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Luminous Animal

Luminous Animal's Journal
Luminous Animal's Journal
June 26, 2013

Schahill on Rand Paul

Scahill: Rand Paul is a Libertarian. I think it’s really unfortunate that the one senator that started to raise legitimate questions not just about the drone program but the targeting of U.S. citizens and what’s the standard, how does an American get on the kill list, how do they get off the kill list, how do you surrender to a drone.

I would say that about a third of Rand Paul’s filibuster was sane and some of the best information that’s been put on the public record, and then the other two-thirds was this kind of bizarre Tea Party carnival where it was almost like a burlesque show or something.

They roll onto the floor of the Senate and it was like a hodgepodge of every crazy conspiracy theory that they have about President Obama – how he wants to come after the Tea Party zine editor in a café in Montana, and they’re going to drone-bomb this person from the Tea Party.

I think it was a sort of two-edged sword. On the one hand I’m glad that Rand Paul did that, and he tried to hold up the nomination of Brennan on these very serious issues. On the other hand, I think it diminished the seriousness of the issue, because quite frankly, I think Rand Paul has utterly reprehensible views on so many things.

We could spend hours talking about some of the despicable positions of Rand Paul and other people within the Tea Party. On this issue, I do think that he was being sincere in wanting to raise issues about it, but then he flips his position on it a couple weeks later and talks about drone-bombing someone who robbed a liquor store.

So that’s unfortunate. If someone like – if we had a credible Democratic senator, someone like Dick Durbin out of Illinois, who said, “You know what? I’m a major supporter of this president, but this has gone too far and I want to hold serious hearings of this to see is our national security being degraded by our pursuit of a small group of terrorists and our killing of a larger group of civilians? What are the actual national security implications of that?”

June 25, 2013

Greenwald does not have a timeline problem. The NY Times as the story broke:


Cryptic Overtures and a Clandestine Meeting Gave Birth to a Blockbuster Story
Published: June 10, 2013

1) January 2013: Snowden reaches out to documentary filmaker Laura Poitras
2) February 2013: Greenwald receives "an enigmatic e-mail identifying himself as a reader and saying he wanted to communicate about a potential story using encryption."
3) February 2013: Greenwald receives encryption software but doesn't complete the installation process.
4) March 2013: Poitras reaches out to Greenwald to discuss the issue. "At that point, neither knew his name yet."
5) Late April or early May: Greenwald and Snowden begin communicating via encrypted email.
6) Last week of May: Greenwald flies to New York to meet with Guardian editors and then he and Poitras fly to Hong Kong.

It was only in May — and not before — that Snowden told [Greenwald] who he was, who he worked for (at that point he identified himself as affiliated with the NSA) and what sort of documents he had to share, Greenwald says. It wasn’t until June — when Greenwald visited Snowden in Hong Kong — that Snowden told him he worked specifically for Booz Allen, Greenwald adds.
“We had early conversations about setting up encryption, so we worked early on to set that up,” Greenwald says. “We didn’t work on any documents. I didn’t even know Edward Snowden’s name or where he worked until after he was in Hong Kong with the documents. Anyone who is claiming that somehow I worked with him to get those documents or helped him is just lying.”

June 20, 2013

This is too cool. May I quote you (and attribute) you when appropriate?

DUer xocet
June 20, 2012

It led down a dark thread.

From out of nowhere, self-referential blue links appeared and were everywhere around my reply.

They kept pointing and pointing - full of text and assertion yet signifying nothing.

Hydra-like, if one were addressed, ten more would sprout in its place.

...Pointing and pointing...Always pointing...Always regressing...Away from the OP and off towards infinity...

Only then did I realize my shameful problem.

It has been a struggle, but I am no longer made mad by the policies of this Administration - all of which now make perfect sense.

June 20, 2013

You gave me the link to the appeal. Can you or can you not give me a link to the original case.

Your link to Leagle.com leads to the appellate case: ANDERSON v. HALE 159 F.Supp.2d 1116 (2001)

Your cited text says these words: "A 52-page transcript of one conversation showed defendants' counsel steered the conversation by eliciting particular responses to detailed questions, leading to more detailed questions, to lure the witness into damning statements for later use." Nowhere in ANDERSON v. HALE 159 F.Supp.2d 1116 (2001) do those words appear.

You claim that your text comes from ANDERSON v. HALE, 202 F.R.D. 548 (N.D.Ill. 2001), but a search of Leagle.com for that case turns up only the appellate case not the original case.

A google search of ANDERSON v. HALE, 202 F.R.D. 548 (N.D.Ill. 2001) also leads to the appellate case and not the original case.

A google search of these words: "A 52-page transcript of one conversation showed defendants' counsel steered the conversation by eliciting particular responses to detailed questions, leading to more detailed questions, to lure the witness into damning statements for later use.", brings up a comment on Little Green Footballs at the top of the page which remarkably you parrot verbatim.

From the Little Green Footballs site:

He also attempted to manipulate the witness statements, per the magistrate’s findings of fact-

“A 52-page transcript of one conversation showed defendants’ counsel steered the conversation by eliciting particular responses to detailed questions, leading to more detailed questions, to lure the witness into damning statements for later use.” Anderson v. Hale, 202 F.R.D. 548 (N.D.Ill. 2001),

And here you are: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023040270#post33

He also attempted to manipulate the witness statements, per the magistrate's findings of fact-

"A 52-page transcript of one conversation showed defendants' counsel steered the conversation by eliciting particular responses to detailed questions, leading to more detailed questions, to lure the witness into damning statements for later use." Anderson v. Hale, 202 F.R.D. 548 (N.D.Ill. 2001),
June 19, 2013

Apparently, he was talking aobut fires:


"In the first place, as an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, I would advise how they suffer living brands-ends or coals in a full shovel to be carried out of one room into another or up or down stairs, unless in a warming-pan and shut; for scraps of fire may fall into chinks and make no appearance until mid-night; when your stairs being in flames, you may be forced, (as I once was) to leap out of your window and hazard your necks to avoid being over-raosted

If chimneys were more frequently and more carefully clean'd some fires might thereby be prevented. I have known foul chimneys to burn furiously a few days after they are swept; people in confidence that they are clean, making large fires. Everybody among us is allow'd to sweep chimneys that please to undertake that business; and if chimney fires thro' fault of the sweeper goes free. This thing is not right.

Those who undertake sweeping of chimneys and employ servants for that purpose, ought to be licensed by the Mayor; and if any chimney fires and flames out 15 days after sweeping, the fine should be paid by the sweeper; for it is his fault".

According to the book "Franklin and Fire" published in 1906, "one result of this paper seems to have been the founding of the Union Fire Company in 1736 by Franklin and four of his friends." They formed their fire company "for preserving our own and our fellow citizens' houses, goods, and effects in case of fire"

June 11, 2013

FYI, Hillary supported the Iraq invasion and has never walked that support back.

and yes, he did say Iraq and noble, Snowden did. Anyone who has those thoughts about that mass murder conducted by a dry drunk sociopath has got to have some granite in his head.


Copied and added to my journal for the time that Hillary runs for President.
June 8, 2013

How Would A Patriot Act?: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok

In the lead up to the Iraq war, Glenn was a private citizen. He didn't have a blog. He hadn't written a book. He hadn't appeared on TV. He had no national or international voice to influence public opinion.

I wanted to shed some light on one of the current smears against Greenwald. The man wrote 3 books and thousands of blog posts against the Bush regime, the surveillance state and the erosion of our civil liberties. But he didn't get to that point naturally or easily. Below is an excerpt of the preface to the book "How Would A Patriot Act?" A book in which he unrelentingly exposes the Bush admin and the lying warmongers and the architects of the imperial presidency. It's a rare person who can admit that they were wrong (and I applaud those high-profile Democrats in government and the media who supported Bush's invasion of Iraq - those that did actually have the power and the platform to speak out publicly against the Iraq war - who have subsequently apologized for their support) and I admire Greenwald for openly admitting his political evolution.

How Would A Patriot Act?: Defending American Values from a President Run Amok
By Glenn Greenwald 2006

(Emphasis mine)
Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence (*my note - about the Iraq War), I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president's performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

It is not desirable or fulfilling to realize that one does not trust one's own government and must disbelieve its statements, and I tried, along with scores of others, to avoid making that choice until the facts no longer permitted such logic.

Soon after our invasion of Iraq, when it became apparent that, contrary to Bush administration claims, there were no weapons of mass destruction, I began concluding, reluctantly, that the administration had veered far off course from defending the country against the threats of Muslim extremism. It appeared that in the great national unity the September 11 attacks had engendered, the administration had seen not a historically unique opportunity to renew a sense of national identity and cohesion, but instead a potent political weapon with which to impose upon our citizens a whole series of policies and programs that had nothing to do with terrorism, but that could be rationalized through an appeal to the nation's fear of further terrorist attacks.

And in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion came a whole host of revelations that took on an increasingly extremist, sinister, and decidedly un- American tenor. The United States was using torture as an interrogation tool, in contravention of legal prohibitions. We were violating international treaties we had signed, sending suspects in our custody for interrogation to the countries most skilled in human rights abuses. And as part of judicial proceedings involving Yaser Esam Hamdi, another U.S. citizen whom the Bush administration had detained with no trial and no access to counsel, George W. Bush began expressly advocating theories of executive power that were so radical that they represented the polar opposite of America's founding principles.

With all of these extremist and plainly illegal policies piling up, I sought to understand what legal and constitutional justifications the Bush administration could invoke to engage in such conduct. What I discovered, to my genuine amazement and alarm, is that these actions had their roots in sweeping, extremist theories of presidential power that many administration officials had been advocating for years before George Bush was even elected. The 9/11 attacks provided them with the opportunity to officially embrace those theories. In the aftermath of the attack, senior lawyers in the Bush Justice Department had secretly issued legal memoranda stating that the president can seize literally absolute, unchecked power in order to defend the country against terrorism. To assert, as they did, that neither Congress nor the courts can place any limits on the president's decisions is to say that the president is above the law. Once it became apparent that the administration had truly adopted these radical theories and had begun exerting these limitless, kinglike powers, I could no longer afford to ignore them.

May 6, 2013

"You can only explain Bradley Manning by his virtues."

The Death of Truth by Chris Hedges (Interview with Julian Assange)

by Chris Hedges
Writer, Dandelion Salad
May 6, 2013

“His alleged actions are a rare event,” Assange went on. “And why does a rare event happen? What do we know about him? What do we know about Bradley Manning? We know that he won three science fairs. We know the guy is bright. We know that he was interested in politics early on. We know he’s very articulate and outspoken. We know he didn’t like lies. We know he was interested in politics. We know he was skilled at his job of being an intelligence analyst. If the media was looking for an explanation they could point to this combination of his abilities and motivations. They could point to his talents and virtues. They should not point to him being gay, or from a broken home, except perhaps in passing. Ten percent of the U.S. military is gay. Well over 50 percent are from broken homes. Take those two factors together. That gets you down to, say, 5 percent—5 percent on the outside. There are 5 million people with active security clearances, so now you’re down to 250,000 people. You still have to get from 250,000 to one. You can only explain Bradley Manning by his virtues. Virtues others can learn from.”


The world has been turned upside down. The pestilence of corporate totalitarianism is spreading rapidly over the earth. The criminals have seized power. It is not, in the end, simply Assange or Manning they want. It is all who dare to defy the official narrative, to expose the big lie of the global corporate state. The persecution of Assange and Manning is the harbinger of what is to come, the rise of a bitter world where criminals in Brooks Brothers suits and gangsters in beribboned military uniforms—propped up by a vast internal and external security apparatus, a compliant press and a morally bankrupt political elite—monitor and crush those who dissent. Writers, artists, actors, journalists, scientists, intellectuals and workers will be forced to obey or thrown into bondage. I fear for Julian Assange. I fear for Bradley Manning. I fear for us all.

April 28, 2013

U.S. soldier gets 16 year sentence for trying to sell military secrets to Russia.


Whistleblower Bradely Manning faces life in prison for exposing war crimes and corruption.

Contrast that motive with Bradley Manning’s. In chat logs with government informant Adrian Lamo, Manning hypothesized, “what if i were someone more malicious…i could’ve sold to russia or china, and made bank?”

“Why didn’t you?” Lamo asked.

“Because it’s public data,” he said. “It belongs in the public domain…information should be free…because another state would just take advantage of the information… try and get some edge…if its out in the open… it should be a public good.”

Manning expounded on his reasons for passing to WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of documents chronicling U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. diplomacy worldwide, in a statement earlier this year,

I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the [Iraq and Afghan War Logs] this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

That statement accompanied a guilty plea to lesser offenses, including communicating information to someone not entitled to receive it. That plea could have put Manning in jail for up to twenty years. But that wasn’t sufficient for military prosecutors, who immediately succeeded that statement with the announcement that they’ll continue to pursue all 22 charges against Manning, seeking life in jail without parole.

March 4, 2013

Well let's see what one of the founders of the Bee Word Media has to say...

during the 2007 primaries and the use of the word against Hillary Clinton:

By Andi Zeisler
Sunday, November 18, 2007

So here goes: Bitch is a word we use culturally to describe any woman who is strong, angry, uncompromising and, often, uninterested in pleasing men. We use the term for a woman on the street who doesn't respond to men's catcalls or smile when they say, "Cheer up, baby, it can't be that bad." We use it for the woman who has a better job than a man and doesn't apologize for it. We use it for the woman who doesn't back down from a confrontation.

So let's not be disingenuous. Is it a bad word? Of course it is. As a culture, we've done everything possible to make sure of that, starting with a constantly perpetuated mindset that deems powerful women to be scary, angry and, of course, unfeminine -- and sees uncompromising speech by women as anathema to a tidy, well-run world.

So the word remains as incendiary as ever. (Sorry, Sen. McCain.) Back in 1996, a time when the word was just barely squeaking past the censors on network TV, I would never have thought it could get any more loaded. (Same for the word "feminism," but that's a whole other story.) But the rise of the first serious female front-runner for the presidency has proved me wrong.

On the street, in music and in the boardroom, it's the word that won't go away. Isiah Thomas's somewhat bumbling claim during his sexual harassment trial that casual, off-the-cuff usage makes the term less problematic when done within the black community didn't fly with the judge, and it doesn't fly with plenty of other folks.

A few years ago, the New York Times reported on the phenomenon of men using the term to describe other men, a use that has roots in the social dynamics of prison populations but has since spread to the realms of sports, rap music and junior high schools everywhere. The article reasoned that the term was becoming, if not respectable, then increasingly no big deal. I disagree -- it's simply another way to denigrate women.

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