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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hats off to Gen. Sherman

I don't know whether Gerry Adams had a hand in Jean McConville's killing.

But I am reminded of General William Tecumseh Sherman's observation: "War is hell."

I have been reading "D-Day" by Antony Beevor, and am appalled at the atrocities and tragedies that afflicted both combatants and noncombatants, with quite a few incidents of people executed merely on what seemed plausible suspicion.

My memories of Vietnam are etched with images of the recently killed: a young soldier with his face hanging off and an old "mama sahn" machine-gunned during a "hot landing" of copter-borne GIs. I recall a forward area noncom assigned, in order to satisfy a parental inquiry, the task of obtaining a soldier's last words. The last word: "Fuck!"

We GIs all agreed with Gen. Sherman.

When people are in a combat mode, it makes little difference that certain officials characterize combat actions as criminal or terrorist behavior.

In the minds of the IRA killers, McConnell was a "spotter" and needed to be eliminated. But the dragging her off as her children watched aroused great public indignation. Yet emotions were running hot in the wake of ghastly incidents afflicting the Catholic citizenry. That's the way war is. Beevor tells of young GIs who, when a buddy was killed, suddenly acquired a passionate hatred of Germans. Irrational, but that's human nature. Catholic militants inflamed Protestant militants and vice versa in a vicious cycle. Irrational. But that's part of the psychology of war.

The horror of the McConville kidnaping and slaying is typical of the anguish that war generates. The McConville children were among the many who grieved during the Troubles.

In the midst of the passions of war, it is hard to remember that it is often so that the wrong people get hurt.

War is hell.

And may God be with the McConvilles and all who suffered during the Troubles.

As Christians, we must remember (hard as it is to do so) that the killers who survive are also war's victims. Not a few cases of post traumatic stress disorder stem from the pangs of remorse over terrible deeds.

Until we learn the ways of peace, then it may well be so that this saying points back at us:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Apologies for the misspelling of the McConville name in the original post. A mitigating circumstance is that I have been under extreme cyber harassment, and that has severely affected my ability to write and edit. Such cyber-bullying by persons disrespectful of the right of free speech has been going on for years, but reached outrageous proportions about two weeks before the McConville post.

A computer was destroyed by military-style malware, bypassing four layers of security, and since then my internet access has been fraught with difficulties. I am tempted to wonder whether there exists a secret "no-compute" list secretly rationalized by the Justice Department against activists who have been targeted as "terrorist connected" by secret accusers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classic sexist attack from CIA sector

Michael Hayden, former chief of both the CIA and the NSA, sparked a firestorm by appealing to male pride and dissing Sen. Dianne Feinstein as 'emotional.'

The fact that he is now in the private sector doesn't entirely insulate the CIA from his attack, as he has been vigorous in his defense of the intelligence sector as a person still highly networked with the intelligence establishment.

Feinstein deserves quite a bit of criticism for her overly protective attitude toward Constitution-busting surveillance policies. But whether she might or might not react to certain issues emotionally is not in this case the issue. The issue is the arrogant contempt shown by spook chiefs toward true congressional oversight.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

SanD  says... by Alan Cupton...

A new blog on San Diego and West Coast concerns:

Of tumblers and temblors

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Barred from commenting on Greenwald column

When I tried to post a comment on Greenwald's column concerning hypocritical party liners who zig-zagged on the release of the Bin Laden death photos and those who zig-zag concerning NSA controls, I was barred, with this falsehood:

"Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!"

This sort of thing is an ongoing problem found at various media outlets.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

NSA's Facebook denial
clashes with leaked files

Why not use a web monitoring service such as ChangeDetection to keep track of the Intercept's NSA exposes?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Prosecutors drop hyperlink case
against Texas internet journalist

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Federal prosecutors in Texas have moved to dismiss 11 of 12 fraud charges against Barrett Brown, an internet activist and columnist.

Brown was originally charged with several crimes after posting a hyperlink to materials obtained from a hacked computer in a public Internet chat room. Brown linked to a website that included 860,000 email addresses and the credit card information of more than 60,000 people.

However, as laid out in a legal memorandum, Brown’s attorneys believed the hyperlink charges were too vague, were in violation of his First Amendment right to free speech, and would have a chilling effect on internet activity.

“Republishing a hyperlink does not itself move, convey, select, place or otherwise transfer, a file or document from one location to another.” Brown’s attorney had argued in a motion to dismiss the charges filed last week, before the government took that action on its own today. “The government only alleges that Mr. Brown transferred a hyperlink containing directions to where the Stratfor [Strategic Forecasting, Inc.] file was already placed by another person.”

Brown’s case had become of great interest to the news media, First Amendment lawyers, and others who feared a conviction could essentially criminalize the use of hyperlinks when sensitive information is involved, as well as chill linking online altogether.

Brown has been in federal custody since 2012, and still faces five additional charges in two other federal cases.

[The other charges concern "terroristic threats" that appear to have been the result of the extreme duress of federal actions against him. In one case, it appears that he may have been inebriated, but that feds decided to slap him with charges anyway.]