The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.

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Republican Presidential Debate In South Carolina (2-13-16)

How NSA contact chaining combines domestic and foreign phone records

In the previous posting we saw that the domestic telephone records, which NSA collected under authority of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act (internally referred to as BR-FISA), were stored in the centralized contact chaining system MAINWAY, which also contains all kinds of metadata collected overseas.

Here we will take a step-for-step look at what NSA analysts do with these data in order to find yet unknown conspirators of foreign terrorist organisations.

It becomes clear that the initial contact chaining is followed by various analysis methods, and that the domestic metadata are largely integrated with the foreign ones, something NSA never talked about and which only very few observers noticed.

What is described here is the situation until the end of 2015. The current practice under the USA FREEDOM Act differs in various ways. The information in this article is almost completely derived from documents declassified by the US government, but these have various parts redacted.

http://electrospaces.blogspot.com/2016/02/how-nsa-contact-chaining-combines.html

Cryptome’s searing critique of Snowden Inc.

This week, John Young and Deborah Natsios, the founders of Cryptome, one of the world’s oldest and best-known repositories of leaked intelligence documents, quietly posted a URL to an interview they conducted on February 6 during a conference in Berlin, Germany.

Young and Natsios are introduced, correctly, as “renowned figures within a larger community people interested in keeping governments and institutions accountable, and using documents to do that.” But they also offer deep insights into the media and how it has handled revelations about U.S. intelligence and the National Security Agency. And their remarks, such as the quote above, clearly catch their host by surprise.

In the 18th minute, they issue a scathing rebuke of “celebrity” journalism as practiced, in their opinion, by The Intercept, the publication owned by Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media. The interview is worth hearing in its entirety, and I urge anyone who’s had questions and concerns about Edward Snowden and his relationship to The Intercept’s founding editors, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras, to listen to it and carefully consider their arguments.

Why? Because Cryptome raises serious questions that nobody else on the left or in the media want to talk about, including how Omidar has created a business from Snowden’s cache; what exactly Snowden may have been doing while he was working for the CIA prior to his time at NSA (and what else he may have been doing at NSA itself); and why Snowden and The Intercept continue to proselytize for Tor, the anonymization tool, despite its massive funding from the U.S. government, the Pentagon and the national security state.

READ MORE …http://timshorrock.com/?p=2354

Justice Antonin Scalia, Who Led a Conservative Renaissance on the Supreme Court, Is Dead at 79

Justice Antonin Scalia, whose transformative legal theories, vivid writing and outsize personality made him a leader of a conservative intellectual renaissance in his three decades on the Supreme Court, was found dead on Saturday at a resort in West Texas, according to a statement from Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. He was 79.

“He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served.”

The cause of death was not immediately released.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/us/antonin-scalia-death.html

The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan

The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan

Filled with sex and violence–in and out of time and space–the three books of The Illuminatus are only partly works of the imagination. They tackle all the coverups of our time–from who really shot the Kennedys to why there’s a pyramid on a one-dollar bill.

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Mae Brussell – Dialogue Conspiracy (7-5-76)

Exclusive: U.S. Allies Now Fighting CIA-Backed Rebels

Iraqi militias who once fought ISIS with U.S. help are now working with Russian and Iranian forces to crush American-backed rebels in the strategic Syrian city of Aleppo, two defense officials have told The Daily Beast.

At least three Shia militias involved in successful battles against ISIS in Iraq—the Badr Brigade, Kata’ib Hezbollah, and the League of the Righteous—have acknowledged taking casualties in fighting in south and southeast Aleppo province. U.S. defense officials confirmed to The Daily Beast that they believe “at least one” unit of the Badr Brigade is fighting in southern Aleppo alongside other Iraqi militia groups. Those groups are backed by Russian airpower and Iranian troops—and all of whom are bolstering President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Army.

Reports on social media say the Iraqi militias in Syria are armed with U.S. tanks and small arms they procured on the Iraqi side of the border. Those reports could not be independently confirmed.

The presence of militias fighting on behalf of Assad—a dictator that the U.S. has pledged to depose—is yet another reminder of the tangled alliances that the United States must thread as it pursues seemingly contradictory policies in its battles against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. In Iraq, these Shia militias were battling on behalf of the U.S.-backed government. In Syria, they are fighting against an American-supported rebel coalition that includes forces armed by the CIA.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/12/exclusive-u-s-allies-now-fighting-cia-backed-rebels.html

BERNIE SANDERS vs HILLARY CLINTON – DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE (2-11-16)

Ireland: Revolutionary Period, 1916-1924

This selection of key British Pathé newsreels represents some of the finest contemporary reporting on the Irish Easter Rising, War of Independence and Civil War. The films have been organised by topic and are presented on a single navigable page for the first time.

http://www.britishpathe.com/workspaces/page/ireland-revolutionary-period-1916-1924