Still working to recover. Please don't edit quite yet.
|Today that year|
"SOPA / PIPA as Hollywood vs Silicon Valley?"
NEW YORK vs The World, rather. No disrespect to those who came up with the idea, but the characterization of this struggle as between HOLLYWOOD and Silicon Valley is mistaken. Media conglomerate behemoths like Time Warner are based in New York, for the prestige; they would not be seen dead in tawdry little Tinseltown. And it does not hurt media owners' case one bit that they can gain, by invoking the name Hollywood, the support of the religious red states, who seethe in rage at the mere thought of its humanist ethos (call it jealousy: "the devil has all the good songs"). And while there are interests in Silicon Valley who will be financially disadvantaged, their clients and customers are EVERYWHERE.
BTJunkie BitTorrent Site Shuts Down
On 5th February 2012, BTJunkie, established in 2005 and the 5th most popular BitTorrent (WP) site as of 2011, voluntarily shut down. Attempts to shut down the site occurred in 2007 and 2011.
"Seven countries in five years"
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran
Seven government and countries, all of which have already been the targets of extra-diplomatic actions and military US action in past years, were overtly targeted for invasion and overthrow by the Bush administration in late 2000. This objective has been achieved in two, although resistance to foreign occupation of Iraq and Libya will continue for the foreseeable future.
General Wesley Clark, not the staunchest ally of human rights himself (authorizing the use of depleted uranium rounds and attacks on civilians in Yugoslavia, for example), was nonetheless moved for whatever reason to deplore this policy publicly. However, it was six years before he did so, in an interview with Democracy Now!, a conference at the Commonwealth Club of California, and elsewhere.
Raymond Allen Davis
On January 27, 2011 a US citizen claiming to be working as a consultant at the U.S. Consulate in Lahore and later said to be a CIA operative  killed two armed men in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The identification papers he submitted to the Pakistani police are in the name of Raymond Allen Davis, although initially it was categorically stated by the US State Department that this name was not correct. He is now facing two separate criminal charges, one of double murder and the second of illegal possession of a firearm. Two petitions seeking prosecution against him on charges of forgery for obtaining a visa under a fake name have also been registered with the Lahore High Court.
On February 20th a Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) report has referred to Pakistan's ISI stating that top-secret CIA documents found in Davis's possession point to him and/or TF373 (Task Force 373 (WP)) providing people linked to al Qaeda members with "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents". 
According to the report, the combat skills exhibited by Davis, along with documentation taken from him after his arrest, prove that he is a member of US TF373 black operations unit currently operating in the Afghan War Theatre and Pakistan's tribal areas.
Response and details
The incident led to a diplomatic furor and deterioration in the ties between Pakistan and USA. The US government claimed that Davis is protected by diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Conventions and has demanded that he be released from custody immediately. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that according to official records and experts in the Foreign Office, Davis is "not a diplomat and cannot be given blanket diplomatic immunity". It has been suggested that Qureshi's stand on the issue led to his sacking by the government. The incident also led to widespread protests in Pakistan demanding action against Davis.
US president Barack Obama (WP) asked Pakistan not to prosecute Davis and treat him like a diplomat and said â€œThereâ€™s a broader principle at stake that I think we have to uphold.â€ The Pakistani Foreign Office stated that â€œthis matter is sub judice in a court of law and the legal process should be respected.â€
The American focus has been on the claimed diplomatic status. Pakistani media and officials dispute the claim of immunity from a murder charge, allege that Davis was involved in clandestine operations and question the scope of Davis' activities in Pakistan.
Almost a month after the incident, U.S. officials admitted Davis was a contract employee of the CIA (WP) after this was reported in The Guardian. Davis has also been shown to be an erstwhile employee of security outfit Blackwater Worldwide (called Xe Services since Oct '07) and was a member of CIA's Global Response Staff, who assist case officers when they meet with sources.
His two victims are also reported to be operatives of Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). An ISI official has made a statement saying that Davis had contacts in the tribal regions along the Afghanistan border and already knew both the men he shot. He said the ISI is investigating the possibility that the encounter on the streets of Lahore stemmed from a meeting or from threats to Davis.
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It has been suggested that while Davis may be a contractor for the CIA, he could also be something else: a still active-duty member of US Special Forces. One of the items found on him by arresting police was an ID card identifying him as a DOD (Department of Defence) contractor. "It could be the US government has decided now to fall back to claiming he's CIA, which would probably at least spare him a hanging, even if it leaves him with a long jail sentence in a Lahore prison.
Davis was working within areas of espionage covered by multiple departments of the CIA: wetworks (SAD (WP)), black propaganda (Political Action Group (WP)), and military reconnaissance, which is not even a department of the CIA, despite the fact that there has been a CIA operative on the ground before every single US invasion. It most closely resembles army Special Forces activity. Therefore it is apparent that the bureaucratic divisions of the CIA do not necessarily reflect a separation of operations carried out by the CIA (WP) into operatives under each division's authorization carrying out operations specific to that division.
In December 2010, Congressman King announced that when he became chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee he would hold hearings on the radicalization of Wikipedia:American Muslims. "The overwhelming majority of Muslims are outstanding citizens," he said, overreaching a little in compensation; the overwhelming majority, surely, would be pretty close to average?
In 2011, at the opening of the "Radicalization" hearings, King warned Americans not to forget 9/11, and yet his own records apparently go back only two years, in which time frame no "Neonazis, environmental extremists, or other isolated madmen", as he puts it, have been charged with major acts of terrorism. Although the Homeland Security Committee chair cites Justice Department statistics claiming that over the past two years fifty U.S. citizens have been charged with major acts of terrorism, and all fifty individuals were motivated by radical Islamic ideologies, one wonders, what happened just a little over two years ago that does not quite fit with the rest of his statistics?
Whenever the right is beaten, it reaches for the biggest weapon that is easiest to wield. Accusation of Political Correctness is a blunt instrument; it never works on anyone who knows they are in the right. The opposition to New York Republican Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. "Radicalization" committee, although they surely must have noticed the faint hint of their success in applying pressure to King prior to the proceedings, must have felt the phrase lacked its usual sting when he used it to explain why he was continuing his hearings: "to back down would be a craven surrender to Political Correctness".
Using the phrase in the middle of a battle which relies entirely on Patriotic Correctness for its very existence probably shows that the Right, never very good at seeing the relative values of things, is not aware of the danger of cognitive dissonance when the two PCs are placed in such close proximity.
King had earlier claimed that Islamic clerics are telling their congregations to ignore extremism.
The first hearing, held on March 10, 2011, was entitled â€œThe Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response.â€ John Stewart of the Daily Show has a quick wit, but he is the first to point out that anyone who gets their news from a comedy show deserves what they get at the polls. So did anyone else notice that the, "...and that Community's response" part of the hearings was requiring of the "...American Muslim Community..." to have done a job that the combined forces of the entire Homeland Security network had already failed to do?
Stewart also reported on the inconsistency between the Congressman's aim of "rooting out terrorists" in the 21st Century and his "rooting for terrorists" in the 20th. But then, even Wikipedia knew that one. Well, they knew that he had supported the IRA. There was no comparison between the two periods of time.
The hearing included testimony from Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who is one of two Muslims in the U.S. Congress, Representative Frank Wolf of Virginia, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca. Others to provide testimony included Dr. M Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and Founder of the American Islamic Forum; Marvin Bledsoe, whose son was arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Abdirizak Bihri, the Director of the Somali Education and Social Advocacy Center.
Wikipedia:Bennie Thompson, the ranking member of the committee which Congressman King heads, has responded by saying that "none of these law enforcement and intelligence officials have backed Kingâ€™s assertions that the Muslim community has not been helpful in thwarting terrorist attacks." In a letter written to King Rep. Thompson demanded that the scope of the hearings be widened to include all extremist groups in the United States, disregarding any ideological underpinnings. Los Angeles County sheriff Lee Baca said that there was nothing to support King's claims of non-cooperation by American Muslims. Baca invited King to Los Angeles to show the cooperation between Muslim-Americans and law enforcement; a King spokesperson declined to comment on the invitation.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in a letter to Congressman King claimed that his call was sweeping and misguided, calling for a meeting with King to discuss his initiatives, the proposed hearings, and the efforts of the Muslim American community in fighting radicalization.
The Council on American Islamic Relations joined 50 other organizations, including Amnesty International, the Sikh Coalition, the Japanese American Citizens League and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and put out a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi stating:
- Singling out a group of Americans for government scrutiny based on their faith is divisive and wrong. These hearings will inevitably examine activities protected by the First Amendment, an affront to fundamental freedoms upon which our country was founded. It harkens back to hearings held in the 1950s by then-U.S. Senator Joe McCarthy. That dark chapter in our history (McCarthy era) taught us that Congress has a solemn duty to wield its investigatory power responsibly (McCarthyism).
Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the conservative religious organization, American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), founded by Pat Robertson as a counter to the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the building of the Park 51 mosque, which King had accused of receiving terrorist funding. Sekulow invoked the flag waving (WP) buzzwords 'our nation' and 'homeland', along with some more traditional loaded words like 'havoc', 'manipulating', in his declaration of support for Rep. King and the hearings.
- â€œWithout question, thereâ€™s a troubling factual pattern of American Muslims becoming radicalized and focusing on creating havoc here on U.S. soil. This hearing is designed to get to the bottom of whatâ€™s taking place in our nation â€” how al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are recruiting and manipulating American Muslims to attack the U.S. This hearing isnâ€™t about profiling â€” itâ€™s about protecting our homeland.â€</blockquote>
During the Park 51 mosque debate, King had said "There are too many mosques in America". It was clearly a turn of phrase, as opposed to a call to systematically remove mosques, but it was still a gaffe, and not one that he recognized making until others did, either.
Kingâ€™s district has very few Muslim residents, minimizing political backlash from his anti Muslim hearings.
Social programs cut by 112th USA Congress
The programs are small, the problems that cutting them are supposed to solve, huge. But counting on fooling enough Americans enough of the time is something the establishment (and its bastions it knows stands just within reach to the right) have grown accustomed to.
As deficit reduction : Ran it up in the first place with wars
- Democracy Now!: "America is Not Broke!": Michael Moore addresses thousands in Madison, Wisconsin March 07, 2011
- As Public Broadcasting and Community Media Face Potentially Massive Cuts at Home, Hillary Clinton Calls for Increased Funding for U.S. Propaganda Overseas
- Union Voices from Madison: "We Will Be Out Here Marching Until Justice is Served"
- Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: "This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, Itâ€™s a Kind of a Corporate Coup Dâ€™Etat"
As financial stimulus : The middlemen are the weak link
- US Fed Chairman demands plan to cut social programs by Barry Grey "Maintaining the confidence of the financial markets" for the captains of industry
Protection against job killers ...And the Republican cure for ad nauseum is...?
As New World Order
- Wrecking the American Dream By Stephen Lendman
As Pox Americana
- The 14th Amendment may be reinterpreted if a current bill passes. The Arizona House bill HR 140 is the second such in a week; the first, introduced in Indiana.
- The Obama administration has publicly confirmed it is continuing the Bush-era policy of opposing the return of Haitiâ€™s ousted former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
- Just after his return this week, Jean-Claude Duvalier was indicted on corruption charges stemming from his embezzlement of millions in state funds before a popular uprising forced him to flee Haiti in 1986. Alleged victims of human rights abuses under his regime have also filed criminal complaints. Duvalier says he returned to assist Haitiâ€™s rebuilding effort, but critics say heâ€™s making a last-ditch attempt to recoup some $6 million frozen in a Swiss bank account. A Swiss law passed in response to Duvalierâ€™s longtime effort to obtain the money goes into effect on February 1. Before the new rules kick in, Duvalier would be able to receive the money if he could prove he is not under criminal investigation in his home country. His return is seen as a gamble that he would have been able to enter Haiti and then depart without being charged, which he would then cite as proof to the Swiss heâ€™s not under legal scrutiny. - Democracy Now!
- One of the crowd 'celebrating' Duvalier's return told a reporter from The Telegraph that he had been paid $10 Haitian dollars to cheer. Duvalier "declared himself 'impressed by the welcome I have received, especially from the crowd of young people who don't know me.'"- The Telegraph
- (In January 2011), "a group of U.S.-based human rights groups and legal organizations filed an emergency petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to halt the roundups, detention and deportations of Haitian nationals by the U.S. government." - Democracy Now! On the 20th of January, the U.S. government resumed deportations to Haiti. Haitian refugees face a completely different standard than Cuban refugees for entry into the US, according to Human Rights Watch. Other human rights groups criticized deporting people into a triad of disasters: a cholera outbreak, violence surrounding the election and earthquake devastation.
- [www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2399890,00.asp Torrent Site BTJunkie Shut Downs Voluntarily], Chloe Albanesius, PCMAG, February 6, 2012 04:05pm EST
- Gigaom.com Dozens of Torrent Sites May Be Shut Down, Janko Roettgers
- Declan Walsh and Ewen MacAskill. American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy. The Guardian. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- Chaudhry, Asif US official guns down two motorcyclists in Lahore. Wikipedia:Dawn (newspaper). URL accessed on 13 February 2011.
- US official Raymond Davis on Lahore murder charges. BBC News. URL accessed on 31 January 2011.
- Perlez, Jane (29 January 2012). "U.S. Seeks Release of Official in Pakistan". Wikipedia:The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/world/asia/30pakistan.html. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
- Jan. 27, 2011 U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing by Assistant Secretary Philip J. Crowley at the State Department. US State Department Press Briefing.
- "Replies sought on pleas for Davis record". Wikipedia:The News International. February 08, 2011. http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=29956&Cat=5&dt=2/8/2011. Retrieved 24 February 2011. </li>
- "CIA spy" Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report. Britain News.Net. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- US 'diplomat' arrested in Pakistan linked to CIA. Yahoo News. URL accessed on 2011-02-21. Quoting an Wikipedia:Asian News International story. ANI: http://www.aniin.com/
- â€œCIA spyâ€ Davis was giving nuclear bomb material to Al-Qaeda, says report. Daily India. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- Perlez, Jane (9 February 2011). "Mystery Over Detained American Angers Pakistan". Wikipedia:The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/world/asia/09pakistan.html. Retrieved 13 February 2011. </li>
- Records did not support diplomatic status for Davis: Qureshi. Wikipedia:Deccan Herald. URL accessed on 14 February 2011.
- Qureshi wants to know why he was sacked as FM. Wikipedia:The Indian Express. URL accessed on 15 February 2011.
- Davis affair cost Qureshi his job: Pakistani daily. Wikipedia:Sify. URL accessed on 15 February 2011.
- Double murder-accused American has 'no complete immunity': Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Newkerala.com. URL accessed on 2011-02-20.
- Pakistan extends US man's detention. Wikipedia:Al Jazeera English. URL accessed on 13 February 2011.
- Obama Says Pakistan Must Not Prosecute Imprisoned Diplomat. Wikipedia:Bloomberg Businessweek. URL accessed on 15 February 2011.
- Law must take its course in US diplomat case: FO spokesman. The Express Tribune. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- Raymond Davis affair - Pakistanâ€™s spring of discontent. Southasiamonitor.org. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- Crilly, Rob Detained US official 'in telephone contact with Islamic terror group'. The Daily Telegraph. URL accessed on 2011-02-21.
- Miller, Greg U.S. officials: Raymond Davis, accused in Pakistan shootings, worked for CIA. washingtonpost. URL accessed on 2011-02-22.
- Pakistan's intelligence ready to split with CIA. Wikipedia:China Daily. URL accessed on 24 February 2011.
- Error on call to template:cite web: Parameters url and title must be specified Dave Lindorff. URL accessed on 2011-02-23.
- Wan, William (January 24, 2011). "N.Y. Muslims fear congressman's hearings could inflame Islamophobia". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/23/AR2011012304448.html. Retrieved 1 March 2011. </li>
- Rep. King Opens Hearings on Muslim "Radicalization" in U.S. Democracy Now!, 11th Mar 2011
- Rep. Peter King to hold hearings on 'radicalization' of American Muslims, critics fear witchhunt. Nydailynews.com. URL accessed on 2011-03-10.
- March 08, 2011 - Brian Christian Peter King wants to investigate Muslim Americans, and Brian Christian discusses human-like computers. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart - Full Episode. Segment starts at 9:15 on the video. At 11:22: "Wow. It's not enough for US Muslims to be law abiding; to avoid Congressional investigation they have to be actively stopping terror plots."
- U.S. Government House Committee on Homeland Security Hearing on â€œThe Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response.â€. U.S. Government House Committee on Homeland Security.
- By REP. BENNIE THOMPSON. Homegrown terrorists are not just Muslims. Politico.com. URL accessed on 2011-03-10.
- Thompson, Bennie Letter to Chairman King on Radicalization Hearings. U.S. Congress House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee. URL accessed on 9 March 2011.
- "LA sheriff takes on King". Wikipedia:Politico. 2011-02-07. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0211/LA_sheriff_takes_on_King.html?showall. </li>
- MPAC's letter to Congressman King. Mpac.org. URL accessed on 2011-03-10.
- Yager, Jordy. "Rep. King won't let 'political correctness' derail probe of Muslims". http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/142713-king-not-going-to-bow-to-political-correctness. </li>
- CAIR's Letter. (PDF) URL accessed on 2011-03-10.
- NYC Panel Clears Way for Mosque Near Ground Zero ABC News
- [http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hamilton/20100805.html Findlaw
- McLaughlin, Seth (9 March 2011). "GOP leaders back hearings on Muslims". Washington Times. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/8/gop-leaders-back-hearings-on-muslims/?page=1. Retrieved 9 March 2011. </li>
- Peter King Denies He Ever Said, â€œThere Are Too Many Mosques In America.â€ Only, He Did.
- CAIR Rep Discusses Rep. King's 'Too Many Mosques' Statement YouTube vid of the same clip, cited here as a backup for the other, not the MSNBC commentary that follows
- GovTrack text of HR 140
- Arizona Bill Targets Automatic Citizenship for Children of Illegal Immigrants cnsnews-Friday, January 28, 2011
- Democracy Now! 28 Jan 11
- Contains content from Wikipedia