Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The giant testicles of the month award- John Fugelsang's new award and guess who won?

John Fugelsang - rapidly becoming my favorite guy with a mic. A "liberal" with a mic - what a concept. Actually finding a liberal on TV

Last night was the premier of the new award for those involved in current events. "The giant testicles of the month award."

That doesn't mean the pool of candidates are those picked from the smoke screen of a military "security" administration (NSA) trying hard to deflect and spin, duck and weave...caught with it's cyberpants down as it sticks it to the American people (and the people of the planet)...

Note: I will just drop this little link here for those curious enough ..
The Posse Comitatus Act............

It pulls from the very people who actually should be heard for what they say and should be held accurately accountable for lies, damn lies and bullshit.

But that, actually,  takes tracking the truth not the spin - unfortunately, in a country poised to pay attention only for 5 minutes (American adult at it's most focused on anything not "me") down to 2 nanoseconds (smartphone users), the Rovian soundbyte still wins (8 seconds is the maximum length for a talking point that will stick - it won Bush an election twice)...

Wow, what a concept! Paying attention to the REAL story - America, WTF?

Can we actually have an educated electorate?

I know, call me a dreamer - I reach for the stars and grab stardust as I can

Monday, June 24, 2013

To President Obama: Be careful for what you may wish or you may promise... you might just get it....

January 21, 2009 
"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstone of this presidency" 
Barack Obama

"Obama’s crackdown views leaks as aiding enemies of U.S." released by McClatchy, June 20, 2013, discusses the limitations he has placed on that " touchstone"...

The Insider Threat Program - Narc, snitch, squeal or roll over on your friends, co-workers, or anyone if you think, suspect, imagine, dream, or assume one or more of them could be, might be or possibly are not quite respecting or fearing the secrecy ... 

And then there is Robert Greenwald discussing the War on Whistleblowers....

His film can be ordered from his website, "War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State" 

But President Obama has assured us:

"A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, 'sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.'"

My response is, yes, Mr. President, Louis Brandeis is correct....

And he is proven to be so, every day, with the actions of those persecuted for bringing sunlight to your administration.

Mr. President, 

You got that for which you claimed to stand - transparency.

I am Bradley Manning! 

As I am Julian Assange; I am Wikileaks; I am Anonymous; I am Edward Snowden; I am Thomas Drake, I am William Binney; I am J. Kirk Wiebe; I am Bradley Birkenfeld; I am Rick Piltz; I am Joseph Darby; I am Katharine Gun; I am David Graham; I am Cynthia Cooper ; I am Sherron Watkins; I am Coleen Rowley; I am Sibel Edmonds; I am Harry Markopolos; I am David Franklin; I am Mark Whitacre; I am Franz Gayl; I am Jeffrey Wigand; I am Casey Ruud; I am Frank Camps; I am Gregory Minor, Richard Hubbard and Dale Bridenbaugh ; I am Karen Silkwood; I am W. Mark Felt; I am Peter Buxtun; I am Daniel Ellsburg; I am Frank Serpico; I am Ron Ridenhour; I am James Boyd and Marjorie Carpenter; I am A. Ernest Fitzgerald ...............

I want people to see the truth... 

Mr. Obama, isn't that supposed to be the "touchstone" of your presidency?

Friday, June 14, 2013

‘Don’t interact, don’t talk, they are not humans’ : Guantanamo, USA – America?

As the Hunger Strike of over 109 prisoners continues at Guantanamo –  that hunger strike now into its  127th day,  (quote as reported by Carol Rosenburg):

 “As of Wednesday, the prison said it was administering tube-feedings to 43 of the 104 captives it concedes are hunger strikers among the 166 detainees. Four were in the hospital, none with life-threatening conditions.  [Navy Capt. Robert Durand ]Durand has said he is forbidden to include in his force-feeding figures alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed or any of the 13 other ex-CIA captives segregated from the others in a top secret prison called Camp 7.”

Nice that the “Captain,” finally, acknowledges there are more than 100 hunger striking "detainees" (prisoners) and over 40 being force-fed -  more closely resembling the figures given by the lawyers for the prisoners,  and human rights organizations.

Funny thing about truth…  It eventually claws its way into the light of day.

Jason Leopold, now writing for Al Jazeera, is reaching a larger international audience as he reports on the abuses at Guantanamo from the latest policy and procedure of force-feeding  the striking  prisoners to the renewal of some old policies, removing the meager "privileges" they have been allowed post-Obama.

The force-feeding policy is abusive and degrading - to some, is tantamount to torture.

I am reminded of an interview given by former Guantanamo guard, Terry Holdbrooks,  author of an autobiography entitled "Traitor?", in which he discusses his "tour" at the camp.

“Don’t interact, don’t talk, they are not humans,”
............was the standing order.

Terry was at Guantanamo from June 2003 through July 2004Before Obama -  but, it appears that “order” is still at work today – at least in the behavior of those running the camp.

In a report from DemocracyNow, one attorney received the following message in a letter from Yemini detainee Bashir al-Marwalah:

“We are in danger. One of the soldiers fired on one of the brothers a month ago. Before that, they send the emergency forces with M-16 weapons into one of the brothers’ cell blocks. ... Now they want to return us to the darkest days under [George W.] Bush. They said this to us. Please do something."
Amid the prison "officials" continued denials as they demand the utilization of abusive techniques to break the hunger strike, there appears to be a growing voice confronting the inhumanity of the force-feeding technique  -  clearly an unethical procedure  - as well as  the potential  intimidation in order to assure the medical personnel’s compliance with the procedure.  The “truth” seems to be clawing its way into the minds of those who have the balls to use their voice .

The New England Journal of Medicine published an editorial , this week, entitled, “Guantanamo Bay: A Medical Ethics–free Zone?

The authors, Bioethicist George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H.,  Sondra S. Crosby, M.D., and Leonard H. Glantz, J.D. call for the physicians  at Guantanamo as well as outside the prison  “to take constructive political action” with regards to the ethics violations ordered to be committed by the medical staff and any pressures brought to bear in order to force compliance with unethical procedures or to punish those who refuse to take part.

As noted in the article and elsewhere, the consensus of physicians worldwide concerning the use of involuntary and restrained (forced) feeding of those participating in a hunger strike includes the following:

  • Article 6 of The 1975 Tokyo Declaration of the World Medical Association: "Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially."
The policy, as stated in the ”Standard Operating Procedure: Medical Management of Detainees on Hunger Strike,” at Guantanamo violates  these tenets.

Even Jeremy A. Lazarus, President of the American Medical Association,  in his recent letter, dated  April 25, 2013, to Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State, states:

"The American Medical Association (AMA) noted in 2005 and 2009, when concerns arose about the treatment of hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, that the forced feeding of detainees violates core ethical values of the medical profession. Every competent patient has the right to refuse medical intervention, including life-sustaining interventions.

The AMA has long endorsed the World Medical Association Declaration of Tokyo, which is unequivocal on the point:  'Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially. The decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician."
We urge you to ensure that this matter receives prompt and thorough attention and to address any situation in which a physician may be asked to violate the ethical standards of his or her profession.  The AMA remains committed to providing whatever assistance we can.”

So,  America......

The men at Guantanamo, left without hope, without due process, without charge (only  5 have been formally charged but all have been tortured) are the reason we cannot call ourselves “the land of the free” ….nor are we even remotely close to being “The bright and shining beacon”

The innocent men (86 men found totally innocent - without any association with terrorism, terrorist activity, association with anyone who is "trying to do us harm," or even commission of questionable acts) at Guantanamo are risking the only thing they have left – their lives.

They are willing to die waiting for our humanity - When are we going to find it?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Transparency and Accountability in the Obama Age - Police State tactics against defenders of the people

I bet a number of the readers thought I was going to bring up the NSA wiretaps again - nope.  Not here.  I will leave that to those who still think there is something new with that.

As I mentioned to a friend last night, people have been listening in on conversations since the telegraph was invented.  Doesn't make it right or insult me any less - people who demand security should be careful of that for which they wish.

No, today's piece is about the injustice meted out to the defenders of the people - whistleblowers, information dissemination by hacker groups sworn to transparency and holding the secretive corruptors of our rights, accountable.  Those who act on their moral compass instead of just sayin', "ain't it awful".

Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning, KyAnonymous - hell Anonymous around the planet, Julian Assange, Wikileaks.....All demonized by a corporatist press, vilified by the Obama Administration, attacked on the floor of Congress.  If there is anything that brings the WH, DOJ, FBI, CIA, Pentagon, Secret Service, MI6 and MI5, The British government, the GOP, DNC, a corrupt polish government, N. Korea's Kim Jong-Un,  Assad, and Mubarek  together, it is the attempt to destroy the defenders of the people - a war on the messengers.

 KyAnonymous, the guy that brought national focus and pressure to bear on the corrupt sheriff and judicial system in Steubenville - outing rapists and forcing criminal investigation and action - is looking at a potential of 10 years in prison.

More on FreakOutNation here.

Bradley Manning is on trial held in secrecy. He had plead guilty to every charge but one - aiding the enemy of the US. He is guilty of giving information to the people of the planet of the continued evil done in the name of the American people.

More on Bradley Manning (without the filters of corporatist MSM) here 

Aaron Swartz committed suicide - much because his country's government wanted to put him in prison for 50 years for trying to bring information and education to the people for free. 

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are a threat to those who hide behind the wall of "security" as they commit atrocities; who cover-up their illegal activities to include war crimes...

Barack Obama, the man with stated “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency” has led an administration that has declared war on the messengers of truth.  

The front line defenders of transparency and accountability are hunted and harassed for their message of truth. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"America knows war. They are war masters" - "Dirty Wars"

Jeremy Scahill,  journalist from "The Nation", is known for his reporting on the Middle East, from the Middle East.

He brought us the story of Blackwater, the Bush Administration's "Praetorian Guard", and now brings us the reality of  America's continued and perpetual war through a covert, secret army, the elite Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), whose existence was denied by both the Bush and Obama Administrations until they took out Bin Laden and have been viewed as unerring heroes of the nation...

..........Despite its innocuous sounding charter, JSOC has made strides in the special operations field and is comprised of rigorously screened and accessed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Civilians.  These men and women possess unique and specialized skills, and are routinely among the best in their field.  Among them are seasoned combat veterans who cut their teeth by participating in joint special operations liked the Son Tay Prison Raid in Vietnam War which took place in 1970, long before JSOC was activated. 
More recent members of the Command include active duty special operations veterans of all services who have successfully completed the toughest training regiments and demonstrated their mettle under the most challenging and difficult circumstances, including combat.  As a result, past and present members of JSOC have participated in all of our nation's wars and contingency operations since it was activated in 1980. 
Included among the places that military and civilian members of the Command have previously served are Desert One in Iran (1980), Grenada (1983), the Mediterranean Sea during the Achille Lauro hijacking (1985), Panama (1989), the Mideast during the Gulf War (1991), Somalia (1993), Haiti (1994), the Balkans (1996-2002), Afghanistan (2001-present), and Iraq (2003-present).
The Command is always decisively engaged in working to fulfill its charter and typically has members located throughout the world at any given time. An incredibly busy Command, JSOC accomplished its assigned missions successfully in the face of expanding commitments largely due to the quality, dedication, and patriotism of its military and civilian members and the family members who support them.

Disney tried to trademark them, "Zero Dark Thirty"  a myth created about them, Americans who lost friends and family, and a sense of "it can't happen here",  cheered them, but Scahill discusses the real world of JSOC ...

But are they the perfect American heroes?  Or are they just the beginning of a new, elite bully sent out by an administration whipped into fear and loathing by the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA and the FBI who will do anything (to include spying on the American people) in order to perpetuate their existence.

The Killing Anwar al-Awlaki...

Anwar  al-Awaki is never going to be looked at as a "victim" by the mainstream in America.  He has been vilified and  "convicted" of terrorism by the mainstream media and the Obama Administration. He was summarily dispatched (executed) without benefit of trial, without so much as a legal defense, without a single statement allowed....and so has his son, who was no more than a son looking for his father when he was taken out by a drone.

It took 2 years for the administration to cop to this act of murder.

As Scahill asks this question, in a recent interview with John Fugelsang, "Viewpoint" :
"How do you surrender to a drone?  If you haven't been charged with a crime, how do you surrender?""
The simple and obvious answer as determined by the Obama Administration is played out with every strike from a drone and every covert action by JSOC

Scahill has great insight on how Obama came to be the "warhawk" he is today.  The Constitutional Lawyer willing to corrupt that very promise (the Constitution) to further an agenda of "counter-terrorism" and "national security" to include murder without due process........
"If we are going to decide that certain of our citizens are so reprehensible that we will fast-forward past the judicial process - due process - and just sentence them to death then we are living in a different country and we should just re-write the Constitution..."

Scahill has released his new book, "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield", and film....

Real transparency in the Obama Era