hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013
Susie Madrak - Suburban Guerilla

Mr. Snowden is the seventh person to be accused by the Obama administration of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 by leaking secrets to the news media, compared with three such cases under all previous presidents.
Our nation's prosecutors have become addicted to jailing people for non-violent offenses. Even the initial attempt to focus on terrorism has turned out to mostly jail non-violent offenders, as the words "conspiracy" and "material support" have been stretched to their breaking point.

Michael Hastings (Buzzfeed) - Jacob Appplebaum, Barrett Brown, Thomas Drake, James Rosen, John Kirakou, Bradley Manning

I'm not able to understand the gushing eulogies for Michael Hastings, alongside the apparent belief that Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are worse than rapists, worse than most murderers, worse than the perpetrators of Abu Graibh, worse than the officers who burned Pat Tillman's uniform and diary, in an attempt to cover up the circumstances of his death.

And I don't believe the treatment of Manning and Snowden can simply be explained by excessive devotion to the rule of law, an administration unable to tell the difference between a good prosecutor and a Javert, though that would be bad enough.  If the Obama administration really was motivated by the rule of law, they would, amongst other things, be prosecuting James Clapper for making false statements to Congress (note: I do not support such a prosecution), and they would be investigating how Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old boy completely innocent of terrorism, wound up on the kill list (I do support such an investigation).

Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel) - “What “Not Specifically Targeted” Means for Abdulrahman al-Awlaki”
John Brennan, at the time President Obama’s senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, “suspected that the kid had been killed intentionally and ordered a review. I don’t know what happened with the review.

next post: 12/31/2013

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