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Donald Trump: Lowering The Bar: Critics Go Ballistic As GOP Peddles ‘Notorious ACB’ T-Shirts


“You must be so proud,” disgusted observer mocks over heartless Republican fundraising scheme exploiting the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Amid talk of civil war, America is already split – Trump Nation has seceded | Robert Reich


The president thrives on division, speaks of ‘we’ and ‘them’ and encourages violence. No wonder we fear he won’t accept defeat

What is America really fighting over in the upcoming election? Not any particular issue. Not even Democrats versus Republicans. The central fight is over Donald J Trump.

Related: Where Law Ends review: why Mueller failed to hold Trump to account

To Trump and his core enablers and supporters, the laws of Trump Nation authorize him to do whatever he wants

If he loses the election, Trump will not accept the result because it would be the product of Anti-Trump Nation

Related: Why Didn’t We Riot? On being a Black man in Trumpland

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a columnist for Guardian US

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Donald Trump | The Guardian

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Where Law Ends review: why Mueller failed to hold Trump to account


Andrew Weissmann, a senior member of the special counsel’s team, has written an alarming and necessary book

The Mueller investigation ended a year and a half ago, but the aftershocks never stopped. A passel of books highlight the omissions and missteps of the special counsel’s office. The Senate intelligence committee report fills in some of the gaps on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Related: Trump memo on Comey firing was ‘tinfoil helmet material’, Mueller prosecutor says

Related: Disloyal review: Michael Cohen’s mob hit on Trump entertains – but will it shift votes?

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Donald Trump | The Guardian

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (197 sites)


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NPR News Now: NPR News: 09-27-2020 1AM ET


NPR News: 09-27-2020 1AM ET

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Dean Jones: Life Of A Cricketing Entertainer – OpEd


cricket

He was very much one of those cricketers who made the pulse race, a figure for the advocates of a faster variant of the game.  Nothing of the solid blocker in the man, though he could, if needed, linger at the crease.  Australia’s Dean Jones sported equipment perfect for the shorter format of the game: lightning quick between the wickets, leaving his tubbier counterparts ragged and puffed; an obsessive about keeping the runs flowing; a spirited entertainer.  A stunning fielder of accuracy.  An explorer in the field.  Then, the slashing shots: the on drive to a delivery he would enthusiastically dispatch to the boundary on skipping to it; the lifted off drive, which would propel the ball into the stands.

In India, a country which deifies its cricketers, and burns the occasional one in effigy, the reactions of warmth and shock have been genuine.  It was in a Mumbai hotel where he collapsed.  It was in that same hotel that fellow cricketer and former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee attempted to revive him.  India, and the subcontinent more broadly, became a place Jones promoted, coached in, commented upon.  These were not outposts of hostility but places of veneration.  

It was also India which witnessed one of the more remarkable, and courageous innings, of Test cricket.  It was 1986. Jones had made his Test debut two years prior.  He had been left out of the tour of England in 1985.  Captain Allan Border heralded the Victorian’s return to the side, slotting Jones in at the No.3 position.  He played an innings of near-death in the dehydrating heat of Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium, making 210 and ensuring the second Test cricket tie in history.  “My body still shakes when it’s over 37 degrees,” he revealed in 2016. 

Jones was a Rabelaisian mess for much of an effort lasting eight hours and 23 minutes: fluids, much of it involuntary, excreted liberally in conditions of high humidity; vomiting bouts, dramatically regular.  All the time, pungent sewerage smells wafting from a neighbouring canal.  Psychologically, he was also given a bruising by his bullying captain.  When asked if he could retire hurt on 202, Border suggested that they “get a Queenslander (the next man Greg Ritchie) out here.”  His deplorable physical state has, over time, rendered that innings singular, a case as much for medical analysis as cricketing prowess.  

Courage can be a disputed mantle.  The innings did not impress the grounded and blunt Greg Matthews, who took ten wickets in the same match in fittingly jaunty fashion.  Three decades after the match, he was gruff in memory.  “The guy (Jones) was 23, in his prime, fit as a Mallee bull.  If you are not fit enough to walk out there and play, don’t come whingeing to me.  He lost a few kilos – just blows me away.”  

The stadium was certainly no hell on earth for the batsmen, if statistics are your sort of thing.  Jones “batted on a road.  1488 runs were scored for the loss of 32 wickets.”  The match had also seen three other centurions: David Boon, with 122; Border, with 106 and India’s Kapil Dev, whose 119 was a feast of merriment and slaughter.  

The spinner seemed more impressed by the Indian umpire V. Vikramraju, whom he regarded as the truly brave one in giving India’s last batsman, Maninder Singh, out leg before wicket.  As for his own team mates, Ray Bright stood out in the chronicles of courage.  “Ray was 33, unfit, Ray was sick and Ray got up.”

Such views were deftly fielded by Jones, who remarked that Matthews lacked “medical accreditation”.  In his mind, he had come close to death and, as he noted in his autobiography, it was not something to be recommended. “Sometimes I feel like a man watching his own funeral from a distance, sometimes I have to refer to descriptions written at the time to fill in huge gaps in my own consciousness.”  

Such gaps were not in issue at the Adelaide Oval in 1989.  His 216 off 347 deliveries was a spanking display against the menacing West Indian attack of Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Patrick Patterson.

Jones would proceed to add to the complement of Australian cricket consciousness, withered by the retirement of that titanic trio of Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh; devastated into submission by the West Indian pace batteries that seemed to spring eternal; and outfoxed by English sides captained by David Gower (1985) and Mike Gatting (1986-7).  

Border’s captaincy, assumed with grave reluctance, was aided by Jones, who, along with other future demigods of the game, made their names in the 1987 World Cup victory and 1989 Ashes Tour.  “To 52 Tests and 164 one-day internationals,” remarked Australian cricket’s wordsmith Gideon Haigh, “he brought style, vitality and chutzpah, in a period of Australian cricket, just pre-Shane Warne, that sometimes wanted for it.”

In his sporting achievements, Jones is best associated with the one-day game: the ticking scoreboard, the thwacking of deliveries, sprinting, sun glasses, protective sunscreen, and an almost manic boisterousness.  He is remembered for his faux pas at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1993 during a World Series Cup match in which he riled the great West Indian fast bowler Ambrose.  The request to the bowler was simple but impolitic: remove the white wristbands which were making the white cricket ball harder to see.  The giant Ambrose, furious, picked up the pace.  Australia lost that match and, eventually, the series.  

Ambrose, ever sporting, remembered the man they called Deano.  “He was a wonderful player.  When he was walking to the crease you could see that confidence in his stride.”  No signs of fear or nerves.  “He was a bit of a thorn in our flesh.”  A thorn of spirited entertainment, with more than a touch of talent.  

The article Dean Jones: Life Of A Cricketing Entertainer – OpEd appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): FBI from Michael_Novakhov (35 sites): Top stories – Google News: Lakers vs. Nuggets score: LeBron James leads Los Angeles back to Finals after closing out Denver in Game 5 – CBSSports.com


  1. Lakers vs. Nuggets score: LeBron James leads Los Angeles back to Finals after closing out Denver in Game 5  CBSSports.com
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Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites): Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites): Eurasia Review: Assange’s Fourteenth Day At Old Bailey: Elections, Cracking Passwords And Failures Of Proof – OpEd


Central Criminal Court The Old Bailey London Skyline

On this Friday, the Assange trial moved into the rarefied realm of computer hacking and the less than rarefied world of when final arguments will be made.  The WikiLeaks publisher is confronting the prospect of extradition to the United States for 17 charges under the US Espionage Act and one under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.   

The defence first pushed for more time to prepare closing arguments.  As Edward Fitzgerald QC explained, “It seems unlikely for you to make a judgment before Nov. 3 and you would have to bear in mind that the future is uncertain.  Much of what we say about [US President Donald] Trump is because this proceeding was initiated by Trump … and some elements of the case would be worse if Trump were [re-elected].”  

The arguments worked, and Judge Vanessa Baraitser found herself admitting that the election outcome was “one of the factors going into my decision.”  She agreed to granting the defence four more weeks.  “That means for your client there will be no more decision until the new year, if he appreciates that.”  A more than revealing nod that politics permeates this entire process.

The defence also attempted to confront US Assistant Attorney General Gordon Kromberg’s rosy view of the US prison system, specifically regarding the conditions of the Alexandria Detention Center, destined venue for Assange’s pre-trial time, and ADX Florence in Colorado, where he is likely to spend time if convicted.  To date, the assistant attorney has been disinclined to surrender to cross-examination.  This led Fitzgerald to attempt the submission of two defence statements to court, one from a former chief psychiatrist at the US Bureau of Prisons, another from a forensic psychiatrist well acquainted with ADX Florence.  “We have no right to cross-examine Kromberg, who can say whatever he wants and we have no right to challenge him,” submitted Fitzgerald.   “They have no right to have the right word.”  Baraitser rejected the request, feeling that enough by way of defence testimony on the US prisons in question, had been heard.

Failure to prove conspiracy

The prosecution had been less than charitable in sending the defence documents at 11.30 pm the previous night.  Such a move prompted Mark Summers QC to request Judge Vanessa Baraitser to give their witness Patrick Eller an hour to peruse the prosecution material.  Eller, chief executive of Metadata Forensics and former digital forensic examiner at the US Army Criminal Investigation Command headquarters at Quantico, had submitted his written testimony some nine months previously.  Baraitser, on this occasion, acceded to the defence.

The day was further marked by a distinct lack of historical and computer literacy.  The judicial bench seemed unblemished by an awareness of certain details of the Chelsea Manning court martial, along with its important terminology; the prosecution seemed ignorant of testimony supplied at the trial by the government’s own forensic expert.

The indictment accuses Assange of conspiring with Manning to attempt to crack a password hash drawn from a conversation on the Jabber instant messaging service.  On the surface, this reads like the basis of a narrowly crafted computer offence.  The indictment is, however more broadly crafted, drawing upon the Espionage Act to target Assange for allegedly receiving pilfered data, including the Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs, the US Department of State Cables, and the Iraq rules of engagement files.  It is alleged that “Assange knew that Manning was unlawfully taking and disclosing them, and at the time Assange agreed to assist Manning in cracking the encrypted password hash [knowing] that Manning was taking and providing WikiLeaks with classified documents and records containing national defense information from classified databases.”  Both awareness, and action, become criminal ingredients.  

Assange, allegedly using the name Nathaniel Frank, was asked by Manning whether he was capable of cracking a password hash containing an encrypted hash of half a password.  Manning then sent a hexadecimal string taken from her computer network.  The hash was passed on to an expert; Frank admitted to having “no luck so far” decrypting it.

Had this been possible, the prosecution claims that it would have “made it more difficult for investigators to identify Manning as the source of the unauthorised disclosures of classified information.”  Cracking the encryption would have also given Manning access to an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) user account with greater access privileges.

The grounds for the defence, fashioned by Eller’s written testimony, are two-fold: “that the alleged passcode hash conspiracy was impossible, but even if it were possible, it has no utility to what is attributed to it.”  

Eller’s analysis of Manning’s court martial records was incisive.  In his assessment, Manning never supplied the two necessary files vital in reconstructing the decryption key for the pass word hash.  “At the time, it would not have been possible to crack an encrypted password hash, such as the one Manning obtained.”  What was “sent was insufficient to be able to crack the password in the way the government [has] prescribed.”

James Lewis QC for the prosecution attempted to find some agreement with Eller that Manning and Assange had “thought they could crack the password and agreed to attempt to crack it.”  The answer from Eller was not assuring.  A hash had been provided; they claimed to have “rainbow tables for it.”  (Rainbow tables being a decryption method applying different password values by means of guessing.) Nothing was ever stated on where the hash was from.  

Even more troublingly for the prosecution, Eller reminded Lewis that, “The government’s own expert witness in the [Manning] court martial stated that was not enough for them to actually be able to do it.”  Bruised by this reversal of fortune, Lewis could only assay a weak question.  “Are you aware Assange publicly boasted he is a fantastic hacker?”

Looming over the day’s events in thick reminder were the proceedings of the Manning court martial.  Consulting those records might have saved Lewis, and the court, some time.  Kevin Gosztola reminds us of the testimony of special agent for the Army Computer Crimes Investigating Unit, David Shaver.  On June 12, 2013, Shaver testified that the “hash value” was found in the chat, but was hardly the “full hash value”.  Major Thomas Hurley, for Manning’s defence, asked whether “the hash value included in the chat wouldn’t be enough to actually gain any passwords or user information”.  “Correct,” came Shaver’s response.

The “Nathaniel Frank” identity also proved slippery.  In re-examination, Summers dug to see if there was any evidence linking Assange to it.  None that he could see, came the reply from Eller, more than once.  The prosecution now, just as in the Manning trial, continue to scrounge for an elusive link.

With Eller’s testimony also came the seeds of doubt in the prosecution’s conspiracy charge.  Manning had, “[r]outinely and in the course of work,” downloaded the war log documents so as to have “offline backups” in the event the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) were it to suffer “connectivity issues”.  The SIPRNet, segregated from the internet, could be accessed from a sensitive compartmentalised information facility (SCIF).  By the time the alleged conversation with Assange took place on Jabber, Manning had already downloaded and leaked documents including the Iraq and Afghan war logs, the rules of engagement and “Collateral Murder” video and the Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs using her standard account on two secure computers.  The “documents named in the indictment that Manning sent after the alleged cracking attempt were the State Department cables,” which Manning was, in any case, authorised to access.

The US government claim that Assange made an agreement with Manning to crack a password in order to access the FTP user account collapses in a heap.  As Eller notes in his submission, “Manning already had legitimate access to all the databases from which she downloaded data.”  To log “into another user account would not have provided her with more access than she already possessed.”  It was also “unclear” to Ellery “that any anonymity would be gained by cracking the password to gain access to the ftp user account.”  

This was certainly relevant in terms of downloading documents passed on to WikiLeaks, as doing so would have been tracked by the army, the user identifiable by means of the IP address.  “Even if Manning was in fact logged into the ftp user account rather than her own normal account, this would have no effect on tracking,” Eller’s witness statement summarises the point.  “Merely logging into a different local user account on the computer (such as ftp user) would not anonymise Manning at all because the IP address of the computer would remain the same regardless of what user account is in use.”

Manning already had the means of accessing data via her own local computer, using a Linux CD which enabled her to read the files and bypass the security features of Windows.  Eller’s submission is sharply convincing.  “The technical impossibility of using the ftp user account to download data anonymously, combined with Manning’s past behaviour of downloading hundreds of thousands of documents from her own account, indicate that it is highly unlikely that Manning’s attempt to crack the ftp user password had anything to do with leaking documents.”

Eller’s testimony also gives an insight into how soldiers working with Manning at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq frequently took breaks to play computer games and listen to music.  Unauthorised software, stored on the T-drive of the SCIF, or on their work computers to chat, play games and music, were used.  Manning’s court martial revealed that soldiers often attempted to crack administrative passwords to gain access to such software.  As Jason Milliman, a computer engineer retained to manage laptops at the base explained, “soldiers cracked his password in order to install a program and then deleted his administrator account.”

The defence performance, in sinking the prosecution’s feeble password-cracking conspiracy with testimony drawn from the US government’s own forensic expert in the Manning trial, was impressive.  But commentators such as Gosztola fear that a degree of obsolescence specific to the computer charge has crept in.  The 2020 superseding indictment is a grab all rag bag of assertions claiming that Assange conspired with the hacktivist group LulzSec and propagandised his cause for reasons of recruiting sources in the US intelligence community as future WikiLeaks sources.  It was the sort of material that should have been excised from the extradition proceedings, but Judge Baraitser refused.  Show trials must have their scripts doctored for the occasion.

The article Assange’s Fourteenth Day At Old Bailey: Elections, Cracking Passwords And Failures Of Proof – OpEd appeared first on Eurasia Review.

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Counterintelligence from Michael_Novakhov (51 sites)

Trump and FBI – News Review from Michael_Novakhov (10 sites)


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Donald Trump: Trump Gripes ‘Fake News’ Didn’t Tout His Two Nobel Peace Prizes (That Never Existed)


The president has a habit of conflating a nomination and an award.

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Trump Investigations, Middle East, and Israel from Michael_Novakhov (18 sites): “Mueller Investigation and Middle East” – Google News: Trump the most pro-vet president | Letters to the – Citrus County Chronicle


Trump the most pro-vet president | Letters to the  Citrus County Chronicle

“Mueller Investigation and Middle East” – Google News

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NPR News Now: NPR News: 09-27-2020 12AM ET


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