Chris Floyd’s ‘The Good Corporal’

To the Exposers of Power & the Troublers of Dreams

Yesterday one of our readers e-mailed me a link to a recent work by Chris Floyd dedicated to truth tellers who are commonly labeled as whistleblowers, but aptly referred by him as the Exposers of Power and the Troublers of Dreams.

About three years ago I discovered Mr. Floyd’s website and his collection of essays and poems through Antiwar.Com. And I became a fan. His writings are original, expressed purely in his own unique voice, and more importantly (at least for me) they don’t reek of the partisanship or agenda promotion so commonly found in ‘popular’ quasi alternative sites. The level of integrity and critical thinking that goes into his work makes him ‘not’ an acceptable comrade for the popular partisan agenda pumpers of the media; their loss and our win. You can visit his website and check it out for yourself.

I want to thank Mr. Floyd on behalf of all our national security whistleblower members at NSWBC, including Dan Ellsberg. He has given us a deep and sincere acknowledgement; a far cry from the usual cursory fluff we are used to getting. And I want to share with you this beautifully executed work here at Boiling Frogs Post:

 


 
The Good Corporal


Good corporal, good corporal, now what have you done?
You've laid out the dead in the light of the sun.
You've opened the door where the dark deeds go on,
Where the fine words of freedom are broken like bones.

Good corporal, good corporal, you tell us of crime
Done in the name of your country and mine.
Of torture and murder, corruption and lies,
In a land where no echo will carry the cries.

Good corporal, good corporal, now who do we blame
For the horrors you bring us, for this undying shame?
Should we lay all the guilt on the grunts with no name,
Or the high and the mighty who rigged up this game?

Good corporal, good corporal, don't you know the fate
Of all those who speak the hard truth to the State
And all who trouble the people's sweet dreams?
They're mocked into scorn and torn apart at the seams.

Good corporal, good corporal, what have you done?
You've laid out the dead in the light of the sun.

© 2010 by Chris Floyd

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Daniel Ellsberg Endorses Boiling Frogs Post

“Let’s help each other jump out of the pot and off the stove”

EllsbergIf we human frogs are to escape boiling--or baking, frying, glowing and other fates our leaders are warming us up to--we need to heed the voices summoned by Sibel Edmonds on Boiling Frogs Post warning us to help each other jump out of the pot and off the stove.

Boiling Frogs brings to you crucial voices, viewpoints and stories that are blacked out elsewhere. In these times when truth seems to be harder to come by, and maintaining hope keeps getting harder to do, here is an oasis in the desert of spin, half-truths, and fabrications that sadly passes for the “free press” guaranteed by our Constitution. What you read here, what you hear here, and what you will soon see here is un-filtered by government or corporate interests and not driven by ideology – a breath of fresh air.

I want to congratulate Sibel on launching this much needed venue free of partisanship focused on issues that truly matter. I wholeheartedly endorse and support this site and the distinguished team of truth-reporters, and I invite all of you to do the same: join this movement, spread the word, and contribute what you can.

Dan Ellsberg

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Dan Ellsberg graduated from Harvard in economics in 1952, served in the US Marine Corps from 1954-57, and obtained a PhD in economics from Harvard while working for the Rand Corporation in 1962. In 1964 he joined the Defense Department to work principally on decision-making in the Vietnam War. Mr. Ellsberg precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a Top-Secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to the New York Times and other publications. He was indicted facing 115 years in prison; charges were eventually dismissed on grounds of government misconduct, White House crimes against him which figured in President's Nixon resignation facing impeachment. Ellsberg has ever since campaigned for peace, encouraging others to reveal truths that are wrongfully withheld by those in power.

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Podcast Show #18

The Boiling Frogs Presents Daniel Ellsberg

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Dan Ellsberg provides us with his analysis of Barack Obama’s presidency, shares with us what led him to cast his vote for Obama, and how and why he’s been let down and betrayed by our current president. He discusses the stark similarities between the previous administration and Obama’s Whitehouse on issues and abuses related to civil liberties, and questions the possibility of ‘hoping’ again. Mr. Ellsberg talks about his experience as a whistleblower, the futility of disclosure to Congress then and today, the current sorry state of the US media, and more!

Ellsberg Dan Ellsberg graduated from Harvard in economics in 1952, served in the US Marine Corps from 1954-57, and obtained a PhD in economics from Harvard while working for the Rand Corporation in 1962. In 1964 he joined the Defense Department to work principally on decision-making in the Vietnam War. Mr. Ellsberg precipitated a national political controversy in 1971 when he released the Pentagon Papers, a Top-Secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War, to the New York Times and other publications. Ellsberg has ever since campaigned for peace and encouraged others to speak truth to power.

Here is our guest Dan Ellsberg unplugged!

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Updates & Weekly Round Up for January 2

Boiling Frogs Updates, Lithuania & CIA Black Sites, the Case of Mysterious Helicopters in Afghanistan & More

And here we are: 2010. Hope you had a pleasant and peaceful holiday season, and Happy New Year to all of you.

ElaChristmas2009

I had a fairly quiet and peaceful few days: fireplace, music, and trying to catch up with my reading - which means juggling 3 or 4 books simultaneously. Of course everything, almost every minute, was centered around my now 17-month old daughter (thus, the picture ;-). I also was able to read one fiction book; from beginning to end, and that was so very refreshing. I know some of you are frowning and thinking: why in the world would she consider reading fiction refreshing?! Fair enough. I say refreshing because for the last…many years I’ve been busy reading, and reading, only nonfiction, and mainly political and legal books. Although needed, enlightening, and highly informative, they are mostly…how should I put it…GRIM; high dosages of realism, but nonetheless grim. So in a way it felt liberating to grab a fiction work guiltlessly and immerse myself in a so-not-real world of fiction. What did I read? Well, I won’t tell you, because the label of ‘shallow-book-reader’ may be used against me one day!!

Our production team will start their work on our video project on January 11.  I think we should have our first experimental piece up by early February, if not sooner. I also know they’ll be reading this last sentence and jump to e-mail me with ‘How is that for a little pressure?!!!’ Truly exciting.

Next Friday I’ll post our interview with Dan Ellsberg; a great interview (due to Dan, not me!).I am really looking forward to your reaction. We covered several interesting issues, and you’ll find out if Dan Ellsberg believes he was conned into voting for President Obama, and whether that makes Obama a con man. You see, very interesting, indeed!

As usual there have been so many disasters, scandals, and hot developments, and only one of me to go over as many as possible, leave out those overly-covered, dispose of the ones not worthy of getting side-tracked on, ignore the few put out there as partisan baits, and save many for another day(s). Here are a few to ponder and hopefully exchange views on:

CIA Black Sites: As if there’s ever been any other color associated with the CIA!

BlackSiteTowards late December the Lithuanian Parliament finally released its findings into a probe of CIA dark activities in Lithuania, and confirmed that the agency operated two ‘Black Sites’ inside the Lithuanian Capital City Vilnius.

The probe also confirmed that at least five CIA planes landed in the city and that Lithuania’s spy agencies didn’t let their border guards inspect those planes. Lithuania’s government is still denying that they were informed of these activities in advance, and Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius called it a “matter of great concern.” Of course, so far the US government has declined to provide any confirmation or comments.

Last August a little bit of description of these sites and the treatment given to these detainees were published in an article:

Their transformations took place in a sensory cocoon: aboard a CIA aircraft, shackled in place, deprived of sight and sound by blindfolds, headsets and hoods.

The prisoners' arrival -- almost always in diapers -- was engineered to achieve that end

They were stripped, shaved and shoved against walls the moment they arrived. What came next was an escalating menu of interrogation options, culminating in a method used in the Inquisition -- waterboarding -- to make them think they would drown.

Follow-up sessions would start with the prisoner standing with his back against a wall and a towel or collar to prevent whiplash wrapped around his neck. He could be thrown against the wall just once "to make a point, or 20 to 30 times consecutively."

Prisoners so abhorred the repeated slamming that they would remain in so-called stress positions, such as painful kneeling postures, for hours to avoid a return to the wall, according to one Dec. 30, 2004, memo that amounts to a CIA blueprint for breaking a detainee's will.

The purpose, of course, was to make them talk. The Bush administration said the United States was in danger of additional assaults after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. CIA interrogators were under orders to get a lot of information, fast. Whether the harsh interrogation methods were necessary to gather the intelligence is still a matter of dispute.

The only glimpse?

The secret overseas "black sites" where the CIA conducted the interrogations are empty now, if not already dismantled. They were never examined by a congressional committee, nor inspected by the international Red Cross.

The black sites not only imprisoned men but reduced them to a near helpless state. The aim, as outlined in one document, was to teach every detainee "to perceive and value his personal welfare, comfort and immediate needs more than the information he is protecting."

I don’t have to go any further on the human rights abuses and shameful conduct in not only the ‘black’ facilities in Lithuania, but many others we’ve known about, such as those in Thailand, Poland, and Romania, and others that haven’t been publicized - yet.

Based on Wikipedia, Black Sites are defined as: In military terminology, a black site is a location at which a black project is conducted. Recently, the term has gained notoriety in describing secret prisons operated by the CIA, generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction. It can refer to the facilities that are controlled by the CIA used by the US government in its war on terror to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants.

In August 2007, the New Yorker reported that the CIA has operated black site secret prisons by the direct Presidential order of Bush right after 9/11, and that extreme psychological interrogation measures based at least partially on the Vietnam-Era Phoenix Program were used on detainees. These included sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, keeping prisoners naked indefinitely and photographing them naked to degrade and humiliate them, and forcibly administering drugs by suppositories to further break down their dignity. According to Mayer's report, CIA officers have taken out professional liability insurance, fearing that they could be criminally prosecuted if what they have already done became public knowledge.

Okay, there you have the CIA and its Black Projects, Black Operations, Black Sites, Black Budget…Has there ever been any shade other than dark, any color other than black associated with this filthy hornets’ nest thriving in the swamps of our foreign policies? Really, has there ever?

Speaking of these black measures of black operations in black sites brings to mind our conduct in Vietnam, and with that, the following:

CIA & the Vicious Cycle of Offenses-Defenses-Offenses-Defenses-Offenses…

The number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan continues to rise. The latest attack in Helmand province this week killed at least 8 civilians, and at least three of those victims were children. [Read more...]