It has been a busy weekend for Donald Trump who is now under a formal impeachment investigation by the House of Representatives. We last left the saga last Thursday with the announcement by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that the formal investigation, which was precipitated by a formal complaint by a whistleblower to the …
Sep 26 2019
After nearly three years of the Trump crime family’s abuse of the office of the president, disregard of the rule of law and shredding of constitutional norms, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has authorized impeachment investigation of Donald J. Trump. Her change of mind started just a week ago when it was revealed that a whistleblower …
Jan 20 2013
A look at the global arms industry and the effect corruption has on our politics, society and culture.
Bribery, fraud and dishonest conduct by people in power – corruption is a cancer in society, no matter where you live. But who are the guilty parties? Is corruption becoming socially accepted? And what can we do about it?
On this episode of South2North, Redi Tlhabi takes a look at the effect corruption has on our politics, society and culture.
Redi talks to Andrew Feinstein, a former parliamentarian and co-founder of Corruption Watch UK, an organisation dedicated to exposing bribery and corruption. Feinstein is also a whistleblower on illegal arms deals and the author of the book, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, that investigates the dark side of this trillion-dollar industry.
Feinstein explains why corruption in the global arms trade has interested him specifically:
“It’s estimated that the trade in weapons accounts for around 40 percent of all corruption in all world trade ….The thing that I think is so important about it is it runs to the core of the way we’re governed, because the trade in weapons is extremely closely tied into the mechanics of government. The defence manufacturers, those who make the weapons, are closely tied in to governments, to militaries, to intelligence agencies and crucially to political parties. So they have enormous influence.”
Aug 15 2010
Edward E. Clark, President of the Wildlife Center of Virgina
Earlier in June of this year, I was invited to be part of an interdisciplinary team of wildlife experts, that was organized by the Humane Society of the United States. There were about five of us from around the country, who work with two HSUS disaster response experts.
We flew into New Orleans with the idea that we were going to spend a week, in the area — accessing the damage of the Oil Spill; looking at the Habitat at risk.
And trying to come up with an Inventory if you will, of the short term and long term issues, that needed a response.
Well the hour came, where we finally were — supposedly — given our clearance to fly over the area where the Oil was coming ashore.
[… and ? ]
Aug 01 2010
Julian Assange, co-founder and spokesperson for WikiLeaks, discusses the 15 thousand unreleased intelligence reports from Afghanistan, efforts to get the WikiLeaks Garani massacre video ready for public release, the warning from Seymour Hersh that government officials were ready to ignore the rule of law to silence him (Assange), indications that the supposedly leaked 260,000 diplomatic cables never made it to WikiLeaks, the secret rendition program from Somalia to Kenya and how Bradley Manning’s confinement in Kuwait is essentially rendition.
Scott Horton, July 28, 2010 – transcript below
There is also an mp3 version of this interview.
Jul 21 2010
He may by now be one of the most well known whistleblowers of all time. He generates fear and anger in many powerful people, and publicly makes enemies of those who probably would have no compunctions about ordering his assassination.
He leaks and threatens to leak classified and secret information unreported to and withheld from the American public about US Government and military conduct and actions but known quite well to the victims of those actions in other countries that now has the Pentagon and the US Government “gunning” for him.
His bio at TED.com describes him this way:
You could say Australian-born Julian Assange has swapped his long-time interest in network security flaws for the far-more-suspect flaws of even bigger targets: governments and corporations. Since his early 20s, he has been using network technology to prod and probe the vulnerable edges of administrative systems, but though he was a computing hobbyist first (in 1991 he was the target of hacking charges after he accessed the computers of an Australian telecom), he’s now taken off his “white hat” and launched a career as one of the world’s most visible human-rights activists.
He calls himself “editor in chief.” He travels the globe as its spokesperson. Yet Assange’s part in WikiLeaks is clearly dicier than that: he’s become the face of a creature that, simply, many powerful organizations would rather see the world rid of. His Wikipedia entry says he is “constantly on the move,” and some speculate that his role in publishing decrypted US military video has put him in personal danger. A controversial figure, pundits debate whether his work is reckless and does more harm than good. Amnesty International recognized him with an International Media Award in 2009.
Assange studied physics and mathematics at the University of Melbourne. He wrote Strobe, the first free and open-source port scanner, and contributed to the book Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier.
“WikiLeaks has had more scoops in three years than the Washington Post has had in 30.”
— Clay Shirky
Assange recently talked with TED’s Chris Anderson during TEDGlobal 2010 about how the WikiLeaks site operates, about what it has accomplished, and about what drives him.
The interview includes graphic clips of the US airstrike in Baghdad, taken from the “Collateral Murder” video WikiLeaks released earlier this year of the murder of two Reuters journalists and about a dozen Iraqi civilians in Baghdad by a rogue US Military command structure that runs all the way to the Commander in Chief’s office in the White House and an Apache Helicopter gunship crew who have yet to face any justice or sanction for their crimes.
TED.com, July 2010
Full transcript follows…
Jun 16 2010
BP Call Center Just A ‘Diversion’
6/13/10 A KHOU interview reveals that the BP call center in Houston for the company’s oil disasters is just a “diversion” to prevent concerns and ideas from reaching BP corporate.
Transcription of this Channel Eleven News Report KHOU-TV, Houston.
follows below …
May 04 2010
BP’s containment problem is unprecedented
The company must stop a relentless gush of oil nearly a mile below the surface, in a situation that hasn’t been dealt with before.
By Jill Leovy, LATimes — April 30, 2010
The problem with the April 20 spill is that it isn’t really a spill: It’s a gush, like an underwater oil volcano. A hot column of oil and gas is spurting into freezing, black waters nearly a mile down, where the pressure nears a ton per inch, impossible for divers to endure. Experts call it a continuous, round-the-clock calamity, unlike a leaking tanker, which might empty in hours or days.
And “everything is bigger and more difficult the deeper you go,” said Andy Bowen, a research specialist who works with undersea robotics at the Woods Hole center. “Fighting gravity is tough. It increases loads. You need bigger winches, bigger cables, bigger ships.”
An analogy, he said, is the difference between construction work on the ground versus at the top of a mile-high skyscraper.
Gee … sounds kind of Dangerous …
Apr 27 2010
The Obama Justice Department (on April 15th 2010)* announced that it has secured a ten-felony-count indictment against Thomas Drake, an official with the National Security Agency during the Bush years.
(T)he DOJ alleges “that between approximately February 2006 and November 2007, a newspaper reporter published a series of articles about the NSA,” and it claims “Drake served as a source for many of those articles, including articles that contained classified information.”
Although the indictment does not specify Drake’s leaks, it is highly likely (as Shane also suggests) that it is based on Drake’s bringing to the public’s attention major failures and cost over-runs with the NSA’s spying programs via leaks to The Baltimore Sun.
Bold text and some editing* done by the diarist
The indictment of Thomas Drake has NOTHING to do with the illegality of the Bush warrantless wiretapping program, rather, it has to do with Drake’s uncovering of major failures and cost over-runs within the domestic spying program. As Greenwald writes . . .
I used to write post after post about how warped and dangerous it was that the Bush DOJ was protecting the people who criminally spied on Americans (Bush, Cheney Michael Hayden) while simultaneously threatening to prosecute the whistle-blowers who exposed misconduct. But the Bush DOJ never actually followed through on those menacing threats; no NSA whistle-blowers were indicted during Bush’s term (though several were threatened ). It took the election of Barack Obama for that to happen, as his handpicked Assistant Attorney General publicly boasted yesterday of the indictment against Drake.
Bold text added by the diarist
Wait, wait, wait! If Obama’s DoJ is prosecuting crimes from the Bush era isn’t that an act of “Looking backwards, not forward”? ( and yes, revealing state secrets, even if done for the good of the public as whistleblowers do, is still illegal. )
More below the fold