Reprinted with permission from author Laura Beach, Co-founder of TapThirst and student activist. This article was originally published by The Mark
From simulation programs to unmanned drones, Canada's schools have joined the fight.
Fifty years ago, in his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American public against the “unwarranted influence” of industry and military interests on academic institutions. A close look at this influence within the context of Canadian universities suggests he had good cause to worry.
The influence of what Eisenhower termed the “military industrial complex” within the university sphere has been facilitated by a number of radical changes in post-secondary research and funding paradigms. Over the past four decades, a shift away from numbers-based funding toward “performance”-based indicators has effectively minimized the importance of enrolment, retention, and graduation rates while maximizing the importance of job placement data, faculty productivity, and external funding for research.
External (corporate) funding for research has assumed a central role in the university funding paradigm with the rise of proprietary research, accompanying sales and revenues generated through royalties, and a growing emphasis on public-private research partnerships. A significant portion of federal funding to Canadian universities now flows through “matching funds” projects where industry and government share financial investment.
Between January 11, 2002 and April 23, 2011 (one day before the latest Wikileaks release of the Guantanamo files) there were already about 15 million search entries, 5 million images, 25,000 videos, 6 thousand news items, 900 related books
and around 80 releated movies - including an American stoner styled 'comedy' pictured to your right - about the Guantanamo bay detention and torture camp.
While new information has been published in Wikileaks' latest release of the Guantanamo files, a plethora of evidence about Guantanamo's child detainees, its specious justification and illegality were already available in the public domain. That includes a Senate Armed Services Committee report that stated that detainees were murdered in US custody.
As Jason Leopold said in my interview with him last week, "Murdered. I am talking about murder. I mean, this report talks about how the torture program was based on the US military's resistance to interrogation survival training technique...So, yes, you are absolutely right there are a number of documents and a number of reports that are out there. The problem is that people, and that includes some journalists, frankly don't take the time to read it."
The image above of 'Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo' is not a comedy. It's a horror show. And, Guantanamo Bay is only the beginning of the entertainment superpower's 'theater of cruelty', coming to a town near you.
The institutions of society and of government - in other words, the organs of power, their structure, and their relationship to one another - the press, the legislature, the executive, and the judicial - no longer function in a manner that ensures their intended counter balance to tyranny. As a result our nation's civic, civil, and military power has been usurped by the highest bidder, some of them even foreign, and our democratic republic is drowning in a sea of Blackwater.
This is our second interview in a series of interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detention camp guards and detainees.
Several current and former U.S. soldiers have expressed interest in speaking publicly about their experience at Guantanamo: including a CIA psychologist, interrogators, guards, and medical personnel. They are disgusted with what they witnessed or took part in at Guantanamo, but declined my request for an interview, because they fear opening themselves up to prosecution by the US government, which required them to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.
I was also told that many are afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, since low level soldiers are often the ones who shoulder the brunt of punishment and backlash; whereas higher ranking officials seem to escape scrutiny completely.
Terry Holdbrooks is a former guard at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. He was stationed at GTMO in 2003 and 2004. During his time there, he converted to Islam. He is now a vocal critic of the camp. You can find him on twitter @BrotherMustafa
Information technology as development has been central to Egyptian economic policy since 1999, when Mubarak appointed Ahmed Nazif, the recently resigned Prime Minister, to a newly created post, Minister for Communications and Information Technology.
As the former Minister of CIT, Nazif established Egypt's free internet connectivity plan and improved public access to computers (Source: Wikipedia). But, as Prime Minister, Nazif extended the application of Egypt's thirty-year old state of emergency law. The Overseas Press Club of America observes that notwithstanding remarks made by the regime that the law is "only to be invoked during proclamations of emergency," the fact is "authorities continue to use the emergency law to detain dissidents, including journalists and respected bloggers.”
Dr. Tarek Kamel was elevated to his current post as Egypt's Minister of CIT when Nazif, his former boss was appointed PM. Nazif in turn picked Kamel to replace him. (Source:Khaled Fatta)
Kamel, like Nazif believes that social and economic channels exists primarily to reinforce regime power. As a techno-bureaucrat, Kamel lobbies the Internet as the "backbone of social-economic development," but only when it pacifies public dissent and 'backbones' the regime. When public dissent threatens the status quo, the Internet gets turned off.
Dave Winer published an excerpt of a promotional email from Amazon today which he calls "the 800 pound gorilla in the room." It sheds more light on Amazon's officially
stated reason for denying service to Wikileaks.
"Government adoption of AWS grew significantly in 2010. The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board became the first government-wide agency to migrate to a cloud-based environment when it moved Recovery.gov to AWS in March 2010. Today we have nearly 20 government agencies leveraging AWS, and the U.S. federal government continues to be one of our fastest growing customer segments. The U.S. General Services Administration awarded AWS the ability to provide government agencies with cloud services through the government's cloud storefront, Apps.gov. Additional AWS customers include Treasury.gov, the Federal Register 2.0 at the National Archives, the openEI.org project at DoE's National Renewable Energy Lab, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at USDA, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA. The current AWS compliance framework covers FISMA, PCI DSS Level 1, ISO 27001, SAS70 type II, and HIPAA, and we continue to seek certifications and accreditations that make it easier for government agencies to benefit from AWS."
The U.S. Army is interested in giving each of its soldiers a smartphone, and may give them a choice between Apple's iPhone or one running Google Android.
Okay, I was writing something called the Anonymous Revolution, but Wikileaks twitter just renamed it samizdat. I can live with the slightly more highbrow name, it is more accurate.
The point in either case is this. Wikileaks is not a lone vandal hacker. It is an idea. We all have the idea. And you can’t bomb an idea, or send drones after it, or put it in jail.
What is the difference between a terrorist and a soldier? The actions are now identical, both act to produce terror, so probably the only standing difference is that terrorists are non-government agencies. Remember that.
A look at the US/NATO military as it is today. This is not your grandfather's army.
Watching our world come under the grip of a worldwide organized crime syndicate, where everyone is denying anything is happening or denying that anything can be done, has been sitting like a giant weight, crushing us all. But the Wikileaks releases of this year have been our training period, a progressive course in getting the truth out and acting on it. We are now the strongest force the world has ever seen, a truly informed worldwide populace, the worst nightmare of a fascist world government. This week, the weight is lifted, and chaos is king. Out of chaos can come a new order.
This is a post of ideas to aid the fight for democracy. Another commenter participation post, please add links of anything good you’ve seen and check back – it will get a lot bigger.
Once upon a time, the citizens of a country looked up to the members of its ruling class. What they wore, what they said, who they married, who they were friends with and who they fought with. If someone was overlooked for a favour, there would be conversations behind hands about a woman they both loved, or a piece of land in dispute. Gossipy, yes, but useful information, especially in a dictatorship where it paid to know who was in and who was out. Who has the ear of the king, could indicate this year’s laws. Very useful.