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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 13,073

Journal Archives

Bradley Manning Trial Witness Says Zero Deaths Linked To Names In Afghan War Diary Release

FORT MEADE, Md. -- The Defense Department task force that scoured WikiLeaks' Iraq and Afghanistan war logs did not find any deaths of people identified in the leaked reports -- discovering only that the Taliban claimed credit for the death of one person not named in the massive cache of files.

That revelation came as the sentencing phase of WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning's court martial began on Wednesday, a day after he was convicted on charges that carry a maximum sentence of 132.5 years. The prosecution's first sentencing witness, a former U.S. Department of Defense official, spoke to one of the most hotly contested elements of Manning's legacy -- whether his leaks put any American intelligence sources at risk.

Ret. Brig. Gen. Robert Carr testified that his task force identified more than 900 Afghan names as potentially at risk in the 70,000-plus leaked files. But only a single death -- of someone not actually named in the logs -- was ever linked to WikiLeaks.

"As a result of the Afghan logs, I only know of one individual that was killed," Carr said. "The individual was an Afghan national. The Afghan national had a relationship with the United States government, and the Taliban came out publicly and said that they killed him as a result of him being associated with the information in these logs."


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/31/bradley-manning-afghan-war-diary_n_3684828.html

Drone Strikes Ruled War Crimes; Public Outcry Forces Cutbacks

The tempo of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan has slowed significantly in recent months, and anonymous officials tell The Associated Press that the reason has to do with the public's intensifying criticism of the program, which has reportedly killed hundreds of civilians since 2004.

While the attacks are by no means stopping, their frequency has reached a low not seen since the secret program began in Pakistan, with 16 strikes occurring so far this year. That's a far cry from the peak of 122 strikes in 2010, according to data from the New America Foundation, whose most recent estimates show those strikes killed 97 alleged "militants" and four "others" in 2013. Current and former intelligence officials tell AP that public scrutiny has led the program to be more focused on "high value" targets, supposedly dropping the controversial practice of "signature strikes," which attack anonymous individuals based solely on behavior observed in the field....

The decreased number of strikes comes after massive public outrage in Pakistan, where the high court in Peshawar has ruled that US drone strikes constitute war crimes and violations of the country's sovereignty. Ben Emmerson, the UN's special rapporteur on civil rights, reached similar conclusions during his own investigation of the ongoing US drone campaign. In the past, Pakistani officials have publicly spoken out against drone strikes while secretly consenting to them behind closed doors. But anonymous US officials told the AP that the strikes decreased after Pakistani officials made it clear the attacks could not continue at the current rate, citing concerns over the civilian death toll.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/25/4557080/cia-cutting-down-drone-strikes-in-pakistan-fearing-public-outrage

Don’t buy the right-wing myth about Detroit

There's a lot of right wing spin on Detroit floating around the internet. Here's some good info:

As mythology goes, the specific story being crafted about Detroit’s bankruptcy is truly biblical — more specifically, just like the fact-free mythology around the Greek financial collapse, it is copied right from the chapter in the conservative movement’s bible about how to distort crises for maximum political effect.

In the conservative telling of this particular parable, Detroit faces a fiscal emergency because high taxes supposedly drove a mass exodus from the city, and the supposedly unbridled greed of unions forced city leaders to make fiscally irresponsible pension promises to municipal employees. Written out of the tale is any serious analysis of macroeconomic shifts, international economic policy failures, the geography of recent recessions and unsustainable corporate welfare spending.

This is classic right-wing dogma — the kind that employs selective storytelling to use a tragic event as a means to radical ends. In this case, the ends are — big shocker! — three of the conservative movement’s larger long-term economic priorities: 1) preservation of job-killing trade policies 2) immunity for corporations and 3) justification for budget policies that continue to profligately subsidize the rich.

Pretending Detroit and the NAFTA era are unrelated: The bait-and-switch on the first two objectives is fairly easy to see.

Detroit isn’t just any old city — it happens to be the biggest population center in the state hit the hardest by the right’s corporate-written trade agenda. Indeed, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the state lost more jobs than any other from NAFTA (43,600, or 1 percent of its total job base) and lost another 79,500 jobs thanks to the China PNTR deal. And that’s just two of many such trade pacts. Add to this the city’s disproportionate reliance on American auto companies which made a series of horrific business decisions, and Detroit is a microcosmic cautionary tale about what happens when large corporations are allowed to write macro economic policy and dictate the economic future of an entire city.

If told, this cautionary tale would likely spark a discussion about revising current trade deals, regulations, public investment and industrial policy in general. That is, it would spark precisely the discussion that the conservative movement and the corporations that fund politicians don’t want America to have. So the right works to make sure that discussion is short circuited by a narrative that focuses the Detroit story primarily on taxes and public pensions.

MORE: http://www.salon.com/2013/07/23/dont_buy_the_right_wing_myth_about_detroit/


US Drones Killed 94 Kids In Less Than 3 Years

US Drones Killed 94 Kids In Less Than 3 Years

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/drone-pakistan-civilian-deaths-2013-7#ixzz2ZtBf8MYz


A new previously classified report from the Pakistani government details how, even before he increase in tempo and questionable drone tactics of the Obama administration, strikes from American drones resulted in a high number of civilian casualties.

The report, titled “Details of Attacks by NATO Forces/Predators in FATA,” was obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The report, which stretches from January 2006 until October 2009, details a startlingly high amount of collateral damage in the Pakistan government’s casualty tally.

Of the 746 people killed in drone strikes over that period, 147 of them are described as civilians. A shocking 94 of them were children.



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/drone-pakistan-civilian-deaths-2013-7#ixzz2ZtC73vnD

Detroit's Collapse Reveals the Awful Dystopia that the United States Is Becoming

From 1950 until now, two big things happened to ruin
the city with regard to industry. The first was robotification.
The
automation of many processes in the factories led to fewer workers
being needed, and produced unemployment. Then, the auto industry began locating
elsewhere, along with its support industries, to save money on labor
or production costs or to escape regulation
.....

It seems to me that we need to abandon capitalism as production
becomes detached from human labor. I think all robot labor should be
nationalized and put in the public sector, and all citizens should
receive a basic stipend from it. Then, if robots make an automobile,
the profits will not go solely to a corporation that owns the robots,
but rather to all the citizens. It wouldn’t be practical anyway for
the robots to be making things for unemployed, penniless humans.
Perhaps we need a 21st century version of ‘from all according to their
abilities, to all according to their needs.’

Communally-owned mechanized/ computerized forms of production would
also help resolve the problem of increasing income inequality in the
United States.

More: http://www.alternet.org/economy/detroits-collapse-reveals-awful-dystopia-united-states-becoming

My take: in the end, Zimmerman grabbed a gun and approached Trayvon. That's not self defense, IMHO.

That is all.

USA vs NSA Animation: Which Side are You on?




Personally, I prefer the USA, our Constitution, and my privacy.

The apologists may as well be working for the Stasi, IMHO.

Snowden Seen as Whistle-Blower by Majority in New Poll

A majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden a whistle-blower, not a traitor, and a plurality says government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties, a poll released today shows.

Fifty-five percent said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret U.S. programs that collect telephone and Internet data, in the survey from Hamden, Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University. Thirty-four percent said he’s a traitor. Snowden, 30, worked for McLean, Virginia-based federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH)......

“The verdict that Snowden is not a traitor goes against almost the unified view of the nation’s political establishment,” Brown said.


Simply put, being anti-privacy is being anti-constitution.

Saudi princess arrested in human trafficking case

Source: CBS

A Saudi princess was charged Wednesday with human trafficking for allegedly holding a domestic worker against her will and forcing her to work at an Orange County condominium, prosecutors said.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas identified 42-year-old Meshael Alayban as a Saudi princess who was charged with one count of human trafficking. If convicted, she faces up to 12 years in prison.

Alayban was arrested after a Kenyan woman carrying a suitcase flagged down a bus Tuesday and told a passenger she believed she was a human trafficking victim. The passenger helped her contact police, who searched the Irvine condo where Alayban and her family were staying, authorities said.

The 30-year-old woman told authorities she was hired in Kenya in 2012 and her passport was taken from her on arrival in Saudi Arabia. She was forced to work excessive hours and was paid less than she was promised and not allowed to leave, authorities said.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57593204/saudi-princess-arrested-in-human-trafficking-case/

The irony, oh the irony.





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