Occupy Wall Street Ringing in the New Year (LIVE VIDEO)

Occupy Wall Street is celebrating the New Year in the streets. OccupyWallSt.org has posted a roundup on the website of what has happened thus far tonight. There have been multiple tents. A “tiny tent” went up in Zuccotti Park. People have been jumping barricades at Liberty Park. The police have chased down marchers too.

Occupy Wall Street has this posted on their website about the night’s activities:

2011 was an amazing awakening. Let’s start 2012 off right! Come celebrate with thousands of other members of the 99%, at our park and in the streets, as we make our special New Years Revolution together. Bring a drum! Bring your instrument! In the 2 hours before, we will reclaim our park and the area around it.

First, come to the Noise Demo outside the Metropolitan Correction Center (150 Park Row, New York, NY) at 9:00pm. Then, at 10:00pm, we will gather in Liberty Square. At midnight, the party goes mobile!

Follow this Twitter list for the latest on the night’s action. (And, look for a recap of the night’s events tomorrow in FDL’s Occupy live blog.)

Late Late Night FDL: Bugs and Bogey, Baby

Bugs BunnySlick Hare.  This Warner Bros Merrie Melodies cartoon was released on November 1, 1947.

Directed by Friz Freleng (as I. Freleng). Produced by Edward Selzer (uncredited). Story by Tedd Pierce and Michael Maltese. Animation by Ken Champin, Gerry Chiniquy, Manuel Perez, and Virgil Ross. Backgrounds by Paul Julian. Layouts by Hawley Pratt. Film Editing and Sound Effects Editing by Treg Brown (uncredited). Voices by Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny / Waiter / Bartender / Ray Milland), Dave Barry (Humphrey Bogart – uncredited), and Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd – uncredited). Original Music by Carl W. Stalling (uncredited). Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling (as Carl Stalling). Orchestration by Milt Franklyn.

It’s New Year’s Eve – Happy New Year!

Whats on your mind?

2012 & REALITY

Here comes the New Year! Who’da thunk it?

Obama was on the ropes. The Tea Party had just swept into power, giving Blubbering John of Orange the Speaker’s Chair.

That was a year ago.

Does anybody recognize any part of this?

Tonight THE MAN of the GOP  field is Romney. At 24%, he is 2 points ahead of Paul, and one point behind where he was four years ago.

It HAS been a great year, if you like yo-yo’s. Trump, Bachman. Perry, Cain and Gingrich have all been up and down the string.

IT IS TIME TO LAUGH!

http://youtu.be/TiVFfOOm_GI

Analysis: 1998 Diplomatic Cable Published By Wikileaks Reveals Pre-9/11 Intel Received By US Govt Addressing Terrorist Threat By Bin Laden: Issue Raised With New York (United Nations)

(photo: #9, flickr)
(photo: #9, flickr)

1998 Diplomatic cable published by Wikileaks reveals three years before the events of 9/11, the US government received intelligence about a Terrorist Threat from Usama Bin Laden. This intelligence was later shared with New York. The cable was created by Madeline Albright. Madeline Albright was the United States Secretary Of State from January 23, 1997 to January 20, 2001. She served under then President Bill Clinton. The subject of the cable was, approach to EU on Taliban support for Usama Bin Laden. Although the most common spelling is Taliban, in the cable Taliban is spelled Taleban. Further information, history, biography, of the Taliban can be found here. After the September 11, 2001 Terrorist attacks against the US, in New York and Washington DC, the Taliban were overthrown by Operation Enduring Freedom also known as the Afghanistan War.

1998, the US was concerned with a so called Fatwa issued by Terrorist Usama Bin Laden. A Fatwa is a Islamic religious ruling, a scholarly opinion on a matter of Islamic law. This so-called Fatwa issued by Usama Bin Laden called called on all Muslims to kill Americans. Albright then states in the cable, “We have raised this issue with the Taliban both in Kabul and in New York (United Nation)” Albright further states, “We are confident EU members share this concern“. “We believe there is merit in the Taliban realizing this concern is not limited to the U.S.” Posts are requested to draw from the talking points and convey them to the appropriate host countries a.s.a.p.

Brief Documentary On Evidence Against Usama Bin Laden And The Taliban:

In 1996 Bin Laden left Sudan an made his headquarters in Afghanistan. The Taliban assumed host to Terrorist Usama Bin Laden via consolidating control of southern Afghanistan. The Taliban pledge to shut down camps but would soon renege on this pledge. At this time, the Taliban also took control of a number of Terrorist training camps. The U.S. also wanted the Taliban to expel Bin Laden. The Taliban would not co-operate with the U.S. in their demands to expel Bin Laden but instead stated they would “Control” Bin Laden. U.S. officials wanted action taken by the Taliban against Bin Laden for his self styled Fatwa urging Muslims to attack U.S. interests, including civilians, and the interests of countries allied with the U.S. Taliban Officials refused demands from the U.S. against Bin Laden. Terrorist training camps continued to operate in Taliban controlled areas. Operation of these camps are as follows: Free passage to Islamic Extremists is allowed to a from these facilities via Taleban facilitation. In 1997, Bin Laden visited camps near Knowst in eastern Afghanistan. During Bin Laden’s visit to these camps, he issued public anti-U.S. statements. These statements were a warning that Bin Laden would not stop hsi struggles until he had expelled all Americans from Saudi Arabia. The U.S. had evidence that senior Taliban Leaders were in close contact with Usama Bin Laden. The evidence presented itself in Bin Laden’s financing of a large residential compound adjacent to the provincial Governor’s house in Qandahar in 1997. As long as Bin laden is a quest in Qandahar, the Taliban must share responsibility for his inflammatory remarks and Terrorist actions.

SUMMARY: (more…)

Obama Crowned Himself on New Year’s Eve

(photo: catrijn/flickr)
(photo: catrijn/flickr)

These were among the complaints registered the last time this nation had a king:

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

“He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

“He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

“For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

“For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”

To prevent the U.S. government from behaving like a king, the drafters of the U.S. Constitution empowered an elected legislature to write every law, to declare every war, and to remove its executive from office.  To further prevent the abuse of individuals’ rights, those authors wrote into the Constitution, even prior to the Bill of Rights, the right to habeas corpus and the right never to be punished for treason unless convicted in an open court on the testimony of at least two witnesses to an overt act of war or assistance of an enemy. (more…)

Late Night FDL: New Year’s Eve!

http://youtu.be/ZvIAMBxJPTE

And a very pleasant good evening to everyone! I hope everyone is cozily ensconced with your combination “bunny slippers and tuxedo pjs’ accessorized with a glass of whatever you like that is bubbly and something yummy. Tonight’s topic?

Wherever this goes, but first on the table is “movies that feature New Year’s Eve.” My obvious choice (because I like to dance) is the above item, “Holiday Inn” from 1942 (which you could tell in any case not only because of the costuming but also from the hyper-patriotic Bing Crosby number with the military planes toward the end). Now, the studio actually got a two-fer out of their investment on this because a) they redid it in 1954 as “White Christmas” and got to use the musical number “White Christmas” again, b) they got to use Bing Crosby again, and c) they got to use the Holiday Inn set again (in “Holiday Inn” the set was Bing Crosby’s supper club in Connecticut; in “White Christmas”, the same set was the Pine Tree Inn set in Vermont, owned by Dean Jagger’s character).

Fred Astaire was the original first choice to partner with Bing Crosby in “White Christmas” but he’d ‘retired’ so they redid the role for Donald O’Conner, who had to withdraw due to illness. So they redid the role AGAIN for Danny Kaye. Now, in terms of creativity, “Holiday Inn” IMHO, has much more breadth (because they literally worked every holiday they could think of complete with animated calendars); it also is a creature of its time and includes such set-pieces as having the female co-star Marjorie Reynolds (she’s the woman dancing with Astaire in the above clip) dressed up in blackface for the special song for Lincoln’s birthday. In the case of the New Year’s Eve dance(which unfortunately, I can’t put the clip up of from youtube.com, but if you go there and search on ‘holiday inn drunk dance’ you will find it and it is a delightful example of Fred Astaire’s artistry), it is said that Astaire girded himself for the first take with 2 shots of bourbon and added a shot for every additional take. What you are seeing is the 7th and last take. Obviously no one took his blood alcohol levels at that point.

In terms of refreshments at Chez Siberia (we are not entertaining a crowd here; New Year’s Eve at our house consists of movies and lots and lots of food), we’ve got laid out: meatballs, artichoke dip, home make French bread, oven bbq chicken thighs, a fruit, veggie and cheese plate, and punch, with a Finger Lakes bubbly (we drink local) for the toast.

So – the floor is open. Your favorite New Year’s Eve movie? And ‘whatcha’ got to eat?

Update on the Hawaii Senate Race

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle (photo: madmarv00)

A week or so ago I wrote a diary in response to Adam Nagourney’s puff piece in the NYT cautioning that Dems could lose a Senate seat in Hawaii, with the retirement of Democrat Daniel Akaka.

As frequently happens, those who commented on that diary brought insight and additional information — far beyond what I’d initially included.  One commenter, “Paiagirl,” was especially good. Unfortunately her remarks occurred late in the thread, after the diary was moved off the front page.  In order to bring her comments the attention they deserve, I’m cutting & pasting here. [Paia is a funky town on Maui, not too far from where I live, but I don’t know Paiagirl.]

On Linda Lingle, retired governor and likely Republican nominee for Akaka’s seat:

Linda Lingle also is a very vindictive woman. She got mad at Maui County because after having her as mayor, a majority in our county voted for her opponent. She took it out on us.

She also invested $3 billion in some junk bonds, leaving our subsequent Gov Abercrombie unable to access the money during this economic downturn. She left the accounts in shambles as though no one was DOING the finances for the state.

And more on Lingle:

She doesn’t keep her word in negotiations. We’ve gone in, negotiated, come to an agreement, given up substantial concessions, and 2 hours later Lingle completely abrogates the agreement.

Unfortunately, she is a pretty smart cookie and good at presenting herself publicly, which makes her extremely dangerous because behind that public face is a voraciously ambitious woman who will do anything to advance her career and has absolutely no ethics.

In November, this year’s voters will be reminded about one of Lingle’s “achievements, ”  the “Superferry” .  [As a favor to her business friends, Lingle rammed through an inter-island “Superferry,” without environmental impact studies. The project later cratered, resulting in  a massive loss of money]:

[In conjunction with the Superferry] she spent $40million on Chinese-made barges in an attempt to circumvent environmental law. The effect of her ignoring environmental law was that the Superferry took over our interisland freight dock and they tore down the shed that kept our partial loads out of the rain. Virtually EVERYTHING comes into Maui via interisland barge. (food goods, building materials, etc) Those tax-payer funded barges are still taking up space at our docks – where berths are at a premium since we are constrained on expanding our docs.

As an ironic note, yesterday’s paper featured a story about new proposals to re-establish a Superferry, done right this time, I assume. I’ll look forward to Paiagirl’s comments on this matter.

As to the current crop of Hawaii Democrats:  Mazie Hirono, our present Congresswoman, is running in the Democratic primary for Akaka’s seat. Our senior Senator, Daniel Inouye, basically runs the state.

Mazie Hirono is a really progressive candidate. She’s Buddhist, anti-war, consistently votes progressively. Mazie is da bomb!

Inouye wields a lot of behind the scenes power as far as determining who gets National DCCC money and so on. But at the state level, he can’t do much because our State democratic party has no money and is filled with progressives who aren’t going to go for someone just because Inouye picks them.

Mazie’s just one of those people, who everyone likes – progressives, unions, even Inouye. (Here in Hawaii, the ILWU HATES progressives, so this is 2 very different constituencies)

But true dat, that Inouye will support ABC (anyone but case) Case was so arrogant as to run against a well-loved incumbent, Akaka. In fact, I’ve seen Inouye support a REPUBLICAN county councilmember because he still held a grudge against the guy running against the Republican. And Inouye managed not to get kicked out of the Democratic pary even though we have a rule against endorsing people from other parties.

Anyway that’s the latest from this end of the country.  Thank you, Paiagirl, for all the info you provided.

Happy 2012, everyone.

Occupy Wall Street Ringing in the New Year (LIVE VIDEO)

Occupy Wall Street is celebrating the New Year in the streets. OccupyWallSt.org has posted a roundup on the website of what has happened thus far tonight. There have been multiple tents. A “tiny tent” went up in Zuccotti Park. People have been jumping barricades at Liberty Park. The police have chased down marchers too.

Occupy Wall Street has this posted on their website about the night’s activities:

2011 was an amazing awakening. Let’s start 2012 off right! Come celebrate with thousands of other members of the 99%, at our park and in the streets, as we make our special New Years Revolution together. Bring a drum! Bring your instrument! In the 2 hours before, we will reclaim our park and the area around it.

First, come to the Noise Demo outside the Metropolitan Correction Center (150 Park Row, New York, NY) at 9:00pm. Then, at 10:00pm, we will gather in Liberty Square. At midnight, the party goes mobile!

Follow this Twitter list for the latest on the night’s action. (And, look for a recap of the night’s events tomorrow in FDL’s Occupy live blog.) (more…)

The NDAA, 2011 & a Happy New Year

President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). That means hours before 2011 came to an end, as ACLU executive director Anthony Romero stated, President Obama became “a president who will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”

“The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” adds Romero. This is all deeply troubling. But, the provision for indefinite detention is even worse. As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, US citizens would not be exempted.

The bill expands the scope of the “war on terrorism” and also puts Congress’ stamp of approval on powers that had previously been primarily exercised by the Executive Branch without institutional support from legislators.

The NDAA is a product of the US government clinging onto the belief that it must project itself into the furthest reaches of the globe and exercise unbridled power because there is this far-reaching network of extremists, declared and undeclared, that want nothing more than to bring America to its knees. It comes from the same government that sent in special forces to kill Osama bin Laden but, with clear evidence that al Qaeda would no longer be able to thrive, declined to admit how irrational it is continue to treat terrorism as such a great threat to America. And, it is the same government that just over a week ago showed its true authoritarian spirit as it revealed Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower to WikiLeaks, is being charged with “aiding the enemy” because the government believes he knowingly released “intelligence” through WikiLeaks to Al Qaeda.

This is also a product of a government that continues to send weapons over to Middle East and North African countries, which will undoubtedly be used to further suppress people power the US will stand up and mendaciously claim it supports. Earlier this month a shipment of tear gas was sent to Egypt.

Politicians and pundits may wish to celebrate the year of 2011 as one of the protester because of the inspirational show of self-determination displayed by citizens in the Arab uprisings, but the reality is there is an immense amount of duplicity in celebrating them while at the same time refusing to address and apologize for the arms that have been sent to the very dictators these citizens fought to topple this year.

Amnesty International released a report that showed the US far “outpaced all other countries in arms exports” to Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Sales worth “roughly $1.1 billion” were made between 2005 and 2010 and “all but $100 million” went to Egypt.

The US Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain. Those wondering why a Bahrain uprising did not produce the same outcome as Egypt or Tunisia need not look any further than the presence of US power in the country.

Libya’s uprising won, so the world is led to believe. Muammar Gaddafi was killed in another illegal American war. The process of building a new government is now underway. But, the country must endure the presence of NATO, which will work in concert with the US. The future of Libya will greatly depend on how those in US government want the country to serve US interests in the region.

And just as the year comes to an end, Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh suggested publicly that he would be coming to the US to help ease tensions in his country. He has faced a major uprising since February yet has managed to maintain power. The Obama Administration is now hesitating on a decision to allow Saleh in the country, but the fact that Saleh thinks he should come here shows he wants to meet with leaders on what has happened in the past months in his country, provide intelligence on what is happening on the ground that could be used to go after Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and possibly even show gratitude for all the support the US has given him as he has been president in Yemen.

Saleh has helped give cover to the US as it asserts the power to assassinate terror suspects. He covered up for the US when they first began to use predator drones to kill suspected terrorists in Yemen. As WikiLeaks showed, Saleh agreed to lie and say the Yemeni military had shot down an Iranian “spy plane” and not a US military drone when it found the crashed reconnaissance aircraft in 2007.

The year of 2011 was in many respects the year of the drone. Not only were they being used to assassinate US citizens like Anwar al-Awlaki and deny people like him due process, but they were also being rented out by US government agencies to law enforcement in the US for domestic surveillance operations—a development that poses a gross threat to privacy.

In the final days of 2011, Congressional leaders requested details on the drone assassination programs being employed around the world. According to Antiwar.com, White House officials are rejecting efforts from Congress to provide “oversight” and contend the calls “don’t hold water.”

There are over one thousand US military bases around the world. The profound transformation that took shape with the North African and Middle East uprisings (or “Arab Spring”) in 2011, while a great triumph of humanity, is destined to become a greater challenge for the US in 2012. The US will continue to bet on autocrats that have served as useful puppets and conspire against people, if they have “war on terror” operations that are seen as more important than people-powered struggle for democracy. The US will also continue to pass and implement measures like the NDAA, which perpetuate the “war on terror” and create even more problems for American superpower than the Arab uprisings.

*

Now, I want to thank all of you who read The Dissenter on a regular basis for the past six months and wish you all a happy New Year.

The experience of blogging here on a regular basis, live blogging Occupy Wall Street from its first day, reporting on the Occupy movement by visiting various encampments, delivering supplies to occupiers with funds from FDL’s Occupy Supply campaign and covering the Bradley Manning pre-trial hearing as a credentialed member of the press has all been immensely rewarding.

2011 has been a year of great success for me. When I began the year, I was headed to New York City to begin an internship with The Nation magazine. I gained great insight and experience in journalism. I left The Nation and joined Firedoglake in the summer. I spent the rest of the year gaining notoriety for coverage of Occupy Wall Street, Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks (and appeared on Democracy Now!, The Alyona Show on RT and The Young Turks on Current TV.

I am looking forward to 2012. I expect the Occupy movement to continue to hold great influence over the political conversation and intend to keep providing coverage. I also will stay on the WikiLeaks beat and hopefully attend and cover Bradley Manning’s court-martial hearing.

I will continue to show the kind of dedication and passion for journalism and truth that you have come to appreciate throughout 2012. If there is anything you would like The Dissenter to do that it did not do in 2011, this is a good time to leave a comment with your suggestion(s). If there is an issue you think needs much more coverage, please inform me in the comments section or by emailing me at kevin.gosztola@firedoglake.com.

Happy New Year

 

The NDAA, 2011 & a Happy New Year

(photo: Barack Obama/flickr)

President Barack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). That means hours before 2011 came to an end, as ACLU executive director Anthony Romero stated, President Obama became “a president who will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”

“The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” adds Romero. This is all deeply troubling. But, the provision for indefinite detention is even worse. As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out, US citizens would not be exempted.

The bill expands the scope of the “war on terrorism” and also puts Congress’ stamp of approval on powers that had previously been primarily exercised by the Executive Branch without institutional support from legislators.

The NDAA is a product of the US government clinging onto the belief that it must project itself into the furthest reaches of the globe and exercise unbridled power because there is this far-reaching network of extremists, declared and undeclared, that want nothing more than to bring America to its knees. It comes from the same government that sent in special forces to kill Osama bin Laden but, with clear evidence that al Qaeda would no longer be able to thrive, declined to admit how irrational it is continue to treat terrorism as such a great threat to America. And, it is the same government that just over a week ago showed its true authoritarian spirit as it revealed Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused whistleblower to WikiLeaks, is being charged with “aiding the enemy” because the government believes he knowingly released “intelligence” through WikiLeaks to Al Qaeda.

This is also a product of a government that continues to send weapons over to Middle East and North African countries, which will undoubtedly be used to further suppress people power the US will stand up and mendaciously claim it supports. Earlier this month a shipment of tear gas was sent to Egypt.

Politicians and pundits may wish to celebrate the year of 2011 as one of the protester because of the inspirational show of self-determination displayed by citizens in the Arab uprisings, but the reality is there is an immense amount of duplicity in celebrating them while at the same time refusing to address and apologize for the arms that have been sent to the very dictators these citizens fought to topple this year. [cont’d.] (more…)