|Progressive Calendar 06.13.07||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 01:03:21 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 06.13.07 impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . 1. Farmworker 6.13 12noon 2. V torture vigil 6.13 5pm 3. Impeach meet 6.13 7pm 4. Amnesty Intl StP 6.13 7:30pm 5. Radical Jesus 6.13 6. Juneteenth 6.14 10am 7. Human rights 6.14 12noon 8. Eagan peace vigil 6.14 4:30pm 9. Northtown vigil 6.14 5pm 10. Cuba/Che today 6.14 6pm 11. Gitmo challenge 6.14 6:30pm 12. Food forum/luck 6.14 6:30pm 13. Miles on torture 6.14 7pm 14. Poets fer pece 6.14 7pm 15. M Albert/CTV 6.14 8pm 16. Class/USA/world 6.14 1pm 17. Working class 6.14-17 18. Jeffrey StClair - How to sell a war 19. Dave Lindorff - Blackout: majority favors impeachment --------1 of 19-------- From: erike [at] planet-save.com Subject: Farmworker 6.13 12noon FARMWORKER CONFERENCE FOR FAIR TRADE REPORT-BACK On April 28-30, 2007 in Owatonna, MN a historic event took place. For the first time, farmworker groups from around the U.S. met to consider their place in the growing Domestic Fair Trade movement. They came out of their meeting with a commitment to use Domestic Fair Trade as a key tool for achieving justice for farmworkers, and a demand that any group marketing U.S.-grown Fair Trade food involve farmworkers as equal partners in the definition of what is fair. You are invited to learn more about this exciting development at the Farmworker Conference for Fair Trade Report-Back. Conference participants Ernesto Bustos of Centro Campesino, Erik Esse of the Local Fair Trade Network and Lisa Sass Zaragoza of the University of Minnesota Department of Chicano studies will talk about farmworker organizing, the history of the Domestic Fair Trade movement and how these efforts are coming together. Participants will also share ideas on how food co-ops, unions, farmers, faith groups and others can support the creation of a just food system in our region. Wednesday, June 13, Noon-1:00 Romero Room, Resource Center of the Americas 3019 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis Lunch provided by La Loma Restaurant, $5-10 suggested donation Sponsored by the Local Fair Trade Network, Centro Campesino and the University of Minnesota Department of Chicano Studies --------2 of 19-------- From: Meredith Aby <awcmere [at] hotmail.com> Subject: V torture vigil 6.13 5pm PEACE VIGIL: Say no to torture Wednesday 6/13 5 pm, Lake Street/Marshall Avenue Peace Bridge. Join with others in their orange jumpsuits and black hoods to make the connection between the war on Iraq, the war on terror, and the justification of torture by the Bush Administration. Join with others to say "No to war and occupation!" The war and military occupation of Iraq have resulted in the deaths of more than 3,425 American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Continuing the occupation can only lead to more bloodshed, increased insecurity, and little hope for Iraqis to be able to reassert control over their lives and their government. This weekly vigil, and other vigils in the Twin Cities, provide the opportunity for the people in the community to participate in an important ongoing act of public resistance to war, occupation, and empire. FFI: Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq at 612-522-1861 or WAMM at 612-522-1861 --------3 of 19-------- impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . From: PRO826 [at] aol.com Subject: Impeach meet 6.13 7pm Impeachment Meeting In Minneapolis by Impeach For Peace impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . impeach bush & cheney . Summary: There shall be a formal meeting with Cam Gordon, Minneapolis City Ward Two Councilman on introducing a Resolution, calling on the Minnesota House and Senate to call a special session to pass the Impeachment Resolution of Dick Cheney and George Bush. These resolutions are already in the House and Senate of Minnesota. There are two things that need to be understood about this Motion for Impeachment. First, while it is true that Governor Pawlenty has vetoed virtually everything in this session, he is unable to veto this Resolution. The reason is that Impeachment is aimed at the Executive Branch The governorship is an extension of the Executive Branch, he is not allowed to veto it. Second, as we understand it, if just one State House and Senate both pass the Resolution of Impeachment, that according to the Jefferson Manuel on Impeachment, it is immediately passed on to the Congress, which is forced to deal with it. Cam Gordon is worried that he may be left "hanging out to dry" and made to look like "the kooky fringe" if he is the only City Councilperson to introduce it and support it. He needs our support, to show that there is public support for Impeachment. So far, Cam Gordon has been the only Councilperson to agree to meet with us to discuss this issue. As of yet, most politicians and media have refused to publically support this action So come meet us on Wednesday June 13th 7-9 pm Wolves Den Coffee Shop Franklin Ave (near Bloomington) Minneapolis We are very clear on this. Any politician who does not actively support this motion and push for it will not just be quilty of cowardice and complicity. They shall be deemed guilty of actually PROTECTING the Bush Administration and unwilling to protect the Constitution. Pack the room and ensure that Cam can go forward with our support and protect us all. We hope that those City Councilpersons who have been invited but have not yet confirmed that they will be there, shall indeed attend this event. Stop Funding Start Impeaching It is actually possible in Minnesota. but not without all of our help. Already happening in 75 cities/town/counties, 23 statewide and national political committees, being considered in 17 state legislatures, introduced in 9 state legislatures, and passed in the state of Vermont. Show up, bring a friend and help create our own history. -- From: Danene Provencher PRO826 [at] aol.com Support for impeachment growing...in new places "The people have spoken, but Congress has failed to answer. When push came to shove, the Democratic party establishment decided to fund the war effort without condition. Their decision is in direct contradiction with the majority of the country, which is against the war and the Bush administration by a large and ever-growing margin. But rather than be turned away, that majority has decidedly stepped up to the plate. Just over the last month, the impeachment movement and antiwar movement have expanded their organizing efforts and increased their visibility." _ImpeachBush / VoteToImpeach:_ (http://www.impeachbush.org/site/PageServer) Greens, progressives, antiwar activists and all who are interested are invited to a gathering at the Wolves Den, 1201 Franklin Av on June 13th at 7pm to learn of the process for drafting an impeachment resolution with the Minneapolis City Council. Cam Gordon has offered to listen to his constituents about this issue which is growing support nation wide. The city of Detroit passed an impeachment resolution unanimously: "The Detroit City Council, led by Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), unanimously passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney by the US House of Representatives." _The Raw Story | Detroit City Council votes to impeach Bush and Cheney_ (http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Detroit_City_Council_votes_to_impeach_0516.html) ..."The winds of impeachment are sweeping the country" and there is a momentum growing to address the impeachment issue locally. _ImpeachBush / VoteToImpeach: "The winds of impeachment are sweeping the country."_ (http://www.impeachbush.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5187&security=1&news_iv_ctrl=1041) Please share with interested activists, Danene Provencher Green Party of MN Co-Politics Chair --------4 of 19-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl StP 6.13 7:30pm There are several local Amnesty International groups in the Twin Cities area. All of them are welcoming and would love to see interested people get involved AIUSA Group 640 (Saint Paul) meets Wednesday, June 13th, at 7:30 p.m. Mad Hatter Teahouse, 943 West 7th Street, Saint Paul. --------5 of 19-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Radical Jesus 6.13 Radical Reconsideration Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church, 1620 E 46th St., Mpls, is the location for an exciting discussion of radical thought surrounding the historical and Biblical notions of Jesus. The series Saving Jesus is a revolutionary DVD-based small group exploration of Jesus Christ for the third millennium. Featuring leading religious voices of our day. format for the stand alone sessions includes conversation around a 20-minute video segment. The video segments feature top scholars Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan, Matthew Fox, Amy-Jill Levine, James Forbes and a host of others for to stimulate conversations about identity and relevance of Jesus called the Christ in today¬^“s thought and world. For more information on this series visit http://www.livingthequestions.com/ or www.lakenokomispc.org/. The Lake Nokomis Church community on 46th is a progressive voice in south Minneapolis. During the last presidential election season, they were the location for one of the many national book studies using Jim Wallis' political/religious bestseller, God's Politics. http://www.sojo.net/ For many years they were also part of the support system for the burgeoning Shower of Stoles Project (www.showerofstoles.org/) in support of gay and lesbian clergy and their friends. Join friends and neighbors, for stimulating summer Wednesday evenings, June 13,20,27, and July 11, 18, 25. You can come for one or all sessions. Light refreshments will be served and we will share a truly radical reconsideration of what you thought you learned in Sunday school. For further information, call 612-7214463. --------6 of 19-------- From: Impeach for Peace <lists [at] impeachforpeace.org> Subject: Juneteenth 6.14 10am Juneteenth in Minnesota Thursday, June 14, 2007 [at] 10:00am. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. Since that time Juneteenth has been celebrated as a means to remind and inspire people to utilize their artistic, social, political, spiritual, economic, educational. Annually more than 60,000 people participate in the Twin Cities Celebration. More info: http://www.juneteenthminnesota.org/ --------7 of 19-------- From: Human Rights Events Update <humanrts [at] umn.edu> Subject: Human rights 6.14 12noon Please join Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights for a special brown bag CLE: Defending Human Rights: Using the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to Protect Fundamental Rights and Freedoms presented by Arnold Tsunga cid:image001.gif [at] 01C7A1EA.9902DF70 Thursday, June 14, 2007 12:00-1:00 P.M. at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Conference Center, 28th Floor 800 LaSalle Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55402 Mr. Tsunga will discuss the role and mandate of the African Commission in protecting human rights on the African continent as well as strategic ways to utilize Commission mechanisms to push for changes under repressive regimes, in particular, in Zimbabwe. Speaker biography Arnold Tsunga is an internationally prominent Zimbabwean lawyer and human rights defender. He worked as a private practice lawyer in Zimbabwe for fourteen years before becoming a leader of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and Executive Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. Tsunga was recently reelected chairperson of the Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe, a group of 350 civil society organizations in Zimbabwe, and in April was newly elected to the post of Vice President of FIDH, a global network of human rights defenders. Not only has Tsunga received international recognition for his role in promoting and protecting human rights, but he has also received numerous prestigious awards, including the 2006 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the 2006 Human Rights Defender Award from Human Rights Watch, the 2006 Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from the United States Congress, and the 2004 Certificate of Courage in Civil Liberties from the Parkinson's Fund. Please R.S.V.P. to Laura Young at Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights by Wednesday, June 13, 2007. Phone: (612) 341-3302 ext. 128 . Email: lyoung [at] mnadvocates.org Beverages will be provided. One CLE credit to be applied for. --------8 of 19-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <skograce [at] mtn.org> Subject: Eagan peace vigil 6.14 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------9 of 19x------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 6.14 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------10 of 19-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Cuba/Che today 6.14 6pm THUR6/14; Cuban Rev Today, Importance of Che's Ideas for Latin American and the World Today 6:00, PM, Thursday, June 14, 2007 Holy Trinity Church Community Room 2730 E 31st St., Minneapolis "Che Lives" The Cuban Revolution Today And the Importance of Che's Ideas for Latin America and the World Today Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an outstanding leader of the Cuban revolution. After playing a decisive role in the revolutionary war, he took on major government responsibilities including president of the National Bank and minister of industry. After nine years of service, Che resigned from his posts to continue to fight imperialism in the Africa and Latin America. Wounded and captured in Bolivia, he was murdered October 9, 1967. Join us (on his birthday) as we discuss who Che was, what he fought for, and why his ideas are as important today as ever! Panelists will include: Raudemar Hernandez, Cuban-American educator Chucho Garcia, Founder, Afro-Venezuelan network Yasmin Tovar, MN Venezuela Committee, Political Activist Tom Baumann, Young Socialists Program will include: Video Clips Dramatic Readings of Che's Speeches and Diaries Panel Discussion of Cuban Revolution and the Importance of Che's Ideas Today SPONSORED BY THE MINNESOTA CUBA COMMITTEE More information: 651 587-5150 --------11 of 19-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Gitmo challenge 6.14 6:30pm James Dorsey and Nicole Moen: "The Guantanamo Bay Challenge: Finding the Balance between Our Nation's Security and Our Nation's Ideals" Thursday, June 14, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Minneapolis Central Library,Pohlad Hall, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. Learn the truths about Guantanamo Bay from two attorneys on the front lines of this human rights issue. Along with other colleagues, attorneys Dorsey and Moen, currently represent an Algerian detainee held in Guantanamo Bay in Zemiri vs. Bush. They have visited their client in Guantanamo Bay four times, most recently in March 2007. Hear about who the detainees are (how many detainees are being held, where they are from, where they were picked up); how they are being treated (the nature of the prison facilities, the interrogation techniques used, and the effectiveness of and rationale for those techniques); and what legal recourse is available. The presentation will include photos of the prison and sketches of the interrogation procedures. Free and open to the public. FFI and to register: Visit <www.friendsofmpl.org/events_home.html#peoples>. --------12 of 19-------- From: tom [at] organicconsumers.org Subject: Food forum/pot luck 6.14 6:30pm Thursday - June 14th Eastside Food Co-op's Food Forum/Potluck Mary Bess Michaletz from Classic Provisions and Jean Andreasen with Pastureland Cooperative California Building Gallery 2205 NE California Street in lovely lower NE MPLS (located 2 blocks distance west of the # 11 bus line on 22nd AVE NE) Thursday, June 14th from 6:30 to 8:00 PM We all eat, no? And, after all, June IS National Dairy Month. With June being National Dairy Month the Eastside Food Co-op will be bringing together friends that will discuss with us the jubilations and tribulations of and enlighten us to the supreme nature of family dairy farming and local artisan cheeses. Mary Bess Michaletz from Classic Provisions will be on hand to guide us through the aspects and qualities of some local artisan cheeses and Jean Andreasen, GM of Pastureland Cooperative (can you say the best dang butter in the whole wide world!), will let us know about this local family farm dairy cooperative, their commitment to grass fed dairy production and why. Come ask questions, there are NO stupid ones! [Prove him wrong...] Nothing builds community like breaking bread together so some people think of these evenings as potluck affairs and YOU CAN TOO! Just bring something you would like to share, any needed serving and eating utensils and a plate. Please feel free to spread the word by forwarding this on to anyone that may be interested, wants to learn about local food from sustainable family farms, the challenges involved and anybody you know that eats. Questions? Call the East Side Food Co-op - 612-788-0950. http://www.eastsidefood.coop/ We hope you can make it and remember . . . Just because it's educational doesn't mean it can't be fun! [However, the odds are against it -ed] Tom Taylor tom [at] organicconsumers.org --------13 of 19-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: Miles on torture 6.14 7pm NW Neighbors for Peace appreciates your assistance in sharing this information with others. Please use the version which best meets your requirements or combine as you wish. Human rights groups have found the U.S.government to be engaged in the illegal practice of extraordinary rendition, secret detention, and torture. On Thursday June 14, 7 PM, Dr. Steve Miles, Professor of Medicine and Bioethics at the U of MN, will speak about his 25 years of experience in assisting victims of war and torture. His book, "Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity, and the War on Terror" stems from his attempts to learn why medical staff in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay did not report nor intervene to stop the abuse of prisoners. Not only were doctors, nurses, and medics silent while prisoners were abused, but physicians and psychologists provided information that helped determine how much and what kind of mistreatment could be delivered to detainees during interrogation. Additionally, these harsh examinations were monitored by health professionals operating under the purview of the U.S. military. Miles has based this book on meticulous research and a wealth of resources, including unprecedented eyewitness accounts from actual victims of prison abuse, and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documentation acquired through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act: army criminal investigations, FBI notes on debriefings of prisoners, autopsy reports, and prisoners' medical records. These documents tell a story markedly different from the official version of the truth, revealing involvement at every level of government, from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the Pentagon's senior health officials to prison health-care personnel. Dr. Miles' presentation will be preceded by the brief film, "Outlawed: Extraordinary Rendition, Torture and Disappearances in the 'War on Terror'" and comments by Dick Bopp, Coordinator of Amnesty International Group 315. This public forum will take place at the Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701-36th Avenue N., New Hope, corner of Boone and 36th. Free; all welcome. Hosted by the NW Neighbors for Peace; for more information please contact Eileen Moran, 763-545-2296 or email to nwn4p [at] yahoo.com If you have any questions or comments, please contact Carole Rydberg, 3225 Wellington Lane N., Plymouth, 763-546-5368 or nwn4p [at] yahoo.com. --------14 of 19-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Poets fer pece 6.14 7pm Thursday, 6/14, 7 to 10 pm, Poets for Peace presents pieces from Louis Alemayehu, Truth Maze and Spoken Word University. Chante Wolf (of Vets for Peace) and Jessie Siers (of Military Families Speak Out) speak, Walker Church, 3104 - 16th Ave S, Mpls. --------15 of 19-------- From: Leslie Reindl <alteravista [at] earthlink.net> Subject: M Albert/CTV 6.14 8pm Thursday, June 14, 8 pm on St. Paul (SPNN) cable channel 15, Altera Vista presents author and social activist Michael Albert, on book tour with "Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism," speaking at Macalester College May 23, 2007. Albert talks about the failures of the progressive movement, and how it can be more effective. A witty and thought-provoking speech. --------16 of 19-------- From: Barb Jensen <bjensen [at] umn.edu> Subject: Class/USA/world 6.14 1pm This Thursday starts the Working Class Studies Association's bi-annual conference. Co-chaired by Macalaster's Peter Rachleff and myself. It begins at 1:00 pm with a panel and plenary hosted by yours truly called: "Class, Culture and Counter-Culture" (but not as in hippies). Thursday through Sunday until about one thirty. come for all or part. It is about class in america (and the planet) and it is more important than ever before in our most of ours' lifetime. Donation of any amount accepted, attend for any amount of time. We want local people! It's a very accessible conference for one consisting largely (but not only!) of college teachers and graduate students (who care deeply about social justice from a variety of perspectives and disciplines). Check it out at: http://www.macalester.edu/history/workingclass/index.html Lots of cool, non-academic stuff all through the schedule, including films and a film festival, live music, exquisite readings of really good poetry and prose, speakers from all over the nation and (some of the) world, schmoozing with people who love ideas, care about change, and like to talk about how and when and where positive social change can be accomplished. Also, for the academically inclined, a wide and deep variety of presentations in some way related to class (from children's books to criminal justice; NorthWest Airlines to Iraq. side effects warning: academic culture's speech style can be very abstract and cerebral. occasionally mind-numbing. --------17 of 19-------- From Peter Rachleff <rachleff [at] macalester.edu> at Macalester: Subject: Working class studies 6.14-17 Macalester College will host the twelfth national conference of the Working Class Studies Association on June 14-17. Working Class Studies sees itself as an emerging field, following in the footprints of African American Studies, Women's Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other fields which emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. The WCS Association seeks to be a big umbrella, including: scholars of working class history, sociology, literature, and the like; faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, from working class backgrounds; faculty who teach at working class-oriented institutions; and artists, poets, and musicians who seek to create within a working class aesthetic. While its previous conferences were held at Youngstown State University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, the election of Peter Rachleff, Professor of History at Macalester, as President of the Association has led to Macalester's hosting of this year's conference. More than one hundred and fifty scholars, students, labor activists, poets, teachers, and artists from across the United States, as well as Great Britain, Nigeria, South Africa, and Brazil will come together to explore the conference's central theme, "Working Class Culture and Counter-Culture." The idea will be to document, celebrate, and critique the creation, representations, and experiences of working class culture. Sessions have been organized on labor history, pedagogy, working class literature, labor activism, music and art, and the position of working class students and faculty in higher education. There will also be two nights of poetry and music, a visual art show, and a film festival which will include not only new documentaries produced in the U.S., Great Britain, and Israel, but also films in progress introduced and discussed by their directors. Some of the featured plenaries are bound to draw big audiences: a celebration of the life and work of writer Tillie Olsen, who passed away in her early 90s this year, which will include her daughter, Julie Olsen Edwards; the unveiling of the newly written BIG RED SONG BOOK, a contextualization and appreciation of the role of music in the history of the Industrial Workers of the World, featuring two of its editors, Sal Salerno and David Roediger; a discussion -- if not debate -- about the conference's central theme; and an "activist roundtable." which will include the leading Black trade unionist from Great Britain, local immigrant labor organizers, and practitioners of critical, class-oriented pedagogies. The conference program and registration information can be found at http://www.macalester.edu/history/workingclass/index.html. Single events may be attended without pre-registration, although donations are appreciated. Additional questions can be directed to Peter Rachleff at 651-696-6371 and rachleff [at] macalester.edu. -- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: SINGING WORKING CLASS RESISTANCE Singing Songs of Working Class Resistance by LYDIA HOWELL MOVING MOUNTAINS column updated Mon. thru Fri. at PULSE ONLINE http://pulsetc.com/article.php?sid=3291 Is being a NASCAR fan or listening to country and western warmonger Toby Keith the only markers of "working class culture" in America? Uhhhhh - no. >From June 14 through 17, Macalester College hosts the Working Class Culture and Counter-Culture Conference, where local, national and international activists, artists and academics will gather to re-discover and revive the vibrant arts and organize a 21st century labor movement drawing on a diverse hidden history and culture. One musical genre I grew up on is folk music, a form that, like the blues Black people invented, has always been "home-made." Written and sung by people who often had no formal education and instead learned from their musical elders (blues and folk artists sang songs passed down from generation to generation). The lyrics sometimes changed, while keeping intact the unbroken threads of melody, adding and subtracting and carrying it on. Whenever you see the songwriting credit "Anonymous" or "Traditional" in whatever musical form, that's an unmistakable sign of "working class culture." A song like "John Brown," the African-American railroad worker, with his mighty hammer triumphant over machinery, has survived from the 19th century until today, sung and recorded by thousands of artists, because it tells a story people need to remember. "John Brown" respects physical labor, celebrates bravery and honors one of our heroes in a country whose schools and cultural elites have only recognized the wealthy businessmen with the politicians and generals who serve them. Bessie Smith singing "Backwater Blues," and Mattie Delaney singing "Talahachie River Blues" in the 1930s about devastating floods, ring just as true for the experience of Hurricane Katrina survivors today. Blues artists, who only recorded a handful of what were called "race records" in the 1920s and '30s, expressed the desperation of unemployment that any laid-off worker could relate to now. Blind Boy Fuller sings, "I'm about to lose my home. I done already lost my car/ I'm about to lose my home, I done already lost my car/ I went down to the pawnshop to see if I can pawn my guitar" And I know there's plenty of people in the same fix right now, right here. My fellow Texan (and one of Janis Joplin's biggest inspirations), Big Mama Thorton sang "Hard Times" in 1956: "Hard times in the city/ I can't even pay my rent/ Hard times in the city/ They layin' off so many people/ I know I will be next." She might as well be talking about corporate globalization. There's resistance in folk, blues and country music, too. One of my favorites is the story of the song "Which Side Are You On?" It's most known today as a "freedom song" from the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. But it was originally written during fierce labor struggles by white miners in the 1920s. The first version tells of poor folks being divided by those striking for a union and those who were willing to be "scabs" - crossing picket lines for strikers' jobs. Thirty years later, the song drew the line between those fighting to end the South's racial segregation and those who support silently. The refrain "Which side are you on?" resonates with every struggle for justice. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) - known affectionately as the Wobblies - understood as the civil rights movement did, that people need "fighting songs" to take on powerful systems. The IWW's "Little Red Songbook" was in many a striking worker's back pocket. People know about 1960s antiwar rock songs, but how about Johnny Cash's progressive sentiments, expressed in songs like "The Man in Black" or the little known antiwar "What is Truth?" Both were 1960s progressive anthems by a great country music star. Instead, everybody knows "Okie from Muskogee," that sang about beating up "hippies" - an early warning shot from the "red state" reactionary view that working class people are all right-wing conservatives. The coordinated attack on the Dixie Chicks is the just a recent example of this cultural censorship. These stories and songs have been suppressed. For 25 years, Republicans have waged not only an economic and political war against working people, but a culture war, too. They claim (often successfully) that liberals and progressives create elitist culture that excludes "everyday working people." At the same time, there's been a cultural erasure of working class art, culture and history that embodied progressive consciousness and resistance for over a century. Ronald Reagan tried to co-opt perhaps the most successful working class song ever - he tried to use Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as his campaign theme song. Springsteen objected and even recorded an acoustic version that few heard. The song wasn't jingoistic bravado about America being No. 1 and "kicking ass." Listen to the lyrics. They tell the story of a working class young man, with few prospects, who joins the Army. Sent to Vietnam, he eventually comes home, and it's not the antiwar protesters who betray and abandon him. It's the VA and unemployment. Springsteen has always documented the corporate-sponsored government destruction of the manufacturing base of good working class jobs. There's plenty of young people joining the military today and returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to the same fate as did Springsteen's characters. June 14-17: Working Class Culture and Counter-Culture: Discussions, panels, performances of music, poetry, theater, films and more. The conference takes place at various locations at Macalester College, St. Paul. Cost is $50, but no local people will be turned away. For more information, contact Macalester History Professor Peter Rachleff at 651-696-6371 or go to the website: www.macalester.edu. --------18 of 19-------- Marketing an Invasion How to Sell a War By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR CounterPunch June 12, 2007 This essay is excerpted from Cockburn and St. Clair's new book on the death of the mainstream media: End Times. The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us. To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit. Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why? Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear. Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it. The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked. Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson. At the state department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens. "Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy. Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing. The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace." Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play. Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office. Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen. The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11. According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea. Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat . At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region. As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization. Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there. But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment." The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA. So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager." What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press. Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have." At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war. Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction. Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon. Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait. This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception." During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted. What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us." When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing. The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops. "A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad. Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin. Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war." The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?" The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad." In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages. Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government. It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent. Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives." The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag. It's war that sells. There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns. Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book is End Times: the Death of the Fourth Estate, co-written with Alexander Cockburn. He can be reached at: sitka [at] comcast.net --------19 of 19-------- Blackout Things Your Media Momma Didn't Tell You By DAVE LINDORFF CounterPunch June 12, 2007 The fact that most Americans oppose the war in Iraq, and want the president impeached, is testimony to the native intelligence and common sense of the citizens of this nation. It sure isn't thanks to the quality of the news we're getting here in America.! Here are some of the things you don't know if you just depend on the corporate media for your information: 1. Most Americans would like to see this president and vice president impeached and removed from office. Newsweek magazine published a scientific poll last October showing that 51 percent of us favor impeachment (including 29 percent of Republicans!), but the corporate media, which normally hasn't met a poll it won't publish, didn't publicize this one. And now, when the numbers supporting impeachment are surely even higher, you can't even pay a polling outfit to ask the question. No wonder most people who favor impeachment still think they're odd ducks. 2. There is a bill, filed in the House of Representatives on April 24 by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), calling for the impeachment of Vice President Cheney. Since it was filed, it has gained six co-sponsors, including a member of the House Democratic leadership, Rep. Janice Shakowsky (D-IL). Most major media have ignored this important story completely. Most Americans also don't know that the Vermont State Senate voted overwhelmingly this spring to call on Congress to impeach the president. 3. The president has been declared a felon in federal court. Yet even after Federal District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruled last August that President Bush and the National Security Agency were committing serial Class A felonies and were violating both the First and Fourth Amendments by spying on Americans' communications without first obtaining warrants, Bush continued ordering the NSA to continue the patently illegal program for at least half a year. In reports on the spying program, the corporate media never mention that it has been declared a felonious activity by the federal court. 4. Fifteen Democratic Party state organizations have passed impeachment resolutions calling on Democrats in Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president and vice president. The most recent of these, the Democratic Party of Oklahoma, passed its resolution at the party's annual convention on May 19. Other Democratic Party conventions, in states from Nevada and California to Massachusetts and North Carolina, have passed similar resolutions. Most have been ignored by the corporate media even in their own states. 5. Bush's so-called "coalition of the willing" is not so willing and is not really much of a coalition either. When's the last time you've heard how many countries are on board with the US in the war and occupation of Iraq? The reality? Britain, the only significant contributor of combat troops besides the U.S., is pulling out, as did Italy and Spain, and many other countries, like Denmark, Lithuania and others, plan to be out of Iraq by August or at the latest December. One indication of the seriousness of situation: The Pentagon no longer lists the countries that are members of the "coalition." The only mainstream report I've seen laying this out this collapse in international support for Bush's war was in USA Today last February. 6. The Homeland Security Department last year awarded Halliburton $385 million in a no-bid contract to construct prison camps designed to hold tens of thousands of unspecified prisoners in the event of domestic unrest. Meanwhile, President Bush has signed a bill altering the insurrection act so that he can declare martial rule and order active duty troops to take charge anywhere in the domestic US in the event of "public disorder." No one in the corporate media has reported on these developments or asked the White House to explain what it's all about. 7. There is evidence that Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, was a patron of the Washington Madam whose client book of high-class call-girls is causing many in Washington political circles-mostly Republicans it appears, who apparently need to pay for their sex-to sweat. So far no mention of the Cheney angle in the corporate media, though they've been having fun with the broader story of a political sex scandal. No mention either of how a brave West Point cadet refused to shake Cheney's hand on stage when the vice president was handing out this year's diplomas at the Army's premiere academy. 8. Among the "worst of the worst" of the "evildoers" captured and held as "enemy combatants" at Guantanamo were children, some of them preteens and kids who were under 15 when captured and brought to Cuba-so many in fact that the military had to set up a special facility, called Camp Iguana, just for adolescent and pre-pubescent "fighters." The corporate media have barely reported on this atrocity (the New York Times ran only one article mentioning child captives, in June 2005). The only wider coverage of this outrage came recently when the government tried to prosecute one such alleged child "terrorist"-Omar Khadr-only to have the military judge in charge toss his case out because the government had misclassified him. Khadr, we learned, was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan at the ripe age of 15, making him one of the older child captives brought to and interrogated at Guantanamo. Under international law, the U.S. was supposed to treat this and other child soldiers as victims, not as war criminals. Khadr, a Canadian by birth, instead has spent five years doing hard time in US captivity. 9. Well-researched reports on the rampant theft of both the 2000 and 2004 elections, and on Republican plans for theft of the 2008 election, such as Mark Crispin Miller's Fooled Again, have gone unmentioned in the corporate media. Books on the subject, like Miller's and like Greg Palast's best selling Armed Madhouse, have never been reviewed. 10. And of course, there's my own book. The Case for Impeachment, despite its having sold over 20,000 copies in hardcover, and despite its having now come out in a mass-market paperback edition, in both cases printed by a mainstream publisher, St. Martin's Press, has not received a single review in the corporate media. In this, my co-author Barbara Olshansky and I are not alone. None of the books on the impeachable crimes of this administration, including one by Nixon-era impeachment panelist and former congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman, and one by Judiciary Chair Rep. John Conyers, has been reviewed by a mainstream media outlet. What we're talking about here is a media blackout of important stories and news. Thanks to the internet and to the grapevine, and thanks to their basic native intelligence, most Americans seem to understand that we're being lied to and cheated. What the media blackout of important news does manage to do, however, is keep us all thinking that we are in a minority in opposing things like illegal wars, a trampled Constitution, and stolen elections. In fact, however, we're actually the majority. Once we realize this, maybe we will have a movement, instead of a just nation of isolated cynics and complainers. 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 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- - 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 impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney impeach bush & cheney
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