I personally wrote the judge about whistleblower Daniel Hale’s case requesting leniency in his sentencing. In my letter I stated “…how could a person of conscience not speak out? The impact of carrying out orders, carrying the burden of responsibility, would certainly wear a person down, questioning right from wrong, whether the ends justify the means, etc. Drone pilots are traumatized, with drug abuse, domestic violence and even suicide being the end result.” and “This young man strikes me as being an upstanding person of conscience who has suffered the ill effects of serving as a UAV pilot for targeted assassinations. I can well imagine Daniel obviously grappled with his conscience and decided to act on what in his estimation was the right, moral and just thing to do. I ask you to drop all charges against Daniel and not punish a young man for turning humane and for his actions of attempting to cease further harm.”
Daniel is a hero having provided the public with irrefutable proof that 90% of the victims of the US military drone strike program are innocents, striking wedding, funeral parties, agricultural workers, etc. e.g. Loved ones buried after US drone strike kills 30 pine nut pickers in Afghanistan. We now know that the claims for precision are outright lies. The program is slaughtering innocents including women and children. In addition to being illegal and immoral, the US military drone program makes US citizens less safe as it foments anger and hate and the desire to strike back at the US for their slaughtering of innocents (another 911 anyone?). This is just simple common sense. Only the out-of-control heartless, evil, and immoral military industrial complex benefits.
Surveillance program that gathered Americans’ phone data was illegal, court finds was an article headline in the Washington Post of two days ago. This is wonderful news. Governments should have nothing to hide. That is, of course, if they’re not run by kleptomaniacs and sociopaths and that, my dear, is a whole other problem…
Seven years ago, as the news declared I was being charged as a criminal for speaking the truth, I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them.
While Chris Hedges is considered far too radical by many, he has keen insights into the whys and wherefores of our present predicament. By sharing this interview on my blog, I am not endorsing XR America. Apparently Extinction Rebellion has had a bit of a schism in the USA due to either immature, megalomaniacal leadership and/or state subterfuge. Regardless, the interview with Chris stands on its own merit. Highly recommended!
I have a special relationship with Bolivia having been there five times over the years, courtesy of the Partners of the Americas and Fulbright programs. The situation in Bolivia today is a complicated one and it has been instructive for me to witness the mis- and disinformation generated from recent events there in recent weeks following the national election. In today’s saturating infosphere, separating fact from fiction, and truths from untruths, is no small job. This is especially difficult given the manipulative and coercive power of weaponized information, combined with the increasing absence of critical thinking in our culture. One must remain vigilant and open minded, always seeking truth and facts so as to not find oneself inadvertently having adopted hard-line positions on either the Left or the Right. Typically, upon closer examination, you will find elements of the truth to be found on both sides and the truth, my dear, will set you free (from deception and ignorance).
Given the capitalist’s and imperialist’s dominance of mass media in the world today, I feel it is important to lift up powerful voices that are being silenced and ignored (and in this case, also demonized) by the powers that be. It is in this spirit that I want to share this recent interview with the (now deposed) president of Bolivia Evo Morales. Listen closely with an open mind, you might learn something.
“If you are reading this, you already know that the FBI has engaged in a pattern of political spying over the course of its 100 year history. And you know that the groups the FBI spies on tend to be civil rights, environmental, and peace activists. You know they treat the Muslim community as inherently suspect, without any factual basis. But most people, and certainly most lawmakers, just aren’t paying attention. So our report meticulously documents the problem, particularly over the past 10 years, and makes the case for serious reforms.”