|Progressive Calendar 03.08.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2007 00:44:33 -0800 (PST)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 03.08.07 1. Palestine vigil 3.09 4:30pm 2. Hmong/film 3.09 7:15pm 3. Labor/mgt/play 3.09 7:30pm 4. Alt-violence 3.09-3.11 5. Reel bad Arabs 3.10 9:30am 6. Kids peace books 3.10 10am 7. GPM committees 3.10 10am 8. 9/11 film 3.10 10:45am 9. NMN4P vigils 3.10 11am 10. Rights training 3.10 1:30pm 11. Islam/democracy 3.10 2pm 12. YAWR plans demo 3.10 3pm 13. Eastside co-op 3.10 5pm 14. Cuba/film 3.10 6:30pm 15. John Nichols - Vermont: The next mission: removing a tyrant 16. Cindy Sheehan - Vermont: The land of hope 17. John Nichols - Vermont votes to impeach Bush/Cheney 18. Dave Lindorff - LibbyGate: Time for the real story 19. Ron Jacobs - The union makes us strong! The legacy of Lordstown --------1 of 19------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Palestine vigil 3.09 4:30pm Friday, 3/9, 4:30 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end the occupation of Palestine, Snelling & Summit Aves, St Paul. Karen, 651-283-3495. --------2 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Hmong/film 3.09 7:15pm 3/9 to 3/15, 7:15 pm, film "Story of Pao" about Hmong girl in northern Vietnam and quest to find her biological mother, Oak St Cinema, 309 Oak St SE, Mpls. www.mnfilmarts.org --------3 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: labor/mgt/play 3.09 7:30pm 3/9 to 3/24, 7:30 pm with some matinees, Mixed Blood Theater adapts "The Pajama Game" as a bilingual tale of labor/management and cultural conflict, Sabtahani Theater, 310 E 38th St, Mpls. www.mixedblood.com --------4 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Alt-violence 3.09-3.11 3/9 to 3/11, Alternatives to Violence Project advanced training, Friends for a Non-Violent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul. aaron [at] fnvw.org --------5 of 19-------- From: Florence Steichen <steichenfm [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Reel bad Arabs 3.10 9:30am MIDDLE EAST PEACE NOW presents "REEL BAD ARABS" A new thought provoking film narrated by Jack Shaheen, Professor Emeritus of Mass Communications at Southern Illinois University and former consultant on Middle East affairs for CBS news, based on his ground-breaking book. Film clips from cinema's earliest days to contemporary blockbusters show how Hollywood vilifies a people and is still doing it. This will test your memory. Did you notice the smearing of Arabs in these many movies? SATURDAY, March 10, 2007 9:30 a.m. Refreshments 10:00 a.m. Presentation and Discussion SOUTHDALE HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY - 2nd Floor 7001 York Ave. S., Edina, MN 55435 For information call Florence Steichen, 651-696-1642 --------6 of 19------- From: Doris Marquit Subject: Kids peace books 3.10 10am Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10 am to noon Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, Minnesota Metro Branch, invites everyone to a talk, discussion, and display: Children's Books on Peace and Justice Speaker: Jo Montie Van Cleve Community Center, 901 15th Ave. SE, Minneapolis FFI: 651-458-7090; www.wilpfmn.org FREE∂RefreshMentS ∂ Everyone Welcome! ∂ --------7 of 19-------- From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: GPM committees 3.10 10am Fellow Greens: The Green Party of MN state level Coordinating Committee has created a goal of revitalizing our Committees for the ongoing tasks necessary to keep the party thriving for 2007. We invite volunteers to attend Committee meetings on Saturday, March 10th from 10am through noon at the Walker Library ( 2880 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis MN 55408, the phone number is 612-630-6650 ). We will be in the small conference room. For the break out sessions, we will be splitting up in the Library. The following committees that need volunteers are: Documents-Becky Kopp (bylaws and constitution documents for June's meeting) National-David Strand (?) (see link from gp.org at: Green Party of the United States | Committees <http://gp.org/committees.shtml> ) Events-Danene Provencher Fundraising-Wyn Douglas Locals Sunflower-Patty Skogrand/Nancy Brown Web Office-Becki Smith If you are unable to attend and are interested in helping out, contact the appropriate email contact from mngreens.org and click on the committees link. In solidarity, Danene Provencher GPM CC member --------8 of 19-------- From: CATHERINE STATZ <statz001 [at] umn.edu> Subject: 9/11 film 3.10 10:45am This is a powerful movie where members of 9/11 families tell their story for the first time on film providing an argument why 9/11 still needs investigation. Drawing from Paul Thompson's exhaustive research, "9/11: Press for Truth" documents how family members of 9/11 victims compelled the greatest powers in Washington to conduct an investigation, only to watch the 9/11 Commission fail to answer most of their questions. Featuring overlooked news clips, buried stories, and government press conferences, the documentary reveals a pattern of official lies, deception and spin that raises disturbing and important questions. Sponsors of this showing: MN 9/11 Group. Riverview Theatre www.riverviewtheater.com 3800 42nd Ave S (E 38th St & 42nd Ave S) Minneapolis, MN 55406 (612) 729-7369 9/11 Press for Truth www.911pressfortruth.org 10:45 AM Saturday, March 10, 2007 Free Thank you so much. There is so much the public doesn't know about what these families went through to even get the commission report. The public needs or at least should know this story. Catherine L Statz 2040 Jefferson Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105 651-698-1308 Work: 612-626-3151 Cell: 612-384-8742 statz001 [at] umn.edu --------9 of 19-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: NMN4P vigils 3.10 11am There are now two NWN4P weekly demonstrations as follows: 1. NWN4P-Plymouth demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, along Vinewood, just north of 42nd Ave. and one block east of 494 in Plymouth. Drive toward the Rainbow and Target Greatland on Vinewood, turn right by Bakers Square and right again into the parking lot near the sidewalk. Bring your own sign or use ours. 2. NWN4P-Minnetonka demonstration- Every Saturday, 11 AM to noon, at Hwy. 7 and 101. Park in the Target Greatland lot; meet near the entrance fountain. Bring your own signs or use ours. --------10 of 19-------- From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at] minn.net> Subject: Rights training 3.10 1:30pm Saturday, March 10 at 1:30 p.m. Know Your Rights Training Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S, Minneapolis Do you know your rights when dealing with police? PROTECT YOURSELF! Learn what to say (and not say) to a police officer, your rights during traffic stops, street stops, home visits and other encounters with police. Learn your rights regarding searches, ID cards, what to do if arrested, and more. --------11 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Islam/democracy 3.10 2pm Alternate Saturdays, 1/13 to 6/9, 2 to 4 pm, interfaith dialogue organization Northern Lights Society presents series Understanding Islam, 2469 University Ave, Suite 110 E. St Paul. bilgin [at] nlight.org Series includes topics: Islam and Democracy on 3/10, necessity of interfaith dialogue on 3/24, farewell sermon of prophet Muhammad on 4/14, terror and suicide attacks on 4/28, other faiths according to Islam on 5/12, diversity in Islam on 5/26 and Islamic art on 9/9. RSVP to rsvp [at] nlight.org --------12 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: YAWR plans demo 3.10 3pm Saturday, 3/10, 3 pm, Youth Against War and Racism planning meeting for the 3/18 demonstration, 3024 Chicago Ave, #1, Mpls www.yawr.org --------13 of 19-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: Eastside co-op 3.10 5tpm Fundraiser for the Eastside Food Co-op's 4X8 Gallery murals Saturday, March 10th from 5 to 8:00 PM Frank Stone Gallery at 1224 2nd Street in NE MPLS From the Clay Squared to Infinity mosaic carrot by the front door, Frank Stone's stained glass windows in the front foyer to the five murals that were installed last year in the Eastside Food Co-op‚^ņ^Ŕs 4X8 Gallery that reside on the north side of the building along 26th AVE, the Eastside Food Co-op has always been enthusiastic about supporting and showing the work of local artists. The Eastside Food Co-op is continuing this commitment by featuring new murals for the 4X8 Gallery that are made by emerging, local artists who share Eastside‚^ņ^Ŕs mission of building community through volunteerism, neighborhood reinvestment and local participation. In support of this innovative artistic community endeavor there will be a fundraiser for the 4X8 Gallery at the Frank Stone Gallery THIS Saturday, March 10th from 5 to 8:00 PM. The Frank Stone Gallery is located at 1224 2nd Street in lovely lower NE Minneapolis. Come and see the artists' submissions for the five new murals, socialize and help to raise funds for the 4X8 Gallery. Refreshments will be served. Freewill donations accepted at the door. High-quality prints that are suitable for framing, of Linnea Dolye's original artwork "Roots" will be available for $15 to support this year's phase of the mural project. You can see an image of Linnea Dolye's "Roots" on page 5 of Eastside Food Co-op's current newsletter. http://www.eastsidefood.coop/EFC%20news%200207%20for%20website.pdf Contact Mark Wilde mjwilde [at] yahoo.com for more details and please feel free to share this message with any interested folks. it will be a fine, fun filled, frolic of an fundraiser, --------14 of 19-------- From: Minnesota Cuba Committee <mncuba [at] usfamily.net> Subject: Cuba/film 3.10 6:30pm CUBA-VENEZUELA FILM SERIES AT MAPPS COFFEE HOUSE 1810 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis Saturday, March 10, 6:30 pm Mountain of Light (Montana de Luz) -Mountain of Light is a collaborative documentary project that involved three Cuban film crews visiting Honduras, Haiti, Guatemala, Mali, Namibia, Burkina Faso and Botswana to document how Cuban medical aid has been helping the poor in those countries. Facing challenges like floods in Guatemala and the searing heat of Namibia, Cuban doctors have successfully helped ease the pain of ordinary people in these countries. --------15 of 19-------- The Next Mission: Removing a Tyrant by John Nichols Published on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 by The Nation RUTLAND, Vt. - Over the weekend, I traveled Vermont with three of the most remarkable defenders of democracy I have met in a long time: former Army Sgt. Drew Cameron, former Marine Cpl. Matt Howard and former Army Sgt. Adrienne Kinne. We were on a mission: A mission to end an unjust and horrific war, and a mission to hold to account the men who launched that war. What made the experience of appearing in close to a dozen communities with the local Iraq Veterans Against the War campaigners was not that these courageous young vets had chosen to speak so openly and so directly about the reasons why they favor ending the U.S. occupation of Iraq. IVAW members and supporters are speaking up all over this country, more boldly, more aggressively, every day, telling the fundamental truth that Drew Cameron, who served as a field artillery soldier in the 4th Infantry Division, spoke: "Democracy is not taught through the end of a gun." Rather, the experience was remarkable because these veterans had come to the same conclusion as that reached by a growing number of honest critics of the war: If we are determined to bring the troops home, we have to get serious about addressing the lawlessness of those who brought this war on and who now seek to expand it. We do not do so by promoting "non-binding resolutions." We express our seriousness by sending a signal that the need to end this occupation of a foreign land is so pressing that we are prepared to speak of impeaching the men who promise to maintain their military misadventure for so long as they occupy the White House. "If you want to support the troops, you need to support the Constitution," explained Kinne, who served in the Army from 1994 to 2004 as an Arabic linguist in military intelligence, "And you need to recognize that if you support the Constitution, you must support impeachment." There are millions of Americans who would like to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney for the long list of high crimes and misdemeanors that have been associated with the names of these errant executives over the past six years. For instance, polls suggest that a majority of Americans favor impeachment if it is proven that the president lied to the America people about the reasons for going to war in Iraq. But there are still those casual citizens who suggest that impeachment is a "distraction" from the important business of the day. What absurdity! The Americans who established the power to impeach had just finished a revolution against a king named George. They fought that revolution on the premise, spelled out by a young Virginia farmer named Thomas Jefferson, that the people had the power to remove leaders who disregarded the rule of law and the mandates of morality. "A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people," wrote Jefferson, who worried that the presidency would devolve into a circumstance where an occupant of the Oval Office would govern as a king for four years. An "elected despotism" is not what we in America fought to achieve, explained Jefferson, who established that both members of the U.S. House and state legislatures would have the authority to submit articles of impeachment. Impeachment is not a casual act of political retribution. It is not a game. It is an essential act of the republic, established and defined for the purpose of preventing presidents from governing as warrior kings. We are not talking about stained blue dresses anymore. We are talking about a war that has cost more than 3,000 lives and ruined tens of thousands more - need we mention Walter Reed? - a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives, a war that is emptying our federal treasury at a rate of $200 million a day. Impeachment, as intended by the founders who created a system of checks and balances in order to "chain the dogs of war," is a political act - initiated, at its best, with the purpose of preventing a president from maintaining a course of action that affronts the Constitution, endangers the republic or damages democracy. The war in Iraq does all of these things. And, yet, as the Bush-Cheney administration proposes to surge 21,500 more young Americans into the quagmire that is Iraq, and as the Congress debates non-binding resolutions that, by virtue of their very names, are guaranteed to be inconsequential, there are those who would dare suggest that impeachment initiatives might distract the House and Senate. There is no more serious work than ending the war. The veterans I traveled with this past weekend put no faith in non-binding resolutions. Instead, they expressed a faith, born of bitter experience, that only a serious movement to impeach Bush and Cheney will meet these maladministrators with a response equal to the crisis the president and vice president seek to perpetuate. "The first thing I did in the United States military was swear to defend the Constitution," recalled Howard, who served two combat tours in Iraq, deploying with the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. "I swore an oath to defend the Constitution, and that is what I'm doing now by speaking out against the war and against this administration." Over the course of three days, we spoke in schools, churches and community halls across the state of Vermont about the war and impeachment. We were encouraging Vermonters to vote for impeachment resolutions at today's town meetings - as part of a process to convince the state legislature to forward articles of impeachment to Congress and to get Vermont's U.S. representative to propose and promote such articles. We were joined by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain Iraq War veteran who has long been an advocate of the "Impeach for Peace" movement, and by Dan DeWalt, the instigator of Vermont's grassroots impeachment campaign. If the call for impeachment is raised by the town meetings of Vermont today, it will not be a "symbolic" act. It will be the right response to the wrong war. It will be the response that our bravest veterans counsel that we must embrace if we want to get about the business of bringing the troops home. As Drew Cameron said, "They're sending us to these aggressive wars overseas and democracy is eroding beneath our feet here at home so. it us our duty, it is our service to say something about that." John Nichols' new book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'" Copyright 2007 The Nation --------16 of 19-------- Vermont: The Land of Hope by Cindy Sheehan Published on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 by CommonDreams.org My recent trip to Turkey opened my eyes further to anti-American hatred. As more and more people in the occupied countries of Afghanistan and Iraq are being killed by American troops or by violence that didn't exist before America existed in their countries, the intensity of the hostility is escalating along with the escalating violence. At a "peace" conference that I attended in Istanbul I was appalled when attendee after attendee rose up from the audience to commend my fellow panelist, an Iraqi scientist, on the insurgency in Iraq which was giving the world "hope" by staving off the self entitled "mightiest military in history". I was as appalled because a violent insurgency was applauded as I am appalled that a violent regime in DC is still in power to continue devastating the world which encourages people to place their hope in the Iraqi resistance. I want to live in a country that gives hope to the world. I want to live in a country that decreases world instability instead of foments and celebrates it. I want to live in a country that listens to its citizens and not the lobbyists of the war profiteers. I want to live in a country that doesn't use its precious sons and daughters to kill other people's precious sons and daughters. I want to live in the USA and that's why I want Bloody George and Doomsday Dick to be impeached. I had the honor over this past weekend to travel the state of Vermont (in the Yellow Rose of Texas VFP and Camp Casey Bus) with impeachment activists which included Dan DeWalt who began the impeachment movement in Vermont, John Nichols who is an associate editor of The Nation magazine and author of The Genius of Impeachment which puts the impeachment of the Bush Regime in crystal clear historical focus; along with three superbly intelligent and articulate Iraq Vets Against the War: Drew Cameron, Matt Howard and Adrienne Kinne. We made 13 stops across Vermont (which is bigger than it looks) and found ourselves settling into a routine. First the Iraq Vets would speak. Adrienne was an Arabic linguist for 10 years and knew the intelligence that our country was gleaning from such sources as Ahmed Chalabi was false because she, using her brain, figured out that he had much to gain from the invasion of Iraq. When she brought this up to her commander he accused her of not supporting their unit or the mission. Adrienne now works in a VA hospital in Vermont and hears tragic tales of why our vets have PTSD. Stories of soldiers who were driving down the road in a sandy country that they had no business being in one minute and who awaken to find themselves covered in blood with a body part in their laps, not knowing if it was their own or one of their buddies. Matt, a Marine, and Drew, a soldier told horror stories of lack of body armor, lack of enough food and the killing of innocent women and children. The young vet's points basically boiled down to this: as our VA hospitals are falling apart and soldiers are committing suicide, because even if the harmed soldier wanted to, they can't get a bed in a VA facility, the illegal occupation of a country that Bloody George wants to make worse is creating more damaged veterans that will be refused, or criminally delayed treatment from the very government that hurt them in the first place. John Nichols would then arise and talk about the founding of our country and the genius of the founding fathers that built impeachment into our constitution which mentions impeachment six times and God zero. Impeachment was our founder's way of insuring that no branch of the government, but especially the executive branch got to powerful or tyrannical. With the fire of an evangelist, John would relevantly quote Jefferson, Madison and Adams with alacrity and wisdom. Then John would introduce me. By the time I would speak, the crowd had heard about the atrocity and senselessness of war. John would give them the historical back ground and reasons for impeachment (ie: starting wars of aggression based on lies; torture; Katrina; spying on Americans without permission; and torture to name a few) and my job was to put impeachment into the present day and explain future implications. My imperative for impeachment does not come out of a sense of revenge. If I wanted revenge, I would be calling for something more harmful than impeachment. Justice is one of the reasons that I want impeachment. Peace is one of the reasons that I want impeachment. Accountability is one of the reasons that I want impeachment, but the overriding reason that I want impeachment is for the future. I believe that a mammoth amount of Americans think that Vietnam was a wrong-headed war and that atrocities and crimes against humanity were committed. However, the main architects of that disgusting crime of that century, left their offices to go on to lead happy and healthy lives of ease. Johnson went back to Texas to bar-be-que; Nixon returned to California to golf; Mc Namara went on to be president of the World Bank (which seems to be a reward for planning horrid wars); and Kissinger is back in the saddle advising the cowboy of killing. If even one of the above mentioned murderers had been impeached and imprisoned, maybe George would not have thought that he was above the law and maybe he wouldn't have felt so comfortable leading our country into disaster a la the war that he spent a lot of time avoiding himself. It is urgent and necessary that we impeach the criminals who inhabit the highest offices of the world to insure the future peace of the world. Impeachment is absolutely mandatory so that the crooks be held accountable for their crimes so America can be the shining city on the hill that the rest of the world can look towards with hope and confidence in her wisdom. Impeachment is a constitutional requirement which must not be expediently avoided and must be set back on the table as first course. Dozens of towns in Vermont will be voting on impeachment resolutions in their town meetings this Tuesday, March 6th as a people's antidote for the political temerity of Congress. If Congress won't do their constitutional duty, then, we the people will. Vermont, the world is watching. Be the glowing beacon that leads our country down a path of justice and peace. The hope of the world is counting on you. Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. --------17 of 19-------- Vermont Votes to Impeach Bush/Cheney by John Nichols Published on Wednesday, March 7, 2007 by The Nation When Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican with reasonably close ties to President Bush, asked if there was any additional business to be considered at the town meeting he was running in Middlebury, Ellen McKay popped up and proposed the impeachment of Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The governor was not amused. As moderator of the annual meeting, he tried to suggest that the proposal to impeach - along with another proposal to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq - could not be voted on. But McKay, a program coordinator at Middlebury College, pressed her case. And it soon became evident that the crowd at the annual meeting shared her desire to hold the president to account. So Douglas backed down. "It became clear that no one was going home until they had the chance to discuss the resolutions and vote on them," explained David Rosenberg, a political science professor at Middlebury College. "And being a good politician, he allowed the vote to happen." By an overwhelming voice vote, Middlebury called for impeachment. So it has gone this week at town meetings across Vermont, most of which were held Tuesday. Late Tuesday night, there were confirmed reports that 36 towns had backed impeachment resolutions, and the number was expected to rise. In one town, Putney, the vote for impeachment was unanimous. In addition to Governor Douglas's Middlebury, the town of Hartland, which is home to Congressman Peter Welch, backed impeachment. So, too, did Jericho, the home of Gaye Symington, the speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives. Organizers of the grassroots drive to get town meetings to back impeachment resolutions hope that the overwhelming support the initiative has received will convince Welch to introduce articles of impeachment against Bush and Cheney. That's something the Democratic congressman is resisting, even though his predecessor, Bernie Sanders, signed on last year to a proposal by Michigan Congressman John Conyers to set up a House committee to look into impeachment. Vermont activists also want their legislature to approve articles of impeachment and forward them to Congress. But Symington, also a Democrat, has discouraged the initiative, despite the fact that more than 20 representatives have cosponsored an impeachment resolution. "It's going to be hard for Peter Welch and Gaye Symington to say there's no sentiment for impeachment, now that their own towns have voted for it," says Dan DeWalt, a Newfane, Vermont, town selectman who started the impeachment initiative last year in his town, and who now plans to launch a campaign to pressure Welch and Symington to respect and reflect the will of the people. It is going to be even harder for Governor Douglas, who just this month spent two nights at the Bush White House, to face his president. After all, Douglas now lives in a town that is on record in support of Bush's impeachment and trial for high crimes and misdemeanors. For the record, Middlebury says: We the people have the power - and the responsibility - to remove executives who transgress not just the law, but the rule of law. The oaths that the President and Vice President take binds them to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." The failure to do so forms a sound basis for articles of impeachment. The President and Vice President have failed to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution" in the following ways: 1. They have manipulated intelligence and misled the country to justify an immoral, unjust, and unnecessary preemptive war in Iraq. 2. They have directed the government to engage in domestic spying without warrants, in direct contravention of U.S. law. 3. They have conspired to commit the torture of prisoners, in violation of the Federal Torture Act and the Geneva Convention. 4. They have ordered the indefinite detention without legal counsel, without charges and without the opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention - all in violation of U.S. law and the Bill of Rights. When strong evidence exists of the most serious crimes, we must use impeachment - or lose the ability of the legislative branch to compel the executive branch to obey the law. George Bush has led our country to a constitutional crisis, and it is our responsibility to remove him from office. John Nichols' new book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism. Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson hails it as a "nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the 'heroic medicine' that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'" 2007 The Nation --------18 of 19-------- LibbyGate: Time for the Real Story The Fall Guy Has Fallen By DAVE LINDORFF CounterPunch March 7, 2007 So Scooter Libby has taken the fall. Three and a half years and a long bloody war after he and a gang of war-mongers in the White House and Blair House, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, set out to undermine and trash the reputation of an Iraq war critic, former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Libby has been found guilty of perjury, lying to the FBI and obstruction of justice by a Washington jury. Now maybe what passes for journalists in the mainstream media can get down to the real business of finding out just why the entire White House smear operation was unleashed upon a minor state department official and why they went so far as to violate federal law and expose his CIA-operative wife, Valerie Plame, in the process destroying her entire network of contacts for monitoring the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Because that's what this whole Libby story is really about. The whole focus of the media in this case has been on the narrow, inside-the-Beltway question of who leaked information about Plame to the media. Entirely forgotten or ignored has been what this leak was all about to begin with. For that, you have to go back and look at what Wilson did in the first place that so enraged or frightened the Vice President and the President. And that was to go to Niger, one of the poorest nations in Africa, to prove conclusively that there was no truth to a set of forged notes on the letterhead of the Niger embassy in Rome, purporting to be receipts for 400 tons of Niger uranium ore allegedly being sought by Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Wilson knew those documents were cheap forgeries - the name of the mines official on the papers was someone who hadn't been in office for years - but he went to Niger anyhow, just to make doubly certain that no such purchase attempt had been made. None had. So the real question then is, who is behind those forged documents? There is an interesting story here - and an important mystery to be solved. As it happens, way back in early 2001 there was a pair of burglaries at the Niger Embassy in Rome and at the home of the Niger ambassador. Police investigating the crimes found that the only things stolen were official stationary and some official stamps, used to make documents official. A cleaning lady and a former member of Italy's intelligence service were arrested for the crimes. They were odd burglaries to be sure, since there is precious little one could use, or sell, such documents for, given the country involved. I mean, it might make sense to steal official stationary from the French Embassy in Rome, which a thief might use to finagle a pass to the Cannes Festival. But Niger? Jump to October 2001. A few weeks after the 9-11 attacks, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, accompanied by his ministers of defense and intelligence, made a visit to the White House. There he reportedly handed over the forged Niger documents (they were on Niger government stationary, and had Niger government stamps!), which appeared to be receipts for uranium ore, made out to Saddam Hussein. Now forget the matter of why either Hussein or Niger's government would want paper receipts for such an illegal transaction, and forget the matter of how Hussein would have transported 400 tons of yellow dust across the Sahara to his country without somebody noticing. The simple fact is that Bush's own intelligence experts at the CIA and State Department promptly spotted the forgeries, and they were dumped. We know this because we know, from the likes of onetime National Security Council counterterrorism head Richard Clarke and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, that Bush was pushing for war with Iraq almost as soon as he finished reading My Pet Goat following the attack on the Twin Towers. Surely if the White House had even thought those Niger documents might be legit, they would have leaked or broadcast them all over creation. They didn't. The documents were deep-sixed, and mentioned to no one. But according to some dedicated investigative reporters at the respected Italian newspaper La Repubblica, they resurfaced before long at a very suspicious meeting. This meeting occurred in December 2001 in Rome, and included Michael Ledeen, an associate of Defense Department Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith and a key figure in the White House's war-propaganda program, Larry Franklin, a top Defense Intelligence Agency Middle East analyst who later pleaded guilty to passing classified information to two employees of the America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), convicted Iraqi bank swindler Ahmed Chalabi, then head of the CIA-created Iraqi National Congress, and Harold Rhode of the sinister Defense Department Office of Special Plans, that office set up by the White House and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld under Feith's direction to manufacture "evidence" to justify a war on Iraq. Also at this peculiar meeting were the heads of the Italian Defense Department and of SISMI, the Italian intelligence agency. According to La Repubblica, it was at that meeting that a plan was hatched to resurrect the forged Niger documents, and to give them credibility by recycling them through British intelligence. And that is what Bush was referring to when, in his 2003 State of the Union address, he famously frightened a nation by declaring, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Bush lyingly implied that this was new information, when in fact he knew - had to know - that the "evidence" in British hands was the same set of documents he had been offered by Berlusconi almost a year and a half earlier, which had been declared to be bogus. No mainstream American media organization has pursued this story, or even published the details as reported in Italy. Most Americans, consequently, don't even know what a grand lie Bush and the White House perpetrated upon them and the Congress in order to win approval for an attack on Iraq. Perhaps now that Libby has gone down for his part in this grotesque crime, some editor will ask the obvious question: Why did the White House and the Office of Vice President go to such extraordinary lengths to attack Wilson and his wife? And more importantly, who was behind those Niger embassy burglaries and the forged uranium ore sale documents? And what was OSP doing meeting in Rome in December 2001 with the head of Italian intelligence? Make no mistake: this whole story has the odor of a "black op" designed to target the American people. If so it was an act of high treason. It is not just Libby who should go to jail for this crime. It is the president and vice president. At this point, what should happen is that Fitzgerald, with Libby in the bag, would take the next step and hold the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence recommendation over the convict's head in order to try and win from him a promise of cooperation with the prosecution. Because Libby knows who was behind all this. That's the way prosecutors go after criminal syndicates and conspiracies, but Fitzgerald has folded his tent, reportedly saying that he plans no further prosecutions. That means it's up to Congress, which should take the cue and initiate impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney based on the evidence of crimes and obstruction that came out during the Libby trial testimony. And of course, it's up to the media, which if they were still doing their job, would be all over this story. Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment", co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. He can be reached at: dlindorff [at] yahoo.com --------19 of 19-------- The Union Makes Us Strong! The Legacy of Lordstown By RON JACOBS CounterPunch March 6, 2007 Thirty-five years ago this month, workers at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio left their positions on the shop floor. The reason for the wildcat strike was the institution by the company of new disciplinary rules and a general speed-up of the manufacturing process. This action by the workers not only ticked off management, it also upset the union bureaucrats, who had promised cooperation from its members regarding the new rules. It wasn't only the new rules that caused the rebellion, but the addition of those rules to an already tedious and backbreaking job. The line speed at Lordstown greatly exceeded that of older plants, and the worker unrest at the plant came to symbolize worker alienation in general. The wildcats also represented the rebellious youthful working-class militancy of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Instead of merely striking over wages and hours, the Lordstown wildcatters and their brothers and sisters in plants of all kinds were contesting the alienation of modern work. Where there was no mechanism to strike, these protests took the form of sabotage and individual outbreaks of resistance. It's been a while since I worked at a factory. In fact, it's been over twenty years. Before that, I had worked at a brick manufacturing plant and an outfit that made preformed concrete patios. The last plant I worked at was on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. My work involved running a soldering machine, placing resistors in circuit boards and doing touchup soldering on countless circuit boards manufactured for Microsoft and other technology outfits. The pay was dismal and the work came and went, depending on demand. The work was so dismal, in fact, that most of the workers looked forward to the periods of unemployment even though we knew our unemployment checks would barely cover our bulls. Just the fact that we wouldn't be facing the daily drudgery was reward in itself. Since that job, I have worked in libraries, only one of which was unionized (although I didn't qualify for union membership because I was classified temporary). Although the work is a distant cry from the drudgery of factory and restaurant work and libraries are public institutions, the job itself is not immune from the vagaries of the greater economy. Indeed, salaries of those workers without advanced degrees are usually enough to live on, but nobody I know who collects that salary is taking exotic vacations on it. So, when union organizing has taken place at the institutions I've worked at, I've been quite involved. What I found is that the days of combating worker alienation have been forgotten amidst the concerns that my fellow workers have over job security, livable wages and affordable medical benefits. Alienation is a given and hoping to overcome it is considered a utopian dream better left to college students who have time on their hands. Despite these concerns, however, many folks seem hesitant to commit even their signature to a union. This hesitation is often based on fear, since employers in both the private and public sectors are known to dismiss those workers who attempt to rouse their fellows into taking more control of their work lives. And, after all is said and done, that's what unions are all about. They aren't about leadership struggles over turf and they aren't about kissing some politician's ass in the hope they will toss the workers of the country some crumbs left after the capitalists and their cronies cut the pie. If we stretch that desire for control beyond our lives at work, then unions can become potent vehicles for social and political change. Imagine a worker's movement determined to end imperial war by refusing to involve its members in the manufacture and shipment of the weapons of war. Imagine a worker's movement deciding that its solidarity is with the immigrants who have been displaced by the forces of capital and demanding full legality and fair wages for their migrant brothers and sisters. Recently, the House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation that could be the first step towards greater union membership and, consequently, a revived workers movement capable of fulfilling such seemingly utopian dreams. This bill, known as the Employee Free Choice Act, would eliminate a step in the process workers must take to unionize their workplace. As the law currently stands, union organizers must first get at least 35% of the workers in a workplace unit to sign a card stating their desire to be represented by a union. After this number is reached, the union and the employer have a set amount of time to garner enough voted to win an election set by a national or state labor relations board. During the period leading up to the election, union organizers are limited in where and how they may campaign for the union, while employers have what amounts to a free rein in tactics to convince its employees to vote against the union. Although employer intimidation and threats are supposedly illegal, I know that they have existed in every union organizing campaign I have been involved in. Often, just a rumor of intimidation circulated by management is enough to cause the majority of workers at any given workplace to vote against the union. The Employee Free Choice Act would eliminate the election. Instead of the two-step process described above, all that would be required of workers trying to organize a union at their workplace would be a simple majority of their fellow workers signing a card stating their desire to join a union. What this means is that the signing of the card would be equivalent to voting in the election. No longer would the employer have the opportunity to intimidate workers into voting against the union. No longer would the employer be able to call mandatory work meetings where threats - veiled and unveiled - can be issued to those undecided workers who are leaning towards unionization. Naturally, this bill is vehemently opposed by major employer associations, the Bush administration and probably a good number of senators. George Bush is already on record saying he will veto the bill should it reach his desk. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) director of human resources policy issued a statement that framed his organization's opposition to the bill in terms of worker freedom of choice. According to the NAM, "The legislation would eliminate employees' freedom to choose whether union membership is right for them and their families in private..." This is utter nonsense. Workers who organize their fellow workers know that the best way to get a union is to allow their fellow workers to make an informed choice in a non-threatening atmosphere. Attempting to do this within the current process is quite difficult, thanks to the upper hand provided management. This bill would level the playing field and that - plain and simple - is why employers oppose it Ron Jacobs is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs' essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch's collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His first novel, Short Order Frame Up, is forthcoming from Mainstay Press. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625 [at] charter.net ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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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