Sunday, July 06, 2008
-- C.I., "ABC's in the tank with the Pentagon! (Or so a crackpot e-mails)"
The long edition. The one we almost didn't do. If you're not a regular reader, this is our second "F.U." edition and it's not aimed at regular readers.
Let me (Jim) note who helped:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Jess, and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ.
Along with Dallas! We thank everyone. I'm going to talk about the edition as I go through. There was a note I almost posted Sunday morning. I'm glad I did not. Dona stopped me asking, "Have you looked at Ava and C.I.?"
What did she mean? Ava, C.I. and I stayed up all night Saturday working on the edition. Of course I'd looked at them. Then I looked over. They were tired. The note was saying (and I may publish it and comment on it next week) basically, "Hang in there! Ava and C.I. are working on their TV piece. We're getting input from everyone on what we've written and it needs to be typed. Two hours tops, the whole edition will be up." Didn't happen.
And Dona rightly stopped me from posting that. Ironically, the edition came to a halt when one of us fell asleep. Not Ava. Not C.I. Me. I was typing up one of the 'letters' and fell asleep. When everyone noticed, it was decided to come back this evening.
Truest statement of the week -- we weren't going to have one. Ava, C.I. and I had decided that. When we invited everyone back in, Mike, Wally, Cedric and Betty agreed with Rebecca and said that's insane and that it had to be C.I. (over C.I.'s objections but the towel was tossed in in order to get "the damn edition done").
Editorial: The real change choice -- The bulk of the drafts were written Saturday night, Sunday morning by Ava, C.I. and I. I'll go into that throughout the note. We'd called off the edition and sent everyone on to a fun Saturday. In the form we wrote, it was a feature article. When we brought everyone in late Sunday morning, it was said this was the editorial. So some things were stripped out and some things added. Things dropped will be picked up in future coverage.
TV: Nonreality programming -- Ava and C.I. wrote this. When I fell asleep they were almost done with this. When I fell asleep, they decided that the edition was over and they'd finish when we all woke up. Normally, I read their piece outloud. I still haven't read it. I'm sure it's wonderful. I did hear them composing some lines as they pitched jokes at one another and they had me laughing then. Mike will do a breakdown and, I'm sure, capture this perfectly at his site.
Judge Robert Barnes rules in Joshua Key's appeal -- This is where we had the slowdown in the evening Sunday. Dona argued, "We're not doing our edition, going on to sleep or fun and letting C.I. stay up forever doing 'And the war drags on . . .'." We all agreed with that. How long would it take? C.I. said it shouldn't take long. Joshua Key needed to be noted and McClatchy would be noted because they would be covering Iraq. Add in Pru and that was that. Didn't work out that way. We'd heard about Joshua Key all weekend and knew the end result of the finding. C.I. was just going to note the coverage. Then C.I. started reading the coverage. That's not what the decision said in many cases. C.I. bummed a cigarette from Dona (noting that with C.I.'s permission -- the only cigarette C.I.'s had in 2008 for those freaking out -- relax), pulled the hair up on top of the head and read over the entire decision of Judge Robert Barnes while making notes. C.I. then wrote the entry. We'd heard the comments throughout while C.I. was reading over it. When we saw the write-up, Jess said, "Could we post it here?" There was no time to write another article. Jess wasn't asking C.I. to give it up (and do another entry for TCI), he was asking if we could also post it here. C.I. wants it noted that, "I focused on what interested me. It is not all good for Key but that's for those who oppose war resisters to argue. I don't make that case and I'm not going to."
The missing editorial -- This goes with truest and with a number of things. It's why we didn't want to do an edition. A 'helper' in Canada decided to attack C.I. in an e-mail. And invented things that were not said. We're really not in the mood for it. And we will be less likely to hold our tongue about the 'movement' in Canada as a result. Except for Elaine, everyone was. Until now. A 'movement' that can't even get it right that deserters were welcomed in Canada during Vietnam isn't much of a movement. C.I.'s "ABC's in the tank with the Pentagon! (Or so a crackpot e-mails)" on Friday morning (a public reply to the 'helper') outlines that perfectly.
Letters to An Old Sell Out: Iraq -- Tom Hayden. He wrote Cedric. We should probably mention that. He wrote Cedric to whine. (Link to Cedric and Wally's reply in this and the other 'letters.') Like the 'helper' in Canada, Tom-Tom can't read. Cedric had not written about Hayden at his site. (Nor had Wally. They do joint-posts.) They'd searched for weeks trying to find out what he was writing about (he did not include the date or title of the post that upset him). They brought C.I. into it Wednesday. C.I. asked, "What's the date of his e-mail?" "Oh, then he's complaining about Linda's comments about him being a sexist pig. It's a Slate article I linked to in the snapshot and quoted from. You ran it in the joint-post the day before he e-mailed." Since it clearly identifies the author, that it's from Slate and that it's a quote, Tom-Tom might try going to a remedial reading course. He might meet Canadian 'helper' there and form a friendship. July 4th Barack didn't say anything he hadn't already been saying. But it became an issue and suddenly Tom-Tom took to blog to play like he'd always been right about Barack. He cited a 2007 piece he wrote and ignored what he wrote in 2008. He complained that the MSM and Hillary's campaign hadn't called out Barack for the Samantha Power BBC interview. That would be the one he never wrote about (until July 4th) that took place back in March. That would be the one we wrote an editorial in March calling out Panhandle Media for not publicizing. MSM and the Hillary campaign responded to that interview. It was the losers like Tom-Tom that didn't cover it. But then it would have hurt the Christ-child and truth took a backseat so that they could . . . hop into the backseat with Barack. Hot and heavy make out session passed off as 'analysis' is all they offered.
Letters to An Old Sell Out: About Latin America -- If there was any reason left to listen to Tom Hayden today it was his recent work on Latin America. On Iraq, he's become nothing but a justifier for the Democratic Party (as most book reviews of his Iraq book noted). Barack was never the candidate for Latin America. Tom-Tom got honest on July 4th (a little honest) about Barack and Iraq, he's still lying about Barack and Latin America.
Letters to An Old Sell Out: Where's the honesty? -- The two letters above originated with Ava, C.I. and myself. When we brought everyone in, Elaine said, "Well let's raise the issue of 1969." So we do. Isn't it time Tom-Tom got honest about his speech inciting violence in Chicago in 1969? We think it is and we think people should know about it when Tom-Tom's blathering on about the 'movement' behind Barack. From start to finish, this was a piece everyone worked on.
Stop the racism -- This is why Ava, C.I. and I stayed up. What happened was Maria asked if we would do a roundtable. It was already Sunday night. We never do roundtables for El Espirito (Maria, Miguel and Francisco's newsletter). Not because we don't like their newletter (we do, we all do, Isaiah does comics for it, Rebecca does a column, Ava and C.I. do two TV pieces on Spanish language TV programming). We don't do a roundtable for them because we're working on the latest edition while they're assembling the newsletter. But the community wanted to know more about the e-mail that came in to C.I. Friday and though everyone had written about it at their sites, Maria wanted to have everyone together for the roundtable. We were already toying with not doing an edition. We agreed to the roundtable (which went quickly, just under two hours). Then we decided, "Screw it. We're not busting our asses this weekend." So everyone was told, "Go have fun, go to sleep, whatever. We're taking the weekend off." I don't know what people did elsewhere. Kat saw it as a chance to go out and quickly organized a night's event. She took Jess, Wally, Mike, Elaine and Dona along. Ava and C.I. were of the opinion that they'd get some sleep and I wanted to get the pictures from France (Dona and I were in France and that's why we didn't participate last edition) in order. I'd picked up the pictures Saturday afternoon and not even had time to look at them. Ava and C.I. opened a bottle of wine and moved to a sofa. I took the pictures in there and bored them (I'm saying that) with them. As we were looking, C.I. noted that at some point "I'm going to have to get online." Why? Asian-Americans in the community were angry and offended by the stunt Amy Goodman pulled. C.I. called it the day it aired. But it needed to be addressed further because so many Asian-Americans were angry and to not write something on it would be, in effect, pulling a Goodman. Ava, C.I. and I talked about that and then I said, "Let's write it together. Let's do it and we'll post it at Third. It'll be the only thing we post there. But it is important." So C.I. gathered up the e-mails on it and we started writing it. A little after three in the morning, we heard everyone come in. A few came in to say goodnight and asked what we were doing. We explained it was just one article and to go on to sleep. At six, Mike woke up and came downstairs. He was surprised to find us still working. We'd done two of the letters and Ava and C.I. said they could do a TV commentary. We'd also worked out the editorial that became the missing editorial. Mike picked up all the pages (written in longhand) that we'd produced and whistled. He said, "I think we need an edition." Before anyone could stop him, he was upstairs waking everyone and telling them we were doing an edition. Ava and C.I. wrote the TV commentary and it is exclusively their own. This piece is by Ava, C.I. and myself. C.I. says Betty added something, so add Betty too. Everything else went through further drafts with others adding things. And that's how we ended up with an edition.
Highlights -- Mike, Wally, Betty, Cedric, Kat, Ruth, Marcia, Rebecca and Elaine wrote this and selected the highlights except where noted otherwise.
And that's it. Ty rejoins us next edition. He's on vacation and (we hope) having a great time!
-- Jim, Dona, Jess, Ava and C.I.
You did it in six days." They exceeded their own expectations and, once upon a time, Panhandle Media would have treated that like the news it was. Ralph Nader is running for president and he has to fight a Big Media blackout, a Democratic Party that proved in 2004 it would not play fair and ballot access (see: Democratic Party will not play fair). This is the grassroots campaign but Panhandle Media doesn't want to tell you about that.
In a news conference before the speech, Nader said Hawaii voters are being marginalized by the major candidates.
"When political candidates do not campaign in a state, voter turnout suffers," Nader said, adding that he has campaigned in all 50 states in the last two elections.
Nader said he supports the Akaka Bill and native Hawaiian rights, and said Hawaii should be a model for the rest of the country in renewable energy.
"This is the only place in the world where every form of renewable energy occurs," he said.
Nader also said that if elected he would push for universal health care, an increase in the minimum wage to $10 an hour and the repeal of what he called the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act.
It's a quandry.
And one we found ourselves reflecting on repeatedly last week.
In Amy Goodman and David Goodman's Exception to the Rulers, the siblings take on daytime TV, the media and much more. "Things Get Messy With Sally Jessy!" (chapter 15) is a chapter Democracy Sometimes! consumers should be paying attention after last week's broadcasts. After tearing into Sally Jessy (we have no opinion), they then hold Lesley Stahl and Tom Brokaw (among others) accountable leading into this on page 290:
I am not a fan of partying with the powerful. We shouldn't be sipping champagne with Henry Kissinger, Richard Holbrooke, and Donald Rumsfeld. We should be holding those in power accountable.
"I"? We assume it's Amy but, as we noted when reviewing the Donnie & Marie of the Faux Left's latest 'book,' the brother-sister duo likes to use that "I" and "me" a lot in their joint-writing.
Goody's not a fan of partying with the powerful . . . except when she is. And last week, she was.
And she was, was, was . . . To be Talking Heads about it.
Last week, the same Goody that did a segment on protesters demonstrating against the Aspen Institute ("Protest at Aspen Insitute," August 21, 2000) was, in fact, attending the Aspen Institute. (See Kat's "Amy Goodman, selling it for the Aspen Institute.") She lied to her audience and repeatedly referred to it as the "Aspen Ideals Festival." That's an event put on by the Aspen Institute which explains, "For more than 50 years, the Aspen Institute has been the nation’s premier gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times." Why Goody couldn't be honest with her audience and say "Aspen Institute" all last week may be a question that goes to her efforts to avoid the hypocrite she sees reflected in the mirror these days.
Though she wasn't happy to note on air what she was really doing in Aspen, she was happy to supply the Institute with a bio sketch:
Amy Goodman is principal host and executive producer of Pacifica’s Radio Democracy Now! Program. Democracy Now! A national, daily, independent, and award-winning news program airing on more than 700 TV and radio stations in North America. Goodman is the co-author of three New York Times bestsellers: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008), Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back (2006), and The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them (2004). She writes a weekly column syndicated by King Features, for which she was recognized in 2007 with the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting.
For the record, the award was did not recognize her columns, it was a "Career Achievement award." (Check the academy, we holler in our best Bette Davis!). For the record, Aronson ran the Communist periodical The National Guardian. (Don't bore us with trash about how it was 'independent' from the Communist Party. It was 'independent' in the same way that The Nation today is 'independent' of the Democratic Party -- a few skirmishes but always repeating the larger party lines.) Remember when the report ran here on The Nation's affinity for Communists during the period that they supposedly had banned Communists? (They were happy to run pieces by Communists who stayed in the closet with the greater public, they just wouldn't run pieces by any Communist who refused to be closeted)? Well The National Guardian was a weekly paper, out of NYC of course, and was 'tight' with PM which was a daily newspaper and one that The Nation executives (and spy Otto) worked on publishing (also a Communist paper). That's not, "Oh the shame!" That's being honest about the historical record. All those involved in the early years are dead or old enough to come out of the closet. In another piece, we'll be happy to document the hotel where The Nation held their meetings with Otto (those in charge of The Nation magazine including Lady F) and we may even include minutes from some of those 'strategy' sessions. (Yes, they do exist. And, yes, we do have copies.)
The sketch contains other lies as well. We'll just laugh at the notion that the Goodys' third 'book' is a best-seller and move on to "principal host." As we noted so long ago, Juan Gonzalez is a co-host in name only. (And we are not attacking Juan with that statement. Juan's the only reason we check out the show when we bother to check it out anymore.) On air (especially when she needs to address a Latino issue), Goody trots out Juan and dubs him her "co-host" but, notice, in the bio she supplied the institute with, "co-host" wasn't good for her ever increasing ego: She is "principal host."
What she isn't is honest. More and more she lies. She promoted the Aspen Institute non-stop on her program last week and our only surprise was that she didn't bring on fellow Festival-goer Austan Goolsbe who not only argues for the privatization of Social Security but is one of Barack's economic gurus. July 2nd, she made time for Joseph Cirincione who was also a Festival-goer. She, of course, failed to point the Aspen Institute connection. More interesting was her intro of him, "I'm joined now by one of the country's foremost researchers and authors on nuclear weapons and disarmament. Joseph Cirincione joined the Ploughshares Fund as President this spring. " Oh, wow, the Berrigan brothers! The good movement against nuclear proliferation! Should be a good guest. But wait . . . that's the Plowshares Movement. It's an easy mistake to leap too, they sound alike and, certainly, Goody did nothing to clear up that she had a War Hawk on and not anyone from a peace group.
Speaking of nuclear energy (not really his field of expertise, but he does love to jawbone), Cirincione informed Goody (who didn't question), that with nuclear energy, "It's not the reactor you're worried about . . ." Oh really? Was Three Mile Island in 1979 just a coke high that got misrecorded as an actual event? This is the same man who told Jeffrey D. McCausland (Carnegie Council, December 5, 2006) that nuclear energy was "the energy supply of the future." It sure is nice of Goody to bring people like Cirincione onto her program (and to refuse to challenge them) because, goodness knows, the nuclear power lobby is one of the most underfunded, shoe-string operations in the country. What's that? They are highly funded? Well why does Goody keep finding a way to invite them to the table (and never question them)?
And wasn't it cute how she avoided asking him about Charless Bennett or Homeland Insecurity Czar Tommy Ridge -- both of whom Cirincione served in Congress? In fact, Cirincione wrote Bennett's press release praising the Patriot missle (January 30, 1991) and was listed on the release as the "Contact" ("Joe Cirinicione 202-225-5971"). "We can all be proud of the Patriot system," Cirinicione quoted Bennett stating. That's the same Congress member Bennett who put forward the legislation that slapped "In God We Trust" on US currency. But Goody wasn't interested in that either.
The July 2nd program was a nightmare. She provided the Aspen Institute's first "artist in residence" (2006) Anna Deavere Smith (failed actress, bad 'playwright' -- like Goody's 'books,' Smith's 'plays' are nothing but copy-and-paste clip-jobs) whom Goody found so delightful, she needed to play a clip of African-American Smith in stereotype (don't call it "in character") as a Korean-American with a thick, insulting accent. (See this edition's "Stop the racism.")
If you thought that had to be the all-time low point, you don't realize that Jim Wallis was on the program. Wallis continues to pack on the pounds and elude reality. He was aided in that feat -- with gusto -- by Goody. Wallis was allowed to minimize his comments on abortion (he wants to end it) and what he had told ABC News, he was allowed to misrepresent throughout and never was it more clear than when and Goody 'discussed' Barack's increased support for Bully Boy's 'faith-based' programs.
Any real discussion would have addressed the issue of hiring and firing. For those who've forgotten, Bully Boy's program was troubling not only because it erodes the wall between church and state that is supposed to exist in the US (whether Wallis hates the wall or not is no concern for an 'exploration') but also because tax payer money was being turned over to churches and many were seen as racists, sexists or homophobic. Barack's expansion, AP reported, would include allowing them to hire and fire as they saw fit -- something Bully Boy had to back off of because Americans (and Congress) were outraged at the thought that churches could do with tax payer money what no one else could: discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexual identity.
A push-back would try to say AP got it wrong. That was an issue. It was an issue Goody didn't bring up and Wallis knew not to. Wallis couldn't stop name-dropping "Barack" and chattering on about his long, long friendship with him. It was as though Ava Gabor was being interviewed about Merv Griffin and Goody hit about as hard as anyone would in that interview.
She offered more propaganda passed off as 'information.'
We were complaining about the program all week to everyone and a friend at NBC asked were we going to review Fear Itself or not?
That's the new program that is airing on Thursday's last hour of primetime. (However, it's on a two-week hiatus. Episodes can be viewed online.) We're not much on anthology shows -- hosted by Loretta Young or anyone. The quality goes up and down. There's no regular cast. It's really hard to view an anthology show, we argued.
We were begged. To the point that we finally agreed we'd watch Thursday's show.
Imagine our surprise when we witnessed a solid and compelling hour of television.
The show started with a prisoner being taken to a jail cell. His back was to the camera as police officers warned he was a dangerous customer. When his face was finally shown, it was obscured with hair hanging it -- so much so we thought for a moment Johnny Depp might be slumming as a favor. Also obscured was what sort of building (multi-level, with a police locker room) he was being held in because he appeared to be the only prisoner and the only police working there were supposed to be guarding him.
There were four main police characters (Elizabeth Moss, Russell Hornsby, Stephen Lee and Pablo Schreiber), the police captain and three serving under him. The episode was entitled "The Eater" (directed by Stuart Gordon, written by Richard Chizmar and Johnathon Schaech) or as we like to think of Democratic Party Campaign 2008. Did we mention the prisoner was a cannible?
Moss played the main character who they called Danni Bannerman, but we saw her as Hillary. Apparently, the two males under the captain have never had to work with a woman before and think spewing hatred is the obvious workplace choice to make? After what went down in the Democratic primary, we'd be the last to say, "I don't think that kind of sexism could exist so openly." And we might object to the fact that -- whether Danni's property's being stolen, she's being hit, grabbed or verbally insulted -- the captain never calls it off. But we saw the media not only refuse to call out the sexism in the primaries, we saw them openly participate in it. So the captain has at least one more 'moral' than does the media.
For reasons not explained, the three under the captain are left in the apparent police headquarters by themselves with the prisoner. They are supposed to guard the prisoner -- that's not in question. What's in question is where everyone else is? How do you have a multi-storied police headquarters and so few police officers staffing it?
Danni asks for the file on the eater and goes to the locker room to change her shirt (one pig has smeared food on her shirt -- in front of the captain with no objection from the captain). That scene explained what might have happened to the other officers: They were laid off due to the budget overruns on mood lighting.
Danni ignores the low lighting until it starts flickering as she encounters a sex doll left in her locker. She eventually opens the case file and begins reading. After which, she'll encounter the overweight of the two men serving under the captain. He's sitting at a desk in the squad room. We quickly decided he was Mike Gravel due to his propensity to make attention getting statements regardless of whether they were true or not (his parents were not dead) and his obvious hatred towards Hillary, er Dani.
She'll grow tired of his crap around the time he's yelling about coffee and go into the holding area where she'll encounter the attractive pig serving under the captain. We thought of him as John Edwards and not just because he had nicer hair. He also repeated every attack line uttered at Dani previously in the episode. It was like watching one of the Democratic debates.
Dani will notice that he sounds just like the other police officer and also note that the prisoner is not moving. John Edwards will storm off in a snit and Dani find out that the door to the holding cell is open.
Ripping out pages in our best Frank Sinatra, we'll explain that neither police officer is the police officer. They are both the prisoner. He is not just a cannibal, he has magic powers (the script 'helpfully' explains he's Cajun). He eats the hearts out of his victims and then can become them. And apparently shift back and forth. Dani will realize that when she finds Mike Gravel dead under a desk and goes running through multiple stories of the police station attempting to find a way out. (Sadly The Nation, Truthout, The Progressive and so many others do not show up to instruct Dani on how she can just drop out.)
She'll finally bump into the captain who came back to check on things. Dani will explain what's happened after he takes her gun away. Returning her gun, he'll tell her he doesn't believe her but he believes she believes what she's saying. With the already low lights flickering non-stop, they'll head up stairs. Where Dani will find out . . .
The police captain was killed earlier and it's "the eater" assuming the form of the police captain. He will then begin shifting through the three victims whose hearts he's eaten while Dani attempts to get help and get out.
Numerous physical fights will ensue. Dani will realize that she can't let him escape. (Like Hillary, she has concern for the safety of others.) Finally, she will end up in an equipment closet and he will track her by following the blood. He will pull the injured Dani out (one arm is already broken and he's eaten from her head) of the closet and tell her that fun and games are over. He'll get ready to pounce on her and begin eating when she handcuffs him to herself (which he doesn't notice). The eater will devour her heart and then foam at the mouth and begin screaming before dying. To save others, Dani consumed rat poison in the equipment closet.
We saw "the eater" as Barack since he was repeatedly able to trick people. We saw the real victim as the Democratic process since Barack appears to have stolen the nomination. The episode ended with the eater's death but we like to think that in TV world, Dani's sacrifice was appreciated because it's too depressing to think TV can't improve on real life.
Scripted TV, unlike real life, could and did acknowledge the non-stop sexism Dani suffered. Scripted TV could encourage you to root for her. "News" and "public affairs"? Goodman spent a week in Aspen at the Aspen Institute and couldn't even tell her audience that. Kept hiding being a 'festival' of 'ideas' that was, by chance, being held in Aspen. Brought on all her fellow travelers as guests and couldn't explain -- even when she had the Institute's 2006 'artist in residence' for an interview -- what was going on? Mood lighting aside, there was more honesty in the scripted drama.
The Canadian Press notes the finding of Judge Robert Barnes of Canada's Federal Court, issued Friday, which found that, contrary to the Immigration and Refugee 'Board''s opinion, "Officially condoned military misconduct falling well short of a war crime may support a claim to refugee protection." ["Board" because the full committee does not hear the claims or the appeals, one person does.] The individual's case under review was Joshua Key who stated, "It's quite a statement." Earlier Canada's Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey who were the first US war resisters to go to Canada this decade and attempt to receive refugee status. In refusing to hear their appeals, the Court allowed the lower courtss findings to stand. Key was among those cases of appeal winding their way through the Canadian court system following the Immigration and Refugee 'Board' turning down his claim for asylum. Judge Barnes' decision does not reverse the finding of the 'Board,' it merely requires that it re-examine the decision (and the 'board' has ten days to appeal to decision).
The War Resisters Support Campaign has issued a press release and appear to have left out a word or too when offering Jeffry House's legal summary of the judge's opinion: "summarized the decision saying that the court found that Key was required to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions as part of his military service in Iraq and that he was justified in doing so." Something's missing before "and that he was justified in doing so." Judge Barnes did not find that anyone was justified in violating the Geneva Conventions. A better take would be House "summarized the decision saying that the court found that Key was required to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions as part of his military servince in Iraq and that was justified in REFUSING to do so." Without "refusing" in there, the summary makes no sense and does not reflect either Judge Barnes' legal opinion issued Friday or what he can legally do.
Barnes' opinion rests on recognized, acceptable legal human behaviors, it does not reject Geneva, it does note that Geneva Conventions but it also notes other standards (and states the standards the "Board" used were "too restrictive"). He did not find that someone "was justified" in violating Geneva. He did find that someone could be justified in refusing any action that was "contrary to the basic rules of norms of human conduct."
Barnes found that the "Board" had issued a decision which stated that there were "violations of the Geneva Convention prohibition against humilitary and degrading treatment".From Barnes' decision, "The authorities indicate that military action which systematically degrades, abuses or humiliates eitehr combatants or non-combatants is capable of supporting a refugee claim where that is proven reason for refusing to serve." The decision does cite Hinzman's case (Hinzman v. Canada, 2006) as well as the Immigration and Refugee Board's findings on Jeremy's claim:
It is apparent to me that the Board in Hinzman did not have before it the kind of evidence that was presented by Mr. Key and, therefore, neither the Board nor Justice [Anne] Mactavish were required in that case to determine the precise limits of protection afforded by Article 171 of the UNHCR Handbook. I do not consider Justice Mactavish's remarks to be determative of the issue presented by this case -- that is, whether refugee protection is available for persons like Mr. Key who would be expected to participate in widespread and arguably officially sanctioned breaches of humanitarian law which do not constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.
Judge Barnes points out that if Key had returned the US military any review (by the US military) would have been unlikely ("may not have been realistic") because he would have been deployed back to Iraq.
From the decision: "In November, 2003, Mr. Key returned to the United States on a 2-week furlough. He was then suffering from debilitating nightmares. Instead of reporting back to his unit, Pte. Key anonymously sought legal advice from a Judge Advocate General (JAG) representative who apparently told him to return to duty in Iraq or face imprisonment. Pte. Key elected to desert and he and his family relocated to Philadelphia. On March 8, 2005, the family came to Canada and they initiated their claims for refugee protection three days later."
The justice further found, "The idea that a refugee claimant in such circumstances ought to be returned to his home country to face such a dilemma is repugnant and inimical to the futherance of humanitarian law."Barnes notes that the "Board" found Key credible and "truthful" but also found his objection to the Iraq War was not "religiously motivated. Rather what Mr. Key objected to were the systematic violations of human rights that resulted from the conduct of the United States Army in Iraq and the requirement that he participate. The Board summarized Mr. Key's evidence concerning these events and compared his experiences to the observations of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) detailed in its report from 2003. It is apparent that the Board found Mr. Key's experiences to be consistent with the ICRC findings".
Judge Barnes wrote that an error was made by the 'Board' when they found "that refugee protection for military deserters and evaders is only available where the conduct objected to amounts to a war crime, a crime against peace or a crime against humanity."
Again, there's at least one word missing in the War Resisters Support Campaign's press release when they summarize Jeffry House's summary of Judge Barnes' decision. PDF format warning, the decicision can be found online here (23 pages).
UPI notes, "The Friday ruling may pave the way for other American deserters who try to claim refugee status in Canada, The Globe and Mail in Toronto reported." Tu Thanh Ha (Globe and Mail) points out, "However, the ruling didn't address another legal hurdle faced by American deserters: proving that they'll face undue hardship if sent back to the United States." Brett Clarkson (Toronto Sun) observes, "It's also the first time a court in Canada has sided with the deserters' movement, which has won both the support of Parliament and a majority of Canadians, according to various recent polls, but has been rebuffed by the Immigration and Refugee Board and Harper government." R. Robertson (Indybay Media) covers the decision here. Joe Schneider (Bloomberg News) covers it here, CBC covers it here, BBC here and AP here.
Facts have been distorted and erased about war resistance during Vietnam, so what if we focus our time not just on correcting the public record in terms of what's going on right now but also in terms of what can be expected based on the (actual) historical record?
All approved as did Jim and Dona when they heard about it.
The plan was to do the editorial this Sunday.
We were going to zoom in on the 1977 and 1978 realities.
Last week, ABC reported that the US military was stating Corey Glass was not a deserter and had been discharged.
Just the story we were going to talk about.
And we tracked down some military sources to find out what was what.
It was going to be a very strong article.
We're not writing it.
We don't respond to bullying.
We especially don't respond to smears.
A 'helper' in Canada wrote an abusive e-mail to C.I. insisting C.I. had written something that C.I. had not written, insisting that C.I. was 'so stupid' as to swallow 'spin,' insisting ABC News was in the tank with the Pentagon (not on that story) and making a real ass out of himself.
He's a bit-player in that 'movement' (just as he is in life).
But we're not in the mood for lies and abuse.
It soured the whole community. Betty didn't post. Everyone cut back on what they had planned and C.I. killed this editorial when responding to the nonsense publicly Friday morning.
What we will offer is what Corey Glass needs to do.
Corey Glass needs to stop making public comments. Corey Glass needs to use the press reports to insist that the deportation order is immediately withdrawn. Corey Glass needs to apply for Canadian citizenship and note that he's not a "deserter."
None of that may or may not be best for the 'movement.' But that's what best for Corey Glass.
He may decide he wants to return to the US. If so, that's his decision.
But our article was already going to address realities (past realities) before the Corey Glass story. What we found out just made it obvious that history was indeed repeating.
We have no ill will towards Corey or any war resister.
But to write the editorial (announced Wednesday and Thursday repeatedly at The Common Ills) after the Friday editorial would be rewarding bad behavior on the part of a 'helper' and we're not interested.
(We're so not interested, we considered not even doing an edition.)
The best thing for Corey Glass is to not question the reports but use them to stop the deportation and immediately apply to stay in Canada. That can be citizenship or just recognized immigrant status.
Pursue the realities after. Save yourself right now.
Our recommendation. Corey Glass can ignore it or heed it. It's his life and he's the one, the only one, who can make that decision.
The most shocking aspect of Samantha Powers' forced resignation earlier this year was not that she called Hillary Clinton a "monster" off-camera, but that she flatly stated that Obama would review his whole position on Iraq once becoming president. Again, no one in the media or rival campaigns questioned whether this assertion by Powers was true. Since Obama credited Powers with helping for months in writing his book, The Audacity of Hope, her comments on his inner thinking should have been pounced upon by the pundits.
No one questioned it, Tom-Tom? Check The Washington Post's archives. It wasn't that the media refused to challenge it (or that this site refused to challenge it, check our archives) it's that the Barack 'movement' (a fringe group of largely White eggheads in Panhandle Media) refused to even mention it! Did Jeremy Schaill rip Barack a new one? No. Did Amy Goodman immediately report it on Democracy Someday!? Hell no.
But let's back up. Tom-Tom's shocked (!). Elaine and C.I. know very well you've lived a life estranged from the truth; however, that doesn't give you the right to lie. Samantha Power made the news cycle on March 7th (a Friday). You can refer to that day's "Iraq Snapshot." In fact, we are referencing that at length (and overruling C.I. on it):
Meanwhile, it was not a good day to be Our Modern Day Carrie Nations or, as Samantha Power prefers to be called, "the humanitarian War Hawk." Last night, The Scotsman was making news with Power's insults of US Senator Hillary Clinton and "the poor" in America and, generally, just flashing that foul mouth everyone knows about but generally ignores. The morning started with Sammy Power expressing 'sorrow.' She wasn't sorry and we're not going to play around with this story. Here's reality, the press was lining up this morning the stories on this and talking to one another (as they are prone to do) for background examples of other times Sammy Power has personally (and destructively) insulted Hillary Clinton. When it was obvious that those stories would come out if she stayed with the campaign she 'resigned.' At The New Statesman, she was flaunting her War Hawk nature in an interview (as well as that foul mouth). [Personal note: I'm sure I could match Sammy swear word for swear word, but I wasn't planning on becoming Secretary of State.] Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times) was one of the first out of the gate noting that Sammy Power "resigned as a foreign policy advisor to Sen. Barack Obama" this afternoon. Her calling Hillary a "monster" did matter, it was off sides -- both for a future Secretary of State as well as for a professor at Harvard. It's a shame Obama still lacks the leadership to take control of his campaign -- that would have required firing Power. Instead she resigned indicating that he's unable to run a campaign as well as unable to tell the truth. Power -- who also went to work for Obama in 2005 when he was first elected to the US Senate (November 2004) -- also had to deal with the BBC interview she'd given. Barack Obama has not promised to pull ALL troops out of Iraq in 16 months. He has promised the American people that "combat" troops would be removed. But promises, promises (as Dionne Warwick once sang) . . .
Stephen Sackur: You said that he'll revisit it [the decision to pull troops] when he goes to the White House. So what the American public thinks is a commitment to get combat forces out within sixteen months, isn't a commitment is it?
Samantha Power: You can't make a commitment in whatever month we're in now, in March of 2008 about what circumstances are going to be like in January 2009. We can't even tell what Bush is up to in terms of troops pauses and so forth. He will of course not rely upon some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or as a US Senator.
Which would mean Mr. Pretty Speeches has been lying to the American people. (Add the "AGAIN!")
Her rise was swift, her fall even faster. Our Modern Day Carrie Nations took part in the "Bring the troops home and send them to Darfur" nonsense. [For more on that nutso crowd, see Julie Hollar's "The Humanitarian Tempatation" (Extra!).] Despite presenting herself recently as against the Iraq War from the start, the public record has never backed that up. But it is true that she wanted wars in Africa and was selling them under "humanitarian" guise. "Stop the killing!" she cried but if she really wanted to stop the killing, she might have tried to speak out against the ongoing genocide in Iraq (which has also produced the largest refugee crisis in the world). She didn't care about that. Probably because it demonstrates that sending armed forces in is not an answer. Again, if Barack Obama had any leadership abilities, he would have announced today that he fired his longterm advisor. He did not, she resigned. (She foolishly doesn't grasp that this is her Alexander Haig moment and there is no comeback.) Power was not a campaigner, she was a high level, longterm foreign policy advisor being groomed to be the next Secretary of State. As Krissah Williams (Washington Post) notes, Senator Clinton's response to Power's BBC interview was to note Power's agreement that Obama's pledge to have "combat" troops out in 16 months was never more than a "best-case scenario". Hillary Clinton: "Senator Obama has made his speech opposing Iraq in 2002 and the war in Iraq the core of his campaign, which makes these comments especially troubling. While Senator Obama campaigns on his [pledge] to end the war, his top advisers tell people abroad that he will not rely on his own plan should he become president. This is the latest example of promising the American people one thing on the campaign trail and telling people in other countries another. You saw this with NAFTA as well."
The Clinton camp didn't call it out Tom-Tom?
March 8th, one day after the news broke, the Clinton campaign issued "MEMO: Obama's Iraq Plan: Just Words:"
Once again, it looks like Senator Obama is telling voters one thing while his campaign says those words should not be mistaken for serious action. After months of speeches from Senator Obama promising a hard end date to the Iraq war, his top foreign policy adviser that counseled his campaign during that period is on the record saying that Senator Obama will 'not rely on some plan that he's crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator. Voters already have serious questions about whether Senator Obama is ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Now there are questions about whether he's seriou about the Iraq plan he's discussed for the last year on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama has made hard end dates about Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign and has repeatedly attacked Senator Clinton for not being clear about her intentions with regard to troop withdrawal.
It turns out those attacks and speeches were just words. And if you can't trust Senator Obama's words, what's left?
Want to try lying again, Tom-Tom? They immediately sprung into action. (And that one release wasn't all they did. We'll note at least one more thing but they hit on it. It was the failure of our 'left' media -- Goodman, et al -- to cover the story that kept it from getting traction.)
Where was Panhandle Media? Tom-Tom, we know where you were. C.I. outlined it in the same snapshot:
Meanwhile Tom Hayden again offers Barack advice from the heart, from love. At Common Dreams, Hayden feels that, "The only policy difference favoring Obama that goes straight to the issue of 'experience' is Iraq. It no longer is enough that Obama opposed the war five years ago, especially if it appears that there are no differences between the candidates now. For whatever reason, Obama has allowed Clinton to appear to take an identical stand on the war. Is that true? Or is it time for Obama to issue a further clarification of his position separating him from both Clinton and McCain? The peace movement and media can play a role here." Tom then asks, "Does Clinton propose a timetable for withdrawing combat troops, like Obama does?" Apparently Tom missed Sammy's interview -- Obama has no proposal. As Sammy notes, things change, who can say? Should we expect Hayden's endorsement of Hillary anytime soon? Or will he again plan to 'represent' the peace movement by covering for the 'anti-war' candidate -- one whose own foreign policy advisor (she was that when she gave the interview) informs is saying words he'd not planning to live up to?
The Washington Post was blogging it (they would also do an article on it), the Clinton campaign was issuing a statement (they would later issue this release), Boston Globe offered Peter Canellos' "Comments raise questions about Obama, his advisers" and where was Panhandle Media? Covering for Barack.
You did. So did John Nichols. C.I. called out John Nichols nonsense on Saturday March 8th (the day after Power's remarks were known) when Johnny Five-Cents was lamenting "Samantha Power and the Danger of Gotcha Politics." Not only did John Nichols cover for Samantha Power (his post at The Nation is labeled "03/07/2008 @ 11:28 pm" meaning his article went up that Friday hours and hours after the "Iraq snapshot" calling out Power did -- isn't Johnny Five-Cents supposed to be a 'journalist'?), so did you. You want to show up on July 4th and blame the lack of attention to this story on the MSM when The Washington Post was blogging about it as the story broke, when they would go on to do a print report on it and yet Panhandle Media couldn't even be bothered with it?
Like Nichols, they were all lying. Davey D would go on to lament -- on KPFA's The Morning Show -- that Samantha "Powers" (it helps to know the name of the person you're broken up about, Davey) had left the campaign for (he said) calling Hillary a "monster." But let's stay with The Nation where Tom-Tom sits on the board. It never got into The Nation and he damn well knows that. Not on March 7th, not on March 8th. March 20th, Eric Alterman would feel the need to weigh in Power's leaving the campaign in "The Ritual Sacrifice of Samantha Power" and though he would note "monster" and "NAFTA," he never said a DAMN word about the BBC interview that entered the press cycle March 7th. He didn't say one DAMN word. It didn't stop there. Michael Massing's "The Power Conundrum" (published online May 22nd and in the June 9th issue of The Nation) found time to recount the "monster" remark which was rather strange since he was reviewing Power's book on the UN involvement in the Iraq War. Wouldn't the better thing to have referenced when reviewing a book on Iraq have been Power's remarks on Barack's so-called "promise"?
June 12th, John Nichols was back on the scene ["Students for Hillary, er, McCain (or McKinney)" -- what a wit and joy he must be for the others at the SciFi conventions] quoting a missive that referred to the "monster" incident. No need on his part to enlarge the topic and note Power's interview to the BBC.
March 12th -- five days after the Power remarks were in the news -- FIVE DAYS AFTER -- Air Berman was offering "It's Okay to be Intemperate!" (at The Nation's blog Campaign '08) and yet again recounting Samantha Power's 'unjust' departure over the "monster" remark (when not licking Hendrick Hertzberg's aging sack). Never once -- FIVE DAYS AFTER -- did Berman mention Power's remarks to the BBC. He would conclude his sad eulogy to Sammy (and presumably devote full attention to "Rick") with this, "Thanks to the events of the past week, campaign officials will be even more guarded when dealing with the media, and I don't blame them. It's an outcome that benefits no one." Apparently Ari thought he could help fight that trend by not telling readers what Samantha Power said about the Iraq 'promise'? It needs to be noted that the day the news broke, Ari Berman attempted to distract from Power's statement by filing "Clinton Does McCain's Bidding" which was nothing but his rummaging through old chat & chew transcripts in an effort to discredit Hillary on Iraq. Needless to say, he said nothing about Power. [As we noted in our March 9th in "Editorial: The Whores of Indymedia."]
What we got from the alleged 'independent' media (including The Nation) and from the alleged 'independent' web was inane defenses of War Hawk Samantha Power that avoided her Iraq remarks. Check out Josh Michah's Marshy & Hairy Butt Crack where Greg Sargent posted "New Hillary Campaign Video Seeks To Revive Samantha Power Controversy." It's a March 19th post and what does Sargent conclude of the commercial featuring Power revealing that Barack's 'promise' isn't a promise? A snippy: "Given that this is weeks-old story, the timing of its release is pretty obvious: The Hillary camp is hoping to use it to overshadow Obama's big Iraq speech today." That's from mind reader Greg Sargent and even then (and terming the commercial an "attack video"), check out the reaction of Josh's groupies (conditioned to salivate at the mention of Barack's name): "Ah, Hillary. Desperation becomes her," purrs one while Patagonia and das2003 lead the sizeable number who are offended and outraged that the video was even posted at Joshy's site.
Over at Mother Jones, David CornNuts kind-of sort of covered it (as C.I. noted March 10th) huffing ("An Ugly Moment for the Clinton Campaign," March 10th) that the campaign "took the unusual step of convening a second conference call of the day for reporters. And it was a sorry spectacle." (CornNuts, you went nuts.) Davey C writes "the Clintonites pounced on the comments" -- comments, pay attention Tom Hayden -- that Davey C immediately dismissed: "In other words, a campaign proposal is just that: a proposal. And only a fool would think that a military plan would be applied to reality unchaged a year after it was first devised." That's what happened Tommy Hayden -- AS YOU DAMN WELL KNOW -- Panhandle Media mainly ignored it and then the CornNuts crowd excused it and attacked Hillary for raising the issue. They lied repeatedly and we can outline that (mainly because we already have -- starting with John Nichols' LIE that Samantha Power and Hillary knew each other very well when Power told Charlie Rose they'd only met once). C.I. led on this at The Common Ills, but we all called it out at community sites and we didn't do it for one day or one week. We stayed on the story. The one Tom Hayden couldn't bother to write about until July 4th -- even though it took place March 7th. The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and others in the MSM did cover it and the response was silence from 'independent' media and attacks from the Barack groupies in comments and e-mails to the outlets.
Let's remember that you had time to tell the world that your current wife "screamed" when Hillary was on TV. You had time to write that sexist hogwash. (So bad even Katha Pollitt had to call you out.) But you didn't have time to write about what Power said about the non-promise. You weren't concerned. What you were concerned with -- and this goes for all the trash in Panhandle Media -- was in destroying Hillary, attacking her, distorting her and spit-polishing Barack.
Tom, this isn't the days of the Red Family. Whereas back then (as Elaine and C.I. well remember), you could be kicked out for your disgusting sexism and, shortly after, attempt to rewrite it (which didn't work a great deal better than your stint at the Blue Fairyland worked out), you can't get away so easy today.
January 28th, at The Nation (online), you contributed "Endorsing Obama" and, along with your attack on Gloria Steinem (whom you've always hated), you got off this tickler: "Nor do I like the role being played by President Bill Clinton, who is telling lies about Iraq and about Obama that are unbecoming to a former President." What was Tom-Tom talking about? We covered Bill Clinton's comments in real time. The first time in this community was the January 9th "Iraq snapshot." Surprised that they were still being blown off, C.I. immediately noted them in the January 10th snapshot and provided links to what Bill was referring to:
"But since you raised the judgment issue, let's go over this again. That is the central argument for his campaign. 'It doesn't matter that I started running for president less a year after I got to the Senate from the Illinois State Senate. I am a great speaker and a charismatic figure and I'm the only one who had the judgment to oppose this war from the beginning. Always, always, always.' ""First it is factually not true that everybody that supported that resolution supported Bush attacking Iraq before the UN inspectors were through. Chuck Hagel was one of the co-authors of that resolution. The only Republican Senator that always opposed the war. Every day from the get-go. He authored the resolution to say that Bush could go to war only if they didn't co-operate with the inspectors and he was assured personally by Condi Rice as many of the other Senators were. So, first the case is wrong that way."
"Second, it is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, numerating the years, and never got asked one time, not once, 'Well, how could you say, that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution? You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war and you took that speech you're now running on off your website in 2004* and there's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since?' Give me a break.
"Or what about the Obama hand out that was covered up, the press never reported on, implying that I was a crook? Scouring me, scathing criticism, over my financial reports. Ken Starr spent $70 million and indicted innocent people to find out that I wouldn't take a nickel to see the cow jump over the moon."So, you can take a shot at Mark Penn if you want. It wasn't his best day. He was hurt, he felt badly that we didn't do better in Iowa. But you know, the idea that one of these campaigns is positive and the other is negative when I know the reverse is true and I have seen it and I have been blistered by it for months, is a little tough to take. Just because of the sanitizing coverage that's in the media, doesn't mean the facts aren't out there."
Those are the remarks that, on January 28th, Tom-Tom accused Bill Clinton of "telling lies about Iraq". Bill wasn't lying. And guess what?
On the Fourth of July, Tom-Tom showed up hoping no one would remember he called Bill Clinton a liar. He wrote:
As I pointed out in Ending the War in Iraq , Obama's 2002 speech opposed the coming war with Iraq as "dumb", while avoiding what position he would take once the war was underway. Then he wrote of almost changing his position from anti- to pro-war after a trip to Iraq. He never took as forthright a position as Senator Russ Feingold, among others. Then he adopted the safe, nonpartisan formula of the Baker-Hamilton Study Group, which advocated the withdrawal of combat troops while leaving thousands of American counter-terrorism units, advisers and trainers behind.
Yeah, Tom Hayden, you did do that in 2007. In 2007, when Barack was insulting you personally ("Tom Hayden Democrats"), you did point out a few flaws. Then you jumped on the bandwagon and, not only did you jump on, you threw stones at people telling the truth. Bill Clinton was once such person. Again Tom-Tom, this doesn't disappear. This isn't, for example, 1969 (which hasn't disappeared either) and you can't just rewrite history. You can't show up on the 4th of July, reference something you did in 2007, and think that wipes away all that you did in 2008. It's not that easy.
You covered for Barack. You attacked Hillary. You attacked Bill. When they called Barack out on the Iraq War, you attacked. Over and over. You participated in that 'ridiculous' KPFA two-hour post-debate 'analysis' with all the other Barack endorses who didn't think the audience had a right to know that these media critics were all in the tank for Barack, had all endorsed him publicly.
This doesn't go away. And Iraqi blood? It's not going to wash off your hands. No matter how many damn lies you to tell. Please note, we're not underestimating your ability to lie non-stop, we're just saying there aren't enough lies for you to wipe the blood away. When you ran interference for the Barack campaign, when you lied for them, when you attacked the Clinton campaign falsely, you enlisted in the continuation of the illegal war. It will not be forgotten.
Besides the transforming nature of an African-American presidency, the issue that matters most to me is achieving a peaceful settlement of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and preventing American escalations in Iran and Latin America.
Tom-Tom, help us out. Where is Venezuela? We thought it was in Latin America.
Tom-Tom apparently missed page 325 of Barack's The Audacity of Hope where Barack calls out Chavez for the 'crimes' of calling out "America's efforts to expand its hegemony" and assuming Venezuela could "follow their own path to development." Or, as Paul Street (Black Agenda Report) observed of the book, "In its audaciously imperialist and power-worshipping chapter on 'The World Beyond Our Borders,' The Audacity of Hope criticizes 'left-leaning populists' like 'Venezuela's Hugo Chavez' for daring to think that developing nations 'should resist America's efforts to expand its hegemony' and for trying to 'follow their own path to development.' Such dysfunctional 'reject[ion] [of] the ideals of free markets and liberal democracy' will only worsen the situation of the global poor, Obama claims (Obama 2006, p. 315)." Tom-Tom, if there was one remaining reason for anyone to listen to you it was your work refuting the ideas Barack's promoting.
Tom-Tom mentions Samantha Power in his column. Is Tom-Tom unaware of all the invective Power unleashed on Hugo Chavez when speaking to Juan Gonzalez and what's-her-name on Democracy Sometimes! February 25th? It included this choice morsel by Power: "If, for instance, Ahmadinejad in Iran -- I know it’s not your question -- but even Chavez, continues to deviate from what Obama thinks are international norms that should be adhered to domestically, then that's a problem. But at least you will be in the room. The United States will not be seen or Barack Obama will not be seen to be the problem. We'll actually be able to focus on what Chavez does well and what Chavez does badly from the standpoint of the Venezuelan people." Chavez is a democratically elected leader, elected multiple times and very popular with Venezuelans. Exactly who is Barack (or Power) to decide 'for' the Venezuelans what's in their best interests? We kind of thought the purpose of elections were to give the people that choice.
Chris Carlson ("Change? Not In America's Backyard!," ZNet) also asks that question and adds this:
. . . Venezuela's Chavez appears to be a particular problem for Obama; one that has led him to include Venezuela on a list of "rogue states," along with Cuba, Iran and Syria, and to express his opposition to the Venezuelan president in a recent speech:
"I don't actually agree with Chavez's polices and how he's dealing with his people," he said. 
It apparently doesn't matter that the Venezuelan people do agree with Chavez's policies, and have repeatedly shown their widespread support of him in open democratic elections. And Obama evidently sees Venezuela as a "rogue state" not because it is a security threat, but because "[Chavez] has been using oil revenue to stir up trouble against the United States," as he said recently. 
Did Tom-Tom miss Barack's alarming spech about Latin America? The one he gave in May, in Miami, where among his 'stylistic flourishes' was referring to "demagogues like Hugo Chavez"? Tom-Tom thought Barack would bring (positive) change how?
For "E-mail to An Old Sell Out," see "THIS JUST IN! TEACHING 'PROGRESSIVES' TO READ!" & "Teaching 'progressives'."
I first endorsed Obama because of the nature of the movement supporting him, not his particular stands on issues. The excitement among African-Americans and young people, the audacity of their hope, still holds the promise of a new era of social activism. The force of their rising expectations, I believe, could pressure a President Obama in a progressive direction and also energize a new wave of social movements.
Well . . . sort-of. In his "Endorsing Obama" (January 28th, The Nation), he actually sounded more like The Ego(Maniac) Of Us All when she was forced out NOW (claiming she had them to history and now left them to make history):
But today I see across the generational divide the spirit, excitement, energy and creativity of a new generation bidding to displace the old ways. Obama's moment is their moment, and I pray that they succeed without the sufferings and betrayals my generation went through.
Actually, that's a bit more like Bette Davis' farewell note on the Warner Bros' lot where, after Jack Warner released her from her contract (provided she completed Beyond The Forest), she by-passed the studio's big moneymaker Joan Crawford by declaring her dressing room should go to Jane Wyman. But Tom-Tom's always had a huge ego.
What should worry you is this non-existent movement he can't stop yammering away about. Tom-Tom really doesn't tell the truth about his own time in the movement and that's not limited to his expulsion from the Berkeley commune (due to sexism) or to his repeated sell-outs once money bought him a seat in the state legislature in California or anything.
From time to time, we mention the violence in Chicago of 1969. Drive-bys e-mail to insist we mean 1968. Longterm readers know C.I.'s habit of floating something, allowing it to hang out there and then, if the person shows no improvement, returning to the topic.
We always meant the violence of 1969. And people today should be asking why Tom Hayden is allowed to present himself as a leader. He was part of the violence.
No, we are not referring to the Chicago Eight, the DNC 1968 convention in Chicago, et al.
Tom-Tom was involved with the conspiracy to commit violence n 1969.
It was well known in the movement in real time. It was seen as another craven act from anything-for-attention Hayden. In his own laughable Reunion: A Memoir (1988, Random House), Tom lies and omits. "The Trial 1969-1970" is the chapter to zoom in on (chapter fifteen) and Tom notes he was in Chicago for "the trial". The chapter begins on page 339. By page 355, he begins to write about things going outside the courtroom at the same time. SDS pops up on page 357. As do Bernardine Dohrn and Mark Rudd (who "adopted yet another communist doctrine, that of China's Lin Piao, who believed that the liberation wars outside the center of Western imperialism would bring about global revolution"). Tom-Tom being Tom-Tom, he gets in a few digs at Bernardine in the coming pages. He mentions Bill Ayers at the bottom of page 357. He's going through a revisionary history of SDS and the conflicts in it. He wants to be really clear (page 359) that the world know about a "difference between a Bernardine or Terry" Robbins and himself. They thought fascism was coming to the US. Tom says he thought it was only a possibility. (A lie, he was all into SMASH THE STATE and you should have heard him jabber on about the B-movie Wild In The Streets as if it were a Truffaut classic.) He writes, "After all my own liberty was at stake in persuading cautious middle-American jurors that our wild and irrerverent behavior was somehow justifiable" (359-360). He tells you that these people (meaning Bernardine and Terry) didn't believe in "changing American society" and saw themselves as "doomed executioners" (Karl Marx) who would bring about "wreckage, possibly a new Dark Ages". He plays as if he was apart from those people (plays in his book). He tells of hearing a Weather Underground person saying in the courtroom "Well, we offed the pig" meaning SDS. He really wants the reader (and the public and law enforcement) to believe that there was this big line between himself and Weather. (Hayden was a member of SDS -- as is known. Hayden was also involved with Weather -- as is known if you travel in informed circles -- then or now.) He was on trial for the violence in Chicago in 1968. That has been tried, that is over. But the trial took place in 1969 and placed him in Chicago during Days of Rage.
And when we say "1969," we mean it. On page 360, Tom-Tom still wants to draw that line and talks about the belief that "thousands of hard-core revolutionaries" were thought to be coming to "Chicago for Days of Rage" but the event ("prepared" by Weather) was a "failure;" how Weather blew up a statue in Haymarket Square, how some of the participants might "drop by" the court proceedings and Tom-Tom explains that he was afraid of what those radicals might do in the street but that his "ego won" out (he writes he was afraid of being "accused of cowardice" -- no, he was afraid of missing out on speaking to a crowd) so he went. He describes "nausea of fear," he describes regret ("Had I helped bring this on?"), he says he was handed a bullhorn and asked to speak (lie). We're on page 361 of his revisionary work:
I said something ambiguous and largely inaudible like, "The conspiracy defendants send their greetings; we welcome any effots to intensify the struggle" and handed the microphone back. Photographer lights were flashing. I quickly drifted into the shadows with John; I don't remember where Abbie went. We waited, and then, on some signal that eluded me, the group assembled itself quickly in formation and started half-trotting away from the fire through the darkness, toward the streets of the Gold Coast. I went back to the car and drove off.
Soon reports of a wild rampage started coming over the radio.
That's really cute, it's not what happened, but it's really cute. He was "inaudible" with a bullhorn or a microphone? And did you catch that change? Which was he handed? Tom goes on to describe what can only be shock (at the busted storefront windows, the damaged cars, the paralyzed city official, et al) and makes it very clear that he was appalled by it all ("where was the sanity?" -- page 362).
In 2001, another participant put his memories of that speech into print. His version jibes with what Elaine and C.I. were told over the phone and, later, in letters (they weren't in Chicago -- they were helping war resisters, not engaging in vandalism). You may be familiar with his name: Bill Ayers.
When the chanting slowed, Tom Hayden, on trial in federal court with seven others on conspiracy charges for leading the demonstrations at the Democratic Convention a year earlier, emerged from the crowd. When his trial had begun in late September a group of us had disrupted the proceedings, and now Hayden was bearing an echo of solidarity to us: I bring greetings from the Chicago Eight, he said. We love you! We are with you!
Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, we sang in answer, and Hayden added, Anything that intensifies our resistance to this war is in the service of humanity. The Weathermen are setting the terms for all of us now. Tear this monster down! Tom was caught up in the spirit of the moment, and shedding his careful demeanor from court, became the old inciter. Our chants escalated again and swirled like fireworks into the air. As improbable as it all was, I felt giddy and newly emboldened. We were about to leap arm-in-arm into the inferno of the unknown, and I remember trembling with giddiness and holding on to Diana.
Elaine and C.I. know (and like) Bill and Bernardine but that's not why they say that's the way it happened. They say it because when they heard what had happened the night before in Chicago and called people to find out what was going on, they were told repeatedly about Tom Hayden's speech, about how it incited and fueled those gathered. It wasn't "inaudible" (and they can quote it at greater length than Bill does -- from letters written to them immediately after). Bill's telling the truth, they state clearly (and since we do have access to C.I.'s journals, we can say the letters preserved in them back that up), and he wrote a book to capture what really happened while Hayden, then in the California state legislature and dreaming of becoming president, rewrote history to make himself look far less involved than he was.
The 1969 Chicago Days of Rage were violent. Whether they were needed or not, we'll leave to others to judge. We don't endorse violence. We don't condemn it. We do expect people to be honest. Tom-Tom was significantly older than Ayers (and Dohrn), was standing trial charged with doing the very thing he did that night (inciting violence) and yet he wants to rewrite it and make it appear that he was a reluctant speaker, who just mumbled a few things, a few innocent remarks, when, in fact, he was egging on the violence and was the second most popular speaker at the rally.
It's important that the truth be told and Ayers' book is Fugitive Days (which did make it into softcover and did not fill the remainder bins the way Reunion did). But the truth is important not only in terms of the past.
What does Tom-Tom keep yammering on about today? The 'movement.' How that mythical 'movement' will hold Barack accountable. Check the archives and you'll find that around the time 1969 first gets floated, Elaine and C.I. (in roundtables) are also asking why 'leaders' are lying about Barack (he's a War Hawk, they know, they were face-to-face with the War Hawk when he was running as the 'anti-war' candidate and told them he did not support withdrawing troops from Iraq) and citing a 'movement.' They wonder, in those roundtables, if they're creating impossible expectations for Barack with the hopes that, should he get the nomination (Hillary and Edwards were still in the race) and then go on to the White House and not deliver, were these 'leaders' hoping to SMASH THE STATE? Were these 'leaders' actively laying the groundwork for violent upheaval in the US? Yes, as with 1969, they were referring to 'leaders' like Tom Hayden.
They well remember his SMASH THE STATE talk in Berkeley, before he got kicked out of the Red Family. (And became "Troi Garity.") They remember his attempting to get the Black Panthers to utilize violence on the police. (He was turned down with it being noted, by a Panther, that it was just like Tom-Tom to try to get a Black man to do the dirty work.) Berkeley was a safe haven for war resisters, Elaine and C.I. were in and out all the time. Someone didn't want to leave the United States? Well, would he like to go to Berkeley? They were always dropping off war resisters and knew most activists in Berkeley. They caught many of Tom's SMASH THE STATE's raps. They remember them. C.I. journaled on them. (Our favorite is: "Is Hayden nuts!!!! Not only is he asking others to risk their lives -- of course others, he won't dirty his own smooth hands -- but he's basing it on a Roger Corman flick!!! Bad ideas from bad movies and he calls it a 'plan'? Fortunately, most are too stoned to do anything and those who aren't say he's about to be ejected. Stand downwind of him for two minutes and you'll wonder why they're waiting on the ejection?")
So you need to be asking about this 'movement' and about Tom's past efforts to lie for Barack and make him into not just the Democratic Party Hope but also the End of The War Hope. You need to be asking that about a lot of these fringe radicals. (Make no mistake, when you can't get elected mayor of Los Angeles after being in the state legislature for years -- thanks to the spending more money on a state race than anyone else in the United States -- you're on the fringes.)
And you need to be asking when Tom-Tom's going to get honest about what he said that night to set off the Days of Rage. A number of statements show up in letters -- the same statements, the same quotes -- from different people who were present for the speech. Bill Ayers told the truth and also held his tongue. Bill's honest about his actions. You can judge them how you see fit and you can do that based on Fugitive Days. When does Tom-Tom plan to get honest about his own actions?
[Note: C.I. has a first edition, signed copy -- "I had to go to the book release party" -- of Reunion but neither C.I. nor Elaine have ever bothered to read it. Elaine's just flipped the pages and said, "Oh, Berkeley! I wonder what lies he tells here?" If there are enough of them, we may return to this topic at a later date.]
For "E-mail to An Old Sell Out" see "THIS JUST IN! TEACHING 'PROGRESSIVES' TO READ!" & "Teaching 'progressives'."