Photo: Neon Hallway; Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t
My Parents Were Executed Under the Unconstitutional Espionage Act -- Here's Why We Must Fight to Protect Julian Assange
Robert Meeropol writes for the Rosenberg Fund for Children via AlterNet: "Rumors are swirling that the United States is preparing to indict Wikileaks leader Julian Assange for conspiring to violate the Espionage Act of 1917. The modern version of that act states among many, many other things that: “Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States” causes the disclosure or publication of this material, could be subject to massive criminal penalties. It also states that: “If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions … each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.” (18 U.S. Code, Chapter 37, Section 793.)"
El País Editor: When Democracy’s Rules Are Flouted, Democracy Is Put at Risk
an interesting piece explaining why he published the Wikileak cables. He points to the same thing I pointed to–American efforts to squelch torture investigations in Spain and Germany–to explain the importance of the cables, though he also adds US efforts to prevent Spanish banks from doing business with Iran, even while Iran had not violated international law. These disclosures are important, Moreno argues, because they show the degree to which the US refuses to abide by the legal procedures in other countries, which in turn represents a danger to democracy." Photo: AlterNet
U.N. to Review Manning's Condition
The Daily Beast reports: "The U.N.'s top anti-torture envoy in Geneva announced he is reviewing a complaint filed on behalf of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 23-year-old soldier accused of leaking a trove of documents and classified military video to WikiLeaks. The complaint alleged that Manning's conditions in prison, where he is being held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day and forced to speak every five minutes, amount to torture. The Pentagon denies mistreating Manning, who is being held until he is court-martialed, but media organizations have reported that the private's health is deteriorating, and several psychologists and torture experts have argued that Manning's solitary confinement and sensory deprivation constitute torture. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called on human rights organizations to investigate the situation, but maintains that he had never heard of Manning before his name began appearing in news stories."
Obama's Two-Year Economic Report Card
Photo: White House / Pete Souza
Top Ten Ways The Right Will Wreck The Recovery
Isaiah Poole writes for the Campaign for America's Future: "Conservatives have a legislative agenda for 2011 that will hurt your ability to get or keep a job, your neighborhood's ability to recover from the recession and this country's ability to regain its footing in the global economy. To keep conservatives from enacting policies that will kill a nascent economic recovery, progressives will have to organize against these top 10 economy killers."
Trauma: How We've Created a Nation Addicted to Shopping, Work, Drugs and Sex
Serfing USA: Corporate America Is Robbing American Workers
Dave Lindorff, This Can't Be Happening: "Along with the staggering theft in broad daylight of Americans' assets that has occurred in the course of the ongoing financial crisis, as taxpayers funded multi-trillion bank bailouts and banks stole homes through foreclosures with the help of fraudulent paperwork, American companies have also been picking the pockets of workers more directly."
Major Health Care Reforms Take Place January 1
Brian Beutler reports for Talking Points Memo: "Starting Saturday, two of the new health care law's most significant reforms take effect -- or at least begin to take effect. The first will dramatically clamp down on insurance industry waste, abuse, and excesses. Starting on New Year's Day, insurance companies will have to spend at least 80 percent of the revenues they receive from premiums on actual health care. Not on salaries or overhead."
Hounding a Torture Judge: A Report by Susan Harman on the Campaign to Impeach Jay S. Bybee
Andy Worthington writes on his blog: "Holding Bush administration officials accountable for torture is an unfashionable thought in Obama’s America, as was signaled even before Barack Obama took office, when he told the New York Times about his “belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.” After a promising early start for those seeking accountability, when the administration obeyed a court order and released four “torture memos” issued in 2002 and 2005 by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — one particularly notorious example from August 2002, written by John Yoo and signed by Jay S. Bybee, and three others from May 2005 written by Stephen Bradbury — the shutters went down, and ever since obstruction has been the name of the game."
'The Left Has Nowhere to Go'
Responding to the Conservative Propaganda Machine
Joe Brewer comments for Truthout: "So now you've seen the power of conservative propaganda for setting America's agenda. During the November 2010 elections, we saw the annihilation of progressive ideas by the most sophisticated, deeply funded and precisely orchestrated public relations system ever concocted. And they are preparing to take things up a notch now that they've won. The gears are well-greased and the engine is humming. Prospects are slim for President Obama and the remaining progressives in Congress. If we don't act now, 2012 will mark the end of the progressive rise to power in American politics."
Kris Kobach: Secretary of State or Immigration Sheriff?
8 Smears and Misconceptions About WikiLeaks Spread By the Media
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd and Tana Ganeva report for AlterNet: "The corporate media's tendency to blare misinformation and outright fabrications has been particularly egregious in coverage of WikiLeaks. As Glenn Greenwald has argued, mainstream news outlets are parroting smears and falsehoods about the whistleblower site and its founder Julian Assange, helping to perpetuate a number of "zombie lies" -- misconceptions that refuse to die no matter how much they conflict with known reality, basic logic and well-publicized information."
Project Censored's Mickey Huff Finds the News That Didn't Make the News
Photo: Artiii / flickr
Comcast-NBC Merger Does Nothing to Enhance the Public Interest
Michael Hiltzik reports for the LA Times: "Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is poised to greenlight the proposed merger of the big cable company Comcast Corp. with the huge entertainment conglomerate NBC-Universal. Genachowski wants to impose several conditions on the deal to ensure that the resulting entertainment behemoth can't use its dominating power to shut down competition, jack up rates for customers, and generally undermine the public interest."