Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Good Germans And Cheney The Traitor

Truthdig.com, named ‘Best News Website’ by the Los Angeles Press Club for the third time in four years (http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/truthdig_named_best_website_by_la_press_club_20130624/?ln), has two articles of great import:  "The Good Germans in Government" by Robert Scheer and "So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?" by Juan Cole.

The Snowden story hasn't come anywhere near completion, so we have yet to analyze the affair, and won't  until the story gets clearer.  But several things are already clear:  The reemergence of Diane Feinstein as the on-again, off-again DINO, and the reminder for us as to remember Cheney in his true colors as a traitor who will do anything to get his way -- even if it means he is the first and only sitting Vice President to turn traitor.

First, from the Scheer article:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks to the media. AP/Jacquelyn Martin.
"What a disgrace. The U.S. government, cheered on by much of the media, launches an international manhunt to capture a young American whose crime is that he dared challenge the excess of state power. Read the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and tell me that Edward Snowden is not a hero in the mold of those who founded this republic. Check out the Nuremberg war crime trials and ponder our current contempt for the importance of individual conscience as a civic obligation.

"Yes, Snowden has admitted that he violated the terms of his employment at Booz Allen Hamilton, which has the power to grant security clearances as well as profiting mightily from spying on the American taxpayers who pay to be spied on without ever being told that is where their tax dollars are going. Snowden violated the law in the same way that Daniel Ellsberg did when, as a RAND Corporation employee, he leaked the damning Pentagon Papers study of the Vietnam War that the taxpayers had paid for but were not allowed to read.

"In both instances, violating a government order was mandated by the principle that the United States trumpeted before the world in the Nuremberg war crime trials of German officers and officials. As Principle IV of what came to be known as the Nuremberg Code states: 'The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.'

"That is a heavy obligation, and the question we should be asking is not why do folks like Ellsberg, Snowden and Bradley Manning do the right thing, but rather why aren’t we bringing charges against the many others with access to such damning data of government malfeasance who remain silent?

"Is there an international manhunt being organized to bring to justice Dick Cheney, the then-vice president who seized upon the pain and fear of 9/11 to make lying to the public the bedrock of American foreign policy? This traitor to the central integrity of a representative democracy dares condemn Snowden as a 'traitor' and suggest that he is a spy for China because he took temporary refuge in Hong Kong.

"The Chinese government, which incidentally does much to finance our massive military budget, was embarrassed by the example of Snowden and was quick to send him on his way. Not so ordinary folk in Hong Kong, who clearly demonstrated their support of the man as an exponent of individual conscience.

"So too did Albert Ho, who volunteered his considerable legal skills in support of Snowden, risking the ire of Hong Kong officials. Ho, whom The New York Times describes as 'a longtime campaigner for full democracy [in Hong Kong], to the irritation of government leaders of the territory,' is an example of the true democrats around the world who support Snowden, contradicting Cheney’s smear.

"But U.S. Democrats have also been quick to join the shoot-the-messenger craze, ignoring the immense significance of Snowden’s revelations. Take Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Fool me once and shame on her, fool me dozens of times, as Feinstein has, and I feel like a blithering idiot having voted for her. After years of covering up for the intelligence bureaucracy, Feinstein is now chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and clearly for some time has been in a position to know the inconvenient truths that Snowden and others before him have revealed.

"Did she know that the NSA had granted Booz Allen Hamilton such extensive access to our telephone and Internet records? Did she grasp that the revolving door between Booz Allen and the NSA meant that this was a double-dealing process involving high officials swapping out between the government and the war profiteers? Did she know that the security system administered by Booz Allen was so lax that young Snowden was given vast access to what she now feels was very sensitive data? Or that private companies like Booz Allen were able to hand out 'top security' clearances to their employees, and that there now are 1.4 million Americans with that status?

"As with her past cover-ups of government lying going back to the phony weapons of mass destruction claims made to justify the Iraq War, Feinstein, like so many in the government, specializes in plausible deniability. She smugly assumes the stance of the all-knowing expert on claimed intelligence success while pretending to be shocked at the egregious failures. She claims not to have known of the extent of the invasion of our privacy and at the same time says she is assured that the information gained 'has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks. ...' If so, why did she not come clean with the American public and say this is what we are doing to you and why?

The Good Feinstein

"Instead, Feinstein failed horribly in the central obligation of a public servant to inform the public and now serves as prosecutor, judge and jury in convicting Snowden hours after his name was in the news: 'He violated the oath, he violated the law. It’s treason,' she said.

"Treason is a word that dictators love to hurl at dissidents, and when both Cheney and Feinstein bring it back into favor, you know that courageous whistle-blowers like Snowden are not the enemy."

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s new book, “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”

Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more atwww.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.

Pretty distasteful and not the only time that Feinstein has taken the wrong side as a DINO, Democrat In Name Only...but if this story leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the article by Juan Cole is sure to bring the gorge up:

"So When Will Dick Cheney Be Charged With Espionage?" is another piece reminding us that if Bush 43 can't be hauled up before the World Court and our politicians don't have the stomach for prosecuting the giggling one, that there is another traitor within the ranks of the Conservative leadership:

"This piece first appeared on Juan Cole’s website,Informed Comment.

"The US government charged Edward Snowden with theft of government property and espionage on Friday.

"Snowden hasn’t to our knowledge committed treason in any ordinary sense of the term. He hasn’t handed over government secrets to a foreign government.

"His leaks are being considered a form of domestic spying. He is the 7th leaker to be so charged by the Obama administration. All previous presidents together only used the charge 3 times.

"Charging leakers with espionage is outrageous, but it is par for the course with the Obama administration.
"The same theory under which Edward Snowden is guilty of espionage could easily be applied to former vice president Dick Cheney.

"Cheney led an effort in 2003 to discredit former acting ambassador in Iraq, Joseph Wilson IV, who had written an op ed for the New York Times detailing his own mission to discover if Iraq was getting uranium from Niger. (The answer? No.)

"Cheney appears to have been very upset with Wilson, and to have wished to punish him by having staffers contact journalists and inform them that Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, was secretly a CIA operative. While Cheney wasn’t the one whose phone call revealed this information, he set in train the events whereby it became well known. (Because Cheney’s staff had Plame’s information sitting around in plain sight, Armitage discovered it and then was responsible for the leak, but he only scooped Libby and Rove, who had been trying to get someone in the press to run with the Plame story.

"What Cheney did in ordering his aides Scooter Libby and Karl Rove to release the information about Plame’s identity was no different from Snowden’s decision to contact the press.

"And yet, Cheney mysteriously has not been charged with Espionage. Hmmm…."

The astonishing thing about the whole Cheny-Bush Administration is the forgiving nature of the American people as Dubya has just emerged from a Gallup poll with a 49 percent favorability rating...or is it the naivete of the American public?  In either case, both men will escape prosecution for their crimes unless they inadvertently visit a democratic country where they take such things more seriously than Americans do.

We have a long way to go before the public wakes up to the criminality of all of the Conservative leaders and their propagandists and fellow travelers, a long way to go until we finally rid ourselves of the spectre called "Conservatism."


"Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely."

P. J. O'Rourke


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