Thursday, October 24, 2013

Obama promised to rebuild America's image abroad: So how's that NSA working out for ya?

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In 2008, Obama addressed the people of Berlin, stating his desire to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and his hope of rebuilding America's image around the world.

A hope that was echoed, in the response of the people, globally, when Obama won election in November, 2008...

Crowds gathered in nations across the planet, cheering for the new president....



A hope of understanding and communication leading to peace ...  

A lot has happened since 2008 but, unfortunately, many things have stayed the same, and others have gotten worse...

Barack Obama succeeded in drawing down the number of troops in Iraq; He succeeded in expanding the war on Afghanistan and on "terror" and fear; He has succeeded in denying even more human and civil rights to prisoners of war held in Guantanamo and Bagram; And he has succeeded in expanding the wars on privacy, free press and whistle-blowers. But what about that rebuilding America's image thing?

Angela Merkel is wondering about it too...

As reported, in "Huffington Post" (as well as "Der Spiegel" and "The Guardian"), Ms. Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, got the word that her cellphone plan may have a few new in the NSA.

She called the President to check on the unapproved subscribers and was met with a denial - the same kind of denial he gave French President Francois Hollande on Monday when it broke that the NSA had been learning conversational French by listening to the conversations of French citizens (oops. looks like he may need to make another call - the "Genie" is out of the bottle - They have been caught spying on French Diplomats as well); The same kind of denial he gave to the president of Mexico when it broke that the NSA hacked his email account; a denial he won't get a chance to give to President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, who has cancelled an up-coming trip to meet with President Obama..

In fact, the US has burned a lot of bridges through it's NSA, including many with the people in this nation; in the UK (along with their own GCHQ), in France, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Russia, China...Then we have the UN...

A failure in the promise to rebuild America's relationship with Europe and a failure in the promise of rebuilding America's image around the world.

Truth can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time.
Truth does not care about the sex, color, creed, occupation, political leanings, age, income, lifestyle, location or looks of the truthsayer...
And the truth is that this White House Administration has shot itself in both feet, took out a knee and possibly shot off one of its newly found balls....and, with the self-inflicted wounds, come more promises of more transparency; more accountability; more oversight. '

We can try to blame it on poor planning; or an NSA gone rogue with the use of so many private contractors to whom the Pentagon has out-sourced the security of the nation and opened the floodgates for abuse and over-reach (Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, anyone?)....

Or we can put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the administration swept into office under the promise to be "transparent and accountable".

What the information gathered and released about the NSA (and about US cover-up of the military slaughter of civilians and reporters; Kill Lists; Drones killing hundreds of civilians; out-sourced torture; spying on activists; protecting Monsanto; threatening journalists and prosecuting whistleblowers) does show, is that this administration has been neither "transparent" nor " accountable".

Friday, October 18, 2013

Huge PAC and Corporate Campaign Contributions are the root of evil in Congress - Was it the real reason for the Tea Party rebellion against John Boehner?

The New York Times reported on an interesting list of information about the "Stand Your Ground" (or "et tu, Tea Party") Tea Party Republicans that led the rebellion in the House of Representatives that created the shutdown of government over the past two weeks. In their article, October 1, 2013, "The Republicans Standing Their Ground", the article listed 20 members that pushed for the ACA Defunding and the shutdown, noting these members have been a constant thorn in John Boehner's side.

Well no wonder! According to,October 3, 2013, article, "Dissidents Haven't Seen the $ Love from Boehner, Cantor":

"We analyzed how much money those 20 have received from the leadership PACs of top Republicans in the House and how much assistance they were given in the 2012 election by the National Republican Congressional Conference.

According to data, there's been almost no money going to these 20 from top party leaders, and most were elected without any help from the NRCC. In other words, they don't owe party leadership much."

With all the campaign fundraising and money flowing, through both Boehner and Cantor, into the coffers of nearly every GOP member on the Floor of the House of Representatives, it appears the rebellious 20 were left out..They got little to none. In fact, most got no help in their elections from the NRCC (but the Kochs, I am sure, made up for that), almost none from John Boehner and just a little more from Eric Cantor.

1%'er Money talks through the US government and in this case, it appears money (or lack of campaign funds buying their fealty) may have led to rebellion of Tea Party children against Daddy Warbuck's money-changer, Boehner.

"May we live in interesting times" until we finally get a clue and kick the 1% out of the Halls of Congress and the Houses of Washington Politics.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Citizen's United 2.0 - Will there be more Corporatist manipulation by their proxy SCOTUS?

 "Citizens United 2.0? HELL NO! Join Move to Amend and pledge to resist #McCutcheon. Join us!

Hacktivist who exposed Stratfor's spying on activists, may get 10 yrs in prison, while Stratfor still spying & free

..but what they don't say, anywhere on their large website, is that they spy on and gather information on activists to be given to governments and corporate clients.

Stratfor spied on activists - On Occupy; on Anonymous; on Wikileaks. They spy on anyone for a buck.

At Christmas, 2011, Jeremy Hammond,  a young political activist, web developer and musician from Chicago, along with a number of other activists (in the UK and Ireland) broke through the security of Stratfor's computer systems, retrieving evidence of that spying - emails and client credit card information - then left a message for the CIA wanna-bes...something that made George Friedman hopping mad (for a "security" and "intelligence" firm, not great PR)

By February 27, 2012, those emails began to be released on Wikileaks via their "The Global Intelligence Files" page

Emails about Occupy, Anonymous, Wikileaks and the information collection and discussions with Banks (CitiBank for one), with governments around the world and with other clients.......

What Jeremy and friends did was exactly what whistleblowers have done for decades, but Jeremy was arrested and put in jail, denied bail, had his commissary privileges taken away, his phone privileges suspended for 6 months and has been repeatedly held in solidarity confinement - now held for a year

His compadres of Operation Antisec were arrested in other countries - those convicted outside of the US, got 16 months or less.

Jeremy, after being threatened with a lifetime of legal problems, charges all over the country and a potential of decades in prison, pleaded guilty to one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act .  After his plea, he made the following statement:

Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.
 During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. Ultimately I decided that the most practical route was to accept this plea with a maximum of a ten year sentence and immunity from prosecution in every federal court.
 Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.
 I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process.
 I would like to thank all of my friends and supporters for their amazing and ongoing gestures of solidarity. Today I am glad to shoulder the responsibility for my actions and to move one step closer to daylight.
 Jeremy Hammond

For more on the story of one more hero for the cause of freedom, transparency and accountability.

You can help Jeremy, too...Here is how:

1. There is an on-going letter campaign that will end at the court's cut-off date of October 15. 2013.  The letters are to be written to the judge who will be adjudicating at Jeremy's sentencing hearing, November 125, 2013, in New York City.  Anyone who can stand with Jeremy Hammond and support that for which he stands, please write a letter...For specifics, go to:

2.  Stand with Jeremy, November 15, 2013:

-Date & Time-
November 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

United States Courthouse, Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007

Please Note: There will be a small rally before the sentencing. Please join us in Foley Square (directly across the street from the courthouse) at 9:00 AM. After the rally, we will all walk over to the courthouse together.


We are Anonymous. 
We are legion. 
We never forgive. 
We never forget.  
Expect us.