Monday, December 19, 2011

#OWS Update Michael Moore Honors Heroic Whistleblower Bradley Manning & U.S. Forces Kicked Out Of Iraq & Ted Rall: "Troops and Prisons Move, Wars and Torture Never Ends"

#OWS Update:

Occupy Wall Street #D17 | Police Violate Constitution and Lose | 12/17/11

Uploaded by carlosmandelbaum on Dec 18, 2011
NYPD once again overplays their hand, "kettling" peaceful protesters on a public sidewalk behind nets, only to withdraw. A pointless and violent exercise of mindless state power.

Take Back the Commons - D17 | Occupy Wall Street Video

Uploaded by OccupyTVNY on Dec 18, 2011
December 17, 2011: Occupy Wall Street teams up with artists, musicians and faith leaders to demand a space for public expression and to seek sanctuary in an unused lot owned by Trinity Church, an institution that has shown support for the movement despite its strong ties to Wall Street. Episcopal Bishop George Packard is the first to scale the fence, and is arrested along with fellow occupiers. Reverend Lawson, a leader of the Civil Rights movement, urges the protesters to keep "treading water" because the country needs them. Music from Dean and Britta, live from WBAI studios.

Michael Moore notes that the year of the Protester began when a man in Tunisia in protest against government and police corruption set himself on fire December 17, 2010 and from this was born the Arab Spring and later the Occupy Wall Street Movement which spread across America and then the world while the Mainstream Media tried to ignore these protests and uprisings in deference to the 1% the Rich and powerful who control everything that they can.

Moore honors whistleblower Bradley Manning for releasing documents which showed how duplicitious the US government and other governments have been in betraying the people's trust by pushing for their own at times secret agenda as opposed to what the people wanted or needed.

" A Man in Tunisia, a Movement on Wall Street, and the Soldier Who Ignited the Fuse " by Michael Moore at Huffington Post, December 18, 2011

...One year ago today (December 17th), Mohamed Bouazizi, a man who had a simple produce stand in Tunisia, set himself on fire to protest his government's repression. His singular sacrifice ignited a revolution that toppled Tunisia's dictator and launched revolts in regimes across the Middle East.

Three months ago today, Occupy Wall Street began with a takeover of New York's Zuccotti Park. This movement against the greed of corporate America and its banks -- and the money that now controls most of our democratic institutions -- has quickly spread to hundreds of towns and cities across America. The majority of Americans now agree that a nation where 400 billionaires have more wealth than 160 million Americans combined is not the country they want America to be. The 99% are rising up against the 1% -- and now there is no turning back.

Twenty-four years ago today, U.S. Army Spc. Bradley Manning was born. He has now spent 570 days in a military prison without a trial -- simply because he allegedly blew the whistle on the illegal and immoral war in Iraq. He exposed what the Pentagon and the Bush administration did in creating this evil and he did so by allegedly leaking documents and footage to WikiLeaks. Many of these documents dealt not only with Iraq but with how we prop up dictators around the world and how our corporations exploit the poor on this planet. (There were even cables with crazy stuff on them, like one detailing Bush's State Department trying to stop a government minister in another country from holding a screening of Fahrenheit 9/11.)

The WikiLeaks trove was a fascinating look into how the United States conducts its business -- and clearly those who don't want the world to know how we do things in places like, say, Tunisia, were not happy with Bradley Manning.

Mohamed Bouazizi was being treated poorly by government officials because all he wanted to do was set up a cart and sell fruit and vegetables on the street. But local police kept harassing him and trying to stop him. He, like most Tunisians, knew how corrupt their government was. But when WikiLeaks published cables from the U.S. ambassador in Tunis confirming the corruption -- cables that were published just a week or so before Mohamed set himself on fire -- well, that was it for the Tunisian people, and all hell broke loose.

People across the world devoured the information Bradley Manning revealed, and it was used by movements in Egypt, Spain, and eventually Occupy Wall Street to bolster what we already thought was true. Except here were the goods -- the evidence that was needed to prove it all true. And then a democracy movement spread around the globe so fast and so deep -- and in just a year's time! When anyone asks me, "Who started Occupy Wall Street?" sometimes I say "Goldman Sachs" or "Chase" but mostly I just say, "Bradley Manning." It was his courageous action that was the tipping point -- and it was not surprising when the dictator of Tunisia censored all news of the WikiLeaks documents Manning had allegedly supplied. But the Internet took Manning's gift and spread it throughout Tunisia, a young man set himself on fire and the Arab Spring that led eventually to Zuccotti Park has a young, gay soldier in the United States Army to thank.

And that is why I want to honor Bradley Manning on this, his 24th birthday, and ask the millions of you reading this to join with me in demanding his immediate release. He does not deserve the un-American treatment, including cruel solitary confinement, he's received in over 18 months of imprisonment. If anything, this young man deserves a friggin' medal. He did what great Americans have always done -- he took a bold stand against injustice and he did it without stopping for a minute to consider the consequences for himself.

Regardless of Obama's posturing about troop withdrawal from Iraq ;it was not a voluntary withdrawal . The Iraqi government insisted that the American's leave or they would start prosecutions of crimes committed by U.S. forces . Given the circumstances Obama's triumphalism is misplaced and appears as merely a disingenuous  talking point for his re-election campaign . If he believes that this is a victory than he is not just mistaken but is deluded as much as George W. Bush was when he pre-maturely in a publicity stunt and a photo-op declared "mission Accomplished".

Ted Rall: Obama's "Mission Accomplished" : Troops and Prisons Move, Wars and Torture Never Ends:  Information Clearing House

..."Today I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over," Obama bragged reporters on October 24th.

The UK Guardian noted: "But he had already announced this earlier this year, and the real significance today was in the failure of Obama, in spite of the cost to the U.S. in dollars and deaths, to persuade the Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to allow one or more American bases to be kept in the country."

Obama's talk-no-walk approach to foreign policy is also on display on Guantánamo, the torture camp set up by the Bush Administration where thousands of Afghans and other Muslim men, including children, were imprisoned and tormented without evidence of wrongdoing. Only 171 prisoners remain there today, held under appalling conditions.

Yet the "war on terror" mentality remains in full force.

Obama ordered the construction and expansion of a new concentration camp at Bagram airbase in Afghanistan to house thousands of new and current inmates in the U.S. torture system. Now The New York Times has discovered that the Obama Administration has developed "the other Guantánamo, an archipelago of federal prisons that stretches across the country, hidden away on back roads" inside the United States. Hundreds of Muslim men have been imprisoned by means of the thinnest veneer of legality.

"An aggressive prosecution strategy, aimed at prevention as much as punishment, has sent away scores of people. They serve long sentences, often in restrictive, Muslim-majority units, under intensive monitoring by prison officers. Their world is spare," announced the paper.

Aware that "his" war against Afghanistan isn't much more popular among voters than the occupation of Iraq, Obama set a 2014 for withdrawal from the Central Asian state several years ago.

and from Glenn Greenwald at he criticizes those such as Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who believe that in the end the War in Iraq was worth it -tell that to the hundreds of thousands of iraqi's killed.

"Panetta: Iraq War was “worth it”" by Glenn greenwald at, December 19, 2011

...A day after visiting Iraq, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta spoke to reporters in Turkey on Saturday and said this, according to the DoD’s own site:

“There is no question that the United States was divided going into that war,” he said. “But I think the United States is united coming out of that war. We all recognize the tremendous price that has been paid in lives, in blood. And yet I think we also recognize that those lives were not lost in vain. . . .

“As difficult as [the Iraq war] was,” and the cost in both American and Iraqi lives, “I think the price has been worth it, to establish a stable government in a very important region of the world,” he added.

The “price” that Panetta believes is “worth it” includes dead civilians in the hundreds of thousands, countless more maimed, millions of Iraqis internally and externally displaced (a huge number who remain so), tens of thousands of American soldiers killed and/or injured, and at least $1 trillion spent, contributing to “austerity” so severe that Panetta himself has been urging cuts to core social programs. That is above and beyond future Saddam-like oppression, tyranny and sectarian strife under the Malaki regime. As the always-insightful military historian and former Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich put it this week: “Recalling that Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda both turned out to be all but non-existent, a Churchillian verdict on the war might read thusly: Seldom in the course of human history have so many sacrificed so dearly to achieve so little.”

Panetta’s statement is highly reminiscent of the 1996 2001 incident in which Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked by Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes about the sanctions regime imposed on Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” They’re similar not just because the words are virtually identical, though they are, but also because they spring from the same rotted imperial mentality...

For more see:

The Trial of Bradley Manning — Rule of Law or Rule of Intimidation, Retaliation & Retribution By Ann Wright "Information Clearing House" December 17, 2011

If We Listened to the Pundits, We Would Still Be British Subjects by: David Gespass, Truthout, December 7, 2011

Noam Chomsky: The US-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement Is "Part of a Global Program of World Militarization"by: Noam Chomsky and The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers, Waging Nonviolence | Interview,, december 16, 2011

" The War on Drug Addicts - and Everyone Else " by: Maya Schenwar, Truthout, december 19, 2011


"Reflections on the End of a War" by Booman at Boonman Tribue via,December 19, 2011 >

" How Maliki and Iran Outsmarted the U.S. on Troop Withdrawal" By Gareth Porter "Information Clearing House" December 17, 2011

No, The U.S. Is Not Leaving Iraq: Thousands of armed U.S. private contractors will be based in the country, and the potential for violence is real By Justin Elliott at via Information Clearing House , December 17, 2011

UPDATE: U.S. vs Iran - US government revving up propaganda to prepare citizens for war with Iran :

Engineering Consent For Attack On Iran US Court Claims Iranian 9/11 Link By RT December 17, 2011

and update on Racist Sheriff Arpaio & his feud with the Obama administration:

Arpaio Has Harsh Words for Obama, Says He’ll Go to Federal Court if He Must At a conference held Thursday to address the Justice Department’s recent report, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio had some harsh words for, who he called, “Obama and his merry men.” via, December 19, 2011

and so it goes,

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