The reason for the question marks (or possibly Hindi characters depending on what system you're viewing from) is that the headline function went down on this account, printing out question marks (or Hindi characters) in place of letters. I am at this point unable to erase the question marks.
The glitch may be payback for the previous post, which is about a headline that clandestine control freaks surely don't welcome. Their "message" is, as usual, to imply some sort of monolithic control, which, if they actually had it, they'd use to shut my writings off entirely. I was thinking of referring this matter to a U.S. attorney, but, we all know what that outcome would be.
Other weird stuff: I am usually forced to fill out the pattern recognition window twice when I wish to publish a post on this blog, though there is no way I got the letters wrong the first time in most instances. Similarly, when I try to log into Myspace, the pattern recognition window claims I'm always wrong, and so I can't log in. Other Murdoch sites overseas have become impossible for me to view, putting me into loops that effectively bar access.
The headline glitch occurs both in my personal laptop and in a public library terminal.
I have changed my password and security question, but the glitch remains.
Also, the glitch has magically expanded so that now it isn't possible to write anything at all, not even question marks, in the headline slot.What right to know?
A federal appeals court in Ohio bounced the ACLU suit over Bush's warrantless wiretapping on grounds that the plaintiffs -- a group of journalists and academics -- were unable to directly prove that they had been eavesdropped on by the feds.
And, by the way, the court is making darn sure that the plaintiffs never will be able to prove illegal actions against them by the Bush bunch. The decision could have been written by Franz Kafka.
You see, the government can do criminal things in secret and, if the cover is blown, they just say you can't prove you were a victim, so you can't check to see if you were a victim. And, they don't need to be held accountable by anyone, thank you.
The court's message is that when government does wrong there may be no legal remedy. And ain't that too bad.
But the fact that these journalists and others can't prove they were under surveillance doesn't mean they don't have strong reason to believe they were under surveillance. Writer A.J. Weberman told me years ago that spooks like to taunt and mock their surveillance targets. So what if you know they're there? You have no standing to sue based on observations that can easily be blown off.
Those who read this blog -- just look at the blog blurb -- know that I have often cited unethical federal clandestine activities with respect to my journalistic work. Some may have wondered why I took no legal measures against the government. The Ohio decision is your answer. When the surveillance system is threatened, you aren't allowed to win. Period.
I don't know, but I'd guess that some of these plaintiffs suspected illegal surveillance because of consequences in their lives that were most explicable by federal wiretapping.
I once had on this site a link to a political activist who gave the real low-down on how government spooks behave with respect to dissenters. These feds obey no rule of law. The law is merely a cover they hide behind. Where's the link? Coincidentally, it vanished one day when all my links were blown out by a Google malfunction. I haven't bothered to try to retrieve it.
Some dissident Americans get put under permanent surveillance. Where's the rule of law in that? We're not talking about terrorists here -- though of course the feds can easily claim some terrorist "link" in order to justify their relentless watchfulness.
The fact is that powerful people -- among them a group of economic oligarchs -- misuse the national security surveillance system as a means of political and economic control. They use the information from eavesdropping to head off moves of people they see as a threat to their personal or ideological position. They also have no compunction about misusing federal power to continually harry people they regard as in their way.
If confronted, they'll blow the matter off, or ignore the charges, or, if necessary, make sure the matter runs into immense legal obstacles. They will rely on the public's tendency to disbelieve such charges, a tendency reinforced by government shills who specialize in dirtying up the truth and by the fact that most people don't draw the attention of federal watchers.
You're free to email me with your responses, or to post comments. But, don't count on your email getting through or me seeing your comment.
Remember the case of reporter John Solomon a couple of years ago. A packet containing an FBI document was mailed to him from the Philippines, but never arrived. The FBI played dumb, but it was eventually revealed the bureau had confiscated the document sent to him by another reporter.
The FBI belatedly claimed that a mail firm employee handling the packet saw the document and quietly passed it on to the bureau. BUT, a more likely explanation is that the bureau was wiretapping Solomon, whose stories posed a political threat to powerful interests, and the feds knew the document was in transit. So they intercepted it in order to block an unwelcome story.Senate showdown
Another congressional battle over the continuation of the Iraq fiasco is shaping up, reports the New York Times. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to call another antiwar vote, and he sees a win-win position for Democrats. More Republicans are likely to join the antiwar bloc, and if a decisive vote doesn't work this time, Reid can schedule yet another vote as November elections near.
So it seems quite plausible that Congress will in fact force an end to the war in the near future. However, lest we forget, there are powerful hidden forces at work that oppose such a shift. These are the forces that conspired to bring about 9/11 and then use jingoistic propaganda to launch the long-planned war.
These are the forces that altered the results of the 2004 presidential election, which handed Bush a stinging defeat in numerous purported red states. These forces kept a tight grip on the media to prevent them from making an issue of the facts they had in hand.
These are the forces with access to immense congressionally funded clandestine operations that are used to control media, business and politics in America.
So if Reid is serious about a desire to end the pointless harm to our soldiers, he's going to need to be braced for the fact that the Pentagon security forces and CIA are highly motivated to arrange a big and dirty operation to protect the war system and the welfare for defense contractors.
My point: When Congress cuts war funds, it's going to face the problem of black ops funds being used for political, which is to say criminal, purposes rather than counter-terror purposes.
After all, the clandestine security forces strongly resent the headline on the previous post.