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Informing Hawaii's voters

Wake Up America! WikiLeaks Gave Us 92,000 Reasons To Leave Afghanistan

"Pick one!" says Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

Kucinich endorsed "my dear friend" Neil Abercrombie (D) for governor of Hawaii a few days ago.

We Should Execute Leakers!

Julian Assange Explains Who the Bastards Are

Assange, head of WikiLeaks, is interviewed by Anderson Cooper of CNN on the massive leak of the Afghan War Diaries. Towards the end of the clip, Assange is asked, "Who are the bastards here?"

Assange answers.

BP's Hayward Stepping Down as CEO, Banished to Siberia

BP CEO Tony Hayward, who holds a Ph.D. in geology, is vacating his CEO position by "mutual consent," BP's board announced late Monday. His new assignment, beginning in October, will be the company's Siberian fields, a BP crown jewel. The 50-50 joint venture is based in Moscow.

American Bob Dudley, who is from Mississippi and has been overseeing the oil spill efforts, will step in as the new CEO.
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Associated Press

LONDON – BP is jettisoning CEO Tony Hayward, whose verbal blunders made the oil giant's image even worse as it struggled to contain the Gulf oil spill, and will assign him to a key job in Russia, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

Read more . . .

Link:

Who is Bob Dudley? Five things to know about BP's new point man. [Christian Science Monitor]

The Bloated Intelligence Bureaucracy

by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

I have often spoken about the excessive size of government, and most recently how waste and inefficiency needs to be eliminated from our military budget. Our foreign policy is not only bankrupting us, but actively creating and antagonizing enemies of the United States, and compromising our national security. Spending more and adding more programs and initiatives does not improve things for us; it makes them much much worse. This applies to more than just the military budget.

Recently the Washington Post ran an extensive report by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on the bloated intelligence community. They found that an estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. Just what are all these people up to? By my calculation this is about 11,000 intelligence workers per al Qaeda member in Afghanistan. This also begs the question — if close to 1 million people are authorized to know top secrets, how closely guarded are these secrets?

They also found that since the September 11 attacks, some 17 million square feet of building space has been built or is being built to accommodate the 250 percent expansion of intelligence organizations. Intelligence work is now done by some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private contracting companies in about 10,000 locations in the United States.

The former Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, has asserted that US intelligence now has the authority to target American citizens for assassination without charge or trial. How many of these resources are being devoted to spying on American citizens for nefarious reasons at home rather than targeting foreign enemies abroad?

It has been pointed out how much information we had about the impending attacks on 9/11, but because of layers upon layers of bureaucratic inefficiencies, our intelligence community was unable to act meaningfully on that information. Obviously we needed drastic change. But it was pretty clear that we did not need more bureaucracy, more confusion, more expenditures and more government.

It is even claimed by some leaders that the intelligence community has grown this way by design; that it is advantageous to have more than one set of eyes looking at the same information. With this logic, is there any number of intelligence employees at which we achieve diminishing returns? Can there ever be too many cooks in the kitchen, in their view?

Are there any problems at all that the government wouldn’t attempt to solve by throwing more money at them? Even now, the government is trying to solve our economic problems related to too much government spending and debt, with more government spending and debt.

The problem with our intelligence community before 9/11 was not an inability to collect information. Therefore, the post-September 11 build-up of the surveillance state does nothing to enhance safety. Instead what Americans have gotten in return for the billions of tax dollars spent on security is a surveillance state that reads our e-mails, wiretaps us without warrants, and strip searches grandmothers at airports. This is yet another instance in which Americans would be safer, richer and freer if our government would simply look to the Constitution and respect the boundaries it has set.

Cartoon

White House Backed Release of Lockerbie Bomber

But just days ago, Obama said, "all of us ... were surprised, disappointed and angry" when the news of the release of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last year was made public.
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The Australian

Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.

The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.

Read more . . .

Link:

Did BP Help the Lockerbie Bomber Get Out of Jail? [HPI]

WikiLeaks Releases 75,000 Classified Afghanistan War Reports

The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released 75,000 reports out of a 91,000 report compendium dubbed the Afghan War Diaries. They cover the Afghanistan War from 2004 - 2010 and were released today at 5 p.m. EST. The remaining 15,000 reports have been held back "as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source," according to the WikiLeaks site. "After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits," continues the WikiLeaks article.

The U.S. government is very unhappy about the public release of the reports, but was unable to stop it. So far there has been no public indication that the U.S. government has given orders to assassinate Australian Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, who has stated that he is not concerned about his safety. He does think he could be detained if he comes to the U.S. and is avoiding a trip here for the time being.

In the following video, released today, Julian explains why he is making the Afghan War Diaries public.


WikiLeaks dedicated page on the reports

The New York Times covers the story

The Guardian (U.K.) coverage

Der Spiegel coverage German publication, but English reporting!

Soldier Recalls Iraq Civilian Massacre

This was the same massacre seen by millions when WikiLeaks released the video on the Internet in April.
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Introduction to the YouTube video

mediasanctuary | July 24, 2010

http://mediasanctuary.tv
http://www.NationalPeaceConference.org

Ethan McCord, an Iraq war veteran and whistleblower on war crimes committed by US forces, talks about his experience as part of the first platoon to arrive on the scene of fresh carnage, as seen by millions in the classified video leaked by the website Wikileaks in April 2010.

Recorded live at the United National Peace Conference in Albany, New York, July 24, 2010. The 17-minute video McCord refers to, shown at the conference just before he made these remarks, can be found at http://youtu.be/5rXPrfnU3G0

Produced by the United National Peace Conference Media Project, an initiative powered by the Sanctuary for Independent Media and Hudson Mohawk Indymedia Center.

NY Valedictorian Speaks Out against Education System

The following speech was delivered by class valedictorian Erica Goldson during the graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School (upstate New York) on June 25, 2010
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Here I Stand

Erica Goldson

There is a story of a young, but earnest Zen student who approached his teacher, and asked the Master, "If I work very hard and diligently, how long will it take for me to find Zen? The Master thought about this, then replied, "Ten years . ."

?The student then said, "But what if I work very, very hard and really apply myself to learn fast -- How long then?" Replied the Master, "Well, twenty years." "But, if I really, really work at it, how long then?" asked the student. "Thirty years," replied the Master. "But, I do not understand," said the disappointed student. "At each time that I say I will work harder, you say it will take me longer. Why do you say that?"

?Replied the Master, "When you have one eye on the goal, you only have one eye on the path."

This is the dilemma I've faced within the American education system. We are so focused on a goal, whether it be passing a test, or graduating as first in the class. However, in this way, we do not really learn. We do whatever it takes to achieve our original objective.

Some of you may be thinking, “Well, if you pass a test, or become valedictorian, didn't you learn something? Well, yes, you learned something, but not all that you could have. Perhaps, you only learned how to memorize names, places, and dates to later on forget in order to clear your mind for the next test. School is not all that it can be. Right now, it is a place for most people to determine that their goal is to get out as soon as possible.

Read more . . .

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