Dec 162010
 

Salon.com has an article on the detention of Bradley Manning you should read, and how this is going to have some pretty far reaching implications:

What all of this achieves is clear.  Having it known that the U.S. could and would disappear people at will to “black sites,” assassinate them with unseen drones, imprison them for years without a shred of due process even while knowing they were innocent, torture them mercilessly, and in general acts as a lawless and rogue imperial power created a climate of severe intimidation and fear.  Who would want to challenge the U.S. Government in any way — even in legitimate ways — knowing that it could and would engage in such lawless, violent conduct without any restraints or repercussions?

That is plainly what is going on here.  Anyone remotely affiliated with WikiLeaks, including American citizens (and plenty of other government critics), has their property seized and communications stored at the border without so much as a warrant.  Julian Assange — despite never having been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime — has now spent more than a week in solitary confinement with severe restrictions under what his lawyer calls “Dickensian conditions.”  But Bradley Manning has suffered much worse, and not for a week, but for seven months, with no end in sight.  If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you — knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial:  just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse — be willing to expose it?  That’s the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.

Greenwald has yet another Salon article on the attempt to “get Assange” through Manning:

First, the Obama administration faces what it perceives a serious dilemma:  it is — as Savage writes — “under intense pressure to make an example of [Assange] as a deterrent to further mass leaking),” but nothing Assange or WikiLeaks has done actually violates the law.  Getting to Assange through Manning

The only thing keeping either one of these two guys alive today is the world-wide publicity that developed.  Otherwise, they’d have been renditioned, tortured and executed already.  To hell with the law — anybody that thinks this country obeys the law it demands on everyone else has a screw loose.

UPDATE:  Several others make similar points about the DOJ’s prosecution theory, including Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin (“the conspiracy theory also threatens traditional journalists as well”); former Bush OLC Chief and Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith (“it would not distinguish the Times and scores of other media outlets in the many cases in which reporters successfully solicit and arrange to receive classified information and documents directly from government officials” and “would be a fateful step for traditional press freedoms in the United States”); Politico‘s Josh Gerstein (“Reporters seek classified information all the time in telephone conversations, in private meetings and other contexts” and thus “the distinction . . . strikes me as patently ridiculous”); and The American Prospect‘s Adam Serwer (“the slippery slope is only the slightest bit less steep” than charging Assange under the Espionage Act).

Indeed, Bob Woodward’s whole purpose in life at this point is to cajole, pressure and even manipulate government officials to disclose classified information to him for him to publish in his books, which he routinely does.  Does that make him a criminal “conspirator”?  Under the DOJ’s theory, it would.  All of this underscores one unavoidable fact:  there is no way to prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks without criminalizing journalism because WikiLeaks is engaged in pure journalistic acts:  uncovering and publicizing the secret conduct of the world’s most powerful factions.  It is that conduct — and not any supposed crime — which explains why the DOJ is so desperate to prosecute.

 Posted by at 12:24 pm
Dec 092010
 

An important article from Johann Hari: This case must not obscure what WikiLeaks has told us

Every one of us owes a debt to Julian Assange. Thanks to him, we now know that our governments are pursuing policies that place you and your family in considerably greater danger. Wikileaks has informed us they have secretly launched war on yet another Muslim country, sanctioned torture, kidnapped innocent people from the streets of free countries and intimidated the police into hushing it up, and covered up the killing of 15,000 civilians – five times the number killed on 9/11. Each one of these acts has increased the number of jihadis. We can only change these policies if we know about them – and Assange has given us the black-and-white proof.Each of the wikileaks revelations has been carefully weighed to ensure there is a public interest in disclosing it. Of the more than 250,000 documents they hold, they have released fewer than 1000 – and each of those has had the names of informants, or any information that could place anyone at risk, removed. The information they have released covers areas where our governments are defying the will of their own citizens, and hiding the proof from them.

Here’s some examples. The Obama administration has been denying that it has expanded the current “war” to yet another country, Yemen. Now we know that is a lie. Ali Abdulah Saleh, the Yemeni dictator, brags in these cables to a US diplomat: “We’ll continue to say the bombs are ours, not yours.” The counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen, who until recently was a senior advisor to General Petreaus in Iraq, estimates that for every one jihadi killed in these bombings, they kill fifty innocent people. How would we react if this was happening in Britain? How many of us would become deranged by grief and resolve to fight back, even against the other side’s women and children? Bombing to end jihadism is like smoking to end lung cancer – a cure that worsens the disease.

The US and British governments told us they invaded Iraq, in part, because they were appalled that the Iraqi government tortured its own citizens. Tony Blair often mentioned “Saddam’s torture chambers” in making his case for the war. Yet these leaked documents show that as soon as our governments were in charge, the policy of burning, electrocuting and raping people started again – and they consciously chose a policy of not objecting and not investigating. Modern jihadism was born in the torture chambers of Egypt in the 1950s. A lot more will have been made in the torture chambers of Baghdad since 2003. Some of it has already exploded onto our streets – the attempted Glasgow airport bombing was by Iraqis who said they were “resisting” the use of torture in their country. There will be more.

The cables reveal how this grief and murderous rage is being spread across the Muslim world, while we lie about it. Here’s just one example. US troops blew up an Afghan village called Azizabad, and killed 95 people, 50 of them children. None were al Qaeda, or even Taliban. They knew what they’d done – yet in public they kept insisting they’d killed “militants”, and even accused the local Afghan villagers of “fabricat[ing] such evidence as grave sites.”

Wikileaks has exposed a terrifying casualness in our governments about ramping up the risk against us. Indeed, they show that the US government knows Saudi Arabia is “the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups world-wide”, but our leaders continue to (literally) hold hands with them, because their oil pipelines run our way. They show a startling contempt for democracy too: when the Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, was kidnapped by a far right clique because he had increased the minimum wage and redistributed wealth to the poor, the US embassy confirmed privately that it was “clearly illegal”. Yet the US administration refused to say this publicly, instead urging “reconciliation” with the junta their own diplomats were calling “totally illegitimate.”

For Britain’s politicians, the documents offer a long-needed slap in the face. Successive governments, of all parties, support these destructive US policies because they believe we have influence with the Americans. But these cables show the Americans literally laugh at them and their sycophancy, describing their servility in mocking tones in cables back home, saying “it would be humorous if it were not so corrosive.”

Most people in the US and Britain oppose these policies. We are better than our politicians. But we can only stop them – and the risk they pose to innocent people across the world, including us – if we know about them. Assange has made that possible, at great risk to his liberty and his life. So this is a move that enhances our national security. Of course, there are people who claim he has “blood on his hands” – but where is there evidence? It is months now since the first cables were leaked, and they have found not a single person who has been even threatened as a result of the leaks – except Assange, whose death is being incited by many of America’s leading politicians.

There is a squalid little irony when you see people who are literally bombing innocent civilians every day feverishly accuse a man who has never touched a weapon in his life of being “covered in blood.” Wikileaks have hurt nobody. They redacted sensitive names. They held back any cables that could expose anyone to risk. They asked the Pentagon to help them by privately explaining where they believed there could be a danger – only to be rebuffed.

Of course, it is possible Julian Assange did this good, noble thing, and is also a rapist. I do not believe in reflexively dismissing rape claims by any woman, in any circumstances. Bill Clinton was the victim of a right-wing smear campaign and many of us dismissed the allegations of sexual assault against him – but now, years later, one of the women who came forward, Kathleen Willey, has earned nothing from her allegations, remains a left-wing Democrat, and seems to have a very plausible case.

Here’s what we know. There is a long history of the CIA viciously smearing people who dare to cross the US state machinery. There is a strong chance the claims against Assange is another case of it. But there is also a long history of otherwise admirable men turning out to be rapists, and there’s a chance this is another case of it. This should be tested in a court of law – and the trial should be watched very careful to make sure it’s not being rigged by bribes or threats.

Whatever that judgment turns out to be, we will never unlearn or unknow the great truths Julian Assange has brought us. The hysterical state-power hacks saying he is “a terrorist” should go tell it to all the tortured Iraqis, all the terrorized Honduran democrats, and all the bombed Yemenis whose story he has – at last – brought out from the sealed-away world of Top Secret cables.

 Posted by at 12:54 pm

I am exhausted

 Collapse, General  Comments Off
Dec 092010
 

My apologies to the readership, I have been unable to update this blog adequately, right in the middle of a flurry of major news developments too.

I am exhausted.  Order volume has been absolutely extreme.  So high that I am seriously considering restricting orders now.  Some may find this bizarre behavior, but if I cannot provide adequate service to the customers I already have, what would be the point of exacerbating this situation?

All the canneries are going full-tilt, just like myself I’m sure.  They’ve got the harder job imo, and kudos to them for all doing a great job.

The panic launched by Glen Beck is no joke. This caused a virtual stampede among a percentage of Americans, and then picked up by other talking heads.  I wonder what would happen when the real shortages show up?

It will be an absolute slaughter….

I have no doubt that this country will go absolutely, positively BEZERK.  Watch a good zombie movie for particulars, except instead of eating your head, they’ll ransack your cupboards.  And then when it gets really bad, well, watch “The Road” for what happens next.

We’re definitely not going to go down “politely”.

A few news links of interest:

UPS Requires Photo ID to ship packages

Mobile Fingerprint Scanners Now Being Used On Public – The claim is the fingerprints would “not be stored”, but that’s like asking the fox to watch the hen house.  The track record of these agencies is quite dismal at best, and the opportunities for abuse are stupendous.

WikiLeaks: Texas Company Involved in Boy Prostitution & Sex Slave Ring – This is disgusting, but worth knowing about.  I couldn’t even watch the video on that page.  And of course, our U.S. diplomats (spies) downplayed this, as did the Washington Post.

Climate scientist warns world of widespread suffering if further climate change is not forestalled — Fits right in with my own published predictions / assessments found right here.  Catastrophic changes are ahead and “forestalling” this is simply not going to happen.

As always, keep up with Desdemona, especially for those who are still camping in the denialsphere.  The evidence is starkly overwhelming that we are already dealing catastrophic climate collapse and environmental collapse.

I’ve long known that reality will make itself well and widely known to even the hardest knucklehead.  Whether food shortages, inflationary price increase, deluge or drought, it will eventually “sink in”.  Perhaps when your neighbors teeth are doing the “sinking”.

 Posted by at 11:07 am
Dec 062010
 

I found this on Drudge, but there is no permanent link.  This should get picked up by the other news services pretty soon.
Press Office U.S. Department of Homeland Security Dec. 6, 2010

BIG SIS INVADES WAL-MART:  ‘IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING’

WASHINGTON — Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the expansion of the Department’s national “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign to hundreds of Walmart stores across the country—launching a new partnership between DHS and Walmart to help the American public play an active role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation.

“Homeland security starts with hometown security, and each of us plays a critical role in keeping our country and communities safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “I applaud Walmart for joining the ‘If You See Something, Say Something’ campaign. This partnership will help millions of shoppers across the nation identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to law enforcement authorities.”

The “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign—originally implemented by New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and funded, in part, by $13 million from DHS’ Transit Security Grant Program—is a simple and effective program to engage the public and key frontline employees to identify and report indicators of terrorism, crime and other threats to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities.

More than 230 Walmart stores nationwide launched the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign today, with a total of 588 Walmart stores in 27 states joining in the coming weeks. A short video message, available here, will play at select checkout locations to remind shoppers to contact local law enforcement to report suspicious activity.

Over the past five months, DHS has worked with its federal, state, local and private sector partners, as well as the Department of Justice, to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign and Nationwide SAR Initiative to communities throughout the country—including the recent state-wide expansions of the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign across Minnesota and New Jersey. Partners include the Mall of America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Amtrak, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, sports and general aviation industries, and state and local fusion centers across the country.

In the coming months, the Department will continue to expand the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign nationally with public education materials and outreach tools designed to help America’s businesses, communities and citizens remain vigilant and play an active role in keeping the county safe.

———

Why does any American require a “short video message” reminder to report suspicious activity?

This isn’t what this is all about at all, but the totalitarian Big Brother reminder that you are being monitored at all times.  Even by the checkout clerk, your fellow shoppers and your neighbors.

Just in time for some holiday cheer too.

 Posted by at 12:37 pm
Dec 022010
 

Mountain House

Mountain House has stopped selling #10 cans of food directly to the public, effective immediately.  All dealers will now be placed on an allocation limit per week for shipments.  Mountain House expects this to last many months.

All new Mountain House orders will be queued into the allocation allotment allowed for each dealer.  These shipments will begin the week of December 27th and will be limited to the weekly allotment from thenceforth.

All existing Mountain House orders are expected to be filled between now and December 27th.

Mountain House IS out of stock on many items.  These are expected to be brought back into stock as fast as possible.

Rainy Day

Rainy Day is publishing new prices as I type this.  My website will be updated as soon as I receive these prices and get the site updated.

All pre-existing orders (paid) will not be affected by either the Mountain House announcement or the Rainy Day price increases.  Please, nobody call and ask this question, this should be clear enough.

All unordered products quotes (unpaid orders) will not be honored for pricing as new prices are effective immediately.

If you call — please have your questions ready.  A large number of callers just want to talk, or have not read anything or done any examination of products, prices, availability, etc.  There are a large number of information pages on the website to help educate you about food storage and bring you up to speed on what you need to do.

As always, I insist that you pick out your own food.  A surprising number of people have no idea what they eat (or want to eat).  I cannot pick this out for you (and as many have found out, I won’t do it), because I see this as a futile exercise.  Only you know what you can or will eat, your personal dietary preferences, budget and so forth.  There are 42 different food plans on the food plan page and nearly 1700 food products to choose from.

Survival Acres remains the largest website in the industry with the biggest selection — surely there is something you will eat.  Or not — just don’t keep asking me to pick this out for you, I’ve gone to a great amount of trouble and time to publish all the information anybody should need to get properly stocked up.

The ongoing food crisis is deepening throughout the world. I’ve deliberately refrained from posting many news articles on this topic to try and stem the growing panic that has been developing. It’s not really done much good to shout warnings in the past and now that the crisis is here, it doesn’t do much good to further the stampede either.

 Posted by at 3:15 pm
Dec 022010
 

Nice article sent in by Frank, from Whiskey & Gunpowder: Is the Collapsing Empire and Its Police State Worth Fighting For?

I do suggest everyone reads this (first).  Contemplate for a brief moment what it means when your country is no longer “you” or anything that you can even recognize.

Now for some doom news:

Fingerprinting every electronic device in the world

DHS Siezing Electronic Storage Devices At Borders

Organ Donations Now Done Literally “In Your House”

Sherwood Ross: Go To Jail For Telling The Truth What it will get you when you reveal the horrible activities of Empire.

The depth of Monsanto’s corruption into the U.S. government:

We are told genetic foods are safe but in the following documentary we are told something very different, and what we are told is backed up by shocking facts. The connections between Monsanto and the FDA are very alarming. Many highly influential politicians have worked for and or have ties with Monsanto. We are told that the FDA can be trusted but when you look at the facts they prove they can’t when it comes to Monsanto. Look at this: Clarence Thomas Prior to being the Supreme Court Judge who put George W. Bush in office, was Monsanto’s lawyer. Anne Veneman, Former US Secretary of Agriculture, was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Calgene Corporation. Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense was on the Board of Directors of Monsanto’s Searle pharmaceuticals. Tommy Thompson, former US Secretary of Health received $50,000 in donations from Monsanto during his winning campaign for Wisconsin’s governor, and the two congressmen receiving the most donations from Monsanto during the 2000 election were Larry Combest (Former Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee) and Missouri senate candidate John Ashcroft, who became the Attorney General during the Bush administration. (Source: Dairy Education Board)

In order for the FDA to determine if Monsanto’s growth hormones were safe or not, Monsanto was required to submit a scientific report on that topic. Margaret Miller, one of Monsanto’s researchers put the report together. Shortly before the report submission, Miller left Monsanto and was hired by the FDA. Her first job for the FDA was to determine whether or not to approve the report she wrote for Monsanto. In short, Monsanto approved its own report. Assisting Miller was another former Monsanto researcher, Susan Sechen. Deciding whether or not rBGH-derived milk should be labeled fell under the jurisdiction of another FDA official, Michael Taylor, who previously worked as a lawyer for Monsanto.

What Monsanto Doesn’t Want You To Know

I’m skipping over a whole lot of other links I’ve been sent, they are all along the same lines, more or less.

I’ve got to go plow some (more) snow.  We’ve had huge snowfalls here already and it’s been a non-stop job trying to keep this place open.

 Posted by at 11:49 am