I have been involved with left-wing politics in one guise or another pretty much my entire life and I have to admit to getting an awful lot of stuff wrong, largely because rather than thinking things through properly for myself, I listened to the ‘authority’, to those who allegedly know best.
As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised transparency and open government yet his administration is one of the most closed governments in US history, described as being worse than even the Nixon administration.
The technology and information revolution allows the government to cast its net wider than ever before; collecting data, watching, spying and analysing. As revelations of systemic snooping continue to hit the headlines, Empire asks: who is watching the watchers?
Just when more people open up about their private lives through social media, the government becomes ever more intrusive.
Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program. Introductions by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and the filmmaker behind Dirty Wars, and Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism. #Socialism2013 #Snowden #NSA
About the time Barack Obama ordered the drone strike that killed Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American kid Facebooked his second-rate choice of hip-hop favorites. I say “second-rate,” because Abdul was my son’s age almost exactly, so I know the kind of crap they listen to.
Every Tuesday, President Obama personally checks off the names of people he wants killed. George Bush, a bit more squeamish than Obama, never did that; but Mr. Obama felt those decisions were the president’s responsibility: he want[s] to keep his own finger on the trigger,” according to one report. Continue reading →
http://www.democracynow.org – The Obama administration has admitted for the first time to killing four U.S. citizens in drone strikes overseas. Three died in Yemen: the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. A fourth, Jude Kenan Mohammed — whose death was not previously reported — was killed in Pakistan. In a letter to Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder suggested that all but the attack on the elder al-Awlaki were accidental, saying the other three “were not specifically targeted.” The admission came on the eve of a major address in which President Obama is expected to defend the secret targeted killing program and announce modified guidelines for carrying it out. We’re joined by Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield,” and co-producer of the upcoming documentary film by the same name.
http://www.democracynow.org – A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo.
“This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here,” said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. “You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today.” We play an excerpts of Thursday’s Senate hearing and our recent interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new bestseller, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.” Continue reading →
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin talks to Jeremy Scahill, investigative journalist and author of the new book and upcoming film ‘Dirty Wars’, an exposé on the expansion of American covert wars fought by US intelligence agencies and the Joint Special Operations Command. They talk about covert operations happening in countries like Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan, where drone strikes and targeted assassinations are creating resentment of the US, and how the decline of journalism has prevented the American public from seeing the full story. Scahill also discusses instances of extra-judicial killings of American citizens, and the importance of understanding the roots of radicalization and the motives behind the concept of blowback against the US’ “Dirty Wars”.
In watching the massive media coverage and the reaction to the brutal bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the wise poem “To A Louse…” composed in 1785 by the Scottish poet Robert Burns came to me:
“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us/ To see oursels as ithers see us!”
“And would some Power the small gift give us/To see ourselves as others see us!”
Watch CODEPINK’s demonstration outside Hart Senate Building before John Brennan’s hearing and afterwards, at the hearing itself. 8 CODEPINK members were arrested for speaking out and Senator Feinstein ordered all “CODEPINK” associates be “evicted” from the hearing.
During Democracy Now!’s seven-hour election special last night, investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill asks Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich about the secret drone war that has expanded under President Obama’s first term and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen struck by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year.
www. DemocracyNow.org – The United States has confirmed the killing of the radical Yemeni-American cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, in northern Yemen. The Obama administration says Al-Awlaki is one of the most influential al-Qaeda operatives on its ‘most wanted’ list. In response to news of al-Awlaki’s death, constitutional scholar Glenn Greenwald and others argue the assassination of U.S. citizens without due process has now has become a reality. Continue reading →
“Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels — men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion .”
The AfPak War Theatre: Establishing the New Strategy
As Senator Obama became the President-elect Obama, his foreign policy strategy on Afghanistan was already being formed. In 2007, Obama took on veteran geostrategist and Jimmy Carter’s former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski as one of his top foreign policy advisers, and he remained his foreign policy adviser throughout 2008. On Obama’s campaign, he announced that as President, he would scale down the war in Iraq, and focus the “War on Terror” on Afghanistan, promising “to send in about 10,000 more troops and to strike next-door Pakistan, if top terrorists are spotted there.”
It is the biggest leak of military secrets ever. Al Jazeera has obtained access to almost 400,000 classified American documents. Torture, claims of murder at the checkpoint – revelations that make a mockery of the rules of combat.
Over the past ten weeks, working with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, Al Jazeera has read tens of thousands of documents, which we sourced through WikiLeaks.
There is a good reason that Washington did not want you to see them. They reveal the covering up of Iraqi state torture to the truth about the hundreds of civilians who have been killed at coalition road blocks.
There are fresh outrages involving private security contractors and we find out what the US really thinks about the Iraqi prime minister.