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Nov 2013 07

by Blogbot

This Thursday, November 7th on SuicideGirls Radio, hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide will be discussing feminism and porn – and whether feminist porn is an oxymoron – with award winning adult movie actor and director Kimberly Kane, SG model Adria Suicide, her partner artist-cum-x-rated-actor Zak Smith a.k.a. Zak Sabbath, and the sexually irrepressible recording artist Smoota.

You can listen – and watch – the world’s leading naked radio show live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com/LA.

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

[..]

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Nov 2013 05

Masterminds & Wingmen Author Rosalind Wiseman Talks Hooking Up, Raising Better Boys and How To Deal With Cyber Bullies

by Darrah de jour

Masterminds & Wingmen from James M. Edwards on Vimeo.

Author Rosalind Wiseman’s bestselling book Queen Bees & Wannabes was the inspiration for the film Mean Girls,Tina Fey’s hilarious and dead-on satire of high school hierarchies. Back when Lindsay Lohan could sincerely portray a wide-eyed new girl on campus, we all related as she struggled to fit in, be herself, and decode the oft confusing and conniving girl world. In Wiseman’s latest work, she turns her attention to boys; breaking the guy code for parents, educators and young men themselves. With suicide and incarceration rates of boys averaging five to eight times those of girls, this boy bible is needed more than ever. Revealing their capacity for deep emotional life, Wiseman, a foremost anti-bullying activist, offers an important foundation to better understand and communicate with today’s boys.

Darrah de jour: How did you get started as an educator and social justice advocate?

Rosalind Wiseman: Strangely enough, I started by teaching self defense to girls, shortly after I graduated from college. I fell into it, and started a non-profit. I very quickly got to a place of wanting to address the root causes of violence. I went into where girls and boys were and I ran a non-profit for about ten years. I wrote a curricula for social competence, bullying prevention, media literacy and ethical leadership that’s used in many schools and organizations to this day.

DDJ: I remember taking self defense and it had such a powerful effect on me. It even changed my dreams.

RW: Yes, makes sense to me. It’s so fundamental [to] our sense of power and self agency over our bodies. So, if we change that, and feel better about it, it really changes the way we walk through the world.

DDJ: Something particularly unique about your method of relating to teens is that you provide a safe space for them to share their stories and feelings. I remember after the Columbine shooting, when asked what he’d say to the shooters, Marilyn Manson famously replied, “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen to them. Which nobody else did.” What drew you to working with tweens and teens –– especially with relation to hot topics like bullying, self-esteem and cliques?

RW: This has been the only job I’ve ever had. I graduated from college and started working on these issues. Very quickly, as a young person in her early 20s, I was struck by how many adults were giving advice but weren’t listening to the kids. So the advice was not helpful. It was not reflective of what the kids were going through. It could be very patronizing. It’s an amazing thing to have to listen to advice from somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And if you try and argue or present a different point of view it’s perceived by some adults as being disrespectful. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t stand that we were teaching children but we were not doing our due diligence to present them with the best information possible. That included listening to them.

The other thing was that I was very concerned… I mean, we can tell people that they have the right to do something, but they have to be able to back up that right and navigate and advocate for themselves with really concrete skills. I was very focused on [the fact] that there were some kids that were above the law. Both boys and girls. They felt like they could do what they wanted with kids that didn’t have that kind of power. I wanted to be able to address those kinds of problems. If we had a chance of wanting school to be a safe place then we needed to address those problems.

DDJ: Absolutely. I grew up with a very dominant father who had an affinity for giving advice to me that was from left field. If I argued –– even if I was trying to connect — it was seen as disrespectful.

RW: When you have a parent who sees that kind of stuff as talking back, the kid develops two responses. One is that they learn to dominate like their parent did and that their opinion matters more than other people’s, or they learn to not advocate for themselves. Becoming an adult [for them] is learning to advocate for themselves, which is really tough stuff. If you talk about boys, you have so much cultural conditioning to take it, suck it up and deal. And then you feel incredibly lonely and you feel incredibly angry. And boys have such scripted rules on how they can express their anger. They sit on it, or they drink themselves into oblivion, or they punch a wall, or they go after somebody. It’s not fair. This is so fixable.

DDJ: You’ve written about the differences in “hooking up” and “hook up culture” between boys and girls. Can you outline some of the ways that hooking up affects girls and boys differently?

RW: First of all, hooking up means different things to different kids, and that’s totally fine. One of the things that really struck me when I was working with adult people, older people, was when we were talking about hooking up and I was talking about how a boy will feel really betrayed when he’s hooking up with a girlfriend or a girl he’s been hooking up with for a while, and then she hooks up with a couple of other boys and he finds out about it… the answer back was, ‘Did they have sex or did they not have sex? Did they have intercourse?’ I was like, ‘You don’t get it. That’s not the point.’ The point is that the boy felt betrayed. However he defines hooking up, it doesn’t matter. This whole thing that if you have sexual intercourse then it means more, or maybe a better way of saying it is, everything else doesn’t matter is totally ridiculous. It absolutely dismisses that person’s opinion or emotional reaction to the betrayal. So, here you have this 16-year-old boy who has a girl who messed around with him and three different guys and he has the right to be upset about this. Regardless of whether or not this girl had sex with these three other boys. That is a generational shift that is huge. So, you’ve got statistics that say teen pregnancy is down, rates of sexual intercourse are later, but I think –– and I think this is positive for the majority of kids –– that they talk about sex more easily with each other. As a boy, you know that a girl you’re hooking up with could hook up with someone else. And based on her social status, frankly –– and this is where the problem is –– she’s either gonna be able to hook up with whoever she wants and have no social consequences whatsoever or her social status will increase. Or, if she has low social status, then she will be really vulnerable to being attacked and dismissed, ridiculed and degraded as being a whore or a slut.

The majority of boys want to have sex, they want to hook up with people, but at the same time, just like girls –– you know girls want to hook up, have sex, mess around and not have responsibility, but those same people, the next day, might want something that’s really emotionally engaged.

DDJ: Is hooking up ever a good thing?

RW: I want teenagers to be able to come into their own sexuality in a sex positive way. The only way to do that is for young people to understand why that’s so hard and how that’s so hard in a gendered way. The legacy and the baggage that girls have about [that is] what stops them from being sex positive. I want girls to understand how to go up against somebody that attacks them for being a slut or a whore. I want a 13-year-old girl to clearly understand that a 17-year-old boy who’s asking her to go hang out with him for the night is somebody who wants the power dynamic to be in his court. That he’s going after her not because she’s cute but because she won’t be able to say no. I want the boys to understand that they also have the right to say no. That they don’t have to say yes to every single sexual advance that comes their way. I want boys to understand why girls are so unclear about what they do and do not want in their sexual interactions with them.

For girls and for boys, after girls have been sexually assaulted, these [are] things that we see when people pile on the victim and say, ‘you’re a whore, you’re a slut, how dare you come forward.’ I want them to understand that they are literally being co-opted into this system and participating in the degradation of someone. In the absence of that context, they fall prey to this really regressive kind of conversation –– or lack of conversation –– that adults rarely have with young people.

DDJ: I’m nodding emphatically over here. Let’s get back to that topic. You claim that boys have a deep emotional life. I’ve always felt that the traditional socialization of boys hampers their future evolution, which contributes to unhappy marriages, workaholism, and feelings of depression and alienation as men. How can we free boys’ ability to express emotions, without emasculating them?

RW: The women in their lives need to be strong authority figures with a good sense of humor, who have no problem saying, ‘Yeah, that — whatever that thing it is you just did — that is over the line. No, I don’t give a shit if you think I’m being uptight. Fuck off.’ And then laugh about it. To be able to handle when boys are pushing boundaries. As a mother I think it’s really important to deal with the legacy that we have around being in the presence of a man who is angry. There are women who are abusive to men, certainly. But being in the face of a man’s anger and capitulating or –– and we get this from any of our relationships –– the idea that it’s more important to maintain the relationship you have with somebody than how you’re treated in that relationship. Both boys and girls can have that in their friendship groups.

When mothers capitulate to their sons and don’t hold boundaries with their sons, their sons stop respecting them as an authority figure for everything and they lose the relationship and the intimacy that they wanted in the first place.

[Boys] don’t want to be emotionally stunted. At some point boys forget that they have the right to have a rich emotional life.

For dads, I think they’ve bought into the stereotype of boys being stupid and only caring about eating nachos and having sex. I do know that there are a lot of boys who want stronger, richer relationships with the men in their lives.

DDJ: As you know, I covered the Steubenville rape case for SuicideGirls. That case, and the gang rape and murder of a medical student in India, pushed the subject of sexual assault into the limelight and served as a trigger for a lot of people. These ghastly events proved to be pivotal ones. The accused Steubenville teens were convicted and new conversations around teen drinking and non-consensual sex were started. Furthermore, laws changed in India because of fervent activism there. How can young men form healthier attitudes about young women when so many societal signals – including those in the media –– cultivate violent and objectifying ones?

RW: The sound bites we give boys like “make healthy decisions…” If I could stop an adult from ever saying “make healthy decisions” again I would feel my job is done. I’m serious! (Laughs.) It’s like, do you hear how inane you are? Do you understand the complexities of life, and you think “make healthy decisions” is an appropriate and effective response? Yeah, sure.

My answer is, get away from sound bites –– which includes “You know, no means no, right?” It’s an important sound bite. Adults need to say that to boys, but they have to say it in a context, which is: if you are somebody who likes to party –– and I’m not going to judge you on this right now that’s a whole different conversation –– but if on chance, you like to socialize and that socializing includes alcohol or drugs and people taking pictures of each other doing things that are embarrassing or stupid, sober or drunk or high, if you do that and you’re a part of that situation and you see something that’s going off the rails, or you’re with somebody that is drunk, maybe not crazy, falling over drunk, but you’ve seen them at five other parties but they’ve managed themselves… We need to provide that kind of context. ‘No means no,’ I get it, but you need to understand there’s a reason people can communicate unclearly in those moments and they can say “maybe.” Maybe is not yes. Maybe, I don’t know, my friends are downstairs. When a woman says ‘my friends are downstairs’ that doesn’t mean she wants to have sex with you if her friends weren’t downstairs. That actually means she wants to leave. But how do you say that to a boy? Nobody talks about rape. But if we say “no means no” as a soundbite, a boy is going to think, ok, a boy is sober, a girl is sober and he’s forcing her down and she is saying stop, stop. That is not the way that most of these rapes are going down. So we need to give them a context for it.

Second thing is, we have to stop giving boys crappy advice about relationships, like girls put holes in condoms. Hook up Saturday, abort on Sunday. We have to recognize that boys are getting awful, awful advice from people in their own lives, not just the media.

We need men turning to the boy in their life during a commercial break and saying, ‘You’re in tenth grade now. You went to that party Saturday night and I’m not asking you what happened, but I just want you to know that stuff is complicated. I remember a friend of mine hooking up with a girl that I really liked and I didn’t know what to do about it. If you ever want to talk to me about it, I’m here.’ And a couple hours later, that boy’s probably going to say, ‘Hey, tell me that story again.’

DDJ: I was talking openly with a guy friend of mine… He said sometimes it’s confusing because a girl will say no, but she’s laughing and he doesn’t know if he should keep going or what. The messages guys are getting from their peers and maybe even their father is just to continue and the girl will eventually give in.

RW: Girls laugh because they are uncomfortable or they don’t want to be perceived as… you know that whole slut crap baggage is in your brain. Or you pretend that you’re clueless that this is happening, like ‘What? You want to have sex with me? Are you kidding?’ But that’s that slut language that’s in our head that makes it much harder for us to communicate clearly. Or you’re laughing because you’re nervous and you really don’t want to be doing this. And that’s what parents need to talk about or else they’re setting their children up for misinterpretation and assault.

DDJ: Do you do any work with gay, bi and transgender youth? How do their needs differ from those of their straight counterparts?

RW: Everybody wants to feel loved and acknowledged. It really varies by community. Some schools and communities are like, ‘Great.’ It’s not going to really do anything. Those boys would be able to talk to their straight friends about their relationships and be fine. There are schools in this country where that’s possible. Then, of course, there are places where you can’t do that and you’re ashamed and run out of town. It really depends on where you’re coming into your own and how stable your home life is. Because I’m straight and a female and married, it was always really important to me to be as adamantly outspoken as I could to support these kids and their rights.

DDJ: In Masterminds & Wingmen you cover topics like porn and video games. How much do you think male teens’ access to video games and free online porn, with little conversation about the reality of lovemaking, femininity, and the female experience, affects their interactions with girls?

RW: They’re gonna say it doesn’t. I get into very big debates with the boys about this. You could show me studies that say killing a prostitute in Grand Theft Auto 5 and then taking back the money that you gave her for her services does not impact your respect for women. I don’t really care. Boys that I really like and respect will say to me, ‘This has not affected my relationship with women and girls.’ They are modeling in my relationships with them their point. I respect what the boys are saying. But that and the torture part of it is where my line is. I don’t have a problem with first person shooter games. The thing I’m much more worried about is that online you’re calling girls fat, whore, slut, pig, whenever you hear a girl’s voice come online when you’re playing a multi-player game. You want to take the argument with me that this doesn’t disrespect girls, well then, the next time you’re in the middle of a game, and some guy starts flaming and trolling a girl you get up and you say, ‘No, this gamer girl has a right to be here, shut up!’ And, they’re not. They’re not coming to the girl’s defense, they’re not reporting the troll. You make those toxic environments in those games. It could be any game. If you stand up for a civil dialogue in those communities, then I will stop getting on your case about GTA 5. But, until then, come up with a different argument.

GTA 5 only has lower power women and degradation. There’s no sex-positive prostitute in GTA 5. That’s the only role they’re allowing women to play in this game. What does that say about the game designers? I’m just in the starting place of working with game designers about the culture in which their games are supporting.

DDJ: Do you think that reading Masterminds & Wingmen will help young men prepare for and navigate the beer-infused, highly competitive social landscape of college life?

RW: They can read Masterminds if they want, but I want them to read this free e-book I wrote for the boys called The Guide: Managing Douchebags, Recruiting Wingmen, and Attracting Who You Want. That’s for them. I put together The Guide with 200 guys about the most likely, annoying, frustrating, excruciatingly miserable experiences you might have in high school. The boys and I have worked in collaboration on what is the best way to get through these situations. It’s free and boys can download it. Men in their 20s have told me that it’s been really helpful.

Pick up Rosalind Wiseman’s new book Masterminds & Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World and stay in touch with her at: www.rosalindwiseman.com and on Facebook and Twitter.

Darrah is a freelance journalist and consultant, with a focus on sensuality, environmentalism, and fearless women in the media. She appears as a “Woman on the Street” on The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet and has contributed to The Conversation website. Her lifestyle writing and celebrity interviews have appeared in Marie Claire, Esquire and W, among others. She contributes author and filmmaker interviews to The Rumpus and Hollywood Today. Her dating confessions have appeared in GirlieGirl Army and xoJane. Darrah’s “Red, White and Femme” columns for SuicideGirls take a fresh look at females in America – investigating issues like gender, bisexuality, sex work, motherhood and more. Subscribe to her blog at Darrahdejour.com/, and friend her on Facebook.

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Oct 2013 22

by Blogbot

This Thursday, October 24th on SuicideGirls Radio, hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide will be joined in studio by artist/producer/musician Amir Derakh and former music industry insider turned investigative reporter Jason Leopold. The pair are both friends of SG – and are longtime besties IRL. Our panel will be completed by David Seaman, SG’s political correspondent.

You can listen – and watch – the world’s leading naked radio show live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com.

You’ll also be able to listen to our podcasts via Stitcherdownload the app now!

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

***

About Amir Derakh | @amirderakh

For over 20 years guitarist, songwriter, engineer, and producer Amir Derakh has been known as one of the musical pioneers of the Los Angeles area. He was awarded the prestigious “Most Promising Guitarist” by Gibson Guitars as a member, writer, and producer of the multi-platinum selling band Orgy. In addition, Amir is a fully qualified producer and engineer having earned his degree in Recording Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is responsible for the successes of many artists and has worked with several well-known bands such as The Eels (where he received an engineering Grammy nomination), Danzig, Coal Chamber, and most recently Mumiy Troll. He has also scored and created original music for movies, video games, and television including: Transformers, Underworld, Freaky Friday and the HBO series True Blood. Other projects include Julien-K (which he formed with fellow Orgy member Ryan Shuck), Dead By Sunrise (which features Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on vocals), and Circuit Freq an electro/techno duo with Anthony “Fu” Valcic. Amir also runs a very successful music label Circuit Freq Records.

***

About Jason Leopold | @JasonLeopold

Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government and civil liberties issues. He’s been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which included suing the FBI and forcing the agency to changes its policies. He is currently a contributing editor for Al Jazeera and is the recipient of a Freedom of Press Foundation grant. He’s the author of the national bestseller, News Junkie, and an investigative report, From Hopeful to Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah, which was published in the form of an ebook. Leopold’s investigative reporting highlights includes “Revised Guantanamo Force-Feed Policy Exposed,” a story based on a military document he exclusively obtained, and “Sold Into ‘A Piece of Hell’: A Death of Innocence at Gitmo,” about the suspicious death in September 2012 of prisoner Adnan Latif. A radio documentary about Leopold’s life, based on his book News Junkie, was broadcast by the award-winning podcast, Love + Radio and featured on NPR.

***

About David Seaman | @d_seaman

David Seaman is an independent journalist. He has been a lively guest on CNN Headline News, FOX News, ABC News Digital, among others, and on his humble YouTube channel, DavidSeamanOnline. Some say he was recently censored by a certain large media corporation for posting a little too much truth… Catch Seaman on his brand new crowd-funded Rise Morning Show (@RiseMorningShow). For more, find him on G+ and Twitter.

**UPDATE**

ICYMI: Last night’s show featuring in-studio guests Amir Derakh, Jason Leopold and David Seaman + Skype-in guests Justin Wedes and Rodney Deas of @OccupyWallStNYC and #DetroitSolidarity.



Video streaming by Ustream

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Jul 2013 15

by Blogbot

This Thursday July 18th on SuicideGirls Radio hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide, and guest co-host-in-residence Dell Cameron, will be joined in-studio by investigative journalist, truth seeker and news junkie Jason Leopold, who has reported extensively on Guantanamo Bay.

166 prisoners remain in indefinite limbo at the US military outpost, despite the fact that 86 of them have technically been cleared for release. Currently 81 are on hunger strike, with 45 of those being force fed – a horrific procedure which was graphically illustrated recently by Yasiin Bey a.k.a. Mos Def who volunteered to undergo it for a video produced by the human rights organization Reprieve UK [see above].

Despite campaigning on the promise of closing Guantanamo, conditions at the facility under Obama are worse than ever. A recent letter from Younous Chekkouri, an inmate who has been behind bars for more than 11 years, revealed that sexual abuse is commonly used as a deterrent to stop Guantanamo prisoners contacting their lawyers, family and friends (a claim that has been backed up by other inmates – see report below), and a FOIA request filed by Leopold exposed the fact that the Obama administration is aware that guards are routinely violating the military’s own Standard Operating Procedures.

Leopold has visited Guantanamo twice and therefore has a rare insight into what day-to-day life is like there. In an article entitled A Guantanamo Tour, which was published by Al Jazeera in January of this year, he reports:

Each cell has a bed, a metal sink and a metal toilet, leaving a functional living space little more than half the size of an average horse stall. Prisoners are allowed a Koran, as well as books and magazines to while away the years.

During a walk-through of an empty cellblock in Camp 5, we were led into the “media room,” about the size of a cell, where a dirty reclining chair faced a television set. At the foot of the recliner were leg shackles and next to the television set was a force-feeding kit, a grim reminder of the prolonged and widespread hunger strike that brought me here looking for answers.

All of the cells had surveillance cameras attached to the ceiling. Prison garb – white for compliant prisoners and orange for those who misbehave – was neatly laid out on a thin mattress pad along with toiletries provided to the inmates: toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.

Camp 5 is maximum security, holding the most troublesome prisoners in isolation 22 hours a day, with two hours out of their cells for showers and “recreation.”

Prisoners at Camp 6, on the other hand, were once allowed to leave their cells and mingle freely with other prisoners in a communal living arrangement where they shared meals, a recreation yard and gym privileges. There once was free access to satellite television, video games, DVDs, books and a wide range of comfort items.

That all changed two months into the hunger strike, when tensions flared and violence erupted, culminating in an April 13 pre-dawn raid by the guards. Since that time, occupants of Camp 6 have been confined to their cells in isolation, the same as residents of Camp 5. They are wakened as early as 3 a.m. for their two hours of recreation time.

The crackdown has done little to enhance relations between captors and captives, some of whom have spent more than a decade occupying this peculiar state of 8-by-10 limbo – untried, uncharged and with little hope of resolution.

Suicide attempts – some successful – have been documented among prisoners over the years. Now it seems the unprecedented hunger strike – a form of slow and deliberate mass suicide – is the only means of control at their disposal.

You can listen – and watch – SuicideGirls Radio live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com/LA.

You’ll also be able to listen to our podcasts via Stitcherdownload the app now!

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Jason Leopold | @JasonLeopold
Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government and civil liberties issues. He’s been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which included suing the FBI and forcing the agency to changes its policies.

He’s the author of the national bestseller, News Junkie, and an investigative report, From Hopeful to Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah, which was published in the form of an ebook. Leopold’s investigative reporting highlights includes “Revised Guantanamo Force-Feed Policy Exposed,” a story based on a military document he exclusively obtained, and “Sold Into ‘A Piece of Hell’: A Death of Innocence at Gitmo,” about the suspicious death in September 2012 of prisoner Adnan Latif. A radio documentary about Leopold’s life, based on his book News Junkie, was broadcast by the award-winning podcast, Love + Radio and featured on NPR.

**UPDATE**

ICYMI: Last night’s ‪#‎GITMO‬ To Go Show with investigative journalist, truth seeker and news junkie Jason Leopold, who has reported extensively on Guantanamo Bay.



Video streaming by Ustream

Here’s a link to the CNN “Names & Feces” CNN news/propaganda report Jason mentions during our conversation.

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Jul 2013 13

by Blogbot



Video streaming by Ustream

This past Thursday, July 27th, our show was devoted to the topic of Bradley Manning. Host Nicole Powers and guest co-host Dell Cameron (VICE) were joined via Skype by independent journalist Alexa O’Brien, artist and activist Clark Stoeckley (Wikileaks Truck), and RT America reporter Andrew Panda Blake, who have all spent quality time on the Fort Meade base observing the trial.

Alexa O’Brien has been called “a national treasure” by Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project for her work chronicling the Manning proceedings. Though working outside of the mainstream media, she has provided by far the most extensive coverage of the trial. During our 45 minute conversation, O’Brien talked about the unprecedented treatment Manning is receiving and the alarming precedents with regards to whistleblowers and the freedom of the press that the US government is trying to set with this case:

“Manning is being tried in a court martial, so it’s a military court…But what makes it unusual is here we have a whistleblower, or even if you want to call him a leaker, we have somebody who is a soldier who is being tried for aiding the enemy – without the intent to actually aid the enemy. He gave the information to a media organization, or he published it on the internet, and they’re charging him with aiding the enemy, even though he didn’t have that bad faith motive.

“The other thing that I think is really important about this trial, and unprecedented, is that he has charges against him that have never been used in either a federal court or in a military court. One of them is called “Wanton Publication” – this is where the government is trying to also control large data sets being published…

“It has co-aspects to it…It’s the fact that he leaked it to Wikileaks and the government’s trying to [frame] Wikileaks [as] this evil organization, and not a journalistic one, but it also has to do with the size of the leaks. You and I know that in this day and age, with data modeling and the like, large leaks are completely appropriate for the age this young man grew up in, which is basically the information age.

“But people always talk about aiding the enemy, and they should, but when we even take away the aiding the enemy charge, Manning is charged with 21 other charges that total 149 years if he’s convicted. So here we also see the government using the Espionage Act, which should be used for spies, is addition to aiding the enemy and everything else.”

O’Brien not only talked about the legal and moral aspects of the case, but gave an incredible insight into the character of the key players inside the Fort Meade military courtroom:

“The military prosecutors, they come into court, they talk about Al Qaeda and the enemy, and they talk about harming US soldiers – and there is no actual evidence of any harm, and that will come up later in the sentencing phase. They talk about the US and patriotism, and they’re very aggressive.

“And then you have the defense…

“David Coombs is an amazing defense attorney and he plays this case like a poker player, everything is very close to his chest. He’s not very vocal in the press, in fact Manning has never really talked to the media. He also has shielded his own defense tactics…And here we have him come into court and when David Coombs is actually cross examining he’s really likeable – immediately likeable – so he’s very disarming, but boy, he can really just cut apart witnesses, and he’ll do it with a smile and in a really respectful way. It’s really amazing to watch him.

“And then you have this judge, who is probably two generations older than Manning, and the questions that we have are ‘does she really understand the environment that Manning grew up in and his upbringing in the information age.’”

Our next guest was Clark Stoeckley, who is familiar to many activists as the man responsible for the art installation on wheels that is the Wikileaks Truck. Stoeckley, who comes from a military family, has been supporting Manning – and the truth – by sporting a “truth” T-shirt in court and serving as a courtroom sketch artist:

“I’ve sat in the courtroom in more seats than any other person ever, both in the courtroom, in the press room, in the theater, and the overflow trailer. I’ve tried to get as many different angles of this trial as possible. It’s a trial that I believe should be televised for the world to see…

“We’re going after the sources, and we’re going after those that report this information, rather than focusing on the misdeeds and the corruption of our governments and corporations.”

The illustrations featured in this blog post are all by Stoeckley, and will be collected together into a graphic book, The United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning, featuring quotes from the court transcripts.

In depth coverage of the trial has been noticeable by its absence in the mainstream media, which is why independent journalists like O’Brien and citizen journalists like Stoeckley have been so invaluable. One of the few outlets that has provided consistent coverage of the trial, somewhat ironically for such a historic US case, has been RT a.k.a. Russian Television. Andrew Panda Blake, a reporter for RT, has been covering the Manning beat and joined us for the final half hour of the show. Among other things, he gave us an insight into the incredibly harsh treatment an as-yet-to-be-convicted Manning received at the hands of the US government:

“He was arrested on 8/26 2010 and he was transferred to an 8 by 8 by 8 wire mesh cage in Kuwait, and the only things in the cage were a shelf and a toilet…When he testified a few month ago, he said, ‘I just thought I was going to die in that cage…’

“‪Manning said he thought he was being treated like an animal. He was there for almost two months, and then they flew him into BWI, that’s the Baltimore Airport, then brought him to Quantico in Northern Virginia. He was held in a Marine brig there in a cell that was 6 foot by 8 foot. He was only allowed out for 20 minutes per day while still in shackles…So he was in there for twenty-three and a half hours a day. He was forced to sleep from 1 PM to 11 PM – naked – and was only allowed to do so when facing his lamp. This was at the most extreme of his conditions, it wasn’t always this terrible. Pretty much the only thing he had in there was a mirror and he would make faces into it – that’s how he’d keep himself entertained…

Blake also gave us the run down of the possible outcomes for the trial, and the worrying precedents it might set:

“The trial is supposed to be all done by the end of the summer. Bradley has already admitted guilt to a handful of lesser crimes that would get him perhaps 20 years in prison. The prosecution said that that wasn’t good enough for them and they want to keep charging forth. They’re still trying to convict him on aiding the enemy, and if he gets convicted on aiding the enemy that could potentially be a life sentence…

“What really infuriates me more tha anything else about this case – aside from the terrible treatment that Private Manning had to endure – people aren’t responding to this case, and they are picking up on it to the degree that they should, but the repercussions that could happen if he’s convicted of aiding the enemy will seriously destroy freedom of the press, and potentially Western democracy. It’s such a blow to journalism and press freedom that the publication and the distribution of this documentation of war crimes warrants a potential death penalty. And it’s not even hyperbole because they have been trying to convict so many people for espionage that have only been exposing really terrible truths that the US government is guilty of and never would have admitted to.

***

SuicideGirls would like to thank all of our amazing guests for participating in our show – and for contributing to the public record of this historic trial.

***

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May 2013 28

by Blogbot

We killed the bill dead. So dead that when members of Congress propose something that even touches the Internet, they give a long speech beforehand about how it is definitely not at all like SOPA. So dead that when you ask Congressional staffers about it, they groan and shake their heads, like it’s all a bad dream they’re trying hard to forget. So dead, that it’s hard to believe this story. Hard to remember how close it all came to actually passing. Hard to remember how it could have been any other way.

But it wasn’t a dream, or a nightmare. It was all very real. And it will happen again. Sure, it will have a different name, and maybe a different excuse, and probably do its damage in a different way. But make no mistake. The enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared. The fire in those politicians’ eyes has not been put out.

There are a lot of powerful people who want to clamp down on the Internet. And, to be honest, there aren’t a whole lot who have a vested interest in protecting it. Even some of the biggest Internet companies, to put it frankly, would benefit from a world in which their little competitors could be censored.

We can’t let that happen.

– Aaron Swartz, Hacking Politics

Hacking Politics is a newly released book that chronicles the extraordinary fight against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), which culminated in the unprecedented Internet Blackout of January 18th, 2012.

Edited by David Segal and David Moon of Demand Progress, and Patrick Ruffini of Engage and Don’t Censor the Net, the book features essays from those who were on the frontlines of the battle against these draconian pieces of legislation that threatened not only online liberty but the very fabric of the web.

Included in the book are first-hand accounts from Lawrence Lessig (of Harvard Law School), Cory Doctorow (author and editor of BoingBoing), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (a Democratic Congress member since 1995), Mike Masnick (CEO and founder of Techdirt), Kim Dotcom (founder of Megaupload and Mega), Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit), and Derek Slater ( a Policy Manager on Google’s public policy team), among others. The book also includes two chapters by SG Editor Nicole Powers: an account of SuicideGirls’ involvement in the online protests, and an interview with Julie O’Dwyer, the mother of Richard O’Dwyer, the British student who faced extradition to the US on charges related to copyright infringement. Poignantly, the book also contains essays penned by online activist and Demand Progress co-founder Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide earlier this year after being charged with offenses under the outdated and overbroad CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act).

Though Swartz couldn’t see a way through his own fight, he and an unlikely coalition of left-leaning progressives, right-leaning tea partiers, non-partisan occupiers, blue chip corporations, underground activists, mainstream press outlets and fringe techno radicals successfully fought the Goliath RIAA and MPAA-funded political machine to defeat PIPA and SOPA.

Hacking Politics was put together to ensure that this epic battle is never forgotten, and to provide a greater understanding of the delicate and extensive behind-the-scenes negotiations that are required to mount such a successful grassroots campaign. Though seemingly spontaneous, the fight against PIPA and SOPA was far from unplanned. Hopefully Hacking Politics will provide not only the blueprint, but the inspiration for similar future online offensives against the onslaught of SOPA and PIPA-like legislation that threatens the freedom of the internet.

Hacking Politics: How Geeks, Progressives, the Tea Party, Gamers, Anarchists and Suits Teamed Up to Defeat SOPA and Save the Internet is available in paperback and as an eBook. For a limited time the eBook edition is available as a pay-what-you-wish download.

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