The EyeOpener Report- Doublespeak Decoded

Politicians & the Doublespeak Dictionary

Ever wonder what politicians are really saying? Well wonder no more. With this handy dandy doublespeak dictionary from BoilingFrogsPost.com you can find out what all that hot air is really about!

The 1st Commandment of U.S. Imperial Pursuits: What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander!

The Sheer Joy of Imperial Hubris & One-Way Equations

It is time for our government to put aside diplomatic lingo and modified expressions and just state the facts as they see and believe them. It is way past time for our nation to hear it from our government - the BS-free and straight-forward version of the first and foremost principle of our nation’s foreign policy. Sure; we have seen it in practice-that is, those of us with eyes wide open, watching our daily imperial operations and executions around the globe. But let’s face it, sometimes you need to hear it from the horse’s mouth plain and simple, and then, be done with it: Putting aside all pretentions and posturing and fakeries.

Fact: We are currently threading our way through a unipolar world as a super-power nation; unchallenged.

Fact: As a super-power nation with multi-fronted imperial pursuits we lay out the rules; solely.

Fact: As an empire we dictate to and impose our rules on the entire world in a one-way fashion; our imperial entitlement.

Fact: Our empire savors the sheer joy of its hubris and imposed one-way equations; an imperial right.

Fact: Not all nations are equal. There is us, the empire, and then there is the rest of the world; an imperial fact.

Fact: Our empire has the absolute right to state and dictate unabashedly that What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander; period.

Allow me to illustrate these facts in action by using recent developments involving US responses to and interactions with the rest of the world- nothing like real-life examples to demonstrate facts that are rarely stated in truthful and plain words.

The Imperial Right to Abuse Human Rights

For years and years the United States has been accusing China of detaining activists and suppressing and imprisoning ethnic separatists and minorities. This is how our imperial operators respond to such practices when countries like China engage in them:

Uzra Zeya, acting assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department's bureau of democracy, human rights and labor, said China should cease using harassment, detention and arrest to silence human rights activists and their families and friends.

Of course, as we know, China is our competitor, and it does not fall within US imperial extension territory.

Today the U.S. singles out Syria in a rights report:

The United States on Thursday singled out Syria, Russia, China and Egypt for using restrictive laws to suppress political opposition, minorities and journalists seeking to expose abuses, according to the State Department's 2014 Human Rights Report.

As we all know, Syria has not yet fallen into our colonial territories.

Yesterday, the United States declared, loudly and clearly, Iran as a nation among the world’s worst human rights abusers:

Even as they make gestures toward rapprochement with the West, Iran’s leaders remain among the world’s worst human rights offenders, according to a State Department report

Well, Iran is a nation that has remained outside our sphere of influence for quite a while, thus our imperial title given to it as one of the axis of evil- as far as the empire and its interests are concerned.

There are other countries that are engaged in equally or worse practices against human rights- from imprisonment to torture and execution. Some of these countries are considered our colonial extensions here and there. They are under our imperial sphere of influence. We, the empire, do not declare these nations as evil and abusers; in fact, we fortify their power and ability to torture and kill. They are our torturers and murderers. We like them, protect them, and will make sure no one touches them.

Let’s talk about Bahrain: a major strategic partner for the U.S. that received $80.4 million in military financing from the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, and is home to a U.S. naval base which houses the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Thousands of protesters in the small island Kingdom of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf took to the streets calling for government reform in February and March 2011. The Bahraini government’s response was brutal and systematic: shoot civilian protesters, detain and torture them, and erase all evidence.

On the frontline, treating hundreds of these wounded civilians, doctors had first-hand knowledge of government atrocities. As a result of their efforts to provide unbiased care for wounded protestors, the government initiated systematic and targeted attacks against medical personnel. This assault on healthcare workers and their patients constitutes extreme violations of the principle of medical neutrality and are grave breaches of international law.

As an imperial mini dog within our Middle Eastern colony, our empire neither sought regime change nor strongly condemned Bahrain. Not only that, our empire rewarded and fortified Bahrain to facilitate its ongoing abuses and keep it in power as one of our dogs:

The resumption of arms sales by the US to Bahrain came as a surprise last week as a human rights crisis continues to rage in the small island country…The silence from the US on the crackdown in Bahrain has been particularly deafening.

There are plenty of imperial dogs around the world whose abuse, torture, imprisonment and murder practices are deemed rightful, and supported by the empire. Think Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Jordan … Call it imperial discretion. Call it imperial hypocrisy. Call it whatever you want. No matter what you call it the fact remains: What’s Good for the Imperial Goose is NOT Good for the Gander Outside the Imperial Colony!

There are Responses to Protests, and then There are Responses to Protests

Do you remember the Occupy Protests here in the States not that long ago? Do you remember the scenes of our police using brutality against peaceful protestors? You should. It wasn’t that long ago. Well, if you don’t, here, I’ll refresh your memory:

A group of legal experts have published a report which contains 130 cases that can be qualified as police brutality against Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York. Researchers at NYU and Fordham University have concluded that NYPD officers acted beyond their powers during their intense crackdown against Occupy protesters.

The study found that police used batons, scooters, horses, and metal barricades to inflict unnecessary force and intimidation on demonstrators. But the barricades were not only used as barriers around encampments.

According to the report, officers threw one protester so hard that she became “semi-airborne” before falling unconscious. An officer then shoved a barricade into her chest. In several instances, officers used pepper spray to disperse peaceful demonstrators.

Let me refresh your memory even further with some graphic films showing how the United States’ police force operated against peaceful activists:

 Our imperial government shrugged off all the brutal forces used against its people as its given right to serve and protect… itself from dissent.

Now, similar brutalities have been taking place in Turkey against some protestors. Let’s watch a video:

How identical is that? Without the uniform color you couldn’t tell the two sets of videos, US police & Turkish police, apart. Both wrong. However, in this similarity, two wrongs don’t make it right. But, two wrongs don’t make it wrong either. According to our imperial standards, two wrongs make one of them wrong, and the other one right. Here is the US response when the target of the dissent (the protest) happens to be a king that is no longer one of its own cadres of kings:

Multiple U.S. officials have supported the protests citing them as a sign of a healthy democracy. Secretary Kerry spoke to reporters about this topic during a joint press conference on Monday morning: And we are concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police … Carney, along with the State Department, called for a "full investigation" of the reports of injuries and excessive force by Turkish officials.

I have been writing articles about the fallout between the US Empire and the current administration in Turkey. You can read them here and here, and watch my interview video here.

So you see, the Bahrain principle doesn’t apply here. Not any longer. Of course, the imperial standards of its police conduct on the home front do not apply either. Again, What’s Good for the Goose & its goslings is NOT Good for the Gander!

The power and right to unlawfully spy … a power granted only to the Emperor’s throne

How does the empire view spying? Is spying a bad thing? It depends; depends on who is doing the spying on whom. Just like free trade, it is 100% one way, and there is no way around it. Not if the empire gets its say and way. Meaning: The Empire can spy on everyone everywhere in the world, and use its data gathered from spying in any way it chooses. Basically, the entire world, with its population, nations, and nations’ leaders falls within the empire’s fiefdom; they are imperial subjects. Period.

Germany: U.S. might have monitored Merkel's phone

U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel

Report: U.S. intercepts French phone calls on a 'massive scale'

NSA France: U.S. Conducted Large-Scale Spying On French Citizens

Trust me, everyone is there: French, Brazilians, Russians, Chinese, Venezuelans … you name it. We have a mammoth surveillance-spy agency fit for the empire: massive, powerful, indiscreet, unaccountable … fit for an empire! But wait, that’s an imperial right, and in a unipolar world with one empire, no one else should dare engage in spy trade and spy craft like this. That’s a rule; an imperial rule.

Remember the story, the real story, where our imperial operator was caught in the regime changing business in Ukraine? Intercepted F-Bomb Phone Call Shows U.S. Role in Ukraine

Right. This was a major exposé proving how we topple governments and countries, and how we install our own imperial puppets. Not many of us here at BFP needed that proof, but hey, some did. However, even though relevant to our imperial operations, this is not the point I intend to focus on in this article. Here is what I want to illustrate:

The White House on Thursday suggested that Russia, which has jockeyed with the United States and Europe for influence in Ukraine, played some role in the interception or dissemination of the conversation.

“The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters. “I think it says something about Russia’s role.” In a later briefing, Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said she had no information about who posted the recording but criticized Moscow for promoting it. “Certainly we think this is a new low in Russian tradecraft,” she said.

The masters of deception and surveillance calling this a new low in Russian tradecraft”? If it establishes ‘lowliness,’ how low does that make the much lowlier imperial spy craft? That’s the question. Rest assured: arrogance and hubris will never go there. The emperors and imperial operators never do. It comes with imperialism: hubris and arrogance, and the strong notion of the earth revolving in only one direction-the Imperial way.

One-Way Free Trade: Our Way

The story goes something like this:

The United States is party to many free trade agreements (FTAs) worldwide. Beginning with the Theodore Roosevelt administration, the United States became a major player in international trade, especially with its neighboring territories in the Caribbean and Latin America. Today, the United States has become a leader of the free trade movement, standing behind groups such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (later the World Trade Organization).

Well, it is a good story, a good fiction story. The empire is pro free trade as long as the trade and its dealers benefit its imperial objectives. Not when certain kinds of free trade practices get in its way. Not when the empire is not a beneficiary; directly or indirectly.

Let me illustrate this how the empire reacts when one of its present or former colonies engages in a free trade arrangement where parties other than the empire become the beneficiary.

Last year Turkey violated one of the top Imperial commandments:

Turkey Mulls Buying Missiles from China, Snubbing NATO

NATO's Mounting Opposition to Turkey’s Chinese Missile System

U.S. talking to Turkey about China missile deal concerns

Turkey’s Choice of Chinese Missiles Poses Problem for West

U.S. Defense Bill Could Undercut Turkey’s Missile Defense Deal with China

It doesn’t matter whether the Chinese offered a much better price. It doesn’t make a difference whether the purchase and payment agreement terms were far more favorable or not. Turkey’s sovereignty as a nation to decide what it purchases or who it purchases from is not relevant. The only thing that matters: who is the beneficiary in this trade deal? Not the empire, then, fu.. Free Trade! The empire doesn’t like that kind of free trade. And it won’t allow it. Over its dead imperial body!

Maybe the empire should have clarified that right from the start: Certain free trade practices flow only one way-with the empire and its extension at the other end. Period.

Imperially Correct Corruption & Thievery

The other day I was discussing the latest allegation that had surfaced regarding Turkey’s PM Erdogan, involving money, bribery and corruption. Here are a few links on the still-developing story:

Turkish president defiant as wiretap scandal swirls

Erdogan overheard telling son to get rid of cash as Turkey corruption probe takes new twist

Turkey protesters clash over 'fake' wiretap

The gist of the story is this: allegedly the PM and his son had received some money (thirty million dollars) through kickbacks and corrupt arrangements, and they were trying to hide the money and destroy the evidence. Of course, for the empire, the news and allegation of corruption and bribery against one of their men who has fallen from favor has come in very handy. Hundreds of headlines playing this story up have been filling the imperial media outlets every day since the story broke.

Now, back to my discussion with my Turkish acquaintances. They were talking about the fact that almost all leaders in countries in that part of the world are engaged in corruption and wealth accumulation through public positions. I was trying to tell them that it was definitely not limited to that part of the world. That here, in this part of the world, our public officials not only do that, but do it multiple times more. The only difference: they do it in an imperially and politically correct way. The result is the same: thievery and corruption equal thievery and corruption, whether it is done in an imperially-politically correct way or not. A good parallel example would be prostitution: whether it is $10 per act street corner prostitution, or, $5000 per hour Manhattan escort service prostitution, it is prostitution.

Then, I gave an example of our famous Billy & his dame. Here are a few excerpts from a piece I wrote on Billy & Hillary last fall: Running for Public Office & Civil Servant Positions- The Fastest & Surest Path from Rags to Riches

Bill Clinton, unlike other presidents, did not inherit any wealth, made almost no money prior to his public service career, and gained little net worth during 20 plus years of his public service. However, magically, between the time he left office and 2010, his individual personal net-worth reached an estimated $55,000,000; that is $55 Million Dollars. Here is what USA Today reported on Clinton’s wealth accumulation in less than 8 years after leaving the White House: But since leaving office we estimate that Clinton has earned more than $125 million before taxes.

As reported by Wall Street and other publications, Clinton didn't come from a wealthy family or have a high-paying job before becoming president, but earned most of his money from speaking fees. Of course, we all know what ‘speaking fees’ stand for: The surest and safest way to bribe public officials in their postpublic office careers for favors and services rendered during their public service careers; here is what I mean…

You would think that would ring an alarm bell or two among those concerned with government corruption, ethics, bribery of public officials, and some such. No? Rest assured, content with their regular invitations to the Clinton Dynasty cocktails and balls, neither the liberal NGO parasites nor the socialist-wanna-be media outlets have uttered a single word or waged any finger-pointing. Well, we’ve never expected that from those obvious parasitic colonies, anyway…

The point I was trying to make was this: There are corruption and thieveries, and there are corruption and thieveries. Although the same acts, judgments and consequences (or lack of) depend on who is committing them, and whether they are committed in an imperially-correct way. Let me give you another example, this one from another imperial dog who is about to fall from imperial favor:

It's been a rough year for the politician, but at least he has his millions of dollars to ease the pain. 56-year-old Hamid Karzai has taken the No. 1 spot on People With Money’s top 10 highest-paid politicians for 2014 with an estimated $82 million in combined earnings.

The Afghan politician has an estimated net worth of $245 million. He owes his fortune to smart stock investments, substantial property holdings, lucrative endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics. He also owns several restaurants (the “Fat Karzai Burger” chain) in Kabul, a Football Team (the “Kandahar Angels”), has launched his own brand of Vodka (Pure Wonderkarzai - Afghanistan), and is tackling the juniors market with a top-selling perfume (With Love from Hamid) and a fashion line called “Hamid Karzai Seduction”.

Mind you, the channels identified by the imperial members of the press are imperially and politically correct ways of channeling corrupt money and covering actual sources such as: heroin money, bribery, extortion …

As always, and as on many other topics, I could go on and write a fairly lengthy novella on this subject, and fill it with hundreds of facts and examples: The Imperial Detention & Torture in Guantanamo and Bagram, the Imperial Kidnapping, Torture & Black Sites, the Imperial Creation and Use of WMD Again and Again, The Imperial No Fly List, The Imperial NDAA, The Imperial’s Perpetual Wars, the Imperial War on Whistleblowers & Dissent … Most importantly: The Imperial Immunity, thus, the Imperial Hubris & Arrogance that claims: What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander!

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

That Most Charming of Couples: Nationalism and Hypocrisy

“Unlimited power in the hands of psychopaths- My own country truly scares me.”

By William Blum

It’s not easy being a flag-waving American nationalist. In addition to having to deal with the usual disillusion, anger, and scorn from around the world incited by Washington’s endless bombings and endless wars, the nationalist is assaulted by whistle blowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, who have disclosed a steady stream of human-rights and civil-liberties scandals, atrocities, embarrassing lies, and embarrassing truths. Believers in “American exceptionalism” and “noble intentions” have been hard pressed to keep the rhetorical flag waving by the dawn’s early light and the twilight’s last gleaming. [Read more...]

Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 49

Imperial Patronage & the Language of Hypocrisy

EPPReading the annual reports of human rights organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch is an interesting exercise in understanding the hypocrisy of Western states: with our media and political focus on the crimes of enemies (Syria, Iran, Russia, etc.), we are able to overlook the crimes we commit, support, and act as patrons to. Our governments say they cannot "do everything" and must "pick and choose," but then, seemingly everywhere, they actively arm and support the violent repression of democracy, popular resistance, and are thus aiding human rights violations. If we seek to live up to our declared values of human rights and democracy, and to truly oppose atrocities, we must stop violating human rights, crushing democracy, and committing atrocities.

Politics is the language of hypocrisy, and examining the system of imperial patronage for despotic and dictatorial regimes around the world is an elucidating exercise in understanding this.

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The King’s Propaganda

The Astounding Hypocrisy of King Obama

“We must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen -- because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent.”  – Barack Obama

propagandaWhen President Obama spoke those words at the Holocaust Memorial Museum last Monday, he was referring to atrocities committed by the government of Nazi Germany.  He urged nations to learn from the Holocaust and commit to preventing new atrocities. Then, he unveiled a plan for America’s implementation of this “core responsibility.”

“I’ve signed an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian government and Iran and those that abet them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence. These technologies should not empower -- these technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them. And it’s one more step that we can take toward the day that we know will come -- the end of the Assad regime that has brutalized the Syrian people -- and allow the Syrian people to chart their own destiny.”Barack Obama

The president made no mention in his speech of torture and extraordinary rendition under his predecessor; no mention of his own administration’s efforts to silence disclosures of government wrongdoing.  In the US government lexicon, “evil” apparently means the use of technology by a government to monitor, track and target citizens for human rights abuses except when the government is the United States or when the government is too powerful to risk angering or a US ally.  This propagandistic definition of evil provides the framework for US foreign policy and the executive order mentioned in Obama’s speech. [Read more...]

Dear Department of Justice: Please Investigate Your Old Boss for Material Support of Terrorism!

Former AG Mukasey on Terrorist Organization MEK Payroll

By Coleen Rowley

MEK1Dear Department of Justice and Department of Treasury Officials:

We might have just helped you bag another material supporter of terrorism this week! And you'll never believe who the culprit is! We were even able to tape record some of his own damning admissions! (That's the reason for my calls last week to your duty attorneys and media offices.)

MEK2As you know, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has an ongoing investigation into several high profile former political figures, trying to discover their financial transactions with the terrorists in the Mujaheddin e Khalq aka "MEK". One of the former political officials apparently being investigated for his financial transactions and paid advocacy on behalf of MEK is former Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Well Mukasey happened to get tapped on March 15 to give an "ethical leadership" speech at the University of St. Thomas Law School and some of us went to hear what he had to say. As an aside, the overall thrust of his speech was anything but ethical. Instead he mostly defended the Bush Administration and its lawyers for having used their talents "to push the legal limits" of what the Executive Branch could do in its "war on terror." (Of course there are many legal scholars who think those Bush attorneys pushed over the legal limits.) He especially defended John Yoo and Robert Delahunty (now a St. Thomas law professor) who working in Bush's Office of Legal Counsel, co-wrote memos in early 2002 claiming the U.S. did not have to follow the Geneva Conventions. Researchers have since gained evidence through multiple interviews of returned soldiers that the major factor in U.S. troops' having committed atrocities and abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as terrible torture of detainees was their being told they no longer had to follow the Geneva Conventions. But Mukasey didn't seem to care much about any abuses or torture. In fact, although he refused to answer during his Senate Confirmation hearing whether waterboarding was torture, he explicitly declared that waterboarding is not torture and therefore was/is not illegal as practiced by CIA contractors. [Read more...]

Gulenists’ & the Turkish Government’s Fraudulence War on the KCK

A Masterpiece of Propaganda with the Real Goal of Getting Rid of the BDP Kurdish Party

By Dr. Aland Mizell

gulenIn his latest speech broadcast on the Herkul.org website, Fethullah Gülen commented on his grief over the deaths of the security members during the PKK attacks in the country‘s Southeast region. He was disappointed that “the Turkish military failed to kill a group of bandits in the mountains over the last 30 years,” Gülen said.

In his speech Gülen also spoke of measures that should be taken to help resolve the Kurdish problems including the opening up of five new dormitories in the city of Van, and sending imams into all the Kurdish provinces to indoctrinate Kurds to accept his version of Islam. Teachers are to assimilate the Kurdish children. “If we only could have sent to that region Imams who teach Islam to them, if these measures were taken before, we would not have any Kurdish problem,” Gülen claimed.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at the times of challenge and controversy, according to Martin Luther King. The question for Mr. Gülen is where did you stand for three decades of the Kurdish suffering? [Read more...]

Rise Up To The Occasion… It Could Very Well Have Been You!

Every Single Person, Every Voice & Every Signature Counts

solid

Have you ever pulled over your car on a highway shoulder to be a Good Samaritan and help a driver of a broken car desperately in need of assistance? Have you done it despite the heavy traffic, and a remaining long commute to get home after an exhausting long shift at work? Do you remember thinking ‘hope someone, some day, will do the same for me or my loved one’?

Have you ever found a wallet or a cell phone, and then taken the time and effort to locate and contact the owner? Have you done it despite a hectic schedule, having a long to-do list, and in the midst of daily crisis and demands? Do you recall thinking ‘hope someday, someone, will do the same for me?’

Have you ever been before a federal court judge, with your rights being taken away one by one, your entire biographical existence being classified one after another, and during all this, your entire legal team and advisors being removed from the court room in order to make the screwing of your Constitutional rights completely secret and unobserved? I have:

A federal court in Washington yesterday took the rare step of closing an entire oral argument to the public in the case of a former FBI translator who says she was fired for complaining about security breaches. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit announced that today's 30-minute argument in the case of Sibel Edmonds, a Middle Eastern language specialist fired in 2002, will be conducted behind closed doors. The court gave no reason for its decision.

The unsettling story of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds took another twist on Thursday, as the government continued its seemingly endless machinations to shut her up. The U.S. Court of Appeals here denied pleas to open the former FBI translator's First Amendment case to the public, a day after taking the extraordinary step of ordering a secret hearing. 

I am not going to recount that incredibly awful experience as far as the butchering of our Constitution and liberties goes. Instead I want to briefly recount a minor detail with a major effect on me. [Read more...]

POGO Refuses to Rescind Obama’s Transparency Award

Blowing the Whistle on Those Who Falsely Claimed to Act on our Behalf

By Julia Davis

WhistleIn response to the petition from numerous groups and whistleblowers, Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) authored a blog on POGO’s website. While POGO’s response doesn’t contain any earth-shattering revelations, some of the attempts to justify the “Transparency Award” recently given to President Obama warrant a response.

POGO recently pondered whether they should buy a 30-second video spot on the CBS videotron in Times Square. They asked whistleblowers for feedback about the billboard. Unfortunately, they didn’t ask for feedback when it really mattered - prior to bestowing a Transparency Award upon President Obama. Now, in light of the mounting pressure to rescind this award, POGO dismissively refers to our opposition as a mere “distraction”.

Looking Forward, Moving Backward

POGO disingenuously claims that the Bush administration is at fault for the ongoing investigations and prosecutions against whistleblowers, undertaken by the current administration. In POGO’s blog describing the conversation with President Obama on the day when he received a “Transparency Award”, Danielle Brian wrote: 

"I noted, however, that the current aggressive prosecution of national security whistleblowers is undermining this legacy… The President shifted in his seat and leaned forward. He said he wanted to engage on this topic because this may be where we have some differences."

POGO claims that the ongoing prosecutions of whistleblowers simply happened to “ripen” just in time to be pursued by this administration. Such an assertion rings hollow in light of this administration’s decision not to file charges against the Bush regime under the guise of “looking forward and not backwards”, stating that this is “a time for reflection, not retribution". Apparently, this serene forgiveness applies to those responsible for war crimes, torture, and illegal spying, but not to the whistleblowers.

Contrary to POGO’s deeply flawed arguments, it is within this administration’s discretion to decide who gets prosecuted. These decisions have been chilling so far. Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said:  "The whole point of the prosecution is to have a chilling effect on reporters and sources, and it will." While such prosecutions are ongoing, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OpenTheGovernment.org, Project on Government Oversight, OMB Watch and the National Security Archive saw it fit to endorse these actions through a Transparency Award. By definition, an award is something that was earned, is deserved and encourages more of the same. That is hardly the message our supposed transparency advocates should be sending.  [Read more...]

POGO : Obama Deserves Transparency Award &“ has achieved more openness than any other recent president!”

Project on Government Oversight Refuses to Take Back Obama Transparency Award

takeback In a very wordy, hollow words that is, public response, Danielle Brian of Project on Government Oversight (POGO) not only adamantly declines to rescind Obama’s Transparency Award given to him in secrecy, but she actually praises the President as one who has achieved more openness than any other US president, thus deserving of an award given to him in a secret ceremony. Further, Ms. Brian considers this petition and signatories’ efforts a waste of time and a distraction. Here are a few excerpts from POGO’s public response to the petition and all signatories:

It's undeniable that the Obama administration has achieved more openness than any other recent president.

Of course, the fact that this rescheduled meeting wasn’t on the President’s calendar made it an easy joke. When we discovered this, we described it as “crazy stupid.” But the fact that the meeting wasn’t open to the press didn’t strike me as unusual—I have meetings all the time with policymakers that are not open to the press.

So no, I do not regret taking the opportunity to meet with the President and get him to discuss the prosecutions of national security whistleblowers, and I am not going to withdraw our support for the award.

Public debate and discourse is often healthy. But there is so much to be done to safeguard our rights and expand openness—our community just doesn’t have the luxury to waste time on distractions.

It appears as if the people at POGO didn’t even bother to read the petition and the cited facts. But I believe they know the facts. They know them too well. Yet, despite all these cited facts, despite all the cited actions taken by this President and his administration (yes, last time I checked presidents were held liable for their appointees’ practices!) against transparency and whistleblowers, despite all the measures taken by this President and his administration towards unprecedented levels of secrecy, POGO deemed, and still deems,  this president worthy of a Transparency Award; in a closed secret meeting not even logged in White House Schedule-Records.

Further, maybe even worse, despite repeated appeals, despite more than 25 whistleblowers’ implorations, despite more than 20 pro-transparency and pro-liberties organizations’ requests, despite the outcry from the public and journalist communities, POGO insists on the non-existent merits of this award, and it refuses to acknowledge it as a very dumb mistake; and adamantly refuses to take it back. And finally, POGO considers you, me, and everyone else on this petition a group that has the ‘luxury to waste time,’ and calls this petition a ‘distraction.’

Let me address a few ludicrous claims and positions presented by POGO:

Obama Should Not Be Held Responsible for His Administration’s Practices

POGO shields and defends Obama by asking people to blame and go after the agencies, not the President. They put forth a ludicrous and warped defense by claiming that presidents should not be held liable for the practices of the agencies headed by the president’s handpicked appointees.

First, this is akin to saying Hitler didn’t personally participate in annihilation, internment, torturing and killing; those were practiced by his military and police force, thus, he should not be blamed. This is similar to arguing that Abu-Ghraib practices and scandals were limited to a handful of lower-rank military personnel, and those above them with the authority and responsibility should have been absolved from any accountability. POGO says the awful anti-transparency and anti-whistleblower practices are implemented by the agencies and the bureaucracy, and the President does not have any power over them, so leave the President alone, give him awards, and go chase after his employees.

Secondly, POGO’s ludicrous position in absolving the President from his administration and agencies’ anti-transparency and anti-liberties practices reeks with hypocrisy and double talk. This is the same NGO that consistently (and justifiably) blamed the Bush-Cheney office for atrocious practices implemented by the agencies under them.

And finally, based on POGO’s argument we should not bother electing presidents, since presidents and presidential powers have nothing to do with the executive branch and its practices. POGO has declared presidential authority and responsibility moot.

Words Speak Much Louder than Actions & The Award Was Given Based on Obama’s Words

POGO, with a straight face, is telling the public to disregard Obama’s record and pay attention only to his words. This is like letting a serial rapist pedophile who happens to be an author of books on ‘protecting children against pedophiles’ go free despite damning evidence proving him guilty of raping and molesting children. This is similar to absolving the Catholic priests that were found guilty of child molestation because they spoke the right words on Sunday.

POGO even goes further and engages in double-talk and actions similar to the President himself. It is disingenuous for Danielle Brian to claim on one hand that it's not Obama's fault that the whistleblowers are being prosecuted, when she, Brian, in her own blog said that when she brought up anti-whistleblowers practices and  the Drake prosecution during the "Transparency Award" meeting, Obama said straight up that he disagreed with her position.

On one hand POGO asserts that ‘there are many things to bemoan in the Obama administration’s implementation of its open government goals,’ yet, on the other hand, they claim that Obama deserves and had actually earned the transparency award. POGO does not refute the facts and cases cited in our petition on Obama’s record as the worst president on whistleblowers and transparency, yet, they find this completely irrelevant to their decision to present this President with an undeserved mockery transparency award.

Do As We Say But Don’t Do As We Do!

Interestingly, as an organization funded by millions of dollars from special interest corporations-foundations that engages in issuing hundreds of in words-only cosmetic petition campaigns, POGO considers the petition signed and backed by numerous noted government whistleblowers, organizations, and activists, ‘A Waste of Time,’ and a major (and inconvenient) ‘Distraction.’ Danielle Brian actually stresses that petitions are useless, and tells people not to waste time going after Obama’s transparency award by campaigning with this petition. If POGO truly believes that then why do they spend millions of dollars, and high six-figure salaries for petitions to Congress and agencies, rather than actually supporting government whistleblowers with badly needed legal advice and help? [Read more...]

Peter B Collins Interviews Coleen Rowley: Take Back Obama Transparency Award!

Rowleycollins

Listen to the show here.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

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Rescind Obama’s “Transparency Award” Now!

Tell POGO, OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, Open the Government.Org, and the Reporters Committee to publicly take back their Transparency Award to President Obama

takebackaward

The following petition was co-written by Coleen Rowley and me, and has been backed by more than 25 government whistleblowers and over 20 organizations. Awarding the worst president in US history when it comes to government whistleblowers with a Transparency Award is a huge insult. Presenting a president who has dramatically increased government secrecy with an Anti-Secrecy Award is ridiculous. Rewarding one of the worst US presidents when it comes to invocation of unconstitutional state secrets privilege is ludicrous. This award is a major insult to all liberty-loving Americans. This award is a slap to all freedom-liberty seeking activists. This award is dumb, highly damaging, and extremely dangerous by what it says it represents. Please stand up and say ‘NO’ to this award by signing this petition. I urge you to demand that this award be taken back immediately. I implore you to not let them get away with this in your name. I am asking you to sign this petition and encourage everyone you know to do the same. Don’t let them mock our nation, our people and our values: Take Obama’s Transparency Award Back Now.

Please Sign the Petition Here:Take Award Back.Com

Thank You,

Sibel Edmonds

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Obama’s New Middle East Policy: “Ambitious Fiction & Monarchial Bastards”

Escobar Brilliantly Summarizes Obama’s New Middle East Policy

obama524Pepe Escobar had another brilliant piece on Obama’s recent Middle East speech, and as always he is on the money:

So to make a story short, here's a concise New Middle East Obama policy. We support "our" bastards (dictators) who are sophisticated enough to beat, arrest and kill their own people in the low hundreds (Bahrain). We get slightly annoyed by "our" war on terror collaborators who crudely beat, arrest and kill their own people also in the low hundreds (Yemen). We're strongly inclined to ditch our support for unreliable, Iran-aligned dictators who beat, arrest and kill their own people in the high hundreds (Syria).

We unleash war - via the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a weaponized arm of the United Nations - over unreliable oil-wealthy dictators who beat, arrest and kill their own people in alleged thousands (Libya). And we remain absolute mute about "our" monarchical bastards who pre-empt the possibility of democratic protests (Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia) or invade their neighbors to smash ongoing peaceful protests (Saudi Arabia).

           

And this on Obama’s flowery rhetoric which failed big time to conceal what that speech was all about:

And when Obama stressed that "endless delay" won't "make the problem go away" he totally missed the point; it's by employing "endless delay" tactics that every Israeli government has kept settlement-building on overdrive and totally encircled East Jerusalem, while relentlessly applying a "divide and rule" strategy (pitting Fatah against Hamas) to crush Palestinian morale.

No flowery rhetoric can conceal that this is all about - what else - "protecting" Israel (mentioned 28 times in the speech). Further factual confirmation this weekend, when Obama addresses the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee bash, and next Monday, when Netanyahu addresses that Tel Aviv talk shop known as the US Congress.

You can read the entire article here, and tune in to our latest Podcast interview with Escobar here.

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Our Hypocrisy Ridden Foreign Policy: Jailed Journalists

Turkey Is the Country with the Most Imprisoned Journalists

HypocrisyUzbekistan boils activists: we are okay with it. Heck, we even support ‘the Boilers. ’Azerbaijan tortures and murders journalists and activists: we are totally fine with it; in fact, we consider them our great ally . When Syria engages in human rights violations, we call them ‘evil.’ When Saudi Arabia does it we fortify it with more protection. Libya does it, and we say this and do this.  And then, when it comes to Bahrain here we are. You get the point, right? I am not talking about the need to intervene- I am pretty much an isolationist. This is what I am talking about: our hypocrisy and lies driven imperialistic foreign policy at work. And, here is the latest example:

Turkey leads world in jailing journalists, OSCE study finds
By Joshua Hamerman

Study finds Turkey surpasses Iran, China with 57 jailed journalists; reporters can be imprisoned for 3 years before being put on trial.

Fifty-seven journalists are imprisoned in Turkey – and between 700 and 1,000 ongoing trials could result in the imprisonment of more journalists there – according to a study by the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), based in Vienna.

The International Press Institute stated that Turkey is now the country with the most imprisoned journalists, surpassing Iran and China. As of December, 34 journalists in both of those nations are in prisons.

Yesterday, I posted a true Hillary Joke:

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to free dozens of government critics rounded up this year including a prominent artist and said Beijing's rights record was worsening.

"In China, we've seen negative trends that are appearing to worsen in the first part of 2011," Clinton told reporters."As we have said repeatedly, the United States welcomes the rise of a strong and prosperous China," she said."However, we remain deeply concerned about reports that since February, dozens of people including public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested."

She mentioned the case of Ai Weiwei, an outspoken artist who helped design the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Games. He was detained on Sunday for unspecified "economic crimes."

Will there be a peep from her on this generously funded, avidly managed and supported ally? Seriously, is there anyone out there who believes there indeed will be the slightest, even cosmetically intended, scold? Do we have any Obama-Clinton cult member who dares to bet? If there is, here I am; place your bet!

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