Bradley Manning's lawyer charges that the US government is deliberately attempting to prevent Bradley Manning from receiving a fair trial, according to The Guardian on Sunday. Bradley Manning's lawyers say the prosecution team is keeping important documents from them.
Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey’s system of halfway houses — privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.
Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system has failed on every count: public safety, fairness and cost-effectiveness. Across the country, the criminal justice reform conversation is heating up.
The government’s vast secrecy bureaucracy does two things with great frequency. The first, of course, is keeping secrets. The second is devising elaborate reasons why you can’t know what those secrets are.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -Martin Luther King Jr. The American public is suffering from an education deficit. By this I mean it exhibits a growing inability to think critically, question authority, be reflective, weigh evidence, discriminate between reasoned arguments and opinions, listen across differences and engage the mutually informing relationship between private problems and broader public issues. This growing political and cultural illiteracy is not merely a problem of the individual, one that points to simple ignorance.
You see, the truth is that in America you don't really own your property. You are essentially renting it, and you can only do with it what the government allows you to do. And the government does not like people disconnecting from the grid and living an independent lifestyle. So these battles over property rights are probably going to get even more intense in the years ahead.
The military coup carried out by the ruling military junta before the run-off of the Egyptian presidential election is a serious threat to the Egyptian revolution and to the working class. It has exposed the “democratic transition” promoted by the junta as a fraud. With the support of its imperialist allies in the US and Europe, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has eliminated all the institutions it initially created to give the illusion of a transition to democracy.
Whoever wins the election, the working class will be forced to repay the €200 billion-plus bailout through the austerity measures attached to the Memorandum signed with the troika. Sunday’s general election in Greece is uniformly portrayed as a defining moment in which the Greek people will have the chance to determine not only the future of their own country, but the course of Europe. But as far as Europe’s ruling elite is concerned, Greece’s fate has already been determined.
EL MONTE - A family is accusing El Monte police officers of brutality in the death of a schizophrenic 37-year-old man who died after being taken into custody Thursday night. Family members and attorneys representing them said Khoa Anh Le died after two El Monte police officers struck him about 20 times with a flashlight, shocked him four times with a Taser and placed him in a choke hold. "This is a police brutality case," said Hoang Huy Tu, an attorney representing Le's family.
The water in Gaza is too dangerous to drink as it is contaminated with fertilizers and sewage, says a new report. Several charitable organizations have called on Israel to immediately lift its blockade to allow crucial sanitation equipment in.
Several months ago, when some still questioned the destiny of Mitt Romney as the Republican Presidential Nominee, the Romney campaigned demonstrated its own lack of doubt on the issue by announcing a stable of foreign policy advisers and various working groups specific to issues and regions. The list of Romney’s foreign policy team consisted of 22 advisers as well as 13 working groups.
If the fact that military drones are already being used in tandem with law enforcement in order to conduct warrantless surveillance on the American people wasn’t troubling enough, we now have a shocking list of 110 potential drone bases on U.S. soil. Let’s not forget that drones have also been used to help carry out arrests and with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accelerating the integration of these unmanned crafts into our airspace and the drone industry boasting about their influence over “our” government, we can only expect more.
Back in 1992 the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff held a "Strategy Essay Competition." The winner was a National War College student paper entitled, "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012." Authored by Colonel Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. the paper is a well documented, "darkly imagined excursion into the future." The ostensibly fictional work is written from the perspective of an imprisoned senior military officer about to be executed for opposing the military takeover of America, a coup accomplished through "legal" means. The essay makes the point that the coup was "the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992," including "the massive diversion of military forces to civilian uses," particularly law enforcement.
Federal prosecutors are targeting medical marijuana shops in California, seeking forfeiture of the properties in which they do business.
Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State has announced that the Obama administration is working with the United Nations (UN) to approve, through the US Congress, the Small Arms Treaty (SAT). Obama Seeks US Congressional Ratification of UN Global Gun Control Treaty This global gun control scheme, concocted by the UN, is called the International Arms Control Treaty (IACT). Disguised as a way to combat terrorism, insurgents and international criminals, this document endeavors to secure that the world’s citizens cannot defend themselves.
On June 7, 2012, under the title “Assassin-in-Chief”, an internet website published the following: “…you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief.” “Thanks to a long New York Times piece by Jo Becker and Scott Shane, ‘Secret ’Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will’, we now know that the president has spent startling amounts of time overseeing the "nomination" of terrorist suspects for assassination via the remotely piloted drone programme he inherited from President George W. Bush and which he has expanded exponentially.
Egyptian Court Dissolves Parliament, Military Rule Restored (Al-Jazeera) Egypt's highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country's interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority, triggering a new level of chaos and confusion in the country's leadership.[...]
Everyday America becomes more like Nazi German and Stalinist Russia with CNN openly floating the idea of the United States carrying out an assassination. It’s a sign of the Hitler Nazi regime in the 1930′s and the Stalinist regime of the 1950′s – mass murder of civilians, indefinite detention without trial, and execution of political dissidents.
Twenty-six members of Congress have called on President Barack Obama to provide a legal justification for so-called “signature” drone strikes against suspected terrorists.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that he has assigned two U.S. attorneys to lead criminal leak investigations into recent media reports about topics including how drone attacks are approved at the White House and how a computer virus attack was launched against Iran’s nuclear program.
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a ”socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.
What should be done with elderly Americans when they become very seriously ill? Should we try to save their lives or should we just let them die? Unfortunately, there is a growing consensus among the "intellectual elite" that most elderly people are not going to have a high enough "quality of life" to justify the expense of costly life saving procedures.
The European Commission has been providing legal advice to others who are considering possible scenarios should Greece leave the euro, a European Union spokesman said. Olivier Bailly said Tuesday that, legally, limits could be imposed on movement of people and money across national borders within the EU if it's necessary to protect public order or public security — but not on economic grounds.
The National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) is misnamed. The act has less to do with defence than offence The offensive it wages is not just against a growing list of alleged enemies but also, from a constitutional perspective, against the rights of American citizens and residents.
Pentagon sanitizing of war movies to protect the image of US soldiers is illegal and makes Americans more war-like, says David L. Robb, author of a book on the issue. He says even James Bond films fell victim to over-harsh US military censorship.
I grew into political awareness and maturity in the middle of the 1970s. For people my age, then, our entire adult lives have been one long witness to the dismantling of that which we grew up taking for granted as a foundation for any further progress that might come. We lived in the relatively egalitarian country of the New Deal and the Great Society, with its robust middle class and a measure of earnest compassion for the poor. Today, that seems like a foreign country, if not a remote planet.
Internationally known TV personality Dan Rather announced May 30, 2012 that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has a deadly cancer. Rather “has been told that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive cancer that has ‘entered the end stage’.” The cancer with the jaw-breaking name was featured in this writer’s Oct 30, 2010 article “D.I.M.E. BOMBS: Closer to Fallajua’s Puzzle.” Developed jointly by the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and the US Air Force Research Labs, the 250 lb class weapon, named the GBU 39, delivers a perfect and phenomenal 100% cancer rate to its victims.
Two recent elections, a New York judge’s personal plea, a new state law and a new public opinion poll demonstrate that a seismic national shift has occurred in political attitudes toward medical marijuana. This cascade of developments dramatically illustrates just how far we’ve come since California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, and it indicates that our collective compassion is eroding the once-ironclad political will to deny an effective medicine to our sick fellow citizens.
Perhaps that’s Rand’s idea of playing politics? Come to the table, strike a deal, get what you can. Trouble is, it’s tough striking a good deal when the guy on the other side of the table believes that the government should be allowed to claim — without having to produce any evidence whatsoever — that certain people are terrorists, and therefore should be detained indefinitely without any kind of due process. That’s textbook tyranny.
The suicide rate among U.S. troops has surged this year, and Pentagon and military officials studying the current spike have found no apparent reason or developing trend. There were 154 suicides in the first 155 days of the year – nearly one a day.
The rout of the Democratic Party and the unions in Tuesday’s Wisconsin recall election has provoked a predictable response across the official political spectrum, from crude triumphalism on the extreme right to self-justification and hand-wringing among the liberal and pseudo-left apologists for the Obama administration.
IN THE MIDST of a deluge of Congressmen pledging their “undying dedication” to the Jewish state of Israel, (the Bill passed with an overwhelming 411-2), only Ron Paul (and Joe Donnelly) stood up against the ongoing Judaic infiltration of legislative polity. Ron Paul boldly pointed out with regard to a “US commitment” to the security of Israel as a “Jewish” State that not even the US Constitution commits to the security of one particular religious group.
Four separate eyewitnesses inside the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly Virginia told London Guardian writer Charlie Skelton that Mitt Romney was in attendance at Bilderberg 2012, suggesting the Republican candidate could be the elite’s pick for the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Justice Thomas D. Raffaele said a police officer in Queens, enraged at a jeering crowd, hit him in the throat on Friday. Thomas D. Raffaele, a 69-year-old justice of the New York State Supreme Court, encountered a chaotic scene while walking down a Queens street with a friend: Two uniformed police officers stood over a shirtless man lying facedown on the pavement. The man's hands were cuffed behind his back and he was screaming. A crowd jeered at the officers. The judge, concerned the crowd was becoming unruly, called 911 and reported that the officers needed help. But within minutes, he said, one of the two officers became enraged - and the judge became his target. The officer screamed and cursed at the onlookers, some of whom were complaining about what they said was his violent treatment of the suspect, and then he focused on Justice Raffaele, who was wearing a T-shirt and jeans. The judge said the officer rushed forward and, using the upper edge of his hand, delivered a sharp blow to the judge's throat that was like what he learned when he was trained in hand-to-hand combat in the Army.
Last week, the country was riveted by the story of young Diane Tran, a high school junior age 17, who was tossed in jail for a night because she was missing too much school. The reason her case attracted so much attention? Tran missed those days of school--or arrived late--due to exhaustion. She worked two jobs to help support her siblings. Her parents had split and moved out of town. She became, in essence, a poster-girl for both the recession and for the criminalization of youth.
Disturbed by the Obama administration’s non-hesitation to assassinate U.S. citizens without due process? Free yourself from stress, just apply to be added to the official “Do Not Kill” list.
Barack Obama, according to Foreign Policy magazine, "has become George W Bush on steroids." Armed with a "kill list," the Nobel peace laureate now hosts "Tuesday terror" meetings at the White House to discuss targets of drone attacks in Pakistan and at least five other countries. The latest of these killed 17 people near the border with Afghanistan today .
I would shrug and say "So what?" to the latest details from President Barack Obama's pot-smoking past, except for one thing: He stirred so much hope as a candidate for sensible marijuana policy reforms but, as president, has delivered so little change.
It’s now commonly estimated that more than 50 nations have drones, are making plans to develop them, or are at least planning to buy them from those who do produce them. In other words, the future global skies are going to be a busy -- and increasingly dangerous -- place. They will be filled not just with robotic surveillance aircraft, but also with non-U.S. remotely piloted armed assassins which, thanks to the path Washington has blazed, need pay no attention to anyone’s national sovereignty in a search for their version of bad guys to destroy. Iranians, Israelis, Russians, Chinese, Indians, British -- you name it and if they don’t already have something robotic aloft, they undoubtedly will soon enough.
At the UK Supreme Court in London, Wednesday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden. The judges ruled by a majority of five to two that the extradition request had been “lawfully made”. Assange is challenging the extradition, which is based on contested allegations of sexual assault made by two women in August 2010.
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