Thursday, April 13, 2006

NYT: 4 "experts" give some sort of testimony, Markoff and Shane try to say of what

Based on his observations and technical knowledge, Mr. Klein concluded that the equipment permitted "vacuum-cleaner surveillance" of Internet traffic. Mr. Klein, 60, who retired in 2004 after 23 years with AT&T and lives near Oakland, Calif., said he decided to make his observations known because he believed the government's monitoring was violating Americans' civil liberties.

The above is from John Markoff and Scott Shane's "Documents Show Link Between AT&T and Agency in Eavesdropping Case" in this morning's New York Times. The story attempts to provide information regarding the government's snooping/spying on American citizens without warrants. (The illegal program authorized by the Bully Boy.) It fails. The story requires more space than it's given. There's also the fact that with four "experts" (some unnamed) reviewing the documents, it should be clear what's being noted by "experts" and what's being noted by reporters; however, that's not always the case. What you do learn is what most following this story already knew -- AT&T has been assisting the government in spying on US citizens.

Whether that's only international communications or not isn't clear from the information provided in this story. One 'expert' summarized appears to think it is. Why that is thought is never clear from the story. Is this a sign that the paper's going to return to covering the story that they broke? Not according to rumors from friends at the paper who maintain that there's disagreement about whether or not to run something more substantial. Three friends insisted that be noted and that, from what they're seeing, the paper remains uninterested in exploring this story.

As the Bully Boy itches with the blood lust for Iran, Rachel notes William J. Broad, Nazila Fathi and Joel Brinkley's "Analysts Say a Nuclear Iran Is Years Away:"

The official, Muhammad Saeedi, the deputy head of Iran's atomic energy organization, said Iran would push quickly to put 54,000 centrifuges on line -- a vast increase from the 164 the Iranians said Tuesday that they had used to enrich uranium to levels that could fuel a nuclear reactor.
Still, nuclear analysts called the claims exaggerated. They said nothing had changed to alter current estimates of when Iran might be able to make a single nuclear weapon, assuming that is its ultimate goal. The United States government has put that at 5 to 10 years, and some analysts have said it could come as late as 2020.
[. . .]
"They're hyping it," said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, a private group that monitors the Iranian nuclear program. Anthony H. Cordesman and Khalid R. al-Rodhan of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington called the new Iranian claims "little more than vacuous political posturing" meant to promote Iranian nationalism and a global sense of atomic inevitability.

Does it sound like a "slam dunk"? If so, have your hearing checked. Lewis notes P. Sainath's "The Corporate Hijack of India's Water" (CounterPunch):

The corporate hijack of water is on worldwide and one of the most important processes of our time. The World Bank and the IMF help ram it through. Water privatisation has often been shoved into their loan conditionalities in the past decade.
In few nations will the damage be as terrible and complex as in India. Here water use is already very unequal. Most irrigation and drinking water in India, for instance, has a clear caste geography. Even the layout of our villages reflects that. The dalit basti is always on the outskirts, where there is least access to water. Barring dalits from the main water sources of the village are not just about the 'social' horror of untouchability. It is also about curbing their access to this vital resource.
It is also closely tied to the framework of class. About 118 million households -- 62 per cent of the total -- do not have drinking water at home. As census household survey data analysed by Dr. S. L. Rao show, 300 million Indians draw water from community taps or handpumps. (Many World Bank and Asian Development Bank projects, by the way, will end up doing away with those community taps.)
About five million Indian families (roughly the population of Canada) still draw water from ponds, tanks, rivers and springs. This is a stratified society. The big dams that have displaced millions of Indians in the past decades have also narrowed control and access to water. Atop this structured inequity, we now install hyper-inequality.

Remember to listen, watch or read (transcripts) Democracy Now! today. Rod passes on these upcoming Un-embed the Media appearances:

* Amy Goodman in Castleton, VT: Sat, Apr 15 *
Tenth Annual Women's Studies Conference
Fine Arts Center, Castleton State College, Castleton, VT 05735
Free and Open to the Public
For more information: contact Dr Sanjukta Ghosh,, 802-468-1445

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY: Tues, Apr 18 *
"Stuff Happens" post show discussion
The Public Theater
For more information:
425 Lafayette St.
New York, 10003
A provocative and thoughtful play about how and why we went to war in
Iraq, Stuff Happens brings to the stage an ongoing story of great national
and international importance, with characters and dialogue seemingly ripped
from today's headlines. Inspired by actual events, both public and private,
that have been authenticated from multiple sources, Stuff Happens is a
powerful history play that brilliantly transforms "real life" into profound

* Amy Goodman in Milwaukee, WI: Thur, Apr 20 *
George F. Kennan Forum on International Issues: Balancing Security and
Freedom in a Post-9/11 World
The Pabst Theater 144 E. Wells Street Milwaukee, WI
For more information:
Host Organization: Institute of World Affairs (IWA), Center for
International Education, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, P.O. Box
Milwaukee, WI 53201. Sponsoring Organizations: Peace Action Wisconsin,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Public Radio, Milwaukee Public
Television, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

And Zach, reminding that it's KPFA's 57th anniversary, notes:

12:00 pm [Pacific Time]
Living Room
Riots in the streets of France, and a contested election in Italy: we talk with veteran journalist Doug Ireland. PLUS: Wes "Scoop" Nisker, with the real deal reality. Witih host Kris Welch, noon to one.

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