21 Matching Annotations
  1. Apr 2019
    1. In September 2017, Pompeo sought authority for the CIA to make covert drone strikes without the Pentagon's involvement, including inside Afghanistan.

      Did he get it? Scary thought; program had very little accountability as it was.

  2. Dec 2018
    1. A detailed report on Russia's disinformation campaign based on the data released by Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

  3. Sep 2018
    1. Deluged by apparent facts, arguments and counterarguments, our brains resort to the most obvious filter, the easiest cognitive shortcut for a social animal: We look to our peers, see what they believe and cheer along. As a result, open and participatory speech has turned into its opposite. Important voices are silenced by mobs of trolls using open platforms to hurl abuse and threats. Bogus news shared from one friend or follower to the next becomes received wisdom. Crucial pieces of information drown in so much irrelevance that they are lost. If books were burned in the street, we would be alarmed. Now, we are simply exhausted.
    2. For the longest time, we thought that as speech became more democratized, democracy itself would flourish. As more and more people could broadcast their words and opinions, there would be an ever-fiercer battle of ideas—with truth emerging as the winner, stronger from the fight. But in 2018, it is increasingly clear that more speech can in fact threaten democracy. The glut of information we now face, made possible by digital tools and social media platforms, can bury what is true, greatly elevate and amplify misinformation and distract from what is important.
    3. But in the digital age, when speech can exist mostly unfettered, the big threat to truth looks very different. It’s not just censorship, but an avalanche of undistinguished speech—some true, some false, some fake, some important, some trivial, much of it out-of-context, all burying us.
  4. Mar 2018
    1. Mark Galeotti says he regrets coining the term "Gerasimov Doctrine" for Russia's supposed strategy of hybrid warfare. Gerasimov's speech was actually about how the Kremlin perceives US actions in the Middle East and Europe.

      "There is no denying that the West is facing a multivectored, multi-agency campaign of subversion, division, and covert political 'active measures' by Russia"<br> ...<br> "there is no single Russian 'doctrine'<br> ...<br> "There is a broad political objective -- to distract, divide, and demoralize -- but otherwise it is largely opportunistic, fragmented, even sometimes contradictory. Some major operations are coordinated ... but most are not."<br> ...<br> "more emphasis ought to go on counterintelligence and media literacy, on fighting corruption ... and healing the social divisions the Russians gleefully exploit"

  5. Jan 2017
    1. The Kremlin's worldview has been made clear in writing, and in practice:

      • It is a war.
      • It's all one war machine: military, tech, info, diplomatic, economic, cultural, criminal, etc.
      • Information warfare is not mere propaganda. It aims to subvert and destroy truth, reason, and decency.
      • They aim to divide nations, and their citizens.
      • They will use military force, as far as they can get away with it.
    2. This Russia does not aspire to be like us, or to make itself stronger than we are. Rather, its leaders want the West—and specifically NATO and America — to become weaker and more fractured until we are as broken as they perceive themselves to be. No reset can be successful, regardless the personality driving it, because Putin’s Russia requires the United States of America as its enemy.

      Putin's Russia requires the U.S. to be weak. Even better if it's a weakling stupid enough to think Putin is its pal. I'm sure Putin will say lots of nice things about Trump as long as he's getting a piece of the action.

    3. we first need to see the Russian state for what it really is. Twenty-five years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed. This freed the Russian security state from its last constraints. In 1991, there were around 800,000 official KGB agents in Russia. They spent a decade reorganizing themselves into the newly-minted FSB, expanding and absorbing other instruments of power, including criminal networks, other security services, economic interests, and parts of the political elite. They rejected the liberal, democratic Russia that President Boris Yeltsin was trying to build.

      Following the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings that the FSB almost certainly planned, former FSB director Vladimir Putin was installed as President.

    4. President-elect Trump has characteristics that can aid him in defining what comes next. He is, first and foremost, a rule-breaker, not quantifiable by metrics we know. In a time of inconceivable change, that can be an incredible asset. He comes across as a straight talker, and he can be blunt with the American people about the threats we face. He is a man of many narratives, and can find a way to sell these decisions to the American people. He believes in strength, and knows hard power is necessary.

      Trump is, first and foremost, a liar, a narcissist, a would-be tyrant, and -- okay -- a rule-breaker (a cheat). Trump will do what Trump thinks is good for Trump. He doesn't give a shit about America. So far, it looks as though Trump is eager to enrich himself through partnership with Putin. We will most likely have to defeat both of them.

    5. the West is already at war, whether it wants to be or not. It may not be a war we recognize, but it is a war. This war seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.

  6. Dec 2015
    1. "It makes zero sense to lock up this information forever," said Jeremiah Grossman, who founded cybersecurity firm WhiteHat Security. "Certainly there are past breaches that the public should know about, is entitled to know about, and that others can learn from."

      I used to think the most fanciful thing about the movie "War Games" was not the A.I., but the defense computer connected to a public network. But if industrial control systems can be reached by the Internet or other public lines -- then maybe the government is that stupid.

  7. Nov 2014
    1. Following the horrors of World War II, it was possible to identify three notable intellectual casualties. These included: (1) the politics of desire (what is now commonly called “affect”) in which this once liberating concept as theorized by Spinoza amongst others was cast aside as dangerous (perhaps most apparent in the context of Nazism and the manipulation and oppression of the masses as identified by Wilhelm Reich in his landmark text The Mass Psychology of Fascism), only to be colonized by marketers and PR consultants armed with usual sound-bite euphoria (from stage-managed theatricality of National Party Conventions that display the outpouring of emotionally charged patriotism, onto the celebration of killings, as in the case of Osama Bin Laden, where vitriolic displays on the streets of Manhattan had certain orchestration by elements of the mass media); (2) the politics of atmosphere, in which the ability to think about the positive manipulation of active living space became, until the advent of environmentalism, the sole privilege of military strategists who long since appreciated the value of “climatic conditioning”; and (3) the politics of aesthetics, in which the systematically orchestrated separation between art and politics rendered the aesthetic field dangerous in terms of symbolic decadence. This was especially true in the context of visible regalia of power directly linking fascist dressage with fetishistic and sadistic forms of behavior whose abuses of power would be portrayed in the most disturbing ways with Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo, along with racial and gendered stereotyping, or simply deemed aesthetics had nothing to say about the “serious business of politics” as it appears in the reasoned halls of established power — with our societies becoming more and more “image conscious” at the same time.

      important piece on the "intellectual casualties" of neocon whitewashing.

    2. the raw realities of warfare tend to remove from the critical microscope more searching questions about the willingness to justify widespread slaughter
    3. While these are often measured in terms of some crude atrocity scale as societies try to make statistical sense of the quantifiable levels of destruction
  8. Sep 2014
  9. Mar 2014
    1. While the city was burning, the Lydians and all the Persians who were in the citadel, being hemmed in on every side since the fire was consuming the outer parts and having no exit from the city,

      Hdt. 5.101 The Ionians burn Sardis to the ground 498 BCE The Achaemenid Empire is not indestructible. Even the Ionians (notorious servant folk) can be convinced to revolt.

    2. The Naxians, then, made all preparations to face the onset of war. When their enemies had brought their ships over from Chios to Naxos, it was a fortified city that they attacked, and for four months they besieged it.

      Hdt. 5.34 After approving his plan with Darius and Artaphrenes, Aristagoras sets out to attack Naxos. The Naxians surprisingly outlast the attacking Achaemenid forces, enduring a four month siege. The prolonged siege leaves Aristagoras bankrupt...

    3. This Otanes, then, who sat upon that seat, was now made successor to Megabazus in his governorship. He captured Byzantium, Calchedon, Antandrus in the Troad, and Lamponium, and with ships he had taken from the Lesbians, he took Lemnos and Imbros, both of which were still inhabited by Pelasgians.

      Hdt. 5.25 Otanes follows Megabazos in the line of Darius' generals. He goes on a shopping spree of the Aegean islands capturing Byzantium, Calchedon, Antandrus, Lamponium, Lemnos, and Imbros. This extends Achaemenid control out of Asia and the Hellespont into the Aegean Sea, directly threatening mainland Greece.

    4. all who lived as far as the Prasiad lake were taken away from their homes and led into Asia.

      Hdt. 5.15 The Paionians, attempting to defend themselves against the advancing Persians, are defeated due to local squabbles and all are routed and captured by the Achaemenid forces, led by Megabazos.

    5. Those Persians whom Darius had left in Europe under the command of Megabazus, finding the Perinthians unwilling to be Darius' subjects, subdued them before any others of the people of the Hellespont.

      Hdt. 5.1 Megabazus, as a proxy of Darius and the Achaemenid Empire, subdues the Perinthians living near the Hellespont.