Realize the NSA is watching you — from less than two feet away!


The NSA learned, of course, from their scumbag uncle

Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.

GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not…

Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy”…

The documents also chronicle GCHQ’s sustained struggle to keep the large store of sexually explicit imagery collected by Optic Nerve away from the eyes of its staff, though there is little discussion about the privacy implications of storing this material in the first place.

Optic Nerve, the documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show, began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012, according to an internal GCHQ wiki page accessed that year…

In its statement to the Guardian, Yahoo strongly condemned the Optic Nerve program, and said it had no awareness of or involvement with the GCHQ collection…

In a statement, a GCHQ spokesman said: “…all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the secretary of state, the interception and intelligence services commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

The NSA shared the same blather about partnerships in the War On Terror and how diligent they are about living up to the crap regulations decided by Bush and Cheney, Obama and Biden.

RTFA. It’s long and detailed, confirming once again what corrupt politicians we have elected.

Blair learned his lessons well from Bush, didn’t he? $16 billion in U.K. tax fraud from lack of oversight

martin20schranks20blair20bush20cartoon

The head of Britain’s Work and Pensions department charges that fraud in the country’s tax-credit system has cost taxpayers more than $16.2 billion.

Ian Duncan Smith said a system of tax credits targeting lower-paid Britons is open to abuse because of the inadequate number of checks on those who receive the assistance, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

In an article published in the newspaper, Smith wrote that Britain’s welfare bill rose 60 percent between 2003 and 2010, with nearly $278 billion disbursed during that period…

The tax credits are based on a person’s estimate of salary for the coming year. At the end of that year, tax collectors are supposed to compare the person’s actual earnings against the estimate and reclaim any overpayments.

Smith said the revenue department conducted only about 34,000 checks a year on individuals who received what were considered “high risk awards.”

Even those found to have been overpaid often have not repaid the money, he said.

Blair followed Bush’s best practices all the way from war to poverty. No oversight. No responsibility. Nothing achieved beyond death, destruction and deficit.

Desmond Tutu: Bush and Blair should face trial at the Hague

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called Sunday for Tony Blair and George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq

Tutu, the retired Anglican Church’s archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to “answer for their actions.”

The Iraq war “has destabilized and polarized the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history,” wrote Tutu, who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984.

“Those responsible for this suffering and loss of life should be treading the same path as some of their African and Asian peers who have been made to answer for their actions in the Hague,” he added…

Tutu has long been a staunch critic of the Iraq war, while others opposed to the conflict — including playwright Harold Pinter — have previously called for Bush and Blair to face prosecution at the Hague.

The then-leaders of the U.S. and U.K. fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand — with the specter of Syria and Iran before us,” said Tutu…

Overdue.

Ex-army chief says Tony Blair and Gordon Brown let troops down

The former head of the army today accused Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of letting down British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and described the case for the Iraq war as “most uncompelling”.

General Sir Richard Dannatt called Brown “malign” for failing to fund the armed forces adequately, and said Blair lacked the “moral courage” to make his then chancellor deliver the money that was needed.

The accusations were made in a book, Leading From the Front, which is being serialised in the Sunday Telegraph…

In his book, Dannatt wrote that the evidence for Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction – the official justification for Britain’s involvement in the 2003 invasion – was “most uncompelling” and the planning for the aftermath of war had been an “abject failure”.

While the 1998 strategic defence review (SDR) provided a “good framework” for defence policy in the Labour years, it was “fatally flawed” because it was underfunded by Brown’s Treasury and could not cope with the strains of deploying troops in Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time.

“History will pass judgment on these foreign adventures in due course, but in my view Gordon Brown’s malign intervention, when chancellor, on the SDR by refusing to fund what his own government had agreed, fatally flawed the entire process from the outset,” he wrote.

“The seeds were sown for some of the impossible operational pressures to come…”

Sound familiar? Insert the names “George W, Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney” in the appropriate locations and watch the hurried defense of political hacks who specialize in rear guard actions against any responsibility for their political disasters.

In both the US and UK, politicians who abdicated any responsibility to the real needs of their electorate and the world seem to gather on a frequent schedule, first, to screw up the world – and, second, to lie and avoid responsibility for what they did in the first place.

True Believers aid as best they can.

War-torn nations ‘most corrupt’ – peaceful nations ‘least corrupt’

War-torn nations remain the world’s most corrupt, Transparency International (TI) has said.

Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia are the lowest-ranked countries in TI’s annual global survey. They were all at the bottom of the list last year as well. “When essential institutions are weak or non-existent, corruption spirals out of control,” TI said.

New Zealand was the least corrupt, with last year’s winner Denmark as runner-up and Singapore third. It said this was a result of “political stability, long established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions”…

The UK ranked 17th, down one place from last year. The US also fell one place to 19th.

The last-named two are still engrossed in the discovery phase of corruption under Bush and Blair.

Tony Blair has finally lost it

Political leaders have to “do God” if they are to engage properly with the modern world, even if they personally have no religious faith, says former prime minister Tony Blair.

Blair was notoriously reticent about discussing his own religious faith while prime minister, with his head of communications, Alastair Campbell, once famously saying: “We don’t do God.”

But since leaving Downing Street, Blair has converted to Catholicism and become increasingly open about the importance of religion to his thinking.

Which means he’s admitting the truth about something. For a change.

Writing in the New Statesman – guest-edited this week by Campbell – he suggested that even while still in office he felt that religion was a key to understanding the modern world. And he suggested that religious faith might be as significant to the new century as political ideology was to the last.

Blair said: “As the years of my premiership passed, one fact struck me with increasing force: that failure to understand the power of religion meant failure to understand the modern world.

Surely, there can be a place somewhere inside the convoluted construction of half-truths and agit-prop that politicians thrive upon – for truth, honesty, science and reality? Please!

After all, religion is just one of the oldest of failed ideologies that’s still hanging around.

Gordon Brown offers to be Obama’s lapdog

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown hopes to forge an alliance this week with U.S. President Barack Obama to combat the global financial crisis and reinforce what London calls its special relationship with Washington…

They say Britain’s ability to play a lead role is limited by the depth of its own economic crisis, and a much broader alliance is needed than one between two countries whose policies have been partly blamed for the crisis.

[Eight years of Blair kissing Bush’s butt may finally have sickened everyone in the U.K.]

Brown wants to build a consensus on action to counter the financial crisis before he hosts a summit of the Group of 20 industrialized and emerging nations in London on April 2.

“President Obama and I will discuss this week a global new deal, whose impact can stretch from the villages of Africa to reforming the financial institutions of London and New York,” Brown wrote in the Sunday Times.

[Obama will tell him what to do.]

Reginald Dale, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said Obama would listen to Brown, a former finance minister who was among the first western heads of government to propose a sweeping state rescue program to rescue crisis-hit banks and revive dwindling lending.

“He (Obama) will know that Brown is beavering hard to be one of the leaders of the world economic recovery and that he has some economic credentials — although the British economy at the moment is not much of a testimonial to them,” Dale said.

[In other words, Brown has achieved shite all.]

The alliance was strong under Obama’s and Brown’s predecessors, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, who formed a close bond after the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Blair backed Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and sent troops to join U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brown, aware that many Britons opposed the Iraq war and felt Blair was subservient to Bush, was cooler in his dealings with Bush.

[Only tugging his forelock a couple of times before kneeling in obeisance.]

I apologize if I’ve offended any gay readers with the photo. I wouldn’t want these klowns on my side, either.

Tony Blair’s bodyguard forgets loaded gun in Starbucks crapper

An investigation has been launched after a police firearms specialist left a loaded gun in a Starbucks cafe in central London. The officer, who has reportedly provided personal protection for the former prime minister Tony Blair, left the pistol in the toilets after she visited the coffee shop last week. The gun was found by a member of the public…

The majority of British officers do not carry guns, aside from specialist officers whose duties include guarding dignitaries or responding to armed incidents.

She had left the semi-automatic Glock 17 gun in the toilet of the cafe after taking off her belt. She later bought a coffee, not realising she had left the weapon behind. Reports this morning suggested it was left on the floor of the cafe’s toilets for 20 minutes.

An investigation is being carried out by Scotland Yard’s directorate of professional standards. It is understood the officer has been relieved of her duties while the investigation is under way.

No kidding? Now, I’m relieved.