Puppet Masters


Manning to ask Obama for pardon, will pay 'high price' if not granted

© AFP Photo / Mark Wilson
US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted out of a military court facility during the sentencing phase of his trial in Fort Meade, Maryland.
Bradley Manning's defense team will file a pardon request to US president Barack Obama early next week, or will ask to commute the Private's sentence.

"Early next week I will file a request to the President for the pardon of Private Manning, or at least [ask to] commute his sentence," Manning's lead attorney, David Coombs, said during a Wednesday news conference.

Coombs read a statement from Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking US intelligence to WikiLeaks.

In the letter, Manning says that he leaked the information out of love for his country, and that if the President denies him a pardon "he will serve [his] time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a high price."

In the statement voiced by the counsel, Manning quoted American historian and social activist Howard Zinn, saying, "there is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."

"We did everything to make sure he got a fair trial, but I don't think the public is going to perceive it as such," added Manning's attorney.
Bad Guys

Haiti "Reconstruction": Luxury Hotels, Sweat Shops and Deregulation for the Foreign Corporate Elite

Displacement camp, Haiti
© REUTERS, Swoan Parker
Picture: Girl in a displacement camp, January 2013.
"The international community is so screwed up they're letting Haitians run Haiti." - Luigi R. Einaudi, US career diplomat, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former Assistant Secretary General at the Organization of American States

Haitian author and human rights attorney Ezili Dantò heard Luigi R. Einaudi make this shocking comment in 2004, as Haiti was about to celebrate its 200 years of independence with its first democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Apart from his efforts to raise the minimum wage and other social measures for the majority of Haitians living in extreme poverty, Aristide planned to nationalize his country's resources, a move which meant more money for Haitians and less for multinationals. One month later, in the name of the "international community", Aristide was overthrown in a coup d'état orchestrated by the U.S., France and Canada.

Today, the "international community" is running Haiti again, colonial style.

One can easily tell by comparing the very slow construction of shelters and basic infrastructure for the Haitian majority with the rapid rise of luxury hotels for foreigners, sometimes with the help of aid funds which, we were told, were going to provide Haitians with basic necessities.

Travesty of justice: WikiLeaks soldier Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

Bradley Manning
© Inconnu
Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified data in the nation's history by providing files to WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday.

Judge Colonel Denise Lind, who last month found Manning guilty of 20 charges including espionage and theft, could have sentenced him to as many as 90 years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for 60 years.

Manning, 25, will be dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military and forfeit some pay, Lind said. His rank will be reduced to private from private first class.

Manning would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence, which will be reduced by the time he has already served in prison plus 112 days.

'Serious': Japan hikes Fukushima radiation danger level

Fukushima nuclear plant
© (AFP Photo / Noboru Hashimoto)
Reporters and Tokyo Electric Power Co workers look up the unit 4 reactor building during a media tour at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture in Japan on June 12, 2013.
Japan will drastically raise the gravity of the latest Fukushima leak to Level Three, which is considered a "serious radiation incident" on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) for radiological releases.

"Judging from the amount and the density of the radiation in the contaminated water that leaked...a Level Three assessment is appropriate," read the document used during Wednesday's weekly meeting of Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) commissioners.

Earlier on Tuesday, TEPCO reported that another tank with highly radioactive water had leaked at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. The NRA first classified the leak as a Level One "anomaly."

The contaminated water contains an unprecedented 80 million Becquerels of radiation per liter - compared to the normal level of around 150 Bq/l.

This is considered to be the most serious setback to date for the clean-up of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
Che Guevara

Brazil's Vinegar Revolution: Left in Form, Right in Content - Part 1

© unknown
Fascism has presented itself as the anti-party; has opened its gates to all applicants; has with its promise of impunity enabled a formless multitude to cover over the savage outpouring of passions, hatreds and desires with a varnish of vague and nebulous political ideals. - Gramsci

The Working class spontaneously gravitates towards socialism; nevertheless most widespread (and continuously and diversely revived) bourgeois ideology spontaneously imposes itself upon the working class to a still greater degree. - Lenin

"It's not just about 20 cents". This was the status message of Mark Zuckerberg, head of Facebook last week, a message that was relayed through several of Brazil's major cities. The message became one of the initial slogans of what many are now calling the "Vinegar Revolution" which was reportedly triggered by a 20 cent hike in bus fares in the city of Sao Paulo June 20th.

Hi, I'm your new Axis of Evil

Axis of evil
© Unknown
I have argued that what has just happened in Egypt is a bloodbath that is not a bloodbath, conducted by a military junta responsible for a coup that is not a coup, under the guise of an Egyptian "war on terror". Yet this newspeak gambit - which easily could have been written at the White House - is just part of the picture.

Amid a thick fog of spin and competing agendas, a startling fact stands out. A poll only 10 days ago by the Egyptian Center for Media Studies and Public Opinion had already shown that 69% were against the July 3 military coup orchestrated by the Pinochet-esque Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

So the bloodbath that is not a bloodbath cannot possibly be considered legitimate - unless for a privileged coterie of Mubarakists (the so-called fulool), a bunch of corrupt oligarchs and the military-controlled Egyptian "deep state".

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) government led by Mohamed Morsi may have been utterly incompetent - trying to rewrite the Egyptian constitution; inciting hardcore fundamentalists; and bowing in debasement in front of the International Monetary Fund. But it should not be forgotten this was coupled with permanent, all-out sabotage by the "deep state".

David Miranda says he was threatened with jail if he didn't co-operate

Glenn Greenwald, David Miranda
© Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Journalist Glenn Greenwald, left, walks with his partner, David Miranda, in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport. U.K. authorities detained Miranda Sunday as he passed through London's Heathrow Airport. Greenwald has close links to Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor who has been granted asylum by Russia
Partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald gives his first interview on nine-hour interrogation at Heathrow airport

David Miranda, the partner of the Guardian journalist who broke stories of mass surveillance by the US National Security Agency, has accused Britain of a "total abuse of power" for interrogating him for almost nine hours at Heathrow under the Terrorism Act.

In his first interview since returning to his home in Rio de Janeiro early on Monday, Miranda said the authorities in the UK had pandered to the US in trying to intimidate him and force him to reveal the passwords to his computer and mobile phone.

"They were threatening me all the time and saying I would be put in jail if I didn't co-operate," said Miranda. "They treated me like I was a criminal or someone about to attack the UK ... It was exhausting and frustrating, but I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong."

Miranda - a Brazilian national who lives with Greenwald in Rio - was held for the maximum time permitted under schedule seven of the Terrorism Act 2000 which allows officers to stop, search and question individuals at airports, ports and border areas.

During that time, he said, he was not allowed to call his partner, who is a qualified lawyer in the US, nor was he given an interpreter, despite being promised one because he felt uncomfortable speaking in a second language.

"I was in a different country with different laws, in a room with seven agents coming and going who kept asking me questions. I thought anything could happen. I thought I might be detained for a very long time," he said.

He was on his way back from Berlin, where he was ferrying materials between Greenwald and Laura Poitras, the US film-maker who has also been working on stories related to the NSA files released by US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Eye 2

How to Hide Data: Spy-Coins

£1 MicroPound Hollow Spy Coin
Anyone with data to conceal can get one of these coins and hide a micro-SD card inside that will hold up to 128 GB of data.

This is why it was a pointless exercise in Gestapo tactics for the UK government to destroy the computers at the UK Guardian to try to erase the Edward Snowden leaks. That data is out there and there is no way to get it back, ever.

Available, here

Hosni Mubarak to be freed as Army tightens its grip on Egypt

© Associated Press/Amir Nabil
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits during his meeting with Emirates foreign minister, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt.
Jailed ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could be released later this week, judicial officials said Monday, a move that would fuel the unrest roiling the country after the autocratic leader's successor was removed in a military coup.

Underscoring the growing anger over Mohammed Morsi's ouster, suspected Islamic militants ambushed two minibuses carrying off-duty policemen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, forcing the men to lie on the sand and shooting 25 of them dead.

The brazen daylight attack raised fears that the strategic desert region bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip could be plunged into insurgency.

The 25 were given a funeral with full military honors after a plane brought their bodies to an air base in eastern Cairo. Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the police, and the army's Chief of Staff, Gen. Sobhi Saleh, led the funeral.

Pervez Musharraf indicted over Benazir Bhutto murder

Pakistan's former military leader Pervez Musharraf was formally charged by a court on Tuesday with murdering Benazir Bhutto, the ex-prime minister who was assassinated at a political campaign rally in 2007.

Musharraf was indicted during a short hearing at a court in the city of Rawalpindi, a move that adds to the problems facing the former president who returned from self-exile in March only to be entangled in three legal cases, barred from contesting elections and put under house arrest.

Public prosecutor Mohammad Azhar told reporters that the 70-year-old retired general was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and facilitation of murder during a short hearing.

Comment: Read also the SOTT focus from December 27 2007, the day Benazir Bhutto was murdered: Benazir Bhutto - A Warning To Us All