On August 21, Chris Hedges wrote a great post called “Bradley Manning and the Gangster State.” It is consonant with my own thinking, and, more importantly, it makes one focus on the most important issue facing democracy today: “Is there a democracy in the United States anymore, or have we already evolved into a form of totalitarianism?” And if we have, then is there any return from this, a counter-evolution or revolution, that will restore our political liberties and our ability to change our political regime?
”The most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history”
Here's Chris's opening statement:
”The swift and brutal verdict read out by Army Col. Judge Denise Lind in sentencing Pfc. Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison means we have become a nation run by gangsters. It signals the inversion of our moral and legal order, the death of an independent media, and the open and flagrant misuse of the law to prevent any oversight or investigation of official abuses of power, including war crimes. The passivity of most of the nation’s citizens—the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history—to the judicial lynching of Manning means they will be next. There are no institutional mechanisms left to halt the shredding of our most fundamental civil liberties, including habeas corpus and due process, or to prevent pre-emptive war, the assassination of U.S. citizens by the government and the complete obliteration of privacy.”
Some may object to the passionate and evaluative tone of this opening, and may want to quibble about whether Americans are “the most spied upon, monitored and controlled population in human history,” seeing this as glossing over the extreme conditions existing at the height of the Nazi, Stalin, and Mao regimes in Germany, the USSR, and China. But nevertheless it is hard to deny that in the areas of concern to the National Security Surveillance State, including not just foreign policy, “homeland security,” and the big media, but also in maintaining the dominance of the FIRE, Energy, military/industrial, and health insurance sectors of the economy, this statement is, sadly, true. Read below the fold...
"We talk about the war on terrorism, and it seems more like a war on information" - Col. Morris Davis interviewed about Manning trial
From The Scott Horton Show program notes for August 21:
Col. Morris Davis, former Guantanamo chief prosecutor, discusses his resignation after “torture memo” author Jim Haynes took over command; how much time Bradley Manning is likely to serve of his 35 year sentence; the chilling effect on potential government whistleblowers; and why the war on terror is really a war on information.
Marcy Wheeler on journalism as terrorism, FISA court as duped rubber stamp, and bigfooting as crazy national insecurity
As always, I can't keep up with Marcy's postings on emptywheel, so I'm grateful for a new interview.
From The Scott Horton Show program notes for August 19:
Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the detention of Glenn Greenwald’s partner at Heathrow airport for “terrorism” concerns; the highly selective prosecution of government leaks; the Obama administration’s juvenile handling of Edward Snowden’s asylum journey; Greenwald’s bold proclamation that he will return to the US and fight for his Constitutional rights; and why the founder of now-defunct Lavabit email may face prosecution.
Here's a memorable piece of video on Xkeyscore, featuring Piers Morgan, Glenn Greenwald, James Risen, and Jeffrey Toobin.
Risen and Greenwald get set up by Morgan pretty well to make Toobin look clueless, and silly, in his insistence that Snowden's done a very valuable thing for American democracy, but nevertheless must pay the price for releasing classified material. This is a village meme running around Washington, New York, and evidently, London, these days. Read below the fold...
Because it's on CNN International.
— bmaz (@bmaz) July 31, 2013
"He wasn’t known at the time. This is before WikiLeaks. And he actually wrote in his initial e-mail to me, he basically said that he was horrified at the idea that Blackwater was getting away with the crimes that it had committed in Iraq and he wanted them to be investigated."
Video and transcript below the fold. Read below the fold...
Daniel Ellsberg was interviewed this morning on The Scott Horton Show. From the program notes:
Exclusive: the first reaction of Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, to Bradley Manning’s acquittal on charges of “aiding the enemy,” but conviction under the espionage act, why journalism is still threatened, Manning’s motives, the positive consequences of his leaks – for instance ending America’s occupation of Iraq once and for all, and the importance of whistleblowers to a free society.
Defense plays entire "Collateral Murder" video in court #Manning
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) July 8, 2013
Read below the fold...
Press didn't get to view entire "Collateral Murder" video. Feed wasn't working until after Reuters journalists killed #Manning
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) July 8, 2013
Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses how White House narratives go largely unchallenged by journalists starved of information from government leakers; the favorable testimony of prosecution witnesses in Bradley Manning’s court martial; Glenn Greenwald’s scoop on the NSA’s collection of all Verizon customer call data; how Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and other tech giants help the government spy on Americans; why individuals targeted by government spying can’t get standing to sue in court; and how the FBI is used as a front to evade NSA restrictions on domestic surveillance.
Before this scrolls off the news horizon... Marcy Wheeler, aka emptywheel, was interviewed Wednesday on The Scott Horton Show on Bradley Manning trial news. Until the phone cut off.
From the program description at scotthorton.org:
Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the start of Bradley Manning’s “speedy” trial after three years in detention; the government’s case against Manning and Julian Assange as co-conspirators engaged in espionage; why Bob Woodward and top government officials are never prosecuted for leaking and publishing classified information; and how Manning’s careful selection of documents to leak (to avoid getting “blood on his hands”) has made his prosecution easier.
That's right, if only Manning had been less careful about harm, if only he had leaked higher-classified material, if only he were more like Bob Woodward or Leon Panetta, he might not be screwed now.
"The only way Bradley Manning was aiding the enemy is if the enemy is truth" - Craig Murray at London rally
"They say court martial, we say Grand Marshal!" "Shame, shame, shame on Pride!" More SF Pride board meeting - UPDATE: The board lied!
You'll never believe what SF Pride CEO Earl Plante tells KTVU-2 News. Plus I love the chants.
Court Martial or Grand Marshal? Why did SF Pride Ban Bradley Manning? 7 May 2013
YouTube posted on May 10, 2013 by MayaMediated
YouTube info: "Well, there's a couple of reasons for that!" What ARE the reasons Bradley Manning was barred from becoming Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride 2013? You'll be happy to know they're very simple. Read below the fold...
"Forget the Pride committee. The community has spoken: Bradley Manning IS Grand Marshal."
Bradley Manning is Grand Marshal! Pride Meeting 7 May 2013
YouTube posted May 9, 2013 by MayaMediated
YouTube info: Includes the only photos from inside the meeting! "They say court martial! We say grand marshal!" Why did Pride cancel making Bradley Manning Grand Marshal of Pride 2013? Why did they ban the press from their meeting? Sure looks like the corporate sponsors want a nice, squeaky clean party with no reminders that Pride is about fighting for human rights and that the celebration honors a RIOT. Forget the Pride committee. The community has spoken: Bradley Manning IS Grand Marshal. Read below the fold...
HuffPost: Transcripts of Bradley Manning's trial have been heavily guarded and out of public reach. Alyona chats with Freedom of the Press Foundation about their efforts to raise money to hire a court reporter for the Bradley Manning trial. Read below the fold...