Thursday, March 29, 2018
Congressional investigators looking into the origins of Special Counsel Mueller's Russia probe believe they've found a smoking gun that could justify the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether the Obama administration exerted undue influence over the FBI.
The latest batch of ducuments leaked in relation to the Democrats role in initiating the inquiry into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian agents contains text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggest a possible coordination between high-ranking officials at the Obama White House, CIA, FBI, Justice Department and former Senate Democratic leadership in the early stages of the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to GOP congressional investigators on Wednesday.
The investigators who leaked the information to Fox said the texts between Strzok and Page "strongly" suggest coordination between the White House, two independent intelligence agencies, and a Democratic Congressional leader. That would "contradict" the Obama administration's claims of non-involvement.
The exchanges between Strzok and Page could justify the appointment of a distinct counsel to investigate no matter if the Obama administration exerted undue have an impact on over the FBI. They have revealed the involvement of Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of workforce, John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and former Senate Majority leader Harry Reid in assisting create an atmosphere of paranoia that gave them the political cover to launch the Russia probe returned in the summertime of 2016.
The Hill reports: " President Trump vented his anger with the Russia investigation late Saturday night and Sunday morning, declaring that “they are laughing their asses off in Moscow” over the ongoing probe into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election.
In a remarkable burst of tweets sent from his Mar-a-Lago resort, the president blamed the Obama administration for not doing enough to deter Russia and claimed he never denied the meddling took place — all while undercutting his own national security adviser who said Saturday that the interference is now “beyond dispute.”
“If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams,” Trump tweeted just after 8 a.m. “They are laughing their asses off in Moscow"
This month the Media Research Center unveiled a new project entitled “Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers,” which is designed to “ensure the fact-checkers themselves are reliable and unbiased, or exposed as liberal partisans if they aren’t.”
The Media Research Center explained in its announcement:
"Sometimes you have to check the fact-checkers."
With more major news outlets running down their news gathering operations and relying on “fact checkers” to, allegedly, ensure that news fed in by 'anonymous sources' is factual, and press statements are accurate it is essential that fact checkers be motivated only by a committment to real news and not by private political agendas.
Fact checking groups such as PolitiFact have been observed to routinely present the opinions of their left - leaning ownners as fact while failing to disclose their connections to left-wing and 'progressive' political campaigns. Mainstream media, most of which is left of centre, tries to cast these groups as neutral third parties when, in fact, they are part of the liberal echo chamber and offer a soddy service that relies on the discredited Google fact checker algorithm. A 2016 Rasmussen poll found that 62% of American voters think the fact-check-ers are biased.
Many people believe it’s time to turn the tables and give the public the real facts. While Americans attempt to separate truth from propaganda, especially in regards to politics.
“MRC routinely finds instances when fact-checkers bend the truth or disproportionately target conservatives,” Bozell continued. “We are assigning our own rating to their judgments and will expose the worst offenders. Americans deserve the truth. There must be accountability across the board, and that includes these alleged arbiters of fact and fiction.”
Emmy-winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson recently gave a Tedx talk at the University of Nevada, on the subject of the “fake news” narrative that generated tremendous discussion during and following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying that “the whole thing smacked of the roll-out of a propaganda campaign.”
While Attkisson admitted that fake news has long existed in various forms, she said tha something different took root within U.S. mainstream media in 2016. Suspecting that the origins of this growing “fake news” narrative which heaped opprobium on Republicans and burbled enthusiatically about the wonderous wonderfulness of anything comnnected to those Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton were less than organic, Attkisson began researching found connections between the origins of this phenomena and a decidedly progressive non-profit organization called “First Draft,” which, she notes, “appears to be the about the first to use ‘fake news’ in its modern context.”…
Upon investigation, Attkisson discovered that one of the main financial backers and movers of First Draft’s anti-fake news coalition was none other than Google, whose parent company, Alphabet, was chaired by major Clinton supporter Eric Schmidt until Dec. 2017. Schmidt “offered himself up as a campaign adviser and became a top multi-million donor to Hillary's bid for the presidency. His company poured money First Draft around the start of the election cycle,” Attkisson said. “Not surprisingly, Hillary was soon to jump aboard the anti-fake news train and her surrogate, David Brock of Media Matters, privately told donors he was the one who convinced Facebook to join the effort.”
This was apparently a bid to swing the election for the Democrat candidate and secure a continuation of the Obama administration policy which saw Google executives sitting in on cabinet meetings in The Oval Office.
To learn more about the rise of the “fake news” narrative, watch Attkisson’s enlightening TedxTalk below:
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
by Ian R Thorpe
As mainstream media in Britain goes into an orgy of sycophancy in response to the UK and USA's securing support of the twenty seven member union for its provocative actions in the Skripal case, Virginia State Senator Richard Black said The bloc is a “soft dictatorship” in which only key players need to be brougt onside.
Claims from The White House’s that it played a key role in persuading / bullying European countries act in unison against Russia by expeliing diplomats and threatening economic sanctions over the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal might not just be typical Trumpian bragging, Senator Black said.
It is far simpler to coerce a majority of the leaders 27 EU member states to join in the wave of diplomatic expulsions, started by the UK, than to convince 650 members of the British Parliament or 535 U.S. congressmen, Black argued, adding that once key EU nations [such as Germany and France] comply, it triggers a domino effect.
“The EU is rather a soft dictatorship of all the nations of Europe. All you have to do is you have to be able to influence the key people in the EU, and then you’re able to control all of the national states of Europe,” Black said, noting that “when you have Great Britain and the US acting in concert, they essentially are able to control the EU.”
While there are exceptions to this rule that refused to follow the lead of EU powerhouses in promptly expelling Russian diplomatic staff, the majority simply caved in to the pressure, he argued.
“Now I do know that Austria did break ranks and they say no, we’re not going to do this. Others have just fallen in line; they’re under too much pressure from the EU.”
Austria, along with Switzerland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Greece, Slovenia, and Slovakia, among others, have not joined in the Russian expulsion frenzy. The US has been leading the effort, ordering 60 Russian diplomats on Monday to leave the country, which accounts for nearly half of the total number of people set to be expelled by over 20 countries and NATO.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
by Ian R ThorpeThe strangest thing about the tidal wave of public revulsion about violations of privacy that have hit Facebook this week in the wake of revelations throughout this month of improper commercial exploitation of users data is the story of how an academic built an app to harvest the private data of people who took his 'personality test', and then sold his database to a public relations consultancty should have surprised nobody. I have been complaining in articles and blogs about abuses of privacy, not just by Facebook but a host of other tech firms for a decade.
It was, however, not Facebooks crashing share price, or the surge of people signing up to the “delete Facebook” campaign (itself quite possible a scam to capture users data), that came with it. Nor was it the five days that it took Mark Zuckerberg to personally respond to the crisis, strange as the chief executive’s silence seemed given his usual voluble style when talking about how Faceook makes our lives better.
No, what shuld have us all aking WTF is that the allegations levelled at the social networking giant express concerns at activities Facebook's business model is built on. There have been concerns about Facebook's privacy piracy had strayed from creepy to illegal as long ago as 2011 (when I wrote the linked article). In 2015 Facebook first faced accusations that it was failing to protect users’ data when newspaper reports emerged that a shadowy British data firm called Cambridge Analytica had harvested information from millions of profiles without their knowledge.
Back then the company, which uses not-particularly-clever caputre and analyse (C&A) techniques to build user profiles which facilitate targeted advertising or political campaigns, and which had been tasked with boosting Ted Cruz’s ultimately unsuccessful presidential campaign, was virtually unknown. The claims then were as serious as many of those made last week. But the story failed to reverberate around the world, nor did it cost the social network almost $60bn (£42bn).
The crucial difference is that while the facts have not changed, the world has. There are two important new factors. The first is that Cambridge Analytica struck up a relationship with Donald Trump's capaign team after he secured the Republican nomination. Trump's eventual victory in the 2016 presidential election has invited near-constant allegations of impropriety and vote rigging with the most serious allegations, of collusion with Russia, having been thoroughly discredited. There remain, however, a rump of Hillary Clinton supporters who simply cannot accept their candidate lost according to the rules as they applied in 2016.
It is these people who, having once idolised Mark Zuckerberg for his professed liberal principles (which it turns out are overridden by his lust for wealth and power, have now turned on moonface and his company, although in te whole scandal, neith Facebook not its clients has done anything that was not done in 2008 and 2012 by the Obama campaign and was hailed as genius by the same people who are calling it criminal because it helped Trump.
If any good is to come out of this latest Facebook scandal it will be that mho have been prepaany users wred to put large chunks of their life online and reveal in depth personal date to social media and other "free" online services will now be prompted to develop a much better understanding of technology they were prepared to trust simply because it was 'cool'. We must all be aware also of the economics involved in providing the 'free stuff' that is thrown at us on the web. It costs fortunes to run server farms and rent commuincations network capacity and that must all be paid for somehow, and to now that somehow has usually meant advertising. If the service is presented as free, then users are not the customers, users and the personal data reveal and the habits and choices shown as they browse or shop online become the products being sold (to marketing/advertising companies). These companies don't collect data about users and their interests for academic research purposes, they collect it so that they can sell it. It is OK to use such services as long as one remembers that the services are not free, your profile is being sold to people whose business is to serve targeted ads to the pages pulled up on your screen.
It is also sensible for users to consider in which countries their data is held and under what legal jurisdiction(s) it is held - it should be in the Ts and Cs, but let's be honest, most people (me included) don't read them.
The downfall of Facebook should also be a turning point for publishing. Social media networks should be treated as publishers, with some responsibility for what appears on their pages. This would help to rein in the Wild West elements and also divert revenue to the traditional publishers who are being slowly destroyed by new media, because even well established newspapers, magazines and broadcasters find it hard to sell subscriptions when their products are hidden among so much worthless drek. A free press is an essential part of democracy. Facebook, Google and the rest should be paying the publishers for the content they scrape from real content publishers.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Angela Merkel has a full and frank exchange op opinions with Horst Seehofer (left) and the SDP's Olaf Scholz (source: Global Look Press)
The ink has hardly dried on the coalition agreement between Germany's CDU, CSU and SDP coalition government partners who finally agreed to form a new government after six months of wrangling following an inconclusive election, than the government leader engages in a bitter dispute with a key minister and a crucial ally. Such conflicts may prove fatal to the futures both of the ruling coalition and its members.
Days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s was sworn in for a fourth term and her ministers took their oaths of office, the perceived harmony (perceived by whom we wonder?) in Europe’s leading economic power was again disrupted – this time by newly appointed interior minister Horst Seehofer, who is also the leader of Merkel’s longstanding Bavarian allies the Christian Social Union (CSU). Seehofer provoked another bout of controversy by saying that “Islam does not belong to Germany, as we reported a week ago.
The minister’s statement immediately drew a rebuke from Merkel, who said that “Islam has now become a part of Germany.”
This provoked a barrage of criticism from CSU members and other German parties in the Bundestag. More significant, however, is that it seems to have revived an old dispute that has plagued the relations between the two German “sister-parties” and their leaders for several years.
Seehofer previously served as prime minister of the German federal state of Bavaria for some ten years. At the height of the refugee crisis, the south-eastern state found itself on the front line, accepting the massive inflow of asylum seekers travelling to Germany via the so-called Balkan route. Being the second-most populous German state, Bavaria also had to take in one of the largest quotas of refugees that came to Germany.
As a result of these developments, Seehofer seems to have adopted a much more hardline stance on immigration than Merkel, who stubbornly refuses to abandon her decision to open Germany's borders to criminals, beggars, the illiterate, people traffickers, members of organised crime networks and terrorist groups and general dickheads without carrying out any background checks or even asking for a valid passport or national identity card. For three years, the CSU leader has been regularly slamming his ally for her ‘open door’ policy. He has also long demanded a cap on new arrivals alongside with much stricter immigration controls.
Even though the CDU/CSU union won the most seats in the Bundestag at the last election, it still suffered a major setback by gaining just 33 percent of the vote, an all-time low in terms of public support since 1949. As a result, Merkel accepted some of Seehofer’s policy demands – including the refugee cap – but noe The Chancellor seems to be backsliding on her agreements and returning to the EU Commission's plan to flood Europe with cheap labour.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Teresa May have in the past two weeks both gone out on a limb to accuse the Russian government and Vladimir Putin himself of having engineered the chemical attack in Salisbury UK which almost claimed the lives of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter and led to many people with no connection to the spy or security services in Britain or Russia needing hospital treatment. Johnson has insisted that British chemical lab Porton Down told him the nerve agent used to attack the Skripals was definitely Novichok. However, court documents from a case which grated permission for investigators to take further blood samples from the two main victims, suggest there is no such certainty.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle on Thursday, the UK foreign secretary claimed that analytical chemists working at the UK's chemical weapons facility at Porton were “absolutely categorical” in confirming to him that the source of the nerve agent, identified by the UK as A-234 – also known as Novichok – was Russian. Johnson said: “Let me be clear with you… the people from Porton Down, the laboratory… they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said there’s no doubt.”
A decision from a High Court Judge on Thursday, however, granted permission to take new blood samples from Sergei and Yulia Skripal for analysis by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
In his judgment, Justice David Basil Williams included a summary of the evidence, revealing Porton Down’s analysis. The judgment, which includes sworn court evidence from a Porton Down chemical and biological analyst, reads: “Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analyzed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok-class nerve agent or closely related agent.”
Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray wrote in a blog post that the evidence therefore does not unequivocally confirm that nerve agent used on the Sripals is definitely Novichok (which is a relatively easy substance to produce,). Murray also claimed that scientists at Porton Down have failed to find evidence of Russian “culpability” as Novichok and similar substances can be produced from easily obtained materials by any comptent laboratory technician.
The judgment comes despite multiple affirmations from the UK government that the nerve gas came from Russia. The evidence given in court raises questions over the information provided by the government to parliament, the EU, NATO, the United Nations and the public.
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Facebook Is Falling Apart so Fast We Can't Keep Up
Anyone who reads The Daily Stirrer regularly will know we have never been fans of Facebook, Google or any of the other multi - billion dollar internet corporations which operate business models based on abusing users privacy. We have always predicted retribution would one day be delivered when the public finally woke up to how these companies trick users into revealing personal information about themselves and all their friends and contacts, and then try to use that data to manipulate the way users behave.
It seems retribution has arrived for Facebook at least, after a year of alienating public opinion through a series of public relations disasters, a new scandal seems to be the straw that broke the Camel's back.
US Senator Demands Zuckerberg ‘Be Subpoenaed’ to Testify Under Oath
from The AntiMedia
As the damning details of Facebook’s largest-ever data breach at the hands of pro-Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica continue to pour in — and as the social media giant’s share price continues to plummet as a result—Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Monday called on CEO Mark Zuckerberg to “testify under oath” before Congress to explain why his company took so long to notify users that their information had been compromised.
“Zuckerberg ought to be subpoenaed to testify if he won’t do it voluntarily,” Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters late Monday, echoing demands of other lawmakers. “He owes it to the American people who ought to be deeply disappointed by the conflicting and disparate explanations that have been offered.”
Blumenthal’s request comes amid growing calls — both in the U.S. and overseasfor Zuckerberg to answer for his company’s failure to ban Cambridge Analytica in 2015, when the platform first, discovered that the personal information of millions had been harvested in violation of company policy.
Since details of Cambridge Analytica’s exploitation of Facebook were published by the New York Times and the Observer over the weekend, the social media giant has downplayed the incident, argued that it doesn’t constitute a data breach at all, and maintained that Cambridge Analytica is solely to blame for the improper harvesting of personal data.
But privacy advocates have argued that while Cambridge Analytica should be held accountable for its actions, Facebook cannot be let off the hook.
Facebook Lost $50 Billion in Market Value In Two Days Over Privacy Scandal
The scandal that has hit Facebook over IT firm Cambridge Analytica using Facebook to trick users into revealing information in exactly the same way as Facebook itself pulls off the scam has hit Facebook investors where it hurts most — in their bank accounts.
Investor confidence hhas been hit too, as the world speculates on which of Facebook's many unethical business practoces will be put under the microscope next. Last Friday, before the full impact of the story was felt, the social media giant’s closing stock price was $185.09, making it worth about $538 billion, vastly overvalued for a company that has never paid a dividend, but but sanity and stock market valuations for tech corporations never had a working relationship. The scandal went viral over the weekend as it emerged thatdata consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked with Donald Trump on the 2016 election, had allegedly obtained unauthorized access to some 50 million Facebook accounts.
The effects were felt immediately, and not just in the area of privacy concerns. Facebook shares tumbled nearly seven percent on Monday. That’s a loss of about $35 billion in market value, making it the worst day of trading the company has seen in four years.
The slide continued on Tuesday, spurred on by the news that the Federal Trade Commission will launch an investigation into the handling of user data and calls from lawmakers for Facebook executives to testify before Congress on the subject.
The further 2.6 percent drop, which put the stock price at around $168, means that Facebook lost roughly $50 billion in market value over the course of two days. That’s after slightly recovering from an even further dip of around six percent.
But it’s not just the company as a whole that’s hurting. The Cambridge Analytica debacle is affecting the man at the top, as well. CNBC reported on Tuesday:
“Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth status has changed — he’s lost more than $9 billion in stock wealth over the past 48 hours." Well it couln't have happened to a more deserving piece of shit.
Lawsuits Accumulate As #DeleteFacebook Movement Grows
After the mayhem of earlier this week, Facebook must have hoped things would start to stabilise on Wednesday as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would publicly address the company's relationship with Cambridge Analytica some time during the next 24 hours.
At the same time however, another lawsuit has been brought against the company, the second since the New York Times and the Observer reported over the weekend that the company had failed to stop CA from using data improperly gathered from tens of millions of users, a Maryland woman sued Facebook Tuesday in a San Jose, Calif. court. Her suit was filed on behalf of other Facebook users whose data were accessed by CA without their explicit permission, Bloomberg reported.
Zuckerberg, the company's founder and CEO said the delay in his making a statement was due to his desire to say something "meaningful" rather than delivering a quick, boilerplate comment, Axios reported.
On Tuesday, a group of Facebook investors filed a lawsuit against the company in a San Francisco federal court. The class action claims investors had suffered losses after the company disclosed that it had severed ties with Cambridge Analytica after blaming the company for "misleading" Facebook by saying it had deleted a cache of user data, when Facebook says it actually kept the data. CA has denied the allegations and said it didn't use Facebook data for its work on the 2016 Trump campaign. Investors who purchased shares of Facebook between Feb. 3, when it filed its annual report and cited security breaches and improper access to user data, and March 19, the Monday after the exposes were published, are eligible to join the lawsuit.
Throughout that period, “defendants made false or misleading statements and failed to disclose that Facebook violated its own data privacy policies by allowing third parties access to personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent,” according to the complaint.
As Bloomberg explains, investors have a strong case so long as they can prove their decisions to invest in Facebook were based on false or misleading information released by the company. By not policing app developers' use of its users data, it could be argued that Facebook misled investors about how it handled and safeguarded private user data.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has opened a civil probe into the company and Connecticut AG George Jepsen has sent a written inquiry to answer questions about Cambridge Analytica. The Federal Trade Commission has also opened a data-privacy investigation into the company.
European Union Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova plans to meet with Facebook officials in Washington on March 21. She called the data misuse "horrifying, if confirmed" and "not acceptable."
Four days after the allegations first surfaced, #DeleteFacebook started trending on Twitter late Tuesday as users complained about "trust issues" regarding how the company shares their personal data. It gained a notable booster when WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton tweeted that the time has come for Facebook users to delete their accounts.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Sourced from an article by Mohammed Ayoob
The forgotten nuclear powers, India and Pakistan are edging towards war (Image source: LA Times)
India and Pakistan are the nuclear powers mainstream media tends to forget as they focus on USA, Russia, China and North Korea, but both have between 120 and 140 nuclear warheads, probably not equipped with the latest guidance and stealth technology, but good enough to do a lot of damage according to the Arms Control Association. A report published in 2015 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center claims that Pakistan may be outpacing India in terms of its nuclear stockpile, and may possess 350 nuclear warheads within the next five to ten years. A 2016 SIPRI report also concluded that Pakistan now has more nuclear warheads than India.
However, what should most concern us about the nuclear-weapons policies of the neighbouring states is not the size of the stockpiles, but their radically different nuclear doctrines.
The major difference between the two countries’ nuclear doctrines is that while India has renounced first use of nuclear weapons, Pakistan has refused to do so by reserving its right to use nuclear weapons in the face of India’s conventional superiority.
So far around the uncertainty Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities is preventing a major conflagration in South Asia. Pakistan’s refusal to reject first use, and its emphasis on building stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons and short-range missiles can be explained in light of its conventional-force inferiority. It is in fact a mirror image of the American nuclear doctrine as applied to central Europe during the Cold War. The United States refused to disavow first use of nuclear weapons, and deployed tactical nuclear weapons in central Europe on a large scale, because of NATO’s presumed inferiority in terms of conventional power against that deployed by the Warsaw Pact.
But for Pakistan, the uncertainty introduced by its nuclear doctrine has delivered a bonus. The nuclear threat provided Pakistan with the shield behind which terrorist groups armed and trained by Islamabad, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad, can engage in casing havoc not only in Indian-administered Kashmir but also in other parts of India. The fear of provoking a nuclear response from Pakistan has prevented India from retaliating to these provocations, use of its superior conventional forces to inflict a crushing defeat on Pakistan.
India did not retaliate even when a massive terrorist operation launched from Pakistan targeted India’s financial capital, Mumbai, in November 2008. This attack lasted for more than sixty hours and left at least 174 people dead.
However, it seems that the logic of this deterrence is fast eroding. Attacks such as the one in Mumbai, and subsequent assaults on Indian military installations in Kashmir and elsewhere, have also provided justification for India’s hard-line Hindu nationalists to whip up support for a military response, thus putting pressure on the Indian government to abandon its policy of diplomatic responses. In the past few months, Indian retaliatory attacks have targeted not only terrorist bases but also Pakistani military facilities, causing significant casualties among Pakistani forces.
The escalation in the last two years in terror attacks, especially by Jaish-e-Muhammad, on Indian military targets in Kashmir and surrounding Indian states has made the situation very perilous. In the past several months, terrorist groups operating from Pakistan with the complicity of the government and military authorities have undertaken several major attacks, causing significant loss of life in India.
A major attack on the Uri camp in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2016, left seventeen military personnel dead and shocked the Indian government into reassessing its strategy in response to such attacks. On September 29, 2016, India launched a “surgical strike” against terrorist bases in Pakistan. Although there has been speculation that India conducted similar strikes before that, it was the first time Delhi indicated publicly that it was ready to launch major retaliatory attacks against targets in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
In the latest incident, in February 2018, Jaish terrorists attacked an Indian military camp in Jammu; five army personnel and four militants were killed. In retaliation, the Indian army destroyed a Pakistani army post with the help of rocket launchers, killing, according to Indian sources, twenty-two Pakistani personnel. This tit-for-tat exchange is reaching dangerous proportions.
The Pakistani military tends to downplay Indian incursions and retaliatory attacks, while bigging up their own, and true to form they refused to recognize the seriousness of the escalating cross border violence, mainly because it does not want to appear weak in the eyes of the Pakistani public which has a culture of honour and revenge, and is likely to clamor for retribution. However, as more and more Pakistanis get internet access the military cannot continue to downplay Indian attacks, or increasing fatalities. There is the danger that at some point, either by miscalculation or by design, an Indian surgical strike in Pakistani territory will push the Pakistani military to retaliate in force.