Friday, May 26, 2006

Other Items

A grass-roots commission that investigated the 1979 shooting deaths of five communist organizers by members of the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party laid the bulk of the blame on Greensboro police in a comprehensive report released Thursday.
Officers knew white supremacists planned to attend the ''Death to the Klan'' march on Nov. 3, 1979, but failed to take action, the Greensboro Truth & Reconciliation Commission wrote in its nearly 400-page report.
Despite having a paid informant among the ranks of the Klansmen, ''The (Greensboro Police Department) showed a stunning lack of curiosity in planning for the safety of the event,'' commissioners wrote.
Five people were killed when Klan and Nazi members opened fire on people gathering for a march and rally in Greensboro's Morningside Homes neighborhood. Ten others were injured.

The above is from an Associated Press article, noted by Carl, entitled "Report Blames Police for Deaths at a '79 Rally in North Carolina" and available online at the New York Times. There may be impressive parts of the findings but when you're blaming the victims for using their free speech rights (as I'm reading Carl's copy and paste to suggest), it feels like minimizing. The report came out Thursday -- why didn't the Times have a reporter cover it? (Not to imply that the paper of no record would have done any better but to note the obvious fact that it is news and there was ample time for a write up by someone on the paper's payroll.)

Democracy Now! has covered this story several times. Click here for a 2004 report and here for a 2005 report. Martha notes Glenn Kessler's "Blair and Bush Are Duo Even in Descent" (Washington Post):

Blair, in fact, is among the last of Bush's foreign policy allies still in power, with many ousted by anti-U.S. sentiment.
Peter Riddell, a political writer for the Times of London who wrote a book called "Hug Them Close" on Blair's relationship with Clinton and Bush, said that if Brown replaces Blair, it is unlikely he would suddenly try to distance himself from Bush; that is in part because British leaders have long regarded a close relationship with the United States as critical for Britain. But Grant said that Brown is closer to Labor Party members -- who deeply dislike Bush -- than is Blair, and so Brown would be reluctant to send British troops into any more military campaigns led by Americans.
"Public opinion is quite hostile to this shackling of British foreign policy to the United States," Grant said.

While Bully Boy plays Jack to Blair's Rose (Bully Boy: "Never let go"; Blair: "I will never let go, Jack, I will never let go") and two nations sink, Rove has a little talk with . . . Novak. What? You thought I was going to say "Jesus?" Brandon steers us to Murray Waas' "Rove-Novak Call Was Concern to Leak Investigators" (National Journal via Truth Out) covering a conversation Novak and Rove had as the investigation into Plamegate was beginning:

As Fitzgerald considers whether to bring charges against Rove, central to any final determination will be whether Rove's omissions were purposeful.
Dan Richman, a law school professor at Fordham University and a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, says that perjury and obstruction cases are difficult to bring. "In many instances, you almost have to literally take the jury inside a defendant's head to demonstrate their intent," he said.
As of now, it appears unlikely that Fitzgerald will bring charges related to the September 29 conversation, according to Richman and other legal experts. Even if the prosecutor and his investigative team conclude that Rove and Novak did indeed devise a cover story to protect Rove, it is simply too difficult to prove what happened in a private conversation between two people.
A longtime friend of Rove, who doesn't have firsthand knowledge of the CIA leak case but who knows both Rove and Novak well, doubts that Fitzgerald could get a conviction - "as long as neither [Novak nor Rove] breaks, and there is no reason for them to, no matter how much evidence there is. These are two people who go way back, and they are going to look out for each other."
Richman says that a grand jury could consider circumstantial evidence in weighing whether to bring charges, so long as there is also other substantial evidence, and that the prosecutor can present that evidence at trial.
"It's possible that prosecutors would view their [September 29] conversation as the beginning of a conspiracy to obstruct justice, given that they had reason to believe that an investigation would soon be under way," says Richman. "It's even more likely that this conversation would help prosecutors shed light on Rove's motivations and intent when he later spoke to investigators."

The Senate passed their hideous bill yesterday. Francisco notes Edwidge Danticat's "Out of the Shadows" (The Progressive):

In post-9/11 America, where protests are easily pegged as anti-American, more so if the participants are not U.S. born, it is truly remarkable that those whose place in our society is most precarious would gather in nearly every major city of the United States for what in some cases have been the biggest demonstrations recorded to date. These protests are bringing at least some measure of dialogue between segments of the population that would wish to deny the existence of the others. And for once the exchange is not only between pundits and politicians but involves the concerned parties themselves, those whose children would be turned away from schools, who would be denied a doctor when sick.
True to the spirit of this nation as a land of immigrants, a community that is used to finding safety in invisibility has emerged to speak in its own voice. For at the center of this debate is the redefinition of America itself--and as in decades past, with immigration at the forefront of that process.
There is perhaps more discomfort now in the fact that a large percentage of the twelve million undocumented are poor and brown and from the developing world. For years, people like Pat Buchanan have bemoaned the fact that there was no melting taking place in the pot. They consider un-American what they see as the immigrant's backward glance at their sometimes poverty stricken and politically heated homelands. Monies sent back are equated with taxes not being paid. Newborn babies are health care thieves. And since good fences make good neighbors, especially when only one neighbor can afford to build or would seemingly benefit from the fence, images of barbed-wire topped walls with armed Minutemen on the other side dance around in wistfully nativist heads.

Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today.

Not Today*:

Amy Goodman in San Jose, CA:
Wed, May 31
*The NetSquared Conference
Cisco Systems' Vineyard Conference Center
260 East Tasman Drive,
San Jose, CA

Not tomorrow but next Saturday*:

Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Sat, June 3
A Dialogue on Shias, Sunnis and Politics in Iraq with
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Noam Chomsky,
and Shia-Sunni Speaker's Panel: Anas Shallal, Dr. Anisa Abd elFattah, Salam Al-Marayati, Salma Yaqoob, Shaykh Ibrahim Kazerooni, Dr. UmarFaruq Abd-Allah
Columbia University, Lerner Hall, 114th St. and Broadway
For more information:

*Wednesday, I posted this information passed on by Rod but didn't realize it was next week. (I wrote "Today" on the Wednesday item -- fortunately the actual date was included.) Rod e-mailed that he and Lynda both noticed and were worried about how to raise the issue without embarrassing me -- I have no shame. Just point it out. Seriously. So those are events next week (as their dates stated but I didn't). (And I'm guessing others noticed it and thought, "Check my math? Try check my dates!") My apologies.

Remember Kat posted "Kat's Korner: Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way home while NYT gets lost along the way" last night. Last night for those who have been to sleep. I gave a warning at the end of the "And the War Drags On . . . (Indymedia Roundup)" that I might be late with the two posts this morning. There's up and probably a little early. However, I am now about to crash after being up twenty-four hours plus. I have no idea when the next entry will go up.

The e-mail address for this site is