Archive for the ‘Industrie’ Category

USA: No-drone Zones

Dienstag, Oktober 1st, 2013

“Map: Is Your State a No-Drone Zone?

Nine states have already passed laws restricting drone use. See where yours stands.

By Dana Liebelson | Mon Sep. 30, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

In less than two years, the United States will open its commercial airspace to drones, allowing these “unmanned aerial vehicles” to zip over American cities along with planes and helicopters. Tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and law enforcement agencies are intrigued by the possibilities—burrito drones! And the roughly $6-billion-a-year drone industry has launched a lobbying offensive to ensure Federal Aviation Administration regulations are as broad and permissive as possible. But lawmakers and civil liberties groups are concerned about the privacy implications and potential safety issues, and at least nine states have passed laws restricting drone use by law enforcement, private citizens, or both.

While drones were never banned in the United States, up until now their use has been strictly limited, with the FAA distributing a few hundred permits to researchers and law enforcement. But Congress has ordered the agency to open commercial airspace to a wide variety of unmanned vehicles by late 2015. And when it does, drones are bound to proliferate. The FAA anticipates there could be as many as 30,000 drones hurtling through US airspace by 2020.

Civil liberties advocates worry this trend could lead to abuses, with law enforcement agencies conducting unnecessary surveillance, especially given the lack of federal regulation governing the use of drones for law enforcement purposes. (At this point, it’s not even clear whether police need a warrant to collect data on people using drones). “It’s a core value in our society that the government doesn’t watch us and collect information about innocent people,” says Allie Bohm, an advocacy and policy strategist for the ACLU. “We need rules so that we can enjoy the benefits of this technology without becoming closer to a surveillance state.”

Politicians on both sides of the aisle share these concerns, and the FAA has promised it will take them into consideration during the rulemaking process. It plans to test privacy practices as part of its six-state pilot program, which will begin after the sites are chosen later this year. In the mean time, states are forging ahead with legislation that bars police from using drones, or at least using them without a warrant. A few states, including Texas, have also passed laws restricting private citizens from taking photos or videos with drones, while allowing law enforcement and other groups, such as licensed real estate brokers, to do so.

Our map above — which we will continue to update, with help from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the ACLU — shows which states have passed laws restricting drone use. Other states have drone legislation pending, so check with your legislature to see if a surveillance drone is coming to your hometown anytime soon.”



Dana Liebelson is a reporter in Mother Jones’ Washington bureau. Her work has also appeared in The Week, TIME’s Battleland, Truthout, OtherWords and Yahoo! News.


(Quelle: Mother


Siehe auch:

US-Army-Drohnen über Bayern

Turkmenistan/Oman: WikiLeaks-Enthüllung – Spionage-Software made in Germany?

Mittwoch, September 4th, 2013

Turkmenistan and Oman Negotiated to Buy Spy Software: Wikileaks

by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 4th, 2013

Turkmenistan and Oman have been negotiating with a consortium of British, German and Swiss companies to buy “FinFisher” software to spy on phone calls and Internet activity of unsuspecting targets, according to a new trove of documents just released by Wikileaks, the global whistleblowing organization.

Previously released promotional materials for FinFisher – a suite of software products manufactured by Gamma International, a UK company – claim that it can track locations of cell phones, break encryption to steal social media passwords, record calls including Skype chats, remotely operate built-in web cams and microphones on computers and even log every keystroke made by a user.

The new Wikileaks release includes contracts with the two countries that appear to be drawn up by Dreamlab Technologies in Bern, Switzerland, and Gamma International offices in Munich, Germany. If the documents are real, they will confirm claims by activists and researchers that the companies have attempted to sell surveillance software to governments with a decidedly mixed record on human rights.

"The corporate surveillance industry works hand in hand with governments throughout the world to enable illegitimate spying on citizens,” said Julian Assange, the editor in chief of WikiLeaks, in a statement issued with the documents. “WikiLeaks is committed to exposing and educating about this industry, with the goal that together we can build the understanding and the tools to protect ourselves, and each other, from its gaze."


Gamma first came to public notice when similar contract documents for its FinFisher software were discovered by Egyptian human rights activists inside the headquarters of former dictator Hosni Mubarak’s State Security Investigations service, which was notorious for repressing dissidents. The activists broke into the building after Mubarak was toppled in the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and found Egyptian evaluations of Gamma technology stored alongside hundreds of police batons and other equipment used for torture.

While Gamma did not deny that the FinFisher technology had been tested by the Egyptian government, the company did release a carefully worded statement saying that it had never “supplied any of its FinFisher suite of products or related training etc to the Egyptian government."

The new Wikileaks documents shed light on two projects that appear to have gone much further.


According to the new company documents released by Wikileaks, Nicolas Mayencourt, the CEO of Dreamlab, took a trip to Turkmenistan in 2010 with Thomas Fischer of Gamma International, with the objective of helping the government build “an Infection Proxy Infrastructure and Solution applicable nationwide for all international traffic the Turkmentel and TMCell networks” ie a way to monitor calls on the national mobile phone network.

An initial proposal was submitted to the Turkmen government by the two companies on October 11, 2010, according to the documents released by Wikileaks, followed by a revised 61 page agreement between Fischer and Mayencourt dated December 13, 2010 titled “Infection Proxy Project 1.”

The documents include an invoice from Dreamlab to Gamma for 874,819.70 Swiss Francs ($789,000) for a custom designed hardware package of Cisco switches, HP computers and Intel adaptors to be installed in the country together with Gamma software named FinSpy and FinFly, that comprise the FinFisher suite.

It is not clear from the documents if Turkmenistan actually signed the contract.

But Bill Marczak, a fellow at Citizen Lab and a PhD student at the University of California at Berkeley, who has published several reports on government spying technology, says that his prior research showed that FinFisher software was deployed on a Turkmenistan ministry of communications server last August.

On September 3, 2013, Marczak ran a check that confirmed that the software was still in place, and reviewed the company contracts for CorpWatch.

“The Turkmenistan documents match our finding of a FinSpy server on a network belonging to the Turkmenistan government,” Marczak said. “Gamma provides spyware … that gets injected into downloaded files and viewed webpages. DreamLab provides the hardware and software components necessary for the injection to work: the "infection proxy" that actually performs the injection of the spyware by rewriting webpages and files on-the-fly (hence the name "FinFly"), and hardware and software to target people based on DSL/cable/dial-up account names, mobile phone numbers etc.”

What makes the software “sneaky” is that it allows the Turkmen government to inject spyware into trusted webpages that are otherwise benign, says Marczak.

Other data released by Wikileaks shows that Holger Rumscheidt, the managing director of Elaman, another German company that often collaborates with Gamma, made a four day trip to Turkmenistan this past January, and another two day trip in mid-June. (Gamma offers two annual maintenance visits as part of the annual license fee)

Turkmenistan’s surveillance of its citizens has been documented in the past. “Servers … registered to the Ministry of Communications operated software that allowed the government to record Voice over Internet Protocol conversations, turn on cameras and microphones, and log keystrokes,” notes the most recent U.S. State department report on human rights in the country.

In addition to tracking its citizens, Turkmenistan government has long occupied one of the lowest ratings in the world for human right, according to activist groups like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch. “The country is virtually closed to independent scrutiny, media and religious freedoms are subject to draconian restrictions, and human rights defenders and other activists face the constant threat of government reprisal,” says the New York-based Human Rights Watch in its 2013 report on the country. “The government continues to use imprisonment as a tool for political retaliation.”


Gamma and Dreamlab also apparently collaborated in Oman.

The Wikileaks documents also show that Mayencourt of Dreamlab sent Fischer of Gamma an invoice for 408,743.55 Swiss Francs ($369,000) on June 12, 2010, for a very similar project to be installed in the Middle Eastern country. Payment was authorized by Stephan Oelkers of Gamma.

A subsequent 41 page agreement between Fischer and Mayencourt dated December 21, 2010 lays out the details for the “Monitoring system for iproxy-project” in Oman.

Marczak says that while the documents make it clear that the system is up and running, he has not identified FinFisher technology on any Omani servers yet.

The Omani government has also been criticized by activist groups like Human Rights Watch, which reported that authorities “restricted the freedoms of association and assembly, both in law and in practice.”

The latest U.S. State department report on Oman says that 32 individuals “received prison sentences for directly or indirectly criticizing the sultan in online fora and at peaceful protests” noting that three individuals, Mona Hardan, Talib al-Abry, and Mohammed al-Badi were imprisoned for 18 months for Facebook postings and Twitter comments deemed critical of the sultan.

Formal Complaint

Spying Is Cheaper By The Dozen

Newly released Wikileaks documents provide a fascinating insight into the cost of tracking people with Gamma’s Finfisher software suite.

A 2011 price manual  offers governments FinSpy software at four price levels, starting at €80,000 ($104,000) for up to 10 targets at the entry level, but the price drops dramatically for the “open” level which allows clients to target as many at 500 individuals for €200,000 ($260,000).

Additional options include a voice recording server at €20,000 ($26,000) and several different kinds of five day “intrusion” training modules either in the customer’s country or in Munich, Germany, for two to four students for €15,700 to €20,250. ($15,700 to $26,325)

Gamma’s sale of surveillance software to repressive regimes is currently the subject of formal complaint to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) by Privacy International, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders.

Unregulated trade with surveillance technologies in authoritarian states is one of the biggest threats to press freedom and human rights work on the Internet,” said Christian Mihr, Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders Germany when the groups filed their complaint on February 1 this year. “Exports of such digital arms have to be made subject to the same restrictions as foreign dealings with traditional arms.”

Email requests from CorpWatch to Fischer, Mayencourt and Rumscheidt, for comments on the Wikileaks documents were not returned by press time.

However, the company has responded to previous queries about sales to Turkmenistan. “The nature of our business does not allow us to disclose our customers, nor how they use our products and the results that are achieved with them,” Gamma International’s Munich-based managing director, Martin Muench, told by email last August. Gamma “complies with the national export regulations of the UK, United States and Germany and has never sold its products to any states that are restricted.”



BRD: Entwicklungshilfe?!

Samstag, Juni 29th, 2013

“Geschäfte mit Not und Tod

Soziologe Asit Datta über Hunger und Armut in der Welt und profitgierige Entwicklungshilfe

Asit Datta teilt die in dieser Woche in Berlin von Hilfsorganisationen geübte Kritik am Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung unter Dirk Niebel (FDP) und geht darüber hinaus. Geboren 1937 in Indien, studierte er in München und lehrte später an der Leibniz Universität Hannover. Er ist Gründungsmitglied von German Watch und Kuratoriumsmitglied der Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit. Anklage und Analyse vereint sein neues Buch »Armutszeugnis. Warum heute mehr Menschen hungern als vor 20 Jahren«. Mit dem emeritierten Professor sprach Karlen Vesper.

Hindu-Kinder im südindischen Bundesstaat Kashmir bitten um ein Schälchen Reis.⋌Fotos: dpa; Farooq Khan/Vesper

Hindu-Kinder im südindischen Bundesstaat Kashmir bitten um ein Schälchen Reis.⋌Fotos: dpa; Farooq Khan/Vesper

nd: Es gelingt offenbar trotz vielfacher Bemühungen engagierter Menschen und Organisationen nicht, das Übel Hunger aus der Welt zu schaffen. Woran liegt das?
Datta: Man muss kein Prophet sein, um zu wissen, dass das UN-Millenniumsziel, die Zahl der Armen und Hungernden bis zum Jahr 2015 zu halbieren, nicht erreicht wird. Prozentual mag die Zahl gesunken sein, doch absolut ist sie gestiegen. Über eine Milliarde Menschen hungern; täglich sterben 25 000, darunter 11 000 Kinder, an Armut und Unterernährung und den daraus folgenden Krankheiten.

Wie wird Armut bemessen?
Als Maßstab sind 1,25 Dollar pro Tag angesetzt, ungeachtet Inflation und Kursschwankungen. Aber lässt sich Armut so leicht definieren? Ich denke nicht.

Wie definieren Sie Armut?
Armut bedeutet, kein menschenwürdiges Leben führen zu können, dass man sich und seine Kinder nicht ausreichend ernähren kann, kein Dach über dem Kopf und keine Arbeit hat, nicht Bildung genießt und nicht an politischen Entscheidungsprozessen teilnehmen kann. Kurz, arm ist, wer von der Gesellschaft ausgeschlossen ist.

Was sind die gravierendsten Ursachen für Armut und Hunger?
Jedenfalls nicht das Wachstum der Weltbevölkerung, wie immer wieder seit Malthus behauptet wird. Die Menschheit hat im Laufe ihrer Geschichte durch neue Technologien die landwirtschaftliche Produktion stetig gesteigert. Es gibt es keinen Mangel an Lebensmitteln oder Agrarrohstoffen. Menschen hungern, weil sie keinen Zugang zu Nahrungsmitteln haben. Verantwortlich dafür sind vor allem der unfaire Handel zwischen Nord und Süd sowie die Börsenspekulationen mit Getreide und anderen Nahrungsmitteln. ● Hunger und Armut in der Welt sind also vor allem ein von den Wohlstandsgesellschaften verantwortetes Übel?

Natürlich zeitigen auch Naturkatastrophen und Klimawandel fatale Folgen, die aber mit vereinten Anstrengungen zu beheben sind. Hauptschuld an Armut und Hunger trägt die sogenannte Liberalisierung, die Politik des freien Marktes und freien Handels, wie sie in den 1980er Jahren von Margaret Thatcher und Ronald Reagan eingeleitet und im Washington Consensus festgeschrieben wurde.

Die Liberalen und Neoliberalen behaupten jedoch, nur der freie Markt bringt Wohlstand für alle?
Dass dies nicht stimmt, zeigt die immer weiter auseinander klaffende Schere zwischen Arm und Reich mittlerweile selbst in westlichen Staaten. Indien ist ein Beispiel, wie katastrophal es sich für Länder des Südens auswirkt, wenn sie die neoliberale Doktrin übernehmen. In absoluten Zahlen hungern in Indien heute die meisten Menschen, prozentual ist Afrika schlimmer dran. 13 Millionen Menschen sind in Afrika – vor allem in Äthiopien, Somalia, Südsudan und im Norden Kenias – vom Hungertod bedroht. Vor allem wegen (…).”




Pakistan: Solidarität mit Katastrophen-Opfern

Montag, Mai 27th, 2013

” ‘Stop factories from becoming slaughterhouses of workers ‘

Karachi workers stage rally to express solidarity with Baldia, Dhaka garment factories martyrs

Karachi, May 24: The governments and International Brands are directly responsible for the gory incidents in Ali Enterprises Baldia Karachi and garment factories of Dhaka, Bangladesh, as their criminal negligence resulted in loss of lives of thousands of innocent workers. Strict steps should be taken to ensure proper safety of workers and stop turning the factories into slaughterhouses of workers.
This was said by labor leaders, addressing a large rally in front of Karachi Press Club (KPC) here Friday, staged by National Trade Unions Federation Pakistan (NTUFP) to express solidarity with the martyrs of garment workers of Bangladesh.

They said to avoid repetition of Karachi and Dhaka tragedies it is necessary that local and international labor laws be strictly applied in all textile and garment factories. The international industrial safety standards for labor should be implemented to save the lives of workers.

A large number of workers, trade union activists, political leaders, representatives of human rights organizations, intellectuals and students attended the rally. Carrying banners and placards they chanted slogans demanding safety measures for the factory workers.

The speakers said millions of Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers are related to textile and garment industries; however, in both countries these workers are even deprived of the rights guaranteed to them under the local constitutions and labor laws. They said working conditions for these labors are very poor and they have to work 12 to 14 hours a day. They said hardly 3percent of these workers are registered with social security institutions. In their factories trade unions and collective bargaining agents are virtually non-existent. Many big factories, working for decades, have not even bothered to get themselves registered.

They said due to the pressure of influential industrialists, the process of labor inspection is put on the back burner. Resultantly, the number of industrial accidents has risen sharply. Three major human tragedies in such factories in short span of eight months have diverted the world attention to this sensitive issue. These incidents started with a huge fire in Ali Enterprises, Balida Karachi, burning alive more than 300 garment workers. Then in November 2012 more than 150 workers perished in fire in a Dhaka factory and recently more than 1200 workers died in collapse of a building in Dhaka, housing garments factories. All these incidents took place in the garment factories that make garments for renowned international brands. These international brands in order to maximize their profits through the use of cheap labor are violating all local and international laws.

They said it is a misfortune that in the 21st century after death of thousands of workers in these industrial accidents a discussion on the basic rights of workers has started. They said it is inevitable that the local and international labor laws should be implemented in consultation with the labor unions and workers’ organizations, and all international brands be made bound not to begin production till ensuring adherence to local and international labour standards and laws.

Paying glowing tributes to these martyrs, the speakers said their sacrifices would give a new spur to the international workers movement, and the repetition of these incidents would not be allowed. They welcomed the agreements between international brands and labor organizations especially “IndustriALL Global Union” after the Dhaka incidents and demanded that the sphere of these agreements should be extended to Pakistan and other countries. They demanded to give legal cover to these agreements and make bound the international brands to follow them. They criticized some international brands like Wal- Mart and GAP who have opposed these pacts and termed it anti-labor attitude.

The rally demanded adequate safety measures in all industries and factories. The use of social audit institute certification and code of conduct as substitute to labor laws should be declared illegal. The bereaved families of victims of Ali Enterprises Karachi and Rana Plaza Dhaka should be given compensation as per demands of the labor unions. The process of labor inspection should be revived and made further effective. All factories should be registered as per laws. All workers should be given appointment letters and social security cards. Labors should be given their rights of trade union and collective bargaining agent. The minimum wages should be fixed at Rs20000 per month. All international brands should be made bound to follow international labor standard.

Those spoke the rally include NTUF president Muhammad Rafiq Baloch, general secretary Ghani Zaman Awan, deputy general secretary Nasir Mansoor, labor leader Usman Baloch, Gul Rehman of Workers Rights Movement, Riaz Abbasi of Atlas Battery, NTUF Balochistan president Allah Warraya Lassi, president of Gadani Ship Breaking Labor Union Bashir Ahmed Mahmoodani, Ghulam Muhammad of Landhi Action Committee, Muhammad Aslam of Kohinoor Employees Union, president Al-Ettehad Power Looms Workers Union Abdul Muhammad, Shaikh Majeed of PIA, Muhammad Mubeen of Mactor Pharma, Razaq Kachelo, Rashid Abbasi and others

Issued by:
Nasir Mansoor
National Trade Unions Federation Pakistan
+92300 3587211 “



BRD: Wehrkraft zersetzen!

Donnerstag, März 21st, 2013

“Zielscheibe Mensch

30. Mai – 2. Juni 2013 in Villingen-Schwenningen

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
liebe Freundinnen und Freunde,

lange Zeit hatte die Friedensbewegung – auch die ärztliche Friedensorganisation IPPNW – ihren Blick besonders auf die Waffen gerichtet, die offensichtlich großen Schaden anrichten können: Atomwaffen, Interkontinentalraketen, Kampfflieger, Landminen. Aktuelle Zahlen des Roten Kreuzes belegen aber: 90 Prozent der Kriegsopfer sterben durch den Einsatz von Kleinwaffen, zwei Drittel durch Gewehrkugeln. Die meisten dieser Opfer sind Zivilisten aus Ländern des Südens.
Was geht uns das an? In vielen dieser Kriege wird um die Interessen der reichen Industrienationen gekämpft. Und getötet wird mit bei uns produzierten Gewehren. Die Traumatisierung der Verwundeten und ihrer Familien geht weit über die körperliche Verletzung hinaus.

Mit Heckler & Koch ist einer der führenden Kleinwaffenhersteller Europas im schönen Schwarzwaldstädtchen Oberndorf am Neckar beheimatet. Die Waffen werden exportiert, wohin immer es geht.

Nicht weit von Oberndorf, in Villingen-Schwenningen, wird vom 30. Mai bis 02. Juni 2013 der internationale Kongress zum Thema Kleinwaffen stattfinden. Organisiert von der IPPNW in Zusammenarbeit mit der Kampagne „Aktion Aufschrei – Stoppt den Waffenhandel“ werden sich Experten und Interessierte vieler Organisationen über die Auswirkungen dieser Waffen austauschen. Internationale Gäste z.B. aus Kenia, Iran, Nepal, und den USA werden ihr Wissen und ihre Erfahrung einbringen. In Vorträgen, Podiumsdiskussionen und Workshops wird es um die sozialen und medizinischen Folgen des Einsatzes und Handels mit Kleinwaffen gehen, um zukünftige Aktionen und Kampagnen zum Stopp der Rüstungsexporte. Die IPPNW wird alle zu einem Besuch bei Heckler & Koch in Oberndorf einladen, um ganz unmittelbar unseren Protest zu überbringen.

Unsere Kongressthemen:

  • Einführung zum Thema Kleinwaffen
  • Die Auswirkungen von Produktion, Verkauf und Einsatz von Kleinwaffen auf Gesundheit und Entwicklung
  • Wirtschaftliche Ursachen und Auswirkungen des globalen Waffenhandels
  • Heckler & Koch
  • Die ethische Dimension der Produktion, des Handels und des Einsatzes von Kleinwaffen
  • Die psychologische Dimension der Produktion und des Einsatzes von Kleinwaffen
  • Konversion – Die politischen Rahmenbedingungen für Alternativen zur Rüstungsproduktion
  • Lösungsansätze und Aktionen: Perspektiven auf internationaler, regionaler und nationaler Ebene

Sie sind herzlich eingeladen, daran teilzunehmen.

Dr. Helmut Lohrer
Für die Kongressvorbereitungsgruppe”


(Quelle: Zielscheibe Mensch)

USA: Sand im Getriebe

Samstag, Juli 28th, 2012

“Statement before Judge Nash, 12 April 2012

Hearing for disruption of Super Committee charge

By Leah Bolger (about the author)

I joined the U.S. Navy in 1980 and served on active duty for the next 20 years relatively ignorant of the vastness of the U.S. military machine and its deep-seated entrenchment with our government and economy. I had little understanding of the “military-industrial complex’ that President Eisenhower warned us about 50 years ago, and I certainly didn’t know what Major General Smedley Butler meant when he said that “War is a racket.”

Now I am beginning to understand the enormity of the power that the U.S. military machine holds. Capitalism is supposed to be an economic system”not a foreign policy–but war making has become very profitable. Profit means money and it is money that controls the power in our government. It doesn’t matter to the government that wars are immoral, illegal or ineffective. Government policies are shaped by the will of the corporate interests who have direct, immediate and in some cases, almost exclusive access to them.

And so it was in the case of the Super Committee–a hand-selected committee of 12 senators and representatives who were given extra-ordinary (some say extra-Constitutional) powers, met in secret, and solicited testimony from not one citizen. My own Congressman did not have access to this committee, but over 250 lobbyists did. I have come to understand what millions of Americans already know–that the will of the people is of little concern to those in power. We can demonstrate and petition and write letters until we are blue in the face, but those actions can’t compete with the power of the money coming from the lobbyists and corporate interests.

It takes an enormous amount of money to be elected to Congress, and once elected Congress is forced to perpetually raise money in order to be reelected. It is a never-ending vicious circle, and Congress quickly becomes beholden to the interests who financed their elections–not the people they are supposed to be representing. So it doesn’t matter to Congress that the American people rank military spending as their #18 priority, according to the National Opinion Research Center. The same poll has repeatedly shown the health care and education are the top two priorities of the American people by far, yet the allocation of our federal tax dollars is completely opposite that of the people’s desires.

Our elected government repeatedly and consistently ignores the will of the people. So, when I saw an opportunity at the Super Committee to literally stand up and speak out on behalf of the American people–I seized it. I knew I would be arrested, but I also knew that it was a unique and rare opportunity to make sure that the voice of the people was heard. I know that most people are not able to act as I did. It takes a certain amount of latitude in ones personal responsibilities to be able to come to Washington, stand trial, and face jail time–not to mention a good deal of chutzpah to be able to walk to the well of a senate hearing room and directly address Congress. Because most people cannot do what I did, I acted on their behalf. It seems the only way for the average citizen to be heard is through an act of civil disobedience, and indeed , I am the sole citizen who was heard by the Super Committee.

Many people who support me have asked me why I am pleading guilty. I am doing so because I readily admit what I did. It would be a waste of everyone’s time to force the government to prove that. But in pleading guilty to what I did, I am also pointing an accusing finger at our government, which is completely failing its people.

I have been charged with “Unlawful Conduct–Disruption of Congress.” My dictionary has two definitions for “disrupt.” The first is to interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem– which is what I did. The second definition says to “disrupt” is to drastically alter or destroy the structure of (something). I only wish that my 52-second interruption could have truly “disrupted” the status quo, because if anything needs to be drastically altered, it’s Congress.

I think your Honor understands that I committed this act out of a sense of responsibility and obligation. I am aware that the potential penalties that you may impose as a result of my guilty plea include community service and fines. I would like your Honor to know that at this point I do not intend to pay a fine beyond the victims of violent crime fund assessment. To do so would violate my personal values. One of the main reasons I committed this act is my objection to the reality that one must pay money in order to have the ear of Congress.

I would also object to the awarding of community service as a punishment. I consider the work that I do every day as a full-time volunteer antiwar activist to be a service to the community.

Lastly, I would like to thank the court for listening to my statement and considering all of the testimony that has been submitted on my behalf.


Leah Bolger spent 20 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy and retired in 2000 at the rank of Commander. She is currently a full-time peace activist and serves as the President of more…

(Quelle: OpEdNews.)


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