|Progressive Calendar 06.17.06||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|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. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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