Wednesday, July 31, 2013

(It's Everyone For Her/Himself!) Talk About Something Else We Can't Afford (Investigative Journalism?), America's Real Subversives: FBI and NSA, and Heart-Stopping Painter

The end of investigative journalism?

I thought that happened during the election of 2000?

But what do I know.


Glenn Greenwald to Jeffrey Toobin: You’re “Calling for the End of Investigative Journalism”

By Prachi Gupta

Toobin agreed with the Bradley Manning verdict, saying that the WikiLeaks source "should be going to prison" VIDEO

Corporate sell-outs?

Get me my fainting salts!

Corporate Sell-Outs Exploit a Secret New Gimmick

By David Sirota

Craven senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch want to shield authors of toxic tax giveaways from the public view.

And one very good newsflash:

Banks as Public Utilities: Green Light for San Francisco City-Owned Bank

By Ellen Brown

Establishing a city-owned San Francisco Bank is not a new idea. According to City Supervisor John Avalos, speaking at the Public Banking Institute conference in San Rafael in June, it has been on the table for over a decade. Recent interest was spurred by the Occupy movement, which adopted the proposal after Avalos presented it to an enthusiastic group of over 1000 protesters outside the Bank of America building in late 2011. David Weidner, writing in the Wall Street Journal in December of that year, called it “the boldest institutional stroke yet against banks targeted by the Occupy movement.”

But wait! Does the following essay mean that even the progressive Jewish vote is on board?

Welcome, Amy!

Does anyone else have the thought (almost all the time now for me) that we're back in high school (or college) and having voted for the most progressive, thoughtful, and idea-driven candidate that we've come to find out that this candidacy was the clever ploy of the radical conservatives on the Board who wanted most of all to shut down any real discussion of how things should be run to benefit everyone?

America's Real Subversives: FBI and NSA

By Amy Goodman, Guardian UK

28 July 13

As the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington nears, let's not forget the history of agency overreach and abuse of power
s the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington approaches, commemorating that historic gathering where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous "I have a dream" speech, it is important to recall the extent to which King was targeted by the government's domestic spying apparatus. The FBI operation against King is one of the most shameful episodes in the long history of our government's persecution of dissenters.

Fifty years later, Edward Snowden, who is seeking temporary asylum to remain in Russia, took enormous personal risk to expose the global reach of surveillance programs overseen by President Barack Obama. His revelations continue to provoke worldwide condemnation of the US
In a heavily redacted, classified FBI memo dated 4 January 1956 – just a little more than a month after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger – the Mobile, Alabama, FBI office stated that an agent "had been assigned by [redacted] to find out all he could about Reverend Martin L King, colored minister in Montgomery and leader in the bus boycott … to uncover all the derogatory information he could about King."
The FBI at that time was run by its founding director, J Edgar Hoover, who was deploying the vast resources he controlled against any and all perceived critics of the United States. The far-reaching clandestine surveillance, infiltration and disruption operation Hoover ran was dubbed "COINTELPRO", for counterintelligence program.
The FBI's COINTELPRO activities, along with illegal operations by agencies like the CIA, were thoroughly investigated in 1975 by the Church Committee, chaired by the Democratic US senator from Idaho, Frank Church. The Church committee reported that the FBI "conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of first amendment rights of speech and association."

Among COINTELPRO's perverse activities was an FBI effort to threaten Martin Luther King Jr with exposure of an alleged extramarital affair, including the suggestion, made by the FBI to King, that he avoid embarrassment by killing himself.
Following the Church committee, Congress imposed serious limitations on the FBI and other agencies, restricting domestic spying. Among the changes was the passage into law of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Fisa compelled the FBI and others in the government to go to a secret court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, in order to engage in domestic wiretapping.
Then came 11 September 2001, and the swift passage of the Patriot Act, granting broad, new powers of surveillance to intelligence agencies, including the FBI. Section 215 of that act is widely criticized, first for allowing the FBI to obtain records of what books people are signing out of the library.

But now, more than 10 years later, and thanks to the revelations that have come from the Snowden leaks, we see that the government has used this law to perform dragnet surveillance on all electronic communications, including telephone "metadata", which can be analyzed to reveal intimate details of our lives, legalizing a truly Orwellian system of total surveillance.
In what is considered to be a litmus test of the potential to roll back the Obama administration's domestic spy programs, a bipartisan coalition of libertarian Republicans and progressive Democrats put forth an amendment to the latest defense authorization bill. Justin Amash, a Republican, and John Conyers, a Democrat, both of Michigan, co-sponsored the amendment, which would deny funding to the NSA to collect phone and data records of people who are not subjects of an investigation.
The White House took seriously the potential that its power to spy might get trimmed by Congress. On the eve of the debate on the Amash/Conyers amendment, House members were lobbied by NSA Director General Keith B Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, as well as by hawkish members of the congressional intelligence committees.
The amendment was narrowly defeated. A full bill that would similarly shut down the NSA program is currently in committee.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, and the journalists who are writing stories based on his whistleblowing, we now know that the Obama administration is collecting oceans of our data. Martin Luther King Jr was a dissident, an organizer, a critic of US wars abroad and of poverty and racism at home. He was spied on, and his work was disrupted by the federal government.
The golden anniversary of the March on Washington is 28 August. Deeply concerned about the crackdown on dissent happening under Obama, scholar Cornel West, professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, wondered if "Brother Martin [King] would not be invited to the very march in his name."

I am happy to see someone who actually suffered such abuse at the hands of the FBI report this here. If you have not yet read Brian Glick's book, War At Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It, I highly recommend it.

Glick is a civil rights attorney and former partner in the People's Law Office and presently a professor of Law at Fordham University. His book accounts for the very kind of criminal activities committed by the FBI and gives the reader a greater understanding of its history and context.
Amy moi-dearrrr; love and respect you but you missed out the third part of the evil triumvirate in the title (although you give it a brief mention in the body of the article), the CIA, arguably worse that the other two and sometimes caught up in a petty squabble with the FBI over the 'bossing' or claiming jurisdiction of some cases. Post 9-11 is a good example.  
In fairness though, and to their credit, they did issue specific warnings on imminent attacks promptly ignored by the hubristic ignorance of Dimwits, Cheyn-gang, Rice et al. 
If you want a good look at COINTELPRO and the kind of mean-spirited bastards they recruit in the FBI, read Peter Mathiessen's "In the Spirit of Crazy Horse", a close-up portrait including interviews with special agents and victims in Oglala, Pine Ridge and nationally, which was blocked for years and many lawsuits from publication by the 'Fucked-up Bully-of-Ingora muses' and successive administrations (I bought my well-thumbed and bookmarked copy in Scotland).

An earlier time kind of Wikileaks, specifically dealing with the oppression of native peoples, a National Sacrifice Area on Indian Lands for uranium, the rape of the sacred Black Hills, the trumped-up incarceration of Leonard Peltier and the hundreds of uninvestigated murders of traditionals in and around Pine Ridge in the 1970's.

You can get it here now and it has sold very well.
Mulder and Scully they ain't, I'm afraid.

Think this possibly is what happened?




Still miss this guy?

Take a gander at his life now.

Or don't. It's almost heart stopping (tribute to those whose hearts he stopped).


Except you feel sorry for the animals. All of them.


Beach Bum said...

“What Bradley Manning did is the job of journalists, which is to bring transparency to what the government is doing,”

The most insidious thing I can think of is how the profession of journalism has mutated into the strange little creature it is now. Other than reporting on the latest in celebrity hype, which it pursues with complete abandon, any real news is as weak as water.

I actually see a time when the news on BBC America might be banned.

Cirze said...

Real news?

Better tune in to the Asian Times, India Gazette or al Jazeera overseas for that, BB.

As for my opinion on those who get paid for what I had seriously prepared to be in college, I noticed during the Clinton impeachment fight (what there was) that the real journalists had gone missing. Completely.

They've never returned.

But they do have some very nice looking models with great clothes (and hair!) taking their places. At bigtime salaries.

So, the whole profession has been improved. Right?


Welcome to the circus. Get your cotton candy and sno-cones to get your sugar high on before you proceed to the rides, kids.

Love you,


any real news is as weak as water