Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some vaguely-related addenda

A few relatively-recent items that relate to the concerns raised in the previous post.

- At a recent Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Seymour Hersh said that the purpose of his Abu Ghraib stories "was to take it out of the field and into the White House." It's not that they knew just what happened, he said, it's that they allowed it to happen.

He then added this:
And I'll tell you right now, one of the great tragedies of my country is that Mr. Obama is looking the other way, because equally horrible things are happening to prisoners, to those we capture in Afghanistan. They're being executed on the battlefield. It's unbelievable stuff going on there that doesn't necessarily get reported.
There's a reason for that....

- Last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that some officials in the Obama administration are drafting classified guidelines to allow the government to hold terrorism suspects outside the US indefinitely without a trial or even charges. Reportedly, the guidelines are a matter or debate within the White House but the very fact they are being considered is significant.

- Early this month, Jeremy Scahill reported in The Nation online that reports are appearing suggesting that US military intelligence aircraft were involved in locating Faisal Shahzad.
A US Special Operations Force source told me that the planes were likely RC-12s equipped with a Guardrail Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) system that, as the plane flies overland "sucks up" digital and electronic communications. ... The source added: "It sucks up everything. We've got these things in Jalalabad [Afghanistan]. We routinely fly these things over Khandahar. When I say everything, I mean BlueTooth would be effected, even the wave length that PlayStation controllers are on. They suck up everything. That's the point."
If the reports are true, why in hell are those planes flying over US territory? And why was a WCBS report about the involvement of the military, posted to its website, scrubbed of any reference to the issue less than an hour later?

(Thanks to Dan at Pruning Shears for that link.)

- On May 6, the Pentagon banned four journalists from covering trials at Gitmo on the grounds that they reported the name of a former military interrogator - a name which has been public knowledge for years; in fact, the interrogator himself had given a media interview using his own name.

- In an interview aired on "60 Minutes" on May 9,
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the Pakistani government has been warned that if a terror operation like the failed Times Square bombing were to be successful and found to be originated in their country, "there would be very severe consequences."

Clinton also acknowledged Pakistan's increased cooperation in the war on terror, but said the U.S. wants and expects even more from the Muslim nation.
What the hell does "very severe consequences" mean? Clinton specifically refused to say. Notice she didn't say if such a plot was traced to the Pakistani government, but merely to have originated in Pakistan. Spoken in the context of a statement that we "want and expect even more" "cooperation," that sure sounds like a threat to me: "Do what we want or else."

And just by the way, do other nations get to make such demands - "You will act in accordance with our foreign policy objectives, what you may see as your own interests be damned" - or is that privilege reserved for the US?

Face up to it folks, and special praise for the first Obamabot to openly admit it: When it comes to foreign policy, to "the war on terrorism," to "national security," and to related presidential powers, we have the administration of Barack Hussein Obambush.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');