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Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: For reaction to the WikiLeaks documents, we’re joined now by world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, author of over a hundred books, including his latest, Hopes and Prospects. Well, 40 years ago, Noam and the late historian Howard Zinn helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg edit and release the Pentagon Papers, the top-secret internal U.S. history of the Vietnam War. Noam Chomsky joins us now from Boston. It’s good to have you back again, Noam. NOAM CHOMSKY: Dan and I were friends. AMY GOODMAN: So, explain, though, how it worked. NOAM CHOMSKY: From Dan and — Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, who had done the xeroxing and the preparation of the material, yes, directly. AMY GOODMAN: [inaudible] exactly did you edit? NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, we didn’t modify anything. NOAM CHOMSKY: Outside of Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo, yes. [break] Related:  WikileaksCableGate

Wikileaks Shows Rumsfeld and Casey Lied about the Iraq War For Syrians displaced by their country’s war, homeless in their own land, life inside refugee camps is a desperate existence. The refugee camp in the Turkish city of Kilis has been called “a five-star hotel.” Residents have access to electricity, playgrounds, and schools. Ever since the uprisings against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad exploded into civil war in 2011, the UN estimates (PDF) that over 9 million people have been displaced from their homes. Of the over 650,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, only about one third are living in camps, the rest are struggling to get by and fending for themselves. For those still inside Syria, the situation is even worse. Nowhere are these disparate conditions more evident than in Bab al-Salameh. “Similarities?” According to Nizar Najjar, an assistant to the director of the camp, Bab al-Salameh is home to anywhere from 15,000-25,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). “Sometimes we do not have the capacity to receive new refugees,” says Najjar.

Obama and GOPers Worked Together to Kill Bush Torture Probe In its first months in office, the Obama administration sought to protect Bush administration officials facing criminal investigation overseas for their involvement in establishing policies the that governed interrogations of detained terrorist suspects. A "confidential" April 17, 2009, cable sent from the US embassy in Madrid to the State Department—one of the 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks—details how the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution. The previous month, a Spanish human rights group called the Association for the Dignity of Spanish Prisoners had requested that Spain's National Court indict six former Bush officials for, as the cable describes it, "creating a legal framework that allegedly permitted torture." Soon after the request was made, the US embassy in Madrid began tracking the matter. Two weeks later, Sen. On April 15, Sen. Still, this did not end the matter.

Anarchy In Your Head » Archive » The Slave Test Are you a slave? Recently I wrote about how governments manufacture and evoke powerful symbols to essentially brainwash us and keep us obedient. I used an analogy of similar tactics in the past to efficiently maintain the obedience of household slaves. I have a friend who claims my language is far too strong. He says I overuse words like “violence” and “slave” to artificially infuse my arguments with emotion when I’m talking about governments. I can’t really recall his exact argument but I think it amounted to “Nuh uh!”. The slave test is very simple and fair. So let’s consider what it really means to be a slave. An important part of the slave test is to avoid engaging in any aggressive behavior that might actually justify violent intervention. Bearing that in mind, the slave test is incredibly simple. Stay tuned!

WikiLeaks: The revolution has begun – and it will be digitised | Heather Brooke Diplomacy has always involved dinners with ruling elites, backroom deals and clandestine meetings. Now, in the digital age, the reports of all those parties and patrician chats can be collected in one enormous database. And once collected in digital form, it becomes very easy for them to be shared. Indeed, that is why the Siprnet database – from which these US embassy cables are drawn – was created in the first place. The 9/11 commission had made the remarkable discovery that it wasn't sharing information that had put the nation's security at risk; it was not sharing information that was the problem. But data has a habit of spreading. Individually, we have all already experienced the massive changes resulting from digitisation. But when data breaches happen to the public, politicians don't care much. To some this marks a crisis, to others an opportunity. Leaks are not the problem; they are the symptom. It used to be that a leader controlled citizens by controlling information.

Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein Respond to Obama's First State of the Union This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting from Park City, Utah, from the headquarters of the Sundance Film Festival, the largest festival of independent cinema in the country. In his State of the Union address, President Obama renewed his criticism of the Supreme Court ruling, saying he hopes Congress passes legislation, quote, “that helps to right this wrong." President Obama delivered his first State of the Union address Wednesday night. A full two-thirds of the President’s seventy-minute address was devoted to the economy, the central theme of which was job creation. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. I know that some in my own party will argue that we can’t address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. AMY GOODMAN: Obama went on to urge action on energy legislation, linking success to the creation of new jobs. AMY GOODMAN: How?

WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops Another international conflict, another horrific taxpayer-funded sex scandal for DynCorp, the private security contractor tasked with training the Afghan police. While the company is officially based in the DC area, most of its business is managed on a satellite campus at Alliance Airport north of Fort Worth. And if one of the diplomatic cables from the WikiLeaks archive is to be believed, boy howdy, are their doings in Afghanistan shady. The Afghanistan cable (dated June 24, 2009) discusses a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli. Prime among Atmar's concerns was a party partially thrown by DynCorp for Afghan police recruits in Kunduz Province. Many of DynCorp's employees are ex-Green Berets and veterans of other elite units, and the company was commissioned by the US government to provide training for the Afghani police. And in Kunduz province, according to the leaked cable, that money was flowing to drug dealers and pimps.

Amazon bans WikiLeaks from using its servers WikiLeaks has been the center of controversy this week due to having released more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables onto the internet and into the hands of select news organizations. Many of the cables are sensitive in nature and describe U.S. relations and efforts with countries such as Russia, South Korea and Pakistan. As can be imagined, the U.S. government is not too happy about the release of these confidential documents and has been putting a lot of pressure against the website. This news comes after U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the House Security Committee, questioned “I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks’ previous publication of classified material. Since the release of these cables, WikiLeaks has been under the target of of multiple distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, leaving the site crippled.

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“Democracy Uprising” in the U.S.A.?: Noam Chomsky on Wisconsin’s Resistance to Assault on Public Sector, the Obama-Sanctioned Crackdown on Activists, and the Distorted Legacy of Ronald Reagan This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN: This month is the 15th anniversary of Democracy Now! on the air, and it’s a real privilege to have MIT professor, analyst, world-renowned political dissident, linguist, Noam Chomsky with us. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan Gonzalez, and we’ve been together for this whole 15 years, Juan. It’s really been quite an amazing journey. As we talk about this revolution that’s rolling across the Middle East, we put out to our listeners and viewers on Facebook last night that, Noam, you were going to be in. RYAN ADSERIAS: Hello, Professor Chomsky. AMY GOODMAN: That was a question from Ryan Adserias in Madison, Wisconsin, where more than 10,000 — some say tens of thousands of people, teachers, students, are protesting in the Capitol building, schools closed, as Ryan said. NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s very interesting. The CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, got a $12.5 million bonus, and his base pay was more than tripled. [break]

WikiLeaks cables: Shell's grip on Nigerian state revealed | Business The oil giant Shell claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians' every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable. The company's top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew "everything that was being done in those ministries". She boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations. The cache of secret dispatches from Washington's embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity, and requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles. Other cables released tonight reveal:

US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment | Simon Jenkins Is it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation's secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Anything said or done in the name of a democracy is, prima facie, of public interest. In this light, two backup checks were applied. The state department knew of the leak several months ago and had ample time to alert staff in sensitive locations. The revelations do not have the startling, coldblooded immediacy of the WikiLeaks war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, with their astonishing insight into the minds of fighting men seemingly detached from the ethics of war. Few will be surprised to know that Vladimir Putin runs the world's most sensational kleptocracy, that the Saudis wanted the Americans to bomb Iran, or that Pakistan's ISI is hopelessly involved with Taliban groups of fiendish complexity.

WikiLeaks: Transforming journalism - Al Jazeera Top 10 Of The Year It has been a whirlwind of a year for WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website and its director Julian Assange. Little was known of WikiLeaks when it first opened operations in 2006, but the organisation captured international attention in April this year when it released a 2007 video that showcased US brutality towards civilians and journalists in Iraq. Later in July, WikiLeaks released 76,900 classified military documents about the US invasion of Afghanistan. But not to be undone, in October the website released a package of almost 400,000 secret field reports from Iraq in conjunction with major media organisations across the globe. Despite criticism from the US government that the release of documents undermined the security of its forces, WikiLeaks earned international acclaim for exposing state secrets and advancing transparency and freedom of expression. It was only natural that WikiLeaks makes the top newsmaker of 2010.

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