DaniMartExtras, Too

ALTERNATIVE NEWS NETWORK

REAL NEWS Dec. 17

Posted by Xaniel777 on December 17, 2011

TODAY IS : December 17, 2011

” Alternative News Stories gathered from all over the world and placed here for your awareness ! “

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TODAY’S NEWS : 

Rape of Iraqi Women by U.S. Forces as Weapon of War: Photos and Data Emerge (Warning Very Graphic)

( XANIEL’S NOTE : THIS IS AN OUTRAGE, AND ONE THAT CANNOT BE DENIED OR IGNORED.  IS IT ANY WONDER WHY THE WORLD HATES US ! NOT ONLY DO WE INVADE THEIR COUNTRIES, ALL BASED ON LIES,  BUT THEN WE INVADE THEM PERSONALLY !! I LOVE MY COUNTRY, BUT I HATE WHAT WE’VE BECOME  AND HOW WE ARE SEEN BY THE REST OF THE WORLD AS A RESULT OF THE ACTIONS OF MOST OF OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND CERTAIN MILITARY PERSONAL WHO REPRESENT OUR ONCE GREAT NATION.  WE NEED TO STOP ALL OF THIS NOW AND START MAKING THESE MONSTERS ( ALL THE MONSTERS ) ANSWER. NOT JUST IN THIS CASE BUT IN ALL CASES LIKE THIS, AND THERE ARE MANY ! IT IS TIME WE ROUND THEM ALL UP AND TURN THEM OVER TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURTS TO BE PUBLICLY TRIED FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AMONG OTHER THINGS. ) ~~ Xaniel777 

From FederalJack.com

December 16, 2011 by 

(ASIAN TRIBUNE)   In March 2006 four US soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division gang raped a 14 year old Iraqi girl and murdered her and her family —including a 5 year old child. An additional soldier was involved in the cover-up.

One of the killers, Steven Green, was found guilty on May 07, 2009 in the US District Court of Paducah and is now awaiting sentencing.

The leaked Public Affairs Guidance put the 101st media team into a “passive posture” — withholding information where possible. It conceals presence of both child victims, and describes the rape victim, who had just turned 14, as “a young woman”.

The US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division did not begin its investigation until three and a half months after the crime, news reports at that time commented.

This is not the only grim picture coming out of Iraq U.S. forces being accused of using rape as a war weapon.

The release, by CBS News, of the photographs showing the heinous sexual abuse and torture of Iraqi POW’s at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison opened a Pandora’s Box for the Bush regime wrote Ernesto Cienfuegos in La Voz de Aztlan on May 2, 2004.

Journalist Cienfuegos further states “Apparently, the suspended US commander of the prison where the worst abuses took place, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, has refused to take the fall by herself and has implicated the CIA, Military Intelligence and private US government contractors in the torturing of POW’s and in the raping of Iraqi women detainees as well.”

Brigadier General Karpinski, who commanded the 800th Military Police Brigade, described a high-pressure Military Intelligence and CIA command that prized successful interrogations. A month before the alleged abuses and rapes occurred, she said, a team of CIA, Military Intelligence officers and private consultants under the employ of the US government came to Abu Ghraib. “Their main and specific mission was to give the interrogators new techniques to get more information from detainees,” she said.

At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.

Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.

Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.

Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.

Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He later confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in May 2009.

The London newspaper further noted “graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President Obama’s attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.”

Maj. Gen. Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President’s decision, adding: “These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.

“The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it.”

In April, Mr. Obama’s administration said the photographs would be released and it would be “pointless to appeal” against a court judgment in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

But after lobbying from senior military figures, Mr. Obama changed his mind saying they could put the safety of troops at risk.

In May, he said: “The most direct consequence of releasing them, I believe, would be to inflame anti-American public opinion and to put our troops in greater danger.”

In April 2004, new photographs were sent to La Voz de Aztlan from confidential sources depicting the shocking rapes of two Iraqi women by what are purported to be US Military Intelligence personnel and private US mercenaries in military fatigues. It is now known, Cienfuegos wrote in May 2004, that hundreds of these photographs had been in circulation among the troops in Iraq. The graphic photos were being swapped between the soldiers like baseball cards.

Asian Tribune carries here three of the ‘Rape’ photographs which have brought criticism that the U.S. forces in Iraq have used rape as a weapon of war.

– Asian Tribune –

http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2009/10/03/rape-iraqi-women-us-forces-weapon-war-photos-and-data-emerge 

END

The End of America: House and Senate pass final version of NDAA

Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Today the United States House of Representatives and Senate both passed their final versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, or H.R. 1540.

This represents the complete destruction of everything that America is supposed to stand for; the most essential of rights have been stripped away, and we are left wondering what the traitors in Washington will do next.

It has become painfully clear that the true terrorists are not hiding in caves in Afghanistan shooting at NATO troops with rusted second-hand assault rifles, but instead wear $5,000 suits and stroll happily through the halls of power in the United States.

The House passed their final version of the NDAA with a massive majority of 283 to 136 and the Senate passed it with a vote of 86 to 13, once again proving that our so-called Representatives do not represent us in any way and in fact are traitorous criminals and enemies of freedom.

No longer do we need to fear our country being attacked by foreign forces hell bent on destroying the American way of life, as these forces can be found calling themselves our “Representatives” while living large on the backs of the American people.

The signing of the NDAA with the detention provisions – that is, sections 1031 and 1032 most importantly – represents the final nail in the coffin of our once Constitutional Republic.

I can honestly say that I previously thought that the PATRIOT Act would be the worst legislation I would ever see in my lifetime and, quite unfortunately, I was wrong. Dead wrong.

As I said when first covering S.1253, the precursor to S.1867 which the Senate passed with a 93% majority, this legislation makes the PATRIOT Act look like the Bill of Rights, and that is not in any way hyperbolic.

I previously exposed the fact that the claim that Obama would veto the NDAA was wholly without merit, and unfortunately I have been proven right once again when the White House withdrew the veto threat completely.

With the detention provisions intact, and thus the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial on nothing more than suspicion, the NDAA is the most dangerous legislation to come before the President in recent history.

Some have attempted to amend the NDAA to explicitly protect American citizens and lawful permanent residents from being targeted, but to no avail.

This is the most major problem with so many proponents’ arguments: if they did not intend to leverage this against the American people, especially dissidents who are standing up to the rampant corruption and pervasive police state measures, why wouldn’t they pass such an amendment?

The answer is quite obvious, really. They have every intention of using this against so-called “belligerents” which could be anyone who refuses to bow down to the megalomaniacal ruling class, including people like myself who explicitly reject any and all forms of violence.

When the NDAA is signed by the President – which is all but ironclad at this point – it will only be a short time until the military can begin rounding up American citizens and the FEMA camps could be activated and utilized thanks to KBR’s National Quick Response Teams.

Yet there is indeed a silver lining to this nightmarish cloud, although I’m still holding back from jumping for joy at this point.

This last bastion of hope is known as the “Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011” which was proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

The bill is intended, “To clarify that an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States”.

The bill is intended to amend Section 4001 of title 18, United States Code, known as the “Limitation on detention; control of prisons”.

The bill would insert the following after subsection (a), “(b)(1) An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention.

“(2) Paragraph (1) applies to an authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2001.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, there are still a few glaring problems; the most major of which is that this only applies to American citizens and lawful permanent residents who are apprehended within the United States.

Furthermore, it only protects us so long as an Act of Congress does not expressly authorize such detention.

Given the fact that the Congress has already betrayed us in passing the NDAA, can we really rely on hoping that they wouldn’t pass an Act nullifying the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011, if it indeed passes?

I think such a hope would not only be misguided and naïve, but indeed ignorant and divorced from the reality which has presented itself to us in the past months.

Moreover, we are relying on what is arguably an equally nonsensical hope: that the Senate – which voted with a massive majority in favor of the NDAA both times – would actually vote for the Due Process Guarantee Act of 2011.

I, for one, am not going to hold my breath in hopes that they will come through and do the right thing, as they have proven all too well as of late that they are some of the most untrustworthy, despicable individuals.

Another major problem for me is that Feinstein, who unfortunately is one of my so-called Representatives, actually voted for the NDAA as you can see in the Senate’s roll call for today’s vote.

She also voted in favor of S.1867, the Senate’s version of the NDAA. Can we really expect her to pass something that will protect us after actively working against us in such a blatant manner?

I think not, and unless there is a massive change in how our government views the American people I do not expect to see positive events unfold as a result.

However, the future is ours to determine at this point and the situation could unfold in any number of ways.

Either we could see the most hellish police state imaginable, with Americans being arrested and detained indefinitely by the military for any reason or no reason at all.  Or, we could see the military step up and honor their oaths and refuse unlawful orders and arrest those who issued them.  We could also see a second American revolution.

It is impossible to say which we will see, but I hope that the military will pause and remember their sworn oaths and who the real enemies are.

“We the People” are not the enemies of the Constitution; instead it is those traitors in Washington who would love to see nothing other than all of our most essential liberties stripped away in the name of fighting the fraudulent war on terror.

Hopefully the military would realize this and act accordingly, or else the situation would likely be one in which the vast majority of people in the United States would suffer for an unimaginable length of time.

This article originally appeared at End the Lie 

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com 

END

The 1 Percent, Revealed

From MOTHER JONES

 By Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich

             Christopher Smith/Flickr

This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

“Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs.”—E.P. Thompson,The Making of the English Working Class

The “other men” (and of course women) in the current American class alignment are those in the top 1 percent of the wealth distribution—the bankers, hedge fund managers, and CEOs targeted by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They have been around for a long time in one form or another, but they only began to emerge as a distinct and visible group, informally called the “superrich,” in recent years.

Extravagant levels of consumption helped draw attention to them: private jets, multiple 50,000 square-foot mansions, $25,000 chocolate desserts embellished with gold dust. But as long as the middle class could still muster the credit for college tuition and occasional home improvements, it seemed churlish to complain. Then came the financial crash of 2007-08, followed by the Great Recession, and the 1 percent to whom we had entrusted our pensions, our economy, and our political system stood revealed as a band of feckless, greedy narcissists, and possibly sociopaths.

Still, until a few months ago, the 99 percent was hardly a group capable of (as Thompson says) articulating “the identity of their interests.” It contained, and still contains, most “ordinary” rich people, along with middle-class professionals, factory workers, truck drivers, and miners, as well as the much poorer people who clean the houses, manicure the fingernails, and maintain the lawns of the affluent.

It was divided not only by these class differences, but most visibly by race and ethnicity—a division that has actually deepened since 2008. African Americans and Latinos of all income levels disproportionately lost their homes to foreclosure in 2007 and 2008, and then disproportionately lost their jobs in the wave of layoffs that followed. On the eve of the Occupy movement, the black middle class had been devastated. In fact, the only political movements to have come out of the 99 percent before Occupy emerged were the tea party movement and, on the other side of the political spectrum, the resistance to restrictions on collective bargaining in Wisconsin.

But Occupy could not have happened if large swaths of the 99 percent had not begun to discover some common interests, or at least to put aside some of the divisions among themselves. For decades, the most stridently promoted division within the 99 percent was the one between what the right calls the “liberal elite”—composed of academics, journalists, media figures, etc.—and pretty much everyone else.

As Harper’s columnist Tom Frank has brilliantly explained, the right earned its spurious claim to populism by targeting that “liberal elite,” which supposedly favors reckless government spending that requires oppressive levels of taxes, supports “redistributive” social policies and programs that reduce opportunity for the white middle class, creates ever more regulations (to, for instance, protect the environment) that reduce jobs for the working class, and promotes kinky countercultural innovations like gay marriage. The liberal elite, insisted conservative intellectuals, looked down on “ordinary” middle- and working-class Americans, finding them tasteless and politically incorrect. The “elite” was the enemy, while the superrich were just like everyone else, only more “focused” and perhaps a bit better connected.

Of course, the “liberal elite” never made any sociological sense. Not all academics or media figures are liberal (Newt Gingrich, George Will, Rupert Murdoch). Many well-educated middle managers and highly trained engineers may favor latte over Red Bull, but they were never targets of the right. And how could trial lawyers be members of the nefarious elite, while their spouses in corporate law firms were not?

A Greased Chute, Not a Safety Net

“Liberal elite” was always a political category masquerading as a sociological one. What gave the idea of a liberal elite some traction, though, at least for a while, was that the great majority of us have never knowingly encountered a member of the actual elite, the 1 percent who are, for the most part, sealed off in their own bubble of private planes, gated communities, and walled estates.

The authority figures most people are likely to encounter in their daily lives are teachers, doctors, social workers, and professors. These groups (along with middle managers and other white-collar corporate employees) occupy a much lower position in the class hierarchy. They made up what we described in a 1976 essay as the “professional managerial class.” As we wrote at the time, on the basis of our experience of the radical movements of the 1960s and 1970s, there have been real, longstanding resentments between the working class and middle-class professionals. These resentments, which the populist right cleverly deflected toward “liberals,” contributed significantly to that previous era of rebellion’s failure to build a lasting progressive movement.

As it happened, the idea of the “liberal elite” could not survive the depredations of the 1 percent in the late 2000s. For one thing, it was summarily eclipsed by the discovery of the actual Wall Street-based elite and their crimes. Compared to them, professionals and managers, no matter how annoying, were pikers. The doctor or school principal might be overbearing, the professor and the social worker might be condescending, but only the 1 percent took your house away.

There was, as well, another inescapable problem embedded in the right-wing populist strategy: Even by 2000, and certainly by 2010, the class of people who might qualify as part of the “liberal elite” was in increasingly bad repair. Public-sector budget cuts and corporate-inspired reorganizations were decimating the ranks of decently paid academics, who were being replaced by adjunct professors working on bare subsistence incomes. Media firms were shrinking their newsrooms and editorial budgets. Law firms had started outsourcing their more routine tasks to India. Hospitals beamed X-rays to cheap foreign radiologists. Funding had dried up for nonprofit ventures in the arts and public service. Hence the iconic figure of the Occupy movement: the college graduate with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debts and a job paying about $10 a hour, or no job at all.

These trends were in place even before the financial crash hit, but it took the crash and its grim economic aftermath to awaken the 99 percent to a widespread awareness of shared danger. In 2008, “Joe the Plumber’s” intention to earn a quarter-million dollars a year still had some faint sense of plausibility. A couple of years into the recession, however, sudden downward mobility had become the mainstream American experience, and even some of the most reliably neoliberal media pundits were beginning to announce that something had gone awry with the American dream.

Once-affluent people lost their nest eggs as housing prices dropped off cliffs. Laid-off middle-aged managers and professionals were staggered to find that their age made them repulsive to potential employers. Medical debts plunged middle-class households into bankruptcy. The old conservative dictum—that it was unwise to criticize (or tax) the rich because you might yourself be one of them someday—gave way to a new realization that the class you were most likely to migrate into wasn’t the rich, but the poor.

Next Page: Here was another thing many in the middle class were discovering: The downward plunge into poverty could occur with dizzying speed.

END

You Are Working For Criminals; An Open Message to Police & Military

Posted by poorrichard at Poor Richard’s Blog

veteranstoday.com


This is a message to the Police, to the military, to the TSA, to Homeland Security and to members of every other enforcement arm of the government

Transcript :

I know that most of you chose the life in uniform because you love your country; because you believed in what that uniform stood for; because you wanted to serve and protect… but I also know that deep down inside you sense that something has gone terribly wrong.

You’ve watched with the rest of us as elected officials have incrementally legislated our constitutional rights away, you’ve watched as the state surveillance apparatus has expanded like a cancer through the heart of the nation, and you’ve watched as the corruption has become more and more blatant. I can understand why you haven’t wanted to acknowledge the implications of what you are witnessing.

To face the reality of what is happening would mean admitting that you’ve been betrayed, and it would mean coming to terms with the fact that you… are working… for criminals.

I don’t envy your position. I know your job depends on you following orders. I know you have families to support and bills to pay, and I know that if you stand up you could loose everything… but what you need to understand is that continuing to submit to unconstitutional, and immoral orders will not protect you from what is coming.

You may tell yourself that you will take a draw your line in the sand later, that there is a certain point where you will say no, but in reality, you crossed the line a long time ago. You are standing on the wrong side of history right now. You are already participating in the destruction of this country, in the trampling of our rights, of your children’s rights, and grandchildren’s rights. You are the enforcement arm of a criminal enterprise, you are a servant of a rapidly expanding police state, and you DO have a choice.

I’m not telling you this to condemn you. I’m telling you this because we the people desperately need you to take a stand. We desperately need you to have the courage to face your commanding officers, and tell them no, I didn’t sign up for this. No this isn’t right. No, I will not obey these unlawful orders.

You took an oath to defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. Time to start taking that oath seriously!!

http://waitingforthestorm.com

Information Clearing House

END

U.S. is Breaking International Humanitarian Laws Now – Every D.C. official is now an International Criminal for the 1031 Indefinite Detainment Bill

Posted by Sherrie Questioning All

I have been a Red Cross volunteer and have gone out on disasters with them.  I have also taken all the various classes to be able to run a disaster.  I have also opted to take classes learning about the International Red Cross Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws that are for every country!

I wrote this morning about the Indefinite Detainment 1031 bill which allows for U.S. Citizens to be taken by the U.S. government now and Obama is going to be signing it into law.  This of course goes against our Constitutional rights.  I have posted many various times about this subject the last couple of weeks.

What I have just realized is that the elected people in D.C. not only committed Treason against every U.S. Citizen and the Constitution, they have now broken International Human Rights Laws! 

See this International Red Cross Document that has the Fact sheet about International Human Rights Laws! 

All those who have voted for it including Obama when he signs it, will then be International Criminals!  This is FACT! 

The U.S. government on a whole is now Internationally a Criminal Government!

They do not have a right to take away the most basic human right of detaining someone without rights!

I can only hope that People will band together to now ask for EVERY SINGLE CONGRESS PERSON AND SENATOR, BESIDES OBAMA ONCE HE SIGNS IT TO BE TRIED FOR BREAKING INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAWS!

Isn’t this a reason (fake along with the fake WMD) the U.S. went into Iraq – to save the people and their human rights?  Isn’t this the reason the U.S. went into Libya to save the people and human rights laws from someone they claimed was a tyrant? (Truth about Libya hereWell…. I want to know what country is going to come and now save the U.S. people from their government as the U.S. government went to save other countries? 

Another country would have a valid reason to come and take over the government now, since it would be the same reason the U.S. government has used to take over other countries. 

I wonder if we can petition the International Red Cross to Declare the U.S. Government, as a Government  is now Criminal and should go on trial against human rights?

Read how the International Red Cross had started to become concerned about what the U.S. has been doing and breaking International Humanitarian rights

http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/contemporary-challenges-for-ihl/security-detention/index.jsp

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/article/other/iraq-detention-ihl-article-2010-12-31.htm

http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/protected-persons/prisoners-war/overview-detainees-protected-persons.htm

Development of the law
http://www.icrc.org/eng/what-we-do/other-activities/development-ihl/overview-development-ihl.htm 

END

No justice for Bradley Manning

From Al Jazeera

Charles Davis

Charles Davis

Charles Davis is an activist and writer who splits his time between Washington, DC and Nicaragua.

The US government has made an example of Bradley Manning to prevent others from challenging the American empire.

Protestors take a stand against the way Bradley Manning has been treated by the US government [EPA]

Washington, DC – Private Bradley Manning was just 22 years old when he allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of US State Department cables and video evidence of war crimes to the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks. For that act of courage that revealed to the world the true face of the American empire, he faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

After waiting more than 18 months, half of which he spent in torturous solitary confinement that he was only removed from after an international outcry and the resignation of a top State Department official, Manning is finally getting a shot at justice – if we can think of a military court as justice – when his case moves to the pre-trial hearing phase this Friday. But whether Manning is ultimately found guilty or not is beside the point: All one needs to know about American justice is that if he had murdered civilians and desecrated their corpses – if he had the moral capacity to commit war crimes, not the audacity to expose them – he’d be better off today.

Indeed, if Manning had merely murdered the nameless, faceless “other”, as his Army colleagues on the notorious Afghan “Kill Team” did, he would not have had his right to a speedy trial blatantly violated. If Manning had intentionally killed unarmed civilians, posed for pictures with their dead bodies and slashed their fingers off as souvenirs, he would not have had his guilt publicly pronounced by his own commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama, months before he so much as saw the inside of a military court. If he had killed poor foreigners instead of exposing their deaths, he might even stand a chance of getting out of prison while still a young man.

Other young soldiers thinking of telling the truth about America’s wars must by now have surely gotten the message: if you see something, don’t say something.  

This isn’t really a head-scratching development. While killing unarmed civilians for sport

may not be officially sanctioned policy, it doesn’t threaten the functioning of the war machine as much as a soldier standing up and refusing to be complicit in mass murder. From the perspective of a Washington establishment much more concerned with maintaining hegemony than its humanity, the former – murder – is much less troubling a precedent than the latter.

And so the US government is making an example of Manning, lest any other cogs in the machine start thinking about listening to their consciences instead of their commanders.

Other young soldiers thinking of telling the truth about America’s wars must by now have surely gotten the message: if you see something, don’t say something. Meanwhile, Manning couldn’t be faulted for wondering why he did not just take a cue from his commander-in-chief and kill some innocent foreigners like a good American boy. Instead of facing a lifetime in prison, he might have been up for a medal.

Had Manning – instead of exposing the crime – been the one pulling the trigger in the US Apache helicopter that in 2007 murdered at least a dozen unarmed people in Baghdad, he wouldn’t be facing any legal consequences for his actions. Had Manning authorised a 2009 missile strike in Yemen that killed 14 women and 21 children, instead of releasing the State Department cable that acknowledges responsibility for the killings, we wouldn’t even know his name.

But Manning didn’t kill anybody. Rather, he was outraged by the killing he saw all around him and angered at the complicity of his higher-ups who weren’t prepared to do a damn thing about. So, the system having failed to ensure accountability, Manning took it upon himself to share the inconvenient facts his government was withholding from the world.

“I prefer a painful truth over any blissful fantasy”, he explained in a chat with hacker-turned-informant Adrian Lamo. As an Army intelligence analyst, Manning witnessed firsthand the American empire in action – and it changed him. “I don’t believe in good guys versus bad guys anymore”, he lamented, “only a plethora of states acting in self-interest”.

Confronted with the reality of institutional evil, Manning risked his career – and his freedom – in order to expose everything from mass murder and child rape in Afghanistan to US support for brutal dictators across North Africa and the Middle East. His actions were heroic, and Amnesty International has even credited them as the spark for with jump-starting the Arab Spring. And yet a president who proclaims his commitment to transparency while on the campaign trail is determined to go down as the one whose administration mentally tortured, prosecuted and jailed the most famous whistle-blower in half-a-century.

Colonel Ann Wright, a former top State Department official who resigned in protest of the 2003 Iraq war, says Manning’s treatment at the hands of the Obama administration is an outrage that is at odds with the norms of military justice. He’s been treated “as if he were an enemy combatant in Guantanamo”, she says. “His past treatment while in pre-trial confinement and the lack of compliance with the norms of the military legal system of a ‘speedy’ trial . . . reeks of 18 months of intimidation, retribution and retaliation.”

“It’s clear the military and those tasked with Manning’s case are working hard to make an example of him”, says Nathan Fuller, an activist with the Bradley Manning Support Network. Like many, he suspects Manning’s treatment has at least in part been an attempt to get him to implicate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. But even if the Obama administration can’t get that, “they’re more than happy to use his case to send a message to potential whistle-blowers everywhere”.

Politicians aren’t the only ones who can send a message. This weekend, activists from around the country, including those involved in the Occupy movement in nearby Washington, DC, will be rallying outside Maryland’s Fort Meade, where the pre-trial hearings in Manning’s case are being conducted. The hope is that they can convince President Obama and his military brass that punishing a whistle-blower goes against the wishes of the American public. The question is whether that’s true – and whether the political establishment really cares.

Charles Davis is an activist and writer who splits his time between Washington, DC, and Nicaragua. He is a contributor to the newswire Inter Press Service and his work has aired on public radio stations across the United States. To read more of his work, visit his website.

Follow Charles on twitter: @charlesdavis84 

END

Occupy Portland Outsmarts Police, Creating Blueprint for Other Occupations

From Portland Occupier

News From The Occupation

by Lester Macgurdy

The Portland Occupation stumbled upon a tactical innovation regarding occupying public spaces. This evolution in tactics was spontaneous, and went unreported in the media. On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old- the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.

Heavy infantry is a group of soldiers marching in a column or a phalanx that are armed with weaponry for hand to hand, close quarters combat. Heavy infantry function as a unit, not individual soldiers. Their operational strength is dependent upon maintaining the integrity of that unit. Riot police are heavy infantry. They will always form a line and advance as a unit.

Light infantry are armed with ranged weapons for assault from a distance. Light infantry operate as individuals that are free to roam at a distance and fire upon the opposition with ranged weapons. Cops firing tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, bean bag rounds, etc. are light infantry. They remain to the rear of the phalanx of riot cops (heavy infantry) and depend upon the riot cops maintaining a secure front and flanks to provide them a secure area of operations.

Protesters function fluidly as either light or heavy infantry. Their mass, because it is lacking in organization, functions as a phalanx, having no flanks or rear. Lack of organization gives that mass the option of moving in whichever direction it feels like, at any given time. If protesters all move to the right, the entire group and supporting officers has to shift to that flank. While the protesters can retreat quickly, the police can only advance as fast as their light infantry, supporting staff can follow and maintain a secure rear (if the mass of protesters were to run to the next block over and quickly loop around to the rear of the riot cops, the organization of the cops would be reduced to chaos). If that police cannot assemble with a front to oppose protesters, they are useless. The integrity of that tactic is compromised, and unable to maintain internal organization, the cops revert to individuals engaging in acts of brutality, which eventually winds up on the evening news and they lose the battle regardless of whether they clear the park or not.

Because of the lack of organization in a crowd of protesters, light infantry cops firing tear gas, etc. has little effect because it just serves to disorganize a group that relies upon disorganization in the first place. All it really does is disorganize the riot cops, who then resort to brutality.

The lack of weaponry on the part of the protesters grants them the luxury of opposing riot cops at close quarters, or remaining at long range in a refusal to engage the heavy infantry riot police at all. They have the advantage of the retreat, they can quickly move away, or in any direction, and the heavy infantry riot cops lack the swiftness to respond.

So far, all the occupations have, in a grave tactical error, agreed to engage the riot cops when they march in to clear parks. This has been a show of bravado that has the tactical benefits of providing media coverage of the brutal methods of police and the benefit of draining the resources of the oppressor by forcing them to incur the expense of arresting and prosecuting people for trivial offenses.

Now, to move on to the actual application of these tactical principles (that evolved by accident rather than conscious thought), we can take the example of Shemanski park on the 3rd. We occupied the park and set up a few tents and facilities to serve food and coffee. The police soon declared an emergency closure of the park and came out in force, with full riot gear and all the weaponry. The line of riot cops soon forced us out of the park, so someone decided that we ought to march to City Hall. It was about 9 pm on a Saturday night, so City Hall was closed, but we marched there anyway, 800 of us blocking traffic the whole way. Once there, the riot cops once again lined up to disperse the crowd. However, since City Hall was closed and there was no point in staying there anyway, someone had the idea to march down to the area of town where all the clubs were, so we took off marching again. The riot cops were trailing behind us, as was the truck with the giant speakers on the top repeatedly announcing “This street is open to traffic, individuals blocking traffic will be subject to arrest.” Announcing this repeatedly was useless. One principle of non-violent resistance is this: one person has to walk on the sidewalk, 500 people can walk wherever they please. The riots cops had no place to form a line, so they were crippled.

Since we had no clear destination, the police were unable to get ahead of us and set up roadblocks. They were helpless to do anything but trail along as an escort to the march. The only other response they could have had was for the riot cops to charge into the marching crowd and attempt to disperse it by brutality, which would have been mayhem that could have only resulted in a PR loss by the police department as the images of beatings and brutality hit the airwaves the next day.

The march, having no clear destination, marched wherever it willed through the downtown area, blocking traffic and light rail at will and growing larger as onlookers joined in. One of the participants of the march had a three-wheeled bike with a loud amplifier hooked up to batteries with which to hook up an iPod and blast party music the whole time. This kept the atmosphere enthusiastic and energized and served to motivate onlookers to join.

The ability of music to raise morale can’t be understated. Slayer, Metallica, etc. wouldn’t be good music for this because it would induce aggression. Rhythmic music that’s usually danced to or played in clubs works best. If a DJ would play it as the ball drops on New Year ’s Eve, then it’s perfect.

After marching for 3-4 hours, we eventually found ourselves a block away from the park that we’d been forced out of, so we took it again. The riot police lined up and prepared to take the park again, but the attempt was called off and the police just left. They realized that they would have to go through the standard military procedure of clearing the park inch by inch, only to have us go back out into the streets and march again while they, one more time, trailed along helplessly- their entourage functioning as a part of the march, creating an even larger disruption to traffic (the marchers covered a city block, the trailing police took up another city block, effectively doubling the size of the obstruction to traffic).

In summary: when the cops come to clear the park, don’t resist. As they are preparing for their military maneuver and use of force that the Occupiers cannot reasonably be expected to resist, the occupiers should be packing up their tents and baggage and loading them into wagons, bicycles, backpacks, etc.

Force the cops to clear the park inch by inch, but try to avoid arrest in so doing. Once they have cleared the park, rouse the crowd through loud amplification announcing that you intend to march (any destination will do). Get the music blaring and then march aimlessly, blocking traffic the whole way, for hours. The crowd will be energized and willing to march for a long time, being spurred on by energetic music and chants.

The police will eventually trim down their entourage because they realize that they are helpless. Eventually, work your way back to the park. Or, if the police have fenced off the park, head to another park. If the police force you out, march again and they will be forced to follow. Eventually, they will inevitably come to the conclusion that they would rather have you in a park than disrupting traffic.

The police have no response to this tactic, other than resorting to brutality. And if they do that, we win whether they clear the park or not.

END

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