....LMB: "Cloak & Dagger Diplomacy"....

March 01, 2003

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

The Observer newspaper claims to have a leaked document from the US National Security Agency which ordered intense surveillance of the UN Security Council members who are undecided about the decision to invade Iraq.

"The memo is directed at senior NSA officials and advises them that the agency is 'mounting a surge' aimed at gleaning information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also 'policies', 'negotiating positions', 'alliances' and 'dependencies' - the 'whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises'."

This surveillance also seems to include tapping the home and office phones of UN delegates.

Not the sort of thing that's going to win you friends.

But like I said at the beginning, I shouldn't be surprised. I imagine all governments do their best to spy on all relevant aspects of other governments, both ally and enemy.

[thanks to Atrios]

Posted by Jake at 05:30 PM

Hi, came across your site through MT. Have you read Michael Savage's book Savage Nation? I don't know if you would like him, but it's great.
He also has a great radio show.

Posted by: Greg Soon at March 1, 2003 06:00 PM


Did you actually read anything on my site?

Posted by: Jake at March 1, 2003 10:17 PM

I can answer that for Greg. No he didn't. In fact he didn't read Greg Palast's book, either. By the way, his real name is Weiner, not Savage, and that's pronounced like "whiner" not "weener." I'm just literate enough in german that I know this to be correct.

Uhm..Greg most certainly didn't read either book, because reading hurts his lips, ya know? But he listens to Rush all the time, and Rush told him how great the book is, so that's good enough for Greg.

Posted by: Lurch at March 2, 2003 02:38 AM

Isn't Michael Savage the guy who told Charles Barkley to "go shine some shoes" once?

Posted by: Eric at March 2, 2003 06:20 PM

Jake, your last paragraph sums it all up perfectly. Our government does things that most people think only other governments do. By the way,is there some kind of conservative infiltration going on here. Greg, get a life.

Posted by: Larry at March 2, 2003 08:23 PM

I always felt that the UN was an American invention whose purpose was to make all those other countries feel important. They're not really, at least not the US government's eyes, but they should not be made to feel their insignificance.

We break UN resolutions from time to time, we say nothing when our friends, like Israel, do. We offer many countries financial insentives to go along with whatever we want to do on the world stage. We twist arms when we have to and now we know, we spy on the delegates when neccessary. We get really pissed when countries that are not doing what we want them to do break UN resolutions, like those evil folks in Iraq.

It was a great idea to have the UN building located in New York, wasn't it? On our soil, with our security and our strong financial support. Yea, right.

Anybody know just how much we give to the UN for it's operations?

Posted by: jim at March 3, 2003 12:06 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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