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Friday, October 26, 2007

Buckets of Blood: Politics (the Old Fashion Way) 

(The Mind of Mansel)

Two fisted anal implants on a Washington D.C. scale, adjusting the level of discourse by kicking the glass out of a USA Today machine and cutting the multi-colored graphs out of the paper and inserting them violently into the mouths of Washington staffers and watching as they swerve very fast down the marble steps of the House of Representatives as CNN cameramen film it for their own private home porn.

Buying heroin for cameramen in Washington will get you footage that will bend your hair back into your ear canal. My partner Jack Random and I hadn't been to Washington in a while but it was on this trip that we found that one bit of footage that would almost start a revolution in the United States of America, almost.

Stakeout a coffee house in Washington D.C. and you'll catch some go-getters, some lackeys, some wannabe's and some insiders who just may have the answers to those questions you have the theory to but have learned that if they talk they will indeed be killed or ruined on a medical level.

Footage, any footage of any politician committing any violent sex act in leather, fish guts or wrapped in moldy copies of the Washington Post will get you unlimited means of cash. We got a message from the doorman of a famous Washington Hotel bartender that a video of Karen Hughes, the spinster and Death’s head brick chunking mistress of the more right of the right wing of the Republican Party was on tape, dispensing entire cans of mixed fruit at young Mexican boys while Minutemen in the background on the Arizona border watched in awe and sat naked loading and unloading foreign manufactured weapons just like so many scenes in the A Team series that was so popular in the 1980’s. We had to get the tape and we set out with a suitcase full of drugs, banned toys from China to grease the more conservative lobbyists, and hard drives full of leaked CIA papers on the four major networks coverage of the current presidential campaign.

- Chris Mansel

[christophermansel@hotmail.com]

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NOTES ON A FREE PRESS 

JAZZMAN CHRONICLES. DISSEMINATE FREELY.

A FEDERAL SHIELD LAW

By Jack Random

There was something missing from the New York Times editorial “Defending Press Freedom” (10/22/07) and little wonder. The Times went to bat for a federal shield law now under consideration in congress to “protect reporters from being forced to reveal confidential sources in federal court.”

Missing was any reference to the high profile cases that brought this issue to the public’s attention, none of which involved an insider attempting to reveal government wrong-doing or criminal activity.

We recall that the Times’ own Judith Miller was sent to jail for not revealing her contacts in the White House who coincidentally revealed the identity of a CIA operative. Judy Miller was not protecting a truth-teller in the government; she was protecting deceivers in the White House who disseminated misinformation through her office at the Times.

It worked like this: A confidential White House source (someone in Dick Cheney’s office) would deliver privileged inside “information” regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. That “information” would find its way onto the front pages of the “paper of record” and the White House would in turn cite the Times in support of its position. In other words, Judy Miller used the reputation of the Times as a fence for White House propaganda.

Of course, Ms Miller did not to jail for that betrayal of the public trust. She went to jail for refusing to reveal whom in the White House leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson. In that sordid affair, Ms Miller and colleagues were not protecting a whistleblower but the person or persons that committed the crime. (Contrary to certain analysts who claim that a crime was not committed because it was not prosecuted, the failure to prosecute was only an admission that the prosecutor could not determine who committed the crime first.)

Another case where reporters faced prosecution for refusing to reveal sources was the BALCO steroids case in which two enterprising reporters received a mountain of confidential transcripts from a Grand Jury insider sworn to secrecy. They used this information to write a hot-topic book that gained a lot of media attention and damaged the reputation of baseball player Barry Bonds. It also compromised the integrity of the Grand Jury process.

With a government prone to secrecy and eager to defy any law that does not conform to its distorted notion of national security, there is in fact a compelling need for legislative protection of whistleblowers who wish to avoid the repercussions of doing the right thing. The example of former Ambassador Joe Wilson (Valerie’s husband) clearly demonstrates the consequences of truth telling (the fictitious Iraq-Niger uranium connection) when the truth conflicts with the government’s agenda.

The problem is: We have no such examples in today’s mainstream press. None of these cases illustrates a need for a federal shield law. If anything, they accomplish the opposite.

These were not heroes of the fourth estate serving the interests of the nation. They were, at best, serving their own interests and, at worst, serving the nefarious interests of the government.

The fact is: We need a federal shield law to protect the legitimate pursuit of journalism and the use of anonymous sources to that end.

Unfortunately, the cases before us fail the test.

The question becomes: How do we protect the legitimate uses of anonymous sources without providing cover for illegitimate or abusive uses?

It seems to me the more compelling need is for media reform to insure that the press fulfills its responsibility to the public first. If the media were truly independent and not subservient to corporate interests, its reporters would be worthy of protection.

Jazz.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON NUMEROUS CITES OF THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, BELLACIAO, PACIFIC FREE PRESS, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH AND DISSIDENT VOICE.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fools Parade: Following the Neocon Dream 

THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES: DISSEMINATE FREELY.

By Jack Random


The nation is lost in a world of illusions, dreams and fantasies that have no founding on the solid ground of earth.

The war drags on at a debilitating cost in wasted money and blood yet there is a growing consensus that our future in Iraq will depend largely on our progress “on the ground.”

With empathy for all those who are so easily guided by mainstream chords, it is the wrong premise and can only lead to the wrong policies.

Morality cannot be mediated by “success.”

What can we say about a nation so egomaniacal, so blinded by its ambition, that it refuses to acknowledge the immoral nature of our actions? Would fascism have been fashionable if the Axis had prevailed? Would the genocidal destruction of Vietnam be considered virtuous if we had killed everything that walked or crawled to make the world safe from the communist threat? Were the bombings of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Dresden acts of moral impunity because the winning side committed them?

In Iraq, we have committed a series of war crimes, beginning with the cardinal crime of aggressive war. We are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of lives lost and indirectly for millions. Our motives were clear from the first glimmer in the eyes of our oil industry president: greed, ego and lust for power.

In the name of democracy, under the banners of peace, justice and security, we have committed crimes against humanity that the world will not forget as long as civilization survives.

We have established a client state under martial law, compelled the population to elect a puppet government, exploited religious and cultural divisions, drafted a constitution that privatizes state functions and exploits Iraqi oil, and threatened to leave them to their own demise if they do not honor our dictates.

If the Iraqis believed us, if they felt they could trust us even for a moment, if any notion of cooperation or beneficent intent survived Abu Ghraib, Haditha and Fallujah, they would tell us to leave in a New York minute. They would tell us forthrightly we were never welcome in their land. They would inform us that we have destroyed their nation, killed their women and children, and every second we remain on their soil is another second of Iraqi shame.

They would tell us they do not believe anything we say. They do not believe we have any intention of leaving as long as there is oil beneath their sands. They see the monolithic fortresses we have built all along the oil pipelines and they believe what they see.

They believe the pain and sorrow buried in their hearts will not abate until the occupiers are evicted from their land. They believe their dead can never rest until the invaders are gone. They believe we will kill anyone who does not cooperate in operation Steal the Oil. They believe what they see.

They watch American media and they see a parade of fools signing on to the Neocon dream. Not one viable candidate for the presidency can envision a future without the spoils of the Iraqi occupation. They took Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn warning literally: You break it, you own it.

They watch the occupation’s new commander and learn that there is progress “on the ground.”

Where are these signs of progress? The month of September was one of the bloodiest on record. Assassination of Iraqi leaders is becoming a common occurrence. Neighborhoods in Baghdad are being walled off and ethnically cleansed. Turkey is invading from the north. American leaders are threatening to broaden the war zone to Iran and Syria. Syria is blocking its borders to Iraqi refugees.

Progress is relative concept. The Bush administration is making progress convincing the party of opposition that the occupation must go on indefinitely.

Progress is nullifying the 2006 election and its mandate to end the war. The president asks for another $50 billion and the fools in congress, apparently intimidated by the most ineffectual president in history, demur and accede.

Presidential candidates Obama, Clinton and Edwards step to the microphone and decline to promise complete withdrawal by the end of their first term.

There is no cry of protest from the general populace as war stories fade from the front pages of local newspapers. The dead are mostly Iraqi and the media are mostly indifferent.

The building of the most heavily fortified embassy in the history of the world goes on even as the rebuilding of the levees in New Orleans is neglected.

We are all Neocons now for we have joined the parade of fools marching as to war.

Jazz.

JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). THE CHRONICLES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON COUNTLESS CITES ON THE WORLDWIDE WEB, INCLUDING THE ALBION MONITOR, PACIFIC FREE PRESS, BUZZLE, COUNTERPUNCH AND DISSIDENT VOICE.

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