Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA ‘Stop Watching Us’ rally
Video from ‘Stop Watching Us’ (YouTube) published October 26, 2013
Text below from The Guardian – By Jim Newell – October 26, 2013
Statement from whistleblower Edward Snowden read to crowd featuring groups from left and right of political spectrum
Thousands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a gathering to protest “mass surveillance” under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Billed by organizers as “the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance”, Stop Watching Us was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty.
The events began outside Union Station, a few blocks away from the Capitol. Props abounded, with a model drone hoisted by one member of the crowd and a large parachute carried by others. One member of the left-wing protest group Code Pink wore a large Barack Obama mascot head and carried around a cardboard camera. Organizers supplied placards reading “Stop Watching _____”, allowing protesters to fill in their own name – or other slogans and occasional profanities. Homemade signs were more colorful, reading “Don’t Tap Me, Bro” “Yes, We Scan” and “No Snitching Allowed”. …
The base is in name only – RAF Menwith Hill. More accurately it is run by the National Security Agency of America. Among other personnel there is a contingency of GCHQ personnel present too.
Medea Benjamin: Drones, Endless War
Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink, author of Drone Warfare, Killing by Remote Control, speaking about Drones on July 29, 2013
Obama called “war criminal” & “hypocrite of the century” in Irish Parliament
Clare Daly in Irish Parliament – Published Jun 21, 2013
Congressman McDermott HBO Interview
An interview with Congressman Jim McDermott of the Seventh District of Washington State. Congressman McDermott has been one of the only experts and advocates in the US government on the issue of depleted uranium in Iraq. He gives a firsthand account of the military’s history of using depleted uranium munitions, the legacy it has left behind in Iraq, and why the US government refuses to do anything about it.
An Anti-War Blockbuster: “Dirty Wars”
WarIsACrime.org – By David Swanson – May 30, 2013
Starting in June, a remarkable anti-war / pro-journalism film will be showing — even more remarkably — in big mainstream movie theaters. …
There’s no end to the pro-war movies we’re subjected to: countless celebrations of bombs, guns, and torture. They come in the form of cartoons, science-fiction, historical fiction, dramas, and reenactments pre-censored by the CIA. Movies show us the excitement without the suffering. War in our theaters resembles almost anything else more than it resembles war.
Journalists appear in our movies too, usually as comic figures, talking-head air-heads, numskulls, and sycophants. In this case, the depiction is much more accurate, at least of much of what passes for journalism.
But, starting in June, a remarkable anti-war / pro-journalism film will be showing — even more remarkably — in big mainstream movie theaters. Dirty Wars (I’ve read the book and seen the movie and highly recommend both) may be one of the best educational outreach opportunities the peace movement has had in a long time. The film, starring Jeremy Scahill, is about secretive aspects of U.S. wars: imprisonment, torture, night raids, drone kills. …
NATO’s top officer has called for more financial help from the EU in order to keep the alliance afloat. NATO has suffered cuts amounting to 45 billion dollars, which equals Germany’s entire military budget. The Western alliance’s popularity among European soldiers is also nose-diving as their number in the bloc has plummeted. NATO’s survival now depends almost entirely on US spending, which makes up almost 75% of its budget.
RT contributor Afshin Rattansi says the alliance’s global activities actually do more harm than good.
Noam Chomsky: violence and dignity – reflections on the Middle East – video highlights
The Guardian – March 22, 2013
The academic and political theorist Noam Chomsky gave the Edward W Said lecture on 18 March at London’s Friends’ House. In these highlights from the lecture Chomsky discusses Iran’s relations with the west and democracy in the post-Arab-spring Islamic world…
US Betrayal of Truth – Interview with Whistleblower Thomas Drake
This is a very important and very chilling interview with NSA Senior Executive whistleblower Thomas Drake regarding the ominous implications of Sec. 21 of the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act signed by Barack Obama in 2012 – ‘indefinite detention without trial’]
CAAB supports Thomas Drake and is in solidarity with him in his brave stance in exposing what is happening to civil liberties and more in the US.
US military to allow women on the frontline
Decision overturns 1994 policy preventing women from serving in small frontline combat units.
Aljazeera.com – January 24, 2013
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat, a move that could open thousands of frontline warfighting jobs to female service members …
The decision would give the individual military services until 2016 to seek an exemption if they believe any jobs should remain closed to women, a defence official said.
The move was welcomed by US Senator Carl Levin, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who said it reflected the “reality of 21st century military operations,” and by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed a suit in November seeking to force the Pentagon to end the ban. …
The Tragic Return Home of a Guantánamo Bay Detainee
AlHittin.com – By Laura Poitras – January 17,2013
When President Obama pledged to close the Guantánamo Bay prison on his first day in office as president in 2009, I believed the country had shifted direction. I was wrong. Four years later, President Obama has not only institutionalized Guantánamo and all the horrors it symbolizes, but he has initiated new extrajudicial programs, like the president’s secret kill list. …
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif recently died in solitary confinement at Guantánamo at age 36, after nearly 11 years of imprisonment there, despite never having been charged with a crime. Last month his body was returned to his family in Yemen, but we are left with many unanswered questions about his imprisonment and death.
Mr. Latif’s death is under investigation by the United States military, which claims he committed suicide from an overdose of prescription medication complicated by acute pneumonia. But that’s hard to take at face value. Why was he placed in solitary confinement when he was suffering from acute pneumonia? How could he have overdosed on medication, given the strict protocols at Guantánamo? Why did it take three months for the body to be returned to Yemen? And finally, why are his autopsy and toxicology report classified and being withheld from his family?
These questions are not just about Adnan Latif. They also address the injustices that our government has instituted and normalized in the war on terror.
We have just marked the 11th year of the continuing illegal, torturing and abusing US base at Guatanamo. This film is shocking and we ask that you send it round as widely as possible – also please come to the weekly Tuesday pm demonstration (6-8 pm) outside the main entrance to NSA Menwith Hill. And just to make the point we recall that Barack Obama is a Nobel peace prize winner…
The U.S. Empire of bases abroad, over one thousand!
The Pentagon estimates that each year it spends $22.1 billion to maintain its bases and troops around the world. However, the actual costs even on conservative estimates is about $170 billion annually.
The totals could be even higher. Estimates of maintaining US bases abroad since the start of the war on terror in 2001 range from $1.8 trillion to $2.1 trillion. ….
There are about 1 million US military and Defense Department personnel and families abroad. …
The number of bases is difficult to determine exactly and depends on what is defined as a base. But the total of foreign bases likely is in excess of 1,000. The US has by far the largest military expeditures of any country on the globe. Some of the details of the military budget can be found here …