Saturday, July 17, 2010

Feds still chasing after WikiLeaks

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 Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Philip Shenon (Daily Beast) reported last month that the US government is attempting to track down WikiLeaks' Julian Assange. Last week, the military charged Manning. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported he had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." Manning has been convicted enough and has made no public statements -- despite any claims otherwise, he has made no public statements.

Richard Galant, Mike Mount and Alan Silverleib (CNN) report
Julian Assange, appearing in Oxford yesterday at the TED Global conference, stated that WikiLeaks is receiving even more material from whistle blowers. He called Bradley Manning "a political prisoner being held in the nation of Kuwait, effectively keeping him away from the press and effective legal representation." WikiLeaks has not identified Manning or anyone as the source of the video footage or as the source of any other information.

Meanwhile Declan McCullagh (CNET) reports that five federal agents swarmed a Manhattan hackers' conference yesterday in search of Assange who was expected to appear today.

In other news Charles Abbott and Peter Cooney (Reuters) report that the MEK has landed a legal victory in the US where the US DC Court of Appeals found Friday that the MEK (People's Muhahedin Organization of Iraqn) was not given "a fair chance to overturn the listing" as a terrorist group. Over 3,000 MEK members currently reside at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The following community sites updated last night and today:

Let's deal with community issues arising. Isaiah plans to do a comic tomorrow. The only thing that might change that is Third's writing session going crazy. On that, I want to scream. A friend's asked that we address -- Ava and I -- an attack on Lindsay Lohan and I'm fine with that. Lindsay's under attack. And she's being attacked by Queen Bitchy which necessitates that we also stop being nice to Joan Rivers. A number of people will laugh at that assertion but Ava and I caught Joan's little anti-Muslim tirade and chose to ignore it because our plates were full and Joan's so pathetic as it is. Now, we'll instead explore it at Third (with link for you to listen yourselves). It's awful, it's disgusting and it's amazing that it took place -- IN PUBLIC -- at the same time the assault on Helen Thomas did and it didn't raise an eyebrow. So that's two things we've been asked for by friends and that's fine. Now a friend at CNN is asking that we take on idiot Rachel Maddow, so we'll be doing that as well. Poor Rachel, caught in yet another lie. She is a world class liar. And she must want to be known as such because she does it repeatedly and she does it badly. Somewhere in all of that, we'll attempt to tackle NPR and there's also a TV piece to write. That's what Ava and I will be working on. It'll take forever. I don't know what everyone else is going ot be working on, I don't know how long those other pieces will take. I say that because if this writing edition goes on too long, Isaiah may not do a comic and I've outlined here what Ava and I are working on so take it up with Jim if there's no comic.

And we'll close with this from the Senate Democratic Policy Committee:

Democrats Are On Your Side: Reforming Wall Street and Protecting Consumers

July 15, 2010

Years without accountability for Wall Street and big banks brought us the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the loss of 8 million jobs, failed businesses, a drop in housing prices, and significant losses in personal savings. Senate Democrats worked to restore responsibility and accountability in our financial system with the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill will put in place the reforms necessary to grow the economy and create jobs – giving Americans confidence that there is a system in place that works for and protects them.
Despite the overwhelming call for reform by the American people, Senate Republicans spent weeks obstructing progress on the bill in an effort to protect special interests and banks. They attempted to water down this vital legislation on behalf of CEOs and credit card companies. Democrats refused to take no for an answer, believing that hard-working American families deserve strong protections from the predatory practices of Wall Street. That is why Democrats persevered in the fight for the passage of Wall Street reform legislation.

Highlights of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Consumer Protections with Authority and Independence : The bill creates a new independent watchdog, housed at the Federal Reserve, with the authority to ensure American consumers get the clear, accurate information they need to shop for mortgages, credit cards, and other financial products, and protects them from hidden fees, abusive terms, and deceptive practices.

Ending Too Big to Fail Bailouts: The bill ends the possibility that taxpayers will be asked to write a check to bail out financial firms that threaten the economy by: creating a safe way to liquidate failed financial firms; imposing tough new capital and leverage requirements that make it undesirable to get too big; updating the Fed’s authority to allow system-wide support but no longer prop up individual firms; and establishing rigorous standards and supervision to protect the economy and American consumers, investors and businesses.

Advance Warning System: The bill creates a council to identify and address systemic risks posed by large, complex companies, products, and activities before they threaten the stability of the economy.

Transparency & Accountability for Exotic Instruments: The bill eliminates loopholes that allow risky and abusive practices to go on unnoticed and unregulated -- including loopholes for over-the-counter derivatives, asset-backed securities, hedge funds, mortgage brokers and payday lenders.

Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance: The bill provides shareholders with a say on pay and corporate affairs with a non-binding vote on executive compensation and golden parachutes.

Protecting Investors: The bill provides tough new rules for transparency and accountability for credit rating agencies to protect investors and businesses.

Enforcing Regulations on the Books: The bill strengthens oversight and empower regulators to aggressively pursue financial fraud, conflicts of interest and manipulation of the system that benefits special interests at the expense of American families and businesses.
DPC Fact Sheet | Democrats Are On Your Side: Reforming Wall Street and Protecting Consumers

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thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends