Regarding the protests for Bradley Manning:
Manning is a low-level military serviceman who was assigned to one of the worst duties a person could have....watching the US military commit human rights violations, break international law, and kill innocent civilians over and again with disregard to 'collateral' damage. It is interesting to see the repulsion of these same politicians to what citizens under attack by America see as 'collateral damage' at the marathon in Boston. Shocked when it happens here.....apathetic when it happens abroad.
Manning is a man of conscious and that is a bad character trait for someone assigned to witness the most horrible of crimes. We are hearing other young college graduates needing a job and assigned to drone warfare coming forward who are equally disgusted by the actions of its government. So this man of conscious no doubt agonized offer how he could reconcile his responsibilities as a human being with what his military leaders were demanding he do and ultimately he saw Wikileaks and allowing the world visual proof of the kinds of leaders that have hold of America today. Bradley Manning is a whistleblower of crimes against humanity and not a criminal as he is painted by his government and the press. THE WORLD LOVES HIM FOR IT....MANY AMERICANS AS WELL! He did this knowing the penalties would be harsh and that is what a HERO does.....places his life before the needs of the greater good.
We had marches and vigils this past week at Ft Meade as his trial is preparing to start. Saturday we had hundreds of people from all across the country ascend on this military base and passionate speakers for political and social justice. Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers whistleblower) spoke of the Manning as a voice for a nation that has taken the wrong path and which is seeing all civil liberties and democratic institutions under attack. The young lady who was one of three captured and imprisoned in Iran for a few years simply for political leverage spoke, shouting out that Manning was a hero of conscious and his message of authoritarianism in foreign and domestic affairs was clear. She highlighted that America was now leading the world in imprisonment, abuse of detainees, and what was most relevant to her own experience the experience of long term isolation. When a nation works against the interests of its own people the leadership fears collaboration and organizing and hence the isolation. She pointed to Manning's long period in isolation with the military giving the reason of a worry for Manning's thoughts of suicide. She then pointed out that if they were worried about suicide, long-term isolation is known to double the occurrence.....other speakers included former military testifying to the loss of morale and loss of respect for serving their country when forced to witness and perform what they all knew to be illegal, immoral, and dangerous for America in the ill feelings all of this military dishonor sows all around the world. THIS RALLY WAS INSPIRING AND IT SHOWED THAT AMERICANS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE ARE ORGANIZING TO FIGHT THE CAPTURE OF THE US GOVERNMENT BY CORPORATE PUPPETS.
Again, there were no US media on site for this major rally on Saturday, but I did see a good report from WBFF Fox on another rally later in the week. There was plenty of media at the event though.....from all over the world. They even welcomed me to share my views which never happens here! They knew of course that Maryland is ground zero for all this behavior!
Third Way corporate democrats are neo-liberals and colonizers and they are just as aggressive in foreign policy in meeting the goals of globalism as republicans.....MORE SO. The one good thing about the open disregard towards the public on how criminal and corrupt they have become is that more and more people are seeing the truth no matter the media capture. As we see in Turkey's large protests....the citizens are saying they are sick and tired of their leaders taking them out of the political process and they will fight the authoritarian turn taking place in Turkey. Well, Turkey is taking that turn because the world's leader in freedom and democracy has taken that turn. NO JUSTICE.....NO PEACE.
BRADLEY MANNING IS A HERO AND WE WILL NOT STOP FIGHTING FOR HIS FREEDOM.
Nearly two thousand rally for Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade
By the Bradley Manning Support Network. June 2, 2013.
Supporters marched on Ft. Meade for PFC Bradley Manning (Photo: Nathan Fuller)
Nearly two thousand supporters of US Army PFC Bradley Manning rallied and marched on Fort Meade, Maryland, this afternoon for the young whistle-blower.
Under a sweltering sun, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, former political prisoner-turned-human rights advocate Sarah Shourd, LGBT activist and US Army LT Dan Choi, and retired US Army Col. Ann Wright addressed supporters at the Llewellyn Gate, nearest the military courtroom.
The demonstration, which lasted several hours, comes two days before Manning’s trial is set to begin at Ft. Meade, on June 3, and three years after his arrest. The government is charging Manning with indirectly “aiding the enemy” for releasing hundreds of thousands of war logs, diplomatic cables, and military videos to the transparency website WikiLeaks.
PFC Manning has said that he hoped the releases would “spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as well as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.”
A dozen chartered buses brought supporters from across the northeast, including three buses from New York City. Military veterans and activists traveled from around North America—some arriving from as far as Michigan, Montreal, and Mexico City.
“People came from great distances to stand with a true American hero,” said Jeff Paterson, director of the Bradley Manning Support Network. “From Bradley’s demeanor in court, it’s clear he takes strength from the outpouring of support.”
Today’s rally was held with the assistance of many national organizations, including Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, CODEPINK Women for Peace, World Can’t Wait, and Courage to Resist.
In addition to today’s event, the Bradley Manning Support Fund is also responsible for 100% of PFC Manning’s legal fees. Twenty thousand supporters have contributed over $1.25 million dollars in defense of PFC Manning and towards associated public education efforts, since his arrest in Iraq in May 2010.
Regarding the Supreme Court decision that DNA can be taken from someone not charged with a crime:
Don't you just hate with a person who is Attorney General of a state known for its ranking at the bottom for fraud, corruption, and lack of transparency speaks out for the need to bank DNA in pursuit of criminals? We all see the problem with this.....the people committing the most crime in the state are not being picked up by police so we will not have the DNA of the most notorious criminals.....corporate executives. This is why every American has lost faith in not only the Justice Department but the courts as well. Who was it that allowed these postage stamp settlements go through the courts in tact? Who was it that is allowing every one of the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution fall under attack? THE COURTS. So, if the branches of government assigned to serve and protect are corrupted.....people have little regard for what it says. There is a reason that 17% of Americans support/trust Congress. So a Supreme Court ruling that takes yet another right from the citizens only stirs more people to action.
There was outrage a few years ago when it was found that millions of rape kits in police departments were never processed supposedly to save money. We now feel a need to finance these police department activities because indeed, people who are charged with crime may be guilty of another. When a country decides it will collect personal information, especially as private as DNA without warrant or charge, it is tyranny just as Anthony Scalia very eloquently described....who would have thought progressives would need Libertarians and conservatives like Scalia to fight for civil liberties against Third Way corporate democrats. Whether Obama or in Maryland's case.....AG Doug Gansler.....many of the police departments allowing this collection of DNA happen are Third Way corporate democrats.
Why are we seeing all this interest in DNA databases? We have had DNA as a tool for decades. If the media would give Americans the goal of these policies then people would know that what looks good for one issue is bad overall. The goal is a national DNA/identity database complete with facial images, fingerprints, and DNA. The reason can only be one......an authoritarian takeover of life in America. There is no other explanation for the proliferation of the ways citizens in America have been assaulted as regards their personal information. Europe is appalled and fighting it because they have living memory of Fascism......and US citizens are now paying attention. So, the Immigration Bill has immigrants giving fingerprints/DNA.....the regressive gun control policies had people fingerprinted and in some cases giving DNA.....health care reform is placing patients health information on line and it is already being sold and categorized.....having access to DNA. You may not know it yet but there is a push to take and file DNA samples of children when they enter school. IT IS NO COINCIDENCE THAT AN AUTHORITARIAN GROUP OF POLITICAL LEADERS OBSESSED WITH SURVEILLANCE WANT A NATIONAL DNA BASE.
We are already hearing of techniques to identify people who are thought to have genes for violence and crime. We hear of the desire to track children in school according to genetic predisposition to certain skills. We hear that health care insurance will not use genetic predisposition to disease against you.....PROMISE. Same for employment, that would be discriminatory if we had the same labor laws we have today, BUT THEN THERE IS THE INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS THESE POLS EXPECT TO REPLACE THESE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS!
This is for what these DNA laws will be used. So, we sell the public on that never ending bogeyman.....and they will follow us into a police state say these pols. I am pretty sure that most people have more a fear of their government and police then they do of someone stealing their IPHONE.
Expanded DNA Collection By The Federal Government Leahy Concerned With Proposed DNA Database Rule Proposed Measure Could Compromise Civil Liberties, Judiciary Chairman Says
April 25, 2008
WASHINGTON (Friday, April 25, 2008) – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is urging policy makers on Capitol Hill to scrutinize a proposed Federal rule that will sanction the collection of DNA from all citizens arrested for Federal crimes. Under the proposal, the personal, genetic information of arrested or detained individuals would be included in the nation’s leading DNA database known as CODIS.
In a statement Thursday, Leahy pointed to serious civil liberties violations that could arise if the proposed rule were enacted. Much like finger printing now, the DNA collected would then be added to a national DNA indexing system for later access by other law enforcement agencies. Of specific concern, the new rule would allow Federal law enforcement agencies to enter biological information into the growing CODIS database, even information from individuals ultimately found innocent and freed. The policy could make it more difficult for innocent people to have their DNA removed from government databases.
“DNA testing, like any powerful tool, must be used carefully,” said Leahy. “If abused, it can infringe on the privacy and civil liberties of Americans while doing little to prevent crime. I am concerned that the policy just announced may do exactly that.”
The notice of the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 18.
The text of Leahy’s statement follows.
# # # # #
Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On Expanded DNA Collection By The Federal Government
April 24, 2008
I was concerned to learn from the newspapers last week that the Federal government is getting ready to publish a rule sanctioning the collection of DNA samples from all citizens arrested for Federal crimes and from many people detained as illegal immigrants. These samples may be even be kept permanently as part of the government’s DNA database even if a person is ultimately exonerated.
I have long supported the analysis of DNA evidence to catch the guilty and exonerate the innocent. In 2000, I introduced the Innocence Protection Act, which included the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-Conviction DNA Testing Grant program for defendants. This program, where appropriate, gave defendants access to the post-conviction DNA testing necessary to prove their innocence in those cases where the system got it grievously wrong. As a former prosecutor, I was acutely aware that DNA testing could help prevent both the conviction of innocent defendants, and the criminal justice nightmare of the real wrongdoer remaining undiscovered and possibly at large.
In 2004, Congress passed the Innocence Protection Act as an important part of the Justice for All Act. Congress recognized the need for important changes in criminal justice forensics despite resistance from the current administration. The Justice for All Act authorized several other important programs to encourage the use of DNA evidence which I strongly supported, notably including the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant program to eliminate the nationwide backlog of rape kits and other evidence awaiting DNA testing in crime labs around the country. That important program has helped law enforcement to find the perpetrators of terrible crimes throughout the country and to ease the ordeal that crime victims go through.
But DNA testing, like any powerful tool – and particularly any powerful tool in the hands of the government – must be used carefully. If abused, it can infringe on the privacy and civil liberties of Americans while doing little to prevent crime. I am concerned that the policy just announced may do exactly that.
When Sen. Kyl proposed the legislation that formed the basis for this policy, I said that it raised serious privacy concerns. Right now, a person’s DNA can be collected immediately upon arrest, and it can be used immediately to search the DNA indexes for a possible “hit.” But it cannot be added to the Federal index unless and until the person has been formally charged with a crime. This new policy allows DNA to be entered for those who have arrested, but not charged.
This change adds little or no value for law enforcement, while intruding on the privacy rights of people who are, in our system, presumed innocent. It creates an incentive for pretextual arrests, and will likely have a disproportionate impact on minorities and the poor. This policy may also make it harder for innocent people to have their DNA expunged from government databases.
Since I first spoke out against this provision in 2005, we have only seen more examples of abuses of power by this administration, including the Justice Department’s improper firing of prosecutors for political reasons and the FBI’s abuse of national security letter power given in the PATRIOT Act. In this light, the added power to collect and keep DNA information from potentially innocent people gives even more cause for concern.
I will study the proposed rules and policy carefully and the Judiciary Committee will perform careful oversight of its implementation. We must ensure that DNA evidence is used aggressively and efficiently to make us safer, but also that it is used in a careful and appropriate way that secures our rights and increases our confidence in our justice system.
I want to emphasize two things in these International Trade deals......what the Federal government is doing in these trade deals is taking and rewriting the US Constitution as fits this new world order. It takes all the rights of citizens out of the equation and places all policy-making in corporate hands. I like this article but take exception to the reporter suggesting that this is unilateral with Obama at the lead.....we all know this is a decade long process involving all of Congress. The second issue is that we have heard nothing of this and it is the largest event in the history of America. Think who you listen to as pundits (MSNBC----REALLY?)....and ask why they haven't been shouting about this for a decade....if I knew, they knew!!!!!
Obama's Covert Trade Deal:
[Op-Ed]Wallach, Lori; Beachy, Ben. New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) [New York, N.Y] 03 June 2013:
[...]the agreement must eventually face a Congressional vote, which means that one day it will become public. Because Mr. Obama wants the agreement to be given fast-track treatment on Capitol Hill.
WASHINGTON -- THE Obama administration has often stated its commitment to open government. So why is it keeping such tight wraps on the contents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995?
The agreement, under negotiation since 2008, would set new rules for everything from food safety and financial markets to medicine prices and Internet freedom. It would include at least 12 of the countries bordering the Pacific and be open for more to join. President Obama has said he wants to sign it by October.
Although Congress has exclusive constitutional authority to set the terms of trade, so far the executive branch has managed to resist repeated requests by members of Congress to see the text of the draft agreement and has denied requests from members to attend negotiations as observers -- reversing past practice.
While the agreement could rewrite broad sections of nontrade policies affecting Americans' daily lives, the administration also has rejected demands by outside groups that the nearly complete text be publicly released. Even the George W. Bush administration, hardly a paragon of transparency, published online the draft text of the last similarly sweeping agreement, called the Free Trade Area of the Americas, in 2001.
There is one exception to this wall of secrecy: a group of some 600 trade "advisers," dominated by representatives of big businesses, who enjoy privileged access to draft texts and negotiators.
This covert approach is a major problem because the agreement is more than just a trade deal. Only 5 of its 29 chapters cover traditional trade matters, like tariffs or quotas. The others impose parameters on nontrade policies. Existing and future American laws must be altered to conform with these terms, or trade sanctions can be imposed against American exports.
Remember the debate in January 2012 over the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have imposed harsh penalties for even the most minor and inadvertent infraction of a company's copyright? The ensuing uproar derailed the proposal. But now, the very corporations behind SOPA are at it again, hoping to reincarnate its terms within the Trans-Pacific Partnership's sweeping proposed copyright provisions.
From another leak, we know the pact would also take aim at policies to control the cost of medicine. Pharmaceutical companies, which are among those enjoying access to negotiators as "advisers," have long lobbied against government efforts to keep the cost of medicines down. Under the agreement, these companies could challenge such measures by claiming that they undermined their new rights granted by the deal.
And yet another leak revealed that the deal would include even more expansive incentives to relocate domestic manufacturing offshore than were included in Nafta -- a deal that drained millions of manufacturing jobs from the American economy.
The agreement would also be a boon for Wall Street and its campaign to water down regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. Among other things, it would practically forbid bans on risky financial products, including the toxic derivatives that helped cause the crisis in the first place.
Of course, the agreement must eventually face a Congressional vote, which means that one day it will become public.
So why keep it a secret? Because Mr. Obama wants the agreement to be given fast-track treatment on Capitol Hill. Under this extraordinary and rarely used procedure, he could sign the agreement before Congress voted on it. And Congress's post-facto vote would be under rules limiting debate, banning all amendments and forcing a quick vote.
Ron Kirk, until recently Mr. Obama's top trade official, was remarkably candid about why he opposed making the text public: doing so, he suggested to Reuters, would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.
Michael Froman, nominated to be Mr. Kirk's replacement, will most likely become the public face of the administration's very private negotiations and the apparent calculation that underlies them. As someone whose professional experience has been during the Internet era, he must know that such extreme secrecy is bound to backfire.
Whatever one thinks about "free trade," the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership process represents a huge assault on the principles and practice of democratic governance. That is untenable in the age of transparency, especially coming from an administration that is otherwise so quick to trumpet its commitment to open government.
AuthorAffiliation LORI WALLACH and BEN BEACHY Lori Wallach is the director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, where Ben Beachy is the research director.