Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Whistle Blower and the Idiot

Scott Horton: So there's this extraordinary story here, Dan, about the guy who supposedly, allegedly stole from the government -- if that's not an oxymoron -- video of the Collateral -- what became the Collateral Murder video as it was known, put out by WikiLeaks. And apparently he has been arrested and has been held by the military for at least the last couple of weeks. And they're saying is responsible for turning over another very important video of a massacre, this one in Afghanistan. And, although I think it's denied all around so far, the rumors are that he may hae even stolen and turned over to WikiLeaks as many as half -- as many as a quarter of a million State Dept cables at the highest level of classification. So we're all anxiously awaiting your comments, sir.

Daniel Ellsberg: Well I must say that I rise to the word "stolen" that you've used there a couple of times, as is commonly done. I was often described as having stolen the Pentagon Papers from the Defense Dept or the RAND Corporation and, in fact, as I got a legal education in this subject, having started as a layman and being one of the first people ever prosecuted for allegedly stealing information -- aside from leaking information, I discovered at that time it was very clear that you couldn't "steal" information, I had "copied" information. And, in fact, although there is a copyright law that's in almost all cases a civil law -- you know, you can sue for damages if copyrighted material has been =- has been copied, or misued, the government can't copyright information and for a very interesting reason. Information is seen as essentially the property of the people who are a part of this peculiar Constitutional system that was invented here. So there wasn't at that time any concept of stealing information at that point. Now as the electronic media has proliferated, I understand that the law has evolved in that respect and that they can make a case for stealing information. But in this case -- in any case -- he was copying information and putting it out and whether the government properly owns the information that War Crimes have been committed in Iraq or Afghanistan is, I would say, a very dubious proposition. Certainly it's not a clear cut legal proposition. So let's try to get away from the notion that he "stole" actually.

Scott Horton: Yeah. Well I think --

Daniel Ellsberg: That's information that we should have had in the first place. He copied it and didn't deprive the government. By the way, the reason as I understand it, that you didn't have a concept of "stealing" information in those days and perhaps not now was that stealing or theft is basically depriving an owner of the use or the value of property that he or she has and when you copy information you're not depriving the owner of any use of it. And that's certainly the case here.

Pentagon Papers whistle blower Daniel Ellsberg was Scott Horton's guest for yesterday's Antiwar Radio. They're discussing Bradley Manning. Who? Monday April 5th, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7th, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video.

The US government is doing a push back and trying to put out that Bradley Manning is some sort of 'wack job' as evidenced by Ellen Nakashima's Washington Post article this morning. Snitch Adrian Lano continues to attack Bradley and the US government would generally have swept up information* that Lano continues to circulate but Lano is not a 'loose cannon,' he is working with the government. So Ellen's provided with copies of instant messages -- and no one's supposed to wonder WHO THE HELL MAKES COPIES OF INSTANT MESSAGES -- so that she can write:

Bradley Manning, 22, had just gone through a breakup. He had been demoted a rank in the Army after striking a fellow soldier. He felt he had no future, and yet he thought that by sharing classified information about his government's foreign policy, he might "actually change something."

That, the government wants you to believe, is why Manning leaked. He was 'unstable.' Left unstated is the fact that Manning might be all the above (I have no idea) but he might be that because of what he was seeing, what he was being forced to cover up.

"the US government would generally have swept up information*" is not an endorsement of that policy, it is merely noting that is the policy. Instead, they have allowed the snitch to question Bradley's sexuality, to drop hints here and there, etc. Supposedly a trial will take place. So why are you letting your snitch leak to the press?

He's a snitch. He entrapped Bradley. That's demonstrated by the fact that he made copies of his I.M.s. (His entrapment does not mean Bradley is the leaker, just that he managed to get Bradley or someone to make certain statements.) The snitch keeps punching holes in his own story and it's a good thing for Bradley's defense that Adrian I-Lick Lano can't stop seeking press attention. This is from Justin Raimondo's "Free Bradley Manning!" (

Mr. Lamo is the archetypal creeper: previously known as the "homeless hacker," he was sleeping in bus stations and under bridges, earlier in his career, and logging on to computers stealing information and wrecking networks. Caught hacking into Lexis-Nexis, the New York Times, and other sites, he was "turned," and made the transition from hacker to "security expert" and, yes, self-described "journalist." What he was, and is, is a professional snitch, working for the feds -- I wonder how he paid off that $60,000 fine they slapped him with? -- while all the time proclaiming his "patriotic" motives in turning in Manning. According to various puff pieces appearing in Wired and on Cnet, Lamo "agonized" over the decision, but in the end patriotism won out:

"I wouldn't have done this if lives weren't in danger. He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air."

Yes, lives were and are in danger -- the lives of Iraqis, Afghans, and other targets of our murderous rulers, whose war crimes are being committed in the dark. Manning's "crime" is that he exposed them to the light. Manning also reportedly is the source of a video showing the massacre of innocent civilians in Garani, Afghanistan, which Wikileaks hinted at having possession of but has yet to release. Most intriguing, however, is that according to Lamo, Manning claimed to have leaked 260,000 diplomatic cables to Wikileaks -- in effect, an inside history of recent US shenanigans around the world. Manning says the cables describe "almost criminal political back dealings." The "incredible things, awful things" he discovered "belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark corner in Washington, D.C."

At the link, you'll find Justin's column in full including with links -- I've removed all links to Wired in the above excerpt. I have no desire to give them any traffic.

Yesterday, "The Genderquake Quakes Again (Ava and C.I.)" went up here. As usual the idiots e-mail. I'm sick of it. I stopped counting at seventy in the public e-mail account. This is a fairly typical e-mail from the idiots. I'll put him/her in bold print and I'll respond in normal. And let me note that he or she sent this e-mail five different times. Not five times in a row, mind you, five different times. Apparently, I was supposed to be online and when Mommy wasn't there to kiss the boo-boo, he/she threw a tantrum.

Are you serious about comparing Palin to Obama?

I don't believe Ava or I compared Sarah Palin to Barack Obama. We wrote an entry -- NOT A POST -- about women. It's so very typical of you s**t heads to constantly miss the point.

I am lukewarm on Obama, but he is not an idiot. He was head of the Harvard Law Review. Sarah Palin struggled mightily at very very weak schools. Obama's intellectual/academic achievements could not be greater.

I'm sorry, I asked your feelings toward Barry when? He is not an idiot? Based upon what? The Gulf Disaster? His inability to ever take action? His inclination to make everything worse by refusing to act which you can trace back to his birth certificate. Sign the waiver, release the damn thing and end the rumors already. But, no, he didn't do that. He always hesitates on the world stage -- I don't have time to live in a Shakespearean drama.

Barack didn't earn the position at Harvard Law Review -- nor is that a coveted post by everyone (other than the easily impressed). He was appointed to that post -- a compromise candidate just like Nouri al-Maliki in Iraq -- to keep an African-American male with real ideas about change and justice from getting the post.

You base an awful lot of faith on Barack's alleged academic record. I seem to recall his declaring, in 2008, that he'd visited 54 of the states in the United States. Had Palin said that, Tina Fey would have played it for comic gold. Instead, everyone averted their eyes and pretended it didn't happen. Ava and I called the 'genius' out in 2008 about apparently not knowing what "v" in a case title means. Smart? What was his GPA? Since you know so much, I'm sure you can enlighten us all on that.

Sarah Palin? I have no idea what her grades were. I have no idea whether she worked her way through college or not. And I can waive my degrees in your face and shame you. But I don't do that because I'm not a damn elitist. Nor am I stupid enough to think that the institution matters. It really doesn't. What you put into it is what matters. I have no idea what Sarah Palin did or didn't do other than she graduated. You have your panties/boxers in a wad over the fact that she attended multiple schools. Good for her. She wanted a degree, she worked for one.

You know nothing of Barack's alleged 'academic achievements.' You do know how to make unsubstantiated claims and attempt to pass them off as fact. Wherever you attended college, the university obviously failed you (and you yourself) because you don't know the difference between hopes and facts. (It was, in fact, the failure to know the difference -- nod to Tina Brown on this point -- that led the Cult of St. Barack.)

Palin on the other hand, has NEVER HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE.

Really? How stupid are you? You're pretty stupid and you're especially stupid because you think you know everything. When you don't.

Videos for sarah palin press conference

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What are those? Two of those are press conferences. (One is an aborted one.) Uh-oh, you're a stupid-o.

She is dumber than Dan Quayle.

I have no idea how dumb or not dumb Dan Quayle is (I've never suspected he was especially smart, but I could be wrong). But we do know how stupid you are. Stupid or a liar. You can take your pick.

If anything the media was insufficiently alarmist about how awful and cynical a pick she was for a VP candidate.

What a moron you are. Who the hell told you that you had to approve of the GOP candidate? Who told you the whole world was about you? Somebody lied. The GOP will pick a candidate that is in keeping with their beliefs. If you're not a Republican (I'm not), you most likely will not care for their candidate. That's why many voters choose political parties, the hope that a certain party embodies their beliefs. Palin's continued popularity attests to the fact that she was the right pick for the GOP. She's far more popular today than is John McCain. And, certainly, your own obsession with her indicates her enduring power.

Am I missing the point of your post? Is this in reference to some other stupid post somewhere?

You miss every point. You have comprehension issues, you have filter issues, you're honestly a failure as any kind of a reasoning human being. How you managed to almost navigate a keyboard is beyond me.

Do you actually like Jane Harmon, the woman whose involvement in the Franklin/AIPAC spy case was probably criminal?


I personally know many members of Congress but I know of no House Rep Harmon.

There's a Jane Harman -- H-a-r-m-a-n. Again, your stupidity shines through.

If you have criminal charges to file against Jane "Harmon," you should probably do so.

The same "Democrat" who is insanely rich and essentially a closet neocon?

If being "insanely rich" is a crime, you're writing a criminal. I believe I have more money than Jane Harman (not so sure about the finances of "Jane Harmon," however). I also believe that's not a crime.

Maybe in your Insane Clown World having money is a crime?

I'll assume, for the masses, you e-mailed on a public computer and, for utility reasons, do not own one yourself -- utility and solidarity, right?

Do you really think that your myopic gender politics are so important that might outweigh 1,000,000 dead Iraqis from a criminal war?

Excuse me, you put a War Hawk into office. Don't you dare show up at my doorstep whining about Iraq. That's on you. Not me. I didn't vote for a War Hawk. You did. You own the blood on your hands. And unlike you, I've never forgotten the Iraq War. I am here seven days a week writing about Iraq. Unlike you. I am on the road at least 40 weeks a year speaking about Iraq -- and having been doing that since February 2003. So kiss my damn ass, you piece of sexist s**t.

"Myopic gender politics"?

Gender's always insulted by supposed 'progressives.' We've covered that before. Toad Gitlin, Michal Tommyknockers. Yeah, I'm aware of that crap.

It's amazing that so much s**t came out of one ass**le just because Ava and I chose to celebrate women. But that's the reality in the world we live in. Take the time to note women and have a series of jerks show up demanding that they are right and you are wrong -- strangers you've never met (nor care to meet) who seem to think their opinion is wanted or needed.

We celebrated women yesterday. We stand by that. The fact that it resulted in at least 70 whining and griping e-mails this morning indicates we need to do so more often.

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends