Following the late January guilty verdicts in the espionage trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, more proof emerged – if any more were needed – that many elite mainstream journalists abhor whistleblowers and think they should go to prison when they divulge classified information.

One would think that a business that has relied on confidential informants for some of the major investigative stories of this and the previous century would applaud whistleblowers who risk everything on behalf of the people’s right to know what its government is doing in the shadows. But looking back at cases over the last five years, we see the unedifying spectacle of some of the nation’s best-known print and broadcast journalists venting their outrage at whistleblowers’ disclosures and expressing their preference for being kept in the dark by the government in the name of national security.

Most recently, Walter Pincus of The Washington Post, and an opinion writer for The Economist both weighed in critically against Sterling after his conviction. Pincus also strongly defended the integrity of the Operation Merlin program – details of which Sterling was accused of leaking to New York Times reporter James Risen – and contended that Risen gave an erroneous portrayal of portions of the program in his 2006 book “State of War.” (More about these later.)

Sterling, who has never admitted leaking any classified information, nevertheless with his conviction joined the ranks of those whistleblowers and conduits for whistleblowers who have come under fire from prominent journalists for disclosing classified information to the press – e.g., Wikileaks, Julian Assange, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, and others.

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To debunk the distortions of warmongers is not to defend tyranny.


U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Nuland distributes bread to protesters next to U.S. Ambassador Pyatt at Independence square in Kiev

How should libertarians assess the crisis in Ukraine? Some would have us believe that a true commitment to liberty entails (1) glorifying the “Euromaidan revolution” and the government it installed in Kiev, (2) welcoming, excusing, or studiously ignoring US involvement with that revolution and government, and (3) hysterically demonizing Vladimir Putin and his administration for Russia’s involvement in the affair. Since Ron Paul refuses to follow this formula or to remain silent on the issue, these “NATO-tarians,” as Justin Raimondo refers to them, deride him as an anti-freedom, anti-American, shill for the Kremlin.

Dr. Paul takes it all in stride of course, having endured the same kind of smears and dishonest rhetorical tricks his entire career. As he surely knows, the price of being a principled anti-interventionist is eternal patience. Still, it must be frustrating. After all he has done to teach Americans about the evils of empire and the bitter fruits of intervention, there are still legions of self-styled libertarians whose non-interventionism seems to go little further than admitting that the Iraq War was “a mistake,” and who portray opposition to US hostility against foreign governments as outright support for those governments.

“Yes, the Iraq War was clearly a mistake, but we have to confront Putin; we can’t let Iran ‘get nukes;’ we’ve got to save the Yazidis on the mountain; we must crush ISIS, et cetera, et cetera. What are you, a stooge of the Czar/Ayatollah/Caliph?”

Some of these same libertarians supported Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, and presumably laughed along with the rest of us when the neocons tried to paint him as “pro-Saddam” for opposing the Iraq War and for debunking the lies and distortions that were used to sell it. Yet, today they do not hesitate to tar Dr. Paul as a “confused Pro-Putin libertarian” over his efforts to oppose US/NATO interventions in Ukraine and against Russia. Such tar has been extruded particularly profusely by an eastern-European-heavy faction of Students for Liberty which might be dubbed “Students for Collective Security.”

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A list of must-reads compiled by Scott Horton for the anniversary of the start of the Iraq War

On Wednesday morning (3/18/15), Google AdSense suspended ad delivery to Antiwar.com demanding that we remove our 11-year-old pages that showed the abuse by US soldiers of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib. We publicized this and got a bit of coverage.

Yesterday (3/19/15) Google contacted us and told us that they had given in and would be restoring ad service to Antiwar.com shortly.

However, this morning they contacted us demanding that we remove this article.

Antiwar.com has no intention of allowing Google to dictate our content. We are looking into alternate sources of advertising and will not likely be working with Google AdSense in the future.

Don’t let them get away with it! We need your help today, and you can do that in two ways:

Make a donation to help us recover the lost revenue. We run this web site on a shoestring, and the money we fully expected to bring in from Google ads now puts a big hole our budget. We simply can’t afford to lose this income – but we’re not taking down any of our content. No way, no how! Please make your tax-deductible donation today.

Contact Google ads and give them a piece of your mind. Tell them that you don’t appreciate their efforts on behalf of the Washington censors and demand that they reinstate us immediately.
Google Inc.
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Thank you to all our supporters.

You can confirm that Antiwar.com is being blocked by going to Adsenseblockchecker.

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– because we have a page showing the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Update: After channels of communication were opened as a result of this article on Gawker, Google contacted us and said they would be restoring our ads.

However, Friday morning I received another demand to remove content from our site. Google has decided this page must be removed.

We have no intention of letting Google dictate our editorial policies.

Original post:

On 3/18/15 we received a note from Google Adsense informing us that all ads for our site had been disabled. Why? Because of this page showing the horrific abuses committed by U.S. troops in Iraq at Abu Ghraib.

This page has been up for 11 years. During all that time Google Adsense has been running ads on our site – but as Washington gets ready to re-invade Iraq, and in bombing, killing, and abusing more civilians, they suddenly decide that their "anti-violence" policy, which prohibits "disturbing material," prohibits any depiction of violence committed by the U.S. government and paid for with your tax dollars. This page is the third-most-visited page in our history, getting over 2 million page views since it was posted.

To say this is an utter outrage would be an understatement: it is quite simply the kind of situation one might expect to encounter in an authoritarian country where state-owned or state-connected companies routinely censor material that displeases the government.

Is Google now an arm of the U.S. State Department?

This is a big hit on our funding. You can bet the boys in Washington don’t like us and would just love to shut us down.

Don’t let them get away with it! We need your help today, and you can do that in two ways:

  1. Make a donation to help us recover the lost revenue. We run this web site on a shoestring, and the money we fully expected to bring in from Google ads now puts a big hole our budget. We simply can’t afford to lose this income – but we’re not taking down the Abu Ghraib page. No way, no how! Please make your tax-deductible donation today.
  2. Contact Google ads and give them a piece of your mind. Tell them that you don’t appreciate their efforts on behalf of the Washington censors and demand that they reinstate us immediately.
    Google Inc.
    1600 Amphitheater Parkway
    Mountain View, CA 94043
    Telephone: 650-253-0000
    You can also interact with Google at their forum

Thank you to all our supporters.

You can confirm that Antiwar.com is being blocked by going to Adsenseblockchecker.

Continue

Everyone needs a hobby. For most reporters, it seems to be freaking out about anything even vaguely ISIS-seeming.

That’s where CaliphateBook comes in, which is supposed Facebook, but for ISIS. Cute, right?

The site itself started as an incomplete CMS site, then crashed, (attacked by Anonymous, according to some) and now merely posts a single English-language message denying ties to ISIS.

The registrar information from the site claims the site administrator is in “Mosul, Islamic State.” That anyone can put anything they want in their registrar information seems to be lost on most. While it’s impossible to conclusively disprove that this site is even a thing, the fact that it was registered at GoDaddy certainly points toward it being a hoax.