Archive for June 25, 2013

Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. In 2004-2005, he was mainly assigned to a Tactical Human-Intelligence Team (THT) in Baghdad, Iraq, where he ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee, interviewed countless Iraqis ranging from concerned citizens to community leaders and government officials, and interrogated dozens of insurgents and terrorist suspects. In 2006-2007, Daniel worked with Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) through his former unit in Mosul where he ran the Northern Iraq Intelligence Center. His official role was as a senior analyst for the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Turkey). Daniel suffered greatly from PTSD and had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, Daniel wrote the following letter to his family before taking his life. Daniel was 30 years old. His wife and family have given permission to publish it.

I am sorry that it has come to this.

The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me.  As things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on.  The fact is, I am not getting better, I am not going to get better, and I will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on.  From a logical standpoint, it is better to simply end things quickly and let any repercussions from that play out in the short-term than to drag things out into the long-term.

You will perhaps be sad for a time, but over time you will forget and begin to carry on.  Far better that than to inflict my growing misery upon you for years and decades to come, dragging you down with me.  It is because I love you that I can not do this to you.  You will come to see that it is a far better thing as one day after another passes during which you do not have to worry about me or even give me a second thought.  You will find that your world is better without me in it.

I really have been trying to hang on, for more than a decade now.  Each day has been a testament to the extent to which I cared, suffering unspeakable horror as quietly as possible so that you could feel as though I was still here for you.  In truth, I was nothing more than a prop, filling space so that my absence would not be noted.  In truth, I have already been absent for a long, long time.

My body has become nothing but a cage, a source of pain and constant problems.  The illness I have has caused me pain that not even the strongest medicines could dull, and there is no cure.  All day, every day a screaming agony in every nerve ending in my body.  It is nothing short of torture.  My mind is a wasteland, filled with visions of incredible horror, unceasing depression, and crippling anxiety, even with all of the medications the doctors dare give.  Simple things that everyone else takes for granted are nearly impossible for me.  I can not laugh or cry.  I can barely leave the house.  I derive no pleasure from any activity.  Everything simply comes down to passing time until I can sleep again.  Now, to sleep forever seems to be the most merciful thing.

You must not blame yourself.  The simple truth is this:  During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe.  War crimes, crimes against humanity.  Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from.  I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind.  These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand.  Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me.  They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA.  Any blame rests with them.

Beyond that, there are the host of physical illnesses that have struck me down again and again, for which they also offer no help.  There might be some progress by now if they had not spent nearly twenty years denying the illness that I and so many others were exposed to.  Further complicating matters is the repeated and severe brain injuries to which I was subjected, which they also seem to be expending no effort into understanding.  What is known is that each of these should have been cause enough for immediate medical attention, which was not rendered.

Lastly, the DEA enters the picture again as they have now managed to create such a culture of fear in the medical community that doctors are too scared to even take the necessary steps to control the symptoms.  All under the guise of a completely manufactured “overprescribing epidemic,” which stands in stark relief to all of the legitimate research, which shows the opposite to be true.  Perhaps, with the right medication at the right doses, I could have bought a couple of decent years, but even that is too much to ask from a regime built upon the idea that suffering is noble and relief is just for the weak.

However, when the challenges facing a person are already so great that all but the weakest would give up, these extra factors are enough to push a person over the edge.

Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day?  That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day.  Where are the huge policy initiatives?  Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union?  Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.

It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor.  I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.

And for what?  Bush’s religious lunacy?  Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends?  Is this what we destroy lives for

Since then, I have tried everything to fill the void.  I tried to move into a position of greater power and influence to try and right some of the wrongs.  I deployed again, where I put a huge emphasis on saving lives.  The fact of the matter, though, is that any new lives saved do not replace those who were murdered.  It is an exercise in futility.

Then, I pursued replacing destruction with creation.  For a time this provided a distraction, but it could not last.  The fact is that any kind of ordinary life is an insult to those who died at my hand.  How can I possibly go around like everyone else while the widows and orphans I created continue to struggle?  If they could see me sitting here in suburbia, in my comfortable home working on some music project they would be outraged, and rightfully so.

I thought perhaps I could make some headway with this film project, maybe even directly appealing to those I had wronged and exposing a greater truth, but that is also now being taken away from me.  I fear that, just as with everything else that requires the involvement of people who can not understand by virtue of never having been there, it is going to fall apart as careers get in the way.

The last thought that has occurred to me is one of some kind of final mission.  It is true that I have found that I am capable of finding some kind of reprieve by doing things that are worthwhile on the scale of life and death.  While it is a nice thought to consider doing some good with my skills, experience, and killer instinct, the truth is that it isn’t realistic.  First, there are the logistics of financing and equipping my own operation, then there is the near certainty of a grisly death, international incidents, and being branded a terrorist in the media that would follow.  What is really stopping me, though, is that I simply am too sick to be effective in the field anymore.  That, too, has been taken from me.

Thus, I am left with basically nothing.  Too trapped in a war to be at peace, too damaged to be at war.  Abandoned by those who would take the easy route, and a liability to those who stick it out—and thus deserve better.  So you see, not only am I better off dead, but the world is better without me in it

This is what brought me to my actual final mission.  Not suicide, but a mercy killing.  I know how to kill, and I know how to do it so that there is no pain whatsoever.  It was quick, and I did not suffer.  And above all, now I am free.  I feel no more pain.  I have no more nightmares or flashbacks or hallucinations.  I am no longer constantly depressed or afraid or worried

I am free.

I ask that you be happy for me for that.  It is perhaps the best break I could have hoped for.  Please accept this and be glad for me.

Daniel Somers

[Photo via Gettypremium]

Original story published at Gawker.com

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Edward Snowden is an American HERO…..NOT our enemy!

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The plane carrying whistleblower Edward Snowden has landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The former CIA contractor, who left Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition on espionage charges, is on his way to a ‘third country’ via Russia.

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced via twitter that Snowden had applied for asylum.

Interfax news agency is citing an unnamed source in Sheremetyevo airport management, saying that Snowden is still at the airport.

“Snowden is a transit passenger, his next flight is to Cuba, he remains in the airport complex – where he’s supposed to be, waiting for the next flight,” the source said.

A source at Aeroflot Russian Airlines told the agency that the whistleblower, who is accompanied by WikiLeaks representative, Sarah Harrison, has rented a suit at the airport’s «V-Express» Capsule Hotel.

“He arrived. But he can’t leave the terminal because he doesn’t have a Russian visa,”

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supreme court rules anything you don't say can and will be held against you

Everyone knows that when building a police state, it’s vital to strike a few Constitutional rights off the books.  Now, we can add the right to remain silent to the graveyard of the American justice system.  How can you expect the people to be properly subjugated with all those pesky freedoms that the Bill of Rights blathers on about?

The would-be totalitarians can chalk up another victory, because the Supreme Court has made the decision that if you opt to remain silent, that silence can (and will) be used against you in a court of law.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right against self-incrimination.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in…

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Wake up America!!!!

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WASHINGTON – The National Security Agency has backdoor access to all Windows software since the release of Windows 95, according to informed sources, a development which follows the insistence by the agency and federal law cybersecurity-computers-340x226enforcement for backdoor “keys” to any encryption, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

Having such “keys” is essential for the export of any encryption allowed under U.S. export control laws to foreign users.

The NSA plays a prominent role in deliberations over whether such products can be exported, and routinely turns down any requests above a certain megabyte level that exceeds NSA’s technical capacity to decrypt it. That’s been the standard for years for NSA, as well as the departments of Defense, Commerce and State.

Computer security specialists say that the Windows software driver used for security and encryption functions contains unusual features which give NSA that backdoor access.

hese security specialists…

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Great post, a true MUST READ!

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German-protest-Edward-Snowden-Bradley-Manning-300x225

If you have fallen for the Edward Snowden fantasia, now would be a good time to press the reality button.

We are watching perhaps the most cleverly devised psychological operations sting yet to appear from the great hall of illusions known as the security state.

The man with suddenly the loudest tin whistle on the planet has the world’s media running after him as though he were the Pied Piper, which in a sense he is.

For all the grim tut-tutting from politicians in the United States and the United Kingdom, Edward Snowden has told us absolutely nothing that is original. His ‘revelations’ are simply regurgitated materials which have been in the public domain for a very long time, as those who are active in the field of researching mass surveillance will readily confirm.

So the National Security Administration and the UK’s GCHQ are in cahoots. Did anybody with…

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What Happens When Benevolent Totalitarianism Ceases To Be Benevolent?

As I explained last month, benevolent totalitarianism is the concept of government control by and through deception. For more than 100 years, America has operated as a benevolent totalitarianism. But what happens when totalitarianism ceases to be benevolent?

If benevolent totalitarianism is subtle, outright totalitarianism is open warfare on the people. That is what is beginning in America. We now find ourselves in the opening phase of outright attacks on the people as government exerts greater control in order to suppress dissent over the natural transition from benevolent to non-benevolent totalitarianism.

That America is a fascist Nation is no longer deniable. Fascism, as described by Benito Mussolini, is the merger of state and corporate power. All significant legislation passed in recent years has been designed to either increase the power of the state to control the people, to increase the power and wealth of corporations or to strengthen their symbiotic relationship. As legislation that accomplishes these things is detrimental to the best interests of the people, it can be described only as salvos being fired against the people and in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

America was designed as a representative republic, with Representatives elected by the people to represent their interests when laws are passed. Senators were to be selected by the States to represent the interests of their States. Neither the Congress nor the President is answerable to the people or the States today. They answer only to their corporate sugar daddies and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that operate behind the scenes. These NGOs, dominated by monied interests, include, but are not limited to, the Federal Reserve, The Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and various and sundry “think tanks” propped up by the same corporate sugar daddies lining the pockets of Congress.

The names of the people running and funding these NGOs are mostly familiar and pop up from time to time in various ways in government and out: appearing in Presidential cabinets, heading alphabet soup government agencies, sitting on the boards of corporations, running the World Bank, etc. Theirs are the corporations that receive the contracts for government business as it makes war on other countries, move in to rape and pillage the natural resources of Third World countries (see The Secret History of American Empire and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, both by John Perkins) or fulfill the mandates of legislation (insurance, Big Pharma, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, etc.).

In 2008, against the wishes of the majority of America, George W. Bush pushed through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), a $700 billion boondoggle of largess to bail out the banksters and their criminal co-conspirators on Wall Street. To sell it, Bush employed classic Orwellian doublethink saying, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.”

Read more at Personal Liberty Digest

Who’s ready for another major shift in the IRS’ official story?  In recent days, Darrell Issa‘s Democratic counterpart on the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, has been telling anyone who will listen that Congress’ IRS “witch hunt” is over and resolved.  His absurd assertions — from which he’s edged away slightly — smack of desperation, especially considering that new developments continue to arise.  Why, here’s one just now, and it’s a biggie:

“The Internal Revenue Service‘s screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency said Monday. In a conference call with reporters, Danny Werfel said that after becoming acting IRS chief last month, he discovered wide-ranging and improper terms on lists screeners were still using to choose groups for careful examinations. He did not specify what terms were on the lists, but said he suspended the use of all such lists immediately. “There was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum” on the lists, Werfel said. He added that his aides found those lists contained “inappropriate criteria that was in use.” Werfel’s comments suggest the IRS may have been targeting groups other than tea party and other conservative organizations for tough examinations to see if they qualify. The agency has been under fire since last month for targeting those groups. His comments also indicate that the use of inappropriate terms on such lists lasted longer than has been revealed previously. A report last month by a Treasury Department inspector general said agency officials abolished targeting of conservative groups with those lists in May 2012.”

It seems the Inspector General report missed the boat on the ongoing malfeasance detail.  This is the same report Cummings cites as sufficient oversight, which totally ignores the IG’s questionable timing in releasing its findings.   And just for good measure, Werfel serves up this verdict:

“We have not found evidence of intentional wrongdoing by anyone in the IRS or involvement in these matters by anyone outside the IRS,” he told reporters.”

In other words, no one else (read: within the administration) knew about our continued wrongful actions, which were also totally accidental.  ‘Innocent incompetence’ strikes again.  Let’s face it: Internal investigations often produce whitewashes, which is why you can color Issa very skeptical.  Under the best case scenario, the federal government is so vast and unaccountable that this major agency managed to carry on its high-profile inappropriate behavior in the midst of a massive media firestorm over those very actions.  Most Americans do not buy the IRS’ ineptitude defense, though they’re unlikely to dispute the government’s bloated incompetence.  The likelier explanation for all of this is malicious intent, coupled with ass-covering lies.  We’re not sure how far up the chain this corruption goes, but a plurality of Americans think the White House is responsible.  At the very least, high-ranking officials in Washington directed the targeting program, and members of the administration knew about it well before the 2012 elections.

Bloomberg reports that the just-disclosed “inappropriate terms” that were still being used as of a few weeks ago included “occupy,” “progressive” and “Israel.”  That last one won’t come as a great shock to those who’ve followed this matter closely, but the other two are noteworthy.  Was the IRS also targeting left-leaning groups, and if so, for how long?  Lefty groups have said publicly that they weren’t targeted, an apparent truth that was confirmed by both a former IRS commissioner under oath — as well as the Inspector General’s probe, which stated the following: “The criteria developed by the Determinations Unit gives the appearance that the IRS is not impartial in conducting its mission.”  So what’s going on here?  And how on earth were shady “BOLO” lists still being employed until last month?  I’ll leave you with Eliana Johnson’s WSJ piece taking Cummings to task for his politicized leaking and IRS excuse-making.  Our own Carol Platt Liebau has made similar points about the non-exculpatory transcripts Cummings released, the purpose of which were to provide political cover for his friends at the IRS and the administration.  Considered in a vacuum, the transcripts are interesting.  Given all other relevant evidence, they’re empty.  Parting thought: If it turns out that the IRS targeted some lefty groups (we need to see more evidence on that, plus a timeline), will Elijah Cummings keep pretending this investigation is essentially over?

Original article can be found at http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2013/06/24/report-irs-targeting-was-broader-lasted-longer-than-previously-disclosed-n1626660