Monday, December 27, 2010

Because People Have Been Led To Believe That: Thinking Is Dangerous, Disagreement Insanity, The Truth Irrelevant And Resistance Treason; A Necessary Reminder Is In Order; When It All Goes To Hell The Word Will Be” Revolution”.

Because People Have Been Led To Believe That: Thinking Is Dangerous, Disagreement Insanity, The Truth Irrelevant And Resistance Treason; A Necessary Reminder Is In Order; When It All Goes To Hell The Word Will Be” Revolution”.

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. 
John F. Kennedy

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy

Remember: “Those who dance are considered crazy by those who cannot hear the music!” …George Carlin

Wikileaks Truth Telling

How ironic that our country would take exception to, and make outrageous claims about, the WikiLeaks documents. Through Radio Free Europe and other sources, our country has a long history of leaking questionably obtained sensitive and secret information to the people of other countries. It’s done with the intent and agenda of telling the people the truth.

There have been countless news stories that have begun with “in secret documents obtained by,” and proceeded to reveal the content of those documents. There seems to be little or no regard or outcry about the damage these leaks may be causing.

Could the whole uproar behind the leaks be because we are now the victims instead of the perpetrator?

What the self-righteous and self-anointed saints who protest the leaks seem to miss is that the truth is being told. That truth is that our government withholds information from its people. Our government is also hypocritical.
But rather than accept those facts, we deny the truth and condemn the sources as treasonous. It is much easier than looking in the mirror, isn’t it?
 Kyle Black : Read more: 

Top 10 Revelations From Wikileaks Cables

On Sunday, five international news outlets published a selection of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, provided by the website WikiLeaks. The disclosure of the cables, most of them from the past three years, offers a rare unfiltered view of the secretive world of high-level diplomacy. As such, it could complicate relations with a host of friendly and unfriendly nations.
But what did we actually learn? Here are 10 key revelations from the cables:

1.                 Many Middle Eastern nations are far more concerned about Iran's nuclear program than they've publicly admitted. According to one cable, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly asked the U.S. to "cut off the head of the snake" -- meaning, it appears, to bomb Iran's nuclear program. Leaders of Qatar, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern nations expressed similar views.

2.               The U.S. ambassador to Seoul told Washington in February that the right business deals might get China to acquiesce to a reunified Korea, if the newly unified power were allied with the United States. American and South Korean officials have discussed such a reunification in the event that North Korea collapses under the weight of its economic and political problems.

3.               The Obama administration offered sweeteners to try to get other countries to take Guantanamodetainees, as part of its (as yet unsuccessful) effort to close the prison. Slovenia, for instance, was offered a meeting with President Obama, while the island nation of Kiribati was offered incentives worth millions.

4.               Afghan Vice President Ahmed Zia Massoud took $52 million in cash when he visited the United Arab Emirates last year, according to one cable. The Afghan government has been plagued by allegations of corruption. Massoud has denied taking the money out of the country.

5.                The United States has been working to remove highly enriched uranium from a Pakistani nuclear reactor, out of concern that it could be used to build an illicit nuclear device. The effort, which began in 2007, continues.

6.               Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered diplomats to assemble information on their foreign counterparts. Documents in the WikiLeaks cache also indicate that Clinton may have asked diplomats to gather intelligence on U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's plans for Iran, and information on Sudan (including Darfur), Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Iran and North Korea.

7.                The State Department labeled Qatar the worst country in the region for counterterrorism efforts.The country's security services were "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals," according to one cable.

8.               Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are tighter than was previously known. Putin has given the high-living Berlusconi "lavish gifts" and lucrative energy contracts, and Berlusconi "appears increasingly to be the mouthpiece of Putin" in Europe, according to one cable.

9.               Hezbollah continues to enjoy the weapons patronage of Syria. A week after Syrian president Bashar Assad promised the United States he wouldn't send "new" arms to the Lebanese militant group, the United States said it had information that Syria was continuing to provide the group with increasingly sophisticated weapons.

10.          Some cables reveal decidedly less than diplomatic opinions of foreign leaders. Putin is said to be an "alpha-dog" and Afghan President Hamid Karzai to be "driven by paranoia." German Chancellor Angela Merkel "avoids risk and is rarely creative." 

The cables were obtained, via WikiLeaks, by the New York Timesthe Guardian of Britain, Der Spiegel of Germany, Le Monde of France and El Pais of Spain.

Rob Beschizza at 1:45 PM Monday, Dec 27, 2010

The mainstream media likes to suggest, with a nudge and a wink and abuse of the word "cyber," that Wikileaks represents a radical ideological position. But if there's a moral crusade to be found, maybe it's rooted in a tradition closer to home: classical Western liberal-democratic principles.

In The New Republic, Noam Scheiber takes for granted that Wikileaks is here to stay, with relentless pressure on big business and big government that permanently hampers their ability to prevent leaks. This will result in smaller, more humane organizations.

I have no idea what size organization is optimal for preventing leaks, but, presumably, it should be small enough to avoid wide-scale alienation, which clearly excludes big bureaucracies. Ideally, you'd want to stay small enough to preserve a sense of community, so that people's ties to one another and the leadership act as a powerful check against leaking.

To make this point, Scheiber reminds us that Wikileaks' stated aim--making organizations operate more ethically--is a mainstream one: "It's easier for honest CEOs to run an honest business, if the dishonest businesses are more affected negatively by leaks than honest businesses," he quotes Julian Assange.

Scheiber's argument seems to be that Wikileaks' disclosures could have more subtle and far-reaching effects on organizations than it expects.
It's easy to make a meal of the "crushing bastards" side of Wikileaks, but that distracts us from the fact that it reveals things that should not be hidden from us if we take liberal democratic principles seriously. It might be reasonable to argue against such disclosures, but you can't claim those principles as your own and then call Assange a terrorist for soliciting proof that they've been shat on.

And Scheiber's not the only person to draw unusual connections between Wikileaks' activities and mainstream politics.

Writing in The Economist, Will Wilkinson's inane hostility toward Bruce Sterling acquires a halitosis-like force that makes sticking with it hard going. But he scores one good hit on Sterling's otherwise superb essay, which is that seeing everything about Wikileaks through the lens of hacker culture is a mistake. Assange's activities are in fact consistent with traditional liberal demands of government, and only converge with sociopathic cyber-utopian anarchism on paper:

Liberalism was once a radical, revolutionary philosophy, but it has become hard to believe it. What is most intriguing about the WikiLeaks saga is not the pathology of hacker culture as envisioned by Mr Sterling's fecund imagination, but the possibility that Julian Assange and his confederates have made dull liberal principles seem once again sexily subversive by exposing power's reactionary panic when a few people with a practical bent actually bother to take them seriously.

I'll be leaving on the mirrorshades of sociopathy +1 myself, but Liberalism isn't the only other vantage point Wikileaks serves. Take, for example, the "nothing new here" response to cablegate. Stupid as that is concerning specific relevations, it's true that most of the disclosures are of trivial events that are routinely and inappropriately classified as secrets. This is something conservatives and the left-libertarian netariat alike can hate equally: government growing in dumb, relentless symbiosis with the bureacracy of its own secret bullshit.

WASHINGTON — The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.

Articles in this series examine American diplomatic cables as a window on relations with the rest of the world in an age of war and terrorism.

Related Documents

In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables, from the cache obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to some news organizations, offer glimpses of drug agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments. …

WASHINGTON – The head of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing regulatory conditions to ensure that cable TV giant Comcast Corp. cannot stifle competition in the video market once it takes control of NBC Universal.

The conditions laid out Thursday by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski are intended to guarantee that satellite providers and other rival television services can still carry marquee NBC programming and that new Internet video distributors can get the content they need to grow and compete.

Comcast's takeover of NBC Universal could have profound consequences for the nascent market for Internet video — a market that could eat into Comcast's core cable TV business if enough consumers drop their cable subscriptions in favor of low-cost alternatives online.

Genachowski wants to ensure that Comcast won't be able to use its control over NBC's vast media empire to withhold content from emerging online competitors such as Netflix Inc., Inc. and Apple Inc. — locking consumers into costly monthly cable bills to get access to a wide range of popular programming.

Genachowski now needs at least two of the other four FCC commissioners to back his proposal, and he is likely to make modifications to win the support he needs to cap off the yearlong regulatory review.

The FCC is expected to approve the deal, with conditions, early next year.
The deal also faces scrutiny at the Justice Department, which has been working closely with the FCC and is likely to impose conditions similar to whatever the FCC ultimately approves, subject to its own ability to enforce them under antitrust laws.

Comcast suggested that it could accept what it believes to be in Genachowski's proposal. In a statement, the company said the proposal would ensure that the deal delivers "real public interest benefits" and "enable us to operate the NBC Universal and legacy Comcast businesses in an appropriate way."

Comcast is seeking government approval to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co. for $13.8 billion in cash and assets.
The combination would give the nation's largest cable TV company control over the NBC and Telemundo broadcast Networks,  popular cable channels  including CNBC, Bravo and Oxygen and the Universal Pictures movie studio.
It would also give Comcast a roughly 30 percent stake in, which has become a popular online platform for broadcast programming from NBC, ABC and Fox.

Although Comcast already owns a handful of cable channels, including E! Entertainment and the Golf Channel, it has built its business on distributing television programming and providing Internet connections. The company has about 23 million cable TV subscribers and nearly 17 million Internet subscribers.

Taking over NBC Universal would transform Comcast into a media powerhouse, too. Genachowski's proposed conditions are intended to prevent the company from trampling competitors once it owns content as well as distribution platforms.

FCC officials wouldn't disclose details about the conditions Thursday because commissioners were still reviewing Genachowski's proposal.
But two people outside the FCC described them to The Associated Press. They had knowledge of the details but spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential.

One measure aims to guarantee that satellite operators, phone companies and rival cable TV services can still get access to NBC broadcast and cable channels, Comcast's regional sports networks and other must-have programming at reasonable prices.

That condition would mandate arbitration to settle any disputes and would potentially prohibit Comcast from withholding NBC Universal content during negotiations — a practice that broadcasters have been increasingly turning to in the push for higher fees.

Another condition would require Comcast to make NBC Universal programming available to Internet video distributors under certain circumstances. Existing FCC rules require cable companies to provide channels they own to rivals such as satellite companies, but right now those rules do not apply to Internet distributors. Imposing similar obligations on Comcast in dealing with Web distributors would help prevent Comcast from stunting the growth of Internet video.

Yet another measure would bar Comcast from pressuring independent programmers into restricting online distribution of their content, too, in order to get a spot on Comcast's cable systems.

In addition, Genachowski's proposal would prohibit Comcast from requiring consumers to subscribe to cable in order to get online access to certain NBC Universal content, including NBC broadcast programming.
Genachowski's proposal would also require Comcast to continue offering an affordable, standalone broadband option for customers who want Internet access but not cable. This condition, too, could help drive the growth of online video by allowing consumers to cancel their cable subscriptions without losing their Internet connections.

The chairman's proposal would also bar Comcast from interfering with online traffic that travels over its systems, including Internet video from online services such as Apple's iTunes.

Although the FCC just this week adopted such rules for all  broadband providers,  they could get overturned by Congress or the courts. The condition would ensure that Comcast would still have to abide by them. The company has come under fire for discriminating against Internet traffic in the past.

One condition missing from Genachowski's proposal is a requirement that Comcast divest NBC's stake in Hulu. One influential lawmaker, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., has urged regulators to force Comcast to do that, given that the service could represent a competitive threat to Comcast's core cable business. Kohl chairs the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that oversees antitrust policy and consumer rights.

Army prosecutors face a number of challenges as they go forward with war-crimes cases against Stryker Brigade soldiers accused of murdering innocent civilians, conspiracy and other wrongdoing while serving in Afghanistan.
Seattle Times staff reporter
In hearings this fall, Army prosecutors, armed with sworn statements about plots to kill innocent civilians, have laid out their cases against soldiers accused of murder, conspiracy and other wrongdoing while serving in Afghanistan.

But the hearings inside an aging brick building at Joint Base Lewis-McChord also have brought out some vulnerabilities in the government's case.

One setback involves the case against Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, a central figure who Army prosecutors allege conspired to plan and carry out the murder of three unarmed Afghan men.

Col. Thomas Malloy, an Army judge advocate who presided over Gibbs' November pretrial hearing, has recommended that one of the three murder charges be dropped because it could be difficult to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, according to sources who have seen the document that contains that proposal.

Malloy's findings are under review by Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the base's Army commander. After consulting with his own legal adviser, Scaparrotti is expected to make the final decision on whether to drop one of the murders charges, or to press ahead with the prosecution of all three murder charges in addition to conspiracy and other charges.

Gibbs is one of five Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers accused of murder in high-stakes cases that have drawn international attention to how the U.S. military-justice system handles war crimes.

Gibbs has never admitted any wrongdoing. Prosecutors portray Gibbs as a squad leader who led his men down a dark path to kill unarmed civilians and then make the deaths appear like legitimate battlefield casualties.

In addition to the charges against Gibbs, prosecutors allege that Spc. Jeremy Morlock participated in three murders in January, February and May, and that Spc. Michael Wagnon, Spc. Adam Winfield and Pfc. Andrew Holmes each were involved in one of those murders. Seven other soldiers have been accused of lesser crimes, including Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens, who earlier this month reached a plea agreement that will compel him to testify against other soldiers.

In the pretrial hearings, some of the most compelling evidence against Gibbs is contained in videotaped statements by Morlock and Winfield that were submitted to the court for review.

Winfield told investigators that Gibbs formed a "kill team" of trusted soldiers who targeted noncombatants, and he described how Gibbs shot an unarmed Afghan man last May and placed a grenade next to the body to make it look like a battlefield action.

"He [the Afghan] was friendly. "He didn't seem to have any animosity toward us," Winfield said.

Morlock already faces a general court-martial for alleged involvement in all three murder cases. In his sworn statements, he alleges that Gibbs provided the grenade used to stage a January killing and also suggested the crime be carried out during a patrol through a village. Morlock also accused Gibbs of shooting an unarmed Afghan who died in February, and he detailed Gibbs' role in the alleged murder in May.

"Gibbs had pure hatred for all Afghanis [Afghans] and constantly referred to them as savages," said Morlock.

Malloy, who presided over Gibbs' pretrial hearing, said that the prosecution of the 26-year-old staff sergeant will depend heavily on testimony by Morlock and Winfeld.

But in his report to Army commanders, Malloy noted that Morlock and Winfield had a history of drug use, a relative lack of maturity, and culpability in some of the offenses, and all this "could affect how the fact-finders consider their testimony."

After reviewing the pretrial evidence, Malloy concluded there was enough evidence to proceed with charging Gibbs with the February and May murders and conspiracy charges for all three murders.

But Gibbs is not alleged to have fired any of the weapons that caused the death of the Afghan in the January killing. And Malloy recommended that the Army drop that murder charge against Gibbs, according to sources who saw his recommendation.

In the weeks ahead, Lt. Gen. Scaparrotti is expected to decide on whether to accept Malloy's proposal.

Scaparrotti also will face important decisions on how to proceed with other murder cases stemming from the war-crimes investigation.

Army prosecutors have charged Holmes, a 20-year-old soldier from Boise, Idaho, with joining Morlock and Gibbs in the January murder.

In a pretrial hearing in November, Holmes' attorney, Daniel Conway, disputed the murder charge. Conway said that photographs of the corpse indicate that the shots fired by his client with a powerful automatic machine gun never hit the man.

The photographs, in addition to providing forensic details, depict soldiers posing next to the corpses as if they had just bagged a deer. And citing the sensitivity of such images and the possibility they could stir up an anti-American backlash, the Army so far has declined to introduce them as evidence in any pretrial hearings.

Conway contested that decision in a motion filed with the Army Court of Appeals. And last month, that court issued an unusual temporary stay on the prosecution of Holmes while it considers whether the photos should be put into evidence.

The National Institute of Military Justice, a nonprofit affiliated with American University in Washington, D.C., filed a brief in support of Holmes' right to have the photos put into evidence, where they could be subject to cross-examination.

Army prosecutors, in their own brief filed with the Court of Appeals, have said that the pretrial hearing was not closed and did not violate Holmes' rights.

If Holmes' appeal is successful, it could increase pressure on prosecutors to strike a plea deal with Holmes rather than risk the photos being put into evidence and eventually made public.

"The government has problems in this case," Conway said. "I would say there are some gaping holes."

The Army also must decide on how to proceed with Winfield's case.

Winfield was an early whistle-blower who back in January had his parents contact the Army to warn them of platoon crimes but later admitted to firing his weapon in the direction of the third Afghan who died in May. And his attorney, Eric Montalvo, has sought — so far unsuccessfully — to reach a plea deal.

"I do not have an interest in putting Winfield through a trial. That is a stressful and costly endeavor for my client, and he does have some exposure. We have conceded that," Montalvo said.

The Army also must make a decision on whether to proceed with a general court-martial pressing murder charges against Wagnon.

Wagnon's attorney, Colby Vokey, said his client is innocent, and he is not seeking a plea deal.

Hal Bernton: 206-464-2581 or

Rights group: two years after Gaza war, Israel not held accountable
Monsters and
... Israel has still not been held accountable for alleged war crimes committed in the campaign, a Palestinian rights group charged Monday. ...See all stories on this topic »

Two Years Later, Israeli Cast Lead War Criminals Elude Justice ...
By Jinjirrie
Thanks to rejection by the credulous zionist sycophants in the US congress of the painstaking research within the credible UN-commissioned Goldstone Report into Cast Lead war crimes, Israeliwar criminals responsible for the planning ...

Israeli Activist Sentenced to 3 Months Prison for Protesting Gaza War
Alternative Information Center (AIC) (blog)
Despite the clear evidence of Israeli war crimes in the attack on Gaza, the only Israeli sentenced to jail is a leftist who chose to ride his bike through ...
See all stories on this topic »

Soldiers named in 'Gaza holocaust' site
... on Sunday launched a new extensive website called "the electronic encyclopedia of the Gaza holocaust", which aims to document "the Israeli war crimes...
See all stories on this topic »

WikiLeaks may spawn new sedition act | The Barr Code
By Bob Barr
The infamous Sedition Act, which criminalized speech critical of the federal government and which was passed by the Federalists during another of America's. The Barr Code -

WikiLeaks may spawn new sedition act

The infamous Sedition Act, which criminalized speech critical of the federal government and which was passed by the Federalists during another of America’s undeclared wars (that time, against France), lasted only three years, from 1798 to 1801.  However, if the congressional critics of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have their way, a new and revised version of the Sedition Act may be in the offing.  

Thomas Jefferson, who became our third president in 1801, was not only a vocal critic of the Sedition Act, but pardoned those who had been punished pursuant to its terms.  Jefferson was, of course, right in his view of this law (which expired before its constitutionality could be determined by the Supreme Court).  His wisdom is well-needed today to quell the blood thirst of those clamoring for Assange’s head because of WikiLeaks’ release of cables and e-mails critical of and embarrassing to, the government. 

The primary vehicle these modern-day Federalists are looking to employ in order to criminalize the publication of information critical of government policies and actions is the venerable, but little-used 1917 Espionage Act.
Many legal scholars, not prone to the pressures of public sentiment (which polls suggest strongly supports prosecuting Assange), correctly argue there simply is no proper basis for a case against the WikiLeaks founder under the Espionage Act, federal conspiracy laws, or other statutes.  In recent testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, several constitutional scholars eloquently presented the case for not prosecuting Assange; based on a fair reading of the First Amendment to the Constitution, current law, and sound policy. 

One of those who testified, the Hudson Institute’s Gabriel Schoenfeld, also noted in an interview with Politico that the government was “not going to be able to threaten or touch Julian Assange,” pointing out that there were clear conflicts with the First Amendment in steps the Justice Department appeared to be taking in an effort to construct a case against him. 

While some legal scholars, such as former Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein, encourage the government to prosecute Assange (based largely on a theory that his actions and motives are not those of a traditional journalist), the clear weight of constitutional law and policy argues to the contrary. 

A  Congressional Research Service report, “Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information,” published earlier this month, notes that the relevant provisions in the Espionage Act most frequently cited as a way for the Justice Department to build a case against Assange, have almost exclusively been used to prosecute the individual(s) making the information available without authorization.  In this case, that culprit allegedly is Army Private Bradley Manning; who almost certainly deserves prosecution. 

Reading the Espionage Act the way Assange’s critics would have us do, would open a Pandora’s Box of virtually unlimited reach.  As Benjamin Wittes, a legal analyst from the Brookings Institution, explained on his blog, such interpretation would reach even “casual discussions of such disclosures by persons not authorized to receive them to other persons not authorized to receive them – in other words, all tweets sending around those countless news stories, all blogging on them, and all dinner party conversations about their contents.”  There wouldn’t be enough jails to hold us all. 

Yet such ridiculously broad expansion of federal law, simply to pillory a person who clearly delights in embarrassing the government, would seem to be what some in Washington, including Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY), just might have in mind.  And, unfortunately, there are many in the executive branch who appear to be moving in just such direction; actively constructing what may becomes a conspiracy case against Assange. 

We can only hope Jefferson’s wisdom and understanding will speak from across the ages to shine the bright light of constitutional truth on such dark plans.
-by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

Wikileaks, Sweden, the Suicide Bomb and the CIA: Is There a ...
By Al Shaw
Mainstream media outlets are generally making no connection between the terrorist attack in central Stockholm last week and current attempts by the Swedish authorities to extradite Wikileaks director Julian Assange. ...Philosopher's Tree -

Sex and WikiLeaks

An editorial at LAT.

After an extremely narrow background summary we get this:
These titillating and not-very-nice allegations involving the man who has distributed tens of thousands of secret State Department cables and documents to the news media are being discussed by people across the country and around the world, just as they once discussed the tiniest particulars of President Clinton's Oval Office trysts with Monica Lewinsky. 

And as they discuss the details, they're also raising serious questions about how sexual misconduct should be dealt with: Should a man be charged with rape for having sex without a condom? For having sex with a woman when she's asleep? In recent decades, Sweden's laws have grown increasingly protective of women's rights; are they too tough, or do they strike the right balance? Does it make sense that Sweden has three degrees of rape, including "less severe," which Assange is charged with and which is generally used when a person uses threats or mild force to have non-consensual sex?

Actually, as progressive feminists point out, the key issue really is consent. But when does that begin and end? What's the contextual nature of the consensual agreement, for example, if a woman changes her mind about intercourse at just about the time a guy's gonna to explode. Recall Cathy Young's essay, "
Julian Assange, Feminism, and Rape":

Once, feminist reformers rightly fought against laws that required a rape victim to fight her attacker "to the utmost." But removing any element of actual or threatened force from the crime of rape makes it too easy to criminalize miscommunications and morning-after regrets. Should non-consent require a firm "Stop!" or does it cover a hesitant or coy "Maybe we should stop"—perhaps accompanied by actions that contradict the words? Is the man guilty of rape if the woman says early in the evening that she does not want to have sex, but does not rebuff his overtures later? Is the woman a rapist if the roles are reversed? Writing the "forcible" part out of the definition of rape makes it much more of a two-way street ....

Earlier generations of feminists argued that rape should be treated the same as any other violent crime: The victim should not be subjected to special standards of resistance or chastity. These days, the demand for special treatment is so blatant that some activists openly support abolishing the presumption of innocence for rape cases and requiring the accused to prove consent ... In an ironic twist, these activists actually seem to hold women in very little esteem: in their world, women are too timid to push a man away if he won't take no for an answer and too addled to know that they have been raped.

Sady Doyle dismissed Cathy Young's argument out of hand (feminist intellectual), and in so doing failed to notice the Young's article named the accusers. Doyle deleted her tweet to Young's article afterblaming her mistake on the misogynist trolls.

These are bad people, as I always say.

RELATED: "What Line Did Sady Doyle Cross?"

Acknowledging That Human Fallibility Is Inevitable

The Entire Right Wing Excuse.

Since the collapse of the IT marketplace in the US has made it impossible for me to find work in my field, I have been working as a retail clerk. Anybody who thinks that running a cash register is an easy job has never tried it. It has been a humbling experience in that it is so easy to make mistakes – entering or scanning codes incorrectly, misreading the display, forgetting to apply a discount that the customer is entitled to have, neglecting to ask for the customer’s loyalty account number, errors in counting change, dropping something on the floor, tearing a plastic bag, or just plain hitting the wrong key.
One time I happened to mention human fallibility in that regard, and the customer replied, “If it weren’t for human fallibility, I’d be out of business.” Well, there’s certainly no chance of that happening!

Of course, it turned out that the customer was a Protestant minister. Even though human fallibility will never go away, and human individuals and organizations will always err, it is always possible to move toward good. It is the pastor’s job to lead people to do so.
Perhaps the most valuable lesson that I learned while growing up in a society rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition is that we live in a fallen world. Human error, failure, and outright evil are part of the human condition, and we must deal with that. I am not suggesting that anyone has to like or condone evil in the world – only that we all must acknowledge that evil in the world is a fact. No person and no institution can ever be perfect. Expecting otherwise leads to bitterness and delusion, and eventually to disaster. Moreover, condemning and abandoning the good simply because it can never be perfect is just plain wrong.
This is the very lesson that liberals reject.

Regurgitating the Apple: How Modern Liberals “Think”

(h/t: Philip_Daniel)

…I assume that just about everybody in this room agrees that the Democrats are wrong on just about every issue. Well, I’m here to propose to you that it’s not “just about” every issue; it’s quite literally every issue. And it’s not just wrong; it’s as wrong as wrong can be; it’s 180 degrees from right; it is diametrically opposed to that which is good, right, and successful.
What I discovered is that this is not an accident. This is part of a philosophy that now dominates the whole of Western Europe and the Democratic Party today. I, like some others, call it Modern Liberalism. The Modern Liberal will invariably side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Give the Modern Liberal the choice between Saddam Hussein and the United States, and he will not only side with Saddam Hussein; he will slander America and Americans in order to do so. Give him the choice between the vicious mass murderer corrupt terrorist dictator Yasser Arafat and the tiny and wonderful democracy of Israel, and he will plagia­rize maps, forge documents, engage in blood libels – as did our former President Jimmy Carter – to side with the terrorist organizations and to attack the tiny democracy of Israel.
It’s not just foreign policy; it’s every policy. Given the choice between promoting teenage abstinence and teenage promiscuity–and believe me, I know this from my hometown of Hollywood–they will use their movies, their TV shows, their songs, even the schools to promote teenage promiscuity as if it’s cool: like the movie American Pie, in which you are a loser unless you’ve had sex with your best friend’s mother while you’re still a child. Conversely, NARAL, a pro-abortion group masquerading as a pro-choice group, will hold a fund-raiser called “‘F’ Abstinence.” (And it’s not just “F.” It’s the entire word, because promoting vulgarity is part of their agenda.)
So the question becomes: Why? How do they think they’re making a better world? The first thing that comes into your mind when trying to under­stand, as I’ve so desperately tried to understand, is that if they side always with evil, then they must be evil. But we have a problem with that, don’t we? We all know too many people who fit this category but who aren’t evil: many of my lifelong friends, the people I grew up with, relatives, close relatives.
If they’re not evil, then the next place your mind goes is that they must just be incredibly stupid. They don’t mean to always side with evil, the failed and wrong; they just don’t know what they’re doing. But we have a problem with this as well. You can’t say Bill Maher (my old boss) is a stupid man. You can’t say Ward Churchill is a stupid man. You can’t say all these academics are stupid people. Frankly, if it were just stupidity, they’d be right more often. What’s the expression? “Even a broken clock is right twice a day,” or “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again.”

What I discovered is that the Modern Liberal looks back on 50,000 years, 100,000 years of human civilization, and knows only one thing for sure: that none of the ideas that mankind has come up with–none of the religions, none of the philosophies, none of the ideologies, none of the forms of government–have succeeded in creating a world devoid of war, poverty, crime, and injustice. So they’re convinced that since all of these ideas of man have proved to be wrong, the real cause of war, pov­erty, crime, and injustice must be found–can only be found–in the attempt to be right.
If nobody ever thought they were right, what would we disagree about? If we didn’t disagree, surely we wouldn’t fight. If we didn’t fight, of course we wouldn’t go to war. Without war, there would be no poverty; without poverty, there would be no crime; without crime, there would be no injustice. It’s a utopian vision, and all that’s required to usher in this utopia is the rejection of all fact, reason, evidence, logic, truth, morality, and decency–all the tools that you and I use in our attempts to be better people, to make the world more right by trying to be right, by siding with right, by recognizing what is right and moving toward it.

What you have is people who think that the best way to eliminate rational thought, the best way to eliminate the attempt to be right, is to work always to prove that right isn’t right and to prove that wrong isn’t wrong. You see this in John Lennon’s song “Imagine”: “Imagine there’s no countries.” Not imagine great countries, not imagine defeat the Nazis, but imagine no religions, and the key line is imagine a time when anything and everything that mankind values is devalued to the point where there’s nothing left to kill or die for…

I always despised that song, and wondered why anybody would willingly pay to listen to such tripe. I would even go so far as to say that the mad utopian delusion that John Lennon espoused in that song led to his death. Because Lennon denied the inevitability of human evil, he saw no need to take the security precautions appropriate to a world-famous public figure.

Indoctrination Against Discernment

The reason people listen to tripe such as “Imagine” is that, even back in the 1960s and 1970s, America’s youth had already been exposed to a great deal of leftist indoctrination. Otherwise, they would have voted with their wallets by refraining from purchasing that recording. Sayet explains how this indoctrination works:
What happens is, they [i.e., youth] are indoctrinated into what I call a “cult of indiscriminateness.” The way the elite does this is by teaching our children, starting with the very young, that rational and moral thought is an act of bigotry; that no matter how sincerely you may seek to gather the facts, no matter how earnestly you may look at the evidence, no matter how disciplined you may try to be in your reasoning, your conclusion is going to be so tainted by your personal bigotries, by your upbringing, by your religion, by the color of your skin, by the nation of your great-great-great-great-great grandfather’s birth; that no matter what your conclusion, it is useless. It is nothing other than the reflection of your bigotries, and the only way to eliminate bigotry is to eliminate rational thought.

There’s a brilliant book out there called The Closing of the American Mind by Professor Allan Bloom. Professor Bloom was trying to figure out in the 1980s why his students were suddenly so stupid, and what he came to was the realization, the recognition, that they’d been raised to believe that indiscriminateness is a moral imperative because its opposite is the evil of having discriminated. I paraphrase this in my own works: “In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.”

I’ll give you an example. At the airports, in order not to discriminate, we have to intentionally make ourselves stupid. We have to pretend we don’t know things we do know, and we have to pretend that the next person who is likely to blow up an airplane is as much the 87-year-old Swedish great-great-grand­mother as those four 27-year-old imams newly arrived from Syria screaming “Allahu Akbar!” just before they board the plane. In order to eliminate discrimination, the Modern Liberal has opted to become utterly indiscriminate.
The problem is, of course, that the ability to discriminate, to thoughtfully choose the better of the available options–as in “she’s a discriminating shopper”–is the essence of rational thought; thus, the whole of Western Europe and today’s Democratic Party, dominated as it is by this philosophy, rejects rational thought as a hate crime.

How The “Cult Of Indiscriminateness” Promotes Evil Over Good

Later in the article, Sayet explains how this ideological corruption translates into real life. Modern liberals, and the many institutions that they control, indoctrinate and bully the public into supporting policies that reward failure and punish success.
Indiscriminateness of thought invariably leads the Modern Liberal to side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success. Why? Because in a world where you are indiscriminate, where no behavior is to be deemed better or worse than any other, your expectation is that all behavior should lead to equally good outcomes. When, in the real world, different behaviors lead to different outcomes, you and I know why–because we think. We know why communities that promote teenage promiscuity tend to fail at a greater rate than communities that promote teenage abstinence: Teenage promiscuity and teenage abstinence are not the same behaviors. Teenage abstinence is a better behavior.

…But to the Modern Liberal who cannot make that judgment–must not make that judgment–that would be discriminating. They have no explanation. Therefore, the only explanation for success has to be that somehow success has cheated. Success, simply by its existence, is proof positive to the Modern Liberal of some kind of chicanery and likely bigotry. Failure, simply by its existence–no other evidence needed, just the fact that it has failed–is enough proof to them that failure has been victimized.
So the mindless foot soldier, which is what I call the non-elite, will support the elite’s blueprint for utopia, will side with evil over good, wrong over right, and the behaviors that lead to failure over those that lead to success, out of a sense of justice… [emphasis mine]

Why Modern Liberals Mindlessly Support The Jihadis

Siding with evil against good inevitably leads to siding with the jihadis. Hence the tranzi-progressive/jihadi convergence:
Take an issue in the news and think like a Modern Liberal, and you will see how, once you’ve been indoctrinated into this mindset, there is no other choice. Remember, I said it was inevitable. Once you belong to this cult of indiscriminateness, there is no other conclusion you can come to than that good is evil and that evil is the victim of good.
We all know it’s official policy at the Leftist media outlets to never call Islamic Jihad, al-Qaeda, Hezbol­lah, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, or any of the other Islamic fascist terrorist groups around the world “terrorists,” and you know why. In fact, it’s even in official memos to reporters ordering them not to use the appropriate word. That reason is that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Who are we to employ critical, rational judgment?”
But, as a very minimum standard, can’t we at least agree that in order to be called a “freedom fighter,” you have to be fighting for freedom? We know what Osama bin Laden is fighting for; he’s told us. It’s not freedom; it’s an oppressive theocracy in which women are covered from head to toe and beaten if their ankles become exposed, and unless we all change to his religion, we are considered the offspring of pigs and monkeys to be decapitated. People like Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore will call Osama bin Laden a freedom fighter because being indiscriminate quite literally leaves them unable to tell the difference between freedom and having your head hacked off. That’s how sick this mentality is.

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Monday, Day 30

10:50  Al Jazeera picks WikiLeaks as newsmaker of the year, for "transforming journalism."
10:30  Much-rumored cyber attack on Bank of America probably set for today, but will it gain enough steam?  Latest such efforts have petered out.
10:00  More classified info on Afghanistan leaked!  Damn that WikiLeaks!  Oh, wait, it's yet another reporter from NYT.
9:40  Katha Politt's piece on the Left "not getting rape" that appeared here at The Nation now up at The Guardian.
9:30  Fromer GOP congressman Bob Barr, at his  Atlanta Journal Constitution blog, says WIkiLeaks may spawn a new "Sedition Act."  He opposes it.   "We can only hope Jefferson’s wisdom and understanding will speak from across the ages to shine the bright light of constitutional truth on such dark plans."
9:25  Julian Assange as president of the USA?  Take a look.
9:20  Ralph Nader on "Wikimania and the First Amendment." 
9:15  Someone is maintaining a site that lists and comments on people who want Assange killed.  You need to click on the bar to see the next name and quote.
9:10   David Greenberg's 'Hidden History of the 1917 Espionage Act" at Slate.
9:05  From Wired: "Hackers Watch a World in Chaos." 
9:00  Wash Post with big piece on story we covered yesterday: cables on Mexican drug lord and Panama's request to U.S. for wiretaps, and much more.
8:55  El Pais :  "Assange is clearly the ultimate Mick Jagger of the digital age."
8:50  If you were for some reason busy the past three days, here's the holiday weekend version of this blog.  Believe it or not, quite a lot happened.
From late yesterday
Finally a new Guardian story on fresh cable:  "The trial of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky shows the Kremlin preserves a "cynical system where political enemies are eliminated with impunity", US diplomats say in classified cables released by WikiLeaks today.  Attempts by the Russian government to demonstrate the rule of law is being respected during Khodorkovsky's prosecution are "lipstick on a political pig", says a communique to Washington from the US embassy in Moscow in December 2009."
We report, you decide:  Assange claims one of his accusers took "trophy photo" of him naked.
Speculation about if, and when, Bradley Manning will confess and maybe implicate Assange.  But Assange denies any contact at all.

In Sunday-Evening Surprise, Senate Unanimously Passes Food Safety Bill

What Happened Here???
By Alexander Bolton - 12/19/10 07:55 PM ET

Glenn Greenwald has a must-read piece today about a journalistic scandal at Wired involving multiple undisclosed conflicts of interest that appear to have led to blatantly misleading coverage of Army PFC Bradley Manning’s alleged passing on of classified documents to Wikileaks:

For more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed -- but refuses to publish -- the key evidence in one of the year's most significant political stories:  the arrest of U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source.  In late May, Adrian Lamo -- at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning -- gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year. 

In interviews with me in June, both Poulsen and Lamo confirmed that Lamo placed no substantive restrictions on Poulsen with regard to the chat logs:  Wired was and remains free to publish the logs in their entirety.

Despite that, on June 10, Wired published what it said was only "about 25%" of those logs, excerpts which it hand-picked.   For the last six months, Poulsen has not only steadfastly refused to release any further excerpts, but worse, has refused to answer questions about what those logs do and do not contain.  This is easily one of the worst journalistic disgraces of the year:  it is just inconceivable that someone who claims to be a "journalist" -- or who wants to be regarded as one -- would actively conceal from the public, for months on end, the key evidence in a political story that has generated headlines around the world

In June, I examined the long, strange, and multi-layered relationship between Poulsen and Lamo, and in that piece raised the issue of Wired's severe journalistic malfeasance in withholding these chat logs.  But this matter needs to be re-visited now for three reasons: 

(1)                  for the last six months, Adrian Lamo has been allowed to run around making increasingly sensationalistic claims about what Manning told him; journalists then prominently print Lamo's assertions, but Poulsen's refusal to release the logs or even verify Lamo's statements prevents anyone from knowing whether Lamo's claims about what Manning said are actually true;

(2)             there are new, previously undisclosed facts about the long relationship between Wired/Poulsen and a key figure in Manning's arrest -- facts which Poulsen inexcusably concealed; and,

(3)            subsequent events gut Poulsen's rationale for concealing the logs and, in some cases, prove that his claims are false.

Much of the new evidence cited here has been found and compiled by Firedoglake in three valuable indices:  the key WikiLeaks-Manning articles, a timeline of the key events, and the various excerpts of the Manning/Lamo chat logs published by different parties.

Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists and others who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do.  By allowing the world to see only the fraction of the Manning-Lamo chats which he chose to release, Poulsen has created a situation where his long-time "source," Adrian Lamo, is the only source of information for what Manning supposedly said beyond those published exceprts.  Journalists thus routinely print Lamo's assertions about Manning's statements even though -- as a result of Poulsen's concealment -- they are unable to verify whether Lamo is telling the truth.  Due to Poulsen, Lamo is now the one driving many of the media stories about Manning and WikiLeaks even though Lamo (a) is a convicted felon, (b) was (as Poulsen strangely reported at the time) involuntarily hospitalized for severe psychiatric distress a mere three weeks before his chats with Manning, and (c) cannot keep his story straight about anything from one minute to the next.

To see how odious Poulsen's concealment of this evidence is, consider this December 15 New York Times article by Charlie Savage, which reports that the DOJ is trying to prosecute WikiLeaks based on the theory that Julian Assange "encouraged or even helped" Manning extract the classified information.  Savage extensively quotes Lamo claiming that Manning told him all sorts of things about WikiLeaks and Assange that are not found in the portions of the chat logs published by Wired:

Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks.

Adrian Lamo, an ex-hacker in whom Private Manning confided and who eventually turned him in, said Private Manning detailed those interactions in instant-message conversations with him.

He said the special server’s purpose was to allow Private Manning’s submissions to “be bumped to the top of the queue for review.” By Mr. Lamo’s account, Private Manning bragged about this “as evidence of his status as the high-profile source for WikiLeaks.”

Wired magazine has published excerpts from logs of online chats between Mr. Lamo and Private Manning. But the sections in which Private Manning is said to detail contacts with Mr. Assange are not among them. Mr. Lamo described them from memory in an interview with The Times, but he said he could not provide the full chat transcript because the F.B.I. had taken his hard drive, on which it was saved. . . .

It has been known that investigators were looking for evidence that one or more people in Boston served as an intermediary between Private Manning and WikiLeaks, although there is no public sign that they have found any evidence supporting that theory. . . .

"At some point, [Manning] became satisfied that he was actually talking to Assange and not some unknown third party posing as Assange, and based on that he began sending in smaller amounts of data from his computer," Mr. Lamo said. "Because of the nature of his Internet connection, he wasn’t able to send large data files easily. He was using a satellite connection, so he was limited until he did an actual physical drop-off when he was back in the United States in January of this year."

Lamo's claim -- that Manning told him that he physically dropped off a disk with classified information to WikiLeaks' "intermediaries" in Boston -- is nowhere to be found in the chat logs released by Poulsen.  And while there are a couple of vague references in the chats to Manning's interactions with Assange, there is also little in the released portions about Assange using an "encrypted Internet conferencing service" to talk to Manning or specically creating a "dedicated server" for Manning to use.  Yet here is Lamo, on the front page of The New York Times, making these incredibly inflammatory accusations about what Manning supposedly told him -- accusations that could implicate both WikiLeaks and numerous individuals in the Boston area, including MIT students who (due at least in part to Lamo's prior accusations) have been the subject of WikiLeaks-related probes by the FBI.

Whether Manning actually said these things to Lamo could be verified in one minute by "journalist" Kevin Poulsen.  He could either say:  (1) yes, the chats contain such statements by Manning, and here are the portions where he said these things, or (2) no, the chats contain no such statements by Manning, which means Lamo is either lying or suffers from a very impaired recollection about what Manning said.  Poulsen could also provide Lamo -- who claims he is no longer in possession of them -- with a copy of the chat logs (which Lamo gave him) so that journalists quoting Lamo about Manning's statements could see the actual evidence rather than relying on Lamo's claims.  Any true "journalist" -- or any person minimally interested in revealing the truth -- would do exactly that in response to Lamo's claims as published by The New York Times.  

But manifestly, those descriptions do not apply to Kevin Poulsen.  It's been almost two weeks since Savage wrote his story in which he prominently pointed out that Wired has the evidence -- but has not released it -- which would confirm whether Lamo is telling the truth about these vital matters, and Poulsen has said nothing.  Moreover, I sent Poulsen an email two days ago -- here -- expressly asking whether or not the chat logs contain what Lamo says they contain about WikiLeaks and Boston-area "intermediaries," and he has ignored the inquiries.  This is not the behavior of a journalist seeking to inform the public, but of someone eager, for whatever reasons, to hide the truth.

Making Poulsen's behavior even more inexcusable is that, back in July, Lamo admitted to The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller that he has "no direct evidence" that anyone helped Manning obtain the classified information:

Mr. Lamo acknowledged that he had no direct evidence that Private Manning had help. He said he based his belief on information from people who knew Private Manning, not on his contact with the soldier himself. Asked if Private Manning had ever told him of any WikiLeaks assistance, Mr. Lamo replied, "Not explicitly, no."

But now that Savage is reporting that the DOJ needs to prove that WikiLeaks actively helped Manning, Lamo pops up to make the exact opposite claim:  namely, that Manning explicitly told him in these chats that he had help from Assange and from WikiLeaks "intermediaries" in Boston.  Critically, as Marcy Wheeler documented, the government -- in its Charging Document against Manning -- has not accused Manning of transmitting the 260,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks because it likely had no evidence that he did so.  Nor is there any evidence that WikiLeaks conspired in any way with Manning.  All of these critical gaps are now conveniently being filled in for public consumption by Lamo's accusations -- based on assertions about what Manning told him in these chats.

There is one person who could immediately confirm whether Lamo's claims are true:  Kevin Poulsen of Wired.  Yet he steadfastly refuses to do so.  Instead, he is actively concealing the key evidence in this matter -- hiding the truth from the public -- even as that magazine continues to employ him as a Senior Editor and hold him out as a "journalist."   For anyone who cares at all about what actually happened here, it's imperative that as much pressure as possible be applied to Wired to release those chat logs or, at the very least, to release the portions about which Lamo is making public claims or, in the alternative, confirm that they do not exist.

Poulsen's concealment of the key evidence is rendered all the more bizarre by virtue of previously undisclosed facts about Wired's involvement in Manning's arrest.  From the start, the strangest aspect of this whole story -- as I detailed back in June and won't repeat here -- has been the notion that one day, out of the blue, Manning suddenly contacted a total stranger over the Internet and, using unsecured chat lines, immediately confessed in detail to crimes that would likely send him to prison for decades. 

More strangely still, it wasn't just any total stranger whom Manning contacted, but rather a convicted felon who is notorious in the hacking community for his dishonesty and compulsive self-promotion, and who had just been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital three weeks earlier (notably, Poulsen's May article on Lamo's hospitalization began with this passage:  "Last month Adrian Lamo, a man once hunted by the FBI, did something contrary to his nature. He picked up a payphone outside a Northern California supermarket and called the cops" -- of course, a mere three weeks later, Lamo would "call the cops" again, this time to turn informant against Bradley Manning).  Add to all of that the central involvement of Lamo's long-time confidant, Poulsen, in exclusively reporting on this story and one has a series of events that are wildly improbable (which doesn't mean it didn't happen that way).

But now there are new facts making all of this stranger still, and it all centers around a man named Mark Rasch.  Who is Rasch?  He's several things.  He's the former chief of the DOJ's Computer Crimes Unit in the 1990s.  He's a "regular contributor" to Wired.  He's also the General Counsel of "Project Vigilant," the creepy and secretive vigilante group that claims to gather Internet communications and hand them over to the U.S. Government.  Rasch is also the person who prosecuted Kevin Poulsen back in the mid-1990s and put him in prison for more than 3 years.  As detailed below, Rasch also has a long and varied history with both Poulsen and, to a lesser extent, Lamo.  And -- most significantly of all -- Rasch is the person who put Lamo in touch with federal law authorities in order to inform on Manning:

A former top U.S. Justice Department prosecutor helped to turn over an alleged Wikileaks source to the FBI and Army intelligence, CNET has learned.

Mark Rasch, previously the head of the Justice Department's computer crime unit who is now in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area, said during a telephone interview that he identified investigators who would want to know that an U.S. Army intelligence analyst in Kuwait may have handed over sensitive documents to the world's most famous document-leaking Web site. . . .

Lamo contacted Chet Uber, a computer security specialist and the founder of a group called Project Vigilant. Uber then contacted Rasch.

"I got a call from Chet saying Adrian has a guy he's been chatting with online who has access to classified cables," Rasch said. "So I found him people in the intelligence community and law enforcement community he could report it to."

Let's consider what this means based just on these facts.  First, for the first several weeks after the story of Manning's arrest, it was Wired which was exclusively reporting on the relevant facts by virtue of Poulsen's close relationship with Lamo.  Yet at no point -- through today -- have Poulsen or Wired ever bothered to disclose that the person who "helped to turn over [Manning] to the FBI and Army intelligence" is (a) the same person who put Poulsen is prison for several years, (b) a regular contributor to Wired, and (c) a long-time associate and source for Poulsen.  Just on journalistic grounds, this non-disclosure is extraordinary (Poulsen even wrote a long article about Uber's role in pressuring Lamo to inform to the Government without once mentioning Rasch).  As Poulsen was writing about this Manning story all while working closely with Lamo as he served as FBI informant -- and as Poulsen actively conceals the chat logs -- wouldn't you want to know that the person who played such a key role in Manning's arrest was the same person who prosecuted Poulsen and regularly contributes to his magazine?

Then there's the way that these facts make this already-strange story much stranger still.  It isn't just that Manning -- when deciding to confess to these crimes over the Internet to a total stranger -- just happened to pick a convicted felon (Lamo) who spent little time in prison given the crimes of which he was convicted.   Beyond that, Lamo, at the time Manning contacted him, was working with this group -- Project Vigilant -- whose self-proclaimed mission is to inform federal authorities of crimes taking place over the Internet, and whose General Counsel is the former head of the DOJ's Computer Crimes Unit.  If that's really what happened, that's some really, really, really bad luck on Manning's part:  to randomly choose someone to whom to confess who was not only once under the thumb of DOJ authorities, but who was working at that very moment with a federal-government-connected group and the DOJ's former top computer crimes prosecutor.  To describe that as improbable is to understate the case (but again, that doesn't mean it didn't happen:  improbable events do sometimes occur).

Beyond all of this, Poulsen has a long history with Rasch even beyond the fact that Rasch prosecuted him.  Poulsen's first job when getting out of prison was with Security Focus, the same entity for which Rasch also regularly wrote.  Although it was Poulsen who almost always and exclusively wrote about Lamo's exploits, in 2003, Poulsen was unable to do so because he had been subpoenaed by the DOJ in connection with Lamo's prosecution, and it was thus Rasch who took up the slack to write about Lamo for Security Focus.  Moreover, Rasch has been a long-time source for Poulsen going back to 1999 and 2001, including when Poulsen was writing about Lamo, and was also Poulsen's source repeatedly for articles he wrote at Wired.  Rasch has also been a regular source for Wired's Kim Zitter, who was Poulsen's co-author on the Manning articles (on November 29, an ABC News story on Manning featured Rasch as an "expert" analyzing the accusations without any disclosure of the key role he played in Manning's arrest).

Back in June, WikiLeaks -- citing this comment at BoingBoing -- suggested that Poulsen was not merely a reporter writing about Lamo's informing on Manning, but was an active participant in helping that to happen and was even himself a government informant.  Poulsen vehemently denied that both to me (without my even asking) and in an interview he gave to the Columbia Journalism Review.  Part of the problem here was Poulsen's own doing:  when he first broke the story about Manning's arrest, he not only failed to disclose the fact that he had been speaking to and meeting with Lamo before Manning's arrest (while Lamo cooperated with the government), but actively misled readers about that fact by including this sentence in his first article:  "'I wouldn't have done this if lives weren't in danger,' says Lamo, who discussed the details with following Manning’s arrest."  In fact, Poulsen had extensively spoken with and even met with Lamo for before Manning's arrest.

As I wrote back in June and as is still true, there's no evidence to support that specific "informant" accusation against Poulsen.  Poulsen has done good journalism in the past in exposing government wrongdoing (while at Wired, he also worked to locate various sex criminals online who were then prosecuted by a local computer crimes unit).  

But what is incontrovertibly true is that a Wired contributer -- who just so happens also to be Poulsen's prosecutor and long-time source -- played a key role in putting Lamo in contact with government authorities in order to inform on Manning.  Poulsen never mentioned any of that, and -- even once Rasch's role was publicly reported -- never once disclosed his multi-faceted relationship to Rasch in all the times he's written about Manning and WikiLeaks.  What's also true is that while many convicted hackers had very rigid restrictions placed on them when leaving prison (Kevin Mitnick, for instance, was originally barred from using the Internet entirely), Poulsen not only quickly began writing online as a journalist about the hacker world, but did so at the very same publication -- Security Focus -- that also repeatedly published articles by his prosecutor, Mark Rasch.

What makes all of this particularly critical is that we still have no real idea how and under what circumstances Manning and Lamo actually began speaking.  Lamo repeatedly claimed -- and Poulsen and others repeatedly "reported" -- that those two began speaking when Manning contacted Lamo in a chat.  But Lamo told me something much different in the interview I conducted with him in June:  that before chatting with him, Manning had sent Lamo several encrypted emails which -- Lamo claims -- he was never able to read before turning over to the FBI because he was unable to find his encryption key.  Between Lamo's alleged inability to describe these initial emails and Poulsen's ongoing refusal to publish the chat logs, the evidence of how Manning and Lamo came to speak and what was said is being actively hidden (and Marcy Wheeler raises several compelling reasons why it seems Lamo was cooperating with government authorities as he spoke to Manning before the time he and Poulsen claim that cooperation began).

When I first wrote back in June about Wired's concealment of these chat logs, the excuses Poulsen gave were quickly proven to be false.  Poulsen told me that the only portions of the chats which Wired was concealing were "either Manning discussing personal matters that aren't clearly related to his arrest, or apparently sensitive government information that I'm not throwing up without vetting first."  But after that, The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima quoted from the chat logs and included several parts which (a) Wired had withheld but (b) were not about personal matters or national security secrets; see this analysis here of what was disclosed by the Post, Wired and others.  (Nakashima and the Post refuse even to say whether they possess all the chat logs.  When I asked Nakashima several months ago, she referred my inquiry to a corporate spokeswoman, who then told me:  "we don't discuss the details of our newsgathering."  But I focus here on Poulsen because of his central role in these events, his long-standing relationships with the key parties, and the fact that -- unlike the Post, which obviously has nothing to do with journalism -- I actually expect better of Wired). 

But even if one back then found Poulsen's rationale persuasive for concealing 75% of the chat logs, circumstances have clearly changed.  For one, WikiLeaks has now published hundreds of thousands of documents, including almost 2,000 diplomatic cables; thus, at least some of the "sensitive government information" in the chats over which Poulsen was acting as self-anointed Guardian has now presumably been publicly disclosed.

More important, Lamo has spent months making all kinds of public claims about what Manning supposedly told him as part of these chats -- claims that are not found in the chat excerpts released by Wired.  Those subsequent public statements by Lamo create an obligation for Poulsen either to release the portions of the chats that Lamo is describing or confirm that they do not exist (and thus reveal that his close, long-time "source," Lamo, is thus lying or significantly misremembering).

Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest.  In doing so, they have actively shielded Poulsen's long-time associate, Adrian Lamo -- as well as government investigators -- from having their claims about Manning's statements scrutinized, and have enabled Lamo to drive much of the reporting of this story by spouting whatever he wants about Manning's statements without any check.  This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a "journalist" I've ever seen.

UPDATE:  Evan Hansen, the Editor-in-Chief of, says on Twitter that Poulsen is "on vacation" but that Wired will post a response to this article tomorrow.  What they ought to do, at the absolute minimum, is post the portions of the chat logs about which Lamo had made public statements or make clear that they do not exist.  And here's Poulsen's response on Twitter, posted just now:

PATRIOT Act May Be Used Against Tea Party

According to Douglas J. Hagmann, writing for Northeast Intelligence Network, a "federal intelligence source" revealed that "high-level discussions between top lawmakers and agency heads are 'exploring the application of the Patriot Act against any right-wing individual or group that poses a danger to government operations.'”

The "source" reported in an interview on March 26 that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have been called in to “actively investigate incidents of violence and threats” made to at least ten Democrats and one Republican lawmaker since Sunday.

According to this source, “a ‘watch list’ has already been created that specifically names and turns their focus on various pro-life and tea-party organizations and individuals who are considered a threat to domestic security, continuity of government operations, and to the lives of lawmakers and their families.”

Whether or not Congress people were subjected to taunting and racial slurs, bricks or bullets penetrating their office windows, or having a sibling's gas line cut is not the issue I wish to examine here. The issue is poetic justice.

Anonymous Wikileaks Supporters Begin Assault on

Bank of America’s website isn’t loading for some customers at the moment, the victim of what appears to be another denial of service attack from supporters of Wikileaks.

Greg Mitchell notes that the attack, known as #operationBOA on Twitter, started around noon. Here’s a countdown of the time since the DDoS attack began. It’s coming from the same “Anonymous” groups of hackers who briefly took down Paypal, Visa and MasterCard in recent weeks, after those organizations denied use of their services to Wikileaks.

Last week, Bank of America cut off participation in customer transactions involving Wikileaks.

Reports are coming in that is alternately loading and not loading for various web users, but BofA appears to be weathering the storm.
After successes in disabling Paypal, Visa and MasterCard for periods of time, the Anonymous clan has had less success recently. 

Companies seem to have grown more sophisticated in handling DDoS attacks.

The security problems of 2010 are likely to continue and even escalate in 2011, with state-sponsored crime and data leaks from unhappy employees. State-sponsored crime has far more resources than ordinary hackers, and social networking is making the bad guys' job easier. But with Virtualization established, more security software may appear…

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