Thursday, August 28, 2008


A deep chasm now separates what happens in this world and what gets transmitted to the public by major US news media. The drones apparently pass along as gospel whatever is received from government sources, with little or no challenge. So corporate management advises individual reporters, through the affiliates, as to how information is to be edited or blacked out altogether. Street protest and the behavior of police is invisible; it is not happening on television.

There is then, a sinister cone of silence that has been drawn over the superficiality of our political language; a blindfold is fitted over our collective eyes, while the cancer of paramilitary operations moves freely in our streets. News like this is not pursued as an object of curiosity or concern.

It's a world of weird parallel realities; and at the recent Olympics the Chinese authorities were seen as horrible, in the eyes of indignant Americans watching TV. Look at those Chinese cops tearing down placards and banners, almost as soon as they get raised! Look at them arresting the demonstrators and leading them off! What kind of respect for human rights do you call this?

Earlier this month, the Georgians made war on civilians and killed those who were asleep in their beds, in a sneak attack on South Ossetia. Georgian peacekeepers working side by side with Russian colleagues, turned their guns on them and killed the unsuspecting men. "You shot your Russian brothers and finished them off with the bayonet."

Americans largely believe the black-is-white story of Russian aggression because they live in a protective bubble of disinformation and lies. And the lies are still being pushed by our corporate press.

Protesters in Denver have been sitting down passively in front of a sea of stormtroopers' uniforms, under the blows of truncheons and volley of pepper spray. "Look who is being violent", protesters chant. But what good does it do, considering what little gets out in the alternative press?

Even an ABC producer has been roughed up and arrested, for trying to get video of the wining and dining of Senators, at a posh hotel, by those who might be influencing them. Is anyone told about this on the floor of the Convention? No. Of course not.

Most of the rest of the world is watching our pols invent wonderfulness on a stage at the Denver Convention. And the same will hold true at the Republican Confab, to be held next week. But the bubble being created around the two parties and their ceremonies is intended to block any intrusion of harsh or disconcerting realities.

In the September/08 issue of Harper's Magazine, Lewis H.Lapham writes:
On television the voices of dissent can't be counted upon to match the studio drapes or serve as tasteful lead-ins to advertisements for Pantene Pro-V and the U.S. Marine Corps. What we now know as the "news media" serve at the pleasure of the corporate sponsor, their purpose not to tell truth to the powerful but to transmit lies to the powerless.
Imagine the whole world watching our pols inventing wonderful magic onstage at the Denver Convention. And the powerful, though stranger passions of the Republican congregation, will be on view the following week in Minneapolis. A bubble of unreality can be lethal to democracy and we will be damned lucky if we can break free from it.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Those red devils that whipped
at Little Bighorn
rode into battle spangled and costumed;
or stripped naked, painted in wild primary colors
red, yellow, charcoal black the color of death
some decorated their faces with dragonflies,
they put handprints on their horses' flanks
drew rings around their horses' eyes,
dangled human scalps from spears.
They were terrorists. They flew
screaming through the blue coat troops
unhinging them so they could scarce think
how to work their carbines
scared so bad they shit themselves;
then shooting, stabbing,
bashing out their brains with stone clubs.
So there's nothing new about our folk
feeling entitled to invade and murder
darker skinned foreigners in their homes
or slaughter their women and children
while they sleep in their beds, only these
particular foreigners apparently weren't
interested in our brand of Democracy
and instead decided
maybe they would give the stupid
fuckers something to think about.


Friday, August 15, 2008


Americans may be losing any chance of learning the truth from their mass media. Huge portions of national television and print news are apparently corrupt and lying about what has occurred in the Georgian-Russian war. The damned lie is the lie of omitting that Georgian leader Saakashvili ordered a sneak attack, that slammed down with a massed artillery and rocket barrage, on civilians late at night, as they slept. The opening salvo fell on people whom the legal Russian peacekeeping force had an obligation to protect, there at Tskhinvali, the provincial town in sparsely populated South Ossetia.

The region's Russian majority leans toward a separation from Georgia; but final decisions about the political status of South Ossetia have been sent haywire by an aggression that may have been orchestrated by the Bush administration.

Many hundreds of South Ossetians were killed and injured; and an estimated 30,000 fled in confusion and panic, as the explosions and fires began, shortly after midnight. Those who could get out made their way north, through the Roki Tunnel into Russia. Some estimates of the dead at Tskhinvali run to 1500 and more.

The fact that this surprise attack took place, that it was a war crime against a civilian population, simply cannot be disputed. And the fact that American print and television media are hiding the fact with every propaganda trick and diversion in the book, is quite impossible to excuse. After repulsing the attack over a few days in August, the Russians have now halted their mechanized units, after crossing some miles into Georgia proper. They have captured the Port of Poti, where Georgia's shoreline is, on the eastern end of the Black Sea. They are disposing of stores of Georgian weapons and ammo. One senior Russian officer, a general, described his army's capability and readiness, "If the Americans can go to Baghdad; we can go to Tblisi". But despite the boast, this officer's units are halted as he awaits orders and defends South Ossetia from any advance by the now scattered, demoralized Georgian army.

The Russian government has declared an end of hostilities.

Russia will not advance to the capital of Tblisi (unless unforeseen provocation comes from a foreign power), nor will they roam or control large swaths of Georgia. They earn some respect for their restraint as they await a diplomatic settlement of the crisis. The Russians have said they prefer not to have to deal with Saakashvili, but are not intending strong arm tactics to change the regime there.

Don't reporters with integrity do more for democracy than elected officials? But if you're an American, it only renews your sense of shame to see the willful, and at times treacherous efforts in the US Press Corps: the troubling example of their duplicity, their dishonesty and obscuring of fact. Here again in a time of government secrecy and domestic spying, and police power in secretive agencies, a concerted effort is underway to bury the truth and pull the wool over people's eyes. In the sad style of a totalitarian news organ, CNN was exposed as it tried to manipulate images, using the scene of devastation in Tskhinvali, while labeling it as the work of the Russian army in Georgia.

This dispersal of government propaganda with its willing servants in the US media is disgusting beyond words. How is it possible to forgive the fakery and immoral subservience to liars that has risen in the United States of America? This is our country after all. And we must hang our heads.

I could have made the lede to this story announce that we live under the rule of outright criminals; but this is quite an old story now. American news media no longer shows us the world as it is. That is the tragic story. You had better look to the BBC, for one, or to trusted blogs. The increasing recklessness of the White House and its willingness to make up any claims, no matter how outlandish, has now come to a truly dangerous extreme. Bush and his team can stand the truth on its head; and the lies get repeated on cable news, and across the networks and newspapers with but a few exceptions.

ADDENDUM: (Click on #28 comment at Moon of Alabama that reads warpics) album of photos taken as the Russian army makes its way through the scene of devastation that was caused by the Georgian attack. Remember that images show what Bush Family ally, Saakashvili, has brought about. These are photos taken around Tskhinvali, in South Ossetia, not from any further advance into Georgian territory. Some images are horrible; so be advised that these are hard to look at.

EXTRA: A transcript from Larry King Live. (broadcast August 14th)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev replies to Saakashvili's version of events.
KING: [...]

The president of Georgia told CNN yesterday that we've been witnessing the past few days "the brutal, calculated, cold-blooded, premeditated murder by Russia of a small democracy."

How do you respond?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Well, this is all lies from beginning to end. And I am -- really, I really think this is really beyond comprehension. I have heard the opinion of Eduard Shevardnadze. He knows what the situation is on their side.

So it was all at night, a little past midnight, when the city was asleep. Then from all sides, it was shelled with shells of enormous power. They used artillery. They used aircraft. They used all weapons of killing. And this is really amazing.

Tskhinvali, in fact, was devastated by fire from multiple rocket launchers against people, against housing, against hospitals, against water and sanitation, against the energy and communication infrastructure. All of that was destroyed. The old monuments were destroyed. And they were among the oldest in the Caucasus. The ancestral graves were ruined -- were then trampled by tanks.

KING: Mr. President, excuse me, you are saying that Georgia started this?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Yes, indeed. There is no doubt about it.

What is more, the response required the movement of additional forces into South Ossetia because Tskhinvali was attacked by a powerful force, by an armada. And I remember the Second World War. I remember the front. I remember the occupation. I saw terrible weapons used. But this was the use of sophisticated weapons against a small town, against sleeping people. This was a barbaric assault.

KING: One of our candidates, John McCain, the senator, I'm sure you know, he calls this regime change. He said Russia's true objective is to change regimes.

How do you respond to that charge?

GORBACHEV (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): No. Russia was responding to what happened in Tskhinvali. Russia needed to address this. Russia could not avoid addressing this assault and this devastation and the killings of people, the devastation of the city. The peacekeepers had been there for some time. There were all kinds of things happening. But there were still possibilities for dialogue. And there was some dialogue going on and they were considering certain options and possibilities.

So Russia was ready to continue to fulfill its functions. There is just no doubt about it. And I don't know why it's happened that it has been presented that Russia invaded Georgia. This is really disinformation. This is all lies. It means that this plan -- there was a plan to attack Ossetia...and also to misinform people. It's a kind of information war. I think now that they are showing the city, it is becoming clearer what happened.

A Video that addresses US Media's propaganda.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

24th ADDRESS TO CITY COUNCIL (Re: A Resolution To Impeach)

August 5th

Mayor, Council members, good evening. I am appearing again in behalf of a resolution calling for the impeachment of the President and Vice President of the United States.

Well, last week I was surprised to learn that speaking up in defense of the Constitution is a partisan enterprise. This contradicts what I learned in my high school civics class as well as the political science course I took as a freshman in college.

As we have said many times, this impeachment resolution is not partisan. The next president, who could easily be a Democrat, will inherit all the expanded powers of the current regime: the right to invade other countries at his whim; the right to arrest anyone—citizen or non-citizen—merely by calling them “enemy combatants”; the right to hold them indefinitely without trial and the right to torture them; the right to listen in on our phone conversations and read our emails.

He will also inherit something even more profound and dangerous: the knowledge that he can tell any lie or commit virtually any act without fear of accountability to Congress, to the law, or the Constitution.

Again, Barack Obama would inherit these broad new powers, as would John McCain. The Constitution and the rule of law, are not partisan principles. Speaking up in their defense is not a partisan act.

It is merely an act of conscience, an act of principle, an act of patriotism, pure and simple.

I would be the first to agree that City Councils should be non-partisan. Again, I see nothing partisan in your oath of office, which obligates you to defend the Constitution and the rule of law.

But you continue to insist that our assessment of the current crisis is strictly a matter of opinion, therefore, no call for action. Well, what can I say? At this point, arguing that the overwhelming body of evidence of wrong doing by the Bush Administration is little more than someone's opinion is right up there with attempts by magical thinkers to discredit the science of evolution along with the almost universally accepted belief that the grass is green and the sky is blue.

But if you really do think that there have been no lies told, no breaches of law or the Constitution by the Bush Administration, if you really think detaining people for years without trials has a place in a free democracy, if you really believe torture is consistent with the Geneva Conventions and with the flag of our fathers, then these truly are your beliefs, and I won't try to refute them.

But I do think some people know what is true. The real problem, as I see it, is finding the courage to speak out and risk being out of step with the crowd. It's a risk that must have been well understood by Voltaire, who said, “Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”

Thank you.

Friday, August 08, 2008


[T]he danger of violence, even if it moves consciously within a nonextremist framework of short-term goals, will always be that the means overwhelm the end. If goals are not achieved rapidly, the result will be not merely defeat but the introduction of the practice of violence into the whole body politic. Action is irreversible, and a return to the status quo in case of defeat is always unlikely. The practice of violence, like all action, changes the world, but the most probable change is to a more violent world.

--Hannah Arendt
The White House was not happy with the direction that FBI investigators were pursuing after the Anthrax Letters attack of 2001. FBI Director Mueller was harshly reprimanded in private for not finding a connection to Iraq or al-Qaeda operatives, that would solve the case of the biological attack that had struck such panic into official Washington. But the DNA markers on the strain of anthrax which was recovered could only have come from a source in an American military laboratory. The results were conclusive.

But in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, the lie, and the opposing truth of what happened during the anthrax panic, began to wage a desperate contest for the minds of Americans and their Representatives. There was certainly a climate of fear and enough political leverage to compel Congress to pass the Patriot Act.

Almost seven years later we look back to that panic of October, 2001. It was like a cry of FIRE in a crowded theater; and after the false information was given out, a scramble toward war ensued, a veritable stampede for the exits. And we are still living the tragedy of the Big Lie and the Bigger Cover-up, because the antidote to truth was passed along to ABC news reporter, Brian Ross, and others in his department, who put out the awe inspiring story that tests at the Army's Fort Detrick lab, in Maryland, had found traces of bentonite, a clay-derived additive ( used as a binder in some toothpaste and processed food) which they said was a component unique to the production of Iraq's biological weapons. Respected journalist, Glenn Greenwald, reports that there was never any such test at Fort Detrick or anywhere else. And the strain of anthrax used in the attacks, a modified virus, was absolutely identified as the product of American ingenuity, and traced back to the Fort Detrick facility.
“It's extremely possible--one could say highly likely--that the same people responsible for perpetrating the attacks were the ones who fed the false reports to the public, through ABC News, that Saddam was behind them. What we know for certain--as a result of the letters accompanying the anthrax--is that whoever perpetrated the attacks wanted the public to believe they were sent by foreign Muslims.

Seven years later, it's difficult for many people to recall, but, as I've amply documented, those ABC News reports linking Saddam and anthrax penetrated very deeply--by design--into our public discourse and into the public consciousness. Those reports were absolutely vital in creating the impression during that very volatile time that Islamic terrorists generally, and Iraq and Saddam Hussein specifically, were grave, existential threats to this country.”
And ABC News, under persistent pressure from Greenwald, admitted only last year that no bentonite was ever detected in anthrax which was mailed to the victims in 2001. The “four well-placed and separate sources” the news organ cited in its report are at present a closely held secret. ABC refuses to give up the identity of its sources, even though this could be evidence in criminal proceedings against those who are most likely accomplices in murder. The same people who submitted the false story to ABC News also made an abridgment of our basic liberties possible, and led the nation to a completely needless war that has killed thousands of our soldiers and well over a million Iraqis.

Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, a microbiologist and specialist in vaccines, had worked 36 years, the greater part of his adult life, at the Army's Fort Detrick lab in Maryland. The FBI had harassed and tailed him, even harassing his grownup step-children in the the course of an 18 month investigation. Attention focused on Ivins after the FBI dropped its fruitless investigation of Steven Hatfill. They quickly forgot Hatfill, who had turned the tables on them and won a lawsuit; and the Bureau then consolidated its efforts. And with another mass of circumstantial evidence it moved against Ivins. The government case seemed to hinge on Ivins' increasingly erratic behavior, which could be seen as the result of stepped-up pressure that they were placing on a nervous, and somewhat vulnerable man.
Dr. Byrne [a former colleague] said he believed Dr. Ivins was singled out partly because of his personal weaknesses. “They figured he was the weakest link,” Dr. Byrne said. “If they had real evidence on him, why did they not just arrest him?”

Another former co-worker, Dr. Kenneth W. Hedlund, who collaborated on anthrax research with Dr. Ivins in the 1980s, had a similar theory.

“The investigators looked around, they decided they had to find somebody. They went after all of them but he looked the most susceptible to pressure,” Dr. Hedlund said. “It is like prisoners of war: if they are harassed enough, they will be driven to do anything. But I don’t believe he would have done what they say he did.” --Scott Shane and Nicholas Wade
The last month of Bruce Ivins' life was misery; he was lashing out and making threats; he was committed to the hospital for depression. He was 62. But Bruce Ivin's suicide put an end to the FBI's process of intimidation and may have had the effect of curtailing what we can learn.

Dr. Meryl Nass, another scientist in this field, who met Ivins at a University of Maryland biowarfare conference in 1991, was recently interviewed by Amy Goodman, and made this comment:
...There has been a tremendous amount of innuendo and information put forward that has never been backed up and never been attributed to anybody.

And I fear that because a variety of the information that may be used to convict Bruce Ivins after his death is going to be classified, or perhaps we will be given false information, that it will become impossible to defend him and impossible to really make sense of the entire letters case...
The forensic part of the government's case leads to the Fort Detrick lab, but it can't conclusively point to any one person. Scientists working there, as well as occasional visitors, would have access to the area to which the anthrax was traced.

Even though most people who knew Ivins saw him as a rather selfless fellow, the government seriously intends to portray him as a man who had some rational, selfish motives, in that he desired to stimulate production of vaccine he developed, in order to profit from it. The FBI is here accusing a man of notable scientific accomplishment. Dr. Ivins had received official recognition for his prominent role in developing the anthrax vaccine that was later given to US troops on their way to Iraq. It is suggested that he hoped to profit, as the letters of deadly anthrax would certainly have caused government contracts to be awarded, and would have spurred the production of Ivin's vaccine.

But Dr. Nass counters that argument this way:
Bruce wasn't the anthrax perpetrator. First off, he had no motive. He didn't need to direct money toward the bioterrorism effort, or increase interest in it. He had a very solid job, since he was the army's top expert on anthrax vaccines. He didn't move on to a better job in industry, unlike many of his colleagues at Fort Detrick, after the anthrax letters made bioterrorism a profitable industry.
The sad thing is, we won't know whether Ivins was the loner, according to the government's scenario, who acted without help and put together the anthrax attacks--or if on the other hand--he was only another in the long line of American patsies and sacrificial goats.


copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...