Bradley Manning ‘aiding the enemy’ charge is a threat to journalism

From The Guardian UK:

Without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people. That’s what this trial is really about, Friday 19 July 2013

Thursday, Colonel Denise Lind, the judge in the Bradley Manning court martial, refused to dismiss the “aiding the enemy” charge. The decision is preliminary, and the judge could still moderate its effect if she finds Manning not guilty. But even if she ultimately acquits Manning, the decision will cast a long shadow on national security journalists and their sources.

First, this case is about national security journalism, not WikiLeaks. At Monday’s argument in preparation for Thursday’s ruling, the judge asked the prosecution to confirm: does it make any difference if it’s WikiLeaks or any other news organization: New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal? The prosecution answered: “No, it would not. It would not potentially make a difference.”

Second, the decision establishes a chilling precedent: leaking classified documents to the these newspapers can by itself be legally sufficient to constitute the offense of “aiding the enemy”, if the leaker was sophisticated enough about intelligence and how the enemy uses the internet.

Thursday’s decision was preliminary and made under a standard that favors the prosecution’s interpretation of the facts. The judge must still make that ultimate decision on guilt based on all the evidence, including the defense, under the strict “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Although the decision is preliminary, it is critical as a matter of law because it accepts the prosecution’s extreme theory as legally sufficient. The prosecution’s case is that by leaking materials to the press, the source of classified materials is “communicating with the enemy” indirectly. The source gives materials to the journalist; the journalist publishes; the enemy reads the publication and, presto, the source is guilty of the offense of “aiding the enemy”. Manning is facing life imprisonment without parole for this offense.

The judge earlier held that “aiding the enemy” required that the leaker have “actual knowledge” that by handing materials over to a newspaper, he or she is giving it to “the enemy”; it is not enough that the source “should have known” that the enemy would access the materials. The critical question for Thursday’s holding was what evidence is enough, as a matter of law, to prove “actual knowledge”.

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Hysteric Ultra Right Wing Republican Ted Cruz: Gay Rights Lead to Hate Speech Laws, US on Brink of Collapse

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Governor Rick Perry’s Sister Positioned To Make A Fortune Off The New Texas Abortion Law

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

by Jean Ann Esselink
on July 22, 2013

Despite State Senator Wendy Davis’ impressive 12-hour filibuster, the Texas legislature was able to push through new stringent abortion restrictions in special session. Under the provisions of SB5, doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and clinics must be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers. Since only five of the forty-two clinics offering abortion services in Texas can meet those standards, without relief from a federal court, thirty-seven clinics will have to close their doors, or no longer offer abortions.

Governor Rick Perry has signed SB5, and it is now the law in Texas. But the stroke of Governor Perry’s pen did more than take away the freedom of many Texas women to plan their own families. It put the doctor-entrepreneur clients of his older sister, Milla Perry Jones, in a position to make millions.

Milla Perry Jones is Vice President of Government Relations of United Surgical Partners International, which runs surgery centers co-owned by doctors. She lobbies for doctor-owned clinics in Washington and Austin, and she teaches trade groups how to do the same. She is described in “Who’s Who in the Ambulatory Surgery Industry” as “a true advocate for the physician-owned healthcare model.” In fact, when Obamacare was first passed, the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, one of the trade groups Milla Perry Jones worked with, sued Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over a provision that barred new doctor-owned medical facilities. The restriction was seen as a way to rein in healthcare costs, because services at doctor-owned clinics cost an average of 20% more than traditional clinics, since doctor-owners have a financial incentive to order more tests.

The suit was unsuccessful.

But now, her little brother the governor has put Milla in a position to capitalize on the abortion demand that is inevitable when 37 Texas clinics can no longer offer abortion services. The women who want to terminate and unwelcome pregnancy aren’t going to disappear. They are going to look elsewhere. Business-wise there will be quite an opportunity for the existing 420 Texas licensed ambulatory surgical clinics to consider adding abortion to their list of services. There will also be an opportunity for doctors to buy out the clinics that have to close at bargain basement rates, and update them to ambulatory surgical centers. Doctor-owners would also satisfy the admitting privileges problem. Abortions would still be available, just at new higher prices.

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Goodwill exploits workers with penny wages

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Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health

From Alternet:

Marty Kaplan unravels distractions that prevent national outcry over unemployment, hunger, crumbling infrastructure and out of whack systems.

By Bill Moyers, Marty Kaplan
July 16, 2013

The following content originally appeared on

Across the world — Greece, Spain, Brazil, Egypt — citizens are turning angrily to their governments to demand economic fair play and equality. But here in America, with few exceptions, the streets and airwaves remain relatively silent. In a country as rich and powerful as America, why is there so little outcry about the ever-increasing, deliberate divide between the very wealthy and everyone else?

Media scholar Marty Kaplan points to a number of forces keeping these issues and affected citizens in the dark — especially our well-fed appetite for media distraction.

“We have unemployment and hunger and crumbling infrastructure and a tax system out of whack and a corrupt political system — why are we not taking to the streets?” Kaplan asks Bill. “I suspect among your viewers, there are people who are outraged and want to be at the barricades. The problem is that we have been taught to be helpless and jaded rather than to feel that we are empowered and can make a difference.”

An award-winning columnist and head of the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, Kaplan also talks about the appropriate role of journalists as advocates for truth.

The following is a transcript of the interview, which originally appeared on

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Mitch Daniels: I Just Wanted To Keep Kids From Reading Howard Zinn

From Huffington Post:


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University President Mitch Daniels on Friday stood by his efforts to keep liberal historian Howard Zinn’s work from being taught in Indiana schools, saying the actions he took while governor were meant to keep the book out of the hands of K-12 students.

Meanwhile, the university’s board of trustees threw their support behind the former politician, approving a $58,000 bonus to reward him for his first six months on the job.

Daniels told reporters after a meeting of the board that a statement he made as governor that Indiana should “disqualify the propaganda” he saw being used in Indiana’s teacher preparation courses was meant only to keep Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” from being taught in the state’s K-12 classrooms.

“The question is, would this lead to this material being taught to innocent school children? I promise that if the parents of Indiana understood what was in the book in question, 99 if not 100 out of 100 would want some other book used,” Daniels said after the trustees’ meeting on the West Lafayette campus.

Daniels has come under fire in academic circles for the 2010 emails, which were obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

After learning that Zinn’s book was being used in a summer teacher training course at Indiana University, Daniels signed off on education adviser David Shane’s proposal to review university courses across the state to determine what should count as credit.

“Go for it. Disqualify propaganda and highlight (if there is any) the more useful offerings. Don’t the ed schools have at least some substantive PD (professional development) courseware to upgrade knowledge of math, science, etc.,” Daniels wrote.

After being told Zinn’s work was being used at Indiana University in a course for teachers on the Civil Rights, feminist and labor movements, Daniels wrote:

“This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state. No student will be better taught because someone sat through this session. Which board has jurisdiction over what counts and what doesn’t?”

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The Myth of the Hardhat Hawk

From In These Times:

Was the working class really the biggest proponent of the Vietnam War?

BY Bhaskar Sunkara
July 18, 2013

In 1969, Richard Nixon commended “the great silent majority” of Americans who supported the Vietnam War while Vice President Spiro Agnew denounced the “effete corps of impudent snobs” who opposed it. This story has become ingrained in our national mythos: Blue-collar workers driven by patriotism supported the war, while resistance came from liberal intellectuals and degenerate hippies. But City University of New York sociologist Penny Lewis argues in Hardhats, Hippies and Hawks: The Vietnam Anti-War Movement as Myth and Memory that this dichotomy is a crafted fiction.

Iconic events of that period did fuel notions of a pro-war working class. In 1965, AFL-CIO President George Meany said that “for America to surrender, to withdraw, to abandon its solemn commitment to South Vietnam would be the first step toward a world holocaust.” And in 1970, construction workers in Manhattan physically assaulted demonstrators at an anti-war rally. Then there was the invented history, apocryphal stories of veterans thanklessly defending liberty abroad only to be spat on when they returned home.

Lewis’ own experience helped her re- cover the lost “countermemory” of this period. The daughter of two service members, she grew up with veterans, many of whom were suffering from economic hardship and deeply opposed the war. The poll data she summons suggests her experiences were the rule, not the exception: Elites were more likely to support the war, workers more likely to oppose it. By 1971, 60 percent of those with college degrees supported withdrawal, but even more—80 percent—with only a grade- school education did as well.

Close to a quarter of those who served in Vietnam participated in the military anti-war movement. Black youth from disadvantaged back- grounds numbered disproportionately in the ranks of non-registrants and deserters. They knew they had little at stake in the Vietnam War.

Lewis’ argument is not that the working class was uniformly radical, but rather that it was split along a left-right divide. Not everyone was against the war, but significant numbers were. Similarly, many workers were shop-floor militants. In 1970, 5,600 work stoppages led to 6.2 million lost worker-days. In 1971, 2.5 million workers were involved in major strikes. The era didn’t begin, or end, with flower power.

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