News Archive - 2013-01 (January 2013)

2013-01-02 Inside the Hourglass, A World Rising Anew

With economic and military force, in the last decades the United States has attained sole superpower status in the world. The legacy of the US empire carries a dark history: genocide of natives, slavery of blacks and criminalizing immigrants from the South.

None can deny that much of US hegemony and economic might is built on the exploitation and suffering of millions.

Narratives of glorious victories and rhetoric of 'exporting democracy' have repeatedly erased the trails of tears and justified the scars of the oppressed. The rewriting of history by the beneficiaries of Empire have rendered many poor and people of color voiceless and invisible. Beneath this official aversion of history, the oppression and exploitation continues.

The economic injustice and militarization of today is more of an export variety and has evolved with sophisticated technology. Drone attacks and insidious digital surveillance are rarely discussed in the corporate media. The general public became disconnected or oblivious to what is happening in their name.

The year 2010 was a turning point. The slow-motion financial collapse into debauchery of the global economic system was entering an advanced stage. About the same time, whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks brought the brutality of illegal wars and arrogance of US foreign policy out into the open for all to see. For a moment, the buried stream of history arose and intersected with the present.

The raw footage of WikiLeaks' Collateral Murder showed airstrikes by a United States Army gunship attacking journalists and a family in New Baghdad. It revealed the truth hiding behind the euphemism of Collateral Damage. The cynical naming of the 'Apache' helicopter helps trigger a lost memory of the genocide of American natives long ago. Native American activist Winona LaDuke once spoke of how it is common military-speak when you leave a base in a foreign country to say that you are heading 'out into Indian Country'. It is like we are continuing these crimes against humanity from the past.

The legacy of 18th and 19th century colonization has lingered to haunt our post-modern global society. This dark shadow was carried over into the military-industrial age of the 20th century with its outward thrusting brutality. French poet and author, Aimé Césaire (2000) in Discourse on Colonialism wrote how colonization brutalizes and decivilizes the colonizer himself;

"... colonization ... dehumanizes even the most civilized man; that colonial activity, colonial enterprise, colonial conquest, which is based on contempt for the native and justified by that contempt, inevitably tends to change him who undertakes it; that the colonizer, who in order to ease his conscience gets into the habit of seeing the other man as an animal, accustoms himself into an animal." (p. 41)

The real scenes of modern war on the ground stand as a mirror. Reflected in the graphic WikiLeaks video, we see ourselves, the actual barbarians degraded in an effort to 'civilize' others. These untold histories repeat themselves like suffocating stories, dying to be remembered. Voices that had been locked between the lines in the history books now start to speak.

In a sense, leaking sensitive and classified documents is the act of intervening in the writing of history itself, a process that historically has been controlled by those in power, by the 'winners' of wars. Leaking secrets can for a time disrupt the official lies and reveal the continuous thread of an untold story of disenfranchisement. "Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future" said George Orwell. WikiLeaks reset the sands of time. They put our world inside a transparent hourglass for all to see. When stories that were frozen in the past are released, our collective memory starts to flow.

WikiLeaks' courage in bringing truth to light shattered the lens of the corporate media's supposed dispassionate objectivity. More and more people are finding that they are no longer passive spectators of history. History is happening and we can engage in charting its course if we care to.

With the persecution of Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and the dismantling of human rights with bills like the NDAA, people are stepping forward to defend the Freedom of Speech and fight against this unprecedented erosion of our rights. Christine Assange noted on Twitter: "Many current #Wikileaks activists had no prior activist history, but became politicized thru the persecution of Julian Assange."

In 2011 and 2012, Anonymous and Occupy, along with a wave of resistance movements and revolutions brought activism to a new level of global impact. The radical activation of people who had remained uninvolved till then is a testimony to our awakening from an insulated and manufactured reality that has historically prevented us from rooting ourselves in the solid ground of history. On Nov 16, 2011, in the wake of Occupy, writer and activist Arundhati Roy spoke at Washington Square in New York;

"Few of us dreamed that we would see you, the people of the United States on our side, trying to do this in the heart of Empire. I don't know how to communicate the enormity of what this means".

The American middle class is waking up to the current global banking fraud and the largest transfer of wealth in human history and is now experiencing the true nature of this machine-like 'austerity' system, an equal opportunity exploiter of all people. The Occupy movement was a response to this systemic usury where a 1% elite sucks the life-blood from 99% of humanity.

Chris Hedges recently visited world-renowned political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal and got his view on these events:

"Abu-Jamal sees hope in the Occupy movement, largely because white middle-class youths are beginning to experience the cruelty of capitalism and state repression that has long been visited on the poor."

The time has finally come for white middle class Americans to wake up to the pain and struggles of those who have historically been excluded and exploited in a world that has been defined by the Western notion of progress.

The shooting of Trayvon Martin reminded us that the expression 'walking while black' stands even now. Yet, this targeting has spread like a cancer throughout the body politic. Statistics show that the US is the world's largest prison state that locks up the poor and racial minorities at disproportionate rates on trumped up charges. Targeting people of Arab descent is the latest line of official dehumanization. AP recently exposed how the New York Police with the CIA spies on Muslims, Middle Eastern students, institutions and mosques in the US without any suspicion of wrongdoing.

What caused the oppression in America visited on black people? Was their crime just being black, without doing anything but having ancestors taken against their will into slavery? The prejudice of society associated with the color of skin still dehumanizes and criminalizes millions.

On a global stage, Julian Assange has been persecuted with character assassination. The viability of WikiLeaks is threatened with financial blockade. This is the kind of reality that colored people have experienced for hundreds of years. Yet, what was Assange's crime in the eyes of those in power that made him such an enemy and target of demonization? It is the fact that he openly challenged the power of the military-corporate-banking complex. With these leaked documents, WikiLeaks helped expose the illegitimacy of governments worldwide. Assange and others' experiences have shown that whites are no longer immune from political retaliation. Obama has prosecuted more whistle-blowers than all other presidents combined and has taken the unprecedented step to openly assassinate people in other countries.

Bradley Manning, a white US citizen has now been incarcerated for more than 940 days. Political activist Jeremy Hammond has been held without bail or trial for over 300 days and is facing life terms for WikiLeaks and hacked Stratfor emails. Barrett Brown, self-described former spokesman for Anonymous was indicted with 12 charges. Pirate Bay cofounder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg was placed into solitary confinement in Sweden for three months without charge. These and other cases of internet activists being jailed are all examples that being white no longer affords immunity.

In fact, the machine of this pervasive corporate empire increasingly sees no color. The FBI raided peaceful activists with the pretext and label of anarchist, a term now treated by the US government as virtually synonymous with terrorist. Recently, documents came out showing the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have treated occupiers as potential 'terrorists' and are closely monitoring their activities.

Martin Niemöller, a pastor who opposed Nazi Regime, once famously said:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak for me.

History repeats itself. First they came for Blacks. We didn't speak out because we were not Black. Then they came for immigrants, and we didn't speak out because we were not Mexican. Now with the collapse of the debt-based ponzi scheme and the loss of civil liberties with the NDAA, no person can claim exemption from this blatant abuse and degradation. Immunity of class, religion or white privilege is no longer a given. Everything is in place for the machine to march.

In the documentary, Crisis of Civilization, Nateez Mosaddeg Ahmed spoke of this growing systematic violence:

"Terrorism has become integral to the way the system works and this justifies the state's militarization of foreign policy and...also the state's increasing draconian treatment of it's own citizens."

What has incarnated into the artificial entity of corporations are walking corpses stripped of their basic humanity through addiction to power; mechanized cyborgs that are incapable of empathy or any feeling for others. These callous corporate machines see no color. They debauch and dehumanize with cold rationale. They perpetuate violence as a means of division, fear and control. Drones will soon not need to distinguish brown, white, nation or creed, as anyone identified or associated as an enemy or 'terrorist' can become a target.

The persecution of Assange and treatment of Bradley Manning has shown the world that this system of violence is that of a machine that registers no inherent value for humanity. It reveals that along with inferiority of blacks, white privilege too in the final analysis has been just another false construct, a myth made up to divide humanity.

Chris Hedges carried the voice of truth from that prison in Pennsylvania:

"We must recover our past. We must connect ourselves to the revolutionaries, radicals and prophets who fought injustice before us. We must defy the historical amnesia the corporate state seeks to cement into our consciousness".

These are the words of Mumia, a man that knows as much as anyone about the manipulation of truth behind this facade of democracy.

The sands in the hourglass are moving again. Our untold history is leaking. The world inside the transparent glass opens the eyes of the world to a true story of our imperfect yet beautiful selves. We have an opportunity to remember the often untold story of our deeper communion and of our common struggles. We can now share the pain and injustice that comes with confronting the real enemy; a system that derives its power from our fears and hopelessness. The extractive interlocking government and financial systems are moving beyond the tipping point. We are awakening to our greater potential and this is just what the machine is afraid of.

On the 21st of December 2012, the Zapatistas were back. Thousands with covered faces began marching in silence into the cities of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Ocosingo, Las Margaritas, Comitan, and Altamirano. They quietly occupied the central squares. From the depth of the jungle, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos delivered the message:

"Did you hear? It is the sound of their world collapsing. It is that of ours rising anew..."

Marcos reminded us of a folktale that inspired the Zapatista rebellion against the Mexican Government:

'The Story of the Sword' is an ancient parable that demonstrates how the indigenous peoples of Mexico will finally defeat the European invader. The tree, for instance, tried to fight the sword, but was defeated. The stone likewise tried to fight the sword, but was defeated. But not the water. 'It follows its own road, it wraps itself around the sword and, without doing anything, it arrives at the river that will carry it to the great water where the greatest of gods cure themselves of thirst, those gods that birthed the world, the first ones.'

The sword of this violent system cannot be fought with might alone. Our resistance must move like water deeper into the roots. As the old states crumble inside the hourglass, a new world arises. Each person's remembering connects us to the larger current of history. It is in the solidarity found in our shared past that our future lies. We begin again.


Césaire, A. (2000). Discourse on colonialism (J. Pinkham, Trans.). New York: Monthly Review Press. (Original work published 1955)

2013-01-17 Senator Ludlam to Foreign Minister Carr 14 January 2013

Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6100
Senate Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

14 January 2013

Dear Minister,

Please find below a series of statements made by members of the Swedish Executive and government officials on the Assange case.

Such executive commentary in Sweden, or indeed Australia, compromises the democratic principle of separation of the executive from judicial processes and is prejudicial and therefore jeopardises the potential for a fair trial.

For these reasons I respectfully request that representations be made to the Swedish government noting and regretting the potential damaging nature of these statements made about an Australian citizen, requesting their retraction or at the very least cessation.

11 February 2011 - The Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt mistakenly stated that Assange had been charged. The statement was never officially retracted.

25 January 2012 - Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, criticised Assange on Swedish national radio one week before Assange's Supreme Court case was heard in the UK. Reinfeldt stated that Julian Assange's criticisms of abuses by the Swedish system in his case were not legitimate and were a strategy to avoid extradition. The full interview is available at this link:

February 2012 - Foreign Minister Carl Bildt makes statements on Assange via Twitter!/carlbildt/statuses/172214367121707008

8 February 2012 - In a parliamentary address the Prime Minister Reinfeldt said that "we do not accept sexual abuse or rape" and said that Assange and his lawyers had little regard for women's rights. Mr Assange's barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC, said Mr Reinfeldt had also "accused Mr Assange of claiming women's rights are worthless".

15 August 2012 - Swedish Minister of Social Affairs Göran Hägglund issued a series of tweets: "Sick. A coward who does not dare to have his case tried by the court. If the accusations against him are true, he is a lowlife." None of these statements have been retracted. For a longer version of the entire Twitter conversation:,00.shtml

In a statement given to Expressen later that week, The Minister called Assange a "coward" and a "pitiful wretch" for taking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy. "Assange is a very cowardly person who does not dare confront the charges against him."

18 August 2012 - the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a tweet, presumably arguing why Assange cannot be questioned in London: "You do not dictate the terms if you are a suspect. Get it?"

While the comments of journalists, particularly those writing for Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Expressen and Aftonbladet are beyond the control of the government, statements made by senior officials have contributed to providing a permissive environment for blatantly offensive aggression towards Assange in the Swedish press, a few examples of which are also provided below.

22 February 2012 - Expressen publishes a story - entirely false as it turns out - that Wikileaks threatens to publish an internal memo that will reveal Carl Bildt as an informant for the US. This causes Bildt to make hostile public statements on his blog. Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson puts the matter to rest but not before a great deal of destructive and malicious commentary is made in the Swedish press.

29 February 2012 - Sweden's largest daily, Dagens Nyheter, called Assange "paranoid", and a "querulant".

14 March 2012 - Aftonbladet's prominent journalist Martin Aagård called Assange an "Australian pig". "There are many good reasons to criticize Assange. One of them is that he's a repugnant swine."

24 April 2011 - Jan Guillou stated in Aftonbladet that regardless of "whether Assange is guilty or not - he's still an unprincipled disgusting little creep", adding "and now I'm holding back".

16 August 2012 - Aftonbladet columnist Oisín Cantwell characterised Assange as a "coward", a "creep", a "white-haired crackpot" and an "asshole" because he would rather request asylum from Ecuador than face extradition to Sweden.

18 August 2012 - TV journalist Jenny Strömstedt stated in Expressen that Assange should be put on display in a glass cage at Ecuador's London embassy for the next fifteen years "so that anyone willing to pay entrance can watch his aging struggles".

Minister, I look forward to discussing these issues with you in the near future and request that you raise these matters with your Swedish counterparts.


Senator Scott Ludlam

Cc: Senator Doug Cameron

2013-01-17 Senator Ludlam to Foreign Minister Carr 28 November 2012

Senator the Hon Bob Carr
Minister for Foreign Affairs
PO Box 6100
Senate Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

28 November 2012

Dear Minister,

Please find below a series of links to evidence relating to the existence of a criminal grand jury investigation into Wikileaks.

As you know, the 2010 diplomatic cable from Australia's Ambassador in Washington released to Fairfax under FOI states that the investigation into Wikileaks and Assange is "unprecedented in scale and nature" and that media reports that a grand jury has been convened in Alexandria, Virginia were "likely true."

This sensible and credible assumption on the part of Australian diplomats was presumably derived from multiple statements made by US Attorney General Eric Holder referring to "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" and " significant things" that he "personally authorized", and statements such as, "I authorized just last week a number of things to be done so that we can hopefully get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable, as they should be". These statements can be found at the following links:

28 July 2010
29 November 2010
6 December 2010

As you know, the US Department of Justice claims "Full Denial" on FOIA requests for "Any and all records pertaining to WikiLeaks Organization," citing exemption (b)(7)(A) saying, "Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, the release of which could reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings"

Documents arising from the Twitter case refer to investigations underway. On December 14, 2010 Theresa Buchanan, a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, ordered Twitter to turn over to the U.S. Government, the non-content communication information of Julian Assange; WikiLeaks; Bradley Manning; Jacob Appelbaum, who is a developer for the Tor project; Rop Gonggrijp, described in court papers as a Dutch activist and businessman; and Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic Parliament.

On January 5, 2011, the Court ordered that the original December 14, 2010 Court Order be unsealed, thereby authorizing Twitter to disclose its existence to its subscribers.

On January 4, 2012, District Judge Liam O'Grady denied the petitioners' motion to stay the original December 14, 2010 Court Order and ruled that Twitter hand over the information. The docket and public filings for the Appelbaum (Case No. 1:11-dm-00003-TCB -LO-1), Gonggrijp (Case No. 1:11-dm-00003-TCB -LO-2), Jonsdottir (Case No. 1:11-dm-00003-TCB -LO-3), and Twitter (Case No. 1:11-dm-00003-TCB -LO-4) motion to vacate the December 14, 2010 2703(d) Court Order can be found here.

Within those filings is included another docket of secret 2703d orders still under seal in the WikiLeaks Grand Jury investigation.

The US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Neil MacBride, whose office is responsible for the Grand Jury empaneled in Alexandria, Virginia, and two of its US assistant attorney prosecutors, including Andrew Peterson, argue against unsealing certain documents in the case of a Grand Jury and write in footnote number two on page six of the February 4, 2011, "Government's Response in Opposition to the Real Parties in Interest Motion For Immediate Unsealing of Motions and Upcoming Hearing": "The Attorney General publicly confirmed the existence of an investigation into disclosures of classified information made by WikiLeaks on November 29, 2010. See page 6 - footnote 2 at this link

At an April 6, 2011 hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee entitled, entitled "The Electronic Communications Privacy Act: Government Perspectives on Protecting Privacy in the Digital Age" with Department of Justice, James A. Baker, Esq. cites Judge Buchanan's WikiLeaks Grand Jury 2703(d) order regarding the probable cause standard for early "criminal" and "national security" investigations:

In considering the standard for issuing 2703(d) orders, it is important to consider the role they play in early stages of criminal and national security investigations. In the Wikileaks investigation, for example, this point was recently emphasized by Magistrate Judge Buchanan in the Eastern District of Virginia. In denying a motion to vacate a 2703(d) order directed to Twitter, Judge Buchanan explained that "at an early stage, the requirement of a higher probable cause standard for non-content information voluntarily released to a third party would needlessly hamper an investigation." In re 2703(d), 2011 WL 900120, at *4 (E.D. Va. March 11, 2011).

On 11 May 2011 the Guardian reported on the existence of the Grand Jury after revelations from people subpoenaed to appear before it.

As you know from the Australian Ambassador in Washington DC, there are two publicly reported subpoenas compelling witness testimony - one for David House and the second for an unnamed Cambridge resident.

David House made his subpoena public

The unnamed Cambridge resident did also

According to these documents signed by Neil MacBride US Attorney Eastern District of Virginia, Tracy Doherty-McCormick Assistant US Attorney and Andrew Peterson Assistant US Attorney, the Grand Jury in Alexandria, VA is investigating, "possible violations of federal criminal law involving, but not necessarily limited to conspiracy to communicate or transmit national defense information in violation of 18 U.S.C. 793(g) and conspiracy to violate the laws of the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 371 to wit; knowingly accessing a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access and having obtained information protected from disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1030(a) and knowingly stealing or converting any record of thing of value of the United States or any department or agency thereof in violation of 18 U.S.C. 641"

On 12 July 2012 the Stratfor emails were released, with one dated 26 January 2011 indicating that a sealed indictment existed:

You will note in a number of court records pertaining to the Twitter case references to cases that are assigned a GJ number such as references in this document:

A "GJ" number is assigned by the United States Attorney's Office to identify documents related to a grand jury investigation. "GJ" numbers are created by U.S. Attorney's Office staff, and are used to ensure that subpoenas and other documents related to various investigations are appropriately handled and filed. An investigation assigned a "gj" number may become a criminal case, or it may not.

According to the 4 Corners piece conducted by Mr. Andrew Fowler, the docket number for the Grand Jury criminal investigation of WikiLeaks case is 10GJ3793, with 10 standing for the year it began, GJ which is Grand Jury and then 3793. 3 is the Conspiracy Statute in the United States. 793 is the Espionage Statute.

Multiple references to the Grand Jury investigation have been made in evidence given under oath in the Manning trial, at which Australian diplomats have been present. Your representatives will have noted that Judge Lind, Prosecution Fein and the Defence Counsel Coombs have made multiple references.

On 21 June 2012 one reporter present at the hearing stated, "When the defense provided the Court with a two portions of unclassified grand jury testimony that the Government had provided them, consisting of 30 pages of running black redactions, the lead counsel for the Government, jumped up, interrupted the Judge, instructed the Court that the unclassified black portions were under seal. The following unofficial transcript is just one example

"...its grand jury testimony...information protected. And, we will provide the Court the protective order that Mr. Coombs and the whole defense counsel had signed based on off your previous order on the Grand Jury testimony. The Assistant US Attorneys went to a Federal Judge to have it approved to be turned over for limited purposes. So, that should at least in our Court be filed under seal."

Defence Counsel Coombs requested that certain witnesses recuse themselves due to their involvement in Grand Jury Process.

Mark Mander, US Army Computer Crime Investigative Unit special agent, told the pre-trial hearings that the FBI was targeting seven civilians, including "the founders, owners or managers of WikiLeaks," for criminal activity and espionage. He said a US military investigation into WikiLeaks began in early June 2010, a few days after Manning was arrested. Mander revealed that the investigation was receiving legal advice from Neil McBride, who is the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia that has signed the subpoenas to appear at the Grand Jury empanelled in Alexandria.

Minister, I look forward to discussing these issues with you in the near future.


Senator Scott Ludlam