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December 08, 2010

Daniel Ellsberg discusses WikiLeaks

Ellsberg was the author of The Pentagon Papers, which was essentially the WikiLeaks scandal of the VietNam era. WikiLeaks has revealed the state of hypocrisy
WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. How far down the United States has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that's right, Russia's Pravda): "What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic ... After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when ... government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. ..." So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the Earth. ... the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

December 05, 2010

The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange of WikiLeaks

The Shameful Attacks on Julian Assange - David Samuels
Julian Assange and Pfc Bradley Manning have done a huge public service by making hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents available on Wikileaks -- and, predictably, no one is grateful. Manning, a former army intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces up to 52 years in prison. He is currently being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia, where he is not allowed to see his parents or other outside visitors. Assange, the organizing brain of Wikileaks, enjoys a higher degree of freedom living as a hunted man in England under the close surveillance of domestic and foreign intelligence agencies -- but probably not for long. Not since President Richard Nixon directed his minions to go after Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg and New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan - "a vicious antiwar type," an enraged Nixon called him on the Watergate tapes -- has a working journalist and his source been subjected to the kind of official intimidation and threats that have been directed at Assange and Manning by high-ranking members of the Obama Administration. Published reports suggest that a joint Justice Department-Pentagon team of investigators is exploring the possibility of charging Assange under the Espionage Act, which could lead to decades in jail. "This is not saber-rattling," said Attorney General Eric Holder, commenting on the possibility that Assange will be prosecuted by the government. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Wikileaks disclosures "an attack on the international community" that endangered innocent people. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs suggested in somewhat Orwellian fashion that "such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

November 27, 2010

TSA threatens to arrest woman after she asks they abide by their breast milk policy

The woman flew through this airport a week previously and didn't want her breast milk put through the intense x-ray machine they use to scan luggage. The TSA official policy on breast milk is that it is a "medical liquid" and they have alternative methods to make sure it's safe. This is their policy. The TSA officials at this airport in Phoenix dislike the woman for, y'know, asking they abide by their policy. So when she returns to the airport a week later to fly home they detain her without cause for an hour in a glass cage and threaten to have her arrested if she moves. A cop does arrive at one point and tells her she needs to play along with the TSA agents. This is the worst kind of bullying from the government. She is following their rules, but still they bully and intimidate her. Our New Safety Overlords - Megan McArdle - National - The Atlantic

November 23, 2010

Dan Savage Appears On CNN To Slam CNN Because CNN Gives Airtime To Hate Groups

Joe. My. God.: Dan Savage Appears On CNN To Slam CNN Because CNN Gives Airtime To Hate Groups
Here's the first (and very satisfying) fallout from yesterday's new official hate group designations by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Dan Savage appeared on CNN this afternoon to slam them for giving airtime to anti-gay bigots. "There are no 'two sides' to the issue of LGBT rights. Right now one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups and yet the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins, are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people who are targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on CNN."