Guardian journalists could face criminal charges over Edward Snowden leaks


Via The Telegraph:

Employees of The Guardian newspaper could face criminal charges over their role in publishing secrets leaked by Edward Snowden, Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has signalled.

Cressida Dick, an assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard, confirmed for the first time that detectives were examining whether staff at the newspaper had committed an offence.

She also told MPs that her officers are looking at potential breaches of a specific anti-terrorism law which makes it unlawful to communicate information about British intelligence agents. The offence carries up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

Rationale? Exactly what you’d think: “[L]ast month Sir John Sawers, the MI6 chief, said terrorists were ‘rubbing their hands with glee’ at the Snowden disclosures.”


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at
The Central African Republic has chosen capital city mayor Catherine Samba-Panza as their interim president and the EU has agreed to send 500 troops to help restore order.
The UN says as many as 6000 children have been forced to commit atrocities in the Central African Republic’s outbreak of violence. 
The government of South Sudan has accused rebels of attacking a hospital and killing 127 patients last month.
The Ugandan army has set up a “rapid response center.”
Algeria sent 3000 policemen to the southern desert city of Ghardaia to calm weeks of violent clashes.
Libya’s Justice and Construction party quits the government. 
A new Amnesty International report calls violence in Egypt on an “unprecedented scale” and accuses security forces of repeatedly and regularly committing abuses. 
Two large explosions in Cairo this morning have killed at least 3. 
A new report details “clear evidence” of the Syrian government’s systematic killing of detainees. A huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country shows that the regime tortured and killed roughly 11,000 detainees between March 2011 and August 2013. [PDF full report]
The first round of direct talks between Syria and the opposition will begin today and last 7-10 days, then talks will resume after a short break.
Joshua Landis on why Syria is entering Geneva II from a position of strength.
Iran was invited and then disinvited from Syria talks. 
James Nachtwey photographs Syrian refugees. 
The Associated Press severed ties with Pulitzer-winning photographer Narciso Contreras for editing one of his September photographs of a Syrian rebel fighter. (He digitally removed a colleague’s videocamera from the bottom left corner of the shot.)
10 have been killed in the past week of clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon.
Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference has agreed on a document upon which to base a new constitution. 
Iona Craig breaks down what really happened when that drone strike hit the Yemeni wedding party on December 12th. 
A new push to see the release of former Marine Amir Hekmati from the Iranian Evin prison, where he has been held for over two years on no known charges. 
A Taliban attack on a Kabul restaurant left 21 dead, including foreigners. 
Who is attacking the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan?
Pakistanis are protesting following the deaths of 29 people in a bomb attack on a bus convoy this week. 13 were killed in a blast near the army HQ in Rawalpindi. 20 soldiers were killed in an attack on a Pakistani army convoy in the northwest. 
Pakistan is saying the airstrikes it conducted in Waziristan are not the beginning of an offensive. 
The New York Times reports that the Pentagon has proposed to the President that post-2014 10,000 troops be left behind in Afghanistan or none at all.
Congress cut development aid to Afghanistan in half from last year.
An incredible story/piece of reporting by Asra Nomani on losing her friend and colleague Daniel Pearl (killed in 2002 by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) and her decade-long efforts to track his killer and his final story. He was killed 12 years ago in February.
According to a human rights group, government security forces in Myanmar massacred 40 Rohingya Muslims last week.
Two protesters were killed in clashes in Kiev. 
54% of Russian respondents said that the US was the greatest global threat (but only 16% of Iranians said the same). 
It was revealed last week that 34 nuclear launch officers cheated on a monthly proficiency test. This week the New York Times reports on a culture of such cheating among nuclear launch officers. 
P.W. Singer on NPR on what everyone needs to know about cyber threats. 
The US government’s privacy board has said that the NSA phone data collection program is illegal and should be shut down.
The website held a live chat with Snowden, with people submitting questions on Twitter with the #asksnowden hashtag. 
Snowden also did an interview with the New Yorker, in which he denied allegations that he was acting as a spy for a foreign country.
Attorney General Eric Holder has indicated that the DOJ would be open to plea negotiations with Snowden. 
Sometime in the next few weeks, the GAO plans to release a report on intelligence contractors. 
Gregory Johnsen, BuzzFeed’s first Michael Hastings reporting fellow, on the 60-word sentence that started the war on terror and kept it going. 
Photo: Kiev, Ukraine. Protesters and police clash in the center of the city. January 22nd. Efrem Lukatsky/AP.


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.

If you would like to receive this round-up as a weekly email, you can sign up through this form, or email me directly at

Photo: Kiev, Ukraine. Protesters and police clash in the center of the city. January 22nd. Efrem Lukatsky/AP.

From top to bottom, left to right: VIP Grove of ACL (Twitter user Becki Mendivil), Zilker Park (Twitter user Sarah Rodenberg)

The last day of the Austin City Limits music festival was cancelled by organizers C3 earlier today due to heavy rain, thunderstorms, and flash floods striking the Central Texas region.  According to KVUE:

Organizers posted on the festival’s website Sunday that a third of ticket price will be refunded based on original price paid.

Festival promoter spokeswoman Shelby Meade said in the post that safety fans, staff and artists “always comes first.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Pat McDonald said areas near downtown Austin have received more than 10.6 inches of rain in the past 12 hours.

If you’re in the Austin area, check out ATXFloods, a website that gathers current data about flooding in Austin including low water crossing status of  roads and road closures, as well as evacuations.


Singapore bloggers protest licensing rules for news websites
June 8, 2013

More than 1,000 Singaporeans gathered at a downtown park to protest a regulation requiring websites that regularly publish news on the city state to be licensed.

The demonstration organized by representatives of social and political websites was held today at Speakers’ Corner at Hong Lim Park, at the edge of the financial district. About 1,450 people have turned up so far, said Howard Lee, deputy chief editor of the Online Citizen, a Singapore social and political blog, and one of the organizers. Some waved placards calling on the government not to “tell me what to read,” while another said “our silence is not for sale.”

The Southeast Asian nation has seen at least two protests against government policies this year. The regulation introduced June 1 requiring news sites get a license has drawn criticism from opposition groups, while the government has said the rule doesn’t limit individuals’ freedom of expression online.

“Our purpose today is simply to ask the government to withdraw the Internet regulation they announced 11 days ago,” said Andrew Loh, editor of, the first speaker at the event. “Citizen journalism has a place in Singapore.”

More than 150 Singapore websites and blogs blacked out their content in protest the licensing rules, the Straits Times reported yesterday. Some sites replaced their home pages with a black screen saying “Free My Internet;” others included information about today’s protest.

The new rules undercut Singapore’s status as a financial hub, Human Rights Watch said, urging the city to withdraw regulations it says discourage independent comment.

The regulations cast a chill over the city’s “robust and free-wheeling” online communities and limit Singaporeans’ access to independent media, Cynthia Wong, senior Internet researcher at the New York-based HRW, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Singapore dropped 14 places in a 2013 press-freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders, ranking 149th out of 179 countries. It’s ranked one spot behind Russia, and just ahead of Iraq and Myanmar.

Today’s demonstration is the third incident where Singaporeans expressed unhappiness against government policies this year. Thousands of Singaporeans demonstrated in February and May against a government plan to increase the island’s population through immigration.

“The key to this is to make our voices heard to scrap this ruling, which goes against the right to information,” Lee said. “Through this gathering today, we also want to let people know how these regulations are going to affect them.”

Singapore’s Media Development Authority said last month certain websites must get a license and pay a $50,000 bond to be forfeited upon publication of “prohibited content” such as that which “undermines racial or religious harmony.” Yahoo! Inc.’s Singapore news website is among an initial list of 10 that will be subject to the rules.

News sites must have individual licenses if they post an average of at least one weekly article on the island’s news and current affairs over a period of two months, and have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over that period, according to the MDA.

The authority said operators of news sites are expected to comply within 24 hours with the government agency’s directions to remove content that is found to be in breach of standards.


(Source: thepeoplesrecord)


A man, taken into custody by police in Watertown, MA, was forced to take his clothes off before being placed inside a patrol car.


A man, taken into custody by police in Watertown, MA, was forced to take his clothes off before being placed inside a patrol car.

(via mohandasgandhi)



Please note, nothing has been confirmed. This is a developing story and a very sensitive situation. The two suspects have been identified via unconfirmed scanner reports. NOTHING HAS BEEN CONFIRMED.

This is important.

So easy to get caught up in a sensational story in a situation like this, during a week like this.  Please keep the above in mind.

7News Live Streaming Video


Best live feed of Watertown: - one suspect down. 

(via eddyizm-deactivated20131128)

White Out: Media Heap Suspicion On Brown People In Boston Marathon Bombing [Racist "Revenge" Attacks follow]


WASHINGTON — Hours after the Boston Marathon bombing, there was already Internet chatter that a “Saudi national” was the suspect. Police raided the apartment of Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, a 22-year-old student from Saudi Arabia, as he was recovering from the blasts in a Boston hospital.

Next, CNN’s John King raised the alarm about a more elusive “dark-skinned male who the TV reporter said was in custody on Wednesday.

The following day, the New York Post got more specific. It slapped pictures of two young men on its front page, calling them “Bag Men” and identifying them as persons of interest to federal authorities. One was Salah Barhoum, 17, a Moroccan American middle-distance runner.

And then there was news that a man in Bronx, N.Y., who was born in Bangladesh was beaten up for supposedly being “a f*cking Arab” by a group of men who wanted retribution for the marathon bombing.

A Palestinian woman near Boston also reported being the victim of a hateful assault on Wednesday, when a man hit her and yelled, “F*ck you Muslims! You are terrorists! I hate you! You are involved in the Boston explosions.”

What all of these people have in common is that they’re innocent of the bombing. They also happen not to be white.

For the most part, the response to the marathon bombing has brought out humanity’s better angels. Deserved attention has been shed on the heroic efforts of bystanders like Carlos Arredondo and the many first responders who rushed to help the injured.

But it has also served as a depressing reminder that the racial profiling that increased against men of Middle Eastern, Arab and South Asian descent after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks continues to infect the public response to terrorism.

It may turn out that the Boston Marathon bombers are Arab. But they could also be white, black, Native American, Asian or Hispanic. While CBS News tweeted Wednesday that a “white male” was a possible suspect, most people subjected to the speculation grinder have been non-white — all before the FBI on Thursday released photos of two racially ambiguous suspects.

The consequences have been brutal for some of the innocent people caught in the frenzy.

Alharbi had “every inch” of his apartment searched by law enforcement, with authorities seen lugging away bags of items from his home. Residents in his building called it “a startling show of force.” His roommate was questioned for five hours.

“I was scared,” the roommate, Mohammed Hassan Bada, 20, of Saudi Arabia, told the Boston Herald.

Meanwhile, Alharbi was recovering from shrapnel wounds in a hospital. News outlets later reported that he was a witness, not a suspect, and “was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

CNN’s “dark-skinned male” never materialized, as it quickly became clear that its report of an arrest was wrong. PBS journalist Gwen Ifill said she found it “disturbing” that a television network was allowed to characterize a supposed bombing suspect in such a way.

Barhoum had his world turned upside-down when he saw himself on the cover of the New York Post.

“It’s the worst feeling that I can possibly feel. … I’m only 17,” he said. His mother, meanwhile, felt “sick and upset.”

Barhoum went to the police on Wednesday to clear his name, after he noticed photos of himself getting tagged on social media. He was unable to compete in the marathon, but decided to go and watch. Federal authorities told ABC News that they were passing around his picture to find more information — as they no doubt were doing with pictures of many of the people photographed on Monday.

Later Thursday, after a public outcry over its cover image, the New York Post ran a follow-up story clarifying that authorities said the two “bag men” had “neither had any information or role in Monday’s attacks at the Boston Marathon.”

The rush for indictment and revenge has also taken a toll on Abdullah Faruque, 30, the Bronx man who was beaten up for having brown skin and looking “Arab.” He was assaulted by three or four men outside an Applebee’s on Monday, just hours after the bombing.

“One of the guys asked if I was Arab. I just shook my head, said like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ I didn’t even know that [the] Boston [bombing] happened because I had a busy day,” Faruque explained to the New York Post.

“Yeah, he’s a f*cking Arab,” responded one of the men, before the group jumped him. They dislocated his shoulder and left him semiconscious.

Heba Abolaban, who lives near Boston, was assaulted and harassed on Wednesday. Abolaban told Malden Patch that while she and her friend, who were both wearing hijabs, were walking with their children, a man came up and punched her shoulder and accused them of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombing.

“I did not say anything to him,” Abolaban said. “Not even that we aren’t terrorists. … He was so aggressive.”

… Talal Alyan, an Arab American student, launched an online campaign on Thursday demanding that the New York Post apologize for its coverage.

We demand an apology from the New York Post for identifying a Saudi Arabian national as a suspect for the Boston Marathon bombing despite having no evidence,” read the petition, which had more than 6,600 signatures as of Thursday evening. “The New York Post based their conclusion that the wounded marathon runner was a suspect only on the fact that he was an Arab. The New York Post needs to apologize to the falsely accused and the broader Arab and Muslim community.”

Still, Barhoum was uneasy at being targeted, while others around him in the marathon crowd weren’t.

“The only thing they look at is my skin color and since I’m Moroccan, I’m kind of dark,” said Barhoum. “Last night I couldn’t sleep. Just thinking about the consequences. What are people going to say and what the result is going to be.”

Huffington Post

(via mohandasgandhi)


Minutes before the bombs blew up in Boston, Jeff Bauman looked into the eyes of the man who tried to kill him.

Just before 3 p.m. on April 15, Bauman was waiting among the crowd for his girlfriend to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A man wearing a cap, sunglasses and a black jacket over a hooded sweatshirt looked at Jeff, 27, and dropped a bag at his feet, his brother, Chris Bauman, said in an interview.

Two and a half minutes later, the bag exploded, tearing Jeff’s legs apart. A picture of him in a wheelchair, bloodied and ashen, was broadcast around the world as he was rushed to Boston Medical Center. He lost both legs below the knee.

“He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,’” Chris Bauman said yesterday in an interview.

(via mohandasgandhi)


I can’t find any credible sources about the alleged intended vigilante attack (I don’t know what’s wrong with me) but it was reported twice on Current in the segment I saw. They also played a clip from whatever show Geraldo Rivera has now of a guy from “Southie,” Boston saying they were organizing gangs and that whoever set off the bombs “better hope the FBI finds him before [they] do” because they were going to hunt people down.

I made my point.