Interesting story about the Gulfstream II jet filled with 3.7 tons of cocaine that crashed in the Yucatan a couple of weeks ago. According to the Austin American Statesman, this plane has previously flown to Guantanamo Bay, which has a highly restricted airspace:
Some news reports have linked the plane to the transport of terrorist suspects to the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but those reports cite logs that indicate only that the plane flew twice between Washington and Guantánamo and once between Oxford, Conn., and Guantánamo.
No terrorist suspects are known to have been transferred to Guantánamo directly from the United States.
The jet, with the tail number N987SA, changed hands twice in recent weeks. But how it ended up in the hands of suspected drug traffickers remains a mystery.
The Mexican attorney general’s office said the blue and white Gulfstream II crashed Monday in a remote jungle area on the Yucatán Peninsula. Authorities seized 132 bags of cocaine weighing four tons.
Mad Cow Morning News visited the owners of the plane, “Donna Blue Aircraft Inc” of Coconut Beach FL., and discovered that it’s an “empty office suite with a blank sign out front.”
There was no sign of Donna Blue Aircraft, Inc., at the address listed at the Florida Dept. of Corporations, 4811 Lyons Technology Parkway #8 in Coconut Beach FL.
However, there were, oddly enough, a half-dozen unmarked police cars parked directly in front of the empty suite.
Phone calls to Butters Development, the industrial park’s leasing agent, went unreturned.
Moreover the brief description of Donna Blue on its Internet page, apparently designed to “flesh out the ghost a little,” is such a clumsy half-hearted effort that it defeats the purpose of helping aid the construction of a plausible “legend,” or cover, and ends up doing more harm than good…
For example, the website features a quote from a satisfied Donna Blue Aircraft customer. Unfortunately his name is “John Doe.” And the listed phone number is right out of the movies: 415.555-5555.
It’s simple: who profits from a prolonged War on Drugs?
Rudy Giuliani on whether or not it’s a problem that China owns so much of our federal debt: “the way to balance to books is to sell more overseas — sell energy independence, sell health care.”
John McCain on monetary policy: “I’m glad whenever they cut interest rates, I wish interest rates were zero.”
Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
– Rudolph W. Giuliani
About a year ago I was surprised when I saw an image of my son in an ad for a shop called “Vinderen Elektriske”, selling electronics.
I immediately contacted the editor of the magazine in question, “Vinderen Magasinet”. She directed me to the advertiser and the designer behind the ad. I contacted the designer. She had found the image “on the internet” and reacted like I was rude and angry without any reason when I told her that she couldn’t use the image without my permission. I was obviously talking to a professional designer with absolutely no knowledge of intellectual property laws.
The use of my image is a very clear violation of several paragraphs in those laws. Both because I own the rights to the image and because they need permission from the easily recognizable person in the image.
So I called the manager of the shop responsible for the ad. He was not very friendly either and simply directed me to their lawyer. Probably in hope of me simply forgetting about it because I didn’t want to fight their lawyer.
Unfortunately for them this simply pissed me off. Seriously.
Why is it that shitbag companies like Vinderen can get away with IP violations for just $4000 while RIAA gets $220k?
A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.
Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company’s Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.
The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group’s communications network.
“Techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless,” said Rita Katz, the firm’s 44-year-old founder, who has garnered wide attention by publicizing statements and videos from extremist chat rooms and Web sites, while attracting controversy over the secrecy of SITE’s methodology. Her firm provides intelligence about terrorist groups to a wide range of paying clients, including private firms and military and intelligence agencies from the United States and several other countries.
The security contracts awarded to Blackwater USA in Iraq were done so for primarily political reasons, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia told Joe Scarborogh today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
It is important to realize that Hirsi Ali may be the first refugee from Western Europe since the Holocaust. As such, she is a unique and indispensable witness to both the strength and weakness of the West: to the splendor of open society, and to the boundless energy of its antagonists. She knows the challenges we face in our struggle to contain the misogyny and religious fanaticism of the Muslim world, and she lives with the consequences of our failure each day. There is no one in a better position to remind us that tolerance of intolerance is cowardice.
There is also the matter of broken promises: Hirsi Ali was persuaded to run for Parliament, and to become the world’s most visible and imperiled spokeswoman for the rights of Muslim women, on the understanding that she would be provided security for as long as she needed it. Gerrit Zalm, in his capacity as both the deputy prime minister and the minister of finance, promised her such security without qualification. Most shamefully, Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, has recommended that Hirsi Ali simply quit the Netherlands, while refusing to grant her even a week’s protection outside the country during which she might raise funds to hire security of her own. Is this a craven attempt to placate Muslim fanatics? A warning to other Dutch dissidents not to stir up trouble by speaking too frankly about Islam? Or just pure thoughtlessness?
It took the jury in Capitol Records v. Thomas only five minutes to conclude 30-year-old Jammie Thomas infringed recording industry copyrights on 24 music tracks, according to the first juror to speak out on the verdict.
The remaining five hours of deliberation was spent debating the appropriate financial penalty, with jurors haggling for both higher and lower awards, before settling last week on the final $222,000 figure, according to juror Michael Hegg, in an exclusive interview with THREAT LEVEL Tuesday.
During a 45-minute telephone interview, Hegg said jurors found that Thomas’ defense — that she was the victim of a spoof — was unbelievable.
“She should have settled out of court for a few thousand dollars,” Hegg said. “Spoofing? We’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, you got to be kidding.’ ”
“She’s a liar,” added Hegg, who just returned home following his 14-hour night shift.
Hegg added that the jury believed Thomas’ liability was magnified because she turned over to RIAA investigators a different hard drive than the one used to share music. “She lied,” he said. “There was no defense. Her defense sucked.”
Monday saw the passing into law of Part three of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, specifying the requirements for disclosure of encryption keys to law enforcement. More than half a decade after it was first conceived, this highly controversial legislation empowers official investigators and the judiciary to demand encryption keys from suspects and their agents to enable them to decrypt information seized in the course of criminal investigations.
The distinction between a legal obligation to decrypt data and a legal obligation to hand over the encryption keys has worried many observers throughout the whole period this legislation has been in the pipeline. It has been suggested that the interests of third parties might be jeopardised: for example, a bank might be exposed if one of its customers were ordered to hand over their encryption key. Others have raised objections from a civil liberties perspective, some even postulating that encryption is dead as no key will be sacrosanct.
But before such a “Section 49″ notice can be issued, there must be a clear case for access to the encrypted information on grounds of national security, crime prevention or national economic necessity. The notice must be approved at Commissioner level or by the judiciary, and can only be issued if the information cannot be accessed without the key being provided.
“Crime prevention” is vague enough to cover just about everything…