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This is the final Misebogland post. I regret that I cannot continue as the blog has morphed into something that has ended up taking up to much of my time and interferes with leading a normal life so I think time to let go.
The blogspots will remain on line but I will bring to a close the various feeds and comments over the next few days
To the readers and followers a sincere thanks for visiting my site. To those who have added comments a thank you for sharing your opinions, knowledge and humour.
To those whose blogs I followed please continue the good work.
Thank you all and Cheers
BRADLEY MANNING, the US soldier who handed thousands of classified government files to WikiLeaks, faces spending the rest of his life in prison despite being acquitted yesterday of help read full article
The verdict for Manning was predetermined, and the show trial in a kangaroo court – a post-modern American remix of China in the 1960s during the Cultural Revolution – just signed, sealed and… read full article
Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding enemy in WikiLeaks case … information that included battlefieldreports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. … a professor of international relations at Boston University and former officer in …
The American journalism trade is breathing a collective – but premature and, in many cases, grossly hypocritical – sigh of relief today. A military judge has found Bradley Manning guilty of many crimes, but “aiding the enemy” isn’t one of them.
Had the judge found Manning guilty of aiding the enemy, she would have set a terrible precedent. For the first time, an American court – albeit a military court – would have said it was a potentially capital crime simply to give information to a news organization, because in the internet era an enemy would ultimately have been able to read what was leaked.
However, if journalism dodged one figurative bullet, it faces many more in this era. The ever-more-essential field of national security journalism was already endangered. It remains so. The Obama administration’s war on leaks and, by extension, the work of investigative reporters who dare to challenge the most secretive government in our lifetimes, has been unrelenting.
The Manning verdict had plenty of bad news for the press. By finding Manning guilty of five counts of espionage, the judge endorsed the government’s other radical theories, and left the journalism organization that initially passed along the leaks to the public, Wikileaks, no less vulnerable than it had been before the case started. Anyone who thinks Julian Assange isn’t still a target of the US Government hasn’t been paying attention; if the US can pry him loose from Ecuador’s embassy in London and extradite him, you can be certain that he’ll face charges, too, and the Manning verdict will be vital to that case.
The military tried its best to make life difficult for journalists covering the Manning trial, but activists – not traditional journalists – were the ones who fought restrictions most successfully. Transcripts weren’t provided by the government, for example. Only when the Freedom of the Press Foundation crowd-sourced a court stenographer did the public get a record, however flawed, of what was happening.
That public included most of the press, sad to say. Only a few American news organizations (one is the Guardian’s US edition) bothered to staff the Manning trial in any serious way. Independent journalists did most of the work, and did it as well as it could be done under the circumstances.
The overwhelmingly torpid coverage of this trial by traditional media has been yet another scandal for the legacy press, which still can’t seem to wrap its collective brain around the importance of the case, and especially its wider context. National security journalist Jeremy Scahill summed it up after the verdict when he told Democracy Now: “We’re in a moment when journalism is being criminalized.”
For those who want to tell the public what the government is doing with our money and in our name, there are new imperatives. Governmental secrecy, surveillance and the systematic silencing of whistleblowers require updated methods for journalists and journalism organizations of all kinds. Americans pursuing this craft have to understand the risks and find countermeasures.
That is not enough. The public needs to awaken to the threat to its own freedoms from the Obama crackdown on leaks and, by extension, journalism and free speech itself. We are, more and more, a society where unaccountable people can commit unspeakable acts with impunity. They are creating a surveillance state that makes not just dissent, but knowledge itself, more and more dangerous. What we know about this is entirely due to leakers and their outlets. Ignorance is only bliss for the unaccountable.
A Poem by Coyote Poetry
Freedom is very costly. How many have died for freedom? We allow freedom to die without a fight. The men and woman who died for us to be free are rolling in their graves.
To be able to decide life.
To have opportunity for success or failure.
To speak our mind without fear.
I stood with a division of Soldiers.
15,000 Soldiers willing to fight and die for freedom.
We thought for we stood for free men and woman in the USA.
Here in the USA.
Freedom is being stole.
Basic rules of the constitution being torn apart by leaders with self goals.
Freedom of speech.
Is the basic of the USA way.
Freedom to demonstrate.
Is the USA way.
Separation of religion/business and government is necessary.
Today the media is controlled.
Today internet is watched…
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Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out.Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled.
We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.
The above was part of the white House Change.gov site for a long, long time. It was government institution direction and policy. No if’s, no buts. Obama…
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Snowden’s Father Blasts Congress/Intelligence Leaders for Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance Programs
The father of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Friday blasted U.S. lawmakers for not reining in the U.S. electronic spy program made public by his son, accusing them of being “complicit or negligent.”
“I am extremely disappointed and angry. I am an angry American citizen,” Lonnie Snowden told NBC’s “Today” program. “The American people – at this point, they don’t know the full truth, but the truth is coming.”
Recent NBC polling shows that more than half of Americans are worried about the vast operation that sweeps up information on phone calls, emails and other communications, but just 11 percent support Edward Snowden’s decision to flee the United States and release details about the effort to the media.
Lonnie Snowden said those findings show “a concerted effort” by lawmakers “to demonize my son, to focus the issue on my son, and not to talk about the fact that…
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This is a profoundly immoral way to run our country’ – Nessa Childers MEP
Ireland East MEP, Nessa Childers, has announced that she will contest next year’s European Parliament elections as an independent candidate within the European Socialists and Democrats Group.
In a letter to the Tánaiste and Labour Leader, Eamon Gilmore TD, today, Ms Childers said she had increasingly found herself discouraged and prevented from advocating a distinctive social democratic position within the Labour party. ’While I have remained constant in my views, the Labour leadership has drifted away from a progressive policy approach. My attitude is vilified as disloyal or opportunistic when, in fact, I am defending and promoting the party’s core values. For example, a low point for me was when the party leadership abandoned me for taking a principled stance of opposition to the appointment to the EU Court of Auditors of Mr Kevin Cardiff…
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24 July (LPAC) JPMorgan Chase is estimated to have cost California electricity rate-payers about $160 million dollars in fraudulent costs in 2012, and Michigan rate-payers another $83 million, through its electricity market “merchant bank investments” which were prohibited when the Glass-Steagall Act was in force. The megabank is reportedly about to agree to a fine of $500 million for the electricity price-rigging — a fine not by a banking regulator — what, us? do banking? — but by the Federal Electricity Reliability Council (FERC). FERC has also just levied a $470 million fine for the same activity on Barclays Bank, which is refusing to pay, insisting it did nothing not merely British in character.
At the Senate Banking subcommittee hearing on this subject, Glass-Steagall sponsor Sen. Elizabeth Warren charged, “Banks may have adopted the model for trading both physical commodities and derivatives used by Enron Corp., adding more and…
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Elaine Byrne, University of New South Wales: 23 July 2013
It is with no small irony that the Minister with responsibility for Small Business consented yesterday to a judgment for €2.47m against him and his wife at the Commercial Court over unpaid loans. John Perry’s long-running difficulties with Danske Bank raise underlying questions about Ireland’s ethics framework and the need to introduce a register of debt for politicians, as is the case in Canada.
The Irish public do not know the extent to which Ministers are in debt and the conflicts of interest, if any, that such debt may incur. John Perry is not the only Irish Minister who has experienced serious financial difficulties.
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