Thursday, December 30, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR?

2011

By Paul Craig Roberts
December 28, 2010 "Information Clearing House" --

The year 2011 will bring Americans a larger and more intrusive police state, more unemployment and home foreclosures, no economic recovery, more disregard by the U.S. government of U.S. law, international law, the Constitution, and truth, more suspicion and distrust from allies, more hostility from the rest of the world, and new heights of media sycophancy.

2011 is shaping up as the terminal year for American democracy.

The Republican Party has degenerated into a party of Brownshirts, and voter frustrations with the worsening economic crisis and military occupations gone awry are likely to bring Republicans to power in 2012. With them would come their doctrines of executive primacy over Congress, the judiciary, law, and the Constitution and America’s rightful hegemony over the world.

If not already obvious, 2010 has made clear that the U.S. government does not care a whit for the opinions of citizens. The TSA is unequivocal that it will reach no accommodation with Americans other than the violations of their persons that it imposes by its unaccountable power.

As for public opposition to war, the Associated Press reported on December 16 that “Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. can’t let public opinion sway its commitment to Afghanistan.”

Gates stated bluntly what has been known for some time: the idea is passe that government in a democracy serves the will of the people. If this quaint notion is still found in civics books, it will soon be edited out.

In Gag Rule, a masterful account of the suppression of dissent and the stifling of democracy, Lewis H. Lapham writes that candor is a necessary virtue if democracies are to survive their follies and crimes. But where in America today can candor be found? Certainly not in the councils of government. Attorney General John Ashcroft complained of candor-mongers to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Americans who insist on speaking their minds, Ashcroft declared, “scare people with phantoms of lost liberty,” “aid terrorists,” diminish our resolve,” and “give ammunition to America’s enemies.”

As the Department of Justice (sic) sees it, when the ACLU defends habeas corpus it is defending the ability of terrorists to blow up Americans, and when the ACLU defends the First Amendment it is defending exposures of the lies and deceptions that are the necessary scaffolding for the government’s pretense that it is doing God’s will while Satan speaks through the voices of dissent.

Neither is candor a trait in which the American media finds comfort. The neoconservative press functions as propaganda ministry for hegemonic American empire, and the “liberal” New York Times serves the same master.

It was the New York Times that gave credence to the Bush regime’s lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and it was the New York Times that guaranteed Bush’s re-election by spiking the story that Bush was committing felonies by spying on Americans without obtaining warrants. Conservatives rant about the “liberal media” as if it were a vast subversive force, but they owe their beloved wars and cover-ups of the Bush regime’s crimes to the New York Times.

With truth the declared enemy of the fantasy world in which the government, media, and public reside, the nation has turned on whistleblowers.

Bradley Manning, who allegedly provided the media with the video made by U.S. troops of their wanton, fun-filled slaughter of newsmen and civilians, has been abused in solitary confinement for six months.

Murdering civilians is a war crime, and as General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the National Press Club on February 17, 2006, “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral” and to make such orders known.

If Manning is the source of the leak, he has been wrongfully imprisoned for meeting his military responsibility. The media have yet to make the point that the person who reported the crime, not the persons who committed it, is the one who has been imprisoned, and without a trial.

The lawlessness of the U.S. government, which has been creeping up on us for decades, broke into a full gallop in the years of the Bush/Cheney/Obama regimes.

Today the government operates above the law, yet maintains that it is a democracy bringing the same to Muslims by force of arms, only briefly being sidetracked by sponsoring a military coup against democracy in Honduras and attempting to overthrow the democratic government in Venezuela.

As 2011 dawns, public discourse in America has the country primed for a fascist dictatorship.

The situation will be worse by 2012.

The most uncomfortable truth that emerges from the WikiLeaks saga is that American public discourse consists of cries for revenge against those who tell us truths.

The vicious mendacity of the U.S. government knows no restraint. Whether or not international law can save Julian Assange from the clutches of the Americans or death by a government black ops unit, both executive and legislative branches are working assiduously to establish the National Security State as the highest value and truth as its greatest enemy.

America’s future is the world of Winston Smith.

Continue


*

The Gaza Massacre And The Struggle For Justice

By Ali Abunimah

The Gaza massacre, which Israel launched two years ago today, did not end on 18 January 2009, but continues. It was not only a massacre of human bodies, but of the truth and of justice. Only our actions can help bring it to an end. Continue


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Top Ten Myths about Afghanistan, 2010

By Juan Cole

MYTH 10. “There has been significant progress in tamping down the insurgency in Afghanistan.”


MYTH 9. Afghans want the US and NATO troops to stay in their country because they feel protected by them.

  • Fact: In a recent [pdf] poll, only 36% of Afghans said they were confident that US troops could provide security. Only 32% of Afghans now have a favorable view of the United States’ aid efforts in their country.


MYTH 8. The “surge” and precision air strikes are forcing the Taliban to the negotiating table.


MYTH 7. The US presence in Afghanistan is justified by the September 11 attacks.


MYTH 6. Afghans still want US troops in their country, despite their discontents.


MYTH 5. The presidential elections of 2009 and the recent parliamentary elections were credible and added to the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s government.


MYTH 4. President Hamid Karzai is “a key ally” of the United States.


MYTH 3. Shiite Iran is arming the hyper-Sunni, Shiite-hating Taliban in Afghanistan.

  • Fact: Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates told Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini last February “that intelligence indicated there was little lethal material crossing the Afghanistan-Iran border.” This according to a wikileaks cable.


MYTH 2. Foreigners are responsible for much of Afghanistan’s fabled corruption.


MYTH 1. The US is in Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda.

  • Fact: CIA director Leon Panetta admitted that there are only 50-100 al-Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan! The US is mainly fighting two former allies among the Mujahidin whom Ronald Reagan dubbed “freedom fighters” and the “equivalent of America’s founding fathers:” Gulbaddin Hikmatyar and his Hizb-i Islami, and Jalaluddin Haqqani and his Haqqani Network. These two organizations, which received billions from the US congress to fight the Soviets in the 1980s, are more deadly and important now than the ‘Old Taliban’ of Mulla Omar. The point is that they are just manifestations of Pashtun Muslim nationalism, and not eternal enemies of the United States (being former allies and clients and all). Hikmatyar has roundly denounced al-Qaeda.

Continue


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Clinton Plays Russian Roulette With Justice

By Yvonne Ridley

Instead of sticking her nose in to other countries' judicial processes, perhaps the US Secretary of State would care to look into her own backyard and tell us why one of her soldiers was given a mere nine month sentence earlier this month after shooting unarmed civilians in Afghanistan?
Continue


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US Drone Attacks Are No Laughing Matter, Mr Obama

By Mehdi Hasan

The president's backing of indiscriminate slaughter in Pakistan can only encourage new waves of militancy. Continue


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The Trials of Henry Kissinger

The Making Of A War Criminal

Video:

"A fascinating, bombshell documentary . . . .

Should be required viewing for civics classes and would-be public servants alike." -- Brent Simon, Entertainment Today.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6623.htm


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2011: A Brave New Dystopia

By Chris Hedges


"The two greatest visions of a future dystopia were George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The debate, between those who watched our descent towards corporate totalitarianism, was who was right.

Would we be, as Orwell wrote, dominated by a repressive surveillance and security state that used crude and violent forms of control? Or would we be, as Huxley envisioned, entranced by entertainment and spectacle, captivated by technology and seduced by profligate consumption to embrace our own oppression?

It turns out Orwell and Huxley were both right. Huxley saw the first stage of our enslavement. Orwell saw the second..."


Continue to read the article, and comments!



"...According to the Cluster Munitions Monitor 2010, the U.S. dropped a total of 4.1 million kilograms of sub-munitions over Vietnam between 1965 and 1973, striking 55 of the country’s 64 provinces and cities...

Located on the both sides of the former DMZ, Quang Tri Province was one of the most bombed and shelled areas in the war, resulting in 83.8% of its land area being contaminated with unexploded ordnance according to survey data.

Such deadly war explosives still kill and maim civilians 35 years later...

Making Vietnam free of the danger of war explosives, including cluster bombs, is a huge task requiring extensive financial and human resources, and more assistance from the international community.

Today’s cleanup tasks completed by the RENEW EOD team, similar to the tasks they do every other day, reflect the on-going commitment of Project RENEW staff and others of today’s younger generation, born long after the war ended, to clean up the deadly legacy left behind when the fighting stopped almost four decades ago..."


". . .Despite extensive clearance efforts by military and international NGOs, thousands of UXO still remain on and under the ground, posing an imminent threat to the daily activities of local people, especially children..."


QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER FROM PROJECT RENEW
December 2010


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It's our pleasure to share with you the final issue of Project RENEW's 2010 quarterly newsletter.

This issue includes the following features:

Accident prevention: RENEW teaches local students how to be safe from cluster bombs, landmines, other ordnance

integrated_MRE 3Cam Lo, Quang Tri (Dec. 13, 2010): Primary students at the Ho Chon Nhon Primary School in Cam Lo District, Quang Tri Province, a total of 250 of children ages 6 to 10, started their new week of learning today with an information session on the dangers of bombs and mines left over from the war that ended more than 35 years ago.

Click here to read more

Another day in Quang Tri: Cluster bombs safely removed from rice fields

cluster bombs on rice fieldToday was another busy working day, but not an unusual one, for Project RENEW’s mobile EOD Quick Response Team. During the first hours of the morning, they traveled some 150 kilometers among three communes in Trieu Phong District of Quang Tri Province to respond to UXO sightings reported by local people.

Click here to read more

Micro-credit program helps women of victim families earn additional income

buffaloA landmine explosion in 2002 took the life of Hoang Thi Thang's husband and threw her family into extreme circumstances. Ms. Thang had to work hard every day to carry on, and to keep her son in school. Thang's neighbor, Ms. Hoang Thi Hoa is not widowed as is Ms. Thang, however she also has been the breadwinner in a family of five since she got married in 1994. Her husband has not been able to work since a U.S. bombing attack in 1972 which killed his entire family. He was the only one who survived, but he is permanently disabled.

Click here to read more

Proud to be working in a men's field

nguyen_thi_dieu_linhNguyen Thi Dieu Linh often wishes her day were longer because she has such a pile of work awaiting her every morning. In the summer, when EOD clearance teams depart at 6:30 a.m. for their field work, she has to get up at five to get dressed and have breakfast because she eats slowly.

Click here to read more
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About Project RENEW
Established in 2001 as a cooperative effort between the Quang Tri Province People’s Committee and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), Project RENEW is dedicated to the goal of Restoring the Environment and Neutralizing the Effects of the War.

With authorization and support from the Government of Vietnam, Project RENEW has grown into an international effort under VVMF's sponsorship, with participation from many partners including Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), Trauma Care Foundation (TMC), Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI), and UNICEF.

Project RENEW is grateful for funding and technical assistance from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the Government of Taiwan, foundations and other institutions, and many individual veterans and donors.

What can you do to help?

Project RENEW currently operates in three of ten districts of Quang Tri Province. With more funding support, Project RENEW could expand its successful integrated model into all of the remaining districts and extend services to more people. You can join hands with Project RENEW in our efforts to clean up deadly explosive remnants of war and to assist affected families to rebuild better livelihoods and opportunities for the future.
Donate now








Project RENEW
103 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street
Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day of Action to Resist the War Machine!


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Saturday, March 19, 2011:
Day of Action to Resist the War Machine!

8th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq
Scores of organizations coming together for worldwide protests

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Message from Iraq War Veteran and March Forward! co-founder, Mike Prysner
Mike Prysner at Dec. 16
"A week ago I was arrested along with 130 others taking a stand against these criminal wars at the White House gates. As veterans we have learned first hand the vicious truths of the U.S. war drive and have pledged to resist. We stand with our Muslim and Arab sisters and brothers who are under attack. Will you stand with us on March 19 when we take the next steps?"

Yes! I support the March 19 Day of Action to Resist the War Machine

March Forward and VFP, 12-16-10
Veterans and other anti-war activists line
the fence in front of the White House on
Dec. 16 prior to being arrested.

March 19 is the 8th anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Iraq today remains occupied by 50,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of foreign mercenaries.

The war in Afghanistan is raging. The U.S. is invading and bombing Pakistan. The U.S. is financing endless atrocities against the people of Palestine, relentlessly threatening Iran and bringing Korea to the brink of a new war.

While the United States will spend $1 trillion for war, occupation and weapons in 2011, 30 million people in the United States remain unemployed or severely underemployed, and cuts in education, housing and healthcare are imposing a huge toll on the people.

Actions of civil resistance are spreading.

On Dec. 16, 2010, a veterans-led civil resistance at the White House played an important role in bringing the anti-war movement from protest to resistance. Enduring hours of heavy snow, 131 veterans and other anti-war activists lined the White House fence and were arrested. Some of those arrested will be going to trial, which will be scheduled soon in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 19, 2011, the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, will be an international day of action against the war machine.

Protest and resistance actions will take place in cities and towns across the United States. Scores of organizations are coming together. Demonstrations are scheduled for San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and more.

Click this link to endorse the March 19, 2011, Call to Action.


In San Francisco, the theme of the March 19 march and rally will be “No to War & Colonial Occupation – Fund Jobs, Healthcare & Education – Solidarity with SF Hotel Workers!” 12,000 SF hotel workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 2, have been fighting for a new contract that protects their healthcare, wages and working conditions. The SF action will include a march to boycotted hotels in solidarity with the Lo. 2 workers. The first organizing meeting for the SF March 19 march and rally will be on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 2pm at the Local 2 union hall, 209 Golden Gate Ave.

In Los Angeles, the March 19 rally and march will gather at 12 noon at Hollywood and Vine.

Let us know if you are going to be protesting locally. Events taking place around the country will be listed at www.AnswerCoalition.org.

Click this link to submit your local event listing.

Cities around the country will be printing flyers, posters and stickers to spread the word about March 19 events. Funds are urgently needed to help in this effort. Please make a generous financial contribution today. Click this link to donate online with a credit or debit card, and to find out how to contribute by check.

Donate to support the March 19 mobilization

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
http://www.AnswerCoalition.org/
info@AnswerCoalition.org
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

John Pilger - The War You Don't See

"We journalists... have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country... That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home... In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us... Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."

Video

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27116.htm


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Please Mr. President! Some Truth About Afghanistan

By Eric Margolis

The government and media have colluded to paint the picture of a noble, heroic, flag-waving American enterprise in Afghanistan that is, alas, very far from reality. . .



December 20, 2010
"
Information Clearing House" --

After nine years of war in Afghanistan, costing over $100 billion in taxpayer money and 700 American lives, the full truth about this murky conflict remains elusive.

The government and media have colluded to paint the picture of a noble, heroic, flag-waving American enterprise in Afghanistan that is, alas, very far from reality. As the cynic Ambrose Bierce pointedly observed of patriots -- "the dupe of statesmen; the tool of conquerors."

Three interesting reports about Afghanistan emerged in Washington last week.

First, a political whitewash issued by the Obama White House claiming the war was going well and some US troops might be withdrawn next year. This 'don't worry be happy' summary was trumpeted by the pro-war New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other members of the government-friendly US media.

US generals spoke of "progress" in Afghanistan, whatever that means, as US forces were conducted a brutal campaign around Kandahar to crush resistance to the occupation and punish communities that supported Taliban.

Second, the Red Cross issued a grim report showing that Afghans were suffering widespread malnutrition and serious health problems after nearly a decade of Western occupation. So much for US-led nation-building.

Third, there were leaks about a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the combined findings of all 16 US intelligence agencies. This key intelligence report is explosive and may not be fully revealed.

The NIE reportedly asserts that the Afghan War, now costing over $13 billion monthly, is at best stalemated; at worse, Western occupation forces are on the defensive and their vulnerable supply lines increasingly threatened. Taliban is expanding its sphere of control, particularly in northern Afghanistan.


Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who was installed into power by CIA, put it bluntly last year, saying the US-led war was "ineffective apart from causing civilian casualties."

The new NIE may also restate a 2007 report that found Iran had no nuclear weapons program. The pro-war party in Washington is desperately trying to prevent its release or get the report altered.

Frustrated American generals and politicians, facing a failing war and the prospect of ruined careers, are blaming Pakistan for the war they cannot win.

There is not an iota of concern in Washington for Pakistan's national interests, well being, sovereignty, or the explosive problems in its Pashtun and Baluchi tribal regions. Washington wants Pakistan to follow orders, pure and simple. That's why the US is paying Islamabad $2 billion per annum. Sepoys of the Raj are supposed to obey.

There seems almost no understanding in Washington that the US put a gun to Pakistan's head in 2001 and has since been forcing it to follow policies inimical to Pakistan's national interest and popular will.

It's amusing watching Washington blast poor old Hamid Karzai in Kabul for corruption while the US is furiously bribing many top officials and generals in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not to mention US collaboration with Afghanistan's top heroin kingpins and communist war criminals. Pretty sordid stuff that will one day come out and cause a furor, just as CIA's involvement in the Laotian and Central American drug trade did.

Last week came news that US air, land, and mercenary forces would penetrate ever deeper into Pakistan. WikiLeaks show that Pakistan's feeble, US-sustained government is quietly backing deeper US military involvement and targeted killings of Pakistanis.

The Pentagon is gripped by the misconception that "safe havens" in Pakistan are fueling resistance to western occupation. During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon was similarly convinced that eradicating communist safe havens in Cambodia and Laos were the key to victory. They were not. Invading them spreads the war while weakening the US military position.

The so-called Pakistani safe havens are really all part of Pashtun tribal homelands that were sundered by the British imperialists in the 19th Century. Pashtun don't recognize today's Afghan-Pakistan artificial border. Taliban is not an invading army; it is mostly composed of local farmers and herdsmen who straddle the border.

Most Americans know less than nothing about Afghanistan or South Asia and have absolutely no comprehension of its complexities, size, or politics. The few that do, like experts in the State Department and CIA, are not listened to.

CIA, whose role is to supply the president with unbiased information, has become deeply politicized and biased. Thank President Ronald Reagan for this. The yes-men he installed at CIA told him and subsequent presidents what they wanted to hear.

This process culminated during the Bush administration when the CIA's sycophantic Director, George Tenet, validated all the lies about Iraq to please the president and vice president - culminating in Tenet's shameful 'slam-dunk' assurances that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Today, CIA has become an active participant in the Afghan War, with its own little army of mercenaries and renegades, and an air force of Predator and Reaper drones.

The over-militarization of US foreign policy continues. What next? Will the Department of Agriculture get its own little army and air force? The State Department is already edging into a combat role in Iraq.

CIA's reporting on the war has become seriously tainted by institutional bias and career concerns.

Wars are wonderful for career advancement. But you can't fight a war and remain objective. As a result, Obama is getting a lot of bad information from people with axes to grind. He certainly is not listening to the people who know.

President Obama declared last week that the US would continue fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. He is clearly not telling Americans the truth. Other administration officials now say that Yemen is the new center of al-Qaeda operations.

Instead, we got a ludicrous scare campaign from the Obama administration about nuclear threats to US cities that was as dishonest and shameless as the mushroom cloud alarms of Condoleeza Rice. President Obama's advisors on Afghanistan should be hiding in their cellars, not us.

CIA director Leon Panetta recently said there were no more than 50 al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan. What, then, are 150,000 US and NATO troops doing there? The oil and gas of the nearby Caspian Basin and a desire to exclude China from the resource-rich region seems a likely answer.


The war's brutality and destruction are growing. US forces around Kandahar are blowing up or bulldozing houses, assassinating suspected Taliban sympathizers and using mass reprisals against the civilian population. Death squads are hard at work murdering those suspected of backing Taliban and opposing western occupation.

Similar "pacification" tactics were used to break the resistance of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, a third of which was razed by US Marines. The Soviets employed similar tactics during their ten-year occupation of Afghanistan.

The same tactics were developed by Israel during its occupation of the West Bank, including giant security walls chopping up the landscape, blowing up houses, and night raids against suspects.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is in something of a panic over America's longest war. How can a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen in turbans fighting only part-time battle the world's most powerful armed forces to a standstill?


*

Witness at the White House Fence

By Ray McGovern

If the making of peace today means prison, that’s where we need to be. It is time to accept our responsibility to do ALL we can to stop the violence of wars waged in our name. Continue


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Monday, December 20, 2010

What does Assange say?

The Assange BBC interview

'Today' programme presenter John Humphrys went to meet him for what is Mr Assange's first face-to-face broadcast interview since his release.




Daniel Ellsberg:

"EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."


By Michael Ellsberg on December 8, 2010

[Below is a news release put out by the Institute for Public Accuracy, co-signed by Daniel Ellsberg]

Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

WASHINGTON – December 7 – The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in.

The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that’s right, Russia’s Pravda):

“What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic … After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when … government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes. …”

So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. … the American people should be outraged that their government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies.

Odd, isn’t it, that it takes a Pravda commentator to drive home the point that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history. Most of our own media are demanding that WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange be hunted down — with some of the more bloodthirsty politicians calling for his murder.

The corporate-and-government dominated media are apprehensive over the challenge that WikiLeaks presents. Perhaps deep down they know, as Dickens put it, “There is nothing so strong … as the simple truth.”

As part of their attempt to blacken WikiLeaks and Assange, pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange’s exposure of classified materials as very different from — and far less laudable than — what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad.”

He continues: “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Motivation? WikiLeaks’ reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses, and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, “I was actively involved in something that I was completely against.” Rather than simply go with the flow, Manning wrote: “I want people to see the truth … because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public,” adding that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates, and reform.

There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange’s motives were any different. Granted, mothers are not the most impartial observers. Yet, given what we have seen of Assange’s behavior, there was the ring of truth in Assange’s mother’s recent remarks in an interview with an Australian newspaper. She put it this way: “Living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing. … He sees what he is doing as a good thing in the world, fighting baddies, if you like.”

That may sound a bit quixotic, but Assange and his associates appear the opposite of benighted. Still, with the Pentagon PR man Geoff Morrell and even Attorney General Eric Holder making thinly disguised threats of extrajudicial steps, Assange may be in personal danger.

The media: again, the media is key. No one has said it better than Monseñor Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago warned, “The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy.” Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.

The big question is not whether Americans can “handle the truth.” We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions — an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, most of which have mounted a hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

So far, the question of whether Americans can “handle the truth” has been an academic rather than an experience-based one, because Americans have had very little access to the truth. Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, “ground truth.”

How to inform American citizens? As a step in that direction, on October 23 we “Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence” (see below) presented our annual award for integrity to Julian Assange. He accepted the honor “on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks’ contributions are of no significance.” In presenting the award, we noted that many around the world are deeply indebted to truth-tellers like WikiLeaks and its sources.

Here is a brief footnote: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other admirers of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. (For more, please see here.)

Sam did speak truth to power on Vietnam, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a truth-teller exemplifying Sam Adams’ courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences.

Previous recipients include:

-Coleen Rowley of the FBI
-Katharine Gun of British Intelligence
-Sibel Edmonds of the FBI
-Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
-Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army
-Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence
-Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.)
-Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.” – Luke 12:2-3

The following former awardees and other associates have signed the above statement; some are available for interviews:

DANIEL ELLSBERG
A former government analyst, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, a secret government history of the Vietnam War to the New York Times and other newspapers in 1971. He was an admirer of Sam Adams when they were both working on Vietnam and in March 1968 disclosed to the New York Times some of Adams’ accurate analysis, helping head off reinforcement of 206,000 additional troops into South Vietnam and a widening of the war at that time to neighboring countries.

FRANK GREVIL
Grevil, a former Danish intelligence analyst, was imprisoned for giving the Danish press documents showing that Denmark’s Prime Minister (now NATO Secretary General) disregarded warnings that there was no authentic evidence of WMD in Iraq; in Copenhagen, Denmark.

KATHARINE GUN
Gun is a former British government employee who faced two years imprisonment in England for leaking a U.S. intelligence memo before the invasion of Iraq. The memo indicated that the U.S. had mounted a spying “surge” against U.N. Security Council delegations in early 2003 in an effort to win approval for an Iraq war resolution. The leaked memo — published by the British newspaper The Observer on March 2, 2003 — was big news in parts of the world, but almost ignored in the United States. The U.S. government then failed to obtain a U.N. resolution approving war, but still proceeded with the invasion.

DAVID MacMICHAEL
MacMichael is a former CIA analyst. He resigned in the 1980s when he came to the conclusion that the CIA was slanting intelligence on Central America for political reasons. He is a member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

RAY McGOVERN
McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, whose duties included preparing and briefing the President’s Daily Brief and chairing National Intelligence Estimates. He is on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

CRAIG MURRAY
Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, was fired from his job when he objected to Uzbeks being tortured to gain “intelligence” on “terrorists.” Upon receiving his Sam Adams award, Murray said, “I would rather die than let someone be tortured in an attempt to give me some increment of security.” Observers have noted that Murray was subjected to similar character assassination techniques as Julian Assange is now encountering to discredit him.

COLEEN ROWLEY
Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She recently co-wrote a Los Angeles Times op-ed titled, “WikiLeaks and 9/11: What if? Frustrated investigators might have chosen to leak information that their superiors bottled up, perhaps averting the terrorism attacks.”

LARRY WILKERSON
Wilkerson, Col., U.S. Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who criticized what he called the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal.” See recent interviews


For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167


For much more, click on DANIEL ELLSBERG'S WEBSITE:

http://www.ellsberg.net/




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