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Obama to Join Pussy Riot on Moscow Stage in Snub to Putin

11:09 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

If only.

Pussy Riot Painting

Obama joins Pussy Riot … never

However, the Obama administration is in a dilemma over what to do about the scheduled September Moscow meeting between the leaders of the United States and Russia:

The White House is deliberately leaving it vague as to whether President Barack Obama will attend talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin if the saga involving former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is unresolved.

Putin has invited Obama for face-to-face talks in Moscow ahead of a St. Petersburg summit in September with leaders of the G20 nations, and the White House announced on June 17 that Obama would both attend the summit and go to the Russian capital.

But that announcement was before Snowden fled to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23 to avoid facing U.S. espionage charges for revealing details about secret U.S. surveillance programs involving phone and Internet data.

Snowden, stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, has since applied for temporary asylum in Russia, putting Moscow further on the spot. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Putin would not be the one making the decision.

Pressed on Wednesday on whether Obama will still go on the Moscow part of the trip, White House spokesman Jay Carney was vague.

“I have no further announcements on our travel to Russia. The president intends to go to Russia in September,” he said.

An Obama decision not to go to attend talks with Putin would register his displeasure with the Russian leader’s refusal thus far to expel Snowden back to the United States.

Although I’m among those who regard Edward Snowden as a whistleblower, there is irony in him relying on the same Vladimir who showed such a heavy hand in 2012′s conviction of two Pussy Riot members to severe prison terms, including “hard labor.”

While the two members of the punk rock collective, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, remain in hard labor penile penal colonies until March, 2014, the collective has just posted a new video. Highly critical of questionable ties between the Putin administration and some of Russia’s oil oligarchs, the video and its song have made the news:

The song itself has been posted and re-posted several places.  Here is the entire video, with its song, Like a Red Prison:

Here is link to a photo essay-diary posted by Pussy Riot, about the new song.

Here are the lyrics:

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

The country has hardly mastered
Mechanized labor.
More and more often when I’m working hard —
I am rude — don’t know if it’s appropriate.

Local activists flow down the pipeline,
Filling it with life and calling for destruction!
Federal Penitentiary Service, Interior Ministry, Emergency Situations Ministry, and Rosnano,
LUKoil, TNK, Rosneft, and Gazprom,

Gruel-Propaganda, Gruel-Propagandaaaa!

Get registration,
Evildoers at the oil towers,
Oil on the tables,
Sechin with crocodiles,
Like in a red prison.

Bathe the worker in the Norwegian fjord,
Cut off your penis like the Depardieu character,
You have a president like IranвАЩs ayatollah,
And your church is like it is in the U.A.E.

So, let everything be like it is in Qatar,
Evildoers at the oil towers,
Pumping till its dry,
A physics university teaches theology,
Epaulettes and oil wells,
Navalny in jail,
Hugo Chavez lives,
Like in a red prison.

Evil fucking sexist, leave the hole alone!

Homophobic vermin, out from history!

Don’t fuck with her pussycat,
She spends oil on something else.
In the Mordovian days’ quiet,
She makes salads and sometimes eats them.

Art like this begs several questions, like:

1).  Do they need a better lead singer?

2).  Will they address the Snowden affair next?

3).  When will such a prominent American punk group or collective tackle nasty oil politics so ardently?

4).  How long will it be before American indy bands, or even some mainstream groups begin writing about Snowden, or – more importantly – what the post-Snowden information cascades are revealing about our totally disappeared privacy and 4th Amendment?

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Breaking: Venezuela’s President Offers Edward Snowden Political Asylum

4:28 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Street Graffiti of Snowden

Will Edward Snowden be able to take refuge in Venezuela?

RT News and other – mostly Latin American – sources are reporting that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered Edward Snowden political asylum in his country.  Reuters now has a story up in English:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.

“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of (Simon) Bolivar and (Hugo) Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution,” Maduro told a televised parade marking Venezuela’s independence day.

Snowden is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow international airport.

Now, how will they get him to Caracas safely?

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From the Shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 to the Aerial Interdiction of President Evo Morales – 25 Years

11:41 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

image – crew of USS Vincennes monitoring radar – c. 1988

As Bolivian President Evo Morales sits marooned in a Vienna airport on the dawn of July 3rd, 2013, having possibly avoided aerial interception over the Atlantic Ocean by U.S. fighters or missiles, it might be fitting to think about the fate of Iran Ar Flight 655, 25 years ago today (emphases added):

Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iran Air flight from Bandar Abbas, Iran to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On 3 July 1988, at the end of the Iran–Iraq War, the aircraft serving the flight, an Airbus A300B2-203, was shot down by U.S. missiles fired by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz.

The aircraft, which had been flying in Iranian airspace over Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf on its usual flight path, was destroyed. All 290 onboard, including 66 children and 16 crew, perished. Ranking seventh among the deadliest disasters in aviation history, the incident retains the highest death toll of any aviation incident in the Indian Ocean and the highest death toll of any incident involving an Airbus A300 anywhere in the world. The Vincennes had entered Iranian territorial waters after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits.

According to the United States Government, the crew incorrectly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter (a plane made in the United States and operated at that time by only two forces worldwide, the United States Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force). The Iranian government maintains that Vincennes negligently shot down the civilian aircraft.

The event generated a great deal of controversy and criticism of the United States.

Twenty five years later, we have another event that is quickly generating criticism of the USA – the forcing down of the aircraft flying the president of Bolivia back to his home state, after attending a conference of natural gas exporters last week, in Moscow (NOTE - if you are on a US military base overseas, you will not be able to link to the article quoted next.  To attempt to do so may lead to an investigation of you, so just read the excerpt, OK):

Bolivia reacted with fury after a plane carrying the country’s president home from Russia was diverted to Vienna amid suspicions that it was carrying the surveillance whistleblower, Edward Snowden.

France and Portugal were accused of withdrawing permission for the plane, carrying the president, Evo Morales, from energy talks in Moscow, to pass through their airspace.

Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said Snowden was not on the plane. The Bolivian foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, said: “We don’t know who invented this lie. We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”

In a midnight press conference, Bolivian vice-president Alvaro Garcia said Italy and Spain were also denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace. He described Morales as being “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe.

“The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorisation to fly over Spanish territory and that at 9am Wednesday they would be in contact with us again,” defence minister Ruben Saavedra said.
The Spanish government had made “revision of the presidential plane” a condition of granting it passage, he said.

Choquehuanca earlier told reporters Portugal and France had abruptly cancelled air permits. “They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr Snowden was on the plane.”

Choquehuanca said in a statement that after France and Portugal cancelled authorisation for the flight, Spain’s government allowed the plane to be refuelled in its territory. From there the plane flew on to Vienna. He said the decision by France and Portugal “put at risk the life of the president”.

Watching this story break and develop on twitter Tuesday evening, I was struck by how quickly Latin American leaders reacted.  Needless to say, we’re still waiting on one of them to support the weird event, universally accepted to have been prompted by American actions, but which have yet to be (midnight 2-3 July PDT) acknowledged by the U.S. government.

Thinking back to the shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655, I remember being appalled.

Just over two years later, we convinced Saddam Hussein that if he invaded Kuwait, we would only consider it a dispute outside our realm of serious interest.  So he invaded.

Since then, we’ve been killing scores of thousands of Arabs and Muslims, from the Philippines to Libya.  The resulting blowback has killed or injured Americans.  Our response has not made us tangibly safer.  It has directed a few trillion tax dollars into the pockets of people who aren’t making us less vulnerable.  They’re supposed to make us feel like we’re safer, though, so they can keep conning us.  Hence the importance of keeping Snowden’s independence throttled, short of capturing or killing him.

The Ticonderoga-class cruiser that shot down Iranian flight 655 was known by its crew as “Roboship.”   The movie, RoboCop, had come out the year before the shootdown.

Defenders of Obama’s illegal policies, which have been brought into the spotlight by Wikileaks, whistleblowers, independent fact finders and journalists, and that rare instance when MSM journalists actually uncover something through investigating, have less to stand on every day.  They’re beginning to resemble robots.

Worldwide reactions to Snowden’s disclosures are starting to snowball.  This face will not slow it at all.  In this case, the U.S.A. appears quite ludicrous, let alone irresponsibly arrogant.

It’s almost as if we don’t care who we piss off over this.

And – hey!  It isn’t that Obama’s denizens don’t want to off Evo Morales.  They just don’t want their bloodstains or DNA on the murder weapons.

Glenn Greenwald Addresses the Socialism 2013 Conference Friday: “Courage is Contagious”

9:22 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

While Greenwald was giving the speech, it was being live streamed.  I was hosting an early evening party, and was only able to break away as the party broke up, to try to catch the live stream. The node was swamped, and I couldn’t get anything.

But somebody made a Youtube quite rapidly after the speech’s conclusion.  Adam Horowitz at Mondoweiss posted a link to the new video 45 minutes ago.  After watching half of Greenwald’s talk, I decided to re-post the Youtube here, even though someone – most likely Kevin G – will be posting it early Saturday morning.

I Call the White House Regarding the Edward Snowden “We the People” Petition

10:32 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

On June 9th, someone started a petition at the White House niche, We the People, requesting the President address Edward Snowden’s legal status:

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Pardon Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

When I signed this morning, there were about 108,000 signatures.  Supposedly, once a petition gets over 100,000 signatures, it receives front-rank attention.  Here’s the video the White House posted at YouTube, explaining the process.  Note that a specific number of signatures for the “signature threshold” isn’t mentioned in the video:

Soon after I signed, Justin Raimondo urged twitter followers to call the White House, and politely ask about the petition’s status, now that it had gone over the 100,000 signature threshold.

I called.  After jumping through some hoops, I got a real person.  I wanted to know:

1). Does some specific action happen when a petition reaches 100,000 signatures?

2).  Are there specific people assigned to the “We the People” site to deal with petitions deemed to have met the “threshold” when they get there?

3).  If so, is there a way you can connect me with one of them over the telephone?

The courteous young man responded to my likewise courteous questions with vague answers, ending up with “I’ve got a lot of calls coming in, and I don’t have time to refer you to somebody who can answer your questions specifically, but if you call back ………”

I’ve given the White House 20 minutes.  I’ll call back now.  The petition is up to 112,379 signatures.

My call went through the hoops.  Another nice young man eventually answered.  When I started explaining why I was calling, the line went dead.  Must be some glitch in their switchboard, eh?  I’ll try again.  112,408.

Sort of the same thing.  I got through.  This not-so-young male listened, said “OK,” and the line went dead.  Must be some other glitch, huh?

One more try – 112,419.

On my fourth call, I finally was given a different phone number – the White House switchboard – 202-456-1414.

This time (fifth call), a polite, very professionally polished young woman answered.  She stated that all petitions that reach the 100,000 mark are dealt with the same way.  There is no established time frame in which that might happen, though.  She stated that although specific people at “We the People” handle this task, they are never available to take calls from, uh we, the people.  She did note that she has received a lot of calls on this petition.

We wished each other a nice day.

112,560.