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Luminous Animal

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Gender: Do not display
Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 02:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

Journal Archives

"This poster continues spamming this image -- most of their posts today contain it"

That is accusation against me. That asserts that the alerter is aware of most of my posts and that most of my posts are spam. A lie.

And second. The alerter stated I linked and I did not. Link is common vernacular. Link is no more obscure than the color blue.

Then 3rd, if not obscured by lies and thus closed for honest discussion, perhaps there would be a credible defense. But there's no way to know that anymore. I don't even have the slimmest opportunity to defend it because it can't be posted here. All we have here is your opinion is that it is hateful.

Thus, without the freedom to present evidence, I can assert it is not hateful.

And you, with confidence of suppressed evidence, can assert it is.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:47 AM (1 replies)

America's Drone Sickness...

This headline and first paragraph from today’s Washington Post scoop by Greg Miller speaks volumes about so many things:

There are many evils in the world, but extinguishing people’s lives with targeted, extra-judicial killings, when you don’t even know their names, based on “patterns” of behavior judged from thousands of miles away, definitely ranks high on the list. Although the Obama White House has not approved of this request from CIA Director David Petraeus, these so-called “signature strikes” that “allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior” are already robustly used in Pakistan — having been started by George Bush in 2008 and aggressively escalated by Barack Obama. There is much to say on this new report, but in order for me to focus on three discrete points, permit me to highly recommend two superb articles that highlight other vital aspects of this policy: (1) this article from my Salon colleague Jefferson Morley this morning on why this form of drone-targeting is pure American Terrorism, and (2) this essay from Chris Floyd about a recently published Rolling Stone article by Michael Hastings on Obama’s love of drones and secret wars and how the military’s slang for drone victims — “bug splat” — reflects the sociopathic mindset that drive them.

Petraeus and the signature of U.S. terror
The CIA pressures Obama to step up indiscriminate attacks in Yemen
By Jefferson Morley

The brutality of “signature strikes” is not new for the CIA leadership. As the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reliably reported, “signature strikes” have regularly targeted funeral ceremonies in Pakistan. The amorality of the U.S. actions is chilling. An alleged militant is killed by a U.S. drone. Then when his family and friends try to come to mourn him, the U.S. attacks the gathering from the sky, on the grounds that attending an al-Qaida funeral is evidence of hostile intentions toward the United States. In one such attack reported by the New York Times in June 2009, 60 people were killed. Local press accounts of the incident, cited by BIJ, put the death toll at 83, 45 of whom were non-combatants. It is said that 10 were children.


It seems Petraeus and his allies in the current inter-agency debate do not want to be constrained by a list. They calculate if the U.S. slaughters a particular crowd of people at an al-Qaida funeral, they are sure to kill men plotting to attack the United States. The logic, if not the morality, is persuasive: If you kill the certainly innocent, you will also get some of the presumably guilty.

This is also the logic of terrorism, which is one reason why the defenders of “signature strikes” prefer that their names not be published in the Washington Post.

The Way of the Drone: Emblem for an Empire of Cowards
Written by Chris Floyd

The boy was probably killed in a "signature strike," where bold and brave CIA analysts sit back in their chairs and observe people going about their business in a foreign country far away. If their activities look "suspicious" according to some arbitrary, secret criteria, then they can be slaughtered instantly by a drone missile -- even if the attackers have no idea whatsoever who the targets are or what they are actually doing. Plotting terrorism, or praying? Organizing jihad, or holding a wedding? Building bombs, or having lunch? The attackers don't know -- and can't know. They simply put down their Cheetohs and fire the missile. Who cares? It's just "bug splatter."

And the fact is, no one does care. As Hastings notes, this hideous program of murder and terror has been fully embraced by the political elite and by society at large. And our rulers are now bringing it back home with a vengeance, putting more and more Americans under the unsleeping eye of government drones watching their every move, looking for the "signature" of "suspicious" behaviour. Hastings notes:

In the end, it appears, the administration has little reason to worry about any backlash from its decision to kill an American citizen – one who had not even been charged with a crime. A recent poll shows that most Democrats overwhelmingly support the drone program, and Congress passed a law in February that calls for the Federal Aviation Administration to "accelerate the integration of unmanned aerial systems" in the skies over America. Drones, which are already used to fight wildfires out West and keep an eye on the Mexican border, may soon be used to spy on U.S. citizens at home: Police in Miami and Houston have reportedly tested them for domestic use, and their counterparts in New York are also eager to deploy them.

History affords few if any examples of a free people -- in such a powerful country, under no existential threat, undergoing no invasion, no armed insurrection, no natural disaster or epidemic or societal collapse -- giving up their own freedoms so meekly, so mutely. Most Americans like to boast of their love of freedom, their rock-ribbed independence and their fiercely-held moral principles: yet they are happy to see the government claim -- and use -- the power to murder innocent people whenever it pleases while imposing an ever-spreading police state regimen on their lives and liberties. Sheep doped with Rohypnol would put up a stronger fight than these doughty patriots.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu Apr 19, 2012, 04:10 PM (9 replies)

"All The News That's Fit To Print" vs "The Reckless Blogosphere"

The two faces of journalist Assange:

Assange conducted his first interview for RT TV today. His choice of interviewee was a bold move.

Assange's show here:

Four paragraphs of from The Dissenter:

Rather than announce Hezbollah as an organization designated by the US State Department as a foreign terrorist organization, a more complex and nuanced description of Hezbollah is offered. Yet, Assange declares the purpose of the interview is to ask Nasrallah to address why he is a “freedom fighter” to millions and at the same time a “terrorist” to millions of others, indicating Assange has no intention to simply prove critics of Hezbollah wrong. He wishes to objectively explore both issues that have earned mainstream attention and issues that have been overlooked because they clash with mainstream understanding of Hezbollah.

The first questions from Assange involve the vision of Hezbollah for Israel and Palestine. He asks what the organization would consider “victory” and whether or not the organization would “disarm” if “victory” was achieved. His next question is why Hezbollah has launched rocket attacks on civilians. Then, he asks if a move into Lebanese electoral politics has corrupted Hezbollah, because in diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks he is described as shocked by members who are “driving around in SUVs, wearing silk robes, buying takeaway food.” The first questions are really based on conventional wisdom that Hezbollah is just a terrorist organization. If any US pundit had the guts to put Nasrallah on a TV show and grill him, these would be the first questions – what will it take for you to disarm and why do you launch rockets at civilians.

Nasrallah calls Israel an “illegal state.” He says the progress of time does not legalize occupation, but if ideology, the law and political realities of the time were combined, Hezbollah would accept a one state solution where Christians, Jews and Muslims live together. He says Israel and Palestinian once had a “deterrent balance” that Israeli villages would not be shelled by Hezbollah if Israel didn’t shell Palestinian villages. The truce has obviously been broken multiple times.

Next comes the part of the interview that makes the first episode essential viewing. Assange wants to know why Hezbollah refuses to support the Arab Spring in Syria when it has supported it in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt. Nasrallah describes how President Bashar Assad has supported the “resistance in Lebanon” and the “resistance in Palestine” and has not “backed down in the face of Israeli and American pressure.” So, Hezbollah supports dialogue and reform over the alternative, which would be “civil war.” [cont'd]

Assange understands the logic but presses because, at the time of the recorded interview, one hundred were just killed in Homs. British journalist Marie Colvin, who he had dinner with a year ago, was killed. Is there a red line for Hezbollah? If 100,000 are killed or 1 million are killed? When will Hezbollah say enough? Nasrallah replies Assad is willing to carry out radical reforms. The problem is the opposition refused to agree to dialogue and is not prepared for reforms. Hezbollah contacted the opposition to help broker peace, but the opposition would rather bring down the regime. He notes the armed groups fighting Assad have killed many too.

Four paragraphs from the NY Times:

Mr. Assange says the theme of his half-hour show on RT is “the world tomorrow.” But there is something almost atavistic about the outlet he chose. RT, first known as Russia Today, is an English-language news network created by the Russian leader Vladimir V. Putin in 2005 to promote the Kremlin line abroad. (It also broadcasts in Spanish and Arabic.) It’s like the Voice of America, only with more money and a zesty anti-American slant. A few correspondents can sound at times like Boris and Natasha of “Rocky & Bullwinkle” fame. Basically, it’s an improbable platform for a man who poses as a radical left-wing whistleblower and free-speech frondeur battling the superpowers that be.

The show is unlikely to win high ratings or change many minds, but it may serve Mr. Assange’s other agenda: damage control.

His reputation has taken a deep plunge since he shook the world in 2010 by releasing, in cooperation with The New York Times and several other news organizations, masses of secret government documents, including battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. Most news organizations edited and redacted the papers to protect lives. Mr. Assange put everything on his Web site. To some he was a hero, to others a spy, but nowadays he is most often portrayed as a nut job.

Sweden is seeking his extradition on multiple charges of sexual misconduct; disgruntled former WikiLeaks colleagues describe him as grandiose and paranoid. Mr. Assange tells reporters that he is being persecuted for political reasons, which, even if true, doesn’t exactly help his case. Perhaps having worn out his welcome, Mr. Assange has left a British supporter’s country estate, where he spent more than 300 days under house arrest, and is now in more modest quarters in the south of England.

On his talk show Mr. Assange was a little stiff but sounded rational, didn’t talk much about himself and asked Mr. Nasrallah some tough questions about Hezbollah’s support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. He even cited reports, found by WikiLeaks, that suggested corruption and high living among some members of Hezbollah. (Mr. Assange cited S.U.V.’s, silk robes and “take-away food” as signs of decadence.)

Posted by Luminous Animal | Wed Apr 18, 2012, 01:04 AM (4 replies)
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