Eva Galperin, International Freedom of Expression Coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, discusses her article about pro-Syrian-government hackers using malicious computer software against Syrian activists; the online information battle between loyalists and anti-government groups, in the absence of on-the-ground media; why Skype isn’t any safer to use than social media like Facebook; protecting yourself online by encrypting communications and staying informed about threats; and how rudimentary hacking tools can be just as effective as the very sophisticated and expensive Stuxnet and Flame viruses.
John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses the moral and practical problems of US support for Syria’s opposition; how foreign meddling prolongs civil conflicts and reduces incentive to negotiate; why the German media’s contrary version of the Houla massacre is no more (or less) believable than the official story blaming the government; the war hawks in Congress who want Syrian regime change to weaken Iran, not for any humanitarian reason; and why policy makers aren’t thinking of intervention’s consequences, namely blowback.
Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses his article “Judicially Authorized Rape: The Newest Weapon in the Prohibitionist Arsenal;” the stories of three victims of forced catheterizing by the police; more evidence that cops are habitual liars and shouldn’t be trusted; two cops who were promoted instead of getting prison time for sexually assaulting Stephan Cook; the “qualified immunity” legal exemption for costume-wearing state employees who break the law; and how the US is like a prison environment writ large, where civilians are convicts and cops are prison guards.
IPS News journalist Adam Morrow discusses Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi’s narrow victory in Egypt’s presidential runoff election; how Egypt’s military and supreme constitutional court are subverting civilian government and democratic reforms; the danger of false flag bombings designed to sow unrest and discredit the Islamists; and why Egypt’s military is better suited for domestic repression than national defense.
Regular Antiwar.com columnist Kelley B. Vlahos discusses her article “The CIA and Polio in Pakistan;” how Dr. Shakil Afridi set up a fake immunization campaign to help the CIA in their effort to pinpoint Osama bin Laden’s location in Abbottabad; how the immunization ruse further undermined public confidence in vaccinations in one of the last countries with Polio cases; and the reality of life in an iron lung.
Richard Silverstein, writer of the Tikun Olam blog, discusses his article “Flame: Israel’s New Contribution to Middle East Cyberwar;” the IDF’s “Unit 8200? cyberwarfare department; the differences between industrial-sabotage virus Stuxnet and the sophisticated espionage worm Flame; how state-created computer viruses can get out of control and wreak havoc on their creators; President Obama’s antisocial foreign policy of anonymous drone strikes and cyber attacks; and the US’s rejection of Russia’s proposed international ban on cyberwar (Max Boot hates the idea, so maybe the Russians were on to something).
John Glaser, Assistant Editor at Antiwar.com, discusses his article “Under Obama’s Reign, Habeas Corpus Rights Wrenched Away;” how the DC Circuit court has undermined Boumediene v. Bush and effectively taken away all legal recourse for the 169 remaining Guantanamo prisoners; how President Obama bypasses the courts entirely by killing suspected terrorists (and/or dark-skinned civilians) with drone strikes; the enemy-combatant status of all drone victims, unless proven otherwise posthumously (some consolation); the double standard that gets ACLU drone lawsuits dismissed over “state secrets” but allows Obama to leak information and campaign as a warrior-president; and why it seems like the US is trying really hard to provoke another 9/11.
Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of American Raj, discusses his article “Egypt Headed for an Explosion;” the vote-rigging funny business that enabled a Mubarak retread to get in the presidential runoff election; why Egypt won’t remain a US client state, 2 billion a year in military aid notwithstanding; how the US Navy came to be both tremendously expensive and strategically useless; the USAF’s critical role in US foreign policy; and the Pentagon’s promotion of China as the next big threat to justify their enormous budget.
Jason Ditz, managing news editor at Antiwar.com, discusses his debate with the “Prince of Darkness” (Richard Perle) on BBC Radio; the Obama administration’s refusal to apologize for the deadly November attack on a Pakistani military outpost – even though critical supply lines to Afghanistan remain closed as a consequence; the technological barrier preventing other countries from using drones the way the US does; and how the dearth of journalists in Syria allows the Western media to spin the narrative any way they choose.
Sarah Marusek, social science doctoral candidate at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, discusses her article “West Must Recognize Peaceful Palestinian Resistance Movement;” the hundreds of thousands of down-and-out Palestinian refugees in Lebanon who, inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and beyond, are demonstrating to get back home; the surprising alliance between competing Palestinian factions (Fatah, Hamas) and militant groups (Islamic Jihad) that are joining together for peaceful rallies; the mainstream media’s refusal to cover (or contemplate) an event that shows Palestinians peacefully resisting Israeli occupation; and the leading women activists in the Palestinian movement.
Foreign Policy in Focus contributor Giorgio Cafiero discusses his article “Resurgent Arab Nationalism in Egypt;” a history lesson on Gamal Abdel Nasser and Egypt’s non-aligned independence during the Cold War; US support for the Muslim Brotherhood as a bulwark against Arab nationalism; how Egypt was brought under US influence after the 1973 Yom Kippur War demonstrated the power of Arab unity against Israel; the current runoff presidential election in Egypt, which does not include the popular 3rd place nationalist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi; the big divide between supporters of an Egyptian Islamic state and those preferring an inclusive secular state; and why the Muslim Brotherhood won’t push the military out of politics – which means no foreign policy changes or major rifts with Israel.
Independent investigative journalist Joe Lauria discusses his article “Security Council Blames Syria for Attack;” allegations that the Houla massacre was actually Sunni rebels killing pro-government Alawites and Shia; why Bashar al-Assad deserves the blame for Syria’s civil unrest; the media’s scant coverage of al-Qaeda’s presence within Syria’s rebellion; Russia’s strategic interests in Syria aside from the Tartus naval port; why NATO intervention would almost certainly worsen the crisis; and the revenge massacres likely to follow in the wake of Syrian regime change, with a Sunni Islamist government in charge.
Ron Kukal, former US Navy Petty Officer and USS Liberty survivor, discusses his firsthand account of Israel’s attack on the Liberty on June 8, 1967; the carnage of dead sailors below decks from the Israeli torpedo strike; Phil Tourney’s book What I Saw That Day; how PTSD still effects Kukal’s life and family relationships; the dangers facing Liberty survivors who dare tell the truth about the attack; and Kukal’s thanks to the rescue ships and sailors who saved the Liberty from sinking and helped get it back to port.
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the corrupt narco-state of Afghanistan; the Russian mafia’s control of heroin distribution to Western Europe; former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez’s torture defense (and book promotion) on the talk-show circuit; Secretary of State Clinton’s promotion of internet freedom while President Obama wages cyber warfare on Iran and plans an internet “kill switch;” Obama’s dictatorial powers under the National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order; and how government surveillance has increased so dramatically since “Total Information Awareness” was halted by Congress in 2003.
Eric Margolis, internationally syndicated columnist and author of American Raj, discusses the fundamentally flawed Middle East countries created after the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution; the US’s first attempt at regime change in Syria in 1948, as told in The Game of Nations: The Amorality of Power Politics; a history of the Baath Party; the chance for regional autonomy in Syria instead of a bloody civil war; why the US insists on picking fights with Russia in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Syria; and why Georgia’s inclusion in NATO would be as ridiculous as Puerto Rico joining the Warsaw pact.