Oct 29

- Confessions of a Drone Warrior (GQ Magazine, Oct 23, 2013):

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human

From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.

It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.

Continue reading »

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Sep 07

- Rolling Stone Profiles Barrett Brown: Journalist, Activist and American Political Prisoner (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 7, 2013):

“I mean Texans and indictments…it’s like a Texas Bar Mitzvah.  My dad was indicted, you know, I have friends that have been indicted, have gone to prison…it happens.
- Barret Brown during an RT Interview, a year before being raided by the FBI and subsequently incarcerated.

Barrett Brown is one of those figures that immediately captured my attention after first learning about him while watching the Anonymous documentary We are Legion. I soon realized that he had been incarcerated a mere three months prior to me serendipitously stumbling upon the film. It wasn’t difficult to see that he must have been onto something very, very big for the Feds to go after him so aggressively. You don’t charge a person with 105 years in prison merely as revenge for a youtube video in which you threaten an FBI agent. No, there was something much deeper going on here.

Continue reading »

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Aug 08

- Judge casts doubt on damage caused by whistleblower Bradley Manning’s US secret data leaks (Independent, Aug 8, 2013):

A military judge has cast doubt on the scale of damage inflicted by Bradley Manning’s leaks of classified information, ruling that some US government evidence was inadmissible.

As she prepared to sentence Bradley Manning for passing secret information to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, Judge Denise Lind said she would only admit evidence of the “chilling effects” his actions have had on US diplomacy if those effects were observed directly after the information was made public.

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Aug 06

Shame on this president for persecuting whistleblowers with a legal relic, while administration officials leak with impunity


Senator Joseph McCarthy, chief ideologue of the cold war witch-hunts, takes the pledge as a witness in 1954 hearings about alleged communist infiltration of the US army. Photograph: Associated Press

- Obama’s abuse of the Espionage Act is modern-day McCarthyism (Guardian, Aug 5, 2013):

The conviction of Bradley Manning under the 1917 Espionage Act, and the US Justice Department’s decision to file espionage charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden under the same act, are yet further examples of the Obama administration‘s policy of using an iron fist against human rights and civil liberties activists.

President Obama has been unprecedented in his use of the Espionage Act to prosecute those whose whistleblowing he wants to curtail. The purpose of an Espionage Act prosecution, however, is not to punish a person for spying for the enemy, selling secrets for personal gain, or trying to undermine our way of life. It is to ruin the whistleblower personally, professionally and financially. It is meant to send a message to anybody else considering speaking truth to power: challenge us and we will destroy you.

Only ten people in American history have been charged with espionage for leaking classified information, seven of them under Barack Obama. The effect of the charge on a person’s life – being viewed as a traitor, being shunned by family and friends, incurring massive legal bills – is all a part of the plan to force the whistleblower into personal ruin, to weaken him to the point where he will plead guilty to just about anything to make the case go away. I know. The three espionage charges against me made me one of “the Obama Seven”.

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Aug 02

- Bradley Manning leak did not result in deaths by enemy forces, court hears (Guardian, Aug 1, 2013):

Counter-intelligence officer who investigated WikiLeaks impact undermines argument that Manning leak put lives at risk

The US counter-intelligence official who led the Pentagon’s review into the fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures of state secrets told the Bradley Manning sentencing hearing on Wednesday that no instances were ever found of any individual killed by enemy forces as a result of having been named in the releases.

Brigadier general Robert Carr, a senior counter-intelligence officer who headed the Information Review Task Force that investigated the impact of WikiLeaks disclosures on behalf of the Defense Department, told a court at Fort Meade, Maryland, that they had uncovered no specific examples of anyone who had lost his or her life in reprisals that followed the publication of the disclosures on the internet. “I don’t have a specific example,” he said.

It has been one of the main criticisms of the WikiLeaks publications that they put lives at risk, particularly in Iran and Afghanistan. The admission by the Pentagon’s chief investigator into the fallout from WikiLeaks that no such casualties were identified marks a significant undermining of such arguments.

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Jul 30

H/t reader M.G.:

“On a related story, Bradley Manning. US media isn’t even mentioning the outcome of the kangaroo court. The 24/7 cable TV news that isn’t is covering tabloid, and financials, no real news. OH, and Obama is making another of his speeches…….sickening.

The Guardian is also covering the story, it will take a full month before all the charges are added up for final sentencing………it is a total outrage. Americans are not even told any longer, and many are too stupid to research online.”



US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning leaves a military court facility after hearing his verdict in the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland on July 30, 2013

- Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, faces 130+ yrs in jail on other charges (RT, July 30, 2013):

A US military judge has found Army private Bradley Manning “not guilty” of aiding the enemy. However, he was found guilty of 20 remaining charges, meaning that he still faces the possibility of up to 136 years behind bars. Sentencing begins tomorrow.

Sitting in the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Md., Colonel Denise Lind delivered her verdict shortly after 1 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. Manning had chosen to put all his faith in the judge, rather than a panel of his peers – a risky gamble that initially seemed to pay off for the 25-year-old Army intelligence analyst – the charge could have carried a life sentence without parole.

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Jul 26

Oh, sure!

Ask Bradley Manning.

Trust us!

- JULY 25, 2013 … YES WE CAN! … Obama vs Snowden (Video)

More complete BS we can believe in!


- Holder To Russia: Trust Us, We Won’t Kill (or Torture) Snowden (ZeroHedge, July 26, 2013):

In a brief two-page letter (below) to Russia’s Minister of Justice, AG Holder offers to graciously allow Edward Snowden to return to the US promising that he will be neither tortured (“Torture is unlawful in the US”) nor put to death (“The charges he faces do not carry that possibility.”) Holder’s plea ends on a hopeful note that he believes “these assurances eliminated grounds for Mr. Snowden’s asylum.” We are sure Snowden (and the Russians) feel better already. On a sidenote, we were surprised a Dreamliner was not offered as means of transport just to ensure his safe arrival.

Via NPR,

The U.S. wants Russia to deport Snowden. American officials want him returned to the U.S. for prosecution. Holder’s letter, which was released Friday, addresses some “press reports and prior conversations between our governments” about issues involving Snowden’s status. The attorney general writes that:

Snowden “is able to travel. Despite the revocation of his passport on June 22, 2013, Mr. Snowden remains a U.S. citizen. He is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States. The United States is willing to immediately issue such a passport to Mr. Snowden.”

Claims that Snowden “would be tortured and would face the death penalty” if he is sent to the U.S. “are entirely without merit.”

On the death penalty, “the charges he faces do not carry that possibility.”

“Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States.”

“We believe these assurances eliminate these asserted grounds for Mr. Snowden’s claim that he should be treated as a refugee or granted asylum, temporary or otherwise.”

Full letter below:

Attorney Genral Eric Holder's Letter to Russia's Justice Minister

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Jul 19

- H/t reader M.G.:

“On a more important issue, the courts have just denied a journalist his rights of confidentiality. Since it is a “criminal” case, no protection. What in the hell is going on here?
Why are Americans sitting on their backsides watching tabloid TV while all our rights are erased?
Found it on the Guardian (of course).”

One of many reasons why Americans are doing nothing about this is that 70% of the public drinking water is fluoridated. America has become just one big Nazi concentration camp (or Russian gulag).

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
- Aldous Huxley, 1961


Appeals court rules that reporters have no first amendment protection that would safeguard confidentiality of their sources


New York Times reporter James Risen has said in previous comments that he will rather go to prison than reveal the identity of his source. Photograph: AP

- Journalist James Risen ordered to testify in CIA leaker trial (Guardian, July 19, 2013):

A federal appeals court has delivered a blow to investigative journalism in America by ruling that reporters have no first amendment protection that would safeguard the confidentiality of their sources in the event of a criminal trial.

In a two-to-one ruling from the fourth circuit appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, two judges ruled that a New York Times reporter, James Risen, must give evidence at the criminal trial of a former CIA agent who is being prosecuted for unauthorised leaking of state secrets.

The ruling, written by chief judge William Traxler, states in stark terms that even when a reporter has promised confidentiality to a source, “there is no first amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify … in criminal proceedings”.

The ruling comes at a time of increasing tension between news organisations and the US government in the context of an unparalleled clamp down by the Obama administration on official leakers. Jeffrey Sterling, the former CIA employee in whose trial Risen must now testify or face possible jail time, is the seventh former government employee to face prosecution under the stringent Espionage Act since Obama took office, alongside former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, currently on trial for passing documents to WikiLeaks.

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Jul 03

FYI.


- Bradley Manning should win the Nobel Peace Prize (Guardian, June 30, 2013):

As a peace prize winner myself, I am nominating Manning for this honor for his work to help end the Iraq War and other conflicts

Peace is more than simply the absence of war; it is the active creation of something better. Alfred Nobel recognized this when he created alongside those for chemistry, literature, medicine and physics, an annual prize for outstanding contributions in peace. Nobel’s foresight is a reminder to us all that peace must be created, maintained, and advanced, and it is indeed possible for one individual to have an extraordinary impact. For this year’s prize, I have chosen to nominate US Army Pfc Bradley Manning, for I can think of no one more deserving. His incredible disclosure of secret documents to Wikileaks helped end the Iraq War, and may have helped prevent further conflicts elsewhere.

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Jun 25

Yes, …

“It’s a diffferent country, …”

A much different country!



YouTube

June 18, 2013 CNN

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Jun 23

He obviously doesn’t want to end up like Bradley Manning.


Update: NSA Leaker Seeks Asylum in Ecuador (ABC News, June 23, 2013):

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who faces espionage charges for disclosing secret U.S. government anti-terrorism programs, has requested asylum in Ecuador, according to the country’s foreign minister.

“The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden,” Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca tweeted today hours after a plane believed to be carrying Snowden landed in Moscow from Hong Kong, where Snowden had been hiding. 

- WikiLeaks: Snowden going to Ecuador to seek asylum (The Seattle Times, June 23, 2013):

MOSCOW — Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says a former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs is going to Ecuador to seek asylum. The group said in a statement Sunday that Edward Snowden is “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”

- Snowden on the run, seeks asylum in Ecuador (CNN, June 23, 2013)

- Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, reportedly lands in Moscow (Washington Post, June 23, 2013)

- Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum (NPR, June 23, 2013)

- Snowden examined by Ecuadorian embassy doctor at Moscow airport upon arrival – RT source (RT, June 23, 2013):

The plane carrying whistleblower Edward Snowden has landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The former CIA contractor, who left Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition on espionage charges, is on his way to a ‘third country’ via Russia.

RT’s source reported a doctor from the Ecuadorian embassy in Moscow has examined Snowden on his arrival.

Earlier on Sunday, a spokesperson from the Hong Kong government confirmed that Edward Snowden had “legally and voluntarily” left the country.

“Mr. Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel,” said the Hong Kong government in a press release. The statement also said the documents for Snowden’s extradition submitted by Washington “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”

“As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

WikiLeaks legal aidWhistleblowing organization WikiLeaks has rallied behind Snowden and said they are assisting him in his bid for political asylum in a “democratic country.” The group announced on Twitter that they helped obtain “travel documents” and ensured his safe exit from Hong Kong. Diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks legal team were also accompanying the NSA leaker on his flight to Moscow, WikiLeaks said in a statement.

- Snowden exit: Hong Kong revels in its rule of law (AFP, June 23, 2013)

- UPDATE 1-US lawmakers slam Russia for abetting Snowden flight (Reuters, June 23, 2013):

HONG KONG — Hong Kong has risked the threat of US reprisals in allowing Edward Snowden to leave. But its government insists that the rule of law took primacy for a territory that jealously guards its separateness from mainland China.

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Jun 23

‘Truth is treason in the empire of lies’
‘Let the revolution begin!’
– Ron Paul


- Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S. (McClatchy, June 20,  2013):

WASHINGTON — Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.

Continue reading »

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Jun 05

- Crowdfunded Stenographer Denied Press Pass To Cover Transcriptless Bradley Manning Trial (TechDirt, June 3, 2013):

The attempts to limit the press during the Bradley Manning trial have been somewhat ridiculous. The press hasn’t been allowed to record anything, even though someone clearly did so surreptitiously. Furthermore, there’s been no plan for an official court transcript of the proceedings either. About a month ago, the Freedom of the Press Foundation launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to hire their own professional stenographer to attend the trail to make a transcript. They even had some top press publications, including the Guardian, Forbes and the Verge, apply for an extra press pass for the crowdfunded stenographer. The military refused. But, more ridiculously, they claimed it was a space issue, though that’s an issue they could easily fix. Continue reading »

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May 25

- The Death of Truth (Truthdig, May 5, 2013, by Chris Hedges)

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Mar 01

- Bradley Manning Takes ‘Full Responsibility’ for Giving WikiLeaks Huge Government Data Trove (Wired, Feb 28, 2013):

FORT MEADE, Md. — Wearing his Army dress uniform, a composed, intense and articulate Pfc. Bradley Manning took “full responsibility” Thursday for providing the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks with a trove of classified and sensitive military, diplomatic and intelligence cables, videos and documents.

In the lengthiest statement to a military tribunal Manning has provided since his nearly three-year long ordeal began, Manning, 25, said WikiLeaks did not encourage him to provide the organization with any information. But he also sketched out his emotionally fraught online interactions with his WikiLeaks handler, a man he knew as “Ox” or “Nathaniel” over Internet Relay Chat and Jabber, and whom the government maintains was Julian Assange.

Manning’s motivations in leaking, he said, was to “spark a domestic debate of the role of the military and foreign policy in general,” he said, and “cause society to reevaluate the need and even desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore their effect on people who live in that environment every day.” Manning said he was in sound mind when he leaked, and did so deliberately, regardless of the legal circumstances.

Remarkably, Manning said he first tried to take his information to the Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico, before contacting WikiLeaks.

The statement came as Manning pleaded guilty on Thursday to ten of 22 charges the Army has levied against him. Manning admitted to improperly storing classified information; having unauthorized possession of such information; willfully communicating it to an unauthorized person; and other “lesser-included” offenses. Each of the ten offenses to which Manning pleaded guilty carries a sentence of up to two years’ imprisonment, for a total of 20 years in prison.

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Jan 20

- Manning denied a whistleblower defense (Salon, Jan 18, 2013):

The soldier will only be permitted to give limited evidence on his motives for leaking documents

In a potential blow to his defense, Pfc. Bradley Manning has been largely denied the opportunity to present evidence about his motives for leaking documents to WikiLeaks in his upcoming trial.

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Dec 10

- The Guardian ‘Person of the Year 2012′ is Bradley Manning (Digital Journal, Dec 9, 2012)

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Dec 02

- I thought I was going to die in that cage, says Bradley Manning (Independent , Nov 30, 2012):

US soldier gives evidence at pre-trial hearing after allegedly passing secrets to WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of causing the biggest security breach in American history, finally broke his silence yesterday as he gave evidence at a pre-trial hearing, saying he felt like a doomed, caged animal after he was arrested for allegedly divulging secretes to the WikiLeaks website.

Speaking in court after 917 days in military captivity, Private Manning, who was arrested in Iraq, made the analogy in a reference to his detention in a cell in a segregation tent at a US Army outpost in Kuwait. He was later transferred to a base in Virginia.

“I remember thinking, “I’m going to die. I’m stuck inside this cage’,” he said when questioned by defence attorney David Coombs. Employing dramatic language, he shared the distress he suffered after being locked up his former colleagues. “I just thought I was going to die in that cage. And that’s how I saw it – an animal cage.”

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Aug 30

From the article:

Obama is a despicable patsy, a front man for powerful private interests, and Democrats should be totally ashamed to have elevated such a cowardly lowlife. But as awful as Obama is, a vote for Republicans is a vote for Hitler or Stalin. Indeed, the election of Romney and Ryan would be worse than either.


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

paul-craig-roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

- Putin Is Demonized While Democracy Fails In Amerika (Paul Craig Roberts, Aug 30, 2012):

The latest “rights group” to jump on Russia’s President Putin about Pussy Riot is RootsAction. Following the propaganda line that Washington has established, RootsAction’s appeal for money and petition signers states that the three Russian women were sentenced to two years in prison “for the ‘crime’ of performing a song against Russia’s president Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.”

This statement is a propagandistic misrepresentation of the offense for which the women were tried and convicted.

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Aug 19

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Jul 15

Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley says the Wikileaks website on July 5 announced a two-month summer offensive against the Baath party government of President Assad.

- Wikileaks helps West to justify attack on Syria: Analyst (PressTV, July 14, 2012):

The Wikileaks website is at the disposal of Western intelligence agencies to spur an assault on Syria and topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad, an analyst says.
“As the NATO alliance inches closer to a military attack on Syria, a new front in the destabilization of the Damascus government has been opened by the intelligence agencies of the Western powers. The vehicle chosen by the CIA and its allies for this new assault is once again the shadowy limited hangout operation calling itself Wikileaks, and its chief spokesman, the Australian Julian Assange,” author and historian Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley wrote in the article published on Friday.

Tarpley said that Assange and his staffers released “some 2.43 million e-mails by Syrian government officials, politicians, and companies doing business” with Damascus to “discredit the Syrian government, and even more to harass companies in the NATO sphere who are working as contractors for Damascus.” Continue reading »

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Mar 18

More from Dr. Paul Craig Roberts:

- Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: Silencing The Critics

- Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: 44 US Military Bases Surrounding Iran: Will Iran Be Attacked?

Flashback:

- Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’ (Video)


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

paul-craig-roberts
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

By Paul Craig Roberts:

Is Obama a hypocrite or merely insouciant? Or is he an idiot?

According to news reports Obama’s White House meeting on Valentine ’s Day with China’s Vice President, Xi Jinping, provided an opportunity for Obama to raise “a sensitive human rights issue with the Chinese leader-in-waiting.” The brave and forthright Obama didn’t let etiquette or decorum get in his way. Afterwards, Obama declared that Washington would “continue to emphasize what we believe is the importance of realizing the aspirations and rights of all people.”

Think about that for a minute. Washington is now in the second decade of murdering Muslim men, women, and children in six countries. Washington is so concerned with human rights that it drops bombs on schools, hospitals, weddings and funerals, all in order to uphold the human rights of Muslim people. You see, bombing liberates Muslim women from having to wear the burka and from male domination.

One hundred thousand, or one million, dead Iraqis; four million displaced Iraqis; a country with destroyed infrastructure and entire cities, such as Fallujah, bombed and burnt with white phosphorus into cinders is the proper way to show concern for human rights.

Ditto for Afghanistan. And Libya.

In Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, Washington’s drones bring human rights to the people.

Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prison sites are other places to which Washington brings human rights. Obama, who has the power to murder American citizens without due process of law, is too powerless to close Guantanamo Prison.

He is powerless to prevent himself from supplying Israel with weapons with which to murder Palestinians and Lebanese citizens to whom Obama brings human rights by vetoing every UN resolution passed against Israel for its crimes against humanity.

Instead of following Washington’s human rights lead, the evil Chinese invest in other countries, buy things from them, and sell them goods.

Continue reading »

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Nov 14

- US court verdict ‘huge blow’ to privacy, says fomer WikiLeaks aide (Guardian, Nov. 11, 2011):

Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jonsdottir has slammed the decision by US courts to open her Twitter account to the US authorities and is taking her case to the Council of Europe.

On Thursday a US judge ruled Twitter must release the details of her account and those of two other Twitter users linked to WikiLeaks. Jonsdottir learned in January that her Twitter account was under scrutiny from the Justice Department because of her involvement last year with WikiLeaks’ release of a video showing a US military helicopter shooting two Reuters reporters in Iraq. She believes the US authorities want to use her information to try and build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

“This is a huge blow for everybody that uses social media,” said Jonsdottir. “We have to have the same civil rights online as we have offline. Imagine if the US authorities wanted to do a house search at my home, go through my private papers. There would be a hell of a fight. It’s absolutely unacceptable.”

She said she would press for the Council of Europe to act on the case, which she believes sets a worrying precedent for private citizens and politicians across the world.

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Apr 25

President Barack Obama made stunning accusations about accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning, directly asserting that Manning “broke the law.” Apparently the President of the United States of America and a self-described Constitutional scholar does not care that Manning has yet to be tried or convicted for any crime.

In a discussion yesterday with Logan Price, a Bradley Manning supporter who was part of a group of activists who sang a song during the President’s San Francisco fundraiser, President Obama flatly stated that Bradley Manning “dumped” documents and that “he broke the law.” A rough transcript follows, provided by UK Friends of Bradley Manning:

OBAMA: So people can have philosophical views [about Bradley Manning] but I can’t conduct diplomacy on an open source [basis]… That’s not how the world works.

And if you’re in the military… And I have to abide by certain rules of classified information. If I were to release material I weren’t allowed to, I’d be breaking the law.

We’re a nation of laws! We don’t let individuals make their own decisions about how the laws operate. He broke the law.

[Q: Didn't he release evidence of war crimes?]

OBAMA: What he did was he dumped

[Q: Isn't that just the same thing as what Daniel Ellsberg did?]

OBAMA: No it wasn’t the same thing. Ellsberg’s material wasn’t classified in the same way.

This is the President of the United States speaking about a US military soldier detained for almost a year on charges of leaking classified (but not top secret, the level of files released by Ellsberg) documents. Manning’s lawyer is considering considered (corrected: his transfer made the writ moot) filing a writ of habeus corpus for the length of time and totality of abuse suffered by Manning while in military custody.

President Obama has already made up his mind. He thinks Manning “broke the law.” It’s no wonder he considered Manning’s abuse to “meet our basic standards” when he thinks Manning is already guilty.

This is vile.

Continue reading »

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Mar 06


Private Bradley E. Manning, 23

WASHINGTON — Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking government files to WikiLeaks, will be stripped of his clothing every night as a “precautionary measure” to prevent him from injuring himself, an official at the Marine brig at Quantico, Va., said on Friday.

Private Manning will also be required to stand outside his cell naked during a morning inspection, after which his clothing will be returned to him, said a Marine spokesman, First Lt. Brian Villiard.

“Because of recent circumstances, the underwear was taken away from him as a precaution to ensure that he did not injure himself,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “The brig commander has a duty and responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the detainees and to make sure that they are able to stand trial.”

Private Manning is a maximum-security detainee under “prevention of injury watch,” a special set of restrictions — a step his supporters, who contend that he is not suicidal, have said is unjustified. He has not been elevated to the more restrictive “suicide watch” conditions.

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