Progressive Calendar 06.17.06
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Sat, 17 Jun 2006 15:42:06 -0700 (PDT)
            P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R     06.17.06

1. Maria/rights/rally  6.18 2pm
2. Factory farms/films 6.18 3pm
3. Amnesty Intl        6.18 3pm
4. KFAI's Indian       6.18 4pm

5. Palestine/film      6.19 6:30pm
6. Pentel/governor/GP  6.19 7pm

7. Jam with Cam        6.20 9:30am
8. Youth commission    6.20 3pm
9. SPNN/Medicare D     6.20 5pm
10. Daily Planet/pizza 6.20 5:30pm
11. Salon/Nygaaaard    6.20 6:30pm
12. Rock-Tenn/recycle  6.20 7pm
13. StP architecture   6.20 7pm

14. Steve Bhaerman - David Ray Griffin vs the official 9-11 story
15. Nicole Colson  - Lynne Stewart: US Govt wants a high pitch fear level

--------1 of 15--------

From: hoang74do <jade.dragon [at] gmail.com>
Subject: Maria/rights/rally 6.18 2pm

Human Rights Rally: Demand Justice for Maria Inamagua
June 18 @ 2-5pm @ State Capitol Building, St. Paul.
Help us seek justice for Maria Inamagua (an Ecuadorian immigrant who
died in custody of Ramsey County Jail due to lack of appropriate
medical attention) and her family and justice for all similarly
situated through united public action, applying the basic Human Rights
Treaties, and vigorous public action and education.


--------2 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Factory farms/films 6.18 3pm

3rd Sunday IMPACT Event
Films about factory farming and alternatives
Sunday, June 18
3pm
Acadia Cafe
(Franklin and Nicollet Aves, Mpls)

The Films:
"Corporate Agriculture: The Hollow Men" (52 min), examines the growth of
factory farming.  Agribusinesses have taken the principles of the assembly
line, supplanted traditional farming methods and generated enormous
profits.  However, these massive and powerful corporations are also
destroying the environment and the rural way of life.  [Booo!]

"Alternative Agriculture: Food For Life" (52 min), looks at alternatives
to corporate agriculture and the growing demand for nature-based or
organic foods.  Ecological, organic and ethical farming protects the
environment and rural culture. [Yeah!]

The event is free; however, we encourage people to arrive early and
patronize Acadia Cafe, which serves both food and beverage.

Following the films, space for discussion will be available.

IMPACT (Ideas to Mobilize People Against Corporate Tyranny) is a
grassroots group of concerned citizens whose purpose is to raise awareness
about the impact of corporations on our society, promote sustainable
lifestyles, and mobilize ourselves and our communities to take cooperative
action.  We believe another world is possible: a world where people and
the earth are more valued than profits!

For more info: www.wmom.typepad.com/impact/


--------3 of 15--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 6.18 3pm

Join Group 37 for our regular meeting on Sunday, June 18th, 3-5pm.

Our program this month will be a presentation by Sigrid Bachmann, a Group
37 member who recently joined a Witness for Peace Delegation to Venezuela.
The Witness for Peace delegation had a chance to listen to members of the
Venezuelan government, opposition figures, human rights groups, and
average citizens and learn about the changes taking place there under the
government of Hugo Chavez.

Witness for Peace is an organization created during the Contra war in
Nicaragua in the 1980s. It members and delegations look at the impact of
US foreign and economic policies in Latin America, with international
volunteers positioned in Columbia, Nicaragua, Mexico and Venezuela.

After Sigrid's presentation, we will hear from our sub-groups, get news on
Amnesty campaigns, share actions and discuss ongoing human rights issues
worldwide.

All are welcome at the meeting, and refreshments will be provided.

Location: Center for Victims of Torture, 717 E. River Rd. SE, Minneapolis
(corner of E. River Rd. and Oak St.). Park on street or in the small lot
behind the center (the center is a house set back on a large lawn).


--------x of 15--------

From: Chris Spotted Eagle <chris [at] spottedeagle.org>
Subject: KFAI's Indian 6.18 4pm

KFAI's Indian Uprising, June 18, 2006

SHARON DAY (Ojibway Anishinabe), Executive Director, Indigenous People's
Task Force and TARA CHADWICK (Belizean/Canadian/Yucatec Maya), Chair,
Chalchiuticue Environmental Project of the IPTF. Both attended the
Indigenous Peoples Parallel Forum of the 4th World Water Forum 2006, Mexico
City, Mexico, along with Dr. Cecelia Martinez (Taos Pueblo).  They were
nominated for the Kyoto Water Prize for their work on trying to preserve
precious life giving water, <http://www.indigenouspeoplestf.org> &
<http://www.chalchiutlicue.org>.

Indigenous brothers and sisters gathered at the 4th World Water Forum held
in Mexico City. A grassroots parallel forum was held on March 17 -18th since
many Indigenous peoples from Mexico were not able to pay the high
registration fees charged by the World Water Forum. An Indigenous Peoples
Parallel Forum was attended by over 100 Indigenous peoples from Mexico,
U.S., Canada, and South America. Indigenous participants consistently spoke
to the concerns of local authorities and the government in their countries
not recognizing the rights of Indigenous communities to water.
www.ienearth.org.  See attached.

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, a film by Al Gore explains global warming,
essentially caused by human beings.  Survival of human life and other
living species on earth are at stake.  World-renown scientist Tim Flannery
argues that global warming is approaching the point of no return.  The
Earth's atmosphere is a thin outer covering that holds in carbon dioxide,
other gases and a portion of the sun's rays, making it habitable. Al Gore
and the people behind An Inconvenient Truth claim that our increased use
of fossil fuels - coal, gas and oil - have so thickened the atmosphere
that it is now trapping more of the sun's rays than the planet can safely
stand. http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/yourlife/lights_camera_act.html.  See
attached.

At the very least, one should go see the film to be enlightened and then
take personal action to sustain our own well being and communities.  The
film is now playing at the Lagoon and Uptown theaters in Minneapolis and at
the White Bear Township 17 theater (11:59 p.m.)  ed.

* * * *

Indian Uprising is a one-half hour Public & Cultural Affairs program for,
by, and about Indigenous people broadcast each Sunday at 4:00 p.m. over KFAI
90.3 FM Minneapolis and 106.7 FM St. Paul.  Producer and host is Chris
Spotted Eagle.  KFAI Fresh Air Radio is located at 1808 Riverside Avenue,
Minneapolis MN 55454, 612-341-3144.

Current programs are archived online shortly after broadcast at
www.kfai.org, for two weeks.  Click Program Archives and scroll to Indian
Uprising.  KFAI Radio is a non-commercial non-profit community station
operated by a full and part time staff with over 300 volunteers.  To stop
receiving e-mail announcements, reply to radio [at] spottedeagle.org and enter
"Remove" in the Subject box.


--------5 of 15--------

From: wamm <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: Palestine/film 6.19 6:30pm

WAMM Free Third Monday Movie and Discussion: "Paradise Now"

Monday, June19, 6:30pm. St. Joan of Arc Church, Hospitality Hall, 4537
Third Avenue South, Minneapolis. Parking is close, free and easy.

This film is the story of two fictitious young men who embark upon what
may be the last 48 hours of their lives. It does nothing to glorify
violence or martyrdom, but examines the realities and complexities of the
lives of people in occupied Palestine. In Arabic with English subtitles.
Sponsored by: WAMM.


--------6 of 15--------

From: Ken Pentel <kenpentel [at] yahoo.com>
Subject: Pentel/governor/GP 6.19 7pm

Dear Green Party Supporters and Members,
You are invited to the Ken Pentel for Governor planning/volunteer meeting.
The goals of this meeting are to add organization, creativity and
excitement to our goals for a healthier world. Your help is needed to make
this happen.

Agenda:
--Assess progress in campaign
--Prepare for petition drive to get on the ballot.(Contact Danene to
help:pro826 [at] aol.com)

Monday, June19
7pm
Painter Park Rec. Center, 3400 Lyndale Ave. S. Minneapolis

Contact: Ken (612) 387-0601

For those in greater Minnesota, let's organize. Please call or e-mail.
(612) 387-0601

DONATIONS
People can send donations to: Ken Pentel for Governor, PO Box 3872, Mpls,
Mn 55403 First $50 is refundable. (If not yet used in 2006.)

LISTSERVE
If you want support the campaign, and help with organizing-get on the Ken
Pentel for Governor listserve by contacting Aaron at: aaronklemz [at] yahoo.com


--------7 of 15--------

From: Cam Gordon <CamGordon333 [at] msn.com>
Subject: Jam with Cam 6.20 9:30am

Cam Gordon, Council Member, Second Ward 612-673-2202 (w) 612-296-0579 (c)

Office Hours: every Tuesday morning in the Second Ward 9:30-11am.
Third Tuesdays:
Southeast Como neighborhood
SECIA office, 837 15th Ave SE


--------8 of 15--------

From: Bob Hume <bob.hume [at] ci.stpaul.mn.us>
Subject: Youth commission 6.20 3pm

Mayor Chris Coleman today announced he is seeking applicants for the
Second Shift Youth Commission.  The Commission will play a vital role in
forming Mayor Coleman's Second Shift programs and policies.

"As the Second Shift continues to grow, we are hoping to not only engage
youth in the process of developing programs, but also to empower them to
become leaders in the community," Coleman said.

The Second Shift Youth Commission will work with City staff on new
programs for Saint Paul's parks, rec centers, and libraries focused on
providing after-school opportunities.  To qualify, applicants must be in
9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade during the 2006-2007 school year.

The City will also hold application seminars to assist those who wish to
apply get through the process:  Tuesday, June 20, 3-5pm at Hamline Midway
Library (1558 Minnehaha) or Monday, June 26, 6-8pm at Arlington Library
(1105 Greenbrier)

Those who wish to apply can contact Kari Dennissen at 651-325-2687 or
kari.denissen [at] ci.stpaul.mn.us

Bob Hume Office of Mayor Chris Coleman, City of Saint Paul More info:
http://forums.e-democracy.org/stpaul/contacts/humebob


--------9 of 15--------

From: Eric Angell <eric-angell [at] riseup.net>
Subject: SPNN/Medicare D 6.20 5pm

6/20 and 6/21 "Medicare Part D"
w/Joel Albers of UHCAN-MN and John Schwarz.


--------10 of 15--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com>
Subject: Planet/pizza 6.20 5:30pm

You're Invited! Please join the Daily Planet staff and members of the
Media Alliance board for pizza and pop next Tuesday, June 20 from 5:30 to
7pm at the offices of Triangle Park Creative and the Twin Cities Daily
Planet, 2600 E. Franklin, Minneapolis. Enter from the front of the
building.

The Twin Cities Daily Planet, a project of the Twin Cities Media Alliance,
is a community newswire and syndication service showcasing the best work
of the neighborhood and community press, as well as work by Twin Cities
independent journalists and the voices of engaged citizens.
info [at] tcdailyplanet.info.


--------11 of 15--------

From: Patty Guerrero <pattypax [at] earthlink.net>
Subject: Salon/Nygaaaard 6.20 6:30pm

[Re Jeff Nygaaaard of Nygaaaard's Nootees - The UN today issued a white
paper on the worldwide shortage of vowels, caused mainly by conspicuous
consumption by Scandanavians. Scandanavian countries refuse to avow the
Vowel Conservation Convention. They celebrate Vowel Movements (VM). They
suffer from vowel-retentive disorder (VRD). Soon ther wn't b ngh vwls t g
rnd. -d]

The Salon for this Tuesday, June 20, will have as the guest, Jeff Nygaard,
long time writer, activist and media watcher.  He publishes Nygaard Notes,
an online Independent News and Analysis.  His interest is in politics and
values and how they can come together.  His topic for Tuesday will be
Beyond Left and Right.  Is it really conservatives vs. liberals?  He will
lead a discussion of the political labels "Left and Right" and how
dangerous they are, the ideology behind them, and some ideas on different
ways to frame things.

Pax Salons ( http://justcomm.org/pax-salon ) Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House, 943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.


--------12 of 15--------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at] riseup.net>
Subject: Rock-Tenn/recycle 6.20 7pm

Public Meeting: Rock-Tenn Paper Recycling Facility

As you may have heard, the Rock-Tenn paper recycling facility will soon be
losing a major source of energy when XCel Energy's High Bridge plant
converts from coal to natural gas. As a result of this, Rock-Tenn is
pursuing other options for providing energy to its plant, including the
possibility of a garbage burning facility near its current site at 2250
Wabash Ave.

As the potential environmental impacts of this or any other new energy
source for the Rock-Tenn plant will have an effect on the entire city of
St. Paul, the Macalester-Groveland Community Council's Environmental
Committee has invited Eureka Recycling and Rock-Tenn to present the issue
to the public, as well as field questions and concerns.

If you are interested in learning more about this issue, or in sharing
your comments or concerns with Rock-Tenn and the community, please
consider attending this public meeting on Tuesday, June 20th, 7pm, at the
Edgcumbe Recreation Center, 320 S Griggs St., St. Paul.

If you have questions in the interim, please contact Andy Hamerlinck at
andy [at] macgrove.org or 651-695-4000.


--------13 of 15--------

From: Pat Haswell & Dick Todd <haswelltodd [at] goldengate.net>
Subject: StP architecture 6.20 7pm

Authors Jeffrey A. Hess and Paul Clifford Larson will lead a conversation
based on their new book, "St. Paul's Architecture: A History" on Tuesday,
June 20, at 7pm at the James J. Hill House (240 Summit Ave.).

The book has just been published by the University of Minnesota Press, in
cooperation with the City of St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission,
and it has lots of great photos from St. Paul's neighborhoods as well as
downtown.  The text is interesting, and its historical perspective lends
insights into several of the issues discussed in the forum.

The event at the Hill House on June 20 is free and open to the public, but
you need to call 651-297-2555 for reservations, as they can accommodate
only 120 people.  A book signing, light reception, and tours of the Hill
House will follow the presentation.

For more information: http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/H/hess_stpaul.html


--------14 of 15--------

Unquestioned Answers
Nonconspiracy theorist David Ray Griffin takes aim at the official 9-11
story
By Steve Bhaerman

sent by Peter Phillips/Project Censored - Jun 16, 2006
Source: Bohemian: North Bay - June 14, 2006
http://www.bohemian.com/bohemian/06.14.06/david-ray-griffin-0624.html

About 10 years ago, I was asked to perform comedy at a conference I
quickly dubbed "the Paranoids Conference." Each presenter had a dark tale
to tell of abductions, drug running, assassinations and other nefarious
horrors too terrible to mention. There were whispers of government agents
in our midst, so when it was my turn to perform, I said I was with the
CIA. I paused while the audience gasped. "That's the Comedians Institute
of America." It got a laugh, but no amount of laughter could
counterbalance the toxicity of the atmosphere. I couldn't wait to leave.

Fast forward to a sunny Sunday afternoon early last year when I found
myself in Santa Rosa's Church of the Rose to hear Dr. David Ray Griffin,
author of a book on the 9-11 attacks called The New Pearl Harbor, as well
as The 9-11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions. Griffin, a
soft-spoken retired professor of theology with sandy, graying hair,
proceeded to calmly and quietly dismantle the official 9-11 story. The
room was filled to standing with people of all ages, many of whom attended
the church. As Griffin made his case for how the official story could
never have happened the way they said it did, I looked around me. Everyone
was riveted, and yet I could detect no fear, no paranoia in the room.

People were hearing his message - the essentials of which are that our
government likely knew about or had something to do with the 9-11 attacks
- and yet there was something about his delivery that was reassuring. I've
heard David Ray Griffin twice since then, once at a small gathering of
world government advocates, the other time at the prestigious Commonwealth
Club in San Francisco. Each event had a similar ambiance: a calm,
thoughtful, scholarly presentation without the least hint of
sensationalism or personal glory.

Whatever one's assumption of what a "conspiracy theorist" is like, David
Ray Griffin doesn't fit the mold, perhaps because he's really a
nonconspiracy theorist. While he methodically deconstructs the official
story, he doesn't spin his own alternative yarn to fill the vacuum.
Instead, he allows audience members to draw their own conclusions. As for
conspiracy theories, he explains, "the official story is itself a
conspiracy theory. As the accepted 'conspiracy theory' goes, a cadre of al
Qaida operatives conspired to hijack four jetliners, did so undetected and
were able to complete their mission with no interception or even
interference from the best-prepared air force on the face of the earth."

Even more unusual, Griffin says, "the crime was solved immediately, and
the official story was in place before the day of the attack was over.
Within 48 hours, our president stood at the National Cathedral surrounded
by Billy Graham, a cardinal, a rabbi and an imam, and used this religious
setting to declare a holy war on terror."

If we were to contrast the smoothness of the post-9-11 operation with the
aftermath of Katrina, we are left with the question: How can a president
so inept in one setting have been so "ept" in another?

False Flags

While Griffin professes no formulated alternative theory of what did
happen, he offers a clue in the title of his first book. A New Pearl
Harbor refers to a passage in a document called Project for the New
American Century - the neocons' blueprint for what they call "pax
Americana" - which says that for the American people to accept the overt
military mission of creating security through world domination, a "new
Pearl Harbor" would be needed. Griffin believes that the 9-11 attacks were
just that.

This is a pretty serious - and horrific - assertion to make: that the
leaders of our country would see fit to sacrifice some 3,000 civilians so
that we could launch a preemptive attack on a perceived enemy. And yet,
Griffin is quick to point out, our history is rife with just such
incidents, from the "remember the Maine" boosterism preceding the
Spanish-American war to the Gulf of Tonkin lie that launched U.S.
involvement in Vietnam to the Pearl Harbor attacks themselves. Indeed,
recent scholarship on Pearl Harbor suggests that President Roosevelt knew
of the attack plan in advance and even purposely provoked the Japanese,
because he knew it was the only way we could join the war against Germany.
This in itself offers a dicey moral dilemma: Is it justified to sacrifice
thousands of lives to save millions of lives?

During the Cold War, two more chilling examples of so-called false flag
operations have come to light. (False flag operations are covert
situations conducted by governments or other organizations that are
designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.) In
his recent book, NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in
Western Europe, Dr. Daniele Ganser, a senior researcher at the Center for
Security Studies, Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, reports that
NATO, guided by the CIA, supported terrorist attacks on civilians in
various European countries to discredit the left and create fear on the
part of the populace.

In Italy, right-wing terrorists, supplied by a secret army (named
"Gladio," Latin for "sword"), carried out bomb attacks in public places,
blamed them on the Italian left and were thereafter protected from
prosecution by the military secret service. As right-wing terrorist
Vincenzo Vinciguerra explains in Ganser's book, "The reason was quite
simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to
turn to the state to ask for greater security."

In our own country during the early '60s, the Joint Chiefs of Staff under
the command of Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer came up with a similar plan to provoke
an attack on Cuba. According to NSA myth-buster James Bamford in his 2001
Random House publication Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret
National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs called for undercover operation
of terror within the United States that included plans for "innocent
people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing
Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be
launched in Washington, D.C., Miami and elsewhere. People would be framed
for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony
evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and
his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing,
they needed to launch their war."

President John F. Kennedy nixed the plan immediately, and it was never put
into action. But it did have the approval of top military brass, and with
the right president - or the wrong one - it could very well have come
about.

In the aftermath of 9-11, Griffin initially dismissed any speculation that
the attacks could have been an inside job. "I subscribed to the
'blow-back' theory," Griffin says. "After generations of exploitation and
interference by Western powers, these people had such fury that they had
to lash out any way they could."

At the time, Griffin, who was close to retirement from his position at
Claremont School of Theology, was working on a book on global democracy.
In the wake of 9-11, he decided that he needed a special chapter on U.S.
imperialism. He worked on that chapter for over a year before he came to
the view that 9-11 was an inside job. "As much as I knew about prior false
flag operations, as much as I knew or thought I knew about the
nefariousness of the current regime, my first take was not even the Bush
administration could or would do such a thing."

Three Different Stories

It wasn't until a colleague sent Griffin an e-mail with Paul Thompson's
timeline - an exact, minute-by-minute accounting of the events of Sept. 11
based entirely on mainstream media accounts - that he changed his mind.
"The most glaring anomaly," Griffin now says, "was that none of the
hijacked planes were intercepted, even though all of them would have been,
had standard procedure been followed."

According to Gen. Ralph Eberhart, head of North American Aerospace Defense
Command (NORAD), from the time the FAA senses something is wrong, it takes
about a minute to contact NORAD, after which NORAD, Eberhart says, can
scramble fighter jets "within a matter of minutes to anywhere in the
United States." So what happened on that morning?

The government has given three conflicting answers to this question.

Since a full 32 minutes elapsed between the time the first hijacked
airliner was detected and the time it crashed into the World Trade Center,
it initially appeared that "stand down" orders must have been issued to
suspend standard procedures. Indeed, the first reports from both NORAD and
Gen. Richard Myers, the acting chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
indicated that no jets were scrambled until after the Pentagon was hit at
9:38am.

By Sept. 13, however, the original story had morphed into an explanation
that "the planes were scrambled but arrived too late." The delays were
blamed on the FAA, said to have been slow in notifying NORAD. If that were
the case, Griffin points out, it was strange indeed that no FAA personnel
were fired or even cited for the breakdown in procedures and the resulting
disaster. (Griffin notes, moreover, that the FAA flawlessly handled - on
the same day - the unprecedented task of grounding thousands of domestic
flights.)

Meanwhile, Griffin reports, transportation secretary Norman Mineta
testified that at 9:20am - about 18 minutes before the Pentagon was hit,
allegedly by Flight 77 - he went down to the shelter conference room under
the White House. According to Mineta, a young man walked in and said to
the vice president, "The plane is 50 miles out," and later, "The plane is
30 miles out." When the young man reported, "The plane is 10 miles out,"
he also asked the vice president, "Do the orders still stand?"

"Of course the orders still stand," Cheney is alleged to have replied.
"Have you heard anything to the contrary?"

When Mineta was asked by the 9-11 Commission how long after he arrived the
conversation occurred, Mineta said, "Probably about five or six minutes,"
which would have placed it around 9:25 or 9:26am. However, in the final
version of the story, The 9/11 Commission Report maintained that no one in
our government knew about the approaching aircraft until 9:36am, too late
to shoot it down. How did the Commission deal with this apparent
contradiction? Like just about every other piece of testimony that
conflicted with the official story, Griffin avers, they ignored it.

"With regard to the question 'Do the orders still stand?'" Griffin says,
"Mineta seemed to assume those orders were to shoot the plane down. But
really, the young man's question makes sense only if the orders were to do
something unexpected - that is, not to shoot the plane down."

So what did happen? Whodunnit?

Again, Griffin prefers to focus on the circumstantial framework for
examining the evidence. "You have a suspect who changes his story three
times. Does this make him more or less suspicious?"

Collective Evil

Of course, the top echelon of leaders in this country aren't exactly your
usual run-of-the-lineup perps - which, according to Griffin, is why those
who've pointed fingers at the emperor's bare buttocks in this case have
been marginalized like a bunch of tinfoil-headed kooks. No argument about
this. I've asked a number of savvy authors and commentators why they
haven't taken on the unanswered questions and unquestioned answers around
9-11. Their answers have been pretty much the same: It's just too big a
stretch for most Americans to believe their own government could have had
anything to do with it. However, in an exceedingly underreported Zogby
poll done just last month, 42 percent of adults polled believe the U. S.
government and the 9-11 Commission "concealed or refused to investigate
critical evidence" that contradicts the official explanation of the
attacks.

Perhaps what these reluctant commentators really meant is that they would
be committing career suicide by questioning the official story. So why and
how is David Ray Griffin different? And why is he spending his retirement
traveling around the country writing and talking about something that
conventional wisdom insists people don't want to hear?

Perhaps it has something to do with Griffin's background in "process
theology." Process theology is specifically designed to answer such
post-Holocaust questions as, how could a loving God have allowed such a
thing to happen? Griffin has written or co-authored a dozen books and
articles on the subject, and roughly the answer is this: We, as creations
of the Creator, have free will to choose how and what we create in this
life. This very often results in what we call "evil." On the other hand,
our greatest power as human beings is to bring that loving God to earth by
creating good instead.

To those who assert "God is dead," process theology says no, Griffin
reasons. The loving God is alive in our thoughts and words and deeds. God
doesn't intervene to set things right unilaterally. Rather, that spirit -
through us - embodies divine love. In other words, the world changes - if
we change it. Divine power, he says, is "persuasive, not controlling."

While Griffin's faith may be deep, it certainly isn't narrow. He recently
edited a book called Deep Religious Pluralism.

"I've written two books on the problem of evil, so I've been dealing with
the topic for a long time," Griffin says. "Frankly, as soon as I saw the
evidence that 9-11 was an inside job, I wasn't surprised. I had studied
the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust, the Japanese butchery of the Chinese
in Manchuria, our use of nuclear weapons in Japan in spite of their
imminent surrender. I've seen the depth of evil in collective situations.
It's an old, old story, and this is just the latest chapter. Once the
nation-state announces it is threatened, everything else gets pushed to
the back burner. That's what we're seeing now."

Griffin's intention just over three years ago was to write an article for
Harper's on what he then believed to be "foreknowledge and thwarted
intelligence." But the more evidence he saw that the attacks were likely
orchestrated by our own government, the more he felt a book was needed.
Since none of the American investigators had been able to get a book
published at that time, Griffin figured that as a published author he had
a better chance.

But it was far from automatic. Richard Falk, a Princeton professor of
international law and practice, had personally recommended Griffin's book
to several publishers. Every one of them turned it down. "Not for us,"
said one rejection tersely. At dinner one night, Falk suggested Interlink
Books, a tiny publisher that had published a recent book of his. Interlink
took the book, but only because of a quirky coincidence. The editor was
dubious. But knowing Griffin was a theologian, she asked her father, a
minister, if he'd ever heard of the guy. "David Ray Griffin?" said her
father. "I have all of his books!"

And so, in 2004, the book got published. But you'd never learn this from
mainstream magazines and newspapers, which have yet to publish a review of
The New Pearl Harbor, which has sold over 100,000 copies. Nor will you see
him on mainstream TV, which has yet to invite him to appear.

Griffin seems unperturbed by this, and points out that each week and each
month the alternative account of 9-11 gains wider credence. Is he afraid?
Does he feel in danger? "Well," he jokes, "there are two possibilities.
Either they leave me alone, or they take me out. If they leave me alone, I
get to enjoy my old age and write my systematic theology. If they take me
out, my 9-11 books go right to the top of the New York Times bestseller
list. So it's a win-win situation."

More seriously, he points to his Christian faith (Disciples of Christ is
his own background), and says that Christian history is full of examples
of the faithful who stuck their necks out for the truth. "If we who
believe in everlasting life fear death," he says, "what does that say
about our faith?"

Myth-Informed?

Other than standing for his faith, what does Griffin hope to accomplish by
exposing the 9-11 story as a lie? As an advocate for a worldwide
democratic order, he sees this story as an example of "governmental
lawlessness" so egregious that its exposure could call into question the
continuation of the present system with its "anarchical competition
between nation states." First, however, people must be willing to think
the unthinkable, and to be willing to look at the evidence that it is our
own nation that has become the evil empire.

This is a formidable barrier to cross. Ever since the notion of the "Big
Lie" was first put forth to describe the tactics of the Third Reich, it
has become a cliche that the bigger the lie, the harder it is for people
to see the truth. This is especially so when the official version takes on
the status of what theologian Griffin calls "sacred myth."

"The 'truth' of the official 9-11 story," explains Griffin, "must be taken
on faith. It is not a matter of debate or even discussion. Anyone who
brings up anything that contradicts the official story is either ignored
or denounced as a conspiracy nut.

"However," he continues, "when the official account of 9-11 is stripped of
its halo and treated simply as a theory rather than an unquestionable
dogma, it cannot be defended as the best theory to account for the
relevant facts. When challenges to it are not treated as blasphemy, it can
easily be seen to not correspond with reality."

And so David Ray Griffin continues to make presentations, do interviews
and get his version of the truth to "break the soundless barrier." With
Falk, John B. Cobb Jr. and Catherine Keller, Griffin co-authored the
just-published anthology The American Empire and the Commonwealth of God:
A Political, Economic, Religious Statement. His own contribution portrays
the 9-11 attacks as orchestrated to promote the American empire.
Publishing in July is his newest book, Christian Faith and the Truth
Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action.

His hope? That enough Americans wake up and call for a re-investigation,
and that those who know more will feel safe enough to come forward. But
first, he says, we Americans must muster the will and courage to face the
situation squarely in the face.

As a postscript to my interview with David Ray Griffin, I am reminded of a
March 30 article by journalist Doug Thompson published on OpEdNews.com. In
it, Thompson recalls a 1981 encounter with the late John Connally, the
former governor of Texas who was wounded in the Kennedy assassination. In
an unguarded moment, Thompson asked Connally, "Do you think Lee Harvey
Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy?"

"Absolutely not," Connally said. "I do not, for one second, believe the
conclusions of the Warren Commission."

"So why not speak out?" Thompson asked.

"I will never speak out publicly about what I believe," Connally replied,
"because I love this country and we needed closure at the time."

Now here we are more than 40 years after that devastating perpetration and
we have to wonder, how well did "closure" serve us? As we see daily the
fruits of self-serving secrecy and unchecked power, it might be time for
some disclosure instead.

For a Review of Project Censored's Unanswered Questions on 9/11 See:
http://www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/unanswered_questions_911.html


Peter Phillips Ph.D. Professor Sociology/Director Project Censored Sonoma
State University 1801 East Cotati Ave. Rohnert Park, CA 94928 Office:
707-664-2588 http://www.projectcensored.org

Project-Censored-L mailing list
https://webmail.sonoma.edu/mailman/listinfo/project-censored-l


--------15 of 15--------

"They Want the Fear Level at a High Pitch"
An Interview with Lynne Stewart
By Nicole Colson
CounterPunch -  June 14, 2006
http://www.counterpunch.org/colson06142006.html

Lynne Stewart has dedicated her career as a lawyer to defending civil
liberties, left-wing causes and politically "unpopular" clients. Now, at
age 66, she faces a possible prison sentence of 30 years and the end of
her legal career - for nothing more than doing her job in representing her
client.

The government witch-hunt against Stewart stems from her work as a defense
attorney for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a Muslim cleric convicted in 1995 of
conspiring with followers in the Islamic Group to bomb several New York
City landmarks.

In 2000, as part of a legal strategy designed to keep Abdel Rahman - in
ailing health and held in total isolation in prison - in the public eye,
Stewart read a press release to a Reuters reporter in Cairo detailing
Abdel Rahman's withdrawal of his personal support for a ceasefire between
the Islamic Group and the Egyptian government.

Two years later, in the wake of the September 11 attacks and the passage
of the civil liberties-shredding USA PATRIOT Act, Stewart was indicted for
this "crime". Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft appeared on Late Night
with David Letterman to claim that her actions in 2000 "materially aided"
terrorists.

The government also claims that Stewart's actions violated "special
administrative measures" - regulations imposed on Abdel Rahman in 1997
that prohibited him from communicating with people other than his lawyers
or certain family members.

Stewart and interpreter Mohammed Yousry were tried, along with Ahmed Abdel
Sattar, who the government claims conveyed messages from Rahman to his
followers in the Islamic Group.

Evidence at the trial included taped phone conversations and prison
meetings between Abdel Rahman and Stewart - a clear violation of
attorney-client privilege, approved in Stewart's case by a secret
government court and since made "legal" under the Patriot Act.

The government admits that no violence ever resulted from Stewart or
Yousry's actions. Yet because the judge refused to hold separate
proceedings, the jury was bombarded during the seven months of the trial
with a mountain of prejudicial "evidence" that included more than 85,000
intercepts of Abdel Sattar's phone conversations with Islamic Group
militants over a seven-year period, two videotapes of Osama bin Laden, and
the testimony of a German citizen who was present during the 1997 bombing
of tourists in Luxor, Egypt.

Incredibly, the judge allowed the evidence - while instructing the jury
that it was either not "offered for the truth," not offered against
Stewart, or only offered as "background" or for "state of mind." But the
idea that a jury sitting less than a mile away from the site of the World
Trade Center would be able to disregard videotapes of Osama bin Laden when
deliberating on Stewart's case is preposterous.

On February 10, 2005, Stewart, Yousry and Abdel Sattar were convicted on
all counts. Stewart's original sentencing, scheduled for March, was
delayed after it was announced that she has been fighting cancer. She is
now scheduled to be sentenced on September 25.

COLSON: YOUR CONVICTION rested in part on your reading a press release
from your client to a Reuters reporter in 2000. But it wasn't until two
years later, after the September 11 attacks, that you were indicted. Why
do you think the government waited so long? Do you think the indictment
was politically motivated?

STEWART: TO ANSWER the last question first, there definitely were
political motivations. I somehow have a glimmering that it never would
have happened if there hadn't been 9/11.

But of course, the Bush administration was anxious to keep the fear level
at a very high pitch. If you remember back to April 2002, which is when I
was arrested, they had the Patriot Act in place, they had all this stuff
going on, and they had very, very little to show for it - a few enemy
combatants that were picked up in Afghanistan, but nothing else.

So I think they reached back and used this to drum up - or trump up I
guess - a sense among people that there was something to be feared, and
that they were on top of it and were taking care of it. I think this was
exemplified by the fact that Ashcroft, the Attorney General, then went on
Letterman to beat his chest and say what a great bunch of guys they were.

So definitely, I think [my arrest] was to keep the fear level at a high
pitch - because when people are afraid, they tend to give up
decision-making power and allow the "authorities" to do it.

Q. HOW DO your trial and conviction fit in more generally with broader
attacks on civil liberties?

A. THE ACTS that are the basis of the indictment took place in 2000, so
that's pre-Patriot Act. But there's no question in my mind that the
Patriot Act gave a certain aura to what the government had done in my
case, which made it much easier for the judge to find that listening in on
attorney-client conversations was okay.

The judge made absolutely no rulings that said anything the government had
done was constitutionally wrong - even though it was a wholesale invasion
of probably the First Amendment, the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth.

I do think that my case really goes to the heart of the Bill of Rights,
and the Bill of Rights is diminished by my conviction. I think that's
exactly what this administration and this government wants to see happen.

Q. YOU MENTIONED that the taping of your conversations with your client
was approved under a law that came from the Clinton years, which I think
probably will surprise people.

A.  I'M NOT really sure that it was ever thought that the law was going to
be applied toward attorney-client privilege material, because
traditionally, under all of the law that has been written, privileged
material is always exempt from whatever the law provides for.

But we have to assume, because they told us they had warrants. We have no
way of finding out if they didn't. We are making a motion demanding to
know whether they listened in on my office phones, my home phone, my cell
phone - anything I had - under these NSA wiretaps, because they never
revealed that.

Q.  WHAT KIND of message do you think surveillance of lawyers'
conversations sends to other defense attorneys?

A.  I CAN only report back from the "front" - in other words, talking to
other lawyers. They all say the same thing - that they are really
hampered. They think three, four or five times before they do even a
simple thing, like call another lawyer to discuss a case. Or if the family
of some of the Guantanamo detainees, for example, calls and says, "How is
my brother/cousin/uncle?" they have to think about whether they can give
this person that information.

Certainly, I think there's nobody practicing today who does not at least
account for the possibility that the conversations between the client and
him or her are being listened to.

This is the bedrock foundation of representation - that the client can
tell you anything, and you can absorb it, keep it to yourself and utilize
it if you can, and not utilize it if you don't need to. It establishes the
kind of trust that's necessary.

For those reasons, I think it really has been a cosmic shift in the way we
represent people in this country - the fact that government could do this,
and it wasn't held to be illegal.

Q.  THE GOVERNMENT admitted that no violence ever resulted from your
actions, yet prosecutors played a videotape of Osama bin Laden during the
trial?

A.  RIGHT, TWO of them. And when you say "played," you have to envision a
screen that's about 20 feet high by 15 feet across, and it's being played
in a foreign language, and it looks so ominous.

The purpose was clearly just to put a smear on it - to make the jury
"appreciate" what terrorism was all about.

I understand there was a news article - I think in the New Jersey Bergen
Record - where they said that that there was a memo circulated that anyone
who was doing a terrorism case in the U.S. Attorney's office should
definitely try to get bin Laden into the evidence somehow or other.
Because, of course, it's got to have an impact on a jury. It's like
getting hit in the gut.

But we expect that of the government. That's my whole career. I've always
fought the government because I know that they will stoop to anything to
accomplish their aim, whatever that may be. It may just be wanting a
conviction of a certain person, but in other cases - certainly the
political cases - it's very clear that their goal is broader than that.

Q. YOU WERE tried along with two co-defendants. Do you think that harmed
your case?

A. WE DID ask for a severance, and we were denied. We asked for many
severances during the trial. When the bin Laden stuff came up, we asked
for a severance since it was only directed toward one of the defendants -
and only for his "state of mind," because he possessed this tape. But
those requests weren't granted.

I think my case was unique. I would have preferred to have the jury focus
on the lawyer and whether "materially aiding" is really separable from
doing the work we're expected to do.

I'm not saying they hurt my case. But I think it took away from the jury's
ability to really focus.

Q.  CAN YOU talk a little bit about the "Special Administrative Measures"
that you're accused of violating, and what effect they actually have on
you as a lawyer and your ability to properly defend a client?

A.  THIS IS a new animal. It's basically a Bureau of Prisons regulation.
It's like a lot of government regulations, executive orders, etc., that
form a network of regulations that most people aren't even aware of.

They impose these special administrative measures in order to restrict a
defendant - not the lawyer, they were against my client - in communicating
with the outside world.

Maybe in the case of some Mafia guy who's ordering hits from prison, it
might be appropriate. But there's no proof that my client was ever doing
that. He was merely maintaining relationships of longstanding.

If we were to think of Mumia Abu-Jamal, for example, under a regulation
where he could only call his family once a month and speak to his lawyers
once a day, we would never have the insight and understanding of the man
that we have, and we would not be favored by his opinions of what's going
on in this world of ours.

It's a double restriction, and probably one that is questionable regarding
the First Amendment. But it's in place - it's "allowable." They've been
litigated, but mainly for persons of violence, who were advocating "do
this, do that to so-and-so." So I don't think it's ever had a true
Constitutional test.

Notwithstanding that, they were in place and, in my mind, almost
impossible to interpret. If you're thinking on the one hand, "How do I
advocate for my client?" and on the other hand, "How do I stay within
these regulations?" it's very, very difficult to find a place of safety.

It was certainly something the government could slam me with on almost
every occasion.

We also pointed out to the jury that although I had read out this press
release in June of 2000, Ramsey Clark had made many press releases on
behalf of the sheik, some almost identical, by calling Reuters and doing
it over the phone, or handing them out at a press conference. He never
even got a letter.

I'm not saying I'm Ramsey Clark. My father was a schoolteacher, not a
Supreme Court Justice, and I was never the Attorney General of the United
States.

In my own mind, I thought they accorded us this courtesy - that press
releases filtered through lawyers were permissible. And I was wrong. I'm
not saying I was set up, but it has a sort of a smell to it.

The fact of the matter is, as you said earlier, that nothing ever
happened. They made a big deal out of it, but it was a political statement
- just like a million others we've seen and read from people in jail. It's
not the same as a call to arms.

Q. THE GOVERNMENT really went after your personal political beliefs,
didn't they?

A.  REPEATEDLY tried to point out that my politics were my own - and
actually, if they wanted to go down that road, it was obvious that my
politics were very far from Islamic fundamentalism.

I consider myself a feminist. I consider myself a socialist at the
minimum, probably a little further to the left than that - a communist, in
the final analysis, maybe a Maoist.

Those words, I don't think, actually came out at the trial. But what they
tried to do was show that I am a person who isn't opposed to violence. But
that has nothing whatsoever to do with my representation of clients. They
are each entitled to their politics, and I do my best to represent the
person, not the politics.

As a matter of fact, you really have to set this aside many times, because
you deal with such terrible selfishness and greed in doing criminal work.
My politics only inform me. They don't inform the way I work.

Q.  YOU'RE NOW facing 30 years in prison. Do you have any expectations for
what you might receive as a sentence?

A.  REALLY don't know, but I think we're going to give it a tremendous
fight.

Liz Fink, the attorney for the Attica Brothers, is now part of my defense
team. She understands, probably better than anyone else, how we lawyers
who are decidedly anti-government, when we sign on with a client, we sign
on for life. It doesn't stop when the court recesses. It's a commitment to
that human being.

I think we're going to present all that at sentencing, and we're going to
talk about my health problems - this cancer that, although it seems to be
in check now, I'm happy to say, remains an open question. They're never
completely sure that you're "cured."

So those issues, plus my age, plus my service to the community - all of
those things will be issues. But it's really all up to this judge, and
it's very difficult to predict what he will or will not do.

The government is going to take a very hard line. We know that.

Q.  THROUGHOUT THE trial, and in spite of your health problems, you've
remained very outspoken. Can you talk about why it's important to keep up
that fight?

A.  BECAUSE WE have an obligation to expose what's happening. That's all
we can do these days. We're not so organized to be able to put pressure to
bear on them, akin to something like a real general strike. We don't seem
to be able to get people to see things in as stark a terms as we do.

But I do believe it's incremental. I think that, compared to where we were
when I was first arrested in April 2002, today, there are more and more
people who are not willing to accept anything the government says anymore.

I think that's valuable. Reminding people that the government is
conducting a "war on terror," but look who the victim is here - a lawyer
who fought for the underprivileged, who went out there at no monetary gain
and defended people who other people wouldn't even look at.

There's also the sense that Muslims have been demonized by this government
as "the enemy," as "non-human beings," as "devils," or whatever. To say
that this grandmotherly lawyer went the full nine yards for her client,
who happened to be one of these people, also sends a message.

It's also to give people courage. You can't imagine how many young people
come up to me and say, "You know, because of what you're doing, I feel
that I can do something." And that makes me very, very happy.

Q.  WHAT CAN people do to help support you?

A.  SEPTEMBER 25 is coming. We're going to have a tremendous turnout. We
not only want to fill the courtroom, but we'd like to fill the courthouse,
and the square out front and everyplace else to show the numbers who are
willing to take out a day from their lives to oversee what this judge is
going to do.

We are also always in need of contributions, especially now that I'm
unable to do much speaking or anything else to try to raise money, because
I've been convalescing here for so long.

But the real thing is to stay with me in spirit. I think that the worst
thing in this era is this alienation - the sense that you're all alone. So
many people are so happy with their SUVs and their remote controls, and
are we nuts that we're out here fighting this? But when I go to an event,
and people come over - when I just know that people are there - it's very,
very important to me, and I think to them also.

Really, for me, that's what being a part of the left is - to be part of a
larger group that wants to really make a better world.

How you can support Lynne Stewart

YOU CAN show your support for Lynne by making a donation to her defense
fund. To contribute, or for more information on Lynne's case, visit
http://www.lynnestewart.org on the Web. Donations can also be sent to the
Lynne Stewart Legal Defense Fund, 350 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY
10013.


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