Elections in Iran (pt3): The revolution will not be televised

More unfiltered diagnostics and news from inside Iran

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (12:40):

 

BBC Persian service reports strife in Tehran and other cities.

The black smoke of tire-burning can be seen over the city once again.

I can’t contact a cellphone on my desk from the telephone connected to the landline, also on my desk. Contact’s cellphone is also inaccessible, obviously. “Limited Service,” says the device. I might be able to post more eyewitness bits if my contact comes back safely.

?

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (12:40):

 

A “cyberwar” tutorial in favor of Iranian protesters used to be here (I checked that less than 2 hours ago):

— http://reinikainen.co.uk/2009/06/iranelection-cyberwar-guide-for-beginners/

Now it redirects to:

> Please contact the billing department as soon as possible on

> billing[at]justhost.com.

— http://web66.justhost.com/suspended.page/

?

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (12:40):

 

This:

— http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8103577.stm

details today’s “public” demonstration organized by the government.

Myself on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (12:51):

Cyberwar guide for Iran elections

Posted by Cory Doctorow, June 16, 2009 3:25 AM | permalink

Yishay sez, “The road to hell is paved with the best intentions (including mine). Learn how to actually help the protesters and not the gov’t in Iran.”

The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through Twitter.

1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran.

2. Hashtags, the only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.

3. Keep you bull$hit filter up! Security forces are now setting up twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters. Please don’t retweet impetuosly, try to confirm information with reliable sources before retweeting. The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.

4. Help cover the bloggers: change your twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become ‘Iranians’ it becomes much harder to find them.

5. Don’t blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don’t publicise their name or location on a website. These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks but don’t signpost them to the security forces. People are dying there, for real, please keep that in mind…

?

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (12:56):

 

Cries of “Allah-o Akbar” again. From under my window as well as distant sources.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (15:14):

 

You are a middle class person. When poor people receive such “gifts” the first thing they think is not “this must be from an unworthy candidate”–they think “wish there was a way to get more.” This is particularly true when the “gift” comes in forms they can expect to continue. In farmers’ case, for example, zero- or low-interest loans are actually a means by which many governments around the world support national agriculture. They are, in a sense, a farmer’s right. When, where, how, and to whom they should be paid is a complicated subject, nonetheless, since they could cause damage to national agriculture and economy if placed carelessly. This fact is normally considered even under the IR. M. A.’s “gifts” were however given out so lavishly and so unseasonably that little doubt is left as to their intetion.

Add to that his incompetent (or malevolent, some say) handling of agricultural issues over the past 4 years and you get a picture expressive enough.

Bribes are vocally condemned in Iran but are rather common, mostly in lower ranks of government. Government clerks and traffic police are stereotyped as receivers of bribes. No one feels obliged because of a bribe. In fact, if you intend to bribe someone you should make sure you have some means of making them comply with the favor you have asked in exchange.

Ballots are secret and that is required by law but the fact that you have voted is not because your main identity document is stamped when you vote with a seal that is unique to each election and your identity is recorded in the poll register. This is understood to be a measure for preventing voting fraud since pre-election voter registration is not practiced in Iran. There are a number of conspiracy theories regarding how the paperwork involved in the voting process could reveal your identity. I don’t think any of them are credible.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (15:19):

 

GhalamNews (Ghalam/Qalam = pen, since very old times in Iran in a literary sense symbolizes writing itself understood as a means of personal/social emancipation), pro-Mousavi, described yesterday’s demonstration as a “rally of tranquilitiy.” Emphasizing the peacefulness of protesters.

— http://www.ghalamnews.ir/

Khomeini’s picture on top right corner, top left features part of the second stich from a famous Mo’lana/Rumi line in calligraphy, saying “… and I wish for a human [to come forth/be found],” the full line and the line after it goes, “our mentor roamed the city in daylight the other day holding a lantern in his hand/said he’s tired of Deevs and wild beasts and wishes for a human [to come forth/be found]/we told him we have searched far and wide but found none/’that which cannot be found, I wish for that,’ he said.”

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (15:26):

 

BBC Persian online video broadcast showed medical staff at “Rasoul-e Akram” hospital on a two-hour strike protesting the violences. Many of the injured had been taken to that hospital apparently.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (15:52):

 

My contact reported from safety. Fewer cases of violence today. People showed more solidarity. Numbering in hundreds of thousands gathered from Vanak Square and upper parts of Vali-e Asr Avenue–which leads southwards to Vali-e Asr Square where less than an hour before had seen a comparably miniscule gathering of “the public”–upwards towards IRIB headquarters.

IRIB headquarters was being guarded by armed units of unknown affiliation in full formation (a specific formation called a “fort” was mentioned to my contact). A police helicopter was flying over.

This time around riot police did not attack people apparently and protected people against militiamen (or rather saved the militimen from being torn limb from limb by the angry public as had happened in previous days). Slogans included: “Zarghami, Zarghami, resign!” (Zarghami is IRIB’s director appointed by the Leader himself), “betrayer of nation’s vote, honorless Basiji,” “soldier brothers of ours, support us,” “Basiji, you, too, are Iranian” (the Persian sentences do rhyme, of course).

Fa’eza Hashemi, Ali Akbar Hashemi’s daughter, gave a speech for the gathering of protesters.

People carried pictures of students from UT dorm severely injured or killed in the raid.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (17:24):

The papers here say there will be a “partial recount”. What can you tell us about that?

 

That’s as far as the Guardian Council has backed off. Mousavi has vowed that protests will continue until the election results are revoked and a new election is held. The representatives of the three rival candidates have presented the Guardian Council with an option of creating a fact finding committee. Karroubi has filed a complaint, whose full text I read this morning, with the Guardian Council that challenges M. A.’s presidency on every possible ground: unfitness of M. A.’s person, illegal moves before the election, illegal moves during the election, and illegal moves after it.

(Mind you, among the more dangerous slogans were “Jannati, you are the next” and “Mesbah, you are the next,” threatening the two with the fate of Basij thugs who were brutally pounded, kicked, cut to death. Ayatollah Jannati is the head of Guardian Council and Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi is too well-known now to need introduction. Some people believe ever-confident, self-righteous

Jannati’s TV appearance today, a rare event in itself, contained unmistakable traces of hardly concealed fear.)

Things are getting far too complicated. I, a natural skeptic who really doesn’t take many things for granted, am feeling utterly confused as to what is genuine and what is not so I’m following a friend’s advice: “hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

I am assuming that the coup will see complete success and the cabal will prevail. Their responses so far have been amazingly flexible and minute. Moving from slowing down Internet access to effectively disrupting specific online services that are most significant to their opponents’ programming is no less than a technical feat.

Some believe, and I concede, glaringly large deviation of election results from public (or only protesters?) expetations has been a deliberate move intended as show of force–“we can do it, and we do it.”

Others point out, and once again I concede, the government may allow re-counting of votes, wholly or partially, and announcement of a set of updated results that “expose” minor fraud but do not change the final outcome.

Still others maintain, and I find little reason to oppose, there’s a slight chance that things will happen in Iran’s best interest and the loud voice of protest will manage to realize what many believe with good reason is popular will.

The number of plausible scenarios accounting for past events as well as painting future contingents has grown explosively.

The one thing insisted on by my sociologist friend who uses and extends the systems science approach to sociology is that we are at a punctuation period

within an evolutionary system that conforms to the punctuated equilibrium model. In non-jargon, we are seeing a short period of tumultous reconfiguration and adaptation of the system that will determine its future for a comparatively long period until the next punctuation stage. The next two-three weeks will more or less determine Iran’s next two-three decades.

I agree with that point.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (18:04):

 

BBC Persian second latest headline:

> Ayatollah Khamenei: “Accepting defeat is not easy”

>

> […]

>

> Additionally, mentioning the “24 million votes” of one side and “14

> million votes” of the other and referring to M. A. as “president elect”

> once again implied his [M. A.’s] victory.

>

> […]

>

> On the subject of unrests after the announcement of results he said: “this

> destruction, disagreeable deeds, and certain atrocities that have happened

> are not the work of people and candidates’ supports rather the work of

> subversives that everyone should stand up against and explicitly clarify

> their relationship to.”

>

> […]

— http://is.gd/13O5s

On the subject of this brazen self-confidence, “it’s the darkest right before the dawn,” said someone (I’m paraphrasing, of course).

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (18:06):

I have much respect for the Persians who have stood up to speak their minds. I am also glad I do not have to be so close to the action. What I have

read looks thrilling and horrific all at once. I hope the long term result is a more unified nation of intellectuals governing peacefully.

 

I have little hope. I was born hopeless 😀 Many thanks for your interest and your blog posts; I saw “Pt. 2.”

I forgot to mention one thing: “rule of intellectuals” and “a nation of intellectuals” are neither real nor desirable. Relative success of current protests compared to previous ones is, I believe, directly a consequence of domestic “intellectuals” adjusting themselves to the realities of this nation. Unfortunately, many expatriates and foreign observers are acting/speaking rather dreamy-headed. Losing sight of concrete objectives will definitely make these protests even less fruitful, more frustrating to the youth, and much more prone to dreadfully harsh response from the establishment.

My favorite example: even if by means of voodoo the Iranian government and legal system changed overnight to a government and legal system that would

allow for infinite “lewdness” in media it would take at least three decades of erosion (from culture contact) for the Iranian society to come to terms with some of the anime that gets easily licensed in the US, let alone anime that will probably never get licensed in the US (and I miss no chance to

savor).

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (18:31):

 

In other words, this is _not_ beneficial:

> For a democratic secular Iran. For peace and prosperity in the Middle

> East.

>

> This weblog was created to act as a platform for the voice of secular

> pro-democracy activists in and outside Iran who are struggling against the

> religious dictatorship of the Islamic clerics in Iran. My favourite quote:

> “Evil only prevails when the good stay silent”

— http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/

If there is a “religious dictatorship” in Iran it rests on the minds and bodies of believers. This Iranian man from far far away has little notion how young Iranians with almost no practice of faith nonetheless take oaths to Shi’a Imams and many a time keep those oaths or why highly educated Iranian youth who have no time for daily prayers still fast and pray in Ramadan (in Persian the month is called Ramezan, the English name comes from rendering a glottal Arabic /z/ into /d/, to speakers of Persian the Arabic-specific consonant sounds more like /z/ than /d/).

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (18:33):

 

Already more than my brainpower quota for today. Thanks for keeping up, whoever read these.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (18:50):

 

Couldn’t let this wait.

Unique photos (or ones you may have seen but at lower resolutions):

>>>>>>>>>> DO NOT LINK. MAY ENDANGER LIVES <<<<<<<<<<<<<

>>http://www.infosecurity.pro/images/Tehran/ <<

>>>>>>>>>> DO NOT LINK. MAY ENDANGER LIVES <<<<<<<<<<<<<

NOTE: Look at the photos without any worries but ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LINK to or direct people there. While it appears legitimate

it asks for names, cellphone numbers, and email addresses “for dissemination of latest updates.” It is very probably a trap. Linking to that site MAY ENDANGER LIVES.

on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 (04:28):

 

Dead silent morning and noon.

Protest demonstration scheduled for afternoon at Haft-e Tir Square.

As people’s fervor subsides security gets tighter and more accurate. The Islamic Republic is adapting to the new surges, minimizing confrontation, at the time making sure it gets its way with the country down to the last detail of its criminal plan.

The Pirate Bay made a marvellous move. I hadn’t visited their front page for a while–too busy getting updates on recent events, no time for pirating–as I didn’t expect them to react, or even care. Here’s the Persian Bay:

http://www.thepiratebay.org

on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 (04:48):

 

Robert Fisk is readable as always:

> Extraordinary scenes: Robert Fisk in Iran

>

> Posted June 17, 2009 11:23:00 Updated June 17, 2009 12:17:00

>

> The long-standing Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Robert

> Fisk, is defying the government crackdown on foreign media reporting in

> Iran.

— http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/17/2600571.htm

Rather unbiased, realistic, and distantly empathic. Wished more journalists had these qualities. Hitting the right balance of neutrality and empathy seems to be quite a difficult task.

on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 (05:18):

 

Best explanation of what happened, what’s happening, and what will happen I have read (in English) so far:

> The Leaders of Iran.s ‘Election Coup’

>

> By MUHAMMAD SAHIMI in Los Angeles | 14 June 2009

>

> [TEHRAN BUREAU] The rigged presidential election in Iran . a coup d.etat,

> according to Mohsen Makhmalbaf, a spokesman for the main reformist

> challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi and other analysts . has prompted protests

> both inside and outside Iran. There is, however, little understanding

> about the ideology and motivation behind the operation.

— http://tehranbureau.com/2009/06/16/the-leaders-of-iran.s-election-coup/

Also includes: _who_ was/is/will be involved.

If you want to know for real and in as few words as possible what’s going on this is _the_ article to read. The author has gathered, verified, and carefully pieced information that is otherwise scattered over many sources and documents. I haven’t seen a similar treatment in English although equivalents in Persian have existed for some years now.

 

Elections in Iran(pt2): The revolution will not be televised

More unfiltered/unbiased news from a colleague in Iran:

 on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (04:29):> Seven killed during Iran protest

>

> Iranian state radio says seven people were killed during Monday’s protests

> in Tehran over the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

>

> […]

— http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8102224.stm

The part most concerning US people is probably this:

> “We respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being

> the issue inside of Iran,” Mr Obama said.

Well, that’s nearly a truism the US government used to ignore for a long time. If there’s even the smallest public move on part of foreign governments in support of the protests it will be much easier for the state to connect them to “the enemy” and justify more severe suppressive measures.

——————————————————————————

The government is organizing a “public” demonstration for ~16:00 local time to counter the scheduled protest demonstration. The list of groups called upon consists of standard codes for various beneficiaries of status quo: “men and women, students, ‘social strata,’ the Hizbollah nation, and suppporters of the Islamic government.” In Iranian state speech each of these terms targets a specific subset of “the nation,” i.e. direct or indirect receivers of payment and benefits in exchange for allegiance to the state. These are different from government employees, a majority in Iran, who do real, honest work for their pay.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (08:49):

An awesome propaganda move: IRIB called for “protesting against recent unrest and thuggery.” At the same time and place as the protests against election fraud (read: coup).

Mousavi called off today’s demonstration.

According to:

— http://www.yavar.ir/index2.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=375&newsview=1792

5,000 thugs have been employed and equipped for causing trouble and turning peaceful protests into bloodshed.

People have spread the news by unorthodox means and will avoid clashes.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (08:59):

Someone says on #iranelection:

> GUARDS HAVE STARTED RAIDING HOUSES IN TEHRAN TO TAKE SATELLITE DEVICES.

— http://twitter.com/iranelection

House by house search is unprecedented. While these reception apparatuses are illegal searching for them in people’s homes is also illegal. No judge has ever issued a blanket warrant for searching every home. No judge has the authority to do so.

I have no confirmation for the above bit. For now it must considered a rumor likely to be true only in limited areas of Tehran.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (09:25):

I suggest About.com editor, Pierre Tristam, shut his big yap and mind his own business:

http://middleeast.about.com/od/iran/p/mir-hossein-moussavi-profile.htm

This measure of idiocy and malice is frustrating.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (10:37):

“possible that the election could have been valid and that the majority did indeed elect Mr. Ahmadinejad?”

I find that highly improbable but cannot completely rule it out as well. Problem is with lack of mutual understanding between the capital, large cities, small cities, and rural areas.

Anyhow, there are some undeniable facts upon which one may reason:

1. M. A. could not have won by such a large margin.

2. Some reliable analysts had carefully combined multiple pre-election poll results and predicted a much larger number of votes for Karroubi and a definite win for Mousavi.

3. Some smaller cities where M. A. has been declared victor are comprised of tightly knit communities with blood ties that span across the city. In those cities people can easily confirm through their relatives that M. A. could not have had majority vote.

Regardless of any fraudulent activity that has taken place at poll sites and after the election there exists absolutely unquestionable evidence of fraud before the election. It is so widespread and so clear that one cannot really call it fraud. M. A. began spending huge amounts of public money on his target groups, three such groups being pensioners, farmers, and students.

One week before the elections relatively large sums of money were handed out as “gift from government” at student dormitories, including that of Tehran University. At Tehran University’s this caused uproar. Students didn’t accept the money. UT dean–the second UT dean to be appointed by government rather than elected by the board of trustees, both after the first stage of the coup 4 years ago–shamelessly claimed the students were upset because “the gift sum was too little.”

(UT’s dormitory was attacked the night before last night. Students were beaten, arrested, and probably killed. Reminiscent of Tir 18th, July 9th, events during Khatami’s presidency when plainclothes militiamen raided, looted, and massacred.)

At one village from which I have direct news up to 7K USD of bank loans to farmers were forgiven. Zero interest loans of up to 5K USD were lavishly granted for “the purchase of farming equipment.” For Iranian farmers these are considerable sums.

In some poor areas “gift from government” consisted of large bags of potatoes.

The cabal has given a whole new meaning to corruption. It has been a normal practice of the Islamic Republic (partly due to Iran’s society itself) to cause poverty through corruption, incompetence, nepotism, favoritism, and thieving officials. It has also been a normal practice of the IR to use poverty to its advantage. Small bonuses to the poor from the same people who had robbed them and made them poor in the first place have times over earned the thieves “respect” (read: hope for larger bonuses) from the poor. The cabal took those practices to entirely unimaginable levels with total insolence.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (10:44):

My Google Talk connection gets dropped and my connection to one of the IRC servers I frequently use is untenable. I used to connect to both over SSL.

The problem with Google Talk and other messengers (Yahoo! and MSN) seems to be common. Transfer speeds are back to normal but control has apparently grown more accurate. IM services are being specifically targeted.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (10:45):

(Remember the IRC vs. IM talk? IRC over SSL to Indymedia servers works like a charm.)

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (10:49):

Heavy disinformation campaign on the net. The IR is aiming more precisely.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (10:49):

Popular networks, however, beat them to it.

on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 (11:18):

Some people just can’t comprehend anything:

https://prod.indymedia.nl/nl/2009/06/60105.shtml

 

 

Elections in Iran: The revolution will not be televised

One of my oldest hobbies has been the correspondence and exchange of ideas and philosophies and happenings with others around the world on their cultures, customs, traditions, experiences, and knowledge.  This is no exception and is a direct feed through our secure text based medium of my colleague in Iran’s prose and declarations:

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (01:48):

The results of Iranian presidential elections are becoming clear, the most important being that it was not an election. M. A. gets “re-elected” with a huge margin although it was clearly impossible. Election stolen, last glimmer of democracy died down, not because _he_ was elected but because he was _assigned_ the title despite the realities of Iranian public opinion. This is no more a misrepresenting democracy–it’s a confirmed oligarchy. A sad day.

P.S. I am embarrassed for what little confidence I had in these elections.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (01:56):

Do you expect much public turmoil now?

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (02:05):

No. Whoever assigned the man the title will keep him safe. That’s written in the Qur’an 🙁

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (02:08):

And, what are a bunch of people compared to another bunch of people smaller in number by an order of magnitude but trained for organized violence? Sheep to dog? Sailor to the cat o’ nine tails?

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (06:53):

2:00 AM local time Mir Hossein Mousavi announced his victory in partial results. According to reliable inside sources Ayatollah Ali Khamenei contacted and congratulated him on the victory.

8:00 AM same day M. A. was declared leading by ~14,000,000 votes. M. H. M. released a video message to the nation declaring the Ministry of Interior as “betrayers of the nation’s vote.”

The three rivals of president incumbent went to meet the Leader. M. A. himself is said to have travelled to Qom to meet Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi. M. H. M. said that he does not consider the election valid and he will fight it by all legal means.

Participation rate was over 85 percent, including many expatriates who would never vote under normal circumstances. ~40 million out of ~46 million eligibles. A record figure in history of Iran and recent history of democracy. The only other election with similar participation rate was the referendum for institution of the Islamic Republic. Latest polls before the election prediced M. H. M.’s landslide victory. Currently announced results are the reverse of poll predictions.

All access roads to Ministry of Interior buildings have been blocked. Riot police is stationed in all universities across the country. A “maneuver” for police forces has been announced to take place as of tomorrow. Universities are closed for two days from today.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (13:34):

One of the clearest, most well-informed articles on IRGC I have encountered:

> The Revolutionary Guards’ Role in Iranian Politics

> By Ali Alfoneh | Middle East Quarterly

> Monday, September 1, 2008

— http://www.aei.org/article/28594

— American Enterprise Institute (for Public Policy Research)

— (parenthesization mine, the article contains one non-lethal factual error

that I can immediately recognize and one lethal conceptual error)

Current status: the rule of a military cabal, not a bunch of old clerics, over Iran was consolidated yesterday. Every decision, whether or not deemed favorable by other countries of the world, will have little connection to Iranian public opinion. From this day on the Iranian people shall not take blame for “any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damgaes (inlcuding, but not limited to, procurement of substitute goods or services; loss of use, data, or profits; or business interruption).” At least one decade of decline is insured. THIS… IS… SPARTA!

In other words, they tried their best for implementing change by non-violent means. Their efforts were ruined by a minority who have no reservations regarding employment of violence. That minority will be responsible for bloodshed.

——————————————————————————

> […] we in this country tend to take such things as fair elections for

> granted […]

You in that country tend to take too much for granted, don’t you? Fair elections is not really a good description of what takes place in any democracy but I grant that you normally witness balanced elections in the US.

Balanced doesn’t imply fair.

This election was one of kind. There is little doubt, or I have little doubt, that at least 15 million votes have been rigged. The extent of manipulation is unprecedented even in Iran. Only sheer military power can support such a big lie. Application of military power to elections is something that began happening 4-5 years ago. Before that only bureaucratic and religious influences were at work.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (13:42):

An IRGC/Basij office/station appeared out of the blue in one of the free spaces in front of where I live. It wasn’t there last time I looked out of the window two days ago. Those spaces belong to the residential block and are normally used for community activities or are rented to small businesses that provide repair/renovation services to residents.

I can hear gunshots and people shouting right now. It’ll be futile but it makes the night full of quite interesting sounds.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (14:19):

Text messaging has been disabled for two days now. Cellular network is almost unserviceable. My brother’s Motorola A1200 reports that it can only receive calls. I can’t contact any of the cellphone numbers of my contacts including those I know are in areas with excellent coverage; not even from a landline. Internet access has slowed down to bytes per second.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (16:21):

People are shouting “Allah-o Akbar” and “Death to the Dictator” under my window. Internet is painfully slow. Takes minutes for each line to go through.

on Sat, Jun 13, 2009 (16:41):

Shouting and other sounds can’t be heard anymore. Internet connectivity is a little bit improved.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (09:49):

Sparse rioting continued until noon. Sharif Univeristy of Technology–http://www.sharif.edu, one of the few (the only?) non-US university(/ies) around the world that use .edu gTLD instead of .ac.[country-code]–is under siege. I have eyewitness report that students have set fire to the faculty of industrial engineering and created blockades in at least one building. It will be subdued very soon, with minimum casualties. The students were allowed to thrash their own campus and release anger. IRIB networks are in hyper-propaganda mode.

——————————————————————————

Another readable article on IRGC, same author:

> Iran’s Parliamentary Elections and the Revolutionary Guards’ Creeping Coup

> d’Etat

>

> By Ali Alfoneh | AEI Online

> (February 2008)

— http://www.aei.org/outlook/27549

——————————————————————————

Right now, ~6:00 local time M. A. is giving a speech. Lies in every single breath of his. Welcome the new representative of junta. Like M. A. declared, “a new era has begun.” No more theocracy, enter military government. Vali-e Asr square is jampacked with specially commissioned militiamen that hail him. He styled himself “a drop in the ocean of Iranian nation” and warned opponents, “you are facing the nation and have no choice but to surrender.” THIS… IS… SPARTA!

P.S. Remember 1953? This is where it led. Call the boy, tell him he should take responsibility for knocking her up with the abomination that crept out of the womb two days ago.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (15:26):

From nearly 4 hours ago until an hour ago, ~23:00 local time, large crowds were once again out shouting “Allah-o Akbar” and “Death to the Dictator.” They don’t have the courage to do any serious damage, though. I don’t think any “green revolution” will take place.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (15:57):

BREAKING NEWS: TEHRAN IS ON FIRE!

Tell everyone you can. Spread the news. I have eyewitness report of people killing a guard.

M. A. is consistently identifying himself and his cabal with “the nation” and “the people.” Says, “the elections belong to the people.”

No news from the provinces.

A blockage is created by people in the middle of Vali-e Asr square.

Complete information blackout by the IRIB.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:00):

Mir Hossein Mousavi has announced that he will lead a public demonstration from Azadi Square towards the Ministry of Interior tomorrow. There will be hundreds of thousands there.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:10):

The chart files the Ministry of Interior has released contain discrepancies.

Rumors abound.

Ayatollah Sane’i, highly influential cleric, has come to Tehran.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:16):

http://twitter.com/iran09

 

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:16):

Latest rumors on Twitter.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:19):

Unrest in Rasht, Ahvaz, Bushehr, Tabriz confirmed.

Shahroud is quiet, my contact says.

Ahmadinedjad.ir under DoS attack.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:24):

Confirmed: over a thousand protesting students declared they won’t leave the premises of Sharif University of Technology.

Mousavi and Karroubi have called for revocation of the election.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:26):

By saying, “tell everyone you know,” I mean it. I really mean it. Few read this, I know. I have other venues, too. But if you read this tell everyone you know really or virtually about it. It can make a little difference.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:27):

You are witnessing another Tiananmen. Live. The outcome is not as clear as Tiananmen, though.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:36):

— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ruCwNPzDRY

Associated Press video story. This is before things got much hotter a few hours ago.

Rumors say a police station in Tajrish, Tehran has been occupied by people.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (16:52):

Riot police vandalizes public and private property, government accuses protesters:

http://www.azadtabriz.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/11111.jpg

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (17:08):

Gary Sick’s analysis:

http://garysick.tumblr.com/post/123070238/irans-political-coup

Too busy to review it in full. Suffice to say there are mistakes in there but there is also a very to the point insight.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (17:39):

FarsNews, one of M. A.’s mouthpieces, brought down under DoS.

 

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (17:56):

— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ2V-GyRYvc

BBC montage video of riots. It got a lot worse by nightfall.

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (18:11):

Friends analyzing results say histograms of results by city demonstrate abnormalities for the two candidates with smallest number of votes (Karroubi and Mohsen Rezaie). Statistical variances of results for the two with most votes (M. A. and M. H. M.) drastically differ with those of the two with least votes.

Claim: votes for the top two candidates cannot have come from a “natural” sample space.

Rumor: Sharif University of Technology board of trustees and 125 professors resign in protest.

Highly unlikely rumor bit:

> BREAKING: Israel Launches Possible Strike . . On Iran?

— http://is.gd/11WT6

on Sun, Jun 14, 2009 (18:16):

Logging off for tonight. Gonna sleep tight while others fight the fight.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (05:23):

I really hope it won’t succeed the way Ukraine’s succeeded. Last thing I want is a Soros-backed “revolution” that gets the Gas Princess to the top and is commended by a US president. On that I agree with the IRGC and M. A. Rather, I hope for another election to be held, votes counted for real, and the Islamic part of the Islamic Republic eroded slowly but surely through friction with reality.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (05:24):

These riots hail from mixed motives. They are real grassroots acts of opportunity and, unfortunately, lack organization. That makes their messsage rather unclear, ranging from that young man’s childish (and dangerous) “WE WANT FREEDOM” (and to a BBC camera, heh!) to older still-believing people’s “Imam [Khomeini] wouldn’t want the country this way.”

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (05:32):

No more shouting that I can hear today. Internet connectivity continues to suck

 

Things will get heated towards afternoon. Mousavi-led protest demonstration, hopefully better organized than the sparse rioting of last two days, will begin at ~16:00 local time. Nominally, the Ministry of Interior should issue a permit for any demonstration but Mousavi has said the demonstration will take place with or without one and threatened that if police forces attack people he will take it to Khomeini’s mausoleum. That mausoleum somehow represents the revolution itself. If its sanctity isn’t respected by the Islamic Republic, currently possessed by the IRGC cabal, it’s going to create a lasting negative image. Of course, the IR has no real respect for a dead and buried man but, well, we’ll see.

IRIB still in hyper-propaganda mode. They’re showing “people” who are “opposed” to “thugs and vandals” disrupting the “normal functioning of the city.” They’ll settle down before Friday, I guess. At the moment, “everything under the sun is in tune” according to IRIB… “but the sun is eclipsed by the moon” according to reality.

Ahmadinedjad’s relaxed composure is quite unsettling. He clearly has the air of a man in charge and backed by tens (or hundreds?) of thousands of war-ready servicemen trained in what the IRGC touts as “asymmetric warfare.” His cabal has the upper hand in every matter and the leader–from now on and probably since quite some time ago–is at most one member of the cabal. He declared yesterday to the nation that “some unrest and dissatisfaction” is natural after “every election” and that “peaceful protesting” by “the losing side” will be tolerated. My translation: “do what you want, it is the way it is, and it’s going to stay that way.”

I’m beginning to think perhaps a majority subconsciously “want” M. A. for president. It’s hard for me to believe as I don’t know one person who would vote for him but then I don’t know many persons. There is little doubt, for me at least, as to the rigging of 10-15 million votes–that’s a very wide margin, what do you expect of guesswork, rumors, and “unofficial news”–but I think perhaps those 10-15 million people whose votes were manipulated are still hesitant enough about what they want to not take any action. For the time being, most Iranian people want peace, quiet, and leisurely living. In my book, those wants don’t breed change (compare with the US and tell yourself about it).

It occurred to me that in a sense the IRGC deserves the power it has. It consists of war veterans in upper echelons who began as foot soldiers and fought for eight years and survived the harshest conditions known to humankind. In middle echelons there are young/younger servicemen and volunteers who spend a lot of their life training in violence. While that may not be the most honorable thing it certainly has an impact on their fitness for taking power in their hands. Power is inextricably entwined with violence. They offer their minds and bodies to the military god; a reward for the offering is not at all unexpected.

Anyhow, the IRGC coup aspect stands. It is a coup and a coup de grace. These days I’ve been telling those to whom I talk that these elections had Iran on a tip balanced between a Taiwan path and a North Korea path (you really need to know about Taiwan’s post-WWII history before you can comprehend the difference, it’s not the difference your average US media outlet wants to emphasize). The coup pushed Iran down the North Korea slope. A friend, whose analysis I trust more than my own, insists that the complexity of Iran’s political sphere will make a North Korea scenario impossible and twist the coup in very unexpected ways. It is very probable that IRGC not only dealt the normal structure of Islamic Republic the coup de grace but also got itself in an existential hassle. One decade of decline ahead and after that one

decade of very strange things. Expect two decades of interesting news, if you think you’re going to live that long–I really don’t count on that in the case of my own person.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:09):

Permit denied to protest demonstration. Mousavi and Karroubi nevertheless announced that they will appear at the site to “invite people to keep calm” and asked people to show their dissatisfaction by any means while observing a “principle of no conflict.”

——————————————————————————

I contacted my ISP and complained about poor service. The tech staff told me their upstream bandwidth has been significantly reduced by DCI, a subsidiary of the national PTT, which provides access to the outside world.

Press TV, FarsNews, and similar M. A. endorsing websites that were easily accessible are now inaccesible. Community DDoS works. FarsNews does not respond and Press TV’s says “server is too busy.” If DDoS worked on TV broadcasts…

Cellular services that were fully restored by last night are either overloaded or being deliberately bogged down.

——————————————————————————

Title: Website for News of Mir Hussein Mousavi after the Unhealthy Tenth

Presidential Elections

http://www.mirhussein.com/

Top left corner displays a black ribbon featuring a common prayer for the dead: “we are from god and to him we shall return.” Mousavi chose this as the motto of his post-election campaign and said he will consider himself dead and live for resurrecting the “ideals of the revolution” and realizing “the will of the people.”

First headline says: “every night, 22:30 to 24:00, cries of Allah-o Akbar until the election dispute is resolved.” This is very similar to what happened in 1979. Common people who didn’t engage in armed combat did the crying out.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:24):

BREAKING NEWS: CONFIRMED GATHERING AT AZADI SQUARE

I have eyewitness report from Azadi Square. Thousands have gathered. It’s going to be unbreakable by normal riot control means. Will easily escalate to hundred thousand protesters.

If you read this get this out to everyone you know. Use every means of communication you have. The farther the news reaches the more effective it becomes.

— http://www.yavar.ir/

Instantaneous news of the post-election campaign. In Persian. Please spread this through any online venue you have access to. It will end up being read by the right person.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:37):

> 16:52 — thousands of people are on foot moving towards from Vanak

> Square saying they will demonstrate regardless of any permits as they

> have nothing to lose.

— http://www.yavar.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=140&newsview=1783

I have a direct report from someone present at Azadi Square. Tehran’s east-west arterial connection road is filled with people. No cars. Estimated presence over a hundred thousand.

— http://yavar.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&siteid=1&pageid=387

Photos of yesterday’s clashes. Use the side arrows for navigation between photos.

IRIB denies any popular support of these riots, calls protesters “opportunist elements supportive of no candidate commanded by the enemy.”

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:39):

Photos show many plainclothes for-hire thugs beating people, wielding guns, tasers, batons, tear gas, and knives.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:46):

Tehran University’s dormitory complex, home to some thousands of students, place of the largest riots after the revolution, under militia siege.

Rumor: some individuals from Basij have helped people yesterday and confronted other militiamen.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (09:50):

It has been established that a purge took place within the IRGC a few years ago. Unexplained craches of a number of military airplanes that invariably carried influential players from IRGC’s high command. A single faction took over the IRGC and consolidated its power.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (10:30):

> 18:42 — [M. H. M], who had been arrested by security forces for a short

> time after results of the election were announced, accused the government

> of [election] fraud and manipulating votes and said: “we will continue our

> movement until revocation of the results and holding of a new election.”

— http://www.yavar.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=140&newsview=1783

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (10:47):

I have recognized these types of security forces in action up until now:

1. normal soldiers, mostly conscripts, called in from barracks

2. normal policemen, employees who work for pay, try to avoid conflict

3. riot police, work for pay, trained, moderately equipped

4. Basij volunteers, young, zealous, most likely to get hurt in action

5. Basij thugs, better trained than most volunteers, closer to command

6. guards, connected to the Leader’s “Beit” (household), highly trained

plainclothes anti-riot, most likely to harm people

7. professional for-hire thugs, sick characters, pathologically dangerous

8. SWAT teams, most professional, least likely to cause unnecessary harm

Remains to be seen if IRGC’s special forces will have to intervene.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (11:25):

> 19:05 — people shout out slogans: “Ahmadi Pinochet, Iran will not be

> Chile,” “we told you, cheat and Iran will see the Day of Judgment.”

>

> 19:08 — “Beware Ahmadi, we are the nation not ‘thugs.'”, “As long as

> Ahmadi is there, everyday will be like today.”

>

> 19:14 — a crowd numbered in millions, more than Bahman 22nd, and they

> haven’t been brought here on commissioned buses, they weren’t given

> complimentary money, neither served food, despite the menace of anti-riot

> forces, gathered and protested peacefully, now are going home, people show

> Mousavi’s victory to each other.

— http://www.yavar.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=140&newsview=1783

Mousavi, Karroubi, Khatami, Abtahi (a young cleric, writes a high-impact Persian weblog “webneveshte-ha” meaning “web-writings,” Khatami’s close associate) appeared and spoke.

NOTE: Bahman 22nd is the anniversay of the revolution. Bahman is the 11th month of Iranian calendar, the Jalali calendar. Every year since the revolution Bahman 22nd has seen the largest demonstration of Iran and probably the largest demonstration to recur each year anywhere around the globe.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (11:34):

> 19:50 — tonight, at 22, the cries of Allah-o Akbar will make the

> betrayers of the nation’s vote tremble.

>

> 19:51 — tomorrow, gathering at 17, Vali-e Asr Square

— http://www.yavar.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=140&newsview=1783

This form of protest has not been experienced before in Iran. It’s getting interesting.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (11:43):

There’re many more lines at that address. I’m already behind. Will update when critical news arrives.

— http://is.gd/12zef

— (redirects to a BBC photo set)

The street depicted runs east-west across Tehran for around 25 kilometers. My contact who was there told me the street was packed with people. Photos speak for themselves.

IRIB in total denial. Even under the last king of Iran the national TV, IRIB’s predecessor, didn’t exhibit such complete detachment from reality.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (12:15):

Great cause for concern in many photos of beatings: one young man is being beaten by many heavyset thugs, passers by don’t help, try evading the whole thing. Apathy looks almost cruel when the apathetic is that close to the scene. Still, I myself am apathy incarnate so perhaps I don’t get a say there.

These events got me thinking and reconsidering many things. Good for me. I’m going to build me a stronger fortress of excuses for not getting engaged in reality.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (12:55):

I see black smoke rising from where must be Azadi Square. It’s getting dark but the smoke is unmistakable. Probably burning tires. People are shouting “Allah-o Akbar.” I hear both distant cries and shouts from just under my window.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (13:14):

My contact is moving away from Azadi Square. Saw five people shot. Confirms BBC Persian’s report.

IRINN said tomorrow candidates’ representatives will meet with the Guardian Council. Someone from the Ministry of Interior emphasized the election’s health. There will probably be a re-counting but I don’t expect that to change the final outcome.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (13:17):

— http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8101098.stm

BBC report. My contact’s testimony sets the minimum wounded/dead people count at five.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (13:24):

I think this “carefully considering file complaints” thing is a scam. The cabal is trying to buy time. They didn’t expect such massive popular reaction. The only hope is for people to continue protesting elentlessly. Given a week the cabal will reorganize the forces it commands and crush the slightest voice of protest.

These are words in English. Accessible to nearly everyone around the world. If you have a website, weblog, any other form of online presence please do put these up. Tell everyone you meet online or in real life. Let everyone have a glimpse of these. Direct them to read these. Direct them to read BBC reportage, at least. Spread the news. The right person will hear it.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (13:30):

Cellular voice services are nearly fully restored. Disruption seems to have been limited to areas where protesting people gathered. My contact can easily initiate and receive calls away from Azadi Square.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (14:22):

The city seems to be calm right now.

 

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (14:27):

” It’s amazing to have such a close account of events while they are happening.”

Wouldn’t have happened if it were in a place without Internet access. The person who acted as Iran’s first delegate to BITNET and oversaw Iran being first connected through EARN should be commended. He’s a distinguished mathematician who teaches at Sharif University of Technology and UC, Berkeley.

Now tell me how it is in the national interest of the US for Google, Yahoo!, and other major providers of free online services to deny me most of their newer services and to remove Iran from their lists for “place of residence” despite their unwillingness to do so (for business reasons) because they are afraid the US government, the Congress, the judiciary, or some vigilante hawk might pounce on them any minute with an entirely absurd lawsuit.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (14:39):

“I’m curious what folks think of Ayatollah telling the runner-up to be peaceful and kinda shutup?”

Too many Ayatollahs here. If you mean the Leader “folks” have _always_ thought of him as:

1. benefator (these are his underlings, the 12,000 strong guard army of the

household, and the last line of defense)

or

2. god’s shadow on Earth (these are his devotees, few but stubborn)

or

3. a respectable old cleric who cares but is sometimes misinformed by members of his court (these are older religious poeple, they cheer quite honestly when he visits their city/town/village, they may proceed to try to inform him how the government, which they see as seperate from him, has wronged them)

4. head of the looting gang (these are opportunists, they like him because by getting close to him and/or swearing fake allegiance they can reap benefits for which they haven’t made an effort)

5. an old, boring geezer with religiopolitical agenda and little understanding of reality (these are like more than half the population, normally they aren’t very political, they are polarized only around elections or when poked by politicians)

or

6. the supreme evil (these are a strong minority with a big voice but little power, most of them young or very young, the most recent generation who don’t remember the times he was a popularly elected president or before that when he was a soldier)

These are all “folks.” Whether they are the violent guards or their young victims they are “folks” and are generally “in it” for some perceived personal advantage.

P.S. I actually know a 70 year old man with a long well-groomed beard much like Ali Khamenei’s who lives in a small village, farms, fahsions a green skullcap because he considers himself descended from Shia Imams, has a large framed photo of himself as an volunteering, exceptionally aged soldier which he has put in a most visible place in his home, and remembers Khamenei as his once comrade in arms.

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (15:10):

Latest updates from my contact: during protests 5-6 hours ago some Basij recon units in Sharif University that identified victims for future harassment and fear incitement operations severely beaten or killed by people.

Rumor (very likely true): homes of many have been contacted by phone, a recorded message warned them they have been spotted in protests and threatened with “severe response.”

on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 (15:10):

Once again, if you have any form of online presence put these up there, please. It will make a difference; a real difference. Tell everyone you know. Ask them to do it in turn. Doesn’t matter where you are. in a huge city or a small town or a village. Words will reach the right person.

Link to:

http://twitter.com/iran09,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8101098.stm

Picture of at least one wounded young man on BBC.

10 Short Term Steps for Securing the Nation’s Digital Future

At the request of President Obama, Melissa Hathaway, Cybersecurity Chief at the National Security Council, conducted a 60-day review.  The following are her recommendations:

 

  1. Appoint a cybersecurity policy official responsible for coordinating the Nation’s cybersecurity policies and activities; establish a strong NSC directorate, under the direction of the cybersecurity policy official dual-hatted to the NSC and the NEC, to coordinate interagency development of cybersecurity-related strategy and policy.  

  2. Prepare for the President’s approval an updated national strategy to secure the information and communications infrastructure. This strategy should include continued evaluation of CNCI activities and, where appropriate, build on its successes.  

  3. Designate cybersecurity as one of the President’s key management priorities and establish performance metrics.  

  4. Designate a privacy and civil liberties official to the NSC cybersecurity directorate.  

  5. Convene appropriate interagency mechanisms to conduct interagency-cleared legal analyses of priority cybersecurity-related issues identified during the policy-development process and formulate coherent unified policy guidance that clarifies roles, responsibilities, and the application of agency authorities for cybersecurity-related activities across the Federal government.  

  6. Initiate a national public awareness and education campaign to promote cybersecurity.  

  7. Develop U.S. Government positions for an international cybersecurity policy framework and strengthen our international partnerships to create initiatives that address the full range of activities, policies, and opportunities associated with cybersecurity.  

  8. Prepare a cybersecurity incident response plan; initiate a dialog to enhance public-private partnerships with an eye toward streamlining, aligning, and providing resources to optimize their contribution and engagement  

  9. In collaboration with other EOP entities, develop a framework for research and development strategies that focus on game-changing technologies that have the potential to enhance the security, reliability, resilience, and trustworthiness of digital infrastructure; provide the research community access to event data to facilitate developing tools, testing theories, and identifying workable solutions.  

  10. Build a cybersecurity-based identity management vision and strategy that addresses privacy and civil liberties interests, leveraging privacy-enhancing technologies for the Nation. 

NARA data breach

On May 19th, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released a statement that electronic storage tapes with data about White House staff members and visitors from the Clinton era had been on a 1 Terabyte external hard drive which went missing in early April.

The data includes more than 100,000 Social Security numbers, including VP Al Gore’s daughter, addresses for various Clinton administration officials, and operating procedures, meeting logs, political records, and other highly sensitive information.

The NARA intends to issue a breach notification to victims affected by the lost data; and, has notified DHS’s US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US CERT) and Clinton’s representatives.  The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the matter.

Information Assurance & Cyber Security Research and Education, a 501(c)(3)