Podcast Show #114: Wikileaks Party Candidate on the Quest for Transparency, Accountability & Justice

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Dr. Binoy Kampmark

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WikiLeaks Party candidate Dr. Binoy Kampmark joins us to discuss his candidacy for the Australian Senate, the platform and main objectives of the party in seeking transparency, accountability and justice, and the needed effort to “regain dignity” in the political experiment. Dr. Kampmark evaluates the current political landscape in Australia, the media’s reaction and attitude in response to the launching of the party thus far, Julian Assange, the challenges ahead, and much more. Do not miss this riveting episode of Boiling Frogs Post Podcast Show.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark, BFP Contributing Author & Analyst, is a Wikileaks Party candidate. He was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge University, where he took his PhD in History. He lectures at RMIT University and writes regularly on politics, security and international affairs. Visit Mr. Kampmark’s blog site Oz Moses here.

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The Guardian UK: Guardian of the Truth, or, Guardian of the Establishment?

When Judging the Source Do Not Disregard its Track Record

It is not easy to be the one who bears bad news, questions what’s beneath glitzy packaging, or the one who throws cold water on seemingly good news. Trust me it isn’t. We all want to feel good. It is much easier to cheer than to question and criticize. We want heroes. We like pedestals and figures to worship. I don’t know why but it is what it is, and I am who I am- daring to be unpopular with questions that need to be asked and answers that have to be sought.

We have news and information, and we have sources. The source is as important, or even more important, than the information or the news. This is a fact-the blunt and indisputable reality. Whether you like it or not. [Read more...]

Contradictory & Highly Troubling Questions on Guardian’s Snowden Coverage

What Caused the Fallout between Snowden & Guardian-Greenwald, and Why?

Glenn Greenwald hinted on Monday (July 1) that Edward Snowden has leaked all of the documents that he intended to pass on to news outlets.

Last Sunday, WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who has been assisting Snowden, told ABC News that there was nothing anybody could do to stop the release of more documents. [Read more...]

Podcast Show #90: The Erosion of US Constitution

The Boiling Frogs Presents Ray McGovern

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Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern returns to our show to discuss the erosion of the US Constitution and the absence of public outrage, the illegality of and the expected backlash from US drone strikes, the clear contradiction between the US/Israeli intelligence estimates about Iran’s nuclear program, the lack of real debate on and the hypocrisy of the use of Cyberwarfare, and more!

RMRay McGovern’s 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush. Ray’s duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President’ Daily Brief (PDB). During the mid-eighties, Ray was one of the senior analysts conducting early morning briefings of the PDB one-on-one with the Vice President, the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Ray received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Fordham College, designated a Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned upon graduation and served as an infantry/intelligence officer in the US Army from 1962-64. Ray holds an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham University and a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

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Here is our guest Ray McGovern unplugged!

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War on Whistleblowers: Manning & Assange Just Test Cases

The Saga of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Wikileaks, to be Put to Ballad & Film

“If Manning had committed war crimes in Iraq instead of exposing them, he would be a free man today”

By William Blum

"Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the Army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there ... They say he was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay soldier at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces." (Associated Press, February 3)

ManningIt's unfortunate and disturbing that Bradley Manning's attorneys have chosen to consistently base his legal defense upon the premise that personal problems and shortcomings are what motivated the young man to turn over hundreds of thousands of classified government files to Wikileaks. They should not be presenting him that way anymore than Bradley should be tried as a criminal or traitor. He should be hailed as a national hero. Yes, even when the lawyers are talking to the military mind. May as well try to penetrate that mind and find the freest and best person living there. Bradley also wears a military uniform.

Here are Manning's own words from an online chat: "If you had free reign over classified networks ... and you saw incredible things, awful things ... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC ... what would you do? ... God knows what happens now. Hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. ... I want people to see the truth ... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public." [Read more...]

UNESCO Shuns WikiLeaks as Speaker at Conference on Implications of WikiLeaks

… And, that’s not all that doesn’t make sense

unescoThis week, the organizers of a UNESCO conference, “The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World,” refused to let a WikiLeaks representative participate as a speaker. In so doing, they deprived the world of a full and balanced discussion of issues critical to protecting human rights.  Neither UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) nor the conference organizer, the USA-based World Press Freedom Committee, are apologizing, and traditional news media (with one exception) looked the other way.

As the central player in information-sharing partnerships that changed journalism, WikiLeaks unquestionably has important insights to share on conference topics such as the relationship between new and traditional journalism. But, only half of that partnership, WikiLeaks points out, was invited to speak at the UNESCO conference—and a bias was evident even in the questions selected for debate. [Read more...]

BFP Exclusive: Revisiting My Silence on WikiLeaks

The Question(s) of Disappeared Documents & Missing Links

assangeA year or so ago I wrote a couple of pieces on the WikiLeaks case explaining my reluctance to form and communicate a conclusive opinion or reaction on this confusing intrigue. I encourage you to read my only two responses to the case here and here. Today, a new article paired with another fairly recent development in the case and a not so recent disclosure by a former WikiLeaks insider prompted another long-withheld response from me. Let me begin with the curious article from today’s news via RT:

US Government Demands Wikileaks Destroy All Files About Them- Assange

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has told a media summit that the US government has ordered Wikileaks to destroy all the material is has published on them and stop working with its sources in the government.

­“[When we released our documents] the Pentagon said we must destroy everything we published and were going to publish,” Assange said. ”And if we didn’t, we would be ‘compelled to do so,’” the summit’s website says. Assange made the allegation in the course of a speech made via Skype at the News 2011 Summit in Hong Kong.

Now let’s pair this up with two other developments in this case. I’ll start with the first one in December 2010.

Last December a former Wikileaks insider in one of its European branches contacted me with excitement and an anticipation inducing piece of information. According to this credible source the large cache of the State Department Cables contained explosive communication- discussions and reports that were directly related to my case which involved secret joint US-Turkey operations in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Balkans.

WikileaksThese cables, dated 1996 to 2002, were part of the case files I worked on during my work with the FBI. These FBI files and cases were later designated as ‘State Secrets Privilege,’ and with that came all the classification, gag orders and other retaliations in my case, spilling into congressional inquiries and active court cases. Basically everyone, every party, whether congressional offices or federal court judges, were slapped with a gag by the US government under the guise of ‘State Secrets’ only to cover up criminal black operations as part of hypocrisy-ridden US foreign policy in the target region. [Read more...]

Weekly Round Up for January 9

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt, ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Industry, A Great Example of Intentionally Awful Journalism, One-Tip-Based Terror Watch List & More!

NYA belated happy new year to all our readers and friends here at Boiling Frogs Post. As you can tell I am just coming up for air. The holiday season happens to be the busiest time for my part-time work which involves a retail business, and my full-time motherhood task which has gotten at least three-fold harder during this not-so-terrible-twos stage. You see I say harder, but I’ll never call it ‘terrible’ because despite the tasking aspect it still remains the best and most rewarding role I’ve ever had; ever. My daughter is now 2.5 years old, and I’m happy to report: she is outspoken, highly opinionated, and on her way to becoming a real activist. She is already stopping those engaged in littering in their tracks for an earful lecture, and orders them to stop, ‘Go home, time out, and take bath!’ I am sharing a few of her recent pictures here. Many of you know all about my ‘no venture into my private life’ over here at BFP…except for an occasional relevant experience(s), or, like these here and the ones from last year to mark a new year at Boiling Frogs Post. Again, Happy New Year.

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For the past two months I’ve been collecting and saving lots of articles to share with you here at BFP. The collection kept getting larger, the list of links grew longer, and I kept falling behind and unable to post regular BFP Round Ups. Some of those articles were time sensitive so they got discarded as ‘stale and no longer relevant’. Some are still sitting on the list waiting for the addition of my comments and analyses. And here are a few important and interesting ones from the past few weeks without much need for added sound bites:

Obama’s Whistleblower-Hunt: Whistleblowers Long for Bush-Cheney Era Leniency?

OBYou thought the Bush-Cheney administration was bad? Think again; especially if you happen to be a whistleblower. Despite its awful record, the current administration witch-hunt like pursuit of whistleblowers and truth-tellers has many whistleblowers and truth-telling advocates longing for the Bush era climate. After all, everything is relevant, right? There was the bad, now it is the worse, or probably worst ever. Despite all the threats and muscle-flexing not a single whistleblower, including myself, got arrested or even pursued criminally under the previous regime. With Obama the era of threats has changed into an era of Punishment-Imprisonment and in some cases even torture. Here is one of the latest:

Former CIA officer indicted for leaks to reporter 
Peter Haldis, RCFP

A former CIA officer was indicted last month for allegedly providing a New York Times reporter with classified information. He is the latest in a string of leakers prosecuted by the Obama administration.

Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O’Fallon, Mo., was indicted on 10 counts, including six counts of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count of obstruction of justice. He was arrested Thursday in St. Louis.Sterling was indicted Dec. 22, 2010, and the indictment was unsealed Thursday.

Sterling is the fifth leaker to be prosecuted by the Obama administration. The others include: former National Security Agency official Thomas Drake, who allegedly sent classified information to an unknown newspaper reporter; Stephen Kim, a former Department of State analyst who allegedly leaked an intelligence report to an unidentified reporter; Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army private alleged to have leaked classified information to Wikileaks; and Shamai Leibowitz, a former FBI linguist who was convicted in May 2010 of charges related to the leaking of classified information to an unidentified blogger and sentenced to 20 months in prison.

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 ‘Rent-A-Generals’ Consulting Firms: An Industry in Its Own

genLast month I came across the following coverage at War Is Business by Corey Pein. This Monday Peter and I will be interviewing Mr. Pein, meanwhile if you haven’t seen this great website check it out now, and put it in your ‘Favorite’ list of websites. I am really looking forward to this interview, too many topics of interest to cover!

‘Rent-A-Generals’ & ‘the Militarization of Economy’ 
By Corey Pein, War Is Business

This man is William B Burdeshaw, a retired US Army Brigadier General and founder of what the Boston Globe, in its must-read investigation of rampant corruption in Pentagon procurement, calls “one of the oldest ‘rent-a-general’ consulting firms” in the country.

His company, Burdeshaw Associates Ltd, is essentially a fixer for corporations looking to land military contracts. The firm is apparently so good at this, its influential “associates”—mostly retired, high-ranking officers—can sell the Pentagon things it didn’t even know it needed.

Read Globe reporter Bryan Bender describe how Burdeshaw cleverly wrung $109 million from the Pentagon for the firm’s client, Northrop Grumman, which wanted to build a remote-controlled helicopter called the Fire Scout. [Read more...]

The New York Times: A Curious Case of Change of Heart?

Seeing the Light, Sanctioned Illusionary Game, or …

seethelightI am going to stay true to my pledged position on Wikileaks related topics, and stick with questions rather than hasty analyses and interpretations. I’ve been highly puzzled by the recent position of and statements by the New York Times on Wikileaks Gate. I don’t know whether to view this puzzling change of heart and position in light of appropriately seasonal concepts of miracles, seeing the light, and the eighth wonder of the world, or, more realistically cynical interpretations based on their reputation, history and track record. How does a mindset dictating governmentally correct and approved reportage suddenly change into one that sides with transparency and positive journalistic ethics? This is when it is good to have media outlets and investigative journalists who investigate, analyze, and report on other media channels, editors and reporters. Alas, we ain’t got one; at least not one I’ve been able to find, thus, here I am with my list of questions asking you to hop on board and help me come up with possible explanations.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Times’ infamous editor, along with his superiors in the government and inferiors beneath him on the committee, decided to hold the explosive exposé on NSA’s Warrantless Spying Program. The Times held the story not for one day, not for one week, not for one month, but for over a year. It sat on it, and whether easily or with great difficulty, it sealed its every single reporter’s lips. Together, in a unified fashion, they all sat on this earth-shattering revelation. They served their masters, and threw their weight into highly critical elections. When, after it was way too late, their governmentally sanctioned deed, this journalistically unethical scam, was exposed, they didn’t have much if anything to offer as defense: [Read more...]

On Wikileaks Strategy: Too Many Hors D’oeuvres?

Decreased Appetite & Increased Termination Risk before the Main Course

HordAs I have said before I am not ready to analyze or talk about Wikileaks’ recent exposé. It’s still too early, and so far too little with too insignificant implications has been released. I am still waiting for the highly revealing, explosive, and or severely implicating cables; if any. What I want to do, however, is to briefly discuss Wikileaks’ strategy in releasing the documents, so far, and to get your two cents on it. In fact, I want to briefly discuss the exact reason why I haven’t even begun delving into this so far released material. My major concerns and questions regarding Wikileaks’ strategy are as follows:

Based on the well-established and well-known mainstream media attention curve, isn’t it self-defeating and damaging to begin the cables release with a jumble of highly inconsequential and insignificant documents with little or no implications? Why not use the peak media attention period for the most significant and highly explosive information with even greater implications? Isn’t this like serving too many so-so appetizers before the main course of high gastronomical value, and waste the best part on full and bloated diners?

From a risk management perspective, isn’t it way too risky to start the dissemination with unimportant and insignificant material, and provide the enemies (governments) with ample opportunity to strike back, interfere, block, and or destroy the ‘real’ prized material of great consequence? [Read more...]

SOS in a Bottle: Raising the Political Asylum Quota for Americans

An Appeal to the International Community

bottleIn this urgent message delivered by ultra snail method of delivery due to restrictions placed upon our communication means (warrantless mass surveillance by our government targeting our telephone, text messages, e-mail, fax, and internet accessibility) we, American citizens, hereby urgently request that the recipients on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific add our desperately repressed nation to their list of qualified political refugee nations and or raise their existing annual quota for US political refugees. We not only meet but surpass the United Nations 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees on the grounds of political opinion and membership and or participation in any particular social group or social activities.

We Americans, every single one of us, are treated as potential terrorists, are considered guilty with no way to prove otherwise. We all are subjected to round the clock surveillance (phone, e-mail, fax, text, internet accessibility; with internet activities soon to be monitored and restricted), and degrading physical probing-groping searches as mandatory requirements for our travel.

We United States Citizens have been deprived of expressing collective dissent even through the most peaceful means and pacifist manner. [Read more...]

Is the First Amendment Dead & Gone? You bet!

…and so are so many other rights

I just received an email with a link to the following clip, and with the link came the headline that read:

 

‘Wikileaks Has Proven the First Amendment is Dead & Gone!’

Is the First Amendment dead & gone? You bet! Has it been dead and gone for a while now? You bet! Where have these people been? Don’t take me wrong. I agree with what’s being said, and I’m so very glad that it is being said; finally. Maybe it took this latest war (this has been resembling a war more and more every day) to get some people see the reality on the ground-make that, in our nation…and while you are at it, make that for almost a decade. So why is this the case?

Please chime in with your thoughts on this, because the last time I checked:

The Fourth Amendment was Dead & Gone: Think NSA illegal eavesdropping; think FBI national security letters… [Read more...]

Digging Deeper in Years into Wikileaks’ Treasure Chest- Part I

A Fairly Short List of Goodies for Wikileaks Santa

 

wikiI have been waiting. I have been searching and reading. I have been waiting impatiently while searching and reading the initial pile of recently released Wikileaks’ documents, specifically those pertaining to Turkey. I have received many e-mails asking me impatiently to comment and provide my analyses on this latest international exposé. I am being impatiently patient in doing so, and here is a brief explanation as to why:

There’s so much I don’t know. I don’t know how real this entire deal actually is. If truly ‘real,’ I don’t know how far and deep the involved documents actually go. Many of my trusted friends tell me it is indeed real. A few trusted friends and advisors are ringing cautionary bells. I am truly pro transparency, and considering the abusive nature and use of secrecy and classification, I am mostly pro leak when the information in question involves criminal deeds and intentions.

During the previous release (Afghan Files), in my gut I was a bit bothered by the direction of some of these released documents - pointing towards Iran - which was generously milked by the US mainstream media. But then again, that was only based on some gut feeling, and I didn’t want to pour out analyses and opinion solely based on ‘some gut feeling.’ So far, some of the first cache of the recently released documents is strongly pointing towards Iran, and that too is bothering the heck out of me. But again, in my gut, and that alone is not sufficient to make me sit and analyze and interpret. So this is why I’ve been impatiently patient, waiting for more. Meanwhile, while I am restraining myself and being uncharacteristically patient, I am going to go on record and tell you what I expect to see if this whole deal proves to be completely genuine, and if the obtained files go as far as they say they go. [Read more...]

Chris Floyd’s ‘The Good Corporal’

To the Exposers of Power & the Troublers of Dreams

Yesterday one of our readers e-mailed me a link to a recent work by Chris Floyd dedicated to truth tellers who are commonly labeled as whistleblowers, but aptly referred by him as the Exposers of Power and the Troublers of Dreams.

About three years ago I discovered Mr. Floyd’s website and his collection of essays and poems through Antiwar.Com. And I became a fan. His writings are original, expressed purely in his own unique voice, and more importantly (at least for me) they don’t reek of the partisanship or agenda promotion so commonly found in ‘popular’ quasi alternative sites. The level of integrity and critical thinking that goes into his work makes him ‘not’ an acceptable comrade for the popular partisan agenda pumpers of the media; their loss and our win. You can visit his website and check it out for yourself.

I want to thank Mr. Floyd on behalf of all our national security whistleblower members at NSWBC, including Dan Ellsberg. He has given us a deep and sincere acknowledgement; a far cry from the usual cursory fluff we are used to getting. And I want to share with you this beautifully executed work here at Boiling Frogs Post:

 


 
The Good Corporal


Good corporal, good corporal, now what have you done?
You've laid out the dead in the light of the sun.
You've opened the door where the dark deeds go on,
Where the fine words of freedom are broken like bones.

Good corporal, good corporal, you tell us of crime
Done in the name of your country and mine.
Of torture and murder, corruption and lies,
In a land where no echo will carry the cries.

Good corporal, good corporal, now who do we blame
For the horrors you bring us, for this undying shame?
Should we lay all the guilt on the grunts with no name,
Or the high and the mighty who rigged up this game?

Good corporal, good corporal, don't you know the fate
Of all those who speak the hard truth to the State
And all who trouble the people's sweet dreams?
They're mocked into scorn and torn apart at the seams.

Good corporal, good corporal, what have you done?
You've laid out the dead in the light of the sun.

© 2010 by Chris Floyd

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