Archive for the Category » Wikileaks «

October 16th, 2010 | Author:

Interesting concept, isn’t it?  Here’s the referenced op-ed piece.

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September 14th, 2010 | Author:

then …

Nearly 40 years before the Obama White House denounced the WikiLeaks website for publishing classified documents, another president, Richard Nixon, was even more obsessed with the same phenomenon.

Only Nixon and his top aides went to far greater lengths to deal with the problem: They launched an extraordinary campaign to smear and discredit the journalist who, more than anyone else, was bedeviling them by publishing government secrets: newspaper columnist Jack Anderson.

The White House obsession with Anderson — whose “Washington Merry Go-Round” column was the WikiLeaks of its day — is detailed in a new book being published this month, “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture,” by journalism professor Mark Feldstein. The book relies in part on newly unearthed tapes from the National Archives that document how Nixon’s aides plotted to destroy Anderson by planting forged evidence with him and spreading false rumors about his sex life and that of one of his associates.

Nixon plot against newspaper columnist detailed
Michael Isikoff, national investigative correspondent, msnbc.com

and now …

In a nondescript suite of government offices not far from the Pentagon, nearly 120 intelligence analysts, FBI agents, and others are at work—24 hours a day, seven days a week—on the frontlines of the government’s secret war against WikiLeaks.

The General Gunning for Wikileaks
Philip Shenon, The Daily Beast

Four months before WikiLeaks rocketed to international notoriety, the Robin Hoods of the Internet quietly published a confidential CIA document labeled “NOFORN” (for “no foreign nationals”)—meaning that it should not be shared even with US allies. That’s because the March “Red Cell Special Memorandum” was a call to arms for a propaganda war to influence public opinion in allied nations. The CIA report describes a crisis in European support for the Afghanistan war, noting that 80 percent of German and French citizens are against increasing their countries’ military involvement. The report suggests that “Afghan women could serve as ideal messengers in humanizing the [International Security Assistance Force] role in combating the Taliban because of women’s ability to speak personally and credibly about their experiences under the Taliban, their aspirations for the future, and their fears of a Taliban victory.”

On July 25 WikiLeaks published its massive cache of classified documents on the war in Afghanistan. Four days later, Time magazine posted on its website its August 9 cover story, featuring a horrifying image of a beautiful young Afghan woman named Aisha with a gaping hole where her nose once was, under the headline “What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan”—echoing the strategy laid out in the Red Cell report [see Ann Jones, "Our Afghan Demons," page 4].

These two media events unfolded in starkly different ways. While Time has been praised for telling Aisha’s story, WikiLeaks has been characterized as a criminal syndicate with blood on its hands. Former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen called for the United States to use whatever means necessary to snatch WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including rendering him from abroad. Others have called for the United States to shut down WikiLeaks and prosecute its members. Michigan Republican Congressman Mike Rogers has called for the alleged leaker, 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, to be executed if he is convicted.

Wikileaks and War Crimes
Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

The government’s response to exposure, then and now, is a reflection of an immature culture that thinks the means justify the ends, admitting you’re wrong is a sign of weakness, and we should always shoot the messenger.

What a sad statement about our presidents, past and present.

What a sad statement about America.

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Category: Obama, politics, Wikileaks  | Comments off
September 09th, 2010 | Author:

So the Telegraph says some of the 2,000 photos of Abu Ghraib abuse – that Obama said in April he was going to release but now has decided to suppress – include rape and sexual abuse of male and female prisoners.

Earlier this month, he said: “The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”

And we’re just supposed to trust Obama that the individuals involved had been “identified, and appropriate actions” taken – behind closed doors, of course.

This “shoot-the-messenger-and-hide-the-message-and-protect-the-troops” is the same strategy the government is using against Wikileaks and Bradley Manning.  As Justin Raimondo put it:

What is clear to me is this: there is a coordinated campaign to defame both Assange and Manning, and I have no doubt the US government is directly involved in this effort. Just as they tried to destroy Dan Ellsberg, so they are unleashing their agents (paid and volunteer) on these two very brave people. They want to divert attention away from the content of what is being exposed, and direct it back on the whistleblowers: they don’t want people debating the wisdom of the Afghan occupation, they would much rather talk about Assange’s journalistic credentials and Manning’s sex life. [and now Assange's sex life]

Smoke and mirrors, ladies and gentlemen.  Do not look behind that curtain.

And sadly?  It appears that most Americans are content to plug their ears and cover their eyes and pretend that they are not responsible for what their government does.  Even worse, many who call themselves Christians eagerly grasp this straw because it allows them to continue in their delusion that “God and country” are one and the same.

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July 29th, 2010 | Author:

This map of IED attacks in Afghanistan is based on the 90,000+ pages of military documents released by Wikileaks.  The video speaks for itself

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Category: war, Wikileaks  | Comments off
July 17th, 2010 | Author:

Obamacare

After all the grandiose promises that we could keep our current health care, and the even more ridiculous promises that costs would not go up but we’d save tons of money, the true costs of Obamacare are beginning to be felt.

WASHINGTON — The White House on Wednesday issued new rules requiring health insurance companies to provide free coverage for dozens of screenings, laboratory tests and other types of preventive care.

The Times goes on to tout the benefits of many “free” services, but in an afterthought, the truth slips out:

The administration said the requirements could increase premiums by 1.5 percent, on average.

So much for free.

And in this comprehensive piece at Newsbusters, they lay out the the rigmarole in Obamacare that will virtually force people into the more expensive government-run health care system.

ObamaCare, as predicted by so many during the previous year by experts most of the establishment press willfully ignored, will cause many employers to drop their insurance entirely.

I don’t see much hope here, but change is surely coming.

Wikileaks and the Feds

I posted recently about the military charges that have been leveled against Bradley Manning for his alleged part in the release of the now infamous Wikileaks video of American pilots slaughtering Iraqi civilians and a Reuters journalist.

Well, the hunt for whistle-blowers continues.  Cnet reports that five Homeland Security thugs showed up at a hackers convention looking for scheduled speaker Julian Assange, the public face of Wikileaks.

Corley announced on April 19 that Assange would be a keynote speaker. But by June 14, after news of the arrest of Army intelligence specialist Bradley Manning leaked, the conference was warning that Assange may remain outside of the United States for fear of being arrested on related charges.

One source close to Wikileaks indicated late Friday that it was still unclear whether Assange would show up in person or appear through a video conference (a third option would be for another Wikileaks representative to fill in). A conference security staffer said that after being told they needed search warrants to enter the event, at least two agents paid the $100 admission fee to get in.

“If they didn’t have a search warrant, they’d have to pay to get in,” said Corley, who also goes by the pen name Emmanuel Goldstein. “They did.”

What part of freedom of the press do these feds not get?

Rescuers Arrested

And in Denver, rafting guides who worked to rescue a 13-year-old girl who had tumbled from her raft were arrested for their efforts.

Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said Snodgrass did the right thing by contacting the 13-year-old Texas girl immediately and not waiting for the county’s search and rescue team to assemble ropes, rafts and rescuers.

“When you have someone in sight who has taken a long swim, you need to make contact immediately,” said Bradford, a 15-year rafting guide and ski patroller from Summit County. “This is just silly. Ryan Snodgrass acted entirely appropriately. These guys came to the scene late and there was a rescue in progress. They came in and took over an existing rescue. To leave a patient on the side of a river while you get your gear out of the car and set up a rescue system you read about in a book is simply not good policy.”

The real sin of Snodgrass and a second guide, Lariscy, of course, is that they did not bow down to official authorities.  As the Denver Post opined,

It shouldn’t have happened like this. Rafting guides are trained to deal with exactly these kinds of rescues. And the guides were right to work to save the girl, as she and her family already had entrusted their lives to the guides.

Certainly, swift-water rescue teams also are trained, and have every reason to wish to save accident victims. Yet ultimately, when a raft tips and people are in danger, both sets of rescuers need to be fully engaged and working together — not battling over turf.

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