Daniel Ellsberg calls on whistleblowers to leak info on Afghanistan, Iraq & North Korea

In 1971, Ellsberg exposed the secret history of the Vietnam War when he leaked the Pentagon Papers – a study of US-Vietnam relations from 1945 to 1967 – to the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as other newspapers.

The documents detailed a pattern of deception around Vietnam, which spanned several successive presidential administrations, before the war even began.

In an exclusive interview with RT America’s Sean Stone, Ellsberg says the US government most likely has similar documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I suspect there is a lot of history of that written in CIA and White House annals,” Ellsberg told RT, adding that the war in Afghanistan “doesn’t just go back to 2001 or 2002, it goes back to 1979.”

Ellsberg cited former President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who revealed in his memoirs how the US “deliberately instigated attacks” on the pro-Soviet Afghan regime in 1979 in order to “bring in Soviet intervention into the war, like ours in Vietnam.”

About a million Afghans died as a result of the Carter administration’s support for Islamic fundamentalists, intended to give the USSR “their Vietnam,” Ellsberg told RT.

As a former military analyst, Ellsberg said he was certain that the government keeps documents like the Pentagon Papers about Iraq and Afghanistan. “That’s what they do. They document this sort of thing,” Ellsberg said.

The true history of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will not be known until someone leaks it, he added.

Ellsberg said there are “many people within the system” who know sending more troops into Afghanistan will not end the war. He added that if such people had revealed this information to the public, the US could have avoided the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“If such people had told us before our attack on Iraq, which hundreds to thousands could have done that, if they had really informed Congress and the people to that, there might have been no last 16 years of war in Iraq and same in Afghanistan.”

“We very much need that for North Korea and the return to Afghanistan,” Ellsberg told RT.

After releasing the Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg was charged under the 1917 Espionage Act. He initially faced 115 years in prison, but the charges were later dropped.

Ellsberg now fears that President Donald Trump’s policies on leakers could strip journalists of their constitutional rights.

“I know lawyers that are close to this who believe there will be prosecutions against journalists for the first time,” Ellsberg said.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has promised that he will go after whistleblowers, will be able to use modern electronic surveillance technology to identify leakers and reporters’ sources much easier, he added.

The Espionage Act was originally intended to punish spies stealing information to help the interests of a foreign power, but its wording makes no distinction between spies and journalists and their sources, Ellsberg said. The law would allow prosecutors to charge anyone who has “unauthorized possession” of classified information or passes it onto a reporter, regardless of the leaker’s motive.

“There’s nothing in that act that allows the defendant to argue that he or she was trying to help the interests of the United States and that no harm was expected or resulted,” Ellsberg told RT.

When Chelsea Manning was charged, the government did not show any evidence that the information she leaked caused any harm, according to Ellsberg.

“We can strongly infer that there was no such harm,” he said. “However, in her trial she was not allowed to bring that point up at all, nor was I in my trial.”

Ellsberg said that during his trial, he was not allowed to explain why he copied the Pentagon Papers, which he called an “unconstitutional infringement on freedom of speech.” He has advocated for Congress to revise the Espionage Act and to add a public interest defense clause.

“We do need people like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who have a high level of access. Neither of them were at high levels, but they had good access – as I did – and they each selected, by the way, as I did, information that we thought would not harm the security of the United States, but which the public needed to know,” Ellsberg said.

The full interview airs on RT America’s Watching the Hawks on Thursday (6 pm Eastern time) and on RT International on Friday.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/usa/406482-ellsberg-interview-whistleblower-korea/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

French leader Macron launches 2nd round of reform program

French President Emmanuel Macron launched round two of his ambitious domestic reform program on Wednesday, AFP said. The plans include major changes to France’s generous unemployment benefits system, as well as large increases in state-funded training aimed at helping the unemployed back into the workplace. Macron is hoping to avoid an escalation in street protests against him which began in early September. “It was polite but firm,” the head of the Communist-backed CGT trade union, Philippe Martinez, said after talks with Macron on Thursday. Macron is expected to deploy the same plan used to push through the labor law reform: negotiations over the next few months culminating in a set of government proposals.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/newsline/406492-france-macron-reform-benefits/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Mystery hacker steals ‘sensitive’ data on Australian F-35s & newest spy jets

The hacker, nicknamed “Alf” after the ‘Home and Away’ character played by Ray Meagher, breached a defense contractor’s database containing 30GB of files on some of the West’s most secretive and modern military programs, an official of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the government’s main cyber intelligence agency, said on Wednesday, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The story was initially reported by a freelance journalist nicknamed Stilgherrian and published on the website zdnet.com

Michael Clarke, an ASD incident response manager, told an information security conference in Sydney the perpetrators hacked into a small aerospace engineering company with about 50 employees, in July 2016.

He said the company “had a significant amount of data stolen … and most of that data was defense-related.” Some of the files related to the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which control the transfer of military-use technology and verify defense exports.

Describing the breach, the official claimed it was “extensive and extreme,”ABC reports. 

That respective ITAR data “included information on the [F-35] Joint Strike Fighters, the C-130, the P-8 Poseidon, the JDAM – that’s a smart bomb – and a few Australian naval vessels,” Clarke said, according to a copy of a recording provided by Stilgherrian.

The ASD official noted that they “found one document [that] was like a Y-diagram of one of the Navy’s new ships and you could zoom in down the captain’s chair and see that it’s one meter away from the nav [navigation] chair and that sort of thing.”

Australia is set to receive 72 F-35 fighter jets in the coming years, replacing the ageing F-18 Hornets, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The P-8 Poseidon is the Australian Air Force’s newest surveillance aircraft.

The hackers had “full and unfettered access” to the subcontractor’s systems and infiltrated emails of the chief engineer, the finance officer and a contracting engineer.

The subcontractor reportedly had just one IT specialist who worked there for nine months. It had also used primitive default logins and passwords such as “admin” and “guest.”

The ASD was informed about the data breach by “a partner organization” in November last year.

Christopher Pyne, the defense industry minister, said earlier on Thursday the hack attack was a “salutary reminder” for private businesses to step up their cybersecurity.

Pyne said that while the data was commercially sensitive, it was not classified. “It could be one of a number of different actors, it could be a state actor, a non-state actor, it could have been someone who was working for another company, so I would not want to speculate on that at this stage,” he added, as cited by the Australian

In the meantime, he tried to downplay the significance of the hack: “I don’t think you can try and sheet the blame for a small enterprise having lax cybersecurity back to the federal government. I mean, that is a stretch.”

“You don’t know that we tendered a major defense contract to a small enterprise with poor cybersecurity protections,” the official said.

منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/406481-australia-f35-data-leak/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Trump is wrong: Stock gains won’t cut debt

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Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook ‘angry, upset’ about Russia-backed ads

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