Posts Tagged ‘Patriot Act’

The defense team for Army Private Bradley Manning will not be allowed to present evidence of his motives behind the intelligence leaks for which he faces 22 charges, a military judge ruled Thursday. The ruling, which is not available to the press or the public, underscores the fraudulent and anti-democratic character of the entire case.

The 25-year-old soldier is accused of transmitting hundreds of thousands of government and military documents to whistleblower organization WikiLeaks, which published the material. Among the documents were evidence of war crimes, including a video WikiLeaks published under the name “Collateral Murder,” showing US military helicopters gunning down Iraqi civilians, journalists and first responders in cold blood. Other documents made clear that the US vastly underreported civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Army Colonel Denise Lind, the judge overseeing the ongoing pretrial hearings at Fort Meade, Maryland, granted a government motion that questions of conscience and “good faith” are irrelevant in the case. This strips Manning of any potential legal protection offered under a whistleblower status and prevents any discussion of the content of the leaked material from reaching the American public.

Manning was detained on May 26, 2010, after computer hacker Adrian Lamo turned a series of chat conversations over to the US government. In the logs, Manning allegedly described collecting the materials while working as an Army intelligence analyst in Baghdad. He reportedly told Lamo that he felt compelled to act out of good conscience. The government and military networks, he said, contained “incredible things, awful things…that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC.”

Manning faces life in military prison under the Espionage Act. Prosecutors for the Obama administration argue that he is guilty of “aiding the enemy” for leaking information that was subsequently made available on the Internet to anyone, including enemies of the United States. If Manning is convicted, the case will set a dangerous precedent for other whistleblowers, as well as media and watchdog organizations, journalists, bloggers, and anyone who accesses information that the government deems sensitive to US interests.

This is precisely the Obama administration’s intent. During arguments January 9, prosecutors explicitly stated that the government saw no difference between WikiLeaks and newspapers such as the New York Times. Like the bulk of the Manning hearing to date, this declaration received little media attention.

In her ruling Thursday, Lind said Manning’s motive could not be considered as a factor until the young soldier either entered a plea or was found guilty. At that point, Lind said, Manning’s rationale could become a factor that might influence a reduction in his sentencing. The Justice Department is no doubt eyeing a plea agreement that would require Manning to testify in a future military trial against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Lind also blocked the defense team, led by civilian lawyer David Coombs, from presenting evidence that the publication of documents that Manning is accused of leaking caused no harm to US security or personnel.

Issues of motive are precluded from arguments on charges that Manning “wrongfully and wantonly cause[d] to be published on the Internet intelligence belonging to the United States government,” Lind ruled, or for charges where the government asserts that Manning had “reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” The defense could raise issues of motive only when addressing the “aiding the enemy” charge to argue that Manning did not know dealing with WikiLeaks would be tantamount to “dealing with the enemy.”

Prosecutors are seeking to tie Manning and WikiLeaks to Al Qaeda. In order to do this, the government has culled together flimsy evidence, including vague references by alleged Al Qaeda-linked propagandists who have said WikiLeaks might provide insight into US activity in the Middle East. A 2010 issue of Inspire magazine, for example, entered as evidence Wednesday, contained a line attributed to an Al Qaeda operative: “[A]nything useful from WikiLeaks can be archived and used to help the mujahideen.” Prosecutors also claim they have evidence collected from the raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound showing that he had reviewed WikiLeaks-published material.

Under Lind’s ruling, the government’s own damage assessments into the impact of the leaks on US interests will not be admitted into evidence until sentencing. Numerous intelligence assessments submitted to the Congressional “WikiLeaks Task Force” found no harm was caused.

Manning has been held for nearly 1,000 days without conviction. From July 2010 to April 2011, he was subjected to mistreatment at Quantico Marine brig in Virginia, including solitary confinement and forced nudity and harassment by guards. Brig officials reported to the Pentagon on Manning’s day-to-day conditions and disregarded recommendations from psychiatric staff that the young soldier be treated less severely.

Coombs argued that Manning’s treatment amounted to “unlawful pretrial punishment,” and called for charges to be dismissed. Instead, Lind granted a reduction of only 112 days—an absurdity in the face of a potential life sentence—and insisted that the harsh treatment was necessary to ensure Manning “did not hurt or kill himself and was present for trial.”

Manning’s court martial has been delayed once again; he is scheduled to face trial June 3. The defense argued that the government has shown “tremendous lack of diligence in the processing of this case,” violating Manning’s right to a speedy trial. On Wednesday, Coombs argued that the length of time would weaken the ability of witnesses to give reliable testimony. “It is just common sense to say, witnesses will say, ‘It has been several years, I don’t recall,’ ” he said. The government invoked national security to justify the delay.

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Truth11

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stephen Lendman, Contributor
Activist Post

FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) legislation proscribes it.

January 11, 2013 marks Guantanamo’s 11th anniversary. More on that below.

On January 11, 2002, its first 20 prisoners arrived. It’s one of many US torture prisons globally.

Most held there are innocent victims. They’re not terrorists. They’re lawlessly detained. Many remained for years uncharged and untried. Fundamental rights are denied.

Seton Hall University Law Professor Mark Denebeaux analyzed unclassified government data. He got them through FOIA requests.

They revealed what’s vital to know. The vast majority of Guantanamo detainees weren’t accused of hostile acts. Afghan bounty hunters seized around 95% of them. They sold them to US forces for $5,000 per claimed Taliban and $25,000 for alleged Al Qaeda members. Evidence of criminality wasn’t sought. Washington wanted prisoners. It still does. Innocence or guilt didn’t matter. It still doesn’t.

What…

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Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of (created) Al Qaeda Led to 9/11

By WashingtonsBlog

isi and cia directors in mujahideen camp1987 Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official, Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987. (source RAWA)

reaganandmujahideen1 Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

Preface:   The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom – noted:

Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today’s war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world.

Odom also said:

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).  Background here.

This essay does not address any “inside job” theories for 9/11 or other terrorist attacks on America.  Instead, it focuses on the well-documented fact that the virtually continuous U.S. backing of Al Qaeda terrorists since the late 1970s has led to blowback which has come back to bite us numerous times.

We Created Al Qaeda to Fight the Soviets in Afghanistan

Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets.

Brzezinski told Al Qaeda’s forefathers – the Mujahadin:

We know of their deep belief in god – that they’re confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over – there is yours – and you’ll go back to it some day, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right, and god is on your side.

CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmedin his memoir that the U.S. backed the Mujahadin in the 1970s.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agrees:

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FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, economic, scientific, and educational issues. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

PN

Woman told by screener her genitals would be groped

by Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
August 9, 2012

A woman who was the victim of a brutal rape underwent a “horrific” experience at the hands of TSA agents this past weekend at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport which ended up with her checking into a psychiatric ward.

Brennan Dunn, the woman’s husband, posted an account of his wife’s experience on the Flyer Talk website.

Dunn’s wife had been subjected to a violent sexual assault and death threats at the hands of three men in Florida five years previously, an experience that led to her committing self-harm and being forced to take medication and attend therapy sessions.

Traveling out of Florida due to a death in the family, Dunn’s wife was asked to go through a backscatter x-ray device. When she said she would like to opt out, the TSA agent graphically described…

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