Progressive Calendar 10.09.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2007 09:09:05 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   10.09.07

1. Stem cell research 10.09 12noon
2. Pakistan/women     10.09 12noon
3. Iran/US/CTV        10.09 5pm
4. StPaul broadband   10.09 5pm
5. YAWR               10.09 5:30pm
6. MN justice system  10.09 6:30pm
7. Recruiting/schools 10.09 6:30pm
8. Uhcan-mn           10.09 7pm
9. Nonprofit class    10.09

10. Richard Rhames - When the party goes up in smoke: a Democrat's lament
11. David A Love   - Academic McCarthyism threatens democracy
12. Ray McGovern   - So who's afraid of the Israel lobby?
13. Howard Zinn    - Zionism & free speech
14. ed             - Capitalist armies are on the move  (song)

--------1 of 14--------

From: Center for Bioethics/Consortium on Law and Values <bioethx [at]>
Subject: Stem cell research 10.09 12noon

"Stem Cell Research:  At the Intersection of Science, Politics, Law and Culture"
By Zach W. Hall, PhD, Founding President
California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2005-07)
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Coffman Theater, University of Minnesota
Twin Cities Campus

Jonathan Slack, PhD, Stem Cell Institute
Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, Center for Bioethics
Susan M. Wolf, JD, Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the
 Life Sciences
This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required if you wish
to receive continuing education credits. (CEU, CLE, CME).
To register and for more information on this event, visit:

--------2 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Pakistan/women 10.09 12noon

Tuesday, 10/9, noon to 1 pm, social activist Dr Fouzia Saeed talks on "The
Women's Movement in Pakistan," Briggs & Morgan, Minnesota Room, 2200 IDS
Center, 30 S 8th St, Mpls.  Free but registration required by 10/5 with
cjones [at] or 612-977-8126.

--------3 of 14--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Iran/US/CTV 10.09 5pm

St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN 15) viewers:

"Our World In Depth" cablecasts in St. Paul on Tuesday evenings and
Wednesday mornings.  All households with basic cable can watch!

10/9 5pm and midnight and 10/10 10am  "Iran and the US: Myths and
Reality" Interview of Nasrin Jewell, Iranian born professor at the College
of St. Catherine.  Co-hosted by Karen Redleaf and Eric Angell.

--------4 of 14--------

From: mary treacy <mtreacy [at]>
Subject: StPaul broadband 10.09 5pm

Connect with America's "Most Connected City"

The long-awaited report of St. Paul's Broadband Advisory Committee (St.
Paul: America's Most Connected City) is out!  Andrea Casselton, Director
of Technology and Communications for the City of St. Paul, will discuss
the issues and options at a public forum on Tuesday, October 9, 5:00-7:00
p.m. at Rondo Community Outreach Library, University and Dale in St. Paul.
The presentation is for residents, nonprofits, city, regional and state
government staff - and for St. Paul's neighbors who are affected by
decisions made here.  Free and open.

Following the discussion volunteers from St. Paul E-Democracy will open
their virtual video kiosk so participants can record their impressions for
the world on YouTube.

Sponsored by the Telecommunications & Information Policy Roundtable, MN
Coalition on Government Information and the Minnesota Chapter of the
American Society for Information Science & Technology.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: YAWR 10.09 5:30pm

Tuesday, 10/9, 5:30 (meeting), 5:45 pm (public commentary), Youth Against
War and Racism asks for public help in restricting military recruiters
access in schools, Mpls School Board meeting, Educational Services Center,
807 Broadway NE, Mpls.

--------6 of 14--------

From: Abbie Haluska <haluskaa [at]>
Subject: MN justice system 10.09 6:30pm

The Council on Crime and Justice, an independent, non-profit, 501(c)(3)
organization that has been a leader in the field of social and criminal
justice in Minnesota since 1957, will host two major events in October
2007, in celebration of our 50th Anniversary.  Both events will be
extraordinary, both will draw significant audiences, and will undoubtedly
attract considerable media attention.

On Tuesday, October 9th, at 6:30 p.m., Malcolm Gladwell, the award-winning
author of "Blink" and "The Tipping Point", will speak at the Council's
annual Equal Justice Benefit at the Pantages Theater * in Minneapolis.
Gladwell's speech will be based on a major study undertaken by the Council
on the occasion of our 50th year, and will focus on Minnesota's Tipping

On Wednesday, October 10th, at an all day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) public Forum
at the Minneapolis Convention Center * , the findings of the study
addressed in Gladwell's speech will be fully unveiled. The study examines
policy shifts, changes in societal attitudes and other key developments in
Minnesota over the past 50 years that have influenced the way our justice
system works today. It will also consider changes that need to occur to
improve our justice system. At the Forum, we will develop a Framework for
Minnesota's Future, one that will enhance both justice and public safety
over the next 50 years.

For ticket and sponsorship information, please contact Katie Fitzpatrick
at 612-596-9473 or fitzpatrickk [at] or visit our website
at <> . For general
information, please contact Guy Gambill at 612-596-7628 or
gambillg [at]

* The Pantages Theater is located at 710 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

* The Minneapolis Convention Center is located at 1301 2nd Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55403.

The Council on Crime and Justice is located at 822 South 3rd Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55415.

Abbie Haluska Council on Crime and Justice 612-348-7874 ext. 242
haluskaa [at]

--------7 of 14--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Recruitment in schools 10.09 6:30pm

The Salon Tuesday, Oct. 9, will have as its guest, Tyrus Thompson.  Tyrus
is a full time staff organizer with Youth Against War and Racism.  He is
the leading organizer in area schools against military recruitment.  We
can be of help with the counter-recruitment campaign that is being waged
here. Thanks, patty

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

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

--------8 of 14--------

From: Joel Albers <joel [at]>
Subject: Uhcan-mn 10.09 7pm

Please note, the regularly scheduled first Tuesday UHCAN-MN mtg has
been RESCHEDULED to Tuesday Oct 9, (NOT TODAY), 7PM at Walker
Church,3104 16th ave S.,Mpls, in the Gallery, Lower Level. Proposed
agenda items to follow.

Joel Albers Clinical Pharmacist, Health Economics Researcher Universal
Health Care Action Network - MN email: joel [at]
phone: 612-384-0973 address: 1520 10th ave South #2 Mpls, MN, 55404

--------9 of 14--------

From: Tim Erickson <tim [at]>
Subject: Nonprofit class 10.09

I just heard about a series of free workshops in nonprofit leadership
offered by Hamline University and the Greater Minneapolis Council of
Churches. Registration is required but there's no fee. Word following the
first on Tuesday is that it was excellent.

More info:

Here are some of the sessions coming up:

   Oct 9  - Finance - what the law requires
   Oct 16 - Nonprofit ethics
   Oct 23 - Human resources performance appraisals
   Oct 30 - Marketing & communications
   Nov 6  - Nonprofit accountability & transparency
   Nov 13 - Strategic planning for board & management
   Nov 20 - Conflict resolution
   Nov 27 - Nonprofit fundraising: research methods
   Dec 4  - Grant writing

--------10 of 14--------

When the Party Goes Up in Smoke
A Democrat's Lament
October 8, 2007

" ... my father protested, 'ALL Democratic candidates are unintelligent
and corrupt. Do you want the Republicans to win?' He meant to say that
intelligent voters favored the party that best represented their economic
interests and sociological perspective ... He never doubted that there
were good men among Republicans. He merely understood that they did not
speak for his class."

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death, 1984

On October 3, White House Occupant (WHO?) Bush vetoed a Democratic bill
that would have somewhat expanded the State Children's Health Insurance
Program (SCHIP). He told the GOP-friendly Lancaster (Pa.) Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, "I believe in private medicine, not the federal
government running the health care system." Over five years the extra $35
billion proposed would have covered an additional 4 million children.
Economist Dean Baker recently noted that the rather tiny funding increase
required (0.2 percent of projected federal spending - $23 per person/per
year) was dwarfed by Mr. Bush's 2008 Iraq incineration project. There, the
WHO proposes to spend $190 billion or $630 per person. Baker observes
dryly that the extra $7 billion in SCHIP funding per year would be
"approximately equal to what ... Bush will spend on the war in Iraq in two

Baker's point about the relative size of federal expenditures is an
important one. But of course there's more to questions of public finance
than the size of various allocations. The central question of politics is
always, "Who benefits and who pays?" And in the case of the now vetoed
SCHIP expansion the Democrats, cloaked in their bipartisan finery proposed
that the poor and the addicted should pay. Currently cigarette smokers
cough up 39 cents to the feds per pack. That would have been increased to
$1.00 if the SCHIP bill passed.

In a rare burst of (Bush-inspired) economic analysis, the AP reported on
October 1st that, "Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source
to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children's
health coverage: people with little money and education." The AP
continued, "Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people
... making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue." Since "both
political parties seem inclined" to stick it to the poor and uneducated
this was a natural of course. Here in Maine, we've seen the same tendency
for "New" Democrats to punish their base with so-called "sin taxes" rather
than increase levies on the rich and the corporate.

The standard line is that raising taxes on smokers will maybe "help"
people quit. Of course, the pols are somewhat less inclined to "help"
Humvee hostages kick their planet-strangling/coastal-flooding habit by
raising fuel taxes. Neither are they eager to economically "burden" the
corporations that shut down US-based production and roam the third world
seeking ever cheaper and more powerless workers to exploit. No, that
behavior is rewarded, and the CEOs who do it get the taxes forgiven on
their ballooning incomes.

Wall Street loves class war. The speculators dote on every downsizing,
off-shoring, union-busting rollback. If stock prices are to rise, then the
power-lunchers want to see "cost-cutting." That generally means that a
bunch of ordinary people have to get screwed. "Creative destruction" they
call it. Others might see it as wagering and profiting from the pain of
others. Whatever you call it, the political class is in no mood to
therapeutically "help" the Wall Street crowd clean up their act.

Back in the 1970s economist James Tobin modestly proposed a small tax on
short-term currency speculation. Inspired by Richard Nixon's 1971 decision
to end the gold-standard/dollar-based Bretton Woods system, the Nobel
Prize winner suggested a small tax (0,1 to 0.25 percent) be placed on
short-term speculation to promote "stability" in national currencies.
Given the power of these well-connected gamblers, the idea was not
immediately embraced. But because of the vast sums (in the trillions of
dollars) that such a progressive tax on the wealthy would raise, the idea
has never quite been killed. In 1999, for instance, Canada's House of
Commons resolved to "enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with
the international community."

But then Bush was selected, 9/11 "changed everything," and the US
Democratic party devoted itself full-time to organized murder and sucking
up to rich people. One might think that, if the US political system wasn't
so whored-out, and with the dollar threatening to set off on a thrill and
spill-packed roller coaster ride, the old Tobin Tax idea would be new

The 1990s Labor Party organizing drive featured a Single-Payer universal
health care plan that included a Tobin Tax-inspired levy on the Wall
Street Big Casino Crowd to help pay for a civilized medical insurance
system. Theirs was a well crafted and rational plan but sadly, it
benefitted the "wrong" people and was to be paid for largely by "The Right

It was doomed.

Now comes the Conyers bill, HR 676, the latest single-payer plan,
currently languishing in a theoretically Democrat-controlled congress.
This modest proposal would end the pitiless reign of private insurers and
cruel cost-shifters over the population's health. It would cover everyone,
for most everything, for less. HR 676 is no SCHIP-style baby-step toward

Best of all, most of the funding is a throwback to a simpler time when it
was not heresy to propose imposing taxes on the rich. Among the suggested
revenue streams Conyers projects raising $251 billion annually from a
reversal of the 01-02 Bush tax cuts, $200 billion from a 5 percent
surcharge on the wealthiest 5 percent, and 10 percent on the richest 1
percent - in other words - Bush's base. He proposes to lightly trim a
few corporate subsidies to raise $100 billion. There's also a proposed
"Stock Transfer Tax" in the mix ("0.25 percent on buyer and seller") which
raises $150 billion.

There was a time when the Ds might have ridden 676 to super-majority
status. Sadly, that time has apparently passed.

Richard Rhames is a dirt-farmer in Biddeford, Maine whose place is just
north of the Kennebunkport town line. Since 1990, Rhames has been the
chair of the Biddeford Democratic City Committee, an organization charged
with "promoting the ideals of the Party." He can be reached at:
rrhames [at]

--------11 of 14--------

Academic McCarthyism Threatens Democracy
by David A. Love
The Black Commentator - October 8,2007
Distributed by Common Dreams

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger recently took a lot of heat
when he allowed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make a speech at
the Ivy League institution. Bollinger, a First Amendment legal scholar,
understands the importance of free speech in a democratic system. And
these days, free speech is under attack on college campuses throughout the

Professor Norman Finkelstein, son of Holocaust survivors and the most
prominent critic of Israeli policy in American academia, was denied tenure
by DePaul University, even though the political science department and the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recommended tenure.

Harvard law school professor Alan Dershowitz lobbied against tenure for
Finkelstein, an act described by MIT professor Noam Chomsky as a "jihad"
designed "simply to try to vilify and defame him, in the hope that maybe
what he's writing will disappear." Finkelstein told the Democracy Now!
program: "I met the standards of tenure DePaul required, but it wasn't
enough to overcome the political opposition to my speaking out on the
Israel-Palestine conflict." The late Raul Hilberg, dean of Holocaust
historians and a Finkelstein supporter, had said: "I have a sinking
feeling about the damage this will do to academic freedom."

Professor Ward Churchill was fired by the University of Colorado at
Boulder, ostensibly because of research misconduct, a pretext, many
believe, for his unpopular views. Churchill has written extensively on the
genocide of Native Americans and the federal government's COINTELPRO
program. The trouble started when Churchill characterized the 9-11 attacks
as a response to years of U.S. abuses, and called the victims of 9-11
"little Eichmanns" who formed a "technocratic corps at the very heart of
America's global financial empire."

Then there is Erwin Chemerinsky, constitutional scholar extraordinaire who
has argued for judicial review for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
and represented Valerie Plame, the CIA agent outed by the Bush
administration. He was chosen to become dean of the new University of
California-Irvine law school. Then, the chancellor of Irvine rescinded the
contract - allegedly due to pressure from conservative groups - then
reinstated Chemerinsky.

Meanwhile, Andrew Meyer, a student at the University of Florida, was
tasered by police during a speech by Sen. John Kerry, while he asked
questions that were critical of Bush. And there are calls by the College
Republicans for the resignation of David McSwane, the editor-in-chief of
the Rocky Mountain Collegian, Colorado State University's student
newspaper, who wrote an editorial in which he said "Taser this. F***

Conservative pressure groups, including David Horowitz and his Students
for Academic Freedom (in classic Orwellian fashion, they purport to stand
for academic freedom, the opposite of that which they really advocate),
are trying to muzzle free speech in academia. In their warped worldview,
there is a leftwing conspiracy to control the college campuses and enforce
liberal, politically-correct thinking. They are kindred spirits with those
political hacks in the Bush administration who cried liberal bias in
public broadcasting, and attempted to recreate PBS in the image of Fox

And professors are strong-armed and vilified in the process. Horowitz has
compiled a list of the "101 Most Dangerous Academics in America," which
includes Finkelstein; Chomsky; Kathleen Cleaver of Emory University;
Howard Zinn of Boston University; Manning Marable, Eric Foner and Victor
Navasky of Columbia; Angela Davis of the University of California, Santa
Cruz; David Cole of Georgetown; Derrick Bell of NYU; Amiri Baraka of
Rutgers; Robert McChesney of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
Ron (Maulena) Karenga of the California State University, Long Beach, bell
hooks and Leonard Jeffries of the City University of New York, Juan Cole
of the University of Michigan, and others.  [Hmm - sounds like a good
reading list - ed]

Horowitz claims most college professors are left-leaning, which is hardly
the point. I am inclined to believe that free thinking, open-mindedness
and flexibility are more compatible with the purpose of the university.

Ideological conservatism stands for black or white, right or wrong, friend
or enemy, with no shades of gray. One is not supposed to challenge
conventional wisdom, authority, the laws, the status quo or longstanding
institutions. It is worth noting that in a recent study, psychologist
David Amodio and others found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and
closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity and less open to new

And as far as the Ahmadinejad speech at Columbia is concerned, certainly,
those chickenhawk Americans who are beating the drums of war with Iran are
dying to be provoked by the words and actions of the Iranian bogeyman. And
denying the existence of the Holocaust, and presiding over a government
that disregards women's and gay rights, and executes juveniles is
reprehensible at the very least. Is he a petty dictator, as Bollinger
suggests? Perhaps. But he is also a politician who is playing to his base.
And there are many would-be petty dictators in this country who, in
playing to their base, support the most outrageous and unconscionable
policies, such as the criminalization of women's rights, including
abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, guns for everyone, the
teaching of creationism mythology in the schools, homophobia,
criminalization of Latino workers, and the elimination of civil rights and
civil liberties.

Our own President Bush is responsible for the deaths of 1 million Iraqis
and thousands of U.S. citizens, all from a war based on lies, for the
purpose of protecting his and his friends' oil interests. His
administration, detested by millions, acts with a total disregard for the
law, on a daily basis. Yet, he is allowed to give speeches everyday -
albeit with the aid of teleprompters displaying phonetically-spelled words
- unimpeded, and without impeachment, for that matter.

Free speech dictates a higher standard than merely giving a pass to those
whose ideas are acceptable, those with whom we agree, whoever "we" are. It
is better to have all of the ideas out there in the marketplace, save
those which amount to yelling fire in a crowded room or inciting violence.
If the Constitution is not durable or inclusive enough to protect
dissident views and unpopular statements, maybe it is not worth keeping.
Perhaps it is not worth the paper on which it is written, and it is time
for us to find another plan.

So, enough of this academic McCarthyism. Words are powerful, as they can
liberate bodies and minds, spur revolutions, and change history. Indeed,
the pen is mightier than the sword. But free speech is supposed to be
feared by a dictatorship such as Burma or China, not a democracy. Which
one are we? Columnist David A. Love is a lawyer based in
Philadelphia, and a contributor to the Progressive Media Project and
McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He contributed to the book, States of
Confinement: Policing, Detention and Prisons (St. Martin's Press, 2000).
Love is a former Amnesty International UK spokesperson, organized the
first national police brutality conference as a staff member with the
Center for Constitutional Rights, and served as a law clerk to two black
federal judges. His blog is at

(c) 2002-2007

--------12 of 14--------

New Revalations About the Attack on the USS Liberty
So Who's Afraid of the Israel Lobby?
October 6 / 7, 2007

Virtually everyone: Republican, Democrat-Conservative, Liberal. The fear
factor is non-partisan, you might say, and palpable. The American Israel
Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) brags that it is the most influential
foreign policy lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, and has demonstrated
that time and again - and not only on Capitol Hill.

Seldom has the Lobby's power been as clearly demonstrated as in its
ability to suppress the awful truth that on June 8, 1967, during the Six
Day War:

o Israel deliberately attacked the intelligence collection ship USS
Liberty, in full awareness it was a U.S. Navy ship, and did its best to
sink it and leave no survivors;

o The Israelis would have succeeded had they not broken off the attack
upon learning, from an intercepted message, that the commander of the U.S.
6th Fleet had launched carrier fighters to the scene; and

o By that time 34 of the Liberty's crew had been killed and over 170

Scores of intelligence analysts and senior officials have known this for
years. That virtually all of them have kept a forty-year frightened
silence is testament to the widespread fear of touching this live wire.
Even more telling is the fact that the National Security Agency apparently
has destroyed voice tapes and transcripts heard and seen by many
intelligence analysts, material that shows beyond doubt that the Israelis
knew exactly what they were doing.

The Ugly Truth

But the truth will out - eventually. All it took in this case was for a
courageous journalist (of the endangered species kind) to listen to the
surviving crew and do a little basic research, not shrinking from naming
war crimes and not letting senior U.S. officials, from the president on
down, off the hook for suppressing - even destroying - damning evidence
from intercepted Israeli communications.

The mainstream media have now published an expos based largely on
interviews with those most intimately involved. A lengthy article by
Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter John Crewdson appeared in
the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun on Oct. 2 titled "New revelations in
attack on American spy ship." the subtitle goes the prize for
understatement of the year: "Veterans, documents suggest U.S., Israel
didn't tell full story of deadly 1967 incident."

Better 40 years late than never, I suppose. Many of us have known of the
incident and cover-up for a very long time and have tried to expose and
discuss it for the lessons it holds for today. It has proved far easier,
though, to get a very pedestrian Dog-Bites-Man article published than an
article with the importance and explosiveness of this sensitive story.

A Marine Stands Up

On the evening of Sept. 26, 2006, I gave a talk on Iraq to an overflow
crowd of 400 at National Avenue Church in Springfield, Missouri. A
questioner asked what I thought of the study by John Mearsheimer of the
University of Chicago and Stephen Walt of Harvard titled "The Israel Lobby
and U.S. Foreign Policy." The study had originally been commissioned by
The Atlantic Monthly. When the draft arrived, however, shouts of "Leper!"
were heard at the Atlantic. The monthly wasted no time in saying
thanks-but-no-thanks, and the leper-study then wandered in search of a
home, finding none among American publishers. Eventually the London Review
of Books published it in March 2006.

I had read that piece carefully and found it an unusual act of courage as
well as scholarship. That's what I told the questioner, adding that I did
have two problems with the study:

o First, it seemed to me the authors erred in attributing virtually all
the motivation for the U.S. attack on Iraq to the Israel Lobby and the
so-called "neo-conservatives" running our policy and armed forces. Was
Israel an important factor? Indeed. But of equal importance, in my view,
was the oil factor and what the Pentagon now calls the "enduring" military
bases in Iraq, which the White House and Pentagon decided were needed for
the U.S. to dominate that part of the Middle East.

o Second, I was intrigued by the fact that Mearsheimer and Walt made no
mention of what I believe to be, if not the most telling, then perhaps the
most sensational proof of the power the Lobby knows it can exert over our
government and Congress. In sum, in June 1967, after deliberately using
fighter-bombers and torpedo boats to attack the USS Liberty for over two
hours in an attempt to sink it and kill its entire crew, and then getting
the U.S. government, the Navy, and the Congress to cover up what happened,
the Israeli government learned that it could - literally - get away with

I found myself looking out at 400 blank stares. The USS Liberty? And so I
asked how many in the audience had heard of the attack on the Liberty on
June 8, 1967. Three hands went up; I called on the gentleman nearest me.

Ramrod straight he stood:

"Sir, Sergeant Bryce Lockwood, United States Marine Corps, retired. I am a
member of the USS Liberty crew, Sir."

Catching my breath, I asked him if he would be willing to tell us what

"Sir, I have not been able to do that. It is hard. But it has been almost
40 years, and I would like to try this evening, Sir."

You could hear a pin drop for the next 15 minutes, as Lockwood gave us his
personal account of what happened to him, his colleagues, and his ship on
the afternoon of June 8, 1967. He was a linguist assigned to collect
communications intelligence from the USS Liberty, which was among the
ugliest - and most easily identifiable - ships in the fleet with antennae
springing out in all directions.

Lockwood told of the events of that fateful day, beginning with the
six-hour naval and air surveillance of the Liberty by the Israeli navy and
air force on the morning of June 8. After the air attacks including
thousand-pound bombs and napalm, three sixty-ton torpedo boats lined up
like a firing squad, pointing their torpedo tubes at the Liberty's
starboard hull. Lockwood had been ordered to throw the extremely sensitive
cryptological equipment overboard and had just walked beyond the bulwark
separating the NSA intelligence unit from the rest of the ship when, he
recalled, he sensed a large black object, a tremendous explosion, and
sheet of flame. The torpedo had struck dead center in the NSA space.

The cold, oily water brought Lockwood back to consciousness. Around him
were 25 dead colleagues; but he heard moaning. Three were still alive; one
of Lockwood's shipmates dragged one survivor up the hatch. Lockwood was
able to lift the two others, one-by-one, onto his shoulder and carry them
up through the hatch. This meant alternatively banging on the hatch for
someone to open it and swimming back to fish his shipmate out of the water
lest he float out to sea through the 39-foot hole made by the torpedo.

At that Lockwood stopped speaking. It was enough. Hard, very hard-even
after almost 40 years.

What Else We Know

John Crewdson's meticulously documented article, together with the 57
pages that James Bamford devotes to the incident in his book "Body of
Secrets" and recent confessions by those who played a role in the
cover-up, paint a picture that the surviving crew of the USS Liberty can
only find infuriating. The evidence, from intercepted communications as
well as testimony, of Israeli deliberate intent is unimpeachable, even
though the Israelis continue to portray the incident as merely a terrible

Crewdson refers to U.S. Navy Captain Ward Boston, who was the Navy lawyer
appointed as senior counsel to Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, named by Admiral
John S. McCain (Sen. John McCain's father) to "inquire into all the facts
and circumstances." The fact that they were given only one week to gather
evidence and were forbidden to contact the Israelis screams out

Captain Boston, now 84, signed a formal declaration on Jan. 8, 2004 in
which he described himself as "outraged at the efforts of the apologists
for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of
'mistaken identity.'" Boston continued:

"The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty
that this attack...was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and
murder its entire crew...Not only did the Israelis attack the ship with
napalm, gunfire, and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned three
lifeboats that had been launched in an attempt by the crew to save the
most seriously wounded - a war crime...I know from personal conversations
I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of
Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case
of 'mistaken identity' despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary."

Why the Israelis decided to take the draconian measure of sinking a ship
of the U.S. Navy is open to speculation. One view is that the Israelis did
not want the U.S. to find out they were massing troops to seize the Golan
Heights from Syria, and wanted to deprive the U.S. of the opportunity to
argue against such a move. Another theory: James Bamford, in "Body of
Secrets," adduces evidence, including reporting from an Israeli journalist
eyewitness and an Israeli military historian, of wholesale killing of
Egyptian prisoners of war at the coastal town of El Arish in the Sinai.
The Liberty was patrolling directly opposite El Arish in international
waters but within easy range to pick up intelligence on what was going on
there. And the Israelis were well aware.

As for the why, well, someone could at least approach the Israelis
involved and ask, no? The important thing here is not to confuse what is
known (the deliberate nature of the Israeli attack) with the purpose
behind it, which remains a matter of speculation.

Other Indignities

Bowing to intense pressure from the Navy, the White House agreed to award
the Liberty's skipper, Captain William McGonagle, the Medal of
Honor....but not at the White House, and not by the president (as is the
custom). Rather, the Secretary of the Navy gave the award at the
Washington Navy Yard on the banks of the acrid Anacostia River. A naval
officer involved in the awards ceremony told one of the Liberty crew, "The
government is pretty jumpy about Israel...the State Department even asked
the Israeli ambassador if his government had any objections to McGonagle
getting the medal."

Adding insult to injury, those of the Liberty crew who survived well
enough to call for an independent investigation have been hit with charges
of, you guessed it, anti-Semitism.

Now that some of the truth is emerging more and more, others are showing
more courage in speaking out. In a recent email, an associate of mine who
has followed Middle East affairs for almost 60 years, shared the

"The chief of the intelligence analysts studying the Arab/Israeli region
at the time told me about the intercepted messages and said very flatly
and firmly that the pilots reported seeing the American flag and repeated
their requests for confirmation of the attack order. Whole platoons of
Americans saw those intercepts. If NSA now says they do not exist, then
someone ordered them destroyed."

Leaving the destruction of evidence without investigation is an open
invitation to repetition in the future.

As for the larger picture, visiting Israel this past summer I was
constantly told that Egypt forced Israel into war in June 1967. This does
not square with the unguarded words of Menachem Begin in 1982, when he was
Israel's prime minister. Rather he admitted publicly:

"In June 1967, we had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the
Sinai approaches do not prove that [Egyptian President] Nasser was really
about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack

Israel had, in fact, prepared well militarily and mounted provocations
against its neighbors, in order to provoke a response that could be used
to justify an expansion of its borders. Israel's illegal 40-year control
over and confiscation of land in the occupied territories and U.S.
enabling support (particularly the one-sided support by the current U.S.
administration) go a long way toward explaining why it is that 1.3 billion
Muslims "hate us."

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst from 1963 to 1990 and Robert Gates' branch
chief in the early 1970s. McGovern now serves on the Steering Group of
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He is a contributor
to Imperial Crusades, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair.
He can be reached at: rrmcgovern [at]

A shorter version of this article appeared originally on

--------13 of 14--------

Reply-To: Jeff Blankfort <jblankfort [at]>
Subject: ZINN:: Zionism & Free Speech

This is one of the most important battles in the war now going on with the
Israel lobby and its determined efforts to slash and burn the 1st
Amendment of those who have had the temerity to criticize Israel and
expose the truth about Zionism. That the distinguished historian Howard
Zinn, too long invisible on issues concerning Israel and Palestine, has
become involved in this struggle is to be welcomed.-Jeff Blankfort,
activist-journalist Jeff Blankfort <jblankfort [at]>

  Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism

    * Home <>
    * Contact <>

    * About the Book <>
    * About Pluto Press <>
    * Send letter to UMP <>
    * Letter From Howard Zinn <>

Solicitation letter from Howard Zinn <>

*A Message from Howard Zinn on behalf of the Committee for an Open
Discussion of Zionism*

Dear Friend:

As you may have heard, in late August of this year, The University of
Michigan Press, after receiving a series of complaining and threatening
emails and letters from an ultra-Zionist group called StandWithUs, an
offshoot of Campus Watch, withdrew from distribution Prof. Joel Kovel's
book Overcoming Zionism, published by Pluto Press in London, United
Kingdom. Since then, following numerous protests by fellow academics and
scholars, The U. of M. Press Executive Board has restored the book to its
distribution listings. But, ominously, the Board has indicated its
intention to reconsider its contract with Pluto Press in mid October.

Overcoming Zionism is a serious, well researched work espousing a
humanistic resolution. It is a valuable addition to the growing debate, in
and out of American academia, that is re-examining long held assumptions
about the sources of conflict in the Middle East. It should be discussed -
supported or refuted - but not suppressed.

But even more serious is the University's threat to cancel its
distribution contract with Pluto Press. Pluto is a valuable and unique
intellectual resource, publishing progressive books of a consistently high
quality. It provides an alternative viewpoint essential to discussion and
debate of important social issues, such as those concerning
Israel/Palestine and the Middle East. The cancellation of Pluto's contract
with the University would be a serious blow to the principles of
pluralism, academic freedom and free speech.

We urge you to add your voice to those of the many professors and authors
that have vigorously protested these actions. We ask that you send a
letter or, better yet, an email to U. of M. Press Executive Board Chair
Peggy McCracken with copies to University of Michigan President Mary Sue
Coleman, Dean Janet A Weiss; and Provost Teresa Sullivan, demanding that
the University of Michigan Press continue its contract with Pluto Press.
Further, we ask that you forward this request for support and suggested
support letter to those on any list that you may maintain or have access

We have prepared a sample email or letter together with emails and postal
addressees of University of Michigan Press committee members below but
also feel free to compose your own. Time is of the essence so please act

Thank you for your kind support.

Howard Zinn
For the Committee for an Open Discussion of Zionism

Click this link <> to view the
sample letter and UM Press committee member details.

 2007 Committee for Open Discussion of Zionism / Technical

--------14 of 14--------

(sing to the tune of London Bridges falling down)

 Capitalist armies are on the move
 on the move, on the move
 Capitalist armies are on the move
 Boom boom bang bang

 Non-capitalist swine they die like pigs
 die lie pigs, die like pigs
 Non-capitalist swine they die like pigs
 skree skree oink oink


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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