HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » xocet » Journal
Page: 1


Profile Information

Member since: Thu Sep 25, 2008, 03:38 PM
Number of posts: 3,169

Journal Archives

As President Obama Clearly Condones Lying to Congress, Why Should His Rationale for War Be Believed?

Now, 170 days after the fact, DNI Clapper is still DNI in spite of his direct lie to Senator Wyden.

Given that this behavior is, at the very least, tolerated by the Obama Administration, what credibility, if any, does the Obama Administration have remaining?

South Carolina (Columbia) Criminalizing Their Homeless

South Carolina Criminalizing Their Homeless
Posted on August 21, 2013 by Alisha Mims

In the city of Columbia, South Carolina, tensions are mounting after the Columbia City Council voted unanimously to ban homeless citizens from its city center. Their plan, Emergency Homeless Response, mandates that homeless persons must be evacuated from the downtown business district or face arrest.

The plan includes operating an emergency winter shelter 24 hours a day from September to March of next year. The shelter was previously slated to operate from November to March; the emergency response includes two additional months.

The city’s riverfront winter shelter can accommodate 240 people. The homeless population of Richland county is estimated at 1,518 this year.

According to The State, “Columbians have debated the ‘homeless issue’ for nearly two decades in a city where on some days the homeless rival the number of shoppers, diners and pedestrians on key downtown streets.” But the City Council’s extreme decision has invoked ire from many who believe their mandate criminalizes the homeless and violates their constitutional rights.



The Emergency Homeless Response is documented here: http://www.columbiasc.net/depts/city_council/downloads/08_13_2013_Agenda_Items/Emergency_Homeless_Response_13_August_2013.pdf .

Will the homeless find relief in this action:
pg. 13 "The city must provide immediate relief to the business community, neighborhoods and the homeless."

Is the "person in need" a person in need of moving away from downtown:
pg. 19 "Dedicated telephone number for community and business response when a person in need is identified."

pg. 22 "Begin scaling into full implementation of long-term response April 01, 2014"

Things are not so veiled here:
pg. 22 "Prepare emergency shelter parcel for sale for private development along Columbia Canal"

This is fairly explicit:
pg. 23 "City owned Butler Buildings should be relocated to less commercially valuable property"

Only certain aspects of the long term plan are concretely known:
pg. 24 Long Term Execution Phase
  • Existing emergency shelter permanently shuttered
  • Emergency shelter parcel prepared for sale

Is the clearing of the shelter the primary objective of this city council action? Cui bono?

Video Shows Police Beating Shoplifter

More on this incident here:


Clearly, sitting in a chair and speaking on a cell phone is a highly threatening activity. No one should blame the police officers for being scared for their safety in this case.

President Obama Comments on Bradley Manning's Guilt...in April 2011!

Transcript of Obama’s declaration of PFC Manning’s guilt
April 25, 2011, press release by the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Experts explain fair trial of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower may not now be possible due to unlawful command influence

On Thursday, April 21, 2011 in San Francisco, a group of Bradley Manning supporters raised their concerns directly to the president in song at a fundraiser. Logan Price, from the Bradley Manning Support Network, was able to question President Obama directly afterwards. During the discussion he president declared that Bradley Manning “broke the law.”


“In addition to pronouncing Manning guilty, the president misstated a critical fact in comparing Manning to Daniel Ellsberg,” said Jeff Paterson, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network steering committee. “Unlike Ellsberg, Private Manning released low-level classified documents that hundreds of thousands of people had access to. Daniel Ellsberg, on the other hand released documents classified as Top Secret. Ellsberg violated the secrecy of the United States at a much higher level than Manning.”


LP: But didn’t he have a responsibility to expose.. [war crimes]

Obama: He broke the law!



Move along! There is nothing to see here: it's only k-dimensional chess and time-travel.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir: Bradley Manning's sentence: 35 years for exposing us to the truth

Bradley Manning's sentence: 35 years for exposing us to the truth
This was never a fair trial – Obama declared Manning's guilt in advance. But Manning's punishment is an affront to democracy
Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Wednesday 21 August 2013 10.29 EDT

As of today, Wednesday 21 August 2013, Bradley Manning has served 1,182 days in prison. He should be released with a sentence of time served. Instead, the judge in his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland has handed down a sentence of 35 years.

Of course, a humane, reasonable sentence of time served was never going to happen. This trial has, since day one, been held in a kangaroo court. That is not angry rhetoric; the reason I am forced to frame it in that way is because President Obama made the following statements on record, before the trial even started:

President Obama: We're a nation of laws. We don't individually make our own decisions about how the laws operate … He broke the law.

Logan Price: Well, you can make the law harder to break, but what he did was tell us the truth.

President Obama: Well, what he did was he dumped …

Logan Price: But Nixon tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg for the same thing and he is a … [hero]

President Obama: No, it isn't the same thing … What Ellsberg released wasn't classified in the same way.

When the president says that the Ellsberg's material was classified in a different way, he seems to be unaware that there was a higher classification on the documents Ellsberg leaked.



Now that this is done. I'm certain that the Obama Administration will diligently pursue the prosecution of the Bush Administration for the war crimes that they committed.

Five Months After: President Obama tacitly condones lying to Congress

At time index 6:37, Senator Wyden asks DNI Clapper the question to which DNI Clapper lied in response:

Fire James Clapper
The Director of National Intelligence lied to Congress about NSA surveillance. What else will he lie about?

By Fred Kaplan | Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 12:44 PM

If President Obama really does welcome a debate about the scope of the U.S. surveillance program, a good first step would be to fire Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Back at an open congressional hearing on March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper replied, “No sir … not wittingly.” As we all now know, he was lying.

We also now know that Clapper knew he was lying. In an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that aired this past Sunday, Clapper was asked why he answered Wyden the way he did. He replied:

“I thought, though in retrospect, I was asked [a] ‘when are you going to … stop beating your wife’ kind of question, which is … not answerable necessarily by a simple yes or no. So I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner by saying, ‘No.’ ”



DNI Clapper lied to Congress in mid-March and somehow in mid-August still holds the position of DNI: this essentially vitiates the theory that President Obama wants any sort of honest debate at all.

FBI, NSA, and CIA directors chuckle at ‘presumption of privacy’ question

FBI, NSA, and CIA directors chuckle at ‘presumption of privacy’ question
by Ann Mercogliano

They sat down together for the first time in public, the director of CIA, the FBI and the NSA and fielded pre-screened questions about our privacy, but left many questions unanswered.


The final question was aimed at all three, “Do average Americans have the presumption of privacy in any arena of life anymore?” The question was met with immediate laughter from the crowd, then from the panelists before answering.

“The real issue that we have is the communications devices you use, terrorists use,” said General Keith B. Alexander, adding tongue-in-cheekily, “Now at NSA we came up with this great idea, we’re going to have this separate set of communications devices and numbers that terrorists will use . . . and only those devices will be collected on.”

They did not take questions from the press.


Regular comedians - the lot.

Source Video: Remarks by the President in a Press Conference on August 09, 2013

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary[hr]August 09, 2013

Remarks by the President in a Press Conference
3:09 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been talking about what I believe should be our number-one priority as a country -- building a better bargain for the middle class and for Americans who want to work their way into the middle class. At the same time, I’m focused on my number-one responsibility as Commander-in-Chief, and that's keeping the American people safe. And in recent days, we’ve been reminded once again about the threats to our nation.

As I said at the National Defense University back in May, in meeting those threats we have to strike the right balance between protecting our security and preserving our freedoms. And as part of this rebalancing, I called for a review of our surveillance programs. Unfortunately, rather than an orderly and lawful process to debate these issues and come up with appropriate reforms, repeated leaks of classified information have initiated the debate in a very passionate, but not always fully informed way.

Now, keep in mind that as a senator, I expressed a healthy skepticism about these programs, and as President, I’ve taken steps to make sure they have strong oversight by all three branches of government and clear safeguards to prevent abuse and protect the rights of the American people. But given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance -- particularly as technology is reshaping every aspect of our lives.

I’m also mindful of how these issues are viewed overseas, because American leadership around the world depends upon the example of American democracy and American openness -- because what makes us different from other countries is not simply our ability to secure our nation, it’s the way we do it -- with open debate and democratic process.

In other words, it’s not enough for me, as President, to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them as well. And that's why, over the last few weeks, I’ve consulted members of Congress who come at this issue from many different perspectives. I’ve asked the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to review where our counterterrorism efforts and our values come into tension, and I directed my national security team to be more transparent and to pursue reforms of our laws and practices.

And so, today, I’d like to discuss four specific steps -- not all inclusive, but some specific steps that we’re going to be taking very shortly to move the debate forward.

First, I will work with Congress to pursue appropriate reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act -- the program that collects telephone records. As I’ve said, this program is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots. And it does not allow the government to listen to any phone calls without a warrant. But given the scale of this program, I understand the concerns of those who would worry that it could be subject to abuse. So after having a dialogue with members of Congress and civil libertarians, I believe that there are steps we can take to give the American people additional confidence that there are additional safeguards against abuse.

For instance, we can take steps to put in place greater oversight, greater transparency, and constraints on the use of this authority. So I look forward to working with Congress to meet those objectives.

Second, I’ll work with Congress to improve the public’s confidence in the oversight conducted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISC. The FISC was created by Congress to provide judicial review of certain intelligence activities so that a federal judge must find that our actions are consistent with the Constitution. However, to build greater confidence, I think we should consider some additional changes to the FISC.

One of the concerns that people raise is that a judge reviewing a request from the government to conduct programmatic surveillance only hears one side of the story -- may tilt it too far in favor of security, may not pay enough attention to liberty. And while I’ve got confidence in the court and I think they’ve done a fine job, I think we can provide greater assurances that the court is looking at these issues from both perspectives -- security and privacy.

So, specifically, we can take steps to make sure civil liberties concerns have an independent voice in appropriate cases by ensuring that the government’s position is challenged by an adversary.

Number three, we can, and must, be more transparent. So I’ve directed the intelligence community to make public as much information about these programs as possible. We’ve already declassified unprecedented information about the NSA, but we can go further. So at my direction, the Department of Justice will make public the legal rationale for the government’s collection activities under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The NSA is taking steps to put in place a full-time civil liberties and privacy officer, and released information that details its mission, authorities, and oversight. And finally, the intelligence community is creating a website that will serve as a hub for further transparency, and this will give Americans and the world the ability to learn more about what our intelligence community does and what it doesn’t do, how it carries out its mission, and why it does so.

Fourth, we’re forming a high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies. We need new thinking for a new era. We now have to unravel terrorist plots by finding a needle in the haystack of global telecommunications. And meanwhile, technology has given governments -- including our own -- unprecedented capability to monitor communications.

So I am tasking this independent group to step back and review our capabilities -- particularly our surveillance technologies. And they’ll consider how we can maintain the trust of the people, how we can make sure that there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used, ask how surveillance impacts our foreign policy -- particularly in an age when more and more information is becoming public. And they will provide an interim report in 60 days and a final report by the end of this year, so that we can move forward with a better understanding of how these programs impact our security, our privacy, and our foreign policy.

So all these steps are designed to ensure that the American people can trust that our efforts are in line with our interests and our values. And to others around the world, I want to make clear once again that America is not interested in spying on ordinary people. Our intelligence is focused, above all, on finding the information that’s necessary to protect our people, and -- in many cases -- protect our allies.

It’s true we have significant capabilities. What’s also true is we show a restraint that many governments around the world don't even think to do, refuse to show -- and that includes, by the way, some of America’s most vocal critics. We shouldn’t forget the difference between the ability of our government to collect information online under strict guidelines and for narrow purposes, and the willingness of some other governments to throw their own citizens in prison for what they say online.

And let me close with one additional thought. The men and women of our intelligence community work every single day to keep us safe because they love this country and believe in our values. They're patriots. And I believe that those who have lawfully raised their voices on behalf of privacy and civil liberties are also patriots who love our country and want it to live up to our highest ideals. So this is how we’re going to resolve our differences in the United States -- through vigorous public debate, guided by our Constitution, with reverence for our history as a nation of laws, and with respect for the facts.

So, with that, I’m going to take some questions. And let’s see who we’ve got here. We’re going to start with Julie Pace of AP.


Chuck Todd. (at time index 48:43)


See, now I’ve forgotten your first question, which presumably was the more important one. No, I don’t think Mr. Snowden was a patriot. As I said in my opening remarks, I called for a thorough review of our surveillance operations before Mr. Snowden made these leaks.

My preference -- and I think the American people’s preference -- would have been for a lawful, orderly examination of these laws, a thoughtful fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place. Because I never made claims that all the surveillance technologies that have developed since the time some of these laws had been put in place somehow didn't require potentially some additional reforms. That's exactly what I called for.



These "thoughtful fact-based" debates "that would then lead us to a better place" never seem to occur; for example, single-payer health care never made it to the "thoughtful fact-based debate that would then lead us to a better place" stage.

NOTE: The video link has been updated, since the original video was removed and replaced with this shortened version of the original video by the YouTube user, whitehouse.

Greenwald's Appropriate Compound Adjective:"...hostage-message-sounding missives...."

Email service used by Snowden shuts itself down, warns against using US-based companies
Edward Snowden: 'Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, and the rest of our internet titans must ask themselves why they aren't fighting for our interests the same way'

Glenn Greenwald
theguardian.com, Friday 9 August 2013 08.19 EDT

A Texas-based encrypted email service recently revealed to be used by Edward Snowden - Lavabit - announced yesterday it was shutting itself down in order to avoid complying with what it perceives as unjust secret US court orders to provide government access to its users' content. "After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations," the company's founder, Ladar Levinson, wrote in a statement to users posted on the front page of its website. He said the US directive forced on his company "a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit." He chose the latter.


What is particularly creepy about the Lavabit self-shutdown is that the company is gagged by law even from discussing the legal challenges it has mounted and the court proceeding it has engaged. In other words, the American owner of the company believes his Constitutional rights and those of his customers are being violated by the US Government, but he is not allowed to talk about it. Just as is true for people who receive National Security Letters under the Patriot Act, Lavabit has been told that they would face serious criminal sanctions if they publicly discuss what is being done to their company. Thus we get hostage-message-sounding missives like this:

"I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what's going on - the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests."

Does that sound like a message coming from a citizen of a healthy and free country? Secret courts issuing secret rulings invariably in favor of the US government that those most affected are barred by law from discussing? Is there anyone incapable at this point of seeing what the United States has become? Here's the very sound advice issued by Lavabit's founder:



Here is the message from Lavabit's owner:

My Fellow Users,

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.

What’s going to happen now? We’ve already started preparing the paperwork needed to continue to fight for the Constitution in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. A favorable decision would allow me resurrect Lavabit as an American company.

This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.

Ladar Levison
Owner and Operator, Lavabit LLC


The United States should be better than this.

Whitehouse.gov: 100,000 Signatures Needed by July 09, 2013 (Signature#124,092 on July 01, 2013)

August 02, 2013 brought signature #132,080.

Of course, the Obama Administration responded with crickets. It seems that, this week, they are occupied with proclaiming their disappointment in Russia, whereas last week they were occupied with fulsomely promising Russia that they will neither torture nor execute Snowden.


Pardon Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

Created: Jun 09, 2013
Issues: Civil Rights and Liberties, Government Reform, Human Rights

Signatures needed by July 09, 2013 to reach goal of 100,000: 0
Total signatures on this petition: 132,080


Go to Page: 1