Jan 232016
 

FBI CHILD PORN SCANDAL

by Bob Podolsky

Introduction

A breaking scandal reported by USA TODAY reveals that the FBI ran a “dark web” child pornography website for 2 weeks last year, after taking over the server that hosted it from its original felonious owner. The ostensible purpose of this was to entrap the site’s users in order to charge them with possession of illegal downloaded content.

Child pornography is a highly charged emotional subject; so one can reasonably expect that the public reaction to this revelation will be the object of a great deal of irrational hyperbole promoted by the mainstream media and exploited by everyone with a political axe to grind.

Accordingly, it is important to acquire a dispassionate fact-based understanding of the issue, in the interest of minimizing unethical responses to the revelations of the USA TODAY (USAT) article. Hence this article.

Common Assumptions

Opinions concerning the USAT article and its implications will vary widely because its readers have widely varying assumptions about how the world works. The assumptions listed below illustrate this point, because some of them are true, some are not, and some are sometimes true and sometimes not.

  1. The making of child pornography invariably involves the sexual interaction of a child with an adult.

  2. Sexual interaction of an adult with a child may be physically damaging to the child.

  3. Sexual interaction of an adult with a child is emotionally damaging to the child.

  4. The child may or may not know, at the time, that what the adult is doing with them is emotionally damaging.

  5. The producers and directors of child pornography are “evil-doers”.

  6. The camera operators involved are “evil-doers”.

  7. Those who process the pornographic imagery are “evil-doers”.

  8. The adult porn actors are “evil-doers”.

  9. The parents of the children involved are “evil-doers”.

  10. Those who watch or observe such imagery are “evil-doers”.

  11. Those who distribute the imagery by various means are “evil- doers”.

  12. The children who are victims of child pornographers are further damaged whenever their images are observed.

  13. It is a proper role of government to identify, find, capture, and punish everyone involved in the child pornography industry.

  14. Laws against the production and distribution of child pornography protect the child victims by discouraging the public from buying the pornographic products.

  15. Punishing the customers of child porn reduces the number of customers.

  16. Reducing the number of customers, in turn, reduces the number of children being abused and exploited.

  17. Running a child porn website to ensnare child porn buyers and viewers is a legitimate strategy for protecting child porn victims from those who exploit them.

Child pornography is certainly a symptom of a serious societal problem, because the victims are seriously damaged…AND if one blindly accepts the above assumptions, the damage can be greatly amplified. In order to get to the bottom of the matter, we need to understand the ethical criteria for what constitutes an “evil-doer” and for the allocation of responsibility to those acting.

The Ethics of Responsibility

After thousands of years of philosophical discussion and debate, the most rationally and scientifically defensible definition of an ethical act is:

An act is ethical if it increases creativity, awareness, love, and/or objective truth for at least one person, including the person acting, without limiting or diminishing any of these resources for anyone.

Rationally we know that the responsibility for an act, be it unethical or not, is divided among all the people who took part in the causal chain of events leading up to the act. However, the one most responsible is the one who had the chronologically last opportunity to prevent the act from occurring. For this reason, despite “legal” opinions to the contrary, the hired assassin is more culpable than the individual who hired him (or her).

In the chain of events leading up to the production of a child porno photograph or video, it is the adult who engages the child sexually that is ultimately most responsible for the harm done to the child victim. The parents who fail to protect their child from such exploitation are arguably the next most responsible. Others involved in the child porn production are also acting unethically, though their participation in support of the crime is less unethical than the actual perpetrators – the adult actor who has sex with the child and the parent who fails to prevent the abuse. These two participants are those from whom the child actually needs protection.

The Objective View: Identifying the Hype

The above definition of an ethical act has a number of logical consequences that yield a dozen important principles that are very useful in applying the ethics to everyday decision-making. Chief among these is the principle that unethical means can never achieve ethical ends. Recognizing that this is so leads to the conclusion that Assumption #17 Running a child porn website to ensnare child porn buyers and viewers is a legitimate strategy for protecting child porn victims from those who exploit them, is FALSE. Therefore, assuming that selling child pornography is unethical, an ethical agency would never resort to doing so…for any reason.

Assumptions 14 through 16 are also false. We know this because they justify the prohibition of child porn, and we know from long experience that prohibition doesn’t diminish the demand for an illegal product, nor its availability. Alcohol, gambling, prostitution and drugs come to mind as obvious examples of prohibition failure.

Assumption 13, It is a proper role of government to identify, find, capture, and punish everyone involved in the child pornography industry. is also FALSE, because punishment of wrongdoers has proven totally ineffectual in curbing crime – especially when the crime is a form of prohibition violation. As an extreme example, consider the fact that drugs are widely available in prisons…where those convicted of selling drugs outside of prisons are routinely sent.

Consider the fact that every crime, as defined in law dictionaries, has a victim – someone who has been physically harmed or whose property rights have been violated. For this reason, Assumptions 10, 11, and 12 are also FALSE. The only victims of child pornography are the children, who are unaffected by strangers seeing their pictures. As much revulsion as most of us feel imagining an adult masturbating in front of a video screen depicting children being molested, the fact remains that the child sex actor shown on the screen is not aware of the event and is not harmed by it. Nor is it a proper function of government to protect us from such revulsion.

Assumptions 1 through 9 are also true, however the first four are qualitatively different than the next 5. The first four serve to simply define the crime that takes place in the production of child pornography…which is ultimately where the crime occurs. Assumptions 5 through 7 indicate the responsibility of the producers of the pornography; but 8 and 9 correctly identify the real culprits – the adult actors and the permissive or absent parents.

Conclusions

Back in the 60’s, in the Vietnam war era, Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote and performed a beautiful song called the the “Universal Soldier”, in which she aptly pointed out that the crime of war could not exist without the willingness of men (most of them practically children themselves) to travel half-way around the world to shoot strangers who had never wronged them.

Today the trigger-pulling soldiers, the bomb-dropping bombardiers, and the rocket-launching drone pilots bear the ultimate responsibility for the international murders we call war.

In similar fashion, it is the child-molesting porno-film actors and the victims’ parents, who abdicate their parental duties, who bear the lion’s share of responsibility for the harm done to children who are thus sexually exploited. While the porn producers and distributors bear some of the responsibility for the harm done to the child victims, the producers don’t usually molest the children personally, and the product distributor issues are just another form of prohibition. And we all know how well ‘The Drug War’ – “works”.

For the creation of an ethical society, free of such evils, it is necessary for a dramatic change to occur in human culture…a change that paves the way for our institutions to make consistently ethical decisions. Fortunately, the knowledge of how this will be accomplished already exists, and more and more people are catching on. For details read Ethics Law and Government and Ethical Organizational Development.

Feb 192014
 

Megan Rice Peace Activist

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Megan Rice, An 84-year-old nun was sentenced by the BORG agent to nearly three years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons complex and defacing a bunker holding bomb-grade uranium, a demonstration that exposed serious security flaws at the Tennessee plant.

Two other peace activists who broke into the facility with Megan Rice were sentenced to more than five years in prison, in part because they had much longer criminal histories of mostly non-violent civil disobedience.

Although officials said there was never any danger of the protesters reaching materials that could be detonated or made into a dirty bomb, the break-in raised questions about safekeeping at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. The facility holds the nation’s primary supply of bomb-grade uranium and was known as the ‘‘Fort Knox of uranium.’’

After the break-in, the complex had to be shut down, security forces were re-trained and contractors were replaced.

In her closing statement, Rice asked the judge to sentence her to life in prison, even though sentencing guidelines called for about six years.

‘‘Please have no leniency with me,’’ Megan Rice said. ‘‘To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest gift you could give me.’’

She said the U.S. government was spending too much money on weapons and the military, and she told the judge about the many letters of support she had received, including one from youth in Afghanistan.

‘‘This is the next generation and it is for these people that we’re willing to give our lives,’’ she said.

Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed (bohr-CHEE’ OH’-bed) and Michael Walli all said God was using them to raise awareness about nuclear weapons and they viewed the success of their break-in as a miracle.

Their attorneys asked the judge to sentence them to time they had already served, about nine months, because of their record of good works throughout their lives.

Rice is a sister in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She became a nun when she was 18 and served for 40 years as a missionary in western Africa teaching science.

Walli’s attorney said the activist served two tours in Vietnam before returning to the U.S. and dedicating his life to peace and helping the poor. Walli said he had no remorse about the break-in and would do it again.

‘‘I was acting upon my God-given obligations as a follower of Jesus Christ,’’ he told U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar.

The judge said he was concerned the demonstrators showed no remorse and he wanted their punishment to be a deterrent for other activists. He was also openly skeptical about whether the protesters caused any real harm and challenged prosecutors to prove it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Theodore said they had destroyed the ‘‘mystique’’ of the ‘‘Fort Knox of uranium.’’

On July 28, 2012, the three activists cut through three fences before reaching a $548 million storage bunker. They hung banners, strung crime-scene tape and hammered off a small chunk of the fortress-like Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, or HEUMF, inside the most secure part of complex.

They painted messages such as, ‘‘The fruit of justice is peace,’’ and splashed baby bottles of human blood on the bunker wall.

‘‘The reason for the baby bottles was to represent that the blood of children is spilled by these weapons,’’ Boertje-Obed, 58, a house painter from Duluth, Minn., said at trial.

Although the protesters set off alarms, they were able to spend more than two hours inside the restricted area before they were caught.

When security finally arrived, guards found the three activists singing and offering to break bread with them. The protesters reportedly also offered to share a Bible, candles and white roses with the guards.

The Department of Energy’s inspector general wrote a scathing report on the security failures that allowed the activists to reach the bunker, and the security contractor was later fired.

Some government officials praised the activists for exposing the facility’s weaknesses. But prosecutors declined to show leniency, instead pursing serious felony charges.

Prosecutors argued the intrusion was a serious security breach that continued to disrupt operations at the Y-12 complex even months later.

Attorneys for Rice and Walli, 65, both of Washington, D.C., said the protesters were engaged in a symbolic act meant to bring attention to America’s stockpile of nuclear weapons, which they view as both immoral and illegal under international law.

Boertje-Obed’s wife, Michele Naar-Obed, said before the hearing that she would figure out a way to deal with the sentence, whatever it was. Her real concern was that her husband’s actions and imprisonment were not in vain.Continued…

Feb 192014
 

You are living in Prison

There are many things that we only understand through it’s effects and not by the actual substance itself.  Electricity is one, Air is another.  You don’t see see, hear, taste electricity or air.  We can usually only see the effects of the things they do.  We see the wind blowing the trees and we see electricity turn on lights and motors running.  So how would you know your living in a prison when that is how you have lived all your life.  The Following article shows the effects of the Prison Planet the BORG have placed us into.  if it walks and quacks like a duck it must be a duck.  The BORG spends TRILLIONS continually telling us that we are FREE when nothing could be further from the truth.  Lucifer is the father of lies, and this lie is just par for the course.  The only difference is the level of oppression!  Many Freeworlders, with zero personal knowledge in this area, might feel uncomfortable learning this and not agree with this statement, however those that have had experienced life on the inside would be much more likely to agree.

Consider how the American Media continually bombards the population with propaganda that “We” Americans live in the Freest and best country (prison) or Human Farming, as Stefan Molyneux would say, yet the US has more people in cages in total and per capita than any other country (prison) in the world.

How Prisons work

Americans are not typically aware of how their federal and state prison systems work. What we think we know, we learned from watching television. When I took my first walk through at FCI (Federal Correctional Institution) El Reno Oklahoma as a new employee, I was surprised at how non-Hollywood real prison life is. Frankly, all I knew about prison life was what I saw on television or at the movies. Not even close.

As I got closer to retiring from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), it began to dawn on me that the security practices we used in the prison system were being implemented outside those walls. “Free worlders” is prison slang for the non-incarcerated who reside in the “free world.”  In this article I am going to compare a number of practices used in federal prisons to those being used today in the “free world.”

You might find that our country may be one giant correctional institution.

Cameras & Movement Tracking

(Source: Joern Haufe / Getty Images)

(Source: Joern Haufe / Getty Images)

In federal prisons, cameras are everywhere. The reason, of course, is to help maintain security and keep track of prisoners. Inmates know that if they break any rules or policies, they can be readily identified if the event occurred in view of a camera. The cameras remind the inmates that they do not have any freedom or privacy, and that they live under total control.

Unfortunately, the “free world” is now subject to the widespread use of video surveillance and movement tracking.  This goes beyond cameras, which have become virtually ubiquitous now.  The federal government has been handing out grants to create sophisticated surveillance grids in cities across the country.

These surveillance grids frequently include license plate readers — some with the ability to log 1,200 license plates per hour, logging timestamps and location data — giving the government a way to track people and analyze their movement patterns.  Some cities post license plate readers to log every single vehicle that enters or leaves its boundaries.   Many cities have turned their police cars into roving data collectors by outfitting them with mobile license plate scanners.   A man from California discovered that he had been photographed 112 times over the course of a couple years — from just one police cruiser mounted with a license plate scanner!  The local databases of movement data are integrated with the federal government through its fusion centers located all over the country.

The government also has the ability to use facial-recognition software in conjunction with its surveillance grid to instantly identify individuals by comparing their photograph to biometric databases created using BMV photographs.  Facial recognition cameras can be set up to accurately identify a person against a database of millions of images in less than one second.  The government can then potentially log their locations and using the data for any purpose it wants.

As the usage of these technologies grows, the “authorities” will practically know where you are at any time.  The British have the greatest level of electronic surveillance in the world.  Their movements are said to be recorded 3,000 times a week.   The United States is not that far behind.  In some ways, with the numerous NSA spying programs, the USA leads the world in destroying personal privacy.  Today’s youngest generation will grow up never knowing what privacy is.

Drug Testing

(Source: Maritime Med)

(Source: Maritime Med)

The federal prison inmate drug abuse monitoring program has been going on for decades since the capability was invented.  At any time, a prisoner can be tested for intoxicants using urine, sweat, saliva, and hair samples taken by force.  After years of perfecting the process on inmates, it was introduced to the American public.

On September 15, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12564, establishing the goal of a Drug-Free Federal Workplace. Additionally, in 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finalized a new rule that allows federal agencies to use sweat, saliva and hair in federal drug testing programs that only tested urine.  Since then, many private businesses and corporations had to begin testing their employees in order to keep or obtain federal contracts. Under federal guidelines for employee testing, if a person takes medicine that was not prescribed to him, he has committed a federal drug abuse offense and may be fired.  Children in public schools are also subjected to involuntary random drug testing.

The inmates were the guinea pigs for a program now being regularly employed on Americans.  This process conditions Americans to be accustomed to regularly submitting bodily fluid samples to the government, lessening their resistance to data collection and intrusion in other areas.

Metal Detection & Weapon Confiscation

(Source: J. Miles Cary / Knox News)

(Source: J. Miles Cary / Knox News)

In prison, detection and confiscation of weapons is a necessity.  Prisoners cannot be allowed the freedom to possess objects that could potentially be used to cause harm to others.  The security of the facility relies on the prisoners remaining disarmed.

With that said, not even prisons can be guaranteed to be weapon free.  Inmates are clever, and can fashion any piece of metal into a makeshift weapon.  They are also prolific smugglers.  To mitigate this risk, prisoners and visitors are put through metal detector checkpoints to keep them disarmed.  Any metallic contraband is confiscated.

Treating prisoners this way is one thing.  In a prison setting, security trumps liberty.  The liberties of the inmates have been curtailed through due process on an individual basis.  But these prison tactics have crept out into the “free world.”  Now, virtually all government buildings use metal detectors to screen incoming visitors and even their own personnel.  This establishes a climate of fear of weapons and a false sense of security among those within such “weapon free zones.”  If a prison can’t proclaim to be weapon free, how can any place outside of prison make such arrogant and naive claims?

Crowd Control

(Source: Nigel Parry)

(Source: Nigel Parry)

Helmets, face shields, batons, knee guards, tear gas, wedge formations, line formations, half steps, full steps, pinning tactics — all of these phrases are associated with prison crowd control. As I look at today’s police and how they attempt crowd control it reminds me of my days in federal prison as the Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) leader. The HNT worked closely with the Special Operations and Response Team (SORT) on both monthly local training and annual training at Fort Gruber in Muskogee Oklahoma. SORT membership is selective and highly practiced.  The teams must be familiar with hand signals and verbal commands, as well as certain maneuvers that are often referred to as “stomp and drag.”  These tactics are designed to help quell disturbances — the FBOP word for “riot” — by forcing inmates in the direction that SORT wants them to move.  This training takes place monthly for SORT members and annually for the rest of the FBOP staff.

The next time you see police engaged in crowd control on television you are watching what was perfected by prisons official through years of practice and real life action.  I participated in five disturbances.  After observing law enforcement agencies dress up in intimidating riot suits and mimic the behavior of SORT, it is clear that police are using prison tactics to intimidate and control civilian protesters.

Checkpoints & Random Pat Searches

(Source: Springfield News-Sun)

(Source: Springfield News-Sun)

In federal prison, all inmates are subject to an immediate pat search by any staff member, anywhere, at any time. If the inmate refuses, he or she is “arrested,” which entails being cuffed and escorted to administrative segregation — otherwise known as the jail within the jail.  The pat search is used to detect contraband.   All inmates returning from industrial work programs in medium and low security institutions are pat searched and metal detected before being allowed to return to their dorm.  Additionally, inmates in medium and low security institutions are pat searched when they leave food service or the “chow hall.”  In high and maximum security institutions, inmates are pat searched every time they move.  Movement in these institutions is highly controlled.

Compare this to police roadblocks and checkpoints used to perform warrantless searches for contraband.  When a person is stopped by city, county, or state police, they are visually inspected, asked questions concerning their activities, and may be asked to submit to a vehicle or personal search.  At federal roadblocks, a subject can be directed to a secondary search area at the discretion of the observing officer.  There, the person can be searched for contraband regardless of any objections, just like in a federal prison. There are dozens of federal roadblocks on roads in the southwestern United States, many of them permanent and located up to 100 miles away from the border.

It isn’t just drivers being put through such intrusion.  There is also the matter of “stop and frisk” searches which are taking place in several areas of the country.  These intrusive stops involve the stopping of a pedestrian for any reason, followed by being subjected to a police officer’s questioning and a warrantless search of their pockets, purses, bags, and property — just like a prisoner.

Mail Surveillance

(Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

(Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Every piece of mail sent to an inmate in federal prison is opened, searched, and may be read depending on the dictates from the institutions intelligence office.  In medium and high security institutions, all mail is delivered to the unit officer unsealed so that it can be read before being delivered to the mail room.  Inmate mail  is controlled and may be copied if it is determined that there is possible criminal activity being discussed either blatantly or in code.  If something is detected it may be rejected and returned to the inmate if it violates policy.   Two examples of “rejected correspondence” are an inmate’s attempt to conduct unapproved business, or writing another inmate without permission.

Recent revelations have made it clear that Americans’ mail is being surveilled as well. The New York Times reported on how the United States Postal Service uses a “Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program” to create a permanent record of who is corresponding with each other via snail mail.  The program — secretly established in 2001 and not revealed for over a decade — assists the government in implementing blanket surveillance of every single resident of the United States.  Each piece of physical mail is photographed and stored in a database.  Law enforcement has unfettered access to this data without even the requirement of obtaining a warrant.  About 160 billion pieces of mail end up being recorded per year.

Telephone Monitoring

Is the NSA listening to your phone calls?

Is the NSA listening to your phone calls?

For decades the FBOP has possessed the capability to monitor outgoing telephone calls. However, their system required staff to sit and listen to the calls which took staff away from direct supervision of inmates. In the early 2000s, a new system was put in place that allowed any and every phone in an institution to be immediately monitored and the call recorded.

Just like in a federal prison, the NSA has the capability to track and monitor anyone’s phone conversations without recourse.  The agency can monitor text messages.  They can collect locations, times, and a log of every phone number that has been dialed by any phone in the United States.  The government can set up fake base stations to intercept phone calls.  They can hack the applications on a person’s smart phone and spy on their usage.  The NSA can even crack cellphone encryption.

Unlike the inmates who have no choice in the matter of telephone monitoring, the American people have been told about the spying but have decided not to do anything about it.

Lockdowns

National Guard soldiers lock down city streets in Boston. April 2013.  (Source: Jesse Costa / WBUR)

National Guard soldiers lock down city streets in Boston. April 2013. (Source: Jesse Costa / WBUR)

When a correctional institution has its daily operations disturbed, often times it results in a lockdown. Lockdowns usually occur after a disturbance, weather concerns, inmate escapes, rumors of a disturbance about to occur, rumored escape attempts, and institution wide searches are some reasons to lockdown.

The most notable “free world” lockdown in recent memory occurred in Boston, Massachusetts. This lockdown mirrors a federal prison lockdown that is called when the entire institution is to be searched. That is exactly what occurred in Boston. In April 2013 the Boston suburb of Watertown was locked down to the point where no one could enter or leave the town, while 9,000 law enforcement personnel and military took part in searching just about every backpack, vehicle, and home that they could get away with.

Some of the searches were voluntary, but many were not.  As SWAT teams performed systematic house-to-house searches, videos were captured of families being ripped from their home without a warrant so the police could help themselves to the inside of their homes.  What resulted had the look of prisoners being removed from their cells by a SORT unit.  Watch for yourself:

The Watertown lockdown was practice for future declarations of martial law. Those tactics had been used and perfected in our prison systems for years. Now the “free world” is getting the prison treatment with little objection from the public.  The lockdown was not necessary and served mostly to measure the public’s reaction and to establish a sense of fear and intimidation. I think it worked.

Snitching

Homeland Security propaganda poster. (Source: DHS.gov)

Homeland Security propaganda poster. (Source: DHS.gov)

The last thing I want to mention is what I call the “Moscow Law.” While growing up during the cold war, I was taught that in the USSR, people were expected to watch their neighbors, strangers, and even family and friends, and report any suspicious activity to the local police. We in America have that law. Read it below. Did you know it exists?

 Title 18 U.S.C. § 4:  Misprision of felony: Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

In prison, there are “snitches” everywhere.  Believe me, they are not just the inmates, they are also staff.  Programs like Infragard are attempting to do the same thing in the “free world” as it is in the imprisoned world.  Once these programs get started, they are almost impossible to stop.  What are we paying our law enforcement to do?  Protect us or detect us?  You decide.

Policy and program statements from the Bureau of Prisons are available at: http://www.bop.gov/

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Dec 202013
 

America’s Roads are now a Money Stream / Surveillance Grid

Our roads are slowly but surely being transformed into a revenue generating control grid.  And this is just yet another example of how government feels the need to constantly watch, monitor, track and regulate everything that we do.

America’s Roads Money Stream Surveillance Grid

by Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse Blog
May 10, 2013

What do speed traps, parking tickets, toll roads, speed cameras and red light cameras all have in common?  They are all major revenue sources for state and local governments.  All over America today there are state and local governments that are drowning in debt.

Many have chosen to use “traffic enforcement” as a way to raise desperately needed revenue.  According to the National Motorist Association, issuing speeding tickets raises somewhere between 4.5 billion and 6 billion dollars in the United States each year.  And the average price of a speeding ticket just keeps going up.

Today, the national average is about $150, but in many jurisdictions it is far higher.  For example, more than 16 million traffic tickets are issued in the state of California each year, and the average fine is approximately $250.  If you are wealthy that may not be much of a problem, but if you are a family that is barely scraping by every month that can be a major financial setback.  Meanwhile, America’s roads are also being systematically transformed into a surveillance grid.

The number of cameras watching our roads is absolutely exploding, and automated license plate readers are capturing hundreds of millions of data points on all of us.  As you drive down the highway, a police vehicle coming up behind you can instantly read your license plate and pull up a whole host of information about you.  This happened to me a few years ago.

I had pulled on to a very crowded highway in Virginia and within less than a minute a cop car had scanned me and was pulling me over because one of my stickers had expired.  But these automated license plate readers are being used for far more than just traffic enforcement now.

For example, officials in Washington D.C. are now using automated license plate readers to track the movements of every single vehicle that enters the city.  They know when you enter Washington, and they know when you leave.  So where is all of this headed?  Do we really want to live in a “Big Brother” society where the government constantly tracks all of our movements?

Back in the old days, the highways of America were great examples to the rest of the world of the tremendous liberties and freedoms that we enjoyed.  Americans loved to hop into their vehicles and take a drive.  But now government is sucking all of the fun out of driving.  The control freak bureaucrats that dominate our political system have figured out that giant piles of money can be raised by turning our roads into revenue raising tools.

At this point things have gotten so bad that even some police officers are admitting what is going on.  Just check out what a few of them told Car and Driver

The president of a state police union isn’t pretending it doesn’t happen. James Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan union, says, “When elected officials say, ‘We need more money,’ they can’t look to the department of public works to raise revenues, so where do they find it? Police departments.

“A lot of police chiefs will tell you the goal is to have nobody speeding through their community, but heaven forbid if it should actually happen—they’d be out of money,” Tignanelli says.

Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan, says the role of law enforcement has changed over the years. “When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues,” he says. “That’s just the reality nowadays.”

And as the economy has gone downhill, many jurisdictions have massively jacked up traffic fines.  According to the Los Angeles Times, various traffic fines in the Los Angeles area are far higher than they once were…

If you’re caught running a red light in Los Angeles, be prepared to shell out $446, up from $271 eight years ago. Make a rolling right turn at a stoplight and the ticket comes to $381 — more than double what it cost in 2008.

And of course the cost to the driver does not end with the ticket.  Your car insurance will likely go up as well.  In fact, one study found that a driver that just gets one speeding ticket will pay an additional 20 percent for car insurance for the next three to six years.

That can add up to a lot of money.

But politicians just keep wanting to find a way to issue even more tickets.  One of the hottest trends all over the country is to automate the issuing of traffic tickets by installing cameras.  According to USA Today, this has become a huge growth industry…

Sales of the cameras have nearly quadrupled since companies moved to digital and wireless technology in the mid-2000s. The number of local contracts for cameras was up to 689 last year, from 155 in 2005, according to industry data complied by market leader American Traffic Solutions (ATS).

And these automated traffic cameras can raise an enormous amount of cash.  Just check out what has been happening in Washington D.C.…

The speeding and traffic light cameras have become more lucrative as their number in the District has increased. Combined, they issued tickets valued at $24.4 million in 2007. That figure more than doubled by 2010, to $50.9 million, and it reached $84.9 million in the last fiscal year.

But as annoying as those traffic cameras are, automated license plate readers are perhaps even more insidious.

The amount of data that these automated license plate readers are capturing is astounding.  The following is from a recent article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when that data is put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And, according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial datapoints (location + time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifier.

Our license plates have essentially become “our papers” which the government can read whenever it would like without even asking for our permission.

According to L.A. Weekly, local police agencies in the L.A. area have captured more than 160 million data points on private citizens using these automated license plate readers…

L.A. Weekly has learned that more than two dozen law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County are using hundreds of these “automatic license plate recognition” devices (LPRs) — units about the size of a paperback book, usually mounted atop police cruisers — to devour data on every car that catches their electronic eye.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department are two of the biggest gatherers of automatic license plate recognition information. Local police agencies have logged more than 160 million data points — a massive database of the movements of millions of drivers in Southern California.

Each data point represents a car and its exact whereabouts at a given time. Police have already conducted, on average, some 22 scans for every one of the 7,014,131 vehicles registered in L.A. County.

As the use of these devices becomes more widespread and they become even more sophisticated, eventually the government will know where almost all of us are and what almost all of us are doing at all times.

The following is a brief except from a Washington Post article that detailed how automated license plate readers are now being used to create a “dragnet” that will track the movements of all vehicles from the time that they enter Washington D.C. to the time that they leave

More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers. But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.

With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the District, which has more than one plate-reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. Police in the Washington suburbs have dozens of them as well, and local agencies plan to add many more in coming months, creating a comprehensive dragnet that will include all the approaches into the District.

This is just the beginning.

For now, as long as you carefully obey all traffic laws and you don’t work in a major city like Washington D.C., the changes that are happening probably do not affect you too much.

But the key is to see where all of this is going.  Our roads are slowly but surely being transformed into a revenue generating control grid.  And this is just yet another example of how government feels the need to constantly watch, monitor, track and regulate everything that we do.

Does anyone else feel like the life is slowly being choked out of our society, or am I alone?

Nov 082013
 

BORG Agents: Armed, Brutal and Cowardly

On Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California, two of that city’s “finest” BORG Agents cowered behind a car door and gunned down a thirteen-year-old boy carrying a toy rifle. This little boy, Andy Lopez Cruz, was walking down the street with a fake plastic rifle when the two “heroes” boldly got out of their police cruiser, hid behind the passenger side door, and called out to him. When Andy reacted like any human being would and turned to face them, our brave boys in blue shot a child carrying a toy, because they were scared.

Physical courage is hardly the highest virtue, nor one linked particularly closely with any other measure of moral worth. But physical courage is a virtue all the same, and one sadly lacking today in our cowardly police departments, who hide behind a comical array of war machines and gun down anyone of any age or species who inspires the slightest tremor of fear in their faint hearts. Family pets, the mentally disabled, the elderly — seemingly anything that can move can terrify our brave police officers, so overwhelming them with abject, presumably pants-wetting fear that they draw their weapons and open fire willy-nilly on whatever has their teeth chattering in terror.

In July in Hawthorne, California, a BORG police officer was so overcome by fear at the sight of a little doggy less than a quarter his size that he had no choice but to fire five shots into the animal in front of its owner. Of course one can hardly blame the officer in question, as he only had three of his colleagues there with him and could not possibly have prevailed against the ferocious animal, which reached nearly to the officer’s waist when on its back legs. Letting the owner calm the animal down was also plainly not an option, as the owner was a dangerous villain guilty of a heinous crime — annoying the police while black.

In January in Maryland, a 26-year-old with Down’s syndrome and a reported IQ of 40 was murdered by not one, not two, but three off-duty BORG police officers because he dared try to see a movie twice without buying a second ticket. The possibility that such an offense might not be worth taking a man’s life over never occurred to our fearless officers, who were put in mortal fear of their lives by his anger at being asked to leave that they were forced to tackle him and “subdue” him until he asphyxiated. Down’s syndrome has such a classic, easy-to-spot presentation that even lay people can readily diagnose it in newborns, but it seems these heroic officers had never watched “Life Goes On.” And who can blame them for their fear? Their victim stood all of 5’6” and weighed nearly 300 pounds, presumably all muscle.

In June, back in California, BORG police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department thought they smelled the trademark smell of someone enjoying an illegal chemical and burst into the home of an eighty-year-old man who, startled in the night by strangers in his home, drew a gun and was immediately killed by a fusillade fired by the heroic officers in question, who boldly executed an old man in his bed. Why these officers could not explain who they were or back out of the room to avoid the old man’s fire is unknown, but one thing is certain — we are all safer now that this eighty-year-old man cannot brandish a pistol at strangers who burst into his bedroom in the middle of the night.

Discussions of police abuses usually turn back to policies and procedures that should be changed and the need for increased accountability. These things are important, but also important is addressing the unbelievable degree of cowardice we tolerate in our police officers today. If you’re so afraid of danger that you’re a danger to those around you, you have no business in any kind of dangerous job and should consider going to work in some nice comfy office somewhere. Physical courage isn’t the greatest virtue, but it is a virtue all the same.

Nov 022013
 

The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis

By Bill Moyers
This is the full length 90 min. version of Bill Moyer’s 1987 scathing critique of the criminal subterfuge carried out by the Executive Branch of the United States Government.
Host Bill Moyers exposes the inner workings of the secret government. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected, top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives. Where is Bill Moyers Now?

Nov 012013
 

Sonoma Sheriff’s Deputy MURDERS 13 year oldSonoma Sheriff’s Deputy murders 13 year old

by  • 

Less than ten seconds had passed between the time Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus reported seeing 13 year old Andy Lopez with a toy gun, and the time he fired 8 shots into the junior high school student. The incident happened so fast, that the deputy he was training hadn’t even exited the vehicle before 7 of the 8 bullets had torn through the child’s body, killing him on the spot. They hadn’t even seen the boys face, before the last breaths he would ever take, coughed up the blood that his heart would soon cease to pump through his lifeless young body.

A witness says he heard Gelhaus yell “PUT THE GUN DOWN!” twice, but has not reported hearing the deputy identify himself. Gelhaus says he “can’t remember” if he identified himself before he ended the young boys life. It was the third death at the hands of police in the area, in less than 24 hours.

deputy erick gelhaus

deputy erick gelhaus murderer

For all of you good people out there who aren’t familiar with liars and criminals, “I don’t remember” is how criminals avoid answering questions. Nobody can prove whether or not you remember something, so you can never be charged with perjury. The deputy would probably prefer to lie and say “Of course I identified myself”, but he knows there were witnesses, and his partner that day was a rookie, who he cannot trust to lie. Though a number of Sonoma County Sheriff’s vehicles are equipped with dash cams, Gelhaus’s vehicle was not, and so conveniently, there is no audio or video.

Jack Reacher: There are four types of people who join the Military / Police / Law Enforcement. For some, it’s family trade. Others are patriots, eager to serve. Next you have those who just need a job. Then there’s the kind who want the legal means of killing other people.

Gelhaus is a weapons expert, and has 24 years in with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. Department officials say he has never fired on a suspect in over two decades of his membership in the gang. “Officials” of course try to make it out like that bodes well for the killer, but I say it means the guy knew better. From the way he reacted, you would think he never saw a gun before. He runs up behind what he believes is an armed man, yells at him, and then acts surprised when the man turns around? This guy has been a cop longer than I’ve been old enough to own a gun, and I know better than that!

What would this assassin do if he worked in a place where open carry was legal? It’s not exactly unheard of for a man to walk down the street with a rifle. Screw if this was a toy gun or not, screw that it was a child, who the hell does this guy think he is? To accost an armed man from behind, and gun him down before he has a chance to see who’s trying to disarm him? On what planet would a civilian not be charged with murder for such reckless and negligent behavior?

Perhaps it was his multiple deployments to war zones that made him so fond of murdering brown children… Gelhaus served as an infantry squad leader in Iraq in 2005. Records show that he served in the Army from 1983 to 1987, the Army Reserve from 1987 to 1995 and the Army National Guard of California from 2003 to 2010. All times during which numerous US military conflicts took place. If this is how Gelhaus behaves here at home, imagine how many innocent lives he snuffed out as an unaccountable mercenary in a foreign country. How many fishing poles did this monster “mistake” for rifles as he roamed around poor villages looking for trouble? How many children had to mop up the blood of their parents after Gelhaus and his friends decided they were “insurgents”?

Demonstrators in California are calling for charges to be filed against Gelhaus, but as of right now, he’s getting paid to not come to work.

Sources

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Did-deputy-in-toy-gun-killing-ID-himself-4939742.php

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/marchers-protest-calif-deputys-shooting-boy-20668711

http://www.ibtimes.com/meet-erick-gelhaus-all-about-sheriffs-deputy-who-shot-killed-andy-lopez-1448844

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Sep 182013
 

The Constitution and the 3 Organic Laws

Introduction to the new Constitutional Law and welcome to the revised Basic Course in Law and Government

It is my pleasure, as Founder of the Organic Laws Institute, to present this short introduction to Constitutional Law as viewed
through the prism of the other three Organic Laws of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, the Articles of Confederation of November 15, 1777 and the Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787.  This introduction has been especially written for the student new to the concept of the strict separation of written law from unwritten law for a more accurate study of law and government.

I can begin this introduction, appropriately, with the devious Preamble to the Constitution of September 17, 1787, the unofficial beginning of the last of the four Organic Laws, because I started my basic research into the much easier to understand transition of the federal courts in territories as those territories were admitted into the Confederacy, the United States of America, under the authority of the Articles of Confederation.  That research established that none of the federal courts have been ordained and established as judicial courts-they were merely legislated into existence. That research was easy compared to unraveling the Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The court research was easily confirmed by the way the Constitution of September 17, 1787 treated the alleged highest officer of the alleged highest federal court-the Chief Justice. The only duty imposed on the Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 Chief Justice is stated as follows: “When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside.”  Clause 7 of Section 3 of the first Article then makes it clear that Impeachment is a non-judicial proceeding resulting only in removal from office. It was now apparent to me that the Constitution was not what everyone believes it to be. Almost every natural born American believes he or she to be a Citizen of the United States and a member of the posterity of “We the People of the United States,” and that conclusion is exactly the misconception Gouverneur Morris was after when he wrote the Preamble. Gouverneur Morris is widely credited with writing other parts of the Constitution of September 17, 1787; he is one of only five men to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Gouverneur Morris knew both documents so well he managed to write one sentence that has fooled billions.

The language in the Preamble is some of the most duplicitous ever written yet every word has some truth in it.  The phrase, “We the People of the United States” in the Preamble to the Constitution of September 17, 1787, is never properly interpreted to mean the free inhabitants of the United States of America, who have become Citizens of one of the two kinds of States of United States of America. The accuracy of that interpretation is proven by asking, where do the people in the nine Article VII Conventions come from? Here’s how to make the constitutional connection between, “We the People of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” to the People meeting for “The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.”  “We the People of the United States” and the “Conventions of nine States” are the same “People”.  Free inhabitants had given up their freedom to become Citizens of the United States, just so they could vote in favor of State ratification of the Constitution of September 17, 1787, Taking on the mantle of citizenship may not have been much of a burden in 1787, but it has grown to be quite a hardship today.

Article IV of the Articles of Confederation secures to the free inhabitants of the several States of the United States of America the right to live free of government without any loss of the privileges and immunities of State citizenship:

The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different states in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these states, paupers, vagabonds and fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several states; and the people of each state shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other state, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restriction shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any state, to any other state of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any state, on the property of the united states, or either of them.

When a free inhabitant becomes a Citizen of one of the two Unions that free inhabitant suffers a net loss in freedom, which is worse if the non-perpetual Union is picked.  The original stated purpose and intent of the Constitution of September 17, 1787 was to make revisions to the Articles of Confederation of November 15, 1777, which would make the administration of the Northwest Territory more efficient.  This was, of course, a subterfuge to hide a government power grab led by George Washington and supported by both the States and the federal government. Both the federal and State governments were becoming painfully aware that unless uprisings such as Shays Rebellion were ended permanently and soon every State and local government would be in danger of collapse.  In the end the Articles of Confederation were revised by the misrepresentation that the Constitution created a “more perfect Union” that Union was first created as a not so perfect temporary one by the Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787.

Now, practically every American believes himself or herself to be among “We the People of the United States,” the “more perfect Union,” without realizing that by being one of the “People of the United States” much freedom is lost.  Because of the complexity written law, hardly anyone knows the Articles of Confederation have not been replaced or repealed.  The perpetual Union of States of the United States of America bound to Article IV of the Articles of Confederation is dormant not dead.  My Organic Law Institute can help you awaken the sleeping giant, the United States of America. President George W. Bush was briefed “the Constitution is just a piece of paper.”  The Organic Law Institute will provide you with the legal education, so you can prove that and much more.

Dr. Eduardo M. Rivera

Ed Rivera’s mailing list
List@edrivera.com

Sep 172013
 

The Worst Holiday of the Year

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“One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” is an original column appearing most Mondays at Everything-Voluntary.com, by the founder and editor Skyler J. Collins. Archived columns can be found here. OVP-only RSS feed available here.

Tomorrow, September 17th, is Constitution Day in the United States. Many will either gather to or independently pay homage to the United States Constitution. This document ostensibly created and gave the necessary authority to the Federal government. It was believed that its predecessor, the Articles of Confederation, created a federal government that was too weak to accomplish anything meaningful. Though the drafters of the Constitution were originally tasked with amending the Articles, and proceeded instead to replace it entirely, that the Constitution went through a ratification process ensured everyone that it did indeed give the requisite authority to the newly formed government. But did it really? Did the new government have proper authority to exercise its delegated powers over the then territorial boundary of the thirteen colonies? After considering a few important facts, I think its claim to authority is just that, a claim, but one which no one is really bound to honor.

No Authority

Every libertarian and voluntaryist knows that majority rule is invalid as a governing principle. Some people, no matter how numerous, can’t simply vote away the liberties of others. Unless you’ve committed a crime, an act of aggression, I have no right to restrict your actions on or to take your property by the use of force. And because I have no right to such, I and a group of others haven’t that right either. This is a very basic principle in political philosophy. After the Constitution was drafted, it went through a ratification process. At every point leading up to this, majority vote decided the outcome. Majority vote chose the convention delegates and the ratifiers, and majority vote in many of the colonies decided ratification. Clearly, based on the above principle, none of this was valid. Again, majorities can’t take away (through voting) the liberties of others, and both the newly formed State governments and Federal government did just that. Dissenters at every level retained there liberties to act as if their governments didn’t exist.

Criminals, Most of Them

That those who drafted and ratified the Constitution lacked the authority to do so is easy to show using the above analysis, but let’s go further. In 18th century America, most people were not allowed to participate in elections. Men without landed property, women, children, and slaves were all excluded from the political process. Only white men with land had the privilege of voting for or becoming delegates (drafters) and ratifiers. The wealthy, in other words. That they were wealthy there is no doubt, but what was the source of that wealth? Most were slaveholders, meaning, they forcibly exploited others to build their wealth. Under the libertarian theory of justice, the rightful owners to that wealth were actually the slaves themselves*. Their masters were mala in se criminals. What are the implications of that?

Do criminals have the right to use their stolen wealth as evidence of their “right” to participate in a political system that restricts participation to the wealthy? Do criminals have the right to draft a new Constitution, thereby creating a new federal government with the powers of taxation, regulation, and monopoly dispute adjudication? Do criminals have the right to ratify the new Constitution, thereby delegating to it said powers over the rest of society within a given territorial boundary? Do criminals have the right to vote away the liberties of noncriminals? I can’t think of a single reason why criminals, whose crimes are the forceful kidnapping, imprisonment, and subjugation of innocent people, would have the right to do any of these things.

Final Thoughts

It’s simple, really. The Constitution has no authority, nor does the Federal government that it created. The powers it exercises are an usurpation of the rights and liberties of all Americans. Likewise every other government within and without the United States. Though every government commits acts of aggression against its own people, the United States has a sordid history of both domestic and foreign aggression. Constitution Day is really a celebration of one of the greatest crimes in the history of the world, and of the criminals who committed it. I can’t in good conscience observe what is arguably the worst holiday of the year.

* Either as the real creators of that wealth, or as it was owed to them as reparations for generations of slavery.

Aug 132013
 

Free Bradley ManningLawrence M. Ludlow
927 Moultrie Court
Naperville, IL 60563

August 10, 2013

Bradley Manning
c/o Commander, HHC USAG
Attn: PFC Bradley Manning
239 Sheridan Ave, Bldg 417
JBM-HH, VA 22211

Dear Mr. Manning:

I wish only that I had written to you earlier. Like hundreds of thousands of other people – and perhaps many more – I consider you to be an ethical person, a hero, someone who did the right thing in exposing the mass murder, corruption, lies, and the vicious nature of the U.S. government and its obedient minions, who follow orders without a thought as to the nature of these orders or their true criminality. Your actions took not only great moral conviction, but great courage in the face of blindness, indifference, stupidity, and willful evil.

This quality you possess is not valued highly in a nation that is rapidly mimicking the experience of the German people under the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s and under the Soviet regime from 1917 until the 1990s. As you probably know, “just following orders” was the defense that the Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann uttered during his show-trial in Jerusalem. In a similar way, the ignorance – and even more, the moral vacuum – of the American people has enabled them to permit their government to slaughter between four and six million people since the close of World War II, and people like you are helping to expose and bring to light this vicious practice so that they cannot pretend any longer – living a lie. Ignorance is a natural state for all of us (after all, we are born without knowledge), but an evil intent is worse – much worse. And you have exposed it by your actions.

Your heroic act and despicable betrayal by an obedient “patriot” has forced Americans to look into the mirror and see what it has become – a sick parody of cruelty come to life. Most Americans are not aware that the armed forces, through its sanctions program, committed the equivalent of a WTC attack on Iraq on a frequency of every three weeks for ten years from 1990 to 2001. They are unaware that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright even proudly admitted that these sanctions had killed more than 500,000 Iraqi children as of 1996 on the “60 Minutes” program when interviewed by Leslie Stahl. This went without even a peep of protest among “good, clean, god-fearing Americans” whose government is now persecuting you for daring to rip the veil off the evil. And this evil sanctions program continued until the post-9/11 war began and a new kind of slaughter took center stage. As you can see, the total of victims reached perhaps one million by then (after another five years of sanctions), and perhaps another 500,000 to 1 million have died in the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan since then. This ghastly total, plus three million more Vietnamese (Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s figures) people burned, shot, and blown to smithereens in the Vietnam War and many tens of thousands poisoned since then by our chemical weapons there have made the US a bona fide terror state. And now the boobus Americanus wonders why people shake their heads in disgust at the Nazification of America’s government and its obedient servants and cheerleaders in death.

Sadly, this willingness to victimize others is not a quality possessed only by the “right” of the political spectrum. In no less a cruel and cowardly manner, the “left” is willing to use the coercive tools of government to victimize others who do not fall into line with their regimented, Procrustean ideas about wealth and hatred of economic liberty and free association. They have elevated the sin of envy to a green-colored sacrament, just as the war-mongers have elevated mass-murder to a red-toned virtue. This type of fascism applies equally to those who invade other countries and those who invade others’ wallets. They are both cut from the same cloth in their willingness to coerce otherwise peaceful people into obedience. It is heroes like you who help to expose these evil practices, and I wish you all the best in your brave stand. Surely you must be an example of all that is best in humanity to those who lock you behind bars.

I am sad and disgusted at the treatment you received by people who live off of my tax dollars – dollars that I am forced to pay against my will to support great evil. I am sorry that you have been denied justice by your imprisonment for doing well, for doing right. I am sorry that a despicable judge presides – much as the callous Nazi judge, Roland Freisler (who was a communist before he was a Nazi; big difference, eh?) – who presided over the kangaroo-court trails of the heroic Sophie Scholl, her brother, their philosopher teacher, and the other heroic young members of the anti-Nazi movement called The White Rose. If you ever have a chance, there is a 2005 film about it called “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.” Your actions remind me of the heroic behavior of these young people. I hope you can someday enjoy it.

While you may not know it and the locked-down media of this country will not permit its discussion, you are considered a hero by millions of people around the world. Your imprisonment is an indictment of the government that rules over us all. It is an indictment of President Obama, who has mimicked George Bush, who has mimicked Bill Clinton, who has mimicked George H.W. Bush – and on and on, one criminal in the White House after another – all elected by the shameless people of the USSA.

In a way, perhaps we are all prisoners. Those of us out here – on the outside of your prison walls – will not admit this about our existence. To do so would come too close to the truth of things. You, having been kidnapped and thrown in a cage, cannot lie to yourself in this way – as we on the outside can, if we are so cowardly as to allow ourselves such a delusion. But just as “truth is treason in an empire of lies,” your imprisonment is a metaphor for what this country has become. None dare admit how deep is the pit into which our government and its obedient “respectable” servants have descended or how low they have gone and will surely go.

While the tone of this letter is depressing in a way, it is only dark insofar as it is a stark contrast to the spark of bright light that has illuminated us. You are that spark, and your light has sent the cockroaches into a frenzy of cover-up and fear. The president’s lies are piled higher each day, and his minions must lie themselves into tangles of excuses and lies. And they are helped because we live in the United States of Amnesia, to steal a phrase from Gore Vital. Americans love to be lied to and promised this and that so that they can avoid the pain of thinking and acting righteously. That’s why you have been imprisoned.

I hope you know that you are in a long line of heroes, and your name will live far beyond that of anyone who imprisons you – all of them forgettable because of their faceless, nameless banal cruelty – which is so common that it is as forgettable as yesterday’s dirt. You are not forgettable. They can put you in a hole and try to hide you from the world, but your light shines out of it and acts as inspiration. You already know that Edward Snowden was inspired by you to expose even more lies, and he is making a laughing stock out of Obama and his supporters as well as the Republicans who are identical in their twisted behaviors.

You really are an inspiration – even if the people who can receive the light of your example and enable it to illuminate their path are not the ones who hold the keys to your cell or have their scrofulous hands on the levers of power. Your brilliant example cannot be contained, and those who now persecute you will one day be ashamed. And those who know them will be ashamed of them. This has all happened before in one way or another, and while your suffering is beyond my experience, I hope that in realizing how cherished you are by so many, you will receive some comfort.

If this letter helps to bolster your spirit in any way, it has done its job. I chose to go beyond merely telling you how wonderful your acts are. Instead, I chose to tell you why they are heroic and why they are good and why they are to be admired. This required me to rattle off a list of depressing facts – a parade of evil that serves – by its contrast – to bring into high relief the nature of your inspiring behavior. I hope your family is proud of you. I hope your neighbors are proud of you. I hope – even more important – that you continue to be proud of your actions and to retain your faith in their high value.

The hearts of human beings all over the world are with you – even if you can’t possibly know it from where you sit and even if they cannot give voice to it. I hope that this letter is at least a teaspoon in that ocean of goodwill.

You make me want to believe in god more than all the believers in the world. Perhaps you are the greatest proof that such a thing is possible. God bless you, Bradley Manning

Sincerely,

Lawrence M. Ludlow