COLEEN ROWLEY, rowleyclan at earthlink.net
Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She was featured on an IPA news release yesterday titled “Obama’s Priestly Assassinations” about the administration’s “secret kill list.” She said today: “The war on whistleblowers (which Obama has likened to traitors and espionage), is connected to yesterday’s New York Times story about the ‘secret kill list’ since it is secrecy that is being protected and which fuels and empowers the entire illegal, immoral wrongdoing by a ‘l’etat c’est moi’ [‘I am the state’] war presidency setting itself up as investigator, judge, jury and executioner. The only thing that will prevent a return to the dark ages is light.”
DAVID MacMICHAEL, dmacmi at centurylink.net
MacMichael is a former CIA analyst. He said today: “There is a strong possibility that if Assange is extradited to Sweden that the U.S. will have him extradited here. It’s widely thought that there is already a U.S. government secret indictment against Assange in the Alexandria, Virginia, federal court. This would be part of a pattern of the Obama administration’s unprecedented attacks on whistleblowers, using the 1917 Espionage Act to pursue them. So are we going to see an extraordinary prosecution of Assange from this? This is a strong possibility, I believe.
“The U.S. government, like any other, seeks to avoid transparency in the conduct of its foreign policy. The Obama administration is no different in this than its predecessors. Yesterday the New York Times published a piece on the way Obama personally approves the so-called ‘kill lists.’ of individuals being targeted in the Middle East and elsewhere. During the Vietnam war, it was widely accepted: ‘If he’s dead, he must be Viet Cong,’ hence the notorious body counts of that conflict — and that’s essentially what the Obama administration is doing: If a foreign male who is of broadly-considered military age is killed as a result of U.S. operations — drone strikes, helicopter strafings, etc., he must have been a ‘militant’ (interesting definition, that) and not a civilian. Because, of course, we (our military and intelligence forces) don’t kill civilians. That would be wrong.”
GLENN GREENWALD, ggreenwald at salon.com, @ggreenwald
Available for limited number of interviews, Greenwald’s latest book is With Liberty and Justice for Some. He has written extensively about WikiLeaks and said today: “Remember, Julian Assange is one of the most hated people by Western governments because of the transparency that he brought. … Typically, and unfortunately, judicial branches in the United States and in the United Kingdom do the opposite of what they’re intending to do, which is protecting the institutional power, and help to punish and deprive those who are most scorned. So I would have been shocked had the court ruled in favor of Assange, even though, as the two opposing judges on the high court pointed out, the argument for Sweden and those who argued extradition is directly antithetical to what the statute said. No one thinks that a prosecutor is a judicial authority. He hasn’t been charged with a crime, and therefore, there is no courtroom judge seeking his extradition. … But the law in these cases is not what typically governs. What governs is political consideration and views of the party. …
“[Sweden has] a very oppressive, I would even say borderline barbaric, system of pretrial detention.” Greenwald noted that Assange, since he is not a Swedish citizen, will be “automatically consigned to prison, and not released on bail. … The pre-trial hearings in Sweden are private. … And given how sensitive this case is, the idea that judicial decision in Sweden will be made privately and secretly is very alarming. …The concern is that Sweden will hand him over [to the U.S] without much of a fight and that he will face life imprisonment under espionage statute when he is doing nothing more than what newspapers do everyday.”
RAY McGOVERN, rrmcgovern at gmail.com
McGovern, who was a U.S. army officer and CIA analyst for 30 years, now works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was also featured on the “Obama’s Priestly Assassinations” news release and has closely followed WikiLeaks.