Progressive Calendar 11.20.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 08:54:27 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    11.20.08

1. Bus to GA         11.20 4pm
2. Eagan peace vigil 11.20 4:30pm
3. Northtown vigil   11.20 5pm
4. Afghanistan       11.20 7pm
5. Rethinking 9/11   11.20 7pm
6. Porn/Jensen       11.20 7pm
7. Hack alert        11.20 7:30pm
8. Amnesty Intl      11.20 7:15pm

9. $$ crash/KFAI     11.21 11am
10. Porn/Jensen      11.21 3:30pm
11. Torture school   11.21

12. Margaret Kimberley - Obama and Lieberman: two of a kind
13. Michael Collins    - The Money Party/Joe Lieberman/collective amnesia
14. John R. MacArthur  - Rahm Emanuel's political pirouettes
15. Mario Murillo      - Holder, Chiquita and Colombia paramilitaries
16. Tom Burghardt      - Repressing dissent at the RNC
17. ed                 - Lexicographers  (poem)

--------1 of 17--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Bus to GA 11.20 4pm

Thursday, 11/20, 4 pm, bus leaves Augsburg College for School of Americas
vigil in Georgia, to return 11/24.  Cost around $120 for the bus (camping
while there). 5 to 8 spots open as of this writing.  Contact Nathan
Barrett at barrettn [at] or 612-229-9571.

--------2 of 17--------

From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at]>
Subject: Eagan peace vigil 11.20 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.

--------3 of 17--------

From: EKalamboki [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 11.20 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]

--------4 of 17--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Afghanistan 11.20 7pm

Ghafar Lakanwal: "Afghanistan: Past, Present and Future"
Thursday November 20, 7:00 p.m. Parish Community of St. Joseph, 8701 36th
Avenue North (corner of Boone), New Hope. Ghafar Lakanwal, Executive
Director of the MultiCultural Development Center, will speak on

He is the former Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the Afghan Delegation
to the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Lakanwal was born and raised
in Afghanistan, imprisoned there, and sought and obtained asylum in the
United States in 1988. He is Muslim and became a U.S. citizen in 1996.
Afghanistan is going to be an essential part of U.S. foreign policy in the
years ahead. This program is free and open to all. Sponsored by: Northwest
Neighbors for Peace. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Call Eileen, 763-545-2296 or
email <nwn4p [at]>.

--------5 of 17--------

From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] UMN.EDU>
Subject: Rethinking 9/11 11.20 7pm

Free and open to the public.
Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis
(at Lyndale & Hennepin) Park in church lot.
Thursday, November 20, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Rethinking 9/11 is a compelling 60-minute documentary that presents
photographic and other evidence regarding the fall of World Trade Center
Tower No. 7 and other issues that make the official story of 9/11 very
unlikely. It pays particular attention to behind the scenes activities of
intelligence agencies from at least four countries and references other
videos and documentaries in detail. For example, members of Israel's
Mossad were present at the scene on 9/11; and some money for Al Qaeda came
from Saudi sources through Pakistan's ISI (Interservice Intelligence

Presenter: PROFESSOR MICHAEL ANDREGG. Dr. Andregg has been the
Director of Ground Zero Minnesota since 1982, an adjunct professor
at the University of Minnesota since 1981, and an adjunct professor
of justice and peace studies at the University of St. Thomas since
1993. He is an internationally recognized expert on intelligence
operations, the author of the award-winning book, On the Causes of
War, and the producer of scores of videos, including approximately
fifty for the TV series, Rethinking the World.

--------6 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: Porn/Jensen 11.20 7pm

NOV.20 Macalester, NOV. 21 Augsburg
screening of film PRICE OF PLEASURE w/talk by Robert Jensen
(more on film after event info)

Screening of "The Price of Pleasure" and discussion
THUR.NOV. 20, 7pm Macalester College
Olin Rice Building Rm 250,

Screening of film "The Price of Pleasure"
with remarks by Robert Jensen and discussion

**The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality and Relationships**
Directed and Produced by Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun
Co-Writer and Associate Producer: Robert Wosnitzer

Once relegated to the margins of society, pornography has become one of
the most visible and profitable sectors of the cultural industries in the
United States. It is estimated that the pornography industry's annual
revenue has reached $13 billion. At the same time, the content of
pornography has become more aggressive, more overtly sexist and racist.

The film features the voices of consumers, critics, and pornography
producers and performers. It is particularly revealing when male
pornographers openly discuss their views about women and how men should
relate to them, and when male and female porn users candidly discuss the
role pornography has played in shaping their sexual imaginations and
relationships. The film paints both a nuanced and complex portrait of how
pleasure and pain, commerce and power, and liberty and responsibility are
intertwined in the most intimate aspects of human relations.

At the same time, the film examines the unprecedented role that commercial
pornography now occupies in U.S. popular culture. Going beyond the debate
of liberal versus conservative so common in the culture, The Price of
Pleasure provides a holistic understanding of pornography as it debunks
common myths about the genre.

The film features interviews with scholars of mass media (Gail Dines and
Robert Jensen), economics (Richard Wolff), and psychology (Dr. Ana
Bridges); writers on pornography and popular culture (Ariel Levy and
Pamela Paul); producers and performers from the pornography industry (John
Stagliano, Joanna Angel and Ernest Greene); and a former stripper/porn
performer-turned-author (Sarah Katherine Lewis).

--------7 of 17--------

From: david unowsky <david.unowsky [at]>
Subject: Hack alert 11.20 7:30pm

[Blodgett is a DFL hack, not a progressive; but it is a chance to confront
him and his supporters at the meeting. -ed]

MAGERS AND QUINN PRESS RELEASE : For Immediate Distribution : Wellstone
Action Executive Director Jeff Blodgett leads a post-election debrief and
discusses his book Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way (University of
Minnesota Press)--7:30pm, Thursday, November 20 at Magers & Quinn

Blodgett worked on Amy Klobuchar's election to the U.S. Senate in 2006.


--------8 of 17--------

From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at]>
Subject: Amnesty Intl 11.20 7:15pm

AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, November 20th, at 7:15 p.m.
St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata (near
the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further information,
contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at]

--------9 of 17--------

From: Lydia Howell <lydiahowell [at]>
Subject: $$ crash/KFAI 11.21 11am

FRI.NOV.21.11am FINANCIAL MESS on KFAI Radio's "Catalyst:politics &
culture" hosted by Lydia Howell

Karen Redleaf, a people's economist who quit being working on a hedge fund
10 years ago in disgust, gives a preview of her CRASH COURSE ON THE CRASH
talk (event info below). She talks about some of the reasons we're in this
financial mess, subprime mortgages, and the various legalized scams &
outright fraud - that continues with the Wall Street bailout. KFAI 90.3fm
Mpls 106.7fm live streaming & archived for 2 weeks after broadcast at
CATALYST page at

Event: SAT.Nov. 22, 2pm to 4pm: CRASH COURSE ON THE CRASH with KAREN
REDLEAF and a panel of impacted communities. WALKER CHURCH, 3104 16th
Ave,S,m Minneapolis FREE

--------10 of 17--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Porn/Jensen 11.21 3:30pm

November 21: Anne Pederson Women's Resource Center Feminist Friday Film:
"The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality, and Relationships." The
showing of the film will be accompanied by specials guests, Robert Jensen,
anti-pornography and anti-prostitution activist and writer, and Renegade
Evolution, sex worker, sex workers' rights activist, and blogger.
Discussion with special guests will follow the film. 3:30-5:30 PM at
Augsburg College in Science 123.

--------11 of 17--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Torture school 11.21

Vigil: Close the School of the Americas

November 21 to 23 Fort Benning, Georgia. Join torture survivors, community
organizers, and social justice activists from across the Americas and
converge at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia, to start building the
world that we hope for. The annual November vigil to close the School of
the Americas is an opportunity for the progressive movement to push for
the closure of the (SOA/WHINSEC) and to set an agenda for a new direction
in U.S. foreign policy. Endorsed by: WAMM. FFI: Visit <>.

--------12 of 17--------

Obama and Lieberman: Two of a Kind
by Margaret Kimberley
November 19th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Connecticut's Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman is an unrepentant
proponent of United States government terror. He was enthusiastically in
favor of the occupation of Iraq, advocating for war even before George W.
Bush became president. Lieberman is the most vocal cheer leader for war
against Iran, telling shameful lies about that nation in hopes of seeing
the United States and Israel carry out a military attack. He is openly
contemptuous of the rest of the Democratic Party, literally kissing Bush
on the lips at the 2006 State of the Union address.

Whatever else may be said about him, Lieberman is not stupid. When he
embarked on his plan to endorse John McCain, and disparage Barack Obama,
his party's nominee, he did so believing that he would not pay a price for
his actions. So great was Lieberman's confidence in his untouchability,
that McCain considered choosing him as a running mate instead of Sarah

Despite giving aid and comfort to the Republican party, Lieberman will
remain a member of the Democrat Senate caucus that doesn't even need his
votes any more. There will be at least 57 Democratic Senators, more than
enough to move any agenda that its members are willing to support. Barack
Obama, now de facto party chief, gave the signal that Lieberman be spared
the punishment he deserves.

Not only would Democrats be right to toss Lieberman out of their caucus,
but his position as Chairman of the Homeland Security committee should
also come to an end. The neo-con Democrat hung on to his seat in 2006
after losing a primary and running as an independent. He emerged
victorious only because he lied to Connecticut's voters. He lied about
wanting to end the Iraq occupation and he lied when he said he would
investigate Bush administration handling of the response to hurricane

Lieberman wasted no time in returning to form after he won re-election. He
declared that investigating Katrina would be "a waste of Congress' time".
When even Republicans ran from openly pro-war stances, Lieberman insisted
that victory in Iraq was just around the corner. Like any wrong doer who
goes unpunished, Lieberman's behavior grew more brazen over time. He
endorsed John McCain and spoke on his behalf at the republican convention.

"Lieberman's behavior grew more brazen over time".

Obama's victory should have been the nail in Lieberman's coffin. Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid has the authority to immediately strip
Lieberman of his committee chairmanship. Instead of doing what he has the
power to do on his own, he told an outright lie, "Joe Lieberman is not
some right-wing nutcase, Joe Lieberman is one of the most progressive
people ever to come from the state of Connecticut". After saying those
words with a straight face, he punted to the rest of the Democrats in the

A secret ballot vote will determine Lieberman's fate as the Homeland
Security Chairman. Only two Democrats, Vermonters Bernie Sanders and
Patrick Leahy, have publicly stated that they will vote to oust Lieberman.
The few who will speak publicly are all suffering from weak spine disease.
They concede that Joe did the party wrong, but are unwilling to act
against him. If Reid will not do the right thing, his colleagues are
unlikely to as well.

It is amusing to watch "progressives" express shock and horror at the
sight of Lieberman's victory over Barack Obama and the rest of the
Democrats. They rant and rail against the perfidy of their leaders and
wonder why Obama lets Lieberman off the hook so easily.

As always, the explanation for seemingly irrational behavior is quite
obvious. Lieberman's supporters have the deepest pockets of all Democratic
party supporters. Simply put, there is money behind Lieberman, lots of

Barack Obama knows this better than anyone. When he entered the Senate as
a freshman in 2005 he chose Joseph Lieberman as his mentor. The following
year Obama endorsed Lieberman when he faced his primary challenge. It
seemed incongruous for a politician thought of as a progressive to support
the most conservative Democrat in the Senate.

"There is money behind Lieberman, lots of money".

How better to make the case with wealthy Democratic neo-cons than to cozy
up to Holy Joe? Anyone serious about becoming president must have their
support and the Lieberman stamp of approval surely gave Obama entre to
sources of funding he would not have had otherwise.

The two men are equally cynical. Obama got over any hurt feelings he may
have had when he remembered how Lieberman helped him amass the biggest
campaign treasury of all time. If he acts against him now, he risks the
wrath of the same check bundlers he, Reid and the rest of the party still

Lieberman's motives are simple. He believes in America's war of terror,
and in the "special relationship" with Israel. He wanted to make sure that
the confident black man didn't forget who was boss. If McCain won,
Lieberman would be in the catbird seat. If McCain lost, he was still in
the catbird seat with the full knowledge that the Democrats would be
afraid to touch him.

No need to ask why Lieberman is still sitting pretty. If Obama won't touch
him, and Reid won't touch him, then his gambit will likely pay off. Their
mutual cynicism got both men what they wanted. They will now live happily
ever after.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms.
Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached at:
Margaret.Kimberley [at] BlackAgendaReport.Com.

--------13 of 17--------

Triumph of the Money Party
Joe Lieberman & the Collective Amnesia
by Michael Collins
November 19th, 2008
Dissident Voice

The full exoneration of a clear traitor to the Democratic Party predicts
how Congress will treat the dire challenges facing the country.

There will be little is no opposition to the arranged marriage between
corporate and government interests.

There will be no remedies for the problems that were created as a result
of this arrangement.

There will be no accountability for the crimes committed over the past
eight years. The looting of the United States Treasury will continue.

And the projection of power in behalf of corporate interests will continue
when needed, unopposed, without regard to the well being of the nation as
a whole or the interests of citizens. The Senate cave-in is a paradigm for
past behavior by corporatist Democrats in both houses of Congress.

Lieberman's retention of his committee chairmanship and caucus membership
is all the proof we need that a majority of the Senate Democratic Caucus
finds nothing objectionable to a member actively campaigning for the
Republican nominee for president, live and in person. It doesn't matter
that Lieberman dismissed the Democratic nominee's qualifications to be
president. Could they be any more obvious?

Lieberman spoke in support of Senator McCain's candidacy in prime time at
the Republican convention. He derided the importance of parties by saying,

"But when they (citizens) look to Washington, all too often they don't see
their leaders coming together to tackle these problems. Instead, they see
Democrats and Republicans fighting each other, rather than fighting for
the American people".

This description of party conflict is a total lie as Lieberman well knows.
The tyrant Bush got nearly everything he asked for from Congress without
any noticeable opposition, even after the Democrats assumed the majority
in 2006.

Lieberman went on to remind the assembled that George Washington had
warned of the dangers of political parties. Then he told the audience,
"Well, I'll tell you what: I'm here to support John McCain because country
matters more than party". By implication, he argued that President-elect
Obama did not put country before party.

What country is Lieberman talking about?

Is it the country that saw nearly a trillion dollars (and counting) given
away to corporate failures on Wall Street while millions lose their homes?

Is it the country that was tricked into supporting an invasion of Iraq to
catch someone in Afghanistan? Wasn't this the invasion that precipitated
events resulting in the death of 1.2 million Iraqi civilians, caused tens
of thousands of deaths and injuries to U.S. soldiers, and began the road
to bankruptcy?

Is it the country that was attacked on 9/11 that never saw a real
investigation other than the one choreographed by Condoleezza Rice's
former collaborator.

It is certainly the country in which the majority of citizens have little
say while their government is looted by the corporate elite represented by
Lieberman and those who endorse him.

He does well by his friends. When the Enron scandal broke and tens of
thousands lost billions in that pyramid scheme, Lieberman's Senate
committee was in charge of investigating. But as The New York Times
pointed out, Lieberman:

"[R]eceived $25,000 from Enron. Critics have also pointed out that
Citigroup, Enron's largest lender, is Mr. Lieberman's top donor, giving
his campaigns $112,000 since 1997, campaign records show. A longtime
Republican strategist put it this way, "Lieberman'.s problem is simple -
Enron's biggest creditor is his campaign's biggest contributor". (Jan. 2,

Lieberman delivered. There was no serious investigation of Enron by the
Senate. The people were without an advocate. All we got was a wink and a
nod paving the way for the latest corporate thefts. This is the best clue
to Lieberman's morality and philosophy, the same morality and philosophy
endorsed by the Democrats who welcomed him back to their "party" with open

He does put one country first, corporate America. His record is riddled
with this sort of self serving deals that benefit of those who pay his
campaign bills and employ his ex staffers.

How serious can those 42 Senate Democrats be? Quite serious, actually.
Most of them are guilty of the same betrayals that Lieberman committed.
They're just a bit less obvious than the low key male hysteric that they
find so irresistible.

They are the hollow men and women who act as though political parties mean

They are the political zombies with feigned amnesia allowing them to
forget the crimes of the past eight years, crimes to which they've been a

They represent the triumph of The Money Party:

"It is not about Republicans versus Democrats. Right now, the Republicans
do a better job taking money than the Democrats. But The Money Party is an
equal opportunity employer. They have no permanent friends or enemies,
just permanent interests. Democrats are as welcome as Republicans to this
party. It's all good when you're on the take and the take is legal".

Michael Collins writes for Scoop Independent News and a variety of other
web publications on election fraud and other corruptions of the new
millennium. He is one of few to report on the ongoing struggles of Susan
Lindauer, an activist accused of being a foreign agent, who was the
subject of a government request for forced psychiatric medication. This
article may be reproduced in whole or in part with attribution of
authorship, a link to this article, and acknowledgment of images.

--------14 of 17--------

Rahm Emanuel's Political Pirouettes
by John R. MacArthur
Published on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 by The Providence Journal
Common Dreams

God help me, but I had to laugh when I heard the news that Barack Obama
had named Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. What else could I
do? Without even so much as a symbolic gesture in support of reform, the
great agent of "change" immediately selected as his chief political
enforcer a figure who epitomizes the Washington consensus of the past two
decades - pro-"free trade," pro-Iraq invasion/occupation and, perhaps most
importantly, pro-pork barrel.

Which isn't to say that Emanuel does not possess great talents essential
to the success of an Obama administration. It just depends on how you
define success. If Emanuel's legendary aggressiveness were put to work in
the service of "good government," he might, indeed, do wonderful things.
But I somehow doubt that's what Obama has in mind for his friend from
Chicago as he embarks on his 2012 re-election campaign.

Like Obama, Rahm Emanuel was launched in politics by the Daley machine,
but he really made his name in the Clinton administration as one of three
principal White House lobbyists for the North American Free Trade
Agreement, in 1993. Working alongside Mayor Richard M. Daley's brother,
William, and then-U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, Emanuel
developed a reputation for having "a personality that killed plants on
contact," in the words of Margarita Roque, a former House staffer.

I can confirm Roque's assessment, since in my own interviews with Emanuel,
he outdid himself in ferocious candor. Asked to describe the effectiveness
and reliability of his pro-NAFTA allies at the Business Roundtable,
Emanuel was effusive in his praise of Allied Signal Chairman Larry Bossidy
and a few others at Boeing and IBM. But as for "the rest of business - not
worth a bucket of warm spit".

Ordinarily, I might appreciate such a remark, but Emanuel was only
expressing a certain type of politician's contempt for anyone who is not a
politician or their surrogate - for people insufficiently ruthless to "get
the job done," as Obama puts it. That Emanuel dared to say this during his
brief tenure as an investment banker only accentuates his sense of
superiority over the mere mortals who live outside the charmed triangle of
Capitol Hill/K Street/Democratic Party power.

To be sure, a President Obama needs a henchman  - but it's important to
know to what end. Like H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, Richard Nixon's chief of
staff, Emanuel will no doubt involve himself in many pressing matters of
state, from maintaining the status quo in the Mideast to deciding which
campaign contributor gets to be ambassador to Sri Lanka.

But in RahmObama world, it's the political tasks that always come first,
foremost among them rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. At
the top of a very urgent list of priorities will be thanking Mayor Daley
for his early endorsement of Obama during the primaries - preferably with
a goody guaranteed to create a lot of patronage jobs, such as bringing the
2016 Olympic games to the Windy City.

As a congressman and chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Emanuel has
reached deep into the pork barrel, and last year he defended an "earmark"
that permitted the rebuilding of a bridge in his district "that not only
was rated as deficient but also was identified by the Department of
Homeland Security as a major evacuation route in case of a terrorist
attack on Chicago". Posing a largely rhetorical question, Emanuel wrote:
"Does that make me an 'earmark thug' or a congressman who took care of a
critical need in his district?"

It's unclear what would motivate al-Qaida to target Illinois's 5th
Congressional District - why bother hitting Wrigley Field and the Cubs
when they're already doomed? - but what is clear is that Emanuel knows how
to game the system. What's more, like his tutor, Mayor Daley, he
understands the political value of "terrorism" to accomplish important
civic improvements. In 2003, Daley unilaterally tore up the runway of
Chicago's lakefront airport, Meigs Field, in the middle of the night, so
he could reclaim the land for a park. As justification, the mayor cited
the threat of terrorist attack (from the air), even though neither
Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge or his agency were ever consulted
and Ridge declared himself "disappointed" by the Meigs shutdown.

With all this, I can't deny feeling a kind of admiration for Emanuel. All
through the 2008 campaign, he performed a balancing act - never publicly
supporting Obama until Hillary Clinton dropped out - worthy of a
professional ballet dancer. In fact, Emanuel was a ballet student when he
was growing up in suburban Chicago, good enough to be offered a
scholarship by the Joffrey Ballet. As it happens, I spent a lot of time as
a kid at the studio where he trained, the Evanston School of Ballet,
watching my sister, a future professional, take class.

It would be easy to suggest that Emanuel's tough-guy behavior is a case of
overcompensation for having spent so much of his young life in what some
might view as a "feminine" milieu. I don't see it that way, even though I
resisted occasional recruiting attempts by the school's co-founder,
Phyllis Wills, for the usual "that's too sissy" reason.

Anybody familiar with the ballet world knows that the small number of
dancers who make a paying career of it are the equivalent of professional
athletes - every bit as accomplished as the best football, basketball and
track stars - and not sissies at all. In ballet, the self-discipline and
physical training required to "get the job done" are not for weaklings.

Thus, Obama may well have done himself a favor by picking a former ballet
man to run the White House.

We can only hope that if he does his grands battements in the Oval Office,
he doesn't accidentally kick over the red phone and start a war.

Published by The Providence Journal Co. John R. MacArthur, a monthly
contributor, is publisher of Harper's Magazine.

--------15 of 17--------

Fronting for Paramilitaries
Holder, Chiquita and Colombia
November 19, 2008

First the good news: We're two months away from President George W. Bush's
last full day in the White House. The countdown for the end of the
nightmare has begun in earnest.

Now the bad news: As Barack Obama puts together his cabinet and eyes a
slew of former Clinton officials for key staff positions, it is becoming
ever more apparent that all those calls for change coming from progressive
circles in the U.S. - and abroad - have fallen on deaf ears.

Most striking, at least for the time being, is the soon to be named
position of the top law enforcement official of the country. It looks like
the first African-American President will appoint the first
African-American attorney general in the coming days, something that on
the surface looks like an advance, but should actually sound alarm bells
for anybody seeking true change in the way things are done in Washington,
especially when it comes to bringing corporate criminals to justice.

Although no final decision has been made, the New York Times reports that
the President-elect's transition team has signaled to Eric H. Holder Jr.,
a senior Clinton Justice Department official, that he will be selected as
the next attorney general. Holder helped lead the team that selected Sen.
Joe Biden as Obama's VP choice.

Most news accounts about the pending appointment seem to be limiting their
criticism of Holder to one of his final acts as President Bill Clinton's
deputy attorney general in 2001. At the time, on the last day of Clinton's
term, Holder apparently said he was "neutral, leaning toward favorable"
for a presidential pardon for Marc Rich, the wealthy commodities dealer
whose ex-wife, Denise, was a major donor to the Democratic Party.
Clinton's pardon of the tax-evading Rich was criticized as politically
motivated, leading to a congressional investigation over the matter.

What is not being discussed too much, and was not even mentioned in
today's New York Times report, is Holder's key role in defending Chiquita
Brands International in a notorious case relating to the company's
funneling money and weapons to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia,
AUC, the right-wing paramilitary organization on the U.S. State
Department's own list of terrorist organizations.

In 2003, an Organization of American States report showed that Chiquita's
subsidiary in Colombia, Banadex, had helped divert weapons and ammunition,
including thousands of AK-47s, from Nicaraguan government stocks to the
AUC. The AUC - very often in collaboration with units of the U.S.-trained
Armed Forces - is responsible for hundreds of massacres of primarily
peasants throughout the Colombian countryside, including in the
banana-growing region of Urab, where it is believed that at least 4,000
people were killed. Their systematic use of violence resulted in the
forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of poor Colombians, a
disproportionate amount of those people being black or indigenous.

In 2004, Holder helped negotiate an agreement with the Justice Department
for Chiquita that involved the fruit company's payment of "protection
money" to the AUC, in direct violation of U.S. laws prohibiting this kind
of transaction. In the agreement brokered by Holder, Chiquita officials
pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a fine of $25 million, to be paid over a
5-year period. However, not one Chiquita official involved in the illegal
transactions was forced to serve time for a crime that others have paid
dearly for, mainly because they did not have the kind of legal backing
that Holder's team provided. Holder continues to represent Chiquita in the
civil action, which grew out of this criminal case.

One of the arguments in defense of Chiquita's criminal acts was that the
company was being strong-armed by thugs in Colombia, and that it either
had to make the payments, or close up shop in the country, which would
have resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars in profits.
Chiquita officials even disclosed to the Justice Department that they were
making the illegal payments to the AUC, to see what could be done.

As the Washington Post reported back in 2007, Federal prosecutors had said
in court papers that Justice Department officials made clear in April 2003
that Chiquita was clearly violating the law and that "the payments . . .
could not continue."1 The Post reported "lawyers at Justice headquarters
and the U.S. attorney's office in Washington were incensed by what they
considered the flagrant continuation of these payoffs, despite the
warnings." At the time, Holder said he was concerned that company leaders
who disclosed the corporation's illegal activity to prosecutors were
facing the possibility of prosecution.

"If what you want to encourage is voluntary self-disclosure, what message
does this send to other companies?" asked Holder, deputy attorney general
in the Clinton administration. "Here's a company that voluntarily
self-discloses in a national security context, where the company gets
treated pretty harshly, [and] then on top of that, you go after
individuals who made a really painful decision."2

So in Holder's view, we should feel sympathy for these poor corporate
executives, whose identities were kept confidential, and who were forced
to make "very painful decisions" about opening up to their own
criminality. Never mind that this company was complicit in the
above-mentioned human tragedy waged by the AUC. The many victims of this
paramilitary terror did not even cross the mind of the well-connected
defense attorney now being considered for the Attorney General job.

Yet the opposition to Holder's nomination to the top position at Justice
should not stop with this sordid history, one that perhaps can be excused
as the obligation of a lawyer to defend his or her client regardless of
the alleged crime. The disappointment in Obama's pick for AG should stem
from the President-elect's strong words during the campaign in defense of
human rights, particularly for those of workers in Colombia. On several
occasions, including in the last presidential debate held at Hofstra
University just three weeks before the election, the Democratic Candidate
said he opposed the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement precisely on the
grounds of the human rights violations carried out consistently against
trade unionists in Colombia, and the ongoing impunity that has followed in
most of those crimes.

This is directly connected to the Holder nomination because currently,
there is a lawsuit underway from the families of 173 banana workers, who
were killed by one of these paramilitary groups in Colombia. These family
members do not buy into the argument, made by people like Holder and his
Chiquita clients, that the company was forced to make these illegal
payments to the AUC. Their claim is that Chiquita Brands International
deliberately hired these armed thugs specifically to repress the rights of
these workers, a tool used by other major multinationals operating in
Colombian hot spots, including Coca Cola, BP, and the Drummond

As Dan Kovalik recently wrote in the Huffington Post, the major concern
that emerges with a Justice Department led by Holder is that none of these
allegations will ever be fully investigated. Kovalik points to the Human
Rights Watch report entitled, "Breaking the Grip? Obstacles to Justice for
Paramilitary Mafias in Colombia," where the organization recommends that,

"in order to assist with the process of ending the ties between the
Colombian government and paramilitary death squads, the U.S. Department of
Justice should, among other things, "[c]reate meaningful legal incentives
for paramilitary leaders [a number of whom have already been extradited to
the U.S.] to fully disclose information about atrocities and name all
Colombian or foreign officials, business or individuals who may have
facilitated their criminal activities," and "[c]ollaborate actively with
the efforts of Colombian justice officials who are investigating
paramilitary networks in Colombia by sharing relevant information possible
and granting them access to paramilitary leaders in U.S. custody."3

Will this recommendation be carried out by a Justice Department led by the
man who defended one of the most visible protagonists in these crimes? If
the Obama Administration is seriously concerned about impunity and human
rights in Colombia, Holder should probably step out of the way

Furthermore, and as Kovalik pointed out in his Huffington Post commentary,
one of the most notorious paramilitary leaders currently in U.S. federal
custody, Salvatore Mancuso, claims that he has extensive knowledge, not
only about Chiquita's relationship with paramilitary death squads in
Colombia, but with other major firms such as Dole and Del Monte. None of
these firms are even on the radar screen of the Justice Department, and
the question is whether or not they will be should Holder be appointed the
next Attorney General. My assumption is that it is not a priority for
Obama, certainly not for Holder.

The calls for change in Washington's relationship with Latin America are
coming from both within the United States and throughout the continent.
There was no doubt that here in Colombia, people were relieved to hear of
Barack Obama's historic victory on November 4th. Given his public
denunciations of the murders of hundreds of union leaders in Colombia, and
his interesting life story which points to at least somewhat of a distinct
international perspective, it was not surprising to hear car horns go off
in the streets of some towns when he was declared the winner on election

But it now seems like business as usual in Washington, where corporate
criminality is not a major priority, and justice is only an empty promise
made on the backs of the victims of these crimes, directed mainly at
gullible voters before elections.

We cannot let this happen.

1 The Washington Post, "In Terrorism-Law Case, Chiquita Points to U.S.,"
by Carol D. Leonnig, Thursday, August 2, 2007; Page A01.

2 Ibid.


Mario A. Murillo is associate professor of Communication at Hofstra
University in New York and author of Colombia and the United states: War,
Unrest and Destabilization. He is currently living in Colombia working on
a book about the indigenous movement and its uses of communications media.
He can be reached through his website.

--------16 of 17--------

Policing & the National Security State: Repressing Dissent at the
Republican National Convention
by Tom Burghardt
November 19th, 2008
Dissident Voice

With "preemptive policing" all the rage in Washington, the whistleblowing
website Wikileaks has done it again, exposing how repressive trends in the
U.S. had real world consequences for democracy during September's
Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On November 15, the global whistleblowers published a leaked planning
document "Special Event Planning: 2008 Republican National Convention," a
dense schematic used by repressors who targeted activists, journalists and
concerned citizens during the far-right conclave.

Labeled "Limited Distribution/For Official Use Only," Wikileaks believes
that the dossier is "potentially legally significant due to upcoming legal
cases over the mass arrests at the convention".

Compiled by Terri Smith (terri.smith [at] the Branch Director for
Response, Recovery and Mitigation at the Minnesota Homeland Security and
Emergency Management agency (HSEM), the 31-page file offers a veritable
bird's-eye view onto the close coordination amongst federal, state and
local law enforcement agencies, including the Pentagon.s U.S. Northern
Command (NORTHCOM) during a so-called National Special Security Event

The enabling authority for squelching dissent during NSSEs is partially
derived from the 2006 National Security Presidential Directive-46/Homeland
Security Presidential Directive-15 (NSPD-46/HSPD-15), a top secret dictate
from President Bush.

According to a statement by Roger Rufe, Director of the Office of
Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) at the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS), before the House Homeland Security Committee on July 9,
2008, NSSEs "are significant domestic or international events,
occurrences, contests, activities, or meetings, which, by virtue of their
profile or status, represent a significant target, and therefore warrant
additional preparation, planning, and mitigation efforts. The designation
process for NSSEs is established by NSPD-46/HSPD-15, Annex II and HSPD-7".

Rufe goes on to describe the "mission" of an NSSE Special Event Working
Group (SEWG) as one which will

"support a unified interagency planning and coordination effort for
Special Events and to ensure coordination of Federal support to the
designated event. The SEWG identifies events that may require a
coordinated Federal response and collectively coordinates Federal assets
to bridge any capability gaps identified by state and local partners that
have not already been addressed by exhausting local mutual assistance
agreements. Within this process, the mission of OPS is to act on behalf of
the Secretary and his HSPD-5 responsibilities to integrate DHS and
interagency planning and coordinate operations for designated Special
Events in order to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from terrorist
threats/attacks". (Roger Rufe, "Statement," House Homeland Security
Committee, July 8, 2008, pp. 1-2)

Several elements comprise the SEWG: five senior managers from DHS. OPS,
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI), the United States Secret Service (USSS), and the DHS
Office of Risk Management & Analysis (RMA) and, as revealed in the
Wikileaks document, representatives from the Pentagon.s U.S. Northern

During the RNC, the "lead federal agencies" heading up repressive
operations were the USSS, FBI and FEMA. On Saturday, August 30, 2008, the
Ramsey County Sheriff's Department executed search warrants on three
houses. According to the Friends of the RNC 8, the police seized personal
items and arrested eight RNC Welcoming Committee organizers, charging them
with "conspiracy to riot in the 2nd degree in the furtherance of
terrorism," a felony which may land these activists in prison for many
years under provisions of Minnesota's PATRIOT Act.

During the RNC, operations were coordinated by the Multi-Agency
Communications Center (MACC), described in the Wikileaks file as "a
centralized communications and coordination center operated 24 hours a day
during the NSSE".

In St. Paul, the MACC was "staffed by representatives from all
participating operational security entities, local government operations,
and public and private institutions who are responsible for the critical
infrastructures of power, gas and telecommunications".

MACC's "Work Product," according to the document (p. 14), will provide:
"Timely dissemination of information to all entities participating in
operational security, crisis management, and consequence management.
Provide the Common Operational Picture to support decision-making and
command and control activities," and "serve as the centralized
coordination center for security-related activities".

Described as "the coordination point where these resources could be used
for a crisis or consequence outside of the NSSE," the MACC was the
organizational hub and speartip where federal, state, local law
enforcement and "private institutions" interacted "at any time during the
event to utilize the event's public safety resources to assure that the
normal delivery of public safety responses from their agency were

A perusal of the "MACC Seating Chart" (p. 16) affords additional insight
into the resources brought to bear against journalists covering the RNC
and citizens protesting the crimes of the Republican party and their
Bushist minions.

The first tier is comprised of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD),
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN DOT), Minnesota State Police
(MSP), Hennepin County, Ramsey County, St. Paul Police Department (SPPD),
USSS and the FBI.

The second tier, in addition to representatives from the Minneapolis and
St. Paul Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Service personnel, are
staffed by three representatives from NORTHCOM. Additional NORTHCOM
"seats" appear on the "third tier" of the HSEM chart, along with proxies
from the Minnesota National Guard's Joint Task Force (JTF-MN), FEMA, USSS
and the FBI.

MACC's fourth tier was staffed by a host of federal law enforcement
entities including officers from the ultra-spooky National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As I have documented in several
articles, most recently on November 9, NGA provides mapping tools and
imagery intelligence (IMINT) derived from America's fleet of military spy
satellites "flown" by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). In other
words during the RNC, America's spymasters were providing satellite
intelligence to federal, state, and local law enforcement, some of which
quite possibly, were used to target the homes of activists and media
workers or coordinate attacks on demonstrations.

While there is no indication in the MACC "seating chart" that the National
Security Agency (NSA) was directly involved in providing "lead federal
agencies" with signals intelligence (SIGINT), the fifth tier reveals that
U.S. telecoms, all of whom are NSA private partners in warrantless
wiretapping and driftnet data-mining were "present and accounted for"
during the RNC.

Indeed, prominent places "at the table" were filled by Verizon
Communications, Verizon Wireless, QWEST, Sprint and AT&T. Attorneys
involved in defending the RNC 8 and other protesters "preemptively"
arrested, would be well-advised to subpoena these company's records and
determine whether or not corporate telecoms handed SIGINT over to federal,
state and local repressors.

The Wikileaks dossier also reveals that Saint Paul Operations Center
Command Posts were staffed by an entity labeled "other federal". Here one
finds the FBI's Joint Operations Center (JOC) and the Bureau's
Intelligence Operations Center (IOC).

Both entities have been linked during NSSEs and the surreptitious
surveillance of Americans to privacy-killing FBI "packet sniffing"
operations formally called Carnivore (DCS-1000). Now called Red Hook or
DCS-3000, software installed on America's telephone, internet and wireless
infrastructure can monitor all of a target's internet, wireless and text
messaging traffic. Digital Storm, or DCS-6000, captures and collects the
content of phone calls and text messages, while Magic Lantern is a
keystroke surveillance tool that can be installed remotely via viral
e-mail attachments. Wired reported in 2007, that Magic Lantern is a
"computer and internet protocol address verifier or CIPAV," one that

"gathers a wide range of information, including the computer's IP address;
MAC address; open ports; a list of running programs; the operating system
type, version and serial number; preferred internet browser and version;
the computer's registered owner and registered company name; the current
logged-in user name and the last-visited URL.

The CIPAV then settles into a silent "pen register" mode, in which it
lurks on the target computer and monitors its internet use, logging the IP
address of every computer to which the machine connects for up to 60 days.
(Kevin Poulsen, "FBI's Secret Spyware Tracks Down Teen Who Made Bomb
Threats," Wired, July 18, 2007)

According to documents released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2007, the Minneapolis
Field Office was one of 57 sites for the Bureau's collection of "post-cut
through dialed digit information". Technological heavy-lifting originated
from the FBI's Science & Technology Law Unit, Engineering Research
Facility located in Quantico, Virginia.

As security expert, whistleblower and CEO of Bat Blue Corporation Babak
Pasdar disclosed in a sworn affidavit to the Government Accountability
Office (GAO) back in February, Verizon Communications allowed the Bureau
and other security agencies virtually "unfettered" access to the carrier's
wireless network via the FBI's so-called "Quantico circuit".

Collectively, these highly-intrusive (and patently illegal) FBI programs
are called DCSNet, an acronym for Digital Collection System Network. As
Wired revealed in 2007, DCSNet "connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches
controlled by traditional land-line operators, internet-telephony
providers and cellular companies. It is is far more intricately woven into
the nation's telecom infrastructure than observers suspected".

The profound interconnections amongst federal security agencies such as
the FBI and the nation's private telecoms acting in concert with
securocrats is but one indicator of the breadth and scope of America's
high-tech corporatist police state. Wired reports,

The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set
up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and
immediately learn the phone's location, then begin receiving
conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York. With a
few keystrokes, the agent can route the recordings to language specialists
for translation.

The numbers dialed are automatically sent to FBI analysts trained to
interpret phone-call patterns, and are transferred nightly, by external
storage devices, to the bureau's Telephone Application Database, where
they're subjected to a type of data mining called link analysis.

FBI endpoints on DCSNet have swelled over the years, from 20 "central
monitoring plants" at the program's inception, to 57 in 2005, according to
undated pages in the released documents. By 2002, those endpoints
connected to more than 350 switches. (Ryan Singel, "Point, Click -
Eavesdrop: How the FBI Wiretap Net Operates," Wired, August 29, 2007)

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed that the FBI
no longer feels compelled to obtain judicial oversight or even the consent
of cell phone operators when deploying base station-faking technology that
it employs for the illegal geolocation of mobile users.

Known as Triggerfish, documents obtained by the ACLU in a Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department, detail how the
technology pretends to be a cellular base station to which handsets
connect and identify themselves. By claiming to have "lost" the unique
identifier of a targeted mobile phone, Triggerfish then "asks" the phone
to resend its unique details.

It had been assumed that a warrant was necessary before the Bureau could
begin tracking an individual's cell phone. However, as the ACLU clearly
reveals in the documents, under provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the FBI
has been able to obtain dodgy pen-trap orders from all-too-compliant
judges on the FISA court. During the RNC, these signals were probably
routed via Triggerfish to the JOC/IOC: game over for "Text Mob" protest

When federal, state and local law enforcement entities raided the homes of
activists and media workers in St. Paul, the Bureau knew which activists
and which computers, cell phones and other electronic devices to
preemptively seize.

On August 30, 2008, the FBI were joined by some 30 St. Paul police armed
with tasers, pepper spray and automatic weapons when they surrounded the
house where I-Witness Video and Democracy Now! journalist Elizabeth Press
were meeting.

People inside were forcibly detained and photographed, while police made a
record of the journalists. names and addresses. A warrant was served,
covering all the journalist's equipment, including privileged notes,
computers, cameras, video tapes and communications equipment.

Five other members of I-Witness Video who were not present during the home
invasion were detained for more than three hours, preventing them from
documenting three other simultaneous raids in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Additionally, members of the Glass Bead Collective were also illegally
detained and had their notes and equipment confiscated by the Minneapolis

The Wikileaks document also reveals that the Defense Department's Joint
Task Force Minnesota (JTF-MN) was a key player in the St. Paul Command
Operations Center. Indeed, Major Jon Dotterer, the Operations Officer
attached to JTF-MN documented in a Power Point presentation, "As many of
you may have scene [sic] on the news the MN National Guard was used in
support of the St Paul Police Department at the Republican National
Convention. Our QRF [Quick Reaction Force] was used to give the local
police forces the flexibility and freedom to use their assets at other
critical points of interest".

Dotterer's briefing details how JTF-MN "coordinates with civil
authorities," primarily HSEM, and "provides [a] response element" and
"activates for [a] major contingency". What Dotterer doesn't reveal is
that JTF-MN is also an active component of U.S. Northern Command.

To conclude, the Wikileaks document provides new and startling information
how federal, state and local law enforcement entities acting in concert
with corporatist "private partners" during September's Republican National
Convention, conspired to deny American's their right to peacefully protest
against the far-right Republican party.

With resources drawn from the FBI, USSS, DHS, NGA, FEMA and NORTHCOM, the
repressive capitalist state coordinated its response to oppositional
currents in the U.S. by launching preemptive attacks on RNC protest
organizers and journalists.

Fully in step with the "countersubversive" mind-set underpinning the
Bushist "war on terror," one that equates dissent with terrorism, recourse
to preemptive policing by our corporatist masters is indicative of the
precarious state of a system facing total crisis as it stares into an
abyss of its creation.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay
Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage
and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military
"Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.

--------17 of 17--------

 have just found that "change" really
 means "no change no way"


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