This book is a MUST READ. Of course it is old now and the 911 inside job has uncovered a much deeper level of a criminal empire. BUT IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for us to have an understanding of the ways that our democracy is undermined by the ILLEGITEMATE OWNERS of this world. The book is freely availabe from zmag.org website. Blogspot adaptation by u2rh2.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
CHOMSKY vs Scott on Synth Terror - USA Terrorism=war
9/11, Deep Events, and the Curtailment of U.S. Freedoms
A talk delivered to the New England Antiwar Conference, MIT, January 30, 2010.
by Prof Peter Dale Scott January 31, 2010
Hello everyone! I'm honored to be invited to this important anti-war conference. As I am in the final stages of editing my next book, The Road to Afghanistan, I have been turning down invitations to speak. But I was eager to accept this one, and to join my friends and others in debunking the war on terror, the false justification for the Afghan-Pakistan war.
Let me make my own position clear at the outset. There are indeed people out there, including some Muslim extremists, who want to inflict terror on America. But it is crystal clear, as many people inside and outside government have agreed, that it makes this problem worse, not better, when Washington sends large numbers of U.S. troops to yet another country where they don .t belong.
A war on terror is as inappropriate a cure as a U.S. war on drugs, which as we have seen in Colombia makes the drug problem worse, not better. The war on terror and the war on drugs have this in common: both are ideological attempts to justify the needless killings of thousands . including both American troops and foreign civilians -- in another needless war.
Why does America find itself, time after time, invading countries in distant oil-bearing regions, countries which have not invaded us? This is a vital issue on which we should seek a clear message for the American people. Unfortunately it has been an issue on which there has been serious disagreement dividing the antiwar movement, just as it divided people, even friends, inside the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.
Perhaps many of you in this room know that there was disagreement between Noam Chomsky and myself in our analysis of how America entered the Vietnam War. This did not stop Noam and I from speaking out on the same platform against the war, or remaining friends, even after our public disagreements. There was too much on which we agreed.
Let me turn to today's topic, the war on terror, by reading a long quote from Noam Chomsky in 2002, with which I fully agree:
"the war on terrorism was not declared on September 11 ; rather, it was redeclared, using the same rhetoric as the first declaration twenty years earlier. The Reagan administration, as you know, I'm sure, came into office announcing that a war on terrorism would be the core of U.S. foreign policy, and it condemned what the president called the "evil scourge of terrorism. " --. International terrorism was described as a plague spread by "depraved opponents of civilization itself," in "a return to barbarism in the modern age.""
Today it is easy to see the falsehood of the government rhetoric in the 1980s about heroic freedom fighters fighting the "evil scourge of terrorism." Most of the CIA money in the 1980s went to the terrorist drug trafficker Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, remembered for his habit of throwing acid in the faces of women not wearing burkas. Hekmatyar did not represent Afghan aspirations for freedom, but the interests of the U.S. ally Pakistan. As a true Afghan leader said in 1994, "We didn't choose [him]. The United States made Hekmatyar by giving him his weapons." To describe Hekmatyar's men as freedom fighters was a fraud.
Chomsky had no trouble perceiving as a "fraud" the Tonkin Gulf incidents that led the U.S. to attack North Vietnam, and the resulting Congressional resolution that had already been drafted some months in advance. But he is not interested in the close analogies between the Tonkin Gulf incidents of 1964 and the 9/11 incidents of 2001, which were almost immediately followed by the Patriot Act, likewise already drafted well in advance. Chomsky argues that the 9/11 movement has drawn "enormous amounts of energy and effort away from activism." But the strong analogies between the Tonkin Gulf deception and the 9/11 deception have energized and activated me, and not me alone.
It is clear that exposure of McNamara's deceptions about the Tonkin Gulf incidents, especially in the Fulbright hearing of 1968, was an important factor in slowly changing Congress's mind about Vietnam. It is my earnest hope that exposure of Cheney's deceptions about 9/11, and particularly about what he did that day, will someday help end Congressional funding for the Afghan War.
I do not know the truth of what happened on 9/11. I do know for a certainty that there has been a cover-up of 9/11; and also, what the 9/11 Commission itself admits, that there has been high-level governmental lying about what happened, and what didn't happen, on that day. It became clear to me early on that 9/11 was another in a string of what I have called "deep events" -- which I define in my forthcoming book as events which are systematically ignored, suppressed, or falsified in public (and even internal) government, military and intelligence documents, as well as in the mainstream media and public consciousness. Underlying them is frequently the involvement of deep forces linked to either the drug traffic or to agencies of surveillance (or to both together), whose activities are extremely difficult to discern or document.
For Noam the falsification and lying are not particularly important: he prefers to focus on the continuous imperialist expansion of the United States into other parts of the world, and he hopes to persuade decent Americans to stop this expansion. For me in contrast deep events are of crucial importance, in part because their dishonesty provides us with a chance to counter ideology with truth. Each of us can say, rightly, that the method of the other has not yet stopped America from fighting wars. My appeal to you today is to accept that both approaches are needed in the antiwar movement.
I have been thinking about deep events for two decades, ever since I wrote a book about the Kennedy assassination with the title, Deep Politics. Since 9/11 I have been more and more convinced that
1)by studying deep events as a whole, we can see the underlying aspects of them more clearly.
2)however we analyze them, deep events have contributed collectively to the further erosion and corruption of American politics, which today are in the worst shape they have been since the McCarthyism era in the 1950s.
That is to say, even if you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president and did it alone, it is clear that the Warren Commission used it to increase CIA surveillance of Americans. As I wrote in Deep Politics, this was the result of
the Warren Commission's controversial recommendations that the Secret Service's domestic surveillance responsibilities be increased (WR 25-26). Somewhat illogically, the Warren Report concluded both that Oswald acted alone (WR 22), --, and also that the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, should coordinate more closely the surveillance of organized groups (WR 463). In particular, it recommended that the Secret Service acquire a computerized data bank compatible with that already developed by the CIA.
This pattern would repeat itself four years later, with the assassination of Robert Kennedy. How many of you are aware that, in the 24 hours between Bobby's shooting and his death, Congress hurriedly passed a statute . again drafted well in advance . that still further augmented the secret powers given to the Secret Service? Don't think that this was a trivial or benign change: from this ill-considered act, passed under Johnson, flowed some of the worst excesses of the Nixon presidency.
In the chaos and violence at the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, army intelligence surveillance agents, seconded to the Secret Service, were present, both inside and outside the convention hall. Some of them equipped the so-called "Legion of Justice thugs whom the Chicago Red Squad turned loose on local anti-war groups." The presence of army intelligence agents at the convention was authorized by the statute passed while Bobby Kennedy was dying.
This brings us to 9/11. On that day, before the last plane had crashed in Pennsylvania, the White House authorized the institution of so-called COG plans. There is no doubt that COG was introduced . The 9/11 Report confirms it twice, on pages 38 and 326. And I have little doubt that the COG plans, still in force today under President Obama, are the justification for the surveillance agents who are with you in the room as I speak to you at this moment. I have written that they are also the probable source for the Patriot Act, and also for the Department of Homeland Security's Project Endgame -- a ten-year plan to expand detention camps, at a cost of $400 million in Fiscal Year 2007 alone. The worst features of the Bush decade were apparently all sketched out in COG planning . warrantless surveillance, warrantless detention, even suspension of our constitutional right of habeas corpus, first granted by Magna Carta in 1215.
I can't see you, but I'm going to ask you to raise your hands if you haven't heard about COG. If you haven't, please google for Cheney and COG when you get home (2.5 million hits), and perhaps even add "peter dale scott" to the search (9,470 hits).
You will find that officially "COG" stands for "Continuity of Government" planning. I always say that we should think of it as "Change of Government" planning, since it was well summarized 22 years ago by Alphonso Chardy in the Miami Herald as plans for "suspension of the Constitution --emergency appointment of military commanders --and declaration of martial law."
Much is known about COG plans, and much more is not known. We know that the ultra-secret planning began in 1981 under Reagan and then Oliver North, and continued under George H.W. Bush and Clinton. Two of the key planners were Cheney and Rumsfeld, the two men who implemented it under 9/11, even though when Clinton was president both men, both Republicans, were heads of major corporations and not even in the government.
We learned that COG planning was still active in 2007, when President Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51), which extended for one year the emergency proclaimed on September 14, 2001, and empowered the President to personally ensure "continuity of government" in the event of any "catastrophic emergency." He announced that NSPD 51 contains "classified Continuity Annexes" which shall "be protected from unauthorized disclosure." Under pressure from his 911truth constituents, Congressman DeFazio of the Homeland Security Committee twice requested to see these Annexes, the second time in a letter signed by the Chair of his committee.
His request was denied, indicating that (as I wrote in Counterpunch)
the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing -- Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority.
One of the post-Watergate reforms so detested by Vice-President Cheney was the National Emergencies Act. It requires specifically that "Not later than six months after a national emergency is declared, --, each House of Congress shall meet to consider a vote on a joint resolution to determine whether that emergency shall be terminated."
Former Congressman Dan Hamburg and I appealed publicly last year to Obama to terminate the emergency, and to Congress to hold the hearings required of them by statute. But Obama, without discussion, extended the 9/11 Emergency again on September 10, 2009; and Congress has continued to ignore its statutory obligations. One Congressman explained to a constituent that the provisions of the National Emergencies Act have now been rendered inoperative by COG. If true, this would seem to justify Chardy's description of COG as suspension of the Constitution.
I want to conclude by addressing those of you who may think that I exhibit the kind of conspiratorialist mentality once criticized by G. William Domhoff, the naïve belief "that if we get rid of a few bad people, everything will be well in the world."
My own position is still that which I articulated two decades ago years ago in response to Domhoff:
I have always believed, and argued, that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead not to `a few bad people,' but to the institutional and parapolitical [or deep political] arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed.
Michael Parenti has endorsed what I wrote, and added, "In sum, national security state conspiracies [or what I am here calling deep events] are components of our political structure, not deviations from it."
Thanks to 9/11, followed by COG, we now have a military command in the United States (NORTHCOM), unprecedented surveillance of both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens, and plans for massive detention of folks like you and me, if our protests should begin to threaten the war machine.
I call on you all to devise how to outwit these forces that are distorting our society.
The beginning of an antiwar movement is the time when it is hardest to be hopeful of success. And if what I have been saying is relevant, it will be harder now than in the 1960s to get our message to the American people. . This makes especially relevant some inspiring words I would like to quote from the late Howard Zinn, who died last Wednesday:
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacri?ce, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. --. The future is an in?nite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in de?ance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.
 Cf. RAND Corporation, "How Terrorist Groups End: Implications for Countering al Qa'ida," Research Brief, RB-9351-RC (2008), http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9351/index1.html: "Minimize the use of U.S. military force. In most operations against al Qa'ida, local military forces frequently have more legitimacy to operate and a better understanding of the operating environment than U.S. forces have. This means a light U.S. military footprint or none at all."  Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002), http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Journalist_Mars.html.  New York Times, March 13, 1994. Robert D. Kaplan reported his personal experience that Hekmatyar was "loathed by all the other party leaders, fundamentalist and moderate alike" (Robert D. Kaplan, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan [New York: Random House, 1990], 68-69).  Noam Chomsky, For Reasons of State (New York: Vintage, 1973), 102; cf. 109.  "Chomsky Dismisses 911 Conspiracy Theories As 'Dubious,'" Rense.com, December 13, 2006, http://www.rense.com/general74/dismiss.htm.  Peter Dale Scott, The Road to Afghanistan: The War Machine, the CIA, and the Global Drug Connection (forthcoming)  See for example Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 341-96.  Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 280.  Peter Dale Scott, Paul L. Hoch, and Russell Stetler, The Assassinations: Dallas and Beyond (New York: Random House, 1976), 443-46.  George O'Toole, The Private Sector (New York: Norton, 1978), 145; quoted in Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 278-79.  Joan M. Jensen, Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980 (New Haven: Yale UP), 244.  9/11 Commission Report, 38, 326; Scott, Road to 9/11, 228-29.  Scott, Road to 9/11, 238, 240-41.  Chardy, Miami Herald, July 5, 1987; Scott, Road to 9/11, 241.  Scott, Road to 9/11, 183-87.  Peter Dale Scott, "Congress, the Bush Administration and Continuity of Giovernment Planning: The Showdown," Counterpunch, March 31, 2008, http://www.counterpunch.org/scott03312008.html  50 U.S.C. 1622 (2002); Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg, "Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies," March 24, 2009, http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x5324819.  Peter Dale scott, "To All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!" (with Dan Hamburg), http.//www.truth.org, March 24, 2009, http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20090324183053848#r7.  White House Press Release, September 10, 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Notice-of-continuation-from-the-president-regarding-the-emergency-declared-with-respect-to-the-September-11-2001-terrorist-attacks/. A press briefing by Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs the same day did not mention the extension.  G. William Domhoff, in Jonathan Vankin, Conspiracies, Cover-Ups, and Crimes: Political Manipulation and Mind Control in America (New York: Paragon House, 1991), 125-26.  Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 11.  Michael Parenti, Dirty Truths: Reflections on Politics, Media, Ideology, Conspiracy, Ethnic Life and Class Power (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1996), 188.  Howard Zinn, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times (Boston: Beacon, 2002), 208.
The Terror Card: Fear is the Key to Obedience
The Terrorism Industrial Complex (TIC)
by Rev. Richard Skaff - January 31, 2010
Definitions of terrorism
Webster.s dictionary defines terrorism as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. . However, the United States code defined terrorism as "(An) act of terrorism means an activity that (A) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any state, and (B) appears to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population: (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping." . This is an official congressional definition of terrorism that applies only to other nations. However, the psychological end results of terror, is always fear that eventually leads to resignation and submission. Fear and terrorism are interconnected, therefore, we should discuss their connection in order to understand their impact on our behavior, and their use to control people. Fear has been the glue that has kept people attached to their dictators and to their gods. It is worth our time to take a brief look at this phenomenon that rules our existence. Fear is the key to obedience Man.s self-awareness is the progenitor of his alienation, fear, egocentrism, and anxiety; therefore, the unexamined life is worth living for the human herds, because it gives them a sense of false security and pseudo-belonging. Fear is the ulcer of the masses that cripples their psyche and vanquishes their freedom. . Biblically speaking, fear was always used by the clergies to ensure that people would obey the rules that were allegedly bestowed by God upon humanity to avoid burning in hell. These rules were actually written by men to control the masses and to perpetuate the power of the religious leaders. As a result, telling the truth and challenging the establishment will only lead to ridicule, crucifixion, and death. Unfortunately, fear is the driving force and the main psychological component of terror. Fear incapacitates people and renders them impotent. Fear is conducive to regressive behaviors by responsible adults, where people become dependent on an illusory parent figure like the government or a corporation per example, in order to protect them from the evildoers. So they become willing to relinquish their most intimate and sacred rights in order to feel safe. . How governments perpetuate fear through the use of the media Americans have been living in fear since 9-11. However, the reality behind our fears has been set out by our own corporate media who has been the main culprit in spreading it like a disease. Our media has terrorized our hearts and minds for years through their subliminal violent programming, and sensational coverage of their own version of the distorted truth. Sensationalism and misinformation are the essence of the modern media! Angry talk shows are the dish of the day, where the host abuses, yells, belittles, terrorizes his guests to ensure that their opinions are not heard, and only the host.s scripted ideas emerge as the winners, so his or her master.s agenda is served. The media has been spreading terror for years in the hearts of the American public, in order to force them to watch their trivial programming. Just as in Orwell.s Oceania , the airwaves are bombarded with 24 hours news channels that would resort to any twisted strategy to keep their distorted coverage going. "If it bleeds it leads. The airwaves are also inundated with shows and stories that promote fear, exaggeration of situations, twisting of the truth, psychological propaganda, bloody and gory stories, and buzz words (i.e. flesh eating bacteria, shark attacks on our shores, weapons of mass destruction, SARS, West Nile virus, carjacking, hijacking, war of the sexes, violence, epidemics, pandemics, child abductions, gay marriages, bird flu, H1N1, and so forth and so on). All designed to frighten, brainwash, manipulate, create conflict, confuse, liberalize, and mesmerize their audiences into watching their programs where anything is acceptable. "Instill fear in them and they shall watch and follow". This is a policy of terror not of democracy. . The terror card
Just as in the case of the Nazi Germany and the Israeli State, terror has been the ace in the hole for the US government. They have even adopted Israel.s model of safety. They totally ignore that the US is not under occupation as the Palestinian people are in Palestine , and that the alleged terrorism in the Holy Land is simply a reaction against unholy brutal occupation.
The US Homeland Security (the Orwellian ministry of lies) would like to use the Israeli anti-terror system, which is usually financed by American tax payers (US government gives Israel $7 to $8 billion dollars a year in money for being our friend besides the free military equipments, nuclear technology, and contracts).
As our proxy in the Near-East, an Israeli company has developed a system that matches high technology up with and behavioral psychology. It.s called WeCU, short for "We See You" (the same way Big Brother sees you). It projects images on a wall and monitors reactions of people. "If you strolled through an airport and saw a picture of your mother, you couldn.t help but respond."
Or if you were a terrorist, the logic goes, you.d respond to a terror group logo or other familiar imagery. The reaction to these images could be a darting of the eyes, an increased heartbeat, a nervous twitch or faster breathing, said company CEO Ehud Givon. If the system observes suspicious behavior, a person is detained and interrogated. "One by one, you can screen out from the flow of people those with specific malicious intent," Givon said. U.S. officials are considering the Israeli model for airport security. Israel practices ethnic profiling at Ben-Gurion Airport . Jewish Israelis typically pass through smoothly, while others like their Palestinian cousins may be taken aside for closer interrogation or even strip searches." In other words, if you are an Arab or a Palestinian, you will be strip searched and be subjected to body cavity searches. .
Of course the intimidation process that triggers anxiety, fear, and false positives doesn.t count, because the system is not designed to work but to harass and intimidate the identified victims just as the Stasi did in East Germany, or the Soviets in the Soviet Union. The Israelis. self-hatred for being Jews combined with their desperation to be identified as Europeans (especially German) has continuously obfuscated their judgment and forced them to project their self-hatred against their Arab cousins and re-enact their persecution on their Palestinian brothers whom they occupy and slaughter on a daily basis, even though the Christian Europeans have persecuted, burned and murdered millions of Jews throughout history.
Purpose of terrorism
According to Herman and O.Sullivan, terrorism has served other purposes in the West beyond mobilizing of populations in support of counterinsurgency operations in the provinces. It created a generalized fearfulness and irrationality that give leaders greater freedom of action. Per example, the Reagan administration needed a terrorism threat tied to a foreign enemy to justify its enormous arms buildup of the early 1980s and to distract attention from its regressive economic and social and social policies. . Thorstein Veblen (American economist and social critic) pointed out in 1904 that militarization to combat a foreign enemy is the natural and best hope of the American elite as "a corrective for .social unrest. and similar disorders of civilized life" and as the route to "popular submission and squalor." . Therefore, opponents of militarization and harsh measures against dissident minorities are paralyzed by terrorism propaganda, and it is very difficult to do something that demagogues can interpret as "helping terrorists." Ironically, the alleged underwear/Christmas Nigerian bomber who was listed in our intelligence data base as a terrorist and who had no coat during his trip to the United States (despite freezing temperatures) or luggage, had a one way ticket, and was aided by a professional mystery man who helped him get on the plane, was easily granted a visa by the US embassy to the United States.
Are our embassy employees so inept that they keep making the same errors over and over again?
Or incompetence is always a better strategy than complicity and treason?
This Christmas day incident created a major distraction during the holidays, revived the existence of the mythical Al Qaeda, and was used as a state propaganda tool to drum up fear in the public.
Sure enough few days later, a fabricated audio tape of the late Osama Bin Laden conveniently surfaced to corroborate the link of the Nigerian bomber to Al Qaeda.
This event has set the stage for the next level of terror propaganda that will pave the way for additional loss of liberty and multi-million dollar contracts for the Terrorism Industrial Complex that will be providing the airports of the world with body scanning machines to protect the herds from terrorism. Let.s remember that using intermittent fear mongering through contrived incidents is a great marketing strategy to sell expensive security gadgets and to erode freedom. No wonder that most Americans favor ethnic profiling and body scanning in airports, according to a recent poll conducted by a government mouth piece/newspaper "USA Today." . As I mentioned in a previous article that people will always give up their liberty for their safety, and that Mr. Obama has quickly learned that the permanent war on terror card is the inherent ingredient to maintain his power, and to guarantee himself a second term. Consequently, the TIC public-private partnership will continue to promote more technology for safety. Per example, Iris scanning technology in airports provided by L1-ID solutions a company that George Tenet former head of the CIA benefited greatly as a major shareholder and a previous director of Viisage that was acquired by L-1 ID solutions will eventually be implemented. . Or next time you decide to fly, Homeland security and their subdivision the TSA (the thought and behavior police) might slap on you a shocking bracelet that would serve as your boarding pass, and would track your lost luggage, set off an alarm in area that you are not allowed to be in, awaken you with an electric jolt if you fall asleep and helps you not to miss your flight. Subsequently, a stewardess can shock you and/or immobilize you if you get out of line. Of course this bracelet is designed to ensure your safety and the safety of your luggage from being lost. A top government official expressed interest in these safety bracelets in 2006. However, as of today it remains unclear if this is the trend of future air travel. [9,10]. Racism as a tool to promote terrorism and suspend natural rights Give up your freedom or die! That is the logo that most Americans believe in at this point of time as told by their government. What is a loss of a few sacred rights when we can keep you safe and alive, our government asks? In addition, our government implies that they are not discriminating against you, but they are only targeting a specific ethnic and/or racial group who doesn't look like you and who wants to kill you. It.s our holy (Jihad) war against the evil dark skinned man versus the good and pure white Christian man (even though purity is a myth and humanity is a pool of mutt who has shagged each other for thousands of centuries). The government will also tell us that they will use the terrorists. violent tactics to eradicate as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the dogma of our alleged born again U.S. Christian government. Historically, every dominant race and culture has appointed itself as the supreme one and the rest had to follow. In contrast to the bible, the meek shall not inherit the earth, but shall perish like an insignificant cockroach. Racism like hate and destructiveness is part of the human character. It is definitely a great political tool to create division among the masses in order to dominate them; in addition, down-grading people justifies their eradication. The establishment has the ability to define a race and to alter that same definition based on the political climate of the day. The illusion of belonging to a superior group helps compensates for the person who feels like a flee, and in lieu the group membership leads him to feel like a giant by appealing to his or her narcissistic biases. Group narcissism is a key factor in racism. It is fueled and perpetuated by politicians. Racism and fear go hand in hand. Fear is a natural response for self-preservation. By connecting fear to racism and artificially inducing it in people, weakens the masses and divides them, fabricates consent, and makes racism a mechanism of pseudo self-preservation. . A brief view of The Terrorism Industrial Complex (TIC)? According to Herman and O.Sullivan, the terrorism industrial complex consists of security agencies closely connected to the government. Many of their employees are previous government employees from the intelligence community and the military. The private sector terrorism experts in the west who reaches the mass media are generally affiliated with the terrorism industry institutes and think tanks. A large fraction of these experts also has revolving-door relationships with governments and government intelligence agencies, and many are connected with private security firms.
They therefore reflect official views and a state agenda, and they rarely depart from the assumptions of the western model of terrorism. Some of the experts have a material interest in "threat inflation." . The security industry serves business and government; it therefore approaches "terrorism" from the standpoint of its employers and principals. Some segments, especially those providing security services and recruiting and training mercenaries, are often arms of the government that carry out covert actions for which the government does not want to admit responsibility.
Leaders of the security business organize and participate regularly in conferences, hearings, and seminars on terrorism, and are experts consulted by the media to explain and show how to cope with the terrorist threat. Because of their structural position and role, members of the security industry look at terrorism strictly within the frame of the Western model. And they have a material interest in inflating the threat of terrorism in order to elevate, their own importance as supplier of counterterrorism services. Since the West engages in and supports a primary terrorism under the guise of responding to the violence of others, the security industry naturally gravitates to the support of and participation in real terrorism, as exemplified by advising the Guatemalan and Honduran military on apprehending and interrogating so-called terrorists and aiding the Nicaraguan contras. In the West this is all known as counterterrorism. . The industry naturally excludes the terrorism of the West and its clients from the terrorism agenda, and in fact, makes primary terrorist like the governments of South Africa and El Salvador victims of terrorism engaging in counterterrorism. The press follows closely in the terrorism industry.s wake. Thus Abu Nidal, loosely affiliated with Libya and Syria , merits great attention as a terrorist; the leaders of RENAMO, whose killings of unarmed civilians exceed those of Abu Nidal by a factor of many hundred but who are surrogates of a Western client and ally, South Africa , are rarely placed on official and expert lists of terrorists and are given slight attention and inspire little indignation in the mass media. xEven after the State Department itself issues a report documenting RENAMO killings on a staggering scale, mass media attention was fleeting and their indignation was restrained (in contrast with their reaction to the killing fields of distant Cambodia ). Even traditional terrorists like Orlando Boschand Luis Posada Carriles, who blow up civilian airliners and engage in multiple assassinations, do not attract substantial media attention. As long as they only attack the citizens, facilities, and friends of enemy states, the terrorism industry and media display little interest in their activities. This pattern is pervasive, and the choices have nothing to do with the substance of terrorism .in fact, they commonly involve emphasis on a lesser terrorism and simultaneous aversion of the eyes from wholesale terror. The choices are simply tailored to the political and propaganda needs of the West. If it is true that a substantial part for anti-Western terrorism is a response to western terrorism, then the solution to the terrorism problem for the West is clear: Stop doing it! The U.S. media rely almost exclusively on the government and private sector of the terrorism industry for their identification of terrorists, model of terrorism, facts, and proposed solutions. .
Manufacturing terrorism (keywords: Gladio, False Flag, 911, Bali, Madrid, London, CIA DIA ONI MOSSAD NSA)
There are several forms of manufactured terrorism. One is the inflation of the menace on the basis of modest and not very threatening but conceivable real actions (as with the weather underground and the West German Kurds). Another is the false transfer of the responsibility for a terrorist act to a convenient villain, as in the case of Agca's shooting of the pope. The spate of terrorist bombings in western Europe during the early and mid-1980s had the earmarks of being, at least in part, manufactured terrorism. The bombings were all too convenient for Western propaganda needs; many of them, especially those directed against NATO installations , were symbolic and ineffectual. . The examples of manufactured terrorism are innumerable, and will continue to go on and on to advance Western governments political agendas. Terrorism is also manufactured in the private sector to incriminate union leaders, activists, and political enemies, sometimes in collusion with agents of the state. In addition, the West has produced an industry of institutes and experts who formulate and channel analysis and information in accordance with Western demands. These institutes as part of Terrorism Industrial Complex are designed to give authoritative status to experts who will confirm and reinforce state propaganda, to occupy the informational space that might otherwise be used by dissident voices, and thus to ensure closure of fact and opinion. The government and corporate wealthy nourish the institutes and think tanks that service and sponsor suitable intellectuals and journalists who will convey the proper messages. The function of experts is merely to clarify and elaborate on pre-established truths, which reflects an effective propaganda system. . Terrorism as a tool for power and for grand theft of public money As we have seen, there are several factors that influence terrorism and they're all connected and manipulated to serve political purposes, in order for the elite to increase their wealth, power, and global domination. The key ingredient to take away people's money, long standing systemic privileges, and their natural rights such as freedom is for governments to snatch it in increments through what social psychologists call the inoculation effect. Per example, you don't take away people.s social security privileges overnight, instead you will surreptitiously do it in small doses by regularly and gradually reducing these benefits to nothing, while the herds become totally desensitized to the idea of losing it. Like religious leaders, our public-private partnership (PPP) democratic governments have consistently and regularly robbed the proles of their money. Through taxation and inflation (indirect tax) induced and justified by deliberate and profligate spending to finance their alleged political agendas, they have transferred the wealth of nations to themselves and to their other half in the global private industry. Meanwhile, contrived terror will continue to be a great tool of control and wealth for the elites who have rendered their mercenaries and bandits into famous terrorists and global stars.
Notes 1. Merriam-Webster.s 11th Collegiate Dictionary 2. The United States Congressional and Administrative News, 98th congress, Second session, 1984, Oct 19, volume 2; par 3077, 98 STAT, 2707 (West publishing Co. 1984). 3. R. Skaff, (2007). The Human Manifesto. PA, Maryland. 4. Michael Tarm, (January 8, 2010). Associated Press. Mind-reading systems could change air security. 5. E. Herman, G. O.Sullivan (1984). The "Terrorism" Industry: The experts and institutions that shape our view of terror. Random House Publishing, New York . 6. Throstein Veblen, The theory of Business Enterprise ( New York : Scribner, 1904), pp. 393-94. 7. Thomas Frank , USA Today (01-11-2010). Most OK with TSA full-body scanners 8. Shorrock, T. (05-07, 2007). George Tenet cashes in on Iraq. Salon.com 9. Youtube, 2010. DHS Showed Interest in Shock Bracelet for Airline Passengers 10. Worldnet daily (July 8, 2008) Latest buzz: Shock bracelets for all airline passengers 'Just when you thought you've heard it all'
Historian Howard Zinn: "Largest Lie" is the "U.S. War on Terrorism" by Sherwood Ross January 29, 2010
The "largest lie," wrote hisorian Howard Zinn who died January 2010 at age 87, is that "everything the United States does is to be pardoned because we are engaged in a .war on terrorism.."
"This ignores the fact that war is itself terrorism, that the barging into people.s homes and taking away family members and subjecting them to torture, that is terrorism, that invading and bombing other countries does not give us more security but less security."
In an article published previously in "The Long Term View" magazine of the Massachusetts School of Law, Zinn said that in the Fallujah area of Iraq Knight Ridder reporters found there was no Ba.athist or Sunni conspiracy against the U.S., "only people ready to fight because their relatives had been hurt or killed, or they themselves had been humiliated by home searches and road stops."
Zinn, popularly known as the people.s historian, pointed out that the U.S. may have liberated Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein but afterwards it became Iraq.s occupier. He noted this is the same fate that befell Cuba after the U.S. liberated it from Spain in 1898. In both nations, the U.S. established military bases and U.S. corporations moved in to profit from the upheaval.
Zinn recalled the words of then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before the NATO ministers in Brussels in June, 2002, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" of weapons of mass destruction. "That explains why this government, not knowing exactly where to find the criminals of September 11, will just go ahead and invade and bomb Afghanistan, killing thousands of people, driving hundreds of thousands from their homes, and still not know where the criminals are," Zinn wrote.
"This explains why the government, not really knowing what weapons Saddam Hussein is hiding, will invade and bomb Iraq, to the horror of most of the world, killing thousands of civilians and soldiers and terrorizing the population," he continued.
The historian pointed out that even if the U.S. experienced few battle casualties in its invasion of Iraq, casualties would mount afterwards in the occupying army from sickness and trauma, which took a high toll both in Viet Nam and after the Gulf War. In the 10 years after the Gulf War, 8,000 veterans died and 200,000 veterans filed complaints about illnesses incurred "from the weapons our government used in the war."
Zinn predicted accurately that once the American public realized President Bush had lied to them about Iraq they would turn against the government. "When it loses its legitimacy in the eyes of its people, its days are numbered," he said of the Bush administration.
Writing of his personal feelings, Zinn said, "I wake up in the morning, read the newspaper, and feel that we are an occupied country, that some alien group has taken over. I wake up thinking this country is in the grip of a President (George W. Bush) who was not elected, who has surrounded himself with thugs in suits who care nothing about human life abroad or here, who care nothing about freedom abroad or here, who care nothing about what happens to the earth, the water, the air. And I wonder what kind of world our children and grandchildren will inherit."
Zinn called on his readers "to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress. We find ourselves today at one of those critical points."
The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is a non-profit law school purposefully dedicated to the education of students from minority, immigrant, and low-income households who would otherwise not have the opportunity to obtain a legal education. Zinn.s article in The Long Term View first appeared in The Progressive magazine. # Sherwood Ross formerly worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. Currently, he is a media consultant to Massachusetts School of Law at Andover
I remember vividly the first time I met Howard Zinn. It was 2005 and the height of the murder and mayhem overtaking Iraq after the US/UK attack. I was studying history for a year at UCLA and had gone over to the East Coast for a week to interview three of the great dissidents in the country Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Edward S Herman for the Leeds Student newspaper.
Though a good publication, Leeds Student isn't exactly the New Yorker, but Zinn agreed to the interview straight away, no questions asked. His only request was that we meet at the Harvard Trade Union Program, so I trundled along there on a cold November morning. His personal warmth was as Victoria Brittain mentioned renowned, but the strength of its radiation still struck me when I met him. He smiled and bantered and encouraged. I told him I had just watched the documentary about his life, You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train, the night before in my hostel. "I bet you got it free off the internet didn't you! Everyone does that nowadays," he joked in the lift (it was true).
Towards the end of the interview our roles reversed and he started to ask me what I thought of the war and the political situation in the UK, something the majority of careerist, conceited academics are rarely do. But this was what made Zinn sui generis: a voracious intellect but, crucially, one deeply immersed in the world around him. He saw everyone as a source from which to learn, and it was this quality that made him such a brilliant historian. He was, in the truest sense of an overused phrase, a man of the people.It is no surprise, then, that he singlehandedly turned American historiography on its head by adducing the forgotten histories of the marginalised, colonised and abused to weave a work of true brilliance. Published in 1980, A People's History of the United States, was, for me as an undergraduate history student, a complete revelation. I was growing bored with the stale tutorials on the Annalist school, discussions so abstract as to be dispiritingly divorced from the increasingly mad world we were living in. Then there were the fatuous forums on "What is history?" where we debated objectivity and truth and managed to miss the point of it all.
Zinn's work saved me though. He provided many of the answers, subverting the "received wisdom" with ease and piercing simplicity. I still remember reading the first chapter of People's History on Columbus Day in the US after a friend had recommended it. Zinn had carefully laid out the barbarity of the first Spanish colonists led by Columbus in their own words. The history he told made the celebrations for this "great explorer" seem truly sick.
Zinn was also saying explicitly something I had been thinking but never had the confidence to say: "My work, like everyone else's, is subjective". He wasn't afraid to admit it. At university we were taught to revere the great historians who provided the "truthful" account of the past. But, said Zinn, everything was and is subjective, and not benignly subjective either. History had since its inception been skewed in the service of power, status and money. This was explicit in the days of the court historians, paid by the Crown to write their hagiographies, but it continues to this day with elite universities such as Harvard giving their most prestigious history chairs to people such as Niall Ferguson, who has put his mind in the service of entrenched power since the start of his career, while spurning the excavators of real truth such as Zinn.
But while it's obvious that people will focus on his greatest work, Zinn's life was indistinguishable from the great struggles that overtook America in the 20th century (at 87, he lived for about a quarter of the entire life of the American Republic). He was a lecturer at Spelman College, the most famous black university in the South, when he joined his students in civil disobedience actions during the civil rights movement and was eventually kicked out. He was one of the leaders of the anti-Vietnam war movement that mobilised a generation, and spoke out against the trophy cabinet of fascist security states the administrations from Nixon to Reagan established and nurtured in Latin America through the back end of the cold war.Where the American liberal elite were wavering and equivocating in the face of these barbarisms, Zinn could be relied upon to speak up and provide the historical context to the contemporary atrocities. His last article for the Nation last month on Obama's first year is a good example and should be read by anyone interested in the latest liberal hysteria.
Zinn's many detractors in the history profession accused him of "propaganda" and "bias". It is true that his aversion to war was emotional as well as intellectual. But why is that considered a negative?
.Howard Zinn.s last advice for America: A Broad Coalition for Independence From the Corporations & the Military
And this letter back from Howard:
Arthur, you are absolutely right, this is the time for the resurgence of a national movement that begins with a co-ordinated country-wide action.
The theme you describe, .independence from the military-corporation. is one that all sorts of people and groups can unite around. I believe millions, probably tens of millions of people are ready for this because there is little left of the early euphoria that greeted Obama.s election.
A huge job to organize it, but it was done for Mobilization Day Oct.15,1969, and without the advantage of the Internet.
Someone or some group that is respected throughout the progressive movement would need to take the initiative and summon supporters. With blacks, Latinos, women prominent, and not disdaining celebrities. I think of Julian Bond, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, Matt Damon, Oprah, Alice Walker, Marian Wright Edelman . some well-known clergy, you and others, some labor leaders. Maybe not that exact group, but just to suggest a direction. And a few super-organizers.
I.m not up for organizing these days, maybe for consultation, and whatever help I can give..
Clips of Howard and talks December 11, 2009 Renowned historian Howard Zinn has chronicled centuries of people.s struggles against oppression. He joins Bill Moyers to discuss the voices of today.s people â.. facing big interests. outsized influence â.. and his new film THE PEOPLE SPEAK.
Tuesday morning -- just two days ago -- I wrote half a dozen leaders of progressive thought and action in America, each separately, the letter that follows. One of the people I wrote was the historian /activist Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, whom I have known for 45 years or so. He responded just 90 minutes later, and his response is also below.
All day yesterday I was meeting with doctors who cleared away the last of my medical barriers to travel and to risking arrest in nonviolent civil-disobedience actions. I intended this morning, Thursday morning, to write Howard back to ask how to follow up on his comments.
But I can't. Howard died yesterday, at 87. He was one of the wisest, gentlest, drily good-humored of progressive thinkers and activists. The best of the America he celebrated in his bottom-up history, in which the energies and currents of Blacks, of workers, of women, of religious minorities, of war resisters, were the center -- not Presidents and Senators.
After I share with you this last exchange I'll be able to have with him --perhaps the last commentary he made on the American political scene -- I'll share two stories - one long ago that has stayed lit up for me all these years, and one very recent.
This is what I wrote him Tuesday morning:
Dear Howard,â.¨â.¨ It seems to me that the confluence of massive disemployment, plus knee-jerk militarism, plus stalemate on the climate crisis and on health care, plus the Supreme Court decision on corporate financing of elections, plus the use of the filibuster in the Senate -- all in what many assumed or hoped would be a year of major progressive change -- has shocked enough people that it should, and might, make possible a progressive coalition.
I'm imagining a coalition aimed at "independence from the military-corporate alliance," with a platform that includes strong planks on climate, jobs, health, ending the present wars, major reductions in the military, transforming campaign finance, and ending the filibuster.
â.¨â.¨Perhaps with rallies, vigils, sit-downs, etc in state capitals and other centers all around the country on July 4, and support for specific progressive candidates in the 2010 Congressional elections . â.¨ Do you think this would make sense? â.¨â.¨How would it be possible to begin shaping such a coalition? â.¨â.¨Shalom, salaam, shantih --- peace, Arthur
And this letter back from Howard:
Arthur, you are absolutely right, this is the time for the resurgence of a national movement that begins with a co-ordinated country-wide action.
The theme you describe, "independence from the military-corporation" is one that all sorts of people and groups can unite around. I believe millions, probably tens of millions of people are ready for this because there is little left of the early euphoria that greeted Obama's election.
A huge job to organize it, but it was done for Mobilization Day Oct.15,1969, and without the advantage of the Internet.
Someone or some group that is respected throughout the progressive movement would need to take the initiative and summon supporters. With blacks, Latinos, women prominent, and not disdaining celebrities. I think of Julian Bond, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez, Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, Matt Damon, Oprah, Alice Walker, Marian Wright Edelman -- some well-known clergy, you and others, some labor leaders. Maybe not that exact group, but just to suggest a direction. And a few super-organizers.
I'm not up for organizing these days, maybe for consultation, and whatever help I can give.
I was going to write Howard today to ask whether he'd invite some of those people and a few others to meet to talk about the possibilities.
Now -- is it possible to see those few words as a kind of legacy that we can turn into a new chapter of the "people's history"? Two stories: In the mid-'60s, Howard spoke at some gathering in Washington about the Vietnam War. He said that most of the time, the American people - any people - walks around in the dark, bumping blindly into extremely dangerous and hurtful objects -- wars, depressions, racism, drug epidemics, police violence . Literally blind-sided, again and again.
But occasionally, some event would become a lightning flash, illuminating the structures of power behind these disasters. He said Vietnam had become a lightning flash. We were for the first time seeing the connections between the universities and the military, we were seeing the way children were channeled from their earliest years (without regard to their intelligence or creativity) into becoming factory workers, or unemployed, or lawyers, or "
And our job, he said, was to try to turn these lightning flashes into steady light, to help a whole society keep seeing the truth about itself.
And just last month, late December: I had sent out an essay in a satirical vein, pointing up the absurdity of the way Washington is carrying on the Afghanistan war in order to defeat "terrorism."
Several folks wrote or called to tell me they didn't think humor, even or especially bitter humor, was appropriate in talking about a war. I felt dismayed, unsettled, dispirited.
Then I got this note from Howard:
" Dear Art, A friend of mine just sent me this piece you wrote -- satiric, powerful -- about Detroit, Islam, Kabul, terrorism. It is a brilliant commentary and I have passed it on to a number of people. Thank you for it . I wish you a peaceful and joyful New Year. Howard"
So -- dear Howard, I'm not so sure about "brilliant," but I'm glad you felt the humor had some bite where our rulers need to be bitten. You revived my spirits.
And -- dear dear Howard, I wish you a joyful New Year making trouble for the Authorities in Heaven. If ever the memories, the teachings, of a tzaddik - a practitioner of tzedek, justice - could bring blessing to those who are still scrabbling for justice on this stricken earth, it's the memories and teachings you left us.
Osama Bin Laden is dead - Sockpuppet players malign Chomsky
The Osama Ben Ladin sock-puppet players (israeli? NSA/CIA/Mossad?) are threatening lefties with anti-terror terror.
By Ali Khalil
DUBAI, Jan 29, 2010 (AFP) - Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden lectured the US and other industrial nations on climate change, and urged a dollar boycott in response to American "slavery," in a fresh verbal assault broadcast Friday.
In the message aired on Al-Jazeera television, possibly timed to coincide with the World Economic Forum in Davos, bin Laden said "all industrial nations, mainly the big ones, are responsible for the crisis of global warming."
"Discussing climate change is not an intellectual luxury, but a reality," he said in the audio recording whose authenticity could not be immediately verified.
"This is a message to the whole world about those who are causing climate change, whether deliberately or not, and what we should do about that."
The Al-Qaeda chief condemned the administration of former US president George W. Bush for refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol on cutting carbon emissions.
"Bush... and the Congress before him, rejected this agreement, only to satisfy the big companies," said bin Laden.
"Those (firms) are behind speculation and monopolies, and rises in prices... and they are behind globalisation and its tragic results."
Bin Laden also slammed financial bailouts set up by wealthy countries to help big industry cope with the global financial crisis, saying the programmes helped companies that caused the economic meltdown.
"When those perpetrators fall victims to the evil they had committed, the heads of states rush to rescue them using public money.
He also borrowed from prominent American leftist Noam Chomsky, saying the US administration operates like the mafia.
"Chomsky was right when he pointed to a resemblance between American policies and the approach of mafia gangs. Those are the real terrorists," said bin Laden.
He was apparently referring to comments made in British newspaper The Guardian in November by Chomsky, a linguistics professor famous for his attacks on US policy.
The Al-Qaeda leader went on to urge a boycott of the US dollar.
"We should stop using the dollar and get rid of it... I know that there would be huge repercussions for that, but this would be the only way to free humankind from slavery... to America and its companies," he said.
"Whatever the repercussions of such (boycott) decision would be, staying in slavery to them would have bigger and more dangerous results."
The broadcast came less than a week after bin Laden praised as a "hero" Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who allegedly tried to detonate explosives on a US plane approaching Detroit on Christmas Day, in another audio message.
"The message that was conveyed through the (attack on the) plane... is that America should not dream of security until we enjoy it as a reality in Palestine," he said in the message aired on Sunday by Al-Jazeera.
The authenticity of that statement is also yet to be verified, but IntelCenter, a US group that monitors Islamist websites, said it appeared to be the voice of bin Laden.
US President Barack Obama said bin Laden's decision to claim the attempted plane attack on December 25 showed the Al-Qaeda leader had been "weakened."
The State Department said bin Laden was seeking "glory" by taking credit for incidents around the world.
"Bin Laden has been trying to put his fingerprints on just about everything that's happened for years," said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism.
Bin Laden has a 50-million-dollar bounty on his head and has been in hiding for the past eight years. He is widely believed to be holed up along the remote mountainous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
terror! it is amazing how we are docile in the face of the wool being pulled over our eyes :-)
I think most people are not fit to rebel.
The media-PR is drumming the sense out of them. I should really stop listening to corporate news.Radio New Zealand, BBC all purveyors of the Mental conditioning.. the constant repeat of untrue concepts... like that we are fighting terrorism. Imagine if the news would say:
"Again, today, remote flying killing-robots controlled from Nevada have violated the airspace of another nation and slaughtered 20 people that were on a "to be killed" list, prepared by unelected lords. The corporate doctrinal system in a million messages on thousands of channels has bombarded the populations world-wide with a hammering of doctrines that they are fighting terror. Despite the blatantly obvious fact that terror is not fought but created, and that being the original intend behind these crimes, the unelected powers that order the murders go unpunished.
corporate-media: US moves closer to 9/11 trial in New York
Obama having the US military top-secret 911 perpetrators by the balls. He may not survive this.
corporate-media: Israel pays UN $10.5 million over Gaza damage
But is that progress?
corporate-media: Israel has always denied deliberately firing on UN property during the
Israel is deliberatly attacking Gaza, but not responsible.
The 2010 Erich Fromm Prize endowed with 10,000E goes to the linguist and political intellectual Noam Chomsky
The celebration will take place in the New Castle of Stuttgart. Chomsky himself will present the Fromm-Lecture entitled: "'The evil scourge of terrorism': Reality, Construction, Remedy".
Supreme Court ruling treats corporations as citizens, citizens as serfs
GAH! My god, what an awful, awful week. Washington is spewing bad news faster than I can keep up with it. Every time I open the paper (Google Reader) I say to myself: Well, THIS is as bad as it can get. AND THEN THINGS GET WORSE. Hahahahahahahahaha, WHY GOD!?
The Supreme Court.s decision yesterday to grant corporations unlimited spending ability . an event which shall henceforth be known as .oligarchy codification day. . actually trumps the unnecessary victory of .Cosmo. Scott Brown over .Redbook. Martha Coakley for worst news of the week. As the New York Times put it this morning, now lobbyists can say:
.[I]f you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election..
It.s difficult to overstate how devastating this ruling is, so let.s not even try!
The court has decided that corporations are Real Americans, who should be able to buy unlimited political influence like all Real Americans can. They will now wield comical amounts of power, literally. As Brian Beutler tweeted yesterday, quoting the majority opinion and then describing the response [via Ezra Klein]:
.appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy,. says SCOTUS.b4 bursting into laughter.
Among other things, yesterday.s catastrophe makes explicit the general feeling in America that the government exists solely to allow corporations to concentrate their wealth. As James Madison said. which Noam Chomsky often quotes to illustrate the true motives of at least some of the founding fathers . the government,
.ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority..
MADISON.S DREAM HAS COME TRUE. Politicians will now be decorated with corporate logos like human NASCARs. The only difference is that we won.t be lucky enough to see one of them burst into flames 18 hours into a 3-day filibuster.
The wonderful Dahlia Lithwick . who, remarkably, hasn.t taken her own life after covering both this story and the Gitmo murders scandal . summed up the court.s ruling yesterday. To alter a Tupac line ever so slightly, her final paragraph hits your conscience like a slug to your chest:
.[Y]ou can plainly see the weariness in Stevens eyes and hear it in his voice today as he is forced to contend with a legal fiction that has come to life today, a sort of constitutional Frankenstein moment when corporate speech becomes even more compelling than the .voices of the real people. who will be drowned out. Even former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once warned that treating corporate spending as the First Amendment equivalent of individual free speech is .to confuse metaphor with reality.. Today that metaphor won a very real victory at the Supreme Court. And as a consequence some very real corporations are feeling very, very good..
The New York Times Editorial Board writes:
.With a single, disastrous 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century. Disingenuously waving the flag of the First Amendment, the court.s conservative majority has paved the way for corporations to use their vast treasuries to overwhelm elections and intimidate elected officials into doing their bidding..
Yay! You know what everyone in America was just thinking? Boy, I wish those corporations finally had some say in how this country was run. Why, those plucky upstarts have been marginalized for too long! Oh, it.s just fantastic. In ten years, nobody will get why it used to be a joke to refer to Nelson Aldrich as the Senator From Standard Oil . where else would he be from?
Republicans nearly trampled each other racing to say what a fantastic win this is for the First Amendment, a sure sign that yesterday was a huge defeat for the First Amendment. But equally as important as the insane amount of money the GOP will now be getting from corporations is the money that the Democrats also will be trying their damndest to get. Nothing was as damaging to the health care bill as the secret meeting with the pharmaceutical and health insurance lobbyists . meetings that were made to please those powerful interests, and keep their dollars flowing to the Democrats and away from the GOP. Now, there will be even more incentives for the repulsive Democrats to sink further into the corporatist quicksand that will soon envelope this country whole, if it hasn.t already.
Watching the 2010 elections is going to be even worse now than I anticipated. The best we can hope for now is a fiery wreck around the final turn.
(For a quick overview of this case, here.s a link to the always reliable Bill Moyers, who devoted some time to it a few weeks ago.)
Noam Chosmky on MLK - carefully avoiding State-murder evidence
chomsky on martin luther king ... he avoids state-murder evidence
Excerpted from a longer interview for the Rob Kall Bottom-up radio show, WNJC 1360 AM, recorded Monday, January 18th 1-2 PM EST, to be broadcast Wednesday, January 20, 2010.
I asked Professor Chomsky about his thoughts on the transition of the culture and humans from top down to bottom up.
Today's a good day to think about that. Today's in memory of Martin Luther King, who is a a great man and an important figure who played a major role in the civil rights movement.
I'm sure he would have been the first to say that he was riding the wave of protest and activism that developed from the bottom, that began with-- it goes way back-- black kids insisting on going to schools. Eisenhower had to call in federal troops to support them. Black students sitting in at lunch counters. Black and white young people joining to become "freedom riders."
It's not easy. They suffered. A number were killed. They were brutally beaten and attacked. Things weren't pretty by any means. I saw some of that.
Finally, enough of a popular movement developed so that Martin Luther King was able to lead major marches, demonstrations and so on that developed support in the north as well, as long as it was focused in the south. Racism in the north was barely addressed. But as long as it was focused on the atrocities in the south it got substantial support and finally enough pressure to get Lyndon Johnson to pass significant legislation and all of that was progress from the bottom-up, as most changes are.
It's important to remember that Martin Luther King's career did not end withe "I have a dream" speech. He went on. He went on to extend his concerns and activism. And as he did, his popularity and reputation among northern liberal declined. He turned to protest against the Viet Nam war, correctly. He was assassinated when he was supporting the sanitary workers strike. And in fact, he was on his way to organize a poor people's movement. By that time, he was reaching class issues, not just racist Alabama sherriffs. And, as he turned to those issues, his reputation declined. I suspect, if you listen to the speeches today, about Martin Luther King, you won't hear a lot about that aspect.
What we prefer to remember is his quite courageous efforts to carry forward civil rights legislation and civil rights reforms. And that was, doubtless, extremely significant. But it didn't end there. He went on and that was a part of his greatness, in fact, a large part of it.
But with regard to bottom-up versus top-down, his role is a good example. There was a large scale popular movement created from the bottom up, which presented the circumstances in which he could be an effective leader...
William F. Pepper - An Act of State
The Execution of Martin Luther King
Talk given at Modern Times Bookstore, San Francisco, CA
4 February 2003
Tonight we have a very special author whose book, An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King, Jr., has just been published by Verso. William Pepper is an English barrister and an American lawyer. He convenes a seminar on International Human Rights at Oxford University. He maintains a practice in the U.S. and the U.K. He is author of three other books and numerous articles. This book is the result of a quarter-century of an investigation. I will let Dr. Pepper give you more information. Let's give a warm welcome to William Pepper.
Thank you. And good evening. This story actually begins with Vietnam in 1966. As a very much younger person I was there as a journalist and didn't publish anything whilst I was there, but waited until I got back to the United States. Then I wrote a number of articles. One of them appeared in a muckraking magazine called Ramparts, that had its home in this city, published by Warren Hinckle in those days. It was called "The Children of Vietnam." That is what started me down the slippery slope of the saga of Martin Luther King; his work during the last year, and his death. And then an investigation which has gone on since 1978.
When Martin King saw the Ramparts piece he was at a -- there are different stories of actually where he was -- but I think he was at Atlanta Airport on his way to the West Indies and he was traveling with Bernard Lee, his bodyguard. They were having a meal and he was going through his mail, according to Bernard, and he came upon this issue of Ramparts, January 1st, 1967. It had in it the piece that I wrote called "The Children of Vietnam." Bernard said as he started to thumb through it he stopped and was visibly moved. He pushed his food away. Bernard said, "What's the matter Martin, aren't you hungry? Is there something wrong with the food?" And he said, "No. I've lost my appetite. I may have lost the ability to appreciate food altogether until we end this wretched war."
Then he asked to meet with me and asked me to open my files to him that went well beyond what was published in the Ramparts piece in terms of photographs. Some of you probably saw, if you're old enough to remember, a number of those photographs. Portions of them used to appear on lampposts and windows of burned and deformed children. That was what gave him pause. He hadn't had a chance to read the text at that point but it was the photographs that stopped him.
The introduction of the article was by Benjamin Spock. It resulted, ultimately, in a Committee of Responsibility bringing over a hundred Vietnamese children, war-injured children to this country and our placing them in hospitals around the nation. This was so that people would have a chance to see first-hand what their tax dollars were purchasing.
He is depicted on King Day as a civil rights leader. And that's the way you're going to see him probably forever. But he was much more than a civil rights leader and that's what no one in official capacity wants you to know. He had moved well beyond the civil rights movement by 1964-65 and he had become effectively a world-figure in terms of human rights people and particularly the poor of this earth. That's where he was going. That's the area you don't really get into safely when you start talking about wealth, redistributing wealth. Taking, diverting huge sums of money into social welfare programs and health programs and educational programs at the grass roots. When you start going into that you begin to tread on toes in this country, in the United Kingdom, and in most of the western world.
On the way to Cambridge to open Vietnam Summer, an anti-war project, we rode from Brown University (where he had delivered a sermon at the chapel there) and I continued the process of showing him these photographs and anecdotes of what I had seen when I was in the country. And he wept, he openly wept. He was so visibly shaken by what was happening that it was difficult for him to retain composure. And of course that passion came out in his speech on April 4th, 1967 at Riverside Church  where he said that his native land had become the greatest purveyor of violence on the face of the earth. Quoting Thoreau he said we have come to a point where we use massively improved means to accomplish unimproved ends and what we should be doing is focusing on not just the neighborhood that we have created but making that old white neighborhood into a brotherhood. And we were going entirely in the opposite direction and this was what he was pledging to fight against.
We spoke very early in the morning following that Riverside address and he said, `Now you know they're all going to turn against me. We're going to lose money. SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference] will lose all of its corporate contributions. All the major civil rights leaders are going to turn their back on me and all the major media will start to tarnish and to taint and to attack me. I will be called everything even up to and including a traitor.' So he said, `We must persevere and build a new coalition that can be effective in this course of peace and justice.`
That coalition came to be known as the National Conference for New Politics. It was an umbrella organization and it held its first -- and last -- convention in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend of 1967. It had 5,000 delegates, maybe the largest convention of people ever assembled in the history of this country, at the Palmer House in Chicago. They came from every walk of life, every socio-economic class, every racial group, every ethnic group. The purpose was to form this umbrella coalition that would effectively coordinate a massive third-party political campaign against the Johnson Administration and Johnson's re-election; but at the same time develop grassroots organizing capabilities in the communities across America. It wasn't to be -- although it continued and struggled for the period of a year -- but it wasn't to be because of government's wiliness and our naïveté. We never appreciated the extent to which government would go to undermine and undercut that kind of movement. They were responsible for the formation of a first black caucus. That black caucus was largely led by agente provocateurs who came from the Blackstone Rangers, organizations of that sort in Chicago. And they corraled each black delegate who came in and brought them into a room and formed this unity of all-black delegates and this commitment to vote as a block and introduce resolutions as a block.
We thought, many of us, that this was a good thing because this was typical and representative of a growing black awareness, particularly urban awareness. Although in the caucus they of course brought in rural black leaders as well. We felt this was healthy and there would be then this block that would vote and introduce the concerns of the black community across America. We didn't know that it was government-induced and government-sponsored and government-paid for and that the leaders were gangsters. Blackstone Rangers would surface again and again in the course of the movement as capable of disrupting and causing havoc on behalf of their employers. Martin delivered the keynote address at the convention. I introduced him and he delivered this address and the importance of this movement. As he was speaking a note was passed over my shoulder to me and I read it and it said, `Get him out of here after he finishes his speech or we will take him hostage and humiliate him before the world.' They were so afraid that if this man stayed on for the substantive part of the convention that he, as a unifier, might bridge the differences and might overcome the provocation that was designed to disrupt the convention. But I really felt at that point I had no choice. It was the first tip-off of what was going on. But still [I thought these were] just angry, hostile urban blacks, disaffected with non-violence and who had a different way of looking at things and different tactics that they wanted to follow. I didn't think at all that it was (of course) officially inspired. So we did get Martin out of the Palmer House very quickly after his speech and they went on with the convention. It was all downhill from there. They forced through resolutions that simply were so antagonistic to sections of the movement and engendered such hostility that all the money dried up for that noble cause. They were successful. That being the case, nevertheless we struggled and worked in that last year of his life. I remember the last time I saw him alive (I think it was in late February). He had already started to become involved in the sanitation workers strike. In his own mind he thought that this was the basis for the encampment of the poor people in Washington and this was a good launching pad. He sympathized with all the goals of the sanitation workers in Memphis. We met at John Bennett's study at Union Theological Chamber in New York. There was just four of us: Martin, myself, Benjamin Spock and Andrew Young. Most of the dialogue actually came between Martin and myself in terms of my probing him about ways of briding the gap between his commitment to peace and non-violence and that approach of Malcom[ X]'s which was confrontational and violent in self-defense. We went away, with no resolution to the issue. And of course, the rest is history. He was assassinated on the fourth of April 1968, one year to the day (it's interesting) from the time he delivered the Riverside speech.
We went to the memorials, Spock and I, and the funeral and then I walked away from political activity. I had had my fill of it. Ben and Julian Bond and others went up to see Bobby Kennedy who had asked, invited us all to come. I didn't know him in '68. I knew him as a much younger person when I handled the campaign of his as a citizen's chairmen in Westchester County in New York when he ran for the Senate. And I didn't like him at all. I thought he was opportunistic and all those things that you have heard about Bobby Kennedy I thought were true. I saw them, confronted them, directly. But the Bob Kennedy who was killed in '68, I think was a very different person. I regard it as one of my sadnesses that I did not see him at the end. Because he had made an overture to Martin to run as a Vice-Presidential candidate with him. It was not generally known. But when he made his announcement, March I guess it was 15th or 16th, he made contact with Martin and I'm sure that contact was known. Eight, nine years later [Ralph] Abernathy called me and asked me to go up to the prison with him. Actually [it was] ten [years], it was in late '77, he asked me to go to the prison with him and interrogate James Earl Ray. I said, `This is a funny request Ralph. Ten years after the fact. Why would you want to do that? Do you have some questions about it? Isn't Ray guilty?' I didn't know anything about the case. I didn't want to know about it at that point. He said, `I just have some questions. Will you come along with me?' I still don't fully understand why he did that. He said, `But I want you to interrogate him and I want to watch him when you do that.' So I said, `Well, it's going to take me some while to get up to speed on this case. Because I don't know anything about it.'
For the first time under oath in any assassination's case in the history of this country, or perhaps any other, there is the complete picture of how Martin Luther King was killed. There is every answer to every question. There is why the bushes were cut down the next morning. Who cut them down. Who asked to have them cut down. There is every piece of information there. For history more than anything else.
It did take some time. In August of '78, finally, we went and we went through this session of five hours intensive interrogation of James Earl Ray. His lawyer at the time, Mark Lane, was there. A body language specialist from Harvard, [Dr.] Howie Berens came and he sat in a corner, just watched James' movements as I put him really through a rather rigorous, painful time.
He was very different than we expected to find. He was shy, docile, soft-spoken, thoughtful and not at all the kind of racist figure that had been depicted in the media. Not at all. He knew very little about weapons, very clearly had virtually no skill at all with them. He was a petty thief and burglar, hold-up man. But he was totally incompetent in that. He was known for showing up too late in supermarkets he wanted to stick up, the time-lock would already have been fixed on the safe [laughs]. The staff would say, `Look, there's nothing we can do about this.' [laughing throughout remainder of paragraph] And they said, `We'll give you our money.' He said, `I don't want your money. I don't want to rob working people. I want the money from this corporation.' That type of thing. He kept five bullets, typically, in his pistol. When he was arrested at Heathrow Airport he had five bullets in his pistol. He always kept the firing pin chamber empty. When I pressed him on that, a long time, he wouldn't answer that question. Finally he admitted, with some embarrassment, that he kept the firing pin chamber empty because he shot himself in the foot once [laughs]. And he just didn't want to do that again. He was incompetent when it came to rifles. He had a virtually non-existent marksmanship score when he took his test in the Army. He didn't know much about guns. When he was instructed to buy a weapon that became the throw-down gun in the assassination he bought a .243 Winchester rather than a thirty-ott-six [.3006] that he was told to get. He didn't know the difference between them. When he showed the weapon he had bought to Raul, who was controlling him, he sent him back to exchange it. It was a matter of record. He went back and exchanged this one rifle for another the next day. That's not something he thought of himself. It just was the wrong gun. The guy wanted a .3006 caliber rifle so they had a .3006 rifle as the throw-down gun. So he had to go back and exchange it. After the interview we became convinced, Abernathy and I became convinced that he was not the shooter. We didn't know what other role he might have played. But it was clear he was not the assassin of Martin Luther King. This guy couldn't have done that. But he raised so many questions that I had never heard raised before, that had never been answered, that I decided I would begin to go into Memphis and talk to some people, become familiar with the terrain and the crime scene and see if I could get some answers to those questions. And I did. The more I began to probe around the more concerned I got about new questions that were unanswered. I had hoped that the Select Committee on Assassinations would solve that problem. Because they were in session at the time and I hoped they would solve it.
Their report came out in 1979  and they didn't solve it. All they did was to continue the official history of the state's case which was that James Earl Ray was the lone assassin and that he was guilty. I kept going back-and-forth visiting him and asking him questions and then going off-and-on into Memphis and then occasionally into New Orleans.
Slowly things started to come together to the point where ten years on in this process I became convinced that not only was Ray was not the shooter but that he was an unknowing patsy. It was at that point in 1988 that I agreed to represent him. So I became his lawyer and was his lawyer for the last ten years of his life, trying very hard to get him a trial. He never had a trial. It's amazing -- of course most people in the United States if not the world never understood that James Earl Ray never had a trial; that he was coerced into copping a guilty plea by Percy Foreman who was his second lawyer. People would say, `Well why would he plead guilty? Goodness me.' When you put that question to James his answer was always the same: "Look, he told me all kinds of things. I always wanted this trial. Right down to the end I was trying to get this trial. But Percy said to me, `You know, your Dad's a parole violator. He's going to be sent back to jail fifty years after violating that parole. They'll make sure he's locked up. Your whole family will be harassed forever. They convicted you anyway because the media has got you wiped out as the killer. You haven't got a chance. They're going to fry you Jimmy.'" But the thing that really convinced him to get rid of Foreman by pleading, was Percy's statement that "I'm not in good health, James. I cannot give you the best defense because I'm not in good health." And he said to me, "That was it. When my lawyer said to me `I'm not in good health and I can't give you the best defense,' that really started to worry me. Foreman said `What you should do is plead guilty, then make a motion for a new trial, get a new lawyer and you overturn the guilty plea and then you're off and away.'" James said, `But I don't have any money for a new lawyer.' So Foreman said, `Don't worry about that James. I'll give your brother Jerry $500 and he can go hire you a new lawyer. But you have got to make an agreement that you will not cause any problems at the guilty plea hearing. You'll just take that guilty plea.'
Percy not only said that. He put it in writing. We got a copy of Percy's letter to James where he said, `Dear James, I'm going to give this $500 to your brother on the condition that you plead guilty and you do not cause any undue disturbances at this guilty plea hearing.' He actually put that in writing. A remarkable admission. So James certainly, he plead. He did cause a little problem at the guilty plea hearing, but nevertheless he plead. And Jerry got the $500 and James didn't wait for a lawyer to be retained but he filed himself pro se (by himself) a petition for a new trial. He plead on March 10th, that was when he was guilty and convicted and sentenced to 99 years. And on March 13th, three days later, he filed. From March 13th until the day that he died, James Earl Ray was trying to get a trial.
On March 31st the Judge, who had sentenced him and who had overseen the guilty plea hearings was reviewing the petition for a new trial, had told some people that he was concerned about certain aspects of the case (whether that is serious or not one doesn't know) and he was found in his office dead of a heart attack, with his head on James' motion papers. You can speculate what that means. It may mean nothing. It just may mean that man was under a lot of stress for a lot of different reasons, he had a heart attack and he happened to be reviewing those papers and when he collapsed and the head down it was on James' papers. But there is a law in Tennessee that says if a judge dies and you make a motion for a new trial and in the course of that motion before ruling on it the judge dies, you get a new trial automatically. There were two people who had filed those motions before [Judge] Preston Battle. One was James Earl Ray and the other person was the one who got the trial. James didn't, of course. So he went on, all of those years, trying to get that trial and was unsuccessful. Meanwhile the state's case was articulated in a number of books, by Gerold Frank, a chap called [George] McMillan, eventually commentaries by David Garrow and ultimately a fellow called Gerald Posner. Always the same line, always the same story, unyieldingly: lone assassin, no conspiracy, no deviation at all. That's been the case from beginning to end. I tried to get James a trial for many years. But in the initial stages we lost all the way up through the Supreme Court. We were denied. I guess we finished that process around 1990, . . . '89, '90, '91 it was certainly completed. In 1992 I got the idea: Why don't we try to do this trial on television? So HBO in this country and Thames Television in the U.K. sponsored a television trial called "The Trial of James Earl Ray." The trial was prepared in 1992 and it began and was tried in 1993, the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Martin King.
The Judge was a former federal Judge, Marvin Frankel out of New York, a very tough judge. We fought all the time, particularly in chambers. Eventually we became friends. But it was very hostile during the trial. The Prosecutor was Hickman Ewing Jr., a former U.S. attorney who had won 200 straight prosecution cases as a U.S. attorney. Some of you may know him and know the name. He was Ken Starr's Number 2 in the Whitewater investigations for a number of months if not years. The jury came from all over the country and very strictly adhered to were the rules, Criminal Procedure of the State of Tennessee. It was a serious trial. Even though it had no script or anything. The witnesses were not scripted in any way.
It took the jury about seven hours after that television trial to come back with a verdict of Not Guilty, James Earl Ray. You probably never heard of that. Because it was not reported anywhere and if it was it was mentioned once or twice in a couple of media entities. It was called "entertainment." It wasn't really serious you see. It was a form of entertainment. But what it did do was to bring to the fore, witnesses and information that had not been possible to get before that. So in that way it was very helpful. And in one instance, we had four witnesses whose testimony would have caused the indictment of a man called Lyod Jowers who owned Jim's Grill which was a café on the ground floor of the rooming house from which the shot supposedly was fired from the bathroom window. Behind Jim's Grill there's a big vacant lot, bushy area, heavily overgrown at the time and it backed onto the Lorraine Motel where Martin King stayed. These people gave me enough evidence as a result of the trial and my discovering them and the investigation (we had over 22 investigators working for me in the course of that preparation) to indict Jowers. Jowers knew about it. I'd known Loyd Jowers since 1978. He's one of the first people I'd talked to. I'd known this guy for 14 years already and he (of course) never admitted anything and he lied about everything. But as these witnesses now started to assemble, it was powerful testimony against him.
HBO in this country and Thames Television in the U.K. sponsored a television trial called "The Trial of James Earl Ray." The trial was prepared in 1992 and it began and was tried in 1993, the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Martin King. . . . It took the jury about seven hours after that television trial to come back with a verdict of Not Guilty, James Earl Ray. You probably never heard of that. Because it was not reported anywhere and if it was it was mentioned once or twice in a couple of media entities. It was called "entertainment." It wasn't really serious you see. It was a form of entertainment. . . . The consolidation of the control of the media is a major problem in this democracy as it is in most democracies today. I don't know how democracy can function when people are not allowed information that's essential for the decision-making process. But rather they get propaganda continually.
One of them was his former -- and she was still active as his girl friend and lover at the time -- she became former by 1992, but back in '68 she and Loyd had a thing going. Her story was that she came into the Grill on the afternoon of April 4th. She didn't see Loyd around anywhere. He was the manager and the short order cook and he helped do everything. And she saw the kitchen door closed which was unusual so she opened the kitchen door thinking that `Well maybe he's out in the back fooling around with some of those local ladies.' Because she never trusted him really.
As she got into the kitchen she saw the kitchen door was open leading to the outside. As she approached that open kitchen door she heard a gunshot. She was startled but she still went on. As she got into the doorway, here comes Loyd running through the bushes carrying a still-smoking rifle. He brushes past her quickly, comes inside, bends down to take the shell out and break it down and says to her plaintively, `Betty, you wouldn't do anything to hurt me would you?' And she said, `No Loyd of course not. Of course I wouldn't.' So he throws the shell down the commode, the toilet back of the kitchen and stuffed it up in doing it. Then he covered the rifle with cloth and brought it down and put it under a shelf. Betty [Jean Spates] had known about this (of course) since 1968. It was only in 1992, I think December of 1992 where she finally agreed to tell me this story. I'd known her for a lot of years. Loyd tried to keep me from even finding out where she lived but she told me this story then. There were three others with similar incriminating pieces of information -- a taxi driver who saw the murder weapon, whom Loyd asked to get rid of the murder weapon, or hold onto it -- a whole series of different witnesses. So Loyd was in trouble and he knew it. He said to his lawyer, `You go and get me immunity from prosecution and I'll tell everything I know about this killing.' So his lawyer, Lewis Garrison goes off to meet with the District Attorney General and tries to get immunity for Loyd. He said, `Loyd will tell you everything. This is the case of the century. You can be the most famous prosecutor in America. You can break this case.' Not only does Loyd not get immunity from prosecution. But the District Attorney General never interviewed him. Never even spoke to him. Nobody wanted to prosecute Loyd. But he still was worried because I sat a colleague of mine outside of the Grand Jury room for two weeks trying to get the foreman of the Grand Jury to let him in (he was a lawyer) to give evidence and provide the foundation for the giving of evidence of these witnesses so that the Grand Jury independently of the Prosecutor (if we could get them to run away) would issue an indictment. He never got in. But Loyd didn't know that. So Loyd conjures up with his lawyer and some others the idea that he'll try to get this story out publically. They contact Sam Donaldson. (I don't know if you know who he is.) He was an ABC journalist who ran a program called Prime Time Live. Donaldson agreed to put Jowers on and let him tell this story. So Jowers goes on television and tells his story on Prime Time Live and it seems like it's a big news story.
I actually got it covered in The Observer in England. I had been living all this time (by the way) in England. Not in the United States. I had moved to England in 1980-81. I had moved my family there and I was a visiting scholar at Cambridge at the time. And that was a much nicer place to raise children considering some of the things I was getting myself in to. But I had to come back and forth continually to commute on this, to do this work.
The next morning, after the Prime Time Live program, there is no coverage at all of this. Not even ABC News treated their own program as a news-worthy event. There was no coverage at all and no mention in the press. It just goes by-the-by.
So the investigation continues. In March, about March 20th or 21st, after the trial was over, a journalist named Steve Tompkins wrote an article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It was to have been the first of eight installments. It became the only piece, but it was a very lengthy piece. It dealt with the infiltration of the civil rights movement and black leaders throughout America by military intelligence going back to the second decade of the 20th century.
He traced the history of military intelligence's concern and surveillance of black community leaders and brought it all the way down (of course) to the COINTELPRO operations  in the '50s and '60s, particularly against Martin King. 
But the article showed that what happened in the '50s and '60s was just a continuation of what had been going on since around the time of the Russian Revolution. Because blacks were regarded as prime candidates for recruitment to the Communist Party after the Russian Revolution. So they had to be watched and surveilled. Hoover's Number 2 of course, [Clyde] Tolson was an officer of military intelligence and Hoover himself was given a rank of Colonel which he only discarded after the Second World War. In this article there was one little paragraph that caught my eye. It said, in Memphis on the day of the assassination of Martin King there was an [Special Forces] Alpha 184 Team there. And nobody understood why that team was there. Alpha 184 six-man unit was a sniper team. No one understood why they were there. I was curious about that and I went to see Steve and I said, `This is a whole other dimension to the case.' I was beginning to form the opinion pretty clearly that Martin King had been killed as the result of a Mafia contract. There were any number of bounties on him in those periods of time and a fair amount of money had been raised to try to get him killed. None of the occurrences were successful and I figured ultimately one was and this was a Mafia hit. And that was it. But now, all of a sudden, into this picture comes one of the most secretive aspects of the government of the United States: the role of the Army and the Army and military intelligence on American soil. That bounded and intrigued me so I said to Steve, `Will you arrange for these guys' -- whom he knew, he knew two members of this sniper team -- `will you ask them if they'll answer questions for me?' It took awhile and he said No, he wouldn't. He refused for the longest time. He didn't want anything to do with these people again because he said they were nasty, they'd kill you where you stand, they'd kill your family, your kids, anyone else. These are just trained killers and that was the way it was. He didn't want anything more to do with them. So I kept going back and again [saying] `Look, we got this guy in jail and we believe he is innocent. Any information I can get I need to have.' Finally he said he would help. They would not however meet with me. They would trust him because he had never betrayed them. He was a former Naval Intelligence officer himself. So he agreed to take questions from me and they agreed to take those questions and answer them. For a long, extended period of time I would give Steve questions. He would go and he would come back with answers. He'd go again, come back. This was all in his spare time and only his expenses were paid. As he got the answers to the questions -- he knew nothing really about the details of the assassination -- he didn't even know why I was asking certain things. But as he got those answers back to me -- these people were in Mexico by the way; they fled the United States in the '70s because they thought there was a clean-up operation underway so he had to make the trip to Mexico -- the picture started to become clearer and clearer to me as I got the answers to these questions. It became evident that the military did not kill Martin King but that they were there in Memphis as what I've come to believe was a backup operation. Because King was never going to be allowed to leave Memphis. If the contract that was given didn't work these guys were going to do it. The story they told was that the six of them were briefed at 4:30 in the morning at Camp Shelby. The started out around 5 o'clock. They came to Memphis. They were briefed there. They took up their positions. At the briefing at 4:30 they were shown two photographs who were their targets. One was Martin King and the other was Andrew Young. That was the first time I'd heard that Andrew Young might even conceivably be a target. But that's what he was. The main informant who told us most of the information in fact was the sniper who had Young in his crosshairs. Now as far as they knew they were going to kill these people. They had no regrets about it at all because they considered them as traitors and they used very unkind words about them. So they were going to kill them and they were prepared to do that. But they never got the order. Instead they heard a shot. And each thought the other one had fired too quickly. Then they had an order to disengage. It was only later that they learned that, as they call it, `some wacko civilian' had actually shot King and that their services were not required. But that's how they worked. This was not a one-off for these guys. They were trained snipers. You remember a hundred cities burned in America in 1967. These guys were sent around the country, teams of them, into different cities. These particular fellows had been in Detroit, Newark and Tampa and possibly L.A. They were given mugbooks. Those mugbooks were the photographs of community leaders and people who were to be their targets. And they would be put in positions and they would take out community leaders who would somehow be killed in the course of the rioting that was going on in various cities. The assassination of Martin King was a part of what amounted to an on-going covert program in which they tried to suppress dissent and disruption in America. He was shot from the bushes behind Jim's Grill, not from the bathroom window. And he was shot as a result of a conspiracy that brought a man called Frank Liberto -- who was a [Carlos] Marcello operative in Memphis, he ran a wholesale food place -- in to see Loyd Jowers whom he knew. Jowers owed him a very big favor. And in addition to that he paid Jowers $100,000 and that was to take complete use of that Grill facility for planning and staging of the assassination and the room upstairs that Raul (who was controlling James Earl Ray) would have James rent and then keep out of most of the afternoon. The final stages of the assassination logistically were planned in Jim's Grill itself and there were a number of Memphis Police Department officers -- some of them were senior officers -- who were there. One of them was a black officer called Marrell McCollough. Marrell McCollough is still alive and well today in Memphis, Tennessee. He went from the Memphis Police Department to the Central Intelligence Agency where he worked for a number of years [in the 1970s]. Before he became an undercover Memphis Police Officer, he was brought back to active duty by the [Army] 111th Military Intelligence Group [MIG] on June 16 1967. So he was seconded from military intelligence to become a policeman to go undercover with a black group called the Invaders, a local group. So McCollough was very much in the frame, in terms of all of these that were happening. He participated in the planning. And Jowers named the other people who were involved in the planning as well.
It became evident that the military did not kill Martin King but that they were there in Memphis as what I've come to believe was a backup operation. Because King was never going to be allowed to leave Memphis. If the contract that was given didn't work these guys were going to do it. . . . This was not a one-off for these guys. They were trained snipers. You remember a hundred cities burned in America in 1967. These guys were sent around the country, teams of them, into different cities. These particular fellows had been in Detroit, Newark and Tampa and possibly L.A. They were given mugbooks. Those mugbooks were the photographs of community leaders and people who were to be their targets. And they would be put in positions and they would take out community leaders who would somehow be killed in the course of the rioting that was going on in various cities. The assassination of Martin King was a part of what amounted to an on-going covert program in which they tried to suppress dissent and disruption in America.
Each of these groups of people only knew what they had to know about this overall assassination scenario. There were two photographers on the roof of the Fire Station and they filmed everything. They were still cameramen and they filmed the balcony, the shot hitting Martin King, the parking lot, up into the bushes and they got the sniper just lowering his rifle.
So the whole assassination of Martin King is on film. We negotiated for a year-and-a-half with those guys -- who were psychological operations Army officers -- to try to get it. They didn't know there was going to be an assassination. They were there to take photographs of everybody and everything around the Lorraine Motel at that point in time. The guy just happened, when he heard the shot, to spin his camera up into the bushes. That's why they got the photographs that they did. We came close to getting an agreement with them. Then my contact made a mistake and used his own name on a flight into Miami. The FBI field office sent a team to track him. When he was meeting with them in an open park area one of the FBI guys put a big long lens camera out the passenger side of the car and the Army officer saw it and spooked him. He thought we were trying to set him up and he split. That broke down the negotiations. But they didn't know what was going on. The guy who shot King was a police officer and he would only be told what he needed to know. The Alpha 184 team knew nothing about the Mafia operation that preceded them. The Memphis Police Department knew of the Mafia contract and they covered that up. The FBI's role was to take control of the total investigation and to cover it up. There isn't enough time to go into the details of the evidence. I'll be happy to answer any questions that you have. I try to cover all of the evidence that we have -- and that we eventually put before the court -- in the book. Needless to say all of this started to flesh out in 1993 and '94. I did a work-in-progress up to that time called Orders To Kill. That book was never reviewed in America. This book will never be reviewed in America. Most masses of people here will never know anything about this story because the book will receive no attention whatsoever.
I have friends in a lot of media organizations, sometimes fairly senior journalists and reporters and they say, `Bill it's just not worth our jobs. Don't expect us to have you on in terms of this book. It's not worth our jobs.' The consolidation of the control of the media is a major problem in this democracy as it is in most democracies today. I don't know how democracy can function when people are not allowed information that's essential for the decision-making process. But rather they get propaganda continually. Orders To Kill came out. It was unnoticed except by the King family whom I kept in touch with over time and they knew about the work. At one point it became evident that James Earl Ray was dying and he needed a trial, desperately or he would be dead and there would be no possibility. He was dying of hepatitis, a liver disease.
We put extra pressure to try to get this trial based upon a lot of the evidence we had. We had a sympathetic judge, Judge Joe Brown. Joe was very much inclined to give us a trial. Then at the midnight hour, I think just within the week before I think he would have ruled in our favor, he was removed from the case. The state made a motion that he was prejudicial, he was behaving improperly as a judge, and he was removed. There went the possibility of that trial. The family came very strongly in support of a trial for James and the family suffered as a result of that. They lost millions of dollars of contributions to The King Center and they knew it would happen. I didn't have to tell them but I did. I said, `Remember what happened to Martin when he opposed the war. You know what is going to happen to you. Once you take this one on, and you align yourself now with the accused assassin of your loved one, you know what's going to happen to you. You know you're going to be called fools. They're going to start finding reasons to attack you. You're going to lose corporate contributions.' And all of that happened. But they struggled on.
We had an arrangement for James to get a liver transplant at University of Pittsburgh Hospital. Dr. John Fung agreed to do that, put him on the list and he had the criteria to move forward. I made a motion to the court for that permission to have him taken to Pittsburgh for that operation. We had him evaluated in Tennessee. And we were denied, the motion was denied. Even though it wasn't going to cost the state anything it was denied. He died in 1998. I always wondered if there was anything more that I could have done and was I not attentive enough. Any lawyer would go through that when you have a person who has spent most of his life in prison and you know he's innocent. You want to get him out. I'm not a criminal lawyer by trade. It's not what I do. But nevertheless I wasn't hardened to it, I guess you could say, and I took it pretty badly that this guy eventually died without a trial. The family and I met and made a decision. Or rather, Mrs. King made the decision. I just laid out what options were left in terms of getting the truth out. And the one option that was left was a civil suit, a civil action. It was a wrongful death civil action that I proposed against Loyd Jowers and other known and unknown conspirators. There were members of the family that wondered if it was worthwhile. `We'd been hit and beaten down so much,' they said, `is this really worth it? Why are we doing this? We're just going to get hit more. Nobody is even going to hear about this.' This debate went around for a long time. Finally Mrs. King stopped the debate and she said, `I always have to think about two things when we have these difficult decisions to make. One is, what would Martin have done in these circumstances? And two, what would he want us, his heirs, to do in these circumstances?' Then she looked at me and she said, `Bill, we're going to trial.' So we filed that lawsuit in 1998 against Mr. Jowers in the Circuit Court in Tennessee and we waited a year until we were sure we were going to get the judge we wanted to get who was a black judge named [James] Swearingen. He had a reputation of being an independent guy. He'd been on the bench for a long time. He'd been involved in the movement in his youth. He was also going to retire. He didn't have much longer to go. As it turned out this was his last case. So we got this case before Judge Swearingen, who was not in good health. We tried the case in 1999 for 30 days: 70 witnesses, 4,000 pages of transcript that today is up on the website of the King Center -- thekingcenter.com has all of the testimony of this.  And for the first time under oath in any assassination's case in the history of this country, or perhaps any other, there is the complete picture of how Martin Luther King was killed. There is every answer to every question. There is why the bushes were cut down the next morning. Who cut them down. Who asked to have them cut down. There is every piece of information there. For history more than anything else.
It took this jury 59 minutes to come back with an award and with a verdict on behalf of the family against Jowers and known and unknown conspirators in the government of the United States, the state of Tennessee, and the city of Memphis. The family felt and feels vindicated. They feel comfortable that they know now how it happened and why it happened. The reasons were all laid out. Martin King was killed because he had become intolerable. It's not just that he opposed the war and now was going to the bottom line of a number of the major corporations in the United States; those forces that effectively rule the world at this point in time, the transnational entities. But more importantly, I think the reason was because he was going to bring a mass of people to Washington in the spring of '68. And that was very troubling. He wanted to cap the numbers. But the military knew that once he started bringing the wretched of America to camp there in the shadow of the Washington Memorial, and go every day up to see their Senators and Congressman and try to get social program monies put back in that were taken out because of the war -- and once they did that, and they got rebuffed again and again they would increasingly get angry. It was the assessment of the Army that he would lose control of that group. And the more violent and radical amongst the forces would take control and they would have a revolution on their hands in the nation's capital. And they couldn't put down that revolution. They didn't have enough troops. Westmoreland wanted 200,000 for Vietnam. They didn't have those. They simply didn't have enough troops to put down what they thought was going to be the revolution that would result from that encampment. 
So because of that I think, more than anything else, Martin King was never going to be allowed to bring that mass of angry, disaffected humanity to Washington. He was never going to leave Memphis. And that was the reason for the elaborate preparations that they had. That trial (of course) was not covered, with very few exceptions. You probably never even heard of the trial. General Counsel of Court TV is a friend of mine. He said, `Bill we're going to cover this live because this is the most important trial in terms of the history of democracy in this country; these issues that are being raised of any I can think of.' Court TV's camera stayed in the hallway with the rest of them except when Mrs. King testified or Andrew Young or Dexter [King] or somebody. They never came in and they certainly didn't cover it live. All the other media people came and stayed in the hallway and came in at selected points and came and went. None of this was ever reported. There was one ABC local anchorman [Wendell Stacey] who came in, very cynical in his outlook, and he started to film for his local station. As he started to listen to the evidence he was fascinated and intrigued. He decided he was going to stay and he was going to film this thing. He was told by his producer, `Don't do that. Get yourself out of there.' He ignored that, under threat of being fired and eventually he was fired. But he tried -- and he did film it -- and finally got his job back, ultimately through wrongful dismissal. But it was a chastening event for him to sit there and to listen to this evidence and to realize that he was being told to suppress it. To his credit he tried to hang on.
But there was a narrow window of about 12 hours where there was some minor reporting. And then it just all went away and has never been heard of again. [A member of the audience interjects: "Page 15 of the Washington Post, five paragraphs."] Yeah. The New York Times did a bit of it too. But then it just disappeared and it was never again reported or commented upon.
Except wherever it was raised, critics would start attacking. None of them had ever been there [laughs] at the trial. They started attacking the Judge. They attacked the defense counsel. They attacked the jury. They attacked the King family. There were various shots of that sort to try to say that this trial was a farce, it didn't make any sense, and made no difference anyway.
It was the assessment of the Army that [King] would lose control of [the Poor People's Campaign in Washington D.C.]. And the more violent and radical amongst the forces would take control and they would have a revolution on their hands in the nation's capital. And they couldn't put down that revolution. They didn't have enough troops. Westmoreland wanted 200,000 for Vietnam. They didn't have those. They simply didn't have enough troops to put down what they thought was going to be the revolution that would result from that encampment.
The family decided that was basically it for them. They had the answers. The answers were on the record. But at least they would take it one step further and see if on the basis of all of that evidence now, there could be an independent evaluation. So they asked for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They visited with President Clinton and asked for that. He refused that request. Instead he turned it over to Janet Reno and she appointed her Civil Rights division to put together a task force to do the investigation. They did and they came away with a whitewash which was predictable and which was the reason why we had wanted an independent commission to look at this that had subpoena power and the power to grant immunity from prosecution to get at the truth. But nobody was going to go that route.
I deal in detail in the book, almost line-by-line, with the report of the Department of Justice in terms of the investigation and deal also with the state's case as it has been articulated by various writers over the years. Because I think it is important that people have a look at what the state has said and what the facts are about that and also what the Attorney General's report said. To see that in the context of the evidence that came out at the trial. That I suppose really is the end of the story at this point in time. This work is probably the last that can be done in terms of bringing everything out. Although, twenty-five years later people still come forward. And there are a couple of loose ends that just have to be tied up (and I'll probably try to do that for the paperback version). But I don't think we really have much hope of going anywhere legally with it. James is dead. The family has won a civil action against one of the few people who could be sued. There are still some others. But I don't think we can go very much further with the case. It is important for Americans to look at this case history in terms of the health of democracy. Particularly during these times which are more troubling than ever before. One chapter of the book deals with Martin King. That's why it's a little different kind of assassination book because I think in many ways that's the most important chapter. Yes it's important to have the details and the evidence of how this whole thing took place and how he was taken from us. But what's more important is to understand how such a leader comes forward. What his roots are. What makes him so special in terms of all of the co-opting pressures that are on people who emerge in leadership capacities? Why has there been no one to replace him ever since? And why is there a strange inaction in terms of the involvement of people in leadership and organizations with respect to the major problems of the economic situations of vast numbers of Americans in terms of the unequal distribution of wealth in America and the quality of life of at least 30 million Americans and their children? These movement issues are as much with us today as ever before and yet there is silence. What was there about King and his roots? I trace Martin King back to John Ruskin. Not to Gandhi but to Ruskin. John Ruskin is the true father political economist in Victorian times in England, the true father of Martin King's political and economic philosophy and commitment to the poor of this world. He is depicted on King Day as a civil rights leader. And that's the way you're going to see him probably forever. But he was much more than a civil rights leader and that's what no one in official capacity wants you to know. He had moved well beyond the civil rights movement by 1964-65 and he had become effectively a world-figure in terms of human rights people and particularly the poor of this earth. That's where he was going. That's the area you don't really get into safely when you start talking about wealth, redistributing wealth. Taking, diverting huge sums of money into social welfare programs and health programs and educational programs at the grass roots.
It's important to have the details and the evidence of how this whole thing took place and how he was taken from us. But what's more important is to understand how such a leader comes forward. What his roots are. What makes him so special in terms of all of the co-opting pressures that are on people who emerge in leadership capacities? Why has there been no one to replace him ever since? And why is there a strange inaction in terms of the involvement of people in leadership and organizations with respect to the major problems of the economic situations of vast numbers of Americans in terms of the unequal distribution of wealth in America and the quality of life of at least 30 million Americans and their children.
When you start going into that you begin to tread on toes in this country, in the United Kingdom, and in most of the western world. When you start associating with the poor of this planet and the exploitation of what's happened to whole cultures and tribal cultures in Africa in particular, and you see the results of the exploitation of western colonial powers and when you want to see a movement to not only arrest that process which still goes forward today under different guises but to actually reverse it and to give an opportunity for people to control their destinies and their own natural wealth, that's dangerous ground to get on. So you have to deal with that another way.
King was committed, increasingly, to that kind of political view which you will not hear about in terms of the `I have a dream' speech which is typically what he is associated with. He wept in India as early as '60, '61 when he was there. He had never seen such poverty in such a massive scale. `How can people live like this?' I sympathize with that because when I was a 12-year-old I couldn't get my middle-class kids in my neighborhood to play baseball with me in the summer heat. So the only way I could do it was to go across to the ghetto which was quite a distance from where I lived, with a little brown bag, and played ball with black kids all day. I did that all summer long just because I loved the game. But it taught me a valuable lesson of how people were forced to live. Because I would be a guest in their homes and I'd see the rats running across the floor, Herbie Fields throwing his shoe at the rats. Things like that. There's a lot of people live that like this. Why do people live like this? Most of America doesn't see that. We are residentially segregated society forever. King saw that, wanted to bridge it and the solutions were too radical, too potentially dangerous. Jefferson was an idol of his. With all of Jefferson's foibles, remember he said, `You need a revolution every 20 years. You need to sweep the room clean every 20 years,' said Mr. Jefferson. You need that revolution. King believed that as well. How wise was Jefferson? Jack Kennedy once said, when he had a dinner for all the living nobel prize winners of the United States and they were all gathered around the table, he lifted a toast and said `I'm going to toast you this evening because never before has so much brilliance, so much wisdom, eaten in this room, except when Mr. Jefferson dined alone.' That's the impact of that perception, that political perception that Kennedy appreciated so much. That's the background and the overview, I suppose, the summary of the case as it is contained in the book and of my history of involvement with it. In many ways I had put it behind me when this book was finished and now I've had to come around and it's a pleasure to come and see folks like you and talk to you. But there's a whole part of me that's now in a whole other world. I convene a seminar on International Human Rights at Oxford with the motto of our seminars being Non nobis solum nati sumas, which means We exist not for ourselves alone. That's in honor of Martin Luther King, whose son, Martin the 3rd opened the series last year. So I've gone away from this and I spend a lot of time in Caracas with Hugo Chavez who was at Oxford as a guest of my seminar  and whose Bolivarian revolution I've come to believe in very much as a continuation of the legacy of Martin King.
But I'm back in the throes of this as a result of the book tour. I'm happy to be with you. Thank you for coming and I hope it has been useful for you. I'll try to answer any questions that you have.
Question: I don't know if I heard correctly. Did you say that a police officer shot Martin King?
Q: And where does Loyd Jowers come in?
WP: He was out there in the brush area with him. When Betty saw him coming in she said he was white as a sheet and his knees were all covered in mud. He had obviously been kneeling. It had rained the night before and it was pretty muddy out there. Which is why they cleaned the area up thoroughly the next morning.
Q: What is it thought that he did? Did he fire too?
WP: No he didn't. He just was there to retrieve the gun and bring it inside. That was his only role. At that point in time. He didn't do it.
Q: Is the policeman known? Who he is?
WP: I know who the policeman is, yes.
Q: It's mentioned in the book isn't it?
WP: Sorry -
Q: His name is mentioned in Orders To Kill . . . Earl -
WP: That's a very interesting story. I thought that Earl Clark was the killer of Martin Luther King. He was a sharp-shooter, brilliant shooter, hated King, racist guy who ran the rifle range for the Memphis Police Department. I thought as early as 1988-89 that Clark was the killer, the shooter. He died in, I believe it was '82, '83. I visited with his first wife and interviewed her for a period of several hours with his son sitting there, a young boy, I think he was about 15.
She gave him an alibi. She said `He came home that afternoon and he was tired. He'd been on duty around-the-clock. He went to sleep. He asked me to listen to the radio. If they called him, wake him up, and then run and get his uniform from the cleaners and he would take a shower and get ready to go back in.' She said that's what happened. She got this call right after the assassination. She'd heard it on the radio, on the dining room table. She went and she woke him up. He was asleep on the sofa. He went to take his shower and she went off to get his uniform. And she gave him that alibi. I thought, Why would she do this? There was a lot of animosity. He divorced her. Why would she protect him? I believed her and went away from Earl Clark for quite a period of time. Then when Jowers came on the scene and he decided he would tell the whole truth in pre-trial interviews and depositions; when he, to Andy Young and Dexter King, separately, and then to Dexter and myself, told the whole story, he implicated Earl Clark. And he said, `Clark was out there in the bushes.' I remember saying to him, `Are you sure that Clark was the shooter? Clark was the one that gave you gun?' He said, `Yeah I'm pretty sure. I'm pretty sure.' I wondered why he would even say it that way. And Clark was in on all the planning sessions. So I came back to believe that that was the case and put Mrs. Clark on the stand in the trial and she told the same story and she stuck to it. She held up well under cross-examination. And then I found the young man who was the son of the owner of the cleaning establishment. He was, and is, on the island of Guam, a school teacher. I found this guy (his name is [Thomas] Dent) and I said to him, `Let me ask you a question: Where were you on the 4th of April when Martin King was killed?' He said, `I was working in the store.' `How late were you opened?' He said, `Dad shut the store at about 6:15 or 6:20, shortly after the killing. I had gone about ten to or five to six. It took about 20 minutes to get home, something like that. Dad was home for dinner at about 6:35, 6:40.' I said, `Did you see Mrs. Clark come in and get Earl Clark's uniform? Did you know who Earl Clark is?' `Oh yes, of course I know who Earl Clark is. He was a buddy of my father's. We knew him well.' I said, `Did you see Mrs. Clark?' He said, `Well I never saw Mrs. Clark. In fact I don't think I ever even seen her at all.' `You mean she didn't come into the shop that afternoon?' He said, `On no, no.' And then I tried to put two and two together. King was killed at 6:01. She woke him up and then she went to the store. We drove the route and even asked her how long does it take to get there? She said about 20-25 minutes. So she clearly could not have gotten there when the store was open anyway. It was already shut on the basis of what young Mr. Dent said. I questioned him further and finally he said to me, `She definitely didn't come in to pick up his uniform and I don't even remember that she ever did that. He used to pick up his own uniforms and drop by and have a word with my father. And in fact, that afternoon he came into the store at about ten past five, quarter past five. He went in the back with my father and he was there for about fifteen or twenty minutes.' I asked, `You're sure of that?' He said, `I'm sure of that.' So Clark was in the store, talking to the father. I said `So why would he talk to your father?' He said `They were hunting buddies. Dad used to provide him with specially packed cartridges. I don't know if that's what they did that day but he went back there.' So that broke her alibi entirely. She was clearly lying. He was not there. That doesn't mean he was the shooter. But the alibi was gone, he was somewhere else. So I went back to him and came away with the conclusion, based on what Jowers had said that he probably was the killer. Then there have been some developments since then which lead me to believe that yes he was out in the back there with Jowers. But there was another man there as well. And the other man was the actual killer of Martin Luther King.
I convene a seminar on International Human Rights at Oxford with the motto of our seminars being Non nobis solum nati sumas, which means We exist not for ourselves alone. That's in honor of Martin Luther King, whose son, Martin the 3rd opened the series last year. So I've gone away from this and I spend a lot of time in Caracas with Hugo Chavez who was at Oxford as a guest of my seminar and whose Bolivarian revolution I've come to believe in very much as a continuation of the legacy of Martin King.
Q: The government has so much power and resources on their hands. How can we effectively organize now, grassroots organizing against war or civil rights and even justice?
WP: If you look around -- I see the building of a movement now that I haven't seen in a long time because of the threatened assault on Iraq. I think that there is a developing movement in terms of the anti-Iraqi war effort that is coming on. But also over the last several years the anti-globalization campaigners have brought a tremendous amount of force to building a coalition around the world. It's not just (of course) an American threat anymore. There is that movement.
It's a question of linking up, it's a question of networking and linking up and finding out who -- in this community, for example, there is a strong anti-war movement from what I understand -- who is a part of that? It's a question of linking up, developing the synergy and being concerned to move it not just in terms of these major international issues which people bind together in solidarity over but local community issues as well. You have to relate the many ways of what's happening to you in the local community, in terms of jobs, in terms of discrimination, in terms of police problems -- you have to relate that to what's going on all over the world. The number of prisons that are being built in a state like California. Why are prisons being increasingly built? Who are the prisoners? Who is the prison population? What percentage of young blacks in this country have not served some time in prison? What happens to disruptive community leaders? What is going on in terms of that? Is that a government policy? What has been the result of the amount of drugs that have been brought into communities, urban communities, black, hispanic communities across this country now? For many years -- 30, 40 years -- there have been drug problems sapping, destroying the strength of local leadership by getting people hooked on this stuff. Where does that come from? If you look at how LSD was developed (for example) and if you look at the whole history of the importation of cocaine from Columbia through Mena Airport in Arkansas when Clinton was Governor of Arkansas and how that was spread by gangs throughout the country and sold and what happened to the profits.  It's a devastating situation in terms of controlling a population. But it shouldn't shock people. This is what's going on.
The Northwoods plan -- anybody hear the Northwoods plan? Anybody know what the Northwoods plan was? You know, you know. That tells you something about this government that shouldn't shock you but should make you aware. Northwoods was a plan that was developed by General Lemnitzer when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. That plan called for the killing of American citizens on the streets of a number of cities in this country under the guise of having those killings be done by Cubans in order to justify an American invasion of Cuba. That was Lemnitzer's plan back in 1962. When Jack Kennedy saw it he was absolutely horrified. That they would kill Americans and use that as a means for then invading Cuba. 
When you see these things there is nothing you should put past the capability of government to do, either in propagandizing its people and killing its people, enslaving its people, imprisoning its people; whatever it has to do to maintain power, it does. We were so naïve back in the `old days' as I like to say, and we had to learn, I'm afraid, the hard way.
Martin King was naïve, totally naïve. He never stayed overnight at the Lorraine Motel. He came there for day meetings but never stayed overnight. I know this because I know the black detectives who used to guard him and where they were. I know where he stayed every time he was in Memphis. He never stayed at the Lorraine. But he came to the Lorraine on the third of April because he was told This is where you have to go to show your solidarity with the poor people and stay overnight Martin, don't go to the Rivermont or one of those other hotels. He was supposed to be in a court room, 202, down below where he was safe, protected. And somehow, mysteriously he got moved to room 306. Because there was a `request' that he be moved to room 306 so he could have a better view. He was manipulated. He didn't have proper security. Of course he paid the ultimate price.
But if they want to kill anybody I suppose they can anyway. Every day I'd go into court in Memphis, I'd get a phone call the night before or early in the morning about how I was never going to make it through the day. If I managed to get into the Courthouse alive, I certainly wouldn't get back to my hotel alive [laughs] -- they'd get me going in or coming out. But that was just to unnerve me I think. They missed their chance a long time. Q: The Mafia in Memphis: where did they get their orders, was their control from Chicago, New York, New Orleans? --
WP: New Orleans, [Carlos] Marcello. There was a Marcello contract. Marcello was involved in a joint venture with the 902nd Military Intelligence Group who coordinated this overall effort. Marcello would receive stolen weapons from arsenals and camps and forts. They would be trucked in to him. He would then put them on a flatboat, they'd go around into the Gulf and be taken off in Houston, repackaged and sold into Latin/South America and they'd split the profits 50-50. Glenda Grabow who came forward, ultimately was one of our witnesses who identified Raul -- who was the first one to really do that -- used to go down with Raul and some of these people to pick up these weapons. So she came to know about that. This was a Marcello contract.
Q: In terms of those four assassinations: both Kennedys and Malcom X and Martin Luther King, you have done work in this area that no one else has done. We know that there were two sniper teams from Army intelligence that had King and Young in their scopes at the time that he was shot. They didn't do the shooting but they were prepared to do the shooting if the contracted killer didn't do the job. So we have those identities, we have those shooters, we have a direct connection with the state apparatus. We have this country that has a national holiday; the same country that killed King is the country that has a national holiday. This stuff is suppressed but the fact of the matter is you've done an incredible job. People know there are other shooters in the Kennedy case. But they haven't been taken to court, there hasn't been a jury trial, it hasn't been identified who the killers were. In all of these cases you've done a breakthrough job and I want to acknowledge and thank you for that.
WP: It's been a long haul, a long expensive haul.
Q: [same person] The one thing I did want to ask, I don't know if you want to go into this. Given that we now know that governments are capable of killing their own citizens and given the experience of 9-11 where, just to mention two items: the stock trading on the day before  and the fact that the normal intercept procedures for planes in U.S. airspace off course for upwards of 15 minutes -- and they were off course for an hour or more -- were not followed ; if you think it's possible given these four assassinations -- Gore Vidal has argued this point  but no other single, famous American intellectual is prepared to go to the point . . . of saying the government let it [9-11] happen [unintelligible -- indicated in the following with ". . ."] . . .
WP: I would say you can't put anything past this government or any other government of this sort. Because the people who are in power, officially, are really only foot soldiers for the people who run things from the shadows. 9-11 has personally given me a lot of difficulty. But this is not just something that is unique to the United States.
Lord Salisbury planned the assassination of Queen Victoria. He had his guys go get two IRA shooters to kill Queen Victoria, put them on the route, and as the Queen was going down the route and the shooters were getting ready -- boom! -- out come the Special Branch guys and they arrested them. They took them away and that was the basis for offensive action against the IRA. This is what governments do and have always done. The Brits have taught the Americans over the years and taught them well. 9-11 is a problem that you have to look at carefully. You have to analyze what's going on. I can tell you just one anecdote because I haven't done any work on it. I represent the government of Pakistan on asset search-and-recovery work. It has to do with recovering money that's been stolen from the government by previous Prime Ministers. That's what I do for them but because of that I had established relationships with some people who were there, very thoughtful people, a couple of whom are on the General Staff. They asked me to draw up a proposal with respect to what the government's policy should be in terms of cooperating or not with the United States. I opposed strongly the collaboration with the United States in terms of the Afghanistan adventure because of a whole variety of reasons I can't go into right now.
You can't put anything past this government or any other government of this sort. Because the people who are in power, officially, are really only foot soldiers for the people who run things from the shadows. 9-11 has personally given me a lot of difficulty. But this is not just something that is unique to the United States.
One of the things I learned in the course of the discussions was that the head of ISI, that's Pakistani Intelligence, is a fellow called General Mahmoud Ahmad. General Mahmoud had instructed Sheikh Umar who was an undercover operative for them -- a covert liaison operative with Muslim groups: the Taliban as well as Kashmiris -- he had instructed and authorized Umar to send $100,000 to Mohammed Atta in Florida. That's not even denied anymore. When that became public Mahmoud was immediately removed from his position as head of ISI and put under house arrest so no one could interview him.
That one little fact is very troubling to me because it means that somehow, the head of Pakistani intelligence through Sheikh Umar, one of his operatives, sent $100,000 here to the United States to a Florida bank account of one of the hijackers, a leader of one of the hijacking operations, Mohammed Atta. Now how did that happen? What is that all about? 
There are only two options: (1) either this was a rogue operation and ISI has a number of fundamentalists, even in the General Staff, who were involved with them; or (2) that it was programmed by a foreign intelligence agency that had been running ISI in the anti-Soviet activities in Afghanistan for a long time. The Brits had an MI6-guy (for example) in residence all the time there. I don't know the answer to that. And when I ask friends of mine about that they don't know. Q: He was in Washington --
WP: Mahmoud was in Washington at the time on September 11th. But I don't honestly have the answer. All I can do is raise that question which is troubling. And you might know that Umar is the fellow who's been convicted of killing Danny Pearl, the Wall Street Journal journalist. The President of Pakistan has said quietly but publically he would never allow Sheikh Umar to be extradited to the United States. That he would hang him himself first. I think that's probably because of things that he knows. 
Q: I have a couple of comments. I haven't read your book yet so I don't know if you cover these or not. One is about the mysterious death of the Judge who supposedly died of the heart attack. I saw a play many years ago . . . the CIA has a poison gas they use to assassinate people with, they spray in people's faces that simulates a heart attack that supposedly is undetectable. The other comment, many years ago I saw a couple of . . . quotations attributed to . . . One was that he wasn't interested in really finding out who killed King (I'm not sure what his reason was) and the other is he was saying something about how he thought that somehow King was better off dead. Do you know anything about that?
WP: Andy Young often said he thinks that the movement itself, somehow, initially anyway, benefitted from the martyrdom of Martin King. When I met with Andy for several hours for the first time after I learned about him being a target, and it was actually well after it was published in Orders To Kill, he was shocked and I think his perspective changed. Because he then became involved with us. He met with Loyd Jowers and he has become convinced that this was an official conspiracy. I think he has sobered up now. He's quite a different guy with respect to the assassination.
Q: . . . It just always strikes me it that the work you did was a very a dangerous enterprise . . .
WP: . . . That was always a possibility and we had to confront those problems of various types of setups that even went beyond killing. But I think they missed their chance. For a long time I worked very quietly. No one paid any attention, shrugged their shoulders, and I didn't attract much attention. Then all of a sudden after the television trial [in Spring 1993] things started to heat up a bit and it started to get a bit worrying. But they suppressed anything having to do with Jowers. So I think they still thought they were safe and they could just beat us down.
When the King family then became formally and publically involved it was too late. I don't think at that point in time they could do anything to me. I think they missed their chance. I've just time for one more -- Q: Does Hoover have any involvement with MLK's death?
WP: He knew everything that was going on, he was aware of it. He didn't participate in the assassination but he ran the cover-up. It was his job to take control of the investigation which he did and he ran the cover-up. That's what he did.
The ability of the net energy plus people in the US to understand what is happening and how and why has been surprisingly poor. This general ignorance has been helped along by corporate control of the media (which, for this reason, I call the `corporate media,' to distinguish it from the independent media), `info-warfare' and covert operations. The more public form of information warfare promotes divide-and-conquer tactics and incentives (men vs. women, rich vs. poor, black vs. white, Christian vs. non-Christian, Republican vs. Democrat and so forth). The more private form of covert operations includes targeting by tax and regulatory authorities, blackmail, financial and sexual bribery that support `control file' systems, assassination and the use various other forms of covert operations that diminish a more general communication about what is happening and why. A review of the economics helps us understand why and how. If we can presume that 10% of revenues is a reasonable advertising and marketing budget for a high-margin industry, then organized crime in America as measured by the Department of Justice's estimate of $500 billion to $1 trillion in annual money laundering through the US financial system has about $50 billion to spend annually on `marketing' in ways more subtle than explicit Madison Avenue T.V. and magazine ads. Add that amount to the government budgets that can be used to police franchises, and the amount of money spent on controlling and influencing the `official reality' is stupefying. When an understanding of the amount spent to mislead is combined with an understanding of our intentional failure of disclosure regarding government investment and performance, particularly place-based disclosure, the intentional and increasing centralization of economic and political power by unlawful means can be much better understood. The advantage of such a system to current US leadership is clear. By centralizing the holding of equity in local institutions or in outside institutions that affect local matters (whether through McDonalds franchises or national telecommunications companies) and denying equity to those who do not support the centralization process, the few at the top can amass the political base of operations and resources they and their global investors need to dominate global political and economic power. It is fair to say that that if we could eliminate narcotics trafficking and the so-called `War on Drugs', the US political and business leadership would be more likely to resemble a representative sampling of the US population than a G-7 gathering of global financial elites. As new technology promotes meaner and far more subtle and invisible forms of economic warfare and social control, the centralization of political and economic power in the US continues with the latest transformation from the War on Drugs to the War on Terrorism. The latter moves the targeting of continuous `clamp down' supported by sophisticated relational database technology and digital surveillance to whiter, wealthier and better-educated populations at the same time that this population's economic and political power and resources are diminishing. The Solari challenge is to create a transformation out of the current win-lose situation in which we find ourselves. The key is to provide a trustworthy flow of information locally that -- when combined with equity incentive systems -- promotes and incentivizes high standards of responsibility and accountability going forward. Only a system that creates significantly greater amounts of wealth can do so. The fundamental principle that all humans want more energy -- not less- along with the mysteries of freedom and intelligence tell us that it is possible. Making it possible starts with increasing the flow of energy to the net energy plus people and moving them back into leadership positions locally. This can happen in a model in which a portion of the resulting capital gains flows to the capital that was amassed through organized crime and government corruption. In exchange for offering the leadership of organized crime a `double' on their ill-gotten gains, the local `net energy plus' people can buy back control of their local areas. This alignment is necessary to achieve breakthroughs in reengineering place-based government investment. Without it, the risks to both sides are significant. This is why the Solari Stock Plan is at the very core of the solari model. The economic productivity that can be unleashed when the high performance people are in control subject to traditional conditions of fiduciary accountability and performance are so extraordinary that `buying' our way into such a system turns out to be surprisingly economic for all concerned.
In his new exposé of the National Security Agency entitled Body of Secrets, author James Bamford highlights a set of proposals on Cuba by the Joint Chiefs of Staff code-named OPERATION NORTHWOODS. This document, titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba" was provided by the JCS to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, as the key component of Northwoods. Written in response to a request from the Chief of the Cuba Project, Col. Edward Lansdale, the Top Secret memorandum describes U.S. plans to covertly engineer various pretexts that would justify a U.S. invasion of Cuba. These proposals -- part of a secret anti-Castro program known as Operation Mongoose -- included staging the assassinations of Cubans living in the United States, developing a fake "Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington," including "sink[ing] a boatload of Cuban refugees (real or simulated)," faking a Cuban airforce attack on a civilian jetliner, and concocting a "Remember the Maine" incident by blowing up a U.S. ship in Cuban waters and then blaming the incident on Cuban sabotage. Bamford himself writes that Operation Northwoods "may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government."
When you start associating with the poor of this planet and the exploitation of what's happened to whole cultures and tribal cultures in Africa in particular, and you see the results of the exploitation of western colonial powers and when you want to see a movement to not only arrest that process which still goes forward today under different guises but to actually reverse it and to give an opportunity for people to control their destinies and their own natural wealth, that's dangerous ground to get on. . . . King was committed, increasingly, to that kind of political view which you will not hear about in terms of the `I have a dream' speech which is typically what he is associated with. He wept in India as early as '60, '61 when he was there. He had never seen such poverty in such a massive scale. `How can people live like this?' . . . King saw that, wanted to bridge it and the solutions were too radical, too potentially dangerous. Jefferson was an idol of his. With all of Jefferson's foibles, remember he said, `You need a revolution every 20 years. You need to sweep the room clean every 20 years,' said Mr. Jefferson. You need that revolution. King believed that as well.
Martin Luther King Assassination
Interview with Dr. William Pepper - February 14, 1997
by Paul DeRienzo
The world was shocked on April 4, 1968 when a sniper's bullet put an end to the life of the nation's best known advocate of non-violent resistance to injustice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was planning a massive poor people's march in Washington DC, scheduled for the summer of 1968, and the civil rights leader had already come to oppose the United States deepening involvement in Vietnam. King was already a target of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who ordered his agents to "neutralize" anyone who might rise to be what Hoover called a "black messiah," as part of Hoover's COINTELPRO operation of illegal spying and dirty tricks aimed at destroying the Black liberation movement.
King had come to Memphis, Tennessee to support a sanitation workers strike. He was shot and killed as stood on the porch of his room in the Lorraine Motel. James Earl Ray, who confessed to the crime, was arrested in London after a still unexplained world wide jaunt to allude authorities. Not long after confessing, Ray tried to recant his story, but he's been denied a new trial on seven different occasions.Ray's lawyer is Dr. William Pepper, who is also the author of "Orders to Kill, The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King". Pepper says new investigative techniques could prove once and for all that Ray did not shoot King. Pepper spoke with Paul DeRienzo, an investigative reporter for radio station WBAI in New York City
Dr. William Pepper: James Earl Ray should get a trial precisely because he's never had a trial and because he was coerced into pleading guilty back in 1969, and because a considerable amount of new evidence has been uncovered that shows that he is actually innocent of the crime. James of course has been trying to get this trial since three days after the guilty plea on March 10, 1969.
Paul DeRienzo: Who advised Ray to plead guilty?
Pepper: Percy Foreman coerced him into pleading guilty. Percy came in two months after they'd been negotiating a plea behind Ray's back and told him he had to plead guilty because Ray was already deemed guilty in public opinion and he'd be convicted by a Memphis jury. Foreman told Ray his family would be harassed, his father, a probation violator, would be sent back to prison and they'd fry Ray in the electric chair. Foreman added that his own health was so bad he wouldn't be able to give Ray an adequate defense anyway.
Foreman told Ray to plead guilty and he'd then give his brother $500, if Ray didn't cause any problems at the guilty plea hearing, and he could take that $500 and hire a lawyer to set aside the plea. Foreman actually put that in writing.
DeRienzo: Did Foreman have had connections to a man known as Raoul, a person that James Earl Ray says was part of the conspiracy?
Pepper: Raoul was the chap who controlled Ray and I've uncovered a witness who knew Foreman very well and said that Foreman told her at one point in 1978 that Ray was innocent but that he had to be sacrificed. Foreman also told this woman, who had known Raoul for many years, that he knew Raoul and that he would try to intervene with him to protect her.
DeRienzo: Is there evidence Raoul exists?
Pepper: He exists and we have four people who identified him and I know who he is, where he is, what his phone number is, everything about him that one needs. All I need is a criminal trial so I can have him subpoenaed.
DeRienzo: Who is Raoul? Is he a government informant, Mafia informant, what was his role in this?
Pepper: He was associated with the Marcello organized crime group out of New Orleans and he also had intelligence ties.
DeRienzo: Are you saying that Martin Luther King was assassinated by some conspiracy involving the Mafia and United States government?
DeRienzo: Could you briefly describe the nature of such a conspiracy and why it would arise?
Pepper: It arose because they were committed to not letting Martin Luther King bring half a million people to Washington in 1968, and because his growing opposition to the Vietnam war was becoming such a problem at home that he was no longer tolerable. The descent into Washington of 500,000 or so people who were going to camp there was unacceptable because they believed it was going to turn into a rebellion, they didn't have the troops to put it down and General Westmorland wanted another 200,000 troops in Vietnam. So at all costs Martin Luther King was not going to be allowed to lead that group to Washington and he was going to be stopped.
DeRienzo: Looking at you book "Orders to Kill", I see among the photographs a picture of a number of military officer, the Special Forces officers at Fort Bragg. Why is their picture included in your book?
Pepper: Because the 20th Special Forces Group was a backup unit in Memphis if the civilian contractor failed. If the contractor was unable to carry out the contract and kill Martin Luther King then there was an eight man team, the Alpha 184 team, in Memphis that would make sure the job was done. I know all the members of the team, their names, rank, serial numbers, where they came from, the details of their briefing at 4:30 AM on the 4th of April and where they were located in Memphis at the time of the killing. They did not kill Dr. King, but they were there as a back-up to do the job.
DeRienzo: Dr. William Pepper, describe yourself, only because I want to assure the readers that you're not a conspiracy nut, or a conspiracy theorist, but a person with a lot of experience. Tell us about yourself?
Pepper: I practice International law primarily, I'm a Barrister in England and an attorney in the United States. I was a friend of Martin Luther King in 1967 and 68, the last year of his life, after I got back from Vietnam where I was a journalist. He asked to meet with me and I came to know him and work with him. He asked me to lead a group called the National Conference on New Politics, an umbrella organization designed to remove the Johnson administration from office.
DeRienzo: So, you're not a conspiracy nut or theorist?
Pepper: I've not been involved in conspiracies. I've been involved in this case because in 1977 Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Martin's friend, asked me to interview James Early Ray who I thought was the killer. When they killed Martin I went with Benjamin Spock to the memorial march in Memphis and then I walked away from politics. Nine years later Rev. Abernathy came back and said he wanted me to interrogate Ray. That started this for me on October 17, 1978 and I've been involved in the case ever since. It was 10 years after that when I eventually agreed to represent Ray. I agreed to represent Ray only when I became totally convinced that he was a patsy and was used by forces well beyond his comprehension to carry out this murder. But I have not been involved in investigating the other assassinations.
I handled Robert Kennedy's Senate campaign as a citizen chairman in Westchester county, New York when he ran in 1964. I was quite a young person when they killed Kennedy in 1968 and I looked at that as most people did and assumed they had the right guy. But I have not investigated that case. I don't dwell on these things, but I've been involved in this one and its been difficult to let go.
DeRienzo: It's mind-boggling to me as a reporter to have someone so coolly. so rationally, describe such a monstrous crime. What happened in the initial investigation and how was it that a conspiracy of such monstrous proportions could get past so many people for so long?
Pepper: It didn't get past them, they were part of it. The conspiracy to kill Martin Luther King went to the highest levels of the American government. It's been covered-up all this time to the present and I'm not optimistic that we're ever going to break through because the forces behind the assassination are formidable. It's not a question of "getting by" people, the assassination was the result of covert efforts, and not so covert efforts, to make sure the truth doesn't get to the American people. The media have been a part of the cover-up and they have been controlled and influenced each step of the way.
My book "Orders to Kill" has never been reviewed or even considered in the United States, yet "USA Today" prints an article this past week that asserts the book was "dismissed." It's not been dismissed, it's never been considered.
The truth will be, at the end of the day, whether we can put our witnesses on the stand, and they can put their evidence out there for the world to see, and the state can do its best by cross-examining them to break down there credibility, but I want that done in front of a jury. We want Ray to have an opportunity to have that trial, to have that evidence out there and let a jury decide. It's my belief that in a New York minute the jury will decide that James Earl Ray is not guilty, just as a television jury decided he was not guilty after they heard a fraction of this evidence back in 1993 when we tried this case for television over a ten day period.
DeRienzo: Do you think they're going to give James Earl Ray a trial before he passes?
Pepper: I don't know. I hope they will, the King family coming forward has been a great assistance, I'm very grateful to them and admire their courage, but the powers that have kept this truth suppressed so long, denied them the truth so long, even denied the defense the right to testify or examine the murder weapon for so long, these powers have an arrogance that knows no bounds. All we can do is keep going up against then as long as Ray is alive because when he dies it will not be possible to establish the truth of his innocence in a court of law.