Press TV called early this morning seeking comments on an article about Hillary Clinton’s promise to “topple” the top 1%. That topic was too good to resist; here’s the link to their page and file of my monologue, and here are some outtakes:
*Hillary Clinton is perhaps the most corrupt Secretary of State in American history. The Clinton Foundation was getting massive windfalls from foreign governments and entities at the same time that Hillary was doing favors for them.
* For Hillary Clinton to base her presidential campaign on “toppling the 1%” is like her husband campaigning in favor of sexual abstinence. Hillary is apparently basing her presidential hopes on the unlimited gullibility of American voters.
* The real 1% issue is how the Federal Reserve has rigged the economic game to crucify the middle class with zero interest rates. Folks who relied on their savings have been devastated at the same time the Federal Reserve artificially inflates stock values to benefit the richest Americans.
* Instead of fixing this injustice, Hillary wants politicians to have even more power to dictate who gets what. But Hillary’s entire career proves that politicians cannot be trusted with arbitrary power.
My favorite coinages from the interview: Will referring to the CCA-run Idaho State Correctional Center as a “Stygian pit of abuse and despair” and Ron referring to CPS’s abduction of marijuana activist Shona Banda’s son as “Child Forfeiture.”
Former CIA Director David Petraeus just got sentenced to two years of probation for leaking highly sensitive information to his mistress and then lying to the FBI about it.
Petraeus had asked to enter the court room via a backdoor, so he would not be photographed, but he was forced to enter the courthouse in the normal fashion.
As happens with big-wigs, Petraeus’ lawyer cited the 34 letters of support from other big-wigs sent on his behalf. Petraeus admitted his crimes and apologized to those he hurt.
The only “surprise” of the hearing is that, rather than getting slapped with a $40,000 fine, Judge David Keesler more than doubled the fine to send a message.
According to SpeakerPedia, Petraeus makes upwards of $132,750 for each speech.
In other words, this fine, meant to be especially harsh so as to send a message about the gravity of Petraeus’ crimes, is about 75% of one speaker’s fee for Petraeus.
Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler writes the “Right to Know” column for ExposeFacts. She is best known for providing in-depth analysis of legal documents related to “war on terrorism” programs and civil liberties. Wheeler blogs at emptywheel.net and publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy. Wheeler won the 2009 Hillman Award for blog.
AIEF was incorporated in 1988 to promote a more “balanced and realistic” understanding of American interests in the Near East and within the general public and among policy-makers, academics and journalists. Although it promised the IRS in its application for tax-exempt status that “All research produced and published will be made available to the general public” AIEF has never complied. Its relatively new, single-page website contains no information on education programs.
Only on Legistorm is AIEF’s main accomplishment readily apparent: sending members of Congress and their families on all-expense paid trips to Israel – over 1,000 since the year 2001.
That no AIEF briefing books are publicly available should come as no surprise to the observant. AIEF is not functionally separate from AIPAC, a lobby for the Israeli government ever since it split off from the defunct American Zionist Council in 1962. AIEF is housed in the very same offices as AIPAC , with 66% of its board of directors drawn from AIPAC. (PDF) On annual tax charitable returns, AIEF (which raises $45 million in yearly tax-deductible donations) claims to have no employees. It doesn’t need any since according to materials accompanying the briefing book AIPAC employees like the “Grassroots and Missions Director” and “Israel Seminars Assistant” accompany travelers to Israel.
On Thursday, David Petraeus will be sentenced in North Carolina. If all goes as his lawyers and the government have arranged, he will get a year of probation for leaking some of this country’s most sensitive secrets to his mistress.
On May 11 (the date has been postponed from this week), Jeffrey Sterling will be sentenced for – the jury decided – leaking details of the Merlin program, a CIA effort to deal flawed nuclear blueprints to Iran. In a sentencing memorandum, the government argues Sterling should be sentenced for 235 to 293 months – upwards of 19 years – for exposing CIA’s Merlin (the government argues he exposed a program that might have thwarted Iran’s nuclear ambitions, ignoring the evidence they themselves submitted showing it was poorly managed).
The same DOJ that recommends Petraeus should go virtually unpunished for sharing far more sensitive information with Paula Broadwell says that Sterling should go to prison for decades to set an example.
In addition, imposing a substantial prison sentence in this case is necessary to promote respect for the law and afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(A) & (a)(2)(B). The importance of these factors cannot be overstated. A substantial sentence in this case would send an appropriate and much needed message to all persons entrusted with the handling of classified information, i.e., that intentional breaches of the laws governing the safeguarding of national defense information will be pursued aggressively, and those who violate the law in this manner will be tried, convicted, and punished accordingly.
Take this inoculation against warmongering. Think of Madeline Albright’s “price was worth it” quote, the US blockade of Iran, and the Israeli blockade of Gaza, then watch the autobiography-based Studio Ghibli anime Grave of the Fireflies in which a 5 year old girl slowly dies of malnutrition after her mother is napalmed to death by Curtis LeMay and company during our “Good War.”