Progressive Calendar 01.11.11
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 21:42:21 -0800 (PST)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   01.11.11

1. Alliant vigil     1.12 7am
2. Stop FBI/press    1.12 12noon
3. Oxfam             1.12 7pm

4. Eagan peace vigil 1.13 4:30pm
5. Northtown vigil   1.13 5pm
6. MN Muslim women   1.13 7pm

7. Kevin Zeese  - Bradley Manning and the rule of law
8. Chris Hedges - Even lost wars make corporations rich

--------1 of 8--------

From: AlliantACTION <alliantaction [at]>
Subject: Alliant vigil 1.12 7am

Join us Wednesday morning, 7-8 am
Now in our 14th year of consecutive Wednesday
morning vigils outside Alliant Techsystems,
7480 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie.
We ask Who Profit$? Who Dies?
directions and lots of info:

--------2 of 8--------

From: Steff Yorek <yosteff [at]>
Subject: Stop FBI/press 1.12 12noon

At 12 noon on Wednesday, January 12, in the Anti-War Committee Office (1313
5th St SE #112C, Mpls) for an important press conference regarding the case
of the people whose homes were raided on September 24, 2010 and have been
subpoenaed before grand jury proceedings. We will be announcing some
important developments in the case.

--------3 of 8--------

From: Oxfam Action Corps - MN < [at]>
Subject: Oxfam 1.12 7pm

Looking for a way to achieve your New Year's resolution to advocate for
lasting solutions to poverty and injustice? If so, or if you just want to
learn more about Oxfam Action Corps Minnesota, don't miss our New
Volunteer Meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 7 PM at Common Roots
Cafe (2558 S Lyndale Avenue, Minneapolis).

New volunteers and curious supporters are always welcomed at our monthly
meetings, but this meeting will be especially tailored to fresh faces.
We'll talk about what we do, opportunities to get involved, and plan
outreach activities, all while enjoying the cafe's tasty fare. We'll also
mark the anniversary of the Haiti earthquake by adding our voices to a
national audio petition in calling on Congress to support the Haitian
people's recovery.

Oxfam Action Corps - Minnesota (612) 293-9831
minnesota [at]

--------4 of 8--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 1.13 4:30pm

PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of
Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and
candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south
of the river speaking out against war.

--------5 of 8--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 1.13 5pm

NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy
10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine.

Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View,
New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park,
Fridley, and Coon Rapids.  We'll have extra signs.

For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or
email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at]

--------6 of 8--------

From: Women Against Military Madness <wamm [at]>
Subject: MN Muslim women 1.13 7pm

Imani Jaafar-Mohammad Speaks: "American Muslim: Life of Islamic Women in
the Midwest"
Thursday, January 13, 7:00 p.m. Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th
Avenue North (corner of Boone), New Hope.

Imani Jaafar-Mohammad was born and raised in the Twin Cities area and is a
Minnesota educated lawyer and a Senior Speaker for the Islamic Resource
Group. She is a partner with MJM Legal and is an adjunct professor at
William Mitchell College of Law. Her article on Muslim women's legal
rights in marriage and divorce appeared in the Summer 2010 edition of the
Family Law Forum. She will present an informal program on what it is like
to grow up as a Muslim woman in this Midwest area. What changed after
9/11? What issues may exist for women who are among the more recent
immigrants to Minnesota? This program is free and all are welcome. There
will be time for questions and discussion. Sponsored by: Northwest
Neighbors for Peace. FI: Call Carole Rydberg, 763-546-5368.

--------7 of 8--------

Bradley Manning and the Rule of Law
by Kevin Zeese
January 11th, 2011
Dissident Voice

The case of Private Bradley Manning raises legal issues about his
pre-trial detention, freedom of speech and the press, as well as proving
his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Putting aside Manning's guilt or
innocence, if Bradley Manning saw the Afghan and Iraq war diaries as well
as the diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks what should he have done?
And, what should be the proper response of government to their

A high point in the application of the rule of law to war came in the
Nuremberg trials where leaders in Germany were held accountable for World
War II atrocities. Justice Robert Jackson, who served as the chief
prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials while on leave from the U.S. Supreme
Court, said "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are
crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them,
and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against
others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us.."

One of the key outcomes of the Nuremberg trials was that people who commit
war crimes or crimes against humanity will be held accountable even if
they were following orders.  This is known as Nuremberg Principle IV which
states: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government
or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under
international law provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him..
The Nuremberg principles were enshrined in a series of treaties"

How do the Nuremberg Principles and other laws of war apply to Bradley

What is a person who does not want to participate in war crimes or hiding
war crimes supposed to do when he sees evidence of them? If Manning hid
the evidence, would he not be complicit in the crimes he was covering up
and potentially liable as a co-conspirator? These were questions that
Bradley Manning allegedly wrestled with.  According to unverified chat
logs Manning, talking with Adrian Lamo on email, asks: "Hypothetical
question, if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods
of time - say, 8-9 months - and you saw incredible things, awful things -
things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored
in a dark room in Washington DC. what would you do?"

In Iraq, Manning was ordered "to round up and hand over Iraqi civilians to
America's new Iraqi allies, who he could see were then torturing them with
electrical drills and other implements". Manning questioned the orders he
was being given to help round up Iraqis and brought his concerns to the
chain of command. He pointed to a specific instance where 15 detainees
were arrested and tortured for printing "anti-Iraqi literature" he found
that the paper in question was merely a scholarly critique of corruption
in the government asking "Where did the money go?" He brought this to his
commander, who told him to "shut up" and keep working to find more
detainees. Manning realized he "was actively involved in something that I
was completely against".

He wrestled with the question of what to do.  According to the unverified
chat logs with Lamo, Manning told Lamo that he hoped the publication of
the documents and videos would spur "worldwide discussion, debates, and
reform".  He went on to say, "I want people to see the truth - regardless
of who they are - because without information, you cannot make informed
decisions as a public".  The command structure would not listen, so
Manning went beyond them to the people who are supposed to control the
military in our democratic republic. He wanted Americans to know the

In the chat logs, Lamo asked Manning why he did not sell the documents to
a foreign power.  Manning realized he could have made a lot of money doing
so, but he did not take that path. He explained: "it belongs in the public
domain - information should be free - it belongs in the public domain -
because another state would just take advantage of the information -  try
and get some edge - if its out in the open, it should be a public good".
These are not the words of a traitor, of someone out to hurt the United
States. These are the words of someone trying to improve the United
States, trying to get the country to live up to its highest ideals.

Manning is charged so far with three counts of unlawfully transferring
confidential material to a non-secure computer; i.e., leaking state
secrets.  Manning faces up to 52 years if convicted of these crimes and it
is likely that he will be charged with additional offenses.  The charges
against Manning end stating that Manning's "conduct being prejudicial to
good order and discipline in the armed forces and being of a nature to
bring discredit upon the armed forces".

Well, what exactly did the materials Manning allegedly leak show?

The video that is the focus of these initial charges is known as the
Collateral Murder video. The video shows American soldiers in an Apache
helicopter gunning down a group of innocent men, including two Reuters
employees, a photojournalist and his driver, killing 16 and sending two
children to the hospital. The video, which has been viewed by millions,
shows initial blasts at the group killing and wounding people. U.S. forces
watch as a van pulls up to evacuate the wounded. The soldiers again open
fire from the helicopter, killing more people. A crew member is heard
saying, "Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards". But, that was not the end,
journalist Rick Rowley reported that the man who they drove over had
crawled out of the van and was still alive when the tank drove over him,
cutting him in half.

Marjorie Cohn, who teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and
international human rights law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law,
describes multiple war crimes from this single video.  First, targeting
and killing civilians who do not pose a threat violated the Geneva
Conventions. Second, when soldiers attacked the van attempting to rescue
the wounded they violate the Geneva Conventions which allows the rescue of
wounded.  Third, the tank rolling over the wounded man, splitting him in
two, is a war crime and, even if he were already dead, disrespecting a
body violates the Geneva Conventions.

The Collateral Murder video documents war crimes according to this legal
expert on human rights law.  When Manning saw these war crimes, what
should he have done?  Should he have covered up the evidence of potential
war crimes?  Should he try to go up the chain of command - a strategy that
he had already unsuccessfully tried?  If Manning did what he is accused
of, he did the only thing that could stop these crimes from continuing.

Other documents Manning allegedly provided to WikiLeaks showed the 2009
Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, in which as many as 140 civilians,
including women and children, were killed in a U.S. attack. The Australian
reported that the airstrike resulted in "one of the highest civilian death
tolls from Western military action since foreign forces invaded
Afghanistan in 2001"..  The Afghan government has said that around 140
civilians were killed, of which 93 were children - the youngest 8 days old
- 25 were women and 22 were adult males.  The U.S. military had said that
20-30 civilians were killed along with 60-65 insurgents.

Allegedly, Manning released hundreds of thousands of documents to
WikiLeaks who, working with traditional media outlets, has released a
small percentage of them.  He left it to journalists to decide what was
appropriate for release. The small percentage of documents released show
widespread and systemic abuses in U.S. foreign policy and in the conduct
of wars.  WikiLeaks documents including the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs
and the diplomatic cables show:

. That U.S. troops kill civilians without cause or concern and then cover
it up (more examples of hiding civilian killings here, here and here)
including killing reporters;

. The CIA is fighting an undeclared and unauthorized war in Pakistan with
Blackwater mercenaries;

. The President of Afghanistan is not trustworthy, that Afghanistan is
rife with corruption and drug dealing;

. The Pakistan military and intelligence agencies aid Al Qaeda and the

. The U.S. looks the other way when governments it puts in power torture;

. The diplomatic cables also show that beyond the war fronts Hillary
Clinton has turned State Department Foreign Service officers into a nest
of spies who violate laws to spy on diplomats all with marching orders
drawn up by the CIA;

. That Israel, with U.S. knowledge, is preparing for a widespread war in
the Middle East, keeping the Gaza economy at the brink of collapse and
showing widespread corruption at border checkpoints.

These are a few examples among many. The documents published by WikiLeaks,
allegedly provided to them by Manning, are of critical importance to
understanding that U.S. foreign and military policy is not what Americans
are told.  No doubt historians, human rights lawyers, academics and others
will be reviewing these documents and reporting in greater detail the
systemic nature of the unethical and often illegal behavior of U.S.
foreign policy.  This already has the world looking at the United States
with new eyes.

Experience inside the U.S. military turned a young man from Oklahoma who
believed in America into someone who doubted it.  Manning believed in
American freedom, especially economic freedom and believed the United
States played a positive role in the world. He wanted to serve his
country. In doing so he became someone who questioned the leadership of
the nation, its foreign policy and its conduct of wars.  He saw war
crimes, violations of law and constant deception. After much soul
searching he decided that the quest for a more perfect union required him
to share this information.

Justice Robert Jackson, during his Opening Address at the Nuremberg
Trials, said: "If we can cultivate in the world the idea that aggressive
war-making is the way to the prisoner's dock rather than the way to
honors, we will have accomplished something toward making the peace more
secure". Bradley Manning joins in this enlightened viewpoint and is
working to make peace more secure and the United States a better nation.

A mature American leadership, rather than prosecuting Manning, would
encourage an honest debate about U.S. foreign policy. Thomas Jefferson
warned that "oppressions are many" and that for the people to govern we
should "leave open . . . all the avenues to truth". Manning has provided
an avenue to truth where we can look honestly at our government and
dramatically change direction. Enlightened leadership would renounce
blackmail, threats and spying of foreign officials, as well as torture and

Instead Manning is suffering a fate Thomas Jefferson warned about: "Most
codes extend their definitions of treason to acts not really against one's
country.  They do not distinguish between acts against the government and
acts against the oppressions of the government". Manning has been sitting
in solitary confinement for seven months awaiting trial.  He is suffering
this fate for the betterment of the nation.  People who care about the
United States and our impact on the world should stand with Bradley and
work to transform American foreign policy away from militarism and toward
one where we work cooperatively with nations for the advancement of all.

To stand with Bradley visit: Stand With Brad.

To prevent prosecution of WikiLeaks vist:

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Voters for Peace.

--------8 of 8--------

Even Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich
by Chris Hedges
Published on Monday, January 10, 2011 by
Common Dreams

Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of
the two major political parties. It is not represented by the press. It is
not arbitrated by a judiciary that protects us from predators. Power rests
with corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profits from war,
even wars we have no chance of winning. All polite appeals to the formal
systems of power will not end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We must
physically obstruct the war machine or accept a role as its accomplice.

The moratorium on anti-war protests in 2004 was designed to help elect the
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry. It was a foolish and
humiliating concession. Kerry snapped to salute like a windup doll when he
was nominated. He talked endlessly about victory in Iraq. He assured the
country that he would not have withdrawn from Fallujah. And by the time
George W. Bush was elected for another term the anti-war movement had lost
its momentum. The effort to return Congress to Democratic control in 2006
and end the war in Iraq became another sad lesson in incredulity. The
Democratic Party, once in the majority, funded and expanded the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan. And Barack Obama in 2008 proved to be yet another
advertising gimmick for the corporate and military elite. All our efforts
to work within the political process to stop these wars have been abject
and miserable failures. And while we wasted our time, tens of thousands of
Iraqi, Afghan and Pakistani civilians, as well as U.S. soldiers and
Marines, were traumatized, maimed and killed.

Either you are against war or you are not. Either you use your bodies to
defy the war makers and weapons manufacturers until the wars end or you do
not. Either you have the dignity and strength of character to denounce
those who ridicule or ignore your core moral beliefs - including Obama -
or you do not. Either you stand for something or you do not. And because
so many in the anti-war movement proved to be weak and naive in 2004, 2006
and 2008 we will have to start over. This time we must build an anti-war
movement that will hold fast. We must defy the entire system. We must
acknowledge that it is not our job to help Democrats win elections. The
Democratic Party has amply proved, by its failure to stand up for working
men and women, its slavishness to Wall Street and its refusal to end these
wars, that it cannot be trusted. We must trust only ourselves. And we must
disrupt the system. The next chance, in case you missed the last one, to
protest these wars will come Saturday, March 19, the eighth anniversary of
the invasion of Iraq. Street demonstrations are scheduled in San
Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

We are spending, much of it through the accumulation of debt, nearly a
trillion dollars a year to pay for these wars. We drive up the deficits to
wage war while we have more than 30 million people unemployed, some 40
million people living in poverty and tens of millions more in a category
euphemistically called "near poverty." The profits of weapons
manufacturers and private contractors have quadrupled since the invasion
of Afghanistan. But the cost for corporate greed has been chronic and
long-term unemployment and underemployment and the slashing of federal and
state services. The corporations, no matter how badly the wars are going,
make huge profits from the conflicts. They have no interest in turning off
their money-making machine. Let Iraqis die. Let Afghans die. Let
Pakistanis die. Let our own die. And the mandarins in Congress and the
White House, along with their court jesters on the television news shows,
cynically "feel our pain" and sell us out for bundles of corporate cash.

Michael Prysner, a veteran of the Iraq War and one of the co-founders of
March Forward!, gets it. His group is one of those organizing the March 19
protests. Prysner joined the Army out of high school in June 2001. He was
part of the Iraq invasion force. He worked during the war in Iraq tracking
targets and calling in airstrikes and artillery barrages. He took part in
nighttime raids on Iraqi homes. He worked as an interrogator. He did
ground surveillance missions and protected convoys. He left the Army in
2005, disgusted by the war and the lies told to sustain it. He has been
involved since leaving the military in anti-recruiting drives at high
schools and street protests. He was arrested with 130 others in front of
the White House during the Dec. 16 anti-war protest organized by Veterans
for Peace.

"I believed going into the war that we were there to help the Iraqi people
and find weapons of mass destruction," he said when we spoke a few days
ago. "But it quickly became clear that these two reasons for the war were
absolutely false. If you mentioned weapons of mass destruction to
intelligence officers they would laugh at you. It was not even part of the
mission to look for these things. If it was part of the mission I would
have known because I was part of the only intelligence company in the
north of the country. I thought that maybe we were there to help the Iraqi
people, but all I saw when I was there was Iraqis brutalized and their
living conditions deteriorate drastically. Iraqis would tell me we were
worse than Saddam. I soon realized there was a different purpose for the
war, that we were putting in place a permanent military occupation. It was
my firsthand experience during my deployment that showed me the reality of
the Iraq War and led me to begin to question U.S. foreign policy. I began
to wonder what U.S. foreign policy as a whole was about. I saw that Iraq
was a microcosm. The U.S. military is used to conquer countries for the
rich, to seize markets, land, resources and labor for Wall Street. This is
what drives U.S. foreign policy."

"When Obama was elected in 2008 the majority of the country had turned
against the Iraq War," he said. "You could not be a Democrat running for
office without giving lip service to being against the Iraq War. The
reason people were against the war is because there was a constant,
senseless death of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. It was a squandering
of our resources. This has not changed, despite the rebranding of the
occupation. U.S. soldiers are still being killed, wounded and
psychologically traumatized, especially those on their third, fourth and
fifth deployment who were traumatized in previous deployments and are
being re-traumatized. There were two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq a few
days ago. The reasons that led people to oppose the war in 2003 are still
in effect. All that has changed is that the U.S. has been able to recruit
enough Iraqis to put in the forefront and take the brunt of the combat
operations with U.S. soldiers a few steps behind. U.S. soldiers are still
involved in combat. One of our members [of March Forward!], who joined our
group about a month ago, is in Iraq now. He told me yesterday that he was
hit harder than he has ever been hit on his nine months of deployment.
Combat is still a reality. People are still being killed and maimed."

"The war is still going on," he lamented. "It is still bad for U.S.
soldiers, and Iraq is completely destroyed. It is a catastrophe for the
Iraqi people. To call this current operation 'New Dawn,' like this is a
new day for the Iraqi people, ignores the fact that Iraqis have no
electricity, live with constant violence, have no functioning government,
have occupying forces still in their country and suffer rampant birth
defects from the depleted uranium and other things. Iraq's 'New Dawn' is a
horror. It will remain that way until Iraq is given justice, which is a
complete and immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces and heavy
reparations paid to that country."

Iraq, despite the brutality of Saddam Hussein, was a prosperous country
with a highly educated middle class before the war. Its infrastructure was
modern and efficient. Iraqis enjoyed a high standard of living. The
country did not lack modern conveniences. Things worked. And being in
Iraq, as I often was when I covered the Middle East for The New York
Times, while unnerving because of state repression, was never a hardship.
Since our occupation the country has tumbled into dysfunction. Factories,
hospitals, power plants, phone service, sewage systems and electrical
grids do not work. Iraqis, if they are lucky, get three hours of
electricity a day. Try this in 110-degree heat. Poverty is endemic. More
than a million Iraqi civilians have been killed. Nearly 5 million have
been displaced from their homes or are refugees. The Mercer Quality of
Living survey last year ranked Baghdad last among cities - the least
livable on the planet. Iraq, which once controlled its own oil, has been
forced to turn its oil concessions over to foreign corporations. That is
what we have bequeathed to Iraq - violence, misery and theft.

It is not as if the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have popular support. The
latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that 63 percent of the
American public opposes U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. And the level of
discontent over the war in Iraq is even higher. Yet we continue to accept
the duplicity of bankrupt liberal institutions and a corrupt political
process that year after year betrays us. Public opinion is on our side. We
should mobilize it to fight back. When I and the other protesters were
arrested outside the White House on Dec. 16, several of the police
officers who had been deployed as military members to Afghanistan or Iraq
muttered to veterans as they handcuffed them that they were right about
the wars. The anti-war sentiment is widespread, and we must find the
courage to make it heard.

"All these people join the military because there is an abysmal job market
and tuition rates are skyrocketing," Prysner said. "Many young people are
cut off from a college education. People are funneled into the military so
they can make a living, have a home, health care, take care of their
children and have an education. If a fraction of the money spent on the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was used to meet human needs, kids would be
able to go to college at affordable rates. We would be able to create jobs
for young people when they get out of high school. Vast amounts of wealth,
which we create, are poured into these wars and the military while people
here are facing increasing hardship. We have to demand and fight for
change, not ask for it."

"We supposedly elected the most progressive president we have seen in a
long time and the Democrats took control of the House and the Senate, but
the wars have only expanded and intensified," Prysner said. "The wars are
now going into other countries, especially Pakistan and Yemen. The
Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in Congress. We had a seemingly
progressive president. But all we got was more war, more military
spending, more bombing of innocent people abroad and more U.S. troops
coming home in coffins. This should eradicate and shatter the idea that
convincing the Democrats to be on our side will accomplish anything. Left
to its own devices Washington will continue its war drive. It will
continue to dominate these countries and use them for staging grounds to
invade other countries. There has been no real change in our foreign
policy. If we are hurting the Democrats at this point, then fine. We need
to build an independent political movement that is outside of the
Establishment. This is the only way we have ever won real victories in our

Chris Hedges writes a regular column for Hedges graduated
from Harvard Divinity School and was for nearly two decades a foreign
correspondent for The New York Times. He is the author of many books,
including: War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, What Every Person Should
Know About War, and American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on
America.  His most recent book is Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy
and the Triumph of Spectacle.


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