“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, February 28, 2013

After over a thousand days of detention without trial, the US Army has finally given a first glimpse into the proceedings against Bradley Manning. The Pentagon gave in to the pressure of numerous Freedom of Information Act demands and published documents related to the case. The 25-year-old army private faces numerous charges, including 'aiding the enemy' - for allegedly leaking thousands of diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.

 Obama’s War On Whistleblowers “Goes To Eleven”
January 30, 2013 | Filed under Barack Obama | Posted by Doug Johnson Wizbang

The Washington Post notes that the Obama administration is squeezing current and former federal officials to find out who talked to The New York Post about Stuxnet.
Federal investigators looking into disclosures of classified information about a cyberoperation that targeted Iran’s nuclear program have increased pressure on current and former senior government officials suspected of involvement, according to people familiar with the investigation.
The inquiry, which was started by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last June, is examining leaks about a computer virus developed jointly by the United States and Israel that damaged nuclear centrifuges at Iran’s primary uranium enrichment plant. The U.S. code name for the operation was Olympic Games, but the wider world knew the mysterious computer worm as Stuxnet.
Prosecutors are pursuing “everybody — at pretty high levels, too,” said one person familiar with the investigation. “There are many people who’ve been contacted from different agencies.”
The FBI and prosecutors have interviewed several current and former senior government officials in connection with the disclosures, sometimes confronting them with evidence of contact with journalists, according to people familiar with the probe. Investigators, they said, have conducted extensive analysis of the e-mail accounts and phone records of current and former government officials in a search for links to journalists.
At the time I was of the opinion that it was someone from the Obama administration (as opposed to a former Bush official) who couldn’t contain their enthusiasm to tell someone about the really cool thing they’d done. Maybe that’s the case, maybe it’s not, but what is true is that the Obama folks are big believers in leaking information to the press, as even progressives such as Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian note:
Like all of the Obama leak prosecutions – see here – none of those revelations resulted in any tangible harm, yet all revealed vital information about what our government was doing in secret. As long-time DC lawyer Abbe Lowell, who represents indicted whistleblower Stephen Kim, put it: what makes the Obama DOJ’s prosecutions historically unique is that they “don’t distinguish between bad people – people who spy for other governments, people who sell secrets for money – and people who are accused of having conversations and discussions”. Not only doesn’t it draw this distinction, but it is focused almost entirely on those who leak in order to expose wrongdoing and bring about transparency and accountability.
That is the primary impact of all of this. A Bloomberg report last October on this intimidation campaign summarized the objections this way: “the president’s crackdown chills dissent, curtails a free press and betrays Obama’s initial promise to ‘usher in a new era of open government.’”
The Obama administration does not dislike leaks of classified information. To the contrary, it is a prolific exploiter of exactly those types of leaks – when they can be used to propagandize the citizenry to glorify the president’s image as a tough guy, advance his political goals or produce a multi-million-dollar Hollywood film about his greatest conquest. Leaks are only objectionable when they undercut that propaganda by exposing government deceit, corruption and illegality.
…This Obama whistleblower war has nothing to do with national security. It has nothing to do with punishing those who harm the country with espionage or treason.
It has everything to do with destroying those who expose high-level government wrongdoing. It is particularly devoted to preserving the government’s ability to abuse its power in secret by intimidating and deterring future acts of whistleblowing and impeding investigative journalism. This Obama whistleblower war continues to escalate because it triggers no objections from Republicans (who always adore government secrecy) or Democrats (who always adore what Obama does), but most of all because it triggers so few objections from media outlets, which – at least in theory – suffer the most from what is being done.
Obama’s lapdog media are well-trained and properly muzzled – they wouldn’t think of complaining or asking hard questions. Don’t take my word for that, ask 60 Minute’ Steve Croft.


  1. Infantile Conservatism

    By: Patrick J. Buchanan
    2/26/2013 05:47 AM

    Regularly now, The Washington Post, as always concerned with fairness and balance, runs a blog called “Right Turn: Jennifer Rubin’s Take From a Conservative Perspective.”

    The blog tells us what the Post regards as conservatism.

    On Monday, Rubin declared that America’s “greatest national security threat is Iran.” Do conservatives really believe this?

    How is America, with thousands of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons, scores of warships in the Med, Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, bombers and nuclear subs and land-based missiles able to strike and incinerate Iran within half an hour, threatened by Iran?

    Iran has no missile that can reach us, no air force or navy that would survive the first days of war, no nuclear weapons, no bomb-grade uranium from which to build one. All of her nuclear facilities are under constant United Nations surveillance and inspection.

    And if this Iran is the “greatest national security threat” faced by the world’s last superpower, why do Iran’s nearest neighbors — Turkey, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan — seem so unafraid of her?

    Citing The Associated Press and Times of Israel, Rubin warns us that “Iran has picked 16 new locations for nuclear plants.”

    How many nuclear plants does Iran have now? One, Bushehr.

    Begun by the Germans under the shah, Bushehr was taken over by the Russians in 1995, but not completed for 16 years, until 2011. In their dreams, the Iranians, their economy sinking under U.S. and U.N. sanctions, are going to throw up 16 nuclear plants.

    Twice Rubin describes our situation today as “scary.”

    Remarkable. Our uncles and fathers turned the Empire of the Sun and Third Reich into cinders in four years, and this generation is all wee-weed up over Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    “For all intents and purposes, (Bibi) Netanyahu is now the West’s protector,” says Rubin. How so? Because Obama and Chuck Hagel seem to lack the testosterone “to execute a military strike on Iran.”

    Yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, Bibi first warned in 1992 that Iran was on course to get the bomb — in three to five years! And still no bomb.

    And Bibi has since been prime minister twice. Why has our Lord Protector not manned up and dealt with Iran himself?

    Answer: He wants us to do it — and us to take the consequences.


    1. "Yet, according to the Christian Science Monitor, Bibi first warned in 1992 that Iran was on course to get the bomb — in three to five years! And still no bomb.

      And Bibi has since been prime minister twice. Why has our Lord Protector not manned up and dealt with Iran himself?

      Answer: He wants us to do it — and us to take the consequences."

      Set up false arguments and then answer with false answers.


  2. {…}

    “With regard to Afghanistan, the president is pulling up stakes prematurely,” says Rubin. As we are now in the 12th year of war in Afghanistan, and about to leave thousands of troops behind when we depart in 2014, what is she talking about?

    “In Iraq, the absence of U.S. forces on the ground has ushered in a new round of sectarian violence and opened the door for Iran’s growing violence.”

    Where to begin. Shia Iran has influence in Iraq because we invaded Iraq, dethroned Sunni Saddam, disbanded his Sunni-led army that had defeated Iran in an eight-year war and presided over the rise to power of the Iraqi Shia majority that now tilts to Iran.

    Today’s Iraq is a direct consequence of our war, our invasion, our occupation. That’s our crowd in Baghdad, cozying up to Iran.

    And the cost of that war to strip Iraq of weapons it did not have? Four thousand five hundred American dead, 35,000 wounded, $1 trillion and 100,000 Iraqi dead. Half a million widows and orphans. A centuries-old Christian community ravaged. And, yes, an Iraq tilting to Iran and descending into sectarian, civil and ethnic war. A disaster of epochal proportions.

    But that disaster was not the doing of Barack Obama, but of people of the same semi-hysterical mindset as Ms. Rubin.

    She writes that for the rest of Obama’s term, we “are going to have to rely on France, Israel, our superb (albeit underfunded) military and plain old luck to prevent national security catastrophes.”

    Is she serious?

    Is French Prime Minister Francois Hollande really one of the four pillars of U.S national security now? Is Israel our security blanket, or is it maybe the other way around? And if America spends as much on defense as all other nations combined, and is sheltered behind the world’s largest oceans, why should we Americans be as frightened as Rubin appears to be?

    Undeniably we face challenges. A debt-deficit crisis that could sink our economy. Al-Qaida in the Maghreb, Africa, Arabia, Iraq and Syria. North Korea’s nukes. A clash between China and Japan that drags us in. An unstable Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

    But does Iran, a Shia island in a Sunni sea, a Persian-dominated land where half the population is non-Persian, a country whose major exports, once we get past fossil fuels, are pistachio nuts, carpets and caviar, really pose the greatest national security threat to the world’s greatest nation?

    We outlasted the evil empire of Lenin and Stalin that held captive a billion people for 45 years of Cold War, and we are frightened by a rickety theocracy ruled by an old ayatollah?

    Rubin’s blog may be the Post’s idea of conservatism. Ronald Reagan wouldn’t recognize it.

  3. Didnt take this new and improved blog long to find a post that was slanderous to Israel /Bibi.


    1. pat buchanan.

      Pat has a history as a known anti-semite.

      Pat has a few good points to make, but is akin to making a beef stew and adding just a few pieces of cow shit in the pot. Some of us recognize that he is serving shit. Others? DOnt care about the shit in the mix.

      Sort of like the old saying, "he made the trains run on time"..

      That's Pat.

    2. .

      And if your depiction of Buchanan is correct, then Rubin is merely the opposite side of that same wooden nickel.


    3. Hardly.

      again, false metaphor.

      How about letting each stand on their own or fall on their own?

    4. I never promised you a rose garden.

    5. .

      again, false metaphor.

      I disagree.

      Buchanan is accused of being anti-semitic by many though he would deny it. Rubin cannot write a column without accusing someone of being anti-semitic. When it comes to this issue, they are the opposite sides of the same coin.

      Buchanan wrote the column but Rubin was quoted in it. I have no problem letting each stand on their own or fall on their own? Mine was merely a comment on their politics and philosophy.


  4. I have complete faith in any and all investigations headed by Eric Holder.

  5. .

    Haven't you heard? This is the most transparent administration in history.

    Although, if under this administration within a four year period the number of whistleblowers being prosecuted is now 11, there is some irony in the fact that under all previous administrations the number prosecuted totalled three.

    On the last stream, I mentioned the 'Catch 22' of the government's 'secrecy' argument which renders 1st Amendment rights meaningless and allows for all manner of abuse of what were previously deemed constitutional rights.

    There are a few journalists raising objection to this new Newsspeak definition of transparancy. Greenwald is certainly one. However, in general, the MSm is perfectly willing to support Dear Leader in whatever actions he decides are right for this country and the world. Therefore, in the absence of an independent press, we have little hope of slowing this trend towards 'transparancy'. There are no checks left. Obama is the face of the Dem party and the leadership shows no signs of acting as a brake on his policy. That policy is a continuation and expansion of the policies started under GWB and the GOP who supported Bush not only have no objections to these policies but in general wholly support them. And now, even the Supreme Court bows to the 'Catch 22' presented by Obama's 'secrecy' argument.

    Welcome to the dystopic world of government transparancy.


  6. To say that Bkibi has been telling the whirled that Iran is 3 to 5 years from a nujclear weapon, siknce 1oow 8s not slander. It merely illustrates that Bikbi has been misinformed, since 1992.

    That is not slander, it is history.

  7. .

    All of this, of course, is pure pretense. Is it even remotely plausible that Obama is refraining from engaging in military action he believes is necessary out of some sort of quaint deference to the law? Please. This is a president who continued to wage war, in Libya, not merely without Congressional authorization, but even after Congress expressly voted against its authorization. This is a president who has repeatedly argued that he has the right to kill anyone he wants, anywhere in the world, not only due to Congressional authorization but also his own Commander-in-Chief powers. If Obama really wanted to deploy that second aircraft carrier, he would do so, knowing that journalists like Bob Woodward and members of both parties would cheer him. This is just a flamboyant political stunt designed to dramatize how those Big, Bad Republicans are leaving us all exposed and vulnerable with sequestration cuts.

    But whatever Obama's motives might be, the fact is that what we call "law" really does require some cuts in military spending. To refuse to do so would be to assert powers not even most monarchs have: to break the law at will. Woodward is right about one point: not only would prior presidents have been willing to do this, this is exactly what they did. Indeed, George Bush's entire presidency was explicitly predicated on the theory that the president has the power to break the law at will whenever he deems that doing so promotes national security. That America's most celebrated journalist not only supports this, but demands that all presidents follow this model of lawlessness, is telling indeed...

    From the Guardian,

    Greenwald on Woodward


  8. To say that Iran's pursuit of a nuke it not a threat is nonsense, To portray Bibi's warning as scare tactics and somehow it's unfounded is specious.

    We all KNOW that Israel has not sat on it's hands for for 17 years in doing all it can to prevent Iran's attainment of nukes.

    If Israel had not taken out Syria's Iranian/North Korean Illegal Plutonium plant, had not taken out IRaq's nuke plant where would we be now?

    You dont have a clue WHAT Israel has done to stop, slow, cripple Iranian efforts in attaining nukes.

    To portray Israel/Bibi as "sky is failing" fanatics and some how trying to "drag" America into a war is slanderous.

    And by the way, it's "Bibi" not Bkibi"

  9. As I recall Biki said only the US and a military intervention would keep Iran from gaining a nuke. Back in 1992.

    Israel is doing swell, they can keep it up.

    Again, we are told that US intervention is REALLY not needed. That the Israeli do not need the help in containing the Iranian Horde.

    To which I must agree

    1. I dont recall that. I recall that Bibi has been calling for strong sanctions for decades.

      I have heard in person say that at least on 4 different occasions.

      However the sanctions that the USA put on Iran were meaningless as Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming to put them in place and when he did? he put thru 21 nations to be exempt from those sanctions.

      So they are meaningless.

      Non-war solutions were on the table 10 years ago and two years ago. But 2 years ago, Obama was silent when there was a revolution in the streets..

      SO now what are the options? obama has stated CLEARLY, I heard him in person say this as well, CONTAINMENT is not an option.

  10. As Nxon is said to have said ...

    "If the. President does it, it is not illegal."

    Or words to that effect.

    T Jeffersoooon the premier opponent to expanding the Presidency, until he was President. LA Purchase from France.

    A Jackson another example of an early Imperial President. The "Trail of Tears', when the Executive ignored the Court.

    Neither Bush nor Obama are breaking trail, they are on a well tred path

    1. .

      Your last sentence is a simple declarative. However, your first two seem to imply agreement. The overall tenor or the post seems to reflect the relativism that marks much of our society today: "Hey, everybody does it so it must be ok. Nothing to see here folks. Move along."

      As was pointed out in the Greenwald article, the Constitution lays out the Presidents primary obligation as being that he "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed" and thus must swear as his oath "to the best of [his] ability [to] preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States").

      Perhaps I am misreading it, but the tenor of your post seems to buy into the view that the Constitution is a quaint set of principles, idealistic suggestions rather than mandates.


    2. Not a quaint set of principles, but a vibrant document that often can be read with differing conclusions.

      If faithfully executing the law endangers the President's ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution ...

      Where is his primary duty?
      The Presidents, almost to a man, would say Preserve,protect and defend is the primary mission. That in carrying out that primary resposibility they are the law.

      There is some merit to their position.

      But, as Nixon discovered, the authority is not carte blanche.

      The President has almost unlimited authority, as long as the House abides ...

    3. .

      Supposedly, we came together as a nation of laws.

      Where is his primary duty?
      The Presidents, almost to a man, would say Preserve,protect and defend is the primary mission. That in carrying out that primary resposibility they are the law.

      The same reason, rationale, meme, excuse, justification, claimed by every dictator, conqueror, autocrat, ruler, despot, tyrant throughout the millenium. And the sheeple say "Baaaaa".


    4. .

      At least one argues that we are slaves not to a person, group, or national entity, but rather to our own need for conveniance.

      Who has time for anything to go wrong in our world today?

      Our addiction to this complex lifestyle, requiring ever-compounded convenience, is one of the subtlest and most addictive tyrannies of the modern age.

      The word tyranny conjures up images of Uncle Joe Stalin, Chairman Mao and the Berlin Wall; however, taking a closer look at human behavior reveals that our lives are regimented more so by our own habits and preferences than by any outside entity. The limitations we place on ourselves, that prevent us from living proper and powerful lives, do as much to tyrannize our hearts and minds than any dictatorial edict, and the human race has never been more easily controlled.

      Those who would trade freedom for convenience, deserve neither freedom, nor security, and will end up with inconvenience. – Sigmund Fraud

      It is in the routinely carried out behaviors of our daily lives, in our rigid habits, in the patterns bubbling just under the surface of our psyches, that we give up our freedom. This is where we are most taken advantage of and most held captive. This is where our true identity is hijacked and where we are programmed to live in pursuit of phony consumeristic ideals such as convenience...

      In interesting times as these, with such complex and dangerous problems facing all of us, and when the bulk of society seems content to live behind the iron curtain of cognitive dissonance, freeing ourselves from the habits and cultural conventions that keep us enslaved is imperative...

      We have met the enemy and he is us.


    5. .

      We also wish to avoid the inconvenience of being hassled, sequestered, detained, interrogated, fined, arrested, tazed, or shot by an increasingly authoritarian government. Yet, no one is forcing us to fly under these conditions, and the fact that so many people show up without protest is a broad public statement of consent to being molested. A mandate, if you will.

      In many ways, convenience is a more insidious and practical tool for tyranny than the barrel of a gun. Our modern banking system is perhaps the most dastardly and subtle form of tyranny know to man, as it is so large in scope that it affects almost everyone on the planet.

      Even a rudimentary understanding of central banking reveals how it capitalizes on our desire for convenience in order to ensnare the planet in a web of debt. They conveniently print up as much money as the world needs and we consent to owing exponentially increasing, mathematically un-payable sums of money to a private corporation for the rest of eternity. It is convenient now, but rather costly in the long run.

      We do this not out of fear for our lives, but for want of convenience and for fear of inconvenience. We have been programmed to ignore our own best interests in order to remain un-hassled by our complex lives.

      By Sigmund Freud in the Daily Sheeple.


    6. Staying under deep cover, now? :)

  11. This should be a big deal!

    WASHINGTON -- Bob Woodward isn't the only person who's received threats for airing the Obama administration's dirty laundry. It seems anyone is a potential target of the White House these days - even former senior members of the Clinton administration.

    A day after Woodward's claim that a senior White House official had told him he would "regret" writing a column criticizing President Obama's stance on the sequester, Lanny Davis, a longtime close advisor to President Bill Clinton, told WMAL's Mornings on the Mall Thursday he had received similar threats for newspaper columns he had written about Obama in the Washington Times.

    Davis told WMAL that his editor, John Solomon, "received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn't like some of my columns, even though I'm a supporter of Obama. I couldn't imagine why this call was made." Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, “that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials.”

  12. Replies
    1. The Press is already turning on Woodward, and citing Obama aides, not The Won.

      Our Great Leader is never at fault.

      ..."leading" from everybody elses behind.

  13. It's been reported that Colorado state legislators were warned by the White House that if they didn't vote for more gun control, they would be targeted in the next election.

  14. To see a couple of good reason why Iran's nuclear ambitions may have been delayed, google "stuxnet" and more recently the "explosion at Fordow".

    1. hammaknocka ...Who's There?

      State Rep. Faye Hanohano apologized today to those offended by racial and ethnic remarks she made earlier this week after being unhappy with artwork installed in her state Capitol office.

      "I humbly apologize to all of you who may have been offended by sentiments expressed that were taken into the news media," she told her colleagues on the House floor.

      Hanohano (D, Hawaiian Acres- Pahoa-Kalapana), who is Native Hawaiian, used the moment in the House floor session dedicated to the Hawaiian word of the day to apologize in Hawaiian and English.

      Hanohano also reaffirmed her commitment to "serve my people and the people of the state of Hawaii" to the best of her ability and with integrity.

      Exhibit specialists with the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts had complained that Hanohano went on a tirade, which included words such as "haoles," "Japs," and "Pakes," after being disappointed that none of the art being installed in her office was from Native Hawaiian artists.

    2. Pake:

      Word used as a sort of ethnic slur in Hawaii to describe a Chinese person. Pronounced paw-kay. May also be used to describe a person who is stingy with his or her money.

      "Eh, look at those pakes over dere playing majiang."

      "Ho, Jeffrey, quit being one pake wit yo' cash brah!"

    3. 5. Pake

      1. Noun: Ejaculatory fluid (cum).
      2. Verb: To ejaculate.

      1. After intercourse, there was pake all over the back seat.
      2. Richard paked all over Emily's skirt.

    4. 7. Pake

      A wannabe paki. Someone who purposely makes themselves smell like curry and has a general diarrhea coloured skin

      Look at the state of that little freak of a pake. why doesnt he just wash and be white like he should be. foll of a chap

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  16. Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of the largest-ever leak of classified U.S. documents, pleaded guilty Thursday to several criminal counts, admitting he provided documents to the website WikiLeaks. But he continues to fight the most serious accusations he faces, including aiding the enemy.

    The testimony in court at Fort Meade, Md., likely will hurt the government's attempts to build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that he induced the leak of classified information.

    Pfc. Manning contended no one from WikiLeaks pressured him to turn over documents. He said he approached at least two news organizations before transferring the classified documents.

    A military judge accepted the guilty pleas on 10 counts related to the release of classified information. Pfc. Manning faces up to 20 years in prison for the 10 counts.

    The plea didn't result from an agreement with prosecutors, but appears to be a strategy to allow Pfc. Manning's lawyers to contest the most serious charges—aiding the enemy and violation of the espionage act. Conviction for aiding the enemy could lead to a sentence of life in prison.

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