This post marks my second attempt to get the blog going. Being tech-challenged it may be bumpy; or may disappear altogether (?) like its predecessor. But I brought the material with me. The title refers to my weekly public affairs program. More later...Chris
The Smirk was on his game tonight for the 2005 State of the Union Address, the same constitutionally demanded redress of government's past performance and future intent Mr. Bush so grossly violated during the 2003 prelude to war; just another among the many of his impeachable offences. He stayed on message, not moved an iota for all that has befallen. And all done with that too familiar sneer, revealing his contempt for the rest of us.-ape
Feb. 3, 2005
Paraphrasing Groucho's famous quip, George exudes an attitude that seems to say, "Any club that would elect ME president deserves what they get!"
What else can he think, when the worst turnaround in America's financial outlook can be trumpeted as success before clapping-house political receptions and pandered to by a national media adamantly determined to trivialities; what must he think of us, smirking down from his perch atop the television dais and him saying Anything!?
And how can he respect us that we allow anonomous Iraqi ex-patriot mannequins thrown into the theatre to salve the savage realities of the occupation. As if a pancaked doyen of an unlamentedly displaced ruling caste living in America could represent authentic sentiments in Iraq. But they bought it! Clap Clap
Always known as the "third-rail" of American politics, (in reference to the electrified lines of subways known as such), retirement benefits have been sheltered from bipartisan would-be looters of decades past, (the "dogfood Granny" days of the recessionary 1970's helped there), but this current administration, one that knows no earthly bounds is going for broke. They'll snatch grandma's check and the pictures of the grandkids too. Afterall, it's the kid's money their after.
Reminsiscent of the 9 Bil. that walked away from Enron-bilked Californians upon Arnold's remarkable ascension, no-one seemed ruffled. 9 Billion dollars disappears?
Still, not a murmer beyond the financial pages to be heard. And even there, it's hardly audible. But the reek of American apprehension, becoming especially ironic for the same well-heeled beneficiaries of repeated tax-relief at the hands of Saint George, is growing palpable.
Dragons don't slay so easy, or so cheap. With the economic reality of America today, and the dimmer-seeming future, Bush would now have you betting your pension on the stock market. But not to worry, it's all on the up-and-up. Some of the president's closest friends and colleagues run the outfit.
But you'd never know it to see them standing as one in the hall of power, applauding the Beast of Baghdad. And, for the rest of us: Maybe I'll see you in the pet food aisle sometime?
for more on the SS issue, please see: http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/index.php?id=1275
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Pre-Magna Carta, Man! American Police State
Are Americans in such danger of terrorist attacks that they needed to give up legal protections won over eight centuries of struggle against the arbitrary power of governments? -Paul Craig Roberts
Abandoning Liberty; Gaining Insecurity
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Feb. 1st, 2005
Should Americans have to give up the Bill of Rights in order to be "safe" from terrorists? Actually, it doesn't matter what Americans think. The trade has already been made--and without any input from the people. The "democracy" that America is exporting is in fact a Homeland Security State with more surveillance powers than Saddam Hussein.
Americans no longer have any privacy from government. You may not be able to find out about your daughter's abortion or your son's college grades, but neither you nor your children have any secret whatsoever from your government. Banks, airlines, libraries, credit card companies, medical doctors and health care organizations, employers, Internet providers, any and everyone must turn over your private information at government demand.
Government demand no longer means a court approved warrant. A myriad of intelligence, security, military, and police agencies can on their own volition mine your personal data and feed it into data banks. Your democratic government does not have to tell you. Your bank, library, etc., are forbidden to tell you.
The government can monitor you as you use your computer, noting the web sites that you visit and reading the emails that you send and receive. Americans have privacy rights only against intrusions by private individuals and private organizations.
In 2000 Larry Stratton and I published a book documenting the erosion of all of the legal principles that protect the innocent: no crime without intent, the attorney-client privilege, due process, and the prohibitions against retroactive law and self-incrimination. The law was lost before the September 11 terrorist attack on the US.
The Patriot Act and executive branch decrees have put paid to habeas corpus. The government can pick up anyone it wishes and hold them as long as it wishes without evidence or trial. The government can torture those so detained if it wishes or murder them and say it was a suicide. Saddam Hussein may have indulged in these practices in a more thorough-going way than the US Homeland Security State has to date, but there are no essential differences in the police state powers.
While granting an element of truth, readers may see rhetorical overstatement in these words. This is because they believe, mistakenly, that the Supreme Court reined in the government in its rulings last June 28 on permitted treatment of "enemy combatants." However, as Harvey Silverglate has pointed out, this is not the case.
Silverglate's analysis shows that the Supreme Court's rulings "preserve the look and feel of liberty while sacrificing its substance." The rulings left the government with enough flexibility to prevail. One ruling created for the government a flexible due process standard invoking, in the Court's words, "the exigencies of the circumstances" and creating "a presumption in favor of the Government's evidence." Silverglate notes that this ruling overthrows a defendant's presumption of innocence that formerly could be overcome only by evidence proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Another of the Supreme Court's rulings supported the government's position that a US citizen can be declared an enemy combatant and held without charge. Justice O'Connor found support for the demise of habeas corpus in the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks.
Defenders of the new American police state emphasize that the government's new powers only apply to terrorists. This is disingenuous. The government decides who is a terrorist and does not need to present evidence to back its decision. The person on whom the arbitrary decision falls can be held indefinitely. This is a return to the pre-Magna Carta practice of executive arrest.
Are Americans in such danger of terrorist attacks that they needed to give up legal protections won over eight centuries of struggle against the arbitrary power of governments? Surely not.
Terrorists have achieved their aims. Bringing down the World Trade Center towers gave them a great propaganda victory. Any other American target would be anti-climatic. The US invasion of Iraq gave them an opportunity for revolution in the Middle East--the real focus of their energy.
What Osama bin Laden and others of his persuasion desire is a unified Islamic Middle East shorn of US bases and puppet rulers. The US invasion of Iraq has brought Shias to power and created a Shia crescent from Iran to Lebanon. The ground is shaking under the perches of US puppets in Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan. The US demonstration of "shock and awe" in Iraq sealed Muslim hearts and minds against America and opened them to bin Laden.
The Bush administration handed these enormous opportunities to bin Laden on a silver platter. These opportunities, not terrorism in America, will absorb the energies of those seeking to build a new Islamic world in the Middle East.
Americans fearful of terrorism should keep in mind that their country is a very large place. If further terrorist attacks occur, very few Americans are likely to witness them except on TV. The police, however, are everywhere, and like all bureaucracies will have to show results for their new powers. If no real terrorists show up, our protectors will invent them, or they will interpret their powers expansively and apply them to ordinary felonies.
For example, Child Protective Services was set up on the pretense that child abuse was rampant. It was not, so the vast bureaucracy has had to invent its clients. Playground and sports bruises, injuries from falls and accidents all become evidence of child abuse, justifying CPS seizure of children from parents.
RICO, the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, was only supposed to apply to the Mafia, but quickly jumped outside these bounds. Asset forfeiture was only supposed to be used against drug barons, but has mainly been used to seize the property of Americans unconnected to the drug trade.
Americans might never again experience a domestic act of terrorism except from their own police state.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leslie Gelb Asks Iraq: Who's Your Daddy?
More Lessons from our Founding Fathers(tm)
By Mickey Z.
Leslie H. Gelb is president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former editor and columnist for The New York Times, however, he transforms into the Amazing Gelbo and gets to spout his ill-informed paeans to denial on that paper’s op-ed page. February 2, 2005 saw the publication of a little something called “The Lessons of 1787,” in which Gelbo waxed poetic about the “truly heartwarming effects of Sunday’s (Iraqi) elections.” He reminded us: “Elections decide who is to govern” but warned that only a Constitution can “define the reach and limits of electoral power, and the viability and legitimacy of a government.”
The new Iraqi National Assembly, says Gelbo, “should forgo drafting the constitution and establish a special constitutional committee” that engages “Iraq’s James Madisons and Ben Franklins” (I’m not making this up). That where the whole 1787 thing comes into play. Iraq needs to follow in America’s footsteps (then again, doesn’t everyone?) It’s as if Gelbo was asking those poor Iraqis: “Who’s your daddy?” because, as we all know, you ain’t nothing without Founding Fathers(tm).
The year 1787 saw a certain Daniel Shays arrested, thus this op-ed reminded me of a lesson about constitutions that the Amazing Gelbo neglected to reference.
“When Massachusetts passed a state constitution in 1780, it found few friends among the poor and middle class, many of them veterans from the Continental Army still waiting for promised bonuses,” explains historian Kenneth C. Davis. To add to this decidedly non-support-the-troops mentality, excessive property taxes were combined with polling taxes designed to prevent the poor from voting. “No one could hold state office without being quite wealthy,” Howard Zinn adds. “Furthermore, the legislature was refusing to issue paper money, as had been done in some other states, like Rhode Island, to make it easier for debt-ridden farmers to pay off their creditors.”
Perhaps heeding the advice of Thomas Jefferson that “a little rebellion” is necessary, Massachusetts farmers fought back when their property was seized due to lack of debt repayment. Armed and organized, their ranks grew into the hundreds. Local sheriffs called out the militia...but the militia sided with the farmers. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts indicted eleven members of the rebellion. Those who had so recently fomented revolt were no longer tolerant of such insurrection.
Enter Daniel Shays: Massachusetts farmer and former Army captain. He chose not to stand by idly as battle lines were being drawn and friends of his faced imprisonment. In September 1786, Shays led an army of some 700 farmers, workers, and veterans into Springfield. “Onetime radical Sam Adams, now part of the Boston Establishment, drew up a Riot Act,” says Davis, “allowing he authorities to jail anyone without a trial.” Shays’ army swelled to more than 1000 men.
Writing from Paris, Jefferson offered tacit approval for, at least, the concept of rebellion. Closer to home, the American aristocracy was less than pleased. Sam Adams again: “In monarchy, the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”
In a classic shape-of-things-to-come scenario, Boston merchants pooled money to raise an army to be led by General Benjamin Lincoln, one of George Washington’s war commanders. Clashes were fierce but the outnumbered rebels were on the run by winter. Most were killed or captured. Some were hanged while others, including Shays, were eventually pardoned in, yes, 1787. Within a year, a penniless Shays was dead. In other words, the government took from the poor to give to the rich and anyone with the audacity to protest was brutally put down.
Now, there’s a lesson most Iraqis have learned the hard way.
And speaking of putting down protest and how it might pertain to our beloved Founding Fathers(tm), there’s the recent issue of Ward Churchill. The longtime activist and author is now the poster child for “we like free speech and all but you’ve dang gone too far, red man” crowd.
As Ward has meticulously documented, the history of repressing dissent in America goes back almost as far as the Amazing Gelbo’s lessons...all the way to the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. In section two, this Ashcroftian piece of legislation reads:
"If any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or published, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years."
President John Adams signed the bill into law and soon after, Americans were put in jail for criticizing their government. The Amazing Gelbo might call this “heartwarming,” but in solidarity with Ward Churchill and so many others persecuted for not toeing the party line, it’s high time we learn some new lessons.
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net
While it hasn’t yet been reported on the nightly news, it’s official: Journalism is dead!
Anthony Lappe is a New York-based writer, television producer, and Executive Editor of the web news site, Guerrilla News Network. He’s also the co-author, with GNN cohort, Stephen Marshall of the book, ‘True Lies.’ Anthony Lappe in the first half.
And; It takes more than a sadistic loathing of humanity to become an effective torturer; you have to be taught.
Three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and ex-convict, having herself been sent to prison for opposing militarism in her country, Kathy Kelly and Prisoners of Conscience at The School of Assassins in the second half.
Gorilla Radio airs live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time.
In Victoria at 102FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at:
Monday, January 31st, 2005
Though never really living up to its full promise, the twisted corporate spin machine masquerading as truthful discourse on television and in the bureaus of mainstream newspapers in North America has, through a sycophantic acquiescence to power and steadfast refusal to serve the public trust, rendered itself irrelevant. But the necessity of honest information brokers, dedicated to revealing crime in high places and making accountable those who would betray the public trust remains.
Anthony Lappe is a New York-based writer, television producer, and Executive Editor of the web news site, Guerrilla News Network. He’s also the co-author, with GNN cohort, Stephen Marshall of the book, ‘True Lies.’ Anthony Lappe in the first half.
And; it takes more than a sadistic loathing of humanity to become an effective torturer; you have to be taught. And, for the last sixty years the School of the Americas has been turning out graduates adept in rape, torture, assassination, and the more subtle terror arts.
Last week, 11 non-violent citizens from School of the Americas Watch were sentenced to federal prison for their participation in a protest calling for the closure of the infamous Fort Benning, Georgia “school,” recently redubbed ‘The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.’
Kathy Kelly is the founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a group that worked tirelessly to end the U.S./U.N. sanctions against Iraq, and opposes the war and continuing occupation. She’s a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and an ex-convict, having herself been sent to prison for opposing militarism in her country. Kathy Kelly and the School of Assassins in the second half.
And; Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed on all that’s good to do in and around Victoria this week. But first, Anthony Lappe and shunning the media messenger.
For more of Anthony Lappe's work, please see:
For Kathy Kelly, see:
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in the mainstream media.
Some past guests include: Nahla Abdo, M. Junaid Alam, M. Shahid Alam, Joel Bakan, Maude Barlow, David Barsamian, William Blum, Eric Blumrich, Kristina Borjesson, Vincent Bugliosi, Helen Caldicott, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Diane Christian, Juan Cole, William A. Cook, David Cromwell, Jon Elmer, Reese Erlich, Jim Fetzer, Laura Flanders, Glen Ford, Susan George, Al Giordano, Stan Goff, Robert Greenwald, Denis Halliday, Chris Hedges, Sander Hicks, Julia Butterfly Hill, Robert Jensen, Tom Jackson, Ron Jacobs, Diana Johnstone, John Kaminski, Kathy Kelly, Naomi Klein, Frances Moore Lappe, Dave Lindorff, Jim Lobe, Wayne Madsen, Linda McQuaig, Mark Crispin Miller, George Monbiot, Mykeru, Loretta Napoleoni, John Nichols, Kurt Nimmo, Greg Palast, Michael Parenti, William Rivers Pitt, Justin Podur, Sheldon Rampton, Scott Ritter, Paul de Rooij, John Ross, Michael C. Ruppert, Bert Sacks, Danny Schechter, Vandana Shiva, Jaggi Singh, Norman Solomon, Starhawk, John Stauber, Ben Tripp, Grant Wakefield, Bernard Weiner, Robert Anton Wilson, Katherine Yurica, Mickey Z., and many others.
January 31st, 2005
Old hands like the inestimably germane Robert Fisk now seem worried about a possible civil war scenario for Iraq; a prospect he’s til now deemed remote. Juan Cole too, who didn’t believe the desperately repeated Bush administration conviction that an American retreat from Iraq would lead to a chaos of ethnic and tribal conflict, now seems to be wavering. But what about the numbers?
The poll numbers vary, but Fisk seemed genuinely moved by the show of thousands of everyday folks walking the car-free city; families quietly making their way to the polls, while bomb-blasts reverberated through the streets. But he didn’t address why so many Iraqis braved the dire predictions in the run-up to this election to make that long walk to the poll.
Dahr Jamail, also in Baghdad, writes of implicit threats to withhold the food rations of those not participating, perhaps accounting for the large turnout. This was accentuated by tales of areas where rations depended on voter registration. Most Iraqis depend on rations, and the situation there, after sanctions, war, and occupation is grim.
But it gets even worse.
Water has replaced electricity and fuel as the most pressing concern in Baghdad. According to Riverbend, the girl blogging from the city throughout the war and occupation, the taps have run near dry. This in the days (J27) preceding the election. Is the message to the Iraqis really: vote, or starve? And, what may happen to those without the blue-dyed voting finger? Would they be fingered as a terrorist to be targeted?
The BBC has just kneeled again to pressure to ‘correct’ a (mildly) rebuking story. In this case, the release of fatality numbers from Iraq. The Beeb had had the temerity to relay figures released from Iraq concerning death ratios; who killed whom stuff. Did the Americans, or the Insurgents kill more Iraqis? No-one mentioned that it made little difference whether it was “coalition” forces, or insurgent murders killing most Iraqis; none of these Iraqis would be getting killed, collaterally or otherwise, had it not been for the patently illegal U.S. invasion. All after the initial crime is necessarily illegal. America is necessarily culpable. But, with a stroke of the facts, 6 is 9 and white is black again. Officially, the election is everything from a "maginificent achievement," to a "tremendous opportunity."
A variety of turn-out numbers have been released, but none deny that the Sunni minority was less than enthusiastic. Despite Charlie Rose’s histrionic, near teary, evocation of this “momentous, historic day” tonight, (January 31st) his embarrassed guest, famed humanitarian, Michael Ignatieff’s reaction to Charlie’s demand for affirmation that this was indeed a “symbolic day for the forward march of freedom and democracy” was muted. He suggested instead a cautious continuation of the occupational course.
Robert Fisk makes an interesting observation: The Shia, he reasons, will take this admittedly transparent bobble of democracy for now and pass the ball to the occupier’s court. And should he fumble, the risk is the initiation of a vastly broader Shia uprising. What Fisk seems to suggest is a politically out-manoeuvred America, painted into a corner by their own PR ploy; foisted on their Petard.
So, what to make of it? You tell me.
Chris Cook produces and hosts Gorilla Radio, a weekly public affairs program broad/webcast from the University of Victoria every Monday, between 5-6pm pacific time at 101.9 FM in Victoria, 104.3 on cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca/
BBC apologises over Iraqi figures
Monday, 31 January, 2005
Sistani, the UIA and the Elections
Monday, January 31, 2005
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Some Just Voted for Food
Inter Press Service
Monday 31 January 2005http://truthout.org/docs_2005/013105Y.shtml
Triumph and Tragedy for Iraq Robert Fisk The Independent Monday 31 January 2005http://truthout.org/docs_2005/013105J.shtml
January 31, 2005
Mr. Frank's FatwahNew Republic Calls for Death and Torture of Arundhati Roy and Stan Goff
By DAVE ZIRIN
The words "libelous" and 'the New Republic" have a proud history of walking arm-in-arm. Now, in the esteemed tradition of [former TNR writer who peddled fiction as fact] Stephen Glass, The New Republic has stooped to a new low, publishing a piece that calls for violence, torture, and even death for leading leftists who dare oppose Bush's war on terror and the slaughter in Iraq.
Author Tom Frank -- clearly from the Glass School of Journalism the New Republic has made famous -- described sitting in on an anti-war panel sponsored by the International Socialist Organization, the Washington Peace Center, the DC Anti-War Network and other groups.
After having heard the 100 plus attendees cheer sentiments like "Money for Jobs and Education Not For War and Occupation," Frank became so riled up, he unloaded a deranged harangue about the suffering he would like to rain upon people daring to organize against this war. After Stan Goff, a former Delta Forces soldier and current organizer for Military Families Speak Out, expressed sentiments like "We ain't never resolved nothing through an election," Frank's jag began. Clearly too doughy to do it himself, Frank started to fantasize about a Teutonic strongman who could shut Goff up.
Frank writes, "What I needed was a Republican like Arnold [Schwarzenegger] who would walk up to [Goff] and punch him in the face."
As the panel continued, every cheer and standing ovation seemed to set Frank deeper down a path of psychosis. After International Socialist Review editorial board member Sherry Wolf asserted that Iraqis had a "right" to rebel against occupation, Frank upped the ante in his efforts to intimidate anyone considering entry into the anti-war movement.
He wrote, 'these weren't harmless lefties. I didn't want Nancy Pelosi talking sense to them; I wanted John Ashcroft to come busting through the wall with a submachine gun to round everyone up for an immediate trip to Gitmo, with Charles Graner on hand for interrogation."
Later, when Wolf quoted Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy's defense of the right to resist, Frank was sent into such a state of panic, he once again dreamed of the mighty hand of state repression, writing, "Maybe sometimes you just want to be on the side of whoever is more likely to take a bunker buster to Arundhati Roy."
Interestingly, Frank didn't have the guts to slander another one of the panel speakers, exonerated death row inmate Shujaa Graham. Graham, who has been moved to speak out against the torture of Iraqi prisoners by intimately connecting their pain with his own experience of torture in California's death row, escaped Frank's pen. I guess it's hard to pose fantasy threats of torture and death toward someone who has actually looked it in the face.
We can write this piece off as just another one of the smarmy New Republic 20-something writers getting his jollies slamming the left. We can say that Frank -- his entire piece an exercise in poorly executed humor, ill-written grammar, and awkward phrasing -- just forgot to break his Prozac in half that morning. But there is something far more insidious at work here.
This piece is yet another effort to intimidate and silence people who aren't willing to toe the "party line" espoused by Democrats and Republicans alike that the death of 1,400 US troops and 100,000 Iraqi civilians is somehow justified. Frank's piece is an exercise in hate and intimidation. To be quiet in its face is to give ground in a period when we have precious little to give.
Therefore, this is a call for people to e-mail The New Republic and let them know what you think about humorous musings on killing Arundhati Roy or torturing Stan Goff. Let them know that a disgraced magazine will not intimidate us, especially one with the credibility of The National Enquirer. Let them know that we will publicly debate Tom Frank or any of their 20 something post-graduate hacks on the merits of this war anytime and any place. This is the only way to deal with darkness: shine as bright a light as possible -- right in it's face.
E-mail email@example.com to let them know what you think. We are also considering a picket of the New Republic Offices, for those interested.
Dave Zirin's new book "What's My Name Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States will be in stores in June 2005. You can receive his column Edge of Sports, every week by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact him at email@example.com
O'Reilly's Fatwah on "Un-American" ProfessorsFoxNews Puts Me In Its CrosshairsBy M. SHAHID ALAM
I published an essay, "America and Islam: Seeking Parallels," in Counterpunch on December 29, 2004. A day later, I began to receive nasty and threatening emails, all at once. These were orchestrated by a http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/. Shortly thereafter, other right-wing websites got into act, posting excerpts from the essay; these included jihadwatch.org, campuswatch.org, frontpagemag.com, freerepublic.com, etc. The messages posted on these websites were equally vicious, and some of them, containing explicit death threats, were 'kindly' forwarded to me.
What did I say in this essay? I made two points. First, that the 9-11 attacks were an Islamist insurgency: the attackers believe that they are fighting--as the Americans did, in the 1770s--for their freedom and dignity against a foreign occupation/control of their lands. Secondly, I argue that these attacks were the result of a massive political failure of Muslims to resist their tyrannies locally. It was a mistake to attack the US.
I followed the first essay with a second one, "Testing Free Speech In America," where I elaborate on the points I had made earlier. This too was published in Counterpunch.Org on Jan 1/2, 2005.
The emails to me and the University continued for another two weeks, eventually tapering off. In the meanwhile, I was speaking to people at the ACLU, Boston, and the ADC, Boston. On the suggestion of the ACLU, I contacted the campus police and the police in my hometown to let them know about the death threats posted against me.
I had a feeling this was not the end of the matter. So yesterday, February 1, I received an email from Fox News asking for a TV interview; they were producing a program "on me." At this point, I spoke to people at ACLU who advised me against going on the program. I received the same advice from other friends. I wrote back to Fox saying I could not do the interview but would be glad to answer any questions. They did not take me up on my offer. Clearly, this would not help them in their designs against me.
It appears that Bill O'Reilly is doing a series on 'unAmerican' professors on US campuses. Last night, my wife tells me, he did a piece on Ward Churchill. Tonight will be my turn. I expect he will make all kinds of outlandish accusations that will resonate well with the left- and Muslim-hating members of his audience. This will generate calls and emails to Northeastern and to me containing threats, calls for firing me, and threats to withhold donations. I am not sure how well NU will stand up against this barrage.
If we can generate a matching volume of emails, letters and call to NU supporting my right to free speech, it might be helpful.
What else can we do?
The contact information for President Richard Freeland is availableat:
Contact for Provots and Senior VP for Academic Affairs:
Ahmed AbdelalSenior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost112 Hayden Hall(617) firstname.lastname@example.org
The contacts for the leading people in the President's office areavailable here:
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
James Stellar100 Meserve HallNortheastern University360 Huntington Ave.Boston, MA email@example.com(617) 373-3980
M. Shahid Alam, professor of economics at Northeastern University, is a regular contributor to CounterPunch.org. Some of his CounterPunch essays are now available in a book, Is There An Islamic Problem (Kuala Lumpur: The Other Press, 2004). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.