with Chris Hedges
TheRealNews on Nov 14, 2013
Chris Hedges, on the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond, says there will be no free press without figures like Hammond and Manning.
The Real News Network
Nov. 14, 2013
JAY: So, quickly, for people–most of our viewers must know this, but quickly, just what is it that Jeremy exposed?
HEDGES: He broke into the private security firm known as Stratfor, which does work for a variety of intelligence agencies–for the Marine Corps and the Defense Department, the Pentagon, but also for corporations, including Raytheon, Dow Chemical, and others. And he turned over 3 million emails, email exchanges within the company to Rolling Stone, WikiLeaks, and other publications.
Now, this was quite a significant dump, because it illustrated two or three very chilling things about the security and surveillance state, first of all that there was no division between corporate spying and government spying. It was seamless, including the same people going back and forth. It was from that dump that we realized the extent to which the Occupy movement was being spied upon and infiltrated and monitored and followed. And we also found from those email exchanges that there was a concerted attempt on the part of security officials, both inside the government and within the private security contracting agency, to link, falsely, nonviolent dissident groups with terrorist groups so that they could apply terrorism laws against these groups.
And when I sued Barack Obama over Section 1021 of the National National Defense Authorization Act, which permits the U.S. military, overturning 150 years of domestic law, to seize U.S. citizens who “substantially” support–that is not a legal term, it’s not material support, it’s an amorphous term–“substantially” support al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or something called associated forces–again another nebulous term–hold those citizens in military facilities without due process indefinitely, part of the email exchanges were entered as evidence in my case. And those email exchanges showed that this private security firm, along with government officials, was attempting to link a group called U.S. Day of Rage, founded by a journalist and activist named Alexa O’Brien, who was one of my coplaintiffs, with al-Qaeda. And why were they trying to link that group with al-Qaeda? So that they could employ the draconian terrorism laws against nonviolent democratic dissidents. That all came out from Hammond.