Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Nation attacks history again

William J. O'Brien e-mailed us last week a series of e-mails insisting that we were much too hard on The Nation. As is usually the case when someone shows gross stupidity, that's the one Jim takes the time to reply to. O'Brien began by insisting that The Nation had loudly opposed to War on Afghanistan. When he was corrected on that (with links provided) he began making absurd claims and finally settled on what he termed the weekly's "historical importance of all moments" (his phrase) which was earning the praise of JFK for preventing the Bay of Pigs.

The Bay of Pigs, of course, was not prevented. Nor did JFK praise The Nation for their Bay of Pigs "work."

The Nation, O'Brien maintained, was the only US publication to address the base operating on Guantanamo in 1961. He was corrected that it was Guatemala. The exposures came out in 1960 but when O'Brien finally confessed to his source material, it was easy to understand the errors. Katrina vanden Heuvel is an ahistorical idiot (when it comes to the US, she can offer many factoids on Russia and the Soviet Union) and she's a vainglory. In July of 2006, she 'authored' "Nation and NY Times: Bay of Pigs Deja Vu" which is about as historically reliable as those volumes of past Nation writing she compiled.


vanden Heuvel wrote:

What is little known is the role The Nation played in this story. In November 1960, The Nation published the first article on preparations being made for what would become the Bay of Pigs invasion. According to Carey McWilliams, The Nation's editor at the time, "Ronald Hilton, director of Stanford University's Institute of Hispanic-American Studies had just returned from Guatemala with reports that it was common knowledge --indeed, it had been reported in La Hora, a leading newspaper, on October 30--that the CIA was training a guerrilla force at a secret base for an early invasion of Cuba." McWilliams promptly got in touch with Hilton, who confirmed details, and agreed that he could be quoted. McWilliams wrote an article setting forth the facts Hilton had given him, including the location of the base near the mountain town of Retalhulea. If the reports were true, McWilliams wrote, "then public pressure should be brought to bear upon the administration to abandon this dangerous and hare-brained project." in the meantime, he added, the facts should be checked out immediately "by all US news media with correspondents in Guatemala." Although a special press release was prepared-- to which copies of the article were attached-- the wire services ignored the story and only one or two papers mentioned it.

In the above you can clearly see why someone would have to sleep with their college professor. A mind like the above doesn't warrant strong grades on the basis of academic work.

With Katrina, it's always difficult to determine when she's just being her usual uninformed self and when she's lying. We'd guess the latter on this statement, "In November 1960, The Nation published the first article on preparations being made for what would become the Bay of Pigs invasion." Why would we guess she's lying there? Check out the links in her article. She's linking to her beloved Frankie Rich and The New York Times and . . . Why, everything but The Nation 'article.' Why is that?

The Nation wasn't the first and the 'article' is an editorial (unsigned) which asks questions and it's asking these questions based upon the report published in the Hispanic American Report. Written by whom? Ronald Hilton. (Stanford was the publisher of the Hispanic American Report.) That's why Carey McWilliams contacted Hilton. Katrina botches that up as well. When her 'mistake' allows The Nation to take credit for writing a 'complimentary' piece (largely of questions) to Hilton's article in Hispanic American Report, it could be just her usual uninformed mind at work but, then again, if she was so proud of this 1960 editorial, she could have put it online. The fact that she didn't makes a case for her keeping it offline in order to tell her vainglory lies.

Did Katrina read the editorial? Reading's hard for Katty-van-van, so possibly, she didn't. Had she, sentences such as the following were not uncommon: "On the other hand, if the reports as heard by Dr. Hilton are true, then public pressure should be brought to bear upon the Administration to abandon this dangerous and hare-brained project."

Katrina wants to erase Hilton as an author of the original material The Nation based their argument upon and wants to take an editorial and pass it off as a report -- an editorial which voices skepticism of Hilton's claims. In other words, The Nation did their usual cowardly two-step. They wouldn't confirm the reports were true but they wanted someone else to. And now, years and years later, Katty-van-van wants to pretend that The Nation "reported" and that they told the US (and told the US first) what was going on in Guatemala.

That's lying.

The Nation had correspondents they could have sent to Guatemala. They chose not to send them. They chose not to confirm Hilton's claims. They chose to raise a potential and all these years later Katty-van-van's trying to claim The Nation filed some ground breaking report.

These lies are as ridiculous as Katty-van-van.

She types, "Although a special press release was prepared-- to which copies of the article were attached-- the wire services ignored the story and only one or two papers mentioned it." Which papers, Katty? If only one or two mentioned it, surely you could refer your readers to it. We'll spoon feed Katty's readers a little, one paper was The York Gazette & Daily.

As for the wire services? The wire services didn't 'ignore' it.

Francis L. McCarthy was over UPI and sought to answer some questions asked (but not answered) in The Nation's piece. UPI being UPI, they went with what the US government told them. (No story there.) Had The Nation actually reported on the topic, UPI might have been more skeptical of the government's claims but, UPI being UPI, it's doubtful. (The Nation was aware of McCarthy's actions. He and the magazine's Jess Gordon were in regular contact on this story.) What about AP?

According to the The York Gazette & Daily (November 24, 1960), they contacted AP who felt the editorial in The Nation was "thin" -- and it was thin. It was nothing but questions, contained no reporting by the magazine itself and tossed out a lot of speculation. But the AP did follow up. They interviewed Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes and then sent "Guatemala President Denies Reports of Anti-Castro Force" out over the wires. The New York Times then followed with another denial from Ydigoras.

Katty types:

However, The Nation's article was then called to the attention of a New York Times editor who assigned Times' reporter Paul Kennedy to do a story. Kennedy filed an article in January 1961 covering similar ground to the Nation's.

Did he? Yes, he did. But what Katty leaves out is The Times' story with the denial from Guatemala's president. The one we mentioned above. Who wrote that? Paul Kennedy.

Katty feels the need a Daddy hero and, Katty being Katty, she also needs to suck up and stroke. Which is how she makes Paul Kennedy a hero. Not just by ignoring that he shot down The Nation's questions in The New York Times originally, but by acting as if he did something brave and original.

In Katty's 'history,' Big Brave Paul Kennedy steps up to the plate and is the first to do so.

Again, she's ahistorical and stupid. Never forget that.

Richard Dudman and Don Dwiggins are the reporters who were there long before Kennedy. First was Dudman who worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and confirmed the airstrip and the barracks. His article also led to an editorial in his paper. Though Katrina acts unaware of that reporting and editorial, Carey McWilliams wrote of it in the December 10, 1960 edition of The Nation. Then Don Dwiggins of The Los Angeles Mirror went to Guatemala and also confirmed the story. Dwiggins December report ran not only in The Mirror but was also picked up by AP. Though Katty-van-van plays dumb, The Nation commissioned Don Dwiggins to write an article on the subject (it ran in the January 7, 1961 issue).

This was December. Paul Kennedy, Katrina's created hero, covers it in January of 1961 -- after The St. Louis Dispatch, The Los Angeles Mirror and the AP have already reported the camp exists. Don Dwiggins has reported for The Nation in their January 7, 1961 issue. Only after all of that does Paul Kennedy write some reality (January 10, 1961, New York Times). And, unlike Dudman and Dwiggins' reporting, Kennedy's was a lot of qualifiers and a lot of whitewash -- a detail Katrina 'forgets' to point out.

Paul Kennedy was only one of the many latecomers who suddenly reversed themselves, at the same time, The Miami Herald would reveal that they knew of airlifts from Miami to Guatemala and had known of them for months, Time magazine reported the reactionary fighters (anti-Castro types) were being paid $500,000 in US tax payer monies by the CIA. There are many, many other examples. But what's most important is what The New York Times and Paul Kennedy did after his late to the party story: Nothing. Not one damn thing. Unless you consider Scotty Reston's white wash propaganda via the State Dept to be 'reporting.' They could have. They had an explosive story and they could have printed it as was (we'll get to it) but they didn't.

Typical of failed social climber Katty, those who did the actual work are stripped out of the story and she sucks up to others who did nothing in the hopes of being invited to the after-party. As her source material or recommended reading, Katty cites Carey McWilliams highly creative autobiography and also "the Columbia University 'Forum'." The basics above, and more, can be found in The Columbia University Forum's Fall 1967 issue, in an article entitled "The Press and the Bay of Pigs" written by Victor Bernstein and Jess Gordon -- both on staff at The Nation (Gordon was the one who wrote the p.r. release for the magazine when the editorial ran and who followed up with phone calls to the press, he was also an editorial consultant for the magazine; Bernstein was managing editor of the magazine during the Bay of Pigs Crimes). We have no idea why Katty types "the Columbia University 'Forum'" and, we're willing to bet, she couldn't tell you either. For the record, the quarterly's title was The Columbia University Forum ("A quarterly journal of fact and opinion").

As for McWilliams (a Kennedy knob-polisher from way back) claiming that, a week after the invasion, JFK was privately telling the press they should have covered the story ahead of time and it would have prevented the Bay of Pigs 'fiasco' (the word is: crimes), that the sort of whoring The Nation's long been famous for and Katty's just the latest to spread for the Kennedy clan.

Reality check: Regardless of what private fairy tales the suck-ups offer, we do have the public record.

Katty avoids that as well.

According to the fairy tale, a week after the Bay of Pigs, JFK was praising the press and saying they should have done more -- praising and saying silently.

What was he doing publicly?

The United States of Amnesia indeed. (US of Amnesia is the phrase Gore Vidal popularized and, we believe, he also invented it.)

The usual suck ups from the press and academia (gee, so very much like today) spent the period following the Bay of Pigs Crimes offering excuses for JFK, making him the victim. The bad guys were the CIA and solely the CIA. (We don't worship the CIA and think it should be broken up and outlawed from reconstituting itself in any form in the US but we've never bought into the JFK myth.) The Bay of Pigs Crimes took place April 17, 1961. April 20, 1961 found JFK delivering a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in which he ordered the countries of Latin America to help oust Fidel Castro from power in Cuba. April 27, 1961, he spoke to the Bureau of Advertising of the American Newspaper Publishers Association in New York and there he called for the press to censor itself. Among his remarks:

I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to re-examine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country's peril. In times of war, the Government and the press have customarily joined in an effort, based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosure to the enemy. In times of clear and present danger, the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public's need for national security.

[. . .]

Every newspaper now asks itself with respect to every story: "Is it news?" All I suggest is that you add the question: "Is it in the interest of national security?"

We could print the entire thing and maybe we should. JFK went after the press and this bulls**t suggesting otherwise is nothing but lies. A lot is made of how JFK's many affairs were never covered (and really still aren't, especially if they involve same-sex encounters). The press sucked up to JFK. They wanted to work in the administration. They sucked up to him and sucked him off as much as they do Barack today. Long before the Kennedy family sought to destroy all evidence of the relationships between Marilyn Monroe and both JFK and RFK, the press had already censored themselves. As soon as she was dead, they began trashing their own photographs (most famously, their photos of Monroe performing "Happy Birthday" -- what they forgot was that the photos ran in many newspapers and that newspapers were archived in many libraries).

And the press still lies for him. JFK didn't do much in office. He spied on MLK. That's a good thing? He stood in the way of progress. That's a good thing? He was baked and doped up his entire term. That's a good thing?

Instead of dealing with reality, the left then lied for him and continues to lie today. The Nation's John Nichols is one of the biggest Barack Whores around. Today, Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. When JFK attacked the press in the speech quoted above, when JFK advocated for censorship in the alleged name of 'national security,' how did that piece of trash rag respond?

The Capital Times responded with a weak-ass editorial noting, "The president can survive the blunder if he does not now make worse mistakes, one of which would be chipping away at the First Amendment." The "blunder" is the Bay of Pigs Crimes. And how nice of the 'radical' paper to make their first concern not Cubans under attack or a nation (the US) with imperial ambitions or a president declaring war on the First Amendment, but instead to focus on how to save Johnny F. Kennedy.

The idiot Katty goes on to praise "the Tad Szulc article in the Times" -- as only an idiot can. Szulc himself stated his article was drastically censored and rewritten. And that should be known to Katty because paragraphs six and seven of her blog post, which she wrongly credits to Carey McWilliams' bad book, are nothing but badly rewritten sentences from Clifton Daniel's speech to the World Press Institute June 1, 1966 ("A Footnote to History").

How true were they? The public record contradicts them in regards to Kennedy's public statements.

It is curious how Daniels' statements are credited by Katty to Carey McWilliams (who appears to have skipped the speech but cribbed from The New York Times' June 2nd write up of their managing editor's speech). Maybe admitting that she'd read Daniel's speech would have required her to note how the paper censored Tad Szulc's article?

Daniel's speech offers facts from inside The Times' offices (where he worked) and recounts a meeting he did not attend (where JFK allegedly lamented the press didn't do more to expose the Bay of Pigs before it went down -- remarks allegedly made the same day he gave the April 27th speech calling for censorship on the basis of 'national security'). McWilliams wasn't present in the office but, from Katty's bad writing, he apparently grabs Daniel's presentation of a meeting that Daniels wasn't at either and a twice-removed fantasy becomes 'fact.'

It takes a lot of revisions to make that happen. Among them, the vanishing of JFK's two public speeches on the press following the Bay of Pigs Crimes.

If The Nation does something remotely praise worthy, we still note it. If you feel we haven't noted them in some time, that's a reflection on their output. If you're foolish enough to believe the propaganda that ahistorical Katrina churns out, you're foolish enough to believe that The Nation offers realities. You'll rarely find reality in The Nation. For example, they really aren't interested in unburying the work RFK did on the McCarthy Commission, the HUAC committee they regularly decry. (They're correct to decry it, they're wrong to slant the facts.) Another reality: The National Guardian, US weekly paper, covered this story repeatedly and Katty-van-van leaves that out as well. James Aronson wrote multiple books and we recommend all of them. You'll find out more reality one any one page of them then you ever will in a year's worth of issues of The Nation.
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