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Bradley Manning and the Fog of War

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Posted on Dec 20, 2011
thierry ehrmann (CC-BY)

By Amy Goodman

Accused whistle-blower Pvt. Bradley Manning turned 24 Saturday. He spent his birthday in a pretrial military hearing that could ultimately lead to a sentence of life … or death. Manning stands accused of causing the largest leak of government secrets in United States history.

More on Manning shortly. First, a reminder of what he is accused of leaking. In April 2010, the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released a video called “Collateral Murder.” It was a classified U.S. military video from July 2007, from an Apache attack helicopter over Baghdad. The video shows a group of men walking, then the systematic killing of them in a barrage of high-powered automatic fire from the helicopter. Soldiers’ radio transmissions narrate the carnage, varying from cold and methodical to cruel and enthusiastic. Two of those killed were employees of the international news agency Reuters: Namir Noor-Eldeen, a photojournalist, and Saeed Chmagh, his driver.

Renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers that helped end the war in Vietnam and who himself is a Marine veteran who trained soldiers on the laws of war, told me: “Helicopter gunners hunting down and shooting an unarmed man in civilian clothes, clearly wounded … that shooting was murder. It was a war crime. Not all killing in war is murder, but a lot of it is. And this was.”

The WikiLeaks release of the Afghan War Logs followed months later, with tens of thousands of military field reports. Then came the Iraq War Diaries, with close to 400,000 military records of the U.S. war in Iraq. Next was Cablegate, WikiLeaks’ rolling release (with prominent print-media partners, including The New York Times and The Guardian in Britain) of classified U.S. State Department cables, more than a quarter-million of them, dating from as far back as 1966 up to early 2010. The contents of these cables proved highly embarrassing to the U.S. government and sent shock waves around the world.

Among the diplomatic cables released were those detailing U.S. support for the corrupt Tunisian regime, which helped fuel the uprising there. Noting that Time magazine named “The Protester,” generically, as Person of the Year, Ellsberg said Manning should be the face of that protester, since the leaks for which he is accused, following their impact in Tunisia, “in turn sparked the uprising in Egypt … which stimulated Occupy Wall Street and the other occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere. So, one of those ‘persons of the year’ is now sitting in a courthouse.”

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Another recently revealed Cablegate release exposed details of an alleged 2006 massacre by U.S. troops in the Iraqi town of Ishaqi, north of Baghdad. Eleven people were killed, and the cable described eyewitness accounts in which the group, including five children and four women, was handcuffed, then executed with bullets to the head. The U.S. military then bombed the house, allegedly to cover up the incident. Citing attacks like these, the Iraqi government said it would no longer grant immunity to U.S. soldiers in Iraq. President Barack Obama responded by announcing he would pull the troops out of Iraq. Like a modern-day Ellsberg, if Manning is guilty of what the Pentagon claims, he helped end the war in Iraq.

Back in the Fort Meade, Md., hearing room, defense attorneys painted a picture of a chaotic forward operating base with little to no supervision, no controls whatsoever on soldiers’ access to classified data, and a young man in uniform struggling with his sexual identity in the era of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Manning repeatedly flew into rages, throwing furniture and once even punching a superior in the face, without punishment. His peers at the base said he should not be in a war zone. Yet he stayed, until his arrest 18 months ago.

Since his arrest, Manning has been in solitary confinement, for much of the time in Quantico, Va., under conditions so harsh that the U.N. special rapporteur on torture is investigating. Many believe the U.S. government is trying to break Manning in order to use him in its expected case of espionage against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. It also sends a dramatic message to any potential whistle-blower: “We will destroy you.”

For now, Manning sits attentively, reports say, facing possible death for “aiding the enemy.” The prosecution offered words Manning allegedly wrote to Assange as evidence of his guilt. In the email, Manning described the leak as “one of the more significant documents of our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetrical warfare.” History will no doubt use the same words as irrefutable proof of Manning’s courage.


Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2011 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate


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By heterochromatic, January 1, 2012 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

thx diamond for an odd comment.  If you don’t want to believe that Al Qaeda
planned and perpetrated the 9/11 attacks, that bin Laden was the head of al
Qaeda, or that he and the organization ran several training camps in Afghanistan
with the knowledge and consent of the Taliban, go right ahead.

you won’t be harming anyone but yourself

Report this

By diamond, January 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

“it sure wasn’t in the late 1990s when the UN started demanding that they turn
over bin Laden.

the “offer” was made only after 9/11 and it was full of other conditions,
including that the US provide proof to the Taliban for their consideration and
study that would link bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.”

Ah, there’s the rub, isn’t it Hetero? Bin Laden was never even listed on the FBI website as a suspect over 9/11, and when questioned about it Mueller, head of the FBI, stated openly that there wasn’t one shred of evidence linking bin Laden to the 9/11 ‘event’. Those who were linked to it by the official legend were not Iraqi and not from Afghanistan so why were those countries invaded? Let’s put our thinking caps on, I’m sure we can come up with an answer!

America has, in fact, invaded numerous countries since 1890: none of them had nuclear weapons (of course) and could never have been described as a threat to world peace either. Most of them were little third world countries stuck in poverty and had annoyed America with their politics. Why do you think Iraq and Afghanistan are somehow the exception to this rule? The other thing that always amuses me is that people like you know that Bush and Cheney lied so much that if their lips were moving you could assume they were lying, but on 9/11 and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan everything that came out of their mouths was apparently gospel. How is that possible? Or are they like the Pope with his conditional infallibility and only infallible when they’re dealing with foreign policy? How is it that two pathological liars only ever told the truth about one ‘event’ and two wars but never about anything else? Doesn’t wash, does it?

The bin Laden’s of this world are not the American people’s enemy: their real enemies live in fancy mansions, drive expensive cars, quote the Bible when it suits them and think the world is their plaything.

Report this

By ardee, January 1, 2012 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

forgot the most essential point in your latest response, multicolored one; those three little words,“in my opinion”. You act like a deity dispensing wisdom on stone tablets when what you really offer is a slanted, narrow and biased view of the world.

You’ve not a single clue as to the thoughts of the Taliban leadership, you ignore the points I made in my last response , points that invalidate some of what you claim as well. Typical you.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 31, 2011 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

rd- the demand to turn bin Laden over bas based on earlier crimes, not 9/11.

we owed the Taliban nothing more than an ultimatum after 9/11… we did not owe
them deference to their conditions or appeals to their judgment.

they were complicit in the attacks upon us.

Report this

By ardee, December 31, 2011 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

By heterochromatic, December 31 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

ardee~~~~ WHEN did the Taliban make that offer?


it sure wasn’t in the late 1990s when the UN started demanding that they turn
over bin Laden.

the “offer” was made only after 9/11 and it was full of other conditions,
including that the US provide proof to the Taliban for their consideration and
study that would link bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.

You ask then answer your own question re the dates. Starting your new years celebration earlier are you? Imagine the nerve of those guys,  asking for proof of the charges prior to arresting and turning bin Laden over. Who did they think they were, us?

the Taliban had years of requests and demands to turn over bin Laden and
refused, refused even to expel him, and refused to shut down the terrorism
training camps.

UN resolutions UNSCR 1267 (1999) and 1333 (2000) to be exact. Imagine da noive a dose guys disobeying our direct orders.


you’ve got to be fuvkin kidding calling it reasonable.

and you are a forum joke.

and since when did the Taliban decide that the death penalty was inhuman?

They did not, they asked for trial in a Muslim nation under Islamic law. You are a poor debater indeed, but think yourself a master. Oh bater not debater, I get it now.

what the hell are you smokin?

Don’t smoke and dont think you are very bright either. Nor principled, nor interested in honesty either.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

ardee~~~~ WHEN did the Taliban make that offer?


it sure wasn’t in the late 1990s when the UN started demanding that they turn
over bin Laden.

the “offer” was made only after 9/11 and it was full of other conditions,
including that the US provide proof to the Taliban for their consideration and
study that would link bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks.


the Taliban had years of requests and demands to turn over bin Laden and
refused, refused even to expel him, and refused to shut down the terrorism
training camps.

there wasn’t a damn thing reasonable about their offer or about them….and
you’ve got to be fuvkin kidding calling it reasonable.

 

and since when did the Taliban decide that the death penalty was inhuman? 

what the hell are you smokin?

Report this

By ardee, December 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, December 30 at 11:57 am
I wonder if even you believe this war was not about oil?
The Taliban offered to give up bin Laden if we would guarantee that he would not receive a death penalty and would be tried in an Islamic nation. This might seem a reasonable request and an equitable solution, yet it was ignored, even scorned.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

Farenheit 9/11

Byron Dorgan: We had some airplanes “authorized at the highest
levels of our government”
to fly to pick up Osama Bin Laden’s family
members and others from Saudi Arabia and transport them out of
this country.

Narrator: It turns out that the White House {GWB) approved planes to
pick up the bin Ladens and numerous other Saudis. At least six private
jets and nearly two dozen commercial planes carried the Saudis and
the Bin Ladens out of the U.S. after September 13th. In all, 142 Saudis,
including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave
the country.

Report this
David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm Link to this comment

“America’s growth industry is the manufacture of terrorists, to have terrorists to first employ… and then destroy.”

Terrorist Production for Bomb Destruction:

http://chenangogreens.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=488&Itemid=49

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By heterochromatic, December 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~~ ieepers and gumdrops….. bin Laden worked with us to kill Russians
in the 80s…....

thereafter, we sorta went separate ways….  maybe it’s you who slept throughout
that divergence.

Report this

By diamond, December 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

“I don’t consider you somebody willing to deny the obvious. we would have been willing to do business with the Taliban, but not while they were allowing bin Laden to operate training camps for transnational terrorists and it was the sheltering of bin Laden and the al Qaeda attacks against us that brought the war, not some unnecessary pipeline.”

Christ almighty. Where have you been? You’re like Rip van Winkle. Wake up, Rip. Wake up. Osama bin Laden worked for the CIA for years and as for training transnational terrorists:

“John Cooley, a former journalist with the US ABC television network and author of ‘Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism’, has revealed that Muslims recruited in the US for the mujaheddin were sent to Camp Peary, the CIA’s spy training camp in Virginia, where young Afghans, Arabs from Egypt and Jordan, and even some African-American “black Muslims” were taught ‘sabotage skills”.’ (Norm Dixon, ‘Green Left Weekly, September 19th 2001).

In Pakistan, recruits, money and equipment were distributed to the mujaheddin factions by an organisation known as Maktab al Khidamar (Office of Services — MAK). MAK was a front for Pakistan’s CIA, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. The ISI was the first recipient of the vast bulk of CIA and Saudi Arabian covert assistance for the Afghan contras. Bin Laden was one of three people who ran MAK. In 1989, he took overall charge of MAK. (Dixon, 19th September 2001).

You know the saying “I have seen the enemy and he is us’? Think about it. And if you knew how little oil is left you wouldn’t call the pipeline ‘unnecessary’. In a speech to the Oil Institute in London in the nineties, Dick Cheney made it perfectly clear that the only way America could retain its super power status was to get control of the earth’s resources and since the Middle East had two thirds of the world’s oil, it was, to quote Dick the ultimate ‘prize’. As I said, wake up.

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By heterochromatic, December 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

diamond—-there are all sorts of “planned” pipelines. ... and all sorts of routes. 
Afghanistan is vital to none of them and it’s entirely stupid to assert that a desired
pipeline was the real and secret reason for a goddamned war.

you have to completely ignore the fucking elephant in the room to spout that
garbage.

I don’t consider yo somebody willing to deny the obvious. we would have been
willing to do business with the Taliban, but not while they were allowing bin Laden
to operate training camps for transnational terrorists and it was the sheltering of
bin Laden and the al Qaeda attacks against us that brought the war, not some
unnecessary pipeline.

Report this

By diamond, December 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

“Nothing about Afghanistan was about ‘gas and oil resources”.

That’s just ignorant. Enron was negotiating with the Taliban in the nineties over the gas and oil resources. The plan has always been to build a gas and oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Karachi on the coast. But for that to happen Afghanistan has to be ‘pacified’: if it isn’t, the pipeline will be blown up on a regular basis. Multinational corporations were never going to stand by and watch the Taliban make money out of the gas and oil. They prefer Afghanistan’s entrepreneurs to make money out of poppy. America has made a basket case of both Iraq and Afghanistan to get their hands on resources. In the end everything America does is about money and resources but that doesn’t stop America and its allies from gushing about ‘democracy’ and how they want to protect it, while they send drones in to kill civilians.

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David J. Cyr's avatar

By David J. Cyr, December 29, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

~~~~“The invasion of Iraq was about oil and the invasion of Afghanistan was also
about getting control of Afghanistan’s gas and oil resources. Different wars
altogether, colonial wars, resource wars and wars aimed at civilians….”~~~~


NO.

Nothing about Afghanistan was about ‘gas and oil resources”  That’s just stupid.

Report this

By diamond, December 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

“World War II fatality statistics vary, estimates of total dead ranging from 50 million to over 70 million. The sources cited in this article document an estimated death toll in World War II of 62 to 78 million, making it the deadliest war in world history in absolute terms of total dead but not in terms of deaths relative to the world population.

When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given, in order to inform readers that the death toll is disputed. Civilians killed totaled from 40 to 52 million, including 13 to 20 million from war-related disease and famine. Total military dead: from 22 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war.” (Wikipedia)

A mistake to refer to World War II: the statistics from that war only confirm the already developing trend towards mass killing of civilians. As you can see out of 62 to 78 million dead, 40 to 52 million were civilians. This was mainly due to the Nazis’ habit of locking up and murdering large numbers of civilians and the Allies’ habit of dropping vast numbers of bombs on cities full of children, old people, pregnant women and babies without distinction and for no military gain - the Nazis did the same but you would expect that from them. They never claimed they were protecting democracy, in fact it was their stated aim to demolish democracy and drive it from the face of the earth. THAT is what World War II was about, not the invasion of Poland or Pearl Harbor. All the more tragic that Dick Cheney and friends decided that they would have to go to ‘the dark side’, i.e. become Fascist, to fight the so called “War on Terror” when so many had died in a war to defeat Fascism, including 27 million Russians.

The invasion of Iraq was about oil and the invasion of Afghanistan was also about getting control of Afghanistan’s gas and oil resources. Different wars altogether, colonial wars, resource wars and wars aimed at civilians, since the Iraqi army was never going to defeat America’s firepower and technology and everyone knew it. Afghanistan had already endured years of war and was a ruined and destroyed country that was still mired in the Middle Ages and had no technology to speak of. Germany’s technology and firepower were another thing altogether. Rather than defending democracy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the biggest threat to democracy since Hitler and have led to the largest dismantling of civil liberties and human rights since Pol Pot, not only in America and Britain but all over the world. Fascism is Fascism regardless of the nationality of the Fascists: you don’t appear to understand this, but it seems Bradley Manning does.

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By terry p, December 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

give it up diamond, the fossilized bones of the preheistorical heterochromatic man is exposed. He danced a little to the right before you sucked the oxygen out of his next breath. You have exposed the beef and then the bones.

Cheetah died today for god sakes!

take a break!

tp:?0 >>>> :?)
Happy new year
  PS: over three—point—five million e-mails of the richest most powerful men in the world will be exposed in the near future!! Very near future!—look out Mafia the wikileaks can HEAR ‘’ I mean is hereing == that’s—i s   h e r e.

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By heterochromatic, December 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~ I certainly believe that more people have been killed on the wars than
in the terrorist attacks, but I fail to understand what it is you think is proven by
that.

Far, far more people were killed in WWII than in the invasion of Poland and the
bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Report this

By diamond, December 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

About 303 times as many people have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq than in the attacks of September 11, 2001.

More than 130 times as many people have been killed in these wars and occupations than in all terrorist attacks in the world from 1993-2004, according to data compiled by the US State Department. More recent figures are unavailable — after the 2004 report showed terrorism at an all-time high, numerous experts suggested that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were fueling an increase in terrorism, and subsequent State Department terror tallies have remained CLASSIFIED - a job for Wikileaks if I ever saw one.

It is the last refuge of a coward to demand more and more verification of sources because you don’t want to accept what the information proves. Most people would accept information from Johns Hopkins University and ‘The Lancet’ but you, of course regard the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a step into a brave new world. Clearly only a fool would believe that you can create democracy by booting democracy in the groin, that you can create justice by being unjust or that you can destroy crime by becoming a criminal. You apparently believe all these things. Reach your own conclusions.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~ the figures are unattributed and undifferentiated as to who it was that
killed the civilians….among other things.

and you jump from saying that the fighting wasn’t confined to uniformed national
armies to concluding that we therefore are fighting colonialist wars against
civilians…. an unwarranted and worthless claim if based on no more than what
you’re offering.

try proving shit out, diamond, instead of simply asserting your beliefs as holy truth.

Report this

By diamond, December 27, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Civilian casualties

World War I 10%
World War II 50%
Vietnam 70%
Iraq 90%

Obviously the trend in wars is to greater and greater civilian casualties and there’s a simple reason for that. These are colonial wars fought by a first world superpower against disadvantaged, third world countries, a trend that started with the Vietnam War. World War I was fought mostly in trenches between European (first world) armies for the capture and occupation of territory. No one could possibly describe either the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan in those terms. They are, as I said, wars on civilians. Both Johns Hopkins University and ‘The Lancet’ have assessed that 1.3 million Iraqis have died, most of them civilians. And no one disputes that there are 700,000 widows in Iraq and if you do the math you can see that many hundreds of thousands of civilians have died- and left fatherless children who will probably grow up hating America. I don’t consider these wars to be to America’s advantage in the long term even if they bring short term gain to the corporations who are the major beneficiaries of both wars. Clearly the people behind them have a lot to hide, which is why Bradley Manning is in jail and Julian Assange is under house arrest.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment

Diamond~~~~still not answering my questions, huh?

you’re just going to go ducking out and adding more of your lame sweeping
simplifications .....

.....” If you look at the statistics for civilian deaths you can see very clearly that
these are wars waged on civilians….”

more bullshit from you.

Report this

By diamond, December 26, 2011 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

“I’m with you in thinking that they’re are some things that shouldn’t be kept secret, but I want you to respond to my contention that some things are correctly held secret.”

Was the ‘collateral murder’ video correctly held secret? And how would anyone ever know about the torture and depravity that went on in Abu Ghraib if a soldier named Darby hadn’t put those photos on the internet? Neither of these things gave away information that was militarily useful to an ‘enemy’, rather they contained information that the public should and must have in order to evaluate what their army is doing and who they are doing it to. War is just a vicious, money making racket and should have been ended decades ago.  Nuclear war is impossible in a colonial war because the opposing army wants to capture the state with all its infrastructure and people and its resources; so war can’t go to the next level and in Iraq it degenerated into asymmetrical warfare, targeted assassinations and bribes - just as it has in Afghanistan.

There is rarely a ‘battlefield’ any more in the true sense of the word so the secrets are more about hiding war crimes, atrocities such as torture and massacres and rapes as well as corruption and the illegal basis for the wars themselves. If you look at the statistics for civilian deaths you can see very clearly that these are wars waged on civilians, not armies and, of course, that needs to be kept secret too.

Report this

By heterochromatic, December 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~~that’s just a weird charge about my living in a black-and-white-
world…....

and not a single thing in your comment is responsive to the questions that I raised
to you.

I’m with you in thinking that they’re are some things that shouldn’t be kept secret,
but I want you to respond to my contention that some things are correctly held
secret.

Report this

By diamond, December 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm Link to this comment

“you wanna say that there’s no good reason for a govt to keep as secret a report from the military that we have a position along the battlefield that we have insufficient troops to defend and is in need of reinforcement?”

Unfortunately, Hetero, I don’t live in the black and white, ‘High Noon’ world that you inhabit. Here are some of the reasons why I don’t believe that they keep secrets to protect US.

The Vatican

The Vatican despised godless Communism and was front and center in the ‘ratlines’ that helped Nazis escape Eastern Europe and Germany. It’s not every religious organization that can have a Nazi war hero sing its praises and acclaim it as part of the brotherhood of the gun and the bomb. In 1970 Hans-Ulrich Rudel thanked the Vatican for its aid.

‘One may otherwise view Catholicism as one wishes but what the church, especially towering personalities within the church undertook in those years (following WWII) to save the best of our nation often from certain death must never be forgotten…the Church helped many of us to go overseas. In this manner, in QUIET AND SECRECY, the demented victors’ mad craving for revenge and retribution could be effectively counteracted’.

NASA
And in certain cases the demented victors were themselves the rescuers - and the employers. Wernher von Braun who ran the Peenemunde rocket weapons project where he designed the V2 rockets that terrorized London in the last nine months of WWII, was imported into the U.S. under the ‘Paperclip’ program in which many useful Nazis made their way to the US to work for the military/industrial complex. Despite the fact that the Peenemunde facility used slave labor from the Dora concentration camp (where the workers were beaten, starved and worked to death) von Braun designed the Jupiter rocket for the US military and in 1970 was promoted to Deputy Assistant Director of planning for NASA.

Royalty

Merex (the company run by Gerhard Georg Mertins, another hero of the Third Reich who was best friends with American intelligence for over forty years) sold ninety F-86s to Pakistan but Pakistan was supposedly under a NATO arms embargo as was India because they had just had a war. But help was at hand. The Shah of Iran agreed to pretend Iran was the buyer. But it gets better: Mertins arranged for Luftwaffe officers to fly the planes to Iran. Once in Iran, Iranian pilots took over, dressed in Pakistani uniforms. They secretly delivered the goods to Islamabad. But it was no secret to some. A U.S. investigation led by Congressman Stuart Symington later concluded that, ‘Our own intelligence services knew exactly at the time that those F-86s were meant for Pakistan’.

Do you still think they’re not all in it together and playing the masses for fools?

Klaus Barbie

Klaus Barbie, best known for torturing to death the French Resistance leader, Jean Moulin and sending French Jewish children to Auschwitz, worked for US Army Intelligence. The Army helped him flee Europe when the French learned where he was. Barbie and his friend Otto Skorzeny arranged arms sales to right wing generals in South America when they settled there. They were agents for arms sales to the Peruvian and Bolivian governments and to right wing regimes in Paraguay, Chile and Spain. The money was good.

Those who worked for Mertins company Merex also remembered Mertins’ largesse when he returned from meeting with his ‘intelligence handlers’: ‘He’d come back and hand out $500 to whoever happened to be around’. Another told the author, Ken Silverstein, that Mertins, ‘Always came back from the DIA with money to spread around’.

All of this and so much more is in ‘Private Warriors’ by Ken Silverstein. A closing thought: ‘Since 1986, the executive branch has approved the sale of almost $150 billion in weapons around the globe without Congress once exercising its lawful prerogative to vote on individual deals’.

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By heterochromatic, December 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~  ’ You want a regulated internet?”~~~

again, you fail to understand and instead posit a nonsense question.

I want an internet that’s subject to same laws to which all other modes of
communication are subject…...I don’t want an internet that publishes my bank
account passwords, tapes of Sarah Palin having sex with sled dogs when such
tapes are the ones NOT made with her consent and might even be violation of
her contractual obligations to FOX, or is used as a means of facilitating
worldwide slave auctions.

~~~“I take serious issue with the idea that governments and corporations keep
things ‘secret’ for any other reason than to deceive and mislead people and to
protect and increase their power over the masses.”~~~~

take issue with it if you will, but you’re sure as hell wrong…..it’s a ludicrous
claim you’re making and you’re mistaking a single thing for the entirety of it.

you wanna say that there’s no good reason for a govt to keep as secret a report
from the military that we have a position along the battlefield that we have
insufficient troops to defend and is in need of reinforcement?

you want to publish the minutes of a meeting trying to establish a peace deal
when the meetings haven’t yet concluded?

you want to publish the names of people giving our government information
about Iranian torture of political dissidents?

names and pictures of undercover police officers?

Report this

By ardee, December 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm Link to this comment

By diamond, December 26 at 12:42 pm

Bravo!

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By diamond, December 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

“your contention that democracy can not exist without an unregulated internet simply sounds ...odd.
why MUST internet communication have unlimited immunity from law?  Newspapers and radio and television manage to function without being free of
law and somehow there was democracy before the internet ever existed.”

You want a regulated internet? Well, of course, if they do it in China and Burma, both bastions of democracy as we know, then it must be all right. Your contention that radio and newspapers are functioning is what’s really odd because anyone who has paid attention to the matter knows they haven’t actually functioned as sources of information for many, many years. They are simply an instrument of the elites to put out the messages they want people to accept and believe. Their function as a source of accurate, unbiased information ended around the time of World War I and Rupert Murdoch has simply taken it all to its logical conclusion and created a Big Brother machine called Fox News and a global disinformation machine called News Ltd.

I take serious issue with the idea that governments and corporations keep things ‘secret’ for any other reason than to deceive and mislead people and to protect and increase their power over the masses. The Nazis? Why do so many people on this site live in the 1940s as if the world has stayed trapped in a time warp? People who start wars don’t do it for the good of the people, they do it to get rich and if you think the Nazis were uniquely awful you mustn’t have paid much attention to the Bush Administration and their adventures in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. The truth is the rich and powerful use war as a means of divide and conquer, preaching at us about the bad guys, when THEY are the bad guys. Under those circumstances their addiction to secrecy and lies is completely understandable. They want to use war and technology to enslave the world. I find this somewhat alarming but you seem to think it’s fine and are more concerned about the danger Bradley Manning and Assange pose because of their belief in the truth and freedom of information. Odd, indeed.

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By Shenonymous, December 26, 2011 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

Chuckle chuckle, I’m not one to not lookout for the mistletoe! 
Thanks for the primer on banking.  I had ordered Ellen Brown,
in the meantime I’m reading her article and a few others. It is
likely we will meet again.

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By Synonymos, December 26, 2011 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

It seems the more I talk the harder it is to get this foot out of my mouth.

I shouldn’t have mentioned the credit Unions. I have an account at one myself. I’m not advocating closing that account. Having that account is much better than having an account with JP Morgan’s Chase, Wells Fargo or Bank of America. But some practices all banks have gotten used to are wrong. One of those practices is the Fractional Reserve Banking multiplier rule. That rule makes it lawful for private banks to create money. I believe that creating money is a government responsibility. Private banks should do business by simply having a good reputation with depositors by lending those funds and making sound investments for their customers. But they have morphed into an unregulated group of thugs with an attitude of profit with no moral conscience orientation at all. A credit union is by all means the lessor of these evilss because you at least have a vote. You don’t have a vote in the Gaint to big to jail bankster operated corporate money machines.

I know government is corrupt. But the only hope the average citizen has is in government for real democratic ideals. If we could wrestle Central banks out of the hands of these mafia operations we might have a chance. The average person can never fight a dictator, a king or private Banksters who operate in total secrecy. But when people stand together as they are beginning to in the Occupations we have a small chance.

I realize our conversation has taken a slightly different direction even though the banksters are very much involved in Bradley Manning’s treatment as they are behind the curtains of austerity measures which fuels the fires of revolution world wide. The banksters, I believe, instigated the wars we are in which making the wikileaks cables relevant to our conversation. The banksters are the imperial genocidal maniacs which is the essence of the debate between heterochromatic and diamond. To solve the problem the banksters must be stopped. That means people need to know who they are fighting. People like Ellen Brown are trying to educate. Please don’t let my stubling around in this conversation stop your reading “The Web of Debt.” It has answers that are valuable. I don’t want to mess that up by struggling with this extra wide size 12 foot in my mouth:?[. You will see the light if you read it.

We can continue this conversation at your pleasure. There’s plenty of time. After all we’ve been fighting these banksters since way before the American revolution—well over 250 years. They are a tireless relentless and, not to forget, a diabolical bunch. I suggest that you read the book or at least some of it first and I’ll wait for you to contact me in some future commentary.

I’ve enjoyed it.
Don’t over do New Years but enjoy. And watch out for the mistletoe—Happy New Year!

tp :?)

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By heterochromatic, December 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~  “To accept that argument is to accept that the American people
(for example) have no right to know what their government, their military and
their intelligence services are doing in their name and with their tax dollars all
over the world…” ~~~~

that’s senseless and incorrect. .... The argument is not the people have NO right
to know, it’s that the right isn’t unlimited and that the people understand this
and have granted the government the right to judge some things secret.

you rcontention is that the government must tell EVERYTHING for fear that it
will disclose nothing. It’s a lousy argument.


~~~~“The material is not classified to keep it from the ‘enemy’ (whoever that is
supposed to be) but to keep it from the people who had their tax money used
to create the information ...”~~~


This is another sweeping statement that’s insupportable…..In some cases, I
agree with it. In others, it’s simply untrue.

You think that we don’t publish the details of how we make our military
airplanes resistant to radar detection because we don’t want the taxpayers to
know?
We didn’t tell everybody paying taxes that we had decrypted Nazi coded
communications cause we hate American freedom?

your contention that democracy can not exist without an unregulated internet
simply sounds ...odd.
why MUST internet communication have unlimited immunity from law? 
Newspapers and radio and television manage to function without being free of
law and somehow there was democracy before the internet ever existed.

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By Shenonymous, December 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Just to finish this discussion off, and let the forum alone for
Bradley Manning, Matt Taibbi wrote a very good article.  I don’t
know, though, about what he said, that “Most of us wouldn’t take
a million dollars to swindle the local school system, or put our next
door neighbors out on the street…etc.”  I think more Americans
than one might imagine would take the million dollars.  That is
cynical, I know, but reading the daily newspaper is evidence.

I am aware of the virtues of state-run (owned) banks.  You describe
them well.  The problem I see with state banks is that, though they
may not have stockholders per se, and the profits, allegedly goes
back to the state to pay for its operations, administrations and
legislatures of states change as politics change and while charters
are dictated by enacted laws, different political party agendas could
affect to what programs profits from state banking are applied.  I
don’t see any equitable legislature oversight where one party might
have a majority control of all branches that would assign funds on
behalf not of the people such as what has been happening at the
federal level.  The Republican effort so strongly influences funds to
better the existence of the corporatocrats and the world of the
wealthy and don’t give a whit’s ass what poor quality lives the
lesser privileged have. 

I’m not so sure you understand the nature of credit unions well
enough.  Credit unions are even more locally controlled by its
members than states’ account holders and aren’t in any way
involved in state political affairs.  Credit unions are democratic,
member-owned cooperatives, that means members have a say in
how the credit union is run.  There are no stockholders, only a
membership elected board of directors.  Credit unions are non-profit
and exist to help people, not to make a profit. All earnings are returned
to their members in the form of high-interest savings and low rate loans. 
According to Bankrate, an aggregator of financial rate information, there
are 10 steps to starting a credit union:  Click here to see what they are.

Catalyst House website refers to the author of Web of Debt,
Ellen Brown, that Synonomos recommended, writes in an enlightening
article about state run banks and shows a map of the states that have
state-owned banks, click here.  A brief but excellently
informative article by Ellen Brown on the success of the community Bank
of North Dakota as well as links to further informa-tion may be found here.

Since New Mexico moved its state money into community banks and
credit unions, the difference or advantages of one over the other is not
clear.

In an NPR story, Arianna Huffington is seen promoting moving money
from big banks to local banks or credit unions.  She is a very wealthy
woman, and if she says move your money, it might be good advice.  See
the article here.

Surely there is another forum where we can take this up again, unless of
course we’ve run its course.  If so, then Au Revoir.

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By diamond, December 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment

“This trial is about whether a government has the right to control its communications without allowing publication and upon what criteria may the
government maintain secrecy and mandate criminal penalties for unauthorized possession and publication of classified material.”

That argument won’t fly. To accept that argument is to accept that the American people (for example) have no right to know what their government, their military and their intelligence services are doing in their name and with their tax dollars all over the world and must instead be drip fed soma by the mainstream media. The material is not classified to keep it from the ‘enemy’ (whoever that is supposed to be) but to keep it from the people who had their tax money used to create the information and the systems that store and disseminate it. Assange has understood what you do not: the future of democracy and the future of the internet are intimately connected and the first cannot exist if the other is not free to collect and spread information or is not open to the public, but is censored. Information is the lifeblood of democracy and if Assange and Manning are to be punished for defending that principle then democracy has no future.

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By heterochromatic, December 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~~~~the trial is NOT about who controls the internet.  Control of
the internet is an issue, for sure, but it’s not the issue here.

This trial is about whether a government has the right to control its
communications without allowing publication and upon what criteria may the
government maintain secrecy and mandate criminal penalties for unauthorized
possession and publication of classified material.


The form of the material and the method of publication is not central.

It’s about ownership and access ..no different than Agee publishing CIA agents’
names in a book or Hanssen passing classified material to the Russians, or
Pollard to the Israelis.


Manning, laudable motives or not, is a major criminal unless every document he
took and passed to citizens of other countries for publication was improperly
restricted ....or he was mentally defective.

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By diamond, December 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

“Let’s just agree to hope for the truth.”

You don’t seriously expect the truth to come out in this trial do you? That means you are a hopeless optimist. This trial and the whole Wikileaks ‘problem’ is about who controls the internet, the people or the elites. There’s a lot most people don’t know about the internet and how it’s set up. Assange knows it inside out and can beat them at their own game and that’s why they hate him with a crazed, mindless hatred.

‘That’s how hacking begins. You want to get past a barrier that has been erected to keep you out. Most of them have been erected for commercial reasons, to preserve profit flow, but for us it was a battle of wits too and in time we saw that many of the barriers were sinister. They were set up to limit people’s freedom, or to control the truth, which I suppose is just another kind of profit flow…Governments, of course, had computer systems at this time whose sophistication existed in direct proportion to the nation’s wealth and military might. For us the most interesting computer network was X.25, through which most countries ran their classified military computer sites. About eight hackers in the world had discovered and shared the access codes and it was just breathtaking to see how governments and corporations were working together across this kind of network…At one time, governments wanted to make cryptography illegal, except for themselves in support of their own activities. And this was preparation for how certain governments now view Wikileaks: they wish to keep the control of technology so that it might serve only itself. But this misunderstands the freedoms inscribed into the technology. We fought for it, so that powerful bodies could not merely use data to suit themselves. The whole struggle was about that and it still is about that.’

(From ‘Julian Assange: the Unauthorized Biography’, Julian Assange).

Bradley Manning is not on trial because he is a criminal, he’s on trial because he dared to release information to the public that it owned, because it had all been created with tax payer money. The US Department of Defense’s Network Information Centre is what assigns domain names, ‘the ‘.com’ or ‘.net at the end of an email address- for the entire internet. NIC also controlled the US military’s own internal defense data network, known as MILNET. NIC also published the communication protocol standards for the internet. Called RFC’s (Request for Comments) these technical specifications allowed one computer on the internet to talk to another…Perhaps most importantly NIC controlled the reverse look-up service on the internet. Whenever someone in another site across the internet, he or she typically types in the site name…the computer then translates the alphabetical name into a numerical address - the IP address. All the computers on the internet need this IP address to relay the packets of data onto the final destination computer. NIC decided how Internet computers would translate the alphabetical name into an IP address and vice versa. If you controlled NIC, you had phenomenal power on the internet. You could, for example, simply make Australia disappear. Or you could turn it into Brazil.’

(From ‘Julian Assange: the Unauthorized Biography’, Julian Assange).

This fight is a fight over military power versus citizen power and is not actually about crime at all, unless you define democracy and freedom of information, otherwise known as the truth, as a crime.

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By Synonymos, December 25, 2011 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

She:
I know I’m somewhat off subject. I just wanted to make this one point in favor of a state owned bank. Then I’ll hush about the banksters—promise:?]

The difference in a state owned bank and a credit union or other private banks is that it has no ties to individual stock holders.  It belongs to the state and/or the citizens of the state. It’s like a mini nationalized Federal Reserve bank only for the state. The assets of the state backs the operation. Credit union banks are good alternatives to those huge out of state risky investment banksters but they don’t build infrastructure with their profits. A state owned bank operates like any other bank lending to the public, other local banks and business just as the credit unions along with large and small banks. The difference is that the state bank profits go back to the state to pay the bills and add to the state. The alternative is having the state and local business rely on banks that are too big to fail who take those profits out of the state.

Another attractive feature of having a state owned bank is that there wouldn’t be the notorious million dollar bonuses for executives. There would be no risky exotic investments. It would simply be the normal state owned bank with employees having standard pay and benefits that go along with working for the state. It is simply a utility of the state.

There must be public support to establish a state owned bank because obviously it will belong to the citizens. So, it takes citizen support. Ellen Brown has a PAC for California. Check it out at her site!

The drive to establish state banks is not the ultimate goal. The goal is for our country to nationalize the Federal Reserve. State banks would put more pressure on our government to do that. At the same time states that are having problems could find relief in their own assets rather than turning to Bank of America which would ultimately destroy the state.

A good article was Published about the banksters Friday, December 23, 2011 by Rolling Stone then re-published by CommonDreams>>>>>> http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/12/23-1 <<<. It’s called:
“A Christmas Message From America’s Rich”
by Matt Taibbi

Bank—- oops I mean >>> BACK on topic—As for the defense of Bradly Manning: They need a US Senator like Mike Gravel who read over 4000 pages of the Pentagon papers into the records of Congress to do the same for some of the Manning files. If only there wasn’t so many files in the Manning leaks it would be practical. I don’t admire republicans often but Ron Paul came to his defense on the Senate floor. I believe Manning’s intention was to expose crime. But that same criminal element is in a position to punish him. The only hope he has is in his ability to get a fair trial or some kind of an intervention, both of which seems unlikely.

Ultimately, Manning is like the marine that jumped on the hand-grenade to save the rest. If he’s convicted we, the people including our soldiers, have lost our morality battle. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year She! And that goes for all you truthdiggers.
tp:?)
PS:She, I liked your Bob Dylan list the other day. I do believe I’ll play a few today….

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By heterochromatic, December 24, 2011 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment

dia~~ again, nobody wants Manning to lie. Manning’s caught and he can carry the
weight or not.

It’s not like we either of us knows what he’s likely to do or that we’re on safe
ground relying on his judgment any more than Assange or anyone can rely on
Manning’s honesty.

Let’s just agree to hope for the truth.

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By diamond, December 24, 2011 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment

“Do you doubt Assange’s claim that he never knew the
identity for any of his sources?”

No, I don’t. But that’s why they need Manning to lie that he did. Even better would be if they could get Manning to say that Assange gave him technological help to download the information. He didn’t. But it would be handy for the predators who want to lock Assange up and throw away the key if Manning said he did. But as I said, I don’t believe Manning is the kind of person who will lie for them. His actions, if in fact he did what they say, prove that he is a person of conscience.

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By Shenonymous, December 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic, Dec. 24 11:16 am – Ah yes, the double standard
which seems to be an affliction for too many of us humans, who
sees themselves as separate from and better than the rest of the
world, or if not better then as having a different set of rules. 

“Funny thing is that the cost of providing food clothing and shelter
for the troops ?isn’t so much, but all the “entitlement programs”
providing educational, health and ?other benefits make it costly.”
  You
are probably right, I can’t imagine how many people would be involved
were there a draft.  But I’d say putting weapons in their hands and at
their disposal would be quite an increase in the military budget.  No?

Time to go have some holiday, my best to everyone.  Here is something
very xmassie humorous indeed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-0WVfj76bo 
Skip the ad by clicking on it.

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By heterochromatic, December 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment

Sher~~“Well heterochromatic two things, it would solve the unemployment
problem a tad, and it would feed that many people as well.  “~~~

Funny thing is that the cost of providing food clothing and shelter for the troops
isn’t so much, but all the “entitlement programs” providing educational, health and
other benefits make it costly.

I’ve got a long-running dispute with a retired naval officer who enjoys excellent
government provided healthcare and vehemently asserts that government -provided
universal healthcare is immoral and harmful.

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By heterochromatic, December 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

Don, yes, I didn’t address your curiousity question. I’m not at all ashamed of my
thoughts or give a shit if other people don’t like them.
Please understand that my reasons for my screen name are none of your
business.


~~~~“and as a response
to your silly statements that the sons of the rich and powerful served
in Vietnam as did most of our current presidents…..bullshit ...” ~~~~

Don, if you were not so impressed with your own shit, I would ask you to point
out where it was that I stated that the sons served in Viet-nam. Pull your head out
of your ass, Don, it makes it easier to read what people actually write and
responding to THAT rather than merely spenetically sputter.

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By DonSchneider, December 24, 2011 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Heterochromatic ?, You failed to address the curiosity question , and as a response
to your silly statements that the sons of the rich and powerful served
in Vietnam as did most of our current presidents…..bullshit,  and you are showing
your ignorance did W or Cheney serve in Vietnam ...hell no… did Bill Clinton….hell
no again And yes I was drafted and served and was politically active fighting
against our participation in Eisenhower’s war of aggression in Vietnam. (see Sp4
don schneider v melvin Laird… you can google it if you like… just so you know
who you are trying to baffle with your bullshit !(you certainly didn’t dazzle me with
your brilliance!) and by the way I take it that you are not familiar with the old
adage that ...“it is oft times best to keep your mouth closed and appear a fool,
than open it and remove all doubt !”  merry christmas and happy holidays to all !

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By heterochromatic, December 24, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

Don, I ain’t an on-line warrior and was also drafted.

If you’re old enough to have been drafted you’re also old enough to know that
military service was not avoided by the rich and powerful, but was encouraged for
their sons as preparing for a life on government service.

Most of our presidents served.

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By DonSchneider, December 24, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

Heterochromatic?
        Of course I’d be happy and so would all parents of America’s Working
Poor Class” Knowing that the sons and daughters of the 2% would be as much
in harms way as the traditional bearers of this country’s war burden. Cannon
fodder would then be classless ! Now how anxious would those right wing
sunshine patriots be in committing us to a course of war if their own flesh and
blood had to pay the same price !  Now stop and use your imagination and stop
throwing about silly meaningless numbers !  We all know the gun toting
christian right is good at shooting at unarmed abortion providers but how
would they feel about committing their own offspring to a battle where the
opponent actually shot back. And now a question out of sheer curiosity, why do
so many of you on line warriors hide behind the silly avatars ? Is it that you can
say whatever you like as long as you maintain your anonymity thus hiding from
your friends and neighbors your true thoughts on matters that would shame
you if they were known to be a product of your own and not the anonymous
straw man ? hmmm just curious !

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By Shenonymous, December 24, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Well heterochromatic two things, it would solve the unemployment
problem a tad, and it would feed that many people as well.  It would
cost an American arm and a leg.  Would the Republicans like that? 
5 Nups on both counts.  Well neither would the Democrats who
would have to find ways to pay for it out of their social programs.
Could we just say LOL?

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By heterochromatic, December 24, 2011 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Don, do you remember HOW MANY people were drafted?  Do you realize that the
draft pool these days would be more than 3x as deep and that the US army would
be able to fight larger ground wars in several places simultaneously ?

You sure that you would be happy ?

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By Shenonymous, December 24, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Hello Synonymos.  Thank you for both posts.  I like the idea of
public banking, sometimes called community banks.  Better than
that, I like and have been a member of a closely regulated credit
union banking system for more than 30 years.  There are enormous
benefits to financial cooperative credit union banking not the least
of which the members actually are the owners of it.  They are not-
for-profit organizations where the members have democratic control
with one member, one vote and elect the Board of Directors who are
volunteers.  Excess earnings are divided among the members in the
form of competitive rates, additional products and services, and lower
fees.  For a brief description of the credit union movement click here
There are various credit unions that do have eligibility requirements. 
Mine is associated with the education field.  In the 30 years I’ve banked
with this credit union, I have never had a complaint for either their
system of banking nor their services.  But since everyone might not
have a field where credit unions have formed, the community bank or
public banking is the next best thing.  North Dakota is the paradigm.
To read more about the public banking system click here for the site to
get a digest of what they are and how they operate.  The public does
have the potential to affect the banking industry.  Just imagine if millions
of people made the move to credit unions or public banks.  Yeowie!  It is
staggering to even think about. 

You have convinced me to put the Ellen Brown book on the top of my
purchasing list.  I have gone around the ‘Net to see reviews and what
excepts are available, so I was already convinced it was a book to get,
but I had a few others that had priority.  They can wait and I’ll go ahead
with this one for my Happy New 2012 Orbit gift.

I’ve no idea what Assange’s options were, only he knows that.  It is an
idle exercise to project what his situation was and is.  Bradley’s hearing
is apparently over and all in the hands of the military courts.  It would be
like a hamster walking on a treadmill to imagine public voices have any
influence.  Besides there are two sides being expressed, for and against,
that the judges simply will not take into account.  They have all the
evidence, both prosecutors and defense. 

Bringing back the draft would regenerate the magnitude of protest that
happened for the Vietnam fiasco.  We certainly ought to learn from
history, though there are those who simply aren’t able to.

Peace on earth, with all my heart.  But remember, peace is only possible
if “all” are peaceful in their heart, mind, and actions.

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By DonSchneider, December 24, 2011 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

P.S.  I failed to mention that I am a drafted Veteran who supports the return to the
draft !

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By DonSchneider, December 24, 2011 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Bring back the draft and lessen the need for whistleblowers to pay such a heavy
price. A draftee makes no pledge of fidelity to the institution as does the volunteer
military person ! The draftee pledges fealty to the laws of the land the
constitution and is a loyal set of eyes and ears that will be more readily able to
speak out about misdeeds . ask Col. Shadle of Dugway Proving grounds 1970 how
that system works ! and that is the smallest of examples (and most succesful)  I
can remember. Bring back obligatory public service with NO deferments or
loopholes for the wealthy or connected ! It is worth the price to derail the
American thirst for violent interventionist strategies !

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By Synonymos, December 24, 2011 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:

Also: I’m surprised that you haven’t seen any of the cable releases. I agree that going over each file would be a tediously boring way to spend your time. That is why we have reporters and editors who do that for a living. But you can speed search the cables if you like for names, stories or titles for what you might be more interested. Most of the reading is done by reporters and other intelegent gathering experts who expose their finds through major news outlets.

I think most of the secret and classified information was only embracing info for our politicians, military, the Mafia and other so called legit business ventures. Embarrassments should not be a reason for classifying files anyway. The news media should be exposing the way we conduct ourselves in times of war. Otherwise we loose our conscience moral objectives as a free people. The secret objectives could morph into dictatorship. We ‘the people’ should be responsible for acts of war. Sometimes the only way to know what is going on with our automatic consent is for the information to surface by whistle blowers.

Have you seen “Collateral Murder”? It’s just one file, a video, that is part of the 250,000 cables. That was the breaking story that made Wikileaks popular. If that video had not been released most of us would never have heard of Wikileaks, Julian Assange or Bradley Manning. It was an instant smash internet block buster hit. It was reported or aired on all the major TV channels eventually. It got every news outlet’s attention in the world and especially here in the USA - the focal point. Julian Assange was immediately labeled a high tech terrorist by those entities and persons embarrassed the most. Most politicians and foreign diplomats were red faced after the next major release.

Now all the files have been released because of a security breach which was a password exposed by a reporter who worked for “The Globe” in his unauthorized version of Julian Assanges life story. The password was confidential information that could have unlocked all the files. So, the only option Assange felt he had was to release all his whistle blowers files. Everything is on the internet now and that is significantly more than 250,000 files exposed by what Bradley Manning initially released.

later
tp:?)
PS:Christmas eve gift!

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By Synonymos, December 24, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous:?)
You got the right person. Synonymos is the same as terry p or tp. I submitted my comment before I signed in. knowing that it would take several hours if not an entire day for my comment to be posted I signed in and copied my comment for a quicker post. I later ended up with two identical posts. I’m usually in no hurry to post my comment but I wanted to answer a little quicker this time since I was responding to you, a person, instead of what seems like a brick wall!

You know that I’m not an economist. You are giving me more credit than I deserve. I’ve read a few articles and a few books on the subject. I’m not completely ignorant about it. But as time passes I forget so ignorance is relative.

The book I keep pushing “The Web of Debt” was made simple by Ellen Brown.  In her research she found that the “The Wizzard of Oz” by Frank Baum was a satire about banks and the monetary system. During the late 1890’s there was a debate going on about Gold. There was a depression. Revolution was in the air. An awakening was happening much like the wall street occupations spreading across the country recently. Everybody was talking. Those debates lead to the privatization of our central banking system in 1913 by the Federal Reserve Act. It was the wrong direction. Anyway, Ellen Brown points out that the yellow brick road represented the gold argument. The silver slippers represented fiat money like the green backs. The economy, creating jobs, gold and greenbacks were topics. Sound familiar? Each Character represented some player in real life like the wizard of oz who resided in emerald city (NYC Wall Street) was the sly banksters. The tin man was the under paid immigrant workers. Back then the debate was raging across the country. Almost every person had some idea of what was happening. Baum was pointing out that we the people had the power all along which is all the resources we needed to solve the problems by clicking Dorothy’s heals. The Banksters won in the end using the same tired relentless argument that money must be backed by gold and the government don’t belong in the banking business. Woodrow Wilson later lamented that he gave our country away when he signed it into law.

You should treat yourself to the book. Central Banking is the most important issue in the country and I think in the world now. The problem is getting enough people to learn about the banksters. Ellen Brown is also the founder of “Public Banking Institute” >  http://publicbankinginstitute.org/  < She has said and I believe that we should Nationalizing the Federal Reserve. But, she also pointed out and I agree that there are powerful interest, obviously, making that impossible. But, thanks to Ellen Brown, several states are considering a State Owned Central bank. North Dakota has had one since 1923.

State owned banks will be small steps in the right direction. There is even a proposal in San Francisco to have a City publicly owned banking system which would keep the profits out of the hands of Banks like Bank of America. California among several other states are considering the same. Eventually, this will resonate with the people and the Feds will be nationalized hopefully one day. That will be the day of our new independence.

I think finally we will have a people owned Central Banking system and that is what I think we need to get the people back to work and rejuvenate our country and the pride that goes with it. If you read that book I think you would find it very interesting and who knows you might convince someone else to read it and so on. I’ve loaned out my paper back to many people. But if you don’t read the book you can learn a lot at the website. They have a comment forum too and a debate called Gold Bugs vrs Brownians. You can join in if you want like here at Truthdig.

later:?]
tp

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By Shenonymous, December 23, 2011 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Hello terryp - December 23 at 7:10 am Did I reply to the wrong
e-person?  I apologize Please take my response to Synonymos, then,
as a response to you or now as Vinnie Barbarino would say…“I’m
confused!”  Nevertheless, I thank you for the information.

As to your reply “If you have paid just a little attention to the leaks
you would see that most cover ups that are leaked were not a threat
to our National Security but an embarrassment of the way we operate
and treat the world around us for profit. There are many brave soldiers
who disagree with those ways. I simply think they should speak up if
something immoral is being done in yours and my name.

I have not read even one of the Manning leaked documents.  I’ve no
access to them.  Are they, all 250,000 plus or minus, available online? 
I don’t really want to read them, that’salotareading and my guess boring. 
I’ll leave it up to those with an inordinate curiosity who want to spend
their life assessing each and every one and/or our fallible guvamint.  If
it is only that most cover ups leaked were not a threat to our National
Security, I was only ‘distantly’ interested in those that were, distantly
since that is the location to which I, an ordinary citizen who is not
involved in the echelons of politics, am relegated.

A good next revolution around the sun to you too.  Seems to me that
new years ought to start with the winter solstice.

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By Shenonymous, December 23, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Greetings to you too Synonymos, happy solstice.  2012 promises
to be a very interesting entry in the history books, more so than
this year has been.  Who says we aren’t living in amazing times? 
Best and worst. 

This forum seems to have taken a turn away from its topic of Pvt.
Manning.  I wish the young man only the best of outcomes.  Perhaps
it would be better to try to navigate to some other one?  I’ll make this
my last post on this subject here and look forward to possibly take up
this discussion again elsewhere.

Thank you for the succinct history of money and for giving your
opinion of GATA which looks on the surface that it is about “expose,
oppose, and litigate against collusion to control the price and supply
of gold and related financial instruments” as they claim.  I suspect the
bankers have the world by its yingyang.  What do you, in your insightful
understanding, propose be done?  Individuals are rather hobbled to act
against the Money Goliaths.  It is said that the gold standard failed not
because nations printed more gold-backed paper promissory notes but
because they printed more than they had in gold reserves, thereby
committing fraud.  Isn’t that precisely what the US and other countries
are currently being accused of doing?  Thanks to electronic personal
electronic media, we, the usually ignorant public, have now become
alert to the fact that nations that don’t produce much but have high
consumption have gone bust or nearly gone bust, i.e., Greece, Italy, etc. 
Of course, Watson, the elementary solution would be to import less and
export more to correct the lopside but if there is no setup to “produce”
more, then that principle is vacant.  I don’t pretend to be very savvy on
the mechanisms of free markets vs regulated. 

Education in economics has been scant on my transcripts and I’ve been
trying to fill it with all that is now available on the ‘Net and in the new
economics literature being published.  But there are so many partisans
that it is I think impossible to get “objective truth.”  I like Paul Krugman
and Tom Friedman less.  They seem on different sides of the economic
spectrum.  The other egghead economists are unknowns to me and seem
exactly like eggheads.  Who in the nightcreep of economic theory they
criticize and whom they extol are strangers to the rest of us in the hoi
polloi.  So I appreciate it when the likes of you take the generous time to
try to explain in plain language what I intuitively know is complex even
though solutions often sound simple.  There is an almost imperceptibly
long line of premises that lead to any conclusions.

It would seem there truthfully is not enough gold to use as a “gold”
standard, especially as new nations come into the world marketplace
and their people more and more become consumers of products not
produced within their own borders.  Gold has to be dug out of the
ground.  Whether that is a virtue or a failure as Brown contends is
not an argument most people are equipped with enough accurate
information to decide. 

Is it true that the power of governments to print money more or less
out of thin air, with nothing of value to back it up, will always fall
into corruption?  How can the power of corrupt bankers and corrupt
politicians not simply be suppressed but annihilated altogether for
that seems to be the final solution?  Is it even possible? There are an
unending cache of questions the answers about which I, and too many
like myself, sorely need to become enlightened.  We lump along best we
can.  And we are of the 99%.

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By Synonymos, December 23, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

Comment #12345 by terry p on 12/23 at 7:03 am

By Shenonymous, December 22 at 2:04 pm
Hello:?/

You asked me to take a look at http://www.gata.org/ to comment on what they are up to. I did. I have nothing against breaking up monopolies, especially the Feds! However, I get the distinct notion that the GATA is under the impression that money should be backed up by gold. Their primary function is to make sure the price of gold isn’t manipulated.

Have you ever wondered why with all the ability we have, we can’t just produce what ever we need? Why can’t we take care of all the peoples health? We have all the knowledge and ability. It is possible. We have the able workers & resources. What’s the problem? It is the way we use money to represent our labor. The Banksters say it must be backed up by Gold. That is wrong simply because there isn’t enough gold.

During the Renaissance in Europe they used the Tally system. Business boomed for everybody. But, the banksters sold the idea of trading gold for goods. Vaults were then filled and banks became rich. They issued paper receipts for deposits. Receipts became money. The term ‘backed by gold’ was established. the Talley system became history. Eventually, these banksters held the powers to control the economies of the world wide. Imperialism expanded like wild fire.

It is easy to see why the Feds(a private cartel of 12 central banks) keeps the inventory of its gold secret.  They establish Free Trade Agreements, while establishing the International Monetary Fund, demanding austerity measures to keep prices low and labor on demand. They can actually cause depression for their own investment rewards as they buy up these little country infrastructures and basically enslave populations.

GATA would not be needed if we, The People, owned the Feds as we did before 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was perpetrated on the American People. The fed has the Constitutional power to create money. The Federal Reserve could coin the money we need to operate our infrastructure just as President Lincoln did during the Civil War to finance the Union military and to build a rail road to supply the military. Abe Lincoln’s issuance of the Greenback kick started the American Industrial Revolution while the bank of England was offer a loan @ 30% interest rate.

The problem with money backed up by gold is that there simply isn’t enough gold. When imports inter our country from say China or India our gold leaves. Industry becomes depressed. Jobs are lost. With no money to operate business depression and recession keeps happening regularly. Only the Banksters thrive in these situations as they gain possession of the real assets like the family farm, other real estate and/or assets .

The gold standard is what Ellen Brown labeled as a “Humbug”(a term not used much any more but means ‘fraud’). Gold Standard vs Greenbacks is an old debate. But the debate, like politicians are funded by the deep pockets of the Corporations and the Banksters. So, we get trickle down information or propaganda.

About my occupy the army statement: I believe our army should be used to defend our country but it is being used for Wall Street conquest instead. Millions of innocent peopoe suffer as a result. If you have paid just a little attention to the leaks you would see that most cover ups that are leaked were not a threat to our National Security but an embarrassment of the way we operate and treat the world around us for profit. There are many brave soldiers who disagree with those ways. I simply think they should speak up if something immoral is being done in yours and my name.

Thanks for respondingK—- and Seasons Greetings!

tp:?)

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By terry p, December 23, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Shenonymous, December 22 at 2:04 pm
Hello:?/

You asked me to take a look at http://www.gata.org/ to comment on what they are up to. I did. I have nothing against breaking up monopolies, especially the Feds! However, I get the distinct notion that the GATA is under the impression that money should be backed up by gold. Their primary function is to make sure the price of gold isn’t manipulated.

Have you ever wondered why with all the ability we have, we can’t just produce what ever we need? Why can’t we take care of all the peoples health? We have all the knowledge and ability. It is possible. We have the able workers & resources. What’s the problem? It is the way we use money to represent our labor. The Banksters say it must be backed up by Gold. That is wrong simply because there isn’t enough gold.

During the Renaissance in Europe they used the Tally system. Business boomed for everybody. But, the banksters sold the idea of trading gold for goods. Vaults were then filled and banks became rich. They issued paper receipts for deposits. Receipts became money. The term ‘backed by gold’ was established. the Talley system became history. Eventually, these banksters held the powers to control all the economies of the world. Imperialism expanded like wild fire.

It is easy to see why the Feds(a private cartel of 12 central banks) keeps the inventory of its gold secret.  They establish Free Trade Agreements, while establishing the International Monetary Fund, demanding austerity measures to keep prices low and labor on demand. They can actually cause depression for their own investment rewards as they buy up these little country infrastructures and basically enslave populations.

GATA would not be needed if we, The People, owned the Feds as we did before 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was perpetrated on the American People. The fed has the Constitutional power to create money. The Federal Reserve could coin the money we need to operate our infrastructure just as President Lincoln did during the Civil War to finance the Union military and to build a rail road to supply the military. Abe Lincoln’s issuance of the Greenback kick started the American Industrial Revolution while the bank of England was offer a loan @ 30% interest rate.

The problem with money backed up by gold is that there simply isn’t enough gold. When imports inter our country from say China or India our gold leaves. Industry becomes depressed. Jobs are lost. With no money to operate business depression and recession keeps happening regularly. Only the Banksters thrive in these situations as they gain possession of the real assets like the family farm, other real estate and/or assets .

The gold standard is what Ellen Brown labeled as a “Humbug”(a term not used much any more but means ‘fraud’). Gold Standard vs Greenbacks is an old debate. But the debate, like politicians are funded by the deep pockets of the Corporations and the Banksters. So, we get trickle down information or propaganda.

About my occupy the army statement: I believe our army should be used to defend our country but it is being used for Wall Street conquest instead. Millions of innocent peopoe suffer as a result. If you have paid just a little attention to the leaks you would see that most cover ups that are leaked were not a threat to our National Security but an embarrassment of the way we operate and treat the world around us for profit. There are many brave soldiers who disagree with those ways. I simply think they should speak up if something immoral is being done in yours and my name.

Thanks for respondingK—- and Seasons Greetings!

tp:?)

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By IMax, December 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment

I resolve to add to the many voices of realism with a sense of centered moderation. I’ll continue asking the fundamental questions which tend to make some people uncomfortable.

I resolve to remind those who need reminding there are nearly 200 nations on earth. Within each of these proud nations live many people. These are not abstract “thought exercises” but, rather, real and breathing human-beings who act like, well, human-beings. None more or less than another.

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By gerard, December 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

New Year Resolution:  From now on I intend not respond to comments from “drones” (programmed missiles directed from headquarters somewhere in the intellectual desert of right wing politics)—not because you have “won” but because you have bored me to death.

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By IMax, December 22, 2011 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, December 22 at 7:50 am

In many respects we are agreed.

Criticism and introspection is always important. As with any nation the U.S. deserves its tough criticisms. They are plenty.

Yes, the world is an extremely dangerous place. There are people living everywhere, for Christ’s sake. It’s not possible, if one wishes to stay alive, to throw open the doors to all secrets.

Corruption, greed, nationalism, arrogance, militarism, pride, feudalism, kindness, sympathy and love for one’s Mother is found on every nation on earth. It is ludicrously myopic and horrible arrogant to single out the U.S. as particularly egregious or evil.

Put an end to U.S. power? China will be glad to step right up. Put an end to China? Russia or Turkey will step up. Put an end to Turkey? India and Pakistan will have it. How do we know, beyond all doubt, this is true? There are people living at those places.

-

gerard,

Just under 200 nations make up this world. Roughly 160 of those nations look toward the U.S., Britain, and France to keep their perceived enemies at bay. Have a problem with the U.S.? Take a stab at solving them with the world’s realities in mind.

-

Hero v Danger to others.

A Pvt in the armed forces does not, and should not, hold the right to flood the world with protected diplomatic and military secrets. It matters not one bit which nation Manning happened to serve. He would be rightfully, even painfully, punished. He would be dead already in most countries.

True examples of bravery are those in the military who step forward to speak up on all questionable military conduct. Abu Ghraib and Fallujah come to mind. Dangerous stupidity comes from releasing mountains of battlefield observations to one’s enemies while soldiers remain on that field.

Disagree with policy. Shout it out as loud as you can directly in front of the White House. Just don’t go out of your way to harm, impede, or kill your own soldiers or diplomats. You have ZERO right to do that.

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By heterochromatic, December 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

diamond~~~~so they need Manning to lie so that they
can try to charge Assange under the 1917 Espionage
Act…~~~

1) much as it might grieve you to hear it, there’s no
reason to think that anyone wants Manning to tell
lies.

his unsupported testimony wouldn’t be sufficient to
bring a case against Assange to trial, let alone
secure a conviction.

2) what makes you think that Manning has any
information that ties him to direct contact with
Assange?
Do you doubt Assange’s claim that he never knew the
identity for any of his sources?

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By Shenonymous, December 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Synonymos, Dec. 22 9:28 am, I did indeed take a look at
Brown’s Web of Debt.  I have 121 books on my saved to
buy later, and it is among them, besides there are 293 on my
Wish List.  I’m afraid I have to be satisfied at the moment reading
what a Look Inside or a sampling from Google Books will give me. 
From what I can gather from the reviews and from the pages I can
access, Brown presents a fairly good assessment of the money
system with an overwhelming number of positive reviews.  The
critics, however, also seem to have some good points.  I am
continuing to read what I can gather off the ‘Net.  In the meantime,
you might take a look at http://www.gata.org/ about the Gold Anti-
Trust Action Committee and their website and tell us what you think
of what they are up to.

Also my comment on “What we need now is a few thousand military
wikileakers with the same kind of guts &/or balls as Assange and
Manning!”
:  And with the same consequences of being arrested,
jailed, and prosecuted as they will indubitably be?  I highly suspect this
is not a promising solution.  And Occupy the Military?  LOL Oh…yeah! 
ROTFLMAO

berniem, you can’t think for a moment the President reads Truthdig, do
you?  In any event,  he doesn’t have anything to do with courts-marshal
trials even if he is Commander-in-Chief.  He may, though, be petitioned
for a Request for Pardon.  As a final measure of appeal, a convicted
service member may also petition the President of the United States for a
reprieve or pardon under the Constitutional authority granted in Article
II, Section 2 (see reference here).

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By John Poole, December 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Manning joined the Army. He agreed to play by the “rules”. He broke the rules
and now his employer gets to punish him. No one forced him to join the Army-
quite different from my time when we were drafted. He inadvertently viewed what
he saw was a war crime and leaked it. He should have stopped there- as noted by
many on this site. His fate is now in the hands of his employer and the fine print
of his contract.

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By berniem, December 22, 2011 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

Be advised Mr. POTUS: If this young man is persecuted any longer and if those who have been responsible for the deplorable treatment he has received are not properly punished you best not count on my or many, many others’ votes come next Nov. This also goes for that pipeline from Canada and those provisions in the Defense Reauthorization Act. But, hey, you haven’t really done much of anything in the last three years so why should we fool ourselves now into believing that you’ll do anymore than you did in ‘08, viz, sling alot of BS!

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By diamond, December 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

“manning is not evn going to draw much a sentence if
he accepts the offer to plead out and co-operate.”

You mean if he tells the lies they want him to tell about Assange. I don’t think he’s the kind of person who will do that. Assange is protected under the First Amendment as a journalist or a publisher so they need Manning to lie so that they can try to charge Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act: the one they used to lock the poet E.E. Cummings up because he refused to say during the First World War that he hated Germans. They’ve locked a lot of innocent people up under that act, but it’s very difficult to lock up journalists or publishers who are carrying out their duty to inform the public and practicing freedom of speech and freedom of information.

Manning is more in the situation of Daniel Ellsberg who was an analyst, but even in that case the judge threw it out because he said the public was entitled to the information Ellsberg had supplied. But, of course, there’s no truer saying than that a military trial is to justice as military music is to music. In other words, don’t expect justice.

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By heterochromatic, December 22, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment

gerard~~~  6. Those of us who continue to point out the discrepancies between
what the U.S. promises and what it delivers are trying to hold to the Constitution
and to best practices under that Constitution.  There is no way to do this without
criticizing what is wrong and trying to make it right. The right to promote this
criticism and reform is guaranteed by that very Constitution.~~~~~


criticism is good and necessary, probably vital.

unreasonable, overblown and poor criticism isn’t very good, maybe even
harmful….

some folks are critical of the way the country conducts foreign relations and
insist that the US withdraw to its national border, severing all alliances and all
membership in international bodies. they argue that the US is a Christian nation
and that allowing immigration and offering citizenship to people strongly
committed to different religions and law systems other than our own is harmful
to our fidelity to the Constitution.

You want to laud their efforts and say that their stance is a vital service?

You want to praise the concerned and loving citizens who, on our behalf, work
tirelessly to insure that every woman entering an abortion clinic is confronted and
that every abortion clinic is shut down.

You wish to thank them for their heroic resistance to the wanton slaughter of
innocent life and congratulate them on refusing to follow the immoral laws that
allow these murders?

Or do you want to suggest that criticism and activism doesn’t justify just any old
kind of shit even when the morally superior souls who burn down those clinics
because they speak for all of humanity, not just 99%, refuse to compromise?

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By Synonymos, December 22, 2011 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

by terry p on 12/22 at 9:22 am

What we need now is a few thousand military wikileakers with the same kind of guts &/or balls as Assange and Manning!

Occupy the Military!

tp:?)

PS: She - did you like “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown?

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By terry p, December 22, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we need now is a few thousand military wikileakers with the same kind of guts &/or balls as Assange and Manning!

Occupy the Military!

tp:?)

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By surfnow, December 22, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

My point is I don’t give a rat’s ass about DADT ,for the simple reason it doesn’t create jobs, improve the economy, improve the environment or give us universal healthcare. It is just the type of non-issues that today’s liberals like the Clintons and Obama focus on- because they are safe.

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By Shenonymous, December 22, 2011 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Definitely for repealing DADT!  It is a ridiculous rule.  Furthermore,
since it has been cancelled the military has not gone to hell!  And
no, I am not gay.  There are non-gays who see into the absurdity of
these anti-human, anti-democratic efforts by the bigots.

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By gerard, December 22, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

It is difficult to argue that one country is “better than” or “worse than” another, considering all the variables. But there are reasons why the U.S. “takes it in the neck” worldwide much of the time:
  1. The U.S. continually makes the point that we are not only different, but “better than” others. We are richer, more free, more generous, and usually more right no matter what the cause. All this in spite of considerable evidence to the contrary.
  2. We use vast resources trying to prove and hold that superiority, economically, morally, militarily, historically, etc.
  3. This sense of superiority tends to prevent our making needed changes and/or admitting mistakes, which in turn prevents improvement and courts disaster. It also tends to prevent us from treating others as equals.
  4. None of this traditional behavior is admired by the rest of the world, and in cases like war and the suppression of minorities, poor people, and the dominance of money-power—all these cause people to harbor feelings of envy, hatred and desire for revenge.
  5. This has not always been true, but is currently rampant.  People who have studied history and people who have spent time outside the U.S. realize that the image the U.S. projects is false to, and destructive of, the stated and promised ideals of the U.S.democratic government.
  6. Those of us who continue to point out the discrepancies between what the U.S. promises and what it delivers are trying to hold to the Constitution and to best practices under that Constitution.  There is no way to do this without criticizing what is wrong and trying to make it right. The right to promote this criticism and reform is guaranteed by that very Constitution. Nobody likes to do it, but otherwise the country will fail.
  7. Criticism is never easy, either for the criticizer or the criticized. But—people who are halfway smart do not push it aside without careful consideration of its value, and acting on the basis of its value.  To imprison people for offering criticism is a sign of weakness, not strength.

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By heterochromatic, December 22, 2011 at 9:35 am Link to this comment

surf~~~~“Both sets of documents proved once again that
the only threats to national security are those from
our own government.”~~~~

simply put, no.

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By surfnow, December 22, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

All governments, like most individuals, indeed lie. But there are huge disparities in the degree and what is behind the lying. Since WWII, Amerika has lied more and more, and increasingly the lies have been to perpetuate war -not for our protection or national security- but for profit. You like the Clintons and Obama are the new “liberals”- all for repealing DADT and immigration reform but have no problem in conducting endless war. Such liberals are either sociopathic and don’t care or through powers of rationization have ” convinced” themselves that invading Iraq was actually protecting Americans at home.

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By Shenonymous, December 22, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

The reality is that all governments lie, but the further reality is
to recognize that there is a purpose for lies.  In a world that is
fraught with aggressors, including those factions in the US,
dealings with other governments are sometimes tenuous at best. 
It is for many too much to measure to what depth negotiations must
reach by the various statesmen/women to avoid war or to squelch it
if it does happen.  There is information that must be kept confidential
for treaties and agreements to even formulate.  And there are valid
reasons to respond to aggressors.  The people of a nation expect to be
kept safe.  Go ahead make a case against the United States and criticism
is useful to keep morality in the equation, but it is no more aggressive
and a lot less than more than a few other sovereign states who presents
the real potential problem of mass destruction.

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By surfnow, December 22, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

hetero…:
Like Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers, Manning’s leaked documents proved yet again how Amerika continually lies us into unncessary, immoral wars for profit and political gain. Manning’s documents, like Ellsbergs, showed how our government continually lied not only on the lack of any real threats our ” enemies” presented to us to warrant war, but continually lied about our ” progress” there and the costs- both in revenue and lives.Both sets of documents proved once again that the only threats to national security are those from our own government.And anyone who believes otherwise, must also believe that our military is in the Middle East ” to protect our freedoms here.”

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By sallysense, December 22, 2011 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

according to david coombs… bradley manning’s defense attorney…

the defense witness list had originally included 48 people…
but the government objected to all but 10 of them…
and those 10 are the 10 that the government wanted testimony from also…
the government’s claim that it’s too costly and troublesome to bring in 38 of the witnesses defies common sense and logic…
the defense has filed a memorandum with the military on ‘witness justification’...
(the government granted the defense those 10 and 2 of the remaining 38 witnesses… the government had 20 witnesses testify)...
...
according to chat logs…

bradley manning was told to help in the arrest of people who had written about the corruption in government in middle east and iraq…
previous similar scenarios had led to war crimes of torture after those arrested were turned over to their country’s military…
bradley manning voiced his concern to his superiors and was told to be quiet and do his job…
...
according to the collateral damage video allegedly released by bradley manning…
it shows war crimes of innocent civilians massacred…
...
(bradley manning was not complicit towards the instigation or coverup of war crimes)... the truth was exposed…
...
from the Army Field Manual THE LAW OF LAND WARFARE (INCL C-1):
Section I. REMEDIES AND REPRISALS
495. Remedies of Injured Belligerent

In the event of violation of the law of war, the injured party may legally resort to remedial action of the following types:
a. Publication of the facts, with a view to influencing public opinion against the offending belligerent.
...
Section II. CRIMES UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
499. War Crimes

The term “war crime” is the technical expression for a violation of the law of war by any person or persons, military or civilian. Every violation of the law of war is a war crime.

500. Conspiracy, Incitement, Attempts, and Complicity
Conspiracy, direct incitement, and attempts to commit, as well as complicity in the commission of, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes are punishable.
...
http://bradleymanning.org

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By rumblingspire, December 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

may we all strive to be as brave as Pvt. Bradley Manning.

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By heterochromatic, December 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

excellent points gerard. 

the existence of negligence means never having to say you’re sorry for deliberately
committing crimes.

and reporting that classified documents have been found is exactly the same as
printing the entire content of classified documents.

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By gerard, December 21, 2011 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

At this point we need to be urgently reminded that a large number of “classified” documents have just been found by the New York Times in a DUMP in Baghdad. SO ... how carefully were they guarded?  How secret were they?  Is anyone at the NYT going to stand trial for finding them?  And who dumped them in the first place, if they were important enough to be marked “classified”?  And how important is that?
Who was guarding the dump—or not, as the case may be?  And are his/her gender issues relevant?  To whom, and why?  Could we possibly prosecute the person who made the lock on the gate to the dump—if any?  And what is his/her orientation?  And so forth and so on.

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By terry p, December 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

David J. Cyr, you are absolutely right that the wrong people are on trial here.

Bush, for example, lied us into Iraq but nothing was done to bring justice on him.

Because of his so called Patriot Act we now have two possible acts of congress that will supposedly protect us by taking our internet freedoms away. They are SOPA(Stop Internet Piracy Act) and PROTECT IP Act. The vote is coming up this week. To help call Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor and ask them to reign in Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith? 

Speaker John Boehner: (202) 225-6205

Majority Leader Eric Cantor: (202) 225-2815

Also, because of the patriot act we’ve lost habeus Corpus among other protections for the people of ‘our’ country. I don’t like the idea that the president can imprison any body without due process any where especially in my own country. We now have NDAA(National Defense Authorization Act) which is just a reminder of what we already had perpetrated on us by Bushit.

Bushit actually exposed a covert CIA agent Valery Plame for to punish her husband Joseph Wilson for exposing a lie about weapons of mass destruction used to take us to war. Remember the yellow cake lies?

Because of Bushit we have a private mercenary army as large as our regular army. I doubt that army will ever pull out of Iraq.

Because of Bushit we have drones killing people all over the globe and now US citizens may have one visiting their next funeral or wedding because of NDAA.

Bush should be on trial not Manning who exposed some of Bushits war crimes of the last 10 year episodes which were entirely criminal costing millions of lives ransacking untold historical artifacts and national treasures. Trillions of our tax money has been shoveled into these wars for the ultimate profit for Wall Street Banksters whose proverbial word ‘austerity’ strikes nerves of devastated world communities with deafening tones ringing across the globe within the hearing of starving people while stealing their resources and ability to grow their own food.

And that is just Bushit. George W Obama is just as bad if not worse.

IMax, you need to wake up and smell the liberal roses. We need extroverts such as your self to infiltrate the websites of the Right wingers and heckle them for a while:?)

Manning and Assange are heroes. Bushit is a descendent of banksters with a silver spoon lodged up his ass. He’s IMax’s hero. G W Obama is disappointing and probably the reason IMax wears a white hood upon occasions.

Read “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown for a little insight!

tp :?]

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By heterochromatic, December 21, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

gerard——” Desire for revenge and self-satisfaction are common American
character traits, sad to say.”

human traits, g, human.

saying that they’re particularly American traits is kinda fishy, unless perhaps
you’re suggesting that Americans are more human than everyone else.

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By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

gerard,

I completely reject your premise that the United States stands apart from all others when it comes to human traits and behaviors.`I believe you see certain traits as “American” due to having never taken the time to look at others as much as you train your focus on the United States.

There will always be small and large nations. There will always be nations more powerful than another. Which nation, which people, do you choose to take the place now occupied by the United States?

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By Dr Bones, December 21, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unlike Papa Bush who as VP sold weapon to terrorist in the Iran/Contra deal, Manning only revealed war crimes and documents that probably never should have been classified.  The truth will set the world free.

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By Shenonymous, December 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

It didn’t take long for Godwin to show up!

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By objective observer, December 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

iviewit:

wow.  telling someone to leave his/her country because they disagree with your opinion.  and the gall of the left wing to call others “nazis” and such.  wow.  you have shown your true colors.  if Mnning is found guilty, he will spend the rest of his life in prison.  then one of his supporters can run for president and pardon him.  otherwise, justice is served.

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By BigIslandDave, December 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Manning is a hero, like Ellsberg. Obama is a war criminal, like Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld, et al.

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By John Poole, December 21, 2011 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A sidenote: Ambassador Cretz is back in Libya. I met him while visiting my son
who was the ARSO in Tripoli. I was impressed with his keen intelligence, humor
and outlook. Wikileaks cables temporarily derailed his career but once Saddam fell
the State Department saw Cretz as an unusual ambassador. In an odd way the
leaked cables have worked out well for a professional foreign service fellow who
was being keelhauled by the ship of State for his candid appraisal of the Libyan
ruler.

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By heterochromatic, December 21, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

surf~~~~ had he leaked only that video, things would be viewed entirely
differently.

you want to put up the number of documents that Manning took and had
released…without ever even reading?

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By gerard, December 21, 2011 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

Desire for revenge and self-satisfaction are common American character traits, sad to say. Not that others don’t have the same flaws, but considering history, these flaws (along with a drive for military and financial power) have led Americans far down the path to self-destruction. Democracy is an absolute shambles and efforts at correction are seen as treason.

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By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

surfnow,

The ‘Right Wingers’ typically seen here have yet to post their opinions. Wait a bit and we’ll all see those opinions too.

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By surfnow, December 21, 2011 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

First of all, how many of you right wing military nuts have even seen the video, Manning leaked? The only ” secret”  revealed in it was actual proof of war-crimes and atrocities being committed by our military. And the only ” security” that violated is for the future profits of the Amerikan Military Industrial Complex.

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By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

grokker,

You seem agitated by how I do not see things your way. It never occurred to me that you are somehow inferior. In my mind you only view the world differently.

Your sense of inferiority comes from within.

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By Dr Bones, December 21, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is someone who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.  Perhaps Obama can give him his.

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By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

caped amigo,

Yes, Manning is a hero, comparatively speaking, to a small handful of people. Bradly will likely have many years to himself to reflect on his heroism.

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By grokker, December 21, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

“The majority of people, particularly those living in representative democracies and republics, understand the United States is not the cause of the world’s ills.”

Hilarious, Imax! There you go again, the arbiter of what the rest of the world thinks or what the American public thinks or that people that view things in a minority sense are somehow inferior. You must be the poster boy for conformity, eh?

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By David J. Cyr, December 21, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Nothing makes a person’s (or nation’s) depravity more transparently evident than the use of legal technicality arguments in defense of perpetuation of criminal wars, and/or for prosecution of conscientious war resisters.

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By IMax, December 21, 2011 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

surfnow,

Clearly you are very passionate about this.

The majority of people, particularly those living in representative democracies and republics, understand the United States is not the cause of the world’s ills.

I don’t know what to tell you. With so few seeing the world as you see it there is little to be done.

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By heterochromatic, December 21, 2011 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

surfnow~~~  “Soldiers do not have a higher duty than to their orders?”~~~~

That “higher duty” contention has to rest on solid ground…..it’s not enough to say
“higher duty” as a defense for doing whatever you wish to do.

If Manning can prove that he was disobeying orders because they were illegal, let
it be done.
However Manning wasn’t really disobeying illegal orders he acted after deciding
that all the classified information of the US should not be secret.
He’s going to have a difficult time proving that all of what he he took was properly
taken.

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By grokker, December 21, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

If Manning is a possible death sentence candidate, why not put to death the psychopathic soldiers that kill children and dogs, dismember them, and parade their body parts around on their vehicles, all the while photographing the fun. Oh, I see, those mental defectives were under the strain of war and not mentally defective before even signing on to the military. How can anyone here justify war atrocities by pretending they don’t happen and then making absurd rules stating that we don’t talk about them ever in any format? David Cyr is correct - “The American people should be on trial, not Bradley Manning.”

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By caped amigo, December 21, 2011 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Bradley Manning is a hero. That he was torn between his moral sense of justice
and the savagery of war is no surprise. That he had the courage to speak out
makes him a noble human being.
Sure, the men who perpetrated the murder of innocent men in the name of war
are an isolated bunch of thugs no different than their KKK brethren, but they are
the ones who should be standing trial. Not Manning for he is a hero.
I’ve long ago given up any hope of being proud of our American governance. I’m
clinging to the hope for humanity and Mr. Manning gives me inspiration.
Thank you Amy for the column.

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By surfnow, December 21, 2011 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

imax and edwardellis:
And all the other military apologists- according to you then the court’s findings at Nuremburg were total bull. Soldiers do not have a higher duty than to their orders?  Are you friggin kiddin? That’s where Amerika is now- ” I was just following orders”  is the order of the day in our armed forces. I think you belong on a different website- try O’Reilly, Hannity or Limbaugh.

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By surfnow, December 21, 2011 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Ironic, isn’t it- and all the while our armed forces everywhere are ” fighting to protect our freedom.”

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