Tag Archives: Glenn Greenwald

Eric Schmidt Wants To Protect You From Your Neighbor’s Drone. But What About Barack Obama’s?

Here is another C4ss article. They are left leaning but are freedom loving nonetheless. I tend to lean a bit more right but am open and am exploring, reading and praying. Meanwhile this Schmidt dude sounds like a real elitist puppet. Take all rights away from the people because only government can be trusted with new technologies.

People can regulate themselves. They do not need drones (government officials) attempting to decide what is right and wrong for everyone in every situation.

Apart from certain things like theft, murder and the like most issues are not a matter of right or wrong but preference. Since this is true it should be left up to locals as to what works best in their area. As for those things that are definitely wrong, even here each community or locale must decide how best to handle these types of violations.

Of course that will present a problem since if you are traveling and kill someone it may be considered a murder in one place and accidental in another. In which case everything from being let go to a death sentence could occur. But do we truly want freedom or do we want some government that tells everyone what they can and cannot do? It seems worth the risk of freedom to me.  

I say this as a felon who could have been killed if some folks had had their choice, while others even the victim of my crime would have had me have no record whatsoever. (E)

Posted by  on Apr 15, 2013 in Commentary

As reported by the BBC, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt expresses grave misgivings about civilian acquisition of drones during an interview with the Guardian (available only to that paper’s subscribers). Curiously, Schmidt voices little skepticism of government use of drones for surveillance and targeted killing. He has this to say about his fear of drone proliferation:

“ You’re having a dispute with your neighbour … How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?” Schmidt also cited the possibility that terrorists could acquire drone technology as another danger. To make sure that drones don’t fall into the wrong hands, Schmidt said, “It’s got to be regulated … It’s one thing for governments, who have some legitimacy in what they’re doing, but have other people doing it … it’s not going to happen.”

Schmidt’s assumption that drone deployment by governments has “some legitimacy” is debatable given the available evidence. For instance, a report from McClatchy raises serious questions about whom the US Government targets with its drones. The Obama administration claims that drone strikes “are authorized only against ‘specific senior operational leaders of al Qaida and associated forces’ involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks who are plotting ‘imminent’ violent attacks on Americans.” But according to McClatchy reporter Jonathan S. Landay,

Copies of the top-secret U.S. intelligence reports … show that drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period didn’t adhere to those standards.

The intelligence reports list killings of alleged Afghan insurgents whose organization wasn’t on the U.S. list of terrorist groups at the time of the 9/11 strikes; of suspected members of a Pakistani extremist group that didn’t exist at the time of 9/11; and of unidentified individuals described as “other militants” and “foreign fighters.”

These revelations led Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald to state bluntly, “The Obama Administration often has no idea who they are killing.” So why would Eric Schmidt be so unconcerned about the drones deployed by the US government?

Maybe it has something to do with Schmidt’s cozy relationship with President Obama. The administration reportedly offered Schmidt a cabinet post after the president’s 2012 re-election. According to  the Telegraph, Schmidt oversaw “Google’s $700,000 donation” to the Obama campaign and has been close to the president since the 2008 presidential campaign.

Or perhaps Schmidt is just a bourgeois liberal who thinks more highly of state and corporate officials than he does of “the rabble.” Schmidt also said, “ I’m not going to pass judgment on whether armies should exist, but I would prefer to not spread and democratise the ability to fight war to every single human being.” This statement displays a frustrating, but common, naivete about the nature of governments. If Schmidt was truly aware of the state’s capacity for mass killing and organized violence, he might become less wary of the local yokels. Schmidt’s error is similar to those who demand further restrictions on private firearm ownership even as US government at all levels becomes more militarized.

But what about Schmidt’s neighborhood squabble scenario?

If my neighbor had his drone buzzing over my residence, I suspect that I — probably accompanied by sympathetic and irritated neighbors — would pay Mr. Drone Fetish a visit. I would ask him to behave in a more neighborly fashion if he ever wanted to see his drone again. If he persisted, the best shot in the neighborhood might just blow his precious drone out of the sky. Emerging anti-drone technology and community pressure might also be used to harsh his UAV mellow.

Come to think of it, since domestic law enforcement is now in the drone game, drone shooting may become a hot new sport for freedom-loving US rifle owners. After all, clay pigeons pose no threat to you or your civil liberties. The same cannot be said of government drones, no matter what Eric Schmidt thinks.

C4SS Fellow Dave Hummels is a libertarian socialist writer from Central Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Dave has over a decade of experience in the healthcare security field and is a licensed emergency medical technician.
 

The Persecution of Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning, the PFC who allegedly leaked the info that Wikileaks has put out in recent months is being held without charges in a maximum security facility in Quantico Marine Corps Base. The Fact that he has been held without charge speaks volumes about the  new government of the US. There have been other spies, including military ones who have received much better treatment for having given secrets to foreign governments that were far more sensitive than anything Manning is alleged to have done.

Here is an email I received today laying out some of the conditions Bradley is dealing with. The letter is from the Bradley Manning Support Network. I will leave links in for those who would be interested in keeping up with what is going on to support him and protest the unconstitutional way in which the government is holding him.

Remember-if you don’t stand up for this type of treatment with Bradley you will have no reason to complain when it is you. And, the way things seem to be going, that may be sooner than you might imagine. (Ed)

Media:
Mike Gogulski
Bradley Manning Support Network
+1-202-640-4388
press@bradleymanning.org

Supporters Call for End to Inhumane Treatment of Bradley Manning

Quantico, VA, December 22, 2010 – After trying other avenues of recourse, the Bradley Manning Support Network is urging supporters to engage in direct protest in order to halt the punitive conditions of the soldier’s detention. Bradley Manning, 23, has been held in solitary confinement in military jails since his arrest in late May on allegations that he passed classified material to WikiLeaks..

In the wake of an investigative report last week by Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com giving evidence that Manning was subject to “detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries”, Manning’s attorney, David Coombs, published an article at his website on Saturday entitled “A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning”. Coombs details the maximum custody conditions that Manning is subject to at the Quantico Confinement Facility and highlights an additional set of restrictions imposed upon him under a Prevention of Injury (POI) watch order.

Usually enforced only through a detainee’s first week at a confinement facility, the standing POI order has severely limited Manning’s access to exercise, daylight and human contact for the past five months, despite calls from military psychologists to lift the order and the extra restrictions imposed.

Despite not having been convicted of any crime or even yet formally indicted, the confinement regime Manning lives under includes pronounced social isolation and a complete lack of opportunities for meaningful exercise. Additionally, Manning’s sleep is regularly interrupted. Coombs writes: “The guards are required to check on Manning every five minutes […] At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.”

Denver Nicks writes in The Daily Beast that “[Manning’s] attorney […] says the extended isolation — now more than seven months of solitary confinement — is weighing on his client’s psyche. […] Both Coombs and Manning’s psychologist, Coombs says, are sure Manning is mentally healthy, that there is no evidence he’s a threat to himself, and shouldn’t be held in such severe conditions under the artifice of his own protection.”

In an article to be published at Firedoglake.com later today, David House, a friend of Manning’s who visits him regularly at Quantico, says that Manning “has not been outside or into the brig yard for either recreation or exercise in four full weeks. He related that visits to the outdoors have been infrequent and sporadic for the past several months.”

Bradley Manning Support Network founder Mike Gogulski stated that “the Marine Brig is using injury prevention as a vehicle to inflict extreme pre-trial punishment on Bradley Manning. These conditions are not unheard-of during an inmate’s first week at a military jail, but when applied continuously for months and with no end in sight they amount to a form of torture.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network calls upon Quantico base commander COL Daniel Choike and brig commanding officer CWO4 James Averhart to put an end to these inhumane, degrading conditions. Additionally, the Network encourages supporters to phone COL Choike at +1-703-784-2707 or write to him at 3250 Catlin Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, and to fax CWO4 Averhart at +1-703-784-4242 or write to him at 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134, to demand that Bradley Manning’s human rights be respected while he remains in custody.

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References:

“The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning’s detention”, Glenn Greenwald, 15 December 2010, http://www.salon.com/news/wikileaks/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/12/14/manning

“A Typical Day for PFC Bradley Manning”, David E. Coombs, 18 December 2010, http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/

“Bradley Manning’s Life Behind Bars”, Denver Nicks, 17 December 2010, http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-17/bradley-manning-wikileaks-alleged-sources-life-in-prison/

Bradley Manning Support Network, http://www.bradleymanning.org/

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