Scott Horton Interviews Marcy Wheeler

Scott Horton, December 23, 2011

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Blogger Marcy Wheeler discusses the conviction of US citizen Tarek Mehanna on material support of terrorism charges, in part for posting “jihadist” videos online; the SCOTUS ruling (Holder v. HLP) that defines “material support” so broadly a lawyer could be arrested for representing alleged terrorist organizations (except those favored by the government, like MEK); whether provisions in the NDAA authorize the indefinite detention of Americans or not; the legal precedents set by the Yaser Hamdi, Jose Padilla and Anwar Al-Awlaki cases; and the ways presidents can avoid judicial review altogether – should a court ever get reacquainted with the Constitution and stop deferring to Executive power.

MP3 here. (19:17)

Blogger Marcy Wheeler, a.k.a. emptywheel, grew up bi-coastally, starting with every town in New York with an IBM. Then she moved to Poway, California, home of several participants in the Duke Cunningham scandal. Since then, she has lived in Western Massachusetts, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Ann Arbor, and — just recently — Western Michigan.

She got a BA from Amherst College, where she spent much of her time on the rugby pitch. A PhD program in Comparative Literature brought her to Michigan; she got the PhD but decided academics was not her thing. Her research, though, was on a cool journalistic form called the “feuilleton” — a kind of conversational essay that was important to the expansion of modern newspapers in much of the rest of the world. It was pretty good preparation to become a blogger, if a PhD can ever be considered training for blogging.

After leaving academics, Marcy consulted for the auto industry, much of it in Asia. But her contract moved to Asia, along with most of Michigan’s jobs, so she did what anyone else would do. Write a book, and keep blogging. (Oh, and I hear Amazon still has the book for sale.)

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy met her husband Mr. emptywheel playing Ultimate Frisbee, though she retired from the sport several years ago. Marcy, Mr. EW and their dog — McCaffrey the MilleniaLab — live in a loft in a lovely urban hellhole.

22 Responses to “Marcy Wheeler”

  1. Feed a fever, starve a GWoT. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/twp/twp05.htm

    "A direr pestilence or a more ruthless invader could hardly have ravaged the territory of Trier than this inquisition and persecution without bounds: many were the reasons for doubting that all were really guilty. This persecution lasted for several years; and some of those who presided over the administration of justice gloried in the multitude of the stakes, at each of which a human being had been given to the flames.

    "At last, though the flames were still unsated, the people grew impoverished, rules were made and enforced restricting the fees and costs of examinations and examiners, and suddenly, as when in war funds fail, the zeal of the persecutors died out."

  2. TERRORISM FOR DUMMIES

    AXIOM 1
    Terrorism is to rain terror down upon the most valuable property, so that vengeance and righteous indignation properly executed may effect an attitude adjustment on those rich and powerful who use brutal imperialism to plunder weaker nation’s property.

    AXIOM 2
    Terrorism is no threat to any military or government, for it is crime, not an act or war, and of so small an impact it should not increase even slightly the size of any military or government.

    AXIOM 3
    Terrorism is no threat to the lower half of society, as they own no property and are considered by terrorists as zero value targets. Actually negative value targets, as the goal of terrorism is to win the hearts and minds of all those who own no property.

    AXIOM 4
    Terrorism strikes bloody fear in the hearts and minds of the 51% dictators of society, surely stresses to the very guts of their soul the 51% most wealthy, 51% most aggressive and 51% most educated in society who in their greed own all such plundered and blood stained property.

  3. PURPOSE OF LIFE — TO PROVE THE GOOD IN IT?

    persnipoles
    "At last, though the flames were still unsated… suddenly,
    as when in war funds fail, the zeal of the persecutors died out."

    Moral of above story, the Dark Ages established that people have inner goodness and are inherently good, while all religions and external standards for morality are inherently evil.

    So am I also evil, just because my freedom of speech asserts that without a moral standard to identify criminals, most people will remain greedy and be forever criminal?

    “He who speaks the truth
    breaks his own neck.”
    Hess

  4. "Afghan civilians killed for no reason”

    “US-led foreign forces have killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan without any reasons, a fact-finding team appointed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai has revealed.”

    “There was this girl in a tree when…” http://www.presstv.ir/detail/217509.html

  5. I can see how someone might infer that moral –if there's something eternal or cyclical about GWoTs & GWoWs, 'beating them' might mean finally beating the authority that facilitates 'em(?)…or beating it over and over again(?). More useful(?): there's a never-ending supply of labels that can substitute for real crimes*, so 'beating' it would require widespread mental discipline. When that discipline breaks down, or when that discipline is no longer appreciated as such and personally cultivated**, people burn 'till the money runs out***. Wallah, GWoT! I suspect we agree.

    *and a bottomless pit of harmless behaviors to criminalize … **or that's who's burning (e.g., repression in academy) … ***a 'problem' which fiat money would seem to 'solve'

  6. GWoTs — TRANSLATION

    German officials in the 1500’s who were glorified for killing witches, that has a modern day parallel, US troops receiving a, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

  7. Religion — like Politics and Economics, or any other system of Faith or Belief — doesn't become EVIL until it presumes to be entitled to Force into compliance and acceptance others who do not consciously and willingly accept and comply with what the Advocates of that Religious, Political, or Economic system in question advocate.

    Thus, NO, John Ellis…. rest asssured…. you are not evil. At least not Yet. Should you ever get the guns to back up your proselytizng and be able to inflict your Vision and Version of Reality, Truth, and The Good, then you will be not merely Evil, but eligible for Termination With Extreme Prejudice. :{)

  8. jgmoebus
    “Religion… doesn't become EVIL until it presumes
    to be entitled to Force into compliance”

    Evil is a crime in any fair any just society, as it is a physical act done to physical people, namely, to be enriched upon the misery of another.

    Of course evil is a religious word, the meaning of which can be the reverse in one religion compared to another, take for example the early Christian church compared to the Christian community of today. For in AD 381 the first Bible was published, by the Emperor of Rome, which cause Christians to stop being pacifists.

    MODERN CHRISTIAN — GOOD TO BEAR SWARD FOR GOVERNMENT
    “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves… This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.” Romans 13:1-6 NIV

  9. EARLY CHRISTIAN — EVIL TO KILL FOR GOD OR GOVERNMENT
    “Every man – government with its deadly force he must be in submission to. Never for an absolute is there force that kills if not under God. The reason being by God it is allowed to prove the corruption of it… Because of this then also taxes pay to government authorities who rule by deadly force. For the Lord allows it to exist to establish something, for their terrorism in this way continues without end.” Romans 13:1-6 Inspired Greek manuscript

  10. 1. JE: “Evil is a crime in any fair any just society, as it is a physical act done to physical people, namely, to be enriched upon the misery of another.”

    Just curious…. is “evil” only something that is done BY humans only TO other humans? Or, can “enriching oneself upon the misery of another” be done by humans to non-humans: ie, to animals, or plants (or old-growth forests), or eco-systems, or earth forms (ie, rivers or oceans, etcetcetc etal).

    Just curious. Trying to establish the perimeters of the discourse.

  11. 2. JE: "Of course evil is a religious word, the meaning of which can be the reverse in one religion compared to another, ….."

    Evil is not merely a “religious word,” the definition of which changes depending upon the religion (or the version/brand of that religion in question). In fact, the self-serving, bastardizing, re-defining of EVIL in the hands of religion (or the “religious”) is responsible for more Evil (ie, to use your term,”enrichment upon the misery of another”) than any political or economic system ever perpetrated or perpetuated by Man upon Man (and Woman) (to say nothing of the rest of Life on Earth).

    The Ultimate Manifestation of Evil is when the Religious hook up with the Economists to give the Politicians a "New" Vision, the latest iteration of which is one of "Hope and Change We Can Believe In," ie, the same old New World Order, just put in Little Black Sambo garb.

    c3d24R

  12. I like tÖff33 thinkin. If 1 out of 10 is as wise a that there’s hope for earth, divest off the system & educate fellows. By the same concept as pyramid game within 33th level everything has changed.

    http://www.nrk.no/nett-tv/klipp/705535/

  13. END OF ALL GOOD — DESTRUCTION OF ALL EXISTANCE

    jgmoebus
    “The Ultimate Manifestation of Evil is when the Religious hook up
    with the Economists to give the Politicians a "New" Vision, the latest
    iteration of which is one of "Hope and Change We Can Believe In"

    Actually, all our actions are either good or evil, for there is nothing in between. For evil is anything a human may do that when carried to its ultimate conclusion would cause the destruction of life, the end of all good and lead to a termination of all existence.

    For if the truth be known, the purpose of this world is to prove that equality causes more evil then good. For equality is mutual gratification, equals giving only to those in their class, equals giving equal gifts and expecting equal in return. For government forced charity, with no freewill giving to those in a lower class, that is nothing but gratification and evil most heartless, cruel and criminal. For love is a giving action that produces a grateful response, a thing impossible with mutual gratification.

  14. John Ellis’ TERRORISM FOR DUMMIES for Dumb-Asses

    With all (sort of) due respect (sort of), John Ellis’ TERRORISM FOR DUMMIES and his self-proclaimed “Axioms” betrays an at-best, abysmal, and at-worst, abysmal ignorance of Terrorism. Accordingly, as a public service to antiWar.com readers, commentators, and camp followers, please permit me to present: John Ellis’ TERRORISM FOR DUMMIES (or TFD) for Dumb-Asses.

    (NOTE: A “Dumb-Ass” is somebody who requires at least a little bit of logical, rational, and common-sensical thought and rhetoric before she accepts ANY Axiom (ie, “…a declaration that is not proven or demonstrated but is considered to be self-evident….a statement that is assumed to be true. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other…truths.) ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axiom ).

  15. 1. JE’s TFD AXIOM 1: Terrorism is to rain terror down upon the most valuable property, so that vengeance and righteous indignation properly executed may effect an attitude adjustment on those rich and powerful who use brutal imperialism to plunder weaker nation’s property.

    >>>>>The overwhelming majority of acts of “terrorism” involve actions by individuals killing a small number of other, usually innocent by-stander-type individuals, and damaging, if at all, a minimal amount of “valuable” property owned by the Ruling Elite or its henchmen. As a simple example, how many “terrorist” attacks in Baghdad happened within The Green Zone, and how many happened out in the marketplace? And how many big-shots have ever been killed or ever lost any substantial property and wealth in any so-called “terror” event?

    As a better and more obvious example, how much of “the most valuable property” was lost on 9.11? How many of the Ruling Elite lost any property? Or were killed?

  16. 2. JE’s TFD AXIOM 2 : Terrorism is no threat to any military or government, for it is crime, not an act or war, and of so small an impact it should not increase even slightly the size of any military or government.

    >>>>>Given the undeniable fact that there has NEVER been an act of terrorism anywhere on this planet that has NOT resulted in an increase in the size, scope, power, authority, ruthlessness, and recklessness of any military or government, this so-called “axiom” is self-evidently false.

    An accurate, honest investigation of history will expose that many, if not most acts of so-called “terrorism” have in fact been perpetrated, ultimately, by militaries and governments against their own people for the express and specific purpose of increasing the size, scope, power, and authority of the perpetrating military and/or government.

  17. 3. JE’s TFD AXIOM 3: Terrorism is no threat to the lower half of society, as they own no property and are considered by terrorists as zero value targets. Actually negative value targets, as the goal of terrorism is to win the hearts and minds of all those who own no property.

    The goal and purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. It is to terrorize the target population into doing exactly what the terrorists want it to do: primarily, to go along with whatever the terrorists declare must happen if the target population does not want to suffer any further acts of terrorism. That’s why 9.11 was such a successful “terror event.” It accomplished exactly that: ie, the target population of 9.11 has sat back and allowed the government of the United States to do whatever it declares and demands MUST be done to prevent another 9.11, regardless of the cost, regardless of the Truth. …tbc …

  18. (continued from above) One need not be a property owner to be terrorized by terrorism; one need only to be a human being who wishes not to be subjected to further acts of terror, to lose that which she has, be it even nothing more humble than her very own life, or the life of those she loves and cares for.

  19. 4. JE’s AXIOM 4: Terrorism strikes bloody fear in the hearts and minds of the 51% dictators of society, surely stresses to the very guts of their soul the 51% most wealthy, 51% most aggressive and 51% most educated in society who in their greed own all such plundered and blood stained property.

    >>>>>How many of Ellis’ “dictators of society… the most wealthy, …aggressive, …and educated in (any) society” that has been hit by terrorist action have ACTUALLY suffered, have actually been casualties in a terrorist event? How many of the Ruling Elite of any nation that has suffered from “terrorism” have lost life, limb, property, wealth, influence, immunity, or freedom?

    “Terrorism” strikes no fear in the heart of any member of the Ruling Elite for the simple reason that terrorism is one of The Oligarchy’s principal tools for domination and, indeed and in Deed, survival.

  20. Of all the victims of every terrorist action that has ever occured, how many casulties were suffered by The Ruling Elite? How many casulties were suffered by the rest of us? To proclaim terrorism as "no threat" to "the lower half of society" (whatever that is… i thought the prevailing numbers were 1% – 99%, not 51% – 49%) is to either ignore or to be willfully ignorant of reality.

  21. Given your declaration that there is "nothing in between" what is "either good or evil," you never answered my Question about "Evil":

    Is “evil” only something that is done BY humans only TO other humans? Or, can “enriching oneself upon the misery of another” be done by humans to non-humans: ie, to animals, or plants (or old-growth forests), or eco-systems, or earth forms (ie, rivers or oceans, etcetcetc etal).

  22. If, as you say, evil is "anything a human may do that when carried to its ultimate conclusion would cause the destruction of life, the end of all good and lead to a termination of all existence," then, by this definition, because existence is still existing and has not yet been terminated, EVIL is something that has not yet occurred on this planet or in this universe?

    Is that what you are really saying?

    i won't even begin to begin to try to try to unscramble your edifice regarding the "purpose of this world…."

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