Greg Palast, Big Oil, & PBS (Petroleum Broadcast System)

03 Environmental Degradation, 05 Energy, Commerce, Corporations, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Media, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests

The Petroleum Broadcast System Owes Us an Apology

by Greg Palast for Truthout/Buzzflash
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tonight, my dog Pluto and I watched the PBS ‘Frontline' investigation of BP, “The Spill.”

PBS has uncovered a real shocker:  BP neglected safety!

Well, no shit, Sherlock!

Pluto rolled over on the rug and looked at me as if to say, Don't we already know this?

Then PBS told us – get ready – that BP has neglected warnings about oil safety for years!

That's true.  But so has PBS.  The Petroleum Broadcast System has turned a blind eye to BP perfidy for decades.

If the broadcast had come six months before the Gulf blow-out, after the 2005 BP Refinery explosion in Texas, after the 2006 Alaska pipeline disaster, after the years of government fines that flashed DANGER-DANGER, I would say, “Damn, that Frontline sure is courageous.”  But six months after the blow-out, PBS has shown us it only has the courage to shoot the wounded.

Continue reading “Greg Palast, Big Oil, & PBS (Petroleum Broadcast System)”

Reference: How Goldman Sachs Looted America

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 10 Transnational Crime, Analysis, Articles & Chapters, Blog Wisdom, Budgets & Funding, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Corruption, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Law Enforcement, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy
Amazon Page

Exclusive Excerpt: America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi's ‘Griftopia'

Matt Taibbi's unsparing and authoritative reporting on the financial crisis has produced a series of memorable Rolling Stone features. He showed us how Goldman Sachs, that “great vampire squid,” played a central role in creating not only the housing bubble but four other big speculative booms that filled its coffers while wrecking the American economy. He explained how Wall Street banks cooked up schemes that helped decimate municipal budgets and cost countless jobs, and how Wall Street lobbying led to a financial reform bill that won't prevent another meltdown. Taibbi builds on that eye-opening work in his new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America , due out from Spiegel & Grau on November 2. In this exclusive excerpt, he describes how our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters at fire sale prices — and finding eager buyers in the unregulated sovereign wealth funds of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

Read the exclusive Griftopia excerpt.

Reference: How Web-Code Geeks Help NGO’s and Media

Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Media, Methods & Process, Non-Governmental, Open Government, Reform, Tools

Jon Lebkowsky Home

Events this week – NPOCamp and Austin News Hackathon

Cross-posted from

Two great events coming up this weekend in Austin, sponsored by EFF-Austin.

Friday, join us at NPO Camp – a Barcamp for Nonprofits and Techs. We had one of these several months ago, and it was a real blast! The idea here is to bring the nonprofit and technology communities together for a day and talk about the technical challenges the NPOs face, while educating the techs about that world. Last event, we had 200+ attendees forming into sessions and pods; all were lively.  Greg Foster, our newest EFF-Austin board member, has done most of the legwork in organizing the event, with major production assistance from Maggie Duval, also a board member and producer of the annual Plutopia event during SXSW. Sign up here.

Saturday, coders and journalists come together to build innovative news applications at the Austin News Hackathon, cosponsored by EFF-Austin and the local Hacks Hackers chapter led by Cindy Royal.  The day will begin with a presentation by Matt Stiles and Niran Babalola of the Texas Tribune, talking about some of the news apps they’ve been developing. Then teams will form to match ideas from journalists with technical expertise from the coders who are attending. These kinds of events are the future of journalism!  This event also benefited from Maggie Duval’s production assistance. Sign up here.

Both events will be catered by Pick Up Stix of South Austin.

Phi Beta Iota: The convergence-emergence that is starting to pick up momentum is happening all around us.  Here we see two example of “cognitive surplus” creating “infinite wealth” as web and code geeks help, respectively, non-profit organizations and journalists.  This is the model of the future–there is plenty of wealth for everyone, we just need to stop corruption at all levels across all domains–we do this with transparency where money is involved, and with open space where money is not involved.

Secrecy News on US Classification & 2 Headlines

Government, InfoOps (IO), Intelligence (government), Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Military, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy


By censoring Anthony Shaffer's new book “Operation Dark Heart” even though uncensored review copies are already available in the public domain, the Department of Defense has produced a genuinely unique product:  a revealing snapshot of the way that the Obama Administration classifies national security information in 2010.

With both versions before them (excerpts), readers can see for themselves exactly what the Pentagon classifiers wanted to withhold, and can judge for themselves whether the secrecy they tried to impose can be justified on valid national security grounds.  In the majority of instances, the results of such an inspection seem disappointing, if not very surprising, and they tend to confirm the most skeptical view of the operation of the classification system.

The most commonly repeated “redaction” in Operation Dark Heart is the author's cover name, “Christopher Stryker,” that he used while serving in Afghanistan.  Probably the second most common redactions are references to the National Security Agency, its heaquarters location at Fort Meade, Maryland, the familiar abbreviation SIGINT (referring to “signals intelligence”), and offhand remarks like “Guys on phones were always great sources of intel,” which is blacked out on the bottom of page 56.

Also frequently redacted are mentions of the term TAREX or “Target Exploitation,” referring to intelligence collection gathered at a sensitive site, and all references to low-profile organizations such as the Air Force Special Activities Center and the Joint Special Operations Command, as well as to foreign intelligence partners such as New Zealand.  Task Force 121 gets renamed Task Force 1099.  The code name Copper Green, referring to an “enhanced” interrogation program, is deleted.

Perhaps 10% of the redacted passages do have some conceivable security sensitivity, including the identity of the CIA chief of station in Kabul, who has been renamed “Jacob Walker” in the new version, and a physical description of the location and appearance of the CIA station itself, which has been censored.

Many other redactions are extremely tenuous.  The name of character actor Ned Beatty is not properly classified in any known universe, yet it has been blacked out on page 15 of the book.  (It still appears intact in the Index.)

In short, the book embodies the practice of national security classification as it exists in the United States today.  It does not exactly command respect.

A few selected pages from the original and the censored versions of Operation Dark Heart have been posted side-by-side for easy comparison here (pdf).

The New York Times reported on the Pentagon's dubious handling of the book in “Secrets in Plain Sight in Censored Book's Reprint” by Scott Shane, September 18.


See Also:

Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy (46)

Journal: YouTube Time Machine, Future of Education

Analysis, Augmented Reality, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Historic Contributions, History, info-graphics/data-visualization, InfoOps (IO), International Aid, IO Mapping, IO Multinational, IO Sense-Making, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Key Players, Maps, Methods & Process, Mobile, Open Government, Policies, Reform, Research resources, Strategy, Technologies, Threats, Tools, YouTube

YouTube Time Machine

YouTube Time Machine

Right now the Categories include, in this order:  Video Games,  Television,  Commercials,  Current Events,  Sports, Movies,  Music.

Phi Beta Iota: Now imagine this in all languages, available on the cell phone, as an educational tool that also harnesses the cognitive surplus–the distributed intelligence–of the Whole Earth.  Our view of YouTube is now such that we consider it more important than Google.

Also see (use search at top of leanback page)

Blog del Narco: Uncensored Web Journalism versus Violence of the Mexican Narcosphere

07 Other Atrocities, 09 Terrorism, 10 Transnational Crime, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship

Blog del Narco

With Journalists Silenced, Mysterious Blogger Reports on Mexico’s Drug Violence

By Nate Freeman, August 16, 2010

President Felipe Calderone’s crackdown on drug cartels in Mexico has claimed 28,000 lives since 2006, but the best coverage of the non-stop mob hits and government stings isn't coming from the nation’s major media outlets.

Instead, it comes from a student with a six-month-old blog. Blog del Narco began as a hobby for the highly secretive blogger, but in time he found that his facelessness allowed him get away with stories that would endanger known journalists — many of whom have been kidnapped or killed for divulging such information. Now, his site has become indispensable for its no-holds-barred coverage of the endless carnage caused by the drug trade. The AP reports that for the first time, a blog on the conflict can count its most dangerous participants among its most obsessive readers, as the kingpins and cops rely on the information just as much as the public does.

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Journal: DoD, WikiLeaks, JCS, Security Ad Naseum…

07 Other Atrocities, Civil Society, Corruption, Ethics, Government, InfoOps (IO), Intelligence (government), IO Impotency, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Media, Methods & Process, Military, Officers Call, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy

Defense News August 23, 2010

Experts: DoD Could Have Prevented WikiLeaks Leak

By William Matthews

While senior Pentagon officials resort to bluster in hopes of preventing the WikiLeaks website from posting any more secret Afghan war documents on the Internet, security experts say there is a lot the U.S. military could have done to prevent the classified documents from being leaked in the first place.

Steps range from the sophisticated — installing automated monitoring systems on classified networks — to the mundane — disabling CD burners and USB ports on network computers.

“The technology is available” to protect highly sensitive information, said Tom Conway, director of federal business development at computer security giant McAfee. “The Defense Department doesn’t have it, but it is commercially available. We’ve got some major commercial clients using it.”

Full Article Below the Line (Not Easily Available on Internet); Lengthy Comment Follows Article

Continue reading “Journal: DoD, WikiLeaks, JCS, Security Ad Naseum…”