NYT v. the world: WikiLeaks coverage

Consider - beyond the NYT's sleazy sideshow smears against Julian Assange - the vast disparity between how newspapers around the world and the New York Times reported on a key revelation from these documents: namely that the US systematically and pursuant to official policy ignored widespread detainee abuse and torture by Iraqi police and military - up to and including murders. By Glenn Greenwald.

The Nixonian henchmen of today: at the NYT

Richard Nixon and his plumbers could have only dreamt about being able to dispatch journalists to dutifully smear whistleblowers. By Glenn Greenwald

More on the media's Pentagon-subservient WikiLeaks coverage

The military-revering John Burns and his war-enabling newspaper again lend their helping hands to the Pentagon's agenda. By Glenn Greenwald.

The wretched mind of the American authoritarian

Decadent governments often spawn a decadent citizenry. By Glenn Greenwald.

Jonah Goldberg wonders why Jason Bourne hasn't killed Julian Assange

Goldberg wrote a clever political piece to assert that Assange should be murdered while also saying he's 'OK' with the government not assassinating a foreign national guilty of no actual crime so people can't say he called for someone to be murdered. By Glenn Greenwald.

NYT public editor only perpetuates bad practices

Allowing military officials to hide behind anonymity to disseminate the military establishment's party line is about as slothful, low, and corrupted a practice as exists. By Glenn Greenwald.

Raising Awareness

Some days I really miss George Carlin.

Today, at my gas station, I was offered a blob of sugar, red food dye, preservatives and artificial flavours in the shape of a ribbon on a plastic stick. My department store wanted me to buy a nitrate and who knows what stuffed wiener in a sugar and extra gluten plus preservative laced bun, with some brightly coloured condiments that did not look like they had ever met a tomato or a mustard seed. And my neighbour wanted me to buy some pink plastic crap from Avon.

Canada in Afghanistan (CIA)

Or so we tell ourselves. It’s not really us, it’s the US, our prime minister will do anything the US tells him to, and so will the opposition. That’s not our fault, there’s 34 million of us and two of them, but we can’t control their behaviour, that’s just the way things work. Our MP’s don’t serve their constituents, they pledge allegiance to the queen and serve their party. Nothing would ever get done otherwise.

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Lest We Forget

I’ve been feeling so conflicted about Remembrance Day. For years I have been telling myself to just remember the things I’m proud of, the feeling I got reading Rilla of Ingleside and hearing about the brave and innocent Canadian boys who went off in World Wars I and II to countries they had probably never heard of, just because they were told it was right and their duty. Sad, but very noble, and something missing from today’s mostly narcissistic society. Or I concentrate on the brave peacekeepers, medics, true journalists, etc., who are fighting for peace. And I smile and wear my poppy.

New Orwellian Dictionary (NOD)

aggressive interrogation methods: Torture.

alien unprivileged enemy belligerent: A person who is not a US citizen.

endanger the troops: Publish the truth.

enhanced coercive interrogation technique: Torture.

extraordinary rendition: Abduction, usually followed by torture.

honour the troops: Keep fighting.

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Orwellian Circus: Khadr’s Trial

Omar Khadr was taken as a child from his home in Canada to fight the NATO invaders in Afghanistan. When he was 15, he was caught in a battle with US forces. He lost his vision in one eye, was shot in the back twice, and was confined in US torture camps from the time he was 15 until he was 24, without a trial, and without access to a lawyer for years.

The Iraq War Logs – The Medium is the Message

The Afghanistan documents released by Wikileaks were criticized for not having enough material redacted. The Iraq documents are criticized for having too much redacted. The US government says there is nothing interesting or newsworthy in any of the information. The US military says the information contains important secrets that the public should not know. Some members of the public say they contain important secrets that we all desperately need to know. Have we all completely forgotten?

The medium is the message.

Logic and the Law

Recently, I watched a scene from another time in history, a set piled high with paper, where professionals in business suits scurried through rooms with dollies stacked with boxes of paper, all stamped, signed, and distributed in huge amounts of copies. Everything was tabbed and filed beyond all comprehensibility, people were flipping madly through binders in a race against time, no one agreed on any of the facts or could find any, and the end result was a mop of perspiration and a guess at the facts in most cases.

Extradition and Sovereignty

Extradition has been a touchy subject between Canada and the US at various times in history. During the Vietnam War, the US was infuriated by Canada’s refusal to return draft dodgers, but those were the days when Canada had a very liberal government that annoyed the US and stood up for widely held Canadian values whenever they thought they could get away with it. Times have changed.

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Why I Don’t Care About Government Secrets

This summer, while private citizens around the world are facing the most privacy eradicating laws and policies ever enacted, some media have been trying to get people outraged about the publication of secrets from public organizations. I’m not feeling it. Government secrets are not our secrets. Military secrets are not our secrets. Industry secrets are not our secrets. None of these secrets benefit society.

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The New Journalism

I have been mostly rolling my eyes at all the talk lately about ‘hacktivism’ and ‘hackers’ as a distinct culture. Even though I remember thinking that programming was the only job I could ever have in business, and the feeling of belonging to a very exclusive club with our own secrets and jokes, I know a lot of engineers, physicists, physicians, etc., who feel the same. But watching the current clash between computer geeks and journalists has caused me to wonder; is there really a completely different core philosophy here? And what will be the result of this clash?

The City University Debate 'Too Much Information?'

Julian Assange, David Aaronovitch, and Jonathan Dimbleby debated this topic in London today. I wasn’t there, and there was no live feed, so this is all based on comments tweeted by the audience, mostly City students. In retrospect, this may have been the interesting part, since the speakers seem to have just recycled old topics. This time we get an insight into what the audience thought. So here are what the predominant tweets said, and my opinions as answers.

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The Prince of Pot in a US Prison

Ok, he is not Omar Khadr. He is not Maher Arar either. But to some, this story in its very unimportance sends a very cold chill through Canada.

Marc Emery is a Vancouver icon. The Prince of Pot, a well loved character who founded the BC Marijauna Party and ran for office 12 times, in a province that would have legalized marijuana decades ago, assuming they had ever bothered making it illegal in the first place. Located in the city fondly known as Vansterdam, where the 4/20 celebrations are legend, Marc is not a criminal so much as an integral part of the culture.

Of Wikileaks and Starfish

Another limb has been severed from the Wikileaks body. Another strong willed, opinionated, brave and presumably hugely talented insider has left, or been asked to leave, and come forth into the media spotlight full of ideas of how the organization ought to be run. He says there are more to come soon. Wonderful news, I say.

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Accountability and 'Obama's Wars'

After reading the horribly written NY Times advance review of ‘Obama’s Wars’, I have been wondering what the point is. When the NY Times comes out with their ‘official view’ articles, the ones full of spin, choppy quotes, and third party innuendo, the ones which allow no reader comments, there is always a point. What is it we are being set up to accept this time?

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