Friday, February 8, 2013

Code Pink: peace outlawed by murderers

The hardest questions have been effectively outlawed; while those that praise activities that can't be justified by any reasonable standard have also praised John Brennan.

Dianne Feinstein indicated that this is a serious matter; implying that the Code Pink protesters weren't behaving in a serious manner when they protested the confirmation of John Brennan however I suspect if they had an opportunity to ask their questions in a more reasonable manner they never would have done this in the first place. The commercial media rarely if ever gives them or any other sincere peaceful protesters adequate time to explain their views so some of them use what ever tactics they can to draw attention to their cause. this is regrettable but it is the fault of the commercial media and the political establishment for declining to give them adequate opportunities in the first place.

It may seem as if some of these questions that the senators have been giving him are tough but I doubt if they would compare well to the questions that many critics of the drone program, including those at Code Pink and elsewhere, and the methods being used in the war on terror would ask if they had the opportunity but they're rarely ever given that opportunity. They have done an enormous amount of good work for those that seek it out but many people that rely on the information the commercial media outlet provide may be ignorant of this, not because they're stupid, but because they're not presented with the information they need; instead the commercial media and the political establishment provide an enormous amount of non-stop propaganda from many of the same sources that are given one opportunity to speak after another while those with opposing views are relegated to the fringes or low profile web pages that only a much smaller percentage of the public find out about.

Much more information is available for those that know where to look for it and it is important to get the word out about more reliable sources and the fact that the commercial media no longer has any credibility. For more information see Code Pink's web page or many other alternative media outlets, or the following articles from both alternative sites and the commercial media.


Watch CodePink's demonstration outside Hart Senate Building before John Brennan's hearing and at the hearing itself. Eight CodePink members were arrested for speaking out and Senator Feinstein ordered all "CodePink" associates be "evicted" from the hearing. ..... Complete article and video

As I was preparing this Bruce Gagnon was following up with another article on the subject, "THE DRONE DEBATE IS EXPANDING"

Democracy Now was also airing an episode on the subject while I was preparing this and they went into more details and included responses from Medea Benjamin.

Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing

President Obama’s nominee to run the CIA, John Brennan, forcefully defended Obama’s counterterrorism policies, including the increased use of armed drones and the targeted killings of American citizens during his confirmation hearing Thursday. "None of the central questions that should have been asked of John Brennan were asked in an effective way," says Jeremy Scahill, author of the forthcoming book, "Dirty Wars." "In the cases where people like Sen. Angus King or Sen. Ron Wyden would ask a real question, for instance, about whether or not the CIA has the right to kill U.S. citizens on U.S. soil, the questions were very good. Brennan would then offer up a non-answer. And then there’d be almost no follow-up." Scahill went on to say, "[Brennan] has served for more than four years as the assassination czar, and it basically looked like they were discussing purchasing a used car on Capitol Hill. I mean, it was total kabuki oversight. And that’s a devastating commentary on where things stand." Complete transcript and video

CODEPINK Repeatedly Disrupts Brennan Hearing Calling Out Names of Civilians Killed in Drone Strikes

Thursday’s confirmation hearing for CIA nominee John Brennan was briefly postponed to clear the room of activists from CODEPINK after they repeatedly disrupted Brennan’s testimony. One woman held a list of Pakistani children killed in U.S. drone strikes. Former U.S. diplomat Col. Ann Wright interrupted Brennan while wearing a sign around her neck with the name of Tariq Aziz, a 16-year-old Pakistani boy who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011. Wright and seven others were arrested. We speak to CODEPINK founder Medea Benjamin, who also disrupted the meeting and recently visited Pakistan to speak with victims of drone strikes. "It’s not only the killing, it’s the terrorizing of entire populations, where they hear the drones buzzing overhead 24 hours a day, where they’re afraid to go to school, afraid to go to the markets, to funerals, to weddings, where it disrupts entire communities," Benjamin says. "And we are trying to get this information to our elected officials, to say, 'You are making us unsafe here at home,' to say nothing of how illegal, immoral and inhumane these policies are." Complete transcript and video

Brennan Defends Drone Strikes, Even On Americans

WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA Director-designate John Brennan strongly defended anti-terror attacks by unmanned drones Thursday under close questioning at a protest-disrupted confirmation hearing. On a second controversial topic, he said that after reading a classified intelligence report on harsh interrogation techniques, he does not know if waterboarding has yielded useful information. ....

Brennan, 57 and President Barack Obama's top anti-terrorism aide, won praise from several members of the committee as the day's proceedings drew to a close, a clear indication that barring an unexpected development, his confirmation as the nation's next head of the CIA is on track.

"I think you're the guy for the job, and the only guy for the job," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

The panel will meet in closed session next week to permit discussion of classified material.

Brennan bristled once during the day, when Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, accused him of having leaked classified information in a telephone call with former government officials who were preparing to make television appearances.

"I disagree with that vehemently," the nominee shot back. .... Complete article

Ironically it appears that if his confirmation is prevented it will only be because some senators vote against him because he didn't keep enough secrets about the activities that clearly shouldn't be happening at all; not for the right reasons.

Lawmakers consider regulating drone strikes

WASHINGTON — CIA Director-designate John Brennan's vigorous defense of drone strikes to kill terror suspects — even American citizens — overseas is causing key lawmakers to consider lifting secrecy from what has become an important weapon in the fight against al-Qaida.

Brennan, President Barack Obama's top counterterror adviser, was grilled for more than three hours Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the drone program he leads, as well as on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration, which he denounced, and on leaks of classified information to the media, which Brennan vehemently denied being a part of. .....

In a long afternoon in the witness chair, Brennan was questioned on other issues, such as the use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques in the George W. Bush administration. He declined to say whether he believes waterboarding, which simulates drowning, amounted to torture, but he said firmly it was "something that is reprehensible and should never be done again."

Brennan, 57, is a veteran of more than three decades in intelligence work. He withdrew his name from nomination to head the CIA four years ago amid questions about the role he played at the CIA when the Bush administration approved waterboarding and other forms of "enhanced interrogation" of suspected terrorists.

On the question of waterboarding, Brennan said that while serving as a deputy manager at the CIA during the Bush administration, he was told such interrogation methods produced "valuable information." Now, after reading a 300-page summary of a 6,000-page report on CIA interrogation and detention policies, he said he does "not know what the truth is." Complete article

There have been many more reports on this subject from both alternative and traditional outlets; some of the ones from traditional outlets have attempted to argue about how this can be justified in a country that is “governed by the rule of law.” They have attempted to state or imply that it is a matter of obtaining the right balance. In at least a couple of cases some of these people have argue\d that they thought that Barack Obama could be trusted to do this but they were worried about whether other presidents that followed could be trusted as much.

The simple obvious response should be that this can’t be justified at all in a country that is “governed by the rule of law;” the fact that they’re attempting to do so strongly implies that this country isn’t currently “governed by the rule of law.” Or at least those with the most power aren’t “governed by the rule of law.” When they come up with things that are clearly illegal they reinterpret the law and make it clear that the “the rule of law” only seems to imply to those without adequate political power.

If there is any doubt about that some people might want to read “Underage US drone victims finally identified by name” where Judy Mendelbaum lists 119 children that were killed by drones based on research by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. If the Obama administration could be trusted to make these choices there would be no need to target these children or downplay or ignore the significance of it. If the commercial media could be trusted to cover this they would have paid much more attention to it. If they were arguing that these deaths didn’t occur then they should make that case; but that doesn’t seem t o be what they’re doing. They seem to be trying to ignore it and hoping that most people won’t notice it.

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