Pro-Manning Protesters Outside of Fort Meade Tuesday
WASHINGTON – Retired Colonel Dan Choike, the former commander of Marine Corps Base Quantico, at which Private Bradley Manning was held, took the stand Tuesday and shed more light on the public relations and mental health concerns surrounding the incarceration of the Army intelligence analyst whose “Cablegate” document provisions to WikiLeaks sparked a global conflagration, culminating in the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Senior Quantico Marine officers anticipated ongoing complaints about the private’s treatment, and disregarded repeated advice from base forensic psychiatrists that the private did not need to be on suicide watch. Outright disagreement continued regarding the facts of an incident in which Private Manning alleges he was forced to stand naked. Col. Choike claims that he was offered a suicide smock and a blanket but refused those coverings.
Defense attorney David Coombs asked Col. Choike if he “knew” that Private Manning was asked to “put the blanket [covering him] back” when ordered to stand up. First the colonel replied simply, “no,” before adding to the attorney, “You’re talking hypotheticals.” As this exchange proceeded the private watched with wider, more interested eyes than usual, biting his lips.
Black-and-white factual disagreement also exists as to whether Private Manning was allowed only 20 minutes, as opposed to a full hour, of “sunshine call,” time outside in shackles.
The commander consistently ignored the advice of two psychiatrists, and Captain William Hoctor and Colonel Rick Malone — Capt. Hoctor’s advice particularly because one of his patients had recently killed himself while in the brig only a couple of weeks into his detention.
Presented exhibits included a “standard confinement pillow;” a “suicide mattress;” a green “suicide smock,” a cousin to the straitjacket; and two nooses — one a peach-colored makeshift bedsheet noose, the other constructed from sandbag ties. While defense counsel were quick to chime in that Private Manning had used neither noose, later this week Private Manning would testify to having made the bedsheet noose during his initial detention in Kuwait, a time during which American politicians and media personalities were roundly calling for the prisoner’s execution. Col. Choike cited factors that encouraged him to disregard psychiatrists’ advice that Manning not any longer be required to be put on suicide watch, a condition that would necessitate his wearing a chafing, restrictive smock the private claims gave him rub burns. Col. Choike, now a civilian employed at Stafford, Virginia’s Technology Associates, said the “seriousness” of Private Manning’s charges, “strained family relationships” and “erratic behavior” contributed to the continuing suicide watch. The “erratic behavior,” testified Col Choike, included “playing peek-a-boo,” “erratic dancing” and licking the bars of his cell.
Incredibly defense counsel claimed that the bar-licking might have been due to sleepwalking caused by anti-anxiety agents given to Private Manning. Neither side offered any details on the specific prescription medications given to Private Manning, but Capt. Hoctor said that Private Manning’s medication could cause sleepwalking and allegedly the bar-licking.
Col. Choike said that, instead of Capt. Hoctor and Col. Malone, he deferred to the chain of command and specifically the judgment of a dentist in charge of the Quantico medical clinic.
Both sides agree that Private Manning communicated to a guard that if he really wanted to hurt himself he could do with his waistband or his flip-flops. Col. Choike said that that guard took the statement so seriously that he relayed the concern to Barnes. In Mr. Coombs’ questioning of Col. Choike, he said that Private Manning was merely commenting on the absurdity of his being on suicide watch, a status that denied him more comfortable bedding and underwear to sleep in at night. Col. Choike said that subordinates did not make him aware that Private Manning was smiling when he made the observation, as Mr. Coombs implied.
Upon being questioned by David Coombs, Col. Choike disavowed the tone of a Dr. Seuss-ian poem in an email by Marine Corps legal counsel Christopher Greer to Col. Choike:
“I can wear them in a box. I can wear them with a fox. I can wear them in the day. I can wear them so I say. But I can’t wear them at night. My comments gave the staff a fright.”
Brig Commander Col. Robert Oltman would respond to Lt. Col. Greer’s email by himself referencing “Green Eggs & Ham,” signing his name “Sam I am.” On Wednesday, when he took the stand, Col. Oltman said that it would have been irresponsible not to take what Manning’s “flip-flop” line as being serious. “You don’t joke about suicide,” Col. Oltman testified, according to Bradley Manning Support Group writer Nathan Fuller.
Given the generally high rate of guilty verdicts in military trials, and his own offers to make a conditional plea “by substitution,” Private Manning’s defense strategy over the next three months hinges on calls for sympathy based, respectively, on the length of his pre-trial incarceration (over 900 days), and the severity of his treatment during that time. Private Manning will try to cut deals in which each day of his upcoming will count for multiple days, depending on how much defense counsel can impress upon Judge Denise Lind the degree of unpleasantness in at least 23-hour-a-day lockdowns in a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell. Private Manning has called for a dismissal of his case due to a claim that his right to a speedy trial was ignored.
David Coombs and prosecutor Major Ashden Fein are locked in a chicken-and-egg argument on the relationship between precautions allegedly intended to prevent Private Manning’s suicide, and those measures’ ironic, potential debilitating effects on Private Manning’s state of mind. The private’s treatment faced such scrutiny that it was enough to elicit criticism from a State Department spokesman and a U.N. special rapporteur on torture. Throughout his hours of questioning Tuesday’s witness Mr. Coombs tried to highlight for the judge and the press in attendance a contrast in the levels of attention Col. Choike and his superiors paid to public relations management of Private Manning’s incarceration, as opposed to the prisoner’s actual treatment.
Observers to the first day of the trial included Maryland Green Party Senate candidate and attorney Kevin Zeese and Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who briefed multiple presidents on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. As the trial was on recess, waiting in the observers trailer next to the courtroom, Mr. McGovern communicated his confidence that there was a net social benefit to Private Manning’s leaking of secret-classified documents. Near and dear to Mr. McGovern’s heart is fragmentary order (FRAGO) 242, revealed via the Iraq War logs, which Mr. McGovern said was the brain-child of now resigned CIA director David Petraeus, who then served as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
Field reports, made available through Private Manning’s infractions, reveal a tolerance of detainee abuse by occupying U.S. authorities, in light of FRAGO 242, named in one May 16, 2005 instance as: “Provided the initial report [of abuse] confirms US forces were not involved in the detainee abuse, no further investigation will be conducted unless directed by [higher headquarters].”
A November 29, 2005 press conference provides an exchange in contradiction with this fragmentary order, during which then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chair General Peter Pace exhibited differing perspectives on the blind eye UPI’s Pam Hess said the U.S. military was turning to prisoner abuse by Iraqi security forces, who Secretary Rumsfeld opined were doing a “darn good job.”
General Pace said, “It is absolutely the responsibility of every U.S. service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene to stop it. As an example of how to do it if you don’t see if happening but you’re told about it is exactly what happened a couple weeks ago. There’s a report from an Iraqi to [General Karl Horst] that there is possibility of inhumane treatment in a particular facility. That U.S. commander got together with his Iraqi counterparts. They went together to the facility, found what they found, reported it to the Iraqi government, and the Iraqi government has taken ownership of that problem and is investigating it. So they did exactly what they should have done.
Secretary Rumsfeld said, “But I don’t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it. It’s to report it.”
To this General Pace offered contradiction, “If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it.”
Ray McGovern published a blog post Wednesday that details his own take on Private Manning’s treatment, which takes much inspiration from The Guardian’s reporting on the revelations Private Manning brought to the eyes of the world. Secretary Rumsfeld did publicly urge the Iraqi government to investigate grisly examples of prisoner abuse, while insisting on deferring to Iraq’s own investigative mechanisms, citing the occupied nation’s “sovereignty.”
From The Guardian:
A man who was detained by Iraqi soldiers in an underground bunker reported that he had been subjected to the notoriously painful strappado position: with his hands tied behind his back, he was suspended from the ceiling by his wrists. The soldiers had then whipped him with plastic piping and used electric drills on him. The log records that the man was treated by US medics; the paperwork was sent through the necessary channels; but yet again, no investigation was required.
The court has ruled that Private Manning’s own motives or the effects of his leaks, as The Internet Chronicle has previously reported while attending a pre-trial session, are to have no effect on the outcome on his sentence or charges. As evinced by the private two consective nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize, his motives have elicited widespread laud.
As The Internet Chronicle reported last April, David Coombs’ pre-trial arguments suggested the possibility that Private Manning may have exercised personal discretion in his choice of particular documents to hand off to WikiLeaks, leaving open the possibility that the private may have removed information to protect U.S. assets, techniques, tactics and procedures. However, as was reported, “the defense’s suggestions that Private Manning, Mr. Fein argued, had performed self-redactions to mitigate damage were not material; the defendant, he said, lacked the direct knowledge as well as the original classification authority (OCA) to properly make such an assessment [of what to leak].”
In conversation with Kevin Zeese in the parking lot of the Fort Meade base theater, long-time source Mr. Zeese contended that, had any harm come to a U.S. serviceman or servicewoman, as a result of Private Manning’s leaks, political pressure would have been too seductive to avoid placing this additional heat on the private, despite the State Department’s standard line, dating back to December 2010, that it does not comment on leaked classified information.
“If the government could show the documents Manning released caused direct harm they would jump at the opportunity,” said Mr. Zeese. “I would be surprised if they didn’t.”
“The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted many ways by many different people.”
WASHINGTON – Andrew Auernheimer, an American gray hat hacker better known as “weev,” tells The Internet Chronicle that his indictment in a New Jersey District Court over a June 2010 AT&T data breach is at its root an important free speech issue. Speaking to Chronicle.su’s Gray Phone, Mr. Auernheimer, a 27-year-old associate of Goatse Security, claims he made certain AT&T was aware of the breach in time to patch it, he never sought financial gain from what was in effect the the extraction of 114,000 iPad users’ email addresses, and that he never personally possessed more customer data than enough to communicate that the breach was bona fide. While prosecutors imply Mr. Auernheimer’s actions and statements may constitute computer fraud and foreknowledge of possible insider trading, he and his fellow Goatse Security associates saw themselves as merely tarnishing a company’s reputation due to its own reckless mishandling of customer data.
The actual extractor of iPad users’ email addresses, Daniel Spitler, 26, who may face as many as 10 years in prison, has already plead guilty to having gained unauthorized access to computers and identity theft. Mr. Spitler’s sentencing is forthcoming. Mr. Auernheimer served as a media liaison for the group, and only possessed iPad device signatures and email addresses related to media, such as Thomson Reuters and News Corporation.
Citing ’90s law enforcement debacles, such as the civilian deaths at Waco and the deaths in the Weaver family at Ruby Ridge, Mr. Auernheimer issued his appraisal of the honesty of federal law enforcement: “These are lying, perjurous, murderous thugs.”
He added, “If they will murder people, and no consequences of it will come for them, do you think they won’t manufacture evidence or coax false testimony? Give me break.”
“I’ve never shorted a stock, I’ve not solicited a third party to short a stock. And there’s nothing that I do that’s any different than what the financial press does. I’m issuing my opinion on AT&T’s — the information that they’ve made publicly accessible and giving my opinion of their infrastructure, as a result and of course Apple’s products.” He added, “There’s nothing illegal about this. This is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and also there is a system in violation here in that they have denied my right to due process by allowing AT&T to arbitrarily after the fact of access determine what is and isn’t not an authorized without the use of Congress to determine what is or is not an illegal act.”
A New Jersey district court informational document reads, “[D]efendent SPITLER, [Mr. Auernheimer], and other Goatse Security members discussed who in the press had disclosed the data breach to At&T, since, contrary to the Gawker Article, neither defendant SPITLER, nor anyone from Goatse Security had.” The document goes on to catalog an exchange between Mr. Auernheimer and colleague “Nstyr” in which they intimate they have not informed AT&T tech support by telephone.
“I don’t fucking care [about calling AT&T directly.] [I] hope they sue me,” wrote Mr. Auernheimer, in private correspondence confiscated by federal investigators. Asked by The Internet Chronicle’s Gray Phone why he didn’t go to AT&T first, he was concerned about greater liability by even talking to the telecommunications giant.
“Many people that have direct dialogue with companies in this sort of situation are accused of extortion, and I specifically wanted to avoid being accused falsely of extortion,” he says. Mr. Auernheimer contacted at least one third party — whom he declined to name but AT&T identified as a “business customer” — and says he was certain the patch would be forthcoming before leaking the data to Gawker could cause any harm. The third party’s identity, he says, makes it “inherently obvious” that he or she would make AT&T knowledgeable.
AT&T, he says, doesn’t “need to be informed by me. They need to be informed by somebody.”
An associate named “Pynchon” wrote to Mr. Auernheimer, “[H]ey, just an idea [ -- ] delay this outing for a couple days[,] tomorrow short some [AT&T] stock[,] then out them on [T]uesday[,] then fill your short and profit[.]
With this quote posed to him by Chronicle.su, Mr. Auernheimer said, “I don’t believe that anybody had an interest in shorting a stock,” adding, “And I certainly did not solicit them, too, and I’ve received no kickbacks for doing so. And I don’t believe anybody did, or otherwise I’d be charged with a securities-related crime, which I of course am not.”
Mr. Auernheimer said he doesn’t recall writing a reply to “Pynchon’s” stock-shorting idea with the reply: “[I]f you want to do it[,] go nuts.” However for Mr. Auernheimer and ultimately Mr. Spitler, the only entity to have extracted and held all the data, prosecutors are sure to make much of the transcript’s mentioning of any of their associates’ even jesting about or humoring such a securities violation. To be sure Goatse Security has a long history of conducting operations simply for reputational gain or their laughter at others’ expense — known as “lulz.”
Mr. Spitler’s indictment falsely claims that AT&T is headquartered in New Jersey. Mr. Auernheimer characterized this as perjury motivated by venue shopping, intended to maximize chances at prosecution. AT&T is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
In their analysis of chat logs federal prosecutors independently construed the sad-face emoticon “D8″ as the sexual metaphor “balls deep,” or as they put it, “to be deeply involved in an activity or to perform an activity to the greatest extent possible.” This revelation is not only humorous but shows, when taken in the context of Mr. Auernheimer’s relayed concern about civil, not criminal, liability for the data breach, Mr. Spitler was actually expressing fear.
8:30 p.m. EDT – Georgian Attorney General Sam Olens is saying that the individual mandate tells you “what to think.” I’m not sure what to make of that.
8:35 p.m. EDT – Senator John Thune (R-SD) says that when playing basketball President Barack Obama is easy to predict because he “always goes to his left.”
8:54 p.m. EDT – Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is telling PBS that Mitt Romney supports offering military aid to the Free Syrian Army, seeming to simply that the United States is not currently. Sen. McCain touts that French President Hollande — “a socialist,” he makes a point of saying — supports a no-fly zone about the Mediterranean country.
9:14 p.m. EDT – Steve Cohen, as Media Matters is most prominently pointing out, has received more than “$2 million in government contracts, including nearly $220,000 in stimulus funds, and claims a ‘long and proud history of supplying heavy-duty American Made equipment to government agencies and the US military.”
9:19 p.m. EDT – In the face of PBS Host Gwen Ifill pressing the senator on the unpopularity of keeping taxes lower on the top 1 percent and 2 percent — and the inevitability of Democrats being determined to hang that policy “around the neck” of the Republicans, Senator Ron Johnson says that Democrats have not adequately challenged Republicans, as they have not presented their own budget.
9:27 p.m. EDT – Republican delegate Becky Davis (MO) says that female voters are “feeling [economic woes of late] in the grocery store,” seemingly emphasizing women loving cooking.
9:32 p.m. EDT – Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is attacking President Obama’s vacation time. CBS News has reported that, at least a year in, Obama had taken a third of the vacation time than the last Republican president, 20 months in.
9:41 p.m. EDT – Fox News Channel Host Mike Huckabee says that convention attendees might be asking themselves how former rivals can unite to support one of them. The two, says Mr. Huckabee, “have Barack Obama to thank,” fully embracing the notion that the enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend.
I get the sense that Huckabee didn’t listen to the previous speaker who referenced Obama claiming that if deficit controls didn’t work, that he would himself be looking at a “one-term proposition.” Otherwise he would have gone slightly off of the teleprompter, instead of saying, “Do you remember when” the president made that statement.
9:51 p.m. EDT – Mr. Huckabee says that Obama is an evangelical Christian. However the United Church of Christ, President Obama’s denomination, is not a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
10:12 p.m. EDT – By saying that “hard decisions” prevented a follow-up attack to 9/11, is Condoleezza Rice implying that the Iraq War, who cause is now doubted by most House Republicans, was that hard decision?
10:14 p.m. EDT – A defining quality of this convention is how rarely the speakers mention Barack Obama by name.
10:16 p.m. EDT – Regarding the ongoing “we built it” private-sector theme, Arizona Governor Susana Martinez says, “[my parents] built it,” meaning their livelihoods, even though her father was a government employee, as a Marine and later a sheriff.
Gov. Martinez says that, despite Democrats controlling her state’s legislature, she talks about her state turning a state budget deficit into a surplus, saying “we,” presumably meaning her administration, “did it without raising taxes.” But did they do it, or did the private sector?
10:32 p.m. EDT – It’s interesting that Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan references the Obama administration’s failure to oversee the reopening of a GM plant, in front of which, he says, Obama engaged in grandstanding about its reopening. However, Mr. Romney was an advocate of bailing out Detroit in his own right.
10:52 p.m. EDT – Rep. Ryan referencing Jack Kemp, his mentor, could evoke similar discomfort as to when then Governor Schwarzenegger talked about his admiration for Richard Nixon’s speech-giving.
INTERNET — Thursday, Anonymous, the idea, was arrested by the U.S. Government. Tired of butthurt countercultural types touting such a smug slogan, Anonymous imagery was symbolically “imprisoned” at Guantanamo Bay. “We just wanted to show those kids that, yes, we can arrest an idea. We’ve arrested every single one of those snide kids and we’re waiting on evidence so we can make a move on the rest,” said Guantanamo Torture Artist President Obama.
Barrett Brown didn’t have time to comment, as he was busy rewriting his book to reflect how wrong he was about Sabu. When offered advice from Chronicle.SU strategists on countering persona management with increased use of reverse Turing Tests, Brown flew into an uncontrollable rage. “Why should I listen to YOU? You’re just some freak who was completely right when I was woefully wrong about Sabu.” Brown’s indictment for grievous lapses in journalistic ethics remains hilarious, and his continued hijacking of Anonymous for huge personal profits has paid off with his new fake title of “Ex-Anonymous Spokesperson Security Expert.” Brown has been featured by clueless networks like Bloomberg and Russia Today because of his facile relationship with so-called Anonymous ‘Snitch’ leadership.
Kids, the hate’s only beginning! Hold on Tight, because if you think Barrett Brown’s been a silly-nilly wait till you hear about Assange!
Assange has gone completely insane with power! The mission of WikiLeaks has drifted from revealing government ‘cover ups’ of accidental killings of journalists to ratting out internal gossip at Stratfor, a ‘fellow’ publisher! If that’s not enough, they’re responsible for at least one hoax planting lies (!) on a New York Times columnist who would never say such things.
AND ANONYMOUS HAS FINALLY, INEXTRICABLY, BLOWN THEIR COVER!
As we all know, Anonymous is a longstanding phenomenon of angry kids who gang up out of nowhere to DDoS web sites that piss them off for some reason. This has been going on long before the term ‘Anonymous’ gave such a group a crystallized identity. Now that the ‘Internet’ and ‘Social Media’ are big things, they’re able to generate huge headlines by leeching of of Internet-related media events and leveraging the ‘cool,’ threatening imagery. Used to be they’d have to take down Yahoo or something to get any attention, but that was back when Yahoo meant something. Kids these days, I’m tellin’ ya…
BUT WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CHRIST ASSANGE?
So now this contrived mantra, “DDoS is something like a sit-in during the Civil Rights movement,” has been put to the fucking test. The sacred WikiLeaks has come under DDoS attack from an opposing camp, AntiLeaks, which considers WikiLeaks a new form of terrorism. The argument, which is consistent with Assange’s own theories, is that these major leaks are not intended to reveal specific crimes but rather to inhibit communications networks and undermine, specifically, America’s imperialism. There’s nails, strings, and planks of wood. You probably couldn’t understand Assange’s transcendently enlightened Theory of Conspiracy without decades of self-absorption.
What did Anonymous say to this act of ‘free speech?’WE WILL DESTROY YOU, ANTILEAKS!
PLEASE CONCLUDE SO MY SIMPLE MIND CAN SYNTHESIZE ALL THIS NONSENSE!
Assange let his Jimmies get Rustled and became worse than Rupert Murdoch. Much worse. Instead of letting a broken bureaucracy do his dirty work through mismanagement, Assange has engaged directly, if the body of evidence is not all fabricated, in intensely unethical, questionable practices. Enlisting hackers, educating informants in hacking techniques, and putting on hoaxes is not behavior I can defend. It’s disgusting and sick! Shame on Assange! Shame on Brown! Shame on Topiary! Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame! *chant continues until all of Occupy has been arrested.*
BILOXI, MISS. – Livestreamers at Occupy the Bayou captured the gang rape of a wheelchair-bound child who was beaten for laughing at riot police. The autistic quadriplegic is now in intensive care at Biloxi Regional Medical Center, and no charges have been filed against the officers identified in the footage. Anonymous released the “d0x” of suspected officers, and they have been inundated with endless phone calls and pizza deliveries, weak justice for such a terrible offence.
In the footage, which is too graphic to post, the officers clearly did exactly what everyone on Twitter is saying. Behind a cloud of tear gas, the laughing retard child is kicked out of his wheelchair, beaten, tasered, stripped naked, and then raped repeatedly by a group of officers. The police then showered rubber bullets and beanbags on the livestreamers with complete indiscrimination, and Twitter rumors confirmed they confiscated and destroyed all cameras before similarly raping the rest of the Occupiers. A witness commented the child did not stop laughing and did not lose consciousness until paramedics administered sedatives.
Police Chief John Miller said to our field reporter in Biloxi that none of these wild accusations are true and then raped him repeatedly. “Rape jokes aren’t funny. It’s a real thing that happens commonly to all sorts of people, and you are empowering rapists by making these kinds of jokes,” said one naive radical feminist who was then gang-raped by the executives at Lebal Drocer, Industries. Frank Mason, faked-death shadow CEO, commented that the raping was “just no fun without a taser.”
DENVER, COLO. — Americans were excited today about reports deep within the bowels of the Romney campaign that the former Massachusetts governor is ready to go after President Obama’s use of marawana and cocaine as a teenager.
“I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use,” says a Romney adviser to Buzzfeed, “had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,” adding, “The bottom line is there’ll be counterattacks.”
President Obama has made a point of discussing his own history of using cocaine, which he refers to by its crass street name of “blow;” as well as his inhaling the vapours of the ever-popular devil weed itself. His popular autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope,” whose sales are his primary source of income — second only to “cash money” reportedly obtained selling automatic firearms to Mexican drug cartels — is a book basically about how the 44th president of the United States loved using drugs. President Obama has met desperate, repeated online pleas he legalize recreational cannabis use with guffaws and denials that he would act to liberate from a kyriarchy the American people, now arbitrarily incarcerated at rates unrivaled in the developed world.
Despite many reports, including out of Forbes magazine, that Portugal’s drug legalization policy has decimated that country’s drug abuse, Gil Kerlikowski, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, has stated that legalization does not combat the ills of illicit drug use. And last month, before Congress, the head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Michele Leonhart, reiterated her administration’s commitment to utter hysteria and lack of focus on a public health crisis.
Before finally admitting, after much pressure, that heroin was more addictive than cannabis, Ms. Leonhart first characterized the matter of whether heroin is worse for an individual’s health than cannabis as “subjective.” This admission followed deliberately dishonest exchanges with Democratic Representative Jared Polis of Colorado:
REPRESENTATIVE JARED POLIS (D-CO): Is crack [a street name for free-based cocaine - ed] worse for a person than marijuana?
MICHELE LEONHART: I believe all illegal drugs are bad.
REP. POLIS: Is methamphetamine worse for somebody’s health than marijuana?
MS. LEONHART: I don’t think any illegal drug is good for –
REP. POLIS: Is heroin worse for someone’s health than marijuana?
MS. LEONHART: Again, all [sic] the drugs, they are illegal.
The administration’s enforcement strategies square well with the Romney campaign’s assessment of the president pro-drug attitudes, the unmistakable products of hedonistic, if-it-feels-good-do-it ’60s culture. Meanwhile the deputy director of NORML, a shady druggie front group, longs for the good old days under President George Bush when Californian sludge distributors operating under the guise of “medical clinics” “helping people in pain” could operate with relative impunity, writing this week, “Many of California’s most prominent and well-respected medical cannabis dispensaries and related facilities — including Oaksterdam University, Berkeley Patients Group, and Harborside Health Center (HHC) — flourished under the George W. Bush administration. But they’ll be lucky to survive President Barack Obama’s first term.”
Medical health professionals consulted off-the-record by The Internet Chronicle speculate that President Obama’s laser obsession with his administration’s present drug enforcement strategies is likely the result of the delusion and vigor associated, they say, “unmistakably” with cocaine psychosis.
After bragging to high school students in December of 2007 about how cool drugs are, then Senator Obama became the focus of the popular prohibitionist scrutiny. Obama’s candor with students came on the heels of the leak of an audiotape of President George W. Bush citing a responsibility to America’s youth to prevaricate about his own drug use — not to protect his own career, of course, but to shield them from the enormous influence the president of the United States has had on American teenagers since the Founding Fathers.
Years ago the Romney campaign pounced on the opportunity to praise President Bush’s bold, private confession to smoking weed. Mr. Romney said then, “He said when he was young and irresponsible, he was young and irresponsible, and he left it at that. And I think that in order to leave the best possible example for our kids, we’re probably wisest not to talk about our own indiscretions in great detail.”
Mr. Romney’s strategy is “simple yet elegant,” says Political Science Professor Alan Abramowitz of Emory University, adding, “It allows the candidate to bask in the veneer of family values while remaining duplicitous about that bottle of Coca-Cola he is rumored to have enjoyed, covertly, while on missionary work in France on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Having lived through the ’00s I’ve been exhausted with having to offer defense of a number of people who clearly don’t face any of the supposed self-control problems that have been leveled at them. All of the misgivings that people might launch at adulterers and philanderers have for one reason or another been leveled at a group of people who have sought nothing more than freedom of association. The moral traditions that decry homsexuality on account of its supposedly representing a poor moral choice miss the point entirely. Such moral dictates are blind to the biological realities that bind humans to their very existences, and we have every good reason to shun them. Some individuals’ being born without a definitive gender absolves homosexuals of any aspects of volition or free will, characteristics necessary to define sin in any context.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts himself, although appointed by the conservative Bush administration, invested part of his own pro bono, professional stake in defending a case called Lawrence vs. Texas, a piece of litigation that granted American humans the humble right to engage in consensual sexual acts with other adults within the confines of their own bedrooms. Lawrence involved a man who had a warrant issued for his cocaine possession. When Texas police officers burst into his home and found him engaged in anal sex, they used that as an excuse to take him into custody. That apprehension eventually made its way up to the land’s highest court, and eventually said court decided that Americans’ sexual lives were no longer the subjects of physical intervention by the federal government. This was the so-called controversy that spawned the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by President Bill Clinton; as well as the larger gay marriage debate that defined national politics, particularly for the first half of the previous decade.
Sin is defined by an individual making a choice he, she or “re” understands to be incorrect. Biological realities mitigate any such considerations about homosexuals. One out of 2,000 live births is hermaphroditic, thereby lacking any specific gender. More explicitly, considerations must lie on individuals who lack any specific gender’s definitive genitalia. Some individuals are born with elongated clitorises; others without total scrotal development, naturally homologous to the development of the labia, without complete testicular development. Stigmatizing these individuals is akin to offering a similar treatment to sufferers of other predispositions, including Down syndrome. To wit, socially conservative American politicians, such as Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin, have built entire careers on the shoulders of the compassion they indeed exhibit toward their differently abled children, a compassion they do not care to show toward the hermaphrodite. Because of their own deeply rooted sexual hang-ups, they have substituted what should be compassion with hatred.
The very existence of hermaphroditism is key to understanding the underlying, vicious evil of homophobia and inevitably all who roundly condemn homosexuals. This physically exterior diversity, common to the human species, must obviously mirror a multitude of internal hormonal landscapes, which naturally must escape the reproach of volition or accusations of “sin.”
Manhattan– The internet police monitored the illicit activities of “hacker” Mir Islam in order to effectively establish undercover agents in his midst. Hilariously, an agent brought him an FBI-issue credit card pre-loaded with OMG DON’T TOUCH THAT MONEY funds. The agent said it was a counterfeit credit card pre-programmed with legitimately stolen credit card numbers. Islam – being a lazy, ignorant bastard – believed what the federal agent told him and was subsequently arrested after he tried to use it. Somehow, the jester is taking credit for this.
Mir Islam, a.k.a. “JoshTheGod,” trafficked in stolen credit card information and possessed information for more than 50,000 credit cards. Islam also held himself out as a member of “UGNazi,” a hacking group that has claimed credit for numerous recent online hacks, and as a founder of “Carders.Org,” a carding forum on the internet.
Last night, Islam met in Manhattan with an individual he believed to be a fellow carder – but who, in fact, was an undercover FBI agent – to accept delivery of what Islam believed were counterfeit credit cards encoded with stolen credit card information. Islam was placed under arrest after he attempted to withdraw illicit proceeds from an ATM using one of the cards.
Today, the FBI seized the web server for UGNazi.com and seized the domain name of Carders.org, taking both sites offline.
Pointless slapfighting ensued and, with the exception of rustling Roseanne Barr’s jimmies, nothing really got accomplished until today, when agents on federal payroll did their jobs proving once again that a college education and eight hour workday are all you really need to protect what’s left of a restless, decaying society.
Cuba’s defunct Presidio Modelo, the only “panoptic” prison facility true to the vision of utilitarianism founder Jeremy Bentham
WASHINGTON – Government secrecy faced major public scrutiny this month, as a former National Security Agency mathematician’s claims to all-encompassing government surveillance did not line up with the NSA director’s public statements; and the American Civil Liberties Union found itself embroiled in controversies associated with what it contends are abuses of power by the executive branch, as well as local law enforcement.
Secret Patriot Act Interpretations
Last month the American Civil Liberties Union asked for clarification of the meaning of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. DailyKos Blogger Joan McCarter writes: “The provision in question, [Section] 215, allows the government to gain access to records of citizens’ activities being held by a third party. It gives the FBI the power to force doctors, libraries, bookstores, universities and internet service providers, for example, to turn over records on their clients or customers.”
In a March letter to the American Civil Liberties Union, FBI’s special counsel Paul Colborn said, “We have searched the [Office of Legal Counsel's] files and found two documents that are responsive to your request. We are withholding the documents pursuant to [Freedom of Information Act] Exemption Five, 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(5). They are protected by the deliberative process privilege, and they are not appropriate for discretionary release.”
While the Obama administration feels that the public is entitled to an understanding of public law, its Department of Justice has said it does not feel that the public is entitled to a full understanding of its own interpretation of public law it enforces.
Alleged National Security Agency Surveillance of Virtually All Domestic Citizen Communications
A former senior NSA mathematician, William Binney, spoke to Democracy Now! this week and expounded upon claims he made to Wired magazine last month. Mr. Binney told Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. He said that “that [secret interpretation of Patriot Act Section 215] gives [the NSA] license to take all the commercially held data about us, which is exceedingly dangerous, because if you take that and put it into forms of graphing, which is building relationships or social networks for everybody, and then you watch it over time, you can build up knowledge about everyone in the country. And having that knowledge then allows them the ability to concoct all kinds of charges, if they want to target you.”
Asked Ms. Goodman, “Do you believe all emails, the government has copies of, in the United States?”
Mr. Binney said, “I would think – I believe they have most of them, yes.”
She said, “And you’re speaking from a position where you would know, considering your position in the National Security Agency.”
He replied, “Right. All they would have to do is put various Narus devices at various points along the network, at choke points or convergent points, where the network converges, and they could basically take down and have copies of most everything on the network.”
Narus is a subsidiary of Boeing that developed the NarusInsight, a computer system whose installation by AT&T in San Francisco generated a class-action lawsuit. The Electronic Frontier Foundation alleges that the telecommunications giant, using the NarusInsight, helped the NSA monitor practically all communication and relayed it to the NSA.
Last month’s Wired article, by James Bamford, relays Mr. Binney speaking of NSA monitoring techniques. “’How do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?’ he says. ‘The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.’ Instead, he adds, ‘they’re storing everything they gather.’”
In April of 2006, former AT&T technician Mark Klein, who said he witnessed the application of NarusInsight in San Francisco, wrote in a public statement, “Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of this administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA’s spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA’s charter or with [the Foreign Intelligence Surveilance Act.] And unlike the controversy over targeted wiretaps of individuals’ phone calls, this potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of internet communications of countless citizens.” As Wired acknowledges, the reason that Mr. Binney’s statements to the magazine are so important is because they are the first instance in which we have a statement from inside the NSA confirming Mr. Klein’s suspicions about Internet service provider NSA “black rooms,” the ambiguity of whose existence has become the linchpin for high-profile federal court litigation against the NSA.
An ongoing case against the NSA filed by another former AT&T employee, Carolyn Jewel, elicited one government response implying that Ms. Jewel is not associated with al-Qaeda, or a foreign terrorist organization associated with al-Qaeda, could pose a national security risk. In the brief, the government contends, “As the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) explained in his declaration asserting the state secrets privilege, the privilege extends to key evidence implicated by plaintiffs’ claims, such as whether plaintiffs themselves had been subjected to any surveillance of the type alleged in their complaints. Confirmation or denial of such claims would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security.” (In theory only al-Qaeda or al-Qaeda associates can be legally subject to warrantless surveillance of this alleged kind.) The brief asserts that denial of even specifically Ms. Jewel’s being monitored could “reasonably could be expected to harm the national security of the United States.”
Despite Ms. Jewel’s claims that practically every American faces extensive NSA surveillance, the Justice Department contends that the plaintiff’s claims to being almost certainly monitored, even were she correct, do not grant her the requisite standing to file suit, just as similar claims did not justify the first suit, Hepting v. NSA, associated with Mr. Klein’s claims about AT&T’s complicity in alleged illegal NSA activity. That activity, another court decided, was made retroactively legal by the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Added the government brief, Ms. Jewel is alleging “additional activities that go far beyond the acknowledged [Terrorist Surveillance Program] and that have never been confirmed or denied by the government.”
During its Binney segment, Democracy Now! played a clip from a House Armed Service Subcommittee hearing where the head of the NSA, Army General Keith Alexander, says “to conduct [the mass collection of citizen emails, cellphone conversations, Google searches, text messages, Amazon.com orders, and bank records]in the United States, it would have to go through a court order, and the court would have to authorize it. We are not authorized to do it, nor do we do it.”
Gen. Alexander’s statement, which he delivered to Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA), amounts to a denial of any extrajudicial monitoring of communications between citizens inside the United States. Additionally, Gen. Alexander’s denials to Rep. Johnson appear to accomplish what the government’s response in the Jewel case does not seek to, namely to reveal “to foreign adversaries the channels of communication that may or may not be secure.” The testimony to the general public appears to indicate that most lines of communication are secure.
Asking for clarification in the course of Rep. Johnson’s questions, Gen. Alexander asks if a particular inquiry was referencing reporting by James “Bashford [sic].”
Extensive Extrajudicial Cellphone Tracking by Local Law Enforcement
This month the ACLU has reported on the extensive use of cellphone tracking by local police forces, often without judicial review. Telecommunications companies even charge police forces surveillance fees for making use of the extant tracking technology, installed in all modern cellphones, which is based on antenna location and not necessarily GPS.
In the 200 responses they received to their 380-department inquiry on tracking cellphones, the ACLU says, “only a tiny minority reported consistently obtaining a warrant and demonstrating probable cause to do so.”
Two weeks later after the ACLU’s proclamation, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said in a hearing, “Such surveillance is neither limited to terrorist threats, or most importantly, subject to a warrant requirement or judicial review — a little bit too close to big brother for me,” adding a pledge to try to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to mitigate any local abuses.
EAGER, ARIZ. – This tax day, the legacy of tax protesters still lives strong. And perhaps among the most famous Americans in their number was Bill Cooper, who now resides in a cemetery just off of 356 South Papago Street in Springerville, Ariz. Hanging in the area near Mr. Cooper is not much that Google Maps seems to want to comment on – a baseball diamond, a fenced in area to take a stroll – no webcam footage.
All that looks available of the area is a single Flickr user with geotracking on a digital single-lens reflex camera. That there is tax-dodging country.
How Not To Dodge Your Taxes
Here is The Internet Chronicle’s guide to fearing the IRS, who is like Seal Team 6, but more omniscient.
The heat will probably be really hyped up, even if you’re just really just a self-sufficient survivalist. You’re no more in the “militia” than Zimmerman is a “neighborhood watch enthusiast” like the liberal media down at Raw Story said he was.
If it looks like refusing to pay you your taxes will cost you your life, anyway, make sure that you try to frame the feds for murder like that 2009 census worker who died of guilt.
Don’t do as Ed and Elaine Brown did, those 2007 tax protesters who eventually had to peacefully take the fall. Don’t tell your local paper you don’t want to pay school and town property taxes because the “[the school and town] don’t provide me any services,” and so “I’m not going to contribute to them anymore.” This is a negative PR move. The self-interest will be too obvious. You need principles, principles, principles.
When you’re fleeing to get back in your house like Mr. Cooper did, make sure you keep your hands in front of you. Any ambiguity about their placement might be a bad move. Before firing those final, lethal shots, law enforcement authorities said the host of shortwave’s “The Hour of the Time” fired at them, low, with his back to them.
It turns out documentarian Aaron Russo was dead wrong, too, and Title 26 really does mean you have to file and perhaps pay net income taxes.
Most Americans find it difficult to particularly closely associate Freemasonry with Zionism. If you’re going to Be Like Ed Brown and create an alternative historical narrative to support your all-important principle you’ll going to need to really hold out, you’ve got to make sure you can convince people of something not altogether intuitive. And fast. You’ve got to get the public on your side not too long after the feds finally turn off your electricity.
If you want to Be Like Ed Brown, you might say : “The entire American government is fiction. We created it, didn’t we?” This statement might really throw a wrench in the gears of that negotiation scenario, considering that you might as well be arguing with a cartoon character.
No matter how dire negotiations get, calling up Ruby Ridge’s Randy Weaver to add positive spin to your front-yard news conference is just an awful idea. It’s not going to help you hold out any longer or increase your food supplies. Again, it’s attention you just don’t want, no matter what a raw deal the Weavers got. How did Milton keep his job so long in Office Space? By speaking up?
If you believe, as Bill Cooper once did, that the aliens are manipulating secret societies, there is no logical reason to fear the secret societies’ omniscience. Who knows, then, what kind of hair-brained excursions the aliens are actually sending the Freemasons or the Zionists on? And who knows why? Perhaps on your behalf?
Be poor. Own as little as possible before you begin your tax strike. Not only will this delay that initial audit, but since, if poor, you only have a chance of receiving a refund by filing, absolutely no one will care that you broke the law and didn’t file. Because it lacks self-interest, the only protest the public will really care about is your turning down that refund!
Finally off of the credit card grid, you will probably need to hunt for sustenance what you can’t manage to sneak through the standoff, so get a scoped Browning 03-06 to nail womp rats. Make sure you don’t put fancy rails on it because, in Bill Cooper’s case, the film “The Hour of Our Time” says the feds claimed to have confused that humble Browning with an AK-47.
Again, as Ruby Ridge’s Randy Weaver can tell you, there is never a compelling reason to go outside, especially to lead that news conference.
Make plans for a burial on a plot of land somewhere that can take mail. We’re not aware that Cooper’s grave can even take mail. Allowing those cards to rush in will at least allow your final resting place to become a shrine at an exponential rate.
Until the 1913 insurpations of the 16th Amendment and the creation of the Federal Reserve are finally undone, contact the John Birch Society in order to be shielded in an Eric Rudolph-esque underground railroad.
Get a guru. If you’re Ed and Elaine Brown, make it a Crumb-esque Mr. Natural type, like the Browns’ mysterious long-haired, robe-wearing “Sonny.” If you’re Mr. Cooper, and if you can’t settle with the guy who wrote “War Is A Racket,” make it the first secretary of defense, James Forrestal. According to “Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb,” a close friend of Mr. Forrestal “found him in his darkened and shuttered house that afternoon whispering of Communist, Zionist and White House conspiracy, floridly paranoid.” The friend “bustled him off to Florida for a rest, but when vacationing [Undersecretary of State and future Defense Secretary] Robert Lovett met his plane, joking about golfing, Forrestal told the Undersecretary of State, ‘Bob, they’re after me.’” Given how many superpatriots like Eugene McCarthy worshiped a guy like that, you’ll gain a lot more sympathy with the law-and-order crowd if you can associate as much as possible with you an ideological leader like that.
As it were, the secretary of the Treasury keeps a list of “frivolous excuses” that they’ll come down harder on you for using because they know that you’re just trying to use the Amnesty International flood-them-with-paperwork tactic. Do not toy with the IRS. They will punish you more for stalling tactics. Yes, they know you weren’t named in all caps.
Speaking of which, when the feds finally come to your door, have ready on your smartphone a copy of that video of Harry Reid saying that paying your income taxes is voluntary. No matter how wrong the majority leader from Nevada was, the feds will be hard-pressed to explicitly shout him down right now, even if he admits he’s wrong. As long as this ex-cop’s at the top of leadership, his erroneous claims may still be of some safe PR administrative stalling value.
Make sure that your employer or employers have your address and zip code written correctly on your W-2s. But you really should have done that a while ago – not that any of this will matter because you’ll be turning in your forms blank.