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Institute of Peace’s Hawkish Chairman Wants Ukraine to Send Russians Back in Body Bags

The Intercept - Engl. - Sat, 01/08/2015 - 16:20

The United States Institute of Peace is a publicly funded national institution chartered by the U.S. government to promote international peace through nonviolent conflict resolution.

But its chairman, Stephen Hadley, is a relentless hawk whose advocacy for greater military intervention often dovetails closely with the interests of Raytheon, a major defense contractor that pays him handsomely as a member of its board of directors.

Hadley, the former national security advisor to President George W. Bush, was an advocate for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and more recently appeared in the media to call for massive airstrikes in Syria. Over the last year, he has called for escalating the conflict in Ukraine.

In a speech at Poland’s Wroclaw Global Forum in June, Hadley argued in favor of arming the Ukrainian government in part because that would “raise the cost for what Russia is doing in Ukraine.” Specifically, he said, “even President Putin is sensitive to body bags — it sounds coarse to say, but it’s true — but body bags of Russian soldiers who have been killed.”

Hadley also called for European governments to broadly boost military spending, ideally doubling it. “You know, let’s show that Europe is going to have real commitment to military forces,” he said.

The call to flood Ukraine with weapons not only contrasts sharply with the stated mission of the Institute of Peace, but many scholars believe doing so would provoke more conflict.

“Arming Ukraine is a very bad idea,” says Stephen Walt, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. “The core problem is that Ukraine’s political alignment is a vital interest for Russia, which is why it intervened in the first place. It is right next door to Russia, which means Moscow both cares more about the outcome and can escalate there much more easily than we can. Doubling down now will intensify and prolong the fighting and get more Ukrainians killed.”

Kevin Connor, director of the Public Accountability Initiative, a watchdog group that has criticized Hadley’s work for Raytheon in the past, is calling for Hadley to step aside.

“If the U.S. Institute of Peace is just an Orwellian absurdity, then Hadley is an appropriate chairman,” says Connor. “If it wants to demonstrate that it isn’t that, Hadley’s resignation or removal would be a step in the right direction.”

Scholars formerly affiliated with the Institute of Peace played down Hadley’s role at the institute. Daniel Serwer, the institute’s former vice president for peacebuilding innovation, told The Intercept that board of directors has a “role in setting Institute goals and policy, but generally stays out of day-to-day operations.” Hadley “seemed to me a natural as a Republican board member and as chair, but I was not privy to the selection process,” Serwer added.

“I have a lot of respect for Steve Hadley and all the former national security advisors, so it doesn’t concern me,” says Tara Sonenshine, the former executive vice president of the institute.

The institute’s “core principles” start with “1. We believe conflicts can be resolved without violence.”

But by the law that established it in 1984, it is also bipartisan: no more than eight voting members of board of directors can be from the same political party.

Hadley, was nominated to the institute board by President Barack Obama in February of 2013. He joined the institute in August and was elevated to chairman of the board in January of 2014.

The stock and trade of the institute includes regular lectures on conflict resolution, programs to facilitate cultural exchange, and research regarding international conflicts. The institute website highlights a “culturally-sensitive policing practices” grant for Israeli law enforcement.

But it’s not the first time the institute has served as a platform for American hawkish foreign policy. Robert Turner, the first president of the institute and an appointee by President Ronald Reagan, voiced support for the right-wing death squads in Nicaragua known as the Contras.

In more recent history, the institute’s board has included neoconservative leaders such as Daniel Pipes, an advocate for ethnic profiling and the invasion of Middle East countries. Eric Edelman, a current board member, has called for the Obama administration to hike military spending, for the U.S. to support an Israeli military strike on Iran, and for NATO countries to deploy nuclear weapons into former Warsaw Pact states that are now NATO members in an effort to confront Russia.

In 2009, Hadley joined with other former Bush officials to launch a consulting firm now known as RiceHadleyGates LLC. The firm says it helps corporations “develop and implement their international strategic plans.”

Hadley also serves as a highly paid board member of Raytheon, a company that stands to gain from increased military assistance to Ukraine. Hadley has been a Raytheon board member since 2009 and was paid cash and stock awards worth $290,025 in 2014 alone.

For companies like Raytheon, global instability and intervention have been good for business.

The conflict in Ukraine raised regional defense spending, a dynamic that has greatly boosted profits for Raytheon, which recently posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings. Dave Wajsgras, Raytheon’s chief financial officer, told the Wall Street Journal that European states are hiking their defense budgets in the wake of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, leading to higher revenues for his company.

Raytheon vice president Tom Kennedy told investors in October of 2014 that his company is competing “in Poland for an integrated air and missile defense system,” explaining that the deal “had a heightened sense of urgency in Poland relative to the activities going on in eastern Europe, especially relative to Ukraine.”

In July, Senate Armed Services Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the U.S. should supply Ukraine with the Javelin portable missile system produced by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. “They need a Javelin,” McCain said, speaking at the Heritage Foundation.

Through his relationship with RiceHadleyGates, Hadley works for APCO Worldwide, an international lobbying firm for which he serves as on the firm’s international advisory council. The RiceHadleyGates-APCO business partnership was announced in 2011.

In March of this year, APCO won two contracts to represent the Ukrainian Prime Minister and Ukraine’s Minister of Finance to help influence relations with the American government and media. The Ministry of Finance has asked international creditors to renegotiate the terms of the country’s sovereign debt as Ukraine has struggled to make payments.

Last week, Hadley weighed in on this topic, arguing in a column for the Wall Street Journal that Western powers should extend debt reduction for Ukraine. “The odds may be long, but the prize is great, and the trans-Atlantic community will never have a better chance to invest in Ukraine’s success,” Hadley wrote.

Hadley, who serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department’s foreign affairs policy board, is also advising Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign on foreign policy and national security issues.

In 2011, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House voted to withhold the institute’s funds — two of them called it “a case study in how government waste thrives.” But the funding — $40 million that year — was restored in committee.  The institute, housed in a new $186 million palatial building overlooking the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is also supported by private donations, including a $1 million grant from weaponsmaker Lockheed Martin.

Photo: Stephen J. Hadley 

The post Institute of Peace’s Hawkish Chairman Wants Ukraine to Send Russians Back in Body Bags appeared first on The Intercept.

Aktionstag am GÜZ

Indymedia antimil - Sat, 01/08/2015 - 12:37
von: anonym am: 01.08.2015 - 12:37

Krieg beginnt hier: Antimilitaristischer Aktionstag in der Altmark

Mit einer Hausbesetzung in Schnöggersburg, der Kriegs-Übungsstadt der Bundeswehr auf dem Gefechtsübungszentrum des Heeres in der Altmark, begann der heutige antimilitaristische Aktionstag. Außerdem bestehen Mahnwachen in Letzlingen, Dolle und an der Baustelleneinfahrt Schnöggersburg an der B189.

TSA’s Behavior Detection Program Has a Newsletter, and It’s Ridiculous

The Intercept - Engl. - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 20:27

The Transportation Security Administration’s embattled behavior detection program has not identified a singe terrorist, but it has produced glossy bi-monthly newsletters poking fun at the traveling public.

In these bi-monthly employee newsletters—six of which were obtained by The Intercept—behavior detection officers, who are supposed to help spot possible terrorists, sometimes make fun of inexperienced or nervous travelers, including one “sweet little old lady” who thought the bowl for metallic objects was a tip jar.

On their own, the newsletters could be regarded as light-hearted workplace fun, but they are also part of a controversial billion dollar program, known a Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, which employs specially trained officers, known as Behavior Detection Officers, to rate passengers going through screening for signs of deception. Those alleged signs of deception, which the The Intercept revealed earlier this year, include “excessive yawning” and “wringing of hands,” and have been widely criticized for lacking any basis in science, or even common sense.

The Intercept also reported on the program’s flawed design that targets undocumented immigrants not potential terrorists.

Each issue of newsletters ranges from seven to nine pages and provides a forum for behavior detection officers to share stories about confiscated lots of wine, showcase original poetry (an ode to Alaska, for example), and in one case, a promotion for an officer’s dog breeding business (the officer says her TSA training to spot deception helps her “read” potential dog buyers).

A section called “BDO funnies” highlights naïve or nervous passengers,  including an example of someone successfully convincing one woman going through security that a swab used for detecting explosives was testing for DNA. At other times, however, the newsletters praise behavior detection officers for providing “customer service” to the traveling public, by explaining security procedures, or helping passengers. There are also mentions of various testings of pilot programs or attempts to test out metrics to be used to track and evaluate the program overall.

Some offices detail their goals for the year. “This year’s goal is to visit the Botanical Garden which is adjacent to the beautiful and newly re-modeled airport and learn more about the indigenous plants and species that share in improving our air quality!” reads one item.

Others  highlight past memorable moments or achievements.  One team, for example, wrote about a botched attempt to reheat a chicken sandwich in their airport’s break room microwave. (Someone forgot to remove the foil wrapper, the sandwich became engulfed in flames then exploded.)

Much of the newsletters are devoted to very lengthy regional articles about the weather, with headlines like, “Surviving the Snow in Bangor, Maine!” “Beating the Summer Heat in Milwaulkee!” and “Yes it Snows in Arizona!”

The newsletters also offer insights into the background of some behavior detection officers, who are supposed to be able to spot potential terrorists just by looking at them. “How many of us can look back about 20 years at the Susan Smith case, specifically at that famous news conference where she insisted there had been a carjacking and her children were in the car?” wrote one officer. “I know I turned to my husband and said, ‘She’s lying.’ I knew nothing about BDOs at that time; I just knew that her behaviors contradicted her words.”

Prior to joining TSA, the behavior detection officer worked as a travel agent for Walt Disney Company.

Newly-confirmed TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger faced tough questions from lawmakers earlier this week about the agency’s failure to spot weapons and explosives 96 percent of the time in recent tests. The congressional panel also raised questions about the behavior detection officer program. Neffenger said he needed to continue to look at the program before making decisions about its future.

In response to The Intercept’s questions about the content and purpose of the  newsletters, TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said it was one of myriad methods used by the agency to engage and encourage communication across its workforce.

“An engaged and informed workforce is critical to TSA’s mission while ensuring that we treat all passengers fairly and with dignity and integrity,” the spokesman said via email.

“Employees who feel part of a community and recognized are more engaged and better perform their security mission.

“’BDOs in Motion’ is a newsletter written by Behavior Detection Officers. As always, professionalism and integrity are at the core of who we are as homeland security professionals, and TSA strives to demonstrate this with every passenger at every airport around the country.”

TSA did not answer The Intercept’s questions regarding costs and time involved in producing the BDO newsletters.

BDO Newletters

BDO Newsletter, April 1, 2014

BDO Newsletter, June 1, 2014

BDO Newsletter, August 1, 2014

BDO Newsletter, October 1, 2014

BDO Newsletter, December 1, 2014

BDO Newsletter, February 1, 2015

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The post TSA’s Behavior Detection Program Has a Newsletter, and It’s Ridiculous appeared first on The Intercept.

German Journalists Investigated for Treason after Publishing Surveillance Leaks

The Intercept - Engl. - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:57

Two journalists at the prominent German news website Netzpolitik are under investigation for treason after publishing details about the planned expansion of the German Secret Service’s Internet surveillance program.

On Wednesday, the organization received a letter from the Federal Attorney General of Germany confirming ongoing investigations against reporters Markus Beckedahl, Andre Meister (pictured), and an “unknown source” for the articles, one of which was published in February and detailed a secret budget plan for surveillance activities, and another, from April, describing a new surveillance unit for monitoring social networking and online chats. Meister has characterized the plans as being part of Germany’s “post-Snowden” internet surveillance push.

Netzpolitik, which reports on politics and technology, learned within the last several weeks that Federal Attorney General of Germany was investigating the stories, but believed its sources were the target of the investigation rather than its journalists, Meister said in an interview. Only yesterday did it became clear that Meister and Beckedahl were also under investigation.

“This is a direct attack on freedom of the press, such as hasn’t been the case in around 50 years in Germany, since the ‘Spiegel scandal’ in 1962,'” Meister told The Intercept, citing an incident in which the German newsweekly Der Spiegel was searched and some of its journalists were arrested on treason accusations stemming from an article questioning the preparedness of West German armed forces.

“These charges are an intimidation against media and against potential sources — which are an integral part of investigative journalism,” he added. “The public needs whistleblowers to find out about what’s done in their name and with their money. So the original investigations against our sources were already a direct attack on freedom of press and freedom of information.”

The attorney general’s letter cites a section of the German penal code that states:

Whosoever … allows a state secret to come to the attention of an unauthorised person or to become known to the public in order to prejudice the Federal Republic of Germany or benefit a foreign power and thereby creates a danger of serious prejudice to the external security of the Federal Republic of Germany, shall be liable to imprisonment of not less than one year.

Meister railed against the implication that he or his publication have attacked the German state, saying that, as part of a “fourth pillar” in German society, their job is to “dig deep, investigate, and provide the public with information that has not previously been public … providing the public — and thus the sovereign — with information for public debate that’s integral for informed consent.”

“Germany won’t be invaded because of our reporting,” he added. “On the other hand, one could argue that the pervasive mass surveillance of the digital world is an attack on the basic freedoms of a free society. Without privacy, there can be no freedom of thought and freedom of association without a protected, un-invaded private space. We want to enable a public debate about these integral issues.”

The charges have generated significant attention in Germany. A public demonstration has been organized in support of Netzpolitik, and today they received high-level support when the Heiko Maas, the German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection, expressed doubts to the Attorney General that journalists intended to harm Germany or aid a foreign power.

Asked if Netzpolitik would continue to report using materials gained from whistleblowers, Meister replied, “That’s our job, so of course we will continue to report about publicly relevant information, which obviously includes information from whistleblowers from state and private entities. As a matter of fact, just [yesterday] we have exposed the new ‘cyber strategy’ of the German Federal Military ‘Bundeswehr’ about offensive cyber attacks.”

“If anything, all the support is showing that we must be doing the right thing, so we will continue what we do and maybe even step up the pace. … To paraphrase a Google engineer after yet another NSA leak: ‘Fuck those guys!'”

The post German Journalists Investigated for Treason after Publishing Surveillance Leaks appeared first on The Intercept.

EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption

The Intercept - Engl. - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 17:46

As the Obama administration campaign to stop the commercialization of strong encryption heats up, National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is firing back on behalf of the companies like Apple and Google that are finding themselves under attack.

“Technologists and companies working to protect ordinary citizens should be applauded, not sued or prosecuted,” Snowden wrote in an email.

Snowden was asked by The Intercept to respond to the contentious suggestion — made Thursday on a blog that frequently promotes the interests of the national security establishment — that companies like Apple and Google might in certain cases be found legally liable for providing material aid to a terrorist organization because they provide encryption services to their users.

In his email, Snowden explained how law enforcement officials who are demanding that U.S. companies build some sort of window into unbreakable end-to-end encryption — he calls that an “insecurity mandate” — haven’t thought things through.

“The central problem with insecurity mandates has never been addressed by its proponents: if one government can demand access to private communications, all governments can,” Snowden wrote.

“No matter how good the reason, if the U.S. sets the precedent that Apple has to compromise the security of a customer in response to a piece of government paper, what can they do when the government is China and the customer is the Dalai Lama?”

Weakened encryption would only drive people away from the American technology industry, Snowden wrote. “Putting the most important driver of our economy in a position where they have to deal with the devil or lose access to international markets is public policy that makes us less competitive and less safe.”

Snowden entrusted his archive of secret documents revealing the NSA’s massive warrantless spying programs all over the world to journalists in 2013. Two of those journalists — Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras — are founding editors of The Intercept.

Among Snowden’s many revelations are the CIA’s years-long efforts to break Apple’s security systems, and American and British spy agencies’ theft of a vast trove of private encryption keys. Snowden himself taught Greenwald the importance of using strong encryption to protect the materials.

FBI Director James Comey and others have repeatedly stated that law enforcement is “going dark” when it comes to the ability to track bad actors’ communications because of end-to-end encrypted messages, which can only be deciphered by the sender and the receiver. They have never provided evidence for that, however, and have put forth no technologically realistic alternative.

Meanwhile, Apple and Google are currently rolling out user-friendly end-to-end encryption for their customers, many of whom have demanded greater privacy protections — especially following Snowden’s disclosures.

Photo of Edward Snowden streaming through a remote-controlled robot at a 2014 TED conference in Vancouver.

The post EXCLUSIVE: Edward Snowden Explains Why Apple Should Continue To Fight the Government on Encryption appeared first on The Intercept.

On Disputed No-Fly Zone, Clinton Campaign Got Its Way With the FAA

The Intercept - Engl. - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 15:10

The morning after the Hillary Clinton campaign was told that the New York City mayor’s office wasn’t going to bar news helicopters from buzzing her official campaign launch event on Roosevelt Island, the Secret Service expressed concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration about aircraft “loitering” over the event, according to emails obtained by The Intercept.

And the Clinton campaign got its way: On the eve of the event held last month, the FAA announced a “national defense airspace” over the island, threatening to shoot down anything airborne that appeared to present an imminent security threat.

FAA sketch of the Roosevelt Island no-fly zone.


The launch rally was the result of weeks of careful planning by veteran aides to Hillary and Bill Clinton. Seeking flight restrictions around the event was among these preparations.

The emails show that in the days preceding the launch event, the campaign had been discussing air-traffic restrictions with both a New York mayor’s office official and a park conservancy president who helps administer Roosevelt Island’s Four Freedoms Park, where the event was held.

On the afternoon of June 10, the park conservancy president, Sally Minard, informed Jason Chung of the Clinton campaign that the mayor’s office had indicated that the campaign launch event would not meet the FAA’s standards required to impose a no-fly zone.

The mayor’s office believed that a no-fly zone could “only be ordered federally for security reasons,” Minard wrote to Chung. “He points out that if a news outlet wanted to cover the event by helicopter, they do not have the power to stop them.”

After receiving this note, Chung emailed an official from the Secret Service, which protects both Clintons for life.

“FYI – I’m guessing a TFR [Temporary Flight Restriction] is a total no-go?” Chung wrote to the official, whose identifying information is redacted.

The official told Chung that she/he had been looking into this. In an email to the FAA the following morning, a Secret Service official (again redacted) wrote that there were no known threats against the event, but the security agency had safety concerns due to “the obvious risks” associated with its likelihood to attract “loitering” aircraft to the already-busy airspace.

The FAA announced the no-fly zone the next day. The notice warned pilots of civil penalties or criminal charges for entering into the rally’s airspace, and asserted that the “United States government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”

The emails didn’t actually raise a security threat so much as a possible safety issue. But news helicopters often congregate over urban events without posing a safety hazard so great it necessitates a no-fly zone.

The FAA did not respond to a question about whether greater safety measures are needed for such air traffic.

News choppers are not a threat to the public, Chris Dancy, the director of communications for the Helicopter Association International, told The Intercept.

“Newsgathering helicopter pilots do this for a living and it’s something they do very safely,” said Dancy, who noted that in crowded airspace, helicopters often  coordinate their movements with air traffic control.

The evening before the campaign event, ABC News reported that the FAA had imposed a no-fly zone over the island. The report noted that such a move appeared unusual given that Clinton did not receive such treatment for appearances made during her time as first lady — and Michelle Obama often does not either.

On the morning of the event, an anonymous source speaking to the New York Post indicated that, far from a national defense measure, the no-fly zone had been sought by the campaign in order to ward off news helicopters.

The FAA has previously been accused of relying on specious security pretexts for imposing flight restrictions for the real purpose of limiting media access. During the height of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, at the behest of local police, the FAA established a wide-ranging no-fly zone. Local law enforcement asserted that they had safety concerns after shots had been fired at a police helicopter. But in November, the Associated Press reported that the flight restriction had in fact been privately negotiated with the aim of preventing the news helicopters from filming the protests.

Brian Leary, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, referred questions about the specifics of the no-fly zone to the FAA. In an email, the FAA said it had implemented the no-fly zone at the Secret Service’s request and referred additional questions to the Secret Service.

The Clinton campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

Read the e-mails:

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The post On Disputed No-Fly Zone, Clinton Campaign Got Its Way With the FAA appeared first on The Intercept.

Generalbundesanwalt ermittelt gegen Netzpolitik-Journalisten - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 11:37


Der Generalbundesanwalt wirft Journalisten des Blogs Landesverrat vor und ermittelt. Darüber informierte die oberste Ermittlungsbehörde die Blogger in einem Brief, den am Donnerstag veröffentlichte. (1) Es geht um die Veröffentlichung von Informationen und Dokumenten des Bundesamts für Verfassungsschutz. „Wir lassen uns nicht einschüchtern“, schrieben die Blogger. Der Deutsche Journalisten-Verband (DJV) sprach von einem Angriff auf die Pressefreiheit.

Die Bundesregierung wolle mit den Anzeigen wegen Landesverrats die Wahrheit über die deutsche Verstrickung in den NSA-Skandal unterdrücken, sagte der Gründer von, Markus Beckedahl gegenüber ARD-aktuell. Es werde zunehmend klar, dass die Bundesregierung „knietief im Sumpf von NSA und Co“ stecke.



Landesverrat versus Pressefreiheit?

RIB/DAKS - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 08:19

Seit der “bedingt Abwehrbereit”-Berichterstattung des Spiegels gab es keinen vergleichbaren Fall. Der Generalbundesanwalt Range – der selbe Generalbundesanwalt der weder im Falle der NSA-Schnüffeleien ermittelte noch bei der Untersuchung des Abhörskandals des Kanzlerhandys bereit war die geschädigte Kanzlerin noch den Informanten Snowden zu vernehmen – eben dieser Generalbundesanwalt ermittelt endlich doch. Diesmal wegen Landesverrat. Nicht aber gegen einen der Geheimdienste, sondern gegen den Grimmepreisträger

Es geht um die Veröffentlichung von Informationen und Dokumenten des Bundesamts für Verfassungsschutz. Sie sollen Staatsgeheimnisse öffentlich gemacht haben. Die Anzeige kommt offenbar vom Verfassungsschutzpräsidenten persönlich. Genau der Behörde die zum Beispiel auch für die Spionageabwehr im eigenen Land zuständig gewesen wäre.

“” hat in zwei Artikeln die Pläne des Verfassungsschutzes zum Ausbau der Internet-Überwachung beschrieben und dies mit Auszügen von Dokumenten des Inlandsgeheimdienstes belegt. Die Bundesanwaltschaft war bisher nicht für eine Stellungnahme erreichbar.

Die jüngste Entwicklung ist unter dem wachsenden Druck unter welchem die Geheimdienste neuerlich stehen besonders Bemerkenswert. Die Untersuchung der NSA-Affäre durch den Bundestag entwickelt sich zunehmend zu einer BND-Causa. Der Verfassungsschutz muss mit Kritik wegen möglicher Fehler im Zusammenhang mit Ermittlungen gegen die rechte Terrorgruppe NSU kämpfen. Selbst der kleine Militärische Abschirmdienst ist ins Gerede gekommen, weil ein Waffenhersteller es gerne gesehen hätte, wenn der MAD gegen unliebsame Journalisten vorgeht .

Aber Vielleicht kann man dem Amt für Verfassungsschutz nicht vorwerfen, dass es Anzeige erstattet hat wenn geheime Dokumente aus ihrem Ressort weitergeben werden. Allerdings ist es doch sehr bezeichnend, dass der Generalbundesanwalt bei den brisanten Fällen wie der NSA-Affäre und dem Abhören des Kanzlerinnenhandys jahrelang nur prüft, aber nicht ermittelt, dann aber schon kurz nach einer anderen Anzeige ein Verfahren wegen Landesverrats gegen Journalisten einleitet.

Uns bleibt an dieser Stelle nur eines übrig, zu hoffen dass dieses Verfahren ebenso wie das Ermittlungsverfahren zur Überwachung des Kanzlerhandys ad acta gelegt wird oder wie im Spiegel-Fall damals der Bundesgerichtshof ein Verfahren schließlich ablehnt. Schließlich steht die Pressefreiheit in unserer Verfassung mit Bedacht ziemlich weit vorne, hinter der Gleichheit der Menschen und dem Schutz des Glaubens – noch vor dem Schutz von Ehe und Familie.

Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”

The Intercept - Engl. - Fri, 31/07/2015 - 01:09

Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally-syndicated radio show The Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”

Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United.


HARTMANN: Our Supreme Court has now said, “unlimited money in politics.” It seems like a violation of principles of democracy … your thoughts on that?

CARTER: It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congressmembers. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over … The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody’s who’s just a challenger.

I’ve added Carter’s statement to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics. Please let me know if you have other good examples.

(Thanks to Sam Sacks for pointing this out.)

The post Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery” appeared first on The Intercept.


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