1. More on Holder.
Although I have received no response from the Russian Ministry of Justice, I am happy to report that A.G. Eric Holder's remarkable letter is getting the kind of attention it deserves. Bill Black:
The idea that the Attorney General of the United States of America would send such a letter to the representative of a foreign government, particularly Russia under the leadership of a former KGB official, was so preposterous that I thought the first news report I read about Attorney General Holder’s letter concerning Edward Snowden was satire. The joke, however, was on me. The Obama and Bush administrations have so disgraced the reputation of the United States’ criminal justice system that we are forced to promise KGB alums that we will not torture our own citizens if Russia extradites them for prosecution.
To be fair, Konovalov has no KGB history that I know of. He's only 44. And a religious fellow never would have gotten into the old
Holder phrased his explanation in a manner that suggests he was trying to be clever: “Torture is unlawful in the United States.” “Gitmo,” of course, is not “in the United States.” The locations of the many secret prisons the U.S. established in other nations were chosen so that we could torture suspects. The infamous historical parallel for this is that it was unlawful to hold slaves in England – but England could dominate the Atlantic slave trade and hold millions of slaves in the Caribbean islands because slavery was unlawful only “in” England under English law.2. Cruise control.
More subtly, note that Holder says that torture is “unlawful” – not “illegal.” An act that is merely “unlawful” cannot be prosecuted as a crime. It may provide the basis for a civil suit. An “illegal” act can be prosecuted.
Some people still scoff at the notion that Michael Hastings' car (or your
car) could be controlled by outside forces. Here's a BBC story
in which two DARPA experts demonstrate how the job can be done by laptop.
They filmed themselves in the back of one of the vehicles steering it left and right, activating the brakes and showing the fuel gauge drop to zero, all while the vehicle was under driver control and in motion.
cable used in hack The cable used to connect the devices to the ECUs via the diagnostics port.
A spokesman for Toyota told the BBC that because the hardware had to be physically connected inside the car, he did not consider it to be "hacking".
"Altered control can only be made when the device is connected. After it is disconnected the car functions normally," he said.
"We don't consider that to be 'hacking' in the sense of creating unexpected behaviour, because the device must be connected - ie the control system of the car physically altered.
"The presence of a laptop or other device connected to the OBD [on board diagnostics] II port would be apparent."
The need for an OBD connection does seem to be the difficult part. Still, our spooks are an imaginative and resourceful lot.
I imagine that once a bad guy has slim-jimmed his way into the vehicle, it's simply a matter of slipping a small transmitter into the OBD. Such an alteration might well go unnoticed. This transmitter could send a wireless signal to another device hidden elsewhere. Would you
notice if a 7-inch tablet were secreted under your seat?
Also see here
3. And now...PLANES!
A GPS flaw can allow "terrorists" to control a plane or a ship
. (Notice how the idea of a spook
doing such a thing is unmentionable.)
‘We injected our spoofing signals into its GPS antennas and we’re basically able to control its navigation system with our spoofing signals,’ Todd Humphreys of UT told the news station.
(There are certain conspiracy theorists, fixated on a certain event in 2001, who are now salivating at the chance to get their collective foot into this blog's door. NOT A CHANCE.)
4. Hate control.
If you are a connoisseur of fake news, savor this
. Normally, Fox wouldn't publish the ravings of a lunatic behind bars -- the lunatic, in this case, being former Army shrink Nidal Hasan, the accused Fort Hood shooter. Normally, the government wouldn't allow said ravings to be recorded.
Conclusion: This whole thing is a set-up designed to rally the Islamophobic right. Check it out:
“My complicity was on behalf of a government that openly acknowledges that it would hate for the law of Almighty Allah to be the supreme law of the land," the 42-year-old Army psychiatrist said.”
"...The supreme law of the land..." This sentiment ties right in with the delusions of our own Christian loonies, who desperately want to believe that Muslims are scheming to establish "the caliphate" in the United States. In reality, not even Osama Bin Laden ever expressed such a desire.
Frankly, I never paid much attention to the Fort Hood shooting -- until now. Perhaps I was wrong to take the news stories about that event at face value, because it sure seems as though Hasan is reading from a script. This guy ain't talking like a real
jihadi. He's talking the way a jihadi talks in the imagination of your average Southern Baptist ninny who gets all his news from Fox. He's a jihadi from central casting.
(Sort of like LHO on communism, by way of Kerry Thornley.)