The Nation and David Corn
defends official stories: JFK assassination, CIA & drugs, 9/11
note: in 2007, Corn left The Nation and joined Mother Jones magazine, another left gatekeeper publication that has some good journalism but also praised the 9/11 Commission and will not mention the 9/11 war games. The Nation's support for the Warren Commission cover-up of the Kennedy Assassination has been consistent at the magazine from Day One of the media collusion with the coup.
Perhaps the best articles that have been published in The Nation are from Naomi Klein (author of "The Shock Doctrine") and from Michael Klare. Klein's book talks about the paradigm of "disaster capitalism," how the elites profit from misery and manipulate collapse. Unfortunately, her book avoided the issues of Peak Oil and overshoot, and how elites have chosen to avoid decentralized approaches to mitigating the crises. Klare's work about the global contest to control oil supplies is more focused on how Peak Oil underlies the resource wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere -- but his otherwise excellent analysis avoids mention of how the trigger event for the Peak Oil wars (9/11) was deliberately allowed to happen.
This is an excellent synopisis:
The New Geopolitics of Energy
by MICHAEL T. KLARE
This article appeared in the May 19, 2008 edition of The Nation.
May 1, 2008
- The Nation: Bush told the truth about 9/11 (a surprise attack)
- JFK killed by lone nut
- David Corn
- elections are fair, supposedly
- don't impeach Bush
|The Nation defended Bush at his most vulnerable moment|
In early 2002, The Nation ran several articles by David Corn, their Washington Editor, attacking journalist and whistleblower Michael Ruppert, for daring to piece together a mountain of evidence that 9/11 was not a surprise attack. Corn is a long time defender of the Warren Commission (which covered up the coup against JFK), wrote a biography of CIA dirty trickster Ted Shackley that ignored evidence of drug complicity, attacked journalist Gary Webb for writing his series in the San Jose Mercury News about the CIA and the cocaine trade, and attacked the peace movement before the Iraq war for being too leftist (but didn't do anything to organize less leftist peace rallies). After Corn attacked Ruppert, the Colin Powell / Richard Armitage State Department sent Corn on a government paid trip to influence media in Trinidad (a major oil / gas exporter to the United States). Corn's article on Alternet even stated that he had been "dispatched" to go there, and that it was your "tax dollars at work." Real journalists who investigate government scandals usually don't get that sort of treatment -- most get harassed, not feted on taxpayer funded junkets to infiltrate media elites in tropical destinations that export fossil fuels to the US market.
The Nation has clearly allied itself with the CIA by publishing this article, and has announced in no uncertain terms that it is not interested in journalism on this subject that attempts to examine factual evidence. This is far different that merely ignoring the issue (which much of the Left has chosen to do).
The Nation has been perhaps the strongest supporter of the Warren Commission on what's left of "The Left" for four decades -- it is not a surprise that they are providing such critical support (whether witting or unwitting is ultimately irrelevant) to the Cheney re-election effort by urging nervous liberals to shut up about Cheney's complicity in 9/11, just as they defended Bush against accusations of foreknowledge after 9/11, when the allegations had the potential to thwart the political momentum for the US invasion of Iraq. And then they wonder why "The Left" has so little political influence ...
None of the pundits, CIA agents, media "experts," political consultants, candidates, elected officials and other fixtures of the media dare talk about the multiple war games that were being coordinated on 9/11 that paralyzed the Air Force defense of New York and Washington, the multiple warnings from allied intelligence services that specifically identified what, when and where the "attacks" would be, the warnings to selected elites not to fly or otherwise get out of the way (the most famous is the caution given to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown not to fly to NYC on 9/11), or the stock trades placed a few days before on Wall Street and other financial markets betting the values of United, American and other impacted companies would drop. These are topics that cannot be reconciled with the official story, and therefore must be put into George Orwell's "memory hole."
A Zogby poll of New York City residents released during the Republican National Convention found that 49% of those surveyed think that the Bush administration had foreknowledge of 9/11. It is likely that if the media -- whether corporate establishment or liberal "alternative" -- had covered the anomalies in the official story, the 49% statistic would probably be at least 79% or 89%.
In any military coup d'etat, one of the first places that is seized is the television and/or radio station (depending on the technological sophistication of the country being changed). The US coup d'etat has been more subtle, but more widespread -- encompassing the so-called "alternative" publications like The Nation in addition to the more obvious suspects like the major television networks. The best disinformation is mostly correct -- and The Nation has done a tremendous favor for the Bush-Cheney re-election effort by publishing a CIA agent's critique of "The New Pearl Harbor." Of course, this critique ignored the CIA exercise underway the morning of 9/11 at the nearby headquarters of the National Reconnaissance Office, which controls US spy satellites, which simulated a plane-into-buildingn scenario at the exact same time that 9/11 was underway. It's hard to know what defenders of the official story think about this amazing coincidence, since they don't dare discuss it. (Mike Ruppert's book "Crossing the Rubicon" explores the wargames of 9/11 in considerable detail, and concludes that they were in fact the means used to paralyze the Air Force defense of New York and Washington -- and that they were being coordinated by Cheney in the White House. What does "The Nation" have to say about this? Do they really want four more years of Bush and Cheney, and decades more of the "military industrial complex," which President Eisenhower warned us about as his final statement to the nation?)
Reading "Crossing the Rubicon" and "The Terror Timeline" should be mandatory reading for every citizen. It is unlikely that The Nation will dare to review these books, since the amount of evidence they provide is far too much to be dismissed with a simple "nyaah" by a CIA agent who spent many years manipulating politics in the Middle East.
Discrediting the fiction surrounding 9/11 should be of prime importance for a publication like The Nation, which claims to want lower military budgets, a less belligerent foreign policy, human rights abroad and domestically, energy efficiency and renewable energy, etc. Numerous commentators have charged since 9/11 that The Nation and similar publications funded by the Ford Foundation and other conservative, establishment interests are compromised -- and cannot cover the "deep politics" of 9/11, Peak Oil, and the empire's invasion of the Middle East oil fields due to their dependence upon philanthropic gestures from institutions heavily invested in petroleum interests (ie. Ford).
Please support independent journalists by buying copies of Crossing the Rubicon and The Terror Timeline. If you subscribe to The Nation, you could ask for a pro-rated refund on the rest of your subscription.
May 12, 2003
Bad Faith Again: An Open Letter to The Nation Magazine
by Jamey Hecht
... Most 9-11 coverage eerily evokes the reams of utterly forgettable journalism produced in the wake of 11-22-63, that taboo subject whose cultural radioactivity has kept one otherwise excellent journal semi-toothless for decades . Back then, writers in your pages spoke of "discrepancies, inconsistencies, gaps" and "minor flaws" in the Warren Report (editorial, 12-28-63); they praised the Report, calling it "admirable" and "an at times brilliant job" (Herbert Packer,11-2-64). Another Nation editorial of that era laments that "the American public was gradually coming to the conclusion that the CIA was a self-perpetuating, ever-growing, tax-eating organization of spies, schemers and bunglers, with a few murderers thrown in."
We now know that the pre-assassination "intelligence failures" described by the post-assassination press were absolutely deliberate falsifications and planted, false leads pointing in directions agreeable to Langley and Washington. ....
So: the failure to pursue compromising leads is not always some passive hiccough in the system. When Mr. Corn says that FBI "didn't pursue leads"; that CIA "failed" to notify FBI about Al Quaeda affiliated US residents; when he affects the alarmingly naive understatement that the Agency's "problems are probably worse than described," he risks the same kind of semi-passive complicity that we have learned to associate with the worst of national crimes (the ones that make us say, "this happened because good people did nothing"). In the final five paragraphs of that article from 23 September 2002, Corn wonders aloud whether and how the intelligence community will ever reform itself and overcome its "flaws." He ought to know ---surely he does know--- the reason why CIA and FBI remain hidebound and bizarrely unresponsive despite the decades separating us from the deaths of J. Edgar Hoover and Allen Dulles. Those men drew their colleagues and protgs into a dark well of official lies and legally actionable perjuries so deep that no agent can climb out and live long. Several CIA agents and their contacts, along with six high ranking FBI agents, you recall, were murdered in 1977, just prior to the House Select Committee's first hearings. "Reforming" the unaccountable secret police services (whose worst official fear remains mere "embarrassment") is nearly impossible because the Agency and The Bureau are still lying about so many domestic political murders and their grim international consequences. Until those lies are openly acknowledged (not just decisively refuted by critics, who remain largely invisible in the corporate media), don't expect Congress, Justice, or anyone else to blow the lid off the cesspool.
Was it mere negligence that caused the FBI to rebuff the August 2001 request from a Minnesota agent, that Moussaoui should be investigated "to make sure he doesn't take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center" (see the Daily News, 9-25-02)? When massive military escalation and appropriations swiftly followed the JFK murder, many of us asked, "who benefited?" As David Corn points out to his credit, there have recently been "several billion dollars added post 9-11 to the classified $30 billion-plus intelligence budget." This line of reasoning leads to some horrific conclusions, of course. If it seems to you like inconclusive speculation, I hope you're right. Still, I invite the Nation and others to do what is so rarely done: read the new information as it trickles out, and remain interested long enough to perceive the entailments of these awful revelations before they fade from public memory. Mike Ruppert of From the Wilderness has done just that on his website, www.copvcia.com, from a position of nearly unique expertise. Though Rupperts evidence is multi-sourced and compelling, David Corn has recently seen fit to dismiss it with something approaching contempt. Rupperts response is posted on www.copvcia.com .
|The Nation versus 9/11|
Published on Friday, December 8, 2006 by The Nation
9/11: The Roots of Paranoia
by Christopher Hayes
Psychobabble masquerading as informed opinion.
"But the real danger posed by the Truth Movement isn't paranoia. Rather, the danger is that it will discredit and deform the salutary skepticism Americans increasingly show toward their leaders."
"Still, the persistent appeal of paranoid theories reflects a cynicism that the credulous media have failed to address, because they posit a world of good intentions and face-value pronouncements, one in which the suggestion that a government would mislead or abuse its citizens for its own gains or the gains of its benefactors is on its face absurd. The danger is that the more this government's cynicism and deception are laid bare, the more people--on the left in particular and among the public in general--will be drawn down the rabbit hole of delusion of the 9/11 Truth Movement."
|The Nation hires CIA agent to attack "New Pearl Harbor" book|
The Nation got a genuine, admitted CIA agent to write this hatchet job (Baer's review of "New Pearl Harbor" in the September 27, 2004) issue that supports Cheney's innocence by ignoring the evidentiary record).
The Nation issue is September 27, 2004
David Ray Griffin: The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11
[book review] by Robert Baer
The Baer piece is not available to non subscribers.
has it archived for everyone
A good article about CIA agent Robert Baer is
"Stacking The Patsies of 9/11"
by Chaim Kupferberg
www.globalresearch.ca 20 December 2003
From Jamey Hecht, assistant managing editor, From the Wilderness (www.fromthewilderness.com)
The September 27, 2004 issue of The Nation has a review of David Ray Griffin's The New Pearl Harbor... written by Robert Baer, celebrated CIA agent (whose career involvement with the agency is acknowledged on the review's lead page). Griffin's book has a foreword by Richard Falk, who sits on The Nation's advisory board. But that hasn't inhibited the editors from frying the book in lard.
Baer's review is a heavy load of condescension, flustered contempt, false dichotomies, and a few undisputed facts, borne along by that old workhorse: the claim that elites can't possibly conspire in something horrible (like the murder of an American President in 1963, or three thousand people in NYC in 2001) and then execute it, because (1) too many people would need to know in advance, and (2) once done, it wouldn't remain a secret.
Well, FBI field agents like Robert Wright and Colleen Rowley who desperately tried to prevent 9/11 were stopped by one man, Special Supervisory Agent David Frasca --- not by the entire FBI. All that's required are a few well-placed, key people. As for keeping it a secret, of course the big crimes can't be kept secret. That's where The Nation comes in.
The best way to cope with the emergence of uncomfortable truths is to declare that they can't possibly be true, since if they were, they would have emerged by now -- ahem. Let's go to a commercial.
The facts have come out. Read Michael C. Ruppert's new book, Crossing The Rubicon (New Society Publishers) and Paul Thompson's The Terror Timeline (Harper Collins). Both are built entirely from mainstream news sources and direct testimony. Then ask yourself whether Dick Cheney and elements in the Pentagon would have foregone trillions of dollars and decades of oil out of concern that the facts might come out. They're out! But if they're not in The Nation, they're not facts.
The usually-recommended response to a review like Baer's is a Letter to the Editor. Since The Nation prints this sort of CIA-driven disinfo quite often, there are ample opportunities to find out what happens to such Letters to the Editor at that particular publication. They go into a pretty trashcan with a peace sign on it.
Fortunately, it is still possible to find analysis that transcends the marshmallow-bellyache of this Babyboomer Flagship Publication --- in the peace-trashcan and in some other places:
Here, Mark Robinowitz has assembled an excellent set of resources about left-gatekeeper phenomena --- the politics, the psychology, the practice, the personnel:
And here, Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed offers a major treatment of left-gatekeeping targeted at Z-Net in particular (especially David Corn and Michael Albert): "9/11 'Conspiracies' and the Defactualisation of Analysis: How Ideologues on the Left and Right Theorise Vacuously to Support Baseless Supposition --- A Reply To Z-Net's 'Conspiracy Theory' Section"
Here, I take a shot at The Nation for its embrace of a disingenuous book by Mark Riebling that alleges a tragic "wedge" (Jamie Gorelick, who learned so much from this book, called it a "wall") between the CIA and FBI: "Failure and Crime Are Not The Same" 9-11's Limited Hangouts":
And here's another: "Bad Faith Again: An Open Letter To The Nation Magazine"
Jamey Hecht, PhD
Author, Plato's Symposium: Eros and the Human Predicament
|The Nation: a key supporter of the Warren Commission|
JFK Assassination Brouhaha
By Rodney Huff
Mr. Huff is an HNN intern.
An article in the Nation by Max Holland has reignited debate over the
CIA’s involvement in the 1963 assassination of President John F.
Kennedy. In the article entitled “The JFK Lawyers’ Conspiracy,”
Holland contends that a group of lawyers, namely Mark Lane, Jim Garrison,
Gary Hart, and G. Robert Blakey, have conspired to overturn the findings
of the Warren Commission, which concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald
acted alone in assassinating JFK. In a letter to the editor of the magazine,
Lane accuses Holland of libel, rejecting as groundless Holland’s
depiction of him and Garrison as unwitting agents of the KGB.
Holland accuses Lane of receiving funds from the KGB while doing research for his book, Rush to Judgment, in which he challenged the Warren Commission’s findings. The KGB, Holland argues, attempted to implicate the CIA in the president’s murder for ideological purposes. According to Holland, both Lane and Garrison, however unwittingly, served the KGB by promoting conspiracy theories about the CIA’s involvement.
Joan Mellen, an English professor at Temple University, also comes under attack for writing what Holland refers to as a “hagiography” of Garrison.
Holland also criticizes former Senator Gary Hart, a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence in the mid- to late 70s. According to Holland Hart challenged the Warren Commission’s findings by "twisting unpalatable truths into the logical equivalent of pretzels.” Holland also criticizes G. Robert Blakey, who served as chief counsel and staff director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the 1970s. In 1979, the HSCA concluded that JFK “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” Holland lambastes Blakey for basing such a conclusion on “uncorroborated acoustic vidence” thought to be “unbelievable” by three dissenting members of the HSCA.
Mellen, in her letter complaining about the article, rejects Holland’s characterization of her book about Garrison as “hagiography.” Even Garrison’s family, Mellen notes, seemed disappointed by her refusal to idealize Garrison in favor of a realistic, warts-and-all portrayal of the New Orleans district attorney. Mellen also points out that, in 1967, the CIA circulated a document, "Countering Criticism of the Warren Report.” According to this document, critics of the Warren Report were to be branded as “Communist propagandists.” Mellen accuses Holland of merely following the CIA’s injunction to thwart further investigations of the Warren Commission by vilifying its critics.
Lane, in his letter, vigorously denies receiving funds from the KGB, claiming that Holland’s accusation is consistent with the CIA’s strategy of defaming critics of the Warren Commission. Echoing Mellen, Lane argues that Holland merely advances the CIA line that various people, many of them lawyers, adopted the KGB's approach to the assassination. Lane says that before writing his book he had never met his purported “coconspirators.” How, Lane wonders, could he possibly have been involved in a conspiracy with people whom he had not met?
Holland in response has come out swinging. He accuses English Professor Mellen of misspelling names and repeating lies in her book about Garrison. He insists the contents of the CIA document to which Lane and Mellen refer should not surprise anyone, since the CIA apparently intended to preserve the reputation of the U.S. government. He qualifies the statement he made about Lane receiving money from the KGB, suggesting that Lane may have been unaware of the source of his funds and had not received all of the money in one lump sum. For Holland, it is telling evidence that Lane has not sued for libel the authors who initially implicated him in the KGB plot.
Holland insists that the acoustical evidence cited by Lane and others does not support the claims made by the conspiracy theorists, citing a website for details.
The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy
By Max Holland
Mr. Holland is the author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes.
During forty-two years of controversy over the assassination of President
John F. Kennedy, the legal profession has played an instrumental role.
All seven members of the Warren Commission, which investigated the 1963
assassination, were lawyers. There were twenty-seven people on the commission's
staff (including Norman Redlich, a Nation
contributor since 1951), twenty-two of whom were aspiring
or practicing attorneys. The combined efforts of these lawyers produced
an imperfect report in September 1964, although its fundamental findings
have never been seriously impeached.
But what the legal profession giveth, less scrupulous members of the bar taketh away. Since 1964 four other lawyers have been chiefly responsible for putting the Warren Report into undeserved disrepute. During a conference in November sponsored primarily by the Washington-based Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC)--headed, not coincidentally, by a lawyer--three of these four lawyers made rare public appearances or were otherwise represented in spirit.
The paterfamilias of disingenuousness, Mark Lane, was noticeably absent. An obscure New York attorney at the time of the assassination, Lane single-handedly set the standard for dishonest criticism. In 1964 he spread innuendo about an ostensibly sinister delay in the Warren Commission's investigation as he went barnstorming around the country giving what was then known as The Speech. Two years later Lane published a book titled Rush to Judgment, having conveniently forgotten his earlier accusation. Carey McWilliams, editor of The Nation during those years, steadfastly refused, to his everlasting credit, to propagate Lane's basic allegation that the government was indifferent to the truth. Little did McWilliams (or anyone else) know then that the KGB was finding Lane's work so useful that it was secretly underwriting his "research" and travel in the amount of $12,500 (in 2005 dollars).
The Soviet intelligence service was engaged in a scheme to implicate the CIA, the FBI and the far right in the assassination and the subsequent murder of the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, but had little to show for its efforts until New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison inserted himself into the case in 1967. Owing to a clever piece of disinformation implanted in a left-wing Roman newspaper, Paese Sera, in March 1967, Garrison became consumed by the notion that Clay Shaw, a prominent businessman he had charged with participating in an alleged conspiracy that killed JFK, was actually "an employee of the CIA...an agency man in Rome trying to bring Fascism back to Italy," as he put it in his 1988 memoir. Within a matter of months Garrison had succeeded in making the KGB's wildest fantasy come true: An elected public official in America was propagating Moscow's line. Not even Lane had dared suggest that official Washington was complicit in the assassination itself.
Garrison, having died in 1992, did not attend the AARC conference, but he was represented in spirit by Joan Mellen, a Temple University English professor who has just published a hagiography of the DA, whom Oliver Stone tried to rehabilitate in his 1991 film JFK. Mellen's reception was decidedly tepid, for Garrison, like Joe McCarthy, has always represented a fault line. Just as McCarthy was disavowed by many anticommunists because of his beyond-the-pale tactics, conspiracy "buffs," as Calvin Trillin memorably labeled them in a 1967 New Yorker article, have always been hopelessly divided over Garrison. Even buffs inclined to believe the DA's grand theory of a military-industrial-intelligence complex find it hard to square that with his persecution of Clay Shaw. The most vociferous critics among the buffs have never forgiven Garrison for setting back the movement almost irreparably. A jury declared Shaw not guilty in 1969 after a mere fifty-four minutes of deliberation, and if Shaw hadn't died prematurely in 1974 at the age of 62, Garrison would likely have found himself at the wrong end of an impressive civil judgment for misuse and abuse of his prosecutorial powers.
The fallow years following the collapse of Garrison's legal farce ended once Watergate proved that conspiracies and cover-ups could exist in high places. During Washington's season of inquiry in the mid-1970s, unresolved questions about the 1963 assassination resurfaced. Some of them richly deserved to be asked, and answered--such as the nature of the cooperation (or lack thereof) between the Warren Commission and the two agencies critical to its inquiry, namely, the FBI and the CIA. Led by Senator Frank Church, Democrats on the Select Committee on Intelligence dived into this issue with a vengeance--until the answers they started coming up with contradicted the still- prevalent view that once there had been a Camelot.
Then-Senator Gary Hart was more responsible than most of his committee colleagues for twisting unpalatable truths into the logical equivalent of pretzels and milking the tragedy for political gain. The only genuine conspiracy Hart and his colleagues established was the Kennedy Administration's attempts to kill Fidel Castro, and the subsequent efforts to keep that secret from one and all, including the Warren Commission. These days Hart--a lawyer before he entered politics--seldom talks about the Church Committee. Nonetheless, he made a rare appearance at the AARC conference to speak about the "still unanswered questions" raised by his three-and-a-half-month inquiry.
Listening to Hart was an exercise in time travel. The perspective gained after thirty years, not to mention information available from tens of thousands of recently declassified documents, was airbrushed out of existence. Hart forthrightly admitted that he has "not followed the research" but acted as if his conclusions were as fresh and relevant as when first issued in 1976. He remains a "total agnostic" on who killed Kennedy, and overly proud of his role in revealing that two groups were ostensibly motivated to kill the President: anti-Castro exiles and the Mafia. Those who testified before Hart have a somewhat different recollection of the former senator's probity. He was "only interested in [testimony] proving what he wanted proven," James Hosty, a retired FBI agent who testified before Hart in 1975, recently recalled.
When one young man in the audience had the temerity to ask why the Church Committee had not endeavored to answer questions instead of just raising them, Hart became testy, if not bitter. Had he been elected President in the 1980s, Hart averred, he would have reopened the federal investigation into the assassination (for the third time). The clear implication was that the American people will never know because Hart's bid for the presidency was unfortunately aborted.
Notwithstanding Hart's rare discussion--which included his hilarious impression of William Harvey, the CIA officer who negotiated the Mafia's participation in the plots to kill Castro--the centerpiece of the AARC conference was a banquet address by G. Robert Blakey, who was a professor at Cornell Law School when he became chief counsel and staff director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1977. It is due to Blakey that the federal government speaks (at least superficially) with a forked tongue about the assassination. In 1964 the Warren Commission unanimously found that "on the basis of the evidence before [it]...Oswald acted alone." In 1979 the HSCA infamously concluded that JFK "was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy," but the committee was "unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy."
The pregnant construction of the HSCA's hedged conclusion hinged entirely on so-called acoustic evidence rammed through the committee at the eleventh hour by Blakey. Now a law professor at Notre Dame and a nationally recognized expert on the RICO statute, Blakey invariably fails to mention that three HSCA members dissented in 1979 because they found the uncorroborated acoustic evidence unbelievable. And their reservations soon proved correct: A National Research Council panel (aided by an Ohio rock drummer named Steve Barber) established in 1982 that the "shots" allegedly recorded on a police Dictabelt began approximately one minute after the President was mortally wounded and en route to Parkland Hospital (a finding that is reaffirmed in the current issue of Science & Justice, a British forensic journal). In point of fact, 99.99 percent of HSCA's report improved upon or underscored the accuracy of the Warren Report's key findings. But one would be hard-pressed to know that after listening to Blakey. The exploitation of the assassination by the likes of Mark Lane, Jim Garrison and Gary Hart, for whatever reasons, was bad enough. But someday a historian looking back will likely declare Blakey the most irresponsible of them all. Blakey was given a position of great responsibility in the mistaken belief that he would seek the truth.
Writing about the prominent role of lawyers in American society, Alexis de Tocqueville once opined that legal training imparted "a kind of instinctive regard for the regular connection of ideas," which tended to make lawyers informed, detached and trustworthy. It is hard to square that assessment with the overall performance of the bar since that day in November.
Joan Mellen's published letter to the editor of The Nation (#82319)
by Gary L. Aguilar on March 10, 2006 at 3:08 PM
November 22, 1963: You Are There
by OUR READERS & MAX HOLLAND
[from the March 20, 2006 issue]
I'm the author of A Farewell to Justice: Jim Garrison, JFK's Assassination
and the Case That Should Have Changed History, my seventeenth book, whose
credibility is attacked by Max Holland. Nation readers might give pause
to Holland's five-year campaign of outright falsehoods about the investigation
into the Kennedy assassination by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison
that have appeared in a range of publications from The Wilson Quarterly,
The Atlantic, New Orleans and the Washington Post to, now, The Nation.
Garrison focused on the clandestine service of the CIA as sponsor of the Kennedy assassination as a result of facts he discovered about Lee Harvey Oswald, specifically Oswald's role as an FBI informant and low-level CIA agent sent to the Soviet Union by the CIA's Chief of Counterintelligence, James Angleton, as part of a false defector program. What Garrison had not yet discovered was that Oswald also worked for the US Customs Service in New Orleans.
Contrary to Holland's assertions of the innocence of Clay Shaw, the man Garrison indicted for participation in the murder of President Kennedy was indeed part of the implementation of the murder and was guilty of conspiracy. That Shaw was acquitted does not exonerate him for history. New documents indicate overwhelmingly that Shaw did favors for the CIA. On his deathbed he admitted as much. Shaw's repeated appearances in Louisiana in the company of Oswald demonstrate that Shaw was part of the framing of Oswald for Kennedy's murder. Shaw took Oswald to the East Louisiana State Hospital in an attempt to secure him a job there, one event among many never investigated by the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).
Holland's assertion that Garrison based his conclusion that the CIA sponsored the assassination on a series of articles in an Italian newspaper is also incorrect. Garrison had focused on the CIA long before he learned that Shaw was on the board of directors of a CIA-funded phony trade front called Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC), based in Rome. Indeed, the newspaper Paese Sera broke the story of Shaw's involvement after a six-month investigation into CIA interference in European electoral politics, only to discover that Garrison had indicted Shaw a few days before the first article was to appear. Moreover, the new documents reveal that CMC and its parent outfit, Permindex, were indeed CIA fronts.
The 1992 Assassinations Records and Review Act has disgorged dozens of documents showing that Shaw was a CIA operative. This is directly contrary to what Holland suggests--that Garrison was a willing victim of "the KGB's wildest fantasy." To cite one example, Shaw was cleared for a project dubbed QKENCHANT, which permitted him to recruit outsiders for CIA projects. Shaw was no mere businessman debriefed by the CIA. One document reveals that among those Shaw recruited in New Orleans was Guy Banister, former FBI Chicago Special Agent in Charge running an ersatz New Orleans detective agency whose side-door address (544 Camp Street) Oswald used on a set of his pro-Castro leaflets, until Banister stopped him.
The former editors of the now-defunct Paese Sera, whom I interviewed, from Jean-Franco Corsini to Edo Parpalione, insisted adamantly that neither the Italian Communist Party, nor the Soviet Communist Party, nor the KGB had any influence on the paper's editorial policy. Outraged by Holland's accusations, Corsini said that he despised the KGB and the CIA equally.
The roots of Holland's charge that Garrison was a dupe of KGB propaganda may be traced to an April 4, 1967, CIA document titled "Countering Criticism of the Warren Report." In it the CIA suggests to its media assets that they accuse critics of the Warren Report of "Communist sympathies." In April 1967 Garrison was at the height of his investigation: He is clearly the critic the CIA had in mind.
In 1961 Richard Helms had already developed the charge that Paese Sera was an outlet for the KGB and for Soviet propaganda. Helms was indignant, but the truth had appeared in Paese Sera: The attempted putsch against Charles de Gaulle by four Algerian-based generals had indeed been supported by the CIA. Holland has merely picked up where Helms, later to become a convicted perjurer, left off--repeating a scenario developed for him by Helms, with the addition of making the accusation of Soviet influence on Garrison.
My book is hardly a "hagiography of the DA," as Holland states. I present a flawed man who exhibited great courage in facing down both the FBI and the CIA in his attempt to investigate the murder of the President. Indeed, Garrison family members were dismayed that I did not present him in a more idealized form. I depicted him as an ordinary man who rose to distinction because of his single-minded commitment to the investigation.
Among the many errors in Holland's latest diatribe is that Shaw died "prematurely," as if somehow Garrison's prosecution hastened his end. In fact, Shaw was a lifelong chain smoker and died of lung cancer. Holland attacks Robert Blakey, chief counsel for the HSCA, for using acoustic evidence to suggest that there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy murder. In fact, the acoustic evidence of at least four shots being fired has been established scientifically by Donald Thomas in the British forensic journal Science and Justice (see also Thomas's well-documented paper, available online, "Hear No Evil: The Acoustical Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination," delivered November 17, 2001).
Blakey certainly can be criticized for his close relationship with the CIA throughout his HSCA investigation. His letters of agreement with the CIA are at the National Archives. The CIA decided how key witnesses were to be deposed, and Blakey acquiesced in all CIA demands and intrusions upon the investigation.
Before Blakey was hired, former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg considered accepting the job as counsel. Knowing that the CIA had at the least covered up the facts of the assassination and at worst been involved, Goldberg telephoned CIA director Stansfield Turner and asked him whether, should he take the job, he would have full CIA cooperation. Silence emanated over the wires. Goldberg, naïve perhaps, asked Turner if he had heard the question. "I thought my silence was my answer," Turner said. Goldberg declined the job. Blakey took it. It is no surprise that Holland, who has consistently defended the CIA, does not raise the issue of Blakey's cooperation with the CIA during his HSCA tenure but focuses instead on Blakey's conclusion, forced by the irrefutable acoustic evidence, that there was a conspiracy.
It is one thing for Holland to spread his disinformation in the CIA's Studies in Intelligence. It is quite another for The Nation to allow him continued access without debate to its pages to obfuscate, slander authors like myself and deny evidence fully established--in particular about Jim Garrison and how the new documents establish his credibility and reveal how close he came to the truth, and in general about the Kennedy assassination's sponsors and accessories.
President of the AARC, Jim Lesar's, published letter to The Nation (#82321)
by Gary L. Aguilar on March 10, 2006 at 3:24 PM
While many thought the 1979 report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations was the final word on President Kennedy's murder, it wasn't. In 1992 Congress passed the JFK Act. As a result, a huge volume of new materials are available for study.
One significant revelation is the extent to which the CIA was a focus of the committee's probe. Another is the discovery by Jefferson Morley, a columnist for WashingtonPost.com, that the CIA corrupted the committee's probe. The CIA brought former case officer George Joannides out of retirement to handle the committee's inquiries about the relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and DRE, a CIA-funded Cuban exile organization. The CIA never told the committee that Joannides was DRE's case officer when Oswald and DRE were in contact. Joannides then thwarted committee efforts to obtain CIA records about the DRE-Oswald relationship. Thus, the last official word on the assassination is that of a Congressional committee that was subverted by an agency that itself was a focus of the investigation.
These facts raise serious issues. The CIA's conduct undermined democratic accountability and compromised the integrity of Congressional oversight on a matter of national security. Shouldn't Congress now investigate to determine why the CIA sabotaged the probe? Was it because, as some former committee staffers have said, an element of the CIA was involved in the plot? Or is there some other explanation?
In 2004 and 2005 the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) held conferences to discuss the JFK assassination. On the issue of conspiracy, two scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discredited the last remaining basis for the single bullet theory (SBT), which theorized that both Kennedy and John Connally were hit by the same bullet, fired from Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle--the sine qua non for the lone assassin theory. These eminent scientists said that due to scientific advances not only can the SBT not be substantiated but the fragments tested could have come from one--or as many as five--bullets, including a Remington or some other rifle. Holland mentions none of this.
Holland denounces the acoustics evidence proving there was a conspiracy. He misrepresents acoustics as being the only evidence the committee had of a conspiracy and mistakenly says that it is uncorroborated. In fact, the first acoustics panel was corroborated by the second. Both were further corroborated and strengthened by Donald Thomas's study. Holland doesn't mention Thomas, but does obliquely refer to the work of Richard Garwin.Thomas debated Garwin at the AARC conference. But as Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter George Lardner reported, Thomas "upstaged" Garwin, showing "how the noises coincided precisely with frames from the Zapruder film and echoes off buildings in Dealey Plaza reflecting the gunfire." Lardner also noted that Garwin said he "had not studied the echoes." Again, none of this is in Holland's account.
Holland, winner of a CIA award for Studies in Intelligence, has been working on a book since 1993 defending the Warren Commission. In applying for an Anthony Lukas work-in-progress award in 2001, he said that as a result of his study "the Commission can emerge in a new light: battered somewhat but with its probity and the accuracy of its findings intact." He also stressed that he had spent a full year researching "the remarkable effort of KGB disinformation on Garrison's probe." Holland debated this thesis with Gary Aguilar at the 2004 AARC conference. In my view, Holland lost hands down (a DVD of the conference is available through aarclibrary.org). In advancing his thesis, Holland relies on dubious materials, including the word of former CIA director Richard Helms, who was charged with perjury but copped a plea of withholding information from Congress.
Holland now uses the AARC's 2005 conference to theorize that a vast conspiracy of lawyers "less scrupulous" than those at the Warren Commission spread KGB disinformation and convinced Congress and the American people that the Warren Report was wrong. This is a McCarthyite tactic for discrediting the AARC conferences and Warren Commission critics generally. It seems no one ever saw the Zapruder film showing JFK thrown violently to the left rear, no one ever looked at the Magic Bullet and concluded it was so undeformed it could not have done all the damage alleged. No, it was them bloody KGB disinformation lawyers that brainwashed them.
In 1967 the CIA directed its stations to tamp growing criticism of the Warren Report by discussing it with "liaison and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors)" and "point out that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists." The dispatch further instructs that stations "employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the critics," saying that "book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose."
Holland's piece on our conference looks as if it were written to specification. While I had not expected favorable coverage from Holland when I overrode the advice of friends and associates and honored The Nation's request that he be given journalistic privileges and courtesies, I hadn't expected an attack of this character. The general opinion of attendees, repeatedly expressed to me personally, was that the 2005 conference was the best ever on the subject. Max Holland echoed this in an e-mail to me: "Having Garwin, Hart and Blakey give presentations made the conference superior to any I've attended. I'll do my best to get an article in."
JIM LESAR, president, AARC
Ralph Schoenman's published letter to the editor of The Nation (#82322)
by Gary L. Aguilar on March 10, 2006 at 3:25 PM
Max Holland has engaged for years in propagating disinformation on behalf
of the CIA concerning the investigation of its role in the official execution
of John F. Kennedy. Holland's Nation article expatiates upon his fabricated
thesis that Jim Garrison's evidence of the CIA's role in the Kennedy murder
derived from a series of articles in Paese Sera in 1967.
I sent those articles to Jim Garrison in my capacity as director of the Who Killed Kennedy? committee in London, whose members and supporters included Bertrand Russell, Hugh Trevor-Roper, Arnold Toynbee, Field Marshall Sir Claude Auchinleck and Lord Boyd Orr. The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation, of which I was then executive director, had conducted an extended investigation of the role of the CIA in fomenting and coordinating brutal repression, disappearances and assassinations, which culminated in a military putsch in Greece. Our Save Greece Now Committee unearthed concrete data regarding the role of the CIA and the Greek colonels that helped mobilize the movement for which Deputy Grigoris Lambrakis paid with his life. In the aftermath, our committee and its Greek leader, Michael Peristerakis, led a demonstration of more than 1 million that brought down the regime.
CIA activity across Europe led Paese Sera to undertake a six-month investigation into the role in Italy of the CIA, with its plans for a military coup. The CIA colonels' coup in Greece unfolded shortly after Paese Sera's prescient series. Prominent writers and intellectuals, including Rossana Rossanda, K.S. Karol, Lelio Basso, Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, supported Paese Sera.
This investigation was entirely unrelated to events in the United States or the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was fortuitous that the CIA front organizations in Italy that emerged from CIA plans to overthrow the Italian government included Centro Mondiale Commerciale and Permindex, of which Clay Shaw was a director in New Orleans.
Jim Garrison was well on the trail of Shaw and his role as a CIA handler of Lee Harvey Oswald before Paese Sera published its series of articles. When I sent them to Garrison, he had already charged Shaw in relation to the murder of Kennedy. Jim found the Paese Sera series confirmatory and important, but the articles were not admissible as evidence in court.
Holland has written repeatedly that Paese Sera was a "communist" paper and a conduit for KGB disinformation. In fact, Paese Sera was not unlike The Nation before Holland's infiltration of it as a contributing editor (except Paese Sera was less inclined to defend the leaders of the Soviet Union than was The Nation during the decades since the 1930s). The Paese Sera fiction is real intelligence disinformation arising not from the KGB but from an April 7, 1967, directive by Helms to CIA media assets, "How To Respond to Critics of the Warren Report."
What emerged from the investigative work of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Paese Sera was the full evidence of the forty-year campaign of the CIA in Italy, now known as Operation Gladio, a campaign of terror that included the kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro and the bombing of the Bologna railway station.
I worked with Jim Garrison for twenty years and sent him many documents, e.g., Secret Service Report 767, which cites the disclosure by Alan Sweat, chief of the criminal division of the Dallas Sheriff's Office, of Lee Harvey Oswald's FBI Informant Number S172 and Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade's citation of Oswald's CIA number 110669.
Finally, Philip Zelikow, national security adviser to both Bush administrations and appointed by George W. Bush to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board immediately after the 9/11 attacks, has endorsed Holland's specious charges in Foreign Affairs, even as he and Holland were colleagues at the Miller Institute. Zelikow, as head of the 9/11 Commission, has been a point man in covering up the role of US intelligence in the planning and implementation of the events of September 11.
It is fitting that the very individuals who protect the treason at the top that defines the official assassination of President Kennedy are performing that role in relation to the events of 9/11--a precise correlative to Operation Gladio, first exposed by the investigative work of Paese Sera, which linked the CIA murder apparatus in Italy to the one that murdered the head of state in America.
Holland seeks to present the investigators into official murder in America not as people of principle and daring but as disinformation tools of an intelligence service. When it comes to being a pimp for the imperium, Mr. Holland, Physician, heal thyself!
Letter to "The Nation" Re: Max Holland article (#82817)
by Mitchell Ryan Warriner on March 16, 2006 at 11:54 AM
I was very much troubled by the Max Holland article entitled "The JFK Lawyers' Conspiracy" featured in the February 20th edition of "The Nation." First and foremost, I have studied the assassination of President Kennedy for many years, and my main area of expertise includes the investigation of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whom of course is the only public official to have charged someone in a plot to kill President Kennedy. In this article, Holland attacked authors Mark Lane and Joan Mellen, both of whom have written impeccable accounts on the assassination. I find it odd for Holland to say that the Warren Commission's "fundamental findings have never been seriously impeached." What planet did he come from? After decades of research by numerous individuals, I believe (and much of the American public will agree with me) that the Warren Report has been literally ripped apart, and most of all, by its own evidence published in the twenty-six volumes printed by the U.S. Government. Needless to say, Holland stated Mark Lane "single-handedly set the standard for dishonest criticism." What about Harold Weisberg, Edward Jay Epstein, Sylvia Meagher? All of these authors wrote early accounts critical of the assassination printed the same year as Lane's masterpiece "Rush to Judgment." And again, I don't understand Max's obsession with the KGB. I am not sure, but I think he might have lost his mind, or else he is working on a disinformation front for the federal government. I am really not quite sure where Holland came to believe that Jim Garrison believed Clay Shaw was an employee of the CIA just because of an article in Paese Sera. The papers of Jim Garrison at the National Archives proves otherwise. Do you your research Mr. Holland. And how dare you compare Garrison to Joe McCarthy of all people. Where did you get an idea like that? Garrison was a patriot, a man who served his country in both the US Army and the FBI. And now we find ourselves indulging in what Holland calls "the persecution of Clay Shaw." Since that 1969 trial, much evidence has come to light by the federal agencies own documents proving that Shaw had lied under oath, specifically his denial that he worked for the CIA. People who are interested in this area should read Bill Davy's "Let Justice Be Done," and Joan Mellen's new book "A Farewell to Justice." these books do a very good job at proving that Shaw was linked to the assassination and in fact had been employed with the Central Intelligence Agency. In the final analysis, your right Mr. Holland, there has been a lawyers' conspiracy, and it comes from the many attorneys that served on the Warren Commission with honorable men or "sacred cows" (Garrison's phrase) heading off the panel. I think it might be useful to do your homework before you begin attacking excellent researchers such as Mark Lane, Joan Mellen, and most of all, Jim Garrison.
Corn was one of the earliest and most vocal critics of Michael Ruppert and the 9/11 truth movement. His behavior on 9/11 is consistent with The Nation's attack on Oliver Stone's film JFK, his defense of the CIA in 1996 when Gary Webb published an expose of CIA cocaine dealing in the inner cities, and his criticism in late 2002 that the peace rallies were too leftist.
After spearheading the attacks on Ruppert, Corn was "dispatched" (his term) to Trinidad, an oil exporter to the US, by the US State Department at taxpayer expense to teach journalism. Authentic journalists generally don't get free junkets to influence media in foreign lands.
Most of our critics, notably David Corn of The Nation and self-anointed media critic Norman Solomon, have gone silent as both our reporting and predictions have been completely validated by events. And both Corn and Solomon have also revealed themselves to be agents of the U.S. State Department run by Colin Powell and career covert operative and criminal Richard Armitage. Last November  in a story published on Alternet Corn wrote, "I had been dispatched to Trinidad by the U.S. State Department to conduct a two-day seminar on investigative reporting for local journalists (your tax dollars at work!)..." And just recently Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy traveled with sitting congressman Nick Rahall and others on what CNN described as an official delegation to meet with officials of the Iraqi government.
-- This is the lead essay from the Oct. 1, 2002 issue of Mike Ruppert's newsletter From The Wilderness [emphasis added]
David Corn complains about Mike Ruppert:
One thing I do want to respond to is Michael Ruppert telling the good listeners of [missed on tape] Independent Media Center up in Portland Oregon, he said, even more explicitly, and this is a quote from the transcript available on the web. If I'm asked honestly, and I will say that I have an opinion, that David Corn is one of the Establishment CIA/FBI operatives who has long been planted within so-called progressive circles. And the primary argument that I use for that is that he was chosen by one of the most venal characters in American history, Ted Shackley, to be his chosen biographer.
Michael Ruppert on David Corn:
My dear friend, colleague and mentor, Peter Dale Scott at U.C. Berkeley, has a great quote, that: disinformation in order to be effective has to be 95% accurate. And that is always the case. I debated David Corn.I met him first at Sara McLendon's(?) group at the National Press Club when "The Blond Ghost" first came out. I've read it twice, and the book completely omits the entire, extremely well-documented history of Shackley's involvement in the drug trade, and that is a glaring omission.
[David Corn has frequently served as a Neo-Con Lite version of someone who dismisses those who have investigated the crimes of the U.S. government. Corn's attacks against Greg Palast for his coverage of the very real and demonstrably criminal vote fraud in Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000 is a case in point. Palast relied on good old pavement-pounding to discover the fraud. The same cannot be said for Corn and his dismissal of the Palast's story. The same situation occured with Corn's attacks on the book Forbidden Truth, published by his Nation magazine's very own publisher. Never mind the fact that the United States had been negotiating with the Taliban just prior to 9/11 as highlighted in the book. Corn's unforgivable attack against the late investigative journalist Gary Webb was an all time low for someone who seems to relish launching broadsides against those who may represent some perceived competition.
Corn's contributor status with Fox News Channel and his almost constant use of that tag line is also problematic. It's certainly not in Rupert Murdoch's interest to have independent journalists running around throwing stones at his man in the White House. -WM]
A Mole in the Progressive Movement?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
By Andres Kargar
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
I've been pondering this piece since I heard the news of the death of Gary Webb. I had been following Gary Webb's Dark Alliance series with great interest, not because the US government's involvement in drugs was anything new to me, but simply because I was wondering how long it would be before the corporate media would descend upon Gary like a bunch of vultures and kill his story and his livelihood.
And it happened as I had expected. We are all aware how the corporate press isolated and dismembered Gary. By publishing the results of his painstaking research, Gary had sealed his fate and guaranteed that no mainstream outfit would ever allow him to do anything significant on their behalf.
Despite the fact that the US corporate media can deceive and tame large sectors of the population, there are many from the left, the right, and just plain old Americans who distrust them. Gary's final emaciation, however, had to come from someone with progressive credentials, and that honor was bestowed upon David Corn of The Nation magazine who stepped in to strike the final blow. Corn, who had not spent a single hour of research on the subject, attacked Gary's report and claimed that Gary Webb "had overstated the case and had not proven his more cinematic allegations." Imagine this: a scandal of this magnitude is unfolding that exposes how American citizens are falling victims to the CIA's drug-running operations, and David Corn sees his patriotic duty to pinpoint how "the case is being overstated." Personally, if I ran across such an "overstated" and "flawed" report, I would hold the CIA and Los Angeles authorities responsible and demand real investigations, rather than wasting my time, pinpointing unspecified flaws and immeasurable overstatements.
Having been a reader of his material, I knew this was not the first time Corn had been stepping in to attack any serious challenge to the status quo, but I had to search around a little to refresh my memory.
Just recently, in an article in The Nation, David Corn had tried to discredit Greg Palast's (the award-winning investigative reporter - http://www.GregPalast.com) claims of fraud in the 2004 presidential elections.
Greg Palast was accused of being a conspiracy-theory nut, and people like him were discredited as making accusations based on supposition ("Those who say yes - at this point - are relying more on supposition than evidence. They cite the exit polls to claim the vote count was falsified to benefit Bush"). And of course, Mr. Corn's interpretation of the facts presented by Greg Palast and others must be the only acceptable one to declare the elections not fraudulent, but fraught with glitches here and there.
In November 2002, at the height of the Bush administration's intrigues against Iraq and the popular antiwar demonstrations, David Corn steps in to attack and discredit the organizers of these demonstrations (in practice lining up with the Bush regime). In an article in the LA Weekly, Corn accuses the International ANSWER organization (Act Now to Stop War & Racism) of being a front for the Worker's World Party.
"Many local offices for ANSWER's protest were housed in WWP offices. Earlier this year, when ANSWER conducted a press briefing, at least five of the 13 speakers were WWP activists." David Corn presumably understands enough math to calculate that the rest could have been members of church groups, union representatives, Palestinians, Iranians, etc.
However, since in today's world, populations in their millions here and there are accused of being "terrorists," obviously David Corn should have the right to call only a few million antiwar demonstrators dupes of the Workers World Party.
That's not all. In 2001, David Corn and Marc Cooper (another Nation "liberal") sided with Pacifica Radio Network's rogue management in their attempts to clean the member radio stations of progressives, sell some stations, and basically dismantle the progressive network.
Later in 2002, David Corn steps in to discredit a fellow by the name of Michael Ruppert who claimed that the Bush administration had been warned in advance of 9/11 attacks. Despite the fact that I always marvel at the vastness of David Corn's areas of expertise (and intervention), I have to say Michael Ruppert's basic claims are common knowledge today and were also made in other ways by FBI whistleblowers and others.
David Corn's response to all these accusations: conspiracy theory-it's simpler than thinking.
Reviewing all this material might make one think of a mole in the progressive population, but unfortunately, the problem of conformism goes beyond the David Corns, Marc Coopers, and Christopher Hitchens (see http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/) as individuals. From the positions these people are, as liberals or "progressives", they can influence others and lead them down the path of conformism, passivity, or complacency.
Such complacency today is encouraging a section of America's so-called progressives to accept the Empire's brutal war against the Third World and the destruction and re-colonization of these countries. Fear and ignorance forces them to buy into this fabricated "war on terror" and the militarization of the society, our minds and consciousness. For when we buy into this crusade, we have accepted the Empire.
Andres Kargar can be reached at galileo19 @ hotmail.com.
The 9/11 Cover-up
By David Corn
Los Angeles Weekly
Friday 21 November 2003
A reasonably good article from Corn that hints of Bush foreknowledge. It's far from comprehensive, but it raises the question why Corn did not dare write something like this two years ago, when public awareness of the coverup would have been more helpful in shaping the immediate psychological aftermath, and lending more support to the efforts to stop the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq.
Corn appears to be deeply offended that anyone could suggest "that the US government had foreknowledge of the specific attacks and either did not do enough to prevent them or, much worse, permitted them to occur for some foul reason."
Corn's decision to establish himself as the defender of the government against "conspiracy theories" places The Nation in the absurd position of quoting the most reactionary responses to McKinney, not presenting arguments, but literarally calling her names. Corn attempts to bolster his own position by quoting Senator Zell Miller (a Georgia Democrat who always votes with the Republicans) calling Congresswoman McKinney "loony"; Ari Fleischer "quip[ping]" that "The congresswoman must be running for the Hall of Fame of the Grassy Knoll Society"; and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calling her a "nut." A very embarrassing state of affairs for The Nation. ....
The Nation supported the conclusions of the Warren Commission against Mark Lane's conspiracy thinking. They remain part of the established and consequently compromised left. While it may seem unusual for a left leaning journal to support a right leaning administration, in matters which would attack the center, from which the real power operates, left & right can always circle the wagons.
David Corn, of the Nation, went on a personal crusade to attack anyone who suggested that the Bush administration might have had prior knowledge or -- God forbid -- actually had a hand in the attacks. His attacks skirted around the obligation to disprove the idea, and instead just mounted an attack upon the character of anyone who would dare suggest such an outrageous thing.
Mike Ruppert, who operates the From the Wilderness site and is one of the foremost authorities on 911, was just an ex-cop who got hurt by a woman and went a little crazy, Corn said. That's what caused him to say all those stupid things. Without bothering to explain why the stupid things were really stupid, Corn made it very simple: no president would do such a thing.
"I expressed doubt that the Bush Administration would kill or allow the murder of thousands of American citizens to achieve a political or economic aim," Corn said. (For more on Corn and the attack of "the left" on "the left", see"What is Crazy?", "The Corn Crusade", "Failure of Imagination" and the World Socialist Web Site's "'Left' apologists for US imperialism red-bait the anti-war movement".
By Corn's logic, being in a position of power -- even if you achieved your position through corrupt means -- somehow makes you incapable of acting in a corrupt manner. The idea that "no president" would act in such a manner is a blatant absurdity, and a very dangerous frame of mind that would render one incapable of defending oneself against the threat of a Hitler, for example, one who shattered precedent.
Corn's position was not to disprove the case that the Bush administration was complicit in 911, but to ridicule or discredit those who proposed the idea, not to seek the truth, but to stifle debate.
“Left” apologists for US imperialism red-bait the anti-war
By David Walsh and Barry Grey
5 February 2003 www.wsws.org/articles/2003/feb2003/left-f05.shtml
The emergence of a broad-based movement of opposition to the Bush administration’s war against Iraq caught the American political and media establishment unawares. In the response of the various factions of the ruling elite there has been one common theme: the need to purge the anti-war movement of its left-wing elements and render it politically harmless. ...
These efforts are aided and abetted by another group—ex-radicals and former anti-war liberals centered around the Nation magazine. Three articles in particular, appearing at about the time of the first significant US protests, held last October, marked the beginning of this group’s intervention. The articles are: “A Smart Peace Movement is MIA,” by Marc Cooper, which appeared in the Los Angeles Timesof September 29, 2002; “Who Will Lead?” by Todd Gitlin (Mother Jones magazine, October 14, 2002); and “Behind the Placards: The odd and troubling origins of today’s anti-war movement,” by David Corn (LA Weekly, November 1, 2002).
Cooper, a contributing editor of the Nation, went to Chile in 1971 to volunteer his services to the Salvador Allende Popular Front regime and was serving as Allende’s translator at the time of the military coup. Gitlin was the president of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1963-64. After 16 years at the University of California at Berkeley, he now is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University in New York. Corn, the Washington editor of the Nation, formerly worked for Ralph Nader’s Center for Study of Responsive Law.
The three pieces in question constitute a type of “left” gutter journalism. Their authors are unable to muster serious arguments, resorting instead to distortions, amalgams and ad hominem attacks.
In their attacks on left-wing elements, they echo the professional red-baiters. One telling episode speaks volumes about the political and moral character of this political layer. On November 19, David Corn appeared on the “O’Reilly Factor”—a talk-show on Fox News hosted by the extreme-right demagogue Bill O’Reilly. Corn carried out his assignment for O’Reilly, witch-hunting the Workers World group and smearing the anti-war movement.
O’Reilly introduced Corn by saying, “And you say that the Workers World Party, a hardcore communist organization in the USA, is putting together these peace rallies, is that true?” Corn replied, “To call them an organization is perhaps giving them too much credit. I doubt they have enough people to fill a telephone booth. They’re a very small sectarian political outfit based in New York City.”
O’Reilly, a figure in the tradition of Joseph McCarthy, aptly characterized Corn’s appearance, saying, “[Y]ou finger a guy who is on the board of ANSWER ... you finger him as being really the driver behind all this, right?”
Gitlin and Cooper belong to the generation of former anti-war protesters and radicals who have undergone a dramatic transformation over the past two decades, shifting further and further to the right. They long ago made their peace with the existing social order and seek at every critical moment to demonstrate their loyalty to the powers that be. ....
Now, however, Cooper, Gitlin and Corn claim to be opponents of a war against Iraq. Why they choose to oppose this particular war, while defending its precursors, they do not explain. In fact, as we shall see, they do not really oppose war against Iraq.
On the contrary, they accept uncritically all of the basic premises of the American establishment, echoing the line of the New York Times, which has criticized Bush’s anti-Iraq war drive on purely tactical, rather than principled, grounds.
The hallmark of all three is a lack of any serious analysis—historical, political or social. In their haste to smear socialist and anti-imperialist critics of Bush’s war policy, they cannot be bothered with such matters as the driving forces of the coming war, the history of US intervention in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, the policies and political character of the Bush administration, the social situation in the US, or the economic context within which the war drive is unfolding.
Significantly, the word “oil” does not appear in any of these articles.
All three writers presume to speak as political authorities offering the benefit of their insight to “save” the anti-war movement from self-destruction. But even apart from the reactionary content of their politics, the dearth of substantive analysis brands them as charlatans and imposters.
....Cooper speaks for a section of the ruling elite that seeks a more prudent and deliberate buildup to war, fearing that Bush’s recklessness might have politically disastrous consequences. His argument that “The fight against Bin Laden’s gang is necessary, and going to war against Iraq can only detract from it,” is the line of a section of the Congressional Democrats, some of whom voted to give Bush the authority to attack Iraq.
Reminder: Exit-Poll Conspiracy Theories Are Totally Baseless
Voters have good reason to lack confidence in our election systems. But claims of widespread fraud aren’t going to fix anything.
By Joshua Holland JUNE 7, 2016
The Nation published anti-impeachment polemic
The February 12, 2007 issue included an article by Sanford Levinson that Bush should not, cannot be impeached for mere incompetence, which ignores the fact that evidence for criminality is extensive. To be fair, The Nation published a companion article from former Representative Elizabeth Holzman arguing for impeachment -- but The Nation's strong stance for the alleged incompetence theories (as opposed to investigation of deliberate criminality in election frauds, 9/11, the Iraq war and Katrina) show where their loyalties really lie. And they are a lie.
article | posted January 30, 2007 (February 12, 2007 issue)
Impeachment: The Case in Favor
.... Investigations should also be conducted into Vice President Cheney's meetings with oil company executives at the outset of the Administration. If divvying up oil contracts in Iraq were discussed, as some suggest, this would help prove that the Iraq War had been contemplated well before 9/11, and that a key motivation was oil. Inquiries into Halliburton's multibillion-dollar no-bid contracts should also be conducted, particularly given Cheney's ties to the company. ...
Failure to impeach Bush would condone his actions. It would allow him to assume he can simply continue to violate the laws on wiretapping and torture and violate other laws as well without fear of punishment. He could keep the Iraq War going or expand it even further than he just has on the basis of more lies, deceptions and exaggerations. Remember, as recently as October 26, Bush said, "Absolutely, we are winning" the war in Iraq--a blatant falsehood. Worse still, if Congress fails to act, Bush might be emboldened to believe he may start another war, perhaps against Iran, again on the basis of lies, deceptions and exaggerations.
There is no remedy short of impeachment to protect us from this President, whose ability to cause damage in the next two years is enormous. If we do not act against Bush, we send a terrible message of impunity to him and to future Presidents and mark a clear path to despotism and tyranny.
article | posted January 25, 2007 (February 12, 2007 issue)
Impeachment: The Case Against
.... Thanks to the Founders, we were given a Constitution that perversely makes us "better off" with a criminal in the White House instead of someone who is "merely" grotesquely incompetent. The reason is that the Constitution provides us with a language to get rid of a criminal President, but it provides us no language, or process, for terminating the tenure of an incompetent one. Unfortunately, this was a deliberate decision by the Framers, who rejected an altogether sensible proposal to make "maladministration" an impeachable offense for fear that this would give Congress too much power.
Only because of the Constitution are serious progressives engaging in an entirely fruitless campaign to impeach Bush by describing him as a criminal. It is fruitless for two quite different reasons. The first, and more practical, is that there is simply no possibility that Bush will actually be removed from office in the twenty-four months that unfortunately remain to him. One might well contemplate impeachment if there were a possibility of its being successful. But the House Democratic leadership has rejected the idea, not least because there is no possibility that the constitutionally required two-thirds of a nearly evenly divided Senate would vote to convict an impeached George W. Bush. Thus, advocates of impeachment are in effect supporting a strategy doomed not only to fail but also to be perceived by most of the country as a dangerous distraction from the pressing problems facing the country. ....
Consider the charge that Bush lied to the country during the run-up to the war, which may well be true. If lying to the public about matters of grave importance were an impeachable offense, however, almost no President--including, for starters, Franklin Roosevelt and his deceptions regarding lend-lease--would survive. It is even more difficult to construct criminality out of Bush's reckless disregard of the consequences of Katrina. It is not, however, at all difficult to accuse him of maladministration and disqualifying incompetence.
American politics would be infinitely better if we could avoid legalistic mumbo-jumbo and accusations of criminality and cut to what is surely the central reality: The American people have exhibited a fundamental loss of confidence in a wartime President/Commander in Chief. In most political systems around the world, the response to such a stinging rebuke would be resignation or removal. But we are trapped in a constitutional iron cage devised by eighteenth-century Framers who, however wise, had no conception of the role the presidency would come to play in American (and world) politics. The US President should be treated as what Ross Perot aptly called an "employee" of the American people, vulnerable to being fired for gross incompetence in office. Instead, he is given the prerogatives of a feudal lord of the manor who owns the White House as his personal property until the end of the presidential term, with almost dictatorial power over decisions of foreign and military policy.