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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,979

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Documents released by Snowden

demonstrate beyond any doubt that Clapper lied.

Clapper is an unindicted criminal.

Snowden is supposed to go down on bogus "espionage" charges against which no defense is allowed.

In a related case, architects of the supreme international crime, a war of aggression, prosper in retirement, travel freely, are awarded medals and honors. The helicopter murderers are free. Chelsea Manning was held in solitary, tortured, convicted. Only she pays the price, for showing the truth.

So far Snowden's learned that lesson and outsmarted your authoritarian state, no mean feat. More power to him.

Kerryworld Logic: Will the U.S. deport asylum seekers?

I've learned from the present Secretary of State that "patriots don't run." For some reason, he thinks Snowden, who has stood up to speak truth to power at great personal sacrifice (and who is defamed on this board every day) is a "runner."

Going by Kerry's logic, what about this?

between 2009-2011 the U.S. granted asylum to 1,222 Russians, 9,493 Chinese, and 22 Ecuadorians, not including family members, among many others from a variety of countries. The U.S. acknowledges these people as patriots, men and women who took a dangerous and principled stand against a government they felt had gone wrong. A double-standard is no standard at all.

The reality:

Having watched Manning, Snowden (and Kerry if he’d admit it) knows what he could expect from American justice. Trials under the Espionage Act, which the U.S. says is how Snowden will be charged, quite specifically prohibit discussion of anything except proof or rebuttal that the accused did leak classified information. A jury is not allowed to rule on, or even hear about, motive and intent.

John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who was the first to go on-the-record with the media about waterboarding, pled guilty in his Espionage Act case last year partially because a judge ruled he couldn’t tell the jury about his lack of intent to harm the United States. In the case of State Department official Stephen Kim, the judge ruled the prosecution “need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage U.S. national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially.” In the Espionage Act case against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, the government filed motions to make sure the words “whistleblowing” or “overclassification” would never be uttered at trial. In Chelsea Manning’s trial, Manning’s defense wanted to argue she intended to inform the public, that the military was afflicted with a deep and unnecessary addiction to overclassification, and that the government’s own internal assessments showed she caused no real damage to U.S. interests. All this information was ruled inadmissible.

A SuperMax cell is not a very good bully pulpit. Kerry is either lying, or his hopelessly ignorant.

John Kerry, here’s a deal Snowden might accept: When the Department of Justice agrees to charge James Clapper, national director of intelligence, for lying under oath to Congress about the surveillance of Americans, Snowden will know American justice is fair and equally applied, and come home for a trial. Better yet Kerry, promise that both trials will be televised live with no sealed documents or secret sessions. Deal?


End the U.S. blockade on Cuba?

Is it time for the United States to end its policy of economic blockade on Cuba?

How do you stand on the U.S. attack on Cuba?

The kind of paternalistic rhetoric you employ has been used to justify many, many U.S. government interventions against other countries. We all wanted the Iraqi people to have a real choice in their future, I'm sure. Any American who said that in 2003 without qualifying that they opposed the invasion was objectively supporting the destruction of the Iraqi nation by the U.S. war of aggression.

I want the Cuban people to have a real choice in their future -- therefore I oppose the 55-year U.S. government policy of economic blockade, terrorism, sabotage, assassination, and destabilization. The U.S. should immediately end its attack on Cuba.

We're all for democracy in Cuba, ideally, as we should have been for democracy in Iraq. We're all for democracy in China, too, but that doesn't mean we'd all support U.S. attempts to commit acts of war on China.

This is a board of Americans (mostly) discussing U.S. policy. Therefore you don't get to avoid the question with pious invocations of support for Cubans, divorced from the reality: How do you stand on U.S. policy?

Murder regimes are worse, yes.

The U.S. government has waged a 55-year war on the Cuban people through blockade, sabotage, attempted invasions, assassinations and terrorist attacks. This government is not some third-party bystander. As an aggressor, it has no standing whatsoever to assume a position on what should happen in Cuba, certainly not to make demands. Its only legitimate policy would be to provide reparations.

The imperialists showed what they prefer as a politics in El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala, the Condor nations and most of Latin America at times, as well as around the world.

Unlike many countries in the region Cuba, has not been the site of U.S.-backed murder regimes that killed literally tens or hundreds of thousands of civilians for deviating from the capitalist-authoritarian line. That is what the U.S. policy attempted to bring to Cuba.

The Cuban government could have never survived without substantial popular support. If the people who live there want an example of a hellish dictatorship violating all norms of human behavior, torturing and killing people, defying the entire world, they actually do have one on their island. It's in a United States military base at Guantanamo.

As an American, do you want to pontificate about how the Cuban people should live? Start by providing a different example. End the war on Cuba. Apologize. Pay reparations. Give back Guantanamo.

If, if, if... you must be kidding?

I feel no need to answer your what-ifs. What if aliens invade, won't we be happy then that the NSA has all these surveillance cameras, blah blah blah?

Contrary to all your counterfactuals, I am talking about something that actually happened, and that we must never forget:

Your U.S. government, apparently with your support, committed an inexcusable mass murder of millions of people, most of them civilian non-combatants, in large part by indiscriminately incinerating from the air. The blood from this crime will never wash out. The primary perpetrators were never prosecuted, they were rewarded. One of the architects still lives, his name is Kissinger.

Your U.S. government continues this indiscriminate murder of the Vietnamese today, as each year sees children who are stillborn and die prematurely because of the genocidal effort to render the jungle extinct using Agent Orange.

This war of aggression, the worst set of war crimes committed across borders in the period since 1945, was justified by intentionally exaggerated what-ifs like "the domino theory." Why do you feel compelled to sling variants of this discredited nonsense now, 50 years later?

You answer your own question.

, the Eisenhower administration was not interested in the 1956 elections

Why was that? Because the side they preferred would have lost. So they destroyed the peace and put the country and region through another 20 years of even more horrific war, using the geostrategic garnish you serve up yourself as their excuse. The issue, then as now, was to enrich the military-industrial complex that diagnosed non-existent threats and created the problems it pretended to combat. A self-licking ice cream cone.

It was not the business of the United States government to interfere in the outcome of Vietnam's struggle for independence. Absolute zero legitimacy on behalf of either side. But the choice was made on behalf of continuing the historic crimes of European imperialism, and to do so on a genocidal scale, killing millions.

That is also what I should have answered to your last set of questions: regardless of the answers (could Ho be trusted, blah blah blah), it was not U.S. business to interfere! And for the people actually there, nothing could possibly be improved through a U.S. military intervention. Everything was made much worse.

That's reality, not one of your what-ifs -- which I reject, obviously: I'll pick my own what-ifs if I want them. Like, what if, instead of supporting French atrocity, the U.S. had taken up Ho Chi Minh's desire to be a nationalist ally to the America, rather than a communist enemy?

Eisenhower even wrote it down:


Eisenhower's Views on the Popularity of Ho Chi Minh

Source: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mandate for Change, 1953-56 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Compnay, Inc., 1963), p. 372

I am convinced that the French could not win the war because the internal political situation in Vietnam, weak and confused, badly weakened their military position. I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting, possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh as their leader rather than Chief of State Bao Dai. Indeed, the lack of leadership and drive on the part of Bao Dai was a factor in the feeling prevalent among Vietnamese that they had nothing to fight for. As one Frenchman said to me, "What Vietnam needs is another Syngman Rhee, regardless of all the difficulties the presence of such a personality would entail."

You, two questions:

Do you really think that "Uncle Ho" was interested in free and fair elections? Do you really think that South Vietnam was better off once the North Vietnamese took over?

1) Of course, since Ho knew what the certain outcome would have been! Furthermore, after World War II he sought alliance with the United States and chose July 4th, 1946 as the date for the second announcement of Vietnam's declaration of independence from France. The Vietnamese declaration directly cites the American. It is a great tragedy that the U.S. did not take this historic opportunity but instead chose to continue the bloody imperialist legacy of France.

2) Certainly, the people there were not as well-off after 1975 as they would have been if the U.S. government had not intervened 20 years earlier to create this non-existent nation in the first place. After 20 years of murder for which the U.S. government was the primary instigator, things were of course much worse for everyone.

What do you think was going on in the South, when despite all this butchery by the Americans they were unable to pacify it and their selected governments kept falling? An insurgency on that scale is not possible without popular support! Why do you think the Americans herded the rural population into concentration camps and let them out every morning to farm the rice fields? Because they were so damn beloved by the peasants?

Do you understand the difference?

They weren't invading from another continent, literally on the other side of the planet. They weren't bombing from the air with napalm, daisy cutters and Agent Orange. They were not shooting anyone who dared to breathe within a designated "free-fire zone."

The U.S. government prevented the elections under Geneva, then set up a kleptocratic dictatorship in the south under a Catholic elite from the north, lied to escalate the conflict when this dictatorship fell by inventing a fake casus belli, sent in half a million invaders, and proceeded to escalate murderous measures against civilians and combatants until it had put millions of people in concentration camps ("strategic hamlets" and was overseeing a system that rounded up 50,000 civilians largely at random for torture and murder without any kind of legal proceeding (Operation Phoenix).

It also overthrew the Cambodian government for wanting to stay out of this madness and bombed that country in secret, killing hundreds of thousands of people and smoothing the way for the Khmer Rouge (which it then tolerated in alliance with China since it was anti-Vietnamese).

In the end millions died, about half killed directly by the invading American forces, in a conflict that would have ended with the election of Ho Chi Minh by an 80% majority in 1956 (by Eisenhower's admission) if the U.S. had not intervened on behalf of a European imperialist project.

Terrorism in Venezuela

Venezuelan society is under violent attack by the right wing and the oligarchy, with support from the United States government and related institutions (like the CIA front known as the NED).

The aim is to return the country to far darker days of extreme poverty and repressive politics enforced by violent crackdowns and death squads. But higher profits for the oligarchs.

Imagine the U.S. with a long-running, successful, genuinely progressive government: but the Tea Party types are shooting people at rallies, and they have the full support of more than half the media, which are worse than FOXNEWS.

Unfortunately, because there is "bipartisan" support for the Venezuelan right wing in the U.S., how this plays out on DU is rather different than in if there was a right wing uprising in the U.S. itself.


Terrorism in Venezuela and Its Accomplices

By Steve Ellner
Source: Venezuelanalysis.com
May 17, 2014

The private media and important actors both at home and abroad including Washington have downplayed, and in some cases completely ignored, the terrorist actions perpetrated against the Venezuelan government over the past three months. Among the latest examples of terrorism news that have been underreported abroad is the assassination in late April of Eliézer Otaiza, an historic leader of the Chavista movement and the president of the city council of Caracas. Another is a series of reports issued by Interior Secretary Miguel Rodriguez Torres with a wealth of documents – including videos, emails, phone call registries, and phone call recordings – that establish connections between terrorist activity and sectors of the Venezuelan opposition.

An example of how the charges of opposition-promoted terrorism get brushed aside is the opening remarks of Robert Menendez, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in hearings to study proposed sanctions against Venezuela. First, Menendez enumerates numerous charges of government human rights violation based on statements by various individuals who are anything but impartial (such as Moisés Naím, who was Planning Minister under the government that Hugo Chávez staged his coup against in 1992). Then Menendez goes on to minimize the seriousness of the widespread violence carried out by the opposition. After recognizing “there has been violence on both sides,” he adds “but we should be perfectly clear that the primary responsibility for the excessive, unjustified use of force rests with the Maduro Administration.”

Anyone who gets their information solely from these sources could easily reach the conclusion that with the exception of a few minor excesses, which are normal and inevitable in protest movements of this sort, what is happening in Venezuela represents a flagrant violation of human rights on the part of the government.

Objectively speaking, the overall picture created by the discourse of political adversaries and the media’s coverage encourages the radical fringe of the opposition that is engaging in violence on an extensive scale. In this sense, those who downplay the importance of the opposition-promoted violence and exaggerate or fabricate actions of security forces to control the protests consciously or unwittingly serve as accomplices of those responsible for destructive activity.

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