Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Is It An Inflamed Society Or A World Going Up In Flames; And Of Course: “Who’s To Blame?”

Is It An Inflamed Society Or A World Going Up In Flames; And Of Course: “Who’s To Blame?”

Justice Robert Jackson, who served as the chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials while on leave from the U.S. Supreme Court, said "If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, they are crimes whether the United States does them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct against others which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."   

One of the key outcomes of the Nuremberg trials was that people who commit war crimes or crimes against humanity will be held accountable even if they were following orders.   This is known as Nuremberg Principle IV which states: "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him." The Nuremberg principles were enshrined in a series of treaties.

How do the Nuremberg Principles and other laws of war apply to Bradley Manning?

What is a person who does not want to participate in war crimes or hiding war crimes supposed to do when he sees evidence of them? If Manning hid the evidence would he not be complicit in the crimes he was covering up and potentially liable as a co-conspirator? These were questions that Bradley Manning allegedly wrestled with.   According to unverified chat logs Manning, talking with Adrian Lamo on email, asks: "Hypothetical question, if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time" say, 8-9 months" and you saw incredible things, awful things" things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC" what would you do?"

Assange To Face Full Extradition Hearing On Feb 7-8

LONDON - SWEDEN'S attempt to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for questioning on sexual assault allegations will be examined by a London court on February 7-8, a judge said on Tuesday. 

District Judge Nicholas Evans set the date for the full extradition hearing during a 10-minute hearing at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London.
Watched by dozens of journalists from around the world, the 39-year-old Australian spoke only to confirm his name and address. 

The extradition hearing will take place in the same court, which can accommodate more journalists than the smaller court in central London where Assange has appeared previously. 

After the hearing, Assange told journalists: 'We are happy about today's outcome.' He added: 'Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated.' The judge agreed to change Assange's bail conditions for the full hearing, allowing him to stay at the Frontline Club, a media club where WikiLeaks operates in Britain, on the nights of Feb 6 and Feb 7. 

'The only variation in your bail is that on the nights of Feb 6 and Feb 7 you will be allowed to reside at the Frontline Club in London,' the judge said. – AFP

Wikileaks 'Cannot Survive' Further Losses: Assange

PARIS - WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange said the besieged whistleblower website 'cannot survive' if it continues to haemorrhage money, in an interview broadcast in France on Tuesday.

Assange, who has enraged the United States by leaking US diplomatic cables that embarrassed world leaders, has said his site has been losing almost half a million euros (S$844,000) a week since those leaks began.

'We cannot survive the way things are going,' he told the French radio station Europe 1, complaining that the organization's ability to garner online donations has been blocked.

But he vowed Wikileaks would fight back. In a separate interview with France Info radio, he said Wikileaks aimed to continue leaking documents.
Assange was speaking from Britain, where he is on bail facing possible extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual assault.
The Wikileaks website was blocked after it began leaking its flood of cables, but soon sprang up again in various countries. – AFP

Death Penalty Fears For Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said today they fear he could face execution in the United States if he is extradited to Sweden.
The 39-year-old whistleblower is wanted by the Swedish authorities over claims that he sexually assaulted two women during a visit to Stockholm in August. 

But his defense team believe there is a "real risk" he could be extradited on to the US, where he could be detained in Guantanamo Bay or even face the death penalty.

The claim emerged in a skeleton argument released by Assange's lawyers in the wake of a preparatory legal hearing at Woolwich Crown Court.

Assange's legal team suggested that extraditing him to Sweden could breach Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which bans torture.

They wrote: "It is submitted that there is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, in conditions which would breach Article 3 of the ECHR.

"Indeed, if Mr Assange were rendered to the USA without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty."

Posted on the website of Assange's British solicitor, Mark Stephens, the legal documents attack the case for extradition by the Swedish authorities.
His legal team said the case is built on an "improper purpose" because the European Arrest Warrant appears to have been created to only question Assange, not necessarily prosecute him. 

They added that "mere suspicion" should not create a request for extradition, adding: "A person's extradition should not be sought merely in order for him to be questioned." 

Solicitors also questioned whether Gothenburg prosecutor Marianne Ny is able to issue an arrest warrant and said the Swedish authorities should arrange for him to be questioned in Britain. 

The skeleton argument focused on the claims of one of the alleged victims, including a text message in which the woman alleged she was "half asleep" at the time of the claimed assault. 

Assange's solicitors complained they have not been given a copy of this message and claimed the Swedish authorities have inflated the allegation to suggest she was "fully asleep". 

They said it was done "in order to support the making of a rape allegation" adding that: "This would in itself constitute prosecutorial abuse." 

The paperwork goes on to attack Swedish prosecutors for failing to disclose other text messages between the two women which "speaks of revenge and of the opportunity to make lots of money". 

The legal papers, drawn up by Geoffrey Robertson QC, claimed the Australian has been the victim of "illegal" or "corrupt" behaviour by the Swedish authorities. 

Mr Robertson said his client's name was illegally leaked to the press, resulting in his "vilification throughout the world". 

He also accused the Swedes of undertaking a "secret process" to restart the rape case after it was dropped by a prosecutor in Stockholm. 

The legal document said Assange believes the extradition request has been issued to punish him for his political opinions. 

Mr Robertson said there is a "real risk" that if brought to Sweden he could be extradited or illegally rendered to the United States. 

The barrister said he could be imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay where he may be poorly treated and even executed. 

He wrote: "Indeed, if Mr Assange were rendered to the USA, without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty. 

"It is well-known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr Assange should be executed." 

Mr Robertson noted how one of the alleged victims wrote a blog which several months prior to the allegations set out a seven-stage plan for revenge against an ex-lover. 

The "steps" included apparent advice or plans on how to cause misery to a former partner, including sending letters and photographs to him to make it look as if the relationship continues. 

Quoted in the document, the blog apparently encourages others to "use your imagination" and to "get to work". 

It added: "And remember what your goals are while you are operating, ensure that your victim will suffer the same way as he made you suffer." 

Mr Robertson said: "Clearly these text messages and extracts from blogs significantly undermine not only the prosecution's case but the request for his extradition. 

"Yet they have not been disclosed to Mr Assange or his legal team."
Earlier, Assange said his work will "continue unabated" as the extradition battle rages on and he will step up publication of more than 250,000 leaked diplomatic cables. 

He vowed that the disclosures, dubbed "Cablegate", will continue in newspapers around the world after the full extradition two-day hearing was set for February 7. 

Speaking in front of hundreds of cameramen and reporters, Assange said he was "happy" with the outcome of the 10-minute hearing.
He said: "Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated and we are stepping up our publication of materials relating to Cablegate and other materials.
"This will shortly be occurring through our newspaper partners around the world, big and small newspapers and human rights organization."
Assange, who spoke in court only to confirm his personal details before listening intently, was released on conditional bail by District Judge Nicholas Evans.
He got up at 3am to travel to court from his bail address, a large manor house owned his friend Vaughan Smith on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. 

The judge granted an application for Assange to be allowed to stay at the Frontline Club, in Paddington, London, founded by Mr Smith, on the nights before the next hearing. 

But he said people who have contributed to the £240,000 bail deposit for Assange must submit written confirmation that they agree with the arrangement. 

Assange denies committing any offenses and his supporters claim the criminal inquiry and extradition request is unfair and politically motivated.
He recently signed a book deal for his life story as the US authorities stepped up their pressure on WikiLeaks by demanding information from Twitter. 

The hearing took place at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court, sitting at Woolwich Crown Court, where a small group of supporters gathered nearby. 

The high security court has been the scene for a string of terrorism trials including the airline bomb plotters and London Glasgow suicide bomber.
Supporters of Assange including human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger, socialite Jemima Khan and Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, attended the hearing.

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right

To:       Palin-lovers, Fox "News," the "mainstream" media, and the Far Right, et al.
From: William Rivers Pitt
Date:   Monday 10 January 2011
Re:       The blood on your hands
Dear “Patriots,”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn't much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a "former Republican," and is today considered a "Blue Dog" Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.

Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party's recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.
And then all Hell broke loose.

A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords' skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords' director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married.

U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords' constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.

At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.

I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.

Yes, you.

You false patriots who bring assault rifles to political rallies, you hack politicians and media personalities who lied through your stinking teeth about "death panels" and "Obama is coming for your guns" and "He isn't a citizen" and "He's a secret Muslim" and "Sharia Law is coming to America," you who spread this bastard gospel and you who swallowed it whole, I am talking to you, because this was your doing just as surely as it was the doing of the deranged damned soul who pulled the trigger.  The poison you injected into our culture is deeply culpable for this carnage.

You who worship Jesus at the top of your lungs (in defiance of Christ's own teachings on the matter of worship, by the way) helped put several churchgoers into their graves and into the hospital. You who shriek about the sanctity of marriage helped cut down a man who was about to be married. You who crow with ceaseless abandon about military service and the nobility of our fighting forces helped to critically wound the wife of a Naval aviator who fought for you in a war. You who hold September 11 as your sword and shield helped put a little girl born on that day into the ground.
You helped. Yes, damn you, you helped.

The "mainstream" media is already working overtime playing up the "Disturbed loner" angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner's transformation into a disturbed individual. But here's the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox "News" fearmongering...so he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense...the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday.  The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.  

He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.

I'm talking to you, "mainstream" media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn't him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display...but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.

"Mainstream" news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity.  It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that.  I hate to break this to the "mainstream" media know-betters, but words matter.  When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The "mainstream" media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it's good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.
Remember the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent occupation? "WMD everywhere, al Qaeda connections to 9/11, plastic sheeting and duct tape because we're all gonna die!" was the central theme of the majority of your broadcast schedule for years...until it was all proven to be a lie.  You helped the liars, you were the liars, but you knew that.  You also got your spectacle, and the corporations that own you got paid a king's ransom, so everyone was happy, except the dead.  

Tell me this is any different, I dare you.  For the spectacle, the ratings and the pleasure of your owners, you ran names like "Sarah Palin" across the sky in lights, even after she should have faded into well-deserved obscurity, and helped this blister of right-wing rage fester until it finally burst. This was your show, and in perhaps the most wretched irony of all, I would bet all my worldly possessions that your ratings are through the roof right now. You got what you wanted.  I hope you are pleased.

And yes, I'm talking to you, Sarah Palin, you unutterably disgusting fraud. You pulled it off your ridiculous website, but it's out there: you put cross-hairs - literally, cross-hairs - on Rep. Giffords, you blithered about "reloading" instead of "retreating," and you made this country more stupid and violent with every breath you took. Well, congratulations, you failure, you quitter, you inciter of mobs. You put the cross-hairs on her, and someone finally pulled the trigger. Run from it all you like, Lady MacBeth, but this blood will never be washed from your hands.

I'm talking to you, Sharron Angle, you walking punch-line, who talked about "Second Amendment remedies" being necessary if you didn't get your way on health care reform during your failed Senate campaign.

I'm talking to you, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly, and Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, and to every other right-wing tripe-spewing blowhard blogger and Fox News broadcaster. I hope you are proud of yourselves, because this is the day you get to reap what you have been relentlessly sowing since you were forced to encompass the unmitigated outrage of a Black man winning the office of President of the United States.

That's right, I said it. Anyone who thinks good old-fashioned American bigotry and racism are not the core motivation for a vast majority of these so-called "revolutionaries" should get their heads examined. You've heard of the "elephant in the middle of the room?" Well, this is the burning cross in the middle of the room, and no amount of spin will douse those flames.
I'm talking to you, Koch Brothers. Your money to create and spread this disease was well-spent; you now have one less Democrat in the House to worry about, at least for the foreseeable future. Congratulations, you un-American sacks of filth. 

And I'm talking to each and every one of you who listened to these traitors and believed the nonsense they spewed at you for no other reason than to pick your pockets for campaign/organization contributions. I'm talking to you who wore your silly fatigues and carried your badly-spelled fact-deprived signs to protests with pistols on your hips and rifles on your shoulders. You who threw bricks through the windows of politicians you disagreed with. You who shot out the windows of Rep. Giffords' office not even a year ago.
You worked very hard to create exactly this atmosphere in America, and now it has come to be. We have entered the age of the Wrath of Fools, and we now must again exist in an America where the word "assassination" has become all too relevant.

You helped this happen. You.

You know it. I know it. Have the guts to admit it, even if only to yourselves.
I know many Republicans and conservatives, and consider them to be dear friends. The single most influential person in my life (aside from my mother) was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and there is no person I respected more than him. I do not count these people, and those like them, among those whom I address here. They are as sickened and repulsed by you as I am.

This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve.  

Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.

Oh, P.S., if anyone reading this is operating under the delusion that the overheated right-wing rhetoric that went a long way towards almost getting Rep. Giffords killed, and had a strong hand in putting six people in the ground, is some sort of new Obama-era phenomenon, well...
"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for."

- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95
"Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him."
- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton
"We're going to keep building the party until we're hunting Democrats with dogs."

- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building."

- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02
"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors."

- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02
"Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed."

- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God's Law and the disenfranchisement of White men."
- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01

I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but you get the gist.

Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt 

Let's put blame where it belongs: right-wing extremism

People's World - Sam Webb - Jan 10, 2011
In the wake of the senseless shooting in Tucson, Ariz., people and politicians of various political inclinations have appealed for goodwill, civil discourse ...

Calls for `civility' generally prove short-lived

Washington Post (blog) - Greg Sargent - Jan 10, 2011
It's nice that so many public officials and commenators are seizing on the Arizona shooting to renew calls for more "civility" in politics, ...

Inflamed Rhetoric Is Good

The AtlanticWire (blog) - John Hudson - Jan 10, 2011
There's been an uptick in calls for less inflamed political speech following the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona this weekend. Newspapers and politicians in Arizona and across the country have been calling on leaders to quell the level of "invective" dominating our political discourse. Some are criticizing Sarah Palin for her message "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD" given last year to supporters alongside a crosshair-laden map targeting Democratic congressional districts. However, Jack Shafer at Slate has a different message for the country: Inflamed rhetoric isn't what's wrong with America, it's what's right.

For as long as I've been alive, crosshairs and bull's-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such "inflammatory" words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I've listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I've even gotten angry, for goodness' sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge... 

The great miracle of American politics is that although it can tend toward the cutthroat and thuggish, it is almost devoid of genuine violence outside of a few scuffles and busted lips now and again. With the exception of Saturday's slaughter, I'd wager that in the last 30 years there have been more acts of physical violence in the stands at Philadelphia Eagles home games than in American politics...

Our spirited political discourse, complete with name-calling, 
vilification—and, yes, violent imagery—is a good thing. Better that angry people unload their fury in public than let it fester and turn septic in private. The wicked direction the American debate often takes is not a sign of danger but of freedom. 

And I'll punch out the lights of anybody who tries to take it away from me.

Hate Speech and Hateful Acts in Arizona

OpEdNews - Rory OConnor - Jan 10, 2011

"It is our right and our duty to criticize the people who have put the fate of our country in peril," Rush Limbaugh said this week on his syndicated radio show. 

Although our country's leading shock jock spoke in the aftermath of the massacre that left a federal judge and five others dead and Congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords critically injured, he was not referring to Jared Loughner or any of the many other well-armed gunmen who increasingly try to hold our democracy hostage. Instead, he typically assured his massive audience of self-described "ditto-heads" that the country is most imperiled by anyone who dares suggest that the daily hate fest on leading right-wing radio talk shows such as Limbaugh's might have any connection with the violent acts that sometimes follow.

Rush is right -- sort of. It is our duty to speak out! But Limbaugh's assessment of who "has put the fate of our country in peril" is cockeyed. He says Democrats and progressives, who are trying to silence conservative voices, are to blame -" but I say it's El Rushbo and his fellow purveyors of hate speech on America's public airwaves who are America's real enemy. In fact, I wrote a whole book about it.

Limbaugh was among the shock jocks who "pushed back against arguments that their heated political rhetoric had played a role in the tragedy," the New York Times reported in an article headlined "Talk Radio Hosts Reject Blame in Shooting." 

"Jon Justice," Rush's local equivalent, was another. Justice plies his talk trade at KQTH 104.1 FM, which calls itself "The Truth." 

"There isn't any correlation," Justice told the Times. "It's like blaming Jodie Foster for the individual who shot Ronald Reagan."

Justice and other local hosts "struck a defensive, even embattled tone" in response to remarks by Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, who said at a news conference that Arizona had become "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry" and that local TV and radio hosts should do some "soul-searching," the Times reported. "They said Saturday's shooting had nothing to do with either their broadcasts or the state's tense political environment."

Some callers disagreed and "made it clear" they think the radio hosts bear some responsibility. "You ought to be ashamed," one told Justice. "You are part of the problem." 

"People need to go and point fingers," Justice responded. "It's unfortunate, but some people do. They have to find somebody to demonize." 

Judge for yourself whether or not "Jon Justice" is being "demonized" -" or if instead he is part of the problem. I profiled him back in August 2008 in a blog post called "The Truth, Jon Justice" and the American Way?"
In that post, I chronicled how Tucson's bush-league Limbaugh (who reportedly lost a previous on-air slot when he pretended to drown a dog on-air) made anti-immigrant, racist and homophobic remarks on-air - and then posted sexist and racist videos on YouTube attacking Isabel Garcia, a well-known Arizona-based immigrant rights advocate. 

"We've been facing down the forces of hate for years," Garcia told me. "But it has never been like this before -" until Jon Justice and hate radio 104.1 FM came around and began making derogatory comments and using hateful language while regularly fomenting lies, fear and misinformation about immigrants."

Garcia's associate Kat Rodriguez said she "would usually shrug this off as idiotic, but it has actually gained traction. This right-wing jerk, whose show is a constant stream of anti-immigrant, racist, and homophobic rhetoric, is leading the charge, even commenting the other day that we need "bloodshed in the polling places.' Nobody outside of Arizona knows what is going on, and the madness continues," concluded Rodriguez. 

Having been branded a lesbian, a communist and a terrorist, and likened to Al Qaeda, Garcia was then targeted by a local anti-Mexican immigration activist named Roy Warden. After threatening those he terms "Left Wing activists and Pendejo Thugs" that he will "draw my weapon and blow your freaking heads off," Warden warned that he might "turn their skulls into red mush" in an attack that "will make the Shootout at the OK Corral look like a Sunday school picnic."

Given that more people were killed in the recent Tucson shooting than died in the   actual OK Corral episode , it seems fair to ask: Who is really putting the fate of our country in peril -" hate-speaking shock jocks, or those who criticize them? 

Don't be a dittohead -" make up your own mind! Here's how my post from two-and-a half-years ago about on-air hate speech in Tucson ended:
"It's not a stretch to ponder whether on-air remarks such as Jon Justice's call for "bloodshed in the polling places' could one day prove to be the spark that turns such ominous hate speech into real-life acts of hatred - and real people's skulls into -- yes -- real "red mush."

Senate Bill 1101 creates a "funeral protection zone" that bans protesters within 300 feet of a funeral service. The ban applies to one hour before, during or after a funeral service. A violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The bill has an emergency clause, which required a three-fourths vote of the Legislature but allows the law to go into effect immediately.

"This bill passed unanimously out of both houses of the Arizona Legislature and represents a truly bipartisan effort to assure that grieving families and friends will be free from harassment and intimidation at the funerals of their loved ones," Brewer said in a statement.

Brewer also said that last year, she instructed the state Attorney General to join 46 other states in a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court filed in support of the right of grieving families to seek a civil remedy against those that choose to protest and disrupt the funerals of their loved ones.

"Such despicable acts of emotional terrorism will not be tolerated in the State of Arizona," her statement said.

He vowed to have his band of followers picket at the funerals.

In the Senate debate, Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, said he would vote for the funeral bill, but he was conflicted because "even idiots have a right to free speech."

House Speaker Kirk Adams said the bill doesn't trample on anyone's First Amendment rights.

"Anybody has a right to say what they want to say in this country" Adams, R-Mesa, said after the bill passed the House on a 58-0 vote. "But we have a right to regulate the time and place (of such speech)."

The bill is patterned after an Ohio law that establishes a 300-foot protection zone around a funeral location from one hour before the event until one hour after it. The Ohio law was recently upheld by the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals, which made Arizona lawmakers confident their proposal is constitutional.

Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, made similar comments.
"This is a balance of rights," he said. "Your rights end where mine begin."
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, a bill sponsor, thanked the Senate for its bipartisan support, saying "tragedy is not partisan."

"We have to do what's right," she said. "I feel like we're doing something to help Tucson. Families need to grieve in peace."

The bill passed the Legislature in record time: One day from start to finish. It was a highly unusual move, brought on by the urgency of the Tucson situation. Funeral services begin Thursday.

The bill has an emergency clause, which required a ¾ vote of the Legislature but allows the law to go into effect immediately once Brewer signs the bill.
In addition, the Republican and Democratic parties in Pima County are urging people to help form a human barricade along the funeral routes to protect the victims' families from Phelps and his small band of vocal protesters.

Members of Phelps' controversial Westboro Baptist Church picket funerals to draw attention to the church's anti-homosexual views. Members last month picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards.

BREAKING: Stop them from outlawing WikiLeaks!

Stop the Internet Blacklist!

Just the other day, President Obama urged repressive regimes around the wor ld to stop censoring the Internet. But at the same time, the United States Congress is hatching a plan to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would instruct the Attorney General to create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block.

Read more — and sign our petition!

Plus: Fight the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!

Olbermann: Violence And Threats Have No Place In Democracy

The political rhetoric of the country must be changed to prevent acts of domestic terrorism

Closed captioning of: Olbermann: Violence and threats have no place in democracy

>>> Finally tonight as promised, special comment on the attempted assassination of congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s of Arizona today. we need to put the guns down. just as importantly we need to put the gun metaphors away and permanently. left, right, middle, politicians own citizens, sane and insane. This morning in Arizona this age in which this country could accept the, quote, targeting of political opponents and putting bull's-eyes over their faces and of the dangerous blurring between political rallies and gun shows has ended. This morning in Arizona this time of the ever escalating borderline ecstatic invocation of violence, in fact or in fantasy in our political discourse , has closed.

It is essential tonight not to demand revenge, but to demand justice, to insist not upon payback against those politicians and commentators who have so irresponsibly brought us to this time of domestic terrorism, but to work to change the minds of them and their supporters. or if those minds tonight are too closed or if those minds tonight are too unmoved, or if those or too unmoved or too triumphant to make sure they have no further place in our system of government . Pima county sheriff took the extraordinary step of reporting details of not the crime scene alone but the political and cultural climate.

 I think it's time as a country to do soul searching. I think rhetoric we hear day in and day out from the people in the radio business and some people in the TV business. What we see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised. it may be free speech but without consequences. Arizona is the Mecca of prejudice and bigotry.

Sarah Palin 's website put scrubbed bulls eyes on her does not repudiate her own part and violent imagery, she must be dismissed from politics and repudiated from members of her own party. If they fail to do so, be judged to silently get the tactic. They must be dismissed by the responsible members of their own party. if Jesse Kelly, whose campaign against congressman Gifford’s does not repudiate this and admit even if it was indirectly, it contributed to the black cloud of violence.

he must be repudiated by Arizona 's republican party . If Alan West during his successful campaign told supporters to make his opponent afraid to come out of his own home does not repudiate those remarks and suggestions of violence and forced fear, he should be repudiated. If Sharron angle who spoke of second amendment remedies does not repudiate that and urge those to think anew and again of what her words implied, she must be repudiated in Nevada.

 If the tea party leaders took out of context a Jefferson comment and do not understand tonight, now, what that really means and these leaders do not tell their followers to abhor  violence and all threat of violence, they must be repudiated. if Glenn Beck who obsesses about gold and debt and who joked about killing Michael Moore and Bill O 'Reilly who said tiller the killer until it was burn so into the minds of their viewers. if they do not begin their broadcasts with an apology.

Then those commentators and the others must be repudiated by viewers and listeners, by all politicians who is appear on their programs including president Obama and his interview with fox on super bowl Sunday and by the networks that employ them. if they are not responsible for what happened in Tucson, they must be responsible for doing what they can to make certain Tucson does not happen again. Do not rededicate ourselves to our individual lens and suggestions of violence. However inadvertent they might have been, we deserve the re repudiation of our viewers and our networks.

Here, once in a clumsy metaphor, I made an unintended statement of then senator Clinton . it sounded as if it was a call of physical violence. it was wrong then, it is more wrong tonight, i apologize for it tonight. I urge people of every political conviction to use my comment as means to recognize the insidiousness of violent imagery that goes so easily and slip into one as opposed to violence as me how easily and pervasively and disastrously it can slip into the deranged mind. if the alleged terrorist, Jarred Loughner wanted to shoot into the crowd, we have, never the less, for years been building up to a moment just like this. Despite the YouTube videos of what refers to him referring to the eighth congress, gabby Gifford’s district.

 Assume it's coincidence, the violence is not. the rhetoric descended past the ugly and past the threatening and the fantastic into the murderous. we will not return to the 1850s when a pro-slavery congressman nearly beat to death an antislavery senator and cut to death with broad swords. pro-slavery advocates. We will not return to the 1960s when an insane desire of fame or hatred, a president was assassinated. an ultraconservative was shot at and paralyzed and a leader of peace was murdered on a ball conmy. We will not. tonight, what Mrs. Palin and west and angel and Beck And O'reilly and what you and i must understand was that the man who fired today did not fire add a democratic congresswoman and her supporters.

He was not just a madman insighted by daily temptations by slightly less madmen to do things they would not condone. He fired into our liberty and our rights to live and agree or disagree in safety and freedom for fear it will cost us our lives or health or safety. the bulls eye will have been on Kelly you or me. The horror would have been, could still be just as real and unacceptable. at a time of such urgency, we as Americans conservative or liberal should pour our hearts and souls into politics.

We should not, none of us, not gabby Gifford’s or any conservative pour our blood. Anyone who hints otherwise or stays silent now should have no place in our political system and should be denied that place, not by violence, but by being shunned and ignored. it is a simple pledge. it is to the point and essential that every American politician and commentator and activist and partisan take it and take it now. i say it first and freely. Violence or the threat of violence has no place in our society. I apologize for and repudiate any act or anything in my past which may have encouraged violence. for whatever else each of us may be we all are Americans. Good Night And Good Luck.

Beck's Pledge: A Coded Attack On Obama


REPORT: Media Ignore Rep. Issa's Alleged Criminal Past

Rep. Darrell Issa's past includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you'd hardly know it from the media's recent coverage of the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation's largest newspapers since the last election -- including several major profiles -- only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period. 

Network and Cable Interviewers Won't Ask Issa About Criminal Allegations


In 11 Interviews Since Election Day, No Network Or Cable Anchor Has Asked Issa About The Allegations Against Him. Media Matters reviewed the Nexis database for cable and network interviews of Issa from November 3, 2010 through January 10, 2011. In 11 interviews on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, and CNN, no host or anchor asked Issa about the criminal allegations that have been made against him. 

Print Media Largely Overlooks Issa's Alleged Criminal Past


Only One Of 15 Articles Substantially Mentioning Issa Referenced Any Of The Allegations. Media Matters examined coverage of Issa in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times from November 3, 2010, through January 10, 2011. Of the 15 articles in that period that included substantial coverage of Issa, only one referenced any of the allegations against him.

  • Wash. Post Article Mentions In Passing Issa's Arrest For Car Theft. A 1300-word Washington Post profile of Issa published December 19, 2010, stated, "After Issa (pronounced EYE-suh) and his brother ran into trouble with the law for car theft (Issa's brother, William, claimed responsibility), Darrell Issa invested all of his savings, about $7,000, in starting a car-alarm business that he grew into a behemoth." The article did not mention Issa was also suspected of arson, accused of intimidation with a weapon, and repeatedly arrested on weapons charges. [Washington Post, 12/19/10]

The Real Issa: Suspected Arson


1982: Issa Suspected, But Never Charged, In Arson Incident At Manufacturing Plant. According to the Los Angeles Times: "A suspected arson fire ripped through [Issa's Ohio] manufacturing plant in 1982. No one was ever charged in the fire, but authorities were troubled by a dramatic escalation in the facility's fire insurance just weeks earlier. Even before the blaze was put out, investigators began peppering Issa and his partner with 'crazy questions' regarding their whereabouts before the fire, Issa recalled." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

  • Prior To Fire, Issa "Boosted" Fire Insurance And Removed A Computer From The Premises. According to the Los Angeles Times: "Weeks before the fire, Issa and [business partner Miles] Hunsinger boosted their fire insurance from $ 100,000 to $ 462,000 on property stored for other companies...At the same time, a separate company that contracted with Quantum to outfit bug zappers increased its insurance to $ 400,000, and, according to an insurance report, one investigator was 'concerned about the coincidence.' Fire investigators also noted that a computer was taken off the site eight days before the fire, 'allegedly to be reprogrammed' by Issa's lawyer, and that business blueprints were put away in a safe -- which was 'not previously done before.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]
"Suspicious Burn Patterns" And "Out Of Normal Practice" Behavior Alerted Investigators.  The Washington Post reported: "Investigators reported 'suspicious burn patterns' and said the fire may have been set. A company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, also told them that computers and records had been removed from the site days before the fire for no clear reason. 'It was totally out of normal practice,' she said in a telephone interview last week." [Washington Post via FTLComm.com, 7/8/03]

AC Custom Fire: Flammable Liquid Had "Been Poured On The Only Area Not Covered By Fire Sprinklers."  The Los Angeles Times reported that "seven months after Issa took control," a fire broke out at the "Quantum manufacturing plant."  "Case files from Maple Heights, the Ohio fire marshal and insurers pointed repeatedly to the likelihood of arson in the blaze, which officials estimated caused $ 800,000 in damage. Although an accident could not be ruled out, the uneven and unnatural burn patterns made the blaze 'suspicious in nature,' the state concluded two months later. Flammable liquid appeared to have been poured on the only area not covered by fire sprinklers, investigators found." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

The Real Issa: Intimidation With A Weapon


Former AC Custom Executive Claimed Issa Intimidated Him With A Gun. According to the Los Angeles Times: "One of Issa's first tasks as the new boss [of AC Custom] was to remove an executive named Jack Frantz. According to Frantz, Issa came into his office, placed a small box on the desk and opened it. Inside, he said, was a gun." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

  • Issa Allegedly Used Intimidation To Fire Executive Frantz. According to the Los Angeles Times, Frantz claimed, "'He just showed [the gun] to me and said 'You know what this is?' Issa invited Frantz to hold the gun at one point and told him he had learned about guns and explosives during his military days, Frantz said. Because he was about to be fired, Frantz said he saw it as 'pure intimidation.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

  • Former AC Custom Bookkeeper: "It Was Pretty Terrifying." According to the Los Angeles Times: "The bookkeeper, [Karen] Brasdovich, also recalled Issa having a gun at the company that day. 'It was pretty terrifying,' she said." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

Issa On The Incident: "Shots Were Never Fired." The Los Angeles Times reported: "Issa said, 'Shots were never fired. If I asked Jack to leave, then I think I had every right to ask Jack to leave...I don't recall having a gun. I really don't. I don't think I ever pulled a gun on anyone in my life.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

The Real Issa: Auto Theft & Weapons Charges


Issa "Twice Arrested In 1972 On Weapons Charges." According to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Issa was twice arrested in 1972 on weapons charges -- once in Ohio, once in Michigan." [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]

Issa Was Convicted Of "Possession Of An Unregistered Handgun," Paid Fine, And Served Probation. According to the San Francisco Chronicle: "[W]hen Issa was attending college in Michigan, was fined $100 and put on three months' probation after being arrested for possession of an unregistered handgun, Michigan court records show." [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]

1972: Issa Was Arrested For Auto Theft. According to the New York Times: "In 1972, [Darrell Issa] and his brother William were arrested in the theft of a Maserati from a Cleveland car dealership." [New York Times7/23/03]

1972: Issa Also Charged With "Carrying A Concealed Weapon." According to the San Francisco Chronicle: "Court records...show that in March 1972, one month after getting out of the Army, Issa was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and auto theft. The court file doesn't indicate the type of weapon involved." [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03] 

Auto Theft, Concealed Weapons Charges Were Ultimately Dropped. According to the San Francisco Chronicle: "In May 1972, a grand jury indicted Issa on a larceny charge in connection with the car theft but dropped the weapons charge. Two weeks later, a prosecutor dropped the car theft charge as well." [San Francisco Chronicle7/2/03]
  • Charges Were Dropped Despite Witness Reports. According to the Los Angeles Times, "a witness reported seeing [Darrell and William Issa] pushing the sports car down the street just before midnight, records and interviews show. But the charges were dismissed -- months before the older brother, [William], was convicted of stealing another car amid a string of offenses." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]




Media Matters for America searched the Factiva database for news articles from The Wall Street Journal and the Nexis database for news articles from the Los Angeles Times, The New York TimesUSA Today, and The Washington Post and all network and cable news programming* from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, MSNBC, and NBC between November 2, 2010 and January 10, 2011 for mentions of Darrell Issa. From cable, only interviews were included -- news packages and short clips were excluded. From print, any article substantially mentioning Issa -- beyond merely reporting his new position in Congress or other brief mentions -- was included.

The original data is located here.

*ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox Broadcasting, and NBC transcripts include all news programming; Fox News and MSNBC transcripts include prime-time and select daytime interviews.
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