The Misfortune Teller
You Can't Do A Wrong Thing The Right Way
Bracing Views - Two Notes on the U.S. Military
Blog entry by Glenn Greenwald, the Intercept (February 6 2018)
Citing U.S. Prison Conditions, British Appeals Court Refuses to Extradite Accused Hacker Lauri Love to the U.S.
A British appeals court on Monday rejected demands from the U.S. government for the extradition of an accused British hacker, Lauri Love, citing the inability of U.S. prisons to humanely and adequately treat his medical and mental health ailments. Extradition to the U.S., the court ruled, would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition.”
Rejecting the prosecutor’s pleas that “the British courts should trust the United States to provide what it said it would provide” in order to secure Love’s health and safety, the court instead invoked extensive medical and psychological testimony that conditions inside American prisons are woefully inadequate to treat Love’s ailments. As a result, extradition and incarceration inside the U.S. prison system would exacerbate those health issues and produce a high risk of suicide.
Love, 33, is accused by the U.S. government of participating in the 2012 and 2013 hacking of the computer systems of various U.S. military agencies and private companies. The U.S. Justice Department, citing a confidential FBI source who claimed to have accessed chat rooms in which Love plotted with others on how to use the stolen data, indicted Love in three different states (New Jersey, New York, and Virginia) on felony hacking and theft charges. Love (pictured above after Monday’s victory) was arrested in 2013 by British authorities and released on bail. Ever since, the U.S. government has sought his extradition from the U.K. for him to stand trial, and ultimately be imprisoned, in the U.S.
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[Comment from VivikJainMD]
Q: What has been the dominant institution in American society since the late 1800s?
A: The corporation.
"We are made to believe that the people of the United States have a common interest with the giant multinationals, the very companies that desert our communities in pursuit of cheaper labor abroad. In truth, on almost every issue the people are not in the same boat with the big companies. Policy costs are not equally shared; benefits are not equally enjoyed. The ”national” policies of an imperialist country reflect the interests of that country's dominant socio-economic class. Class rather than nation-state more often is the crucial unit of analysis in the study of imperialism. The tendency to deny the existence of conflicting class interests when dealing with imperialism leads to some serious misunderstandings."
- from Michael Parenti's "Against Empire" (1995)
Michael Parenti, again:
"[W]e should stop saying ”we” do this and ”we” do that, since we really mean policymakers within the national security establishment who represent a particular set of class interests. Too many otherwise capable analysts have this habit of referring to ”we.” It is a shorthand way of saying ”U.S. national security state leaders” but it is a misleading use of a pronoun. The point is of more than semantic significance. Those who keep saying ”we” are more likely to treat nations as the basic unit of analysis in international affairs and to ignore class interests. They are more likely to presume that a community of interest exists between leaders and populace when usually it does not. The impression left is that we are all responsible for ”our” policy, a position that takes the heat off the actual policymakers and evokes a lot of misplaced soul-searching by well-meaning persons who conclude that we all should be shamed and saddened by what ”we” are doing in the world."
As civilians we need to look at politics and policy through an un-conventional lens. It's not the "nation state" or "countries". We have to see the world and its problems as a function of classes and their incompatible, conflicting interests.
It is a deliberate choice that the ruling class makes when it focuses our gaze on individuals, or individual personas--Trump's, for instance. The ruling class obscures the class warfare that is being carried out by both parties Democrat and Republican--both of which serve the capitalist class and the capitalist-imperialist system--at the expense of billions of people.
Just as family therapy theorists have "broke[n] the mold of seeing life and its problems as a function of individuals and their psychology", so we have to make a revolutionary "shift from an individual to a systemic perspective" otherwise we can neither understand nor solve any problem.
Understanding Obama and Trump, Bush and Clinton, requires some historical and political-economic context.
These are from 2013. It's worth the trouble to read them. I'd be curious to know your thoughts on the articles:
Political Language and the 'Mafia Principles' of International Relations http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/empireunderobamapartone.html
Barack Obama's Global Terror Campaign http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/empireunderobamaparttwo.html
America's "Secret Wars" in Over 100 Countries Around the World http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/empireunderobamapartthree.html
Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target http://www.hamptoninstitution.org/empireunderobamapartfour.html
. . .