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  • If the pen is mightier than the sword, then investigative journalists have to expect their enemies to take measures accordingly.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Nuclear Madness and Resistance by David Swanson.

    2015-01-19 12:29:55View | Delete

    When it’s taxpayer money the taxpayers don’t know about, it isn’t real.

  • kapock commented on the diary post Verifiable proof that the Kiev and US spokespersons lied about Ukrainian bus attack that killed 12 by operationmindcrime.

    2015-01-18 17:59:57View | Delete

    When was this attack? Did it just happen, or was it some time ago and this evidence is surfacing now?

  • kapock commented on the diary post Nuclear Madness and Resistance by David Swanson.

    2015-01-18 17:55:23View | Delete

    true, but they need a reason to exist

    That’s an excellent and important point. Even if the U.S. government can co-opt the media and bamboozle the media for peanuts, that’s no reason for the CIA to forego the near-limitless, ever-growing, and unaccountable budgets behind schemes like this. Reading the summary of this damn thing in your [...]

  • kapock commented on the diary post Nuclear Madness and Resistance by David Swanson.

    2015-01-17 15:17:43View | Delete

    Either the CIA went on completely mindless autopilot — as everyone but I seems to believe — or it tried to plant evidence of a nuclear weapons program on Iran.

    Your version makes sense to me, and I think others will agree. (However, the fact that the official story requires the U.S. government to have gone [...]

  • kapock commented on the diary post CIA on Trial in Virginia for Planting Nuke Evidence in Iran by David Swanson.

    2015-01-16 19:55:20View | Delete

    And unless something wonderful and unprecedented is happening in that courtroom: All the political context will be ruled irrelevant and inadmissible under the Espionage Act; the case will boil down to simply whether Sterling transmitted a secret; the “beyond a reasonable doubt standard” will be treated by the jury as an “any credible evidence at [...]

  • Detention of material witnesses; national security letters; presidential signing statements; etc. etc. All these little aneurisms in the U.S. Constitution that had quietly grown over the years, and then burst open after 2001.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Vladimir Putin Frontline’s Way

    2015-01-14 12:08:23View | Delete

    I would hope even critics would recognize that Putin has been better for Russia than the oligarchs who were in de facto control in the Yeltsin era.

    The basic approach of the Putin era seems to be that billionaires get to enjoy their lifestyles of the rich and famous, but only so long as their business activities fit into the larger national project, which for Putin is obviously defined as he sees it.

    It is easy to caricature that system as politicizing the legal system, and indeed it’s not really inaccurate to do so. The inaccuracy lies in ignoring the reality of our system, where the billionaires and big corporations manipulate the system for their own advantage with no reference to national welfare aside from market-fundamentalist, trickle-down bilge.

    I’m all for fewer billionaires, and each of the remaining ones having fewer billions, but if for the time being they’re a given in both Russia and the U.S., I’ll take the system where their conduct is tied to some definition of national purpose other than what they themselves have crafted to further their own pitiful avarice.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Vladimir Putin Frontline’s Way

    2015-01-14 11:35:23View | Delete

    One “Daily Show” line from a few months back that I recall is the definition for “oligarchy”: A country run by billionaires who aren’t American.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Vladimir Putin Frontline’s Way

    2015-01-14 10:19:32View | Delete

    I happened to randomly channel surf to this show while it was on, only to hear the narrator darkly intone that “Russia (or Putin) invaded Crimea”, this being delivered without any explanation or context (though it would be false in any case; as a factual matter there simply was no military invasion).

    Glad to know I was right to immediately to click onward to cartoons!

  • kapock commented on the blog post Let’s Waste $1.3 billion on the Afghan Police!

    2015-01-14 10:07:18View | Delete

    maybe the point is actually to increase revenue for the military etc contractors.

    That’s seems to be the basic business model in both Afghanistan and Iraq: (1) arm the government “security forces”; (2) those arms find their way to the “terrorists”; (3) rearm the government to face the newly well-armed threat.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Bartender Targeted Speaker Boehner In Poisoning Plot

    2015-01-14 10:02:14View | Delete

    In fairness, a bartender targeting Boehmer does seem to be taking unfair advantage. Kind of like a hunter setting up by the only waterhole on the veldt. Not very sporting.

  • kapock commented on the blog post Why America Keeps Losing Its Wars

    2015-01-13 16:58:47View | Delete

    Losing is U.S. militarism’s sole saving grace.

  • Really good, sober write-up by Kevin.

    I appreciate that he refrains from too much jubilation, since the government is still on course for making reporting such as Risen’s so dangerous and/or expensive that reporters and their employers will shy away from attempting it.

    I believe Daniel Ellsberg himself has observed that, despite his “victory” in the Pentagon Papers case, freedom of the press was less secure after it than before. Such is the case here as well, I believe.

  • Thanks for the reply, Sarah B.

    I refuse to descend to the level of using the nark tag, but I need to be aware that clumsy attempts at sarcasm or humor can easily be misconstrued in this context.

  • I was kidding. I meant that among the self-regarding elites, describing someone’s lower prestige occupation is an accepted shorthand for dismissing them as people.

    So a person bristling when they are thought to be a court reporter instead of a politically up-and-coming lawyer is akin to commentators using the past working-class occupation of a head of state that the U.S. establishment doesn’t like to make him sound like a joke.

    To me. But I’m inane.

  • Lynch needs to get that giant chip off her shoulder. Why would anyone be insulted for being mistaken for the court reporter? Is there something wrong with court reporters?

    Sarah B., you sound like one of those silly people who don’t get why the U.S. media think they are embarrassing Pres. Maduro of Venezuela by calling him a former bus driver.

  • Thank you. Exactly so. If Donohue ever did anything right, it was selecting a name for his “organization” that makes everyone believes it is more than one bigoted New Yorker speaking for himself.

  • Really good post.

    The big question is whether Germany abandons its current half-hearted support of the U.S.-led campaign to isolate Russia, and follows France into actually challenging it.

  • I think one takeaway from the Ferguson and Staten Island cases is that the whole grand jury system doesn’t seem to serve any legitimate purpose. It doesn’t actually protect anybody the prosecutors truly want to prosecute, and cloaks de facto decisions not to prosecute in secretive mumbo jumbo.

    I say get rid of grand juries, state and federal: the preliminary hearings that many states use (including Missouri when it chooses to) seem to fulfill all the legitimate purposes of grand juries, but in a more transparent and accountable way.

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