Resistance/ReleasingChaos a book(s) which looks at how to build resilient horizontal societies that can withstand attempts to dominate and coerce them.
Code will rule series which is designing actual tools, in technology and also in our governance and legal structures, that will help us in self-governance.
Getgee.xyz a project to create a universal database and trust network as a first step away from corporate control of our tools of collaboration.
Binding Chaos theories explained more clearly and broken down so people can more easily apply them.
This has been a very slow process because I have tried for years to accomplish everything according to how I wanted to work and it’s not working. So this is a note to say, if you want any of this work to be done in any reasonable time I need the kind of help that actually is a help, specifically funding and help spreading what I am trying to do. The writing is hard enough to do in spare minutes but the database really needs funding and help from coders, it’s not a one person job. I’ve made a post from last December public in the hope that it will inspire people to contribute. If you do see value in any of this work, please give a hand and feel free to specify what you would prefer I work on in the hours you pay for.
The short version of this talk is that we don’t need to rewrite any of the existing social media applications that are out there like Twitter, or Facebook, or Google or any of the rest of them. The reason I’d like you all to remember that one thing is because it seems like every week for the last many years, I receive an invitation to the beta site of the next social media platform that is going to replace the existing big platforms, or a new search engine. So much money and time and code. And I know a lot of you probably use alternative social media, but none of these alternatives have come within hailing distance of Twitter or Facebook or any of the existing platforms. And they are never going to. And the reason they are never going to is because none of them address the reasons why all of the big platforms are in service to the highest bidder instead of us, why they were tempted to become evil and what gave them the ability to become evil.
So what I’d like to do today is go over what I feel are the main problems preventing us from having productive collaborative tools on the Internet and reliable knowledge repositories and then I’d like to suggest how we can resolve those problems once and for all.
The biggest problems I can see to collaboration on the Internet can all come under one of three headings which are noise, thought bubbles and truth dictatorships. So noise …
This is not the most illustrative slide I could have used, I chose this of course so I can show you all that for all the years Klout had this Top Influencers feature, I was either the second or third influencer to the man who is currently the Prime Minister of Canada. Right behind Justin Beiber. I can guarantee you if I had any real influence over this man, many of his policies would be very different. And I’m pretty sure Justin Beiber doesn’t have much influence over him either.
But on social media as it is today, this picture, this perception of influence, can translate into real influence. To the point that the former Prime Minister of Canada actually had a very hyped photo op with Justin Beiber because the perception is that Justin Beiber’s influence is so great that he can amplify the Prime Minister of Canada.
The reason for that is we are governed by ponzi schemes of celebrity, wealth and power and in order to benefit from these ponzi schemes, we need to enable and support them. No one has ever become wealthy by being of assistance to someone trying to survive in the streets. No one has ever become a millionaire by raising a baby. If you want to acquire wealth, you need to be of service to the wealthy so they can distribute that wealth down to you. And in order to gain influence, you need to promote and agree with and amplify those with greater influence so they can raise you up. And just as crypto-currencies did nothing to change this algorithm online, social media did nothing to change the ponzi scheme of celebrity. All either of them did is reproduce the same algorithm with all of the physical barriers lifted, so we have the same ponzi schemes but now the results are instant, we have overnight crypto currency millionaires and instant social media celebrities. We need algorithms which reward us for being of service to those who need it most and we have algorithms that reward us for being of service to those who need it least.
The reason these ponzi schemes are preventing us from having useful collaboration is because not only is celebrity not real influence, the two are mutually exclusive.
What celebrity means is you are riding the peak of the wave of socially acceptable opinion. You already appeal to the widest audience. It means you have no thoughts in opposition to acceptable mainstream opinion, celebrities reflect the opinions we all already know and agree with. You are not a voice that is seldom heard, by definition, and you definitely don’t speak at a level of elite expertise that is difficult for all but a few to understand. Celebrity is Donald Trump. Someone who speaks at a grade 3 level. The more easily understood and the less challenging your message, the wider your appeal will be. Celebrities are the status quo so amplifying celebrities is just creating more noise for the status quo, and making it harder to find anything innovative or understand anything challenging.
So it is counter intuitive to think celebrities can influence us to move in a new direction. If we want to hear the voices that are seldom heard, that expand our Overton windows and give us some fresh perspective, or require some elite level of knowledge to explain some breakthrough of the kind we require to solve the problems in front of us today, amplifying celebrities is the exact opposite of what we ought to be doing.
The other noise the Internet has brought us is astroturfing.
A few years ago if you said something was astroturfing, people would look at you like you needed a tinfoil hat, but now this has become so mainstream most states brag about their cyber warfare and their cyber armies. This is all that is. It is propaganda designed to drown out all information the states and corporations who pay for it don’t want you to see. For those of you who don’t spend a lot of time on social media, this is what it looks like. Every time this man was in the news, for years, the Internet would be hit on all forums, on article comments and on social media by these bot armies. These ones have avatars of horses and dogs, sometimes they have eggs or the canadian flag, but they all do the same thing which is fill all the forums with aggressive and unintelligible comments that just serve to tie this person to certain keywords, in this case terrorism.
Astroturfing is really annoying. It can be intimidating or frightening, some of it is really aggressive. It contributes a great deal to all the noise we have to wade through looking for signal. It is frustrating, you never know if you are talking to a real person or wasting your time with a bot, and it is very chilling to online conversation. It has made Twitter especially almost unusable for rational conversation.
The next problem is probably the most disappointing to those of us who were around when the Internet became a thing.
The most exciting thing for most of us I think in the early days of the Internet or even bbs’s, the most exciting thing was being able to connect with people who you never dreamed you would ever be able to connect to. And I don’t just mean people across the world, we have google translate so now we can understand them, but people with perspectives that you would never dream you would be able to have a conversation with, much less find empathy and common ground, but if you talked to them long enough you began to find that you do have common ground and you begin to understand their viewpoint a little more even if you don’t agree with it. You can begin to make some accommodations and sometimes we even change each others opinions online.
But it turns out this only happens until a forum reaches a certain size. Once a forum has reached a certain size and the people there have spent enough years with each other and discussed enough topics and reached some consensus around many topics, what happens is they start to create their own culture and develop their own ideas of what are acceptable viewpoints, and their own ideas that it is taboo to hold just like all cultures do. And then what happens when an opposing viewpoint comes into these forums is they are pushed out and shunned till they go off and create their own little thought bubbles of people who agree with them. And just as they weren’t allowed to participate in the main forums, they push out everyone who disagrees with them. And they bring all the supporting documentation that supports only their ideas. Then Facebook and Google see what they are interested in and feed them even more information in support of their views. So they begin to see only one viewpoint ever and they live in this little purified thought bubble where only their thoughts exist, just like the main larger forum is also now living in a purified thought bubble, but this thought bubble is created in opposition to the thought in the main bubble. So it is like a little cancer there. It is like an auto-immune disease that the wider society is usually not even aware it has or it doesn’t take them seriously until you get someone like an Elliot Rodger who comes out and kills a bunch of people they have been taught to hate.
Then when that does happen, the wider society does not typically come out and say, Oh, we have alienated all of these people, how did that happen and what can we do to re-establish communication and reach some common ground? What usually happens is the smaller group is vilified even more and shunned even harder so they become even more alienated and it creates an even deeper divide.
We have always had sectarianism, of course, sectarianism has been with the world for a very long time, but it used to be something that happened more between you and people ‘over there’, people you never saw or communicated with. Now thanks to the Internet we can never communicate with people we live right next door to and the sectarianism is more and more within our own societies. And yes, a lot of it was always there as classism, sexism, racism and other bigotry that was just painted over and the thought bubbles are useful to be able to be heard and explore things you can’t in wider society, but there reaches a point where the divergent viewpoints need to come together and seek resolution and that is where we are failing.
Also this is not all happening organically, definitely it is also something that is being helped along by the same type of people who brought us astroturfing, there are people on the internet who are there to promote division, and profiting from it. But whether it is organic or manufactured it is a problem we need to address.
This next slide I always feel should be Wikipedia’s landing page.
These are what I call truth dictatorships. This is where you have group of people and they all have to come to consensus, they all have to agree, and what they are looking for is the truth. So they all have to fight about which is the truthiest truth, and once they have lined up all their truthy truths they have to rank them all in order of importance. These truth dictatorships are of course great at promoting the status quo, and celebrity ponzi schemes, they create thought bubbles, but they have a special added feature I call photoshopping. Photoshopping is where you take every story and you just erase everything that doesn’t suit your world view by saying it’s not the most relevant part of the story. Wikipedia is great at this, you can spend weeks clicking through that site and never find anyone that is not a caucasian man. I used to say women didn’t need anonymity, we all come with built in proxy routing, everything we say is routed through the nearest man. But actually there are many parts of society that could say that.
But here is an unusual example.
Here is a person who is running for president of the United States, for the second time. But there is nothing on her Google blurb to indicate that. That wouldn’t be at all unusual if she was from anywhere else in the world, but if there is one group of people at the pinnacle of the celebrity ponzi scheme it is the US. Their never ending spectacle of an election is impossible to escape on any media but especially on Google.
Here is what Google shows for every candidate from the two main parties, and this is his first run and he did not even get the nomination of his party. But there is a huge amount of information on all of his policies on every topic, it is really obvious that he is running for the presidency. This is what you get for the candidates from either of the two main parties but not any third party candidates.
But Google is just a search engine. It is obvious they got their blurb from Wikipedia, they probably got the policy information from another third party site, so this isn’t really fair. Google can’t help what it finds on the Internet. So let’s just ask them.
Google, who is running for president of the United States?
And they flat out lie. We can’t blame this on anyone else, this is Google’s answer and they flat out lie. We didn’t ask who are the candidates from the two main parties, we asked who is running, end of, and they photoshopped out everyone else.
And if you like we can click that article below from the New York Times with the same heading to see how mainstream media does
And we get the same thing. Photoshopped again.
So this is where social media would really shine. When you can’t trust the big corporations like Google and NYT, we can rely on each other to keep ourselves informed, that’s why social media was so exciting.
So let’s look at this same candidate on Twitter.
Those of you who don’t follow a lot of people from the US on Twitter probably don’t see what’s strange about this, but Twitter has this thing called blue checks. What Twitter says a blue check means is it means that you are really important. It means you are a real person, and you are an extremely important person. What it actually means is you are from the US and you are probably a caucasian man. For years, no African heads of state had blue checks and most don’t even now. Outside of the US it is very difficult to get a blue check. But within the US, the most tenuous connection to politics, to tech, to journalism, to Twitter’s frat boy parties … the most random people have blue checks.
So you can see how this would be really confusing if you lived in the US and you wanted to know who you can vote for in your federal election. This person says she’s a third party candidate, but she can’t be a very serious candidate because she doesn’t even have a blue check and even the neighbour boy down the street has one.
And that’s what photoshopping is. If she doesn’t exist, you can’t vote for her.
So, noise, thought bubbles and truth dictatorships.
The problem here is not with the software, it is the way the web was designed. Just like crypto-currency did not change the algorithm that creates ponzi schemes of wealth and social media did not change the algorithm that brought us ponzi schemes of celebrity, the web did not change the ponzi schemes of information and it was not designed to. The web was created to mirror academia. Isolated pages of information citing other isolated pages of information. It was never designed for mass collaboration. We hear so much about walled gardens, but the Internet is a series of sealed wells. Even if we have access to everything on the surface, we do not have access to the information in the wells that is feeding all the life on the surface. And to add insult to injury, we created everything in those wells.
Look at these logos for a minute. And think about the amount of money each of these logos represents. The last I checked, alibaba was worth 65 billion. Uber is worth 60 billion. Airbnb is over 25 billion. And what do these corporations do? In every case, these corporations are a page that seals a well of user created information. The only service they provide is web hosting. Yes, I know they have written a lot of front end software and many of them have released a lot of great software to the open source community and that’s great, but that is not where the value is. If it was we wouldn’t be getting it for free. The value is in what the users created, our data.
And think about the control these corporations exercises over all of our data, which is our work, our networks. From monitoring our shopping habits to Facebook deciding to what mood we are in or whether we vote.
There is no point in creating another Twitter, another Facebook, another Google, another thought bubble with its own sealed well that doesn’t address any of these problems.
This control of user information is what created the fertile ground for corruption in the first place. Control corrupts. Absolute control corrupts absolutely.
We have free software. We are working on free networks. We need free databases.
So if we were to release all these 100s or 1000s of billions of dollars worth of value and put it back into the global commons and return control to the people who created this data, how would we do that? How would we create a universal global commons database that we were all free to use in any way we like?
So given that we want to deal with a database, here is a little 2 button app that does everything we ever do with databases. We can search, or we can log in and create, update and delete. And there are five entity types that I think will allow us to do everything we do in any of those applications.
What these entities are is stripped down atomic objects that we can use to create larger meaning from. If you look at me as an object, any attributes you were to identify are very subjectively important. I used to say my official documentation decided the most important things about me were my name, date of birth and gender and they could just as easily have used my eye colour but now my official documentation does not require gender and it does require an iris scan so I guess someone agreed with me. But almost anything you can say is very subjectively important and changeable, so these are extremely stripped down entities. A person node is only an optional start and end date, usually correlating to date of birth and date of death, and a name. And we can all agree on just a name as a base data node we can all link to, right?
Of course not.
How many of you remember what happened on Wikipedia when Chelsea changed her name from Bradley Manning to Chelsea Manning? If you missed this you really should look it up. It is the most perfect illustration of why we can’t have nice things in truth dictatorships. It was amazing, days of war waged over, who is the official authority for Chelsea’s name? Does she get to decide what her name is, or is her government the authority we should listen to? Or maybe we should rely on the journalists who write about her to decide. Was she more relevant when she was called Chelsea or when she was called Bradley, and should we use that to decide what her name should be? This is why we can’t have nice things in co-operative dictatorships.
The answer is really easy, Wikipedia.
These are two temporal realities of the same object. This is a hypernode. She was Bradley, now she’s Chelsea. It doesn’t matter which you choose, no one is going to argue with you, and your work will still appear associated with this same object.
These are temporal realities, she was Bradley, now she’s Chelsea, but there are also other kinds of realities.
Here is a perceptive reality. Las Malvinas, The Falklands, or if you are the UN and you just don’t want to get into it, they are still the same islands and whichever you choose, your work will still appear. Or if you like, you can call them The Penguin Rocks. Go for it, create a new reality, call them The Penguin Rocks, nobody cares, you don’t have to ask permission and no one is going to stop you, they will still be linked to the same rocks in the middle of the ocean.
But this brings us to a problem. How are people to know that The Penguin Rocks are not a name that serious people call these islands? There are couple of ways we can get around that. First, we can let them say they are joking, put a little fiction toggle on that reality and anyone can choose to filter it out. And the second is we use trust networks. We don’t have likes, we don’t have stars, or hearts or friends or followers, we have trust networks. A trust network is exactly like it sounds, people whose judgement we rely on. If you filter your search results within 2 or 3 degrees of your trust network and these Penguin Rocks don’t show up, it’s a good chance they are spam or astroturfing or trolls. So as long as you keep your trust network clean we are back to a place where we can actually work with the Internet again and we can filter out all those people who have made collaborating on the Internet impossible for all these years.
So we have three reality types, we have temporal, perceptive, and linguistic which is just like it sounds. And we have 5 entity types. And the reason we have these different reality and entity types by the way is because they have slightly different attributes so we can do things like attach geotags to events and organizations and map them or string temporal realities along in a timeline. So that’s nice. But it’s still not terribly useful or meaningful. There’s still not much we can do with this as an application. We have a global commons of data, we can all pull from it, that’s nice but in order to actually pull any meaning from it, if you look at me again as an object, there is very little you can say about me without relating me to another data object. I did this for this organization, I was this to this person, I did that at that event.
Usually these types of relationships are part of a schema that is part of the application developed by programmers. If this is ebay there is a programmer somewhere saying this is a buyer, this is a seller, this is a product and so on. But these things do not have to be coded by programmers and in fact they shouldn’t be. Programmers don’t know how users are going to use their data. People are always going off and doing peculiar things with the data and then programmers have to change the schema and it is usually difficult. So we can just allow users to create category trees like this to map all possible categories for each of the 5 entity types and every relationship between them.
This is beyond the ability or the interest of the average user, to create a schema for all these relationships, but it is not beyond the ability of a data analyst with knowledge of the sector. This is like blog themes, a blog platform gives you the ability to create blogs but if nice people create themes for it they provide more versatility and usability for a greater number of use cases. So if data analysts create category trees, users can pull them in to use in their own work.
If you remember the little 2 button app I showed you earlier, there were three places you could create. One was the Universe which had all the data nodes in the global commons, but there were also constellations and galaxies. A constellation is your own autonomous space where you can work by yourself or add editors or open it up to however many degrees of your trust network. In a constellation, you can take data nodes out of the data commons, use a category tree that some nice person has made and map all your data.
Here is a database most of you are probably familiar with. It’s called littlesis.org and it’s great.
This is really nice, someone has written a little d3 front end and they let you embed this graph in your work or share it on social media or export the data. But it’s still a sealed well. If you want to add any data to it, or add any front end functionality, you have to go through littlesis. Or export the data to your own sealed well and not collaborate with them at all. If this was on G, that little 2 button app we saw earlier, anyone could use the exact same category schema and create data in the exact same format as this. If you tapped on one of these nodes you would see everyone else’s work associated with it, even if they used entirely different category trees or had completely different ideas of what was important. Imagine if this was the Panama Papers data. ICIJ could have just created a constellation and added them all as editors and just mapped the data as they found it for us all to see. Then we could create our same constellations around the same data nodes so they could see oh, that person was also involved in this corporation, we should run a search on everyone else in that corporation as well. And even if they still hoarded all of the data, we could share information from the beginning and it would have been so much faster and more productive. And we would have the data in a usable format. They actually did use linkurious to map it all, we could have had all that in a global commons for us all to build from instead of these unusable wall of text articles everywhere.
And you could add any front end functionality you want.
Usually in an app you just have the programmers and the users. But once we decouple the database and the trust networks we’ve got the core programmers for the database, the data analysts who create the category trees, the researchers and journalists who map everything in constellations, and then the users can take those constellations and add their own meaning and functionality. Suppose you were a taxi driver. You could create a constellation of all your local taxi drivers, and then someone else could gather all the constellations of all the taxi drivers and have a global database of taxi drivers. Novel new idea. We just took 60 billion dollars worth of value from Uber. Or you could filter that database down to just your region and within one degree of trust and you can download that galaxy onto your phone and add a little bit of front end software that adds functionality for you like paying your taxi driver.
Or if you are a politician, suppose you are a pirate politician and you have a blog, but you also belong to the pirate party of Germany and an international galaxy someone has created of all the environmental groups from all the pirate constellations. Now you can add blogs at every level, or loomio decision making software, or schedules or whatever you like.
Because now that we have split out the databases and trust networks, all those unicorn corporations we saw earlier are reduced to their real value which is bits of front end software that provide some collaborative tool or whatever it is they do.
And now users have their choice back. If any of that software starts antagonizing its users, they can just get rid of it and use something else and they will not lose all the work and the networks they have spent years building up. And they can choose the functionality they want. They don’t have to go through facebook for everything whether they are logged in or not, they can have a little stripped down read only app on their phone and a giant application on their laptop because it is not one product now it is an ecosystem, anything can be replaced without destroying the whole. And it doesn’t matter what application you use, you can still collaborate with everyone else because that happens at the data level.
So we have a way to filter out astroturfing and spam. We don’t have celebrity ponzi schemes now because it is all about the people doing the work. We can isolate ourselves but we can’t create community thought bubbles, everyone has control of their own information. We have diversity of opinion and we allow for different realities. And we can let our own trust networks decide what we want to be shown and not leave it up to Facebook and Google.
Right now I’m rewriting this in React and Meteor 1.3. If anyone wnts to help, money is welcome, pull requests are welcome.
G is a universal database and trust network which can be used for the most popular software applications today.
Technology corporations have lately become incredibly wealthy and powerful by controlling and exploiting access to the information we all create. These corporations abuse the control they exercise over all of our data, our work and our networks, because they can and because it is profitable for them to do so. From monitoring our shopping and browsing habits to manipulating what mood we are in or whether we vote, these corporations are replacing our traditional governance and media structures with corporate dictatorships that have no social interest and exist to provide maximum profit for shareholders. Their users tolerate this abusive relationship because they don’t want to lose all the years worth of data or the networks of contacts they have created.
In past years, a great deal of money, time and code have been spent in trying to address the problems with the existing platforms by replacing them with duplicate alternatives but the problems outlined in this document are not the fault of any particular software. They are a fault in the way the web was designed. The web was never designed for mass collaboration. It was created to mirror academia, to have isolated pages of information citing isolated pages of information. The Internet now is primarily databases, not pages of information, so the result is an Internet constructed as a series of pages controlling access to sealed wells of information. Even if we have access to every page on the Internet, we never have full access to the sealed wells, collaboration across them is difficult to impossible, and the data in them is controlled by corporations and used in ways we did not consent to. To add insult to injury, we created all the information in those sealed wells.
There is no point in creating another Twitter, another Facebook, another Google, another thought bubble with its own sealed well that doesn’t address any of the root problems that allowed these platforms to disregard the wishes of their users. The corporate control of user information is what created the fertile ground for corruption in the first place.
Control corrupts. Absolute control corrupts absolutely.
A universal database and trust network will return control of our data to the users who created it while still allowing for mass collaboration. If any application software starts antagonizing its users, they can just get rid of it and use something else without losing all the work and networks they have spent years building up. They can also choose the functionality they want. The structure is an ecosystem, anything can be replaced without destroying the whole.
This project needs both funding and more expertise to help provide resilient hosting and ongoing development. Contact me at HeatherMarsh@riseup.net.
Sealed wells of user created information
In every case, the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate value represented by the logos below comes from a page that seals a well of user created information. The only service these platforms provide is web hosting. They have written a lot of front end software and many of them have released a lot of great software to the open source community but that is not where the value is. If it was, we wouldn’t be getting it for free. The value in all cases is the user generated data they control access to.
G decouples the databases and trust networks so a person could replace the functionality of any of applications below and still retain all of their data and contacts under a different front end. This reduces the value of nearly all the unicorn corporations in existence right now to just a piece of application software that provides some functionality on top of the user controlled data. G reduces the corporate control to control over only their own software product, not user data. It also allows collaboration at the data level so collaborators do not have to agree on a single piece of application software and that can be left to individual choice.
We have free software. We are working on free networks. We need free databases.
Examples of this type of coercion have been seen recently in the automated twelve hour Twitter trend of an English hashtag in support of the Brazil coup and a massive (and also English) astroturf campaign in support of a 2014 attempted coup in Venezuela. The purpose of these campaigns is to give the appearance of widespread grassroots support for coups which subvert democracy and skew outside perception. Foreign governments can then quickly accept the new corporate friendly presidents as was seen in the Paraguay coup of 2012, accepted by both Canada (Rio Tinto et al) and the U.S. (Monsanto et al) within hours.
Another example of online manipulation to influence election outcomes in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela is described by current Colombian prisoner Andrés Sepúlveda in a recent article in Bloomberg. The techniques described in the article are very familiar to online activists and are used by states and corporations globally. In an election as long as the US, even 4chan has the opportunity to manipulate and increase sectarianismto their heart’s content. Election manipulation goes beyond influencing opinion and also tracks and predicts individual voting preferences, a far more dangerous subversion of democracy.
Every form of open and hidden advertising designed to manipulate the public is practiced by these platforms, including hiding information which corporations want hidden and gathering personal data for advertisers.
Astroturfing is propaganda designed to simulate grass roots movements and drown out all information the states and corporations who pay for it don’t want seen. Astroturfing can be intimidating or frightening as some of it is very aggressive and threatening. It is frustrating, as you never know if you are talking to a real person or wasting your time with a bot. It contributes a great deal to all the noise we have to wade through looking for information, and it is very chilling to online conversation. It has made social media, especially Twitter, almost unusable for dialogue.
Celebrity ponzi schemes
We are governed by ponzi schemes of celebrity, wealth and power and in order to benefit from these ponzi schemes, we need to enable and support them. No one has ever become wealthy by being of assistance to someone trying to survive in the streets. No one has ever become a millionaire by raising a baby. If you want to acquire wealth, you need to be of service to the wealthy so they can distribute that wealth down to you. In order to gain influence, you need to promote and amplify those with greater influence so they can raise you up.
Crypto-currencies did nothing to change the algorithm that brought us ponzi schemes of wealth and social media did nothing to change the algorithm that brought us ponzi schemes of celebrity. All either of them did is reproduce the same algorithm with all of the physical barriers lifted, so now the results are instant, we have overnight crypto currency millionaires and instant social media celebrities. We need algorithms which reward us for amplifying and being of service to those who need it most and we have algorithms that reward us for amplifying and being of service to those who need it least.
Celebrity ponzi schemes are particularly harmful because not only is celebrity not real influence, the two are mutually exclusive. Celebrities are those riding the peak of the wave of mainstream opinion. They have no thoughts in opposition to acceptable mainstream opinion. They are not voices that are seldom heard, by definition. They definitely don’t speak at a level of elite expertise. Celebrities are people like Donald Trump, someone who speaks at a grade 3 level. The more people who can understand and agree with their message, the wider their appeal will be. It is counter intuitive to think celebrities can influence us to move in a new direction. If we want to hear the voices that are seldom heard, that expand our Overton windows and give us some fresh perspective, or require some elite level of knowledge to explain some breakthrough of the kind we require to solve the problems in front of us today, or challenge our current opinions by presenting opposing thought, amplifying celebrities is the exact opposite of what we ought to be doing. Celebrity amplification is creating noise which drowns out the thoughts we need to hear and keeps us stuck in the same place.
Once online forums reach a certain size and age and the members have reached some consensus around many topics, they start to create their own culture and develop their own ideas of what are acceptable viewpoints and what ideas are taboo, like all cultures do. At that point, any opposing viewpoints are pushed out and shunned till they go off and create their own little thought bubbles of people who agree with them. Just as they weren’t allowed to participate in the main forums, the smaller thought bubbles also typically push out everyone who disagrees with them and collect resources that support only their ideas. When Facebook and Google see what each group are interested in, they feed them even more information in support of their existing views so each side begins to live in purified thought bubbles where only their thoughts exist.
While affinity groups are very beneficial, and small thought bubbles can be useful for formulating viewpoints in opposition to those held by wider society, without transparency, communication and reconciliation between thought bubbles these online forums are contributing increasingly to intolerance and sectarianism within our societies. This division is also being helped along by the same people who brought us astroturfing, some people profit greatly from our division and are fostering it online.
Truth dictatorships are co-operative groups which all have to come to consensus over ‘the truth’ or ‘facts’. First they all fight about which truth is the most truthy, then they rank them all in order of importance, then they present the result as authoritative fact. Truth dictatorships are great at promoting the status quo and celebrity ponzi schemes, they are themselves thought bubbles, and they have a special added feature I call photoshopping. Photoshopping is where those writing history erase everything that doesn’t suit their world view by saying it’s not the most relevant part of the story. Wikipedia is a great example of this. You can spend weeks clicking Wikipedia links and never find anyone that is not a caucasian man as Wikipedia editors have decided that caucasian men are the only relevant parts of every story.
G replaces the traditional stand alone app structure with an ecosystem of five layers. The database and the trust networks are the base layer, data analysts create category trees for the relationships in different applications, researchers and journalists map relationships between data objects in constellations, and users search, join and filter those constellations into read only galaxies. The final layer is the application software that provides some collaborative tool or other functionality.
With G, we filter out astroturfing and spam using trust networks. We don’t have celebrity ponzi schemes because the structure promotes the people contributing work instead. We can isolate ourselves but we can’t create community thought bubbles because everyone has control of their own information filters. We have diversity of opinion and we allow for different realities. We let our own trust networks decide what is important to show us instead of leaving it up to Facebook and Google.
G is accessed through a two button app that does everything we ever do with databases. We can search, or we can log in and create, update and delete. The places we can create are Universe, Constellations, Galaxies and Metaverse. G allows users to add plug in applications to provide any functionality they like at the User, Constellation or Galaxy levels and it allows users to add other users, Constellations or Galaxies to their trust networks.
Everything can be created with a fiction toggle and fiction can be filtered out of search results. Search results can also be filtered within specified degrees of a trust network and editors can be added explicitly or within degrees of trust.
Universe is a global commons database containing the base units we can all link to in all of our work. There are five entity types that will allow us to do everything we do in any of the applications shown previously: person, organization, event, thing and idea. There are also media entities that can be linked as the sources for each object or relationship in Constellations (like hypertext but in a graph database).
Almost any attribute of these universal objects is subjectively important and changeable, so they have very few attributes associated with them in Universe. Since even the bare minimum attributes we include are still subjective and changeable, each data object is a hypernode that can contain multiple linked realities. It does not matter which reality is used, all will appear associated with the same data object. Reality types are temporal (Bradley Manning and Chelsea Manning are two temporal realities of the same person), perceptive (Islas Malvinas and The Falklands are two perceptive realities of the same islands) and linguistic.
The reason we have three different reality types and five entity types is because they have slightly different attributes so we can do things like attach geotags to events and organizations and map them or string temporal realities in a timeline.
Category trees / Metaverse
Within Universe we have a global commons of data which we can all use, but these objects are not very useful or meaningful on their own. In order to create any meaning from a data object, we usually have to relate them to another data object. For example, a person contributed to an organization, had a relationship to another person, or participated in an event.
Usually these types of relationships are part of schemas included in applications developed by programmers. For instance, in Ebay, there is code defining buyers, sellers, products and so on. These relationships do not have to be coded by programmers and in fact they shouldn’t be. Programmers don’t know how users are going to use their data. Users are always doing unexpected things with data and then programmers have to change the schemas and it is usually difficult. We can give users the ability to create category trees to map all possible categories for each of the five entity types and every relationship between them to allow for diverse use cases.
Creating category trees is beyond the ability or the interest of the average user but it is not beyond the ability of a data analyst with knowledge of the sector. This is like blog themes: a blog platform gives you the ability to create blogs but if people create themes for it they provide more versatility and usability for a greater number of use cases. When data analysts create category trees, other users can pull them in to use in their own work.
A constellation is an autonomous space where each user can work by themselves or add editors or open editing up within selected degrees of their trust network. Constellations map relationships between data nodes from the Universe data commons using category trees. Media nodes can be linked to nodes and relationships as source references (like hypertext but in a graph database). Currency transaction receipts can be added to currency transfer relationships in the same way.
Constellation graphs can be embedded in other work, shared on social media, exported or added to galaxies. If you tap on any of the nodes used, all constellations associated with that node are displayed, even if they used entirely different category trees. Any front end functionality can be added on top of the constellation data.
Galaxies are a space where constellations can be combined and filtered to create a data collection tailored for a specific purpose. The data in galaxies cannot be modified by galaxy editors, it is updated as the constellations are edited. Galaxy data collections can have front end functionality added just as constellations can.
Galaxies help avoid monopolies. Even if one constellation becomes the dominant site for a particular use case, galaxies can always be created to combine constellations and prevent shutting out smaller sites from greater traffic. Galaxies will probably be more used than large constellations in any case as the filtered data is faster and more useful for any regional or similarly categorized data.
Front end applications
Application software can add any functionality to the data without controlling access to the data. While certain application software may impose its own restrictions, for instance US flight or hotel booking software may exclude Cuba, Cuba data will still be in the database and accessible by any other application software.
Users can choose the functionality they want. They don’t have to go through one app for everything, they can have a little stripped down, read only app on their phone and a giant application on their laptop. They can collaborate on the data level with people using entirely different software.
Instead of repetitive news, cut and pasted across all media outlets, G allows news to be added to a permanent knowledge repository. Transient news streams can be replaced with knowledge that builds over time while still allowing the new additions to be highlighted. It encourages deeper research over trivial updates and recognizes the original sources of a story as there is no need for endless duplicate sources. It also enables more fluid collaboration between journalists while retaining autonomy and individual recognition for contribution.
Galaxies and front end applications can allow news to be displayed with different contexts. For instance instead of mapping conflicts always by state, it is possible to view them mapped over resource corporation activity or any other data to look for other possible relevant links.
Data can be easily uploaded into source media nodes and relationships mapped to be used as a resource for all researchers and journalists, not just a selected few. The Panama Papers could have been added to a constellation with editing permissions given to all the journalists involved. Any outside person could create and link different constellations containing other data, such as other corporations a person was involved in, making the process much faster and more productive. We would also then have the data in a permanently usable format, in a global commons for us all to build from instead of unusable wall of text articles everywhere and a private linkurious database for selected journalists.
Uber, Airbnb, Ebay, Alibaba et al
The buyer / seller / product relationships for all commerce sites can be specified in a commerce category tree and documentation for financial exchanges can be linked as a source media node. Rather than relying on easily manipulated site reviews and trust algorithms, we can rely on our own personal trust networks for filtering. Both sides of a transaction are far more likely to behave responsibly if there is a personal trust network linking them. Local or specialized merchants can create constellations to link each other together in a trust network as well, adding another local layer of accountability, local control over industry and the ability to allow regional diversity for local laws or customs.
While anyone can create a global galaxy of all the constellations for a particular industry, similar to Uber, Airbnb, Ebay or Alibaba, the fact that anyone can do it removes exclusive control from the galaxy creators. Without control over the data, galaxies are simply a tool for end users, allowing them to filter and sort data across multiple constellations. The software applications become simply that, applications which input selected data from galaxies or constellations and provide some front end functionality such as paying a taxi driver or buying a product.
Transparent and fluid organization
Organizations can use constellations and galaxies both for transparency and for dynamic reorganization for specific tasks. Political parties are currently organized by region. A party can create constellations for each region and galaxies at national or international levels, leaving the ability to add or remove members from positions at the constellation level but still allowing collaboration at higher levels. A party can also be instantly reorganized by galaxies to allow collaboration across non-regional affinity groups. For instance, a German Pirate Party member in an environmental working group can belong to both a local and an international Pirate Party galaxy and also an international Pirate Environmental group. Better yet, they could belong to regional and international Clean Water and similar galaxies with no party affiliation. The benefit to these galaxies is the responsible person can change at the constellation level and the change will be instantly reflected in all associated galaxies. The data in every galaxy can be used in collaborative apps such as Loomio decision making and other transparent tools which allow the group to work without outside noise but completely transparently to the public.
Instead of donors having to rely on bloated, political and frequently corrupt NGOs, charities and non-profits, they can establish trust networks to deliver aid directly to those who need it. Through trust networks, donors can monitor results directly from those receiving aid so those providing aid can focus on their work on the ground instead of spending their money and time on advertising and photo ops.
Direct trade relationships can be established between communities, bypassing the political and corporate control over trade and encouraging public education and engagement over current trade and duty laws.
Using a trust network adds a needed dimension to make fundraising easier and provide more references for donors.
Science and research
Instead of a closed circle of academia in which paper citations can be reflections of power and reciprocity instead of knowledge, Idea nodes can be set up around any topic and all contributions heard.
Governance and law
Principles of a society such as constitutions and bills of rights can have every definition and option listed with the historic or potential consequences of each definition and option easily accessible. For instance a principle such as The right to life has little or no meaning without defining the start and end dates of life, whether the right of one includes the duty of all others in the society to ensure it and many other aspects. This clarification makes each point far easier for every member of society to understand and agree on and then ensure that all law in that society flows naturally from the root principles. For instance if the right to life also includes the duty of each member of society to do what they can to ensure the life of another, then homelessness and extreme poverty cannot be tolerated by that society. This is discussed more completely in Binding Chaos, chapters, Natural and negotiated rights and Beyond nation states.
Once these principles are clearly defined, it is possible for every state or other society to accept or reject principles along with their specifications and the results can be easily accessible for all. It could also be possible to then use these accepted principles to choose association, for instance refuse trade with a corporation that refuses to accept certain environmental practices.
G is written using Meteor 1.3 with a front end in React. It will probably follow the Mantra specification in the future. Most technical documentation will be on Github and Trello.
I was raised in one of the most isolated and impoverished communities in Canada’s north. It was largely self governing with an economy based on social approval, not trade. I have spent most of my life working on anti-poverty, human rights and community developed solutions, from free stores and free education to community gardens and social care in many diverse communities. I am a programmer and have organized online as well for most of my life.
From 2010 to 2012 I was the sole administrator and editor of the Wikileaks news site Wikileaks Central. My objectives were to take the news focus off of men with guns, politicians and NGOs and amplify problems and solutions from the sources on the ground that were not being heard. My slogan for the site was News, Analysis, Action as I also wanted to encourage those reading leaks from Wikileaks, the Palestine Papers, etc. to move past passive news voyeurism and organize solutions. I participated in, promoted or reported on most of the major social movements of 2010-11 from their first initiations. In 2012 I focused on all forms of social media organizing, especially how states and corporations were using social media to manipulate public opinion and action and how to best combat their techniques.
Most of my work can be found on Wikileaks servers, Anonymous videos and etherpad manifestos worldwide. My signed work (book, articles) is linked to the GeorgieBC blogand GeorgieBC social media. Work related to G can be found on Github and on the website Getgee.xyz.
Where is this database hosted?
Since this is an extremely complex database that will need a lot of work to optimize, I will set it up initially as a simple server application. After it is optimized and we know it can scale, we can run parallel testing in decentralized solutions to see what works.
What is the organizational structure of G?
It doesn’t have one yet and that will depend in part on who contributes code and funding and where it is based. All aspects of the project must remain free for anyone to use, and without obligation to funders in conflict to the stated aims of a global commons database and trust network. Potential structures are non-profit, co-operative or foundation.
Is this the Global Square?
The Global Square was a project I tried to develop in 2011-12. My links with Wikileaks, Occupy and Anonymous brought a huge amount of international media at the point when I did not even have a fully formulated idea, resulting in a huge amount of attention from people who wanted to use the project for personal fame and fundraising. It brought no one who wanted to contribute code, funding or usable ideas of any kind. Also in 2011-12, no one understood how I wanted to organize or why, so I needed these years to explain and show people why we need this structure (and not just a direct democracy voting app or a forum of regional representatives, for example). So no, this is not the Global Square, it is G.
What does G stand for then?
Whatever you like. I am just claiming this letter of the alphabet before a certain corporation decides to make it their intellectual property.
Everyone else is talking about privacy, you seem to be going the other way?
Private communication is not the biggest issue facing us on the Internet, social manipulation is. An organized public with reliable information can solve the majority of the problems of spying by removing spies from positions of power and creating regulations and laws in support of privacy. An isolated and confused public cannot organize solutions to anything.
There is also no such thing as privacy on the Internet. Anyone with enough money and motivation is perfectly capable of tracking all of your online activity across all platforms and displaying it in one graph. Their job is made much easier if you use the current corporate application software but they can do it in any case. A universal database allows you to choose your own front end software to make it much more difficult to track you and G allows you to use pseudonyms and multiple identities, something that is becoming more and more difficult with existing platforms. Since G leaves it to the user to filter spam using trust networks, we do not need the aggressive verification approaches of other platforms and we do not have any use for personal data either. Even though there is no privacy on the Internet, G is closer than what we have in existing collaborative platforms.
Why isn’t there an entity type for place?
Because place has different definitions. It either means location, which can be attached as geotags to events or organizations (the only times we want to reference that kind of place) or it means an organization, like a state or municipality or a thing like a house.
Thought bubble: A forum which is closed to outside thought or opposing opinions.
Sealed well: Databases which have access controlled by web pages.
Ponzi scheme: A pyramid scheme algorithm which requires those at the bottom to support those at the top in order to benefit. This type of scheme never benefits more than a few.
Astroturfing: Propaganda campaigns created to mimic grassroots movements.
Trust networks: A network of people whose knowledge and judgment we rely on to help us filter our data or to grant editing permissions. A filter of zero degrees of trust contains only items we ourselves explicitly trusted, one degree also contains anything trusted by those we trust, and so on. Four or five degrees of trust should bring all results that are not spam or astroturfing.
Photoshopping: Removing aspects of a story which the writer does not deem relevant or agree with and leaving only those which support the writer’s bias.
Truth dictatorships: Platforms which present one view of reality as a complete ‘truth’ or ‘fact’.
I do not remember where I heard that Omar Khadr had been captured. I doubt it was from the news, I was far too busy at that time to watch the news. It was just a piece of tribal knowledge that appeared somewhere, a new reality all Canadians woke up to one day. I don’t remember where I heard about Omar, but I do remember how it felt. It felt like a hand suddenly gripped my heart and for nearly 13 years I have never breathed as freely as I did before. Every day since this new knowledge arrived, there is a cloud that appears before I open my eyes and a part of my mind that knows, no matter what happens, Omar is still being abused and I am still complicit. This is what it has felt like to be a Canadian since the summer of 2002.
It is not that I ever had any illusions about the Canadian government being perfect. I was raised in one of the most isolated spots of Canada’s north, in a community destroyed by Canadian residential schools and Canada’s educational, religious and policing policies in indigenous communities. To leave my home, as so many felt they needed to, women and girls had to travel Highway 16, the Highway of Tears described by Human Rights Watch when they accused Canada of abusive policing and neglect in the region. My family has been hit repeatedly by the Canadian government’s human rights shortcomings, from the uninvestigated and rarely mentioned missing and murdered indigenous women, one every twelve days in Canada, to the resource corporations that use people as cheap and disposable machinery. I know that the Canadian government experimented on women with postpartum depression and others in partnership with the CIA, I know Canadian resource corporations are responsible for human rights disasters globally. I know, I know, I know. I have always known.
But it was Omar who changed the way I thought about us as Canadian people.
Omar’s lawyer and friend Dennis Edney has said of Omar that never has anyone been so abandoned by so many that should know better. I agree. From my experience, Canadians do feel guilt and strong concern about Canada’s role in human rights abuses, at least the ones close to home. The idea of human rights has always been an integral part of Canadian culture and Canada was always in the thick of anything to do with international peace treaties and international law. Canadian John Peters Humphrey wrote the first draft of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson defined UN peacekeeping. Two years before Omar was captured, Canada was the first country to sign the UN treaty to protect child soldiers. We know better. And I have never seen us abandon anyone as much as we did Omar.
Watching Canada ignore Omar for almost thirteen years has felt like living in The Truman Show. It has seemed impossible to get a reaction from people about the torture of a child. Well, we aren’t certain, people said through endless years of proof they refused to read, or Well, they did … as if this one Canadian child was somehow not us. In 2010, when I first got access to the US state cables leak from Chelsea Manning, Omar’s name was the first I searched. The cables showed diplomats congratulating themselves that “competing joys of the all-too-brief Canadian summer essentially have kept any genuine pressure off the government”. I had never before seen this dark side of Canadian apathy, the ability to say, It’s just war stuff, about the torture of a child.
“Oh, come on,” long time journalists on the case told me when I objected to their lies about Omar’s case. “Everyone says this,” as if the actions of a mob remove individual responsibility for the truth. “We are presenting a balanced view,” responded others, as though the duty of journalism lies in some popular grey area between truth and lies. “You are hurting your cause,” said many in power, telling me outright that they would write worse things about Omar and ignore him even longer if I complained of lies and inaction. NGOs talked about ‘proper channels’, officials talked about ‘those mandated’, and politicians talked about ‘due process’ as Canadian passive aggressive complicity dragged on and on and on. Canada’s brilliant legal voices, Dennis Edney, Nate Whitling, Gail Davidson, Audrey Macklin and others both in Canada and internationally, kept a continual stream of factual analysis available, but it could not reach as far as the fear-inducing libel from the government and press. Omar’s case is headed to the Canadian Supreme Court for the third time. Combined with a years-long stream of hearings in lower courts, this creates a string of legal victories and state persecution surely unprecedented for one person’s case, but all the legal decisions in his favour never changed his reality.
Years of complacent apathy dragged by, each day an unimaginable hell for this abandoned child. Year after year, we were told to let justice take its course, to sit down, shut up, and trust in the system. Year after year it became harder to breathe, to continue daily life in this charade. Finally we learned that not only was Omar not returning, he would be tried in a show trial with charges of crimes that didn’t exist, a step that had been considered too illegal to be conceivable even by most of us who had been watching this horror unfold since the beginning. And still we were told to sit down and shut up and submit to illegal process and those mandated by themselves. In exchange for the show trial, Omar was supposed to be returned to Canada the following year, but it was no surprise when he was not. And still we were told to sit down and shut up or we would ‘hurt his cause’.
After years of futile comments and articles and forum postings, I began to grow bigger platforms. Wikileaks, Anonymous, Occupy, and many other online collectives gave me volume to talk about this child. I would use my Twitter accounts to tweet all day about western men hackers to gain followers and then spend them all with unexpected tweet storms about Omar. I brought him into every interview humanly possible, no matter what the topic. During all the global events, the genocides, wars and horrific disasters that I covered, I would still ask my networks to amplify Omar as well. And people around the world were endlessly patient and understanding. Gazans under constant attack, Syrians living in horrific war, and Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya people all amplified Omar’s case as did others around the world. Guantanamo activists globally propped each other up in one of the most frustrating and endless human rights campaigns of our time. The tireless and uncomplaining support of global activists acted as water on stone.
Slowly, gradually, the tide of human compassion in Canada that had receded so far, for so many years, began to return. More and more people began to unravel the facts of Omar’s case and correct each other online. Eventually, people would amplify instead of unfollow me when I talked about his case. A global audience was forming which had no difficulty believing what was done to Omar, and Canadians could no longer avoid being asked about him. The people who had always spoke about him began to find more interest and more informed listeners. When Omar returned to Canada on September 29, 2012, it was as if he finally became real for many Canadians. The government propaganda against him escalated sharply, but so did the backlash from an increasingly informed audience. Finally, Canadians were not just interested, they cared and were starting to fight back.
On May 5, Omar Khadr will almost surely walk free. Dennis Edney will fulfill his long ago promise of taking Omar to the beautiful Alberta wilderness and the Edney family will welcome him to their home. The hand that has been choking my heart for 13 years has finally let go, the giant black weight of guilt that appears every morning is lifting. The entire country can breathe more easily and walk more freely because of Omar’s lawyers, Dennis Edney and Nate Whitling, and because of Omar’s own extraordinary resilience and good-heartedness. They have saved us from the consequences of what we have done. Omar will be a happy, strong, free and capable man, we have been spared the guilt of seeing him with a life destroyed.
A question many have asked: with all the human souls needing help right now, why have I devoted so much of my time and energy to Omar who is only one man? It is because, as Dennis said, he was abandoned by so many and because he was only one. Omar is not a member of any political group except the Canadian nation and he was a child, by himself. The experience of pain does not increase with more people experiencing it. One tortured life is as horrific as a million tortured lives, one death is as final and devastating as a million deaths. No life is a statistic, no life is collateral damage or acceptable risk.
All removal of human rights begins with their removal from one person. The actions taken against this one child changed Canada from a nation that did not torture children to one which does, from a nation which upheld international law to one which does not. As every pain and death is an individual experience, so is guilt. Each one of us bears individual responsibility for our actions and inactions of the past almost thirteen years. This is a stain that will not wash away. Collectively and individually, we can never forget the guilt which we now carry. The same voices which have insisted that we follow blind patriotism and trust in the state have taught us that our human response of guilt is a wasted emotion. It is not. It is guilt and empathy that keep us from becoming a nation of sociopaths, that tell us to protect each other from abuses we would not wish to suffer ourselves. It is guilt and empathy that create a nation and bring us together as humanity.
May we use our collective guilt to become much more protective of all of our rights and legal processes in the future.
With grateful thanks to all of those who have taken a moment from their own struggles to speak for Omar. There is no official body or person who will uphold our rights, there is only us.
Glen: Good evening. Welcome to The View Up Here. I am your host, Canadian Glen and it is January 14, 2015.
Tonight we have the long promised show about the case of Omar Khadr. My guest tonight is a globally recognized expert in this case. Heather Marsh, @GeorgieBC on Twitter, will be joining us. Canada’s history in torture goes back a lot further than most people think but we’re going to talk about tonight what’s happened since 9/11 because that’s where it really went off the rails and Omar continues to be embroiled in that all this time later. So that’s the topic for tonight. 21st century torture and Omar Khadr with Heather Marsh. Thanks for joining us on The View Up Here.
Good evening everyone. The case of Omar Khadr is something that has never happened before in Canada and it has the potential to change quite a few things as far as the Canadian legal system goes but most of these changes wouldn’t be up for discussion if it wasn’t for the behaviour of Canadian governments since 2011. Right after the attacks of September 11th, while the United States was readying the Patriot Act, countries, especially in NATO, did their best to do the same. Canada was no exception. The law here was pretty much universally known as anti-terror legislation. How specific.
But back then it was a Liberal government. Chretien was the Prime Minister and at that time the Deputy Prime Minister was John Manley. It was only 14 years ago but there was a little bit of truth in the way politicians spoke then because John Manley said, from the Canadian point of view the primary objective was economic for bringing in ths legislation. Canada had to be seen by the Americans as doing it’s share in the war on terror to keep the trade flowing. That’s always good motivation for snatching people off streets and throwing them in prisons with no charges. “Well, we need the business.” That came from the Chretien government.
There was a member of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Gar Pardy. He was the head of the consular division so he was involved in all these cases of extraordinary rendition under false pretences and the RCMP were the people on the ground. He’s not too impressed with the way the RCMP conducted themselves. We had inexperienced and, up to a point, inept people dealing with a subject matter they knew nothing about, with absolutely no supervision at a level that should have been taking place. Then when one by one, these Canadian citizens were freed and allowed to return to Canada, then CSIS stepped in and kept the false stories circulating in the Canadian media that these men were somehow guilty even though they were cleared. Never admit a mistake. True cover your ass behaviour. But it goes well beyond that. CSIS gets their direction from somewhere. The Prime Minister. Chretien. Deputy Prime Minister Manley. Justice Minister and then later Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan. Solicitor General Wayne Easter. They got nothing to say, no, nothing here, sorry. So that’s when it started.
There was a lot of talk in October 2001. There were articles out already rejecing this ‘anti-terror’ legislation. This is a little article from October 2001 by Steven Gowans. “Take Canada’s Justice Minister and the government’s point person on ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation. A civil libertarian who sat on the board of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, McLellan is now fashioning legislation that will trample on your civil liberties and mine and will get people who ae not terrorists thrown into jail on terrorism charges.” Funny how things change.
And of course they set up an ‘anti-terrorism’ cabinet committee. John Manley was then Foreign Affairs Minister. Keep the wagons circled, boys. When he was asked if he thought these laws were reaching too far, if it could snag innocent people, Manley’s response was “I’m afraid we’ll miss someone. I’m not afraid we’ll name someone who’s innocent.” Doesn’t that fit the time after the attacks. Everyone’s guilty! Everyone!
There were reports already coming out of Afghanistan at that time that this is only going to make it worse. You go over there and start torturing people, they’re going to want to strike back. So that’s what they’ve done. What Steven Gowans says here is: How about detaining suspected terrorists witout charge. When Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act to deal with an apprehended insurrection, that turned out to be no insurrection at all, police rounded up all kinds of people when they knew they had absolutely nothing to do with the kidnapping of British diplomat James Cross but they weren’t gong to let an opportunity go by. Any of those people from Trudeau’s cabinet that is still around now admits they made a mistake. Now governments like Chretien and Harper want to do it globally, not just here. And that’s exactly what they’ve done. Most of these Canadian men that were arrested, were arrested outside Canada on tips from the Canadian government from CSIS. That’s why they were arrested, yet they all go free in the end. Nice.
That’s the background, there’s more if we need it. Right now I want to welcome to the air, our guest for tonight, Heather Marsh. Good evening, Heather.
Heather: Hey Glen, how are you?
Glen: Very good, very nice to have you on the show. I gave a little bit of background, but I know you want to get to the subject at hand.
Heather: I liked that you brought the media’s role into that too, because that is one of my favourite aspects of Canada and our legal system being undermined. But yes, the topic at hand, being Omar.
Glen: Yes. Where would you like to start? Would you like to start where it all began? How he got captured?
Heather: Sure. Do you think most people know who Omar is?
Glen: Well I wouldn’t say most but I would say more all the time.
Heather: Ok. Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen who was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old. He was in Bagram for 3 months, in Guantanamo for 10 years; he’s been in Canada for 2 years. The entire case illustrates everything that is rotten with the Canadian legal system and media and everything that has gone wrong in the last 12 years. One man illustrates everywhere we went wrong.
So Omar right now is in a prison in Edmonton – Bowden.The crucial problem at the moment, besides the fact that he has no business being in prison anywhere and he should have been released 12 years ago, but besides that, he was captured in a firefight in Afghanistan and he lost the sight in his left eye. His right eye has had shrapnel in it tor the last 12 1/2 years, and he is now losing the vision in his right eye as well. A huge part of this is because he has had no medical care for the last 12 1/2 years and he is waiting to apply for his parole and he can’t apply unless he completes his education and proves he can be a contributing member of society but without any eyesight, he can’t continue his studies. This is one of the most urgent things with Omar now, besides getting him out of prison, is getting him properly taken care of by the Canadian prison system. He was blinded not only by the shrapnel hitting his eye 12 1/2 years ago, but when he was in Bagram and and when he was in Guantanamo, the U.S. military shone bright lights into his eyes while interrogating him as torture. Canadians in their passive-aggressive method of the same thing refused to buy or allow him sunglasses when he was in Guantanamo until almost the time he left. Both of these countries, not only did they not give him the proper medical treatment to deal with his eyes, but they both tortured him in their own U.S. aggressive and Canada passive-aggressive ways to contribute to his eyesight failing like that.
Just last year in March, was the first time he received medical care for his shoulder after 12 1/2 years of Canadian/U.S. responsibility to have his medical care and again his shoulder – he was shot twice in the back lying prone on his stomach, shot in the back from point blank range and he had huge holes blown out of his back. But that wasn’t the only problem. The problem was the lack of medical care for 12 1/2 years and the torture he had during the time he was at Bagram and Guantanamo. He had his hands tied above his head to the door frame or chained to the ceiling for hours at at a time. They often made him do manual labour just to aggravate his wounds and his shoulder so plus no medical care until this year in March. He had an infection from the time he was 15 until right now which is 28 years old. They had to scrape away flesh and bone that had been deteriorating all that time.
Righ now we have, Omar Khadr is in Bowden prison. He has been in prison since he was 15 years old, there has never been a proper trial; there have never been proper charges; there has never been any semblance of a legal process for keeping him in prison, and he has not received proper medical care; he has not received education; he’s received no rehabilitation, no help to become a contributing member of society. He’s supposed to go up before a parole board but everything he has done to ready himself to be a contributing Canadian has been a fight entirely by himself and his legal team, while Canada and the US have put every obstacle in his path to keep him from ever becoming a contributing member. You can’t be educated if you don’t have your eyesight. He has no other tools to be educated. He’s not allowed on the internet; he’s not allowed access to any online material.
The most ridiculous thing – if you are familiar at all with the Canadian prison system, everything is a security hazard. His eyesight responds better to light on dark, so if you write to him with a silver pen on black paper, that is not regulation and will be sent back. That is where we are at right now with Omar.
For those who are not familiar with the case, there is a website where you can look up anything that is going on with Omar right now. It’s called freeomar.ca and it has all the latest news, all the background and all the legal resources, so anything we talk about for the next 2 hours you can find iit on the site or ask me on twitter @GeorgieBC and I will find you any documentation to back up or what reference material I was using for anything I was saying for the next 2 hours. It’s freeomar.ca so go there or find me. But there is a letter on our site from Gail Davidson from Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada that gives the legal basis for everything Canada is not doing for Omar medically right at the moment.
Glen: One thing I wanted to mention about the website, it is better than any other source on this case.
Heather: Thank you very much.
Glen: This is one occasion where your website makes Wikipedia look like a joke and the wiki on Omar is not small. It is the site and not only is there the history and the precedents that you are trying to establish and pictures of Omar and letters of support, links to other things that are related, but it’s also just a gathering spot.
Heather: That site is the product of one of the best teams I have ever worked with. Anyone who knows me knows that I have my fingers in a lot of different pies but that particular team I have worked with for years and they are some of the best people I have ever worked with, each one of them is an absolute encyclopedia on Omar’s case and we sort of act as an epistemic community. Anybody who wants to help Omar, any journalist who wants to write about him, ask us and we’ll find you anything you need to know about him; we’ll find you any document you need to get the information you need on it.
Glen: In my opinion, if someone just happened upon this site, didn’t know anything, if they saw the the openness and the willingness of the Omar Khadr suport network, compared to what the government’s doing, I think that would be a pretty good indication of who’s on the level and who’s not right there. It’s obvious.
Heather: It’s funny – maybe its something about Canada’s trust in our own government and our own institutions, but my partner in that website since the beginning – many people have been added since, but the force behind that website is a woman from Holland named Aaf Post. You can find her on twitter @AafPost as well as the Omar #Khadr hashtag. You’ll find her everywhere, she has worked for Omar every single day for years and years and she is in Holland. She has put together the Canadian team more than anybody.
Glen: Well that just shows you what’s capable in this day and age with the technology and it also shows you the appeal of this injustice.
Heather: You see it everywhere, if you are a Canadian and you travel, Omar Khadr is a well well known case. This is a human rights disaster that is well known around the world. I think he might be more recognised outside of Canada than he is in, in many states.
Glen: I would agree with that. And I also think he may be more well known than our Prime Minister.
Heather: His story will outlast Stephen Harper’s too, sadly. His story will be part of Canadian history forever to our very great detriment.
Glen: Yeah, it’s one of those events that is not supposed to happen. But the thing that gets me is it continues to happen. And it doesn’t have to.
Heather: Exactly. Thirteenth year. One of the things, whatever else we do or don’t get to talk about today, one of the things I did want to get to, because this has been 13 years – layers and layers of propaganda, lies, misinformation from all parties. Canadians have been just snowed under with misinformation and it’s very difficult to get the answers to anything because there are so many different answers and conflicting testimonies. In 2004 we thought this, in 2006 we found out that, and practically everything we know about Omar’s case we know because of leaks or fighting all the way up to the Supreme Court over and over and over again to try and get any of the information that he was entitled to about himself and his case. So one of the things that I did want to get to today – boring as everything but kind of needed to discuss Omar’s case or how Canada has reacted – is to go over what happened on the day he was captured and what exactly he was charged with and why it is a complete farce. If that’s ok?
Glen: Oh yeah, for sure.
Heather: Ok, So every media report in Canada for the past 12 1/2 years, right at the top, there is a sentence where they define Omar Khadr in a few words, right? If you go to Sun Media, that’s “Killer Khadr”. If you go to the ever so polite Toronto Star, they say “convicted war criminal Omar Khadr who pleaded guilty to 5 war crimes including murder”. One sounds way more civilized but is actually even more wrong. They are both absolutely absolutely completely untrue. I would love to live in a country where media cannot get away with such complete, utter, bald faced lies, because that is what those are. Sue me, go ahead, those are lies and I wish we had some way to go after them about it, because every single article about Omar has this defining – these words which define him and there is no truth in any of that.
So, what did happen? He is not a convicted war criminal; he did not plead guilty; there were not five war crimes, and murder was not one of them, so whenever you see any of those words, somebody is lying to you.
So what happened that day is, Omar was 15 in Afghanistan – a family aquaintance – there is some disagreement around this area but the most reputable sources I know say that Omar’s dad said he could go with Person A who told him to go with Person B, and Person B took him into a compound where he should not have been. Whatever the case, whatever the truth of the story, Omar was 15, he was in Afghanistan, and he certainly was not there by his own volition, he was not there by his own volition and he was not in that compound by his own volition – he had zero choice in either matter.
So while he was in this compound – which apparently had, depending on which testimony you listen to – it had 4 or 5 people in this compound. And the U.S. military decided to attack it, after various things. Every description of what happened for the next 4 or 5 hours – probably too obscene for your radio show what the U.S. special forces guy called it – it was a mess to put it politely. By the time they started attacking the compound, they had 100 U.S. troops; they had Apache and hornets for a compound that had 4 or 5 occupants. They levelled the compound completely, reduced it to rubble, then they sent 6 men in, including one man who was killed, named Speer. While they sent the 6 men in, after 4 or 5 hours of levelling this and throwing everything at it, the U.S. military continued throwing grenades into the compound. Omar was in the compound. Omar says he was the first person wounded in the attack. There is a video on our site, freeomar.ca site, which shows pictures of the compound and Omar’s location in it so you can see for yourself exactly where he was, there’s pictures. Omar was sitting in an alley in the compound with his back to the fight. He was buried in rubble from the collapsed roof. There are pictures there that finally came out in 2008; he was captured in 2002 and we finally got to see these in 2008. He was concussed – severely concussed – because the roof had collapsed on his head. He was blinded by shrapnel in both of his eyes; his ankle was broken; he had shrapnel wounds on every part of his body and he was bleeding out from severe injuries on his leg, on his knee, thigh, ankle and foot, under a pile of rubble.
Some 15 year olds look like adult men. if you look at pictures of Omar then – we have pictures of him on that very day – he was a very very slight 15 year old. He was not one of the ones who look like adult men and the testimony of everyone in Bagram and Guantanamo says the same. From that position – under the rubble with all of these wounds, with a concussion, blinded, he is alleged to have thrown a grenade, from lying on his stomach, with the roof collapsed on him, over his shoulder and the grenade apparently cleared an 8′ wall behind him and travelled 80′ to where the U.S. Special Forces guy was.
Two forensic pathologists have confirmed that Omar was lying prone on his stomach when he was shot. We have photographs where he is covered in rubble and we have testimony from an officer who said he stood on him before he realized the body was there under the rubble. And there was forensic analysis of Speer’s wounds that says it was a U.S. grenade which nobody in the compound had access to. And the terms of the plea deal that Omar was forced to sign allowed the US to destroy all the evidence, including the forensic evidence of the wounds, and when they went to court, they didn’t keep any of the shrapnel that killed Speer. They didn’t keep the forensic analysis which proves his wounds were created by a U.S. grenade. Instead they went to court and they showed a piece of shrapnel that had been taken from a different soldier 6 years after Omar was captured, and said it was pretty much the same thing.
The testimony of the man who shot Omar – he described the scene – and he said he entered the compound where Omar was. He shot one man in the head; he saw Omar – and like I said the forensic pathologists, two of them, say Omar was shot point blank, buried prone on his stomach, shot in the back twice. For those keeping count at home that is a war crime. Omar was screaming from his injuries from the bombing. So apparently not thinking about throwing grenades at people. OC-1 which is the name of the man who shot him – we’re not given his real name – he exited the alley and while he was exiting the alley, he heard grenades being thrown still.
So the story we are given in Canada – we were told Omar was the only person alive in this compound who could possibly have thrown this grenade. Obviously he wasn’t, because there is the man standing beside him who was just shot and when OC-1 exited he said there were still grenades flying all over the place and he gave orders for everyone to fall back because the compound couldn’t be secured. In other words, there were more people there. So lie number one, or lie number whatever we are up to now.
We wouldn’t have known that except like I said every single thing we know is because of a leak. The U.S. military falsified a document that said that Omar was the only person alive in the compound so any deaths must have been a result from him. Then in 2008 they accidentally gave a room full of reporters the original report. That’s kind of a well-known farce, there was a stand off between the U.S. military and the reporters because the reporters refused to give it back and refused to not report on it. Every bit of testimony and every bit of evidence we have from the incident in the compound that day – not only was Omar not the only person who could have thrown the grenade – which is the only evidence that any reasonable court would accept – he was pretty much the only person who we know couldn’t possibly have thrown the grenade. Everybody else was pretty much a possibility except Omar because we have all this evidence that he was buried, that he was at this place, etc. etc.
When he was found he was almost executed again. War crime # 2. This is 2 people in the US military who wanted to execute an almost dead child under rubble. A second commander said “No”. We have a picture of him on the site at that point when they dragged him out – he was a naked child. He was dying, bleeding out. He had these huge wounds in his chest and he was just lying there in that kind of pain on the site, before they choppered him out an hour or so later. And he was brought to Bagram, in critical condition obviously.
So he was in Bagram – everybody knows where Bagram is, I’m assuming?
Glen: Yeah, Bagram is right up there with Abu Ghraib.
Heather: Yes. It’s a hell hole U.S. prison – I mean, you can’t call them prisons, it was a torture camp – famous. He was in Bagram for 3 months before he was transferred to Guantanamo. During that 3 months he was interrogated more than 40 times for up to 8 hours a day. And this part is really critical, because when you hear that Omar confessed to murder this is what they are rubbing in his face when you read that statement. Every time you read that Omar pled guilty, this is what they are rubbing his nose in. He had been shot in the back. He had wounds as big as your fist. His wounds are famous around anybody that has been around Bagram or Guantanamo guards, prisoners or any of the rest of them. He had wounds as big as your fist, two of them. This slight 15 year old. You could see his heart beating. At this point he is dripping infection, he is stilll bleeding, he is severely concussed from having a roof collapse on him, he is blinded by shrapnel in both eyes, his ankle is broken, he has shrapnel wounds in every part of his body, and the injuries in his leg. He was unconscious for one week and as soon as he was awake – he said in his affidavit – he was not in his right wits and he was in extreme pain and that was all he could focus on. He said that in his affadavit, but I don’t think you need a whole lot of imagination to figure that out on our own, right?
Heather: So the first thing he was told when he woke up in this state was that he had killed a U.S. soldier and they began interrogations as soon as he regained consciousness. He couldn’t stand. There was no medical personnel present. He got pain medication only at night and his interrogations were all day long – up to 8 hours long. He was a 15 year old kid. During the first 3 days when he first became conscious they would – again he had a concussion, he had lost a ton of blood, a broken ankle – they would shackle his feet and hands out to his sides with hand cuffs when they didn’t like the answers. So there was no way he was a security risk, this is just torture, right?
Heather: You should really look on our site to see what he looks like when he was shot to be able to appreciate what this is that they were doing. After the first week they would bring him into the interrogation room on a stretcher and whenever they didn’t like the answers they would make him sit up and lie down. Again he had holes the size of fists and they were screaming at him the entire time that he had killed a U.S. soldier. Every day while he was at Bagram, 5 people would come in and change his bandages, again they were using his medical care as an excuse to torture him. They had barking dogs in the interrogation room; they covered his head with a bag so he couldn’t breathe; he was drugged; subjected to extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation. He was waterboarded at 15 years old. He was watching people being horrifically tortured every day, hearing the screams 24 hours a day. He was seeing their wounds when they came back, and some of them died. Some that were with him died at Bagram – were murdered at Bagram – and he was aware that they were murdered by the interrogators who were interogating him. He was 15 years old. He was chained hooded in a cage with his arms above his head. Do you know what the cages look like in Bagram? The sort of chicken coop-y things? They left him chained there all day in stress positions for so long he urinated himself, then they poured cleaner on his head and used him as a human mop. Then they refused to allow him any water to clean himself or any of his clothes for days. And his chief interrogator from the time he woke up, the first minute he regained consciousness, his first interrogator was Joshua Klaus, who was later court-marshaled in connection with the deaths of two people in Bagram. So this isn’t just Omar, we all know what happened at Bagram and we could put this together from his injuries and the fact that he was subjected to the same conditions as the people who died and we know what happened at Bagram.
But also, one of his fellow victims at Bagram was Moazzam Beg, the U.K. prisoner? He founded Caged Prisners and is a human rights advocate. He wrote about Omar that he was treated worse than anyone else at Bagram. So picture Bagram, picture a 15 year old child being treated worse than anyone else. At Bagram, they called him Buckshot Bob. They were joking because they had never seen anybody who was that blown apart. Moazzam said “His wounds didn’t look to me like they had been shot by the blast of a shot gun.” I’m reading Moazzam here because I don’t want to get him wrong; “They were much more horrific. Chunks of his chest and shoulder had been blown out or I assumed and he was unable to see through one of his eyes because of one of his injuries. His chest looked like he had a post mortem operation performed on him when he was still alive. He was emaciated, fragile and quiet. The military police guarding us all treated Omar with open contempt and hostility. He was sometimes screamed at all night long, made to stack water bottles which were thrown down again, a hood place over his head while his wrists were shackled to the ceiling and” – note to Canadians – when Moazzam left Bagram, Omar told him, “You’re fortunate, people care about you. No one cares about me.” Moazzam was an adult citizen of the U.K. – he was held less than 3 years. Omar was a Canadian child. He is now in his 13th. He had less reason to be there than any adult, obviously. He was treated worse than any adult and he was right. Moazzam was lucky he wasn’t Omar.
Glen: Well that’s the thing I think we have to keep mentioning at regular intervals. Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizem, always has been. Always has been. I mean you can talk about the other guys who were held but this is just beyond anything else. Omar is still inside, he is still paying. The other men have escaped the system. Maher Arar has become a real voice. Good for him. But I can certainly see how Omar would say that because it is certainly how it appeared.
Glen: Well we covered Bagram and how he was treated and how everyone else knew he was treated and yet, you know, didn’t really seem to matter much. So I’ll bet now we are going to move on to Guantanamo.
Heather: Well, we can if you want to. As you know, Omar is a pretty massive topic.
Glen: Is there more from Bagram?
Heather: Well there is one thing I wanted to point out because I don’t know if I got to the point. I said he was obviously tortured beyond belief, and I said what he said, what we know about Joshua Klaus, what Moazzem Begg said, David Hicks also said – because David Hicks was also there at the same time – and he said that he saw soldiers dragging Omar from his cage to a room and Omar screaming and yelling “Why are you doing this? Please stop. Somebody help.” And David Hicks also said there seemed to be absolutely no point to it except to hurt him and break his will. This seems to be a prevailing theme from everyone around Omar, that they had no idea why he was treated so badly but there was nobody treated as badly as him. From what we know about Bagram we can just imagine what that was like, especially with what we know medically about his injuries.
Obviously a child, in extreme pain, being tortured, with a concussion and all the hell and PTSD of a four hour bombardment, watching everyone around you killed and being in a place in Bagram where he was surrounded by adults and he had absolutely no way of knowing – he says he has no memory of the firefight which is perfecty logical, even if he had retained any memory with the concusion and everything like that, your short term memory doesn’t really last too well through torture like that. So even despite the fact that it was with torture, his confession at Bagram would have been ridiculous. And they repeatedly told him, from the time he regained consciousness they had screamed in his face that he killed a U.S. soldier and then they interrogated him with torture and asked if he did it. He had 300 interrogations in the first 3 years when he was 15 to 18 years old. He was not allowed access to a lawyer in all that time. He was a child, he had no lawyer, he had no adult to turn to, he was never told he was confessing to a crime for a criminal charge, he was held without communication from anyone, no family, no anyone but U.S. military for years, no consular visits, no legal advice.
So when Canadian media say he confessed, he pled guilty, this is what they are talking about. The first time he saw Canadians, 3 years later, he instantly recanted. The first thing he did is he recanted what he said to the U.S. military and asked if they could protect him from the US miltiary. So whenever Canadian media and politicians stand up and say “No, Omar confessed”, this is what they are throwing in his face. This kind of torture and the fact that he said “Yes, whatever, I did it”.
That was just the three months at Bagram. Then there was ten years in Guantanamo and two years in Canada. His life for 13 years has been absolute hell. I don’t think we have time to cover all the hell his life has been. The other thing I really did want to get to, we can go to Guantanamo if you wanted to, but I did want to talk about the charges because these are the things that are coming up every day in Canadian media now and yes we all know Guantanamo and eveything that happend there as well. It should be gone over and it should be something that every Canadian learns but what is in the media now is this statement the Canadian media keeps making. CBC, every time they say his name, “pled guilty to 5 war crimes”, right? I think its important that Canadians understand what their state media is lying about when they are telling lies like this about a Canadian citizen. So if you don’t mind I’d like to go over the charges for a sec, is that ok?
Heather: Ok. Confession or no, he has absolutely never pled guilty to anything that constitutes a war crime. He has never admitted any conduct that could possibly be a war crime. There are internationally recognised war crimes that have been committed against Omar, obviously, several of them. Let’s make like the U.S. and Canadian governments here and ignore all evidence in this case. Let’s just pretend he killed somebody and just ignore everything. Everybody knows, every child knows, killing a soldier in battle is not a war crime or a murder. Murder is unlawful killing. I have for years and years in the context of Omar’s case fought with people online about this and they say “Oh well, it’s a grey area, it’s a matter of opinion.” Murder is not a matter of opinion. Murder is a legal definition, it’s a crime, and the legal definition of murder is unlawful killing. And killing a soldier in battle is not unlawful killing. You are protected by combatant’s privilege. This is not a crime. And we know it is not a crime because over 6,700 U.S. military troops have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and not one single one of those has been called a murder and not one single one of those has resulted in a criminal charge to anybody except Omar. Not to mention the one million Iraqis who mostly are war crimes because they are mostly civilians and mostly killed in ways that are prohibited.
Everybody knows this isn’t a war crime and I think as Canadians we used to understand that a lot better 12 years ago, before we had this incessantly drummed into our heads. When they say “including murder”, especially the Toronto Star, this is their favourite line, “five war crimes including murder” – murder is not a war crime. Murder is a civilian crime. And what they are doing, they are doing a little word game with you there and shortening ‘murder in violation of the laws of war’ to ‘murder’ because Canadians understand murder. Everybody understands what murder is, they think, but this certainly wasn’t any such thing. And even if it was, in order for it to be tried with any semblance of legality at all, Omar had to defined as either a combatant or a civilian – the two types of courts we have. We have military courts and civilian courts. If he was a civilian, which is what murder would have been, he would have been tried in a civilian court in the U.S. or Canada or Afghanistan. They had three options. He had no case with any prayer of being upheld in any civilian court anywhere.
If he had been treated as a civilian he would have been entitled to access to his lawyer, to habeas corpus, to a real trial with real laws, real evidence, real witnesses, no evidence obtained under torture. We saw even as late as 2008, in the U.S. state cables, the U.S. offered – they asked Canada if we would consider repatriating Omar and trying him in a Canadian court. Canadians flat out said, “No way, he would never be convicted in a Canadian court.” That is in the U.S. state cables (ask me for the link). Think about that while remembering that Canada right now is upholding this sentence: they said in 2008 that there is no way that he would ever be convicted in a Canadian court. And there is something about a crime having to be a crime in the country that is going along with it in the home country too – there are several laws about that. And besides, to target civilians in a war – if Omar was a civilian, targeting civilians in a war is a real war crime as well, and Omar was shot twice in the back while blinded and buried in debris – which is a war crime whether he is civilian or military, he was a helpless enemy in any case.
So Omar had be depicted as a combatant, and he had to be depicted in active combat for the U.S. to have shot him in the back. If he was designated as a combatant because we can’t try him in a civilian court, then he would have been a prisoner of war and the U.N. and the ICC both forbid the trying of child soldiers under 18. The U.N. instantly came out with a statement that said Omar was a child soldier then, if you are trying him in a military court he’s a child soldier, don’t try it. And the U.S. ignored them. He would have been entitled to prisoner of war protection since the US were pretending that they were adhering to the spirit of Geneva even though they certainly didn’t, but a prisoner of war, of course there is a whole body of law – they must be treated humanely, they must not be interrogated, they only have to give their name rank and serial number and of course the big one – if the US actually thought Omar was a soldier, killing a US soldier is not a crime – combatant immunity – combatant privilege.
So they created, the US then created this special non-civilian, non-military thing that they called an unlawful enemy combatant that had no rights as a civilian or a POW. Unlawful combatants exist. You can’t just walk up and shoot a soldier. Some people are unlawful combatants. They are called civilians, and they are entitled to civilian protection. In unprivileged enemy combatant, the US definition comes down to not properly identifying yourself as a combatant. But in international law, repeatedly, it is fairly unanimous that you don’t have wear a uniform if you don’t have one, so it doesn’t apply to any of the people the US is fighting here. But actually, this unlawful enemy combatant that they have created here, it does apply perfectly to the CIA, to Obama and his drones, and to the guy Omar is alleged to have murdered, Speer, because the reason Speer died is because he wasn’t wearing his Special Forces uniform with the helmet and everything, he was wearing Afghani uniform. So he was doing exactly what the U.S. military is accusing Omar of here which is not dressing in his proper uniform but in Speer’s case he is an actual unlawful enemy combatant because he had one, and Omar isn’t. So alien unlawful enemy combatant, the way the U.S. interpreted it, it means that U.S. soldiers can kill children but it is a war crime for children to kill U.S. soldiers.
Glen: Well this unlawful enemy combatant, you know this came through John Manley.
Heather: The definition is bizarre. If it could stand up in a real court that would be the end of Obama and all his cohorts. Including the CIA and everybody else.
And also, pay attention to this, because we know that the U.S. is a complete rogue state that doesn’t believe in anything and doesn’t sign any international law, but Canada isn’t and Canada has signed all these international agreements and is a party to all the Geneva Conventions, the ICC and everything like that. The ICC says there is no gap between the 3rd and 4th Geneva COnventions. You are under the protection of one or the other. You have rights under the 3rd or 4th Geneva Convention. The U.S. pretended there was a “no man’s land” between the two conventions which had less rights than any animal and they dropped Omar into this No Man’s Land. The US claims they can create their own rules because they don’t recognize the ICC or Geneva but Canada can’t. Canada is a signatory to all of these agreements and they certainly can’t make up rules like that.
All these sham laws and trials and courts have no international or even U.S. legitimacy. Detainee – this term that keeps being used by media around the world, including Canada, completely unquestioningly. The reason we call these people “detainees” is to let the U.S. get around the fact that that they were not adhering to either the 3rd or the 4th Geneva Convention. Why is our media using that term? It is completely U.S. propaganda. The only appropriate term for the men at Guantanamo is victims of a crime, or several crimes. They are Guantanamo victims, not Guantanamo detainees.
So anyway, they created this weird, illegal, no man’s land with no rights for Omar. So the trial is a complete sham already before it exists because he is not given rights under the 3rd or 4th Geneva Convention, and they still have no crimes to charge him with. The U.S. constitution said that the U.S. Congress can establish a military commission and they said the scope of the military commission was to try enemies for internationally recognised war crimes only. And of course like any court that is not a complete kangaroo court, that has any pretentions of being anything remotely legal, you have to charge people with things that were actually crimes at the time they were committed. You can’t just write laws in 2006 and 2009 to try people captured in 2002, which is what the U.S. did.
They also ignored the part about internationally recognised. The 2006 commission created this bizarre body of pseudo-law that referenced the U.S. civil war kinda sorta and pretended that there is this body of law called the U.S. Laws of War which nobody had ever heard of before until 2006. Suddenly we have this historical body of law that is the U.S. laws of war. The whole point of laws of war is that they are international. They make absolutely no sense at all if they are made up by one party. They are supposed to be international laws of war that govern wars between more than one party. And the U.S. constitution says this as well. So even within the U.S. this is bizarre. So in 2012 when Osama Bin Laden’s driver Hamdan, had all his convictions thrown out – which is one of the most beautiful court documents I have ever read, the verdict handed down in the Hamdan case is well worth the read if you want to understand anything about the Guantanamo commissions or the farce that Omar and everybody else went through. He had all of his charges thrown out, Hamdan did, in 2012, because 1. they were ex post facto: retroactive prosecution for crimes that did not exist at the time exactly as Omar’s are, and 2. they were not internationally recognized. And so Omar’s U.S. appeal must also be successful for the exact same reasons.
And when Hamdan came through, Canadian media instantly said, ‘oh, but Hamdan doesn’t apply to Omar.’ They said, because ‘Omar was charged with murder’. It is complete crap, it’s complete crap. Everything that came down at the Hamdan verdict applies to every single one of Omar’s charges.
Omar’s five charges. Okay let’s go through them one at a time here.
He had “material support for terrorism”, which Hamdan explicitly threw out.
He had “conspiracy”, which Hamdan also explicitly threw out.
“Material support for terrorism” was not a pre-existing war crime and it wasn’t internationally recognized. “Conspiracy” was rejected at Nurnberg. It was not international and Hamdan threw it out again.
Then we have “murder or attempted murder in violation in the laws of war”. This is …. invented ……..war crime…….. [connection breaks up] …………….
Heather: Connection gone again?
Glen: Yeah we didn’t get any of the last thirty seconds. It was all broken up.
Heather: Okay so how is it now. Is it completely gone again?
Glen: Yes, sounds good now.
Heather: (soft laugh) Where was I?
Glen: You were going over the five charges and you were saying what was thrown out because of Hamdan. And that, yes I think that the end result is that because of Hamdan it proves that if Omar’s appeal is heard …
Glen: Yes, then it’s thrown out.
Heather: Two of the charges were explicitly thrown out by Hamdan which are “conspiracy’ and “material support for terrorism”. “Murder or attempted murder in violation in the laws of war” those definitions were created in 2006 so ex post facto. Not internationally recognized, again, they fall exactly under the same two principles that came up with the Hamdan verdict.
“Spying” this is actually one of my favorites. Spying, Omar was charged with spying, in violation of the laws of war yet. And it’s a ‘war crime’. So in order to be – Hamdan said spying had not attained international recognition anyway. What Omar was charged with here: to be charged with spying, because I mean this is pretty ironic considering the world we live in anyway. But to be charged with spying, you have to be caught in the act. You have to be on U.S. territory, snooping around somewhere you’re not supposed to be and you need to use deception. Like to have tricked somebody to do that, right?
Heather: That’s the definition, the legal definition, of what you can prosecute on spying. Because spying is a funny thing, because everybody does it all the time, but it’s just if you get caught, right? So what they were charging Omar for spying for, is because as a child in Afghanistan…
Okay how they said he used deception was because he was wearing his clothes. He wasn’t wearing military uniform for the fairly obvious fact that he didn’t belong to a military. He was wearing the clothes a kid would wear. So this is what they call “deception”. He was standing by the side of the road, which was not U.S. property, it was the side of the road in Afghanistan. And he was watching, according to the U.S., he was watching U.S. military vehicles go by and telling somebody that U.S. military vehicles went by. Without any evidence whatsoever that he did this, what they are saying is: you observed a presence patrol, a U.S. military presence patrol. And what a U.S. military presence patrol is for, is it’s a public show of force. Like, when the military goes straight down the main street to let everybody know the U.S. military have big guns and they are a big deal around here. That is the patrol that Omar as a kid, wearing kid clothes, was standing by the side of the road, with all the other kids watching, and that is the bases of his spying charge. There is so many ‘not internationally recognized’ there, it’s not even funny right?
Glen: Well I mean, the whole thing of this, they are just trying to have more, not any quality not any reality to the charges, just more. Just dream up more, just make a higher pile.
Heather: They said it’s a war crime for anyone to kill the U.S. military or to look at them. It’s illegal to fight the U.S..
Glen: That sounds like an American law.
Heather: It does, can you tell me why Canadians are upholding this?
Glen: Well there are many reasons for that. I mean we can go back to John Manley with the anti-terrorism legislation. It was a matter of commerce. It had nothing to do with security, it was because we needed American money. And I don’t think that’s really changed. In all this time.
Heather: You know when Canadians read any story about Omar Khadr I would really like us to look at the people saying that Omar:
1) that he pled guilty, when they know that – any journalist in Canada surely knows the story – they know what they are saying when they’re saying that he pled guilty. It’s an absolutely horrible, vile, disgusting thing to say to somebody who had been through that. When they say he pled guilty to five war crimes? They are flat out lying their faces off to the Canadian people. These are not Canadian war crimes, these are not internationally recognized war crimes. They aren’t even U.S. recognized war crimes. So why is our state media lying to us, about what is a war crime and what is not a Canadian recognized war crime. I mean surely our state media’s job is to educate the public in the norms of our society and our laws.
It’s like the Sun media polls to decide citizenship. Or CBC, also runs polls to decide how we should behave. We have a legal system. What do we have a legal system for if our media are going to decide all these things for us and create new war crimes when they don’t exist?
Glen: Well this is a way to avoid the courts. You convict in the court of public opinion. That’s what they are doing. The last thing they want to do is go to court. Look at the Harper government they are 0 for 11 at the Supreme court. They don’t want to go to court. They want to do it in the public venue. Because they know they’re going to lose in court. They know it.
Heather: We have something on our website too – please tweet it at any media, or send it to any media that you see using these words. The incomparable Gail Davidson wrote it, from Lawyers Right Watch Canada. It’s just a reminder to media that when they say these words:
Crimes are violations of statutory penal law – he committed none.
War crimes are serious violations of International Humanitarian Law – he committed none.
A guilty plea is the accused freely and voluntarily given in open court and
involuntary statements are not admissible.
Also, looking back over everything I have just gone on about over for the last over an hour here, there are war crimes in this case. Omar did not commit any. But him [Omar] being shot in the back while lying prone under the rubble is an obvious war crime. Him being tortured is a war crime. And, Canada, right now, the U.S. can say they are not a signatory to the ICC or the Geneva Convention or anything else because they are a completely rogue nation. But Canada has obligations under all these treaties. Canada is right now imposing a sentence without a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, with all the judicial guarantees which Canadian citizens and international citizens are entitled to. And that is a huge breach of the Geneva Conventions and it is a crime in Canada. Every day that Omar Khadr spends in jail is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and Canada is breaking International Humanitarian Law by keeping him there. Because he was never sentenced by anything like a regularly constituted court. We know it. We have unending evidence of it. He was not sentenced to any crimes that are real crimes. All evidence, everything that has happened in the trial was just a complete farce.
Those are three war crimes right there, and every single one of them is being committed against Omar. And Canada was complicit in the torture and they are right now committing a violation of the Geneva Conventions by keeping him in jail.
Glen: We know why. Because it works for them. No other reason.
Heather: The other one you will find in Canadian media all the time, Toronto Star and CBC and all the rest of them, is: When he [Omar] was first captured, we were told that he had killed a U.S. medic. There is a fairly obvious reason for that, because everybody knows, a soldier killing a soldier is not a crime – or a war crime. But killing a medic is.
We were told that he had killed a medic and he was the only one still alive to do so. So a medic is a protected person under the Geneva Conventions, right?
So if Omar had killed a medic, if he had done so knowingly, which obviously – if he lobbed a grenade from that prone position and somehow magically hit this guy – that, was not knowingly …
If the medic was wearing clear insignia , which he certainly wasn’t, he was wearing an Afghani uniform – disguised; in violation of the laws of war.
If the medic was not in active combat, which he certainly was, he was a Special Forces trained commando.
If Omar had been an adult.
None of these conditions are met. And not only that, Christopher Speer was not a medic. He was an elite commando, he was a member of the 19th Special Forces group. They were trained as medics as part of their training. Every member of the Special Forces has medic training. That does not mean they are medics. They did not act as medics. He was acting as a professional killer, he was not acting as a professional medic.
You will see in Canadian media all the time, that he was a medic and the only reason for that is because they are trying to pretend that Omar committed a war crime, where there was none.
And not only was there none, but the US never even ever bothered trying to pull that. They never tried to present Speer as a medic. When we got the Guantanamo files leaked, in the WikiLeaks batch, he wasn’t called a medic. He was never called a medic in any court documents, that is a Canadian media invention. A deliberate lie to manipulate Canadian outlook and make them think that this is an actual real war crime. For the Canadians that are intelligent enough to know that, no, killing a soldier in a battle is not a crime.
They are once again trying to bypass Canadian law, recognize crimes that we don’t have, right?
Glen: Well crimes that didn’t even happen. Never mind if they exist or not.
Heather: Well everything. The court wasn’t real, the crimes weren’t real, the evidence wasn’t real, the witnesses weren’t real. Omar’s category, this Neverland with no rights wasn’t real, the entire thing from start to finish was a farce.
Glen: And yet it goes on.
Heather: And yet it goes on. And every single day that it does Canada is committing an International crime by keeping him there.
Glen: Something I mentioned in the opening was the other Canadians who had been rounded up, with CSIS giving tips to foreign intelligence agencies to arrest Canadians outside of Canada, which changed all the rules for rendition and anything else…
Glen:They made it clear that once they were freed and returned, that CSIS kept putting out these false flags about them. ‘They actually are terrorists but they got off on a technicality.’ No, the technicality is they’re fucking innocent. That’s what the technicality is.
That has never stopped for Omar and I would put it right at the CSIS doorstep. Just like as for everybody else.
Heather: Exactly. And Canadian media is kind of a one voice thing. Every single article; if it’s from Sun Media: it says “Killer Khadr”; if it’s from Toronto Star it says “Omar Khadr who pled guilty to five war crimes including murder”. They’re both saying the exact same thing. It is a one voice media. And that is the description.
You could be calling him “The Tortured Child who was a Victim of Bagram” but no, we don’t have any voice like that. We have the exact same message, cohesive message, in every single outlet in twelve and a half years.
Glen: While we brought CSIS in to it, I know that a lot of people have seen the video of CSIS interrogating Omar at Guantanamo. I think that is one of the most false, duplicitous, evil things I have ever seen anybody, working for Canada, do. What a circus that was. I just dare any other Canadian citizen to think about people from your government coming to see you and that’s how they treat you. That’s how they work for you.
Heather: The Canadian passive aggressive, the way they conduct themselves… There is an old story – apocryphal probably – about Trudeau and some U.S. ambassador, where the U.S. ambassador said something about Canada is so nice that we didn’t murder all our first nations people and Trudeau said, “Yes you shot yours, we starved ours to death”. I mean, that is Canada. Like CSIS with the nasty little spiteful behind-your-back messages to foreign governments. We are seeing more and more people leave Canada and they can’t go back and they can’t fly or they are arrested in some foreign country. The way our media is, and the way that country is, nobody wants to say they were refused board on any flight because they were on a no flight list. As a Canadian, you don’t dare say that you are refused board, because you will get that passive aggressive ‘you must be guilty’.
And the whole: Canada refusing to give him his sun glasses, refusing any medical care, refusing to bring him up here. We’ll just let the U.S. deal with that. I’ve heard for years and years people say, “Oh Canada is doing the U.S.’s dirty work by keeping Omar in Guantanamo and I do not believe that for one second. Canada was behind that …
Glen: Heather you are breaking up again.
But, we know what you said. There’s all the other cases. Between 2001 and 2004, three other Canadians were arrested by Syrian authorities on false information, supplied by CSIS. Linking them to terrorism. All of them were held for prolonged periods, without charge, and tortured. CSIS assisted the Syrian interrogators. Just like they did in GTMO to help they Americans. One of the men was transferred to an Egyptian prison and they carried on there. And there is the case of Mahar Arar, which a lot of people are familiar with. It was the same damn thing. There has been another case, in 2010, of a Canadian being being arrested while he was out of the country and his family home was raided by 50 armed RCMP, with no warrant, looking for a bomb and found nothing. This stuff is been going on for a long time. This guy Mr Cowaja has found proof that the Security Minister Ann McLellan sent a message from Ottawa to arrest this guy. But suddenly the Liberal government seem to have misplaced that. They couldn’t find it. So this has been going on for such a long time. It is not just Harper. I wish it was. But it’s not. It’s Canada! This is what people have to understand here. It is too easy to blame this on Harper, like so many other things that we can. This has been going on a lot longer.
[Contact restored with Heather]
Glen: Heather, I said my piece about all the other Canadians that have been screwed up.
For the amount of time that Omar was held in Guantanamo, there was never a case brought. There was never formal charges, there was never access to legal help. There was the CSIS bait and switch. Is there any reason? What reason did they give that he sat in Guantanamo for all these years?
Heather: You know Glen, I would dearly, dearly, dearly love to see what is in Omar’s file and in CSIS and the Canadian government everywhere. All I know about Omar and why he was treated so horribly and why he is still in there and why he has never been allowed to communicate with anybody, all I know about it: it is the most tightly protected secret I have ever seen in Canada. So I would really like to know why. All I know from reading the U.S. state cables and from watching this government fight every single thing, all the way up to the Supreme Court and not letting anybody ever communicate with Omar and not letting Omar have any communication out. And the spite and the malice that has been around this case for twelve and a half years, all I know is, that it is really important to them for some reason.
And if you look at the things that the Canadian media have not covered. There have been no reports in the Canadian media for twelve and a half years that have been in-depth reports on Omar’s health. All the injuries that he has had and the medical care he has not received and everything that is physically wrong with the man. We have no information about that. They have never covered that. They have never covered CSIS involvement properly. We get those quick little mentions of the court cases. Nobody has ever told us, who those men were. There is no investigative reporting, there is nobody asking questions of the Canadian government, in any real way at all, about CSIS involvement at any point. We haven’t had any decent journalism on this topic for twelve and a half years accept one CBC documentary that was very good.
We need to start asking a whole lot more questions and a whole lot different questions from different angles.
Glen: That just goes back to the concentration of main stream media and the purpose it has taken on; instead of informing it is merely to opinion-ize and direct. If an issue like the lack of medical treatment, I would say, in the Canadian population that would probably would be the number one hot button issue, the way to get people pissed off for what they had done, was for them to understand the seriousness of his injuries. The perilous condition of his eyesight and yet the government refuses to do anything. That’s why they can’t bring this up because that is something that people will understand. In a hurry.
Heather: But even stuff like, this is a man who absolutely craves mental stimulation. He’s so smart and he thinks so very deeply about so many things and he is so curious and his education is another thing that they have put every obstacle in his way. Yes now his eyesight, but all these years of putting every obstacle in his way. When he came to Canada he was refused access to books he was even allowed at Guantanamo.
Guantanamo is such a bizarre world of surreal pseudo-legal things. According to Guantanamo, all the torture, abuse, solitary confinement, and everything you are enduring at that place, is not actually punitive. So by the time his trial came along he was actually not in solitary. He had been in solitary most of his time in Bagram and Guantanamo, all those years. He had actually gotten out of solitary confinement. After his trial, they decided – only the U.S. could be this twisted – they decided they were obeying the spirit of the Geneva Conventions for once in their lives. And after he was ‘convicted’ he was a ‘convicted criminal’, so he couldn’t be associated with – now they were ‘prisoners of war’ for a minute – the rest of the population. So they put him back in solitary. Solitary is hell for anybody. It is internationally recognized torture. It causes lasting damage to you mentally and in many other ways. Many people have testified they would rather any kind of physical torture than solitary confinement. But he was thrown back in solitary confinement, and interrogated again because they decided all those years before weren’t punitive, so he had to have ‘punitive post conviction confinement’ after his trial.
By the time he left Guantanamo he was in 18 hours a day in solitary confinement. He came to Canada, they threw him in 23 hours a day solitary confinement. Try to imagine that, try to do that yourself and see how quickly you go crazy. And not only that; they took away all his possessions, they took away all his books, they took away everything. The reason they did this is because in spite all these years of never having a bad report of Omar from any of those prison guards, from any of these psychiatrists or from anybody. Despite Guantanamo and everybody else saying ‘he was a model prisoner’ our Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews decided that he had to assess Omar. The way he assessed Omar is by putting him for 23 hours a day in solitary confinement which is known to course mental damage. How would this make any sense at all?
Glen: It’s just stacking the deck. Because they can. That’s all.
Heather: Because They Can, exactly. This whole thing, this twelve and a half years, there is no other reason I can come up with accept ‘Because They Can’. It is like Moazzam Begg said it, and everybody who had been anywhere near Omar in prison, they do not understand why he has been treated this way. There is no reason. There is no logical reason. If you read the Guantanamo files, the first thing it says is that they are interested in him because of his dad. Because they are interested in his dad’s friend. Nothing to do with Omar. There was never any pretense that he was a risk. There was never any remotely believable case that he had done anything wrong. The whole entire thing is just incomprehensible.
Glen: Like I said before, I would love to be able to pin all this evil coming out of the Canadian federal system on Harper, but I can’t because it has been going on a lot longer then that. Is it cognitive dissonance or it’s a lack of knowledge, but Canadians simply don’t want to believe this sort of thing, about their Canada. But it is true.
Heather: I have often thought that Canada right now is in many ways in the same position as the U.S. twenty years ago. Twenty years ago the U.S. thought they were the light of the world. Watching them from the outside, they were so convinced they were amazing and they’ve had this wrench of, they’ve had to perceive themselves a completely different way. They have had to face so many realities about themselves that they weren’t aware of. Canada hasn’t done that yet. Canada is still completely believing the myth of the nice Canadian, the polite Canadian who everybody loves, the Human Rights Canadian. They will not face the mirror which is: it’s never been like that, never since the beginning of time. But we have always had amazing media control that presented this image of ourselves that we really fell in love with. We absolutely refuse to face anything different.
Glen: Mainstream media will do nothing to tarnish that dead ideal. They like to keep that out there like it still exists.
Heather: For us, and for people outside Canada as well, yes, sparkly white Canadians.
Reading the U.S. state cables, when I first got to be able to search for Khadr and see what was said, it was the most devastating thing, Glen, as a Canadian. As somebody who has watched Omar go through this all these years and has been wondering all these years what it would take. Everywhere I go in the world, people say: ‘Why do Canadians do this? Tell us what’s wrong with Canadians.’ Then they sit there and look at me and I don’t have a clue.
I don’t understand how to make them [Canadians] react. I don’t understand how they put up with this for so long, but if you read the U.S. state cables, it was horrifying to see it staring at your face. The U.S. Ambassador saying things like: there would be virtually no political blowback domestically for the Conservative Party if the government chose to pursue an appeal to holding up Omar’s human rights.
When they fought all the way to have that video of the CSIS interrogation shown, and Omar’s legal team fought for so long and at such great expense, how many hundreds, thousands of hours they put in on this case, to get this video and show it to the Canadian people, and the U.S. state cable said the apparent hope of Khadr’s Canadian/U.S. lawyers, that dramatic footage of Omar’s tears and complaints would create a groundswell of more favourable public opinion and it would help the government to reverse course, seems to have failed. “Competing joys of the all to brief Canadian summer essentially kept any genuine pressure off the government.” Every Canadian should read the absolute smug contempt for Canadians that both the U.S. and Canadian officials have around this case. The U.S. were actually very concerned, very very concerned about what Canadian opinions were around the treatment of Omar. The Canadians were absolutely arrogant in their very accurate belief that we would do absolutely nothing.
Glen: It’s sad. As you mentioned, the U.S. 20 years ago, we are definitely seeing the same incrementalism that’s been going on, especially since 2006. I guess it’s an issue that sooner or later the whole western so-called first world nations, so-called democracies are going to have to face because there is no free lunch, number one, and number two, the cake is a lie.
Heather: Yes, like I always say The Truman Show starred a Canadian for a reason. Right now we are using Harper the way the U.S. used Bush. They said it’s all Bush’s fault; we were perfect until Bush, Bush the war criminal, Bush is all our problem. We’ll vote Bush out and we’ll all be happy again. We’ll vote for Obama and we’ll be a perfect nation again. And I think Canadians are definitely dong this. But, you know what, Harper is not our problem. The rot goes a lot deeper than Harper.
Glen: Listeners to this show will be able to verify that I have said numerous times on air, that replacing Steven/Bush with Justin/Obama is not going to solve anything.
Heather: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. Bush/Harper make me nauseated, Obama/Trudeau give me hives. There is no improvement in anyhing that we can see there. I mean, as if we choose our Prime Minister anyway. We just happened to accidentally choose how many PMs for decades and decades and each one was financially dependent on or actually related to Paul Desmarais and the Power Corporation? There is going to be no change with anyone coming up.
Glen: It’s the same as the skull and bones making presidents in the U.S.
Heather: The Canadian media loves to say that Omar Khadr is a controversial case in Canada, and Canadians are polarized by him, when the average Canadian doesn’t have a clue who Omar Khadr is. They certainly didn’t before he came home. They were hardly polarized. If you went out on the streets and asked the average Canadian, most of them didn’t know who he was or got him mixed up with one of the others. They were definitely not polarized. But all of these articles for years have quoted people as concerned citizens against Omar Khadr, and if you look at who those concerned citizens are, and Sun media was the only one actually honest enough to put their faces on TV but we’ve seen them at their microscopic rallies against Omar that are gven so much attention in our media, and who they are is this bizarre coalition of the Canadian Jewish Defence League (JDL), which is the Canadian branch of the group that the U.S. FBI have designated as a terrorist group. So we have a terrorist group who is concerned about somebody, a child, they are calling a terrorist. There is a strange thing called the Hindu Advocacy League which is one guy, and the Christian group at the root of the Reform Party. Anyway it’s this weird tiny little group that have created a coalition that they call concerned citizens against Omar Khadr and they like to pretend they are this grassroots movement. The slightest glance at who the people are and you know, they’re the JDL! Can you even imagine anybody, say in Greece or Germany, reporting that somebody is advocating against a Muslim citizen or his family without mentioning that they were the Golden Dawn or neo-nazis? And that’s what we have, they don’t mention who these people are at all.
The other thing the Canadian media keeps doing is promoting harassment to the family. Both Toronto Star and CBC have published the address of Omar’s grandmother. How low can you be? Nobody’s ever pretended his grandparents have done anything wrong, they weren’t near Afghanistan, they did nothing. But they published their address.
Glen: That’s true. Canadian media doxed Omar’s grandmother. That’s true. And as far as I know that’s against the law.
Heather: Do we have any laws? Is it against the law for them to lie? I’d like to know!
Glen: Well there are laws for us and there are laws for them.
Heather: We used to have a broadcasting law, remember that? When they couldn’t deliberately lie to the Canadian people?
Glen: Well that is why Fox News did not get a Canadian channel because the CRTC ruled that they fabricate. And I think that was the last good decision made in Canada. I think that was around 2008.
Heather: Well, when you read that “Omar Khadr pled guilty to five war crimes including murder”? That’s how many lies in that one tiny phrase? I mean, just count the lies in that phrase. And we hear that every single day out of our state media and the Toronto Star.
Glen: Obviously it’s the boilerplate they are going to run with forever and it’s not just the media, it’s the government. It’s duplicitous. It’s collusion is what it is.
Heather: Well, if we read the US state cables, they will run with it until we stop them. All the U.S. state cables were about was watching Canada: ‘Are they going to react to this? Haha, they didn’t.’ It was devastating to read, really, all these years of trying to get a reaction out of Canada and then reading – you know they said “8 in 10 Canadians who saw the footage did not change their vews on Khadr”. You see that kind of smug statement in a cable from the U.S. and Canada – they were watching us, we could’ve reacted, we could’ve had Omar home. He didn’t have to go through all of this. Canadians who say, whenever I bring [Omar] up, “Oh, you know, Harper, oh, the media … ” It was us all along. If you read the U.S. state cables, it was us all alonng. We had the power to change it, we still have the power to change it. And we just aren’t.
Glen: Exactly. And that is something that the freeomar.ca website makes sure that you see. We can change this because the fact exists: there’s never been a criminal charge, there’s never been a criminal conviction anywhere. Afghanistan, United States, Canada, nowhere. They haven’t even brought charges because they know they won’t win. Habeas corpus, this is the absolute definition of it. Why is this man in jail?
Heather: All the court cases that his team has fought, pro bono, you know it’s exhausting for his tiny tiny legal team, it’s exhausting for them financially, they are fighting on so many different fronts and they can’t keep up with this and they have no support from, again, the Canadian people. You know it’s horrible when you watch a potato salad get more support than a tortured child. People just really don’t want me to say this, but they’ve had twelve and a half years and it’s time that people grew up and faced it. If they want Canada to be a perfect place like it is in their brains, it requires some effort to make this happen.
Glen: That’s true.
Heather: It’s not like Canada couldn’t. Canada has such amazing potential. Even our laws, the laws around First Nations and property rights and things like that, in so many ways there is more potential for us to create real change than pretty much anywhere else on earth. It just requires a little bit of effort. What we always thought we were was this leading human rights light of the world, we are in every position to be.
Glen: Well again, comparing us to our neighbour to the south, I think something Canada is guilty of in the last few decades is now we buy our own shit. People tell us that we are this and we are that and we say “Yeah, we are, aren’t we cool.” And then that’s it. Which is unfortunate because there is no democracy without participation. And I’m sorry, Canada is not a democracy right now.
Heather: Well there’s no participation. People just go home and do their thing. There is 0 time for fellow Canadians who are in trouble like Omar is, or like many many other cases we could name. Canadians who are put on the no fly list or get in trouble away from home, they wouldn’t dare come back to Canada and say that. They know what would happen. They wouldn’t exactly be supported, would they?
Glen: The Harper government has been especially vigilant in pumping that up too, with all this ongoing nationalism and “We’ll define what a Canadian is for you.” It’s McCarthyism is what it is. Divide and conquer is method one for these guys and it’s not just the Conservatives, it’s how business is done. As long as people keep eating it when it’s put in front of them. People say to me, how do we fight this government? How do we get people to see them for what they are? I say, use the same methods. They use them because they work. Just change the message. But use the same methods. “Well no, we’re not going to stoop to their level.” Well, they got there by using those methods. So if you want to beat them it only makes sense you should probably use what works. But that’s just me. Ridiculous. But it’s going to be a big year. And I hope that Omar gets mentioned when the campaign starts.
Heather: Not one of these three candidates is willing to even look at you if you mention his name. I’m going to have Justin’s people on me right now saying “Justin spoke!” (laughs) I want Omar free, ok? I just want to leave it at that. Get Omar free. The Canadian people have it well within their power. There is not some legal process keeping him there, we are actually breaking the law every day that he is there. It requires political pressure, it requires pressure from Canadians, both to get him treated properly and to get him out of there.
Glen: When he was first repatriated, the government put him in a maximum security institution right off the bat. Then his legal teamtook it to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and they ruled that the federal court didn’t make any sense. And that’s how he got into a medium security faciliy. Again this just proves the point, all these world players spinning these stories, the last place they want to be is in a real court. Because we know what happens.
Heather: But he is fighting on so many fronts right now. It’s absolutely exhausing for one little pro bono legal team to keep coming up with these things when he is being attacked and every single thing is appealed right up to the Supreme Court every single time, it’s ridiculous. And the spite and malice surrounding every single thing to do with Omar that takes every little comfort from him. This boy has dreamed of seeing Canada all these years; he has dreamed of anything beautiful, any picture, any poetry, you know he craves stimulation as anyone who has been in solitary all his life would, and he will probably be blind before he sees Canada. Before he gets to read anything he wants, before he gets to see anything.
Glen: There’s no words for that. That’s beyond a crime. Such human indifference. And coming from Canada no less. Canadians need to absorb this.
Heather:The message is so controlled. The media is so controlled, we are given this glossy glossy Truman Show picture of ourselves to look at – you know it’s totally like the Truman Show, the security that scurry out as soon as you try to look behind the curtain, right?
Omar not having any Canadians, he had not communicated with his family, no consular visits, nothing for all those years in Guantanamo. Then when he first did talk to his family five years later, this child was 15 years old and he did not talk to his family until he was 20 years old, and when he talked to his family a Canadian foreign Affairs official had to be present and ensure that there was absolutely no attorneys present at the other end of the phone. The calls had to be in English despite the fact that every other Guantanamo detainee, if they chose to, they were allowed to speak in Arabic. He was forbidden pens in Guantanamo when other detainees were allowed them. Just on and on and on, he has been kept under lockdown like no other human being I have seen in my life, like I said, I always wanted to know what the heck are they afraid of. Anything they are guarding that carefully I think we should really try to see. And he’s not allowed to speak to media. One of the court cases right now is to try to get him able to speak to the media. Every communication is so monitored. The Minister of Public Safety said they would have to lock down the entire prison for Omar to speak to a reporter. That is honestly what he said, including the chapel and everything, the entire prison would have to be on lockdown for this one 28 year old guy who has never done anything or had anything bad said about him by anybody to speak to a reporter.
Glen: Well that’s just a way of making up so many excuses that it’s not going to happen, that’s all that is. And it’s being allowed to be done.
Heather: And Canadians, passive aggressive, passive aggressive, passive aggressive, till one year passes, two years passes, we are in our thirteenth year now, the man is 28 years old, and Canadians are just like “Yes, yes, we’ll get on with it, it just has to go through the process.” You know, meanwhile, he’s going to die in there.
Glen: This process they are talking about they are making up as they go, this is the problem.
Heather: Well Harper has said, he doesn’t care and the Minister of Public Safety, they’ve both said, even if the appeal in the U.S. is successful they don’t care. They’ve got him in prison and it’s up to their parole board whether he gets out or not, not up to a U.S. appeal. So they accepted a verdict from an absolute kangaroo court. We didn’t go over the trial but the trial was even worse than any of the rest of it. They actually – I told you they showed shrapnel from a different guy six years later as evidence. They showed a simulation of a jeep blowing up. Even though Omar didn’t blow up a jeep and wasn’t charged with blowing up a jeep, they still showed a simulation of one. We have no idea why, it’s kind of like CNN talking about Anonymous. [Fox News actually] They brought in an expert witness who had actually falsified his resume and was no expert witness at all. Even the judge said he would be more likely to be accurate if he used a ouija board. The whole entire trial, it would take another two hours to go over the trial. But this the Canadian government is happily upholding, but they have said if the U.S. appeal is successful they don’t care.
Glen: Well I think this is the luxury of being in a legal world that doesn’t even exist. You can just pick your side that day, we are going to go with this, we are not going to go with that. It’s all based on bullshit. They just think they have a right to pick whichever side of the board suits them that day because there is no precedent, there is no legality to it.
Heather: Yep. Sun media poll. And CBC media poll. When you live in a country where the media puts up polls to decide whether or not a citizen should be allowed to have human rights, you know that’s a pretty special country right there. I mean I thought we had a legal system. I can’t really decide whether or not I like Glen is whether he is entitled to human rights or just be barred from the country for no particular reason. We are supposed to have laws. It’s like I said, when I say murder and people say “well that’s a grey area, not black and white,” no it’s not! There’s nothing grey about it, it’s a legal definition. We have black and white laws that we’re supposed to follow. But you know when you say they think they can get away with it, that’s because – it’s like in the U.S. state cables, they were watching us and we didn’t say boo.
Glen: Yep. We did what we were told.
Heather: We completely ignored the whole thing because it wasn’t pretty to look at. That’s actually a quote, “the competing joys of the all too brief Canadian summer” distracted us.
Glen: Well I mean I think this is just the overall effect from all the other cases of rendition under false circumstances. It’s just vendettas, false information, sooner or later everybody else got cut loose because they deserved to be loose, and yet there’s still never been an admission, there never will be an admission that they were wrong. It’s beyond them to even do that and that is something that was never a part of the Canadian system until the last 30 years. I mean think back to the Mulroney – Turner debate when Turner basically lost the election because he told the truth on national television. When Mulroney questioned him about the senate appointments. He said “I had no choice.” That lost him the election but he told the truth. That just doesn’t happen any more. And that’s probably why because the rest of them learned, look what happened to John Turner.
Heather: Well you know that documentary about Omar and the title of it, right? “You don’t like the truth.” That’s what he said to CSIS. He answered their questions and they just kept asking, you know they didn’t like the truth and Canadians don’t like the truth either. They would much much rather have CBC tell them they are wonderful and well thought of around the world than to have them tell them that they tortured a child and they continue to do so right now. If you want to know what a farce Omar’s trial was, on our site freeomar.ca, read his plea deal. Read the plea deal he was forced to sign to get out of Guantanamo. The prosecutor at the time, the defence, everybody has said this is the only place on earth where the only way you get out or stop the torture is by being convicted of being guilty of something. If you read the plea deal of what he had to agree to for his kangaroo court trial and all the evidence he wasn’t allowed to bring and the fact that he is now not allowed to say .. People who have left Guantanamo, we’ve all heard many times this statistic of how many recidivist Guantanamo detainees there are? Most people don’t ask what the U.S. considers recidivist. It includes everyone who ever says that anything bad happened to them at Guantanamo. That’s recidivism. If you talked about anything bad that happened to you or you say you signed your plea deal under duress and you didn’t really actually do anything.
Read his plea deal and you will understand just what a joke his trial was. He wasn’t allowed to bring any evidence. The U.S. was allowed to destroy evidence. The U.S. brought the most discredited expert witness psychiatrist instead of the two unbelievably well qualified psychiatrists that Omar spent hundreds of hours with they brought in ths man who .. like I said, the judge said he would have been more accurate if he had used a ouiji board. He is an international joke. There is again on the site there is something called Dr. Sageman on Welnar’s testimony that talks about the witness that the U.S. brought. It’s well worth reading because Dr. Sageman is brilliant and he had quite a cutting critique.
OVERTIME: Selections only.
Heather: We wanted Canadians to try to get statements from their MPs because it’s Canadian history and we don’t want it to be changed. I wrote one article where I just spread sheeted the Toronto Star coverage of Omar Khadr frm 2010 to 2012. I just looked at keywords and counted how many times they said ‘torture’, how many times they said ‘murder’, ‘al qaeda’, ‘terrorist’, you know all these words, good and bad and it’s pretty phenomenal. It really ought to be done for all Canadian media. Canadians in the future deserve to see how this existed.
Heather: One of the initiatives we tried to do that kind of flopped because no one really did it was we wanted people to try and get, again for Canadian history, statements from each of the MPs. Current statements, not “Oh, I spoke in the past” but answer a couple questions about their position on Omar. To have them on record for our kids to look at. They are too much allowed to huddle in a mass and vote in a block and ignore things, or, as Trudeau told me, “Oh, I shouted out something on the floor.” Let’s have an official statement. If you look on the site and see the amount of politicians who have given their official position on Omar, it is ludicrously low. Romeo Dallaire, the Green Party, almost nobody else. And yes, I do know that Justin Trudeau said Omar should be entitled to the same rights as other Canadians, he said that after Omar was brought home.
One of the things I did with the Toronto Star, I looked at all their coverage from his trial date up to 2012. I am a huge fan of data not opinions, let’s just look at what actually happened in the data for the historical record, for Canadians, to look at what the media did. ‘Toronto Star coverage of Omar Khadr since his trial week, October 25, 2010.’ In Canada we are so used to saying Sun media is horrible, the rest are good. Certainly they know how to use semi-colons and they are literate. In Canada, for those who don’t know, the reason I picked the Toronto Star is they are the ones who are held up as being very pro-Omar Khadr. This is a lefty newspaper you go to if you want to get a good human rights view, it’s not Sun media or anyone like that. And they are always accused of being pro-Omar. They are guided by the Atkinson principles which say they are supposed to be guided by social justice and individual and civil liberties, and they are supposed to be the experts on Omar Khadr.
The word ‘convicted’ appears, completely uncontested 34 times in 24 articles. War crimes, which we went over, do not exist. ‘War crimes and ‘war criminal’ appear 40 times as factual detail. The plea deal – we didn’t even go over the plea deal. It’s an abomination and he signed it after eight years of torture, after every single one of his lawyers said “Please, please sign it.”
Omar for eight years refused to sign a plea deal because he said “What would Canadians think of me?” You ask any of his defence lawyers and that’s true, Omar refused through eight years of hell to sign a plea deal and he eventually signed it and the Star rubs that in his face 40 times in 24 articles, that he signed a plea deal. He ‘pled guilty’, ‘admitted’, ‘confessed’, for all the world as though this is a normal court and normal circumstances. There is absolutely no evidence that he killed somebody and as we went over, even if he did kill somebody the word murder is not appropriate, but the Star uses the words ‘murder’ and ‘killer’ 50 times in 24 articles. They used ‘jihad’ 8 times; he was a 15 year old boy, he has never said any such thing. They used ‘al-Qaeda’ 25 times in 24 articles. ‘Terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ 30 times.
There’s a really interesting renaming right after the so-called trial too. The U.S. renamed everything in the first place but that wasn’t bad enough for CBC and the Toronto Star. They called the Guantanamo Military Commission a U.S. war crimes tribunal. What the Pentagon called ‘punitive post-conviction confinement’, because apparently being tortured and in solitary for years wasn’t punitive, the Star renamed it to ‘restrictive post-conviction custody’.
In these 24 articles, ‘torture’ appeared 3 times, once only in naming the UN Committee Against Torture. The UN Committee Against Torture criticized the Canadian government for delaying Omar’s return and specifically recommended that Canada, and the Star is Canada’s largest circulation newspaper, they recommended that Canada’s media raise awareness of the Convention Against Torture requirements among judges and members of the public. But when talking about Omar, the word ‘torture’ is used only twice to refer to Omar in 24 articles in our largest circulation newspaper.
This is Canada’s supposedly most friendly paper. I didn’t go after the Sun here or some random blog, this is the largest circulation paper in Canada and the one supposedly most friendly to Omar and this is what the coverage has been like. If Canadians want to know who’s behind this, who’s been controlling the message and shaping the opinions, ask your MPs for their opinion, ask them to put it in black and white and sign their names to it so we can put it on our site, and help me spreadsheet this stuff. Go through and start spreadsheeting the words that have been used around this case and start challenging the media when they say things that are absolute flat out lies.
Hey guys if you are new to #OpDeathEaters don’t be afraid to ask questions, feel free to ask us anything you would like more information on or explained. Check below for what we have already answered. We’ll try to answer your questions as soon as possible.
A: The objective of #OpDeathEaters is an independent, internationally linked, victim-led inquiry/tribunal into the child trafficking and paedosadist industry.
Q: What do all those words mean?
A: Independent of all institutions potentially being investigated for complicity.
Autonomous to each region but internationally communicating and co-operating.
Run by qualified and experienced people who the victims and general public can trust.
Legally binding inquiry to gather evidence for the justice system unless the justice system is deemed by the public to be so corrupt that independent, legally binding tribunals are necessary.
Paedosadist industry includes all the industries using children as products, whether for rape, other sadism, ritual killings, labour slavery, organs, drugs and trafficking mules or militias. These industries are impossible to separate.
What is happening on February, Friday the 13th?
#OpDeathEaters Solidarity for Independent Inquiries
A: A member of a sociopathic society where the societal norms or culture are driven by sadism or sexual sadism disorder. The agony of others is not a side effect of their actions but a goal. Death eaters are distinct from those with an individual personality disorder in that their society’s norms, structure and actions are all constructed to feed and support their sadism.
Q: What is the difference between a pedosadist and the sexual orientation of pedophilia?
A: There is no such thing as a sexual orientation called paedophilia. A sexual orientation, or sex, requires consenting partners. It is not sex if some of those involved are called victims, that is rape. Someone attracted to rape has sexual sadism disorder or paraphilic coercive disorder. Someone attracted to the rape of children is a paedosadist. A paedosadist who acts on their impulses is a criminal paedosadist, one who does not is a non-offending paedosadist.
Q: What is the difference between paedosadist and pedosadist?
A: Paedosadist is the UK spelling, pedosadist is US.
Q: Is OpDeathEaters going after paedosadists on the deep dark web?
A: No, the media made that up because they didn’t want to say we were going after paedosadists in parliament and other powerful institutions. But if we get rid of the ones in institutions of power, we are confident we can get rid of those on the web as well, deep or no.
Q: How do I report paedosadist imagery on the Internet?
A: Talk to our comrades at @ReportaPed0 and #OpPedoHunt. #OpDeathEaters focuses on high level complicity, obstruction of justice, cover ups, and child trafficking.
Q: Where do I donate to #OpDeathEaters?
A: OpDeathEaters is a global idea and the duty of all adults. Do not ever donate to anyone claiming to be #OpDeathEaters.
Q: Is OpDeathEaters calling for vigilante justice?
A: No. #OpDeathEaters is calling for legally binding inquiries and, if necessary, tribunals.
Q: Which inquiry does #OpDeathEaters support?
A: It is not #OpDeathEaters business to choose or support one inquiry over another. We support the right of the people to choose an inquiry format and panel which they can trust.
Q: When will Anonymous be finished setting up inquiries?
A: #OpDeathEaters is for all adults, not just Anonymous. To get support for inquiries we need easily presented facts and the best case(s) which need to be (re)opened and we need discussion forums on reddit, facebook, google+, instagram, Pinterest, tumblr, blogs, community halls, news media, everywhere. We need to have a global network of people committed enough to do the research and build community suppport in each region. We can then spread that information as widely as possible and organize inquiries. There will be no inquiries of any kind without massive public support.
Q: Is Anonymous going to hack and find evidence of high level paedosadists?
A: There is no need for anyone associated with #opDeathEaters to ever hack a site or view illegal images. All of the evidence we need to establish a need for inquiries is publicly available. In the UK, even attempting to call up an illegal image is called ‘creating’ a child abuse image and is a crime. Don’t do it. Hacked evidence is inadmissible in court and you could mess up a real investigation. Don’t do that either.
Q: But the media told me all Anonymous were hackers?
A: Not really. The only hacking we are doing this time is writing code. That’s not illegal yet.
Q: What if someone on the #OpDeathEaters tag told me to hack or download child abuse?
A: Block them and report them to twitter for abuse and tell others to do the same.
Q: I did support #OpDeathEaters but someone on the tag said something I disagree with.
A: We do not control Twitter. We are only responsible for the information we collect for the database.
Q: No one is the boss of Anonymous. You can’t decide what OpDeathEaters is.
A: No one can tell Anonymous what to do and everyone is free to help an op or not as they choose. But if they disagree with the core objectives of the op (as written here) they may be Anonymous but they aren’t part of OpDeathEaters. That’s how it works.
Q: How do I give testimony to #opDeathEaters?
A: At this tme, OpDeathEaters has no way of ensuring your safety, providing emotional support or ensuring your information will be acted on. Fight for a legally recognized, independent, victim-led inquiry which can provide a safe place for victim and witness testimony.
Q: But I have really important information and I want to tell you anyway?
A: Make 3 copies of it and pass it as either encrypted files or in person to people you trust will get it to the right place when it is safe to do so. Also, see if you can find a reporter who understands source protection to publish your information. If your information is legally actionable, try taking it to a lawyer and seeking justice. If that is not an option, at least try to present your information in legally actionable affidavit format when passing it to others. The database will eventually allow secure affidavit uploading, not for public viewing but to be collected by human rights law firms or inquiries. Talk to Heather Marsh (@GeorgieBC) after the database is live if you are a human rights lawyer and wish to help with that. The database may eventually be used to upload affidavits to inquiries after they are established.
A: We are looking for primary source, court documents and mainstream media reports. Using mainstream media and above sources is legal protection against false accusation and libel. As @der_bluthund points out, we can use blogs if they are by a recognized expert such as a lawyer, social worker, police or similar. Our first objective is to create a database which will track the influence networks around known cases.http://www.hundhaus.uk/2015/01/opdeatheaters-research-101/
When the database is operative we will work with human rights law firms (or hopefully established independent inquiries) to allow victim testimony in affidavit format to be submitted confidentially to those legally empowered to act on it. We have two primary obstacles for those seeking justice: the powerful support and perceived credibility of the accused and the frequently very vulnerable positions of the accusers. Many former victims are drug addicts as they were fed drugs by their abusers from a very young age. Many have mental health issues and are in institutions of one kind or another. Those in refugee camps or otherwise dependent have no voice to the outside. They are very vulnerable to being silenced. In order to have true equality under the law, we have to both remove (and prosecute) the support networks covering for the accused and proactively protect and seek testimony from the vulnerable. It is not enough to simply ask that they come forward when many are in no position to do so.
Q: Will the database just be looking at child rapists?
A: No. It is impossible to separate child rapists from those using children for ritual killings, organ harvesting, militias, slaves, drugs and weapons trafficking mules and more. We are also not looking at just those participating directly in paedosadism, we are looking at the influence networks of obstruction of justice and potential blackmail upholding them.
Q: Why are people mentioning the Clintons when he has not been accused of paedosadism?
A: The US Attorney General’s instruction to the US Justice Department was to “pursue justice without making a political mess”. The connection between Epstein and the Clintons, among others, could be seen as a possible factor in Epstein serving only 13 months of ‘house arrest’ (which included regular flights to the US virgin islands and NY) for criminal activity which would usually have resulted in a far stronger sentence. That relationship could then be considered a reason the case should have gone to an independent, victim-led tribunal protected by transparency and public support.
Q: What about Prince Andrew? Sex with a 17 year old wasn’t even illegal in the jurisdictions it occurred?
A: We are interested in Prince Andrew for potential blackmail, obstruction of justice and influence peddling in criminal networks. He has also been accused of participating in an underaged sex orgy.
Q: Is this just a UK / US op?
A: Phase one was @opGabon. This is a problem in every state and international organization of any size.
Q: Aren’t there NGOs fighting this?
A: We have found infilteration of NGOs, HelpLines, police, and every type of organization set up ostensibly to aid victims. A high level mafia will always co-opt any organization their victims will run to.
Q: Why don’t you leave it to international organizations like the United Nations and Interpol?
A: There have been high level complicity and cover-ups there too.
Q: Is it just the Catholic church?
A: We have evidence from every major religious group. Where there is power, secrecy and impunity, there is paedosadism.
Q: So is it the Masons? Or the Illuminati?
A: Whatever the origins, this is a problem that not only spans the globe but also is throughout every layer of society and can no longer be pinned to one group or reason. It is like metastasized cancer at this point.
Q: Why are you going after the top?
A: This is an industry. Going after the consumers while leaving those who create and enable the industry and the advertising for the industry intact will never work. Many paedsosadists are former victims and, as in the drug industry, the current laws have served as a means to blackmail victims and witnesses who may otherwise have gone to the police.
Q: What about WeProtect? Aren’t they doing the same thing?
A: WeProtect is an Internet censorship campaign aimed at blocking search results into paedosadism so the public will never be able to research a project such as opDeathEaters again. It also promises to arrest a lot of low level people (like victims and witnesses) and fill the prisons, but the same government is still blocking an inquiry into high level complicity in paedosadism. #WeProtect is the top planning to arrest the bottom. #OpDeathEaters is the bottom planning to arrest the top.
Q: What should we do about this? Should we kill all pedosadists or put them in jail or what?
A: We created the paedosadism industry, we can dismantle it.
Q: I want #opDeathEaters to be a big success in my country but the official Anonymous OpDeathEaters account for my state isn’t doing much.
A: There are no official accounts. Start another. Most accounts start with @opDeathEaters or @opDE so we can find them easily. They are for focused research and organizing. They can be formed for specific regions, NGO’s, UN, militaries, churches, corporations, wherever your interest lies.
Q: I’m not good at research or organizing so I am just retweeting and tweeting old tweets all day long. It’s getting boring.
A: Please spread that information to Facebook, reddit, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr, everywhere else you can think of.
Q: I’ve been working on #opDeathEaters and a journalist wants to talk to me. What should I say?
A: Refer them to the FAQ and then answer their questions. As long as no one contradicts the FAQ, anyone can talk about their experiences working on the op.
Q: A lot of the words I am hearing are new to me and they aren’t the same as I hear on the news.
Q: Why use the term “death eaters”? The people you are describing are the utmost depraved perverts on the planet but to get all of this into the heads of the mainstream majority, I just think we need to use more familiar and simpler terms to describe these psycho’s and their evil actions.
A: We really don’t have a term to describe these people. That has been used to block this story for years, as soon as anyone mentions the topic their listeners demand to know who the group is and the conversation descends into ‘the Illuminati’ or ‘the Masons’ or ‘the Satanists’. There are depraved perverts at all levels of society, we are not talking about all of them (and neither of those words suit our meaning in any case). Also, there are people who are very much part of death eaters society who are not paedosadists or even involved in trafficking, they just live within, enable and protect the society and allow it to exist. So a choice, invent a completely new gobbledegook word or use one which everyone understands and is also a completely accurate term for what we mean. Anything less would be rationalizing, normalizing and completely false terminology like ‘paedophile’, comforting to the listeners and allowing them to settle back into slumber in famliar surroundings. We have seen this in the lies presenting child torture and murder around the world as ‘war’, ‘national security’, ‘policing’, etc., and the word ‘paedophile’ had already almost fully buried this story in the UK. This is really our last chance to NOT use familiar and simple terms and confront the fact that we are in fact ruled by death eaters.
Who controls the words controls your thoughts.
Q: How can you guarantee I won’t be arrested or harmed if I fight for the arrest of a powerful mafia?
A: We can’t. Adults assess the level of potential risk they are willing to take to keep children safe from real torture. It is the job of children to reach adulthood, it is the job of adults to do something with their adult lives. The only guarantee in life is death. Your only choice is what you do in the interim.
Q: Oh. Well, any tips at least?
A: The only security will come from society. We need numbers and speed and we need to remove power from sociopaths. Those most in need of protection are in jails and mental institutions and their testimony needs to be heard urgently. We will not bring a powerful sociopathic mafia to justice through encrypted email. Burkina Faso burned their parliament buildings and made at least a portion of their oligarchy flee the country in three days and they did not do it through online security, they used irl action. This mafia is not afraid of encryption (which they wrote) they are afraid of people speaking out loud.
Q: I just want to feel a little secure online? >_<
A: Oh all right, if you want online security tips ask @SamuraiLucy.
Q: Ok. I agree with #opDeathEaters but there are a lot of people talking to me who just want a few little things changed to make it more reasonable. They think it would help us achieve our goals if we made some slight modifications to the objective and used words these people are more comfortable with and appealed to a more mainstream audience and got some celebrities to endorse us and formed an NGO and collected funding and distanced ourselves from all the controversial people behind this op. They tell me that I am very reasonable and if only I distanced myself from these controversial aspects and people I could be a CEO of the new OpDeathEaters NGO and probably have a career in politics and really make a difference.
Activist subtypes: “radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists.”
Radical activists “want to change the system; have underlying socio/political motives’ and see multinational corporations as ‘inherently evil’, do not trust the … federal, state and local governments to protect them and to safeguard the environment. They believe, rather, that individuals and local groups should have direct power over industry … I would categorize their principal aims … as social justice and political empowerment.”
The “idealist” is easier to deal with.
“Idealists…want a perfect world…Because of their intrinsic altruism, however, … [they] have a vulnerable point,” he told the audience. “If they can be shown that their position is in opposition to an industry … and cannot be ethically justified, they [will] change their position.”
The two easiest subtypes to join the corporate side of the fight are the “realists” and the “opportunists.” By definition, an “opportunist” takes the opportunity to side with the powerful for career gain and has skin in the game for “visibility, power [and] followers.”
The realist, by contrast, is more complex but the most important piece of the puzzle, says Duchin.
“[Realists are able to] live with trade-offs; willing to work within the system; not interested in radical change; pragmatic. The realists should always receive the highest priority in any strategy dealing with a public policy issue.”
Duchin outlined a corresponding three-step strategy to “deal with” these four activist subtypes. First, isolate the radicals. Second, “cultivate” the idealists and “educate” them into becoming realists. And finally, co-opt the realists.
“If your industry can successfully bring about these relationships, the credibility of the radicals will be lost and opportunists can be counted on to share in the final policy solution.”
Q: Well, I can’t help being taken in by feds. I am just too trusting, I am such an honest and caring person myself I could never understand how others could be dishonest. I just like to believe the best about people, I’m not a cynic or a pessimist like others. It’s just not in my nature to not talk to these people and attempt to bring them in and reach a compromise because I am a kind and loving person and I just can’t be rude when they are being so kind to me.
A: You are an unprincipled, weak-willed narcissist. You cannot resist flattery and you are not-so-secretly jealous of those with stronger principles than you and you wish to feel superior by presenting derailment as ‘reasonable’. You are helping derail the objective and the movement and you can’t sit with us.
Q: Ok, I don’t want to be taken in by feds but I see the UK army just added 1500 troops to conduct a propaganda war on Facebook and Twitter along with all the other government socks that were already there. How will I know who these people are?
A: By their techniques. They aim to co-opt, divide and divert. If an idea is anonymous, they will prop up media friendly poppets to claim the idea as their own and divert followers to worthless or harmful objectives (see Sabu or Occupy). With an idea such as OpDeathEaters they would dismiss it as a product of the sensational, poorly researched sites that previously enabled the topic to be dismissed as lunacy. If an idea had an origin, they will discredit the origin. (‘Turing believes machines think. Turing lies with men. Therefore, machines don’t think.’) If an idea has an origin that nothing is known about, that will be portrayed as untrustworthy. If the origin is a well known personality then everything they have ever done will be attacked and they will be portrayed as a ‘narcissist’ and ‘personality cult’ for being well known. Any known person involved at any level will be used as an excuse to divide (‘I love what you are doing but I can’t work on anything X is involved in.’)
The solution is to ignore personalities and block anyone who tries to derail into discussion of personalities. OpDeathEaters is idea driven, stigmergic action, our focus is on the objective and data.
Q: If we just focus on the objective they can’t stop us?
A: Of course they can try. They can redefine the meaning of the objective or each of the words in it and attack each word separately. They can do everything possible to intimidate witnesses, victims, investigators and everyone else involved. They can co-opt panels. They can even flee to other countries and fake their own deaths as the nazis did before Nuremberg. They are currently doing every one of those things, but we have the momentum and they are crumbling.
Q: In the meantime, these trolls on the tag and in my timeline are driving me crazy. What do I say to them?
A: Nothing. They have elite, specialized training in how to drive you crazy. If everyone on the tag uses the block button they can’t do their jobs, they are paid to engage you. Do not engage with intelligence agents trained to divert you.
Q: Who wrote all this crap and who did they go to for authority?
A: Heather Marsh (@georgiebc) and she went to herself.
If you have any further questions feel free to ask any of our main accounts, thank you. Please translate and share the FAQ widely, Hashtag: #OpDeathEaters
Normally I would just paste this, but for anyone looking on this blog for #opDeathEaters information, I am putting it here too.
A few days ago I received a message asking me to follow an account @JustDriveMovie on Twitter, which I did. I then received dm’s from them as follows. As far as I am concerned any communication I received from them was meant for anyone involved in Anonymous or OpDeathEaters since that is the only reason they were contacting me. It is completely in the interest of all people they wish to represent to see how they are to be represented. Since this company said “Confidence that the network will have our backs is essential.” early feedback is of course an advantage for them as well. This is my sole communication with these people.
Them: Thank you. I lk forward to communicating w/you and proving to you that I am who and what I say I am. Values and Principles are my soul.
A man is only willing to bend over backwards so many times before he realizes he wasn’t performing for a potential ally. Its time to take me Seriously.
Me: I said I would talk to you today. My schedule is not yours to order and threats don’t go over well. Explain what you want.
Them: Actually we said we would talk THURSDAY, don’t expect to “control” your schedule, just do as each other says, especially when building trust
Your schedule is no more busy than mine and I’m still reaching out to YOU to use my art, business and life as a vehicle for you, sooo
How about we move past the part where you assume I’m some kid playing games and we have a serious discussion about how I can help.
And its hard to reference your schedule when you post a thousands tweets a day for the cause, but can’t respond to someone willing to
Take on your war in a major way.
Me:This is a response. Still waiting for you to explain what you want.
Them: Fyi Respect goes both ways. I believe what i OFFER has been explained to you by several people. I was told you were the person to have a
Serious conversation with about how we can HELP EACH OTHER, advance the #OpDeathEater cause with enlightenment through entertainment.
If you hv a lot of filmmakers lining up to risk their career catering a script & platform to YOUR agenda,
then sorry for wasting your tweeting time.
Me: I have had one mutual acquaintance ask me to follow you. I know nothing else about you. Serious conversations involve information.
Them: I find that hard to believe considering the public tweets we’ve both been tagged with and ___ told me he sent you my email and talked to you
Several times about what we are willing to do and how we would try and work in as much pertinent details as possible.
I’m willing to use my career/film to be the mainstream vehicle that forces press to broach/discuss the cause. Maybe you and ___should get on
Same page before we go any farther. I’m the one offering the two of you something you simply do not have on your side.
– – –
So, I put this in the spam folder of my mind where so many such communications a day go, but then I received an email explaining further what their objective was and apparently this is a real person so I think it needs to be clarified just how far I stand from this initiative.
OpDeathEaters is a global idea and the duty of all adults. For decades (centuries?) untold numbers of investigators, reporters, victims, witnesses and concerned people have died while trying to expose elite paedosadist and trafficking rings. Right now, untold numbers are risking their safety trying to expose this story. We have responsible adults working worldwide as researchers, investigators, coders, and every other manner of assistance. The work they are doing is exceptional.
Anyone who has never worked on this subject before, takes no risk, wants all promotion and research done for them and also thinks their efforts should benefit from a crowd sourced fundraising campaign is a special kind of arrogant. Add to that these people want to be the “face and voice for the message” (and any new Anonymous operation) and the proposed movie has absolutely nothing to do with real victims or the real campaign and appears to be the worst kind of Great Hero Hollywood tripe, posing as reality, mixed in with conspiracy theory. It would completely destroy the credibility of OpDeathEaters, as well as completely co-opt any media around it. So I thought you should know.
I apologize for the delay. While preparing to write this I found myself quite inspired with strong ideas about how to integrate #OpDeathEaters in to a story that was always meant to serve this type of cause. Before I get into all the surrounding aspects of our ‘Social Filmmaking’ plan, how I see cohesion in agendas and the concerns I have going in, let me start with the story. I attached the current version of the script.
The basic storyline is a disenfranchised superstar (think Russell Brand and his Trews attitude meets George Clooney’s level of influence) figures out on the way to an appearance that the event has been hijacked by a nefarious political force specifically to give the public appearance that our superstar ‘Tony DeFranco’ endorses their agenda. The entire film takes place in a limousine on the way to the event and ends in a high speed chase that culminates with Tony’s publicist offering him an ultimate that includes playing ball and exiting the limo alive, or dying in a horrible crash in a limo full of drugs and dead hookers. As the story unfolds the audience discovers that Tony is the primary financier of ‘Anonymous Operations’ and he has been orchestrating an underground war against the global elite right under their nose from the heart of Hollywood.
I always intended for Tony’s motivations to be more focused and meaningful, so framing his motivations around a major Anonymous Operation like #OpDeathEaters is something I fully support as the writer and an activist.
I immediately wrote up an outline for changes to the script that could dramatically involve key details such as already convicted names, direct references and a central conflict/plot that revolve around the Operation. In a general sense it could look like this, Tony’s Hollywood existence gave him first hand access to this cabal of pedophilia. It was he who originally ordered #OpDeathEaters. He who has been financing and supplying insider information to the operation. The nefarious politician who hijacks his event for their presidential bid, is one of the key ring leaders, the most untouchable, for the cabal and Tony’s antithesis. After Tony picks up a sexy stranger on the way to the event and debates the moral dilemma of going or not going to the event, she convinces him that “you can only remain anonymous for so long, before you must lead by example.” He decides that tonight will be “the night the mask comes off”. When his traitorous, soulless publicist gets wind of his intent, she blackmails the young driver to take Tony on a high speed police chase where she forces the devils ultimatum on him. In the end he chooses to be a martyr for the cause. It leaks out that he drew a triangle into the coke dust before he died and his death becomes a massive conspiracy theory, portrayed in the mainstream media as the nefarious politicians example/platform for why “everyone will be held accountable”. (This is just a sweeping generalization, but with hard specifics from your side I can definitely weave hard facts and truths into the story without skipping a beat and in fact making the story much deeper and more powerful.)
When it comes to production, I have a small, but elite team of studio caliber professionals who are all personal friends. We designed this as a contained thriller that we could use to show off our talents as a team and claim our career independence from the system. (For exactly these kinds of creative freedoms) The film was designed to be shot in just 15 days on a single sound stage. We had intended on shooting it at the Youtube studios, but we must partner with a channel that has over 100k subscribers already. Any chance you’re connected to the anonymous youtube channel? Could be a platform to directly release the film on as well. Some of the linked documents below discuss the business/technical aspects of the film in greater detail. Rest assured we expect the quality of this film to be a stunning leap in what indie filmmaking is capable of. It will have the production quality and heart to win Sundance.
At the same time all of this is happening, we just started shooting initial interviews, and as part of the secondary surrounding content, we are shooting a documentary following our efforts to make this movie. That documentary could easily be expanded to be a documentary about the use of fiction as a vehicle for a delivering a horrifying truth to the population in an un-ignorable way. IE the Hannibal Burris/Bill Cosby moment of reckoning on a massive scale. In addition, by documenting everything and sharing most of it in real time it offers a built in layer of protection from anyone who would mean us harm. Any harm/harrassment to us would only reinforce the truth of what they are, and make this whole story an un-ignorable headline around the world.
Our surrounding plan for the film is very detailed and extensive. It provides countless live and social platforms that combined with the right network could ensure that #OpDeathEaters is a constant trending topic. The linked documents explain our plans in more detail, but the general plan is this… Through live events, viral, reality and transmedia storytelling we intend to document and share the entire process of making our movie as we make it. All of this secondary content will be part of our viral marketing campaign for the film and will be used to hold ourselves accountable to the crowd. Because we will be asking the community to support this film, we have made a commitment to use the film as a platform to give back to the community. There is no limitation on how we do this, but this is what we have planned so far…
LAUNCH – In the Spring of 2015 we intend to host a celebrity charity poker tournament for Big Brother Big Sister. This event will be co-hosted with Aces & Angels the charity poker organization to the stars. This event will be a high profile live streamed event on Youtube – The Anonymous Youtube Channel perhaps? This event will serve as the back drop for an interactive web-a-thon promoting the start of our national crowd fund campaign. The web-a-thon will feature a level of audience guest interaction never before experienced with rewards to match. 50% of the money raised will go to BBBS and 50% will go to us to cover the costs of the event. As part of our agreement with Aces and Angels the event projects no less than $100,000 raised with an expectation of $250,000.
Another part of our charitable commitments will be a 10% pledge of every crowd fund donation to a national charity/cause (TBD) when the campaign ends. The 90% that goes to fund the project will be promised as a donation by the film once it is released.
PRODUCTION – In order to restore the trust and value back into crowd funding the key to our entire business model is shooting the film while the campaign is actually happening. This way through our documenting and sharing, the audience can watch the film come together, meet the people involved, watch the hard work and passion before they even consider donating to the project. During production there would be a live streamed nightly wrap up show from set where a host interviews members of the production, this would be another great nightly platform to remind people why we are doing this.
DISTRIBUTION – While we have traditional distribution contacts, those would only be necessary for foreign sales. For domestic everything would be interactive and cause oriented. With our model we have the freedom to release the film in all traditional formats as well as new media formats such as any youtube channel, theater or alternative platform we choose. For us this means making sure the film releases everywhere at the same time.
We have arranged a theatrical release that goes outside the studio system and is sustained only as long as the demand, without any upfront costs. The CEO of Tugg.com  has promised us a minimum of 200 theater screenings for our release night. Tickets for these screenings will be available from the first day the movie goes into production. Through Tugg additional local screenings can be easily requested by fans or event promoters and include affiliate fees for events that sell out.
On top of that, with a platform called distrify.com we can offer a youtube like video that serves as a trailer/store/vod platform that can be updated from the back end. That means any online press the cause or film gets along the way can embed a youtube like video player in their article that offers fresh content, promos, videos, products and the movie once it is released. It also has a built in affiliates commission. If you and/or us need to issue an important call to arms video, it would instantly populate in any past article, press, blog or website that shared or embedded the player. This has a built in 15% affiliate commission for anyone who shares or embeds the player/store so get creates a tangible reason for positive coverage.
THE CHERRY – The final piece of our social filmmaking model includes a 30 day bus tour leading up to the release of the movie. The tour would serve as a rolling reality show and include 20 free charity screenings around the country, the filmmakers would host Q&A’s after each show talking about the film and presumably the Operation and any new operation. We could be a face and voice for the message that people can interact and feel comfortable with, while still deferring to the collective. The nuts and bolts of this plan are all designed to turn the movies release night (which will be scheduled and promoted before the launch event) into the pop culture event of the year. This is all before we add the power of Anonymous into the equation.
Because much of this model centers around personal relationships, we can produce, market and distribute the film for less than $350,000. But, the beauty of the business model is that with a large enough social network (This is where Anonymous comes in) the model is designed to be self sufficient after the initial costs of the charity event have been acquired. Once we come up with $30,000 to cover the event deposits, we have a proven sponsorship coordinator, the BBBS donor list and Aces and Angels ready to maximize the event revenue.
The crowd fund campaign, web-a-thon, presales, secondary content, tour sponsorships, online ad revenue (from all viral traffic) will cover the costs of production and the tour. Our detailed financial projections show us reaching profitability before we wrap production on the film.
Thanks to our financial sponsorship through ‘From The Heart Productions’ any donation to the project is eligible for a tax deduction.
Every aspect of this plan is designed to be a tight ascending line of momentum that builds off each stage before it. This means no long turn around, we create a wave and ride it to the release night.
STARTING POINT – The moment we can secure 30k (seed money) to pay the deposit on Aces & Angels, the venue and essential labor.
LAUNCH EVENT – Schedule 90 days after seed money. This is lead up, viral marketing, event promotions.
PRODUCTION/CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN – 15 days during the 45 day campaign. (Endless amount of secondary content produced)
POST PRODUCTION/TOUR PROMOTIONS – 90 days – The film will be shot in chronological order to allow editing and reshoots to happen as we go.
CROSS COUNTRY TOUR – 30 days
WORLDWIDE RELEASE – 240 Days. (Unheard of by traditional industry standards)
MARKETING ANGLES, VIRAL CONTENT, COHESIVE AGENDA
– The title of our charity event is ‘All In For Kids’ so adding a deeper, more important subtext/purpose to that title works perfectly.
– As long as we do not feel like we are painting a bullseye on our chest and then being escorted out into a field, we are happy to use our platform, business model, film and content as a vehicle for the greater good. The truth is the sole reason I ever saught to exploit my ability to entertain was to accumulate the relationships and the resources to fight these wars, so if I have the opportunity to skip the long game and get back the ten years of my life I wasted with no direction, I am so down for the cause.
Together we could easily turn this into a 9 month straight barrage of attention/press/media/discussions on #OpDeathEaters culminating in crowd sourced theatrical release that could double as a public demonstration of the full power of Anonymous. Through pop culture we can create a moment that insists that anyone in power who is not with them, turn on them.
– I know for a fact the union of our resources would create an inevitable media firestorm. We’ve accumulated quite a few press and industry people who are secret supporters of our social filmmaking model and laying in wait to join a groundswell. When you combine the disruption to the traditional industry we already represent, with the reach of anonymous, it will be like catnip to social journalists everywhere.
I can already see the spin – band of Hollywood rebels risk industry banishment working with Anonymous to make a powerful film dedicated to exposing Hollywood Mogul Monsters. Especially if we go with a marketing campaign that…
– Implies we made this movie (even changed the script) based on a supposed real superstars first hand account. We can say that we were already planning on making a movie about a Hollywood A-Lister who is secretly a member of Anonymous. From that we connected with a member of Anonymous who has been in communication with a very high-level member of the Hollywood food chain for sometime regarding #OpDeathEater. From this unidentified whistleblowers communications relayed to Gratwick Films, we rewrote our script to be a “fictional” story based on this secret A-listers secret confessions.
– Video Collaboration, blurring the lines between fiction and reality would sell it. If both sides are 100% willing to go to the wall with this, we can collaborate on a series of videos that imply we have a big time Hollywood WhistleBlower who gave us first hand accounts of their secret war with the powerful scum of Hollywood. We can take from the documents and information your ally has and “leak” details out in those videos. If done and presented right, the “Tony DeFranco” character would be a pseudonym for the alleged whistleblower. It could get the real scumbags shaking in their boots about how close to home this movie is going to go and if someone really did talk to us. The goal would be to turn a mantra like “Who Is Tony DeFranco?” into a call to action with endless layers of subtext in the likes of “Who Is John Gault?” It would be code for anyone fighting to expose these scum, it would create speculation about who the REAL Tony DeFranco actually is, maybe it will inspire a Hollywood elite to personify Tony and step forward. The advantages are endless.
– 1 is being hung out to dry. For us, once an alignment/commitment like this is made, we are not publicly anonymous, there is no going back. So much more than the threat of harm, my greatest concern is taking a giant social trust fall and not having anonymous people there to blow some wind under our wings.
– 2 this caliber of alliance will certainly strain some of our unfortunately necessary business relationships. Such as enticing event sponsors, celebrity guests, charity partnerships. This could suffocate the modest financial streams we are counting on to run a professional crowd fund campaign. Confidence that the network will have our backs is essential. To be completely honest, we have already sacrificed so much for the greater good, everything we have and the roof over our tiny apartment is riding on getting this project off the ground in the next 30 days, so adding a degree of difficulty to securing those precious initial funds could be a back breaker.
All this being said I’m down for doing whatever is necessary on my end to make this happen.
Please view the documents below as supporting information,
Looking to do some good before I go,
THE SCRIPT – http://pastebin.com/SJDZEBt8
LOOK BOOK – Visual presentation of what the film will look like.