In their article, The Intercept admitted that the documents named another country as also being monitored under this extremely invasive program, but chose not to release the identity of the country because they worried that the revelation would almost certainly cause deaths.
Despite their worries, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange vowed that his organization would reveal the identity of the mystery country. Yesterday, he delivered on his promise:
I must say I don’t think many people will be shocked to hear that the NSA has Afghanistan under heavy surveillance. Personally, I think the surveillance in the Bahamas is much more odd and unwarranted.
However, I do understand why The Intercept and Edward Snowden were worried about revealing Afghanistan. It’s highly likely that this revelation will be used to help fuel anti-American sentiment in the already unstable country. Whether or not that leads to violence remains to be seen.
Just yesterday, The Intercept reported that documents released to them by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has been covertly running an operation called SOMALGET in the Bahamas which is,
“…secretly intercepting, recording, and archiving the audio of virtually every cell phone conversation on the island nation of the Bahamas.”
It is important to understand that here in the U.S. the NSA controversy was mainly over them collecting metadata, which includes info like locations, times, and where calls are going to and coming from.
The program in the Bahamas records full-length conversations and stores them for 30 days before wiping them. On top of that, the program manually selects millions of shorter clips and sends them to long term storage, where they can be accessed even after the original full conversation has been wiped.
The program is part of a larger NSA program known as MYSTIC, which has also been collecting metadata from Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines.
But the Bahamas are not the “big fish” for MYSTIC. Apparently, the Snowden document which revealed the surveillance in the Bahamas also listed another country that was being heavily monitored using SOMALGET.
It seems that the revelation of this second country will cause some serious shock-waves though. Even Glenn Greenwald, who was the first person to break the original Snowden story to the world, said on his Twitter that they hadn’t revealed the name of the second country because they were “very convinced” that this particular revelation would lead to deaths.
Despite the dangers, however, WikiLeaks announced on their Twitter earlier this morning that they will be revealing the identity of the mystery country within 72 hours.
It’s no secret that Christopher Columbus was a liar, a bigot, and just an all around crappy person. He wasn’t the first European to “discover” America (Viking Lief Erikson founded a Norse village in Newfoundland almost 500 years earlier), and he also had quite the track record of totally screwing over and exploiting any natives he came in contact with.
For example, when he landed in the Bahamas, Columbus found that the islands were inhabited by the peaceful and friendly Lucayans, Taínos and Arawaks tribes. In his diary, he describes these people as being very smart and kind, as well as saying,
“They offered to share with anyone and when you ask for something, they never say no.”
When Columbus’s ship wrecked on their shores, the natives spent hours laboring to save his crew and their cargo, without asking for anything in return. How did he repay them?
He proclaimed the island to be Spanish property and enslaved the locals to work in gold mines, mining gold which would then be sent back to Spain. Within two years, half of the native population (125,000 people) had died.
Columbus also supervised the sale of young native girls (usually around the ages of 9 or 10) into sexual slavery. Another excerpt from his diary:
“A hundred castellanoes [Spanish currency at the time] are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”
For years, Native Americans have been protesting against the celebration of this vile man. The idea for an Indigenous People’s Day was first proposed 37 years ago by a Native Nations delegation during a meeting of the United Nations. It was proposed again by a coalition of 120 indigenous nations at a conference commemorating 500 years of Indian Resistance.
Minneapolis has been really trying to celebrate their native peoples in recent years. Just last year, their City Council approved a measure called “The Year of the Dakota: Remembering, Honoring and Truth Telling”, to bring attention to all of the contributions Native Americans have made to the city.
Just this past week, Minneapolis’s proposal to create Indigenous People’s Day on Columbus Day was unanimously and enthusiastically approved in front of a packed crowd in City Hall. The resolution creating the holiday explains,
“Indigenous People’s Day shall be used to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous people on this land, and to celebrate the thriving culture and value that Dakota, Ojibwa and other indigenous nations add to our city.”
Although this particular measure does not eliminate Columbus Day, it is possible that the old holiday will be removed from the city ordinances in future years. Congressman Keith Ellison from Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District had this to say:
“Now that we have established Indigenous People’s Day, every child — whether that child is native or whether that child is not — will learn the truth about where America really comes from. This is so important because it’s difficult to imagine, if you are from the mainstream experience, how it feels to sit in a classroom and be told there was darkness and then Columbus came and then there was light.”
Read the full article about the establishment of Indigenous People’s Day from the Minneapolis Post here.
A structure known as the Yonaguni monument or “Japan’s Atlantis” is located underwater in the Yaeyama Islands off the westernmost point of Japan. The tiny island of Yonaguni is difficult to reach but has remained popular due to the discovery of the Yonaguni monument in 1986.
According to CNN
Exactly how the underwater pyramid structure, known as the Yonaguni monument, was formed is still under debate. Some claim the ruins to be evidence of a long lost city, while others are convinced it is a geological phenomenon. There are even a few who believe the site to be the work of architecturally-ambitious aliens. Whatever its origin, it’s an impressive site. Estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 years old, the stepped structures — with smooth platform steps and right angles — appear as though they were carved out of the rock.”
The structure is believed by Masaaki Kimura, a marine geologist at the University of the Ryukyus in Japan who has been diving at the site to measure and map its formations for more than 15 years, to be a city that is 5,000 years old that submerged into the sea by an earthquake around 2,000 years ago. It seems that the structures are in fact made by man, but what do you think?