Podcast Show #17

The Boiling Frogs Presents Mark Klein

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Mark Klein provides us with his personal account of the illegal spying apparatus installed at AT&T by the National Security Agency and his battle as a whistleblower to bring it to light. He talks about the difficulties in getting a reluctant media to report the story, the incredible betrayal by the L.A. Times, his role as a witness in a lawsuit brought against AT&T by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the alarming state of our civil liberties today, the need for vigilant activism, and more.

MarkKlein Mark Klein is a former AT&T technician who disclosed knowledge of his company's cooperation with the United States National Security Agency (NSA) in installing network hardware to monitor and process American telecommunications. The subsequent media coverage became a major story in May 2006. In recognition of his actions, the Electronic Frontier Foundation picked Klein as one of the winners of its 2008 Pioneer Awards. Klein worked for AT&T as a technician for over 22 years, first in New York and then in California, before retiring in 2004. He is the author of Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine And Fighting It.

Here is our guest Mark Klein unplugged!

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  1. Just testing the comment section’s function. By the way: where are the comments on this?

  2. Hi Sibel and PeterB. Thank you very much for this interview. It is a great way to start out the New Year. I have of course heard the story of Mark Klein, but I’ve never heard an interview with him before. We are very fortunate to have people like Mark and Sibel who have the courage to expose the National Security State.

    And a special thank you to PeterB for his wonderful interviewing skills and his dedication to real journalism. He has shown a steadfast commitment to true Freedom of the Press. If only there were more journalists like him, then we would be in the situation we’re in today. Here is a link to the previous interview that PeterB did with Mark Klein in July on his website. Podcast 19 with Mark Klein.

    Happy New Year! And please continue doing what your doing. You give a great example to all of us, and give us the courage to speak out and challenge the powers that be.

    One last thing. I want to encourage people to watch a documentary called “Century of the Self”. This is a 4 part documentary (4 hours) about the Public Relations industry, and how it manipulates peoples desires to create false demands. And it shows how this same technique was then applied to Politics to sell candidates to the public. The latest example is of course Barack Obama’s false Hope and Change PR campaign. Here’s a link to Part 1.

  3. My thanks to Mark and Sibel both for having the courage to bring so much information forth into the light of day. Great interview Peter, and it covered so much ground it is hard to comment on it all. Sibel made an excellent point that all of this continues only because of our never ending war on this and that. WWI, WWII, were great money makers for the financiers who fund all sides of every issue to keep the weapons coming and most importantly, the debt high. This was covered very well in the movie The International.

    When WWII ended the military industrial complex needed something with legs to keep the debt flowing. The Cold War was just the ticket. It had great legs and ran on until the Soviet Union ended. Got to keep this going – so next in line was the War on Terror – waiting in the wings. This one not only has legs but it can fly too and should keep the debt flowing for some time. Werner von Braun, when he was dying of cancer in 1977 told one of his associates that after the Cold War, there would be a war on “Terror” (a term not then used). He also said that after that they would play the alien invasion card. What a great one to convince people that Globalization is necessary – and there you have it – one World Corpratocracy. Ronald Reagan eluded to this early on – in 1985.

    The President first disclosed his recurrent thoughts about “an alien threat” during a December 4, 1985, speech at the Fallston High School in Maryland, where he spoke about his first summit with General Secretary Gorbachev in Geneva. According to a White House transcript, Reagan remarked that during his 5-hour private discussions with Gorbachev, he told [Gorbachev] to think, “how easy his task and mine might be in these meetings that we held if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet outside in the universe. We’d forget all the little local differences that we have between our countries …”

    I thought this appropriate for the current AT&T discussion since in my time in data communications (During the Star Wars sagas), we used to call their logo, the AT&T Death Star. 🙂

    Sibel, what happened to the government of the People, by the People and for the People was it ended when the courts gave corporations (Artificial Persons) more rights than human People – something Thomas Jefferson warned about. The campaign to dumb us down has been very successful and again, the Debt card has kept everyone focused on keeping their heads above water in the flood of Debt. There are lots of fears to play on. As you said – perhaps we deserve it. Are we still the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave? I think not on both counts. But – there are always individuals who light the way and give people hope and yes, maybe even courage. You folks are doing that – and that is a good thing.

  4. @Dennis – I would like you to consider that the “alien threat” you refer to has materialized in the form of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). I know this statement will stir some controversy, but AGW fulfills the role of a global enemy. While it doesn’t meet all the criteria of a war-like enemy, it does have a propaganda benefit in that it appeals to those who are inherently against war. So while the Greens rally around AGW, the Warriors rally around the War on Terror. Coordinating and controlling these seemingly contradictory movements towards one end becomes the mission of the Ruling Elite.

    But back to your comments on the War on Terror. There was some confusion after the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the Soviet Union. As you say, a new enemy was needed to justify the huge defense spending. At first the War on Drugs was used, but this only had partial success as a propaganda tool. Then there was some anti-Arab and anti-Muslim enemies that were conjured up such as Libya’s Qadaffi, but again with limited success. Finally with 9/11 the War on Terror was devised and turned out to be exactly what the propagandists needed – although if you look at the “terrorist threat” objectively it is hardly an enemy worth spending trillions of dollars on. But the propaganda machine was able to amplify the fear and hate factors using the “new Pearl Harbor” of 9/11 as the centerpiece of their PR campaign.

    As it is, people are finally tiring of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Americans were promised these would be quick wars, but that was never the plan. They were always intended to be long term occupations, but the American people could not be told this in the beginning or else there would not have been as much support.

    As Sibel points out, Americans need to be courageous. As long as we fear the government or the false terrorist threat, we are easily manipulated.

  5. @FrankHope: A War On Global Warming does admittedly fit the bill of Big Huge Scary Threat in some ways, but there’s one major difference: no one is suggesting that we need to give up our rights, or torture people, or attack someone, in order to prevail. Pretty much all of the responses being advocated are at least arguably sensible, and many of them seem like pretty good ideas in general (e.g. curing ourselves of oil addiction), whether or not you believe GW is even happening.

    Indeed, the only circumstances in which I can see it becoming immediately scary enough to be used to coerce people into fear-based voting is if the threat from GW is in fact real, *and* we ignore it long enough that climate-induced famines, floods, etc. begin to pose a threat to international stability.

    Which is pretty exactly the direction we’ve been heading so far, isn’t it.

  6. Awesome interview, and very solid information. Solid enough in my opinion to be plastered on newspaper front pages. How the obvious illegality of planting the “splitter” got morphed into the vague non-illegality of data collection seems beyond even congress when I hear how Mark Klein explained it. They’re supposed to be lawyers, right? But I guess these people in the media that apparently couldn’t see the forest for the trees in Mark Klein’s case and even ratted him out are *supposed* to be journalists. 60 minutes reframing and editing your story Sibel may have surprised me a few months ago, but not after I saw the childish, blatantly (suspiciously) misinformed, haughtily politicized and insulting Mike Wallace interview with Iranian president Ahhmadinejad *that he won an Emmy for!* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNzrNEFs1E . It sounds very difficult when whistleblowers go against the false political agenda that people in the media, courts, and government believe is reality. Speaking of extraterrestrials, it reminds me of a Doctor Who quote: “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  7. I agree this was a great interview. I give praises to both Mr. Collins and Sibel for asking great questions, and Mr. Klein giving informative, and exceptional answers.
    I wasn’t even aware of what the LA Times did to Mr. Klein, although I knew about the gutless New York Times, and how they caved to the Bush Adminstration on holding that story for a year, since if it was released in a timely manner, Bush would have lost his re-election bid. (Mind you, Sen Kerry wouldn’t have done anything to change what was going on at that time.)
    Dianne Feinstein proves again she’s totally worthless, as well as another person who profits from the Military-Industrial Complex. Her husband(who’s name escapes me) I believe is either a CEO of a Defense related company or has ties to it. (Can’t seem to remember)
    Looking forward to hearing Mr. Ellsberg’s interview. I had the wonderful privilige of seeing Mr. Ellsberg give a wonderful talk on how we need more whistleblowers, and that they need to be protected. I’m sure if you type in any search engine Daniel Ellsberg Future of Freedom Foundation, you’ll be able to see his talk.
    Sibel, your daughter is just like her Mom. Beautiful, and charming. I’m thinking to she will be a pain in the arse of the establishment as well. Best wishes always.

  8. @woozie – If you want to believe in little green men or man-made global warming that’s up to you. Just don’t ask me to pay one dime in your fight against a fantasy global enemy. These are the same scare tactics that are used to get people to support the “Global War on Terror”. I would have thought that people would have figured this out by now.

    What rights will we be asked to give up in the fight against Global Warming? How about the right to have children for starters. Just look at China’s One Child Policy. China was not so subtly lobbying for a Carbon Credit for its One Child Policy. You see in their eyes they should be compensated for the unborn children that otherwise would be contributing to increased CO2. Of course this is no more silly then paying a country for not cutting down its trees. I’m all in favor of preserving the forests of the world, but this is absolutely the most idiotic approach possible. A forest should be “valued” for what it is. What is the monetary value of America’s National Parks? I would say that they are priceless – in the most absolute sense of the word. The same goes for the Amazon Forest. Once you put a Carbon Price on forests, you have declared that they are expendable at the right price.

    The environmental movement has lost its soul. It has sold out to Global Warming hysteria. Please, don’t be fooled. Continue fighting for the environment, but don’t allow yourself to be co-opted by the Carbon Traders.

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