Category Archives: Crime

DOJ Bloodhounds on the Scent of John Brennan, by Ray McGovern

We’ll believe it when Brennan’s indicted. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

With Justice Department investigators’ noses to the ground, it should be just a matter of time before they identify Brennan as fabricator-in-chief of the Russiagate story, says Ray McGovern.

The New York Times Thursday morning has bad news for one of its favorite anonymous sources, former CIA Director John Brennan.

The Times reports that the Justice Department plans to interview senior CIA officers to focus on the allegation that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian intelligence to intervene in the 2016 election to help Donald J. Trump. DOJ investigators will be looking for evidence to support that remarkable claim that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report failed to establish.

Despite the collusion conspiracy theory having been put to rest, many Americans, including members of Congress, right and left, continue to accept the evidence-impoverished, media-cum-“former-intelligence-officer” meme that the Kremlin interfered massively in the 2016 presidential election.

One cannot escape the analogy with the fraudulent evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. As in 2002 and 2003, when the mania for the invasion of Iraq mounted, Establishment media have simply regurgitated what intelligence sources like Brennan told them about Russia-gate.

No one batted an eye when Brennan told a House committee in May 2017, “I don’t do evidence.”

The lead story in Thursday’s New York Times.

Leak Not Hack

As we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity have warned numerous times over the past two plus years, there is no reliable forensic evidence to support the story that Russia hacked into the DNC. Moreover, in a piece I wrote in May, “Orwellian Cloud Hovers Over Russia-gate,” I again noted that accumulating forensic evidence from metadata clearly points to an inside DNC job — a leak, not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

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A Soldier’s Defense of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange, by Danny Sjursen

A former soldier applauds Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange’s exposure of US  war crimes. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

It’s a matter of principles over personalities. Whether one loves or hates Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange is besides the point. The First Amendment freedom of the press is at stake now. In this case the government’s tool for oppression is the Espionage Act, an archaic relic from America’s repressive World War I-era legislation. Chelsea Manning already served seven years of a 35-year sentence, one of the longest ever meted out to a whistleblower, and was recently jailed again after she refused to testify about WikiLeaks.

That was harsh and disturbing enough for those of us who value transparency regarding our national security state. Now the Trump administration has gone a step further and threatens, for the first time ever, to imprison an actual publisher – in this case Julian Assange. Charged on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, Assange – currently jailed in Britain – faces extradition and a lengthy sentence in the United States.

I’ve been called a whistleblower, myself, for my decision to write a book and articles critical of the American warfare state and the military to which I dedicated my entire adult life from the age of seventeen. But the truth is I’ve got nothing on Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. Manning broke the law, risked it all, went to prison for her principles. Assange is headed for the same fate. And as a soldier I’m glad they did what they did!

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The War Crimes That Don’t Get Punished, by Ron Paul

American soldiers kill known innocent civilians frequently and rarely face any consequences. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) found himself in hot water recently over comments he made in defense of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who faces war crimes charges over his alleged conduct while serving in combat overseas. Gallagher is charged with stabbing a 15 year old ISIS member while in custody, of taking photos posing with the corpse of the teen, and with killing several civilians.

Defending Gallagher recently, Hunter put his own record up next to the SEAL to suggest that he’s an elected Congressman who has done worse things in battle than Gallagher.

That’s where Hunter’s defense earned him some perhaps unwanted attention. While participating in the first “Battle of Fallujah” in early 2007, by Hunter’s own account he and his fellow soldiers killed hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children. They fired mortars into the city and killed at random.

In the sanitized world of US mainstream media reporting on US wars overseas, we do not hear about non-combatants being killed by Americans. How many times has there been any reporting on the birth defects that Iraqis continue to suffer in the aftermath of US attacks with horrific weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorus?

Rep. Hunter described his philosophy when fighting in Iraq:

“You go in fast and hard, you kill people, you hit them in the face and then you get out…We’re going to hurt you and then we’re going to leave. And if you want to be nice to America, we’ll be nice to you. If you don’t want to be nice to us, we’re going to slap you again.”

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Punished Regardless, by Eric Peters

Just because you’re not intoxicated doesn’t mean you can’t be arrested at a DUI checkpoint. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Did you know that when you’re stopped for no reason at a drunk driving checkpoint – well, stopped for no reason having anything to do with something you did to suggest you might be “drunk” – your refusal to participate in self-incrimination can result in your arrest, loss of your government permission slip to travel as well as the impounding of your car?

Your “cooperation” is not only appreciated – it is required.

This not-much-discussed aspect of Checkpoint USA is arguably even worse than the existence of Checkpoint USA – which came into being in the ’80s, when the government decided to re-interpret the limits of its own authority (a problem with government) by summarily decreeing it to be “reasonable” to randomly and arbitrarily stop people and treat them as presumptively guilty of having committed a crime.

The thing George Mason and others who insisted on the Bill of Rights as their condition for reluctantly supporting the dodgy Constitution (which was confected by an elitist minority, behind closed doors and without any mandate from “the people” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence) feared would come to pass had come to pass.

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The Tyranny of Future Crimes TAPS Act, by Mark Angelides

Don’t do anything to give the government the idea that you don’t like the government, you may end up on its pre-crime list. From Mark Angelides at libertynation.com:

Every once in a while, there comes a piece of legislation that is so abhorrent to the very concept of liberty that it seems almost doomed to failure from the outset. Sadly, the same prognosis cannot be made for the Threat Assessment Prevention, And Safety (TAPS) Act of 2019, which, due to broad bipartisan support, may actually make it into law.

TAPS is being presented as a “bipartisan, bicameral solution to prevent targeted violence and make local communities safer.” Removing the sugar-coating for a moment, in plain language it means to create a register of people who may commit crimes at an unspecified time in the future, such as potential school shooters.

The Tyranny Of TAPS

In the House, there are presently 84 representatives signed up to co-sponsor TAPS, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. It was also introduced to the Senate, by Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Thom Tillis (R-NC). Representative Brian Babin (R-TX), who brought the bill to the House, stated at a May 15 press conference:

“We do this first to honor the sacrifice of these men and women in blue, who put their life on the line every single day to protect us in the vital role that law enforcement plays in the safety and well-being of our communities and our districts … And secondly to highlight a bipartisan solution — that we all are working on — to protect our communities and schools from the terrible acts of violence that we have seen and are getting to be almost routine.”

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Whitewashing War Crimes Has Become the American Way, by Danny Sjursen

Americans don’t want to face up to the crimes its military commits. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.cam:

Just after dawn on March 16, 1968, a company of U.S. Army infantrymen, led by Capt. Ernest Medina and spearheaded by Lt. William Calley, entered the small hamlet of My Lai in Quang Ngai province, South Vietnam. The villagers, mostly women and children, had no idea what was coming that day. If they had, they’d have fled.

Despite facing zero resistance and finding only a few weapons, Calley ordered his men to execute the entire population. In all, some 500 Vietnamese civilians were executed, including more than 350 women, children and babies. Other senior leaders in the chain of command had advised the soldiers of Charlie Company that all people in the village should be considered either Viet Cong or VC supporters. Medina and Calley were ordered to destroy the village. They did so with brutal precision and savagery.

The Army covered up the massacre for more than a year, until journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story in November 1969. Now obliged to conduct a public investigation into what was no doubt a major war crime, the Army’s investigating officer recommended that no fewer than 28 officers be charged in the killings and subsequent cover-up. Medina, Calley and most other participants in the slaughter chose to plead—just as Nazi soldiers had—that they were only following orders.

That may well have been true. Still, military regulations—then and now—oblige a soldier or officer not to follow illegal or immoral orders. Nonetheless, in subsequent trials, all but one of the defendants were acquitted by sympathetic juries. Only Calley, the ringleader, received a life sentence. On appeal, that sentence was reduced to 20 years; later, President Richard Nixon ordered Calley transferred to house arrest at his quarters in Fort Benning, Ga., until finally, the lieutenant was paroled in 1974.

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Hacking Dirty Government Secrets Is Not a Crime, by Ted Rail

People who blow the whistle on government crime (Is that a redundancy?) should be given medals, not jail sentences. From Ted Rail at antiwar.com:

British goon cops acting at the request of the United States government entered Ecuador’s embassy in London, dragged out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prepared to ship him across the pond. After this event last month, most of the mainstream media reacted with spiteful glee about Assange’s predicament and relief that the Department of Justice had exercised self-restraint in its choice of charges.

“Because traditional journalistic activity does not extend to helping a source break a code to gain illicit access to a classified network, the charge appeared to be an attempt by prosecutors to sidestep the potential First Amendment minefield of treating the act of publishing information as a crime,” reported a pleased New York Times.

At the time, the feds had accused Assange of hacking conspiracy because he and Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning allegedly discussed how to break into a Pentagon computer.

Bob Garfield of NPR’s “On the Media,” a veteran reporter who should and probably does know better, was one of many establishmentarians who opined that we needn’t worry because Assange isn’t a “real” journalist.

This being the Trump administration, self-restraint was in short supply. It turns out that the short list of Assange charges was a temporary ploy to manipulate our gullible English allies. Now, Assange faces 17 additional charges under the Espionage Act, and a finally concerned Times calls it “a novel case that raises profound First Amendment issues” and “a case that could open the door to criminalizing activities that are crucial to American investigative journalists who write about national security matters.”

Corporate media’s instant reversal on Assange – from rapist scum to First Amendment hero within minutes – elevates self-serving hypocrisy to high art. But that’s OK. Whatever gets Assange closer to freedom is welcome – even the jackals of corporate media.

May we linger, however, on an important point that risks getting lost?

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