Tag Archives: Lebanon

Porkins Policy Radio episode 42 The Homeland Hackers

Today Tom and I spoke to the now world famous “Homeland Hackers.” Heba Amin, Don Karl, and Caram Kapp sat down with us to discuss how they got the opportunity to work on the show and how they subverted it by filling the set with Arabic graffiti saying, among other things, “Homeland is racist” “Homeland is not a show” and of course our personal favorite, “Homeland is a watermelon.” We began the conversation by discussing how in fact they were chosen by the set designer to work on episode 2 of season 5.  The artists described how the production did little to no research into what would be in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon, and essentially left them to their own devices once on set.  Later we explored the show it self and how the propaganda with in Homeland has reached new levels of manipulation and racism.  All three artists talked about how Arab’s and Arabic are used as mere window dressing and one dimensional plot devices for the show’s propaganda.  Later we discussed the aftermath of the hack, and the typical media response; Muslim artist activists show the softer side of Islam.  We also talk about how Laura Poitras and The Intercept got involved after the hack.  As we wrapped up the discussion we got the seal of approval from Heba, Caram, and Don when we asked them about our podcast.  In the outro section I talk about how Tom and I do not believe the rather crazy claims that this is some sort of CIA disinfo/ psy-op.

I have to say this was one of the most enjoyable and fascinating interviews I have conducted.  Homeland is a Watermelon.

Download PPR episode 42

Show Notes:

“Arabian Street Artists” Bomb Homeland: Why we hacked an award-winning series

Homeland Hack News Coverage

 

Heba Amin

@HebaAmin

 

Don Karl

@Donrok

 

Caram Kapp

@Dot_Seekay

 

Music:

Mr. Flagio – Take a Chance

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Porkins Policy Radio episode 38 Homeland season 5 ep. 1

In honor of our favorite CIA television show, Homeland, Tom Secker and I have decided to cover every single episode with a separate podcast. We’ll be switching off hosting duties every other week.

In this inaugural episode, we take a brief look back to where all of our favorite characters left off at the end of season 4. Jumping ahead two and a half years, we see that Carrie has left the CIA, Saul has been promoted, and Quinn seems as crazy as ever. Tom and I discuss the new setting of this season, Berlin, and the implications of locating it in Western Europe. We also get into some of the major plot themes being laid out including: Edward Snowden, mass surveillance, ISIS and the threat of Islamic sleeper cells all over Europe. We break down how this season seems geared towards more of a niche audience immersed in the intelligence world, and round out this episode with our predictions for the rest of the season.

Download PPR episode 38
Show notes:

Homeland Season 5 episode 1 “Separation Anxiety”

Music:

Q Lazzarus – “Goodbye Horses”

Mysterious website seeks intelligence on Hezbollah operatives

Via: inteLNews

Intelligence circles in the Middle East are abuzz with news of a mysterious website that appears to offer substantial financial rewards in exchange for information about alleged members of militant group Hezbollah. The website, located at stop910.com, describes its mission as helping end “Hezbollah-perpetrated terrorism in Lebanon and abroad”. It specifically targets the Lebanese group’s Unit 910, believed to be tasked with international operations, including intelligence gathering from around the world. Hezbollah is a Shiite militant group and political party that controls large swathes of Lebanese territory. It was founded in 1985 in response to the invasion of southern Lebanon by the Israel Defense Forces. It is largely funded by Iran and in recent years has come out in support of the Syrian government in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Much of the stop910.com website consists of dozens of photographs of alleged Hezbollah operatives. Some are identified by name or alias, but the website asks for further information on them, including their real name, primary residence and telephone numbers or email accounts associated with them. Other photographs show images of unidentified individuals, whom the website describes as suspects known to be members of Hezbollah’s Unit 910. Next to each photograph, the website provides an allegedly secure link, which visitors can use to upload information and request payment. The website, which is currently blocked by most Lebanese Internet service providers, claims to represent an alliance of Western intelligence organizations. But McClatchy Newspapers contacted two Western intelligence officials who said the website was almost certainly an Israeli effort to gather information on Hezbollah activities. The United States-based news agency said it spoke to an unnamed “official based in Beirut […], who works for a European intelligence service”. The official told McClatchy that he had seen the website and “wondered why they [the Israeli intelligence services] lied” about who was behind the project. The news agency spoke to another unnamed “intelligence official based in Europe”, who dismissed the project as bad spy tradecraft. “I can’t believe this thing […], it’s very foolish”, he said. And he added: “it actually contains a significant amount of raw intelligence that would be literally illegal for American or European services to release to the public without the highest level of clearance”. The unnamed intelligence official continued: “now anyone can go online and get an idea of how much information we or the Israelis have on some of these guys”.

FSA declares war on Lebanon

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The war in Syria has now become a serious regional conflict. The US/Saudi/Qatari/Turkish backed FSA has begun a campaign against Hezbollah. This is a terrifying escalation of an already highly escalated conflict. The situation is further compounded by the fact that Hezbollah is a partner in the current coalition government in Lebanon. The FSA has in essence declared war on Lebanon. No doubt this will only add to more bloodshed and further destabilization of the region as a whole. The logic of the FSA seems rather misplaced. Hezbollah is a very sophisticated resistance group; not like the disorganized FSA which has had to rely on foreign jihadist fighters to do most of the frontline fighting. The FSA may be hedging it’s bet that soon the EU will declare the Shiite group a “terrorist” organization as per the request of America and Israel, thus making intervention seem more palatable for western citizens.

Syrian spillover

Spill over from the Syrian civil war is
making its way into Lebanon. Around 30 Syrians have been kidnapped in Lebanon in total, with most being held by the powerful Lebanese Shiite family al Mokdad. The kidnappings are in retaliation for one of their family members being kidnaped supposedly by the FSA in Syria. The al Mokdad clan has threatened to abduct Qatari and Saudi nationals that they find in Lebanon. The Gulf nations have taken this threat very seriously. On Wednsday Qatar and Saudi Arabia urged all of its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. This latest development should be a warning to any an all nations meddling in the Syrian civil war; stay out or face the consequences. What ever happens in Syria will reverberate in Lebanon. Small sale fighting has already taken place in Tripoli which has a significant Alawite community. We are now reaching the point of no return in this conflict. For all of the bluster from Western and Gulf leaders about the imminent downfall of Assad, he still remains in power. Short of an intervention no one knows how long he will continue fighting. As horrific as the civil war is now, it will surely be eclipsed by what will come after Assad leaves or is murdered. Fighting between Assad’s forces and the rebels are leading to a mutual cycle of violence that will sow enough hate on both sides to have this conflict last for years if not decades. This latest spate of kidnapping illustrates this point perfectly. The kidnapping of one Lebanese individual has now mobilized an entire family into a militia. The al Mokdad clan have no ties to either Hezbollah or Amal, the main Shia factions in Lebanon, but they are now firmly in the camp that opposes the FSA and the rebels in Syria. Animosity between the FSA and the al Mokdad clan is not going to end when the civil war ends.

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