Saturday, October 22, 2016

#Wikileaks Allies "Lighting The Millions Of LED Flashlights..Of Citizen Media"

Re-posting this fine article from my inbox today, which is also available online (though unattributed) here. Image and paragraph formatting are my additions.
Odds Are Remarkably High That You Don’t Fully Understand what Wikileaks Is Doing
By Dragon (via Lisa Sarinelli)
Assange, with higher aspirations than most realized, is in grave danger. Julian Assange is the founder of Wikileaks, an online collector and publisher of encrypted documents submitted by whistleblowers. 
Like Jeffery Wigand, former vice president at Brown & Williamson in Louisville, Kentucky, who in 1996 got death threats when he pulled the plug on Big Tobacco, whistleblowers are people inside a government or a major corporation who know that the leaders of it are deliberately doing great harm, and bring evidence to the public at sometimes significant risk. Dealing with this flammable material, Assange’s team has not printed a fake, incomplete or altered document in ten years of work. In several countries, there are statues to Assange. 
Wikileaks has after all taught us that our deeply divided U.S. Right and Left, indeed all nations, can work together if they’re dealing from hard fact rather than from spin. For example, the Trans Pacific Partnership [TPP], like the North American Free Trade Association [NAFTA] and the World Trade Association [WTO] before it, forms a transnational governing body, subordinating the laws and people of the nations involved to corporate controls. People would never knowingly allow it it. 
Consequently, the Obama administration and Republicans in the U.S. Congress, while working directly with billionaires and global corporations, planned to tell the U.S. people what was in the TPP treaty only after it was ratified. Wikileaks however snagged the secret text of the treaty and published it in time for people to fight. The Democratic Administration and Republicans in Congress responded with new secret treaties, to the same end. Wikileaks nailed the texts of those treaties and published them too. “Exasperated,” Vice President Joe Biden says he plans to sneak the TPP through in the lame duck session because “now that’s the only way to get it passed.” However, forwarned by the Wikileaks publication of the treaty, two smaller nations have refused to sign, so even a U.S. ratification would not make it law this year. 
Accurately informed, the world stands up for itself, Right to Left.
The U.S., the world’s only remaining superpower, is meanwhile on an imperialist tear, having attacked eight Middle Eastern countries, to say nothing of sub-Saharan Africa, during both the Bush and Obama Administrations. Nations are in ruins, thus becoming the perfect nests for terrorists. Millions are dead or fleeing the war zones, creating huge refugee problems, basically to feed a global-corporate war industry using the U.S. government to sell weapons to both sides in almost every conflict. 
One of Assange’s main targets is therefore America’s permanent political parties, which our first U.S. President George Washington warned against our forming and are nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution. Corrupt, boss-ridden and war-hungry, they block our democracy at every turn, playing havoc with the world. 
Assange reasons that the more corrupt a party or politician is, the more full disclosure will gum up their works, either by forcing them to go straight or by forcing them to tear up every scrap of evidence, a disabling process. Vetted and indexed by Assange’s meticulous team, the whistleblower primary evidence -- the videos, texts, accounts, speeches and letters -- document how U.S. and other world leaders work and think when they are out of the public eye, who pays them, and what they are willing do to their party, nation, other countries, indeed to the human race, in order to gain and hold personal riches and power. 
Seeing that Donald Trump is already splintering the corrupt Republican Party and in many senses exposing himself, Assange concentrates on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton -- showing Hillary cheating a new U.S. generation which is knowledgeable, hardworking, on its feet, computer savvy and furious at the destruction of its birthright, from taking over the reins of U.S. government this year. 
For example, Wikileaks demonstrates that working with collusive corporate media, Clinton and the DNC helped jigger Trump into the Republican nomination, and that while gathering millions of dollars from Sanders voters on the promise of a fair primary, the DNC was elaborately rigging the Democratic primaries against them. 
Wiikleaks also showed Facebook Chief Operating Officer [COO] Sheryl Sandberg, a “Hillblazer” level of financial contributor, providing data-mining research on women to the Clinton campaign. Since Facebook is what Facebook data-mines, some women on Facebook have taken exception to that use. Publishing such documents, Wikileaks enrages dangerous people. 
There is no evidence that Hillary Clinton asked if the U.S. government could “drone Assange." For four years, Secretary of State John Kerry, taking a different tack, has however kept Assange pinned down in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a caging which most nations of the world deplore. Swedish citizen Assange, accused of date rape in Sweden, which he denies, is certain that if he went home to straighten that out, he’d be whisked to the U.S. and a secret trial. 
Assange’s lawyer and close friend John Jones was killed two months ago by somehow ending up under a moving British commuter train. Pronounced dead at the scene, he never had a chance to explain how he got there. Seventy-two hours ago, shortly after Wikileaks published Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speeches, under enormous Obama administration pressure, the Ecuadorean embassy in London terminated Assange's access to the Internet. Receiving constant death threats, Assange however has Insurance Keys, or “dead man’s codes” that must be suppressed by him or a trusted surrogate every few hours to prevent worldwide distribution and unlocking of a flood of whistleblower documents. Stalemate? 
The U.S. “Powers That Be” seethe, and a war-weary world applauds Assange and holds its breath, outspokenly hoping that given sufficient evidence, the mighty American people will wake up and take their government back. This matters to you. The U.S. is, at some levels, unrecognizable. Global corporations, like BP, WalMart and Bank of America which are incorporated in numerous countries at once, evade U.S. taxes while continuing to destroy our air, land, water and infrastructure, destabilize our economy, and yet receive huge tax-funded subsidies from the federal, state and local politicians whom they have bought off. The leading source of job loss and not job gain, they crush U.S. business, the real job creator, gutting the U.S. Main Street economy. 
That paucity of jobs drives some people into drugs or crime, conveniently sluicing them into the maw of the private prison industry. Private prison corporations convert these Americans to slave labor by paying them pennies and renting them out to other global-corporations, further undercutting the U.S. job market. The poor job market shoves other people into the “volunteer” military. U.S. soldiers and sailors who sign up for love of country or family survival are however paid so little by our corporately-controlled government that they are often have to rely on food stamps to feed their families. 
Corporations of mercenary soldiers like Blackwater, which might switch sides if the enemy offered more money, do the same work that our US soldiers do, but are paid vastly more in U.S. dollars by the corporately-controlled government. Mercenary soldier corporations like Blackwater also serve as the military branches of the larger global corporations. Having freed itself from the control of all nations, EXXON in other words is now armed.
The First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly and press do not apply in this new set-up. 
One of the major issues of our day, for example, is safe water. Canada is boycotting Nestle, whose CEO says flatly that humans have no right to water but corporations do. As filthy tar-sands-oil pipelines snake into the United States -- to reach coastal areas for export, not for internal use -- they endanger clean rivers. Sympathetic water activists in Canada are risking themselves to repeatedly turn off the oil lines as they cross our border. Others have gathered from all over the world to protect the Missouri River at Standing Rock, ND, and thus the priceless Mississippi watershed, half of the United States, which feeds int the Gulf. 
Mainsteam media do not cover this huge, vital story, because globals like Comcast have purchased the world news media, in the case of the U.S. everything from CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS down to the local radio stations, and then started outfits like FOX, all spinning or hiding rather than reporting news. 
Independent reporters at Standing Rick have meanwhile been socked with felony charges for videotaping global-corporate “security guards” who for instance, without identity badges and trespassing on private land, sicced attack dogs on American men, women and children, as U.S. police stood down, permitting it. 
In a similar news blackout over the last two decades, our huge national security apparatus, the NSA, CIA etc. has shifted from public control to global-corporate control -- 
70% of our tax-funded spooks are “private contractors,” employees of global corporations which have loyalty only to their bottom lines and no real restraints. That’s what Edward Snowden, a corporate employee more loyal to the people of his nation than to the global-corporate spook apparatus, was trying to tell the world. 
A former CIA agent working for Booz Allen, Snowden saw that the corporate contractors were tapping ALL phones, reading ALL email, looking into any bedroom they chose -- he had written major parts of the code which made that unimaginable data flow indexed and intelligible -- and that the Obama Administration and a Republican-controlled Congress were encouraging it, as again the US Bill of Rights effectively disappeared. Initially, Snowden got proof out to the public through the corporate media, primarily the Guardian in Britain. Corporate governments soon clamped down, pretending that Snowden had harmed the country or the troops when the only thing harmed was the mass corporate-government surveillance of innocent Americans, without a warrant. Obediently, as Snowden fled the country and received political asylum, the corporate media ceased accurate coverage.
Unlike Snowden, Wikileaks publishes directly onto the web. So it’s troubling but not surprising that Assange was just cut off from the Internet. His highly mobile team is not. 
Not alone Wikileaks remains the motherlode, giving hungry analysts a detailed whistleblower recording of a reality which is both raw and well documented. Wikileaks is moreover not alone. American Glenn Greenwald, the lead Guardian reporter on the Snowden story, for example formed an online media outlet, The Intercept, with videographer Laura Poitras, who is the producer of Citizen Four, and Jeremy Scahill, the reporter who broke the Blackwater story back at a time when mercenary soldiers were another dirty government secret. Premier online news teams like The Intercept do an amazingly thorough job of investigative reporting daily. 
Arrested for reporting at Standing Rock, the highly respected heart and mind of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman is giving herself up in order to fight for the First Amendment. 
As a world aching for sunlight waits to see if another trustworthy news source, Wikileaks, will be snuffed out, we do it moreover by lighting the millions of LED flashlights -- forget candles -- of citizen media. If Julian Assange is in any sense taken from us, we will not forgive. We will not forget. Yet “do not expect us. We are already here...” and you’re part of it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Ann Wright Speaking Tour In Maine Begins Oct. 29 "Never Silent Until Our Sisters Are Free"

Palestinian boys prepare to welcome Women’s Boat to Gaza
which was intercepted by the Israeli naval blockade on Oct. 5, 2016.
International human rights activist Ann Wright begins a speaking tour of Maine next week to share news from her recent travels supporting struggles for justice around the globe. She was aboard the Women's Boat to Gaza which was boarded by Israel's military in international waters earlier this month.

Ann was illegally detained along with numerous women from parliaments and human rights organizations around the globe, including Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire. On October 6 Ann was released from an Israeli jail.

It was her fourth attempt to challenge the blockade of Gaza. She has been to Gaza six times participating in the 2009 Gaza Freedom March and the 2010, 2011 and 2015 Gaza Freedom Flotillas. She was aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters when Israel’s military boarded it and killed ten passengers in 2010.

After being deported from Israel on October 6, she joined water protectors at Standing Rock to oppose the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
Photo by Ann Wright of Groovy Yurts at Standing Rock yesterday
Because she cares about life on this planet, including access to potable water and respect for indigenous land rights.

Ann is an articulate and passionate spokesperson and an ally to people struggling for peace and justice around the planet. She is doing the kind of diplomatic work that the U.S. State Department often neglects as it promotes corporate interests like fracking around the world.

Ann will share her perspectives on women in international struggles for peace and justice Saturday, October 29 at the Curtis Public Library in Brunswick at noon and at the Belfast Free Public Library at 4pm, and Sunday, October 30 at the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine in Bangor at 3pm and the Blue Hill Library at 6:30pm. She also plans to meet with the staff of Sen. Angus King while she is in Maine.

Ann, a member of Veterans for Peace, reports regularly in Common Dreams, Consortium News and Op-ed News on her participation in local struggles against militarism and for the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In “A firsthand account of Women’s Boat to Gaza” published October 10 she wrote,
“The internationally isolated enclave called Gaza has almost one quarter of the population of Israel yet is kept in virtually perpetual darkness by the policies of the State of Israel, which also limits the amount of water, food, construction and medical supplies...”

A retired US Army Reserve Colonel and a former US diplomat, Ann resigned from the State Department in 2003 in opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Last year she was on Jeju Island, South Korea with a delegation from Veterans for Peace supporting villagers protecting their soft coral reef from military base construction.
As a professional with extensive experience in Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Uzbekistan and a dedicated peacemaker, Ann has a unique perspective on resolving conflicts before they become wars. You won't want to miss her talks.
For more information on Ann's speaking tour contact Ridgely Fuller (508) 333-6230