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US increases harassment of WikiLeaks, Assange associates

As the Australian government continues to insist the United States is not interested in charging Julian Assange, the Obama administration has significantly ramped up its harassment of activists and journalists linked to WikiLeaks in recent months.

The harassment of net security activist Jacob Appelbaum has long been a matter of public record. Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir no longer travels to the US in case she is arrested, on the advice of the Icelandic state department. In recent months, however, the list of targets for harassment has expanded. French internet freedom activist Jêrêmie Zimmermann was stopped by FBI agents in May while attending a conference in Washington DC, two months after being interviewed for Assange’s television program. Icelander Smari McCarthy was also been stopped while entering the US, and according to one report, asked by three officials to become an informer about Assange.

Combined with the still-unexplained stopping of human rights lawyer Jen Robinson in April, also while travelling, suggests a more systematic approach to harassing people connected with WikiLeaks by Department of Homeland Security officials and the FBI.

Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker and journalist based in New York. Her work focusing on America post-9/11, has been nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for outstanding investigative journalism. The films also earned Poitras the enmity of the Department of Homeland Security, which since 2006 has stopped her on virtually every occasion on her return to the US and interrogated her about her activities while out of the country. Her electronic equipment, notes and other documents have also been seized. On one occasion, armed officials demanded she stop taking notes of their treatment of her because her pen was a threatening weapon, and threatened to handcuff her to stop her. Glenn Greenwald at Salon, DemocracyNow and The New York Times in 2010 have all covered DHS’s treatment of an American journalist for the offence of making documentaries that don’t accord with Washington’s view of reality.

This year, once she started working on a project with Assange, DHS’s harassment of Poitras shifted and she starting being detained by DHS agents before boarding flights in London, Amsterdam, and Paris, rather than on arrival in the US. The most recent occasion was on June 1 before a Virgin Atlantic flight from Heathrow to the US, when she was “interviewed” about her activities and where she has been staying, before being patted down and allowed to board the flight. Preflight interviewing is consistent with the DHS protocol for passengers on an “inhibited” list. Poitras has been stopped several times at Heathrow while flying Virgin Atlantic to the US, such that she is now on first name terms with Virgin’s Heathrow head of security. “Your name is on a ‘target’ list,” he told Poitras on June 1, before a DHS official arrived to speak to her. “It’s rare for a US citizen.”

DHS declined to speak about the harassment of Poitras or the treatment of McCarthy and Zimmermann on the grounds that “due to privacy laws, US Customs and Border Protection is prohibited from discussing specific cases”. Some pabulum accompanied the refusal, from Michael J. Friel of the Customs and Border Protection media area, including

Our dual mission is to facilitate travel in the United States while we secure our borders, our people and our visitors from those that would do us harm like terrorists and terrorist weapons, criminals, and contraband.  CBP officers are charged with enforcing not only immigration and customs laws, but they enforce over 400 laws for 40 other agencies and have stopped thousands of violators of US law.”

Virgin Atlantic also refused to make any comment on security matters on the basis that they were “strictly confidential”. This follows Virgin Atlantic’s peculiar about-face after initially revealing to Crikey that Jen Robinson was stopped at the request of security agencies but then refusing to comment further after the UK Home Office intervened.

The unwillingness of either DHS or a private company to discuss government-ordained-corporate-delivered harassment is not an accidental feature of such processes, or a mere effort to cover embarrassment, but a key element. It prevents the most basic accountability and scrutiny or actions either through a claim of “confidentiality” — often based on the pretence of concern for the “rights” of the target of harassment (rights of course that have already been systematically violated by the agency) — or through outsourcing of implementation to private companies beyond the reach of political scrutiny, or through bland bureaucratese that is intended to misdirect, obscure or provide only the pretence of responsiveness. Or, in this case, all three.

While the apparent extension of harassment reinforces the case that, contra the willful blindness of the Australian government, the Obama administration is accelerating its investigation of Julian Assange, Poitras has been enduring such treatment for six years, all due to her journalism. And at the hands of a government that notionally guarantees freedom of the press.

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  • 1
    Michael de Angelos
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    If that is the treatment Poitras has received just as film-maker, God only knows what is in store for Assange given that US politicians have openly called for his assassination.

    He is sensible to flee as both UK and Australian authorities comply with their masters except of course, when the UK refused to handover the murderous dictator Pinochet to Spain where he was wanted for the murder of Spanish citizens.

    As for enforcing security, as the US seems riddled with illicit drugs, Homeland Security (sounds so similar to pre-war Nazi Germany) seems hopelessly incompetent but maybe that’s because they spend so much time hassling political opponents.

  • 2
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    …armed officials demanded she stop taking notes of their treatment of her because her pen was a threatening weapon, and threatened to handcuff her to stop her.’

    Surely this takes the cake. The Yanks have an obsessive fear mentality but who knew it was this advanced? Next you’ll be telling us that US marines on overseas deployment will be armed with pens. You can bet that Barry’s personal bodyguards are already kitted out with the latest Watermans.

    It will be only a matter of time before the US bans evil-doing pens on aircraft. Frankly, I can’t understand why anyone would travel there voluntarily.

  • 3
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The US is a paranoid state which has acted secretly and with impunity outside the law, any law, for over sixty years. Scores of countries have been invaded. Vietnam and Iraq are just the two most catastophic. The ALP has long been a fawning, complicit party to these crimes. Assange and others like him have every reason to fear for their freedom and their lives.
    Gillard instantly declared Assange a criminal. Since then, her minders have warned her to keep her mouth shut, but we all know Australia will do nothing material to assist Assange.
    Oh yes, and don’t mention the Abbott….

  • 4
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    And remember that ex-Trot Paul Howes is an official US “protected source”.

    Outed by Wikileaks…

  • 5
    michaelwholohan1
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    The land of “new speak”. Perhaps a change in lyrics: ’ The land of the feaks & the home of the depraved’

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Are they hounding Domscheit-Berg?

  • 7
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    No they won’t hound Danny boy because Danny boy turned.

    Consider the government treatment of Jennifer Robinson and Julian Assange and their total indifference compared to the treatment of Melinda Taylor.

  • 8
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes Marilyn, I forgot to mention Melinda Taylor- even though I’ve been sickened daily by the schmaltz.

    Carr milked this minor story like a fat Jersey cow. The ambassador worked flat out for three weeks to extricate her (the other three detained were rarely mentioned- they weren’t Australian)…
    Avuncular Carr constantly referred to Taylor, her husband and her parents by their first names, like a tabloid hack squeezing every drop of faux emotion from the tale…

    yet these people were never under serious threat- the cack-handed ICC only had to apologise for it’s dumb intrusion into Libya…eventually it did.

  • 9
    klewso
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t “Taylorgate” a “trade-off” by “New Libya”, to get the UN to back-off wanting to try “Gadaffi-duc Jnr”?

  • 10
    SusieQ
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    And if you ever doubted that ‘Get Smart’ wasn’t based on real life……

  • 11
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    At last the Melinda Taylor tedium came to an end - mercifully for her family and also for the Oz public. As noted above by Frank Campbell, the ever so helpful and chummy Carr bandied about first names of the Taylor family and gave us a barrage of updates we didn’t need (or, in my case, didn’t want). In fact updates made me angrier as they highlighted the huge difference between Taylor and Assange.

    Apart from Taylor’s release one other good thing has come out of this: when pressed about the plight of Assange, no longer will the PM and her acolytes be able to trot out that old chestnut ie: More Consular Assistance Than Any Other Australian In Living Memory etc.

    And I’m taking bets that Carr won’t be referring to him as Julian.

  • 12
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I find it a bit strange that people are trying to compare Melinda Taylor being held prisoner in Libya with Julian Assange being subjected to house arrest in a UK country Manor.

    Come on people get some perspective, Assange has an army of lawyers and celebrity well wishers and has been subject to once of the best judicial systems in the world, Taylor is being held in Libya where who really knows who the ruling power even is.

  • 13
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy: Assange has many supporters, but they don’t include the government. That’s the point.

    No one pretends Taylor was ever in harm’s way. Not even Carr.

    He did mention the ample yoghurt in the fridge though…

  • 14
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Frank - Where would you prefer to be and which judicial system would you want to be subject to?

    And have the govt given him consular assistance?

    And is Assange in harms way?

    As pointed out many times on this site Assange has done nothing wrong by publishing the documents so what is the US supposedly going to charge him with? And if those charges are laid how will they prove them in a court of law?

  • 15
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy: Biden called Assange a “terrorist”, other yanks have demanded his assassination…they appear to be planning an extradition. Look what they did to Manning- solitary confinement for months etc. Whether Assange has “done anything wrong” is hardly the point- they want him. Once “terrorism” and “patriotism” are invoked in paranoia-land, anything can be justified. If Manning won’t “incriminate” Assange, expect Manning to spend the rest of his life in a brutal gringo prison…

    If they can’t extradite Assange, they may abduct him. They’ve had lots of practice.

    What the US thinks it is and what it actually is are two different things.

    The Australian govt. should make it clear to the US that it won’t allow Assange to be hunted down…

  • 16
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Frank - Firstly it doesn’t matter what Biden or any shock jock said, they aren’t part of the judicial process.

    Secondly how and from where are they going to abduct someone with the profile of Assange?

    And third what charge will be laid? The federal court just knocked down the govts bid to be able to hold people without charge.

    And if as you say “If they can’t extradite Assange, they may abduct him.” and “Whether Assange has “done anything wrong” is hardly the point- they want him. Once “terrorism” and “patriotism” are invoked in paranoia-land, anything can be justified” why do you think what the Australian govt has to say will make any difference?

  • 17
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy you forget that the British are playing dirty games with Assange by complying with requests for extradition for questioning.

    If countries can extradite people for questioning only god knows what they will get away with.

  • 18
    John Bennetts
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy:

    … and I suppose that Guantamo Bay prison has been closed as a result of the court decision that “the govt [may not] hold people without charge”?

    Back in the real world, America does hold people without charge and it does abdicate people without due legal process and it does ignore international borders and international laws, regardless of what the federal court may say.

    Federal courts are powerless against the might of American political and military machines and you know it.

  • 19
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    @ZUT ALORS - Re visiting the US - I’m with you. If I won lotto tomorrow, the US would NOT be on my ‘must visit’ list - they mightn’t let me in anyway!! I’m sure they have access to my ASIO file of many years. Demonstrations, peace rallies, you know the sort of thing that threatens life and liberty!

    I hope Julian stays where he is as long as he can - unless he gets some assurances from our Govt(fat chance?) or the US or Sweden! Not much chance of that either.

    Why doesn’t someone put to the US as to why they haven’t arrested anyone from the other media outlets? Murdoch, The NYT etc Fox?

    @JIMMY - Since when has the US had to have grounds or charges prior to locking people up? Remember David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib? Hicks wasn’t charged for 2 1/2 years AFTER he was locked up. All the Feds in Australia lied through their teeth about Mandouh Habib? He WAS in Egypt when Downer etc said he wasn’t, or they didn’t know blah blah blah! He was there all the time, and being tortured. Anyone who saw the ‘bag of bones’ that alighted from the aircraft would have to agree that he was a skeleton on legs! Horrific!

    Obama spends Tuesdays choosing who’s going to be killed via drones that week. When a country does that to people in other countries, isn’t that classified as being ‘a terrorist act’?

    Too sickening for words! Stay where you are Julian!

  • 20
    Frank Campbell
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    true Jimmy, there’s no guarantee the Oz govt could guarantee that the Feral State wouldn’t ignore/renege on any deal…it depends on whether the US thinks that Assange is neutralised or not. The US govt demanded that the monopoly financial institutions (Paypal, Amex, Visa) deny service to Wikileaks, itself an act of international bastardry. If Assange is hounded into silence and (ummm) impotence, the gringos may leave him alone- the Oz govt. could exert its influence then. Better than being murdered or locked up in the US gulag…

    what charges would they lay? they’re working on it…

  • 21
    Liamj
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    What an amazing coincidence that all the pro-LNP trolls are also fine with USA as Gulags R Us - what is it about democracy they just can’t handle?

    The yanks wont of course give a damn what we SAY - but if we Australians were to actually DO something, like say shut down Pine Gap, or turn their economically-conscripted marines away from R&R in Darwin & Perth, or kick their killer robot drones off our soil, then we might get their attention.

    Anybody got any cojones?

  • 22
    Michael de Angelos
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy you sound well meaning but hopelessly naive. Remember David Hicks and Mamdoud Habib?

    There are still dozens in Gitmo for no apparent reason.

  • 23
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy, don’t overlook that handy card all US presidents have hidden up their sleeve ie: executive power.

  • 24
    AR
    Posted Wednesday, 4 July 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I have nothing to add to the above comments (from the sane, ie not Jimminy Cricket or Crockett - it’s only a wonder that PatrIdiot hasn’t spewed its venom), the facts are on record for anyone deluded enough to think that the Hegemon is bound by laws or acceptable standards of conduct - extraordinary renditions, abductions, extra judicial killing, black sites, aggressive wars, war crimes, not to mention little things like ignoring the Law of the Sea Conventions, ICC, and their charming domestic record of >1% of adults in prison and another >2% disenfranchised (oddly racial in effect but hey, it’s amerika, wot ya gonna do?) due to previous incarcertation, a lower literacy rate, higher post natal death rate, and worse social indicators than any other western country.

  • 25
    Patriot
    Posted Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    So much for DNFTT. Now you’re inviting me to comment. Assange is hardly a saint. He bragged in an interview with The Observer about causing 1,300 death in Kenya with one of his leaks. He has his agenda and he’s prepared to fib, keep secrets and even be responsible for deaths to achieve it.

    Now, what was that agenda of his again? Oh, that’s right - he doesn’t think countries should be allowed to fib or keep secrets or cause civilian deaths.

  • 26
    Jimmy
    Posted Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Marilyn - “Jimmy you forget that the British are playing dirty games with Assange by complying with requests for extradition for questioning.” So it is your contention that the british judicial system has been got at by the US govt?

    John Bennetts - “and I suppose that Guantamo Bay prison has been closed as a result of the court decision that “the govt [may not] hold people without charge”?” This is only from Wikipedia so I know it could be questioned but apparently the ruling does not apply to 9/11 offenders, presumably because of some “military action” type distinction - hardly applicable to Assange. Have a look at the ruling and the subsequent response to the govt’s request for clarification and see if it could be interpretted any other way than he can’t be held without charge.

    Michael De Angelos - “Jimmy you sound well meaning but hopelessly naive. Remember David Hicks and Mamdoud Habib?” Had anyone heard of those 2 before the were “abducted” and sent to guantanamo? Had they been on the cover of time? Were they “abducted” from England or Sweden or from what was effectively a war zone?

    Zut Alors - I am no expert but are you sure “executive power” over rides the judical branch in the US system? I would be surprised to find it does.

  • 27
    Jimmy
    Posted Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Marilyn - “Jimmy you forget that the British are playing dirty games with Assange by compl ying with requests for extradition for questioning.” So it is your contention that the british judicial system has been got at by the US govt?

    John Bennetts - “and I suppose that Guantamo Bay prison has been closed as a result of the court decision that “the govt [may not] hold people without charge”?” This is onl y from Wikipedia so I know it could be questioned but apparentl y the ruling does not apply to 9 11 offenders, presumabl y because of some “military action” type distinction - hardly applicable to Assange. Have a look at the rul ing and the subsequent response to the govt’s request for clarification and see if it could be interpretted any other way than he can’t be held without charge.

    Michael De Angelos - “Jimmy you sound well meaning but hopelessly naive. Remember David Hicks and Mamdoud Habib?” Had anyone heard of those 2 before the were “abducted” and sent to guantanamo? Had they been on the cover of time? Were they “abducted” from England or Sweden or from what was effectively a war zone?

    Zut Alors - I am no expert but are you sure “executive power” over rides the judical branch in the US system? I would be surprised to find it does.

  • 28
    whoknows
    Posted Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Four years ago, on the campaign trail, candidate Barack Obama shared his views on whistleblowers.

    He said: “Often the best source of information about waste, fraud and abuse in government is a government employee committed to public integrity, willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism … should be encouraged rather than stifled.”

    Really!!!

    As president, the reality has been very different. On his watch, six whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information. That is twice as many as all past presidents combined.

  • 29
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 5 July 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    @PATRIOT - Show us the link! I haven’t heard of any such thing. With the media wanting any excuse to get stuck in to Julian, I think we would’ve heard about this before. In fact, the PM and or Attorney General would be making that point. Of course, people like Gerard Henderson and others at Murdoch stables would also.

    Of course we won’t speak about the 1.5 million Iraqis who are dead; the maiming of civilians, nor will we mention the Depleted Uranium from the last War let alone this one? We won’t speak of Guantanamo, prisons in Afghanistan, the use of air space in Britain and Europe to take innocent people to nazi type concentration camps/prisons etc. will we? The half million kids who died as a result of US sanctions after the last gulf war and the present one. Nah! Let’s just demonise Julian Assange for telling the world what lots of us already knew - that the US’s bs about freedom and democracy is just that - bs! Ask the people from Deigo Garcia, or Central/South America, or the almost 50 countries the US has either interfered with or invaded since the end of WW2?

    Oh yes, terrible person, Julian Assange - a threat to world peace no less! If the US want to be thought of as the leader in justice and righteousness, then they should start acting that way!

    If that’s the best you can offer for the revolting way he’s being treated, then shut up!

  • 30
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 6 July 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Liz 45 - “The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chilling statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shilling being debased.”

    It’s the kind of moral conundrum that would unnerve most people, that made some wonder last week what the potential ramifications of the latest leak might be, but it is a subject on which Assange himself is absolutely clear: “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”

    I believe this was what Patriot was referring to, whether you call it bragging, showing a disregard for the impact of his actions, a signs of a belief that the truth is paramount whatever the ramifications or even an overblown sense of the impact of his leak is up to you.

  • 31
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 6 July 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Liz 45 - “The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventuall y killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chill ing statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shill ing being debased.”

    It’s the kind of moral conundrum that would unnerve most people, that made some wonder last week what the potential ramifications of the latest leak might be, but it is a subject on which Assange himself is absolutely clear: “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”

    I bel ieve this was what Patriot was referring to, whether you call it bragging, showing a disregard for the impact of his actions, a signs of a bel ief that the truth is paramount whatever the ramifications or even an overblown sense of the impact of his leak is up to you.

  • 32
    Jimmy
    Posted Friday, 6 July 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Liz 45 - “The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventuall y ki lled, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chill ing statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shill ing being debased.”

    It’s the kind of moral conundrum that would unnerve most people, that made some wonder last week what the potential ramifications of the latest leak might be, but it is a subject on which Assange himself is absolutel y clear: “You have to start with the truth. The truth is the onl y way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon l ie s or ignorance can’t lead to a good conclusion.”

    I bel ieve this was what Patriot was referring to, whether you call it bragging, showing a disregard for the impact of his actions, a signs of a bel ief that the truth is paramount whatever the ramifications or even an overblown sense of the impact of his leak is up to you.

  • 33
    Jud Lohmeyer
    Posted Saturday, 7 July 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    The pen is mightier then the sword! I’m glad the US Gov is still afraid. Now it is our turn to inflict the US with more ink then they can defeat within the national secrecy state.

  • 34
    Liz45
    Posted Saturday, 7 July 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    @JIMMY - I just wrote an answer to your post, pressed the wrong key, and zap, it’s gone.

    Suffice to say, that I abhor all violence, regardless. But it’s interesting how people like PATRIOT and others are quick to demonise Julian Assange, but don’t mention the hundreds of thousands (no millions) killed and maimed by the US and its allies in my lifetime - almost the end of WW2.

    I also don’t support ‘our troops’? I can’t, I can’t be against the illegal and horrific invasions, occupations and oppression of the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, but support those who’ve been responsible, including Aussies. I feel great sadness for the family of the latest person to be killed in Afghanistan, as I know how horrific it is to lose loved ones, but he shouldn’t have been there in the first place. If you join the military, chances are you’ll end up dead or worse!

    I’m waiting for the day when we have a memorial service for the children of those two countries who are dead, orphaned, maimed or worse; who are also suffering from malnutrition, PTSD and other psychological conditions. But, it won’t happen. We don’t even have the decency to keep count of the numbers of dead. The only time they’re mentioned is when their relatives go public about how they were murdered or massacred at a wedding or some such. Just sickening!

    So, whilst I abhor all violence, I don’t become deaf to who’s responsible for the hundreds of thousands, millions perhaps of people killed in the last 12 years. And why? Harmid Karzai is a crook, so is his brother; millions of dollars, no billions has been ‘stolen’ by corrupt people in Afghanistan, the US etc. So what the heck are we doing there? And why are we giving Karzai even more money to hand out to his buddies? Why was he planted there in the first place? Of course we know - he’s a slavish supporter of the US< and does as he's told! Just disgusting!

  • 35
    Owen Gary
    Posted Sunday, 8 July 2012 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    @Jimmy

    Liberty and the search for it usually leads to death & is an ongoing battle that never sleeps, take a look at the world around us with people being ethnically cleansed in Palestine, Syria & other places.

    Perhaps we should toe the Conservative line & sit in dark rooms to be fed on mushrooms??

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