Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Benghazi questions remain

September 11, 2012, there was an attack in Benghazi and 4 Americans were killed: Tyrone Woods, Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty.  I try to change it up so that everyone gets a chance to be listed first.  (Whereas the bulk of the press just writes "Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.")  The story is not dying, the scandal is not going away.

Tuesday, it was raised again in the State Department press briefing.  Here's the exchange with State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki:

QUESTION: Also, on Benghazi, Jen --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- as you know, you’ve gotten a look at a book excerpt that appears in the August issue of Vanity Fair concerning Benghazi. The author appears to bring a wealth of new detail to the timeline of events from the night of the attack on the consulate. Their chief conclusion seems to be that the attackers enjoyed detailed “knowledge,” quote-unquote, of the consulate’s layout, even to the point of knowing where the gasoline cans were located, all of which suggest that this terrorist attack was much more premeditated and carefully thought out than has previously been understood.
Does the Department dispute any accounts of this?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I’m aware of the article. I haven’t read the article and there hasn’t been any analysis of the article. As you know, our official account of the events from that night is in the unclassified ARB report. This article seems to draw heavily from that. In terms of other details that don’t correspond with it, I just don’t have anything further for that – on that for you.

QUESTION: And based on what we know now, including the details amassed by these authors --

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: -- Messrs. Burton and Katz, how much premeditation do we believe the Benghazi attack benefited from? Where did the intelligence possibly come from for them to know where this stuff was?

MS. PSAKI: Again, I’m just not going to have a further comment on a situation that you know is being looked at, that’s ongoing, and --

QUESTION: Right, and when --

MS. PSAKI: -- and we’ve already put out an unclassified ARB report accounting the details of the event.

QUESTION: And when Secretary Clinton famously asked about Benghazi, was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they would go kill some Americans, this article clearly suggests that that was not the case, and that the consulate was under careful observation for some time. Can you comment on that and maybe about outsourcing security to other host nations?

MS. PSAKI: This has all been addressed, and --

QUESTION: Could you also ask for – maybe you should put that quote in context.

MS. PSAKI: Fair enough, but it’s all been addressed in the ARB report.

Maybe in the classified ARB report, Ms. Psaki, but not all addressed in the public ARB report.  And it is not going away.

Be sure you read Stan's "Mistresses" from last night.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013.  Chaos and violence continue, new political alliances are formed in Baghdad, Bradley Manning's defense rests, the State Dept continues to obsess over Iraq, Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh is targeted, and more.

AP reports today that the Pentagon is considering eliminating danger pay for many troops stationed around the world in order to save money.  The report notes, "Under the plans being discussed, troops would still receive the extra money if they serve in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. The U.S. does not have any military members now serving in Iran."

Moving over to Iraq War veteran Bradley Manning whose defense rested today. 

Monday April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released  military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Monday June 7, 2010, the US military announced that they had arrested Bradley Manning and he stood accused of being the leaker of the video. Leila Fadel (Washington Post) reported in August 2010 that Manning had been charged -- "two charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first encompasses four counts of violating Army regulations by transferring classified information to his personal computer between November and May and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system. The second comprises eight counts of violating federal laws governing the handling of classified information." In March, 2011, David S. Cloud (Los Angeles Times) reported that the military has added 22 additional counts to the charges including one that could be seen as "aiding the enemy" which could result in the death penalty if convicted. The Article 32 hearing took place in December. At the start of this year, there was an Article 32 hearing and, February 3rd, it was announced that the government would be moving forward with a court-martial. Bradley has yet to enter a plea. The court-martial was supposed to begin before the November 2012 election but it was postponed until after the election so that Barack wouldn't have to run on a record of his actual actions. adds, "A court martial is set to be held in June at Ford Meade in Maryland, with supporters treating him as a hero, but opponents describing him as a traitor."  February 28th, Bradley admitted he leaked to WikiLeaks.  And why.

Bradley Manning:   In attempting to conduct counter-terrorism or CT and counter-insurgency COIN operations we became obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and not being suspicious of and avoiding cooperation with our Host Nation partners, and ignoring the second and third order effects of accomplishing short-term goals and missions. I believe that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information contained within the CIDNE-I and CIDNE-A tables this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general as [missed word] as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
I also believed the detailed analysis of the data over a long period of time by different sectors of society might cause society to reevaluate the need or even the desire to even to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore the complex dynamics of the people living in the effected environment everyday.

Had the US government shown the same concern, Bradley wouldn't have had to step up.  Instead, they gladly supported Nouri al-Maliki in torture and that's what Brad's exposures really prove.  This took place under Barack Obama's administration.  When the dots are connected, it's obvious what the White House has so feared for so long.

Thomas Gaist (WSWS) reports on Monday's proceedings:

While Manning’s defense team made arguments Monday presenting his decision to leak classified documents as motivated by concern for the well-being of the United States, its military, and the Iraqi people, Lind’s ruling prevents the defense from basing their case on the defendant’s principled opposition to US policies.
On Monday, the defense called Lauren McNamara, a woman who corresponded with Manning during the period when he made the leaks. She testified that he was “concerned with saving the lives of families in foreign countries” and that he “considered human life to be valuable above all.” McNamara quoted from her correspondence with Manning, reading his statement that was “concerned about making sure that everyone, soldiers, marines, contractors, even the local nationals, get home to their families.”
US Army sergeant David Sadtler, who oversaw Manning’s intelligence work, testified that Manning was angered by the jailing of 15 Iraqi civilians, with US approval, for distributing written material criticizing the government. “He was upset at the situation,” Sadtler said. Previously, Manning stated before the court that the Iraqis involved had no ties to the armed resistance against the US occupation, and that their materials contained a “scholarly critique” of the current regime.
Manning’s pre-trial statement shows that he was motivated by a growing consciousness of the criminal character of US foreign policy. In the statement, delivered to the military judge in February, the soldier asserted that his actions were intended to initiate a process of “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms.”
Referring to politically motivated roundups carried out with full US support by the Iraqi regime, Manning said, “I knew that if I continued to assist the Baghdad Federal Police in identifying the political opponents of Prime Minister al-Maliki, those people would be arrested and in the custody of the Baghdad Federal Police and very likely tortured and not seen again for a very long time, if ever.”

As for today,   Xeni Jardin (BoingBoing) reports:


Manning has not, did not, and today told the court he will not testify in his court martial.
The defense rested its case today after having called a total of ten witnesses in the trial. The last was Yochai Benkler, a Harvard professor who is the author a widely-cited paper on the role WikiLeaks plays in what he terms "the networked fourth estate." In his testimony for the defense today, he described Wikileaks as having played a legitimate role in a new world of journalism; he argued that the government's characterization of the group as an Anti-American espionage front was inaccurate."   

Adam Klasfeld (Courthouse News)  explains, "The last witness to testify for the defense, Benkler is considered an academic authority in the evolution of media in the age of the Internet, and the most widely cited scholar on WikiLeaks."  Ian Simpson (Reuters) adds of Benkler's testimony:

 WikiLeaks is "a clear distinct component of what in the history of journalism we see as high points, where journalists are able to come in and say, 'Here's a system operating in a way that is obscure to the public and now we're able to shine the light,'" said Benkler, the co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Brad Knickerbocker (Christian Science Monitor) observes, "The essence of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s defense in his military court martial is that, yes, he released a trove of classified data to the controversial whistle-blower organization WikiLeaks, but that information did not seriously harm US national security – and it certainly did not aid the enemy in the war on terrorism."  RT notes, "The soldier’s court-martial is now recessed until next week, at which point government prosecutors plan to offer a rebuttal. Col. Denise Lind, the presiding military judge in the case, also is expected to weigh in next week on the defense’s recent request that the government acquit Pfc. Manning on four of the more than 20 counts he has been charged with, including aiding the enemy."

 Moving over to Iraq, today was also when UNAMI issued the following:

 SRSG Martin Kobler's message to the Iraqi people for the holy month of Ramadan
Baghdad, 10 July 2013 - As Muslims around the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan, I would like to wish a blessed and peaceful month to all Iraqis on behalf of the entire UN family in Iraq.
 Ramadan is a time of devotion and harmony, a time of charity and forgiveness.
 The country has been struck by an increasing number of attacks and great violence during the past weeks and months. May the spirit of Ramadan bring peace and the hope for a better future to all Iraqi communities.
Ramadan Mubarak!

One of the big  stories in Iraq since last week has been the Under-20 World Cup.  Marcus Ghristenson (Guardian) reports:

On the Saturday night, Ali Yaseen was part of the Iraq squad that stunned Chile to reach the last 16 of the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. On Sunday morning his club back in Iraq, Karbala, announced that their coach, Mohammed Abbas al-Jabouri, had died from the injuries suffered in an attack by anti-terrorism police during a match the previous weekend.
Yaseen, 19, had taken his place on the bench for the game in the knowledge that his coach was in a coma and that seven of his team-mates had been injured in the attack, several of them critically. He knew, too, that if he had not been selected for the Under-20 World Cup, he would most probably have been playing in the match against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and could, quite possibly, have ended up in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

AP explains the results of today's match with this headline "Uruguay spoils Iraq's fairy tale run after penalties, joining France in U-20 World Cup final."  Kevin McCauley (SB Nation) reports:

Ali Adnan, an experienced senior international for Iraq, netted the opening goal with an absolutely stunning free kick, scoring his second goal of the tournament. It appeared that he would attempt to play an in-swinging cross on a free kick from the right flank, 30 yards from goal, but instead he opted to rip a bending shot towards the top corner at the near post. Uruguay keeper Guillermo De Amores actually saw and reacted to the shot well, but it was so well placed and it with so much power that he had no chance to make a save.
Uruguay had a number of good chances throughout the match, but struggled to make the most of them. Iraq goalkeeper Mohammed Hameed was erratic, but ultimately very effective and made a number of big saves and clearances. However, he wasn't able to keep a clean sheet. In the 87th minute, Felipe Avenatti won a header in a crowd and nodded down to Gonzalo Bueno, who finished from 12 yards to level the match and force extra time.

All Iraq News notes that Ali Adnan and Mohamed Hamid were injured when they crashed into one another and that the game "was suspended to transport the two Iraqi players for treatment, then they returned to the field."

 Eric Willemsen (AP) explains, "Streets and cafes in Baghdad and other cities were the scene of jubilant celebrations after the wins over Paraguay and South Korea, but the streets remained calm on Wednesday.  Iraq also drew a lot of Turkish fans, who switched allegiance after the host team lost in the first knockout round."  This was the first time in 12 years that Iraq had qualified for the semi-finals so despite today's outcome, this was a historic victory for them.  In addition to having to compete in the match, they also had to deal today with rumors that sought to disqualify the team.  Eric Williemsen (AP) reports that FIFA cleared them today of charges that any member of their team was 21 or older (which would make them too old to compete).

NINA notes four football fields were closed in Diyala Province today after threats were received that they would be the latest football fields to bombed in Iraq. All Iraq News notes the British Embassy in Iraq issued a statement and quotes British Foreign Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, stating, "I am sickened to hear of the recent attacks in Iraq targeting people playing and watching football and other sports. My prayers go out to the families of those who have been injured or lost their lives in these cowardly attacks." On violence, the United Nations' Francesco Motta told AFP today, "Iraq is really at a crossroads.  I wouldn't say we're at a civil war yet, but the figures are not looking good."

National Iraqi News Agency reports a Falluja sticky bombing claimed 1 life and left another person injured, 2 brothers who were currency exchange workers were shot dead in Kirkuk, 1 contractor was shot dead outside of his Mosul home., a Baghdad apartment invasion left 3 women dead, and  an Anbar Province suicide bomber claimed the life of 1 police officer and left three more injured. Alsumaria adds that an armed attack in Kirkuk left 1 member of the Tigris Operation Command dead and another injured. Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 219 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.

On the political front, Hamza Mustafa (Asharq al-Awsat) reports:

Sadr Movement leader Moqtada Al-Sadr has announced a new alliance with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) led by Ammar Al-Hakim, describing it as a “strategic” alliance.
In reply to a question from one of his followers about doubts in the alliance between the Sadrist Al-Ahrar Bloc and the ISCI’s Al-Muwatin Bloc, Sadr said: “Many people have tried to end this alliance and make it a failure in any way they could.”
He added: “This alliance strengthens the Iraqi, national, Islamic Shi’ite alliance,” and “makes the political arena fairer and removes domination and monopoly.”
This alliance brings together the two most important Shi’ite factions in Iraq following an experiment that seems to be somewhat of a success on the local level, namely the sharing of power in a number of Iraq’s governorates, particularly Baghdad. This experiment has seen a Sadrist-ISCI coalition defeat Iraqi prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s State of Law (SLC) coalition, which had monopolized the most important posts in the capital, including that of governor and head of the governorate council, for more than eight years.

All Iraq News notes that the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq's Adel Abdulmahdi met today with Kurdistan Regional Government Massoud Barzani in Erbil where the two discussed the political situation in Iraq.

A State Dept friend asked why I didn't note US Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Beecroft's July 4th speech?  Because I wasn't aware of it.  Six days ago, Beecroft delivered the following remarks:

Good afternoon and happy Fourth of July!  237 years ago, our Founding Fathers risked everything to embark on an unprecedented democratic experiment under which the United States of America put into practice the revolutionary concept that rulers “derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.”  The lofty ideals adopted in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1776 included one of the most recognized and important phrases ever penned: 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is an ideal toward which we continuously strive.  Throughout these two hundred and thirty seven years of independence we have in practice sometimes fallen short of that ideal.  We have, however, never wavered in our commitment to the principles of liberty and equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, and our democracy has proven itself durable and resilient, able to correct its mistakes and stay true to the principle that all men – and women – are created equal.  For example, our nation, born accepting slavery, now has an African American president.  Our latest Congress has welcomed a record number of women into its ranks.   
And so, as President Obama has so eloquently stated:
“On this day, we celebrate our founding creed that what binds this Nation together is not the colors of our skin, the tenets of our faith, or the origins of our name.  What makes us American is our allegiance to an idea first declared in a spare hall in Philadelphia-that all of us are created equal.  This idea guides us still, and calls on us to carry into an uncertain future the precious light of freedom.”
Iraq is an ancient civilization and a young democracy.  And, like all democracies, Iraq faces challenges as it strives to take its rightful political and economic place.   Blessed with abundant natural resources, a smart and hard working population, and the will to be a nation, Iraq can overcome its challenges and obstacles and cement its singular national identity.   
In this respect, both Iraq and the United States, and indeed all democratic nations, are on the same quest to “form a more perfect union.”  God bless America, God bless Iraq, and God bless freedom and democracy.

The US State Dept hasn't had anything to say about Iraq since last month but they can't stop yacking and attacking NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden.  From today's State Dept press briefing by spokesperson Jen Psaki:

QUESTION:  Yeah.  Just Snowden.  Just --
QUESTION:  -- yesterday, the Spanish Foreign Minister said that the United States had, in fact, alerted his country, or his government, to the suspicion that Mr. Snowden might be on the plane of the Bolivian President.  Is that – is he correct in saying that?
MS. PSAKI:  I don’t believe that was his exact quote, if I’m correct.  I believe he said "in part," or the Spanish version.
QUESTION:  He said "Inter alia," which means "among other things." 
MS. PSAKI:  So I just don’t have anything new --
QUESTION:  Is it --
MS. PSAKI:  -- or further for you on this.
QUESTION:  Okay.  So you don’t have any comment on whether he is accurate or not – that comment is accurate?
MS. PSAKI:  Just that we’ve had a range of conversations --
MS. PSAKI:  -- on a broad range of aspects of Mr. Snowden.
QUESTION:  Do you – but you do believe that the Administration has a solid legal case for the deportation and then prosecution of Mr. Snowden, correct?
MS. PSAKI:  Well, obviously --
QUESTION:  I mean, he has been charged, so --
MS. PSAKI:  He has been charged.
QUESTION:  And you believe that you are in the --
MS. PSAKI:  Obviously, there – well, this is a broader question, I think, that there are some countries where we have extradition treaties --
MS. PSAKI:  -- some we don’t, which you all know, and it’s all public information.
QUESTION:  Right.  But you think you have a – in a case where there’s no extradition treaty, you still think that you have the solid case to ask for him to be deported in return to the United States because he’s a fugitive from justice.  Is that correct?
MS. PSAKI:  And he does not have a valid U.S. passport.
QUESTION:  Okay.  Why don’t you have the guts then, to say – not you personally, but the Administration --
MS. PSAKI:  I may, you never know.  (Laughter.)
QUESTION:  -- to say – well, okay – why don’t you have the guts to admit that you have asked countries, or you have alerted countries to the fact – that you did alert countries to the fact that there were suspicions that Snowden was on this plane, and remind them that he’s wanted in the States?
MS. PSAKI:  Well, we certainly have had a broad range of conversations about him, about how we want his return, him to be returned, about communicating with countries where he may be in transit.  I’m just not going to get into all the specifics of those conversations.
QUESTION:  Yeah, but I don’t understand why it is that this is so taboo.  Why is it that it has got to be secret, as secretive as a FISA court decision, that you told countries that you thought he might be on this plane and ask them to take steps to comply with your wish that he be deported and returned to the United States?
MS. PSAKI:  Because we’re keeping our diplomatic --
QUESTION:  But that’s --
MS. PSAKI:  -- conversations private in this case.
QUESTION:  Well, I – if you really do have such a solid case and you think countries should – I mean, you should be happy to talk about it publicly.  Otherwise, it just reeks of this secrecy that you – that the Administration claims --
MS. PSAKI:  Well, Matt, we have --
QUESTION:  -- it isn’t involved in.
MS. PSAKI:  -- spoken – we have spoken quite extensively publicly about how we would like to see him returned and the reasons why.
QUESTION:  Yeah.  Fair enough, but in this specific instance which involved countries in Europe denying overflight rights to the plane of a head of state, I don’t understand why, if your case is strong, you’re not willing to come out and say, "Yeah, we asked for it."  Why?
MS. PSAKI:  We’re keeping our diplomatic conversations private. 
MS. PSAKI:  Let me just – can I do one more Snowden thing? 
QUESTION:  Yeah --
MS. PSAKI:  Because somebody asked about this yesterday.  In the question of passports, if a passport is revoked – so when the Department revokes a passport, that revocation affects all passports in the individual’s name.
QUESTION:  So the question was:  Is there a second – does he – is he in possession of a second passport?
MS. PSAKI:  I just can’t get into confirmation of that, but I can tell you that any – the revocation of a passport is applicable to any passport in any individual’s name.
QUESTION:  You can’t tell us if he has two, though?
MS. PSAKI:  I cannot.
QUESTION:  But it doesn’t matter, right?
MS. PSAKI:  It doesn’t matter.
QUESTION:  The point would be moot, yeah?
MS. PSAKI:  Because – exactly.  Go ahead in the back.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio,  an hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) topics addressed include political prisoner Lynne Stewart, spying, NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden, Jim Lafferty on the militarization of the police and more.  We'll note Jim Lafferty:

Heidi Boghosian: Michael, I understand Jim Lafferty is with you to talk with us briefly about how the lines are continuing to blur between law enforcement and the military.

Michael Smith:  Jim Lafferty has The Lawyers Guild Show in Los Angeles [KPFK, Thursdays at 3:00 pm PST].  In fact, it was his show that inspired us.  Jim is the organizer of the National Lawyer's Guild in Los Angeles.  Jim, welcome to east coast Law and Disorder.  Jim, I wanted to ask you because I know you've interviewed somebody knowledgble about this and have read the provisions, there's a new United States military power grab that's gone into effect and can you tell our listeners what this means?

Jim Lafferty:  Yeah, let me just borrow your glasses for a moment if I may, Michael.  Yeah, it's -- Of course, the Civil Rights, civil liberties crowd have, for some decades now, has been concerned about the militarization of local policing.  It isn't just the style of policing that our local police do now that they've learned at the hands of the military but, of course, they also have the equipment as well -- the military equipment as well.  We've seen that used in various occasions at the times of protests around the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, for example, convention n New York.  Well, not satisfied with that, there is a new regulation that has been put into effect that essentially allows the military to intervene in contravention of decades of law and policy and practice to the contrary of intervening in domestic unrest, civil disputes, civil unrest.  And, in fact, what is says is that the federal military commanders now have the authority, in extraordinary circumstances, where prior authorization by the president is not possible and duly constructed local authorities are somehow deemed to be unable to control the situation, the military can engage in activities that are "necessary to quell large scale  unexpected civil disturbances.

That's worth remembering when you review what's happened to Adam Kokesh.  Adam is an Iraq War veteran and someone who spoke out against the war when he returned to the US.  He's taken part in many activities that the left and the faux left -- which is a much larger number of people but fakes usually outnumber the real in any given situation -- applauded.  Adam's home was raided by the police last night.  Presumably it has something to do with a July 4th action by Adam.  From the July 5th snapshot:

Iraq War veteran, talk show host and activist Adam Kokesh posted a 23 second video on YouTube yesterday that's getting attention from the clutch the pearls crowd.  In the video, he loads a rifle.  DC's Metropolitan Police Department issued this:

Statement from US Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department regarding Adam Kokesh video

The Metropolitan Police Department and US Park Police are aware that today Adam Kokesh posted a video that appears to have been taken in Freedom Plaza in Northwest, DC. We are in the process of determining the authenticity of the video.

RT reports:

Second Amendment activist Adam Kokesh was arrested Tuesday evening following an armed raid on his home in the Washington, D.C. area.
Police have charged Kokesh, 31, with possession of a Schedule I or Schedule II drug while also in possession of a firearm. According to the Washington Post, charging documents filed in court Wednesday morning said that hallucinogenic mushrooms, a Schedule I narcotic, were found in the raid. 

As for last night's raid, here's the press release Adam Vs. The Man sent out this morning:

AVTM Official Press Release
RE: Raid on ADAM VS THE MAN Studios 10JUL13
(HERNDON, VA 10 JULY 2013)— On the evening of Tuesday, 09JUL13, at approximately 7:45 PM, a combination of US Parks Police (an arm of the DHS) raided Adam Kokesh’s residence. Local Herndon police assisted in the armed invasion. The officers used a battering ram to knock in the door after two knocks, and did not announce that they had a warrant. Immediately after breaking down the door, a flash bang grenade was deployed in the foyer.

Numerous police vehicles, including a light armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded Adam’s street. More than 20 armored SWAT team members surrounded the house, as well as a number of detectives, and plainclothes officers. Assault rifles were aimed on all members of the team as they were handcuffed without being told why they were detained. Masked and armored police in full “Storm Trooper” gear flooded in and ransacked the residence. The team was cordoned in a front room, while Adam was pulled aside for questioning.
Over the course of the next five hours, the police searched every corner of the house with canine units and blueprints to the house obtained prior to the search. All officers refused to speak to the crew while they we being detained. They confiscated cell phones and personal items with force. Throughout the ordeal, the police repeatedly showed a volatile desire to initiate aggressive, forceful conduct with detainees. At one point, Adam politely requested to use the restroom and was kicked by the officer forcing him to sit handcuffed on the floor. After hours of determined attempts, the safe was forced open and all items inside were confiscated. Adam was arrested and his crew were told he was being brought to the Herndon Police department overnight. Well after midnight, police officers cleared the house.
Fairfax County Adult Detention Center has stated that it has Adam in custody.
The ADAM VS THE MAN Team will be continuing production on the podcast and the Youtube channel as long as Adam remains imprisoned for an act of civil disobedience. We will continue to spread the message of liberty, self ownership, and the non-aggression principle regardless of the government’s relentless attacks on our operation. We will continue to combat its desperate attempts to crush a worldwide, revolutionary shift in the people’s understanding of the state’s illegitimacy—after all, good ideas don’t require force.
Media Contact: Lucas Jewell –

Apparently Gary Legum (Wonkette) has some super power most commenting don't -- that super power allows him to rightly term the police actions "excessive" and to note:

Far be it from us to believe a word out of Kokesh’s mouth without confirmation, and this is all from his own press release. But that said, one of the trends in law enforcement, particularly since 9/11 NEVAH FORGET!!!!, has been the increasing militarization of police forces all over the country. Salon has been excerpting Radley Balko’s new book on the subject, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces and it is quite frightening. Go buy it and learn something, and give yr Wonkette some monies while you’re at it!

There are a number of issues here that should have those of us on the left (the real left) outraged.  The faux left is laughing at and attacking Adam Kokesh.  That's why efforts at bridge building fail repeatedly.  Useless people -- like Kat's BFF  Kevin Zeese -- repeatedly claim that they want to build bridges and put together a left-right coalition that can address issues like war and civil liberties.  But when they have the opportunity to lay the actual groundwork for such a bridge to be built, they're either silent when they should be speaking out or they're mocking the victim.

Adam has a public history of activism.  It does not include violence.  The way the police responded was outrageous.  It's the sort of response that Gore Vidal -- and usually only Gore -- would call out while others on the left remained silent.  There was nothing in Adam's history to indicate that he would respond in violence.  If the cowards -- and that's what the police involved were -- had been too scared to knock on Adam's door and wait for him to open it, they could have stayed at the curb and used a bullhorn.

I am not anti-police and I do understand fears peace officers can have.  But part of police work is information and any effort to be informed about Adam should have resulted in discovering the fact that he is not prone to violence -- even when he's being body slammed (as happened last year) by DC police.

It was cowardly and it may have been profiling.  I'm not joking about that.  It's a serious issue.  Here we usually note 1 in 10 of the heavily reported stories on a veteran who's done something violent.  We do that because I am not trying to create the image of 'crazy vet.'  I don't think the media is trying to (or that they tried to during Vietnam) but that image can set in and it can be dangerous -- for peace officers and veterans.

Adam served in Iraq.  Were these excessive and appalling measures -- breaking down the door, using a grenade, etc. -- used because, as a veteran, police feared he would go 'psycho'?

I don't know.  But that question needs to be asked because -- like every portion of the US population -- veterans interact with peace officers.  If law enforcement -- a portion, even just a small number -- are acting on delusional stereotypes that veteran equates crazy, that's an issue that effects the whole country.  (Many commenting on Media Matters' post about the arrest advance this false stereotype -- although at least a few seem to be more motivated by concern and compassion.  Even so, they should take a look at what they're suggesting.)

If this had nothing to do with such an image, then the police need to explain why such excessive force was used -- including two helicopters hovering over his home -- on a peaceful activist?

Molly Redden hops a high horse apparently forgetting that she has no credit to her name to be proud of despite all that time writing for Slate,  and she's writing for The New Republic.  The New Republic(an) was a cheerleader for the Iraq War.  It regularly and repeatedly smeared those who spoke out against the illegal war.  Molly Redden is cheap trash (with weird interests but we won't help spread the rumors) and yet she believes she's standing on a high ground from which she can attack Adam.

Molly, you may not approve of his 2007 DC action but it was street theater and the fact that you're ignorant of that or ignorant of the fact that a similar action took place in NYC during Vietnam or that the Supreme Court got dragged into it and ruled that street theater was Constitutionally protected speech does not excuse you but goes to how your gross ignorance should probably prevent you from writing about any topic -- other than your own personal problems.  Your ignorance, your gross stupidity, does not allow you to smear or attack the 2007 action.  But it is in keeping with The New Republic(an) and its never ending war on peace activists.  Not a lot of women manage to leave The New Republic for something better.  That's because most of the women at TNR over the last few decades have attempted to out 'macho' the men and created awful images for themselves.  Molly's doing that right now so don't expect her to have anywhere to go until she announces her conversion to Republican and goes to work for something like The American Spectator.  Then again, she probably can't make it at the Spectator either:

Thankfully, it's not a consequence-free publicity stunt. In the telling of a press release on Kokesh's website, last night, police used a battering ram to knock down his door and trained assault rifles on him as he was led out of his house in handcuffs. He could spend up to a year in prison. To Kokesh, it must feel like Christmas.

A 'reporter' who can't nail down basic facts isn't much of a reporter.  Forget that she's amused by what she should be calling out, the press release was posted to the site at 4:00 AM EST -- I know that because when it was e-mailed to this site, a few minutes later, it was noted that it had just been posted.  Her link goes to the website and though there is no time given there, a date is posted -- today's date.

How stupid do you have to be to not understand that today, July 10th, is not "last night"? 

By the way, Molly, I don't 'sing the hits' over and over.  As a result, The New Republic has fallen off my radar.  I've offered several years of criticism of that rag and, having done so, was ready for new songs to sing.  But thanks to Molly, I've discovered that the failed rag is now unintentionally seeking to go out of publication and we'll be covering that at Third (either this Sunday or next -- we have to do the summer read fiction edition and that may be this Sunday).   You and The New Republic(an) can thank yourself for the humiliation that's coming. Considering the fact that the already low circulation under Bully Boy Bush has only fallen further, I'm not sure how much more humiliation your rag can take.

The arrest prompts the readers of the DCist to launch an attack on Herndon which is not a bad city (my DC home is not in Herndon for any that wonder).  Why is it that when an incident occurs -- this or any other -- some people think they are being 'helpful' by spreading hate?  I have no idea.

 RT quotes Adam declaring earlier this week,  "I was here, and I loaded a shotgun on Independence Day, but I didn't kill anybody. I didn't drone any children. I didn't steal any children's future. I didn't sell this country into debt. I didn't do any of the crimes that the man two blocks over at the White House is responsible for."

I also don't know about Susan's post at On the Edge.  I can follow what she's saying.  I tried reading the article she linked to and it just made my migraine worse.  The author is referring to a reaction to an earlier article but can't tell us what that article said and is too busy reliving college instead of setting up the discussion.  I like Susan, I think she's an important writer on a great many topics (and I don't think anyone can match her -- blogger, reporter, journalist, whatever -- for the great work she's done writing about the US education system and the efforts to dismantle it).  But I disagree with her thoughts on transgender people -- thoughts that include:

I don't think people should be ostracized or condemned for being screwed up with identity issues, but I will damned if I am going to accept somebody living a lie as the truth. I simply don't think "reassignment" surgery to correct a psychological problem is ethical.

In fairness to Susan, some transgendered persons in the 70s were known for attacking feminism and she may or may be aware of that and it may have created bad blood.  (She doesn't need an excuse for how she feels but I do want to note that reality.)  I wish she hadn't written what she did.  Glad she was honest but it reminds me of the mid-seventies, after the DSM had changed their 'diagnosis' of gay people, when some otherwise very bright people wrote commentaries that were homophobic.

Transgender is not a passing emotion or a fleeting thought.  Gender reassignment surgery is not like getting a tattoo.  A very good friend (Shirley MacLaine) got into some minor hot water over her latest book by people who did not understand what she was writing.  They wrongly thought she was condemning gays, lesbians and transgendered people.  She was not.  She believes in reincarnation and she was exploring how you are born the way you are and that, for example, you may be carrying desires from a past life.  It was an interesting exercise she was proposing (and more than an exercise if you are spiritual and your faith includes embracing reincarnation) and because of her long support for LGBT issues (when most celebrities were running from the topic, Shirley's always been willing to call out homophobia -- we're going back to pre-Stonewall even) most were able to follow through on what she was writing and grasp that this was not intended as an attack on anyone but an exploration of reincarnation. (The book was I'm Over All Of That and Ava and I reviewed it here.)

From what Susan's written, I'm understanding (rightly or wrongly) her objection being that transgender reinforces gender stereotypes.  If that is correct, I would argue that a transgendered person who is a woman  -- as a number of famous transgendered persons who have had gender reassignment surgery to have the outside reflect the woman that they are inside -- has every right to want a frilly life.  By frilly life I'm referring to public stating that they just want to keep a home and to find a man to marry and let him take charge.

I don't subscribe to that as an ideal or desire.  Most women I know do not.  But some women do.  And some women that do were born with female anatomy.  They have the right to choose what they want -- they also have the right to be aware that whatever they choose there are a multitude of options for women in terms of the lives they lead.  That's what feminism has been about -- explaining the options women have.  It is not surprising that, just as a woman can get caught up in gender roles, a transgendered person can as well.  The movement always knew that informing women was only half the battle, you also had to inform men.  So the notion that transgendered persons would somehow escape that societal programming that targets everyone in our society seems unlikely.

Susan's a strong writer and a good writer but we disagree on this issue.  (That's in response to thirty-three e-mails asking if I'd comment on this.)  I would never seek out a partner to dominate me but if you are a woman and want that, if you are a man and want that, if you are a transgendered person and want that, your desires are as valid as mine and more power to you.  (Most transgendered persons are not into living extreme gender stereotypes; however, a number of 'macho' men who had gender reassignment surgery in the 70s and went public with interviews and/or books helped establish that stereotype.)  The only humanity crime I see is deliberately setting out to be unhappy in life and I don't need everyone to agree with me in order to see their lives as valid or fulfilling. 

law and disorder radio
michael s. smith
heidi boghosian
michael ratner