• I hope that you can give me the opportunity to prove, not through words, but through conduct, that I am a good person and that I can return to productive place in society.

    Bradley has already had a very productive place in society, more than most.
    It’s frustrating to watch him have to plea and grovel before people who possibly possess half his courage and sense of principle, but so be it.

    Thanks for covering this so diligently.

  • A typo, should be “KKKarl” which is the official ultra liberal name for Rove.

    Ah, well, yes, of course.

  • And KKK is part of the COINTELPRO

    Not sure what you mean, and I realize I’m maybe knocking a hornet’s nest here, but COINTELPRO targeted the KKK, among other groups:

    Accordingly, on September 2, 1964, a directive was sent to seventeen field offices instituting a COINTELPRO against Klan-type and hate organizations “to expose, disrupt, and otherwise neutralize the activities of the various Klans and hate organizations, their leadership, and adherents.” 82 Seventeen Klan organizations and nine “hate” organizations (e.g., American Nazi Party, National States Rights Party, etc.) were listed as targets. The field offices were also instructed specifically to consider “Action Groups” — “the relatively few individuals in each organization who use strong arm tactics and violent actions to achieve their ends.” 83 However, counterintelligence proposals were not to be limited to these few, but were to include any influential member if the opportunity arose. As the unit chief stated:

    The emphasis was on determining the identity and exposing and neutralizing the violence prone activities of “Action Groups,” but also it was important to expose the unlawful activities of other Klan organizations. We also made an effort to deter or counteract the propaganda and to deter violence and to deter recruitment where we could. This was done with the view that if we could curb the organization, we could curb the action or the violence within the organization.


  • Good synopsis, Kevin.
    It is true that there is somewhat of a “group-think”, or hero-worhip mentality on the part of some Wikileaks supporters, which will occur anytime a group of people supporting any cause, bringing rise to a sort of confirmation bias, distorting objectivity on the issues – and denying the possibility that Assange could have ever done something objectionnable. This seems to be a relatively small minority, though.
    Regarding the hypocrisy of the liberal establishment in the UK, no one should take seriously the ostensible obligation to uphold human rights coming from a government unwilling to extradite mass murderer Pinochet for trial, so such claims should be immediately dismissed by anyone with any critical thinking faculties. Likewise, if they had any integrity at all, they’d be setting their sights on people like Tony Blair, as did Desmond Tutu recently:

    When all is said and done, it is a simple fact that the US government cannot be trusted to proceed in a legal and fair manner in this case, and has forfeited the right to be taken seriously, given the abuses of power and illegal activities it has engaged in repeatedly, which are far too numerous to document here. One need not be a “conspiracy theorist” to come to this conclusion, quite the contrary, there is nothing controversial about it.
    See also JoAnn Wypijewski here, I think she sums it up nicely:
    For Julian Assange, Justice Foreclosed

    About the state, though, there must be no illusions. A nation that goes to war on fraud, that insists “We don’t torture” when evidence to the contrary abounds, that kidnaps foreign nationals and puts them on planes to be delivered to dungeons, that spies on its people, asserts its right to lock them up indefinitely and lets documented CIA torturers off the hook of accountability because they were only following orders: that nation will plot, and it will double-cross, and it will kill. Sweden participated in the US program of extraordinary rendition. The United Kingdom has threatened to storm Ecuador’s embassy. The United States now says it does not recognize the historic right of persons to seek diplomatic asylum. Assange’s lawyers have said that he will go to Sweden if he gets an absolutely firm guarantee from the Obama administration that it will not arrest him. Such a guarantee is impossible in an empire of lies.


    See also Craig Murray on the sexual assault allegations:

    Overall, it is largely the behavior of the US government which has denied the possibility of justice being rendered – both in the case of Assange, and in the case of the two women, who in other circumstances would have more of a chance to receive the fair trial that they certainly deserve. Washington has made that all but impossible.

  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post A Farewell to RT’s ‘The Alyona Show’

    2012-07-31 05:21:08View | Delete

    So Alyona has sold out.

    Uncalled for.

  • lareineblanche commented on the diary post Obama’s FBI Targets Antiwar.com by I Am Spartacus.

    2011-08-23 12:24:13View | Delete

    Thanks for covering this. Though the “right-wing” characterization is oversimplifying, I think, as AW.com has been one of the few high profile sites to try to make a point of transcending the sometimes petty partisan politics game. “Conservative” or “Libertarian” seem to be more accurate to me, and many who call themselves conservatives actually harbor [...]

  • lareineblanche commented on the diary post United States Drops Behind South Africa Among Civilized Nations by Ruth Calvo.

    2011-08-13 18:01:28View | Delete

    I agree. Sadly, some people can’t think outside the box.
    Freedom from health care isn’t free!!

  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post Voters Need to Know Who Cut Their Benefits Before 2012

    2011-07-20 19:16:07View | Delete


  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post Obama’s Last Lecture

    2011-07-17 20:09:56View | Delete

    The verdict has been in for some time, and it’s unanimous. Obama (and the Democratic consensus) is not, nor should it be confused with, anything remotely associated with the “Left”, or Progressive policies.

    Does this really need to be restated ?

  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post Emptywheel Leaving Firedoglake

    2011-07-12 08:08:08View | Delete

    But I plan to change the way I work–with a focus on also producing longer, more finished articles and possibly another book project.

    Great but bittersweet news. Will be following you to your new location.

  • Slightly OT, but when the hell did our country become a “homeland”, anyway?
    From Clapper’s letter :

    Should the authority to use these critical intelligence tools expire, our nation’s intelligence and law enforcement… less capability… to detect and thwart terrorist plots against our homeland…”

    How can serious people talk like this?
    This language (reminiscent of German war propaganda) deliberately tugs on the sentimentality strings of people, making it easier to impose on them the Orwellian administrative tentacles whose stated purpose is to protect them.

    For me, too, the word “homeland” conjures a kind of antediluvian primitive nationalism (tribalism) based on blood and soil, not a people united by their devotion to political ideals like liberty and free speech.


  • I wasn’t expecting you ! (sorry)

  • Added irony for our friend Rumsfeld : it has been argued and shown that torture and detainee abuse at places like GTMO, Bagram and Abu Ghraib was something which definitely “harms our security” by partially answering the oft-asked question,
    “Why do they hate us?”

  • Thank you for relentlessly pursuing the question and those who advocate for it. I too was struck by the absurdity of Rumsfeld’s recent Op-Ed, and the irony that he was SIMULTANEOUSLY trying to discredit the publication of Wikileaks documents for “harming our security” – while using the same revelations to support his torture program. Maybe [...]

  • lareineblanche commented on the diary post Alan Simpson Just Asked Me To Leave Rich People Alone by David Swanson.

    2011-04-28 18:57:06View | Delete

    Hey, David, stop stealing all my trickle-downs !

  • selise has it right, it’s largely the insurance companies. The problem is not quality of the care itself, it is access to that care which restricts care to a certain part of the population on largely economic factors. The doctors and other professionals are only a part of the equation.
    The tort reform argument is total bullshit (malpractice suits driving prices up, making hospitals schedule every type of exam possible in order to cover all their bases even if there is no need for certain exams), and even if malpractice suites are sometimes abused and can be costly, it has little to do with why care is so expensive. Care is expensive because it CAN be, it is not a law of nature.
    Another reason why insurance companies and clinics can charge so much for services is that it is a complex subject and most people simply understand little about medicine, procedures or the drugs used, so they are easily manipulated – there’s a “knowledge gap” :
    eCAHNomics the other day :

    That’s precisely the point. To enhance the knowledge gap betw buyer & seller so that seller gets more profits.

    This is a quote from a book on political economy, but the same principle holds here, namely that :

    Most outsiders cannot decipher its complicated sign language and mysterious rituals, and even those who can are often left excluded by its professional barriers to entry. The reason, though, is not that the study of economics is somehow more difficult than other social subjects, but rather that it is deliberately made to look that way. Moreover, by depicting the economy as if it were ‘natural’, and therefore subject to ‘objective’ scientific inquiry, economists have effectively managed not only to stifle meaningful public discussion, but also to eliminate the need for such discussion in the first place.

    My mother just began chemotherapy the other day, which can cause nausea ; I was proposed two drugs to counter the effects, one costing $120, the other $8. These are financial and economic manipulations, not medical ones.

  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post The Fog of Obamawar In Hi-Def 1080p

    2011-04-10 15:04:52View | Delete

    Agreed, amazing article.
    The fog of war (and also the semantics which render the words “war” and “terrorism” almost devoid of meaning, or so elastic as to mean whatever you want them to mean) also has the function of creating an exceptional circumstance (see : Yoo, Rumsfeld and Bybee memos on torture and detention of “enemy belligerents”, etc.) providing cover for continued crimes and policies which would under normal circumstances be considered unacceptable. By creating a situation in which violence is to be expected – a “war zone” (which is basically now wherever Obama decides it is…) there is a sort of tacit assumption that “things are messy” and therefore anything is possible.
    The AUMF and all the subsequent memos which are considered controversial were drafted assuming that there was a general climate of hostilities which would justify such acts, rendering them necessary. If we are going to put and end to this type of incident it seems to me that we will have to create a reality in which there is no longer an ongoing “war” at all – indeed, these are horrible, but not isolated nor extraordinary events, on the contrary, this is what war is all about, it’s foolish to believe otherwise.
    Alan Nairn :

    “…But we did it with the intent of protecting our forces.”

    And there’s a certain logic to that. If you’re a soldier and you’re in combat, naturally you want to protect yourself and protect your friends, and you will do everything possible to do that, including killing someone who you think, who you speculate, might be firing at you or might potentially fire at you. So that inevitably sets up a situation where when you send troops into a country in a hostile situation, when you invade a country, that means—really it means, in a practical sense—that in order to protect your troops, you have to kill civilians, you have to kill them in large numbers. And that’s what the U.S. is doing in Afghanistan. That’s what it did in Iraq. And that’s what it’s setting up to do in a series of other places. It’s an inevitable result of the initial act, of the initial act of invasion, and, in legal terms, what is often the initial act of aggression.


  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post The Fog of Obamawar In Hi-Def 1080p

    2011-04-10 14:41:29View | Delete

    The call I want to hear from Obama is one to attend to human principles

    Please don’t hold your breath

    …are unlikely to perceive political advantage in responding morally…

    Therein lies one of the core problems, doesn’t it?
    If you want people like Obama to change course on any given issue, you must make it politically damaging for him to stay the course. Until then, the goal (for someone politically active, that is) is to create tactics which will make the continuation of such policies politically unfeasible.

  • You must understand that it is not only an effect of pro-Israeli propaganda in the media and elsewhere (Israel Lobby) – it is also a feature of our Western culture in general, that defines “terrorism” as something which by definition states cannot do. Part of the reason Palestinians are seen to engage in terrorism constantly [...]

  • lareineblanche commented on the blog post How Benjamin Netanyahu Sees America

    2011-03-23 10:28:55View | Delete

    The article didn’t comment on whether Netanyahu has any rights to claim the rich, cultural history of an entire religion and history, but it’s my view that his claims to represent that incredible history are not all that legitimate.

    Lest we forget about that wonderful, magical ring :

    And :
    “America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.”

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