Sunday, February 5, 2012

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Israel's Weak Record

     In a report from Foreign Policy, it appears that agents from the Israeli Intelligence Service impersonated United States Central Intelligence Agency Officers. But this is just where it gets interesting. The Mossad agents used their false identities to recruit prospective dissidents to travel from Pakistan to attack proponents of the ruling party in Tehran.
     From 2007 to 2008, the Israelis continued to impersonate American agents. The Israeli backed dissident group, Jundallah, rocked Tehran during a period of sustained assassinations of government officials.

     This episode is not surprising, as it continues an illustrious history of the Israeli government betraying its allies. In 1967, the Israelis attacked a United States radio communications ship, the U.S.S. Liberty, injuring 177 of its sailors on board. The radiomen onboard, who were not at war with Israel, were attacked continuously in multiple runs as the Israelis ignored their attempts to cease their baseless attacks. Even though this was the single most casualty laden incident since World War II for the United States Navy, most Americans are thoroughly unaware of their war crimes.

     Fast forward to the eighties, when Johnathon Pollard, who leaked classified intelligence briefs to the Israeli Mossad. After being arrested, it eventually came to light that he was an Israeli Agent who had infiltrated the government in an attempt to siphon off information.

     These tactics which Israel pioneered in the 1980s appear to have been thoroughly implemented by the late 1990s, when a man who had been a Department of Defense analyst leaked military intel to two senior lobbyists in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Lawrence Franklin, the man in question, was eventually sentenced to twelve years in prison, but the lobbying organization that he was a part of has only grown.

     Now let's look at the Israeli citizens who perished in the 2011 New Zealand earthquake. Normally earthquake deaths occur with little fanfare, that is, unless a group of foreign citizens happens to have up to five passports per person. That's right one of the Israeli citizens who died in Christchurch had five foreign passports, all from different nations.

     The problem with all of these incidents is that they betray the ablility to trust the Israeli government. This trust deficit seems to have, at least in part, limited the legitimacy of the Israeli state. Should they continue these acts, it will undermine the Zionist regime that they have worked so hard to achive. This is not a conspiracy theory. This is not about a Jewish cabal or the New World Order. This is about not being able to trust the nations that purports itself as your most trusted ally.


                                                                                          Wikipedia.  Reddit.  Can I haz Cheezburger.                   Google.  Justin Bieber.  Nancy Pelosi.

     What, you may ask, do all these things have in common?  All of these entities are in opposition of a new bill, SOPA(Stop Online Piracy Act).  The head of the push to approve the bill comes from Lamar Smith, who introduced the bill.  This effort, having been heavily lobbied by proponents such as the MPAA and RIAA, pitted tech-era silicon valley giants such as Wikipedia and Twitter against Hollywood content owners who want to create a draconian system of censorship, in an attempt to stop piracy.  The bill was not introduced alone however, SOPA’s mate, if you will, is PIPA(Protect Intellectual Property Act). 
     Both are intended to help manage the use and proliferation of online content when it isn’t used or distributed in accordance with the terms given by its owners.  However, foreign nations, which frequently have different laws regarding copyright(such as Sweden) cannot be held to United States laws regarding internet piracy.  SOPA and PIPA both aim to target foreign nations and third party content hosting sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, by creating a way to punish websites which have presumably illegal content on them. 
            Upon the claim being made on a third party website, the site in question is immediately shut down, whereupon they have to appeal to the Justice Department to have the claim revoked.  This presumption of guilt not only flies in the face of the inherent presumption of innocence in the American legal system, but would also slow down the dynamic creativity that is arguably the most important byproduct of the internet.    Ergo, the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Online Intellectual Property Act both aim to criminalize technology companies, rather than the people who have committed infringement on intellectual property.   
            This proposed network of blocking Internet Protocol addresses is a dramatic step towards state sponsored censorship.  It is reminiscent of the systems in place in Iran and China, where the government blocks websites involving political ideas and news agencies that aren’t approved by government censors.  The internet has been one of the most powerful tools in human history for spurring literacy, intellectual debate, and independent knowledge.  Almost any person in the developed world can access the whole human cannon of knowledge, and legislators are oblivious to the need to keep this medium unregulated and free. 
            Not too long ago, the same media lobbying firms were railing against the ability to record a TV show, or the ability to record a song on a Walkman.  These irrational phobias of change are equally irrational as they are overblown.  Neither ended their near monopoly on musical and visual media content: both are extant today.   Rather than seek to end content on the internet, they should work to expand the viewing of their work

Indefinite Detention and Indifference to Our Rights

It appears that Ron Paul's campaign in South Carolina has met a serious setback.  During the Republican debate last night, he received a few rounds of intermittent "boos" because of his espousing of the golden rule.  Apparently, this enclave of neo-conservatives isn’t too fond of respect, national sovereignty, or reciprocation in kind for aggression.  Of course, this is in the heart of the Bible Belt, yet none of these “individuals” had qualms with principles, in regards to war, which has been a longstanding tradition in every branch of Christianity.
            I suppose he would’ve been better off proposing that we invade Iraq again.  The media has cast our candidate as an enemy of America, and enemy of strength, and an enemy of American government.  But I’d like to counter that dispersion of his candidacy.  Who is the greater threat in regards to American rule of law?  A president who uses Summary Judgment to kill American citizens, a 16 year old, just because his relative is exercising the first amendment?  This is a creepy throwback to the times of The Alien and Sedition Act of 1918, in which it became illegal to criticize the government of the United States.  Regardless of the content or incendiary nature of speech, or even speech meant to inflame, subvert, or destroy the United States, should still be legal.  The idea that jailing(or in this case, turning them into Middle-Eastern meat smithereens) dissidents will make them go away is not only irrational, but it fails to end the dissent.  How do you think Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaida recruit?  How do you think the surrounding citizens of Yemen feel when a house suddenly isn’t there, and you know your government has no way to stop attacks that destroy its sovereignty? 
Jailing and bombing people who you disagree with only gives more merit to their arguments, and decreases the strength and appreciation of whatever institution you are a part of.  In Algeria, the French equivalent of the American experience in Vietnam’s  harsh jungles, the torture of the native populous by French Special Forces didn’t result in enclaves of secret information being exposed: rather, it resulted in public outcry and only increased the demands that they leave.
            If we are to succeed, or at least mitigate, the effects of terrorists, Islamic extremists, and nationalistic seperatists, we must jail them for crimes they have committed, and nothing more.  That is the only way our “War on Terror” can be solved.