$36.00 donated in past month
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Police State and Prisons
Lies, Damn Lies and US Promises
Lies, Damn Lies and US Promises
by Stephen Lendman
US promises aren't worth the paper they're written on. They never were. They're not now. They're made to be broken. It happens with disturbing regularity.
Attorney General Eric Holder wrote Russia's justice minister Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov. He wants Edward Snowden extradited. He lied. He always lies. He disgraces the office he holds.
Francis Boyle wants him impeached and removed. On June 28, 2012, he said:
"If the Republicans were serious about this matter, they would move for the immediate impeachment of Holder."
"The civil and criminal contempt citations against him by the House, and his most contemptuous response to them last night are sufficient grounds for his immediate impeachment by the House."
"The White House has already indicated that they will not initiate criminal prosecution against Holder on grounds of the bogus presidential claim of 'executive privilege.' "
"For Congress to file a civil lawsuit against Holder would be just a Constitutional Cop-out by the House of Representatives."
"The House cannot depend upon the Federal judiciary to pull its Constitutional Chestnuts out of the fire for them. That would be just kicking the Constitution down the road like a can."
"Under these circumstances, the House can invoke expeditious procedures to impeach Holder immediately, then forward the Bill of Impeachment on to the Senate for a trial. This would also send a very powerful message to Obama: 'You’re next!' "
Holder said Edward Snowden won't face capital punishment. He won't be tortured and abused. He'll be treated fairly. He lied. More on this below.
America's pre-and-post-1776 history reflects centuries of broken promises. Native Americans know best. They endured hundreds of years of US duplicity and betrayal.
Treaties were made and broken. Native lands were stolen. Millions were ethnically cleansed.
Their fundamental rights were denied. They were systematically exterminated. Their culture continues to be destroyed.
They're treated like nonpersons. Their entire history reflects lost struggles. From 1492 to today, they experienced promises made. Promises broken. Disenfranchisement remains. Most are bereft of hope.
On reservations or assimilated, they're out of sight and mind. Once they lived peacefully on their own land. White settlers changed things. Western civilization destroyed their way of life. There's nothing civilized about it.
They're either ignored, mocked, or demonized in films and society. They're called drunks, beasts, primitives, and savages.
America's a white supremacist society. It always was. It is now. It's lawless. It's vicious. It's unfair. It's worse than ever.
Blacks, Latinos and other people of color are systematically abused. City ghettos are urban reservations. Poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair affects millions.
Political leaders don't care. They never did. They don't now. They exploit working people. They claim otherwise. They lie. They support wealth, power and privilege alone. It's the American way.
Police state justice awaits nonbelievers. Bradley Manning was tortured for months. Kangaroo court justice awaits him. It's preordained. Obama demands it.
If extradited, Snowden won't fare better. Guilt by accusation is official US policy. Trials are shams. Thousands of political prisoners fill America's gulag.
It's the shame of the nation. It's the world's largest. It mocks judicial fairness. Holder's letter reflects doublespeak duplicity. It states:
"His Excellency Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov
Minister of Justice
The Russian Federation
14 Zhitnaya Ulitsa
Dear Mr. Minister:
I am writing concerning the current status of Edward Snowden.
As you know, Mr. Snowden has been charged with theft of government property (in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641), unauthorized communication of national defense information (in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 793(d)), and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person (in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section).
According to news reports and information provided by your government, Mr. Snowden is currently in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo Airport.
We understand from press reports and prior conversations between our governments that Mr. Snowden believes that he is unable to travel out of Russia and must therefore take steps to legalize his status.
That is not accurate; he is able to travel. Despite the revocation of his passport on June 22, 2013, Mr. Snowden remains a US citizen. He is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States. The United States is willing to immediately issue such a passport to Mr. Snowden.
We also understand from press reports that Mr. Snowden has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia on the grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.
These claims are entirely without merit. Nonetheless, I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russian government the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. Snowden would face upon return to the United States:
First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States. The charges he faces do not carry that possibility, and the United States would not seek the death penalty even if Mr. Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes.
Second, Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States.
If he returns to the United States, Mr. Snowden would be brought before a civilian court convened under Article of the United States Constitution and supervised by a United States District Judge.
Mr. Snowden would receive all the protections that United States law provides to persons charged with federal criminal offenses in Article courts.
In particular, Mr. Snowden would be appointed (or, if he so chose, could retain) counsel. Any questioning of Mr. Snowden could be conducted only with his consent: his participation would be entirely voluntary, and his legal counsel would be present should he wish it.
Mr. Snowden would have the right to a public jury trial; he would have the right to testify if he wished to do so; and the United States would have to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury. If convicted, Mr. Snowden would have the right to appeal to the United States Court of Appeals.
We believe that these assurances eliminate these asserted grounds for Mr. Snowden's claim that he should be treated as a refugee or granted asylum, temporary or otherwise. Please ensure that this letter reaches the head minister for the Federal Migration Service, as well as any other Russian Federation agency responsible for receiving and considering Mr. Snowden's application for asylum.
Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Washington's waging war on freedom. It's vanishing in plain sight. It's being systematically destroyed. It's practically gone already. Police state justice replaced it.
It's the law of the land. American due process and judicial fairness are convenient fictions. Innocent victims are called terrorists.
They fill America's gulag. They do so unjustly. They languish in prison hell. They're guilty of doing the right thing.
Torture is official US policy. Washington runs global "black sites." They're in dozens of countries. They're on ships at sea. Guantanamo's the tip of the iceberg.
America's dark side denies justice. Barbarism is standard practice. Guards attack prisoners. They're brutally beaten. They're electroshocked. They're burned by toxic chemicals.
They're denied all rights. They're stripped naked and humiliated. They're isolated longterm. They're confined to Supermax cruel and unusual punishment.
They're denied proper food and medical care. They're left to rot out of sight and mind. America's process denies fairness. If Snowden's extradited, injustice awaits him. It's certain. It's preordained. It's guaranteed.
He doesn't have a chance. He'll be made an example of. Expose US wrongdoing and be treated the same way.
Prison hell awaits him on return. He'll be brutalized out of sight and mind. He'll never be free again. He'll die behind bars.
On July 26, Russia Today headlined "Russia won't extradite Snowden to US - Kremlin," saying:
Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) "is in talks with FBI over Snowden." According to Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov:
"Russia has never extradited anyone, and will not extradite Snowden." His asylum request "was not and is not on Putin's agenda."
FSA head Aleksandr Bortnikov and FBI chief Robert Mueller are directly involved. Washington wants Snowden extradited. Moscow won't send him.
A previous article discussed anti-Russian Senate action. Bipartisan complicity supports sanctions. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki downplayed them, saying:
"We have not seen the text of the proposed bill, but we feel that in general legislation imposing sanctions under these circumstances would not be helpful."
She equivocated adding she won't predict "any step we may or may not take."
"Our focus in this specific case is having Mr. Snowden returned to the United States, and we still feel Russia has the opportunity to do that and to take the right steps."
On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Hart said:
"We’ve been clear with the Russians that he is a US citizen wanted on very serious charges here, and he needs to be returned to the United States."
He committed no crimes. He's a world hero. He's a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. He exposed serious government wrongdoing. Hart lied.
On July 26, Itar Tass headlined "MP says situation around Snowden to be unaffected by threats of sanctions," saying:
"Chairman of State Duma's foreign policy committee, Dr Alexei Pushkov, has urged members of the US Congress to stop speaking with Russian in a language of sanctions as they are doing their best to change the situation around the fugitive CIA officer Edwards Snowden, who is compelled to stay in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport."
"I don't think it’s worthwhile speaking to Russian in a language of sanctions."
"Even if an amendment of this kind is passed, the US will scarcely make Russia change its policy. Decisions on granting political asylums in Russia to whomever are taken in the Kremlin, and not in the White House and everyone should proceed from this reality."
On Friday, Lon Snowden, Edward's father, appeared on NBC's Today show. This story's "far from done," he said.
"I am extremely disappointed and angry," he added. "I've watched closely the 36 members on the two intelligence committees, and the American people don't know the whole truth. The truth is coming."
"There has been a concerted effort by many of these congressmen to demonize my son, to focus the issue on my son and not to talk about the fact that they had a responsibility to ensure that these programs were constitutional. They've either been complicit of negligent."
Earlier on NBC's Today show, he denied his son committed treason. "I have confidence in my son," he said. "I am absolutely certain that he is speaking the truth."
He added that targeting him reflects a darker motive. National security claims ring hollow. Snowden didn't compromise it. He revealed serious wrongdoing. Crimes go unaddressed. There's more.
"Many (in Congress) will go back and say we must fund these obscenely expensive programs that drive up massive profits for companies like Booz Allen Hamilton. It's all about the money."
"When I take my final breath, I have to be comfortable with how I lived. I believe when my son takes his final breath, whether it's today or 100 years from now, he will be comfortable with what he did."
A previous article included a joint Lon Snowden/attorney Bruce Fein open letter. It said in part:
"Thomas Paine, the voice of the American Revolution, trumpeted that a patriot saves his country from his government."
"You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping absent probable cause to believe crime is afoot to vassalage in hopes of a risk-free existence."
"You are a modern day Paul Revere summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government."
"The history of civilization is a history of brave men and women refusing to bow to government wrongdoing or injustice, and exalting knowledge, virtue, wisdom, and selflessness over creature comforts as the North Star of life."
"We believe your actions fall within that honorable tradition, a conviction we believe is shared by many."
"(W)e will be unflagging in efforts to educate the American people about the impending ruination of the Constitution and the rule of law unless they abandon their complacency or indifference."
"Your actions are making our challenge easier."
"We encourage you to engage us in regular exchanges of ideas or thoughts about approaches to curing or mitigating the hugely suboptimal political culture of the United States."
"Nothing less is required to pay homage to Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge, Omaha Beach, and other places of great sacrifice."
Very truly yours,
Counsel for Lon Snowden
On July 26, Fein and Lon Snowden addressed Obama. They did so by Open Letter. It highlighted America's civil disobedience tradition. It's noble. It's honorable. It's morally and ethically right.
Abolitionists, suffragettes, Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King, other civil rights champions, labor rights activists, anti-war advocates, and many others reflect its virtue.
Claiming Snowden committed Espionage Act crimes flies in the face of justice. It's reprehensible. It's unjustifiable.
"In light of" what their letter "amplified," they urged Holder "to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed."
"Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour," they added.
Obama's beyond redemption. His rap sheet fills volumes. Snowden's one of many victims. Millions suffer on his watch. Many are beyond help. They're dead. They're dying.
They're physically and emotionally disabled. Their lives are destroyed. Millions are affected at home and abroad. Obama remains unaccountable.
He represents the worst of rogue state governance. A special place in hell awaits him. Hopefully it's a lower level Dante forgot.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.