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Posts tagged ‘NSA’

Does Voting Really Make a Difference?

I was walking with  my neighbor and her teenage son this morning and it was interesting to see their differing opinions on voting.  The teenage son’s opinion is that voting doesn’t work, the system is flawed and corrupt.  The mother is holding out that voting still has power.  After having this conversation on voting, I come across this post on Collective Evolution.  It very clearly states the many reasons why voting is not the answer anymore.

I was sitting on the beach the other day, staring out at the vast ocean, and asked myself, do I feel free? At first I thought, well, yes. Despite government control, in my own little world, I am happy, and do not feel chained to an idea, a person, and so on. But then I wondered if perhaps I am just brainwashed.

Foster Gamble of Thrive answers in a way that both alarms me and causes me to open my eyes:

“…my research revealed that a small group of financial elite have gained control over key areas of our lives – energy, food, health care, education and more – and are the single greatest threat to humanity’s ability to thrive.”

The financial elite who govern us do so out of greed, not for a better world, a better America, but for heavy pockets and incredible power. A study conducted by two political science professors suggests ordinary Americans have virtually no impact on the making of national policy. So who runs America? Rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups.

In the throes of political upheaval, there is so much discussion about what should have been, could have been, and what will be. It is a confusing and controversial time in the U.S. When voters put Barack Obama in office, they anticipated big changes. Obama sought to defend civil liberties and privacy, yet many question how Obama’s version of national security is that much different than the one he inherited. 

“His 2007 speech has become a cautionary tale of the gulf between powerful campaign rhetoric and reality,” noted CNN. So while the president lets down the country, and we are left to believe in his wrongdoings, the reality is, he couldn’t have pulled through in the first place.

“Guantanamo Bay remains open. The NSA has, if anything, become more aggressive in monitoring Americans. Drone strikes have escalated. Most recently it was reported that the same president who won a Nobel Prize in part for promoting nuclear disarmament is spending up to $1 trillion modernizing and revitalizing America’s nuclear weapons,”  notes a 2014 article from The Boston Globe.

This isn’t really a discussion about what was accomplished or not with Obama in office, however. That’s just a small part of a much bigger issue. Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon backs up this idea that Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried. As Americans, we are told we can steer our own government by electing new officials, but the truth of the matter is we are victims of a “double government.” There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, in which a disturbing amount of policy goes unchecked.

For instance, Glennon points outs out Obama and his team’s shock and dismay upon discovering that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan once he arrived in office: The United States could add more troops, or they could add a lot more troops. So while Obama fans became angered to find that he had opted for adding 30,000 more troops, the reality is, he had no choice.

It’s hard to swallow the pill that a “secret government” truly governs us, making us mere puppets in their play, but there are far too many examples of such a theory for it to be overlooked.

Take a look at the National Security Agency (NSA) for instance. Founded in 1952, its existence waskept secret from the public until the mid 1960s. And even more disturbing is the National Reconnaissance Office. Founded in 1960, it remained a secret for 30 years before it was officially revealed by Edward Snowden a few years ago.

There are a plethora of political individuals who have discussed this secrecy as well. John F. Hylan, for example, was Mayor of New York City from 1918-1925, and has been famously quoted as saying:

“The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation … The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties … [and] control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”

And in times like today, with WikiLeaks blowing the lid on the many lies within the U.S. government, it’s hard not to feel even more tricked, even more out of control of our lives than ever before. Bernie Sanders said from the beginning that he was essentially being bullied by the DNC, yet it wasn’t until the first “Hillary Leaks” that we have come to find out just how real and serious, and, more than anything, how rigged the political game really is. It’s not about fairness. It’s about money, and so a hidden agenda sweeps us all off our feet and continues to take control.

So the question remains, and is more pertinent now than ever before: How can we truly believe we are living in a “democracy” when presidents don’t even have enough power to significantly change anything?

Are we really free? Or have we been conditioned to believe we are? Corporations and mainstream media have us glued to our TV screens, searching for answers, searching for promises that can never be kept. Living as the puppets we are, we’ve become distracted from the truth, our attention diverted to what we want to hear as opposed to what we need to hear.

Go ahead and argue over who should be president, and go ahead and be angry or excited over the president that does get elected. But just know that you are wasting your breath on this very surface idea.

If we want real change, we have to look within, we have to look to ourselves. We can’t keep putting our faith and tasking our ‘leaders’ with the task of changing this world. The first step is awareness, and it’s happening faster and faster. More people are starting to become aware of what’s really happening on our planet. The next step is action, and we are just starting as a collective to take various action steps. The future really is brighter than ever, it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Related CE Articles:

10 Presidents & Politicians Who Told Us That A Secret Government Controls The World & What They Said

More On The Secret Government & Snowden’s Black Budget Leaks

Jimmy Carter Supports Snowden

Der Spiegel: Jimmy Carter Supports Snowden;
Admits to Press: “America Has No Functioning Democracy”

 
President Jimmy Carter

This was posted at Brian Kelly’s Blog -AK

http://briankellysblog.blogspot.com/2013/07/jimmy-carter-supports-snowden-admits-to.html

Jimmy Carter Supports Snowden; Admits to Press: “America Has No Functioning Democracy”
July 18, 2013

Found this in one of Germany’s biggest newspapers; Spiegel. Of course we won’t hear about Carter’s comments in any American Press. To say “America has no functioning Democracy,” is quite the statement by a former President.

A direct link to that article, using google translate, can be found here.
Ex-President Carter: “The invasion of privacy has gone too far”

The Obama administration tried to placate Europe’s anger over spying programs. Not as ex-President Jimmy Carter: The Democrat attacked the U.S. intelligence sharp. The disclosure by whistleblowers Snowden was “useful.”

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was in the wake of the NSA Spähskandals criticized the American political system. “America has no functioning democracy,” Carter said Tuesday at a meeting of the “Atlantic Bridge” in Atlanta.

Previously, the Democrat had been very critical of the practices of U.S. intelligence. “I think the invasion of privacy has gone too far,” Carter told CNN. “And I think that is why the secrecy was excessive.”Overlooking the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said Carter, whose revelations were long “likely to be useful because they inform the public.”

Carter has repeatedly warned that the United States sharply declined due to excessive restriction of civil rights, their moral authority. Last year he wrote in an article in the “New York Times”, new U.S. laws “never before seen breach our privacy by the government” allowed the.

Carter was the 39th President of the United States, who ruled from 1977 until 1981. During his tenure, he tried to align U.S. foreign policy that is more about human rights – after his retirement from active politics for his humanitarian work, he received the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize .

In Atlanta, he also expressed his overall pessimistic about the global situation. There is currently no reason for him to be optimistic, Carter said, referring to the situation in Egypt, which had fallen into a military dictatorship. He also lamented the growing political divide in the United States, the excessive influence of money in U.S. election campaigns and the confusing American election rules. The ex-president whose “Carter Center” operates worldwide including election monitoring, announced skeptical whether the United States, the standard that applies when reviewing the Center of elections might be fulfilled.

As a bright spot, however, Carter called the triumph of modern technology that would have caused some of the countries of the Arab Spring of democratic progress. Exactly these developments but are endangered by the NSA Spähskandal as major U.S. Internet platforms such as Google or Facebook lose credibility worldwide.
Posted by Brian Kelly at 9:49 AM 

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport
Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC

Edward Joseph Snowden delivered a statement to human rights organizations and individuals at Sheremetyevo airport at 5pm Moscow time today, Friday 12th July. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The human rights organizations included Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and were given the opportunity afterwards to ask Mr Snowden questions. The Human Rights Watch representative used this opportunity to tell Mr Snowden that on her way to the airport she had received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr Snowden that the US Government does not categorise Mr Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law. This further proves the United States Government’s persecution of Mr Snowden and therefore that his right to seek and accept asylum should be upheld. Seated to the left of Mr. Snowden was Sarah Harrison, a legal advisor in this matter from WikiLeaks and to Mr. Snowden’s right, a translator.

Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013. (Transcript corrected to delivery)

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Edward-Snowden-to.html

Posted by Obi-Wan Kabuki at 6:35 PM
Labels: Edward Joseph Snowden, Edward Snowden, NSA, WHISTLEBLOWER

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