We Can Do Better Than Paywall Mainstream Media

Paywall media in Australia is corrupt. The big 3 media empires whitewash corruption in the LNP government. Paywall media take your money in return for sanitized news plus advertising. How come you don't pay for free to air TV when the costs are higher? You can trust most independent blogsites. It's probably the only place you will find the truth anymore. We can keep the internet free.

4 Jun 2013

Crumbling Superpower Takes It's Conscience To Court

If the US was a company it would be bankrupt. With a national debt of $17 trillion and a total debt of $60 trillion the country can't trade itself out of insolvency. Maybe Bush's invasion of Iraq was an attempt to postpone the inevitable? Bush and his Masonic Lodge cohorts Howard and Blair  'preemptively' invaded Iraq. Last carried-out by I guess Hitler, it was later found Iraq didn't pose a threat to anybody. There were a lot of victims. Millions. One was gay junior officer Bradley Manning who saw through the lies but couldn't handle the brutality of war. The rest is history. On the day before the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, the US court martial of Manning began. The US didn't want the world to know it was committing war crimes in Iraq such as murdering civilians from helicopter gunships. Thats classified information and thanks to Manning and Assange we all found out how barbaric and corrupt America really is.
Report from Paul McGeogh.
Fort Meade, Maryland: In the opening duel at a court martial sparked by the biggest classified leak in US history, prosecution and the defence lawyers went in opposite directions – the government's Captain Joe Morrow opting for a dry, jargon-laden recitation of the facts while defence attorney David Coombs dwelt on humanity and a better, more humane world.
In the dock on Monday was the so-called Wiki-leaker – US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, a 25-year-old former intelligence analyst from Oklahoma, who admits to dumping more than 700,000 military and diplomatic documents which were sensationally uploaded on the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks three years ago.

But PFC Manning's refusal to concede the import of the most severe of more than 20 charges – that he helped the enemy – has forced a trial that is scheduled to run for 16 weeks. The soldier says he's guilty and he's ready to do 20 years; the Obama administration wants to lock him up and throw away the key.
Captain Morrow's stiff monotone was bereft of courtroom theatrics.
Drenched in technical minutiae and supported by a low-tech slideshow, much of which was illegible – at least on the video-feed to the nearby media centre, Captain Morrow's sense of drama peaked with this:
“This is a case about what happens when arrogance meets access to classified information ...a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of documents from classified databases and then dumped that information on the internet – into the hands of the enemy.”
Captain Morrow said there would be evidence that PFC Manning automated his 'harvesting' to download documents at a rate of 1000 an hour; that he chatted regularly with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; and he knew that leaking the information would put American lives at risk.
The prosecutor said it would be shown how videos leaked by PFC Manning could be used by enemy forces to learn about US combat tactics. The Afghanistan documents had been found in Osama Bin Laden's compound at Abbotabad in Pakistan, he said, and a line on one of his prepared data-slides read: “[Osama Bin Laden] asks for and receives Afghanistan reports…”
David Coombs, PFC Manning's lawyer, is as dour as his prosecution confrere.
But he held the court with an account of a Christmas Eve incident in 2009 by which the soldier who had recently arrived in Iraq had come face to face with the horror of war.
A car with five Iraqi civilians, two adults and three children, had pulled over to make room for a US convoy to pass, but it had triggered a roadside bomb intended for the Americans – “all five of the occupants were taken to hospital – one died en route,” Mr Coombs said.
PFC Manning was troubled by the fact that the Americans had cheered because they had dodged the bomb. Describing his client as 'a little na├»ve but good intentioned,” Mr Coombs said: “He couldn't stop thinking about that.
“He felt he needed to do something, something to make a difference, from that moment forward …[and] in January 2010, he started selecting information he believed the public should see and should hear, and that that would make the world a better place.
“He believed if everyone knew it, it could not be used by the enemy. He started to believe this information should be made public. Americans should know what is happening on a day-to-day basis.”
The boyish-looking PFC Manning, who elected for his court-martial to be heard by a judge instead of a jury, had little to say in court – save for a litany of 'yes, yes, ma'am' answers to procedural questions from military judge Army Colonel Denise Lind.
Captain Morrow's opening skirted the issue of the extent to which the leaks damaged US national security – in deference perhaps to a preliminary ruling by the judge that the extent of any damage is irrelevant.
But the leaks have variously been seen to be instrumental in sparking the Arab Spring revolutions and to endangered the lives of Iraqis and Afghan who helped the US war efforts in those countries. To the extent that the military is throwing the book at PFC Manning, the timing of the case is awkward for the Obama White House, which recently has come under
broad attack for the unprecedented zealousness of its efforts to pursue leakers – and the journalists who report the leaks.
Conversely, if the administration wins that PR battle and the judge embraces the prosecution's 'helping the enemy' argument, Washington will be seen to have a powerful weapon in its armoury to make prospective leakers think twice before they proceed.
PFC Manning, who has been in custody for more than 1000 days already, told Justice Lind in February that he wanted to expose the 'blood lust' of the US military and its lack of regard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan. He did not believe the leaks would harm the US and he hoped his actions would spark debate on the role of the military and foreign policy.
Apart from frank diplomatic cables from US embassies around the globe, the document dump included grim accounts of progress, or the lack of it, in the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and chilling video, including footage of air-attacks that killed civilians and journalists.
Referring to the video clip in which the journalists die, which was one of the earlier WikiLeaks releases, Mr Coombs told the court-martial hearing that PFC Manning had leaked it because the US military was telling the dead men's editors that the video did not exist.
Likewise, he had leaked material on terror captives because the Obama administration had failed to abide by its promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
As many as one-third of the government's 140-plus witnesses are expected to give secret classified testimony – meaning that reporters and the public, most of whom watch proceedings on video relay from Judge Lind's small and crowded court, will be excluded.
The prosecution's first witnesses were expected to be PFC Manning's roommate in Iraq and two investigators who were first on the scene once the leaks were discovered.
The combination of previous publication of much of the detail of how PFC Manning went about the leaks and the fact that he has pleaded guilty to most of the charges, leaves the prosecution with a challenge to tell a 'new' narrative at trial.
Here, it has to be said that the opening of the government case did not constitute a riveting tale and a blurred accompanying slideshow was more in keeping with a 1960's Hollywood espionage thriller. None of the US military's fabled high-tech expertise has been utilised in presenting the cas.

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