Category Archives: Bradley Manning

Why does the U.S. have such a corrupt, vicious government? Because the people of the U.S. like it this way.

We are told that people all over the world ask themselves: “Why is the United States Government so vicious when the people of the United States seem so nice when you meet them?”

The perception of the people of the United States is that they are generous and friendly, open and welcoming to people from all over the world.  This is the perception; the truth is far from the perception.  In fact, the people of the United States don’t give a shit how many people the US Government murders all over the world, so long as the price of gasoline doesn’t rise above $5.00 a gallon.

We saw more than a hint of this national selfishness in the endless, prating U.S. side of the discussion about the National Security Agency’s spy operations targeting people all over the world.  Here in the United States, those workers who did complain about the spying (actually very few seem to care very much about anything at all) focused their anger on the fact that the NSA was spying on AMERICANS.  They couldn’t care less about the US Government’s rampant violations of the rights of the inhabitants of the rest of the planet.

This vicious nationalism is quite reminiscent of the mentality of workers in Germany during the reign of Hitler’s Nazis.  There, too, the citizens did not care what the government was doing, so long as there were jobs for everyone and life was improving after the long nightmare of the economic collapse that followed Germany’s defeat in WWI.  In Germany in 1941, no one cared about the fate of the Jews, just as in the United States in 2014, no one seems to care about the growing number of victims of the US military’s drone strikes, or the mass murder of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, or anything else that is caused by the US capitalist class’ unbridled greed, which drives them to commit atrocity after atrocity, decade after decade, while the citizens of the United States pretend that there is nothing they can do to change government policy.  The citizens of the United States act as if they have tried very hard to change the government, but have found out after decades of trying that “you just can’t fight Washington”.  In fact, they have not even attempted to oppose the US Government’s brutal raping of the Middle East and western Asia ‘lo these many years.  Because they just don’t care.  The vast majority of the citizens of the United States aren’t “nice, friendly, generous” people any more than the citizens of Hitler’s Germany were “nice friendly, generous people”.

So what do Americans care about?  What kinds of causes are they willing to support with their hard-earned dollars?  What are the important issues and grass-roots efforts that are rousing Americans out of their vast apathy/malevolence towards their fellow men and women and causing them to open up their checkbooks and donate money to a worthy cause?

Indiegogo is the most successful crowdfunding organization in the United States today.  It provides an online platform for those seeking to raise money for any kind of cause imaginable, from funding the development of worthless junk to funding political parties like ours.  So, perhaps if we take a look at the most popular campaigns on Indiegogo we will get a good look into the “hearts and minds” of those “happy, friendly and generous” 2014 U.S. versions of the citizens of Hitler’s Germany!  After all, Indiegogo’s mantra is “Fund what matters to you”. Let’s take a look.

This is what the Indiegogo website looks like, in case you’ve never had the pleasure:

Indiegogo homepage: "Fund what matters to you"

Indiegogo homepage: “Fund what matters to you”

So, what “matters” to our lovely American fellow citizens in 2014?  Here are the top ten most funded campaigns on Indiegogo as of today, 20 March 2014:

#10: RESTORE THE SHORE!

Restoring the New Jersey Shore, devastated by Hurricane Sandy, doesn't register with Americans any more in 2014

Restoring the New Jersey Shore, devastated by Hurricane Sandy, doesn’t register with Americans any more in 2014

#9: ROBOT DRAGONFLY!

Are Americans worried about drones? Damn right! They're worried that their neighbors will get one before they do.

Are Americans worried about drones? Damn right! They’re worried that their neighbors will get one before they do.

#8: GEEK PULSE DIGITAL AUDIO AWESOMIFIER!

This is so incredibly stupid it beggars belief. What do these people have to produce in order for this not to be a first-class case of fraud?

This is so incredibly stupid it beggars belief. What do these people have to produce in order for this not to be a first-class case of fraud?

#7: PANONO THROWABLE PANORAMIC BALL CAMERA!

This would be a ridiculous waste of money if it weren't for the fact that it's THROWABLE! WHEEE!

This would be a ridiculous waste of money if it weren’t for the fact that it’s THROWABLE! WHEEE!

#6: AIRTAME WIRELESS HDMI FOR EVERYONE!

Wireless HDMI for everyone!  Well, everyone who owns a computer, anyway. Are there any people who don't own a computer?  Ewwwwww!

Wireless HDMI for everyone! Well, everyone who owns a computer, anyway. Are there really people who don’t own a computer? Ewwwwww!

#5: BUILD A GODDAMN TESLA MUSEUM ALREADY!

Someone call Rotary International and see if they can spend some time on something important for once.

Someone call Rotary International and see if they can spend some time on something important for once.

#4:  KREYOS: THE ONLY SMARTWATCH WITH VOICE AND GESTURE CONTROL!

We can think of only one gesture we'd like to make after seeing this.

We can think of only one gesture we’d like to make after seeing this.

#3: SCANADU SCOUT WIRELESS VITAL SIGNS TRANSMITTER!

Brain functions below normal; apathy levels extremely high;  morality at undetectable levels: a typical American wage/debt slave!

Brain functions below normal; apathy levels extremely high; morality at undetectable levels: a typical American wage/debt slave!

#2: CANARY SMART HOME SECURITY SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE!

It will even keep your conscience from troubling you over trivial things like the burgeoning US police state and NSA spying!

It will even keep your conscience from troubling you over trivial things like the burgeoning US police state and NSA spying!

We bet that after finally having the chance to appreciate all these wonderfully frivolous (and mostly wildly successful) fundraising campaigns that have captivated the imaginations of today’s American version of the Hitler Youth, you’re just dying to see what has been the number one fundraising boondoggle of the year so far! Right?  Right?  We’ll get ready to be disgusted/disappointed:

#1: UBUNTU EDGE COMBINATION SMARTPHONE/DESKTOP PC!

It's a smartphone!  No, it's a desktop PC!  No... it's a SMARTPHONE!  No... it's BOTH IN ONE DEVICE!  OMFG!

It’s a smartphone! No, it’s a desktop PC! No… it’s a SMARTPHONE! No… it’s BOTH IN ONE DEVICE! OMFG!

Well, look on the bright side: sure, they managed to raise over $12 million for the development of a device no one wants, but at least they fell far short of the $32 MILLION these fuckwads WANTED to raise for their “revolutionary” P.O.S..

Now, we know what all our stupid fellow American citizens are gonna say to this: “Wait a minute!  There are a lot of great campaigns being funded on Indiegogo that PROVE how selfless and generous we Americans really are!  You’re not showing the world how much we care at all!”  OK, we’ll show some examples of your overweening generosity:

CAMPAIGN TO HELP VANDALIZED ABORTION CLINIC IN KALISPELL, MONTANA

300 million Americans have managed to raise just $60,000 to repair an abortion clinic vandalized by anti-abortion fanatics

300 million Americans have managed to raise just $60,000 to repair an abortion clinic vandalized by anti-abortion fanatics

300 million compassionate Americans have raised $1300 to help a man's mom fight to free her son from prison

300 million compassionate Americans have raised $1300 to help a man’s mom fight to free her son from prison

300 million Americans care enough about the horrendous conditions in US prisons to donate $5,400.00 to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

300 million Americans care enough about the horrendous conditions in US prisons to donate $5,400.00 to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania

300 million Americans care enough about the fight to defend our right to be free from the US Government's warrantless surveillance programs  that they raised $2,000 for the cause.

300 million Americans care enough about the fight to defend our right to be free from the US Government’s warrantless surveillance programs that they raised $2,000 for the cause.

So the next time you hear an American worker complaining about how bad things are getting in the United States and winding up the complaint with “but what can we do about it?” remember:  Americans aren’t even trying to change things for the better.  Because, as of March, 2014, they really don’t give a shit.

IWPCHI

Full Text of Chinese Report: “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013”

We republish below China’s response to the U.S. Department of State’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013”.  China is the only country we know of that actually attempts to catalog all the human rights violations committed by the United States Government every year; given that the US loudly trumpets its own self-serving “Human Rights” report – which conveniently neglects to mention any of the US’ own human rights violations – we believe that this will provide our readers with a rare opportunity to see the United States hypocrisy through the eyes of, in this case, the Chinese government.

The document makes a lot of very incisive criticisms of the US human rights record in regard to the treatment of minorities in the US as well as the sheer numbers of number and conditions under which the US prison population suffers.  But the report is also full of strange references: not surprisingly, the Chinese Maoist government is aghast at the vast number of guns in the possession of the citizens of the United States.  We at the Independent Workers Party of Chicago defend the “right to bear arms”; the Chinese Maoists reveal their utter hostility to basic Marxism when they rail AGAINST the right to bear arms.  If they were actually revolutionaries, they would easily understand the revolutionary nature of the fact that the US working class is armed to the teeth: but the Maoists are NOT revolutionaries, and they, like their former counterparts in the now-defunct USSR, seek rapprochement with the US capitalist class – “peaceful coexistence” – and thus decry the US workers’ ownership of weapons that can be (and hopefully someday will be) used to overthrow the capitalist US Government.  We couldn’t ask for a clearer confirmation of the reactionary, anti-Marxist nature of the Maoist ruling caste in China.

The Chinese report also inexplicably attempts to place the blame for the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on the US Government itself – without giving any reason as to why this should be done.  Overall, the document reveals as much about the class-collaborationist philosophy behind the Chinese fake-communist government as it does about the hideous human rights record of the US capitalist class.

We do not pretend that China does not routinely deny the Chinese working class the right to speak out and organize opposition to the counter-revolutionary and proto-capitalist Chinese Communist Party leadership – even if that opposition is itself anti-capitalist.  The Chinese fake-communist bureaucracy is busy restoring capitalism to China – and stuffing their pockets with cash as they go along.  As Trotskyists, we call for a workers political revolution in China to seize power from the reactionary, nationalist and  pro-capitalist bureaucrats and to establish in their place an internationalist revolutionary socialist workers republic.

  —- IWPCHI

***********************************

Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Updated: 2014-03-01 08:22

( China Daily)

Editor’s Note: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report titled “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013” on Friday. Following is the report’s full text.

Foreword

The State Department of the United States, which posed as “the world judge of human rights,” made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems. In fact, there were still serious human rights problems in the U.S. in 2013, with the situation in many fields even deteriorating.

— In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the U.S.. A shooting rampage in the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. left 12 people dead.

— The U.S. engaged in a tapping program, code-named PRISM, exercising long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad. The program is a blatant violation of international law and seriously infringes on human rights.

— The use of solitary confinement is prevalent in the U.S.. About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement in the country. Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.

— The U.S. still faces grave employment situation with its unemployment rate remaining high. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families have topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the U.S. kept swelling and it had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013.

— There are a large amount of child laborers in the agricultural sector in the U.S. and their physical and mental health was seriously harmed.

— Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. in countries including Pakistan and Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties. The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians.

— The U.S. remains a country which has not ratified or participated in a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I.

On Life and Personal Security

The U.S. was haunted by an increasing number of violent crimes in 2013 with frequent occurrence of firearms-related criminal cases, public information shows. American citizens’ lives and personal safety are threatened by an increasingly dangerous environment.

The number of violent crimes has risen sharply. According to the Uniform Crime Reports, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013, the U.S. registered 1,214,464 violent crimes in 2012, of which 14,827 are murders and nonnegligent manslaughters, 84,376 forcible rapes, 354,522 robberies and 760,739 aggravated assaults. According to statistics revealed by the Bureau of Justice on October 24, 2013, the rate of violent victimization increased from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012.

On April 15, 2013, twin bombings ripped through Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and 264 injured. Among the killed was an 8-year-old. U.S. authorities called the bombings a terrorist attack (USA Today, December 6, 2013).

The Washington Post reported on January 1, 2014, that Robert Senquan Spencer, 21, was dead from a shotgun blast on a Southwest Washington street, becoming the District’s 80th homicide victim of 2013. The District had 103 homicides in 2013 – a sharp increase from 88 in 2012.

American citizens keep the world’s largest number of privately owned guns. According to figures released by the FBI in 2013, the total number of background checks conducted for gun sales in 2013 add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303 by 1,500,970 (www.townhall.com, January 7, 2014). As of 2013, there were about 300 million guns in the U.S.. On average, more than 100,000 Americans are being shot each year, and 30,000 deaths are caused by the use of guns. Victims are either killed in gun-related crimes or died in suicide or nonnegligent manslaughter. The U.S. government failed to take effective measures to control guns. (www.gunfaq.org, http://www.guncrimestatistics.com).

After the mass shootings in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, there were strong calls in the United States for stricter controls on firearms. On April 17, a bipartisan bill to support expanded background checks on firearms was blocked in the Senate. Previously, plans for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines had already been removed from the gun-control bill (www.bbc.co.uk, April 17, 2013). At the same time, states in the U.S. continue to loosen their gun laws. On January 5, Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to allow average citizens to carry around concealed firearms. Anyone with firearm owner’s identification card in the U.S. is allowed to pack heat in places except the no-go zones including schools, parks and restaurants (www.usatoday.com, January 8, 2014).

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Demonstrators hold up their signs during the “Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance” march near the U.S.Capitol in Washington, October 26,2013. Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

Gun violence is rampant in the U.S.. There are 11,000 Americans killed by gun violence every year (www.telegraph.co.uk, December 17, 2013). Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults, according to the Uniform Crime Reports released by the FBI in 2013. Every year, there is serious gun violence in the U.S.. On October 21, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said the average number of mass shooting incidents has tripled in recent years. According to Justice Department figures on mass shootings, 404 people were shot and 207 people were killed from 2009 to 2012 (www.huffingtonpost.com, October 21, 2013). According to a report published on the USA Today on December 16, 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings – four or more people killed, not including the killer – in 2013.

On September 16, 2013, civilian contractor and military veteran Aaron Alexis, a resident of Texas, went on a shooting rampage after he entered the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. in the morning, killing 12 people and injuring several others. An eye witness said the gunman began shooting from a fourth-floor overlook in the hallway and was aiming down at people in the building’s cafeteria on the first floor. Aaron Alexis was shot dead in a 30 minutes’ exchange of gunfire with authorities (www.usatoday.com, September 17, 2013).

II.

On Civil and Political Rights

The U.S. government took liberty in monitoring its citizens, which shocked the world. Tortures in the U.S. prisons raised concerns. Elections and the checks-and-balances systems were plagued by malpractices and inefficiency, impairing civil interests.

The U.S. government exercises massive and unrestrained information tapping on its own citizens. Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, revealed a tapping program carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), code-named PRISM. Under the program, the U.S. intelligence, by virtue of data provided by nine Internet companies, including the Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo, and other major telecom providers, tracked citizens’ private contacts and social activities recklessly (www.washingtonpost.com, June 7, 2013).

The website of The Washington Post revealed on June 7, 2013, that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were tapping directly into the central servers of some Internet companies, and users’ data, extracting their emails, chats, audio and video data, documents and photos in real time, and putting certain targets and their contacts under full surveillance. According to a government document disclosed by The New York Times on September 29, 2013, the NSA, since November 2010, had been exploiting its huge collections of U.S. citizens’ data to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions, and other personal information. The scrutiny program, which links U.S. citizens’ phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain”, exposed large amount of citizens’ privacy to the government. The website of the Guardian, a British newspaper, revealed on June 6, 2013, that one of the largest U.S. telecommunications providers, the Verizon Business Network Services Inc, was required to provide to the NSA all the telephony metadata within its system, including telephone numbers, locations and call durations. Germany’s Spiegel Online reported on September 7, 2013, that internal NSA documents showed that the U.S. intelligence has the capability of tapping user data from the iphone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The NSA developed cracking programs and tapped users’ data held on the three major smart phone operating systems, including contact lists, SMS traffic, and location information about where a user has been. The NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iphone, and the script programs enable additional access to at least 38 iphone features.

The journal.ie reported on June 14, 2013, nine major international civil liberties groups issued joint declaration that the U.S. federal government’s secretive scrutiny program, PRISM, is a breach of international conventions on human rights. The joint declaration said, “Such vast and pervasive state surveillance violates two of the most fundamental human rights: the right to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

The U.S. federal narcotics officers and other agents, in cooperation with American Telephone & Telegraph, can not only gain access to all the clients’ phone records, but also all the phone calls made through the company’s telephone exchangers (The Huffington Post, December 20, 2013). The Los Angeles Times’ website, http://www.latimes.com, reported on September 26, 2013, the FBI has long used drone aircraft in domestic investigations, exercising clandestine surveillance over the public. The website also reported, the U.S. federal prosecutors secretly obtained records of telephone calls from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to The Associated Press and its journalists in a two-month period in early 2012 (www.latimes.com, May 13, 2013).

Inmates are treated inhumanely in prisons. The use of solitary confinement is prevalent. According to news reports, in U.S. prisons, inmates in solitary confinements are enclosed in cramped cells with poor ventilation and natural lights, isolated from other prisoners, a situation that will take tolls on inmates’ physical and mental health (www.bbc.com, June 12, 2013). About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement, including nearly 12,000 in California. The California’s Pelican Bay prison has more than 400 prisoners who have been in isolation for over a decade. In many cases, the inmates are isolated for up to 23 hours per day in cells measuring 3.5 by 2.5 meters (www.reuters.com, August 23, 2013). Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years (www.cbc.ca, October 4, 2013). In the prison system of the New York state, about 3,800 prisoners are in solitary confinement every day (online.wsj.com, Feb. 19, 2014). The then 49-year-old prisoner, William Blake, had been held in solitary confinement for 26 years, locked in a cell furnished with only one iron bed (www.dailymail.com, March 15, 2013). In 2013, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez repeatedly urged the U.S. government to abolish the use of solitary confinement. He argued, even short-term solitary confinement can be counted as torture (www.bayview.com, October 14, 2013). In California state prisons, 30,000 inmates began hunger strikes on July 8, 2013 in protest of the use of solitary confinement. The hunger strikes lasted two months (www.latimes.com. September 15, 2013).

On January 29, 2014, the British Daily Mail’s web edition published New York photographer Scott Houston’s photos featuring working and living conditions of inmates in Arizona State’s prisons. The images show, inmates are shackled together while working and eating, five on one chain, with just nine feet between them. Houston said, he was left with the impression that the chain gangs working together were similar to the days of slavery. “You could go back 200 years.”

Election becomes the game of a few. A great number of researches showed that the Americans’ influence on policy is proportional to their wealth. About 70 percent of the population, who are on the lower wealth and income scale, have virtually no influence on policy whatsoever. They are effectively disenfranchised. Only a tenth of one percent essentially get what they want, i.e. they effectively influence policies (www.salon.com. August 17, 2013). The U.S. citizens get less and less enthusiastic about election. The mayoral election of Los Angeles in May 2013 only had 23.3 percent of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot. And the winner got 222,300 votes, just 12.4 percent of the registered voters (www.latimes.com, June 11. 2013).

The checks-and-balances system has become an impediment to actions. On October 1, 2013, the U.S. federal government, except for its core functions, entered a shutdown, after Congress failed to pass the budget bill as the Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, wrote in an article published on October 4, 2013, on The Washington Post’s website, the American system of checks and balances gradually becomes a “vetocracy”. “It empowers a wide variety of political players representing minority position to block action by the majority and prevent the government from doing anything.” The U.S. government shutdown is the very result of such vicious checks and balances.

A new poll found “Americans entered 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that the government can or will solve the nation’s biggest problems.” According to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, half respondents said American system of democracy needed either “a lot of changes” or a complete overhaul (www.huffingtonpost.com, January 2, 2014). The U.S. president, in his State of the Union Address in January 2014, also criticized the U.S. democratic system full of bickering and debates. “When that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy – when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States – then we are not doing right by the American people.”

III.

On Economic and Social Rights

Despite the fact that the economy is recovering, the U.S. citizens’ economic and social rights are still under challenge.

Unemployment rates are high in the US. Employment rates for 25-to 54-year-olds were lower in 35 states in fiscal 2013 than in 2007. In 2007, nearly 80 of every 100 people aged 25 to 54 in the United States had a job. In the 12 months ending June 2013, only about 76 of every 100 people in that age group were working (www.pewstates.org, November 27, 2013). According to a report by the CNBC on September 16, 2013, in 2012, the average length of unemployment for U.S. workers reached 39.5 weeks, the highest level since World War II. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the 1930s Great Depression. The overall unemployment rate for U.S. veterans stood at 6.9 percent in October 2013. A total of 246,000 post-9/11 vets are looking for jobs (www.edition.cnn.com, November 11, 2013). According to the 2014 State of the Union, “even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by… And too many still aren’t working at all.”

Wealth gap in the US is widening. Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2013 showed more than 47 million U.S. people living in poverty in 2012, and that the poverty rate reached 15 percent. The data also indicated about 6.4 million people aged 65 and older were poor (www.reuters.com, November 6, 2013). New research using the U.S. Internal Revenue Service data from 2012 all the way back to 1913 found that the current gap between America’s rich and poor is the widest in history. The richest 1 percent’s share of total household income was a record 19.3 percent in 2012. The top 10 percent of U.S. households controlled 50.4 percent of total income in 2012, the highest figures seen since 1917. In the U.S., the top 1 percent saw their incomes recover by 31.4 percent during 2009 and 2012, accounting for 95 percent of the total gain recognized in the U.S., whereas the bottom 99 percent had to content themselves with growth of only 0.4 percent (www.globalpost.com, September 10, 2013). The U.S. 2014 State of the Union noted that average wages in the U.S. have barely budged, and inequality has deepened.

Labor unions see eroding leverage. According to data released by the PEW on April 15, 2013, in 2012, unions lost 400,000 members, and states like Indiana and Wisconsin have clipped the organizing rights of state employees and others. Labor leaders see the largest growth potential in the private sector, however, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 6.6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union. On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Despite the objections from unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the United Auto Workers as well as local retiree associations, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Representatives of the unions and retirees argued that the decision turned a blind eye to the appeals of the unions. Local citizens took to the streets to protest with anger (www.usatoday.com, December 3, 2013).

Working conditions and pay are declining. On April 18, 2013, a deadly blast at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed 14 people, left 200 others with injuries and caused some toxic gas concern. It was reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, being chronically underfunded, has never inspected the plant since 1985 (www.huffingtonpost.com, June 4, 2013; http://www.salon.com, May 17, 2013). A report titled “Farm Worker Conditions Likened to Modern Slavery” and carried by the Huffington Post on February 1, 2013 quoted a migrant worker as saying that the piece rate has not changed in over 30 years. The report also said that one farm worker dies on the job every day and hundreds more are injured, noting that relevant authorities have failed to exercise effective monitoring and law enforcement regarding the working conditions for farm workers. The USA Today reported on December 5, 2013 that fast-food workers planned one-day labor walkouts at fast-food restaurants in 100 cities, claiming that they can not survive on a minimum wage of 7.25 dollars per hour, or about 15,000 dollars a year. The campaign was called “Fight for 15” – pressing for a minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour (www.usatoday.com, December 5, 2013).

Homeless population is growing. A report by the Los Angeles Times on November 22, 2013 said the homeless population in the U.S. had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013. Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2013, to 57,737 people. According to data released by the U.S. Coalition for the Homeless in November 2013, the number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters had risen by more than 71 percent since 2002, and each night more than 60,000 people, including over 22,000 children, experience homelessness.

Social security in the US is problematic. A U.S. Census Bureau report released on September 17, 2013 said that in 2012, a total of 15.4 percent, or some 48 million people in the U.S. were uninsured. The share of people relying on the government for health insurance edged up slightly to 32.6 percent, from 32.2 percent a year ago. Whether they have insurance or not, people spent more on health care in 2012 than in 2011 (www.edition.cnn.com, September 17, 2013).

According to the U.S. Federal Funds Information for States, some major programs, including most K-12 educational-support programs; the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the poor; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; Funds to administer the Unemployment Insurance program; Child nutrition programs and other programs starting on or after October 1 could be affected by the federal government shutdown in 2013 (www.pewstates.org, September 26, 2013). When the funds run out on December 28, 2013 for a program created during the recession to supplement the federal emergency benefits for jobless people and efforts to renew the benefits stalled in the U.S. Senate, about 1.3 million jobless Americans who were receiving the benefits averaging about 300 dollars a week had been affected (www.usatoday.com, December 27, 2013).

IV.

On Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination systematically exists in the U.S society. The situation of ethnic minorities’ human rights is grim.

Racial discrimination is prevalent in the field of law enforcement and justice. According to a survey carried out in 2012, at least 136 unarmed African-Americans were killed by policemen or security guards in the year (www.un.org, September 3, 2013). Unarmed black youth Jonathan Ferrell, 24, sought help after a car accident, but was shot multiple times and killed by police (New York Daily News, September 16, 2013). Black lady Diggles, 25, was handcuffed and brutally beaten by two white cops for an unpaid fine (www.dailymail.co.uk, June 4, 2013). Racially biased stops and interrogations often occur at streets. The U.S. district judge declared that at least 200,000 stops were made by New York police without reasonable suspicion (www.usatoday.com, August 18, 2013).

A latest report released by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that despite the fact that marijuana use was about the same for both black and white Americans, blacks were four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. One primary reason is that racial bias prevalently exists in the field of justice (www.usatoday.com, June 24, 2013). Similarly, even though data collected have shown that white women use drugs at roughly the same rate as minority women, two-thirds of women in state prisons incarcerated for drug offenses are Hispanic or black (www.humaneexposures.com, December 12, 2013).

In July 2013, protests took place in several cities in the U.S. after a white neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was not found guilty of murdering black youth Trayvon Martin by gun shot (www.abc.net.au, July 15, 2013). The U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said that “the American legal system has once again failed justice” (www.bbc.co.uk, July 14, 2013). On September 3, 2013, the Working Group of Experts on Peoples of African Descent with the United Nations Human Rights Council and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism lodged a joint appeal, asking the American government to reinvestigate into the Martin case as soon as possible and review the laws that may lead to racial discrimination against African-Americans (www.un.org, September 3, 2013).

Racial discrimination is rampant in public places. The Los Angeles Times reported on December 2, 2013, racial and sex discrimination exists in the employment and daily workplaces of the Los Angeles Fire Department. From 2006 to 2010, payouts in Los Angeles Fire Department discrimination and harassment cases cost more than 17 million U.S. dollars. New York Daily News reported on October 26, 2013, black star Rob Brown bought his mom a 1,350 U.S. dollars watch at Macy’s, but was suspected of using a fake credit card after being racially profiled by the store. The police handcuffed and detained him for an hour. According to a report by huffingtonpost.com on October 23, 2013, black college student Trayon Christian was buying a 350 U.S. dollars belt at Barneys, but a Barneys sales clerk believed the transaction was fraudulent and called police. Despite showing the officers the receipt for the belt and his ID, he was still handcuffed and taken to a local precinct. Christian’s attorney said that “His only crime was being a young black man.”

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Protester Keisha Martin-Hall holds a bag of Skittles as she participates in a rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial in Times Square in New York, July 14,2013.U.S.President Barack Obama called for calm after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, as thousands of civil rights demonstrators turned out at rallies to condemn racial profiling. Zimmerman, cleared by a Florida jury of six women, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation. Reuters / Keith Bedford

Some mainstream media, social organizations and politicians publicize racist comments. On October 16, 2013, American Broadcasting Company’s Jimmy Kimmel Show aired a segment saying “kill everyone in China” and promoted racial hatred. It aroused unease and protests from Asian Americans especially Chinese Americans (www.washingtonpost.com, November 8, 2013). The American Family Association, one of the leading religious right groups, claimed that “Latino voters are greedy and lazy socialist, and that’s why they don’t vote for Republicans” (www.voiceofrussia.com, March 30, 2013). A white women Colorado lawmaker insinuated, via mentioning barbecue and chicken, poor habits and diets should be considered factors to the life expectancy and diseases of blacks. Her remarks were regarded as having a tendency to racism (www.usatoday.com, August 22, 2013).

Encroachment on indigenous peoples’ rights prevalently exists. On February 13, 2013, Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples highlighted high rates of violence against American indigenous women by non-indigenous men. On September 10, Anaya reiterated the obstacles to implementing the law on ensuring Indian children’s wellbeing and called on the U.S. government to take all necessary measures to safeguard the human rights of Indian children (www.unsr.jamesanaya.org, February 13, 2013). On September 10, 2013, the Minority Rights Group International accused the U.S. Capital Energy Belize, Ltd of oil exploration in Belize’s Maya communities without consent of indigenous peoples (www.minorityrights.org, September 10, 2013).

V.

On Women and Children’s Rights

Sex discrimination is still serious, and children’s rights are not well protected in the United States.

Women are facing serious employment discrimination. According to a report carried by the Los Angeles Times on December 2, 2013, the ratio of women firefighters in the uniformed ranks remains at just under 3 percent – the same as in 1995. Women’s salary is far lower than men’s. On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 20, 2013 (www.bls.gov, October 2013). Women’s average annual income is 11,500 U.S. dollars less that that of men’s. African American women are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to all men, and Latinas are paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to all men, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey (www.nationalpartnershipforwomen &families.org, September 17, 2013).

Women and children experienced frequent violent attacks and sexual assaults. In 2013, lawsuits on female suspects being strip-searched were frequently reported. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune on October 10, 2013, several bones were shattered in a woman’s face after she was arrested for drunk-driving. She was shoved, beaten and strip-searched by police. Domestic violence is still serious in the U.S.. According to a report by the National Network to End Domestic Violence in 2013, a survey conducted in September 2012 showed in just one 24-hour period, local domestic violence programs across the country provided help and safety to 64,324 domestic violence victims. Sadly, 10,471 requests of domestic violence victims went unmet on that same day due to lack of funds (www.nnedv.org).

U.S. female soldiers experienced frequent sexual harassment and assault. According to the website of the Military Times, 6.1 percent of active duty women say they experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 (www.militarytimes.com, May 7, 2013). From 2010 to 2012, there was a 35 percent increase in sexual assault and harassment cases in the military. Fourteen percent of military victims report their assaults and 64 percent of convicted sexual perpetrators were discharged from the military (www.airforcetimes.com, July 23, 2013). Cases of children sexual abuse and exploitation occurred frequently. According to a report on the website of Los Angeles Times on July 29, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a three-day sex-trafficking sweep in 76 cities in July 2013. Some 105 sexually exploited teenagers, some as young as 13, were rescued during the nationwide campaign. Nearly all of them are girls.

Children’s security can not be effectively protected. Children’s security in family is a prominent problem. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on November 16, 2013, 111 children lost their lives from abuse or neglect in Illinois in 2012, a year of record child deaths from abuse and neglect. The majority died before they were one year old. Nationally, the number of child deaths from abuse and neglect was 1,545. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times on December 18, 2013, child abuse is serious under California’s privatized foster care system. The system is so poorly monitored that foster care agencies with a history of abuse can continue caring for children for years. In Los Angeles County, at least four children died as a result of abuse or neglect over the last five years in homes overseen by private agencies. Children have become frequent victims of violent crimes. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on September 15, 2013, all summer long, wounded little children arrived in Chicago’s emergency rooms at a pace of about one a week. Victims’ parents had this revelation: “We’re not safe anywhere!”

Large amount of child labors in agriculture. According to the 2012 childhood agricultural injury survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 41,310 youth under the age of 16 were hired on farms. But a representative from the Children in the Fields Campaign believed there were about 400,000 to 500,000 kids who were working in the fields in 2012. Some types of chores, such as agricultural machine operation and pesticide spraying, have directly threatened children’s health, security, or even life (www.usatoday.com, October 25, 2013). Statistics released by the National Children’s Center For Rural And Agricultural Health and Safety in December 2013 showed that 38 children were injured in agriculture-related accidents each day in the U.S.. In March, 2013, the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System broadcast in-depth stories about a 14-year-old child who was engulfed by grain and killed while working in a silo in Illinois. And 20 percent of the victims of grain engulfment are young workers (stopchildlabor.org, March 29, 2013).

VI.

On Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The Untied States is the world’s biggest violator of human rights of non-American persons and has been strongly denounced by the international community in cases of the PRISM program, drone strikes, Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and prisoner torture around the globe.

A large number of overseas surveillance projects conducted by the U.S. violated other countries’ sovereignty and the civil rights of their people. State heads and other leaders, diplomatic agencies and citizens of other countries have long been under surveillance of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). According to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 leaders of other countries and collected five billion pieces of information every day through tracking cell phone movements around the world (www.theguardian.com, October 25, 2013; swampland.time.com, December 4, 2013). In April 2013, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue noted in a report that “the United States renewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act of 2008 extending the Government’s power to conduct surveillance of non-American persons located outside the United States, including any foreign individual whose communications are hosted by cloud services located in the United States” (UN document A/HRC/23/40).

On September 9, 2013, the UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay expressed concern about the impact of the U.S. surveillance on the individuals’ right to privacy and other human rights during the opening of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (www.ohchr.org, September 9, 2013). The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution of protecting the right to privacy in the digital age at its 68th session on December 19, 2013, stressing that unlawful, arbitrary surveillance, interception, and data collection are a breach of the right to privacy and freedom of expression. Some countries condemned the U.S. as a violator of human rights, as well as the UN Charter principles of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs (www.un.org, December 19, 2013).

Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. have caused a large amount of non-American civilian casualties. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent not-for-profit organization in the UK, the U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, and up to 926 civilians were reported dead (www.reuters.com, October 22, 2013). On May 9, 2013, the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan ruled that the U.S. drone strikes on targets in Pakistan illegally breached national sovereignty and were in “blatant violation of Basic Human Rights” and provisions of the Geneva Conventions, according to the New York-based Open Society Foundations (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, May 28, 2013). On December 12, 2013, a U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, with 14 people killed and 22 others injured, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN (www.edition.cnn.com, December 13, 2013). In October, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Ben Emmerson, urged the U.S. to disclose more information about its drone programs (www.un.org, October 31, 2013). The UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions and on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism focused on the issue of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes in their reports to the third committee of the UN General Assembly. The U.S. refused to account for those strikes and take measures to reduce civilian casualties as requested by the UN or other government organizations (www.un.org, October 31, 2013).

The U.S. tortures prisoners in other countries and regions. In March 2013, the special rapporteur Ben Emmerson noted in a report that on September 17, 2001, the former U.S. President Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to operate a secret detention program which involved the establishment of clandestine detention facilities known as “black sites” on the territory of other states, and allegedly authorized the CIA to carry out “extraordinary renditions.” Despite wide criticism against the CIA’s illegal action, no American official has so far been brought to justice (UN document A/HRC/22/52). The program saw terror suspects spirited to secret prisons around the globe without legal process, interrogated and sometimes tortured (www.independent.co.uk, February 18, 2013). The Open Society Foundation said at least 136 individuals were reportedly extraordinarily rendered or secretly detained by the CIA (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, February 5, 2013).

Guantanamo Bay detainees’ human rights were severely damaged with many of them held there indefinitely without trial. On October 3 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on its official website the continuing indefinite incarceration of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law (www.un.org, October 3, 2013). A total of 92 Guantanamo military prisoners joined in the hunger strike that began in February 2013, to protest indefinite incarceration and bad treatment (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). Force feedings were carried out. Inmates were chained to chairs by Army guars, tubes were inserted through their noses by Navy medical workers (www.upi.com, April 24, 2013). The UN human rights office announced that the force feedings of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility is a breach of international law (www.commondreams.org, May 1, 2013). On October 3, 2013, the special rapporteur on torture noted indefinite incarceration, solitary confinement, force feeding are a breach of international law (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in May 2013 that the Guantanamo Bay camp is a typical case of violating human rights while countering terrorism (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013).

The U.S. denies the right to subsistence and development of people in developing countries. On October 29, 2013, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly adopted its twenty-second consecutive resolution calling for an end to the U.S. decades-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, with a recorded vote of 188 in favor to 2 (the U.S. and Israel) against with 3 abstentions. The General Assembly criticized the U.S. for violating the Cubans’ right to subsistence and development (www.ohchr.org, October 29, 2013). The U.S. is indifferent to the right of development of people in developing countries. In September 2013, the twenty-fourth session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution reaffirming the declaration on the right to development, with a recorded vote of 46 to 1 (the U.S.), with no abstentions (UN document A/68/53/Add.1).

Xinhua News Agency

(China Daily 03/01/2014 page5)

[SOURCE: China Daily at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2014-03/01/content_17314424.htm ]

Massive Human Rights Violations in U.S. Prisons: Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women – Institutionalized Rape of Prisoners by Guards

They say that you can determine how civilized a country is by taking a look into its prisons to see how the inmates are treated.  Well, by those standards, the United States is a country where the thin veneer of bourgeois “culture” barely masks the true nature of the “Land of the Free (TM)”: it is a vicious, uncivilized country run by a ruling class of capitalists that has distinguished itself by proving thoughout its entire history that that class revels in behavior that “would shock a nation of savages”.  The true horror of the United States and its subhuman capitalist class is that it has done such a tremendous job of corrupting its own citizens that even when massive scandals like the NSA scandal occur, the only response of the cynical working class population is: “What else is new?” and “What can we do about it?”  As Frederick Douglass told his audiences in the mid-1800s, at a time when the U.S. working class was just waking up to the horrors of slavery: “For brave men, there is always a remedy for oppression”.

Last week, the agency that the repulsive US capitalist class created to “oversee” its vast “criminal justice system” – the U.S. Department of Justice – “released” a summary of their long-awaited report on an investigation into claims that the female prisoners languishing in Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women were being systematically sexually abused by the prison’s guards and other staff.  The bourgeois press – wholly owned and operated by the same savage capitalist class that has brought such massive criminality into the world as the U.S. slave trade and the genocide of the Native Americans – “reported” on this massive scandal at Tutwiler.  They dutifully published brief articles admitting that the US Department of Justice investigation at Tutwiler found that the claims of rampant sexual abuse that have been made by Tutwiler’s long-suffering inmate population were not only truthful, but were even worse than originally reported.  Then the news media moved on to more important things – like Justin Bieber’s arrest for drag racing.

We searched the Alabama prison system’s websites all last week for this DoJ “release”; we scoured the DoJ’s own websites – all to no avail.  It was only today, when we searched once again for this report and happened across the Wikipedia article on Tutwiler prison (which website we are currently busy “updating” with this new information) that we found a clue as to where that report might be hiding.  The Wikipedia article mentions in passing an organization called the “Equal Justice Initiative” which had, in 2012, filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice that reported claims by at least 50 women regarding the shocking systematic rape and humiliation of the female inmates by the Tutwiler guards and other staff.

So, we went to the EJI’s website and guess what we found?  The report we had been seeking, which the DoJ “released” to the news media last week.  The bourgeois press buried the report, refusing, in every case we saw, to provide a link to the full text of the report.  Only at EJI did we find this document.

U.S. Department of Justice: Investigation of the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and Notice of Expanded Investigation

And here it is, boys and girls.  You proud, thick-headed flag-waving Americans who believe that people like Edward Snowden are TRAITORS: take a look at this!  Read THIS – if you can stand it –  and tell us who the traitors are – the people who expose crimes like this or the people who commit them, every day, in the name of the citizens of the United States of America !  The capitalist class of the United States and its government and apologists represent the most bloodthirsty, greed-obsessed and savage gang of criminals on this planet, and they must be removed from power by the working class immediately.  Every day we allow these scum to stay in power, we unleash the most savage ruling class this planet has ever seen upon our working-class brothers and sisters all over the world, where the US capitalist class exploits them and murders any of their best leaders who dare to oppose the machinations of the US capitalist class, its military forces and its spy and assassination agencies.  If the US working class does not step up to the plate and rip the weapons out of the hands of the US capitalist class and put them into the hands of the US working class, then it will become absolutely necessary for the workers of the rest of the world to join together and militarily destroy the United States, its blood-soaked ruling class, and its cynical, cowardly working class.  4.5% of the world’s population can not and must not be allowed to rape and pillage 95.5% of the world for the benefit of 1% of that 4.5%.  Do the math, dummies!  The U.S. can only “prevail” as the capitalist world’s military dictators by continuing to slaughter every working-class fighter who opposes them – foreign or domestic.  Time is NOT on our side, brothers and sisters, and WWIII is well on its way.  Wake up, or prepare for the fate of Hitler’s Germany.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

[Note: This article is being written now and will be updated as we obtain new information throughout the day – IWPCHI]

Full Report of Presidential Advisory Commission for N.S.A.: “Liberty and Security in a Changing World”

Once again we have to just slam this up here without having time to read it all – all 337 pages of it!  They really laid it on thick this time.  We did read the summary and we have to say it all sounds so very clever.  Why didn’t the great lawgivers who slapped together the monstrous Patriot Act think of this?  Why did it take the courage of one man, Edward Snowden, to initiate such profound soul-searching in Washington?

The fact is that this too is a snow job.  This 337-page tome was pulled out of the ass of a group of people hand-picked by the Obama Administration not in order to destroy the NSA’s vast spy operations, but to save them.  Out of all the recommendations this blue-ribbon bunny of a commission has made, we’re absolutely sure that several of them will DEFINITELY by implemented, tout de suite: the ones outlining the tightening of security inside the “U.S. Intelligence community” in order to make sure that there will be no future possibility of another Snowdengate.  Life as an N.S.A. analyst is about to get very unpleasant if these recommendations are put into action; it’ll be much more like the working conditions that Winston Smith “enjoyed” while working for Big Brother at the Ministry of Truth.

The rest of it is all a big fancy red herring made to look like a sieve so fine that only after the NSA shape-shifts through a thousand keyhole-sized legal loopholes will they be able to get to use any of their precious telephone metadata.  In fact, there are apertures in this new legal sieve large enough for a blue whale to scoot through without his sides even touching.

We also wonder: what massive exposes remain untold as yet by Glenn Greenwald & Co. that made the rapid production and mass dissemination of this ream of lies necessary in the eyes of the reprehensible Obama regime?  Can we look forward to finding even more appalling revelations about US spy ops coming down our chimneys this holiday season and beyond?  We hope so!

We doubt if even 100 American workers outside of the Beltway will ever bother to read even the summary of this document, let alone the whole thing.  But in the interests of keeping our handful of readers as informed as possible, here it is.  Enjoy?

IWPCHI

Summary_ Full_ Text_LibertyandSecurityinaChangingWorld_

 

 

Get your copy of the Secret Service’s Censored Report on their Aaron Swartz Investigation

We are presenting to our readers…

aaron-swartz-usss-first-release-08-12-13

…the just-released and heavily censored U.S. Secret Service report of their “investigation” of Aaron Swartz.

Aaron Swartz, as many of you know, was the M.I.T. hacktivist who took his own life last year while under threat of  facing decades in jail for the “crime” – in the eyes of “lesser evil” Democrat Barack Obama’s Justice Dept. – of attempting to provide to the world paywall-free access to JSTOR’s scientific journals.

This series of documents has not yet been reviewed by us and so we can’t tell you much about it except to say that it is censored in that charming manner we’ve seen so often before by the guardians of the US capitalist class’ “national interest”.  In other words, they don’t want the workers of the world – and particularly the workers in the US itself –  to see how “our” secret government police and spy agencies work.

Liberals decry the “need” for secrecy in this “post-911 world”; but the capitalist classes of the world have always kept their crimes secret from the eyes of “their” working classes.  The capitalist class of the US, representing far less than 1% of the national population, own more than 50% of the national wealth.  This disturbing fact is just one of the millions of “national security secrets” that the tiny gang of bloodthirsty greedheads who actually own and operate the US Government for their own benefit must keep hidden from the American working class  – and from the workers of the world. To further that conspiracy against the working class, the US capitalist class’ Government has always sought to assert its “right” to protect its’ “national security secrets” by crushing anyone who dares to expose their “national security secrets”; from the persecution and state murders of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the attacks on Daniel Ellsberg and even John Lennon – to today’s assaults upon Anonymous, Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Glenn Greenwald, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lynne StewartAssata Shakur, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks (to name but a few) – the tiny US capitalist class government, terrified of being exposed to the world as the world’s number one terrorist state – which it is! – will stop at nothing to silence those who dare to speak out against the crimes of the US capitalst class.  They have even gone so far as to assert their “right” to assassinate US citizens for writing articles in “terrorist magazines”!

Amazingly, in spite of all we know about the vast criminality of the US capitalst class – from the slave trade upon which the “great American fortunes” were amassed to Vietnam; from the genocide of the Native Americans to the torture camps at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – WikiLeaks, Occupy Wall St. and other liberal reformist organizations dull-wittedly continue to assert that the only thing wrong with the capitalist system is that it “lacks transparency”, and that if only the inner workings of the capitalist system were made more transparent, then the world would become a much better place for us all to live in.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  The capitalist class and its state NEEDS secrecy like plants need water to survive – their battle-cry is “DEATH TO TRANSPARENCY!”  World capitalism is based on nation-states: competing economic and political units that are struggling between themselves for access to the world’s limited natural and human resources and markets.  This struggle – even in so-called “peacetime” – entails the unleashing of teams of spies and  assassins and the launching of military air, sea and land operations to “protect” the overseas investments of these endlessly warring greedheads.  The true nature of capitalist class rule – which is entirely founded on the brutal economic exploitation of all the working people around the world – MUST be kept hidden from the eyes of those very same working people.  To this end, the capitalists deploy government-run overseas and domestic disinformation campaigns (via what they cynically call the “free press”) intended to cloak their mass murder campaigns under the hypocritical cover story of “bringing democracy to the world”.  This was the fraud perpetrated upon the world by the US Government – the world’s most despotic government in history – in its war against the Iraqi workers, in which the reality of mass murder of over a million people was presented to the workers in the US by the lying US capitalist press as “freeing the Iraqis” from the clutches of the Saddam Hussein regime – a cabal that the US had helped force upon the Iraqi people for nearly half a century.  Through the capitalist class’ wholly owned US Government and news media’s international campaign of lies about Iraq, the US government was able to commit mass torture of Iraqi workers in hellhole prisons like Abu Ghraib and on US military bases around the country, all the while committing mass murder in cities and towns all over Iraq – most notoriously in Fallujah.  Only through the heroic efforts of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning did the truth come out about what was really going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Transparency!  To paraphrase the late, great George Carlin: “If transparency was forced upon the US government, the whole system would collapse!”

Organizations like WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall St. do not want that to happen: they want to help reform the capitalst system and make it “work” for everyone.  But that is nothing more than a naive pipe dream.  Capitalism can NEVER be made to work in the interests of the vast majority of the people on the planet – the working class, whose labor power creates the profits that the capitalist class greedily hoards to itself, systematically robbing the workers and relegating hundreds of millions of workers to abject poverty and starvation, year after year.

Unless and until the working class – internationally – unites and overthrows their “own” capitalst classes and replaces the greed-based system of capitalism with an egalitarian, democratically and rationally planned world socialist system, the antagonisms between these capitalist nation-states will grow until the entire planet is engulfed in yet another World War.  THAT is something we workers can NOT afford to allow to happen!  We must act now to build revolutionary workers parties all over the world so we can rip the weapons out of the blood-stained hands of “our” national capitalsts and seize power in the name of OUR class – the working class!  Only after this is done will the advance of human civilization be placed on a firm political and economic footing, and only then will real “transparency” in the workings of government be no longer a hindrance to, but be made an inherent, vital and welcome component of the machinery of the political and economic relationships governing the world, for the benefit of all of the human race.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Lies and Damned Lies: The US Government IS Collecting the FULL Content Every Email and Phone Call in the US and Abroad

The capitalist press of the entire world has been on a full-court press to spread the lie that the latest revelations about the US Government’s spy programs are NOT collecting every bit of information from every Internet and telephone communication made within the US and from the US to foreign countries.  The fact is that the NSA has been collecting all this information for YEARS and is, in fact, able to collect not just “metadata” – which would be bad enough – but every bit of every communication sent and received by US citizens.  This vast, police-state operation makes the East German Stasi’s unnecessary and overbearing domestic spying operation look like a joke.

The US Government, which had savagely attacked the USSR for running domestic surveillance operations against their citizens, has been shown to have been running a far more extensive spy operation in the US.  Make no mistake: you can take all the phony reassurances from the Democratic- and Republican-party scumbags who have signed off on these domestic spying operations over and over again under the pretense that they are only directed against “terrorists” – these vast spying operations are actually now – and will continue to be in the future – directed against “the usual suspects”: the workers movement inside the US and around the world.  The tiny US capitalist class, hated for its brutal repression of the workers movement all over the world, sees its number one enemy to be those workers who dare to organize unions and revolutionary parties dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist wage-slavery system.  To further its “sole superpower” status, this microscopic minority of filthy-rich billionaires – something less than 450 individuals who own more than 50% of the wealth of the US – think that they have the right to run the entire planet.  To further their self-aggrandizing plans – which they dare to call by the names of “freedom” and “democracy”, this tiny cabal of greedheads has bribed its wholly-owned Democratic and Republican Senators and Representatives to conspire to turn the United States into a mechanism to allow the capitalist government of the US to spy on everyone on planet Earth who owns a phone.  This is, in fact the only way that such a tiny minority as the US capitalist class can hope to maintain its savage class rule over the working classes of the world, who outnumber them by billions.  This vast spying operation, whose exposure has torn the phony “human rights” mask off the US ruling class – thanks to a mere handful of courageous whistleblowers WHO MUST BE DEFENDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS MOVEMENT BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY! – shows how scared the US capitalist class is, and how tenuous their hold on “power” is as they continue to drive the standard of living of the US working class down to the level of mere subsistence, just as Karl Marx predicted would happen in the Communist Manifesto!

This “newly-revealed” NSA spying operation has been known by those who pay attention to these things – i.e. the .001% of the US population in the various socialist workers parties and the hacker community – for several years.  In 2006 a former AT&T technician named  Mark Klein revealed the existence of a probable NSA spy operation in a mysterious locked room in an AT&T facility in San Francisco dubbed “Room 614A”.

Klein courageously exposed the fact that in this facility, a high-tech splitter had been installed on the primary fiber-optic cables carrying all the data – phone and internet – running through AT&T.  This splitter – analogous to a prism used for manipulating beams of light – was dividing the fiber optic traffic in the form of light pulses into two streams; one was being sent on its way to users of AT&T’s networks and the other was being fed into “Room 614A”.   Several experts on the NSA’s operations assumed at the time of Klein’s revelations that “Room 614A” was most likely an NSA spying operation of some kind.  Investigative reporter  Kim Zetter  wrote a series of excellent articles for Salon in which she interviewed Klein and, later, learned of the existence of other, similar operations being run at AT&T facilities around the United States.  All of this historical fact has been swept under the rug by the bourgeois press news reports of these latest revelations of the US Government’s vast domestic and international spying ops.

Last year, several news reports described the NSA’s plans to build enormous  data storage facilities around the US.  The number of these huge facilities and the number and types of supercomputers believed to be installed in them are clearly not designed merely to collect “metadata”, as the bourgeois press would have us believe.  These vast assemblies of supercomputers are designed to collect, store and analyze EVERY BIT OF DATA perused, sent and received by every citizen of this planet.  The US Government is creating an Orwellian monster designed to intercept every communication of every worker who dares to oppose the capitalist class of the US and its wholly-owned US Government.

And is this really so surprising, after all?  How else can a tiny percentage of the US population continue to lord it over 300 million American citizens and the world’s 7 billion people without creating a vast police state apparatus to monitor dissent worldwide?  They are well aware just how tenuous their hold on power is; and so they spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on their global military and intelligence apparatus in the desperate, futile hope that through the sheer weight of their brutal military and police state operations they can somehow remain “the world’s sole superpower”!  What incredible arrogance!  And then to turn around and pose as the champions of human rights, as the US State Department does every day, including this week, when they hypocritically chastised their ally Turkey for brutalizing protesters in Istanbul!

This is why we call for workers revolution in the US to overthrow the capitalist class and their brutal system of exploitation and thievery.  The longer the working class allows this gang of thieves to run the United States as their own private plantation, the more of our brothers and sisters around the world will be murdered by the US military in defense of the foreign investments of the US capitalist class.  The chickens are coming home to roost right here in the US, where the attacks on the US workers’ standard of living are being carried out on a daily basis.  There is simply NO FUTURE for the workers of the world under capitalism – other than a future of declining standards of living and imperialist wars, leading up to the next “big one”: World War Three.  Is this the future you want to bequeath to your children and grandchildren?  It is high time that the US working class create its own workers parties to overthrow the rule of the insatiably greedy US capitalist class.  Every day we wait to do this is causing death and destruction for our sisters and brothers around the world – and sets us all here in the United States up for the same.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Transcript of Bradley Manning’s Statement to Court, 28 February, 2013

http://www.bradleymanning.org/news/update-3113-bradley-mannings-statement-taking-responsibility-for-releasing-docs

Update 3/1/13: Bradley Manning’s statement taking responsibility for releasing docs

February 28, 2013. Rush transcript by Alexa O’Brien, originally published at alexaobrien.com. The Bradley Manning Support Network will republish the actual transcript of Bradley Manning’s statement as soon as it is made available.

This statement below was read by Private First Class Bradley E. Bradley at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O’Brien at the Article 39(a) session of United States v. Pfc. Bradley Manning on February 28, 2013 at Fort Meade, MD, USA.

Judge Lind: Pfc. Manning you may read your statement.

Pfc. Bradley Manning: Yes, your Honor. I wrote this statement in the confinement facility. The following facts are provided in support of the providence inquiry for my court martial, United States v. Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.

Personal Facts.

I am a twenty-five year old Private First Class in the United States Army currently assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, HHC, US Army Garrison (USAG), Joint Base Myer, Henderson Hall, Fort Meyer, Virginia.

My [missed word] assignment I was assigned to HHC, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, NY. My primary military occupational specialty or MOS is 35 Foxtrot intelligence analyst. I entered active duty status on 2 October 2007. I enlisted with the hope of obtaining both real world experience and earning benefits under the GI Bill for college opportunities.

Facts regarding my position as an intelligence analyst.

In order to enlist in the Army I took the Standard Armed Services Aptitude Battery or [ASVAB?]. My score on this battery was high enough for me to qualify for any enlisted MOS positon. My recruiter informed me that I should select an MOS that complimented my interests outside the military. In response, I told him that I was interested in geopolitical matters and information technology. He suggested that I consider becoming an intelligence analyst.

After researching the intelligence analyst position, I agreed that this would be a good fit for me. In particular, I enjoyed the fact that an analyst could use information derived from a variety of sources to create work products that informed the command of its available choices for determining the best course of action or COA’s. Although the MOS required working knowledge of computers, it primarily required me to consider how raw information can be combined with other available intelligence sources in order to create products that assisted the command in it’s situational awareness or SA.

I accessed that my natural interest in geopolitical affairs and my computer skills would make me an excellent intelligence analyst. After enlisting I reported to the Fort Meade military entrance processing station on 1 October 2007. I then traveled to and reported at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on 2 October 2007 to begin basic combat training or BCT.

Once at Fort Leonard Wood I quickly realized that I was neither physically nor mentally prepared for the requirements of basic training. My BCT experience lasted six months instead of the normal ten weeks. Due to medical issues, I was placed on a hold status. A physical examination indicated that I sustained injuries to my right soldier and left foot.

Due to those injuries I was unable to continue ‘basic’. During medical hold, I was informed that I may be out processed from the Army, however, I resisted being chaptered out because I felt that I could overcome my medical issues and continue to serve. On 2[8 or 20?] January 2008, I returned to basic combat training. This time I was better prepared and I completed training on 2 April 2008.

I then reported for the MOS specific Advanced Individual Training or AIT on 7 April 2008. AIT was an enjoyable experience for me. Unlike basic training where I felt different from the other soldiers, I fit in did well. I preferred the mental challenges of reviewing a large amount of information from various sources and trying to create useful or actionable products. I especially enjoyed the practice of analysis through the use of computer applications and methods that I was familiar with.

I graduated from AIT on 16 August 2008 and reported to my first duty station, Fort Drum, NY on 28 August 2008. As an analyst, Significant Activities or SigActs were a frequent source of information for me to use in creating work products. I started working extensively with SigActs early after my arrival at Fort Drum. My computer background allowed me to use the tools of organic to the Distributed Common Ground System-Army or D6-A computers to create polished work products for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team chain of command.

The non-commissioned officer in charge, or NCOIC, of the S2 section, then Master Sergeant David P. Adkins recognized my skills and potential and tasked me to work on a tool abandoned by a previously assigned analyst, the incident tracker. The incident tracker was viewed as a back up to the Combined Information Data Network Exchange or CIDNE and as a unit, historical reference to work with.

In the months preceding my upcoming deployment, I worked on creating a new version of the incident tracker and used SigActs to populate it. The SigActs I used were from Afghanistan, because at the time our unit was scheduled to deploy to the Logar and Wardak Provinces of Afghanistan. Later my unit was reassigned to deploy to Eastern Baghdad, Iraq. At that point, I removed the Afghanistan SigActs and switched to Iraq SigActs.

As and analyst I viewed the SigActs as historical data. I believed this view is shared by other all-source analysts as well. SigActs give a first look impression of a specific or isolated event. This event can be an improvised explosive device attack or IED, small arms fire engagement or SAF engagement with a hostile force, or any other event a specific unit documented and recorded in real time.

In my perspective the information contained within a single SigAct or group of SigActs is not very sensitive. The events encapsulated within most SigActs involve either enemy engagements or causalities. Most of this information is publicly reported by the public affairs office or PAO, embedded media pools, or host nation HN media.

As I started working with SigActs I felt they were similar to a daily journal or log that a person may keep. They capture what happens on a particular day in time. They are created immediately after the event, and are potentially updated over a period of hours until final version is published on the Combined Information Data Network Exchange. Each unit has it’s own Standard Operating Procedure or SOP for reporting recording SigActs. The SOP may differ between reporting in a particular deployment and reporting in garrison.

In garrison a SigAct normally involves personnel issues such as driving under the influence or DUI incidents or an automobile accident involving the death or serious injury of a soldier. The reports starts at the company level and goes up to the battalion, brigade, and even up to the division level.

In deployed environment a unit may observe or participate in an event and a platoon leader or platoon sergeant may report the event as a SigAct to the company headquarters and the radio transmission operator or RTO. The commander or RTO will then forward the report to the battalion battle captain or battle non-commissioned officer or NCO. Once the battalion battle captain or battle NCO receives the report they will either (1) notify the battalion operations officer or S3; (2) conduct an action, such as launching a quick reaction force; or (3) record the event and report and further report it up the chain of command to the brigade.

The reporting of each event is done by radio or over the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network or SIPRNet, normally by an assigned soldier, usually junior enlisted E-4 and below. Once the SigAct is recorded, the SigAct is further sent up the chain of command. At each level, additional information can either be added or corrected as needed. Normally within 24 to 48 hours, the updating and reporting or a particular SigAct is complete. Eventually all reports and SigActs go through the chain of command from brigade to division and division to corp. At corp level the SigAct is finalized and [missed word].

The CIDNE system contains a database that is used by thousands of Department of Defense–DoD personel including soldiers, civilians, and contractors support. It was the United States Central Command or CENTCOM reporting tool for operational reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two separate but similar databases were maintained for each theater– CIDNE-I for Iraq and CIDNE-A for Afghanistan. Each database encompasses over a hundred types of reports and other historical information for access. They contain millions of vetted and finalized directories including operational intelligence reporting.

CIDNE was created to collect and analyze battle-space data to provide daily operational and Intelligence Community (IC) reporting relevant to a commander’s daily decision making process. The CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A databases contain reporting and analysis fields for multiple disciplines including Human Intelligence or HUMINT reports, Psychological Operations or PSYOP reports, Engagement reports, Counter Improvised Explosive Device or CIED reports, SigAct reports, Targeting reports, Social and Cultural reports, Civil Affairs reports, and Human Terrain reporting.

As an intelligence analyst, I had unlimited access to the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A databases and the information contained within them. Although each table within the database is important, I primarily dealt with HUMINT reports, SigAct reports and Counter IED reports, because these reports were used to create a work-product I was required to published as an analyst.

In working on an assignment I looked anywhere and everywhere for information. As an all-source analyst, this was something that was expected. The D6-A systems had databases built in, and I utilized them on a daily basis. This simply was–the search tools available on the D6-A systems on SIPRNet such as Query Tree and the DoD and Intellink search engines.

Primarily, I utilized the CIDNE database using the historical and HUMINT reporting to conduct my analysis and provide a back up for my work product. I did statistical analysis on historical data including SigActs to back up analysis that were based on HUMINT reporting and produce charts, graphs, and tables. I also created maps and charts to conduct predictive analysis based on statistical trends. The SigAct reporting provided a reference point for what occurred and provided myself and other analysts with the information to conclude possible outcome.

Although SigAct reporting is sensitive at the time of their creation, their sensitivity normally dissipates within 48 to 72 hours as the information is either publicly released or the unit involved is no longer in the area and not in danger.

It is my understanding that the SigAct reports remain classified only because they are maintained within CIDNE– because it is only accessible on SIPRnet. Everything on CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A to include SigAct reporting was treated as classified information.

Facts regarding the storage of SigAct Reports.

As part of my training at Fort Drum, I was instructed to ensure that I create back ups of my work product. The need to create back ups was particularly acute given the relative instability and reliability of the computer systems we used in the field during deployment. These computer systems included both organic and theater provided equipment (TPE) D6-A machines.

The organic D6-A machines we brought with us into the field on our deployment were Dell [missed word] laptops and the TPE D6-A machines were Alienware brand laptops. The [M90?] D6-A laptops were the preferred machine to use as they were slightly faster and had fewer problems with dust and temperature than the theater provided Alienware laptops. I used several D6-A machines during the deployment due to various technical problems with the laptops.

With these issues several analysts lost information, but I never lost information due to the multiple backups I created. I attempted to backup as much relevant information as possible. I would save the information so that I or another analyst could quickly access it whenever a machine crashed, SIPRnet connectivity was down, or I forgot where the data was stored.

When backing up information I would do one or all of the following things based on my training:

[(1)] Physical back up. I tried to keep physical back up copies of information on paper so that the information could be grabbed quickly. Also, it was easier to brief from hard copies of research and HUMINT reports.

(2) Local drive back up. I tried to sort out information I deemed relevant and keep complete copies of the information on each of the computers I used in the Temporary Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or T-SCIF, including my primary and secondary D6-A machines. This was stored under my user profile on the desktop.

[(3)] Shared drive backup. Each analyst had access to a ‘T’ drive– what we called ‘T’ drive shared across the SIPRnet. It allowed others to access information that was stored on it. S6 operated the ‘T’ drive.

[(4)] Compact disk rewritable or CD-RW back up. For larger datasets I saved the information onto a re-writable disk, labeled the disks, and stored them in the conference room of the T-SCIF. This redundancy permitted us to not worry about information loss. If the system crashed, I could easily pull the information from a secondary computer, the ‘T’ drive, or one of the CD-RWs.

If another analysts wanted to access my data, but I was unavailable she could find my published products directory on the ‘T’ drive or on the CD-RWs. I sorted all of my products or research by date, time, and group; and updated the information on each of the storage methods to ensure that the latest information was available to them.

During the deployment I had several of the D6-A machines crash on me. Whenever one of the computer crashed, I usually lost information but the redundancy method ensured my ability to quickly restore old backup data and add my current information to the machine when it was repaired or replaced.

I stored the backup CD-RW with larger datasets in the conference room of the T-SCIF or next to my workstation. I marked the CD-RWs based on the classification level and its content. Unclassified CD-RWs were only labeled with the content type and not marked with classification markings. Early on in the deployment, I only saved and stored the SigActs that were within or near operational environment.

Later I thought it would be easier to just to save all of the SigActs onto a CD-RW. The process would not take very long to complete and so I downloaded the SigActs from CIDNE-I onto a CD-RW. After finishing with CIDNE-I, I did the same with CIDNE-A. By retrieving the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A SigActs I was able to retrieve the information whenever I needed it, and not rely upon the unreliable and slow SIPRnet connectivity needed to pull. Instead, I could just find the CD-RW and open up a pre-loaded spreadsheet.

This process began in late December 2009 and continued through early January 2010. I could quickly export one month of the SigAct data at a time and download in the background as I did other tasks.

The process took approximately a week for each table. After downloading the SigAct tables, I periodically updated them, by pulling the most recent SigActs and simply copying them and pasting them into the database saved on the CD-RW. I never hid the fact that I had downloaded copies of both the SigAct tables from CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A. They were stored on appropriately labeled and marked CD-RW, stored in the open.

I viewed this the saving copies of CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A as for both for my use and the use of anyone within the S2 section during the SIPRnet connectivity issues.

In addition to the SigAct tables, I had a large repository of HUMINT reports and Counter IED reports downloaded from CIDNE-I. These contained reports that were relevant to the area in and around our operational environment in Eastern Baghdad and the Diyala Province of Iraq.

In order to compress the data to fit onto a CD-RW, I used a compression algorithm called ‘bzip2′. The program used to compress the data is called ‘WinRAR’. WinRAR is an application that is free, and can be easily downloaded from the internet via the Non-Secure Internet Relay Protocol Network or NIPRnet. I downloaded WinRAR on NIPRnet and transfered it to the D6-A machine user profile desktop using a CD-RW. I did not try to hide the fact that I was downloading WinRAR onto my SIPRnet D6-A machine or computer.

With the assistance of the bzip2 algorithm using the WinRAR program, I was able to fit All of the SigActs onto a single CD-RW and relevant HUMINT and Counter ID reports onto a separate CD-RW.

Facts regarding my knowledge of the WikiLeaks Organization or WLO.

I first became vaguely aware of the WLO during my AIT at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, although I did not fully pay attention until the WLO released purported Short Messaging System or SMS messages from 11 September 2001 on 25 November 2009. At that time references to the release and the WLO website showed up in my daily Google news open source search for information related to US foreign policy.

The stories were about how WLO published about approximately 500,000 messages. I then reviewed the messages myself and realized that the posted messages were very likely real given the sheer volume and detail of the content.

After this, I began conducting research on WLO. I conducted searched on both NIPRnet and SIPRnet on WLO beginning in late November 2009 and early December 2009. At this time I also began to routinely monitor the WLO website. In response to one of my searches in 2009, I found the United States Army Counter Intelligence Center or USACIC report on the WikiLeaks organization. After reviewing the report, I believed that this report was possibly the one that my AIT referenced in early 2008.

I may or may not have saved the report on my D6-A workstation. I know I reviewed the document on other occasions throughout early 2010, and saved it on both my primary and secondary laptops. After reviewing the report, I continued doing research on WLO. However, based upon my open-source collection, I discovered information that contradicted the 2008 USACIC report including information that indicated that similar to other press agencies, WLO seemed to be dedicated to exposing illegal activities and corruption.

WLO received numerous award and recognition for its reporting activities. Also, in reviewing the WLO website, I found information regarding US military SOPs for Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and information on the then outdated rules of engagement for ROE in Iraq for cross-border pursuits of former members of Saddam Hussein [missed word] government.

After seeing the information available on the WLO website, I continued following it and collecting open sources information from it. During this time period, I followed several organizations and groups including wire press agencies such as the Associated Press and Reuters and private intelligence agencies including Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor. This practice was something I was trained to do during AIT, and was something that good analysts were expected to do.

During the searches of WLO, I found several pieces of information that I found useful in my work product in my work as an analyst, specifically I recall WLO publishing documents related to weapons trafficking between two nations that affected my OP. I integrated this information into one or more of my work products.

In addition to visiting the WLO website, I began following WLO using Instand Relay Chat or IRC Client called ‘XChat’ sometime in early January 2010.

IRC is a protocol for real time internet communications by messaging and conferencing, colloquially referred to as chat rooms or chats. The IRC chat rooms are designed for group communication discussion forums. Each IRC chat room is called a channel– similar to a Television where you can tune in or follow a channel– so long as it is open and does not require [missed word].

Once you [missed word] a specific IRC conversation, other users in the conversation can see that you have joined the room. On the Internet there are millions of different IRC channels across several services. Channel topics span a range of topics covering all kinds of interests and hobbies. The primary reason for following WLO on IRC was curiosity– particularly in regards to how and why they obtained the SMS messages referenced above. I believed that collecting information on the WLO would assist me in this goal.

Initially I simply observed the IRC conversations. I wanted to know how the organization was structured, and how they obtained their data. The conversations I viewed were usually technical in nature but sometimes switched to a lively debate on issue the particular individual may have felt strongly about.

Over a period of time I became more involved in these discussions especially when conversations turned to geopolitical events and information technology topics, such as networking and encryption methods. Based on these observations, I would describe the WL organization as almost academic in nature. In addition to the WLO conversations, I participated in numerous other IRC channels acros at least three different networks. The other IRC channels I participated in normally dealt with technical topics including with Linux and Berkley Secure Distribution BSD operating systems or OS’s, networking, encryption algorithms and techniques and other more political topics, such as politics and [missed word].

I normally engaged in multiple IRC conversations simultaneously–mostly publicly, but often privately. The XChat client enabled me to manage these multiple conversations across different channels and servers. The screen for XChat was often busy, but its screens enabled me to see when something was interesting. I would then select the conversation and either observe or participate.

I really enjoyed the IRC conversations pertaining to and involving the WLO, however, at some point in late February or early March of 2010, the WLO IRC channel was no longer accessible. Instead, regular participants of this channel switched to using the Jabber server. Jabber is another internet communication [missed word] similar but more sophisticated than IRC.

The IRC and Jabber conversations, allowed me to feel connected to others even when alone. They helped pass the time and keep motivated throughout the deployment.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of the SigActs.

As indicated above I created copies of the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A SigAct tables as part of the process of backing up information. At the time I did so, I did not intend to use this information for any purpose other than for back up. However, I later decided to release this information publicly. At that time, I believe and still believe that these tables are two of the most significant documents of our time.

On 8 January 2010, I collected the CD-RW I stored in the conference room of the T-SCIF and placed it into the cargo pocket of my ACU or Army Combat Uniform. At the end of my shift, I took the CD-RW out of the T-SCIF and brought it to my Containerized Housing Unit of CHU. I copied the data onto my personal laptop. Later at the beginning of my shift, I returned the CD-RW back to the conference room of the T-SCIF. At the time I saved the SigActs to my laptop, I planned to take them with me on mid-tour leave and decide what to do with them.

At some point prior to my mid-tour, I transfered the information from my computer to a Secure Digital memory card from my digital camera. The SD card for the camera also worked on my computer and allowed me to store the SigAct tables in a secure manner for transport.

I began mid-tour leave on 23 January 2010, flying from Atlanta, Georgia to Reagan National Airport in Virginia. I arrived at the home of my aunt, Debra M. Van Alstyne, in Potomac, Maryland and quickly got into contact with my then boyfriend, Tyler R. Watkins. Tyler, then a student at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and I made plans for me to visit him him Boston, Massachusetts [missed word].

I was excited to see Tyler and planned on talking to Tyler about where our relationship was going and about my time in Iraq. However, when I arrived in the Boston area Tyler and I seemed to become distant. He did not seem very excited about my return from Iraq. I tried talking to him about our relationship but he refused to make any plans.

I also tried to raising the topic of releasing the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A SigAct tables to the public. I asked Tyler hypothetical questions about what he would do if he had documents that he thought the public needed access to. Tyler really didn’t have a specific answer for me. He tried to answer the questions and be supportive, but seemed confused by the question in this context.

I then tried to be more specific, but he asked too many questions. Rather than try to explain my dilemma, I decided to just drop the conversation. After a few days in Waltham, I began to feel really bad. I was over staying my welcome, and I returned to Maryland. I spent the remainder of my time on leave in the Washington, DC area.

During this time a blizzard bombarded the mid-atlantic, and I spent a significant period of time essentially stuck in my aunt’s house in Maryland. I began to think about what I knew and the information I still had in my possession. For me, the SigActs represented the on the ground reality of both the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I felt that we were risking so much for people that seemed unwilling to cooperate with us, leading to frustration and anger on both sides. I began to become depressed with the situation that we found ourselves increasingly mired in year after year. The SigActs documented this in great detail and provide a context of what we were seeing on the ground.

In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.

I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.

At my aunt’s house I debated what I should do with the SigActs– in particular whether I should hold on to them– or expose them through a press agency. At this point I decided that it made sense to try to expose the SigAct tables to an American newspaper. I first called my local news paper, The Washington Post, and spoke with a woman saying that she was a reporter. I asked her if the Washington Post would be interested in receiving information that would have enormous value to the American public.

Although we spoke for about five minutes concerning the general nature of what I possessed, I do not believe she took me seriously. She informed me that the Washington Post would possibly be interested, but that such decisions were made only after seeing the information I was referring to and after consideration by senior editors.

I then decided to contact [missed word] the most popular newspaper, The New York Times. I called the public editor number on The New York Times website. The phone rang and was answered by a machine. I went through the menu to the section for news tips. I was routed to an answering machine. I left a message stating I had access to information about Iraq and Afghanistan that I believed was very important. However, despite leaving my Skype phone number and personal email address, I never received a reply from The New York Times.

I also briefly considered dropping into the office for the Political Commentary blog, Politico, however the weather conditions during my leave hampered my efforts to travel. After these failed efforts I had ultimately decided to submit the materials to the WLO. I was not sure if the WLO would actually publish these SigAct tables [missed a few words]. I was concerned that they might not be noticed by the American media. However, based upon what I read about the WLO through my research described above, this seemed to be the best medium for publishing this information to the world within my reach.

At my aunts house I joined in on an IRC conversation and stated I had information that needed to be shared with the world. I wrote that the information would help document the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the individuals in the IRC asked me to describe the information. However, before I could describe the information another individual pointed me to the link for the WLO web site online submission system. After ending my IRC connection, I considered my options one more time. Ultimately, I felt that the right thing to do was to release the SigActs.

On 3 February 2010, I visited the WLO website on my computer and clicked on the submit documents link. Next I found the submit your information online link and elected to submit the SigActs via the onion router or TOR anonymizing network by special link. TOR is a system intended to provide anonymity online. The software routes internet traffic through a network of servers and other TOR clients in order to conceal the user’s location and identity.

I was familiar with TOR and had it previously installed on a computer to anonymously monitor the social media website of militia groups operating within central Iraq. I followed the prompts and attached the compressed data files of CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A SigActs. I attached a text file I drafted while preparing to provide the documents to the Washington Post. It provided rough guidelines saying ‘It’s already been sanitized of any source identifying information. You might need to sit on this information– perhaps 90 to 100 days to figure out how best to release such a large amount of data and to protect its source. This is possibly one of the more significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of twenty-first century asymmetric warfare. Have a good day.’

After sending this, I left the SD card in a camera case at my aunt’s house in the event I needed it again in the future. I returned from mid-tour leave on 11 February 2010. Although the information had not yet been publicly by the WLO, I felt this sense of relief by them having it. I felt I had accomplished something that allowed me to have a clear conscience based upon what I had seen and read about and knew were happening in both Iraq and Afghanistan everyday.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of 10 Reykjavik 13.

I first became aware of the diplomatic cables during my training period in AIT. I later learned about the Department of State or DoS Net-centric Diplomacy NCD portal from the 2/10 Brigade Combat Team S2, Captain Steven Lim. Captain Lim sent a section wide email to the other analysts and officer in late December 2009 containing the SIPRnet link to the portal along with the instructions to look at the cables contained within them and to incorporate them into our work product.

Shortly after this I also noticed the diplomatic cables were being reported to in products from the corp level US Forces Iraq or US-I. Based upon Captain Lim’s direction to become familiar with its contents, I read virtually every published cable concerning Iraq.

I also began scanning the database and reading other random cables that piqued my curiosity. It was around this time– in early to mid-January of 2010, that I began searching the database for information on Iceland. I became interested in Iceland due to the IRC conversations I viewed in the WLO channel discussing an issue called Icesave. At this time I was not very familiar with the topic, but it seemed to be a big issue for those participating in the conversation. This is when I decided to investigate and conduct a few searches on Iceland and find out more.

At the time, I did not find anything discussing the Icesave issue either directly or indirectly. I then conducted an open source search for Icesave. I then learned that Iceland was involved in a dispute with the United Kingdom and the Netherlands concerning the financial collapse of one or more of Iceland’s banks. According to open source reporting much of the public controversy involved the United Kingdom’s use of anti-terrorism legislation against Iceland in order to freeze Icelandic access for payment of the guarantees for UK depositors that lost money.

Shortly after returning from mid-tour leave, I returned to the Net Centric Diplomacy portal to search for information on Iceland and Icesave as the topic had not abated on the WLO IRC channel. To my surprise, on 14 February 2010, I found the cable 10 Reykjavik 13, which referenced the Icesave issue directly.

The cable published on 13 January 2010 was just over two pages in length. I read the cable and quickly concluded that Iceland was essentially being bullied diplomatically by two larger European powers. It appeared to me that Iceland was out viable options and was coming to the US for assistance. Despite the quiet request for assistance, it did not appear that we were going to do anything.

From my perspective it appeared that we were not getting involved due to the lack of long term geopolitical benefit to do so. After digesting the contents of 10 Reykjavik 13 I debated whether this was something I should send to the WLO. At this point the WLO had not published or acknowledged receipt of the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables. Despite not knowing that the SigActs were a priority for the WLO, I decided the cable was something that would be important. I felt that I would be able to right a wrong by having them publish this document. I burned the information onto a CD-RW on 15 February 2010, took it to my CHU, and saved it onto my personal laptop.

I navigated to the WLO website via a TOR connection like before and uploaded the document via the secure form. Amazingly, when WLO published 10 Reykjavik 13 within hours, proving that the form worked and that they must have received the SigAct tables.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of the 12 July 2007 aerial weapons team or AW team video.

During the mid-February 2010 time frame the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division targeting analysts, then Specialist Jihrleah W. Showman discussed a video that Ms. Showman had found on the ‘T’ drive.

The video depicted several individuals being engaged by an aerial weapons team. At first I did not consider the video very special, as I have viewed countless other war porn type videos depicting combat. However, the recording of audio comments by the aerial weapons team crew and the second engagement in the video of an unarmed bongo truck troubled me.

As Showman and a few other analysts and officers in the T-SCIF commented on the video and debated whether the crew violated the rules of engagement or ROE in the second engagement, I shied away from this debate, instead conducting some research on the event. I wanted to learn what happened and whether there was any background to the events of the day that the event occurred, 12 July 2007.

Using Google I searched for the event by its date by its general location. I found several new accounts involving two Reuters employees who were killed during the aerial weapon team engagement. Another story explained that Reuters had requested for a copy of the video under the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA. Reuters wanted to view the video in order to understand what had happened and to improve their safety practices in combat zones. A spokesperson for Reuters was quoted saying that the video might help avoid the reoccurrence of the tragedy and believed there was a compelling need for the immediate release of the video.

Despite the submission of the FOIA request, the news account explained that CENTCOM replied to Reuters stating that they could not give a time frame for considering a FOIA request and that the video might no longer exist. Another story I found written a year later said that even though Reuters was still pursuing their request. They still did not receive a formal response or written determination in accordance with FOIA.

The fact neither CENTCOM or Multi National Forces Iraq or MNF-I would not voluntarily release the video troubled me further. It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely ‘good samaritans’. The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have.

The dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.

While saddened by the aerial weapons team crew’s lack of concern about human life, I was disturbed by the response of the discovery of injured children at the scene. In the video, you can see that the bongo truck driving up to assist the wounded individual. In response the aerial weapons team crew– as soon as the individuals are a threat, they repeatedly request for authorization to fire on the bongo truck and once granted they engage the vehicle at least six times.

Shortly after the second engagement, a mechanized infantry unit arrives at the scene. Within minutes, the aerial weapons team crew learns that children were in the van and despite the injuries the crew exhibits no remorse. Instead, they downplay the significance of their actions, saying quote ‘Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kid’s into a battle’ unquote.

The aerial weapons team crew members sound like they lack sympathy for the children or the parents. Later in a particularly disturbing manner, the aerial weapons team verbalizes enjoyment at the sight of one of the ground vehicles driving over a body– or one of the bodies. As I continued my research, I found an article discussing the book, The Good Soldiers, written by Washington Post writer David Finkel.

In Mr. Finkel book, he writes about the aerial weapons team attack. As, I read an online excerpt in Google Books, I followed Mr. Finkel’s account of the event belonging to the video. I quickly realize that Mr. Finkel was quoting, I feel in verbatim, the audio communications of the aerial weapons team crew.

It is clear to me that Mr. Finkel obtained access and a copy of the video during his tenue as an embedded journalist. I was aghast at Mr. Finkel’s portrayal of the incident. Reading his account, one would believe the engagement was somehow justified as ‘payback’ for an earlier attack that lead to the death of a soldier. Mr. Finkel ends his account by discussing how a soldier finds an individual still alive from the attack. He writes that the soldier finds him and sees him gesture with his two forefingers together, a common method in the Middle East to communicate that they are friendly. However, instead of assisting him, the soldier makes an obscene gesture extending his middle finger.

The individual apparently dies shortly thereafter. Reading this, I can only think of how this person was simply trying to help others, and then he quickly finds he needs help as well. To make matter worse, in the last moments of his life, he continues to express his friendly gesture– only to find himself receiving this well known gesture of unfriendliness. For me it’s all a big mess, and I am left wondering what these things mean, and how it all fits together. It burdens me emotionally.

I saved a copy of the video on my workstation. I searched for and found the rules of engagement, the rules of engagement annexes, and a flow chart from the 2007 time period– as well as an unclassified Rules of Engagement smart card from 2006. On 15 February 2010 I burned these documents onto a CD-RW, the same time I burned the 10 Reykjavik 13 cable onto a CD-RW. At the time, I placed the video and rules for engagement information onto my personal laptop in my CHU. I planned to keep this information there until I redeployed in Summer 2010. I planned on providing this to the Reuters office in London to assist them in preventing events such as this in the future.

However, after the WLO published 10 Reykjavik 13 I altered my plans. I decided to provide the video and the rules of engagement to them so that Reuters would have this information before I re-deployed from Iraq. On about 21 February 2010, I described above, I used the WLO submission form and uploaded the documents. The WLO released the video on 5 April 2010. After the release, I was concern about the impact of the video and how it would been received by the general public.

I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crew members. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare. After the release I was encouraged by the response in the media and general public, who observed the aerial weapons team video. As I hoped, others were just as troubled– if not more troubled that me by what they saw.

At this time, I began seeing reports claiming that the Department of Defense an CENTCOM could not confirm the authenticity of the video. Additionally, one of my supervisors, Captain Casey Fulton, stated her belief that the video was not authentic. In her response, I decided to ensure that the authenticity of the video would not be questioned in the future. On 25 February 2010, I emailed Captain Fulton, a link to the video that was on our ‘T’ drive, and a copy of the video published by WLO that was collected by the open source center, so she could compare them herself.

Around this time frame, I burned a second CD-RW containing the aerial weapons team video. In order to made it appear authentic, I placed a classification sticker and wrote Reuters FOIA REQ on its face. I placed the CD-RW in one of my personal CD cases containing a set of ‘Starting Out in Arabic CD’s.’ I planned on mailing out the CD-RW to Reuters after our re-deployment, so they could have a copy that was unquestionably authentic.

Almost immediately after submitting the aerial weapons team video and rules of engagement documents I notified the individuals in the WLO IRC to expect an important submission. I received a response from an individual going by the handle of ‘ox’– at first our conversations were general in nature, but over time as our conversations progressed, I accessed this individual to be an important part of the WLO.

Due to the strict adherence of anonymity by the WLO, we never exchanged identifying information. However, I believe the individual was likely Mr. Julian Assange [he pronounced it with three syllables], Mr. Daniel Schmidt, or a proxy representative of Mr. Assange and Schmidt.

As the communications transfered from IRC to the Jabber client, I gave ‘ox’ and later ‘pressassociation’ the name of Nathaniel Frank in my address book, after the author of a book I read in 2009.

After a period of time, I developed what I felt was a friendly relationship with Nathaniel. Our mutual interest in information technology and politics made our conversations enjoyable. We engaged in conversation often. Sometimes as long as an hour or more. I often looked forward to my conversations with Nathaniel after work.

The anonymity that was provided by TOR and the Jabber client and the WLO’s policy allowed me to feel I could just be myself, free of the concerns of social labeling and perceptions that are often placed upon me in real life. In real life, I lacked a closed friendship with the people I worked with in my section, the S2 section.

In my section, the S2 section supported battalions and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team as a whole. For instance, I lacked close ties with my roommate to his discomfort regarding my perceived sexual orientation. Over the next few months, I stayed in frequent contact with Nathaniel. We conversed on nearly a daily basis and I felt that we were developing a friendship.

Conversations covered many topics and I enjoyed the ability to talk about pretty much everything, and not just the publications that the WLO was working on. In retrospect that these dynamics were artificial and were valued more by myself than Nathaniel. For me these conversations represented an opportunity to escape from the immense pressures and anxiety that I experienced and built up through out the deployment. It seems that as I tried harder to fit in at work, the more I seemed to alienate my peers and lose respect, trust, and support I needed.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of documents related to the detainments by the Iraqi Federal Police or FP, and the Detainee Assessment Briefs, and the USACIC United States Army Counter Intelligence Center report.

On 27 February 2010, a report was received from a subordinate battalion. The report described an event in which the Federal Police or FP detained 15 individuals for printing anti-Iraqi literature. On 2 March 2010, I received instructions from an S3 section officer in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Tactical Operation Center or TOC to investigate the matter, and figure out who the quote ‘bad guys’ unquote were and how significant this event was for the Federal Police.

Over the course of my research I found that none of the individuals had previous ties to anti-Iraqi actions or suspected terrorist militia groups. A few hours later, I received several [playlist?] from the scene– from this subordinate battalion. They were accidentally sent to an officer on a different team on the S2 section and she forwarded them to me.

These photos included picture of the individuals, pallets of unprinted paper and seized copies of the final printed material or the printed document; and a high resolution photo of the printed material itself. I printed up one [missed word] copy of a high resolution photo– I laminated it for ease of use and transfer. I then walked to the TOC and delivered the laminated copy to our category two interpreter.

She reviewed the information and about a half and hour later delivered a rough written transcript in English to the S2 section. I read the transcript and followed up with her, asking her for her take on the content. She said it was easy for her to transcribe verbatim, since I blew up the photograph and laminated it. She said the general nature of the document was benign. The document, as I had sensed as well, was merely a scholarly critique of the then current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It detailed corruption within the cabinet of al-Maliki’s government and the financial impact of his corruption on the Iraqi people. After discovering this discrepancy between the Federal Police’s report and the interpreter’s transcript, I forwarded this discovery to the top OIC and the battle NCOIC. The top OIC and the overhearing battle captain informed me that they didn’t need or want to know this information anymore. They told me to quote “drop it” unquote and to just assist them and the Federal Police in finding out, where more of these print shops creating quote’ anti-Iraqi literature’ unquote.

I couldn’t believe what I heard and I returned to the T-SCIF and complained to the other analysts and my section NCOIC about what happened. Some were sympathetic, but no one wanted to do anything about it.

I am the type of person who likes to know how things work. And, as an analyst, this means I always want to figure out the truth. Unlike other analysts in my section or other sections within the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, I was not satisfied with just scratching the surface and producing canned or cookie cutter assessments. I wanted to know why something was the way it was, and what we could to correct or mitigate a situation.

I knew that if I continued to assist the Baghdad Federal Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister al-Maliki, those people would be arrested and in the custody of the Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police and very likely tortured and not seen again for a very long time– if ever.

Instead of assisting the Special Unit of the Baghdad Federal Police, I decided to take the information and expose it to the WLO, in the hope that before the upcoming 7 March 2010 election, they could generate some immediate press on the issue and prevent this unit of the Federal Police from continuing to crack down in political opponents of al-Maliki.

On 4 March 2010, I burned the report, the photos, the high resolution copy of the pamphlet, and the interpreters hand written transcript onto a CD-RW. I took the CD-RW to my CHU and copied the data onto my personal computer. Unlike the times before, instead of uploading the information through the WLO website submission form. I made a Secure File Transfer Protocol or SFTP connection to a file drop box operated by the WLO.

The drop box contained a folder that allowed me to upload directly into it. Saving files into this directory. Allowed anyone with log in access to server to view and download them. After uploading these files to the WLO, on 5 March 2010, I notified Nathaniel over Jabber. Although sympathetic, he said that the WLO needed more information to confirm the event in order for it to be published or to gain interest in the international media.

I attempted to provide the specifics, but to my disappointment, the WLO website chose not to publish this information. At the same time, I began sifting through information from the US Southern Command or SOUTHCOM and Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Cuba or JTF-GTMO. The thought occurred to me– although unlikely, that I wouldn’t be surprised if the individuals detainees by the Federal Police might be turned over back into US custody– and ending up in the custody of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

As I digested through the information on Joint Task Force Guantanamo, I quickly found the Detainee Assessment Briefs or DABs. I previously came across the document’s before in 2009 but did not think much about them. However, this time I was more curious in this search and I found them again.

The DABs were written in standard DoD memorandum format and addressed the commander US SOUTHCOM. Each memorandum gave basic and background information about a detainee held at some point by Joint Task Force Guantanamo. I have always been interested on the issue of the moral efficacy of our actions surrounding Joint Task Force Guantanamo. On the one hand, I have always understood the need to detain and interrogate individuals who might wish to harm the United States and our allies, however, I felt that what we were trying to do at Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

However, the more I became educated on the topic, it seemed that we found ourselves holding an increasing number of individuals indefinitely that we believed or knew to be innocent, low level foot soldiers that did not have useful intelligence and would be released if they were still held in theater.

I also recall that in early 2009 the, then newly elected president, Barack Obama, stated that he would close Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and that the facility compromised our standing over all, and diminished our quote ‘moral authority’ unquote.

After familiarizing myself with the Detainee Assessment Briefs, I agree. Reading through the Detainee Assessment Briefs, I noticed that they were not analytical products, instead they contained summaries of tear line versions of interim intelligence reports that were old or unclassified. None of the DABs contained the names of sources or quotes from tactical interrogation reports or TIR’s. Since the DABs were being sent to the US SOUTHCOM commander, I assessed that they were intended to provide very general background information on each of the detainees and not a detailed assessment.

In addition to the manner in which the DAB’s were written, I recognized that they were at least several years old, and discussed detainees that were already released from Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Based on this, I determined that the DAB’s were not very important fro either an intelligence or a national security standpoint. On 7 March 2010, during my Jabber conversation with Nathaniel, I asked him if he thought the DAB’s were of any use to anyone.

Nathaniel indicated, although he did not believe that they were of political significance, he did believe that they could be used to merge into the general historical account of what occurred at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. He also thought that the DAB’s might be helpful to the legal counsel of those currently and previously held at JTF-GTMO.

After this discussion, I decided to download the data. I used an application called Wget to download the DAB’s. I downloaded Wget off of the NIPRnet laptop in the T-SCIF, like other programs. I saved that onto a CD-RW, and placed the executable in my ‘My Documents’ directory on my user profile, on the D6-A SIPRnet workstation.

On 7 March 2010, I took the list of links for the detainee assessment briefs, and Wget downloaded them sequentially. I burned the data onto a CD-RW, and took it into my CHU, and copied them onto my personal computer. On 8 March 2010, I combined the Detainee Assessment Briefs with the United States Army Counterintelligence Center reports on the WLO, into a compressed IP file. Zip files contain multiple files which are compressed to reduce their size.

After creating the zip file, I uploaded the file onto their cloud drop box via Secure File Transfer Protocol. Once these were uploaded, I notified Nathaniel that the information was in the ‘x’ directory, which had been designated for my own use. Earlier that day, I downloaded the USACIC report on WLO.

As discussed about, I previously reviewed the report on numerous occasions and although I saved the document onto the work station before, I could not locate it. After I found the document again, I downloaded it to my work station, and saved it onto the same CD-RW as the Detainee Assessment Briefs described above.

Although my access included a great deal of information, I decided I had nothing else to send to WLO after sending the Detainee Assessment Briefs and the USACIC report. Up to this point I had sent them the following: the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A SigActs tables; the Reykjavik 13 Department of State Cable; the 12 July 2007 aerial weapons team video and the 2006-2007 rules of engagement documents; the SigAct report and supporting documents concerning the 15 individuals detained by the Baghdad Federal Police; the USSOUTHCOM and Joint Task Force Guantanamo Detainee Assessment Briefs; a USACIC report on the WikiLeaks website and the WikiLeaks organization.

Over the next few weeks I did not send any additional information to the WLO. I continued to converse with Nathaniel over the Jabber client and in the WLO IRC channel. Although I stopped sending documents to WLO, no one associated with the WLO pressures me into giving more information. The decisions that I made to send documents and information to the WLO and the website were my own decisions, and I take full responsibility for my actions.

Facts regarding the unauthorized disclosure of Other Government Documents.

One 22 March 2010, I downloaded two documents. I found these documents over the course of my normal duties as an analysts. Based on my training and the guidance of my superiors, I look at as much information as possible.

Doings so provided me with the ability to make connections that others might miss. On several occasions during the month of March, I accessed information from a Government entity. I read several documents from a section within this Government entity. The content of two of these documents upset me greatly. I had difficulty believing what this section was doing.

On 22 March 2010, I downloaded the two documents that I found troubling. I compressed them into a zip file named blah.zip and burned them onto a CD-RW. I took the CD-RW to my CHU and saved the file to my personal computer.

I uploaded the information to the WLO website using the designated prompts.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of the Net Centric Diplomacy Department of State Cables.

In late March of 2010, I received a warning over Jabber from Nathaniel, that the WLO website would be publishing the aerial weapons team video. He indicated that the WLO would be very busy and the frequency and intensity of our Jabber conversations decrease significantly. During this time, I had nothing but work to distract me.

I read more of the diplomatic cables published on the Department of State Net Centric Diplomacy. With my insatiable curiosity and interest in geopolitics I became fascinated with them. I read not only the cables on Iraq, but also about countries and events that I found interesting.

The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn’t seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world.

Up to this point,during the deployment, I had issues I struggled with and difficulty at work. Of the documents release, the cables were the only one I was not absolutely certain couldn’t harm the United States. I conducted research on the cables published on the Net Centric Diplomacy, as well as how Department of State cables worked in general.

In particular, I wanted to know how each cable was published on SIRPnet via the Net Centric Diplomacy. As part of my open source research, I found a document published by the Department of State on its official website.

The document provided guidance on caption markings for individual cables and handling instructions for their distribution. I quickly learned the caption markings clearly detailed the sensitivity of the Department of State cables. For example, NODIS or No Distribution was used for messages at the highest sensitivity and were only distributed to the authorized recipients.

The SIPDIS or SIPRnet distribution caption was applied only to recording of other information messages that were deemed appropriate for a release for a wide number of individuals. According to the Department of State guidance for a cable to have the SIPDIS [missed word] caption, it could not include other captions that were intended to limit distribution.

The SIPDIS caption was only for information that could only be shared with anyone with access to SIPRnet. I was aware that thousands of military personel, DoD, Department of State, and other civilian agencies had easy access to the tables. The fact that the SIPDIS caption was only for wide distribution made sense to me, given that the vast majority of the Net Centric Diplomacy Cables were not classified.

The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public. I once read a and used a quote on open diplomacy written after the First World War and how the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other.

I thought these cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy. Given all of the Department of State cables that I read, the fact that most of the cables were unclassified, and that all the cables have a SIPDIS caption.

I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations.

In many ways these cables are a catalogue of cliques and gossip. I believed exposing this information might make some within the Department of State and other government entities unhappy. On 22 March 2010, I began downloading a copy of the SIPDIS cables using the program Wget, described above.

I used instances of the Wget application to download the Net Centric Diplomacy cables in the background. As I worked on my daily tasks, the Net centric Diplomacy cables were downloaded from 28 March 2010 to 9 April 2010. After downloading the cables, I saved them on to a CD-RW.

These cables went from the earliest dates in Net Centric Diplomacy to 28 February 2010. I took the CD-RW to my CHU on 10 April 2010. I sorted the cables on my personal computer, compressed them using the bzip2 compression algorithm described above, and uploaded them to the WLO via designated drop box described above.

On 3 May 2010, I used Wget to download and update of the cables for the months of March 2010 and April 2010 and saved the information onto a zip file and burned it to a CD-RW. I then took the CD-RW to my CHU and saved those to my computer. I later found that the file was corrupted during the transfer. Although I intended to re-save another copy of these cables, I was removed from the T-SCIF on 8 May 2010 after an altercation.

Facts regarding the unauthorized storage and disclosure of Garani, Farah Province Afghanistan 15-6 Investigation and Videos.

[NB Pfc. Manning plead ‘not guilty’ to the Specification 11, Charge II for the Garani Video as charged by the government, which alleged as November charge date. Read more here.]

In late March 2010, I discovered a US CENTCOM directly on a 2009 airstrike in Afghanistan. I was searching CENTCOM I could use as an analyst. As described above, this was something that myself and other officers did on a frequent basis. As I reviewed the incident and what happened. The airstrike occurred in the Garani village in the Farah Province, Northwestern Afghanistan. It received worldwide press coverage during the time as it was reported that up to 100 to 150 Afghan civilians– mostly women and children– were accidentally killed during the airstrike.

After going through the report and the [missed word] annexes, I began to review the incident as being similar to the 12 July 2007 aerial weapons team engagements in Iraq. However, this event was noticeably different in that it involved a significantly higher number of individuals, larger aircraft and much heavier munitions. Also, the conclusions of the report are more disturbing than those of the July 2007 incident.

I did not see anything in the 15-6 report or its annexes that gave away sensitive information. Rather, the investigation and its conclusions were– what those involved should have done, and how to avoid an event like this from occurring again.

After investigating the report and its annexes, I downloaded the 15-6 investigation, PowerPoint presentations, and several other supporting documents to my D6-A workstation. I also downloaded three zip files containing the videos of the incident. I burned this information onto a CD-RW and transfered it to the personal computer in my CHU. I did later that day or the next day– I uploaded the information to the WL website this time using a new version of the WLO website submission form.

Unlike other times using the submission form above, I did not activate the TOR anonymizer. Your Honor, this concludes my statement and facts for this providence inquiry.”

[Source: Bradley Manning Support Network; Alexa O’Brien]

IWPCHI

Exclusive Transcript: Jeremy Hammond Defense Rally, New York City, 21 February, 2013

We publish below another of our seemingly endless series of partial transcripts; this one is from today’s rally in New York City’s Foley Square in defense of alleged “Stratfor” hacker & working class hero from Chicago, Jeremy Hammond.

The rally’s turnout was pitifully small.  It is a disgrace that in New York City, a metropolis of some 8 million people, only a handful of people had the guts to actually show up to support Jeremy Hammond’s defense campaign.  Apparently, not a single so-called working class socialist political party showed up at the event!   If they were there, they sure didn’t show up on the video.  Maybe 20 people were there; almost a quarter of those present spoke; a couple others provided live video feeds of the event as well as the gathering of activists after the Chief Judge of the US District Court of Manhattan, Loretta Preska, refused to recuse herself from the case, obscenely claiming that she needed nearly two more months to decide if she has any conflicts of interest in the case that might preclude her from being an objective referee in the case!  As you may know, her own husband’s passwords and email, which he used while doing business with his law firm – which she once worked for – was among the firms whose data was disclosed in the Strafor hack!  She is obviously dragging her feet in order to ensure that Jeremy Hammond’s stay in jail – in solitary confinement, with no visitors allowed! – drags on for as long as possible.  Such is “justice” in the courtrooms of the capitalist class under the capitalist system!

The following transcript was produced by us from the series of videos produced by The Pella Report.  All errors, as usual, are our own.  Free Jeremy Hammond!  If you’d like to write to him, the address to mail (postcards only!) to Jeremy is as follows:
Jeremy Hammond – #18729-424, Metropolitan Correctional Center, 150 Park Row , New York, New York, 10007

– IWPCHI

*******************************

“The Pella Report” video of Jeremy Hammond rally and hearing
21 feb 2013
Press conference starts at 12:32 of 22:11

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29452162

Transcript:

[First Speaker: Jason Hammond (brother of Jeremy Hammond):]

Hi, I’m Jason Hammond, Jeremy’s twin brother.  How are y’all today?  A few things I want to say about my brother’s case; and I’ll try to keep it short, because it’s cold.  And I’ll first read a statement my brother wrote to be read for this press conference:

“Thanks a lot for coming.  It means a lot to see people in court and to know people are attending rallies in front of the courthouse and the jail.  People in here always get excited to hear that the protests are in support of those on the inside.  Over time, people in prison are often forgotten by friends and family members.  It fills me with hope and joy when people show up to let me know that I’m not alone in this fight.  That’s why the work you’re all doing is so necessary.  Keep fighting!”

I personally want to thank you all for coming to support my brother.  It means just as much to me as it does to him to be able to meet and see a lot of people who would go the extra mile to show up at his court hearings.  His current situation is that he’s in solitary confinement for another fifteen days or so; and at this time he is very glad to be able to receive and send letters.  He is currently [denied a visitation for a whole year (?) (unintelligible) because we are only able to talk on the phone for very brief periods.  And I am one of his very few family members who can actually make the hike to attempt to visit him.

Jeremy is a very strong believer in the freedom of expression, the right to privacy for the individual, and in the need for government transparency.  And I also think that he is being prosecuted for his work as a political activist.

I can only hope and assume that the judge, Loretta Preska, will step down, given the fact that her husband’s email is involved in the Stratfor company itself.

I want to give an extra special thanks to those who have done solidarity work for Jeremy.  This press conference
was made possible by the time and effort put in by groups such as: The Jeremy Hammond Solidarity Network and the “FreeAnons Solidarity Network” and the “Books Through Bars” program.

That concludes the “speech” portion, and now begins the musical portion… [he carries a banjo and hands off the mic to someone and begins to play].  O.K.; this one’s called: “They Got The Wrong One”.

“They got the wrong one, It wasn’t Jeremy
They got the wrong one, let me tell you who’s guilty
I’m walking around with only half of me here,
While Sabu and the FBI are surely having a beer
When the house is made of glass, built on secrets and lies,
When people throw stones, it ain’t no suprise
Obama lied about closing down Guantanimo Bay,
He said he’d end the war, but there’s a new one every day,
Portraying Occupy as domestic terrorists,
Hell, we all wanna see the tables turned, the poor rise up, and the rich eat shit
Thats just the way it goes, when the whole world is shown
All those dirty secrets the government don’t want you to know
They got the wrong one, it wasn’t Jeremy
They got the wrong one, it wasn’t even me
Now i’m walking around with only half of me here,
Sabu and the FBI are surely having a beer
When the house is made of glass, built on secrets and lies,
When people throw stones, it ain’t no surprise”

[Song ends.  Applause]

[It’s a great song, an up-tempo, rollicking protest tune that would make Woody Guthrie smile.  Very nice.]

[Next speaker:]

Hi. I’m Heidi Boghosian , the Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild.  The National Lawyers Guild, for seventy-five years, has been representing individuals targeted by both the government and corporations for their activism.

We call on Loretta Preska – Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Manhattan – to immediately recuse herself in the case of Jeremy Hammond.  As you know, the email address and password of Judge Preska’s husband, Thomas Kavaler, were
among the pieces of data released in the crime for which Hammond stands accused: hacking the private security firm Stratfor
and releasing internal emails and personal information on Stratfor’s clients. Kavaler uses the affected email address for business at the law firm Cahill, Gordon and Rydell, where he is a partner, and where Judge Preska once worked.  In addition to Kavaler’s personal information, private emails of major corporate clients to his law firm, including Merrill-Lynch, were also disclosed in the hack.

As any first-year law student knows, a judge must withdraw from hearing any case in which his or her impartiality might reasonably be questioned. The New York [Canons?] of Judicial Conduct are clear: judges must avoid not only “impropriety”, but also “the appearance of impropriety”.  The test for the “appearance of impropriety” is whether a judge’s conduct would create, “in reasonable minds” – in this case, those of New Yorkers – a perception that the judge’s ability to carry out judicial responsibilities with integrity, impartiality and competence is impaired.  No reasonable person would say that a judge, whose husband was a victim of the crime she is presiding over, could do so with integrity or impartiality, much less competence.  If Judge Preska stays on this case, it goes against everything she is sworn to do as Chief Judge; and it denigrates the very integrity of this court.  Thank you.

[Applause]

[Next speaker: Alexa O’Brien, journalist; founder, US Day of Rage]

How is everybody?

Among the number of other items in the legal record of the lawsuit of [Hedges v. Obama?] brought by several plaintiffs including myself against the “indefinite detention provision” of the National Defense Authorization Act is an email published by WikiLeaks from the Stratfor leak.  In this email, Fred Burton is consulting with Thomas Kopecky, a private security contractor who says he’s been “tasked” with trying to
tie a group that I helped found, to any Saudi or fundamentalist Islamist movements.  Because of my work as a journalist covering the US “War on Terror”, government contractors attempted to falsely link a group which I helped found – whose only purpose is to support campaign finance reform in the United States – to Al Qa’ida.  The email is cited in Judge Forrest’s ruling that the indefinite detention provision of the national Defense Authorization Act is unconstitutional.

The aims of life, the desire to learn and to understand, are now a national security threat that can and will be exploited by terrorists using the Internet, aided by social and political activists, whistleblowers, journalists and publishers who are providing you and our enemies with information.

When the notion of property applies to the genes in our body, or the ideas in our head; when entrenched, outdated, incompetent  and corrupt representatives answer questions about “how we should govern the commons” with a never-ending clash of civilizations or ideology for the natural resources, then our 18th-century philosophy, 19th-century institutions, 20th-century outlook and 21st-century problems present us with a vision that we cannot afford to bank on, build on, or believe in.

Today, Judge Loretta Preska will make her decision on a motion to recuse herself for her obvious conflict of interest in the trial of Jeremy Hammond.  She will probably not recuse herself, despite her husband appearing on a list of Stratfor’s “victims”.  She is not impartial. So, while we stand in that space, what may seem to our spirits the emotional equivalent of not being mindfucked in a bathroom rest stop en route to a wasteland called “Paradise”, I would like to remind everyone to “trust the process”.  I am not talking about the process in the courtroom behind us; I am talking about the process in the courtroom we are building right here [she stomps her right foot on the ground several times] and everywhere.

Patience.  Work.  The conflict is unavoidable; reality is ours.

[Applause]

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29452491

[Next Speaker: Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York]

[The video starts just after Mr. Ratner starts speaking]

… thank you, jason hammond, for being here with his brother.  I find it incredibly moving when I see Jason speaking on behalf of his brother.

I’m Michael Ratner; I’m from the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York.  We represent WikiLeaks and Julian Assange; and we’re here in part because alleged sources for WikiLeaks we want to support.   Jeremy Hammond is an alleged source of WikiLeaks of some of the most valuable documents out there on the Internet: five million Stratfor emails.

“I’m here because I support truth-tellers.  I support truth-tellers like Bradley Manning; I support truth-tellers like Jeremy Hammond and Julian Assange.  And right now we’re at a point in this government where they are hitting people with sledgehammers for telling the truth because they don’t want government and corporate corruption, hypocrisy and criminality coming out.  And just yesterday, our wonderful Attorney General announced a new policy – a tougher policy – one he said in which “we’re gonna make truth-tellers – getting them – a priority.  And the question I have is: “how much of a prioity more do they want to make it?”  They already killed Aaron Swartz; they’re… Jeremy Hammond is facing 39 years to life; Bradley Manning: life imprisonment; and Julian Assange – if they ever get him out of that embassy and into a prison here, will face the same.  So I ask the government: “what do they want to do, put ’em up against the wall and just shoot the guys?”  I mean it’s an outrageous suppression of truth, and the struggle that’s going on in this country right now is whether we’re gonna have a transparent government, and corporations that are transparent, or are we gonna continue dirty tricks, hypocrisy and secrecy?  And that’s what this case, that’s what Jeremy Hammond’s case is about.

“I’m also here because I’m seeing unroll in front of me a travesty of justice: a case in which government informants were in on the case, in which the government itself bought the computer, entrapping the people involved in the case.  I’m here because Jeremy Hammond did not get bail which he absolutely should have had; I’m here because today, as Heidi and others have said, we’re seeing a conflict of interest by the judge – as Heidi and the Guild said – she [the judge – IWP] wakes up every morning with someone whose email was hacked in the Stratfor emails.  This is a fair judge?  Not at all.

“I’m here because I stand for a transparent government, transparent corporations and privacy for all of us.  We are on the verge of a major struggle in this country, and this case is critical to how we go forward: will we have a democracy or will we continue to have a government that suppresses the truth and its own criminality?

“So again, thank you all for being here with us to support Jeremy Hammond: [raises his left fist in salute – IWP] Free Jeremy!

[Applause]

[Michael Ratner continues:]  “We all know we’re going to the courtroom after this, right?  It’s on the 12th floor?  12th floor over there at 500 Pearl Street.  All right.”

[Voice:]  “Room 12A.”

[Narrator, Mr. Pella:]  “So that concludes this portion of the press conference…”

[Unidentified woman:]  “A very quick announcement for those of you who have never been in the courtroom before?  They will make you surrender all electronics before you enter the court.  So, please: if you have your phones, lock them; they will make you give them up.  Just be aware of that; anything electronic: phones; MP3 players; doesn’t matter what it is, they will take them.”

[Narrator, Mr. Pella:]  “…Which also kind of ties in to this whole “transparent government” thing: if the government wasn’t so afraid of its own people, then why would they take their electronic possessions?  Makes you wonder, right?”

[Sources: USTREAM, “The Pella Report” (web addresses noted in article);  Lyrics to “They Got the Wrong One” sent in by commenter, below.   Transcript produced by IWPCHI]

IWPCHI