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The Hypocritical Path

Secretary Clinton addressed a Conference on Internet Freedom at the Hague yesterday. Why would she accept an invitation like that? Her department suffered the most embarrassment from the diplomatic cables leaked to Wikileaks. Consequently she led the Obama administration’s successful public effort to destroy that Internet news outlet. She took a strong stand that Internet freedom does not extend to people who publish information that makes government agencies look bad. You might want to ask her: if Internet freedom does not extend to Wikileaks, what is it good for?

So why would Secretary Clinton deliver a speech like that? A number of possibilities come to mind:

  • The invitation to speak at the conference came from a friend, and she didn’t want to say no.
  • The invitation came from some other source where circumstances made it difficult to say no.
  • Secretary Clinton does not know the meaning of hypocrisy.
  • The Obama administration needed a prominent person to say all the right things about Internet freedom. As our chief ambassador overseas, Secretary Clinton was a good pick.
  • Secretary Clinton, together with other Washington mucky-mucks, lives in a bubble. Therefore she doesn’t realize, or doesn’t care, what people think of her.
  • People have short memories. Politicians have even shorter ones. Secretary Clinton just forgot about the Wikileaks business.
  • It suits a diplomatic, public relations, or other short term purpose of the Obama administration to speak out on a non-controversial topic like Internet freedom. See the point about ambassadorial pronouncements above.
  • Secretary Clinton knows she’s hypocritical, and doesn’t care if other people know it, too. From this point of view, you don’t care because we all play the same game.
  • Secretary Clinton tries her best to do the job in front of her each day. If that job involves saying contradictory things from one day to the next, so be it.

Unless Secretary Clinton tells us why she gave the speech, we can only guess the reasons. In fact, we would have to guess the reasons even if she did tell us why she gave the speech. So let’s set guessing aside and linger a bit over the third point. We know hypocrisy when we see it. It’s pretty common. Adolescents become aware of it fairly soon. They talk about it because it’s not something they were aware of when they were children. When they do become aware of it, they wonder how they could have lived so long without seeing it.

What exactly is hypocrisy? The definition I remember from early on is to say one thing and do another. The meaning is actually a little more complicated than that. It means to pretend, to act, to play a part. Now of course playing a part is integral to almost everything we do, where we take on roles in our families, our workplaces, and so on. Hypocrisy is different because the pretense takes on a moral component. You actually tell people to behave one way, when it’s obvious to everyone who listens that the example you set is just the opposite. Even if people don’t follow your example, they will dismiss your words.

That’s why we want to ask the question, why would Secretary Clinton deliver a speech about Internet freedom on the world stage in the Hague? Why would she waste her time? The destruction of Wikileaks transpired recently. Secretary Clinton did not wield the hammer, but in her position as head of the State Department she publicly approved the actions of all who did. The federal government would not have destroyed Wikileaks had she disapproved.

When she delivered her address, Secretary Clinton spoke for her government and her country, not for herself. Why she thinks blatant hypocrisy serves her country’s interests is the riddle. More narrowly, why would she think hypocrisy serves her government’s interests? Hillary Clinton is not dumb, clueless, or parochial in her outlook. She can recognize moral contradiction just as well as we can. She can see that the destruction of Wikileaks is clearly inconsistent with her remarks at the Conference on Internet Freedom.

Let’s take up the obvious response on Secretary Clinton’s behalf. She and the rest of the government would say that the Wikileaks disclosures were not just embarrassing. They bore on key issues of national security. The nation’s chief diplomat would say that the nation’s security is in jeopardy when diplomats cannot conduct their business confidentially. She and the government she represents would argue that national security trumps Internet freedom. Freedom of information has to give way when the survival of the state is at stake. Wikileaks had to be destroyed that the state might thrive.

People who see blatant hypocrisy in Secretary Clinton’s words believe the opposite. They believe that when a government conducts its business in secret, as our government does, the state is already destroyed. At least, the democratic state we cherish is gone. The only important goal is to open the government’s conduct to public scrutiny in order to retrieve the democracy we cherish. Blatant hypocrisy on the world stage does not advance that goal. Moral misconduct like that means we continue to play our designated part, where our government lectures other countries about how to behave. In secret, we do what we like.

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Here is a brief history of the word hypocrisy:

ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French ypocrisie, via ecclesiastical Latin, from Greek hupokrisis ‘acting of a theatrical part,’ from hupokrinesthai ‘play a part, pretend,’ from hupo ‘under’ + krinein ‘decide, judge.’

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Drivers license photo at DMVIn the next six years, Americans born after December 1, 1964 will be required to get more secure driver’s licenses under the Real ID Act. Real ID was passed in 2005, and is supposed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants, and con artists to get government issued identification. Originally the new IDs were supposed to be introduced this year.

States, however, have balked at the idea, believing it to be either unnecessary or unduly expensive. The ACLU has vehemently objected to the sharing of personal data among government agencies, which will occur under Real ID. While the Department of Homeland Security claims that the only way to make sure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government information, the American Civil Liberties Union says it will only make it more likely for identities to be misused or stolen.

Furthermore, the ACLU claims REAL ID will be the “first-ever national identity card system,” which “would irreparably damage the fabric of American life.”

While I’m glad to note that I will be exempt, at least until 2017, it still bothers me. It’s just too much like asking for my “papers”, as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand, at least the government realizes that someone my age (45 now, will be 51 when the law goes into effect) is highly unlikely to be a terrorist, which is what I have been saying all along whenever I get hassled about flying or whatever. I’m one of those people whose kids are out of the house, and now I’m joyfully awaiting the day when I have grandchildren. People like me are not terrorists, except when it comes to our daughters-in-law. ;-)

Under Real ID, the cards will have three layers of security but will not contain microchips; and states will be able to choose which security measures they will put in their cards. Also, the driver’s license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of at the end, in order to keep the applicant’s photo on file to check for fraud.The government expects all states to start checking the social security numbers and immigration status of license applicants.Most states already check Social Security numbers, and about half already check immigration status. Some states are already using many of the security measures of REAL ID. For example, California expects the only real change in their current procedure will be to take the photo at the beginning of the application rather than at the end.

Once the social security and immigration checks become practice nationwide, Homeland Security will move on to checking with the State Department when people use a passport to get a drivers license (why don’t they already do that?), verifying birth certificates, and checking to make sure the person doesn’t have more than one license.

As if getting a drivers license and dealing with the DMV bureaucracy isn’t already a major pain in the ass, it will get worse. And it will be easier for people to steal your identity. Hmmmm ….. this sounds like a very, very bad idea to me. Just get states to do what they should already be doing (check social security numbers, check immigration status, check to make sure they’re who they claim to be when they use a passport to get a drivers license, require that lost or stolen licenses be reported within a certain period of time) and everything should be fine.

Law-abiding American citizens should not get an even bigger hassle in dealing with government red tape, just because a few people are assholes. And I will always be wondering whether the jerk clerk at the DMV is stealing my identity more thoroughly than any thief ever could, thus encouraging widespread paranoia and the attendant reliance upon the government which comes with it.
Of course, that’s what the government wants. They want us to depend upon them for everything, because that gives them power over us. God forbid that everyone simply be responsible for themselves.

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Source: CNN “US Unveils New Driver’s License Rules”

Originally posted by ElfNinosMom on Adventures in Frickintardistan

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George PhilliesWe Don’t Attack Our Allies

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Phillies: We Don’t Invade Our Allies

“It’s very simple. Invading a foreign country is an act of war,” Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies said in answer to fellow candidate Barack Obama. “I am shocked that an allegedly serious Presidential candidate would call for invading Pakistan. Not only is Pakistan an ally, but it is a nuclear power.”

Under pressure from Republican opponents and fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton that he appeared too soft on terrorism, on August 1 Senator Obama said* that the United States might invade Pakistan to pursue Al Qaeda members. Obama said “I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear…If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Phillies strongly disagrees. “Thank goodness Obama is not our President. It has always been understood that when you invade a foreign country you are potentially at war with them. President of Musharaf of Pakistan is honor-bound to defend his country. He cannot afford to look weak. Apparently these issues are beyond Senator Obama’s understanding of foreign affairs.” Phillies asks Mr. Obama, ‘What is your working plan if the Pakistanis respond to our act of war with their own acts of war? They might arm the guerrillas now fighting our forces in Iraq. They might send their army to deny us bases in Afghanistan. Worse, Pakistan knows that their nuclear arsenal is not secure against an American strike. Any militarist can start a war. Stopping one is far more challenging.’

In a recent statement on pursuing Al Qaeda, Professor Phillies said that the United States needs to stop fighting “the last war,” and update its tactics. “Finding Mr. Bin Laden is a job for spies, not a job for tank divisions. The Afghan people have been governing themselves for a very long time. They will not long tolerate foreign occupation, even ours. Only a Libertarian President will give the Bin Laden problem to the right people.”

*For the text of Senator Obama’s speech: http://www.barackobama.com/2007/08/01/remarks_of_senator_obama_the_w_1.php To support the George Phillies campaign, please visit http://phillies2008.org/donation.

Contact Information:
Carolyn Marbry,Press Director
pressdirector@phillies2008.org
(510) 276-3216
http://phillies2008.org

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Road To GuantanamoAccording to this article, we’re supposed to believe that prisoners being held at Gitmo are being treated as if they’re merely guests of the goverment, while the only real abuse is directed at the guards.

However, it’s far more likely that the government is sending military members back to the states with strict orders to report that all is well at Gitmo. It’s easy to get them to do that, after all, especially if the person in question is an officer with a pension on the line, as with the person who gave the information for this story. It’s even easier when the military member knows that they, too, can be declared an enemy combatant and simply disappear if they dare to speak the truth about the atrocities they have witnessed. There is also the fear that they will be discharged due to a nonexistent “personality disorder”, and thus shamed and stripped of the civilian benefits of having served voluntarily and honorably in the armed forces.

That’s nothing new, incidentally. The military was discharging soldiers on the basis of alleged preexisting personality disorders in the early 1980s, when I served in Air Force Intelligence Operations. Those airmen were not mentally ill, and in fact were extraordinarily good at their specialties; however, they had committed the unspeakable crime of not remaining silent against what they perceived to be wrong, and branding them mentally deficient is the military’s way of silencing them. Once they are so categorized, the military can easily discount anything they may later say against the military’s interest. But, I digress.

Like so many in the current administration, this Brigadier General (for those unfamiliar with military ranks, that’s a one-star General) believes it’s acceptable to hold people in a lawless prison environment long-term with no charges, and no hearing, because they’re “enemy combatants” …… and he really and truly thinks there’s a difference between enemy combatants and prisoners of war, which causes Geneva Convention protections to not apply to enemy combatants. Yet the only real difference is that prisoners of war are captured while engaging in war, while enemy combatants are, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped. In other words, while he is willing to toe the military line and is quite successful in that position, in the civilian world his brainwashing would render him, for all intents and purposes, useless.

If prisoners at Gitmo are specifically classified as not being prisoners of war, for whom torture is forbidden under the Geneva Convention, does the government actually expect us to believe that these men are not being tortured? It’s quite obvious that the only reason to classify them differently is so that they can be tortured without violating the Convention.

What’s most sickening about this particular article, beyond the brainwashing aspect, is that it is being distributed and touted as truth on a discussion list for paralegals, who should definitely know better than to mindlessly accept what the government says. Or maybe, just maybe, these particular paralegals know just enough to be dangerous. (more…)

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From ABC News:

A Marine corporal testifying in a court-martial said Marines in his unit began routinely beating Iraqis after officers ordered them to “crank up the violence level.”

Cpl. Saul H. Lopezromo testified Saturday at the murder trial of Cpl. Trent D. Thomas.

“We were told to crank up the violence level,” said Lopezromo, testifying for the defense.

When a juror asked for further explanation, Lopezromo said: “We beat people, sir.”

Within weeks of allegedly being scolded, seven Marines and a Navy corpsman went out late one night to find and kill a suspected insurgent in the village of Hamandiya near the Abu Ghraib prison. The Marines and corpsman were from 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.

Lopezromo said the suspected insurgent was known to his neighbors as the “prince of jihad,” and had been arrested several times and later released by the Iraqi legal system.

Unable to find him, the Marines and corpsman dragged another man from his house, fatally shot him, and then planted an AK-47 assault rifle near the body to make it appear he had been killed in a shootout, according to court testimony.

Four Marines and the corpsman, initially charged with murder in the April 2006 killing, have pleaded guilty to reduced charges and been given jail sentences ranging from 10 months to eight years. Thomas, 25, from St. Louis, pleaded guilty but withdrew his plea and is the first defendant to go to court-martial.

Lopezromo, who was not part of the squad on its late-night mission, said he saw nothing wrong with what Thomas did.

“I don’t see it as an execution, sir,” he told the judge. “I see it as killing the enemy.”

Read the rest of this disturbing story here.

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Yes, I know, I already had this up in the comments section, but more people probably read this than that, so I thought I’d put it up on the wall too…

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source:
http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/
giuliani_reporter_arrested_on_orders_of_giuliani_press_sec.htm

Matt Lepacek had valid CNN press credentials and was doing freelance reporting according to InfoWars.com. He asked Adolf Giuliani some inconvenient questions about the events of 9/11/01.

Thereupon, Adolf Giuliani’s reichsminister of propaganda press secretary had the gestapo state police rough up Lepacek and fellow reporter Luke Rudkowski.

He said police physically assaulted both reporters after Rudkowski objected that they were official members of the press and that nothing illegal had taken place. Police reportedly damaged the Infowars-owned camera in the process.

Furthermore,

Though CNN staff members tried to persuade police not to arrest the accredited reporter– in violation of the First Amendment, Lepacek was taken to jail. The police station told JonesReport.com that Lepacek is being charged with felony criminal trespass.

According to Rudkowski, Lepacek was scared because he had been told he may be transferred to a secret detention facility because state police were also considering charges of espionage against him– due to a webcam Lepacek was using to broadcast live at the event. State police considered it to be a hidden camera, which led to discussion of “espionage.”

Wearing a webcam at a press event is not an act of espionage.

The state police in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where the arrest was made, confirmed that Lepacek is in custody on charges of criminal trespass.

These are blatant violations of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Actions like this would be more appropriate in the Third Reich, a
communist nation, or perhaps Italy under Mussolini. A clue, perhaps, as to what awaits America if this moral leper of an authoritarian dirtbag thug is allowed to stink up the white house the way he did Gracie mansion?

We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

-Adolf Giuliani

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