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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 10/24/2010 - 10/31/2010
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, October 30, 2010

C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy

a tea party and fundamentalist conservative victory in next week's election will give more impetus to this kind of crap...
For decades in Washington, D.C., a secretive group known as The Family has been working behind the scenes to empower a few select politicians, and to influence the decisions that shape our country. Not only has this group operated in almost complete secrecy, but they've also skewed Christianity to the point where they believe that God wants us to take care of the rich and powerful more than the poor and hungry. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. talks about this secret Family in Washington with Jeff Sharlet, author of the new book "C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy."

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Some backstory on Yemen and the latest "terrorist" incident

why does none of this come as any surprise...?

from the yemen post...

Mohammed al-Shaibah, Air Cargo Director for Yemenia Airways said to Yemen Post, "No UPS cargo plane left Yemeni lands over the land 48 hours. These accusations are false and baseless."

He added, "No UPS or DHL cargo packages heading to Chicago through Yemen took place in the last 48 hours as well."

"All packages are checked very carefully in Yemen, and there is no evidence to prove that this package came through Yemen."

from the yemen news agency...
No UPS cargo planes left Yemen to other countries in the last days and there are no direct flights from Yemen to the United Kingdom or the United States, a Yemeni official said, after allegations that British and U.S. officials had found suspicious packages on planes that originated in Yemen.

The official wondered how the media mentioned the name of Yemen reporting that an explosive device was found onboard a cargo plane that landed in London coming from Yemen.

UPS planes never land or take off in Yemen, the official made clear.

The security measures at Yemeni airports are tightened and the authorities search passengers and luggage well, the official said, adding that Yemen has recently installed modern checking systems that can detect dangerous or suspicious materials to the safety of passengers and planes.

We urge the media not to make hasty judgments about sensitive issues and the media should wait until investigations reveal the truth, the official said, as he pointed out that Yemen has launched an investigation into the allegations and planned to coordinate with the United Arab Emirates, Britain and the U.S. over the issue.

but, of course, none of this is being reported by our ever-diligent news media in the u.s...

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You've got to be carefully taught

i was listening to npr's morning edition with scott simon this morning... and, yes, i confess, listening to npr in buenos aires does somewhat defeat the purpose of being out of the country... anywayz... i don't remember the context in which it was played, but scott played some of the opening stanzas from a song that had made a big impact on me as a child that i hadn't heard in many years... hearing it again, i understand better than i could have imagined just how strong a message it carries...

from the 1949 rodgers and hammerstein musical, south pacific...

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

this seems to be a particularly appropriate post given the "be afraid, be very afraid" news about our latest terrorist threat that emerged yesterday...

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Michael Moore talking about what's REALLY at stake in the upcoming election

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A fine white whine from the Tea Party Express

Earlier this week, we put out a call to 400,000 patriots across this nation - including yourself. Our plea was to get constitutional conservatives such as yourself to pitch in to our final election push as we are just 1-week away from Election Day.

Our goal: to raise $1 MILLION so that we could push the best constitutional candidates in the country over the top to victory. We'd then with the House, and perhaps even the Senate.

But we failed - all of us. As of today Thursday only 250 people had made a contribution. We MUST do better. Everyone can pitch in, and everyone can forward this email to all their friends, family members, colleagues etc... If EVERYONE pitches in, and if those of you who can afford a more generous contribution can please do so, then we can reach this goal and help take our country back. The stakes couldn't be higher, and we cannot accept failure at this point. We simply can't - our country's future is on the line here.

This was one of the greatest failures we here at the Tea Party Express have ever had in terms of raising money for a campaign push, and this is the worst possible time for us to fail: just 1 WEEK out before Election Day.

We basically have a socialist in the White House who believes in the redistribution of wealth and government intervention and control into the lives of Americans. We can only stop him if we first take back Congress.

Tea Party Express
8795 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 103
Sacramento, CA 95826-3720

250 out of 400,000...? yeah, that's pretty dismal, all right...

what amuses the wee out of me is the accusation against the obama administration for trying to redistribute wealth and intervening to control the lives of americans... well, yeah... i agree... they're both legitimate charges, all right, but 1) the wealth is being distributed UP, not DOWN and 2), where was all this outrage against controlling the lives of americans when george bush and his cronies were doing it...?

can't these knuckleheads see that we're being taken to the cleaners by our super-rich elites and that those who claim to represent the american people are just bought-and-paid-for tools of those elites...? don't they see that civil liberties and adherence to our constitution have been under attack for years and that the obama administration is simply pushing ahead with what the bush years put into high gear...?

these people aren't stupid and i just don't get how they can be so clueless...

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our stunningly context-free news media

a story from cbs news yesterday out of afghanistan...
ArmorGroup Hires Untrained Nepalese Nationals to Guard Kabul Embassy

A new report from the State Department Inspector General's Office found that a private security firm in Afghanistan hired more than 400 Nepalese nationals who lacked training and English languages skills to protect the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

According to the report, ArmorGroup of North America (AGNA) was awarded a contract from the Department of State in July 2007 to protect the embassy. Through June 2010, AGNA has been allocated $97.5 million by the State Department.

the story did contain a link to but no actual mention of this story from last year...
Were ArmorGroup Allegations Quashed?

CBS News first reported this month on the hazing and humiliating of local employees and other serious breaches of ethics and policy by civilian security guards during wild parties at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Turns out, the State Department was warned that things weren't right at the embassy, but nothing was done. Now there are troubling questions for the man once in charge of investigating those problems, reports CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.

As inspector general for the State Department, Howard Krongard was supposed to be an independent watchdog.

It was his job to investigate the very type of misconduct alleged at the U.S. embassy in Kabul: forced sexual hazing of guards, contract fraud and waste of tax dollars.

CBS News has learned that serious allegations about the embassy reached Krongard's office two years ago - where they apparently vanished into thin air.

the above story, in turn, contained a link to the following story but mentioned no details...
Shocking Hazing at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

On August 4, rockets land near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. On August 15, a suicide bomber hits close by killing or wounding 98. The attacks punctuate the dangers faced by hundreds of American diplomats and staff who work there. Yet some of the Embassy's own security guards are alleging shocking work conditions that put American lives at risk.

In numerous e-mails, the guards describe a crisis in discipline and morale, understaffing, sleep deprivation, "threats and intimidation." One guard refers to a group of guards and supervisors from the security contractor ArmorGroup as "sexual predators, deviants running rampant."

Guards provided dozens of graphic photos and videos depicting shocking scenes of hazing and humiliation by superiors, most of them too lewd to show. The guards recount a climate of fear and coercion where those who refuse to participate are retaliated against, even fired.

The State Department contracts with a private security firm - ArmorGroup North America, owned by Wackenhut. ArmorGroup employs 450 guards at the Kabul Embassy - two-thirds from Nepal and India, the rest from the U.S. and other English-speaking nations.

it's bad enough that, if you only read yesterday's news, you wouldn't know anything at all about the bigger, sordid story about armorgroup from last september (full details here in the mother jones article)... you also wouldn't know that armorgroup was a subsidiary of wackenhut, a notorious blackwater-style contractor, raking in gazillions of u.s. taxpayer dollars... you also wouldn't know that wackenhut is now owned by the british security conglomerate, g4s... and you ALSO wouldn't know this about howard krongard...
Brothers, Bad Blood and the Blackwater Tangle

They were smart, scrappy brothers who rose from modest circumstances in Baltimore to become lacrosse stars at Princeton, succeed in business and land big government jobs.

Now the Krongard brothers — who have carried childhood nicknames, Buzzy and Cookie, through long careers — are tied up in the tangled story of Blackwater, the security contractor accused in the deaths of at least 17 Iraqis while guarding a State Department convoy in Baghdad.

or this...
Howard J. "Cookie" Krongard (born December 12, 1940), was an appointee in the government of President George W. Bush. Krongard was head of the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State. His position was known as the State Inspector General or State IG. After being accused of averting probes into contracting fraud in Iraq and a possible conflict of interest regarding investigations into Blackwater Worldwide, Krongard left his post on January 15, 2008, and was not eligible for retirement.

He is the brother of former CIA Executive Director A. B. Krongard.

yes, howard is the brother of the former cia executive director, a brother who also has this item on his resume...
Krongard resigned from the CIA shortly after the arrival of DCI Porter Goss in September 2004. While at the CIA, he was the connection between Erik Prince of Blackwater Security Consulting and the CIA. Through his influence, Blackwater was able to receive its first black contract.

see what happens when you add context...? suddenly, things get a LOT more interesting...

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Democrats becoming Republicans? Republicans becoming Democrats? I'm so confoozed...!

the nyt...
Coalition for Obama Split by Drift to G.O.P., Poll Finds

Critical parts of the coalition that delivered President Obama to the White House in 2008 and gave Democrats control of Congress in 2006 are switching their allegiance to the Republicans in the final phase of the midterm Congressional elections, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.

Tea Party-backed Republicans spur party switches

For lifelong Republican Joe Errigo, deciding to cross party lines and support a liberal Democrat for New York governor wasn't nearly as difficult as one might expect.

Republican candidate Carl Paladino -- backed by the conservative Tea Party movement -- raised such political hackles he spawned a "Republicans for Cuomo" movement supporting Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

Similar groups can be found in heated races elsewhere nationwide, often those featuring Tea Party-endorsed candidates, attacked by Democrats and some moderate Republicans as extreme.


In Delaware, where Christine O'Donnell has Tea Party support, Republicans backing Democrat Chris Coons include a former state judge and former U.S. Congressman. A "Republicans for Coons" Facebook site reads: "Because we just can't support Christine O'Donnell."

In Arizona, "Republicans for Giffords" are backing Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over conservative Iraq War veteran Jesse Kelly.

In Nevada, incumbent Democrat Sen. Harry Reid, who faces Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, counts among his Republican supporters an array of influential gaming and casino executives.

isn't it great reading the news in the morning so we can find out what's REALLY going on...?

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oil companies should pretend they Give A SHIT

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Wow...! Argentina's Nestor Kirchner dies...!


and here i sit in buenos aires wondering why the day is so strangely quiet...

Nestor Kirchner
Former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner dies

Argentina's former President Nestor Kirchner has died, after reportedly suffering a heart attack.

Mr Kirchner, 60, who had been operated on in September for heart problems, died in the southern Argentine city of El Calafate, local media reported.

His wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is the current president of the country.

Mr Kirchner served as resident from 2003 to 2007, and was being tipped to stand for election again in 2011.

He entered office after Argentina had seen a series of presidents come and go during a financial crisis 2001.

like so many who rise to the heights of political power, kirchner was obsessed with power and money... i was no fan but i concede that he did manage to pull the country out of its death spiral and did it with a flourish of populism all too rare in today's world... by the end of his second term, however, his true colors were abundantly clear and when he positioned his wife to succeed him - which she did in the 2007 election - i washed my hands of him... the fact that he was angling to get back into office in next year's election simply deepened my disgust...

all that said, however, even though i have decided to give up my place here, a place i have had for five years, argentina will always occupy a very soft place in my heart... as for nestor, may he rest in peace...

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Autumn scene on Mt. Rhodopi, southern Bulgaria


i haven't been posting many photos lately... guess i've just not been in the mood... anyway, this one was sent from sofia by a good friend who spent a weekend in the south of her own country enjoying some mid-autumn scenery... i'll be heading in roughly that direction myself next week to continue some work i've been doing in kosovo... i'd say that i was leaving the warm springtime weather in argentina but it hasn't been all that warm here... in fact, the temps have been pretty much the equivalent of those in the northern latitudes, altho' the next couple of weeks in those climes will see regular dips below the freezing mark and probably the first snows of the season... for that matter, reno has just had two nights of hard freeze...

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It’s long past time to put away your Obama t-shirt and take out your protest banner

and, yes, i voted a straight democratic ticket...
I’m sure Obama believes he is doing the best he can in a corrupt system – but it’s not true. There is another way. Imagine if, when he came to office, he had articulated the real solutions – and, when he was blocked, named the corrupt corporations and the corrupt Senators stopping him getting healthcare for sick children or preventing another crash. Explain that it is time to drive the money-lenders out of the temple of American democracy. Tell the American people they will always be screwed over until they end this corruption and pay for the democratic process themselves, and propose serious measures to achieve it. Call for a mass movement to back him, just as Franklin Roosevelt did – and succeeded. At least then there would be a possibility of real progress. Would the outcome conceivably have been worse than this – being beaten by the foaming Tea Party Republicans with almost nothing to show for it?

At moments, there have been flickers of what this alternative Obama Presidency would have looked like. His huge government bailout of the auto industry kept millions of people in work, was hugely popular – and is already making a profit for the government. In the final days of this election campaign, he is railing against the massive corporate donations to the Republicans – a hypocrisy, for sure, but a popular one, pointing to a better path he might have chosen, and still could, if enough sane Americans shake themselves awake and pressure him hard.

Yes, on the night Obama won, I too felt that great global ripple of hope, and shed a little tear – but the people weeping today are those having their homes repossessed in the Rust Belt and their homes blown to pieces in the SWAT Valley as a direct result of Obama’s decisions. They are the ones who deserve our empathy now, not the most powerful man in the world, who has chosen to settle into and defend a profoundly corrupt system, rather than challenge and change it. It’s long past time to put away your Obama t-shirt and take out your protest banner.


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Does this stike a chord with anybody....?

i thought it might...

tom toles in today's wapo...


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A tale of the nuclear power programs of two countries

both from today...

the first is about that satanically-driven, axis-of-evil country, iran...

Iran injects fuel into first nuclear reactor

Iran began loading fuel into the core of its first atomic power plant on Tuesday, moving closer to the start up of a facility that leaders have touted as defying of international efforts to curtail the country's nuclear ambitions.

The Russian-built nuclear power plant in Bushehr has international approval and is supervised by the U.N.'s nuclear agency. However, the U.N. security council has slapped four rounds of sanctions against Iran over a separate track of its nuclear program — its efforts to refine uranium, which could eventually be used to create material for a weapon.

and the second is about that tango-obsessed country parked somewhere in the southern hemisphere, the one that when i tell people in the u.s. that i live here part-time, they usually try singing the first bars from the signature song in the evita movie, "don't cry for me, argentina"... ha. ha.
Argentina announces production of enriched uranium for 2011

“We are returning to Argentina a right that we should never have renounced such as managing strategic nuclear resources that had been abandoned during the 1990s,” Mrs Kirchner said in a televised speech at the Pilcaniyeu uranium enrichment plant in the Patagonian province of Rio Negro.

The enriched uranium produced at the 30,000 square metre Pilcaniyeu plant will be used as reactor fuel, the Planning Ministry said in a press release.


Argentina re-launched its civilian nuclear-power program in 2006 amid worsening shortages of natural gas used to heat homes, power industry and fuel conventional electricity generation plants. Those shortages persist, with winter time rationing of gas to industry a seasonal fixture in the country's economic calendar.

Argentina currently operates two nuclear power plants--Atucha I, built with Siemens AG (SI, SIE.XE), and Embalse, built with AECL, in the province of Cordoba. The 360MW Atucha I came online in 1974, followed by the 650MW Embalse a decade later.

Argentina has already started a $1 billion life-extension upgrade of Embalse, which supplies power to the country's northeast, including the Cuyo and Centro regions and greater Buenos Aires.

two questions... did you know argentina even HAD nuclear power plants and, two, which country do you think is going to earn u.s. condemnation for its nuclear program...?

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Global outrage at the Wikileaks revelations - except in the U.S.

the rest of the world is sitting up and taking serious notice of the wikileaks document dump...
Robert Fisk: The shaming of America

Our writer delivers a searing dispatch after the WikiLeaks revelations that expose in detail the brutality of the war in Iraq - and the astonishing, disgraceful deceit of the US

Torture, killing, children shot – and how the US tried to keep it all quiet

The largest leak in history reveals the true extent of the bloodshed unleashed by the decision to go to war in Iraq – and adds at least 15,000 to its death toll

Iraq war logs: How civilians have paid heaviest price

Leaked military files analysed by the Guardian reveal secret US tally of Iraqi deaths

WikiLeaks and Assange Honored

You are not likely to learn this from the “mainstream media,” but WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange have received the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) award for their resourcefulness in making available secret U.S. military documents on the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Poisonous US weapons in Iraq kill thousands and mar generations

According to Brian Becker, Director of the anti-war A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, WikiLeaks is revealing the horrible truth that has been known for years.

“The police forces and army that were trained by the Americans… engaged in systematic torture, abuse, rape and it was unreported and unpublished by their masters, by the US trainers,” he said.

Now, however hard Washington may want to hush WikiLeaks, it should think twice: following the report, the UN chief investigator for torture has already called on Barack Obama to investigate possible cases of torture in Iraq, Becker pointed out.

[See Brian Becker interview here]

meanwhile, in the very country that's guilty of perpetrating the whole friggin' mess, the former baghdad bureau chief for the wapo shares her opinions in the daily beast, opinions that would NEVER get published in the wapo...
WikiLeaks Exposes Rumsfeld's Lies

Thanks to Wikileaks, though, I now know the extent to which top American leaders lied, knowingly, to the American public, to American troops, and to the world, as the Iraq mission exploded.

glenn, meanwhile, decries the appalling lack of censure coming from the u.s. establishment news media...
NYT v. the world: WikiLeaks coverage

[T]he U.N. chief investigator for torture called on the Obama administration to formally investigate this complicity in Iraqi abuse, pointing out that "if leaked US files on the Iraq conflict point to clear violations of the UN convention against torture, Barack Obama's administration has a clear obligation to investigate them," and that "under the conventions on human rights there is an obligation for states to criminalise every form of torture, whether directly or indirectly, and to investigate any allegations of abuse." Today, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister called on the British Government to fulfill that obligation by formally investigating the role British troops might have played in "the allegations of killings, torture and abuse in Iraq."

But these calls for investigations -- and the U.N.'s explanation of the legal obligation to do so -- are virtually nonexistent in the American media. The only mention in the NYT of the U.N.'s statement is buried deep down in a laundry list of short items on one of its blogs. Along with most American media outlets, The Washington Post has no mention of this matter at all (while whitewashing American guilt, the NYT -- in the form of Judy Miller's former partner, Michael Gordon -- prominently trumpeted from the start of its coverage the "interference" in Iraq by Iran in aiding "Iraqi militias," a drum Gordon has been dutifully beating for years).

The notion that the Obama administration not only should -- but must -- investigate the role its military played in enabling this widespread, stomach-turning torture and abuse in Iraq is simply suppressed in American political discourse, most of all by the newspaper which played the leading role in enabling the attack on that country in the first place. It's not hard to see why. The last thing American political and media elites in general want is a discussion of the legal obligations to investigate torture and bring the torturers to legal account, and the last thing which enablers of the Iraq War specifically want is a focus on how we not only allowed but participated in the very human rights abuses which we claimed (and still claim) our invasion would stop.

accountability...? what a quaint notion...

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A Democratic Party that has betrayed every basic liberal principle

AP / Dario Lopez-Mills
Mexican protesters wear Obama masks during the
president’s 2009 visit to Mexico. Disenchantment
with the hope-bringer is not limited to these shores.

i understand the frustration and anger of the tea partiers... they've been denied entrance to the corridors of power, are pissed about it and rightfully so... and yes, most certainly they've been co-opted by super-rich, elite handlers - who prefer to remain virtually unseen - into believing that government is the problem and the private sector is the answer, when it is precisely that private sector and its obsession with capitalist ideology that has been and will continue to pull the strings of its government stooges, whether the stooge is the crazed "socialist," barack obama, or the bona-fide whack-job, sharron angle... those who fervently want the fools who will likely be elected in little more than a week to carve government down to where it can be drowned a bathtub (a la grover norquist) will only find that their newly-elected heroes are just another brand of puppet and that the rape and pillage of the world's wealth by those same super-rich elites will continue apace...

i have held a lifelong passion for the common good and well-being of those who have to work for their livelihood... during my years in corporate life, it was abundantly clear to me that it was the workers on the front line, those who carried out the nitty-gritty work of the organization, that indeed were the heart and soul of the business... yes, senior management, through strategy and big-picture thinking, charted the course, but they were no more or less important than those who actually made the damn thing work on a day-to-day basis...

since taking up my intense focus on work in developing countries, emerging economies and conflict zones seven years ago, i have seen nothing to change those views and, in fact, have only had them strengthened... the people from other countries i have had the privilege of working with and the good fortune to call friends have the same fundamental needs and desires that we all have - a roof over their heads, food to eat, clothes for the kids, a means to earn such a living, and the right to go about their daily lives in peace... those fundamentals hold whether the person is u.s., afghan, kosovar, or jordanian...

i understand the tea partiers because i understand how it feels to have no one speak for me... name me one political leader anywhere who has taken up the banner of the common good of the people of the world... for that matter, name me one in the u.s... i have been a lifelong democrat but i can't even say that word these days without a sneer on my lips... i feel betrayed and abandoned and almost hopelessly alone in my values and beliefs...

yes, i did vote... i sent in my absentee ballot almost two weeks ago and i checked off a straight democratic ticket... maybe i still think that lipstick on the pig is at least a small improvement and that my belief in pigs' ability to fly will somehow manifest in reality...

meanwhile, here's chris hedges...

The legitimate rage being expressed by disenfranchised workers toward the college-educated liberal elite, who abetted or did nothing to halt the corporate assault on the poor and the working class of the last 30 years, is not misplaced. The liberal class is guilty. The liberal class, which continues to speak in the prim and obsolete language of policies and issues, refused to act. It failed to defend traditional liberal values during the long night of corporate assault in exchange for its position of privilege and comfort in the corporate state. The virulent right-wing backlash we now experience is an expression of the liberal class’ flagrant betrayal of the citizenry.


The collapse of liberal institutions means those outside the circles of power are trapped, with no recourse, and this is why many Americans are turning in desperation toward idiotic right-wing populists who at least understand the power of hatred as a mobilizing force.


Capitalism, and especially corporate capitalism, was once viewed as a system to be fought. But capitalism is no longer challenged in public discourse. Capitalist bosses, men such as Warren Buffett, George Soros and Donald Trump, are treated bizarrely as sages and celebrities, as if greed and manipulation had become the highest moral good. As Wall Street steals billions of taxpayer dollars, as it perpetrates massive fraud to throw people out of their homes, as the ecosystem that sustains the planet is polluted and destroyed, we do not know what to do or say. We have been robbed of a vocabulary to describe reality. We decry the excesses of capitalism without demanding a dismantling of the corporate state. Our pathetic response is to be herded to political rallies by skillful publicists to shout inanities like “Yes we can!”

i've had to accept the particularly distasteful fact that my own sources of livelihood, from teaching an advanced leadership seminar in an mba program to working for usaid-funded projects in economic development, are severely tainted by many of the same issues i decry above... for sure, it comes as no surprise that universities, particularly colleges of business, are just as much slaves to our puppet-masters as anyone else but it's hard for me to teach about the obligation for leadership to serve the common good when that is about the LAST thing that is on everyone's mind... as for usaid, well, that goes without saying...

sigh... and so it goes...

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Julian Assange takes a stand

good for him...

from raw story...

our so-called news media, ever alert for scandal and generally asleep at the wheel when anything of real substance is afoot, deserves precisely the kind of treatment they got at mr. assange's hands...

meanwhile, daniel ellsberg, now almost 80 years old, displays the courage of his convictions as well as his past by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with julian assange in denouncing the obama administration's obsession with whistleblowers...

Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, and Daniel Ellsberg, the former Pentagon analyst famed for leaking the Pentagon Papers, lashed out Saturday at what they described as the Obama administration's aggressive pursuit of whistle-blowers.

Assange, speaking at a news conference in London, was joined by Ellsberg, 79, who leaked the 1,000-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971.

Ellsberg said the administration's response to whistle-blowers put the United States on a path to the kind of repressive legal framework that Britain has under its broad Official Secrets Act.

He said criminal probes of three Americans linked to government leaks under Obama — including Pfc. Bradley Manning, suspected of providing the documents on Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks — were a new low.

Ellsberg said the Pentagon's demand that Assange "return" any classified materials in his possession was carefully couched in language similar to that used after the Pentagon Papers' release, when he was threatened with criminal prosecution for espionage.

it isn't about julian assange... it isn't about wikileaks... it isn't about ellsberg... it's about exposing the truth... it's about opening a window on what our leaders don't want us to see... why is that so hard to fathom...?

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