Surprise, Surprise! More Hypocrisy

panama-papers-820This week has seen the rage of citizens from around the world. And the fall of one Prime Minister, so far. The cause is the now infamous Panama Papers leak of documents from the Law Office of Mossack Fonseca. Ironically, once again the Western MSM followed ‘the rules’ and ran headlines of how Putin was named in the Panama Papers. Is there anyone in the US that actually practices journalism anymore? Putin was not even named in the documents that were released. However, the parents of British Prime Minister David Cameron were included, as well as, the Icelandic Prime Minister and his wife.

Iceland Protests Reuters Stigtryggur Johannsson
Reuters; Stigtryggur Johannsson

After the revelation of Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, at least 22,000 Icelanders protested for his resignation. For a country that has less than 330,000 residents that is a significant turn out. The UK did not see that kind of outrage, of course the UK did not oust its corrupt bankers either. So far about 200 Americans have been identified in the papers. Most of the Americans that are listed have some criminal involvement. However, the papers are still being scoured. The low number of Americans and the lack of high level Americans has people asking how that is possible. Maybe there is some truth to the theory that American intelligence had something to do with the leak or at least the hack.

The fact is that the US has ‘in-house’ tax havens. Some states, such as Wyoming and Delaware and others, have secrecy that is on par with the likes of Switzerland and the Caymans. The irony is that the US demands that other countries give them information about the banking of US citizens abroad, but does not return the favor. Matter of fact the US has such a hostile attitude about getting information from foreign banks that many Americans abroad have found themselves without banking options in countries they reside in.

The fall out will continue no doubt for weeks, and we will see more mention of Putin’s connections to listed clients, however, we will see very little about the other leaders that are named or have close family members implicated. The irony is that more than likely the connections to Putin, probably will not be as strong as McCain’s connections to known terrorists.

To see a partial list of names found in the paper.


Obama Meant Making Public EVERYONE ELSE’S Skeletons

One of Obama’s loudest “Changes” he promised when he campaigned was transparency. What we have gotten is even more status quo than under the “tyranny of Bush”. Most government watch groups have come to the same conclusion, the current administration is the most secret we have had in memory. It seems that absolutely even the most general knowledge is classified due to National Security.
In order for any information to be made public under this administration it either requires a HUGE court battle or gained by ‘illegal’ means. Of course publicly everything is Bush’s fault or was an inherited mess from Bush. I wonder how many years Obama would have had to been POTUS before Bush was no longer responsible for the current situation. The sadder truth is that the American public has become so complacent that they allowed Obama’s excuses and passing the buck to be rewarded by a 2nd term.
Of course the American public has also allowed for a Congress that has not done their Constitutional duty for more years than we can remember to stay in office and in power. Then we complain about the economy not getting better, the tax burden getting worse, and yet we do not fix things. Still things get worse and when they get too bad it will be too late. There is too much affection between big business and government and not enough between government and the public.
I said before Obama became POTUS that he was ALL talk and I have to say on that he has not let me down at all. And that is a very sad fact. I do have to say that he has surprised me by how aggressively his administration has gone after whistle-blowers and charging more people with treason than ALL other presidents combined. Just as disturbing are the down-right totalitarian policies of spying on your cubical mate and even being held accountable if they show honor and courage by blowing the whistle and you didn’t squeal to the bosses before it happened. It appears that Mr. Obama and his advisers took Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 to heart as instruction manuals. They were supposed to be wake up calls for the public, maybe that is why they are not read anymore in lit classes in American High Schools. Of course today schools are just training facilities for conformity into a socialist totalitarian system run behind the scenes by big business.
It has become a concern for some in wondering just what it will take to wake the American people up and to get them to care; my concern is whether there will be anything left of the America that the world looked up to when that finally happens or will it really be too late.

Eli Lake Needs A Dictionary

Last week, The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake stated that the Kremlin was not familiar with the term hypocrisy for releasing the private phone calls of politicians and leaders that are involved with the Ukrainian unrest. Mr. Lake seems to think that protecting the freedom of Edward Snowden is somehow hypocritical to the afore mentioned action. What Mr. Snowden did was to inform the public that the NSA was not only spying on the enemies and those that pose a threat to the security of the US; but, the NSA was also spying on private citizens of the US, as well as, the leaders of our allies. What Mr. Putin and the Kremlin did is not the same. Mr. Snowden was a private citizen, whom acted as a whistle-blower, whereas the Kremlin was acting as a government entity.
Here is a little history lesson, Mr. Lake, it has always been the prudent common practice of governments to spy on the leaders of their enemies. It is not common or prudent for a government to spy on its own citizens when that country is touted as a democracy, with freedom of speech. This means that there is absolutely nothing wrong with or uncommon about what Putin and the Kremlin have done by releasing the private phone calls of the opposition to the democratically elected government of Ukraine. It is exactly the same as the US releasing transcripts of Al Qaeda to justify the use of drone attacks on family gatherings in countries that we are not even at war with; in countries that we do not have large American populations in; in countries that do not border the US mainland.
To compare the circumstances of the Ukrainian unrest and the circumstances surrounding the Edward Snowden affair is either at best a lame attempt to demonize Putin to the American public or at worst to bolster US involvement in Ukraine that is in contrast to International Law by promoting the blatant misinformation of the government in order to initiate military action in an area and manner that is not justified. If the US, on its own or as part of NATO, intervenes in Ukraine in a military manner, it is the Balkans all over again. And the Balkans were not ethically or morally just interventions but the actions of the greed of our German and French allies whom have eyed the containment of the Balkan peoples for hundreds of years.

Big Brother Getting Bigger…

celebrate WhistleBlowers
Celebrate Whistle Blowers

Obama’s run for President was based on Change and Transparency…..We have certainly gotten the CHANGE, but the transparency is more a myth than Camelot! During Obama’s tenure more whistle-blowers, an asset in successfully ensuring an honest and transparent government, have been prosecuted than under all other administrations combined, twice as many to be exact. And while by the numbers (6) that may not be a huge number the implications are immense. In addition, the spying on journalists and news agencies is a complete and total violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution, the US one, just in case you forgot we had one as the current administration seems to have. And now we are getting reports that under the PRISM program we have even been spying on…well, yes, you guessed it….EVERYONE; US citizens, the foreign friends of US citizens, the friends of the foreign friends of US citizens, and even high-ranking officials in the governments of our enemies and, oh, did we mention, also our allies…..oops. The NSA is the proverbial spoiled brat that has gotten caught with their hand in the cookie jar. To our allies, if you are waiting for an apology, don’t expect one and certainly do not expect it to be sincere.

Take heart allies and enemies alike, you are not the only government officials that the US government is spying on; through a program labeled, INSIDER THREATS they are also spying on their own officials and encouraging, no, actually coercing government employees to snitch on any employee that appears to be a threat. What constitutes a threat is vague, but worse is that failure to report such a threat will result in punishment possibly even criminal prosecution. The methods of this administration show the thug like means by which Mr. Obama started his political career. He did not win his first political race fairly, he won cause he had the petition for his opponent invalidated for not having enough “registered voters” as signers. And getting in the Senate was an appointment. And like him or not, if not for early voting (which is a total joke), he would not have won either presidential election. No one should be surprised by his actions or the actions of his administration, not if said actions seem to be of a thug-like nature.
The scandal about the NSA and PRISM is just the latest scandal in what is very much a pattern of abuse of power from Washington in earnest since 9/11 and has been excessively utilized under Obama. It is ironic that Obama criticized the Bush administration for its secrets and hard-line when it came to National Security and now he uses the excuse of National Security to do things that the Bush Administration probably didn’t even dream of. The Patriot Act and various other legislation regarding National Security were allowed to pass with vague wording in order to allow government agencies movement within the laws; but, it also allows very much for abuse under the law. Again, I repeat myself, restricting or disregarding liberties in the name of security is not security at all. And those citizens that would allow their rights to be taken away to have security will find themselves without liberty or safety and they do not deserve either one.
SnowdenAnd while the government can scream NATIONAL SECURITY, like they do every time they want to violate the rights of any person in America or to carry out a drone attack on American citizens and others abroad, they do not seem to see the broader picture. It is one thing, not a very smart thing, to lack moral prowess in handing foreign citizens abroad; but to show complete disregard for the rights of American citizens domestically and abroad, they are telling every other country that they do not have to respect the basic human rights of American citizens either. We show enough hypocrisy in our foreign policy without making that our domestic policy as well.