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Venturebeat writes about WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

August 20, 2014
Either way, the notorious Internet publisher is already gearing up for a speaking schedule to promote his anti-Google book, When Google Met WikiLeaks.

In true WikiLeaks style, the book reveals a private conversation between Google chair Eric Schmidt and Assage. The book asserts that Schmidt (and Google) believe that technology will save the world by helping the United States achieve its foreign policy goals. Assange, ever the anarchist, believes technology will help the world become more “stateless.”

Read the entire article Venturebeat.

VICE Magazine runs an excerpt from Patrick Cockburn's THE JIHADIS RETURN

August 19, 2014
Despite these warnings, I was shocked a month or so later when, on the 10th of June, Mosul fell almost without a fight. Every derogatory story I had ever heard about the Iraqi army being a financial racket in which commanders bought their posts in order to grow rich on kickbacks and embezzlement turned out to be true. The ordinary soldiers may have run away in Mosul, but not as quickly as their generals, who turned up in civilian clothes in Erbil, the Kurdish capital. It had become apparent over the previous year that ISIS was run with a chilling blend of ideological fanaticism and military efficiency. Its campaign to take northern and western Iraq was expertly planned, choosing soft targets and avoiding well defended positions, or, as ISIS put it, moving “like a serpent through rocks”.

Read the full excerpt at VICE.

OLD WINE, BROKEN BOTTLE is reviewed at Counterfire

August 19, 2014
Finkelstein at one point claims that it ‘is child’s play not just to poke holes in but also turn on their head all of Shavit’s propositions’ (p.54), but perhaps he does not appreciate the ease with which those yearning for a redemption of the Zionist cause can be swept away by the propaganda of writers like Shavit. Old Wine, Broken Bottle not only blocks such a redemption, but is also a vital tool in the development of a counter-narrative for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian crisis to that predominantly portrayed in the media. The Jewish-American community’s growing estrangement from Israel may, indeed, not be reversed by My Promised Land. However, with the recent conflict in Gaza yielding over 1,900 dead at the time of writing, what seems more important to focus on is finding the spark that will move greater numbers in Jewish communities, in the US or internationally, to oppose loudly the occupation and current slaughter. As a hugely persuasive challenge to Zionist ideology, which for many underpins their tolerance of the Israeli government’s actions, Finkelstein’s latest critique might just provide that spark.

Read the full review at Counterfire.

Counterpunch reviews THE JIHADIS RETURN

August 19, 2014
The Jihadis Return is an important book. Albeit a bit too brief to cover the ever-changing situation in Iraq and Syria, it does provide a fairly comprehensive look at the non-state forces in the region, who they are backed by, the motives of those backers and the sectarian desires of those Cockburn calls jihadis. The picture that arises from this text is one whose primary characteristic is bloody and uncertain. As Cockburn makes clear, it is also a picture originally drawn by Washington with its support of the current government in Baghdad and now being redrawn by individuals and groups who feel they were left out of the picture. Their perception holds some truth; Washington’s client regime in Baghdad is seen as a Shia regime, in large part because its leaders have not only ignored Sunni demands for funds and fair treatment, but because it has attacked peaceful protests by Sunnis, locking up the participants and killing dozens. Whether or not the latest US-approved regime will continue these practices remains to be seen.

Read the full review at Counterpunch.

THE TORTURE REPORT author LARRY SIEMS pens op-ed with Jameel Jaffer for the LA Times

August 15, 2014
After more than a decade of denial and concealment on the part of our government, President Obama's recent acknowledgment that "we tortured some folks" felt like a milestone. Even in its spare, reductive phrasing, the president's statement opened up the possibility, finally, of national reflection, contrition and accountability.

But the president moved quickly to limit that conversation, painting those who authorized torture as "patriots" who were making difficult decisions under enormous pressure and urging the public not to feel "sanctimonious" because our military and intelligence leaders have "tough jobs."

Read the full op-ed at the Los Angeles Times.

PATRICK COCKBURN discusses the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria on Democracy Now!

August 13, 2014
The United States is sending 130 more troops to Iraq amidst a bombing campaign against ISIS militants in the north and a political crisis gripping Baghdad. We are joined by veteran Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn, author of the new book, "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising." Cockburn addresses the power struggle in Baghdad, Hillary Clinton’s claim that President Obama’s "failure" to support Syrian rebels helped fuel ISIS’s advance, the role of oil in the current U.S. airstrikes, and his fears that Iraq is entering a "new, more explosive era far worse than anything we’ve seen over the last 10 years."

Watch the full interview at Democracy Now!

TECHNOCREEP author THOMAS P. KEENAN interviewed for The Matthew Filipowicz Show

August 12, 2014
Coming up on today’s show we have Mariame Kaba back on the show to discuss some of the latest examples of police violence including the murder of 18 year old Michael Brown, and the brutality towards Denise Stewart. We also have Thomas Keenan here to discuss his new book, Technocreep: The Surrender of Privacy And the Capitalization of Intimacy.

Listen to the full interview on The Matthew Filipowicz Show.

THE JIHADIS RETURN is excerpted in Counterpunch

August 12, 2014

Iraq has disintegrated. Little is exchanged between its three great communities – Shia, Sunni and Kurd – except gunfire. The outside world hopes that a more inclusive government will change this but it is probably too late.

The main victor in the new war in Iraq is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) which wants to kill Shia rather than negotiate with them. Iraq is facing a civil war that could be as bloody as anything that we have seen in Syria and could go on for years.

Read the full excerpt on Counterpunch.

On MSNBC, Amy Goodman recommends THE JIHADIS RETURN by Patrick Cockburn

August 12, 2014

Watch the full video on MSNBC.

The Independent publishes an excerpt from THE JIHADIS RETURN by Patrick Cockburn

August 11, 2014

Iraq has disintegrated. Little is exchanged between its three great communities – Shia, Sunni and Kurd – except gunfire. The outside world hopes that a more inclusive government will change this but it is probably too late.

Read the full excerpt at The Independent.

Thomas P. Keenan, author of TECHNOCREEP, blogs at Psychology Today

August 11, 2014

Serial child rapist Charles Scott Robinson was given a 30,000 year sentence by an Oklahoma judge in 1994. Clearly, he won't live to see the end of it. But what if he could be made to think he's in jail for 30,000 years? The technologies to do this might soon be available. Would they be ethical? What if they are turned against us as a weapon?

As I explained in the “Body Creep” chapter of my new book, Technocreep, French philosopher Rebecca Roache has noted that there are drugs that alter our perception of the passing of time. Perhaps one could be used to trick the mind of prisoner into thinking that he was serving, say, a 1,000 year sentence. The same technology could be used by repressive regimes as a form of hideous torture.

Read the full piece at Psychology Today.

GOINGS and JOHN THE POSTHUMOUS on Reader's Digest list of "The Best Short Books You'll Ever Read"

August 8, 2014
No time for War and Peace? These great short books, recommended by Features Editor Dawn Raffel, are all under 150 pages. Warning: You'll want to linger.

Read the full list on Reader's Digest.


August 8, 2014

Norman Finkelstein will discuss his new book Old Wine, Broken Bottle on CSPAN-2 Saturday, August 9 at 7 PM ET.

For more details, see BookTV.

Pando Daily discusses the upcoming WHEN GOOGLE MET WIKILEAKS

August 7, 2014

In his upcoming book, When Google Met Wikileaks, Assange offers an edited transcript of his conversations with Google chairman Eric Schmidt while Assange was under house arrest at Ellingham Hall in the UK.

In the book, Assange cites several of Yasha Levine’s Surveillance Valley investigations, and writes that “my discussion of [the ties between Google and the military/intelligence industry] draws on Levine’s research.”

Read the full post at Pando Daily.

ORLANDO LUIS PARDO LAZO is featured on the PEN Ten by PEN America

August 7, 2014

What is the responsibility of the writer?

Writing is too important to be left in the hands of writers. The only responsibility of a writer is not pretending to be a writer. Just being one is enough.

Read the full interview at PEN America.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN discusses the situation in Gaza on Democracy Now!

August 5, 2014
After a nearly month-long assault that left at least 1,865 Palestinians dead, Israel has pulled its ground forces from the Gaza Strip under the 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect earlier today. Israeli and Palestinian factions have agreed to attend talks in Cairo on a longer-term agreement. Gaza officials say the vast majority of Palestinian victims were civilians in the Israeli offensive that began on July 8. Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have been killed. Palestinians are returning to homes and neighborhoods that have seen a massive amount of destruction. Nearly a quarter of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents were displaced during the fighting which destroyed more than 3,000 homes. The ceasefire was reached after international outrage over Palestinian civilian deaths peaked, with even Israel’s chief backer, the United States, criticizing recent Israeli shelling of United Nations shelters that killed scores of displaced Palestinians. To discuss the lead-up to the ceasefire and what to expect from the talks in Cairo, we are joined by author and scholar Norman Finkelstein.

Watch the full discussion on Democracy Now!.

The Prague Post reviews BOWIE by SIMON CRITCHLEY

August 4, 2014

Critchley’s little biography (a mere 185 pages) of the pop iconoclast is brilliant in its analysis and utterly engaging in its personal intersections with the singer’s lyrics, art and philosophy over a period roughly half a century long. Like many of Dylan’s fans, Critchley has been on the Bowie train through the many hills and valleys of Bowie’s long dazed journey into night, and into its many dawns.

For those of a certain age (and I count myself one), whose lifespans have encompassed all the traumas, turmoils and ch-ch-changes of the last 50 years, beginning with the Kennedy assassination and leading, in seemingly ever rapid succession, to a world conditioned by the Internet of Things and the quest for the Singularity, the shedding of all the emperor’s old clothes that leaves us with our chilling naked data bits exposed, David Bowie is an ideal avatar to reflect that cumulative zeitgeist.

And though Critchley certainly has the credentials and tools to have put Bowie under an academic microscope, with all manner of technical textual analysis, he wisely chooses to keep it personal, becoming in the process his own operant under scrutiny, vis-à-vis the Bowie influence.

Read the full review at the Prague Post.

Salon runs an excerpt from THE BIG DISCONNECT

August 4, 2014

Ten years ago, many political activists had high hopes for the Internet. Political strategist Joe Trippi, who managed Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign for president, imagined “huge, involved communities around political issues and candidates … these people would be an army, ready to mobilize at the first sign that the government was doing that top-down, trust-us-we-know-what’s-best-for-you crap that people were so sick of … The American people are going to learn how to organize themselves and then watch out.”

From the world of academia, Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler argued that the Internet had enabled the rise of a new “networked public sphere” that was more open to diverse voices and less driven by big money, and that this new media system would nurture a politics that was more small-d democratic. Over the years, Benkler has pointed to a series of Net-driven successes, including the 2004 blogger-led boycott of Sinclair Broadcasting, the Diebold voting machine scandal, the many revelations published by WikiLeaks, and the grass-roots defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) as proof of this power shift.

But it hasn’t happened. Ten years since the Internet first emerged as a mass platform for political engagement, power and wealth are incontrovertibly more concentrated than they were a decade ago.

Read the full excerpt at Salon.


July 31, 2014
In When Google Met WikiLeaks, Assange’s upcoming book featuring a 2011 face-to-face conversation with Google executive Eric Schmidt, Assange explained the then-new cryptocurrency to the leader of the world’s most powerful technology company.

At the time, Bitcoin had just surpassed the U.S. dollar in price and was being sold for just over 1€. Bitcoin has since reached peaks above $1,000 and currently sits at a $576 average sales price.

While talking to Schmidt, Assange recommended he “should get into the Bitcoin system now” in order to reap the most rewards.

It’s no surprise that Assange was one of the earliest big investors in the Bitcoin economy.

Read the full article on The Daily Dot.

OLD WINE, BROKEN BOTTLE reviewed in the New York Review of Books

July 29, 2014

In the toxic environment that characterizes much, if not most, debate on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, a special poison is reserved for the liberal Zionist. Such a person, who stands by Israel even as he yearns for it to change, is fated to be hated by both camps: hawkish Zionists despise the liberal for going too far in his criticisms, accusing him of a hand-wringing betrayal of the cause that can only comfort the enemy, while anti-Zionists denounce the liberal for not going far enough, for failing to follow the logic of his position through to its conclusion and for thereby defending the indefensible. The liberal Zionist is branded either a hypocrite or an apologist or both.

The treatment meted out to My Promised Land, a personal history of Israel by Ari Shavit, a columnist for Israel’s left-leaning daily Haaretz, is a case in point. The laptop warriors on both sides donned their familiar armor and set about attacking the book from right and left. “Far from self-criticism, this is simply self-debasement,” wrote the former World Jewish Congress official Isi Leibler in The Jerusalem Post, suggesting that among Shavit’s motives was an ingratiating desire to win “endorsement from the liberal glitterati for whom debasement of the Jewish state has become a key component of their liberal DNA.” Meanwhile, the leftist academic Norman G. Finkelstein has devoted an entire, if short, book to taking down My Promised Land. In Old Wine, Broken Bottle he insists that Shavit’s insights “comprise a hardcore of hypocrisy and stupidity overlaid by a tinsel patina of arrogance and pomposity. He’s a know-nothing know-it-all who, if ever there were a contest for world’s biggest schmuck, would come in second.”

Read the full review at the New York Review of Books.