Swedish Royal Family Hit By New Scandal Exposing The Hidden Nazi Past Of The Queen’s Father


Queen Silvia, front, and her father, Walther Sommerlath, back row, in 1977 (AP)

Sweden’s royal family has been rocked by a new scandal which has exposed the hidden Nazi past of the Queen’s father, only weeks after its reputation was shattered by lurid disclosures about the king’s secret sex life.

The latest revelations concern Walther Sommerlath, the late father of Sweden’s German-born Queen Silvia. He has been unmasked by an investigative television documentary as a Nazi party member who grew rich during the Second World War running an armaments factory that had been stolen from its Jewish owners.

The disturbing revelations, made by Sweden’s Kalla fakta (Cold facts) TV programme, directly contradict 67-year-old Queen Silvia’s claims earlier this year that her father was not “politically active” and that the factory he ran produced toy trains, hairdryers and parts for civilian gas masks. She also denied he had taken over the factory from its Jewish owners.

However, documents unearthed by Kalla facta in Berlin and South America show that Walther Sommerlath joined the Nazi party in Brazil in 1934 – only a year after Hitler took power.

They showed that he returned to Germany shortly before the Second World War broke out in 1939 and took over a previously Jewish-owned Berlin factory that had been “Aryanised” by the Nazis.

Under Sommerlath’s ownership, the plant produced tank parts, anti-aircraft guns and other items vital to the Nazi war effort.

When Silvia Sommerlath married Sweden’s King Carl Gustav in 1976, Walther Sommerlath denied he had ever been a Nazi party member. A Swedish newspaper first revealed the fact in 2003, but the Queen flatly refused to respond to the disclosure at the time. She spoke for the first time about the subject in July this year, saying that although he joined the Nazi party, her father was neither politically active nor a soldier.

Read moreSwedish Royal Family Hit By New Scandal Exposing The Hidden Nazi Past Of The Queen’s Father

WikiLeaks Cables: DynCorp Hired Afghan ‘Dancing Boys’

Episode fuelled Afghan demands that private security firms be brought much more under government control


WikiLeaks cables show Afghan interior minister Hanif Atmar was in a panic over the scandal involving foreign contractors. Atmar resigned in June this year. Photograph: Massoud Hossaini/AFP/Getty Images

A scandal involving foreign contractors employed to train Afghan policemen who took drugs and paid for young “dancing boys” to entertain them in northern Afghanistan caused such panic that the interior minister begged the US embassy to try and “quash” the story, according to one of the US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.

In a meeting with the assistant US ambassador, a panicked Hanif Atmar, the interior minister at the time of the episode last June, warned that the story would “endanger lives” and was particularly concerned that a video of the incident might be made public.

The episode helped to fuel Afghan demands that contractors and private security companies be brought under much tighter government control. However, the US embassy was legally incapable of honouring a request by Atmar that the US military should assume authority over training centres managed by DynCorp, the US company whose employees were involved in the incident in the northern province of Kunduz.

There is a long tradition of young boys dressing up as girls and dancing for men in Afghanistan, an activity that sometimes crosses the line into child abuse with Afghans keeping boys as possessions.

Although rarely discussed or criticised in Afghanistan, it is conceivable that the involvement of foreigners could have turned into a major public scandal. Atmar himself warned about public anger towards contractors, who he said “do not have many friends” and said they needed far greater oversight.

Read moreWikiLeaks Cables: DynCorp Hired Afghan ‘Dancing Boys’

Atlanta: Hundreds line up in the cold for help heating homes

As metro Atlanta’s temperatures grow colder, the demand for heat is, well, heating up.


Lecher Eady (left) the mother of 16-month old triplets waited since midnight in the cold for hopes of getting financial assistance Thursday Dec.2, 2010 at the Mansour Center in Marietta. The single mother who has held 3 different jobs in 2010 is laid off from health care work.

A day after hundreds of people queued up outside a Marietta community center to apply for assistance with heat and power bills, hopeful applicants began lining up again around midnight, waiting in the sub-freezing temperatures for the doors to open Thursday morning.

This time, however, officials let those in line come into the Mansour Center on Roswell Street an hour early at 7:30 and get relief from temperatures that dropped to 27 degrees.

“We’re freezing,” said Lecher Eady, a Marietta mother who arrived at midnight seeking help with her bills. “Our hands are cold, our feet are cold.”

Eady, the mother of triplets in diapers, said she has been out of work since August.

“I’ve had three jobs this year, and I’ve been laid off from all three,” she said. “I’m grateful just to get any type of help they’ll give me.”

Eady said she is trying to start a nonprofit organization, “Babies Need Diapers,” that would provide diapers to low-income single mothers.

“We have assistance for food, we have assistance for clothing, but we don’t have assistance for diapers,” she said. “That’s my biggest struggle right now.”

Read moreAtlanta: Hundreds line up in the cold for help heating homes

US: Madison County To Evict Man Living On His Own Land From His Trailer


Madison County officials are planning to evict Dick Thompson from his recreational trailer that sits on 38 acres.

MAD-IS-ON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – 72-year-old Dick Thompson isn’t sure if he wants to fight or give up.

“I want to get the hell out of here right now — too much hate,” Thompson says one minute.

“I think it’s a bunch of bull,” he says another, vowing to stay.

Thompson faces eviction from his 38 acres in Madison County. The county lawyer tells 24-Hour News 8 it’s because Thompson is breaking too many rules, laws and ordinances; Thompson has no water, no sewer and no electricity in his recreational trailer that he calls home.

“I’m a country boy,” explains Thompson. “I just want to be left alone.”

Thompson is mighty fine, thank you very much — along with his dog, Ace, his horse, Fritz, his bird, Sunshine, and many more.

Read moreUS: Madison County To Evict Man Living On His Own Land From His Trailer

Top Ten Lies About Unconstitutional Senate Bill 510

(NaturalNews) The Food Safety Modernization Act looks like it’s headed to become law. It’s being hailed as a “breakthrough” achievement in food safety, and it would hand vast new powers and funding to the FDA so that it can clean up the food supply and protect all Americans from food-borne pathogens.

There’s just one problem with all this: It’s all a big lie.

Here are the ten biggest lies that have been promoted about S.510 by the U.S. Congress, the food industry giants and the mainstream media:

Lie #1 – Most deaths from food poisoning are caused by fresh produce

Here’s a whopper the mainstream media won’t dare report: Out of the 1,809 people who die in America every year from food-borne pathogens (CDC estimate), only a fraction die from the manufacturer’s contamination of fresh produce. By far the majority of food poisoning is caused by the consumption of spoiled processed foods, dead foods and animal-human transmission of pathogens.

For example, one of the largest food-borne killers according to the CDC is Toxoplasma gondii, a disease that people acquire from cat feces coming into contact with their food, which can happen right in their own homes (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/Vol5n…). Salmonella poisoning accounts for 553 deaths a year. As a reference for relative risk, over 42,000 people die each year from road accidents in the USA, meaning driving a car has a roughly 7600% higher chance of killing you than eating fresh produce. (http://www.driveandstayalive.com/in…)

In terms of food-borne illness, many of the deaths come from things like spoiled tomato sauce, spoiled canned foods and spoiled pasteurized milk. S 510, of course, does absolutely nothing to address these food contamination deaths, since those foods are considered “sterilized” at the time of sale.

Lie #2 – Under S.510, the FDA would only recall products it knows to be contaminated

Not true. S.510 merely requires the FDA to have “reason to believe” a food is contaminated. So right there, that means all raw milk will be targeted by the FDA because even without conducting any scientific tests at all, the FDA can say it has “reason to believe” the milk is contaminated merely because it is raw.

In other words, the FDA no longer needs science to outlaw a food product. It merely needs an opinion.

Is this “reason to believe” section really true? Yep, and here’s how it was amended:

SEC. 208. ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION OF FOOD.
23 (a) IN GENERAL. – Section 304(h)(1)(A) (21 U.S.C.24 334(h)(1)(A)) is amended by
(1) striking ”credible evidence or information indicating” and inserting ”reason to believe”;
(http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi…)

In other words, in negotiating this bill, the U.S. Senate removed the requirement that the FDA needed “credible evidence” in order to recall a product and, instead, replaced that with the FDA only needing “reason to believe.”

It is utterly amazing that the U.S. Congress would give the FDA to conduct large-scale product recalls and even imprison people based entirely on what the agency “has reason to believe.”

Last time I checked, the FDA held some pretty bizarre (if not downright moronic) beliefs, including this jaw-dropping whopper: The FDA literally believes that there is no food, no herb, no vitamin or supplement that has any ability to prevent disease of any kind. They don’t even believe limes can prevent scurvy, and you’d have to nutritionally illiterate to believe that.

Read moreTop Ten Lies About Unconstitutional Senate Bill 510

Hungary Nationalizes Private Pension Funds

“It’s unprecedented in Europe that a government is threatening to kick its own citizens out of the state pension system,” Zoltan Torok, a Budapest-based economist at Raiffeisen Bank International AG.

“This is open blackmail,” Julianna Baba, president of the Stabilitas Penztarszovetseg, which groups private pension funds, said in a phone interview today. “It’s a rigged deal.”

George Carlin would say: “They are coming for your f$$$ing retirement money!”

WTF!


Hungary Follows Argentina in Pension-Fund Ultimatum, `Nightmare’ for Some

Hungary is giving its citizens an ultimatum: move your private-pension fund assets to the state or lose your state pension.

Economy Minister Gyorgy Matolcsy announced the policy yesterday, escalating a government drive to bring 3 trillion forint ($14.6 billion) of privately managed pension assets under state control to reduce the budget deficit and public debt. Workers who opt against returning to the state system stand to lose 70 percent of their pension claim.

“This is effectively a nationalization of private pension funds,” David Nemeth, an economist at ING Groep NV in Budapest, said in a phone interview. “It’s the nightmare scenario.”

Hungary is rolling back pension changes implemented more than a decade ago as countries from Poland to Lithuania find themselves squeezed by policies designed to limit long-term liabilities by shifting workers into private funds. Now the cost is swelling debt and deficit levels at a time when the European Union is demanding greater fiscal discipline.

Hungary, the most indebted eastern member of the EU, is following the example of Argentina, which in 2001 confiscated about $3.2 billion of pension savings before the country stopped servicing its debt. The government in Buenos Aires nationalized the $24 billion industry two years ago to compensate for falling tax revenue after a 2005 debt restructuring.

Read moreHungary Nationalizes Private Pension Funds