Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 26, 2006

OT 06-56

The kingpin made me do this ...

Posted by b on June 26, 2006 at 01:26 AM | Permalink

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Watch it before it's pulled Manifestoon. Btw, I got a comment on my American Enantiodromia.. vid, saying it was off-putting and pretentious and asking me to reword my discription, to "remember who my audience is, and speak to them" and in the same reply asking me if I had a higher resolution copy of this CBS news story that I posted so an independent filmaker putting together a piece about 9/11 could use it. "Do you have a tape or higher resolution copy of the CBS news story that you posted. I would pay for all dub, shipping costs, etc" ... the commenter said. I'm not sure what to make of that. I do have a higher res but he/she's not getting it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 2:46:32 AM | 1

This is heartening:

Spring Break

More than 2,700 college students passed up popular spring break spots like Cancún and Florida this year in favor of an unlikely destination: New Orleans’ devastated Lower Ninth Ward. Volunteers from 49 states and as far away as Australia came in response to a call by Common Ground Relief.

Common Ground, which has been working to assure that African- American and low-income residents have an opportunity to return to New Orleans, organized the “Second Freedom Rides Alternative Spring Break.” The students came from 275 colleges and contributed $2 million worth of volunteer labor, according to Common Ground estimates.

In response to residents’ requests, the students gutted 200 houses and began cleaning out Martin Luther King Elementary School. Although the government does not plan to reopen the school until fall 2008, Common Ground hopes to open it for community use by May.


Common Ground's mission is to provide short term relief for victims of hurricane disasters in the gulf coast region, and long term support in rebuilding the communities affected in the New Orleans area. Common Ground is a community-initiated volunteer organization offering assistance, mutual aid and support. The work gives hope to communities by working with them, providing for their immediate needs and emphasizes people working together to rebuild their lives in sustainable ways.


2,700 is a lot of people to begin. That many giving up vacation time is pretty impressive. When I was that age, there were people who would mock volunteers as goody two shoes and chumps. I assume that still happens, which makes this all the more delightful.

All is not lost...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 3:06:58 AM | 2

Ahhh, the omnipetence and power of government for and by lawyers
Associated Press: Gov't Break a Law? Change It
The White House is nearing an agreement with Congress on legislation that would write President Bush's warrantless surveillance program into law, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday.

[Article continues, Constitution ends.]

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 6:47:49 AM | 3

SCOTUS strikes down campaign finance restrictions [pdf]. The Supreme Court issued an opinion today in Randall v. Sorrell, striking down limits on campaign contributions and campaign spending imposed by the state of Vermont. The Court, in a fractured opinion (six separate opinions, including two dissents), concluded that restrictions on both contributions and expenditures ran afoul of the First Amendment. More from from Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog. Expect more from Rick Hasen later in the day.

Also see on a somewhat different note:
Money-tracking leak angers Cheney

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 12:41:55 PM | 4

Posada's CIA ties uncovered in papers

Details have emerged about Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles' CIA links 40 years ago in South Florida. One revelation: his tie to the agency's Miami bureau.

Luis Posada Carriles, a convicted terrorist, has been given refuge in the USA.

"Immigration Judge William Abbott found that Posada, a former CIA operative wanted by Venezuela for trial in a 1976 Cuban airliner bombing that killed 73 people, faced the threat of torture in those countries and therefore could not be returned under the United Nations Convention Against Torture."

See more here.and here .

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 5:12:35 PM | 5

b, i think i might be the only one who got it. ;-)

Posted by: conchita | Jun 26, 2006 6:57:56 PM | 6

comrade brothers & sister

not so well in this moment - will most probably be hospitalised to try & regularise diabetes to a normal level - so if i am 'absent' - want you to know i read & eat from the fruits every day, here

am not less involved - on the contrary - feel every day more involved with our community of resistance

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2006 9:06:01 PM | 7

r'giap- do you have someone to talk with from around here to let us know how you're doing?

anything you need that we can send you way? wishing you the best. be well.

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 26, 2006 9:26:26 PM | 8

i shall try, fauxreal - it will pass - it's been a hell of a year for me but also for the world

& i have the good fortune to work for communities where my own pain or suffering is placed in context

tho some days the equivocating nature of my malady give me the shits & i go into high dudgeon - some days i feel like a tough little tiger & others well....i feel am fallujah falling i am falling for fallujah

will stay in touch, always

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2006 9:31:22 PM | 9

Will be thinking of you r'giap (tovarich)

Posted by: beq | Jun 26, 2006 9:37:16 PM | 10

& i you or as the rastafarians say i & i

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 26, 2006 9:43:57 PM | 11

Concentrate on yourself, tiger.

Posted by: beq | Jun 26, 2006 9:47:40 PM | 12

Even if the majority of lurkers don't reply, I feel quite confident that I express their hearts as I say "keep it up still steel. We will always appreciate you no matter what."

Posted by: Juannie | Jun 26, 2006 10:02:47 PM | 13

get that under control, r'giap. stay strong & still steele. let us know what we can do to help amigo.

Posted by: b real | Jun 26, 2006 10:08:16 PM | 14

Nantes Air Lift Coming RG,

Fresh Fruits and Healthy Vegetable Rations, will see you thru.

Donations can be sent to S4 at Encrypted EMail address above.

Just remember it as Operation WEST WORLD

1BN, Hill's Own Night Nurses, will be inserting a special operative to help you make it thru the night.

Just so you will recognize our clandestine agent:


Things get complicated when you get past sixteen.

But then, it really becomes the Simple Life.

Posted by: Paris Hilton Donovan OSS | Jun 26, 2006 10:53:15 PM | 15

Namaste' r'giap. Your in my thoughts. Steel.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 26, 2006 11:02:13 PM | 16


Always enjoy reading your posts, my thoughts are with you too.


Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 26, 2006 11:18:57 PM | 17

ditto above comments r-giap

Posted by: onzaga | Jun 27, 2006 12:19:00 AM | 18

we love you r'giap, just holloer if you need anything, i mean it , i would jump on a plane

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 12:48:03 AM | 19

Laura Rozen: Three Days in Rome
 In which a neoconservative jack-of-all-trades, a pair of Pentagon hawks, and an Iranian exile with a knack for tall tales try to outflank the CIA and conjure a coup in Tehran

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2006 1:42:54 AM | 20

I do think the recent brahooah about North Korea launching a Taepodong 2 missile (hint: there are serious doubts they do have such a thing) was a hoax.

But I didn´t know why this hoax was put out at that time. Here might be the reason:

U.S. to Deploy Patriot Missiles In Japan to Counter North Korea

The Pentagon is reportedly speeding up plans to deploy advanced Patriot interceptor missiles on U.S. bases in Japan for the first time, a countermeasure seen as a response to the increasing threat of North Korean missiles.

The Japanes didn´t really want those missiles to be stationed in Japan. The public opinion is against further US forces. So a bit of show was needed...

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2006 1:47:00 AM | 21

remembering giap, take care mate. It is heartening to know that you are maintaining contact, as your presence is sorely needed.

It is always good celebrate the positive aspects of our personal and political struggles. The fact that your hospital sojourn will assist you to stabilise is a much better facet to consider than fretting on the outside your control circumstance of having diabetes would be.

Similarly the resignation of Mari Alkatiri the East Timorese prime minister after he was shown to have armed and encouraged a militia which attempted an 'ethnic cleansing' in Dili must be regarded by those who shed blood to facilitate his rise to power as a victory.

We didn't fight for Alkatiri, or the now demonstrably corrupt tool of former colonists, the pretend socialist organisation known as Fretilin, we fought for the people of Timor. Eastern and Western Timorese who I am sure will achieve an understanding as long as their mutual distrust is no longer allowed to be exploited by mainchancers like the Fretilin apparatchiks or the Australian Govt.

I hope it can be proven that the massacre of eleven unarmed Timor Leste policemen by elements of the Timor Leste Army still loyal to Alkatiri can be evidentiary linked to Alkatiri and the Fretilin central committee.

Similarly it would be justice indeed if the role that the Australian Government played in persuading the UN staff who were meant to be ensuring the safety of those police, to keep the UN involvement massacre quiet, became public knowledge.

The only possible reason for the Australian govt. to wish to keep a lid on Alkatiri's complicity in the massacre must have been so he would be vulnerable to their extortion.

It was the deliberately provocative act of machine gunning unarmed men who had surrendered against their better judgement, following considerable persuasion from United Nations staff, which pushed this dispute past the point of no return and into the realms of an insane orgy of bloodletting.

Alkatiri isn't an easterner himself. Not that would have excused his actions, but when his encouragement of ethnic cleansing is considered beside his ancestry, which is that of a Middle Eastern colonial migrant, his support of the Easterners is a demonstrably cynical and murderous attempt to 'divide and rule'.

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2006 2:03:11 AM | 22

p.s. -so conchita and b - what am I missing?

something to do with a lack of offspring due to a cheese grater accident?

Posted by: fauxreal | Jun 27, 2006 2:06:53 AM | 23

kingpin = kos.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 27, 2006 4:25:14 AM | 24


Guess Again.

Posted by: Dr. Evil | Jun 27, 2006 4:31:59 AM | 25

new al Q kingpin....

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 4:38:33 AM | 26

the "joke" is that kos has been called the kingpin of left blogostan and all other lefty bloggers are taking their marching orders from him. b was falling into place.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 27, 2006 5:01:40 AM | 27

While I tried to present a picture of my new AIPAC, or director of operations in Iraq, the Spam-bot Zionist gatekeepers at Typepad would not allow me to present his picture.

So his identity will have to remain mysterious, for the time being.

Posted by: Dr. Evil | Jun 27, 2006 5:16:58 AM | 28

i don't know conchita, i really think b was referencing the new AQ kingpin in iraq, who is actually a superduper secret spy connected to the neocons thru either leeden, big G, or possibly the chen man himself. his identity has been shrouded by the Z propaganda but now there's mounting evidence of threatened exposure resulting in warnings secretly transmitted thru zionist gatekeepers at typepad.
kos? kos who? b would never fall into place for some insignificant domestic blogger. he is in a class of international blogger extraordinaires.

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 5:40:16 AM | 29

I also ass-umed b's, remark was about the new AQ kingpin in Messopotamia, but what the heck do I know ;-p

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2006 7:06:29 AM | 30

conchita is right on the kingpin meme.

The new AQ whatever in Iraq is as much "real" as the old one was. "The most successful psyops campaign" as Gen. Kimmit said.

Posted by: b | Jun 27, 2006 7:25:53 AM | 31

David Horowitz got his wish; Ward Churchill fired Provocative? sure, dangerous? hardly...academic freedom? Not in the New America.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2006 7:33:45 AM | 32

Dearest remembering giap, I wish you a speedy recovery!

Posted by: Amurra | Jun 27, 2006 10:22:59 AM | 33

conchita is right on the kingpin meme. (da)

you should have gone along w/a wilder theory, it's more fun. no more speculation now, the truthiness is revealed.

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 11:31:55 AM | 34

Palestinian factions agree to recognize Israel

(AP) -- The rival Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, a top Palestinian official said Tuesday after weeks of acrimonious negotiations aiming to lift crippling international aid sanctions

big news

Posted by: annie | Jun 27, 2006 11:52:04 AM | 35

Court signals loosening of the last reins on police

Gives new meaning to the word "freeze". Any false moves on your part and you could have your trial verdict and execution right in the sanctity of your own home, in front of G_d, your children and everyone. America the beautiful.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2006 12:51:43 PM | 36

hang in there rgiap.

I suppopse I could spare a pancreas, if you need one.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 4:32:44 PM | 37

thanx for manifestoon. bout sez it all.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 4:44:13 PM | 38


does ward churchill have legal recourse
& does he have support amongst the staff & students at boulder

have his colleagues in the same discipline there & at other american universities sought to defend him in this instance

& thanks & thanks

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 27, 2006 5:48:44 PM | 39

Yes, r'giap, Churchill has a much support from the students in boulder; as for the staff, prolly not, it's a backbiting dept as most academic dept's across the country's Ivory towers imho.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2006 5:58:21 PM | 40

I think the perception among most faculty is churchill screwed up. sort of dug his own grave w/ questionably resourced research. but hey, they said the same about MLK.

the students at research 1 schools aren't very politically active, or conscious for that matter. jesus, we need a draft.

for now, the natives outside the gate can pick up their pitchforks and go home.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 6:15:40 PM | 41,1713,BDC_2448_4804338,00.html?a little bit more on the churchill thing.

you can't plagiarize. if you're gonna fete your career as firebrand activist-scholar, you better make damn sure you don't offer other peoples' work as your own. that's just cutting your own throat.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 6:25:58 PM | 42

A very thorny legal and ethical issue Slothrop.

If there were a show-trial forum for plagarism, seems like the docket should run chronologically, with Stephen Ambrose first in the dock, followed by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and then Ward Churchill.

It will be very interesting to watch the denouement of this case.

Posted by: | Jun 27, 2006 6:52:39 PM | 43


Rumors of Robert Anton Wilson's demise?

My friend Bob Wilson--the prolific writer who has been balancing for decades on the cusp of cult following and mainstream awareness--has recently been on his deathbead, surrounded by family and hospice workers in what were his final days, but he suddenly seemed to be changing his mind.

Hope the ol' trout is okay, it'd be a damn smaller world w/out him.
At least he sowed the seeds for a bigger one ... may it be ever thus.
Sad sad sad over here...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 27, 2006 8:10:46 PM | 44


i have read the so called investigative report & while i do not know what you teach - i think no scholar who writes as prolifically as churchill could sustain the level of attack & interrogation of his work

tthe sole point that is weird but which does have precedent in the quotidian lifes of scholars & writers is the writing under other names - the wierdness here - is citing yourself as seperate subject - while a little wierd it does not constitute a scholarly flaw but a human one

it is clear that of the six people only one wanted a dismissal outright - the others wavered from two to five year suspension

no for me my friend this is a witchunt by any name

& he will not be the first

what is ironic here - with the cheney bush junta - they are demanding forgiveness & tolerances for mistakes they made last week while they are going back fourty years to get their revenge on people the cointelpro couldn't kill or send around the twist

i continue to demand that churchill needs to be defended

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 27, 2006 8:58:41 PM | 45

yeah. he should be defended. the university administration has been baleful, cowardly from the very beginning, even denouncing his speech before declaring him worthy of some defense. and even though I feel ethnic studies is more a symptom than solution of intellectual colonialism in the academy, behind the attack on churchill is an attack on ethnic studies' political orientation(s).

it's been interesting to see this unfold. the faculty's response is somewhat predictable given the irascibleness of churchill (no chomskyite amiability) and the cloistered culture of me-first tenure pursuit. it's easy to see why the university campus is the last place to find coordinated resistance to anything.

if I find out more I'll forward here.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 9:46:04 PM | 46

the plagiarism issue is separate though obviously combined by enemies of the evil academy to root out professors of islamofascism and other homosexual flagburners. he should be defended against the little eichmanns. the point is, long before the plagiarism controversy, the faculty asnd adminb were worful in their response(s).

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 27, 2006 9:59:03 PM | 47

Bar Snack: SundayBush

"...When fact is fiction and T.V. reality." Pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 27, 2006 11:13:30 PM | 48

Take care, and give it to yourself as well.

Your comments and suggestions for further thought (and music) always give so much. Wishing you serenity for your stay.

Posted by: citizen | Jun 28, 2006 2:05:38 AM | 49

the plagiarism charge is a red herring. the problem is what churchill gets right, for which he should be protected. (if the danger to academia is plagiarism from a prominent prof, norman finkelstein has laid out a detailed expose of the pathetic alan dershowitz.) if more people actually read churchill's books & essays, this country would only be a better place, even if only for the dialogues it elicited. if more people had actually read his books and then went on to read the committee's report, this country would be a happier place, as laughter is highly contagious (similar to those numerous blankets, only not as lethal.) ward's response to the report offered up a good defense. he's a smart guy & i look forward to what comes next.

it's chilling how much hatred is aimed at ward, as much from the liberal crowd as from the conservative camp, and how people have opinions about everything re the man, except for acknowledging the point of his provocative article that fueled so much controversy - that when you kill other people's kids, they're going to push back & that's what happened in september of 2001.

one thing that i was thinking of recently is that, given churchill's militancy & radical positions ("usa out of north america"), by focusing their efforts on tying him up, the horowitz's & others wanting to purge all critical thought from academia have undermined one leader who could be influential in spurring more racial student activities on campuses throughout the country. not saying that that's what ward was about, but he certainly could have stepped into the role. who knows... if he's not able to fend off the attackers at boulder, maybe he'll end up somewhere more advantageous toward such endeavors. will there ever be student uprisings again in this country? or will it take the institution of the draft first?

back to ward for a moment & then i'm done. there are errors in his books, no doubt. i've noticed several (minor) ones over the years but they don't take away from the arguments he puts forth or the conclusions he draws. i bring this up so that nobody accuse me of thinking him perfect. he's dead wrong on the effects of second-hand smoke, for instance. and, from what i've read (from a rearview mirror perspective), he was wrong wrt all the propaganda surrounding the treatment of the miskitos in nicaragua during the sandinista years. but that's not why he's on trial & we know that. he's on trial b/c he dared point out what should be obvious & in a sane society would be a welcomed critique.

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2006 2:08:25 AM | 50

radical student activities, not racial

(must be these new freudian slippers)

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2006 2:11:57 AM | 51

I agree b real, they throw the baby out w/the bath water here; this whole thing will only serve to embolden Horowitz and his ilk, now, be warned...

They are like a infection (read virus), with no known antidote. The more the upper crust squeezes the more the middle class will shit down the neck of their lower caste. Turning the human against his brother, it all sumed up in the 1970 poem, by R.D. Laing :

They are playing a game.

They are playing at not playing a game.

If I show them I see they are, I shall break the rules and they will punish me.

I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.


It has been stated else where, "The right-wing bloggers didn't fire him, his colleagues in academia did." Where that is true, it is only because of the scarcity model we all are locked into.

As civilization has advanced, the pack-bond (the tribe, the extended family) has been broken. This is the root of the widely diagnosed "anomie" or "alienation" or "existential anguish" about which so many social critics have written so eloquently. What has happened is that the conditioning of the bio-survival bond to the gene-pool has been replaced by a conditioning of bio-survival drives to hook onto the peculiar tickets which we
call "money".

Concretely, a modern man or woman doesn't look for bio-
rvival security in the gene-pool, the pack, the extended family.
bio-survival depends on getting the tickets. "You can't live
witthout money," as the Living Theatre troop used to cry out in
anguish. If the tickets are withdrawn, acute bio-survival anxiety
appears at once.

Imagine, as vividly as possible, what you would feel, and
what you would do, if all your sources to bio-survival tickets
(money) were cut off tomorrow. This is precisely what tribal
men and women feel if cut off from the tribe; it is why exile, or
even ostracism, were sufficient punishments to enforce tribal
conformity throughout most of human history. As recently as
Shakespeare's day the threat of exile was an acute terror signal
("Banished!" cries Romeo, "the damned use that word in Hell!")
In traditional society, belonging to the tribe was bio-security;
exile was terror, and real threat of death. In modern society,
having the tickets (money) is bio-security; having the tickets withdrawn is terror.

It's the system we are all locked into. It's the matrix.
and until we break this binary strangle hold it will only get worse.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2006 3:04:19 AM | 52


that is precisely the reason I aways stress, --when ever anyone says "Follow the money"--, because It's not [just]"follow the money" [anymore] but rather "follow the status of the job or social position" Especially, the way the Cheney admin operates. It's methodical. They use fear and intimidation and blackmail to a science.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2006 3:17:39 AM | 53

By controlling government funding they control the composition of job pool. By controlling the make-up of the job pool they control the distribution of tickets. By controlling the distribution of tickets they control society, its thoughts and actions, through fear and the exigencies of survival.

Reagan was peanuts -- he cut off fnding for alternative energy.

These guys are pros. And moving rapidly towards a modern Sparta: close the auto plants and open non-unionized toxic weapon plants. Fire the scientists and hire the creationists. Fire all truth-tellers and hire some strident puppets. But, unlike Sparta, we don't have to worry that they will leave the unwanted babies to die cruel deaths on the barren hillside -- they are much more profitable in the prison-industrial complex, or as cannon fodder.

Create your own reality. It's simple. And violent. Like Nature. Which just might bite back in the near future.

Posted by: double bind | Jun 28, 2006 4:21:43 AM | 54

Churchill's arguments about smoking are focussed on the diversionary aspects of anti-smoking campaigns in distracting the public from the huge increases in radiation-induced cancer. See "A Breech of Trust," and particularly Jay M. Gould's chilling map of nuclear fallout across North America.

He is not arguing that smoking does not produce cancer. He is arguing that research such as Glantz' "The Cigarette Papers" (intro by Surgeon Genr'l Koop) refuse to even consider the "background noise" of radiation induced cancers, thus rendering their conclusions inaccurate, at best, and covering up for government crimes against its own citizens, at least.

You can't study the effects upon Coronary disease of stress, if you didn't first account for the fact that your study group is living on hamburgers and french fries, because that is all they can get where they are being studied.

Posted by: Szasz who? | Jun 28, 2006 4:42:12 AM | 55

r giap - bon courage, hospital not a fun place - get well swiftly


Posted by: Dismal Science | Jun 28, 2006 10:32:19 AM | 56

Not sure where to post this, related to many of the past threads regarding media. From Wired:

His Space

To take advantage of that power, though, Murdoch’s crew faces two challenges. The most immediate is to avoid doing anything that might interfere with the runaway growth that has already made MySpace the biggest aggregation of people on the Web. But that’s just step one. Step two is to turn MySpace’s teeming masses into a wholly new kind of media entity, an advertising, marketing, and distribution vehicle that gives News Corp. a hand on the steering wheel of popular culture worldwide.

I look at this with Net Neutrality issues also, when News Corp., et al, could have further influence by bandwidth control.
In this light, I remember reading that Google has been buying up dark fiber lately.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 28, 2006 10:39:49 AM | 57

Re: last post
Forgot to put quotes around the snipped part. Just the first and last paragraphs are mine, the center is an excerpt.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 28, 2006 10:43:50 AM | 58

i'll have to find the relevant quotes from churchill. i recall he repeatedly made a particular claim in his lectures & also in his writing that there is no proof that second hand smoke actually harms anyone, but i can't point to which ones off the top of my head & a quick google search doesn't turn up any specific references in online essays. i know he has citee the arguments that jacob sullum made in the book For Your Own Good : The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health, and excoriated yuppies & such for being more worried about telling people where they can & can't smoke than other more serious issues, but what i'm thinking of is more pointed than that. i could be remembering it wrong, but it seemed over-the-top to me, which is why his position stuck in my craw. i'll investigate when i can.

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2006 11:22:58 AM | 59

How Doctors Got Into the Torture Business

An Interview with Steven Miles: The torture-endangered Society

From the second link:

There seem to be things Americans need to believe about themselves that require that we filter certain facts out of our awareness. In my work with the Hoover archives at Stanford, I came across documentation from an authoritative source who named 10 specific countries with which we partner in torture. We may not be the ones turning on the electricity, but our people are present when it happens. He claims this did not begin with 9/11.

Another source discussed the use of children in those experiments done decades ago.

Its interesting that there was a certain coyness about the data that came out of Iraq. The photographs that have been released so far are all photographs of men. Photographs of women have been retained and have not been released by the media sources that have them.

Sy Hersh said the other photos are much worse. He mentioned audio recordings of children screaming while being sodomized.

All of the prisoner deaths that have been included in official tabulations, which are admittedly incomplete -- curiously, you find references to the death of children by the Department of Defense only in footnotes. There is no reporting of kids’ deaths in official lists or in death certificates or anything else. So there are sets of this data that remain hidden. The data has obviously been scrubbed.

What have you seen ?

I have seen the footnotes referring to the kids' deaths and have seen credible evidence of sexual abuse described in Army investigations. I have not seen photos. I do not need to see them, but I have seen investigators’ reports.

Steve, aren’t we describing war crimes ?

Yes. We are describing war crimes and I think its important to name them for what they are for a couple of reasons. First, when you name it as a war crime, you hint at the reality of the things we have described, the gravity of the harms that have occurred. Second, in describing it as a war crime you also describe accurately the transgressions against a framework of justice and the damage to the civil order that would be avoided by pretending these are not war crimes. I think thats important to do.

Via mifi

More here: Book Review: A Question of Torture

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2006 12:58:10 PM | 60

@Uncle $cam:

So wait, are you saying that money-based societies are evil and we should all go back to bartering? Because if instituted right now that wouldn't solve the problem -- people with little money do not necessarily have a bunch of skills they can use to make a living. It's not like every poor person is being held back just because they're poor, and you'd be harming the the ones who aren't by taking away the system they know. Or are you advocating that everyone become organic farmers and live in agrarian bliss? That won't work either -- we don't have enough land, the learning curve -- combined with the sudden change in lifestyle -- is too steep, and in any case many inhabited areas are in climates where "self-sufficient" would translate into "vitamin deficient".

In addition, you've got to start considering the problem of stability in your utopias. Unless you're going to institute a program under which everyone who disturbs your style of economics gets killed, then your plan had better be self-evidently easier for people to live in than the current one. What would you do if, after a year of sticking to plan, a majority of the people decide that life without money is a serious nuisance and they're going to use it after all? That's pretty much what is likely to happen -- some trade has to occur over long distances, and money (paper or, ideally, a number in a bank account) is much easier to carry than goods. Especially now that "everyone" knows how paper money works -- there would be practically no opposition to using it again, and there would be no way of stopping it from popping up. A system without paper money is unstable, and will devolve into a system with paper money.

I've seen leftists deride stability as a bad goal, but I've never understood why. If your ideal government/economic system/whatever is unstable, then by definition it will not last, and will probably turn into something much worse.

Posted by: The Truth Gets Vicious When You Corner It | Jun 28, 2006 1:59:11 PM | 61

By 08:30 the Americans were done and started driving back to base. As the main element departed, the psychological operations vehicle blasted AC/DC rock music through neighborhood streets. “It’s good for morale after such a long mission,” a captain said.>nir rosen at truthdig via cursor.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 28, 2006 3:06:06 PM | 62

net neutrality did not pass in commerce committee. the vote was 11-11. couldn't help but note that jj and joe cotchett's friend john mccain voted against net neutrality and accepted $44,250 from the telecos. there will be a contentious fight when the vote hits the floor and ron wyden has vowed to put a hold on any anti-neutrality legislation.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 28, 2006 6:20:15 PM | 63

Jews Attack Christians in Jerusalem

A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.


Strangely, the story was only covered in the Israeli Press.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 28, 2006 7:47:21 PM | 64

Why imagine that Uncle.

Posted by: the generic pimpernell | Jun 28, 2006 8:06:06 PM | 65

@B Real:

In Re:Dersh

The gentleman's hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds.

Ought definitely to be up before Churchill.


Posted by: The generic Pimpernell | Jun 28, 2006 8:36:46 PM | 66

Uncle, I hope you notice I'm restraining my tendency toward "assholishness" even though I can think of entirely too many jokes to fit this little bitty box:) Yallah, this is a bit ironic....

Posted by: Amurra | Jun 28, 2006 8:37:42 PM | 67

Yallah, this is a bit ironic....

Indeed, Amurra.

Posted by: TGP | Jun 28, 2006 8:44:43 PM | 68

Headlines this evening on regarding Israel's offensive in the Gaza strip:
Israeli Army Invades Northern Gaza
Israel Launches Gaza Assault
Palestinian Group Says Settler 'Executed'
Israeli Warplanes Buzz Assad's Palace

No surprise, wasn't much on this on U.S. television today. I understand all power and water has been shut off in Gaza.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 28, 2006 10:52:35 PM | 69

I know nothing of Churchill's claim that second hand smoking hasn't been proven to be harmful, however there is one study on lung cancer I saw reported once and haven't been able to find it since. Naturally I have no memory of the study's authors but I do remember that the study researched a substance released from meat when meat, particularly red meat was cooked.

The study showed a statistical link between this substance and lung cancer as well as demonstrating a biochemical theory for this problem.

It argued that the rise in lung cancer matched the rise in the amounts of meat prepared and consumed by frying and grilling (apparently poaching is the safest way to avoid the creation of this carcinogen). It also explained the continued rise in lung cancer among non smokers particularly given the western decline in the percentage of smokers, should trigger a similar decline in the incidence of lung cancer amongst 'passive smokers' which hasn't occured.

A few years ago I did come across a study suggesting that the rise in lung cancer among women non-smokers in India was attributable to their cooking, although going back now the only reports I can find attribute that circumstance to either solid fuel (coal) fumes, LPG vapours or cooking oil.

Although I gave up smoking, I must admit a lingering disregard for intolerant nictotine nazis and ASH spruikers, so if anyone has come across the frying = death study, I would appreciate a link to it.

Posted by: | Jun 28, 2006 11:00:37 PM | 70

This little tid-bit from Aljazeera

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the planes early on Wednesday flew over Bashar al-Assad's palace near the city of Latakia, "because the Syrian leadership supports and harbours terrorist leaders, among them Hamas, the kidnappers of the soldier".

Syria said its air defences opened fire on Israeli warplanes that overflew the country, forcing them to flee.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 28, 2006 11:02:02 PM | 71

here are some relevant quotes from ward churchill re his position on smoking and second hand smoke, to back up what i said earlier.

from the book perversions of justice: indigenous peoples and angloamerican law (2005), p. 357, churchill writes

Approximately one year later, on September 11, 2001 - a date now and forever enshrined in the American memory as corresponding to the emergency telephone sequence "9-1-1" - someone finally grew tired of waiting for U.S. "progressives" to stop pretending that the abolition of ashtrays in airports was a "gain" transcending the importance of doing anything tangible to halt their country's ongoing genocide in Iraq.485

the corresponding footnote reads

485. There is absolutely no scientific basis upon which to conclude that "second-hand tobacco smoke" is a "public health hazard." For data and policy analysis, see Jacob Sullum, For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health (New York: Free Press, 1998). The most current technical summaries concerning the "problem" will be found in Ronald R. Watson and Mark Witten, eds., Environmental Tobacco Smoke (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2001). This is a classic instance of the personal preferences of a self-indulgently privileged-sector segment being imposed under glaringly false premises upon the public as a whole, the poor and otherwise marginalized in particular.

in his book on the justice of roosting chickens: reflections on the consequences of u.s. imperial arrogance and criminality, p. 274, churchill writes

There's no pill that can be taken to make things better, and, certainly pretending that there's some sort of "progressive" virtue in banning smoking - which is to say, the approximately one-third of the adult population of North America who are active smokers - from public spaces, especially the spaces supposedly devoted to "political organizing," is self-defeating to the point of outright idiocy.260

the corresponding footnote reads

Among the leading antismoking groups is "Action on Smoking and Health" (ASH), an outfit that has grossly distorted or fabricated virtually every piece of "data" it's released over the past decade and openly advocated such tactics as injecting cyanide into the cigarettes of unwary smokers. The records of organizations like "Americans for Nonsmokers Rights" (ANR) and "Group Against Smokers' Pollution" (GASP) are no better on the information front. Suffice it to observe that if the antismoking lobby - funded, as it is, in large part by evil pharmaceutical cartels - had anything resembling a valid case to make, it wouldn't have to lie about it so consistently. For a perfect crystallization of the mentality at issue here, see Patrick Griffin, Let's Ban Smoking Outright! IT's a stupid, Fascist, Unnecessary, Unworkable, Historically Discredited Idea, but, Besides That, What's Wrong WIth It? (Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1995)

in other writings he's a bit less absolute in his dismissal of the effects of smoking. in the 1992 essay i am indigenst, which i'm taking from the collection from a native son: selected essays on indigenism, 1985-1995, he writes

The average resident of the United States, for example, consumes about 30 times the resources of the average Ugandan or Laotian. Since a lot of poor folks reside in the United States, this translates into the average yuppie consuming about 70 times the resources of an average Third Worlder.69 Every yuppie born counts as much as another Chinese. Lay that one on the next Izod-clad geek who approaches you with a baby stroller and an outraged look, telling you to put your cigarette out, eh? Tell 'em you'll put it out when they snuff the kid, and not a moment before. Better yet, tell 'em they should snuff themselves, as well as the kid, and do the planet a real favor. Just "kidding" (heh-heh).70

footnote 70 reads

Lest my remarks be taken out of context, the point isn't to get people to commit suicide or take the lives of others. Rather, I'm tired of sanctimonious environmental ravagers seizing on smoking as an issue despite its harm being virtually zero when stacked up against the impact the complainers make simply by living their daily lives in the manner that they do.

ward likes to smoke. alot. and he doesn't pass up too many opportunities to provoke those who call themselves progressives etc, especially if he can blame them for interfering w/ his freedom to light up.

it's in his books a little matter of genocide: holocaust and denial in the americas 1942 to the present and struggle for the land: native north american resistance to genocide. ecocide, and colonization where he discusses "cigarettes as a diversion from nuclear-industrial health issues." one aspect of this diversion is blaming lung diseases in uranium miners on cigarettes, including second hand for those miners who didn't actually smoke, rather than being related to their occupations. he also makes the argument that govt agencies have shifted blame on the cancer epidemic from the nuclear industry to the tobacco industry, which can still make a killing off its export business (p. 344). still, he finds a way to rationalize/justify his opinion on smoking,

[genocide p.361n176] It is very interesting that with all the hullabaloo during the past five years over "Joe Camel" and other tobacco advertising campaigns - all of which should probably be banned - there was almost no response from progressives with regard to the far more ominous pronuke ads. Whatever else may be said, simple arithmetic demonstrates that the combined carcinogenic content of all the cigarettes in the world, even if inhaled directly rather than second hand, is relatively benign when compared to a single pound of plutonium.

and in struggle,

[p.285n109] Elouise Schumacher, "440 Billion Gallons: Hanford Wastes Would Fill 900 King Domes," Seattle Times, Apr. 13, 1991. No one need worry about this, however, given that the EPA has recently discovered that tobacco smoking (rather than such radioactive pollution by the government and major corporations) is the "primary environmental hazard" in the United States. Correspondingly, as the author discovered during a 1989 visit to Hanford, the many near-abandoned buildings at the plant - situated directly atop the greatest know release of carcinogenic waste in human history - have been designated by law as no smoking zones. One will incur a $2,500 fine - imposed by the very entity which is solely reponsible for what has happened at Hanford - for lighting up one cigarette on a U.S. airliner while those who dump a near half-billion gallons of radioactive toxins into the public water supply waltz off merrily, without so much as a slap on the wrist. Such are the present priorities of environmental consciousness in the U.S., implicitly endorsed even by a wide spectrum of those describing themselves as "progressive" or "politically conscious."

hopefully that clears up why i said what i did.

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2006 11:09:01 PM | 72

correction: "Every yuppie born counts as much as another 70 Chinese."

Posted by: b real | Jun 28, 2006 11:29:28 PM | 73

@B Real:

Highest incidences of reported LC in the world, recently have ocurred in China, where many people in a confined area , use charcoal or maybe even coal fired grills to cook their meals.

I'm quite sure Ward will have adequate representation, in his defense.

I'm really starting to like this guy.

Posted by: TGP | Jun 28, 2006 11:42:58 PM | 74

b real,
Interesting Churchill is so self-rightous regarding second hand smoke. Well he agrees with Rush Limbaugh on one thing. Limbaugh use to brag on the radio about blowing cigar smoke all over a hi-class restaurant just to annoy the guests.
Secondhand Smoke: It's All Bad
Surgeon General anouncement today maybe a little extreme but more right than wrong. BTW, I wonder how Churchill justifies all those second hand forest fires!

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 29, 2006 12:04:30 AM | 75

but "hazard" does not have to manifest into LC to show that second hand smoke is a danger. ones heart need not be on fire to get smoke in their eyes.

there was a u.n. study that came out a couple years back which concluded that indoor cooking on wood/dung fires, as is common throughout what is referred to as the 3rd world, is the greatest contributor to environmental air pollution & health problems. one of the primary sponsors of the study was shell (surprise, surprise) & the proposed solution to help the suffering primitives was to develop infrastructure in many of these areas w/ which to introduce gas cooking. maybe shell can help the chinese too.

Posted by: b real | Jun 29, 2006 12:04:56 AM | 76

Tired of hearing the capture of an Israeli soldier in a firefight with Palestinian soldiers described as a kidnapping ?

How about the insinuation that Palestinian requests for a prisoner exchange are ransom demands? Or that the children that Israel had imprisoned are described in the mainstream media as 'minors' like they are 18 yo or somesuch. Well this article may provide a pinch of 'reality dust'.

Palestinians back prisoner release call

For Walid al-Houdaly, 46, the capture of an Israeli soldier by Palestinian militants offers the opportunity that his wife and their 18-month-old child will be freed from prison.

By Martin Patience
BBC News website, Ramallah

The Palestinian militant factions who captured Cpl Gilad Shalit on Sunday - including the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the ruling Hamas party - have called for the release of all Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons in return for news on the missing soldier.

Israel is believed to have about 100 women and 300 under-18s among the more than 8,000 Palestinian prisoners in its jails.

Like many Palestinians, Mr Houdaly believes that the world is focussing on the fate of one Israeli soldier when thousands of Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained in what they regard as their fight for independence.

"There is one soldier, but there have been hundreds of Palestinians kidnapped from their houses," says the writer, referring in part to his wife who he says was dragged from their Ramallah home by Israeli soldiers early one morning.

"If the world protests about the kidnapping of one soldier, why don't they protest about the Palestinians that have been kidnapped in the last 10 years," Mr Houdaly adds, sitting in his Ramallah office with books scattered across his desk.

'Without charge'

Mr Houdaly says his wife, Ataf, 44, headed a women's organisation dedicated to providing health services for poor Palestinians.

But for the last seven months, Mr Houdaly says, she has been held in Israeli prison under administration detention - imprisonment without charge.

The mother went on a 16-day hunger strike before the Israeli prison authorities allowed her baby Aesha to be brought to stay with her, in the jail, Mr Houdaly says.

It is women and children such as Ataf and Aesha that the militant factions would like to see released.

But the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has warned that Israel would not allow itself to become the victim of "Hamas' terrorist blackmail".

"The question of freeing [Palestinian] prisoners is in no way on the Israeli government agenda," Mr Olmert said during a speech in Jerusalem.

"There will be no negotiations, no bargaining, no agreements."

3,111 held by Israeli army, 741 in administrative detention (without trial)
5,127 held in Israeli prisons, 53 in administrative detention

Source: B'Tselem, January 2006

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 12:15:32 AM | 77

As far as cancer goes and cooking, perhaps you two are thinking of overcooking meat on a flame grill that causes the meat to burn.
breast cancer
prostate cancer
"Over-cooking meat increases the amount of compounds called heterocyclic amines, which has been associated with cancerous changes in general and prostate cancer in particular, at least in some studies. Cooking meats in liquid does not appear to increase these compounds."

If I look long enough, probably can find lung cancer causes also.

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 29, 2006 12:32:16 AM | 78

re: post 77

What's new? The world and I agree. One-sided reporting for sure.
Glad to see the BBC having a touch of objectivity there.
This "hostage soldier" incident is just an excuse for havoc on Hamas and provoking Syria

BTW, why not post a name to repsond to?

Posted by: Rick Happ | Jun 29, 2006 12:43:36 AM | 79

Up here in the Southern end of the planet Superman Returns is doing the shill. Today it was a television news shill/movie review, or whatever for Superman No 57.

It made the point that Superman is no longer portrayed as an amerikan hero. Now he's big on the saving the whole planet not just amerika.

It was explained that this was because international (sorry 'foreign') audiences make up well over 50% of returns now. Given current 'foreign' perceptions of the US the producers were concerned that getting Clark to fly around clutching the stars and bars may alienate the revenue stream so they played down amerika and played up the 'citizen of the world' meme.

One can't help but wonder if amerikan audiences were made aware of this change.

The international trailer seems about the same as usual. Mind you Lex Luthor does cry out "Bring it on!" to Superman.

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 1:00:25 AM | 80

reuters is reporting the al-aqwsa brigade is claiming that it fired a rocket tipped with wmd into southern israel. so far the official statement from the israeli military is that no rocket has been detected as fired. if this is true, do not want to think about what the israeli response to it will be. we ain't seen nuttin' yet. ugh.

Posted by: conchita | Jun 29, 2006 1:09:57 AM | 81

@ 80 and 81:

Have a Kryptonite high colonic, and call me in the morning.

Posted by: Dr. Luthor | Jun 29, 2006 1:55:19 AM | 82

was stuck in traffic the AM and had to listen to this shit...

NPR's fair and balanced report:

Journalist Ron Suskind is on the right side — the only side — of the issue, but NPR dignifies his opponents by including an interview with him on his new book in a series debating the merits of the use of torture. Debating the merits? I know there are all sorts of situational ethical frameworks, usually discussed in undergraduate philosophy courses, in which hairs can be split about the ends justifying the means, but there are also some moral absolutes. Suskind's argument, that torture backfires in terms of what it achieves for the US, misses the boat. We have become the animals we detest.

No wonder I hardly ever listen to NPR anymore.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2006 10:33:41 AM | 83

Graham Greene’s last interview

As a writer, Greene had done virtually everything that could be done. His novels are universally acclaimed and brought him not only literary distinction but also the status of a sort of sinner’s theologian. Though he resisted religious categorization, he was easily the most important Catholic novelist of the century. That Greene never won the Nobel Prize for literature has always struck me as proof that Alfred Nobel’s original sin - the invention of dynamite - has permanently corrupted his memorial.

But Greene did far more than write good fiction. His travel book, Journey Without Maps, about his voyage on foot through Liberia in 1934, is a classic. As a journalist, he covered wars in south East Asia and Africa and interviewed such revolutionary figures as Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, and Salvador Allende. He wrote plays, short stories, essays, and successful screenplays.

Greene was also famous for his politics and their seemingly contradictory nature. He flirted briefly with communism while a student at Oxford and actually worked as a small-time German agent in the French-occupied area of Germany after WWI. He was in the British Secret Service in WWII, but publicly remained friends with his former boss, Kim Philby, after this most famous of British traitors fled to the Soviet Union. He always professed sympathy for the victim in society - particularly in the Third World - but somehow managed to admire the French in Indochina, Fidel Castro, and General Omar Torrijos, the late dictator of Panama.

I say this because the pretext for our meeting was political, not literary, and although I’ve been an avid reader of his novels over the years, I wanted to know more about Greene the political figure - specifically, his reaction to the U.S. invasion of Panama.

Posted by: b real | Jun 29, 2006 10:48:16 AM | 84

The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled President Bush overstepped his authority n creating military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The 5-3 vote (Roberts recused himself) found the "military commissions" illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. More from SCOTUSblog.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2006 11:03:16 AM | 85

thought i'd post this letter. it is a rare cu-faculty defense of churchill. says it all, i think.

The Report on Ward Churchill

Tom Mayer
Department of Sociology
University of Colorado at Boulder

I have finally finished a careful reading of the 124 page report about the alleged academic misconduct of Ward Churchill. Often, but not always, I have been able to compare the statements in the report with the relevant writings of Professor Churchill. Although the report by the committee on research misconduct clearly entailed prodigious labor, it is a flawed document requiring careful analysis. The central flaw in the report is grotesque exaggeration about the magnitude and gravity of the improprieties committed by Ward Churchill. The sanctions recommended by the investigating committee are entirely out of whack with those imposed upon such luminaries as Stephen Ambrose, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Lawrence Tribe all of whom committed plagiarisms far more egregious than anything attributed to Professor Churchill.

The text of the report suggests that the committee’s judgments about the seriousness of Churchill’s misconduct were contaminated by political considerations. This becomes evident on page 97 where the committee acknowledges that “damage done to the reputation of ... the University of Colorado as an academic institution is a consideration in our assessment of the seriousness of Professor Churchill’s conduct.” Whatever damage the University may have sustained by employing Ward Churchill derives from his controversial political statements and certainly not from the obscure footnoting practices nor disputed authorship issues investigated by the committee. Indeed, the two plagiarism charges refer to publications that are now fourteen years old. Although these charges had been made years earlier, they were not considered worthy of investigation until Ward Churchill became a political cause celebre. Using institutional reputation to measure misconduct severity amounts to importing politics through the back door.

The report claims that Professor Churchill engaged in fabrication and falsification. To make these claims it stretches the meaning of these words almost beyond recognition. Fabrication implies an intent to deceive. There is not a shred of evidence that the writings of Ward Churchill contain any assertion that he himself did not believe. The language used in the report repeatedly drifts in an inflammatory direction: disagreement becomes misinterpretation, misinterpretation becomes misrepresentation, misinterpretation becomes falsification. Ward may be wrong about who was considered an Indian under the General Allotment Act of 1887 or about the origins of the 1837-1840 smallpox epidemic among the Indians of the northern plains, but the report does not establish that only a lunatic or a liar could reach his conclusions on the basis of available evidence.

The charges of fabrication and falsification all derive from short fragments within much longer articles. The report devotes 44 pages to discussing the 1837-1840 smallpox epidemic. One might think that Ward had written an entire book on this subject. In fact this issue occupies no more than three paragraphs in any of his writings. In each of the six essays cited in the report, all reference to this epidemic could have been dropped without substantially weakening the argument. To be sure, the account given by Ward is not identical to that found in any of his sources, but it is a recognizable composite of information contained within them. The committee peremptorily dismisses Churchill’s contention that his interpretation of the epidemic was influenced by the Native American oral tradition. This is treated as no more than an ex post facto defense against the allegation of misconduct. The committee also discounts Native American witnesses who support Churchill’s interpretations as well as his fidelity to oral accounts. The centrality of the oral tradition is evident in many of Churchill’s writings. His acknowledgments frequently include elders, Indian bands, and the American Indian Movement. He often integrates Native American poetry with his historical analysis. Three of his books with which I am familiar – Since Predator Came (1995), A Little Matter of Genocide (1997), and Struggle for the Land (2002) – all begin with poems. As a thirty year veteran of the intense political struggles within the American Indian Movement, Ward Churchill could not avoid a deep familiarity with the oral tradition of Native American history.

By addressing only a tiny fragment of his writings, the report implies that Ward tries to overawe and hoodwink his readers with spurious documentation. Anyone who reads an essay like “Nits Make Lice: The Extermination of North American Indians 1607-1996" with its 612 footnotes will get a very different impression. Churchill, they will see, goes far beyond most writers of broad historical overviews in trying to support his claims. He often cites several references in the same footnote. Ward is deeply engaged with the materials he references and frequently comments extensively upon them. He typically mounts a running critique of authors like James Axtell, Steven Katz, and Deborah Lipstadt. Readers will see that Churchill is familiar with a formidable variety of materials and can engage in a broad range of intellectual discourses.

Ward Churchill is not just another writer about the hardships suffered by American Indians. He offers a very distinctive vision of what David Stannard calls the “American Holocaust”. According to Churchill, the extermination of Native Americans was neither accidental, nor inadvertent, nor unwelcome among the invading Europeans. On the contrary, it was largely deliberate, often planned (sometimes by the highest political authorities), and frequently applauded within the mainstream media. “[A] hemispheric population estimated to have been as great as 125 million was reduced by something over 90 percent....and in an unknown number of instances deliberately infected with epidemic diseases” (A Little Matter of Genocide, p.1). Moreover, Ward maintains that the American Holocaust continues to this day. He thinks it is fully comparable to, and even more extensive than, the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people during World War Two. The endemic chauvinism and Manichaean sensibility this process has induced within our political culture helps explain Hiroshima , Vietnam , Iraq , and other American exercises in technological murder.

“If there is one crucial pattern that most affects our assessment”, writes the committee, “it is a pattern of failure to understand the difference between scholarship and polemic, or at least of behaving as though that difference does not matter” (p. 95). Taking away the negative imputation, I can agree with the latter observation. Ward believes we are all in a race against time. Thus the main point of historical scholarship is not to recount the past, but rather to provide intellectual ammunition for preventing future genocides now in the making.

Like most scholars, Churchill practices an implicitly Bayesian (a statistical term) form of analysis. That is, he evaluates the plausibility of assertions and the credibility of evidence partly on the basis of his prior beliefs. That government officials connived in generating the 1837-40 smallpox epidemic seems far more plausible to Ward than to the investigating committee precisely because he thinks this is what American governments are inclined to do. He discounts many of the so-called primary sources cited in the report because their authors despise Indians or wish to conceal their own culpability in spreading the epidemic. And contrary to what the report says (p. 96), many first rate scholars focus on proving their own hypotheses rather than considering all available evidence even handedly. Einstein, for example, spent the last three decades of his life trying to disprove quantum mechanics while largely disregarding evidence in its favor. This is not research misconduct.

Virtually all the mass exterminations of recent times have evoked amazingly divergent historical assessments and numerical estimates. This is true of the Armenian genocide, Stalin’s collectivization campaign and purges, the Nazi holocaust, Hiroshima and Nagasaki , the Great Leap Forward, Vietnam , Cambodia , and Rwanda . In some cases there is dispute about whether the extermination even happened, and even when mass killing is acknowledged, numerical estimates sometimes differ by a factor of ten or even more. These differing interpretations are almost never politically innocent but, when honestly advanced, they do not constitute research misconduct. Neither do Ward Churchill’s assessments of genocidal activities by John Smith or by the U.S. army at Fort Clark .

The operational definition of academic misconduct used by the investigating committee is so broad that virtually anyone who writes anything might be found guilty. Not footnoting an empirical claim is misconduct. Citing a book without giving a page number is misconduct. Referencing a source that only partially supports an assertion is misconduct. Referencing contradictory sources without detailing their contradictions is misconduct. Citing a work considered by some to be unserious or inadequate is misconduct. Footnoting an erroneous claim without acknowledging the error is misconduct. Interpreting a text differently than does its author is misconduct. Ghost writing an article is misconduct. Referencing a paper one has ghost written without acknowledging authorship is misconduct. No doubt this list of transgressions could be greatly expanded. I strongly suspect that many people who vociferously support the report have read neither it nor any book or essay Ward Churchill has ever written. Perhaps this should be deemed a form of academic misconduct.

If any of the sanctions recommended by the investigating committee are put into effect, it will constitute a stunning blow to academic freedom. Such punishment will show that a prolific, provocative, and highly influential thinker can be singled out for entirely political reasons; subjected to an arduous interrogation virtually guaranteed to find problems; and then severed from academic employment. It will indicate that public controversy is dangerous and that genuine intellectual heresy could easily be lethal to an academic career. It will demonstrate that tenured professors serve at the pleasure of governors, political columnists, media moguls, and talk show hosts. Most faculty members never say anything that requires protection. The true locus of academic freedom has always been defined by the intellectual outliers. The chilling effect of Ward Churchill’s academic crucifixion upon the energy and boldness of these freedom defining heretics will be immediate and profound.

The authors of the report on Ward Churchill present themselves as stalwart defenders of academic integrity. I have a quite different perspective. I see them as collaborators in the erosion of academic freedom, an erosion all too consonant with the wider assault upon civil liberties currently underway. The authors of the report claim to uphold the intellectual credibility of ethnic studies. I wonder how many ethnic studies scholars will see it that way. I certainly do not. Notwithstanding their protestations to the contrary, I see committee members as gendarmes of methodological and interpretive orthodoxy, quite literally “warding” off a vigorous challenge to mainstream understandings of American history. Confronted by the evidence presented in this report, the appropriate response might be to write a paper critiquing the work of Ward Churchill. Excluding him, either permanently or temporarily, from the University of Colorado is singularly inappropriate.

Ward Churchill is one of the most brilliant persons I have encountered during my 37 years at this university. His brilliance is not immediately evident due to his combative manner and propensity for long monologues. Whenever reading one of his essays I feel in the presence of a powerful though hyperbolic intellect. The permanent or temporary expulsion of Ward Churchill would be an immense loss for CU. In one fell swoop we would become a more tepid, more timid, and more servile institution. His expulsion would deprive students of contact with a potent challenger of accepted cognitive frameworks. The social sciences desperately need the kind of challenge presented by Ward Churchill. His most strident claims may be rather dubious, but they stimulate our scholarly juices and make us rethink our evidence and assumptions. One of his main objectives, Ward has often said, is “to bring consideration of American Indians into the main currents of global intellectual discourse.” In this endeavor he has been a splendid success.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 29, 2006 11:08:43 AM | 86

Torture teachers

Human rights advocates have long suspected a link between interrogations in the "war on terror" and a secretive military survival school that trains elite U.S. troops to resist torture. Jane Mayer explored the evidence of a connection between the Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape school at Fort Bragg, N. C., and real-world interrogators in a July 2005 piece for the New Yorker. Now Salon has the first hard proof of that connection, via one document buried among 1,000 pages obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through the Freedom of Information Act. A March 22, 2005, sworn statement by the former chief of the Interrogation Control Element at Guantánamo said instructors from SERE also taught their methods to interrogators of the prisoners in Cuba.

"When I arrived at GTMO," reads the statement, "my predecessor arranged for SERE instructors to teach their techniques to the interrogators at GTMO ... The instructors did give some briefings to the Joint Interrogation Group interrogators."

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2006 11:26:02 AM | 87

while I applaud this defense of churchill, you can see just how difficult it is to do so if the defender wishes to minimize the problem of plagiarism. I just think the issue is twofold. on the one hand is churchill the speaker who I often agree with no matter how he says what he says. on the other hand is churchill the professor who plagiarizes. I can't defend the latter.

as far as the plagiarism goes, churchill was wreckless. prolixity of scholarship is no defense either. obviously, there are many moa regulars who publish. as everyone here knows, not plagiarizing is easy.

I'll read his books and defend his right to speak as a professor. but, I have a hard time defending him as a professor who has a history of even occasional plagiarism. the sad fact is, vigorous challenge to mainstream understandings of American history shouldn't include plagiarism(s).

churchill fucked up.>here's the report rgiap mentioned.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 29, 2006 11:42:07 AM | 88

btw. one of the worst results of academic plagiarism is the common practice of graduate coauthorship w/ tenured faculty. this happens all the time in the sciences. grad student does research, writes it all up and prof, who is lead author, edits. thus does this institutional form of plagiarism prop up the status of the "mentor."

but, i'm also aware how plagiarism itself, linked as it is to authorship and bourgeois intellectual possession, is also ideological. but in the academy, plagiarism is demonstrably harmful.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 29, 2006 11:55:27 AM | 89

Dexter Filkins reports out of Ramadi: Iraq War Ends Silently for One American Soldier

Sergeant Lisk had been standing near an intersection in downtown Ramadi on Monday morning when a 120-millimeter mortar shell, fired by guerrillas, landed about 30 paces away.

120mm mortar?! Whatever the US is fighting in Ramadi, ragtag insurgents don´t use 300 pound weapons where each shot weighs 30 pounds and that need a crew of 4 to 5 to handle. Those must be serious organized forces.

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 2:58:17 PM | 90

here, again, is churchill's initial response to the committee's report. on the specific charges of plagiarism he writes

The fifth charge involves the use of material from a pamphlet circulated by a long-defunct environmental group called Dam the Dams, whose representative stated he was happy to have the article used. In my initial use, I gave Dam the Dams co-authorship credit and the evidence I presented that this credit was removed by the publisher is uncontested. In all subsequent use of the material, I gave credited Dam the Dams in my footnotes. For this I am charged with plagiarism.

The sixth allegation asserted that I plagiarized an article I had ghostwritten for Rebecca Robbins. The committee concluded that I had not plagiarized it, but that having allowed a junior scholar to take credit for the original piece was a failure to comply with established standards of authorship attribution. This despite the fact that ghostwriting is common practice and the committee could point to no rule or standard that I had actually violated.

With respect to the seventh allegation, the committee concluded that I had committed plagiarism by allowing portions of an essay written by Fay Cohen to be published under the name of an Institute of which I was a co-founder, in a volume edited by a third person. The fact that my role consisted only of copy-editing the volume, that Cohen never complained to the publisher, and that she acknowledged having been solicited by the University to make this complaint were deemed irrelevant. Neither Cohen nor the Dalhousie University report on the matter accused me of plagiarism; the committee received no evidence (much less a preponderance) that I plagiarized her material. On the record, my denial that I did so stands uncontested.

Posted by: b real | Jun 29, 2006 3:02:57 PM | 91

and here's the stmt churchill put out tuesday

It was quite predictable that Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano would recommend that I be fired from my tenured professorship at the University of Colorado/Boulder. After all, he was effectively ordered to find some "legally defensible" basis for doing so by Colorado Governor Bill Owens.

In pursuit of this purely political objective, the interim chancellor has at this point expended more than a year and upwards of $250,000 in taxpayer monies.

For all that, he has failed.

Certain facts about my case simply cannot be denied: 1. Interim Chancellor DiStefano joined Governor Owens and several Colorado legislators in publicly and repeatedly denouncing me on explicitly ideological grounds, thereby making his personal biases abundantly clear.

2. In direct violation of the Laws of the Regents of the University of Colorado concerning Academic Freedom, the interim chancellor took the unprecedented step of creating and chairing a special committee devoted to investigating the political content of my scholarship.

3. He and/or his surrogates on this special committee actively solicited allegations of "research misconduct" against me, contriving to cast the impression through the media that these allegations were independently and voluntarily submitted by the scholars involved.

4. Since this produced a "shot-gun load" of allegations but no actual complainants, Interim Chancellor DiStefano named himself complainant without, by his own admission, even bothering to read much of what he was supposedly alleging.

5. Throughout this process the interim chancellor routinely violated the confidentiality rules concerning personnel matters in the CU system, issuing numerous press releases designed to sustain the media "feeding frenzy," subjecting me to "trial by news media," and denying my rights to privacy and due process.

6. Having thus virtually guaranteed that faculty members at the University of Colorado could not be neutral, the interim chancellor/complainant then used his administrative influence to ensure that my request for an investigative panel composed exclusively of persons external to CU was denied. Consequently 3 of 5 panel members, including its chair, were drawn from the Boulder faculty. As predicted, serious questions concerning the impartiality of 2 of these internal panelists have come to light, and more can be expected.

7. Similarly, my repeated requests that the investigative panel include acknowledged experts in the relevant subject areas were ignored. Ultimately, 4 of the 5 panelists professed no specific knowledge whatsoever concerning either the procedures employed within my discipline or the topics under discussion. So much for the pretense that the merits of my work have been assessed by my peers.

The investigative report produced by the panel, while voluminous, misses the mark entirely.

The panelists were required by the rules to restrict their inquiry to whether I actually committed fraud and plagiarism.

Instead, they indulged in a repetition of the "Scopes Monkey Trial," presuming to assert the "truth" of the various historical and legal questions involved, in a manner comfortable to themselves and to those they seemingly perceive as comprising


the "American mainstream." Such enforcement of orthodoxy was plainly not within the panels legitimate mandate.

Indeed, as regards the allegations of fraud raised by Interim Chancellor DiStefano, whether what I wrote is true or false is irrelevant. The ONLY relevant consideration is whether I had reason to believe it was true.

On this score, I did, and still do, and the panel proved nothing to the contrary. This is amply reflected in the evidence the panel left largely unaddressed in its report. Much the same pertains to my having supposedly "invented" historical incidents, and the alleged implications of my ghostwriting.

As to the panels findings that by a "preponderance of the evidence" I twice engaged in plagiarism, a simple question presents itself: What, exactly, is a "preponderance" of no evidence at all? Of course, the report produced by the investigative panel is designed to make the opposite of all this seem true. In fact, it seems reasonable to suggest that the very length of the document was meant to obscure its lack of substance.

Two observations support this conclusion: 1. In order to conclude that I engaged in research misconduct, the panelists, collectively, severely distort certain of their sources, omit mention of material inconvenient to their conclusions, cite themselves as the sole authority confirming many of their points, and occasionally engage in outright fabrication.

In fact, each kind of academic misconduct the interim chancellors carefully-selected panel claims I committed is engaged in by the panel itself in the writing of its report. (One of the panelists even takes credit for authoring a work unquestionably written by another scholar.) In the face of all this, it becomes apparent that the panelists arrived at their conclusions before the fact, the orchestrated their data accordingly. In other words, to borrow the panels own term, their report was clearly "thesis-driven." Paraphrasing them again, it means they "dont understand the difference between scholarship and polemic," and have produced a report consisting of "propaganda rather than scholarship." 2. Even if the allegations at issue were true and they certainly are not they do not constitute offenses for which faculty members can, under any ordinary circumstances, be terminated. The panel, the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct (SCRM) which endorsed its report, and the interim chancellor all thus resorted to the argument that I could/should be fired, not for what I did, but because I have refused to recant. In other words, it is my "attitude" which justifies the severity of the recommended sanctions.

This, then, is the backdrop against which Interim Chancellor DiStefanos "news flash" that I should be fired must be understood.

From start to finish, the interim chancellors blatant conflicts of interest not to mention the political nature of his biases have been obvious to anyone who cared to view the matter honestly. So, too, the ways in which he has manipulated the process at every step in order to guarantee the outcome he announced on Monday, June 26.

The interim vice chancellors strikingly duplicitous comportment over the past 16 months will not go unchallenged. I will file an appeal of the whole charade with the Faculty Senates Committee on Privilege and Tenure (P&T) within the next 10 days.

Far from putting the "final touches to the Churchill story," as fantasized on Denver editorial pages, the interim chancellors elaborate subterfuge has merely set the stage for the taxpayers to waste another quarter-million dollars while I go through the P&T process.

Hopefully, the members of P&T who review my case will display the sort of integrity conspicuously lacking in their predecessors on the investigative panel and the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct.

That would do much to constrain the magnitude of damage sustained by the University - and consequently the taxpayers - when my case goes to court, as it ultimately will.

Posted by: b real | Jun 29, 2006 3:13:06 PM | 92

distefano is a clown.


churchill was too footloose with research? it seems that way. I also have a hard time thinking mimi wessen was part of an inside job.

ugh. this thing's a nightmare. always clobbering my evolving rationalities, b real. in any case, the university's going to fork out a lot more than $250g for lawyers.

I suppose I'll defend his scholarship, if for no other reason than watch these coward bureaucrats squirm.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 29, 2006 3:35:53 PM | 93


Did the Russians make a 120?

Not much up on this stuff?

Posted by: TGP | Jun 29, 2006 3:42:25 PM | 94

You'd have to think the most likely cause of Lisk's death was 'friendly fire'. Interesting the media doesn't use the term 'own goal' when USuk blow each other up.

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 4:40:03 PM | 95>another defense of churchill.

Posted by: slothrop | Jun 29, 2006 4:42:23 PM | 96

"120mm mortars" was me (killed the cookies for unrelated reason)

The russian make some, the chinese, the french and about everybody else. Iraq had lots of them. But these things are so big that they are usually mounted on some wheels. Not really a light weapon.

With 120mm, some 7000m of reach, even those huge permanent bases the US is building can be put under serious fire.

Filkins is btw one of the better reporters. I take him without much salt.

Posted by: b | Jun 29, 2006 4:55:50 PM | 97

thanks for the churchill stuff guy's...

I personally do not give a shit that he might have plagerized, he writes what needs to be seen and heard by all. Cold hard truth, the truth that most Mericans would rather not see or hear. I'm behind anyone who is brutally honest in what we as a nation do.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jun 29, 2006 5:12:42 PM | 98

In appears that despite Secretary Rice's recent blandishments, Pakistan's President Musharraf has preferred his fellow citizens to the company of strangers.

I few days ago a MoA post carried news of a ceasefire offer by the people of North Waziristan through their spokesperson Abdullah Farhad.

Todays news is that the Pakistani government accepted this proposal.

Interesting to note that alleged 'Taleban' Afghani resistance fighters obtain their supplies through Waziristan.

The ceasefire deal includes the restoration of salaries and jobs and other incentives for local tribes and the release of tribesmen arrested during military operations against al-Qaeda and Taleban fighters in the region.

So life is going to get much tougher for all in Afghanistan especially the Nato forces. Time to start that sweep on the timing of the next siege of Kabul. I'm picking 9th July 2007 as the start date.

Posted by: | Jun 29, 2006 5:49:52 PM | 99

like uncle
i thank you everybody for the churchill material especially slothrop & b real

i don't know if it was clear sloth - but on that night we spoke & in my parlous state i read the report & all the pertaining documents offered on pdf by the university of colorado

i still find the charges in & of themselves ludicrous - scholars are not saints not even marxist scholars

while churchill's work might not be unblemished - i imagine that 99% is the result of hard work & rigour - something that is implicitly required when yr thesis is going to be under attack

i remember once as a young fellow i wrote one of the first articles on the early work of bertolucci & pasolini & on their work together - i was working from three languages & i would be surprised if there wasn't a little appropriation that could have been interpreted as plagiarism - it was a work that i was mightily proud of but after decades have passed i think it could easily suffer under the same circumstances as churchill

we try to be exemplars but we live in a slaughterhouse - we are neither wittgenstein or buddha - we are all essentially flawed - we make errors

what i see happening with churchill is just another aspect of the murdering of the conscience of america & would do mcarthy & roy cohn & that evil dwarf hoover, proud

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jun 29, 2006 7:42:25 PM | 100

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