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Posts Tagged ‘Bradley Manning’

Why Cant The US Extradite Julian Assange From London?

Has YummRika overplayed its hand in L’affaire Julian Assange. Has US control over media made L’affaire Julian Assange into a non-issue?

The persecution of Julian Assange has eroded West's liberal image.  |  Cartoon titled Genie Assange out of the bottle by Patrick Corrigan, The Toronto Star - 12/10/2010 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy cagle.com

The persecution of Julian Assange has eroded West’s liberal image. | Cartoon titled Genie Assange out of the bottle by Patrick Corrigan, The Toronto Star – 12/10/2010 12:00:00 AM; source & courtesy cagle.com

On a recent visit to Queensland – Assange’s home state – the US ambassador in Australia said the US could have him extradited as easily from Britain as from Sweden, only they weren’t bothered. Bob Carr, the Australian foreign minister, is equally relaxed: the reluctance of the US to extract Assange from the UK, he’s said, is proof of its dying enthusiasm for the chase. Carr can always be relied on to stick to the script, but the idea that the US could get Assange from the UK as easily as Sweden has to be tested not simply against the views of Assange’s lawyers and helpmates, but those of John Bellinger, for example, a former legal counsel for the State Department, who told AP television news in 2010 that bringing charges against Assange while he was still in the UK would put a loyal ally on the spot by generating a rival extradition request. Better for the US to sit it out: ‘We could potentially wait to see if he is prosecuted in Sweden and then … ask the Swedes to extradite him here.’ Assange’s people add that, unlike the British, the Swedes have an extradition treaty with the US which allows for ‘temporary surrender’ of suspects wanted for serious crimes, even if they are also charged in Sweden. This arrangement ought to be called the ‘Panama track’, after a 2008 diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Panama City to Washington – courtesy of WikiLeaks – which sets out the advantages clearly:

Under this procedure, the suspect is ‘lent’ to the US for prosecution on the condition that they will be returned for prosecution in Panama at the end of their sentence. This procedure is much faster than a formal extradition, and has proven so successful, that [the Drug Enforcement Administration] sometimes designs operations to bring suspects to Panama so they can be arrested in Panama and turned over to US authorities quickly.

In Assange’s favour is the suggestion that any charge against him would also have to apply to Bill Keller, the former executive editor of the New York Times, as WikiLeaks’ US partner for the Afghan and Iraq war logs and the outlet for its diplomatic cables. As Chase Madar explains in The Passion of Bradley Manning, none of the material that Manning allegedly leaked is top secret. Out of roughly 250,000 diplomatic cables, for instance, 15,000 to 16,000 are ‘secret’ and fewer than half are classified. As classified files go, they pale by comparison with the papers Daniel Ellsberg leaked in the thick of the Vietnam War. Finally, there is a view in the administration that the leaks have not compromised national security. (The documents that make this case – one originating from the White House – are themselves classified, and Manning’s lawyer has already subpoenaed some of them.)

Even so there are reasons for Assange to be cautious. Dianne Feinstein, the head of the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence, said in a written statement for the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this month that he had indeed ‘caused serious harm to US national security and he should be prosecuted accordingly.’ That might mean little in an election year, but what of the alarming trove of email traffic at Stratfor, the private security and ‘global intelligence’ firm in Texas, which was obtained by the hacktivist collective Anonymous and released by WikiLeaks six months ago? Among the 5.5 million messages, several relate to Assange and one of them, from Fred Burton, the company’s ‘vice president for counter-terrorism and corporate security’, says simply: ‘Not for Pub – We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect.’ True or false, this is not the kind of assertion Assange can afford to take lightly.

via Jeremy Harding reviews ‘The Passion of Bradley Manning’ by Chase Madar · LRB 19 July 2012.


 

US Marine detained for Facebook posts

August 23, 2012 3 comments

 

 

Every 11th person of working age in the US is either in prison, parole, probation or being prosecuted for some offence caused to the State.

Working-age Population in the United States (USAWFPNA)  2011: 239,618 Thousands of Persons Updated: 2012-06-08 9:01 AM CDT   |  FRED® Economic Data  |  Source:  U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics  |  Short URL  -  http://goo.gl/xZf1l

Working-age Population in the United States (USAWFPNA) 2011: 239,618 Thousands of Persons Updated: 2012-06-08 9:01 AM CDT | FRED® Economic Data | Source: U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Short URL – http://goo.gl/xZf1l

Vikram Buddhi is still in jail.

So, is Bradley Manning.

A US Marine nearly suffered a similar fate. For pasting silly messages on Facebook.

On the basis that there was zero reason to detain a retired Marine and commit him to a medical facility for psychiatric evaluation, a Virginia judge has demanded that Brandon Raub be released from custody immediately.

Raub, 26, had his home visited one week earlier by FBI, Secret Service and local law enforcement agents who expressed concern over a series of Facebook posts he had made on his public social networking profile. They detained him without charge and admitted him to a local hospital for evaluation.

“The petition is so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy,” reads a signed statement by Circuit Judge W. Allan Sharrett, which was provided to the Richmond Times-Dispatch Thursday afternoon.

Judge Sharrett adds that he was shocked to find that a magistrate did not include any grounds at all for holding Raub, who was placed in custody for a full week without any charges being pressed.

Earlier in the week, attorneys representing Raub from the Rutherford Institute attacked the mishandling of the case by suggesting that the entire ordeal was a war on their client’s constitutional rights.

“This is not how justice in America is supposed to work — with Americans being arrested for doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights, forced to undergo psychological evaluations, detained against their will and isolated from their family, friends and attorneys. This is a scary new chapter in our history,” Rutherford Institute President John W. Whitehead says in a statement released on Tuesday this week. “Brandon Raub is no different from the majority of Americans who use their private Facebook pages to post a variety of content, ranging from song lyrics and political hyperbole to trash talking their neighbors, friends and government leaders.”

Days before he was detained, Raub had made a series of posts that reportedly worried the authorities. His most recent postings included critique of the investigation of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and other messages, such as, “The Revolution will come for me. Men will be at my door soon to pick me up to lead it” and “Sharpen up my axe; I’m here to sever heads.

“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” Raub’s mother, Cathleen Thomas, told the Associated Press after her son was detained. On Thursday, she told the Times-Dispatch that the entire ordeal has been “phenomenal” and that others could be considered because, “This could have happened to anyone.”

“This has never been about anything but freedom of speech…. We’re going to continue to post on Facebook,” Thomas continued, adding that she considered her son a “true patriot.”

Raub served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and says he had been considering reenlisting before last week’s events.

via Judge orders release of US Marine detained for Facebook posts — RT.

International Labor Comparisons  |  International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, Adjusted to U.S. Concepts, 16 Countries, 1970-2011  |  Working-age population, 2011  |  Source:  U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics  |  Short URL - http://goo.gl/WqW5h

International Labor Comparisons | International Comparisons of Annual Labor Force Statistics, Adjusted to U.S. Concepts, 16 Countries, 1970-2011 | Working-age population, 2011 | Source: U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Short URL – http://goo.gl/WqW5h

Oh, by the way, Your Judgeship, how is the US justice system supposed to work?

My silly, backward Indian mind tells me the US justice system seeks to maximize imprisonment and extraction of fines. More than 2 crore people (20 million) face the American Justice system each year.

With more than 2 crore people (20 million) in either prison, on parole, probation or facing prosecution. Nearly a 100 countries in the world have a population that is lesser than the number of US citizens in prison, on parole or probation, or under prosecution by the State.

Of course! It clicks now.

After all, Britain the mother-country of Anglo-Saxon Bloc, first annihilated the native populations and then populated the entire continent of Australia with such people.


 

Assange News Blackout: Wonder How This Works

June 21, 2012 2 comments

Julian Assange may finally hammer home the point that Desert Bloc systems are usually either a Military State or a Police State. US happens to be both.

This document dump has made the US react in a manner that makes it look very fragile.  |  Cartoonist Adam Zyglis of Buffalo News, courtesy - Politicalcartoons.com; source:  msn.com  |  Click for image.

This document dump has made the US react in a manner that makes it look very fragile. | Cartoonist Adam Zyglis of Buffalo News, courtesy – Politicalcartoons.com; source: msn.com | Click for image.

Hide the beast

All of today’s newspapers in Mumbai, buried the news about Julian Assange’s defection to Ecuador to inside pages, in hidden corners, where it would attract least attention.

Based on the file dump that Bradley Manning, allegedly passed onto Wikileaks, what we have now are excruciating details. Instead of the broad outline earlier, we now have the actual skeleton and structure of Pax Americana.

Thanks to Julian Assange. Not to forget Bradley Manning.

Expose the beast

Globally, military bases are at

the heart of a global American empire that employs some 1,000 bases outside the United States. Their purpose: To ensure that no matter who governs in Asia, Africa or around the world, the US military would be in a position to “run the planet” from its chain of strategic island bases. (via Chagos: The heart of an American empire? – Opinion – Al Jazeera English).

More assassinations, covert operations, killings and bombings than by any other regime, military, terrorist – or even a criminal group. In more than 50 countries in any month. Even if we ignore the 120 that is being waved around.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye, Nick Turse (an) investigative reporter found out that, on any given day, American commandos are carrying out secret missions in 70 countries — by the end of the year, that number is likely to reach 120.

Evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite, waging a secret war in about 60% of the world’s nations: Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret unit within the U.S. military — U.S. Special Operations Command SOCOM — has grown into a combined force of startling proportions.

SOCOM carries out the United States’ most specialized and shadowy missions. These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations. (via How Do We Stop the Relentless Expansion of the American Empire? | AlterNet).

2 million people in US prisons. Human beings. All of them. US has more human beings than animals in captivity. More than in any dictatorship. More surveillance cameras and telephone tapping in the US, Britain and Europe than in any dictatorship in the world.

With one law-breaker or law enforcer, for every 17 adult males, the US is a world leader. For the 70 million American males in the 18-60 years of age who are the predominant target; 17 apex American secret service agencies that track these 70 million people. The biggest secret service in the world, the largest prisoner population, in addition to one of the largest police forces in the world, make US clearly a leader of the ‘Free’ World.

Never in Soviet history were there more than 4 secret service agencies in the USSR. Today the US has 17 agencies form what the US calls Intelligence Community. A large rainbow of agencies – CIA FBI, NSA, DEA, DOE, Bureau of ATF, DIA, NRO, NIMA, CTC. NPC. INR. DOE Intel., Army Intelligence et al litter the global scene. Some US Govt. cables, from Wikileaks, quoted US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates on Russia as an “oligarchy run by the security services”.

Going by above data, it would be easier, to describe the USA, using those words.

All this data and words was probably never going to be enough.

But Julian Assange’s defection from the West to Ecuador, will be remembered.

Why

After Julian Assange walked into Ecuador’s embassy, as the doors shut behind him,  the sound reverberated across the world.

Some never heard the sound. Some never understood it. But to those to whom it mattered, their teeth are grinding with rage. Sparks flying out of their hooded eyes.

One very ominous sound, it was.

Defection from the Free World to the a Ecuador is pretty damning!

For the Free World.

Rather interesting was my own Yahoo email box. A Syrian fighter-pilot defects with an outdated MiG plane to Jordan was on the front pages – but Assange news was not there. Not even on trending topics.

I wonder how this kind of news management works.

Snap shot of my Yahoo! Mail page |  Date: 2012-06-21 |  Time: 21-11-40 hr IST  |  Click for larger image.

Snap shot of my Yahoo! Mail page | Date: 2012-06-21 | Time: 21-11-40 hr IST | Click for larger image.


Pax Americana handles criticism

`Crowley was not even dissenting - unlike Bradley Manning? (Image courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com; cartoonist Matt Wuerker). Click for larger image.

Crowley was not even dissenting - unlike Bradley Manning? (Image courtesy - cartoonistgroup.com; cartoonist Matt Wuerker). Click for larger image.

The official spokesman at the US State Department, PJ Crowley, resigned. His

resignation followed Crowley’s remarks to an MIT seminar last week about Manning’s treatment in military prison.

Crowley had said: “What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence.”

Glenn Greenwald, a Salon reporter who has been outspoken about Manning’s detention, tweeted that “detainee abuse is allowed, speaking out against it isn’t”.

Last week, Manning gave his own account of how he is being held, saying that it was harsh treatment designed to punish him even before he was put on trial. He said he was stripped naked every night after he made a sarcastic comment to guards about the absurdity of the regime he was under.

Manning has been charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of secret US embassy cables, as well as videos and warlogs from Afghanistan and Iraq.(via PJ Crowley Resigns After Remarks Bashing Bradley Manning’s Detention, Ed Pilkington, The Guardian, March 13, 2011).

What is the real story …

Crowley was not a critic – or even dissenting. He was an establishment man – concerned that Manning’s treatment may ‘impact on global standing and leadership’ of Pax Americana. Was this display of power more important than the display of ‘freedom’?

Intriguing.

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