Voices from Russia

Sunday, 12 June 2016

12 June 2016. Hilly’s Take on Snowden is Laughable

00 Hillary the Witch

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Hilly claimed that Snowden should’ve stayed in the USA and received “all the protections of a whistleblower”. Hmm… I seem to recall the Manning case. What “protection” did they receive? Why, a long-ass prison sentence in a max security pen, that’s what! Hilly’s being her usual lying self… if it were up to her, she’d pull the switch herself to open up the chemicals to the spike to kill ANY of her rivals or those who discomfited her in any way. Yet, her backers eat this shit up. What does it tell you about them and their motives? Nothing good, I’d say… have a care with HillyBillys… they’re as devious and untruthful as their idol. Keep it focused… the times aren’t good.

BMD

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Friday, 5 July 2013

Agreeing to Disagree on Snowden

there-are-spies-among-us-588

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The Snowden affair is fresh evidence of how much the world changed in a historically-short period. In the not-too-distant past, spies were the main target in the never-ending war between intelligence agencies. Zero sum games and intrigue were part of the trade. Whilst this is still true to some extent, increasingly, such activities have become routine procedure between rival nations. A different kind of confrontation is brewing in the world. In the past, Edward Snowden would’ve brought his revelations to Moscow and offered his services to the Soviet intelligence service. There were many like him who grew disenchanted with the West and the promise of communism drew them. Of course, there were also Soviet intelligence officers who chose life in the West. However, today, the main enemy of a major intelligence agency… a closed institution by definition… isn’t other intelligence agencies, but an open society.

US Army Private Bradley Manning and National Security Agency contractor Snowden offered up information they considered important, not to an enemy state, but to the public, turning the old order upside down. Sharing secret information with an ideological or strategic enemy is treason in any country, whatever the motivation. However, to many, exposing government agencies’ interference in the private lives of citizens and violations of constitutionally-protected freedoms is an act of patriotism. Snowden’s supporters in the USA include leftwing and ultra-liberal politicians as well as ultra-conservatives and libertarians such as US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who believe the government should stay out of people’s lives. President Putin’s reaction added an interesting twist to the story. He said that Russia wouldn’t extradite Snowden to the USA, which was to be expected, but his words didn’t betray any sympathy for the fugitive American. As a former intelligence officer, one could hardly expect Putin to feel sympathy for someone who violated his oath and revealed state secrets.

A new kind of confrontation is taking shape in a world where nothing’s secret any more. On one side are the intelligence agencies of the world, which believe it’s their duty to know as much as possible about people and to keep them in the dark about their own activities… in the name of universal security. Standing on the other side are those who believe that people have the right to use any means available to lift the veil of secrecy from intelligence agencies and to keep them out of their personal lives. This was a relatively minor confrontation, but the modern global information community acts as a huge magnifying glass and a powerful catalyst.

However, whistleblowers are of little interest to rival intelligence agencies. Usually, the facts that whistleblowers reveal to the world are already well-known by the agencies. Moreover, an agent’s value lies in being part of the system for a long time, even as a small cog. Those who go public and sever their ties with an institution aren’t worth a dime. Manning, who passed sensitive US government materials to WikiLeaks three years ago, and Snowden, who went public with information about the internet scouring programme code-named PRISM, might just be underachievers in search of notoriety. Nevertheless, really, it doesn’t matter why they did it. The upshot is that society is trying to protect itself from the growing technical capabilities of intelligence agencies. Snowden simply confirmed what everyone already suspected… that intelligence agencies are using social media and other communication systems for their own purposes. All the same, such weapons can cut both ways, and there’ll always be people willing to use these new technological capabilities against the agencies. Likely, there’ll be more such whistleblowers, and not only in America.

Overall, the Snowden affair provided a fitting end to the 2012-13 global political season… a combination of pathos and cynicism, farce and drama, with hopeless ambiguity as its main symbol. Opinions of Snowden vary greatly, and they’ll likely continue to divide people. The trend toward disunity in the world is much stronger than the trend toward unity. The overwhelming feeling is one of exasperation. Nothing is going as expected and different social groups and countries can’t agree on anything. No one’s satisfied with the outcome, although for different reasons, and no one knows what to do to make things right.

28 June 2013

01 Fyodor Lukyanov RIA-NovostiFyodor Lukyanov

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/columnists/20130628/181936592/Uncertain-World-Agreeing-to-Disagree-on-Snowden.html

Monday, 4 March 2013

As John Robles Sees It… Persecution of Manning to Continue

01 Kangaroo Court

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Bradley Manning took full responsibility for the information he’s pleaded guilty to releasing and bravely faced the 20 year sentence he could’ve received, yet for American prosecutors, this isn’t enough, they wish to show that Manning aided the enemy, a charge for which they have the option of executing him. Despite the importance the US Government placed on the information he released, to date, no one’s faced charges for the crimes exposed by Manning, making the whole process appear to be the workings of a kangaroo court. After Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges and stoically faced the fact that he might face a 20-year prison sentence, the American prosecutors decided to continue with his prosecution on 12 more charges, including the rarely-used charge of aiding the enemy, which carries with it the possibility of a death sentence, something the prosecution said they wouldn’t pursue.

Mr Manning’s plea was not part of a deal to have other charges dropped, but the prosecution could’ve proven its wisdom and used the option it presented them to drop the other charges and move directly to the sentencing phase of the trial. In a statement released to the public, the prosecution stated the following, “Given the scope of the alleged misconduct, the seriousness of the charged offenses, and the evidence and testimony available, the USA intends to proceed with the court-martial to prove Manning committed the charged offenses beyond the lesser charges to which he has already pled guilty”. The case of Bradley Manning proves beyond all doubt that genuine justice isn’t of real importance to the USA, and, perhaps, that the USA has become a corrupt and illegal rogue country, as one sees in the way that their subservient states and their allies they continue to follow them blindly.

According to media reports, the prosecutors intend to call 141 witnesses to Manning’s court martial, which should begin on 13 June 2013, to show that some of the open-source documents released by Manning were found in the former compound of Osama bin Laden. Whether they’d provide evidence that al-Qaeda used the information in the planning of any terrorist acts against the USA is yet to be known, but apparently, for American prosecutors, at this point, mere possession is enough.

Despite the fact that Mr Manning exposed war crimes and the illegality of the American execution of the “War on Terror”, despite the fact that he was detained without trial or charges for over 1,000 days, with his egregious treatment and pre-trial punishment in contradiction of American and international law, American prosecutors plan to continue his trial on charges of aiding al-Qaeda and the enemy, rather than doing the correct and legal thing, which is to dismiss the charges against him, thus, giving Mr Manning the right that many feel he’s earned more than most, to be a free man and a hero. Unfortunately, the treatment of Mr Manning, rather than being an abomination or an egregious exception triggering massive protests and widespread questioning by the general public of the real motivations behind the actions of their government, a government which is supposed to serve them, for the majority of the misinformed, fearful, and subservient population in the USA, it’s something that they’ve become accustomed to, which, in their continuing silence, they support with no import being given to freedom of the press, accountability, and the very principles of democracy.

The treatment of Private Manning is the embodiment of what’s wrong with the USA, and if what he did didn’t trigger an internal American debate, it’s surely triggered a massive international debate. Mr Manning is what those hiding behind a veil of secrecy to commit crimes against all humanity fear most, an individual with access to information proving their criminal conduct, with a conscience and higher moral ideals willing to sacrifice themselves, and his case, has exposed that fact to the world. Whether anything will change or whether anyone will ever be prosecuted for the crimes exposed by Manning is highly doubtful, as those who committed and ordered them and their support network are still in power, yet his actions did expose the illegality and the hypocrisy of the USA to the entire world, and showed that it’s possible for one person to effect, if not change, then, at least, cause embarrassment.

That embarrassment and his attempt to bring those guilty to account, as well as the fact that Mr Manning is being used an example to scare others who might consider blowing the whistle, are behind his persecution. Rather than paying proper attention to the message, the system went after the messenger and all conduits of that message, as they have with WikiLeaks, Assange, Hammond, Swartz, and thousands of other journalists and truth seekers. Without a doubt, those who’ve subverted the US Government, who’ve propagated the “war on Terror” paradigm, continue to conduct illegal wars against poor defenceless nations. As long as they remain in power, they aren’t interested in pursuing those who commit crimes in the process of executing their illegal policies; in fact, they protect them. The list of those who should’ve faced prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity, but who have protection from the Establishment, is too long to list here, but includes everyone from George W Bush down to Lynndie England, hence, the ongoing persecution of Manning. According to the military and the hawks in power, Manning was supposed to keep his mouth shut and follow orders, just like every other soldier or tool of the US military apparat. Speaking out was his sin; the most expeditious way to prosecute him is by saying he was aiding terrorists and al-Qaeda.

In fact, what Mr Manning did, is to aid the American people and the world’s population find the rule of law and true democracy. The fact that he did so knowing the risk he faced, and the fact that he stood up in open court and took full responsibility for the largest leak of sensitive information in American history is something that makes him one of the greatest heroes of modern times. The US Government and those in power have got it so terribly wrong on so many levels in the case of Manning, but above all, his case proves that soldiers and those who witness horrendous acts and illegality being carried out under the influence of power have nowhere to go and no one to turn to, proving that the true rule of law and legal oversight in the USA have become farcical, something that one only pays lip service to.

In his almost two-hour statement to the court, Manning detailed how he came to be an intelligence analyst, how his diminutive stature made his time in basic training torturous, the nature and his views on the information that he processed, the problems he had in the field in carrying out his mission, how WikiLeaks (WLO) came to his attention after they published 500,000 text messages related to 9/11, and the circumstances surrounding each release. His most telling statement, which sheds light on his motivations, was the following regarding a diplomatic cable he had access to, “The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organisations. I also began to think that the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity didn’t seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world”.

Truly a prisoner of conscience, Bradley Manning is a hero, and should be treated as such, those responsible for the crimes he’s revealed to the world should be pursued, but in reality, this won’t occur, because in the paradigm that the USA is trapped in, and our world is being pulled into, the messenger is of more importance than the message, and anyone who goes against the criminality of those in power must be eradicated with extreme prejudice.

00 John Robles. VOR 06.124 March 2013

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_03_04/Persecution-of-Manning-to-continue/

 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

As John Robles Sees It… Afghanistan: Spinning Failure as Success


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The number of green-on-blue attacks in Afghanistan is increasing amidst widespread rioting over the American film Innocence of Muslims as the USA attempts to make a face-saving drawdown of troops from the country. Cooperation between “coalition” troops and the Afghans is being cut back as the attacks continue, yet the USA is still trying to paint a different picture of their failure in Afghanistan. Western media reports this year alone noted that there were 37 attacks on American forces and their NATO and want-to-be-NATO allies, all part of George W Bush’s “coalition of the willing” engaged in their endless world war on terror.

Just like at the beginning of the invasion, when the American and the Western media reacted with horror and indignation anytime the Afghans fought back, branding them enemy combatants, then, terrorists, and hauling them off to their illegal torture prison, outside of the jurisdiction of international law, in Guantánamo Bay Cuba, the Western media still don’t seem to get it. They continue to react with shock and indignation whenever their Afghan “allies” (yes, that’s what they now call the country they invaded) attack the “coalition” forces.

Let’s stop for a minute here and put things into a proper perspective. Unlike the USSR, whose intervention was officially requested by the Afghan Government, the USA and NATO were never asked to enter the country, that’s one… two, the invasion of Afghanistan, and that’s what it was no matter how the West hates to admit it, was never sanctioned internationally, or even in the USA… Afghanistan never threatened the USA, never committed an act of aggression against the USA warranting invasion, and, last, and most importantly, was never involved in the questionable events of 9/11.

The Western media said that the attacks by their Afghan “allies” killed 51 “international service members” this year, with 12 attacks in August, leaving 15 dead. Yet, nowhere can you find an accurate body count of the innocent Afghan people, including women and children, who’ve died at the hands of the coalition. This is simple to explain, it’s part of the American propaganda war; the people back in Kansas don’t want to hear about it, the Afghan people are an abstraction, less than human, their lives don’t count as much as those of the “coalition” forces. If the American people were to find out what the USA is really doing in Afghanistan, they might become upset and call for an end to the military adventure.

The USA’s vested interest in hiding the truth, including that about Afghanistan, is obvious by the American reaction to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, yours truly, and anyone else who gets too close to the truth. The war should be over soon, you may think, at least, that’s what they want you to believe, not hardly, despite the fact that the USA is to announce that 33,000 troops who were part of the “surge” three years ago, have left the country, this actually means nothing. The number of troops will remain at close to invasion-level, with 68,000 US troops still incountry. That is a great pull-out? The Western media doesn’t mention this very real and provable fact, they continue to complain about Afghan “attacks”, either they just doesn’t get it or they actually believe what they are writing when it comes to Afghanistan.

This is completely understandable, no one in the USA wants to hear that they illegally invaded and decimated a country for no real reason, or at least not for the reasons they were lied to about and led to believe. No one wants to hear that their presence isn’t wanted and that they’re aggressors and invaders… invaders who attacked one of the poorest and most defenceless countries in the world illegally and on false pretexts, and, then, stayed there for more than a decade killing the population without being able to claim any kind of a victory. The media in the West complains that the spike in “insider” attacks is somehow souring relations between the USA and its Afghan allies who are fighting side by side. Against whom? Against other Afghan people. The once-CIA-backed Taliban? The reality is that the USA invaded their country, and is killing their people, so, how is it that an Afghan could, in their right mind, fight alongside the invaders? Well, apparently, many are now taking the first chance they have to fight back, not against their Afghan brothers and sisters, but against the invaders.

This is something the USA just doesn’t seem to understand. Even if there weren’t thousands of cases of innocent civilians being killed, even if there weren’t constant unpunished “scandals”, and even if American soldiers didn’t urinate on corpses and collect body parts as trophies and the like, the USA would never be welcomed in the country. They’re invaders. The latest in a spate of what are now called “green-on-blue” attacks an Afghan soldier in Helmand Province opened fire on a vehicle he believed was driven by NATO soldiers slightly wounding a foreign staff member. Also on Sunday, an Afghan police officer shot and killed four American troops in Zabul Province, and on Saturday, a member of a government-backed militia killed two British troops, also in Helmand.

Of course, officials and the press are painting the escalation in violence and attacks against the Americans in a different light. Instead of admitting that they’re completely losing control of the country and that the situation for them is growing worse by the day, people like US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta are attempting to paint the increase in attacks as a sign of the decrease in power by the attackers. Panetta said while visiting Japan that the “… insider attacks are the last gasp of a Taliban insurgency that hasn’t been able to regain lost ground”. So, the fact that the Taliban’s attacking more means that they’re in fact weaker? Ahem. Okay, but sorry, if you call a black kettle white it’s still black.

Further underlining the failure of the American military adventure in Afghanistan and of their meddling in the Muslim world in general, on Tuesday, 18 September, a woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up on a minibus in Kabul, killing 12 people, including seven foreigners. According to reports, the dead were mostly Russian and South African nationals. Apparently, the attack was in protest of the infamous film Innocence of Muslims. In Kabul, thousands of protestors clashed with police over the same film, in violence that was even worse than the outbreak that occurred at the beginning of the year over the burning of Qurans by American troops.

On Monday, NATO reported that it’s cut the number of joint operations with Afghan soldiers and policemen in order to lessen the chance of insider attacks. This is the second such order given recently, which further flies in the face of the claim that they are fighting “shoulder to shoulder” with the Afghans. According to CBS News reports, the Pentagon, for its part, “suspended most joint field operations with Afghan forces because so many Americans are being killed by the men they’re training”. This comes on the heels of a decision to end all joint patrols and operations without first obtaining approval from the command structure. If they call that winning, I’d hate to see what they call losing.

19 September 2012

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_09_19/Afghanistan-spinning-failure-as-success/

 

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