Saturday, December 18, 2010
Glenn doesn't claim that Biden was told to change his tune but I'm going to
In one day, Biden went from giddily declaring that "I don't think there's any damage" to gravely warning that "it has done damage." I have no idea whether Biden was told that his Thursday no-damage admission would severely harm the Government's efforts to prosecute Assange, but what is clear is that he was perfectly willing to march into Meet the Press the following day and say things that he knew were false in order to depict the WikiLeaks diplomatic cable disclosures as harming U.S. national security.
and why in the world would biden so quickly change his tune...? maybe he got out there in front of the press before he'd been briefed on the correct talking points...? just sayin'...
It's really not an overstatement to say that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are the new Iraqi WMDs because the government and establishment media are jointly manufacturing and disseminating an endless stream of fear-mongering falsehoods designed to depict them as scary villains threatening the security of The American People and who must therefore be stopped at any cost.
i'm still grappling with the fact that, with all the fuss generated by the hackers who went after companies that dropped wikileaks, there's been virtually nothing whatsoever in the media about going after those who perpetrated the ddos attacks on wikileaks... oh, well... i guess it doesn't make any sense to "grapple" with what i already know to be the flat-out hypocrisy of our handlers... Submit To Propeller
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Friday, December 17, 2010
We've undergone a corporate coup d'état in slow motion
"We've undergone a corporate coup d'état in slow motion," he said. "Our public education system has been gutted. Our infrastructure is corroding and collapsing. Unless we begin to physically resist, they are going to solidify neo-feudalism in this country."
"If we think that Obama is bad, watch the next two years because these corporate forces have turned their back on him," Hedges warned.
Hedges, author of "Death of the Liberal Class," said that his vision of America is one with a functioning social democracy, which stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of the corporate state.
"American workers, as they are repeatedly told, will have to become competitive with prison labor in China," he said. "That's where we're headed, and all the pillars of the liberal establishment are complicit in this."
"At least if you get sick in the UK, you don't go bankrupt or die," he added.
Hedges said that another pressure point is the US dollar, which he pointed out had been dropped by Russia and China in favor of modified ruble/renminbi exchanges.
"A few more deals like that, and our currency becomes junk," he said.
the "corporate coup d'etat has been in progress for more than 40 years and was part of what eisenhower warned about in his farewell address...
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
one thing's for sure, if we don't wake up as a nation, we'll never be able to put the brakes on our enslavement... Submit To Propeller
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Thursday, December 16, 2010
Why is the U.S. so completely spastic about Wikileaks? [UPDATE & BUMPED]
i was sure glenn would have something to say about this development and, naturally, he didn't disappoint (see below)...
for a country that gives huge lip-service to transparency and freedom of the press, the u.s. is obsessed with killing both of them...
U.S. Tries to Build Case for Conspiracy by WikiLeaks
Federal prosecutors, seeking to build a case against the WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange for his role in a huge dissemination of classified government documents, are looking for evidence of any collusion in his early contacts with an Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the information.
Justice Department officials are trying to find out whether Mr. Assange encouraged or even helped the analyst, Pfc. Bradley Manning, to extract classified military and State Department files from a government computer system. If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.
Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks.
and speaking of bradley manning, glenn is working to keep his unconscionable 7-month detention in solitary without charge visible...
The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention
Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of that crime, nor of any other crime. Despite that, he has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia for five months -- and for two months before that in a military jail in Kuwait -- under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture. Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries.
From the beginning of his detention, Manning has been held in intensive solitary confinement. For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell. Even inside his cell, his activities are heavily restricted; he's barred even from exercising and is under constant surveillance to enforce those restrictions. For reasons that appear completely punitive, he's being denied many of the most basic attributes of civilized imprisonment, including even a pillow or sheets for his bed (he is not and never has been on suicide watch). For the one hour per day when he is freed from this isolation, he is barred from accessing any news or current events programs.
In sum, Manning has been subjected for many months without pause to inhumane, personality-erasing, soul-destroying, insanity-inducing conditions of isolation similar to those perfected at America's Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado: all without so much as having been convicted of anything. And as is true of many prisoners subjected to warped treatment of this sort, the brig's medical personnel now administer regular doses of anti-depressants to Manning to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation.
Just by itself, the type of prolonged solitary confinement to which Manning has been subjected for many months is widely viewed around the world as highly injurious, inhumane, punitive, and arguably even a form of torture. In his widely praised March, 2009 New Yorker article -- entitled "Is Long-Term Solitary Confinement Torture?" -- the surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande assembled expert opinion and personal anecdotes to demonstrate that, as he put it, "all human beings experience isolation as torture." By itself, prolonged solitary confinement routinely destroys a person’s mind and drives them into insanity. A March, 2010 article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law explains that "solitary confinement is recognized as difficult to withstand; indeed, psychological stressors such as isolation can be as clinically distressing as physical torture."For that reason, many Western nations -- and even some non-Western nations notorious for human rights abuses -- refuse to employ prolonged solitary confinement except in the most extreme cases of prisoner violence. "It’s an awful thing, solitary," John McCain wrote of his experience in isolated confinement in Vietnam. “It crushes your spirit." As Gawande documented: "A U.S. military study of almost a hundred and fifty naval aviators returned from imprisonment in Vietnam . . . reported that they found social isolation to be as torturous and agonizing as any physical abuse they suffered."
does this seem to anybody but me like they're doing their damnedest to make a case whether one exists or not...? meanwhile, george bush and dick cheney, who have the blood of multi-thousands of people on their hands thanks to their deceptive and illegal war in iraq, run around scot-free...
Getting to Assange through Manning
[C]laiming that WikiLeaks does not merely receive and publish classify information, but rather actively seeks it and helps the leakers, is the DOJ's attempt to distinguish it from "traditional" journalism. As Savage writes, this theory would mean "the government would not have to confront awkward questions about why it is not also prosecuting traditional news organizations or investigative journalists who also disclose information the government says should be kept secret — including The New York Times."
But this distinction is totally illusory. Very rarely do investigative journalists merely act as passive recipients of classified information; secret government programs aren't typically reported because leaks just suddenly show up one day in the email box of a passive reporter. Journalists virtually always take affirmative steps to encourage its dissemination. They try to cajole leakers to turn over documents to verify their claims and consent to their publication. They call other sources to obtain confirmation and elaboration in the form of further leaks and documents.
[There is no way to prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks without criminalizing journalism because WikiLeaks is engaged in pure journalistic acts: uncovering and publicizing the secret conduct of the world's most powerful factions. It is that conduct -- and not any supposed crime -- which explains why the DOJ is so desperate to prosecute.
it seems to me that criminalizing investigative journalism and opening the door for criminalizing virtually any form of reporting on government activities may indeed be the goal behind the insane push to prosecute julian assange and wikileaks... Submit To Propeller
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Warrants required for Feds to read our emails
After many years of legal uncertainty, a federal appeals court has finally declared that emails have the same Fourth Amendment protections as regular mail and telephone calls.
"Given the fundamental similarities between email and traditional forms of communication, it would defy common sense to afford emails lesser Fourth Amendment protection," the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF).
If the ruling is not overturned by the Supreme Court, it will put an end to the practice of law enforcement agents using court orders, rather than warrants, to gain access to emails. Court orders require a much lower standard than warrants.
Kevin Bankston of the digital rights group EFF told Wired.com he expects Internet service providers will comply with the ruling, meaning they will start requesting warrants when law enforcement requests access to emails.
Privacy advocates say law enforcement has been using a loophole in the 1986 Stored Communications Act to get emails without a warrant. Under that law, information stored on servers is subject only to a court order.
every once in a while, the courts remember that the 4th amendment is actually part of the constitution... Submit To Propeller
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Monday, December 13, 2010
Wow...! A politician speaks the truth: "My view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks"
Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus, the incoming chairman of the House banking committee, suggested Congress and federal regulators should play a subservient role with banks.
"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks," Bachus told The Birmingham News in an interview.
The Republican leadership last week designated Bachus the next chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, which is tasked with overseeing banks, financial markets, housing and consumer credit.
not that we haven't known this all along... i just didn't expect to hear it from the incoming chair of the house banking committee...
do you suppose he's ever heard of the quaint notion that congress is supposed to serve the common good of the american people...? nah... probably not... Submit To Propeller
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We have a power that terrifies the corporate state
We may feel, in the face of the ruthless corporate destruction of our nation, our culture, and our ecosystem, powerless and weak. But we are not. We have a power that terrifies the corporate state. Any act of rebellion, no matter how few people show up or how heavily it is censored by a media that caters to the needs and profits of corporations, chips away at corporate power. Any act of rebellion keeps alive the embers for larger movements that follow us. It passes on another narrative. It will, as the rot of the state consumes itself, attract wider and wider numbers. Perhaps this will not happen in our lifetimes. But if we persist, we will keep this possibility alive. If we do not, it will die.
All energy directed toward reforming political and state structures is useless. All efforts to push through a “progressive” agenda within the corridors of power are naïve. Trust in the reformation of our corporate state reflects a failure to recognize that those who govern, including Barack Obama, are as deaf to public demands and suffering as those in the old Communist regimes. We cannot rely on any systems of power, including the pillars of the liberal establishment—the press, liberal religious institutions, universities, labor, culture and the Democratic Party. They have been weakened to the point of anemia or work directly for the corporations that dominate our existence. We can rely now on only ourselves, on each other.
As long as a few of us rebel, it will always remain possible to defeat a system of centralized, corporate power that is as criminal and heartless as those I watched tumble into the ash bin of history in Eastern Europe.
i can't help but feel as though we're approaching a major tipping point... Submit To Propeller
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With apologies to Dean Koontz
Throughout most of our lives, we have wished desperately for a magic moment, for a wave of change to wash away the way things were, for all that seemed to be impossible to become possible in a wink. On the edge of giving up long ago, growing old and finding our dreams fading in the mist, we now find ourselves on the brink of an event potentially so momentous that it will have the power to put our past in a new perspective, to diminish the memory of our suffering, and to open a door through which we can step in and be transformed.
the above was adapted from dean koontz' 2010 novel, Breathless... Submit To Propeller
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