Tag Archives: Washington

Washington’s Scandals: The Internet Works Both Ways

Original Article: http://www.thedailybell.com/29127/Washingtons-Scandals-The-Internet-Works-Both-Ways

Reuters: ‘An Increasingly Polarized Washington Is Devouring Its Own’ … Unprecedented Justice Department searches of journalists’ phone records. IRS targeting of conservative political groups. Spiraling sexual assault rates in the military. And the downplaying of the first killing of an American ambassador in 30 years. But Obama‘s failings are only part of the problem. An increasingly polarized Washington is devouring its own. Ceaseless, take-no-prisoners political warfare, not nefarious White House plots, ravages government. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Government needs to work better to avoid crises and scandals.

Free-Market Analysis: On Saturday, we published an editorial with a title very similar to the one in this current Reuters editorial: “Scandal: And They Shall Eat Their Own … ”

The difference between the Daily Bell editorial and the Reuters editorial is instructive. In our editorial, we posited that a reason for the scandals might have to do with the ubiquitous nature of the modern Internet. This was not the only possibility but it was one Anthony Wile found feasible.

This Reuters editorial blames “gridlock.” The Reuters editorial wants us to believe that the current scandals inWashington, DC can be rectified by a more smoothly functioning government. We don’t think that government is much of a solution to anything. We believe such scandals could be rectified by shrinking government, not making it function more effectively.

Here’s more from the article:

In a matter of days, alarming accounts have emerged regarding the actions of five key federal government bureaucracies: the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon.

For commentators on the right, the reports are final proof of the raft of conspiracy theories focused on President Barack Obama. For commentators on left, they are non-scandals that Republicans exaggerate for political gain. Our endless left-right debate – Obama the devil, Obama the angel – misses more serious problems.

… Obama came into office promising openness – but from counter-terrorism to domestic policy, his White House has been secretive, insular and controlling. Yes, Republicans are bent on destroying Obama’s presidency, but an aloof president has alienated his Democratic allies.

Congress is no better. Each two-year term seems to set new standards for political trench warfare. One-third of the committees in the Republican-controlled House are investigating the administration. Some on the far right call for Obama’s impeachment.

You see? The problems faced by the US government have to do with the bad behavior of its actors. Everyone has to shoulder some part of the blame: Obama, Congress, the Pentagon, etc.

But the problem with this logic, in our humble view, starts and ends with the size of government and the pervasiveness of monopoly central banking. It is the availability of a money machine itself that has allowed government to grow to its current dysfunctional size.

And dysfunctional – and titanic – it is. Government at levels in the US must surely spend up to US$4 trillion on, among other things, a dysfunctional public school system, a crumbling industrial infrastructure and a vast domestic spy network complemented by a hugely expensive military-industrial complex. The value of all these expenditures to individual citizens is dubious to say the least.

The system exists, nonetheless, corrupt beyond measure, authoritarian by design and obviously repressive in its actions. Gradually, however, what we call the Internet Reformation is changing this situation.

As more and more information mounts up about destructive government actions in the US – and Europe, too – we would argue it becomes harder and harder to maintain business as usual.

Now, there are probably other reasons for these US scandals to come out now, and certainly there are many competing interests that might want to generate such difficulties. But think about what has come before: a steady drip, drip, drip of revelations that have not been staunched despite the best efforts of those in government and their media enablers.

Controversial reports having to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, election rigging, the destruction of the World Trade Towers and much else have not been excised from the public consciousness with the ruthless efficiency of pre-21st century maneuverings.

It is much more difficult to keep a secret these days, or stop people from speculating about motivations and underlying realities.

Conclusion: Many fear that the Internet is giving government the tools to be more authoritarian than ever. But it works both ways.


Pew Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be Legal

One of those other broken promises that the man in the Oval Office failed to keep to his constituents. The man is a traitor. Need I remind readers what the so-called founding fathers said about traitors. Oh and BTW he isn’t the only one. Most of the US Congress, Senate, Military, Courts and all agencies of the US Government have betrayed the American people. Non-Violent opposition to bring the government to a stop is the best answer. Find one way to stop cooperating with them. Decide how much of a price you can afford to pay and do that thing which will irritate, cost them money or resources or in some other way clog a wheel.

Something as simple as creating a blog, Facebook page, standing out in front of a local court house handing out Jury Nullification Pamphlets. There are so many ways.

Hell, I even drove with an expired license for several years as a matter of principle. Literally years without being caught and the only reason I was finally caught was new technology that reads every plate and automatically runs it. I wasn’t speeding, didn’t run a stop sign etc. I am a good driver and that was the point. Why do I need to ask the state permission to drive when I have proven my abilities for years.  (of course they and many of you who have been brainwashed into thinking we need a state would disagree with me which is why I will no longer drive until after I take the test and get a license). BTW just as a matter of fact I haven’t had an accident in over 20 years.

Maybe it didn’t change anything or maybe the butterfly thing is real and seemingly insignificant things do matter in the end. Maybe my act will eventually be the thing that brought the whole friggin’ thing down on their heads.

It doesn’t really even matter but you should be choosing to do something! Otherwise ya git what ya git. BTW we are winning the war for hearts which proves our efforts are having an affect. (E)

Pew Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Marijuana Should Be LegalWashington, DC: Fifty-two percent of Americans say that the adult consumption of cannabis ought to be legal, according to national polling data released last week by the Pew Research Center. The total is the highest percentage of support ever reported by Pew, which began surveying public opinion on this issue in 1973.

This year’s percentage marks an 11 percent increase in support since 2010, the last time Pew posed the question. Forty-five percent of respondents said they opposed liberalizing marijuana laws.

Democrats, (59 percent), males (57 percent), African Americans (56 percent), and those respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 (64 percent) were most likely to favor legalizing marijuana. Female respondents (48 percent), Republicans (37 percent), and those age 65 and over (33 percent) were least likely to back legalization.

Pollsters also reported that 77 percent of Americans – including 72 percent of self-identified Republicans and 60 percent of those respondents age 65 or older – believe that cannabis possesses “legitimate medical uses,” a position that directly conflicts with federal policy.

According to Pew, a solid majority of Americans also question present federal efforts to enforce the criminalization of cannabis. The poll reported that 72 percent of respondents agreed that “government efforts to enforce marijuana laws cost more than they are worth,” and 60 percent of Americans said that the government should no longer enforce federal anti-marijuana laws in states that have approved of its use.

In recent months, national polls by GallupQuinnipiac University, and Public Policy Polling have all similarly reported majority public support for legalizing and regulating the adult use of cannabis.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, or Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director, at (202) 483-5500.


The Will Of The People Doesn’t Mean Jack To Drug Warriors

Center for a Stateless    Society

building public awareness of left-wing market anarchism

I can not say I always agree with all this site stands for but much is worth reading including the following article. (E):

Posted by  on Mar 7, 2013

The Associated Press reports that eight former DEA administrators are urging the Obama administration to sue Washington and Colorado over their voter-approved moves toward  marijuana legalization.

One former chief, Peter Bensinger, fears that successful legalization efforts will lead to “a domino effect” in the US.  Where have we heard that phrase before?  Bensinger continues breathlessly, “My fear is that the Justice Department will do what they are doing now: do nothing and say nothing … If they don’t act now, these laws will be fully implemented in a matter of months.”

So drug warriors are losing their minds over Colorado and Washington.  Good!  We can only hope that Bensinger’s dire predictions come true and that more Americans are indeed waking up to the absurdity of marijuana prohibition.

The former DEA bureaucrats argue, accurately, that marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.  Even in cases involving medical marijuana, the federal government may abuse the commerce clause as a rationale to criminalize users, growers and sellers of marijuana (per Gonzales v. Raich).  The commerce clause has become the federal government’s drug war equivalent of  catch-all disorderly conduct statutes in the states.

Unfortunately, these goons have a solid case to present to US Attorney General Holder.  In New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann (1932), US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis said, “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”  But today’s political class views federalism as archaic.

Hopefully the administration will choose to ignore this thuggish recommendation.  But if they do decide to litigate, this will be another sign that the feds don’t give a damn about the  will of the people.  Liberty-loving Americans should respond to this federal intrusion with a massive wave of civil disobedience.

Let’s start by publicly shaming the DEA heads mentioned by the AP: “Bensinger, John Bartels, Robert Bonner, Thomas Constantine, Asa Hutchinson, John Lawn, Donnie Marshall and Francis Mullen.”  Get to know their names, libertarians.  They are your enemies!

Then, let’s publicize the efforts of these authoritarians to undermine the voters of Colorado and Washington.  Ask them why they continue to support a policy with openly racist origins which has resulted in mass incarceration.  Publicly reveal the motives  of the police agencies that enforce these laws .  When drug warriors drone on about “protecting the children,” confront them with the horrific reality of wrong door raids, slaughtered family pets and children terrorized with flash-bangs.  Wherever an apologist for prohibition gives a speech or attends a meeting, he or she should be met by throngs of boisterous picketers.

As we expose these petty tyrants, we should also seek opportunities to throw a wrench into the machinery of prohibition.  A mass movement of jury nullification in drug cases may be a promising tactic.  Prosecutors can use voir dire to remove one or two questionable jurors, but what if nullification becomes widespread?  They can’t remove all of us.  In the future,  we should view jury duty as a chance to liberate non-violent people from the state’s clutches.

In Tao Te Ching, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu writes, “The more laws are posted, the more robbers and thieves there are.”  Time and time again, this observation has been proven correct. The violence of the drug war is perpetuated by government, yet officials insist they must keep fighting.  In their vile attempt to protect their old turf, former DEA bosses show their true colors.  They are gangsters with federal pensions.  They will do anything to ensure that they and their ilk continue to get their cut of drug war booty.  It is up to us to expose their racket and to finish the job sensible voters in Colorado and Washington started in November.

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

 


News & Analysis From The Daily Bell

I would encourage all of my readers to subscribe to The Daily Bell™. Click on he Banner below to be taken to their site. (E)

News & Analysis

MONDAY, MARCH 04, 2013

Brilliant Polemic Defends US Freedom … and Demands Appropriate Incarcerations

By Staff Report

Americans – Like Nazi Germans – Don’t Notice that All of Our Rights Are Slipping Away … Americans Are Acting Like Slowly Boiling Frogs … The German citizens were boiling frogs … the water heating up so gradually that they didn’t realize they had to jump out of the pot to safety. Because the exact same thing is happening to Americans (fear of terror makes people stupid no matter what country they live in), let’s remember exactly what we’ve lost in recent years … – Washington’s Blog

Dominant Social Theme: US freedoms are slipping away and they must be brought back again by the people themselves, using all due enforcement tools.

Free-Market Analysis: In another brilliant polemic, the famous Washington’s Blog lays out a substantial litany of what the US has lost in terms of rights, and from this article’s point of view it is mostly everything. It is an article containing both truth and sincerity.

We agree with it on numerous levels and are most in agreement with the idea that a kind Nazi fascism is overtaking the US. It began long ago but was immeasurably increased under the reign of George W. Bush whose family was enmeshed in Nazi funding until public rage forced the US government to strip the family of German investment assets in 1942.

Bush’s efforts, nakedly pursued but rarely reported, included the leveraging of a police state, the creation of “Homeland Security” with its overtones of the Nazi Fatherland and the repositioning of the US’s various intelligence and policing agencies as the sword of the state to be turned aggressively against the American people.

Under Bush, various trends noted by Washington’s Blog were immensely exacerbated. Washington’s Blog points out that currently the US government “is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.”

He also points out that the government is flying spy drones over the American homeland. “The domestic use of drones to spy on Americans clearly violates the Fourth Amendment and limits our rights to personal privacy.”

And he adds, “Even without drones, Americans are the most spied on people in world history … The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American.”

The article enumerates many other areas where rights are being lost, including the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and the right to travel from place to place without harassment. The end of the article provides a powerful summation, pointing out that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom … and that it is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed.” And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people.

The article closes by reminding us that both the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency “competed to weaken federal regulation and [tried] to prevent state investigations … against fraudulent mortgage lenders.”

This is an odd close and not the summation we were looking for. It leads to our one question: If the federal government is over-reaching horribly, then why is it wrong to “weaken federal regulation”? We’ve noted this contradiction. We don’t understand how one can be against the neo-fascism of the US Leviathan but still enthusiastic about bringing the US’s horrible and corrupt criminal justice system to bear … no matter the nature of the crime.

The prison-industrial complex, like the military-industrial complex, is a great US evil. It includes an illegally globalized FBI, an out-of-control civil policing establishment (at both the state and federal level) and of course, a penal-industrial complex that incarcerates more than half of those in jail around the world, increasingly in “privatized” penitentiaries.

Conclusion: Does not advocating its use – rather than its reform – perhaps undermine the very points that US patriots wish to make?

 


Blood on Whose Hands?

Chase Madar

English: Slogan for the support of the persecu...

Lawyer, writer

Bradley Manning, Washington, and the Blood of Civilians

Who in their right mind wants to talk about, think about, or read a short essay about… civilian war casualties?  What a bummer, this topic, especially since our Afghan, Iraq, and other ongoing wars were advertised as uplifting acts of philanthropy: wars to spread security, freedom, democracy, human rights, gender equality, the rule of law, etc.

A couple hundred thousand dead civilians have a way of making such noble ideals seem like dollar-store tinsel.  And so, throughout our decade-long foreign policy debacle in the Greater Middle East, we in the U.S. have generally agreed that no one shall commit the gaucherie of dwelling on (and “dwelling on” = fleetingly mentioned) civilian casualties. Washington elites may squabble over some things, but as for foreigners killed by our numerous wars, our Beltway crew adheres to a sullen code of omertà.

Club rules do, however, permit one loophole: Washington officials may bemoan the nightmare of civilian casualties — but only if they can be pinned on a 24-year-old Army private first class named Bradley Manning.

Pfc. Manning, you will remember, is the young soldier who is soon to be court-martialed for passing some 750,000 military and diplomatic documents, a large chunk of them classified, to the website WikiLeaks.  Among those leaks, there was indeed some serious stuff about how Americans dealt with civilians in invaded countries.  For instance, the documents revealed that the U.S. military, then the occupying force in Iraq, did little or nothing to prevent Iraqi authorities from torturing prisoners in a variety of gruesome ways, sometimes to death.

Then there was that gun-sight video — unclassified but buried in classified material — of an American Apache helicopter opening fire on a crowd on a Baghdad street, gunning down a dozen men, including two Reuters employees, and injuring more, including children.  There were also those field reports about how jumpy American soldiers repeatedly shot down civilians at roadside checkpoints; about night raids gone wrong both in Iraq and Afghanistan; and a count of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians, a tally whose existence the U.S. military had previously denied possessing.

Together, these leaks and many others offered a composite portrait of military and political debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan whose grinding theme has been civilian casualties, a fact not much noted here in the U.S.  A tiny number of low-ranking American soldiers have been held to account for rare instances of premeditated murder of civilians, but most of the troops who kill civilians in the midst of the chaos of war are not tried, much less convicted.  We don’t talk about these cases a lot either.  On the other hand, officials of all types make free with lusty condemnations of Bradley Manning, whose leaks are luridly credited with potential (though not actual) deaths.

Putting Lives in Danger

“[WikiLeaks] might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,” said Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the release of the Afghan War Logs in July 2010.  This was, of course, the same Admiral Mullen who had endorsed a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan, which would lead to a tremendous “surge” in casualties among civilians and soldiers alike.  Here are counts — undoubtedly undercounts, in fact — of real Afghan corpses that, at least in part, resulted from the policy he supported: 2,412 in 2009, 2,777 in 2010, 1,462 in the first half 2011, according to the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan.  As far as anyone knows, here are the corpses that resulted from the release of those WikiLeaks documents: 0.  (And don’t forget, the stalemate war with the Taliban has not budged in the period since that surge.)  Who, then, has blood on his hands, Pfc. Manning — or Admiral Mullen?

Of course the admiral is hardly alone.  In fact, whole tabernacle choirs have joined in the condemnation of Manning and WikiLeaks for “causing” carnage, thanks to their disclosures.

Robert Gates, who served as secretary of defense under George W. Bush and then Barack Obama, also spoke sternly of Manning’s leaks, accusing him of “moral culpability.”  He added, “And that’s where I think the verdict is ‘guilty’ on WikiLeaks. They have put this out without any regard whatsoever for the consequences.”

This was, of course, the same Robert Gates who pushed for escalation in Afghanistan in 2009 and, in March 2011, flew to the Kingdom of Bahrain to offer his own personal “reassurance of support” to a ruling monarchy already busy shooting and torturing nonviolent civilian protesters.  So again, when it comes to blood and indifference to consequences, Bradley Manning — or Robert Gates?

Nor have such attitudes been confined to the military. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Manning’s (alleged) leak of 250,000 diplomatic cables of being “an attack on the international community” that “puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security, and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems.”

As a senator, of course, she supported the invasion of Iraq in flagrant contravention of the U.N. Charter.  She was subsequently a leading hawkwhen it came to escalating and expanding the Afghan War, and is now responsible for disbursing an annual $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt’s ruling junta whose forces have repeatedly opened fire on nonviolent civilian protesters.  So who’s been attacking the international community and putting lives in danger, Bradley Manning — or Hillary Clinton?

Harold Koh, former Yale Law School dean, liberal lion, and currently the State Department’s top legal adviser, has announced that the same leaked diplomatic cables “could place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals — from journalists to human rights activists and bloggers to soldiers to individuals providing information to further peace and security.”

This is the same Harold Koh who, in March 2010, provided a tortured legal rationale for the Obama administration’s drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, despite the inevitable and well-documented civilian casualties they cause.  So who is risking the lives of countless innocent individuals, Bradley Manning — or Harold Koh?

Much of the media have clambered aboard the bandwagon, blaming WikiLeaks and Manning for damage done by wars they once energetically cheered on.

In early 2011, to pick just one example from the ranks of journalism, New Yorker writer George Packerprofessed his horror that WikiLeaks had released a memo marked “secret/noforn” listing spots throughout the world of vital strategic or economic interest to the United States.  Asked by radio host Brian Lehrer whether this disclosure had crossed a new line by making a gratuitous gift to terrorists, Packer replied with an appalled yes.

Now, among the “secrets” contained in this document are the facts that the Strait of Gibraltar is a vital shipping lane and that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is rich in minerals. Have we Americans become so infantilized that factoids of basic geography must be considered state secrets?  (Maybe best not to answer that question.)  The “threat” of this document’s release has since been roundly debunkedby various military intellectuals.

Nevertheless, Packer’s response was instructive.  Here was a typical liberal hawk, who had can-canned to the post-9/11 drumbeat of war as a therapeutic wake-up call from “the bland comforts of peace,” now affronted by WikiLeaks’ supposed recklessness.  Civilian casualties do not seem to have been on Packer’s mind when he supported the invasion of Iraq, nor has he written much about them since.

In an enthusiastic 2006 New Yorker essay on counterinsurgency warfare, for example, the very words “civilian casualties” never come up, despite their centrality to COIN theory, practice, and history.  It is a fact that, as Operation Enduring Freedom shifted to counterinsurgency tactics in 2009, civilian casualties in Afghanistan skyrocketed.  So, for that matter, have American military casualties.  (More than half of U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan occurred in the past three years.)

Liberal hawks like Packer may consider WikiLeaks out of bounds, but really, who in these last years has been the most reckless, Bradley Manning — or George Packer and some of his pro-war colleagues at theNew Yorker like Jeffrey Goldberg (who has since left for the Atlantic Monthly, where he’s been busilyclearing a path for war with Iran) and editor David Remnick?

Centrist and liberal nonprofit think tanks have been no less selectively blind when it comes to civilian carnage. Liza Goitein, a lawyer at the liberal-minded Brennan Center at NYU Law School, has also taken out after Bradley Manning.  In the midst of an otherwise deft diagnosis of Washington’s compulsive urge to over-classify everything — the federal government classifies an amazing 77 million documents a year — she pauses just long enough to accuse Manning of “criminal recklessness” for putting civilians named in the Afghan War logs in peril — “a disclosure,” as she puts it, “that surely endangers their safety.”

It’s worth noting that, until the moment Goitein made this charge, not a single report or press release issued by the Brennan Center has ever so much as uttered a mention of civilian casualties caused by the U.S. military.  The absence of civilian casualties is almost palpable in the work of the Brennan Center’s program in  “Liberty and National Security.”  For example, this program’s 2011 report “Rethinking Radicalization,” which explored effective, lawful ways to prevent American Muslims from turning terrorist, makes not a single reference to the tens of thousands of well-documented civilian casualties caused by American military force in the Muslim world, which according to many scholars is the prime mover of terrorist blowback.  The report on how to combat the threat of Muslim terrorists, written by Pakistan-born Faiza Patel, does not, in fact, even contain the words “Iraq,” “Afghanistan,” “drone strike,” “Pakistan” or “civilian casualties.”

This is almost incredible, because terrorists themselves have freely confessed that what motivated their acts of wanton violence has been the damage done by foreign military occupation back home or simply in the Muslim world.  Asked by a federal judge why he tried to blow up Times Square with a car bomb in May 2010, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad answered that he was motivated by the civilian carnage the U.S. had caused in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.  How could any report about “rethinking radicalization” fail to mention this?  Although the Brennan Center does much valuable work, Goitein’s selective finger-pointing on civilian casualties is emblematic of a blindness to war’s consequences widespread among American institutions.

American Military Whistleblowers

Knowledge may indeed have its risks, but how many civilian deaths can actually be traced to the WikiLeaks revelations?  How many military deaths?  To the best of anyone’s knowledge, not a single one.  After much huffing and puffing, the Pentagon has quietly denied — and then denied again — that there is any evidence at all of the Taliban targeting the Afghan civilians named in the leaked war logs.

In the end, the “grave risks” involved in the publication of the War Logs and of those State Department documents have been wildly exaggerated.  Embarrassment, yes.  A look inside two grim wars and the workings of imperial diplomacy, yes.  Blood, no.

On the other hand, the grave risks that were hidden in those leaked documents, as well as in all the other government distortions, cover-ups, and lies of the past decade, have been graphically illustrated in aortal red.  The civilian carnage caused by our rush to war in Iraq and by our deeply entrenched stalemate of a war in Afghanistan (and the Pakistani tribal borderlands) is not speculative or theoretical but all-too real.

And yet no one anywhere has been held to much account: not in the political class, not in the military, not in the think tanks, not among the scholars, nor the media.  Only one individual, it seems, will pay, even if he actually spilled none of the blood.  Our foreign policy elites seem to think Bradley Manning is well-cast for the role of fall guy and scapegoat.  This is an injustice.

Someday, it will be clearer to Americans that Pfc. Manning has joined the ranks of great American military whistleblowers like Dan Ellsberg (who was first in his class at Marine officer training school); Vietnam War infantryman Ron Ridenhour, who blew the whistle on the My Lai massacre; and the sailors and marines who, in 1777, reported the torture of British captives by their politically connected commanding officer.  These servicemen, too, were vilified in their times. Today, we honor them, as someday Pfc. Manning will be honored.

Chase Madar is the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning, to be published by OR Books in February.  He is an attorney in New York, a TomDispatch regular, and a frequent contributor to theLondon Review of BooksLe Monde DiplomatiqueAmerican Conservative Magazine, andCounterPunch.  (To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Madar discusses the coming trial of Bradley Manning, click here, or download it to your iPod here.) He tweets @ChMadar.

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Almost Gone by Graham Nash and James Raymond

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Stop Complying. Start Defying.

In our dying democracy, those with power and the puppets they parade in election charades every two years are above the law and think nothing of breaking it. And in our raped republic, those with wealth from stealing the Sheeples’ tax money and savings by the billions have no problems paying millions in penalties for doing so. But in this wasteland of unbridled greed and moral decay, those of you with character and courage can still prevail if you simply do this:

STOP COMPLYING AND START DEFYING

That is the last thing the powers that be and their puppets in Washington expect the Sheeple to do. And an army of lions steeled by desperation and necessity from lambs is the last thing their overextended state and local courts, DAs and LEOs are prepared to handle. “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny…” Thomas Jefferson declared, “[and at such times] dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

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