Thursday, February 09, 2006

Democracy Now: Mary Mapes; Margaret Kimberley, Eason Jordan, Anne-Marie Cusac, David Lindorff

Jose Bove Deported to France After Being Denied Entry To US
Meanwhile, one of the world's most famous critics of corporate globalization and bio-technology -- French farmer Jose Bove-- has been barred from entering the United States. He was detained last night by U.S. officials after flying into Kennedy Airport in New York and then sent back to France. It remains unclear why Bove was denied entry. Bove was scheduled to speak at a conference in New York put on in part by Cornell University and the Rockefeller Foundation called "Global Companies -- Global Unions, Global Research -- Global Campaigns." In 2002 Bove made international headlines when he helped destroy a McDonald's under construction in France to protest trade policies that hurt small farmers. He has also been a leading opponent of genetically modified crops.

Police, Protesters Clash Day After Boycotted Nepal Elections
In Nepal, government forces are clashing with angry protesters calling for the ouster of King Gyanendra, who seized power in a widely criticized coup last year. The clashes come one day after most Nepali citizens observed a country-wide boycott of municipal elections that critics charged were an attempt by King Gyanendra to legitimize his rule. In Kathmandu, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters gathered around the royal palace. The protesters chanted: "We don't want a murderer government. You can't kill people."

Less Than Half of Reviewed Gitmo Detainees Accused of Violence
The news comes as a new study based entirely on Pentagon data shows that of 500 Guantanamo detainees whose cases were reviewed, fewer than half of them have been accused of committing violent acts against the United States or its allies. The study, carried out by lawyers for two detainees, found that the government has identified only 8% of the detainees as al Qaeda fighters. Of the rest, the study found that 40% have no connection with al Qaeda at all and 18% are have no affiliation with either al Qaeda or the Taliban. Meanwhile, 60% of the 500 detainees have been detained "merely because they are 'associated with' a group or groups the US government asserts are terrorist organizations."

The above three items, selected by Vic, Liang and Erika, are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines. Democracy Now! ("always informing you," as Marcia says):

Headlines for February 9, 2006

- Suicide Attack on Shiite Holiday Gathering Kills 22 in Pakistan
- Police, Protesters Clash Day After Boycotted Nepal Elections
- White House Agrees to Brief Intel Committees On Spy Program
- E-Mails Say Abramoff Has Met Bush "In Almost a Dozen Settings"
- Report: Hunger-Striking Gitmo Detainees Strapped Down, Forced-Fed
- Less Than Half of Reviewed Gitmo Detainees Accused of Violence
- Report: WTO Rules Against European GMO Ban
- Jose Bove Deported to France After Being Denied Entry To US
- Chavez: "Go Right To Hell, Mr. Blair"

Los Titulares de Hoy: Democracy Now!'s daily news summary translated into Spanish

Danish Newspaper At Heart of Controversy Rejected Drawings Lampooning Jesus Christ

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper at the heart of the cartoon controversy, has staunchly defended its decision to run the images, which included depictions of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb. On Monday, the Guardian of London revealed the newspaper refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ. We take a look at Jyllands-Posten with Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen. [include rush transcript]

Editor of U.S. Daily Explains Why He Published Mohammed Cartoons

D. Reed Eckhardt, Managing Editor of the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle of Cheyenne, explains why his paper recently ran three of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

As Muslim Outcry Grows, Questions of Rights vs. Responsibilities Come To the Fold

As protests continue around the world, two analysts say Muslims have been as angered by the cartoons as they have by the hypocrisy behind their publication.

Former CBS Producer on How Pres. Bush's National Guard Service Brought Down Dan Rather

Mary Mapes, longtime television news producer and reporter who worked for CBS for fifteen years, tells the story that brought down CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather and prompted CBS to force out four of its top journalists - including Mapes. In the report, Rather charged that President Bush had received preferential treatment in the National Guard in the early 1970s.

It's Thursday which means a new edition of The Black Commentator. Margaret Kimberley's "Coretta and Endesha Ida Mae" (Freedom Rider):

Endesha Ida Mae Holland and Coretta Scott King passed away within days of one another. They both fought to end the evil of America's apartheid. Like most of those who struggled against that system, they paid a high price for their activism.
Coretta Scott King was an icon viewed with the same love and respect that most of the world's people felt for her husband. It is sad that she is viewed more as a saint and not as a woman, a wife, and a mother. The hurts she endured are rarely mentioned in her obituary.
Coretta was a child of privilege. At a time when few southern blacks received even high school educations, she attended mostly white colleges in the north in the 1940s. She was fortunate not to suffer the indignities that most black Americans endured in the south.
Ida Mae Holland's
story was quite different. She lived in the Mississippi delta, the headquarters of hell on earth for black people in America. At the age of 11 she was raped by her white employer. The traumatized child reacted the way traumatized children often do. She believed she was synonymous with the abuse she had suffered. The young girl became a prostitute.

One member and a few visitors wondered if there was an indymedia roundup this evening? Yes. I noted in Friday's gina & krista round-robin that I'd not be posting anything in the evening this week until Thursday. Speaking of the evenings, I hope everyone caught Mike's interview with Wally last night as well as Rebecca's dream journal (and the book that inspired her entry is worth checking out) and Cedric on the Times and Coretta Scott King. Elaine's not posting tonight (group) but she has been posting all week. (That will be all Thursdays until she announces otherwise, by the way.)

Now let's move on to highlights, CJR, in all its useless forms, is gunning for Eason Jordan again. I'll note this sent in by Tori, it's Jordan's reply to Paul McLeary's latest nonsense:

Mr. McLeary,
In response to your comments on my IHT op-ed, you apparently miss the key point of my op-ed, you take an unwarranted swipe at me, and you erronenously allege that I tried to convince op-ed readers that the CPJ keeps no record of media workers' deaths in Iraq. The key point of my op-ed: that the news media should report the overall media death toll in Iraq, just as the media report the overall military death toll in Iraq. Too often the only Iraq media death toll cited in news reports in the CPJ's tally of 61. Many news consumers believe, wrongly, that the 61 is the whole number of journalist losses in Iraq. That misunderstanding is not the CPJ's fault. Despite your suggestion to the contrary, I noted in my op-ed that the CPJ maintains multiple tallies, explained why, and made clear the CPJ excludes certain deaths from its tallies, while the INSI in its tally includes them all. Unfortunately, news reports rarely mention the CPJ's media worker tally, leaving the impression the 61 is a whole, all-inclusive number. I have no issue with the CPJ, which I admire. My issue is with news reports citing the 61 number while often overlooking the other two categories of deaths that bring the total, all-inclusive death toll 101. If military deaths are counted and presented in news reports in all-inclusive numbers -- they should be and are -- then journalists and media workers deserve the same consideration.

What did McLeary say? Who cares, truly. CJR propped up Judith Miller's 2003 writing. (That's the mainstream org for the three who e-mailed wondering whom I was speaking of the other day.) They ran chicken on calling Woody out. They slammed --
wait, just remembered Jess noted this (he's speaking about CJR):

Jess: That struck me as cowardly. That struck me as they were attacking Linda Foley for expressing her opinions on the state of journalism just to cover their own ass. Foley's opinion is not discredited by some "extensive study" from Reporters Without Borders. They don't cite the study, in CJR, which is bothersome. They don't even give a date for the study. In fact, let's quote from April 6, 2005's "CBS freelance cameraman shot and wounded by US soldiers:"

"Once again the US forces have targeted a journalist just doing his job," the press freedom organization said. Reporters Without Borders pointed out that this was not the first time that US soldiers shot a cameraman after mistaking his camera for a gun. Mazen Dana, a Palestinian working for the British news agency Reuters, was killed in a similar fashion on 17 August 2003 in Baghdad. The US army claimed that the US soldiers involved had acted according to the rules of engagement.

Jess (con't): The whole thing was sloppy. They don't know about the Night Letter so they accept the false premise that Newsweek's Koran in the toilet started riots in Afghanistan, they don't seem to know what Reporters Without Borders has said. If they've got additional information, they need to provide it to the readers. And there's no reason to slam Foley other than that CJR wants to look "reasonable." 'We'll defend Newsweek, without knowing the important facts that would really defend them, but to prove that we're not some zealots, we'll say that Foley should be under attack.' For anyone who doesn't know, Linda Foley is the president of The Newspaper Guild. CJR wants to at[t]ack her and say she's wrong and couch their attack in an extensive study by Reporters Without Borders that they won't name or give a date for. You just have to take their word for it. And these days as feelings checks overrun the periodical, it's very hard to take their word on anything.

Are we sensing a pattern? Yes, we are. (Disclosure, I know Eason Jordan.) "Brave stands" come in two forms at CJR. 1) They attack anyone that veers from the mainstream script or 2) they jump on an issue that's been the focus everywhere else for two years while they remained silent. If it's the latter, they never note that they've been silent. They try to sneak into the march and blend in as though they were there from the start. I'm not sure which is more offensive.

We need some reality and "mainstream" CJR can't provide any so let's move to Marci's highlight, David Lindorff's "George Bush and Tomoyuki Yamashita" (CounterPunch):

It's pretty easy to trace the war crime of torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay back to the Oval Office. The memos are all there.
But George Bush is guilty of worse war crimes than torture, bad as torture may be. He is also guilty of violating another Geneva Convention involving the protection of non-combatants.
The U.S. military has violated a number of basic international rules of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, not even counting the biggest one--starting an unprovoked war of aggression.
For starters, there was the much-touted "Shock&Awe" campaign of aerial bombardment of Baghdad, which targeted markets, targeted sites located in residential districts, and which used weapons in an urban setting--depleted uranium shells, anti-personnel bombs, incendiary bombs, etc.--which were guaranteed to kill many civilians, and which in many cases are banned, or banned in such situations.
In Fallujah, we had another war crime--an act of massive retribution against a civilian population for an action by enemy fighters. Recall that it was allegedly enemy fighters in Fallujah who killed and then mutilated the bodies of four mercenary soldiers working for the Americans. It was that incident that led Washington to decide on crushing Fallujah as punishment. A first attempt to invade the city failed and was called off as casualties mounted to what the White House considered politically unacceptable levels. A new bigger attack was planned, with the aim of leveling the city of 300,000, but it was held off until after the 2004 election for fear high US casualties might hurt Bush's chances. The invasion of Fallujah was clearly a political act, with heavy involvement by the White House.
Retribution against civilian populations for the actions of enemy fighters is expressly forbidden and is a serious war crime under the Geneva Conventions.

Need more reality? Brandon steers us to Anne-Marie Cusac's "The Devil's Chair" (The Progressive) which is an article from 2000 about those chairs Tim Golden didn't want to go into in this morning's New York Times:

Jail and prison employees call it the "strap-o-lounger," the "barcalounger," the "we care chair," and the "be sweet chair." Inmates and their lawyers have other names for the device: "torture chair," "slave chair," and "devil's chair."
They are referring not to the electric chair, but to a restraining device that has led to many serious abuses, including torture and death. Belts and cuffs prevent the prisoner's legs, arms, and torso from moving.
The restraint chair is designed for violent prisoners who pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. But according to interviews with prisoners, lawyers, and restraint chair manufacturers, as well as a review of court cases, jail videotapes, coroners' reports, and scattered news stories, it is clear that the restraint chair is being used in an improper--and sometimes sadistic--manner:
• restraint chairs have been used for punishment of nonthreatening behavior;
• children have been strapped into the chairs for nonviolent behaviors;
• nude inmates and detainees have been strapped into restraint chairs;
• prisoners have been left in restraint chairs for as long as eight days. In some cases, the jail staff failed to manipulate the prisoners' limbs to protect against blood clots;
• prisoners have been required to testify while in restraint chairs;
• prisoners have been interrogated while in restraint chairs;
• prisoners have been injured while in restraint chairs;
• prisoners have been tortured by being hooded, pepper-gassed, beaten, or threatened with electrocution while in the chairs;
• at least eleven people have died under questionable circumstances after being strapped into a restraint chair.
Use of the restraint chair is widespread: Jails, state and federal prisons, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, state mental hospitals, juvenile detention centers, and foreign governments are all equipped with the chair.
Amnesty International has called for a federal investigation into use of the restraint chair. The device "is an issue of great concern to us," says Angela Wright, a researcher at Amnesty's headquarters in London. "It appears to be used in some jurisdictions as a front-line or even routine form of control, including as a punishment for disruptive or annoying behavior."
On December 20, 1994, Shedrick Brown died after struggling with guards while being forced into a restraint chair in the Hillsborough County Jail in Tampa, Florida. After more than four hours in the chair, he was found unresponsive, having suffered a stroke. He died an hour later. In March 1995, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office ruled his death a homicide.

The paper's general reaction to Cusac's writing is to ignore it and then, months after it's pointed out to them, be "inspired" into writing a similar piece while acting like they've never heard of Cusac. (And members know of two "reports" in the Times that did just that.) So read Cusac now and know, a few months on down the line, you'll read a watered down version in the paper of misrecord. Reminds me of the saying about Charlie Parker -- a lot of "reporters" must breathe a sigh of relief that Cusac's not a gun slinger.

Second to the last highlight, via Dallas, Eduardo Mendieta's "Angela Davis' Advice to the Movement" (In These Times):

Well, you see, everything has changed, so I don't think this kind of discussion would be as helpful as one might think. Everything has changed. The funding base for movements has changed. The relationship between professionalization and social moments has changed. The mode of politicization has changed. The role of culture and the globalization of cultural production have changed. I don't know how else to talk about this other than to encourage people to experiment. That is actually the lesson I would draw from the period of the 1960s and 1970s, when I was involved in what were essentially experimental modes of conventional civil rights organizing. Nobody knew whether they would work or not. Nobody knew where we were going. I often remark that young people today have too much deference toward the older organizers, the veterans, and are much too careful in their desire to rely on role models.
Everyone wants some guarantee that what they do will have palpable results. I think the best way to figure out what might work is simply to do it, regardless of the potential mistakes one might make. One must be willing to make mistakes. In fact, I think that the mistakes help to produce the new modes of organizing--the kinds that bring people together and advance the struggle for peace and social justice.
This article was adapted from Abolition Democracy--Beyond Empire, Prisons, and Torture: Interviews with Angela Y. Davis, which was just released by Seven Stories Press.

And we'll close with Juan Gonzalez's "Whose Web Is It, Anyway" (New York Daily News via Common Dreams):

Ten years ago this week, Bill Clinton signed into law one of the biggest corporate ripoffs in American history. It was called the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Washington politicians, along with the CEOs of the big media and telephone companies and their army of lobbyists, all promised a new era of low-cost information and entertainment for every American.
The new law, Clinton said, would "stimulate investment, promote competition" and "provide access for all citizens to the information superhighway" by getting rid of cumbersome government regulation.
Ten years later, we have scores of new-fangled gadgets that few of us imagined back then -- cell phones that take photos, BlackBerries, iPods that download video, satellite radios, DVD players and digital TVs.
We have the local phone company offering us cable television service and the local cable company offering phone service, and all of them offering us broadband Internet service.
Last month in Massapequa Park, L.I., Verizon rolled out FiOS, its first cable television service in this state.
But the only thing that remains constant in this dizzying digital age is that everything costs more - even the old-fashioned phone and cable service we used to get.
Right now, as you read these words, the telecommunications lobbyists are scurrying around the halls of Congress and every state capitol in the land, scheming to pull off yet another huge ripoff under the banner of freedom and competition.
This time they want to steal the Internet itself. They want to grab the most important communications tool of our age right out from under the American people. Or at least they want to privatize access to it and charge the highest-possible toll for anyone to get on the highway's on-ramps.
In attempting this, they want all of us to forget that from the 1960s to the 1980s, American taxpayers financed the development of the Internet through grants to various university scientists from the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.
Only when the Internet became a viable network did private companies move in to exploit it for profit.
Now the big phone and cable companies, the same ones that already control the communications pipelines into our homes, want to create new classes and tiers of service on the Internet.

And final note (not highlight, note), for those wondering, no the New York Times didn't print an editorial or a column about Coretta Scott King today. Unless we note here that they did, assume they remain silent and shameful. The e-mail address for this site is