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Ray McGovern: Pvt. Manning and Imperative of Truth

Published on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by [font color="blue"]CommonDreams.org[/font]
Pvt. Manning and Imperative of Truth

by Ray McGovern

When I was asked to speak at Saturday’s rally at Fort Meade in support of Pvt. Bradley Manning, I wondered how I might provide some context around what Manning is alleged to have done.

(In my talk, so as not to think I had to insert the word “alleged” into every sentence, I asked for unanimous consent to using the indicative rather than the subjunctive mood.)

What jumped into my mind was the letter Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham City jail in April 1963, from which I remembered this:

“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up, but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/12/21-6

Accused Ponzi schemer Allen Stafford "suicidal" and unfit for trial, his doc says

(Bloomberg) R. Allen Stanford is suicidal and may never recover sufficiently from a jailhouse beating to stand trial next month on charges he ran a $7 billion Ponzi scheme, a doctor who examined him for the defense testified.

Defense lawyers and U.S. prosecutors argued for the second day in federal court in Houston over Stanford’s mental fitness. Stanford, 61, says he can’t remember family vacations, business dealings or romantic encounters with women because of the attack and because of anxiety drugs. The U.S. says he’s faking it.

Dr. Ralph Lilly, a neurologist, testified today that Stanford sustained “a major injury that required major surgery’’ in the 2009 inmate assault. Stanford is delusional and believes the government is out to destroy him, Lilly said. The doctor said he couldn’t predict when Stanford might be ready for trial.

“He’s at risk for suicide,” Lilly told U.S. District Judge David Hittner, citing an examination of Stanford this month. “His memory is like a crossword puzzle that’s fallen to the ground and doesn’t come together anymore.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-21/stanford-doctor-says-financier-is-suicidal-unfit-for-trial-in-ponzi-case.html

Barney Frank: Apology is not a bad word

Apology is not a bad word
By REP. BARNEY FRANK | 12/20/11 9:30 PM EST

(Politico) A number of people have commented on the ways in which current Republican candidates for president differ from President Ronald Reagan, generally taking positions that are more conservative than he held. One example of that came as I recently read yet another denunciation of President Barack Obama by a Republican candidate who claimed the president was a serial apologizer for America. Some variant of “No president should ever apologize for America” has become a fairly constant theme in the Republican primary.

As I read it, I was reminded of the time President Reagan and I teamed — with a number of other people — to do precisely what these candidates are denouncing: apologize on behalf of America, not for an accident, but for a conscious, deliberate national policy choice.

There are a number of cases of presidents apologizing for accidents — the mistaken shooting-down of an airliner, a crash at sea, etc. But I assume that the Republican critics of Obama are denying that neither they nor any properly patriotic American president would ever apologize for something done as a matter of official policy.

That is exactly what I helped Reagan do in 1988. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70698.html#ixzz1hBhtv300

NY Times: Republican Unity Cracks as Election Nears

Republican Unity Cracks as Election Nears

The criticism of the House Republicans this week has been fierce.

One senator accused them of “playing politics” and said their actions would “hurt American families and be detrimental to our fragile economy.”

Another said there was “no reason” for House Republicans to oppose a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, and added that “What is playing out in Washington, D.C., this week is about political leverage, not about what’s good for the American people.”

And a third urged House Republicans to pass the short-term payroll tax cut bill because “this is best for the country, as well as for all the individuals who are affected.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/21/republican-unity-cracks-as-election-nears/

Keiser Report 225 - Victims of Banking Terrorists

With its FAST program, the federal government is trying to read minds to fight terrorism

from In These Times:

Uncle Sam’s ‘Mal-intent’
With its FAST program, the federal government is trying to read minds to fight terrorism.

BY Michael Solomon

It’s called the FAST Mobile Module. It looks like an outdoor school trailer on wheels, complete with multiple screening rooms, three ramp entry lanes for greater “throughput” and state-of-the-art physiological and behavioral technologies that can detect an individual’s “mal-intent”–that is, intention to do harm.

The Mobile Module may one day roam the country, its high-tech sensors measuring heart rates, skin temperatures, body movements, breathing, pupil dilation and other physiological indicators to predict whether or not someone will commit a crime in the future.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calls this program, established in 2008, Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST). The goal is to “develop a prototype to detect deception and hostile intent in real time,” DHS Under Secretary of Science and Tehnology Jay Cohen has said. Internal DHS documents recently obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) through the Freedom of Information Act reveal the program in greater detail.

A 2008 preliminary test of the technology on volunteers went like this: First, subjects were assigned one of three distinctions: no mal-intent, mal-intent without device, or mal-intent smuggle. “Mal-intent smuggle” meant the subject was to try to smuggle a “disruptive device” past the sensors without being “flagged” by the FAST Sensor Suit–a tall bed frame-like structure fitted with thermal cameras, heart monitors and other physiological sensors that tracks subjects as they walk past. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12408/uncle_sams_mal_intent

Amy Goodman: Bradley Manning and the Fog of War

from truthdig:

Bradley Manning and the Fog of War

Posted on Dec 20, 2011
By Amy Goodman

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

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

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

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

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/bradley_manning_and_the_fog_of_war_20111220/

Why Are We Forced to Worship at the Feet of 'Mythical' Financial Markets Controlled by the Elite?

AlterNet / By Les Leopold

Why Are We Forced to Worship at the Feet of 'Mythical' Financial Markets Controlled by the Elite?
We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation.

December 20, 2011 |

The markets are “jittery,” “upset,” “skittish” and “unnerved.” They are “confident” or “unsure.” They are “demanding” that political leaders “put up or shut up.” And they are “reacting unfavorably” to Obama’s newfound populism.

These are just a few of the many ways financial markets are described each and every day by the media, financial players and public officials. At first it seems as if these markets are humanoids onto which we project our feelings. Yet, on closer inspection, it’s more like we have ascribed to them god-like powers. We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation. As President Obama warned Europe recently, they must “muster the political will” to “settle markets down.”

Why do we worship these angry market gods?

Trading has been around for as long as humans. We, no doubt, increased our chances of survival through trading what we had more of for what we needed or wanted. The more complex our societies became the more markets grew. At some point during the Renaissance, markets emerged that traded money as well as goods, as city-states and nations sought ways to fund wars. But these markets were far from god-like. Sovereign nations ruled supreme and money-lenders had to do their bidding if they hoped to be repaid or in some cases, if they hoped to avoid execution. Even Adam Smith didn’t suggest that financial markets had god-like powers. In fact, these markets seemed more like petulant children throwing tantrums as they puffed up tulip bubbles, South Sea bubbles, railroad bubbles and periodic financial panics.

When the mother of all financial crashes struck in 1929, it seemed as if markets would forever lose their god-like status. A consensus emerged that financial speculation was a major cause of the Great Depression, and tight controls were established during the New Deal to teach these petulant children a lesson they would never forget. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/economy/153497/why_are_we_forced_to_worship_at_the_feet_of_%27mythical%27_financial_markets_controlled_by_the_elite/

Staying out of the ring: Barely half of adults wed

NEW YORK—As a 20-something, Erin Turner feels she made all the right moves dating wise. She graduated from college and spent three and a half years with a boyfriend before they moved in together.

Their cohabitation bliss lasted only eight months.

"We broke up because when you live with someone, everything comes to the surface," said Turner, who remains single in Chicago as her 30th birthday approaches in March.

"You start to see how people handle confrontation, financial realities, challenges, the housework load. If we had been married we would have been divorced, or fully on our way." ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/12/20/staying_out_of_the_ring_barely_half_of_adults_wed/

One Percent To 99: Stop Picking On Us

from HuffPost:

According to Bloomberg today, what the major banks and the gentlemen who run them want for Christmas is for everyone to stop persecuting them with all this talk of "the 1 percent," and to stop reminding them of the fact that they've profited while the rest of the country has suffered through an epic crisis of unemployment and home foreclosures as a direct result of their cosmic incompetence.

They're quite sick of it, and they want it to stop! So they whined at length to a Bloomberg reporter and, as Choire Sicha characterizes the end result, "It's an incredibly hot, defensive mess up in there."

To wit:

Jamie Dimon, the highest-paid chief executive officer among the heads of the six biggest U.S. banks, turned a question at an investors' conference in New York this month into an occasion to defend wealth.

"Acting like everyone who's been successful is bad and because you're rich you're bad, I don't understand it," the JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO told an audience member who asked about hostility toward bankers. "Sometimes there's a bad apple, yet we denigrate the whole."

And sometimes, you know, "the whole" turns out to be entirely rotted through with "apples" that were not adequately capitalized against the crazy bets they were making with each other, forcing teachers and firefighters and mail-carriers and, I don't know -- stevedores? -- to give them $4.7 trillion so that they can pretend to be solvent. But that money was donated with the explicit expectation that it would be lent productively. What happened instead is that all the banks posted record profits and spent that money on an army of lobbyists, dispatched to Washington, D.C., to ensure that whatever financial regulation comes out of the just-averted disaster doesn't actually prevent the casino-derivatives game from ramping up all over again. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/20/bankers-still-whining-abo_n_1160938.html

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