While We Are Fighting A Lost Delusional War The World Is Changing Behind Our Backs…The Empire Is Dead…The Decline, Retreat And Fall Have Begun.
# Amendments Proposal date Enactment date Full text 1st Protects the freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Full text 2nd Protects the right to keep and bear arms September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
Alive And Well Despite Continuing Challenges!!!
Existing Law Renders This Functionally Dead Also!!!
Full text 4th Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Functionally Dead and Cremated For Good Measure!!!
Full text 5th Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
Functionally Dead And Long A Laugher As Our Judicial System Has Been Totally Corrupted!!!
6th Protects the right to a fair and speedy public trial by jury, including the rights to be notified of the accusations, to confront the accuser, to obtain witnesses and to retain counsel September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Functionally Dead; Ask An Attorney And Be Prepared For a Hearty Laugh!!!
Full text 7th Provides for the right to trial by jury in certain civil cases, according to common law September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Full text 8th Prohibits excessive fines and excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Full text 9th Asserts the existence of unenumerated rights retained by the people September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791
Functionally Dead; We have no rights except to own a Gun!!!
Full text 10th Limits the powers of the federal government to those delegated to it by the Constitution September 25, 1789 December 15, 1791 Full text
Functionally Dead: When was the last time the powers of the Fed were restricted?
Ecuador recognizes independent Palestinian state
Washington Post - Dec 25, 2010
Washington Post - Dec 25, 2010
AP QUITO, Ecuador -- The Ecuadorean government is the latest in Latin American to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state. The Foreign Ministry says in a ...
- CNN (blog)
- NEWS JUNKIE POST
Ecuador formally recognizes Palestinian state
Ecuador formally recognizes Palestinian state
- Jerusalem Post
Russia, China to build hydropower plant in Ecuador
The Voice of Russia - 4 days ago
The Voice of Russia - 4 days ago
Russia and China will cooperate in building an electric hydropower plant in Ecuador. A decision to that end has been signed by companies of the three
Ecuador Judge Ends Evidence Period In Chevron Case
Wall Street Journal - Dec 17, 2010
Wall Street Journal - Dec 17, 2010
(CVX) faces in Ecuador on Friday closed the evidence presentation period. Nicolas Zambrano, the president of Ecuador's provincial Court of Sucumbios, ...
- Forbes (blog)
Chevron Says Documents Show Ecuador Plaintiffs Worked With Government
Chevron Says Documents Show Ecuador Plaintiffs Worked With Government
- Forbes (blog)
Chevron Forces Legal Change
Chevron Forces Legal Change
FINAL DECLARATION OF 17TH WORLD FESTIVAL OF YOUTH AND STUDENTS
21 December 2010
We the delegates to the 17th Festival of Student and Youth, gathered from 126 countries, more than 15000 in numbers, have met under the theme "Lets Defeat Imperialism for a world of Peace, Solidarity and Social Transformation" on the shore of the majestic, dynamic and vibrant South Africa. Here we have fought for decades, side by side, from all walks of life to bring down the tyranny of the Apartheid system, fostered to increase the hold of Imperialism on our people. We fought with the people of South Africa and today we meet here to further our struggle against, all injustices and discriminations.
We meet in South Africa on the eve of the Centenary of the Liberation movement the ANC, in 2012. This we do to take stock with our comrades on how far they have come in building a non -racial, non -sexist, democratic and prosperous Society, fighting with every fiber in their beings to defeat imperialism in all its forms. We have come to celebrate the hosting of the festival in South Africa, aware of the magnificent role played by its movement to bring about democracy to South Africa, aware that the ANC YL was amongst the founding members of the Festival movement and the 1st African President of WFDY.
We have come here to pay tribute to the contribution of Andile Yawa and all the festival veterans for giving to us a tool for Solidarity, brotherhood and an agent for change through the festival movement. We have dedicated this festival to the struggle and legacy of 2 heroes, who have made it possible for us to speak about Solidarity and World Peace: Commander Fidel Castro and Madiba Nelson Mandela. We thank them for their tireless spirits.
63 years after the first World Festival of Youth was organized in Prague, we highlight the important role that the Socialist camp has played in the support of this top event of the anti-imperialist youth. The location of the WFYS itself is a statement of solidarity with the struggle of its people.
The WFYS is an expression of the struggle against imperialism and the struggle against the exploitation of man by man. Of particular importance is the contribution of Socialist Cuba, not only because it has hosted twice the festival, but also because by doing so in 1997 it helped the Festival movement to be re-launched despite the difficulties of the international anti-imperialist and working class' movements in the 1990's.
We congratulate WFDY on its 65th anniversary for its contribution to the struggle for peace, justice and the Festival movement, in this year that we celebrate also the 65 years of the peoples' victory against Nazi Fascism.
As the anti-imperialist movement of the youth and of the people developed its struggle, the imperialists also seek to consolidate their forces and to fortify their structures. They use all mechanisms in their hands such as NATO, AFRICOM, EU, IMF, WB, WTO and all ways of intervention such as blockades, sanctions, embargos, conflicts, military intervention, wars and occupations against sovereign states and progressive movements.
The new strategic concept "NATO 2020", decided in Lisbon earlier this year incorporates all the changes made in its structure of the previous years (12 new member-states, utilization of the "Partnership for Peace" in its plans), changes its position towards contesting imperialist forces eg. Russia, signing agreements with them; it reinforces the cooperation with EU, proving it as an imperialist organism for the creation and education of military corps, acting against "extremism" inside and outside of the member's borders, targeting firstly all those struggling to defend the rights of the peoples and the youth against imperialism. Under these circumstances, it is intensified the attack against anti-imperialist forces, with particular expression in anti-communist measures.
The crisis of the capitalist system is inherent to the deepening of its inner contradictions, unveiling its historical incapacity to achieve progress for mankind. This crisis provides the ground for emerging imperialist forces that in the past have either clashed with the USA or EU, or have been their allies, to use the different timing in the manifestation of the crisis to increase their influence in the imperialist pyramid, to hold a bigger piece in the capitalist struggle for markets and exploitation.
It is not a result of the administration models of the economy or the corruption of the system; it is now expressed all around the capitalist world in both neoliberal and social-democrat led countries. We are in a phase of deepening of the crisis; the recuperation in the following years will be minuscule: the rights of the youth will continue to be attacked at social, economical and cultural level every day.
It demonstrates the historical limits and the failure of the capitalist system to answer to the peoples' needs and aspirations; it highlights the need for the creation of a society and a mode of development that will strive to fulfill the youth's and the peoples' needs and rights.
The youth generations' human rights and liberties are violated categorically in every corner of the planet. The "capitalist globalization", the system of exploitation and control of the people and resources is pushing masses of young people into the margins of society. They are the first victims of the social inequalities at all levels. The 212 million of people unemployed, in a world that precarious, temporary occupation is the rule, are a proof of this.
Only between 2007 and 2009 increased 34 million. Due to the economic crisis, even more jobs were lost, condemning more people to misery and poverty. We struggle against the elimination of the majority of labor rights, especially those of young workers who suffer more the effects of unemployment. An entire generation of young people is being transformed in a generation without rights.
We highlight the role of young women in the struggle for their emancipation as part of the general struggle against imperialism. Women, who are even more strongly attacked by the imperialist policies, deserve our appreciation and full support to end all abuses and discriminations existing in our world as part of our combat to defeat imperialism.
The "external debts and deficits" that have become a reality for many countries are results of the policies followed by the capitalist forces in all countries independently of their position in the correlation of forces. They reflect the unequal development and the division of work in the capitalist system. They are utilized so that the dominant class in both loaner and loaning countries becomes more potent while the people suffer from the load of the crisis on their backs. In the international imperialist system there is no place for equal and respectful relationships between the states and the peoples, it is another proof of the need for revolutionary social transformation of the system that bears inequality and misery.
The imperialist profit drive and unbridled exploitation of planet's natural resources follows the logic of destruction and is the main threat to the environment and to the future of the planet. The environmental issue is taking on an alarming dimension due to the production of genetically modified (GM) organisms, which are jeopardizing humankind's future.
Water all around the globe is being more and more a target to the exploitative nature of capitalism and is being used as a strategic and political weapon by imperialism. Imperialism's strategy is to pass the responsibilities for the environmental problems onto the people, individualizing what are presented as solutions in order to increase even further the big companies' profits through the so called "green" products.
Imperialist warmongering policies produce such crises as refugees, millions of people who are compelled to leave their homes, lands, jobs and families. We strongly condemn the imperialist economic policies, interventions and occupations that have produced millions of immigrants, we uptake the struggle in the defense of the rights of the immigrants in work, education, social services. No human being can be illegal.
Imperialist policies attack the full development of education and of the young people, preventing them from accessing a free and quality education that is a school of freedom and commitment with peace. We defend and struggle for education as a public and social good, a universal human right, which gratuity must be ensured by the state. We reject the intentions of privatization that several public institutions of different levels are being victims of. We demand the withdrawal of education from the agreements of the WTO - education is not commodity!
The increase in use of drugs in young people is a dangerous phenomenon that proves the decay of the capitalist system. Millions of young people live with AIDS, mostly in Africa and Asia. The big pharmaceutical trusts monopolize the production and distribution of needed medicine are profiting from pandemics instead of providing the means of treatment. Children are being abused and forced into military operations, prostitution, and drug trafficking; the number of street children is increasing.
Despite this offense the progressive and peace loving forces have been resisting, conquering important victories and growing stronger. The struggle for peace has been very important along the years and with these recent actions we try to raise the consciousness of the youth masses and focus the struggle against the enemy of peace, imperialism.
The fight at national level plays a central role in the fight against the specific measures affecting the youth. We highlight the importance of the victories achieved by the struggles of the students, workers, peasants, indigenous and women's movements in times as these. We underline the importance of several electoral victories and other positive results of progressive parties and coalitions Africa, many years after the attainment of political independence still remains a political and economic playground for America and its allies.
HIV/AIDS still remains a life threatening challenge promising to wipe out the entire African race, alongside Malaria and other imperialist manufactured diseases. A child dies every three seconds from AIDS and extreme poverty.
We condemn the unjust sanctions against Eritrea and call for the bilateral solving of the conflict with Ethiopia without any external intervention.
The growing US presence in Africa through AFRICOM, used as its military expansionist project in Africa, has allowed the Americans to pose serious military threats to African countries. We denounce the setting up of military bases in the name of AFRICOM and demand Botswana to immediately remove them as they pose a perpetual security threat to SADC countries and we support that people's struggle to achieve democracy. We condemn the deliberate funding of civil society and opposition parties in Africa by the West to bring about regime change agenda's guised in the name of ‘development".
We further attack the ICC for its apparent onslaught of African leaders as well as all the media campaigns promoted by imperialism to destabilize the region. We stand in solidarity with the people and youth of Swaziland and demand the release of all political prisoners.
We strongly condemn the continued military occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco and request the respect of the Saharawi people right to self-determination and independence. The Moroccan government should immediately put an end to the blockade of the occupied territories of Western Sahara and allow entry into the territory to international observers and independent media. We denounce and condemn all forms of human rights violations including persecutions, arbitrary detentions, disappearances and irregular trials etc.., committed by the Moroccan authorities against the Saharawi civilians and demand the release of all political detainees and the disband of the wall diving the territory.
We further make a clarion call for the immediate lifting of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe that have continued to cause untold pain and suffering on their people which are also a catalyst for their regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. We are in solidarity with the revolutionaries in Africa, and urge them be steadfast against imperial tendencies.
We welcome the second phase of the African people's struggle, the struggle for economic independence through indigenization, nationalization or any other form of empowerment to its people. We congratulate the people of Angola for the reconstruction process that is being implemented in the country. We empathize with West African countries in crises, coups and political instability, caused by imperial infiltration, and call for an urgent resolution and retention of political stability.
We call for the stop of the violations of human rights in Sudan, especially in Darfur and we call for peace in the country, as well as freedom for labor organizations. Despite that, we condemn any sort of imperialist intervention against Sudan. The crisis in Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Guinea, as the problems in Nigeria are instructive in the assessment of the current political landscape in West Africa.
The involvement of imperialist allies in the assassinations of heads of state in Burkina Faso, among others. Also, pressures from Europe and the US has forced the signing of exploitatory contracts on mineral resources (as also happens in Western Sahara by the EU), as this has ruined and impoverished most countries, denying them the ability of local investment and causing a runaway youth, in search of better living conditions resulting in massive loss of life during the emigration.
The Asia-Pacific region has remained one of the explosive areas in the world, a springboard of military provocation and armed conflicts as well as of arms build-up and interference that have seriously threatened peace and security in Asia and the world. The present developments in this region have proved that the US and the NATO having more common imperialist strategies for Asia-Pacific Region. They are pursuing to establish new political-military groupings in order to extend the sphere of military activities covering the whole area of Asia and the Pacific.
The growing US military presence in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, the US-Israeli strategic alliance, and the growing military cooperation with reactionary regimes in the Gulf poses a serious threat to peace, stability and security in the region. In South Asia, imperialist intervention has deepened, particularly due to US intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The so called Af-Pak strategy of the US to pursue its utterly selfish interests has only resulted in serious political instabilities in ther region, not to mention the brutal killings and loss of lives and property faced by the common people of people of South Asia due to the blatant aggression of US imperialism.
We express our support for the people and youth of Iran in their struggle against the repressive, anti-communist and undemocratic regime, which should be overcome by the people without any sort of imperialist intervention, which is for us unacceptable. We denounce the huge US military presence in the Korean Peninsula and demands that the Armistice Agreement of 1953 should be replaced with a compressive peace agreement. We call upon the young people of the world to join the international solidarity campaign in support with Korean people and youth in their just cause for the national reunification under the banner of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, and for building a prosperous, powerful and socialist country.
We condemn the deployment of US troops in Philippines and its role fighting the national revolutionary forces. We stand in solidarity with the struggles of the young people of Bangladesh. We express our solidarity towards the people and youth of Nepal in their struggle for a new federal democratic republic. We demand the return of all Bhutanese refuges to their country with respect and dignity. We support the struggle of the Burmese people for the restoration of democracy and for the release of all political prisoners as we welcome the release of Aung San Suu Kyi.
We express support for Sri Lanka's progressive movements struggle for national unity. We salute the Vietnamese youth and people in their struggle for national independence and socialism, at a time when the 65th anniversary of the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is celebrated, and we express our solidarity towards the Vietnamese victims of the US' Agent Orange / Dioxin in their struggle for justice.
In Latin America and the Caribbean the progressive forces have given important steps in the struggle against the interests of imperialism and its free trade policies. These steps are expressed in the integraton mechanisms in the region as the ALBA-TCP, UNASUR, MERCOSYR and the future creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States; it is our goal an equitative distribution of the resources of the continent with fiscal measures over the big monopolies, which allow us to recover from more than 500 years of exploitation and underdevelopment.
We denounce the imperialist policies of interventions of USA through the deployment of military bases and missions in the region, as happens in Panama, Colombia and Haiti and the reactivation of the 4ht Fleet, which goal is to reinforce the attack against the revolutionary processes of Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and particularly the revolution in Venezuela, since they represent a historical and revolutionary alternative to the capitalist system.
We further denounce other mecanisms of interference as terrorism and drug dealing because they have a direct impact on peoples like the Mexican. We stand in solidarity with the Colombian people, victim of constant political murderers imposed by imperialists, as we also express our rejection of the usage of the canal of Panama for interventional geoestrategic, with the transit of war and nuclear armament. We support the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico for its full self determination and we are in solidarity with the harsh situation of Haiti, victim of colonialism.
We strongly condemn the coup d'etats that took place in Honduras and Ecuador, aiming at the desestabilization of the progressive processes in the region and we recognize the role played by the members of WFDY in both countries resisting and struggling. We demand justice for the assassination of comrade Edwin Perez, Secretary General of the Communist Youth of Ecuador, and we condemn the unfair persecution that has been targetting the people of Mapuchi in Chile. We express our solidarity towards the struggles of the young people of the Caribbean.
We express our solidarity with the struggles of the aboriginal and first people's for full self determination. We know the youth of Canada and USA stand in friendship with the peoples of the world, not war and imperialism that their Governments promote. We condemn the unfair economical, financial and commercial blockade imposed against the Cuban people for more than 50 years in what is a clear violation of the International Law as well as we demand from the USA government the immediate release of the five Cuban unjustly imprisoned in their jails for more than 12 years.
The last years have confirmed the European Union as an imperialist tool that supports and promotes measures of exploitation of the peoples and youth, intervening both outside and in its member states, many times under the alleged defense of the "human rights" that itself fails to respect. The recent "austerity measures" that the National Governments have agreed upon with the EU to be implemented, with the pretext of the capitalist crisis, demanding sacrifices by the workers while the monopolies (banks and big corporations) are receiving billions to ensure their profits, as well as the measures imposed by the governments to the peoples are proof of our analysis.
However the peoples' resistance has had big expression in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, with young workers playing an important role. In Education, there's been a general trend of imposing class barriers and privatizing throughout all Europe, with particularly strong expression in the "Bologna Process" and its implementation in each country.
Important struggles at Higher and Secondary Education level have been taking place in most of the countries to resist the general offense against the right to education. Side by side with the attack at social level, the attacks against the democratic rights, in general, and anti-communism, in particular, have been increasing rapidly, with a growing persecution of communist parties and youth organizations in many European countries, with particular expression in Eastern Europe with cases as the ones happened in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia with the ban (or attempt) of communist organizations and the rise and promotion of neo fascist forces.
As background to the crisis, the xenophobic measures guided by the "European fortress" doctrine of the EU have been promoting the persecution of immigrants as justification to the social problems that arise from the profit-only orientated policies of the national governments, in a process with big implications in countries as France, Germany and Italy. We stand against the change of borders continuing in the Balkans with the so called "independence" of Kosovo, which became a huge military base for NATO and USA.
We further express our solidarity with the people and youth of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, against the Turkish occupation, highlighting the big efforts made since the election of Dimitris Christophias as President of the Republic and our commitment to the bicommunal bizonal federation with one citizenship, one international identity and one sovereignty as the fair solution for the end of the occupation.
We express our solidarity with the students and youth of Palestine, Iraq and Arab countries and support the persistence of Palestine in the resistance against the blockade and oppression. We denounce the racist inhumane practices of the Zionist Israel, with the policies of killing, expelling and settlements in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem, and in different occupied Arab Lands.
We also demand an end to the Israeli occupation, removal of settlements and wall of apartheid and we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to UN resolutions, requesting the UN and the countries of the world to recognize the Palestinian state immediately.
We denounce the war and blockade against Gaza and demand its breakdown and that the Zionist war criminals are persecuted; we also request to re-instate the UN resolution that equalizes Zionism with racism. We call for the immediate release of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners detained in Israeli and US prisons. We denounce the occupation of Iraq and support the right of the Iraqi people for resistance and demand the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces out of it. We support the sovereignty, security, stability and unity of Iraq.
We denounce the terrorism in all of its forms as well as the US secret military operations in the region. We express our solidarity towards Syria against the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Heights and denounce the "Syria Accountability Law" approved by the USA Congress. We also support the struggles of the Lebanese youth to complete their liberation of Sheba and Kfarshoba from the Israeli occupation and denounce the Israeli war of 2006 that lead to 1300 Lebanese victims.
We denounce external interferences in the internal issue of Lebanon. We support the national dialogue of Yemen and emphasize the security and unity of Yemen. We demand the withdrawal of Spain from Cebta and Mellilla. We support the Egyptian youth and the youth of the Gulf States in their struggle to implement democratic rights, principles of justice and equality and we express solidarity with them against repressive laws and for labor rights.
We also ask to treat the causes of immigration from Africa to Europe through Northern African countries. We support the struggles of the Arab youth for economic integration and demand the immediate dismantle of the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
The 17th WFYS is held during the UN International Year on Youth. As happened in 1985, once again the WFYS is, so far, the biggest youth event of this year. More importantly, the WFYS is the most relevant activity, because it most clearly raises the real problems of the youth. Unlike many other activities and the actual framework of UN Year on Youth, in this Festival the youth of the world finds the biggest stage for denouncing the problems and offenses that they suffer from imperialism and its agents.
We, the youth and students of the world gathered in this historical festival, raised our voices against all the ills generated by imperialism, which is undergoing its greatest global crisis. The imperialist world order is driving humanity to the verge of a global confrontation, with the ever-present danger of a nuclear war, through its hegemonic policy that will determine the present and future of the mankind.
It is time to continue the struggle for youth development and our economic, social and cultural values and not those of a decadent system they are trying to impose on us. We shall build a future of justice, equality, peace, hope and joy for humanity. The future of a new stage of history is in our hands and it depends on the peoples, working masses and world youth and their power of transformation, to build a world of peace and solidarity, where the power and the produced wealth will belong to the peoples and the youth of the world.
We thank the people of South Africa for welcoming us to their country and celebrating with us the opportunity to see South Africa change. We commit to you that we the youth of the world will never let our guard down in pursuance of a world free of imperialism. Let us start getting ready for the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students!
Issued by the ANCYL, December 21 2010
A month-by-month look back at Fox News' most outrageous and factually challenged moments of 2010. READ MORE
Off The Rails: The Year In Fox News Misinformation
A month-by-month look back at Fox News' most outrageous and factually challenged moments of 2010.
December 31, 2010 |
As the year comes to a close, Media Matters offers a month-by-month look back at Fox News' most outrageous and factually challenged moments of 2010.
JanuaryHume Counsels Tiger Woods To Ditch Buddhism To "Make A Total Recovery." On the January 3 edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume commented on the scandal surrounding golfer Tiger Woods: "He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn your faith -- turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world.' " Hume's attack on Buddhism was criticized by religious leaders, but endorsed by Hume's Fox News colleagues Tucker Carlson and Fred Barnes. Hume stood by his comments despite the criticism.
Fox Hires Palin As A Contributor. On January 11, The New York Times reported that Fox News had hired former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a contributor who "would appear on the network's programming on a regular basis as part of a multiyear deal." Her well-established record of pushing falsehoods notwithstanding, Palin said that she would provide "the fair and the balanced reporting and analysis that voters in this country deserve." One of her first Fox News appearances was an hour-long interview with Glenn Beck on January 13 in which the two misled on the Federal Reserve, and Beck read to Palin from his diary.
Fox Campaigns For Scott Brown. In the run-up to the January 19 special Senate election in Massachusetts, Fox News hosted Republican candidate Scott Brown several times for softball interviews and provided a forum for Brown to raise funds. Fox News personalities like Dick Morris made explicit appeals on Brown's behalf, telling viewers to "please, please help" Brown. Stuart Varney claimed that "your 401(k) could do well" in response to a Brown victory, and Bret Baier compared Brown's candidacy to the "Miracle on Ice."
FebruaryFox Campaign Season Heats Up. Following Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, Fox began promoting more Republican Senate candidates, like Illinois' Mark Kirk and Florida's Marco Rubio. Several Fox News personalitieslikened Kirk to Brown; Fox repeatedly aired a National Republican Senatorial Committee attack ad on Kirk's Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias; and the network gave Kirk a platform to attack Giannoulias. Fox alsoheavily promoted "political star" Rubio, reporting extensively on his fundraising appeals and speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. On the February 1 edition of Hannity, Dick Morris solicited GOP candidatesfor Senate, which precipitated Republican Ron Johnson's campaign in Wisconsin.
Fearmongering Over Health Care Reconciliation. Reacting to reports that Senate Democrats were considering using the budget reconciliation process to pass the health care reform bill and circumvent a Republican filibuster, Fox News adopted the GOP framing of reconciliation as a violation of Senate rules, undemocratic, and contrary to thewill of the people. Fox also falsely characterized reconciliation as the "nuclear option" to wrongly accuse Democrats of hypocrisy.
MarchOpen Activism Against Health Care Reform. As the health care reform bill moved toward passage, Fox News' opinion and news personalities engaged in open opposition to the bill. Fox news anchors agreed that the bill was unconstitutional and said they would vote against it, while the network's opinion-makers lobbied for the bill's defeat. Commentators like Dick Morris, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee encouraged viewers to contact members of Congress and urge them to oppose the bill, and the network helped to publicize anti-health reform rallies.
Fearmongering was rampant as Fox News compared the bill to a tumor and a nuclear weapon. Fox News also pushed misinformation and falsehoods about health care reform, falsely claiming the bill provided increased federal funding for abortion, promoting a non-scientific "survey" of doctors claiming they would leave medicine if reform passed, accusing Democrats of making "special deals" and offering "bribes" to ensure passage, andattacking the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of the bill.
Glenn Beck's Fiascoes Multiply. Beck devoted his entire March 9 program to an interview with former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) after Massa claimed -- without any evidence -- that the Democrats had forced him out of the House because he refused to vote for health care reform. The hour-long interview did not produce any evidence of Democratic wrongdoing -- instead, Massa acknowledged that he resigned under allegations of sexual harassment. Beck concluded the program by apologizing to his viewers: "I have wasted an hour of your time."
Later in the month, Beck went on a tirade against Democratic leaders, like Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who "wanted to compare themselves to the civil rights activists" as they walked arm-in-arm to the House health care vote. Beck screamed at them: "How dare you!" Lewis is, of course, an icon of the civil rights movement who marched, arm-in-arm, with a group including Martin Luther King Jr. at the Selma Civil Rights March.
AprilHannity's Tea Party Appearance Canceled. Of the many Fox News personalities appearing at tea party events coinciding with Tax Day, Sean Hannity drew additional scrutiny for the fact that he was set to tape an episode of his Fox News program at an April 15 Cincinnati Tea Party event and charge audience members for tickets, with proceeds going to the tea party group. Hannity's plan was criticized by veteran journalists as crossing ethical lines, and reportedly "furious" Fox News executives yanked Hannity from the event at the last minute. Earlier in the month, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox News parent company News Corp., said that Fox News "shouldn't be supporting the Tea Party."
O'Reilly's Fox News Defense Fails Spectacularly. Responding to Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-OK) suggestion that Fox News perpetuated the falsehood that individuals without health insurance can be sent to prison under the new health care reform legislation, Bill O'Reilly said on April 13: "[W]e researched to find out if anybody had ever said you are going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody has ever said it. What it seems to me is you used Fox News as a whipping boy when we didn't qualify there." In fact, that very falsehood had been repeated countless times across Fox News' many platforms, including on O'Reilly's own show.
Dick Morris Invents, And Then Retracts, Clinton-Reno-Waco Story. On the April 19 edition of Hannity, Dick Morris claimed that Bill Clinton had told him that he had retained Janet Reno as attorney general because she threatened to "tell the truth about Waco." Morris explained that this story "had never been said before." The next day, Rush Limbaugh picked up Morris' story, claiming that "Reno's appointment to a second term as attorney general was to keep her quiet about the Waco invasion." One day later, Morris appeared on Fox & Friends to walk back the false story, claiming to separate "the facts" from his "conjecture based on the facts."
MayJohn Stossel Calls For Repeal Of Civil Rights Legislation. Echoing comments made by Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), Fox News' John Stossel argued against the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act, which ended lunch-counter discrimination, saying that "private businesses ought to get to discriminate." According to Stossel: "I would go further than [Paul] was willing to go ... and say it's time now to repeal that part of the law." Stossel repeated his argument several times throughout the month, while Fox News' media criticism and news programs steadfastly ignored the controversy surrounding Stossel's comments.
Crusading Against Justice Kagan. Not long after President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Fox News began their assault on Kagan, dredging up a 30-year-old college quote to claim she has "written derisively about conservatives." From there, the attacks grew only more strident, with Sean Hannity leading the charge, suggesting Kagan was "just another radical," lying about Kagan's experience and suggesting she's a socialist, and falsely claiming she "kick[ed] military recruiters off of campus" at Harvard.
Calling For Impeachment Over Sestak Non-Scandal. Reacting to news reports that the White House had offered Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) an unpaid position on a presidential panel if he chose not to seek the Democratic nomination for Senate in Pennsylvania, Fox News personalities falsely claimed that the White House had broken the law and "bribed" Sestak. Even though legal experts across the ideological spectrum rejected such claims, Fox News commentators suggested that the White House committed a "crime" that rose to the level of an "impeachable offense."
JuneGiving Land Back To Mexico. On June 15, Fox News reported that a "massive stretch of Arizona [is] now off limits to Americans. Critics say the administration is, in effect, giving a major strip of the Southwest back to Mexico." The next day, Fox Nation reported: "Obama Gives Back Major Strip of AZ to Mexico." The claim was completely false -- the strip of land in question is part of a national wildlife refuge that, according to refuge officials, was closed to the public in 2006 -- two years before Obama was elected -- and is still very much under the control of the U.S. Border Patrol. Even after the story was debunked, Fox News continued to mislead, reporting that the land had been "quietly surrendered" to "Mexican drug gangs and illegals."
Standing Up For BP. As the Gulf oil spill grew worse, Fox News led the conservative media in defending BP, attacking the Obama administration for "demonizing" the company. Many of the attacks were centered on a $20 billion escrow account BP set up, at the urging of the White House, to pay damage claims from Gulf residents. Monica Crowley attacked Obama for "continuing to villainize" the oil company. On Hannity, Newt Gingrich claimedObama was "directly engaged in extorting money" from BP. Stuart Varney called the account a "political slush fund" that was "Hugo Chavez-like."
JulyFox Hypes Phony New Black Panthers Scandal. A Media Matters report found that in more than 100 instances between June 30 and July 17, Fox News hyped the manufactured scandal that President Obama's Justice Department engaged in racially charged "corruption" in the New Black Panther Party case. The phony allegations, made by GOP activist J. Christian Adams, were largely promoted by America Live anchor Megyn Kelly and, following a familiar pattern, were picked up by non-Fox media outlets. Still, numerous media and political figures, including Fox News contributors and Republicans, have dismissed the phony scandal.
Fox Assists Breitbart's Smears of Shirley Sherrod As Racist. On July 19, Andrew Breitbart posted a deceptively edited clip of then-USDA official Shirley Sherrod and accused her of racism. Following Breitbart's post, FoxNews.comran an article headlined "Video Shows USDA Official Saying She Didn't Give 'Full Force' of Help to White Farmer," before the USDA announced Sherrod's resignation on July 19. Following her resignation, Fox News programs amplified attacks against Sherrod. Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente later admitted that a "breakdown" allowed FoxNews.com to run the story about Sherrod's comments. Prior to Clemente's admission, however, Fox aggressively claimed it did not cover the story prior to her resignation.
AugustFox Provides Megaphone To Park51 Opponents. A Media Matters review of Fox News' evening coverage of the planned Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero found that between May and August 13, the shows hosted at least 47 guests to discuss the project, nearly 75 percent of whom opposed the center. Over the summer, Fox News routinely used anti-Muslim rhetoric and dubious arguments to attack the proposed center.
8-28 "Restoring Honor": Glenn Beck Honors Glenn Beck. On August 28, Glenn Beck hosted his heavily promoted "Restoring Honor" weekend in Washington, D.C. Beck's event was focused on one thing: Glenn Beck. Beck introduced a Beck-sanctioned clergy group that he claimed represented "180 million people," comically associated himself with Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement, made outlandish claims about the impact of the events, and was praised as "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens." Beck's "non-political" rally was also steeped in politics.
SeptemberGlenn Beck And Fox News' Anti-Semitism Problem. Following a pattern, Glenn Beck promoted a book by Eustace Mullins, who has been described as an "anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist" and a "nationally known white supremacist"; the ADL called the book "a re-hash of Mullins' anti-Semitic theories about the origins of the Federal Reserve." In October and November, Beck repeatedly attacked financier and philanthropist George Soros with anti-Semitic stereotypes, referring to Soros as a "puppet master" and accusing him of controlling the media, the political process, and the global economy.
Fox Calls For Repeal Of The 20th Century. In September, Media Matters documented that since President Obama's election, Fox personalities have expressed opposition to or called for the repeal of virtually every progressive achievement of the 20th century, including Social Security, Medicare, the Americans with Disabilities Act, portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution.
Fox News' Christine O'Donnell Problem. Following Christine O'Donnell's surprise victory in the Delaware Republican Senate primary, many Fox media figures coalesced around O'Donnell and took to bullying other Republicans -- including Fox News' Karl Rove -- into supporting her. O'Donnell, who was told by Sarah Palin to "speak through Fox News," reportedly said she had Hannity "in her back pocket" and a Fox source told Media Matters that O'Donnell appeared on Hannity after canceling on Fox News Sunday in order to "get a certain kind of treatment."
OctoberKilmeade "Misspoke" About "All Terrorists" Being "Muslims" -- Twice. On the October 15 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that "[n]ot all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims." Later that day on his radio program, Kilmeade asserted that it's a "fact" that "every terrorist is a Muslim" and questioned whether "moderate Muslims" need to prove "you're not one of them." Kilmeade -- who, like his Fox News colleagues, has a history of bigoted and anti-Muslim statements -- later "clarif[ied]" that he "misspoke."
Glenn Beck's Violent Rhetoric -- And Its Consequences. In October, nearly three months after Byron Williams was arrested on his way to kill "people of importance at the Tides Foundation and ACLU," Media Matters released "Progressive Hunter," a report from journalist John Hamilton, who spoke with Williams at the California jail where he currently awaits trial. In his interviews with Hamilton, Williams described Beck as "a schoolteacher" and said "it was the things [Beck] exposed that blew my mind." Beck has a long history of using violent rhetoric to attack progressives and Democrats.
NovemberHow Fox News Won The Elections. Throughout the 2010 election cycle, Media Matters documented how Fox News, its employees, and its parent company engaged in an unprecedented campaign in support of the Republican Party. The network served as the communications and fundraising wing of the GOP while fervently promoting -- and sometimes creating -- the party's candidates. Specifically:
- Fox Parent Company Donates $2.25 Million To GOP-Linked Groups. On September 30, Politico reported that News Corp. had donated $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Following the donation, Fox offered little in the way of disclosure. On August 16, Bloomberg reported that News Corp. gave the Republican Governors Association (RGA) "$1 million in June" and that News Corp. was "[t]he Republicans' biggest corporate donor" for 2010. The New York Times further reported on August 17 that the donation "is one of the biggest ever given by a media organization, campaign finance experts said." On October 15, The New York Times reported that News Corp. donated an additional $250,000 to the RGA in July. In the weeks that followed, Fox often neglected to disclose the donation while reporting and discussing gubernatorial races.
- FoxPAC: Fox News Figures Raise Big Bucks For GOP. Fox News contributors Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum all raised tens of millions combined for Republican causes. Contributor Karl Rove ran a shadow Republican National Committee during the election that directed tens of millions to Republican causes and ran tens of thousands of TV ads. And contributor Dick Morris served as a one-man campaign for the Republican Party.
- GOP Candidates "Speak Through Fox News." Republican candidates took the advice of Sarah Palin, who advised Christine O'Donnell to "speak through Fox News," and participated in numerous softball interviews and fundraising pushes on the network.
- Fox News Builds Conservative Movement, Creates 2010 Candidates. Media Matters documented how Fox News engaged in conservative movement-building by heavily promoting and taking ownership of the tea parties and guiding them toward the Republican Party. The election also featured Republican candidates who were previously employed by, or inspired by, Fox News.
- More Than 30 Fox Newsers Support GOP In 600-Plus Instances During Midterms. During the election cycle, more than 30 Fox News personalities endorsed, raised money, or campaigned for Republican candidates or organizations in more than 600 instances. The Republican support was given to more than 300 different races or party organizations in at least 47 states. Media Matters found that Republicans routinely tout the Fox News affiliations of their supporters.
Fox News' "Nazi" And "Socialism" Rhetoric Comes Straight From The Top. In a November interview, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes referred to National Public Radio executives as "Nazis" with a "Nazi attitude" and claimed that "[t]hey are the left wing of Nazism." As Media Matters documented, Ailes' employees at Fox News, particularly Glenn Beck, have also used Nazi and Holocaust imagery to smear President Obama, Democrats, and progressives. Ailes also referred to Obama's policies as "socialism." Ailes' opinion is shared by his Fox News employees, who regularly characterize Obama and his administration as "socialist."
Lou Dobbs Joins Fox Birther Network. In November, Fox Business Network hired Lou Dobbs. While with CNN, Dobbs repeatedly advanced false conspiracy theories about President Obama's birth certificate. Dobbs has company at Fox, as his new colleagues have a history of embracing birtherism. In December, The Washington Post noted that Fox is the "second-chance employer" for those who "ran afoul" of liberals, such as Don Imus and former WJLA (DC) anchor Doug McKelway.
Andrew Napolitano Pushes 9-11 Conspiracy Theories -- Fox Is Hypocritically Silent. On November 23, Fox News' Andrew Napolitano told 9-11 conspiracy theory leader Alex Jones that it's "hard for me to believe that" World Trade Center Building 7 "came down by itself" -- a central tenet of 9-11 conspiracy theories -- and claimed that "twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us." Napolitano made similar remarks in May on a separate radio program. Despite criticizing 9-11 conspiracy theorists in the past, Fox News was silent about Napolitano's remarks.
Fox News' 2012 Presidential Roster. In November, Media Matters released a report estimating that between January 1 and October 31 of this year, five potential Republican presidential candidates who also serve as Fox News contributors or hosts -- Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, John Bolton, and Rick Santorum -- had appeared on the network for a combined total of nearly 66 hours. Media Matters estimates this time to be worth at least $40 million in advertising costs. Figures both within and outside Fox News -- including some of the potential candidates -- have praised Fox News as a helpful vehicle for a potential run for the Republican nomination.
DecemberFox News Vs. The DREAM Act. According to a Media Matters analysis, Fox News gave guests who oppose the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to legal status for certain immigrants who came to the United States as children, more than 40 minutes of airtime from November 23 through December 6, but only about 7 minutes to supporters during that same period. In November and December, Fox News regularly resorted to inflammatory rhetoric and false claims to attack the legislation.
Fox Washington Managing Editor Bill Sammon Caught Slanting News Reporting. Media Matters released emails showing Washington managing editor Bill Sammon directing staff not to use the phrase "public option" when discussing health care reform legislation. The emails, which were sent during the height of the health care debate, echoed Republican pollster Frank Luntz's appearance on Hannity in which he encouraged host Sean Hannity not to say "public option," but instead use the term "government option," because "if you call it the 'government option,' the public is overwhelmingly against it."
Media Matters also obtained emails from Sammon in which he instructed news staff to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question." This directive was issued less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record." Sammon's email was sent as the network heavily promoted the fabricated "Climategate" scandal.
Media Matters previously reported that sources with knowledge of the situation had raised concerns about the direction of Fox's Washington bureau under Sammon, who took over as managing editor in February 2009.
— E.H.H. & S.S.M.
December 16 ... I'm standing in the snow in front of the White House ... Standing with Veterans for Peace ... I'm only a veteran of standing in front of the White House; the first time was February 1965, handing out flyers against the war in Vietnam. I was working for the State Department at the time and my biggest fear was that someone from that noble institution would pass by and recognize me.
Five years later I was still protesting Vietnam, although long gone from the State Department. Then came Cambodia. And Laos. Soon, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Then Panama was the new great threat to America, to freedom and democracy and all things holy and decent, so it had to be bombed without mercy. Followed by the first war against the people of Iraq, and the 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. Then the land of Afghanistan had rained down upon it depleted uranium, napalm, phosphorous bombs, and other witches' brews and weapons of the chemical dust; then Iraq again. And I've skipped a few. I think I hold the record for most times picketing the White House by a right-handed batter.
And through it all, the good, hard-working, righteous people of America have believed mightily that their country always means well; some even believe to this day that we never started a war, certainly nothing deserving of the appellation "war of aggression".
On that same snowy day last month Julian Assange of Wikileaks was freed from prison in London and told reporters that he was more concerned that the United States might try to extradite him than he was about being extradited to Sweden, where he presumably faces "sexual" charges. 1
That's a fear many political and drug prisoners in various countries have expressed in recent years. The United States is the new Devil's Island of the Western world. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th, political prisoners were shipped to that god-forsaken strip of French land off the eastern coast of South America. One of the current residents of the new Devil's Island is Bradley Manning, the former US intelligence analyst suspected of leaking diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Manning has been imprisoned for seven months, first in Kuwait, then at a military base in Virginia, and faces virtual life in prison if found guilty, of something. Without being tried or convicted of anything, he is allowed only very minimal contact with the outside world; or with people, daylight, or news; among the things he is denied are a pillow, sheets, and exercise; his sleep is restricted and frequently interrupted. See Glenn Greenwald's discussion of how Manning's treatment constitutes torture. 2
A friend of the young soldier says that many people are reluctant to talk about Manning's deteriorating physical and mental condition because of government harassment, including surveillance, seizure of their computer without a warrant, and even attempted bribes. "This has had such an intimidating effect that many are afraid to speak out on his behalf." 3
A developer of the transparency software used by Wikileaks was detained for several hours last summer by federal agents at a Newark, New Jersey airport, where he was questioned about his connection to Wikileaks and Assange as well as his opinions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 4
This is but a tiny incident from the near-century buildup of the American police state, from the Red Scare of the 1920s to the McCarthyism of the 1950s to the crackdown against Central American protesters in the 1980s ... elevated by the War on Drugs ... now multiplied by the War on Terror. It's not the worst police state in history; not even the worst police state in the world today; but nonetheless a police state, and certainly the most pervasive police state ever — a Washington Post study has just revealed that there are 4,058 separate federal, state and local "counterterrorism" organizations spread across the United States, each with its own responsibilities and jurisdictions. 5
The police of America, of many types, generally get what and who they want. If the United States gets its hands on Julian Assange, under any legal pretext, fear for him; it might be the end of his life as a free person; the actual facts of what he's done or the actual wording of US laws will not matter; hell hath no fury like an empire scorned.
John Burns, chief foreign correspondent for The New York Times, after interviewing Assange, stated: "He is profoundly of the conviction that the United States is a force for evil in the world, that it's destructive of democracy." 6
Can anyone who believes that be entitled to a full measure of human rights on Devil's Island?
The Wikileaks documents may not produce any world-changing revelations, but every day they are adding to the steady, gradual erosion of people's belief in the US government's good intentions, which is necessary to overcome a lifetime of indoctrination. Many more individuals over the years would have been standing in front of the White House if they had had access to the plethora of information that floods people today; which is not to say that we would have succeeded in stopping any of the wars; that's a question of to what extent the United States is a democracy.
One further consequence of the release of the documents may be to put an end to the widespread belief that Sweden, or the Swedish government, is peaceful, progressive, neutral and independent. Stockholm's behavior in this matter and others has been as American-poodle-like as London's, as it lined itself up with an Assange-accuser who has been associated with right-wing anti-Castro Cubans, who are of course US-government-supported. This is the same Sweden that for some time in recent years was working with the CIA on its torture-rendition flights and has about 500 soldiers in Afghanistan. Sweden is the world's largest per capita arms exporter, and for years has taken part in US/NATO military exercises, some within its own territory. The left should get themselves a new hero-nation. Try Cuba.
There's also the old stereotype held by Americans of Scandinavians practicing a sophisticated and tolerant attitude toward sex, an image that was initiated, or enhanced, by the celebrated 1967 Swedish film I Am Curious (Yellow), which had been banned for awhile in the United States. And now what do we have? Sweden sending Interpol on an international hunt for a man who apparently upset two women, perhaps for no more than sleeping with them both in the same week.
And while they're at it, American progressives should also lose their quaint belief that the BBC is somehow a liberal broadcaster. Americans are such suckers for British accents. The BBC's Today presenter, John Humphrys, asked Assange: "Are you a sexual predator?" Assange said the suggestion was "ridiculous", adding: "Of course not". Humphrys then asked Assange how many woman he had slept with. 7
Would even Fox News have descended to that level? I wish Assange had been raised in the streets of Brooklyn, as I was. He would then have known precisely how to reply to such a question: "You mean including your mother?"
Another group of people who should learn a lesson from all this are the knee-reflex conspiracists. Several of them have already written me snide letters informing me of my naiveté in not realizing that Israel is actually behind the release of the Wikileaks documents; which is why, they inform me, that nothing about Israel is mentioned.
I had to inform them that I had already seen a few documents putting Israel in a bad light. I've since seen others, and Assange, in an interview with Al Jazeera on December 23, stated that only a meager number of files related to Israel had been published so far because the publications in the West that were given exclusive rights to publish the secret documents were reluctant to publish much sensitive information about Israel. (Imagine the flak Germany's Der Spiegel would get hit with.) "There are 3,700 files related to Israel and the source of 2,700 files is Israel," said Assange. "In the next six months we intend to publish more files." 8
Naturally, several other individuals have informed me that it's the CIA that is actually behind the document release.
The right to secrecyMany of us are pretty tired of supporters of Israel labeling as "anti-Semitic" most any criticism of Israeli policies, which is virtually never an appropriate accusation. Consider the Webster Dictionary definition: "Anti-Semite. One who discriminates against or is hostile to or prejudiced against Jews." Notice that the state of Israel is not mentioned, or in any way implied.
Here's what real anti-Semitism looks like. Listen to former president Richard Nixon: "The Jews are just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality. ... most of our Jewish friends ... they are all basically people who have a sense of inferiority and have got to compensate." This is from a tape of a conversation at the White House, February 13, 1973, recently released. 9 These tapes, and there are a large number of them, are the Wikileaks of an earlier age.
Yet, as the prominent conservative Michael Medved pointed out after the release of Nixon's remarks: "Ironically, though, no American did more to rescue the Jewish people when it counted most: after the 1973 Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack destroyed a third of Israel's air force and killed the American equivalent of 200,000 Israelis, Nixon overruled his own Pentagon and ordered immediate re-supply. To this day, Israelis feel gratitude for this decisiveness that enabled the Jewish state to turn the tide of war." 10
So, was Richard Nixon anti-Semitic? And should his remarks be kept secret?
In another of his recent interviews, Julian Assange was asked whether he thought that "a state has a right to have any secrets at all." He conceded that there are circumstances when institutions have such a need, "but that is not to say that all others must obey that need. The media has an obligation to the public to get out information that the public needs to know." 11
I would add that the American people — more than any other people — have a need to know what their government is up to around the world because their government engages in aggressive actions more than any other government, continuously bombing and sending young men and women to kill and die. Americans need to know what their psychopathic leaders are really saying to each other and to foreign leaders about all this shedding of blood. Any piece of such information might be used as a weapon to prevent yet another Washington War. Michael Moore has recently written:
We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a Wikileaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.
And, dear comrades, let us not forget: Our glorious leaders spy on us all the time; no communication of ours, from phone call to email, is secret from them; nothing in our bank accounts or our bedrooms is guaranteed any kind of privacy if they wish to know about it. Recently, the FBI raided the midwest homes of a number of persons active in solidarity work with Palestinians, Colombians, and others. The agents spent many hours going through each shelf and drawer, carting away dozens of boxes of personal belongings. So what kind of privacy and secrecy should the State Department be entitled to?
Preparing for the propaganda onslaughtFebruary 6 will mark the centenary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. The conservatives have wasted no time in starting the show. On New Years Day a 55-foot long, 26-foot high float honoring Reagan was part of the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. To help you cope with, hopefully even counter, the misinformation and the omissions that are going to swamp the media for the next few months, here is some basic information about the great man's splendid achievements, first in foreign policy:
For eight terribly long years the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Ronald Reagan's proxy army, the Contras. It was all-out war from Washington, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the Sandinista government — burning down schools and medical clinics, mining harbors, bombing and strafing, raping and torturing. These Contras were the charming gentlemen Reagan called "freedom fighters" and the "moral equivalent of our founding fathers".
· El Salvador
Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with US support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protestors and strikers. When the dissidents took to the gun and civil war, the Carter administration and then even more so, the Reagan administration, responded with unlimited money, military aid, and training in support of the government and its death squads and torture, the latter with the help of CIA torture manuals. US military and CIA personnel played an active role on a continuous basis. The result was 75,000 civilian deaths; meaningful social change thwarted; a handful of the wealthy still owned the country; the poor remained as ever; dissidents still had to fear right-wing death squads; there was to be no profound social change in El Salvador while Ronnie sat in the White House with Nancy.
In 1954, a CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of military-government death squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling more than 200,000 victims — indisputably one of the most inhumane chapters of the 20th century. For eight of those years the Reagan administration played a major role.
Perhaps the worst of the military dictators was General Efraín Ríos Montt, who carried out a near-holocaust against the indians and peasants, for which he was widely condemned in the world. In December 1982, Reagan went to visit the Guatemalan dictator. At a press conference of the two men, Ríos Montt was asked about the Guatemalan policy of scorched earth. He replied "We do not have a policy of scorched earth. We have a policy of scorched communists." After the meeting, referring to the allegations of extensive human-rights abuses, Reagan declared that Ríos Montt was getting "a bad deal" from the media.
Reagan invaded this tiny country in October 1983, an invasion totally illegal and immoral, and surrounded by lies (such as "endangered" American medical students). The invasion put into power individuals more beholden to US foreign policy objectives.
After the Carter administration provoked a Soviet invasion, Reagan came to power to support the Islamic fundamentalists in their war to eject the Soviets and the secular government, which honored women's rights. In the end, the United States and the fundamentalists "won", women's rights and the rest of Afghanistan lost. More than a million dead, three million disabled, five million refugees; in total about half the population. And many thousands of anti-American Islamic fundamentalists, trained and armed by the US, on the loose to terrorize the world, to this day.
"To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom," declared Reagan. "Their courage teaches us a great lesson — that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of all Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom, and your relentless struggle against your oppressors." 12
· The Cold War
As to Reagan's alleged role in ending the Cold War ... pure fiction. He prolonged it. Read the story in one of my books. 13
Some other examples of the remarkable amorality of Ronald Wilson Reagan and the feel-good heartlessness of his administration:
Reagan, in his famous 1964 speech, "A Time for Choosing", which lifted him to national political status: "We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet."
"Undermining health, safety and environmental regulation. Reagan decreed such rules must be subjected to regulatory impact analysis — corporate-biased cost-benefit analyses, carried out by the Office of Management and Budget. The result: countless positive regulations discarded or revised based on pseudo-scientific conclusions that the cost to corporations would be greater than the public benefit."
"Kick-starting the era of structural adjustment. It was under Reagan administration influence that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank began widely imposing the policy package known as structural adjustment — featuring deregulation, privatization, emphasis on exports, cuts in social spending — that has plunged country after country in the developing world into economic destitution. The IMF chief at the time was honest about what was to come, saying in 1981 that, for low-income countries, 'adjustment is particularly costly in human terms'."
"Silence on the AIDS epidemic. Reagan didn't mention AIDS publicly until 1987, by which point AIDS had killed 19,000 in the United States."
– Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman 14
"Reagan's election changed the political reality. His agenda was rolling back the welfare state, and his budgets included a wide range of cuts for social programs. He was also very strategic about the process. One of his first targets was Legal Aid. This program, which provides legal services for low-income people, was staffed largely by progressive lawyers, many of whom used it as a base to win precedent-setting legal disputes against the government. Reagan drastically cut back the program's funding. He also explicitly prohibited the agency from taking on class-action suits against the government — law suits that had been used with considerable success to expand the rights of low- and moderate-income families."
"The Reagan administration also made weakening the power of unions a top priority. The people he appointed to the National Labor Relations Board were qualitatively more pro-management than appointees by prior Democratic or Republican presidents. This allowed companies to ignore workers' rights with impunity. Reagan also made the firing of strikers an acceptable business practice when he fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Many large corporations quickly embraced the practice. ... The net effect of these policies was that union membership plummeted, going from nearly 20 percent of the private sector workforce in 1980 to just over 7 percent in 2006. "
– Dean Baker 15
Reaganomics: a tax policy based on a notion of incentives which says that "the rich aren't working because they have too little money, while the poor aren't working because they have too much."
– John Kenneth Galbraith
"According to the nostrums of Reagan Age America, the current Chinese system — in equal measure capitalist and authoritarian — cannot actually exist. Capitalism spread democracy, we were told ad nauseam by a steady stream of conservative hacks, free-trade apologists, government officials and American companies doing business in China. Given enough Starbuckses and McDonald's, provided with sufficient consumer choice, China would surely become a democracy." – Harold Meyerson 16
Throughout the early and mid-1980s, the Reagan administration declared that the Russians were spraying toxic chemicals over Laos, Cambodia and Afghanistan — the so-called "yellow rain" — and had caused more than ten thousand deaths by 1982 alone, (including, in Afghanistan, 3,042 deaths attributed to 47 separate incidents between the summer of 1979 and the summer of 1981, so precise was the information). President Reagan himself denounced the Soviet Union thusly more than 15 times in documents and speeches. The "yellow rain", it turned out, was pollen-laden feces dropped by huge swarms of honeybees flying far overhead. 17
Reagan's long-drawn-out statements re: Contragate (the scandal involving the covert sale of weapons to Iran to enable Reaganites to continue financing the Contras in the war against the Nicaraguan government after the US Congress cut off funding for the Contras) can be summarized as follows:
- I didn't know what was happening.
- If I did know, I didn't know enough.
- If I knew enough, I didn't know it in time.
- If I knew it in time, it wasn't illegal.
- If it was illegal, the law didn't apply to me.
- If the law applied to me, I didn't know what was happening.
1. Sunday Telegraph (Australia), December 19, 2010
2. Salon.com, December 15, 2010, "The inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention". See also his attorney's account of Manning's typical day; and Washington Post, December 16, 2010
3. The Guardian (London), December 17, 2010
4. New York Times, December 19, 2010
5. Washington Post, December 20, 2010
6. Diane Rehm show, National Public Radio, Dec. 9, 2010
7. The Guardian (London), December 21, 2010
8. Information Clearing House, December 23 2010, "WikiLeaks to Release Israel Documents in Six Months"
9. Washington Post, December 12, 2010
10. From Medved's radio show, December 14, 2010; "Nixon: The Anti-Semitic Savior of Israel"
11. Al Jazeera, December 22 2010, Frost Over the World: Julian Assange interview
12.March 21, 1983, in the White House
13."Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II", p.17-18. Also for the five countries listed above, see the respective chapters in this book.
14.June, 2004; Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter; Weissman, editor of the Multinational Monitor, both in Washington, D.C.
15. April, 2007; Baker is Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC
16.Washington Post columnist, June 3, 2009
17. "Killing Hope", p.349–
William Blum is the author of:
- Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
- Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
- West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
- Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website.
To add yourself to this mailing list simply send an email to bblum6 [at] aol.com with "add" in the subject line. I'd like your name and city in the message, but that's optional. I ask for your city only in case I'll be speaking in your area.
By Kiron K. Skinner, Special to CNN
This Is, Beyond A Shadow of doubt, the God Damndest Most Stupid And Convoluted Position I Have Ever Heard. Let them get away with it so historians will someday have a full record. What steaming bullshit!!!
By Kim ThaiChi
Nigeria's deal to drop Cheney charges called illegal Lawyers and media pundits in Nigeria are accusing the government of acting illegally by agreeing.
RedStateVT announces the winner of the 2010 Cheney Award, our 2nd annual presentation of this honor.
The Cheney Award is given annually to the individual who – in our opinion – has done the most to preserve and promote the values of American liberty, strength and exceptionalism.
The award honors Vice-President Dick Cheney for his service to and defense of this great country.
Receiving consideration for the 2010 award were Sean Hannity, the Tea Party, Paul Ryan, and Boston journalist and radio show host Howie Carr along with Sarah Palin who was also on last year’s short list. The winner (also a runner-up last year) is Dick Morris.
Morris was a dynamo - writing books, appearing almost nightly on television and blogging relentlessly – all in service of the opposition to the Obama agenda. It seemed at times that he was out to single-handedly defeat Obamacare. Begging, pleading and exhorting the American people to write their Congressmen, make phone calls and send in donations for advertising, he did it all.
At election time, it was Morris who did the heavy lifting, traveling the country and analyzing the local races that the media did not have time for. It was Morris who realized that the Republicans had an extraordinary opportunity to win back the country and slow the socialists in their tracks. And so – as with healthcare – he was relentless in taking on the fight. While some may say that Morris over-promised (control of the Senate and a 100 House seat pick-up) we applaud his zeal and his vision.
RedStateVT is pleased to honor Dick Morris as the 2010 Cheney Award recipient.
OPEN LETTER: TO: THOSE INCITING MURDER UPON JULIAN ASSANGE AND/OR MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY.
We, among many law abiding citizens of the world deplore and condemn, as applicable, your utterances and writings calling for the extra judicial ie unlawful: kidnapping/assassination/murder/physical harm of Julian Assange, his supporters, Wikileaks workers or members of Assange's family.
We remind you of the laws in your country and others against incitement, inter alia:
In English criminal law, incitement was an anticipatory common law offence and was the act of persuading, encouraging, instigating, pressuring, or threatening so as to cause another to commit a crime....The inciter must intend the others to engage in the behaviour constituting the offence, including any consequences which may result, and must know or believe (or possibly suspect) that those others will have the relevant mens rea."
Codified Incitement Law:
(1) Australian Commonwealth
(1) A person who urges the commission of an offence is guilty of the offence of incitement.
(2) For the person to be guilty, the person must intend that the offence incited be committed.
464. Except where otherwise expressly provided by law, the following provisions apply in respect of persons who counsel other persons to commit offences, namely,(a) every one who counsels another person to commit an indictable offence is, if the offence is not committed, guilty of an indictable offence and liable to the same punishment to which a person who attempts to commit that offence is liable; and
(3) United Kingdom
(1)A person commits an offence if—
(a)he does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence; and
(b)he intends to encourage or assist its commission.
There is no automatic 1st Amendment protection per
Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969):
Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action
We remind you that while such prima facie incitement by way of utterances and writings may go unpunished in your country, they will not necessarily go unpunished in others, and especially so should you have the courage of your convictions to repeat them in those other jurisdictions.
We ask you respectfully, to contemplate this writing of Mahatma Gandhi:
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it. Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self sustained.
And that truth is that Julian Assange is no terrorist; he is not a war defined "belligerent" acting against the United States; he cannot ever be a "traitor"to the USA since by definition he is not a citizen of the United States.
And lastly as Ron Paul put it so well:
In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling and outright military intervention in the post-World War 2 era has made us less secure, not more, and we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often it’s the official government lies that have given us endless and illegal wars resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths and casualties.
Peter H Kemp
The Wikileaks Central Crew
And I believe, so many others all over the world.