Tag Archive: Fort Meade


Patrick Semansky/Associated Press


Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md., in May.



FORT MEADE, Md. — The court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, whose secret release of a vast archive of military and diplomatic materials put WikiLeaks into an international spotlight, opened here Monday with dueling portrayals of a traitor who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers and of a principled protester motivated by a desire to help society who carefully selected which documents to release.


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Larry Downing/Reuters

Protesters outside the main gate at Fort Meade, Md., on Monday.



The contrast between the government’s description of Private Manning and his lawyer’s underscored the oddity at the heart of the trial, which is expected to last as long as 12 weeks: There is no doubt that he did most of what he is accused of doing, and the crucial issue is how those actions should be understood.

In February, Private Manning pleaded guilty to nine lesser versions of the charges he is facing — and one full one — while confessing in detail to releasing the trove of documents for which he could be sentenced to up to 20 years.

But his plea was not part of any deal and prosecutors are going to trial because they hope to convict him, based on essentially the same facts, of 20 more serious offenses — including espionage and aiding the enemy — that could result in a life sentence.

Since his arrest three years ago, Private Manning, 25, has been embraced as a whistle-blower and hero by many on the political left, including Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers four decades ago. On Monday, dozens of supporters demonstrated in the rain outside the base’s main entrance, many holding placards with his picture.

His case has inspired social media activism that has helped raise $1.25 million for his defense from more than 20,000 people, according to the Bradley Manning Support Network. Supporters have planned rallies this week in three dozen cities, including sites in the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and South Korea.

Inside the courtroom on Monday, as Private Manning sat quietly, David Coombs, his defense lawyer, told the judge that his client had been “young, naïve, but good-intentioned” and that he had tried to ensure that the roughly 700,000 documents he released would not cause harm.

“He was selective,” Mr. Coombs said. “He had access to literally hundreds of millions of documents as an all-source analyst, and these were the documents that he released. And he released these documents because he was hoping to make the world a better place.”

But a prosecutor, Capt. Joe Morrow, said that Private Manning was no ordinary leaker who made a particular document public, but rather someone who grabbed classified databases wholesale and sent them to a place where he knew adversaries like Al Qaeda could get to them.

“This is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents and dumped them onto the Internet, into the hands of the enemy — material he knew, based on his training, would put the lives of fellow soldiers at risk,” Captain Morrow said.

The court-martial comes amid a focus on the Obama administration’s aggressive record on leaks. The administration has overseen an unprecedented six leak-related prosecutions, and last month it emerged that the Justice Department had secretly obtained calling records for reporters with The Associated Press and for a Fox News reporter; the department also portrayed the Fox reporter as having violated the Espionage Act as part of an application for a search warrant seeking his personal e-mails.

In his 58-minute opening, Captain Morrow cited logs of searches and downloads from Private Manning’s classified work computer, deleted files from his personal laptop including chat logs he contended were between Private Manning and a person he said was the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and other such records to show the pace and scale of his downloads.

Most of the assertions in Captain Morrow’s portrayal dovetailed with Private Manning’s confession in February, but there remain a few factual disputes. Among them is that he has pleaded not guilty to leaking to WikiLeaks some 74,000 e-mail addresses for troops in Iraq, but Captain Morrow said that list had been downloaded on a computer Private Manning had used.

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Bradley Manning on trial: LIVE UPDATES


Published time: June 03, 2013 13:08
Edited time: June 04, 2013 01:13

Signs lay on the ground at rally was held in support for PFC Bradley Manning on June 1, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland (Lexey Swall / Getty Images / AFP)

Signs lay on the ground at rally was held in support for PFC Bradley Manning on June 1, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland (Lexey Swall / Getty Images / AFP)

US Army Private Bradley Manning faces trial more than three years after his arrest for transmitting 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks. The US is pursuing further accusations of aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.


20:19 GMT:


19:35 GMT: The court begins to file back in to hear the second witness testimony.

19:25 GMT: Special Agent Tom Smith has finished testifying at the Bradley Manning court-martial. Discussion focused around Smith’s arrival at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hammer, Iraq, and going through Manning’s bunk. Smith said that he photographed it, and went through his possessions, collecting two SIPRnet computers and a CD from 2007 marked with the words ‘SECRET’ and ‘Reuters FOIA req.’ It is widely thought to be the ‘Collateral Damage’ Apache helicopter video, which showed the gunning down of civilians and a Reuters photographer.  Prosecutors will call the second witness shortly.

19:15 GMT: Defense started cross-examining Smith.

18:38 GMT: Glitches appear to be resolved as people return to the courtroom.

18:30 GMT: Brief recess in Manning court-martial due to technical difficulties in the courtroom. The court transcriber was experiencing audio problems, after which Judge Lind said “we need a verbatim.”

18:30 GMT: The first witness for prosecution has been describing his job. Special Agent Tom Smith describes himself as a “senior enlisted case agent and evidence custodian,” and reports to have investigated some 250 cases, having been the lead agent on around 150 of them.

Early discussion has been focusing on storage of hard drives and computers, with prosecution stating “cameras, paper bags, we gathered tape measures, paper, pen and out computers so that we’d be able to work once we got down there.”

18:03 GMT: USG said that that they have in their possession forensic evidence collected from Manning’s computer, and will place a heavy focus on it. Strong reference has been made to Manning’s arrogance

17:56 GMT: Prosecution alleged that Manning sought notoriety and fame, saying he was driven by arrogance.

17:55 GMT: Bradley Manning court-martial about to be back in session. Three of the prosecution’s witnesses are to the stand over the afternoon.

17:47 GMT: Cornel West and Chris Hedges both spent the morning at Ft Meade attending Bradley Manning’s court-martial.

17:47 GMT: RT’s website is suffering some technical difficulties.

17:25 GMT: Manning’s trial is in recess for an hour for lunch, after which the three witnesses will be called.

17:10 GMT:

16:40 GMT: Defense reiterated that Manning was unsetteled by what he saw, and that “he believed that if the American public saw it they too would be troubled,” going on to add that the country doesn’t ‘always’ do the right thing.

16: 38 GMT: Manning defense attorney David Coombs has just wrapped up brief opening statements.
Coombs said Manning was ‘selective’ with the documents he released, saying that “he had access to literally hundreds of millions of documents,” stating that he released them “because he was hoping to make the world a better place.”

16:17 GMT: The court is back in session to hear defense opening statements. High profile defense attorney David Coombs is expected to make a 40-45 minute opening statement.

16:05 GMT:
The prosecutors stated: “Manning knew the danger of unauthorized disclosure to an organization like Wikileaks and he ignored those dangers,” going on to claim that bin Laden requested and received the Afghan War Logs attributed to Pfc. Bradley Manning and published by WikiLeaks.

16:00 GMT:
Prosecutors on Manning: “This is a case about what happens when arrogance meets access to sensitive information.” Prosecutors opened and closed initial statements with quotes from Manning to Adrian Lamo made during May 2010 online chats.

15:50 GMT:
Nineteen major media organizations have joined together to request the Military District of Washington to “issue two press passes to allow professional court stenographers access to the media room,” in order to ensure that transcriptions of official public parts of the court martial are available to aid the public in assessing the court’s process and decisions. It also suggests that the trial should be broadcast in an “appropriately-sized overflow theater” to allow journalists to effectively report on the trial – over 280 were refused credentials.

15:40 GMT: The prosecution’s Captain Joe Morrow has declared that Bradley Manning dumped classified documents on to the Internet and into enemy hands, according to Associated Press. They also alleged that Manning helped to edit Collateral Murder.

15: 25 GMT: Prosecutor’s opening statement declares that classified information Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks fell into enemy hands.

14:45 GMT: The court reconvenes. Following prosecution and defense statements, the order of the aforementioned three witnesses will be Special Agent Tom Smith, then Special Agent Toni Graham, followed by Manning’s former roommate Special Agent Eric Baker.

14:35 GMT: The court remains undecided over whether the slide show will be used.

14:30 GMT: Manning judge asks, “What are the procedures that have been put in place for public access to this trial?” to a few chuckles from the media.

14:24 GMT: The trial has been arranged to take place between the hours of 9:30 am and 6pm local time, every day this week. Time has been put aside for 12 weeks. Space for viewers is expected to remain a problem.


See  More  Updates  and  Watch Video Here


Court-martial trial for Bradley Manning over WikiLeaks starts Monday

Published time: June 03, 2013 04:09
Edited time: June 03, 2013 13:59

The United States Army private responsible for the biggest intelligence leak in US history finally begins trial in a military court on Monday, after more than three years of pretrial detainment.

The court-martial of Private first class Bradley Manning began in Ft. Meade, Maryland this week and is slated to run throughout the summer. Manning, 25, could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of aiding the enemy, the most serious of the more than 20 counts he’s been charged with by Army prosecutors.

US authorities arrested Manning in May 2010 and accused him of sending hundreds of thousands of sensitive government files to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Earlier this year Manning admitted to sharing the documents, including State Department diplomatic cables and military war logs, and pleaded guilty to a number of lesser counts carrying a maximum sentence of only 20 years. Prosecutors say those files benefited the operations of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, however, and are asking for life in prison.

Dozens of witnesses will be called during the trial, including a handful of military personnel whose testimonies will be conducted behind closed doors to protect the sensitive nature pertaining to Manning’s alleged crimes. Pretrial hearings in the case have been conducted off and on at Ft. Meade since late 2011, but Manning himself has only had the opportunity to address the court at length on a few occasions, including in February when he testified to leaking the documents.


Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (Reuters)

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (Reuters)

Speaking of the Iraq and Afghan war logs that were leaked by Manning, he said at the hearing, “I believe and still believe that these tables are two of the most significant documents of our time.”


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Shiftfrequency – Worldwide Protests Ahead Of Bradley Manning’s Monday Trial – 3 June 2013

Protesters march to call for the release of jailed U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, a central figure in the Wikileaks case, outside the gates at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 1, 2013 (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst) 

Demonstrations are taking place all over the world in support of Bradley Manning, the US army private whistleblower who leaked intelligence to WikiLeaks.

Manning’s trail will start Monday at the Fort Meade military base in Baltimore, some three years after having been accused of the largest leak of classified materials in the history of the United States. Among other things, he has been charged with ‘aiding the enemy’ – which could potentially land him in jail with a life sentence without parole.

Already the stenographers who were meant to create daily transcripts of the trial have been denied press passes and will not now be at the trial.

The number of protesters at Fort Meade was over 3000 by Saturday with many of them shouting ‘We are all Bradley Manning!’ And globally, people are holding events in over 24 cities on four continents over the course of the weekend. Aside from American cities, people as far as Toronto, Berlin, Paris and even South Korea’s Seoul have joined in a chorus of support for Manning.

A number of high profile people have come out in support of Manning including Daniel Ellsberg, a former Department of Defense employee who leaked Pentagon papers during the Vietnam War. Ellsberg has said that Manning’s trail is one of the “defining issues of the 21st century” and believes that the “transparency and accountability of government are at stake”.


A protester leads chants as marchers call for the release of jailed U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, a central figure in the Wikileaks case, outside the gates at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 1, 2013 (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)


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WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning gives evidence for first time

    Bradley Manning

    Bradley Manning steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into the courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

    After 917 days in military captivity, the world finally heard on Thursday from Bradley Manning, the army soldier accused of being the source of the largest leak of government secrets in US history.

    In a dramatic opening half-hour of testimony on the third day of the pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade military base in Maryland, Manning spoke at length for the first time about the period after his arrest in May 2010.

    Manning detailed the trauma he experienced at the hands of the US military while he was incarcerated for having allegedly handed hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

    His defence lawyer, David Coombs, drew a life-sized representation on the courtroom floor of the 6ft by 8ft cell in which Manning was held at the Quantico base in Virginia after he was brought to the US.

    Manning seemed initially nervous but relaxed into his subject. He described a breakdown he had in Kuwait in the days after his arrest. “I was in a pretty stressed situation,” Manning said. “I had no idea what was going on with anything. I was getting very little information.

    “I began to really deteriorate. I was anxious all the time about not knowing anything, days blend into night, night into days. Everything became more insular.”

    Manning described how his guards stopped taking him out of his cell, preventing any interaction with other detainees. “I didn’t have a good understanding of the reasons. Someone tried to explain to me but I was a mess. I was starting to fall apart.”

    He claimed that two or three times a day his guards would give him a “shakedown”. This involved taking him out the cell, then tearing apart everything he had in the cell.

    Coombs asked Manning whether he had any recollection of an incident on 30 June 2010, when he had lost control of himself to the extent that doctors had to intervene. “He was screaming, babbling, banging his head against the cell,” said Coombs.

    Manning replied: “I knew I had just fallen apart, everything is foggy and hazy at that point.”

    The soldier said he thought he would die in Kuwait. “I remember thinking I’m going to die. I thought I was going to die in a cage,” he told the hearing.


    Read Full Article Here

    Politics and Legislation

    The Hill: Obama shifts healthcare defense

    By Sam Baker

    The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.


    The Hill: Republican bill would enroll seniors in same health plans as lawmakers

    By Julian Pecquet

    A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress.


    Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

    By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

    The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.


    Tape A Cop, Face A Felony Charge

    Well, now the news is that in Chicago the police will continue to
    enforce, arrest, and prosecute citizens under this law as long as
    it remains on the books.

    Coming to Chicago in May is an upcoming NATO summit and it is
    expected to bring with it huge numbers felonious camera carrying
    members of the public, and you can bet the police will have their
    own cameras trained on them.

    Supreme Court rules out television cameras for healthcare arguments

    By Sam Baker

    The Supreme Court on Friday rejected calls to allow television cameras into its chambers during arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law.??

    The court said it would release same-day audio recordings of the arguments, scheduled for March 26-28. It cited the “extraordinary public interest” in the case, which could lead to President Obama’s signature domestic achievement being struck down in the midst of the campaign season.


    GOP Super PAC Men Seek to Overturn Donation Limits

    Michael Beckel, News Report:

    McCutcheon is a 44-year-old general contractor in Alabama. He’s the owner, founder and president of Coalmont Electrical Development. He’s a member of the Republican Party who admits he may have a bit of a libertarian streak. And he’s also the treasurer of a super PAC called the “Conservative Action Fund.” That’s a group that spent more than $43,000 opposing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Alabama, although it has mostly targeted Democrats with its attacks.


    Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

    For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public – or even others in Congress – knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators – Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado – went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”



    UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

    Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch said the country was more likely than not to be downgraded.


    The Global Economy is Now More Vulnerable to Oil Prices than Ever

    This paper examines the impact of oil price changes on global economic growth. Unlike some recent studies, this paper finds that oil price rises have had significant negative impacts on world economic growth. A time-series analysis of the data from 1971 to 2010 finds that an increase in real oil price by 10 dollars is associated with a reduction of world economic growth rate by between 0.4 and 1% in the following year. As oil prices approach historical highs, the global economy may be vulnerable to another oil price shock.


    Gold “Vulnerable” as U.S. Treasury Bond Market Sell-Off Worsens

    The WHOLESALE-MARKET gold price twice rose within a few cents of $1650 per ounce in London Thursday morning, adding 0.9% from yesterday’s fresh 8-week low as industrial commodities ticked lower again.

    The price of silver bullion rallied 2.3% to $32.40 per ounce, but remained over 5% down for the week so far, being “very much influenced” by the gold price according to one Swiss precious-metals dealer.


    Europe’s Economic Crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium Following Greece

    It isn’t over until it is over. Of course, we are referring to Europe and its version of 1984. We find it profound that the bankers, politicians and bureaucrats of Europe can do what they have done with a straight face. Investor had a haircut shoved down their throats and the ECB, the European Central Bank and the IMF were exempt.


    Retail sales suggest consumers shrugging off gas prices

    Dave Prokupek doesn’t like the high price of gasoline either. But business is good enough at Smashburger that the chain where Prokupek is CEO opened its 150th restaurant Wednesday, and plans to open up to 75 this year, even though eating out is theoretically the first thing gas-strapped consumers would trim.


    S&P 500 ends best week since December with quiet day

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs.


    Jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month.


    Secret “Occult Economy” Coming Out of the Shadows?

    During December 2011 and January 2012, I wrote two articles dealing with the announcement of two different lawsuits being filed in U.S. District Courts regarding astronomical amounts of money in the forms of U.S. Bonds, Federal Reserve Notes, foreign government-issued bonds, and other financial instruments.


    Appropriators warn legislative agencies of further funding cuts

    By Debbie Siegelbaum

    Members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on The Legislative Branch are warning congressional agencies that the current atmosphere of economic austerity will likely not abate any time soon.


    CBO finds Obama budget adds $3.5T to deficits

    By Erik Wasson

    President Obama’s 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

    It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the non-partisan office.

    The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the White House claims last month that the Obama budget would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.?


    Fourth straight monthly fall in FDI

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank in February from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall, while investment from Europe witnessed a sharp decline, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

    Experts were not optimistic about the inflow of foreign investment into China as the European debt crisis continues and domestic economic growth slows down.


    The View From Muppetland

    Veena Trehan, Op-Ed:

    Banks relentless search for profits has racked up immense “collateral damage”. Investment banks have injured individuals and institutions of every stripe. Institutions include the country Greece whose books Goldman cooked; Jefferson County, Alabama, and many European cities devastated by risky derivatives; colleges like the University of Virginia and Harvard who have held cut-rate sales on private equity; and pension funds and others who sued for fraudulent trades.


    Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

    Cora Currier, News Analysis:

    “Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks. According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government’s loan modification program.”


    Wars and Rumors of War

    Azerbaijan arrests 22 of their own citizens for allegedly being Iranian spies

    The Azerbaijani government has announced the arrest of 22 of their own citizens who they claim are Iranian spies.

    The tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have only increased over recent months and this latest announcement is, without a doubt, not going to make anything less heated.


    GOP senator dismisses ‘CliffsNotes’ explanation for killing citizens abroad

    By Jordy Yager

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday demanded that the White House hand over documents that detail the administration’s legal case for killing U.S. citizens abroad who are believed to be terrorist threats.


    Obama: Window for diplomacy in Iran shrinking

    US President says administration will do “everything we can” for diplomatic solution, but urges Tehran to negotiate.


    U.K’s Cameron: No justification for Israeli attack on Iran

    In interview to NBC’s Brian Williams, British Prime Minister says Iran could maintain a civilian nuclear project if it did away with the military aspects of its program.


    US admits Israel is arming and training terrorist groups to create terrorism

    Uploaded by 91177info on Feb 9, 2012

    So much for this War on Terror! It is actually War OF Terror. This is proof THEY are creating terror directly and indirectly. This was shown live on US television !!

    Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
    The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

    The attacks, which have  U.S. Embassy in Tehran since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

    U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

    Currency Wars: Iran’s banks to be blocked from global banking system

    Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.


    78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria

    Strong Opposition Also Seen to Arming Rebels



    Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

    Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance.



    Occupy-Monsanto to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits as They Protest a Genetically Modified Congress

    News Report: The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes. The GCU will hold a banner that reads, “Congress is Genetically Modified,” as they circulate on Capitol Hill sidewalks. This day of action is part of a larger international call to ‘Occupy Monsanto’ taking place all over the globe including Spain, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and at least 28 cities throughout the US.


    The American Spring: A Time for Occupy to Blossom

    Kevin Zeese, News Report:

    The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy.


    Cyber Space

    House Dems demand meeting with Apple over privacy policy for iPhone, iPad apps

    By Brendan Sasso

    Two prominent House Democrats demanded a briefing with Apple over its privacy policies for mobile device applications in a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Thursday.


    LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

    The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud… Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.” Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.



    4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor

    Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.


    Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear

    Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.


    UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

    As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.



    The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

    Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The “Obama flag” features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be “just a piece of cloth”, but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the “Obama flag” after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney about all of this.

    Needless to say, a lot of veterans had steam coming out of their ears when they heard about the Obama flag. Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said that he was absolutely furious when he saw what they had done to the American flag….



    It’s a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft

    Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

    Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.


    McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending

    By Carlo Munoz

    The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.


    Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

    By Mike Lillis

    Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.


    Norway Military Plane Lost During Exercise
    C-130 presumed crashed; 5 missing

    AP) – A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing today during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said. The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was about 50 miles west of Kiruna, a Norwegian military spokesman said.


    Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

    A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has “hopelessly” messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.


    State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

    Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” was published last fall.


    CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

    More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” – that is, wired devices – at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.” All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community.


    HAZMAT situation: ‘Non-emergency significant event’ declared at Los Alamos –DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property

    With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a “non-emergency significant event” by the laboratory… Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.


    Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

    A whistleblower’s claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.


    The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

    The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.


    ‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

    Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 14, 2012

    Syria’s turmoil has been laid bare on our TV screens for more than a year, but some networks are being accused of affecting rather than reflecting the conflict. Maria Finoshina reports now, on how there’s more to the coverage on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV channel, than meets the eye.