Obama commutes Pvt. Manning’s sentence for leaking military secrets

Bradley_Manning_US_ArmyIn one of his last official acts, President Obama used his Constitutional power to grant pardons to commute the sentence of Pvt. Bradley Manning, who leaked thousands of military and diplomatic secrets during the Iraq War.  Manning, who has served 7 years of a 35 year sentence at the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, now goes by the name of  “Chelsea” and has been seeking government-funded gender-reassignment surgery.

Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks who is holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London,  has said  that if Obama commutes Manning, he would agree to extradition in the United States to face charges of publishing classified material.  (That would presumably be better than extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape and sexual assault.)  Manning’s revelations helped bring Wikileaks to prominence.

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CIA says Russia helped Trump 

41d3e943e7f3eb460e44 The CIA says that Russia deliberately interfered in the American election in order to help elect DonalTrump.  Russian hackers broke into e-mails of both the Democratic and the Republican national committees, but turned over only the Democratic batch to Wikileaks.  The correspondence between Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and various Democratic operatives proved highly embarrassing to her campaign and likely cost her some votes.

Trump and his people are denying the Russian involvement–but how do they know?  The CIA report doesn’t accuse the Trump campaign of collusion with the Russians.  And there is nothing to deny the legitimacy of Trump’s election.  I suspect the CIA has tried to help one candidate or the other in various foreign elections.  But still. . . .

This casts a cloud on any attempts by the new administration to improve relations with Russia, which Trump has said he wants to do.  Which is why, of course, the Putin regime wanted him to win.  For other problems it creates, see this.  The biggest issue, though, is that if a hostile foreign power can manipulate America’s democracy, we have a national security problem that the military can’t protect us from.
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A civil libertarian analyzes the election

Thanks to long-time reader Todd for linking me to the “Best article I’ve read on the election so far.”  It’s indeed an outstanding analysis, connecting the Trump election to England’s Brexit vote as a long-overdue reaction of ordinary people to the clueless, corrupt, and condescending rule of a political elite, as embodied in Hillary Clinton.

The article, excerpted and linked after the jump, is worth reading in its entirety just for that analysis.  But what further interests me is that it is written by independent journalist and civil libertarian Glenn Greenwald.  He is a conduit for Julius Assange and Wikileaks, which proved so damaging to the Clinton campaign.

What is the connection, do you think, between the Wikileaks ideology of undermining the establishment by exposing its secrets and that of Donald Trump?  Wikileaks publishes hacked documents in the name of civil liberty.  Is the Trump movement an expression of civil liberties? [Read more…]

Assange blocked from internet, so supporters bring down US sites

Wikileaks has been releasing hacked e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton, so–surprise!–the head of that enterprise, Julian Assange, holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London, has had his access to the internet cut off. In retaliation, his supporters are hacking into major American service providers, bringing down major sites, such as Amazon, Twitter, PayPal, Reddit, and more.

Assange, who can’t leave the embassy lest he be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, is telling his supporters that they have made their point and should call off the attacks, which have mainly affected the East Coast.

We depend on the internet, but how fragile it is!

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What we learn from John Podesta’s emails

The emails regarding Hillary Clinton being released by Wikileaks are not from her illegal secret server that she used as Secretary of State.  Rather, they are hacks of the emails of John Podesta, her campaign chairman and longtime henchman.

In them, Podesta and scores of campaign operatives and other correspondents discuss things like the inner workings of the Clinton Foundation, how to co-opt Bernie Sanders and his supporters, collusion with journalists, and other topics embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton and other Democrats.

After the jump is an account of a remarkable exchange in which Podesta writes about subverting Catholicism so as to make it accord with the Progressive cause. [Read more…]

“You need both a public and a private position”

Some of Hillary Clinton’s hacked e-mails released by Wikileaks include transcripts of paid speeches she gave to big corporations.  What she says in those confidential closed-door speeches–for example, calling for open borders and more free trade, saying the banks aren’t really responsible for the 2009 financial collapse–is often at odds with what she says in her presidential campaign.

Remarkably, one speech quite frankly explains the discrepancy.  She says, “you need both a public and a private position.”  One for public consumption and the other for what you really believe.  So she is admitting that what she tells voters is not what she is actually going to do!

At every debate, every interview, every campaign speech, every time she opens her mouth, someone should ask her, “Is that your public or your private position?”

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