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Posts Tagged ‘Wikileaks’

Wikileaks and torture

In Bradley Manning, Quantico Marine Base, Wikileaks and torture on kp07 at 311023

Dear Editor

 

Bradley Manning spent his 23rd birthday on Friday completely isolated, just as he has every day for the last five months months in his cell at the Quantico Marine Base.

Manning is the Marine Private accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. Since July, he has been held in cruel and inhumane conditions akin to how the US detains “enemy combatants.” He spends each day completely isolated, with severe restrictions placed on basic activities like sleep and exercise. Yet he has not been convicted of any crime.

The extreme isolation in which Manning has spent every day of the last five months is soul-crushing. It’s already taking its toll: Bradley Manning’s physical and mental health are suffering, according to his attorney and friend who have seen him in prison.

Bradley Manning deserves humane treatment while he awaits trial. Can you please add your name to our letter urging Commanding Officer of Quantico Marine Corp Base to lift the heavy restrictions of Manning’s detention?

 

Bradley’s friend, David House, will deliver your letter to the Commanding Officer at the Quantico Marine Base brig when he visits Bradley next month.

While Manning is held in “maximum custody,” the military’s most severe detention policy, he is also under a longstanding “Prevention of Injury” (POI) order that adds additional restrictions beyond those of other prisoners. While POI orders typically last a week or two, Manning has been held under a POI order for the entirety of his detention.

A day in the life of Bradley Manning is isolating, lonely, and frustrating. 

  • Manning stays in his cell for 23 hours a day
  • Guards must check on him every 5 minutes, and he must respond each time
  • He is not allowed to sleep between 5am and 8pm
  • Substantive exercise is not allowed beyond walking, potentially in chains
  • Communication with other people in the brig is banned, and he cannot write to people outside beyond the few a list approved by the brig commander; any unapproved letters he receives are destroyed.
  • He has not been allowed to read newspapers or watch international news during TV time
  • Comfortable sleep is impossible; he must surrender his clothes each night, has only a heavy “suicide blanket” akin to an x-ray vest, and guards must be able to see his face at all times.

A psychologist has said Manning isn’t a danger to himself or others, and the POI order is unnecessary. His lawyer has also been unable to have the POI order lifted. But it is clear that Bradley Manning has been subjected to inhumane and unnecessary punishment without being convicted of a crime, and it must stop now.

Stop the inhumane treatment of Bradley Manning. Please add your name to our letter urging the Marine Commander in charge of Manning lift the unnecessary POI order.

 

No matter what you think of Manning’s alleged acts, there is no reason to subject him to these extreme conditions. Thank you for standing up for human rights.

 

– Michael Whitney
Firedoglake.com

Viva WikiLeaks! SiCKO Was Not Banned in Cuba! LETTER TO EDITOR

In mainstream media and right-wing haters, Orwellian nature of bureaucrats, State Depart, Viva WikiLeaks! SiCKO Was Not Banned in Cuba on kp14 at 311018
Cover of "Sicko (Special Edition)"

Cover of Sicko (Special Edition)

It is a stunning look at the Orwellian nature of how bureaucrats for the State spin their lies and try to recreate reality (I assume to placate their bosses and tell them what they want to hear).

The date is January 31, 2008. It is just days after ‘Sicko’ has been nominated for an Oscar as Best Documentary. This must have sent someone reeling in Bush’s State Department (his Treasury Department had already notified me they were investigating what laws I might have broken in taking three 9/11 first responders to Cuba to get them the health care they had been denied in the United States).

Former health insurance executive Wendell Potter recently revealed that the insurance industry — which had decided to spend millions to go after me and, if necessary, “push Michael Moore off a cliff” — had begun working with anti-Castro Cubans in Miami in order to have them speak out and smear my film.

So, on January 31, 2008, a State Department official stationed in Havana took a made up story and sent it back to his HQ in Washington. Here’s what they came up with:

XXXXXXXXXXXX stated that Cuban authorities have banned Michael Moore’s documentary, “Sicko,” as being subversive. Although the film’s intent is to discredit the U.S. healthcare system by highlighting the excellence of the Cuban system, he said the regime knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.

Sounds convincing, eh?! There’s only one problem — the entire nation of Cuba was shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008! The Cubans embraced the film so much so it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba. I personally ensured that a 35mm print got to the Film Institute in Havana. Screenings of ‘Sicko’ were set up in towns all across the country. In Havana, ‘Sicko’ screened at the famed Yara Theater.

But the secret cable said Cubans were banned from seeing my movie. Hmmm.

We also know from another secret U.S. document that “the disenchantment of the masses [in Cuba] has spread through all the provinces,” and that “all of Oriente Province is seething with hate” for the Castro regime. There’s a huge active underground rebellion, and “workers there readily give all the support they can,” with everyone involved in “subtle sabotage” against the government. Morale is terrible throughout all the branches of the armed forces, and in the event of war the army “will not fight.” Wow — this cable is hot!

Of course, this secret U.S. cable is from March 31, 1961, three weeks before Cuba kicked our asses at the Bay of Pigs.

The U.S. government has been passing around these “secret” documents to itself for the past fifty years, explaining in painstaking detail how horrible things are in Cuba and how Cubans are quietly aching for us to come back and take over. I don’t know why we write these cables, I guess it just makes us feel better about ourselves. (Anyone curious can find an entire museum of U.S. wish fulfillment cables on the website of the National Security Archive.)

So what do you do with about a false “secret” cable, especially one that involves you and your movie? Well, you wait for a responsible newspaper to investigate and shout what it discovers from the rooftops.

But yesterday WikiLeaks gave the ‘Sicko’ Cuba cable to the media — and what did they do with it? They ran it as if it were true! Here’s the headline in the Guardian:


WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting ‘mythical’ healthcare system


Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore’s Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash

And not one scintilla of digging to see if Cuba had actually banned the movie! In fact, just the opposite. The right wing press started to have a field day reporting a lie (Andy Levy of Fox — twice — Reason Magazine and Hot Air, plus a slew of blogs). Sadly, even BoingBoing and my friends at the Nation wrote about it without skepticism. So here you have WikiLeaks, who have put themselves on the line to find and release these cables to the press — and traditional journalists are once again just too lazy to lift a finger, point and click their mouse to log into Nexis or search via Google, and look to see if Cuba really did “ban the film.” Had just ONE reporter done that, here’s they would have found:

June 16, 2007 Saturday 1:41 AM GMT [that’s 7 months before the false cable]

HEADLINE: Cuban health minister says Moore’s ‘Sicko’ shows ‘human values’ of communist system

BYLINE: By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer

DATELINE: HAVANA

Cuba’s health minister Jose Ramon Balaguer said Friday that American filmmaker Michael Moore’s documentary ‘Sicko’ highlights the human values of the island’s communist-run government… “There can be no doubt this documentary by a personality like Mr. Michael Moore helps promote the profoundly human principles of Cuban society.”

Or, how ’bout this little April 25, 2008 notice from CubaSi.Cu (translation by Google):


Sicko premiere in Cuba 


25/04/2008 


The documentary Sicko, the U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore, which deals about the deplorable state of American health care system will be released today at 5:50 pm, for the space Cubavision Roundtable and the Education Channel.

Then there’s this from Juventudrebelde.cu (translation by Google). Or this Cuban editorial (translation by Google). There’s even a long clip of the Cuba section of ‘Sicko’ on the homepage of Media Roundtable on the CubaSi.cu website!

OK, so we know the media is lazy and sucks most of the time. But the bigger issue here is how our government seemed to be colluding with the health insurance industry to destroy a film that might have a hand in bringing about what the Cubans already have in their poverty-ridden third world country: free, universal health care. And because they have it and we don’t, Cuba has a better infant mortality rate than we do, their life expectancy is just 7 months shorter than ours, and, according to the WHO, they rank just two places behind the richest country on earth in terms of the quality of their health care.

That’s the story, mainstream media and right-wing haters.

Now that you’ve been presented with the facts, what are you going to do about it? Are you gonna attack me for having my movie played on Cuban state television? Or are you gonna attack me for not having my movie played on Cuban state television?

You have to choose one, it can’t be both.

And since the facts show that the movie played on state TV and in theaters, I think you’re better off attacking me for having my films played in Cuba.

¡Viva WikiLeaks!

Michael Moore

RON PAUL on House Floor

In citrus, citrus citizens, citrus county florida, Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks on kp57 at 311017

An American who hasn’t fallen prey to the Propaganda Machine and so states on the House of Representative Floor, you will not see this clip on the nationally controlled media, FREEDOM OF THE NET, our last vestige of the FREE PRESS! The whole world condition is based upon a False Flag operation, 911 was the planned catalyst for our military venture into the Middle East! The military-industrial complex scam that has cost so many lives and that has bankrupt our Nation, the collapse of the dollar is just around the corner and your life savings will be gone with the wind.

Why I’m Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange-Letter to Editor

In Bail Money, EYEONCITRUS.COM, Iraq lies, Julian Assange, WikiLeaks on kp32 at 311014


Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.

Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.

We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.

So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:

**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks “has violated the Espionage Act.”

**The New Yorker‘s George Packer calls Assange “super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal.”

**Sarah Palin claims he’s “an anti-American operative with blood on his hands” whom we should pursue “with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.”

**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale’s 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: “A dead man can’t leak stuff … there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

**Republican Mary Matalin says “he’s a psychopath, a sociopath … He’s a terrorist.”

**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a “terrorist organization.”

And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won’t be so easy because the tables have been turned — and now it’s Big Brother who’s being watched … by us!

WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks (“they’ve released little that’s new!”) or have painted them as simple anarchists (“WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!”). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There’s no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don’t want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept … as secrets.

I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at thisphoto. That’s Mr. Bush being handed a “secret” document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.” And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden’s impending attack using hijacked planes?

But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time’s 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)

Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read “secret” memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the “facts” he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think that the war would have been launched — or rather, wouldn’t there have been calls for Cheney’s arrest?

Openness, transparency — these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 — after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin — there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.

Instead, secrets killed them.

For those of you who think it’s wrong to support Julian Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he’s being held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please — never, ever believe the “official story.” And regardless of Assange’s guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money — and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.

Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that’s the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you’re up to. You simply can’t be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.

And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.

I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.

Michael Moore

P.S. You can read the statement I filed today in the London court here.

P.P.S. If you’re reading this in London, please go support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks at a demonstration at 1 PM today, Tuesday the 14th, in front of the Westminster court

I REMEMBER

In EYEONCITRUS.COM, GOP CORPORATE CONTROL, REPUBLICANS, Teaparty Candidates on kp27 at 311031

A few notes from people who remember along with the people above.

justonefirefly1

I remember who sent my son to Iraq and brought him back hurt. I remember who sent my nephew to Iraq and sent him back in a pine box, alone and without respect to show the coffins returning rather than our children safe. I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER BUSH SAYING BIN LADEN WASN’T IMPORTANT WHEN THEY DIDN’T FIND HIM IRAQ. I REMEMBER 5000 DEAD AMERICANS WHO DIED FOR A LIE AND I REMEMBER WHO MADE THE OUTRAGEOUS MONEY FROM THIS WAR. HALLIBURTON AND FUCKING CHENEY

Taidgh17
6 hours ago

please please pick the lesser of 2 evils, come on america, come on

donnegri
10 hours ago 4 pixel-vfl3z5WfW.gif

I remember when John Boehner ran the House….2001-2007.

I remember when Boehner and his predecessors were inviting lobbyists in to write legislation.

I remember which party and its demagogues called anyone opposing the Iraq war “traitors”

I remember which party feared “trial lawyers” more than they cared about equality for working women (Lili Ledbetter)

ijitdunn
6 hours ago

@StartLoving3 Well said, Start. And Just ’cause a right wing tilted supreme court says corporations are persons, doesn’t make it so. I don’t have the patience to engage these teabaggers. It’s pointless; they just parrot the bullshit they’re fed from Fox. They’re the first to suffer under right wing policies, yet they’re the only ones who seem not to understand the mechanics of their undoing.

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