Chicago - Jul. 26, 2021
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Traitor, Patriot

By Brett Wilkins/Common Dreams

Attorneys for drone whistleblower Daniel Hale - who faces sentencing next week after pleading guilty earlier this year to violating the Espionage Act - on Thursday submitted a letter to Judge Liam O'Grady in which the former Air Force intelligence analyst says a crisis of conscience drove him to leak classified information about the U.S. targeted assassination program.

The 11-page handwritten letter begins with a quote from U.S. Admiral Gene La Rocque, who said in 1995 that "We now kill people without ever seeing them. Now you push a button thousands of miles away . . . Since it's all done by remote control, there's no remorse."

"It is not a secret that I struggle to live with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder," the 33-year-old Hale wrote in the letter. "Depression is a constant . . . Stress, particularly stress caused by war, can manifest itself at different times and in different ways."

Hale recounted that "The first time that I witnessed a drone strike came within days of my arrival to Afghanistan. Early that morning, before dawn, a group of men had gathered together in the mountain ranges of Patika province around a campfire carrying weapons and brewing tea. That they carried weapons with them would not have been considered out of the ordinary in the place I grew up, much less within the virtually lawless tribal territories outside the control of the Afghan authorities.

"Except that among them was a suspected member of the Taliban, given away by the targeted cell phone device in his pocket. As for the remaining individuals, to be armed, of military age, and sitting in the presence of an alleged enemy combatant was enough evidence to place them under suspicion as well."

In 2012 - the same year that Hale deployed to Afghanistan to support the U.S. Defense Department's Joint Special Operations Task Force and was responsible for identifying, tracking and targeting "high-value" terror suspects - the New York Times reported then-President Barack Obama, who dramatically increased U.S. drone strikes in the so-called War on Terror, "embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties" that effectively "counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants."

Continue reading "Traitor, Patriot" »
Posted on July 26, 2021
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Political Odds

Political Odds

By The Beachwood Bookmaking Bureau
For entertainment purposes only. Including gambling.
Continue reading "Political Odds" »
Posted on November 3, 2020

Private Equity Comes For Janesville

By Elisa McCartin/Other Words
The Hufcor plant in Janesville, Wisconsin was profitable before investors gobbled it up. Now it's the latest highway robbery by private equity.

Posted on July 21, 2021

CPD Hiring Is Racist

By The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General
Demographic representation among hired police officers substantially differs from representation in the initial applicant pool.

Posted on July 14, 2021

The Myth Of The Absent Black Father

By Christopher Stewart/Minnesota Reformer
A 2017 University of Illinois study on Black families commissioned by Color of Change and Family Story found that "media outlets promoted racially biased portraits and myths that pathologize Black families and idealize white families with respect to poverty and crime. At worst, media outlets amplified those inaccurate depictions for political and financial gain."

Posted on June 30, 2021

When Rich Families Fundraise

By Neal Morton/The Hechinger Report
As bake sales have evolved into Tesla raffles among wealthy families, some parents have raised the idea of redistributing parent donations between affluent and high-poverty schools.

Posted on June 16, 2021

Judge Certifies Class Action Lawsuit Against IDOC

By The Uptown People's Law Center
Illinois prison conditions "stark and horrific," "far below the standards of other state prison systems."

Posted on June 15, 2021

Little Village Car Wash Workers Win 9-Year Fight

By Arise Chicago
More than a quarter-million dollars finally recovered.

Posted on June 1, 2021

European Plan To Unify Corporate Tax Rules And Recoup Billions Faces Steep Hurdles

By Scilla Alecci/International Consortium of Investigative Journalists
The European Commission's latest attempt to tackle corporate tax dodging and profit shifting would require unanimous approval by EU member states, some of which serve as tax havens.

Posted on May 27, 2021

Another Tax Loophole That's Making The Rich Even Richer

By Robert Reich
At stake: more than $40 billion annually.

Posted on May 25, 2021

How The Federal Reserve Is Making The Rich Richer - And Not So Much Everybody Else

By Allan Sloan and Cezary Podkul/ProPublica
The Fed has accelerated the decades-long increase in economic inequality by helping increase the wealth of people at the top far more than it has increased the wealth of working-class Americans.

Posted on April 27, 2021

Another Win For Big Soda

By Samantha Young/Kaiser Health News
Soda taxes work. So does soda company spending to stop them.

Posted on April 21, 2021

They Do Run Run

By David Rutter
Jim Oberweis, meet Lars Daly.

Posted on April 20, 2021

MUSIC - They Flirted With Disaster.
TV - A Quincy Top 10.
POLITICS - The Traitor Who Is A Great Patriot.
SPORTS - Gambling At The Grate.

BOOKS - Scientists Gone Rogue.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - A People's History Of Uptown.


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