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You Don't Say.

wikileaks Pfc. Bradley Manning was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison for his disclosure of sensitive U.S government documents to Wikileaks. I don't recall any CIA agents being outed or losing their lives as a result of these revelations <cough Valerie Plame cough> so the punishment seemed a bit excessive to me.

If you're curious as to what was in those documents here is a choice sampling:

Yemeni president lied to his own people, claiming his military carried out air strikes on militants actually done by U.S.  All part of giving U.S. full rein in country against terrorists.

• Details on Vatican hiding big sex abuse cases in Ireland.

• U.S. tried to get Spain to curb its probes of Gitmo torture and rendition.

• State Dept memo: U.S.-backed 2009 coup in Honduras was 'illegal and unconstitutional.'”

• Cables on Tunisia appear to help spark revolt in that country. The country's ruling elite described as “The Family,” with Mafia-like skimming throughout the economy. The country's First Lady may have made massive profits off a private school.

• U.S. knew all about massive corruption in Tunisia back in 2006 but went on supporting the government anyway, making it the pillar of its North Africa policy.

• Washington was misled by our own diplomats on Russia-Georgia showdown.

• Extremely important historical document finally released in full: Ambassador April Glaspie's cable from Iraq in 1990 on meeting with Saddam Hussein before Kuwait invasion.

• New York Times:  “From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier.”

• Afghan vice president left country with $52 million “in cash.”

• Shocking levels of U.S. spying at the United Nations (beyond what was commonly assumed) and intense use of diplomats abroad in intelligence-gathering roles.

• Potential environmental disaster kept secret by the U.S. when a large consignment of highly enriched uranium in Libya came close to cracking open and leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere.

• Hundreds of cables detail U.S. use of diplomats as “sales” agents, more than previously thought, centering on jet rivalry of Boeing vs. Airbus. Hints of corruption and bribes.

• Israel wanted to bring Gaza to the ”brink of collapse.”

• The U.S. secret services used Turkey as a base to transport terrorism suspects as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

• Oil giant Shell claims to have “inserted staff” and fully infiltrated Nigeria's government.

Note, this list does not include the famous "Collateral Murder" video. (See below.)


quartetOn a brighter note: This weekend I watched the only movie yet directed by Dustin Hoffman and it's a real treat. It's called Quartet and it's about an English retirement home for singers and musicians who rally together for a performance to benefit the home. It's sweet and funny and smart and completely charming, even if all the glasses are rose-colored. Available at your nearest rental kiosk.


end rant


This is a news reports about the U.S. military's "Collateral Murder":

(To spare you right-wingnuttery all comments are moderated.)
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And the lord made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. - Genesis 3:21

Snake: I agree. You both look ridiculous, so you won't mind if I, uh, keep the copyright?

Clothing is Batman and Catwoman.

Overturn Citizens United