I HAVE POSTED, BELOW, A YOUTUBE VIDEO SHOWING OUR VETERANS MARCHING FOR PEACE.
I AM EXTREMELY PROUD OF THEM.
DANIEL ELLSBERG MARCHED WITH THESE VETERANS...WHO WERE MARCHING IN BITTER COLD IN WASHINGTON, D.C., PROTESTING THE ENDLESS WARS AND EXPECTING TO BE ARRESTED FOR DOING SO. IT SADDENED ME TO SEE THESE PEACEFUL VETERANS ASKING TO BE ARRESTED TO MAKE THEIR POINT--AND THE POLICE SILENTLY CARRYING THEM OFF.
YES, THEY PUT THEIR BODIES ON THE LINE -- VETS LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING ARRESTED --IN ORDER TO BRING HOPE FOR PEACE!
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
VETERAN CHRIS HEDGES SPOKE POWERFULLY.
SO DID OTHERS, SUCH AS THIS VETERAN, WHO WAS ARRESTED SHORTLY AFTER HE WAS FILMED -- A MAN WHO WAS SIMPLY STANDING THERE, SPEAKING TO THE CAMERAS. HERE'S WHAT HE SAID:
"THERE WAS NOTHING GOOD,NOBLE OR TRUE ABOUT THAT WAR...I DID MY JOB...AND I KNEW THAT THOSE WERE JUST PEOPLE TRYING TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES...YOU CAN'T LIVE KNOWING THAT YOU TOOK HUMAN LIFE AND NOT COME BACK AND TRY CHANGING THE SYSTEM THAT [PUT YOU THERE.].
"HOPE DEMANDS FOR OTHERS WHAT WE DEMAND FOR OURSELVES...HOPE IS NOT FOR THE PRACTICAL...THE CYNICS...THE DEFEATED...THE FEARFUL...HOPE IS WHAT THIS CORPORATE STATE IS DETERMINED TO CRUSH...BUY OUR PRODUCTS---WITHOUT THEM, YOU ARE WORTHLESS...ABOVE ALL,DO NOT THINK--OBEY!"
"THEY SAY....THESE WARS ARE PROTECTING AMERICAN CITIZENS...A BIG LIE...BY CREATING UNIVERSAL HOSTILITY TO US IN THE MUSLIM WORLD, [OBAMA] IS RECRUITING ALQUAEDA AND GIVING COMFORT TO THE ENEMY...."
CONCERNING THE UTTER FAILURE OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO RESPOND TO THE PEOPLE, TO THEIR NEEDS, AND TO THEIR DESIRE TO STOP WAGING ENDLESS WARS, ONE VETERAN SAID "THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE TRIED TO GET ARRESTED...BECAUSE IT'S ALL WE HAVE LEFT AT THIS POINT...IF WE DON'T DO THIS,WE DIE...THIS IS ALL THAT'S LEFT OF HOPE IN THIS COUNTRY..."
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
BRADLEY MANNING HAS BEEN ARRESTED FOR PROVIDING SECRET MATERIAL TO WIKILEAKS. HAS HE REALLY DONE SUCH GREAT DAMAGE? MUST WE ALWAYS WAIT 75 YEARS BEFORE LEARNING HOW COUNTRIES GET INTO - OR OUT OF -- PERILOUS OR BAD SITUATIONS?
WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT TRANSPARENCY?
I'VE NEVER SEEN SECRET MEETINGS RUN BY CITY COUNCILS BODE WELL FOR ORDINARY DENIZENS.
ALL KINDS OF SKULLDUGGERY OCCURS BEHIND THOSE CLOSED DOORS. I WAS A NEWSPAPER REPORTER FOR FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS AND KNOW WHEREOF I SPEAK: SECRECY ALLOWS EVERYONE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AWAY WITH SOMETHING THEY COULDN'T GET AWAY WITH RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN.
CLOSED DOORS SEEMS BUSINESS AS USUAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. THE MEDIA IS GIVEN BITS AND PIECES.
INSTEAD OF PRAISING WIKILEAKS FOR ITS WORK IN REVEALING WHAT HAS NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC, THE MEDIA, OWNED NOW BY ONLY A FEW COMPANIES, AND FEARING BEING LOCKED OUT OF THE REGULATED NEWS-FEEDING SESSIONS WHERE CAREFULLY-SELECTED SCRAPS OF INFORMATION (SOME OF IT UNTRUE) ARE THROWN TO THEM, TO GIVE TO THE PUBLIC,CONTINUES ITS DANCE OF APPEASAL: ASSANGE IS STILL BEING DESCRIBED AS BEING HELD IN JAIL ON 'RAPE' CHARGES --THESE WORDS USED TODAY BY CNN -- WHEN ALL EUROPE KNOWS THAT NO SUCH CHARGES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT AGAINST ASSANGE. CNN'S USE OF SUCH WORDS BRANDS ITS REPORTAGE, IN EUROPEAN EYES, AS RAMPANTLY PREJUDICED.
BUT CNN IS JUST MIMICKING WHAT OTHER US-BASED NEWS OUTLETS ARE REPORTING.
AS FOR BRADLEY MANNING, HIS CONSCIENCE PROVOKED HIS ACTIONS. HE DIDN'T GIVE U.S. INFORMATION TO ENEMIES. HE GAVE U.S. INFORMATION TO THE WHOLE WORLD -- AND INFORMATION FROM OTHER COUNTRIES WAS ALSO RELEASED, OFFERING ORDINARY CITIZENS A CHANCE TO LOOK AT WHAT THEIR DIPLOMATS ARE UP TO. GOD KNOWS WHEN WE'LL EVER SEE SUCH MATERIAL AGAIN.
IN RON PAUL'S WORDS, “When presented with embarrassing disclosures about U.S. spying and meddling, the policy that requires so much spying and meddling is not questioned...Instead the media focuses on how authorities might prosecute the publishers of such information.”
THE WASHINGTON POST, MEANWHILE,HAS NOTICED THAT SOME RATIONALITY IS BEGINNING TO COME INTO PLAY, EVEN AS ACTION TO RELEASE ASSANGE ON (A RIDICULOUSLY HIGH) BAIL IS NOW IN THE WORKS.
THE WASHINGTON POST
Posted at 3:23 PM ET, 12/13/2010
WikiLeaks’s Assange gains influential defenders
By Jeff Stein
The predominant consensus in official Washington that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should eventually stand trial here on espionage charges is not likely to change anytime soon. But three influential voices are now saying publicly what many others say privately: that blame should be focused on leakers, not Assange, who after all was merely the middleman for the handful of newspapers and magazines that were given first crack at classified military and diplomatic documents.
On Friday Jack L. Goldsmith, “widely considered one of the brightest stars in the conservative legal firmament” when he joined the Bush administration Justice Department in 2003, according to a typical assessment, wrote that he found himself “agreeing with those who think Assange is being unduly vilified.”
“I certainly do not support or like his disclosure of secrets that harm U.S. national security or foreign policy interests,” Goldsmith wrote on the Lawfare blog. “But as all the hand-wringing over the 1917 Espionage Act shows, it is not obvious what law he has violated. It is also important to remember, to paraphrase Justice Stewart in the Pentagon Papers, that the responsibility for these disclosures lies firmly with the institution empowered to keep them secret: the Executive branch.”
Goldsmith called the government “unconscionably lax in allowing Bradley Manning,” an Army private arrested on suspicion of giving WikiLeaks Afghan and Iraq war documents last summer, “to have access to all these secrets and to exfiltrate them so easily.”
“I do not understand why so much ire is directed at Assange and so little at the New York Times,” continued Goldsmith, who resigned from the Justice Department after only nine months on the job because he disagreed with its legal rationalizations for waterboarding and other counter-terrorism tactics.
Goldsmith's remarks came only a few days after libertarian standard-bearer Rep. Ron Paul virtually celebrated WikiLeaks for exposing America's “delusional foreign policy.”
“When presented with embarrassing disclosures about U.S. spying and meddling, the policy that requires so much spying and meddling is not questioned,” said the nominal Texas Republican, denouncing calls for prosecuting Assange. “Instead the media focuses on how authorities might prosecute the publishers of such information.”
On Monday influential Harvard political scientist Stephen M. Walt endorsed Goldsmith’s views, asking whether The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward shouldn’t be prosecuted for publishing secrets if Assange was.
"I keep thinking about the Wikileaks affair,” Walt wrote for NPR’s Web site, “and I keep seeing the double-standards multiplying. Given how frequently government officials leak classified information in order to make themselves look good, box in their bureaucratic rivals, or tie the President's hands, it seems a little disingenuous of them to be so upset by Assange's activities.”
By Jeff Stein | December 13, 2010; 3:23 PM ET
Categories: Media, Military | Tags: Jack L.Goldsmith, Ron Paul, Stephen M. Walt
Sunday, December 12, 2010
This colorful locust is not quite able to fly yet. When it will, it will join a horde of similar insects to form a ruthless, destroying mass. It was once just a grasshopper.
Today, Wikileaks leader Julian Assange sits in solitary confinement in a London prison "for his own safety" --and also outside of the view of the public. He has been refused a laptop computer and access to information to help him plead his case. Described as "in hiding" when almost everyone who's anyone knew exactly where Assange was staying, the international community was told that Assange was being sought for rape and other sex crimes, and oh, by the way, the US government would like to execute him for revealing state secrets. But Assange offered himself up for arrest as soon as he was presented with the order to do so. And his "rape" and "sex crimes" involved two honeypot lovelies who complained about sex without a condom and a broken condom being used --indeed, the ladies on the nights when these "crimes" occurred never uttered so much as a syllable against Assange. The media AND the police are, indeed, much to be feared these days.
I have seen, to my shock, how a newsgroup has state, as if it's all proven-and-true, that I 'concocted' what happened between myself and Lee Harvey Oswald. Every single person making these negative statements failed to ever meet or speak to me. Reading how Assange was described as a "rapist" for months, and that he was the subject of an "international manhunt" when I, myself, have friends who told me where he was staying, has exposed to me how lies, offered as sober facts by those who want someone's blood, can twist the truth and convince many. The sheer weight of an accusation can create doubts forever: is Assange a sex pervert? The fellow was breaking his condom or setting it aside in Sweden, for heaven's sake! Since I live in Sweden half the time myself, I'm aware of what the ordinary Swedish citizen thinks of those "sex crimes." They have told me that they are "ashamed."
We have good reason to fear those who have power to condemn us. They can destroy our lives and reputations. For example, last week an Oschner family member called in to a radio program where Edward T. Haslam was speaking, to declare that I was a schizophrenic. Haslam calmly explained that I'd had a head injury a few years ago and thus had to take a big battery of psychological tests before I could get hired (to teach, etc.). He mentioned how I had passed the MMPI II, for example,and that he had read the test results and a psychologists's "all just fine" report. The same epithet was solemnly pronounced upon me by the newsgroup. Though it was answered with the same diagnostic material's result that I was entirely normal psychologically,one person posted the same accusation again on a different newsgroup, where it was accepted without question because nobody who knew the truth was there to share the truth.
The crux was that a lie was delivered, knowingly and maliciously. The sense of outrage, of wanting justice, creates a desire to even the score: "HE is the one who's deranged!" then all hell breaks loose, doesn't it? But if no answer is given, then the lie stands, unchallenged.
Lies and secrecy (posting the lie elsewhere, surreptitiously)create the stuff of war.
The food of the locust can be anything. It feeds upon whatever gives it energy. It does not discriminate: it simply destroys, then moves to a new area and destroys again. Lee Harvey Oswald for some time had few witnesses to defend him. I thank God that I have had the opportunity to stand forth, even if it means my reputation is under attack by "locusts" with an agenda,assisted by their converts.
POLICE AND AUTHORITY
I have great compassion for good police officers.My cousin, David, was a fine police officer. He has a kind heart and a generous spirit. But police make enemies. My cousin had such an enemy, who entered his home and attacked David, slicing into him with a large knife, then slitting open his belly and disemboweling him. David survived the attack but is confined to a wheelchair with spinal damage for the rest of his life.
I hold no grudge against the police. We need champions of law and order. We need protection on dark streets. We need a shoulder to cry on when a tragedy strikes and the police arrive on the scene. We need justice. Police dignify the protection system by treating everyone the same under the law. That is, most of them do.
But there are times when police are called to fulfill distasteful tasks. We see them standing against protesters who simply want to be heard. Sometimes they can become brutal.
Then we see them at their worst. Inside prisons, for example: what happens there, using wardens or police, can be a lesson in how cruel and primitive the human mind can be. Not that I blame any particular individual for what occurs there. Psychological studies have proven that prisoners become targets of aggression all too easily: designated "guards" became unbelievably harsh, despotic and sadistic when allowed free rein against designated "prisoners." And they don't understand why.
(Ref: The Stanford Prison Experiment
As technology advances, it becomes easier to subject prisoners to torture, with few visible effects. In the case shown below, Australian police used their high-tech weapons and brute force against a prisoner. Try not to gag as you read about it:
Aboriginal tasered 14 times
AAP Last updated 20:31 09/12/2010
The release of a "chilling" second video of the tasering of Kevin Spratt will trash Western Australia's reputation for treatment of Aboriginal prisoners, a state MP has declared.
The state's corruption watchdog is inquiring into whether any members of Western Australia Police or the Department of Corrective Services engaged in misconduct during Mr Spratt's repeated tasering while in custody.
The tasering of Mr Spratt at Perth Watch House on August 31, 2008 first came to light with the release of a report by the Corruption and Crime Commission into the use of Taser stun guns in WA.
CCTV footage showed the unarmed and subdued man being tasered 14 times while nine officers surrounded him.
Corruption and Crime Commission commissioner Len Roberts-Smith said the inquiry was triggered by the widespread media exposure, serious public concerns and revelations Mr Spratt had been repeatedly tasered again a week later by corrective services personnel.
The footage of that incident, which occurred on September 6, 2008, was shown for the first time on Thursday after the government had previously refused to make it public.
Seven heavily protected prison officers wearing helmets and carrying batons are shown entering Mr Spratt's prison cell and yelling at Mr Spratt to turn around and lie down.
"If you don't lay down, I'm going to taser you. Turn around and lay down. That's it, I'm not going to ask you again. If I have to ask you again I'm going to taser you," one officers shouts.
After an unarmed Mr Spratt apparently refuses, a prison officer tasers Mr Spratt twice and he is then pinned face down on the floor.
The officers then demand Mr Spratt extend his arms straight out while an officer drives a Taser into the small of his bare back and uses it nine times.
During the ordeal Mr Spratt can be heard talking in native tongue and praying to God.
As the footage was played, Mr Spratt's fiancee, Tayunna Schatkowski, was unable to watch and broke down in tears.
In his opening address, counsel assisting, Peter Quinlan, said on the day after the tasering by the prison officers, Mr Spratt was treated at Royal Perth Hospital.
"Mr Spratt was diagnosed as suffering from at least one, and possibly other fractures of the ribs, a collapse of his lung, his right shoulder was dislocated with a comminuted fracture of the humerus," he said.
"In addition Mr Spratt had multiple superficial cuts and abrasions including several puncture wounds consistent with the use of a Taser in probe mode."
Shadow attorney-general John Quigley said the conduct was disgraceful and would damage WA's reputation.
"The violence was absolutely chilling. Tonight WA's reputation in the way we treat Aboriginal prisoners will be trashed internationally," he told reporters outside the hearing.
"This video depicts disgraceful violence against an Aboriginal prisoner in police custody."
CCTV footage released previously of the first incident in which Mr Spratt was tasered showed him refusing a strip search by sitting on a bench and locking his arms onto the armrests.
"Senior Constable Troy Tomlin said 'Give us your hand or you're going to get f***** tasered, do you understand? Now!' and within seconds deployed a Taser in drive stun mode against Mr Spratt," Mr Quinlan said, describing the footage to the hearing.
"Without warning Senior Constable Tomlin again deployed a Taser in drive stun mode. Sgt Aaron Strahan and Constable Geoffrey Toogood each grabbed one of Mr Spratt's legs."
The hearing will continue on Monday.
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
In 1971, psychologist Philip Zimbardo and his colleagues set out to create an experiment that looked at the impact of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. Zimbardo, a former classmate of Stanley Milgram (who is best-known for his famous obedience experiment, was interested in expanding upon Milgram's research. He wanted to further investigate the the impact of situational variables on human behavior.
The question the researchers asked was how would the participants react when placed in a simulated prison environment. "Suppose you had only kids who were normally healthy, psychologically and physically, and they knew they would be going into a prison-like environment and that some of their civil rights would be sacrificed. Would those good people, put in that bad, evil place—would their goodness triumph?" Zimbardo explained in one interview.
The researchers set up a mock prison in the basement of Standford University's psychology building, and then selected 24 undergraduate students to play the roles of both prisoners and guards. The participants were selected from a larger group of 70 volunteers because they had no criminal background, lacked psychological issues and had no major medical conditions. The volunteers agreed to participate for a one- to two-week period in exchange for $15 a day.
The Setting and Procedures
The simulated prison included three six by nine foot prison cells. Each cell held three prisoners and included three cots. Other rooms across from the cells were utilized for the prison guards and warden. One very small space was designated as the solitary confinement room, and yet another small room served as the prison yard.
The 24 volunteers were then randomly assigned to either the prisoner group or the guard group. Prisoners were to remain in the mock prison 24-hours a day for the duration of the study. Guards, on the other hand, were assigned to work in three-man teams for eight-hour shifts. After each shift, guards were allowed to return to their homes until their next shift. Researchers were able to observe the behavior of the prisoners and guards using hidden cameras and microphones.
Results of the Stanford Prison Experiment
While the Stanford Prison Experiment was originally slated to last 14 days, it had to be stopped after just six days due to what was happening to the student participants. The guards became abusive and the prisoners began to show signs of extreme stress and anxiety.
While the prisoners and guards were allowed to interact in any way they wanted, the interactions were generally hostile or even dehumanizing. The guards began to behave in ways that were aggressive and abusive toward the prisoners, while the prisoners became passive and depressed. Five of the prisoners began to experience such severe negative emotions, including crying and acute anxiety, that they had to be released from the study early.
Even the researchers themselves began to lose sight of the reality of the situation. Zimbardo, who acted as the prison warden, overlooked the abusive behavior of the prison guards until graduate student Christina Maslach voiced objections to the conditions in the simulated prison and the morality of continuing the experiment.
"Only a few people were able to resist the situational temptations to yield to power and dominance while maintaining some semblance of morality and decency; obviously I was not among that noble class," Zimbardo later wrote in his book The Lucifer Effect.
What Do the Results of the Stanford Prison Experiment Mean?
According to Zimbardo and his colleagues, the Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrates the powerful role that the situation can play in human behavior. Because the guards were placed in a position of power, they began to behave in ways they would not normally act in their everyday lives or in other situations. The prisoners, placed in a situation where they had no real control, became passive and depressed.
Criticisms of the Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford Prison Experiment is frequently cited as an example of unethical research. The experiment could not be replicated by researchers today because it fails to meet the standards established by numerous ethical codes, including the Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association. Zimbardo acknowledges the ethical problems with the study, suggesting that "although we ended the study a week earlier than planned, we did not end it soon enough."
Other critics suggest that the study lacks generalizability due to a variety of factors. The unrepresentative sample of participants (mostly white and middle class males) makes it difficult to apply the results to a wider population.
The study is also criticized for its lack of ecological validity. While the researchers did their best to recreate a prison setting, it is simply not possible to perfectly mimic all of the environmental and situational variables of prison life.
Despite some of the criticism, the Stanford Prison Experiment remains an important study in our understanding of how the situation can influence human behavior. The study recently garnered attention after reports of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses in Iraq became known. Many people, including Zimbardo himself, suggest that the abuses at Abu Ghraib might be real-world examples of the same results observed in Zimbardo's experiment.
Interview with Philip Zimbardo. The Believer. Found online at http://www.believermag.com/issues/200909/?read=interview_zimbardo
O'Toole, K. (1997, Jan. 8). The Stanford Prison Experiment: Still powerful after all these years. The
A FINAL COMMENT:
HOW WE TREAT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS HAS A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THEM-- AND ON US. WHAT I CALL "THE BEEHIVE SOCIETY" AND "THE LOCUST SYNDROME" INFLUENCE INDIVIDUAL HUMAN BEINGS TO ACT DIFFERENTLY WHEN THEY ARE IN 'PACK' SITUATIONS. NOTE HOW ARMIES ARE COMPOSED OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN FORCED TO MARCH, FIRE WEAPONS AND OBEY ORDERS WITHOUT QUESTION FOR GREATER KILLING AND DEFENSE EFFICIENCY.
HOW PEOPLE ACT WHEN THEY HAVE TOTAL POWER IS DIFFERENT FROM HOW THEY ACT WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE TOTAL POWER. AN INCREASE IN NUMBERS IS THE SOLE REASON WHY POLICEMEN OR SOLDIERS STANDING ARMED AGAINST A BIG CROWD WILL LARGELY ACT THE SAME: AS A KIND OF ROBOT.
THE CREATION AND EXPLOITATION OF HUMAN-BEINGS-NOW-VIRTUAL-ROBOTS IS WHAT ARMIES ARE ALL ABOUT.
SECRECY IS THE ULTIMATE CAUSE OF WAR, BUT ACTIONS BASED ON LIES CREATED DUE TO SECRECY CAUSE THE BEEHIVE SOCIETY REACTION, WHERE THE LOCUST SYNDROME --THE MASSING OF ARMIES OR OF HUGE MOBS BENT ON DESTRUCTION -- LEADS TO MASSIVE DEATH AND UNBELIEVABLE SUFFERING. ONLY EXHAUSTION OF THE LOCUST SYNDROME'S PHYSICAL NUMBERS STOPS MASSIVE OVERT WAR, WHICH THEN EITHER ENDS, OR TURNS INTO GUERRILLA WARFARE WHERE THE LOCUST APPROACH CAN NEVER WIN. AS LONG AS THE LOCUST NUMBERS REMAIN, WAR CONTINUES EVEN IF ONLY GUERRILLA RESPONSES REMAIN. SUCH A SITUATION CAN LAST FOR GENERATIONS. ONLY BY WITHDRAWING THE LOCUST MASS CAN THE WAR CEASE, THOUGH A GUERRILLA PRESENCE CAN THEN OVERWHELM THE CIVILIAN POPULATION.