Sunday, September 21, 2008

Has Rove has already fixed the 2008 election?

I've been trumpeting the unerring investigative acumen of Greg Palast for years. In case this is all new to you, PLEASE watch this video.

The 5 McCain Videos Everyone Needs to See

1. The Real McCain 2: Watch as McCain's YouTube problem became his nightmare in the video that received over 4 million views.


2. Less Jobs. More Wars: What is this 'Iraq war' charge on my bill?


3. John McCain vs. John McCain: Tell McCain to get off the Double Talk Express.


4. McCain's Spiritual Guide: The video that caused McCain to renounce Rev. Rod Parsley's bigoted endorsement.


5. Why Won't McCain Sign the GI Bill? Presenting the most blatant hypocrisy of the McCain campaign.

Why aren't John McCain's medical records public?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Documentary Footage of Mass Arrest in St. Paul

From Laura Flanders and Alternet.org

Now that we've had a few weeks to settle, a look back at Labor Day in the Twin Cities. Labor Day was of course also Day One of the Republican National Convention. Video was released today of an apparent mass arrest of utterly peaceful concert goers at the SEIU Labor Day concert.

Police in riot gear have surrounded loungers in a waterfront park. They announce, "Ladies and Gentlemen, You're Under Arrest" and you hear one young woman say incredulously "Are you serious?"

Yep, I'm afraid they are.



John Stewart on the Palin Gender Card

The Daily Show on the Republican tendency for double standards. On everything.

More from "Steal Back Your Vote"

More previews from Greg Palast and Robert Kennedy Jr.'s "Steal Back Your Vote." Click on the pages to enlarge.













































Night of the Living Vote-snatchers

Excerpted from the Greg Palast, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Robert F. Kennedy's comic book voter guide. See www.StealBackYourVote.org for more.

In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Help America Vote Act.

When a Bush tells you he’s going to “help” you vote - look out!

The result: in the 2004 presidential election, over three million votes - 3,006,080 - were cast and not counted. Like, what the !@#!?

That’s from the official data from an agency created by George Bush called the “Elections Assistance Commission.” When a Bush tells you he’s going to “assist” our elections... (well, you get it).

Three MILLION ballots disappeared - Pfft!

And not just anyone’s ballots. U.S. government experts reported, for example, that a black voter’s ballot is 900% more likely than a white voter’s ballot to get “lost” in the machine. Bush fired the experts.

Three million voters went missing in ‘04 - but that ain’t nuthin’!www.StealBackYourVote.org

Law professor and voting law expert Robert F. Kennedy Jr. warns that it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Nasty new spores of the “Help” America Vote Act went into effect since the last election that have turned the process into a vicious game of “Chutes and Ladders,” with traps and tricks between you and your vote...

Example: the Republican Secretary of State of Colorado “helped” her state vote by eliminating 19.4% of the voters from the voter rolls. That’s one in five !@#$#@ voters!

Over three million missing ballots – and now the voters themselves are disappearing by the millions. Where the hell did they go?

Biggest Rally in Alaska history... against Palin

Bet you didn't here a word about this in your hometown media!

The local report:


[The] Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It's probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally "a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

I felt a bit apprehensive. I'd been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it's a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren't sent by Eddie Burke, we'll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing "socialist baby-killing maggot" haters.

It's a good thing I wasn't tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or
I would have ended up in somebody's trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.


Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn't honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn't happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn't be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you've been doing the math… Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin's rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.

























Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knocking on doors for Obama

So, Sunday afternoon, clipboard and voter list in hand, I spent 3 hours sweating for Barack. I canvassed my neighborhood, when possible engaging neighbors - the ones riding the fence mostly - about why I am supporting Barack Obama for President.

It's become my Sunday afternoon ritual. I, and whoever else signs up or just decides to come, meet my town's field organizer at the local public library branch parking lot. There, Sean, a twenty-something very likable guy from Georgia, gives us our marching orders. The past weeks, it's been voter registration. Today it's time to start persuading.

Canvasing always requires a little extra activation energy for me. It rubs slightly against the grain of this middle-aged, vaguely misanthropic dude. But if I can't look the people in the eye whose houses I drive, walk or bike by every day, and tell them why they can no longer vote against their own best interests, I would frankly be ashamed of myself.

And aside from dehydration (note: don't donate a pint of blood on the day you plan to traipse around for 3 hours in the hottest part of the afternoon), it went pretty well.

Most poignant moment: the teacher who was ga-ga for and can't get over Hillary. We talked for 10-15 minutes. I showed her the blow-by-blow comparison of Obama and McCain's tax plans (get it here). She still wouldn't commit. Her husband and father sat in the living room watching the Dolphins lose and pretended that I wasn't there.

Most surreal moment: the 30-something couple who engaged me (they knew I lived in the neighborhood) and who were staunch McCain supporters and two-time (twice!) Bush/Cheney voters. He thanked me for getting out and supporting my candidate, shook my hand and said "We're still neighbors, right?' to which I replied, "Heck, we're always Americans, and this is what it's supposed to be about." Yeah, corny, I know, but heartfelt (and don't forget I was a little short of blood).

Best moment: Jeff (not his real name), a former truck driver who got a major insurance settlement after a nasty accident. He started his own lawn service business - just him - I always wave to him when I come home from work, since he's often out trimming one of the other neighbor's yards. Nice guy, into NASCAR and his church. Jeff is on the fence. We talked for a long time, and I just passionately spilled my guts about what I find so alarming about the bankrupt GOP economic, social and foreign policy (well, the abridged version). Maybe, just maybe, I nudged him a little closer to making the right decision on November 4.

That's how we have to win this state. One door at a time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Blue and red

If you're a minority and selected for a job over more qualifiedcandidates, you're a "token hire."
If you're a conservative and selected for a job over more qualified candidates, you're a "game changer."

Grow up in Hawaii, you're "exotic."
Grow up in Alaska, you're the quintessential "American story."


Name your kid Barack, you're "unpatriotic."
Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting theindividual you're "reckless."
A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

If you spend three years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of one to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly eight more years as a State Senator representing a district with 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly four years in the U.S. Senate representing 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.
Spend four years on the city council and six years as the mayor of a town with 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket.

If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an "arrogant celebrity."
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are"energizing the base".

If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are "presumptuous".
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions, you are a "shoot from the hip" maverick.

If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree, you are "an elitist-out of touch" with the real America.
If you are a legacy graduate of Annapolis (dad and granddad were admirals) with multiple disciplinary infractions, you are a hero.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an"empty suit".
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7,000 people, you are an"experienced executive".

If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are "extremist".
If you believe in creationism and believe global warming is a hoax,you are "strongly principled".

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years and raised two beautiful daughters, you're "risky".
If you cheated on your first wife with a rich young heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're Christian.

If you're a black single mother of four who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're irresponsible.
If you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.


If you're 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you "First dog."
If you're a 17-year old, pregnant, unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you "beautiful" and "courageous."

If you have an abortion, you're a murderer-- even if you were date raped.
If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.

If you teach the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If you teach abstinence, you get teen parents.

'Nuff said

Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain's history of hot temper raises concerns

Jon Perr at Crooks and Liars reports: " In a disturbing expose Sunday, the McClatchy papers joined the growing list of press, pundits and politicians raising a red flag about John McCain’s out-of-control temper. Following on the heels of the devastating revelations from the Washington Post in April, McClatchy documents many of the tantrums, outbursts and eruptions that continue to call McCain’s presidential temperament into question. And as Mitt Romney’s campaign revealed in January, those McCain tirades are directed at friend and foe alike."

Here's the McLatchy piece in its entirety:

By David Lightman and Matt Stearns | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.

Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.

McCain called Cornyn's claim "chicken-s---," according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.

"F--- you," McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.

It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance where, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, "It's his way or no way."

There's a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

McCain observers say the incidents have been blown out of proportion.

"I've never seen anything in the way of an outburst of temper that struck me as anything out of the ordinary," said McCain biographer Robert Timberg.

"Those reports are overstated," said Rives Richey, who attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., with McCain in the early 1950s.

Historians point out that it's not unusual for a president to have a fierce temper, but most knew how to keep it under control.

"Harry Truman wrote scathing letters, but he almost never sent them," said author Robert Dallek.

"George Washington spent a lifetime trying to control his temper," added historian Richard Norton Smith.

But Washington didn't have YouTube replaying videos of his tantrums, nor did he have to make decisions about nuclear weapons.

HE WAS FEISTY

At age 2, McCain's tantrums were so intense that he'd hold his breath for a few minutes and pass out. His parents would dunk him in cold water to "cure" him, he wrote in his memoir, "Faith of My Fathers."

"I have spent much of my life choosing my own attitude, often carelessly, often for no better reason than to indulge a conceit," he wrote. He conceded that some of his actions have been embarrassing, and "others I deeply regret."

He was a tough little guy. At Episcopal High, he was a 114-pound wrestler classmates called "Punk" and "McNasty."

Richey, though, noted that such monikers weren't unusual in those days. "There was a tremendous amount of sarcasm in the way we talked to each other at Episcopal," he recalled. "That's the way we all talked to each other."

McCain, Richey said, "was not looking for a fight. He was feisty."

McCain entered the Naval Academy in 1954, and he was popular, the leader of a group that Timberg described as the Bad Bunch, known largely for its ability to have a good time.

Malcolm Matheson, who knew McCain at Episcopal High and stayed friendly with him in college, said his buddy had no trouble controlling his temper in those days.

"He was a little guy, but he was tough, and no bully ever got in his face," Matheson said.

But as McCain ascended in politics, he began to acquire a reputation for hotheadedness. On election night 1986, then-Arizona Republican Party executive director Jon Hinz recalled, McCain was unhappy, even angry, even though he'd just won a U.S. Senate seat and his party had just made a virtually unprecedented sweep of state offices.

McCain had hoped that night would help launch him as a national figure. Instead, when the 5-foot-9 senator-elect spoke at the Phoenix victory party, the podium was too tall.

"You couldn't see his mouth," Hinz said.

A furious McCain sought out Robert Wexler, the Young Republican head in charge of arrangements.

"McCain kept pointing his finger in Wexler's chest, berating him," Hinz recalled. The 6-foot-6 Hinz stepped between them and told McCain to cut it out. "I told him I'll make sure there's an egg crate around next time," he said. McCain walked away angrily.

About a year later, McCain reportedly erupted again, this time at a meeting with Arizona's then-Gov. Evan Mecham, who was about to be impeached after being indicted on felony charges.

Karen Johnson, then Mecham's secretary and now an Arizona state senator, recalled how McCain told Mecham that he was "causing the party a lot of problems" and was an embarrassment to the party.

"Sen. McCain got very angry," Johnson recalled, "and I said, 'Why are you talking to the governor like this? You're causing problems yourself. You're an embarrassment.' "

Johnson would go on to work at three different jobs over the next five years, and she said that each time, McCain would contact her boss and try to get her removed.

The McCain campaign didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.

LOSING HIS COOL

When John McCain came to the Senate in 1987, he quickly got two reputations: a Republican who'd do business with Democrats on tough issues and an impatient senator who was often gruff and temperamental.

In January, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., told The Boston Globe that, "the thought of (McCain) being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." (Cochran has since endorsed McCain.)

Added Sen. Christopher Bond, R-Mo., who has a long list of vociferous, sometimes personal disagreements with McCain, "His charm takes a little getting used to." (Bond, too, supports him.)

Democrats are less guarded.

"There have been times when he's just exploded, " said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

"Look, around here, people lose their tempers once in a while. But it doesn't happen very often, and it usually happens in some contextual framework. A lot of times there's just not much of a contextual framework for his blowing up."

John Raidt worked for McCain more than 15 years. "Yeah, he could get prickly," he said. "Sometimes that's exactly what's needed to move an issue or get attention. I think he uses it as a tool."

Stories abound on Capitol Hill: How McCain told Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., how "only an a-hole" would craft a budget like he did. Or the time in 1989 when he confronted Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, then a Democrat and now a Republican, because Shelby had promised to vote for McCain friend John Tower as secretary of defense, and then Shelby voted against Tower.

McCain later wrote how, after the vote, he approached Shelby "to bring my nose within an inch of his as I screamed out my intense displeasure over his deceit ... the incident is one of the occasions when my temper lived up to its exaggerated legend."

Cochran recalled earlier this summer that he saw McCain manhandle a Sandinista official during a 1987 diplomatic mission in Nicaragua.

Cochran told the Biloxi Sun-Herald that McCain was talking, and, "I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever."

McCain said the incident never took place. "I must say, I did not admire the Sandinistas much," he told a news conference. "But there was never anything of that nature. It just didn't happen."

Former Sen. Robert Dole, who led the mission, couldn't be reached to comment.

Back in Washington, families of POW_MIAs said they have seen McCain's wrath repeatedly. Some families charged that McCain hadn't been aggressive enough about pursuing their lost relatives and has been reluctant to release relevant documents. McCain himself was a prisoner of war for five-and-a-half years during the Vietnam War.

In 1992, McCain sparred with Dolores Alfond, the chairwoman of the National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen and Women, at a Senate hearing. McCain's prosecutor-like questioning of Alfond — available on YouTube — left her in tears.

Four years later, at her group's Washington conference, about 25 members went to a Senate office building, hoping to meet with McCain. As they stood in the hall, McCain and an aide walked by.

Six people present have written statements describing what they saw. According to the accounts, McCain waved his hand to shoo away Jeannette Jenkins, whose cousin was last seen in South Vietnam in 1970, causing her to hit a wall.

As McCain continued walking, Jane Duke Gaylor, the mother of another missing serviceman, approached the senator. Gaylor, in a wheelchair equipped with portable oxygen, stretched her arms toward McCain.

"McCain stopped, glared at her, raised his left arm ready to strike her, composed himself and pushed the wheelchair away from him," according to Eleanor Apodaca, the sister of an Air Force captain missing since 1967.

McCain's staff wouldn't respond to requests for comment about specific incidents.

But Mark Salter, a longtime McCain aide who functions as the senator's alter ego and the co-author of his books, said that, "McCain gets intense, and intent on his argument."

His blowups with senators often result from colleagues being accustomed to deference, he said.

"A lot of these guys aren't used to that," Salter said, so they get annoyed when a peer gets emotional.

McCain's presidential campaign has tried to use his reputation to its advantage; in an early television ad, McCain said: "I didn't go to Washington to win the Mr. Congeniality award ... I love America. I love her enough to make some people angry."

CAN HE CONTROL IT?

There's no easy way to judge whether McCain's temper would make him a risky president.

"Yeah, he has a temper," said Democratic vice-presidential nominee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden of Delaware. "It's obvious. You've seen it.

"But is John whatever his opposition painted him to be, this unstable guy who came out of a prisoner or war camp not capable of (acting rationally)? I don't buy that at all."

Independent experts have some concerns about McCain's irascibility.

"Diplomacy is not often dealing with reasonable people," said Steve Clemons, an analyst at the New America Foundation, a centrist public policy group.

"In the nuclear age, you don't want someone flying off the handle, so it's a critical question: Can McCain control his temper?" asked Thomas De Luca, professor of political science at Fordham University in New York.

History is an inexact guide, because little evidence is available tying temper to action.

Richard Norton Smith has found that according to Tobias Lear, George Washington's secretary, "few sounds on earth could compare with that of George Washington swearing a blue streak."

On the other hand, said Smith, Washington could control himself. "One reason George Washington is this cold-blooded marble figure is that he became expert in controlling his temper," he said.

Other presidents have similar histories. Thomas Jefferson, Smith said, could be a "red-faced chief executive throwing his hat on the floor before stomping on it."

Truman had his angry letters, and one that got out showed quite a temper.

"It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful," Truman wrote Washington Post music critic Paul Hume in 1950, after Hume had panned first daughter Margaret Truman's singing performance.

Added the angry father, "Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below!"

Bill Clinton's infamous red-faced tirades tended to be endured by staffers in the privacy of the White House rather than public displays.

The important question, said Dallek, is whether and how McCain controls his outbursts. Though his aides insist that his temper is simply a way of expressing passion — and that he sometimes uses it for effect — some observers remain concerned.

"It seems the only way to deal with John McCain is to think the way he does," said Hinz, the former Arizona GOP official who now runs an insurance reform advocacy group in Phoenix. "If he gets more power, what's going to make him suddenly become a fuzzy, nice guy?"

(Margaret Talev contributed to this article.)

ON THE WEB

The YouTube video of the McCain-Alfond hearing

MORE FROM MCCLATCHY

Senator: Angry McCain grabbed Sandinista official at talks

McCain's choice of Palin as running mate draws mixed reactions

John McCain finds key ally in S.C.'s Lindsey Graham

McCain has young supporters, too

As Reagan era closes, Republicans lack shared identity

Check out McClatchy's expanded political coverage

"Triumph the Insult Dog" at the GOP convention

An open letter to right wing fundamentalist Christians

To all right wing fundamentalist Christians supporting McCain-Palin:

You are being played. Played like fools.


You are blind to the real evil behind the McCain-Palin ticket. The true evil whose name is Karl Rove.


Karl Rove has been called a genius. Now, genius can be a force for good or evil. Karl Rove is a sociopathic elitest, and Karl Rove thinks that you, collectively are fools. In fact, Karl Rove called you "nuts," a fact never widely reported, but nonetheless true. He has nothing but contempt for you.

From Chuck Baldwin, 10/17/2006:

"No president in American history played the 'God card' any better than George W. Bush. Early in his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush convinced fundamentalist/evangelical Christian leaders that he was 'their' man. Those Christian leaders went on to promote and support Mr. Bush to the tune of two successful presidential election victories. To this day, they comprise his most loyal base of support.

"But was it all a sham? Did G.W. Bush and Karl Rove simply dupe the Religious Right? A Bush insider now says that is exactly what happened: GOP strategists played evangelical believers for suckers.

"David Kuo has a long record of Christian conservatism. His resume includes tenure with such notable Republican leaders as William Bennett, John Ashcroft, Bob Dole, and Congressman J.C. Watts. Most recently, he served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

"In his column, Shooting from the Heart, Kuo wrote that receiving President Bush’s invitation to become Deputy Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives 'was a dream come true for me.' Kuo believed he had teamed with a man who sincerely intended to promote Christian conservatism in and through his administration. Now Kuo believes that he (and the entire evangelical community) had been duped.

"Kuo has written a new book entitled Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction. He also sat down with CBS reporter Lesley Stahl for a 60 Minutes interview that aired this past Sunday.

"Kuo writes in his book that White House staffers would roll their eyes at evangelicals, calling them 'nuts' and 'goofy.' Asked if that was really their attitude, Kuo told Stahl, 'Oh, absolutely. You name the important Christian leader and I have heard them mocked by serious people in serious places.'

"Kuo said that people in the White House referred to Pat Robertson as 'insane,' Jerry Falwell as 'ridiculous,' and James Dobson as having 'to be controlled.'

"Kuo believes that GOP strategists successfully convinced Christian leaders 'that Jesus came primarily for a political agenda, and recently primarily a right-wing political agenda-as if this culture war is a war for God. And it’s not a war for God, it’s a war for politics. And that’s a huge difference.'

"Kuo points out that President Bush would use catch-phrases to convince believers. For example, in one speech Bush said, 'There’s power, wonder-working power in the goodness and idealism and faith of the American people.'

"The phrase 'wonder working power' sailed over the heads of the media, but most evangelical Christians recognized it immediately from the great old hymn, Power In The Blood.

"Kuo went on to say that 'God and politics had become very much fused together into a sort of a single entity. Where, in a way, politics was the fourth part of the trinity. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and God the politician.'

"Kuo now feels badly for allowing politicians to use Christians (and the issues they embrace) as they did. He said, 'I feel like it was more spiritually wrong. You’re taking the sacred and you’re making it profane. You’re taking Jesus and reducing him to some precinct captain, to some get-out-the-vote guy.' Kuo added, '[T]he name of God is just being destroyed in the name of politics.'"


So now, they are doing it again. McCain's acquiescence to choosing Sarah Palin as his running mater is simply more of the same strategy to galvanize your movement in the hopes that any edge held by Barack Obama will be destroyed. So who is this evil genius who still lurks behind the curtain of the Republian campaign for the Presidency?

"In their book The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power, James Moore and Wayne Slater identify Rove as an agnostic.[105] Slater reaffirmed this claim in a National Public Radio interview.[106] After this was mentioned by Bill Moyers on PBS, Rove was asked about it in an interview by Chris Wallace on Fox News and denied being an agnostic, saying 'I'm a Christian. I go to church. I'm an Episcopalian.'[107]

"When discussing his new book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Christopher Hitchens was asked by New York Magazine if 'anyone in the Bush administration confided in [him] about being an atheist?', he replied, "Well, I don’t talk that much to them — maybe people think I do. I know something which is known to few but is not a secret. Karl Rove is not a believer, and he doesn’t shout it from the rooftops, but when asked, he answers quite honestly. I think the way he puts it is, 'I’m not fortunate enough to be a person of faith.'[108]

Fact is, I believe that Jesus was a liberal.

Peacemaking, not War Making: Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [Matthew 5:9]

Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. [Matthew 5:39] I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despite-fully use you, and persecute you; [Matthew 5:44]

The Death Penalty: Thou shalt not kill [Matthew 5:21]

Crime and Punishment: If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her. [John 8:7] Do not judge, lest you too be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. [Matthew 7:1 & 2.]

Justice: Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. [Matthew 5:6] Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy [Matthew 5:7] But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. [Matthew 6:15]

Corporate Greed and the Religion of Wealth: In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. [John 2:14 & 15.] Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. [Luke 12:15.] Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. [Matthew 19:23] You cannot serve both God and Money. [Matthew 6:24.]

Paying Taxes & Separation of Church & State: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. [Matthew 22:21]

Community: Love your neighbor as yourself. .[Matthew 22:39] So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you. [Matthew 7:12.] If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. [Matthew 19:21]

Equality & Social Programs: But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. [Luke 14:13 & 14.]

Public Prayer & Displays of Faith: And when thou pray, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret… [Matthew 6:6 & 7]

Strict Enforcement of Religious Laws: If any of you has a son or a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? [Matthew 12:11] The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. [Mark 2:27.]

Saturday, September 06, 2008

More of the same; reigniting the culture war

The Republican Party knows that there is only one way that they can eke out a slim margin of victory on November 4 (well, in addition to their usual illegal shenanigans). Kathyryn Kolbert, President of People for the American Way, put it so well in an email tonight:

For all the talk about reformers and mavericks, the Republican convention this week struck me as a return to the GOP's decades-old culture-war handbook, with speaker after speaker launching attacks on the "elites" in the media and Washington who supposedly look down on small-town America. At the GOP convention, there was a dispiriting number of distortions and ugly charges hurled from the podium, but nothing exemplified the spirit of the event to me more than the repeated outright mockery of community organizers.

As someone who has worked as a tenant organizer, I was offended by the smug sneering directed toward people who work hard for little pay on behalf of those who are struggling. How does attacking people who sacrifice for the common good mesh with the Republicans' stated desire to divert social service funds to community groups? How does it fit with speakers' claims to be standing with "real people" against "elites?" And I'm sorry, but how can anyone not laugh out loud at the ludicrous image of Wall Street millionaire and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney complaining about Eastern elites?

Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin made it clear that she's an able attack dog -- proudly describing herself as a pitbull -- and should not be underestimated. But she also made it clear that she's willing to stretch the truth when following the GOP's win-at-all-costs playbook. I think James Fallows had it right when he said that the decision to pick Sarah Palin was a signal that the McCain camp was embracing Karl Rove's base-motivating strategy and Religious Right leaders have reacted with a fervor that is hard to overstate. Clearly the pick of an anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-science extremist wrapped in a folksy hockey-mom package has fired up the base in ways that even McCain's pledge to pack the Courts with right-wing judges has failed to do.

After the derisive and divisive comments from so many speakers, John McCain's decrying of partisan rancor last night rang hollow to me. His use of right-wing buzz words such as "culture of life" and "judges who won't legislate from the bench" was a reminder that McCain would continue in the partisan tradition of the Bush administration.

In addition, the ridiculousness of the attacks on the "liberal media" -- which has more often than not been fawning in its treatment of McCain -- is so transparent that I hope the press will not cave in to the campaign's bullying demands that reporters stop asking legitimate questions about Palin's record, or about the impact of McCain's promised policies on the lives and liberties of millions of Americans.

But we can't count on the media to do the necessary truth-telling about John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Religious Right culture warriors who are now mobilizing to put them in the White House. That's our job -- and yours!

John McCain and Sarah Palin have lit a fire under the GOP's far-right base. I have to say they've done the same for me, and I hope the same is true for other Americans who share my deep concern for the ways they would use their power to undermine our nation's highest values and reverse so much progress that we've made toward those ideals.

All the best,


Kathryn Kolbert, President
Kathryn@pfaw.org

The Republican version of truth

AP does some fact-checking on Palin's speech and notes that "In some cases" she "stretched the truth." Here's a couple of the examples they offer (similar fact-checks are also offered, at the same link, for Romney and Huckabee's speeches):

PALIN: ''I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere.''

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a ''bridge to nowhere.''
...
PALIN: ''The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.''

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Republican version of democracy

Courtesy of Free Press.net:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Family values in Wasilla, Alaska

From the Juneau Empire:

Wasilla's Meth Problem Made Palin's Borough The Meth Capital Of Alaska

WASILLA - The Matanuska-Susitna area is the methamphetamine capital of Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

In 2003, authorities uncovered nine meth labs in the area. Last year, the number increased to 42, said Kyle Young, an investigator with the troopers who works with the Mat-Su narcotics team.

Officials with the Office of Children's Services in Wasilla said the problem affects children. The office receives about 40 calls a month from people reporting abuse or neglect involving some aspect of the highly addictive drug.

In late February, the Mat-Su narcotics unit arrested a couple at their Willow home. Michelle Motta said for years she tried to warn authorities that her three young nieces lived in the midst of a methamphetamine operation run by their parents, Phillip Dean and Laura Jackson.

Alaska State Troopers reported finding a "large active meth lab" in a detached garage shop. The house was a frigid mess, with piles of dirty dishes, clothes everywhere and frozen pipes, investigators said.

Through a hatch in the shop floor, the team found an underground room with a meth lab in one corner, as well as old marijuana root balls and lights from a past pot-growing operation.

An investigator said the team didn't find the children at home but saw signs of them there. Motta said the girls - ages 14, 8 and 6 - at times slept in the garage with the lab.

Country First

Someone once said (I think it was Mark Crispin Miller) that the right wing always accuses progressives of the very thing that they themselves are doing, or fronts with a talking point that essentially decries the very consequences of the policies that their anointed seek to put into place. It is tempting to just declare the Republican party completely bankrupt and move on from there, but you have to just love how they plastered this two word "silly"-gism all over their mutual admiration society in Minnesota.

COUNTRY FIRST

"What exactly do you mean by this?" you might wish to ask any of the attendees at the RNC. How ironic that their meeting place is a stone's throw away from the collapsed highway bridge that exemplifies the complete deficit of attention paid to our national infrastructure over the past 8 years.

Or maybe its the full frontal attack on our nation's constitution that has been a hallmark of the Bush-Cheney adminis
tration, turning our justice department into the a highly partisan vehicle for furthering a radical, extremist agenda.

Instead, how about the filling of government positions with cronies possessing nothing in the way of service experience or knowledge of the area of service ("Heckuva job, Brownie"), handing out no-bid government contracts to corporate friends, drafting national policies written by lobbyists and corporate shills.

COUNTRY FIRST
Or maybe its about union-busting and "free"-trade policies that cause the hemorrhaging of domestic jobs. Or dismantling regulation of the financial industry, so that creditors can sweet-talk the naive public into taking on risky loans that eventually cause the implosion of the housing market.


Could it be about handing big oil companies massive tax credits concurrent with their largest profits in history, while the price of gasoline reaches stratospheric levels? What about quashing efforts (and tax incentives) for developing new, clean, and renewable sources of energy? Is that it?

Maybe its just all about

SOCIALIZE THE RISKS, PRIVATIZE THE PROFITS (- Thomas Franks, "What's the Matter with Kansas")

Country first?

No, its all about CRONIES FIRST!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Former POW says McCain is "not cut out to be President"

Tiananmen Square comes to Minnesota

Law enforcement actions in the hosting city of the Republican National Convention have been ... to say the least ... over the top.

Funded and directed by the Department of Homeland Security St. Paul, MN police raided homes of the ‘RNC Welcoming Committee.’ With their guns drawn police forced everyone to the floor to be cuffed and searched including a 5 year old child. No one was arrested but all were photographed and identified for government files.

The government is being very secretive about the cause of the illegal search not revealing the reason at this time, but those on the scene claim officers said they believed there were ‘bomb making materials’ located at the residents. No bomb making materials were found, instead U. S. citizens were enjoying dinner and watching a movie. The owners of the homes were latter fined for violating obscure fire code(s).

From Glenn Greenwald at salon.com:

Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.



Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous were arrested and released hours later at the Republican National Convention yesterday. All three were violently manhandled by law enforcement officers. Goodman was charged with obstruction, and felony riot charges are still pending against Kouddous and Salazar.

Democracy Now! forcefully rejects all of these charges as false and an attempt at intimidation of these journalists. We demand that the charges be immediately and completely dropped. Stay tuned for more information.

Keep the story of illegal arrests of independent journalists at the RNC alive. Please forward these videos to everyone you know.

Footage of Producer Nicole Salazar's Arrest at the RNC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jreRSEQ_yg

Footage of Amy Goodman's Arrest at the RNC:

Amy Goodman Interviews Producers Nicole Salazar and Sharif Abdel Kouddous About Their Arrests at the RNC:
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/2/amy_goodman_two_democracy_now

Monday, September 01, 2008

The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack

Lest we forget just how dark the dark side of our government can be:

From Foreign Policy in Focus, November 1996. Here is the whole article in PDF: 11ifciad.pdf

Written by William Blum, a Washington, DC based writer on foreign policy and intelligence matters. Author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.Editors: Tom Barry (IRC) and Martha Honey (IPS).

In August 1996, the San Jose Mercury News initiated an extended series of articles linking the CIA's "contra" army to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles.1 Based on a year-long investigation, reporter Gary Webb wrote that during the 1980s the CIA helped finance its covert war against Nicaragua's leftist government through sales of cut-rate cocaine to South Central L.A. drug dealer, Ricky Ross. The series unleashed a storm of protest, spearheaded by black radio stations and the congressional Black Caucus, with demands for official inquiries. The Mercury News' Web page, with supporting documents and updates, received hundreds of thousands of "hits" a day.

While much of the CIA-contra-drug story had been revealed years ago in the press and in congressional hearings, the Mercury News series added a crucial missing link: It followed the cocaine trail to Ross and black L.A. gangs who became street-level distributors of crack, a cheap and powerful form of cocaine. The CIA's drug network, wrote Webb, "opened the first pipeline between Colombia's cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles, a city now known as the 'crack' capital of the world." Black gangs used their profits to buy automatic weapons, sometimes from one of the CIA-linked drug dealers.

CIA Director John Deutch declared that he found "no connection whatsoever" between the CIA and cocaine traffickers. And major media--the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post--have run long pieces refuting the Mercury News series. They deny that Bay Area-based Nicaraguan drug dealers, Juan Norwin Meneses and Oscar Danilo Blandon, worked for the CIA or contributed "millions in drug profits" to the contras, as Webb contended. They also note that neither Ross nor the gangs were the first or sole distributors of crack in L.A. Webb, however, did not claim this. He wrote that the huge influx of cocaine happened to come at just the time that street-level drug dealers were figuring out how to make cocaine affordable by changing it into crack.

Many in the media have also postulated that any drug-trafficking contras involved were "rogue" elements, not supported by the CIA. But these denials overlook much of the Mercury News' evidence of CIA complicity. For example:

CIA-supplied contra planes and pilots carried cocaine from Central America to U.S. airports and military bases. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Celerino Castillo reported to his superiors that cocaine was being stored at the CIA's contra-supply warehouse at Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador for shipment to the U.S.2 The DEA did nothing, and Castillo was gradually forced out of the agency.

When Danilo Blandón was finally arrested in 1986, he admitted to drug crimes that would have sent others away for life. The Justice Department, however, freed Blandón after only 28 months behind bars and then hired him as a full-time DEA informant, paying him more than $166,000. When Blandón testified in a 1996 trial against Ricky Ross, the Justice Department blocked any inquiry about Blandón's connection to the CIA.

Although Norwin Meneses is listed in DEA computers as a major international drug smuggler implicated in 45 separate federal investigations since 1974, he lived conspicuously in California until 1989 and was never arrested in the U.S.

Senate investigators and agents from four organizations all complained that their contra-drug investigations "were hampered," Webb wrote, "by the CIA or unnamed 'national security' interests." In the 1984 "Frogman Case," for instance, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco returned $36,800 seized from a Nicaraguan drug dealer after two contra leaders sent letters to the court arguing that the cash was intended for the contras. Federal prosecutors ordered the letter and other case evidence sealed for "national security" reasons. When Senate investigators later asked the Justice Department to explain this unusual turn of events, they ran into a wall of secrecy.

History of CIA Involvement in Drug Trafficking
"In my 30­ year history in the Drug Enforcement Administration and related agencies, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the CIA." -- Dennis Dayle, former chief of an elite DEA enforcement unit (3).

The foregoing discussion should not be regarded as any kind of historical aberration inasmuch as the CIA has had a long and virtually continuous involvement with drug trafficking since the end of World War II.

1947 to 1951, France
CIA arms, money, and disinformation enabled Corsican criminal syndicates in Marseille to wrest control of labor unions from the Communist Party. The Corsicans gained political influence and control over the docks--ideal conditions for cementing a long-term partnership with mafia drug distributors, which turned Marseille into the postwar heroin capital of the Western world. Marseille's first heroin laboratories were opened in 1951, only months after the Corsicans took over the waterfront (4).


Early 1950s, Southeast Asia
The Nationalist Chinese army, organized by the CIA to wage war against Communist China, became the opium baron of The Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand, and Laos), the world's largest source of opium and heroin. Air America, the CIA's principal proprietary airline, flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia (5).

1950s to early 1970s, Indochina
During U.S. military involvement in Laos and other parts of Indochina, Air America flew opium and heroin throughout the area. Many GI's in Vietnam became addicts. A laboratory built at CIA headquarters in northern Laos was used to refine heroin. After a decade of American military intervention, Southeast Asia had become the source of 70 percent of the world's illicit opium and the major supplier of raw materials for America's booming heroin market (6).

1973 to 1980, Australia
The Nugan Hand Bank of Sydney was a CIA bank in all but name. Among its officers were a network of U.S. generals, admirals, and CIA men--including former CIA Director William Colby, who was also one of its lawyers. With branches in Saudi Arabia, Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, and the U.S., Nugan Hand Bank financed drug trafficking, money laundering, and international arms dealing. In 1980, amidst several mysterious deaths, the bank collapsed, $50 million in debt (7).


1970s and 1980s, Panama
For more than a decade, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a highly paid CIA asset and collaborator, despite knowledge by U.S. drug authorities as early as 1971 that the general was heavily involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. Noriega facilitated "guns-for-drugs" flights for the contras, providing protection and pilots, safe havens for drug cartel officials, and discreet banking facilities. U.S. officials, including then-CIA Director William Webster and several DEA officers, sent Noriega letters of praise for efforts to thwart drug trafficking (albeit only against competitors of his Medellín cartel patrons). The U.S. government only turned against Noriega, invading Panama in December 1989 and kidnapping the general, once they discovered he was providing intelligence and services to the Cubans and Sandinistas. Ironically, drug trafficking through Panama increased after the U.S. invasion (8).

1980s, Central America
The San Jose Mercury News series documents just one thread of the interwoven operations linking the CIA, the contras, and the cocaine cartels. Obsessed with overthrowing the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua, Reagan administration officials tolerated drug trafficking as long as the traffickers gave support to the contras. In 1989, the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics, and International Operations (the Kerry committee) concluded a three-year investigation by stating: "There was substantial evidence of drug smuggling through the war zones on the part of individual contras, contra suppliers, contra pilots, mercenaries who worked with the contras, and contra supporters throughout the region. . . . U.S. officials involved in Central America failed to address the drug issue for fear of jeopardizing the war efforts against Nicaragua. . . . In each case, one or another agency of the U.S. government had information regarding the involvement either while it was occurring, or immediately thereafter. . . . Senior U.S. policy makers were not immune to the idea that drug money was a perfect solution to the contras' funding problems" (9).


In Costa Rica, which served as the "Southern Front" for the contras (Honduras being the Northern Front), there were several CIA-contra networks involved in drug trafficking. In addition to those servicing the Meneses-Blandon operation (detailed by the Mercury News) and Noriega's operation, there was CIA operative John Hull, whose farms along Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua were the main staging area for the contras. Hull and other CIA-connected contra supporters and pilots teamed up with George Morales, a major Miami-based Colombian drug trafficker who later admitted to giving $3 million in cash and several planes to contra leaders.10 In 1989, after the Costa Rica government indicted Hull for drug trafficking, a DEA-hired plane clandestinely and illegally flew the CIA operative to Miami, via Haiti. The U.S. repeatedly thwarted Costa Rican efforts to extradite Hull to Costa Rica to stand trial (11).

Another Costa Rican-based drug ring involved a group of Cuban Americans whom the CIA had hired as military trainers for the contras. Many had long been involved with the CIA and drug trafficking. They used contra planes and a Costa Rican-based shrimp company, which laundered money for the CIA, to channel cocaine to the U.S. (12).

Costa Rica was not the only route. Guatemala, whose military intelligence service--closely associated with the CIA--harbored many drug traffickers, according to the DEA, was another way station along the cocaine highway.13 Additionally, the Medellín cartel's Miami accountant, Ramon Milian Rodriguez, testified that he funneled nearly $10 million to Nicaraguan contras through long-time CIA operative Felix Rodriguez, who was based at Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador (14).

The contras provided both protection and infrastructure (planes, pilots, airstrips, warehouses, front companies, and banks) to these CIA-linked drug networks. At least four transport companies under investigation for drug trafficking received U.S. government contracts to carry nonlethal supplies to the contras.15 Southern Air Transport, "formerly" CIA-owned and later under Pentagon contract, was involved in the drug running as well.16 Cocaine-laden planes flew to Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and other locations, including several military bases. Designated as "Contra Craft," these shipments were not to be inspected. When some authority wasn't apprised and made an arrest, powerful strings were pulled to result in dropping the case, acquittal, reduced sentence, or deportation (17).

Mid-1980's to early 1990s, Haiti
While working to keep key Haitian military and political leaders in power, the CIA turned a blind eye to their clients' drug trafficking. In 1986, the Agency added some more names to its payroll by creating a new Haitian organization, the National Intelligence Service (SIN). SIN's mandate included countering the cocaine trade, though SIN officers themselves engaged in trafficking, a trade aided and abetted by some Haitian military and political leaders (18).

1980s to early 1990s, Afghanistan
CIA-supported Moujahedeen rebels engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting the Soviet-supported government, which had plans to reform Afghan society. The Agency's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading drug lords and the biggest heroin refiner, who was also the largest recipient of CIA military support. CIA-supplied trucks and mules that had carried arms into Afghanistan were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan-Pakistan border. The output provided up to one-half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe. U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies.19 In 1993, an official of the DEA dubbed Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world (20).

Endnotes
1 Gary Webb, "Dark Alliance" series, San Jose Mercury News. Beginning August 18, 1996.


2 Celerino Castillo, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War (Mosaic Press, 1994). Los Angeles Times lengthy series of articles, October 20, 21, 22, 1996. Roberto Suro and Walter Pincus, "The CIA and Crack: Evidence is Lacking of Alleged Plot" (Washington Post, October 4, 1996). Howard Kurtz, "Running with the CIA Story" (Washington Post, October 2, 1996). Douglas Farah and Walter Pincus "CIA, Contras and Drugs: Questions on Links Linger" (Washington Post, October 31, 1996). Tim Golden,"Though Evidence is Thin, Tale of CIA and Drugs Has a Life of Its Own" (New York Times, October 21, 1996).

3 Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) pp. x-xi.

4 Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York City, New York: Harper & Row, 1972, chapter 2).

5 Christopher Robbins, Air America (New York City, New York: Avon Books, 1985) chapter 9. McCoy, Politics of Heroin.

6 McCoy, Politics of Heroin, chapter 9.

7 Robbins, Air America, p. 128 and chapter 9. Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money and the CIA (New York City, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1987). William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995) p. 420, note 33.

8 Scott & Marshall, Cocaine Politics; John Dinges, Our Man in Panama (NY, New York: Random House, 1991); Murray Waas, "Cocaine and the White House Connection", Los Angeles Weekly, Sept. 30-Oct. 6 and Oct. 7-13, 1988; National Security Archive Documentation Packet: The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations (Washington, DC).

9 "Kerry Report": Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, a Report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, 1989, pp. 2, 36, 41.

10 Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994).

11 Martha Honey and David Myers, "U.S. Probing Drug Agent's Activities in Costa Rica," San Francisco Chronicle, August 14, 1991.

12 Honey, Hostile Acts.

13 Frank Smyth, "In Guatemala, The DEA Fights the CIA", New Republic, June 5, 1995; Blum, Killing Hope, p. 239.

14 Martha Honey, "Drug Figure Says Cartel Gave Drugs to Contras" Washington Post, June 30, 1987.

15 Kerry report, Drugs.

16 Scott & Marshall, Cocaine Politics, pp. 17-18.

17 Scott & Marshall, Cocaine Politics; Waas, "Cocaine and the White House"; NSA, The Contras.

18 New York Times, Nov. 14, 1993; The Nation, Oct. 3, 1994, p. 346.

19 Blum, Killing Hope, p. 351; Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget (New York City, New York: Warner Books, 1990) pp. 151-2.

20 Los Angeles Times, Aug. 22, 1993

Sources for more information
World Wide Web:
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/

Covert Action Quarterlyhttp://www.worldmedia.com/caq/

The National Security Archivehttp://www.seas.gwu.edu/nsarchive/

Organizations:
The National Security Archive Gelman Library, Ste. 7012130 H Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Voice: (202) 994-7000 Email:
nsarchiv@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu Contact: Peter Kornbluh

Congresswoman Maxine Waters330 Cannon House Building Washington, DC 20515 Voice: (202) 225-2201 Contact: Joseph Lee

Covert Action Quarterly 1500 Mass Ave. NW Washington, DC 20005 Voice: (202) 331-9763Fax: (202) 331-9751 Email: caq@igc.apc.org Contact: Terry Allen

Latin American Working Group 110 Maryland Ave. NE Box 15 Washington, DC 20002 Voice: (202) 546-7010Fax: (202) 543-7647 Contact: Lisa Hargaard

Publications:
Lorraine Adams, "North Didn't Relay Drug Tips", The Washington Post, Oct. 22, 1994, p. 1.


William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995).

Celerino Castillo with David Harmon, Powder Burns: Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War (Mosaic Press, 1994).

John Dinges, Our Man in Panama (New York City, NY: Random House, 1991).

Martha Honey, Hostile Acts: U.S. Policy in Costa Rica in the 1980s (Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, 1994).

Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy, December 1988.

Jonathan Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money and the CIA (New York City, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 1987).

Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1972).

Clarence Lusane, Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs (Boston: South End Press, 1991).

National Security Archive, Documentation Packet: The Contras, Cocaine, and Covert Operations (Washington, D.C. October 1996).

Christopher Robbins, Air America (New York City, New York: Avon Books, 1985).

Peter Dale Scott & Jonathan Marshall, Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (Berkeley, California: University of CA Press, 1991).

Murray Waas, "Cocaine and the White House Connection", Los Angeles Weekly, Sept. 30-Oct. 6 and Oct. 7-13, 1988.

Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget (New York City, New York: Warner Books, 1990).