Posted: 30th January 2015 by AUDIOMIND
Tags: , , , , , ,

American Sniper Chris Kyle

Despite what some people think, hero is not a synonym for competent government-hired killer.

This is neither a movie review nor a review of the late Chris Kyle’s autobiographical book on which the movie is based. My interest is solely in the popular evaluation of Kyle, America’s most prolific sniper, a title he earned through four tours in Iraq.

Let’s recall some facts, which perhaps Eastwood thought were too obvious to need mention: Kyle was part of an invasion force: Americans went to Iraq. Iraq did not invade America or attack Americans. Dictator Saddam Hussein never even threatened to attack Americans. Contrary to what the George W. Bush administration suggested, Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Before Americans invaded Iraq, al-Qaeda was not there. Nor was it in Syria, Yemen, and Libya.

The only reason Kyle went to Iraq was that Bush/Cheney & Co. launched a war of aggression against the Iraqi people. Wars of aggression, let’s remember, are illegal under international law. Nazis were executed at Nuremberg for waging wars of aggression.

With this perspective, we can ask if Kyle was a hero.

Defenders of Kyle and the Bush foreign policy will say, “Of course, he was a hero. He saved American lives.”

What American lives? The lives of American military personnel who invaded other people’s country, one that was no threat to them or their fellow Americans back home. If an invader kills someone who is trying to resist the invasion, that does not count as heroic self-defense. The invader is the aggressor. The “invadee” is the defender. If anyone’s a hero, it’s the latter.

In his book Kyle wrote he was fighting “savage, despicable evil” — and having “fun” doing it. Why did he think that about the Iraqis? Because Iraqi men — and women; his first kill was a woman — resisted the invasion and occupation he took part in.

That makes no sense. As I’ve established, resisting an invasion and occupation — yes, even when Arabs are resisting Americans — is simply not evil. If America had been invaded by Iraq (one with a powerful military, that is) would Iraqi snipers picking off American resisters be considered heroes by all those people who idolize Kyle? I don’t think so, and I don’t believe Americans would think so either. Rather, American resisters would be the heroes.

Eastwood’s movie also features an Iraqi sniper. Why isn’t he regarded as a hero for resisting an invasion of his homeland, like the Americans in my hypothetical example? (Eastwood should make a movie about the invasion from the Iraqis’ point of view, just as he made a movie about Iwo Jima from the Japanese point of view to go with his earlier movie from the American side.)

No matter how often Kyle and his admirers referred to Iraqis as “the enemy,” the basic facts did not change. They were “the enemy” — that is, they meant to do harm to Americans — only because American forces waged an unprovoked war against them. Kyle, like other Americans, never had to fear that an Iraqi sniper would kill him at home in the United States. He made the Iraqis his enemy by entering their country uninvited, armed with a sniper’s rifle. No Iraqi asked to be killed by Kyle, but it sure looks as though Kyle was asking to be killed by an Iraqi. (Instead, another American vet did the job.)

Of course, Kyle’s admirers would disagree with this analysis. Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News commentator, said,

“Chris Kyle was clear as to who the enemy was. They were the ones his government sent him to kill.”

Appalling! Kyle was a hero because he eagerly and expertly killed whomever the government told him to kill? Conservatives, supposed advocates of limited government, sure have an odd notion of heroism.

Excuse me, but I have trouble seeing an essential difference between what Kyle did in Iraq and what Adam Lanza did at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It certainly was not heroism.

NSA Phone and Internet Snooping Demands a Repeal of Patriot Act, FISA and NDAA

Posted: 7th June 2013 by AUDIOMIND
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Government phone, Internet snooping demands immediate, dramatic downsizing of all spy agencies, repeal of Patriot Act, FISA, NDAA

Taking its cue from George Orwell’s famous novel 1984, the Obama administration is mining customer data from major Internet vendors and collecting telephone records of millions of U.S. citizens indiscriminately — regardless of whether they are suspected of a crime.

The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the records U.S. customers of Verizon under a top secret court order issued in April. It is requiring Verizon to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its system — and also demanding Verizon’s silence on the order.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

In addition, the Washington Post reports that the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple. Under a program called PRISM, they’re extracting audio and video chats, photographs, emails, documents, and connection logs that enable government analysts to trace a user’s network of associates.

How many violations of the Bill of Rights will it take for civil libertarians to abandon their support of a president who has not only continued — but escalated — the sins of the Bush administration?

The FBI/NSA’s broad surveillance of domestic calls is allegedly authorized by the Patriot Act and by 2008 reforms of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Then–U.S. Sen. Barack Obama voted in favor of the reforms.

Full repeal of FISA, the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and massive downsizing of federal spy agencies is the only answer. Not maybe. Not later. Now. This will stop the incremental yet rapid decline of our privacy and civil liberties, put a check on government power, and help to ensure that every American is afforded due process and justice if charged with a crime.

FBI Created 17 Fake Terrorist Plots and Then Foiled Them

Posted: 4th June 2013 by AUDIOMIND
Tags: , , , , , ,

FBI's Scam of Catching Terrorist

According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, in the past 10 years there have been 20 terrorist plots against the US.  Three of those plots were real but were discovered and stopped by private Americans.  The other 17 were manufactured and then stopped by the FBI.

The apparent purpose of these false flag operations was to deceive Americans into believing we’re under attack by foreign or domestic terrorists who are fictional.  Based on this false belief that we’re being persistently attacked, Americans tend to accept and even support the government’s invasions of foreign countries and our own growing police state.

If you want to fly on an airplane, you must first be x-rayed or groped, in part because these 17 plots were created by the FBI to prove the existence of terrorists who don’t actually exist.

This article from the New York Times explains that the FBI is not necessarily finding terrorists, so much as creating and grooming people who are upset with government to become “terrorists” in “sting operations”.  The article claims that “Of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in [FBI] sting operations.” These numbers don’t precisely match Judge Napolitano’s, but they’re similar.

Interestingly, the article reveals that most defendants charged in these sting operations claim “entrapment” as their defense and thereby lose in federal court.  That tells me that entrapment is probably an “affirmative defense” which is first and foremost a confession.

You can’t claim to have been entrapped into committing a crime without first implicitly confessing that you did, in fact, commit the alleged crime.  Once you make an affirmative defense/confession, the prosecution’s case is made, and the burden of proof shifts to the defendant to prove that the defendant would not have committed the crime.  Because it’s near impossible for the defendant to prove their state of mind and intent, convicting fools who make affirmative defenses is like shooting fish in a barrel.  If the defendant had not made an affirmative defense, the burden of proof would remain on the prosecution to prove the defendant’s state of mind/state.

The most important consequence of using the affirmative defense of entrapment to excuse some alleged criminal act inspired by the FBI (or some other governmental agency) is that such defense constitutes a confession that you have attempted to commit a crime. The second most important consequence may be that “entrapment” implicitly admits that the person who tried to entrap the defendant was a government agent.  If so, by alleging that he/she was entrapped by a government agent, the defendant cloaks that government agent with official immunity that might not otherwise exist.  In other words, if a defendant doesn’t claim “entrapment,” the alleged government agent might be just as liable for the offense as the defendant.

If someone were being prosecuted for attempting to commit a terrorist act that had been inspired by a purported FBI agent, what if instead the defendant challenged the credentials of the government agent, attempting to prove that the agent was a private actor and the real brains behind the terror plot?  By not confessing, the defendant could make the prosecution prove every element of the crime, including venue, and even sue the purported FBI agent for misleading and deceiving the defendant.  By submitting “evidence” that the alleged government agent was the real brains behind the terror plot and thus a co-defendant rather than some “official” of government, how far do you think the case would go? Have every one of these 17 fake terrorist plot defendants claimed “entrapment” or have they any claimed innocence?