Guardian help track down “Climategate” whistleblower – what a bunch of cnuts!!

November 25, 2011

This really pisses me off. The Guardian were pro-whistleblowing when it came to Wikileaks – probably because the Guardian found those leaks ethically sound. But when the whistleblowing/leaking is in aid of a cause not close to the newspaper’s heart – like the leaked emails at the University of East Anglia that seemingly expose evidence-tampering by scientists who believe in man-made climate change – suddenly the Guardian wants to assemble a posse or lynchmob to track down the whistleblower and deliver him to Scotland Yard.

I’ve been a Guardian reader for 20 years, and usually I find its campaigns to be defensible even if I don’t particularly believe in them. But this whistleblower/leak/”hacker” hunt leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Get your act together, Guardian… or you’ll lose another once-loyal reader.

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Bradley Manning: US Army sets date for pre-trial hearing

November 22, 2011

As a subscriber to the Bradley Manning Support Network email list, I recently received an email informing me that a date has at last been set for a pre-trial hearing.  I reproduce the email here, to get the news to as many people as possible.

Army sets pre-trial hearing date for Bradley. Vigils and rallies planned at Fort Meade MD, worldwide.

Protest his Pretrial Hearing Saturday, Dec 17th (Bradley’s B-Day) at 12pm at Fort Meade, MD outside Washington D.C.! (Solidarity actions taking place around the world.) Bradley Manning

After 560 days of pretrial confinement, including 250 days spent in solitary conditions, the Military has finally announced that PFC Bradley Manning’s Pretrial Hearing will begin on December 16th in the Washington D.C. area. Read our press release.

PFC Bradley Manning is accused of uncovering the facts behind a system of foreign policy that routinely hides abuse from public scrutiny. “If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment… of confinement for life” the U.S. Army reports.

If he is the source of the WikiLeaks revelations, he is the most significant whistle-blower in a generation. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies of the sort #OccupyWallStreet opposes, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the failed occupation in Iraq.

Bradley Manning, who turns 24 on the date of our protest, is a young soldier from a working-class background who believed that people should know the truth, “no matter who they are… because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

He now faces opposition from embarrassed politicians and military officials, and potential life in prison on a poorly defined military charge of “Aiding the enemy through indirect means.” If words attributed to Bradley Manning are accurate, it appears that he was motivated only by a desire to expose questionable and illegal actions by our leaders. This information had been concealed — not to protect us — but in order to avoid accountability. According to several who served in the same unit as Manning, this information had already been made available to Iraqi Army recruits — but not the American public. It is absurd for our government to suggest that the American people is somehow “the enemy.”

As founding father Patrick Henry wrote, “The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

Bradley’s pretrial hearing date has been announced, and this is the time to take our support of Bradley into the streets. Bradley Manning was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last month, and topped the UK Guardian’s Readers Poll. Now the world watches the proceedings of this case while judging our country as a whole.

Previous protests outside of a Quantico brig where Manning was being held were successful in ending the mistreatment he had endured there. December 17th will be our International Day of Solidarity with the largest protest taking place outside the gates of Fort Meade! View logistics/RSVP here.

For people outside of the DC and Baltimore area, we welcome creative solidarity actions. Visit events.bradleymanning.org to register your event.

Please share this announcement with friends and connections via e-mail, facebook, and twitter.

Sincerely,

The Bradley Manning Support Network

 

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Occupy London demonstrators “repossess” empty bank building

November 18, 2011

Yeah yeah, I’ve been a little remiss in posting about the Occupy London demonstration camp.  If you need background on this, check out the demonstrators’ “official” website.  Meanwhile, I’m gonna start blogging about the thing – and the Guardian has given me a wonderful entry point with its story on the demonstrators “repossessing” an empty bank!

Yesterday the Corporation of London, who own part of the occupied land, gave the protestors until 6pm to leave.  The deadline came and went, the campers stayed put, so now the Corporation has started legal proceedings.  These proceedings are likely to take months, partly because some of the occupied land belongs to St Paul’s Cathedral who are refusing to ask the protesters to go!

And now, to prove they’re not cowed by the Corporation of London’s court shennanigans, some demonstrators have squatted an empty building owned by the banking company UBS.  The demonstrators have called it a “repossession”, an ironic reference to the  fact that in this time of recession, banks have been repossessing homes and businesses all over the country rather than give defaulting debtors a break.

Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said of their action:

“Whilst over 9,000 families were kicked out of their homes in the last three months for failing to keep up mortgage payments – mostly due to the recession caused by the banks – UBS and others financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties. “As banks repossess families’ homes, empty bank property needs to be repossessed by the public. Yesterday we learned that the Government has failed to create public value out of banking failure. We can do better. We hope this is the first in a wave of ‘public repossessions’ of property belonging to the companies that crashed the global economy.”

The authorities’ reaction to the move has been paranoid overreaction.  Peter Walker, reporting live for the Guardian, said: “A car-load of City police have just turned up. For some reason the police are heavily armed – even a machine gun. No idea why they’re here.”

I hate to be paranoid… but why do heavily-armed, machine gun-toting usually turn up somewhere.  Look at what happened in Iraq.  Look at what’s still going on in Afghanistan.

But that’s just ridiculous, right?  The police wouldn’t just blatantly kill people in central London, right?  Right?

Remember Ian Tomlinson, then ask yourself the question again…

 

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