Posted by: quiscus | October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010

1.  “Senate to Mull Anti-WikiLeaks Law

GOP Bill Would Label WikiLeaks a ‘Transnational Threat’

According to Sen. Ensign’s website the main purpose of the bill would be to amend the Espionage Act to ban releasing any information pertaining to “human intelligence.” He insists the bill doesn’t ban anyone else from publishing the leaks.

But those familiar with the content of the bill say that it will extend a broad ban on “any information that could be used to reveal the identities of classified sources, informants, or partners of any element of the intelligence community.” The bill would also formally label WikiLeaks as a “transnational threat.

The ability to criminalize the group seems questionable on a number of levels however, not the least of which is that the organization operates entirely outside of the US and its top members are not US citizens. How they will be able to claim jurisdiction over the organization is unclear at best.”

2.  “Towards Martial Law in America: Authority to Deploy Troops Domestically during ‘National Emergencies’

Whistleblower: Coast Guard Implementing Martial Law

Earlier this month, the United States Coast Guard upheld its self-declared status as a ‘special’ branch of the military with the ability to prosecute civilians in military tribunals. This startling declaration, unreported in the media, came in a Decision on Appeal related to the case of Lieutenant Eric Shine, a commissioned Naval officer in the Merchant Marines and a graduate of Kings Point Military Service Academy, and was penned by the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard.

What all of this case history reveals is that there is a coordinated agenda to knock down any remaining walls separating the general population of America, Canada and the UK from their own militaries. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way the Coast Guard has quietly shifted from a federal policing agency into a self-declared branch of the military.


As Lieutenant Eric Shine rightfully asks in his own article on the subject, how does the Revenue Cutter Service, originally located in the Department of the Treasury, merge with the Lighthouse Service, the Ice-breaking Service and other civil service agencies to become a branch of military? How does a branch of the military end up in the Department of Homeland Security, whose mission is explicitly to police the “homeland” and its residents? How does this branch of the military get away with filing charges in a military tribunal against an alleged civilian who has never served in their uniform, and then proceed to prosecute, adjudicate and act as appellate of that tribunal?


And perhaps the most important question of all: When will the American public, and the peoples of the other Western powers, realize that the Rubicon has long since been crossed and that they are already living in a military dictatorship?”

3.  “More on the media’s Pentagon-subservient WikiLeaks coverage

This is the heart of the matter.  What Burns did to Julian Assange is most certainly not a “standard journalistic endeavor” for The New York Times.  If anyone doubts that, please show me any article that paper has published which trashed the mental health, psyche and personality of a high-ranking American political or military official — a Senator or a General or a President or a cabinet secretary or even a prominent lobbyist — based on quotes from disgruntled associates of theirs.  That is not done, and it never would be.


This kind of character smear (“he’s not in his right mind,” pronounced a 25-year-old who sort of knows him) is reserved for people who don’t matter in the world of establishment journalists — i.e., people without power or standing in Washington and, especially, those whom American Government authorities scorn.  In official Washington, Assange is a contemptible loser — the Pentagon hates him and wants him destroyed, and therefore the “reporters” who rely on,  admire and identify with Pentagon officials immediately adopt that perspective — and that’s why he was the target of this type of attack.  After I wrote my criticism of this article on Monday, I was contacted by Burns’ co-writer, Ravi Somaiya, who defended this article from my criticisms.  I agreed to keep the exchange off-the-record at his insistence — and I will do so — but that was the question I kept asking:  point to any instance where the NYT ever subjected Someone Who Matters in Washington to this kind of personality and mental health trashing based on the gossip and condemnation of associates.  It does not exist.


As for Burns’ pronouncement that “the Times is ‘not in the business of hagiography’,” he should probably remind himself of what he himself wrote about the Right Honorable Gen. Stanely McChrystal, after Burns had attacked Michael Hastings for daring to publish the General’s own statements that reflected badly on him.  ”

4.  “Pentagon in Charge of Aid to Israel?

Republicans considering transferring Israeli security aid budget from State Department to Pentagon, in order to ensure it continues while enabling them to stop money flow to other countries

5.  ”

The Real Reason Obama Has Let Us All Down

On the night he won, I too shed a little tear; but the people weeping today are those having their homes repossessed

Is Barack Obama a politician whose actions should be judged soberly, or a figure from a feel-good fairytale to be revered from afar?

For two years now, most of the good and honorable people who desperately wanted him to beat John McCain – as I did –have watched his actions through a distorting haze of hoping for the best. So when Obama set us all up for another global crash by refusing to reregulate the banks or stop even their riskiest practices, we looked away. When Obama set us all up for more terror attacks by trebling the troops in Afghanistan and launching a vicious air war on Pakistan that is swelling the ranks of jihadis, we didn’t want to hear it. When Obama set us all up for environmental disaster by refusing to put the brakes on his country’s unprecedented and unmatched emissions of climate-destabilizing gases, we switched over to watch’s YouTube rejig of the President’s “yes, we can” speech. And when a week from now he is beaten at the mid-term elections – after having so little to show the American people – by a group of even more irrational Republicans, we will weep for him.

As Rober D. Hodge writes in his excellent new book ‘The Mendacity of Hope’, “Obama is judged not as a man but as a fable, a tale of moral uplift that redeems the sins of America’s shameful past.” Our longing for him to be Martin Luther King reborn has meant good people have not pushed and pressured and opposed him, even as he endangered us.

But if you choose to see this as another fairytale – of how one man who seemed like a Good Prince turned out to be a Traitor – you will miss the point, and the real need for change. This is not primary a question of individual failings, but of the endemic corruption at the core of American politics. The facts are not hidden. If you want to run for national office in the US, you have to raise huge sums of money from corporations and very rich people to pay for the adverts and the mailings that get you on the ballot and into office. These corporations will only give you money if you persuade them that you will serve their interests once you are in power. If you say instead that you want to prevent anything destructive they are doing to ordinary people, or tax and regulate them, you will get no money, and can’t run.”


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