On May 16th, a New York state federal judge granted a preliminary injunction to block provisions of the NDAA that allow indefinite detention, claiming they are unconstitutional. The decision is part of growing bipartisan opposition to the NDAA that includes prominent members of the US military.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, originally appointed by Obama, clashed with the current administration by censuring the NDAA, saying that the act has a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights" to free speech, and infringes on the Fifth Amendment's right to due process.
This is Part Three in WL Central's continued coverage of the arrest of Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab. He was arrested on May 5 at the Bahraini International Airport, following the announcement of his appearance on Julian Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow." A representative of the public prosecution ordered that Rajab be detained for one week for "insulting a statutory body" via Twitter. Rajab denies the charges, saying they are aimed at hindering his human rights work and his right of expression. He was also charged unrelated to his current detention for "participating in illegal assembly."
The United States Army and Marine Corps call their enlisted job specialties, "MOS's," or Military Occupation Specialties.
Bradley Manning was a 35F or 35 Fox, Military Intelligence Analyst, assigned to Company B, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry (LI), when, the US Government says, he disclosed the largest leak of classified information in US History.
According to the US Army, the mission of the 35F Military Occupational Specialty [MOS] is to "gather, analyze, and report intelligence information that reveals the intended secrets of hostile forces," and 35F "must qualify for a top secret clearance with special access eligibility."
It should be noted, his alleged leak concerned information only marked at the lowest level of classification, "SECRET", or was not classified at all.
For example, on testimony by Army CID Agent, Toni Graham, at Bradley Manning's Article 32 Pretrial Hearing and similarly at the March 16, 2011 Motion Hearing for US v PFC Bradley Manning, there is still uncertainty as to whether or not the July 12, 2007 Baghdad air strike video, commonly known as "Collateral Murder" was classified or not.
35Fs analyze data including weather, terrain, and the position of opposing forces. They are trained to read and interpret maps, electronically plot symbols, and consolidate intelligence data onto a situation map.
Last Thursday, human rights and Julian Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson was held up on her flight from London to Sydney for security reasons. Over the years, journalists have been interrogated and detained at borders, often for purely political reasons. This incident was unprecedented with a lawyer now facing similar treatment.
Robinson was told that she is on an "inhibited" list of mysterious origin and that the Australian High Commission in London needed to be contacted before her departure. At some point, she was given the green light to board without that call being made and was able to get to her destination. When pressed, Australian Attorney General Roxon showed concern about the incident. She said that "this is not the result of any action taken by the Australian Government. We believe [Robinson], as an Australian who is not subject to any criminal charges or allegations, should be free to travel in and out of Australia."
The Guardian reported that "The Australian high commission in London has no record of a call being received from UK authorities concerning her travel". Virgin Atlantic, the airline that stopped Robinson, deferred responsibility to security services, while the UK Border Agency and DFAT each deny involvement.
Her body of work includes: "My Country, My Country", about the U.S. invasion of Iraq; "The Oath", about two Yemeni men caught up in America’s "War on Terror"; and her current work in progress detailing the U.S. surveillance state in post 9/11 America.
Woven through the museum were interactive installations by Stimulate, and two mysterious portraits of of Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, who has been under house-arrest in Great Britian for 501 days without charge.
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" This familiar philosophical question came to my mind in response to a friend's challenge of my support for WikiLeaks and call for investigation into the recent shooting of a black teen in Florida. She said, "How do you know what the truth is? How do you know that George Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense? How do you know that Julian Assange didn't sexually assault women in Scandinavia? ... Unless you get on an airplane, go the scene of the action, and see for yourself, you can't be absolutely certain. You can check and crosscheck multiple different sources and you can draw reasonable inferences, but you still have to inject a certain amount of faith unless you conduct your own personal investigation".
It is true. We were not there at the moment of Trayvon Martin's death. Someone pulled the trigger and as a result the young man was dead. At the moment of his death, the neighbor's 911 call recorded someone crying for help. Someone was being threatened. Was it Zimmerman or Martin? We don't know if this was a murder or an act of self defense by Zimmerman. When the tree fell down, we were not in the woods to hear it.
Later I contemplated my friend's perspective and realized how it represents a psychological condition prevalent in American society. It is a kind of social disease, which perhaps explains the public silence around many problems in the world. This is a kind of belief system that says; I wasn't there. I don't know the truth, so I withhold judgment and remain aloof.
Julian Assange has now been detained for 500 days without charge. This includes the 10 days he spent in solitary confinement on top of the 490 days he's spent electronically tagged under house arrest. After all this time the media is still spreading the same falsities about his case and people continue to attack him with the same misconceptions as they were a year and a half ago.