UN Rapporteur Says Assange Should NOT Be Prosecuted!!

The United Nations representative for freedom of opinion and expression says he is now working on a new report on free speech and the internet. Frank La Rue says he doesn't think that the United States Government will be able to make a case against Julian Assange, but he warns it would set a very bad example for free speech if it did take action against him. He spoke to Eleanor Hall earlier today from his home in Guatemala City: You mention freedom of expression and attempts to curtail it around the world. Do you agree with supporters of WikiLeaks that its founder Julian Assange is now a martyr for free speech? Frank's answer: "It certainly is. If there is a responsibility by leaking information, it is an expression of the person who made the leak and not related of the media which decided to publish it. This is the way transparency works, and also the method by which corruption has been confronted. I do believe that there are some limitations to these types of limitations, but essentially these have to be in exceptional form. Not only do they have to be established by law, but they also have to protect a superior goal and imminent danger. Meanwhile, Senators Joe Lieberman and Diane Feinstein have engaged in acts of serious aggressions against their own constituents, and the American people in general. They both invoked the 1917 Espionage Act, and urged its use in going after Julian Assange (My hero ever since I left our Army, after serving honorably as Advisory Team Leader in Vietnam)!!!! For good measure, Lieberman extended his invocation of the Espionage Act to include a call to use it to INVESTIGATE the New York Times, which made the apparently horrible mistake to publish to publish WikiLeaks' diplomatic cables. Reports yesterday suggest that US Attorney General Eric Holder (at the behest of his moronic employer), may seek to invoke the Espionage Act against Assange. These two idiotic "Senators", and the rest of the "Congressional" and "White House Leadership", who are coming forward in support of this appalling development, are cynically counting on Americans' ignorance of their own history - a history that should alert all of us at once of the fact that this "Act" was designed deliberately to be used to silence people like you and me. Woodrow Wilson crafted this act in 1917, because he wanted a war. Faced with the troublesome First Amendment, he wanted to criminalize any speech against any speech against US involvement in that horrible war. At the time, there were many educators, journalists, publishers, civil rights leaders, and union activists who had been speaking out against US involvement in that war! The Espionage Act was used to round up these citizens for the "new crime" of exercising their First Amendment Rights!!

Why Are Wars Not Being Reported Honestly?

Treason never prospers, but for one reason: When treason prospers, none dare call it TREASON!!
What we have here, in the person of a person who had the audacity to bring some sort of justice into our otherwise brutal world, a man who genuinely believes that our public needs to know the truth about wars, though journalists have colluded with our governments to hoodwink us. In the US Army manual on counterinsurgency, the American commander General David Petraeus describes Afghanistan as a "war of perception", conducted continuously by using the news media. What REALLY matters is not so much the day-to-day battles against the Taliban as the way the "adventure" is sold in America, where "the media directly influence the attitude of key audiences." Journalist John Pilger was reminded of the Venezuelan general who led a coup against the democratic government in 2002. "We had a secret weapon", he boasted. "We had the media, especially TV. You got to have the media." At Chicksands in Bedfordshire, the British Ministry of Defence's psychological warfare establishment , media trainers devote themselves to the task, immersed in a jargon world of "information dominance", "asymmetric threats" and "cyberthreats". They share premises with those who teach the interrogation methods that have led to a public inquiry into the British military torture in Iraq. Disinformation and the barbarity of colonial war have much in common! Thus writes John Pilger, a hardened war correspondent, who knows most of today's "world conflicts" like the back of his hand!!
Please read the rest of his story by clicking on my headline!!


Ralph Waldo Emerson Revisited!

Please forgive me, if I wax poetic, but Julian Assange has brought the poet in me, despite the harassment of our, and many other governments: Could it be that he is now the savior of our "democracy"?"By the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April's breeze unfurled, here once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world." First of all, the rape allegations against him have proven to be totally absurd! Claes Borgstroem, the lawyer for the two women whose complaints of sexual assault triggered Julian Assange's arrest, said his clients had been assaulted twice: first physically, before being "sacrificed" to a malevolent online attack. The women were having "a very tough time", he said. A wealth of hostile material attacking the two women has appeared on the internet since August, when they took their complaints to the police. Their right to anonymity has been abandoned online, where enraged bloggers have uploaded dossiers of personal photographs, raked through their CV's and tweets, and accused them of orchestrating a CIA-inspired honey-trap operation. These online rumors were a convenient way for Assange to divert suspicion from the actual allegations, the women's lawyer said. There is nothing wrong with their reputation , and they have done nothing wrong in going to the police. What they are going through is unfair and absurd. He questioned whether the women would have pressed charges had they known in advance how their reputations would be attacked. Nevertheless, our US politicians demand a trial on espionage charges. The likelihood of the founder of "Wikileaks" is facing possible extradition to the US has strengthened with a number of right-wing "senior" American politicians, who claim that Julian Assange has breached the "Espionage" act. Joe Lieberman, the head of the Senate's Homeland Security Committee, claimed that the "leaks" organized by Julian Assange and his associates were "serious violations of the Espionage Act". US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley added: What Wikileaks has done were "serious violations of the Espionage Act". The so-called Justice Department is under intense pressure , especially from the Republicans, to pursue Mr. Assange to the pits of Hell. A European diplomat added: "They have got to do something, or face savage criticism." Although the US authorities have as yet made no official request for his extradition, informal discussions have been held between American and Swedish officials to that end. Mr. Assange's London solicitor Mark Stephens said that being sent to Sweden from the UK would make his client extremely vulnerable. His Swedish lawyer has said that it would be quite unsafe for Julian in Sweden at this time. Diplomatic sources say that it is not clear whether the US authorities will be able to prosecute Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act. They point out that whereas it is illegal for government officials with security clearance to leak classified documents to Wikileaks, it is not clear whether it is illegal for the website to be made public.
Nevertheless, the US Department of State Cleared the Wikileaks Documents. Though, for the last nine days, 250,000 cables of the US State Department were leaked to "wikileaks" , a mysterious non-governmental organization which purports to publish classified documents, while guaranteeing anonymity to the providers, the scandals covered a variety of topics of interest to the American public and government, from China's interest in the re-unification of Korea, to Iran's purchase of missiles from North Korea, to Pakistani General Kayani wondering whether the US would support him in a military coup. Oddly enough, there are no scandals of any significance from this source, involving Israel or any other American ally. Despite public perceptions, Wikileaks does not make the material it receives available directly to the public, but sends the documents to newspapers, which decide what news is fit to print. Wikileaks has only posted 623 of the 250,000 documents they claim to have released to their website. Neither the New York Times, the Guardian, or the other newspapers apparently in possession of these materials have published them either. Worse, these 623 'leaks' were apparently cleared by the State Department itself.


Could Assade face an Espionage Trial in "our" United States

It's a brand new world, sport fans: Though informal discussions have already taken place between US and Swedish officials, over the 'possibility' of Julian Assange being delivered into American custody, and US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is already crowing about "the good news", visibly rubbing his hands about his intention of charging Mr. Assage with "espionage" offences over his website's unprecedented releases of classified US diplomatic files, there is, as they say - many a slip between the cup and the lip, like the disgusting spectacle of Obama's acceptance of the Nobel Peace prize under false pretenses. In other words, our "valiant" president was NEVER interested in peace, but merely wanted to provide a cover for his continuation of our war in Afghanistan, which might attract the idiots in our country to sign up for a war without any possibility of merit. Mr. Assange's appearance in the London court, the focus of massive international media attention, will only serve to highlight the deliberate bankruptcy of our intentions. Mr. Assage, 39, had voluntarily gone to a police station, accompanied by lawyers, after the issuance of an "international warrant." The court heard that Jemima Khan, the sister of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, the film director Ken Loach, and journalist John Pilger were among those who offered to stand bail for Mr. Assad.
Please read the full story, by Kim Sengupta in "The Independent", by clicking on my headline!


Leaks Suggest Iran Is Now Winning in the Middle East

If our citizens no longer believe that we are "The land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave", as our National Anthem boldly advertises to the rest of our world's citizens, what can we truly tell those of our world which we have now become. If you truly read this blog, and take my advice I try to give to our world, here's "de" story: The "Wikileaks documents, though they have been leaked, as their name suggests, say that Iran is winning and Israel is losing in the mind of the rest of our world's citizens. That is the startling conclusion we reach if we consider how things have changed in the Middle East in the two years since most of the WikiLeaks State Department cables about Iran's regional difficulties were written. Lebanon's Sunni prime minister, once a virulent critic, quietly made his pilgrimage to the Iranian capital last week. Moreover, Israeli hopes of separating Syria from Iran have now been dashed. Turkey, once a strong ally of Israel, is now seeking better relations with Iran and with Lebanon's Shiites. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's visit to Iran was in part an attempt t reach out to a major foreign patron of his country's Shiite Hezbollah Party. Hariri's father, Rafiq, was mysteriously blown to kingdom come in 2005, and a United Nations tribunal is now rumored to be leaning toward to be leaning toward implicating Hezbollah.
Please click on my headline to read the full story by Juan Cole at truthdig.com.


Survey reflects Afghans' mixed views!

According to Rajiv Chandrasekan and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post, Afghans are now more pessimistic about the direction of their country, less confident in the ability of the US and its allies to provide security, and more willing to negotiate with the Taliban than they were a year ago, according to a new poll conducted in all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, but residents of two key southern provinces that have been the focus of US military operations over the past year say aspects of their security and living conditions have improved significantly since last December. The new poll, conducted by The Washington Post, ABC News, the BBC and ARD television of Germany found a particularly notable shift in public opinion in Helmand province, where Marines have been conducting intensive counterinsurgency operations. The number of people in Helmand describing their security as "good" jumped from 14 percent in a December 2009 poll to 67 percent now. Nearly two-thirds of Helmand residents now say that Afghanistan is "on the right track". In Helmand and in neighboring Kandahar, the percentage of residents reporting threatening night-time letters from the Taliban has been sliced in half. Public assessment of the US military efforts in the area have also improved over the year, but 79 percent of people in the two provinces say American and Allied troops should start their withdrawal next summer or sooner!


World Hero Assange responds to Guardian Newspaper Questions!

The following is taken from the website of The Guardian newspaper in Britain, based on reader questions for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: As an Australian passport holder, Julian misses his country, but questions a possible return to his homeland, since both their Prime Minister and their Attorney General are actively working to assist the United States in its attack on him and his followers. Julian believes that the Australian politicians are not interested in democracy, but rather that the Australian leaders are more concerned to continue to be invited to the best US embassy cocktail parties, in other words, human rights are not as important as shallow and frivolous events. For the past four years, Julian has been dedicated to work on his goals to lionize the source who takes the REAL risks in nearly every journalistic disclosure, and without whose efforts journalists could not effectively practice their important profession. Please click on my heading to read the full story of the heroism of Julian Assange and the other heroes, like the young soldier Bradley Manning, in our mercenary army on whom he depends for much of his anti-war information!!

The Beginning of the End of the "American Empire!"

In 1962, the historian Barbara Tuchman published a book about the start of World War I, and called it "The Guns of August". Soon afterward, that book went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. By looking back at events that had occurred almost 50 years earlier, she had at her disposal documents and information that were not available at the time of that horrible war. So were we this August 2010, with guns blazing in our war in Afganistan, while we were still trying to extricate ourselves from Iraq! Where are we, as we impose sanctions against Iran and North Korea, while we are sending our latest "wonder weapons", pilotless drones armed with bombs and missiles, into Pakistan's tribal borderlands, Yemen, and who knows where else, tasked with endless "targeted killings" which, in blunter times, used to be called "assassinations"? Where exactly are we, as we continue to garrison much of the globe, even as our country finds itself incapable of paying for basic services? Think about it!


Martin Luther King on War

Unfortunately, "President Obama" has cast a cloud over Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Though he gave an eloquent speech in Oslo, he appeased our corporate masters, who crave distant wars, never risking their own lives (as I did in Vietnam) and fortunes as the poor are routinely sacrificed for power and energy supremacy. Obama undermined the honor, justifying his own quagmire, the vacuous war in Afghanistan, which he had inherited from George W. Bush. Avoiding the truth that we have much to lose (like the arms and legs, as well as the lives of our brave soldiers), Obama smeared the success of King's victory, which proved that nonviolent action is the moral, rational and pragmatic answer to oppression and conflict. Obama dismissed the fact that war is evil, futile and disastrous, denying that nonviolence, as taught and waged by King and Gandhi, has not failed when relentlessly and patiently practiced. Saying that Hitler could not have been stopped by nonviolent resistance, Obama slighted Norway, whose people did exactly that, sparing their country Nazi domination and the devastation suffered by countries with powerful armies. Jimmy Carter, my personal hero, a former commander-in-chief, said, when he received the Peace Prize in 2002, "War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn to live together in peace by killing each other's children." We must all pray together to deserve another Jimmy Carter!!"

Perpetual War, No Jobs, No Justice =No Peace

One of the most bitter ironies of our 21st century is how skillfully corporate politicians in this nation have ushered in a state of perpetual war, without jobs or justice. None of our laws have anything to do with social, economic, or political justice for the black, white, brown, or yellow citizens of our state. While we wage war and occupy Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries, the citizens of our nation lack decent jobs, housing, education and the human rights accorded to the citizens of other nations. It is time for the citizens of our nation to cast their votes as hostage for decent treatment by their government. They should not be surprised that our citizens are often routinely degraded and humiliated in our airports by the Transport Security Administration, and handled as second-class citizens. We should also fear that our political parties are dismantling and destroying Social Security, while the Wall Street vultures in our insurance companies live in luxurious surroundings. Meanwhile, the White House, as well as our courts, make a mockery of democracy, justice, and human rights in our nation!
Please click on my headline to read the full story by Larry Pinkney, whose book: "Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker."

Harvey Wasserman: The War in Afghanistan is about Perpetual War!

The war in Afghanistan is about perpetual war, not Afghanistan! It's about preventing democracy in the United States, not bringing it to Southwest Asia, and it is the tombstone of the Obama Presidency. To justify the fight, and make the sacrifice of our soldiers palatable to an ignorant public, they've rounded up the usual suspects: Terror, Oil, Minerals, Poppies, and last, but not least: Democracy. Our subservient "news media" keeps the public frightened and dependent, and it also keeps the wheels of industry turning, without increasing the real wealth of the world: Goods must be produced, , but they must never be distributed to our ignorant masses, who are only concerned with keeping their underpaid jobs. It is better to destroy these goods, than to distribute them, so that our citizens can hope to make more, in order to feed their destitute families. A truly prosperous society, educated and secure, can not be ruled by the few: Poverty, ignorance, and fear are the three pillars of authoritarian control! Without wars, they would all disappear. Thus Afghanistan, as we once had the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and Central America. Afterwards, who ever is handy! Our wonderful oligarchs will let us know when that time is once again upon us! Please check the recent books by Howard Zinn on the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as David Swanson's update on Orwell's analysis. Though he passed away earlier this year, Howard's People's History of the United States continues to shape our understanding of this nation's true core. In narrating the hidden, bloody past of our compromised democracy, he warns us that an end will come, even for our United States: "There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."