The White Flag

America is Truly the Land of Milk and Honey
January 30, 2011, 5:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

United States

Closing Guantanamo remains on the agenda.
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“ ‘We are absolutely committed to closing Guantanamo. It’s turned out to be a little more challenging than we had hoped when we set that goal,’ Clinton said during a press conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez.”

Sometimes I consider the size of our military and think, it should be bigger! I feel security is just around the corner, that is, the spending of billions of dollars on drones, guns, and soldiers.
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“The United States spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. It says that we spend more than six times as much as the country with the next highest budget, China.”

“The United States maintains troops at more than 560 bases and other sites abroad, many of them a legacy of a world war that ended 65 years ago. Do we fear that if we pull our bases from Germany, Russia might invade?”

“The intelligence community is so vast that more people have ‘top secret’ clearance than live in Washington, D.C.”

“Let me be clear: I’m a believer in a robust military, which is essential for backing up diplomacy. But the implication is that we need a balanced tool chest of diplomatic and military tools alike. Instead, we have a billionaire military and a pauper diplomacy. The U.S. military now has more people in its marching bands than the State Department has in its foreign service — and that’s preposterous.”

“It was President Dwight Eisenhower who gave the strongest warning: ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.’ ”

“American troops in Afghanistan are among the strongest advocates of investing more in schools there because they see firsthand that education fights extremism far more effectively than bombs. And here’s the trade-off: For the cost of one American soldier in Afghanistan for one year, you could build about 20 schools.”

The men working for the CIA are great guys, I would show you, but they smashed the video tape of us all hanging out together having a good time, so, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
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“The focus of the hearing before Judge Alvin Hellerstein of Federal District Court was not torture itself but the Central Intelligence Agency’s deliberate destruction in 2005 of dozens of videotapes made three years earlier showing the brutal interrogation of high-level terrorism suspects, including the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding. At the time, the agency had been ordered by Judge Hellerstein to preserve the tapes.”

“Their destruction was seen as so egregious that the Bush administration felt compelled to order a special investigation when it was disclosed.”

“In November, the special prosecutor handling that investigation, John Durham, decided against bringing criminal charges against any C.I.A. official. No details of his decision were provided, leaving it unclear why those involved were not charged with any crime.”

“The C.I.A.’s decision to destroy the tapes — rather than submit them to the judge for a decision on whether to order their public release — was a serious affront to the court and the rule of law.”

As all intelligent people know, the Patriot Act is as it says, a home brewed cup of freedom. And I, like most republicans, know that people who are for “judicial oversight” are really freedom haters, who love to see bad guys come out on top.
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“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., introduced the bipartisan 2011 USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act, which would continue to allow roving wiretaps of suspects who change computers or phone numbers to avoid monitoring; tracking of ‘lone wolves’ — people of interest with no known links to terrorist groups; and retrieval of records and other tangible evidence from organizations with a court order. The proposal, which would expire in December 2013, also demands greater judicial supervision.”

“Leahy’s changes aimed at heightening oversight include language requiring the government to list the facts and circumstances that justify obtaining a court order to retrieve records. Current law states the records are presumed relevant, so long as they are associated with a foreign power, the activities of a suspected agent of a foreign power, or an individual in contact with such an agent.”

“In addition, the Senate proposal raises the standard for gaining permission to conduct wiretaps. Existing law mandates that the government certify the information sought is foreign intelligence data or relevant to a terrorist investigation. The new measure would demand the government provide facts that substantiate the belief that the information gleaned will likely be relevant.”

Civil Liberties

Peace activists pose eminent threat to society’s tranquility!
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“A former Joint Base Lewis-Mc-Chord employee who spied on war protests in Olympia helped compile detailed information on protesters, including their names, photos, addresses and, in some cases, Social Security numbers, according to 133 pages of law enforcement records released by the City of Tacoma.”

“The use of undercover surveillance of people that are engaged in First Amendment activities ‘is only lawful when there is a criminal nexus or criminal predicate,’ Smith said. ‘That surveillance must cease when it is indicated that there is no such thing,’ Smith added.”

“Reached by telephone Monday afternoon, former councilman Johnson said he was disturbed to learn that his name and photo were included in the dossier of antiwar activists maintained by the South Sound Regional Intelligence Group, ‘but it’s not surprising. The militarization of domestic law enforcement is one of the more disturbing trends in recent years. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not.’ ”

Altruism; one quality America will always be known for, so long as they keep saying it enough.
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“But it turns out he’s one tough hombre. Manning, according to his attorney, to a friend who has been allowed to visit him, and to activists who have been demonstrating outside Quantico for his release from this private hell, has been subjected to sleep deprivation, has been barred from exercising in the slightest, and recently was improperly placed by the Quantico base commander on suicide watch–meaning his clothing was removed, and also his reading glasses–as punishment for “disobeying” orders of the guards.”

“The aim of all this abuse, which is now being investigated by a UN human rights investigator, has been blatantly to crush his spirit, in hopes of getting him to agree to implicate Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks organization, in inducing him to leak the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, and the visual tapes, of Iraq and Afghan war reports, helicopter murder, and US State Department cables, all of which have been undermining the US war effort and the US diplomatic agenda.”

“[…]holding [Manning] in solitary confinement in a Marine brig, subjecting him to conditions that the world and international and US law recognize as torture, denying him the right to a speedy trial or court-martial on a charge of allegedly leaking secret documents–all in the attempt to wring a false confession out of him–is exactly what was done for years in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.”

Apparently our military leaders were inspired by the gusto of suicide bombers ready to die for what they believe in, for, now we too are attempting to turn our soldiers in extremist automatons, but for Jesus. It is going to be hard for many Christians to see what all the fuss is about, but I ask for everyone just to considered how they would feel if this were Islam they were cramming down our soldiers throats, one is no more right than the other, they are both unprovable and it is not right to take away some one’s freedom to choose in either case.
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“This should come as no surprise, as Mr. Weinstein has a great deal to say on a topic that affects us all, and threatens the constitutional fabric of the nation: a frontal assault by elements within the active military on the separation of church and state, and a crusade by those elements to transform the Armed Services into a fundamentalist Christian entity.”

“Weinstein and his wife both hold licenses to carry concealed weapons, and have every reason to believe they may someday need them. The windows of their home have been shot out, dead animals have been left on their steps, and – certainly worst of all – the lives of their children have been threatened. One such threat came in the guise of a promise that Weinstein would be murdered, and his children would be bathed in his blood before they themselves were murdered.”

“Self-proclaimed ‘Christians.’ Fundamentalist evangelical frauds who cloak themselves in the words of Jesus and the uniform of the American military while lashing out violently against anyone who does not toe the line of their “true faith.” The hypocrisy of their activities is beyond appalling, and flies in the face of the Scripture they pervert with every breath they take.”

“And make no mistake: this movement to turn the Armed Forces into a bastion of hard-core fundamentalist Christianity is as dangerous as any threat posed to the country by any outside force or enemy. There is a word for a military force whose core principles are centered around the absolute requirement to adhere to a strict fundamentalist religious view. Taliban.”

Jesse Ventura plans to sue the TSA for infringing on his rights.
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“Former Governor Jesse Ventura has taken steps to sue the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, naming their chiefs John Pistole and ‘Big Sis’ Janet Napolitano in a lawsuit that will take on invasive airport pat-downs [READ LAWSUIT].”

“[Alex] Jones recalls Ventura’s outrage at the TSA’s harassing old people in wheelchairs with the invasive new pat-down procedures. The former governor himself is routinely sent to secondary screening due to a hip replacement in 2008, and Jones witnessed him undergo repeated humiliating searches during pat-downs at the hands of TSA. Worse, at airports across the country, even those presenting medical cards describing special needs or equipment from a doctor are routinely ignored as TSA agents demand that medical patients remove urostomy bags, prosthetic breasts or that TSA be allowed to grope a pacemaker patients’ breasts.”

“Ventura filed his lawsuit Monday, January 24, 2011 in Minnesota and news reports have named David Olsen as his lawyer. The former governor has indicated that his suit will include violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 4th Amendment, arguing that he and others with disabilities have been discriminated against and unduly singled out by TSA despite presenting no threat and warranting no reason for lawful search.”

We will only be free once everyone’s life is an open book, stored away in a computer, that is, until they later show up on the radar for suspicious activities, like taking photographs.
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“ ‘Data retention is fundamental to the department’s work in investigating and prosecuting almost every type of crime,’ Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, will say, according to his written testimony. ‘The problem of investigations being stymied by a lack of data retention is growing worse.’ ”

“That aligns the Justice Department with data retention’s more aggressive supporters among House Republicans and places it at odds with privacy advocates, civil libertarians, and the Internet industry. Those groups have questioned the privacy, liability, cost, and scope, including whether businesses such as coffee shops would be required to identify and monitor whoever uses their wireless connections.”

“Or it could be more intrusive, sweeping in online service providers, and involve keeping track of e-mail and instant-messaging correspondence and what Web pages users visit. Some Democratic politicians have previously called for data retention laws to extend to domain name registries and Web hosting companies and even social-networking sites. An FBI attorney said last year that the bureau supports storing Internet users’ ‘origin and destination information,’ meaning logs of which Web sites are visited.”

Americans have nothing to fear allowing government agencies unfettered access to our personal information because all government personnel are immaculate humans beings, and will never dishonor the responsibilities they are given.
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“And despite the bureau’s very strict screening procedure for all prospective employees, the FBI confirms that about 325 to 350 employees a year receive some kind of discipline, ranging from a reprimand to suspension.”

“About 30 employees each year are fired.”

“– An employee had ‘a sexual relationship with a source’ over seven months. The punishment was a 40-day suspension.”

“– The supervisor who viewed ‘pornographic movies in the office while sexually satisfying himself’ during work hours received a 35-day suspension.”

“– The employee in a ‘leadership position’ who misused a ‘government database to conduct name checks on two friends who were foreign nationals employed as exotic dancers’ and ‘brought the two friends into FBI space after-hours without proper authorization’ received a 23-day suspension. The same employee had been previously suspended for misusing a government database.”

“– An employee who was drunk ‘exploited his FBI employment at a strip club,’ falsely claiming he was ‘conducting an official investigation.’ His punishment was a 30-day suspension.

“– And an employee conducted ‘unauthorized searches on FBI databases’ for ‘information on public celebrities the employee thought were ‘hot’ received a 30-day suspension.”


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