Friday, February 25, 2011

How the US Wages War on its Own Citizens

The US loves to pretend that its is "law abiding" and never petty or vindictive. But when you run afoul of what Uncle Sam wants, then surprisingly strange things happen to you. Things that look vengeful and vindictive, but Uncle Sam claims that just isn't so. Here's a bit from a Wired magazine article:
PayPal has frozen the account of a group that has been raising money for the legal defense of accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, citing a failure to meet PayPal’s requirement for nonprofit groups.

According to Courage to Resist, a military veterans advocacy group that has been raising donations for Manning’s defense, PayPal froze the account after the group refused to link its PayPal account to its checking account, which would give the online payment provider access to funds in the checking account.

“We exchanged numerous e-mails and phone calls with the legal department and the office of executive escalations of PayPal,” said Jeff Paterson in a press release. “They said they would not unrestrict our account unless we authorized PayPal to withdraw funds from our organization’s checking account by default. Our accounting does not allow for this type of direct access by a third party, nor do I trust PayPal as a business entity with this responsibility given their punitive actions against WikiLeaks — an entity not charged with any crime by any government on Earth.”

[PayPal has since unfrozen the account. See update at bottom of this post.]

The advocacy group has been raising funds for the Manning Support Network and has so far paid Manning’s defense attorney at least $50,000 from money that it raised on the soldier’s behalf. Paterson did not respond to a call for comment, but said in the press release that his group opened the PayPal account in 2006.
Funny how that group was using Pay Pal for four years with no problem, but suddenly after the US has declared war on Julian Assange and everybody and everything associated with him, Pay Pal suddenly "discovers" a policy and decides to enforce it very selectively on just this one advocacy group for Bradley Manning!

Here's the really sleazy part:
Asked why, if the Courage to Resist account was opened in 2006, PayPal hadn’t raised the issue of linking it to a bank account earlier, Nayar did not have an immediate response. He said only that nonprofit organizations are allowed to open accounts easily and quickly.

“We don’t limit them prior to opening and saying they’re a nonprofit before allowing them to open an account,” he said.

With regard to PayPal’s assertion that it’s only following company policy, Courage to Resist says it repeatedly requested and was refused formal documentation from PayPal describing its policy.

“They opted to apply an exceptional hurdle for us to clear in order to continue as a customer, whereas we have clearly provided the legally required information and verification,” the group wrote.
Hannah Arendt made clear that great evil can be put forward in a form that is boringly banal. It uses the cover of indirection, denial, bureaucratic "requirements" to cover the unrelenting evil within its intentions. This soporific approach is sufficient to go under the moral radar of most people, so sleazy, evil regimes can work their murderous intent undisturbed. Uncle Sam is just using these "tools" to carry out an under-the-radar war against Julian Assange and Wikileaks. It is sleazy. It is evil. Obama should be ashamed of himself!

But I've learned since the 2008 election that Obama isn't "change you can believe in". He is the same old bureaucratic evil slime that went before him. He is just "more of the same". Sure he is a toned-down evil. He is definitely preferable to the Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Reagan, Oliver North, E. Howard Hunt, Nixon, and Scott Walker characters, but he is not on the side of the angels. He is just their "little brother" who believes that you shouldn't beat an old lady with a big and bloody stick, instead you should quietly put a pillow over her mouth and "relieve her of life's burdens".

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