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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Chelsea Manning: Sam Adams Award Acceptance Speech, Feb 2014


Chelsea E. Manning

89289
1300 North Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304

2014.02.19

Statement thru Aaron Kirkhouse

For Public Release

Subject: Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence

The founders of America - fresh from a war of independence from King George lll - were particularly fearful of concentrating power. James Madison wrote that "the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."(1)

To address these concerns, the founders of America actively took steps when drafting the Constitution and ratifying a Bill of Rights-including protections echoing the Libertarianism of John Locke-to ensure that no person be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

More recently, though, since the rise of the national security apparatus - after a brief hiatus between the fall of the Soviet Union and the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center - the American government has been pursuing an unprecedented amount of secrecy and power consolidation in the Executive branch, under the President and the Cabinet.

When drafting Article III of the American Constitution, the founders were rather leery of accusations of treason, and accorded special protections for those accused of such a capital offense, providing that "[n]o person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

For those of you familiar with the American Constitution, you may notice that this provision is under the Article concerning the Judiciary, Article III, and not the Legislative or Executive Articles, I and II respectively. And, historically, when the American government accuses an American of such crimes, it has prosecuted them in a federal criminal court.

In a recent Freedom of Information Act case(2) - a seemingly Orwellian "newspeak" name for a statute that actually exempts categories of documents from release to the public - a federal district court judge ruled against the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union. The Times and the ACLU argued that documents regarding the practice of "targeted killing" of American citizens, such as the radical Sunni cleric Anwar Nasser al-Aulaqi were in the public's interest and were being withheld improperly.

The government first refused to acknowledge the existence of the documents, but later argued that their release could harm national security and were therefore exempt from disclosure. The court, however, felt constrained by the law and "conclud[ed] that the Government [had] not violated the FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in the FOIA requests, and [could not] be compelled . . . to explain in detail the reasons why [the Government's] actions do not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States."

However, the judge also wrote candidly about her frustration with her sense that the request "implicate[d] serious issues about the limits on the power of the Executive Branch under the Constitution and laws of the United States," and that the Presidential "Administration ha[d] engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of [American] citizens, but in cryptic and imprecise ways." In other words, it wasn't that she didn't think that the public didn't have a right to know - it was that she didn't feel that she had the "legal" authority to compel disclosure.

This case, like too many others, presents a critical problem that can also be seen in several recent cases, including my court-martial. For instance, I was accused by the Executive branch, and particularly the Department of Defense, of aiding the enemy - a treasonable offense covered under Article III of the Constitution.

Granted, I received due process. I received charges, was arraigned before a military judge for trial, and eventually acquitted. But, the al-Aulaqi case raises a fundamental question: did the American government, and particularly the same President and Department, have the power to unilaterally determine my guilt of such an offense, and execute me at the will of the pilot of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle?

Until documents held by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel were released after significant political pressure in mid-2013, I could not tell you. And, very likely, I do not believe I could speak intelligently of the Administration's policy on "targeted killing" today either.

There is a problem with this level of secrecy, obfuscation, and classification or protective marking, in that they supposedly protect citizens of their nation; yet, it also breeds a unilateralism that the founders feared, and deliberately tried to prevent when drafting the American Constitution. Now, we have a "disposition matrix," classified military commissions, and foreign intelligence and surveillance courts - modern Star Chamber equivalents.

I am now accepting this award, through my friend, former school peer, and former small business partner, Aaron, for the release of a video and documents that "sparked a worldwide dialogue about the importance of government accountability for human rights abuses," it is becoming increasingly clear to me that the dangers of withholding documents, legal interpretations, and court jurisprudence from the public that pertain to the right to "life, liberty, and property" of a state's citizens is as fundamental and important to protecting against such human rights abuses.

When the public lacks the ability to access what its government is doing, it ceases to be involved in the governing process. There is a distinct difference between citizens, in which people are entitled to rights and privileges protected by and from the state, and subjects, in which people are placed under the absolute authority and control of the state. In essence, this is the difference between tyranny and freedom. To echo a maxim from Milton and Foes Friedman: a society that puts secrecy - in the sense of state secrecy - ahead of transparency and accountability will end up neither secure nor free.

Thank you,

CHELSEA E. MANNING

1 - Federalist Papers, No. 47 (1788).
2 - NewYorkTimes v. United States Department of Justice, 915 F. Supp.2d 5O8, (S.D.N.Y.,2013.01.03).

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Edward Snowden Interview US Corp Media Refused to Air

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bizarre Mormon Video Calls for a War on Masturbation




20 Mormon suggestions to overcome the evils of masturbation: 

1. Pray daily, ask for the gifts of the Spirit, that which will strengthen you against temptation. Pray fervently, even out loud, when the temptations are the strongest. Don't be afraid of ridicule, sinners will pay the price in the afterlife.

2. Exercise daily. Exercise reduces emotional tension and depression and is absolutely basic to the solution of this problem. Stay away from co-ed gyms. Be careful not to do any stretches that might inflame your holy parts.

3. When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell "STOP" to those thoughts as loudly as you can, go out in the hallway if you are at work or school. Recite a prechosen Scripture or sing an inspirational hymn. It is important to turn your thoughts away from the selfish need to indulge.

4. If you ever do give in, don't give up. The worst thing you can do is say "oh well, I screwed up, I guess I'll stop trying". Simply get back on track and don't look back. Until you commit yourself to never do it again you will always be open to temptation. And for Jesus sake never use the word "screw", say "diddly" or "fastener" instead.

5. Change in behavior and attitude is most easily achieved through a changed self-image. Spend time every day imagining yourself strong and in control, easily overcoming tempting situations.Think of a strong person you can admire like Mitt Romney and try to emulate him.

6. Begin to work daily on a self-improvement program. Relate this plan to improving your Church service, to improving your relationships with your family, God and others. Strive to enhance your strengths and talents. However limit explicit talk of touching your private parts to ugly women and other men.

7. Be outgoing and friendly. Force yourself on others and learn to enjoy working on them. Use principles of developing friendships found in books such as How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

8. Be aware of situations that depress you or that cause you to feel lonely, bored, frustrated or discouraged. These emotional states can trigger the desire to masturbate as a way of escape. Plan in advance to counter these low periods through various activities, such as reading a book, visiting an ugly friend, doing something unpleasant like helping the homeless, etc.

10. A careful study will indicate you have had the problem at certain times and under certain conditions. Try and recall, in detail, what your particular times and conditions were. Now that you understand how it happens, plan to break the pattern through counter activities.

11. In the field of psychotherapy there is a very effective technique called aversion therapy. When we associate or think of something very distasteful with something which has been pleasurable, but undesirable, the distasteful thought and feeling will begin to cancel out that which was pleasurable. If you associate something very distasteful with your loss of self-control it will help you to stop the act. For example, if you are tempted to masturbate, try punching yourself in the holy parts. The pain will help associate negative feelings with it.

12. During your bathroom and shower activities leave the bathroom door or shower curtain partly open and use cold water. Keep your magic underwear on, it will save the trouble of having to wash them.

13. Get out of bed immediately in the mornings. Do not lie in bed awake, no matter what time of day it is. Get up and do something. Start each day with an enthusiastic activity. If need be, have a parent or friend wake you with cold water.

14. Keep your bladder empty. Believe it or not, having a full bladder can cause you to feel sexually stimulated. So refrain from drinking water as the trips to the toilet will cause you to handle your holy parts too frequently, which may entice you to indulge. Try to look away or counting while urinating so as not to tempt yourself.

16. Always wear pajamas at night (preferably ones that tie or are difficult to open). Also helpful are oven mitts.

17. Avoid people, situations, pictures or websites that create sexual excitement. Only date unattractive women and avoid men outside the church that like to discuss their dates.

18. It is sometimes helpful to have a physical object to use in overcoming this problem. The Book of Mormon for example, held firmly in hand, even in bed at night has proven helpful in extreme cases. A few sharp whacks to your holy parts and any urge to masturbate will be overcome with godly pain.

19. Set up a reward system for your successes. It does not have to be a big reward. A dollar in a jar for every day you don't masturbate. At the end of the month you can buy something you like. If you don't make it to the end of the month, donate the money in the jar to charity - this one works quite well.

20. Avoid certain foods that smell similar to female holy parts like Tuna or Claims, stick to beef or chicken.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of the Union Speech 2014 Transcript



Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades.

An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.

An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.

A farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history. A rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. A man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone-tired but dreaming big dreams for his son. And in tight-knit communities across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after twelve long years, is finally coming to an end.

Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: it is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.