Sandra Finley

Mar 132019

As individuals trying to be good, we aim at being both loyal and honest, for example.  But in working life, these two virtues are often in conflict;  that is, we must be loyal at the expense of honesty or, conversely, honest at the expense of loyalty to our organization or fellow workers.  Does this mean, as is so often concluded, that we can be “good” only in our private lives and that moral behavior must bend or break when we participate in the world’s work?

No, that demoralizing notion is nonsense. . . .  

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Thank-you to Sheri for drawing “Extractive Sector Corporate Responsibility“ to attention.

The response applies also to the SNC Lavalin scandal.  (? I don’t get it – – why would the Government confine “Corporate Responsibility” only to the “Extractive Sector”?)   . . .

I took a bit of time to look into what you sent re the “Extractive Sector Corporate Responsibility . . . “  (thanks)  – – the changeover from “counsellor” to “ombudsman”.

Please be aware that the Office reached the end of its mandate on May 18, 2018.

A power point presentation by the ombudsman


The elephant in the room for this “corporate responsibility” effort, which SNC Lavalin also illustrates:  historically, over and over,  citizens have had to rebel when Governments “partner” with the business sector of the society.   People can figure it out:   there is no integrity in the system.

The political class need money to run campaigns every 4 years;  the business class want the easy money from resources which “the Government” is charged with being custodians of.

No surprise –  the “partnership” works for the partners but not for the environment and not for the vast majority of citizens.   Corruption is a characteristic of that system of governance.  So is propaganda – – you need it to hold the system together.  And when that doesn’t work, you need the military to hold it together.   Gawd!  It’s pretty simple.

I get frustrated by some of the CBC radio interviews on this subject and turn off the radio.   Some of them are okay.  The interviewees that rationalize – – “the ethics in Governance can’t be the same as the ethics of the individual” are not pushed to explain.   Yes, the ethics in one realm can be (are) DIFFERENT from another (honesty versus loyalty, is the example below).  HOWEVER, it doesn’t get the perpetrators of corruption off the hook.  Nor does it explain anything – – WHY the corruption is happening.

(SNC is going to be followed by scandals over the $105 billion Canadians are to pay for warships.  The players will be (are already, by my guess) Lockheed Martin, and the two shipyards, plus the Government.  Maybe the deal began under the Liberals,  it will be passed along without comment to the Conservatives.  The “maybe” is this:  “the deal” originates with the military-industrial-government complex (in which the Universities also now participate).  The PMO, the PCO,  the Ministers, the bureaucrats are just the Collaborators.)

The ethics of Business are different from the ethics of Government, which is fine and right.  The ethics of the Individual are different from either.   Why?  Because the individual is tasked with looking after family and community.  Business is tasked with “trading and producing”.  Government operates in the realm of “organizing and managing territories”.

But alas! we have gotten ourselves to a point where there is no line between Business and Government.  They’ve become one and the same.  The environment gets raped, the rapers are greatly rewarded.  The gap between rich and poor just keeps widening.  Hostility continues to grow.  Individuals might eventually realize that their fantasy life is not long-term and it’s not based on anything that’s true and real;  the fantasy most certainly isn’t going to be there for their children.

All you have to do is to look at countries that have resources coveted by the Corporations.  The Corporations usurp the Government.  Heavy duty corruption.  Citizens become impoverished one way and another.  They rebel.  The U.S. and Canada invade with military forces and call it “food aid”.   UNLESS there is sufficient capacity for alternative media to compete with the propaganda.  And unless people from many countries shout “FOUL”!

The power point of the Ombudsman identifies the results of the current system:  they have a real problem with “TRUST”.   Once you blow trust, it is VERY difficult to re-establish.  I don’t think they (Government + Business) CAN re-establish trust,  not if the “partnering” doesn’t come to an end.  The problems are inherent in a system of governance that marries the Corporate with the Government functions.

The Ombudsman for “Extractive Sector Corporate Responsibility“ is a propaganda front.  She will not, indeed cannot, achieve the mission.  When that becomes apparent there will be a re-branding, just as happened when “counsellor” didn’t deliver the goods.  The programme was re-launched as “ombudsman”.  Next will come . . . ?    . . . some wonderful orwellian new speak from the poets in “Communications”  (reminds me of StatsCan’s  re-spendable” revenue“.  I still have a good laugh over that absurdity!

From Jane Jacobs:

As individuals trying to be good, we aim at being both loyal and honest, for example.  But in working life, these two virtues are often in conflict;  that is, we must be loyal at the expense of honesty or, conversely, honest at the expense of loyalty to our organization or fellow workers.  Does this mean, as is so often concluded, that we can be “good” only in our private lives and that moral behavior must bend or break when we participate in the world’s work?

No, that demoralizing notion is nonsense.  Clear rules – – if we heed them – – tell us when honesty takes precedence and when loyalty does if the two conflict.  Understanding the reasons for contradictions in the two systems of morals and values throws light on many conundrums . . .      (“Systems of Survival, A Dialogue on the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics” (1992) xi)

I have to re-read the book, a couple hundred pages.

. . .  I (Jacobs) have not invented the two moral and value systems I shall expound.  The human race has accomplished that feat during millennia of experience with trading and producing, on the one hand, and with organizing and managing territories, on the other hand.  I have merely sorted out this material, analyzed the probable origins and continuing functional reasons for it, and identified types of functional and moral quagmires into which organizations and institutions sink when they confuse their own appropriate moral system with the other.

Intuitively, many of us already understand much of the material with which I shall deal, but often not with sufficient clarity.  For one thing, many of us have taken on casts of mind so skewed toward one set of morals and values that we have little understanding of the other, and little if any appreciation of its integrity too.  If you do not already recognize a bias you may have absorbed from education, experience, interests, or ambitions, perhaps you will discover it here.  The precept “Know thyself” includes knowing the scales with which one weighs actions and attitudes in the great world of work outside oneself.   . . .

Mar 132019

I wonder whether Gore Vidal figures in any history classes?    He is brilliant, funny, and piercing.  He died in 2012.

The documentary was released in 2013.   You can find it on Netflix.

TRAILER:  Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2014) – Gore Vidal Documentary HD

BIOGRAPHY:   Wikipedia,


2010-04-15 “Be nice to America or we’ll bring democracy to your country” animated cartoon


See also Gore Vidal´s “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How we got to be so hated” which provides a dozen pages listing in chart form the nearly 200 US military interventions [operations] since WWII.


I cannot find, but I am pretty sure that for a time in his young adult years Vidal worked as a journalist reporting from one of the Latin American countries that was a target of U.S. imperialists.  As I recall, he was astounded by the discrepancy between what was happening on the ground in the country, and what was being reported in the American media, to U.S. citizens.  I don’t remember which country it was.  If you know of any documentation regarding that introduction of Vidal to the reality of American foreign policy,  I will appreciate receiving it.    Muchas gracias.


Gorbachev is on the Cast List of the film – footage from meetings between the two.

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Thanks to  “Variety“:

Film Review: ‘Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia’

This highly entertaining documentary should attract healthy niche sales.


Gore Vidal, David Mamet, Jay Parini, Nina Straight, Tim Robbins, Robert Scheer, Christopher Hitchens, Burr Steers, Dick Cavett, Jodie Evans, Sting, Mikhail Gorbachev, Chris Matthews, Barrett Prettyman. (English, Russian dialogue)

A fine memorial to one of 20th-century America’s most brilliant, original — and cranky — thinkers, “Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia” duly charts the late scribe’s artistic achievements and often glittering celebrity social life. But the emphasis is on his parallel persona as a harsh scold of U.S. social injustices and political corruptions, his remarks about which invariably got attention even while delivered from his longtime expatriate home in Italy. Primarily shot with Vidal’s full cooperation before his death a year ago at age 86, Nicholas Wrathall’s highly entertaining documentary — though it will also infuriate some — should attract healthy niche sales, especially to broadcasters.

Aptly introduced by one TV interviewer as “a thorn in the American establishment, of which he is by birth a charter member,” Vidal was raised in a family with high social and political connections. Rather than choosing politics, however, he sought fame as a novelist — but after his acclaimed first efforts, 1948’s  “The City and the Pillar” caused such a scandal with its sympathetic treatment of homosexuality that he was blackballed from coverage for years by many outlets, including the New York Times. This forced him to turn toward Hollywood and Broadway for work; his successes there included the screenplay for “Ben-Hur” and stage hit “The Best Man.”

Marvelously indifferent to the notion of tact — yet so articulate he made mincemeat of famed verbal jousters like William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer, as recalled in some delicious clips here — Vidal made no secret of his own views on sexuality, which were pretty out-there even by later Gay Lib standards. (He announced, “Sex destroys relationships … I’m devoted to promiscuity,” while living many decades with platonic companion Howard Austin.)

But it was his willingness to engage with other issues of the day that often enraged conservatives. The Vietnam War, Nixon, the Reagan era rise of evangelical Christian power brokers, U.S. provocations against perceived enemy governments, President George W. Bush’s responses to 9/11 (“We’ve had bad presidents before but we’ve never had a goddamn fool”), and the escalating gap between the wealthy and the struggling (“This is a country of the rich, for the rich and by the rich”) all earned his memorably vivid tongue-lashings. He also critiqued what he deemed the general self-mythologizing of Americans as historically open-minded and resistant to institutional manipulation.

While much here will be familiar to fans (especially those who have read his memoirs), there are some surprises, like Vidal’s latter-day dismissal of good friend John F. Kennedy’s “disastrous” presidency; the revelation that he once shared a cottage with fellow pal Paul Newman; or the drama of his contentious estrangement from onetime protege Christopher Hitchens (who died in 2011, but is also extensively interviewed here).

Pic doesn’t delve deeply into Vidal’s career as a fiction writer, although it’s worth noting that an oeuvre that juggled such high-profile outrages as “Myra Breckenridge” with brilliantly crafted historical novels like “Lincoln” remains undervalued precisely because he was so prolific and popular. Clips from his film projects add to a lively mix that also encompasses much vintage news/talkshow footage (including a notable evisceration of an extremely uncomfortable young Jerry Brown during one of the Vidal’s two actual political campaigns), plus interviews with famous friends like Dick Cavett and Tim Robbins.

But the grounding material here is with the elderly Vidal himself, whom we first encounter ruminating atop his future burial plot, shrugging off the fear of death like any other opponent. Unfailingly witty and devastatingly insightful, he personifies that near-extinct species — the public intellectual.

Assembly is rock-solid.

Mar 122019

Canadian firm hired to recruit scientists to publish studies that ultimately defended Roundup’s key ingredient

A review by CBC/Radio-Canada of internal Monsanto documents disclosed in the court case of Dewayne Johnson, who sued Monsanto and won $78 million US last October, showed the many efforts Monsanto took to fight a negative UN assessment of glyphosate, the active ingredient in its Roundup weed killer.

In March 2015, agrochemical giant Monsanto had a problem. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that glyphosate, the principal ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer product, was probably carcinogenic to humans.

Negative results from the IARC panel, which identifies and evaluates environmental causes of cancer in humans, could mean a potential hit to the company’s profitability. Roundup is a major profit generator for Monsanto. In 2015, Monsanto made nearly $4.76 billion US in sales and $1.9 billion in gross profits from its “agricultural productivity” sector, a large part of which was made up of Roundup sales, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A review by CBC/Radio-Canada of internal Monsanto documents disclosed in the court case of Dewayne Johnson, who sued Monsanto and won $78 million last October, showed the many efforts the company took to fight the IARC assessment.

The documents also reveal communications between Monsanto and a Canadian firm hired to recruit scientists to publish studies that ultimately defended glyphosate — some of which were secretly reviewed by Monsanto prior to publication. All those papers, as previously reported by CBC/Radio-Canada, were also used as part of Health Canada’s re-approval process of glyphosate in 2017.

“Why do more?” to combat the IARC assessment, asks one internal Monsanto PowerPoint written by Bill Heydens, product safety assessment strategy lead, and Donna Farmer, a Monsanto toxicologist. Because there is “severe stigma” to a determination that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, they wrote.

Internally, Monsanto talked about invalidating “the relevance of IARC.” It discussed putting together an expert panel that would publish its own analysis of existing studies, to counter IARC’s assessment. Heydens even wanted to know whether the company should ghostwrite a study in order to save money.

“An option would be” to add experts’ names on a publication, Heydens writes. “We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names.”

Monsanto’s office is seen in Pays-Bas, Netherlands, in 2016. Monsanto hired Intertek, formerly known as Cantox of Mississauga, Ont., to set and co-ordinate four ‘independent expert panels,’ to publish five papers on glyphosate in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology. (Peter Braakmann/Getty Images)

Five studies, including a review article, were eventually written and published in 2016. Monsanto hired Intertek, formerly known as Cantox of Mississauga, Ont., to set and co-ordinate four “independent expert panels” to publish these papers in the journal, Critical Reviews in Toxicology. The 15 researchers concluded unanimously that glyphosate was not a carcinogen.

Those papers got noticed by federal regulators. In defending its decision to re-approve use of glyphosate in 2017, Health Canada cited those papers in its list of references. It re-approved glyphosate until 2032, a decision based in large part on studies written by industry.

Those Intertek papers may also have had an influence in the United States. In 2016, U.S. scientists sitting on an independent Environmental Protection Agency panel charged with reviewing the safety of the product recommended that the EPA look at “relevant papers,” including two written as part of the Intertek project.

All the authors would eventually sign a correction stating that Monsanto reviewed a preliminary and final draft of their review article that criticized the IARC assessment. They also admitted in the journal in 2018 that Monsanto provided a “regulatory history overview” that was not disclosed. The authors apologized for any “errors or omissions.”

Johnson’s lawyer Brent Wisner reacts as the verdict is read in Johnson’s case against Monsanto at the Superior Court of California in San Francisco on Aug. 10, 2018. A jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million, later reduced to $78 million, to the former school groundskeeper dying of cancer, saying Monsanto’s Roundup contributed to his disease. (Josh Edelson/Pool Photo via AP)

Intertek, the intermediary

Internal Monsanto emails show that the company closely followed the evolution of some of the articles and even edited passages.

On Jan. 6, 2016, company official Heydens writes to Intertek about one of the papers: “I think you and I should talk about how that chapter gets completed, as it is not exactly what I was expecting.”

Two days later, in another email Intertek sends Monsanto a draft version of another article, asking Heydens to look at changes suggested by certain authors. His response: “OK, I have gone through the entire document and indicated what I think should stay, what can go, and in a couple of spots I did a little editing.”

All five papers claimed they were written by independent experts and said that no Monsanto employees or lawyers reviewed the manuscripts prior to publication.

“The first thing that [Monsanto] did when it found out that IARC had classified it as a probable human carcinogen is they paid … money to Intertek to do a quote independent scientific review and that has been published in five … different articles,” says Brent Wisner, Johnson’s lawyer who won the $78 million lawsuit against Monsanto.

Monsanto disagrees with that court decision and is appealing it.

The scientists of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) pose in Lyon, France, in 2015. IARC is the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm that identifies and evaluates environmental causes of cancer in humans. (Court exhibit from Johnson vs. Monsanto trial)

That lawsuit led to the release of internal documents now widely referred to as the Monsanto Papers. They “were all carefully sculpted, carefully controlled and portions of it carefully written by Monsanto employees,” Wisner says.

The Monsanto Papers show that the panels did not have the level of independence that the company claimed. On its website, Monsanto said that the experts were “medical doctors, cancer experts and individuals who hold doctoral degrees … (who worked at) major universities and medical schools, at research institutions and as consultants.”

In November 2018, after Critical Reviews in Toxicology expressed concerns, the authors released clarifications in the journal saying that Monsanto did review the manuscripts in three of the five cases. They insisted that the changes were minor and that Monsanto did not influence the conclusions. Monsanto also said at the Johnson trial that the papers were not ghostwritten.

Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, has categorically denied having influenced studies on glyphosate. It also says that IARC is an outlier, and no major government regulator has found glyphosate to be carcinogenic. What’s more Bayer says that according to the latest science, there is no association between glyphosate and cancer for farmers, and it cites Health Canada’s recent findings, which affirm that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe when used as directed.

Twelve of the 15 authors had been consultants for Monsanto in the past, and two have now admitted that they were paid directly by the company.

Even the fact that it was orchestrated by industry suggests that [the studies were not] at all independent. The fact that they created these new publications or they organized the publication of things, well, that’s actually not how scholarship works either. We write our own papers, and we do our own work.

– John McLaughlan of Public Health Ontario, who also served on the IARC panel

“Even the fact that it was orchestrated by industry suggests that [the studies were not] at all independent,” says John McLaughlan, chief science officer and senior scientist at Public Health Ontario, who also served on the IARC panel. “The fact that they created these new publications or they organized the publication of things, well, that’s actually not how scholarship works either. We write our own papers, and we do our own work.”

“I would put a large flag of concern around the quality and integrity of those papers,” McLaughlin adds.

Intertek did not respond to questions from CBC/Radio-Canada.

Many canola farmers on the Prairies use the herbicide glyphosate on their crops. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada is unmoved

In January, Health Canada said that the “assertion of improper or misleading citations was disconcerting” in the Intertek panel papers. It did not alter the agency’s final decision regarding continued registration of glyphosate. Health Canada also said it had access to “numerous individual studies and raw scientific data during its assessment of glyphosate, including additional cancer and genotoxicity studies.”

As part of its final decision in January, Health Canada rejected the eight notices of objection filed by doctors, academics and medical groups that wanted an independent panel to review its re-approval decision.

Much of “the data that’s actually been reviewed has not been subject to independent peer review,” says lawyer Wisner, who wants outside experts without conflicts of interest to look at the science that Health Canada relied on. “Because of that we don’t really know … the scientific judgment calls that went into making this decision. I think that can be a real problem for public health.”

Health Canada refused to comment to CBC/Radio-Canada but has stated publicly that it looked at over 1,300 studies to come to its re-approval decision, including in many cases the raw data underpinning those studies.

Cantox, purchased by Intertek in 2010, worked on a major glyphosate safety analysis in 1999, which concluded ‘Roundup herbicide does not pose a health risk to humans.’ (Court exhibit from Johnson vs. Monsanto trial)

History repeating itself?

This was not the first time that Monsanto turned to Intertek to defend glyphosate. Cantox, purchased by Intertek in 2010, worked on a major glyphosate safety analysis in 1999, which concluded “Roundup herbicide does not pose a health risk to humans.” The study would go on to be cited over 500 times in the academic literature.

Once again, Monsanto’s Heydens discussed ghostwriting a paper and having outside scientists sign it.

“Recall that is how we handled Williams Kroes & Munro,” Heydens writes, referring to the influential scientific paper by Gary Williams, Robert Kroes and Ian Munro that was published in 2000.

The lead author, Williams, denied the allegation in a February email to CBC/Radio-Canada. The other two authors are deceased.

In his deposition, which was part of the Johnson trial, Monsanto’s Heydens said the changes he made were minor and for the sake of clarity.

But in another email from 2000, Lisa Drake, a senior Monsanto official, thanks several company employees for “data collection as well as writing, review and relationship building with the papers’ authors.” She suggests the paper be used “to build Roundup sales.”

About the Author

Gil Shochat

Investigative producer

Gil Shochat is an award-winning investigative producer-director with CBC/Radio-Canada. He’s worked in Canada and internationally on subjects including the coal industry, the Russian mafia, TD Bank, the global war on terror, as well as Canada’s role in the international asbestos trade.

Mar 122019

On November 13, 2013, the University of Victoria conferred an honorary degree (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa) on Patrick Lane. His convocation address, “An open letter to all the wild creatures of the earth,” published by the Times Colonist newspaper, has since been shared many times on other sites and through social media.

Convocation Address
University of Victoria

November 13, 2013

It is sixty-five years ago, you’re ten years old and sitting on an old, half-blind, grey horse. All you have is a saddle blanket and a rope for reins as you watch a pack of dogs rage at the foot of a Ponderosa pine. High up on a branch a cougar lies supine, one paw lazily swatting at the air. He knows the dogs will tire. They will slink away and then the cougar will climb down and go on with its life in the Blue Bush country south of Kamloops. It is a hot summer day. There is the smell of pine needles and Oregon grape and dust. It seems to you that the sun carves the dust from the face of the broken rocks, carves and lifts it into the air where it mixes with the sun. Just beyond you are three men on horses.

The men have saddles and boots and rifles and their horses shy at the clamour of the dogs. The man with the Winchester rifle is the one who owns the dog pack and he is the one who has led you out of the valley, following the dogs through the hills to the big tree where the cougar is trapped. You watch as the man with the rifle climbs down from the saddle and sets his boots among the slippery pine needles. When the man is sure of his footing he lifts the rifle, takes aim, and then…and then you shrink inside a cowl of silence as the cougar falls.

As you watch, the men raise their rifles and shoot them at the sun. You will not understand their triumph, their exultance. Not then. You are too young. It will take years for you to understand. But one day you will step up to a podium in an auditorium at a University on an island far to the west and you will talk about what those men did. You know now they shot at the sun because they wanted to bring a darkness into the world. Knowing that has changed you forever.

Today I look back at their generation. Most of them are dead. They were born into the First Great War of the last century. Most of their fathers did not come home from the slaughter. Most of their mothers were left lost and lonely. Their youth was wasted through the years of the Great Depression when they wandered the country in search of work, a bed or blanket, a friendly hand, a woman’s touch, a child’s quick cry. And then came the Second World War and more were lost. Millions upon millions of men, women, and children died in that old world.  But we sometimes forget that untold numbers of creatures died with them: the sparrow and the rabbit, the salmon and the whale, the beetle and the butterfly, the deer and the wolf. And trees died too, the fir and spruce, the cedar and hemlock. Whole forests were sacrificed to the wars.

Those men bequeathed to me a devastated world. When my generation came of age in the mid-century we were ready for change. And we tried to make it happen, but the ones who wanted change were few. In the end we did what the generations before us did. We began to eat the world. We devoured the oceans and we devoured the land. We drank the lakes and the seas and we ate the mountains and plains. We ate and ate until there was almost nothing left for you or for your children to come.

The cougar that died that day back in 1949 was a question spoken into my life and I have tried to answer that question with my teaching, my poems, and my stories. Ten years after they killed the cougar I came of age. I had no education beyond high school, but I had a deep desire to become an artist, a poet. The death of the cougar stayed with me through the years of my young manhood. Then, one moonlit night in 1963, I stepped out of my little trailer perched on the side of a mountain above the North Thompson River. Below me was the saw mill where I worked as a first-aid man. Down a short path a little creek purled through the trees just beyond my door. I went there under the moon and kneeling in the moss cupped water in my hands for a drink. As I looked up I saw a cougar leaning over his paws in the thin shadows. He was six feet away, drinking from the same pool. I stared at the cougar and found myself alive in the eyes of the great cat. The cougar those men had killed when I was a boy came back to me. It was then I swore I would spend my life bearing witness to the past and the years to come.

I stand here looking out over this assembly and ask myself what I can offer you who are taking from my generation’s hands a troubled world. I am an elder now. There are times many of us old ones feel a deep regret, a profound sorrow, but our sorrow does not have to be yours. You are young and it is soon to be your time. A month ago I sat on a river estuary in the Great Bear Rain Forest north of here as a mother grizzly nursed her cubs. As the little ones suckled, the milk spilled down her chest and belly. As I watched her I thought of this day and I thought of you who not so long ago nursed at your own mother’s breast. There in the last intact rain forest on earth, the bear cubs became emblems of hope to me.

Out there are men and women only a few years older than you who are trying to remedy a broken world. I know and respect their passion. You too can change things. Just remember there are people who will try to stop you and when they do you will have to fight for your lives and the lives of the children to come.

Today you are graduating with the degrees you have worked so hard to attain. They will affect your lives forever. You are also one of the wild creatures of the earth. I want you for one moment to imagine you are a ten-year-old on a half-blind, grey horse. You are watching a cougar fall from the high limb of a Ponderosa Pine into a moil of raging dogs. The ones who have done this, the ones who have brought you here, are shooting at the sun. They are trying to bring a darkness into the world.

It’s your story now.
How do you want it to end?

Mar 112019  

Two very good interviews:  Glenn Greenwald  and  Daniel Ellsberg on Democracy Now.

RECOMMEND:    Go to the link – – the video is at top.


Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Manning, a U.S. Army whistleblower, had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Music by Mangueira, Brazil’s most famous samba school. Last week, Mangueira won Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, getting a perfect score from judges for its float honoring Rio Councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was assassinated almost a year ago. This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To talk more about the jailing of Manning, as well as other issues, including what’s happening in Venezuela, we turn right now to Glenn Greenwald, speaking to us from Brazil. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, one of the founding editors of The Intercept.

Glenn, welcome back to Democracy Now! Talk about Chelsea Manning once again being jailed.

GLENN GREENWALD: I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody that Chelsea Manning is extraordinarily heroic. She has demonstrated that repeatedly over the last decade in all kinds of ways. But what she’s doing here is really remarkable, because the context is that the Trump administration is trying to do what the Obama administration tried to do but ultimately concluded it couldn’t do without jeopardizing press freedoms, which is to prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange for what it regards as the crime of publishing top-secret or classified documents.

And the media in the United States has spent two years screaming about the threat that Trump poses to press freedoms because he says mean things about the media on Twitter or insults Wolf Blitzer and Chuck Todd, and yet here we have what is really a grave threat to press freedom: the attempt to make it a felony to publish classified material—which is what WikiLeaks did. Even the anti-press freedom Obama administration said this was a bridge too far for us.

And while most reporters are mute on this scandal, on this controversy, and while a lot of Democrats are supportive of it, because they still hate WikiLeaks so much from the 2016 election that they’re happy to see Julian Assange go to jail, even if it means standing behind the Trump administration, Chelsea Manning is not just opposing it, she’s opposing it to the point where she refuses to participate in it, even if it means, as it now does, that she’s going to be jailed for being in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a subpoena. We all owe our immense gratitude to Chelsea Manning for everything she’s done over the last decade, but even more so now.

AMY GOODMAN: I’d like to go back to 2017, when Mike Pompeo talked about Chelsea Manning in his first address as CIA director in April of last year [sic].

MIKE POMPEO: WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It directed Chelsea Manning in her theft of specific secret information. It overwhelmingly focuses on the United States, while seeking support from anti-democratic countries and organizations. It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate, hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.

AMY GOODMAN: So, that was Pompeo when he was head of the CIA. Now, of course, he is secretary of state. Can you respond to what he has said, Glenn Greenwald?

GLENN GREENWALD: This is the part I find so amazing. Do Democrats not realize the irony here of cheering for the most reactionary, right-wing forces in the Trump administration, who are the ones trying to imprison Julian Assange and WikiLeaks in order to criminalize journalism—namely, Mike Pompeo—and the person who actually first vowed to put WikiLeaks and Assange behind bars, which was then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has since left the Trump administration?

The Obama administration tried to create theories to say that WikiLeaks did more than just passively receive documents from Chelsea Manning and then publish them, because they knew they had to do that in order to prosecute WikiLeaks; otherwise, how do you justify prosecuting WikiLeaks for publishing classified documents, without also prosecuting The New York Times and The Guardian? The Justice Department, under Obama, searched high and low for evidence that WikiLeaks participated in Chelsea Manning’s taking of those documents. They found no evidence. She testified under oath that she acted alone, that they played no role whatsoever in her decision to do that.

And now, suddenly, seven years later, Mike Pompeo claims that they have evidence or that they believe that WikiLeaks told her to do it, and therefore they intend to prosecute WikiLeaks. And unfortunately, between the Republicans, who have long hated WikiLeaks for exposing the war crimes of the Bush administration, and Democrats, who now hate WikiLeaks because they published documents that were harmful to or reflected poorly on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, very few people are willing to stand up to this very serious attack on press freedom. And thankfully, Chelsea Manning is one of those people.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to John Bolton speaking about Chelsea Manning in the 2012 BBC film Wikileaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower. He was interviewed by Richard Bilton.

RICHARD BILTON: What do you think of Bradley Manning?

JOHN BOLTON: I think he committed treason. I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

RICHARD BILTON: What does that mean?

JOHN BOLTON: Well, treason is the only crime defined by our Constitution, and it says treason shall consist only of levying war against the United States or adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. And he gave our enemies a lot of aid and comfort.

RICHARD BILTON: So what should happen to him?

JOHN BOLTON: Well, he should be prosecuted. And if he’s found guilty, he should be punished to the fullest extent possible.

RICHARD BILTON: And what is that?


RICHARD BILTON: You think he should be killed.


AMY GOODMAN: “You think you should be killed.” “Yes,” responded John Bolton, now the national security adviser. Of course, Bradley Manning became Chelsea Manning. She announced her transition the day she was sentenced. Glenn Greenwald?

GLENN GREENWALD: These are the sentiments that are driving the current attempt to prosecute WikiLeaks and Assange. And those are the monsters who are responsible for it.

So, I would hope that however angry someone might be at Julian Assange or WikiLeaks for whatever they think they did as part of the 2016 election to undermine Hillary Clinton by publishing truthful documents that showed the corruption of the DNC, however angry one might be at WikiLeaks for having done that, one can separate those emotions and understand that what the Trump administration has nothing to do with the 2016 election. The criminal proceedings that have led to Chelsea Manning’s jailing for the second time in the last decade are all about documents that were published, not in 2016, but in 2011 and 2012.

And it’s being done by people, like John Bolton, who believe that if you publish top-secret documents that report on the misdeeds and criminal acts of the U.S. government, you’re not only a criminal, but a traitor who deserves to be killed. You just heard that with your own ears. And so, anyone supporting the Trump administration’s efforts to put Julian Assange in prison because you’re angry about what he did in the 2016 election, you’re aligning yourself with and you’re empowering those warped, sociopathic sentiments that you just heard come out of John Bolton’s mouth.

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2.     “I Know No One More Patriotic”: Daniel Ellsberg Praises Chelsea Manning After She Is Jailed Again

RECOMMEND:  Watch the video:

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning was in prison from 2010 to 2017 for the leak. President Obama commuted her sentence before he left office. Chelsea Manning briefly spoke to reporters on Friday on her way into court.

CHELSEA MANNING: So, this is a contempt hearing. It’s a sealed hearing. The public isn’t allowed. The proceedings are going to happen in secret. The filings are sealed. So, can’t really talk about the specifics of what’s going on, beyond what we explained in the statement. But, you know, I’m pretty confident that we have a basis and a grounds on which to oppose this.

REPORTER: And you said in your statement you’re prepared to go to jail for this?

CHELSEA MANNING: If it comes to that, yeah. If it comes to that, you know, it comes to that. If it comest to going—you know, I might not leave here today, you know, free, so…

AMY GOODMAN: In a written statement, Chelsea Manning later said, quote, “I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury. Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.

“The grand jury’s questions pertained to disclosures from nine years ago, and took place six years after an in-depth computer forensics case, in which I testified for almost a full day about these events. I stand by my previous public testimony,” she wrote.

Well, on Sunday, Democracy Now! spoke with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg at his home in California.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: This is a continuation of seven-and-a-half years of torture of Chelsea Manning, in an effort to get her to contribute to incriminating WikiLeaks, so that they can bring Julian Assange or WikiLeaks to trial on charges that would not apply to The New York Times. It’s been speculated for years now that the secret charges, if they did exist—and apparently they do exist—against Julian Assange were under the same charges that I was first—the first person to be prosecuted for, back in 1971: violations of the Espionage Act, conspiracy and theft. It would be the same cases brought against me.

Unfortunately, bringing that against a journalist is even more blatantly a violation of the First Amendment, freedom of the press. And although Donald Trump has made it very plain he would love to prosecute and convict The New York Times, he doesn’t have the guts to do that, to do what he wants, fortunately, because it would be so obviously unconstitutional, that although his base would be happy with it and he would be happy with it, he would get into too much trouble constitutionally. So he wants to find charges against Julian that would be different from mine, because if he brought the same charges that he brought against me—in this case, against a journalist—it would clearly be found unconstitutional.

And so, Chelsea, having failed to give them what they wanted over seven-and-a-half years here she was incarcerated, or since, or in the grand jury—namely, false incriminating charges against WikiLeaks—they’re resorting again to torture, which does work at getting false confessions. That’s what it’s for. That’s what it mainly does. They want her to contradict her earlier sworn testimony many times, that she behaved in relation to WikiLeaks exactly as she would have to The New York Times or The Washington Post, to whom she went first, before going to WikiLeaks. And they didn’t pick up on what she was offering, so she went to WikiLeaks. But she took sole responsibility, not to spare them, but because that was the truth. And she tells the truth.

She’s a very patriotic person. I know no one more patriotic, actually, willing to risk and even give her own freedom, her own life, in order to preserve our constitutional freedoms and the Constitution. I admired her then. I admire her now. And right now she’s refusing to take part in basically a conspiracy against press freedom in this country, led by the president of the United States and the secretary of state.

AMY GOODMAN: Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, speaking on Sunday to Democracy Now! Ellsberg went on to talk about the historical significance of Chelsea Manning’s actions.

DANIEL ELLSBERG: We know the questions that were asked Chelsea in the day that she spent in the grand jury, and also were asked another witness, who did testify, David House. In both cases, they were asked only about their relations with WikiLeaks in 2010, nine years ago, long before the very controversial, and properly controversial, actions of WikiLeaks in the last year or two.

This was when WikiLeaks was putting out what Chelsea gave them, the video of “Collateral Murder,” which I urge people to look at. Now, I’m sure very few have seen that in the last nine years. What they are witnessing is a very typical, by all reporting, act of murder. And I say that as a former Marine operations officer who taught the laws of wars to battalion, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, at Camp Lejeune. And I would hope that anyone that I taught would recognize in that film that what they’re watching is a war crime, is murder. Not all killing in war is murder, but some of it is. And she revealed it.

U.S. SOLDIER 1: Clear. Clear.

U.S. SOLDIER 2: We’re engaging.

U.S. SOLDIER 1: Should have a van in the middle of the road with about 12 to 15 bodies.

U.S. SOLDIER 2: Oh, yeah, look at that. Right through the windshield! Ha ha!

DANIEL ELLSBERG: She also revealed massive, widespread torture being conducted by our Iraqi allies, with our knowledge and complicity, going on into President Obama’s term, from George W. Bush. So there’s a lot of resentment against her in the intelligence community and in the Army, in general, about the shameful things that she revealed. Also assassination squads, death squads, and corruption, in general, that we condoned in our allies, among dictators, like Ben Ali of Tunisia, who was forced out by nonviolent protest on the basis of Chelsea Manning’s revelations through Le Monde.

AMY GOODMAN: Daniel Ellsberg, speaking Sunday to Democracy Now! about Chelsea Manning. Ellsberg himself faced life imprisonment after leaking the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War. He was a high-level Pentagon official who obtained the papers while working at the RAND Corporation.

When we come back, we’ll speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept. This is Democracy Now! Back in a minute.


Mar 102019

Hi Everyone,

FYI,  the last email sent was:   

2019-02-28   Addressing the corruption that prevents progress  

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

What’s for today?

2019-03-08   Chelsea Manning:   Wikileaks source jailed for refusing to testify, BBC.    With a reminder of Chelsea Manning’s incredible gift to us and to democracy.


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

2019-03-10 What in hell is the “Bolivarian Revolution”? Important to understanding why we’ve threatened war on Venezuela

I came out of the closet:  I’m a revolutionary. 

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

2019-03-09 The SNC Lavalin debacle: Why is it not asked . . .? Email to the CBC.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

 2019-03-10 Elizabeth Warren is right – we must break up Facebook, Google and Amazon, The Guardian 

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

2019-03-04 Panama Papers documentary premieres in Canada this week, Canadians for Tax Fairness 

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2019-03-04 Tell the B.C. government you want a renewable future, Telephone Town Hall with the Minister. Dates and Times.

That is enough.

Have to leave the rest for another day.

Mar 102019

The debt we owe to Chelsea Manning is staggering. 

Before the news reporting that she is back in jail (scroll down),  an abbreviated reminder of what she has done, without mention of what happened to her in prison, and in spite of which she is standing her ground today, in the face of a Court Order that she testify before a grand jury.  

Her courage leaves me in awe.   She is an amazing woman.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(I prefer to use the words of Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning herself, so mostly from:

2013-05-09 The Death of truth. Chris Hedges’ interview Julian Assange, references to Bradley Manning


Manning made it clear last Thursday (in Court) that he leaked the documents to Wikileaks

because he saw serious problems in US foreign policy. Problems which are as serious as they can be: war crimes, criminal behavior at the highest levels up to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, unethical behavior and bullying of other nations. 

Manning’s sole purpose was to

spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general.”*

He hoped the debate

might cause society to re-evaluate the need or even the desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment every day.” 

Regarding the collateral murder video which showed civilians, including two Reuters journalists being massacred, he said

I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crew members. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare.” 

When discussing the State Department cables (INSERT:  became known as the Cablegate files) Manning

saw that the US was not behaving the way the “de facto leader of the free world” should act as the cables “documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity.” Again, he hoped for a change in policy as the “cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy” that would avoid conflict and save lives. 

In some of these statements you get a hint of Manning’s empathy for fellow human beings. The incident that really showed it was his comments on David Frankel’s book “The Good Soldier,” where Frankel describes a seriously injured Iraqi civilian on the ground at the end of the Collateral Murder video. He lifts two fingers toward the soldier, a well-known sign of friendship, as he asks for help. The US soldier responds lifting his middle finger as the Iraqi died.

Manning puts himself in the place of the Iraqi thinking his final act was an act of friendship only to be returned by a crude obscenity of unfriendliness. Manning acknowledges that this “burdens me emotionally.” 

Manning was clear that

he was solely responsible for his actions saying “The decisions that I made to send documents and information to the WLO [Wikileaks Organization] and website were my own decisions, and I take full responsibility for my actions.”  He described his conversations with an anonymous person at Wikileaks but made it quite clear there was no espionage conspiracy between Manning and Julian Assange.  His statement made it much more difficult for the US to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act.

Excerpt from New Statesman:

Manning spent nearly seven years in US jail, first awaiting trial and then post-conviction – after a guilty plea – on 22 counts relating to leaking material to WikiLeaks.

The world’s public got an unprecedented view of US military and foreign affairs.

In the video titled “collateral murder” we could watch first-hand both the shocking callousness and the casualness of the crew of a US Apache as it gunned down a group of suspected militants, which included two Reuters journalists who were killed in the attack. (INSERT:  not all the people were “suspected militants”. Children were not spared.  My memory – – I think there were three children, but at least two.) 

Minutes later we see the same crew launch a Hellfire missile against a home – without even bothering to wait for a pedestrian simply walking near the house to pass.

Material in nearly 90,000 leaked documents from the Afghan conflict revealed similar abuses on a far larger scale – including the existence of Task Force 373, a death squad revealed to have killed civilians and even Afghan police officers on its missions.   (INSERT:  what is known as the publishing of the Afghan War Diary on WikiLeaks.)

A similar cache of documents from Iraq  (INSERT:  The Iraq War Logs), this time nearly 400,000 of them, revealed the huge civilian death toll of US operations in the country, shedding new light on so-called “escalation of force” incidents – a military euphemism for checkpoint shootings – and more.   (INSERT:  there is a chilling news report on the leaked documents regarding “escalation of force” at

More than 250,000 US diplomatic cables showed how the US used its soft power overseas, revealed corruption among US-allied governments, how the US spies on its allies as enthusiastically as its enemies, Middle Eastern power plays, and more.

And a final cache of documents, the Guantanamo Bay Files,  showed what a hollow lie claims that only the “worst of the worst” were sent there, detailing how senile men in their 80s, taxi drivers, and other blameless civilians found themselves shipped halfway around the world, incarcerated without trial, and abused.

For revealing these things to the world – which the US government has repeatedly publicly acknowledged caused no physical harm to anyone – Chelsea Manning spent nearly seven years in jail, until Barack Obama commuted her sentence as one of his presidency’s final acts.

And now she is back in jail.

“I will not comply . . . ”   read her words in the news article below.   Telling truth.  In a United States that has long ago gone rogue.

– – – – – – – –

I hope people understand how much we would not know.

I am doubly indebted:  I would not have been able to piece together the information from the American Ambassador to Canada about American designs on Canada were it not for what came to be known as the Cablegate leaks.    How we became an integrated part of what is now the American Republic long gone rogue, is no mystery.

It is not clear to me that there has been adequate reporting of what is in the Cablegate files that pertain to Canada.   Someday I hope to find time to look into that.  An internet search shows there were thousands of such documents.  I know only of the one that figures in the posting:

2019-02-23    propaganda flourishes if you kill Julian Assange. . . Americans and Canadians vis-a-vis Venezuela, Canadians to buy warships for $105 Billion, Lockheed Martin, Corruption



Chelsea Manning and then

2019-03-10 What in hell is the “Bolivarian Revolution”? Important to understanding why we’ve threatened war on Venezuela 

lead me to say:

I’m out of the closet:  I’m a revolutionary.

The United States brought about my conversion.

= = = = = = = = = = =

The BBC Report, followed by the Washington Post Report

Chelsea Manning prepares to enter the Albert V. Bryan U.S. District Courthouse on Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Alexandria, VA

Former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has been jailed for refusing to testify before an investigation into Wikileaks.

Chelsea E. Manning


** Chelsea was taken into custody today for resisting a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia

A Virginia judge ordered her taken into custody until the grand jury’s work is finished or she decides to testify.

Manning said she shared everything she knows during her court-martial.

Manning was found guilty in 2013 of charges including espionage for leaking secret military files to Wikileaks, but her sentence was commuted.

Manning, 31, told US District Judge Claude Hilton that she would “accept whatever you bring upon me”, but would not testify, the Associated Press reported.

Her lawyers had reportedly asked that she be confined at home due to medical issues, but the judge said US Marshals would address her care needs.

US prosecutors have been investigating Wikileaks for years, and in November prosecutors inadvertently revealed possible charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in court documents from a separate case.

On Friday, Manning said in a statement: “I will not comply with this, or any other grand jury.”

“Imprisoning me for my refusal to answer questions only subjects me to additional punishment for my repeatedly-stated ethical objections to the grand jury system.”

Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said Manning could be freed if she changes her mind and decides to follow the law and testify, according to the Associated Press.

Chelsea Resists!, a group supporting Manning and seeking to raise money for her legal fees, said grand juries were “mired in secrecy, and have historically been used to silence and retaliate against political activists”.

“Chelsea gave voluminous testimony during her court martial. She has stood by the truth of her prior statements, and there is no legitimate purpose to having her rehash them before a hostile grand jury.”

Manning was arrested in Iraq in 2010 for disclosing more than 700,000 confidential documents, videos and diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy website.

While Manning said she only did so to spark debates about foreign policy, US officials said the leak put lives at risk.

She was sentenced to 35 years after being found guilty of 20 charges related to the leak, but only served seven before former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

Her sentence was the longest given for a leak in US history. Mr Obama said it was “disproportionate” to her crimes.

Republicans criticised the Democratic president’s decision at the time.

Then-Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan said Mr Obama had set “a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable”, the New York Times reported.

President Donald Trump has called Manning an “ungrateful traitor” who “should never have been released from prison”.

= = = = = =  ==

Chelsea Manning sent to jail for refusing to testify in WikiLeaks case

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will be held in jail until she testifies before a grand jury or that grand jury is no longer operating, a federal judge in Alexandria ruled Friday.

Most of the hearing at which prosecutors argued for Manning to be held in contempt was sealed, but the court was open to the public for argument over whether she should be put in jail and Judge Claude M. Hilton’s ruling.

“I’ve found you in contempt,” Hilton said. He ordered her to custody immediately, “either until you purge yourself or the end of the life of the grand jury.”

The investigation Manning was called to testify in remains secret, but she said she was asked about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website she shared classified documents with in 2010. Manning served seven years of a 35-year prison sentence for her leak before receiving a commutation from President Barack Obama.

Outside court before the hearing, Manning said she was prepared to go to jail.

Chelsea Manning, 31, was booked into the Alexandria Detention Center on Friday morning after refusing to testify before a grand jury about the website WikiLeaks. (Alexandria Sheriff’s Office)

“These secret proceedings tend to favor the government,” she said. “I’m always willing to explain things publicly.”

Manning held up a large stack of papers — the transcripts from her military trial, which she said would tell prosecutors everything they want to know.

“I’ve given voluminous testimony; I’ve given voluminous information,” she said.

In a 2013 pretrial hearing, prosecutors disclosed excerpts of chat logs taken from Manning’s personal laptop, including one in which Manning allegedly asked Assange for help in cracking a password. In another, Manning allegedly told Assange “i’m throwing everything i’ve got on” Guantanamo detainee reports “at you now,” to which Assange allegedly replied, “OK…great.”

In a long sworn statement at the end of the pretrial inquiry, Manning said “the decisions that I made to send documents and information” to WikiLeaks “were my own.” She was questioned by a military judge about the statement. But she never took the stand during the trial itself, so prosecutors never had the opportunity to question her.

Chelsea Manning leaves the federal courthouse in Alexandria on March 5. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

Manning’s attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, on Friday told the judge it would be “an act of tremendous cruelty” to send the transgender ex-private to jail given medical and safety concerns. Manning came out as transgender after her sentencing in 2013.

Outside court, Meltzer-Cohen praised Manning’s courage. When asked by a reporter about a possible appeal of the judge’s ruling, Meltzer-Cohen said that would be “quite likely.”

Prosecutor Tracy McCormick said in court that the jail has experience handling both transgender inmates and public figures.

“The government does not want to confine Ms. Manning,” McCormick said. “She could change her mind right now and decide to testify.”

Manning’s attorney did thank prosecutors for working in “good faith,” saying “they bent over backwards to accommodate” medical needs linked to Manning’s gender transition.

Hilton said any medical concerns Manning has should be addressed with the U.S. Marshals but that the court was available if she has problems.

WikiLeaks’s founder, Julian Assange, has been charged in a case that remains under seal but was inadvertently exposed by prosecutors late last year, though the details remain secret. He is under asylum at the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.


Mar 102019
Thanks to Janet – –
FROM TRUTHDIG:  the same topic, 
– – – – – – – – – –

The titans of the new Gilded Age must be busted and the idea has bipartisan support. It’s time big tech was brought to heel

Mark Zuckerberg testifies on Capitol Hill last year.
Mark Zuckerberg testifies on Capitol Hill last year. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

The presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren announced on Friday she wants to bust up giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon.

America’s first Gilded Age began in the late 19th century with a raft of innovations – railroads, steel production, oil extraction – but culminated in mammoth trusts run by “robber barons” like JP Morgan, John D Rockefeller, and William H “the public be damned” Vanderbilt.

The answer then was to bust up the railroad, oil and steel monopolies.

We’re now in a second Gilded Age, ushered in by semiconductors, software and the internet, which has spawned a handful of hi-tech behemoths and a new set of barons like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google.

The answer is the same as it was before: bust up the monopolies.

The current effort is bipartisan. At a Senate hearing I attended last week, the arch-conservative Missouri Republican Josh Hawley asked me, rhetorically: “Is there really any wonder that there is increased pressure for antitrust enforcement activity, for privacy activity when these companies behave in the way that they do?”

Hawley added: “Every day brings some creepy new revelation about these companies’ behaviors. Of course the public is going to want there to be action to defend their rights. It’s only natural.”

Nearly 90% of all internet searches now go through Google. Facebook and Google together account for 58% of all digital ads, which is where most ad money goes these days.

They’re also the first stops for many Americans seeking news (93% receive news online), and Amazon is now the first stop for a third of all American consumers seeking to buy anything.

With such size comes the power to stifle innovation. Amazon won’t let any business that sells through it sell any item at a lower price anywhere else. It’s even using its control over book sales to give books it publishes priority over rival publishers.

Google uses the world’s most widely used search engine to promote its own services and content over those of competitors. Facebook’s purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram killed off two potential competitors.

Contrary to the conventional view of America as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, according to the Census Bureau, the rate at which new job-creating businesses have formed in the US has halved since 2004.

Size also confers political power.

Amazon – the richest corporation in America – paid nothing in federal taxes last year. Meanwhile, it is holding an auction to extort billions from states and cities eager to host its second headquarters.

It also forced Seattle, its home city, to back down on a plan to tax big corporations like itself to pay for homeless shelters for a growing population that cannot afford sky-high rents caused in part by Amazon.

Facebook withheld evidence of Russian activity on its platform far longer than had been disclosed. When the news came to light, it employed an opposition research firm to discredit critics.

Zuckerberg, who holds the world speed record for falling from one of the most admired figures to one of the most reviled, just unveiled a plan to “encrypt” personal information from all his platforms.

The plan is likely to give Facebook even more comprehensive data about everyone. If you believe it will better guard privacy, you don’t remember Zuckerberg’s last seven promises to do that.

The New America Foundation, an influential thinktank Google helped fund, fired researchers who were urging antitrust officials to take on the company. And Google has been quietly financing hundreds of professors to write research papers justifying Google’s market dominance.

What to do? Some argue the tech mammoths should be regulated like utilities or common carriers, but this would put government in the impossible position of policing content and overseeing products and services.

A better alternative is to break them up. That way, information would be distributed through a large number of independent channels without a centralized platform giving all content apparent legitimacy and extraordinary reach. And more startups could flourish.

Like the robber barons of the first Gilded Age, those of the second have amassed fortunes that gave them unparalleled influence over politicians and the economy.

The combined wealth of Zuckerberg ($62.3bn), Bezos ($131bn), Brin ($49.8bn) and Page ($50.8bn) is larger than the combined wealth of the bottom half of the American population.

A wealth tax, also proposed by Warren, would help.

Some of the robber barons of the first Gilded Age were generous philanthropists, as are those of today. That didn’t excuse the damage they did to America.

Monopolies aren’t good for anyone except for the monopolists. In this new Gilded Age, we need to respond as forcefully as we did the first time around. Warren’s ideas are a good start.

Mar 102019


2019-02-21  Venezuela: US/Canadian Attempted Coup Not About Democracy – Paul Jay (Pt1/2) (Real News Network)

There’s all those revolutions – –  the Russian Revolution, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, Revolutions in China that we  know nothing about, the Cuban Revolution, Revolutions in 1848 all over Europe, the Haitian, the Iranian,  the Industrial Revolution, Orange, Green Revolutions,  the Civil Rights Movement was a Revolution,  so was the Women’s Movement.   There was the Quiet Revolution in Quebec.

Maybe that’s why Canadians think it’s been the ideal of “peace, order and good governance“.    We keep quiet and we forget:  The “On to Ottawa Trek / Regina Riot” in 1935  was a Revolution.

“We were pretty militant, but we had a reason to be,” says Llewellyn. “If you were going hungry in the richest country in the world you would have done it too.”

Prime Minister R.B. Bennett , blaming the riot on communist agitators  (who else?!), endorsed an inquiry that whitewashed the authorities of any wrongdoing. According to Waiser, a University of Saskatchewan history professor: “In truth, it was a police-provoked riot. They raided a peaceful meeting and the people fought back.”

NOTE THE CONTEXT:  The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was founded in Calgary in 1932 as a political coalition of progressive, socialist and labour groups that wanted economic reform, to help Canadians affected by the Great Depression.

Three years later “exploitation” had only become more apparent.  Starting from B.C., men set out to “ride the rails” more than 4,000 kilometres to Ottawa.  From Ottawa you can see the army coming from a long way off, gathering momentum and members as it hurtles down the tracks at the target.


But what in hell is the Bolivarian Revolution?   And why is it important to understanding how it comes about that Canadians are threatening military action against Venezuela?

Corporate media hides that the crisis in Venezuela is a class struggle, and whatever its faults, the Bolivarian revolution is a struggle for equality and democracy,  a quote from:

2019-02-21  Venezuela: US/Canadian Attempted Coup Not About Democracy – Paul Jay (Pt1/2) (Real News Network)


With thanks to Wikipedia (I need to, and will send them another donation):

The Bolivarian Revolution is named after Simón Bolívar, an early 19th-century Venezuelan and Latin American revolutionary leader, prominent in the Spanish American wars of independence in achieving the independence of most of northern South America from Spanish rule.

(Today)  According to Hugo Chávez and other supporters, the Bolivarian Revolution seeks to build an inter-American coalition to implement Bolivarianism, nationalism and a state-led economy.

On his 57th birthday, while announcing that he was being treated for cancer, Chávez announced that he had changed the slogan of the Bolivarian Revolution from “Motherland, socialism, or death” to “Motherland and socialism. We will live, and we will come out victorious“.[4]

To me, that explains pretty well why today the North American imperialists and other Powers of Exploitation (transnational corporates), mount counter-insurgency attacks triggered by dirty words and leaders like “Bolivarian”,  Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa (former president of Ecuador). God forbid SOCIALISM!  COMMUNISM!  Che Guevara, Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange . . .  Venezuela has a democratically-elected Government.  But the Government is “Bolivarian“.  It needs to be overthrown.  Canada will assist.

HOWEVER,   it appears to me that the attempted coup may have been thwarted.

How?  Why?  Outrage has been high.   North American mainstream media has not been able to control the narrative.

TOO MANY people and countries understand and can identify the tactics used to overthrow Governments and establish puppet regimes.  It’s then that the exploitation of resources, suppression of human rights and brutality really set in.   Too many people know the pattern.

How do we understand the Canadian role, now that we are integrated with the U.S. military-industrial complex, thanks to our Quisling Government, “The Generals” and “The Collaborators”?   Using as a reference point,

2016-07-08 Democracy overtaken by Corporatocracy = coup d’état. Citizens fight to regain democracy = Revolution (insurgency) . Corporatocracy fights to hold on = counter insurgency.

The Venezuelans are in a fight to regain democracy.   In the media of the Empire, they are cast as bad guy “insurgents”.  Dirty socialists, communists, BOLIVARIANS.

It’s fascinating to watch the messaging, and then be able to access an explanation from these “freedom fighters”.   The manipulation of images and stories by The Corporatocracy doesn’t fail to astound.   It reminds me of that Hill & Knowlton creation of heart-wrenching, but totally staged – – Hollywood at its best – – testimony:

2018-12-05 How False Testimony and a Massive U.S. Propaganda Machine Bolstered George H.W. Bush’s War on Iraq

The Corporatocracy wants to re-assert its power and control over Venezuela.  They want the oil and other resources on THEIR TERMS.  Canadians are threatening to go into Venezuela on behalf of the Corporatocracy.  So we are “countering” the Revolutionaries or Insurgents or Freedom Fighters, whatever you wish to call them.   (The phrases counter-revolutionary and counter-insurgency refer to the same people – – the ones trying to take over control of the country from the people who live there.  Most often it is done to ensure access to the country’s resources.)

So then,  what am I?  There has been a coup d’etat in Canada,  the most recent evidence of which is SNC Lavalin.  I want Canada back – – what I have discovered is actually a MYTH of what Canada is.   Never mind that it’s a myth.  The reality is destroying the Planet.  I will not stand by and see the beauty, awe and wonder destroyed.  I’m firmly against Canada’s counter-insurgency role in the world.   I am a Bolivarian, a revolutionary.

As I wrote in

2019-03-08 Chelsea Manning: Wikileaks source jailed for refusing to testify, BBC. With a reminder of Chelsea Manning’s incredible gift to us and to democracy.


Chelsea Manning and then

2019-03-10 What in hell is the “Bolivarian Revolution”? Important to understanding why we’ve threatened war on Venezuela 

lead me to say:

I’m out of the closet:  I’m a revolutionary.

The United States brought about my conversion.


Mar 092019

When your economy is converted to a war economy, there are but crumbs leftover.  The war profiteers and the Banksters take the lions’ share of the money and leave the country saddled with mountains of debt.   (Look south of the border.)


If Canadians purchase warships for $105 Billion dollars (Feb 8 news),  we have to be really stupid and weak.

(2019-02-22  It’s taboo to talk about Canada’s real corporate scandal,, Matthew Behrens)


AND,  I’d like to know:

How has it happened that we Canadians are joining the war on Venezuela,  overthrowing a democratically-elected Government?

It’s not too big a mystery:

Julian Assange (Wikileaks) published a cable from the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.  The cable sheds a whole lot of light on the question.  Please see:

2019-02-23     propaganda flourishes if you kill Julian Assange. . . Americans and Canadians vis-a-vis Venezuela, Canadians to buy warships for $105 Billion, Lockheed Martin, Corruption