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Supreme Court Likely to Endorse Obama’s War on Whistle-Blowers

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Posted on Mar 12, 2012
AP / Patrick Semansky

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted into a courthouse for a military hearing.

By Chris Hedges

This revised version of the column published earlier this week clarifies some facts related to the history of the Espionage Act. Several sentences in the original article have been changed or deleted. The act had been used against whistle-blowers only three times before President Obama took office but many times in other espionage cases.

Totalitarian systems disempower an unsuspecting population by gradually making legal what was once illegal. They incrementally corrupt and distort law to exclusively serve the goals of the inner sanctums of power and strip protection from the citizen. Law soon becomes the primary tool to advance the crimes of the elite and punish those who tell the truth. The state saturates the airwaves with official propaganda to replace news. Fear, and finally terror, creates an intellectual and moral void.

We have very little space left to maneuver. The iron doors of the corporate state are slamming shut. And a conviction of Bradley Manning, or any of the five others charged by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act of 1917 with passing government secrets to the press, would effectively terminate public knowledge of the internal workings of the corporate state. What we live under cannot be called democracy. What we will live under if the Supreme Court upholds the use of the Espionage Act to punish those who expose war crimes and state lies will be a species of corporate fascism. And this closed society is, perhaps, only a few weeks or months away.

Few other Americans are as acutely aware of our descent into corporate totalitarianism as Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 to The New York Times and is one of Manning’s most ardent and vocal defenders. Ellsberg, who was charged under the Espionage Act, faced 12 felony counts and a possible sentence of 115 years. He says that if he provided the Pentagon Papers today to news organizations, he would most likely never see his case dismissed on grounds of government misconduct against him as it was in 1973. The government tactics employed to discredit Ellsberg, which included burglarizing his psychoanalyst’s office and illegal wiretaps, were subjects of the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon. But that was then.

“Everything that Richard Nixon did to me, for which he faced impeachment and prosecution, which led to his resignation, is now legal under the Patriot Act, the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] amendment act, the National Defense Authorization Act,” Ellsberg told me late Friday afternoon when we met in Princeton, N.J.

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Manning, whose trial is likely to begin in early August, is being held in a medium-security facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He allegedly gave WikiLeaks more than 700,000 documents and video clips. One clip showed the 2007 Apache helicopter attack in which U.S. military personnel killed more than a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. Manning faces 22 charges under the Espionage Act, including aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, theft of public property or records, transmitting defense information, and fraud and related activity in connection with computers. If he is found guilty he could spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. Juan Ernesto Mendez, the U.N. torture rapporteur, has described Manning’s treatment by the U.S. government as “cruel, inhuman and degrading,” especially “the excessive and prolonged isolation he was put in during the eight months he was in Quantico.”

The Espionage Act was used only three times for leaks before President Barack Obama took office. Ellsberg’s case was dismissed.

Obama, who serves the interests of the surveillance and security state with even more fervor than did George W. Bush, has used the Espionage Act to charge suspected leakers six times. The latest alleged leaker to be charged by the Obama administration under the act is John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer accused of disclosing classified information to journalists about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida suspect. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, which published the cables and video clips allegedly provided by Manning, is expected to be the seventh charged in a leak case under the act.

The Supreme Court has yet to hear a leak case involving the Espionage Act. But one of these six cases will probably soon reach the court. If it, as expected, rules that the government is permitted to use the Espionage Act against whistle-blowers, the United States will have a de facto official secrets act. A ruling in favor of the government would instantly criminalize all disclosures of classified information to the public. It would shut down one of the most important functions of the press. And at that point any challenges to the official versions of events would dry up.


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By theTribster, April 21, 2012 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Yet another lie by Mr Obama. I remember him saying “I know a thing or two about whistle-blowers, I’m all about helping them”. He is so full of shit I can smell him form Philadelphia. Lies, lies and more lies. Will Americans wake up for this election and write in their candidate? Since neither Mittens or Obummer can do the job.
Will pinhead Biden remain as VP or does Obummer get to change to someone that can complete a sentence without the phrase “you know I was just a poor kid from Delaware…” in it? Joe is arguably the dumbest VP we have ever had.

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By Anarcissie, April 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

I’m saying if the system is going to pretend to be democratic.  In actuality, there will be a class system and of course the more powerful will withhold knowledge from the less powerful, because they can, and because knowledge is power.  The reasonable response of lower-class class warriors will be to attempt to obtain that knowledge and distribute it as widely as possible, thus decreasing the power differential between themselves and those who wish to rule or manipulate them and keep them in ignorance.

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By heterochromatic, April 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Ana that simply is not correct. the people have a representative government and
have delegated the authority in the expectation that there are proper government
functions that are also properly withheld from public knowledge…...


this delegation of authority is a tad dangerous, at least, bit our systems are
dynamic ones.

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By Anarcissie, April 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

However, it is clear that if the government is going to go on pretending to be democratic, the people have to pretend to have enough information to go on pretending to govern themselves.  There is no ‘balance’ here; the pretense must be thoroughly convincing.

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By heterochromatic, April 1, 2012 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Ana—- the government has authority and obligations. You’re correct that I spoke
somewhat loosely by saying that it has rights.

Allow me to take your point and amend my statement to say there’s a balance
between the rights of the people and the proper use of the authority granted the
government to employ secrecy.

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By Anarcissie, April 1, 2012 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic—If you’re going by liberal theory, the government does not have rights.  Only people have rights.  The government has powers which are granted to it by the people and may be withdrawn by them.

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By Ed Romano, April 1, 2012 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Someone wrote here that even politicians don’t lie all the time.I have developed a way to tell when they are and when they may be telling the truth. It isn’t fool proof , but damn near. When you hear bad news coming out of Washington you can be fairly certain it’s the truth, but when the news is good it’s usually a lie.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Keepyourheaddown Your’s is the quick final solution of the Alexander who simply cut the knot instead of solving it. You are the one that upsets the board when you are losing. You are the one that has been destroying our ecology without thought or care.  So in your case you want to poison the earth even more an wipe out most of the life on it an leave the rest to suffer in a horrible situation that should not have happened. You want the quick fix no matter the cost. You are in fact a nihilist. Not a good thing to be, they are destructive only, not constructive as you show us. You are just part of the problem because your solution is madness an cruel an in the end hateful. Maybe you should do an inventory of yourself. I do it all the time. It is healthy.

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By heterochromatic, March 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

——Isn’t America a place where the people’s right to know is viewed as
superseding the government’s right to hide it’s business?———


no. it is not. it is a place where those rights are balanced and the answer differs in
different cases.

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By goodogstay, March 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges writes:

“The Supreme Court has yet to hear a leak case involving the Espionage Act..But one of these six cases will probably soon reach the court.
If it, as expected, rules that the government is permitted to use the Espionage Act against whistle-blowers, the United states will have a de facto official secrets act.
A ruling in favor of the government would instantly criminalize all disclosures of classified information to the public. It would shut down one of the most important functions of the press.”


As the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney wrote on February 27, 2012:

Obama Transparency Fail: War on Whistleblowers

“Isn’t America a place where the people’s right to know is viewed as superseding the government’s right to hide it’s business?
In the most recent case, John Kirakou, a former CIA officer who became a Democratic staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged under the Espionage Act with leaking information to journalists about other CIA officers, some of whom were involved in the agency’s interrogation program, which included water-boarding.
For those of you keeping score, none of the individuals who engaged in or authorized the water-boarding of terror suspects has been prosecuted; but Mr Kiriakou is in federal cross hairs, accused of talking to journalists and news organizations, including the New York Times.”

Chris Hedges (et.al.) may well lose their lawsuit against Obama and Panetta over the National Defense Authorization Act, but kudos to them all for trying!

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By Anarcissie, March 24, 2012 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Sure.  If you kill almost everybody, many of our present problems will go away, and the few survivors can concentrate on hacking a bare existence out of the poisoned soil.  Why don’t you show us the way by camping out in a vacant, polluted industrial wasteland somewhere and living on a diet of rats and weeds?

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By keepyourheaddown, March 24, 2012 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

NUCLEAR WAR is the only solution to the madness…

and i know most of you will never understand that statement…

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By heterochromatic, March 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

Ana——even pols don’t lie ALL the time…..it would ruin the effectiveness of all the
important lies that they’re waiting to tell if you could be SURE that they always lie.

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By Anarcissie, March 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic—We’re talking about politicians here.

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By heterochromatic, March 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

ardee——- jeeperes, but I can say that I have some inkling that not everybody
does everything that they say they will and that some people are actually
insincere.

however, the presumption stands that what is said is best understand as
approximately truthful ....unless and until there something that rebuts.


Obama voiced something and then got the thing slightly modified…..


and nobody has anything that show’s him not to be opposed.

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By ardee, March 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

ardee==== speaking out against something is usually accepted as evidence of a desire to not wish the thing

I could not hope to match the eloquence of Anarcissie or the subtlety of her excellent put down but I am forced, by the monumental silliness of your comment to wonder if you understand politics at all? Or if you have been listening to Barack Obama these last three plus years? Or if you have listened to the words of any political figure and matched them to their subsequent deeds?

Sheesh!

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By heterochromatic, March 19, 2012 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Ana- hearing that you did is great to hear.

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By Anarcissie, March 19, 2012 at 5:34 am Link to this comment

Oh, I did like it.

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By PatrickHenry, March 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Sallysense,

He hears that alot from many here.

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By heterochromatic, March 18, 2012 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

sally—- i never invited you anyplace…... and you’re welcome.

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By sallysense, March 18, 2012 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

hiya heterochromatic…

first your comments lack sound reasoning…

then you use grab bags and avoidance excuses and illusion tactics…

and then you still say though that you’re alright…

and then you give a reason why as to why you possess reasoning…

but then the reason you give lacks logic itself…

then you use more grab bags and avoidance excuses and illusion tactics…

you’re just running yourself around in circles going nowhere…

don’t expect me to join you…

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By heterochromatic, March 18, 2012 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Ana——thanks. only a naive person would think that your comment means that
you didn’t really like my comment.

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By PatrickHenry, March 18, 2012 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

Got my vote, just when I think a more stupid comment could be stated one presents itself and typically from the same spammer.

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By Anarcissie, March 18, 2012 at 7:58 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic, March 18 at 6:27 am:

‘ardee==== speaking out against something is usually
accepted as evidence of a desire to not wish the thing.’

I think we’re going to have to give you the 2012 naiveté prize in advance.  Nobody is going to beat that.

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By heterochromatic, March 18, 2012 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

ardee==== speaking out against something is usually
accepted as evidence of a desire to not wish the thing.

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By ardee, March 18, 2012 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

Ana—- your belief is incorrect. Obama didn’t want any part of military tribunals and indefinite detention.

The reality of this is that Obama SPOKE out against such but there exists no evidence that he, or his party, attempted to actually do anything but speak out.

To think a President who is capable of ordering the deaths of three American citizens sans any recourse to rule of law or their own guaranteed constitutional rights is humanitarian enough to actually believe as the cited quote indicates seems foolishness.

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By heterochromatic, March 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

sally, none of us are logical thinkers ....we all employ logic to some extent, but
life doesn’t conform to any formal logical presentation that we live long enough
to fathom as there are literally billions of variable actions occurring at every
second…....

we each grasp as much of it as we can and process as much as we’re able and
we all end up with whatever limited information assembled into whatever pale
approximation we can construct and call our world….


sally, have you ever had a moment where your reality was rearranged radically?


have you experienced a moment where you felt/saw a spark that was the
beginning of a new life?

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By sallysense, March 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

and hiya again heterochromatic…

how comes you say you’re alright…

and yet the reasoning in your comments doesn’t reflect that ?...

and if you taught logic…

(boiling stuff down to the bottom line… and seeing the layers upon it etc)...

then why don’t you yourself realize that teaching undergrads logic…

does not connote that you yourself are a logical thinker…

(and also with such a lack of logic permeating this nation…

how many college profs and grads in our country don’t think logically ?)...

so how logical is that actually ?... to even use it for an example ?...

seems the statements you used to convey your logic weren’t very logical…

so just where is this reasoning you profess to possess ?...

and how comes it’s not more apparent in the here and now ?...

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By heterochromatic, March 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

hiay sally, hiya hiya….

despite tht I’m oft here pointing out that there’s scant evidence for the overblown
conclusions and positions adopted by some posters, I’m not quite blinkered by
convention or a reflexive defender of the status quo.


and BTW, I used to instruct the undergrads in symbolic logic…I’ve some ability to
reason.

thanks for your concern, but I’m all right, Sally.

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By sallysense, March 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

hiya again heterochromatic…

forget about me…

it’s about you…

and your own appreciation…

of the value of basic reasoning itself…

for your own thinking to use…

for your own sake!...

(think-tank manufacturing produces synthetic thought-consumers…

and soon natural and contemplative thinking becomes less and less)...

what will it be ?...

more grab bags and avoidance excuses and illusion tactics ?...

or more thinking from scratch ?...

(and whichever… for your own self… for the sake of what ?)...

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By heterochromatic, March 17, 2012 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

dont be worried about your depreciation
poets use emotive persuasion rather than reason
and that’s always been so
in past, and will e’er be so in season.

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By sallysense, March 17, 2012 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

hiya heterochromatic…

can only hope a greater appreciation…
of the overall value of basic reasoning…
will see it being put to use more so…
in the near future for thinking!...

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

hiya sally (and hiya boys and girls, hiya hiya)


why ask a question rhetorical
and getting no response, cavil?

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

Ana—- violation of the Constitution is cause for overturning a law….. if, as we
believe and hope, the offending provisions ARE violative, and sinse any enactment
of them is solely at the expressed direction of the chief exec, Obama, having failed
to excise these provisions prior to passage, can afford to wait upon the Court or
can have the next congress repeal the crap…...


and still have the funding that we needed to have passed.

he hadn’t a good choice….which was what the sponsors of the bill intended.

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By sallysense, March 16, 2012 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

hiya again heterochromatic…

(you ask which questions ?)...

here it is again…

why confine thought-making to idleness inside mimicry’s room?...
barely letting a reasoning brain out of that caged home…
and denying it the freedom to go any further…
in thinking from scratch on its own!...

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Violation of the Constitution is just cause for a veto.  I realize there is no chance of Mr. O actually exhibiting belief in such an abstract principle, much less acting upon it, but that is part of my point.  It’s more evidence of the deterioration of the U.S. ruling class.  In former times the people who make it up would have realized that Fourth Amendment rights protect them; now, they just go along, shucking and jiving and thieving.

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

hiya sally


amidst all the poetastic prancing
which questions awaits ans’ring?

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

Ana—- your belief is incorrect. Obama didn’t want any
part of military tribunals and indefinite detention.


and read the whole bill, especially the actual, main
and central parts of it and you’ll figure out that he
was stuck with a hot potato.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 10:15 am Link to this comment

I believe that Obama’s objections to the previous version of the NDAA were that it didn’t give him enough power.  That he signed it at all demonstrates that he has no regard for the obvious meaning of the Fourth Amendment (about not depriving anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law).  So I don’t see this non-event, or the reelection of Obama, as a particularly good sign.  Obama’s reelection is more or less assured because the Republican Party has gone off the deep end.  I don’t think having a one-party state is going to really be all that wonderful.

I have not paid much attention to the Iran business because I regard it as insane.  The fact that the issue has arisen at all, in all its craziness, is discouraging however.

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By sallysense, March 16, 2012 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

hiya again heterochromatic…

and you didn’t actually answer that question either…

which brings to mind…

we can pull from a grab bag a world full of answers…
for those sidetracking matters layered on each bottom line…
whether purposeful or brainwashed or not knowing any better…
they tend to evade that prime issue or frame a trade or re-define!...

it keeps happening these days in a land where corporate advancement…
uses think-tank manufacturing so folks won’t think for themselves…
leading people into patsy molds holding lesser self-awareness…
it feeds ulterior motives when what is needed most is help!...

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

Ana——first sign is that the objectionable
provisions 0f the BDAA HAD to be appended to an
appropriations bill.

second sign is that the president OPPOSED those
provisions.

third sign is that the president sent Netanyahu home
with a firm “No” to Netanyahu’s call for bombing Iran

fourth sign is that Netanyahu failed because he tried
to “play” Obama during the last few years as a
president who would be a one-termer to be followed by
another Repub happy to roll over for the israeli
maximalists.

fifth sign is that Obama is gonna be re-elected.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2012 at 9:48 am Link to this comment

heterochromatic—I am still curious as to what signs you observe that the surveillance-and-security frenzy is abating.

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

sally——I think and I scratch, therefore I jest
     
after reading so much of what is worst

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By heterochromatic, March 16, 2012 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

NG——I already had read it. it’s nonsense because
it inflates a few things and excludes the
overwhelming majority of things.

we have problems at present that are not
disproportional to the problems we’ve had at any time
in the history of the nation.

it’s important that we treat are problems with
seriousness, but also important not to exaggerate
their severity…. doing that, acting as if every
problem is an absolute threat….leads to
authoritarianisn, as well.

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By sallysense, March 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm Link to this comment

hiya heterochromatic…

why confine thought-making to idleness inside mimicry’s room?...
barely letting a reasoning brain out of that caged home…
and denying it the freedom to go any further…
in thinking from scratch on its own!...

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By Night-Gaunt, March 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

http://www.alternet.org/story/154456/is_america_on_the_verge_of_theocracy_4_fundamentalist_ideologies_threatening_u.s._liberty?page=entire

Read this an tell me if we are still hunkydory as a Republic? Won’t you Heterochromatic?

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By heterochromatic, March 15, 2012 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

and how doth the mens poetica spin
and weave such dross and call it cloth
so ill-loomed, off-warped and fully short
of any full formed design to give it worth

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By sallysense, March 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

how does an executive or legislative or judicial mind work?...
with a thought-base more enriched by full illusion than truth…
those false-drawn determinations breed ill-conceived legalities…
that misguide our nation while true contemplation goes unused!...

how shall a country heal itself since mentalities sit so unchanged?...
it depends on others who care enough to steer it back on course…
truth now needs to be brought to light so ways can be rectified…
and hindering it only further feeds that malfunctioning source!...

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

I mean a substantial minority.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment

Ana——until I get your comment sorted out, I’m gonna go with Ibsen and say the
the majority is always wrong….........

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic—I am curious as to what signs you observe that the surveillance-and-security frenzy is abating.  Of course a substantial majority are strongly opposed to it, but nowhere near a majority, and the ruling class—or ‘leadership’, if you prefer—is solidly in favor, as witness Mr. O’s policies and practices.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm Link to this comment

NG—- what I’m saying is that we have problems to fix
but we’re nowhere near the end of the Republic….

the excesses of the post-9/11 frenzy are ending and
the NDAA was likely the last gasp of those creeps who
wish to neuter the Bill of Rights. they got that
passed over the objections of the President and only
because he couldn’t veto the whole bill.

what the good people would have America be has to be
nurtured always and, even in hard times, we have the
numbers of votes and the tools to keep our shit
together.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 14, 2012 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

So what are you saying? Please be a bit more explicit if you please. I thought we were in agreement but apparently not too much. At least by your accounting.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

within hours of the ratification of the Constitution,
some ancestor of NG was saying it…....


http://www.freedomsite.org/legal/sky-is-falling-2.jpg

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By Night-Gaunt, March 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment

At this stage of the game we are having trouble identifying what country we are in. Like the Roman Republic, the American Republic, a certain part of the population has been moving the country both outside an from within to a bad place. We have had it eroded, legislated and purchased away by those who want a dictatorship of the plutocrats an their hard line Christian adherents. They want total global domination an full spectrum dominance from the depths of the ocean to at least the lower areas of outer space.

It won’t be long now. Don’t expect any help from president an CEO of American Inc. Obama to do much but say things he doesn’t mean to make you feel better than you should be. He’s one of them.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment

we may not even be in Kansas any more.

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

We are sure way, way past the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

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By vector56, March 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

“bad people are doing bad things was the reason for the “tool’ crafted “

People have always done “bad things” and so have we. Governments also do bad things, that is why our protections under the law seem so one sided and cumbersome to those who want blood over justice.

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By gerard, March 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Come on, now. We’re way beyond 2 x 2, aren’t we?Here’s a little more “crafting”—the recent “tool”
called the National Defense Authorization Act, or the American citizens as terrorists “get ‘em” bill
passed recently and hastily signed into law.
—“The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is the “screening” language for the next section, 1031, which offers NO exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to INDEFINITELY detain people (INCLUDING citizens) WITHOUT charge or trial.”
  ps—I’m seriously thinking of writing my own Anti-Trust Law, believe me!  The way things are moving in this country, by next Thursday 2 + 2 may mean 22—or “whatever I want it to mean ” for all we know. The laws are “in flux,” obviously, going downhill fast, and the bottom ain’t even in sight yet.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

gerard———bad people are doing bad things was the reason for the “tool’ crafted
and known as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act…

just ta help ya with the 2 + 2 of it.

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By gerard, March 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

PS—and if “bad people” are doing things that people as confused as Harry Reid are calling “bad”—and if the Harry Reid’s have the power to enforce their confusion on everybody else ... what then?

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By Grey Ghost, March 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@ heterochromatic who wrote, among other things: “There was no time in the history of the nation where he would not have been executed or imprisoned for his actions.”

“Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience ... Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, 1950

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By gerard, March 14, 2012 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

And to push Harry’s statement just a little farther down the road to crazy:  “...these people who are very bad and comply with American law,” he says. 
  Now just who might that be?
(Yes, I know that’s not what he meant.  But it IS what he said, and when people as confused as that are in the drivers’ seats, what can we expect?
  Or worse yet, does he really mean what he says—that the thing we need to do is to “get” people who ... comply with American law, and are “very bad.”
No, of course he didn’t mean that!  BUT THAT’S WHAT HE SAID! And in a very real, though self-numbed awareness, Americans have been doing some very bad things recently, and some people somewhere have to “get” them and make them stop if they can’t stop themselves.
  A slip of the tongue is worth two in the bush.

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By heterochromatic, March 14, 2012 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

gerard———- Reid’s comment about “tools” is nothing extraordinary….. crafting
legislation to solve a perceived need is all that it means and is common parlance.

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By John G, March 14, 2012 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Moderator: why was my comment from 3/13 not posted ...because I politely disagreed with the author’s assumption?

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By gerard, March 14, 2012 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Does this make sense to anybody at all?
  Harry Reid: “We’re going to have to make sure that we have the tools to get some of these people who are very bad and comply with American law.”
  This incoherent, double-talking fellow talking out of both sides of his mouth, or just having pangs of conscience, or what?
  Think what the idea of “the law” as “a tool” really means.  To fabricate. To create something out of legal material that wasn’t there before. To use the law to shape a situation. To use the law to re-make something.  (Hideous implications totally unconscious to the user?)

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By vector56, March 14, 2012 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

“Probably not testimony, because the fact that Manning was tortured would be brought up to invalidate it, at least at a normal trial, and might prove embarrassing. “

Anarcissie, sad to say we are way, way past “normal”

I watched Harry Reid a few days ago being asked by CNN’s Candy Crowley if it was legal to kill 3 US citizens over seas without due process? She asked if there was a deference between “due process” and what the term Eric Holder pulled out of his ass (Judicial process) applied,  Reid responded:

“SENATOR HARRY REID: No, I don’t. But I do know this. The American citizens who have been killed overseas who are terrorists, and, frankly, if anyone in the world deserved to be killed, those three did deserve to be killed.”

“CROWLEY: Are you slightly uncomfortable with the idea that the United States president, whoever it may be, can decide that this or that U.S. citizen living abroad is a threat to national security and kill them?”

“REID: Well, I don’t know what the attorney general meant by saying that. I’d have to study it a little bit. I’ve never heard that term before. But I think the process is in play. I think it’s one that I think we can live with. And I think with the international war on terror that’s going on now, we’re going to have to make sure that we have the tools to get some of these people who are very bad and comply with American law.”

http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2012/03/12/u-s-targeted-killings-official-confusion/


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZK3OQkgvlZ0


Three US citizens (one a 16 year old boy) deserved to be killed without question or trial. We are way past “normal”!

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2012 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Obviously Manning had to be tortured because he had not already produced the right material, which was something the U.S. government could use against Assange and Wikileaks.  Probably not testimony, because the fact that Manning was tortured would be brought up to invalidate it, at least at a normal trial, and might prove embarrassing.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., March 14, 2012 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

Oh wow; shocking! wink

“They” need to make sure their treason is not
discovered (or reported); the price for treason is
death!

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By John G, March 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am not so sure the Supreme Court will be so predictable on these issues, because I think they are more concerned about the appearance (if not the substance) of independence than about politics of the day.

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By Palindromedary, March 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

@CanDoJack: Interesting information. Thanks. And here’s yet another case of a false flag operation…blaming the Indians. 

Who broke him out?  Why Maroni, of course!

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

NG—- matter of fact,  I’ll show you what my boy wrote about Mnning’s
treatment a full year back….


      “You’re About To See The Light, If You Want To Bang Heads With Me”


The abusive treatment of Bradley Manning in pre-trial detention is an outrage.
Forcing out a spokesman who recognizes that outrage is an implicit concession
that Manning’s treatment is an outrage. This is the decadent phase of executive
arrogance: the enforcement of euphemism to avoid responsibility for the
injustices the executive commits.

Notice that no one besides Manning from within the Obama administration or
the military has been held accountable for the actual leak itself. But P.J. Crowley
gets fired for the secondary issue of exercising common sense, candor and
consistency about Manning. My old FDL colleague Michael Whitney is
completely correct: Obama owns Manning’s torture. He owned it before, but
Crowley’s firing underscores it.

Stripping a man presumed to be innocent in front of other people has nothing
to do with protecting him from himself or others. Neither does prolongued
isolation. It has everything to do with breaking Manning, assuredly to get him
to implicate Julian Assange. This is an American citizen who has been convicted
of no crime. You don’t have to have any sympathy for WikiLeaks or for Manning
to recognize that he’s being tortured.

————

it’s what I believe.

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

NG———- nothing I’ve said about Manning should be taken to mean that I agree
with his treatment in jail.

the military has treated him as if they’re above the law and they get to decide
what’s right and wrong rather than doing what’s legally required of them and that
they’ve pledged their word to follow.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

Manning has already been damaged by the 8 months in solitary. That will damage any person. All without any use of the courts. No charges to hold him on. Just that he was considered someone who did something illegal.

Not that it matters to you Heterochromatic who already consider Manning guilty before a trial. You have said so by other words then coyly ask me “what” I was asking you about? You wrote it man, how am I to ask you twice for an answer?

Also you studious fail to make comments about his treatment which is against the Constitution. (But then for some time our gov’t has been quietly moving outside of it to do their dirty deeds. Both Democrats an Republicans. Any comments?

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

vec—- manning fell when he fell apart and released the diplomatic stuff….......he
needs care.

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By Foucauldian, March 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm Link to this comment

I thought we’re there already.

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm Link to this comment

If we allow Bradly Manning to fall, our country won’t be far behind.

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

it’ll be when Manning stands up in court and explains everything that he
did….....it’s a formal admission of having committed the acts specified in the
charges.

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By gerard, March 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  I need some help here.
  1.  What is an “allocution” in terms of this case? My Webster’s mentions “a formal speech, esp. an incontrovertible or hortatory speech; a pronouncement delivered by the pope to a secret consistory.”
  Bringing the word “pope” into it, and “secret” makes me wonder just how open and above-board such an “allocution” might be. And what purpose might it be made to serve?  Did the Guantanamo ordeals involve such?
  And “hortatory” = “urging to some course of aciton”—What might that mean in this case?
  Thanks.

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

1)——1. If he did expose the cables to WikiLeaks, the recipient was a
reportorial/editorial agency and entitled to freedom of speech which the
Department of Justice is obligated to uphold, not trespass.


that has zero bearing on Manning’s guilt or innocence, g.

some of the things you list will have bearing on the sentence handed out if
Manning is tried and convicted, but most of it is entirely immaterial.


what the govt wants is not to send the dope to prison for life, but to have him
cooperate, testify about who rec’d the stolen info and allocute.

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By gerard, March 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

As I understand it, several important facts are in Manning’s favor:
1. If he did expose the cables to WikiLeaks, the recipient was a reportorial/editorial agency and entitled to freedom of speech which the Department of Justice is obligated to uphold, not trespass.
2. None of the cables were top secret, most were “confidential”; only 15,000 were “classified.”
They were potentially available to millions on SIPRI, the military internet.
3. State Dept. was given the chance by Assange to preview the cables before release to avoid their release damaging anyone. State refused the offer.
4. Turns out, the releases did not damage anyone but did reveal much needed public information not widely available otherwise.
5. Obama made the grievous error of publicly stating that Manning “disobeyed the law” before he had even been charged, let alone tried. This blunder coming from a qualified constitutional lawyer could have a heavy prejudicial influence on the case.
6. The basic idea behind the release—the necessity for democratic publics to know what their governments are doing in their name, (especially in the case of protracted and entangled foreign wars),  is obvious.
7. Being accountable is the primary responsibility of democratic governments because it is the only thing that prevents the continuation of overreach by making self-correction necessary.

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

before which fact, NG?
——-

and which conclusion?

that he would be sentenced to 15,000 years? 

didn’t really mean that one.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

I see the day coming when there will be a showdown between the World court and the USSC.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/12/bradley-manning-cruel-inhuman-treatment-un

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By Night-Gaunt, March 13, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

I wonder how you reached your conclusion before the fact Heterochromatic? Probably much the way Bradley Manning is being punished before the sentence an in ways that fit the torture the US still does overseas. A long period of isolation (8 months) which is torture. Exposed to loud music an bright lights 24/7 is also another he was also exposed to an stripped naked. No lawyer, no normal court proceedings. He was guilty until proven innocent. An they plan to make him guilty.) Not a good group to side with Heterochromatic, they aren’t for the old American Way but the new one.

Balkas it has been noted by some including Dr.Noam Chomsky who saw that the chattering classes tended to be the ones in the fore front of disseminating an alternate an wrong view of the world. A view that supports those who like it that way an want all others to believe their way of interpretation of the world an how it should run should be the dominate view of things. Only in the out of the way places can you find alternates that hew closer to what is really going on but most people do not want to invest the time to dig it out. So the dominate corporate news has the main source of information. Places like Fox “News” are just the extreme end of it an constantly demand that the more corporate mainstream move to them as they move even further into Reich wing extremism. So it is very hard to find people involved enough an aware an informed enough to even speak about it while so many more others have the PTB propaganda ready on tap if they are even interested in it at all.

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By gerard, March 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to remain silent.”—Edmund Burke

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, March 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

Everything old is new again.  Here is a working link to the Debs speech in Canton in 1918.

http://www.marxist.org/archive/debs/works/1918/canton:htm

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By heterochromatic, March 13, 2012 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

balkas—- i’m sure that no one thinks that you’re a mental cripple. don’t worry
about that.


and bless your wife

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By balkas, March 13, 2012 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

a bit more about why i don’t blame to any significant degree an american houseperson, miner, treefaller, fisher, and the like people.
an overwhelming number of people in US have been rendered semantically blind and also scared. that’s why i do not flog a blind horse
or a blind person.
and not all became scared [note, please that i avoid to use the words “are scared”] in equal measure.
eg, some of those posters who hide their names, appear more scared than those who use their names.
and since i am 80 y o, retired; need very little money, socalled friends, etc., i am only slightly scared and mostly of the posters. some of
them behave quite rudely.
if i would blame, accuse, condemn, say, a floor mopper, i might as well condemn/etc my wife. she’s about totally out of it. she often
chides me when i talk to her about what the US one percent and the world one percent allied to US one percent—in which ashkenazim
are represented proportionately by far more than most other ethnics/cultists—do to us.
btw,  “semantically blind” label needs a definition or interpretation. i define it as evaluation of one’s knowledge as true.
but in the end, it is hisher knowledge that liberates or imprisons a person or compels one to go along with whatever it is one’s country
is doing.
in this connection, let us note, that being a mental cripple, may be by far worse than being bodily lame or a cripple. thanks

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By theJKinz, March 13, 2012 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

sorry, here’s the link to my blog post:

http://thejkinz.com/2012/03/quis-custodiet-ipsos-
custodes/

hope that works

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By theJKinz, March 13, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

‘Law soon becomes the primary tool to advance the
crimes of the elite and punish those who tell the
truth’

It’s the people with the convictions to actually tell
the truth that are leaving their mark and changing
this world completely.

Check out my blog post regarding Bradley Manning,
WikiLeaks, Andrew Breitbart and Anonymous.  Comments
welcome!

http://thejkinz.com/2012/03/quis-custodiet-ipsos-
custodes/

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By Foucauldian, March 13, 2012 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

The speech has been deleted.

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By HivanH, March 13, 2012 at 7:55 am Link to this comment

This is democracy running backwards. Obama’s role seems to be to maintain the status quo, which is the inertia of war. And that status quo stinks to high heaven.

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By george2, March 13, 2012 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

most people i inquire of this have no clue about what is going on around them.
they are too busy complaining about gasoline prices
and their rapidly growing waistlines.

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By Thorstein2, March 13, 2012 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

It is technically incorrect to claim that the
Espionage Act of 1917 “has been used only three
times before President Obama”.  That previous
elitist Democratic president, Woodrow Wilson,
former president of Princeton University, not only
got it passed in the first place, but invoked it
repeatedly, most famously against Eugene Debs, who
had been the Socialist candidate for president in
1904, 1908, and 1912, garnering millions of votes.
(Ironic that the Paulists call Obama a
“socialist”.) It is worth reading the speech that
got Debs thrown in jail:
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Debs’_Speech_of_Sed
ition (Link)

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IMax's avatar

By IMax, March 13, 2012 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

I find Hedges’ logic and reasoning to be brilliant.  I’d like to apply that same reasoning to an issue important to me personally.

I am opposed to any future use of nuclear weapons by any state or non-state actors.  If only someone like Bradley Manning could release every location and every nuclear launch code the world over the globe will instantly become more open and a great deal safer for everyone.

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By CanDoJack, March 13, 2012 at 1:41 am Link to this comment

Palindromedary:

Sometime dates may point to irregularities.
Sometimes who was in the bunker’s planning rooms may
help too.

9/11 the towers went down.

9/11/1857 120 men, women, and children of wagon
train passing through Utah were slaughtered in the
Mountain Meadows Massacre near Cedar City Utah.

9/11/1826 Captain Morgan who was reputed to have
passed a lot of ‘classified’ information to Joseph
Smith. That gentleman was hauled out of his jail
cell and disappeared. By whom?

Ahhhhhhhh well, just coincidences.

At least six countries are reputed to have been
involved in 9/11/2001

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By CanDoJack, March 13, 2012 at 1:20 am Link to this comment

Just as it is impossible to understand the
experience of terminal illness until one has nothing
to follow but the bright light at the end of the
tunnel, it is impossible to understand the
experience of totalitarianism until it is a done
deal enough to see the frog in the boiler metaphor
from the perspective of frog legs on the System’s
plate.

Terminal illness emotional states long ago became
known as the Kübler-Ross model. The five stages are
denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and
acceptance.

I am supposing that when totalitarianism is a
lengthy process individual frogs actually experience
the emotional state borders at different times.

When one considers the different emotional state
border arrival times and the tremendous multitude of
people crossing them several ideas will almost
inevitably follow.

For example one may note that a tremendous
percentage of the votes in the Republican horse
positioning process go to Sanctitorum.

Many may calculate that if 50% of the population is
Republican and roughly 50% of those have voted for
Sanctitorum then multitudes of people are still in
the DENIAL state.

Many avocational cultural anthropologists are
probably inspired to research current suicide rates
compared with earlier years.

These researchers may come away puzzled that
percentage wise we have fewer suicides today than
during other crises for example the great
depression.

This observation may provoke some observers of horse
racing fans to conclude that millions of people are
too stupid to do themselves in or that they like the
security of authoritative rule and status quo.

But, speaking of authoritative consider Hannah
Arendt’s 50 year old exhaustively complex work on
ORIGINS OF TOTALITARIANISM and studies that surround
it. That effort my keep one tossing to and fro on
the suicide-no / suicide-yes question. They may get
so busy with to and fro that they forget that it
does not matter. Either way, they lose.

We read Mr. Hedges saying “The state saturates the
airwaves with official propaganda [and encourage
media pseudo analysis] to replace news. Fear, and
finally terror, creates an intellectual and moral
void.” This seems to indicate Mr. Hedges is already
in the ANGER state and since he has many, many
readers then many, many people are probably in the
ANGER state as well.

Totalitarian systems are often exceedingly
persistent and at a certain point in the process
completion is said to be almost irrevocable.

Can one almost hear the real masters of the universe
humming quietly, thinking, “well, things are moving
right along.”

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By heterochromatic, March 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

great news, gerard, he might only have to serve as little as a year on each of only
15,000 counts then….. no big deal…..

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By Palindromedary, March 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

@Henejaskslslslsl najajahsirm: I believe that there is lots of evidence, including lots of testimony by eyewitnesses, of the inside job of 911. But, of course, I believe you mean those covert participants that were actively involved in setting up the whole thing. There’s the rub! Who, in being criminal enough to participate in such a thing, would ever admit it…and if they did…would they be murdered even before they got around to making what they know public.  And even if they did make their part or their knowledge public…who would believe them? Stuff does come out over the years. And by that time…the attention span or willingness by the public to get really upset tends to diminish. It makes it really easy for those who would rather hide their heads in the sand to make fun of anyone else who really does have information. The “conspiracy theorist” stigma is one such way that these criminals can use to diffuse any serious investigation. Instead they set up bogus investigations and hearing panels where they can really weed out any important and significant evidence.  Until people realize that they are being played by these disinformation and psyops specialists the ruling elite will continue to get away with murder…and assassinations.

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By heterochromatic, March 12, 2012 at 8:44 pm Link to this comment

NG____ I give you plenty of choice…....saying that Manning is guilty as charged
and deserves punishment because he released all sorts of shit that he never
glanced at before taking and using for his own purposes is not indicative of a
reflexive defense of the govt or of the classification systems.

 

 

saying that a Central Park carriage driver is guilty of illegal cruelty to animals
because he beat his horse to death is no more or no less a reflexive support for
the rules and regulations of the NYC government than is this.

I considered stuff before reaching my conclusion and wish to be spared the
comment that I must not have afforded consideration and simply jumped.

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