BRETT WILKINS – The Belmarsh Tribunalâ€”named after the notorious British prison where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is imprisoned as he faces possible extradition to the U.S.â€”was convened remotely Friday morning by Progressive International (PI). The activists “put the United States government on trial” for crimes ranging “from atrocities in Iraq to torture at GuantÃ¡namo Bay to the CIA’s illegal surveillance programâ€”and draw attention to the extradition case of Julian Assange for revealing them.”
WILLIAM J. ASTORE – Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, Iâ€™ve been arguing against Americaâ€™s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, itâ€™s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of Americaâ€™s wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?
KEVIN ZEESE and MARGARET FLOWERS – The arrest of Julian Assange not only puts the free press in the United States at risk, it puts any reporters who expose US crimes anywhere in the world at risk.
KATHY KELLY – Chelsea Manning, who bravely exposed atrocities committed by the U.S. military, is again imprisoned in a U.S. jail. On International Womenâ€™s Day, March 8, 2019, she was incarcerated in the Alexandria, VA federal detention center for refusing to testify in front of a secretive Grand Jury. Her imprisonment can extend through the term of the Grand Jury, possibly 18 months, and the U.S. courts could allow formation of future Grand Juries, potentially jailing her again.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – When I recently asked a prominent activist how she was doing, she took my hands, looked me in the eyes and said, â€œEverything Iâ€™ve been working on for 50 years has gone down the toilet.â€ With so many good people feeling depressed, letâ€™s point to the positive things that happened, even in this really, really bad year.
DAVID SWANSON – Here I am in occupied DC. The White House looks like a Green Zone. There was a time when you could walk up to it. Caravans of police cars and black SUVs zoom by with sirens blaring and everyone else forced aside. Do people look outraged? No, they grin and admire. We need more democratic perspectives. Here are six.
ABBY ZIMET – May Day saw the Berlin unveiling of Anything To Say?, a public art project and “monument to courage” featuring life-size bronze statues of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, all of whom have “lost their freedom for the truth.” The installation in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, a project conceived by American journalist Charles Glass and created by Italian sculptor Davide Dormino, features the three whistleblowers upright on chairs, with a fourth empty chair inviting passersby to express their solidarity or their views, to “stand up, get a better view and share their courageous stance.” Says Dormino, “It is for you.”
JOHN HANRAHAN – On Monday, April 27, seven prominent national security whistleblowers called for a number of wide-ranging reforms â€” including passage of the â€œSurveillance State Repeal Act,â€ which would repeal the USA Patriot Act â€” in an effort to restore the Constitutionally guaranteed 4th Amendment right to be free from government spying. Several of the whistleblowers also said that the recent lenient sentence of probation and a fine for General David Petraeus â€” for his providing of classified information to his mistress Paula Broadwell â€” underscores the double standard of justice at work in the area of classified information handling.
TREVOR TIMM – The sweetheart deal the Justice Department gave to former CIA director David Petraeus for leaking top secret information compared to the stiff jail sentences other low-level leakers have received under the Obama administration has led to renewed calls for leniency for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. And no one makes the case better than famed whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
“JOEY” – The message below was sent by Joey, a member of the San Francisco Pride Board. Please circulate and go on-line to add your comments and support on the sites listed. This victory comes as a result of months of insurrection in support of Manning inside the SF Pride movement, resulting in the ouster of most of the pro-corporate, pro-military Pride Board.