Last month, the ruling Japanese coalition parties quickly rammed through Parliament a state secrets law. We Americans better take notice.
Under its provisions the government alone decides what are state secrets and any civil servants who divulge any “secrets” can be jailed for up to 10 years. Journalists caught in the web of this vaguely defined law can be jailed for up to 5 years.
I was in a military courtroom at Fort Meade in Maryland on Thursday as Pfc. Bradley Manning admitted giving classified government documents to WikiLeaks. The hundreds of thousands of leaked documents exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as government misconduct. A statement that Manning made to the court was a powerful and moving treatise on the importance of placing conscience above personal safety, the necessity of sacrificing careers and liberty for the public good, and the moral imperative of carrying out acts of defiance. Continue reading →
A recent court case in Utah has uncovered yet more evidence that the FBI is hiding key documents from the public by placing them in a separate, hitherto unknown electronic storage medium known as an “S-drive.” Continue reading →
Scroll down to see list of signers and to add your name or that of your organization.
Tell Project on Government Oversight (POGO), OMB Watch, the National Security Archive, Open the Government.Org, and the Reporters Committee to publicly take back their Transparency Award to President Obama.
A group of American national security whistleblowers, civil liberty campaigners, anti-war groups, national whistleblower organizations and others are set to release a petition tomorrow asking a group of NGOs to take back the “transparency award” they bestowed on President Obama last March for his supposed attempt to fight against government secrecy.
It was a rainy April day in 2004, and I was in the office of one of my professors at the university’s Public Policy Graduate Department. I was having one of those defeated and disillusioned moments that kept recurring during that time period. I think you would have found it justifiable: I had been slapped with two separate gag orders via two separate invocations of state secrets privilege, I had just witnessed the Congress being hit with another gag order in my case via retroactive classification issued by the Justice Department, we were at war in Iraq based on lies, the PATRIOT ACT was in full swing, secret kidnapping and detention operations by our paramilitary were taking place all over the world, congressional corruption and revolving door scandals were popping up one after another…So, you see, all this and being almost at the end of my masters program specializing in US public policy, where what we were taught didn’t match reality on the ground (US politics and government) whatsoever, gave me a certain degree of justification for feeling the way I felt that day.
Military industries are posing an increasing threat to the United States due to the sector’s mounting pressure for higher military budgets and larger military programs, says investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter.
Sometimes a story is so troubling that it takes some time to digest, and the ruling delivered last Wednesday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF), in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of five men subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and torture, is one such story. The men — Binyam Mohamed, Ahmed Agiza, Abou Elkassim Britel, Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah and Bisher al-Rawi — claim, with some justification, and with copious amounts of evidence in their possession, that their rendition, and their torture in a variety of countries, was facilitated by Jeppesen Dataplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Boeing whose role as “The CIA’s Travel Agent” was first exposed, through statements made by a former Jeppesen employee, in an article by Jane Mayer for the New Yorker in October 2006.
John Young provides us with a brief overview of the history, purpose and mission of his well-known website Cryptome.Org. He talks about the recent controversy involving Microsoft Corporation’s attempted legal action against Cryptome, and the temporary shutdown of the site by the ISP Network Solutions. He speaks to the importance of the free flow of information and challenging the governments’ self-serving secrecy as prerequisites for an informed citizenry and a functioning democracy, the importance of whistleblowers and anonymous disclosures, the existence of various trap websites, impostors and false flag operators to manipulate information, trick whistleblowers, and or plant specific propaganda, and more.
I want to revisit a topic which happens to be extremely important to me, both personally and politically, and even more important to our civil liberties.
Some of you have already read my brief piece on Richard Horn & the CIA dishing out $3 million to buy silence in this narco scandal. Those of you who have not read it click here and read it – because this story also goes to the heart of a very significant and ongoing issue: The State Secrets Privilege.
My recent heads-up piece on Horn focused mainly on the CIA’s attempt to hush another narco scandal where the agency was directly and actively involved. Although I introduced Horn as ‘another recipient of the government’s State Secrets Privilege invocation’, I didn’t delve into the significance of this case on this repeatedly used and abused draconian privilege. This was partly due to wrongly assuming that the media, at least the alternative media, would have gotten all over it since lately the SSP has been a quite fashionable and talked about topic among the wanna-be progressive community. Well, I was wrong. Despite the scandalous nature of the case, and despite the massive implications to SSP, those who’ve been publicizing themselves and cashing in using SSP did not touch or mention the case.
After 15 years of legal battles the CIA agrees to pay $3 million to a former DEA agent who accused a former CIA official of illegally eavesdropping on him as part of a joint CIA and State Department effort to thwart DEA’s anti-narcotics mission in Burma in the early 1990s.
Richard Horn was stationed in Burma in the early 1990s as the DEA country attaché to Burma, a nation that is ranked as one of the top opium poppy producing countries in the world. He was in charge of overseeing DEA’s mission in Burma involving eradication of the opium poppy, which is used to produce heroin.