A great many people around the county were rightfully shocked and horrified by the recent excellent and hard-hitting PBS documentary, The Untouchables, which looked at the problem of high-ranking Wall Street crooks going unpunished in the wake of the financial crisis. The PBS piece certainly rattled some cages, particularly in Washington, in a way that few media efforts succeed in doing. Now, two very interesting and upsetting footnotes to that groundbreaking documentary have emerged in the last weeks. The first involves one of the people interviewed for the story, a former high-ranking executive from Countrywide financial who turned whistleblower named Michael Winston...
Tag Archives | Whistleblowers
Bradley Manning is arguably one of the most important figures to emerge on the political landscape this century, both to those who admire his ‘bravery’ and to those who despise his ‘treachery’.
Manning has been accused of leaking over 250,000 U.S. State Department diplomatic cables and approximately 500,000 army reports, as well as secret videos of air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which journalists and civilians, mainly women and children, were shown being massacred by the U.S. military. These leaks have been dubbed Cablegate (referring to the diplomatic cables), and the Iraq War logs and the Afghan War Diary (referring to the army reports). The consequences of these leaked documents has been profound:
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“The material that Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked has highlighted astonishing examples of U.S. subversion of the democratic process around the world, systematic evasion of accountability for atrocities and killings, and many other abuses.
The parties and their factions live not only in parallel universes but worlds of information that are driven mostly but what they think will work in pandering to their bases and the public.
Even as progressives complain that Barack Obama has moved right even if he occasionally talks left, the hard-core right-wing see him a black revolutionary shaped by Reverend Wright’s black liberation theology with allusions to Malcolm X and Kenyan communists thrown into the mix to “prove” their case.
Never mind that Obama threw his one time mentor Wright under the bus in 2008, or that his policies rarely speak of the needs of a black community suffering under the burden of high joblessness, foreclosures and growing poverty.
In fact, real black revolutionaries like Cornel West and so many others find the president a sell-out and embarrassment even if their community embraces him more as an identity issue or on the basis of shared pigmentation,
The recent plan by Wall Street trader Ed Ricketts to recycle the alleged Obama-Wright conspiracy into an defamatory political ad campaign spoke more to his ignorance and fears than any truth-based assessment.… Read the rest
Military officers rarely speak out against their services, but in our lead story you'll hear from two elite pilots who question the safety of Air Force's most sophisticated, stealthy, and expensive fighter jet, the F-22 Raptor. Maj. Jeremy Gordon and Capt. Joshua Wilson have chosen to stop flying the F-22 because they say during some flights they and other pilots have experienced oxygen deprivation, disorientation, and worse. They are concerned about their safety in the air, as well as the long-term health consequences. The Air Force says it is doing all it can to investigate and solve the problem, and are keeping the jets in the air with careful supervision of the pilots.
This Easter enjoy the strange case of “Church” of Scientology’s very own Judas Iscariot, as told by Guy Adams in the Independent:
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The men who came for Marty Rathbun wore a kind of uniform: dark glasses, clipped facial hair, and light blue T-shirts. Each carried either a microphone, or a video camera. On their chests were pictures of a squirrel, upon which a photograph of Marty’s head had been crudely superimposed. Topping off the ensemble were black baseball caps with an embroidered slogan stitched in white above the peak. It proclaimed: ‘SQUIRREL BUSTERS’.
There were four of them, and they appeared around lunchtime on 18 April last year. Marty was making a sandwich in the kitchen of his home in Ingleside on the Bay, on the Gulf Coast of Texas. When he heard them knock, he grabbed a video camera kept on his sideboard for such an occasion.
Are we entering a “post-legal” era? Via Common Dreams:
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In September of last year, Peter Van Buren, a 24 year veteran at the State Department and author of the book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, wrote a piece for the online journal TomDispatch entitled, “The Only Employee at State Who May Be Fired Because of WikiLeaks: Me”. Last week, that piece took on prophetic qualities when the State Department initiated official proceedings to fire Van Buren. The move was leaked by Van Buren himself to the Washington Post.
According to the Post, the charges against him are based on a 25-page investigation of Van Buren that the State Department concluded last December. He said he was not aware of the probe until the report was provided to him with his termination notice. From the Post:
Now the State Department is moving to fire [Van Buren] based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information.
Reports Reuters via the Huffington Post:
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The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks began publishing on Monday more than five million emails from a U.S.-based global security analysis company that has been likened to a shadow CIA.
The emails, snatched by hackers, could unmask sensitive sources and throw light on the murky world of intelligence-gathering by the company known as Stratfor, which counts Fortune 500 companies among its subscribers. Stratfor in a statement shortly after midnight EST (0500 GMT) said the release of its stolen emails was an attempt to silence and intimidate it.
It said it would not be cowed under the leadership of George Friedman, Stratfor’s founder and chief executive officer. It said Friedman had not resigned as CEO, contrary to a bogus email circulating on the Internet. Some of the emails being published “may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” the company statement said.
“We will not validate either.