Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Targeting Journalists & Channeling Cheney, the President Oversteps on National Security & Angry US Iraqi War Veteran " I Didn't Fight For Your Freedom" | Common Dreams

The US government mostly stays silent when journalist are murdered in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

Once upon a time the US military and the Pentagon appeared to respect journalists and took measures to protect journalists even if they were not embedded -Now like the governments of Burma, Pakistan, Bahrain, Israel, Yemen and so forth kill journalists with impunity .

Baghdad Massacre
How US military does not distinguish between civilians, journalists & armed insurgents-
US Rules Of Engagement "Light em all up"
WikiLeaks releases secret video of journalists, civilians killed in Baghdad

More on killing journalists below.
US targets journalists especially those working for Al Jazeera
US routinely murder civilians with impunity
US defends its allies even when they purposely target journalists and unarmed civilians.

Channeling Cheney, the President Oversteps on National Security | Common Dreams

As with so many leak cases, the problem is not that the leaked information endangered security, but that it embarrassed the government. The CIA, as Seymour Hersh reported in anarticle in the June 6 edition of The New Yorker, still doesn't know how far along Iran's nuclear program is.

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama said, "I reject the view that the president may do whatever he deems necessary to protect national security."
What happened to that guy?

Once again President Obama is going after a whistleblower for leaking documents. So much for government transparency during President Obama's Watch.

I Didn't Fight For Your Freedom by Jude at Information Clearing House ,July 5, 2011
 -- Re-posted from May 30, 2011 "First Draft"

-- So it's Memorial Day, which means that the US is awash with mostly obligatory tributes to military personnel.

I hate this shit.

I didn't fight for your freedoms. In the six years I was in, I never once defended your right to vote, or to carry a gun, or to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (that one doesn't really apply anymore, anyway), or any of the other things you enjoy as a citizen of this country. I just didn't. Neither did anyone who went to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Vietnam. It's all bullshit. It's a fucking lie that we tell ourselves and each other so that we don't have to think about why we send young men and women to serve, suffer, and die for old men's vainglorious ideas and profit margins.

I passed through Burlington, WI on Saturday to visit their annual chocolate festival. Who could say no to that, right? Well, while there (this being Wisconsin), I got myself a beer. To do so, you had to put up with the shitty metal cover band in the beer tent. There's a 45-year-old lead singer acting a fool--pouring beer on his own goddamned head, making dumb-ass sexist remarks, saying stupid shit about his teen-aged daughter, etc. Since that wasn't reprehensible enough, he then proceeded to thank all the veterans in the crowd, specifically pointing out one man whose--well, I'll just quote this asshole.

I wanna thank all of our veterans for what they do for us. Every guy in the band, our fathers were all in the military. My dad was in Korea! This guy right here in front--his son is in Iraq right now. He's over there FIGHTIN' FOR OUR RIGHT TO PARTY!

I wanted to rush the stage and strangle that fuck with a microphone cord.

It's all bullshit, folks. We don't do anything for anyone's freedom. The military hasn't actually deployed en masse to defend your freedom in a long, long time. Unless you call rich people fucking over the world's poor and powerless a form of freedom. As you may have guessed, I don't. It's bullshit. And it needs to stop.

I don't mind honoring sacrifice, but the military doesn't have a monopoly on that, now does it? I also don't mind remembering military dead and wounded. But we do it all wrong. We just fetishize the suffering (like good Catholics, no?) without wondering why it ever happened in the first place. Remembrance and memorial, it would seem, also involve reflection and assessment. Just because someone died or was wounded doesn't automatically validate how he or she came to be in that state. We send our young people overseas to be bored, pull duty, sometimes get shot at, and occasionally get hit. Then we never ask why they're over there in the first fucking place, because doing so, apparently, does them a disservice. What kind of jack shit is that?

A real Memorial Day would involve commitments to cease sacrifices that don't actually, you know, do anything in the name of freedom. Losing your legs so that Chevron can see higher profit margins is not noble. It's a god damned shame. Dying in the service of defense contractors doesn't bestow sainthood on the deceased. It just means that a life got snuffed out for no good reason. Reflexive military worship is a cancer on society. Unscrupulous people use it to justify their actions and avoid any criticism. That shit makes the act of asking why we should send young people to absorb bullets and get blown to pieces into some kind of subversion and/or sedition. How fucking ridiculous is that? Wondering if someone's death was worth the cost doesn't dishonor the person. I don't know how we've confused evaluating the motives and actions of leaders with spitting on corpses, but we have. And until we can untangle those things, we're just well and truly fucked when it comes to international affairs.

So this Memorial Day, take a minute to actually reflect on the acts and deeds of people in uniform. But that involves critical thought instead of blind acceptance of the rightness of our leaders' actions. Honor the dead and care for the living, but don't think that people in uniform today are actually standing between you and tyranny.

Remember that.

Pakistan's Intelligence Servicehas been ( ISI) accused of murdering Pakistan reporter Saleem Shahzad for reporting on connections between Al Qaeda and some members of the ISI.

I don't see how the US government could be serious in criticizing such an occurrence when the US itself has targeted journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan and at the same time defended the killing of journalists by Israel's military the IDF.

One needs to remember that President Obama has also targeted journalists such as Julianne Assange of wikileaks . The Obama administration has characterized and demonized Assange as the Enemy and with betraying the US government and therefore an acceptable target for assassination or rendition. The American Media for the most part has also been guilty of attacking Assange & Wikileaks and the Whistleblower /or leakee Bradley Manning.

Simply put the Obama administration has refused to take the moral high road except in some of the empty rhetoric and speechifying of President Obama and therefore one should be skeptical about its real agenda.
How can such an administration judge the governments and police or military of other nations when that administration defends the use of torture except they refer to it as Legitimate Interrogation Techniques and is in favor of summary executions, setting up Kangaroo courts to try detainees that is POWs suspected of being terrorists or enemy combatants

Did Pakistan Have Reporter Killed? By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 7/5/11 at July 5, 2011

In another possible blow to U.S.-Pakistan relations after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama administration officials believe that the country’s intelligence service ordered the “barbaric and unacceptable” killing of a journalist who had written about ties between the country’s military and Al Qaeda militants, according to a report Tuesday.

Intelligence surrounding the late May killing of Pakistani reporter Saleem Shahzad, 40, suggests that senior officials at Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence ordered the murder to silence his criticism, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing two senior US administration officials.

Did ISI plot Pak journalist Saleem's murder?

ibnlive on May 31, 2011
Human rights groups suspect the ISI's involvement as Saleem Shahzad is tortured and killed.

Reuters journalist killed in Gaza

unite2starcrosslover on Apr 18, 2008
Footage of Fadel Shana, 23, being killed by a tank shell in the Gaza Strip has been released by the news agency, which said that the cameraman was hit despite clear markings that showed him to be a journalist.Footage released by Reuters shows Mr Shana filming a tank positioned a few hundred yards away in the distance, over the Israeli border.

The film shows a tank firing its shell, which explodes causing the picture to go blank as the camera is thrown from Mr Shana's hand.

It then cuts away to a film made by another cameraman positioned nearby, which shows the devastation left by the shell, including two youths who had been passing the scene lying dead in the road.

Mr Shana, who was from Gaza and had covered the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians for the last three years, died instantly. He had been covering events in Gaza for Reuters on a day of intense violence when 16 other Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers were also killed.

This is how America's No. 1 Ally deals with pesky journalists and unarmed protesters

Bil'in Palestine - Journalist shot in head at point blank

US Attacked Journalists in Iraq and elsewhere
Democracy Now Amy Goodman

also see;

Torture Crimes Officially, Permanently Shielded by Glenn Greenwald ,at Salon .com , July 1, 2011

and so it goes,

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