war crimes

Is Gleeful Slaughter of Children a "Red Flag"?

All this is plenty disturbing on its own, but in a sense it distracts from the larger question: is gleefully murdering civilians, journalists, and children a red flag of sorts? Is there any room in our criminal justice system for addressing such behavior? Is there any money to spare for a program aimed at training people to identify potential war criminals within the military and the government? Would it make sense to criminalize neglecting to report activity that might lead someone to suspect a fellow soldier as a potential rapist or war criminal?

To focus on one contrasting example, fewer than 5% of rapes within the military are reported, less that a third of those reported result in imprisonment, and the terms of imprisonment are generally quite short. The war crimes revealed by Bradley Manning and others have resulted in no charges being filed. The government's record on arresting, sometimes torturing, prosecuting, and convicting whistleblowers is much stronger. The quaint word "values" comes to mind.

Would it be threatening for me to suggest that a few million dollars should be spent training government employees in basic constitutional gurantees so that behavior which threatens to undermine the constitution may be reported promptly before too much damage is done? I would favor such a program even if it sometimes happened to help the underdog. (I can say this without fear of being reported only because I don't work for the FBI.) Obviously, the aim of Insider Threat is precisely the opposite of this: to nip in the bud attempts to reveal the ways in which the USG, in partnership with its corporate sponsors, has declared permanent war on the world, including most of its own citizens.

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NSA Whistleblower Comes Out of the Shadows

Originally posted at The Stars Hollow Gazette

Despite the risks to his personal safety, the whistleblower who leaked the FISA court order and NSA surveillance programs to The Guardian has revealed himself. Prior to giving the tapes to columnist Glenn Greenwald, the 29 year old Edward Snowden chose to leave the US for Hong Kong because of it long history of respect for freedom of speech. Like six other whistleblowers, he expects that he will be charged by the Obama administration under the 1917 Espionage Act. In the 12 minute video that was produced and copyrighted* by American documentary film director and producer, Laura Poitras, he explains his decision to give the secret warrant and programs to Greenwald and leave the United States.

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras, The Guardian

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

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Support Bradley Manning's Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

No individual has done more to push back against what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism" than Bradley Manning. And right now, remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the U.S. government, no one is more in need of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Alfred Nobel's will left funding for a prize to be awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

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Destruction of Iraq Ranks Among Greatest Crimes in History

David Swanson has performed the dark service of writing a book detailing the extent of the damage the USG has inflicted on Iraq.  By the numbers the illegal Iraq invasion ranks as one of the great barbarisms of history; in my mind, it competes for the top spot.  Most Americans believe, however, that the so-called war hurt the US but helped Iraq.  The majority believe the Iraqis are grateful for the "liberation" we rained on them in the form of various deadly weapons.

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The Wretched, Hopeful Lessons of Complicity

Let's start with a near certainty.  In most cases most people will do what it takes to stay alive.  It's called the survival instinct and it operates unconsciously.  Fight or flight is the most coarse, outward manifestation of the evolved instinct.  A social survival instinct, also largely unconsious, develops as well.  Many scientists believe pressures from the importance of social skill to survival created the large human brain.  If this is so, then much of our brain is likely devoted to sorting social relations, largely on an unconscious level.  Many of us will smile at a murderer before

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