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Whistleblowers on Tape

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While they may not be in Congress, there are members of our government willing to risk their careers and more to blow the whistle on the criminal takeover of our former democracy. One of them is Sam Provance.

I've just posted an amazing video of Sam Provance telling his story, along with videos of others telling theirs, including: Dan Ellsberg, Ann Wright, Larry Johnson, Coleen Rowley, Bob Parry, Akbar Ahmed, Peter Kuznick, Edward Mortimer, Max Friedman, and Ray McGovern: http://afterdowningstreet.org/whistleblowervideos

Sam Provance exposed the torture in Abu Ghraib and as thanks had his career ruined, was threatened with prison, has had his wife leave him, and is now barely scraping by. He said last Thursday evening that on a personal level his choice to speak out was not worth it. "But," he said, "this is not about me." And everyone in the auditorium where he was speaking knew exactly what he meant, because we had just heard all the other speakers listed above lay out the gravity of the situation this nation and the world are now in.

If you don't like watching video, here is the text of Dan Ellsberg's speech: "A Coup Has Occurred." http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/27200

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On September 18, 2007, at American University in Washington, D.C., this group of outstanding academics and courageous truth tellers gathered on the stage of an auditorium packed to overflowing. People had to be turned away at the door.

The event was organized by Ray McGovern and the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity for the purpose of presenting an award. The nominating committee of Sam Adams Professionals for Integrity in Intelligence had chosen Sam Provance to receive this year's award for Integrity in Intelligence.

Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director, Nuclear Studies Institute, American University, moderated the first of two panels. The speeches went so long that there was no panel discussion. Kuznick simply introduced the first group of speakers.

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Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, and former Pakistani High Commissioner to Great Britain -- The BBC described him as "the world's leading authority on contemporary Islam -- spoke of admirable US traditions and recent US crimes. He said that among Muslim nations, Pakistan is the greatest ally of the United States. Recently, he said, a member of the parliament in Pakistan advocated jihad against America. If that is in the government discourse in our closest Muslim ally, we might want to change course, he suggested. Muslims, he said, hate the United States and do not know its democratic past any more than Americans know Muslim history. There is a cultural gap that is increasingly dangerous, his talk suggested.

Max Friedman, history professor at American U, discussed the war lies. This was probably the most important and best composed speech to show to that 20 to 30 percent of Americans who still believe all the lies. I didn't take notes, because it was all unpleasantly familiar to me. Watch the video!

Larry Johnson, former CIA analyst and operations officer and deputy director of the State Department Office of Counterterrorism, and consultant with U.S. military on terrorism-related matters, said getting a hold of the insurgencies would take 550,000 troops or so, which would require a draft and a couple of years. Therefore there is no military solution.

Referring to Petraeus' counterinsurgency manual, Johnson said he's talked to an Army Major at Leavenworth who helped draft it. Petreaus didn't write it or read it. It's not his.

The insurgency in Iraq, Johnson said, is multiple insurgencies, and they will not be defeated. And it's not al Qaeda. And Iran has supported a lot less violence in Iraq than Saudi Arabia, Jordan, or Pakistan. Yet, Johnson says, we are now preparing to attack Iran. At the CIA the Iran task force has been greatly increased in size – same at State Dept and Pentagon. Positioning of naval vessels is also part of preparation for moment when case can be made for attacking Iran. Johnson said he saw the same thing with Panama. The US tried endless provocations against Noriega, and he repeatedly refused to take the bait.

The tours of duty for US troops in Iraq of over 15 months is unprecedented, Johnson said. A unit in Iraq has 60% with Purple Hearts (meaning wounded in combat) – and presumably that's 60% of those left alive. There are now 24 and 36 month periods of combat for troops. Those in the administration who are pushing to attack Iran believe they'll crush Iran. Johnson calls this "faith-based war planning". He challenged men and women in the military to stand up and resign their commissions. Iran, if attacked, could shut down the US supply line through the south of Iraq.

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Bob Parry, an investigative journalist who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for AP and Newsweek in the 1980s, and who manages and writes for Consortiumnews.com, said that for many years now the neocons have targeted the press corps and the intelligence agencies, in a campaign of "perception management" aimed at "kicking the Vietnam syndrome." Groups like AIM (Accuracy in Media) attacked specific reporters. Reporters tended to back off certain types of stories, and their editors and managers preferred that anyway. The AP broke the Iran Contra stories, Parry said, because the New York Times and the Washington Post had backed off. When Clinton came in, the media was set on attacking him in order to shed its image as liberal. Parry found a document from Al Haig written to Reagan suggesting that Carter had given Saddam Hussein approval to invade Iran, but nobody wanted the story. So, eventually, Parry started trying to use the internet to communicate traditional honest journalism.

Kuznick described the spin-off neocon group called Accuracy in Academia, which he said had attacked him frequently. Here are the videos of the first panel:

For the second series of speeches, Ray McGovern did the introductions. Ray is a former CIA analyst who prepared the President's Daily Brief for Nixon and Reagan and gave morning briefings to Vice President Bush. He chaired National Intelligence Estimates. And he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS): http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/vips

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)

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