Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 38,875
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 38,875
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By Christopher Scholl
WhoWhatWhy.com on Apr 5, 2014
An Alabama blogger posted a simple question on his website this week: “Why did it take five months for me to be released from jail?”
Roger Shuler’s extraordinary imprisonment last autumn came after he blogged about allegations of an affair between a powerful Republican and a lobbyist, and in conservative Alabama, it seems that can land you some enemies.
But the scent of southern politics surrounded the case. The judge who placed Shuler in jail happened to have been appointed by the state’s Chief Justice, Roy Moore. As WhoWhatWhy reported, Moore is a controversial Republican, and a key player in Karl Rove’s GOP effort to draft conservatives to the bench.
There have been consistent protests about Shuler’s incarceration. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press cited Shuler as the only journalist in the western hemisphere to be jailed like this. The American Civil Liberties Union protested, too. Even The New York Times finally caught on to the case, covering Shuler’s story months later, in January.
So what led to his release? Judge Claud Neilson wrote that Shuler’s wife, Carol, “removed most of the subject matter of the injunction from the ‘Legal Schnauzer’ blog, from Shuler’s YouTube account, and from Shuler’s Twitter account.” He warned, however, that Shuler is under a permanent injunction and cannot post the comments again.
Shuler's the guy who worked to draw attention to the Rove-GOP railroading of Gov. Don Siegelman.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 12:43 PM (36 replies)
Look who's making a buck off the War on Terror:
The Carlyle Group
excerpted from the book
The Exception to the Rulers
by Amy Goodman
The feeding frenzy began the morning of 9/11. As my neighbors and coworkers were choking on the debris of the World Trade Center, a windfall awaited a powerful group gathered at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, D.C. The secretive Carlyle Group was holding its annual investors' conference. The private investment company, named for the swank Manhattan hotel where the group was formed in 1987, has tentacles in both the Washington power elite and the Saudi ruling class. In town for the meetings was former President George H. W. Bush, then a senior adviser to Carlyle. He was joined by a cast of characters who have been fixtures in Bush regimes over the years.
There was Reagan's former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, then head of the Carlyle Group. James Baker III, secretary of state under Bush Sr. - better known as the choreographer of Bush Jr.'s theft of the 2000 election - was also there in his capacity as Carlyle's senior counsel. But it wasn't just Bush's inner circle gathering that day. They were joined by a man by the name of Shafiq bin Laden, brother of Osama bin Laden. It wasn't the first time a bin Laden had worked with Washington's power elite, and this particular bin Laden was a longtime friend and benefactor of the Bush clan. Bush Sr. left the meetings early, but the rest of the men were just finishing breakfast when Shafiq's brother's plot culminated in airplanes slamming into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
A bizarre coincidence? No, the meeting was just business as usual for the Bushes, whose family fortunes have been greased by Saudi oil money for decades. That helps explain why, when the United States grounded all aircraft on that terrible day, one exception was made: Top White House officials authorized planes to pick up 140 Saudis, including two dozen members of the bin Laden family, from ten cities and spirit them back to Saudi Arabia. Dale Watson, the former head of counterterrorism at the FBI, conceded in Vanity Fair that the departing Saudis "were not subject to serious interviews or interrogations. "
Tom Kinton, director of aviation at Boston's Logan Airport, was incredulous, according to Vanity Fair. With the airport still closed and reeling from the 9/11 attacks, Kinton received the order to allow the bin Ladens to fly. "We were in the midst of the worst terrorist act in history and here we were seeing an evacuation of the bin Ladens!" he exclaimed...
A month after the terror attacks, the Carlyle Group took its subsidiary, United Defense, public. It noted in its financial filings that "the Bush administration's recently published Quadrennial Defense Review calls for ... increasing investment ... to enable U.S. military forces to more effectively counter emerging threats."
Translation: We just got check-writing privileges at the U.S. Treasury.
Carlyle netted profits of $237 million in that one day, making three times as much on paper. The old adage has never been truer: It pays to have friends in high places.
Speaking of promotions, Frank C. of the Carlyle Group would like to interest you in a floating city seaboard condominium, perfect for escaping revolutions, economic collapses and justice:
The Really Creepy People Behind the Libertarian-Inspired Billionaire Sea Castles
The stinking rich are planning billion-dollar luxury liners that keep the land-based Americans they've plundered at a safe distance.
AlterNet / By Mark Ames
June 1, 2010
What happens when Americans plunder America and leave it broken, destitute and seething mad? Where do these fabulously wealthy Americans go with their loot, if America isn't a safe, secure, or even desirable place to spend their riches? What if they lose faith in their gated communities, because those plush gated communities are surrounded by millions of pissed-off Americans stripped of their entitlements, and who now want in?
The first such floating castle has been christened the " Utopia"--the South Korean firm Samsung has been contracted to build the $1.1 billion ship, due to be launched in 2013. Already orders are coming in to buy one of the Utopia's 200 or so mansions for sale- -which range in price from about $4 million for the smallest condos to over $26 million for 6,600 square-foot "estates." The largest mansion is a whopping 40,000 square feet, and sells for $160 million.
Both Thiel and Milton Friedman's grandson see democracy as the enemy--last year, Thiel wrote "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible" at about the same time that Milton Friedman's grandson proclaimed, "Democracy is not the answer." Both published their anti-democracy proclamations in the same billionaire-Koch-family-funded outlet, Cato Unbound, one of the oldest billionaire-fed libertarian welfare dispensaries. Friedman's answer for Thiel's democracy problem is to build offshore libertarian pod-fortresses where the libertarian way rules. It's probably better for everyone if Milton Friedman's grandson and Peter Thiel leave us forever for their libertarian ocean lair--Thiel believes that America went down the tubes ever since it gave women the right to vote, and he was outed as the sponsor of accused felon James O'Keefe's smear videos that brought ACORN to ruin.
While neither Bush nor the Bin Ladens are principals in the Frontier Group, its founding director, Frank Carlucci, is a name they know well, and you should too. Carlucci ran the Carlyle Group as its chairman from 1989 through 2005, right around the time that the wars started going undeniably bad, and floating castles started to look like a viable plan. But Carlucci's past is much weirder and scarier than most of us care to know: whether it's his strangely timed appearances in some of the ugliest assassinations and coups in modern history, or serving as Carter's number two man in the CIA, and Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Defense, if Frank Carlucci (nicknamed "Creepy Carlucci" and "Spooky Frank") is the founding director of a firm that's building floating castles, it's a bad sign for those of us left behind.
I'll get into Carlucci's partners in the Frontier Group in a moment, but first, let's reacquaint ourselves with Frank Carlucci. From an early age, Carlucci learned the importance of getting to know the right people in the right places. He studied at Princeton in the mid-1950s, where as luck should have it, Carlucci roomed with Donald Rumsfeld. Both Carlucci and Rumsfeld shared a passion for Greco-Roman wrestling at Princeton, and both went on to serve in the Navy after Princeton. Their paths would split and merge several times over the next few decades, even as they remained close personal friends throughout their lives. In the late 1950s, Carlucci briefly served as an executive at a lingerie manufacturer, Jantzen (the Victoria's Secret of its day), but quickly left to join the State Department.
I'm so old, delta17, I remember when traitors, gangsters and crooks actually got prosecuted instead of promoted.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:59 AM (0 replies)
Or, martial law was declared, secret-like, for the benefit of the Marshall.
Welcome to Post-Constitution America
What if your country begins to change and no one notices?
Peter Van Buren
The Nation August 5, 2013
On July 30, 1778, the Continental Congress created the first whistleblower protection law, stating “that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds, or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states.”
Two hundred and thirty-five years later, on July 30, 2013, Bradley Manning was found guilty on twenty of the twenty-two charges for which he was prosecuted, specifically for “espionage” and for videos of war atrocities he released, but not for “aiding the enemy.”
Days after the verdict, with sentencing hearings in which Manning could receive 136 years of prison time ongoing, the pundits have had their say. The problem is that they missed the most chilling aspect of the Manning case: the way it ushered us, almost unnoticed, into post-constitutional America.
The Weapons of War Come Home
Consider, for instance, the rise of the warrior cop, of increasingly up-armored police departments across the country often filled with former military personnel encouraged to use the sort of rough tactics they once wielded in combat zones. Supporting them are the kinds of weaponry that once would have been inconceivable in police departments, including armored vehicles, typically bought with Department of Homeland Security grants. Recently, the director of the FBI informed a Senate committee that the Bureau was deploying its first drones over the United States. Meanwhile, Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security and already flying an expanding fleet of Predator drones, the very ones used in America’s war zones, is eager to arm them with “non-lethal” weaponry to “immobilize targets of interest.”
Above all, surveillance technology has been coming home from our distant war zones. The National Security Agency (NSA), for instance, pioneered the use of cellphones to track potential enemy movements in Iraq and Afghanistan. The NSA did this in one of several ways. With the aim of remotely turning on cellphones as audio monitoring or GPS devices, rogue signals could be sent out through an existing network, or NSA software could be implanted on phones disguised as downloads of porn or games.
Using fake cellphone towers that actually intercept phone signals en route to real towers, the US could harvest hardware information in Iraq and Afghanistan that would forever label a phone and allow the NSA to always uniquely identify it, even if the SIM card was changed. The fake cell towers also allowed the NSA to gather precise location data for the phone, vacuum up metadata and monitor what was being said.
For some reason, no one in "authority" has told me or anybody I know about it. Guess government has become just another a "need-to-know" operation.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:35 AM (1 replies)
"I was a big believer then, and still am, that personal diplomacy can be very useful and productive." -- George W Bush
Smiling salesmen learned on the knee, or whatever the bent is called, of a master.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:30 AM (0 replies)
The richest county in Michigan is now a Test Bed of Freedom™ in the fight against, uh, Saddam, uh, Al Qaeda, uh Putin...
Secret military device lets Oakland deputies track cellphones
Military device sweeps activity in wide area
Joel Kurth and Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
Detroit News, April 5, 2014
Pontiac— Oakland County commissioners asked no questions last March before unanimously approving a cellphone tracking device so powerful it was used by the military to fight terrorists.
Now, though, some privacy advocates question why one of the safest counties in Michigan needs the super-secretive Hailstorm device that is believed to be able to collect large amounts of cellphone data, including the locations of users, by masquerading as a cell tower.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is one of about two dozen forces nationwide — and the only one in Michigan — with the $170,000 machine. So little is known about Hailstorm that even national experts will only speculate about its capabilities. The technology from Florida-based defense contractor Harris Corp. is believed to be an upgrade of Stingray, a suitcase-sized contraption that is installed in cars and used to trick nearby phones into connecting with it and providing data to police.
Christopher Soghoian, a senior policy analyst and principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said he began noticing police agencies nationwide purchase Hailstorm about the same time as Oakland County. The county received a $258,370 federal grant that paid for all but $105,000 of the device, training and about $56,000 to purchase a vehicle to contain it, records show.
Butler said the machines were developed for military and spy agencies and information about them is on “bureaucratic lockdown” because the manufacturer, Harris, claims specifications are “a trade secret and proprietary.”
For those who "own and operate" this and the rest of the super secret spy technology on behalf of "We the People," the enemy isn't the Other. It's "Us," as in "We the People."
Posted by Octafish | Sun Apr 6, 2014, 10:06 AM (18 replies)
"Maybe a government drone."
Santa Ana, California, Aug. 3, 1965.
Thank you for the heads-up, watchingoveryou. Fascinating report and subject. Welcome to DU!
Posted by Octafish | Sat Apr 5, 2014, 11:44 AM (1 replies)
George W. Bush unveils paintings of world leaders on 'Today' show
The paintings will be part of the former president's first solo art exhibition, "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," opening this month at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. SOURCE: Los Angeles Times
Giggling mass murderers, no matter how untalented, should not be lauded in the nation's press. Their examples should serve as warnings to prevent treason, warmongering, war profiteering and other assorted crimes.
Posted by Octafish | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 01:19 PM (122 replies)
Don't know where he's coming from, but that's an odd way for a citizen of the United States to feel.
Posted by Octafish | Wed Apr 2, 2014, 05:46 PM (0 replies)
The Secret Torture Memo Cheney Didn't Want You To See
Mother Jones on Thu. April 5, 2012 12:20 PM PDT
In 2006, Philip Zelikow, an adviser to then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, wrote a secret memo warning his colleagues that many of the Bush administration's enhanced interrogation techniques were likely illegal. Zelikow didn't speak publicly about the memo—the smoking gun that the Bush administration was warned by its own staff about legal problems with its interrogation program—until 2009, when he revealed its existence in a blog post for Foreign Policy. But when Zelikow testified to Congress about his warning, his classified memo was withheld, and two unclassified documents were released in its stead. Zelikow told Mother Jones in 2009 that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had attempted to destroy any evidence of the classified memo, but that some copies might survive in the State Department's archives.
It appears that Zelikow was right about the archives: the secret memo, which he called a "direct assault on interpretation of American law," was finally released by the State Department on Tuesday, three years after the National Security Archive and WIRED reporter Spencer Ackerman (then at the Washington Independent) first requested it under the Freedom of Information Act. You can read it here:
Posted by Octafish | Tue Apr 1, 2014, 08:10 PM (1 replies)
Know your BFEE: Oliver North, Drug Dealer
The man who wrote the following was a DEA agent, stationed in Central America. Celerino "Cele" Castillo witnessed Ollie North's people unloading guns and loading cocaine for the trip North (no pun intended). The testimony also shows why the pukes hate the guy who has the goods on them -- John Kerry.
ON OLIVER L. NORTH
By Celerino "Cele" Castillo, 3rd
Former Federal Drug Agent and Author of:
Powderburns- Cocaine, Contras & the Drug War
Several years ago, the extreme right arm of the Christian Coalition selected to support Oliver North for U.S. Senate. Their support backfired and North became one of two Republicans who lost the elections that year. During North's campaign, I traveled to the Virginia to educate concern citizens on Oliver North. I went out to "grassroots" communities, and educated them on the criminal activities that Oliver North had been involved in during the 1980s. I went as far as challenging North to a debate. Of course, he refused.
During his failed 1994 campaign, he frequently claimed that there was no basis for any charges of his complicity in drug running, because as he keeps saying, "I'm the most investigated man on this planet." The truth of the matter is that the Iran-Contra special prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, never investigated the drug trafficking allegations, because he did not consider it part of his mandate. The special prosecutor's original mandate from Congress was defined very narrowly, concentrating on the Iranian arms sales, the "diversion" of funds from the Iranian arms sales to the Contra operation, and on the Contra support operation as a violation of U.S. law.
During all the misdirected hoopla about Iran-Contra, the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee (known as the "Kerry committee") continued its work. Jack Blum, an investigator for Senator Kerry, testified to the committee on Feb. 11, 1987 that the Contras move drugs "not by the pound, not by the bag, but by the ton, by the cargo planeloads."
In 1987, Henry Hyde, as a member of the congressional Iran-contra committee and a defense attorney, helped steer the panel away from any serious investigation of the contra-cocaine connection. His focus was to spare President Ronald Reagan and his vice president, George Bush from possible impeachment over the Iran-contra scandal and related drug crimes implicating the Nicaraguan contra army.
Posted by Octafish | Sat Mar 29, 2014, 04:11 PM (3 replies)