Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Free Speech, Orwell, Isis, Journalism, Reisen



Latuff: Obama takes action against Isil

            For some time now, say since the beginning of communication, there have been attempts by one group of faction to limit the right of speech by any other entity.  In the late 17th Century, people occupying part of the North American continent organized into an independent state and wrote a set of regulations, one of which allowed for freedom of speech and assembly.  This was not only to safeguard the right of one person to speak out, but of the other persons to be informed of what that person had to say.  It is the 1st Amendment to our Constitution.  It has been the bane of the power and money hungry ever since and, as communication has increased, efforts to stop it have redoubled.

            It is so aggressive that people have been killed and put in prison for speaking out, even divulging matters that were already well-known.  All they have done, in fact, was provide documentation for what we already knew.  We have already documented cases of those who spoke out against punishment for expression, especially reprinting the work of John Milton (17th Century) and Thoreau (19th Century) and there are many examples in the 20th Century including the insane and bizarre trial of the Chicago 8, er 7, back in the 70s, as well as the Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden, examples.  In none of these cases were we surprised.  We simply had our earlier statements confirmed.  In fact, any perceptive individual already knew this kind of spying was going on. 

            Here I will give you just one amusing example:  the then Comedian/Activist Dick Gregory once said "I know my phone is tapped."
            He was asked "Oh yeah, why?"
            He answered "Any time a black man can owe the phone company $17,000 in phone bills and they don't disconnect the phone, you KNOW it's tapped."
            Point made, no physical evidence needed.


            The movie Enemy of the State is another example.  Dated from 1998, pre-9/11, it shows all sorts of high-tech government surveillance and mentions that this has been going on since the 40s, at least.  The movie seem at the time a bit paranoid, but the rush from government spokesmen to condemn it and call it "Science Fiction," was enough to confirm its reality.

            At any rate, here is an interview that will give some more documenttion, both about the spying and the suppression:


James Risen Prepared to "Pay Any Price" to Report on War on Terror Amid Crackdown on Whistleblowers

We spend the hour with veteran New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, the journalist at the center of one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades. In 2006, Risen won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting about warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the National Security Agency. He has since been pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations in a six-year leak investigation into that book, "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." Risen now faces years in prison if he refuses to testify at the trial of a former CIAofficer, Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of giving him classified information about the agency’s role in disrupting Iran’s nuclear program, which he argues effectively gave Iran a blueprint for designing a bomb. The Obama administration must now decide if it will try to force Risen’s testimony, despite new guidelines issued earlier this year that make it harder to subpoena journalists for their records. Risen’s answer to this saga has been to write another book, released today, titled "Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War." "You cannot have aggressive investigative reporting in America without confidential sources — and without aggressive investigative reporting, we can’t really have a democracy," Risen says. "I think that is what the government really fears more than anything else." Risen also details revelations he makes in his new book about what he calls the "homeland security-industrial complex."

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