Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road, Bitcoin Whale, Analysis


Dread Pirate Roberts, Silk Road, Bitcoin Whale, Analysis

Published 10 hours ago on September 15, 2018

By Coinnounce – Coin Announcements



At the point when Bitcoin dove as much as 15 percent more than two days a week ago, a hypothesis developed – what other place? – on the Internet: a whale was moving.

According to Chainalysis Inc., which gives cryptocurrency following apparatuses to companies and law requirement, 50 exchanges including a sum of 50,500 Bitcoins starting from that whale’s wallet were moved between Aug. 23 and 30. In view of Aug. 22’s end price in Bloomberg’s composite information, they would be worth about $320 million. Chainalysis said they can’t confirm that the coins entered exchanges.


On crypto news destinations, Reddit and Twitter, a few spectators theorized that the wallet is connected to Ross Ulbricht, who passed by the false name “Dread Pirate Roberts,” the convicted administrator for Silk Road, an online commercial center for unlawful products that was one of the early adopters of Bitcoin. Another hypothesis is that it is related with Mt. Gox, a collapsed Tokyo-based exchange that needs to pay back its loan bosses by selling a portion of its remaining Bitcoin property.

As Bitcoin tumbled a week ago, the community was likewise ablaze with a longstanding exchange ShapeShift’s choice to begin collecting clients’ close to home data and reports that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was withdrawing on close term intends to set up a crypto exchanging work area. Bitcoin dropped 8.5 percent in the five days through Sept. 7. It’s up 0.6 percent so far this week.

The planning of the whale’s moves – in Chainalysis’ telling – doesn’t precisely coincide with the price decays, however the theory alone may have contributed to the selloff.

“There will dependably be these chronicled tends to that become a smidgen of a fortune chase nearly – their identity and when individuals move them truly sparks intrigue,”

said Danny Scott, co-founder at CoinCorner, a crypto exchange and wallet supplier situated in Isle of Man.

“There’s such a great amount of clamor around the business and it’s difficult to weed out what’s really occurring off camera.”

Man who killed bin Laden says it may be ‘worst thing I’ve ever done’

Man who killed bin Laden says it may be ‘worst thing I’ve ever done’


Former US Navy Seal Robert O’Neill reportedly shot the al-Qaeda leader in Abbottabad, Pakistan in 2011

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13 SEPTEMBER 2018, 02:28
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The man who killed Osama bin Laden said shooting the al-Qaeda leader may be “the worst thing” he’s “ever done.”

During an interview on British television marking the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, former U.S. Navy Seal Robert O’Neill said he was unsure whether killing the man behind the 9/11 attacks was the best thing he’s ever done or the worst.

O’Neill claims to have been the one who shot and killed bin Laden during a raid on the al-Qaeda leader’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011.

US appoints ‘PKK commander’ to spearhead attacks against Syrian opposition in Idlib

PKK terrorist Servan Darwish has been assigned by the US administration to conduct attacks in Idlib

He recalled bin Laden’s two-year-old son witnessing the deadly U.S. raid.

“Me, being a father, and thinking this poor kid has nothing to do with this. I realized this isn’t over and I wish no one had to see this stuff. But it was a kind of a realization that we are not going to win this war through bullets and guns but through education.”

“It’s a shame we have to live that way, we are not afraid of it, just aware,” said the 42-year-old retired seal when asked whether he lives in fear after taking part in the operation and revealing his identity.

After his retirement from service, O’Neill went on to work as a writer and give public speeches.

Edward Snowden Reconsidered

Edward Snowden Reconsidered

Tamsin ShawSeptember 13, 2018, 7:00 am

Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty ImagesFormer NSA contractor Edward Snowden delivering a speech by video-link from Russia to a conference in Lisbon, Portugal, May 30, 2017

This summer, the fifth anniversary of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance passed quietly, adrift on a tide of news that now daily sweeps the ground from under our feet. It has been a long five years, and not a period marked by increased understanding, transparency, or control of our personal data. In these years, we’ve learned much more about how Big Tech was not only sharing data with the NSA but collecting vast troves of information about us for its own purposes. And we’ve started to see the strategic ends to which Big Data can be put. In that sense, we’re only beginning to comprehend the full significance of Snowden’s disclosures.

This is not to say that we know more today about Snowden’s motivations or aims than we did in 2013. The question of whether or not Snowden was a Russian asset all along has been raised and debated. No evidence has been found that he was, just as no evidence has been found that he was a spy for China. His stated cause was the troubling expansion of surveillance of US citizens, but most of the documents he stole bore no relation to this avowed concern. A small percentage of what Snowden released of the 1.7 million documents that intelligence officials believe he accessed did indeed yield important information about domestic programs—for example, the continuation of Stellar Wind, a vast warrantless surveillance program authorized by George W. Bush after 9/11, creating legal structures for bulk collection that Obama then expanded. But many of them concerned foreign surveillance and cyberwarfare. This has led to speculation that he was working on behalf of some other organization or cause. We can’t know.

Regardless of his personal intentions, though, the Snowden phenomenon was far larger than the man himself, larger even than the documents he leaked. In retrospect, it showed us the first glimmerings of an emerging ideological realignment—a convergence, not for the first time, of the far left and the far right, and of libertarianism with authoritarianism. It was also a powerful intervention in information wars we didn’t yet know we were engaged in, but which we now need to understand.

In 2013, the good guys and bad guys appeared to sort themselves into neat and recognizable groups. The “war on terror” still dominated national security strategy and debate. It had made suspects of thousands of ordinary civilians, who needed to be monitored by intelligence agencies whose focus throughout the cold war had been primarily on state actors (the Soviet Union and its allies) that were presumed to have rational, if instrumental intentions. The new enemy was unreason, extremism, fanaticism, and it was potentially everywhere. But the Internet gave the intelligence community the capacity, if not the legal right, to peer behind the curtains of almost any living room in the United States and far beyond.

Snowden, by his own account, came to warn us that we were all being watched, guilty and innocent alike, with no legal justification. To those concerned primarily with security, the terrorists were the hidden hostile force. To many of those concerned about liberty, the “deep state” monitoring us was the omnipresent enemy. Most people managed to be largely unconcerned about both. But to the defenders of liberty, whether left liberals or libertarians, Snowden was straightforwardly a hero. Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian at the time, said of him:

His motives are remarkable. Snowden set out to expose the true behaviour of the US National Security Agency. On present evidence he has no interest in money… Nor does he have the kind of left-wing or Marxist sentiments which could lead him to being depicted as un-American. On the contrary, he is an enthusiast for the American constitution, and, like other fellow “hacktivists,” is a devotee of libertarian politician Ron Paul, whose views are well to the right of many Republicans.

The patriotic right, the internationalist left: these were the recognized camps in the now far-distant world of 2013. Snowden, who kept a copy of the US Constitution on his desk at the NSA, could be regarded by his sympathizers as a patriot engaging in a lone act of bravery for the benefit of all.

Of course, it wasn’t a solitary act. Snowden didn’t want to be purely a whistleblower like Mark Felt or Daniel Ellsberg; he wanted to be a figurehead. And he largely succeeded. For the last five years, the quietly principled persona he established in the public mind has galvanized opposition to the American “deep state,” and it has done so, in part, because it was promoted by an Academy Award-winning documentary film in which Snowden starred, a feature film about him directed by Oliver Stone in which he made an appearance, and the many talks he gives by video-link that have become his main source of income. He now has 3.83 million Twitter followers. He is an “influencer,” and a powerful one. Any assessment of the impact of his actions has to take into account not just the content of the documents he leaked, but the entire Edward Snowden Show.

In fact, most of what the public knows about Snowden has been filtered through the representations of him put together by a small, tight circle of chosen allies. All of them were, at the time, supporters of WikiLeaks, with whom Snowden has a troubled but intimate relationship. He initially considered leaking documents through WikiLeaks but changed his mind, he claims, in 2012 when Assange was forced into asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London under heavy surveillance, making access to him seem too difficult and risky. Instead, Snowden tried to make contact with one of WikiLeaks’ most vocal defenders, the independent journalist Glenn Greenwald. When he failed, he contacted the documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, whom Greenwald had also vociferously defended when she drew unwanted government scrutiny after making a documentary film that followed a man who had been Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard. The scrutiny turned into harassment in 2011, she claims, when she began making a film about WikiLeaks.

Poitras had been a member of the Tor Project community (which developed the encrypted Tor web browser to make private online interactions possible) since 2010 when she reached out to Jacob Appelbaum, an important  member of both the Tor Project and also WikiLeaks, after becoming a close friend and ally of Assange. We know from Wired’s Kevin Poulsen that Snowden was already in touch with the Tor community at least as early as 2012, having contacted Tor’s Runa Sandvik while he was still exfiltrating documents. In December 2012, he and Sandvik hosted a “crypto party” in Honolulu, where Snowden ran a session teaching people how to set up Tor servers. And it was through Tor’s Micah Lee (now working for The Intercept) that Snowden first contacted Poitras. In order to vet Snowden, Poitras turned to Appelbaum. Given the overlap between the Tor and WikiLeaks communities, Snowden was involved with the latter at least as early as his time working as a contractor for the NSA, in a job he took specifically in order to steal documents, in Hawaii.

Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesDirector Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald accepting an Academy Award for the documentary Citizenfour, Hollywood, California, February 22, 2015

Few people knew, when Citizenfour was released in 2014, how deeply embedded in both Tor and WikiLeaks Poitras was or how close an ideological affinity she then had with Assange. The Guardian had sensibly sent the experienced news reporter Ewen MacAskill with Poitras and Greenwald to Hong Kong, and this helped to create the impression that the interests of Snowden’s confidants were journalistic rather than ideological. We have subsequently seen glimpses of Poitras’s complex relationship with Assange in Risk, the version of her WikiLeaks film that was released in 2017. But Risk is not the movie she thought she was making at the time. The original film, called Asylum, was premiered at Cannes in 2016. Steven Zeitchik, of the Los Angeles Times, described it as a “lionizing portrait,” presenting Assange as a “maverick hero.” In Risk, on the other hand, we are exposed more to Assange’s narcissism and extremely unpleasant attitudes toward women, along with a wistful voiceover from Poitras reading passages from her production diary, worrying that Assange doesn’t like her, recounting a growing ambivalence about him.

In between the two films, Assange lost many supporters because of the part he played in the 2016 US elections, when WikiLeaks published stolen emails—now believed to have been hacked and supplied by Russian agents—that were damaging to Hillary Clinton. But Zeitchik discovered, when he asked Poitras about her own change of heart, that it wasn’t political but personal. Assange had turned his imperious attitude toward women on her, demanding before the Cannes screening that she cut material relating to accusations of rape by two women in Sweden. His tone, in particular, offended her. But her view of his actions leading up to the US election remained consistent with that of WikiLeaks supporters; he published the DNC emails because they were newsworthy, not as a tactic in an information war.

When Snowden initially contacted Poitras, she tells us in Risk, her first thought was that the FBI was trying to entrap her, Appelbaum, or Assange. Though Micah Lee and Appelbaum were both aware of her source, she tells us that she left for Hong Kong without Assange’s knowledge and that he was furious that she failed to ensure WikiLeaks received Snowden’s documents. Although Poitras presents herself retrospectively as an independent actor, while filming Snowden in Hong Kong she contacted Assange about arranging Snowden’s asylum and left him in WikiLeaks’ hands (through Assange’s emissary, Sarah Harrison). Poitras’s relations with Assange later became strained, but she remained part of the Tor Project and was involved in a relationship with Jacob Appelbaum. (She shows in the film that Appelbaum was subsequently accused of multiple counts of sexual harassment over a number of years.)

In Risk’s added, post-production voiceover, Poitras says of the Snowden case: “When they investigate this leak, they will create a narrative to say it was all a conspiracy. They won’t understand what really happened. That we all kept each other in the dark.” It’s not clear exactly what she means. But it is clear that “we all” means a community of like-minded and interdependent people; people who may each have their own grandiose ambitions and who have tortuously complex, manipulative, and secretive personal relationships with one another. Snowden chose to put himself in their hands.

If this group of people shared a political ideology, it was hard to define. They were often taken to belong to the left, since this is where criticisms of the national security state have tended to originate. But when Harrison, the WikiLeaks editor and Assange adviser, flew to Hong Kong to meet Snowden, she was coming directly from overseeing Assange’s unsuccessful electoral campaign for the Australian Senate, in which the WikiLeaks Party was apparently aligned with a far-right party. The WikiLeaks Party campaign team, led by Assange’s father and party secretary John Shipton, had made a high-profile visit to Syria’s authoritarian leader, Bashar al-Assad, and Shipton had heaped praise on Vladimir Putin’s efforts in the region, in contrast to America’s, in an interview with the state radio network Voice of Russia. The political historian Sean Wilentz, in what at the time, in 2014, was a rare critical article on Assange, Snowden, and Greenwald, argued that they shared nothing so coherent as a set of ideas but a common political impulse, one he described as “paranoid libertarianism.” With hindsight, we can also see that when they first became aligned, the overwhelming preoccupation of Poitras, Greenwald, Assange, and Snowden was the hypocrisy of the US state, which claimed to abide by international law, to respect human rights, to operate within the rule of law internally and yet continually breached its own purported standards and values.

They had good grounds for this view. The Iraq War, which was justified to the public using lies, fabricated evidence, and deliberate obfuscation of the overall objective, resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, as well as the rendition and torture of suspected “enemy combatants” at CIA black sites and their indefinite detention at Guantánamo Bay. The doctrine of preemptive war had been revived, along with imperialist ambitions for a global pax Americana.

But cynicism about the rule of law exists on a spectrum. At one end, exposing government hypocrisy is motivated by a demand that a liberal-democratic state live up to its own ideals, that accountability be reinforced by increasing public awareness, establishing oversight committees, electing proactive politicians, and employing all the other mechanisms that have evolved in liberal democracies to prevent arbitrary or unchecked rule. These include popular protests, the civil disobedience that won civil rights battles, and, indeed, whistleblowing. At the other end of the spectrum is the idea that the law is always really politics in a different guise; it can provide a broad set of abstract norms but  fails to specify how these should be applied in particular cases. Human beings make those decisions. And the decision-makers will ultimately be those with the most power.

On this view, the liberal notions of legality and legitimacy are always hypocritical. This was the view promulgated by one of the most influential legal theorists of the twentieth century, Carl Schmitt. He was a Nazi, who joined the party in 1933 and became known as the “crown jurist” of the Third Reich. But at the turn of the millennium, as Bush took America to war, Schmitt’s criticisms of liberalism were undergoing a renaissance on both the far right and the far left, especially in the academy. This set of attitudes has not been limited to high theory or confined to universities, but its congruence with authoritarianism has often been overlooked.

In Risk, we hear Assange say on the phone, regarding the legality of WikiLeaks’ actions in the US: “We say we’re protected by the First Amendment. But it’s all a matter of politics. Laws are interpreted by judges.” He has repeatedly expressed the view that the idea of legality is just a political tool (he especially stresses this when the one being accused of illegality is him). But the cynicism of the figures around Snowden derives not from a meta-view about the nature of law, like Schmitt’s, but from the view that America, the most powerful exponent of the rule of law, merely uses this ideal as a mask to disguise the unchecked power of the “deep state.” Snowden, a dissenting agent of the national security state brandishing his pocket Constitution, was seen by Rusbridger as an American patriot, but by his chosen allies as the most authoritative revealer of the irremediable depth of American hypocrisy.

In the WikiLeaks universe, the liberal ideal of the rule of law, both domestic and international, has been the lie that allows unaccountable power to grow into a world-dominating force. Sarah Harrison insists that the US, with the help of its allies, has constructed “a huge global intelligence, diplomatic, and military net that tries to see all, know all, govern all, decide all. It reaches all, and yet it is acting without [sic] impunity. This is the greatest unaccountable power of today—the United States and our Western democracies.” Greenwald has gradually shifted toward a similar position. Having initially supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but then been appalled by the civilian casualties and the use of torture, he asked in 2017: “Who has brought more death, and suffering, and tyranny to the world over the last six decades than the US national security state?”

This view of the US as the most malign actor in the world has now made him reluctant to criticize the actions of foreign states like Putin’s Russia. For example, asked about the Novichok poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England, an attempted assassination attributed to the Kremlin, he responds that Obama’s drone strikes were morally no different—a gambit that, perhaps inadvertently, mimics the “whataboutism” of the Kremlin itself. But it wouldn’t make sense for Greenwald to refuse to condemn the misdeeds of other states on the grounds that America’s are worse unless he had come to feel that all such judgments are a moralistic charade, that power politics is the only game in town.

In this light, it is extremely significant that Snowden’s famous leak of documents revealing the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program was misinterpreted when it was first disclosed by Greenwald and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post in a way that implied total lawlessness at the NSA. (According to Greenwald’s book on the Snowden leaks, Gellman was put under significant pressure by Snowden to publish before the Post had made the rigorous checks it wanted.) The initial story, as run by both Gellman and Greenwald, claimed that through PRISM, the NSA and FBI had direct access to the servers of the nine leading US Internet companies (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple). The term “direct access,” implying that these agencies could delve into the companies’ servers at will, with no legal authorization, was inaccurate, and although corrections were published, it created a false impression in the public mind that has never fully dissipated. Snowden himself has never used his platform to correct the error. Charlie Savage covers the episode in the updated edition of his Power Wars: The Relentless Rise of Presidential Authority and Secrecy. His comprehensive history of US government surveillance is not at all reassuring to those concerned about a lack of checks on executive power, but in describing the PRISM program specifically, he acknowledges that it was misunderstood.

The program operated within the existing FISA system and secured cooperation between the Internet companies and the NSA at the point when an individual suspected of involvement in terrorism had been targeted and the NSA wished to retrieve that suspect’s messages from the companies’ servers. Many Americans will still feel that this program constituted an unwarranted breach of privacy, but what PRISM does not do is vindicate the idea of a “deep state” operating entirely independently of the rule of law. Although this might seem like a fine distinction to some, it is an extremely significant one. But the narrative of deep-state lawlessness was too appealing.

Seumas Milne, then a Guardian journalist (now the British Labour Party’s executive director of strategy and communications), wrote an opinion piece on the Snowden leaks that poured scorn on the idea that American and British politicians are in any sense “law-abiding.” “Claims that the intelligence agencies are now subject to genuine accountability, rather than ministerial rubber stamps, secret courts and committees of trusties, have been repeatedly shown to be nonsense,” he said, going on to claim that since democratic institutions had “spectacularly failed to hold US and other Western states’ intelligence and military operations to account,” it had been left to whistleblowers to take on this role, and it was “up to the rest of us to make sure their courage isn’t wasted.” Given his despair of liberal-democratic institutions, that final exhortation seems worryingly open-ended.

Assange’s allies, Milne included, have made clear that their allegiance doesn’t lie with liberal democracies and their values. They have taken sides with authoritarianism in their fight against the hypocrisy of liberal democracies. Milne has been a prominent, expenses-paid guest of Putin’s Valdai discussion club, where Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, and other Kremlin insiders meet to discuss Russian foreign policy with invited sympathetic Westerners. Assange, a former libertarian, has called Russia under Putin “a bulwark against Western imperialism.” He has for a long time been the beneficiary of Russian state resources (in 2012, when WikiLeaks ran out of money, the Russian state broadcaster RT hosted The Julian Assange Show, in which he interviewed controversial political figures), while subtly supporting Putin’s foreign policies, particularly in Syria. In 2016, he revealed just how effectively he could help the Kremlin attack US democracy by leaking stolen emails on their behalf in order to help sway the election. Assange has denied that a state was the source, but Justice Department indictments of twelve Russian military intelligence officers have identified an avatar created by the GRU, Guccifer 2.0, as the source.

For his part, Greenwald has repeatedly, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, decried as Russophobia the findings that Putin ordered interference in the 2016 US presidential election—even appearing on Fox News to do so. The very term “Russophobia” obfuscates the distinction between Vladimir Putin’s regime and Russia; the two clearly can’t be identified with one another. If open criticism of Putin by Russians were tolerated, it would presumably be vehement and widespread, as the effort it takes to suppress it—the murder of dissident journalists, the imprisonment, exile, and murder of political opponents and even financial rivals—suggests. In an interview with RT on the occasion of a visit to Snowden in Moscow last year, Greenwald said:

In the United States for a long time this shift has been taking place. Two of the most important protest movements in the US—one was the Tea Party, the other was Occupy Wall Street—were both perceived to be on different ends of the political spectrum. Yet they had very similar issues in common. They were protesting the bailout of Wall Street after the Wall Street crisis, the domination of corporations. When Donald Trump ran for president, even though he was perceived as a right-wing candidate, he did so by criticizing the Iraq war, by criticizing American militarism, by promising to “drain the swamp” of corporate influence.

The distinction between left and right, he argues, will increasingly be replaced by the opposition between people who are pro-establishment and anti-establishment. But being anti-establishment is not a politics. It defends no clear set of values or principles. And it permits prevarication about the essential choice between criticizing and helping to reform liberal democracy from within or assisting in its demise. It encourages its partisans to take sides with a smaller, authoritarian state in order to check the power of the one whose establishment it opposes.

It seems clear that Putin has exploited this fissure in Western values. It wouldn’t take a political genius to manipulate the situation that arose around Snowden. And if Snowden’s supporters, as Poitras claims, didn’t conspire but all kept one another in the dark, how much easier it would have been for Putin to take advantage of them. Snowden himself claims that every decision he made he can defend and that he always acted in the interests of the United States rather than Russia. But the public narrative created around the leaks has served Putin’s purposes. This may have been more valuable to him than the actual intelligence that was disclosed.

Many states, including Russia, immediately used Snowden’s disclosures as justifications for expanding their own surveillance programs as they rushed to catch up with the rapid expansion of America’s cyber-powers. Putin has exploited the PRISM story to foster theories about the “deep state,” claiming that the Internet is “a CIA plot.” It was extremely valuable to him at the time to undercut global trust in the big Silicon Valley media companies that were spreading American soft power around the globe and to defend instead “cyber sovereignty,” or each nation controlling the flow of information within its own territory. Russia has long engaged in information warfare in Ukraine and the Baltic states, as well as at home, and needs to protect its sphere of digital influence, as well as to weaken the global reach of the tech companies that give America so much cyber-power.

And Putin has benefited from the appearance of being Snowden’s protector, presenting himself as a greater champion of freedom than the United States. In their book Red Web: The Kremlin’s War on the Internet, the Russian investigative journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan recounted the experiences of human rights activists who were summoned via an email purportedly from Snowden himself, to a meeting with him at Moscow airport when he surfaced there with Sarah Harrison, to find they were joining the heads of various pro-Kremlin “human rights” groups, Vladimir Lukin, the Putin-appointed Human Rights Commissioner of Russia, and the lawyers Anatoly Kucherena and Henri Reznik. It was clear to the independent activists that Kucherena had organized the meeting. Kucherena is a member of the FSB’s Public Council, an organization that Soldatov and Borogan say was established to promote the image of the Russian security service; he is also the chairman of an organization called the Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, which has branches in New York and Paris and was set up at Putin’s personal instigation, the authors tell us, for the purposes of criticizing human rights violations in the United States. This institute publishes an annual report on the state of human rights in the United States. Using misleading moral equivalences to attack American hypocrisy is one of the most common tactics in Putin’s propaganda war.

On the account given by Soldatov and Borogan, Snowden has appeared to cooperate with this strategy, barely deviating from Putin’s information agenda even as Putin has instigated extraordinarily repressive measures to rein in Internet freedoms in Russia. When Snowden agreed, for instance, to appear as a guest questioner on a televised question-and-answer session with Putin, he posed the Russian president a question that heavily criticized surveillance practices in the US and asked Putin if Russia did the same, which gave Putin an opening to assert, completely falsely, that no such indiscriminate surveillance takes place in Russia. Earlier this year, Snowden’s supporters trumpeted a tweet in which he accused the Russian regime of being full of corruption, but Putin himself will use such accusations when he wishes to eliminate undesirable government actors. To be sure, Snowden is in a vulnerable position: he is notably cautious in his wording whenever he speaks publicly, as someone reliant on the protection of Putin might be. But he speaks often, and he uses his platform. So whether we trust him matters. It matters whether we view him as a bad actor, or as a well-intentioned whistleblower who has shown bad judgment, or as someone who has allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn of the Russians.

Snowden understands how information wars work and what’s at stake. In Hong Kong, he told Greenwald and Poitras that he couldn’t trust The New York Times because he had realized that when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wanted to report on the NSA’s warrantless eavesdropping, the paper sat on the story for a year—a decision that Snowden felt affected the outcome of the 2004 election. In the run-up to the 2016 election, he tweeted: “Politics: the art of convincing people to forget the lesser of two evils is also evil.” Three weeks before the election, he tweeted to his millions of followers, “There may never be a safer election in which to vote for a third option,” claiming, bizarrely, to trust the predictions of The New York Times.

Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty ImagesItalian sculptor Davide Dormino with lifesize bronzes he made of Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and former US soldier Chelsea Manning, Berlin, Germany, May 1, 2015

Snowden’s tweets and lectures have real-world impact. After his disclosures, Tor’s usership shot up from a million to six million. He repeatedly tweeted to his followers that they should use Tor and Signal. Tor’s default search engine DuckDuckGo, which claims to protect privacy by refraining from the profiling that other browsers do in order to provide personalized searches, saw a 600 percent increase in traffic over just a few months. One of DuckDuckGo’s partners is Yandex, Russia’s government-controlled search engine, although the company says it does not allow the collection or sharing of user data by its partners. Certification by the Snowden brand may well be the chief reason that so much faith is now placed uncritically in these platforms.

In 2016, Snowden became president of an organization called the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an organization set up in 2012 to allow donations to WikiLeaks via Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal when those payment processors had cut off WikiLeaks. Snowden joined its board in 2014, alongside Poitras, Greenwald, and Lee. Snowden’s old friend from Tor, Runa Sandvik, is on their technical advisory board. The FPF continued to support WikiLeaks until early 2018, when the board finally became split over Assange’s views and actions. Since the group was founded, it has used much of its $2 million annual budget to develop encryption software for media outlets. The group’s biggest success has been developing a Tor-based system called SecureDrop, used by The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post as a means for whistleblowers to submit documents. Given this degree of exposure, we need to consider whether Snowden’s is a brand we can trust.

Snowden claims to have started an important conversation about Internet surveillance in America. President Barack Obama himself has given Snowden credit for enabling this essential public discussion, one that can confer genuine legitimacy on the security measures taken by the state. But such legitimacy is not something Snowden and his allies value or grant. In a 2016 lecture by video-link at Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden discouraged his audience from pursuing the legal and political remedies that liberal democracies offer:

If you want to build a better future, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Politics will take us only so far and if history is any guide, they are the least reliable means of achieving effective change… They’re not gonna jump up and protect your rights. Technology works differently than law. Technology knows no jurisdiction.

If there’s one thing Greenwald, Assange, and their followers got right, it’s that the United States became a tremendous economic and military power over the last seven decades. When it blunders in its foreign or domestic policy, the US has the capacity to do swift and unparalleled damage. The question then is whether this awesome power is better wielded by a liberal-democratic state in an arguably hypocritical way but with some restraint, or by an authoritarian one in a nakedly avowed way and with no restraint. In the five years since Snowden’s revelations, we have seen changes, particularly the election of Donald Trump with his undisguised admiration for strongmen, that compel us to imagine a possible authoritarian future for the United States. Democratic accountability, a system of checks and balances, and the rule of law may be imperfect measures but they look like our best hope for directing the American state’s power to humane ends. Previous failures are not a good reason to give up on this hope. Neither is faith in technology: it is a means; it doesn’t discriminate between ends. Technology is not going to save us. Edward Snowden is not our savior.

An earlier version of this essay misstated the number of documents that Edward Snowden released; that number is not known. The figure of 1.7 million was an intelligence estimate given to Congress of files accessed by Snowden. An earlier version also misstated that the DuckDuckGo search engine allows partners to collect user data; it does not. The article has been updated.

REVIEW: ‘The Death of Hitler,’ reads like a fictional mystery

REVIEW: ‘The Death of Hitler,’ reads like a fictional mystery

Terri Schlichenmeyer 23 hrs ago


You’re on the edge of your chair.

Curiosity is almost killing you; there’s something you need to know but knowledge may be impossible. Truth may be hidden, though you follow every clue and learn what you can. You’re hanging, and you know the truth is somewhere but as you’ll see in the new book “The Death of Hitler: The Final Word,” by Jean-Christophe Brisard and Lana Parshina, answers may be hard to come by.

It had been a long journey to Moscow .

For months, Brisard and Parshina had been gently petitioning the Russian government to allow them to see something that few others had ever seen. He, a Frenchman; she, a Russian-American, had been asking to see evidence of Adolph Hitler’s death, in the form of a piece of skull.

Born in 1889, Hitler was long dead by then: legend had it that he and his wife (some say mistress) poisoned themselves and their bodies were burned because Hitler was afraid of what the Russians would do to his corpse. Much like Elvis, however, sightings of a living Hitler were reported for years, post-World War II. Various spotters in several countries claimed to have seen the Nazi as an old man, but other document-supported eyewitness accounts led Brisard and Parshina to firmly believe that Hitler’s last days were spent more than 25 feet below-ground in a bunker with a handful of men, women, and children, slowly losing his health and his mind.

The Russians held the proof.

It was early 2016 when Brisard and Parshina were finally allowed to view the evidence and documents. Immediately, they noticed that the cranial shard, the most tantalizing bit of clue, had clearly been pierced by a bullet that had probably caused its owner’s death. The owner, however, was unknown, and previous experts claimed it was from the skull of a younger woman. Other physical evidence tied the bone to Hitler. His own officers insisted that he’d taken cyanide. Dental evidence offered more clues.

“The mystery about Hitler’s death,” say the authors, “would remain unsolved for decades.”

But is it solved now? Jean-Christophe Brisard and Lana Parshina seem to think so, although they point out that no witnesses are alive for interrogation.

And yet, the evidence they’ve presented is intriguing enough to feel definitive and getting there is fascinating. “The Death of Hitler: The Final Word” rivals any fictional mystery, with plenty of back-story on Hitler and those who surrounded him in his last days. Those scenarios feel ominous, even though we know the outcome; they also sometimes feel too pat, as if they’re there to move the story along. What helps is that the authors pull readers into modern-day sleuthing often enough to keep their ground.

This book is very well-sourced, and it’s perfect for historians, World War II buffs, and mystery-lovers. Parts of it do feel recreated here, but it possesses a reassurance of truth and a positive air of authority. “The Death of Hitler: The Final Word” is a very good book, though the final word may still be hanging.

United States Indicts Research Chemical Suppliers in China

United States Indicts Research Chemical Suppliers in China


Attorney General Jeff Sessions, at an announcement in Cleveland, Ohio, announced that the United States Department of Justice had indicted two Chinese citizens for running a massive drug trafficking organization that shipped drugs from China to 25 countries. During the announcement, the Department of Justice unveiled a 43-count indictment accusing the duo of drug trafficking crimes, continuing a criminal enterprise of money laundering and dozens of related crimes.

<img class=”wp-image-26737 aligncenter” src=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-2.png&#8221; srcset=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-2.png 660w, https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-2-300×150.png 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 660px) 100vw, 660px” />

The duo, a father and son named Guanghua and Fujing Zheng, allegedly operated a drug trafficking operation in China as early as 2008. However, according to the information revealed in the indictment, the father and son’s business really took off in the United States in 2012. It increased until 2018 when the Drug Enforcement Administration raided one of the Zheng DTO shippers in the United States.

<img class=”wp-image-26738″ src=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-3.png&#8221; srcset=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-3.png 660w, https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-3-300×150.png 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 660px) 100vw, 660px” />

At the Ohio event, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stood beside the heads of many branches of law enforcement involved in the operation that targeted the Zheng’s drug trafficking operation. This included the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Acting Administrator, Uttam Dhillon; Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit Field Office, Timothy Plancon; Special Agent in Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Steve Francis; Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation department, Ryan Korner; and Justin Herdman, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The charges:

Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substance Analogues Resulting in Death;

Conspiracy to Import Controlled Substances and Controlled Substance Analogues Resulting in Death;

Conspiracy to Manufacture and Distribute Controlled Substance Analogues Resulting in Death;

Continuing Criminal Enterprise;

Six counts of Manufacture of Acetyl Fentanyl for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation;

Manufacture and Distribution of U-47700 for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation;

Two counts of Manufacture and Distribution of 4-CL-PVP for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation;

Three counts of Manufacture and Distribution of Dibutylone for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation;

Four counts of Manufacture and Distribution of ADB-FUBINACA for the Purpose of Unlawful Importation;

Creating and Distributing a Counterfeit Substance;

Knowing and Intentional Adulteration of Drugs;

Distributing Controlled Substances by Means of the Internet;

Distributing a Controlled Substance by Means of the Internet;

15 Counts of Advertising Controlled Substances by Means of the Internet;

Money Laundering Conspiracy;

Four counts of International Promotional Money Laundering.

These federal agencies intercepted packages ordered by customers in the United States, such as Leroy Shuarod Steele, an Ohio resident who recently received a prison sentence for ordering fentanyl and selling it to someone who fatally overdosed in Akron. Steele helped authorities identify his suppliers. During the investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration employed various methods to identify the suspected drug traffickers.

Although they arrested several of the Zheng’s co-conspirators in the United States using the same tactics seen in the majority of similar cases, some of their methods have not yet been revealed. Authorities have seized several of the sites the father and son allegedly used. They intercepted packages. But they may have accessed the email addresses of the suspected traffickers. Through some of the duo’s front companies, buyers often contacted the Zheng son via email. The son allegedly handled the drug trafficking and the father allegedly handled the money and some additional logistics. Federal Authorities revealed some of the email addresses that belonged to the DTO. They also revealed, in some cases, both sides of a conversation between a buyer and Fujing Zheng.

<img class=”wp-image-26739″ src=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-4.png&#8221; srcset=”https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-4.png 1004w, https://www.deepdotweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/word-image-4-300×214.png 300w” sizes=”(max-width: 1004px) 100vw, 1004px” />

Fujing Zheng accepted various forms of payment but encouraged customers to use Bitcoin for the safety of both parties. Fujing Zheng eventually switched to Protonmail, according to the indictment. The indictment redacted Fujing Zheng’s most frequently used email address, though. But also revealed both sides of several conversations that had taken place over the email address that law enforcement redacted. Since both the father and son are still free in China, United States law enforcement may have taken steps to prevent evidence destruction. Alternatively, the federal agencies working the case have access to an account the Zheng partners are actively using.

Not long before the Zheng indictment, a supplier in Massachusetts pleaded guilty to receiving packages from the Zheng DTO and reshipping the packages to customers in the United States. The shipping tactics was employed after the Zheng son learned that Customs and Border Protection was taking too many packages. He stopped shipping packages directly to customers and shipped them to a bulk shipper in Massachusetts instead. He also advertised this to customers; he pointed out that if customs seized a package, they would not have the customer’s address. Only the address of his shipper.

The shipper went down alongside several drug traffickers connected to the DTO. And then the Drug Enforcement Administration seized the sites the Zheng DTO used to advertise Controlled Substances and Controlled Substance Analogues. And then the Department of Justice named both the father and the son in a 43-count indictment. If China extradites the alleged traffickers, both face life imprisonment if convicted.

Omarosa ‘Manipulated’ Actor Michael Clarke Duncan in His Final Days, Say Family and Friends

Omarosa ‘Manipulated’ Actor Michael Clarke Duncan in His Final Days, Say Family and Friends

Amy Zimmerman

09.10.18 5:15 AM ET


Unhinged, Omarosa Manigault Newman’s recent tell-all, has made headlines for offering an “insider’s look” at the dysfunctional Trump White House. But beneath the much-hyped tapes and television appearances, Omarosa has buried another controversial story. In the chapter “Shattered,” the reality TV star turned-White-House-adviser turned disgraced-former-White-House-adviser recounts the death of her ex, actor Michael Clarke Duncan. Omarosa charts the relationship, from their meet-cute at a Whole Foods to his secret proposal just months before Duncan suffered a heart attack in his home.

“I was lying in bed with Michael the night of July 13,” Omarosa writes, “when I noticed a change in his breathing. His soft snores became ragged, and then stopped altogether. I put my hand on his chest and realized he wasn’t breathing. I called 911 in a panic and told the operator what was happening, that my fiancé wasn’t breathing and might be having a heart attack. The operator gave me instructions to perform CPR, which I did, as I’d been trained to do in college, until the paramedics arrived and took Michael to the hospital.”

“He was still alive,” she adds. “The paramedics told me if it hadn’t been for my efforts, he would have died.” Omarosa recalled that, in the following weeks, Clarke Duncan regained consciousness “here and there.”

But according to friends and family of the late actor, who passed away on September 3, 2012, Omarosa is only telling one side of the story. Andrea Weltman, a close friend of Michael Clarke Duncan’s who visited him many times during his weeks-long hospitalization at Cedars-Sinai, told The Daily Beast that she bought Omarosa’s book so that she could report back to Duncan’s family “if she dares talk about Michael, which she does.”

“Omarosa didn’t ask for Judy [Duncan, Michael Clarke Duncan’s sister]’s permission, she didn’t tell her she was going to do it,” Weltman said. “Sadly, she continues to smear the family and present them as opportunists with their hands out, clamoring for estate money.”

As The Daily Beast previously reported, Omarosa and Michael Clarke Duncan’s family publicly butted heads in the wake of his passing. In April 2013, TMZ reported that Duncan’s sister, Judy Duncan, was questioning “whether the late actor’s fiancée unduly influenced him into rewriting his will months before he died and leaving almost everything to her,” further alleging that Clarke Duncan “was not of sound mind when he made the changes… slurring words and stumbling around.”

According to TMZ, “Judy says her suspicions about Omarosa intensified when MCD was hospitalized following his heart attack… telling us Omarosa was fixated on MCD’s money when he was on life support. Another thorn in Judy’s side…Omarosa has already sold a bunch of MCD’s personal effects (watches, cars, his ‘Green Mile’ director’s chair, awards, etc.). Judy says Omarosa sold the stuff without the family’s knowledge… and she’s pissed.”

Judy Duncan told The Daily Beast that she stands by the TMZ bulletin: “I still feel that way on all of those things. I still feel that way. The last time I saw Michael was December of 2011 for Christmas. And he seemed a bit off. And by off I mean, he wasn’t his natural, normal self.”

As for the accusation that Omarosa may have unduly influenced the actor into updating his will, Duncan remarked, “I think anyone can be manipulated at any time. I think there’s always somebody that’s going to try and get something out of you, and I think that’s what it was. Because like I said, the last time we saw him, he just wasn’t right. There was something going on, and I know it. So for him to have left her everything, there was some manipulation there.”

For Duncan, talking about her brother’s death is still incredibly painful—and she prefers to keep Omarosa’s name “out of my mouth.”

“People want me to comment on her, and it’s like, what can you really say about a serpent, other than it’s a serpent?” Duncan laughed. “I’m not a snake handler, so I stay away.”

“This person wants more than 15 minutes of fame, and money along with it. As you notice, every time she starts to die down, she tries to pop back up. And the reason that you never hear from us or see us is because we’re not those type of folks. I just retired from my job that I worked for 35 years, and I worked other jobs prior to that for 15 years. So we’re working class, we’re folks who just want to enjoy life and treat people right, and hope that we get treated right too. That’s it. So to be caught up in this, it’s a bit much—to say the least.” (Omarosa did not respond to requests for comment for this story.)

At the time, Omarosa publicly responded to Duncan’s allegations by accusing the late actor’s family of extortion, saying, “I don’t control the estate or the finances and Judy knows it. If you saw all of her emails and texts to me, you would see that she is just trying to get money from me, and threatened going to press if I did not give it to her and that is a crime!” In Unhinged, Omarosa doubles down on this narrative, insisting that, on top of her grief at Duncan’s passing, “I had to deal with all of Michael’s long-lost family members and associates who came out of the woodwork making demands for money and inheritance.”

Judy Duncan directly addressed this accusation, saying that she asked her brother for a monthly stipend in order to care for their mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Duncan recalled telling Michael Clarke Duncan that, “It’s not going to cover me missing days of work, but at least it will be something to help towards mom’s care.” She continued, “So when [Omarosa] says we had our hands out, that was it. I didn’t beg for cars, I didn’t beg for houses, I didn’t beg for any of that. I just want that known, that we were never a family that would beg Michael for anything.”

In the years since Michael Clarke Duncan’s death, Omarosa has repeatedly spoken about his family in less than flattering terms. In December 2013, she blamed the actor’s unmarked grave on “family infighting,” telling the Daily News, “I tried to do it immediately, but his sister, niece and cousins could not decide on what to put down. I finally had to step in and tell them to come to some consensus.”

“She lied to me and told me that he was going to be ok, and I didn’t even get to go out there and see him. My God.”

Michael Clarke Duncan’s niece, who asked to remain anonymous for privacy reasons because she is not publicly linked to the Green Mile star, told The Daily Beast, “Over the years we’ve been used to people wanting to hear our side—and when I say we, I mean our family, my mom especially. It’s a part of our life that we would like the truth to come out on, but at the same time, we’re everyday average people, and we don’t need that type of attention. She has more of a platform than we do, so usually what happens is she tries to make it seem like we’re lying, or we have other motives. And that’s not the case.”

“There were a lot of things that were said that were lies,” she added, “A lot of things that, unless you were really close with us, you have no clue the agony that we went through emotionally dealing with his death, and with who was in his life at the time.”

To this day, Duncan’s niece does not care to use Omarosa’s name when discussing “the last girlfriend that my uncle had.” She elaborates: “I’m highlighting the word girlfriend, because there was never any proof of anyone, including him, saying that he was going to get married or that he was engaged.” She had only met Omarosa once in person, when the family convened for Christmas. But once Michael Clarke Duncan was sick, she quickly got to know the reality TV star.

“There were a lot of things that did not go right between the time he ended up in the hospital and his funeral,” she began. She recalled Omarosa telling the family not to “tell anybody that he’s here [in the hospital],” because the news of Michael Clarke Duncan’s condition could “mess up a lot of his business deals and contracts.”

“We weren’t saying anything, but every day, she had other people coming up there. I understand that there were certain people that should’ve been in the loop, but there were people up there that shouldn’t have been up there. Meanwhile his best friend of a million years kept asking, should I come down, should I come down? And we were like no, they don’t really want anyone here.”

Kevin Jones, one of Michael Clarke Duncan’s oldest and closest friends—they were college roommates in 1979—confirmed that Omarosa “didn’t even want to notify me,” adding, “She was trying to keep everything at a hush-hush.”

“The family finally called and told me what was going on, and then when I was talking to Omarosa, I was ready to go out there,” Jones recalled, “But Omarosa put on this front to me that he was just OK—like he had a heart attack, but he’s responsive—and that was never the damn truth. And I never got a chance to go out there and be by his bedside, and I think she did that intentionally, because she didn’t want me out there.”

“She lied to me and told me that he was going to be OK, and I didn’t even get to go out there and see him. My God.”

Weltman believes that she was one of a select few friends whom Omarosa allowed by Michael Clarke Duncan’s bedside, telling The Daily Beast, “She wasn’t threatened by me—she saw me as a kind of benign, harmless friend, who supported her in the hospital.” Weltman added that, throughout the six to eight times that she visited, over multiple weeks, Michael Clarke Duncan never woke up. “He was breathing on his own,” she remembered, “but he wasn’t there.”

Michael Clarke Duncan’s niece recalled one particularly unwelcome guest—an ex-girlfriend whom the actor had remained close with. “There was one girl, she called, and she was told, don’t call again and don’t come out to the hospital. She tried to come and see him at the hospital, and security got called. She couldn’t even get up. So from then on, I knew it wasn’t right.”

At the hospital, Omarosa allegedly manned Michael Clarke Duncan’s phone—to the shock and consternation of his loved ones. “I should have known that he was in a more critical situation than what she had told me,” Jones told The Daily Beast, “Because I asked her for a phone number, and she said call his phone—and I knew right then, there’s no way in hell he’s going to let her have his phone, because everything is in that phone.” He laughed, adding, “She went through that phone and found out what was really going on.”

Michael Clarke Duncan’s niece took careful note of all the red flags at the hospital. They quickly piled up. She said that Omarosa repeatedly brought up Michael Clarke Duncan’s will “when he was sitting there in a coma.” Additionally, she claims the Apprentice star wouldn’t let Duncan’s family stay in his house: “We were told that the house was locked up and nobody was allowed to go in. They sent me way out to a hotel by the airport, with no one to take me back and forth. So I was taking three buses to get back and forth to the hospital.”

“Why would you bring his family here in town and then not properly look after them?” She wondered. “It was just a lot of little weird things like that.”

“We couldn’t get out to the house, you asked for his sperm while he was in a coma, you talked about his will while he was in a coma,” Duncan’s niece listed off. “But we’re the ones that are trying to get you?”

Judy Duncan confirmed that Omarosa did not allow them into her brother’s house, even after Michael Clarke Duncan passed: “She kept making excuses.”

Michael Clarke Duncan’s family is also convinced that Omarosa lied about her engagement and imminent wedding plans. “I know my uncle,” the actor’s niece told The Daily Beast. “Michael was not engaged—from what I heard, he was starting to see someone else. And if Michael got tired of you…”

“At the hospital, it was brought up about her being engaged, and she showed my mother a picture of a ring that she had printed off from somewhere,” she recalled. “And she was saying that that was the ring he had given her. But she never showed my mother the actual ring. And then mysteriously after his death she started wearing a ring. But it was not the ring that she had shown my mother. It was a different ring.” Judy Duncan confirmed this story, telling The Daily Beast, “In the hospital she tried to tell me, ‘We’re engaged, see here’s a picture of my ring.’ If you’re engaged, would you flash a picture? Or would you be flashing your hand?”

Asked if the picture was of the same ring that Omarosa later wore, Duncan replied, “No it wasn’t.”

“And she lied, there was never an engagement. That was just a bald-faced lie. She used his death to elevate her own self.”

Andrea Weltman added, “The whole time Omarosa and I were together, from the morning he was transferred from Kaiser in Woodland Hills to Cedars, I saw no engagement ring that first morning, and no evidence subsequently—nothing on her hand. And when they went to Scotland, I didn’t get the 411 from him about that trip, but Omarosa claims he proposed to her there. That might be true, but again, I never saw a ring. And she made sure that it was front and center at the funeral, she had pictures taken of it.”

Jones is also adamant that his friend was not engaged. “He was seeing more than one woman,” he told The Daily Beast. “Duncan was never engaged. And we were going to take a trip to the Dominican Republic. He said man, if we go to the Dominican Republic, if I think once we come back that she’s the one, then I may consider that. But he said, we gotta go there just to make sure. Because he had other friends… Yeah, he had quite a few friends.”

“And she lied, there was never an engagement. That was just a bald-faced lie. She used his death to elevate her own self.”

Judy Duncan remembered a conversation with Michael Clarke Duncan that occurred in November or December 2011. She told The Daily Beast, “Michael said, Judy, I am not engaged, and I will get married when I am ready to. And at this time, I am not ready to marry anybody. That is what my brother told me. I don’t have to lie about it, because if he was engaged, I would just say well, ok, that’s his decision. But he was not engaged.”

“And also,” Duncan continued, “I believe in my heart that he was about to break up with her. And she knew it. Because he had talked to me about someone else. So when you’re this type of person, you will do whatever you can to get whatever you can before this ends. It’s like, ‘Ok, I know he’s about to get rid of me, let me work with my feminine wiles and anything else I got to get what I want before this changes.’ I think that’s what happened.”

As The Daily Beast previously reported, fellow Celebrity Apprentice star Claudia Jordan described Michael Clarke Duncan’s funeral as a “press opportunity.” Jordan told Wendy Williams in 2013, “I called a friend of mine after the funeral, I said this was a mockery of a funeral.”

Weltman echoed that assessment: “What Claudia Jordan said about the funeral was spot-on. It was a five-hour red carpet funeral. There was a red carpet leading into the chapel.”

“What I can say is that the family was not part of the planning,” she continued. “Omarosa did that all on her own. And there was an A-list parking lot, and then there was a B-list parking lot. So all the Tom Hanks, Frank Darabont-level folks, and the cast from Bones, they were all in the A parking lot. And people were actually discouraged from even thinking about parking there, when these were dear friends of Michael. There was a definite segregated feeling about the way she had it set up, and it all came from her.”

“I didn’t get to plan the funeral,” added Judy Duncan. “When I went to pick out flowers, she changed them. And that hurt me so much. Because this is my only brother.”

Claudia Jordan vs. Omarosa

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Omarosa’s seating arrangements put Kevin Jones, Michael Clarke Duncan’s dearest friend, in the twelfth row. “She put me in row 12 at the funeral!” Jones exclaimed. “I was the closest thing to him, even the people on the movie set that were there knew our relationship, and they couldn’t believe that. And I was a pallbearer! But I couldn’t even do that, because I was devastated. I was broken down. That was my true friend. I mean we talked five, six times a day. Just to see how she had everything built around her at the funeral, it was terrible. She made it all about her.”

“She really didn’t speak to us at the funeral,” Judy Duncan recalled. “As we were leaving from the supper after the funeral, she said, ‘Well I’ll be by to see you.’ She only said that for the sake of everybody else in the room. I never saw her again.”

Michael Clarke Duncan’s niece first heard about the updated will at the hospital, when Omarosa reassured various members of the family that they would be taken care of. “Something ended up happening where he took me out of the will,” Duncan’s niece told The Daily Beast. “There was a change when she came on the scene. And all of a sudden, she was getting way more than any and everybody. And that just sat wrong. She got some stuff that originally my oldest son should’ve had in the will. And also it was changed to the point where the will stated that if anybody in the will contested, they got nothing. Who writes that in a will?”

“As a family, we’re not trying to exploit his death for financial gain,” Duncan’s niece insisted. “We’re not trying to get ahead. It was just like, why would my uncle leave family things to a girlfriend? No matter what else she got, why personal things? She ended up having an estate sale and selling everything. My question is, where are all of our personal items that we had given him over the years? I have two children—you think I didn’t send school pictures? You think I didn’t write him letters? Those were things that we wanted. We don’t want the monetary things that she’s trying to make it seem like we want.”

Judy Duncan told The Daily Beast that, “The things that we asked for were not huge things. They were little things. I wanted a chair. My grandsons who loved him dearly, one wanted a couple of bottles of his cologne and a few watches. And I wanted any of his awards and a—he had been given this chair, it was an electric chair that someone made for him for the Green Mile—and I wanted these things for my mom’s room. And we weren’t given anything.”

“I kept trying to tell myself, Judy, these are material things, and the memories that you have of your brother from childhood no one can ever take. Hold on to those. So that’s what I do.”

Weltman, who has kept in touch with Duncan’s family since his passing, took issue with remarks that Omarosa had made blaming Duncan’s relatives and “family infighting” for his long-unmarked crypt. She recalled visiting Michael’s crypt 16 months after his interment, and being outraged to find that it was still unmarked. “Omarosa’s claim that Judy Duncan and family were responsible for writing tablet content for his crypt is untrue,” Weltman told The Daily Beast. “In fact, Judy had submitted the family’s wording choice for a memorial tablet but Omarosa ignored it and wound up writing her own.” Judy Duncan confirmed that, “I sent in what I would like to put on it, and I guess she didn’t want it. There was no quibbling, and we didn’t drag our feet about it.”

“Michael’s spirit got caught between an aggrieved family from the Midwest who did the best that they could, and this person who was out here, flitting around and, frankly, looking for her next opportunity. Omarosa was an opportunist, and she is to this day,” added Weltman. “My biggest sorrow was that I didn’t want Michael’s name and legacy to be permanently attached to hers. But as she’s moved on to other relationships, he’s sort of just fallen by the wayside.”

“People may say he’s been gone for six years already, but this is my family,” Duncan maintained. “And when there are unanswered questions, and it doesn’t seem like you’ll ever get the answers, it lingers.”

Hero Benghazi survivor is suspended from Twitter for mocking liberals

Hero Benghazi survivor is suspended from Twitter for mocking liberals

Hero Benghazi survivor is SUSPENDED from Twitter after he mocks liberals in a thread then threatens to ‘choke’ Obama

By Dailymail.com Reporter 22:44 EDT 09 Sep 2018, updated 23:07 EDT 09 Sep 2018

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• Kris Paronto, a secret CIA security contractor during the 2012 Benghazi attacks, was suspended Twitter

• He mocked liberals in a Twitter thread regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden

• The tweet was in response to a thread posted by Robert O’Neill – a former NAVY Seal who is credited with killing the Al Qaeda leader

• Paronto also told Fox News on Sunday he wanted to ‘grab’ and ‘choke’ Obama

• The remarks came after Obama suggested in his Friday speech that the Benghazi investigation was politically motivated

Kris Paronto, a secret CIA security contractor during the 2012 Benghazi attacks, was briefly suspended from Twitter this weekend after he mocked liberals and called one of them ‘retarded’ in a tweet thread regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

The former Army Ranger responded to a tweet posted by Robert O’Neill – the former Navy SEAL who was part of SEAL Team Six that stormed into Bin Laden’s compound May 2011 and fired the head shots that killed the Al Qaeda leader.

O’Neill’s tweet was in response to a quote from Barack Obama’s Friday speech in Champaign, Illinois. The former US president said, while speaking about Trump: ‘How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?’

O’Neill wrote in the tweet Friday morning: ‘Nazis are bad. Now try saying “Radical Islam…”‘

<img id=”i-e304a8cba7744ce6″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/09/10/01/4FF57A2600000578-0-image-a-12_1536538441225.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”1201″ alt=”Kris Paronto, a secret CIA security contractor during the 2012 Benghazi attacks, was briefly suspended from Twitter this weekend”/>

Kris Paronto, a secret CIA security contractor during the 2012 Benghazi attacks, was briefly suspended from Twitter this weekend

<=”Paronto mocked liberals in a Twitter thread regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden”/>

Paronto mocked liberals in a Twitter thread regarding the killing of Osama Bin Laden

A Twitter user under the name of the ‘Secret Society Alumnus’ replied in the comments: ‘He kinda killed Osama Bin Laden, so….’

O’Neill fired back at the user and said: ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?’

Paronto then mocked a leftist hate group account after an individual running it commented on the thread.

‘OMG ??!! Did you just tell the guy who Shot Bin Laden that @BarackObama did it?? BWAHAHAHA.

‘Thank you for verifying that BHusseinObama worship and TDS causes liberalists to skip retard and go straight to potato. #YouAreAnIdiot #NeverGoFullRetard’

Paronto’s account was suspended briefly but back up by Sunday morning – when he tweeted again.

<img id=”i-2ecd2d13ef3eaa20″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/09/10/01/4FF5C2F700000578-0-image-a-18_1536538774683.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”356″ alt=”The former Army Ranger responded to a tweet posted by former NAVY Seal Robert O’Neill”/>

The former Army Ranger responded to a tweet posted by former NAVY Seal Robert O’Neill

<“A Twitter user under the name of the ‘Secret Society Alumnus’ replied in the comments: ‘He kinda killed Osama Bin Laden, so….’ O’Neill fired back at the user and said: ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?'”/>

A Twitter user under the name of the ‘Secret Society Alumnus’ replied in the comments: ‘He kinda killed Osama Bin Laden, so….’ O’Neill fired back at the user and said: ‘Do you know who you’re talking to?’


Robert J. O’Neill


Osama Bin Laden

<img id=”i-98f9eb311e61ebd3″ class=”img-share” src=”https://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/newpix/2018/09/10/01/4FF5789A00000578-0-image-a-17_1536538766742.jpg&#8221; width=”634″ height=”423″ alt=”Paronto also told Fox News on Sunday he wanted to ‘grab’ and ‘choke’ Obama “/>

Paronto also told Fox News on Sunday he wanted to ‘grab’ and ‘choke’ Obama 

‘After being in the @Twitter penalty box for a few and having to delete the below tweet for offending the leftist hate group @itmustend_ for their epic fail of telling Rob O’Neill that BHusseinObama killed UBL and not him I’m back up.. sooo Twitter doesn’t censor ehh @jack?’

He also took to Instagram to write beneath a selfie: ‘The look you make when you’re tired, sitting at the airport waiting for a flight and you see your @twitter account has been suspended for calling out a liberal hate group and their dumba** comments.

‘Yes boys and girls… and leftists, we have the right to free speech but only if it fits the leftists narrative, doesn’t show their stupidity and ignorance and most importantly doesn’t hurt their fragile little egos.’

And while speaking to Fox News Sunday, Paronto even said he wanted to ‘grab’ and ‘choke’ Obama after the former president suggested during his Friday speech that the Benghazi investigation was politically motivated by Republicans.

‘It’s disgusting… it just raises the bile inside of me. I had a hard time just watching the speeches,’ Paronto told Fox News Host Pete Hegseth.

‘I just wanted to see what he had to say. And when that came across, I just wanted to reach through the screen and just grab him – grab him and choke him,’ Paronto added.

Hegseth warned him: ‘Be careful with that… he’s a former president.’