Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

The betrayal of whistle-blower hero Bradley Manning

An interesting feature in New York magazine about the alleged leaker to Wikileaks of countless US documents. Manning is a hero because he saw American illegality in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond and wanted to act. Not remain silent. He was bullied in the US military as a gay man. A troubled soul who has changed the course of history, for the better.

This extract details his exchange with hacker Adrian Lamo, the man who eventually turned him into the authorities:

I wanted to talk to Lamo, and after I tracked him down online, he invited me to the Coliseum, a Long Island motor inn where he greeted me at the door of his small room. He wore a half-smile, quipped that he was staying until he exhausted his finances or died, and made a beeline for the bed—he was unsteady on his feet. And then he shut his eyes. And kept them shut for much of our three-hour conversation. He was articulate, even thoughtful, but didn’t seem entirely present. He often paused for 30-second intervals before speaking.

It was only when I asked about his life as a hacker that Lamo seemed to become fully engaged. “It is the one thing I get excited about,” he told me. Lamo is a high-school and college dropout, but as a hacker he thought of himself as a bold explorer of new worlds, a Columbus. His hacks were at once clever and incredibly dumb—and always sensational. “Why not go in and behave like a user and see what can be made to behave differently than expected?,” he explained. Lamo didn’t damage the systems he entered—“I didn’t want to be malicious”—but left behind a quirky signature, as if to say, “I could have hurt you.” At Yahoo News, he edited a couple of stories. Later, he hunkered down at a Kinko’s copy shop for 24 hours and, with nothing but his laptop, hacked so deep into MCI Worldcom’s computer system that he could have fired then-CEO Bernie Ebbers. “I was tempted,” Lamo told me—but he just took a screen shot.

Lamo’s hacks made him famous mostly because he ran to the press after each one. Unfortunately, the FBI turned out to be an avid reader of his press. In 2003, the govern­ment arrested him for busting into the New York Times’ computers—Lamo had added his name to the list of op-ed contributors and created several Nexis ­accounts, mainly to keep up with news of himself. At the time, Lamo was furious at the government. His arrest “strikes a blow against openness,” he said. Hackers rallied around him. As far as they were concerned, his only crime was “that of outsmarting you”—the government.

In the Coliseum Motor Inn, Lamo lit a cigarette, a Camel with a pellet of menthol in the filter, and sucked on it like a straw. Smoking seemed to make him wistful. “[WorldCom] is a long time ago now,” he told me.

Lamo’s life as a hacker had come to an end at 22, and with it, a part of him seemed to die. He’d been sentenced to house arrest rather than prison, but he told me, “I’ve been diagnosed with major depression that largely began after my clash with the FBI.” (Two weeks before Manning reached out, Lamo had been confined to a mental-health facility.)

If Lamo suffered, he didn’t let on to his public. Hacking was now out of the question, but arrest had enhanced his fame. Young admirers reached out to him, ­including, in 2007, a 17-year-old named Lauren Robinson. “I liked his ideals and such back then,” she told me. Within a year, they were married—Lamo was 26 at the time. At first the romance was exciting. Soon, though, reality set in, Robinson recalled. “We’d sit around on computers all day,” she complained. As she saw it, his main activity was tending “the Adrian Lamo persona,” which existed almost exclusively online. “Eighty-five percent of his time was on a computer,” she said. He refused to work for pay. “I won’t whore out my skills,” he told Robinson. His father paid their rent. In the real world, Lamo was barely hanging on. But as Robinson, now divorced, recalled, online his reputation was intact. “People kind of saw him as a hacker idol,” she said. Bradley Manning must have too.

It wasn’t even much of a hack, Manning told Lamo, according to the logs. The Army’s “infosec”—Manning used the military term for information security—was so sloppy that a lowly intel analyst could sift through the government’s most closely held secrets. “it was vulnerable as fuck,” he wrote to Lamo. Manning downloaded data onto a CD marked “Lady Gaga,” lip-syncing as he supposedly did his job: “pretty simple, and unglamorous,” he wrote. No one had ever taken note of him, and no one did now: “everyone just sat at their workstations … watching music ­videos / car chases / buildings exploding … and writing more stuff to CD/DVD.” Then, the government alleged, he fed it to WikiLeaks.

In their online conversations, Lamo wanted to know more and encouraged Manning any way he could. He flirted. The two exchanged photos, assuring one another of their “sexiness,” according to a person who read the unedited portions of the chat logs, sent each other emoticon hearts, and used endearments like “sweetie.”

But Lamo wasn’t Assange, offering Manning a part in a noble cause. Even as he flirted, Lamo contacted a friend connected with military counterintelligence. Lamo didn’t want to find himself on the wrong side of the FBI again. Also, as Lamo saw it, Manning posed a threat to the nation. Manning said he leaked hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables: “holy fracking crap, 260,000 documents, do you think you could go through those and say they’re not going to cause any lives to be lost.”

Lamo, who soon started working with the authorities, led Manning on.

bradass87: “i think im in more potential heat than you ever were.”

“Not mandatorily,” Lamo reassured him.

Manning isn’t a classic whistle-blower. Disturbing information didn’t cross his desk, prodding him to act. Manning snooped—according to the timetable he proposed to Lamo, he’d been at it since almost the moment he arrived in Iraq. “i had always questioned how things worked, and investigated to find the truth,” he said. One of Manning’s first discoveries was a troubling 2007 video of an Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad. In the video, the viewer watches through the crosshairs of a .30-caliber gun—almost complicit—as the gunner killed two ­Reuters journalists, mistaking a Tele­photo lens for a weapon, and wounded two children. For Assange, the meaning of the video was clear, and to make his point he edited the video into a version he called “Collateral Murder.” It caused a worldwide scandal and overnight gave WikiLeaks, a tiny group of activists, credibility.

“What is your endgame?” Lamo asked Manning.

Manning didn’t have one. He’d started leaking as a way to protest the conduct of the war. The Apache helicopter killings were “wrong,” he wrote to Lamo. But soon he embraced a broader principle: Open the drawers. “information should be free,” he told Lamo, reciting the hacker mantra. According to the chat logs, Manning said he leaked Iraq and Afghan war logs, reports on Guantánamo prisoners, and a cache of diplomatic secrets. “explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective,” Manning thought of himself as honorable, even heroic—“I guess I’m too idealistic,” he said. “i want people to see the truth … regardless of who they are … ­because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” He hoped to provoke “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms … if not … then we’re doomed as a species.” He added a personal coda: “i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens.”

Lamo played Manning, reassuring him while, in reality, he had nothing but disdain for him. When Lamo was arrested, he’d been offended by the government prosecution—“criminalizing curiosity,” he called it. Now he was offended by Manning. “He’s a traitor at best,” Lamo said. And, worse, a child. “He was almost eager to explain his leaks, current, past, and future. Like a kid showing off a new toy,” Lamo told me. He was disgusted by the way in which Manning conflated his own precious moral awakening with the future of U.S. diplomacy. The leaks could “compromise our ability to make the world a better place, which we do in a lot of ways,” Lamo later said.

one comment ↪
  • Adam

    Lamo is definitely a low life, the real & coward betrayed comes from those who have perpetrated the collateral murders & war crimes namely the so called coalition of killing. Manning rights & humanity is RAPED every single day again & again. equally were the people of Iraq to this day. Considering there was no accountability it is HAPPENING all over in many countries.
    Time for accountability.

    No terror no torture just truth