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Friday, April 20, 2012

Constant state of war means constant fear tactics, constant breach of Liberty

U.S. Supreme Court Justices
Black, Douglas,
Harlan, Brennan,
Stewart, White,
Marshall, Burger, Blackmun
Together, we must reverse regression
Excerpts, editing by Carolyn Bennett

The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty[Justice William Orville Douglas] 

From a 2010 Xeni Jardin interview with Jacob Appelbaum (today also Democracy Now exclusive) after WikiLeaks released a massive archive of secret U.S. military documents related to the war in Afghanistan, a release the White House, Pentagon and U.S. Department of State decried as a breach of federal law, a ‘criminal act’ and labeled WikiLeaks a threat to U.S. national security.

“Afghan War Diaries”

“The White House is attempting to shoot the messenger,” Jacob Appelbaum said in that 2012 interview. “These documents provide concrete evidence of events that have occurred during the last six years of the Afghan war. WikiLeaks is not a national security threat; we are an international security promise.

We promise our sources that we will get their information to the public. We have released information about what is actually happening in Afghanistan. We are telling you the facts as the U.S. military saw fit to document them. We are telling you these facts because they document an important first-hand perception of everyday life in Afghanistan that our source felt important to show the world. It clearly meets with our submission criteria and based on the reaction, it is obvious that we have done our job as we promised.…

“… The people of Afghanistan are not shocked by this information. Nobody needs to tell them what the conditions are like on the ground. They don’t have reports with this level of specificity; rather, they live with everyday terror and fear. In some cases, we can see more clearly now that the Taliban are doing terrible things, and they are far better equipped than the ‘camel jockey’ images portrayed in U.S. media. …

“Why are we not being told this truth regularly … Why would the U.S. government hide this from the world? Why are the rest of the governments complicit in this silence? It sounds like our allies are the ones supplying them [Taliban] with some capabilities. Some departments of the U.S. government were apparently aware [but] most Americans were unaware.…

“[Though] the situation is not unique to the United States [it affects the people of every country with troops in Afghanistan], it does strongly suggest the need for a U.S. policy change.

“The people of the United States of America now have information that will assist them in having a clearer picture. They will find out how the war is actually going, see what they are financing. They have the ability to democratically change this situation if they are unhappy with the truth. Perhaps they will demand more transparency and more accountability.

“How can the people of the U.S. fund another situation that is not unlike earlier times, during the Cold War, when America used Afghanistan as proxy? Didn’t we learn our lesson the first half dozen times we did something like this? If not, let us learn it now.… The world has wide-open eyes. Together, we can make better, more honest decisions.”

The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of government suppression of embarrassing information. [Justice William Orville Douglas]

U.S. government data mining, stalking, harassing, silencing citizens

Today in a Democracy Now exclusive, computer security researcher Jacob Appelbaum participated in a discussion along with National Security Agency whistle blower William Binney (on Growing State Surveillance) and U.S.: Filmmaker Laura Poitras (who has been questioned 40 times at U.S. Airports).

Since his volunteering with whistle blower website, WikiLeaks, Appelbaum, “has faced a continual interrogations and electronic surveillance.” He has been detained in airports “more than a dozen times and interrogated by federal agents who asked about his political views and confiscated his cell phone and laptop.” [See TOR project, https://www.torproject.org/]

William Binney served in the U.S. National Security Agency for more than 30 years. For a time during that period, he was director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. He retired in 2001 and has since that time warned that the NSA’s data-mining program has become so vast that it could ‘create an Orwellian state.’
Laura Poitras is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer now working on part three of  a film project about the United States after September 11, 2001. Parts one and two of the trilogy are: “My Country, My Country” and “The Oath.”

Finally, Justice Douglas:

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.

Sources and notes

“WikiLeaks: Q and A with Jacob Appelbaum on ‘The Afghan War Diaries’” (By Xeni interviewer) July 26, 2010), http://www.boingboing.net/2010/07/26/WikiLeaks-qa-with-ja.html

“‘We Do Not Live in a Free Country’: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Government Surveillance,” Democracy Now April 20, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/we_do_not_live_in_a

Justice William Orville Douglas

A champion and consistently outspoken defender of civil liberties and a prolific writer, Justice William O. Douglas served 36.5 years on the Supreme Court of the United States.

U.S. public official, legal educator and associate justice, Douglas also wrote throughout his career on conservation, history, politics, and foreign relations. His published works include Of Men and Mountains (1950) and A Wilderness Bill of Rights (1965). Justice William O. Douglas was born October 16, 1898, in Minnesota; and died January 19, 1980, in Washington, D.C.



The Supreme Court (1970-1971), consisting of Hugo L. Black, William O. Douglas, John M. Harlan, William J. Brennan, Jr., Potter Stewart, Byron R. White, Thurgood Marshall, Warren E. Burger, and Harry A. Blackmun. Image from www.oyez.com.

repression expands resistance, http://www.peopleontheedge.org/news.html
Afghanistan‑the‑war‑logs‑005.jpg, veteranstoday.com, Wikileaks-US's Afghan war diary 2004-2009. Afghanistan, the War Logs

Your Right to Know logo, sunshineweek.org


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