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A Built-In Cure for War

Erin Niemela's recent proposal that we amend the Constitution to ban war is provocative and persuasive.  Count me in.  But I have a related idea that I think should be tried first.

While banning war is just what the world ordered, it has about it something of the whole Bush-Cheney ordeal during which we spent years trying to persuade Congress to ban torture.  By no means do I want to be counted among those opposed to banning torture.  But it is relevant, I want to suggest, that torture had already been banned.  Torture had been banned by treaty and been made a felony, under two different statutes, before George W. Bush was made president.  In fact, the pre-existing ban on torture was stronger and more comprehensive than any of the loophole-ridden efforts to re-criminalize it.  Had the debate over "banning torture" been entirely replaced with a stronger demand to prosecute torture, we might be better off today.

We are in that same situation with regard to war.  War was banned 84 years ago, making talk of banning war problematic.

We were in that same situation, in fact, even before the U.N. Charter was drafted 68 years ago.  By any reasonable interpretation of the U.N. Charter, most -- if not all -- U.S. wars are forbidden.  The United Nations did not authorize the invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq, the overthrow of the Libyan government, or the drone wars in Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia.  And by only the wildest stretch of the imagination are these wars defensive from the U.S. side.  But the two loopholes created by the U.N. Charter (for defensive and U.N.-authorized wars) are severe weaknesses.  There will always be those who claim that a current war is in compliance with the U.N. Charter or that a future war might be.  So, when I say that war is illegal, I don't have the U.N. Charter in mind.

Nor am I thinking that every war inevitably violates the so-called laws of war, involving countless atrocities that don't stand up under a defense of "necessity" or "distinction" or "proportionality," although this is certainly true.  Banning improper war, while useful as far as it goes, actually supports the barbaric notion that one can conduct a proper war.  The situation in which a war would be a "just war" is as mythical as the much-imagined situation in which torture would be justified.

Nor do I mean that U.S. Constitutional war powers are violated or fraud is perpetrated in making the case for war, although these and other violations of law are frequent companions of U.S. wars.

I also do not want to dispute the advantages of banning war in the highest law, the Constitution.  There is a common misconception that holds up lesser, statutory law as more serious than the Constitution or the treaties that it makes "supreme law of the land."  This is a dangerous inversion.  Edward Snowden is right to expose violations of the Fourth Amendment.  Senator Dianne Feinstein is wrong to insist that those violations have been legalized by statutes.  Amending the Constitution to ban war would (if the Constitution were complied with) prevent any lesser law from legalizing war.  But a treaty would do that too.  And we already have one.

THE 84-YEAR-OLD BAN ON WAR

It is little known and even less appreciated that the United States is party to a treaty that bans all war.  This treaty, known as the Kellogg-Briand Pact, or the Peace Pact of Paris, or the Renunciation of War, is listed on the U.S. State Department's website (go here, open the document, scroll to page 454).  The Pact reads:

"The High Contracting Parties solemly [sic] declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another.

"The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means."

Pacific means only.  No martial means.  No war.  No targeted murder.  No surgical strikes. 

The story of how this treaty, to which over 80 nations are party, came to be is inspiring.  The peace movement of the 1920s is a model of dedication, patience, strategy, integrity, and struggle.  Playing a leading role was the movement for "outlawry," for the outlawing of war, which had been legal until that point (just as people falsely imagine it to be today).  Slavery had been outlawed.  Blood feuds had been outlawed.  Duelling had been outlawed.  And outlawrists pointedly noted that not just "aggressive duelling" had been banned.  Those who went before us didn't keep defensive duelling or humanitarian duelling around but set the whole barbaric practice behind them.

Eliminating war, the outlawrists believed, would not be easy.  A first step would be to ban it, to stigmatize it, to render it unrespectable.  A second step would be to establish accepted laws for international relations.  A third would be to create courts with the power to settle international disputes.  They took the first big step in 1928, with the treaty taking effect in 1929.  We haven't followed through.  In fact we've collectively buried what was probably the single biggest news story of 1928.

With the creation of the peace pact, wars were avoided and ended.  But armament and hostility continued.  The mentality that accepts war as an instrument of national policy would not vanish swiftly.  World War II came.  And, following World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt used the Kellogg-Briand Pact to prosecute the losers of the war, not just for "war crimes," but also for the brand new crime of war.  Despite an endless plague of war on and among the poor nations of the world, the wealthy armed nations have yet to launch a third world war.

When not simply ignored or unknown, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is dismissed because World War II happened.  But what other legal ban on undesired behavior have we ever tossed out following the very first violation and what appears to have been a quite effective prosecution?  An argument can also be made that the U.N. Charter undoes the earlier pact simply by coming later in time.  But this is by no means an easy argument, and it requires understanding the U.N. Charter as the re-legalization of war rather than the ban on war that most people imagine it to be. 

In the two years since I published an account of the activism that created the Pact, I have found a great deal of interest in reviving awareness of it.  People may not be as sick of war now as they were following World War I, or at least not as open to the possibility of abolition, but many are pretty far down that road.  Groups and individuals have launched petitions.  City councils are creating a peace holiday on August 27th, the day the treaty was signed in 1928 in a scene well described in the song Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.  A fan of the story has created an essay contest that's received thousands of entries.  Drone protesters have educated judges about the Peace Pact when they've been hauled into court for making use of the First Amendment.  A Congress member has put into the Congressional Record his recognition that the Kellogg-Briand Pact made war illegal.  And I've been in touch with other nations not party to the treaty and not party to any wars, encouraging them to sign on to the Pact and then urge certain other parties to begin complying with it.

When someone wants to legalize torture or campaign bribery they point to court proceedings marginalia, overridden vetoes, speeches, and tangentially related ancient precedents.  When we want to de-legalize war, why not point to the Kellogg-Briand Pact? It is a treaty to which the United States is party.  It is the Supreme Law of the Land.  It not only does what we want.  It does more than most people dare to dream.  I've found that some people are inspired by the Pact's existence and by the fact that our great-grandparents were able to create a public movement that brought it into existence.

This seems to me a good place to start.

David Swanson is the author of When the World Outlawed War.

NSA and TSA: a match made in heaven (or hell, depending on your point of view)

 

Jeffrey Goldberg, who writes for The Atlantic and Bloomberg News, has a new column wherein he relates the recently revealed mass surveillance of the NSA to the ongoing abuses of the TSA.

He’s right. They are related. All of the practices of the National Security State are related, as some of us have been saying for years.

Challenging Unconstitutional Spying

 

Challenging Unconstitutional Spying

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Edward Joseph Snowden revealed what's vital to know. He exposed unconstitutional spying. He did so courageously. 

 

The 1989 Whistleblower Protection Act protects federal employees who report misconduct. Federal agencies are prohibited from retaliating against those who do so. Don't expect rogue Obama officials to act responsibly.

 

Turkey: Epicenter of Police State Violence

 

Turkey: Epicenter of Police State Violence

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

For over two weeks, daily anti-government protests rocked Turkey. Police attacked peaceful demonstrators intermittently. They've done so brutally. Turkey's notorious for police state viciousness.

 

It's a democracy in name only. Prime Minister Erdogan is thuggish, authoritarian, hardline and despotic. 

 

Boston Marathon Bombing Questions

BostonMarathon Bombing Questions

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." InHamlet Shakespeare introduced us to the smell test.  It would behoove us to apply the same test to the Boston Marathon Bombing. 

On April 15, 2013 two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon while the city of Boston enjoyed its annual celebration of Patriot Day.  Three people died and 264 were injured by the bombs which exploded 210 yards apart and 13 seconds apart.[i]  Three days later the FBI asked the public for assistance in identifying the two persons of interest carrying backpacks and walking through the crowd near the finish line on released surveillance camera video. 

Martha Rosler's Theater of Drones Buzzes into Charlottesville

The first city in the United States to pass a resolution against drones now has a drone display just across the pedestrian Downtown Mall from City Hall, thanks to Martha Rosler whose "Theater of Drones" is part of the Charlottesville Festival of the Photograph.

Click to enlarge:

 

From Charlottesville Festival of the Photograph:

Martha Rosler works in photography, video, performance, sculpture, and installation. Her work often addresses matters of the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life—actual and virtual—especially as they affect women. Rosler’s photographic series on places of passage and systems of transportation—airports, roads, subways, streets—have been widely exhibited. Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the “national security climate,” connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad. In 2004 and 2008, in opposition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, she reinstituted her now well-known series of photomontages House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, originally made as a response to the war in Vietnam in the late 1960s.

“Beginning a conversation through art provides symbolic closure but does not relieve us of the necessity to keep on informing, organizing, audience building, and agitating.” – Martha Rosler

Rosler has had numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries internationally. In spring 2012, her solo photo exhibition Cuba January 1981 opened at Mitchell-Innes and Nash in New York City. In November 2012, she presented her performance-installation Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the most recent of a series of Garage Sales she has held in and around art galleries since 1973.

www.martharosler.net

Insight Conversation

Exhibit

  • Title: Theater of Drones
  • Date: June 10 - July 7
  • Location: 605 East Main Street at the Freedom of Speech Wall

Book Signing

The Paramount Theater

Syria News June 13

 

 

Rebels fighters in Syria attack a village killing dozens of Shiites - CBS News

Syria Islamists celebrate Shiite deaths, videos show - AFP

VIDEO (English subtitles): Syria Islamists celebrate Shiite deaths - Liveleaks

More details of an alleged massacre of Christians by rebels in Homs last month - Syria Report

Al Manar TV: Over 6000 foreign militants killed in Syria, A detailed list by foreign country- shafaqna.com

Syria: The Insurgency's New Weapons - M of A

Syria Kurds need unity against FSA: KNC official tells Kurdpress - Kurdpress News Aganecy

New Agreement Arab Tribes & Kurds in Tall Tamr, Syria - Mesopotamische Gesellschaft

United for reconciliation with Muslims, Christians return to al-Qusair - Asia News

Analysis: Zawahiri’s Letter to al Qaeda Branches in Syria, Iraq - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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Officials: Top Obama aides split on arming rebels as they gather at White House to talk Syria - The Washington Post

U.S. approves waivers to aid opposition-controlled areas of Syria - KUNA

Sanctions Eased for Syrian Opposition - US State Department

Putin talks NSA, Syria, Iran, drones in RT interview (FULL VIDEO) — RT News

Syrian forces'' advance must be stopped before Aleppo -- French FM Fabius - KUNA

France, Saudi Arabia Increase Syria Coordination Post-Qusair - Al-Monitor

Signs Labour could break ranks on Hague's Syria mission - .politics.co.uk

Syrian helicopter fires on Lebanese town, two wounded - Reuters

General Command of Syrian Army and Armed Forces: Syrian Helicopter Targeted Terrorist Groups Fleeing into Lebanese Territories - SANA

Austria begins pullout from tense Golan Heights - DW.DE 

Iran gets 'verbal invitation' to Syria conference: report - Yahoo! News

Turkey's ruling party considering referendum on park redevelopment plans that sparked protests - Fox News

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

 

On Edward Snowden Leaking the NSA Files

 

by Debra Sweet          This afternoon we learned that Edward Snowden, an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton (a private contractor for the National Security Agency), claimed responsibility for the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history. In an interview with The Guardian, Snowden said,

America's National Security State

 

America's National Security State

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Post-WW II, Washington's 1947 National Security Act became law.

 

It streamlined the nation's military, established the National Security Council, created the CIA, and instituted what became America's military-industrial complex and police state apparatus. 

 

The United States and Palestine: Business as Usual

                A report on June 11, 2013 from Reuters calls Richard Falk, the United Nations human rights investigator for Palestine, ‘embattled’, apparently because he has once again refused to dance to the U.S.-Israel tune.  At a forum of the U.N. Human Rights Council, he called for an inquiry into what he sees as the torture of Palestinians in Israeli custody. The U.S., of course, with its own shocking record of torturing its political prisoners in Guantanamo, Iraq, and who knows where else, boycotted the debate. Israel did the same, accusing the forum of anti-Israel bias.

NSA Whistleblowing a Strong Tradition

On July 1, 2007, I posted the following report on a then-new NSA whistleblower, a story later repeatedly "broken" by ABC News, Democracy Now!, James Bamford, and others.  Thomas Drake, Edward Snowden, and NSA whistleblowers whose names we've learned are part of a rich and, I hope, growing tradition:

New NSA Whistleblower Speaks

By davidswanson - Posted on 01 July 2007

By David Swanson
http://warisacrime.org/node/24183

A former member of U.S. military intelligence has decided to reveal what she knows about warrantless spying on Americans and about the fixing of intelligence in the leadup to the invasion of Iraq.

Adrienne Kinne describes an incident just prior to the invasion of Iraq in which a fax came into her office at Fort Gordon in Georgia that purported to provide information on the location of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The fax came from the Iraqi National Congress, a group opposed to Saddam Hussein and favoring an invasion. The fax contained types of information that required that it be translated and transmitted to President Bush within 15 minutes. But Kinne had been eavesdropping on two nongovernmental aid workers driving in Iraq who were panicked and trying to find safety before the bombs dropped. She focused on trying to protect them, and was reprimanded for the delay in translating the fax. She then challenged her officer in charge, Warrant Officer John Berry, on the credibility of the fax, and he told her that it was not her place or his to challenge such things. None of the other 20 or so people in the unit questioned anything, Kinne said.

Talk Nation Radio: Rick Rowley Tells How He Made the Film "Dirty Wars"

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-rick-rowley

Richard Rowley, director of the new film Dirty Wars, describes its making and the crimes it reveals.  Over the course of fifteen years, Rowley, co-founder of Big Noise Films, has made multiple award-winning documentary features including Fourth World War and This Is What Democracy Looks Like. His shorts and news reports are also regularly featured on and commissioned by leading outlets including Al Jazeera, BBC, CBC, CNN International, Democracy Now!, and PBS. Rowley is a co-founder of the Independent Media Center. Rowley has been a Pulitzer Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow, a Jerome Foundation Fellow, and a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellow.  For more on Dirty Wars see http://DirtyWars.org

To sign a petition to free the Yemeni journalist imprisoned at President Obama's instruction, as discussed in this program, go here.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download or get embed code from Archive or  AudioPort or LetsTryDemocracy.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

He was 29

 

Many years later they found him in a monastery in China.

He agreed to be interviewed.

He looked happy in the eyes.

He said,

“One question.”

So I said,

“Hong Kong, June 2013. 

You were 29.

You said your greatest fear was

That nothing would change,

That the government would continue to grant itself

Unilateral powers.

Every time there is a new leader,

‘They’ll flip the switch’, you said...

How broke do we have to be to cut military budget?

Source: www.robcouteau.com 

by Lisa Savage and Janet Weil

The omnibus military spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)  rolled out of the House Armed Services Committee pulling a trailer load of amendments and barreling down an increasingly potholed road. In the same week as news broke of massive school closings in Chicago and Philadelphia for lack of funding, only two members of the committee, California representatives Jackie Speier and John Garamendi, had the presence of mind to vote “no” on $637.5 billion more for drones, nukes, and missile “defense” in FY2014.

Epidemic of Birth Defects and Cancer in Iraq: America's Toxic Legacy

 

Epidemic of Birth Defects and Cancer in Iraq: America's Toxic Legacy

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

America's Gulf War, intermittent bombings in the 1990s, the 2003 war, and aftermath left a toxic legacy. 

 

Children born with two heads reflect it. Some had only one eye. Missing sockets look like the inside of an oyster. They're milky and shapeless. 

 

Assad: Winning Hearts, Minds and Battles

 

Assad: Winning Hearts, Minds and Battles in Syria

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Most Syrians support Assad. They do so for good reason. Mass crowds turn out in liberated areas. Syria's military is cheered. 

 

Polls show over two-thirds of Syrians back their government. The longer conflict continues, the greater Assad backing grows.

 

Syria News June 12

 

 

Killing of Syrian youth for 'blasphemy' fuels tension in Aleppo, Protesters call for justice and blame armed opposition groups - latimes.com

Foreign volunteers with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria responsible for the boy's execution: source- Times Online

For Aleppo bishop, boy's brutal killing shows jihadist danger - Asia News

Suicide bombers target central Damascus, killing at least 14 - latimes.com

VIDEO: Damascus double suicide attack leaves 14 dead, dozens injured - Alarabiya.net 

Syria army launches attack on Aleppo airbase - Alarabiya.net

VIDEO: Aleppo Meng airbase clashes between the army and FSA - YouTube

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FOX NEWS POLL: Voters say US should not intervene in Syria - Fox News

NBC/WSJ POLL: Americans oppose intervention in Syria - NBC First Read

Putin Warns Against Syria Intervention - RIA Novosti

VIDEO: Russian foreign minister Lavrov denies U.S. charges on Syria - CBS News Video

France says Syrian war at 'turning point', mulls arming rebels - Reuters

Saudi Arabia, France agree Qusayr scenario can’t be repeated in Aleppo - Alarabiya.net 

Iraq Increasingly Drawn Into Syrian Battlefield - ABC News

Army: Nine rockets hit Lebanon near Syria border - Alarabiya.net 

Roadside bomb hits Lebanon road near Syria border - Alarabiya.net 

Qatar preparing for leadership transition - Telegraph

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Turkish police battle protesters after Erdogan warning - chicagotribune.com

VIDEO: Turkish police storm Taksim Square - Al Jazeera English

VIDEO: Taksim Square protesters set fire to water cannon – guardian.co.uk

Police disperse protesters with teargas in Ankara: Report - The Times of India

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

A whistleblower holding all the cards: Why did Edward Snowden go to Hong Kong?

By Dave Lindorff

A lot of people in the US media are asking why America's most famous whistleblower, 29-year old Edward Snowden, hied himself off to the city state of Hong Kong, a wholly owned subsidiary of the People's Republic of China, to seek at least temporary refuge.

Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the US, they say. And as for China, which controls the international affairs of its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, while granting it local autonomy to govern its domestic affairs, its leaders "may not want to irritate the US" at a time when the Chinese economy is stumbling.

These people don't have much understanding of either Hong Kong or of China.

Aleppo, Istanbul, and London

aleppoThe war in Syria went from a seeming quagmire to a conflict that may reach a dramatic climax with the coming battle for Aleppo, a city of nearly three million people that was once the commercial center of the nation.   Political leaders and events in two other cities, Istanbul and London, will play a central role in the outcome of the battle.  (Image)

The Syrian Army finished off final rebel resistance in the city of Qusayr last week fighting alongside the Lebanese group Hezbollah.  As a result, the rebel supply line from Lebanon is shut down and the major road from Damascus to Aleppo via Qusayr is open.  The road will serve the supply line for an attack to end rebel occupation of half of that city.

A victory by the Syrian military in Operation Northern Storm, its name for the Aleppo effort, will leave the rebels with very little in the way of major influence or meaningful territory.  From the start, the rebel strategy focused on urban warfare.  The various groups would have little chance of survival in a conventional battle with the Syrian Army.  With the shelter of cities and towns, the Syrian Army's  advantage vanished allowing the rebels to carry on the conflict and prevail in key areas.

Over 30,000 Sign Thank-You Note to Edward Snowden

Already over 30,000 people have signed a thank-you note to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden at SupportEdwardSnowden.org -- a website set up by RootsAction.org.

The note reads: "We thank Edward Snowden for his principled and courageous actions as a whistleblower, informing the public about vast surveillance by the National Security Agency that undermines our civil liberties."

A few of the thousands of comments added read as follows:

"Your courage and integrity give hope to a hardened cynic. I will do what I can to raise awareness and campaign for change, and for your personal safety and liberty. Thank you."

"If only we had more people with your courage and convictions. You have helped restore my faith in humanity."

"What you've done will inspire kindred spirits around the world to take moral action despite the risks."

"Your character and courage are inspirational.  I only hope that if put in the same position I would do the right thing, as you have.  Thank you for your lesson in being a human."

"'In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.' --George Orwell.  Thank you."

"Thank you for your courageous actions in the defence of democracy, liberty and justice. You have demonstrated the highest form of loyalty and for that you have my respect and admiration. Good luck."

"They are trying to make a criminal out of the person who exposed the crime!"

"Just think how this world would be if everyone did the right thing!  Thank you Edward."

"Your courage is so rare -- thank you for this brave action to defend the 4th amendment.  Wishing you well."

"Thanks for calling attention to the Police State that we have become."

"Thank you, Edward.  We can no longer say, as did people in Nazi Germany, that they didn't know what was going on."

"Thank you for stepping up for freedom. I am proud to join with the people of the world in applauding your conscience."

"Thank you for your honesty, incredible sacrifice, and clarity. We will not allow the government or the media call this anything less than a courageous move and wake up call to resuscitate Democracy."

"I can't thank you enough for this act of  courage and personal sacrifice.  You give me hope that the forces of oppression can eventually be overcome."

"Your bravery and your actions are more than commendable. I stand with you. Keep your spirit up in the challenges ahead. Thank you for standing up for Democracy and your fellow citizens. Well done. You are a true hero."

"Bravery for principle is very contagious, thank you!"

"Thank You Edward. 'The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.' - -Albert Einstein"

"You and Bradley Manning are my heroes. I am proud of you."

"Thank you for stepping forward and putting your life at risk to save our precious liberties.  Thank you for believing in the bill of rights.  Thank you for doing what is right even when our government prohibits it.  Thank you for your efforts to stop the decline into the novel '1984'."

"Finally someone with guts."

"Bravo, Edward! You are an inspiration to all freedom-loving people!"

"Thank you for your courageous actions. I hope this will be contagious and result in many more stepping out to join you in exposing the terrible state of freedom here."

"Thank you for letting me know just how far towards fascism my supposedly democratic country has slid, all in the name of 'keeping me safe'. I salute your courage."

"Thank you Edward. We're with you all the way."

The note will be delivered to Snowden with all signatures and comments that anyone adds at SupportEdwardSnowden.org

Journalist Kevin Gosztola Video on Bradley Manning

firedoglake.com journalist Kevin Gosztola has been reporting on the Bradley Manning trial. On Sunday Gosztola was at World Can't Wait Left Forum panel and discussed the historical importance of the Bradley Manning case, the military’s efforts to muzzle the press, and the prosecution’s notion that Manning lacked agency — Gosztola disputed the Army’s assertion that Manning acted as an “agent” of wikileaks, hence committed espionage.

Attorney Jesselyn Radack at World Can't Wait Left Forum Panel Video

Attorney Jesselyn Radack also spoke at the Left Forum panel on whistleblowers. Radak discussed the treatment whistleblowers receive from the Government as well as her own experiences as an attorney who represented pariahs — individuals some regard as people of conscience but whom the federal government sees as enemies of the state.

Former NSA Employee Thomas Drake at World Can't Wait Left Forum Panel Video

Former NSA employee Thomas Drake spoke at the World Can't Wait Left Forum panel on Sunday. Drake discussed his attempts to report “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committed by intelligence agencies after 9/11, to the federal government. Drake recalled how his life changed after he became the subject of an FBI investigation in retaliation for his whistleblowing activities.

TSA agent pulls woman’s breast prosthesis out of her bra

I get tired of writing these posts. These abuses are so common (no, they’re not “outliers”) and the reaction of the public so apathetic, it just becomes wearying.

Read the rest at TSA News.

Healing a Culture of Torture

You’re invited to mark Torture Awareness Month.

Healing a Culture of Torture - 6/25/2013

Lutheran Church of the Reformation - 212 E. Capitol St.

Washington DC  20003

Reception: 6:30 pm Presentation: 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Featured Speaker:

Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

Panel Responders:

Snowden a Patriot Warning "Turnkey Tyranny"

Another Truth-Teller Steps Forward

June 10, 2013

Editor Note: Edward Snowden, who disclosed top-secret documents on the U.S. government’s massive surveillance programs, is reportedly seeking asylum from countries that value openness and freedom, conditions seen as slipping away at home, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Before the U.S. government and the mainstream media engage in the customary character assassination of truth-teller Edward Snowden – a fate endured by Pfc. Bradley Manning and others – let’s get on the record the motives he gave for releasing the trove of information on intrusive eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

Why would someone like Snowden, a 29-year-old employee of national-security contractor Booz Allen & Hamilton, jeopardize what he calls “a very comfortable life” in order to blow the whistle on the U.S. government’s abuse of power?

Whistleblowing: Exemplary Patriotism

 

Whistleblowing: Exemplary Patriotism

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

Whistleblowing reflects doing the right thing. It exposes wrongdoing. It does so because it matters. 

 

Edward Joseph Snowden follows a noble tradition. Others before him established it. Daniel Ellsberg called his NSA leak the most important in US history. More on him below.

 

Police State America in Good Hands with James Comey

 

Police State America in Good Hands with James Comey

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

He's Obama's FBI director choice. He'll replace current rogue head Robert Mueller. In September, he'll step down. 

 

He's run the agency since September 4, 2001. He succeeded acting head Thomas Pickering. He assumed office days before 9/11. 

 

Syria News June 11

 

 

Aleppo: Rebels execute teenager for blasphemy in front of his parents, For saying “even if Muhammad comes down, I will not sell coffee for free” - The Independent

VIDEO - GRAPHIC: 15 year old boy executed for blasphemy by rebel fighters in Aleppo, Syria - YouTube

VIDEO (Arabic): Testimonies of the family of the child Muhammad al-Qatta executed yesterday by rebels in Aleppo - YouTube

Syria opposition condemns child execution - AFP

Syrian Rebels Clash With Kurdish Militias - Al-Monitor

Syria rebels fire on Iraq border posts, one killed -  Ahram Online

Syrian rebels open fire on convoy carrying Russian journalists (VIDEO) — RT News

Syria And Iraq Al Qaeda Merger Annulment Announced By Ayman Al Zawahri - -huffingtonpost.com

Syria civil war: President Bashar al-Assad's forces plan assault on rebels in Aleppo - The Independent

Syria army clashes with militants in Aleppo suburbs - PressTV

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Obama to decide whether to approve lethal aid for the beleaguered Syrian rebels and to enforce a no-fly zone - Fox News

US and Jordan hold joint military exercises close to the Syrian border - euronews, world news

Iraqi Shiite fighters' role in Syria grows more prominent, raising sectarian tensions at home - Fox News

Takfiri militants in Syria endanger regional peace: Iraqi PM - PressTV

Lebanese protest against Hezbollah turns violent; one dead - latimes.com

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Turkish leader Erdogan to meet Istanbul protesters - Reuters

Turkish opposition leader criticizes Erdogan - Yahoo! News

Barricades bolster Turkey's Taksim Square protests -  FRANCE 24

Istanbul soccer fans united by anti-govt protests -  Boston.com

Turkey police crush protests, govt refuses to resign (PHOTOS, VIDEO) — RT News

Ankara Police Shoot Turkish Protester Ethem Sarısülük in Shock Video [VIDEO] - IBTimes UK

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

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