Tag Archives: Julian Assange

On Russia, we’re not ‘moving on’

Depite “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s personally convenient edict that it’s “time for the country to move on to bigger and better things,” the Russian hacking allegations won’t go away, and that’s a great thing.

To me, the biggest sign that Russia did at least try to help Donald J. Trump become U.S. president by at least meddling in the politics of the 2016 presidential election is that “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber hasn’t remained neutral in the midst of these allegations against Russia, but surreally consistently has defended Russia — against the U.S. intelligence community.

Some — including Pussygrabber, of course — are arguing that the U.S. intelligence community got the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction story wrong, so the U.S. intelligence community must also be wrong about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But they conveniently forget or intentionally exclude (or, to be charitable, they never knew) the fact that the also-unelected, also-White-House-stealing BushCheneyCorp wanted to invade Iraq for the war profiteering (such as for Darth Dick’s Halliburton’s no-bid war contracts) and to turn Iraq’s oil over to Big Oil.

Therefore, the unelected Bush regime heavily pressured the U.S. intelligence community to “find” “evidence” of Iraqi WMD in order to justify the war that it wanted. Under the unelected Bush regime, the U.S. intelligence community was not free and independent; its members understood that to keep their jobs, they must submit to the unelected Bush regime’s corrupt and ultimately treasonous arm-twisting.

(Of course, when the Iraqi WMD story turned out to be uber-bullshit, as it was clear all along that it was — it was clear from Day One that it [along with “revenge” for 9/11] was to be an excuse to invade and take over Iraq — the unelected Bush regime called the U.S. intelligence community grossly incompetent.)

I’m hardly the biggest fan of the U.S. intelligence community, given the revelations that the U.S. government spooks have been spying on all of us, in blatant violation of our rights under the U.S. Constitution, and yes, the he-said, he-said of the Russian hacking allegations can be confusing, but when you have conflicting reports, you have to go with what’s most likely.

And what’s most likely is that Russia is guilty as charged.

Reports The Associated Press today:

America’s top intelligence official said [today] that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America’s 2016 presidential election but stopped short of using the explosive description “an act of war,” telling lawmakers such a call isn’t within the purview of the U.S. intelligence community.

In a joint report that roiled the presidential campaign last fall, the Homeland Security Department and the intelligence community said the U.S. was confident of foreign meddling, including Russian government hacking of Democratic e-mails.

In its assessment, the intelligence community has said Moscow interfered to help Republican Donald Trump win.

“We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement than we did on the 7th of October,” James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee.

Pressed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on whether the actions constituted an “act of war,” Clapper said that was “a very heavy policy call” more appropriate for other entities in the U.S. government to decide.

Clapper pushed back against a barrage of criticism leveled against U.S. intelligence agencies by Trump in recent days and the president-elect’s apparent embrace of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During an exchange with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Clapper said “there is an important distinction here between healthy skepticism” and “disparagement.” He said the intelligence community is an organization of human beings and isn’t perfect. But he said U.S. spy agencies also don’t get the credit they deserve for foiling terrorist plots and other successes too secret to discuss.

Clapper said Assange is “holed up” in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, unable to leave without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions. Swedish authorities have investigated Assange for a possible rape, which he has denied.

Assange has “put people at risk” by leaking classified information, Clapper added.

President Barack Obama has received a report on the Russian interference and other foreign meddling in the U.S. election, according to Clapper. He and other senior U.S. intelligence officials said Russia poses a major threat to U.S. government, military, diplomatic and commercial operations. [Emphasis mine, because this is in rather stark contract to Pussygrabber’s contention that Russia is our friend.]

Clapper said lawmakers will be briefed on the Russian hacking report next week and an unclassified version is tentatively scheduled to be released to the public shortly after that.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a Dec. 16 message to employees that the FBI agreed with the agency’s conclusion that Russia’s goal was to support Trump in the election. Brennan wrote that he also had spoken with Clapper and said “there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.”

Clapper [today] declined to discuss whether Russia’s interference was aimed at backing Trump win. But he said Russia’s hacking “did not change any vote tallies.”

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services committee, said “every American should be alarmed” by Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. There is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy,” McCain said.

The hearing comes a day before Trump receives a briefing by the CIA and FBI directors — along with Clapper — on the investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking efforts.

Trump has criticized their findings and even seemed to back Assange’s contention that Russia did not provide him with hacked Democratic e-mails.

But in new tweets early [today], Trump backed away from Assange. Trump blamed the “dishonest media” for portraying him as agreeing with WikiLeaks founder, whose organization has been under criminal investigation for its role in classified information leaks. “The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!” Trump wrote.

In fact, Trump has been dismissive about the certainty of the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian hacking with a reminder of past failures, specifically their reporting on the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in the lead-up to the war.

Since then, Trump has derided the intelligence profession on Twitter, which has been widely reported by The Associated Press and other news organizations.

Appearing before the Armed Services Committee were Clapper; Marcel Lettre, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence; and Adm. Michael Rogers, National Security Agency chief and the top officer at the U.S. Cyber Command.

Obama struck back at Moscow in late December with penalties aimed at Russia’s leading spy agencies, the GRU and FSB, that the U.S. said were involved. The GRU is Russia’s military intelligence agency. The FSB is the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

But Trump easily could rescind the sanctions. So far, he has publicly refused to accept the conclusion that Russia is responsible for the attacks. Trump this week escalated his criticism of U.S. intelligence professionals, such as Clapper, by tweeting, without evidence, that an upcoming briefing on the suspected Russian hacking had been delayed until Friday, and said, “perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

Intelligence officials said there had been no delay.

The penalties imposed by Obama came after he pledged a “proportional” response to the hacking of the Democratic Party and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. E-mails stolen during the campaign were released in the final weeks by WikiLeaks.

Again, “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber sorely needs to sort out his allegiance — whether it’s to the American people, the majority of whom voted for Billary Clinton, not for him (Billary earned 48 percent of the popular vote to Pussygrabber’s 46 percent, which is a lead of more than 2.8 million popular votes), or to Russia’s Gangster in Chief Vladimir Putin. (“Under Putin’s leadership, Russia has scored poorly on both the Democracy index and the Corruption index,” understates Wikipedia.)

I’m not sure what Repugnican Sen. John McCain’s motivation is in holding on to the Russian thing like a pit bull — I’m not sure if he’s motivated by pure, old-school, Cold-War-era American nationalism or by anger and frustration that the likes of Pussygrabber actually became U.S. president under the aegis of the Repugnican Party when he lost his presidential race in 2008 to the upstart from nowhere Barack Obama, or some mixture of the two — but whatever McCain’s motivation is, I’m glad that he’s doing it.

I mean, McCain’s proclamation that there is “no escaping the fact that this committee meets today for the first time in this new Congress in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on our democracy” certainly seriously calls “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s legitimacy into question, and I’m rather stunned that any Repugnican on Capitol Hill actually would do that, would actually put the good of the country before the Repugnican Party.

McCain’s having been a fixture in the U.S. Senate and within the Repugnican Party never has felt anything like a benefit until now.

All signs point to the Putin-led Russia having done its best to install Pussygrabber into the White House in a quid pro quo. (“President” Pussygrabber would allow Russia to do as it pleases throughout the world and would work to ease all sanctions on bad actor Russia.) That would mean that Donald J. Trump is a fucking traitor and that yes, Russia engaged in an act of war.

No, I’m not calling for the prosecution and/or impeachment of Pussygrabber for treason and/or a U.S. declaration of war against Russia — not yet.

But left-wingers should get their heads out of their asses and recognize that the idealized socialist Russia of yore is no more. Russia is now run by gangsters like Putin, and they don’t have the interests of the United States of America in mind.

War sucks, and a war with Russia is a poor idea, but allowing Russia to control the U.S. via its puppet in “President” Pussygrabber is a poor idea, too.

In the meantime, yes, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Party should continue to suffer the consequences of the contents of the leaked e-mails. The content of those e-mails does matter, and, indeed, several DNC big wigs, including slimebag Debbie Wasserman Schultz, stepped down after the e-mails revealed that they colluded to benefit Billary Clinton and to harm Bernie Sanders.

But perhaps a reformation of the DNC was going to happen anyway, hacked DNC e-mails or not. The Clinton era is over, mostly because of Billary’s Al Gore-like “loss” on November 8, but also, methinks, because the November 8 election proved that Clintonism — this center-right bullshit that throws actual progressives under the bus and kisses the asses of Repugnicans in order to try to get their votes when they’re never going to vote for anyone using the label of “Democrat” anyway — can’t win presidential elections today, because no one is excited by DINOs/center-right sellouts except for DINOs/center-right sellouts. And there aren’t enough of them to win a presidential election, as November 8 demonstrated amply.

Under Clintonism on November 8, many if not most actual progressives stayed home or didn’t vote for president or voted for someone else for president (like I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive presidential candidate who was listed on my ballot), and of course when given the choice of Repugnican Lite Billary or Repugnican Pussygrabber, those who lean Repugnican voted for Pussygrabber.

The Democratic Party now belongs to progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Indeed, a recent poll showed that 44 percent of Democratic and independent voters would be excited by a Sanders run in 2020 and 34 percent would be excited by a Warren run in 2020. Forty-three percent would be excited by a Joe Biden run in 2020 and only 23 percent would be excited by Billary giving it a third try in 2020.

Sixty-six percent said they’d prefer “someone entirely new” running for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020, but who the fuck would that be, exactly? Obama has sucked all of the oxygen from the room for the past eight years and so the Democratic presidential-wannabe bench is pretty thin.

But I digress.

Yes, the hacked DNC e-mails easily could have swayed the election to Trump. Don’t get me wrong — I, for one, never, ever, ever was going to vote for DINO Billary anyway, but I surmise that the e-mails’ revelations induced many Berners who otherwise might have held their noses, taken an anti-emetic and actually voted for Billary to decide not to vote for Billary.

It’s impossible to tell how much the hacked DNC e-mails affected the November 8 election — they might (or might not) have been enough to cost Billary the critical Rust-Belt states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, which all together she lost by fewer than 100,000 votes, costing her the Electoral College* — but nonetheless, it’s the thought that counts; even trying to influence/interfere with another nation’s election (something that the U.S. has tried to do to other nations) is indeed an act of war.**

And it’s interesting, and perhaps if not probably telling, that no Repugnican National Committee hacked e-mails ever were released.

Again: All signs thus far point to Russia’s guilt and to Team Trump’s treason in a quid pro quo arrangement with Vladimir Putin, and we should proceed from there. We endanger ourselves if we don’t.

*That said, of course Billary didn’t campaign nearly well enough as she should have in the Rust-Belt states. Indeed, the presidential-election post-mortem is that Team Billary apparently believed that they had the Rust-Belt states in the bag (Wisconsin and Michigan, for instance, had gone to the Democratic presidential candidates since the 1980s) and thus didn’t need to campaign much in those states. Indeed, mind-blowingly, Billary made not one general-election campaign stop in Wisconsin.

**Of course, most if not all of the other nations in whose elections the U.S. has meddled haven’t had the ability to win a war against the U.S.; the U.S. usually is sure to pick on significantly weaker victims. Taking on Russia would be a whole new level, of course.

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Two ways you can help patriot Edward Snowden right now

Updated below

U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from a video during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong

Reuters image

Repugnican Tea Party Speaker of the House John Boehner has called 29-year-old National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden (pictured above) a “traitor.”

This is not all that surprising, coming from an alcoholic fascist like Boehner, whose treasonous, far-right-wing party’s only wish is to preserve the status quo. (Actually, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want to take us back to the Dark Ages, but, at the minimum, they want to keep us trapped where we are; they seek to block all progress in the United States of America, and to a large degree, they succeed.)

Edward Snowden is a defender of the U.S. Constitution — specifically, Americans’ Fourth-Amendment right to privacy.

But in the down-the-rabbit-hole United States of America, where freedom and democracy died long, long ago, the actually treasonous criminals are let off scot-fucking-free while those who report the treasonous criminals’ criminal and treasonous activity, like Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, are made into the “criminals.” They’re called by the hypocritically treasonous powers that be “traitors,” even.

(If Snowden is a “traitor,” gee, maybe he’s a “terrorist,” too! Maybe there’s a killer drone hunting him down as I type this sentence!)

Today, the power-mad, democracy-hating, Constitution-violating traitors in Washington go after patriots like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. (I’d call Julian Assange a patriot, but he’s Australian… Still, he’s a lover of actual freedom and actual democracy and he rejects the faux freedom and the faux democracy that the plutocrats and their servants in D.C. claim are the real thing.)

Tomorrow, the fascists in D.C. come for the rest of us.

There are two simple things that you can do right now to help Edward Snowden:

  • One, you can contribute to his legal defense fund, which the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has set up. You can do that here. (If you decide to donate to Snowden’s legal defense fund via the PCCC, be sure to donate to the “PCCC Strategic Fund” that is shown on the webpage.) I’ve given $10 to Snowden’s legal defense fund and I probably will give more.
  • Two, you can sign the petition on the White House’s website to encourage President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden. The petition is available here. (You’ll have to register with the website if you’re not already registered; registration is simple.) When I signed the petition this morning, almost half of the necessary 100,000 signatures necessary for the White House to consider the petition had been collected.

And use your sphere of influence, of course.

Doing these things is better that doing nothing. They’re something.

We need to alter the sociopolitical environment that even makes it possible for an actually treasonous fascist like John Boehner to call a courageous patriot like Edward Snowden a “traitor.”

P.S. I have to note that it’s pretty fucking stupid for the Repugnican Tea Party, which is hurting among youthful voters, to attack the 29-year-old Snowden like this.

I don’t expect the Obama administration, which has depended upon youthful voters, to attack Snowden nearly as viciously, but it will be interesting to see how the Obama administration decides to proceed with Snowden.

Update: To be fair and balanced, I will point you to this Associated Press news story that I just read in which “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has referred to Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing as “an act of treason.”

Oh, sure, the right-wing Feinstein is the chair of the Senate “intelligence” committee, but she’s also a millionaire, one of the plutocrats who benefit from the unconstitutional vast spying upon Americans.

Feinstein also voted for the Vietraq War — from which her husband, Richard Blum, a war profiteer, just happened to make millions of dollars.

With “friends” like these, who needs the fucking Repugnicans?

(If memory serves, I voted for the fascistic Feinstein in 2000, being new to California and not knowing any better; however, I didn’t vote for her in 2006 or in 2012, and I never would cast a vote for her again. She’s one of the many examples one could point to in order to demonstrate that the average American’s interests are not represented in D.C. )

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Julian Assange, my hero

File photo of WikiLeaks founder Assange holding ...

Reuters photo

WikiLeaks crusader Julian Assange of Australia, shown above in a photo taken last month, is closest that we have to this guy:

I’ve been following the WikiLeaks saga for some time now but until now I have yet to comment. (I actually wanted things to gel a bit before I opened my mouth, believe it or not…)

The inescapable conclusion that I have drawn is that Julian Assange‘s biggest “crime” is that he has stepped on the toes of the powers that be.

Tell a lie and no one really cares. (Look at the volume of lies that the right wing pumps out on a daily fucking basis, and look at how Liar in Chief George W. Bush and his henchpeople had complete impunity for their relentless lying.) Tell the forbidden truth, however, and look out!

Most of the dirty truths that Julian Assange and his associates have put out there pose no threat to national security or to public safety. That’s just bullshit, a red herring put out there by the right wing and the powers that be (yes, including members of the Obama administration).

If the right wing really gave a flying fuck about public safety, we wouldn’t have seen the almost 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 (even though then-“President” George W. Bush the month before had received a presidential daily briefing warning “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”) or the almost 2,000 confirmed deaths from Hurricane Katrina.* (You might argue that 9/11 couldn’t have been prevented, but the deaths from Hurricane Katrina most certainly could have been, as there had been ample warning of the impending catastrophe.)

And “national security” sure is flexible, isn’t it? It was perfectly OK when the stupid white men of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime outed Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame** for petty political revenge against her husband, then-Ambassador Joe Wilson, but we just have to put Julian Assange in prison. Some wingnuts have even called for his assassination.

Assassinating (or even imprisoning) Assange, of course, would only make him a matryr, and hundreds or thousands of us who are on the verge of bloody revolution against the power elite would take his place.

The powers that be need to be very, very careful.

Speaking of the powers that be, I love this news photo:

Prince Charles, Camilla

Associated Press photo

That’s Britain’s Prince Charles and his consort in London on Thursday showing complete and utter shock that the rabble — some of them wonderfully yelling “Off with their heads!” — were able to reach their Rolls Royce during a student protest against the tripling of university tuition.

How could this security breach have happened? everyone is asking — when the real question, in my book, is Why, in the year 20fucking10, when so many of us are in need, do we still have royalty?

That’s an issue for the Brits to resolve (although I firmly am on the side of the students whose future is being compromised by Britain’s selfish power elite), but the equivalent question here in the United States of America is why we still have our own aristocrats, the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who do such things as fight tooth and nail for tax cuts for the wealthy while they fight to push the age for eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits for members of Generation X (and those who follow Gen X) to age 70 (when most of us will be dead before then for lack of health care).

Why do we allow these thieves to steal from us, to destroy our planet, to keep us in perpetual wage slavery and in perpetual bogus warfare, and overall to destroy our future? Why, when there are so many of us than there are of them, and when in reality they need us and we don’t need them, do we allow these wolves to continue to feed on us?

What Julian Assange has done is reveal to the world the communiques of the wolves, for it is by their keeping their behind-the-scenes maneuverings as secret as possible that the wolves maintain their control over us sheep. Destroy the wolves’ secrecy, and you destroy their power. Destroy their power, and you destroy them.

Julian Assange has taken serious shots at the wolves. Therefore, in my book, he is a hero.*** And should anything happen to him, thousands of us, minimally, should rise up and take his place.

P.S. While there is much about libertarian Ron Paul that I don’t like, including his homophobia, his being anti-choice and his support of “states’ rights” (which can be used to support all kinds of oppression of minorities), there are some things about him that I do like, such as his opposition to torture and domestic surveillance, and I love his recent impassioned defense of Julian Assange against the power elite on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. You should watch it here.

P.P.S. I just now found this news photo, taken yesterday at the British embassy in Madrid:

Wikileaks supporters demonstrate in support of ...

Reuters photo

Wow. Apparently many of us have the same idea…

*And despite its ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” the Obama administration handled the catastrophic British Petroleum oil spill about as well as the Bush regime would have: in a way that put a corporation over the environment.

**I recommend the film “Fair Game,” which chronicles this treason by the Bush regime. The film screams “Give me my Oscars already!” but it’s worthwhile nonetheless.

***I certainly don’t assert that Assange is an angel. None of us is. However, I separate the information about the power elite that he has revealed to the world from the details of his personal life.

The right wing’s tactic in cases like this is to try to assassinate the rebel’s character — if not the rebel him- or herself — in order to divert attention away from the damaging information about the power elite that the rebel has revealed.

Way too many of us see this bullshit for what it is, however. If Assange is guilty of any sexual misconduct, that is a separate issue, and Assange’s work of exposing the power elite is larger than is Assange. And should anything happen to him, we must continue his work, because if he weren’t on to something, they wouldn’t be on him as they have been.

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