the Doctor for the Death Penalty, a pro-war peace candidate
Tuesday, January 27th, 2004
Democracy Now! Questions Democrats About Previous Iraq WMD Claims
JEREMY SCAHILL: Governor Dean, why did you say in March 2003 that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction? Governor Dean? Why did you say --
HOWARD DEAN: I thought he did.
JEREMY SCAHILL: What intelligence did you base that on?
HOWARD DEAN: Talks with people who were knowledgeable, including a series of folks that work in the Clinton administration.
JEREMY SCAHILL: Were you wrong?
HOWARD DEAN: Maybe. I don't know. Probably not the best time to talk about it.
links on this page:
Dean as liberal Republican
Dean blames the Saudis (not Bush) for 9/11, which provides (unintentional?) support for the next war (US invasion of Saudi Arabian oil fields)
Dean supports Homeland Security and covered up the police execution of peace activist Robert "Woody" Woodward in Vermont
Dean's proposal for national ID snoop cards (which would be required to use your computer to access the internet)
Dean's deregulation of environmental policies in Vermont
Dean supports frankenfoods (Genetically Modified Phood)
Dean - the doctor for the death penalty
Dean's deal with the Bush administration to exempt the Burlington Bypass (Interstate 289) from environmental laws
Dean's deal with Governor Bush to dump Vermont's nuclear waste in Sierra Blanca, west Texas
Dean's tactical difference with Bush on how to manage the empire - he supports the idea of US global domination, determining who can and cannot have "Weapons of Mass Destruction," and wants to keep our troops in the Iraqi oil fields
The Dean campaign was merely "Regime Rotation" - www.oilempire.us/moveon.html#regimerotation
Dean supports frankenfood (Genetically Engineered Phood).
Unnecessary highways (he made a deal with the Bush regime to exempt Interstate289 in Vermont from normal environmental review)
He tried to send Vermont's nuke waste to west Texas while Dubya was Governor (citizens in both states united and stopped the Bush/Dean proposal).
He supports Bush's military budget (Kucinich wants to cut the budget).
He supports keeping US troops in the Iraqi oil fields.
He covered up the police execution of Robert "Woody" Woodward in Vermont (see www.justiceforwoody.org)
He supports "Homeland Security."
His environmental record in Vermont is a typical right wing Democratic corporatist reward-the-polluters history that is hard to distinguish from a Republican.
His middle east position on Israel / Palestine is essentially that written by AIPAC.
You can't be a peace candidate if you support keeping the war for oil (war on terror) and refuse to support cutting Bush's military budget. Dean merely has tactical disagreements with Bush (he wanted Europe and the United Nations to support the invasion of Iraq).
best single website comparing the real peace candidate
(who supports cutting Bush's military budget and withdrawing US troops from Iraq)
with the doctor for the death penalty
(who supports keeping Bush's military spending increases and keeping US troops in Iraq)
Howard Dean went to Yale, but he wasn't "tapped" for
the Skull and Bones secret society.
Dean's coverup of crimes in Vermont are much less interesting for the empire than Kerry's muzzling of the CIA / cocaine scandals, his support for war on Columbia, Iraq and other targets, and his "old money" connections. Kerry has been the insiders' choice for "challenging" fellow Bonesman George Walker Bush, and while Dean is also an elite, consensus Democrat, he didn't ask the power brokers nicely to run for President, and he hasn't committed great crimes on behalf of empire (merely on behalf of Vermont companies) and therefore will not be allowed into the Oval Office. It's a sad lesson in how power works for the "Dean Cult" - his followers who were fooled into thinking he's the peace candidate.
Dean is Regime Rotation, not Regime Change!
On environmental policy (he was awful in Vermont), secret deals with GW Bush (on removing the proposed I-289 highway from federal environmental review in Vermont, on shipping Vermont's nuclear waste to west Texas), his coverup of police abuses in Vermont, his support for Homeland Security and Bush's military budget -- it's hard to see him as anything more than "regime rotation." Perhaps that is the only possibility, given the refusal of most people to take any responsiblity for our shredded democracy, to look honestly at the situation.
Dean's 9/11 comments are part of the setting up the Saudis to take the blame - and then for the US to have the pretext to attack Saudi Arabia (the only country that still has substantial surge capacity in its oil production). Dean's comments that Bush might have been tipped off by the Saudis is like saying that the mafia might have tipped off the FBI about Lee Harvey Oswald ... those who would then say that Oswald didn't do it, or that the mafia played a secondary role (at best) would then be ignored by the officially circumscribed terms of debate.
DEAN IS NOT DEMANDING FULL DISCLOSURE ON 9/11. A careful analysis of his comments that the "Saudis" may have tipped off Bush reveals that it was shrewd disinformation.
Why single out the Saudis, when France, Germany, Russia, Britain, Argentina, Israel, Morocco, Jordan and Egypt also knew and provided "warnings" that 9/11 was imminent? Is Dean sincere - or is his foreign policy staff playing into the "good cop" of empire?
Dean's "Saudi" comments seem part of the campaign to blame 9/11 on the Saudis, providing justification for the upcoming US invasion of Saudi Arabia, the only country that still has significant "surge" capacity in its daily oil production capacities. It's a neat trick to support the next war and say you are for "peace."
Dean wants to keep the occupation of Iraq going, he supports the "war on terror" and "homeland security," and doesn't want to cut the military budget (Kucinich is very different on all of these).
Martin Luther King, Jr
from "A Christmas Sermon on Peace," 1967
It's one of the strangest things that all the great military geniuses of the world have talked about peace. The conquerors of old who came killing in pursuit of peace, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and Napoleon, were akin in seeking a peaceful world order. If you will read Mein Kampf closely enough, you will discover that Hitler contended that everything he did in Germany was for peace. And the leaders of the world today talk eloquently about peace. Every time we drop our bombs in North Vietnam, President Johnson talks eloquently about peace. What is the problem? They are talking about peace as a distant goal, as an end we seek, but one day we must come to see that peace is not merely a distant goal we seek, but that it is a means by which we arrive at that goal. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means. All of this is saying that, in the final analysis, means and ends must cohere because the end is preexistent in the means, and ultimately destructive means cannot bring about constructive ends.
Symbolically, it would be nice for Bush to lose, but a Democrat in the White House is unlikely to stop the war for oil masquerading as the "War on Terror." It might put a happy face on the issue, which would make many opponents of what's going on quiet down. But how will the D's cope with Peak Oil?
Dean isn't going to "defeat" Bush unless he is allowed to by the powers that be. Bush can always have another 9/11 arranged, and make criticism of him even more unpatriotic. But the powers that be are split on whether to have four more years of him, or whether to have a friendly fascist that would allow the US to get European and Asian support for our oil war (next stop - Saudi Arabia?).
By standards of a more enlightened era, Dean is either a very conservative Democrat or a moderate Republican. Many Dean supporters will probably be very disappointed if their man gets into the White House, especially if a war criminal like Wesley Clark is put in as his VP. While Dean's domestic record in Vermont is appalling, he hasn't (yet) killed for the empire, so the powers-that-be will need someone with bloodstained hands like Clark to supervise and control him. (Dean's cover up of the police execution of Robert "Woody" Woodward in Vermont isn't quite White House material - see justiceforwoody.org for details). Clinton, in contrast, had been involved in Iran-Contra with GHW Bush while Governor of Arkansas, so he was blackmailable by the empire and couldn't investigate Pres. Bush's previous administration without implicating himself. (Clark's previous employer - Jackson Stephens of Little Rock - was also involved in that drug money scandal. It's a small world. Read former NBC investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker's book Barry and the Boys for details - www.barryandtheboys.com )
When Representative Kucinich was leading the effort to stop Bush's war resolution in Congress, Dean was busy sealing his gubernatorial records from public disclosure and fundraising with Hollywood liberals. For Dean to claim he's the only anti-war candidate is a lie in two ways: Kucinich is clearly the candidate for that title, and Dean merely has tactical problems with the war (he wanted Bush to have the blessing of the UN before expanding the empire).
Dean isn't "anti-war" since he supports Bush's military budget, more "Special Forces" (a euphemism for death squads) and Homeland Security. He thinks that the US should be judge, jury and executioner for determining what countries can have nukes and what countries cannot.
The rest of the world knows which country is the only one to have used nukes on cities, even if most Americans prefer not to think about that.
This isn't a "negative attack" -- merely being accurate.
Dean's double speak is not likely to forge a broad anti-Bush alliance.
After the invasion had started, the "Doctor for the death penalty" stated that pre-emptive war is a good idea, but he'd rather have international support for future wars (a tactical disagreement from George Walker Bush, not a fundamental disagreement).An article published by Common Dreams on April 14, 2003 goes into Dean's doctrine in more detail:
"In effect this supposedly 'anti-war' Democrat has announced his support for a policy in which Washington will decide which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons and will reserve for itself the right to forcefully disarm those who do not voluntarily disarm by U.S. dictate. In this crucial regard Dean's position is in close accordance with the Bush doctrine of coercive disarmament and preventive war."
"As Baghdad Falls Howard Dean Folds Back into the National Security Establishment"
by Charles Knight http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0414-09.htm
It is easy for Dean to market himself as a "peace" candidate, just like LBJ was marketed as a peace candidate in 1964. However, Dean supports Bush's military spending levels, an increase in what is euphemistically called "Special Forces," praises "Homeland Security" and agrees with Bush on the death penalty.
Kucinich is the only candidate who supports the Kyoto treaty, cutting the military budget, investigating where the Pentagon's missing trillion dollars went, campaign finance reform, fair treatment for Palestinians and Israelis, withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and opposes genetic frankenfood. On election day, the humanitarian, progressive choice will be clear: Dennis Kucinich for President!
10 Questions for Howard Dean
1. Why did you support sending Vermont's nuclear waste to
the poor, mostly Hispanic town of Sierra Blanca, Texas, 16 miles from
the Mexican border -- a plan described as "blatant environmental
racism" by Paul Wellstone?
2. Why did the Dean administration increase funding for Vermont's state colleges by only 7% while you increased funding for prisons by 150%?
3. Why did IBM, the leading polluter in Vermont, receive your Environmental Achievement Award nine times?
4. What did you mean when you said, "I've had 40 or 45 private meetings with IBM since I've been governor. And IBM has gotten pretty much everything they've asked for"?
6. Why did you wait for the courts and legislature to bring about the civil union bill before you supported it? Why did you sign the bill in private when you finally did sign it?
7. Why do you oppose the Israeli Labour Party candidate for prime minister Amram Mitzna's call for unconditional peace talks with the Palestinians?
8. While you acknowledge that you "haven't condemned Congress for passing the Patriot Act," Bernie Sanders from your own state of Vermont is leading efforts in Congress to overturn the Act. Why are you not supporting Bernie Sanders' efforts and condemning Congress for its attack on civil liberties?
9. How do you respond to Annette Smith of Vermonters of a Clean Environment who says: "Dean's attempt to run for president as an environmentalist is nothing but a fraud. He's destroyed the Agency of Natural Resources, he's refused to meet with environmentalists while constantly meeting with developers, and he's made the permitting process one, big dysfunctional joke. EP under Governor Dean meant Expedite Permits, not Environmental Protection"?
10. Since you pride yourself on your "fiscal responsibility" who do you refuse to even consider any decreases in the bloated Pentagon budget?
Dean: the liberal Republican?
"The joke among a lot of Vermont Republicans
was that they didn't need to run anyone for governor because they basically
had one in office already," said Harlan Sylvester, a conservative
Democratic stockbroker and longtime adviser to Dean.
(St. Petersburg Times, July 6, 2003)
Al Gore's Judas Kiss
Dean Joins the Party
By DAVID LINDORFF
GEORGE SOROS AND THE RISE OF THE NEO-CENTRICS
By Walt Contreras Sheasby
Business Week on Aug. 11, 2003 wrote that "Dean had a knack for positioning himself and never lost an election. Those who know him best believe Dean is moving to the left to boost his chances of winning the nomination." If he wins the nomination, he'll run back to the center. A Vermont political scientist says: "Howard is not a liberal. He's a pro-business Rockefeller Republican."
If Howard Dean wins the nomination and puts Wesley Clark on the ticket, as he planned before Clark himself entered the race, the final days of September and October 2004 could be a real awakening for the left. Or perhaps a bestirring of the ghost of the Rockefeller vision of a genuine Internationale of the bourgeoisie. The General, after all, has been a central figure in one of Soros' most influential institutions, the International Crisis Group.
Founded in 1986 as a private multinational organization "committed to strengthening the capacity of the international community to understand and respond to impending crises," the ICG comprises numerous ex-politicians, diplomats and representatives of business and the media.
"I don't fault the president for his response
to 9/11. I thought the response to anthrax was bungled"
archived at http://justiceforwoody.org/media/articles/html/casa1.htm
Dean bids adieu
By KATHRYN CASA
Reformer Staff Saturday, January 04, 2003
Dean and the 9-11 "Limited Hang Out" (his claim that the Saudis warned Bush, even though a dozen countries knew of 9-11 in advance)
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 2003
From: "Nikos Levis" <trahila @snafu.de>
To: "911truth" <911truthalliance @lists.riseup.net>,
"911commission" <911commission @lists.riseup.net>
The Dean statements on 9/11 continue to pick up steam. He did not back down when challenged at the Democratic debate Tuesday, though he did not go beyond his wishy-washy "only a theory" formulation. Most of the "coverage," as until now with Krauthammer and Novak, consists in right-wing invective, approaching hysteria. Surely some of them must realize what a minefield they're venturing into?
Regardless of what one thinks of Dean, this could be the pebble that sets off the avalanche, and we should try to figure out ways to keep it going. How Machiavellian should we be? Should we post attacks on Dean's 9/11 comments (ONLY -- so as not to get into distractions) on the right-wing forums and get them howling? Should we all write to these papers and tell them to FINALLY COVER THE REAL STORY? Anyone with more creative ideas than these?
WHITE House lapses led to 9/11, Clark says
Boston Globe, MA
... Later, Clark elaborated on his 9/11 criticism, saying that President
Clinton's former ... said he did not agree with his rival, former Vermont
governor Howard Dean ...
GORE hovers over Democratic debate
Concord Monitor, NH
... The most interesting theory that I heard, which I did not believe,
was that the Saudis had tipped him off," Dean ... And we need to know
what went wrong before 9/11 ...
DEAN gets heat during debate
Charleston Post Courier (subscription), SC
On other topics, Dean was asked about speculation in broadcast interviews that Bush may have been tipped off in advance about the 9-11 attacks, perhaps by the Saudis. He insisted he never believed such reports, and was just mentioning "the most interesting theory that I heard, which I did not believe." Still, Dean said, "We need to know what went wrong before 9-11." <http://www.charleston.net/stories/121003/wor_10debate.shtml>
... Democratic presidential debate about comments he'd made suggesting
that President Bush (search) may have known about the 9/11 attacks beforehand,
Howard Dean ...
DEAN won't let go of 9/11 urban legend
Chicago Sun Times, IL
... 1 interview on NPR's ''The Diane Rehm Show,'' Dean was asked about
allegations that President Bush is suppressing information that he was
warned about the 9/11 ...
Evansville Courier & Press, United States
The Issue: Dean suggests Bush may have had prior knowledge of 9/11. Our
View: Democratic front-runner should apologize. It's just ...
American Daily, OH
... Which is why referring to Dean as another „Teflon candidate‰ carries
so little ... t seem to stick to him ˆ eg, the aforementioned Confederate
flag and 9/11 ...
CHAMBLISS Blasts Dean For "Irresponsible Comments"
The Chattanoogan, TN
... Thus, I was shocked and outraged to hear Howard Dean pouring flames
on the Œknowing in advance of 9-11‚ far-left conspiracy theory and accusing
DEAN gets heat during debate
Charleston Post Courier (subscription), SC
... and was just mentioning "the most interesting theory that I heard,
which I did not believe." Still, Dean said, "We need to know what went
wrong before 9-11.". ...
Dean's Remarks on 9/11 Stir Furor
LA Times -December 9
Howard Dean, whose penchant for off-the-cuff comments has proved both a strength and political liability, is facing a new flap over suggestions that President Bush had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Dean broached the possibility during a radio interview last week, but dismissed the notion in the same breath. A spokeswoman said Monday the former Vermont governor "obviously doesn't believe it's true."
But the fact Dean alluded to a "theory" that Bush had received prior intelligence from Saudi Arabian sources — which Dean called "most interesting" — was enough to incite Republicans
. The national party chairman, Ed Gillespie, issued a blistering attack on Dean over the weekend, calling his comments "reckless and irresponsible."
During a Dec. 1 appearance on National Public Radio's "Diane Rehm Show," a nationally syndicated program, Dean was asked about a bipartisan federal commission that is investigating the Sept. 11 attacks. A caller urged Dean as president to "make sure there is a thorough investigation of 9/11."
After saying he would do so, Dean suggested Bush "is suppressing evidence" that could aid the Kean Commission in its reconstruction of events leading to the terrorist attacks.
Leaders of the commission — which is headed by former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean — have complained that the Bush administration has been too slow to provide access to key documents, and has intimidated witnesses by insisting that CIA and FBI observers attend sensitive interviews. The president has declined to turn over highly classified intelligence reports to the panel, despite threats of a subpoena.
"The most interesting theory that I've heard so far, which is nothing more than a theory … it can't be proved, is that [Bush] was warned ahead of time by the Saudis," Dean said in the interview. He did not elaborate.
He defended the comment Sunday when asked by Fox News about his remarks. "We don't know what happened," Dean said. " … I can't imagine the president of the United States doing that. But we don't know and it'd be a nice thing to know."
Dean continued: "What we do believe is that there was a lot of chatter that somehow was missed by the CIA and the FBI about this, and that for some reason we were unable to decide and get clear indications of what the attacks were going to be. Because the president won't give the information to the Kean Commission, we really don't know what the explanation is."
...Dean's verbal missteps have done little to slow his momentum. In fact, his support seems to grow more fervent whenever Dean faces criticism — from Republicans, Democrats or political pundits. Former Vice President Al Gore was expected to endorse Dean today.
Civil Liberties and inJustice: Police Brutality in Vermont
... it was the Democrats who proposed the Department of Homeland Security - which the Bush Administration reluctantly embraced ...
- Howard Dean
Injustice in Vermont: the police execution of Robert "Woody" Woodward
Governor Dean's endorsement of police coverup - read before you vote
As Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean persistently rejected calls for an independent investigation of the slaying of Woody. When Justice for Woody and others exposed the fraudulence of the shooter exoneration report crafted by Dean's hand-picked Attorney General William Sorrell, Dean disclosed that he was "comfortable with" Sorrell's report and would not order a new inquiry.
"When I learned that Dean backed the police/FBI cover-up, of the Vermont police killing of Robert "Woody" Woodward, I switched [from supporting Dean to supporting Kucinich]. Significantly, Dean turned a deaf ear to public, ACLU, and legislative petitions for impartial investigation (his 25-year bosom buddy and handpicked Attorney General, William Sorrell, falsified the killing report in a gross way. See www.justiceforwoody.org, for all details. This contains an accurate report handed to Dean, Sorrell's report, and its incongruity with all 18 eyewitness testimonies). Given that Dean turned a deaf ear to so many, if we elect him to office, do we stand to lose more of our freedoms? His cabinet: More Rumsfeld types, given the lack of conscience his handpicked Attorney General has shown?" - D. Brooke, Novato, California
Howard Dean's Constitutional Hang-Up
Dean Would Rather Execute an Innocent Man, Than Let a Guilty One Walk Free
by Josh Frank Dissident Voice August 16, 2003
Howard Dean's 'smart ID' plan
By Declan McCullagh
January 26, 2004
COMMENTARY--After Howard Dean's unexpected defeat last week in Iowa, public attention has focused on his temper, his character, and that guttural Tyrannosaurus bellow of his not-quite-a-concession speech. But Dean's views on Americans' privacy rights may be a superior test of his fitness to be president.
Dean's current stand on privacy appears to leave little wiggle room: His campaign platform pledges unwavering support for "the constitutional principles of equality, liberty and privacy."
Fifteen months before Dean said he would seek the presidency, however, the former Vermont governor spoke at a conference in Pittsburgh co-sponsored by smart-card firm Wave Systems where he called for state drivers' licenses to be transformed into a kind of standardized national ID card for Americans. Embedding smart cards into uniform IDs was necessary to thwart "cyberterrorism" and identity theft, Dean claimed. "We must move to smarter license cards that carry secure digital information that can be universally read at vital checkpoints," Dean said in March 2002, according to a copy of his prepared remarks. "Issuing such a card would have little effect on the privacy of Americans."Dean also suggested that computer makers such as Apple Computer, Dell, Gateway and Sony should be required to include an ID card reader in PCs--and Americans would have to insert their uniform IDs into the reader before they could log on. "One state's smart-card driver's license must be identifiable by another state's card reader," Dean said. "It must also be easily commercialized by the private sector and included in all PCs over time--making the Internet safer and more secure."
The presidential hopeful offered few details about his radical proposal. "On the Internet, this card will confirm all the information required to gain access to a state (government) network--while also barring anyone who isn't legal age from entering an adult chat room, making the Internet safer for our children, or prevent adults from entering a children's chat room and preying on our kids...Many new computer systems are being created with card reader technology. Older computers can add this feature for very little money," Dean said.
There's probably a good reason why Dean spoke so vaguely: It's unclear how such a system would work in practice. Must Internet cafes include uniform ID card readers on public computers? Would existing computers have to be retrofitted? Would tourists be prohibited from bringing laptops unless they sported uniform ID readers? What about Unix shell accounts? How did a politician who is said to be Internet-savvy concoct this scheme?
Perhaps most importantly, does Dean still want to forcibly implant all of our computers with uniform ID readers?
Unfortunately, Dean's presidential campaign won't answer any of those questions. I've tried six times since Jan. 16 to get a response, and all the press office will say is they've "forwarded it on to our policy folks." And the policy shop isn't talking.
Then there are the privacy questions. To curry favor among the progressive types who form the backbone of his campaign, Dean has positioned himself as a left-of-center civil libertarian. He'sguest-blogged for progressive doyen Larry Lessig, embraced the Brady Bill and affirmative action, told audiences on the campaign trail that the Bush administration has "compromised our freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism," and pledged to repeal parts of the USA Patriot Act.
It's difficult to reconcile Dean's current statements with his recent support--less than two years ago--for what amounts to a national ID card and a likely reduction in Americans' privacy. "Privacy is the new urban myth," Dean said in that March 2002 speech.
"I know of no other Democratic candidate who has this view on national ID," said Chris Hoofnagle, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "I hope that he'd reconsider his policy on national ID because it has significant affects on individuals' right to privacy and does not make the country more secure. If you think about it, the implication is that children would have to be issued cards as well. Are we talking about ID cards from birth?"
Dean's March 2002 speech to a workshop at Carnegie Mellon University--given just six months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks--was designed to throw his support behind a standard ID proposal backed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). At the time, Dean waschairman of the National Governors Association, a key ally for the AAMVA as it lobbied to transform the humble state driver's license into a uniform national ID card.
"I'm not surprised," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the technology and liberty program at theAmerican Civil Liberties Union and a former Vermont resident. "It's a backdoor national ID. It won't even work to protect against terrorism because we know that some of the 9-11 terrorists had phony driver's licenses that they were able to buy on the black market."
It's true that most American adults already carry around driver's licenses. But the AAMVA proposal would have mandated biometric identifiers such as digitized fingerprints or retinal scans. Depending on how the system was implemented, your license could be equipped with a smart card (which Dean suggested) that could store information about your movements whenever it was swiped in a reader. It could also be tied to a back-end database so all verifications would be logged with the time, date and location.
The idea never gained traction in Congress because of privacy concerns and opposition not only from conservative activists, but from Democratic-leaning groups including People for the American Way, National Consumers League, and National Council of La Raza.
One prominent group that did support a standardized ID at the time is the New Democrats' public policy wing, which has suggested that microchip-implanted smart cards could hold not only retinal scans or fingerprints but also "food stamps, voter registration, library cards, hunting and fishing licenses" and a wealth of corporate data like E-Z-Pass, gas station automatic billing, and banking information. In one of history's ironic flourishes, Dean lashed out at the New Democrats last month in Exeter, N.H., dubbing them "the Republican wing of the Democratic Party."
It's possible that Dean has a good explanation for his uniform ID card views, and can account for how his principles apparently changed so radically over the course of just two years. Perhaps he can't. But a refusal to answer difficult questions is not an attractive quality in a man who would be president.
Gov. Dean's Environmental Policy
Meet Howard Dean
The Man from Vermont is Not Green (He's Not Even a Liberal) by Michael Colby
http://www.counterpunch.org/colby02222003.html Counter Punch February 22, 2003
For Vermonters who have seen Howard Dean up close and personal for the last eleven years as our governor, there's something darkly comical about watching the national media refer to him as the "liberal" in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. With few exceptions in the 11-plus years he held the state's top job, Dean was a conservative Democrat at best. And many in Vermont, particularly environmentalists, see Dean as just another Republican in Democrat's clothing.
As the son of a wealthy Long Island family (his father was a prominent Wall Street insider), Dean's used to having his golden path well greased. After dutifully attending Yale and then medical school, Dean looked for a state to launch both a private medical practice and a political career. He chose Vermont as much for its beauty as its lenient mood toward carpet bagging politicians, thus joining Brooklynite Bernie Sanders as a born again Vermonter.
Dean became Vermont's accidental governor in 1991 after Governor Richard Snelling died of a heart attack while swimming in his pool. Dean, the lieutenant governor at the time, took the state's political reins and immediately followed through with his promise not to offend the Snelling Republicans who occupied the executive branch. And Dean carried on with his right-leaning centrism for the next eleven, long years.
With his sights now set on the White House, the Dean team has been doing its best over the last year to polish up a mediocre gubernatorial record. They're also trying to position Dean as "the liberal" in the Democratic field so as to grab the much-coveted early primary voters.
And nowhere are the tall tales of Dean's liberalism more off the mark than when the Dean team begins to gush about his environmental record.
"EP under Governor Dean meant Expedite Permits, not Environmental Protection," proclaims Annette Smith, the director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment.
Smith is no stranger to Dean's environmental record, having tangled with the Dean administration on everything from the OMYA Corporation's mining to pesticide usage on Vermont's mega-farms. When Smith learned that Dean was holding a press conference at the Burlington Community Boathouse last week to celebrate his eco-legacy, she fired off emails to Vermont environmentalist calling for a protest of the event and wondering if they were "going to let Governor Dean ride out on his white horse of environmental leadership?"
It was Smith who stumbled onto Dean's official gubernatorial web site a couple of years ago and found a bucolic photo of her home town of Danby being featured with this caption: "Time stands still hereyou might even forget when it's time to go home." Ironically, the location depicted in the photo was the same spot Dean was pushing to host a massive gas pipeline, a plan that would have required timber clear-cuts and other dramatic topographical changes. The Dean team removed the photo within a couple of weeks, but not before Smith made hay with his apparent hypocrisy.
"Dean's attempts to run for president as an environmentalist is nothing but a fraud," Smith told Wild Matters. "He's destroyed the Agency of Natural Resources, he's refused to meet with environmentalists while constantly meeting with the development community, and he's made the permitting process one, big dysfunctional joke."
Those are not the words you'd expect to hear from an environmentalist if all you relied on for your news was the mainstream press. The Burlington Free Press, for example, has spent considerable space putting one coat of varnish after another on Dean's tenure, including a rather smarmy salute to his eco-record. The word from those quarters is that Dean is the environment's friend and he's done nothing but anger the business community by slowing development and stymieing growth.
Dean's record, however, shows just the opposite. Remember, when Dean took office there were no Wal-Marts in Vermont; there was no Home Depots; Burlington's downtown was dominated by local stores not the national chains that now rule the roost; there were 36% more small farmers in existence; there were no 100,000-hen mega-farms; and sprawl wasn't a word on the tip of everyone's tongue.
Interestingly, Dean told the Free Press last week that he wished the rest of "the country were more like Vermont." But it certainly seems Dean has been doing his best to make Vermont more like the rest of the country.
Stephanie Kaplan, a leading environmental lawyer and the former executive officer of Vermont's Environmental Board, has seen the regulatory process under Dean become so slanted against environmentalists and concerned citizens that she hardly thinks its worth putting up a fight anymore.
"Under Dean the Act 250 process (Vermont's primary development review law) and the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) have lost their way," contends Kaplan. "Dean created the myth that environmental laws hurt the economy and set the tone to allow Act 250 and the ANR to simply be permit mills for developers."
Kaplan points to the "Environmental Board purge" in the mid-90s that allowed Dean to set the pro-development tone. In 1993, the Board issued an Act 250 permit to C&S Grocers in Brattleboro with conditions that restricted the diesel emissions from its heavy truck traffic. After C&S execs cried foul and threatened to move to New Hampshire, Dean broke gubernatorial precedent by publicly criticizing the Environmental Board for issuing what he called a "non-permit."
A year after receiving their public rebuke from Dean, four of the Environmental Board members - including the chair - were up for reappointment. With the not-so-subtle clues from Dean that he didn't approve of the Board's political direction, the Republican majority in the state senate shot down each and every one of their appointments, thus dramatically changing both the structure and climate of the Board.
"After the post-C&S purge," says Kaplan, "the burden of proof for Act 250 permits switched from being on the applicants -- where it's supposed to be -- to being on the environmentalists. That's why 98% of the permit requests are approved and only 20% ever have hearings."
There is, however, one issue that Dean deserves credit for: his peripatetic efforts in land conservation. During his tenure, Dean has overseen the public preservation of over one million acres of Vermont land, most notably the former Champion Corporation lands in the Northeast Kingdom.
"But these special parcels seem to be the only land Dean cares about," says Kaplan. "The rest has been fair game for over development."
As Dean goes national he may be able to fool an Iowan or two with his eco-record, but Vermonters have seen enough to know that being green isn't easy for Dean. And he's far from being a liberal.
Michael Colby is the editor of the national monthly, Wild Matters He can be reached at mcolby@ wildmatters.org .
The Doctor for the Death Penalty
A Doctor in favor of the Death Penalty? A gross violation of the "Hippocratic Oath"
DEAN ALIGNS WITH BUSH ON DEATH PENALTY
TRACY SCHMALER, TIMES ARGUS, BARRE, VT - Former Gov. Howard Dean appears to be shedding some of the liberal tendencies that have won him national attention as he now expands his support for the death penalty. In his 11 years as Vermont's governor, his position on capital punishment "evolved" from staunch opposition to limited support, Dean acknowledges. Now, on the stump for the Democratic nomination for president, Dean has extended his endorsement of a death sentence for those who kill children or police officers to include those who commit terrorist acts. . . Dean, who was unavailable for an interview, did not define a terrorist act in his statement. He elaborated only to say the punishment would be sought in "very serious cases" and he would do his best to avoid any "unjust imposition of the death penalty." . . .
Eric Davis, a Middlebury College political science professor, summed up Dean's change in two words: South Carolina. It is home to the first primary election in the South and, like most of its neighbors, a conservative state. "I think what's going on here is Dean is trying to appeal to electorates in more conservative states, probably South Carolina being the most obvious example," Davis said. "I think this is an example where in many states the opinion on this is more supportive. Perhaps Dean feels he needs to appeal to a more law-and-order constituency."
The first time Dean softened on the death penalty was in 1997. He had been governor for six years, and the political speculation was that he was eyeing a bid for the presidency in 2000.
ABC NOTE - The Dean campaign takes issue with a Sunday Vermont Press Bureau article which says that Dean's position on the death penalty has evolved from opposition to thin support. . . Here's part of Dean's response, courtesy of communications director Trish Enright: "It is preposterous to suggest that Howard Dean and President Bush share the same position on this issue. A Dean administration would administer the death penalty carefully and sparingly, unlike the Bush/Ashcroft Justice Department. Dean would instruct his Attorney General on day one to evaluate the federal death penalty system to ensure that it is applied fairly and reliably."
Dean supports Frankenfood (Genetically Modified Phood)
I believe that GM crops and foods have been proven safe and that American farmers should not be prevented from taking advantage of their many benefits.....
As president, I will also work to end piracy by foreign farmers and to open foreign markets to our GMO products.
"Piracy" is a euphemism for farmers saving seeds from year to year.
To be fair, Dr. Dean does state that he supports "labeling" of frankenphoods (to appease the many people who don't want to be forced to participate in this involuntary human experiment - a violation of the Nuremberg Codes on human experimentation drafted the the United States after World War II). But the primary thrust of his position is that frankenphood is "proven safe" and that the US should get the rest of the world to eat our tampered products (even though very few national governments support them, since they know they are not safe and that "terminator technology" is a threat to global food supplies - see http://www.organicconsumers.org for background information about frankenfoods).
Dean's support for unnecessary highways
at the end of the era of cheap oil
In 2002, Dean's administration made a deal with the Bush administration to ensure that the long proposed, controversial, expensive, destructive Interstate Bypass of Burlington (I-289) would be a top national transportation priority, bypassing not only the downtown business district but also long standing environmental laws (most of them signed by Richard Nixon). Dean's administration also built a new bypass around the city of Bennington in the last couple years, which makes his claims of environmentalism mere rhetoric not supported by his record.
A Federal Highway Administration press release on the "streamlining" of environmental review is at http://www.dot.gov/affairs/dot01503.htm
U.S. Department of Transportation
Environmental Stewardship and Transportation Infrastructure Project Reviews
Department of Transportation Priority Project List
Chittenden Circumferential Highway - Vermont. This project provides for the construction of a new, four-lane, divided, limited access highway approximately 16.7 miles long in Chittenden County, Vermont. This project will intend to alleviate future congestion, address safety concerns, and assist local roads to function within their operational capabilities.
http://www.vtst.org/index.html - Vermonters for Sound Transportation
main group opposing Interstate 289, the Chittenden Circumferential Highway (the Outer Beltway bypass of Burlington, Vermont's largest city). It would decimate rare forest ecosystems, be extremely expensive, fuel sprawl at the outer edge of the Burlington metro area (at the expense of its downtown) and increase the waste of non-renewable petroleum that is rapidly depleting.
Dean's deal with President Bush to exempt Burlington Beltway from environmental laws
November 11, 2002:
Circ Highway on List of Transportation Projects for Expedited Environmental Review
As has been reported by the Vermont press, on October 31st the Circ Highway was named as one of seven transportation projects nationwide accorded special status for expedited environmental review pursuant to an Executive Order signed by President Bush on September 18th.
The Administration's October 31st "treat" coincidentally named projects in several states where close elections for Governor or for Congress were taking place.
We have been trying to determine what the practical consequences of this expedited review means. According to reports in the media, Governor-Elect Douglas appears to view this designation as a reward for his campaign, and as evidence that the federal government now supports getting the Circ built. A reading of the Executive Order, however, does not -- at least on its face -- appear to support this point-of-view. As the Executive Order states: "agencies shall to the maximum extent practicable expedite their reviews for relevant permits or other approvals, and take related actions as necessary, consistent with available resources and applicable laws, including those relating to safety, public health, and environmental protection."
Moreover, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta did note in a press release (pdf file) announcing the seven projects selected, that despite the goal of cutting through "federal bureaucratic intertia" ... "we will not, however, sacrifice environmental standards."
StopTheCirc.com supports efforts to resolve environmental concerns about the Circ Highway as promptly as possible. If the Executive Order & designation of the Circ as a priority project have the effect of making available the needed funds to allow EPA, FHWA, and other agencies to conduct a prompt, but thorough, environmental review, then this designation will be quite beneficial. The sooner these questions are resolved, the better -- again, with the caveat that expedited review should not mean cursory review.
Dean's deal with Governor Bush to dump Vermont's nuclear waste in a poor, minority community in West Texas
Governor Dean and then Governor George Walker Bush (Texas) spent a few years trying to ship nuclear waste from Vermont Yankee nuclear power station (near Brattleboro, Vermont) to Sierra Blanca, a poor community in west Texas near the Mexican border. While Governor Dean likes to steal the rhetoric from the assassinated Senator Paul Wellstone "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" -- Dean omits mention of the fact that his deal with Gov. Bush to dump Vermont's nuclear waste in Texas was sharply criticized by Senator Wellstone as a glaring case of environmental racism.
Environmentalists in both states joined together to defeat the Bush / Dean nuclear dump.
Dean's relatively weak renewable energy proposal
Create a Renewable Portfolio Standard 20% by 2020. Despite a bipartisan plea from 53 Senators, the GOP leadership in Congress, buckled under to oil and gas interests and rejected calls to require that our nation generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources. Governor Dean will put the interests of Americans ahead of special interests and require that our nation generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. To ensure efficient and flexible implementation, Dean will create a renewable energy credit trading system.
note: By 2020, oil extraction from outside the OPEC nations will have dwindled to insignificant levels. Therefore, a 20% figure by 2020 will be much less than needed to avoid severe disruption to the global economy, including food supplies, heating (in the cold countries) and other critical energy uses. What the establishment environmentalists who propose this figure don't seem to understand is that the first several percent of renewable energy production would be the most time consuming to achieve (due to the lack of factories and skilled people to install the equpment). Once jump started with a major national effort, reaching much higher than 20% would be realistic -- IF, and only if, the country embarked on massive conservation programs and reoriented production for local, community self-sufficiency. After cheap oil becomes expensive oil, shipping food all over the world will look even more ridiculous - community food security is much more important.
In contrast, Presidential Candidate Kucinich proposes to completely stop subsidizing fossil fuels, which would speed up renewable energy production.
Gov. Dean is in favor of keeping NAFTA, although his website (deanforamerica.com) has some rhetoric that admits that NAFTA has not been a great thing for everyone. He wants to tinker with the treaty, not scrap it.
In contrast, Dennis Kucinich says that he will notify Canada and Mexico on his first day in the White House that he is giving notice that the US is withdrawing from the NAFTA treaty.
CIA linked Washington Post accurately notes that Dean says different things to different constituencies
Assessing Mr. Dean
Sunday, December 28, 2003; Page B06
WITH THE Democratic field crowded and the first tests in Iowa and New Hampshire approaching, now is a good time for a midterm review of the major candidates. The logical place to begin is with the man whose candidacy was viewed as quixotic at the beginning of the year but who is now widely seen as the Democratic front-runner -- former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
The first question is, which Mr. Dean? The centrist, fiscally conservative, New Democrat NAFTA backer who was governor, or the fiery, antiwar, anti-free-trade populist who has emerged on the stump? We'd prefer the former -- and we suspect that, if Mr. Dean indeed nails down the nomination, we'll see at least his partial return in the general election campaign. Indeed, Mr. Dean is a canny, if loose-lipped, pol: In an interview in August before a rally in Falls Church, he said that while he planned to give the Democratic crowd the red meat it craved, "I won't be talking like this during the general [election], if I get the nomination."
Dean's support for kinder, gentler pre-emptive war by the empire
Published on Monday, April 14, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
As Baghdad Falls Howard Dean Folds Back into the National Security Establishment
by Charles Knight
On April 9, 2003, the day that most American newspapers headlined the "liberation of Baghdad", Howard Dean, a Democratic presidential candidate notable for his opposition to Bush's war against Iraq, gave a speech in Washington which went a long way toward endorsing the Bush doctrine of preventive war.
Dean has been a favorite candidate among anti-war Democrats because he believes an imminent threat from Iraq was never proven and therefore the situation did not justify the invasion. In his remarks to the Alliance for American Leadership, an invitation-only organization of foreign policy specialists most of whom were associated with the Clinton administration, Dean addressed the problems of possible nuclear proliferation to North Korea and Iran. As reported in the Boston Globe he made a point of saying that he would not rule out using military force to disarm either North Korea or Iran.
In effect this supposedly 'anti-war' Democrat has announced his support for a policy in which Washington will decide which countries are allowed to have nuclear weapons and will reserve for itself the right to forcefully disarm those who do not voluntarily disarm by U.S. dictate. In this crucial regard Dean's position is in close accordance with the Bush doctrine of coercive disarmament and preventive war.
Dean did seek to draw a distinction between his policy and that of the Bush administration by advocating a return to the Clinton policy of "constructive engagement." However, in the context of a world with preventive counter-proliferation warfare this is a distinction not of principle, but only of pragmatic considerations.
The basic argument between Democrats such as Dean and Republicans becomes whether their respective approaches to forced disarmament are more or less costly or risky, in what time period. For instance, Dean argues for reopening negotiations with the North Koreans over their nuclear program, while privately making it clear that the U.S. will go to war to stop their nuclear program if they don't settle in the end. In a preferred outcome of this diplomacy the U.S. might end up paying the North Koreans ten or twenty billion to abandon their nuclear and long range missile program. Dean would argue that despite the distaste of having to pay for disarmament, the financial costs would be about one-fifth to one-tenth the cost of a war, and successful diplomacy would also avoid the human costs of the likely hundreds of thousands of Koreans, Americans, and possibly Japanese who would die in new Korean war. In the longer run it is likely that the communist regime in North Korea will collapse in its own decrepitude and a more cooperative government will take its place and seek to reunite peacefully with South Korea.
The neo-conservative Republicans argue that once we get into a 'pay for disarmament' relationship the North Koreans have an incentive to maintain the threat of their nuclear program in order to pressure us to meet their ever-growing financial demands. In the mean time making payments to them just ends up supporting their regime and increases the likelihood that they will become a bigger threat to American interests later on. Much better to do what the U.S. did with Iraq: keep North Korea poor, let their obsolescent Soviet-era Army deteriorate, and when the time is right overthrow their regime and take direct control of their security policy. The war of regime change will be costly, but manageable, and if we wait until later the costs will be much higher.
With Dean's statement of April 9th we see a narrowing of the range of strategic options represented by the 'major' or 'leading' candidates for President in the Republican and Democratic parties. Republicans will use the preventive war option early and often. Democrats will hold the preventive war option in reserve (and as threats expressed in private) while investing more in 'dollar persuasion' and other forms of 'soft power'. But, since 911 both parties have been learning to love the power of preventive war, something they both would have felt compelled by history and culture to renounce only a few years ago.
Left unacknowledged and unexplored in Dean's remarks is the issue of where preventive war policies leave the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Depending the how credulous you are, the answer would have to be either a) a minor supporting role to U.S. unilateral coercive counter-proliferation or b) so much waste paper. Also un-addressed is the contradiction of 'militarized counter-proliferation policy' that makes the acquisition and deployment of nuclear weapons seem like the most effective way for hard-nosed realists in North Korea and Iran to deter the aggressive preventive warriors in Washington. Indeed on April 10th , the day North Korea's withdrawal from the NPT came into effect, their news agency stated "the security of the country and the nation can be assured only when one has physical deterrent force." (AP) We should expect Iranian security thinkers to reach a similar conclusion.
It is perhaps instructive to note that Dean's remarks were informed by talking points provided by Danny Sebright. Sebright is Associate Vice President of former Secretary of Defense William Cohen's consulting group and until January of 2002 oversaw the war in Afghanistan from his position Director of the Policy Executive Secretariat in the DoD. He began his career in the Defense Intelligence Agency and his bio at the Cohen Group boasts that "Mr. Sebright cultivated extensive contacts with U.S. and foreign defense industry officials to coordinate and implement DoD weapons sales to Israel and many countries in the Middle East." What the Sebright connection suggests is how closely held even an 'anti-war' candidate like Howard Dean is by the conservative-leaning national security establishment of both parties. And that national security establishment has been marching steadily to the right ever since the Republicans took control of the Congress in 1994.
Charles Knight is co-director of the Project on Defense Alternatives
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:40:12 -0800
Subject: Dean Misrepresenting Kucinich's Record
From: "David Swanson, Kucinich Campaign" <email@example.com>
CONCORD MONITOR NOTES DEAN'S CLAIM
On Saturday, Dec. 27, the Concord Monitor in Concord, NH, noted: "Dean recently mailed brochures to homes in New Hampshire with a headline stating that Dean is the only candidate who 'opposed the war from the start.'"
Here is an image taken from the brochure, which the Dean campaign has mailed to people in New Hampshire and other states:
It's hard to believe that Dean supporters would stand for this kind of misrepresentation. We won't stand for it.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1.--Contact all of your friends who are Dean supporters.
2.--Contact the media and ask them why they are not asking Dean about his misrepresentation. Remember to be polite and keep to the point.
Make each communication unique. No form letters.
Here are Email addresses for letters to the editor:
Here are phone numbers for talk shows:
Here are a few key places to contact:
New York Times News Desk phone 212-556-7356, fax 212-556-7614,
Los Angeles Times News Desk phone 213-237-7001, fax: 213-237-4712.
Washington Post Political Desk phone 202-334-7410, fax 202-334-3883.
USA Today News Desk phone 703-854-7121, fax 703-854-2078.
WHAT THE FACTS ARE:
As you all know so well, Dennis Kucinich led the effort against the war in the House of Representatives, is the only candidate who voted against the war, is the only candidate who consistently opposed the war from the beginning and continues to oppose it now, and is the only candidate with an exit strategy. His "Prayer for America" speech against the buildup to war in February 2002 catalyzed this campaign. Rev. Al Sharpton and Ambassador Carol Mosley-Braun also opposed the war.
The war is not over. Soldiers are dying every day. And Dean would like to continue the military occupation of Iraq for "a few years," as he said in the debate on December 9th. Dennis is campaigning on his record of opposition to the war and his plan to end it in 90 days.
Dean's flyer and mass mailing effectively calls Dennis a liar. People have begun asking Dennis whether he really opposed the war. Dean knows the truth. After we complained in October about his similar misrepresentations in TV ads in New Hampshire, he acknowledged Dennis' leadership against the war at an AFL-CIO forum and stopped running the ads. He later acknowledged Dennis' courage on this issue during a national debate. And yet he continues to use a flyer that says "Only Dean Opposed the War from the Start."
If Dr. Dean chooses to gloss over the inconsistencies of the positions he took during the first stage of this war, that's his business. But when he denies Dennis's record, that becomes our business, and
it ought to be the business of the media. Dean is misrepresenting a material fact, and doing so despite his demonstrated knowledge of the truth. It is the media's responsibility to find out why he is doing this. The public has a right to know.
Here is information on who opposed the war when:
Please forward this Email quickly and widely. If you received this Email from a friend and would like to receive them directly, click here: http://kucinich.us/alerts-signup.htm
Kucinich for President
11808 Lorain Avenue - Cleveland, OH 44111
216-889-2004 / 866-413-3664 (toll-free)
October 30, 2003
A Hawk in a Dove's Cloak
By SEAN DONAHUE
"Soon we'll find out who is the real revolutionary, I don't want my people to
be tricked by mercenaries."
– Bob Marley
Howard Dean wants the peace movement to believe that he is its best hope for bringing change in Washington.
In television ads and presidential debates, Dean has emphasized his opposition to Bush's decision to launch a unilateral invasion of Iraq--and downplaying his support for the continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq, and his earlier waffling over whether he might have supported a war in Iraq under slightly different conditions. Dean's emphasis on his opposition to the war in Iraq also obscures his earlier support for the first Gulf War, the war in Kosovo, and the war in Afghanistan.
Indeed, Dean's earliest statements on foreign policy in the presidential
campaign were written with the help of one of the architects of the war
in Afghanistan, Danny Sebright, who held the Orwellian title of Director
of the Executive Secretariat for Enduring Freedom at the Pentagon under
Donald Rumsfeld. Sebright oversaw military operations that claimed the
lives of over 3,000 civilians without achieving the stated objective of
finding and arresting Osama bin Laden. Under the Clinton administration,
Sebright worked at the Pentagon helping to oversee weapons sales to the
Middle East during the period in which the U.S. became the largest weapons
exporter in the world.
When Sebright left the Pentagon in February of 2002 he went to work for his old boss, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, at the Cohen Group, a Washingon-based consulting company. The firm uses its political connections to help companies obtain contracts with the Pentagon and with foreign governments. While it is discreet about its clientele, the Cohen Group does list some of its successes on its website--a list that includes helping to negotiate arms sales to Latin American and Eastern European countries, and "Advis[ing] and assist[ing] [a] U.S. company in working with U.S. Government officials and the Coalition Provisional Authority in securing major contract related to Iraq reconstruction" The fact that a close Dean advisor works for a consulting firm involved in pitching contracts for reconstruction projects in Iraq raises questions about the true motives of Dean's support for the President's $87 billion Iraqi reconstruction program.
More recently, Dean has been getting foreign policy advice from President Clinton's former Deputy Chief of Staff, Maria Echaveste. Echaveste's record is mixed. To her credit, Echaveste led the Department of Labor's campaign against sweatshops in the mid-1990's and has worked for the United Farm Workers union. But Echaveste also played a key role in shaping the legislative and public relations strategies that helped the Clinton administration get Congress to approve Plan Colombia. Echaveste traveled to Colombia with President Clinton to help promote a policy that included aerial herbicide fumigations of vast areas of farmland and rainforests in southern Colombia and more U.S. funding, weapons, and advisors for the Colombian military. Over the past three years she has done nothing to distance herself from a policy that contributed to the escalation of Colombia's civil war, the destruction of forests and farms, massive displacement, and dramatic increases in assassinations and disappearances. For his part, Dean has been vague about his position on U.S. military aid to Colombia. (Incidentally, Sen. John Kerry has chosen Rand Beers, who oversaw Colombia policy at the State Department for both the Clinton and Bush administrations, to head up his foreign policy team.)
Dean comes from the centrist wing of the Democratic Party, and draws his advisors from the party's establishment, even though he tries to portray himself as a progressive and an outsider. His opposition to the war in Iraq isn't rooted in the moral vision or poltical analyis of the peace movement, but rather in the foreign policy establishment's skepticism about the rash and impulsive nature of the Bush administration's military actions in Iraq. In remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations last June, Dean said that: "America must not shy away from its role as the remaining superpower in the world. We are, as Madeleine Albright once put it, the "indispensable power" for so many challenges around the world. Inevitably, some will resent us for what we have, and some will hate us for what we believe. But there is much in the world that we cannot achieve on our own. So we must lead toward clearly articulated and shared goals and with the cooperation and respect of friends and allies."
In other words, Dean doesn't object so much to Bush's willingness to use military force, which he sees as indispensable to maintaining the U.S.'s political and economic position in the world, but rather he objects to Bush's refusal to play by the rules of the game and recruit a coalition of allies to support U.S. goals. Dean went on in the same speech to hold up Harry Truman's role in articulating the U.S. vision for the world and creating the NATO alliance and the World Bank as examples of the kind of foreign policy he would like to pursue.
Howard Dean admits that the war in Iraq was a mistake but he supports the underlying policy positions that led to the war. As much as we might want to believe that changing presidents will change the U.S. role in the world, replacing George Bush with Howard Dean would do little or nothing to advance the peace movement's goals.Sean Donahue is Project Director of the Corporations and Militarism Project of the Massachusetts Anti-Corporate Clearinghouse. He is available for interviews and talks and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abenaki press for recognition by Vermont
January 19, 2002
(from the State section) BY DAVID GRAM The Associated Press
MONTPELIER — Advocates for Vermont's Abenaki Indians, including
the tribe's chief, called on lawmakers Friday to pass a resolution offering
them official recognition.
“We're the only race in the United States that has to prove who we are,” said Abenaki Chief April Rushlow.
Rushlow and others said the new push for recognition came after a school official in northwestern Vermont reported last month that Abenaki students had been taunted in a school yard by other children.
“Abenaki school children had been scornfully told that they were not Indians ... because the government said so,” said Frederick Wiseman, a professor of history and archaeology at Johnson State College.
He and others said that attitude was the result of the state's stance that the Abenakis do not constitute a formally recognizable Indian tribe, and they attributed that stance to racism.
The comments came a day after Gov. Howard Dean told reporters he was urging lawmakers to be very careful before endorsing a resolution saying the Abenakis should be granted limited state recognition.
Dean said even such a limited government endorsement could lead to much more powerful federal regulation for the state's estimated 1,700 Abenakis. He said that could lead to extensive legal battles over Abenaki land claims and possibly allow the Indians to build casinos in Vermont.
Participants at Friday's news conference scoffed at these concerns. “These lies are red herrings and easily disproven by anyone with a transient knowledge of federal Indian law or the Abenaki community,” said Wiseman.
Sen. Julius Canns, R-Caledonia and a key sponsor of the pro-Abenaki resolution, said it was now being bottled up in committees — at the governor's behest — despite support from all 30 Senators and 110 co-sponsors in the House.
The resolution first “recognizes the tribal status of the Abenaki people,” and then tries to respond to the concerns voiced by Dean by adding:
“That, while this recognition is not intended to confer any special rights upon the Abenaki people, such as claims to Vermont lands or privileges not extended to other minority groups, it is intended to ensure that the Abenaki people receive the same recognition and privileges extended by the state of Vermont to any other minority group.”
Dean's fear of unintended legal consequences for such recognition drew support in a letter sent to lawmakers Friday from William Griffin, chief assistant attorney general.
Griffin wrote that, “The real thrust of this ‘recognition' resolution would be to foster the creation of a distinct tribal nation within Vermont, a nation entitled to a government-to-government relationship with the state and federal governments.”
Abenakis then “would have special privileges not available to Vermonters generally or to any other minority group in Vermont,” Griffin said.
In an interview, he rejected charges that the concerns stemmed from racism. He said the attorney general's office has successfully pursued complaints of discrimination against Abenakis several times in recent years.
Those at Friday's news conference sought to shift the focus away from worries about the consequences of federal recognition, though Rushlow and others said the Abenakis want that recognition.
Wiseman said the limited recognition offered in the state resolution would improve the chances that Abenaki children would be found eligible for scholarships set aside for minorities.
For her part, Rushlow refused to offer any guarantee that if the Abenakis won federal recognition some time in the future, they would not seek to assert the sort of land claims Dean said he feared. “We would have to put that to a vote of our people,” she said.
December 12, 2003
Follow the Money
Halliburton, Timber and Dean
By JOSH FRANK
The Pentagon has finally weighed in; Halliburton may have overcharged the US
government $61 million dollars in gasoline from Iraq. At this point it's not a
matter of whether or not Halliburton gouged our wallets, it's a matter of "how
much" they ripped us off.
And Dick Cheney's old comrades aren't the only greedy capitalists hoping to
profit from the Iraq calamity. Thankfully, the Pentagon has caught onto
Kellogg, Brown and Root's latest scheme, and smashed it. The crooks would have
overcharged US taxpayers $67 million dollars for cafeteria services in Iraq.
Bush's reaction? Only we can profit from this war! Of course our allies can
reap the benefits of the smoldering battlefield as well. But France, Germany,
Canada and Russia?
Forget about it.
Well how have the Democrats reacted to all this? "I have long been troubled by
the continued growth of the Pentagon's no-bid contract with Halliburton,"
wrote New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg this week, "[and] the delay in the
Pentagon's promise to compete [with] this contract competitively."
That's it? He is just "long been troubled?" Not "outraged," "furious," or
"irate" over Bush's lies and deceit? Give me a break.
If you notice Lautenberg is mainly upset because the Pentagon has delayed
their promise to allow other corporations to compete over Iraq contracts. He
does not once acknowledge that nobody should profit from this illegal
invasion. But we can't count on the Democrats to stand up to the imperial
aggressors in the White House-that would be asking far too much from a party
controlled by the same pin-stripe patrons as the Republicans.
Well, how about Howard Dean? He's grassroots, and a nubile compared to Bush
and Rove's whorish fundraising talents. He must have something to say on the
Unfortunately, Dean has been far too tight lipped.
He does talk tough from time to time about corporation's authority over our
government's policies. "The oil companies write our energy policy; big
pharmaceutical companies draft Medicare reform without price controls," Dean
recently said, "and in Iraq, Halliburton is awarded a $1.7 billion no-bid
contract." Sounds good to me. But since this statement last fall, we've heard
very little from Dean on the escalating matter of Halliburton in Iraq.
Why is that? Could it be that his campaign is receiving money from Halliburton
connections too? Say it ain't so!
Sorry, it is.
According to FCC records, Robert L. Crandall (from Dallas Texas), has given
Dean $2,000 to date. Who is Crandall you ask? He is the ex-CEO of American
Airlines, and has sat on the board of (you guessed it) Halliburton since 1986.
Obviously this does not mean Dean is wed to Halliburton, or anywhere near as
embedded as old Dick Cheney. But it does remind us to keep our eyes peeled for
future contributions to Dean, and other Democrats from Halliburton employees,
executives, and Board Members.
Also, it should be mentioned that Dean wants to open up Iraq bidding to more
contractors; "[a]warding reconstruction contracts in a transparent and open
process," Dean's website contends, "not just to Halliburton -- but to the best
US or foreign bidder." So it is quite certain that Halliburton competitors
will be knocking on Dean's campaign door any day now.
One other Dean tidbit worth noting-it has been revealed that the doctor has an
interest in harvesting old trees. That's right. Dean has two stakes of timber
land in Virginia, valued at $100,000 and $200,000 respectively, which have
recently been priced for liquidation prospects.
Thankfully, cutting down those old trees would be a politically unwise move
for Dean to make at this point.
All this means, is that we need to keep a close watch on the Democratic
hopefuls. It would be irresponsible to unashamedly cheerlead around a Bush
opponent, without fully knowing the facts behind their candidacy. Campaign
season is just starting to roll. Plus, if Dean is the victor, it is in our
best interest to know what we'll be up against come 2004. Josh Frank is a writer living in New York. His work has appeared in Left Turn
Magazine, Dissident Voice, Counterpunch, Z Magazine, among others. He can be
reached at frank_joshua @hotmail.com
NOTE: This is the daily summary of news-from-other-sources that the Wall Street Journal puts out -- which is why I subscribe to it, as it always gives a good overview of what all the right-wingers are grousing about today. And toDAY? Well, that would be Al Gore's self-serving, but ultimately-failure-written-all-over-it endorsement of the Doktor.
BUT! -- Their usual snotty attitude towards all-things Democrat is actually not that far off-base on this particular subject as many of us non-Dean-believers see it -- and lemme tell ya, little else was talked about in Iowa political activist circles once word of Gore's leap-into-the-limelight was first leaked on Monday. LOTS of people who are still sore at Gore for running such an entirely crappy campaign in 2000 (not that we were that thrilled that he was the nominee in the first place, mind you) are pretty creeped out by his outta-nowhere quest for to be seen as 'kingmaker' this week.
Of particular concern is his now-you-know-who-your-friends-really-are side-swiping of Lieberman, and his "I'm-in-charge-here" demand that some of the candidates get out of the race long before the first caucus test -- reeeeally stuff in the "not-so-nice" category, for many folks around here.
And, in case you missed it, Rush Limbaugh yesterday was SO giggily that he sounded about to pop open a bottle and raise a toast -- to Gore, of course. He actually said that he was sooooo happy that all of this was happening AFTER he was incommunicato for five weeks -- and that he was having more fun than he knew what to do with. The Right is LOVING this! They ALL think that Gore's backing of Dean will ensure Dean's nomination, and therefore Bush's re-election -- just exactly what WE all want, right???!!!
See the last line below for the crux of a whole lotta the essential problem that the smart people have seen from the start with the entire Dean approach to campaigning -- and we are very afraid -- with governing.
Fussin' and fumin' in Iowa, Kris M.
Best of the Web Today - December 9, 2003
By JAMES TARANTO
Groundhog Day <http://www.msnbc.com/news/1002950.asp>http://www.msnbc.com/news/1002950.asp
Al Gore has issued his presidential endorsement. "I've seen a candidate who has what it takes to reach out to the independent, mainstream Americans who will make the difference . . . particularly in the South," Gore said. "He's going to send George Bush packing and bring the Democratic Party home."
If you think the candidate Gore endorsed is unlikely to win a single Southern state, you're right. Gore made the above statement, unearthed by MSNBC.com, on June 16, 1988, when he endorsed Michael Dukakis.
The Dean Bubble <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=2&u=/nm/20031209/ts_nm/politics_gore_dc>http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&e=2&u=/nm/20031209/ts_nm/politics_gore_dc
Al Gore is best known for having invented the Internet (save your breath, pro-Gore pedants; we know what he really said was, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet"). Today the erstwhile veep looks for all the world like someone who's just invested his life savings in dot-com stocks -- in December 1999.
Sure, Gore is enjoying some spectacular short-term gains. In a single day he went from total obscurity to the front pages. He's being credited with giving Dean's campaign a boost: "This is huge," Donna Brazile, Gore's 2000 campaign manager, tells the New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/09/politics/campaigns/09GORE.html?pagewanted=all>http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/09/politics/campaigns/09GORE.html?pagewanted=all . "It gives Dean what Dean has been missing most: stature. Gore is a major-league insider, somebody with enormous credibility that Democrats respect, who can rally the grass roots and who's been speaking very strongly in the last few months about the direction he wants to take the country."
Oh, poppycock. Gore is a bitter loser who had already cast his lot with the Angry Left. He is endorsing Dean because Dean looks like a winner, at least in the primaries. But we suspect it will become clear in the long term that by doing so Gore has squandered whatever political capital he has left. For the Dean campaign is the Internet bubble of politics.
The same get-rich-quick dynamic is at work. Just as the dot-com boom was supposed to create immense wealth out of electrons, the Dean campaign promises to magically transform blind rage into political power. The Dean campaign, as we noted yesterday <http://www.msnbc.com/news/1002950.asp>http://www.msnbc.com/news/1002950.asp , is populated by 20-somethings who are smart and technically savvy but also professionally inexperienced and emotionally immature.
This isn't to say that there's no substance at all to the Dean campaign, any more than there was no substance to the dot-com boom. The Internet actually has changed society, but its effect is more gradual and less revolutionary than the dot-commies thought a few years ago. Similarly, there's a genuine political movement at the heart of the Dean campaign, but it's one that has little chance of appealing to the majority of Americans.
For the most part, dot-com companies proved better at raising money from venture capitalists than at actually running a business and making a profit. The Dean campaign, similarly, is doing a great job appealing to core Democrats, but does anyone really think it will have the discipline and good sense to win a general election?
This thing has to fall apart sooner or later. If God loves Republicans, it will be after Dean has clinched the nomination.
The Not Ready for Prime Time Players <http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/12972.htm>http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/12972.htm
How exactly will the Dean bubble burst? Well, it's going to be awfully hard for him to keep his more rabid supporters under control. The New York Post reports on a New York fund-raiser for Dean at which "antiwar comedians" performed:
*** QUOTE ***
"We have to get this piece of living, breathing s--- out of the office," said comedian Judy Gold whose performance--like those of Janeane Garofalo and David Cross--was liberally larded with the F-word. . . .
Garofalo last night described the Medicare prescription-drug bill that Bush signed yesterday as the " 'you can go-f--- yourself, Grandma' bill."
Gold ridiculed Democrat Joseph Lieberman for being unable to campaign on Jewish holidays.
*** END QUOTE ***
And what did Dean do about this? "He made a vague reference to 'some language that was used--I think it's wrong.' " And his aides told the Post "that the Democratic front-runner found them so 'offensive,' he almost refused to come out and speak at the fund-raiser." Not exactly a Sister Souljah moment.We got a similar report from reader Neil Garvin, in response to our item yesterday <http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110004399#dean>http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110004399#dean on the Dean campaign:
*** QUOTE ***
I went to a rally in Atlanta about three months ago, perhaps the same one to which the lovestruck gentleman in your story went. Anyhow, the people who entertained the crowd while the governor was wrapping up a previous engagement were a complete embarrassment.
First, a "poet" took the stage, and reeled off an Amiri Baraka-lite poem about how America should look in the mirror when it tries to pin the blame of September 11 on someone, and how there were lots of poor people in America. I don't know much about spoken-word poetry, but this thing sucked on both aesthetic and polemical levels.
Next, a guitar-strumming bum took the stage and sang a stridently anti-Bush song, asked the audience if it was "fully loaded" yet, and added "f---" to a few blues covers (as far as I know, it wasn't John Kerry http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110004399 in disguise). I turned to my roommate in shock, and he at me.
The point is that Dean's local campaigns, or at least the Georgia campaign, is being managed by a bunch of "I've never voted before" neophytes (both the campaign spokesman who introduced Dean that day and the head of my MeetUp chapter haven't voted before), who, if left with the reins if Dean wins the nod, will drive him off of a cliff.
*** END QUOTE ***
There's little doubt that Dean will try to professionalize his campaign if indeed he does become the nominee. But how will that go over with the Deanie babies? The campaign may well end up collapsing, la Ross Perot, into an internecine battle between the "professionals" and the "volunteers."