Sunday, May 1, 2011

Brick TeeVee more wikileaks: Guantánamo!

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More wikileaks The embattled webiste wikileaks released more docs about the American Gulag at Guantánamo Cuba last week. NPR, NYT and others claim they did not get this set of memos from wikileaks this time. According to Kevin Poulson at, "The Times, which has been out of favor with WikiLeaks since running a profile of founder Julian Assange last October, reportedly acquired the secret-spilling website’s newest release indirectly through another source, and then passed it to the U.K.’s Guardian and NPR." We go to The Telegraph for WikiLeaks: Guantánamo files database released by Christopher Hope: The files were passed to the Telegraph by WikiLeaks and have been specially formatted into a searchable database for visitors to its website. The Guantánamo files database in full (at America’s own analysis of almost 10 years of controversial interrogations on the world’s most dangerous terrorists is contained within the files. They show at least 35 extremists were indoctrinated in British mosques and then went to fight the West in Afghanistan. They also disclose how some 150 innocent people – from an illiterate farmhand to a wood-gatherer who did not know his own age – were incarcerated at the camp. Visit those links to see the searchable databases yourself! Greg Mitchell of The Nation has been following the wikileaks releases so see The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 150 10:50 Full review of the Gitmo files, and the coverage, around the world from Foreign Policy, with list of new revelations and details added to what was known before. For example: "At least 10 foreign governments, including China, Tunisia, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Jordan, Algeria, Yemen and Kuwait were allowed to send agents to interrogate detainees (Guardian)" and 8:50 Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic: No Wonder Congress Wants to Hide The Gitmo Detainees In a perfect world -- by which I mean a world in which the culpable are required to at least account for their choices if not pay for them -- House Republicans or Senate Democrats would soon be clamoring anew to call to Capitol Hill for sworn testimony men like former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former White House staffer David Addington, and others who are responsible for the way our government treated the prisoners after 9/11. Anyone want to lay odds on that happening? It's no wonder Congress has decided to try to bury the detainees at Gitmo, figuratively if not literally, by precluding federal civilian trials for some of the men. Such trials would have revealed -- to American juries and the world's media -- much of the information that is contained in the new documents. Better to prey upon the fears and prejudices of the American people -- there's that government myth-making again -- than to face the consequences of the official conduct that was undertaken in our name. Indeed, the documents reveal just how cowardly Congress was in its handling of the case of Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Greg does a great job so check out more of his daily posts. Next Julian Glover of The explains how Guantánamo piled lie upon lie through the momentum of its own existence. What is given new prominence by these leaked Guantánamo files is the cold and incompetent stupidity of the system. ... "If you could only know what we can know, you would understand that what we are doing is right," our leaders used to assure us. Well now we really do know – we have the documents, we have the transcripts of interviews with former prisoners, we have everything it takes to understand the nasty story of Guantánamo, exposed today in 759 leaked documents containing the words of the people who ran the place. And it is obvious that we should have seen through the evasions from the start. ... But what is given new prominence by these latest Guantánamo files is the cold, incompetent stupidity of the system: a system that tangled up the old and the young, the sick and the innocent. A system in which to say you were not a terrorist might be taken as evidence of your cunning. A system designed less to hand out justice than to process and supply information from inmates, as if they were not humans but items of digital data in some demented storage machine programmed always to reject the answer "No, I was not involved". The clinical idiocy of this dreadful place is the most chilling thing of all, since it strips away even the cynical but persuasive defence: it was harsh but it worked and it kept the world safe. It didn't work, much of the time. These files show that some of the information collected was garbage and that many of those held knew nothing that could be of use to the people demanding answers from them. Far from securing the fight against terror, the people running the camp faced an absurdist battle to educate a 14-year-old peasant boy kidnapped by an Afghan tribe and treat the dementia, depression and osteoarthritis of an 89-year-old man caught up in a raid on his son's house. Other cases are just as pathetic. ... The final indictment of Guantánamo is not just that it broke the rule of law temporarily, but that by doing so it made the breach permanent. Justified as a way of gathering information from the guilty, it forced the innocent to invent falsehoods as well. The security forces and politicians who permitted the camp often accuse its critics of being simplistic and squeamish. They say that the things that happened inside it were much less nasty than the things the people it contains did to others. In some cases that's right. But the Guantánamo system piled lie upon lie through the momentum of its own existence, until no one could know which those cases were, or what was true. Lastly see Glenn Greenwald at for Newly leaked documents show the ongoing travesty of Guantanamo & FBI serves Grand Jury subpoena likely relating to WikiLeaks both must-reads in their entirety and see his interview below on DN! too. Then go to for a lengthy discussion Tomgram: McCoy and Reilly, An Empire of Failed States The creation or support of elites has, as Alfred McCoy and Brett Reilly write, always been crucial to running global empires. And yet client elites are one of those subjects seldom given much thought, even though Great Britain, for instance, ruled its Indian Raj with striking, if oppressive, efficiency for endless decades with surprisingly few personnel from England. How else, after all, could a global empire continue? And yet, as a great power’s strength and influence wane, those bets -- like the one Washington placed in Egypt -- begin to go awry, from an imperial point of view. If McCoy, a TomDispatch regular and the author most recently of Policing America’s Empire, and Reilly are right, Washington’s touch, when it comes to keeping local elites in line, may indeed be “on the rocks.” Washington on the Rocks - An Empire of Autocrats, Aristocrats, and Uniformed Thugs Begins to Totter By Alfred W. McCoy and Brett Reilly It seems some of the autocrats have been doing their bits of magic in the U.S. as well. See these graphs provided by These five charts fully explain the definition of ”American Exceptionalism.” Check ‘em out. Yes do check these out. Paul Krugman certainly understands how this all works and tells us so in Let's Take a Hike My description of the budget debate is in no way an exaggeration. Consider the Ryan budget proposal, which all the Very Serious People assured us was courageous and important. That proposal begins by warning that “a major debt crisis is inevitable” unless we confront the deficit. It then calls, not for tax increases, but for tax cuts, with taxes on the wealthy falling to their lowest level since 1931. And because of those large tax cuts, the only way the Ryan proposal can even claim to reduce the deficit is through savage cuts in spending, mainly falling on the poor and vulnerable. (A realistic assessment suggests that the proposal would actually increase the deficit.) ... The point is that we aren’t that heavily taxed, either by historical standards or in comparison with other nations. So if you’re truly horrified by the budget deficit, why not propose tax increases as part of the solution? Wait, there’s more. The core of the Ryan proposal is a plan to privatize and defund Medicare. Yet this would do nothing to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years, which is why all the near-term deficit reduction comes from brutal reductions in aid to the needy and unspecified cuts in discretionary spending. Tax increases, by contrast, can be fast-acting remedies for red ink. And that’s why the only major budget proposal out there offering a plausible path to balancing the budget is the one that includes significant tax increases: the “People’s Budget” from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which — unlike the Ryan plan, which was just right-wing orthodoxy with an added dose of magical thinking — is genuinely courageous because it calls for shared sacrifice.... But if the progressive proposal has all these virtues, why isn’t it getting anywhere near as much attention as the much less serious Ryan proposal? It’s true that it has no chance of becoming law anytime soon. But that’s equally true of the Ryan proposal. The answer, I’m sorry to say, is the insincerity of many if not most self-proclaimed deficit hawks. To the extent that they care about the deficit at all, it takes second place to their desire to do precisely what the People’s Budget avoids doing, namely, tear up our current social contract, turning the clock back 80 years under the guise of necessity. They don’t want to be told that such a radical turn to the right is not, in fact, necessary. But, it isn’t, as the progressive budget proposal shows. We do need to bring the deficit down, although we aren’t facing an immediate crisis. How we go about stemming the tide of red ink is, however, a choice — and by making tax increases part of the solution, we can avoid savaging the poor and undermining the security of the middle class. Thanks Professor Krugman, but we don't think the autocrats are ready to give up all their wealth because's Chris Hedges announces The Corporate State Wins Again: The massive redistribution of wealth, as Hacker and Pierson write, happened because lawmakers and public officials were, in essence, hired to permit it to happen. It was not a conspiracy. The process was transparent. It did not require the formation of a new political party or movement. It was the result of inertia by our political and intellectual class, which in the face of expanding corporate power found it personally profitable to facilitate it or look the other way. The armies of lobbyists, who write the legislation, bankroll political campaigns and disseminate propaganda, have been able to short-circuit the electorate. Hacker and Pierson pinpoint the administration of Jimmy Carter as the start of our descent, but I think it began long before with Woodrow Wilson, the ideology of permanent war and the capacity by public relations to manufacture consent. Empires die over such long stretches of time that the exact moment when terminal decline becomes irreversible is probably impossible to document. That we are at the end, however, is beyond dispute. ... The game is over. We lost. The corporate state will continue its inexorable advance until two-thirds of the nation is locked into a desperate, permanent underclass. Following up on the labor struggles in Wisconsin Eric Kleefeld at TMP updates us on the Wisconsin recall efforts Wis. Election Officials Seek To Hold Recalls On July 12 The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB), which oversees elections in the state, is seeking a timeline that would allow state Senate recall elections to be held on July 12 -- consolidating many different recalls into one day. ... Without such an extension/consolidation maneuver, it's possible that recalls would take place over several weeks, going one at a time. Instead, the GAB's request would put them on one day -- a mega-recall day covering a quarter of the chamber. ... Also, while the GAB's filing lists eight recalls that have been filed for review thus far, the number is actually set to grow to nine or more. While the Fukushima disaster rages on Bloomberg goes with this headline: Nuclear Future Is Now Because That’s Where Profit Is for Exelon: Real M&A while you may recall Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones noting last year "Executives and employees of Exelon, the Illinois-based utility that produces approximately 20 percent of the country's nuclear power, donated nearly $210,000 to Obama's presidential campaign, according to CQ Moneyline" Meanwhile has a Roundup of news on Fukushima nuclear reactor crisis from Friday with plenty of links. Sunday's Beltway Bubalas will ignore all of this as usual. State of the Candy has a bunch of "formers" (sheesh can't you get anybody current?). This Anampout lets PAUL RYAN try to defend his so-called "budget" while Meet the David gets KING BLOOMBERG and DAVID AXELROD and Florida's zany MARCO RUBIO. Face the Bob commisserates with JOHN "Crazy Train" MCCAIN and ERIC DYSON. Save some bricks for the fact-challenged tea-party nut MICHELE BACHMAN on the lying Fake Snooze Sunday. Plenty more real news below in the BTV Alerts and all our regulars. The Brick TeeVee Crew woke up Thursday to two giant maple trees that were blown down into the back yard of the compound Wednesday night by 70-MPH gusts. Yikes! No injuries but we have plenty of fire wood now after we cut it all up! Then the Crew made their way to The Prog to see a WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM by catcher CARLOS SANTANA for their 11th home win in a row! Then on Saturday it took the Tribe 13 innings before they got a bases-loaded hit from ORLANDO CABRERA to extend the streak to 12. With these two wins it launched the 2011 Indians team into the record books with their team-best-ever April going 18-8. The Tribe swept the Royals earlier in the week by bashing NINE homers giving them four sweeps already, the same amount they had all last year, and look to sweep the Tigers on Sunday before heading for the west coast to match up with The A's and Angels. Go Tribe! Catch a game if you can and have a great week!

Democracy NOW!
JAPAN IN CRISIS JAPAN IN CRISIS Democracy Now! reports on the disaster in Japan following a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami and the resulting nuclear crisis.
»»» Journalist Andy Worthington @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW WikiLeaks Documents Reveal U.S. Knowingly Imprisoned 150 Innocent Men at Guantánamo April 25, 2011
»»» Dr. Jeff Patterson & Dr. Janette Sherman @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Chernobyl Catastrophe: 25th Anniversary of World’s Worst Nuclear Accident April 26, 2011
»»» Labor journalist Mike Elk @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Locked-Out Uranium Processing Workers Protest Honeywell’s Use of Scab Workers at Uranium Enrichment Plant in Illinois April 26, 2011
»»» The Guardian investigations executive editor David Leigh @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Guardian Newspaper Editor Defends Publishing WikiLeaks’ Secret Guantánamo Files April 26, 2011
»»» Leila Fadel, Washington Post Cairo bureau chief @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Inside War-Torn Libya: As NATO Intensifies Air Strikes, Rebels Struggle to Break Gaddafi’s Control of Libya April 27, 2011
»»» Journalists Rula Jebreal & Issandr El Amrani @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Arab Spring: A Discussion on Libya, Egypt and the Mideast with Palestinian Writer Rula Jebreal, Author of “Miral" & Journalist Issandr El Amrani April 27, 2011
»»» Former U.S. Justice Department Attorney Thomas Tamm @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW DOJ Drops Probe of Whistleblower Who Exposed Bush-Era Domestic Spying, Thomas Tamm: "The Bottom Line Is I Don’t Think I Ever Broke the Law" April 28, 2011
»»» Ray McGovern @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern: Petraeus Will Expand Pro-War Agenda as New CIA Director> April 28, 2011
»»» Glenn Greenwald @ Democracy NOW! WATCH NOW Glenn Greenwald: Obama’s Comments on Bradley Manning Mark "Amazing Amount of Improper Influence" in WikiLeaks Case April 29, 2011 and the WEB EXCLUSIVE Glenn Greenwald on Why He Strongly Supports WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning
»»» GRITtv @ with Laura Flanders
»»» FEATURED SHOW @ GRITtv WATCH Vandana Shiva: Understanding the Corporate Takeover "The American people should see that corporations have abandoned them long ago," says scientist, environmentalist, and food justice activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, named one of the seven most influential women in the world by Forbes magazine. "The people will have to rebuild democracy as a living democracy."
»»» Community Video @ GRITtv Students and Teachers Fight California University Cuts Budget cuts are everywhere we look these days, but they often come right along with giveaways and moves to further enrich those at the top. In San Francisco, students and teachers came out to protest massive budget cuts in the California State Unive...
»»» GOT DOCS Got Docs: Two Americans
»»» Retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich @ GRITtv Andrew Bacevich; Sex, Hope & Rock'n'Roll, & Baratunde Thurston
»»» The F Word @ GRITtv The F Word: Oil Prices: Gouge Us Baby One More Time
»»» The F Word @ GRITtv The F Word: Let's Admit The Truth About American Royals
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»»» NBA PLAYOFFSSemifinals begin Sunday and continue all week on TNT, ABC, ESPN and NBA-TV! Check yer local listings!
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SUPPORT THE TROOPS WHO REFUSE TO FIGHT See UPDATE! Bradley Manning to be Removed from Solitary Confinement Tomorrow by Michael Whitney of Fire Dog Lake 4-28-11 Accused Wikileaks whistleblower PFC. Bradley Manning will be removed from solitary confinement and placed in medium security at Fort Leavenworth prison, according to reports from journalists who took a tour of the Kansas facility today. The first report of Manning’s move came from National Catholic Review reporter Joshua J. McElwee, who said that after the tour of the Leavenworth facility, military officials announced that Manning would be moved to medium security tomorrow morning. More at link.
EMAIL UPDATE! Help us reach our goal of a half million by signing the petition, and passing it on. Add your name! AND Vote for Bradley in the 2011 Time Magazine 100 Poll here!
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    • PBC Podcast 242 Vince Warren of CCR on the New WikiLeaks Gitmo Files; J Street Promotes Dialogue on Israel/Palestine, Gets Attacked by Knesset Leader Vince Warren Executive Director of Center for Constitutional Rights, talks about the new WikiLeaks Guantanamo files, and poor coverage by the N. Y. Times; Hadar Susskind of J Street, the more moderate American lobby group for Israel, talks about a recent hearing in the Knesset where critics questioned the loyalty of J Street’s founders.
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  • ANTIWAR RADIO with Scott Horton
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    Gareth Porter April 25, 2011: Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for IPS News, discusses Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2007 offer of political favors to Ehud Olmert in exchange for attacking Iran; why an Israeli “solo” attack on Iran would still make the US complicit – requiring a presidential decision to allow it to happen; the pusillanimous tendencies of Barack Obama; and the finally-concluded 2010 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran.
    Kevin ZeeseApril 27, 2011: Kevin Zeese, Executive Director and co-founder of VotersForPeace, discusses the successful efforts of activists and alternative media to bring Bradley Manning international attention; the pro-Manning “hecklers” at a pricey Obama fundraising event in San Francisco; the decentralized “democratized media” ready to fill the void left by the thoroughly discredited mainstream media; and the groundbreaking WikiLeaks model of disseminating government information to the public.
    Philip Giraldi April 27, 2011: Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi discusses the US “democracy building” institutions contributing to the protests in Syria; whether the US government deserves credit for the Arab Spring by playing both sides – minimally funding opposition groups while massively funding dictators; John McCain’s return trip to Libya, this time on the rebel side; the competing factions that make a unified foreign policy based on national interest impossible; summing up Syria policy as “what’s best for Israel;” and how Libya is becoming a Balkan-style quagmire.
    Andy Worthington April 28, 2011: Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, discusses the WikiLeaks Guantanamo documents that provide a window into the inner workings of US detention policy; unreliable witnesses who gave evidence against a great many innocent prisoners; the lack of a screening process to separate farmers, old men and boys from the very few actual terrorist suspects; an analysis of the first 200 released prisoners, many previously unknown; how Charlie Savage and the NYT accepted the three 2006 Gitmo suicides at face value, ignoring (the other) Scott Horton’s investigation; the Democrats in Congress who got no support from Barack “I’m going to close Gitmo” Obama; the Al Jazeera cameraman held and questioned for six years about the inside operations at Al Jazeera; broadening the list of “terrorist organizations” to justify holding certain prisoners; and how the US went from the “rule of law” to “the gloves are off, do what you want, there will be no repercussions.”
    Many more interviews at Antiwar Radio!

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