Baseball91's Weblog

June 2, 2017

To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to… our Posterity

We, the people.

In order to form a more perfect union, government agencies of the United States are returning copies of the Senate’s report on the harsh interrogation of terror suspects to lawmakers which took 6,770 pages to detail.

With the goal to “erase history,” Democrats say, in a disingenuous response. Because when the Democrats were the majority party, copies of the Senate’s report on the harsh interrogation of terror suspects to lawmakers had never been released.

With the goal, like in the constitution, to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, said Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., to make it harder for the public to ever learn the complete details of the 6,770-page report that documents the CIA’s harsh treatment of detainees after 9/11. Burr directed his oxymoronic Senate Intelligence Committee staff to retrieve copies 6,770-page report from U.S. government agencies, including the State Department, the CIA, the inspector general’s office of the CIA, the Department of the Defense, the national intelligence director’s office, the FBI, as well as the Department of Justice.

With the goal to promote the general Welfare, and especially secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr said that because Federal Courts have ruled that the report is a congressional document, the 6,770-page report is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

In 2011, when the Obama Administration had been in practice over 1466 days, addressing these very same kind of issues concerning all of the cost of the War on Terror, Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon had the same type questions to an attorney from the National Security Agency when he received an answer from the attorney from the NSA indicating that his intelligence community would be working on a better response before the first meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee in September 2011, as the “Hope and Change” Administration was still defining its “view of the full contours of this authority.”

What happens to a generation which loses an ability to trust? In the way of religion in the United States, mostly you move to the border so you can claim to be Unaffiliated. But what happens in a civil society, as the majority loses the ability to trust in legal authority? Will this society lose its ability to function. Did you know how the entire world now recognized the trait of arrogance as so American, not much different than the arrogance from one administration to the next? When absolute power always and everywhere absolutely corrupts?

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November 19, 2013

Nothing To Fear Except Fear Itself

NSA logo Last night in the invisible world of unrestricted power, James R. Clapper Jr. , director of national intelligence, released what appeared to be the original court document authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct sweeping collections of Americans’ communications records for counter-terrorism purposes, according to a piece in the Washington Post. In what appeared to be the original court document, there is also the description of the NSA’s failure to abide by court-imposed rules to protect Americans’ privacy, showing an agency more interested in collecting cell site location data than it had previously acknowledged.

The description of what constituted bulk information “metadata” was redacted in the released documents. In an order signed by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the National Security Agency was given permission by the secret court to gather in bulk information from e-mails and other forms of Internet communication such as e-mail addresses, but not the content. Its true scope, however, is unclear. This is about group power, unrestricted power, in a police state, over individual constitutional rights. Whatever the counter-terrorism purpose, however undefined. Who were these federal judges collaborating in what appeared to be “justice” in these secret courts? Inevitably did these justices belong to political parties, having given up any idea of an independent judiciary? What lawyer would dare criticize a judge, and put at risk his/her next case in front of the judge.

If a judge in the secret courts will give the NSA massive amounts of data to identify unknown people who may be in contact with terrorists’ whose e-mail addresses would be used to search the database, why not apply the same standard to domestic prosecutors? Is there a secret appellate court for bad decisions in secret courts? Is there a secret U.S. Supreme Court. Yet?

Franklin Roosevelt said in his first Inaugural Address: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin Roosevlet tried to stack the Supreme Court with judge who shared his views of the world, which at the time never included concepts of secret courts and the unrestricted power of the sixteen agencies of the governments of the United States involved in “national intelligence.” It was the legislative branch with people named Boehner, Feinstein, Bolton who are giving the president’s intelligence agencies blank checks. When the NSA was spying on Angela Merkel, that spying included the most intimate parts of her life. If any politician is involved in illicit relationships, placing themselves in compromising positions, someone at the NSA has a view from the heavens of something that no human, in a military or political position, was ever supposed to have. The judiciary was set up to provide checks and balances rather than collaborate with the unrestricted power of the executive branch. When the judiciary abdicates this duty, there is something to fear, like the thinking of Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, like in the thinking by senators from California, Feinstein and Chambliss, about group power – the unrestricted power – in a police state, over individual constitutional rights. In a world with a booming population, people become just commodities, and individual rights are set aside for classified information, “under appropriate circumstance.”

In the New World Order there might well be something to fear when the elected officials ignore the first ten amendments of the constitution of the United States. Wasn’t this the same problem from the first eight years of the New Millennium, directed at the time at the Securities and Exchange Commission, when the regulators quit regulating? And now the judges who quit judging in open court.

http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057/

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codenamed Optic Nerve

July 25, 2009

Those Domestic Situations

The New York Times reports today that the Bush administration in 2002 considered sending U.S. troops into a Buffalo, N.Y., suburb to arrest a group of terror suspects in what would have been a nearly unprecedented use of military power.

According to U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) said that as U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September 2008, he brought up that that the crisis might even require a declaration of martial law, as a worst-case scenario.

The Associated Press notes that dispatching troops into the streets is virtually unheard of. “The Constitution and various laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.”

A 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) allegedly allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage. The Clinton administration had set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.”

In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States. Prior to this, under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances.

So that Associated Press note about “dispatching troops into the streets as virtually unheard of” is a historic note. It is a mistake to say the “constitution and various laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.”

Pentagon officials at one point to end 2008 were projecting some 20,000 active-duty U.S. troops to be stationed in the United States by 2011.

January 29, 2009

The Real War on Terror

 

The cost of freedom:  American presidents like to invoke patriotism in their speeches, reminding us of the lives that were spent to preserve the freedoms evoked in the United States Constitution.  September 2001 was nothing, compared to what transpired in the world in January 1919.     

 

It is unnerving to live in an age when a president and a Congress can pass The Patriot Act, quickly trading away freedom at a price of homeland security.  The passage of the act does not say much for the generations who have grown up on the age of television.  And there was little, if any, protest. 

 

Few Americans seem to know of the days of real terror that existed in Germany at the close of the War to end all Wars.  This was a time of real terror.  There had been a revolution in Russia.  The family of a monarch was killed.  The Kaiser was deposed in Germany.  And from November 1918 through August 1919, Germans lived through the German Revolution, a politically-driven civil conflict before the establishment of the Weimar Republic.  It was during this period that a new constitution was drawn up, with Article 48.  I wonder how different Article 48 was from the Patriot Act.  Students of history recall that it was Article 48 that Adolph Hitler used in 1933 to establish his dictatorship, ending the Weimar Republic and ushering in the Third Reich.

 

Few Americans seem to know that it was Germany that allowed Vladimir Lenin to take a sealed train in the midst of World War I through Germany, Sweden, and Finland to reach St. Petersburg, with hopes of his affects on anti-war movement in Russia. The Russian Provisional government had carried on in the war following the toppling of Czar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917.  The February Revolution was followed by the October Revolution led by Lenin, as the Bolsheviks seized power as the German had hoped, demanding an immediate end to the war.

 

In the days of terror that existed in Germany at the close of the War to end all Wars, civil unrest was the reason that Article 48 was incorporated into the constitution. 

 

On November 9, 1918, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the center of Berlin, in a movement which had started in the final days of October 1918 when 47 sailors dispatched needlessly to be sacrificed in battle in the last moment of the war without authorization mutinied, while the new democratic government was seeking peace.  The mutiny of 47 affected sailors led to a general revolution supported by sailors and workers which was to sweep aside a hope to save Kaiser Wilhelm’s monarchy.  Then in January 1919, hundreds of thousands of people again poured into central Berlin as a revolutionary wave developed.  On January 4, 1919 Emil Eichhorn, the chief constable of Berlin was dismissed by the government when he refused to act against demonstrating workers in the Christmas Crisis after sailors insising on only their pay, had occupied the Imperial Chancellery, cut the phone lines, put the Council of People’s Representatives under house arrest and captured Otto Wels.  Reacting to  Emil Eichhorn’s dismissal, revolutionary stewards and the chairs of the Communist Party called for a demonstration to take place on the following day. This demonstration turned into an assembly of huge masses.  On January 5, 1919 hundreds of thousands of people poured into Berlin, many of them armed.  Further armed revolts occurred all over Germany in the first months of 1919.  The violence was violently suppressed.  Vladimir Lenin’s counterparts in Germany, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were put to death. 

 

In Italy, Mussolini obtained from the legislature his dictatorial powers for one year, which was legal under the Italian constitution of the time.  In a political and social economy, he passed legislation that favored the wealthy industrial and agrarian classes (privatisations, liberalisations of rent laws and dismantlement of the unions).  His domestic goal was the eventual establishment of a totalitarian state with himself as supreme leader. 

 

Under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances.  The Clinton administration set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.”  In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States. 

 

Perhaps September 11th should serve as a wake up call to Americans about the meaning of freedom, as written into the Constitution of the United States.  Mindful of the lives that were lost to preserve these freedoms, what exactly had happened to change the concept that  U.S. armed forces should be barred from domestic operations.  Why are Pentagon officials projecting some 20,000 active-duty U.S. troops be stationed in the United States by 2011?  Why now?  Why 20,000?  Who set this number?  Was there any debate?  And is a foundation now laid that this can become a police state one day like Germany or Italy in the 1930s?     

January 21, 2009

Homeland Security

 

Former KGB analyst and Russian academic Igor Panarin recently predicted that the US will be engulfed in a civil war which will eventually lead to the fall of the country.   Panarin believes that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war in the United States as early as the autumn of 2009.

 

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There is no news how he feels about the social unrest in Russia over falling oil prices over the last 6 months.  Or over the economic turmoil in Europe.  Spain suffered a credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s.  Last week the agency cut Greece‘s rating and has Portugal and Ireland under review.  “The move by S&P to cut its rating to “AA+” from “AAA,” a level Greece had held since late 2004, sent the euro to a session low against the dollar as investors feared other euro zone economies could suffer the same fate.” 

 

Speaking of the news from Greece over the past 30 days, with the ongoing downturn in economic news, there will be international repercussions to any true economic upheaval.  Look at how the Russians in January have tried to use their power over its neighbors on the flow of natural gas and the price of that natural gas.  Was that in response to the falling price of oil?   

 

From the Phoneix BizJournals:

 

December 17, 2008…..International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned Wednesday of economy-related riots and unrest in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment. 

 

U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., both said U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson brought up a worst-case scenario as he pushed for the Wall Street bailout in September. Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, said that might even require a declaration of martial law, the two noted.

 

Pointing to a 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) he says allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage. 

 

In another December 2008 new story, in a report by the U S Army War College, Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” Nathan Freier, a retired army lieutenant colonel who is a professor at the college, talks about the possibility of Pentagon resources and troops being used should the economic crisis lead to civil unrest, such as protests against businesses and government or runs on beleaguered banks.  “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” said the report.  The study says economic collapse, terrorism and loss of legal order are among possible domestic shocks that might require military action within the U.S.  The 44-page document written by Freier, a professor at the college, is solely a reflection. But he argues that “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters,” could be the potential aftermath of a sclerotic economy. The Clinton administration set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.” In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States. Prior to this, under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances. Pentagon officials are now projecting some 20,000 active-duty U.S. troops to be stationed in the United States by 2011.

 

From Todd Harrison (Marketwatch):

 

“Our current course has ominous ramifications for the dollar. As the greenback is the world reserve currency, those implications extend throughout the global landscape. A currency holds a nation together and the economy — perhaps society at large — assumes more, not less, risk as a function of the path of our attempted fix. 

 

“Structural: As the equilibrium between asset classes remains elusive, the single greatest risk remains a seismic shift in currency markets. Therein lay perhaps the most profound path of maximum frustration, one that punishes the savers who proactively prepared for the current crisis.  While negative sentiment creates fertile ground for bear-market rallies, aggregate risk appetites contract and voluntary and involuntary thrift collide. This continues to manifest despite efforts by government officials to induce borrowing rather than allowing for the painful, yet necessary, debt destruction required for a more stable economic foundation.  Social mood and risk appetites will determine our financial fate and, by extension, the way we live our lives. That proved positive during the era of conspicuous consumption but is troublesome as we edge through the age of austerity.” 

September 14, 2008

DOING THE AFTER MATH

Leaders of the Society of Professional Journalists say they are outraged over the aggressive tactics used by police in St. Paul and Denver. Police interfered with the free flow of information, they say, and the constitutional guarantee of a free press.  Close to 2% of all the arrested were journalists, without indication if these journalists were affiliated with professional organization of self-proclaimed based on ownership of a camera and a pen. 

 

I have a large place in my heart for those members of the Society of Professional Journalists.  They support one another and belong to a communal organization greater than any individual, dedicated to the Truth, without bias.  In the days where the continued existence of a newspaper is at risk, with resulting vibrations to be felt on the democratic process in the future, what happened at the Republican National Convention has national importance. 

 

Of the close to 800 arrested, MnIndy has compiled a list of journalists from the Ramsey County Sheriff booking roster, from news reports, and from ”sources,” as to who were detained or arrested, including some preemptively.  Their list included journalists representing mainstream media, 8 journalists affiliated with student newspapers, on-line journalists, as well as a list of dubious journalists. 

 

a.         Tom Aviles, WCCO photojournalist

b.         Jonathan Malat, KARE-11 photojournalist 

c.         Matt Rourke, Associated Press photographer

d.         Ben Garvin, Pioneer Press photographer

e.         Jon Krawczynski, Associated Press reporter

f.          Amy Forliti, Associated Press reporter

g.         Jason Nicholas, New York Post freelance photographer

h.         Matt Snyders, City Pages

i.          Seth Rowe, Sun Newspapers, St. Louis Park community editor

j.          Stephen Maturen, Minnesota Daily assistant picture editor

k.         Jeff Schorfheide, Madison, Wis. Badger-Herald photographer

l.          Mark Skinner, University of Nevada Las Vegas Rebel Yell reporter

m.        Jim Winn, University of Kentucky journalism adviser

n.         Ed Matthews, University of Kentucky photojournalism student

o.         Britney McIntosh, University of Kentucky photojournalism student

p.         Christopher Patton, Editorial board member of The Daily Iowan

q.         Dean Treftz, U-Wire, national college news service  

r.          Ted Johnson, Variety managing editor

s.          John P. Wise, MyFox national editor

t.          Alice Kalthoff, MyFoxdfw.com editor 

u.         Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet  

v.          Paul Demko, Minnesota Independent

 

i.          Eileen Clancy, I-Witness Video, a New York-based media collective

ii.         Emily Forman, I-Witness video group

iii.        Malisa Jahn, I-Witness video group

iv.        Amy Goodman, Democracy Now! host

v.         Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! producer

vi.        Elizabeth Press, Democracy Now!

vii.       Nicole Salazar, Democracy Now! producer

 

1.  Matt Nelson, University of Iowa student

2.  Charlie B, MTV Think blogger (full last name unknown) 

3.  Joseph La Sac, Pepperspray Productions journalist

4.  Lambert Rochfort, Pepperspray Productions journalist 

5.  Anita Braithwaite, New York-based Glass Bead Collective

6.  Vlad Teichberg, New York-based Glass Bead Collective

7.  Olivia Katz, Glass Bead Collective

8.  Geraldine Cahill, The Real News

9.  Ania Smolenskaia, The Real News

10. Art Hughes, Public News Service

11. Nathan Weber, photographer, Chicago-area freelancer

12. Tony Webster, Twin Cities independent media professional

13. Suzanne Hughes, The Uptake, volunteer coordinator 

14. Wendy Binion, Portland IndyMedia

15. Mark Ovaska, Rochester freelance photographer  

16. Dawn Zuppelli, Rochester IndyMedia

 

Dawn Zuppelli has been identified as “a citizen-journalist” with the Rochester Independent Media Center.   I am not certain if this organization in Rochester, Minnesota was created just for the timeframe of September 2008.  It is of note that now that the convention was over, the Twin Cities Independent Media Center now refers readers to http://www.nornc.org/ which is the self-proclaimed anarchists’ website of the RNC Welcoming Committee.’   In the “who we are” part of the webpage it is stated, “The RNC Welcoming Committee is an anarchist / anti-authoritarian organizing body preparing for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.”  

In no way were reporters of the Twin Cities Independent Media Center members of the Society of Professional Journalists.  The distortions of the free press reflect similar distortions of the recent past of those who set up private churches seeking the tax breaks of a church.  The undertow of the filed reports suggest anger at the organized news media. 

 

According to City Newspaper, “The highest-profile arrest was that of Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Goodman became somewhat of a martyr afterward, but video of her arrest clearly shows that she twice ignored a police officer’s commands before she was taken into custody.”  She also seemingly was in the news twice in 4 days in confrontation with police, suggesting perhaps that her behavior demonstrated she was above the law, and that she had some self-interest to come out of St. Paul with increased fame.      

 

Conflicting reports of the raid at a gathering place for I-Witness Video raid, in which one was arrested, over whether not police confiscated anything.  This article said that police had not.  I had read that equipment was in fact confiscated.  In other cases, however, authorities took cameras, notes, and other property.

 

To cover any event, a journalist needed credentials.  Some authority wanted answers to the question “Who are you covering the event for?”  Whether it was a state convention, the World Series, the power, the resources of the news organization a reported represented determined who would be accredited.  Most event planners wanted press coverage and desired that the public be informed?  Were these journalists more than “neighborhood reporters”?

 

“What they’re stealing is material.  Papers and computers and banners,” Dawn Zuppelli was quoted in City Newspaper, about one raid. “They’re stealing the message.”  (SEE http://www.rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/articles/POLITICS:+Stealing+the+message+in+St++Paul+/comments/.)

 

The Twin City Indy Media webpage prior to the RNC said:  With the RNC in the Twin Cities less than a month away, the propaganda machine of electoral politics is shifting into high gear. For months, corporate media in the Twin Cities has been trying to divide activists into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and and to justify the ridiculous police rhetoric about possible violence on the part of activists. If past conventions are any indication, we know that independent media will be critical for the defeat of disinformation, and that thousands will look first to the Indymedia network for the first updates straight from the street and the passionate telling of the truth from the Twin Cities.” 

 

In this case we had so-called journalists, citizen-journalists, intermingling the right to free speech and the right to assemble with access to report the news, without a concern about how their own action distort under case law the basic human right of a free press.  Real journalists were public servants, every bit as much as a peace officer.  Citizen-journalists looked like wolves in sheep clothing.   

September 8, 2008

WARNING TRACK POWER

 “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I read an article yesterday by Pat Jordan’s in Slate which seemed to apply to the environment of all journalists today:  Whether it was the athlete, the Hollywood star, the corporation with spin doctors, the people covering them were afraid to ask real questions.  It was like listening to radio broadcasts of the Minnesotan Twins, when fly balls hit to the fence on the radio did not quite reach the warning track on television.  Honesty was sacrificed today to create a false sense of excitement. 

 

Television journalists seem afraid to open Pandora’s box. It might affect the ratings.  And that fear was spreading to other areas of the American media. Would the financial cost of the war, out of the tax payer’s pocket, be discussed this election year?  It never has been since troops were sent over.  I had read that elected representatives in Congress did not ever have the cost in the budget.  Why not?  Why are Democrats collaborating with Republicans on this issue?  Why was it considered to be patriotic to have troops in Iraq? 

 

And by the way, have you noticed the different emphasis given in the foreign press to the 35 articles of impeachment introduced by Dennis Kucinich, compared to the American press?  Even though he is a gadfly.  But then I came acros the following:     

 

by Douglas Thompson

Dec 5, 2005, 07:53

 

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Bob Barr and Phyllis Schlafly to oppose renewal.GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

 

 

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.””Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

This information comes from three West Wing sources who say a fourth White House employee in the meeting told them the President called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.” That employee refused to return my phone calls. 

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