Wikileaks: Manning Sentence Commuted to 7 years

I’m elated! Chelsea Manning is finally going to be released. Obama signed the commutation today.

Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organisation which published the diplomatic cables, has previously said its founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the US if Mr Obama granted clemency to Manning.

The White House said the Manning commutation was not influenced in any way by Mr Assange’s extradition offer.

Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, did not immediately comment on whether he plans to surrender.

But he did tweet: “Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”

I think if the decision Obama made was not a prisoner exchange, then Assange doesn’t have to surrender. He’s already being illegally detained by the US extradition order they funneled through Sweden. Or, if he is sentenced to a day in prison, he’d keep his promise if he serves that time. I think a day in jail is too much for the person who stood up to the US intelligence machine and exposed some of their worst crimes.

ADDED: It’s only a shame that Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond can’t also be set free from their political prisons.

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Why Did Obama Kill the #KXL Pipeline?

Everything in this article isn’t perfect, but these parts are:

Alberta’s problem is twofold: Its oilsands have been buried by fracked American oil that is both higher-value and cheaper to produce, while longer-term they face marginalization in a world committed to weaning itself off carbon.

So another pipeline isn’t needed; oilsands production won’t be expanding much in the foreseeable future, if it all. Alberta needs to figure out how to make the most of the infrastructure it has in place. Money spent on a pipeline right now would be money wasted. But Notley can’t say that aloud — not while also delivering the bad news on her province’s finances and fighting back against the implications of the so-called Leap Manifesto.

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“As long as I’m president of the United States,” Obama said as he officially pulled the plug on Keystone XL, “America is going to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world.” Now, if Obama really wanted to have an impact on carbon emissions, he would have shut down the 500,000 barrels per day of California heavy crude — which is ‘dirtier’ than oilsands bitumen. He didn’t; he didn’t even mention it.

How’s That City On The Hill?

From Barrett Brown, a wrongfully jailed journalist… in the USA. He’s imagining speaking to the founding fathers about the country’s progress:

Benjamin Franklin: “It was among my fondest dreams that my beloved Philadelphia would someday grow into one of the world’s great centers of high culture, and become a by-word for the gentlemanly arts. Tell me, has this come to pass?”

Me: “Uh …”

America… the failed experiment in liberty?

Gasland Part II – Fracking Hell

Watched “Gasland Part II” [9/10] on HBO on demand, and it is something you have to see. The case it makes against fracking is a very strong one, and it shows the depths of corruption in the US system that has allowed the poisoning of water tables across America.

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And on a different note, here are “15” tips to be a better blogger.

Police Violence Rages in Ferguson, MO

The out-of-control police response to protests against the killing of Michael Brown in a St. Louis, MO suburb, continues.

Yesterday more journalists were arrested without charge, leaving little evidence for the wronged reporters to seek damages in a civil lawsuit.

This police riot in Ferguson is more evidence that Obama is hostile toward the free press (which includes Julian Assange trapped in London).

The police are blaming the media and the public for what’s going wrong. The blame begins and ends with their behaviour. Their member killed an unarmed kid. They refused to charge the culprit. They’ve fired teargas at children and peaceful demonstrators. They’ve arrested media. None of these things are reasonable in the United States considering the First Amendment.

The police said that anyone other than people carrying $50K cameras will be arrested tonight. That’s an illegal threat in the US of A.

It’s time for a lot of resignations.


The killing was live-tweeted

WikiLeaks: A Country’s Name To Kill

An interesting ethical debate is taking place. FirstLook Media, the controversial and adversarial media outlet owned by PayPal’s inventor, has withheld the name of the 5th country the NSA collects recordings of all phone calls from. SOMALGET and MYSTIC are Top Secret programs revealed by the Snowden leaks from the NSA. Following on the earth shaking revelations of last year starting with the “metadata” gathering in the US called PRISM, MYSTIC is again changing Americans’ views of what their spy agencies are actually working toward.

I think WikiLeaks should reveal this information, and not because it’s likely to cause deaths, but because a Top Secret American program having a country name revealed more than a year after it was known to be compromised, is not a reason to redact it any longer. WikiLeaks is right, and the citizens of the violated nation have a human right to know the United States government was able to record every phone call. It wouldn’t be the first time a Top Secret American program has led to people dying, either.

People can then place the blame where it belongs for any deaths, at the feet of the NSA, and Bush/Obama, not simplistically on the WikiLeaks scapegoat.

PRISM: Obama Broke Hearts And Promises

Kinsella is right that Obama has broken hearts.

The precise moment at which Barack Obama broke many progressive hearts, however, is just as easy to ascertain: it came in June of last year, when it was revealed that the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the “Five Eyes,” the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – were literally spying on millions of their own citizens.
So, will my former champion, Barack Obama, read this column, and its earnest plea for our constitutions to be worth the paper they are written on?

No need. The NSA likely tracked my keystrokes, intercepted my email to editors, and provided the president’s staff with a copy long before this morning’s paper hit the streets.

Welcome to the new era, where our “freedom” is gutted in the name of, you know, “freedom.”

Snowden, meanwhile, has been winning hearts ever since he eluded unjust capture last year.

Assange has also been an inspiration, in the face of American duplicity.