tagged w/ dianne feinstein
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In response to Obama’s imperial killing machines – his fleet of roaming drones – a gaggle of senators, led by the gun-grabber Dianne Feinstein, is poised to kill off Sir William Blackstone’s “palladium of English liberty,” the Sixth Amendment.
Feinstein has proposed “legislation to ensure that drone strikes are carried out in a manner consistent with our values, and the proposal to create an analogue of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the conduct of such strikes,” in other words a secret tribunal that will hand down kill orders for Americans the government believes are “suspected militants.”
Maine independent Senator Angus King imagined a scenario where Obama’s imperial courtiers would go behind the closed doors of a drone court and “in a confidential and top-secret way, make the case that this American citizen is an enemy combatant, and at least that would be … some check on the activities of the executive.”
The Constitution spells out the right to trial by jury numerous times – in the Sixth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, the Seventh Amendment and in the original Constitution in Article 3, Section 2. English common law and the Magna Carta of 1215 (Article 39) did away with trials by ordeal and by the 1600s the idea that juries served as a protection against the unrestrained power of kings was universally accepted. All 13 of the original states included in their constitutions the Right to Trial by Jury clauses. The Virginia Bill of Rights of 1788 held “ancient trial by jury” to be “one of the greatest securities to the rights of the people.”
“I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to Thomas Paine. “By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus,” he told Alexander Donald in 1788. He wrote to James Madison the previous year that “trials by jury in all matters of fact triable by the laws of the land and not by the law of nations.”
The wisdom of Jefferson, Madison, and the founders is now dead – apparently irrevocably. On Friday, Senator King got the ball rolling when he sent a letter to Feinstein and Republican intelligence committee vice-chairman Saxby Chambliss asking that the Constitution be ignored and they work with him on legislation to create a secret and unanswerable court which could provide “judicial review” of proposals to target drone attacks against citizens of the United States.
Barry’s handlers consider the idea of a secret court issuing kill orders of Americans as a trade-off after Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Judiciary committees sent him letters requesting that their respective committees be given access to Justice Department documents justifying drone strikes. The administration tried to placate critics by allowing hand-picked members of congressional intelligence committees to examine documents the night before Brennan went before a confirmation hearing as Barry’s pick to lord over the CIA.
Reuters reported that the ACLU and civil libertarians “would … likely have problems with” the idea that the government can issue death warrants in secret. Geoffrey Robertson, a prominent British human rights lawyer, denounced the horrific concept of “execution without trial” and “international killing (which) … violates the right to life.”
In Congress, however, the concept of trial by jury, held sacred by our forefathers, is little more than a momentary bargaining chip to be traded in as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights continue to be trashed and more than 800 years of common law is systematically dismantled in deference to a forever war against a manufactured al-Qaeda continues....
http://www.infowars.com/congress-prepares-to-kill-6th-amendment-with-secret-drone-court/In response to Obama’s imperial killing machines – his fleet of roaming... more
3 months ago
Analysis of ways in which the gun grab backfired.
In the aftermath of the tragic Sandy Hook shooting, the gun grabbers across America unleashed a full court press to try to wholly disarm American citizens. With the help of the incessantly anti-gun mainstream media, people like Biden, Bloomberg, Cuomo, Feinstein and Obama managed to stir up a frenzy of fabricated fear that promised all our children would be violently gunned down if we didn’t immediately agree to turn in all our guns and ammo magazines.
The push for gun control, however, has spectacularly backfired. In reality, it has hardened the positions of gun rights advocates while massively increasing the number of AR-15s and other firearms sold across the country.
The backfire is far worse than the gun grabbers could have possibly imagined when they launched their efforts on the graves of the dead Sandy Hook children. Here’s my analysis of what has factually happened on the gun control front since Sandy Hook.
Analysis of ways in which the gun grab backfired
• Instead of reducing sales of AR-15s and other firearms in America, the gun grab dramatically increased sales of nearly all firearms beyond any previous record. In essence, the American people bought nearly every gun available anywhere in the country, leaving gun store shelves empty. The upshot of all this? 10+ million new firearms in the hands of citizens and a one-year backlog of gun orders with manufacturers.
• Instead of shrinking the influence of the NRA, the gun grab vastly expanded NRA membership. More than 300,000 new members have been added to the NRA’s roster in just the last few months, and the association has become more steeled in its position than ever before. The NRA has shifted even more dramatically against gun restrictions than ever before, even reversing itself on the issue of “gun free school zones” after learning that such zones don’t work. Gun Owners of America has also seen its membership numbers soar.
• The backlash against Obama, Biden, Piers Morgan and others has been so powerful and persistent that Obama had to stage a photo op of himself shooting a shotgun in order to create the impression that he was “pro gun.” Similarly, anti-gun CNN host Piers Morgan has now broadcast a video of himself shooting an AR-15 in Katy, Texas, while softening his position and saying he was never against the Second Amendment in the first place. (Yeah, right…)
How big of a deal is all this? It’s huge! Imagine Piers Morgan picking up an AR-15 the day after the Sandy Hook shooting. Never would have happened, right? Or imagine Obama allowing himself to be photographed shooting a shotgun. These images would have been unimaginable mere weeks ago, but the gun grab push has backfired so completely that even the Second Amendment’s most outspoken critics are practically lining up to be photographed or filmed shooting guns.
• Instead of silencing all the gun advocates and owners across the nation, the effort has actually caused people to break their silence on the issue and go vocal with their true beliefs on the topic. I’m a perfect example of this: before Sandy Hook, I hardly ever mentioned firearms. After Sandy Hook, I’ve been one of the most outspoken voices of gun rights and the Second Amendment, and I’ve actually found that instead of losing an audience, I’ve gained a huge number of new subscribers who agree with me on this issue. Check the Alexa stats; Natural News is steadily gaining in web traffic even as we cover this issue.
Other people have done much the same thing. My friend Daniel Vitalis, best known for longevity supplements and preparedness know-how, has even gone public with his own pro-gun column, and the feedback from his health-oriented audience has been mostly positive.
• The emotionally-loaded “Demand A Plan” Hollywood video, featuring dozens of top stars trying to convince us we need to disarm ourselves, was very quickly turned into a laughing stock due to the release of far more informative video showing most of those stars using guns to commit bloody murder on the big screen. The hypocrisy was inescapable: Hollywood people want to claim they are against guns, but much of their income is based on movies that feature horrific scenes of violent shootings.
• While the gun grabbers wanted sheriffs and cops to jump on board the gun disarmament bandwagon, what actually happened is that sheriffs began speaking out AGAINST gun control and encouraging their local constituents to arm themselves. Sheriffs across the country — in huge numbers — publicly proclaimed they would not allow federal agents to enforce gun restrictionsin their counties.
• While gun grabbers wanted states to fall in line and surrender to federal authority on the issue of gun control, what actually happened is that the Firearms Protection Act began to be introduced in state legislatures such as Wyoming and Texas. This act, which is now being considered in more than a dozen other states, would make it a felony crime for anyone to enforce new federal gun restrictions in their states.
• While gun grabbers hoped the U.S. military would agree to fire upon American citizens who refused to turn in their guns, what really happened is that huge numbers of active duty soldiers announced they would never participate in military action against their own countrymen. In fact, inside the military there is rising talk of shooting commanding officers in the head if they order troops to fire on American citizens over gun rights issues.
• While the gun grabbers hoped to demonize gun owners and “shame” them into somehow feeling guilty about Sandy Hook, what actually happened is that gun owners found new courage and American pride, and they have loudly voiced their intention to wage a war of resistance against any government that attempts to take their guns.
• In New York state, where Mayor Cuomo managed to quickly shove through an illegal, unconstitutional gun control law, there is now open talk of armed resistance against the state government. Elsewhere, there is even talk that U.S. Senators who vote for gun control may see their own staffers and families targeted for assassination. As Stewart Rhodes said on InfoWars Nightly News on December 31st, 2012:
“They will be targeted. I think that if they pass this bill, legislators who vote for it will be assassinated… they’re going to be military targets, too, and they’re going to be killed. They think they’re immune, but they’re not. They cannot walk around with enough security to keep from being shot by a sniper.” – Stewart Rhodes, OathKeepers . org
(For the record, Stewart Rhodes is not calling for this action. He is merely stating the obvious: that this is likely to take place if gun confiscation comes up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.)
It’s not just Stewart Rhodes saying this, either. Robbie Cooper from UrbanUndergrounds . com says much the same thing:
“We all quickly agreed a violent revolution and rebellion would occur almost immediately [following a federal gun ban]. Most, if not all, members of Congress who voted for the ban / confiscation would be assassinated. And the very first prey that would find themselves in the scopes of the rebels would be the members of Congress who passed this ban and the members of the media who have been their willing mouthpieces and agents of propaganda.”
http://www.infowars.com/how-the-post-sandy-hook-gun-control-push-spectacularly-backfired-in-america/Analysis of ways in which the gun grab backfired.
In the aftermath of the tragic... more
joshdb50 wrote a letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein saying that he would not register his weapons with the government even if the Assault Weapons Bill is passed in his state. Senator Feinstein introduced the Assault Weapons Bill after the Newtown school shooting. The bill aims to reinstate and strengthen the expired 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. It also aims to stop the sales, importation and manufacturing of military-style firearms.
Senator Dianne Feinstein,
I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government's right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.
I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.
I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.
We, the people, deserve better than you.
Cpl, United States Marine Corps
http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-902515joshdb50 wrote a letter to California Senator Dianne Feinstein saying that he would... more
If we follow the logic of Congress and use FBI statistics, the government should outlaw hammers and clubs.
According to the FBI’s annual crime statistics, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and clubs far outpaces the number of murders committed with a rifle.
Awr Hawkins, writing for Breitbart, cites the government figures: In 2005, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 445, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 605. In 2006, the number of murders committed with a rifle was 438, while the number of murders committed with hammers and clubs was 618, Hawkins writes.
Moreover, nearly twice as many people are killed by hands and fists each year than are killed by rifles.
But you won’t hear Obama, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and the gun-grabbers in Congress calling for outlawing and “grandfathering” hands.
The FBI stats underscore the fact that for Feinstein and crew job one is outlawing the possession of modern firearms. Preventing the murder of children comes in a distant second.
A government that kills thousands of innocents in Pakistan and Yemen and has slaughtered millions since the Vietnam War – including more than 500,000 children through disease, starvation and malnutrition in Iraq – doesn’t give a whit about the murder of school kids in Connecticut.
Feinstein’s jihad against the Second Amendment is about disarming the American people. It is about making sure the government maintains a monopoly on power.If we follow the logic of Congress and use FBI statistics, the government should... more
The California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney while advancing Obama's agenda
To this day, many people identify mid-2008 as the time they realized what type of politician Barack Obama actually is. Six months before, when seeking the Democratic nomination, then-Sen. Obama unambiguously vowed that he would filibuster "any bill" that retroactively immunized the telecom industry for having participated in the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program.
But in July 2008, once he had secured the nomination, a bill came before the Senate that did exactly that - the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 - and Obama not only failed to filibuster as promised, but far worse, he voted against the filibuster brought by other Senators, and then voted in favor of enacting the bill itself. That blatant, unblinking violation of his own clear promise - actively supporting a bill he had sworn months earlier he would block from a vote - caused a serious rift even in the middle of an election year between Obama and his own supporters.
Critically, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 did much more than shield lawbreaking telecoms from all forms of legal accountability. Jointly written by Dick Cheney and then-Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller, it also legalized vast new, sweeping and almost certainly unconstitutional forms of warrantless government eavesdropping.
In doing so, the new 2008 law gutted the 30-year-old FISA statute that had been enacted to prevent the decades of severe spying abuses discovered by the mid-1970s Church Committee: by simply barring the government from eavesdropping on the communications of Americans without first obtaining a warrant from a court. Worst of all, the 2008 law legalized most of what Democrats had spent years pretending was such a scandal: the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly implemented by George Bush after the 9/11 attack. In other words, the warrantless eavesdropping "scandal" that led to a Pulitzer Prize for the New York Times reporters who revealed it ended not with investigations or prosecutions for those who illegally spied on Americans, but with the Congressional GOP joining with key Democrats (including Obama) to legalize most of what Bush and Cheney had done. Ever since, the Obama DOJ has invoked secrecy and standing doctrines to prevent any courts from ruling on whether the warrantless eavesdropping powers granted by the 2008 law violate the Constitution.
The 2008 FISA law provided that it would expire in four years unless renewed. Yesterday, the Senate debated its renewal. Several Senators - Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon along with Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul - each attempted to attach amendments to the law simply to provide some modest amounts of transparency and oversight to ensure that the government's warrantless eavesdropping powers were constrained and checked from abuse.
Just consider how modest these amendments were. Along with Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, Sen. Wyden has spent two years warning Americans that the government's eavesdropping powers are being interpreted (by secret court decisions and the Executive Branch) far more broadly than they would ever suspect, and that, as a result, these eavesdropping powers are being applied far more invasively and extensively than is commonly understood.
As a result, Wyden yesterday had two amendments: one that would simply require the NSA to give a general estimate of how many Americans are having their communications intercepted under this law (information the NSA has steadfastly refused to provide), and another which would state that the NSA is barred from eavesdropping on Americans on US soil without a warrant. Merkley's amendment would compel the public release of secret judicial rulings from the FISA court which purport to interpret the scope of the eavesdropping law on the ground that "secret law is inconsistent with democratic governance"; the Obama administration has refused to release a single such opinion even though the court, "on at least one occasion", found that the government was violating the Fourth Amendment in how it was using the law to eavesdrop on Americans.
More at link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/fisa-feinstein-obama-democrats-eavesdroppingThe California Democrat's disgusting rhetoric recalls the worst of Dick Cheney... more
I got this email from a conservative evangelical family member under the title "Finally some answers."
FIND SOMEONE APPROPRIATE TO FORWARD, It does explain why they don’t understand our way of life. They are from a different world.
THIS CLEARS UP A LOT.
The year was 1947.
Some of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, a little more than 64 years ago, numerous witnesses claim that an Unidentified Flying Object, (UFO), with five aliens aboard, crashed onto a sheep and mule ranch just outside Roswell , New Mexico .
This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered-up by the U.S. Air Force, as well as other Federal Agencies and Organizations.
However, What you may NOT know is that in the month of April, year 1948, nine months after the historic day, the following people were born:
Barrack Obama Sr.
Albert A. Gore, Jr.
William J. Clinton
John F. Kerry
Charles E. Schumer
This is the consequence of aliens breeding with sheep and jack-asses.
I truly hope this bit of information clears up a lot of things for you. It certainly did for me.
And now you can stop wondering why they support the bill to help all Illegal Aliens.
I know that this may be comical to some, but the interesting thing is how this type of discourse, albeit through humor, is subversive in its construction of reality. The message seems clear. The people targeted on this humor are animals, right? Isn't that the implication?I got this email from a conservative evangelical family member under the title... more
9 months ago
Leading California Democratic strategist Kam Kuwata dies [Updated]
April 11, 2011 | 12:39 pm
Kuwata Democratic political consultant Kam Kuwata’s body was found Monday inside his Venice condominium, but there was no evidence of foul play, police said.
Police went to his home after friends became concerned about his welfare, said Sgt. Ron Pickering of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Kuwata, 57, served as a key Democratic Party strategist for more than 25 years. He worked on the successful campaigns of former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn and U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
He served as then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's program director for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Kuwata was at the heart of the effort in 2002 to defeat the secession of the San Fernando Valley from Los Angeles at the ballot box.
[Updated, 2:06 p.m.: "I am shocked to hear of the passing of Kam Kuwata," L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Monday in a statement. "Kam gave a lifetime to politics and public service.
"My prayers are with his family and large network of colleagues and friends during this difficult time."]
Read more about Kuwata at the Times' PolitiCal blog.Leading California Democratic strategist Kam Kuwata dies [Updated]
April 11, 2011 |... more
Last time we checked in with PayPal, it, along with MasterCard, Visa and others had blocked its services with regards to donations to WikiLeaks foundation.
Today it is being reported that PayPal has taken further action against another WikiLeaks-related fund, in freezing the account of the Courage To Resist foundation which, in conjunction with the Bradley Manning Support Network, gives donations to the Bradley Manning legal defense fund. The imprisoned Manning is allegedly the source of the US Embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks.
In a phone call earlier today, PayPal representative Anuj Nayar told me that this action is not WikiLeaks related and that PayPal has only temporarily restricted the fund, “This has nothing to do with WikiLeaks.”
Courage To Resist and PayPal are still in talks, and according to Nayar the former is infringing against PayPal’s policy on 501 3c non-profits, which hold that a non-profit needs to have a bank account associated with their PayPal account. “For the vast majority of none profits this is not an issue,” says Najar.
Nayar also takes up CTR’s claim that PayPal would not un-restrict the account unless CTR authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from the checking account by default, “We can’t do that without the authorization of an account holder, so a) We can’t do it b) We don’t do it c) Even if we did the bank would resist the charge.”
So why make this a WikiLeaks issue? “That’s a question for them,” he says.
The company’s official statement, below:
“Today’s temporary limitation of the Courage to Resist organization’s PayPal account is due to PayPal regulations requiring non profits to associate a bank account to their PayPal account. It is nothing to do with Wikileaks. Back in December 2010, we permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity. We’ve notified the account holder of this action. This is not the case with Courage to Resist”
GO TO STORY:
http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/24/paypal-on-cutting-off-courage-to-resist-this-has-nothing-to-do-with-wikileaks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29Last time we checked in with PayPal, it, along with MasterCard, Visa and others had... more
With reports of Egypt's government completing shutting down the Internet in the country, talk about an "Internet kill switch" bill in the U.S. has reemerged. Could it happen here?
The bill in question is the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010, a cyber-security measure introduced in June by Sen. Joseph Lieberman. It was an over-arching cyber-security measure that, among other things, would create an office of cyberspace policy within the White House and a new cyber-security center within the Homeland Security Department.
A provision that got the most attention, however, was one that gave the president the power to "authorize emergency measures to protect the nation's most critical infrastructure if a cyber vulnerability is being exploited or is about to be exploited."
Some interpreted that to mean that the president would have the authority to shut off the Internet at random. Lieberman refuted the "Internet kill switch" assertion as "misinformation" during an appearance on CNN, and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs, later published a "myth vs. reality" fact sheet on the bill.
The bill passed the committee, but did not see any significant action before the end of the session. Earlier this week, however, CNet reported that Lieberman will re-introduce the bill in this Congress, and that the updated bill will include a provision that says "the federal government's designation of vital Internet or other computer systems "shall not be subject to judicial review."
A Lieberman spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
If it does go anywhere, though, should Americans be concerned about the Internet being shut down in the U.S.? In all likeliehood, no. Besides the fact that Lieberman himself says that his bill would not provide the government with an Internet kill switch, the bill - in theory - is intended to protect U.S. Web infrastructure from attacks that would irreperably harm the network rather than squash anti-government protests.
In Egypt, it appears that the government demanded that its four major ISPs shut down service. Could the U.S. government get away with asking Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and the like to shut down their networks to stop citizens from organizing protests? Anything is possible, of course, but at this point, it seems unlikely.
The current administration has already condemned the shut down in Egypt. In a Friday tweet, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration is "very concerned about violence in Egypt - government must respect the rights of the Egyptian people & turn on social networking and internet."
PJ Crowley, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, also tweeted that the "events unfolding in #Egypt are of deep concern. Fundamental rights must be respected, violence avoided and open communications allowed."
President Obama, meanwhile, made net neutrality and the concept of an open Internet part of his campaign , and continues to support the idea. The administration also relied heavily on social networking and the Web to reach voters, so efforts to restrict the Web for anything other than public safety would be surprising.
Of course, defining what constitutes a public safety threat could be a bit tricky. That being said, the bill still has to be formally introduced and make its way through a now-divided Congress by the end of the year; Lieberman has announced plans to retire in 2012.
TO GO TO THIS STORY:
http://mobile.pcmag.com/device2/article.php?CALL_URL=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2376888,00.aspWith reports of Egypt's government completing shutting down the Internet in the... more
Please support Wikileaks by donating.
Click here: http://184.108.40.206/support.html
Please sign the petition: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/wikileaks...
If you would like to become even more involved, then there may be a "support Wikileaks protest" near you.
Click here for details: http://wlcentral.org/events-protests
Here is a list of Wikileaks mirror sites:
After Effects template for opening by Kenzei via Video Hive.
The statistics of how many have died as a result of the war on terror is an estimate taken from http://www.unknownnews.net
It is hard to pin pinpoint just how many have died due to the fact that this information isn't released. estimates have the toll somewhere between
800,000 and 1,200,000
Requests under freedom of information act denied by Obama Administration should read 49% - for more info
Another point to make is that the clip of Obama talking about different terrorists was an except taken from an interview with Bill O'Reilly where he was explaining the difference between terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, i thought it was relevant as so much of the terminology in the media is focused around labelling wikileaks and it's people terrorists.
The song "Your the Voice" was by Coldplay featuring John Farnham - song was originally by John Farnham.
The clip was taken from a concert in Sydney "Sound Relief" where many bands came together to support people who were devastated by the Black Saturday fires. - of whom Coldplay were amongst them.
PLEASE POST THIS AROUND.
CheersPlease support Wikileaks by donating.
Click here: http://220.127.116.11/support.html... more
Targeting Political Terrorism = LETS START HERE...
Wikileaks today offered sympathy and condolences to the victims of the Tucson shooting together with best wishes for the recovery of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords, a democrat from Arizona's 8th district, was the target of a shooting spree at a Jan 8 political event in which six others were killed.
Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, leading the investigation into the Gifford shooting, said that "vitriolic rhetoric" intended to "inflame the public on a daily basis ... has [an] impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with." Dupnik also observed that officials and media personalities engaging in violent rhetoric "have to consider that they have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future."
WikiLeaks staff and contributors have also been the target of unprecedented violent rhetoric by US prominent media personalities, including Sarah Palin, who urged the US administration to “Hunt down the WikiLeaks chief like the Taliban”. Prominent US politician Mike Huckabee called for the execution of WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange on his Fox News program last November, and Fox News commentator Bob Beckel, referring to Assange, publicly called for people to "illegally shoot the son of a bitch." US radio personality Rush Limbaugh has called for pressure to "Give [Fox News President Roger] Ailes the order and [then] there is no Assange, I'll guarantee you, and there will be no fingerprints on it.", while the Washington Times columnist Jeffery T. Kuhner titled his column “Assassinate Assange” captioned with a picture Julian Assange overlayed with a gun site, blood spatters, and “WANTED DEAD or ALIVE” with the alive crossed out.
John Hawkins of Townhall.com has stated "If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data?"
Christian Whiton in a Fox News opinion piece called for violence against WikiLeaks publishers and editors, saying the US should "designate WikiLeaks and its officers as enemy combatants, paving the way for non-judicial actions against them."
WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange said: "No organisation anywhere in the world is a more devoted advocate of free speech than Wikileaks but when senior politicians and attention seeking media commentators call for specific individuals or groups of people to be killed they should be charged with incitement -- to murder. Those who call for an act of murder deserve as significant share of the guilt as those raising a gun to pull the trigger."
“WikiLeaks has many young staff, volunteers and supporters in the same geographic vicinity as these the broadcast or circulation of these incitements to kill. We have also seen mentally unstable people travel from the US and other counties to other locations. Consequently we have to engage in extreme security measures.”
“We call on US authorities and others to protect the rule of law by aggressively prosecuting these and similar incitements to kill. A civil nation of laws can not have prominent members of society constantly calling for the murder and assassination of other individuals or groups.”
http://www.peopleokwithmurderingassange.com/Targeting Political Terrorism = LETS START HERE...... more
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 002301GO TO DOCUMENT:
1. (S/NF) Summary: U.S. businesses allege that corruption by Israeli officials at Karni crossing is impeding their access to the Gaza market. As of late May 34 shipments of American goods, amounting to nearly USD 1.9 million dollars, have been waiting three to four months to cross into Gaza. U.S. distributors assert they are being asked to pay "special fees" which amount to as much as 75 times the standard processing fee as quoted by GOI officials. According to one major American distributor, corruption extends to Karni management and involves logistics companies working as middlemen for military and civilian officials at the terminal. An open and transparent truck registration system and the development and publication of clear procedures, charges and service standards for Karni would go a long way to fight corruption and advance the Agreement on Movement and Access, goal of effective service standards for the border crossings. End summary and comment.
------------------------- ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION -------------------------
GO TO RELEASED DOCUMENT:
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TEL AVIV 002301GO TO DOCUMENT:... more
It is disappointing to see the same president who ran on his constitutional law professor bona fides devote so much time and effort to discrediting WikiLeaks and working up charges against its founder, Julian Assange. WikiLeaks, like the New York Times before it with the publication of the Pentagon Papers, has committed no crime. If the law of the land holds true, the administration will get nowhere with the foolish notion that Assange can be tried for conspiracy under the Espionage Act for doing what major media outlets do every day: publishing classified information about the government. The claim that somehow WikiLeaks is different because it allegedly encouraged sources to come forward is a red herring: even if the charge proves true, this is what journalists at every major media outlet in the country do every day.
Still, we wonder at those who assert that the cables "demonstrate no misconduct by the U.S." (Floyd Abrams) or "provide very little evidence of double-dealing or bad faith in U.S. foreign policy" (Gideon Rachman). In fact, the U.S. Embassy cables, like the Pentagon Papers, show our government involved in systemic wrongdoing and wide scale deception. They present irrefutable evidence that this administration and its predecessor have been tampering with other countries' legal systems to prevent prosecutions against government employees for committing human rights abuses and transgressing international law under often-secret post 9/11 policies.
This April 1, 2009 cable reveals the U.S. trying to derail the prosecution of the senior architects of the Bush administration's torture program in Spain. The U.S. frets that "The fact that this complaint targets former Administration legal officials may reflect a 'stepping-stone' strategy designed to pave the way for complaints against even more senior officials." When it looks to Chief Prosecutor Javier Zaragoza to stall or derail the proceedings, he reassures them: while "in all likelihood he would have no option but to open a case" he does not "envision indictments or arrest warrants in the near future." (Untrue, by the way. Zaragoza and the U.S. may have succeeded in stalling the investigation, but this week CCR will take the next steps toward encouraging the judge assigned to the case to move forward despite the failure of the U.S. to respond to his inquiries.)
This February 6, 2007 cable shows the previous administration trying to prevent Germany from prosecuting the 13 CIA agents who abducted German citizen Khaled el-Marsi and flew him to Afghanistan for interrogation as part of the U.S. "extraordinary rendition" program--only to discover after many months that they had the wrong man. In public, Angela Merkel's office called for an investigation while Munich prosecutors issued arrest warrants for the agents. In private, the German Justice Ministry and Foreign Ministry reassured an anxious US that they were not interested in pursuing the case.
Like the NYT when it published the Pentagon Papers, WikiLeaks has been accused of irresponsibly dumping a large cache of top secret documents into the public domain that compromise the safety of our country and our allies. In fact, despite the hysterical claims of a variety of elected officials, there's been absolutely no documentation of any resulting harm, unless one counts the embarrassment of having Russian Premier Minister Vladimir Putin make fun of U.S. officials for trying to suppress free speech. WikiLeaks has only released 1,974 of the 251,287 cables in its possession, and none were classified as "top secret" (over half were not subject to classification at all). Finally, while its offer to go over redactions with the State Department prior to publication was ignored, the five major newspapers that have been publishing the cables have gone to great lengths to communicate with each other and the State Department regarding redactions.
Our government, as journalist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald has noted, increasingly wishes to operate through a one-way mirror where all of its citizens' activities are open for surveillance while the activities of the government itself increasingly take place behind a wall of executive privilege, untouchable even by judicial oversight. But democracy demands the cleansing light of openness as a guard against the abuses of power. We should thank WikiLeaks for shedding light on governmental wrongdoing. Now let us hope that the U.S. public, as well as its politicians and media, will consider investigating these abuses at least as important as maligning the messenger.
Vince Warren is the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vincent-warren/wikileaks-and-democracy_b_805498.htmlIt is disappointing to see the same president who ran on his constitutional law... more
Julian Assange in conversation with John Pilger
Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison has a comprehensive piece online detailing the relationship between WikiLeaks and The Guardian. The story gives an up-close look at how Julian Assange provided his leaked cache of classified documents on Afghanistan, Iraq, and U.S. diplomacy to the British newspaper and other news organizations last year.
The alliance between the old-media outlet and the Web-driven document clearinghouse proved rocky at times. It grew particularly strained recently after the paper turned its lens on Assange. (This was pretty much the same dynamic that upended WikiLeaks' relationship with the New York Times.)
What's more, Ellison notes, the Guardian and WikiLeaks were by no means committed to a shared agenda or pursuing common journalistic aims just because each organization wanted to make information public:
The partnership between The Guardian and WikiLeaks brought together two desperately ambitious organizations that happen to be diametric opposites in their approach to reporting the news. One of the oldest newspapers in the world, with strict and established journalistic standards, joined up by one of the newest in a breed of online muckrakers, with no standards at all except fealty to an ideal of 'transparency'—that is, dumping raw material into the public square for people to pick over as they will. It is very likely that neither [Guardian editor-in-chief] Alan Rusbridger nor Julian Assange fully understood the nature of the other's organization when they joined forces."
Ellison's account offers a great tick-tock chronology of last year's set of WikiLeaks dumps, together with several revelations regarding WikiLeaks' media strategy.
How The Guardian got involved: Reporter Nick Davies has written about his involvement with Assange before, but Ellison adds new details to the timeline. In June, Davies read a short Guardian piece on the arrest of Bradley Manning, the army private who's believed to be a principal WikiLeaks source and who's been kept in solitary confinement since his detainment. Davies was determined to track Manning down. Davies learned Assange would be in Brussels, so Brussels-based Guardian reporter Ian Traynor spoke with the WikiLeaks chief and learned he had two million documents. Davies headed to Brussels and "went to the Hotel Leopold, woke up Assange, and began a conversation that lasted for the next six hours."
How the New York Times got involved: Davies and Assange discussed bringing in the Times while in Brussels, and back in London, Rusbridger called Times executive editor Bill Keller. Times reporter Eric Schmitt flew to London to see the material, reported it was genuine, and the Times came aboard. Assange then brought in Der Spiegel on his own.
How Channel 4 got involved, and Assange split with Davies: In July, Assange provided Britain's Channel 4 network with the Afghanistan documents. Ellison writes that Davies was "livid" over the breach of Assange's presumed first-look arrangement with The Guardian and that the two haven't spoken again. (Slate's Jack Shafer has a good take on Vanity Fair piece, including the expectations reporters sometimes have for the sources they've "cultivated.")
How The Guardian got the cables from Assange: Investigative editor David Leigh agreed to a delay in publishing articles related to the Iraq documents because Assange wanted to bring in the nonprofit Bureau of Investigative Journalism to work with Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. In exchange for a six-week delay, Assange provided "package three" -- the State Dept. cables -- to the Guardian. In doing so, Assange got a letter from the Guardian agreeing not to publish anything on the leaked cables until he gave the go-ahead. But...
The Guardian got the cables from a second source: This bit of news fills in an interesting gap and explains friction between Assange and The Guardian. The British newspaper agreed to Assange's embargo on a release date for the cables, because WikiLeaks was its source. But in October, The Guardian received the full cache of cables from freelance journalist Heather Brooke. She had obtained the cables independently from an ex-WikiLeaks volunteer. (Brooke suggested on Twitter today that there's more to the story). Regardless, The Guardian now had the full database from a different source and believed it was free from the embargo agreed upon with Assange. The Guardian then provided those documents to Der Spiegel and The New York Times. These news organizations planned to published on Nov. 8--with or without Assange's input.
Why Assange threatened to sue: Assange and his lawyer met in Rusbridger's office and threatened to sue if The Guardian published anything from the cables ahead of the embargo. Ellison writes that Rusbridger, Guardian investigations editor David Leigh, and editors from Der Spiegel "spent a marathon session with Assange, his lawyer, and [WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn] Hrafnsson, eventually restoring an uneasy calm." They agreed to delay publication a few weeks while Assange brought in two more media partners, Le Monde (France) and El Pais (Spain).
So what's next? Last week, The Cutline raised some questions for WikiLeaks in 2011. In Ellison's piece, Davies notes that Assange has discussed having files on all Guantanamo Bay prisoners. (Wired zeroes in on this detail). Assange has also spoken about having documents that could take down a bank or two. But it remains to be seen exactly what Assange has and also how he may choose to work with news organizations going forward. As Ellison explains, it hasn't always been an easy relationship.
Since readers have asked me about neglecting specific revelations from the WikiLeaks docs, just a reminder: this is a media blog so the focus is on the media relationships and strategy. For more on WikiLeaks revelations, check out The Guardian, New York Times, a very good new CBS round-up or WikiLeaks itself. And for daily updates on all-things-WikiLeaks, The Nation's Greg Mitchell is a must-read.Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison has a comprehensive piece online detailing the... more
By ISRAEL SHAMIR
In Part One of my report last weekend here on the CounterPunch site I showed that the US was secretly funnelling money into Belarus to fund the unelected opposition. Previously, the claim had been routinely denied. Now we have sterling proof. It is engraved in a confidential cable from a US Embassy to the State Department. It is undeniable.
That is, if you found the cable and were able to understand it.
And you happened to understand the political background of the cable.
The cables are raw data. Not as raw as Afghan Diaries, the previous coup of Wikileaks, but still quite raw. They are written in obscure state department lingo; much of the story is implied, as the cables were composed for colleagues and definitely not for strangers. They simply have to be explained, interpreted, annotated and then finally delivered to the reader. Dumping raw cables onto the web would not do: you’d never find the relevant cables and probably you wouldn’t be able to understand its significance even if you did find it.
The main job of a newspaper or news website is to process raw data and transmit it to a reader. This work requires an experienced and highly qualified staff. Not every newspaper or website has such resources, and none of the independent sites can compete with the mainstream outlets for readership. If all the cables were published in a local newspaper in Oklahoma or Damascus, who would read them? In order to get our news to you, our reader, we are forced to make use of the dreaded mainstream media.
That is why Julian Assange chose to partner with a few important Western liberal newspapers of the mainstream media. Let us make it perfectly clear that we understand that all mainstream media are at their heart embedded; in bed with the Pentagon, the CIA, with Wall Street and all its counterparts. Let us also make it clear that we understand that not every journalist on the staff of The Guardian, Le Monde or The NY Times is a crooked enforcer of imperialist ideology; no, not even every editor. We do understand that not everyone is willing to sacrifice their career to field a story that will attract storms of protest. From this point of view, the difference between the soft liberal and the hardline imperialist media is one of style only.
For instance, if they plan to attack Afghanistan, the hardline Fox News would simply demand a high-profile strike against the sand rats, while the liberal Guardian would publish a Polly Toynbee piece bewailing the bitter fate of Afghani women. The bottom line is the same: war.
Modern embedded media constitute the most powerful weapon of our rulers. The modern Russian writer Victor Pelevin succinctly explained their modus operandi: "The embedded media does not care about the content and does not attempt to control it; they just add a drop of poison to the stream in the right moment."
Furthermore, they skilfully arrange the information in order to mislead us. The headline might scream MURDER MOST FOUL but the article describes an unavoidable accident. We do not look beyond the headline, but the headline has been written by the editor and not the journalist who penned the article. Twitter is nothing but a mess of headlines; we are being trained to think in terms of slogans.
In the case of Belarus, the Guardian published three cables the day before elections in order to maximize the exposure and to influence the results of the election. One of the headlines, published on December 18, 2010 said: “WikiLeaks: Lukashenka’s [sic] fortune estimated at 9 billion USD”. It was a very misleading headline. Wikileaks made no claims about Lukashenko’s wealth. Read the entire article, and you will find that it was nothing more than a US embassy employee who had heard a rumor and transmitted it to the State Department. Only in the second to last sentence of the article do they mention that the cable admits: “the embassy employee couldn’t verify the sources [sic!] or accuracy of the information”.
So a corrected headline would read: “Wikileaks reveals: US diplomats spread unverifiable rumors about Lukashenko’s personal wealth.” But the Guardian made it appear as if it was Wikileaks itself that made the claim.
Let us suppose that one day Wikileaks will publish cables from the Russian Embassy in Washington to Moscow Centre. Shall we expect to see in the Guardian a screaming headline like: "WikiLeaks: The Mossad behind 9/11!!"
Isn’t it more likely we would be soberly told: “Wikileaks reveals that Russian diplomats in Washington report the persistent rumors on Israeli involvement in 9/11”?
Another cable on Belarus published on the same day was headlined: “US embassy cables: Belarus president justifies violence against opponents”. Again, a misleading headline, and again the majority will never read beyond it. In reality, this very interesting report contains the debriefing of the Estonian Foreign Minister after his long chat with President Lukashenko. The most interesting factoid was deliberately not highlighted in the article: Lukashenko told the Estonian visitor that the opposition in Belarus would never unite, and only existed “to live off western grants.” When you read the article, your eye gravitates to the highlighted section, skipping the valuable information just above. In fact, the highlighted section itself says nothing about justifying violence against opponents. The text says something completely different: “Lukashenko stated the opposition should expect to get hurt when they attack the riot police”. Again, it is sterling truth: in every country, people who attack riot police end up getting hurt. In Israel they also get shot, but that’s another story.
Thus the Guardian made use of Wikileaks in order to influence Belarus voters and Western audiences, and prepare them for an Election Day riot.
So here we are: in order to get valuable data to the people, Julian Assange had to make a deal with the devil: the mainstream media. It was most natural for him to deal with the liberal flank of the mainstream, for the hardliners would not even touch it. But since the liberal papers are also embedded, they freely distort the cables by attaching misleading headlines and misquoting from the text.
For me, a Guardian reader since I worked at the BBC in the mid-1970s, it is painful to say that the Guardian has become an impostor. This paper pretends to provide the thinking liberal and socialist people of England with true information; but at the moment of truth, the Guardian, like a good Blairite, will switch sides.
Next, the Guardian apparently decided to destroy Wikileaks after using it. The Moor did his job, the Moor may go. The Guardian’s embedded editors, understanding full well that the Wikileaks crew won’t be tamed or subverted, are preparing a book called The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks. It’s not quite released yet; they have still to arrange for the fall.
This will be done in two ways.
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http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir01052011.htmlBy ISRAEL SHAMIR
In Part One of my report last weekend here on the CounterPunch... more
Obama Should Read WikiLeaks Documents
Monday 03 January 2011
by: Ray McGovern | Consortium News | Op-Ed
Perhaps President Barack Obama should give himself a waiver on the ban prohibiting U.S. government employees from downloading classified cables released by WikiLeaks, so he can better understand the futility of his Afghan War strategy.
For instance, if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has hidden from him Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s cables from Kabul, he might wish to search out KABUL 001892 of July 13, 2009, in which Eikenberry reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “unable to grasp the most rudimentary principles of state building.”
And, while he’s at it, he should dig out the September 2009 cable from the U.S. Ambassador in Pakistan, Anne Patterson, in which she warns: “There is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance … as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these [Taliban and similar] groups in Pakistan.”
The same conclusion is contained in the recent National Intelligence Estimates on Afghanistan and Pakistan. My advice to Obama would be: Don’t let anyone gist them for you; read at least the Key Judgments.
Yet, in his recent defense of his Afghanistan-Pakistan policy, Obama acted as if he didn’t know or understand the full import of these disclosures. Instead, he simply reiterated the “three areas of our strategy” in Afghanistan:
“To break the Taliban’s momentum and train Afghan forces so they can take the lead; to promote effective governance and development; and regional cooperation, especially with Pakistan, because our strategy has to succeed on both sides of the border.”
But the Taliban’s momentum has not been broken nor is it likely to be, Mr. President. And good luck with President Karzai on that “effective governance” thing, not to mention the part about getting cooperation from Pakistan.
Indeed, the real Achilles heel of Obama’s strategy, the true showstopper, is the forlorn hope of stronger cooperation with Pakistan.
Other WikiLeaks cables make Pakistan’s deep concern about the encroachment of India in Afghanistan unmistakably clear. In one cable, for example, Pakistani Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani is reported to have been “utterly frank” about the consequences of a pro-India government coming to power in Kabul.
Kayani: “The Pakistani establishment will dramatically increase support for Taliban groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan … as an important counterweight.”
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http://www.truth-out.org/ray-mcgovern-obama-should-read-wikileaks-docs66524Obama Should Read WikiLeaks Documents
Monday 03 January 2011
by: Ray McGovern |... more
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