Wednesday, May 30, 2012




AP EXPLAINS, "Poles are expressing outrage at President Barack Obama for referring to 'Polish death camps' during a ceremony honoring a World War II hero."  AND THIS ISN'T THE FIRST TIME HE'S OUTRAGED THE PEOPLE OF POLAND WITH ONE OF HIS SLIGHTS AND INSULTS:

President Obama has a long track record of insulting the Poles. In 2010 he chose to play golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. Eight months earlier he humiliated Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. And last night Barack Obama caused huge offence in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp in Poland as “a Polish death camp” while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a Polish resistance fighter.





Starting in the US where Bradley Manning's court-martial is scheduled to begin September 21st.  Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December.  At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial.  Bradley has yet to enter a plea and has neither affirmed that he is the leaker nor denied it.
Bradley's case was discussed on this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights).  Excerpt.
Heidi Boghosian: Michael, you told us a bit about the trial of Bradley Manning and I understand that CCR is going to be involved on a different level with the case.
Michael Ratner: Well CCR has been involved in some ways with Bradley Manning for a long time. We represent WikiLeaks and Julian Assange and I and other CCR attorneys have been going to the Bradley Manning hearings down at Fort Meade as I've reported on this radio show.  One of the outrageous things about the hearing is that even documents that are not classified are not given to the public, are not given to the media.  There's no way to get any of the court orders that the judge actually makes.  You know, such things as pre-trial publicity.  There's no way to get any of the motions.  Although, now, some defense motions are up.  But government motions are not there, government responses are not there. There's no transcript of the proceeding that we can get.  There's one made but no one has access to it of the media or public.  You sit in the court and you can't understand what's going on because you can't read any of the papers. So we now at the Center have for a number of months been trying to insist to the court that these are public filings, Bradley Mannings been denied his right to a public trial and the media and the citizenry is being denied their right to a public trial which is a key part of ensuring that justice is done fairly.
Heidi Boghosian: Michael, are the documents being withheld in the name of national security?  And also, is there precedent for this?
Michael Ratner: This is a court-martial.  They apparently have different rules that they like to apply about letting the public know about what's going on.  Every court-martial is essentially an ad-hoc tribunal.  They're set up for the specific purpose of whomever they're going to try.  They don't even have a clerk's office or a docket. And the judge has not said she's withholding because of national security.  She's simply not giving the documents.  No court orders. No motions -- particularly of the government's. None of the replies or briefs.  And no transcripts. And there's also a lot of off-the-record hearings that we have no access to.  So this, unfortunately, seems to be a matter of course.  But here you are, in the most important court-martial probably in the century, conceivably, and the public and the media are not getting the materials.
Heidi Boghosian: There's an irony in this given that Manning is on trial for the very reason that he made documents public and, in his hearings, things are being withheld.
Michael Ratner:  Yes.  In fact, you could argue that the entire proceeding is a justification for what Bradley Manning allegedly did, that this entire country is going down some huge secrecy drain even with documents that the judge doesn't even claim are national security documents and they're not giving them to us.  So what we did a few weeks ago is we filed some letters with the judge saying we want access.  The Reporters Committee on Free Press filed a letter with 47 major newspapers saying we want access. Everything has been denied. So now we are going to the next level of the military appeals, it's called the Court of Military Appeals, and then we go to the Court of the Armed Forces and then, presumably, into federal court. I expect to win the case. 
Though he's never been found guilty of anything, he remains behind bars and the Constitutional guarantee of a speedy and fair trial becomes even more of a joke. 
Today marks two years of imprisonment of Private Bradley Manning.  Two years ouf of his 24 years is a long time in military prison.  His treatment has been highly controversial, every step of the way.
Following every bit of information available during the first few months of his ordeal made it clear that the US government was going to use Manning as a warning to anyone else who might feel compelled to report on war crimes, or any other crimes they witness from withing the system.  Blow the whistle, goes the warning, and you will be buried alive by the state, shredded by the same secrecy machine a whistleblower would try to expose.
Two years now.  And this is under Barack Obama.  He had no respect for the Constitution.  People deluded themselves.  The Voice of Russia sees little hope of Bradley getting a fair shake:
All of the facts so far do not point to the possibility that Manning will be given the opportunity to receive a fair trial. He was the chosen scapegoat for what the US characterized as a historic intelligence failure, something conspiracy theorists say was an orchestrated release to tie up the intelligence agencies of the world with disinformation and to serve as the spark to ignite the color revolutions of the Arab spring. According to experts these two things were the only real tangible effects of the release of the information that was attributed to Manning.
[. . .]
The answer is clear, it is not in the interests of the government to assist in the Manning's defense, if he is found innocent and the huge house of cards that has been built up around him comes crashing down many officials at all levels will have to face the piper and while the foxes are guarding the chicken coop assisting someone they accuse is not something that can ever be expected, no matter how much lip service is paid to innocence before guilty.
Meanwhile in England, the Iraq War is back in the news after Tony Blair got confronted for his War Crimes yesterday.  Samira Shackle (New Statesman) reported that while Tony Blair gave testimony a the Royal Courts of Justice, he was shouted down with a cry of, "This man should be arrested for War Crimes!"  Tom Chivers (Telegraph of London) identifies the truth-teller as David Lawley-Wakelin who made the documentary Alternative Iraq Enquiry. Sam Lister, Rosa Silverman and Brian Farmer (Independent of London) report that Lawley-Wakelin shouted, "This man should be arrested for War Crimes.  JP Morgan paid him off for the Iraq War.  Three months after he invaded Iraq they held upt he Iraq bank for 20 billion.  He was then paid six million dollars every year and still is from JP Morgan six month after he left office.  This man is a War Criminal!" As Connor Simpson's piece for The Atlantic noted, "Tony Blair Can't Escape the Iraq War."
Suzannah Hills (Daily Mail) reports that Lawley-Wakelin appeared on James O'Brien's LBC radio program today You go through the metal detectors, any member of the public can actually go in, and I tried to get in through the front entrance of the Leveson inquiry but was evicted as I don't have any press accreditation. But I figured out there must be a back way in as Lord Leveson himself must have one.  When I got there I was surprised to find out that there was no security at all and in fact the door to the court was wide open in the same way that Lord Leveson himself would have got in there."  The Telgraph of London quotes Leveson telling the inquiry today, "Yesterday morning a man by the name of David Lawley-Wakelin interrupted and disrupted the proceedings of this Inquiry for purposes of his own.  I directed that an inquiry should take place and it has now been completed.  Appropriate measures to prevent any risk of repetition have been taken."  Lawley-Wakelin appeared on Press TV (link is video and transcript) today and was asked if War Criminal Blair would ever appear before the Hague?
Lawley-Wakelin: You know, whether he ever gets to court that's another thing.  Taking on the American government, Bush and Blair and the British government it's just an enormous thing.  There are lots of websites where you can join petitions to get Blair indicated for war crimes and perhaps one day we can hope that he will be taken down to the Hague but it's a long road and we can only hope that it will happen.  There is plenty of evidence to point towards it.  The sad thing is that the Chilcot Inquiry [so named after its chairman Sir John Chilcot] over here in England which is known as the Iraq Inquiry won't be looking into any criminal activity, they'll only be making inquiry into what went wrong in the decision-making by the politicians and the government and putting guidelines towards that but they won't be looking at all the money that washed around at the time and that Blair is still making.


 "Barack doesn't win the vet vote"
"Memorial Day,"