Sunday, October 6, 2013

A picture is worth a 1000 words: October News Roundup

Bill Epperidge, the man who took the iconic image of Robert Kennedy moments after he was shot, has died at age 75.

Astute readers will know that Epperidge wasn't the only photographer in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel that night.  Fifteen year old Jamie Scott Enyart was there as well, and was behind Senator Kennedy at the time he was shot.  Quick-thinking Enyart shot nearly an entire roll of film once shots began ringing out, capturing several harrowing photos of the chaos in the dimly-lit room.  As Enyart left the pantry, he was taken into custody at gunpoint by two Los Angeles police officers who informed him that his film was needed as evidence.  Enyart was in police custody until approximately 5:30PM the following day, at which point his camera -- sans film -- was returned to him.  After several inquiries and the eventual threat of legal action, the prints (not the negatives) were returned to Enyart, minus ten frames taken during the assassination of Kennedy. 

Enyart's photographs were not used in the Sirhan Sirhan trial or in any of the appeal or parole hearings.  He made another inquiry about the photographs in 1988, after the twenty year seal on evidence had been lifted, but was told the photos had been destroyed.  Legal wrangling led to another trial in 1996, at which point it was revealed the photos existed, however they were stolen from the courier's car on their way to being delivered to the courtroom.

To date, there is no word as to what Enyart's ten frames show.

On the topic of images:

This is an image of the Washington DC police taking photographs of Washington Post photographers taking pictures of them.  The scene was the site of a self-immolation by an as-yet unidentified African-American male on October 4th.  The man has since died from his injuries.  Several news outlets are incorrectly reporting this to be the first American self-immolation, but there have been incidents as recently as 2011, though less widely reported.  An unidentified man in Houston, Texas was stopped this morning before he could self-immolate.  Whether these are acts of suicide or political protest is not yet known.

It has been a busy week in the nation's capitol, as the internal turmoil of the political games surrounding the Shutdown have externalized themselves in acts of violence.  Miriam Carey, 34, was killed by DC police the day before after ramming a barricade near the White House.  Most headlines regarding the event refer to Carey as "delusional" because the phrase "the cops shot a delusional woman" sounds much, much nicer than "the cops shot an unarmed woman in front of her child."  The media is doing all they can to paint Carey as a dangerous psychotic in an effort to justify the use of extreme force, but her sisters have been doing an admirable job fighting the smear campaign.  Like Aaron Alexis, Miriam Carey reportedly believed she was the victim of electronic surveillance by the government, specifically Barack Obama himself.  I don't know how anyone could say that believing the government was watching you could be considered "crazy" and keep a straight face, but the usual suspects (CNN, Fox News) are doing the best they can. 

One thing that Miriam Carey had in common with Alexis and all of the recent perpatrators of violent events in America is the fact that she was on prescription psychiatric drugs.  Specifically, Carey was on Risperidone, an anti-psychotic medication typically used to treat schizophrenia.  Carey was reportedly prescribed Risperidone (and Lexapro) for post-partum depression.  It would be interesting to find out who exactly prescribed Risperidone to Carey, because any reasonable doctor should have known better.  The makers of Risperidone/Risperdal were fined $1.2 billion for Medicare fraud and downplaying the risks of the drug in April 2012.  It was the first of many lawsuits they lost that year, including one because Risperidone causes male patients to grow breasts.  The short version of all the lawsuits is that Risperidone is essentially a useless drug, as it is ineffectual for any of the conditions it is designed to treat.  Carey's child is 18 months old, placing the birth in April 2012, meaning any responsible doctor should have been well-aware that Risperidone was garbage. 

Carey joins a long and growing list of people who commit violent acts after taking psychiatric drugs. The media has made a concerted effort to trot out statistics about gun ownership in America versus that of other developed nations, and how we have the highest levels of gun violence outside of places like Central America.  Decidedly less reported is the fact that America has 5% of the world's population but takes 60% of the world's supply of psychiatric drugs.  It's probably because drug companies spend more on advertising than they do on research and development.  When was the last time you saw an ad for Smith & Wesson on the evening news? 

Michael Hastings:

No.  I'm not letting it go.

Information continues to trickle out about what Hastings was working on in the final months of his life.  WhoWhatWhy has an excellent article tying Hastings in with the top unreported story of the past two years: the arrest and detention of Barrett Brown, the alleged "spokesman" for hacktivist group Anonymous.  Brown has been in federal prison in Mansfield, TX for over a year now and is currently facing a maximum of 105 years in prison for his role in the HBGary vs. Anonymous incidents.  For those of you who were paying attention, the HBGary incident blew the lid off the government's War on Privacy years before anyone knew who Edward Snowden was.  HBGary created the software that allowed for the government to create and manage "sock-puppets" -- fake on-line personas -- to engage in a grass-roots psyop program that could be directed against any target they chose.  If it's not clear, here's an example: HBGary's persona management system could be used to create dozens of fake Facebook profiles that appeared on the surface to be the real deal. Pictures of vacations, status updates about current events, etc.  All of these fake accounts would be managed by a single employee who would use them to make social network connections with individuals, thus gaining access to any and all information they shared.  As we learned a few days ago, the NSA is super-duper interested in what you do on social networking sites, so we shouldn't be surprised that they'd do just about anything to insert themselves in our lives. 

For the record, Brown's crime wasn't hacking HBGary, but publicizing what was found.

Hastings is connected to Brown in two ways.  The first is that he was one of the few mainstream journalists reporting on his story.  The second is that they were both contributors to the blogging site True/Slant.  Here's Hastings' profile.  Under the section, "I'm running from...," Hastings put "A Nobel Peace Prize Winner."  We can only speculate about who he was referring to, but chances are it is the guy mentioned in his article "Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans." 

For more information on Brown's work, see his website Project PM.

Other news:

The Soldier N story in the UK continues to reveal more information about a potential conspiracy in the death of Princess Diana.  His laptop had 90 images of Special Forces soldiers, including this provacative shot of Special Ops taking target practice off of a UK bridge:

I think the most important thing is that they are doing this out of uniform.

Police State Update:

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office has decided that they need this bullet proof, mine-protected SUV to serve warrants with:

Granted, Texas is known for our lax gun laws, but the last time I checked rocket launchers are still illegal here.