Progressive Calendar 08.07.08
From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 07:31:56 -0700 (PDT)
           P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    08.07.08

1. Health care/Kip 8.07 7pm

2. Palestine vigil 8.08 4:15pm
3. Alt/violence    8.08 6pm
4. Why we fight/f  8.08 7pm Duluth MN
5. YAWR camp       8.08-12
6. RNC peace team  8.08

7. Ralph Nader      - How to move an immoveable force
8. Justin Podur     - Empires don't build rivals
9. Naomi Wolf       - Dear world, please confront America
10. John Pilger     - Hiroshima lies: props in 20th century war crimes
11. PC Roberts      - The anthrax attacks an assault on civil liberties
12. Sheldon Rampton - The anthrax cover-up
13. Cindy Sheehan  - What kind of extremists will we be? This is horseshit
14. Fairvote MN     - FairVote Minnesota intervention in IRV lawsuit

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

From: Kip Sullivan <kiprs [at] usinternet.com>
Subject: Health care/Kip 8.07 7pm

Rep. Shelley Madore (one of the founders of the Mn Health Reform Caucus)
posted this to the MUHCC discussion forum today.  == Please join me for
this informative discussion tomorrow night on the state of healthcare here
in Minnesota . - Shelley Madore, 37A

Senator Jim Carlson
Hosts a Discussion on Health Care Reform

Sen. Jim Carlson will host an information session and open discussion on
health care reform. Kip Sullivan, a recognized authority on health care
reform and author of The Health Care Mess: How We Got Into It and How
We'll Get Out of It, will present a history and explanation of our health
care crisis.

Senator Jim Carlson and Kip Sullivan, Health Care Expert and Author
Discussion on Health Care Reform
Eagan Community Center , 1501 Central Parkway , Eagan
Thursday, August 7th from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

"With increasing frequency, I am being contacted by Eagan and Burnsville
residents concerned about their health care coverage," said Sen. Carlson.
"It is clear that we must take a hard look at the current health care
system in order to understand what problems exist. We also need to address
the misconceptions in order to create a solution to our health care
problem." The discussion will include an overview of single payer health
insurance, a health care financing system where there is only one
insurance provider rather than a confusing multitude of systems.
Individuals and small business leaders are encouraged to attend the event.
For more information, contact Sen. Carlson's office at 651-297-8073 or
sen.jim.carlson [at] senate.mn.


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Palestine vigil 8.08 4:15pm

Friday, 8/8, 4:15 to 5:30 pm, vigil to end US military/political support
of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, corner Summit and Snelling, St
Paul.


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject Alt/violence 8.08 6pm

8/8 (6 pm) to 8/10 (5 pm), community basic level Alternatives to Violence
Workshop, Friends for a Non-Violent World, 1050 Selby Ave, St Paul.
avperika [at] gmail.com or http://www.fnvw.blogspot.com


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: Why we fight/f 8.08 7pm Duluth MN

Friday, 8/8, 7 pm, film and discussion "Why We Fight" at Friends
Meetinghouse, 1802 E 1st, Duluth.  earthmannow [at] gmail.com or
http://www.wnpj.org

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

From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org>
Subject: YAWR camp 8.08-12

Overnight Camp: Counter It! Training To Confront Militarism and Oppression
August 8 to 12 Garden Farme, 7363 175 Avenue Northwest, Ramsey.

At this activist training camp for youth and youth organizers, develop the
analysis and skills to meet organizing challenges for the upcoming year.
Take an in-depth look at U.S. militarism, its links to class and race
oppression here at home, and the wider issues facing our generation.
Counter It! is a place for activists and organizers to improve non-violent
skills to confront military recruiters and to organize for a just future
for the younger generation. Sponsored by: Youth Against War and Racism
(YAWR). FFI and to Register: Call Tyrus, 651-210-5342 or email
<tyrusathompson [at] gmail.com>.


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

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com>
Subject: RNC peace team 8.08

8/8 to 8/10, 8/15 to 8/17 or 8/29 to 8/30, intensive weekend trainings to
participate as peace team members during the Republican National
Convention. $35.  Send registrations to minnesotapeaceteam [at] gmail.com or
Minnesota Peace Team/Wojtan, 13341 Everest Ave, Apple Valley 55124.
Questions?  612-483-6041.


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

How to Move an Immoveable Force
The Living Legacy of Rosa Parks
By RALPH NADER
July 31, 2008
CounterPunch

Montgomery, Alabama.

The Troy University Rosa Parks Museum is located on the side of the old
Empire Theatre where this courageous African-American woman declined to
"move to the back of the bus" in 1955.

A visit to the museum honoring her and other civil rights champions is a
sobering reminder of just how courageous such a refusal was in that very
segregated South. Mrs. Parks was promptly arrested and thus was launched
the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is credited with igniting the
Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s.

What most people do not know about Rosa Parks is that she was a trained
civil rights worker who knew the significance of staying in her front seat
and not giving it up to a white man. But she could not have predicted what
happened after the police took her away.

Four days after she was arrested, the bus boycott started on December 5,
1955. A flyer distributed on that date by the Women's Political Council of
Montgomery noted the arrest of Mrs. Parks and two teenage "Negro" women -
.Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith - who earlier that year were
arrested and fined for refusing to give up their seats.

The flyer went on to urge "every Negro to stay off the buses Monday in
protest of the arrest and trial. Don't ride the buses to work, to town, to
school, or anywhere on Monday". They stayed off in the thousands.

Since three-fourths of the Montgomery bus riders were "Negroes," the
growing boycott grew to become a serious economic drain on the bus
company. As it grew, and as the accompanying street marches and
demonstrations started, the national news media began to cover it and a
young charismatic minister by the name of Martin Luther King.

Sam Cook was at the Museum during our visit. He had a scrapbook of old
newspaper clippings and photographs from those heady days when he
occasionally was a driver for Rev. King.

In addition to the Museum's timelines of history, artifacts, documents and
memorabilia - there is a replica of the public bus on which Mrs. Parks was
sitting - there are classrooms and a library to enhance the serious
educational purposes for today that the Museum's staff espouses.

The new Children's Wing conveys to youngsters that "things just don't
happen in history" - people make things happen. Visitors come to realize
that they, too, can make a difference just as Rosa Parks, E.D. Nixon,
Joanne Robinson, Fred Gray, Claudette Colvin, Georgia Gilmore and many
others made a difference following in the footsteps of Dred Scott, Harriet
Tubman, Homer Plessy and others who had gone before..

Students today in Montgomery and other southern cities might wonder what
all the fuss was about from white folk. The races mix easily in this city
on buses, in stores, restaurants, cinemas, schools, hospitals and
ballparks. Race, like class, still matters a great deal throughout the
United States; but there has been undeniable progress.

The contemporary struggles for justice can learn from the ways the civil
rights movement overcame a media boycott and moved hitherto immovable
forces.

To be sure, it used the courts, and the streets with non-violent
demonstrations. But never underestimate the personal story of an
individual who heroically and selflessly takes on the Machine to spark the
requisite rage and empathy that leads to larger and larger numbers of
similarly situated people who swell the ranks of those demanding change or
reform.

So powerful a model is this civil rights approach that when Mubarak Awad,
a Palestinian-American youth counselor in Palestine's West Bank tried to
organize nonviolent civil disobedience against the Israeli occupation and
repression, the Israeli government deported him in 1988 back to the United
States. He proceeded to establish the group, Non-violence International,
but he is still banned from Israel.

Commercial or labor strikes as a form of political protest received the
ire of the Israelis. They would routinely break up strikes by cutting the
locks on closed shops or welding doors shut and fining the shop owners.

In our country, we need the Rosa Parks of rebellion against gas and drug
prices, home foreclosures, cruel prison conditions, huge up-front payments
before entering hospitals, junk, obesity-illness-producing food, and
breakdowns in municipal services.

Each historic, citizen-moving movement has its own style and personality.
Granted, the mass media can be very picky indeed, as it has been with the
soldiers who have refused to return to the unconstitutional, illegal
war-occupation in Iraq. The heartfelt stories of these soldiers told at a
recent "Winter Soldiers" gathering were not even covered by the New York
Times or the television evening news. (But Amy Goodman did on Democracy
Now!)

One must believe there is always a way to produce the human spark for a
broader public morality and a deeper commitment to a more just society.

Rosa Parks, hail to thee!

Ralph Nader is running for president as an independent.


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

Empires Don't Build Rivals
By Justin Podur
Aug 05, 2008
ZNet

In the background of the Indo-US nuclear deal now going into "overdrive",
as well as the increasing economic co-operation and (most importantly) the
joint military excercises and interoperability efforts and acquisitions
made by India, there is a geopolitical notion: that the US is building
India's military capacity in order to counter potential rivals China and
Russia in the region. Indeed, proponents of the nuclear deal smeared its
opponents by suggesting their opposition was "pro-China". As the deal goes
forward, with India potentially trading the chance for peace with its
nuclear-armed neighbours for the chance to make US companies very rich
buying tens of billions worth of technology the West isn't using, acquires
the latest US weapons, and makes its military interoperable with the US, a
major historical lesson has perhaps been forgotten.

Empires don't build great powers. They build clients and dependencies.

India has reason to know this, since neighbouring Pakistan is a striking
example. For six decades, Pakistan was in the US camp, rejecting
nonalignment and joining the US system of alliances (CENTO) against the
Soviets early on, then allowing itself to be used as a base for the US to
supply the Afghans in their war against the Soviet occupation. Pakistan
traded its location on the Soviet borders for the latest American weapons
and technology (for use against India).

Meanwhile nonaligned India acquired its weapons from Russia, and while it
accepted help from major powers (from the USSR in 1971 and from the West
against China in 1962) it kept out of their blocs. Today, India, with its
high growth rates, electoral democracy, freeish press, and social
movements, is benefiting from its past foreign policy choices. Pakistan,
with its military entrepreneurship, precarious civilian rule, and periodic
US raids and bombings into its territory,† is paying the price for its own
choices.

It is true that India still has hundreds of millions of its people in
brutal poverty, its democracy is hugely flawed, its economic growth
threatened by inequality and its natural environment at risk from many
different threats. But Pakistan has all these problems and more, and some
of Pakistan's additional problems are a consequence of its dependency on
the US.

Pakistan is not the only example. South Korea, a more economically
successful dependent state (partly because it ignored US economic advice
and maintained strong regional economic connections), still got North
Korea's nuclear weapons pointed at its capital for its trouble. Today most
Koreans want peace and integration and the US is the obstacle.

On another continent, Colombians paid billions of dollars for American
weaponry so that their government could fight a guerrilla insurgency: they
were rewarded by paramilitary terror, murdered unionists and journalists,
and impunity for the government-sponsored killers.

The price of independence can be high: Venezuela's president was nearly
overthrown for it in 2002, and Cuba has suffered embargo and terrorism for
it. But the people in Venezuela live in less fear than their counterparts
in Colombia; Cuba regularly sends doctors from its excellent health care
system to help people in US dependencies like Haiti or Jamaica that can't
afford care.

The fate of loyal friends of the empire is always precarious, as the
Israelis or Saudis know. But there are few fates worse than that of a
former friend of the empire: Saddam Hussein learned that, and Iraqis are
still paying the price. Pakistan may face the same in the coming years.

India must not set itself up for a similar fate.

Justin Podur's blog is www.killingtrain.com. He is based in Toronto but is
in India until August 8.


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

Dear world, please confront America
By Naomi Wolf
First Published: August 1, 2008
http://dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=15446

Is it possible to fall out of love with your own country? For two years,
I, like many Americans, have been focused intently on documenting,
exposing, and alerting the nation to the Bush administration's criminality
and its assault on the Constitution and the rule of law, a story often
marginalized at home. I was certain that when Americans knew what was
being done in their name, they would react with horror and outrage.

Three months ago, the Bush administration still clung to its devil's sound
bite, 'We don't torture." Now, Doctors Without Borders has issued its
report documenting American-held detainees' traumas, and even lie detector
tests confirm they have been tortured. The Red Cross report has leaked:
torture and war crimes. Jane Mayer's impeccably researched exposť The Dark
Side just hit the stores: torture, crafted and directed from the top.

The Washington Post gave readers actual video footage of the abusive
interrogation of a Canadian minor, Omar Khadr, who was seen showing his
still-bleeding abdominal wounds, weeping and pleading with his captors.

So the truth is out and freely available. And America is still napping,
worrying about its weight, and hanging out at the mall.

I had thought that after so much exposure, thousands of Americans would be
holding vigils on Capitol Hill, that religious leaders would be asking
God's forgiveness, and that a popular groundswell of revulsion, similar to
the nineteenth-century anti-slavery movement, would emerge. To paraphrase
Abraham Lincoln, if torture is not wrong, nothing is wrong.

And yet no such thing has occurred. There is no crisis in America's
churches and synagogues, no Christian and Jewish leaders crying out for
justice in the name of Jesus, a tortured political prisoner, or of Yahweh,
who demands righteousness. I asked a contact in the interfaith world why.
He replied, "The mainstream churches don't care, because they are
Republican. And the synagogues don't care, because the prisoners are
Arabs."

It was then that I realized that I could not be in love with my country
right now. How can I care about the fate of people like that? If this is
what Americans are feeling, if that is who we are, we don't deserve our
Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Even America's vaunted judicial system has failed to constrain obvious
abuses. A Federal court has ruled that the military tribunals system Star
Chambers where evidence derived from torture is used against the accused
can proceed. Another recently ruled that the president may call anyone
anywhere an "enemy combatant" and detain him or her indefinitely.

So Americans are colluding with a criminal regime. We have become an
outlaw nation, a clear and present danger to international law and global
stability, among civilized countries that have been our allies. We are
rightly on Canada's list of rogue nations that torture.

Europe is still high from Barack Obama's recent visit. Many Americans,
too, hope that an Obama victory in November will roll back this nightmare.
But this is no time to yield to delusions. Even if Obama wins, he may well
be a radically weakened president. The Bush administration has created a
transnational apparatus of lawlessness that he alone, without global
intervention, can neither roll back nor control.

Private security firms, for example, Blackwater, will still be operating,
accountable neither to him nor to Congress, and not bound, they have
argued, by international treaties. Weapons manufacturers and the
telecommunications industry, with billions at stake in maintaining a hyped
"war on terror" and their new global surveillance market, will deploy a
lavishly financed army of lobbyists to defend their interests.

Moreover, if elected, Obama will be constrained by his own Democratic
Party. America's political parties bear little resemblance to the
disciplined organizations familiar in parliamentary democracies in Europe
and elsewhere. And Democrats in Congress will be even more divided after
November if, as many expect, conservative members defeat Republican
incumbents damaged by their association with Bush.

To be sure, some Democrats have recently launched Congressional hearings
into the Bush administration's abuses of power. Unfortunately, with
virtually no media coverage, there is little pressure to broaden official
investigations and ensure genuine accountability.

But, while grassroots pressure has not worked, money still talks. We need
targeted government-led sanctions against the US by civilized countries,
including international divestment of capital. Many studies have shown
that tying investment to democracy and human rights reform is effective in
the developing world. There is no reason why it can't be effective against
the world's superpower.

We also need an internationally coordinated strategy for prosecuting war
criminals at the top and further down the chain of command, individual
countries pressing charges, as Italy and France have done. Although the
United States is not a signatory to the statute that established the
International Criminal Court, violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva
Conventions are war crimes for which anyone-- potentially even the US
president-- may be tried in any of the other 193 countries that are
parties to the conventions. The whole world can hunt these criminals down.

An outlaw America is a global problem that threatens the rest of the
international community. If this regime gets away with flouting
international law, what is to prevent the next administration -- or this
administration, continuing under its secret succession plan in the event
of an emergency from going further and targeting its political opponents
at home and abroad?

We Americans are either too incapable, or too dysfunctional, to help
ourselves right now. Like drug addicts or the mentally ill who refuse
treatment, we need our friends to intervene. So remember us as we were in
our better moments, and take action to save us and the world from
ourselves.

Maybe then I can fall in love with my country again.

Naomi Wolf, the author, most recently, of The End of America: Letter of
Warning to a Young Patriot and the forthcoming Give me Liberty: How to
Become an American Revolutionary, is co-founder of the American Freedom
Campaign, a US democracy movement. This commentary is published by DAILY
NEWS EGYPT in collaboration with Project Syndicate
(www.project-syndicate.org).


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

The Lies of Hiroshima Live On, Props in the War Crimes of the 20th Century
by John Pilger
Published on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 by The Guardian/UK
Common Dreams

The 1945 attack was murder on an epic scale. In its victims. names, we
must not allow a nuclear repeat in the Middle East

When I first went to Hiroshima in 1967, the shadow on the steps was still
there. It was an almost perfect impression of a human being at ease: legs
splayed, back bent, one hand by her side as she sat waiting for a bank to
open. At a quarter past eight on the morning of August 6, 1945, she and
her silhouette were burned into the granite. I stared at the shadow for an
hour or more, then walked down to the river and met a man called Yukio,
whose chest was still etched with the pattern of the shirt he was wearing
when the atomic bomb was dropped.

He and his family still lived in a shack thrown up in the dust of an
atomic desert. He described a huge flash over the city, "a bluish light,
something like an electrical short", after which wind blew like a tornado
and black rain fell. "I was thrown on the ground and noticed only the
stalks of my flowers were left. Everything was still and quiet, and when I
got up, there were people naked, not saying anything. Some of them had no
skin or hair. I was certain I was dead". Nine years later, when I returned
to look for him, he was dead from leukaemia.

In the immediate aftermath of the bomb, the allied occupation authorities
banned all mention of radiation poisoning and insisted that people had
been killed or injured only by the bomb's blast. It was the first big lie.
"No radioactivity in Hiroshima ruin" said the front page of the New York
Times, a classic of disinformation and journalistic abdication, which the
Australian reporter Wilfred Burchett put right with his scoop of the
century. "I write this as a warning to the world," reported Burchett in
the Daily Express, having reached Hiroshima after a perilous journey, the
first correspondent to dare. He described hospital wards filled with
people with no visible injuries but who were dying from what he called "an
atomic plague". For telling this truth, his press accreditation was
withdrawn, he was pilloried and smeared - and vindicated.

The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a criminal act on an epic
scale. It was premeditated mass murder that unleashed a weapon of
intrinsic criminality. For this reason its apologists have sought refuge
in the mythology of the ultimate "good war", whose "ethical bath", as
Richard Drayton called it, has allowed the west not only to expiate its
bloody imperial past but to promote 60 years of rapacious war, always
beneath the shadow of The Bomb.

The most enduring lie is that the atomic bomb was dropped to end the war
in the Pacific and save lives. "Even without the atomic bombing attacks,"
concluded the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of 1946, "air
supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about
unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion. Based on a
detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of
the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that
"Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been
dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war and even if no invasion
had been planned or contemplated".

The National Archives in Washington contain US government documents that
chart Japanese peace overtures as early as 1943. None was pursued. A cable
sent on May 5, 1945 by the German ambassador in Tokyo and intercepted by
the US dispels any doubt that the Japanese were desperate to sue for
peace, including "capitulation even if the terms were hard". Instead, the
US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was "fearful"
that the US air force would have Japan so "bombed out" that the new weapon
would not be able "to show its strength". He later admitted that "no
effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender
merely in order not to have to use the bomb". His foreign policy
colleagues were eager "to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather
ostentatiously on our hip". General Leslie Groves, director of the
Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: "There was never any
illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was
conducted on that basis". The day after Hiroshima was obliterated,
President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the "overwhelming success"
of "the experiment".

Since 1945, the United States is believed to have been on the brink of
using nuclear weapons at least three times. In waging their bogus "war on
terror", the present governments in Washington and London have declared
they are prepared to make "pre-emptive" nuclear strikes against
non-nuclear states. With each stroke toward the midnight of a nuclear
Armageddon, the lies of justification grow more outrageous. Iran is the
current "threat". But Iran has no nuclear weapons and the disinformation
that it is planning a nuclear arsenal comes largely from a discredited
CIA-sponsored Iranian opposition group, the MEK - just as the lies about
Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction originated with the Iraqi
National Congress, set up by Washington.

The role of western journalism in erecting this straw man is critical.
That America's Defence Intelligence Estimate says "with high confidence"
that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons programme in 2003 has been consigned
to the memory hole. That Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad never
threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" is of no interest. But such has
been the mantra of this media "fact" that in his recent, obsequious
performance before the Israeli parliament, Gordon Brown alluded to it as
he threatened Iran, yet again.

This progression of lies has brought us to one of the most dangerous
nuclear crises since 1945, because the real threat remains almost
unmentionable in western establishment circles and therefore in the media.
There is only one rampant nuclear power in the Middle East and that is
Israel. The heroic Mordechai Vanunu tried to warn the world in 1986 when
he smuggled out evidence that Israel was building as many as 200 nuclear
warheads. In defiance of UN resolutions, Israel is today clearly itching
to attack Iran, fearful that a new American administration might, just
might, conduct genuine negotiations with a nation the west has defiled
since Britain and America overthrew Iranian democracy in 1953.

In the New York Times on July 18, the Israeli historian Benny Morris, once
considered a liberal and now a consultant to his country's political and
military establishment, threatened "an Iran turned into a nuclear
wasteland". This would be mass murder. For a Jew, the irony cries out.

The question begs: are the rest of us to be mere bystanders, claiming, as
good Germans did, that "we did not know"? Do we hide ever more behind what
Richard Falk has called "a self-righteous, one-way, legal/moral screen
[with] positive images of western values and innocence portrayed as
threatened, validating a campaign of unrestricted violence"? Catching war
criminals is fashionable again. Radovan Karadzic stands in the dock, but
Sharon and Olmert, Bush and Blair do not. Why not? The memory of Hiroshima
requires an answer.

johnpilger.com
Guardian News and Media Limited 2008


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

"Here, Broken Laws Be Left ... "
The Anthrax Attacks and the Assault on Civil Liberties
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
August 5, 2008
CounterPunch

In last weekend's edition of CounterPunch, Alexander Cockburn updates the
ongoing persecution of Sami Al-Arian by federal prosecutors. Al-Arian was
a Florida university professor of computer science who was ensnared by the
Bush Regime's need to produce "terrorists" in order to keep Americans
fearful and, thereby, amenable to the Bush Regime's assault on US civil
liberties.

The charges against Al-Arian were rejected by a jury, but the Bush Regime
could not accept the obvious defeat. If Al-Arian was not a terrorist, then
other of the Bush Regime's fabricated cases might fall apart, too.

In open view, the US Department of Justice (sic) proceeded to trash every
known ethical rule of prosecution. I don't need to repeat the facts, as
they are covered by Cockburn's articles and in The Tyranny of Good
Intentions.

Instead, I want to point out another meaning of the Al-Arian case. The
Justice (sic) Department itself knows that it is persecuting a totally
innocent person for reasons of a political agenda - the need to convince
gullible Americans of an ongoing terrorist threat. The existence of this
threat is used to justify the Bush Regime's adoption of police state
measures, such as spying on Americans without warrants, arresting them
without charges, and refusing to let go of them when they are cleared by
juries.

Sami Al-Arian is a fabricated terrorist created by federal prosecutors and
judges in behalf of an undeclared agenda. The Al-Arian case proves that
terrorists are in short supply and that the Bush Regime has had to create
them out of total innocents. The "war on terror" is a hoax used to justify
war crimes and the overthrow of America's civil liberties.

The anthrax scare is one more example of the Bush Regime's use of
disinformation to advance an undeclared political agenda. As Glenn
Greenwald reminded us last week in Salon, the Bush Regime used Brian Ross
at ABC News to spread the lie far and wide that US government tests proved
that the anthrax mailed to various Americans, including prominent US
Senators, was made in Iraq by Saddam Hussein. This lie was essential for
scaring Congress into passing the Bush Regime's Gestapo laws, such as the
PATRIOT Act, and for overcoming opposition to invading Iraq.

When it leaked out that the anthrax actually came from a US government
lab, the Bush Regime tried to frame a US scientist, Steven J. Hatfill, but
failed. On June 28th, the Los Angeles Times reported that Hatfill, "The
former Army scientist who was the prime suspect in the deadly 2001 anthrax
mailings agreed Friday to take $5.82 million from the government to settle
his claim that the Justice Department and the FBI invaded his privacy and
ruined his career". Indeed, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton
allowed Hatfill's attorneys two years to review all news reports and FBI
evidence. Judge Walton stated: "there is not a scintilla of evidence that
would indicate that Dr. Hatfill had anything to do with this".

The anthrax matter was again news last week when another US government
scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, "committed suicide". Instantly, the deceased
Ivins was fingered as the culprit. Overnight a man, liked and respected by
his colleagues, who had worked on American biological warfare weapons for
years, became a deranged homicidal maniac who decided to murder Americans
at random in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 by sending them letters
containing anthrax.

I don't believe a word of it. But assume that it is true. Blaming the
anthrax letters on Ivins does not resolve the issue of why the Bush Regime
lied to Brian Ross and used ABC to put the blame on Saddam Hussein in
order to invade an innocent country. Wouldn't a government that would lie
about something this serious lie about other serious matters?

The Bush Regime stands against against the truth. That is why it pretends
to have the power to prevent executive branch officials wanted for
questioning by Congress from appearing before the people's
representatives. Nothing could make clearer the contempt that the Bush
Regime has for the American people and their elected representatives than
its arrogant claim that it is unanswerable to them.

Obviously, neither the President nor the Vice President respect their
oaths of office. If they will betray such a serious oath, won't they lie
about everything?

According to the discredited 9/11 Commission Report, a few Muslims hatched
a multi-year plot that went undetected by the vast security agencies of
the United States and its allies, and within one hour on one morning at
four different locations defeated airport security, NORAD, the US Air
Force, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, the
Pentagon's defenses and crashed three hijacked airliners into the World
Trade Center towers and the heart of the US military. Muslims were able to
achieve this fantastic feat operating out of caves in Afghanistan.

We now know for a fact that the "terrorist anthrax attack" had nothing
whatsoever to do with Muslim terrorists. Even the US Government now blames
white American citizens, employees of the federal government, for the
anthrax letters that, at the time, were blamed on the "Osama bin Laden al
Qaeda plot against America".

We now know for a fact that this was intentional disinformation planted by
the Bush Regime on a gullible and incompetent ABC News reporter, who is a
disgrace to journalism. No one denies this.

We also know for a fact that ABC News will not say who planted on ABC the
lies that committed the United States to the dishonor of an illegal
invasion, war crimes, and executive branch attack on the US Constitution.
How can anyone anywhere in the world rely on ABC News when it serves as a
disinformation agency for a criminal regime?

The anthrax letters made the "terrorist attack" seem wider and more
general. This increased the sense of peril and Americans' fear and anger,
thereby opening wider the door for the Bush Regime.s attack on Iraq and US
civil liberty.

Now that the dead Ivins can be conveniently blamed for the anthrax
mailings, the Bush Regime can declare the case closed, thus protecting the
false flag operation from further risk of exposure.

Many Americans lack the mental and emotional strength to confront the
facts. The facts are too unsettling and many are relieved when the
"mainstream media" spins the facts away. Many Americans find it too
appalling that any part of "their" government, even a rogue operation,
could possibly have been involved in any way in the anthrax attacks. No
evidence - not even full confessions - could convince them otherwise. Many
Americans have welcomed their brainwashing by the neoconservatives:
America is pure; her shining virtue causes evil men to attack her; they
hate us because we are good and they are evil.

For the sake of argument, let's accept this make-believe. It does not
explain why, in order to protect us from evil men, the US Constitution
needs to be dismantled and civil liberties set aside. Our Founding Fathers
said that dismantling the Constitution and setting aside civil liberties
are precisely what would make us unsafe in the extreme. The Bush Regime
has never explained how the civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution
interfere with any legitimate response to terrorism.

The fact still remains that the Bush Regime responded to 9/11 and anthrax
letters with a comprehensive assault on US civil liberty. The Bush
Regime's assault on America has been much more successful than its assault
on "terrorism". Who remembers the promise of a "six weeks war"? Americans
have been mired for 6 years in two wars without end which the neoconned
Bush Regime, in alliance with Israeli zionists, seeks to expand to Iran,
Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon. The Republican candidate for president has
given his commitment to a 100-year "war against terrorism". Many Americans
will vote for this candidate who wants to fight against a hoax for 100
years.

In The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America, Jennifer Van
Bergen explains the constitutional and legal principles on which American
liberty is based and the Bush Regime's intense assault on these
principles. Part I of her book sets out the Constitutional principles that
are under attack. Part II details the systematic attack on the US
Constitution that is the heart and soul of the Republican neoconservative
Bush Regime - and a Regime it is as it asserts that it is above the law
and unanswerable to law, Congress, the federal courts, and the
Constitution that it is sworn to uphold

Jennifer Van Bergan likens Bush and his brownshirt supporters to Julius
Caesar in motives, though not in courage. She cites the poet Lucan who in
his work Pharsalia described Caesar as he flouted the law of the Roman
Republic and crossed the Rubicon with his army: "When Caesar crossed and
trod beneath his feet the soil of Italy's forbidden fields, 'here,' spake
he, 'peace, here broken laws be left; Farewell to treaties. Fortune, lead
me on; War is our judge'..".

Anyone who believes that the Bush Regime's "war on terror" is about
terrorism, oil, getting even with those who attacked us, bringing freedom
and democracy to Muslims - whatever rationale makes the gratuitous war
crimes committed by the Bush Regime acceptable to gullible Americans -
needs to read Jennifer Van Bergan's Twilight of Democracy. Nothing less
than American liberty is at stake.

The hour is late. Gullible Americans are being marched off into tyranny as
the promised land of safety.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal
editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor
of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at:
paulcraigroberts [at] yahoo.com


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

The Bush Administration, ABC News and the Scare Tactics That Lead the US
to War
The Anthrax Cover-Up
By SHELDON RAMPTON
August 6, 2008
CounterPunch

Bruce Edwards Ivins, a top anthrax researcher at the U.S. Government's
biological weapons research laboratories, died of an apparent suicide last
Tuesday, just as the Justice Department was about to charge him with
responsibility for the September 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five
people in the United States. Glenn Greenwald has written an important
piece for Salon.com in which he demonstrates, with copious evidence, that
a major government scandal lurks behind the anthrax story.

Ivins may have acted alone in carrying out the anthrax attacks. (I don't
want to presume his guilt or anything else about this case until we see
further details about the government's evidence against him.) However,
Ivins most certainly did not act alone in falsifying information so the
attacks could be used as a pretext for war.

"If the now-deceased Ivins really was the culprit behind the attacks,"
Greenwald writes, "then that means that the anthrax came from a U.S.
Government lab, sent by a top U.S. Army scientist at Ft. Detrick. Without
resort to any speculation or inferences at all, it is hard to overstate
the significance of that fact. From the beginning, there was a clear
intent on the part of the anthrax attacker to create a link between the
anthrax attacks and both Islamic radicals and the 9/11 attacks."

Greenwald continues: "Much more important than the general attempt to link
the anthrax to Islamic terrorists, there was a specific intent --
indispensably aided by ABC News -- to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq and
Saddam Hussein."

ABC claimed it had been told by "four well-placed and separate sources"
that the anthrax used in the September attack contained bentonite, which
therefore suggested it was produced in Iraq. As Greenwald points out,
"That means that ABC News' 'four well-placed and separate sources' fed
them information that was completely false." In all likelihood, "the same
Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same
place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on
Iraq. ... Surely the question of who generated those false Iraq-anthrax
reports is one of the most significant and explosive stories of the last
decade."

Greenwald goes on to provide details about the psychological impact that
the anthrax fabrications played in influencing journalists and
propagandizing the American public to support the invasion of Iraq. He
also notes that John McCain and Joe Lieberman were among the first people
to claim publicly, during an appearance on the David Letterman Show, that
the anthrax came from Iraq. (Interestingly, the Bush White House
repeatedly denied this claim, despite its overall tendency to exaggerate
and fabricate evidence linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction.)

Of course, ABC News knows the identity of the "well-placed sources" who
fed this false information to them and, through them, to the American
public. I'll leave it to Greenwald to explain the implications:

And yet, unbelievably, they are keeping the story to themselves, refusing
to disclose who did all of this. They're allegedly a news organization, in
possession of one of the most significant news stories of the last decade,
and they are concealing it from the public, even years later.

They're not protecting "sources." The people who fed them the bentonite
story aren't "sources." They're fabricators and liars who purposely used
ABC News to disseminate to the American public an extremely consequential
and damaging falsehood. But by protecting the wrongdoers, ABC News has
made itself complicit in this fraud perpetrated on the public, rather than
a news organization uncovering such frauds. That is why this is one of the
most extreme journalistic scandals that exists, and it deserves a lot more
debate and attention than it has received thus far.

If indeed Ivins was the person who carried out the anthrax attack, there
is one possible scenario that Greenwald does not seem to have fully
considered. Perhaps Ivins himself was the person who fabricated the claim
that the anthrax contained bentonite. ABC's sources might have been merely
repeating what he told them. If so, however, that is an important story in
itself and needs to be reported. Just as the FBI has a responsibility to
share publicly its evidence linking Ivins to this crime, ABC has some
explaining to do about the disinformation that it helped disseminate to
the American people.

The anthrax attack of September 2001 was an act of terrorism that killed
five innocent people. At the time, and for years thereafter, many people
were led to believe that the perpetrators were Islamic extremists in
service to a hostile foreign power. The FBI is now claiming that the
perpetrator was a Roman Catholic and an employee of the U.S. army who held
a position of trust that gave him access to biological weapons -- even
though he was, according to his counselor, "homicidal, sociopathic." This
is a major scandal by any measure. The public deserves to know how
American institutions -- including the U.S. Department of Defense as well
as the news media -- could have failed them this badly.

Sheldon Rampton is a reseracher at the Center for Media and Democracy
(where this essay originally appeared) and co-author of two books about
the war: Iraq: Weapons of Mass Deception and The Best War Ever.


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

What Kind of Extremists Will We Be?
This is Horseshit
By CINDY SHEEHAN
August 6, 2008
CounterPunch

It is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we
be?
 -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

You know, I don't care if it's not proper for a Congressional candidate to
say: "horseshit." I don't care if it is not a good "tactic" to get kicked
out of a Congressional non-impeachment hearing that was just a bunch of
horseshit anyway. I don't care if I get accused of being too "extreme" for
bucking the (cyst)em by doing everything from camping in a ditch in
Crawford, Tx to non-violent civil disobedience to, lately, running for
Congress as (oh no!) an independent.

If people can't see how this nation is teetering on the precipice of
financial ruin and dragging the rest of this planet down with us as we
destroy our ecology, too - and if people don't realize how desperate our
situation is, then I must say, that's horseshit!

I am angry. No, I am incensed that hundreds of thousands of people are
dead, dying, wounded, displaced from their homes or being imprisoned and
tortured by the sadists that reside or work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
with the approval of their accomplices down the road in Congress. I am
furious that I buried my oldest son when he was 24 years old for the
unrepentant lies and the unpunished crimes of the Bush mob. Are you
incensed? If not, maybe you should ask yourself: "Why?" Hypothetically:
"Why am I not enraged that my country has killed or hurt so many people
for absolutely no noble cause in my name and with my tacit approval?"

I am steamed that the working class has to, once again, pay for the
excesses of the capitalist criminals that feeds its rapacious appetite
with the flesh and blood of our children and won't rest until it owns
every penny in this world and has all the power.

You may say, "But Cindy, it is not polite to be angry or to use such
strong language in public." Horseshit! In my opinion, every citizen in
this country should rise up in anger and DEMAND that George Bush and Dick
Cheney not only be impeached and removed from office, but be tried and
convicted for murder and crimes against the peace and humanity!

We should all walk off of our jobs and refuse to work and refuse to be
cogs in the wheels of psychotic consumerism until our troops, military
contractors and permanent bases are removed from Iraq and Afghanistan. We
should, but most of us won't. We won't because it may mean that we would
lose something of "value." Material possessions are so transitory, as are
our lives. We can leave a lasting impression by our courageous activism
and moral sacrifice, or we can leave a pile of rusting metal or rotting
wood. I choose the former for myself.

We should come out of our comas of too much TV news and not enough
non-biased information to push for alternatives to fossil fuels that are
clean and renewable and protest nuclear facilities and off-shore oil
drilling like we used to in the olden days when people actually cared
enough about not poisoning our world to get off of their couches or
(today) out from behind their computer screens to do something
constructive instead of complacently shelling out hundreds of dollars a
week for gasoline and food.

I get so pissed off when one of my supporters has a tooth ache and can't
afford to go see a dentist to fix it or when my sister has had a cough for
almost two years and doesn't have the health insurance she needs to get
fully well. And when I think that almost 50 million people in this country
are non-insured or under-insured, I see red. Why, in one of the wealthiest
countries in the world, do some have the "privilege" of being fully
insured and healthy, when health care is a basic human right, not a
privilege for the elitists? My heart hurts every night when the men who
sleep propped up against my campaign office, huddled under their blankets
against the San Francisco chill, wish me a "good night" and I can't choke
the same words back to them, or do much of anything but give them coffee
to keep warm and books to read to help pass the time. My campaign office
is being visited on a daily basis by Iraq war vets who can't access the
help they need to get physically or mentally healthy---and I am "extreme"
because I actually want things to really change and choose to act on this
desire and not sit around passively pretending that this horseshit doesn't
exist?

Since Casey died, even though every day I am filled with pain and longing,
I have tried to be the poster-mom for this pain telling my neighbors and
fellow Americans how it feels to be profoundly hurt by the Military
Industrial Complex and that it wouldn't be too long before the cancer of
BushCo would strike every American home and now that this prediction is
awfully coming true, I see more and more apathy and less and less action.

Three years ago today, I first sat in a ditch in Crawford, Texas and three
years later, we are in dire straits, my friends, and the prognosis is not
good, unless we all make a conscious effort to sacrifice some of today's
comfort for the sake of our children and grand-children's futures.

Sixty-three years ago today, the monsters of the US war machine dropped a
WMD on hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children and since
then, this nation has just descended into a further spiral of war and
profiting from war and preparing for war and more profiting from war;
which is destroying every aspect of our society and we MUST reclaim our
very souls from the Military Industrial Complex before it is too late.

Please don't wait for November, or January or for the Dawning of the Age
of Aquarius because every second we allow this demented pattern to
continue, is one second too long!

Cindy Sheehan is running for congress as an independent. She can be
reached through her website.


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

Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2008 12:16:17 -0400
From: FairVote Minnesota <info [at] fairvotemn.org>
Subject: Help Move IRV Forward - FairVote Minnesota E-News, August 6, 2008

Update: FairVote Minnesota Intervention in IRV Lawsuit

Last week, we told you about FairVote Minnesota's plans to intervene in
the lawsuit against IRV. The lawsuit opposes IRV's implementation in
Minneapolis, slated for 2009, and was brought by a small group of
activists who oppose more open elections and more choices for voters. In
St. Paul, the lawsuit is being used as justification for blocking a
citizen petition - signed by more than 7,000 voters - to put an IRV
charter amendment question on the ballot this November.

Similar challenges to IRV in other states have been unsuccessful, and we
expect that to be the case in Minnesota as well. Nonetheless, FairVote
Minnesota will be working to ensure the rights of voters, who
overwhelmingly adopted IRV in Minneapolis with 65 percent of the vote, are
not impeded.

All parties involved in the lawsuit have indicated their support for
FairVote's intervention request. Since last week, an October 8 hearing has
been scheduled.

FairVote is pleased to have top legal counsel working on this matter,
including lead co-counselors James Dorsey of the Fredrikson & Byron law
firm and Keith Halleland of the Halleland, Lewis, Nilan and Johnson law
firm. Many others will be of assistance, including former city and state
government officials and top legal and political minds at the University
of Minnesota and Hamline University.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

It Takes Money

FairVote Minnesota must raise $25,000 in August to defend IRV in court and
to continue its mission of working for better democracy through election
reform.

IRV will bring more choices, diverse voices and independent thinking into
elections. But until the Minneapolis lawsuit is settled, progress
implementing IRV in Minneapolis and adopting IRV in St. Paul and
elsewhere will be impeded.

While FairVote Minnesota's legal counsel will be donating their services
for the Minneapolis lawsuit, other expenses will be incurred in the course
of winning this crucial battle. Your gift of $25, $50, or $100 to our
Legal Fund will help us decisively defeat the court challenge and continue
the progressive momentum for IRV in Minnesota. Please contribute today at
www.fairvotemn.org/contribute/online.

[Standard. Citizens organize, get petitions signed, meet legal
requirements for action (in this case for a referendum on IRV on the
ballot), and the government level in question (in this case the StPaul
city council, 6 of 7 members) finds some (any) excuse to override and deny
it. And then, standard, the only redress for the citizens is to go to
court. Send money. And for the future, make local government shape up by
pointedly not re-electing those 6 StPaul city council members; start now
scouting for their replacements to run against them in the 2011 city
election. -ed]


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