Monday, July 26, 2010

White House Condems Wikileaks Leak of Thousands of War Documents

Here is the press conference from the Wikileaks CEO Julian Assange defending the leak.  I say Wikileaks  is an essential part of our democracy.  The government default position is to classify everything and keep secret war time documents so leaks are essential to the populace so that we the people can have an idea of what is really going on with our government.

Check out the documents http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/war-logs.html"> here and I've tried the actual Wikileaks page and sometimes it's down.  

Julian Assange rejects accusation that publishing thousands of secret US military files about the war in Afghanistan has compromised America's national security


and then the White House response

Statement of National Security Advisor General James Jones on Wikileaks


The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents – the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.
The documents posted by Wikileaks reportedly cover a period of time from January 2004 to December 2009. On December 1, 2009, President Obama announced a new strategy with a substantial increase in resources for Afghanistan, and increased focus on al Qaeda and Taliban safe-havens in Pakistan, precisely because of the grave situation that had developed over several years. This shift in strategy addressed challenges in Afghanistan that were the subject of an exhaustive policy review last fall. We know that serious challenges lie ahead, but if Afghanistan is permitted to slide backwards, we will again face a threat from violent extremist groups like al Qaeda who will have more space to plot and train. That is why we are now focused on breaking the Taliban’s momentum and building Afghan capacity so that the Afghan government can begin to assume responsibility for its future. The United States remains committed to a strong, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan.
Since 2009, the United States and Pakistan have deepened our important bilateral partnership. Counter-terrorism cooperation has led to significant blows against al Qaeda’s leadership. The Pakistani military has gone on the offensive in Swat and South Waziristan, at great cost to the Pakistani military and people. The United States and Pakistan have also commenced a Strategic Dialogue, which has expanded cooperation on issues ranging from security to economic development. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also improved their bilateral ties, most recently through the completion of a Transit-Trade Agreement. Yet the Pakistani government – and Pakistan’s military and intelligence services – must continue their strategic shift against insurgent groups. The balance must shift decisively against al Qaeda and its extremist allies. U.S. support for Pakistan will continue to be focused on building Pakistani capacity to root out violent extremist groups, while supporting the aspirations of the Pakistani people.



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Register to Vote




Monday, July 5, 2010

Grandma

This week I'm going back to Chicago to attend a memorial gathering for my grandma who passed away earlier this year. I'm flying out on Wednesday and hopefully coming home maybe Tuesday or so. I am going to paint the garage, which is always interesting, and hang out with my parents and family who are going to be travelling to my parents place for the gathering. This is a pic of my grandma from 2004 when I visited with my puppy Maggie. It's sort of double sad because both Maggie and my grandma have passed on, so this picture is sad. My grandma LOVED dogs, cats, birds...any time of animal. She just had so much unconditional love for anyone she would meet (including animals.) I remember my grandma as a feisty woman who bowled, shopped (she loved to bring her purchased home and say something like 'well....this was on sale for $5.00 but I GOT IT FOR $2.75!) and volunteered her time at the local Glendale Heights hospital. I loved her so much as a kid, I was the youngest child, so I developed a special bond with her. When things would turn bad at the house because of an argument or whatever, I would always seek solace in her room. We would talk about things that were happening and she would talk about the events of the day, and it always made me feel better. No matter what was happening, I always felt so much better when I left her room. We kept secrets, and talked about the family or whatever was happening. She also had a special place in her heart for my cousins Dave, Joy and Hugh. She loved going over to their house in Wheaton, and spending time with them. All in all, I hope that the unconditional love that we received as kids can be reflected in our lives. I hope I can give as much unconditional love as she did to us.