I’m really sick of watching so-called liberals cheerlead the conviction of Bradley Manning
If anything, he deserves the Nobel Prize.
If anything, he deserves the Nobel Prize.
You get a Presidential Medal of Freedom for helping your president lie our country into a personal war with Iraq that costs more than three trillion dollars, 4500 soldiers’ lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, and our international prestige and good will. (Even if you helped them expose CIA agents to discredit their contention that the fictitious WMD’s didn’t exist.)
But, if you expose the lies of the US Government, such as proof that we are knowingly attacking civilians, torturing teens, the elderly, and the mentally infirm, operating secret prisons, and covering up our
mercenaries’ contractors’ dealing in child prostitution, well, you get a more than a year of extra-judicial punishment bordering on torture without trial while our president and his security team come up with ever more unconstitutional ways to keep whistleblowers from revealing their dirty secrets.
It would seem, from US Embassy cables (Thank you, Wikileaks!), that the US invites even greater violence from the Taliban as a means of achieving more support for the war from within Afghanistan.
Is it any wonder they want us out of their country?
Per The Guardian:
But not everyone thinks such horrors are an entirely bad thing. Indeed, some within the US war machine have long argued the emergence of a nastier insurgency could be really quite useful for Nato's war aims. So useful, in fact, that foreign forces should try to encourage such behaviour.
One of them was Peter Lavoy, a former chairman of the US National Intelligence Council, the body that examines data from across the US government’s intelligence gathering machine and turns it into high-grade analysis that is rarely discussed publicly. At a closed-door meeting with ambassadors at Nato headquarters in Brussels in December 2008, Lavoy spelled out a strategy for winning the war in Afghanistan that has never been uttered publicly: “The international community should put intense pressure on the Taliban in 2009 in order to bring out their more violent and ideologically radical tendencies,” he said, according to a State Department note-taker in the room. “This will alienate the population and give us an opportunity to separate the Taliban from the population.”
His words, which we only know courtesy of WikiLeaks, are extraordinary because they have been proven at least partially right. They also differ fundamentally from the publicly stated strategy in Afghanistan. Known as population-centric counterinsurgency, or Coin, the fundamental principle is that foreign forces should try to keep ordinary Afghans safe from insurgents and thereby win their support.
I’ll agree that Bradley Manning deserves punishment the moment our government grows the cajones to imprison and torture George Bush and Dick Cheney for lying our nation into war, a war that we now know definitively included the deliberate targeting of civilians. Not only that, they outed a CIA agent to demonstrate how ruthless their retribution would be against naysayers.
Bradley Manning’s alleged crimes had only one consequence, opening our eyes to the evil actions of our government, such as our military targeting civilians in Iraq, cover-ups of catastrophic oil spills, child prostitution by our mercenaries in Afghanistan, the DEA as a political espionage tool, and of course, our corporations and governments meddling in other countries’ governments for corrupt personal gain.
After seven days of testimony and the submission of more than 300,000 pages of documents, a key question remains unanswered in the case against Army Pfc. Bradley Manning: How exactly did his leak of hundreds of thousands of secret documents, logs and at least one video — which he passed to WikiLeaks — directly harm U.S. national security?
It’s a near-certainty that Manning, whose pretrial Article 32 hearing concluded Thursday, will next face a court-martial, but experts say that it’s unclear whether the government will be able to prove its most serious charge against the former Army intelligence analyst — that he aided the enemy. A conviction on that charge could send Manning, 24, to prison for life.
Wadaj Khanfar, the director of Al Jazeera, announced his resignation today after Wikileaks released documents that could prove embarassing to the news organization, the New York Times has reported.
According to the documents, Khanfar held particularly close ties with the U.S. government, to whom he promised the network would provide less critical coverage. He steps down today after running the network for eight years.
The documents allege that Khanfar censored some of Al Jazeera’s coverage of the conflict in Iraq under American pressure to sanitize its coverage, presumably to minimize anti-U.S. sentiment in the Arab world. The coverage in question was to include images of injured civilians, which were allegedly removed by Khanfar.
To an American media outlet, colluding with the government is actually a sign of respectability. Remember when the New York Times hid Bush’s warrantless wiretapping of American citizens for over a year?
Wikileaks… protecting us from scumbag liars everywhere.
Maybe I’m lame, but I wanted to write about something significant in my 1,000th post. I’ll omit the circumstances in which I watched the towers fall. Like everyone else in the US, they aren’t all that consequential. The experience shocked me as much as anyone.
I’d rather write about the experience that really impressed upon me the new world in which we lived, an experience that came during the Mizzou Tigers / Nebraska Cornhuskers football game on September 29, 2001. .
I should preface this by saying, in the wake of 9/11, my cynicism grew as support for the Patriot Act spread throughout Congress. In hindsight, it shouldn’t have surprised me to watch George W. Bush and the Republican Party exploit national tragedy for the purposes of consolidating and expanding power, but that’s what occurred. Not only was there a boogeyman out there that none of us had really considered before, but now our government was going to be openly and actively spying upon Americans themselves. .
It disgusted me. .
It was that disgust that led me to stay seated and silent as the national anthem played in Memorial Stadium that morning, prompting my buddy Jessica to order me to stand up and remove my hat, which I refused. Around us, a few dozen people also expressed outrage toward me, which I ignored. .
“Show some respect!” one person shouted. .
“Asshole!” shouted another. .
Albert Einstein said: “Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race”. I’ve never been a flag worshiper or given to patriotic theater, and that was my first real close encounter with people who are blindly and ignorantly patriotic, to a point where their fervor can inspire them to violence and hate. It was these people who caused 47 Muslim students to withdraw from Mizzou in the months following 9/11, with vandalism, harassment, threats, and violence. One of my friends, a girl named Zariah, was harassed and received a death threat for writing about it in the school newspaper.
Recently released United States embassy cables from Bolivia have provided additional insight to the events leading up to the September 2008 coup attempt against the Andean country’s first indigenous president.
On September 9, 2008, President Evo Morales expelled then-US ambassador Philip Goldberg as evidence emerged that Goldberg and embassy officials had been meeting with several key civilian and military figures involved in an unfolding coup plot.
These meetings took place in the midst of “civic strikes” and roadblocks called by the right-wing opposition prefects (governors) of the eastern states. These actions were denounced by the government as an attempted coup.
The prefects announced their intentions to begin implementing “regional autonomy” statutes, which they claimed had been approved by illegal referendums held in the four eastern states between May and July.
These statutes were aimed at securing regional control over natural resources and state security bodies.
Taking over government buildings and cutting off food supplies, the right-wing insurgents carried out a reign of terror on the streets, mobilising paramilitary forces.
Soldiers and police officers were targets of their violence. The hope was to trigger an armed confrontation, banking on important sections of the military refusing to obey government orders.
The secret US cables released by WikiLeaks show how such a scenario was already envisaged months before by the US embassy.
A December 12, 2007 cable assessed the situation within the military. It said that, faced with conflict, the government could “at best” rely on only “sporadic and half-hearted compliance from a minority of commanders”.
Based on intelligence gathered from military officers, the cable concluded: “Although they can be expected to protect government infrastructure and transportation, most commanders are likely to sit out any violent confrontation with opposition forces.”
Field commanders were “prepared to stand down and confine their troops to barracks”, even if a written order was signed by Morales.
Sounds very similar to the US’ historical military involvement in Latin America.
Spc. Jeremy Morlock admitted to the murder of unarmed Afghan boy Gul Mudin (depicted here). He was only 15 years old. They lined him against a wall and ordered him to stand still before they shot him. Pfc. Andrew Holmes cut off his pinky as a memento. Morlock admitted that this wasn’t the first time he murdered civilians. According to him, soldiers in his Platoon “[threw] candy out of a Stryker vehicle as they drove through a village [and shot] children who came running to pick up the sweets.” The Pentagon worked for months to get these pictures deleted and suppressed. He was recently sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Private Bradley Manning, horrified at the war crimes unfolding around him, reported them to higher authorities in his chain of command. When they told him to keep quiet about it he published the details of the crimes to the public. He is facing the death sentence. Is there something wrong here?
Warning: Very graphic photographs below the ‘read more’ link.
These men were monsters, and if they’d committed these crimes against white Americans, our country might actually be outraged. As it is, they committed their crimes against faceless brown-skinned civilians in a war zone, so there are far too few who give a damn about it.
This is good news. Hopefully a score for freedom of the press, though I think it’s a foregone conclusion that the US will exercise considerable influence over the hearings.
Remember when Visa, Mastercard and PayPal shut down money flows to WikiLeaks at the behest of the government? The cutoff has been ongoing for six months, and WikiLeaks has lost its patience. Forbes reports that if the companies haven’t eased the restrictions by Thursday, July 7, it will take them to court:Per Forbes.com, If Visa Europe and MasterCard Europe haven’t re-opened payment WikiLeaks by next Thursday, the group and its payment provider DataCell plan to file a complaint with the E.U. Commission against the two companies as well as the Danish payment processor Teller, according to Sveinn Andri Sveinsson, the Icelandic lawyer for WikiLeaks and DataCell.
“They’re boycotting Datacell and Wikileaks without any objective justification,” says Sveinsson. “This is clearly an abuse of their market dominance.”
The suit accuses the companies of violating an EU Treaty on non-compete clauses. Meanwhile an independent investigator hired by Visa reported to the company that it did not find that Wikileaks had broken any laws — a condition upon which Visa said they would reopen their account.