Posts Tagged ‘Assange’

During World War II, American industry joined in the war efforts by adjusting the products coming down the assembly line: automotive companies began churning out tank widgets and cowboy boot cobblers began cobbling combat boots. With the close of the hot war (and the rise of the cold one), it was clear the United States military could not continue to rely on peacetime industries to always support wartime production needs. What was born was a Military Industrial Complex – a new market burgeoning out of the demand for more weapons. Weapons were stockpiled against perceived threats and as long as there was a constant threat of something Out There (or hiding under the bed, for that matter) there would be a demand for more: more devastating bombs, shinier bombs, smarter bombs, etcetera, etc., et al.

In his grand exit from the White House, President and General Dwight D Eisenhower, warned the American citizenry of this Military Industrial Complex…

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, war seemed inevitable between the United States and Revolutionary Cuba’s financier, the Soviet Union. John F Kennedy was in the White House and through diplomacy there was a peace to be found. Kennedy also sought to pull troops out of Vietnam. This was not what the Military Industrial Complex had in mind. The Gods of War found an ally in the mob. While Joe Kennedy’s ties to the mafia helped secure the union vote in favor of his son’s presidency, JFK and RFK turned against their father’s criminal chums and began a campaign against the mob. Surrounded by enemies, conspiracy began to brew… In November of 1963, there was an assassination plot uncovered in Chicago where a lone-nut sniper was to fire upon the presidential motorcade. Days later on 11/18/63, JFK was in Tampa where Jackie Kennedy refused to ride in the motorcade because of the perceived danger. Secret Service security was heightened and the Tampa threat was never realized. Four days later in Dallas, no threat was perceived, but that does not explain the sudden strategy change in Secret Service detail (no agents on the running boards, police escort leaving the flanks of the presidential limo vulnerable, a changed motorcade route). JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in what was a political coup by the Military Industrial Complex who tagged LBJ as a more compliant successor.

Oh, God, can you ever imagine what would happen to the country if Lyndon were president?

– JFK to his wife, according to Jackie’s memoirs

LBJ and the Kennedy Brothers, RFK and JFK

LBJ and the Kennedy Brothers, RFK and JFK

President Lyndon B Johnson assigned the Warren Commission to “investigate” the assassination, but this investigation began with a conclusion: Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut who acted alone. Working from that conclusion, the Warren Commission Omission went backwards to prove its thesis with theories including magic bullets from an ineffective Italian rifle. Hours after the assassination, Oswald was confronted by police for sneaking into a movie theater without a ticket. When he was arrested, Lee Harvey Oswald thought it was for punching a police officer in the theater. Two days later, Jack Ruby approached the heavily guarded Oswald and murdered him, which conveniently kept the “lone nut” from getting his day in court. If Lee Harvey Oswald was ever tried in court for the assassination, there would have never been enough evidence to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt. There was a conspiracy to kill JFK and then there was a conspiracy to cover-up the assassination. It was an inside job, with participation of the new Commander-in-Chief, J Edgar Hoover’s FBI and other elements of American Intelligence. The Military Industrial Complex was the chief benefactor.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, the immediate military threat from Moscow was diminished. While modern Russia is no friend of peace or to the United States, the nuclear tension of the Cold War is no more what it once was. Cold War advisor, “the father of containment” (policy against the spread of communism), George Frost Kennan understood the impact on American Industry should the USSR no longer present a viable threat…

Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.

With the Cold War over, where would the Military Industrial Complex turn for a new adversary? While I am confident the JFK Assassination was an inside job, I cannot suggest with as much confidence that the events of 9/11 were also orchestrated from within the American government. Regardless of the means of how 9/11 occurred, the ends represented a boon for the Military Industrial Complex: nearly endless war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the rise of drones and drone spending, the increased dependency on intelligence gathering.

Julian Assange, hiding out in Ecuadoran Embassy in London. Edward Snowden, granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Julian Assange, hiding out in Ecuadoran Embassy in London. Edward Snowden, granted temporary asylum in Russia.

With the sudden transparency of American duplicity gained through WikiLeaks and Snowden’s disclosures, many were shocked at the extent of intelligence gathering by the NSA and other alphabet agencies. Perhaps because I dawdle so much in the shadows, these were hardly revelations to me. I have always assumed my phone bugged, my emails hacked, my online activity monitored, my drinking water fluoridated, my brain scanned by airport security and my bath time observed through infrared by hovering spy blimps. So goes the life of Vic Neverman. So goes the Intelligence Machine of the Military Industrial Complex. The more it feeds, the greater the appetite grows. With the only oversight an oblivious congressional panel, the Intelligence Machine was bound to test the full extent of its reach, sticking its nose into the private parts of the American public like a pig snouting for truffle. Anyone who would expect the NSA to behave politely is naïve.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Latin, “who will guard the guards, themselves?”)

– Juvenal, Roman poet 2000 years ago

Which brings us to the crossroads… as deceptions are uncovered, where will the Intelligence Machine go from here? Julian Assange and Edward Snowden (quirky, smarmy, creepy fellows as fellows go) have haphazardly made our secrets public, which has pissed-off the targets of American spying (American public, countless American allies and… the Vatican!?), stunting American diplomacy and anti-terrorism collaboration into the unforeseeable future. Will their efforts rewrite the programming of the Intelligence Machine, scaling back its advances? Will Assange and Snowden be written about as heroes in tomorrow’s history books? Or will the transnational Military Industrial Complex whitewash the record of American trespasses, adapt to the transparent environment and overcome by innovating new methods of duplicity? My money is on the latter.

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Catch 22: Yossarian hovers over a dying Snowden

Catch 22: Yossarian hovers over a dying Snowden

Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window, and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.

― Joseph Heller, Catch 22

After the whistles blew, uncovering extensive surveillance of the American people by the National Security Agency, outrage filled the headlines. The streets, themselves, were quiet, but the media went apeshit. I, Vic Neverman, skipped over the story as a non-event, what I perceived to be common knowledge. In Bluffsdale, Utah, NSA’s Spy City is being erected to store each of our phone conversations, texts, tweets and emails where their algorithmic spider-bots crawl over the words in search of suspicion worth red-flagging. This is going to be the Tower of Big Brother Babel. But what is the point of building a Spy City if the NSA isn’t going to poach records from Verizon and the rest of corporate infomerica? This latest whistle-blowing is only news to the mainstream.

Julian Assange, CIA patsy or just pastey? Seen here today at the Ecuadoran Embassy.

Julian Assange, CIA patsy or just pastey? Seen here today at the Ecuadoran Embassy.

What did raise a brow of suspicion is this Edward Snowden character, the confessed leaker. It is a strange, treasonous age we live in, where these whistleblowers become celebrities. We never learned much about the Wiki-Leaker Bradley Manning before the Pentagon put him in the dungeon, but we now all about Julian Assange, the Godfather of Leakage currently hiding out in an Ecuadoran Embassy in London and this dude is total creepers (and setup according to the Cubans). The latest to the party is Snowden, formerly anonymously known as Verax (which is Latin for “kitchen stain remover” or some shit like that), the tech contractor employed by Booz Allen Hamilton and who, from the luxury of his Hong Kong hotel hideout, gave his big scoop to the Guardian and the Wash Post.

(curious about who the heck is Booz Allen Hamilton? see this profile from Top Secret America)

Something is rotten in the Land of Danes as this dude stinks like thawed red herring. First, “Snowden” is obviously another pseudonym, a name borrowed from Joseph Heller’s classic war satire, Catch 22. It was the character Snowden who dies in Yossarian’s arms; Snowden, whose spilt guts tell the protagonist bombardier the “secret” of man and man’s mortality. Yossarian is driven mad with the secret, yet also enlightened with the knowledge that death is inevitable.

Edward Snowden, spilling his guts about the NSA

Edward Snowden, spilling his guts about the NSA

This Snowden, too, is something of a martyr of enlightenment – or so he likes to portray himself. According to him, instead of living out a comfy existence in Hawai’I with his girlfriend and 6-figure salary, he decided to go public with the NSA’s dirty laundry. He says he thought long and hard about the negative impact this will have on his family. He says he realizes he will never be able to go home.

Ed Snowden has all the makings of a disingenuous, self-righteous douchebag.

Don’t get me wrong – I am pro-transparency. I am anti-fascist. I am against the Police State watching me watching them watching me. I think Bradley Manning is a hero, but a treasonous one that should be punished according to our laws. I believe Julian Assange is doing great work; just that he is another self-righteous, self-appointed savior of our liberties and a dick. Time will tell what we learn about this Snowden dude. We don’t yet know the ends to know if they justify his means. Apparently, the whistle tune he blew was so shocking the press will only release a fraction of it. It is hard to tell, yet, just how necessary it was for Snowden to sacrifice his lap of luxury for the benefit of our perverse private texts, but we are bound to learn more.

Cue Julian Assange, who just crawled out of his Ecuadoran Embassy hole in London to propose Snowden for sainthood and to offer Wiki-Leaks up to host all the dirty little secrets of Snowden’s spilt entrails. We may very soon learn much more…

Who is Spain?
Why is Hitler?
Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

― Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Interpol Most Wanted: ASSANGE

Julian Assange, the megalomaniac and secret-exposing founder of WikiLeaks, has been granted Ecuadoran citizenship. This comes after hours weeks a month of Vic Neverman emails, text messages and facebook-likes to my most trusted South American contacts, urging them to grant asylum to the creepy Aussie accused sex-fiend.

NOTE: Just because I support what he does as a proponent of absolute government transparency doesn’t mean I like who he is.

Did this unrelenting email campaign, I, Vic Neverman, engaged in, assist in this victory against tyranny? Was it my efforts that might help prolong keeping Assange from the mits of the Brits who will deport him to Sweden who will extradite him to the United States who will bury him under Yucca Mountain?


Nevertheless! Ever the Neverman! With my obligations of persuasion complete, I may now focus my campaigning skills to the dire cause of Pussy Riot, the Russian punk rock band arrested for their sacrilegious display in an Orthodox Church.

T-Shirt Design by Vic Neverman, proceeds to go to defense fund of Pussy Riot

The Pussy Riot scandal involves the lady rockers’ speaking out against the oppressive Russian Orthodox Church’s hierarchy and its joining of forces with the oppressive Russian government’s hierarchy in a united oppressive front to suppress art, free speech and overall warm fuzziness. Pussy Riot got their message out to the world by putting on a “punk prayer” demonstration inside Moscow’s most prominent church, which promptly got them arrested on charges of hooliganism. Now, they await a verdict that might add another 3 years of imprisonment on top of the five months they have already spent in prison.

(Follow-up 8/18/2012: the verdict is guilty and the sentence is said to be 2 years of prison)

Pussy Riot on Display, err, Trial

While their presentation may have offended many of the Orthodox faith, Pussy Riot’s cause is a sound one. The femme punk rockers made themselves martyrs, willing victims of the oppressive Russian regime as a means to bring attention to tyranny. These are some ballsy chicks. And well intentioned, according to their “manifesto”:

I would like to emphasize the fact that, while at the Cathedral, we did not utter any insulting words towards the church, the Christians, and the God. The words we spoke and our entire punk performance aimed to express our disapproval of a specific political event: the patriarch’s support of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who took an authoritarian and antifeminist course. Our performance contained no aggression towards the audience, but only a desperate desire to change the political situation in Russia for the better. Our emotions and expressiveness came from that desire. If our passion appeared offensive to any spectators, we are sorry for that. We had no intentions to offend anyone. We wish that those, who cannot understand us, would forgive us. Most of all, we want people to hold no grudges against us.

-Nadia Tolokonikovoy

Punk Prayer at Christ the Savior Cathedral, “Hail Mary! Expel Putin!”

Vlad “the paler” Putin, ever the empathetic, mentioned he hoped the trio of girls would not get too severe of a punishment. Pretty kind words from the president, who has let Pussy Riot sit in prison for almost half a year after being the inspirational muse of the punk prayer, “Hail Mary, Expel Putin!”

Vlad Putin: Da, this pussy riot nyet

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin (whose campaign slogan must have been, “if at first you don’t succeed, Dimitry, Dimitry, Rogozin”) has provided the highlights of the ruling party’s response via tweet. Rogozin’s tweets came mostly in response to Madonna’s pledged support during one of her tour stops. Here is a Rogozin gem in regards to the Material Girl, roughly translated by the Inter-Web, “Every former whore seeks to lecture everyone on morality as she gets older. Especially during tours and gigs abroad.” Later he tweeted, “Either take off your cross or put on your knickers.” We assume it was also directed at Madonna.

Madonna, the reformed “whore” with her moral antics, tour stop Moscow with “Pussy Riot” drawn in magic marker across her back

And so I, Vic Neverman, begin a new unrelenting campaign to raise money in favor of Free Pussy Riot Now! Should they be further prisoned, I will put the brunt of my cerebral powers towards hatching an escape plan. I am already trying to figure out how to sneak Julian Assange out of London and to Quito, how much harder would it be to break the punk rock trio out of their Siberian prison camp?

Neverman above Quito at umpteen thousand feet, plotting out how to get the douchebag meglomaniac Assange into Ecuador

Appendix A: A Defense of Defending Julian Assange

I wanted to take this chance to address a message I received from “lilith@nonymous”:

Dear sir, I don’t want to sound contrarian, but I do not understand your motives. You want to be pro-feminist and pro-freedom of speech, but your support is misdirected with Julian Assange. How can you be for feminism in Russia and then help someone who may be a rapist flee the police in London? Are you only pro-most interesting story at the time?

It is obviously a very valid question. Supporting someone like Assange who is in fact fleeing allegations of sexual assault did not come without caution and a crisis of conscience. Roman Polanski, the famous director, avoids the United States in order to avoid charges of sexually assaulting a minor. I avoid Roman Polanski movies on principal. Shouldn’t I then refrain from support Assange?

It is not that easy. There are no charges against Assange. He is wanted for “questioning” in Sweden. If the Swedish authorities had enough to press charges against Assange, that would warrant his deportation to Stockholm. If they only have enough suspicion to ask to question him… Are they hoping he confesses? What is more is that Sweden refuses to guarantee that Assange will not be extradicted a third time.

Now I am not a criminal attorney or an international legal pro. If I am wrong, please tell me so. Is “questioning” enough for Sweden to expect England to extradict Assange? Is it enough for England to break diplomacy with Ecuador and make a seizure of the embassy in London? Hardly seems so. Which is why I believe the “questioning” is just a ruse to get Assange somewhere the United States can grab him. England might be our greatest ally, but they do not want this blood on their hands, they would rather transfer the blame to Sweden.

Certainly, if the tides change and Assange is charged with rape, then even the Ecuadorans will have to think twice. If Sweden agrees to pursue their line of questioning and not send Assange to the United States where he faces an end to life as he knows it, then I will reconsider my position.