Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and the power of leaks

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Wikileaks is back in the headlines with the release of a secret document containing the negotiated text within the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership. You can read the released text here, but unless you are willing to sift through endless amounts of legal jargon, you might not be able to understand how this is effects you and why it’s so controversial.

For the convenience of those reading this, various articles from various publications will be linked below to help in understanding, but it’s important to realize how much these leaks are creating political opposition toward the TPP both within Washington and the public.

For instance, this article shows how unlikely allies are opposing this partnership from both sides of the aisle. Whenever you can get bipartisan support in congress against something that is unquestionably bad for not only the American people but for the world community, you know you’ve done something right. If anything, this particular leak goes very far in confirming Wikileaks original goals and intentions: to affect political change through leaks.

On top of that, there is a growing movement around the world opposing the TPP and protests are being planned within the United States including this one organized by Occupy Naperville [Edit: This already happened. My mind is still in October apparently. I will post additional links to future protests soon].

It is clear to any objective person that the previous leaks and the newest one from Wikileaks only confirm what many activists and journalist such as Julian Assange have been saying for years: leaks have the power to change the world.

Information on the TPP:

International Business Times

RT

Stoptpp

Letter to Bradley Manning

Dear PFC. Bradley Manning,

Your honor and your courage has truly inspired me. I became interested in the truth when I was younger; I became semi-serious about the truth when I became a writer; and–now–I am completely serious about the truth today, thanks to you.

You have inspired me to be a journalist. I believe the public has a right to know what’s going on behind closed doors. Journalists are needed to keep a check on government. If we lose journalism, we lose our government. I want to be a real journalist: the kind that tells the truth.

Even if the truth is uncomfortable, we have a right to know. Children deserve a better world then we are leaving them. I hope that someday every man, woman, and child will recognize this. War is always criminal–especially when it involves innocents. We must strive to uphold our values, or we will fall as a species.

I believe that some day you will hold the same kind of renown that will be likened to Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and others who fought against injustice. I believe Barack Obama will be remembered as the person who did nothing as he willfully allowed the government to take away our rights.

I want to wish you all the love in the world. You deserve better then this.

Sincerely,

Kevin Limiti

Statement from Edward Snowden at Moscow

As per http://wikileaks.org/Statement-from-Edward-Snowden-in.html?snow

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

Nothing to see here! Army blocks military access to NSA leaks.

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Okay as soon I read about this, I knew I had to give my two cents.

If you are a regular reader of this blog then chances are you probably know what I’m about to say which is that this is a load of donkey crap. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but still…

Obviously this is an attempt to quell any other potential whistle blowers, although I’m not convinced that this will necessarily stop them. In fact, it may just make them more curious and–in the best case scenario– more angry.

Not only is this act of censorship by the army immoral it is also idiotic. The fact that we have to hide from our soldiers what our government is doing to American citizens is absolutely repugnant. There is a word for that and it’s called ‘fascism’.

Obviously the military is sending a clear message it’s soldiers: “Hey guys! Yeah, I know you volunteered to help defend American democracy anymore but–eh–we can’t trust you with any information. Sorry!”

Apparently, according to this article, this is not something that is unusual. We will see if this creates an even bigger scandal…

The Anti-Snowden Smear Campaigns

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I don’t know if I even really have to reference this. Just turn on any major news network and all you will find is hate for Edward Snowden and love of Big Brother.

The parallels to the book 1984 by George Orwell are almost comical now. Forget all the stuff about the NSA, just look at the mud they are slinging at Snowden! Just replace ‘Snowden’ with ‘Goldstein’ and boom it’s 1984 all over again, complete with a two-minute-hate, only in this universe its a 24/7 news cycle hate.

I was originally going to post videos of various people smearing Snowden but even though I don’t have very many readers, I do not want to expose them to any bullshit. If you really want bullshit, turn on CNN. You won’t find it here.

The truth is Edward Snowden is a hero because he is risking his life to expose to the world something that was strongly suspected by many of us already: that we are being watched. If the mainstream media is too dense to realize the significance of what he has done, we’re in a lot of trouble folks.

Suit and Helplessness: How to Avoid Apathy

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Julian Assange, along with Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, and others, have filed suit demanding that journalists be given access to proceedings that are secretive and unconstitutional.

I don’t think the US Government intends to open this trial up even if the Queen of England sued. Perhaps the plaintiffs have the view that any publicity they can grab will help and–for better or for worse–Assange is the biggest name on that list.

There is something to be said for the helplessness that many supporters of Bradley Manning feel when it comes to the US governments attempts to shut everyone out of this process. It is frustrating to think that we are alone in our views and in our knowledge of what is going on. That is not just true of Bradley Manning but of many recent, unconstitutional and scary shit that is going on.

But the fact is we are not alone. It just seems like that because of our media. There are many people out there who believe that Manning should be freed. Americans are living in a bubble that exists outside reality, for the most part

So how do you avoid becoming an apathetic, disillusioned person in the face of these things? Here’s a few tips:

1. Take a break!

Life isn’t all about politics and negative shit. We all need to take a break once and awhile. Relax: drink some bourbon, watch mindless television, and play Call of Duty Modern Warefare while ignoring the ironic feelings associated with the latter.

2. Remind yourself that there’s only so much you can do. . .then proceed to do those things.

3. Have friends who have similar beliefs.

There is nothing more frustrating then trying to talk to someone about important stuff and they couldn’t care less. So I would suggest finding someone, anyone who takes an interest in these kinds of things. But tread carefully because a lot of people are scared of the truth.

That’s all for now.

Secret Witnesses in Bradley Manning Trial

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In addition to the secret testimony of John Doe, there will be three other secret witnesses for the trial of Bradley Manning called 1, 11, and 22 and their testimony will be classified as ‘Secret’.

Their testimony will concern the so-called ‘CIA Red Cell Memos’ which are titled Afghanistan: Sustaining Western Support for Nato-Led Mission: Why Counting on Apathy May Not Be Enough , What if Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism?, and Wikileaks.org–An Online Reference to Foreign Intellgience Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?

These documents were the only ones released that coincided with his time in Iraq where he leaked them.

According to Judge Lind, these documents were not lawfully public and that it could jeopardize the witness safety as well as harm national security. However, it is also unconstitutional at least in theory and according to the sixth amendment

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

 

The United States cannot hope to make exceptions to the constitution and expect that everything will go their way without question.