New Petition Gains Prominent Signatures: “Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars” | The Seminal

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New Petition Gains Prominent Signatures: “Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars”

By: Jeff Kaye Sunday August 8, 2010 12:59 am

The right wing media are clucking loudly these days, competing over who can be the best sycophant to the President and the Pentagon in the latter’s frenzy over the leaks coming out of Julian Assange’s Wikileaks website. But it’s not just the right wing. Establishment Democrats are lining up to show their pro-military, patriotic fervor, only days after passing a $37 billion dollar defense supplemental to pay for more war in Afghanistan.

Following the release of tens of thousands of documents showing U.S. forces in Afghanistan involved in numerous killings of civilians, in cover-ups, and even running a Special Forces death squad “catch or kill” list, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that a planned new shield law would have a special provision to ensure it would not apply to “organizations like WikiLeaks.”

Schumer joins forces with creepy finks like Adrian Lamo and his mentors at Project Vigilant (PV) in going after Wikileaks, as if they were some criminal outfit. According to an excellent analysis by Glenn Greenwald, PV leader Chet Uber “strongly pressured Lamo to inform” on PFC Brian Manning, held now at Quantico under suspicion of leaking the Afghan war documents. Uber strongly suggested to Lamo that he might be arrested for holding the documents he supposedly got from Manning if he didn’t turn them over to the feds. Lamo apparently hesitated a moment before turning definitively to the dark side. Greenwald makes a good case for seeing the actions by Uber and Project Vigilant (and their Renfield, Lamo) as a sinister example of the new privatization of the intelligence apparatus, aimed at cowing an already submissive public into total political somnolence.

It’s really beyond dispute that one has virtually no privacy from the Government. That’s not just true in theory, but in practice, as the Government seriously escalates the various ways it maintains dossiers on citizens….

Many people are indifferent to the disappearance of privacy — even with regard to government officials — because they don’t perceive any real value to it. The ways in which the loss of privacy destroys a society are somewhat abstract and difficult to articulate, though very real. A society in which people know they are constantly being monitored is one that breeds conformism and submission, and which squashes innovation, deviation, and real dissent.

Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, supply a strong antidote to this nihilistic surrender to a surveillance society. As a result, they have been attacked by the likes of Fox News and Washington Post Cheney-groupie Marc Thiessen. The latter could barely contain himself, reporting on the Pentagon’s request that Wikileaks turn over all their Afghan war logs, and calling the Pentagon’s bluster “a final warning,” while fantasizing about the Pentagon launching a black ops or rendition on Assange. While the consensus is the Pentagon can’t really do much about the leaks, nothing is too desperate for the rulers of America, if they see themselves losing. It is imperative that believers in a free press, in transparency in government, in protection for whistleblowers, and for an end to the fruitless and criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to stand up in defense of Wikileaks.

Assange and his supporters have put themselves smack in the way of the Pentagon war machine, and the generals and admirals don’t like it one bit. The military has now ordered all personnel that they cannot visit the Wikileaks website. We should remember, too, that it was only last March that Wikileaks revealed a U.S. counterintelligence plan to stop potential whistleblowers from sending documents or videos to them. The SECRET/NOFORN document argued for actions that could “damage or destroy this center of gravity [Wikileaks] and deter others considering similar actions [leaking] from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site.”

Tom Hayden has posted a petition calling for the defense of Wikileaks. The title of the petition reads, “Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars.”

Here’s the text, along with a list of prominent endorsers:

Background (Preamble):
We believe that WikiLeaks and those whistleblowers who declassify documents in a time of secret war should be welcomed as defenders of democracy, not demonized as criminals.

We support their First Amendment rights and welcome their continued disobedience in response to a long train of official deception.

Petition:
Our government and its allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan have stretched the labels “national security” and “secrecy” beyond all reasonable definitions, because they wish to keep the realities of these wars hidden from the American people. “National security” is becoming the last refuge of scoundrels. Only consider –

– Our government prohibited the media from photographing the returning remains of our dead soldiers, until public pressure forced a change in policy;

– The Abu Ghraib torture scandal only came to public attention when photographs were leaked by an MP;

– The war in Pakistan is shrouded in secrecy because it violates that country’s sovereignty, results in the killing of innocent civilians, and is deeply unpopular;

– According to the new information from WikiLeaks, our Special Operations Task Force 373 operates outside the ISAF mandate to kidnap and kill targeted insurgents in a repeat of the discredited Phoenix program of the Vietnam era.

– Gen. Stanley McChrystal was forced to resign after a Rolling Stone reporter uncovered attitudes hostile to civilian authority;

– The same Rolling Stone article quoted a top official saying if the truth about these wars was known by the American people, they would be even more unpopular.

Given this context of cover-ups, whistleblowers have been a last resort in keeping democracy alive.

We understand the embarrassment of high officials when exposed, but it is Orwellian for the Pentagon to accuse the WikiLeaks of having “blood on their hands.” We are in the tenth year of a war which has claimed over 1,100 American lives, and where Afghan and Pakistan casualties are obscured deliberately. Many of America’s killed and wounded are listed as non-combat, minimizing the actual toll. WikiLeaks has been careful to delete information which might expose individuals to lethal risk. Those who really have blood on their hands are the authors of this war. We stand with those who expose them.

TOM HAYDEN
REV. GEORGE HUNSINGER, Princeton Theology Seminary
ED BACON, All Saints Episcopal
MEDEA BENJAMIN, Co-founder, CODEPINK
TIM CARPENTER, Progressive Democrats of America
REV. JIM CONN
ARIEL DORFMAN, Author
DANIEL ELLSBERG
PETER DALE SCOTT, Author
DONALD SHRIVER, President of Union Theological Seminary in NYC [ret.]
PEGGY SHRIVER, Assistant General Secretary, National Council of Churches [ret.]
JEAN STEIN, Editor/Author

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

A defense website has also been set up for Bradley Manning, and can be accessed here.

45 Responses to “New Petition Gains Prominent Signatures: “Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars””

shekissesfrogs August 8th, 2010 at 1:41 am

As far as I can tell, documents on cryptome.org indicate from the IP numbers of PV that their servers are housed at the Alamo Nat’l laboratory. Lamo has always been a government snitch. This is a psyops war to create fear and spread disinfo too.

I don’t know Jeff, I feel like if I sign that petition I’ll end up on a no-fly list. I think it might be a better idea to download the huge “insurance” file. It wouldn’t be that difficult to get it sprung open.

eblair August 8th, 2010 at 2:33 am

“organizations like Wikileaks” = “media outlets that are not in our backpocket”

Is Schumer more evil or more more idiotic? So hard to tell.

Perhaps he genuinely enjoys being despised?

Would more fellatio have mitigated this? Quite possible he has never received a hummer.

marinara August 8th, 2010 at 3:39 am

remember that the public has been told wikileaks is evil. I really wonder how many people believe that garbage.

shekissesfrogs August 8th, 2010 at 3:56 am
In response to shekissesfrogs @ 1 

Los Alamos.. sorry

Jim White August 8th, 2010 at 8:22 am

Thanks, Jeff. Over 2200 signatures at this point.

iphelgix August 8th, 2010 at 8:28 am
In response to marinara @ 3

that particular line of attack isn’t gaining bipartisan traction from what i’ve seen of most polls. it does seem to be split along party affiliation for the most part. For a group of people who claim to not like government, they sure afford it a ton of trust.

View this users Facebook profileMason August 8th, 2010 at 9:06 am

I signed. I’m number 2292.

TomThumb August 8th, 2010 at 10:44 am

Signed 1863

Thanks for doing this. this is important!

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 11:15 am
In response to shekissesfrogs @ 1 

Yes, Lamo had worked with Uber and the private surveillance community before. But he appeared to have some shred of conscience left over turning in Manning, and Uber made clear that his soul was sold, and Lamo would suffer consequences if he wavered in his commitment to selling out Manning now.

Re no-fly lists. I can’t tell anyone what to do. I have to think about my own conscience. But I totally understand, and am glad you stated your reluctance. I think it’s a good example of the kind of fear of expressing dissent that Greenwald is talking about, and how the government is consciously trying to produce that.

Btw, from what I can tell, Wikileaks is seen as heroic by most people I come across.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 11:19 am
In response to TomThumb @ 8

Well, you beat me, as I’m 2187.

How glad I am to see such a robust response. I’d love to see this go into the tens of thousands.

ubetchaiam August 8th, 2010 at 11:32 am

HI Jeff; I posted this on the 4th; please read the comments. Glad someone else took up the cause.

Everybody look what’s going down
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
We better stop, hey, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down ”

43 years later and ………

Twain August 8th, 2010 at 11:36 am

Signed and thanks for providing the petition.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 12:06 pm
In response to ubetchaiam @ 11 

Oh, yes. I saw, recommended, and then meant to come back but got caught up in work and other matters. I’m glad I found my way back to it, and sorry I didn’t notice in the article your earlier publicity.

Of course, one would have to be blind not to believe that major disinformation would be unleashed in the wake of the Wikileaks revelations. It’s not always easy to distinguish, of course, from everyday paranoia, nor the wish for some to put in their two cents. I am sorry to see Cryptome add to the paranoia, in what I think is merely envy or jealousy over Assange.

In any case, without Wikileaks, we would not have had the Guantanamo SOP, which shows that the regimen of isolation and psychological pressures began at the very beginning of a prisoner’s stay. Does anyone know another prison in the world where the prisoner is put in solitary confinement for the first 30 days of their incarceration, without exception, with such isolation renewable at the approval of higher command?

Would we have the information we do now on the operation of kill squads in Afghanistan? Or that Germany turned over assassination lists to the U.S., as Spiegel recently reported?

The society is being confronted with the reality of its military component, and the crimes committed thereby. Expect a lot of flinching, angst, hysteria, and hopefully, education and a decision to turn to committed action.

Thanks again, ubetchaiam.

ubetchaiam August 8th, 2010 at 12:33 pm
In response to Jeff Kaye @ 13 

And thank you Jeff for keeping the idea ‘outfront’ in peoples minds.

Teddy Partridge August 8th, 2010 at 12:35 pm

2,313 — and happy to have signed.

FBd, Tweeted, and Rec’d.

View this users Facebook profilekirk murphy August 8th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

2,323 here… Jeff, thank you for the opportunity and for your work.

Tweeted and recd (dial-up FB’s too hinky…)

Hugh August 8th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Schumer joins forces with creepy finks like Adrian Lamo and his mentors at Project Vigilant (PV) in going after Wikileaks, as if they were some criminal outfit.

Ironic really, when you consider the real criminal outfit is our own hopelessly corrupted government.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Thanks to those who’ve signed. For those so inclined, I set up a Digg link.

http://digg.com/politics/New_Petition_Gains_Prominent_Signatures_Defend_WikiLeaks

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 1:35 pm
In response to Hugh @ 17

Corruption, in the GAO sense and in the sense of morality… along those lines, two really good articles are also up right now.

GAO Audits and Poppy Bush’s Covert World by Emptywheel

Hamid Karzai’s Call to Disband US Private Security Contractors: Promoting Peace While Consolidating Family Business by Jim White

laurastrand August 8th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Happy to sign!
I don’t know what bothers me more, the faux outrage that anyone, or any entity would deviate from the offical party line on our glorious wars of empire, or the faux outrage of the so-called mainsteam media that has underserved us for so log and continues to fall for the same kind of ginned-up non-sense regarding all manner of important subjects, be it net neutrality, “entitlements”/safety net, the bright up and comers on the right, and so on. . .
Perhaps, the worst, how long will Bradley Manning be treated as a criminal or traitor before we recognize him as a hero for standing in front of “our” Tienamen Square Tank?

AitchD August 8th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

(signed)

I’m waiting for Seymour Hersh’s third shoe to drop.

I’ll also sign a petition that asks for our elected politicians and their staffs to have their eyes taped open, and then screen V For Vendetta at them.

The Schumers are clueless opportunists. I’d be more forgiving but my PityCard is maxed out.

View this users Facebook profiledakine01 August 8th, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Book Salon up at the Mothership with Lee Badgett’s When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage hosted by Lane Hudson

roydavis August 8th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Re: Privacy
I have a brother in law who is totally OK with government intrusions into ”private matters” by spying, eavesdropping, etc. because he “has nothing to hide”. So I am tempted to ask him if he will give me his mail to read before he reads it — all of it. Oh, and send me his emails before he sends them to anyone else. Oh, and approve of his magazine and newspaper subscriptions. Oh, and have his email sent to me before he reads it. Can I share it with my neighbors? ALL OF IT. Next time the subject comes up, give that a try with those casual, unconcerned conservatives. If they truly want small government, all this snooping and surveillance is a good candidate for budget cuts. Chris Hedges (Truthdig.com) has a great essay from last Monday in which he includes a great summary of our humungous intelligence apparatus. Frightening.

View this users Facebook profileCTuttle August 8th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

#2353…! 😉

Great post…!

JamesJoyce August 8th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
In response to laurastrand @ 20 

“Perhaps, the worst, how long will Bradley Manning be treated as a criminal or traitor before we recognize him as a hero…”

Only as long as people remain silent! This man is no criminal. The criminals are those that misuse national security, to protect business models and cash cows. Executive Oil did well when oil went to $147.00 p/b. For many Americans Manning is already a hero. Pretty sad when raw numbers raise serious questions and facts are squashed, when making serious choices concerning life and death? I mean what the hell…. smoking does not cause cancer, right? Spinning lies into gold at the expense of whose blood?

greenwarrior August 8th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Signed and commented. Thanks, Jeff.

hijean831 August 8th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Uber-Lamo. ‘Nuff said…

conradcelledge August 8th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

8/8/10
GoPetition – Signature Confirmation
Congratulations. You have successfully signed the petition:
Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars.

You are signer #2380 [?]
Defend WikiLeaks – End the Secret Wars
2380 Signatures

So I signed up and I feel good. Thank you Jeff for making this available and also for your other contributions here. Does anyone know if they are going to waterboard Manning? Hope they don’t destroy the videos of it because that would make a great leak later.

On Schumer, well you get what you get. He has an especial interest in these wars that exceeds the normal psychopathic kill urge. Whatever his allegiances it is clear that he is willing to let the American public twist in the wind so the war machine can kill brown people for little or no reason. I am all for video-documenting the positions of these war mongers–make them own this stuff.

peony August 8th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
In response to Jeff Kaye @ 9 

Re no-fly lists. I can’t tell anyone what to do. I have to think about my own conscience. But I totally understand, and am glad you stated your reluctance. I think it’s a good example of the kind of fear of expressing dissent that Greenwald is talking about, and how the government is consciously trying to produce that.

Thanks, Jeff. Your comment was just what I needed to decide in favor of signing the petition.

dancewater August 8th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I am number 51.

I downloaded the Insurance file, too… but cannot open it. It took a while to download.

I feel it is important to keep speaking out, so I sign lots of petitions. And I speak out.

Frank33 August 8th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

#2414. Operation Vigilant, the new COINTELPRO. Digg Patriots, Fascists with computers.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 3:57 pm
In response to peony @ 29

Thanks. In my business, I’ve learned to respect and not downgrade fear. Hence my disgust those who manipulate human fear — based in survival instincts, and self-protection, not to mention care for those to whom one is attached — for their own benefit.

To dancewater: I should have known you’d be a trailblazer!

openhope August 8th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Signed. Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 4:00 pm
In response to hijean831 @ 27 

Indeed.

Or should it be Über-Lamo?

shekissesfrogs August 8th, 2010 at 5:15 pm
In response to Jeff Kaye @ 9 

I signed it, #2457 and left this comment:

“The very word ’secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers, which are cited to justify it.”

President John F. Kennedy
Address to newspaper publishers
April 27, 1961

shekissesfrogs August 8th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

on Schumer, Max Ajl calls him Senator Ribbentrop Schumer.

I think we should make that name stick good.

Jeff Kaye August 8th, 2010 at 6:52 pm
In response to shekissesfrogs @ 35 

Very nice comment for your sig at the petition. I also like your take on Sen. Ribbentrop Schumer.

I see up top that supposedly this story has been tweeted almost 1000 times. I find that hard to believe, but if true that’s a first for a story of mine. I’m certainly heartened to get that kind of response for this issue.

shekissesfrogs August 8th, 2010 at 8:32 pm
In response to Jeff Kaye @ 37 

1289!!! I’ve never seen one go that high, even on twitter itself! Congrats!

skepticdog August 8th, 2010 at 9:10 pm

The government has used technology advancements to spy on it’s people, just like the commies. Tell me again, who won the Cold War?

hmhm August 9th, 2010 at 2:37 am

…hm…. there was a comment here I am missing. hi everybody. a comment talking about if anybody knows how bradley is in the moment. the comment mentioned clearly… “I hope they do no waterboarding…” –

WELL I’D SAY I simply ASSUME that QUITE SOME PEOPLE WOULD RECOMMEND the milizia in US not to repeat stories from last administration.

I was just wondering where this comment vanished to right now.

JamesJoyce August 9th, 2010 at 4:45 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident

“Much of what is known about the Gleiwitz incident comes from the sworn affidavit of Alfred Naujocks at the Nuremberg Trials. In his testimony, he states that he organized the incident under orders from Reinhard Heydrich and Heinrich Müller, the chief of the Gestapo.[1]”

“On the night of 31 August 1939, a small group of German operatives, dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Naujocks[2] seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish (sources vary on the content of the message). The Germans’ goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs.[2][3]”

Why is the necessity of Wikileaks in a free society required? Why have opposition to the abuse of State’s Secrets Doctrine and National Security? Gosh! I could not begin to express why? Might have something to do with that reference to the “Homeland” we hear all the time? The names change but the human propensity to abuse power while wrapped in a flag with ideology loaded in a forced feeding tube has not. The absurdity of the notion that we can change the “Old World” is delusional thinking.

America war is with energy. Winning that war technologicaly speaking liberates America and the world. Instead we protect modern day corporate slave owners while fighting secret wars now killing people we once supported, How does one define INSANE?

Leen August 9th, 2010 at 7:39 am
In response to Jeff Kaye @ 10 

signed awhile back (1170) and posted the links here at Seminal. Great to see it up again.

any one see any coverage of the rally supporting Bradly manning on our MSM?

guess they will need to hold the next rally in Iran so Rachel Maddow etc will cover it

Leen August 9th, 2010 at 7:42 am

Will Rachel maddow or any of the other MSM talking heads cover this rally/protest?

Public Rally Outside Quantico Base to Support Alleged Whistleblower Bradley Manning
http://www.bradleymanning.org/

Jeff Kaye August 9th, 2010 at 9:41 am
In response to JamesJoyce @ 41 

Imagine someone had leaked the SIGINT and other information on the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1965 or even 1968. As it was, even the 1971 release of the leaked Pentagon Papers did not throw significant light on the faked casus belli for war in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Only in 2005 were documents declassified that showed that “Analysts Made “SIGINT fit the claim” of North Vietnamese Attack.” See John Prados and National Security Archive for the relevant materials.

fourmajor August 9th, 2010 at 4:56 pm

You probably should have read Greenwald’s follow-up post on Project Vigilant in which he backtracks and realizes that PV is probably actually not real. But of course his lack of hard evidence on the first post should have made you suspicious to begin with.

I’m completely on your side on this issue, but I don’t want people to look at us progressives as crazy because we are referencing some probably-nonexistent group.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/64042

Author: Chilleh

A frisky penguin.

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