Sunday, June 30, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

WA State case of intelligence agencies vs. activists enters further discovery

Firedoglake has updated coverage of the amended complaint filed by the members of Port Militarization Resistance group against government agencies in WA state for violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.  This suit, which protests harm done to political activists allegedly deterred, harassed and surveilled by  U.S. Army and other government agencies in WA state has received lots of press for a number of reasons[1,2]. Most recently, the ninth circuit court ruled that  the suit against the Army could proceed.  Information dumps from both Wikileaks and Scribd provide a fascinating look at the "fusion center" uses of private security contractors and WA state law enforcement agencies allegedly preventing and denying activism. The Washington state chapter of the ACLU has further information on court cases and awards [1,2,3] involving police and military surveillance of protected activities.[1].

Most of us with historical knowledge of the the Palmer Raids, the McCarthy era, and 'Cointelpro' can hardly be surprised at the existence of such activities.  However, when juxtaposed against the recent surveillance allegations against the NSA, joint federal and local surveillance of local activism takes on an entirely new significance.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fwd: Here's the plan to cut carbon pollution

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "David Simas, The White House" <>
Date: Jun 25, 2013 3:51 PM
Subject: Here's the plan to cut carbon pollution
To: <>

The White House, Washington
Hi, all --
The carbon pollution that causes climate change isn't a distant threat, the risk to public health isn't a hypothetical, and it's clear we have a moral obligation to act.
The 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15 years, and 2012 was the hottest one we've ever recorded. When carbon pollutes the air, the risk of asthma attacks increases. When the Earth's atmosphere fundamentally changes, we see more heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods.
These events also create an economic imperative to act. When farms wash away and crops wilt, food prices go up. Last year, we saw 11 different weather disasters that each cost the United States more than $1 billion.
And confronting this challenge isn't just about preventing disaster -- it's also about moving America forward in a way that creates hundreds of thousands of good, new, clean energy jobs. It's about wasting less energy, which saves money for every business and every family in America.

Fwd: The speech we've been fighting for

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Maura Cowley, Energy Action Coalition" <>
Date: Jun 25, 2013 4:24 PM
Subject: The speech we've been fighting for
To: <>

This is the speech we have been fighting for. Today, President Obama stood up and laid out in bold detail his plan to address the greatest challenge of our generation. He announced that for the first time ever we will cap the carbon pollution spewing from power plants, took a defiant stance on Keystone XL, and even gave a shout out to divestment!
Today's speech was a BIG deal for the climate, a major victory for our movement — and most of all, a HUGE testament to the work that YOU and other youth climate activists have been doing for years to push the President to lead the way on climate change.

NSA Leaks : Part VII

It's been so long since I have heard true unapologetic cold war rhetoric that I almost miss it:

"Assange and Snowden consider themselves human rights activists and say they are fighting for the spread of information," Putin said. "Ask yourself this: should you hand these people over so they will be put in prison?
"In any case, I'd rather not deal with such questions, because anyway it's like shearing a pig – lots of screams but little wool."  

"The world will remember Edward Snowden," the newspaper said. "It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington's sanctimonious mask".

"And we act in accordance with those principals on which our constitution is based. The US has received requests for extradition from Ecuador, particularly extradition of owners of banks who have been judged and convicted in our country. And they have decided not to extradite those people, who have committed crimes against millions of Ecuadoreans."

Ricardo Patino, the foreign minister of Ecuador as quoted in The Telegraph

Eat your heart out Jason Bourne franchise. Edward Snowden is the real deal. Damn. I want a trilogy out of Hollywood when this is over

Sunday, June 23, 2013

NSA Leaks : Part VI

What shall we name our brave new world. How about "Duck Duck Go !Freedom" ? With foreign countries dumping American communication services and hardware it won't be long before American consumers start to do the same.  The question is : "What kind of digital communication services will we invent and build to replace the existing internet?"  This is hardly a simple question, but it will be met with worthy and energetic answers nonetheless.

Some examples are already posted. Many of them are works in progress. What has to be remembered is that the compromise of telecommunications security exists at packet level integrity: at the routing edge of all networks. This means that those networks will have to be replaced and made transparent to ensure true international integrity and security.

This is not as impossible as it might sound.  There is no doubt that until this point in history, network management has always "trusted the routers" by default.  That will change shortly.  Other methods of ensuring security at the packet level (most notably encryption) will now become more widespread and individuated in use.  New markets will open because of this. I see open hardware, open firmware, open networking source movements.  Perhaps crowd sourced production of network hardware and firmware.

There can be no doubt that network security specialists have had a fire lit underneath their careers.  What secret patent toting corporation or individual researcher will trust any commercial production  or data storage source ever again? As if the world of cyber security could get anymore complex.  The most immediate effects will be that the current crop  of top service corporations (Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Blackberry, Yahoo, etc...) are going to see a serious hiccup in profits. WE can rebuild the internet. WE can make it secure. If necessary, we can simply use distributed  WIFI routing to supplant it. Imagine tens of thousand spread spectrum signals using new routing protocols across every community in America....

Yes, this can happen. And it will drive the "anti-terror" boys absolutely nuts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

NSA Leaks : Part V

Sergei Zhelezniak (EP): We have to provide a "digital sovereignty" of the country

"United States, which present themselves as a bastion of democracy, in fact, carry-the-minute surveillance of tens of millions of citizens of Russia and other countries. They officially declare that the information collected as part of PRISM, among the most important and valuable intelligence. In this ugly history involved all of the major Internet companies that are established in the U.S., and these companies operate on the territory of our country." from (automated Chromium translation from the original Russian)
Sergei Zhelezniak's comments above represent the most logical international backlash to Edward Snowden's revelations. In a world where international routers push data without regard to national boundaries, collecting private data without permission is always a  crime somewhere. Individuals that aid in that collection are accessories to a crime and equipment that is used in that collection are quite possibly assets subject to criminal forfeiture.
Simply put, we have created international highways but have forgotten to establish international laws to protect us from pirates and patriots.  "Digital sovereignty" movements would change the current topology of the internet. There will be more fallout like this to come.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fwd: Public comment period: G-P West cleanup site - Bellingham, Wash.

The public comment period for the GP West Clean up site starts today. Please see (ECY) Dustin Terpening's e-mail below:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Terpening, Dustin (ECY)" <>
Date: Jun 18, 2013 1:42 PM
Subject: Public comment period: G-P West cleanup site - Bellingham, Wash.

Georgia-Pacific West cleanup site
The Port of Bellingham is proposing to divide the 74-acre Georgia Pacific West cleanup site on the Bellingham waterfront into two separate cleanup areas, so the northern half of the site can be cleaned and redeveloped sooner.

An in-depth environmental investigation shows that the soil and groundwater contamination is extensive across the site. It also shows that the contamination is found in two separate and distinct areas. Ecology is making the report available for public review and comment.

In order to divide the site, Ecology and the port have to amend their legal agreement – known as an agreed order – to define two cleanup areas. Ecology is making the proposed amendment available for public review and comment.

Please see the attached fact sheet for additional information. And here's a link to the news release that was sent to the media -

Review the documents
You are invited to review the documents on Ecology's website, at offices in Bellingham and Bellevue, and at the Bellingham Public Library.
Comments can be submitted June 18 through July 17 to Ecology site manager Brian Sato at or 3190 160th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98008.

Dustin Terpening
Ecology Communications Manager

SUBSCRIBE: Email to be added to the Bellingham Bay email list.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: Obama moves to escalate Syrian slaughter

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Jun 15, 2013 12:35 PM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: Obama moves to escalate Syrian slaughter
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


Obama moves to escalate Syrian slaughter

15 June 2013
The announcement that the US is moving to directly arm the Islamist militias and other armed gangs laying waste to Syria represents a further descent into crisis and outright criminality by the Obama administration.
US and other Western officials report that the Pentagon has also provided the administration with plans to impose a no-fly zone to carve out a swathe of Syrian territory at least 25 miles deep along the Jordanian border for the purpose of massing, training and arming proxy forces to invade Syria.
These measures, which will be taken in alliance with Britain and France, the two former colonial overlords of Syria and the surrounding region, are part of a war of aggression aimed at subjugating an oppressed, former colonial country to the strategic and profit interests of Washington and its closest NATO allies.
The Whi te House claim that this military escalation is a US response to the regime of Bashar al-Assad crossing Obama's "red line" and violating "international norms" by using chemical weapons against the so-called "rebels" is an insult to the intelligence of the people of the United States and the world.
The drive toward direct intervention has nothing to do with any desire to protect human life in Syria. The provision of new and more powerful weaponry will result only in a proliferation of sectarian massacres by Sunni Islamist "rebels" like the one that claimed the lives of at least 60 people, most of them women and children, in the eastern Syrian village of Hatlah earlier this week. As for a no-fly zone, its preparation would entail massive bombings of Syrian air defenses in densely populate areas, threatening thousands of additional deaths.

"Gasland Part II" : Fwd: The Truth. Again.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Gasland the Movie" <>
Date: Jun 17, 2013 1:30 PM
Subject: The Truth. Again.
To: <>

Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox
Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox
Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox
Dear Friends:
On July 8th the truth comes out. Again.
That's the day HBO will premiere Gasland Part II. Although the frackers would prefer otherwise, millions of Americans will soon learn about the dangers fracking poses to our water, our air, our climate.
And the simple truth is this: once people understand what fracking is, and what it does, they make the right choice. That is how we (and you are a BIG part of that "we") put a stop to fracking in the Delaware River Basin. That is why there is no fracking in New York today.
The lesson is that we can stop the drills if we can get enough people to listen. So here is the part of the email where we need to ask something of you:
Go to and sign-up to host a watch party on July 8th.
Hold your own movie premiere, invite your friends, pop some popcorn and get ready to see the truth.
And check this out: right after the movie I will be holding a live national Q&A.  You can dial in and ask a question
By getting your family, friends, neighbors, work colleagues,"plus ones," and anyone else you can grab to watch this movie, you make the movement to end fracking that much stronger.
So go to right now sign up to host a watch party on July 8th.
Because the more people that see this movie, the more people will us fight to stop fracking.
Josh Fox
Gasland Part II
Find Us
Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox
Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox
Gasland, A Film By Josh Fox

You are receiving this email as part of the mailing list.

NSA Leaks: Part IV

These are some extraordinary answers from Edward Snowden given in a live interview this morning (PST) with Glen Greenwald at The Guardian :

"Journalists should ask a specific question: since these programs began operation shortly after September 11th, how many terrorist attacks were prevented SOLELY by information derived from this suspicion-less surveillance that could not be gained via any other source? Then ask how many individual communications were ingested to achieve that, and ask yourself if it was worth it. Bathtub falls and police officers kill more Americans than terrorism, yet we've been asked to sacrifice our most sacred rights for fear of falling victim to it.
Further, it's important to bear in mind I'm being called a traitor by men like former Vice President Dick Cheney. This is a man who gave us the warrant-less wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up on the way to deceitfully engineering a conflict that has killed over 4,400 and maimed nearly 32,000 Americans, as well as leaving over 100,000 Iraqis dead. Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American, and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, Feinstein, and King, the better off we all are. If they had taught a class on how to be the kind of citizen Dick Cheney worries about, I would have finished high school."

Glenn Greenwald follow up: When you say "someone at NSA still has the content of your communications" - what do you mean? Do you mean they have a record of it, or the actual content?
Both. If I target for example an email address, for example under FAA 702, and that email address sent something to you, Joe America, the analyst gets it. All of it. IPs, raw data, content, headers, attachments, everything. And it gets saved for a very long time - and can be extended further with waivers rather than warrants.
1) Define in as much detail as you can what "direct access" means.
2) Can analysts listen to content of domestic calls without a warrant?
1) More detail on how direct NSA's accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on - it's all the same. The restrictions against this are policy based, not technically based, and can change at any time. Additionally, audits are cursory, incomplete, and easily fooled by fake justifications. For at least GCHQ, the number of audited queries is only 5% of those performed.

I tried following up with this question, but I was too late:

If you can answer these questions:
How deep is the router and network infrastructure industry in bed with the NSA? Do they provide firmware and ASICs that allow for seamless espionage at the backbone or edge of Autonomous Systems? Is the the 61K hacking operations you have been quoted on equivalent to the number of ASNs the NSA has access to?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

NSA Leaks: Part III

"The tactic, which is identified by an internal codeword which the Guardian is not revealing, is defined in an internal glossary as "active collection against an email account that acquires mail messages without removing them from the remote server". A PowerPoint slide explains that this means "reading people's email before/as they do".  
from the The Guardian
The Guardian's scoops on NSA surveillance just keep coming.  This Sunday's scoops show a tightly bonded GCHQ and NSA spying on allies and G-20 partners. Clearly, real-time updates are giving our  (British and American) diplomats and edge:
"In a live situation such as this, intelligence received may be used to influence events on the ground taking place just minutes or hours later. This means that it is not sufficient to mine call records afterwards – real-time tip-off is essential." from the The Guardian
It's all too easy too imagine this type of capacity being used against local activists. Recently, I helped clean the computer of a local activist who was convinced that exactly this type of activity was being used against their political movement.  Although, I didn't set up the type of monitoring that would have allowed me to prove such, years of running my own counter-surveillance have shown me such claims are hardly paranoiac.

I think most of us do not want to deal with the implications that our private emails, telephone calls, movements, web searches are being monitored. After all, most people are not politically active. However, I can assure you that monitoring of local activists in Whatcom County is taking place at various levels of government.  It is 'against the grain' of most liberal expressions of populism to program counter-surveillance into their activism. But this is precisely what they should be doing since the pace of recent NSA infrastructure development in surveillance is increasing:

"Binney, who left the agency in 2001 and blew the whistle on its domestic spying, said the centre could absorb and store data for "hundreds of years" and allow agencies such as the FBI to retroactively use the information.
He said the centre will likely have spare capacity for "brute force attacks" – using speed and data hoards to detect patterns and break encrypted messages in the so-called deep web where governments, corporations and other organisations keep secrets. There would be no distinction between domestic and foreign targets. "It makes no difference anymore to them." " from The Guardian
It will be an extraordinarily brave and terrifying new world when even our private expressions of political sentiment can be known (or predicted) in advance by our state security services.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

NSA Leaks: Part II

"We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one." Eric Snowden on NSA hacking of foreign countries
This slide describes data content from major providers now available to the NSA. All the slides in this blog post are from The Guardian NSA Files.

After spending the night thinking about what I have read about the NSA collection techniques and Eric Snowden's comments about NSA spying overseas, a simple conception came to me.  As part of this crisis , the providers in the slide above maintain they are not letting the NSA have unrestricted access to their file servers. Google, Facebook, Apple, etc are maintaining  that they respond to FISA requests are per order (as they always have), sftp'ing data to the NSA. But this is not what Eric Snowden is maintaining or  Glen Greenwald and others are describing. In fact this slide, reveals an enhanced collection ability coming online slowly over that last seven years:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NSA Leaks: Part I

"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, — and all it wants, — is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness..."
Thomas Paine, 1791 from "The Rights of Man" as quoted in WikiQuotes

For those of you who aren't reading the Guardian this week, the story of your lifetime is being broken right now:  Why this particular story is so important will be revealed as the story continues to break truths about the NSA's surveillance capacity. Thomas Drake's piece is the most poignant and informed read on the crisis thus far at .  I will recap the big picture now and fill in the details as time goes by:

(1) Threatened by the wealth and distribution of information available to its own middle class (as developed in the Clinton Era), the ruling elite in the United States created a "War on Terror" not just to create greater profits for its mega-corporations but to subdue, terrorize, infantilize and brainwash America's educated classes.

(2)  But some fought back. This was expected.

(3) To provide ever greater control and weaponry against its own educated classes (e.g. to stop "democracy" from interfering with their profits and political control), the most advanced surveillance and mind control technologies have been developed (under the guise of the "War on Terror") to impoverish, terrorize, and control us.

In the coming days, we will begin to realize the depth of the surveillance and control infrastructure that has been developed to subdue us (and the rest of the world too...but there was never anything novel about that insight...). We will begin to realize that the fundamental  target of the contrived and planned "War on Terror" is the American middle class.  By this realization, brothers and sisters,  shall we know our enemy.

Edward Snowden is the prophet. Men like Thomas Drake have come before him. By their words, you shall know what it means to be free and the nightmare of the last decade shall be undone.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fwd: 1982 called. It wants its pollution back.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club <>
Date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 2:00 AM
Subject: 1982 called. It wants its pollution back.

Sierra Club - Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Dear Ryan,

Heavy metals and toxic sludge don't belong in our water!

Wastewater Pipe

Take action!
In 1982, a lot was happening in America. The Milwaukee Brewers were heading to the World Series, a hot new TV show called Knight Rider premiered, and the first pop album -- by the Bee Gees -- came out on compact disc. It was the year of the Commodore 64 and the year President Reagan promised that democracy would leave communism "on the ash-heap of history."

1982 was also the year the EPA wrote our current safeguards against coal plants dumping their toxic byproducts into our waters.

President Reagan was right about one thing: Some things belong in the past. Tell the EPA that it's time to update our water safeguards, and protect our communities against toxic coal wastewater!

Coal-fired power plants produce more toxic waste than any other industry in the United States, including the chemical, plastic, and paint manufacturing industries.[1] They spew millions of pounds of pollutants into our waters every year, and they'll keep at it as long as the Reagan-era rules go unchanged.

We've come a long way since 1982. We know a lot more about the toxins that coal plants dump into pits, ponds, lakes, and streams. We've also shown that grassroots voices like yours can have a huge impact when we all stand together and demand better protections for our families. Strong new protections against mercury and soot are proof that you can push the EPA to put our communities' health above big polluters' profits.

Our communities can't wait another 30 years to get this right. Tell the EPA that you want real protections against Big Coal's toxic wastewater!

Thanks for everything you do to protect the environment,

Mary Anne Hitt
Beyond Coal Campaign Director

P.S. Six comments are better than one! After you've taken action, please forward a copy of this message to five of your friends and family. Or spread the word on your social networks with the share buttons below.

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[1] Duhigg, Charles, Cleansing the Air at the Expense of Waterways, New York Times, October 12, 2009

Sierra Club | 85 2nd St San Francisco, CA 94105 |
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fwd: Renata for Port campaign kick-off this MONDAY

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Natalie McClendon <>
Date: Sat, Jun 8, 2013 at 4:16 PM
Subject: Renata for Port campaign kick-off this MONDAY

Kick off Renata Kowalczyk's campaign for Port of Bellingham Commissioner, MONDAY, June 10, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at 300 Harris Avenue in Bellingham.
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View it in your browser.
Natalie McClendon
Please join me in supporting
Renata Kowalczek for
Port of Bellingham Commissioner
Dear passionate politicos,

If you live in the Birch Bay area or just need an excuse to go to the beach, you can meet and talk with the four Democratic-endorsed candidates for County Council – Carl Weimer, Ken Mann, Rud Browne, and Barry Buchanan – this coming Monday, June 10, at 7 pm at Bay Horizon Park, 7506 Gemini Street, just up the hill from the C Shop. This event is open to the public, so invite your neighbors. It is sponsored by the Democratic Precinct Officers of the Blaine, Birch Bay, and Custer area. Unfortunately, this event conflicts with the following:

And the Candidates keep rolling on out! I have had the pleasure of getting to know Renata in the past few months, and all I can say is Renata is a force! You need to meet her and experience her for yourself. She will make a dynamite Port commissioner.

You Are Invited to
Renata Kowalczyk's Kick Off for her Campaign
for Port Of Bellingham Commissioner
Monday, June 10 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Renata is excited to kick off her campaign for
Port of Bellingham Commissioner, District 1,
at the first port-owned LEED Gold-certified building.

Andy Anderson, president of manufacturer Index Sensors,
will be welcoming us to his facility for the festivities.

We look forward to local food and music,
including fresh seafood from our fishermen,
and beer from Boundary Bay. Website

Join us to meet new friends who all know that Renata will put the Port to work for our community!


P.S. For an update on the Legislature's budget negotiations, check out Crosscut's take, House acts on budget, while Senate leaders limit their comments, The Olympian newspaper editorial This is not why we elected them,  and  The Political Junkie's report on Sen. Ranker's heroics. The final few days of the Special Session seem to be crashing and burning.
Copyright © 2013 Natalie McClendon, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Natalie McClendon
2414 C St
Bellingham, WA 98225

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Fwd: SEP Newsletter: Obama defends massive spying on Americans

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Socialist Equality Party" <>
Date: Jun 8, 2013 9:41 AM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: Obama defends massive spying on Americans
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


Obama defends massive spying on Americans

8 June 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Fwd: SEP Newsletter: The war on terror and the fate of US democracy

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Socialist Equality Party <>
Date: Sat, Jun 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM
Subject: SEP Newsletter: The war on terror and the fate of US democracy
To: "" <>

World Socialist Web Site

Socialist Equality Party Newsletter

Below is a selection of articles appearing on the World Socialist Web Site last week. Six days a week, the WSWS publishes on all the major political, social and cultural developments. To sign up for the daily newsletter, click here.
Take up the fight for socialism! Join the Socialist Equality Party! For more information and to get involved, click here.


The war on terror and the fate of US democracy

28 May 2013
The speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. last week has revealed not only a crisis within the Obama administration and increasingly bitter conflicts within the highest echelons of the state, but also, and most profoundly, a historic crisis of class rule.
Obama's speech is of exceptional political significance. More than a half-century after Eisenhower warned that American democracy was threatened by the emergence, in the aftermath of World War II, of a "military-industrial complex," Obama all but acknowledged that American democracy is approaching a point of breakdown.
A decade after the beginning of the "war on terror," Obama warned, "America stands at a crossroads." He continued, "We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us. We have to be mindful of James Madison's warning that no na tion could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
In other words, the danger to American democracy comes not from "terrorists"--the catch-all pretext for every action taken by the American ruling class since September 11, including by the present administration--but from within the state itself.
Obama's speech clearly emerged out of bitter conflicts within the state apparatus. He seemed engaged in a debate, without naming the parties with whom he was arguing. At times he would pause, as if he was waiting for a response. He took an almost passive attitude to the actions of his own administration, as if these were somehow external, somehow directed by forces outside of his own control.
This was not the speech of a confident chief executive, but the representative of an administration under siege, torn by internal contradictions, in which his control over the g overnment seems entirely questionable.
The president repeatedly referred to illegal actions taken. The American government had, he acknowledged, "compromised our basic values--by using torture to interrogate our enemies, and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law."
By designating them as "counter to the rule of law," Obama was effectively admitting that actions taken by the United States government--that have continued under his own administration--were illegal, criminal, unconstitutional.
Obama sought to defend these actions, while openly betraying his own nervousness that he was directly implicated in violations of the Constitution, for which he could be held liable.
Obama repeatedly reminded his audience that there were others involved in making these decisions. "Not only did Congress authorize the use of force , it is briefed on every strike that America takes, every strike," he insisted. "That includes the one instance where we targeted an American citizen."
Hidden from the American people, preparations are far advanced for an open break with democratic forms of rule in the United States. Under the framework of the "war on terror," the American ruling class has brought democracy to the very brink of extinction. Under first Bush and then Obama, the executive has claimed vast powers to wage war, spy on the American people, torture and hold prisoners indefinitely without charge, try them in military commissions, and kill anyone, anywhere, including US citizens, without due process.
Little more than a month ago, following the still unexplained bombings at the Boston Marathon, the entire city was placed in lockdown and virtual martial law. As the WSWS noted at the ti me, "The events in Boston have laid bare the modus operandi for the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule in the US." Once again, as with the attacks of September 11 that set off the "war on terror," the bombers were being closely monitored by sections of the state apparatus, and the events were seized on to implement new and unprecedented attacks on democratic rights.
The breakdown of democracy is tied to an immense growth in the strength of the military and intelligence apparatus. These institutions operate as virtual laws unto themselves.
Confirming that issues of civilian-military relations are being intensively discussed within the ruling class, an article appeared in the New York Times on Monday, penned by retired Army lieutenant general Karl Eikenberry, the former head of Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and historian David Kennedy. Under the headline, "Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart," the two authors worry that the expansion of the military is taking place under conditions of "a minimum citizen engagement and comprehension."

Fwd: GPT Coal Port & Boulevard Park; What's Next for GPT?

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Communitywise Bellingham" <>
Date: May 30, 2013 3:56 PM
Subject: GPT Coal Port & Boulevard Park; What's Next for GPT?
To: "Ryan" <>

GPT Coal Port's Impact on Boulevard Park; What Is Next for GPT?
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View it in your browser.

CWB's goal is to mitigate or eliminate negative impacts of the coal export project proposed for northwest Puget Sound on our quality of life, local economy, environmental health, and waterfront access.

May 2013

Coal Port Could Impact Boulevard Park, Cost Local Taxpayers.

What will happen to one of Whatcom County's most treasured and frequented parks if the GPT coal port is built? State documents indicate that a doubling of train traffic through Bellingham--which GPT would bring in just a few short years--will likely require a second track along this stretch of waterfront. As a result, the park's only vehicle entrance would be permanently closed to cars and pedestrians. The new track may also encroach on small, popular beaches. Read the full article. View graphic.

What Happens Next With GPT?

In the coming months, official agencies will determine what the "scope" of the Environmental Impact Study for the coal port will be--that is, exactly what will be studied and what won't. You can receive official updates on the process here. CWB, other citizen groups and many elected officials continue to call for a robust EIS that considers the full impacts of the project on the local economy, community health, quality of life and tribal rights. Read CWB's comments on the EIS here.

Debunking a GPT Myth: Trains Are Not Coming "Anyway."

GPT argues the port should be built since high-volume coal traffic through Whatcom County "is coming anyway." The facts say otherwise. Some increase in coal traffic to Canada could occur. However, only GPT guarantees more than doubling of current train traffic in just a few short years. View our graphic here. Read Sightline's updated analysis of the issue here.


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Gateway Pacific Terminal Project Information
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