Sunday, February 17, 2013

America's Surveillance State Knows No Bounds

The Guardian reported on one facet of America's descent into a total surveillance state:

The battered credibility of the Guantánamo trials has been further dented by revelations of hidden microphones, intelligence service interference with court proceedings and protests from lawyers who say the US military is preventing a proper defence of the alleged organisers of the 9/11 attacks.

The increasingly chaotic pre-trial hearings for the alleged mastermind of the attacks on the World Trade Center, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four co-accused have slowed progress toward the full trial, to the point where it will now not start until at least 2014. But the latest developments also further undermine confidence in a military court whose legitimacy has long been questioned.

In recent days, the commander of the Guantánamo prison, Colonel John Bogdan, was forced to admit on the witness stand that secret listening devices disguised as smoke detectors were installed in the cell where lawyers met their clients, and that he knew nothing about them.
This means citizens must rely on whistle blowers, those in the inside of the surveillance state, for revelations on its depth and mendacity.  Which brings us to America's treatment of Bradley Manning.

Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being behind the largest leak of state secrets in America's history, has been denied the chance to make a whistleblower defence in his upcoming court martial in which he faces possible life in military custody with no chance of parole.
Checkmate, the surveillance state wins.  Obama must be very proud of the payoff that awaits him post public service.

Update 1-2-2017:  President Obama's zero tolerance war on whistleblowers paves the way for President elect Donald Trump, who has already expressed extreme disregard for the press and the role it's played in keeping government responsible and accountable. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Obama to Continue Summary Executions

A white paper identified the "legal basis" for a U.S. President to order the summary execution of American citizens.  President Obama ramped up the use of drone strikes. The practice violates international law, but the U.S. isn't accountable given its U.N Security Council veto vote.

Not content with exterminating people via drone, Obama wants to turn this tool on citizens.  Hail to Obama, the Drone King!