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struggle4progress

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This became clear to me when I tried to check Greenwald's claims about Swedish extradition law

David Allen Green, at the New Statesman -- where the editor Jemima Khan had put of some of Assange's bail money -- wrote two quite informative columns Legal myths about the Assange extradition and The legal mythology of the extradition of Julian Assange

Mr Greenwald disliked Mr Green's claims in the first column and wrote a response

The New Statesman must correct its error over Assange and extradition
... Green claimed that "<i>t would not be legally possible for Swedish government to give any guarantee about a future extradition, and nor would it have any binding effect on the Swedish legal system in the event of a future extradition request" ...This is completely and unquestionably false ... Mark Klamberg – a professor of international law at the University of Stockholm – ... dissects Sweden's extradition law and makes Green's error as clear as it can be ...

Klamberg then tweets:
@ggreenwald is only qouting half of my statement and distorts my conclusion http://gu.com/p/3ax4a/tw @davidallengreen
https://twitter.com/Klamberg/status/239028648424898560

Klamberg then followed up with a lengthy blog post:

Sequencing and the discretion of the Government in Extradition cases
The problem is that Greenwald earlier and later in the same text argues for a sequence that would put the Government before the Supreme Court. In essence he is arguing that the Government should have the first and the last say with the Supreme Court in the middle. That would make the Supreme Court redundant which is contrary to the sequence that is provided for in the Extradition Act which I have tried to describe. It may also violate the principle of separation of powers.

At the time I looked into this, a number of tweets and emails were available by web-search, between various persons involved in this exchange, but it was not easy to sort it all out: Greenwald IMO has a habit of selectively quoting people out of context and then aggressively denying that he misrepresented what they were saying. I've just posting here enough of what I can easily reconstruct to show that Greenwald (1) misrepresented Klamberg's views and (2) knew soon after that Klamberg complained Greenwald misrepresented Klamberg's views (see the tweet page above) -- and as far as I can tell, Greenwald never admitted anywhere that he had misrepresented Klamberg's views


Posted by struggle4progress | Sat Jun 29, 2013, 09:38 PM (1 replies)

Barrett Brown is Anonymous

From a tiny Uptown apartment he's organizing a worldwide collective of hackers that brought down HBGary and helped overthrow the government of Tunisia
by Tim Rogers
Published 3.23.2011
From D Magazine APR 2011

... then he mentions that he went to Preston Hollow Elementary School with George W. Bush’s twin daughters ...

He grew up comfortably in Highland Park. His father, Robert Brown, hailed from East Texas and came from a family of means. “I made a lot of money when I originally came to Dallas,” Robert says. “I eventually had $50 million in real estate holdings all across the state ...

... he read voraciously on his own, diving into Ayn Rand .. while he was still in middle school ...

... there is a third drawback to Brown’s new, more visible role in Anonymous ... Brown .. has taken to calling enemies of Anonymous and certain federal authorities (sometimes one and the same) to tell them how cool he is. Of course, that’s not what he explicitly says. He says he’s calling to help. A few weeks ago, he talked to a woman in the NSA. He says he contacted her as a courtesy, to let them know that Anonymous had a copy of Stuxnet ...


http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/D_Magazine/2011/April/How_Barrett_Brown_Helped_Overthrow_the_Government_of_Tunisia.aspx?page=2



So mebbe he's just another spoiled libertarian brat from Highland Park

Posted by struggle4progress | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 05:44 PM (1 replies)

The 2011 report is titled

Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

The Addendum A/HRC/19/61/Add.4 consists of 81 pages detailing the Special Rapporteur's correspondence with governments. Under the heading United States of America, there are two paragraphs concerning Mr Manning. Paragraph (a), titled

UA 30/12/2010
Case No.USA 20/2010
State reply:27/01/2011
19/05/2011 Allegations of prolonged solitary confinement of a soldier charged with the unauthorized disclosure of classified information

indicates that the Special Rapporteur was investigating a complaint that

... Mr. Manning was held in solitary confinement for twenty-three hours a day following his arrest in May 2010 in Iraq,and continuing through his transfer to the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico. His solitary confinement -- lasting about eleven months -- was terminated upon his transfer from Quantico to .. Fort Leavenworth on 20 April 2011 ...

which he investigated because

... solitary confinement can amount to a breach of .. the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and .. of the Convention against Torture ...

For the investigation

... the Special Rapporteur requested an opportunity to interview him ... The US Government authorized the visit but .. could not ensure that the conversation would not be monitored. Since a non-private conversation with an inmate would violate the terms of reference applied universally in fact-finding by Special Procedures, the Special Rapporteur had to decline the invitation ...

The Special Rapporteur then reiterates

... imposing seriously punitive conditions of detention on someone .. not .. found guilty of any crime is a violation of .. physical and psychological integrity as well as .. presumption of innocence. The Special Rapporteur again renews his request for a private and unmonitored meeting with Mr. Manning to assess his conditions of detention ...

Paragraph (b) notes his further request for an unmonitored meeting with the prisoner produced no official response

Personally, I believe the US government should have granted the Special Rapporteur's request for an unmonitored meeting, but my concern (regarding the failure to do so) is ameliorated somewhat the fact that Mr Manning has access to an attorney who can meet with him unmonitored and who would be in a position to raise any maltreatment issues. The most that can be said to date in this regard, however, is that 112 days have been removed from whatever sentence Manning ultimately receives, on the grounds that

... Manning's confinement was "more rigorous than necessary" ...<and> ... "became excessive in relation to legitimate government interests" ...
Judge reduces Bradley Manning's possible sentence
AP/ January 8, 2013, 4:38 PM

which falls rather short of the claim Manning has been tortured
Posted by struggle4progress | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 03:41 PM (1 replies)

Here is something nice for you to read: The judicial authority in Sweden -v- Julian Paul Assange

Findings of facts and reasons

... I am satisfied that there is no equivocal statement or ambiguity in the warrant. The English version of the warrant states that it is for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order. The warrant refers to offences, indicates the relevant provisions of Swedish criminal law; and identifies specific conduct against Mr Assange. There is simply nothing equivocal about the English version of the warrant ... The person who knows whether she wants the defendant for the purpose of being prosecuted is the Swedish prosecutor Ms Ny ... It is a question of fact in each case whether the person passes the threshold of being an “accused” person who is wanted for prosecution ... I have no doubt that this defendant is wanted for prosecution in Sweden ... As a matter of fact, looking at all the circumstances in the round, this person passes the threshold of being an “accused” person and is wanted for prosecution ... This is an allegation of rape. The framework list is ticked for rape ... However, what is alleged here is that Mr Assange “deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state”. In this country that would amount to rape ... I have already determined the key question. Ms Ny has decided to prosecute ... I must order that Mr Assange be extradited to Sweden.


Howard Riddle
Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate)
Appropriate Judge
24th February 2011
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/Misc/2011/5.html
Posted by struggle4progress | Sat Jun 22, 2013, 03:18 AM (1 replies)

Class analysis was a brilliant idea, and it is still very useful, provided

we avoid the standard cartoon misrepresentations of it and get down to the hard nuts-and-bolts work of applying it

A first point is to understand what a class is: it is a collection of people who have similar circumstances and occupy a similar structural position in the economy. For this reason, the members of a class have similar material interests

In particular, one will not really understand the power of class analysis, if one insists on grossly over-simplifying it as (say) the working-class versus the capitalists. The modern economy is international, and the circumstances and structural position of (say) a Chinese electronics worker, who lives in barracks and works long days assembling products for consumer markets elsewhere, are simply not the same circumstances and structural position that most DUers enjoy

A second point is to understand the relationship between class and consciousness: people naturally view the world from the perspective of their own circumstances and position, and members of a class are likely to interact mainly with other members of the same class, so a common consciousness of the world will emerge -- but this development of consciousness is also affected by traditions, current culture, and mass propaganda, among other influences

In particular, a class may not spontaneously develop a coherent and realistic consciousness of its own circumstances and position relative to other classes, nor does a class necessarily develop a useful analysis of its interests and how to promote those interests

A third point is to understand that class analysis is not intended to be an academic exercise in abstract thinking about universal categories: it is intended to be a scientific tool that helps movements organize for change. Saying that it is a scientific tool means that it is to be applied in a cyclical scientific manner, by: forming an idea about how the social and political worlds work; seeing what actions the idea suggests; experimentally checking whether the action actually seems to lead to progress in the effort to obtain change; then revising the idea based on the ways it seemed to work and the ways it seemed to fail; and seeing what next actions are suggested by the revised idea ...

In particular, class analysis is to be conducted together with ongoing organizing and ongoing struggle for social and political change, not separate from such struggles, and it brings with it the presupposition that real social and economic change always involve economic rearrangements. And since it involves experiments with organizing people, it cannot ignore the presuppositions they bring to their struggle from their traditions, the current culture in which they function, and the influences mass media has upon them

A fourth point is to understand that consciousness can be manipulated and often is, sometimes more deliberately, sometimes less deliberately: some people profit by current social, political, and economic arrangements, while others are exploited by their circumstances. Those who profit from current circumstances will naturally promote social theories that justify current circumstances, sometimes by indifference, sometimes by cynical calculation. Such manipulations are ongoing; they are constantly reinvented; and they may assume surprising and unexpected forms

In particular, historical racism in the United States has been very closely associated with certain economic arrangements, propped up by law and violence, that continually enforced a social hierarchy forcing African-Americans to the very bottom of the economic ladder. Jim Crow laws were not simply about prejudice against blacks: the laws created an instantly identifiable underclass and kept their wages artificially low. The victims of this system therefore needed to dismantle not only the system of economic exploitation; they also needed to discredit the racial theories that were used to justify the exploitation. This racial tactic is also visible in the Juan Crow system


Posted by struggle4progress | Sun Jun 9, 2013, 03:00 AM (1 replies)

That's a reasonable reaction from Carr. Assange is a fugitive, who skipped his next appeal

and instead jumped bail after the UK courts ruled against him

Assange has regularly claimed the Aussie government won't help him, but in fact they sent representatives to his hearings; and when he repeatedly moaned they had abandoned him, they contacted him to try to set up a meeting, which he declined

Assange's present circumstances result from his alleged conduct in Sweden, his refusal to return there for prosecution, and the upholding by UK courts of Sweden's warrant for his arrest: he managed to turn that into a three ring circus by convincing Ecuador to allow him to hide in their embassy, but the issue is still primarily Swedish and secondarily a matter of UK jurisprudence; Ecuador's actions merely distract from the original question

Assange seems to believe that he can escape Swedish prosecution by dragging additional parties into the case -- say, the United States or Australia -- and so he and his supporters spin conspiratorial fantasies, which they think will offer opportunities for ever-more-complicated narratives, but the factual basis for such narratives is thin indeed. Although Assange and his supporters will cite every mention of Wikileaks during Manning's prosecution as yet more evidence of nefarious US plotting against Assange, Manning's case can scarcely be discussed at all, if there is to be no mention of Wikileaks

So it is not even slightly surprising that when Manning is tried for the largest document dump in US history, his relationship to the Wikileaks will be scrutinized: he delivered the documents to Wikileaks in several large discrete installments, and he discussed the deliveries which someone at Wikileaks who provided him software for the delivery. The scale of the release will have raised all manner of possible concerns, such as whether the Wikileaks releases represented a deliberate distraction, covering some other espionage activity. Other known details, such as the fact that an Assange associate seems to have attempted to sell some of the released material in Russia, have no doubt also raised flags. So in the Manning case, the prosecution may be proceeding (at least in part) on the theory that Manning was not the only one deciding what documents to download and release. I do not know whether such a theory could be supported convincingly by facts

The court-martial is (in any case) trying Manning, not Assange, and the principal question seems to be: whether a soldier, who transfers large numbers of restricted documents to an organization that specializes in highly-publicized large-scale document dumping on the internet, and who has been warned that official enemies (such as al-Qaida or the Taliban) may comb the internet for information, should or should not then be held accountable for the possibility that those official enemies might actually learn about the document dump and obtain usable information from the dumped documents

The outcome of Manning's case cannot affect Assange's prospects, for Assange has not been charged with any crime in the US; if Assange were somehow charged and brought to trial, he would be prosecuted in civilian court under civilian law, not under military regulations in the military justice system; and no verdict of a different court, that Manning had engaged in some conspiracy, could translate directly into the legal conclusion that Assange was guilty of such a conspiracy

The US has already inquired whether Manning's actual releases affected Aussie interests, and the official answer seems to have been negative

So Manning's trial may not involve any Aussie interests, in which case the Aussies need not follow it closely
Posted by struggle4progress | Thu Jun 6, 2013, 05:04 PM (1 replies)

Let's do some math. Manning arrived in Iraq in October 2009 and was arrested in May 2010,

and he took a two week leave to the US in January 2010: there remain about 32 weeks in Iraq. Sometime during that time, he downloaded and sent to Wikileaks about 750 000 documents

Suppose that 7 da/wk during that 32 week period, Manning spent 12 hrs/da doing nothing but selecting and downloading the 750 000 documents. He was then selecting and downloading 23K+ documents per week, or 3300+ documents per day, or 275+ documents per hour, or 4+ documents per minute. That is, he cannot have spent on average even 15 seconds per document: (1) to read the document, (2) decide it should be released, and (3) download it for delivery to Wikileaks

In fact, he cannot have spent nearly that much time per document. Since Wikileaks began its distribution of the State Department cables in mid-February 2010, so Manning's activities must have occurred between the beginning of October and mid-February; subtracting his leave, there remain about 18 weeks in Iraq. So actually Manning was selecting and downloading over 41K+ documents per week, or over 5900 documents per day, or about 500 documents per hour, or over 8 documents per minute. That is, he cannot have spent on average more than about 7 second per document to: (1) to read the document, (2) decide it should be released, and (3) download it for delivery to Wikileaks

This is not a picture of a thoughtful citizen deciding, after careful review of material, that his conscience demands he make the information widely available: we are dealing with a confused and naive ideologue who chose to dump data without discrimination

Posted by struggle4progress | Wed Jun 5, 2013, 09:08 PM (1 replies)
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