Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are You Beginning To Feel Like It Is “We The People” Against Almost Everyone We Elected?

Are You Beginning To Feel Like It Is “We The People” Against Everyone We Elected?

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

Government Set Up Task Force And 'War Room' To Deal With Wikileaks Release Of U.S. Cables, Documents Show

OTTAWA — It took about a day for the WikiLeaks "war room" to be set up at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa.

The war room at first included more than 20 workstations, a scanner, shredder, a secure filing cabinet and a hotline, newly released federal government emails show.
The war room activated a search engine to look online for keywords to alert bureaucrats that something relating to Canada that was once secret had been put on the Internet by WikiLeaks for anyone to see.

And then they waited.

The 365 pages of federal emails and reports released under an access to information request by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin outline how the Canadian government braced for the political fallout of the massive dump of documents that weren't even their own.
The emails give the picture of a department that, fearing the worst, reacted swiftly and widely to the impending release of approximately 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks, a whistleblower website that has become famous — and infamous — for releasing classified government documents and videos in the name of government transparency and accountability.

In Ottawa, the department created a "WikiLeaks Task Force" and a "war room" complete with its own manager and staffed it 12 hours a day.

No one from the department was made available in response to an interview request. A spokeswoman did respond to questions via email and said the war room is no longer around, but work on reviewing WikiLeaks dumps is continuing.
"The department continues to co-ordinate the Canadian government's review and evaluation of material published on the Wikileaks website. A dedicated operations centre no longer exists," wrote spokeswoman Priya Sinha.

The WikiLeaks war room was tasked with trolling the documents for those that refer to Canada, distributing them to bureaus to scan the documents quickly in terms of damage, and provide a "roll-up/assessment of overall implications," reads an email on Nov. 24 to the head of the WikiLeaks Task Force.

Daily messages rolled from the launch of the war room and the ensuing dump of documents. The war room created reports summarizing the documents released along with national and international media coverage.

"The structure of the Task Force was not based on any pre-existing model. Staff involvement varied according to need," Sinha wrote.

Only those inside the war room were able to access the WikiLeaks website. The emails show that Foreign Affairs officials blocked computer access to the whistleblower website partly to "mitigate threats of potential virus from downloading," one email dated Nov. 30, 2010, reads. The WikiLeaks cables could only be downloaded to the computers in the war room because, despite being in the public domain, Foreign Affairs still considered the documents to be secret.

"Although documents appearing on WikiLeaks are in the public domain, they continue to carry their original classification and should be managed as such," reads a briefing note from Nov. 30.

The department continues to block access to WikiLeaks on its computers.
"The WikiLeaks website is one of several blocked from DFAITs network to minimize threats to official departmental information. Thus, all downloads from the WikiLeaks site were done from a separate network," Sinha wrote.

A secret message was also sent to Foreign Affairs officials around the world, warning them of the document release and the possible impact on the health and security of consular staff.

"The scope of the documents will be vast, and may reference Canadian representatives, Canadians and Canadian organizations," reads the Nov. 29, 2010, message sent to heads of mission abroad.

"In this context, we would ask that you remain vigilant in monitoring the impact of the leaks on your staff or programs and that you provide an assessment of any situations that may arise, including mission security or personnel implications or concerns with respect to Canadian organizations operating in your countries of accreditation."

But the documents rolled out slowly, catching the department off-guard. The war room manager suggested at one point that a more sustainable solution be put in place, one that would allow the department to continually check for new leaks without having to staff an actual war-room 12 hours a day.

The department in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office also prepared responses to media queries, including a line that said the government would not comment on any of the contents of any leaked document.

The dump of once-secret diplomatic cables also forced the department to evaluate its own security protocols, hoping that its documents would not become public like those from the U.S. Department of State.

What was not made clear is what, if any, procedural changes the department enacted to prevent any of its documents from being leaked to the whistleblower website.


The Federal Election Commission on Thursday morning will consider a Democratic request that could further empower the independent political groups vowing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on hard-hitting campaign ads in the run-up to the 2012 election.
The request, filed by groups with close ties to Democratic congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, asks whether it’s legal for federal candidates – such as Reid, Pelosi, other members of Congress and even President Barack Obama – to solicit unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals for a new breed of independent political action committee known as super PACs.

The request, filed by groups with close ties to Democratic congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, asks whether it’s legal for federal candidates – such as Reid, Pelosi, other members of Congress and even President Barack Obama – to solicit unlimited contributions from corporations, unions and individuals for a new breed of independent political action committee known as super PACs.

Advocates of strict political money rules – and even one prominent opponent – are urging commissioners to bar the proposed new fundraising, which some contend will allow deep-pocketed special interest groups too much influence over candidates and officeholders.
“To ask for million dollar gifts as a member of Congress for a super PAC that could just turn around and spend the money on the member’s election invites incredible corruption,” asserted Lisa Gilbert of the campaign finance advocacy group Public Citizen, which opposes the request. “Large donors with interests in front of Congress will have a new and obvious avenue to buy elected officials.”
Nonetheless, FEC staff lawyers have produced three competing draft answers for commissioners to consider Thursday – one of which would declare the proposed fundraising legal, another that would bar it and a third that would allow federal candidates to raise money for super PACs, but only within the $5,000-per-contribution federal limits.

As POLITICO revealed this week, Pelosi and Reid, who decried Republican super PAC spending during the 2010 midterm elections, recently began raising money in $5,000 chunks for the two Democratic super PACs that filed the FEC request to be considered Thursday – House Majority PAC and Majority PAC.

Those groups intend to raise and spend millions from big donors to boost congressional candidates. But, by law, they are barred from coordinating their spending strategies with the candidates and parties they intend to help.

Read More:

Dead Americans Could Really Help Obama With The Jewish Vote!

As I mentioned a few days ago, former CIA analyst and presidential briefer Ray McGovern reported that his administration sources have told him that "White House officials" were "perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of [Gaza flotilla] activists shown on American TV." On hearing this same report, former UK ambassador Craig Murray decided to look into it himself:

...I set my own diplomatic sources to work in Washington, without giving them any indication of Ray’s information. They came back with an independent report from a different source – close to Clinton rather than the White House – with exactly the same result of which Ray was warned. I was told that Obama will welcome an Israeli attack on the US ship, as giving him a chance to confirm his pro-Israeli credentials and improve his standing with AIPAC ahead of the Presidential election race. Fatalities would be "not a problem".

There was no information that the Obama regime has quietly given Netanyahu a green light to attack the ship. But I strongly expect they will; by deniable means, of course.

So there you have it: not only would Barack Obama be more than happy to let Israel kill a few US citizens, he's actually thinking it could "improve his standing with AIPAC" and help shore up his vulnerability with Jewish voters. Illustrating once again that no level of skepticism or cynicism is sufficient when it comes to this bloated bag of amoral ambition and self-regard.

Regarding that last bit of speculation about a green light for Israel, by the way, Murray may have missed this quote from Hillary Clinton:

There will be construction materials entering Gaza and we think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves.

Got that? This is Obama's Secretary of State announcing, before anything has actually happened, that if Israel kills flotilla activists it will have done so in self-defense—preemptively rationalizing a foreign country's killing of American citizens. Short of a leaked memo saying "To: Israel, Re: Flotilla, Kill as many as you want. Love and kisses, Hillary", the lights don't get much greener than that.

The lesser of two evils, ladies and gentlemen.

ADDING: Jonathan Schwarz points out that since around 25% of the passengers on the U.S. boat will be Jewish, the title could also be "Dead Americans Jews could really help Obama with the Jewish vote!" And given that one of those Jews is Hedy Epstein I suppose it could also be "Dead Holocaust survivors could really help Obama with the Jewish vote!"—though at that point I fear we may be exceeding internationally recognized irony safety limits.

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