If Obama had been caught with the marijuana that he says he uses, and ‘maybe a little blow’… if he had been busted under his laws, he would have done hard f*cking time. And if he had done time in prison, time in federal prison, time for his ‘weed’ and ‘a little blow,’ he would not be President of the United States of America. He would not have gone to his fancy-a** college, he would not have sold books that sold millions and millions of copies and made millions and millions of dollars, he would not have a beautiful, smart wife, he would not have a great job. He would have been in f*cking prison, and it’s not a god damn joke. People who smoke marijuana must be set free. It is insane to lock people up.
Archive for Bush Crime Family
(Glenn Greenwald, Salon, May 22, 2012)
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Obama’s counter-terrorism chief has “seized the lead” in secretly determining who will die by US drone . . . can strikes inside the U.S. be far behind?
In November, 2008, media reports strongly suggested that President Obama intended to name John Brennan as CIA Director. But controversy over Brennan’s recent history — he was a Bush-era CIA official who expressly advocated “enhanced interrogation techniques” and rendition — forced him to “withdraw” from consideration, as he publicly issued a letter citing “strong criticism in some quarters” of his CIA advocacy. . . . Undeterred by any of that unpleasantness, President Obama instead named Brennan to be his chief counter-Terrorism adviser, a position with arguably more influence that he would have had as CIA chief. Since then, Brennan has been caught peddling serious falsehoods in highly consequential cases, including falsely telling the world that Osama bin Laden “engaged in a firefight” with U.S. forces entering his house and “used his wife as a human shield,” and then outright lying when he claimed about the prior year of drone attacks in Pakistan: “there hasn’t been a single collateral death.” Given his history, it is unsurprising that Brennan has been at the heart of many of the administration’s most radical acts, including claiming the power to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA without due process and the more general policy of secretly targeting people for death by drone. . . . Now, Brennan’s power has increased even more: he’s on his way to becoming the sole arbiter of life and death, the unchecked judge, jury and executioner of whomever he wants dead (of course, when Associated Press in this report uses the words “Terrorist” or “al-Qaida operative,” what they actually mean is: a person accused by the U.S. Government, with no due process, of involvement in Terrorism): . . . Brennan’s effort gives him greater input earlier in the process, before making final recommendation to President Barack Obama. Officials outside the White House expressed concern that drawing more of the decision-making process to Brennan’s office could turn it into a pseudo military headquarters, entrusting the fate of al-Qaida targets to a small number of senior officials. . . . Some of the officials carrying out the policy are equally leery of “how easy it has become to kill someone,” one said. The U.S. is targeting al-Qaida operatives for reasons such as being heard in an intercepted conversation plotting to attack a U.S. ambassador overseas, the official said. . . . Needless to say, all of this takes place in total secrecy, with no legal framework and no oversight of any kind. Indeed, even after they had Brennan publicly defend the CIA drone program, the Obama administration continue to insist in federal court that the program is too secretive even to confirm its existence. It’s just a tiny cadre of National Security State officials who decide, in the dark, whom they want dead, and then — once the President signs off — it is done. This is the Change with which the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate has gifted us . . . Reuters previously described the secret process used to determine which human beings, including American citizens, would be targeted for due-process-free death-by-CIA: they “are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials” with “no public record” nor “any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules” — an actual death panel, though one invented by the White House rather than established by law. And now John Brennan has even more control over the process, and fewer checks, when issuing these death sentence decrees. . . . Remember in the Bush era when little things like the Patriot Act and warrantless eavesdropping and military commissions were the Radical and Lawless Assaults Trampling on Our Constitution and Our Values? Now, all those things are completely normalized — controversies over those policies are like quaint and obsolete relics of a more innocent era — and we now have things like unelected Death Sentence Czars instead.
During the stop, search and interrogation, Chicago PD took the journalists’ hard drives and slammed them against “running boards four or five times.” They took Pool’s alternate batteries and slammed them too. Content recorded by the journalists was deleted from Ustream.
The stop happened about midnight or just after. And, according to Pool’s Twitter stream, the police were still following them on the police scanner around 2 am. They allegedly wanted the targeted journalists to announce where they were staying for the night so they could raid where the journalists were staying.
Pool released a YouTube clip that included audio of the stop.
(PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, Counterpunch, March 27, 2012)
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Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America.
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes but Rome’s calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded the value of extractable resources. . . . he wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Washington has nothing to show for it except possibly some part of the drug trade that can be used to fund covert CIA operations. . . . America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about? . . . The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. That is how the American Empire functions. . . . The New Empire is different. It happens without achieving conquest. The American military did not conquer Iraq and has been forced out politically by the government that Washington established. There is no victory in Afghanistan, and after a decade the American military does not control the country. . . . In the New Empire success at war no longer matters. The extraction takes place by being at war. Huge sums of American taxpayers’ money have flowed into the American armaments industries and huge amounts of power into Homeland Security. The American empire works by stripping Americans of wealth and liberty. . . . This is why the wars cannot end, or if one does end another starts. . . . It is ironic that under the New Empire the citizens of the empire are extracted of their wealth and liberty in order to extract lives from the targeted foreign populations. Just like the bombed and murdered Muslims, the American people are victims of the American empire.
Terence McKenna once said, “If the truth can be told so as to be understood it will be believed.” IMO this video tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the current state of affairs in the U.S. . . . I strongly encourage you to watch this video to the end. . . . and then YOU become the friction!
Police officers knocked down and clubbed a young woman during an anti-police march in Oakland late Saturday night, and arrested six people. . . . Video of the incident uploaded to YouTube showed the young woman riding her bicycle towards a small group of officers. As she approached, officers shoved her to the ground and at least one clubs her with his baton. . . . Protesters quickly rushed to her aid, and dragged her away from police. . . . An “Occupy Oakland” press release said the “Fuck the Police” march was held to protest the “brutal campaign of repression” conducted by Oakland police to prevent protesters from re-establishing their camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza. It describes the City of Oakland as a “war zone.” . . . About 100 people marched from Frank Ogawa Plaza to the Oakland Police headquarters at 7th and Broadway, where more than 50 officers stood guard.
( WILL POTTER, GreenIsTheNewRed.com, DECEMBER 20, 2011)
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The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force has kept files on activists who expose animal welfare abuses on factory farms and recommended prosecuting them as terrorists, according to a new document uncovered through the Freedom of Information Act. . . . This new information comes as the Center for Constitutional Rights has filed a lawsuit challenging the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as unconstitutional because its vague wording has had a chilling effect on political activism. This document adds to the evidence demonstrating that the AETA goes far beyond property destruction, as its supporters claim. . . . Based on these acts — trespassing in order to photograph and videotape abuses on factory farms — the agent concludes there “is a reasonable indication” that the activists “have violated the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, 18 USC Section 43 (a).” . . . The file was uncovered through a FOIA request by Ryan Shapiro, who is one of the activists mentioned. The file is available for download here. [Please note that this document has additional redactions in order to protect the identities of the other activists, at their request.] Shapiro is now a doctoral candidate at MIT. . . . “It is deeply sobering to see one’s name in an FBI file proposing terrorism charges,” he said in an email. “It is even more sobering to realize the supposedly terroristic activities in question are merely exposing the horrific cruelty of factory farms, educating the public about what goes on behind those closed doors, and openly rescuing a few animals from one of those farms as an act of civil disobedience.” . . . So how do we explain that such a sweeping prosecution was being considered in 2003, under the law’s somewhat-narrower precursor? . . . One possibility is that FBI agents lack training, education, and oversight. They are spying on political activists without understanding or respecting the law. . . . Another explanation is that this document is no mistake, nor is it an isolated case. It is a reflection of a coordinated campaign to target animal rights activists who, as the FBI agent notes, cause “economic loss” to corporations. . . . The FBI makes clear that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act is not about protecting public safety; it is about protecting corporate profits. Corporations and the politicians who represent them have repeatedly lied to the American public about the scope of this legislation, and claimed that the law only targets underground groups like the Animal Liberation Front. The truth is that this terrorism law has been slowly, methodically expanded to include the tactics of national organizations like the Humane Society of the United States. . . . This document illustrates how the backlash against effective activism has progressed within the animal rights movement. However, if this type of legislation is not overturned, it will set a precedent for corporations to use this model against Occupy Wall Street and anyone else who threaten business as usual.
Free speech and peaceful assembly are no longer allowed in San Diego, California. The police have become a private security force that has been directed to quash all forms of dissent from the status quo of the rich and powerful to whom they have pledged their souls.
And here is what was going on a few hundred miles north of San Diego at about the same time. Sadly, we can no longer teach our children to trust the police. Now we have to teach our children to fear the police. I’m afraid that it is only a matter of time before some demonstrators are murdered by out of control cops, such as the one seen in the video below. Welcome to the gulag.