the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved

when I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country …
however, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved

The Fog Machine of War

Chelsea Manning on the U.S. Military and Media Freedom

by Chelsea Manning June 14, 2014

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — WHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers. The subtext was that United States military operations had succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.

Those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality.

Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed.

Early that year, I received orders to investigate 15 individuals whom the federal police had arrested on suspicion of printing “anti-Iraqi literature.” I learned that these individuals had absolutely no ties to terrorism; they were publishing a scholarly critique of Mr. Maliki’s administration. I forwarded this finding to the officer in command in eastern Baghdad. He responded that he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more “anti-Iraqi” print shops.

I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar.

It was not the first (or the last) time I felt compelled to question the way we conducted our mission in Iraq. We intelligence analysts, and the officers to whom we reported, had access to a comprehensive overview of the war that few others had. How could top-level decision makers say that the American public, or even Congress, supported the conflict when they didn’t have half the story?

Among the many daily reports I received via email while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 was an internal public affairs briefing that listed recently published news articles about the American mission in Iraq. One of my regular tasks was to provide, for the public affairs summary read by the command in eastern Baghdad, a single-sentence description of each issue covered, complementing our analysis with local intelligence.

The more I made these daily comparisons between the news back in the States and the military and diplomatic reports available to me as an analyst, the more aware I became of the disparity. In contrast to the solid, nuanced briefings we created on the ground, the news available to the public was flooded with foggy speculation and simplifications.

One clue to this disjunction lay in the public affairs reports. Near the top of each briefing was the number of embedded journalists attached to American military units in a combat zone. Throughout my deployment, I never saw that tally go above 12. In other words, in all of Iraq, which contained 31 million people and 117,000 United States troops, no more than a dozen American journalists were covering military operations.

The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.

Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage.

Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal.

There have been numerous cases of reporters’ having their access terminated following controversial reporting. In 2010, the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings had his access pulled after reporting criticism of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said, “Embeds are a privilege, not a right.”

If a reporter’s embed status is terminated, typically she or he is blacklisted. This program of limiting press access was challenged in court in 2013 by a freelance reporter, Wayne Anderson, who claimed to have followed his agreement but to have been terminated after publishing adverse reports about the conflict in Afghanistan. The ruling on his case upheld the military’s position that there was no constitutionally protected right to be an embedded journalist.

The embedded reporter program, which continues in Afghanistan and wherever the United States sends troops, is deeply informed by the military’s experience of how media coverage shifted public opinion during the Vietnam War. The gatekeepers in public affairs have too much power: Reporters naturally fear having their access terminated, so they tend to avoid controversial reporting that could raise red flags.

The existing program forces journalists to compete against one another for “special access” to vital matters of foreign and domestic policy. Too often, this creates reporting that flatters senior decision makers. A result is that the American public’s access to the facts is gutted, which leaves them with no way to evaluate the conduct of American officials.

Journalists have an important role to play in calling for reforms to the embedding system. The favorability of a journalist’s previous reporting should not be a factor. Transparency, guaranteed by a body not under the control of public affairs officials, should govern the credentialing process. An independent board made up of military staff members, veterans, Pentagon civilians and journalists could balance the public’s need for information with the military’s need for operational security.

Reporters should have timely access to information. The military could do far more to enable the rapid declassification of information that does not jeopardize military missions. The military’s Significant Activity Reports, for example, provide quick overviews of events like attacks and casualties. Often classified by default, these could help journalists report the facts accurately.

Opinion polls indicate that Americans’ confidence in their elected representatives is at a record low. Improving media access to this crucial aspect of our national life — where America has committed the men and women of its armed services — would be a powerful step toward re-establishing trust between voters and officials.

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intransigence, recalcitrance, and a benighted
sense of self-interest

intransigence, recalcitrance, and a benighted
sense of self-interest

UN Urges Thailand To Return To Democratic Rule

“The various limitations to fundamental rights put in place since the military assumed control of the country and the Constitution was suspended are deeply disturbing,” said a group of UN experts [1]

The group also expressed particular concern over the military’ juntas summons orders and arbitrary detainment of hundreds of political leaders, academics, and activists. Many of those who are summoned to army bases have been held captive in undisclosed locations and barred from communicating with the outside world.

“We talk to them, we try to convince them to put the country’s interests before their own,” an army spokesperson said on Thursday.

[1] Mr. Mads Andenas, Chair-rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances;
Mr. Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression;
Mr. Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and
Mr. Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Many people in Thailand, and beyond, have in fact been trying to talk to the dictator Prayuth, and to his sidekicks, trying to appeal to him and to them to curtail their treasonous mutiny and to put the country’s interests before those they perceive to be their own.

The ‘country’ is not the Royal Thai Army or the plutocrats in Bangkok, supporting and egging them on, it is all of Thailand and all of the people of Thailand.

In fact, when it comes to the self-interest of the Royal Thai Army and of the rabid-royalist minority in Bangkok, the longer that clique remains intransigent and recalcitrant, the harder it will go with them all when the people do reclaim their rightful sovereignty and control.

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Impeach the Libya, Syria, Ukraine … Iraq sacker!

liar, murderer, war criminal
nobel peace prize laureate

Iraq crisis threatens to ignite regional war

The net effect of Washington’s policies – waging a war of aggression in Iraq on the phony pretext of battling “terrorism,” and backing Al Qaeda-linked militias in a proxy war in Syria – has been the death, maiming or displacement of millions of innocent people on both sides of the border.

Impeach the Libya, Syria, Ukraine … Iraq sacker!

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1984 + 30 = 2014

1984 + 30 = 2014

2 charged with lèse majesté after reporting to military

On Tuesday, police charged Chaleaw J. and Kathawut B. under Article 112 of the Criminal Code or the lèse majesté law. They were denied bail and sent to Bangkok Remand Prison.

They were among 28 people summoned by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under order no. 44, issued on June 1. Most have been released.

Chaleaw is a tailor. He was interrogated three times and also interrogated using a lie detector, while most of the other detainees were interrogated only once, according to iLaw.

Kathawut is a radio host whose programmes, broadcast online on an overseas red-shirt website, were alleged to contain lèse majesté.

Earlier the police charged Apichat P., a Thammasat University graduate student, under Article 112 after he was arrested and detained for seven days for protesting on May 23 against the coup. Apichat was accused of posting lèse majesté messages on his Facebook account. The court also denied his bail requests.

Note that

  1. The actual ‘crimes’ the men are charged with are unspecified,
  2. the men are denied bail for alleged ‘thought crimes’, in a nation where people charged with cold-blooded murder get bail; as well
  3. the men will now disappear from public view – until their sentences are announced.

This is 112, lèse majesté. In fact, lèse militaire. The Inquisition, expanding for years since Phase I of the military succession in 2006, seems ready to explode now in Phase II of the succession, in 1984 + 30 = 2014.

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the cia’s president is eating his own children
in afghanistan, worldwide

passing the spark of life and intelligence

12 June

US ‘Urgently’ Readies Air Strikes Against al-Qaeda in Iraq

There seems to be growing momentum among US politicians from both parties in favor of direct military intervention on behalf of the Iraqi government, with President Obama saying he won’t rule out anything that might aid Prime Minister Maliki.

Al Qaeda in Iraq is, of course, the creation of Brennan, BOb, and Bandar, so now the US will be fighting on both sides of the ‘new, improved!’ war in Iraq, the love child of Barack the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama and the CIA.

16 Killed in Two Strikes Today Against North Waziristan

The first attack killed six “suspects,” in Dargah Mandi, destroying a truck and setting a nearby house on fire.

The second strike hit in Dande Darpakhel village, killing 10 people and wounding four others.

Though the Pakistani government is back to the old strategy of labeling everyone slain “suspects,” none of the victims in either attack were actually named, and there was no indication the US even suspected they had a high-profile target in sight.

Five US Troops Killed in US Air Strike in South Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Five American with a special operations unit were killed by a U.S. airstrike called in to help them after they were ambushed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, in one of the deadliest friendly fire incidents in nearly 14 years of war, officials said Tuesday.

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cops or robbers?

cops? or robbers?

Liking anti-junta FB is crime: Thai police

Thai police warned Thai Internet users on Monday that “liking” or expressing approval of ati-military junta messages is a crime.

Pol Maj Gen Amnuay Nimmano, Deputy Commander of Bangkok Metropolitan Police, said liking or expressing approval of messages which ask people to join anti-junta activities is a crime because it helps publicizing the messages.

It’s not much remarked, but it seems that in the dead of night the Royal Thai Police have been subsumed by the Royal Thai Army … that the protectors of law and order have joined those who’ve stolen democracy from Thailand … and are now protecting them.

Are they cops? or robbers?

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the ‘worse’ coup

Führer Prayuth Chan-ocha – Deputy Führer Thanasak Patimaprakorn – Deputy Führer Narong Pipathanasai
Deputy Führer Prajin Jantong – Deputy Führer Adul Saengsingkaew – Spokesman Winthai Suvaree

11 June

How doth the coup abuse the Thai people – while enriching itself and its cronies?

Let us count the ways …

Media Giant Wins Exclusive Rights to World Cup Broadcasts

BANGKOK — Thailand’s supreme administrative court has granted Thai media giant RS exclusive rights to broadcast the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches, making it the first time in Thai history that viewers will not be able to watch the entire football tournament for free.

RS argued that it secured the rights to broadcast the matches from FIFA, the tournament’s organiser, and said that viewers who wanted to watch the games on their TVs had to purchase a special 1,700 baht “signal box” from the corporation.

The NBTC attempted to challenge RS’s exclusive claim to the World Cup broadcasts, citing a potential breach of customers’ rights, and ordered that all of the matches be made available on Thailand’s state-owned TV for free. In response, RS filed a lawsuit against the NBTC.

In a key ruling announced today, a judge struck down NBTC’s order and upheld RS’s sole rights to the matches, making it the first time in Thai history that a private corporation has owned exclusive rights to broadcast World Cup matches. In previous years, a “pool” of state-owned TV channels shared the rights and broadcasted the matches for free.

Although restaurants and pubs that have purchased RS’s signal boxes will be able to broadcast the matches to their customers, many Thais will likely be forced to buy the signal boxes for their own homes because the military junta has not lifted its midnight – 4 am curfew. Most of World Cup matches will be played during in those curfew hours.

However, their hopes were dashed when NCPO spokesperson, Col. Winthai Suwaree, told FM 97.0 radio this morning that he is not aware of any plan by the NCPO or Gen. Prayuth to ask for cooperation from RS to broadcast the matches on army-operated channels.

“Let me stress that I am not aware of this information,” Col. Winthai said.

Col. Winthai also previously told the press last week that the NCPO has no immediate plan to revoke the military curfew in time for the kick-off of 2014 World Cup.

Wanna do business in Thailand? Get ready to support a greedy ‘silent’ partner.

DTAC Punished For Revealing Junta’s Role in Facebook Shutdown

Thailand’s internet-regulatory body has threatened to punish a Norwegian telecommunications giant for revealing that the Thai junta was behind a brief Facebook shutdown last month.

“It’s inappropriate and disrespectful,” Col. Setthapong Malisuwan, deputy chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), told pro-military Thai newspaper Naew Na today.

The report contradicts the Thai military junta’s claim that it did not block Facebook. Spokesperson of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said in nationally-televised address that the problem was caused by a technical failure in the internet gateway. He insisted that the NCPO had no plans to censor social media in Thailand.

Col. Setthapong, the deputy chairman of the NBTC, told Naew Na today that Telenor and its subsidiary company DTAC will be punished for their whistleblowing.

“From now on, the NBC will be more strict and monitor the stock holdings of DTAC company in a more vigilant manner,” said Col. Setthapong said, who is also the chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). “If we discover that the ratio of foreigners’ stocks in DTAC causes suspicion that they might violate the laws on foreigners’ stock holding, the NBC may bar DTAC from auction for 4G signal.”

Just like the ‘good ole days’ …

Investment Applications Down 42% in Thailand

BANGKOK (DPA) — Planned investment projects decreased by 42 per cent in value year-on-year during Thailand’s first five politically tempestuous months of 2014, reports said Wednesday.

Board of Investment data showed applications for 515 projects worth 9.5 billion dollars, down 39 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, from the same period last year, the Bangkok Post reported.

Gee … I wonder why?

10 June

Thai Junta Expands Power Over Lucrative Sectors

As of today, the leader of the the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, has appointed himself chairman of two prominent economic boards that wield considerable power over the country’s investment and energy sectors.

An NCPO order issued on Saturday announced Gen. Prayuth as the chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), while another NCPO order broadcast this morning announced him as the chairman of a committee to oversee the nation’s energy and petroleum policies.

Deputy leaders of the NCPO were also appointed as top members of these economic bodies.

The NCPO has taken over these economic responsibilities at the same time that it has outlawed any criticism of the military regime and its “missions.” The NCPO has threatened to prosecute anyone who disseminates information that questions the junta’s good will, lest it lead to “confusion” and derail the NCPO’s stated aim of reconciling the country.

The NCPO has also barred independent agencies such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) from publicly scrutinising the military junta’s operations.

An NCPO announcement on 24 May ordered

“all Courts, independent organizations and other agencies refrain from expressing opinions which might create misunderstanding, confusion and polarization among the public such that it affects the functioning of the officers of the NCPO.”

“This is worse than previous coups,” a political science lecturer at university in Bangkok told Khaosod English.

“Because in [1991 and 2006], the military held onto power for a short time and then they organized a technocrat government to take care of all these economic issues for them. The NCPO on the other hand, their actions look more like the military regimes of the 1950s and 1960s. Back then the soldiers controlled many economic boards and state-owned enterprises, which led to massive corruption.”

The academic, who asked to remain anonymous because criticism of the junta is now considered illegal, added:

“There is no accountability right now. Not even legislative power. We only have executive power under six people, which is the NCPO.”

So far, the NCPO has repeatedly dismissed concerns that its absolute power may lead to corruption.

“I can assure you that the NCPO does not gain anything from this,” Gen. Prayuth said in a nationally-televised address on Friday.

Col. Winthai Suwaree, deputy spokesperson of the NCPO, offered similar reassurance.

“I insist that the NCPO is functioning under principles of righteousness, transparency, fairness, efficiency, and accountability,” he said yesterday.

“We certainly won’t let [corruption] happen,” Col. Winthai stressed,

“The nation and the people will greatly benefit from our works. I don’t want some people to stick to the old images.”

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the ‘good coup’ knocked Thai political life off its axis
this ‘bad coup’ has made things much worse

the coup’s ‘work’ began with its illegal overthrow of the elected government : nothing good can begin with a crime

Army Occupies Skytrains, Closes Parks To Deter Anti-Coup Protests

“I want to tell the protesters that they should think of their country,” said Pol.Gen. Somyot.

“Please wait and see the actions of the NCPO’s leaders, because [the NCPO] has not started working yet, but the protesters are already opposing them. This is not right. If the NCPO leaders fail to do what they promise, I might also join the protesters, too.”

He added, “Right now [the protests] are causing damage to our country. They are causing chaos. They are creating a bad image for the foreigners.”

Throughout the day many critics of the coup posted photos of themselves on social media showing the three-finger salute in solidarity with the activists.

“I beg you not to raise the three fingers,” Gen. Prayuth said in his public address on Friday.

“If you want to show it, you can, but can you show it inside your house? Don’t show it outside.”

  1. It was this coup’s illegal overthrow of the elected government that began its ‘work’ : nothing good can be based upon a violent crime.

    It was the previous coup of 2006 that began all of Thailand’s present political problems. That ‘good coup’ knocked Thai political life off its axis; this ‘bad coup’ of 2014 has compounded the error and made life in Thailand much, much worse.

  2. It is the coup causing ‘chaos’ with its way over-the-top reaction to peaceful protest.

  3. It is General Prayuth who should have thrown his coup in his own house, and not exposed his totalitarian nature and begun his crime wave outside.

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where do you suppose Tungkum Ltd. came up with 300
armed and well-trained goons to beat and intimidate the villagers?

Military summons Khon Kaen student activists, forces to sign agreement to stop political activities

The military also asked the students to stop mobilising anti-mine activities in Ban Na Nong Bong village, Wang Sapung district, Loei province, where the villagers face threats and intimidations for opposing the mine. The students insisted that they will continue to support the villagers.

This is very serious, see the stories from Isaan Record below. It seems pretty clear that the men in black in Na Nong Bong are likely off-duy (or on-duty) military or police.

8 June

Where do you suppose Tungkum Ltd. came up with 300 armed and well-trained goons to beat and intimidate the villagers?

If the Royal Thai Army were what they pretend to be … certainly they would dispatch 300 armed men in uniform to protect the villagers from the thugs! This story puts the lie to the exquisite fairy tale of the Royal Thai Army ‘helping’ the Thai people! The Royal Thai Army have never been anything but an internal security force, whose job has always been to oppress, kidnap, disappear, torture, and murder the Thai people … and often to get paid twice to do it, as is likely in the case of Tunkum Ltd.

The Isaan Record has done an excellent job – alone in Thailand – reporting on this outrage for three long years now! See especially the video in the first report above. Tungkum Ltd. began their rape of Loei in 2006 … before or after 19 September?

Nothing has been done by the RTA or by any other ‘authority’ in Thailand to help the villagers; on the contrary the royalist Thai ‘elite’ are – as they always have been – at the root of the exploitation and oppression of the Thai land and people!

11 June

What goes around comes around … a friend wrote to point out that Police-Gen.Somyot Pompanmoung … who so passionately defends the criminal junta in the post directly above this one, was listed as chairman of the audit committee of Tongkah Harbour Ltd, as recently as this morning.

I visited the site this morning and saw his name on the roster of their board of directors myself, but now … he’s gone … along with the Chairman of the Board, Kungval Kusoltammaratana! (but they’re both google cached)

You can see and read notice of his appointment given at a shareholders’ meeting on 26 March 2013, though.

Think he had anything to do with ‘procuring’ the 300 armed thugs, the Men in Black who beat the villagers for opposing the interest of Tongkah Harbour Ltd., aka Tungkum Ltd. in poisoning their land to carry off the gold?

We need to start an honor roll of people who stand up to the illegal coupsters – the treasonous mutineers – and to their intimidation. The Dao Din group at Khon Kaen, Sombat, Sawatree, Kengkij … have all earned their place on it. There are many others : Darunee, Somyot, Ampol …

Soon all the good people of Thailand will be dead or behind bars and only thugs and goons, outfits like Tungkum Ltd, and the Royal Thai Army will be on the outside.

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never give up

Tyrell Haberkorn’s translation

“…Hello, brothers and sisters, the people, all those to whom the sovereign power belongs. This is Sombat Boonngamanong, Polka Dot Editor.…If you are listening to this message, it indicates that I have been detained, or am unable to be found.

… I want to convey a message to you. First, I ask you to believe that “sovereignty” belongs to all of the people: this means that “the highest power” belongs to the people.

… On the basis of the above principle, it is a legitimate right for us to come out to express that “fomenting a coup” constitutes the destruction of this principle. This is not only a political matter, but it is an issue of human rights, because this is a “fundamental right.” It is a fundamental political right of the “people” to maintain that, “We are partners, we are one part of this country,” as those who are “the people who together possess sovereignty.”

Even though I was summoned to report myself and it was announced that I was seized and detained, and even though I have been threatened in many ways, I would like to tell you that I do not feel that I am a wrongdoer. But I feel, always, that “I possess sovereignty.”

This is what I am accused of and I stand on this principle.

And whatever happens to me, as it may be, this was not a mistake on my part.

But it is that one must insist on one’s rights until the end. Even if I am imprisoned, beaten, or whatever else, no matter. This is not “the price that I must pay,” but is an act of political crime against the people of this country who yearn for liberty and equality.

… Please carry on your historical mission to make democracy evolve and become ever stronger and wider. Although I am unable to join the action, for various reasons, no matter.

May the brothers and sisters hold fast to, seek, and invent peaceful paths
in order to restore our democratic system that has been destroyed over and over again until it can rise again.

With thanks to everyone, goodbye.”

See also Sombat’s detention will ‘spur opposition’

And see PPT for the plain statement of fact:

In fact, a military coup that ditches a constitution is the highest act of illegality. The military has repeatedly murdered civilians with impunity. It engages in torture, illegal and enforced disappearances, kidnap, theft (often of its own weapons), massive corruption, and far more. The military is an organized and uniformed criminal gang that is never subject to any law, military or civil.

We are not providing links for these factual statements because the data for our facts are readily and widely available to anyone who can enter a search term in Google or Bing or even in PPT’s own search box. They constitute general knowledge. Indeed, Prayuth is, by any definition, a criminal at the head of a criminal organization.

His claim that he doesn’t want the “international community to view us as people who use violence to get what we want…” is outlandish when one considers the acts of murder and mayhem conducted by the military in order to get what its leaders and backers want.

If it were left up to you …

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free sombat! free somyot! free thailand!

free sombat! free somyot! free thailand!

Sombat Boongam-anong arrested in Cholburi

Red shirt faction leader Sombat Boongam-anong was arrested around 9.30 p.m. in a house in Cholburi Province where he was taking refuge. His arrest was first reported on Sombat’s personal Facebook account. His Twitter and Facebook account have been inactive since then.

Around 11 p.m., Khaosod reports that he was arrested by police officers under the Technology Crime suppression Division in corporation with the 11th Infantry Regiment, with IP tracking from the National Intelligence Agency.

Sombat had been previously summoned by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on May 22, but had not reported himself to the military. Since then he called for anti-coup gathering at different places in Bangkok on his social media which has over 100,000 followers, but had never shown up at the protest sites.

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the dictatorship of the Plutocrats’ Republic of China
supports the dictatorship of the Plutocrats of Thailand

the dictatorship of the plutocrats’ republic of china
supports the dictatorship of the plutocrats of thailand

Thai junta claims support from China

China and Vietnam have expressed support for Thailand’s new military government, an army spokesman said on Wednesday …

Wednesday … what day was Wednesday … oh yeah! now I remember … June 4th … the 25th anniversary of the Massacre at Tiananmen Square!

“Our nation was created from the struggle and labour of we workers and all other mental and manual labourers. We are the rightful masters of this nation. We must be heard in national affairs. We absolutely must not allow this small band of degenerate scum of the nation and the working class to usurp our name and suppress the students, murder democracy and trample human rights.”

The first tanks that entered Tiananmen Square on the morning of June 4 targeted and crushed the tent headquarters of the Workers Autonomous Federation, killing the 20 or more leaders still coordinating resistance to the military.

The military subjugation of the capital was the signal for a reign of terror throughout China. Spontaneous demonstrations that erupted across the country, as the news of Beijing spread, were dealt with in brutal fashion, with hundreds more workers and students killed.

Some 40,000 people were arrested in June and July alone, the majority being members or contacts of the Workers Federations. Dozens of workers were sentenced to death and executed, in some cases by public firing squads. Hundreds of workers remain in detention today. The repression extended to the deepest levels of Chinese society with all citizens of Beijing required to participate in “self-criticisms”, recounting their “mistakes” during April and May.

Yeah. You can see why the dictatorship of the Plutocrats’ Republic of China supports the dictatorship of the Plutocrats of Thailand. No doubt the Plutocrats of Thailand hope to achieve the same results as the Plutocrats of China did 25 years ago …

The bloody suppression of the Tianamen Square movement and associated protests, in fact, became a clear signal from Beijing to international finance capital that the police-military apparatus would guarantee investments against any challenge by the working class.

Global capitalism, notwithstanding its initial crocodile tears over the brutal crackdown, responded accordingly. A new flood of capital poured into China, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing from $4 billion in 1991 to $45 billion in 1997. At the same time, the CCP accelerated its program of capitalist restoration, transforming China into the largest cheap labour platform in the world and further enriching the country’s new bourgeoisie.

… now, as then, the US and Australia and the rest of the neoliberal capitalist imperialists are shedding their crocodile tears.

Jim Petras, quoted by Alexander Cockburn. The Meaning of Tiananmen Square

“The class lines are being drawn in the East [i.e., China] between the managerial supporters of the market and working-class defenders of democratic collectivism. It is time for those on the left in the West to also define themselves, because historical experience is demonstrating that one cannot be for both the market and ~ socialism.”

And in 2014, with socialism or what passed for it a memory, in Thailand one cannot be both for the junta and democracy. There’s no such thing as fascist democracy or democratic fascism : it’s democracy or fascism.

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the terrorist-in-chief opens shop in east ukraine

the ukrainian arch-terrorist trio
poroshenko – obama – brennan

Lugansk on Fire: Ukrainian City Becomes Target for Aviation Strikes

poroshenko – obama – brennan rocket civilians

They’re going to turn the Ukraine into Syria. And they’ve turned Syria – and Iraq and Lebanon and Jordan – into hell.

6 June

Obama backs state terror against eastern Ukraine

Meeting with Ukraine’s billionaire President-Elect Petro Poroshenko in Warsaw Wednesday, President Barack Obama declared his full backing for the regime’s so-called “anti-terrorism operation” in eastern Ukraine and promised new military supplies and training to carry out what is rapidly developing into a bloodbath.

City officials in the town of Krasnyi Lyman in the Donetsk region told the media that the local hospital came under intense shelling Tuesday night, inflicting a number of casualties. An initial report said the head surgeon was killed by shrapnel and at least three patients severely wounded. But on Wednesday, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which was proclaimed following a referendum on autonomy held last month, reported that regime troops entered the hospital and executed over 25 wounded local fighters.

“More than 25 people were killed, and this figure can rise,” DPR Chairman Denis Pushilin told Rossiya-24 television. “This is a blatant war crime; it is genocide.”

It was only one of a growing number of strikes against civilian targets as the Kiev regime unleashes fighter jets, attack helicopters, heavy artillery, rocket launchers and other weapons of war against the region in attempt to quell popular opposition to its rule.

Schools, daycare centers, housing blocks and office buildings have also been struck, sending families fleeing for air raid shelters or desperately attempting to leave the war zone.

7 June

Poroshenko’s message to Novorossiia and Russia

Poroshenko’s inauguration speech has sent a message to Novorossiia and Russia:

  • No federalization
  • No state status for the Russian language
  • No recognition of the Novorossian political leadership
  • Full and unconditional surrender of the Novorossian Defense Forces
  • Crimea will forever belong to the Ukraine.

He could not have been any clearer: that is basically a declaration of war and an ultimatum. This is also a full endorsement of the “Banderastan project”.

Clearly, the US has prevailed over the hoplessly spineless EU leaders like Merkel or Hollande and the AngloZionists will have their way.

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academic scum floats to the top

academic scum floats to the top

Taxi driver charged with lèse majesté over political talk with passenger

The police arrested a taxi driver on Monday and charged him with lèse majesté after a passenger filed a police complaint over their conversation on inequality in Thai society.

The passenger, reportedly a university lecturer, recorded the conversation between them on his mobile phone and submitted it to the police as evidence.

The 43-year-old taxi driver is now detained at the Phaya Thai police station.

The police might by impersonating journalists to arrest pro-democrats … they don’t have to impersonate Thai academics, who do the ‘police work’ – entrapping and betraying ordinary Thais – for free, in their spare time. For the sheer joy of it. They’re working toward the dictatorship.

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say my name, bitch

say my name, bitch

Academics decry summonses

The summonses will not yield any long-term results for the military’s reconciliation efforts, he [Gothom Arya of Mahidol University's Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies] said, and will only serve to subdue opposition in the short term.

Yeah, you got the guns.

Yeah, you’ve taken over the government.

Yeah, you can kill us, torture us, imprison us … but you want us to say you’re the legitimate government of Thailand?

Forget it! You are the “the gang in possession”.

The Thai people, the legitimate government of Thailand, are watching and waiting, nursing their resources – waiting to dance on your graves.

The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as a government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession”, and its days are numbered.

– H.G. Wells

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our peoples, united, can never be defeated!

our peoples, united, can never be defeated!

The Coup: A wake up call for solidarity between the North and South

The Patani Malays in the South and the Lao, Kymer and all other peoples in the North and Northeast of Thailand have a lot more in common than they may care to imagine. They are all an oppressed people who find themselves as second class citizens without a political voice in their own lands. The ruling establishment in Bangkok has done its upmost to divide these people by creating tensions and mistrust. For them, it is important to divide the people because the ethnic minorities of Thailand actually make up the majority. This is why the Bangkok political establishment will use all of its powers to crush democracy from developing in Thailand.

Amen brother/sister! That is the truth! In fact, as I read it here, the treasonous mutineers affirm their intention : Cambodia Demands Thais Remove Fence Near Disputed Temple Site. The Royal Thai Army always stirs up the ‘Preah Vihar crisis’ whenever it needs to distract Thais from internal disasters – like illegal coups – and tries to push the buttons of jingo they’ve wired into our brains.

Surely the Thai people living along the Cambodian border have infinitely more in common with their brothers and sisters living on the Cambodian side than either of them have in common with the ‘elite’ lording it over them from Bangkok and Phnom Phenh.

Let them know we’ve seen through them! Our peoples, united, can never be defeated!

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Trade Unionists Denounce the Coup d’état

Trade Unionists Denounce the Coup d’état

The Anti-Coup Workers Group

We are the “Anti-Coup Workers Group” from industrial areas on the outskirts of Bangkok. We want to state our opposition to this coup d’état. The army stepped on our hearts and crushed the wishes of the majority of democratic Thai citizens. The coup destroyed our freedom of speech and the basic right to exercise our political views. Under normal circumstance, workers’ rights are already limited in order to favour the employers. Under the dictatorship our situation will go from bad to worse.

In previous history, workers have always had an important role in the fight against the dictatorship. In the past, after previous coups, military governments have issued new laws that severely limit workers’ rights.

We were very ashamed when we saw some sections of the trade union movement engaging with the anti-democratic thugs which sought to overthrow the elected government.

The Anti-Coup Workers Group demands….

  1. The immediate cancellation of martial law
  2. An end to the coup
  3. Power to be returned to the people
  4. The unconditional release of all arrested people
  5. No amnesty bill to white wash the military’s crimes

See also Thai Student Center for Democracy’s Official Statement

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if he, with his ‘juice’, is being treated like this by corporals
one can only imagine how the occupation is treating mere mortals

Pravit Rojanaphruk acting out prior to his detention

Pravit speaks out on detention

“I could write a short book about the whole thing,” he said. “But there’s a tragic note, something very disturbing. Less than 26 hours after my being released, I received a phone call from someone who identified himself as a corporal… He asked if I could stop tweeting. That the junta needed time, free from criticism.

“I already signed a few things, forcibly agreeing not to lead a protest, not to aid the protestors, or not to take part in political meetings. I tried to placate him, saying that if I don’t tweet people will conclude that it’s the junta and there would be a backlash that won’t be helpful (for them). I said I wouldn’t rock the boat very roughly but I would go on criticizing the junta – just as some Thai newspapers are, at least in a gentle, scolding way. He said okay, we’ll see… A few minutes later, another corporal called me – one from the camp… He said to save his number in my phone. He was asked to give all my details to Central Command and that some would be monitoring me and following me. “

Pravit Rojanaphruk was scheduled to speak at Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand in Bangkok tomorrow. The event has since been cancelled.

Pravit Rojanaphruk, ‘a prominent journalist for [reactionary] The Nation newspaper’, is a pussycat. He’s a ‘liberal’, in the US sense of the term, himself a member of the Royalist Thai ‘elite’ who spends his time trying to ‘ameliorate’ the Royalist Thai ‘elite’s’ treatment of their ‘subjects’.

If he, with his ‘juice’, is being treated like this by corporals one can only imagine how the occupation is treating mere mortals.

Who canceled the FCCT event? the FCCT? Pravit? The Occupation? Ultimately all ‘official’ events in Thailand are now completely under the control of The Occupation.

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news from occupied chiangmai

Chiang Mai academics report themselves to the military

At 1 p.m., one dozen academics in Chiang Mai province reported themselves to the 7th Infantry Regiment in Chiang Mai after they were “invited” by the army and police for “talks.” They were released around 4.30 p.m.

The army told them to stop all political activities for the sake of the nation’s “reconciliation.”

The academics summoned include Prof. Dr. Anan Kanchanapan, an anthropologist from the Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University, Asst. Prof. Dr. Chaiyan Rachakul, Dean of Political Science, Ubon Ratchathani University and formerly a history lecturer at Chiang Mai University, Dr. Pinkaew Laungaramsri, an anthropology lecturer, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Somchai Preedasilpakul, a law lecturer from Chiang Mai University.

Chiang Mai-based writers/translators, such as Pakawadee Veerapatpong and Pipob Udomittupong, were also summoned.

Of those summoned, only Kengkij Kitirianglarp, a political science lecturer from Chiang Mai University, was officially summoned by the National Council for Peace and Order on Sunday. He is a member of left-leaning activist group Prakaifire. Kengkij is to report himself on Tuesday at the Thai Army Club in Theves, Bangkok.

Some of the academics summoned have done research on the red shirts as a political movement, and they have also been critical of the lese majeste law.

Previously, some of these academics received visits from soldiers who invited them for talks; others received invitation via the universities who received calls from the army. They were invited to report themselves at separate times, but they decided to go together as a group on Monday.

Some of the academics’ homes in Chiang Mai were reported to have been raided by the army.

Chiang Mai province is a stronghold of the deposed government supporters.

Chiangmai and all of Thailand have been occupied by the Royal Thai Army since 22 May 2014.

The Occupation becomes harsher by degrees daily, as the Royal Thai Army seeks to control every facet of peoples’ lives.

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we chose rebellion, that is to say, life

We All Must Become Zapatistas

Should we prepare those who come after us for the path of death?

Should we develop more and better soldiers?

Invest our efforts in improving our battered war machine?

Simulate dialogues and a disposition toward peace while preparing new attacks?

Kill or die as the only destiny?

Or should we reconstruct the path of life, that which those from above had broken and continue breaking?

… Should we have adorned with our blood the path that others have charted to Power, or should we have turned our heart and gaze toward who we are, toward those who are what we are – that is, the indigenous people, guardians of the earth and of memory?

Nobody listened then, but in the first babblings that were our words we made note that our dilemma was not between negotiating and fighting, but between dying and living.

… And we chose.

And rather than dedicating ourselves to training guerrillas, soldiers, and squadrons, we developed education and health promoters, who went about building the foundations of autonomy that today amaze the world.

Instead of constructing barracks, improving our weapons, and building walls and trenches, we built schools, hospitals and health centers; improving our living conditions.

Instead of fighting for a place in the Parthenon of individualized deaths of those from below, we chose to construct life.

All this in the midst of a war that was no less lethal because it was silent.

Small justice looks so much like revenge. Small justice is what distributes impunity; as it punishes one, it absolves others.

What we want, what we fight for, does not end with finding Galeano’s murderers and seeing that they receive their punishment (make no mistake this is what will happen).

The patient and obstinate search seeks truth, not the relief of resignation.

True justice has to do with the buried compañero Galeano.

Because we ask ourselves not what do we do with his death, but what do we do with his life.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe we were wrong in choosing to cultivate life instead of worshipping death.

But we made the choice without listening to those on the outside. Without listening to those who always demand and insist on a fight to the death, as long as others will be the ones to do the dying.

We made the choice while looking and listening inward, as the collective Votán that we are.

We chose rebellion, that is to say, life.

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