Man’s Best Friend

Interesting how the Washington Post describes WikiLeaks in a recent article about the whole Evo Morales issue:

Snowden has applied for asylum in Venezuela, Bolivia and 18 other countries, according to WikiLeaks, a secret spilling website that has been advising him.

Wow. A secret spilling website? Really??! Hmm call me crazy but I think that’s actually called investigative journalism. Revealing truths hidden by political elites in order to keep justice blind is sorta the hallmark of journalism.  Also, WikiLeaks is not “advising” Snowden.  They are not lawyers and there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest this, only mere speculation which stems from the DOJ’s stance toward slandering Assange.  The Washington Post (WP) unwittingly subscribes to this agenda without offering any evidence to suggest otherwise.  Ironically enough, if anybody is doing the “advising” it’s the WP, with its sprawling lobby inside Washington that controls and manufactures policymaking.  The WP, among other mainstream media, likes to assume an objective stance but sneakily rallies behind anything and everything political elites do in the realm of foreign policy.  See, the media can afford to be contentious and antagonistic toward the Hill when it comes to domestic issues like abortion or voter fraud or whatever, but when it comes to foreign policy the media flatly and shamefacedly rally behind anything our political elites do in order to preserve their precious meme: “this is a matter of national security” — and we must protect this house, even if it’s crooked and corrupt from its very core.  The media show their teeth over domestic issues but cower into the laps of the elite when it comes to the policies and movements of the American empire.

The Washington Post  article feigns objectivity while delicately framing the issue in favor of the coveted national security image of the US. While indicating that French and Portugal denied him airspace due to “suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board” the Washington Post conveniently failed to inform us of those alleged “suspicions.” Which suspicions?  What are your sources?  Instead WP proceeded to cleverly suggest but not explicitly implicate the likelihood that Snowden was actually on board based on Morales’ comments alone.  This is very shrewd.  Essentially the WP is manufacturing your consent by insinuating guilt on Morales’ part, though providing ZERO evidence to back that claim.  Jedi Mind tricks!  These are not the facts you’re looking for *waive the hand* Goebbels would be proud.

Fact: Morales said Bolivia had not received an asylum request from Edward Snowden, but hinted to the media in a couple different interviews that any request would be “looked at favorably” (Guardian). That is on the record. Other than that, I’ve read many different media reports and have found no other hard evidence which would grant legal grounds to deny airspace to the plane of the president of a sovereign nation, the equivalent of grounding Air Force One.

I don’t need to tell you, this is highly circumstantial evidence. But the Washington Post is silent on this point. Which is telling. Instead they focus on mere speculation.  You’d think they would dig a little bit; you’d think, being a member of the Fourth Estate, they’d raise Constitutional issues regarding unreasonable search and seizure ESPECIALLY when diplomatic concerns are in the mix.  But no, Uncle Sam is golden in the eyes of the media when it comes to dealing with national interest.

Of course the DOJ has refused to “either conform nor deny involvement” blah blah blah.

I may or may not have heard that same line over and over again. Of course they were involved.

Austrian authorities boarded the plane and specifically reported that Edward Snowden was not on board — that was the whole point of the search and seizure — and yet we are supposed to believe the US wasn’t involved?! This is the same tired card played by Obama when he “neither confirmed nor denied the drone program.”

Our political system acts with impunity. And the media, being the biggest lobby in Washington, is simply in the business of being good PR for all their customer-politicians.  Justice is anything but blind, and the Fourth Estate is getting a taste of what the palatial elites have to offer, eating the caviar off the floor dropped by sated elites whilst dining with their shadowy cohorts.

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Typical One-Eighty — And He Nailed It, Folks

During the filibuster on the Senate floor on March 7th, Senator Rand Paul passionately stated:

“I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”

The night before last, on FOX News he said:

“I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash, I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.”

*scratching head*

Another typical politician doing another typical one-eighty on their typical “core principles.” Didn’t see that coming. But if a politician flips this quickly on such a controversial debate, like drones and counter-terrorism, that prolly means he’s been bought. I mean, the defense/intel industry is a very lucrative industry nowadays with all the mission-creep and dirty wars happening overseas. Also, it’s a good “investment,” if you will, for Paul considering the fact that it’s physically impossible to kill an idea.. This is a war that will never end, because they don’t want it to end.

As for your legalese on Constitutional rights, you, sir, are a fucking hack. First of all, neither a drone strike nor a shootout fits the hypothetical crime you’ve imagined up above. If somebody robs a liquor store with a gun, they are a thief, and last I checked armed robbery doesn’t warrant capital punishment. Second, drones??! Are you REALLY that slow?? There is this thing called collateral damage. Ever heard of it? Drones are precise, but not that precise. They aren’t shooting poisonous darts, asshole. Just to give you an idea, your typical Predator UAV carries ordinance called “hellfire missiles.” Are you getting the picture? Do you really wanna unleash hellfire on a public 7-Eleven corner store with customers and employees nearby?

—– Ahhh, but you knew what you were doing! You aren’t THAT stupid… What you did, Mr. Paul, is what the shrewd, sly politician would do in order to hedge against becoming unpopular. You sacrificed your values in order to score political points so to win your incumbency; just like so-called “liberal” Chuck Schumer did when the TARP bailout was being discussed, where he filled his campaign coffers with mills’ in return for his jockeying other dems and libs to secure corporate welfare for Goldman Sachs and all those other crooks that perpetrated the 2008 Financial Con with their toxic financial instruments. Well played Senator Paul, well played. You nailed it.

Or maybe I’m being too cynical..

Possible prediction: a few days from now, you’ll formally apologize and retract your statements. You’ll say something like “I was remiss in regards to my comments the other day blah blah blah.” And, mustering what little life and decency you have left in that tired face of yours, you’ll look directly into the camera (like your PR team told you to) and say “I truly am blah blah blah.” We get the picture. In times of distress, you were trying to be provocative, and you just went too far. You are, after all, a politician: gotta be tough on terrorism, right? And right now especially. With the recent bombings in Boston, you can’t afford to look or appear weak on terrorism. You can’t afford to look or appear to be weak on the drone program. That’d be political suicide! We get it. We understand. Your job must be really REALLY tough, and sometimes all the stress just, well, takes you to crazy town. Understood..

Other possible prediction: you won’t say shit because you were bought.

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Kafkaesque logic: detainees have been deemed not a threat to US security, according to govt officials, and so have been “cleared” for release; BUT most are from Yemen and, apparently, we don’t trust Yemen’s citizenry, aside from the fact we fund their Counter-Terrorism Unit to the the tune of 170 million a year in order to get the so-called bad guys.  And so, in the end, the detainees are cleared for release.. but only in a perfect world.

That is THE definition of fuckery.

And this is all because apparently the place that we shovel hundreds of millions of dollars into in order to help make it more secure and more safe is, well, not safe enough. Maybe we ought to give them billions, like we did Egypt for 30 years.. then maybe-just-maybe it’ll be super safe and the poor people that have ZERO fucking evidence against them can finally go home to their friends and families that have suffered in this limbo of justice orchestrated by political elites on the Hill.

FURTHERMORE — and this is where shit really hits the fan — we are the ones adding to this lack of safety. See, for example, the story of the al-Majala bombing by Jeremy Scahill of The Nation. In short, we bombed a small Bedouin village covertly via JSOC and then sent a cable to the Yemeni government informing them to release a report to the public saying “the Yemeni military was behind the bombing and that 44 terrorists were killed.” In reality, dozens of innocent men, woman and children were killed in the strike; we know this to be true via WikiLeaks. In other words, we’re bombing innocents and trying to cover it up by calling them terrorists, and the Yemeni government is playing ball. SO, all said and done, innocent detainees aren’t released because WE are making Yemen too unsafe and radicalized.

Kafka is rolling his eyes as he is rolling in his grave.

I don’t know about you, but if I were in the same position as Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, I’d prolly do the same thing.

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The Real Reason of the 2nd Amendment

I wonder if sometimes we forget the larger context of the 2nd Amendment.  The 2nd Amendment is not simply a right for citizens to own guns so they can hunt or protect themselves.  Yes, that’s a part of it.  But it’s not the essential reason for it, at least not according to the framers of the Constiution.  The 2nd Amendment, more importantly, guarantees Americans the right to bear arms for the express purpose to protect against state tyranny.

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” ~ 2nd Amendment

So, yes, by all means buy and own a gun to protect you and your family.  That’s a valid and understandable reason to own a gun.  But that is of secondary importance when it comes to understanding the Constitutional purpose of the 2nd Amendment, which is to preserve liberty itself.  Maintaining a free state which enjoys liberty and freedom requires not just laws and lawyers but the vigilance of a local militia, so to keep the state honest.

This in mind, legislation like the NDAA or the FISA Amendments Act ought to scare us.  Under the FISA Amendments Act, the government is allowed to wiretap Americans without obtaining a warrant, and the telecoms which do their dirty work are immune from prosecution.  On average, the government via NSA intercepts 1.7 billion communications every single day; that’s emails, phone calls, et cetera.  Under the NDAA, the government of the United States of America can detain us without any due process, if they think we are a threat to national security.  Obama can snap his fingers and have you snatched from your home, blindfolded, put on an unmarked jet and extraordinarily rendered to some black site in Mogadishu for some good ol’ fashioned “enhanced interrogation.”  Sounds paranoid?  Well, perhaps for the average American that scenario may seem like a bit of a stretch, but for political dissenters and whistleblowers this is a very real danger.  And without investigative journalism exercising free speech, there is no Fourth Estate guarding our civil liberties by reporting wrongdoing to the people and holding political elites accountable for their actions.  This is precisely the argument in Hedges V. Obama.

Furthermore, according to the bogus legalese of the drone program, Americans can be assassinated without any due process (funny how Obama was against torture while campaigning back in 2008, but as soon as he gets into office he’s totally cool with torturing logic in order to “legally” assassinate peeps).  Yes, believer it or not, President Obama — our so-called civil rights champ and former Constitutional lawyer — reserves the right to be judge, jury and executioner, all while keeping the people and the press at an arms-length.

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”  I am not saying that requiring a national registry for gun owners or banning assault weapons will bring about tyranny; but it sure as hell is one step closer to what is looking more and more like a surveillance state boldly infringing upon our civil liberties.

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POTUS or Mafioso?

How would I, as President, deal with an American alleged to be a senior official of a militant organization?  Easy peasy: I’d meet with my Security Council, first and foremost.  After briefing with them and getting my ducks in order, I’d then bring in the Senate Intelligence Committee in order to sift the intelligence and see if it is genuine or not.  Why?  Well, call me crazy, but I believe in this old, dog-eared document that was written in 1787 that begins with “We the people.”  It’s a pretty important document which contains this thing called “checks and balances.”  You see, going through the well-established process of justice should be the easy part; deciding guilt or innocence is, well, the difficult part.  But that’s the point!  It is supposed to be laborious and mitigated, as lives are at stake.  But unfortunately this process, a bedrock, unequivocal process guaranteed by said 1878 document, has been circumvented by our Executive.

I wonder if the current Executive has read this document recently, or has it been too busy collecting baseball cards of alleged bad guys, ordering hits based primarily on intelligence reports (and we all know how accurate those can be — see Iraq War).  And while I understand that, to a degree, some level of cloak-and-dagger is allotted initially, in the end full and utter transparency of what goes on in the Oval Office — cloaks, daggers, and all — must be checked and balanced by the Legislative Branch.  Ya know, ’cause we ain’t the mafia.  Right fellas?  Actually, the latter may have the moral high ground on the Executive.  Both The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and New York Times have reported we are engaging in “double taps.”  What are those?  We strike the target once with a drone, then wait for the funeral to commence with loved ones and friends in attendance, and then strike the funeral with another, second drone attack.  The mafia, on the other hand, has a code of honor which restricts them from hitting up their enemies’ funerals.  Where did we learn this strategy?  From Hamas, a known terrorist organization according to us.  Well, if we are engaging in terrorist techniques ourselves, then what does that make us?  If it walks like a duck…

Fact: the Executive Branch does not enjoy the opportunity of equating accusations of guilt with guilt itself.  We live in America; not Oceania.  Dealing judgment based on thought crime is equivalent to tyranny.  That’s simple.  Just because an American cleric badmouths America doesn’t mean we put a hit out on them and their sixteen-year-old son.  If they’ve committed what seem to be seditious acts, then we obtain a warrant to arrest them.  We then arraign them and have a trial with all the bells and whistles: defense and prosecution arguments, judge presiding over said arguments to interpret and guide law, and the jury to decide a verdict based on the facts presented by both sides.  That’s how we do justice in America — not by unilateral execution.

Currently, the Executive fashions itself prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, all in one, with nobody to check that power.  Indiscretions, conscious or not, will surely abound in such a top-down system, precisely because the blank check of impunity will hasten and disregard what out to be treated with prudence: pronouncing final and irreversible judgment on peoples lives (see the Gardez Massacre; see the Nisser Square Massacre; see the al-Majala Massacre). There must, at all times, be a rigorous, transparent process undergone by all branches of the government in order to ensure due justice has been served, otherwise Lady Liberty’s blindfold is cast off and the scales of justice are tilted in favor of bias and prejudice.  A truly benevolent autocrat is few and far between; grandfathering in a precedence which will be enjoyed by successors to said autocrat is sure to be abused in the worst ways.  (Note: there are international rules in place which grant nations the right to execute those who are plotting attacks which are harmful to national security.  But recent executions of Americans by the Executive in nations abroad have not gone through these legal avenues; further, nor did the Executive include the Senate Intelligence Committee to check and balance its decision to execute Americans.  I am not saying said Americans weren’t dangerous and a real threat to our national security; what I am saying is that we will never know just how dangerous they were, and that is a serious problem.)

I implore the Executive and its Security Council to shake the scales from their eyes and return the blindfold to its rightful place, lest our leader of the so-called free world be confused with a mafioso.

There is this thing that we like to say here in America, which goes something like “you are presumed innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law.”  I think that was written somewhere… right?  Sadly, this Executive has flipped the script: you are presumed guilty, until proven innocent.  

Deep down, I really do think the current holder of the Executive Branch wants to do good; thing is, intentions aren’t good enough — not even close — as even the best of intentions pave the way to a hellish tyranny, a tyranny in direct opposition to We, the People.

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