Radical media, politics and culture.

The State

We Are All Suspects, If Ashcroft Has His Way

by Molly Ivins

Thursday, December 6, 2001

Chicago Tribune

AUSTIN, Texas -- With all due respect, of course, and
God Bless America too, has anyone considered the
possibility that the U.S. attorney general is becoming

Poor John Ashcroft is under a lot of strain here. Is
it possible his mind has started to give under the
weight of responsibility, what with having to stop
terrorism between innings against doctors trying to
help the dying in Oregon and California? Why not take
a Valium, sir, and go track down some nice domestic
nut with access to anthrax, OK?

Anonymous Comrade writes: "The online journal of "technology and culture from the trenches" Kuro5hin has a report from one of the operators that a poster who speculated about how to attack politicians was visited by the Secret Services as a result of his comments. Unconfirmed expect by Inoshiro's personal statement on the Kuro5hin page and Lee Malatesta's post on /."

Anonymous Comrade writes: "An exciting example of the extensibility of the opensource model is
Openlaw from the Berkman Center for Information and Society at the Harvard
Law School: http://eon.law.harvard.edu/openlaw/

"Openlaw is an experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum.
With your assistance, we will develop arguments, draft pleadings, and edit
briefs in public, online. Non-lawyers and lawyers alike are invited to
join the process by adding thoughts to the "brainstorm" outlines, drafting
and commenting on drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources.
Building on the model of open source software, we are working from the
hypothesis that an open development process best harnesses the distributed
resources of the Internet community. By using the Internet, we hope to
enable the public interest to speak as loudly as the interests of
corporations. Openlaw is therefore a large project built through the
coordinated effort of many small (and not so small)
contributions."....Building on the model of open source software, we
believe that an open development process best harnesses the distributed
resources of the Internet community. What we lose in secrecy, we expect to
regain in depth of sources and breadth of argument."

Observatory on the State of Democracy in Italy


Since the coming to power of the right-wing coalition Italy has witnessed a
serious undermining of legality, civil rights, freedom and political

Silvio Berlusconi, the current Prime Minister of Italy, won his seat as head
of government by channelling enormous sums of money into electoral
advertising. And since, over the last 30 years, he has succeeded in building
up a financial empire with the support of both the mafia and secret
associations such as the P2 freemasons' lodge (of which he was a member),
funds have certainly not been lacking. Furthermore, given the magnitude of
the Berlusconi-owned media empire, he has also been able to enjoy a massive
communications advantage that is, in a Western democracy, without precedent.

This enormous dominance of the media constitutes an enormous peril for
Italian democracy. Yet no less dangerous than Berlusconi and his
party-cum-business enterprise are the other parties that bolster it. One is
a direct derivative of the fascist regime, while another is openly racist,
has been advocating the secession of northern Italy for years, and supports
the expulsion of foreigners.

Louis Lingg writes: "Culture Jammers and Media Mavericks--a new challenge has been placed before you: cryptome.org has posted the U.S. DoD's Defense Science Board Task Force report on The Creation and Dissemination of All Forms of Information in Support of Psychological Operations (PSYOP) in Time of Military Conflict (May 2000). Can the 'culture of opposition' develop 'strains of resistence' to counter these techniques as they are applied to the domestic population as well?

An excerpt: 'The Task Force is persuaded that a considerable foundation must be laid well in advance of the actual need to deliver a PSYOP product to a particular audience. In general, the
distribution channels need to be acquired in advance and a suitable "brand identity" needs to be established. Both need to be exercised with sufficient periodicity that good will and
market penetration are ready when needed. Such channels and brand identities are at least as important as any technical dissemination platform such as Commando Solo, and their
operations and maintenance are no less important. This will be increasingly the case as the diversity of programming choices available to target audiences continues to expand. Cable and
satellite TV and radio, and especially the public Internet, offer far more choices than over-the-air networks did formerly. The development of channels and identities will be particular, in
some cases, to geography and, in other cases, to transnational affinity groups -- Islamic Fundamentalism, for example -- or to more universal demographics, like teenagers. Of course, the
development of brand identities must be tightly integrated with ongoing, broad public diplomacy initiatives and themes.'"

Louis Lingg writes: "New powers of policing and surveillance adopted by the state are frightenly expansive in scale and scope. The creeping police state is now a leaping police state. Are we there yet? antiwar.com has posted an essay by Human and Civil Rights attorney Michael Ratner: Moving Toward A Police State or Have We Arrived? -- Secret Military Tribunals, Mass Arrests and Disappearances, Wiretapping & Torture."

Venezuela President Would Meet Coup 'Rifle in Hand'

By Silene Ramirez

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday
dismissed rumors of a possible military coup in his South American
nation, but warned that if there were any such insurrection he would
meet it with "my rifle in hand."

As the popularity of former coup leader Chavez has slipped over the
last year, the opposition-run media and his political opponents have
played on rumors of discontent in the armed forces.

Two weeks ago, military chiefs felt it necessary to issue a written
statement expressing their "full support" for the former-paratrooper
turned president's three-year-old "revolutionary" government.

Welcome to The Identity State:

Convergence and Encirclement (Endocolonization)

The department of justice strategy mirrors the global strategy. The
strategy involves the decentralization of executive enforcement and
information gathering while simultaneously providing a centralization of
identity: a singular identity constructed from each apparatus contributing
using a similar communication protocols. The territorialization of all
spaces is accomplished through pervasive decentralized mechanisms which
delimit the individual as an identity already within the territorialized
space. If possible, existing networks of subjection are utilized: local
territory based governments, currencies, banks, licenses, etc. are
converted to identity based systems. This allows subversion and conversion
without alarm, under the guise of bureaucratic efficiency and security.
Identity is the exchange currency of the global network of subjection.

polo writes:

"The New Imperialism"

By Pepe Escobar

ISLAMABAD -- Joseph Conrad was the first modern
writer to fully understand
that in extreme situations the distinctions and
nuances between civilization
and the "heart of darkness" collapse with a bang.
Conrad showed how the
sublime heights of European civilization could fall
into the pit of the most
barbarous practices -- without any sort of preparation
or transition (no
wonder that Belgium still has not officially
acknowledged the genocide of
millions during King Leopold's possession of the

Now more than ever it is rewarding to re-read
Conrad - and as an added bonus
to watch Francis Ford Coppola's reading of Conrad
in the recently released
director's cut of Apocalypse Now. The New Afghan
War increasingly runs the
risk of being configured as The New Vietnam.
Washington has said from the
beginning this is not Gulf War II. But now, deeply
frustrated because they
are unable to break the Taliban -- those medieval
architects of a pan-Islamic
utopia -- the Pentagon is contemplating a Desert
Storm-style invasion the
next Afghan spring. This won't be Gulf War II: this will
be Vietnam II.

Louis Lingg writes: "The democratic-socialist Labour Party of Pakistan website has posted an interview with Adel, central leader of the Afghan Revolutionary Labour Organization.

An excerpt: 'Our party does not support any imposed set up in Afghanistan. This new set up will defend the American interests. The problem of Afghan people will not be solved by them
neither it is their agenda. Former King Zahir Shah’s talk of election and transitional government is a deception. Because of ignorance and mass murder, the Afghan may consider
Zahir Shah as an alternate but they will come out of this deception very soon The grand son of Zahir Shah, Mustafa Zahir and grand daughter Humera Wali are active for the
restoration of kingdom. It is possible that the Zahir Shah and the new set up with so-called election process are “elected”. But this will be a sheer deception. Through these
elections it will not be the genuine people representations but the American stooges who will be elected. Americans will not tolerate its opposition to come into power.'"


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