Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience.
Israel’s Prime Minister [Benjamin Netanyahu] is well-placed to explain to the U.S. Congress the alleged danger of a nuclear Iran. After all, it was Israel and its allies in Washington who fabricated this issue to begin with.
There are millions of Christians in America’s churches that couldn’t tell you what’s in the Bible to save their lives. They couldn’t quote the Ten Commandments; they couldn’t quote the Golden Rule; they couldn’t name Christ’s apostles; they couldn’t quote five verses of Scripture from memory if their lives depended on it.
In all ages the people of the world, equally with individuals, have accepted words for deeds, for THEY ARE CONTENT WITH A SHOW and rarely pause to note, in the public arena, whether promises are followed by performance.
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just. —Shakespeare, British playwright But four times he who gets his blow in fust. —Josh Billlings, American writer
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber’s factually impoverished testimony on Obamacare [before the House] didn’t get nearly the attention it should have, as congressional Democrats cleverly decided to release a report on CIA torture abuses on the same day.
"... there is NOTHING that can’t be reached by the state legislative power. They can correct the manifold violations of every provision of the constitution that occur every day in every state by federal agencies exceeding the scope of the authority granted to them by the states, in the Constitution. The problem has not been that there aren’t plenty of violations to correct. The problem has been that most States are befuddled into thinking that they get run by Washington, D.C. The press tells them this every day.
Russia has a nuclear arsenal as large as Washington’s, and Russia is very much aware that for 13 years Washington’s lies and demonizations of countries are the preludes to launching military attacks on the countries.
Throughout my career, the political ruling elite has been enacting piecemeal a version of “universal” healthcare coverage to satisfy the demands of an increasingly vocal, but also increasingly disenfranchised citizenry. Our overlords, of course, have been more motivated by enhancing corporate bottom lines and enriching themselves, than in genuinely helping the peasantry.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel beating his usual drum to get the U.S. to fight Israel's battles against Iran. As always, the fact of Israel being the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons is studiously ignored by everyone present as is the fact that Iran has not attacked another country in over 200 years, in stark contrast to Israel, which has even attacked the U.S.—and gotten away with it.
Russia Today introduction: Around 70 activists gathered outside the AIPAC conference to protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech in Washington DC on Monday, including a group of 'anti-Zionist' Orthodox Jews - Neturei Karta. Chanting 'shame, shame!' repeatedly, the group incurred the wrath of at least one attendee, who labelled the crowd a 'disgrace' before entering the building.
The US return to Asia, boosting the number of exercises and military presence in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East involvement and drone strikes, the gradual intensification of efforts to reinvigorate the African policy – all are the issues in focus. Training, assisting, and subsidizing armed forces of other countries is another significant aspect of US foreign policy, which is often overlooked or underestimated. But it is an important tool used to strengthen the country’s global clout. The last Quadrennial Defense Review report, which saw light in 2010, puts great emphasis on military-to-military coordination…
The US has a vast number of military training and assistance missions globally; it is the largest world contributor of military aid to foreign countries, providing some form of assistance to over 150 countries in 2013. It was 134 in 2012, or 75 percent of the states on the planet Earth. There has been almost zero discussion of how military assistance is organized and how effective it is. The administration requested $9.8 billion in security assistance funding for fiscal year 2013 against the background of sequester.
There are three main programs designed for foreign military aid:
Hawaii Political Info introduction: Multi-billionaire Honolulu resident Pierre Omidyar founded Honolulu Civil Beat a few years ago. He later launched a separate, ambitious, more widely encompassing news project that landed some of the best-known and most able investigative journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Matt Taibbi.
Ken Silverstein joined Omidyar's news organization, but has since left. Here he gives his view on why.
The Huffington Post
By Catherine Taibi
March 2, 2014
Ken Silverstein joined First Look Media because it promised the freedom to pursue "fearless journalism." But after a mere 14 months at eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s upstart outlet, Silverstein quit his post dramatically last week, saying he was hired “under false pretenses.”
"At First Look, we were never able to be fearless," writes Silverstein, a former senior investigative reporter at First Look, in a new piece for Politico Magazine. "We couldn’t do anything, because we spent so much time in pointless meetings and being slowed down, when we wrote anything, by a lack of support from management and the dire shortage of editors to actually oversee and work with the writers."
Late Friday night, Congress passed legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security for one week. This vote followed weeks of debate over efforts to attach a prohibition on funding President Obama’s executive order granting amnesty to certain illegal immigrants to the Homeland Security funding bill.
Despite the heated rhetoric from both sides, no one seriously believes that Congress will allow Homeland Security funding to lapse. Most in Congress believe that, without the Department of Homeland Security, Americans would be left unprotected from terrorists and natural disasters. As with most areas of bipartisan agreement, the truth is the exact opposite of the DC consensus. The American people would be much better off if Congress transferred the few constitutional functions performed by Homeland Security to other parts of the government and then shut down the rest of the department.
Many Americans associate Homeland Security with the color–coded terrorist warning system and the “if you see something, say something" public relations campaign. These programs were designed to inspire public confidence in the department, but instead they inspired public ridicule.
Ironically, the best case for shutting down this department is its most well-known component — the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). More terrorist attacks have been thwarted by airline passengers than by the TSA! The TSA may be ineffective at stopping terrorists, but it is very effective at harassing innocent Americans like Lucy Forck. Three-year-old Lucy, who uses a wheelchair, not only had to endure an intrusive screening from TSA agents, but the agents also took away her beloved stuffed animal.
When not abusing children who use wheelchairs, TSA subjects airline passengers to rules that seem designed to make air travel as unpleasant as possible. For example, TSA recently forced a Campaign for Liberty staffer to throw away a jar of Nutella she had in her carry-own luggage. I am sure all airline passengers feel safe knowing that TSA is protecting them from sandwich spreads.
Ending the TSA would return responsibility for airline security to airports and airlines. Private businesses have a greater incentive than a government bureaucracy to ensure their customers’ safety. Those conservatives who think this is a radical idea should try to think of one area where they trust government bureaucrats to do a better job than private business owners.
Another agency within Homeland Security that the American people could do without is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Having spent fifteen years in Congress representing a coastal area subject to hurricanes and floods, I have seen first-hand how FEMA places adherence to bureaucratic rules ahead of aiding victims of a natural disaster. As a result, it is not uncommon for disaster victims to wait months or even years for assistance.
FEMA not only fails to provide effective relief to disaster victims, it also impedes private disaster relief efforts. FEMA even hinders disaster victims’ efforts to help themselves. While in Congress, I heard stories of individuals being threatened with fines or even jail time if they returned to their property without FEMA’s permission. One individual in my district was threatened with arrest if he removed a tarp that FEMA put on his house — even though FEMA was supposed to have put it on his neighbor’s house!
Ten years after the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, it is clear that this department has failed to protect our security, but has infringed on liberty. If Congress really wanted to enhance our security and our liberty it would shut down this unnecessary, unconstitutional department.
Russia Today introduction: Living in a border area disputed by two nations may be hard enough, but the Druze community in the Golan Heights are now facing another difficulty - that of oil exploration on their doorstep. An American company has started drilling wells there with Israel's approval, but locals fear they won't reap any benefits.
Hawaii Political Info note: Afek Oil and Gas is described by Russia Today as an American company. What they don't say is that its top executives areJews.
Brave New Films introduction: War on Whistleblowers highlights recent cases where American government employees and contractors took to the media to expose fraud and abuse. In all cases the whistle-blowing was to the detriment of their professional and personal lives. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c... WATCH MORE FILMS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N8y2...
With President Obama's commitment to transparency and the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, there was hope that whistleblowers would finally have more protection and encouragement to speak up. But according to the film, times have never been worse for national security whistleblowers. Obama's administration has attacked more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than all previous administrations combined.
2:30 After the death of Major Megan McClung who was killed by an IED while riding in a Humvee, Franz Gayl asked himself, "If not me, then who? If not now then when?" Gayl blew the whistle on the Military Industry who were dragging their feet to provide MRAPS, a vehicle that could replace the Humvee and prevent unnecessary casualties amongst American Soldiers in Irag.
11:53 "Why didn't they do the right thing?" , asks Gayl. It comes down to money and reputations. The Humvee, though not the safest choice for our soldiers, is backed by millions of dollars and powerful lobbying. Pete Sepp, Executive Vice President of the National taxpayers Union stresses the need for more accountability in our spending.
13:18 The more powerful our National Security State becomes, the greater the need for Whistle Blowers and as our need for Whistle Blowers has increased, so has the aggression towards and attacks on them via the Obama Administration.
"We talk about a National Security State that pretends it's interested in our National Security when in fact it's interested in the security of corporate interests, of agency interests, of politicians keeping their jobs..."
-Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
16:24 Meet Thomas Drake, Former Senior Executive of the NSA. WhistleBlower.
18:23 Meet Michael Dekort, Former Lead Systems Engineer of the Deepwater Program. Whistleblower.
20:40 Meet Thomas Tamm, Former Attorney in the Department of Justice. WhistleBlower.
23:21 Hear how Drake, Dekort and Tamm arrived at their fateful decisions to brave the risk and blow the whistle.
"...we nickname whistleblowing the sound of professional suicide."
Tom Devine, Legal Director, Government Accountability Project
32:26 Michael Dekort uses YouTube as a last resort tactic to be heard. It worked.
35:26 Drake recounts the day they came for him, the charges made against him and the severity of punishments he faced under the Espionage Act.
"I met the Chief prosecutor at a secret FBI facility in Maryland where the prosecutor threatened me with spending the rest of my life in prison..."
39:55 The Obama administration began with promises of transparency and accountability to the American people, yet turned very quickly in to an administration that has cracked down on Whistleblowers harder than any other. Thomas Tamm also finds himself charged under the Espionage Act.
44:55 Jesselyn Radack writes an article in the L.A times on behalf of Thomas Drake calling attention to the differences between "leaking" and "whistleblowing". The tide turns for Drake who begins to receive long overdue recognition for telling the truth.
47:10 Thomas Tamm recalls his moment to speak and be heard in the press.
51:12 It's a bittersweet moment when Thomas Drake is vindicated.
52:49 The Obama administration prosecutes, prosecutes, prosecutes some more.
"Efforts to target me have continued under the Obama administration which has been aggressively investigating whistleblowers in a way that will have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in the United States."
55:07 The government uses selective leaking to release only the stories that cast them in a good light.
1:02 What kind of nation are we becoming? Edward Snowden encourages us to decide what kind of contribution we will make together, not just by saying, but by doing.
ABOUT BRAVE NEW FILMS
Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Using new media and internet video campaigns, Brave New Films has created a quick-strike capability that informs the public, challenges corporate media with the truth, and motivates people to take action on social issues nationwide. Brave New Films’ investigative films have scrutinized the impact of U.S. drone strikes; the war on whistleblowers; and Wal Mart’s corporate practices. The company’s films have received more than 56 million views online.
Mahalo to Jack De Feo for alerting Hawaii Political Info to this documentary
Russia Today introduction: A list of reforms proposed by Greece has won the country a four month extension to its bailout program. However it's already clear that the ruling Syriza party has had to back down on a number of its pledges in a bid to secure an agreement.